Wednesday, December 10, 2008

***I posted this, then I removed it. Now I'm going to put it back up. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share these thoughts with the whole blogger world, but here you go.***

"What if marriage were meant to make us holy instead of happy?"
-tag line from Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Good thought to ponder (found toward the end of this blog entry). I think I'm like any other girl in the world, I wonder about the relationship/person that will one day (hopefully) become my husband. I've had so many friends date, get engaged, get married (now starting to have babies :) ). I've run the roller coaster of emotions that most girls in college in their early 20's probably face - hope, desire, jealousy, fear, trust, frustration, impatience, hope.

My perception of marriage has evolved in the last decade. In high school, I definitely had the fairy-tale image - Prince Charming, sweeping me off my feet, walking barefoot in the hills of the mountains with my princess crown and flowing gown....okay, not seriously, but it was definitely floating-on-the-clouds mentality. Broken hearts, broken relationships, seeing other relationships grow - these taught me a lot about the concept of marriage. As did the Bible :) Marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ's relationship to the Church. And it takes work. A lot of work.

I had one relationship in college that I honestly thought would end up in marriage. Actually, I think I tried to drag it in that direction :) - [or maybe that should be a :( ???] I watched family, roommates, & friends date, get engaged, get married. I think this is when I started to feel jealous - left out, forgotten. Something. I started to think, "Lord, when is it going to be my turn?" I was starting my senior year of college, getting ready to graduate, and honestly, I think I was afraid to leave college 'single'. I don't mean to say this in any negative way towards my amazing friends - but a lot of them were leaving college married. I got scared. I began to have this bipolar relationship with God. I knew that he was in control, nothing happens outside of his timing. But I also didn't trust him/that, didn't trust the things I knew & believed. I questioned Him, I questioned the relationship he'd given me with M*. I think God wanted me to use that relationship to learn from, which I did - but I was unwilling to let go of what I thought I wanted from it, where I wanted it to end up. I struggled with sin - pride, jealousy, purity, expecting M* to sort of take the place of God in several aspects. I crippled M* with the things God was wanting me to come to Him with.

Love is an interesting thing. I honestly don't think I get it. Because God is love. But what does that mean? How do you know if/when you "love" someone? I thought I loved M*, and I think I did. I cared for him, for his heart, for the direction of his life. But what happens when love becomes selfish? It's dangerous, harmful, no longer "love". How do you "love" someone, let them go from your life, and learn to love again? Aaah.

But the thing is. I want to. God will allow me to. He will teach me how, teach me when, teach me who. He is molding and shaping my heart and without M* I wouldn't have learned certain conflict resolution skills, I wouldn't know that love is a choice and not always a feeling. I wouldn't understand grace and forgiveness as I do now (and am still learning!). I wouldn't be who I am now - the good and the bad :) Granted there's baggage, there's still pieces of brokenness God is mending, but there is hope. There is forgiveness. There is love.

Kate's Quotes of the Day (so far, and it's only 10:55 am)

***Updated - New Kate quotes:

"When I get sassy I use pet names, dear."

"ooooooh go shake a snowglobe."

"I don't doubt your basic math skills.
I doubt your ability to tell time.
or maybe I'm wrong...
just how many minutes are between 4:51 and 5:00 again??
seven or so right??
my snowman has other skills.
and would make your snowman cry in face to face combat.
hows that lasor pointer treating ya???
shot yourself in the eye lately?
just wondering...."

***End of update***

"I was craving McDonald's french fries and a vanilla shake last night. I wanted them more than I wanted air."

"I didn't get my vanilla shake and fries because my house was on fire."

"Do you know what it's like to live in my brain? It's extremely stressful."

Monday, December 08, 2008

Here are my random facts o' the day....

1. As I drove to work this morning, I slowed down for a rabbit/bunny crossing the street, when all of a sudden it stops its forward motion and literally begins chasing its a a dog. I thought it was going crazy. It may have been. Crazy Rabbit....literally :)

2. I should not be allowed to bake stuff. Seriously. Of my recent attempts (Snickerdoodles-uber failure, but still had a decent taste, not sure how; and Sugar cookies) I have never felt more frustration in the kitchen. I remember joys of baking with Mom as a child. Not so much fun as the adult. But I'm confident the cookies will taste lovely, they were just not a treat to whip up.

