Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful, even white, Christmas. Ours was fabulous. My sister made it home safely, my mom was feeling relatively well, and I ate my weight in pumpkin pie and snickerdoodles. But my favorite part of Christmas? The part where the truth of my life comes back into perfect focus.

O Holy Night is my all-time favorite Christmas song – even the Kenny G version can rouse a tear or two. Here’s my favorite verse:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

It’s the perfect portrayal of my life before and after knowing Christ. I was desperately lost until in the depth of my pain, God called to me. And for once I turned toward him rather than away. All of the joy and the peace I have come to know since are a result of his deep love. I pray the gift of this holiday would heal you in the same way. Oh, and may you enjoy all of the whipped cream and hot chocolate you can stand. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not too shabby

Surprisingly my mom is still feeling pretty well after her chemo treatment from a week ago. She's been pretty tired, but no nausea or achyness to speak of. This can still change any day, especially as she gets more chemo, but for right now we're enjoying the reprieve.

And speaking of reprieves, Sam got to come home super early from work yesterday after a huge water pipe burst. Even though some downtown buildings were flooded and many were without water for most of the day, it was sitll a close call as to whether he'd be able to leave. Before they got the official word, Sam wrote me this email:

"Rumors are circulating that the Huntington Building may close, I am not getting too excited though. The wheels of capitalism must keep rolling, despite the workers’ needs to excrete and consume coffee. The means of production must go on, sanitation and health be damned."

The for-profit world is a harsh one.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Ohio's climate continues to surprise me. The other day we had quite a winter rainstorm that melted all of the snow. And what was under that snow? Answer: Green grass.

First of all, Colorado is not likely to see rain in the winter (a combination of it being too dry and too cold), but if such an event were to occur, you certainly would not find green grass hidden beneath any snow. Brown, crunchy vegetative splotches perhaps. But not green grass.

You can even see a tree in the distance with leaves on it still! Amazing.

Last night Sam and I went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at a downtown Cleveland theater. Fun show. As we were driving home we discovered this Christmas gem on the radio. May it...uh...brighten your holidays as it did ours.

Friday, December 12, 2008

One down

So far so good, emphasis on so far. Thanks to heaps of steroids, my mom had one of her best feeling days since her surgery. But we know this is temporary. I guess the chemo is supposed to really kick in some time tomorrow or Sunday. In the meantime, we've been errand running and cooking and sewing all day.

As we wait to see what tomorrow will hold, may I recommend this hilarious blog and this other hilarious blog? Let me know if you don't come close to wetting yourself. Seriously funny.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bring on the cure

My mom will begin her chemo treatment today. The doctor's gave her a huge book to read beforehand about chemo and the potential side effects. It was discouraging to say the least. Of course there are going to be a lot of side effects when you poison your body. But after reading the grim news for several days, she made a decision. She decided that she's not going to look at all of the potential bad to come; instead, she's going to focus on the long-term good. And thus was born her new mantra..."This is the cure."

So she's going to lose her hair and possibly some fingernails. This is the cure. So there might be a lot of pain ahead. This is the cure. So she might get a mean case of the hiccups during some treatments. Well, that one doesn't sound so bad, but still, This is the cure.

I'm sure there will be very hard days ahead, but I'm thankful my mom continues to find strength in herself, in her family, and in God. And so today begins the next chapter of her journey.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tucked away

My new place of work has this beautiful wall of windows that look out over a thick, beautiful forest of tall, skinny trees that go on an on and the windows are so tall they perfectly emphasize the height of the trees. The only problem with this amazing marriage of architecture and nature? The fact that the windows are locked in a staff room at the back of the library that never actually sees staff. Fortunately there are several other nice window areas as well. Just not as nice as this hidden one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So thankful

I heard a great sermon yesterday to cap off Thanksgiving. It was a simple reminder that while we can't always choose our circumstances, we always get to choose our response. We can choose to be bitter about small things or grateful despite awful things. It's all up to us. Brilliant.

