Thursday, December 25, 2008

::Goodbye, Kodak

My new camera.

I am so grateful to my parents.
And I am SO excited.

I still can't believe it's mine.

I've decided I want to name it.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

::We'll always be together for Christmas

I have always loved this commercial.

I really wish it were still on the air.

Friday, December 19, 2008

::oh how the years go by

A photo survey from a friend:

1. The oldest photo of you on your computer.

Me sitting on my Grandpa's lap, posing with my brother Josh:

2. Your newest photo of yourself.

Self-portrait on my birthday, 12-4-08:

3. A photo of you and one other person.

Me with my friend Robin at a graduation party, 5-31-08:

4. A group photo.

My sister-in-law Aimee on Emma's birth day, holding Emma, surrounded by her four nieces; Isabel, Maya, Alli & Sofia, 8-4-08:

5. A holiday/birthday photo.

With Josh on his 3rd birthday:

6. One of your Myspace/Facebook photos.

A facebook profile picture; wearing my brother Joel's silly sunglasses, 6-13-08:

8. A photo of you in your favorite color.

My favorite color varies, but I like pink + black together; after Annie + I straightened my hair in Utah, 5-27-08:

9. A photo someone else took of you.

Taken by Robin @ Camp Lake Louise, 2006:

10. A photo(s) of your siblings.

Josh @ the hospital, right after his daughter Emma was born, 8-4-08:

Joel holding Emma, 8-15-08:

11. A photo of your pet, or you and your pet.

Sadly I don't have pets, but this is one of Josh + Aimee's dogs, Griffin:

12. 3 random photos with friends/family.

Me with Josh in our grandparents' garage...I can't believe how straight my hair was back then:

Me holding Joel when he first came home from the hospital:

Me with my cousin/close friend Heather:


There you have it.
Wanna play?
I'd love to peep your sweet snapshots.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

::I heart William Stanley

While driving home from lunch today, I tuned in to Fresh Air on NPR and heard an interview with W.S. Merwin.
I first fell in love with his work (Thanks) when it was featured as a preface in Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies.
I adore the manner in which he manipulates language to extract such heartfelt, poignant responses from readers.
After absorbing one of his poems, I feel enriched, moved and undoubtedly understood...all by a complete stranger.
He read this poem on the air, and I haven't stopped thinking about it all day:

A Single Autumn

The year my parents died

one that summer one that fall

three months and three days apart

I moved into the house

where they had lived their last years

it had never been theirs

and was still theirs in that way

for a while

echoes in every room

without a sound

all the things that we

had never been able to say

I could not remember

doll collection

in a china cabinet

plates stacked on shelves

lace on drop-leaf tables

a dried branch of bittersweet

before a hall mirror

were all planning to wait

the glass doors of the house

remained closed

the days had turned cold

and out in the tall hickories

the blaze of autumn had begun

on its own

I could do anything

~W.S. Merwin

[from The New Yorker]

Monday, December 8, 2008

::letters to a young stacer

Several months ago I signed up for daily emails from the Writer's Almanac, and have grown to look forward to their everyday presence in my inbox.
From the wealth of information contained in these gems, I learned last Thursday that I share a birthday with Rainer Maria Rilke, whose work I have long admired.

Self-portait, 12-4-08

You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.

~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Thursday, December 4, 2008

::heureux anniversaire

I am getting a little tired of pretending I'm excited every time it's somebody's birthday. I mean really, at this point, what is the big deal? How many times do we have to celebrate that someone was born? Every year, every person, over and over? All you did was not die for twelve months. This is the big accomplishment?

~Jerry Seinfeld

Today is my birthday.
The older I get, the less I care about this most peculiar of days.

Aside from buying myself a new shirt and a mango smoothie from Panera (my fave), I'll be dining out at Red Robin with my family, and having a small get-together on Sunday night.

Today is also my niece's four-month birthday, and frankly I'm way more excited about that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

::black friday, indeed

I don't remember ever venturing out for shopping on "Black Friday."
Some years, I wish I possessed the wherewithal to endure the crowded mayhem, but have decided that I simply do not.