3. I got to leave work 2 hours early today! Woo-woo for VTO. Got the cookies done, going to work out, maybe watch Munich since it's due at the library on Wednesday, and get some sleep early since the snow's a-coming. Pray for my drive to work tomorrow!!

4. I feel like a teenager lately. Weird. Maybe it's because I've been spending more time with them this semester! But I love it, I love the girls (and guys) I've been getting to know at youth group. I love the leaders I work with. I love the adults who are teaching me and challenging me. I love this "semester", if you will (as I'm not really in school anymore - but it's a good way to measure time).

5. And last but not least. Looking forward to some great events - Christmas holidays with my family & friends (carolling, gifts, Christmas Eve service, chili, treats, laughter, tears), Impact in January, hopefully Nashville in March, possibly South Dakota in July. Throw in an Office party, some game nights, youth group events, and a few road trips. Should make for a fun start to 2009.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I just finished watching End of the Spear, and am finding myself in tears.

This has been an emotional roller coaster of a Thanksgiving. This morning I read a post on Angie Smith's blog, which has actually since been removed, but I completed her original challenge to write down one thing that I am thankful for-but something that I don't necessarily feel thankful for. I completed this challenge in my journal and for the first time in 2 years, felt that I could completely and honestly speak to God the real feelings I was feeling. I've masked my heart, barricaded it inside walls I thought was protecting me from the hurts and brokenness I felt through that breakup and loss. It was a freeing moment, a realization that God has truly knit me from before time, has laid out my days before me, has given me purpose and direction. He will use that experience and period in my life for His glory and probably in ways I cannot even fathom at this moment. Again, I am brought to tears as I think about the way God has directed my steps since I came to know Him in 1997. There have been many experiences along the way, but my senior year in college stands out the most - it was when I was seeking God, finding Him, but for some reason I simply did not believe I could trust Him with my life. So I rebelled. I blatantly stood in God's presence - was given the choice of obedience or sin. And I chose sin. On several specific occasions. I thought I could guide my life on my own, in the direction I wanted to take it. Like the prodigal son, God let me go off on my own. But when all that I was seeking and putting my heart and time into was lost, God was there calling me home. But even though I tried to return, I was still trying to hide my shame and rebellion, so I didn't fully return to God. I feel like the events of the last few weeks have been a turning point - a shedding of past shame, guilt, fear to reveal that I have a heart created by God to love and serve Him. He has given me gifts, talents, passions, desires that I should not be afraid of. I know God is calling me to rediscover who I am - who He has created me to be. And I know that my past experiences, choices, & hurts will be redeemed to bring God glory. They are a part of my past - a part of how God has been at work in my life. And I pray He will use them in ways I can't even imagine.

And I really miss my Grandpa this Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my family - that most of us could spend it together (except my cousin in Florida). This is our first Thanksgiving without my grandpa and it was hard. His absence was felt, once I looked up & saw the back of Dave's head and for a fleeting instant, thought it was Grandpa. But in the midst of his absence, there were tears, laughter, games played, new friendship with Kelli & Marcus's friend Siva (from Malaysia who joined our family Thanksgiving), and great conversations.

That brings me to my cousin Kalen, who for some reason I have just lost connection with. I was thinking about her today, how she and I used to be pen pals when she was in South Carolina as we were growing up. She visited in 6th grade and we had some stupid argument and it seems that since then there has just been this unspoken rift between us. It's like we just never addressed what happened and ever since, we just drifted apart. I am praying for God to crumble my stupid pride or fear and open an opportunity to mend that relationship. I have spent too much time being afraid of what people think and I want God to move in this brokenness I feel over this strained relationship. God, give me faith and humility to confess my wrongs, my pride for not addressing it sooner, and forgiveness for a decade of silence.

And then that brings me to this movie. I remember when M & I were struggling in our relationship, his bible study leader took him to see this movie, and afterward he recommended I see it sometime. I was upset he went because we had talked about seeing it together and he went w/out me. But it's always weird (Not really :) ) when God lets things happen in his own time - that He chose tonight for me to watch it. I was broken by the fact that this young boy, whose father was killed at the hand of a Waorani warrior was able to forgive that man, and eventually move to live with him. His own children see this former warrior like their own grandfather - the man who killed their actual grandfather. The crazy thing is that it's the story of the group of missionary men killed including Jim Elliot. In my 2004 cultural anthropology class, we actually read an ethnography on this people group. A people group known for their cycle of avenge-killing. It was the wives and children of the murdered missionaries who made the first successful contact with this people group. The wives of the murdered missionaries. I can't imagine losing a husband and then going to live and share Christ to his murderer. But God calls us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek. How well do I do that? But these are God's people, God's creation. Who am I to think one person is "better" or more "worthy" to God? Who am I to judge who is worthy of salvation? Because the truth is, none of us are. But God has created each of us, given each a purpose. And I want to be available to encourage, to spur on, to love. And I need more of God to do so.

