Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Under the Overpass"

Under the Overpass by Mike Yankowski Living in a cozy house with a warm bed, fridge full of food with a reliable car in the driveway. Good education and matching job. Clean clothes, sitting in a comfy seat in a fancy, high-tech church every Sunday. Its easy to say you trust God when this is your life. But what if all of these things were stripped away? Would your faith hold up? College students Mike and Sam wanted to find out. They made the radical (translate: crazy) decision to become homeless for 5 months in 6 different cities to discover if their faith was real and to see what it was like to be homeless in the wealthiest nation on Earth.

Their story will challenge and inspire you. The way you view your life and the world around you will change. The question is, what will you do with it?

Highly Recommended 5/5 stars

"A Man's Heart"

A Man's Heart by Lori Copeland
Jules' life is crumbling quickly. Within a few short months (and the first several chapters) she loses her father, her best friend, and faces the possible failure of her family farm. To top it all off, her friend leaves Jules to raise her children with the one man Jules has always loved, but can't seem to commit to. Can they overcome the past to create a bright future...together?

While I am a huge fan of Lori Copeland's, this was not her best work. I enjoyed the story, but did have some issues with it. Jules' character was well-developed and relatable, but none of the others were. I would have liked more depth to Cruz beyond the hurt he feels from being left at the alter, twice. On the flip side, a lot of time was spent describing the farm and potatoes, when I would have preferred more information about the characters and their thoughts. That being said, this book did keep me up late reading and made me cry. The end result was a happy ending with the triumph of love and God's all-encompassing plan.
Thank you to Zondervan for sending me this book (http://zndr.vn/fmqF0j)
3.5/5 Stars

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my bestest friend today! And as an early birthday/Christmas present, we booked our trip to Disney on Sunday :D We're going for New Years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm super-duper excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (In case you can't tell by the number of exclamation points!) We'll be gone for a week and will usher in the new year with fireworks at Cinderella's castle =D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weird Happenings of an Easy Shift

Ever had to give a foot rub and shot of Ouzo to a woman in her (I think) 70s? I did today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Black Sunday

I can't believe color week is over! It went so fast! Now what am I going to write about for the rest of the month? Guess we'll find out soon! Here's my black thing. Black was surprisingly hard! This is from Taco Bell-KFC tonight with the girls.

Yellow Saturday

Sorry for the delay! I had a wicked migraine last night so I just didn't wanna go thru the whole uploading thing. But I did take the pic! At the CBD sale-"White Saturday" :)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bright Green Friday!

Thanks to Marisa for wearing these shoes (with matching socks!) and letting me photograph them :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Orange Wednesday

This may be my favorite of the week thus far, even if its not the best photo.Why is a check engine light my picture of the day? Because it reminded me of this clip from Big Bang Theory. This is one of my all-time favorite clips from the show.
"I really need to put a sticker over that" ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Purple Tuesday

Here's what I found for Purple Tuesday!
This is the real color, just played around with other stuff :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Red Monday

Color week starts now!! I love color week :) Today is Red Monday and since I didn't leave my house, this is the best thing I found. I bought it last week at the used book store. Now I'm prepared for all sorts of disasters!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why do I have to be a grown up?

I really don't want to go to work today. Really, Really, Really don't want to go. I'm really really tired. And run down from doing way too much over the past few weeks. And its made worse by the fact that my friend called me to tell me to call out because she's bored. But I can't. There's no reason. Plus, I called out like 5 times last month when I was sick. What would I say? "I can't come in today because my friend needs me to help an italian plumber who's being attacked by a weird dragon-like creature while he's trying to rescue the princess"? (the key to lying is in the details...although, since we'd be playing Mario its not technically a lie). I don't think that would go over very well. So here I go, to work the night away.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

10-year-old Mom

I was coming on to post that I have nothing interesting to say, but then I saw an article about a ten-year-old girl who gave birth in Spain. Apparently, she and her mother are Romanian gypsies and the baby's father is also a minor (it didn't give his age). The girl's mother doesn't have an issue with her little girl becoming a mom because "this is the age we marry in Romania". It makes me sad! And I'm not uneducated, I know that this happens all over the world and that in the past it was common for a girl to be considered a woman and "available" when she started menstruating. But seriously? In today's culture? 10 years old is a baby!!! And girls are getting their periods earlier than ever these days, so does that mean we're going to let girls who are 7 years old get married and start having babies?? I'm not even going to get into the risks of a teen pregnancy, never mind a child pregnancy! This makes me sad for this little girl who suddenly grew up way to quickly. And since I have to go to work now, I'm ending my rant. Google it and you'll find the articles.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Possum With a Death Wish

