Saturday, February 27, 2010

And... I'm Back!

Well friends, it was a glorious 4 days of skiing in Colorado. It snowed every night except Monday, and Tuesday it was bright and sunny and some of the best skiing conditions of my life. It was great to see my sister, and meet her boyfriend and her roomates and friends out there, as well as spend some quality time with mom and dad, as well as my cousin from Kansas City who I don't get to see all that often. I'll spare you the details of all the amazing skiing that we did and just put up a few pictures of the trip.

 Fresh tracks in the morning


Me, Jules and Dad


Jules and Jeff

Unfortunately, I came back with a pretty serious cold, which has put the half marathon training on hold. I'm hoping to start feeling better soon and get back at it.

Speaking of getting back at it, there are a lot of things in life that I want to get back to. Being gone for a week didn't help, but I feel like it started long before that, probably the wierdness of my mood that comes in the winter. I feel like I have just kind of been living in lazy mode, where I only do stuff when it absolutely has to get done. I haven't been very proactive and I haven't been doing a lot of the things that I would like to do. I think the sunshine today is motivating me, so here is a list of a few things I would like to do (in addition to running):

1. Unpack and get organized after my trip. (I only took the few things I needed out of my suitcase and everything else is still there.)

2. Find a good recipe to make something yummy for Derek's birthday. I haven't tried a new recipe for the month of February and Derek's birthday is Tuesday, so I'm thinking I could make something delicious on Sunday for him, since we have YL the night of his b-day. Also, going to the grocery and getting everything I need to make this would be part of this. Let me know if you have any good ones.

3. A few posts back I mentioned how God showed me this blog and this sermon series. I know that some of you who read my blog also read Katie's blog and in her most recent post she suggested getting together a small group to do the study of this sermon series. I really like this idea, because both her post and the first sermon really stirred me and I would love to talk about it, and talk about how to live it out. So, if you live in Lexington and would like to get together to do this, let me know. I know that we are all really busy but I feel like this is something I would be willing to carve out extra time for, because I think its important. So let me know.

4. I want to plant a vegetable garden this spring. I have no idea how to go about doing this. My parents are coming down to visit us in a few weeks and hopefully they will have some guidance. But if you know anything about this and/or want to help, I would love it. I feel like this is something I have wanted to do for a while but the weekends always get away from me and it doesn't happen.

I think that's all for now. I feel like I have had all these thoughts swimming around in my head and I needed to get them out and organize them, so thanks for reading all my random thoughts. Happy weekend!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

And the award goes to...

My skis!

I would like to thank my skis for getting me down from the top of the mountain at A Basin alive.

First let me start off by saying that today was some of the best skiing I've had. We started the morning off skiing at Breckenridge. Breck got 3 inches of fresh snow over night and another 1-2 while we were skiing this morning. The snow was perfect to ski on. Not too icy, not too deep and soft, just right. It was a little chilly in the morning but by lunch time the sun had come out and was keeping us warm, but it was still cold enough that it wasn't melting the snow. It was glorious.

We stopped for lunch and my dad and I went to A Basin for the afternoon to ski with my sister since she got off work early today. When we got to A Basin the clouds had come back in over the mountains and it was snowing again. Gotta love this crazy mountain weather.

Miraculously, Julie was getting off work and we found her as soon as we got there. (I say miraculously becuase cell phones don't work too great at A Basin.) We got our stuff on and skied (is that how you spell the past tense of ski? Not sure but it is how it will be spelled on this blog) all of one run together before I lost Julie and my dad.

I thought Julie said we were going to go to the Norway lift, so I headed there and she headed to a different lift. I waited for a few minutes and realized they weren't coming, so I skied down to the bottom of the mountain to see if they were there. No dice. I rode the chairlift back up to the Norway lift and decided I would head up to try and find them.

