a measuring stick for my journey

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


D and I had almost reached our 1 year anniversary... sans major accidents. However, last night we had the pleasure of our first joint ER visit. I didn't realize, until that point, that loving someone means that when they hurt, you hurt and even minor perils involving lacerations and stitches can make you think ahead to bigger and more major accidents and pray, pray, pray against them!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is coming...

Today I was busy getting overwhelmed by making a list of things I won't get done this year before Christmas...

-baking cookies
-writing cards and letters
-shopping and wrapping gifts

When the things that mean the most have been checked off and completed...

-spending time with D and I's wonderful extended families
-connecting with close friends
-thanking God for health and happiness
-telling D I love him EVERYDAY

Merry Christmas Everyone! May it be a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life is Winding Road

I can't see around the curves in life's road, and sometimes it's hard to keep the perspective that there is someone who can. But His strength is greatest in my weakness.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, a]">[a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to b]">[b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thoughtful Times

Being pregnant requires decisions that I never really considered until now:

Bottle or Breast?
Cloth or Disposable?
Work or SAHM?
Epidural or natural?

Praying to make the RIGHT decisions for this kid. Thankfully, I have someone else to lean on through all this. And He is very familiar with parenting! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So far...

Dear Baby,

You've had an adventurous life so far! This is your dad and I before we even knew you were on your way! :) So far you've climbed two mountains, backpacked for four days, re-shingled a house, and walked with me many a mile! I think you'll be a hiker too! :)


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1 year

Some years blur together in their tedious sameness. Nothing changes. Some years rush by at warp speed, leaving you breathless and constantly trying to keep up. This has been one of those years. In the space of one year I have:

gotten engaged
bought a house
gotten married
gone back to school
gotten pregnant
...and all the living life in between.

Blessings all, don't get me wrong. But I occasionally need to give into the desire to just sit back and watch the world go by for a bit.

Friday, September 25, 2009

first comes love, then comes marriage...

yup you got it, 7 weeks gone. We're expecting our little bundle of joy and whatnot May 12ish.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

what I love about marriage...

After a really long, horrible day, Dave sat and listened to me vent for 30 minutes. Then he didn't tell me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear...from him.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GIMP action

Thanks to my sis-in-law, Rhonda, I created this snazzy new trademark for my department's maps!

Monday, August 24, 2009

You Might Be a Hippie If....

Dave and I are occasionally accused of being hippies (although neo-hippie might be more accurate, see bottom)...

So here is my Jeff Foxworthy list of hippie-esque "might-be's"...all of which we can answer with a resounding "YES"!

You might be a hippie if....

-you have Kombucha in the closet

-you own more bicycles than cars

-you forget how to drive said car due to the fact that you walk or ride everywhere

-living in a commune would be ideal

-you have a garden that provides you with a summer's worth of produce

-you forage in the public spaces in your town (apples trees, plum trees etc)

-you don't own white flour or white sugar

-you feel passionate about politics and causes (and organize events for both)

-you plan on sneaking chickens into your yard (give it to the MAN)

-you brew your own spirits (libations)

From www.happyhippie.com (I'm so not kidding)

"Neo-hippies, some of whom are sons, daughters and grandchildren of the original hippies, advocate many of the same beliefs of their 1960s counterparts. Drug use is just as accepted as in the "original" hippie days, although most neo-hippies do not consider it necessary to take drugs in order to be part of the lifestyle, and others reject drug use in favor of alternative methods of reaching higher or altered consciousness such as drumming circles, community singing, meditation, dietary practices, and yoga and dance.

The neo-hippie movement also inspired festivals and workshops that advocated alternative lifestyles, clean and sustainable energy, and unadulterated foods. Nambassa is also the tribal name of a trust that has championed sustainable ideas and demonstrated practical counterculture and alternative lifestyle methods since the early 1970s.

The neo-hippie movement has also morphed into the 'Green Movement.' The Green movement is a political and social movement which advocates goals common to Green parties, including environmentalism, sustainability, nonviolence, and social justice concerns. Supporters of the Green movement, called Greens, adhere to Green ideology and share many ideas with the ecology, conservation, environmental, feminist, and peace movements.

Some simply advocate ecological living is a life philosophy. Proponents of ecological living aim to conduct their lives in such a way that they have an all-encompassing awareness of earth and its processes. Each choice made under such a way of life requires a consideration of the consequences of the choice, and the way that the decision will affect the environment and all living things within it. Ecological consciousness and care for the earth are of paramount importance in the decision-making process."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Answer

Ephesians 3:14-21 (New International Version)

A Prayer for the Ephesians
14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stopping at 76

Forgiveness. One of the central themes of Christianity. One I fully support, embrace, and am thankful for everyday. And oh how I love how it sounds, and how it feels to be forgiven and give forgiveness. I would be nothing without it in my own life, my God would be unapproachable.

