Thursday, February 18, 2010

Relay for Life

If you live in Arkadelphia, I want to invite you to this tomorrow night!



I know you thought by that title that I had broken down and gone to see Avatar.  Not yet.  I kinda want to b/c of all the hype, but I'm really not at all interested...again, a bonus of being single.  You only have to watch movies that you want to see and you don't have to go see things that you deem "boy type" movies.  So, I go see great movies like Dear John, He Just Not That in to You, and Valentines' Day (not yet, but on the list)!  Because I can!

Anyway, my (lack of creativity) title refers to my pandora radio station.  I have a new station called "summer patio".  It was inspired by a trip in the fall to Jason's Deli with Heather, Gavin, Corby and Katie.  While I was there, I noticed that they were playing some reallly great music and I made a mental note of the things I heard, came home, "added variety" to said station and it makes me so happy while I'm writing notes.  Even on a chilly, winter, February afternoon, I kinda feel like I'm sitting on a warm, breezy, sunny, beach house back porch under a pool umbrella with a glass of water and oranges!  Think about it....wouldn't that be amazing?

I talked to a lady today who had never been to Venice and having just turned 70, she wanted to get there quick.  I offered to go and be her tour guide...I don't think she thought I was serious, but this same radio station can take me to that place as well.  Sitting at a metal, vintage patio table in the middle of St. Mark's cathedral or along the grand canal people watching and basking in the sun!  Oh sweet Jesus I wish I was packing my bags for Venice!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So, I'm playing catch up on my google reader and found this posted by one that I follow and well, I just had to share (if its redundant for you...because you follow him too, then skip it, but scoll to the bottom)

Vancouver's about redemption...

That's what the announcer said, Lord. I heard it. I hope it is. I pray it is.

We move so quickly from tragedy to ceremony, as the show must go on. The native peoples just welcomed the world with raised, open arms. Earlier today the twenty-something luger left earth for heaven. Did your angels welcome him with raised, open arms? I know he is sad to have missed the games. He was so close. So very close. The black ribbon on the Georgian flag is quickly swallowed in the sea of color. O, Nodar.

The sixteen year old jazz phenom sings O, Canada. A month ago now the world cried O, Haiti. We move so very quickly, don't we, Lord? 900 latrines have been built for the homeless and displaced in Haiti. What happened to all the homeless in downtown Vancouver? I saw them there not two years ago. O, Canada.

Lionel and Quincy assembled the voices for We Are The World one-more-time. Bob Costas just used the phrase speaking in tongues. And here come the United States in Ralph Lauren's red-white-and-blue dream come true. Shaun White's hair is longer than mine. O, America.

Still the natives dance.

And Donald speaks. And Sarah sings about ordinary miracles today in a ceremony of $30 million worth of illusion. And fiddlers fiddle. And blessed Joni sings. O, Joni.

Then comes the poet - and some say what defines us/is something as simple as please and thank you/and as for you're welcome/well we say that too...

O, me! O, life! O, Lord, in these sixteen days of snowy metaphor, please let Vancouver be redemption, for as k.d. sings in white we are broken hallelujahs.

We'll say thank you. O, my...

Please tell you saw the "We are the World" special  and that you saw Shane Koyczan give his poetic address to the world-that was amazing!  I feel like he pulled together words that will forever describe a generation. 

The opening ceremonies were awesome...I love symbolism and I love the statements that are made...a world of mixed cultures, languages, food preferences, facial bone structures, rules, regulations, political views, musical preferences, historical backgrounds and designer brands...I love it when they can all come together...grieve, celebrate, loose, win, rejoice, cry, they were all one people carried by only two different languages...but yet, the games carried on, they moved forward, and everyone there celebrates the sport...the games, the successes, the failures, overcoming mishaps...the world in one place together...I cant help but think its a little like what heaven will be like.

We had Christian Focus Week last week on campus and a part of it was devoted to exploring the topic of multi-ethnic churches and the very intent purposes that some pastors are making to create "mosaic" church bodies.  I love it.  Rodney Woo, a pastor in the Houston area was the pastor and at the beginning of the week made this statement in a video that was showed...

"I'm just getting people ready for what heaven will be like...I think there are some people that are going to get up there and have culture shock when they realize that not everyone looks like them!" 

I cant get it out of my head, I love it!  Somehow I can help but think that Whistler is a closer glimpse of that right now.

no text zone

Have you seen the commercials?

