Saturday, January 29, 2011

on: authority

Excerpt from Donald Miller's blog post: "A Creator Must Believe He Has the Authority to Create"

"And this is how it is with stepping into the role of a creator. Made in the image of God, able to speak something into nothing, able to create solutions to the world's problems, we stammer about in disbelief, waiting for someone else to take responsibility for our lives and for the lives we have been given to care for. We are all creators, but too many reject the God-given to create and instead become consumers, hiding in the safety of some government, some corporation, some self-help philosophy to take care of us. And so why should we be surprised when we turn around and somebody is sitting in our chair, dictating how our marriage will go, how our career will go, whether or not we will have peace with our neighbors? We shouldn't be surprised. We handed them our authority.

Until we believe we are creators, nothing will change save what some other creator changes for us. We are their servants, the consumers of whatever fate is dictated to us by the bold, be it good or bad."

Creators...'able to create solutions to the world's problems'... We're all artists, folks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Music for your Wednesday

The cutest damn cover you've ever seen of one of my favorite songs, via Max Wanger.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

on: 2010.

2010 was a great year. It really, really was. Inspired by an article on NPR, and my spectacular ability to forget things instantly, I decided to make a list of the 50 things that made me happiest this year. So, in no particular order:

1. Movies:
a. Inception,
b. Harry Potter,
c. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
d. Date Night

2. Quiet time for reading, looking over the snowy mountains of Colorado. (Feb)

3. Upgraded from my trusty point-and-shoot to a Nikon D80, thanks to Danielle Larson. (Sept)

4. Loren digging my sister’s car out of the snow at midnight. (Jan)

5. Old Spice commercial at the superbowl. (Feb)

6. English garden roses from Saipua in New York. (July)

7. Seeing the Lion King on Broadway, in which my friend Ben plays Pumba, AND getting the backstage tour. Simply magical. (July)

8. Seeing that a cohesive, supportive community really can beat out bad people, when Weston, MO ran the Westboro Baptist folks out of town. (Nov)

9. Baby animals. My blog is very nearly a baby animal blog. But this year, I discovered that is in fact possible to in fact pet a baby panda in a remote panda sanctuary in China. Add that one the bucket list. (Oct)

10. Three trips to the Zoo, D.C., St. Louis and Kansas City. And in Kansas City, THEY LET THE KANGAROOS RUN FREE(ISH). I was six feet from a baby kangaroo. (Jan, Aug, Nov)

11. I love places ripe for redemption. Thus, I did a lot of my graduate research on the city of Detroit. While there for Thanksgiving, the Eplers took me on a tour. It was something profound for me to experience a place written on my mind and heart first-hand. (Nov)

12. I have loved pandas my whole life. I finally saw a live one for the first time at the National Zoo in D.C. (Jan)

13. Visiting Loren’s favorite restaurant in Ann Arbour: Zingerman’s. We split an asparagus and goat cheese sandwich. And yes, it was every bit as good as Loren had hyped it up to be. (Apr)

14. The R Bar for my birthday. It might have been the best meal of my life. (Aug)

15. Alaska! (Aug)
a. Salmon, salmon, salmon, and crab bisque.
b. Kayaking next to Mendenhall Glacier. And it calved while we were on the lake. Amazing!
c. Hike to Echo Cove. It was nearly too beautiful for language.
d. Climbing Mount Roberts with Loren and Sean. Even if I was on the verge of a panic attack for the latter half of the hike. Somehow, I always manage to forget how much I hate heights. But the view made it absolutely worth it.

16. Getting to eat lunches at home sometimes.

17. Four-day workweeks. I’m so, so fortunate.

18. Handing out flower flats with Front Porch Alliance. And as a bonus, I got sent home with a leftover flat of zinnias. (June)

19. Dancing with glow sticks at Greg and Jool’s wedding; taco’s on the BLVD beforehand. (July)

20. Starting our photo-blog project with Kimmer, “gratitude,” before her return to Korea. (Aug)

21. Camping on my grandparents’ property at Roots n’ Blues n’ BBQ. And of course, the huge quantities of kettlecorn I ate. (Oct)

22. Rachel Maddow’s commentary on the closed-loop nature of the Republican media- and information machine. With a nod to the rumors of her being a lesbian vampire. (Nov)

23. Trying to figure out what to do with all of our crazy vegetables from our CSA. (Summer)

24. Sufjan Stevens playing “Seven Swans” as the opening of his show. (Oct)

25. Time with Stacey and Aaron and Zach in Dallas. (Nov)

26. Breakfast and m. henry’s in Chicago. Berry bread pudding, and crab cake eggs benedict. Another top ten meal. (Sept)

27. Wii bowling with Grandma on Christmas.

28. First Annual Brookside Porch Crawl. (June)

29. Keeping my first garden alive. (Summer)

30. Parkville Beer Fest. (Apr)

31. French macarons from Natasha’s Mulberry and Mott.

32. Painted nails: orange, neon pinks, charcoal gray- yep, I’m still loving it.

33. Walks to Crestwood.

34. Flowers from Flower’s by Design.

35. Homemade peanut butter cups.

36. My professor telling me that I should pursue publishing one of my papers. And just like that, I realized I had found my ‘something’ to be passionate about. (May)

37. A bike Ride to Shakespeare in the Park with a picnic. (July)

38. Dessert with Mom at Café Europa. (May)

39. Surprising my Dad at the airport. (Sept)

40. Christmas with the whole family for the first time in the better part of a decade.

41. Danielle marrying an all-around great guy, and throwing one spectacular party. (Oct)

42. How the dining room looks with the christmas lights and all the candles lit.

43. Roommate holiday. (Oct)

44. Toffee stout from McCoys. What’s not to love: coffee? Good. Toffee? Good. Stout? GOOD. (Nov)

45. Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate, Basil Marceaux. (Sept)

46. An oldie that I was only recently introduced to: Carl Lewis singing the National Anthem at a Bull’s Game in the early nineties. OH-OH!