But...there is one ugly black mark on my heart. One person who I can't forgive, one action unforgivable. And this is where it get's real, because forgiveness is easy, until it gets hard and when it comes down to it, this is something I don't want to forgive. I want to hold on, and be righteously angry, and indigently stew on it. But it keeps the past in the present, and it's a raw wound in my mind. Every time I get to the place where I think I've forgiven, and I'm healing and moving forward the scab is ripped off and I see the ugly black interior of me. So I'm walking down this road again, with so many others this has effected. God, I can't, but You can forgive 77 times, and then 77 more.

Matthew 18:21-35

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"

22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.f]">[f]

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talentsg]">[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.h]">[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm not a person who lives very often in the past. I do enjoy a respite there now and then. Lately, I've been thinking on these bygone days...

Monday, August 10, 2009

hiding out from life a bit

I wish I could stand here for a day. Then maybe I'd be ready for the next step.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little Notes

Dear Neighbor:

D and I sleep with our windows open. Your dog barks all night long. I'm sorry to be picky, but please buy a muzzle so that we can get a little shut eye.

Thank you very much!
Your Neighbor

Dear Summer,

Please stay a little longer. There are so many things that I still want to do! I hear that indian summers can be rather lovely!

Thank you very much!
Your Biggest Fan

Dear D,

I love you. It's that simple.


Dear Luna and Rufus,

Although you've been residing in our home for only a week, you've brought a ton of joy to our lives! Thank you for curling up beside us and purring yourselves to sleep. Thank you for welcoming us home every day. Please do not destroy the house.

Your Owner

Dear 5 Year Plan:

You're new to me. I'm not sure how I feel about you yet. I do like to have you as a goal, but help us keep in mind that flexibility, spontaneity, and adventure are not to be discounted now that you're tagging along. I will be keeping an eye on you though.


Lazy Days of Summer

I loved, loved those old timey Country Time Lemonade radio ads. The announcer's voice, the background music, the word pictures created..."There is one less day of summer this year, one day less day of running barefoot through the sprinkler...." (PS I did a pretty intensive Google search to find a transcript but to no avail, not even a recording of an ad. Sad, sad.)

There haven't been many lazy days for D and I this summer. We seem to be rushing from one event to the next and then home to bed so that we can function at work. That's not to say we haven't had a lovely summer, filled with adventure and excellent memories. I just feel sad that I've only napped in our hammock once, no lazy walks by the river as we only have time to run and then on to the next thing. So here's to August, may there be a few days at home, sipping lemonade, listening to records, and doing nothing but watch the clouds wander past.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

call me a bad person...

but sonograms creep me out. Especially the 3-D ones...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Haven't posted many maps lately...here is one that I've been working on. I also created a map using an image as a background. Arc whited out the area in the data frame, rather than printing as transparent. I exported and reworked it in Gimp.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From The Dallas Post

Not sure what I think of this, however I'm find the book mentioned within to be a very interesting read...

Rod Dreher: The soft bigotry of high


As the cost of a college degree spirals upward, The Chronicle of Higher Education anticipates that fewer

young Americans will be going to universities, which have priced themselves out of the market. Write Joseph

M. Cronin and Howard E. Horton, "There is a growing sense among the public that higher education might be

overpriced and under-delivering."

That's good news. The idea that everybody ought to go to college is misguided at best and damaging at worst.

It's a middle-class shibboleth that is overdue for debunking.

There's a practical case against the college push. Only about 60 percent of Americans who enter a four-year

college graduate with a degree within six years – a rate that has been consistent for three decades, according

to the Education Trust, a Washington-based nonprofit reform group. The organization advocates for higher

graduation rates, which is admirable. But this assumes that everyone is equally capable of succeeding in

college and that college is the right choice for everyone.

Not so, says Tom Pauken, head of the Texas Workforce Commission, who thinks that given the dismal

college graduation rates, high school seniors who struggle academically should not allow themselves to be

pushed into college. Says Pauken: "They'd be better off trying to become more self-sufficient and developing

a skilled trade, something portable they can take with them but can also make a real living doing. As a

plumber, electrician and so forth, there's still a way to make a good living, even in tough economic times."

Matthew B. Crawford understands the protection that tradesmen have in the global market. "If you need a

deck built, or your car fixed, the Chinese are of no help," he writes. "Because they are in China."

Crawford makes a philosophical case for choosing the trades over college in his brilliant new book, Shop

Class as Soul Craft, which launches an intellectually formidable attack on the way our culture has come to

devalue manual labor. This bracingly countercultural book, written by a scholar who left white-collar work to

open a motorcycle repair shop, defiantly rejects received wisdom about the meaning of work in America


Crawford, a University of Chicago-trained philosopher, offers an account for why "work that is

straightforwardly useful can also be intellectually absorbing." He explains why work as a skilled manual

laborer is far more intellectually engaging than many may suppose because it entails "a systematic encounter

with the material world."

As its title suggests, the book is not really a career guide, but rather a philosophical inquiry into why so many

of us are dissatisfied with our work. We have come to see labor as something we do in exchange for money

and not as an expression of our intrinsic nature. Many a white-collar man works hard but lives in a world of

soul-killing abstraction, where what he does, what he feels and who he is have little to do with one another.