I killed a possum today.
Driving to work.
At roughly 6:45am.
He came from nowhere and was under my tires before I could brake.
The day didn't much improve from there.
We were short a nurse until almost 9am.
Then I had a patient fall at 10.
(She's ok, just bruised up)
I'm tired. I'm sore. I'm vaccinated against the flu.
And I really, really want to go to bed.
But instead, I'm going to youth group.
I'm going to have fun.
I'm going to impact the lives of some teens.
I hope.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Speak Now"


For the entire shift tonight I had Taylor Swift's new song "Speak Now" stuck in my head. The whole shift. And as if that wasn't bad enough, I could only remember the first two lines! (Although, the chorus showed up for a few brief minutes before flying away again). Here's a link to Taylor performing the song on Letterman...for some reason I can't embed it tonight.

"I am not the kind of girl, who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion. But you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl."

I'm a little in love with this song...even though its about interrupting a wedding. I've secretly always wanted this to happen at a wedding I go to, not because I want a wedding ruined ot because I don't love the people getting married, but I'm just curious what would happen. In an interview, Taylor said she was curious too and thats what led to writing the song. Its a very catchy song. I love the tune :)

That is all for this fourth day of NaBloWriMo
(or NaBloPoMo, if you prefer)!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball"

Another book review, in time for the upcoming holiday season! "Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball" by Donita K. Paul was adorable. While Cora Crowder is preparing for the busy Christmas season and dealing with her troubled family, a strange new relationship blooms with her boss's boss, Simon Derrick. A chance encounter at a mysterious bookstore leaves the two of them frequently thrown together, usually by the odd shopkeepers of Sage Street. Is the mysterious, non-advertised ball they've been invited to a hoax, or a blessing in disguise?

I loved this book. It was a fun, fantasy-filled story to get you in the mood for Christmas. Not a deep or serious book by any means, this books is sure to make you smile as you curl up with hot chocolate by the fire. Well written and thought out, this was a simply pleasant and clean holiday romance story.

Recommended. 4/5 stars

Why the Rush??

(I don't know how I'm 3 minutes late for November 2nd, but I'm really not going to make this a habit! Promise!)
Anyways, I spent a few hours wandering around the mall today and was completely astounded to see that all the Christmas decorations (including Santa's Village) and the Christmas music was already all over the place! What happened to fall? To Thanksgiving? It used to be that we didn't get Christmas stuff until Thanksgiving, or just before. But on November 2nd?! This is crazy. We rush and rush for what? Why waste an entire month, a month that happens to be gorgeous and have its own holidays? It makes me sad, because I really try to take the days as they come and enjoy them all. And life is so much better that way.
P.S. I found out that in November there is a NaBloPoMo, but it actually happens every month, so I'm still not satisfied with this lack of blogging enthusiasm.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy NaBloWriMo!!!

Ok, so I know that *technically* its November 2nd, but since I just got home from work, its still my November 1st. So its the start of National Blog Writing Month! Well, sorta. See, last year it coincided with NaNoWriMo. But this year, I went back to the website to "officially" sign up, and the website no longer exists. If you google NaBloWriMo, you get a bunch of blogs who participated in one during the month of October, but no official site. So, I'm sticking with what I did last year and making Novemeber NaBlogWriMo. And I also fully expect to do another color week. That was so much fun last year! And so thats all I'm writing tonight. I am beyond tired from this really long weekend. I promise to be more interesting for the rest of the month (most of it anyways!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Should Be Sleeping

I should be sleeping, seeing as I need to get up in 5 hours to catch my flight, but I'm not quite ready for bed yet. This has been my first chance to unwind by myself all day, so I'm enjoying it a little. Plus, I'm really excited! In 24 hours I'll be here:

which is the kick-off for the Global Forum on Human Trafficking. I'm very excited :) A few days all by myself in California at a conference to see where God wants me to be. I'll post about it when I get home. For now, I should probably get some sleep. Good Night World!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oops

Oh man! The only posts I've done since July have been book reviews?!?! Wow. Well, here's a quick update before I head to bed. (haha, I'm a poet and didn't know it! ....sorry for the corniness.)