God broke a lot of walls down in my heart today. Now I'm just trying to figure out what the next step is while I'm standing here in the rubble :)

Lord, thank you for working in all circumstances, and thank you even more for all circumstances. Even the hard ones we'd like to erase or do differently. Help me to see that even the worst times are not for nothing. Jesus, I pray for the hurting and lost tonight, let them find rest in Jesus and hope in Your name. Thank you for the many tears that were shed today :) And please show your love and peace to those who are reading my post today. It's been a long time since I was this honest and transparent, so I pray for graciousness to me as I'm working to tear down these false walls of protection to let people into my life again!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Moment of Distraction

If I were 7 again I would....have finished playing Little League in T-shirts at the end of the summer and loving it.

If there were an extra hour in the day...I would work out more - running, lifting weights, abs, Tae Bo, take a dance or kickboxing class.

My junk food indulgence of choice is...Mountain Dew/Code Red and anything chocolate.

The color yellow makes me think of...errors that still need work on our IVR testing spreadsheets (yay for work!)

The most used item in my kitchen is...the garbage can :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things I'm thankful for today...

1. Free McDonalds.

2. Reunionizing w/ great friends - spending even a short time w/ Meller & Andrea was saturating and encouraging and I love being able to join in their lives through prayer.

3. Friends willing to spend 5 hours in the car with me to go to IC for 4 hours :) Not only for their company and conversation, but for their accountability. I haven't been to IC since April and have never gone back without resorting to past choices that I'm trying to leave in the past. It was a good day, temptations were averted (well, old temptations were averted, because this time they weren't even temptations!). So, I'm very thankful for Emily & Chantalle for spending the day with me, and for Jess joining us for dinner.

4. Anticipating a roommate reunion - AO left a message on Facebook for New Year's plans and I'm eagerly awaiting more details. I'll hopefully get to see everyone in January for Meller's going away party at least.

5. Family birthday dinners. We had a good night of conversation, story telling, and laughter when we celebrated Grandma B's birthday at Carlos o'Kelly's. Follow that up w/ a night of bowling and hair dying and you've got yourself a fun Saturday night.

6. Chicago trip!! We leave in 4 days for Chicago - it will be my first time visiting. I've gone to the 'burbs to visit Six Flags and to the airport, but never downtown Chicago. Can't wait. It will probably be freezing, but oh well!

7. My job. It's been such a frustrating year in so many ways, and I'm trying not to let things get to my head - which can be hard when you do a good job and are complimented often; but to know that I am a valued and appreciated worker is such a compliment and I only hope that it can be attributed to my desire to do all things well and for the glory of God. I want my coworkers to see that there is something different about me and that it isn't me but it's God in me. I'm being blessed by new & growing friendships and will have an opportunity to spend time w/ the ladies next Wednesday when we get out early for the holidays. We're having a holiday cookie party after work at Boston's so it will be a chance to see people outside of the office. Pray for truth to be on my tongue through all conversations!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lures & Jigs

Homestarrunner rocks my socks off.

I don't know how many years ago it was posted, but I remember watching it for the first time my freshman year of college in 2002 - but it's still my favorite. And we quote it at work all the time.

"Come on and get in the boat, fish! Come on and get in the boat, fish-fish!"
"Yes I'm awesome!!"

Click here to check it out.

And this one made my mom laugh out loud.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


*To add an additional 'random' - can't forget that we live in a state that is 75+ degrees on Tuesday/Wednesday to turn to snow and highs of only 39 by Friday....ridiculous. I'm praying for a calm, light winter - bring on the cold, praying for less precipitation! First time I'll have to commute, not sure what to expect - pray for my safety and that of the other drivers on the road!!

Over the last few days random things have been brought to mind or have happened and I thought I'd share some of them here.

-Randomly remembered the road trip I took with Mike H & David D in 2003 to visit Jeff & Lisa T in Kansas City for the 4th of July. It was the first time I really did something spontaneous without telling anyone....and I got a lecture from Mom for taking a 14-year old out of the state without his parent's approval - I could have been arrested, according to her :) Great memory, we were only there for 18 hours before we had to come back home!

