Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My last summer tomato

Tomatoes and I have had a thing since I was 10. Every summer I would wait anxiously for the first red tomato. It seemed like it always took FOREVER for the first green tomatoes to ripen into big beautiful juicy tomatoes. But ripen they did! With salt in hand, I would lean over the sink and eat one of those tomatoes like an apple. Over the winter, I always kind of forgot that those tomatoes do not taste like real tomatoes. The first bite of a summer tomato reminded me what real tomatoes are. This year, I grew my own tomatoes for the first time. Today, I picked my last summer tomato off of the vine. Goodbye summer tomatoes, its been a good year!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New, small things

Today, three new things were randomly and surprisingly welcomed into my life.

1. Sporkle...more trivia games than you can imagine. There's thoughtful stuff...literature and history, and there's fun show hosts names and the celebrity movie chain beginning and ending with (of course) Kevin Bacon. Its a good way to waste an hour while not feeling totally terrible about yourself because you are exercising your brain.

2. Kung Pao Chicken Sauce...I LOVE all kinds of food. Now that I am being healthy again, I can make Kung Pao chicken from home without (some) of the fat.

3. Last but not least, I was strolling down the organic aisle in the grocery store when a bright colorful shelf of toothbrushes caught my eye. They just made me happy, so I settled on turquoise. Not only is it beautiful, in color and in its arched-back design, but it is also made from recycled materials. I feel so environmentally responsible.

Today I am thankful for new, small things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

my birthday week and other fun things

I am thankful for several things today...

1. It is my Birthday week. I am a HUGE fan of my birthday. Its the only day where I feel like its okay for everything to be about me. All week there will be Happy Birthdays when I go to small group and Impact and work and parents and friends. I get all giddy just thinking about it.

2. Jack likes bones. A lot. They keep him busy which means I can get stuff done. Plus he's a really cute chewer. He smacks.

3. My ridiculously inexpensive boots (the ones I wrote about last week) came in today. Thank you Jerry the UPS man. Now I have to think of a cute outfit so I can wear them tomorrow.

4. I get to go to bed earlier tonight than normal. I need sleep.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Refill please

I have hesitated to bring the topic of jesus into this blog so soon because...a lot of people don't like Christians. They have adverse reaction just to the word. I think we have all been hurt by one at some point in our lives (we are only human) or we have been judged by one (something we shouldn't be doing) or we have known a holier-than-thou Christian who turned out to have a major sin secret. Truthfully, I didn't want you to judge me before you figured out that I was an ok person and quit reading this right off the bat. Its time to come out of the closet...I am a Christian.

Tonight I went to hear a speaker at a church in Little Rock, Priscilla Shirer. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the building was that everyone had a big smile on their face. No one looked grouchy that there were no doughnuts out front or free coffee. There was a place where you could buy coffee...fancy frappacinos and EVERYTHING. Even more impressive was the fact that there were tables for different service opportunities and missions out front. And people brought donations. Pretty cool. The worship team was GREAT. And I just don't have enough great things to say about Priscilla's sermon. Before this starts sounding like a book report, I'm going to get to the point. The message was something that I needed...a refresher and encourager for the week ahead. Sometimes you forget to make time for do something that "refills" your spirit. I know that when that happens to me, everything irritates me, I start getting really negative, I feel panicky and I just want to quit everything good that I have started. I am so glad that I took the time to go and spent time with God so He could refill me. Only He knows what I need and can actually give it to me.

And icing on the cake...I went with a group of fun women, we got free muffins at Mimi's Cafe and they served strawberry popsicles after church was over. Today I am thankful for "refills".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

spontaneous lunches with unexpected guests

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to relax. So, I planned a little tv watching (got bored pretty fast), some weedeating (ran out of string right after I started), some reading (which was going well until...) I got really hungry. It was noon. I thought I could drive through somewhere and then go to Hastings and read, but there was just nothing that really sounded good to me. Then I remembered there is a new cafe here that I haven't tried yet..but its not a drivethru kind of place. Then I had a brilliant idea...I could go in and sit down (by myself...something I don't do ever) AND read my book at the same time. Perfect. So I park, go in, order a delicious salad, and start to read my book when some friends walk in that I don't ever see unless its at church. We talked across the restaurant for a while and then decided that we could just sit at the same table. So we did. It was fun...Roy Beth and Johnathan...thanks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Jack...

Today I'm sharing another picture of Jack...he's just so dang cute.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gratitude journal-my five for the day

Inspired by Oprah years ago, I used to keep a gratitude journal. Everyday I would write five things I was thankful for that day. No matter how crummy I thought my day was, I could always find five things...even it they were 1. This day is over 2. The sleep I'm about to have is going to be awesome! etc. etc. This week has been long and the death of a friend's husband kind of makes me short on big things to be thankful for, however, there is always something to be grateful my top five list today is

1. People are willing to help. It amazes me when people are called upon to help someone, they rise to the occasion. Selflessly.

