Friday, January 27, 2012

s that d... shut it down

i am very much over all of the "sh*t _______ say".
but this one made me quite happy.
"What the what" and "i want to go to there" have been 2 that I like to keep in my pocket for special occasions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

concert bucket list

the last 2 years i went to major dream concerts. ones that i never thought i would've been able to go to.
in 2010 i saw Bob Dylan. Holy crap was that a dream come true!
in 2011 i saw Dolly Parton. I still get giddy when thinking about it.

normally i only think to look up tours of current bands that i am into: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Ryan Adams...
but i am trying to look at people that i have loved for ages as well
Thankfully Ashley came to the rescue and saw that Bruce Springsteen would be playing nearby.
That is another dream concert that I never really thought of. So we are going. Well, we are buying tickets. It happens to be the same week that my nephew Aiden is due. So i might be selling that puppy last minute.
That would mean seeing 3 music legends in 3 years.
it got me thinking of other concerts that i want to see. bucket list concerts

1) Ryan Adams. Honestly, if i see him, i would probably be content with never seeing anyone else ever again. he has been my total and complete favorite for the past 6 years. And 3 times i have tried to see him, and 3 times i wasn't able to. Ryan isn't big on touring, and refuses to come back to his home state of NC. He is one that I am willing to travel far for. I tried to see him in VA, GA and MD. I would even be willing to plan a NYC trip around him. But one day, I will see him in concert. And I will probably cry a bit. (listen to the song that i linked.)

2) Madonna. I know this sounds silly, but I LOVE 80s Madonna. I don't like anything made in the past 15 years, but everything else is amazing. I still get goosebumps when the choir comes in during "Like a Prayer", even though she makes out with Black Jesus in the video

3) David Bowie. Never going to happen. But holy moly it would be amazing

4) Morrissey. Not happening again. But wow. He randomly will sing in little clubs in LA from time to time. never advertised. Just happens. How awesome would that be?

5) Nick Drake. But he is dead

6) Johnny Cash. Ditto

7) Rogue Wave. I've heard that they aren't amazing in concert. But man I would love to see them

8) Tallest Man on Earth. He is just touring in Europe right now. Ryan is the only one i travel for

9) Lyle Lovett. So awesome. I almost saw him in Charlotte a year ago, but I think i had to go to a wedding that night.

who would you see, if you could see anyone in concert. Who is on your concert bucket list dead or alive?

Monday, January 23, 2012


1) I saw Midnight in Paris this weekend. It's lovely. I love how actors in Woody Allen movies pick up his speaking pattern. I wonder if it's somewhat natural, in the writing or if he teaches them. "No, say it like this...". I just love Woody, even though he has done some super creeper stuff in his life. I forgive him.
Oh, and it went towards my 30 before 30 list...even though that came and went in September. Close enough.

2) I also saw Moneyball and Ides of March. We called it "hot boy day". My roommate Dawn had her wisdom teeth taken out, so she got a bunch of movies. Both were great, but in very different ways. And it was hard for me to be angry at both George and Ryan at the same time. tsk tsk you guys. shame on you both
i don't love wine cork art, this just made me laugh b/c my roommate was sending it to me as i was typing


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

happy birthday

today is my dearest Dolly's birthday.

i still get giddy thinking about her concert.
i just love her so

here is one of my favorite of her songs

Monday, January 16, 2012

ben and pancakes

as you have learned before, i have a dirty secret...
I love the Bachelor franchise. I hate it at the same time. I hate that I love it.
thankfully, i have found more friends who love it. i don't want to throw them under the bus right now, but I will say that 50% of our conversations are about the show. and they come to my house to watch it.
and that has become the happiest new tradition: Pancake Monday.

when these people show up 30 minutes before the show, i whip up pancakes (they bring bacon and toppings) and some french press, and we sit and laugh and scream and gasp.
also, i have a texting party with different friends who either can't come over, or live out of state. I read their hilarious comments out loud.

but, i still recommend you read Knox McCoy's re-cap. If you watch the show or not... they are hilarious. if you remember, Knox is the one who held the Toms giveaway for Mindy and Daniel Coleman. His Bachelor re-cap is the highlight of my Tuesday.

