Monday, February 20, 2012

3 Quotes from A Visit From the Goon Squad

A new favorite? For sure.

Your throat tightens up and your eyes get wet as you watch their faces go from stony to sad, and it’s all kind of moving and sweet except that you’re not completely there- a part of you is a few feet away, or above, thinking, Good, they’ll forgive you, they won’t desert you, and the question is, which one is really ‘you,’ the one saying and doing whatever it is, or the one watching?


 "I’m always happy,” Sasha said. “Sometimes I just forget."


 I start to cry, I don't even hide it.

Hey, Lou goes. He leans down so our faces are together, and stares straight into my eyes. He looks tired, like someone walked on his skin and left footprints. He goes, The world is full of shitheads, Rhea. Don't listen to them-- listen to me.

And I know that Lou is one of those shitheads. But I listen.

Moments of Grace #32 - 54

32. Gluing things into my journal
33. Kitty snuggles
34. Eric's love for me outweighing his hatred of cats
35. "Monkey Caleb" after watching/reading Curious George
36. Finding a book that I know I'll have to own so that I can underline the heck out of it
37. Seeing the house slowly take shape / cultivating the home so that it is ours and suits our taste
38. Snickerdoodles dipped in coffee
39. Vocab lists / using my dictionary
40. The endless potential in a blank page/book/canvas/etc.
41. The incredible satisfaction that comes from painting something
42.Unexpected snow in the morning: that magical feeling of waking up in a world completely different from the one I fell asleep in
43. Building a snowman with Caleb
44. Snowball fights with Caleb
45. Reading stacks upon stacks of books with Caleb
46. Caleb calling his valentine his "special"
47. Caleb joining in the Open Arms dance class
48. Caleb making friends with S, who is in a wheelchair, but not acting differently with her than anyone else
49. Getting an email reply from Patrick Rothfuss (!!!)
50. Waking up from a nap to a bouquet of lilies from both Caleb and Eric
51. Spare moments to grieve the loss of a loved one in private
52. A holiday party in February
53. Drinking with old (raucous) friends / feeling young again
54. Reading in our library while Caleb plays his games and it snows outside

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Newest Additions to Our Family

 It's been an excellent week so far, with some wonderful new pets!

This little guy is an African Dwarf Frog, and he is just hilarious to watch in the fish tank. He darts around, shoots to the top of the tank for air, then drifts down like a tiny froggy parachute. He's way too much fun.

And this sweet girl I never, ever expected we would get! Eric loves me SO much, and saw just how much I was missing having a furry companion, that he set aside his extreme dislike of cats and surprised me last night with a trip to the pet store to adopt her! We don't have a name for her yet, but she sure is a sweetheart. She's very shy (hasn't left her little spot between the toilet and the bath tub much yet), and just too cute to handle. She missing part of her ear, and is cross-eyed. She's a little misfit kitty that fits right in with us. I can't even tell you just how thrilled I am to have these new animals!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End of NaBloPoMo, Failure, and Success

Well, so much for NaBloPoMo. Seven whole days without a post? Oops. But, I'm okay with this failure. Even with the week off, I think I've posted more this month than the rest of the whole year combined; so, not a complete failure.

Thanksgiving is an obvious excuse. Families, feasts, food comas... I absolutely love that holiday. Thanksgiving means pie-baking time, and I go a little crazy each year. Last year I baked seven pies for that weekend. This year was a little less intense - only three this time - but superior in appearance and taste.

The one on the left is a classic apple pie, with the Greek "pi" cutout. It was Eric's idea, and a big hit with everyone. The middle is a pecan pie, and the one on the right is a frozen peanut butter chocolate pie- kind of like a giant Reese's.

In addition to the holiday, my second excuse for not writing is that I've been reading some dearly missed fiction. A couple Harry Potter books and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as well as an Advent devotional, Watch for the Light, and As Silver Refined by Kay Arthur- a study I've been itching to read for months. I'm working on a whole post consisting of what I've been learning from them (minus Harry Potter) and how they are all fitting together so beautifully.

And finally, I've been just overwhelmed and exhausted by the barrage of commercials and consumerism that inevitably follows Thanksgiving. I didn't even participate in Black Friday, and it completely wiped me out. Now, normally, I don't have to put up with TV commercials. Since we have Netflix Instant on our Wii and no cable or satellite, that's all we watch besides football. But since it's football season, I now have to endure commercials. They exhaust, disgust, and anger me. The constant, "I want it and I want it now," that's packaged and presented as the good, the normal, the right way to act is too much for me. All the Black Friday ads and the pervasive idea that "we must have all the shiny new things no matter what" just completely takes away the magic and mystery of Christmas.

I felt this not only from TV, but also in my email inbox (with hundreds of sales and deals from Victoria's Secret, Old Navy, Amazon, Threadless, Mod Cloth, etc., etc., etc...), on Facebook, on several blogs I follow. So I unplugged. I just didn't get on the internet; or if I did, I didn't last very long before the exhaustion kicked in.

