Sunday, October 20, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

I think I grew a grey watching you procrastinate.

-Incubus (from "A Certain Shade of Green")

Well, I missed Friday and Saturday.  I was home with my family, celebrating my brother's 30th birthday, so blogging took a back seat to all that, and I am absolutely unapologetic.

We got home earlier today, and I could've spent a little time making today's post amazing to make up for missing two days, but I am the queen of procrastination, guys.  Instead of unpacking my things from the weekend or doing the laundry that has been calling my name for days, I painted my nails and watched a bunch of stuff on Hulu.

But isn't that what Sundays are for?

Anyway, I'll try to cut back on the crapitude for the next 11 days of this thing.  Surely I have at least two or three more worthwhile posts in me, right?


Thursday, October 17, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

And I say to you, My friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the One to fear: Fear Him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the One to fear! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.

-Luke 12:4-6

Just that today. I'm visiting family this weekend, so expect some pretty short/lame posts the next couple days. :-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

-Mark Twain

Because it's hump day, and because I'm weird, today I give you this InstaVideo:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.

-Corrie Ten Boom

I am the girl who is quick to forget about prayer until something BIG comes up.

I am the girl who makes to-do lists and schedules, striving to make everything fit and yet rarely asking God to lead her in the small things.

I am the girl who doesn't expect God to care about whether she makes it to the gym on time or how quickly she will get over this little cold.

I am the girl who loves serving in church but sometimes says yes to too many things without seeking His will.

I am the girl who feels like she should know better than to struggle with this or that sin, so she assumes God is "over it" and doesn't want to hear about it anymore.

I am the girl who has seen first-hand that prayer is powerful, yet still has not learned how to pray without ceasing.

I am the girl who is loved beyond comprehension by an amazing Father, yet too often treats Him like a genie in a bottle or an unfeeling dictator.

I am the girl who is continually learning (and re-learning) to rely on Jesus in every little challenge and every little triumph. 

Monday, October 14, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising.

-Shauna Niequist

All these quotes I'm finding for my 31 Days series are basically making me want to read constantly.  Too bad they're not inspiring me to write as much as I'd hoped...but maybe having this collection of quotes will give me a place to look when I actually feel like writing but don't know where to start.

(Today's quote is from Cold Tangerines.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

A book should have an intellectual shape and a heft that comes with dealing with a primary subject.

-William Safire

This feels like a good time to tell you some of what I've been reading lately...

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I don't even know what to say about this book, except, READ IT.  It's really fun!  Basically, it's about a guy who gets a job as a clerk at a weird bookstore that is literally open 24 hours a day.  He discovers some eerie secrets and gets all wrapped up in them and if I say more it might give something away!

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Apparently JK Rowling wanted to debut a new series under a pseudonym so people wouldn't expect the next Harry Potter, and the word got out sooner than she anticipated.  But anyway, I don't think I would've ever guessed this was written by her if I'd read it without knowing ahead of time.  It's a great story, and I hope "he" continues the series!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

I couldn't NOT read this one, what with everyone and their mother raving about it.  And there's a reason for all the hype: it's hilarious, heart-warming, ridiculous and relatable all at once. 

Burned (#12 in the Pretty Little Liars series) by Sara Shepard

Keepin' it real.  I read some pretty stupid stuff sometimes, but I got totally sucked into this series (both the books and the even more ridiculous TV show), and I can't resist seeing it through to the end.  (Dear Sara Shepard: IT BETTER END.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

I think I'm hysterical. I watch myself on tape and just roar - isn't that weird?

-Roseanne Barr

This is how I feel about all of the VEDA videos I've made in the last four years.  Not that I think anyone else will find most of my ridiculousness all that funny (I really don't), but it just makes me laugh to see what I've said and done on camera.  Some of it I'm actually kinda proud of, but tonight I just want to show you a couple from this year that really crack me up.

(FYI, VEDA is Vlog Every Day in August, and it's where a bunch of people get together and make videos based on a specified topic for each day.)

(You just got Rick Rolled.)

And here's the one I'm most proud of, in all my four years of doing VEDA.  It was quite an undertaking, but I think it was well worth the effort!  (I'll give you three guesses whose idea the sock bit was.)

