memorial day.

Memorial Day is a day where we stop and remember. We remember people who were once here and are here no longer. Specifically, these are people who are no longer here because they gave their life for something greater than themselves; they saw a greater victory than long life....they gave their life, so others could live long and well. I think that losing people through death is the most difficult thing we face in this life. It is difficult for us to grasp that someone is no longer here...it almost doesn't compute within our hearts. It is one of those things that happens here that I think really shows us that things are not as they should be. Something in our soul stands up in protest when a death occurs. I am not talking about, "Oh why this person;" I am talking about all people....anybody.
When we lose people our life continues to move forward, but it often feels like part of our heart is stuck in the past. We move forward and we are unable to go back or slow down time. I have often found myself with some deaths wanting to plant my feet into the dirt and not move further away from that moment as if moving forward moves me further away from them. Now I am a believer and I understand the future glory of heaven and will be very glad to be there and I want to be living here looking towards there, but I also think that this is one of those tough things about being human. This is one of those places where we can clearly see the "already but not yet"......the fact that all things are subjected, but we do not yet see all things subjected. So, we try out best to offer up our pain in faith to the One who understands all that we walk through and we try to open our hearts to others who can walk beside us and we "memorialize".....we remember those who are no longer here.


you really can google anything.

It is true. You really can google anything! For instance, if you google "How to be captain hook" not only will you find youtube videos, but you will find a page on ehow that gives you 7 steps for being captain hook. Don't ask me why I googled this....it is irelevant. Below is an excerpt from the page as well as all 7 steps....

You can put together a Captain Hook costume relatively easily, but you'll also have to master his attitude.

Step 1- Buy a white, fluffy shirt like the one that Jerry wore in the infamous Seinfeld episode. If you can't find one, a simple white button-up shirt will work for your costume.

Step 2- Wear some tights. It doesn't matter what color. Black is the most fearsome color, but tights aren't really the most fearsome piece of clothing, so whatever color you can find will be fine.

Step 3- Find an old-fashioned red coat with gold or brass buttons. Try looking in a thrift store. If you can't find red, another color will do, but the coat should be long, reaching to at least your thighs.

Step 4- Assemble your weaponry. You'll need a sword-preferably a fake one for safety's sake- and more importantly, you'll need a hook for your hand. Captain Hook wore his hook on his right hand, but if you're right-handed, you may want to switch it to your left.

Step 5- Get a wig. It should be long, black and a bit curly. Also, grow a thin mustache. If you don't have time to grow one (or you're a woman), draw one on with black face paint.

Step 6- Place a pirate hat on top of your bewigged head to finish your costume. To make it more authentic, stick a large feather in the hat.

Step 7- Swagger. Captain hook was a cocky pirate, so you'll need attitude.

Yep that is right....Step 7 says, "Swagger," Now I like the Peter Pan/Captain hook movies and there are many words that I could use to describe Captain Hook......not sure that "swagger" would ever be one of them...or that if you were the type of person who was looking this information up (how to make a Captain hook costume) that you would really know what swagger was anyway.

This article only got 2 1/2 out of 5 stars....not enough people found it helpful...maybe there are better step-by-step instructions out there for this topic?....maybe.

There is also a "Difficulty" rating on the page....this one is rated "easy." This is there to lower your self-esteem when you find these steps difficult.

Thank you google, for providing us with an endless wealth of useless knowledge at our fingertips.


my sad grocery cart.

This is a picture of my grocery cart from Walmart today.....strange thing to take a picture of, I know. Looking at it, you would probably think that I was just beginning my shopping and that is why there are so few things in it. If this is what you thought, you would be incorrect. This is actually the finished product.

