Saturday, May 29, 2010

When The Truth Is...That I Miss You So

I love Kenya. I have to imagine you know that about me.
You can read many, many stories about my love for Kenya here.

Last year, right around this time, I had hoped I would live there.
If all had gone according to plan (my plan), I would live there right now.

But I don't.
And, each day, I become increasingly more okay with that.
Because I know that someday, I will live there.
I just need to be patient.
Though this conversation is for another post.
{step sideways}

I try to begin each of my days--my drive to work each day--praying. On my best days, I actually talk to God, aloud, all the way to work. On my lesser days, I completely forget and listen to music (usually Vampire Weekend) all the way to work. (Believe it or not, I can feel the difference between those mornings throughout the remainder of my day.)
{step back}

This week, I spent three days in a row praying for the Oasis of Hope children. I tried to name as many as possible. For each of the House kids, I picture their faces as I name them. Some of the Centre kids have only faces--are frustratingly nameless to me.

Each of these three days--in the midst of my excitement about where God currently has me--I have ended my prayers in tears. I can feel, in my gut, the longing to see those Kenyan children.

I really like them.
Their laughter, smiles, unintelligible (to me) Swahili chatter...

What a great surprise to wake up this morning and find--in my blog roll--three posts from Chris, who is currently in Kitale. If I can't be there (yet), I'm really glad Chris is. It makes my "missing-them" a little bit lighter knowing that someone else who was longing to be there made it...and that those kids--who have been longing for visitors, finally received one.

You can read about his adventures here.
I'll be reading everyday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

iLove my iPhone

As has been mentioned several times in recent posts, I am Internet-less at my house right now.

Three years ago (when I lived in the lake house) this would have been a huge problem. But, thankfully, Apple has provided for me in my time of need.

My incredible phone has filled the void so well: (I do not understand how this phone can connect to wireless internet while my computer will not, but as an avid LOST fan, I am okay with unanswered questions)
• needed a post office (USPS app)
• wanted to make an amazon purchase (amazon one-touch app)
• didn't want to be behind on alternate LOST endings (you tube Jimmy Kimmel)
• reading blogs (google reader app)
• blogging
• emailing
• IMDbing (IMDb app)

I have spent so much time typing on this keyboard that I had difficulty on a desktop yesterday. And I can't really watch TV shows on my phone...the screen is too small to really enjoy the video. And no Netflix Watch Instantly has significantly slowed my AFI-watching. (Good thing my Dawson's Creek series DVDs were delivered on Tuesday!)

All this to say, I wasn't sure if I would really need an iPhone (need is a strong word), but I have thouroughly enjoyed--and realized my money's-worth in this last week alone!

However, my dad emailed me the instructions for setting up the wireless modem at my house, so real world-wide webbing will be had and enjoyed on Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thoughts Of The Utmost Importance...

In effort to complete at least half of my 30 Things to Do Before I'm 30 list, I'm trying to watch one movie from the AFI List of Top 100 Movies.

On Monday (my day off), I watched Raging Bull and The Godfather (numbers 4 and 2, respectively, on the AFI list), bringing my total films-on-the-list watched to 49. Not too shabby considering I'm only shooting for 75.
I know I've posted about it before, but I think Marlon Brando is so handsome and a really, really good actor. I think most people are a little caught-off-guard when I say this. Sure, he wore jewelry, but he was good enough for Marilyn Monroe...and that feels like something.

Here are a list of other celebrities that I think are so handsome that typically make people say, "Really? That Guy?"

Sayid (from Lost)

Bill Cosby (preferably circa 1985 and stripey sweater-clad)
Kirk Cameron (preferably circa 1985 as well)
Mr. Eko (I know...two LOST cast members, but seriously...have you seen him?)

Who are the celebrities you love?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flower the People You Love

**this lack of internet in my house is becoming a real hassle. Apologies for the lack of posting, I really do think I was returning to my old routine of frequent posting**

For two weeks of the last month, I have stayed with my friend Amanda while her husband was out-of-town. I packed a suitcase, lived in their house, ate all of my meals for's a pretty sweet gig, if you ask me.