The Norway lift begins in the middle of the mountain and takes you up to the top, and the majority of the lift is above the treeline. (The treeline, in case you don't know is the point on mountains at which trees stop growing because there isn't enough oxygen.) As I am looking up the lift, I can't see the top of the hill because the clouds are so low over the mountain and it is snowing like crazy. I debate in my head whether or not it is a good idea to head up there, and decide to go for it. About 1/4 of the way up the lift I see Julie skiing down the mountain beneath me. She explains that they went up a different lift that takes you basically to the same place. I tell her I will wait for them at the top, and she says they will instead wait for me at the lodge at the bottom of the Norway chair. This was my first sign that my decision to go up this lift was not a good one.

By the time I got to the top of the mountain I am pretty much surrounded in clouds and snow. I get off the lift and realize that I can't see 6 inches in front of the tips of my skis. I start skiing towards a sign that shows a blue run, in the hopes that if I am going to have to ski down the hill blindly, at least it won't be a cliff with moguls. So I start skiing. And I can't see anything. I can't tell if I'm about to ski over a bump of snow, a patch of ice, if my turn is going to take me down a steep section or turn me uphill. I literally can't see anything. So I just keep skiing and turning.

Also, as I mentioned before, the majority of this run is above the tree line. So there are no trees to deliniate anything, everything is a vast expanse of white. And because of the clouds and snow falling, I can't tell where the mountain ends and the sky begins. So I just keep skiing and turning. And sometimes I go really fast, and sometimes I go really slow. And sometimes I catch a bit of air as I go over a bump. But for the most part my skis took it all like a champ and guided me down the hill I couldn't see. Luckily I saw a sign that said that the ldoge we were meeting at was to the left. So I just kept making my way down and to the left. And eventually I saw some trees. And eventually I was able to see the snow that I was skiing on. But for a little while there, it was kind of crazy. So I would like to thank my skis for getting me down the hill safely, for not taking me over any crazy terrain or catching any edges and causing me to bite it. This award is for you.

**Sorry there are no pictures in this post. I forgot to bring my camera with me both yesterday and today. I promise I will  bring it the next couple of days and will have photos of the beautiful mountains.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

See Ya Suga!

It would appear that the season of Lent is already upon us. In the past I haven't really taken part in this. I think its annoying when people give up food that is bad for you and use Lent as an attempt to lose weight. I think you miss the point when you turn it into a 40 day diet. This year, however, I have decided to partake in this time of discipline and reflection. The reason I have decided to participate this year is because I really feel like I need some discipline in my life. I have been lazy and really focused on myself recently. And I really believe that being disciplined in one area of your life helps you to be more disciplined in general.

Side note: When I did Summer Staff (volunteered at a Young Life camp for a month) a few years ago our summer staff boss made us make our beds every morning based on the idea that being disciplined in one area of your life causes you to be disciplined in other areas. And it was so true. Sure it was annoying to take a few minutes every morning (and it was very early in the morning since my job was a baker) to make your bed, but it kind of got me in the habit of slowing down a little and doing things that I may not necessarily feel like doing. Sometimes I wish that I could still make my bed every morning, but unfortunately I am up and out the door before Derek even thinks about getting out of bed, so that makes it a little difficult.

Anyways, I definitely need some discipline in my life right now, so at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I am going to give up eating sweets for 40 days. I know what you're thinking - why in the world would you choose that when you began this post complaining about people who use Lent as a means to dieting. Well, I have several reasons and I think they are decent so please hold your judgement and allow me to explain.

1. I am not giving up sweets in order to lose weight. I am training for my first half marathon. During the 40 days of lent I will be running more than I have ran since my cross country days in high school when I could eat whatever the heck I wanted and I still had a 6-pack. If there was ever a time in my life where I could eat sweets and not feel bad about it and not have to worry about gaining weight, now would be that time.

2. A couple people whose blogs I read on a consistent basis have given up sugar (not like all sugar, but mostly sweets like what I am talking about) and have talked about how great they feel. After giving it up they realized just how addicted they were. And honestly, I am pretty sure I am addicted. Like, I eat a cookie or something sweet after every meal. And to be completely honest with you, I am not sure that I can stop.