On a not-so-hard-to-be-thankful note, today was my first day at my new job! Yeah, it's going to rock. I love libraries. And I love library benefits. I'm sure I'll expound on this more throughout my illustrious career. Please stay tuned.

As another aside, my mom is well on her way to least from surgery. Chemo is still to come, but she's looking great right now and I'm just so darn thankful for that.

And while I'm thinking of things that make me thankful, I'm really thankful for all of you. What gifts you are, not only to me, but to all existence!

Ok, I think it's clear now that after a four-month work hiatus, today’s eight-hour workday turned my brain to moosh. It's time for me to go now. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look who's back home!

After a total of 15 days in two different hospitals, my mom is finally back home and is (at least for now) retiring this über stylish hospital clothing line. Let's hope her body is a little more cooperative from here on out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Smashing good husband

I'm a lucky lady. I told Sam how torn I was feeling between getting things done around the house and spending time with my mom at the hospital. Shockingly laundry does not stop accumulating and food does not replenish itself even when one has more important things to think about.

I was only hoping to vent for few minutes, but my fetching husband decided to surprise me by washing all of of laundry, doing all of the dishes, AND doing all of the grocery shopping - including the Thanksgiving list! All of this in addition to working full time and commuting a hefty distance at the beginning and end of each day. Yep, I'm a lucky lady.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not ALL my nerves are shot

After several days of steady recovery at home, we had to bring my mom back to the hospital when a mystery fluid began to fill her body cavity. The fluid was causing her a lot of pain and making it very difficult for her to breath. Now the doctors are wondering whether the blood thinner they've been giving her since surgery to prevent blood clots has been making it difficult for her lacerated liver to stop bleeding.

The fluid was successfully removed, so she's feeling better and staying positive, but I think I'm more guarded now. It's hard to celebrate the small things after witnessing several times now how deceiving progress can be. Hmm, maybe that's not the healthiest perspective, but I feel a little stuck in it right now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home at last

My mom was finally released from the hospital, and not a moment too soon.

I can't tell you how many times doctors and nurses warned us about the disease ridden facility she was cooped up in. We thought it was a good thing that my mom got to stay in the ICU for an extra night right after her surgery so that she'd have extra attention, but then a medical passerby told us about all of the antibiotic-resistant microorganisms swarming around the place. I kept hearing things like, "People have the misconception that hospitals are very clean, but they're really the last place you want to be when you're sick or have an open wound." Oh, great. Thanks for the info.

Suffice it to say, we're glad her body finally started to behave so they could clear her for discharge.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A spot of good news

I will now be rejoining society as one of its productive members. I got a job! The library I interviewed with two weeks ago just called yesterday and I’m in!

I know that God works in amazing ways...ways that we often don't understand until after the fact. I was getting antsy about finding a job, but now I’m thankful I was freed up to be at the hospital with my mom every day over this past week.

And speaking of my mom, she’s doing great right now. A few more weird reactions to medicine and what-not, but the doctors think she’ll be out of here in a day or two. Remind me to tell some of the freaky hospital stories later – once we’re far, far away.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Mom Update

After several setbacks, my mom is recovering rather well from the surgery except for one thing...her digestive tract won't turn back on. I'm not sure why this is, but it's the only thing keeping her in the hospital now. And let me tell you, I'll be glad when she can leave. Hospitals are grim places.

In other news, I finally saw my mom's incision. I often pass out at the sight of gruesomeness and I only saw it because I happened to turn around at the wrong moment, but I was actually more impressed than queasy. The steel staples that hold the skin flaps together make her cut look like a dragon spine. Quite exotic.

Ok, I'll try to be back soon with more updates.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Second Mom Update

It was scary to see my mom after her surgery. She was sent to the ICU because of a lot of bleeding and has been there for about 26 hours now, but she's finally doing much better. Aside from a few minor surprises, things have been moving along smoothly. She should be getting a room in the cancer wing as soon as one opens up and she'll stay there for about a week. So a lot of body healing to do, but she's already well under way. Thanks again for all of your concern!

