Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better than a Hallelujah.

In the presence of brokeness in the lives of several around me, I have found myself listening to this song practically on repeat this week. I hope it touches you in a special way, the way it has me. I truly believe that God wants us to come as we are, and not feel like we have to put on our brave face, or plaster a smile for him. I serve a merciful and mighty God. A God that disciplines me when I'm messin up, loves me when I am impossible, forgives me when I'm undeserving, and still somehow has time to hold me when I cry.



God loves a lullaby

In a mother's tears in the dead of night

Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry

The soldier's plea not to let him die

Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries

God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are

The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life

The dying man giving up the fight

Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done

The silence when the words won't come

Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries

God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are

The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing

Better than a choir singing out, singing out

We pour out our miseries

God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are

The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Hallelujah

We pour out our miseries

God just hears a melody

Beautiful, the mess we are

The honest cries of breaking hearts

Are better than a Hallelujah

(Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)

Better than a Hallelujah

(Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)

Better Than a Hallelujah Lyrics - Amy Grant

That Time Again.

You know I never keep my feet on the ground for long, this week is no exception! I’ve been back in Tampa for 10 days and I’m back to packing my bags for an EARLY departure tomorrow morning for the booming metropolis of Scottsburg, Indiana. It’s time to be in my best friend’s wedding! Eee (that’s an excitement shriek). It was also her birthday this week so we have much to celebrate. Can’t wait to be with her on her home turf (which I’ve never actually seen!).

Thanks to the times I needed, I will be flying through Chicago (Midway) tomorrow morning en route to Indy and flying back through Kansas City. Note: neither of these as stops between Tampa and Indy really make sense to me. Whatev. At least I can check my bags for free so I don’t have to sprint through the Chicago airport with them – thanks for that Southwest!

I’ve really worked this year at keeping my life more low-key than ever before. Now, that being said – I’m still an absolute crazy person compared to the average. Example: this morning I got up early to finish my bible study prep, wash dishes (because I have people coming over), and clean a bathroom. The rest of my day today will include: working at 8 hour day, errands on my lunch break, laundry when I get home, bible study at my house from 7-9, finishing my packing and then trying to get an hour or two of sleep before my 5am wake up call to… drop of my car, hop a flight to Chicago, change plans to head to Indy, pop into the office to visit my Dad, grab lunch with my Mom, wrap Candys birthday present, pick up my bridesmaids dress and shoes at my house, shower off my travels, change for the rehearsal, drive 1.5 hours to Scottsburgh (from Carmel) and the proceed to rehearse my role in the wedding, dine with my bff and her crew, and probably crash the minute my head hits the pillow tomorrow night.

That’s not even including the wedding day, getting back to Indy, and of course my travels home on Sunday night to start work again at 8am Monday morning. Yeah, this is my life. And despite the fact that even after cutting back on the chaos, I’m still a maniac, I love my life. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

I will admit that I’ve had 2 cups of coffee already this morning and am looking (and feeling) a little like the girl who drank 5 Red Bulls in ‘Knocked Up’. Yeeeeah.

Never let em see ya sweat.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rehersal Dinner Outfit.

Ok so this is what I've found to wear to the rehersal dinner. This dress is made me the same designer (Taylor) but mine is a bit more of a mustard yellow, and the pattern is a little different (you'll see that later) but the cut of the dress and neckline are what I wanted you all to see.
The heels are Guess and I found them on clearance at Marshalls (thanks Ruthie for the giftcard!).
I'll also being wearing a brown wrap as it will be freeezing in Indiana apparently.
Let me know your thoughts.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Recap & Good News!

Loving to travel has not for one moment diminished my love for a weekend at home. While it’s exciting to hop a plane, fall asleep, and wake up somewhere different (and sometimes new), there is something to be said for a weekend in familiar surroundings. With my feet on the ground, my butt in a lounge chair, and my head in a book I enjoyed this weekend with every fiber of my being.

I finished Queen Takes King, Friday night. I have to say it wasn’t one of my favorites. I happily moved on to ‘How to be Single’ (a novel, not a self-help) on Saturday morning and have plowed my way through the first 200 pages with some interest. Tuccillo is witty, which I enjoy. It has a bit more sex-in-the-city vibe than I like in a novel but I believe I’ll be done with it in a day or two.