3. This could possibly be one of the most difficult things I ever do. I seriously LOVE sweet things. Cookies, candy, cupcakes, ice cream, I love it all. And I am honestly not sure how my body is going to react. But, when I think about how often I eat sweet things, I realize that not eating these things is going to require constant attention and focus, which will hopefully remind me that while I need to be constantly paying attention to what I put into my body physically, I also need to be paying constant attention to what I put into my body mentally and spiritually. 

4. I am also hoping that by practicing self-control in this area of my life, I will be more self-controlled in other areas of life and realize that there are probably a lot of other things that I could do without that would probably make my life better and more simple.

Here is a list of things that I am going to have to do without over lent:
  • Anthony Thomas Mint Meltaways - my parents send me a box of these each year at Valentine's Day and honeslty its my favorite thing about the holiday. Because Valentine's Day was only a few days ago I have only eaten half the box. This means the other half must go in the freezer and not come out until after Easter.
  • Mary's Mountain Cookies - As I mentioned in my last post I am heading out to Colorado in a few days - Friday to be exact. And my favorite thing about Breckenridge, next to the skiing of course, is Mary's Mountain Cookies. They have these chocolate chip cookie sandwhiches with buttercream frosting that make my heart flutter. I will have to wait at least another year to experience this kind of joy.
  • Derek's birthday cookie cake - Derek's birthday is over Lent and every year his mom makes him a cookie cake which is something I always look forward to. This year, I'll have to watch everyone else eat it.
  • Gigi's cupcakes - Have you been to Gigi's yet? They have amazing cupcakes. And while Gigi's has just recently entered my life, it is going to be a long 40 days until our paths cross again.
  • A cookie or 2 after every meal.
  • Stealing Derek's reese's peanut butter hearts that I got him for Valentine's day.
Man, this is a long post. I feel the need for a little clarification of what I am NOT giving up before I end it though:
  • Maple and brown sugar flavored oatmeal - I eat this for breakfast every morning and I get the kind with 50% less sugar and I feel like it is probably healthier than many other things I could eat for breakfast. I will however abstain from brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts. There, are you happy?
  • Starbucks - In the winter this is where I go to hang out with friends and catch up, and it would just be awkward if I didn't order anything. I will limit myself to carmel apple spices because there is no chocolate in them. (FYI - I can't drink caffeine after lunch or I won't sleep at night so that limits my starbucks choices, so I think between hot chocolate and carmel apple spice, a carmel apple spice is really the lesser of 2 evils.)
  • Fruit and fruit juices
  • Gum - I chew sugar free anyways (thanks to the semester when I chewed sugar-full and ended up with 12 cavities by Christmas) but I guess because its sweet it may be cheating - but all you do is chew it and spit it out, its not like you eat it, so I'm gonna keep chewing.
Ok I think that should cover it (and way overcomplicate it). Here's to hoping this is not a giant fail. I may have to take up smoking.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Heart the Olympics

The winter olympics are here and I couldn't be more excited. I love everything about the olympics. I could watch all day long and not get bored. My number one favorite team is of course USA. And if this first few days of competition are any inidication, it looks like USA could win this year. My second favorite team is Norway. My maiden name, Strombotne, is Norwegian. My parents have a map of Norway that has the Strombotne family farm on it. I'm pretty sure that it is located just north of the Arctic Circle. I think this explains my love for skiing. Last night, I watched the men's downhill ski race and saw a guy named Aksel from Norway tear it up and take the silver medal. These are my people for sure.

Also, have you seen the Norwegian men's curling team?  Those Norwegians clearly have a great sense of style. No one on the corner have a swagga like the Norwegians.

(I stole this picture from yahoo)

So while I will be cheering on team USA for the next couple of weeks, I will also enjoy cheering on team Norway to finish second. And, what's even better is that I will be cheering them on from Colorado in a few days as I get back to my Norwegian roots and hit the slopes!

I feel like I should also take a moment to brag on my team that took gold in the Young Life Olympics last week at Club. Which country did we represent? Norway, of course.

Friday, February 12, 2010

And when you turn back...

