December 30, 2011

Around the Bend

After several weeks of exuberant holiday celebrations my body feels a blanket of fog resting over it. My mind has become sidetracked too many times and my self-control sacrificed in the name of "holiday cheer". I'm ready for the new year. Crazy though it may sound to those who know me well, I suffer from a mild case of non-routine stress syndrome. Alas, my days of romping and tromping about have eased and I now crave the church on Sundays-youth on Wednesdays-band practice Thursdays-early to bed-early to rise. The gleaming light of 2012 furnishes a weary yet hopeful sigh. Around this bend, I have no idea what I'll find, but I'm sure that like this last year it will be full of incredible surprises.

 Somewhat along those lines, I am on the final lesson for my writing class. So far this one feels a lot like a sit-down talk with my parents. Which is good. I really appreciate that this course hasn't been solely about the technical side of things, but also discovering who you are as a writer and becoming confident in that. Who couldn't use a little more self-actualization? That makes us a lot more valuable in affecting the zeitgeist. Here's a little blurb from the lesson- "Look at it this way: If you don't believe in yourself and your writing, you're in the wrong business. You must be willing to promote yourself whenever and wherever you have a chance. How passionate are you about what you want to write? How badly do you want to reach people with your message"

Well that goes against a lot of my previous notions! Of course there's a line for self-promotion, but there's also a thing called not-believing-in-yourself.

We didn't watch the ball drop last night.
But I do love this picture from 1907 when they first started the tradition.
The lights in the background are so pretty.

December 21, 2011


Christmas was wonderful. Full of joy and love, delicious food and great gifts. Tomorrow shall bring a more cheerful post, but this has been on my heart as of late so I thought I would share.

Sometimes I feel this nasty awful thing growing inside of me. The source is easily detectable to me now- it's too much of my attention focused on the people around me and not enough on the One who lives inside of me. I won't assume this to be a struggle for everyone, but I've had enough heart-to-heart talks to know there is no scarcity of this evil weed of comparison. It grows and festers in wounds of doubt and self-consciousness, producing a deadly venom. Surely I can't be the only one who on occasion will spew forth sarcasm that reeks of spite and not of the joviality I attempt to disguise it with!

I want to do a few posts on this subject, but will share them on no specific timeline other than the one my mind travels on, speeding and slowing at its own stubborn will.

I'll tell you this, comparison has been one of my biggest struggles from childhood until now. It's cracked and crooked finger relentlessly points at all the things I am not and should be, and all the things I am and shouldn't be. Wicked and sour are the accusations I swallow, and lethal are the words that flow out of my own mouth.

I hope my honesty isn't too much for you. I realize open heart operations are usually kept to oneself, but I don't feel that is necessary in this case. The contents are far to common and fatal to not address. Prying them loose from the dark corners where they lurk is a great first step. To see things in the light of truth makes all the difference.

December 17, 2011

Christmas Time @ the H's.

My last two posts were heavy on the word-age.
So I decided to make this one heavy on the picture-age.
 Having the last few days off has been wonderful.
I've finished so many projects and gotten most of my shopping done.
Here's a look at what our house is like these days.
Those brown circles on our napkins are the most delectable dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's


Tinsel and sparklies make everything pretty.

Our pictures as kiddos. We both had awful haircuts. But I do think it's pretty cute that his was framed in a star and mine in a heart. Both so fitting.
Our beloved tree.

I hope your days have been merry and bright!

December 16, 2011

Red, Green, and White

Today after reading my Bible, I'm thinking of the not so traditional Christmas reds, greens, and whites. And they're not very pleasant either.

I'll start with the story I read this morning-
2 Kings 5, Here's my long-story-short version:
Elisha heals a guy of leprosy. The guy is super thankful and offers the prophet money. Of course Elisha is a stand-up guy and doesn't take it. Elisha's servant, Gehazi [his name sounds like a sneeze] however, is full of greed and runs after the richy healed guy and says "oh hey dude, these guys came to us and they need some stuff so Elisha told me to come ask for those changes of clothes and money." Then Gehazi takes the stuff to his house and hides it, and then goes to Elisha. Of course, his master is a prophet, so he knows everything that just happened. Elisha asks Gehazi where he was, and the servant was just dumb enough to deny ever leaving. Because of the greed in Gehazi's heart, Elisha tells him this, "'Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.' And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow."(vs. 27)

Not quite the white snowy Christmas you or I are dreaming of is it? Yuk.

I picture Gehazi being all three colors, 
RED with frustration and anger at the extreme stupidity he finds Elisha to be overflowing with. [I've NEVER gotten angry about someones choices]
GREEN with greed. [Duh, I'm sure you saw that one coming]
and WHITE with the fruit of the first two, leprosy. [again, yuk]

And now for the fun part of this post, a clip from one of my favorite Christmas movies as a child. Just watch the first two and a half minutes, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.


Pretty sweet chair, huh? When I was kid I thought that would be thee coolest thing. Our culture has a lot of learning when it comes to Christmas. But apparently, anger and greed are nothing new.