There is some coffee creamer, bread, pasta sauce, milk, bananas, apples, soap, dog food....and that is about it. I am pretty sure that out of that...Cali has more to eat than I do. It is pretty pitiful, but this is typical. My pantry is always struggling. I have no groceries (or at least nothing you can make a meal from) so after weeks of living that way, I make myself go to the store (Walmart of all places) and this is all I come out with...ironically, still nothing to make a meal out of. What is wrong with me? I really just end up walking past most of the isles, grabbing the same things every time and leave thinking, "Maybe I should have planned that better?" I have also discovered that many times, the few things that I buy don't get eaten. Like for several months I would buy a potato or a sweet potato and then never cook it. I also found an entire bag of spinach today that had not been opened and was past its date.
I don't dislike cooking. I actually really like to cook, but what do I cook for myself? I have found, that when left to my own devices, I will live off of cereal and sandwiches and literally, nothing else. I don't like those frozen meals. I have bought them and then I never make them or finally make them and think they are gross. I should really NEVER live alone, or at the very least, I should always have friends who like to cook together.


the Kingdom and special ed kids.

On the last day of the school year, my sister and all of the other special ed teachers at South Gwinnett High, have a field day. They split their kids up, each team has a name and a mascot, and they compete in games. I had the privilege to go this morning and participate in the first half of it. As I was watching and cheering it hit me hard how the work that my sister is doing is completely the Kingdom of God in action. What I mean is, there is this whole misunderstood and somewhat ostracized demographic of people in our world, and God has called her to minister there. He has called her to walk into their world with the light of the Kingdom, and she is doing that boldly and beautifully. Many people would probably think that field day for kids who are in wheelchairs, or kids that can't run well, or talk well, is a silly idea, but its not. I watched the faces of those kids....their joy...their excitement...I watched this one kid in his chair get so excited that he was clinching his fists and bouncing up and down. She has invited them out of a pushed aside, ostracized place and into normal life. She has also done this by establishing a thing called "Best Club" at South, where she connects regular students with special ed students. Again, she is carving out a place for them to just be "normal." She is bringing the Kingdom there and it is a beautiful and fun to watch. For those things, she is teacher of the year in my book! Below are some pictures of the fun festivities!


Houston- yummy food capital of the U.S.

I have really never been to any city that had great food, in more abundance, than Houston, TX. There is so much good food everywhere. I seriously think it would be possible to gain 10lbs in a weekend here, mainly because in this weekend I am trying to eat all of my favorite places, which equals eating out almost every meal. This strongly disagrees with my regular diet of cereal and sandwiches. I went this weekend from Thursday until early this morning and I successfully managed to eat out for every meal (the meals that I ate anyway) and at many of my favorite places. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the places I visited while there....

Holly Berry Tea Room
Cafe Adobe
Buffalo Grill
Jamba Juice

Below is a picture of my favorite Tex-Mex EVER, Chuys. So good! There is a also a picture of my plate....a taco and a cheese enchilada! Yum!


welcome to Houston.

I flew into Houston today for a wedding. I lived here for 8 months, from last May until January of this year. It has not been that long since I moved, but the moment I stepped out of the airport I was welcomed back to this lovely city with air that you almost feel like you could reach out and grab with your hand. It could be the most humid place on the planet and often feels like you just got slapped with a bunch of wet towels when you step outside. I was wearing these....

and was quickly reminded why I had put my jeans up in May and didn't bring them back until October. Jeans in Houston, is just a bad idea.



I am not a snake hater. I mean, I don't love them or want them for pets. I don't really want to touch them or be on a plane full of them, but I don't freak out when I see one. This is a good thing, because in the last month I have seen 8! EIGHT! OCHO! VIII! 7+1! I am pretty sure that this is more than I have seen in my whole life combined! I think that is crazy! It could be because of where I like to spend my time. I am not sure. I actually saw 2 today at Vines Gardens. When I was a little girl, the lady who kept me and my siblings once told me that a snake came up the toilet on her mother while she was going to the bathroom. I do believe I was a "squatter" for a while after that and always very paranoid that a snake would come up the drain and bite my butt, while I was using it. Below there are a few snake pictures.

This is a fake snake. A lovely, funny-spirited co-worker put it in my desk chair, which is where I found it when I pulled my chair out one morning. (this is not included in the 8)

This snake was on a path by my house, where I walk Cali. The path runs down by the river (where I saw another snake in the water the other day)

This snake was in a park I frequently run in. He had no intention of moving and I had no intention of walking close to him and since he was in the center of the path...this was a problem.


rain and rainbows.