The original version of this video had a different soundtrack, but it's copyrighted and therefore not playable in some countries, nor on mobile devices (lame!).  So I just re-rendered it with a royalty-free song!

Friday, October 11, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.


Apparently this quote is the moral of a lesser-known (at least to me) one of Aesop's fables - "the dog and his shadow."  In the fable, a dog gets himself a piece of meat and as he's crossing a river, he sees his reflection (or shadow) in the water.  He thinks it's another dog, with another piece of meat, and he greedily decides he wants that dog's meat, too.  So he snaps at the reflection, and as he opens his mouth the meat falls into the river.

I would expound on this with some clever or insightful story, but this has been a particularly exhausting day and I need some sleep.  Maybe I'll update this post someday soon when I have more energy or inspiration.


Thursday, October 10, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

I used to think that nails-down-a-chalkboard was the worst sound in the world. Then I moved on to people-eating-cereal-on-the-phone. But only this week did I stumble across the rightful winner: it's the sound of a baggage carousel coming to a grinding halt, having reunited every passenger on your flight with their luggage, except for you.

-Sloane Crosley

Story time!

In the summer of 2007, I went to Romania for a month-long mission trip with a group of 12 other people from APU.  When we arrived in Bucharest and got to the baggage claim area, all 13 of us stood around watching every. single. person from our flight pick up their suitcases...and eventually we began to realize that none of us had gotten ours yet.

Sure enough, there was some sort of mix-up on our layover at Heathrow, and all of our group's luggage was mis-labeled and sent who-knows-where-but-it-sure-wasn't-Bucharest.  A couple of us got a little angry, but knowing we were about to spend the first ten days of our trip at a kids' camp in the wilderness with no electricity or plumbing, I wasn't too concerned with not having clean clothes to wear.

Until, that is, we stepped outside into the open air.

See, we were all wearing shorts and T-shirts, because it was going to be summer and therefore obviously plenty warm and no one thought to pack pants or sweatshirts or socks.  So imagine our surprise when we emerged from the airport into a chilly, windy, heavily raining reality.  Anyone who wasn't showing signs of frustration at our lost luggage earlier was definitely starting to crack.  (That is, this girl.)

And then we met the lovely people from the church we'd be working with at the kids' camp, and one of them -- an unbelievably, genuinely sweet lady named Emese (pronounced EM-eh-sheh) -- literally dumped the contents of her wardrobe in front of us and told us to take whatever we needed to keep us warm and comfortable until our luggage showed up.

The most remarkable thing about this story, though, is that Emese didn't act like it was remotely inconvenient to give away all her clothes to a bunch of strangers, even though it would mean a MAJOR laundry day in her near future, and even though she didn't know how long we would be using them (which, for the record, was like four days).  Instead, she expressed with absolute glee that she was so happy to do a "small" thing for the people who were visiting her church.

I tell ya, that spirit of humility and hospitality is something I have remembered to this day.

And the next time I'm standing at baggage claim, watching the last suitcase be snatched up as the giant conveyor belt comes to a screeching halt, leaving me empty-handed and unprepared for whatever adventure I'm about to begin, I don't think I'll be too upset about it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.

-Edward Weston

This time I'm not slacking, per se, so much as deciding to step back and let a much more eloquent writer say a few words today.

I came across this great poem by Billy Collins and it's just lovely.

You have probably come across
those scales in planetariums
that tell you how much you
would weigh on other planets.

You have noticed the fat ones
lingering on the Mars scale
and the emaciated slowing up
the line for Neptune.

As a creature of average weight,
I fail to see the attraction.

Imagine squatting in the wasteland
of Pluto, all five tons of you,
or wandering around Mercury
wondering what to do next with your ounce.

How much better to step onto
the simple bathroom scale,
a happy earthling feeling
the familiar ropes of gravity,

157 pounds standing soaking wet
a respectful distance from the sun.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

If you don't expect to like someone and then you do, that's an incredibly exciting moment.

-Steven Moffat

Well, I fully expected to have today's post written well before the Very Last Minute.  Instead, I worked all day, went to the gym, and then hung out with my awesome pal, neighbor, and soulmate Michelle until about ten minutes ago.