Let me say... i don't like Ben, the bachelor very much. He is kinda boring and weird and looks a little like a Geico caveman.

well, I want to give my predictions of my top 4 girls all the way to the winner. Lets see how off I am:

Courtney- She is a model, gorgeous and MEAN! Like, nasty mean to all the other girls. But Ben seems enchanted by her. Maybe it's her eyebrows. I think they have put a spell on him. Like Ursala from Little Mermaid. Her eyebrows are like the shell that Ursala wore around her neck that kept Prince Eric in a trance.

Kacie- really sweet, really southern, really boring. Their first date she twirled a baton. she "bought" one (whatevs. the producers did. as if these girls carry cash on them during the show.). So the entire date they walked around this little town and she was twirling a baton. yeaaaaaaaaa. good thing she is perky.

Lindzi: Yup, that is how her name is spelled. I actually really like her. She showed up on a horse. it was pretty cute. and she is pretty funny. I kinda hope she wins.

Nicki- we have seen like 3 minutes of her, but she is really cute, has class and doesn't seem nearly as boring as Kacie. And she isn't mean like Courtney. She is like the baby bear in Goldilocks...just right. Unless we find out some weird big secret of hers... like she is really a man (DUDE... how funny would that be. I hope the producers do that one year) I like her. Oh, and she is from NC!

anyway, in the end i think it is going to be Kacie and Courtney. And I think he will pick Kacie. Ben was just in Jimmy Kimmel, and they talked about watching the season now (he has already finished filming) and seeing how NUTS some of the girls are.
For example:

Jenna... she has awesome hair... but she is NUTS. She wept the first night because another girl said she didn't feel a connection with Ben yet, because they hadn't even spoken at that point. Jenna cried and told her that if she wasn't in love with him, maybe she should just go. Whaaaaaat? then last week she ran off and cried in a bed because she tried to tell Ben she wasn't like other girls... that she was like a guy (what? WHAT? maybe my wish of a dude on the show came true!) and he just said "um ok". So she ran into a bedroom, crawled into a bed and sobbed. Since he isn't as stupid as most cavemen, he sent her home pretty fast. Oh, she also told the first girl she cried at that maybe they could "share a tampon"... um. I'm sorry... what?

Blakeley- i wanted to like Blakeley. She is from Charlotte! But her occupation was listed as "VIP Cocktail Waitress". We all know what that means. Girl is intense. She is on the prowl. Maneater. She kinda hides in random places (i am not making this up) and when sees Ben talking to someone else, jumps out to talk to him and steal him away. Oh, and also wore this when they had a group date where they were supposed to act out a play written by kids, while hanging out with said kids. the young boys got the joke, and asked her and her fake boobs to pretend to jog in slow motion. i am not kidding. a kid said that. it was hilarious/brilliant

so, the show has been funny so far. We will see if I am correct or not.

Monday, January 9, 2012


a while back i listed my goals until my next birthday.
one of them was "make and effort" and i have been doing better. I've been better at picking out clothes for work, not just cycling through 5 outfits ("this is my Monday outfit...")
i got bangs around Christmas to mix up my hairstyle a bit. i've been growing out my hair for like 2 years, and it's not pretty darn long. So i had to make sure it wasn't just Crystal Gale long.
there other small things i have been doing as well, and one of them i mentioned a while back, but never followed up on. sorry 'bout that.
1) wearing moisturizer. I am terrible at this. I got some night-time stuff a while back, to combat aging skin, and it has been wonderful. But now I am making sure to wear it during the day, with a little SPF. It's been wonderful for the winter (though it's been the most gloriously warm winter in ages)

2) take my "pretty vitamin". I just started taking "Hair Face Nails". Its awesome. Its a vitamin that helps with hair growth and strength (my hair has seemed shinier...i think. it's only been 2 weeks), help strengthen nails (mine are super weak and thin, so i keep polish on them constantly to give them a little reinforcement) and keep my skin pretty and glowing. I highly recommend it. I got mine at Vitacost for $5! (let me know if you want to use Vitacost, and I can email you a $10 off coupon!)
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3) i don't wash my hair much. it sounds so gross, but it's true. Over a year ago I told you all that I was going to start using a more natural shampoo. I said I'd let you know how it turned out. Sorry it took me so long to do that. But here you go.
I only wash my hair like twice a week. If  even that. Pretty much every 3-4 days. Here is the thing, since putting more space between washings, my hair has looked better, isn't as dry or frizzy, and just overall healthier. I didn't think i could ever be one of those girls. My hair was too fine (though i have tons of it) and got really greasy. I thought it was an urban myth too...that if you wash your hair less, it becomes less greasy. But I bought some dry shampoo, bought the natural shampoo and conditioner (though it was pricier) and went for it. At first I was every other day. When my hair would get a little greasy, I'd spray the dry shampoo on the roots in the spots that needed it. After a while, i was able to slip another day in there. Now, even at the end of day 3, my hair is totally ok. If i am feeling extra adventurous, i slip in day 4.