After church yesterday, it rained...stormed actually. It was one of those fast moving storms, darkness quickly covers the sky and really heavy rain pours down, and then suddenly, before you know it, it is gone. These are the kind of storms that produce beautiful things like this...

I was in my car when the rain was pouring down and then as soon as it began to clear, I looked up, and there it was; a rainbow.....a big, beautiful mark in the sky that the storm was leaving. And then.....2 rainbows. AMAZING! Sometimes I think that God makes it rain, just so He can show off things like this. I think this is true literally and figuratively. In John 9 there is this story about a man born blind and people come to Jesus and ask Him if the man's blindness is the result of his sin or his parent's and Jesus says, neither, and then He says something profound. He says, "This came about so that God's works might be displayed in him." There was rain in this man's life so that afterwards, beauty can shine forth and all will know that God is the One, True, God. The Psalmist in chapter 72 says it this way, "You caused me to experience many troubles and misfortunes, but You will revive me again. You will bring me up again, even from the depths of the earth." I think it rains (both literally and figuratively) because the Lord's desire is to revive His creation, and by doing so, display His beauty and majesty.


when the day is long.

This song is amazing. The lyrics are powerful. The music is powerful and beautiful. I like it and at times, it almost brings me to tears, which for me is a rare thing. But at the end of a long day, or a long season, that has left me tired and soul weary, this song strikes in a tender place.
Rock of Ages by Sandra McCracken

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long

From this labor and this heartache I have come
The skies will wear out, but You remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise Your name.

Rock of Ages, You have brought me near
You have poured out Your life-blood, Your love, Your tears
To make this stone heart come alive again
Rock of Ages, forgive my sin

Rock of Ages, Rock of Ages
Bind your children til' your kingdom comes
Rock of Ages, Your will be done

Rock of Ages, when in want or rest
My desperate need for such a Savior I confess
Pull these idols out from my heart embrace
Rock of Ages, I need Your grace

Rock of Ages, broken, scorned for me
Who am I that You would die to make me free?
To give me glory, You took the death and pain
Rock of Ages, my offering

Rock of Ages, "It is done," You cried
The curtain's torn and I see justice satisfied
Now write Your mercy here on my heart and hands
Rock of Ages, in faith I stand

Rock of Ages, my great hope secure
Your promise holds just like an anchor to my soul
Bind your children with cords of love and grace
Rock of Ages, we give You praise


i like...

I like things that look like this...

and this....
and this...

and this....
This is Pretty Place; a chapel on the top of a mountain at Camp Greenville, which is on the North Carolina/South Carolina line. It doesn't suck!


Quote of the day:

"We tend to be overwhelmed by things that are underwhelming and underwhelmed by things that are overwhelming."


its your doggie "doodie"

Dogs poop. Dogs poop and they often do not do it at the most convenient times or in the most convenient places. My dog, unfortunately, is no exception. This is not my favorite part of pet ownership. On Saturday I took her up to the mountains to hike. She is quite the skilled hiker and has an affinity for being in front...and by that I mean she must be in front and refuses to let you lead. She has endless energy and forges ahead off leash to explore. Since we move so much slower than her she will often dart up into the trees at full speed pretending to chase a squirrel and then come bounding back down again. If you saw her you might think she was crazy....she might be. But anyway, back to poop. So on Saturday, we get out the car and cross the street to start the trail. We are less than 30 seconds down the trail and Cali decides she has to poop immediately. Her spot of choice is the dead center of the trail we are in.....lovely. At times I try to be a responsible pet owner and pick up after my dog...I think you should...I am just not always prepared. At that moment, the options were slim. Option A) Find a giant leaf....a few giant leaves. Option 2) tree bark Option 4) leave it. We went with option 2 and below is a picture of my scooping and flinging. It was quite funny.

Maybe if Cali had one of these.....

Or if I could teach her to do this....


Latin be gone.

