Monday, February 26, 2007

my yummy weekend

So much better than last weekend... I watched 4 hours of high school wrestling on Saturday, then made tacos and enjoyed dinner and 2 games of Settlers (Seafarers, actually) with Mark and our friend Scott. The three of us polished off twenty-four cookies without breaking a sweat (okay, that last part might not be true... the last 3 (one for each of us) were a little tough to manage. Somehow, we fought through).

Scott and his family live in Tulsa now - but we've known them since Scott was in med school at MSU 5 or 6 years ago. We had a blast. I really wish Liz and the kids could have been there - we laughed really hard, caught up on life in general, told stories, and just relished the way God builds relationships and protects them from time and distance.

Sunday was church, then lunch with Scott - then Mark and I drove to Detroit to pick up Brooks and Abbey (they were in GA looking for jobs this weekend) - and we had a really fun dinner with them at the Texas Roadhouse. Ate way too much again. It's the kind of place where I KNOW I will eat until I get a bellyache - and I do it anyway because it tastes so good. You can throw your peanut shells on the floor, the rolls come with cinnamon butter, and they put three cherries in my Cherry Coke. What else could you want, I ask?

Praise God for blessings - little and big. And for moments that remind you that there is more than this life - but this life can be full of love, laughter and joy.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Yup - it's February, it's Michigan, and despite all odds - I see the sun! And I have seen it every day this week!! I also see muddy patches of brownish-green grass where the icy snow-slush has melted away. Gosh, spring is such a magical time. :)

Life is moving along much like normal this week - no firm word yet on the status of the car, although it's looking like we may be car-shopping again in the near future. I don't think we can get the same amazing deal twice in a row, but hopefully I will drive the car for more than two days, and it will thus be worth the extra money.

As much as car accidents stink, and as NO-FUN as this week has been, I realized on Wednesday that I prefer my adult problems to the troubles and pains that teenagers deal with regularly. I spent some time hanging out with one of my 8th grade friends this week - she is dealing with feeling left out, boy troubles, friend troubles... she is such a lovely, sweet-hearted girl and I love her to bits. I sat and watched her as she poured out some of these troubles - her face was so earnest. I wanted so badly to let her know that it WILL get better. I tried to listen, comfort, make her laugh, and give her some ideas about how to approach some of these situations - but I have no idea if I was effective. Hopefully, she at least felt loved. It's strange to realize that you'd rather total your car than deal with that kind of heartache.

It's been a tough winter - but I can see that spring is around the corner, and that makes me smile.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

my not so fun weekend

I left work at 4:30pm on Friday, all excited for a semi-relaxing weekend - get some laundry done, visit with friends, and enjoy a fairly open schedule. By 4:45pm, my plans had changed fairly drastically...

My beautiful, shiny, new blue car and I were in a fairly major accident just minutes after I left the office. No one was hurt (just general soreness and neck pain that are pretty standard with car accidents), but my car was in pretty sad shape. Not sure if it's officially totaled or not - the auto body place is supposed to get back with us sometime today. I'm hoping that the engine wasn't really damaged and that it's just going to take some extensive body work and a new airbag to fix 'er up again.

I've been in a couple very minor accidents before - the kind where there was really no damage done and insurance companies weren't even notified - so this was a new experience. I was shocked, scared - and had a really sick feeling that my lovely new car was in such condition after 2 days. So much for me feeling comfortable driving a new car around.

At any rate - everyone is OK - hopefully I'll be posting soon to tell you that they'll be able to return my car to me someday, all put back together again. In the meantime - drive safe, look both ways (3 or 4 times, just to be sure), and pay your insurance bill!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Okay, so I'm easily pleased...

*warning - you may think a little bit less of me after reading this post... but I don't care! :)

Yesterday was quite the adventurous day for me - I picked up the loan check and cashier's check from the credit union at lunchtime, and once my meetings were done for the day (around 2:45), I left work and headed for the Jeep dealer in Mason. (I only work a half day on Wednesday because I work longer hours the other days - I'm not playing hooky or anything). I paid for a new car, signed bajillions of papers, met Kevin the service-center guy - the whole car-buying shebang. And I did it all by myself.

I know how juvenile that sounds - believe me. The echo of 5-year-old's glee is not lost on me. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm kind of excited that I researched and bought a car largely on my own (Mark is more than instrumental in the funding and the negotiating side of things, don't get me wrong. I'd be buying a 2000 Ford Focus if it wasn't for him).

And here is my lovely, pretty blue new car:

The gargantuan snow drifts in my driveway and on my steps prevented me from getting a great angle - but you get the idea. I love it. Although right now (and probably for the next couple of days) driving it absolutely terrifies me. It's new and shiny and has 85 miles on it and I'm not used to it. I'll get over it soon, but for now, it makes me nervous. It handles beautifully, doesn't make funny noises, everything is functioning... I'm a happy gal!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

L is for Love (it's okay, you can throw up a little)

These are the lovely roses my dear husband had delivered to my office yesterday. It was a big surprise - we don't usually make much of a deal out of Valentine's Day. It's always fun to get things at work, though - everyone's either jealous (the other ladies), or intimidated (the men who think "I should have done that for my wife"). They're kind of blocking my view of my other monitor, but I don't care. I'd rather look at pretty red roses anyway.