I’m hoping to get a good bit of reading done on the planes this weekend as I have layovers on my flights to and from Indiana for my best friend’s wedding. Layovers plus 4 flights = good reading time. I’m fast approaching the end of my 50 book commitment for this year, and well ahead of schedule. It looks as though I will end 2010 with a few extras under my belt.

Has anyone ever bought a Taylor dress before? I saw a few at Macy’s that I liked this weekend but was too distracted by the DJ that was blaring music to really shop there. The next day (Sunday) I found a Taylor dress I adored at Ross on clearance for…get this, $20.99 (they’re about $100 at Macys). So I bought that to wear to the rehearsal dinner this weekend in Indiana. It’s a mustardy yellow dress, which I thought would be cute for fall. I will make sure there are pictures at some point soon.

While there I found a great dress (after several unsuccessful searches with my Mom in Indy) for my works upcoming banquet. We’re having Dave Ramsey AND Michael W. Smith, I’m so excited. I wanted something new, of course…when do I not? But also with my weight loss over the last 6 months, I wanted something that actually fit!

Speaking of that, I’m in week three of my 3rd weight loss competition. I won the first two and I’m hoping I have a fighting chance of winning the third (and possibly my final?). I FINALLY got past my plateau and out of my rut this weekend. I’d been stuck for a couple weeks so this was a huge relief. On to winning. : ]

I don’t know if you all are as freakishly obsessed with dinnerware for entertaining as I am BUT…

I found some great deals at Homegoods and Ross this weekend. Since buying the condo (the batch pad) back in December I can’t help but love things for my home. Because I have a home. Finally. Yay. Anyways, I found some precious zebra print items this weekend. I need pics though. I’ll work on that this week too. Must take more pictures and share them. Asap.

Looking forward to a 4 day work week, prepping for upcoming travels and events. Taking Friday off to head to Indiana.

Can I quickly share some exciting news I received via e-mail this morning? My favorite airline has officially bought my least favorite. Hello Southwest/Airtran merger – you are dynamite! When this is complete it will mean better customer service (I hope) on my flights home (airtran usually has the times I need) AND faster earning of rewards (aka free flights). I’m flying a free flight this weekend as a result of all my Southwest travel this year, and am on my way to my second free flight in a few months. This merger would REALLY speed up the process. I am STOKED.

Alright, time to start my Monday.


Ps: the Colts WON! Yay.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From How to Be Single...

I wanted to share a paragraph from the book I'm reading that made me laugh out loud. I love to hear people voice their opinions on online dating. Check this:

"You're single now because you're too snobby." That's Alice's answer every time the subject comes up. Meanwhile, I don't see her married to the handsome gentleman working at the fruit stand on the corner of Twelfth and Seventh who seems to have taken quite a shine to her. She is basing this judgment on the fact that I refuse to date online. In the good old days, online dating was considered a hideous embarrassment, something that no one would be caught dead admitting to. I loved that time. Now the reaction you will get from people when they hear that you're single and not doing some form of online dating is that you must not really want it that bad. It has become the bottom line, the litmus test for how much you're willing to do for love. As if your Mr. Right is definitely absolutely guaranteed to be online. He's waiting for you and if you're not willing to spend the 1,500 hours, 39 coffees, 47 dinners, and 432 drinks to meet him, then you just don't want to meet him badly enough and you deserve to grow old and die alone.

page 18, How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cha-Ching & my To Reads.

I'm always on the hunt for Colts colored outfits for games, parties, etc. I snagged this skirt for ...get this... $3 at Old Navy (where I rarely go). But I'd spy'd it online a month ago or so and then noticed it hit sale last week. When I went in today the clearance items were an additional 50% off! While 6.99 would have been a steal...$3 was even better! So exciting.

As for what's on my weekend reading list I figured since a few of my newer readers have taken an interest in my reading material - I'd show you what's coming up next. This weekend I will be finishing up the last few pages of Gigi Levangie Grazer's novel 'Queen Takes King' as it was leant to me by a coworker and I was ready for a bit of mindless reading material (Grazer is good for this). Little substance but a bit of New York flare.

Next up after finishing Grazer I'm back to the library pile with...