Well, August was a super busy crazy month! It started off with VBS and a broken toe! On the Sunday before VBS, right before church started, I dropped an 8'x4' sheet of wood straight down on my big toe. It hurt SOOOO BAD!! It swelled up and turned purple immediately. (this picture was a few days after). That afternoon was the first wedding in the crazy wedding cycle and I had to wear flip flops because the toe hurt so much. VBS was amazing! Our best year yet in every way. Decorations were great, kids were well behaved, helpers were fabulous, and the messages were amazing. We talked about how all life is special and has a purpose. We addressed Big Topics, like evolution, teasing and abortion (age-appropriately). And we had a few children pray "The Prayer" for the first time! Hallelujah!
There were a few youth group trips that were fun (Six Flags, the beach and, my favorite, the river!) mixed in with the other weddings. I was in one of the weddings, for my friend Jenna. Plus, I made her cake! My first wedding cake! Woohoo! It came out great, if I do say so myself ;) It was lemon with raspberry filling (my first-ever filling cake!) and 4 layers high. There were a few issues that I had putting it together and whatnot, but the final product was perfect! (Although Blogger seems to be having some issues uploading pics....but I kinda like this effect! lol) After the last wedding of the month, I got sick. Like really sick, right after the wedding. I was fine at the reception and by the time I got home I had a headache, a sore throat, chills, fatigue, I was dizzy...I was a mess. And so, long story short, almost 6 weeks later, I'm still sick, just saw my third doctor and I'm on my third course of antibiotics. Hopefully this one works, otherwise its most likely a random, no-name, mono-like virus that just needs to run its course. So, yeah. Really praying this one works!

This past month has been spent mostly laying on the couch, but I did force myself up for a few fun things. Pirate karaoke, Museum of Science (shirt above), and Apple Picking!!! I even tried recreating a picture from when I was three. Sadly, I'm no longer able to sit on the pumpkins.

Now, I'm working the next 5 days (although I'll probably call out tomorrow if I'm still feeling this crappy), have an all-day IV certification class day after that, and then....I'm going to California!!! (Another reason I'm REALLY hoping this med works!) Now, its not all for fun. I'm actually taking myself out there for the Global Forum on Human Trafficking. Fun subject, huh? Its something I'm really interested in, something that God seems to be putting in my path no matter which way I turn, so I'm taking this step to see whats happening and where I could/should be involved. I'm really excited. And part of me is wondering if this whole illness thing is satan's way of trying to stop me from attending this conference. hmm. Super. Duper. Excited!! I can't wait! I'll try to get back to blogging more frequently. I just have been too sick and tired this month! But, don't worry, because its almost November, which means NaBloWriMo! Always a good jump start to blogging :)

If you just read all this, aww thanks! And hmmm, slightly stalkerish. Hahaha! Good Night Creeper <3>

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Wedding Cake"

Another book review! "Wedding Cake" by Lynne Hinton. (published by Harper Collins imprint, Avon)This book was a big disappointment to me. Aside from the scattered writing and too-quick-and-easy wrap up, it was not what I expected. From the description, I expected an inspirational fiction with Christian themes. Instead, I found characters who attended church (one was even a pastor!) but never talked about God, and who had no problems with, and even almost encouraged, homosexuality, adultery, pseudo-polygamy, cursing, stealing and other big issues. I found these characters to behave like immature college kids, despite the fact they were supposed to be between 40 and 70 years old. The writing itself was hard to follow at times and would mention things that we never heard about (it did touch on things from the previous books, which I have not ready, but the issues I had all pertained to this book). I would not recommend this book.


2/5 stars.


Monday, September 6, 2010

"Finding Jeena"

Another book review for you! This time, "Finding Jeena" by Miralee Ferrell. (published by Kregel Publishing) Jeena Gregory had arrived. A great new job, expensive new car and condo, a perfect new life. What could go wrong? When her well-planned life starts falling apart and shadows of her past come back to haunt her, Jeena must re-examine her heart. Will she like what she finds?

