Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July Happenings

It's almost midnight and I am pooped but I've been wanting to get some pictures up of our trip to Richmond. Sorry there aren't any of Jake and I. For one thing, Jake's camera broke on the way down so he didn't get any. And I'm discovering that he's kind of...mmm...shall we say particular about what camera he takes pictures with or what camera takes pictures of him. I'm working with him on it :)

Also, I'm sorry there aren't pictures of Ailey!! What the heck?! You know how the firstborn always has the better baby book and more pictures, etc? Yeah, apparently Auntie's are more obsessed photographers with the first, too. Sigh. She looks a lot like Sam and is a beautiful baby. Sam is just fun in pictures because he's up and moving around, expressing his developing personality, etc. He's so fun. Ailey is (obviously) still nursing, spitting up, pooping, crying, sleeping, and cooing. haha. Kristen's going to comment about this...

So, here are some pictures of the week in Richmond. It was wonderful and went by so fast. The drive back was really beautiful--I love roadtrips because I love driving through small town America. Jake and I enjoyed good conversation and the extended time together. He's getting ready to leave for Hungary in about three weeks.

We've been celebrating b-days in the house! Saturday night was Lacy and Mariah's joint super-hero b-day party. It was a lot of fun despite the house being almost unbearably hot and sticky. bleh.
Yesterday was Lacy's actual b-day so last night we went to Howl at the Moon (piano bar) to enjoy the dueling pianos (+ sing along!!) in celebration of her! I admit I was a bit leery, simply because I haven't had much experience with piano bars (ok, none whatsoever). But it was a lot of fun. It was somewhat like group karaoke (the sing along part of it) and the performers were really good. And we got to sing some Billy Joel ("piano man," even!!).

I have more thoughts I'd like to share about a few different things but it's late and I choose sleep because I know I need it. So hopefully I'll update again soon :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's been so nice to be out of Chicago for the week. Jake and I left Thursday night and made it to his brother's in Indianapolis late that night. We spent Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday with his brother and sister-in-law and their two kids. It was super fun.

Now we are in Virginia with Jay and Kristen...and Sam and Ailey :) It's been really wonderful. It's hot and muggy so we've been indoors most of the time. This morning the two of us went and explored down by the river. It's the James River and it's beautiful--we swam the rapids. Aaaah. Then we sent Jay and Kristen on a date to the same spot because it was so beautiful, and they swam the rapids. Jake and I babysat :)

Tonight is Mexican Fiesta night: tacos and the Three Amigos (love.this.move.).

There's more to tell but I don't have time right now. Hope you all are enjoying summer!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BurgerFest and the girls I live with

Sunday night was BurgerFest. It was a lot of fun. Several local restaurants had booths set up on Belmont and were cooking all different kinds of hamburgers. Yum. We got food and then went to Beat Kitchen for drinks and sat outside on their sidewalk patio. It started to rain so we had to move underneath an overhang for awhile. It was beautiful. Gin Blossoms played at 9. You know, "anywhere you go, I'll follow you there. I'll follow you down but not that far..." or something like that. You'd recognize them, even though their glory days were years ago. They got rained out. It started pouring--so much fun! So we walked home in the rain and got drenched but it was so fun to spend time with these girls...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

saturday camp-out

it's not the kind of camp-out i'd like to be having but it's the necessary thing right now. i'm camped out at lace's starbucks today during her work shift, 1:30-9pm, so i can be especially productive on my class.'s very cold in here. hot outside (which i am dressed for) but cold inside, especially since i'm drinking this iced soy latte (yum).

this weekend is burger fest. that's right, all the local burger joints, pubs, you name it, get together and set up on Belmont and we get to eat their wonderful burgers (needless to say, the air smells amazing in our neighborhood). we're going tomorrow night because that's when a certain band is playing. i forget who, i should have asked lacy. anyhow. it's a great weekend, very "summery."

i should go. i have a stack of flash cards about 3 inches high of terms i need to know by tonight. gah!

something i've been thinking about lately and i'll try to post about once i've thought and studied a bit more: pleasure (in life, in love, in relationships, in general!)--especially as it relates to faithful following and living in obedience to God. i think some traditional "christian" concepts have kind of given a warped understanding of what pleasure is/means/does and how we "handle it" in life. at the same time, Scriptural concepts and understandings of pleasure ought to be the richest, right? thoughts of your own?

happy saturday, everyone! :) :) :)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

double -posting

you get two today! i decided that tonight would be a good time to put up some pictures from the 4th.

it's been a long day. the stale heat kind of makes me feel tired and lethargic--not a pleasant feeling. work was fine. C started swim lessons again today. i didn't bring a book so ended up just sitting and thinking in the lobby for 35 min. with S. it's been a day full of thought. i finally got around to responding to some emails. i talked to mom for a little while. she prayed for me. have i ever told you about mom's prayers? maybe not. one day i will. for now, just know that i love when she prays for me over the phone.

dinner was wonderful. i made an "asian style" salad--seared veggies with fried tofu (i know, but its an inexpensive form of protein!) tossed over lettuce with some seasoning. mmm. it was the perfect summer dinner. my peaches are finally ripe and i happily slurped peach juice off my arm thinking, "there's nothing like summer peaches." then last night's left over box of waffle cones gave me the idea of running over to trader joe's for something cool. you guessed it, i picked up some of their coffee ice cream. yum.

now i am (im)patiently waiting for the night to cool off while i sip a glass of merlot. i'll study for a little while and then start a new book, The Longing for Home by F Buechner. after i finished Traveling Mercies I had no idea what to read next. but during my breakdown on the way home from work today [yes, I was finally able to cry. you probably didn't know that i haven't been able to for awhile. my, it felt good. i cried because the lady still hasn't called me back about my car and i've called her twice; because the men in the car behind me were fondling each other; because there was a magazine at the club with an article about which city (miami or chicago) has a hotter sex-life; because i am weary of earth and weary of sin; because i long for many things that aren't yet a reality and i'm tired of longing; because i miss my family so much; because sometimes i don't know where i fit into this world or where i belong in life; because sometimes the simple things are too wonderful for me...and because i said to the Lord, "tonight i'm ready to be home"...] i remembered that this book is sitting on my shelf.

now, enough about my day. here are a few pictures from the weekend. on saturday morning Mr. Schnake, Jake, Hannah, and I went biking--23 miles through Wisconsin's beautiful farmland. don't tell anyone but i think i'm falling in love with Wisconsin. sssshh. I couldn't help but sense the world's held beauty. all the green and the tall trees, the bulging corn fields, warm sun across farm-scapes and gorgeous old barns, some falling into disrepair. it takes your breath away. i loved biking. the hills were a killer but i think i could get used to it. a cross-country biking/camping trip has made my life to-do list. i should work on updating that thing.

sunday Andrew and Tiffany drove up for fireworks. i'm so glad they did. we got prime seats at the end of the pier and watched the whole scene unfold right in front of us. we got rained on a little but it was a perfect night. i've spent the 4th in a different state for the past 5 years.

"relocate me in Your eternal resolve..."

i wrote that in my journal Sept 8 of last year. it came from a Brueggemann prayer. it's a beautiful line--a beautiful prayer.

i find myself praying that this morning. yes, Lord, relocate us in your eternal resolve: "that the earth may be fully your realm, that the world may wreak with your shalom, that we ourselves may find our true freedom in your sovereign purpose. yours--not ours--is the kingdom, the power, and the glory...and we are grateful. amen." --W.B. from "Before the Day is Out"

also, it's a good morning because i decided to make coffee (i just haven't been doing this very often at all). i shouldn't tell you that it's french press and i forgot about it for 45 min before "pressing" it...sorry mark, hannah, lacy, and all you other s-bucks workers (or coffee lovers) who probably shudder over this. what the hell. it's still coffee, right? and besides, it's in my cow mug (i had to show you the cow mug). that has to count for something :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Two Thoughts for Today

not exactly my own but mine often echo these, does that count?

"Dear God, i'm no use, i'm still the same bitch and fake. clear me out of the way." ~ Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)

"All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don't tiptoe." -from "The Irresistible Revolution"

Monday, July 05, 2010

taking my own advice

i'm not always good at listening to my own advice. after two years of good learning about "self care" and "rest," it's time to live it a little.

after years of ministry, mom is putting herself on sabbatical. listening to her talk about her plans of intentional rest, anticipated care for necessary responsibilities, and dreams for the new space in life (for things like reading, writing, praying, and living other activities that have been put on hold) brought something in me to the surface. it was that funny little question mark deep in me about school next year--launching myself onto the road to Wheaton for grad. school. i've got this summer course in General Psychology right now. easy, i know, and truly basic. but it has been really hard to motivate myself to work on it. when mom finished talking i said, "gosh, mom, my soul needs something like that." of course, mom has always voiced her concern(s) about my "burnout." so she said i should consider the possibility of taking the fall semester off.

the thought scares me. a lot. it scares me to put my "plan" (or should i say "dream"?) on hold. but you know what? my "plan" hasn't been very inviting to me recently. i can't articulate my vision very well. my heart feels weak and my passion and ambition feel spent. in other words, this isn't to say i don't like my plan or want to keep my plan :) this is to say that i need a break. last year took a lot out of me--in many ways. i need to slow down. i need to make space for a few new things...
[i can tell you another time what i think about God and us and the living of our i think that the dreams/passions we have aren't an accident and that life is probably a lot about the redemption of those dreams and learning how to live life with God and others as this happens]

**so, here are some things i want to bring into my life this year (and in no particular order):
that pottery class i've been putting off
wednesday night knitting and wine at Sister Arts studio in late fall and winter
personal study (biblical/theological concepts that my life longs to develop and live)
english tutoring (or, rather, keeping up the friendship with Rasha and family)
involvement at church/time to volunteer
writing (poetry, stories, letters, journaling)
prayer (creative outlets for developing prayer in my life. call me crazy but this will most likely include paper, glue, scissors, and a host of other "crafty" elements...)
growing friendships near and far (working on communication and living life together)

i don't just want to spend this year at work, in classes, and doing homework. i want to live it with time and space to renew some of the richness that i feel i have either forgotten, overlooked, or gotten too busy for. i need to practice some self-care. i need to swallow the advice i have given others :)

want to help? please be praying. those of you close to me (and/or who know me well) know that this is a difficult and frightening decision. Jake reminded me that it is a position and posture of trust. i like that because he's right, it's true of me in this place now but it's also true of life in general (and for all of us). for now, this time right out of college is a time to develop habits and set realistic goals for myself as i learn to live each day in faith (not weeks, months, years, but just days). i can't do that unless i create the space for it and i haven't found the space for it because i've been going, going, going. i need to just be with the Lord for awhile.

So...i'm going to call COD tomorrow and discuss the status of my deposit and class registration. i'll see if i can just hold off until next semester or what...i don't really know. like i said, it's scary. but i think it's a really good thing. there's a quiet freedom in this decision and a settled sort of "yes" that keeps calling out from inside of me. i like that. it sort of sounds like that quiet confirmation that the Holy Spirit whispers when you're on the right path. so i guess i should be all gratefulness. i am, i think, but i am also really unsure. there's a lot to be unsure about come mid August :)
life, you are so uncertain. you are so exciting. you are all we have to live and we want to live you well.

"Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you...teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing." -Psalm 143:8-10 NLT