How to be Single came highly recommend on several websites and I've see the cover on a few blog pages lately. I'm interested to try about Tuccillo, whom I've never read (or heard of) before. This one may be worth reviewing for you all. If it's good I may just get it done this weekend. If it's sunny I'll be poolside with my book and if it's rainy (as predicted) I'm going to hole up in the 'batch pad' and blaze through these.

If (or when) I finish How to be Single I will be reading this from the BBC list I printed earlier this year...

I try to make myself read the occasional 'classic'. Good literature is so hard to find these days.

I'll keep you up to date as time goes on.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week before Wedding Thoughts.

My best friend’s wedding is next weekend! My excitement is growing with each day. I can’t wait to be there (Indiana) with her for her big day. I’m honestly thrilled to be a part of the wedding party and stand next to her on her big day as she commits the rest of her days to the love of her life. What a precious day it will be!

In anxious anticipation of the big day I wanted to take a few moments to share what’s on my heart…

It’s funny how God works sometimes. It was fall break of my junior year of college at Purdue. I was home with a friend shopping at the Keystone Mall in Indianapolis. I was helping her pick out the perfect Coach bag that was to be a gift from her Mom and chatting with the associates while we browsed. One particularly friendly Coach employee happened to be a manager and she asked if I were interested in a job. I explained that while Coach would be a fabulous place to work, I was in school over an hour away. Turns out, they needed holiday help (when I would be home with my family anyway).

What started as casual shopping ended in a seasonal position that lasted 2 years (on and off) and brought me my best friend, Candy. Oddly enough, our friendship didn’t progress until after I left Coach after the first year. Candy had qualities I look for in a friend. She was kind. She was thoughtful. She was honest. She was smart and hard-working to a fault. I’ve always loved that about her, she has incredible work ethic. She also knows Coach purse names (and item numbers) like no one I’ve ever known…and that is a skill!

After I left a whirlwind couple of months as a greeter and gift wrapper for my first holiday season with Coach, we stayed in touch. I was a bit surprised at first, Christmas time at the mall doesn’t leave much down time to get to know a person. I went back to school in January but thanks to facebook we were able to keep up with each other’s lives and meet up from time to time when I was in Indy. I remember one of the first big ‘hang outs’ we had was going to a Colts game, Candy’s first and my…400th? For some reason what stands out in my mind most about that particular game is that when we first got to our seats she confessed that her Dad told her that morning he had no idea why I would have invited her of all people to the game. She knows more about football than he gave her credit for and is a loyal Colts fan – which I adore about her.

Our friendship, our love for each other (and even the Colts) has grown tremendously since that day. Through her moving home and meeting Josh who would change the course of her life forever to me packing up and moving 17 hours away to strike out on my own in Florida. Through jobs gained and lost. Through tough decisions. Through trials and failures. Through grad school decisions and applications. Through parent stresses and awkward moments. Through laughter and tears and even several years – our friendship has become one of my most treasured relationships.

In friendships we take on many different roles at any given time. Candy has been my encourager. My confidant. The voice of reason through more than a few crisis moments. My cheerleader through some bold moves. My comedic relief on my worst of days. She continues to amaze me with her thoughtful gestures and her consistent effort to be a great friend.

I remember the first time she told me about Josh. We were in Indy after she’d moved back home and we had gotten together in Indy to catch up. They hadn’t known each other long but she was already confident this one was going to last. I remember knowing immediately how excited she was about him, even though it was new.

I love that since that day I’ve been able to get to know Josh myself and see that he loves so many of the same qualities in Candy that I do. How special it has been to watch their love for each other grow and to build a friendship with him as well. He texted me the day he was going to propose and I anxiously awaited (at my parents house) the post-proposal call from Candy telling me all the details. Shortly after that proposal she asked me if I would be a bridesmaid, something I’d secretly been hoping for since I knew they were going to get married.

Candy and Josh were my first friends to fly to Florida and be a part of my life here. Sleeping on the floor in my rental, getting lost on the way to the beach, and kicking my butt in putt-putt golf (it was embarrassing, my Dad would be ashamed). One of my favorite memories about that trip is that Josh told me that until I found the right guy, he’d fill in when I need someone to fix something or ‘whatever’. That was a touching gesture to me, that as Candy’s ‘bff’ he wanted to look out for me too.