"The work cannot sustain him as a human being," Crawford writes. "Rather, it damages the best part of him,

and it become imperative to partition work off from the rest of life."

We have constructed an economy and a society based on the idea that work has no essential relation to

human nature, and thus to human flourishing and human happiness. A good society, says Crawford (after

Aristotle), is one in which men and women are free to pursue excellence, according to their individual

natures. It's not like that with us. Say that a particular high school senior might be happier and more

productive going to trade school than enrolling in college, and you risk being denounced for harboring the soft

bigotry of low expectations.

Crawford denounces this as false egalitarianism. "The best sort of democratic education is neither snobbish

nor egalitarian," he writes. "Rather, it accords a place of honor in our common life to whatever is best."

I have seen the truth of Crawford's observations lived out in my own family. My brother-in-law lasted one

semester in college. Classrooms bored him. He really wanted to be a firefighter. He entered a big-city fire

department, graduated at the top of his class and is now one of the finest firefighters in his city.

He could have, but did not, end up like my father, who is now a retiree. He's a mechanical genius who once

wanted above all things to work with his hands. But in the 1950s, his working-class parents pushed him hard

to go to college, to become upwardly mobile. Dad earned his degree, then spent decades stuck in a desk job

he despised. On the weekends, he came alive, sweating and hustling, building, welding, repairing – and in one

case, using his innate engineering intelligence to invent a hydraulic woodsplitter. This – not a desk jockey – is

who my father really was and was meant to be.

In the twilight of his life, my gifted father mourns the road he did not take into the trades because he allowed

himself to be cajoled by conformity into college. When I gave him a copy of Shop Class As Soulcraft, he

couldn't put it down. He felt deeply vindicated, which is the only comfort left to him, having had his true

vocation robbed by pushy parents in thrall to the college myth. But the same revolutionary book that's an old

man's vindication stands to be liberation for young men (and women) whose parents and educators have the

good sense to read it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

10 years

High school reunions...not as lame as expected. (PS that's my "fake" smile.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Better Together

D and I also blog here.

Proverbs 31:10-31

I've been thinking on this passage frequently this week, and in thinking on it am attempting to rewrite it for Sarah vs. She. Here is how the message translated it:

Proverbs 31:10-31 (The Message)

Hymn to a Good Wife
10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

my man

yep, he's a keeper

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

thoughts upon our return

Husband and I recently traveled to El Salvador, as part of a volunteer group with Living Water International. You can check out our stories from the trip here.

In my own little world, it's been a strange return to the "blogosphere". As I read through my daily little blog list, my snippets from around the world, I'm suddenly appalled. So many blogs, while cute and happy, are filled with materialism. Posts solely about "My wish list", "Monday 'I Heart' Lists", "I bought this dress here for this much"... So now I'm whittling down my list. When so many people are thinking, hoping, praying about having enough money to buy their next meal, I'm saddened by Americans "I want", "I need", "me, me, me" culture. We have so much more than 90% of the worlds population. I'm not holding myself above the crowd here. I've been participating in my own little pity party lately; my husbands continued search for full-time work, our truck breaking down (poor us, we only have one car), etc etc etc. My heart was changed by the generosity and support from friends and family in order to go to El Salvador. It was further impacted by the generous and joyful way the people there live, in the midst of poverty. So this is the beginning of a new story. The story on actually taking these lessons, and applying them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

thinking about...

"A meaningful life is not usually built on grand gestures but, rather, on the habitual accumulation of ordinary ones."

Rod Drehner

Thursday, May 14, 2009

a bit of beauty in the everyday

bounding over a fence near the office

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

most favorite things!

So I'm going to just jump on this band wagon. These things make me incredibly happy!

1-Vintage bicycles, with baskets!

2-French press coffee

3-Summer evening thunderstorms

4-Watching my husband wake up each morning

5-The miracle of seeds becoming plants in my garden

6- Running in the rain

7- The view from mountain summits.

8- Bonfire conversations

9 – A well written book that I just can’t put down

10 – Dappled sunlight through tree leaves

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Truth

By Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success..
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

meet moxie

I think I'm in love! Now I need more! :) (But seriously how sweet would a yellow Betty be?)

Monday, May 4, 2009

what husband does while I'm a work

shocking I know! (actually this was our shared lunch spot!)

painting, painting and more painting

We painted our old, gray, wood grain paneling the past few weekends! We're pleased with the results! Our first floor is a lot more sunny these days!

my sis-in-laws birthday!

The usual suspects descended on our house to help Becky celebrate her 29th birthday.

surprise lunch picnics

home repairs

dave is just plain awesome when it comes to tiling, painting, carpentry... !

Thursday, April 30, 2009

wow, the times they sure have changed

Wow, I'm not by any means a feminist, and I strongly agree that there are gender differences, but this 1950's era children's book is so offensive! For all those hard working women out there, especially in male-dominated fields...here's to you!