Friday, December 28, 2007

The Newest Angel

How do I comfort a friend who lost her daughter today?
What do I say that won't sound trite or cliche?
Is there anything I can do to take some of the sorrow away?

Katie was actually the reason I spent so much time with the Mugeles, at least at the beginning. When I was still a young high school student, I learned to use her feeding tube and adjust her oxygen levels and set up her wheelchair. She is such a huge part of my life with the Mugele family, it's hard to imagine life without her.

But Katie walked for the first time today!
The first words she ever spoke were to her Father.
Pretty freakin' awesome, huh?

I love you, Katie. I'll miss you a lot.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Six-pack abs, here I come.

I recently joined a very expensive gym. It's more like an exclusive health club, actually. I grew up in a home where we did NOT spend money on luxuries. Ever. So even though I feel like I should feel guilty about spending so much on the gym membership, I actually don't.

I decided it's one of those things that I get to do because I'm single.

Like buying really nice underwear.
Or getting my groceries from Albertsons instead of Walmart.
Or taking vacations to places like Costa Rica and Morocco.

Anyway, I've gone to the gym six out of seven days for the past two weeks. And I feel great! The early morning spinning classes are much more intense than the one I attended at the YMCA. Each cardio machine has a personal TV so thanks to The Food Network, The Discovery Channel and VH1, I do cardio longer now. The locker rooms are very high end - the spa, sauna and steam room make for a relaxing and quite enjoyable gym experience.

So Merry Christmas, me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Play on, John.

I realize that many of my posts recently have been about John Mayer. One may say I'm obsessed.

However, I just can't get over how much I love to hear him play.
Check it out.

ht: Skip

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rice is Nice

Here's an easy way to make a difference in the world.
(AND as a bonus, you learn stuff too!)

According to their web site,

FreeRice has two goals:

1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

I got up to 240 grains of rice (which is probably only, like, an eighth of a cup) but every little bit helps!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Here's your Friday morning inspiration ...

My friend Carolyn posted this on her blog.
This is a 13 year old boy from Nebraska who called a Texas radio station...

Monday, December 10, 2007


Have you ever had a day when you just wish with all your heart that Jesus would decide that today is the day He will come back? I had one of those days today.

Sometimes I just get utterly overwhelmed with this mess we call a world. I'm tired of being here. I want to go home.

Living in Colorado Springs, it's basically impossible to get away from everything that happened at New Life Church yesterday. It's everywhere. I drove past all the national news media vans with their huge satellite dishes on my way to and from work. I heard the latest updates on every radio station I turned to. Everyone at work either attends New Life or knows someone who was there, so that's all anyone talked about all day.

Most of the discussion at my small group tonight centered around fear. It's a daily battle, it seems, to live a life free of fear. So when some seemingly random act of violence happens, it's hard not to let fear overwhelm me.

There's this song called "Wait" by Caleb Rowden that moves me deeply every time I hear it. It just makes me long for Jesus.

Cold, all alone
'Cause where I am is so far from home
So far from You
But I know You're there to see me through
All my days, and every step I take
But for now, this is all that I can say

I'm longing for my home
To rest before Your throne
To be with You
My faith will be complete
When Your glory shines on me
When that day comes
My heart will find its place
But for now I'll wait

Lost, so afraid
Searching for a better way
To be in that place
To feel Your heart and finally see You
Face to face
Forever and a day
But for now, this is all that I can say

I'll wait for You, I'll wait for You to come
So please come soon
I'll wait for You, I'll wait for You to come
So please come soon

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
~Psalm 27:14

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weekend in Winter Park, CO

My small group rented a house in Winter Park for the weekend. Despite the almost non-stop snow, good times were had by all!

Jade and I paint the town red.

Some random boarders get on the bus for the slopes. I liked all the pink.

Apparently hula hoopers are spotted frequently on the streets of Winter Park.

Talk about a room with a view , huh?

Another view from the house.

There was close to 12 inches of new snow. Which I appreciate from a distance.

Out the window on the drive home.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hey Mr. Pullman, get your own story.

I'm in the middle of reading the book The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman.

I put my name on the waiting list for it at the public library after I saw the preview for the movie several months ago, back before any of the controversy. When I started getting email warnings forwarded to me about the movie and heard about all the Christians that were getting t.o.'d about the subject of the book and certain statements the author made, it made me want to read it even more.

