Archive for ‘My Life’

September 29, 2010

With the eyes of a poet.

%2522office space%2522 computer Pictures, Images and Photos

I’m beginning to feel like my technology owns me.  Maybe it’s that I bought an iPhone this summer; maybe it’s that we finally got a new computer a month ago, also.  Maybe it’s that I’ve been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for an email that hasn’t come with good or bad news, and I check my email every 5 minutes.  This is easy to do with an iPhone, of course, because it can push information straight to me.  But do I trust it to do that?  No.  I check it manually anyway. I’m a firm believer in all the merits of technology, but lately I have been spending wasting destroying many of my perfectly good minutes.  These are minutes I could be spending writing, or playing music, which I vowed to myself I would do more of.  They could be spent reading the really good book I’m in the middle of.  Going for a run.  Baking something.  Actually doing those pesky chores that “can wait” but shouldn’t.  And of course my little brain is wired anxious and untrusting, and immediately jumps to how technology is taking over the world and we’re losing appreciation for simplicity and books and writing and paper and oh my gosh, my kids aren’t even going to like to read. Does that sound like a stretch? Yeah, I know.  (But maybe not…..)

So here’s my challenge to myself today, and perhaps you’d like to join — today or any other day.

1. I will make a paper to-do list.  I use TeuxDeux, which is awesome, but it does tempt me to linger online…..

2. Comprehensive email checks in the morning (done), at lunch time, and at the end of the work day only.  (I say “comprehensive” because I do communicate with Eric via email during the day and my goal is not to cut off my only way of communicating with my husband.  During these checks I will respond/deal with anything not from him.)

3. No TV/movies (currently watching: Veronica Mars on Netflix Instant) unless I’m folding laundry — my entertainment will be reading The Fountainhead.

4.  Absolutely no checking Facebook.  At all.  I checked it once this morning and that is plenty until tomorrow.

I’m not saying technology is evil (I am writing this in a blog entry, afterall), or that I am trying to limit my productive use of it.  Truthfully, when I’m busy, it isn’t a problem.  But my “screen time” has grown into a little monster in this precious, temporary little free season and I would so much rather spend my extra time on things that will encourage and edify me — unlike embarrassingly long Facebook stalking sessions. (Yikes.)

In honor of this, a poem (which I captured with my phone while pretending to be a Reed student…badbadbad):

© Bob Hicok, published in Poetry Northwest, Spring-Summer 2010 issue.

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September 27, 2010

Let’s stay here for a while. (+1000 gifts)

It has been a spectacularly warm end of the month — here, at last, is my small glimpse of what I usually think of as “summer”: nothing to stress about, friends to see, and no rain. The ten-day forecast says it will stay in the upper seventies for the rest of this week, falling into the upper sixties by the third of October. No complaints here.

It was a perfect weekend to show my parents around Sisters, where Eric’s parents live — mine were down for a conference in Sun River and we were all able to get together on Saturday. We even became HOT as we strolled past all the false-front western-style buildings, ending in a pretty green park that smelled like authentic pit barbecue. Reading, football, hot tub, the smell of roasting pine-needles… I’ll take this type of summer-fall as long as it wants to stick around.

Today I am thankful for…
(previous gifts here)

121. my makeshift caprese sandwich lunch (with string cheese!)
122. walking and talking and sipping iced tea with Aimee and little Avery this morning.
123. conquering the huge yellow and black spider outside my door all by myself.
124. still having plenty of leftover food to eat the rest of this month.
125. the gift of delightful parents and in-laws.
126. the intrigue of watching a huge house being built in the lot next to our apartment complex. (I wouldn’t build there… but to each his own.)
127. hope!
128. pastors and congregations committed to the gospel.
129. my Swiffer Wet Jet, especially since I have a teeny tiny floor that’s so not worth getting out a mop and bucket.
130. having a dishwasher.
131. encouraging bloggers and writers.
132. the gift of conviction…
133. and of strength to wage war against the things that keep us from Him.
134. options, possibility, and the feeling that the world just could be my oyster.
135. freedom from confusion and manipulation.
136. the opportunity to raise my family in a free country, however long that lasts.
137. the example of those who truly know what it means to suffer for their beliefs.
138. all the awesome free resources online — really, we can learn about almost ANYTHING with very little effort. (!!)
139. balsamic vinegar.
140. talking with Eric in the car on the way back from weekends full of paying attention to other people. :)

Like I mentioned in my last post, one or both of us has been out of town for the last five weekends. I’m ready to take a few days (or weeks) to get settled back into our fall routine, and as long as this weather lasts that should be positively enjoyable. I’m content to do the jobs I have while looking for opportunities to learn, use my gifts, and grow relationships. On this late September day, I am indeed thankful.

[photo credit]

September 24, 2010

The month of weekend getaways.

I’ve been a bad blogger this month.  And I’m about to go away for the weekend AGAIN, which means no weekend catch-up posts.

MONDAY.  That’s a promise.

[Gratuitous couple picture because my rad/thoughtful husband remembered the 3rd anniversary of our first date last week (*I didn’t) and took me out to dinner.]


September 20, 2010

Weber kettle as smoker. (+1000 gifts)

This weekend was FOOTBALL-FILLED!!  I’m not sure if I can handle this the entire fall, but it was a lot of fun.  Our friends Mac and Mikaela offered us tickets to the OSU-Louisville game, so on Saturday we journeyed down to Corvallis to watch the Beavers take on the Cardinals.  It rained all day.  I was, coincidentally, wearing my only rain-proof gear:  a bright (cardinal-colored) red jacket.  Eric was wearing a bright yellow (rival Duck color) jacket.  Hopefully my orange rain boots were enough to hint at my loyalty.