They’ve driven to see me in Indy every time I go home. Volunteered at my works events. And supported be with texts during countless Colt’s games and craziness within the football side of my world. It’s meant everything to me to get to know them as a couple, as the big wedding day has grown closer.

And now, here it is! 8 days til wedding. My dress has been altered 3 times. My shoes bought. My gift is wrapped. My flights are booked. I’m headed back to Indiana to share in the biggest day of their lives as a couple thus far.

I wish them true love everyday of their lives. Love that is lasting. Love that is both patient and kind. Love is forgiving and trusting. Love that protects and encourages. Love that will persevere. And most of all the kind of love that the Lord promises ‘will never fail’.

Love Always,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This post is dedicated to any of you who have been going through a tough time, feeling overwelmed, lost, or broken hearted. This song gives me peace whenever I sing it or hear it.

Words and Music by Reuben Morgan

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

25th Birthday Trip - Indianapolis.

After a whirlwind 25th birthday weekend away I am back in Tampa and back on the grind. But before I move on to all that lies ahead this crazy/busy/lovely fall I wanted to take the time to tell you a little about my trip! I left Friday at lunch time and headed 'home' to Indianapolis, IN to see my parents for the weekend... Oh, and Peyton & Eli Manning of course!

Here I am sporting my new luggage, that was part of my of birthday presents this year. With all my travel I'd managed to do quite a number on my Diane Von Furstenburg luggage I received for my 21st birthday (man, has that been 4 years now?). I sent this lovely self taken photo to my parents on Friday morning with a message that said: 'Get ready'.

The great thing about birthday trips is you get most of your wishes. I desperately wanted some new Colts gears so Mom took me straight from the airport to Dick's Sporting Goods to stoke up. 3 shirts later, I'm set for a few weeks of cheering my boys on from Tampa area sports bars. Dad event later hooked me up with a Sunday Night Football hat to complete my take-home-gear stash.

Later we dined with Daddy dearest at StoneCreek Grill in Zionsville, my absolute favorite Indianapolis area restaurant. It was heavenly, as always. Then since we had previously discussed this birthday being sans cake (in honor of my healthier eating habits) we hit up Casey Ursay's (somewhat) new frozen yogurt joint - Huddles. Think Pinkberry.

After I tucked my parents in (they managed to stay up until almost 10), I visit my friend Mark at his new place and got to play catch up on his life. I admire (and am slightly jealous of) his sense of adventure that is always taking him somewhere new and exciting. Living life so completely is truly a gift. A good reminder that I need to break out of my routine a bit more often and take some risks!

After that Sean and I hit up our traditional hangout place - the Fox and The Hound. We stayed up so late I saw 2am on the clock for the first time in a while. But it was great catching up, as always.

Saturday I bee-bopped around seeing a few friends. Sweet Jodi took me out for Sushi in Broadripple at a cute place called the Naked Tchopstix. The food was delish - she can order for me anytime. Great catching up...seems like a lot has happened since our last sushi date, in Orlando.

Saturday night I went to a wedding (of people I hadn't met) with my friend Eric. Man have I missed spending time with him since graduating Purdue. It seems that when I come home Chicago is just not quite close enough for us to see each other every trip. Luckily, the wedding was a great excuse for us to spend a night together catching up.

Here we are taking a carriage ride during the reception - what a cool idea. : ]

Sunday was game day in the Christensen household, of course. So we went to church as a fam and then got our game faces on for a Colts victory - which was delivered!

Sean and I had a bet going with a friend to get on TV by dancing but sadly, they never showed us. Maybe next time.

Here's a few pics from the big night:

Sean & I headed into the game.

National anthem. Always a really touching part for me.

Who better to watch a game with than these two?! : ]

Mom & I after the victory! Go Colts!

Family shot post game. How cute is this?!

What a great victory we got while I was home! Again, another really late night. But I managed to get up Monday (with a cold) and have brunch with my sweet friend Katie and her precious little family. Then it was shopping with Mom and hopping a flight back to Tampa.

A fabulous weekend. 25 really may be the best year yet, it's off to a great start.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quote of the Week.

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most? -- Mark Twain

Another one that makes you think.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home Improvements - Part Three.