2. Baked lays. For a girl watching what she eats, hasn't had anything that tastes like anything to eat this week, those baked lays are tasty little morsels.

3. Grey's Anatomy is back on! I missed those people.

4. Prayer. I am grateful that I have a God that is concerned with what concerns me. Prayer is always a resting place for me...a lap to climb up in at the end of the day and be comforted.

5. This sleep I'm about to have...its gonna be amazing :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A dog smile

Doesn't that just make you happy? Today I am thankful for Jack's smile.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friends...all different kinds

I'm kind of shy, so it takes me a bit to make a new friend. I genuinely like people, but I never really know what to say. I mean, I know what I WANT to say, but the shyness keeps me from saying it. As a result, people have to practically decide they are going to befriend me no matter what and then we become friends. The upside of this is that once I make a friend, we are going to be friends for a long long time. Or at least until some sort of confrontation happens, and I am awful with confrontation and don't know what to say, and then sometimes friends drift apart. I hate that part.

But, I would do just about anything for my friends and I have met some friends along the way that would do anything for me. You have your childhood friends that know your whole story... from your first day of kindergarten to prom and some in between. These are friends that you may not talk to often, but when you do you just pick up where you left off. If you're really lucky, you still get to talk to your childhood best friend. Mandy and I never got into any trouble together. We never drank or cussed or snuck out of the house or got a traffic ticket. We were both terrified of our parents. We knew if we did anything terrible we would probably still be locked in our rooms to this day.

Then you have your friends that you don't really do anything with...but they always check in with you to make sure you're ok. I have a couple of friends in particular that always email or text or call just to make sure I'm still going. Somedays when you're not going at all, it is so encouraging just to know that somebody "sees" you and cares about you.

I also have some friends that I made through my small group. I see them every Tuesday night and know that no matter what, they will pray for me if I ask them to. And I will pray for them. And I have friends that I met through various church activities. These are some of the most compassionate caring friends I have. And we have a bond because we have shared experiences that mesh your lives together.

Then I have my "hanging out" friends. I love these friends. You know who you are.

We were not meant to be alone. My friends have gotten me through some pretty tough times. Today, I am so thankful for friends.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The story of the forest is better than the story of the tree

In Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years he reminds us that, basically, life is not all about us. And its not all about us being comfortable all of the time. We are a tree in a story about a forest and it is arrogant of us to believe any differently. And the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree. Life is bigger than us, and for this I am thankful because otherwise it would be hard to understand sometimes. Today I attended the funeral of a childhood friend's husband. He was only 36. And they had two boys. And they are so young. Why did this happen to them? How can they live out their lives without a father and she without a husband? Why all of this suffering? I don't know the answer, but it does help me to think that its not all about that one life. That that one life was intertwined with other lives and that its the story of all of our lives together that means something. Keeping that in mind, I know that some good will come out of this tragic event to make a better story for all of us, its just hard to see sometimes. Today I am thankful that the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree. That the suffering of some is not the end...

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I spent the weekend in Branson with my mom concert-going and shopping. Then I talked to my Dad when we got back. And it is just so good to have people that love you. Sometimes,the parent-child relationship is a hard one to figure out because no one really knows how much room to give the other one. Its hard to find that balance between letting the other one live their own life and staying close enough to know each other and letting each other make their own decisions even if you disagree. But, these are the only people that have known you your whole life and they actually still like you...even though you lied about fact that you would feed the new cat and sometimes you may have even told them to shut up. Of course, there was that year that your parents even thought that maybe an alien came and took over your body and thought maybe they should give you away. In the Old Testament, disrespecting your parents was grounds for stoning. Thank goodness that law didn't stay on the books...there wouldn't be one person alive. Eventually the alien leaves your body and you manage to get through college and get a diploma. You get a job and start living your life. It is at this point that you start to realize what your parents taught you....and you are thankful that they taught you what they taught you. And you also learn new stuff too to compliment what you already knew and you turn into your own person. And then the best part comes...when your parents can become your friend. Your parent could not be your friend when you were living in their house or they wouldn't have been able to teach you anything you needed to know. But now they can be...and you realize your parents are...people. They sacrificed so much to give me life. And I have a good one. Today I am thankful for parents.