This year, I learned about this, and it deeply wounded me.

I could wax intellectual and/or philosophical and theorize that tragedy occurred because this man was, in a sense, trampled by greed itself.
I could ascend to the haughty summit of a soapbox and conclude that this incident has laid bare the seedy underbelly of American consumerism.
I won't.

But the moment that affected me the most was, when my father was reading aloud a description of the incident, and its last sentence was something akin to "After the incident occurred, most witnesses returned to shopping as if nothing had happened."

I was stabbed by the sadness, but also very soon reminded of how very jaded I am, and remembered that I could very easily have been one of those shoppers who witnessed the atrocity and then simply returned to business as usual.

When we are presented with the searing reality of the worst in ourselves, it's so tempting to flee from it.
How painful it is to be confronted with our own behavior at its most appalling.

Friday, November 28, 2008

::Day o' Turkey

Deeeeelicious dinner yesterday.
My family went to Frankenmuth for the Thanksgiving buffet.

Later, we saw Four Christmases.
Vince Vaughn's rapid-fire delivery never fails to make me giggle uncontrollably.

Although this has been a very difficult year in many respects, I have had such blessings to soothe me and lift my countenance.

I lost my job in March, but my beautiful friend Annie paid for a trip to Utah so I could visit her and enjoy a change of scenery for a wonderful week.

In July, I fell and sustained two gashes requiring 38 stitches. In the midst of all the swelling, pain, self-consciousness and frustration, I had a camp full of people who showed me unparalleled warmth, kindness and generosity.
They helped me smile, laugh, relax and dismiss my misery.

On August 4, my niece Emma was born.
She may have become my new Favorite Person on Earth.

Her Thanksgiving hat was so precious.
Uncle Joel called her "Poetic Justice."

Monday, November 24, 2008

::baby beauty

Me with Emma, 11-24-08

We who are bone and spittle and muscle and sweat
We live together in a world
Where it's good to be alive

~Rich Mullins (With the Wonder)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

::easy street

It's disconcerting to consider all the things we do and/or fail to do, simply because they're easy, or easier.

When there's a conflict with a friend wherein we've both made mistakes, it's easier to take all the anger I feel, both at them and at me, and spew it all out at them, dripping with sarcasm and bitterness.

When I'm in a hurry and I run into someone at Target, it's easier to say a quick hello and ignore that look in their eyes that tells me they'd love to talk.

When I need to work on my health and fitness, it's easier to say "I just can't afford it right now" and continue living the same way, rather than try to make a way for improvements to take place.

When my desk is blanketed with the inordinate chaos of clutter, it's easier to leave it that way because cleaning seems too arduous an undertaking.


It would have been easier to not even examine this, I suppose.
Maybe for once, I didn't just take the easy way out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

::pop quiz

Wow...this is almost shockingly accurate.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, November 15, 2008

::we are family

The other day at my parents' house, after spending a day with my niece Emma, my sister-in-law Aimee came to retrieve her, and decided to stay and feed her.

As Aimee sat on the couch nursing Emma, I suddenly reflected upon what a powerful notion that must be, to have the ultimate nourishment for your child inside of your own body.
When your child's hunger cries are spewing forth, pleading for satiation, your own body already provides them with the satisfaction that they need.

I began to realize that one difficult aspect of parenting (perhaps motherhood especially) is that the more your child grows, the less you are able to meet their needs so readily, which must lead to a gnawing, searing sensation of powerlessness.

And when tragedy strikes, I would imagine that this suffering becomes even more palpable.

After the Columbine shootings, I remember seeing one of the victims' mothers interviewed, and she spoke very candidly about how devastating it was to know that her daughter must have been in excruciating pain, and that she could do absolutely nothing about it. She said, "I just kept picturing her lying on that cafeteria floor, wondering if she was cold...wanting to cover her with a blanket..."

Since entering adulthood, I have a tendency to become annoyed with my parents for their countless worrywart commentaries about what to wear, what to do, where to go, what and whom to avoid, etc.