After months of blank walls. Pictures!

Remember that desk I told you I built? Well here she be. How fantastic is it? Eeee. It was like rocket science putting it together. I pulled my first all nighter since college. But success. Here she be.

My house is becoming a home. I'm so proud.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home Improvements - Part Two.

OK lets go back in time to my Dove party to remind you of these 'lovely' hanging blinds over my sliding door...

Eck, I know. Such a Florida thing. I begged Mom to help me come up with a solution and after 2 showing trips, lots of sewing, and some hardware installation...oh and some haggling by yours truly (saved us 100 bucks).... TA DA:

Black suede curtains with grommets. I love them. Changed the whole look of the room, does it not?

My Mom is aaaamazing. She did some serious work on the grout too. Life changing...




More to come, still.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Home Improvements. - Part One.

My Mom convinced me it was finally time to go through my crazy garage full of things I hadn't bothered to unpack since the move. Goodwill got a few cars full of giveaways while they were at it. So here are the durings...

And the afters - including freshly built and stocked shelves my Mom spent about an hour putting together.

Perfection, isn't it?

More showing off of projects to come this week. Be excited little home lovers.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me?

Well this is my official hello to twenty-five! The dreaded quarter-century or the era of the ‘quarter life crisis’ as it is more affectionately known. I expected to feel a little sad at leaving the early twenties behind and officially being ‘mid-twenties’ but honestly, it feels good.

Twenty-three and twenty-four were the best 2 years of my life thus far and I have no reason to think twenty-five won’t be better still. In the name of being sentimental, let’s recap:

At twenty-three I graduated college, took a job in Florida, and moved 17 hours away from my family. That was a pretty intense first year of adulthood, but I’m grateful for all the experiences. I also set some big goals that year. I realized at twenty-three that my current job wasn’t going to last long, so I made a goal to find a job I could see myself in for years to come. I set a goal to be a homeowner by twenty-five – a dream of mine was always to own my first home while I was still single.

When twenty-four breezed on by me, I worried that there was no way it could top twenty-three. I even had the ‘ohmygosh have I peaked?!’ conversation with my best friend. A little over the top, I realize. I honestly couldn’t imagine life getting any better. But then I was able to meet both of my big goals for the year early on, I relaxed. I started my current job 2 days after my 24th birthday, and have now been working here for almost a year. I love my company, my coworkers, and what I do here. A blessing I do not take for granted. A few months later I signed the papers to buy my first home, a townhouse in S Tampa – 2 blocks from the water! A total dream-come-true for me and a big step to feeling settled in my new hometown.

Twenty-four went on to be a great year for me spiritually, intellectually, financially (thank you Dave Ramsey), and most of all relationally. I made my best effort yet to stay in touch with my family members and saw those relationships grow. I built a sort of ‘Tampa Family’ here that I’m grateful for. And finally, I found a few close friends I truly believe will be my friends for life. When you’re new in town it’s huge to find people to ‘do life’ with – that encourage you but keep you grounded and realistic. I owe these people in my life an immeasurable debt of gratitude.

This was an adventurous year for me. I lead a financial peace class at church. Me! The one who not only can barely do basic math without a calculator and a tutor but who couldn’t keep a $5 bill in my wallet for more than an hour until recently. Most of the people in my group were older than me and farther along in life, so I felt intimidated by ‘leading’ these people who had to wonder what made me qualified. It was a great experience even as I stretched myself to practice, not just preach.

Later on in the year we launched a bible study in my home that continues to amaze and bless me. What a great group of girls the Lord has brought together. I look forward to growing with them for years to come (Lord willing).

A few other highlights of 24:
- Attended my 2nd Super Bowl of my lifetime in Miami, FL (though my team did lose…sad)
- Made my first big Craigslist purchase (a burgundy velvet couch)
- Built my first piece of furniture from Ikea (like rocket science – I swear)
- Have read over 50 books from 24 to 25
- Visited both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the first time – 2 new cities and NFL facilities to add to my list
- And lost over 40 lbs with healthy eating habits and exercise

If you’re wondering what my birthday celebration plans are…well, I’ll be in Indianapolis next weekend celebrating by watching Peyton and Eli Manning going head-to-head on Sunday Night Football and chowing at my favorite Indy restaurant – Stone Creek Grill (eat there, it’s life-changing). For my actual birthday weekend, I’m getting a grubbing in with friends and relaxing poolside.

