Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Dreamy Bedroom Ideas

I've been working on various rooms of our apartment, and the next up is the bedroom. I've been delighting in plain white backgrounds with punches of red. I thought that I liked the latest turquoise and coral theme, but then red kept showing up in my life. So, I think I need to go with with the universe is sending my direction.

Over our vacation, we were given this pretty watercolor painting by my guy's artist grandfather. I see this in an oversize white frame, centered over the bed:

Here's some of my additional inspiration:

Martha Stewart Living, June 2009 Beach House Bedroom:
A gorgeous reddish bedroom from Gabbi Tubs via Please Sir:

An idea to redo my bulletin board and update it to a more grownup and romantic framed look via Country Living (photo by Adrian Briscoe) - I have an idea of how to do this for cheap with my existing bulletin board:

Southern Living Habersham cottage - check out the gorgeous red nightstands.

And lastly, I'm drooling over this adorable white bedspread from Target, the Kissing Pleats bedspread:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back in Time

I'm back from my vacation to the East Coast. There's so much to share and so many cool things to relay ... I will try to do the trip justice here over time. I'd planned my time around going to a single class called "The Bible through Art and Artifact;" a week long course at Yale Divinity School (my alma mater). It was amazing. We held 6000 year old letters on clay from the Babylonian collection (originally from Assyria), we saw the oldest known copy of Ephesians. We saw a Mummy and a Heart Scarab, a piece of art from 1270AD, and we got to see the brand new Taylor & Boody organ being played in the chapel.

It was a trip back in time, in so many ways. I got to see people and places I hadn't seen in about ten years, and I got to trace back the Bible and ancient civilization in ways I never had before. We went to Boston, too, and saw so many of the very cool buildings that are part of our country's Revolution.

And now, I'm back at work, doing what I do ... and missing all those things and people and places that are now just a little bit of my own history.

The Sterling Divinity Quadrangle - Yale Divinity School

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Place

I'm sitting in a floral dress at an outdoor fish restaurant called "The Place" in Guilford, Connecticut. Today alone I've seen artwork from 1270 CE, read and studied along the sunny shore, stopped to take pictures when the urge hit. I had lunch with two dear ladies I used to work with. I stopped in some favorite shops, enjoying every single second. After I eat my dinner of fresh caught lobster and roasted corn, I'm headed to a free concert within the courtyard at Yale Law School. I'm utterly thrilled to be on vacation. My guy gets in tonight, and I've felt brave and adventurous eating alone and doing my own thing for the past two days.

Packs of people are gathered around bright red tables sitting on tree stumps. A girl behind me is having a birthday dinner with her friends before leaving on a few days out of the country. No one else here is alone, no one else is dressed up, and yet I can't imagine that anyone else is as grateful and excited and delighted to to be here as me. A night of good food and music and vacation after a wonderful day. It sure doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

One of my favorite stories from my friend Kathy (my Yale roomie) was from when she was a little girl. As a child of divorced parents, she had family in both California and Texas. She spent her summers in California and the rest of the year in Texas.

Airplanes took her back and forth. She said that as a kid in the airplane, she often felt in between parents. Almost like she didn't really belong to any one person, as if she was in suspension on her way from one parent to another. In those hours in the sky, she was her own person, with no one to report to and no one responsible for her.

As she left one set of arms to later be greeted by another pair when she gof off from the plane, she recognized that some children might be afraid without a parent, without someone there to look over them. She realized that while she did not have a parent, she had God to watching over her. She had one Father as she flew through the sky, with love sending her on her way, and love waiting to receive her on the other side.

I love this image of love. Of knowing that when we leave the warm embrace of family, that we can lean into God's love when we go forth on our own. Destinations may be uncertain, our paths unclear to us as we go through this life. But God, and God's love is constant for us as we fly like tiny birds through the many skies of our life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Book of Genesis and Adamah

This evening, on the way home from work, I started doing my reading for summer session. First up in the Women's Bible Commentary was the section on Genesis. Now, I love me some Hebrew Bible. I took four years of Biblical Hebrew and I loved every second of it. Well except some of the verb tenses, but reading Job and Genesis and Exodus in their original language is really fun for me. It was also super challenging.