So I'm going to go ahead and warn you that this post is going to be more on the serious side (and probably long and have no pictures, sorry). It's a mixture of a bunch of things that have hit me over the past couple of days, and I debated sharing it because there is nothing that says that you have to share all of the crazy inner workings of your mind and soul on your blog. But I have been reading through archives of the "Stuff Christians Like" blog, which is usually just really funny, and I came across this post. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but basically what it says is that Christ knows that we will fail and we will sin. But he tells Peter when predicting his denial, "And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." So that is why I am writing this, to hopefully strengthen others.

I didn't realize it til last night at Bible study when Franky gave me the exact words to describe what has been going on in my life. I'm not really sure when exactly it started, but I have been having a crisis of faith. I'm not sure the best way to describe it, but if I had to define a crisis of faith, it would be coming to a point where you have to decide if you are going to really take the Bible and God and Jesus and believe all of it, or if you are going to do what you want because it's easier, it's more fun, more comfortable, etc.

Lately I have been selfish. There is no other way to say it.  I could try to blame it on various things, but the truth is I've really just been worried about me and how I can be happiest and have the most fun and fill my life with things other than God to fill up a longing that is inside my heart. And last night when I was getting ready for Bible study and realized I hadn't read or done the assignment, I didn't even know what the memory verses were and I hadn't prayed for the person I was supposed to pray for. I have been so distracted by my selfish desires that the week came and went and I don't know what happened to it.

Appropriately, we were in John 12 last night which happens to be the home of this fun little verse: "I tell you the truth, unless a kerel of wheat falls to the groun and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life". (John 12:24-25) Which reminded me of one of our memory verses from last week that I actually did manage to somewhat memorize I John 1:15-16: "Do not love the world or anythng in the world. If anyone loves the word, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of whta he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world".

And there it was. I have been trying to love my life, I have been indulging my sinful cravings, more so in thought than action, but really some of both. And I am faced with a decision. Do I believe that Jesus is who he says he is? Do I believe this enough to not just say it, but to actually die to myself and to give up my life for it? Do I even realize what all that entails?

If you were to take a good look at my life, the answers to these questions would probalby be no. But I want to. And I told that to God. And He is faithful. And he sent me this blog post and this sermon series this morning. (I have only listened to the first one but look forward to listening to the rest.) And he showed me just how selfish I have been, and just how ridiculous my struggles are. And he gave me a good swift kick in the butt and told me to get my head back in the game and get my act together.

Sometimes I am such an idiot. A lot of times I am an idiot. But God knows that this is not the end of me being an idiot, and thankfully all of my idiotic moments have already been redeemed. All he asks is that when I turn back, I would strengthen my brothers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good news!

Good news! As many of you know Derek and I lead young life with our friend Keith Biscuit. We just found out that Biscuit's mom's maiden name is Honey. It's a happy day in the Warnick household.

Oh yeah, and our computer is fixed :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Well, I have some bad news. My computer is on the fritz. Meaning that it won't start. Which is really unfortunate for many reasons, one being that I won't be able to update my blog until I either figure out how to get it working again, or buy a new one. How, you might ask, am I posting right now if my computer is broken? Well, I stayed a couple minutes late at work to whip up this little post. (Hence the reason there are no pictures and its not as long as usual - don't worry PB, I am doing this after 5:30 when I am officially not on company time anymore.)

So goals for this weekend are:

1) Survive spending the night at Cedarmore (quite possibly my least favorite place)

2) Fix my computer

3) Figureout why I don't want to eat anymore - apparently since my illness last weekend my appetite has not returned. I spent a few days eating at meal times (because its what I've always done) and then feeling super uncomfortably full, so now I've just stopped trying. Don't worry, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to hopefully get it figured out.

Hope to see you all back here soon with a working computer, and hoping that all of my files can be recovered.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Last Laugh

So I'm sure that many of you who read this blog also follow my dear friend Kari's blog. (I thought I would include a sexy picture of us as well because we both look so good here.)