I found this book to be long, kind of boring and predictable. The writing was okay, but too detailed. Ferrell used the same analogies and thoughts repeatedly, making the story drag on. The message of God's unconditional love was clearly expressed as the main theme of the story, but I had a problem with how it all wrapped up. While it was stated several times that God is not a sort of Santa Claus waiting to grant every request, the moment Jeena turned her life over to Him, everything miraculously fell into place. Overall, it was a decent book but not one I'm likely to recommend.

2.5/5 stars

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"The Vigilante's Bride"

I recieved "The Vigilante's Bride" by Yvonne Harris as part of the Early Reviewer program at LT last month. (Published by Bethany House)
Emily begrudgingly answers an ad for a mail-order bride expecting to find a new life in New Hope, Montana. What she doesn't expect is to be kidnapped from the stage on Christmas Eve and wind up helping at an orphanage with a handsome rancher, Luke Sullivan, the enemy of her would-be groom. Amidst apparent lies, missing cattle, and mysterious accidents and deaths, Emily loses her heart to Luke. Will love finally bring peace to his life, or more unease?

I really liked this book! Great story with plenty of action and drama. This was my first time reading anything by Harris but it won't be my last. She threw great little details into the story, even giving the horses adorable personalities! My one negative criticism is that Emily's character could've been better developed. There was a lot of potential, but it left me wanting more, especially compared with Luke's well-developed character and back story. All in all, a worthy read!
4/5 Stars!

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I Think of Travel

I know I haven't posted anything about Europe (or anything else for a while...). Its coming. I promise. As soon as I get a few minutes to myself to do anything but sleep. But, for now, a quote from Eat Pray Love that perfectly describes how I feel about travel:

...traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt...that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby- I don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to- I just don't care.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Lifetime is Sooner Than You Think

Once in a lifetime is sooner than you think.

So why waste this one day, this one moment on the mundane, on the things that don't matter. Why sit back and let the world spin around you, when you could be out there spinning with it? Why always sit back and wait for something else to happen, for the "right moment"? There is no right moment. There is here and now. Take the chance. Jump in. Make mistakes. Get messy. Have no regrets. Don't let this time slip away. You don't want to wake up in 5, 10, 50 years and think "I wish I had...." or "I should have..." Today's the day to do it.

Make it count.

Friday, May 28, 2010

For The Love of Toenails

So today, I got hit on (I think) at Dollar Tree.
I was standing in the aisle that has posterboard, teacher's supplies and a few wedding-type stuff. I was looking at the bulletin board supplies when the big tall black man next to me says "I like that nail polish." I looked over and was just sort of like, "Um, thanks," which apparently was the go-ahead for him to continue. "I just looked over and was like, wow! Those are nice toes!"

Now, I know I'm single and not really into the whole dating scene, but is this really considered a pick up line?! Or an appropriate conversation starter at Dollar Tree?! From there he went on to joke about how you come in for one thing and leave with a whole basketful. When I walked away a minute later, he wished me a good day....and I promptly texted my friends about my weird happenstance. Any my toes don't even look particularly cute today! I stubbed both of my big toes while I was away so the nails are all weird and the nail polish is chipping.

Moral of the story: Always have cute toes. And Dollar Tree can be a hopping place for singles!



Friday, May 21, 2010

When God Shows Off

I love when God shows off, even if no one else sees it.
Yesterday I was working 7-3 (after staying out past midnight for karaoke). I walked in to my favorite unit to check the schedule and where I was going to be. I was assigned to a floor I've only been to a handful of times, a floor that's not my favorite, mostly because I don't really know the residents and their routine, yada yada.

I was walking away from my favorite unit to this other unit, I prayed that I would have a nice, easy day and that even though it never happens and will never happen, could I please walk onto the unit and have them send me to over my favorite unit. So as I sucked it up and walked onto the unit, I smiled and said good morning to a fellow nurse who then promptly said she had asked the supervisor and could we please switch units today and did I mind going to my favorite unit?