Thank you for your continued readership, love, and support.

Here’s to 25 being the biggest and best year yet!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

By request, I’m posting my thoughts about Aimee Bender’s newest magical realm novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Bender, author of ‘Girl with the Flammable Skirt’ and ‘Willful Creatures’ is known for her ability to intertwine dark, sad themes with a light, airy blend of magic. Lemon Cake is no exception.

At the age of nine Rose discovers her ability to taste the preparer’s feeling in all food. Suddenly homemade meals are speaking to her and what they have to say is less than inviting. From the ability to taste anger, sadness, depression, and discontentment in first her mother’s home cooking and later in a variety of foods prepared in her cafeteria at school and in restaurants, Rose is overwhelmed by others emotions with every bite. At nine, she finds herself trying to carry the weight of others feelings as she fights against her strange ‘gift’.

This book is not for the grammar nazi – as there is not one single quotation mark in Bender’s novel. The format of her writing may be distracting to those who are ‘picky’ about writing rules. She breaks the rules and draws your attention only to the storyline. While not my format of choice I appreciate the desire to ‘just write’. She crafts her descriptions with eloquence and displays emotion on a wide scale with fluidity.

Dark and depressing but carefully crafted, the Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a novel unlike any I’ve read this year. I find that even having finished the book I’m left with an unsettled feeling. What just happened? I neither loved nor hated it and hesitate to recommend it or caution against it as a result. While I don’t wish I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it either.


Note: I find that I am recently very turned off to the Oprah bookclub reads. This may be my last of hers for a while.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Miracles Happen.

I don’t believe I shared with you all here before that 7 months ago I started getting really sick. It was worst when I traveled but not reserved only for weekends of travel. I was miserable a couple days a week with stomach pain and I started to worry that maybe there was something really serious wrong with me. I saw a few doctors, underwent tests, and they kept coming back and telling me I was healthy enough to live to 100. So from there it became even more about watching what I ate and pinpointing foods that were causing me problems.

I was challenged in my daily bible reading in several verses one of which comes from James and says, ‘Count it all joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be whole and complete, not lacking anything’. Testing of my faith it was. Being sick, on the road, while working events. Working 16-20 hours days and then flying home again while in terrible pain was a real test of my faith. Could I count it all joy? Was my attitude where it needed to be despite the frustrations of sickness with no answers? Was I serving whole heartedly despite how my body may be feeling?

I challenged myself to use the time I was sick for good. Ever since I started at my current job our staff had been praying for a man named Rich, who was suffering from stage 4 cancer. As many of you who have loved ones who have battled with cancer know, stage 4 is usually considered terminal. In Rich’s case, they said it was impossible that he could beat the cancer – but they hoped the chemo and radiation would give him a little more time with his wife and sons before he passed. I to this day have not met Rich face-to-face but I felt a heavy burden in my heart to pray for him.

I remember with clarity the moment I decided that whenever I was feeling sick, I would use that time to pray for Rich – who was going through so much more than I. Now before you think I’m all saintly or anything, I did this so that I wouldn’t have a crappy attitude all day. As a reminder that not only could things be worse for me, but they WERE worse for many people around me. I have to watch myself in order to keep from throwing the occasional pity party. Our health is so easy to take for granted, is it not?

The time that most stands out in my mind took place in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was sick as a dog, the worst yet of my episodes. I was sitting in the bathroom at Paul Brown Stadium praying for Rich. I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace about my own situation through praying for someone else. Prayer is incredible that way, is it not?

I share this story with you to tell you that miracles do happen. We got word last week that Rich has been pronounced cancer free. A miracle that even the doctors can’t deny. There was no medical way to heal Rich. Only the Lord could and did heal his body of all traces of this horrible disease.

I know that hundreds of people wore their knees out in prayer for Rich and it’s incredible to see how God answered those prayers in an even bigger way than any of us could have hoped for or imagined. But then again, the word says ‘ To him who his able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask for or imagine – to him be the glory and honor throughout this generation and forever’. Amen.