Oprah has a new campaign out about the NO PHONE ZONE.  I know we all have our opinions about her and frankly, I'm a fan.  Its a show that I couldnt wait to watch growing up.  You know this is season #25 and as a 27 year old, well, I really dont remember TV years without the 4:00 spot!  I'm just saying.  I felt so grown up when I was "home" to watch her at 4.  This last season, she and her staff are being very smart about the topics they cover and one of the things I appreciate is that she uses her platform to inform us on amazing topics (I really dont know where I'm going to get all my info once she is gone!) and to do good.  And, you know I'm a big fan of any "celebrity" (be it local, national, international, celebrity, musician, minister, radio personality, millionaire, blogger, politician-whatever your role in life) using their platform as an opportunity to spread good will.

But, her latest thing is about those who text and drive and those who talk on their phone and drive.  Arkansas recently passed some laws covering both of these and while they are inconvenient (really, has it come to that?) they need to be there. 

Anyway, she recently had a show about this topic called America's New Deadly Obession.  It was powerful and if you text, search the internet or answer emails while you are driving, you need to STOP!  I know its hard.  We have programmed ourselves with all our fancy phones (me included) to multi-task and really driving a vehicle is already the most dangerous thing I do everyday!  Well besides walking and talking with my hands!

But, we have got to stop.  I'm taking the pledge and while I can't go all the way, I'm also pledging to use my bluetooth if I'm in the car.  And, if its dead, then I guess I wont be talking on the phone!  So, if you call, I'm sorry and if you text me, I'm sorry...but you better be walking on your feet or sitting on your bottom. 

Its serious. 

And, if I'm riding in your car and you pull your phone out, expect me to say something.  Its kinda like the lecture I got from my dad when we were all turning 16 and he told me not to ride with someone who was being careless.  Its the same thing.  The images they showed and the parents of small kids who had been run over on thier bikes on their way home from school and the girls whose dad's had been hit head on when a 19 year old crossed the line...its not cool. 

Ask my boss, I got on her yesterday...I had emails from her before she got in the office and I know she was in the car driving down from LR. 

Ok, soapbox over...I'm just spreading the word.  Our family newsletter this year was titled "Celebrating Life" and I think if we are going to do that, it has to be more than just pulling ourselves around cancer...other things kill people too!


free range

I watched this yesterday and it made me want to watch this and read this.  Which included these 7 rules for eating:

1.Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.

2.Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.  Or, as they put it on the show...that a third graader can't pronounce.

3.Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

4. Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.

5.It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"

6.Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.

7.Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

I think I want to go free range and natural.  But, with my convictions about waste, how do I use up the food already in my house and not throw it out, but make the transition?  I mean seriously this show made me think really hard. 

I've recently become obsessed with Arbonne and one of my favorite things about them is that their products are Vegan.  Think about it.  If you are using a product every day (make up, facial cleansers, etc) why not think about the ingredients in them.  Dont you want to be able to pronounce them?  I've always said that I would be the mother that made homemade baby food.  One, I think it would be fun, but two, you can control what's in it and what your are feeding your kid.  Then, I thought...why would I make those sacrifices for my kid and not for myself.  What image would that send them?  Think about it...

I'm not going full out here or anything, but I have really been thinking about how much we tear up our body by going for convenience and price.  Sometimes, you dont have a choice and I get that.  Sometimes, the income is not there and you have to go with the cheap stuff, but if it is and you can sacfirice just a little, isnt it so worth it?

For instance, I recently bought some of this product and this product and when combined with natural peanut butter, agave nectar and some cooking oats, you get these really yummy protein bars...that are homemade.  Those are all products that I can turn over to the back and pronounce and recognize every ingredient that is in them...really, how good does that make me feel.  Plus, I had so much fun making my own protein bars.  I have them in little baggies in my fridge and I pick one up every morning when I grab my yogurt and go.  Its so fun and they taste so good.  When I first tried them, I thought they were as good as any candy bar I had tasted and the protein and fiber count in them is so amazing! (Mine are not as good as the lady  who made them when I discovered them, but I'm working on perfecting my ingredient portions!)

I'm just saying we all have a choice of what we put in our bodies.  If you've ever eaten a meal with me, you know I'm not afraid of desserts, fried foods, enriched white flour, or other things that we dont need to be eating, but I want to be better.  I want to think about it and I'm vowing to do better.  Think about it!