I'm only a few chapters into it, but already I've found so many blatant similarities to C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe that I honestly can't believe that Pullman ever got this published! Check this out:

1. In Lewis' book, the main character is a young, adventurous girl named named Lucy. In Pullman's book, the main character is a young, adventurous girl named Lyra.

2. While set in England, the majority of Lewis' book takes place in Narnia, a cold, harsh wintery landscape. While set in England, the majority of the Golden Compass is set in what's simply called The North, a cold, harsh wintery landscape.

3. In the first chapter of Lewis' book, Lucy hides in a wardrobe. In the first chapter of Pullman's book, Lyra hides in a wardrobe.

4. In Lewis' book, the main antagonist is the White Witch, a beauiful, exotic, yet terrifying woman. In Pullman's book, the main antagonist is Mrs. Coulter, a beautiful, exotic, yet terrifying woman.

5. In Lewis' book, Edmund meets the White Witch and is both scared and intrigued by her. She convinces him to go with her by offering him Turkish Delight. In Pullman's book, Tony meets Mrs. Coulter and is both scared and intrigued by her. She convinces him to go with her by offering him Chocolatl.

Coincidence? I think not. And that's after only five chapters.

As my friend Suzanne so astutely pointed out the other day when I was telling her about this, isn't that always how the devil works? He can't even come up with his own original material. He takes truth and twists it just enough to serve his own purposes.

In 1950, C.S. Lewis was inspired to write a fantastic piece of fiction that told the story of the gift that God gave us in his Son.

45 years later, Philip Pullman took that story and twisted it for his own atheistic agenda. In Pullman's words, "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."

Undermine all you want, Mr. Pullman, but do it with your own story. Don't steal someone else's.

CNN article on The Golden Compass

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New song from J.M.

Here's a little somethin' I found on YouTube.
You're welcome.

[Is this illegal?]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

My sister-in-law, Valeen, is hosting her first Thanksgiving dinner this year. Good luck, Val!

ht: Carolyn

Friday, November 16, 2007


I love that I get to work for Compassion! But sometimes it's hard not to get bogged down in the day-to-day work and forget that what we're doing is changing lives.

Thanks, Shaun, for reminding me.

Be sure to watch the video at the bottom.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chivalry Ain't Dead!

It's great to have a boss you can depend on.

Especially when that entails chivalrous duties outside the realm of the workplace such as rescuing damsels in distress. [And by damsels I mean me. And by distress I mean stranded on the side of the road in my car with no gas.]

This whole situation is rather embarrassing, seeing as I've had 13 solid years of not running out of gas. And seeing how my gas light had been on for several days. The gas light, however, is quite misleading, because it comes on when I have a quarter tank left. That's like five gallons which means I can drive for, like, 100 more miles. So I've always ignored the gas light and just watched the mileage to figure out when to fill up. So much for that technique.

As I was being so gallantly rescued by Tim tonight, I started thinking about how truly chivalrous he is. He always opens doors for women. He always walks on the street side of the sidewalk, closest to traffic. He always carries boxes, or pulls luggage, or picks up something that got dropped ... always tries to make life just a little easier for us. And it's ingrained in him. He doesn't even have to think about it. So even though I endlessly give him a hard time for treating us like fragile, helpless little daisies, in all reality, it's great to be looked out for. I never have to wonder if I'll be taken care of when Tim's around. And that's a great feeling of security.

I wish more men were like this. Truly chivalrous men are few and far between.

So ... thanks, Tim.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some Stuff I'm Thinking About

I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into any sensible order tonight. I sat down to write a new post and so far it's gone in about 17 different directions. So I'm going to stop trying to organize my thoughts and instead, simply write whatever comes to mind. Here we go...

My dog is sick. Again. All over my house. So instead of spending the evening as I had planned, I spent it steam cleaning the carpet. I'm not sure what's giving her the Big D regularly, but I have a hunch it is the rawhides I got at Walmart. Reason #3,764.

Compassion is restructuring. I found out yesterday that my team is being disbanded and my job is moving to the Web and Interactive team. While this will provide me with lots of opportunity for growth and new challenges it also means being on a team with four men. Which I guess can also be considered an opportunity for growth.