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Mom Update

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers and loving emails. My mom just got out of her four hour surgery. The doctor said everything went smoothly. He took out a lot of tumors, but says chemo will still be necessary. Ok, this thumb typing is rather difficult. I'll write more later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Congratulations, Mr. (soon to be) President!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I thought I was going to be writing about the election tonight (I am watching all of the exciting coverage right now), but life brings you new twists and your blog posts change accordingly.

Yesterday my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

I’m sure everyone who has ever known anyone with cancer would probably say it came as a shock, so let me just get this out there - I’m shocked.

My mom had been experiencing pain off and on for months without doctors being able to determine the cause. Just before the weekend she had a CT scan, and after half a day worth of additional tests yesterday, they finally found several large tumors. Unbelievably, surgery is already scheduled three days from now and chemo will be quick to follow.

In the short time my mom had to process all of this, and maybe because she’s been an analyst for a tad too long, she decided to make a list of Pros and Cons. I already new my mom rocked, but I didn’t realize she's actually an intergalactic super star! Here’s that list…

  • I have a support system of people who love me and people I love
  • I have adequate health insurance
  • I have ample sick leave
  • I am always interested in a good test, challenge, journey
  • I will lose weight :)
  • I will have new (and possibly better) hair in a few months
  • I will participate in studies that may benefit others
  • I can only become a better person through this
  • My priorities will be reinforced, redirected
  • I am already meeting interesting people and I'm bound to meet many more
  • I'm not the first - many have gone down this path before me and I can benefit from their experiences
  • I would rather it be me than others who I love

The only thing she could come up with for the Con list was that she might disrupt the lives of those around her, but considering my dad is self employed and I'm still jobless, that's really a non-issue. I can’t help but think that if I were the one with cancer my Pro list would be a lot lighter and my Con list would be a lot heftier, but that’s why my mom’s just awesome.

Well, that's a lot for one evening. There are many unknowns ahead. The only one that I anticipate getting answered anytime soon is who the people have chosen to lead this free nation, and while this doesn't hold quite the weight for me that it did just 24 hours ago, it's a good start. Until tomorrow then...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Too close to call

I’m so excited about the election tomorrow! I plan to kick back with some popcorn and watch news shows project the winner of each county and state for as long as I can stay awake. Sadly, I’m on the east coast and that means results for the west coast will be coming into the wee hours of my time zone.

This is like the mother of all reality shows. I’ve watched with rapt wonder through the elimination rounds, the teammate selection ceremonies, the dramatic accusations. Very intriguing.

I made sure to cast my vote early (and if the rules allowed, I would’ve texted in a dozen more). Now it’s time to watch in tense anticipation as one candidate moves into the lead, and then the other. I can’t wait to see how they wrap this show up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Attack of the Leftovers

I really dislike leftovers and try to avoid them for as long as possible. But eventually they begin to take over my refrigerator and I am forced to make room (and save money) by reheating them. This is an example of what the typical calamity of leftovers looks like...

Aside from the fact that I have a slight cling-warp overuse problem, you may notice that last night's dinner consisted of salad, baked beans, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, spaghetti, and a pork chop (beginning to heat up in the oven). A more cunning person may have been able to combine these ingredients into a cohesive meal, but I don’t pretend that cooking is my strong point. The happy ending is that the adversary was conquered and no stomach was left unsatisfied.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've got an interview!

Finally. After months of submitting resumes to libraries. I have an interview. This Thursday.

Just preparing for interview questions gets me excited about libraries. I really like them. So I'll let you know how it goes when I hear back in 2-3 weeks. In the meantime, I've got a lot of freedom to enjoy.