Well, last Friday, Kari thought it would be funny to use her blog to imply that I was pregnant. Before I had read this blog entry that stated to the world that I was pregnant, I get a little text message from my good friend Carli.  It goes a little something like this: "Anne, are you pregnant?!?!?!?" I respond that while I can't be sure, I am not to my knowledge pregnant, and wanted to know why she thought I might be. Well she directs me to this post and says once I read it I will understand. So I read it and now I do understand. Kari has decided to falsely inform the world that I am pregnant.  And, honestly, it was hard for me not to laugh out loud because Kari is really funny and she always does stuff like this and I appreciate a good joke. I appreciate a good joke so much that the wheels in my head are beginning to spin and I'm beginning to get an idea for a little joke of my own. So I send Derek the link to the post and tell him to read it and let me know when he does. Derek agrees that it is funny, so I proceed to ask him if he would like to play a little joke back on Kari. (Actually I would be playing the joke, I really just wanted his input on it.) Derek is also one for loving to play a joke on someone (in her maid of honor speech my sister gave this as #1 reason why we were meant to be - we both love to trick people) so he agreed. I will save you the details of our scheming, but here is basically what went down:

5:10 pm - I have just left work and am headed for leadership. While sitting in my favorite friday afternoon traffic on new circle road because someone thought it was a good idea to have leadership at a location where there is no easy way to get there that doesn't involve sitting in a parking lot for at least 20 minutes, I text Kari this: "Kari, I read your blog post, we need to talk. Call me when you get a chance."

5:13 pm - Progress on new circle road, approximately 5 ft 8 inches. Receive this text from Kari: "Wait, you aren't really pregnant are you?"

5:14 pm - No progress on new circle road. Text back: "Just call me when you get a chance."

5:15 pm - Progress on new circle road, approximately 12 feet. Receive following text from Kari: "Shuuuut up! ANNE! I was (obviously) totally ragging on you guys for fun, I never in a million years thought you were really going to be pregnant" 

5:16 pm - Progress on new circle road, decent now that I finally got through one stinkin traffic light. Back to parking lot status. Receive another text from Kari and am so glad that we are doing this over text because its all i can do not to text her and tell her I'm kidding. If this were over the phone or in person it would have never gotten this far. Text reads: "I was going to call you guys tonight (we're driving home to Lous) so you'll hear from me at around 9, is that okay?"

5:17 pm - Still on new circle road, inching along. I can't take it anymore. I know Kari is so excited and I can't let her keep thinking I am pregnant so I send the following text: "Jk I'm not really pregnant, just wanted to talk to you :)"

5:18 - Getting to the point where traffic actually starts to move a little bit and making progress, receive this text: "Aaaaannnnnneeeee! You evil girl! I'm gonna call....does 9 work?"

Success! Got the reaction I wanted, and got through the Liberty Road traffic light which means I'm done sitting in the new circle road parking lot. Our evil plan worked, we totally faked out Kari and got to talk to her later Friday night. The only downside is that I ended up being very sick on Friday and wasn't able to talk. I was huddled up in a ball of stomach pain and illness on the couch while Derek got to talk to her. Karma. That'll teach me to play evil tricks on my friends.

Actually it probably won't. I love playing tricks on people and this made me realize that I haven't done that in a while. I need to get back in the game. I forgot how fun it is.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hallelujah Part 2

As I said in my last post, there is another verse (actually parts of 2 different verses) from Hallelujah that made me think as I was listening to it on repeat and feeling sad.  This is the verse:

Well there was time when you let me know
What was really going on below
But now you never show that to me do ya?

It just made me think about how very few people really know us, and how we long to be known. But so often we're so scared to open ourselves up and share what's really going on, likely because we aren't sure how people will react, or when we have we have ended up being hurt by people that we have let in, so we don't open ourselves up if given the chance, even though we really want someone to share everything with. I think the beginning of the next verse describes something we have all experienced.

Maybe there is a God above,
But all I've ever learned from love,
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya.

I think its pretty self-explanatory, but something I see a lot and it sucks. We've all been hurt, so our instincts say that even though we may care about someone to hurt them before they hurt us. It really is sad how messed up our world's view of love is, and how so many people don't really know what true love is, because they don't know who Love is. In order to bring my blog out of these last few depressing posts I thought I would share with you another song that I have been listening to a lot recently. Its a lot more hopeful and shares what true love is.