I realize now that these are merely their attempts to anticipate my needs and to do whatever they can to take care of them, and of me.

I no longer live with them and have become independent in so many different ways, thereby removing the burden of responsibility they once shouldered.
I realize now that they must miss it.

When they tell me to drive carefully, I smile.
I know it's merely synonymous with We love you.

::poetic license

(After being gently chided by my friend Heidi this evening about how rarely I update this little corner of the blogosphere, I have acquired a renewed zest for sharing my musings.)

My maternal grandfather was the kindest, most gentle man I have ever encountered.

His joy, compassion and love for people consistently moved me.
He died in 2004, and since then I have desperately desired to write a poem for him.
After many thwarted efforts, I decided that the magnitude of his influence on my life was simply too vast to be squeezed into assortments of letters.

So when this seed of an idea floated into my cerebral cortex, it was completely unexpected.
Although it is merely a snapshot of sorts, I believe it closely resembles the ineffable sentiments I hoped to convey.
After workshopping its drafts with my wonderful honest reader, Christopher (thank you!), I have decided to share what it has blossomed into:



Lunch with my grandparents
always included
conversations seasoned
with hearty laughter,
anecdotes starring relatives,
and bizarre concoctions
between bread slices;
peanut butter and pickle,
tuna salad and butter,
tomatoes with cottage cheese.
My grandfather's side dish,
was the oft-touted
pièce de résistance.
After peeling the flaky,
flimsy skin from an onion,
he would bite into its natural globe
like a sweet autumn apple.
Flabbergasted, my brothers
and I exchanged glances,
half-laughing, half-horrified,
as Grandpa simply smiled,
amused by our naivete,
and declared,
"Tastes good, kids."

Much later I would learn
the adage,
You are what you eat,
and revise it immediately,
my Grandfather's face sunning
my memories,
and decide that in fact
You are what it takes
to eat what you eat
because he
was always exceptional
and always brave.


I warmly invite comments and reactions.

Speak to me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

::second spring

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer
an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

~Stanley Horowitz

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

::hooray for state pride

A Primer
Bob Hicok

I remember Michigan fondly as the place I go
to be in Michigan. The right hand of America
waving from maps or the left
pressing into clay a mold to take home
from kindergarten to Mother. I lived in Michigan
forty-three years. The state bird
is a chained factory gate. The state flower
is Lake Superior, which sounds egotistical
though it is merely cold and deep as truth.
A Midwesterner can use the word “truth,”
can sincerely use the word “sincere.”
In truth the Midwest is not mid or west.
When I go back to Michigan I drive through Ohio.
There is off I-75 in Ohio a mosque, so life
goes corn corn corn mosque, I wave at Islam,
which we’re not getting along with
on account of the Towers as I pass.
Then Ohio goes corn corn corn
billboard, goodbye, Islam. You never forget
how to be from Michigan when you’re from Michigan.
It’s like riding a bike of ice and fly fishing.
The Upper Peninsula is a spare state
in case Michigan goes flat. I live now
in Virginia, which has no backup plan
but is named the same as my mother,
I live in my mother again, which is creepy
but so is what the skin under my chin is doing,
suddenly there’s a pouch like marsupials
are needed. The state joy is spring.
“Osiris, we beseech thee, rise and give us baseball”
is how we might sound were we Egyptian in April,
when February hasn’t ended. February
is thirteen months long in Michigan.
We are a people who by February
want to kill the sky for being so gray
and angry at us. “What did we do?”
is the state motto. There’s a day in May
when we’re all tumblers, gymnastics
is everywhere, and daffodils are asked
by young men to be their wives. When a man elopes
with a daffodil, you know where he’s from.
In this way I have given you a primer.
Let us all be from somewhere.
Let us tell each other everything we can.

[from The New Yorker ]

Friday, September 26, 2008


I spent five hours with my niece on Monday.

Each time I see her, it seems I grow more attached.
I was not wholly prepared for the overpowering surge of joy she would deliver to my everyday existence.
From the moment my eyes meet her tiny blue miracles, my face breaks into a helpless grin and I say "Hi honey!", I feel as though I am transported to an alternate universe.
Every movement, every sound, every posture and gesture a phosphorescent celebration.