On an unrelated note, I basically adore this picture of Sam:

Monday, October 27, 2008


My dad’s father died when my dad was about eight years old. As a result, he lost touch with most of that side of the family. A few days ago one of my dad’s uncles passed away and the two sides of the family were brought together again.

The family bond is definitely a strange thing. When my sister and I were in high school, we could get in the worst fights in the 4 minutes is took to drive to school. We’d stomp into the building, charge toward our separate lockers, and as soon as we ran back into each other before the first bell we’d be whispering gossip and begging to borrow each other’s clothes as though I hadn’t just cursed her and she hadn’t just thrown her boot at me. Nope, non-related people just wouldn’t tolerate such behavior.

It’s been years since my dad has seen some of his family and decades since he’s seen others, but because they are family, everyone just picks up where they left off. I like to think that family gives us an identity and lets us belong to something. Our roots are tied to theirs. Even when we don’t like our family, we still love them. Unless you had a genuinely awful family. In that case, I’m sorry for your loss.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My favorite in-laws

We had a lovely time with Sam's parents for the past few days. It was so fun showing them the in's and out's of our new life. And they brought us kringle (a heavenly Danish pastry)!

Sam's family is definitely what we miss most about Colorado. But, as they say, you can't have the enchiladas without making a huge mess of your whole kitchen and cutting yourself on the lid in the process of opening the enchilada sauce can. Or is it that you can't have the whole enchilada without getting that pukey full feeling afterward?

Our decision to venture out has come at a price, but we're hoping it's a good investment.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who would have guessed?

OMG! My life has order! Without me realizing it, a routine has slowly been seeping into my life.

I wanted some kind of schedule and rhythm from the moment we arrived in Ohio, but it seemed impossible. Too many people to take into account, too many unknowns in each day, and a lack of knowing what I really wanted to get out of each day all contributed to a general feeling of madness. But last night I was thinking back over the day, and then the week, and then the month…and suddenly I saw it. Shape and form and beauty! What happiness!

In other good news, I finished the GRE with a score I'm happy about and Sam's parents are coming to visit tomorrow. Life is just cruising along.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The best things I've found in far

The amazing variety of colors and shapes of the fall leaves. Brilliant!

Plus, how cool is this?! A heart shaped leaf! That's better than a four-leaf clover.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fun things to do in Cleveland in the fall:

- Ride a tractor-pulled wagon to the orchards and pick apples

- Drive out to the country to see the historic covered bridges

- Pick up fresh food for dinner from the West Side Market

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I think our big move is starting to work…I think we’re becoming world wise! Well, maybe it has less to do with moving and more to do with simply trying new things, but either way we’re marking a lot of things off the life to-do list.

Last weekend Sam went sailboat racing with a friend from work. He’s going again this weekend as the yacht club wraps up the season. Last night we attended our first waltz lesson. I must say, Sam’s got moves! And, because I work the least in our household (i.e., not at all), I’ve been cooking like crazy. So far every meal I’ve made has contained an entrée and at least one side. That’s major progress for me. Oh, and on a walk today I passed a house with a pear tree, so now I know what those look like!

What can I say? We’ve practically conquered the world.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Unlocking the secrets of the GRE

I happen to be studying for the GRE these days so that down the road I'll be able to get into graduate school...and quite frankly I'm a little shocked. So far I've learned that you must possess an exquisitely rare vocabulary to have the best chance of winning the verbal portion. If this vocabulary is beyond your grasp, you may be able to scrape by if you happen to know nearly every suffix, prefix, and root used in the English language. In my case, I'm just going to try to impress the test machine with my short-term memorization powers.

Now what goodies does the math review have in store for me?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I think the reasons we humans exist are far beyond our capacity to comprehend. But I like to theorize on the subject anyway.