How awesome is God?! Like, INSTANT answer to IMPOSSIBLE prayer. Seriously, this is the kind of thing that just doesn't happen over here. Usually, its the opposite. I'll be assigned to a unit I like and someone will ask to switch. I love when God shows off! And I still had a nice, easy day :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

It Makes Me Sad

Lately I've been noticing a sad change in the teens I work with. Lately I've seen the "good kids" -kids in leadership, even- doing and saying strange things on facebook. Now, I know teens are notorious for changing their minds or experimenting or whatever. I get that, but that's not what this is. And I'm not talking about teens that are consistently rebelling and leaving their church upbringing. Those people make me sad, too, but that's a different issue. I'm talking about the ones who have always had high morals, high values, the ones who have been the leaders in the group, who are now making dirty jokes (sometimes very dirty jokes) and joining the most ridiculous and disgusting groups. These are the same ones who then come to church or youth group and act all holy and look at me like nothing is going on. They defend it by saying it was just a joke.

Last night, one such girl, who I've been fairly close to over the years, had a dirty status. Lately I've been noticing these things happening on her page, suggestive statuses and groups, etc., and have gently confronted her. Last night was no different. I saw that another person my age had confronted her on the status, and I threw my two cents in as well. I said that I was tired of seeing people come to church and worship, but then have dirty jokes on their facebooks a few hours later. I said if the way you live doesn't match what you believe, then its wrong. Today I went on and found that she deleted me from her friends.

It makes me sad. There's only so much I can do. It's sad to not only see people going down a bad path like this, but to watch the total change and be powerless to stop it. It's sad to see people who used to come seeking advice turn around and ignore it.
It just makes me sad.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Maid Marion

So there I was, sitting at the drive-in, watching the new Robin Hood movie wondering what I was doing there; so not my type of movie! But the drive-in's always fun, so I went. Sat through all the killing and whatnot. Well, then they get to the scene in Nottingham where the bad guys lock all the townspeople in one building (after senseless killing and beating) and set it on fire while Lady Marion is almost being raped by some bad guy. When they started lighting the fire under the townspeople, I first had the thought like, "Wow, they really used to do this back then. How can people be so heartless?" Then immediately I had the thought, "They STILL do this. Christians all over the world are being pillaged and raped and beaten and burned for doing nothing wrong." It was like, too much for me to handle. I felt sick. I closed my eyes and hid under my blanket for a minute, but that new reality was too much to turn away from. I had to keep watching. I found myself feeling like I was in Marion's shoes. These were the people she loved. The people she did everything for. She was locked in a building away from them, hearing their screams. So she did whatever she had to do. She pulled out the hidden dagger she had and killed the man trying to rape her. Then, with the help of orphans, escaped that building and pulled the rest of her friends-her family- out of the burning building, before starting a new life with the kids who everyone else forgot. I found myself praying, "God, am I supposed to be like Lady Marion? I feel this tug in my heart to go, to help, but how?? I'm not brave enough to be Lady Marion. I'm not whatever enough to be Lady Marion." And I think of Amy Carmichael and so many others who just responded to the call and asked God to help with the rest.

So Lord, here I am. I'm not brave enough. I'm not strong enough. I don't have enough faith. I don't have any answers. I don't know what I'm doing. But I have a willing heart. Mold me into your Lady Marion, someone who sees the need and responds, no matter the personal cost. Show me Your way, Your plan for all this. Take this crazy jumble of ideas and dreams and fill it with Your energy so it all amounts to something. Make me what you need me to be. And Lord, if its not too much to ask, a Robin Hood to help me out would be pretty nice, too ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catch Up and Candy

Well, its been a little while since I've posted anything, so here I am! I have fully paid my trip, so its all set and I can't wait! I'm currently subbing while the official teacher has flown to Texas to adopt a baby girl!! Its soo exciting! Can't wait to meet her :) Here's some of whats been going on for me in the past month:
I enjoyed the first ice cream cone of the year
I ran the cotton candy machine for CCA's River RunI learned that if you leave some cotton candy on the whatchamacallit for a while, it turns into candy glass.
So cool!I went to the beach with friends. Wasn't feeling good (had a nasty sinus infection), so all I did was lay on the blanket, which made for a fabululously relaxing day! No pictures, except of these interesting Skittles. They fizz on your tongue! Strange science.And on Mother's day, after surprising my mom and visiting my grandmother at the nursing home, I took this picture. There was a bird sitting on the Christmas lights originally, but he flew away. I still think its a kinda cool picture. So, thats about it for now, I guess. I worked alot this month, so nothing really exciting happened, aside from paying off my trip and reading a few books. Oh! I did make a new blog page: Is There Anything Better.... check it out if you haven't yet!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"No More Christian Nice Girl"


So I think I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I received this book via LibraryThing's ARC program. I just finished reading it, so here is my review!