People watching their teenage hearttrob in concert 40 years after their teenage years

First of all, this is yesterday's post! Because I was in Branson, MO with my mom, at a BJ Thomas and Dionne Warwick concert. BJ Thomas was my mom's teenage heartthrob. I had to look him up...he's brought us great songs like Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and the Family Ties themesong. I know! Right now "we've got each other, sharing the laughter and love, sha la la la" keeps running through my head. So, we get to the theater and I am BY FAR the youngest person there. Not only am I the youngest person there, but I am the only person there my age. Actually, there was an eight year old there but he doesn't count because he didn't have a choice. On our left sat a couple from Houston TX that took a week of vacation to travel and see this concert. And to our right was a couple that skipped the Razorback game to go to the concert and a lady who sang every single word of every single song...and couldn't have been more enthusiastic about it. The lights dimmed, BJ Thomas stepped out on the stage, and as he started to sing his first song there was some kind of problem with the sound system. We didn't know it was the sound system though, and you could see the verdict written on everyone's face...the poor guy has lost it. What happened to him? He got so........old. The air smacked of disappointment. Then he started to sing another song...a song everyone knew. And he sounded like himself. Sound system glitch resolved. He's still got it. That's when the good stuff really got started. It was so fun to see everyone reliving a piece of their past...remembering how they felt and what they were doing each time they heard his songs. Most people remembered all the words to all of the songs and sang all of them (out of key of course). I actually get all teary thinking about it. I'm not sure if I will feel this way when I see New Kids on the Block 20 years from now, but I hope so. Today I am thankful that I got to see people watching their teenage heartthrob in concert 40 years after the fact.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Online shopping

If you live in a small town like me, you will totally agree that no complete wardrobe would be possible without online shopping. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping at our local stores, but sometimes you want something different to compliment the pieces you already have. Last night a friend told me about a website where you can buy glourious boots for $20-$30 each. I went online, selected my ridiculously inexpensive boots, typed in my credit card number, and five days from now they will magically appear on my doorstep. Thank you online shopping inventer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I am a morning person. I wake up pretty happy. No matter how terrible my day was the day before, when I wake up in the morning...good mood, clean slate. There are downsides to being a morning person. I would love to be one of those night people that can stay up til three in the morning and not be the first one asleep at a bunking party. I would even settle for being able to stay awake for the late show at the movies. If I do happen to be able to stay awake until 12:00, you certainly don't want to be unfortunate enough to be around me. I can literally fall asleep while someone is mid conversation with me (right Samae?) But, I would never trade being happy in the morning to be a night person. I love that every day, at least at the beginning of the day, it feels like a good day.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a really cool dream. I was in the navy and I'm not entirely sure what my job was, but it was awesome. And then somehow I was captured. Then I was rescued. It was made up of stuff right out of the movies. I don't even want to know what this experience would be like in real life, and I hope this is something that NEVER happens to me. But it was the BEST dream, and none of it would have been possible without sleep.

Today I am thankful for sleep.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


To be honest, today I thought I was going to be thankful for sushi. I want to write about something trivial like sushi. Not only is sushi simple and complicated all at the same time (easy ingredients yet I don't personally know anyone who whips sushi up in their personal kitchen) but there are no feelings involved in talking about sushi. But I can't just be thankful for sushi because today, my heart is truly thankful for a small group of 9th grade girls who make up our church Impact group. When I think back on my short life, I can't remember anything quite as tramatic as junior high (and I've even been through a divorce). Junior high was exhilirating and confusing, an eclectic mix of experiencing exciting new things but not knowing exactly how to handle any of those new things. Its hard enough to figure out exactly who you are and how you feel about anything, but then you go and throw boys in the mix. However, these girls come to Impact every week and talk about what is happening to them and they encourage each other and they pray for each other. They are even thankful for this life they get to live. They are excited about what is around the corner and they believe that it is good, this thing that is getting ready to happen to them. This is encouraging. They make me so proud. And I am thankful for them because they remind me that its all going to be ok.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I have a book addiction if you will. I will give any book a chance if it grabs me, but I'm partial to a good memoir. I just like to read about people talking about themselves I guess. Donald Miller is one of my favorite memoirists. I read him for the first time in Blue Like Jazz. He just recently released another memoir called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years about our lives and how we live out "the story". It makes me laugh and it makes me think. Two things that make me thankful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The funk

A lot of really great things happened to me today. I was high on life, singing in the rain, too cool for school (what other dorky metaphors for happiness can I think of?). I was even smugly thinking that I had IT all figured out. Need any life advice? Just come and ask me....when a funk settled over my mood. It was unexplicable. Nothing happened to make me feel this way, but, all of a sudden, nothing seemed right. It was in that moment that I realized that I am thankful for those humbling moments of funk for several reasons. 1) I am really analytical and I love a good lesson. In the gaps between the highs, there are lows, and in the lows there are lessons. I can only learn the lessons when I am vulnerable enough to realize I don't already know it all. 2) Only in the low times can I REALLY appreciate all of the good things that happen. Sure we're thankful in the good times, but in the bad times you realize how good your life really is (or was). 3) Its the lows that make us human. Who likes someone whose life is perfect every moment? Be honest...

So today, even when I thought I was going to be thankful for all of the really good things, its actually the funk that I am most thankful for...which makes me really happy. Ironic.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rain. On a Sunday no less! Is there any better excuse for laziness? Sunday is hands-down my favorite day of the week. I can do everything or nothing. And today...I choose nothing. Today I am thankful for rain.