I'm okay with that.

As for today's quote, I like it because a) Steven Moffat is one of the writers for Doctor Who, which Joe and I totally binged on this weekend; and b) that sort of thing happens to me all too often.  Mostly I meet someone and don't expect them to like me, which results in my assuming I won't like them much anyway.  And yet, what happens more often than not is I come to learn that I am actually a person that people generally do like, and I generally like most people.  So, plenty of incredibly exciting moments in my life, I guess!

I'm not even going to try to make this post more eloquent or coherent because it's almost midnight and this is my blog and I'm allowed to be unrefined and sometimes ridiculously rambly.

In fact, you should just expect that from me most of the time, and then when I do write something profound or extremely clever and clean, you can be pleasantly surprised.

Which reminds me of the runner-up quote that I considered for today:

Expect people to be better than they are; it helps them to become better. But don't be disappointed when they are not; it  helps them to keep trying.

-Mary Browne

Which is to say, ignore what I said earlier and expect me to be the best blogger ever.  I guess that means I'll keep getting better?

Monday, October 7, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years.  To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.

-Winston Churchill

I'm a week into this thing and already losing steam.  I don't know why I expected that I would magically be able to write something creative every day for a month, but I shouldn't be surprised that it's a difficult task, especially considering how infrequently I've been writing these days.

I'm a little rusty.

But I'm not giving up.  There will be at least a few good posts among the mess of others.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

I shall need to sleep three weeks on end to get rested from the rest I've had.

-Thomas Mann

I've been ridiculously exhausted lately.  Today I came home from church and knew I needed to get the house cleaned up, but I could barely keep my eyes open.  So I took a "ten minute" nap, which turned into more of a two hour nap. 

Sometimes naps do wonders for me, and other times -- like today -- they leave me feeling even more wiped out.  What's up with that?

Luckily, Joe and I did manage to get most of the place clean.  And then I decided to bake some stuff since I have tons of canned pumpkin that needs to get used up.  Kitchen's a mess now, but it can wait till tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure.

-Hebrews 6:19 (HCSB)

Just a song for you today, written by one of my friends from college.

Friday, October 4, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Why hurry over beautiful things?  Why not linger and enjoy them?

-Clara Schumann

I remember when I was a kid and my mom would come to pick Josh and me up from Chris and Desiree's house after we'd stayed the night.  Mom would round us up and say, "Come on, it's time to go. Put away whatever you're playing with and say goodbye."

So we would begrudgingly part with our best friends (how cute is that? two brother-sister best friend duos!) and make our way to the front door, where we inevitably found Mom and Barbara chatting away, obviously at least ten minutes away from ending their conversation.  We'd stand there with our pillows or whatever we had brought with us, tapping our feet and wondering why we couldn't just keep playing until Mom was actually ready to leave.

It's some kind of rule about motherhood, isn't it?  There's an unwritten policy that says you are required to linger in the doorway with the other mom(s) while your kids fidget and complain about the fact that they could have kept playing for ten more minutes!

But even when Josh and I would make that very argument -- "Mom, can't we just play some more while you guys talk?" -- and our mom did let us go back to play with our friends, here's what happened: our parents would wrap up their chat, Mom would holler at us to come back out because we were "really" leaving now, and then we'd return only to find that the momversation was back in full swing!

I remember being super annoyed about this as a kid.  But now that I'm an adult, I get it.  Grown-ups are busy people, and we always have places to be and things to do.  So when we find ourselves with the fleeting opportunity to linger in a doorway for just a few more minutes with a friend, we savor it!  Even without kids, that cycle occurs where you say goodbye and then spark another topic of conversation and forget that you were about to leave a second ago. 

Every once in awhile, a mom would come to pick up her kids from our house, and she was always on a mission.  She'd knock on the door, say, "Hi, thanksforhavingthekidsover," summon her children, and they were out the door before my mom could say, "How are you today?"

I don't want to be that friend.  I don't want to be so busy that I can't spare a few minutes to catch up and connect.  Don't get me wrong; I know sometimes you can't avoid being in a rush and needing to get to the next place ASAP.  But I don't want to be characterized as a habitual hurrier

I want to be the friend who can linger.

