Friday, March 27, 2009


Being in my wedding apparently had a magical and mysterious, if certainly joyful, side effect. It apparently bestowed near-immediate marriage proposals upon four beautiful friends.

I have been married exactly four months this week. In that four months, four of my best friends watched their beloveds drop to one knee.

Exhibit A: Colette's holiday present was sparkly and emerald-cut. . December brought a walk by the pond and a Christmas proposal from kind and talented Luke. They'll be husband and wife in late July.

Savannah has been engaged for exactly two hours at this present moment. We all received a suprise message this afternoon saying that she has been whisked away by her West Point pilot to Europe. He showed up at her work, drove her straight to the airport without a clue where she was headed, and spent the next two days squiring her around Germany and Austria. Today he proposed at Mirabelle Castle in Salzburg! They'll say "I do" in November.

Exhibit B:
Katie was the first to go. Just one week after we returned from our honeymoon we were on the road, headed to Waco for her suprise engagement at Baylor's historic Herrington House. They rolled down 10th Street in a limo and we ran outside to greet them! Katie and Ross' union will be celebrated with fireworks this July 4.

Sweet little Brittany got engaged to Michael on the California beach where he swore years ago he would one day propose to his future wife. She will walk down the aisle under a canopy of pine trees on a mountain outside Denver this August.

I can't believe it! I could NOT be happier for these four unique, beautiful, joyful friends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pride and Joy

Pi Phi at Baylor's "Sing" 2009 Competition from Clint Brock on Vimeo.

This week: pro/con

This week has been rough. Or not? You decide.

This week: A List

1. Gorgeous sunny yellow lamp joins me at work.
2. Thin Mints
3. Stock market gains 500 points one day.
4. Two Jamba Juices in one weekend. *Bonus* Jamba Juice announces they will still make their old-school top sellers, including my 7th grade favorite Berry Lime Sublime.
5. Dinner with Savannah.
6. Jon and Kate are NOT splitting, and, as I suspected, the season finale commercials were manipulated to make them appear on the verge of crisis, when in fact they are simply honest and normal.
7. Major win at work. Pet Project of last 6 months completed, huge windfall.
8. Major reward at work. Long-awaited travel opportunity approaches.
9. Fantastic Sabbath with my fantastic husband.
1. Taxes. IRS. TurboTax. Our first tax return as a married couple was a bear due to the fact that between the two of us in 2008 we had four W2's, 5 addresses, 3 legal names, one marriage, 1 layoff, 1 full-time student/dependent (but only for 5 months of the year), several student loans, mutual funds, and capital gains-bearing accounts, each in several different names, at several different banks, some of which no longer exist due to the financial crisis. Grrrr.
2. Congress stresses out Banker Dad
3. AIG stresses out everyone.
4. Extremely strict budget due to "Gazelle Intensity" . Last of the bills transferred from parents to me. Life Sticker Shock ensues.
5. Little brother involved in serious, car-totaling, hit-at-60-miles-per-hour car accident.
6. Little brother and several friends accidentally witness (but were NOT involved in!) murder in a parking garage, spend night in police station filling out paperwork.
7. Uncertainty at work. Hirings, firings, re-shuffling of offices, bad economy = stress.
8. Grief. I lost a very dear friend this year, and her birthday is next week.
9. FOMO. I miss spring break. And Spring at Baylor. And Sing. And Beaux.
10. Fear. About upcoming public speaking, about my ability to be a real grown-up, about whether I will have the life I wanted, about whether my projects at work will flop, about every little thing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Stressed out? Economy got you down? Got the blues?

Take a nakation .



Everyone's doing it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Internet Monk, one of my favorite religious bloggers, has put together this team of writers from many different denominations called the Evangelical Untouchables to respond to different theological conversations. Today's topic: In two paragraphs, what is the Gospel?

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Everything is amazing, but nobody is happy"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bliss, and Mosquito Annihilation

First we'll handle the ugly (and yet also beautiful) news. To my great delight, this morning CNN features an article about a soon-to-be-unveiled MOSQUITO LASER DESTROYER GUN. This brings me great glee because, as many of you know, I suffer from extreme mosquito attraction and regularly come home from a summer night out with 10-20 new bites. This laser gun kills millions of mosquitoes in just minutes by detecting the audio frequency of their wings, aiming, and burning them to death instantly. It was developed to stop the spread of malaria, which kills an African child every 30 seconds. In tropical areas, the lasers would be mounted on tall poles, ideally ringing a village, creating a sort of mosquito-killing fence around villagers.

Sheeeeeeer delight.

And speaking of sheer delight, has delight aplenty. Kate Ryan is an agency that represents some of the top photographers around, including some top lifestyle photography. Lifestyle photography is different from high-fashion photography in the same way that J. Crew catalogues look different than your typical Vogue spread.

