Showing posts from June, 2014

My New Writing Project

The Old Testament is full of stories of God’s faithfulness to the Israelite people throughout the generations.

And you know what? I think it’s really worthwhile to take the time to remember and reflect upon how the Lord has been faithful in my life and my family’s lives.

Why? Well, sometimes when my life is “falling apart” or in crisis, I confess I don’t take the time to reflect on God’s faithfulness. And sometimes when times are smooth, I’m guilty of stepping away from the Lord in pride, thinking I am fine on my own. And let me tell you, the result is not pretty in either of those scenarios.

I want to be intentional about meditating on how God has been there for me (and the generations that came before me)—so that whether I am traversing life in a storm or on calm seas, I remember to look to Jesus as my rock … because he is the one who faithfully sees me through every day.

As a result of these thoughts, a new writing project idea was planted and sprouted in my brain. I want to create…

Bad News & Good News!

Okay, bad news first: our tetras died!
I've heard from plenty of people that neon tetras are hard to keep alive ... and boy, they really are! Dave and I did our best, but the final two survivors, Curly and Mo, bit the dust (or should I say, "bit the bubbles") on Sunday afternoon.
The good news? We already have a new fish!
We decided to go with a Betta. At the store, we looked at several Bettas ... but noticed one that really needed our help! He was all flattened out on the bottom of his covered, clear cup -- trying to keep his body below water! You see, his container had a leak!
Dave and I rescued the little guy. We wrapped a paper towel around the bottom (where the leak was) and brought him home!
It's a red fish, and Dave came up with the idea of naming him after The Scarlet Pimpernel. (Loved that idea!) So, our fish's full name is Sir Percival Blakeney ... but we call him "Percy."  :)

Yay! New Owl City songs!

Owl City announced on his blog that he's releasing a new EP called "Ultraviolet" on June 27.

That's one week from today! I'm an old-fashioned girl ... I still like CDs ... so now I just have to figure out how to order a physical copy of this EP.  :D

Here's one of the songs that'll be featured on "Ultraviolet":

My Sister and Me

My sister, Heather, is one of my most favorite people in all the world!

I remember peering into the Tupperware-type container they placed her in at the hospital after she was born ... and getting my very first glimpse of my new baby sister. Growing up, we were each other's best friends. We've had plenty of adventures together. I've been going through some old (and new-ish) photos of the two of us and thought I'd share a portion of them here!

Masquerade! (Our brother, Ryan, made it in on this photo, too!)
Goofin' off together during a day at the beach.  :D
Photo shoot in the forest!
Frozen. But happy!
My wedding day. Tears. Hugs. Smiles.

Selfishness: A Rant To Myself

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all of the problems and needs in the world?

Hunger. Disease. Death. Evil. Homelessness. War.

It seems to be lurking in every corner. And the number of people with basic needs is just staggering. The problems look too big and I feel too small. But I think doubting that I really make a difference is one of the most poisonous lies I ever believed.

"I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will." - Edward Everett Hale

On the day I pass into eternity and come face-to-face with my Creator and my Savior, I don't want to say, "Yes, I knew about the poverty, disease, hunger ... the orphans ... and I did nothing about it. I picked out movies I wanted to see. I got a new phone, a bigger TV, a faster computer, and that car I always drooled over."

Heartbroken, I would realize how much time and money I spent on myself ... and how little I spe…

Vacation: Part 2

During the second part of our vacation, we traveled to the land of windmills and open fields.

Otherwise known as: Iowa!

Why Iowa? Well, Dave and I both have relatives living there and wanted to pay them a visit. Plus, I spent some of my childhood in this state, and I have such good memories!

We just had to stop when we saw this sign:

Who knew that the ice cream capital of the world is in Le Mars, Iowa?!?

Aha! We found the Blue Bunny ice cream shop! 
Inside, Dave and I opted to split a cup of ice cream. The flavor we selected was delicious. With peanut butter and chocolate swirls, I figured we couldn't go wrong! It even had little chocolate-covered peanut butter bites in the shape of bunnies! How cute is that?  :)  
Exploring the history of Blue Bunny as we walked around the shop was really neat. For a little city like Le Mars, being the ice cream capital of the world is a pretty cool claim to fame!
Throughout the shop, displays and videos showed how Blue Bunny makes ice cream and…

Vacation: Part 1

About two weeks ago, Dave and I strapped ourselves into my little car ... and hit the road.


First stop? Chicago!

Dave expertly plotted our travels via train, so we traversed the sprawling city without having to bother with trying to find parking. Woohoo! Also, being transported by train is fun! (Can you see the excitement on our faces?!)

It was Dave's first visit to the Shedd Aquarium ... and I hadn't been there in 8 years. The giant water- and creature-filled exhibits did not disappoint! Here are a couple of snapshots from our time there:

Dave, "having a whale of a time."
The "Windy City" sure lived up to its reputation while we were there, too!  :D  Notice our jackets, which were sorely needed in the cool, strong breeze. And, of course, our wild wind-tossed hair!

I love vacationing with my best friend.
Next, it was off to The Field Museum. We couldn't help but gawk at the GIANT dinosaur right inside the front entrance! This is…

Finding the Lovely

I think most people these days fancy themselves photographers.

I'm no expert, but I do like how a camera lens helps me sometimes to see and notice beauty in places I had not seen it before. Take this picture, for example. I snapped it years ago on a walk around my neighborhood, and it's still one of my absolute favorites:

That bee happened to hover in exactly the right spot for this gorgeous and colorful photo. Normally, my reaction is to get away from bees -- bumblebees or otherwise! If I hadn't had my camera with me, I likely would have picked up my pace and walked quickly by.

But I saw the scene through a different lens: colorful, vibrant ... and lovely.

It's amazing how a change in perspective can so wholly alter your experience of something, isn't it? Do what you can to find the "lovely" in your circumstances, surroundings, and life today.

A 100-word story!

The letter tiles and board pictured here belong to a rather fantastic game called "Upwords."
"Brevity is the soul of wit." - William Shakespeare

That is very true, I think.

I've never been a fan of slogging through text to get to the point of what someone is trying to say. As a writer, I delight in taking a written piece and trimming down the words. It's actually something of a game to me -- a puzzle-solving game. I try to preserve the spirit of the piece and not lose an ounce of meaning, even as I chop out word after word. I force myself to keep only the words that truly matter ... that carry the meaning.

A few years ago, I had fun taking some stories of my own invention and snipping words until I was left with exactly 100. Here is the result of one of those experiments:

“Hey, you wanna play tic-tac-toe?” Startled, I glanced up to see a freckle-faced boy. I didn’t know his name, but I recognized him as the kid with bright red hair who had sat to my left in c…