Friday, March 28, 2008

Her Big Week

Tonight, I get to fly down to SoCal to help one of my most favoritist people in the whole world prepare for her Big Day. I have vivid memories of my dearest Melissa (on the far right in the pic) helping me in those last few frantic days of wedding prep: running up and down the isles at Target, rushing to the salon, flying through the mall, taking frightening pictures in mud baths (check out my fridge next time you're over), and assembling last minute wedding favors. It was hilarious & insane & some of those beautiful golden moments that you just don't forget.

I can't wait.

I got a voice mail from her last night that clearly communicated to me that she had completely lost her mind (in that wonderful "I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!" kind of way), and it made me giddy for those late night 15 year old giggle fests, sleeping on her air mattress on the floor.

It will be fun to re-play those single, college girl shenanigans together =)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unwelcome Home

Last night, we schlepped our luggage back from BART, after flying home from Austin (which was a great trip, but I don't feel like talking about it right now). My arms were falling off when we turned down our street, and Chris noticed that our car (the Trooper) was parked in a different place than where we had left it (nothing too alarming-- we left our keys with our house/dog-sitting friend, and told her to feel free to take the car out for a spin). Then, I noticed that the back door was slightly open & the dome light was on inside.


You guessed it: no car stereo (yet again).

Well, the good news is that 1) no windows were broken (I'm thinking the car was left unlocked accidentally), and 2) they stole this huge bag I've been meaning to take to Good Will for ages. So that saves me a trip to Good Will (ironic, isn't it?). The bad news is that they ripped the whole dash board off, and also stole all the knobs. Who steals air conditioner knobs? The savages.

The other surpris
e we got was when we woke up this morning to move the cars for street sweeping. Chris moved the Trooper (I haven't actually looked in to see what they did to my Baby-- I just can't bear it yet), and I got into the Jeep to move it.

Surprise! It wouldn't start.

Chris just spent an hour under the hood with our friendly neighbor, Eric, trying to get it to start, to no avail. I stood out there in the chilly morning with them for a while, feeling useless and very female (as I usually do on these occasions, which happen far too often). Finally, I asked if my moral support could still be felt from the house, and was sent back inside to blog and check my email.

Side note: I believe there is some sacred male ritual in looking under the hood of a car. Have you ever noticed that when one man is looking under the hood, other men are instinctively drawn to it, like moths to a flame? It's the same with barbecues. There is something sacred and distinctively masculine about it. In those moments, all a woman can do is stand back and admire (or get in the way and ask if they can help). And by the way, I'm not bagging on men at all-- I really do believe they have a special talent when it comes to barbecuing and fixing cars that God did not give to women.

But I digress. I am sad about our cars. I am sad when I think about the money we will spend to fix them. I'm also sad because I finally got the documents I had been waiting for to clear up the whole mess with my credit card & the collections agency-- and it turns out that I was wrong this whole time & that I really do owe them $700. Crap.

Sometimes it seems like our poor cars drive around with a "Kick Me" sign on their backs. I don't
even want to think about all the money we have poured into them over the last couple of years. Yuck. I could sit and fantasize about selling them both (or driving them off of a cliff) and getting something new-- maybe a Matrix or a Scion... But of course, that costs money, too.

So now, I can tell that it is time to practice my ritual of Thankfulness that comes every time I start to feel deprived & broke. Here goes: I have food. I have a great apartment. I have the most comfortable bed anyone could ask for (it was a glorious thing to finally lay down last night and breathe a long "I'm home" sigh). I have a wonderful family who loves me, and will never allow me to be homeless. And, the creme de la creme, I have the best hubby anyone could ask for. Who needs a Matrix? Who needs a car stereo? I'm sittin' pretty.

I've got rhythm, I've got music, who could ask for anything more?
(Actually, I have awful rhythm, and now that my stereo is gone, I don't really have a way to listen to my music, but still.. who could ask for anything more?)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I'm feeling a little cranky right now. It's nothing big-- mostly it's just my blood sugar being low, and having too many things on my "To Do" list. We leave tomorrow for Austin (which I am looking forward to), thus commencing our insane month of traveling, where I anticipate many mornings of waking up & not knowing where I am.

Instead of chipping away at that incredibly important "To Do" list, or even blogging about something meaningful (which I would love to do, but don't have the time or capacity for at the moment), I feel like complaining.

Either something a) is wrong with our mirror, b) something is wrong with my eyes/brain, or c) I am starting to resemble the creepy psychopathic killer in No Country for Old Men. Twice today, I have looked in the mirror at my outgrown hair (that I hate & feel like complaining about) & my tired eyes, and have seen Scary Psychopathic Killer looking back at me (seriously, I look just like him right now). Not good.

Hopefully it's just my mirror, and hopefully I won't start carrying around an air compressor (if you haven't seen the movie, that won't make any sense), but even more, I hope that I will make it through today feeling a little better than I am right now. I really want to keep a positive attitude. I really want to live each moment in a way that is balanced, peaceful & "at home" in Jesus.

I want goodness & patience & strength to flow out of me-- not shallow complaints about my appearance. Unfortunately, the truth is that I have both the good (the balanced, peaceful person) and the bad (the one that complains about the little things) living in me. On the inside, I probably resemble Gollum (& Smeagol) more than the scary dude from No Country for Old Men. I hate when the ugliness creeps out-- when I snap or speak with sarcasm or criticism.

Lately, I have been feeling such a deep sense of my need for God-- of who I really am when I'm worn out & the filters come off. It makes me want to cling tighter to Him, and I suppose that, in the end, that's a good thing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Daylight Spending

Blah. This is an official gripe. Consider yourself warned.