Late in the afternoon, I sat in silence with her in the rocking chair, my hand like a giant's across her back, softly lulling her to sleep.
Her tiny fist beneath my chin, her cheek perched against my shoulder, I felt an almost-otherworldly calm wash over me.

All I could conjure in my brain, starved for words to express this most ineffable feeling, was Stevie Wonder's voice.

Isn't she lovely, made from love...

Friday, September 12, 2008

::Reading is FUNdamental

A survey stolen from Tiffany:

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

-- All

2. Amazon or brick and mortar?
-- I've never even heard of brick and mortar! I'll have to check that out.

3. Barnes & Noble or Borders?
-- Barnes & Noble

4. Bookmark or dog-ear?
-- I use makeshift bookmarks all the time...photographs, magazine subscription cards, etc.

5. Alphabetize by author or title, or random?
-- Alpha by author

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?
-- Keep!

7. Keep dustjacket or toss it?
-- I keep it, but I usually remove it while reading

8. Read with dustjacket or remove it?
-- See above

9. Short story or novel?
-- I love books of short stories and/or essays

10. Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? -- I usually like collections better

11. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
-- Harry Potter, I suppose...although I only read about 1/3 of the first book

12. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
-- Whenever I'm tired, usually

13. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
-- Neither, actually

14. Buy or Borrow?
-- Both, usually...Heather and I love to trade

15. New or used?
-- Used is cheaper, but I usually buy new

16. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
-- Recommendations, usually; though I love to browse

17. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
-- Whatever serves the story best

18. Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
-- Ordinarily I'm a nighttime girl, especially because it helps me sleep...unless of course the book is too addictive

19. Stand-alone or series?
-- Usually stand-alone.

20. Favorite series?
-- The Chronicles of Narnia, probably...although when I was younger, it was The Baby-sitters Club, haha

21. Favorite children’s book?
-- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
-- I read a book when I was in 6th grade called What Happened to Mr. Forster? I loved it, but no one else seems to have ever heard of it...just found it here though!

23. Favorite books read in the last year?
-- Eat Pray Love ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
-- Sex God ~ Rob Bell
-- Into the Wild ~ Jon Krakauer
-- Choke ~ Chuck Palahniuk

24. Favorite books of all time?
-- An incredibly loaded question, too many to name, but here are a few:
-- She's Come Undone ~ Wally Lamb
-- White Oleander ~ Janet Fitch
-- Walden ~ Henry David Thoreau
-- A Grief Observed ~ CS Lewis
-- A Confederacy of Dunces ~ John Kennedy Toole

25. Least favorite book you finished last year?
-- If I don't like it, I don't finish it

26. What are you reading right now?
-- On the Road ~ Jack Kerouac
-- Velvet Elvis ~ Rob Bell (re-reading)

27. What is your secret guilty pleasure book(s)?
Every once in awhile I like to re-read the Judy Blume books I used to love as a kid

28. What book have you always wanted to read but not had time to?
-- Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy

29. What book do you hate the most that you've read all the way through?
When I read Jane Eyre for AP English in high school, I despised it. I appreciate it more now.

30. What are you reading next?
-- The Road ~ Cormac McCarthy

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I've decided that my niece needs one of these.

Her mother may kill me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

::I'm sorry...what were you saying?

This may be a "DUH!" statement on par with "The Internet is really popular."
But in recent reflections, I have been slapped afresh by this realization:
Listening is a lost art.

Never mind that our media-saturated culture moves so swiftly that we may have lost the necessary attention span.
Never mind that much of our communication is now accomplished electronically.

I often hear folks refer to some sort of mythical halcyon days when everything was simpler, transactions were deeply personal, and the proverbial red tape of modern interactions was virtually nonexistent.

But I wonder if maybe listening has always been a difficult task - regardless of cultural conditions - simply because of our essence.
Perhaps it's always been a perpetually lost art.

In order to truly listen, we must surrender our selfishness.
We must relinquish our personal agendas, empty ourselves of self-absorption.
We must render our minds completely porous for another person's thoughts and feelings to enter without obstruction.