No More Christian Nice Girl addresses an all-too-common problem facing Christian women today: The need to be Nice vs. being Good. Our culture, especially in the church, is telling women to be nice, even when it hurts. Always smile, always say something nice, don't make waves. This niceness-at-all-costs attitude leaves women as resentful doormats who can't, or won't, stand up for themselves. Christian women are especially prone to this because of the false assumption that to be like Jesus we must be meek and mild.




Coughlin and Degler make the case that in order to truly be a follower of Christ, women need to understand and emulate the real 360-degree Jesus of the Bible, not the meek Jesus portrayed in children's books. The real Jesus knew when to be nice, but also when to stand up for what was good. The real Jesus was even *gasp* mean, when the situation called for it. By grasping who Jesus really is, women can get out of the false-niceness loop and start being good. They can fix their relationships and stand up for themselves when they need to.




This is an easy read. A short book, with stories in each chapter illustrating the main points. The authors discuss how to be one of God's Good Women in friendships, the workplace, dating and marriage relationships, even in the bedroom. Very easy to understand and follow. Good illustrations for each point.

I liked it, especially the part about the real Jesus (goes along with another book I recently finished, Jesus Mean and Wild). But there was something I didn't like that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it was just that since I'm not dating, married, or in a very competitive work place I couldn't relate to half the book. Overall, it was a good book. Good points and tips.


Rating: 3/5 Stars. I recommend it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Secret Life of the American Single

These gorgeous daffodils were at McDonald's, of all places. I LOVE the two tones! God is so cool :)
I can't believe Easter has passed already! I feel like it was just New Year's Eve! But, April it is and I have my European trip almost completely paid for! I know some of you are curious about the details, but beyond what countries I'll be in, I'm still waiting for details myself! I'll post about that when it gets closer.
Cala and I decorated eggs. Somehow, I didn't get pictures of the eggs we dyed, just the veggie tale ones.
The beginning of the week had AMAZING weather! It was almost like summer; it was wonderful. Easter Eve was a cookout and bonfire with friends. Perfect weather for it! Played some Bocce Ball, ate yummy food (Kristin's dessert was completely delicious!), the fire almost went out of control. Easter Sunday, after lunch with my family and our "extended family", I played on the playground with a friend. Its great to be 23!
Wednesday night, I went to karaoke with some friends at the Woburn Applebees and had a ball! So much fun, I almost want to stop working Wednesday nights! I even won a prize pack: a t-shirt, glass and pin. Not bad ;)
At one point in the night, My friend Chrissy looks over at me with a "look". The kind of look that makes me think I should've dished about a boy but didn't....mostly because there is no boy. Our friend Kathryn looks at her and magically knows what she's thinking, so they whisper and then share with me: "So...what do you think of (insert boy's name)?" Now, to understand why this question made me screechy-laugh at them and drop my head on the table, we need to back up a few weeks.

One nice Sunday afternoon, we were driving around, talking about the fact that everyone is getting married or having babies. They both have their crushes and couldn't believe that there is no one for me to even like, so they developed a plan. They decided it was their mission to be my personal matchmakers and set me up with someone from their church or Bible study. That is how the whole karaoke thing came about. They invited me to come and said they would hook me up with someone there. They named a few guys and told me to pick (issue number one: how am I supposed to decide that someone is crush/date/spouse material by their name alone?!). So I laughed along, thinking they were joking.

Fast forward to this Wednesday. They gave me "the look" because the guy who stopped and said hi to them (I was not introduced) and then sang a song is one of the guys they had mentioned two weeks before! (insert hysterical laughter-breakdown here). So, they recruited another friend into KC Matchmakers Inc. who made it a point to drag him over to our table and introduce him to me. Very awkward...made more awkward by the fact my mouth was full of chocolate-chip cookie sundae, which then fell out of my mouth. Very graceful.
So, at the end of the night, one of the guys they had named appeared to have a girlfriend, the other, from the story above, seems very nice but not really my type (I'm not what you'd call a biker chick...), and I am still single. Which is okay. Most of the time I really am happy to be single. I like my life and look forward to it getting better. The only time my singleness really bugs me is weddings....or when I'm out with all couples and my brother...that's not too exciting. But all in all, I'm happy in my singledom for however long it lasts and plan to enjoy my life to the fullest!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Palm Sunday Plus!