Evidently, Amanda didn't think these perks made it worth my while. So, early last week, I walked back to my desk after a meeting and found these:

Two dozen red roses, each tagged with one thing Amanda loves about me.

What a very kind, thoughtful friend...

These have been a beautiful addition to the desk I pretty much destroyed this week at work. It was so cluttered, Jared couldn't find the giant Ziploc bag of pins. (More on the projects that led to this chaos this week.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Schindler's List

I've been making my way through the AFI Top 100 Films list {slowly, but surely.}
A few months ago, I put each movie from the list on to my Netflix queue; now I know something good is coming, but am never completely sure which it will be. {I don't typically check my queue, though I know I could.}

Last week, I received Schindler's List in the mail. I have to admit, I was nervous. I cry at least three times a day as it is, I definitely don't need to add to the count with holocaust stories. I actually assumed I would cry through most of the movie and {as I did with Blood Diamond} for at least an hour afterward.

I sat down last night, and paused it three times in the first five minutes, trying to make up an excuse--something else, very pressing, that I had to do instead of watching the movie. But, I knew I'd have to watch it I pressed play.

It is a fantastic movie. Obviously, since it is on the Top 100 Films list. It's a beautiful, beautiful story of rescue. I cried only twice. Once after the first shooting and again at the very end, when Mr. Schindler is saying "One more, I could have saved one more"

And then he reads the ring:
"whoever saves one life, saves the world entire"

I lost it. I love what Mr Schindler did for these people. I love the process leading to his broken heart and rememberance of the humanity that was being stolen from the people.

I would love to visit his grave, someday, and honor a man who saved so many people simply because he hadn't forgotten--as so many of his peers had--that these were, in fact, people.

I sent it back today...but I think I will watch it again sometime soon.
It is that good.

It's also worth noting how underrated Ralph Fiennes is as an actor. He is phenomenal...I think he might be on my list of favorites. {And he's not bad to look at either...I was going to post a picture, but our neighbor blocked his Internet and I had to type this on my phone.}

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

Today is a day when I feel the weight of the brokenness of the students of Orange County.

I often forget this.

I go about my days--sometimes even go about my job--functioning as if the children who are raised in suburban America are wealthy and happy, ridiculously narcissistic and frustratingly entitled.

But today, as I sift through the stories of the lives of some of our core students, I am confronted with the reality that these are students fighting to be cared for, to be heard, to be loved...fighting for themselves because, too often, they are lacking an adult in their life who will fight for them, will care for them, will help build the self-esteem that allows them to live without masks. (Sadly, so many of these parents have lived behind masks as well and have, unintentionally, passed this life-style on to their children.)

I need to experience days like this so I remember that not everyone should pick-up and move to Africa...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tonight's Not Your Night, Bro

I'm having a rough go tonight.

I think I'm mentally exhausted. I need to spend some time tomorrow thinking...and writing down some of the things that have or are solutions and even some of the things that just need to be written down and then will be out of my head.

In moments like this, it is monumentally more frustrating to come home to a dirty house...with an empty toilet paper roll and overflowing trash cans. Some days, I can roll with it. Tonight, it almost brought me to tears.

And now, I'm in bed...preparing to watch 30 Rock and stop thinking for a bit.

I have some very fun things to post tomorrow...sorry, I'm just not there tonight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tisk-Tisk, A Task List

I need to call the dentist.
Not because I need an appointment. Quite the contrary, I have had four appointments in three months. Now, I must pay for them.

As I drove to meet my friends Kevin and Wendy this afternoon, I made a To Do List at red lights: a short list of people to email and then reached for the paper to write "call the dentist."

...I stopped myself.

I knew that if I wrote it on the paper, I would do it. Not because I would forget if I didn't write it down, but because I don't really want to call. I don't want to give Dr. Jones a large chunk of my next paycheck.

If it was on my To Do List, I would have to do it.

Because I can't leave something undone on my list.

I can't throw it away unless everything is crossed off.

I know this sounds crazy, but I'm actually progressing; I used to keep all of my completed To Do Lists in a file in my desk that's crazy.

I didn't write it on case you're wondering which side of my crazy was triumphant.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Who Changed King Tut's Diapers?