So tonight, I came across the note that the word used for the first human was adamah, which in Biblical Hebrew means "dust of the earth" or "ground." This is of course symbolic and deep, as the name "Adam" comes from this Hebrew root. God created both of these things, and named them. I love this passage and the fact that Adam's name and his source and creation are all embodied in that one word.

Just like later, when Jesus says to Peter, "Epi melli thethi Petros" (bad transliteration there) or My Church will be "founded upon a rock." Peter's name and the word rock (petros) both have the same root. Peter is the first Pope and he is the rock, just as the Church is the rock of Jesus' teaching. I love this.

Tonight though, I was struck by the name Adamah, as in Bill Adama from Battlestar Galactica. While I am a self professed fan, it really delighted me that the name of our hero is one in the same as the first man on earth. Now, there are some plot issues with this fact (and a spoiler, if you haven't seen the finale), since in BSG our genetic "Eve" is little Hera. Perhaps there is a Lee Adama junior on his way as time progresses on earth? I don't know, but this Hebrew word opened up a whole new line of fascination for me with BSG.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green and Other Updates

It's always frustrating when you make a mistake and really have no one to blame but yourself. Yesterday when I grabbed the dishwasher detergent, I pulled out the Greenworks Dish washing Liquid. I loaded the dishwasher, threw in the soap and turned it on. Then I left to go clean the living room.

When I returned, I was horrified! Who knew that dish washing liquid (not the same is dish washing detergent! and it says "not for use in automatic dishwashers" right on the side!) would create big, fluffy bubbles of cartoon proportions that would cause the dishwasher to overflow? When I came in to the kitchen, there were suds and water all over the floor. I stood there stupefied, and then we grabbed towels to soak up the mess. Four big towels later, the water was gone, but we still had a ton of suds to deal with, both inside the dishwasher and out.

There were also suds seeping out from below the dish washer. We pulled back the metal footer and discovered that the entire area beneath the washer was full of bubbles, too! Two more towels later, we had most of that cleaned up.

We rinsed the dish washer again and again, letting it suck the water out, and then refilling it with fresh water. Finally the suds subsided. We pulled out the fan to dry the kitchen out. I would never have imagined that dish washing liquid could create such a mess. But now we all know, and I won't ever make that mistake again.

I've also been hard at work on a new venture with my co-worker, Chrissy. We've decided to start a business together!! We'll still keep our day jobs :) but we've already had a ton of fun working on plans for the other work. Right now, we're waiting for our logo to be finished by an art director friend. As of right now, we're planning on a site, Etsy shop, and a blog full of things that inspire us. I promise to reveal more in the next days or weeks to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Give Away Winner and Spirit Jump

The give away is all ready to go out, and when I send it I'm also going to be sending out a Spirit Jump! Spirit Jump is a great group that directly connects a gift giver with someone who is battling cancer. If you're interested in learning more, please go visit them and sign up.

I decided to join Spirit Jump for several reasons. The reason most near and dear to my heart is that my own father has battled cancer twice now. I've seen first hand what the disease can do to a person's life and the lives of those around them. My dad is very brave and I'm inspired by his continued fight. I do not talk about it much here because he is pretty private, and I don't feel that his battle is mine to share with everyone. But should he ever read this, I want him to know that I love him and I am so very proud to be his daughter.

So, in addition to Kathie's big win:

I'm also sending a similar book out to Christine, yet hers is inspired by Saint Francis. I lead retreats at a Franciscan retreat center, and I find the teachings of Saint Francis to be quite inspired and uplifting.

And then lastly, for the new hair cut and sun glasses. For me, sun glasses are the one accessory that can (and should) be a little over the top. So here I am, after the cut on my patio:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

And the Winner Is ....