I’ve heard it said that humans are a result of God’s joy. This got me thinking - what if our existence was less of a conscious thought (though still not accidental) and more of a reaction? Like maybe when God laughs, the laugh takes the shape of a wisp of human being. Not like milk that comes shooting out of his nose when he hears a good joke, but maybe God-laughter is the essence of a soul. And maybe a yawn looks like the Red Wood Forrest. And, ok, maybe if things do come shooting out of God’s nose, they look like whales.

Hmmm. But who can really say for sure?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last minute fun

Just before Sam started his new job we took a quick trip to Wisconsin to visit his grandparents. Here’s a cute picture of them near the lighthouse.

We also visited the Cleveland Zoo while we had some free time. Hmm, hanging out with caged animals right before Sam started his new job. Is that foreshadowing? : )

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Joie de vivre

So, Sam has a job now. After a few wonderful months of time off, he’ll now be working with a big architecture firm right downtown. This isn’t like Colorado Springs’s downtown. Sam will be working on the 19th floor (not the highest floor of his building), which is several stories higher than the current tallest building in Colorado Springs. This also means parking is not included with employment, so he’ll be taking the train to work. That sounds so big-city to me. Commuting will definitely be a big change from the 2 ½ block walk he used to have. Just another change among many – I think we’re becoming “worldly.”

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I love the old story of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, I recommend at least reading Chapter 21. It offers beautiful insight into the important things in life (which come across more profoundly if you imagine the fox speaking with a French accent).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yahtzee as life

I know I’m learning something right now, I’m just not sure what it is yet. We’ve picked up all of the pieces of our lives, shaken them up, and flung them back down like dice to see what might happen. With all of this chaos and confusion there are bound to be lessons, but I think we’re a little too much in the mix to see what they are right now. I do have one lead, though – something to do with control-freakism – and it isn’t pretty.

Fortunately there are lots of fun distractions from personal growth. Last week we spent a day at the beach and we just got back from a trip to Washington DC. The weather has been my favorite (lots of rain and cloud cover) and I’m getting ready to enjoy a memorable lunch. Like the ever-cheery clothing brand says, life is good.

Here's a picture of one of our favorite sites in DC, the Jefferson Memorial on the Potomac River.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update - Good prevails again

I’m amazed! All of the library books that were stolen from our car a few months ago were returned! Apparently our criminal was a conscientious citizen after all. I wonder if I should be expecting a check in the mail to cover the cost of the window repair…

Monday, August 18, 2008

Update - Over the weekend

On Saturday we enjoyed some of the most amazing food I’ve ever tasted at the “Feast of Assumption” Italian festival. From what I can remember (I think I was experiencing a grease haze), we had huge meatballs, sausage, fried eggplant, tiramisu, cannoli, and a funnel-cake-ish thing called an elephant ear. The festival took place in Little Italy, one of the most beautiful suburbs of Cleveland. It’s pretty huge with as many as 100,000 people attending over four days.
And yesterday we tried out a church near the house for the first time. I loved the music and the sermon was pretty good. It’s a much smaller church than we went to in Colorado Springs, but I feel like we’re all about change right now, so I think we’ll give it a go for a while. I hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update - Sister

My sister Lauren was home from Chicago for a long weekend and we got to celebrate her birthday. I had an amazing time hanging out with the whole family. My favorite part was lying on the bed with Lauren just talking about life. Here’s a picture we took right before Laur had to leave.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Update - Busy days

You know you’re on vacation mode when taking a shower can be checked off your to-do list as though it was a major accomplishment of the day. In addition to looking for work and keeping clean, we’re also in hot pursuit of a used chest of drawers. We’ve already checked out a few consignment stores and we hit up a bunch of Thursday morning garage sales. We didn’t see much, but I definitely recommend garage sale hopping if you move and need to acquaint yourself with a new area. Brilliant!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update - Finding Work

I’m getting a little résuméd out. I’ve applied for a lot of positions, but I haven’t exactly been qualified for most of them. I was figuring it couldn’t hurt to just apply for everything, but I’m starting to get application fatigue. Maybe I’ll just stick to library positions that are a little more in line with what I actually know how to do. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fortunately I’m not in any huge hurry.