It was lovely, it was less stressful, it was a welcome break. Carving out a safe place in my recliner under a blanket, with a cup of sugar cookie flavored tea and a good book totally beat the pressure to update my blog again, and again, and again. I'm content with that decision, and the consequence.

As November comes to a close, I'm thankful for the push from Courtney, and everyone's encouragement with the NaBloPoMo challenge. And I've developed the habit of blogging more consistently, and hopefully more clearly. Here's to keeping on!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Goal Reached

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

That about sums it up.
I'm so overcome with so many different emotions, I hardly know how to begin to express them.
I read Mark and Luke today, finishing this journey I've been on for the past three months and six days. I finished at 1:41pm, and couldn't help but cry. Tears of... I don't even know. Relief? Pride? Thankfulness? Disbelief? I didn't think I could do this; I doubted myself, my perseverance, my stamina, my faithfulness. But God, to his glory, is strong where I am weak, and carried me through.
What more can I say?

Moments of Grace (31)
31. Completing a goal that I didn't think I could

Transcendant by Frail

Monday, November 21, 2011

Approaching the Finish Line

I just finished reading Jeremiah. This leaves only Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and then I will be done! God has been so incredibly faithful through this, and I would never have gotten through it without his hand guiding mine. I prayed for focus today. And (surprise, surprise) it was one of the hardest days to keep focused; chores, phone calls regarding my new job, potty training, and the addict's itch to check Facebook one more time kept grabbing my attention.

So I prayed again. And again. And again.
And God was faithful. We powered through and read the remaining 42 chapters of Jeremiah.

And oh, how the suspense has been building! The whole movement of the Old Testament has swept me to this point, and now I get to return to Jesus! I've been saving these from the beginning, knowing how I'd need them after all the darkness of the Old Testament. How exciting to go from the old covenant to the new!

All this is working together with the seasons as well. Advent begins on Sunday, and my excitement continues to build. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, of course, and all I keep thinking is, "LORD, I am so thankful for you, your spirit, your love, your grace, your compassion..."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moments of Grace

Moments of Grace (21 - 30)

21. Being close enough to the finish line to know that I can make it
22. Knowing that tomorrow I get to see my sister
23. Baking pies
24. Snuggling with Duke, the biggest lapdog ever
25. Riding in the car with just Mom
26. Bear hugs
27. "Fish kisses," "gross kisses," "Eskimo kisses," and "butterfly kisses"
28. The compliments I receive every time I wear Coco Mademoiselle
29. (Correctly) understanding a football play
30. Castle, a glass of wine, and a hot bath

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Love Affair

I'm involved in a love affair. It's a relatively new development, but I am completely smitten.

Mushrooms. Oh, how I've always wanted to like them, but could never get over the chewy texture. But now, after trying and retrying several times, the bond has finally been formed, and I am slightly obsessed. It started with some stuffed portobellos filled with cream cheese, bacon, and chives. Who couldn't love that? And then on the cruise in August, I had a bow-tie pasta with veal in a morel sauce. Heaven. Then a couple weeks ago Dad made some deer steaks with a mushroom and red onion sauce that's pretty much to die for (which Eric replicated tonight). A few nights ago I made this mushroom and brown rice casserole, which turned out as divine as it looks.

I think we'll be happy in this new relationship... my stomach sure is.

Friday, November 18, 2011

First Snow

We had the first snow of the season earlier this morning. Caleb loves to watch the rain and the snow, so that's what we did. It was lovely and peaceful. He was pretty disappointed when it stopped, but I assured him there will be plenty more to come, and probably soon, since it is already more than halfway through November. Now that it's quiet time, I hear a hot toddy calling my name...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How God Keeps Me From Drowning

It may sound trite, or cheesy, or cliche, or all of the above, but it's true: When life is throwing me everything it's got, and I feel like I'm going to drown in it, God sends me a rainbow to tell me otherwise. It started in high school, when I was just learning how to deal with... everything. And then in 2007, I saw them all the time. And now today, when I have six books left in the Bible, and distraction and temptation are at their highest. It's been dark and rainy all week, but just after I prayed for his help in this final push to complete the task he's given me, God gave me the physical sign I've been craving. He is so faithful; he is so good. And during the past few months, it's finally starting to sink in that he really does care about the sparrows and the deer and the sheep and me, Lianne, his daughter and disciple.

Moments of Grace (12 - 20)

12. A rainbow, just when I need it most
13. English sparrows at my bird feeders
14. Hugs and kisses for Mr. Leopard, too
15. Unexpected encouragement
16. Finding the perfect book to give to a friend
17. The way Devotchka makes my heart swell
18. The way thirty pages of hand-written notes feel
19. Rachael asking if my red pen is ready to do some work
20. How Eric's clothes are so much cozier than my own

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