Monday, December 31, 2007

i can't believe i'm doing this

Yep. My new year's resolutions...or something. The thing with stuff like this is that I never actually do it and it just makes me feel like I can't accomplish anything. Which is so far from the truth!! But I will give it another shot. Here goes...

*Come up with more creative ways to get people talking about themselves
*Start something new
*Love others better
*Learn a seemingly useless skill
*Learn a skill that is actually useful
*Read, play, eat, travel, decorate, blog, and create---outside the box
*Make ONE plan for after college. Just one. There are so many things to decide, but if I could just figure out ONE I might actually survive the transition to graduate life...

Most of these are rather vague. I did this intentionally because if I make specific little goals...well, we've been through this already. It becomes another "thing to do" if I'm specific about it, and with all of the ambiguity I am more likely to stumble upon the completion of each goal. I much prefer the "stumble upon" method!

I hereby proclaim that the above stated goals/resolutions are complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge, and I intend to attempt each one during the year 2008. X Me


Sunday, December 30, 2007

after-Christmas sales, anyone? the worst segue of all time

I love them! They're so great! I was at Target just now and I bought four packages of recycled-paper Christmas cards and a container of 82 (count 'em, 82!) ornaments for the apartment next year. How much did I spend? Just over TEN DOLLARS! It was $10.31 or something like that. AMAZING!!

This is a really horrible segue, but shopping for next year led me to think about next year and what will happen then (and this summer)...


Yes, indeed, folks. Our very own kitchen, a living room (my personal favorite), and three bedrooms for the five of us. Giant walk-in pantry, a dining room, and only one bathroom but it doesn't even matter because all of us shower at different times anyway. My mom bought me this great cookbook for Christmas that contains recipes for dishes containing three, four, or five ingredients. My vegetarian friend has three vegetarian cookbooks. Furniture is heading our way, and everything looks like it's going to work out well roommate-wise. YES!

I think about it nearly every day. I imagine us inviting friends over for dinner or movies or just to hang out. I know it won't always be perfect, and obviously we really won't see each other very often [let's see, I will live with a pre-med, a fellow music major (also pre-med), a music ed major, and a lit major (also pre-med)...] but that's fine with me.

And this summer will be SO fantastic. I won't have to work at Quizno's (I know, I just said I love the place, but another summer there would eat what's left of my tolerance for it), I will be living with my friends, and I will be in my beloved city. It's not that I don't love my family. I just don't love Plainfield, and there are so many more opportunities in the city for singing and many more places to hang out. And more work. Anywho, one of my roommates is taking physics (woo-hoo) and the other will probably work. Like moi.

Girls, if you're reading this, know that I love you. Y'all are the best bunch of people I could ever have hoped to meet and have the chance to live with. Here's to happy times and to figuring out who's responsible for groceries!! =)


Thursday, December 27, 2007

i'm so thankful for Quizno's

Yes, I said it. Quizno's has saved me. Why?

Funny you should ask...





Out of respect for my family, I would like to say that it is not their fault. I am fully responsible for my own lack of plans as I am certainly old enough to make my own. I love them all and I think they're wonderfully interesting (?) people who complete me.

However, when one spends all of one's time with only three people, one begins to lose one's in point. Which is why I am so thankful for Quizno's, or as we call it affectionately, "the Q." I am currently working at said "Q" where I have worked faithfully for two and half years (when I wasn't at school). I'm only working about twenty hours a week, but that should pick up soon when two of my coworkers leave for vacation! I know how to do everything, the regular customers recognise me, and my boss adores me. It's not the best job ever created--I come home with the smell of onions all over my hands (which lingers for about a week) and the scent of dirty dish rag on my clothes--but I'm not just sitting on my kiester and I get a little cash. Granted, this cash will most assuredly be spent on textbooks for next semester, but at least I'm not dipping into my savings...