On a brighter note, Sam already has two interviews lined up! Sam’s not in much of a rush either, so he’s going to try to find a firm that shares more of his architectural philosophy. He’s quite an outside-of-the-box thinker, so I’ll let you know how that goes : )

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Update - A New Home

We made it to Ohio! It was a long, but totally successful trip. We ended up going with the 5’x8’ trailer and pulled it with our ’98 Chevy Lumina. This was the much cheaper, less certain option compared to renting a truck and pulling our car. So here are the trip stats...

Left Colorado Springs: Thursday, July 31, 5:00 AM
Arrived in Chicago and stayed with my sister: Friday, August 1, 3:00 PM
Arrived in Cleveland: Saturday, August 2 at 7:30 PM

Traveled: 1,500 miles
Spent: $1,120 on U-Haul rentals, gas, and one hotel stay
Ate: Thousands of calories worth of road-trip food
Maximum speed: 65 mph (downhill)
Hauled: 220 cubic feet of goods
Broke down: Never
Used air conditioning: Almost never
Sweated: Gallons

Like I said, very successful.

Here's a picture of the rig...

I'll keep you posted as we begin to settle in.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update - Saying Goodbye

Life has been a whirlwind lately! Last weekend we enjoyed a wonderful picnic with lots of Sam's family. Here's a picture of some of Sam's all time favorite men:

Then we enjoyed a strenuous hiking/camping trip in the Snowmass area. This was such a great way to see some of the best sites in Colorado. Here's what we woke up to each morning:

So now I guess that just leaves packing. Back to work...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update - Farewell

Here are some of the amazing people I've worked with for the last few years! I'll miss you all so much! Arrivederci!

Slightly blurry shot of Penrose Adult Services.

The fabulous Teen Team

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Update - The Departed

I can’t even believe tomorrow is my last day of work! It felt so far off for so long that I could almost imagine that we weren’t really leaving. But now there’s no denying the fact. I am most of the way through my “termination” paperwork. As a coworker told me, I will soon be “dead to the library.” I feel confident she meant that figuratively.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Miscellaneous - Glenwood Vacation

We had a great time in Glenwood Springs last weekend! Sam's family has a tradition of vacationing here every year - I hope we can keep it up!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Update - Countdown

All that stands between me and self-induced unemployment is 56 more hours of work! The three years I’ve worked for the library have gone by in a blink.

This has been an amazing job! I’ve been lucky enough to work in a cool industry in the perfect location with wonderful coworkers and a great boss to boot. I feel sort of nuts for leaving. I feel a little more nuts for trading Colorado for Ohio. But what I feel the most can be captured in this amazing excerpt from the book Driving Mr. Albert (thanks, Cindy, for the recommendation):

“Desire is a tricky thing. It can change a quick outing to the store for milk into a lifelong, shoeless quest through the Himalayas in search of enlightenment.”

So here Sam and I are – on the brink of the future that will take us God only knows where! Ok, I admit it, I'm finally getting really excited!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reverie – Kitchen confessions

If you want to really get to know a person, I think you should observe him or her in the kitchen. You simply can’t hide who you are when it comes to cookery.

Example 1: A detailed, perfectionistic, in-the-box thinking culinarian will not...

  • venture out from tried and true recipes
  • be okay with substituting ingredients
  • ever really be happy with the end result

Example 2: On the other hand, an artistic, resourceful, easygoing chef will...

  • never be able to recreate the exact same dish twice
  • be pleased with nearly any outcome
  • rock your socks off with amazing culinary delights

This is my theory, anyway, after observing the way Sam (Example 2) and I (Example 1) completely differ in cooking styles. I suggest you ask someone you know to create a meal for you to test this theory. If I’m dead wrong, well at least you won’t be hungry for a few more hours.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Update – Pack it in, pack it out

Right now we’re trying to figure out the best way to haul our stuff out to Ohio. This is a daunting task. The good news is that we currently live in a 400 square foot apartment. The bad news is that you can squeeze a surprisingly large amount of crap into 400 square feet and still live comfortably.