Busy day today - this morning I got up early and put an apple pie in the oven (we have a Valentine's potluck at work today), after work I have to run to the credit union and pick up our loan check, drive to the dealer, get the whole car thing straight (I'm a little nervous to do all this without a wingman - Mark can't join me today). And last night I didn't get to sleep until almost 12:30. I'll probably go home and take a nap (although I want to get a little workout in if I can) when it's all said and done. Aside from flowers and a new car, we don't have big plans for V-Day.
Wishing you joy and love this day - may you (and I) remember our Savior, whose love for us cannot be surpassed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

coming attractions...

Tomorrow I'll put up a picture of the gorgeous red roses that are adorning my desk (that's my hubby!!).

Thursday I'll be posting a picture of my new car! :)

You'll just have to manage to hang in there until then!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

learning things

I've always liked learning things, enjoyed using my brain for things, always been kind of a bookish, school-nerdy type of gal. Fifteen or twenty years ago, you'd probably find me checking out 8 library books per week, or wandering around my yard, lost in some complicated imaginary game/role play I'd made up (along with my sister and my friend Anne). And while I love physical activity, and using my hands - my brain is the one muscle (ok I know it's not actually a muscle) in my body that never shuts down.

It's still true today that I love to read, love to think about things, love to learn... but it seems that the things I am learning are much tougher than they used to be. I thought trigonometry was tricky, I didn't really care much for physics, and learning all the capitals of all the states was a downright pain. But that's nothing compared to learning that I am not in control of my life, learning to hand over the reins to God, learning what it means to live a life that is tied to God's word. There are moments (minutes, hours, days...) I catch myself thinking, "I'd gladly dissect a frog, find the acceleration of a tennis ball as it's launched across the room, or conjugate German verbs... gladly do any of those things, rather than learn this particular lesson."

But what I realized is that I used to be learning information. It was knowledge - it's concrete, and factual. It's good, it's valuable, and I still like it. But today's lessons focus on wisdom. I can't read someone else's wisdom and have it take root in my heart. I have to live, learn, pray, wrestle, pray more, talk, make mistakes, try again... The really cool thing is that I can feel the roots growing deep. I may not remember the atomic numbers of the elements, or where exactly the Euphrates River is on a map... but the wisdom I'm growing these days is imprinted on my heart. There's not much of it yet, but it's slo-o-owly increasing... and it's permanent. Praise God for the way He grows us into His plans for us - for tough lessons, for love that passes all understanding. And for the fact that a proud, selfish, naive, short-sighted, impatient gal like me can walk along a narrow path toward wisdom - only because she is holding tight to the hand of her almighty Creator.

Monday, February 05, 2007

my weekend

I had quite an adventurous weekend - the windchill was about 20 below zero, the snow was knee-high in many places, and I was responsible for a cabin of 15 8th grade girls. It was incredible. The sheer exhaustion and the near-frostbite I experienced paled in comparison to the joy of spending my days and nights with these ladies. They are funny, warm-hearted, mature, silly, serious and spontaneous all at the same time.

There were many moments that left me speechless - more than one that moved me to tears - and uncountable ones that are tattooed on my
heart. Praise God!

This is the whole group we took from Greater Lansing - over 80 kids!

My sumo friends, Christy and Sara!

Our cabin after less than 24 hours at camp...

Most of the girls, hanging out before dinner!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The 'Seller

For those of you who aren't intimately familiar with Mason, MI (the county seat of Ingham County) - we're almost 8,000 strong, our mascot is the Bulldogs, and there is an achingly quaint town square in the center of town, surrounding the courthouse. The square is lined with all the appropriate businesses - a fabric store, lawyers, hairdresser, ice cream parlor, drug store, and (one of my Personal Favorites) a small bookstore/coffee shop called Bestseller's. Up until a few months ago, Bestseller's was not open on Sundays, and they still close at 7:00pm most nights. But it has fabulous small-town charm, free wi-fi, and really cute glasses to serve their signature coffee drinks (Mason Mocha, anyone?).

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled up in front of Mason Middle School a little before 2:30pm - joined the endless line of minivans and station wagons with moms at the wheel. My friends Christy, Huntar and Natalee jumped in the car, and we were off to the 'Seller. We had yummy drinks, cookies and muffins, we took a quiz from GL magazine "Are You Too Nice?" We played with the wooden train set in the children's book section and read out loud to each other. It was amazing. I've known these girls since they were in 6th grade - and to watch them today... my heart was overwhelmed. They're funny, they're observant, they're warm-hearted - and they're turning into such delightful, impressive young women. I'm so honored to be their friend.