Kathie from My Net Finds! Congratulations! Check your inbox for an email from me so I can ship out your copy of 'Let Nothing Disturb You' and six note cards! For the sake of fairness and randomness, I like to use the number generator over at to help select winners. Here's the screenshot of the big moment that named Kathie our winner :)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the June Give Away. I'll try to have another give away up soon, and the next one will probably be for my 200th post. I can't even believe it!

You should all head over to Kathie's cool blog - she posts about all sorts of fun stuff she finds on the internet. I really like the looks of those ice cream cup cakes and I had no idea that Winona Ryder and Christian Slater were teaming up again for a sequel to the 80s cult classic, Heathers.

I'm gonna head over to the pool for a bit to read and soak up some rays, but I promise to post later about: my new haircut, crazy sunglasses and some other updates about a new venture I'm embarking on. Have a sunny afternoon, everyone! And congrats again to Kathie!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Kind of Retreat Appeals to You? and What Moves you to Blog?

This week my retreat planning team met with Father Rusty to go over a little plan we concocted. See, we lead retreats for young adults (defined as ages 18-40). It's a pretty wide range for a single gathering of people, especially seeing as a high school senior and a new parent (for instance) are both at different places in their lives.

We presented an idea to split the group, and proposed mentoring new people on how to lead retreats. I'm excited about this prospect. I feel like our team has done a great job and it would be cool to pass the torch to a new group. So, I think we are going to have an open house and introduce the idea to some promising young adults. If you happen to live in the SF Bay Area and are between 20-35 and are interested, well drop me a note at welcomingspirit [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll send you an invite to our event.

Father Rusty also asked us what we thought about themes for the August young adult retreat. It's a full weekend retreat, and I helped lead it last year. He asked what was going on in our lives and what kind of retreat we'd like to go to. We had a great conversation about possible topics.

One of the ideas that came up was around the fact that we so often feel compelled to constantly check email, text, post a Facebook status, tweet or blog, and the impact this has on real life relationships. Is it possible that in these myriad of ways, we've actually cheapened the connection with many of our social circles? What's gained by reading page after page of updates like "making dinner, then watching TV," "went to the movies and doing my laundry now," or "just checked out the latest Joss Whedon flick"? Are we really connecting, or are we just trying to avoid our true selves, trying to avoid a silence in our home, trying to appear to social and happy?

We went around for a long time about this idea, that with the new "social media," people are actually just having "voyeurships" (a term I made up) by watching the lives of others from a distance, instead of really interacting with those people. I know for me, I'd get more from a 20 minute conversation with my best friend than I would perusing her Facebook page (if she had one). I know I'd get more out of writing, reading a spiritual book, or investing in studying something that interests me than feeding the monster inside me that wants to read just one more tweet, send another IM, or look at another stranger's Flickr set.

For sure, there are many good things about the internet and new ways of connecting. My parents live in a different state than I do. I cherish catching up with them in whatever way I can. In those exchanges, we are aware that time is precious, that we are sharing pictures to share of ourselves because we can not be there in person. And, I've met so many amazing friends here in blogland, and in World of Warcraft, on message boards. Those are also people who share deeply, who live large, who encourage others. They are the ones who are looking to make a real connection, and then work hard to find common ground with other people.

This brings me back to something I really love about the blog "Becoming Me." Angela has a "no guilt" comment policy. She doesn't check stats. She doesn't feel the success of a post relies on the amount of comments. I really applaud her because it's hard to do this. But when you take away those external expectations, I think it allows you share more, without worry. It forces you to get to the heart of the matter and focus on what your passion is.

I know I've rambled a bit, but I really wanted to share the idea that keeps rattling around in the back of my head. I'm making a promise to myself that I'll only tweet if it's something I have a passion for, I'll only blog if the spirit moves me, and I'll only post a Facebook status because I feel moved to do so. Ok, so let's get sharing, friends! Let's use this great medium for good!