But I forgot to mention the best part! I get to spend my day (or five hours of it) with my fantastic coworkers! It's been great getting to know them. It's a whole new crew now than when I started--I have been at my location the longest, longer even than my employer, and only one other person, Nate, remains from before the change in regime--and they're fantastic. We actually had a little Christmas party last Sunday at Red Robin, and it was a spankin' good time! Lot's of funny stories and laughter, and we even made a list of all of the people that were hired during the year that did not make it to the party...twenty-one in all! (our humor is slightly less than proper...)

Without Quizno's, I would truly be at a loss for what to do with myself. I can only take so much reading and piano playing and singing, and only so much quality time with the fam. I need variety, and the Q DEFINITELY satisfies that need.

It's amazing what a random bunch of people can do.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007


To: my faithful readers =)
From: ME

Dear People,

I hope you have a marvelous day spending time with the special people in your life, and that you take time to remember and ponder the eschatological significance of Jesus' birth!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

my other baby

In case anyone was wondering, this is what my other dog looks like. Isn't she beautiful? (just ignore the ugly red dates at the bottom) We got her at an animal shelter on a very shady street in a small town outside St. Louis about 4yrs ago. They had named her Trinity, and we just loved it. She is so serene and very very intelligent. She knows the names of everyone in my family and we just talk to her like she's a person and she understands us (these things are evidenced by her actions). I love her! Mostly because she likes to listen to me play piano...

PS--we got Rowdy at a lady's house in southern Illinois this past summer. Both of the dogs were rather ragged, smelly, and skinny when we rescued them, but they're GEORGOUS now!


Friday, December 21, 2007

poor baby!

My little puppy had surgery today! I know it doesn't sound very traumatic, but he is quite distressed. And he's not really a puppy. But his knee was giving him some trouble--here's the story...

He was born with a bad leg--his right hind leg is a little crooked, but that certainly doesn't stop him from being ADORABLE. Anyway, he is quite rowdy....FUNNY! That's his name!...and he plays around with our other dog, Trinity (I tried to get my mom and my lil' sis to name him Neo--Dad and I thought that would be awesome, you know, Trinity and Neo, and they're both black...) and he would limp every once in awhile after a particularly trying scuffle in the backyard.

Well, a few weeks ago, he started limping more frequently. We took him to the vet and found out that the space where the kneecap goes (I know nothing about anatomical terminology in canines) was too shallow for his kneecap so it kept popping out of place.

Long story short (ish!), he had surgery today to scrape out some of the bone to make more room for his kneecap. There will be over twelve weeks of recovery and physical therapy, and a few weeks of heavy medication, but he'll be fine. He's quite drugged up right now, and I wish I had a picture, but his shaved and stapled leg would probably frighten most. It sure freaked me out.

Best wishes to Rowdy for a happy, Elizabethan collar-free recovery!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

rockin' readin' for winter break

Here is a list of books I am planning to read before I return to the hustle and bustle of university life:
*The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
*Orthodoxy by Chesterton
*The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer by Renee Fleming
*Germ by Robert Liparulo
*I've forgotten the title, but its by Dean Koontz

Yay! I really shouldn't complain about being bored since I have so much to read, but sometimes it's difficult to just sit. Especially for me! Anyway, I should get started.

I think I'm writing too many lists--more real posts later.


a note about FOTI

I feel compelled to take a moment to explain this "Feast of the Incarnation" business a bit further. I am using this new term during this season because I have been increasingly aware of the very secular attitude surrounding Christmas, especially in my own life. Finding myself forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, and discussing this more accurate term with some friends, I decided to give it a whirl. It has been very beneficial for me to think about this holiday as a "feast" because I don't often use that word and it implies a very special, very long celebration. "The Incarnation" reminds me very specifically what I am supposed to be celebrating at Christmas. I am not against Church tradition, nor do I think that we ought to make an official switch in terminology from "Christmas" to "Feast of the Incarnation." I merely wanted to shake my own thought processes (and those of the few people around me) a bit this holiday season. Let the holiday cheer continue!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

holiday joys, the third

This morning I shall proclaim to the world my favorite Feast of the Incarnation hymns/carols:
*Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
*Joy to the World
*Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (the best part is, I can picture actual members of my family as I'm listening to this song, and getting run over by a reindeer is something that would actually have happened to my grandma)
*The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on a open fire...)
*March of the Three Kings (NOT We Three Kings)
*What Child is This?