-I just got promoted today!! These were the comments from my supervisor:
"L consistently meets & exceeds the performance, adherence and attendance guidelines set within M*. She is a quick learner and eager to excel in her job. L displays excellent customer service skills as well as portrays a professional tone and solid product knowledge, when speaking with the insureds. She has received numerous compliments and awards for her outstanding customer service. Some of which are: 'Conservation - The Most Saves' for July and September 2008; '97% & Above for Adherence', 'Obtaining the Insured's Phone Number on Every Call', & 'Overall MVP for Meeting Benchmarks' for the motivational baseball game, played within the call center, to improve overall stats. She portrays a positive attitude and embraces change as growth opportunity. L is very well deserving of this promotion and a great asset to M*."

To any of you who have heard about this year - it's been challenging! (A stressful 3 month project that finally ended after 10 months!!) So thank you B* & M* for this promotion , it couldn't have come at a better time. I feel honored, recognized for the hard work that I have put in, and validated for my job performance. I am very humbled and grateful to be recognized in this way.

-I noticed I still have teeth marks on one of my shoes from a random friend who jokingly said they'd eat my shoe, put it in their mouth, and then bit it. That was almost a year ago.

-I enjoy inside jokes. Like divots. And flying ponies. Writing like the unibomber. Mmmbop.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted...

I was ballot number 661 at my precinct. I did my duty after a somewhat last minute decision, I registered day-of and voted. There's still time! Polls are open until 9:00pm.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bebo Norman's Britney

"Suddenly, I saw her story not as something to mock, but as a real-life tragedy that is desperate for redemption and hope—a story not so different from any of our stories. Take away all the lights and cameras, and it’s really just a narrative of a girl so clearly in need of love, so clearly in need of the redeeming love of our God."

Read about the reason behind the song here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been Tagged! (by Kelli)

1. I hate being dirty. As a child, that's one of the great enjoyments - playing in the dirt, rolling in the grass getting grass stains, playing in the sandbox, sliding into second base during softball. But as an adult, I hate to sit on the ground, I hate getting stains/dirt on my clothes (or hands, face, etc.) but I think it's more because I don't do laundry all that often! I am a re-wearer, of most things. I tend to have one or 2 pair of jeans that I wear all the time, and will rewear until it's time to do laundry - which is usually every 2-3 weeks. For this reason, if I get "dirty", everyone will KNOW I'm re-wearing that same pair of jeans, that same sweatshirt, etc. And that's supposed to be my little secret. But when I do just take a moment, give into inhibitions, it's usually freeing and a lot of fun - example from this summer: the mud fight on the river during the high school tubing trip. I was ticked at first from all the mud splattering on my shorts & tank top, until Alycia came up from behind and smeared mud down the side of my face! After that, I gave in and it was all-out war with all the students - and it was a lot of fun - and the mud washed out of my clothes! (I didn't rewear this time ;) )

2. These are supposed to be random, and most people know this - but I still think it's a little weird. I am increasingly afraid of spiders and bugs w/ multiple long legs. And by afraid and increasingly, I mean that when I was in high school living in my basement bedroom, I'd kill spiders all the time - on my floors, on the walls, in the corners. But after a while, an aversion built up, I got sick of killing them, and moved back upstairs. Last year, I had an encounter in my bathtub while cleaning - met my match, so to speak :) I was home alone, no dad or brother-in-law to kill the massive spider (with thick, brown, hairy legs) on the curved ledge of my bathtub, and literally started to hyperventilate. I was crying, shaking, on the verge of a panic attack, and eventually resorted to torching the poor spider (not poor!) with a lighter! Since then, anytime I encounter a creature, my heart rate kicks into double time, I get really warm, and have to motivate/pep talk myself into being able to kill it. (I did resort to calling my dad over to my apartment once because I just couldn't do it! But since then, I've mustered up the courage!)

3. I'm a quality time person. I like being with people, doing things together. But I realized I'm really bad at asking good questions. I've heard it's a skill, and I don't think it's one I have. Small talk (for the purpose of small talk) makes me really uncomfortable. I hate "mingling" among a large crowd. I think that's why I'm more comfortable at home, or at a friend's house, rather than going out somewhere public. I don't like the social expectation that you should stop to talk to someone you know but aren't really friends with, because it's the "polite" thing to do. I think if I was better at asking questions, I might not dislike it as much.