I have always enjoyed listening, and have been told that I am adept at it, but I'm certain that I struggle with it as much as everybody else does.
Very rarely have I been able to achieve that elusive peaceful mindset wherein my brain is entirely focused on the other person.
Like everybody else, I often abide the words of others only as long as I can stand to be silent, my own words crashing against the gates like racehorses.

Artful listening requires profound patience.
Patience may be the rarest of virtues.

Friday, August 29, 2008

::Heavier things

Tuesday evening, I sat down on my couch to watch The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Within fifteen minutes, I was weeping.
It chronicles the experiences of French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby in the aftermath of a massive stroke.
The early shots are entirely representative of his point of view so that we, the viewers, are seeing and experiencing the world precisely as he would have.
In 2002, a similar situation befell my grandfather, Robert Earl Borst (1913-2004). Thoughts of him and his indescribable grace and patience overwhelmed me until I became hysterical with fresh grief.

My brain embarks on long, complicated journeys of thought sometimes.
The departure depot could be as simple as "corn on the cob" and very soon I have somehow arrived at "satire in modern American literature."

This train, though not as "random" (a buzz word I tend to loathe), started with a subtitled French film, took a detour to my deceased grandfather, and led to the state of funerals in America.

One thing that I adore about the church I attend is that death is treated with the sorrow it warrants. Our pastor never sweeps grief under the unsightly rug of "There's no reason to be sad, they're in Paradise with Jesus!"
I'm no Biblical scholar. I have no seminary education. But I have a hunch that God would have a problem with people being commanded to swallow their grief because "death for a Christian is a celebration!"
Jesus wept at the news of His friend's death, and I read one commentary that suggested that His tears were - at least in part - due to the sorrow of death itself, because it was never supposed to happen.

According to the Bible, death has certainly been ultimately conquered by Christ, and I fully understand the hope that Christians claim alongside their grief. What I cannot abide, however, is those who deny that unmistakable coexistence.

I lost a close friend - Aaron Johnson - when he and I were both eleven.
During the summer between fifth and sixth grades, he was on vacation with his family. A lifelong asthma sufferer, he was plagued with an attack so profound that it ultimately killed him.
I lost two more close friends in fatal car accidents, one at sixteen and one at eighteen.
I've noticed that, at funerals for Christian young people, it seems that unabashed grief is more acceptable. They were "called home so soon", it's such a "horrible tragedy", it's "so unfair," etc.

I have been to many funerals for older folks, however, where open displays of grief were strongly discouraged.
I have heard the officiating pastors say, "This is not a funeral. This is a celebration!"
All four of my grandparents, all Christians, have passed away.
At two of the funerals, I was actually reprimanded for crying, with the obnoxious platitudes of "You wouldn't wish them back now, would you? Be happy for them!" and "Come on now, don't cry. You have to be strong for your parents."
To which I of course wanted to reply, "You know what would make me feel really happy and strong? If I could stab you in the forehead with a fork."
At a funeral for a friend of my grandparents', I noticed a very tearful woman hugging the deceased man's widow.
A nearby mourner actually said to her "Stop that right now! Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again, rejoice!"
I was speechless.
I still am.

Death, at any age, with plenty of time for preparation or none at all, is inevitably sad and guaranteed to be painful.
Denying these truths only serves to render their sting ever more powerful.

While discussing some of these concepts on the dining hall porch swing at Lake Louise with my friend Pastor Zachary, he said "I don't know how anyone who thinks funerals aren't supposed to be sad manages to find their way into their pants in the morning."
Amen, brother.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I like:

old yearbooks, my dad's laugh, green beans, red gerber daisies, long necklaces, the smell of rain, Karin Bergquists's voice, curled eyelashes, new books, abandoned buildings, distinctive penmanship, nonconformity, overstuffed chairs, handwritten notes, crisp chilly mornings at Lake Louise, word games, cute friendly dogs, rose-colored sky, ice water with lemon, decoupaged bookcases, sleeping late, long tight hugs, catharsis, fresh fruit salad, laughing until it hurts, comfortable silences, candid portraits, words that burrow in, chubby babies, good hair days, silly slang terms, lunch dates, watching the sun rise and set, pink bicycles with streamers, overcast afternoons, photo albums, poems that invade me, self-deprecation, sweet elderly men, addictive books, mango smoothies, friendly strangers, detailed daydreams, unforgettable films, guilty pleasures, brown with turquoise, npr, cityscapes at night, reconnecting with old friends, silver nail polish, charm bracelets, spontaneity, popcorn + milk duds at the movies, driving songs, trendy glasses, and expensive cameras.

Et tu?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

::Here comes the sun

Behold, the healing power of stillness.

I love cameras because they can freeze moments.
I hate them because they cannot freeze time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

::pretty in pink

Tuesday night I saw Stepbrothers.
I'm still giggling about it.
I wish I could own it, like, right now.


In other news, I am so in love with my niece, it's ridiculous.

Yesterday was the first day I hadn't seen her since she'd been born, and I was literally aching. I missed her terribly.

Oh, my little Emma.
My adoration for her is indescribable.

Monday, August 4, 2008

::Guess what guess what guess what?

I'm an AUNTIE!

Emma Charlotte Highfield
August 4, 2008 @ 12:12 p.m.
7 lbs. 1 oz.
19.5 inches.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


My niece - Emma Charlotte - is due in 8 days.
My poor sister-in-law - with her swollen feet and exhausted body - seems so ready.


I may never get used to the sight of little kids talking on cell phones.
There they are in their front yards playing catch, or riding their bikes down the street, or even holding their parents' hands in Wal*Mart...chattering away on cell phones.
Something about that image strikes me as sad.
I can't quite pinpoint it.


I turned off e-mail alerts from facebook three days ago.
Since then, my e-mail inbox has received one new message.
So funny.
I turned some back on because an empty inbox is too depressing.


My friend Alyssa has been in England for a study abroad program this summer, and I find myself drooling over her pictures.
I am a green-eyed monster.
European travel beckons me like a seductress.


My scars are looking better all the time, truly.
I still feel self-conscious and still "freak out" about them, but overall I ought to be thankful that they are looking healthy and actually shrinking.


"That's what she said" - while perhaps sophomoric, immature and pedestrian - makes me laugh.
I can't help it.
Hence, this reduced me to silly giggles:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

::I must confess, I still believe...

I really like wearing glasses.
I think they suit me.
But I hate how they just never. look. clean.
I clean the lenses several times a day, but I guess I just suck at it.
It doesn't seem as though it should be something that requires a skill level, though.
I feel like such a moron.


I have watched two episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager (That title? Waaaaay too long for a tv show) and actually found it endearing.
There is something about Molly Ringwald playing the teen girl's mother that just charms me.
It's cheesy and unrealistic and schmaltzy - like every good teen drama worth its salt - but I'd say it's worth a watch.


On Saturday morning, I embarked on another weekend adventure with my friends Themab.
They played at an event in Belding called Rock on the Hilltop.
We stayed over at some very hospitable folks' houses on Saturday night, and then the boys led worship at First Church of God in Greenville the next morning.
Good times.

For their first encore, they played their cover of Britney Spears' Baby One More Time.
I laughed so hard I may have peed a little.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

::Misty water-colored memories...

From Annie:

Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.

[If you don't want to play on your blog, or you don't have one, I'll leave my memory of you in the comments.]

::Oh, my precious eyes

This is wrong on so many levels.

I just...can't...look...away.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

::just call me scarface

July 6, 2008 - I'm at camp, and I take a walk down to the program center with my dad so I can use his computer.

Once inside the door, I turn right.
I'm not looking at the ground, so I don't see the giant sheets of industrial-sized cardboard stacked up (planned for human tetris.)

