Monday, May 23, 2011

Did you know you were going that fast?

Yes, I did know I was going that fast.  I just didn't realize the speed limit had changed - woops.  A few tears and a $73 ticket later, I drove off thankful that the kind state trooper waived the "construction zone" fee.

This was my first actual ticket - I'd been pulled over twice before, but only received warnings.  Those times, I think I was intentionally going 5 (or so) over, but this time was completely accidental, which is why it was so frustrating/disappointing.  Through this experience, however, I had a little self-revelation: Situations similar to this are particularly hard for me to deal with and get over, because I am unable to change or reconcile the course of events (I don't count paying the ticket as making it better).  Similar situations might include:
-instances in which other people make choices you've advised them against
-"insert foot in mouth" conversations
-those times when you're part of a project that isn't getting done and you're being included in the reprimanding for it not being completed, even though it's out of your control
-situations in which someone is mad at or upset with you for reasons unknown to you, and they won't talk it out

The difference between getting a ticket and the aforementioned situations is that most, if not all, of the "similar situations" can eventually be rectified, whereas the ticket stays on your record for a few years (even if it was an accident)...and there's nothing you can do about it (aside from taking STOP class, I guess).   

The next revelation I had was this: We don't ever have to feel like we fail in life (via sin), because Jesus died for us - He paid our ticket and wiped our record clean!  I know that to some of you this may seem like a cliché Christianese analogy, but it's truly what's on my heart.  Even though I was feeling disappointed in myself and frustrated that I was out some money, my mind and heart were calmed in the realization that this is a very minor "bump," and virtually the only time in life I would have reason to feel the way I did.

On that same note, while listening to a devotional CD in the car, I heard Beth Moore make the following point:  When we say "I love you!" to God, we may be implying that we don't fully believe He loves us back - it may not feel like He does sometimes.  To avoid falling into this frame of  mind, we should say to Him instead, "I love you, too!"  He initiated the love, after all, so it makes sense that this should be our response.

THANK YOU for the positive feedback some of you have given!  I really appreciate it.  : )  I'll take "anonymous" up on the suggestion in a later post.  In the meantime, I will tell you how to make the music notes:
Alt. + 13 = ♪
Alt. + 14 = ♫ 

In doing that, I just discovered other symbols you can make with the Alt. = # combinations!  Here are some more:
Alt. + 1 = ☺
Alt. + 2 = ☻
Alt. + 3 = ♥
Alt. + 4 = ♦
Alt. + 5 = ♣
Alt. + 6 = ♠
Alt. + 7 = •
Alt. + 8 = ◘
Alt. + 9 = ○
Alt. + 10 = ◙
Alt. + 11 = ♂
Alt. + 12 = ♀
Alt. + 15 = ☼
Alt. + 16 = ►
Alt. + 17 = 
Alt. + 18 = ↕
Alt. + 19 = ‼

Who knew?!  Pretty cool, in my opinion.

Ok - that's all for now.  Hope you all have a great rest of the week!


Favorites of the day:
attending and playing on a fun final jazz/Image concert at LCS (hooray for "Brass Machine"!!)
afternoon nap with Charlie
worship time at Bible study
good news lately for so many friends, but especially my BFFAE!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

♫ Summertime...

...and the livin' is easy. ♫

The livin' wasn't easy this week...which served as a reminder that summertime isn't here quite yet (as if the weather hadn't already made that clear).  It wasn't a bad week - just very busy.  

The bulk of my days were spent giving presentations about the student opportunities available through Arts Incorporated.  It's been interesting to see the different reactions of the various demographics found at the middle and high schools I've visited.  I'll be doing more of these this coming week - wohoo!

I've also been able to attend some graduation parties this week.  I love celebratory gatherings (weddings, graduations, showers, etc.).  They provide such a great opportunity to see lots of long-lost friends (and not-lost friends) and have good conversation...usually while eating good food.

Since you all are so good at following directions, I have enough material to write about for probably five more years...not!  I'm giving you another chance to give you input, ask questions, etc.  If I don't hear from you, I'll assume you don't really care what I write about and/or you aren't really reading what I've been writing.

I'll leave you with a short list of things I'm looking forward to this summer:
-a trip to Florida with some girlfriends!
-swimming outside/laying by the pool
-triannual family trip with my home church to Estes Park, CO
-sweet corn
-tomatoes (esp. cherry ones)

Have a good one,

Favorites of the day:
figuring out how to create these: ♫
fellowship with people from Bible study
feeling like a college student again when making these at midnight:

S'mores Bars
12 (5x2 1/2 ?inch) graham crackers
¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
3 cups miniature marshmallows
4 milk chocolate candy bars, broken into pieces
Heat oven to 350F. Line 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil leaving a 1-inch overhang on ends; spray foil with cooking spray. Place graham crackers onto foil so that sides touch.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Good stuff!!