4. I realized that I don't like sports. I haven't gone to a football game until last night since 2003 and I realized why - I get bored/distracted too easily. (With the exception of the Olympics! I set aside whatever else is going on for those 2 weeks and watch diligently!) But I LOVE games - card games, board games, any game that gets a group of people together and interacting. I just love being with people. And I'm uber-competitive (and a sore loser!). That's why Kelli & Marcus won't play Risk with me ever again....I'm hoping someday they'll give me another chance, I'm trying to be a more graceful loser!

5. I over-analyze. Everything and anything. I think it stems from my issue with control - I want to be prepared in all things, have an answer for all questions, be prepared for any situation. In work, in relationships, in friendships, in life decisions. It's something I struggle with constantly - I have a hard time making my own decisions for this reason.

6. I love me an ice cold Mountain Dew or Code Red. I go through phases where I try to give up pop, or try to eat healthier. But I'm a junk food junkie. I don't think I could realistically ever give up chocolate or pop completely. I've tried. I've done it for short periods of time. But I always come back. [Random side note - I've heard more radio & tv ads this year encouraging "healthy alternatives" to Halloween candy - pencils, small gifts/toys (like tiny containers of Play-doh)! I know it's bad to have so many sweets, but isn't that the point of Trick-or-Treating??]

7. I have 2 tattoos. I like to smoke a cigar once a year or so. I like fruity alcoholic drinks. Sometimes a swear word crosses my lips (usually only when confronted w/ a spider/centipede, pitching in softball, trying to play golf, or when I get suddenly scared or startled). I used to think these things were bad, sinful even. But through study, grace, and the Word, I've learned that God looks to the heart of a man - are these things idols in our life? Do we indulge in them, put them above our love for God? Are we taking part in these things out of a rebellious spirit or out of the freedom given in this life to enjoy these things? I'm thankful for lessons I've learned, for grace extended, and for freedom to love God and enjoy the things He's given us here on earth.

Now I'm tagging:




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"You have no idea what you would miss if you let this pass you by..."

I have been following Angie's blog Bring the Rain for some time now, she is an amazing writer, has a way of saying things in such a clear, accurate fashion. Sometimes she says things I think/feel but don't have the words for. One such example is her post from yesterday, titled Ransomed. Please read the whole post, God is a-mazing.

Thanks God for speaking through the seemingly random things in life. But I know you are in all things, and with all things, so I shouldn't really be surprised :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How ironic... I'm browsing "The Office" information online in preparation for a future Office party, a call comes in.....and the caller's name is Michael Scott. No joke. It took all I had not to laugh or comment to the caller :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

I stand corrected...

Thanks little J for pointing out it is in fact McDreamy and Meredith, not McSteamy. My bad, I forget they all have one of those names :)

And for the record - I CANNOT afford all the "time" that my Thursday tv viewing would require. So, it's time to let go. On the future schedule - Survivor and The Office. And if Lost comes back on Thursday, I'll add that too....maybe :) That's a show more fun to watch online, without all the long commercial interruptions. So we'll see.

Thanks for catching my mistake!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An eventful night planned...

So this is going to crap on my post from yesterday, but I am SUPER PUMPED FOR PREMIERE THURSDAY!!!

On tonight's lineup:

7:00 p.m. - Survivor: Gabon - rumored to be "the most extreme and dangerous season yet". We'll see Probst, we'll see (p.s. congrats to Probst on the Emmy win for hosting Survivor).

8:00 p.m. - Grey's Anatomy (2 hour premier!)

I haven't watched Grey's from the beginning. I'm more of an on-again, off-again viewer. But I did watch the finale, it's rumored this season Izzie will have another love story, and it's always ominous when a main character tells another in last season's finale, "Don't go anywhere, wait for me. I'll be right back." Oh McSteamy, this cannot be a good sign for you and Meredith Grey.

10:00 p.m - The Office (which I will be watching on tape, no dvr for me!) I am fearful something bad will happen to Pam & Jim - they were so close to becoming engaged, but Pam had plans to go to art school for 3 months! Will they or won't they get engaged?!?!?

Woo-woo for a night of television! Thursdays are so great, but so time-consuming!! All my favorite shows in one night!

And one final shout-out for a premier to come:
The return of LOST - February 2009!!

If I were a Simpson....

Not the most direct resemblance, but still fun.

