Sunday, December 12, 2010

light snow

today has been a lot o' fun, so i thought i'd share about it. i slept in pretty late because i made the mistake of deciding to re-read the siren at about 1:45 last night and didn't go to bed until 5 this morning. i woke up a little after 1 in the afternoon (i'm a little [ok, a lot] embarrassed to admit i slept that late) and peeked out my window to discover little white bunches of happiness floating everywhere in the sky and starting to build up on the ground.

this story might make you a little nervous to read, so i want to start it by telling how it ends: today tori and i drove in the snow/ice (or as the weather people call it, "light snow") and made it home fine.

even though it was snowing, tori and i set out to go to franklin (south of nashville) so she could go to a fabric store there. driving there was no problem, everybody went slow and the roads really weren't slippy at the time. after the fabric store we also made stops at marshall's and kroger, which are all in the same shopping area. we weren't out for too long, but it snowed the whole time we were there and it turned dark. when we finally got done shopping and decided to leave it took us forever to get home!

most people were traveling even slower than earlier, and we were going so slow that we got passed a few times. i couldn't begin to count how many emergency vehicles went by us or how many cars we saw on the side of the road. it made the situation a little bit scary (i drove the whole day) but i knew i had to stay calm and focus on getting home instead of worrying. the whole time i was thinking "go slow. keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. watch for ice. watch for cars skidding. don't slam on the breaks when a car starts skidding. don't slam on the breaks if MY car starts skidding. don't steer the opposite way if i start sliding, just let it happen." it was a bit of a tense ride home, but it really went smoothly until we got the road we live right off of, briley parkway.

on the way home i mentioned to tor that getting chinese food from the joint right down the street from us would be fun tonight, so we decided to stop by before going home. we're literally pulling up to the red light on briley that we turn off of to hit up the restaurant and go home on when we skid. we started going towards the car in front of us and i managed to barely turn the wheel a little to make us go into the empty lane beside us. it really wasn't a big deal, at this point i had been prepared for it to happen for almost an hour. we pulled off the road and went in to eat and decide what the best way home would be. we have two options to get to our apartment from briley: go down and up a really big hill on our back road that we usually take, or to keep following briley around, which has an inclined bridge. at first we decided on secret option number three, which was leaving our car at the restaurant and walking down and up the big hill and down the road to our apartment.

after some more talking and watching cars drive by without problem on briley, we decided to go that way. right before we reach the inclined bride we see a couple of cars skidding, and then start doing it as well. we're going all of 5 mph, so it happens for a second and stops. but at this point we're stopped on an icy incline - i try a couple of times to push the gas but we accept that there's no way we can get going forward. so then i decide to try and roll backwards little by little when there are no cars in sight. we move all of five feet and then abandon that idea too. finally someone pulls up behind us (which totally freaked us out, we thought they were about to crash into us) and asked if we wanted help. then someone else pulls up in front of us and asks if we need help. (we think the people in the two trucks were friends, but we're really not sure) the guys talk about pulling us up the hill and then get to work attaching a chain to the front of our car. while they're doing that tori and i look at each other and start going "is this a good idea? i don't know about this. what if he skids?" he seemed pretty confident and we told him twice how icy it was and that cars have been going everywhere, so we decided it was our only option and that we need to just do it and hope its ok.

like i said at the beginning, this story ends fine. he took us to the top of the hill and unchained us right at the road we needed to turn on. being pulled was the height of my stress this evening - i was so afraid that when he started stopping i wouldn't be able to and we would bump into the back of him. i was comforted by the thought that if i couldn't stop it would be just that, a bump. we weren't going fast enough for us to really run into his truck and do any damage. we drove down yet another dangerously icy road and finally made it home.

thankfully i got a call at about 10:30 from one of my bosses telling me that our preschool will be closed tomorrow. the whole way back i kept telling tori "i'll look at the road in the morning, but if it's like this i'm NOT going!" after my boss apologized for calling so late i told her i was glad to hear we would be closed since i was stuck in my neighborhood. i have a pretty good plan for tomorrow that involves riding some object down the really big hill, walking up the other side to dunkin donuts, getting a sandwich and hot chocolate, then coming back home the same way i got there! hopefully it'll be a fun snow day!!