The natural shampoo/conditioner is key here. If you are just using Herbal Essance or Pantene, it won't work. They have all sorts of things in them that strips your hair of it's natural oils, so your hair works over time to re-produce them. That is why everything gets greasy. And i don't put shampoo through my entire hair. I just lather it at the scalp, and it washes everything else out when you rinse it. Also, the conditioner is important. You don't want your hair to feel slimy and slippery, which most condtioners do. And I don't put it in my roots, ever. I just grab my hair at the nape of my neck and work the conditioner down to the tips.

I know you are thinking "natural shampoos are SO much more expensive!". They are. A bottle of normal shampoo can be $2-3 at Target, and Yes to Carrots is like $10. BUT, since I started to wash my hair less frequently, it's taken me MUCH longer to go through the shampoo. And I use less conditioner. Which means, in the end, I've ended up saving money (it took me over a year to go through the bottle of conditioner. Normally i go through one in a couple of months). And since my hair is healthier, i don't need as many products for it, so i save money there. I don't need smoothing or de-frizz products anymore.
I did the math. Before I'd spend about $36-48 a year on shampoo and condtioner (and that is pricing them at $3 a bottle... which is very conserative. Usually shampoo is more than that.). Last year I spent $20. Mid year i had to get new bottles of both, but it took about a year to go through the previous ones. So I end up saving, at the very least, $16 a year. but really more than that. Oh, and you don't need to cut your hair as much, because you have fewer split ends. So you save on hair cuts. And you aren't buying all the hair product I mentioned earlier (and the dry shampoo is only $4-6, and lasts a loooong time.)

So yeah. If you are feeling brave, take the plunge.

Friday, January 6, 2012


bob and sara dylan

i read this today by Timothy Keller in Relevant magazine.
Good for both married and single peoples.

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You Never Marry the Right Person

Timothy Keller
How our culture misunderstands compatibility.

In generations past, there was far less talk about “compatibility” and finding the ideal soul-mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.

In John Tierney’s classic humor article “Picky, Picky, Picky” he tries nobly to get us to laugh at the impossible situation our culture has put us in. He recounts many of the reasons his single friends told him they had given up on their recent relationships:

“She mispronounced ‘Goethe.’”

“How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?”

“If she would just lose seven pounds.”

“Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.”

“Well, it started out great ... beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine—until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”... She had dirty elbows.”

In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.
You never marry the right person
The Bible explains why the quest for compatibility seems to be so impossible. As a pastor I have spoken to thousands of couples, some working on marriage-seeking, some working on marriage-sustaining and some working on marriage-saving. I’ve heard them say over and over, “Love shouldn’t be this hard, it should come naturally.” In response I always say something like: “Why believe that? Would someone who wants to play professional baseball say, ‘It shouldn’t be so hard to hit a fastball’? Would someone who wants to write the greatest American novel of her generation say, ‘It shouldn’t be hard to create believable characters and compelling narrative’?” The understandable retort is: “But this is not baseball or literature. This is love. Love should just come naturally if two people are compatible, if they are truly soul-mates. “

The Christian answer to this is that no two people are compatible. Duke University Ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas has famously made this point:

Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

Hauerwas gives us the first reason that no two people are compatible for marriage, namely, that marriage profoundly changes us. But there is another reason. Any two people who enter into marriage are spiritually broken by sin, which among other things means to be self-centered—living life incurvatus in se. As author Denis de Rougemont said, “Why should neurotic, selfish, immature people suddenly become angels when they fall in love ... ?” That is why a good marriage is more painfully hard to achieve than athletic or artistic prowess. Raw, natural talent does not enable you to play baseball as a pro or write great literature without enduring discipline and enormous work. Why would it be easy to live lovingly and well with another human being in light of what is profoundly wrong within our human nature? Indeed, many people who have mastered athletics and art have failed miserably at marriage. So the biblical doctrine of sin explains why marriage—more than anything else that is good and important in this fallen world—is so painful and hard.

No false choices

The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is—we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.