What type of weather am I?

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous

People will stop and watch you when you appear

Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Check it out!


I'm a blog jumper.

I have gotten into the habit of reading comments on other people's blogs that I read throughout the day and it's been really fun. I have come across some really amazing women (and men!) and writing that has encouraged and challenged me. And at times others have been able to put into words the very things I think &/or feel, but just don't have the eloquence to put into words. One such example is this post : regarding what we watch on tv and what the 'next generation' is growing up with. It's something that has come to the forefront of my mind lately, mostly because I've always had a struggle w/ the tv - I love it too much! And I have started to get involved with college and high school students and really started to question what it is that shapes us, molds us, affects how we live and view our life and others around us. This post pretty much echoes my thoughts and feelings, and some of my frustrations.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Season 5 of The Office is just around the corner....

....and to celebrate, I took The Office Personality Quiz and found I have a split personality.

I'm like Jan and Pam. An interesting, yet fairly accurate portrayal....I think.

Take it here: The Office TV Show Series on NBC: Find Video Webisodes Online � NBC Official Site

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I just about passed out when I watched this. Aside from the intro, my second favorite part comes in around the 1:53 time, so wait for it....wait for it...

Friday, August 22, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympic Highlights-According to Me

As many of you probably have also done, I spent the last 2 weeks watching the Beijing Olympics, enjoying every victory, feeling every fall or loss, right along with the athletes participating. Now I don't know Shawn Johnson or Lolo Jones, but I've felt a unique Iowa connection with these ladies, probably along with everyone else in this state, so below are pictures I borrowed from various online sources regarding the highlights of 'my' Beijing Olympic experience - enjoy!


I was in D.C. for the relay that Phelp's should have lost - when Jason Lezak came back in the last 25 meters to help bring the 2nd gold for Phelps. Christie and I were on our feet, fists in the air, screaming at the 10:45pm...with her roommates trying to sleep. Donna came out, she thought we'd saw a mouse or something because we were freaking out so much....but not as much as Michael :)

Can't find a picture of the race Phelps won by 1/100th of a second - but it was stinkin' amazing. Watching it in slow motion was ridiculous, the 2nd place swimmer was inches away from the wall when Phelps took another stroke to out-touch him. Amazing....was also off the couch and on my feet on that one.


I was at Iowa when Nancilea (Underwood) Foster was part of our 24/7 leadership team. I had heard she was going back to Texas to train for the Beijing Olympics, but I really thought I heard she made it as an alternate. Come to find out, I was wrong. She dove on the 3meter springboard and it was just crazy to think someone I knew and spent some time with at our leadership retreat (we weren't super friends, just had a few conversations with her) was there competing at the Olympics. Fun stuff.

Women's Gymnastics

Alicia Sacramone had a rough time in the team competition - falling off the beam, stepping out of bounds on floor.

Now, this isn't probably very nice - but these are 'highlights' of my Olympics 2008 experience - and watching gymnastics with friends one night, someone made the observation that Nastia Liukin always looks pissed or unhappy unless she's winning something....there is a little truth to that:

(Nastia got gypped out of a gold on bars due to a tie breaker)Out of this (and probably not the first time) - her nickname was born: 'Nasty-(a) Lookin'. I'm truly sorry Nastia, I'm still a fan and supporter, but I have to admit - it made me laugh. And now when I say "Nastia", I can't help but say it with an unnecessary accent.

Nastia, all smiles on the podium:And after 3 silvers, Shawn gets gold on beam.Controversy over the Chinese girls - are they 16? Their passports say so, but records turned up confirming at least 1 of the 3 girls in question is only 14. Could that mean the USA's silver could turn to gold? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

I was definitely one of those people who stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the medal rounds and finals of most of the events - sleep can be overrated (except when you're trying to stay awake while driving to work only 6 hours later!!)

Men's Gymnastics

I'm not one to be overly patriotic, but when it came to the Olympics, it was another story. I was not one to root for the Chinese - all that hype about having to win more medals - except when it came to the rings, I just couldn't help myself. That's my favorite apparatus (sweet word :) ) for the men - the Chinese are just awesome.

Chen Yibing won gold on rings - this parallel move is my favorite - ridiculous how much strength and control they must have! Their shoulders are crazy!!