On Sunday, Wil and Kristen both had the day off, a rarity, and they came over to watch football and help us on our first meat-smoking adventure.   Thanks to some research and Wil’s foodie expertise, we had an awesome dinner of pulled smoked pork, swiss chard (*which barely resembled a vegetable after cooking it in bacon fat and white wine…mmmmm), and black beans.

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September 13, 2010

A multitude of meals?

Okay, try not to die…

Whatever.  Betsy thinks he’s cute, too.

Today has gotten away from me!  Here is my thankfulness list and meal plan.  Happy Monday, all.

1000 Gifts

(Previous gifts here.)

Today I am thankful for…

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September 11, 2010

An end to summer?

I’ve been worrying about this weekend for months.  It was supposed to be the week I would start working my Fall hours, directly after a hectic wedding weekend and with Eric is gone for 5 days.  I expected to be anxious, depressed, stressed, and lonely.  Instead, it is still the weekend after Lauren’s wedding, and Eric is still gone — but I do not have to work, and I have had the privilege of hanging out with two of my favorite girls, my newer friend Kristen and my best friend Betsy.  And guess what we did?  Ate and talked, obviously.  Yep.  And how fortunate I am to know them both.

Betsy left this morning, and today is quiet.  I watched way too many episodes of LOST on  I cuddled with Kieran.  I emailed Eric an annoying picture of me cuddling with Kieran while watching LOST.  When I got restless I walked to the park with a blanket, my journal, bible, and a book of e.e. cummings poetry Eric gave me the first Christmas we were dating (2007).  I parked in a quiet, sunny spot, and began to read and write.  The sun only lasted for about three minutes before I was completely in shade and getting chilly.  A boy and his mom came to play tennis in the court right next to me, but thankfully they were speaking some language I couldn’t identify (Russian maybe?) so it didn’t bother me — usually I get distracted by conversation.  When I got too cold, I packed up and went home.  All in all my outing took about 30 minutes, including walking.  But at least I got out of the house, into the fresh air, under the blue sky, and onto summer grass that will soon be very, very soggy.  I forgot headphones, but I listened to Beach House through my phone’s speakers the whole way back, and it was so relaxing that now I feel like drinking tea and listening to Teen Dream all night.

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September 8, 2010

Goals and inspiration.

Thankful for the sunlight this morning after such a dreary yesterday!  I’m feeling motivated to set some long-term goals today; check back in for my motivation on actually accomplishing them.

1. I want to become a decent photographer, so that by the time I have kids I can take pictures of them with colors like these (via

(Of course,  I make it my goal to have kids as cute as hers, too.)

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September 6, 2010

I’m back!

And she was beautiful…

…more tomorrow.

August 31, 2010

Another new beginning.

I promised a meal plan today… but actually, I realized I don’t need one!  But for fun, here it is.  All the reasons I don’t have to plan meals are way more exciting than planning them anyway….

Tuesday: Pasta and pesto from Italy!  Eric’s parents brought it back for us.
Wednesday: Fast food on our way out of Portland.
Thursday: Dinner at Lauren’s Bachelorette party…
Friday: Lauren’s rehearsal dinner — a Russian feast!
Saturday: Wedding dinner.  I requested the zinfandel-braised short ribs.
Sunday: Something my mom makes…. mmmm.
Monday: Play it by ear?  Either Mama food or food on the road.

See now, wasn’t that more fun?  Less resourceful, but… I’m so excited.  We are leaving right after Eric gets off work tomorrow and should be in Spokane between ten and midnight….

The title of this post is “Another new beginning.”  This is because as of a few days ago I’m looking for a new job.  I’ve been applying for a few teaching jobs, but none of them sound all that appealing — the pickings are slim a week before school starts!  I’ve been hoping for a fluke opening, an emergency class-size reduction position.  I’ve heard of this happening before and there’s no reason it couldn’t happen to me, right?  I spent a lot of time writing essay questions for one application yesterday and today, and literally 30 minutes after I applied online I received an email that the position had been pulled.  Not too encouraging for my first attempt, but I feel much more tenacious, much more confident today than I did last week.  And, by the grace of God, much less anxious.

It’s a dreary day here in Portland, but clear, sunny Spokane skies are in the forecast for the wedding.  So much joy and love will be evident this weekend, and I can’t wait to be part of making it special for my little sister.

August 30, 2010

Monday mayhem.

It’s been an insane several days here, dealing with some things that, as Juno would say are “way beyond my maturity level.”  I’m so thankful that God uses the weak to lead the strong.  These items are a bit personal to write about publicly, but accept my apology when I say I’m sorry for being away.  Here’s what my Monday has for me today!

1000 Gifts

(Previous gifts here.)

I am thankful for…
61. A peaceful resolution to this week’s events.
62. God’s economy — those who boast in themselves have received their reward in full.
63. A lesson on trusting my intuition when I can’t think it away.
64. A husband who supports me, loves me, and takes care of me.
65. My crazy disorganized house post-painting, which I now have time to fix.
66. My little sister’s wedding in five days!
67. Getting to see Eric’s extended family this weekend and meet his grandma.
68. That Grandma Lynn’s health and memory will be restored in heaven and that her faithful husband will get to see her healthy and happy.
69. Glimpses of fall (while still being definitely summer).
70. Sisters, OR, and its clear skies and fresh air.
71. Peace.
72. The joy and excitement my in-laws always have for everything! They are the most enthusiastic people I know and take such joy in life’s simple pleasures.
73. A fresh perspective on work.
74. Hope.
75. BRIGHT pink toenails.  (I hate most pink things, but a neon manicure or pedicure is a major exception.)
76. Good-smelling things like candles, incense, and soap.
77. Our new computer!
78. Freezer meals.
79. Good photographers (*which I am not.)
80. Knowing how good a dad my husband will eventually be.

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