We’re right on the cusp of being able to pull a trailer or needing a truck. If we rent the truck and pull our car, we only get about 60 more cubic feet of packing space, but we increase our cost three fold! I’m so eager to get everything to fit in the trailer that I’m tempted to just throw everything out – clothes, dishes, bedding, everything! But, then I realize that we’d have to buy these things from scratch out in Ohio and then there goes that brilliant savings plan. So I guess I’ll just try to summon any packing powers I possess. When we unpack boxes in Ohio, it will look like Mary Poppins pulling a coffee table out of a small handbag. Well, let’s hope anyway.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update - Burgled

As some of you know, our car was broken into a few weeks ago. The back window was smashed out and the only thing that was stolen was my work bookbag. All I had in the bag, to the chagrin of the thief I’m sure, was library books - teen library books! I continue to hold out hope that the thief either has lots of kids who are now benefiting from improved literacy, or that when he finishes reading them all, including the appropriate non-fiction book titled Thieves, he will act responsibly and drop them in his closest bookdrop. The window is now fixed and my bag has been replaced, but the books are still, as of yet, unaccounted for.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reverie - Happy Father's Day!

It may seem obvious to most, but being a dad is a huge job! People say that your relationship with your father not only impacts in some way all of your subsequent relationships, but also your impression of God. That’s gigantic responsibility!

I have amazing fathers in my life…my dad, my father-in-law, and two grandfathers-in-law. Lots of people aren’t even lucky enough to have one great dad and I have four! Thanks to all of you for contributing to Sam’s and my (mostly) well-adjusted adulthoods. You guys rock!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reverie - Refocused

When you title your blog something as lofty as “If today had a point, it might be…” it becomes somewhat taxing to come up with subject matter that measures up. But, because trying to find meaning in each day is worthwhile, I won’t give up quite yet.

On the other hand, I do have one tidbit to share that is not life altering, but somewhat interesting. I was recently visiting family in Wisconsin and I was reminded that the Madison Zoo does not charge admission! I’m so used to paying exorbitant prices to view imprisoned animals – who would have guessed that some cities let you do that for free? But one of the most interesting things about visiting the Madison zoo is that they have buffalo and prairie dogs – two animals we take for granted in Colorado. I felt ripped off in a way, despite not having to pay admission.

But as prevalent as prairie dogs are in Colorado, I actually ended up taking a picture of one of the little guys. Maybe it’s a way to pay homage to the poor little critter I accidentally hit when I first got my driver’s license. I can’t even explain the horror of that day. So, little prairie dog, we acknowledge you!

Okay, better luck on deep insight next time around.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reverie - Quote

A great quote I came across today:

"I like a plastic bag and a bottle of water as much as the next self-involved me monkey, but it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to manufacture 100,000,000 grocery bags, and if I were capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic I'd say - well, who are we kidding? I'm not capable of doing even the most basic arithmetic - just know that we're in great danger of making Al Gore really, really mad." (From an article in O Magazine by Lisa Kogan)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Update - Calorie Counting

I've got a few pounds on my rear that are pretty stubborn. I try to do rear-specific workouts, but they resist my efforts. So I've summoned the aid of my diet to help combat the little pests.

Honestly, I really don't eat healthy at all. I don't choose great foods and I indulge way too much. So I figure by simply cutting out some of the less good-for-me calories and reducing the intake, I might make a little more progress. Simple, I know. And keeping track of my calories has actually been kind of fun (for the two whole days I've done it). It feels like maintaining a financial budget. You have this much to spend every day, so choose wisely.