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. I love Palm Sunday (as long as you keep your face away from kids with palms...that can get dangerous). Unlike Christmas or Easter, its less somber and more celebratory. Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas and Easter, too, but Palm Sunday is like a party. We celebrate that Jesus came to town, just like they did in Jerusalem all those centuries ago. So I was a little disappointed when service started with slow worship songs, and none of them traditional. I was actually getting a little steamed (nothing against the chosen songs, I really like some of them, they just weren't Palm Sunday material). But then, it shifted. And Pastor exhorted us to dance and become like little children. He called the kids up and prayed over them (and myself and Jen as directors of the children's ministry). Then it became a real party! Singing Undignified and Dance as David Danced we did just that. And I of course did it with some of my kiddies :) My beautiful girls.
Although I was originally going to be in service for only the second time in as many months, I ended up sitting with a four-year-old girl in her Sunday School. She's incredibly shy but has really started to cling to me since I met her a month ago. When I noticed she was staying in service with her mom (she cried when her mom tried to drop her off), I volunteered to take her down. I even left her twice for a few minutes each time, and she did great. A little crying right before I came back the second time, but overall, very good. I'm making it my goal to get her into Sunday School with no problem.

After church, I finally was able to see my friends for the first time in at least two weeks. We hung out at the mall for a bit, went for a drive, played Life and watched our favorite, Tool Academy. I lost a bet with my brother on this mall trip, so now I owe him a soft cover book from the used book store. I also got a check from my cousin for our trip to Europe. After I book the flights tomorrow we're almost halfway paid!

On a not-so-happy note, all weekend and into the week I was having gallbladder pain....which is odd since I no longer have a gallbladder. Monday was the worst, but even then, not very bad. Just enough to kinda concern me since the only thing there is my liver. Not something I wanna mess around with. So on Tuesday morning I called my surgeon who sent me for labs. Since they came back perfectly normal, she said its probably just leftover blood or something from her poking around in there. She didn't seem concerned, and since its starting to get better, I'm going to trust her on this.

Yesterday I got an email saying that I'll be getting another free book from LT! A Christian Fiction/Romance. Exactly my style :) Its called Finding Jeena by Miralee Ferrell .
I haven't read anything by this author, but it sounds like an interesting story. Can't wait til it comes! Of course, I should finish my other Early Reviewers book and review it first. Lastly, there's a new Twilight book coming out! Not sure how I feel about such a minor character getting a book, but since it'll be online for free, we'll read it and find out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a Week!

This has been a jam-packed week of awesomeness! (And by "This week", I mean last week...I'm a little behind on the the blogging aspect of it). After a marathon work week, I skipped church on Sunday in favor of sleep. I woke up to a missed call from a friend and a text from my brother saying that friend was officially engaged! I'm going to be a bridesmaid and make the cake...two firsts! We went dress shopping the following Sunday. She's going to be a beautiful bride! Here's a peek into our day
(this isn't the dress she chose).
Most of the week was spent working and friendless since some were on a missions trip, but on Friday I spent the day with one of my girls Erin. We had AMAZING weather, so we decided to drive up to the mountains. It was a gorgeous day for driving, even if the water in the river was too cold for even our toes. We enjoyed lunch at our favorite restaurant up there and even got to sit on the patio.
A lovely, long-overdue day!
Also over the weekend, our youth leader announced they were adopting a baby, a family friend announced she's pregnant, another friend from church got engaged, and yet another friend had a really sweet pseudo-almost-date with someone she's crushing on. Aaahhh!! Its almost too much! I'm so happy for each of these people, although I can't help but feel I missed some special after-church lunch or something that's making everyone get married or have babies! I was talking with a friend at church the other day and we figured out there's only five of us single people left!

Other fun, not quite so huge things that occurred this week: I got my copy of New Moon! Haven't watched it yet, though. And I booked my trip to Europe!! I think I got a little too excited, though, because I booked it and then realized I don't know what my work schedule is going to be like next month. So now I'm praying super hard that I'll have enough hours to pay for this trip!! Well, thats all for now. Keep my work situation in prayer so I can take this trip!
**Ashley**

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday

It was indeed a happy Friday :) I chaperoned a field trip to see Alice in Wonderland in IMAX. We stopped at the mall for lunch where I got this yummy ShotCake.