Feast your eyes on summer bliss....
This photo above is particularly heartwarming to me because I recognize it- this is taken on Isla Capri in Italy's Bay of Naples. I spent a week there at the end of my study abroad in Rome, and I speak honestly when I tell you I have never seen a more beautiful setting. The island has four colors only: white walls, lemon yellow, ocean blue, and leafy green. Cliff jumping.
Tat in paradise. Oh, how did this adorable ice cream cart appear during my Mexican vacation?
This time it's Kennedy-meets-Capri, Kennebunkport-meets-Napoli.
Lounging in Capri. The cobalt-and-yellow on display. Such Americana. If only life were a catalogue shoot- adorable children, perfect sunsets, laughing through dinner, vacationing in Capri...
I suspect this post is strongly related to my last...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Depression


I have been a pretty good sport about this. But no longer. I am officially entering a period of serious mourning for my youth.

It is a certain time of year some like to call 'spring break'.

To illustrate, this is what my friends were doing last week:Watching beautiful sunsets while wearing hippie clothes and hanging out with fun-looking guys. Hiking Himeji castle in Japan.
Having a cocktail on a fabulous balcony in New Orleans.
Sunbathing in adorable bikinis with best friends.
Loving life in Florida.
Here is what I was doing last week:
Sad, sad office worker. No spring break for you.
Wasting your youth at a keyboard.
Calculating, printing, formatting, budgeting, filing, emailing, going to meetings.....
Eating my sad little frozen lunches. Waking up early, taking public transportation in the rain. Enduring howling wind and 30-degree temperatures.
Sad, sad little office worker. No spring break for you:(

Dead Poet, Dead Monk, Mad Scientists, and Minimites

“No one who simply eats or drinks when he feels like eating or drinking or smokes whenever he feels the urge to light a cigarette, or gratifies his curiosity and sensuality whenever they are stimulated, can consider himself a free person. He has renounced his spiritual freedom and become the servant of bodily impulse. Therefore his mind and his will are not fully his own. They are under the power of his appetites, and through the medium of his appetites they are under the control of those who gratify his appetites.” (Thomas Merton)

Thomas Merton is one of those authors I've been intending to read for about 12 years now but have never buckled down and done it. Another on this same list in my life is Henry David Thoreau, and more specifically, Walden. I read an excerpt in 7th-grade Literature in our unit on Trascendentalism (seriously? transcendentalism in 7th grade English?) and I was completely hooked. After years of 'intending', I finally found the whole text last fall and started reading around Christmas.....and am still in the first 30 pages. In excerpt, I was in love. In entirety, I am so incredibly this related to something in our quote-happy, immediate-gratification culture? Or maybe I'm too wimpy for 150-year-old English? In any case, my favorite line continues to be:

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not ,and not, when I had come to die, Discover that I had not lived.”

In other news: An interesting blog called Don't Eat the Fruit tells the story of "Better Off", a book describing an experiment where a couple goes to a "Minimite" community, where people live low-tech lives not out of religious conviction, but because they think it leads to happier lives. I am really fascinated with the idea that Radically Simple lives make us happier because they encourage community. Instead of extreme independence where everyone is a stranger, you actually have to interact with other persons to get what you need.

And speaking of experimentation, the latest issue of Geez Magazine explores Gandhi's idea that experimentation is a great way to discover "spiritual depth, and a more compassionate and peaceful world." The issue asks:

"What if we approached our troubled world less like earnest, hand-wringing, stern-talking, manifesto-brandishing world-changers................. and more like mad scientists?"

They feature a bunch of first-person mad scientists describing their experiments, such as a girl who wore only vintage clothes, or a set of roommates who tried eating only non-processed food. The mag makes a great point- that Lent (which is described as a season of "weaning you off") is the perfect time to try an experiment of your own in order to see if certain lifestyle changes will make you more like Christ.

Would your relationships be more loving if you stopped texting? Would you be more of a servant if you stopped watching TV? How would you change-spiritually- if you stopped shopping? Lent goes through the second week of April- it's not too late to add a little mad-scientist to your life.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Swirling around in my life:

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

And, . Still not sure about this one....

Spring and My Morning Sprint

First, an item I've been wanting to chat about for months, and second, a new development.
One, I have become increasingly convinced that there are few things more satisfying in life than sprinting for - and catching - the train. There are two options for my morning train, the :17 and the :21. If I miss these two, I am l.a.t.e. Oftentimes I am, in fact, running behind, which necessitates my actual running as I sprint toward the train.