I love to share that the Lord still does miracles. I love when doctors are left baffled because they know it was impossible. But nothing my friends is impossible with God.

Pray without ceasing, he instructs. And I am challenged by scripture when it says that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. The faith of a great many people combined sure did move a cancerous mountain. I hope someday to meet Rich myself but until I'm giving thanks and praise to the Lord for an incredible, modern day miracle.


Changing Plans.

Plan changes are tough for me. I like to have a plan, stick to it. I try to be committed to anything I say I will do. So how do you handle it when the plans just aren’t right? I say this because this weekend through a few turns of events I ended up cancelling my plans to go to Atlanta. It was a tough decision and wasn’t well received on some ends…but I knew it was the right thing to do.

God has a funny way of saving us from ourselves sometimes, doesn’t he? I pray often that he protect me from my people pleasing ways. I realized Friday when some drama happened and the door to the trip closed, that the Lord was saving me from myself in more than one way. I’m thankful for that now.

I spent most of this weekend relaxing with friends by the pool. I love that having a great pool brings your friends to you regularly. I love even more than I have the kind of friends who will call and ask me (as was done this weekend), ‘so are you going to invite me to the pool today?’. This was my greatest hope in buying a home, that it would have a revolving door – always welcoming my friends when they need a place to go.

I got some good time by the pool in and worked on my tan for Candy’s wedding which is 3 weeks away now. Unbelievable! I also got some good reading in. I’m currently working my way through ‘Kings of the Earth’ and ‘The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake’. I’ll let you know when I finish my thoughts on them. But thus far I would not recommend the cake book – it’s rather depressing so far.

I made some phone calls to catch up with a few friends. Bought my sister a birthday present (it took 4 trips to find the right thing). Put together a care package for a friend of mine who’s having a hard time adjusting to a new job in a new place (I’m sympathetic to the whole moving thing). Mailed my cousin some free chickfila coupons because it’s his favorite place to eat and I remember well what it was like to be a poor college student. I finally put away clean laundry that had been hanging out in the basket for 2 weeks. Yeah, 2 weeks. I walked 4 miles in the sunshine by the water on Saturday morning with a friend. I enjoyed a great service at church with a girl from my small group. I even found money on the ground and bought BOOTS for fall that I’m stoked about with it.

I’ll have to post pics soon but I got black leather over-the-knee boots and a slouchy grey pair as well. : ] Love love. Why do I love fall clothing and I live in Florida where we barely have a fall. Hmm.

5 days to birthday. Ack.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


First off, I want some comments telling me what you fabulous people are up to for Labor Day Weekend….traveling? Staying put? Relaxing? Grilling out? With friends? Family? Tell me the deets. I love holidays and hearing how people spend them.

My plans are still working their way slooowly into place so I don’t have too much to share on my front yet. I’ll tell you what I do know. I will be spending the holiday with friends but sadly, not with any family members. Jess and I are headed on a road trip, our first in I can’t even remember how long. Too long. The plan is to head to Atlanta and meet up with some GA friends up that way for a night, maybe two? Exact details are ALL TBD. You know how hard a lack of plan is for me – I’m an itinerary kind of deal. Hazard of planning travel for work regularly? Perhaps.

Can I share something else sad on the organizational topic? I actually stooped so low as to make myself a chore list this week. I know. Shock. Horror. Patheticness. The list could continue from there. But it seems that after a weekend away (on the road) you have to have a plan to get caught up on the things you would have done over the weekend, if you’d had a weekend. Last weekend was Nashville, this weekend is Atlanta. So this girl had to get a plan or her house was going to be a hot mess. But still, I can’t believe I resorted to a chore list…I use to shake my fist behind my mom’s back about those growing up. She posted one in my bathroom while I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Embarrassing, right? : ] Good thing I survived the humiliation so that I can share with you all about it now – it was touch n go for a while there.

I like to occasionally post fashion related thoughts (or statements). So on that note, has anyone been to see Lauren Conrad’s collection at Kohl’s? I’m not a big Kohl’s person myself but they’ve recently been carrying Vera Wang’s line and well as LC’s – both of which have some cute and somewhat reasonably priced items. I invested in a LC by Lauren Conrad dress last night that I adore.


Ok I promise that images of the home improvements are coming soon!

Love ya,