p.s. typing the word "hill" so many times made me feel like i was talking about hillary, who is off having non-dangerous fun in alabama. hey hill, hope you're having a good time :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

my terrific two's

ok, so i'm going to try and do a bit more blogging. i figured since i did an entry yesterday why not shoot for two days in a row??

i started a new job at a preschool a few weeks ago as an "early preschool" teacher and have a cute little class of 2 year olds that i spend my days with now. before applying i had never heard of this specific daycare before, but turns out it's actually a well known franchise and has tons of campuses in several states.

i want to be able to share stories from work, but i signed several confidential/privacy agreements when i started working. the school has curriculum developed specifically for each age and class in their schools that i'm not allowed to take out of the building. they were also sure to point out that i may NOT put any pictures of my class on facebook. so since there's all of this to take into consideration, i thought it would be best for me to leave the actual name of the school off of my blog, and i'll be using nicknames for the kids in my class when i tell stories about them. i don't have endearments for all of them made up yet, but i'm almost there.

even though i've been there for a few weeks i'm still trying to get used to everything. we have a very specific routine and schedule for each day, which is great, but we're also potty training, which trumps any and all planned activities. that craziness mixed with me trying to get the little ones to obey me every once in a while has been challenging. trying to discern the leaders didn't go so good - there's A LOT of strong personalities in that room and few followers. the girls are all absolutely adorable and the boys are like some kind of posse...or gang. you should see them on the playground.

here's a slight breakdown of how things go down:

woody just transferred into my class right after i started, and him and spanky quickly became bff's. you don't see one without the other on the playground. i can't quite tell if one of them is the leader of the boys or if they have combined to form a super head of never ending energy and getting into trouble. i would take woody home with me if i could.

running around behind those two is usually tall boy (i haven't come up with his nickname yet) and sometimes tex, though tex likes to be by himself some too. these two boys are pretty mellow.

almost always behind those boys are thing 1 and thing 2 - i named them so because they are the MOST energetic boys i have ever seen! they're like that darn pink bunny - they keep going and going and going.

spot is the only boy that you usually won't see running around with the gang. he's too busy being obsessed with girlfriend. the ONLY way i can get him to do something is if i get girlfriend to do it first. he does everything she does, and when she leaves or goes in to use the potty he stands around asking where she is until she comes back out. lately thing 1 has been doing the same.

cutie pie is just as her name says...a cutie pie. though sometimes she can throw down. she's lately started buddying up with birdie, who does NOT listen to a word i say.

sweetheart is just as her name says. she's a bit quiet and very sweet.

miss priss throws down on the regular. especially at naptime. and she doesn't like to leave her shoes on.

thanks for reading, more stories to follow.


Monday, October 4, 2010

happy birthday joseph!!

happy birthday joseph! i hope you have a super fun day and really wish i could be there to sing "happy birthday" to you! i remember waiting and waiting and waiting for you to be born and the day you finally came is one of my most favorite days in the world!! 9 years ago you gave me the gift of being an aunt, something that can't be topped by anybody, no matter how good the present. you're such a good big brother to ben and jacob, and you also make a terrific nephew. i love you very much and can't wait to hear all about the lego store!!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

the immanuel guarantee

last week (i think?) hillary introduced me to one of my new favorite spots in nashville, radnor lake. the weather has been beautiful the past week, so i'm happy to have somewhere wonderful like radnor to enjoy a little bit of outdoors. after church today i went home to eat lunch and change and then headed off to first go to radnor and then to borders to hang out for a bit. when i got to the lake i decided to go a little bit later - there was a line to get into the parking lot...and it wasn't moving. so now here i am at borders sipping a delicious unsweetened tea with lemon from mcalister's. not a bad sunday afternoon if you ask me.

this morning i went to immanuel church for the first time and can't say enough good things about it. finding a new church can be a long and exhausting process, especially when there are a lot of great churches in your area to choose from. since getting to nashville i've been around to a few different churches and really liked them all. every one of them have good, solid teaching and great ways of getting new people plugged in. i can't say any of the places i've been are better than the other, which made it especially hard to think about calling one of them home.

i've read the pastor's blog at immanuel for a month or two now and really liked him, but i didn't know what to expect, service-wise. i snuck into the back no more than 5 minutes late (check me out!)and was immediately intrigued. dr. ortlund was in the middle of answering a question from someone there - i have no idea if they do this every week, if he just asked if anybody wanted to ask anything, or what. but i thought it was cool.

after that was the part where they greet you and they ask who is attending for the first time, show of hands. i NEVER raise my hand because i hate drawing attention to myself. i sat in the back and looked around. then i heard "guy right there, first hand up, we have a book and a starbucks gift card for you!" then i was regretting not shooting my hand up in the air. however, then i heard "if it's your first time here we have a book and a starbucks card for you, hold your hand up until someone brings one to you." um, AWESOME! about 10ish people had their hands up, including the two people sitting directly in front of me. i'm glad i didn't know what was to follow, i may have passed up a free book and cup of coffee if i had. everybody that had their hand up got to introduce themselves...out loud, to everybody there. it wasn't quite as scary as i thought it would be. on their website is posted the "immanuel guarantee": nobody needs to feel new after their first visit. i was wondering how they could go so far as to guarantee that, and just how they would accomplish it. well, guarantee accomplished.

right away, i felt like i belonged, something i have sorely missed since living in tuscaloosa and attending trinity. several times throughout the rest of the service my eyes welled up with tears that i had to fight back because i finally felt a bit at home. even as i now sit and type this in borders i'm breathing deeply through my nose and have glassy eyes.

during the song that followed i was so excited about my free book that i couldn't wait until home to see what it was. i got even MORE excited when i saw the words "john piper" appear letter by letter as i tore a strip of paper from across the bottom. i am now the happy owner of "fifty reasons why jesus came to die."

so there i sit when the song is over admiring my new book by one of my favorite authors when it is announced that collin hansen is visiting immanuel today. i did a little "oooh!" out loud and then whisper "young, restless, reformed!" which is the title of hansen's book. it happens to be a favorite of mine. after the service i dorkily went up to him and his wife and told him how much i loved it and shook his hand. it was stinking thrilling.

the sermon topic today was "proverbs on emotions" and i very much enjoyed it. we are emotional creatures, especially women. i feel like it's not okay for people to be overly emotional these days - even if you're too happy you're criticized, and you definitely are if you have the audacity to go around crying in front people and showing how you really feel. it's part of the problem with the "american church" - having everything together all the time is a must.

dr. ortlund said that the gospel is emotional, and when christ comes to us we are an emotional jungle and he's not about to turn us into an emotional desert. then he talked through four different categories, each using verses from proverbs for context. it'll be way too lengthy to go through them, but they were:
1. fear and boldness
2. anger and restraint
3. jealousy and trainquility
4. cheerfulness and the gospel

at the end he said that god's power is greatest not in destroying sinners, but by freeing them. then he asked us to think about our darkest, most shameful sins. after pausing for a few seconds he said "that is what you are, and that is what god saves."

all in all, i absolutely loved the entire experience. i called my mom and told her i think i just went to my new church. then i told hillary i went and "am in love with it." then i said "that may be stretch since we've only been out once, but we're courting." i've decided to attend immanuel until i feel the need or desire to look elsewhere. i feel like there are two crucial points that i can make to show how great i thought it was:

1. i had to say my name in front of everybody and i still want to go back.
2. there were cute guys there, but really i wasn't concerned with them. obviously i noticed and thought "oh, he's cute" but that was the end of it because my focus was on the church. when you're a single girl in your 20's and are more taken by a church than a guy, you know you're at a good church. i'm gonna go out on a limb and say the lord had something to do with that - maybe offering a little contentment and peace to my heart? i was very grateful that i wasn't distracted.

next week i'm going to attend a community group before the worship service. i was too scared to go by myself today, but after leaving i wish i had gone. they split them up by ages, which makes me very happy since hillary, tori and i still haven't made many friends since moving to nashville.

one of the last things dr. ortlund said before the benediction was "yall are going to have a great week, i can tell!" and i thought "you couldn't be more right!" my time at immanuel today blessed my heart too much to put into words and i am praying that it will continue to bless me throughout the rest of the week.

thanks for reading! i'm off to radnor to hopefully spend some time outside in the gorgeous weather!


Sunday, August 8, 2010's your turn to help us out

as i mentioned in my last post, the 4 pack was out to dinner one night when a giant metaphoric light bulb fell over our table. i'll do my best to explain it well - it was much easier to talk about in a group than it was to write about! first i'm going to talk about what guys struggle with and then how girls respond. then i'll talk about what girls struggle with and how guys don't respond. i hate to talk about something as broad as physical or emotional lust and apply it to men as a whole and women as a whole, obviously every situation is different, but i feel like the root of the struggle is the same for everybody.

part of being the body of christ is sharing our struggles and encouraging each other through them. the number one known struggle for guys is physical lust. apparently, they can't help it and it's an accepted part of life for them. from what i've read they think about sex anywhere from every 7 seconds to every other day. either way, it's excessive. and with the way sex is thrown into every media outlet there is, it's almost impossible to avoid. i've heard a guy say that there are times when he can't even listen to what a girl is saying to him because he's concentrating so much on looking at her face instead of her body. a man's desire should only be for his wife, and men that try to honor that don't have it easy.

as girls, we do what we can to help our brothers in christ. we don't understand their struggle, but we lovingly and gladly do what we can to protect their eyes and minds. this means giving up clothes that might not necessarily be inappropriate, but it might cause a guy to struggle. this means giving up attention that we would be getting from guys by dressing that way. this means that everything we wear out in public has gone through careful scrutiny, and has been given the answer "no" to the following questions: is this too low? is this too tight? is this too short? is this too low? is this too tight? is this too short? shopping for modest clothes is not easy. finding dresses that don't show any cleave or too much leg is not easy. if ever we find the top or skirt that we just can't pass up, we layer shirts under it or wear leggings to still make sure we are covered up. and might i just add that it's flipping hot outside? but that's no excuse for us to run around in skimpy clothes. and since the body of christ also calls for accountability, if we weren't guarding our brother's minds, we would be called out for it. i realize it's sounding like i'm kind of bitter about it, and maybe i am a teeny bit. but mainly, i'm not bitter and dress appropriately out of love and respect.

what's not as known and accepted is that girls struggle with emotional lust. while guys long to get naked with a woman, girls desperately long to fall in love with a man. before i jump into how we are led on, let me go ahead and right here state for the record that girls are absolutely 100% crazy. now that we got that covered, i'm going to attempt to explain emotional lust. in leslie ludy's book "answering the guy questions: the set-apart girl's guide to relating to the opposite sex" she talks about how when girls are attracted to a guy they can develop "an unhealthy emotional obsession with someone." this happens far more often and easily than guys know. girls will analyze everything and grasp at anything and take off with it. just like when a scantily dressed woman walks by, a man has an urging to turn his head and watch her, girls will start investing feelings in a guy when she thinks he might be interested. this is where the lines of friendship/romance are very blurred. when a girl likes a guy she pays attention to specifically him, makes excuses to be by him, talk to him, touch him, etc. so when a guy interacts with us in such a way, it makes us think there might be interest on their part. guys, through no fault of their own, continue doing little things (that they probably don't even notice) that cause us to furthur attach to them, and that makes it hard for us to know if a friendship or relationship is being established. even something so silly as a guy throwing me his jacket, tapping me with his foot or sharing his food with me can make me wonder if he likes me. i'm reminded of the movie "he's just not that into you" when jennifer aniston's character tells her boyfriend of several years "i just need you to stop being nice to me unless you're gonna marry me." i think men would see that statement as crazy (her boyfriend responds with "is this a trick? it feels like a trick") but what she's basically saying is if you're not going to commit to me then you need to keep your distance. i don't think that's such a ridiculous request!

when it comes down to it, girls just need to deal with their struggle, but if guys were aware of how they could help it would GREATLY reduce the problem. i really think if godly men were made aware of this struggle they would want to help their sisters by being cautious of the words they use with girls and backing up their intentions with their actions. if ever a guy finds himself spending a lot of time talking to a girl or hanging out with her specifically, a little dtr (define the relationship) conversation needs to happen. girls shouldn't have to wonder about a guy's intentions, and certainly they shouldn't have to ask. but it happens all the time, and it seems that often the guy is completely oblivious to the fact that there's even anything to talk about.

this has gotten a bit lengthy, so i'm going to stop here, though i feel like i've only touched the tip of the iceberg. i could go on and on, i mean, how has this been so overlooked and not talked about? to sum it all up i'll close with a quote that hillary and jb came up with the night we first talked about all of this:

"If, in an effort to protect our brother's hearts and minds, women forsake immodesty, attention and cute clothes, then men, in equal measure should purposefully consider their actions and words in attempt to protect the hearts of their sisters, even if that means terminating a friendship."


Friday, August 6, 2010

ah, life

i've had A LOT going on lately! i'll try and give a brief yet entertaining update on life in nashville.

a couple of days after my family left hillary and tori's fam came into town for jameson to compete in the national fbla competition. jameson winter and taylor malone are two of my favorite people, and i was so excited they got to come and see our apartment and sign our wall!

i saw inception twice, which led me to my new celebrity crush, joseph gordon-levitt. i wonder if the idea is my own or not, though.

the x games came and went too quickly. i took an interest in todd potter for the sole purpose of his last name and ended up voting for him for best whip. he won! shaun white competed and got second in skate vert and then dropped out of best trick. lame.

our next visitor was joy beth, which is always fun because you never know what you'll end up doing when jb is around! one of the first things we did was hang out at borders, where we found a ball on the floor and spent hours throwing it back and forth to each other. we also wore matching t-shirts to the movies to see eclipse and stayed when the movie was over because "sometimes i like to dance to the music during the credits." it didn't top joy beth's initial rolling around on the floor after the traveling pants 2, but it was definitely our best collaborative dance to date. after the movie we ended up having a marshmallow spitting contest in the parking lot. like i said, anything can happen when you're with j biz! :)

one of my favorite outings with jb was our dinner at loveless cafe. a shocking epiphany was had at the table that resulted in me throwing my hands out in the air and holding them there for several seconds. to sum it up, girls struggle with emotional lust just like guys struggle with physical lust. more to come on that later, it's a whole different post entirely.

the same day we took joy beth to the airport melinda came for a visit!! melinda was the very first friend i made in tuscaloosa that wasn't my roommate and she's always had a special place in my heart. she was here long enough to celebrate her birthday, and we celebrated by having sushi and vanilla bean ice cream with oreos in it. happy birthday mel!!

we checked out a new church, christ presbyterian. while walking to the main building (late, might i add) we saw an area outside set up from a wedding and it immediately got our attention. the style the service was done in is something i haven't really seen before. a couple of verses were preached and then we would sing. after that a couple of more verses, and then singing again. it would take some getting used to, and being on time would definitely be a plus. i can easily see myself not liking it, but i can also easily see myself liking it, if that makes sense at all.

i started work the day after melinda arrived and really loved getting to spend my days with kids again! eva and jackson (or, as i like to sometimes call them, big red and little red) are precious children and i had a wonderful week! here's a few cute quotes from big red:

"i think i love my brother"

"i think i like this song" she said this while i was playing "thy mercy my god" by sandra mccracken. i was also happy to see her dancing to explosions in the sky.

"i pray for mommy and daddy. and jackson too. and sometimes i pray for you too." this kind of made me tear up, and i smiled and told her that sometimes i pray for her too :)

i bought the new arcade fire album, the suburbs, and watched the live stream of their concert from madison square garden. this is also a whole different post entirely, so once again i'll sum it up. I. LOVE. THEM.

my work schedule has changed a little bit and is leaving my mondays and tuesdays open. i'm making a list of places to check out for a part time job. it's quite a random list, ranging from the dunkin donuts down the street to florists to see if they need a delivery person. how fun could it be to make people happy by delivering flowers to them?! we'll see what happens and i'll keep things updated on here. or at least, i'll intend to and maybe get around to it one day.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

i've got the blues

i'm not saying i want the band to break up, but i really feel like ben g and jake should be making some blues music together. can we say side project?!!

the sound isn't great, you can hardly understand the lyrics, but really, that's not the point of the video. this 10 minute improv is the support for my above statement.