Well folks...it only took me 2 months, but the blog got a face lift and the Latin is gone. It no longer has a random picture of a moss covered building. It longer says, "Amazing find in the jungle" followed by "ipsum letin afmlawkejfoiejfneofjwoeijfo;....." I had attempted to upload a template from online....I had no skills to edit it however, so it remained like that for months. It was often pointed out to me, "You still have Latin on your blog....you should fix that." I agreed...I just had no skills to fix it and make it cool. This is why it is important to have friends with skills....like blog editing skills. Skills that can change HTML and turn photos into blog headers, etc. I just so happen to have a friend who has just such skills, along with the willingness to expend those skills, free of charge, on me. I am very pleased with how it turned out. Not only is the Latin gone, but it looks great. Thanks friend!


a marathon is how many miles?

I have always kind of been achievement oriented. Every year I try to set goals for myself; either things that I want to do or things I want to accomplish. I have always wanted to run a half and a full marathon. I love to run and I love a challenge, so it seems like something I would have already done, but for some reason I never have. I began training for a half last summer and never finished. Around the beginning of September is when Lauren was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Pretty immediately I knew that I wanted to do something to both support her and fight back. This disease has just made such a huge impact on my entire family that it did not sit right with me to not partake in something that was pushing back the darkness of diabetes. I started looking at organizations that put on races, both running and cycling races. First, I found the group JDRF, which puts on these bike rides for the cure in locations all over the country. You raise around $4,000 and ride up to 100 miles. The last one of the season was in November and I was so close to signing up, but realized there was no way I could raise the money in time. These JDRF rides just so happen to be what Lauren and Trey have decided to do. Their ride is at Lake Tahoe in September and they are currently raising money and doing an amazing job! After that, I found this group called the Diabetes Action Team. They have 2 teams and each team participates in one of two races; the Chicago marathon and the Marine Corp marathon in D.C. You sign up through the team, raise a minimum of $500, and you run the race. These races are in October and by then it was too late to register and train, so I decided to wait.
Since, it was one of my goals for 2010 to run a half and a full marathon, I combined the two things and last week signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon in D.C., through the Diabetes Action Team. The spots were running low and I knew if I didn't sign up I would be upset at myself, but I also had this moment before hitting the register button....."Do I really want to do this?" But I did. One of my roommates is a work out machine and she does triatholons and it actually doing a half ironman this weekend, which is crazy. She is also signed up. Her family lives there and her sister is running it too, so that will be motivating for sure. While I was running my 10k last Saturday and realizing that the marathon was more than 4 of those....I second guessed my decision, but it will a great goal to work towards and I think I can do it....maybe.....we will see.


montañas sí por favor!

I firmly believe that God created every person in such a way that there are certain things that bring an individual life and certain things that seem to suck the life away. When I say life, what I mean is, a sort of soul life...a deep level of fulfillment and soul refreshment. That for each person there are things that if you do them they bring to your heart a deep sense of renewal.....they give you life or make you feel alive and then there are other things that if you do them they seem to drain you, to suck the life right out of your soul. I also believe that these life giving activities, when done, draw us closer to the heart of God and refresh us in a way that allows us to see Him more clearly. I think without doing a whole lot of soul searching we know what these things are...I know I do. I know that the moment I step outdoors, to do any type of activity really, my soul will begin to feel full. I know that if I step into the mountains to hike or camp my soul will feel as if it is overflowing and it will be difficult for me to leave and go back to "reality." Below are some pictures from some recent mountain fun, life giving, soul refreshing, fun. I LOVE this part of being in the southeast because mountains, really pretty ones, are so accessible.


4 girls, 6.2 miles and a flying biscuit.

About 2 months ago Lauren and I decided to run a race. A 5k was not that much of a challenge so we found a 10k and signed up. We also talked a few other fun people into coming along with us (some were easier to convince than others...or at least that is what they wanted me to think :-). We all trained, and yesterday, we all ran the Blimpie Gwinnett 10k (which we all discussed was a hilarious name that made us think of really, really large people running and every time I told people what race we were running they sort of chuckled). Everybody finished and did a great job. I was super proud of everyone.
What is so funny is that Lauren and I got trophies...........hilarious. Neither of us ran to win anything, nor expected to and when they called our names we both laughed. She got 2nd in her age group and I got 3rd in mine. Neither of us had times that were impressive, but none-the-less we have trophies to show off for our efforts.

After the race we rewarded ourselves with creamy, dreamy grits from The Flying Biscuit.....it was glorious! Here are the awesome girls post-race! Great job ladies!