(But not the friend who lingers to the point of awkwardness.  That's a whole other topic!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Woman's influence is powerful, especially when she wants something.
-Josh Billings

You may have heard of a website called Influenster.  The basic premise is they send you a package (called a "VoxBox") with some items from a particular company, and you get to try them out!  Then you are encouraged to post photos and honest reviews all over the internet.

I got my first VoxBox recently, from Colgate!  They have a new toothbrush called SlimSoft, which has "17x slimmer bristles than your average nylon brush" -- it's supposed to provide a deeper clean between teeth and gums.  This toothbrush also has 35% MORE bristles (since they're so slim), which makes for a very different sensation than your average brush!

Here's an Instagram video I made right after I opened the box and tried out the toothbrush for the first time:

And here's a silly video of the SlimSoft in action!

Now that I've been using the SlimSoft for a couple weeks, let's talk details.

As I said in the first video, it felt pretty weird the first time I used it, but not in a bad way.  It was just extremely soft, and it kinda tickled my gums.  I thought, "How can something so soft actually get in deep to clean my mouth?"  But sure enough, my mouth felt nice and clean afterwards!  And after using it for awhile, it feels pretty much normal.  (Maybe I should use my old toothbrush again and see how different THAT feels!)

In addition to the tiny, tickly bristles, this brush also has a flexible, ergonomic handle, which is supposed to make it more comfortable to use.  Honestly, I didn't really notice a difference as far as how my hand feels using the SlimSoft versus my old toothbrush.  It's plenty comfortable, just not exceptionally MORE so than any other brush I've used.

The big question, then, is: Do I love this toothbrush enough to toss my old one and forever be a SlimSoft girl?

To be perfectly honest, I am a pretty un-fancy person when it comes to oral hygiene.  Which is to say, I generally use whatever toothbrush my dentist gives me at my six-month check-up (and I always seem to have at least a couple new ones in my bathroom, since they are a staple item in Christmas stockings).

But I like the SlimSoft enough to talk it up to my dentist and friends! And if I ever find myself needing to buy a toothbrush, I'll certainly look for this one first.

Tell me: Do you have a favorite toothbrush?

Disclosure:  I received the SlimSoft toothbrush and mini samples of toothpaste and mouthwash from Colgate complimentary for testing purposes as an Influenster member.  I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Now...abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence....

-1 John 2:28 (NASB)

This poem came right after I finished writing yesterday's post.  (All the words in bold are words for weight or waiting.)

Waiting for something.
Some big, sweeping gesture,
And the longer I wait,
The heavier the weight of wondering -- 
Where does this road lead? --
Until I am buried beneath
The clock as it ticks away the seconds,
Minutes, hours, days.
Tarrying here, waiting for clarity,
To know the sum total of choices
That will get me wherever I'm trying to go.
And the gravity of my fear
Only makes me linger in this place even longer.
Bearing this heavy burden,
Yet knowing it isn't mine to carry.

I am not in control,
And the answer is right here
All the time:
The still, small voice
"Abide in Me."

What is the use in trying to arrange my own future just so?
When did I get it in my head
That my word holds any authority
Apart from Your will?
You are my anchor.
You are the one who lifts my self-assigned pressures
And replaces them with rest.

And so I wait;
I eagerly expect Your perfect peace to wash over me.
And I watch for Your guiding words;
I hold still, until You say go.
And in hindsight, don't I always see Your impact
On every day, hour, minute, and second?

Thank You for the magnitude of Your grace.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I'm posting every day in October for The Nester's #31Days link-up. Click here to see all of my posts in this series.

Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes the pressure off the second.
-Robert Frost

At first, I thought this quote meant that we should talk more to inspire our writing, or something.  But no; Frost is saying (basically) that talking too much can diminish your writing.  Or maybe that the more we talk about writing, the less we might feel the need to actually write?

Open the hydrant, and the stream from the faucet dwindles to a faint drip...drip...drip.  And even if you turn the faucet on as high as possible, there's still just not enough pressure to get a steady flow.

So maybe I've been talking too much.

Maybe it's time to just sit down and write....