We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Update - Wrapping up the jobs

Sam and I have given our current employers notice that we're leaving, so now it's like really official. We'll both be done working by July 11 so that we have time to see people and places before we venture out.

Then the plan is to leave for Ohio when our apartment lease is up at the end of July. That used to seem like such a long time away, but now it feels like the end is bearing down on us fast. I guess starting life over from scratch is like pulling off a band-aid...the faster the better. : )

Reverie - More "Why Ohio"

This ties into Reason #5 from the last post. After all of the good, concrete reasons for moving to Ohio, there's still this indescribable feeling that we should just do it.

I'm really not a movie junkie...despite the disproportionately large number of references to movies so far. That being said, one of the most profound insights came to me recently from the movie Evan Almighty. God (Morgan Freeman) explains how prayer works by saying:

"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prays for courage, does God give him courage or does he give him the opportunity to be courageous? If someone prayed for his family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?"

Great questions to ponder. And considering that Sam and I have been praying a lot about growing character and being used where God is already at work, it's quite possible that God is prompting us in this direction as a result. We'll see, I guess. ; )

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Update - Why Ohio?

Here are some of the reasons we are going to give Ohio a shot:

1. I have a lot of family that lives there. We probably never would have considered living in Ohio otherwise. But Sam has a ton of amazing family in Colorado, so family isn't the only reason we're making the move.

2. There are great library opportunities in Ohio - school wise and employment wise. The Cuyahoga County Library District, the district I would love to work for, is rated the best in the nation for the size population is serves. Plus they pay great!

3. There are potentially cool architectural opportunities in Ohio. Cleveland is in the process of majorly redeveloping and Sam could learn a lot about rejuvenating a city. There are also some great architectural schools, too.

4. We have lived in Colorado for most of our lives, so this will be a good chance to break out of our comfort zone and try something new. Anything challenging is character developing, so we might just become better people after all of this!

5. Finally, there's just this gut thing. Despite all reasoning for or against, we just feel led.


I have come to realize that some of you will be far less interested in the personal reflection component of this blog than in actual updates. So in an effort to preserve you from unwanted introspection, I am going to label each post with the word "Update" or "Reverie". I hope this helps ; )

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Small Themes

From time to time I notice a common thread weaving through all aspects of my life. I call this a "theme". A single concept begins to appear in my work, my relationships, the books I read...everywhere!

"Themes" make me think of the movie Stranger Than Fiction with Will Farrell. Will's life is the creation of a prolific author. As the author writes the story of his life (and imminent death), Will begins to hear her narration, as upsetting as it turns out to be.

I think a "theme" is our author giving us valuable insight. A lot of times I pray for revelation about things in my life - What should I do at this crossroad? What areas of my life need improvement? What the heck is the point of this crap situation? Then, sticking with the textile metaphor from above, I wait for the answers to be knit into the fabric of my life.

Unfortunately, we can be pretty dense - it may take many attempts to help us get the message. In the movie Bruce Almighty (I know...movies...what deep founts of insight), Jim Carey's character is driving down a road while he begs God for answers, for signs. He passes an ominous looking "Caution Ahead" sign. A truck full of signs saying "Wrong Way" and "Caution" and "Stop" pulls right out in front of him. Finally, Jim wrecks his car rather than heeding the numerous warnings. The point is that God is talking to us, but we usually aren't listening.

So now when I notice the same message slip into my life over and over in different ways, I try to decipher the "theme" which I assume is an answer to a question I have or have not yet asked.

Getting Started

I don't think today was an accident. Not one moment of it. Not even the part where I "accidentally" saved over that super important file and lost it forever into cyber oblivion.

I think each moment has meaning and significance. The hard part is trying to figure out what that meaning might be. So this blog will be a place to process all of the little daily details, that when all rolled together, we come to know as life. And because Sam and I are about to leave all of the friends and family and comfort we have come to know thus far, this will also be a place to update people on life after Colorado - as if such a thing exists ; )