December 14, 2011

Christmas, Marriage, Materialism

Christmas is fast approaching and I feel so anxious for it. It's embarassing really, but Max has been plotting my presents and I'm just dying to know what they are. And I'm really nervous to give him his. A couple I know he'll like. Another couple, I'm not so sure about. I've just a got a few more to buy and then wrapping. I love both of those things. I think I could start a gift wrapping business and be so happy. Making things beautiful and personal are some of my favorite things.

I've been reading a bunch of different news articles lately. Not something I normally do, but I'm looking for some different examples for my writing class and also comparing what I'm learning to what is being published. Investigating, finding evidence to prove my teachings right or wrong.
I found this article today about the percentage of married couples in America being at an all-time low and wanted to share a bit from it. There's really nothing new in what the writer is saying, but it struck a chord in me. Here's what really stuck out to me-
 I can't help but wonder what this steady decline in marriage means for society at large -- and the future of the family unit. Are technology, equal rights, education -- all the amazing things we're so privileged to enjoy in the modern world -- changing the face of relationships and family? What will society look like 50 years from now?
[Where Have All the Married People Gone? by Holly at TheNest]

After reading that I wanted to grab Max and all my family and run away to the hills. Scary to think that so many of us let high ideals and precious objects dominate the foreground of our lives. Max and I frequently talk about the balance between enjoying nice things and being dependent on them. I would love to discover some miraculous breakthrough concepts on this issue and write a book to save western civilization from self-inflicted and utter debasement. [Fear not, if I did discover this I would make it as breif as possible. I absolutely loathe books that present an idea in the first ten pages and then spend a hundred more saying the same thing in different words. yuk] Alas! I have nothing to offer but encouragement for contentment. And excitement for Christmas...because I love...presents...oh dear.

So many thoughts to ponder...
but I've got a Christmas party to attend!



December 12, 2011

Wordified: Zeitgeist

It's probably been over a month since I've done one of these, but I saw this word and knew I had to use it. I'm pretty geeky and frequently go to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary to look through their most popular searches and daily word definitions. This one is from yesterday, and it is so timely. At our church we've been talking a lot about stepping into "a new era". This was the perfect opportunity for me to think on what "a new era" means to me and to express that with creative language. I hope you are encouraged by it.
the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era
Through a crack in this wall, a light breaks forth
Breathing a new era
Establishing a new zeigeist
Prayers shift from wish lists to petitions made before the highest court
Cries of the innocent are answered by justice and mercy
Worship and adoration birth colors and sounds

Truth is sovereign
Righteousness the standard
Bride victorious

It's hard for my mind to comprehend and put into words something that my heart knows is so huge. This is a work in progress, to be sure. And that's something I really love about writing and the Lord. They are both okay with the learning process.

I think zeitgeist will have to be a theme for future writings. Culture is a pretty big deal.  People can claim to be independent thinkers, but the "cultural climate" around us defines a lot. It shapes our worldview, which in turn sets the path for our future. I love dreaming of a new culture for my children and grandchildren, imagining the depths and widths of God's goodness being manifested on the earth. I become one of those who "smile at the future".

December 8, 2011

Rock Your Frock Photos

Annnnnd...finally! I am posting the pictures from my "Rock Your Frock" session. It seems like it was ages ago. Especially when I look at myself wearing a strapless dress outside. I would NOT want to do that in this 25 degree weather! The beginning of October was still pretty cold though. I had so much fun with the session and would highly reccomend that every married woman do it. Putting your dress back on and remembering the magic of your wedding day is wonderful. I do have this confession, my dress was a bit more snug than on our wedding day. Whoooops, I guess the engaged-can't-eat-anything-because-I'm-too-excited-and-nervous-phase is over. And let me preface the second picture [I just had to post it!] I was getting airbrushed and my facial expression is pretty ridiculous! The mist tickled so much and I was trying my hardest not to laugh. And so I look like I'm deep in prayer or meditation.

And of course all the other pictures are AMAZING!

hair by Lauren Cherney at South Hill Mosaic Salon and Spa

November 30, 2011

Writing Class Update

Let me paint a picture for you, quite different from reality, but somewhat symbolic of my current reality.

I slave and slave on a collection. Three months of nonstop work go in, and ten outfits come out. My editing has been ruthless, cold, and compassionless. Presenting to the judges my heart and soul, my stomach turns and churns. Apprehension and doubt are my closest friends. Down the runway my looks come, and from across the runway, the judges looks I search. What's done is done, and now the time has arrived for my deeds to be accounted for, the verdict to be made. Words of praise and enjoyment are tossed from one to another, yet from Fraulein Klum, comes my death sentence, "It's much too long and drab. Take eight inches off the bottom and drop the neckline five. Then I suppose I might wear it."
Okay, that was VERY dramatic. But that was my writing class in a nutshell. My mentor is not 1/100th as cruel or freaky and Heidi Klum. And I don't fear criticism too much. But there has been so much cutting, I feel my very personality has been removed. [I think I'm getting a bit dramatic again]. What I have learned is this, I love embellishing. I love putting in extra words. The problem is, when an editor sees those, they don't find them charming or unique, they are, dun-dun-dunnnnn...CLUTTER. Being one who hates clutter, I have set myself to view these "little things" as just that and snip snip away.