I stumble, then slip, then cannot regain my footing.
My arms are full, and there is nothing to grasp.
On the way down, I feel my face hit the corner of the wooden cart that holds hymnals.
Next thing I know, I am on the floor and all I can taste is blood.
My dad comes running, takes one look at me and I can see in his eyes, it's bad.
My friend James runs to get paper towels, then off to fetch the golf cart.
I hold the towels against my cheek, and within seconds, they are soaked.
We gather my mom, who gathers our close friend Shirl (an RN), and we head off to the hospital with our friend Philip tagging along as well.
I check myself out in the mirror and discover that I have two large gashes.
One on my cheek, another along my chin/neck.
The bottom one is bad. Deep. Wide.
I glance down at the front of my shirt, and it is soaked with my blood.
My dear friend Shirl, who is amazing in any crisis, holds her hand against my face all the way to the hospital (and for several hours after we arrive), placing pressure on the wounds to control bleeding.
Mom drives 90 mph.
We are met by paramedics at the ER, who wheel me in.

We are there for almost 4 hours.
I receive 38 stitches altogether.
The bottom gash has an arterial bleed that requires 4 inside stitches.

What a way to start a week.
The campers had not even arrived yet.

Just a few hours after stitches

Three days later...bruising in full effect

Five days later, after cheek stitches were removed

Nasty? Yeah. I know.

Last Saturday, the stitches in the bottom cut were removed, and it's looking good and healing nicely. My gracious friend Heather, a doctor who was arriving at camp to direct the next week's program, kindly agreed to remove the pesky stitches. A crowd gathered to witness the spectacle.
The bruising has cleared substantially, and I'm slathering on Vitamin E for scar prevention.
My mom says I'm "looking more like myself."
Thankfully I am feeling much more like myself as well.
I still have prescription Motrin for pain, and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Here is a current shot, taken just today:

Even though I had a miserable experience in many ways, being injured which caused pain and sadness and frustration and sleeplessness and all kinds of negativity, I still had a phenomenal week.
The kindness, love, support and compassion that were shown to me...WOW.
All of my fellow counselors were amazing.
Even the girls in Robin's and my cabin were incredibly sensitive; always quiet when I was resting, always asking how I was feeling, often inspecting my face for progress and changes in the bruises and stitches.

I am currently experiencing a lot of self-consciousness and insecurity about my very obvious wounds, but I'm trying to hang on and stay positive. I'm trying to be patient and let them heal.
I'm trying to believe that if this had to happen, it's good that it didn't affect my eyes or nose, or any vital organs.
Even though I still sometimes feel as though I've been run over by a truck, I know it's not the Apocalypse.

I still have truckloads for which to be grateful.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

::sea to shining sea

Mom, Dad and I went to a parade this morning and then to fireworks tonight with my Family Crush, the Ruhlens.
Also, I had some McDonald's sweet tea.

With the residual aroma of fireworks still seeping through the windows, I sit down to compose while my mind clamors to complete its list of Everything I Should Be Doing Before I Leave For Camp Tomorrow.

It will wait a few moments.
Fourth of July always reminds me of this scene in The Sandlot.
I cry every time I see it.
When Ray Charles sings America the Beautiful? Wow. Life doesn't get much better.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My new bev

It's official.
I'm addicted.


Things I have learned today:

- My dad loves Rush Limbaugh. I definitely do not.

- Taking a generic-brand "sleep aid" pill for insomnia may not be the best idea.

- I should never eat Chinese food on an empty stomach.

- If I paint my nails black, my brother will make snarky comments.

- Manbabies are hilarious.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


What was I doing:
- 10 years ago: with my family and working at a bookstore? I think?
- 5 years ago: Taking summer classes and working at Curves
- 5 months ago: Working at the Community Voice

5 things on my to do list today:
1 - Do some laundry
2 - Spend time with Dad for Father's Day
3 - Watch more Dawson's Creek dvds (God bless Netflix)
4 - Upload some photos to
5 - Call Casey

5 Snacks I enjoy:
1 - Pretzels with peanut butter
2 - Cheese + crackers
3 - String cheese
4 - Trail mix
5 - Granola bars

5 things I would do if I were suddenly a billionaire:
1 - Buy a new car
2 - Buy a luxury apartment
3 - Buy gifts for everyone I love
4 - Open a bookstore/cafe and staff it with family and friends
5 - Find charitable causes in which to invest