This is the first year in 11 years that I will be home for Thanksgiving. I've spent the last decade giving thanks in Callifornia, Minnesota and Morroco. This year I will be giving the most thanks that we have not yet had a blizzard in Colorado Springs.

That's it for now. I'm going to bed. I'd wish myself sweet dreams, but I never remember them. Ever. It's really weird.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


It's not very often I come across a CD where I literally love every single song on the album. But it happened.

Lynden recently released their first CD called The Act of Becoming.
And I. LOVE. IT.

If you haven't heard of Lynden, listen to them here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Life Without the Tube

This article on about the TV writers going on strike got me thinking about my own TV experience.

We grew up without a TV. It wasn't for any religious or moral reason - we just didn't have one. I resented it sometimes, especially when my friends at school would be talking about what happened on Saved by the Bell, 90210 or Party of Five, and I'd have no clue what they were talking about.

When my friends would invite me over to spend the night, I would look forward to watching a movie, something we rarely had the chance to do. I never understood why they "didn't feel like" watching TV. Who wouldn't want to?

I think raising us kids without a TV was one of the best decisions my parents ever made. We were forced to create our own fun. We spent thousands of hours in the backyard. I spent a lot of time reading. We spent a lot of time playing house, restaurant, school, office ... you know ... the "fun" grown-up activities. ("Is this a good activiteee?")

We were always having to come up with new ways to entertain ourselves when most normal kids were watching TV. Some of them are quite memorable:

1. Go search the basement (an adventure in itself) and find all sorts of dress-up clothes and items to serve as props for the melodramas we would make up. Next we would round up as big an audience as we could gather (usually just my parents, with the occasional appearence of Oreo, our tail-less cocker spaniel, may she rest in peace.) We would then perform the melodrama, complete with multiple acts, full set and costume changes, and an encore.

2. Compete in the final game of the Ping Pong World Championships.

3. Make gourmet "salads" in our sandbox, including (but not limited to) shrubbery leaves, poisonous red berries, dandelions and sand.

4. Gang up on my sister Sara. This entailed nothing more than the remaining three of us telling her we were "ganging up" on her, which would inevitably make her cry.

5. Ride our bikes around the block for hours at a time, pretending that when we rode in front of our house, we were riding in front of the judges. (What they were judging us on I haven't the slightest clue.)

6. Rearrange the furniture in our bedrooms. This occurred regularly every couple weeks.

7. Record ourselves singing on tape and then play it back and pretend we were famous singers.

8. Find all the decks of cards in the house (we probably had at least 30!) and construct enormous card castles. They usually covered most of the living room.

Ahhh those were the days. I have a TV now. I'm thankful for it because I'm single and there are, quite frankly, times when I'd rather watch a TV show than dwell on the fact that I haven't yet found Mr. Right. But I'm thankful, too, for my TV-less childhood. It made for some amazing memories. And it now often makes for hysterically funny family meals when we reminicse about the old days when we lived life without, to quote my mom, the boob tube. [Insert snicker here.]

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Heart John

I love John Mayer. Most of you know that. I've seen him several times live and every concert I go to reminds me of why he remains my favorite. He's the real thing.

So many mainstream artists have huge teams of people behind them who write their songs, produce their records and promote their albums. The "artist" gets famous because they sell the music. They sing someone else's songs in front of millions of people.

John Mayer is different. He writes his lyrics. He writes his music. He can tear it up on the guitar like no one else. Seriously. The best stuff I've ever heard him play is during the encore of his shows when he unplugs his guitar, goes totally acoustic and improvises. My favorite album of his is called The Village Sessions, and it's him on an acoustic guitar alone in a studio. It's John Mayer raw. The guy is amazing.

So I was excited to read one of his latest blog entries:

It's been a long time since the days of my playing small acoustic club dates, and though I'm more than happy (and extremely lucky) to be where I am these days, one thing I've missed is the creative spirit of working without a net. Some of my best songs were written because I had a show nearing and needed more original songs to take the place of covers. It was creation by way of necessity.

It's been my stance for years that I don't want to work out new songs on stage for fear of them getting out in their raw form. I've always believed that in music, the first impression is the most lasting, and I wanted to have the say as to when a song would be heard and in what incarnation.