I hardly ever go to movies in the theater anymore, because tickets are ridiculously priced…and they took away the student discount (yes, I still use my NWU ID for certain things).  Last night, however, a friend and I went to see “Something Borrowed.”  It’s an excellent film, and I’d highly recommend you see it at some point.  It had us “aww”-ing, laughing, and crying.  What had us in tears the most, though, was the elderly couple in front of us – as they got up to leave, the man helped his wife into her jacket and they walked out holding hands.  Precious.

Now, I have a favor to ask of you: If you are reading this right now, I’d like you to ask questions, give topic ideas or other suggestions, or just leave a note in the comment section.  Remember – you have the option of leaving your comment anonymously.  I'd really like to know what my audience wants to know.  : )  Thanks in advance for helping me out with this!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Favorites of the day:
watching my students perform on our studio’s recital – so proud of them!  : )
the hot tub at the Y
these “thanks for being my teacher” flowers from a student at the recital today:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Amendments, update, reflection, and congrats! : )

Amendments to a couple previous posts:
-The “best April Fool’s prank I’ve been a part of” didn’t happen this year.
-Add the following to my list of tasks at Arts Incorporated:
  • counting large amounts of cash
  • mixing various types of candy to put in the candy dish
  • visiting area middle and high schools to speak about various performing and volunteering opportunities 

In other news, I’m loving my YMCA membership!  I’ve made use the treadmills, ellipticals (or “lip pickles,” if you’re using talk-to-text), weight machines, pool, and have taken a variety of yoga-ish classes.  The Lincoln Y has four locations, three of which are very conveniently near my many job sites, and I can use all of them!  I have one thing left to do on my new member punch card, and then I get a free t-shirt!  : )  Speaking of working out, I saw a great quote on a friend’s Facebook: “I’m not sweating.  My fat cells are just crying.”

And now for a little reflection: Nearly one year ago, I graduated from college.  I can’t believe I’ve been in “the real real world” for a year – where did the time go?!  I know it all sounds very cliché, but I truly thought things would slow down after college.  As it turns out, the passing of time only accelerated, and I hear it doesn’t slow down from here on out.  So…guess I can’t say I haven’t been warned.  I've loved what life after college has held for me thus far, and am so excited to see what the future holds - bring it on!  : )

That’s all for now.  Hope you all survived the crazy hail/rain/lightning storm! 

Enjoy the weekend,

P.S.  Congrats to all you graduates!  : )

Favorites of the day:
rhubarb from my grandma (I made her famous Rhubarb Sauce last night…let me know if you’d like some!)
wearing skirts
the library

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That little 4-letter word:

Love... a many-splendored thing.
...lifts us up where we belong. a right.
...means never having to say you're sorry. patient. kind.
...makes the world go round. all that I can give to you.

The world, society, culture, the Bible, and people have defined "love" in countless ways, some of which I listed above.  It's a feeling, more than a feeling, an emotion, an action, an expression, and can even be turned into an adverb.  Love is all around us...and it is wonderful.  

In my opinion, though, the word "love" is overused in today's society.  You can love your husband, daughter, life, job, neighborhood, pool, pet, new outfit, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, favorite movie, or Prada backpack (bonus points for getting that reference).  I hear junior high girls exclaiming, "Love you!"s as they depart from their lockers to go to class.  I hear high schoolers and co-workers saying, "Oh my gosh - I love you!  Thank you so much!" after someone does them a favor.  Don't get me wrong - I don't doubt the people in these situations value each other.  I do doubt, however, that the "love" they're expressing is the same love they share with their family, spouses, etc.  I realize there are varying levels and different types of love (family, friendship, and romantic), but I still think the word loses some of its depth and power in the overuse.  It is for this reason that I try to use the word "love" carefully and am leery of those who seem to use it excessively.

I my own experience, love has been and is (in no particular order):  
what God calls us to show others.
the foundation of meaningful friendships, relationships, and marriages.
difficult and confusing, at times.
having another's best interests at heart.
the hardest thing to give up/sacrifice when following God's leading.

I could go on and on...and on, but we'll leave it at that, for now.  I don't think love can be completely defined using words.  Actions must accompany, and in many cases, surpass words in order to fully exemplify this concept.  It's interesting to examine what "love" means to us as a culture, a religion, as individuals, etc.  These are only pieces of my own self-examination.  Perhaps some of you can relate...or not?  

I feel completely cliché saying this, but I will: I love love.  I truly do, and today I celebrate it.  I celebrate the love my parents share (it's their 25th wedding anniversary), the love that's been shown to me, the love of those around me, the love I share with those closest to me, and the love I have yet to give.  Most of all, though, I celebrate the love of God, which surpasses all understanding (Ephesians 3:19).

May you both feel and show love today...and everyday.  


P.S.  In light of the recent events of our world, I'd like to remind you that we are called to love, forgive, and pray for our enemies.

Favorites of the day:
the 3-yr.-old I nanny for asking to make an "appointment" with me to go to the zoo this summer
not wearing a coat/jacket/sweatshirt outside...and being comfortable!
good-bye kisses (in this case, from 1 and 3-yr.-olds)