 On the other side of things, I have gotten a lot of good feedback from my mentor. After my last lesson she told me, "I wish I had more students like you!" I don't really know what that means. But it's good I guess. I've learned a lot of other really valuable things about professionalism, submission, and basic formatting. I'm working on a lesson, and then I have one more, and then it's finito! And then will come the hard part- figuring out how and where to put things into practice. Coffee and this guy will be sure to help me.

November 29, 2011

The Jolly Holly-days

Alrighty...Christmas time is here! The decorations (limited amount that they are) have been put up, Christmas music is being regularly played, and I've made a pretty decent dint in my shopping. What I really need to get on is my holiday baking! Quick side question about shopping, does anyone else love it so much they wish they could spend hundreds of dollars on each person, buying both big and little gifts alike? I love buying presents! Last year I was so sad when I had most all of my shopping done a couple weeks before Christmas. I thought I would try and spread things out a bit this year, but so far I am not doing too well. It's all those online sales, I just can't pass them up and I have to figure in shipping time!

Anyways, I've been getting together ideas to make some Christmas decorations, because I think they really are the best kind! Especially with hot cocoa, twinkly lights, and the proper music accompaniment. However, running out to buy ribbon or glue always disrupts my flow. Thus, I am compiling a list of the various items I would like to make, and the various necessities to execute them. I have also been perusing the Flikr Commons for some vintagey photos I might incorporate. And to set as my screen desktop :) There are so many lovely ones. Feel free to enjoy their cheer for yourself.

I especially love the ones with Christmas trees. Max absolutely hates tinsel, but something in me finds it so enchanting. And black and white photos are my favsies.

November 15, 2011


I know it's been a while since I did my Wordified Tuesday, and I had full intention of doing one this week, but I've got Christmas on my mind.

Usually I am fine waiting until after Thanksgiving to get my Christmas spirit on and my halls decked. This year however, I am so anxious [in the very best way] to get things going! Max and I have been putting together lists and have gotten a bit carried away with their visual presentation. I downloaded about ten different new fonts trying to find the right one. This site here had some great ones. Especially in the retro section.

Max's list far surpasses mine visually, but I've accepted that and let it spur me on to make mine more unique and personal. We know there really is no reason to spend so much time on them, but every now and then, you have to waste some time on a creativity.



November 10, 2011

Bosom Friends

As Max and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary we’ve been thinking been thinking back on things quite a bit. I admit it was challenging and stretching. Someone was saying the other day that you can feel like you’re a pretty decent person, and then you get married and realize how selfish and stubborn, and emotional you are. I couldn’t agree more. What I love about that is that it drives me closer to the heart of the Lord, yearning and asking for more of His wisdom, guidance, and character to be developed in my life.

A little unexpected, but another thing I have been thinking about quite a bit is all the female friends in my life. I’ve realized that marriage in no way takes the place of those relationships. Max is amazingly sweet, and did watch 4 out 5 hours of BBC’s Pride and Prejudice before confessing he was completely lost and that it made no sense to him. Oh what a dear man! But the women in my life, my bosom friends, they are irreplaceable. I’ve been recounting to myself the many memories of late night chats, midday strolls, tears, laughter, and incontrollable giggling. I wish I could tell each one of you all of my fondest memories and how much they mean to me. I decided to go the picture route, but soon found that most of my old pictures are on my external hard drive, which we lost the power cord to. So here's what I could dig up.

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it."
 -Louisa May Alcott

I love having girl time. It really is one of the most wonderful things in the world. 

November 8, 2011



That's how I spell the last few weeks. They have been a Busy.3.Weeks.
It has left me dreaming of the days soon to come when I will have 3 days off instead of 2. My greatest hope is that I will have time to pursue the things I am most passionate about, creative things. New things are on the horizon, but for now I am just struggling to keep up with the day to day things. I haven't had a real grocery store outing to fill our cupboards in about 3 weeks. Everytime I think about cooking or meal planning, my body screams that it wants a movie night and pizza. I finally got the laundry done. Yesterday I had one pair of clean pants left. As you can see, posting on C. Johnt hasn't been a top priority, just how it goes sometimes.

We did have a lovely aniversary weekend.
Nelson and the whole drive were beautiful. And the hot springs were quite relaxing.
I did think that Canada had an interesting design for their peanut butter packages.

October 27, 2011

10.30.11 approaches

And this man-
and I will have been married for one whole year.

Time has flown by. Yet I have experienced so much. A lot of growth and learning. And a whole lot of fun.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day.





So much fun was had by all...