I'm ready to change that stance now. I've realized that there's a new level of access into my life, one that I accept as a by-product of both lifestyle and technology. And if there's going to remain such a large window into my life off-stage, I feel like I need to open the window to my music equally as wide. I am still as devoted to music as I've ever been, and I won't let anything redefine that against my will.

I'm going to return to that firefight, taking small late night gigs around New York City and Los Angeles, writing songs and playing them when they're still fresh. The date of the gig is my self-imposed finish line and I will play a new song with each set I perform.

Lat night I played a set at Mercury Lounge, where I tested a new song called "Let a Man Be Lost", and it was amazing to be back in that place of staring at my feet to read lyrics that I wrote that afternoon.

One of the side-effects of this process is that these works-in-progress will probably be available to you in one way or another. It's your decision to listen to them if you like but it's my decision to rework them, strip them down to just their title and re-write from the ground up, or just burn them down completely, never to play them again.

I'm also ready to accept the fact that some people will try and read into the lyrics and make gossip out of them, but I can't worry about that. Trying to avoid that would be the worst thing for my songwriting. I won't let the success I've had make me comfortable, or the media exposure make me fearful of expressing myself.

Stand-up comedians like Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld have it right. They get to the top with their act, only to deconstruct it and start from scratch in a brick basement. That's the only way I can see staying vital as a musician; picking fights with all the hundreds of excuses that curb creativity.

See you on the street.


I doubt he'll ever come play a club in Colorado. We're sorely lacking in the arts department in this state. I think Boulder's our best hope. But if he ever does, count on me being in the audience.

P.S. For any other fans out there, here's his his new duet with Alicia Keys. You're welcome.

Monday, November 5, 2007

You can call me Tina.

I went to a Murder Mystery party this past weekend. The characters were from TV Shows. I was on the sitcom team and was assigned Tina Fey from 30 Rock.

I've never seen the show, but I googled some pictures of her.
What do you think? Did I pull it off?

Here. Read this.

I have many random things to post about, but haven't had the time. New posts are coming soon, though. I promise.

For now, enjoy reading my newest blog addiction.

She makes me laugh every day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I now have a degree in Being Nice.

Last week I took a customer service training seminar for work. We basically spent eight hours learning how to be nice.

One of the more enlightening discussions we had was when we went around the room and each person shared past memorable customer service experiences ... good and bad.

I kept a tally of what people said. Without further ado, here is the list.

Places to avoid:

Bed, Bath & Beyond
Apparently it is a big hassle to return wedding gifts. Which is funny because, as I have observed from the one bazillion wedding showers I have attended, BB&B is, hands down, the most common place to register.

This was mine. Nine stinking years of faithful patronage and not one good customer service experience! The only one to blame for my extended history of bad Sprint experiences is myself. I'm loyal to a fault, it seems.

Their TV ads claim you can call them any time, day or night, and they'll bend over backwards to help. According to my co-worker Mark's last vacation report, this is not the truth.

Not that you have a lot of options when it comes to insect extermination or rodent control, but this seems like something you might want to get right the first time.

Oh, so many places I could go with this. Suffice it to say, I'll just add "crappy customer service" as reason #3,763 I refuse to shop there.

Places to visit:

Pottery Barn
Again, according to my recently married friend, Pottery Barn is wonderful in going the extra mile to make sure you spread the word to all your engaged friends.

They might sell [R]eally [E]xpensive [I]tems, but they'll treat you nicely as they do it!

I finally left Sprint and switched to T-Mobile. They strive to be one of the top five companies known for their good customer service in the nation, among all businesses ... not just cell phone companies. So far, so good!

In my single-female-visiting-a-home-improvement-store experience, Lowe's beats Home Depot any day of the week.

Firedog (Circuit City)
If you need any electronic equipment installed in your home, apparently Firedog is the company to call.

and my personal favorite ...

Two words: "My pleasure!"

Any places you suggest I visit/avoid?

Thanks, Taco Hell!

Based on my last experience with this eating establishment ... Taco Bell is giving away FREE food poisoning!

Today between 2pm and 5pm. Be sure to pick you up some!

P.S. That not-so-fun chalupa meal was six years ago. I haven't eaten there since.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tim and Melissa

My co-worker Melissa recently got engaged. This past weekend I took some pictures of her and her fiance Tim. Here are a few of my favorites ...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vote for Denver!