And my all-time favorite Feast of the Incarnation hymn EVER WRITTEN---

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

THE BEST. The Gregorian chant style, the symbolic modulation from minor to major, the TEXT. I can't imagine a better hymn to celebrate the cosmic, convenantal significance of the coming of the Messiah. Seriously. Here is the first verse in Latin...

Veni, veni Emmanuel
Captivum solve Israel
Qui gemit in exilio
Privatus Dei filio

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel

And in English, one of my many favorite verses...

O come, desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
and be Thyself our King of peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!


Okay, I may have to do a post later this season just for this hymn. We'll see...

More holiday joy later.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

holiday joys, the second

Today I would like to list my favorite Feast of the Incarnation decorations:
*smelly plastic garland that has been in a cardboard box all year (for its scent more than its appearance)
*our haphazard collection of ornaments including cheesy family "heirlooms"
*our fake, reusable tree with built-in lights (to which we add at least two more strings of lights)
*lights--NOT icicle lights
*our slightly creepy boy and girl bunny dolls with porcelain heads, hands, and feet
*my Merry Mancini Christmas piano book that not only decorates the piano at Christmas time, but from which I play the most beautifully-arranged jazz Christmas carols/hymns ever!
*last, but certainly not least...

EGGNOG GOBLETS. Oh, yes. Eggnog goblets. Though of course, eggnog is disgusting all by itself and must be accompanied by rum (I didn't just say that) to dilute the throat-clogging muck that is the favorite holiday "beverage."

Ew. Plain eggnog. And it gets all over the glass and doesn't come out even when you rinse it...

But cute goblets.

Anyway, there will be more holiday joy later. I'm feeling a list of my all-time favorite hymns and carols...


Monday, December 17, 2007

holiday joys

What may be the first of many similar posts...

I feel compelled to share my list of favorite Feast of the Incarnation sweets:
*RUSSIAN TEA CAKES -- you know, the little almond-y, powdered-sugar-covered balls?
*peanut-butter chocolate fudge
*gingerbread men
*sugar cookies
*cinnamon rolls (Christmas morning tradition)

That's it for now. More holiday joy later.


we're bonding

Say what?!

My sister and I are bonding. It's so weird. It seems like yesterday she was a little bundle of joy. I did cartwheels when she was born because I was so happy that she was a girl! Then she got a little older, as did I (funny how that works, no?) and she was a little bratty toddler. Following this particularly painful stage was the elementary age...nothing incredibly exciting--I was in high school and very very very very very busy. I don't remember much.

But now...

She's THIRTEEN! When did that happen?!?!?! I'm not ready for this!! Not only is she now her own person and entirely immune to tickling (a skill I wish I'd pick up), but she's COOL. I want to be her friend. It's not that I didn't want to be her friend before, it just wasn't working out. It's hard for a teenager to befriend a little kid. It is much easier for a twenty-something to befriend a teenager, especially when they no longer live together...yay college!

Anyway, we've basically been participating in every imaginable activity together: old-school video games (super nintendo rocks my world!), new-school video games (what is this Wii business?), movies, SHOPPING---side note, this used to be my lil' sis's LEAST favorite activity but is now at least tolerable---, bantering, name it, we've laughed at each other doing it!

Life continues to surprise me. Praise the LORD!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

interested in Jewish Christianity?

I felt the need to direct y'all's attention to Euangelion (Joel Willitts's and Mike Bird's blog) for Joel's new series of posts on Jewish Christianity. He's blogging through Jewish Believers in Jesus: The Early Centuries by Skarsaune and Hvalvik. It should be fun!

end-of-the-semester joys

I have added a really cool slideshow to the right side of the page. Take a look under "verse for Advent" and you'll see our shining faces as we celebrate the Feast of the Incarnation with each other at the lovely Starbucks. There are also some interesting photos from a very loopy Friday afternoon...something to do with leftover whipped cream...


