Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It's reindeer, people, not reindeers.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
1. The awesome brick wall and huge windows in our hotel room.
2. More fried food than I would ever care to eat in a week (highlight or lowlight?)
3. Being asked to take photos with some of my authors.
4. Reconnecting with "conference people" friends.
5. Braving Bourbon Street on a Saturday night.
6. The awesome live music at our bar of choice on Bourbon.
7. The young (sober) man who, just before exiting said bar with his buddies, told me I was extraordinarily beautiful. (Extraordinarily!)
New Orleans, I wish I could have seen more of you. Thank you for not flashing me. Man Who Called Me Beautiful, you made my night, maybe even my year. Thanks for your sincerity.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Right outside my living room window I can watch the leaves turn. This was taken last weekend. Today there are more leaves turned scarlet, and a carpet of them on the ground below.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Bring Me your sorrow, and watch for the sunrise of the resurrection. Yes, truly there always comes a resurrection--a morning when hope is reborn and life finds new beginning. Wait for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the spring. The rarest of blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter. The snow plays her part in producing spring's pageant. But when the blossoms break through, we do not then turn back to thoughts of winter, but instead, we look ahead to the full joys of the coming summer.
So you must do also. Your God is your maker. He is your defender. And He is mighty to save.
I love the image of the most beautiful blooms being enhanced as they are by the coldest of winters. What a great hope that gives us for ourselves when we're find ourselves going through "cold" times! And Zephaniah 3:17 is my favorite verse of the Bible: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
When I looked up the book on Amazon I found that Frances has written multiple other books too, and think I just may need to go check out a few others as well.
Friday, October 16, 2009
"Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits." (Dan Barker)
There’s a problem with this statement, and it’s not just from a religious standpoint. The very definition of “faith” is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof (check out Webster’s Dictionary).
“Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.”
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
This week I went to see Wicked and it was fabulous! I knew it would be the tale of Glinda and The Wicked Witch of the West (made by famous by The Wizard of Oz) and what happened before Dorothy and Toto showed up. But I was unprepared for a story that made the audience partial to the supposed "bad guy."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It never ceases to amaze me what we can come up with in our modern world. While the prospect of a computerized refrigerator is actually a little creepy, I am in favor of the idea of the fridge being able to tell me when something has been in there too long and should be removed. That is one surprise I would be more than happy to forgo!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
2) Sometimes, I have a really hard time asking for too much help.
3) Finding parking in Del Mar on a beautiful Saturday is close to impossible.
4) Dog beaches are really awesome.
5) Kidney (as in steak-and-kidney-pie kidney) is NOT delicious.
6) Microsoft Office 2007 is a problem-child.
7) My drying rack expands to hold more clothing at one time.
8) Ulta sells toothbrushes.
9) Lemon juice tastes good on just about everything.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Four summers ago I did a journalism internship with Reign Ministries. One of my tasks was creating and sending the weekly newsletter of updates from our short-term mission teams serving all over the world. One of our teams went to Nepal and spent a whole day in an orphanage that rescues children and young women from Nepal's rampant sex slave trade.
While reading and editing the team's mission update I realized this was an injustice that I felt very strongly about. I thought to myself, "This is what I would do if I found myself with a lot of money all of sudden. Open a home somewhere in the world where women are forced into prostitution because there is nothing better for them."
Unfortunately, I have never found myself with a large sum of unexpected money. But there are other ways we can help people across the world who are entangled in this demoralizing industry.
My good friend from high school, Ann, works for an Orange County-based organization called The International Princess Project. This organization helps restore the lives of women formerly enslaved in prostitution in India. To do so, they teach them to sew pajamas called PUNJAMMIES™, which are sold online. The proceeds go back to the women to pay for holistic aftercare after they are rescued, give them a fair trade wage, and build a saving's account for them so they can rebuild their lives after they go through aftercare.
In India, millions of women and girls work as prostitutes. Many have been trafficked, kidnapped, lured with promises of jobs, or sold by their own families into sexual slavery. Some as young as six years old have become sex workers (the actual term used in India) due to poverty or lack of opportunities. Within the huge, cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, lies the largest red-light district in the world, which is home to a myriad of injustice, abuse, and horrors.
One million children are trafficked into the sex trade each year, taken from their families and forced to work as prostitutes. In Mumbai alone, ninety cases of HIV are reported every hour. Once in the sex trade, women and girls may be forced to have intercourse with up to twenty clients per day.
You can help bring hope to women who have been rescued or escaped from forced prostitution and human trafficking! By purchasing pajamas these women have made, you help empower them to restore their lives. While living in a safe, holistic recovery home, the women learn to sew PUNJAMMIES™. PUNJAMMIES™ help the women support themselves with skill and dignity, heal in body and spirit, and live lives of freedom.
If everyone takes a small piece of responsibility in the fight against human trafficking and forced prostitution, we can overcome the dark reality these women have lived and prevent others from experiencing the same. Please purchase PUNJAMMIES™ online at www.punjammies.com. Every sale contributes to restoring hope and dignity to another life.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Check this out. Here is my wordle of this blog:
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
In honor of St. Patty's Day and the wonderful country of Ireland, I'm posting one of favorite Irish blessings:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
March 9 was National Napping Day. I wish I had known. I have still not recovered from the lost hour of Daylight Savings. I definitely could have used a nap on Monday. And Tuesday. And probably today too!
It is so wonderful and strange to leave the office in full daylight now, and I love it! I'm planning on busting out my new running shoes soon and putting in some miles on evenings after work now. Yay for longer days. But boo for lost sleep. Every rose has it's thorn, I suppose.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Here are the rules: Bold the things you've done and post on your blog.
1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more time than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagra Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancesters.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone wale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Got a tattoo.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
After doing this, I got to thinking, "What are the things I most want to accomplish off of this list? If I can't accomplish all 99--and let's face it, there are some I don't want to accomplish--what feats would I choose to mark my life? (note: these are not in any particular order)
1) Adopt a child. A couple years ago when my parents were preparing to move, I made several trips back home to purge my old stuff so they wouldn't have to move a bunch of junk! While I was purging, I found a list of goals that I had made for myself when I was probably eight or nine years old. One of the things on that list was to adopt a child. (By the way, what eight-year-old kid thinks of adopting children someday?) I couldn't believe that a dream I had for my life before the age of ten was a dream I still had at 21...and have now.
2) Publish a book. Also on the list of goals from childhood. That one was not so surprising. I've been writing stories since the third or fourth grade. And if you're a regular visitor to this blog, you know that I have a novel in the works at the moment. My plan is to finish that book this year. Whether or not it will publishable is another story!
3) Ride a gondola in Venice. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to many places. But Italy is the one place I've always wanted to have and not yet been to. I love the idea of Venice...even though I know it's mostly a big tourist trap and hot and crowded. I still want to ride a gondola in Venice someday.
4) Which brings me to one of the items on this list that I will get to accomplish this year: Go on a cruise. My generous grandmother is taking me, my mom, my two aunts, my female cousin, and her brother's girlfriend on a Mediterranean cruise this summer! This cruise will also get me to Italy (just not to Venice), which is even better. We will sail from Barcelona and hit nice, Sicily, Rome, and Florence.
5) Go whale watching. I actually live somewhere where I can make this a reality...and it's not even that expensive. So I am pretty confident that I can make this happen. I think it's a matter of just planning for it and executing the plan! There's a kayaking company in San Diego that does whale watching kayak tours, and I love kayaking, so that sounds awesome!
6) Walk in Jerusalem. Someday I want to go to Israel. I want to walk where Jesus walked. I want to walk the streets of Jerusalem, swim in the Dead Sea, and see the birthplace of Christianity.
7) See the Grand Canyon in person. For some reason, I always feel a bit like a bad American for having never been to the Grand Canyon. I've flown over it many times, but I've never actually been to see it. I met some Australians a couple weeks ago who have been on a tour of North America, and they described their experience seeing the Grand Canyon. I'm sure it's totally breathtaking...but I can't speak from experience.
8) Go to a drive-in movie. This is so simple, but I love the simple things in life. Somehow I've never been to a drive-in movie. I would like to remedy that. Especially if I can go to said drive-in movie in a convertible...even better.
9) Kiss in the rain. This reminds me of the scene in SpiderMan when Kirsten Dunst kisses Toby Maguire as he's hanging upside down. Is it even raining in that scene? I think so. Kissing in the rain is probably not as romantic as it sounds (wet...cold...sloppy?), but I'm still gonna go for it.
I know this list would look better if there were ten things on it...but I'm going to leave it at nine. Nine future accomplishments. I think I can make it happen.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ahhh, the thrill of anticipation! My favorite time of year is the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas...but really, it's everything leading up to Christmas that makes it so wonderful. The decorations, the music, the food, the shopping, time off from work, time spent with family and friends. All good stuff!
When I lived in Minnesota, I used to get pretty depressed after Christmas. Because after all the decorations were stowed away and the holiday music was pushed to the back of the shelf, all that was left was one heck of a long, dreary, cold winter ahead. It was definitely not the most wonderful time of the year.
Now that I make my dwelling in SoCal, the end of December isn't quite so sad. Yes, the decorations and music are still put away. The television is full of ads for specials at the gym, weight loss tea, and exercise equipment. And there's no more work holidays until Memorial Day. But...winter does not have its death grip wrapped tight. Not here. Last weekend I got a tan! In January. Somehow it makes the New Year that much more exciting.
It's a New Year. We have a new President. I'm getting a new computer. I've started a new blog (http://iwitnessphotography.blogspot.com). There are eleven full months of new 2009 ahead of us. I know the door is open for plenty of good and bad both, but I can't help but thrill at the unknown and feel just a bit of anticipation to see what's to come.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Welcome. Now that we are are few days into your being, I thought there might be a few things you should know before we get too far ahead of ourselves:
1) We're going to get a new computer this year (like next week).
2) With said new computer, there will no longer be any excuse for not writing.
3) That said, this year we will finish that novel I have been working on since Spring 2006.
In case you haven't heard, worldwide economy has been in a bit of a pickle lately. That, however, does not mean that my personal economy is in a pickle or will inevitably become pickled. Keeping good practices in hand, this year we're saving $30 a month for the International Justice Mission. In December, I will purchase a week of advocacy with IJM for victims of oppression.
I'm sure you have lots of surprises up your sleeve in the coming twelve months. FYI: I really like good surprises. I'll try to stay on my toes. Let's make every effort to top 2008. I'm optimistic.
Here's to you,