For those of you that like reality TV ... or enjoy good big band music ... or want to support some brothers in Christ who have a chance to make a big impact ... I have some exciting news!

Check out The Next Great American Band, a new show from the creators and producers of American Idol. The show airs Friday nights at 7pm/8pm Central on Fox. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, a big band whose members are spokespeople for Compassion, is one of the twelve bands chosen to compete on the show!

Viewer voting each week will determine which bands get to move on to the next round and the winner will receive a recording contract with a major mainstream label.

The first live performance is this Friday. Make sure you watch from the VERY BEGINNING if you want to catch Denver and his band this week. These are great guys and musicians that are completely on board with Compassion and it will be exciting to see what this show does for their ministry and for Compassion!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

That's Life

Yesterday I walked into a public restroom, entered a stall and sat down.

The seat was warm.

Apparently the previous occupant had spent a significant amount of time in there in the not so distant past.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mmmmm ... coffee.

I love coffee.

I grew up with parents who don't ever drink coffee. In fact, I didn't even have my first drink of coffee until I was 20 years old. But when I lived in Europe in college, I acquired the taste. It's hard not to, actually. People drink it like they breathe oxygen over there.

My daily coffee ritual has become a cherished part of my morning routine.

Over the 10 years of coffee consumption, although I hate to admit it, I've become a bit of a coffee snob. (This is in no small part thanks to my sister-in-law, Valeen.) I used to be fine drinking Folgers or any other generic, cheap, store-brand coffee. I would buy a big tub of ground coffee for under $10 that would last me several months. However, the more I drank expensive, brandname coffee, the more I could taste the difference between the The Best Part of Waking Up and the $10-per-half-pound kind. Slowly, my coffee purchasing habit changed from buying cheap to expensive coffee. I now regularly spend $10 on a half pound of coffee beans that last me for about two weeks.

Recently, I became aware of an organization called 963 Missions. This organization is helping people to understand the true meaning of missions. How it's more than just a trip ... it's a lifestyle. This sentiment is one that I agree with whole-heartedly, and is the reason I take issue with the whole idea of short term missions. (But that's a blog post for another time.)

Getting back to the subject at hand ... 963 Missions has a program called Monthly Obsession. The idea behind this movement is to give people the opportunity to help coffee farmers to get out of poverty by paying them a fair wage for their beans. When you sign up for the Monthly Obsession you get a bag of fresh roasted coffee delivered to your door every month. It's just $15 a month, or $10 for any additional bags you buy. According to their web site:

963 Coffee is freshly-roasted specialty coffee unlike the majority of coffee that sits on shelves for almost a year. This means you're getting an amazing cup of organic Arabica coffee every time you brew a pot.

We also believe our coffee should provide a fair wage for the farmers who work hard to harvest it. Because of your choice to purchase 963 Coffee, farmers can put their kids in school, put food on the table for their families, and afford health care. Every bag - every cup - of 963 Coffee is making a lasting impact with coffee farming families around the world.

Do you drink coffee regularly? Where do you buy it? Would you consider switching to a company that sells fair trade coffee?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another reason to cheer for the Rockies ...

They are men of good character.

"When I heard about what the players did, I almost cried," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "This was the players' idea. I think it's remarkable."

My New Hero

I have a new hero. His name is Nick Vujicic.

I got an email forwarded to me today with his testimony. It is absolutely unbelievable.

I don't think I've ever seen a clearer example of someone who lives out James 1:2. Nick has found God's purpose in a disability that most would see as a reason to hate God. I don't think I've ever found a more inspiring story.

According to, the definition of the word hero is:
"a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities"
Nick is my hero.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An Unbelievable Gift

Here's your Wednesday morning inspiration.
Watch the full story. I promise you, it's worth it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What? I went to Palmer High School.

Uh, oh. MSNBC just posted part of the U.S. Naturalization test online. This is slightly embarrasing to admit, but apparently I'm only 64% qualified to be a U.S. Citizen!

How qualified are you?

Finally I can wear purple with pride!

I never thought I'd see the day. The Rockies are in the playoffs!
Controversial play aside, this is an exciting time for us Colorado residents.


Monday, October 1, 2007

I think my dog's a genius.