5 of my bad habits:
1 - Oversleeping
2 - Overspending
3 - Wasting hours online
4 - Giggling at inappropriate times
5 - Eating junk food

5 places I have lived:
1 - Holly
2 - Fort Wayne, Indiana
3 - Upland, Indiana
4 - Boyne Falls, Michigan
5 - I'm out

5 jobs I have had:
1 - Telemarketer
2 - Bookstore shelver/cashier
3 - Receptionist
4 - Curves trainer
5 - Managing Editor

5 things people don't know about me:
1 - I can be very judgmental/critical
2 - I'm addicted to old-school Super Mario Bros
3 - I don't like parties very much
4 - When I've been around people all day, I feel very drained
5 - I can't go to Target without buying something

Friday, June 13, 2008

A gift? For me? Really?

Last Sunday at church, we took a Spiritual Gifts Discovery Questionnaire.

My top three gifts:

Creative Ability = "
the ability to forward God’s kingdom through creative skills such as music, drama, graphic arts, writing, painting, sculpting, etc."

Mercy =
"the ability to show genuine compassion and help those who are suffering or distressed."

Encouragement = "
the ability to give words of comfort and counsel to others in such a way that they feel helped and healed."


These things seem to suit/describe me well, but I seriously need to utilize them more frequently. Squandering a gift is so very unwise.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

count your many blessings, count them one by one...

Good things lately:

+ On Friday, I had an excellent mail day. I got some "fashion specs" in a package from Annie, and also, a card from a lady at church whom I barely know. She had evidently heard from a friend about how I'd lost my job, because inside the card was a $100 bill. Amazing. I cried. On Sunday, I gave her a crushing hug and thanked her excessively. All she kept saying was "God is good."

+ I saw The Darjeeling Limited and thought it was excellent.

+ In Utah with Annie, we were watching season 4 of Dawson's Creek, and I loved it. I am now ordering it from Netflix, and I'm addicted. Why did I stop watching that show in season 2? ...Oh yeah, 'cause I thought I was "too old" for it. So much for that. Perhaps one is never too old for teen melodrama.

+ This week I've gotten a few actual responses from jobs I've applied for, and even when they're negative, like "I'm sorry, but I don't think you're right for this position..." I still appreciate it, because even a definite "no" is better than sitting around waiting and wondering.

+ I got some actual prescription glasses over the weekend, and cannot believe how much better I can see now. And I actually enjoyed my very first optometrist appointment (it didn't hurt that he's young and dreamy). Wal*Mart vision center was cheap and also offered a very pleasant experience. I love my new glasses. I can't stop taking self-portraits.

+ At Red Robin after church on Sunday, I had their Strawberry Ecstasy smoothie, and it was incredible. A new summer favorite. Maybe even better than the Frozen Mango at Panera.

+ Aimee's family shower is on Saturday. I am all about celebrating my niece's forthcoming arrival.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I watched Once last night.

It's a new favorite.

This was the song I liked best - Falling Slowly - for which Glen Hansard + Marketa Irglova won the 2008 Oscar for Best Original Song:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Artistic brilliance

My dad sent me these. I love them.

Ceiling mural in a smoker's lounge:

Floor mural in a bathroom:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Celtic wisdom

Think where man's glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends.

~William Butler Yeats

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hickory dickory dock

Yesterday was Aimee's baby shower.
Theme: storybooks + nursery rhymes.

I believe it's safe to use the old adage, A good time was had by all.

The cake (The Cow Jumped Over the Moon), crafted by our friends Sue and Debbie, who could seriously be on Ace of Cakes:

Table decor:

Mom (Organizer) + Me (helper):

The guest of honor, holding our friends' daughter Hannah:


Adorable little guests:

Hannah + her baby brother Grant

Aimee's nieces, Maya + Isabel

Sofia (Aimee's niece) + Hannah

Alli, Aimee's niece +helper

The planning was a long, sometimes arduous process.
But it was worth every moment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails