Sunday, November 28, 2010

what I learned from disney cartoons

Eva and I headed to the movies today to see "Tangled," the latest Disney animated film.  I've been wondering for years when they'd do the whole Rapunzel story.  I mean as a kid I started ticking off all the fairy tales that I knew & there were only a few left that Disney hadn't covered.  Well folks, here it is, the bottom of the barrel.  According to my cousin, who is a research analyst for Starz, Disney did research with 5-6 year old girls recently & compared it to research on 8-9 year old girls from the 80's.  Apparently 25 years ago, when little girls were asked what they wanted to be the words "princess" & "pretty" were the 2 that came up the most.  The recent study shows that 5-6 year old girls want to be "hot" & "cool."  I find that absolutely atrocious, and a wake up call for parents.  So apparently "Tangled" will be the last of the fairy tales, since there isn't a demand for them by 5-6 year old girls anymore.
Now on to the much more interesting things I've learned from Disney movies.  This is a collaborative effort with Eva.  We discussed it coming out of the theater in my "cynical about romance" state that happens after movies.
10.  If you are the size of a toothpick, true love is bound to find you.
9.  If you have a dream, it will come true & in the process you will meet the love of your life.
8.  If you fling your hair about, especially if it is blond, it will automatically attract prince charming.
7.  If you go around wielding a frying pan & use it to knock out the next man, he will surely end up being the love of your life.
6.  If your eyes are half the size of your face, you will get a man.
5.  If you have a trusty animal sidekick, such as a hummingbird, chameleon or mouse, you will not only have a protector, but a sure sign that true love will soon follow.
4.  If you have an amazing voice & sing in the forest, small creatures will flock to you & so will men.
3.  If you have been lost or hidden from your parents, you will undoubtedly find true love riding up to you on a horse. He will restore you to your parents & marry you.
2. If you are the heiress to a kingdom, you will find the love of your life.
1. If you can pull off pastels, you can totally get prince charming (or pc for short).
Number 1 explains a lot in my life.  Bummer that my color scheme is winter! 

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Here are some pictures of the goings on lately.
First up is a picture of me with my cousin's girlfriend, Gus.  We were at my other cousin's wedding, which was lovely.   The picture was snapped in the 5 minutes when it wasn't raining.
I made cake pops for a co-workers baby shower.  I intended to do some additional fun things to them to add a special touch.  Alas, time escaped me & I was unable to do anything beyond the pops themselves.

 Next, my roommate got a new car!  I know some people who will appreciate pictures, so here they are.  Not sure if a name has been decided.  I suggested Paco.
Here's one of the pictures that my roommate took when I was trying to find something for a Christmas card.

 We've been enjoying spectacular weather here - high of 80 degrees today.  I'm soaking up every last ounce of it!  I've been running a lot lately, but yesterday took the cake.  I had been cooking all afternoon in preparation for a friend's birthday.  I was chopping, mincing & igniting brandy over chicken for a good long time without a single kitchen catastrophe!  However, within 100 feet of starting running, I tripped & skinned my left ankle, knee & hand.  It didn't keep me from running or enjoying my friend's birthday dinner with chocolate martinis to follow!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Have you ever had those moments where you wonder "How did my life get here?"  Like walking through Target to buy yet another friend another baby shower gift.  Or wanting to go to a movie with someone and no one is available because they're all married.  Or having friends celebrate 5 year anniversaries and I've never even had a date.  Or sitting in church by myself thinking that everyone around me is married or like 90 years old.  Those moments when you feel like you're the only person in the world with your problem.  Yeah, I know that I'm not alone.  I've got 2 roommates who feel the same way.  But they're both not here today.

I especially feel that way when I go to public places on a weekend.  I'm intensely aware of families.  I think part of it is coming from a very broken home.  Another part is feeling so much now of how I want a family.  I work in the midst of them all day every day.  Some incredible and amazing.  Others make me want to quit my job.

It's days like today where my budget gets nearly shot because I'm tired & feel alone & just want to spend money.  Like buying an Amazon Kindle.  Surely a Kindle will cure my loneliness and make me happy, right?  NOT.  Or maybe continuing to wallow in self pity will?

In all of this, I struggle to believe that God is not holding out.  That He's truly good.  Questions like, "If God were good, why am I not married by now, or even seriously dating?" run through my mind.  I've realized in the past few months of working on all my issues that God was rescuing me (and likely whoever I may marry) from a big huge mess.  I've been tackling a lot of things in my life with God leading me through prayer, lots of tears and hard work.  But it's hard to go through all of that feeling so alone.  So here I am.  Feeling a little exposed, but honest.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

pink earmuffs

It's been a little bit since I last posted.  Nothing much has changed & I am continuing to work on the whole delighting thing.  I've come to realize that I am not defined by my job, my relationship status, looks or anything else that the world places so much value on.
However, I felt really strange this morning.  Like I needed to cry or something.  I went to church and came home.  I started watching an HBO documentary on "Last Letters," which I knew would likely cause me to cry.  The documentary was of families that lost loved ones in Iraq and had them reading the last letters they received.  The whole thing built up emotions for me and the last one was a woman from Colorado who was pregnant when she found out her husband died.  She also continued to receive letters for quite some time after he passed.  I'm pretty sure she was on Oprah or something.  All that emotion in me led me to go sit outside & journal for a bit.  I started thinking about my Dad & my own family's commitment to this country.
My Dad made huge sacrifices for my family.  He wanted my Mom, brother & me to have a better life than he had in rural Missouri.  He wanted to give us better opportunities than he had.  I vividly remember when he went to Kuwait when I was in second grade.  I desperately wanted pink earmuffs for Christmas.  I knew that Daddy would somehow find them for me.  As a family, we had an early celebration with Daddy of Christmas before he deployed.  I got pink earmuffs!  I was so thrilled!  But Daddy still had to leave.  I remember the yellow ribbon tied around the lamp post in the front yard.  A reminder to everyone of the sacrifice our family was making.  I remember my Mom recording on a tape cassette my brother & me opening presents Christmas morning so that she could mail it to Daddy & he could be a part of that too.  I remember her making what seemed like vats of caramel corn & chex mix to send over in care packages.
While I was journaling about all these memories, tears were streaming down my face.  I'm still not entirely sure why this needed to come back, but it did.  And I will continue to process this for some time, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Thanks to one of the Air Force Academy cadets, this song has been stuck in my head all weekend.  Click here to watch the video & hear the song.  Apparently it's loosely based on the poem by Tennyson called "The Lady of Shallott," which I read quickly yesterday, but would like to read with more attention to detail.
Speaking of funny stories involving Air Force cadets, here's a snippet of a conversation with a co-worker.
Steph (my co-worker): "I think it would be so easy to meet a guy here.  I mean, you walk into Wal-mart & there's Air Force Academy cadets everywhere!"
Me: "Steph, I'm like 8 years older than a lot of them at this point!"
Steph: "I guess that's true...."
I'm gearing up for a move (again)!  I brought over a bunch of stuff to my new place already.  Maybe I'll actually live there for more than a year!

Saturday, September 04, 2010


I have been on a journey (still am), if you haven't noticed.  Part of my path has been to come to a crossroad recently.  I have been really challenged with what & where God wants me.  I have so many dreams & desires.  God has asked me if I'm ready to give those to Him.  To lay them down, trusting Him for something completely different.  I thought long & hard about this proposition.  Weighing it all, but knowing that ultimately, how can I refuse my Lord?  How could I truly say to God "my way is better?"  He has asked me to delight in Him.  To stay where I am for the rest of my life (physically) or move all over creation, if He so desires.  To be single or with a family.  But first & foremost to delight in doing what He asks.
This may sound like a very bizarre concept to some of you.  I know, because at first it sounded insane to me.  God reminded me of a passage from C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, which is part of the Space Trilogy, recounting the adventures of Dr. Ransom.  This quote in particular is what hit me: "This man has said that the law against living on the Fixed Island is different from the other Laws, because it is not the same for all worlds and because we cannot see the goodness in it. And so far he says well. But then he says that it is thus different in order that you may disobey it. But there might be another reason. . . I think He made one law of that kind in order that there might be obedience. In all these other matters what you call obeying Him is but doing what seems good in your own eyes also. Is love content with that? You do them, indeed, because they are His will, but not only because they are His will. Where can you taste the joy of obeying unless He bids you do something for which His bidding is the only reason? When we spoke last you said that if you told the beasts to walk on their heads they would delight to do so. So I know that you understand well what I am saying."  I know it may be a bit difficult to follow out of context (please read the books!  They are great!).  But the general idea is delighting in obedience even when I don't "get it."  Even when what I'm being asked to obey seems completely in the opposite direction of where I'm headed.
Part of this journey has also been in trust.  Moving trust in God from a circumstance based trust to a trust that supersedes my surroundings.  If my trust is based on God doing or not doing something, then if what I fear to happen occurs, my "trust" is shattered.  This revelation has been part of the process of working through fears & insecurities, which has been greatly due to reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.
Can I face my fears head on & still trust God?  Can I delight regardless of the direction my life takes & the ways I'm asked to obey?  Only God knows that I will fall short constantly, but I am asking for the grace for today & to cover my worries based on tomorrow. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010


"And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:18-19 (the Message)

I saw this verse in church this morning during worship.  The "extravagant dimensions" sounds so grand & exciting!  So does experiencing Christ in the ways described by the second half of this passage.  Just a random thought for a busy Sunday.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This week was spent preparing for another friend's wedding!  My friend, Angela, got hitched yesterday evening.  What an exciting and beautiful event!  This wedding was particularly fun because I knew the bride & groom and most of their friends.  The wedding took place at a beautiful chapel about 20 minutes away into the mountains.  Angela was so excited, it was contagious!  She practically skipped down the aisle and jumped up and down after the vows.
The reception was at a lovely little reception hall in town and had fabulous food, conversation and dancing.  Probably the highlight of the entire evening was the couple's first dance.  It started off as a sweet dance to Frank Sinatra and turned into a mash-up of 4-5 songs including some country, hip hop, etc and was entirely choreographed!  It was amazing!
Here is something that I've discovered I don't like about weddings at this age: sitting by myself while people are slow dancing.  Boo!  I really wanted to be out there dancing.  At several weddings my friend, Marie, and I have "slow danced" together and just simply been silly during slow songs on the dance floor.  No Marie to remedy this problem yesterday.
Through this week, the enemy has tried very hard to steal my joy for my friend and tried to point out God's "shortcomings" in this area of my life.  God has been faithful and as I've called on Him to battle against this in my heart, He has given me abundant joy for my friend & peace about where I am now.  I continue to hope that eventually marriage will be a part of my future.  But, for now, God has called me to something different.  I'm learning to be content with this and soak up all that He's teaching me now.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

the mountain

So, it's been a while since I've written anything.  Shocker, I know.  Sometimes life happens & it means that things like blogging go by the wayside.  What will I ever do if I have a family?  You can probably just quit checking my blog because then I'll become totally oblivious to my lack of updating.  Ha!
I've had the privilege to go out of town a couple of times this summer.  One trip back to KC, one to Gunnison & recently to Big Star Lake, Michigan.  You are probably thinking "Why on earth would you ever go to Michigan for vacation?"  I asked that myself on numerous occasions before going.  One of my dear friends here actually invited me earlier this year to come with her.  It ended up being gorgeous & so relaxing.  I loved how soft the sand was, the green trees & landscape, and (ahem) some humidity.  My skin thanked Michigan for breathing some new life into it.  I also went tubing for the first time and rode a seadoo, which was a blast!  I like swimming, but we never were "lake people" growing up because my Dad was deathly afraid of water.  I also kind of have a thing with water that I can't see the bottom of (like scary gross lakes).  But this lake was beautiful & the cottage we stayed in was situated on a part of the lake where you could walk out into it a ways on the sand.  The conclusion: Michigan was actually a great place to take a vacation!
Enough about the lake, now for the mountains!  My big accomplishment this summer was hiking Mt. Elbert yesterday.  It's the 2nd highest mountain in the contiguous US and the highest in Colorado.  I know that sounds super thrilling, right?  Here's the best part: we made it to the top!  Let me explain.  I've tried to climb this mountain a handful of times.  Once, my friend's boyfriend (now husband) and I tried to climb it when we worked at camp.  We got to the trailhead the night before & he proceeded to have a coughing attack.  I wasn't going to drag him up a mountain lest Marie should kill me, so I suggested we return to camp.  A couple years later I had high hopes of going again, only to realize that May is a bit on the early side for 14ers.  Last year I had hopes of doing it too, only to have it not work out.  So this was a BIG accomplishment!
We decided to leave Friday night & camp at the trail head to get an early start on Saturday (like 4 am early).  We ended up leaving around 9pm to drive to the trailhead.  Oh, and on the road leading to the trailhead, we took the wrong turn at first which brought us to a dead end.  As we drove back to the road, my friend, Nic, told us she thought she saw a sign on the ground.  So I stop the car for her to get out & investigate.  It was this creepy sign that said "This Way" with an arrow all written in what looked like crayon on a paper plate.  The Air Force Academy cadet (Molly) with us said, "This is kind of creepy, like chain saw massacre."  Nic dropped the sign & promptly hopped into the car & I locked the doors & drove like crazy back to the paved road.
Needless to say, there were real signs to the trailhead when we got onto the right road.  We slept for 3 1/2 hours & got up at 4 to begin the trek.  It was pretty uneventful, which was fabulous.  Great weather all the way to the top & back.  We had awesome views of Mt. Massive, Columbia, Harvard, Oxford, Belford, Maroon Bells, Snowmass & so many more.  Below are some pictures to commemorate the event!

  Little clearing before tree line.
 Trail leading back into the trees from the clearing.
Me on the trail!
We made it to the top!
Nic & me with our 14er count - I've done 5 & she's done 6!
The way cool sign in the registry box for the elevation that's on the back of a corona box.  Classy.
Note to self: take off sunglasses at the top of next mountain for pictures!
I managed to get us to K's in BV for ice cream afterward & then back home.  I came home, showered, unpacked what I had to & went to bed at 7:30pm & slept for 12 hours.  Nothing gives you a better nights sleep than hiking a 14er!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

latest cooking ventures

Since I haven't posted any of my cooking ventures for a while, I thought it was about time!  So here goes.
First, I made Dark Chocolate Souffle a long, long time ago when my friend, Grace, finished taking her GRE.  I was poking around on the ever insightful & awesome "Cooking for Engineers" website and found the recipe.  It was absolutely, positively the most divine, decadent and delicious dessert.  EVER.  Especially if you love chocolate, which we both do.  I bet if you live at sea level, your souffle will be 2 or 3 times as puffy as mine, too!

Next, I attempted to make wedding cake balls for Eva's bridal shower.  I finally figured out how to get them to look really good at the very end, of course.  I think they're still cute, even if they're not as adorable as Bakerella's.

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal was next up, which I got off someone's blog last year and is a favorite.  I added a hint of cardamom, because I think it tastes delicious in almost anything baked, too.

For couch night, I made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourginon.  It truly is the most flavorful beef stew ever.  Something about red wine, spices, sauteed mushrooms, braised pearl onions and a cheery yellow Dutch oven just do it for me!

I also ended up with a ton of strawberries for some reason and decided Strawberry Bread sounded wonderful.  The recipe came from one of my favorite cookbook discoveries, "Simply in Season," which gives wonderful recipes for every season of the year using what produce will be most readily available & fresh at that time.  The companion cookbook is "More with Less" which I discovered while living in East Africa.  Another great, economical cookbook.  Put them both on your Christmas list (or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah if that's your thang)!

We had cake day at work a couple of weeks ago, where we eat cake for lunch (or pudding, cupcakes, cookies, or anything that is "not good for you").  I found Dulce de Leche in a can at Walmart & was in love.  So I decided to make something for cake day with it.  Voila!  Dulce de Leche cupcakes!  They are absolutely delicious & soft.  Unfortunately, I ran out of brown sugar while I was making the cupcakes, so I couldn't make the praline buttercream frosting, but did a vanilla buttercream glaze instead.  Still amazing.

Last, but by no means least, were rhubarb muffins.  Another delightful recipe from "Simply in Season" (you must get this cookbook!!).  They were just the perfect mix of tart & sweet with great, wholesome ingredients.

Now that your mouth is watering, go make something.  Remember: "Kissing don't last, cooking do!"

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  I guess it comes with uncertainty and also a strong pull to be in close relationship with Christ.  I want to be exactly where He wants me and that starts with where my relationship is with Him.  I have a tendency to keep myself busy and not stop to really focus on what's important.  I've purposely cleared much of my schedule this weekend to spend time with the Lord.
I do want to share some fun stuff that I found.  I don't generally read Relevant magazine, but my friend, Nic, shared this article with me (click here and go to page 45) about "Stuff Christians Like" and number 3 is "The Gift of Singleness."  I love the satire, probably because I've had many well-intentioned people tell me many of the things in the article.  I also found the website for the basis of this article.  The piece that relates to the gift of singleness is "#550 Surviving Church as a Single."  I find it extremely funny, especially with the scorecard.  I think my scorecard total tally is about 27.
All that said, I feel like I'm in a much better place than I have been previously.  I've really come to the realization that I don't know what I want overall - in life, in a job, in a relationship, etc.  God has really challenged me to lay this down at His feet and trust that wanting Him and His will is going to be far better than anything that I could dream or plan.
This weekend is Memorial Day, and I want to take some time to think about those who have served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms as well.  I think of my great-uncle, Bill, who passed away on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, I think of another great-uncle who spent time in a POW camp in the Pacific during WWII.  I think of my Dad and the sacrifices we made as a family.  I think of all those who are serving today who are so important to me.  I don't usually like Thomas Jefferson's writings and typically prefer Washington, Adams or Lincoln, but this quote is pretty powerful: "Occasionally the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants."  Also, one by John F. Kennedy, "The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it."  May we never forget that freedom is not free. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

coram deo

Today has been a bit of a struggle.  One of those days where I feel like I could burst into tears at any moment (which means it was probably not the greatest idea to get my haircut today.  Oh well.).  Nothing particular set me off - no triggers that I can recall .  We finally had a day that acted like spring and was warm, which was amazing considering I was still wearing my down jacket earlier in the week.  I went to a different church this morning because a friend was being confirmed & commissioned.  Prior to leaving I was on facebook & noticed that her status read "coram deo."  I thought this was interesting and didn't really know what the English translation of this Latin phrase was, so I did what any normal human being does.  I googled it!  This exposition from R.C. Sproul came up (click here to read the entire essay).  Coram deo literally means "to live in the presence of God."  I like what R.C. Sproul says in the essay: 
"To live coram Deo is to live one's entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God."  
What would it look like for me to live coram deo?  I've been wrestling with this concept for quite some time as I delve into heart issues, grief, hope deferred, and simply what it looks like to be Christ to those that surround me in the day to day.  How do I love people well and invest in them?  How do I do Life at work?  With my family?  Friends?
I feel very unsatisfied and unsettled right now.  I'm not sure why and have tried to process this feeling.  Part of this sense is that life is not quite what I expected now that I've started working.  Part of it is that I need to re-evaluate my goals & expectations.  Part of it is living in a broken world.  As C.S. Lewis writes: "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."  I was not created for this broken body & fallen world.  Yet this is all part of sanctification & the plan that God has for my life.  I want to live coram deo in this world and around those I interact with day by day.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


I fell off the face of the planet for a couple of weeks because of a hectic schedule.  Now I'm back!  I have so much to share, too.
First, I finally got my car about a month ago.  Here's a picture of my new little ride.  

My friend, Nicole, got in the car & promptly told me it was a "mom" car.  Thanks, Nic.  Oh well, if that's in the future, maybe then I'll already be prepared.
Next, I went to Cincinnati last weekend with my dear friend, Grace.  Her family was incredibly welcoming & kind during my stay.  I would like to take an annual retreat to their home just to relax!  Grace & I ran the Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon a week ago in the midst of thunderstorms & rain through the entire race.  We finished though!  

We celebrated by going to tea at an amazing little place in Cincinnati, going to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse & then going to see the movie "How to Train Your Dragon."  If you have children, this movie is great (& even if you don't have kids it's great!)!  I had to say goodbye to Grace this week as she is moving on to grad school back east. I feel a definite sense of loss in saying goodbye to her.
I also went to a dear friend's baby shower today.  One of the few people in town that has known me since college.  She & her husband are moving in less than a month, which is also saddening, even though I know the Lord will use them in mighty ways where they move next.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Rach's shower, sorry KC friends.
Well, that's just a short update on life right now.  Hopefully I'll get back into the blogging mindset again soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I have discovered the wonderful art of flashmob!  If you are unfamiliar with flashmob dancing, here's a couple of links to get you going.  The first is a performance at a train station in Antwerp.  Click here to view this video.  I love the little kids & just how diverse the dancers are in this video!  Next is a clip from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which is my new TV show obsession.  I feel such a connection to the change Jamie is trying to create because I was an undergraduate research assistant for professors doing work on childhood obesity.  It's staggering the impact that obesity is having on health all over the country.  Here's the link to Jamie's flashmob food dance (click here).  Finally, here's the link for a flashmob dance at a wedding.  I am totally going to incorporate something like this at my wedding someday, so beware!  I think it's such a unique and fun idea.  Click here to see the wedding flashmob dance!  Enjoy!   

Friday, March 19, 2010


I'm trying to stay positive & upbeat right now.  Just a statement before I get into the details of the last week.  Tough things come in threes, or so I've noticed.  I got into a car accident last Friday morning.  I was following my roommate to the Honda dealer so she could get her oil changed while we were at work that morning.  The sun was brilliant & the glare was blinding as I was driving east.  As I came to the crest of a hill, the glare of the sun was right in my eye & all of a sudden the car in front of me was stopped.  I slammed on my brakes, but still rear-ended the car in front of me.  That's all I really remember or know of what happened.  Five cars were involved in the accident total, but it really hasn't been determined who was responsible for what.  The police officer said (& I think put in his report) that the car in front of the one that I hit had hit the car in front of him first & then the car in front of me hit their brakes to avoid it & I hit him.  No one was hurt & no airbags deployed in any vehicle.  I was able to drive away afterward.  After filing the insurance claim, I took my car to a recommended collision shop for a damage estimate, which at the time was at least $3,000.  The guy who did the estimate said he did not think I should be driving the car because it was structurally not safe & leaking something, which he hoped was the air condenser.  Fortunately I have good car insurance (hooray for USAA) and I'm driving a rental car currently.  However, I finally called the collision place today to see what was going on with my vehicle.  The guy I talked to on the phone told me my car was "unrepairable" and he had sent the estimate & information to my insurance company in the past couple of days.  I immediately called my insurance adjuster, who left the office early on Friday afternoon, so I had to leave a message.  So, I'm pretty sure my car is totaled & I am now looking for another car.  I've got a lead on a car that I like already, but I'm waiting for the seller to call me back so I can find out more information.  I'd really like an all-wheel drive or 4 wheel drive car, since I live in the land of constant snowfall.  We'll see how God will provide & show Himself faithful through all this!

Friday, February 26, 2010


In this post-modern world that we live in, I've realized that I'm an oddity because I believe in absolutes.  This realization struck me almost two years ago when I was talking to two different Christian friends about whether they believed in absolute truth.  One told me that he believed in love, which I found to be a strange answer.  He related everything back to feelings & love, which I found especially odd seeing as this was a guy.  The second friend and I dialogued about this all the way up the Incline in which he made quite the case for not believing in absolute truth.  What I really think is that so many people & outlets in this world tell us that truth is determined by each person.  This past Sunday, our pastor preached on John 14:5-11. John 14:6 is the focus of this passage: "Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me."  This is a bold declaration that is exclusive & difficult.  As C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity, " I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
This passage was especially powerful to me when I first read Mere Christianity in college.  I choose to fall at His feet and call Him Savior & Lord.  The declaration in John 14:6 is very difficult in the light of pluralism and relativism that run rampant in our world.  Because I am a Christian, I will strive to love others as Christ loves me.  That means that I will tolerate their worldview, but it is not valid based on the absolute truth stated in John 14:6.  This is considered especially awful to those that subscribe to relativism and believe that everyone is allowed to determine their own truth.  I especially loved a quote that the pastor gave from Flannery O'Connor: "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  This world, and especially my own generation, seems to think that truth is a fluid concept that changes based on circumstances or sincerity.  I believe that there are absolutes in this world, beginning with John 14:6 - Jesus is the only way.    

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentine's awkwardness

Most of you know that Valentine's Day is not exactly a favorite for me.  This year it was spent waiting for my family to come into town from Minnesota & Iowa since my Dad's funeral was the following day.  We actually had a great time at dinner with the family and decided not to live on the edge and drive to Kansas City.  There was already a 40 car pile up on I-70 where we would have merged onto the highway to get to Kansas City, and we decided not to make it 41.  So we enjoyed the good old LV standby - Applebee's.
However, the great story is from today at the reception following my Dad's funeral.  A dear couple who have known me since I was 6 years old were talking with me and asked a couple of questions about my life in Colorado Springs.  Keep these things in mind: they are both from the Carolinas, so everything had a great accent; the husband graduated from the Citadel; the wife was an Army brat & they met while he was in training at Ft. Benning.  The husband asked if I had a roommate and then asked if I had a "special gentleman" in Colorado Springs.  I laughed at this question, not because it was particularly funny, but that's my nervous response to this inquiry.  He then said that if he knew any nice first lieutenants or young captains he would send them my direction.  He then said that he & his wife had given up on matchmaking years ago, but it was a nice thought.  I told him that I've inadvertently had that happen over the last several years and it didn't seem to work out too well anyway.  Oh the wonderful awkward situations I'm put in around this time of year.  I just have to laugh & smile because what other response should there be to such awkwardness? 

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Dad passed away this morning at 0445.  I was up with him until about 4 and his breathing started becoming more difficult.  I got my stepmom up and we looked at when he had medications and decided it was ok to give him a little more of the pain and sleep medicine.  After that I went up to bed & told my stepmom to come and get me if anything happened.  Shortly after I drifted off, she came up and woke us all up telling us it was time.  I felt the pulse fade and disappear after a last gasp or two for breath.  He passed on with his family around him & very peacefully.  While we are all grieving the loss, we also know that it was best and this way he didn't have to suffer very much.  He led a full life and his work took him to all corners of the globe.  He will be dearly missed.  The following are pictures that I have with my Dad from my junior year of college (a very long time ago).  This is how I want to remember him.


Thursday, February 04, 2010


I am processing and grieving a lot.  My Dad is dying and his condition is going downhill quickly.  I am flying back home tomorrow to be with him and the rest of the family during this time.  I am at a loss for words.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The messages at my church have been so timely in the past few weeks.  I feel like each message has been directed specifically to me in the place I am right now.  God knows exactly what I need!
This past Sunday's sermon focused on John 13:1-17 where Jesus is washing the disciples feet.  The pastor gave context for the message along with 4 very insightful traits of being a servant.  The traits that he focused on were humility, boldness, obedience and joy.  I was especially struck by a comment about where I'm searching for fulfillment.  Am I looking for fulfillment in people that only God can provide?  I started doing some self-reflection and have come to the conclusion that even if I don't realize it, I place some hefty expectations on my relationships with others.  I think in some respects this is a self-defense mechanism.  I've also noticed that I tend to do this subconsciously without even realizing that I've placed such expectations on people.  I look to be completed by relationships when the reality is that only Christ can provide what I'm searching for in other people.  Now the question is how do I live life in light of this realization?  How do I live moment by moment in the presence of the Lord?  How do I adjust my expectations or really let Christ lead those expectations?  How do I head off the subconscious expectation of being fulfilled & completed by others?  These are just some of the things I've been pondering and bringing to the Lord in prayer as I ask to be in His presence each day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


My blogging has been put on hold recently for many reasons to include work, sickness, family issues & just plain old not enough time.  Here's some things I've baked or cooked recently though.
Before Christmas I made Kringle!  I learned how last year with my wonderful Kansas City family and decided to make it tradition.  We had a Kringle for breakfast on Christmas morning and I've got one in my freezer to pull out on the 4th of July!  I also gave a few away as Christmas presents.

The yummy cardamom & currant filling being encased in the butter pastry.

After the process of rolling & filling.  Perfect for freezing!

The Finished Product on Christmas morning!

I made Christmas cake balls and Christmassy Chocolate Bark for my cocktail party.  Here's a picture of both of them!  Some of the cake balls were decorated with sprinkles which I inherited from Keri (thanks!) and others with gold cake decorating gel in the shape of snowflakes.  The Christmassy Chocolate Bark was very tasty and had the zest of one whole clementine, which added a great flavor!

Beautiful Christmas cake balls for the party!

The Chocolate Bark

Last week, I made Mango Sticky Rice that my roommate had been talking about how much she loved forever.  I thought it sounded like something I could make easily & the recipe called for pretty basic ingredients.  I highly recommend the recipe, although I would pare it down to 2 servings with the calculator on allrecipes and it still serves at least 4 people.  Sorry there's not a picture for this one, but trust me, it's delectable!

Today, I made this Oatmeal Pecan Pie from Cooking Light, which looks yummy & I will try tomorrow when I have lunch company.  

I also made this Bloomin' Herb Bread for tomorrow.  In the morning I'll be making Eggplant Parmesan to serve for lunch with the other dishes and a salad that Nic is bringing.

I'll take a picture later in the week of the potstickers that I made on New Year's Day with Patty.  They were delicious!  The great thing about potstickers is that the recipe makes a ton & they freeze beautifully!