Big news ... Havana passed her Basic Training test yesterday. 197 out of 200! So she moves on to Advanced Training now.

(I promise, Suzanne, I'm not making this up.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Feelin' Fall (by Chris)

I knew my brother could draw. I didn't know he could express himself so well through his writing, too. For all you fall lovers out there, this is for you ...

I'm telling you. If it weren't for grilled cheese sandwiches, the world would be a much duller place. I love 'em. They brighten up my day. Delicious. That, and a big old bag of microwave popcorn with a tall glass of creamy chocolate milk. Delectable.

Go ahead. Call me fat. Do it. I'll sit on your face.

Fall, too, is delicious. We're talking weather here. As in the season: Autumn. I love it. I do. Days are still pleasant [temperature-wise], afternoons are perfectly crisp, we can once-again bust out our favorite pair of jeans or ever-faithful hoodie for the evening hours which are always mysteriously cast with an orangish glow to the air. Love that part. Time for frisbee in the leaves and Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. The change to Fall means football and the World Series. And the leaves! It's true, the change is over all to quick [at least here in Colorado] but those few weeks are glorious. Maybe that's what's so magical about it — it's only a few perfect weeks long. Everything fits together creating the perfect atmosphere. The smell as you trudge through the fallen crunchy leaves, the beauty of a gentle, brisk breeze rustling a tree at just the right moment to send a shower of color all around you . . .

I've always marveled at the thought of Autumn from a single leaf's perspective. Hanging on the tree all summer, looking down on my arial view of the world surrounding my tree. I'd spend all summer weathering the storms and the rain and wind and hail, doing my best to hang on till my perfect day in September. After the temperature was just right and I had completely changed from green to bright yellow or orange or red, just when the timing was perfect, I'd let go and let the breeze take me. I'd do my best to not just drop straight down, but to instead do all sorts of flips and acrobatics as I swirled and floated downward. If at all possible I'd try to drop just as one of those circular wind patterns was ambling by so I could spin around fiercely like a tornado making the most of my descent. And I'd aim for a nice patch of grass to land in. Somewhere like a back yard or a park where I'd most likely be raked up into a giant pile to provide the perfect natural playground for some kids, if only for a day. That's what I'd do if I were a leaf . . .

Do you ever look up when Autumn's almost over and Winter's bearing down and see that last lone leaf still clinging to a tree? I'm impressed by that leaf. Such perseverance, such dedication. That leaf has held on through a lot. It made it through all the storms and the whipping and the tossing that Autumn had to offer and still held on. It watched as all the other leaves around it one by one let go and made their triumphant descent to the ground above which they'd hung for months. But not this leaf. This leaf hung on. It's almost as if this leaf knew its importance—knew that its determination was warding off the inevitable throes of Winter that lay ahead. It's as if so long as it held on, so long as it remained proud and sturdy like a flag waving to proclaim that Autumn was not yet over, Winter could not set in. I respect that leaf. That leaf inspires me.

Next time you see a leaf fall from a tree, contemplate for a second the reality that for that particular leaf. This is it's big day. This it what it's been waiting for. That leaf will never fall again. And you might be the only one to witness it on the face of the Earth. Ever. Maybe it's all that magic packed into every leaf falling all around us that makes Autumn so great — maybe it's the fact that I was born on September 23, the first day of Autumn — but I suspect it's the former.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dog Lovers Unite!

I noticed a new link on one of the blogs I regularly visit.

Before April, I'm not sure I would have cared enough to post this link, but then this happened ...

Needless to say, my perspective has changed.

HT: Fay

Monday, September 17, 2007

8 Random Facts About Moi

1. I read magazines from back to front. I don't know why, but it seems that the most interesting features always are at the back. It started with Time Magazine because my favorite feature is the editorial on the last page. Now I read all magazines that way.

2. I hate ketchup. Well, I hate ketchup on everything except grilled cheese sandwiches. I was raised eating them this way and I don't know any other way to eat them. But I still hate ketchup.

3. My favorite movie of all time is Last of the Mohicans.

4. It bothers me if the TV volume is not on a multiple of 5. (15, 20, 25) If I notice that it is, I usually adjust it to be on a multiple of 5. Don't ask ... I have no idea.

5. I have every word to all the songs of Aladdin memorized.

6. I can say the alphabet backwards as fast as I can say it forwards.

7. I have an extra sensitive tongue to spicy foods. I like them, but something that tastes mildy spicy to others is flaming hot to me.

8. I was on the swim team in high school. I was an average swimmer, but for some reason could do amazing flip turns. Too bad there wasn't a flip turn competition. I would have taken the state title.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Beatles were right ...

Money really can't buy happiness.
Just ask this guy.

So that got me thinking ... would winning the lottery be worth it?

If you want to know my opinion, here it is: I think the lottery is a horrible waste of money and leads to debt, broken homes and massive disappointment. Even for the winners.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mmmmmm ... pears.

All the time I spend reading blogs has finally paid off! (Pun intended. O.P.J. to my family ... awww, yeah.)

Occasionally when I read comments on other people's blogs, I will click on the person's name just to see where it takes me. The other day I randomly did so and it took me to The PearBudget. Now I have been wanting to find a good budget program for a long time. I've tried Money and Quicken. They are too complicated and too much for my needs. I've tried creating my own budget program, but couldn't figure out how to make it cumulative. I tried not budgeting at all but that seemed dangerous. So I decided the PearBudget was worth a shot.


Here are some good things about the PearBudget:

1. Free.
2. Downloads in a flash.
3. Easy to understand and simple to use.
4. Allows you to manage your money so well you can buy an iPhone.
5. Is compatible with your new iPhone!

The only thing I've found so far that I don't understand is the name. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical (and probably clever) explanation for naming it after a piece of fruit, but I've yet to figure it out.

Does you have a budget program you'd recommend?
If not, try this one! And let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

If I had three thumbs, I'd put them all up.

I just finished reading a book unlike any other book I've ever read.

The Shack by William P. Young. It just came out in bookstores on September 1. Here is the web site. But I'm telling you, the web site doesn't do it justice. Even though it's a fiction book, I have never understood God the way I did after reading it.

Seriously, you need to read this book.
I promise you, you will NOT be disappointed. (Even you, Carolyn.)

After you buy it (because you WILL want to own it) and read it (you'll probably finish it in a night) come back and post your thoughts. I'll be waiting ...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The One my heart loves

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
rivers cannot wash it away.

I've been thinking a lot about spiritual apathy. It's something I tend to struggle with ... a complacency with where I am as a Christian. One of the most amazing things about accepting Christ's gift is the freedom that comes from knowing I will live eternally with Him. But it's so easy just to rest in that freedom. I'm not talking about slow-down-and-take-a-breath rest, I'm talking long term rest. Getting so comfortable with my relationship with Him that I begin to take for granted the fact that He loves me unconditionally and nothing I can do will ever change that. So I find myself, in fact, doing nothing.

Oh, I do my "devotions." I read my Bible. I pray about things I'm dealing with. I read lots of books. I'm in regular fellowship with other Christians. But what I find myself missing is the fire. The passion of being in love.

I know this is a relationship. I think the reason God created relationship between people is to show us how we ought to be in relationship with God. And I've seen this same kind of complacency happen between two people. They get comfortable in their relationship, start taking it for granted, and lose the fire they once had. I know there are a lot of things people do to keep their marriage alive. I'm not married yet, so I haven't experienced those personally, but might there be similar ways of keeping my Marriage alive?

So here's my question to all you out there in blog world. How do you keep your spiritual life fresh and alive? What (or who) energizes you on your spiritual journey? How do you fight against "the routine?"

Monday, August 20, 2007

A month and three days until...

YAAAAAY! John Grisham is writing another book, out September 24. He's my favorite author.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Amazing Sister

My baby sister got married on Saturday. At the reception, this great swing band called "The Changing Times" played. While in high school, Ellie took lessons from Al, their lead man. With a little coercion from my other sister, Ellie played with the band. This was definitely the highlight of their reception. The look on Dave's face after she plays says it all.

Here's a few more from the wedding...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adventures in NY

Sailing on Zach's boat. Ellie and I helped out by reclining on the bow.
Not Zach's boat. Just another one on Saratoga Lake.
Dave finds Snake #1 on our hike. It promptly peed on him.
At the summit of Sleeping Beauty.
Lake George in the Adirondacks. Wow.
Bumps Pond on the way back down the mountain. (In Colorado this is called a lake.)