Daylight Savings is a conspiracy. I'm not sure what they're getting at yet, but I know they're after something. I wish I could protest, like Arizona, and simpl
y refuse to change my clock-- just show up an hour late for everything & start a revolution (hey, that's not a bad idea, considering I'm usually at least 10 minutes late for everything! I could call it a Daylight Savings tax, or something).

Why do they call it "Savings" anyways? It's like those obnoxious car salesmen on the radio: SUND
AY, SUNDAY SUNDAY! HUGE SAVINGS YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS!! Usually, it saves me a whole lot more money when I just don't go down to their used car lot & partake in their savings. I'm pretty sure I'm not saving any daylight (unless there's some offshore account in Switzerland that has all my daylight saved up for me, and I don't know about it).

Waking up on Sunday morning was brutal, but it wasn't as bad as waking up this morning. Because the sun didn't set until like 9:30 last night (it's possible that I am exaggerating), we didn't eat dinner until at least 11pm (again, this map may not be to scale), and finally made it to bed at 3am (well, maybe it was midnight). When the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, it felt (and looked) like the middle of the night.

I feel so cheated. I mean, it's nice that we have all those "extra" lovely hours of afternoon/evening light, but when the sun doesn't actually rise until 7:28am (that is not an exaggeration; I looked it up), I really don't feel like I am gaining anything.

Maybe my griping has more to do with the fact that I have a case of the Mondays. We had a lovely weekend (maybe I'll blog on that later-- it really was golden), but I am dreading this week, and I am not quite sure at this point how I am going to make it through. On top of the normal "my cup runneth/spilleth over" week, I have an all day outreach, our church small group, and an entire weekend of training meetings to run. This means that my week will actually last 2 weeks-- how's that for daylight savings?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over

In the Bible, the phrase "My cup runneth over" sounds so nice and lovely & spiritual. In real life, everyday terms, it sounds like I spilled my coffee.

Life, right now, feels a little like both.

We are insanely busy. I realize that sometimes people talk about how busy they are in a way that is close to bragging-- as though busyness implies worth or importance. I am not one of those people. I love free time, sleeping in, reading books on the couch, etc, etc. That it not to say that I am unhappy (that's where the "cup runneth over" part comes in), just to say that sometimes, when you have too many good things in your cup, you spill your drink.

I have been "spilling" in little drips & messes all over the Bay Area lately-- trying to squeeze in far too many activities & not accounting for travel time, or my capacity for human interaction. Although life is full to the point of spilling, my heart also feels full to overflowing sometimes, and that is a good thing.

Sadly, though, I am aware that I cannot keep up this pace for long before I end up throwing the cup against the wall. I need to learn what to cut out, what to organize more efficiently, and how to take deep breaths and keep pushing through.

Somehow, it's been working so far.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Domestic Goddess

There must be something in the air. I suppose it's spring, and I suppose it entered my blood with that first carton of strawberries I spotted at Trader Joe's or the warm, sunny weather we had today.

Either way, something got inside of me, and I had this uncontrollable urge to clean things this weekend. Actually, it probably had more to do with the fact that I was sick for 4 weeks, then traveled for a week after that, and never really was able to start my life where it left off. It seems that while I was "gone", piles of paper grew, dust settled, and chaos ensued.

Over the last busy week, I looked around me and needed to scream "Stop the insanity!!" Today was my attempt at doing just that.

I did laundry-- not just my normal trip to the laundromat, but also a couple of special loads that included our comforter, shower curtains & shower curtain liners (yes, you can wash them!). I scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom. I cleared everything out of the kitchen & bathroom cabinets, wiped them down & re-organized them. I sorted, filled trash cans, put things away, swept, gave the dog a bath... I even made enough black beans to hold us over for the next month.

I really don't know what got into me, but it's contagious-- I sucked Chris into the frenzy, and now he can't stop sorting through old bills & files. It's like a disease... but a good one, I suppose.

I feel just about ready for life to start again. I might even be ready for Monday.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happiness Has an Address

Maybe you didn't know this, but Happiness lives at 501 Dolores St, a.k.a. Dolores Park Cafe. It's my new favoritist spot in San Francisco, and I have told so many people about it over the last few days and fantasized so much about their mango smoothie (the one that "changed my life") that it's gone beyond a funny little joke to down right obnoxious.

I met a student there on a sunny Wednesday morning, and got said smoothie (the one that changed my life), enjoying the bright, open view of Dolores Park, the fantastic people watching out the huge windows, and the friendly, happy vibe that seemed to be contagious in all their patrons.

I was even able to drag Chris out of bed [semi] early this morning so that we could ride our bikes over and enjoy our "Saturday morning breakfast in a new place" ritual. Needless to say, it was a happy morning.

Cafe Cubano, a cornmeal raspbe
rry scone and the most beautiful bowl of oatmeal you've ever seen (yes, even oatmeal is beautiful there!)... both our mouths were very happy.

We watched people come & go, walking dogs of all shapes & sizes to the park, and then took a stroll down to another one of the happiest places in the city, Bi Rite Market. Bi Rite is this quaint little store that sells all things delicious & lovely (and expensive). It has aisles of $15 chocolate bars, artisan cheeses, fresh-baked bread, and fruits & vegetables that look like they should be used for painting still-life's, rather than eating. There is a huge stand of perfect flowers outside, and the Bi Rite Ice Creamery across the street.

I love to walk
around, oohing & ahhing over the beautiful food, thinking of the damage I could do, if only we could afford a $12 hunk of cheese or a $15 mini cake.

After that, we took Gavin to the beach and watched him case tennis balls into the ocean until he almost fell over from exhaustion. Although it's chilly & windy out, it is sunny & beautiful-- a perfect Saturday.