Yeng Wei - just a cutie-pa-tootie :) I think I may have a small crush:

Track & Field

I was super rooting for Des Moines' Lolo Jones - she rocked out the semifinals, but as everyone knows by now, she clipped the 9th hurdle in the finals and got 7th place. It was heartbreaking to watch her reaction. She remained humble during her interview afterward, but then the camera showed her off crying by herself. It made me sad and frustrated and I wished the media would've just let her have that moment alone off camera.

Usain Bolt also dominated his events - but I couldn't get over how cocky he acted - slowing down, looking around, pounding his chest - all before he even crossed the finish line. What a punk. But he can still run fast.

Sand Volleyball

Two-time Olympic Gold medalists - this was an awesome match to watch (I couldn't believe how tall the Chinese players were). The men's gold medal match was a nail-biter - went to 3 sets, but Dalhausser dominated the 3rd game with his blocks.

Last, but not least....the Olympic Mascots:

When I was in Beijing in January 2005, we saw posters for these mascots EVERYWHERE to promote the 2008 Olympics. I literally did not see the mascots shown on tv until Tuesday, week 2 - there was a clip about Chinese kites and on one of the kites were the images of these mascots:

Either I didn't pay attention earlier in the week or they just weren't as an important icon as I thought they would be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm a sucker for the Olympics.

Even though I was exhausted, I stayed up until 12:15 to watch the All-around finals and medal ceremony.

And I'm not too proud to admit I got teary-eyed watching the last floor routines by Shawn and Nastia. It's such a great feat to put so much heart and soul and time into your passion. Love, love, love watching the Olympics. Can't wait to see if Phelps breaks the record for most golds in one Olympics!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I kid you not...

Literally not 10 minutes after I posted about the bug last night, I go to my room to get ready for bed. I'm picking stuff up off the floor and as I move my little tool kit tote bag, another of the ugly centipede bugs goes scurrying across my carpet and behind my dresser. Again, I start to hyperventilate. But the Lord brought more calmness. I go to the kitchen, grab the bug spray I have, the flashlight, and put on my flipflops.

I shine the light behind my dresser, see the huge ugly guy, and spray him with the bug spray, he comes scurrying back out from the dresser, I scream a little bit, he's a fast sucker. Then I stomp on him w/ my left flipflop - flashlight and bug spray bottle still in hand. I'm applying pressure, praying for the fear to subside, pressing my foot harder and harder, afraid to pick it up. After a few minutes, my heart rate lessens, I move my shoe - wipe some guts and legs off the bottom and scoop up the squished nastiness and flush him down the toilet.

I am officially creeped out. I HATE bugs. Lord, help my irrational fear subside - no creature can rule over me nor hurt me. Help me have patience, boldness and fearlessness.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What would I do without my dad?

I know there is a huge list of reasons I could share for why I love my dad, but one is his willingness and availability to be there when you need him....even if it's for the most ridiculous thing.

For example, tonight I spent some time at my parents' hearing about Jess's trip to Latvia and watching the Olympics. I come home to take a shower and get ready for bed and as I enter the kitchen to get some water, I see a GI-NORMOUS bug just chillin' on the wall below my air conditioner. It's one of those long black centipede-type bugs with lots of long thick legs, legs so long it looks like it's almost floating away from the wall. The kind that are fast if you miss them. I've killed about 4 or 5 since I've moved in - they're so nasty that one even kind of stained the carpet in my bedroom from squishing it. I'm getting the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it.

So anyway, I grab the flyswatter, 2 napkins (because one will just not be enough) and put on my flip flops. I enter the kitchen and the stand-off begins. I pray - Lord, this is just a bug, don't let my fear rule over me. But my fear continues to increase, as does my heart rate and anxiousness. I take a few deep breaths and just can't do it. So....I called my dad.

Yes, his first response was to laugh, but as I break down into tears, he says he's on his way. And 10 minutes later I opened the door (I was standing in my living room keeping an eye on it to make sure it didn't scurry away - flyswatter in hand, tears flowing down my cheeks as I'm still letting my fears get to me) and there is my dad - my hero of the night, his own flyswatter in hand :) "Lindsay, it's okay, remember it's just a bug. He's more afraid of you than you are of him." Ah, the flashbacks to the same lesson I was taught when I was seven.

Dad goes into the kitchen, moves the shelving away from the wall (which I was too nervous to do for fear the bug would beeline it and I'd lose him, he'd be wandering around, hidden and emerge again sometime to stir up these crazy fears all over again). I think Dad got him on the 2nd swat. Crisis ended. My heart was still pounding, cheeks still wet from tears.