47. David Hasselhoff’s MESS of a drunk cheeseburger incident. I will laugh every.single.time I think about it.

48. A spontaneous decision to see Conan O’Brien when he was in town. It was a good decision. (Oct)

49. Aaron Moss’ stories about his dad (and mom, too). The second hardest I laughed all year. (Dec)

50. The hardest I laughed all year: Jon Mark having to push Aaron's car out of the snow after we had made fun of him for walking. "Jon Maaaarrrk! Jon Mark help! Jon Mark, push us!" (Jan)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on: neglect.

Oh, hey, blog.

Yeah, I know it's been a really long time. Four months? Really. Geesh. Sorry about that.

Here's a picture of a baby pandas to make it up to you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

on: 25.


It’s been crazy year. In December, I got mono and read Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and started thinking about the story I was telling with my life. In January, I set out to do 24 things before I turned 25, some big and some small. I didn’t do all of them, but I did a lot of them. But reflecting back on this year, it’s been one of the best and most exciting of my life. And 23 was really dang good, too. Now, I’m looking ahead to my 26th year on this earth. Having recently been faced with turns I didn’t expect my story to take- nothing major, just little things that remind me I’m not in charge of my life- I am amazed at the grace of God: of His faithfulness to keep promises, to keep me, and to take me on adventures I never could have imagined, when I only let Him lead. So now, the last year of my life in a few lists:

24 things before 25
1. Read at least one book for pleasure per month. (check!)
2. Visit the Nelson-Atkins. (FAIL- I mean, come on! How easy would that have been??)
3. Paint/draw one piece per month. (Nope.)
4. Take more pictures. (check!)
5. Cook once a week/eat at home more. (check!)
6. Spend time with Jesus before I spend time with others. (Errr, sort of.)
7. Write more letters. Send more cards. (check!)
8. Decorate my office with things I love. (check!)
9. Clean and organize my home office space. (check!)
10. Repair/reupholster some of the furniture I fished out of people’s garbage. (Errr, no.)
11. Have someone over for dinner once a month. (check!)
12. Make one new friend per month. (Halfway. A few new friends! Deepened some other friendships. So, I’m going to call it a SUCCESS!)
13. Sew something on my sewing machine. (check! Cloth napkins. Bingo.)
14. Go to Chicago! Finally! (check! Well, I’m going this weekend, but I’m still counting it.)
15. Take more pictures of Loren and I. (Vomit, I know, but (check!)
16. Practice my Spanish. (Pfffff. This might be on my list every year for the rest of my life.)
17. Trace my family history. (Nope.)
18. One walk per week. (No, but I did take a lot more walks, so improvement!)
19. Ride my bike to class, often. (check!)
20. Make a collage of my pictures from Korea. (check!)
21. Go camping. (No. :( )
22. Grow things. (check! Herbs, tomatoes, green peas, peppers, onions, red potatoes, zinnias, tulips, daisies, peonies and kale. I’m on my way!)
23. Make more gifts. (No. But I did give more gifts, and I consider that a WIN.)
24. Go to the beach. Any beach. (check! Alaska. But it’s still the Ocean, people.)

So, here I have 24 things that I wanted to do in eight months. I did 14 of them full-on. I did another four in part. That’s 75 percent. I did 75 percent of the things that I thought would be dang cool to do in just eight months. That’s awesome. I’m going to write a new list for this year. I highly recommend it to anyone. In addition to this list, I made a conscious effort to take more adventures this year. I only get to be young once, after all, and it sure felt like I was letting the ‘old’ set in far too quickly: I had a 40 hour a week job and everything about my life sounded remarkably average. There’s nothing wrong with average. There’s real beauty in average, and I appreciate that beauty. But I’m not satisfied with average just yet. Travel is a great way to interrupt average. As Alain de Botton said, “The reason to travel: there are inner transitions we can’t properly cement without a change of locations.” So I traveled.

1. North Carolina (well, right before my birthday, but it still counts.)
2. Seoul, South Korea
3. Lots of St. Louis and Columbia, MO
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Detroit, MI
6. New York City
7. Alaska
8. Chicago

So this year, make a list with me, maybe? And let’s go some places definitely. Let’s interrupt average every now and then.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


! I have a slight, but mounting, obsession with "Alice in Wonderland" themed things. I would live in the new Tim Burton movie. No jokes. I would decorate my entire house like a topsy turvy english garden tea party with pretty china and extravangant wallpaper and rose bushes inside. I would cover entire hallways with giant paper flowers. I'm not even kidding. I'm not all that into couture, really, other than for the artistic appreciation of it. But the new Galliano for Dior collection is out.of.control. It's fantastic! I would wear that black and yellow dress as my wedding dress someday. Just dare me. (And then buy it for me.)

Images from rdujour via the Neo-Traditionalist.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Mr. Wind

Found on by Kate of Wit & Delight on a Cup of Jo.