Monday, June 29, 2009

Unexpected Surprises

I found these two items today, and they both made me laugh. This first picture (which is in two parts because it was too big to fit on the scanner) is from high school. The music department, which consisted of a very small marching band and a choir, went to a Fiesta-Val in Williamsburg, Virginia, for some sort of contest. What I remember most is staying up all night and trying to scare our director. We may have also sang in a really old church with amazing acoustics. 
I temporarily misplaced a CD from an audio book I borrowed from the library. While I was searching all the nooks and crannies of my car today, I found this little gem. I thought about using it until I checked the expiration date!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Singled Out

I recently attended the wedding of some dear friends. The ceremony beautifully reflected the couple, and the reception was just the right mix of tradition and fresh ideas. One of the unique aspects of the reception was the food. The wedding was a morning event, and so the foods they chose to serve at the reception were breakfast items. (It was delicious!) On the other hand,  the traditional features of the reception included the bouquet toss. It was at that point I excused myself to the ladies' room.

I hate the bouquet toss.

I avoid it at all costs.

Even Especially when someone is calling my name, trying to get me to join in the "fun".

When I returned from hiding in using the  ladies' room, my friend Jake felt the need to explore my reasons for avoiding this very traditional part of weddings. I tried to excuse his question by saying I just don't care for the tradition. Unfortunately, he's known me for a long time and didn't buy my bogus answer. He wanted to know why I don't like to participate. Since I value transparency in others, I bit the bullet and told him my reason: it makes me feel singled out. When I was 20 being single was the rule, not the exception. It was a fun tradition back then. Now that I'm 27, it's not fun to stand among a (sometimes very small) group of teenagers and spinsters in front of friends and strangers alike just to hope I catch the bride's bouquet. And I also told him, I just don't like it. Even though he wasn't satisfied with my answer, he let the conversation go.

What I wish I could have verbalized to Jake is that my problem with the bouquet toss is more complicated than that. Ultimately I don't like the bouquet toss because it singles me. But I might be able to handle just being different. What really bothers me is that the bouquet toss singles me out for something I want desperately to change. I want to get married. I want to fall in love. I want to spend the rest of my life with my soul mate. And when I stand in front of a crowd of people for this particular societal tradition, I feel I'm advertising that at 27 I'm still single. But on top of that, I have to admit to myself that I'm still waiting for God to grant the greatest desire of my heart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prayer for Today

Jesus, you're in control.
You hold my future.
You know my heart.
I submit to You.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Counting My Blessings: Legacy of Commitment

This year both of my grandparents are celebrating 50 years of marriage. They've been together for a looooonnnnggg time. I haven't ever asked them, but I imagine there were times over the years they felt like throwing the towel in. Marriage isn't easy, but they stuck with it. The commitment they have to their spouses is an incredible example for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I hope some day I can follow in their footsteps.

Both of these pictures are a few years old, but I don't have either of their 50th wedding anniversary pictures at my house to scan. I'll have to update the pictures when I get my hands on the official pics.The top picture is of my paternal grandparents, Jim and Barb Smith. It was taken the Christmas before they moved to Missouri. The bottom picture is of my mom's parents, Don and Phyllis Myers. It was taken on Father's Day in 2005.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Holiday: Father's Day

The third Sunday in June is set aside as the day to honor fathers everywhere. Some people purchase gifts, others go out to eat, and still others have family traditions for this special day. We celebrate by spending time with extended family. For as long as I have been alive my mom's entire family has gathered at my grandparents' house for a cookout. That means my dad gets to celebrate with his in-laws every year. (Don't feel too badly for him. I think he probably golfs before we head over.)

Remember how I mentioned last month that I stink at giving gifts? My lucky dad didn't get a gift for Father's Day. I couldn't think of anything to get him after I bought his birthday present earlier this month.

How do you celebrate Father's Day? What traditions do you have or would you like to start?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I spent a long weekend in Missouri celebrating the 50th anniversary of my paternal grandparents. Both of my dad's brothers and their wives were there. Unfortunately only four of the seven grandchildren could be there, but I, selfishly, kind of liked it that way. I got to be the favorite older cousin of the weekend since I was the only older one there. My dad's family doesn't get together often (to be honest, we aren't that close), so it was a blessing for me to spend so much time with relatives I rarely see. I especially liked having my younger cousins all to myself. They are absolutely hilarious, a wee bit exasperating, and incredibly fun. Here is a picture of my grandparents and their offspring who were there. My brother and cousins Hillary and JJ, along with Hillary's husband Jake, weren't able to make it, so they are missing from our family photo.