The cake part could've been better, but love the idea and presentation! Being a chaperone, my ticket was paid for, so free movie! Then I came home to find a small package waiting for me. My free book came today!!

As part of my LibraryThing, I joined the Early Reviewers club. Every month, I request from their list and occasionally get chosen to review a book before its available in stores (so far, this has only happened twice, but still!) Now, I shall go get started on this book before youth group.
Happy Friday!
**Ashley**

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cure for Shock(ing)

Does anyone have a cure for shockiness?? Not in the medical sense of shock. The kind of shock where everything I touch emits a vibrant and painful blue spark. It happens most when I get out of the car and close the door, but it also happens when I'm out and about....even at work! Last night I shocked an old man on his chin when I went to give him his pills. I felt so bad!

It must be the weather. Its getting to the point that I freeze and cringe before I close the car door or anything metal. Anyone have an idea of how to stop this??? Or do I have to wait til its warm again, cuz that would be a huge bummer.

On the bright side, the weather was beautiful today! I think in the 60s! Such a nice spring-preview for March in New England. Sadly, it goes back to coldness tomorrow, but still.
Happy March everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Here I Sit. Thinking.

Here I sit. Thinking.
A week and half since I came home from Peru. I've delayed this post because I couldn't decide what to write. I said I'd share all the stories here, but that's impossible! I could just copy all my journals to here, but that would bore you, and you'd miss so much. I'm also sharing about this trip in the elementary school chapel tomorrow, and have no idea what to say. So here I sit. Thinking.

How do I neatly sum up all my experiences in a way that you'll want to read and in a way that will challenge how you think, the way this trip has done for me? How do I boil a week of adventure and growth into a quick message? I don't have any answers, so here I sit. Thinking.

A part of my heart is forever lost to Peru and the people in it. Their faces are etched into my brain. Eduardo. Rosie. Junior. Milena. And the dozens of others I loved but didn't catch their names.

You know what I want to say? What's really really bugging me? The way people here at home judge. The prejudices so many form based on absolutely nothing! And it starts young. I work with teens and kids through the church and school. I've heard some of the teens talk about different countries and people groups and totally look down on them. I mention a country and I get "eeww, _(insert country name here) ". They don't even know why they feel this way, they have no good explanation. They just have a great dislike for everything from this country. Last week I was subbing in the first grade and we were learning a little bit about China. A little girl said, "I don't like China". When I asked why, the best she could do was "I just don't". Its been nagging me all week.

Where do they get this?! Parents? TV? Internet? My heart breaks to think that even children in our country are prejudiced against other people. Like we're somehow better than people in China or India or Peru, simply because we live in the United States.

They may look different, or speak different, but we all have the same needs. We all need clean air and water. We need food. We need friends and a purpose. Most importantly, we all need love. I've been there. I've hugged and loved on more children than I can count. And when I hugged them, they thrived on it. It was all they wanted. To know someone cared about them. Most of them don't get hugs, even from their parents. They're starving for love.

I don't even think I have the words to get this all out. How do I possibly make this change? How do I make people see that these are people. People with lives and dreams and needs. People just like us. Just like you. Just like me.

I have no more words for this. I wish I could just load people on a plane to meet these people. To talk to them, get to know them. Then maybe ...but would it really help? or are people so set in their narrow-minded ways that they wouldn't care.


I feel like Moses or Jeremiah, saying to God "Lord I don't know what to say. My tongue is slow. I'm just one person. What do I tell them?" The only answer, the only word that keeps running through my head as I sit here thinking, heart breaking, is Love. Love. Love the people around you. Love the people thousands of miles away. Love.

"Love is here. Love is now. Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow. Love is near, it satisfies. Streams of mercy flowing from His side. 'Cuz Love is here." (Tenth Avenue North)

I brought Love to the Amazon. I brought Love home. I want to give Love and change the world with Love.

God is Love. "The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both." (1 John 4)

"Why do we go with the flow? Or take an easier road? Why are we playin' it safe? Love came to show us the way. Love is a chance we should take. I'm movin' out of the way." (Britt Nicole)
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