This is my mom. {I know, we look alike.}
It's Mother's Day...and, since I couldn't find the video of Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey singing "Happy Mother's Day"to the tune of Usher's "Yeah!", I thought I'd post a picture of my mom {heart-felt, I know.}

My mom loves to dance and laugh...and she likes baseball more than anyone ever should.
I totally love my mom...and, if you've met her, I bet you love her, too.
If you haven't met her, you're missing out.

Love you, Mama.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Snacking On Healthy Food Is What We Like To Do...

Growing up, I was never forced to eat anything I didn't want to eat.
I ate very few vegetables and mass amounts of french fries...and was a very happy (albeit, chubby) child.

For years I continued in this cycle: not one part of me wanted to eat vegetables...or anything else healthy, for that matter.

Until recently.

Now, it's all I can do to get something from the other three food groups...I just want to eat fruits and vegetables all day long. (If it weren't so expensive--and difficult to eat what others cook for you--I think I would be a vegetarian.)

So strange how things change as you grow up.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I know, I used that same term on Twitter...I think it's funny.

Katie, Amanda and I went to get some tattoos today.
They are two of my favorite spending an evening with them, first, in a tattoo parlor and then having dinner is one of the best days I can think of.

I went first, but we didn't get any pictures of that process...

Amanda went nextA sparrow on one wrist and little stars on the other
Katie finished us off with a butterfly.

Dinner at BJ's Pizza and some really delicious chocolate pizookies...seriously, what a great night.

Here's my foot tattoo. It says "lead me on & i will run after You"
Before leaving the parlor, I arranged to come back and give Greg the sketch for my next tattoo. Can't wait!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Baby Love

I love to come home at night, brush my teeth, wash my face, and climb in bed to read through blog posts from the day.

I subscribe to 218 blogs. Of those, fewer than 50 post on a daily basis.

Many are on an every-other-day routine. Others still are weekly.

Regardless of frequency of posts, I love to read-up on the lives of my friends...and a few strangers.

This blog has quickly become one of my favorites.

My friend Mike and his wife, Kristin, are two of the greatest youth ministers...really, two of the greatest all-around people. They are also expecting their first child.

Kristin has been writing weekly letters to the baby about what the week has held and--the piece that moves me to tears nearly every time--their eager anticipation to love and care for and play with him or her.

It is so beautiful to read how much Mike and Kristin love and share with one another. And how much they love this growing baby.

This kid is going to be:
1) super beautiful
2) super lucky to have such incredible parents

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Rose and Joanne {and Moby}

One morning, after moving tables and cabinets in to my new house, my friends, Jeff and Amanda, took me to Rose's Bakery for delicious breakfast's walking-distance from my house and really, really tasty.

So, of course, that's where my friend Lisa and I went today.

We'd ordered and were sitting on the patio eating our breakfast burritos, talking.

As we talked, the restaurant became more and more crowded. At one point, a woman who was there alone {well, with her dog} asked if she could please share our table since she had a chair, but there were no open tables. We said, of course.

We continued talking. Lisa just returned from a long-awaited trip to New York City and was telling me about that and then we moved on to topics of Kenya {of course} and her previous missions experiences.

The woman interrupted. "Sorry, but what do you two do? I'm hearing talk of a lot of travel."

So we talked, briefly, about youth ministry...and then about various trips we've been on with students. Then, asked her if she'd traveled much.

As it turns out, Joanne has been all over the world. She has lived in New York, London and LA. She wrote a bucket list at 50 {she just turned 59} and has been crossing things off one-by-one. Her stories were amazing: sailing the Greek Isles, walking the Great Wall of China, working with children with special needs...she's incredible.

We talked with her for about half-hour and then exchanged phone numbers so I could get her connected with a Kenyan Safari company {also on her list}.

We left with the agreement to meet-up with her {and her dog, Moby} again sometime. I hope we really do.

So much for not talking to strangers. This totally proves McGruff the Crime Dog wrong.

It makes me want to sing "Who are the people in your neighborhood? They're the people that you meet, when you're walking down the street...they're the people that you meet each day."