July 30, 2010

Evening à la Wonderful

Recipe for a pretty great evening.
Serves two.

First, make a yummy dinner using as many fresh veggies as you can. I suggest Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza from Smitten Kitchen and a fresh tomato basil salad.
Next, add in a boy you really like who brings you beautiful flowers just because.
Finally, snuggle on the couch and swoon over Don Draper and the magic that is Mad Men.









Go, enjoy. You can thank me later.

July 28, 2010

Free Space

I had a teacher in elementary school who always left a half of a page at the bottom of every test or worksheet blank. She called it free space. It definitely didn't cost her anything to leave that lovely white space for me. It did, however, make a big difference. It gave me a place that was mine. I could write anything I wanted. There was security and clarity in that space for me. The words white space and margin have become frequenters of my work dialogue lately.

Last week I went to a workshop called Less Clutter. Less Noise. hosted by Kem Meyer. She has some really great ideas about communications, especially as they pertain to the church, and we took away some great thoughts and tips from what she had to say. Above all the other things that she spoke about, one topic in particular has stuck with me:
...the barrage of data to which we are constantly exposed carries a cost - physically, mentally and financially...More isn't what people are looking for; relief from the pressure of more is what they're looking for.
This is so true for me. I don't want to know anything else sometimes. I don't want new information. I want help figuring out how to sort and prioritize all the information that I'm hit with every other minute of the day. That's why Mrs. Jung's white space was so important. I could sort there. I could dump out all the information that I'd been desperately trying to keep crammed in my head before the big test there. It helped me breathe and think easier.

The white space was oxygen. Where do you have oxygen in your life? Where is your white space? Sure this is a brilliant principle to remember in the professional communications realm, especially at my church, but I think it goes beyond that. Where do I find clarity and rest? How do I leave white space in my life. A pastor at my church recently posted on the Sabbath and I think the two are connected. If you have the time or energy, give it a read.

July 14, 2010

Catching Up

The truth of the matter is that I've fallen behind on my Engage Scripture reading plan. Remember that thing? It was my big goal at the beginning of the year? I'd been doing a decent job at keeping up until springtime hit. Work got busy. A boy stole my attention. My bible got a little dusty. Sad, but true.

What's funny is that part of my job, my actual I-get-paid-for-doing-this job, is to keep the world updated on today's @EngageScripture reading via Twitter. So, everyday, the first thing I do when I sit down at my desk is type out the three chapters for the day. I even send encouraging messages out on days off. "Keep it up!" "It's never to late to catch up!" "Don't give up!" 

I had grand aspirations of catching up when I was on vacation earlier this summer. I pictured myself reading and basking in the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Reality: I ate peanut butter sandwiches and dared my brothers to climb on dangerous rocks. I couldn't seem to make the time. About two weeks ago I was thinking about this time problem and realized that it wasn't so much about time. The truth is that I hate being behind because I don't like that my check boxes on my reading plan aren't up to date. I don't like being late. I don't like my lists out of whack. That's a stupid reason to want to keep reading, right? Yes and no. If it keeps me plugging through it's ok. If it gets me to read my bible everyday it's swell.

If I never get from list-focused-check-box-driven reader to delighter in God's word then it sucks. I'm getting there. Slowly but surely. I'm catching up. And, to help me get to that place where reading God's word becomes my pleasure and the highlight of my day, I've started praying (I know, brilliant) before I read.
Lord, I love you. Holy Spirit, help me to delight in your word as I read it. Help me to see you, know you better and become more like you. I want this to be where I get my strength and my joy. You are my everything. I'm sorry that I forget that. I love you.
Give it a go. Turns out Jesus likes to answer prayers like that I think. And, take it from me - it's not too late to catch up on Engage Scripture or just to pick up that dusty bible and get reading.

July 13, 2010

Rockin' Robin Reunion













My grandmother was an interesting woman. She was the type of woman who, had it been acceptable in her day, would have kept her maiden name when she married. She remembered the first automobile that drove down main street in Boise. She lost her first fiance to the flu epidemic in 1919. She lived on her own until she was 93, when she moved into an assisted living apartment. She quite smoking at 95 when she got tired of walking to the smoker's room.

She was the one who taught me about the beauty of the Round Robin letter. It's like the snail mail version of an email chain. It's like a cup of tea, a good book and the perfect hug rolled into one perfectly packed manilla envelope waiting in your mail box. My college roommates and I have been writing letters like this for almost seven years. We've been through births and deaths, career changes and marriages. We've built a history on paper. 


A history on paper is of great value, but time spent together face to face is priceless. In four short days I get to see some of the coolest, awesomest, most amazing ladies in the whole world. The third Love House Reunion is on it's way and I can't wait. There will be laughing, there will be dancing, there will be belly slapping. Don't judge. You'd slap Marilyn's belly if you could.






July 9, 2010

Update

Things were touch and go for a while there, my friends. It wasn't pretty.

On Wednesday a well-intentioned gentleman suggested that I could take the terror alert in my house down from red to, perhaps, yellow. Since I like him so much I gave his advice some careful consideration. It was true. It had been a week and nothing had happened. There were traps, but nobody took the bait. Maybe my mouse had been a poor lost mouse who stumbled into my pantry and ate my popcorn on accident. Maybe he knew he wasn't meant to be indoors. Maybe he could tell that my house was hostile towards rodents of all types, but that I was a nice girl and he really didn't want to cause me any stress.

So, Wednesday evening I crawled into bed barely thinking of my little rodent issue, blissfully believing that perhaps it had resolved itself. I slept soundly. I wasn't worried. Thursday morning started like any other morning. Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. WC. And then things got interesting. I walked boldly into my kitchen and there it was. The trap. The trap that had been at the VERY BACK of the pantry was now sticking out from under the pantry door. NOT A GOOD SIGN. I trepidatiously opened the pantry door and...nothing. A relocated mouse trap with no mouse. The details get a little fuzzy at this point, but I do remember slamming the pantry door shut, getting ready for work as quickly as possible and getting the heck out of dodge (a.k.a. my apartment).

At work things went from bad to worse. No less than two people informed me that I must have a rat. A RAT. Apparently when your traps move without catching something this indicates that whatever you're trying to catch it too big for the trap. GROSS. I went from worried to HORRIFIED. Absolutely horrified.

The aforementioned gentleman spent the afternoon reminding me that I probably don't have a rat. I hadn't heard it (rats are apparently loud) and I had seen no signs of him (they are also supposedly out to destroy). And the little traps were the glue kind because I hadn't been able to make the wooden ones set without loosing a finger. And they had been out for a week - maybe the glue wasn't so sticky anymore. Maybe. Still - horrified. So, I traded my fella dinner for his trap setting abilities. No messing around this time. Wooden traps. Peanut Butter. Death for the rodents.

We set one trap. We ate dinner. We drank wine. We put in a movie. And then.....SNAP. One hour later the mystery was solved. Dead mouse. Mouse brains are gross by the way.

Humans - 1, Mice - 0.

I've never been so relieved to have mice...and a boyfriend.

July 2, 2010

War.

There really are not words for this situation. Those of you who know me best will understand just from the pictures. All I will say is this: These mice have messed with the wrong girl.

Preparing for battle: 


The ground war begins:





I'll keep you posted on casualties. Hopefully they are all on the enemy's side.