Friday, December 14, 2007

is it really over?

No, really. I can't believe that this semester is over! Granted, I have not yet recieved my grades and I'm still sitting here at my desk waiting to go home, but this is basically it. I had my last final today. What shall I do with all of my free time?

BLOG, of course! =)

Not really. That would be incredibly boring. Even more boring than this (if that's possible, haha!).

I will probably read, work at Quizno's, read, practice my music for my upcoming recital and opera (March 30th and May 2nd+4th, respectfully), read, play Guitar Hero and Donkey Kong, maybe blog some. Oh, and did I mention that I'll be reading a lot? Yeah. Reading for fun. It sure has been a long time since I've gotten to do that, though I did recently finish The Kite Runner by Khaled sad, and so fantastic....

Anyway, I pray that whatever your plans are, you find time to remember the joy of the fulfillment of the convenant in Jesus the Messiah, and that your new year's celebrations are safe and fun!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

tis the season

So, last night was pretty awesome.

Four girls.

One table.


Yep. We had our own little FOTI (that's "Feast of the Incarnation," see below) celebration at Starbucks last night, and by "we" I mean my roommates and I and our very good friend who will be our roommate next year...anyway, we shared gifts, took tons of pictures of which I will hopefully be able to make a slideshow soon, drank coffee (or chai tea lattees...) and laughed a ton. I have to say that it was one of the best moments of the semester. My friend loved the vegetarian cookbook that I got her, so it's all good. =)

That's it for today. A lovely Feast of the Incarnation moment for you all.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

feast of the incarnation/invasion

It was a great day.

Wait, you have no knowledge of the context! How could you possibly understand the shock value of what I just said without the context?!

It's finals week. Everyone I know is buried under seemingly impossible mounds of homework: exegetical papers, philosophy papers, general-education-type papers, TESTS like you would not believe...And most folks are yearning for home, for repreive, for solace. It's wet and cold here in Chicago, and for the rest of the campus, it's "reading day"--we're supposed to be studying.

BUT I'M NOT. Which is why it was a great day!

Two weeks ago I was more stressed than I had ever thought possible and I'm still marvelling at God's incredible grace in helping me to survive that with little injury. However, that means that I am now free. I have two exams. One tomorrow and one on Friday. Then I sing at commencement and go home (which is like, an hour away). I woke up a little after ten o'clock (ew, so late!) and did nothing until I met my friend for coffee at 1:00. But the BEST PART happened at 2:00pm.

MOVIE TIME!! Yes, that's right folks. Today was the North Park Biblical and Theological Studies Organization's first ever event. We watched The Nativity Story (great movie, watch it!) and had some discussion afterwards about the movie and Christmas in general. We decided that Christmas has become a bit fluffy--yes, it's a very joyous, triumphant thing, and we agree that celebrating Jesus' birth is a good idea. But it just seemed to us like saying "Merry Christmas!" to people just doesn't mean anything to anyone anymore. It's become almost like Valentine's Day; just another Hallmark holiday where people buy things for each other and pretend to care. But I don't want to go too far down the road of cynicism...

Thus, the Feast of the Incarnation. Or the Feast of the Invasion. These two are obviously much more thought-provoking options, no? Who says "have a blessed Feast of the Incarnation/Invasion"?? If we greet one another this holiday season in this way, it jolts us out of our Christmas slump and forces us to remember exactly what went down at Christmas two thousand years ago - the Lord of the world became a little baby, a baby who even before his birth began to usurp the thrones of all kings in all nations...

Pretty cool, if you ask me. Have a blessed Feast of the Incarnation/Invasion.


welcome to the horizon

That's right. the horizon affair. I'll explain in as few words as possible. Each of us is going somewhere. Obvious enough, right? Well, I decided that the most joyful way to look at my life is as a journey toward a horizon--the horizon of new ideas, new friends, new family, and newLY restored Creation. May God bless this website and keep watch over my fingers as I type my thoughts to share with you all.