In other news, I need a tutor for do I make my links more visible?  And, for pete's sake where is the dumb spell checker...I've tried the help option on here and I've even sent in a question...if someone has "blogspot" connections, hook a sister up!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I just finished reading a book that has really transformed me.  Same Kind of Different As Me is amazing (you can get it here).  It is the chance encounter of two men and the story of the woman who challenged them to be friends and then transformed her life. 

Because a book review would tell you this, I'm not reuining the story, but the woman dies of cancer. 

Now, I'm going to be real honest with you here..I wanted to just write this down in my journal at home, but if I'm going to be transparent on here, then I have to share everything.

I've probably mentioned before that my strugle with "getting back to normal" and "just going on with life" have been the hardest part of my journey.  Yes, I was tired on chemo weekends and yes, I was exhausted after working through days of radiation, but when it was all over and you hear "REMISSION", there is apart of your heart that feels like you've been through a breakup.  And, for me, a person who is so relational and doesnt like change, especially when it means people are no longer going to be in your life everyday, this is the hardest part. 

When you get the diagnosis, you realize, "okay, I'm going to buck up and deal with this".  At least it was that way for me.  There was never a question about my diagnosis, I didnt want a second opinion.  I knew what I was dealing with.  I just had the feeling.  Then, I was told what treatments we were going to do and then we did them.  I was told they were going to work, and they did.  Then I was done and was supposed to just go on.  Well, its not that simple.  That part of life defined me.  Its a label I wear.  A badge of honor, and yet it still haunts me. 

As I've read this book, about this amazing woman who changed peoples lives, I cant help but think about the fact that her LIFE mattered.  What she lived for mattered and while her death and that experience is what drew many people in to her story and really in a way is what defined her story, I cant help but think about what if.  "What if she was still living in Ft. Worth and working at Union Gospel Mission?"  Would Denver have stepped up like he did?  Would the community and the world at Rocky Top still been affected the same way?  Would Ron have had the chance to speak to all the groups he gets to talk to now?  I just wonder.  She accomplished big things with her life, but her death drew these men to a different relationship and in that relationship, to write their story and in that process, it became a best seller and leads a list of biographies ahead of Tony Dungy and our President. Its transformational.

And yet I think, why did this woman have to die.  Why did that have to be part of her cancer story.  Why was I afforded the opportunity and am I living the story. 

Its different from just the story of Survivors guilt (which is very real and I've been there...several times).  I'm just challenged as I think about why I'm still here (no, this not a sign of depression or suicide).  I'm serious.  I wonder, even contemplate and question.  Why did my story have the good ending.  Why was my journey "easy", comparatively.  I wanted the process, I asked for it.  I wanted the feelings, the tears, the frustrations, the concerns, the wig, the scars, the story, the journey.  I will it be fulfilled.  When will I raise the torch, or do I already hold it.  I want it to matter, I want it to make a difference and if I'm here for this moment, I want to make them count. 

I'm really praying about some opportunities that may have landed right in my lap.  You know I asked someone, when this was all over, "how can I talk about this", "how do I get in front of people?".  He told me to pray.  And, when I feel vulnerable, that's what I do.  I go to the One who gave me this journey and I ask to share His story.  His transforming grace that gave me life.

So, yeah, that's it.

I always seem to go back to this same place.  Why do some die and some dont?  Why do some live and some dont? If some get to live so that another's dying was not in vain, do some die so that anothers living is not in vain?  Oh that my living would not be in vain!


Monday, February 1, 2010

weekend bliss

This was one of those weekends where you know you have a lot on your calendar, but you knows it's all going to be so much fun!!!

For starters, Elvis was alive and back in action!

Yes, if it seems like that man strangely resembles my dad, well, then you have not gone completely crazy.  We had a women's event at church and dad was part of the entertainment.  I was loving it.  My sister on the other hand was about to crawl under the table!

Then, Saturday, we celebrated Gavin's first birthday!  My best friend Heather is such a great mom and it has been so fun watching our friendship grow as we celebrated Gavin's first year. Here are some pics form Saturday (be ware, he is "wearing his dad's face"!)

After the party, we went to Hailey's musical (her sister).  Heather and I finally realized that we hadn't taken a pic together all day, so here we are in the hall of good ole' IHS....a.k.a. "The Crooked I"

Such a great weekend!!!!

Tonight, its Burgers and the Bachelor with my sis!  I'm so excited and my dad will just have to go watch TV in the other room...but he secretly likes girl shows, so we may be able to pull him in.