Friday, August 31, 2012

On Getting Followers and Following My Heart

I just read these posts by Jamie of "Hello from the Natos" - On Getting Followers and $herdog at Young House Love about "How Do You Decide What to Post About" and I'm really moved and inspired by they say. I know that all too often I get tied up in one of  a few things when I think about blogging:

1. I have to write about certain topics and write about them in a certain way
2. I have to write about stuff that people want to read and that will get good search results
3. There's no such thing as a retreat and home decorating blog, so I really have to choose just one thing or else

Meh, right? Especially number 3. I want to be the author of a spiritualilty and home decorating / lifestyle blog. There, I said it. And, I want to be a public speaker.
I can see why my blogging suffers from "irregularity. I get so freaking caught up in my head about what I should and shouldn't be doing that I don't write anything. Or I get caught up thinking "this isn't normal, so I shouldn't talk about it." Which goes against Sherry's rule of "Try sharing more of yourself, no matter how random."

I'm really way too worried about what everyone thinks and worried about doing blogging the "right way." How dumb. Nothing in most of our lives is done the "right way" and isn't it more inspiring to read about the hard times, the unusual events, the little things than about how great retreat planning is and how my kitchen took no time to re-do? (we're 1 week in and wow, it's gonna take forever). God wants me to speak my mind and do what I've been sent here to do. Retreat planning isn't always sexy. Home decorating, isn't either. Running a young adult ministry team has stereotypes stuck to it, as does working with a Franciscan retreat center. But that's all the stuff I do, and frankly, that I LOVE.

So welcome. I'm a Franciscan loving, house decorating, baby hugging, retreat leading lady. I'm going to try and break out of this shell I've created for myself, so please get ready for a weird ride while I get jiggy 'wid it. Ugh, yes, I actually do say those kinds of things.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Words to Live By

I saw this on my friend Katey's blog and had to share. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Bag Lunch of a Crazed Woman

Yesterday I got the tire fixed on my car. I drove over a nail a couple of weeks ago (I think, but who knows, really). Over the last two weeks the TPMS light has gone on and I fill up the tires, only to see the light a few days later. Booo.

So last night after work, I picked up Zoom from day care, went to the shop, and he ran around yelling about "cars" and "tires" and watched the Giants game and ate popcorn. This place was pretty swank. Here he is, kicking back and enjoying in the treats.
Tire fix

We got home and of course there was more painting. The hutch now has some yellow on it, and I plan on finishing the white part this evening. I'll try to take a picture this evening to share.

The other big news? Well, the chandelier I ordered off Overstock has shipped. It should be here before the weekend!! Have you seen our current chandelier? It's tiny, it hangs way too high, and I had honestly hoped that the previous owners might take it with them... no dice. She's still there.


So after all of the excitement of yesterday, I was running late and realized I had no lunch figured out as I was racing for the door. So, what does one do in that situation? Oh, grab peanut butter, jelly, and bread and drop it in your bag. Friends, I totally made a PB&J at my desk. Here's the classy handiwork.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

House Update: Kitchen Painting and Decorating Plans

The kitchen was the only room in the house that we did not paint when we moved in a couple of months ago. I was busy hatching a plan, and that plan is hinging on the fabric I chose for the curtains. First, let's check out the big sliding glass door we have in the kitchen:

plants and yard 066

Please, let's also notice the major curtain failure that is present in that photo. Lovely, right? It was shortly after that moment (those curtains were in the master bedroom when we bought the house, so we just tried moving them) that I decided I'd just make my own. The fabric has been ordered (and it's in the dining room waiting for me), and it looks like this:

The next decision was paint colors. The kitchen was a whole lotta brown. Brown walls, builder's grade brown cabinets, and our brown hutch. Here is the cabinetry, taken while we were house hunting:

kitchen and cabinets.

And our hutch, with those brown walls:

Unpainted: kitchen and hutch

The plan, as of today is:
- paint the walls a dark gray (done!)
- hang beadboard wallpaper about 3/4s up the wall for an accent
- paint the hutch aqua, white and yellow (started last night)
- paint the cabinets - gray for the lowers, white for the uppers
- build a small desk for the right of the hutch in the photo above (supplies bought, top has been stained)
- sew new curtains, using the old ones as a liner

Here's the hutch, with the gray wall behind it as of last night. I'm absoultely in love with the colors :) and so excited to see this part of the house come together!
Hutch being painted

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Are Your Thoughts About Religion in Today's Society?

I'm busy working on a report for the advisory board I'm on, and posted a couple of questions on Facebook. What are your thoughts about religion in today's society? How has technology changed how you interact with your church or with religious groups?

I'd love to have my blog friends join in the conversation. I think this is one of "big" questions of today, how has the internet and mobile technology changed how we see religion in our lives?

And, if you care to weigh in - how can a retreat center make people of all religious backgrounds feel welcomed?

What do you think? I'd really love your input and to hear what you think on the topic!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our Car Was Stolen: Thoughts on My Sweet Car, Cobie

I've been stuck, honestly, thinking I should write about how our car was stolen. But what is there to say?

He was a 1995 Honda Civic, the first "big" thing I ever bought. He carried every important person in my life across seventeen years I owned him, took little Zoom home from the hospital, he drove the country three times, and he had a name. Cobie. After the soccer player Cobie Jones.


Last Tuesday night, someone stole him from in front of our new home. We think it was around 2:00am. Sean had put the Club on him, the doors were locked. We live in a "safe" neighborhood at the end of a long cul-de-sac. The police can not believe that a thief would drive down this long cul-de-sac, risk getting caught, for a car.

Sure, I know that the 1989-1997 Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras are still the most stolen cars in the US. Yes, I'm aware that the Club doesn't deter thieves. I get it. I'm not sure how those statistics and information are ever an appropriate piece of conversation to bring up when someone tells you they've had their car stolen. "I'm sorry," or "that's terrible," seem to be more fitting.

Because you see, this was my Cobie. And, really, all I would have liked was to say good bye and thank you for being a great car. I would have liked to have a moment to acknowlege what memories were created in that little car, to have spent a few moments remembering the back roads of Kansas with it's big sky, the forge we visited in Pennsylvania with my mom, the crazy time we rolled down the snowy driveway in Connecticut, the sweet drive home with Zoom for the first time. And I would have like to have chosen his next owner, to have known where his next adventure would take him.

A week has passed and even the police know nothing more than we did that first morning we found out he was gone. That pit-of-your-stomach feeling, seeing the blank space on the driveway, the "he's surely around here somewhere" moment, and then knowing, no, he's been taken.

We will hold out hope that Cobie will come home. I've already fought with our insurance, insisting that they extend the date they will mark the car as a "total loss." They thought I was crazy and told me most people just want the check, and to move on. And to that, well, I have to imagine that most of those people have not just bought a home, are not living on one income, and are not strangely sentimental about a sweet little blue car they named and loved and cherished.