**If you click on the picture, it will enlarge and you can see that my mom and I are looking at Ben. He inconspicuously found a way to accessorize during our photo shoot.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Someone asked me a pointed question today. It got me thinking. Now I'm asking myself this question all over again. If you think you might know, I encourage you to let me in on the secret.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Counting My Blessings: Dax

I love my dog. He makes me laugh, keeps me company, and loves me unconditionally. He's such a good dog. I love him so much! He knows tricks, learns my habits without being taught, and finds ways to tell me what he wants. Here are some pictures from our three years together. His adoption day was yesterday, June 8th. I love my dog!
The first day we met. 

Looking at a squirrel during our first week together.
Splish, Splash! Taking a bath.

Our most recent picture while on a walk in the park. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's Holiday: Best Friends Day

June 8th is always set aside as a day to honor and celebrate best friends. The term "best friend" should be reserved for the best of your friends. Someone who understands your fears, listens to you vent, loves you unconditionally. Someone who encourages you to pursue your dreams. Someone who is a better friend than all the rest. 

You may have one best friend, or if you are especially blessed, you may have a small number of best friends. No matter the number, take time today to celebrate your best friend. YOu could take them out for their favorite ice cream, create a scrapbook of your favorite moments together, or try to reconnect with a best friend with whom you've lost contact.

This is Diana, or Didi, as I like to call her. We met when I was a freshman and she was in 7th grade. We've been friends for at least 12 years. (Man, I feel old.) I don't know at what point she became my best friend, but I'm glad God put her in my life. She understands me better than I understand myself. (That may be due to her expertise in the field of psychology.) The first picture is the two of us circa 1998. I've always been the more boisterous one. The next two pictures are of the two of us when we had studio pictures taken for her birthday in 2001. It may have been a corny idea, but we had a blast! And here's the most recent picture of the two of us. It's from Spring Break when I was visiting her in Kentucky.

Have fun celebrating your best friend today!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Mother's Magic

I can't decide if this is embarrassing or not, but I'm throwing it out there anyway. My last post got me thinking about how my mom always puts together a little Valentine's Day present for me. I've never questioned her reasoning, I've just gladly accepted whatever little treasures she's chosen to give me. (As I type this, it occurs to me that she may do it because there's no one else to make the day special for me. That's depressing. I'll try not to dwell on it the rest of the day.) The magic of gifts from my mother is that I always love them. She has this seemingly unnatural ability to choose something that I will adore but would either never buy for myself or never thought about buying for myself. For instance, this year on Resurrection Sunday she gave me a set of plastic mixing bowls with handles. They are orange, electric blue, and bright green. They aren't anything special, but they are similar to a Tupperware "pancake" bowl she's had since before I was born. I was ecstatic to have a mixing bowl with a handle. And the funky colors were an added bonus. She also got me a kitchen tool for browning hamburger. I've wanted one for a while, but I'm sure I never told her. Maybe I can convince my mom to teach me her magic ways. Then I won't have to ask the internet for help coming up with a good Mother's Day present.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Favorite Author

 A couple of years ago my mom gave me the book Kissing Adrian for Valentine's Day. I had never heard of the author, Siri L. Mitchell, but the summary on the back didn't sound too bad and I trusted the publisher (Harvest House). I ended up reading the book in a couple of days. I would have finished it the night I started it, but this annoying thing called a job got in the way. It ended up being a great book to read around Valentine's Day. I laughed, I cried, I comiserated, I laughed some more. The downside? The book ended and I wanted my own Adrian to kiss. I shared the book with my friend Jen, and then passed it along to some youth group girls--where I think the book is still making the rounds.

Fast forward a couple of years to last week. My friend Jen and I were taking a trip to the library, and I saw Kissing Adrian in her stack of books to return. She told me she's checked it out from the library several times since she first borrowed it from me. She then went on to tell me about other books she's read by Siri Mitchell. I felt like such a dunce. Why did it never occur to me to see if the woman had written other books? I made sure I stopped by the M section of adult fiction at the library before leaving. My library only had two books authored by Siri, so I grabbed the longest one. (I would have taken both of them, but my arms were already full of audiobooks. I didn't want to look greedy.) As a side note, I went to Library Awesome with Jen later this week and found they have all the rest of Siri's books. I can't wait to make another trip to the library on Monday!

Last night I finished Chateau of Echoes. It was...amazing. Siri wove together the stories of a 15th century child bride and a 21st century widow set in Brittany, France. It's a magnificient story of finding oneself. The characters are complex and realistic. The book is amazing, and Siri Mitchell is officially my new favorite author!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Your Thoughts Please

What does it say about our society when people actually pay money for things like water, dirt, and rocks?

Monday, June 1, 2009

On Being an Adult

Why? Oh, why did I ever think being an adult was going to be so wonderful? Today is the fifth day of summer vacation, and I have not been able to sleep past 8:30! That's so ridiculous. I don't want to sleep all day, but it would be nice to sleep until mid-morning.

What they should tell you as a kid is that adults have bills to pay, rarely live in the same neighborhood as their best friends, and worst of all can't sleep past 8 am even when they want to!