My first indication of whether this will be a sprint-inducing morning is whether or not I get caught waiting for the :17 train to cross the street before I even enter the station parking lot. If so, I am in trouble, and will have to make a mad dash for that second train.

I park, look out for muggers, fly across the parking lot, jay-walk (every.single.morning - the crosswalks at my station are not designed efficiently at all), and approach the top of the stairs.

This is where things get exciting.

I have three looong flights of stairs to descend before being on the train platform. If a train comes around the bend while I am on the lowest staircase, I don't even have to run. If it comes when I am on the middle flight, I have to move quickly. But if I hear that train coming through the tunnel when I am on the top flight, I know I will have to sprint at top speed, and, even then, will only catch it by luck and possibly the goodwill of a fellow passenger who sees me flying down the platform and pushes the 'door open' button to give me a few extra seconds to fling myself, out of breath, through the doors.

It also depends on my shoes.

But it I do indeed catch that train, especially if it begins arriving while I am on the top flight, I feel such a huge high, and smile to myself the whole way to my destination.

It was Robert Frost who said that nature's first green is gold, and at my mom's house, at least, he is absolutely correct.
Dropped by my parents' home this Sunday on our way back into town from a weekend away at a wedding, and spent some quality time with Mom's fantastic forsythias. They are so gorgeously vibrant, bright, sunshine yellow, that you just hear God saying about spring, "This was a GREAT idea! Let's do this again!"
Even if you don't happen to have a giant, glorious forsythia in your backyard, you must have noticed the harbinger of spring in Texas, the hot fuschia Redbud blooms. They are always first to go.And you can't POSSIBLY have missed the Bradford Pear, another early bloomer whose arrival I look forward to every year. Though this weekend we may dip back into the 40's, my winter-induced cloudy mood has a turned a corner since these early-adapters have wakened, and I will not be deterred.

Spring is here, warm weather is back!

Bring back the short sleeves! Bring back the Peeps!

Bring back the Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies! Bring back the J Crew swimsuits! Bring back the sandals!

Bring back the summer mission trips! Bring back the snow cones and popsicles!

The Pottery Barn summer catalogue has arrived! Diadeloso is just around the corner! Summer weddings are upon us! Easter is coming- He is Risen, indeed!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This narrative has become one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible.

Exodus 2 (The Message)


1-3 A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn't hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.

4-6 The baby's older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh's daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child- a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, "This must be one of the Hebrew babies."

7 Then his sister was before her: "Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?"
8 Pharaoh's daughter said, "Yes. Go." The girl went and called the child's mother.
9 Pharaoh's daughter told her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me. I'll pay you." The woman took the child and nursed him.

10 After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh's daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, "I pulled him out of the water."
11-12 Time passed. Moses grew up. One day he went and saw his brothers, saw all that hard labor. Then he saw an Egyptian hit a Hebrew- one of his relatives! He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.

13 The next day he went out there again. Two Hebrew men were fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: "Why are you hitting your neighbor?"
14 The man shot back: "Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?"
Then Moses panicked: "Word's gotten out- people know about this."

15 Pharaoh heard about it and tried to kill Moses, but Moses got away to the land of Midian. He sat down by a well.

16-17 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, filling the troughs and watering their father's sheep. When some shepherds came and chased the girls off, Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their sheep.
18 When they got home to their father, Reuel, he said, "That didn't take long. Why are you back so soon?"

19 "An Egyptian," they said, "rescued us from a bunch of shepherds. Why, he even drew water for us and watered the sheep."
20 He said, "So where is he? Why did you leave him behind? Invite him so he can have something to eat with us."

21-22 Moses agreed to settle down there with the man, who then gave his daughter Zipporah (Bird) to him for his wife. She had a son, and Moses named him Gershom (Sojourner), saying, "I'm a sojourner in a foreign country."

23 Many years later the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:

24 God listened to their groanings.

God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 God saw what was going on with Israel.

God understood.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flexitarianism, and the Best Job in the World

I have finally found a name for what I am.

A FLEXITARIAN is one who usually leans vegetarian, but occasionally eats meat. You may remember that several articles lately have really turned me off of eating a lot of meat, both for health and environmental reasons. Beef, in particular, is no longer going to be part of my diet. But cutting out meat entirely does not seem a good solution, particularly since my amazing husband cooks dinner almost every night and is a rampant carnivore:)

So what's a girl to do? Flexitarianism seems an excellent solution. Plus I get to eat tasty fish- Omega 3's galore!

Secondly, you may have seen this bouncing around the internet, but there is currently a mad dash to get the "best job in the world", Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

You get paid $100,000 US dollars and free housing to live in a 3-bedroom house on an island off the coast of Australia and basically hang out there, reporting what happens to the Tourism Board through blogs and videos you make. Truly a dream!