Dad, I know it's stupid. But thanks for loving your little girl, your 24 year old daughter who is still afraid to kill the bugs. Tonight you rescued me and loved me and were there for me when I needed you even when you knew I could probably take care of the situation myself if you'd refused to come. But I'm truly thankful and grateful you understood and came to my apartment and killed the ugly bug. I love you Dad!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm going to D.C.!!

In 4 weeks from today, I will board a plane to go visit my good friend Christie.She's been working in D.C. for the last few months and we're going to reunionize for a few days. She'll show me the ropes around town and is trying to hook us up with the inside access to the Capitol, where she works, and maybe even the West Wing & Oval Office :) Can't wait!!
Christie is one of those people who just became an instant friend. Somehow we bonded over Gilmore Girls and homemade frozen drinks :) Christie wears her heart on her sleeve, always has a smile on her face, and is someone I can be myself with and know she'll always love and never judge.
Love you friend, can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Colorado Road Trip

In March AO, Juliana and I took a weekend road trip to Denver. We stayed with family friends of the O'Rourkes - the Fricke's. They were wonderful, super hospitable. AO's brother Sean drove up from Phoenix for the weekend to join us as well. It was so much fun - played some Euchre, went swing dancing in downtown Denver, and went skiing (my first time ever!) in Loveland.

Swing dancing was an adventure. I would have been just fine sitting on the sidelines, observing. But a few young gents were kind enough to ask me to dance, and I actually ended up enjoying myself! Can't say I was any good, but it was fun none the less.

Skiing was crazy! I felt like a little toddler on the skis, learning how to walk again. It took all my energy just to get myself to the lift! It's a really odd feeling to try to make my body, joints, and muscles move in ways they never have before. The sad thing is there were young kids who owned the mountain, they put me to shame :) I took 2 pretty big spills right off the bat, the second of which found me flying down the mountain face first in a puff of snow. Afterward, AO told me she didn't want to admit it, but it actually scared her a little. Thankfully, nothing was hurt. I did whip my arm around when my pole got stuck in the snow and my body kept going, but the only effect from my ski adventure was that my entire body was sore the next day. I don't think I'll become a ski bum, but it was still a lot of fun.

AO, Sean, Lindsay, Juliana, Sheryl, & Glen

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Whaa....2 posts in the same day?

So, many of you probably know I've moved back to Boone. And I know, it might be a little lame, or not that exciting, but I wanted to share my new place with you. This is the first time I've ever lived on my own. The first time to buy "grown up" things like furniture, dishes; be responsible to put the rent check in the mail :) I've always had roommates before, it's my first time doing these things. So here's a tour of my new place.
The gift Mom got for my new place - the welcome mat:

The view across the living room from the front door, looking into my bedroom - yep, I still have some unpacking to do:

My bedroom - still in need of some organization, and some decoration on the walls:

You have to go through my bedroom to get to my bathroom. I hung a sheet as a makeshift "door". But the nice thing about living alone is I don't have to worry so much about keeping the door closed! I hung this mostly for privacy for friends and family who visit.

The previous tenant left the shower curtain and there is a cute little cubby in the wall - perfect access to the early morning necessities :)

The view from my bedroom to the other side of the living room (front door to the right):

Through the door to the left of the living room is my lovely, spacious kitchen.

As you can see, still more unpacking to do...

This might be weird, but look at all the great garage sale/Goodwill finds! 2 full sets of dishes, coffee mugs, glasses from Walmart, pans and Tupperware:

I love the little alcove for my kitchen table - which came from The Furniture Zone in Boone that I didn't even know existed - so many great deals. The table came with 2 leaves and 2 extra chairs......which I keep in my storage closet! I can't believe how much space I have in this apartment. Now I just need to get organized and figure out the "place" for everything. I'm not a super neat or clean person, but I do like things to have their own place, or pile :)

I am using the front closet for my clothes. During Floods of '08, my bedroom closet had some leaking from the chimney above it, so this was going to be a temporary thing. But as you can see, I completely fill BOTH rows of the closet! So I'm thinking this might stay permanently.And of course, there are still a few things to be unpacked and organized:Now, this might not come as a surprise to many of you, but I HATE sweating in the summer - so Joel was so great to put in a BRAND NEW AIR CONDITIONER!! Woo-woo!

Well, guess that's it for now, give me a call if you're ever nearby and I'll have you over!!