The hard times of marriage drive us to experience more of this transforming love of God. But a good marriage will also be a place where we experience more of this kind of transforming love at a human level.

Monday, January 2, 2012

one two onetwo

That's today's date.
Today is the last day of my Christmas break. I went ahead and took it off because i knew that if i had to go in today, I'd be a hot mess. The combo of not sleeping Saturday night (wild crazy party of playing "things" and eating brie while drinking good wine) and needing a day to get things ready (laaaauuundry) was enough of a reason for me.
 So this morning I got up late (but not too late) made some coffee, read some Spurgeon and put on some Fleetwood Mac, threw in a load of laundry and started thinking. Spurgeon and Fleetwood Mac will do that to a person. (sidenote: cute story. I found a thrift shop and bought some vinyl, including the self titled Fleetwood Mac... which is awesome. Ashley called me from Delaware to tell me she bought me Rumours, like... 2 days later. I have never listened to so much Fleetwood Mac in my life.)
Here is the thing about Fleetwood Mac (we are going to abbreviate and call them "FM" from here on out because they have a long name)... I never think "hmmm... i could go for some FM right now". But put on "Never Going Back Again"... and I am in. Put on "Dreams" and I have a hairbrush in my hand, standing on the couch, pretending I am Stevie. 70's Stevie... not 80s-90s-today Stevie. Now she is weird and scary and all baggy clothing, fluffy hair and flowing sleeves. In the 70's she was awesome. Top hats, good bangs, bad-ass.

Where was I? Yes. the combo of reading Sprugeon and hearing Stevie singing "thunder only happens when it's raining...players only love you when they're playing" (so wise...) got me thinking.

I'm going to level with you, apart from a few things, 2011 sucked big ones. I did not like it. (all babies and weddings are excluded from that statement) At the end of '10 we were all saying "2011 is going to be awesome!" and came in with high hopes. It started off pretty good, but about June things got crazy. I saw many friends walking through hardship. My life was pretty dandy. But seeing others walk through everything, I didn't have any time or energy to focus or whine about my life. If things had stayed wonderful for everyone else, trust me, I would've found things to complain about. But for the first time in a long time, my gaze wasn't on myself. Instead I had the honor of lifting up friends before the Lord; caring for them and thinking about them. And it wasn't just one friend. Lots of them. Our church as a whole is walking through one of the hardest times we ever had. I saw loved ones get bad news, relationships come to a screeching halt, as well as many other things.
So at 11:59 on 12/31/11 I felt relieved. "FINALLY this year is over. 2012 is going to be AWESOME" I thought as I clinked glasses with my friends. But then I flashed back to me exactly a year before thinking the same thing. How do I know that isn't going to happen again? How do I know that this May or June, the sh** is going to hit the fan? How do i know that this year is going to be good? What makes me think that 2012 is going to be MY YEAR. Why do I think that this might be the year some fine lad moseys into my life? (i think that every year). HOW DO I KNOW THAT 2012 WON'T BE WORSE!?!?!?

I don't know that. It might be. 2012 might make 2011 look like a picnic. But you know what? God is still good. He hasn't changed. And looking back over 2011, I see amazing things.

I see that Mindy and Daniel Coleman got the best news, then heartbreaking news, then harder news, which all led to the sweetest, toughest, little baby I have ever laid eyes on.

And through that I saw a community of people come together to help them, through the help of Knox McCoy.

I saw one of my dearest long-time friends become a stronger, peace-filled woman through heartbreak.

I saw my best friend Shaynah begin to prepare for motherhood, leaving her career as a teacher and begin coaching swimming, her true passion

I began cultivating friendships with 2 younger girls, attempting to encourage them and praying for them daily

I saw a community come together again to help bring Rinah home to the Gallos.

I saw Kara, another amazing woman, walk through heartbreak of news of infertility, an adoption that fell through, and then the happiest Christmas surprise I have ever known (apart from the actual birth of the Savior, of course)

I saw my church band together, learn from our shortcomings, become more grace filled and came to love and respect my pastors more than ever before.

I saw the the prayers of many answered for the Hurtgen's with the birth of Phoenix. We were praying for her to come into existence for many years

The Lord brought new friendships to me. And deepened current ones.

I hit a milestone that I had feared. I didn't fear turning 30 in general. I feared turning 30 and being single. But I did it. (not that I had a choice). And looking back, I have never been more content, more joy filled with where the Lord has me than I am right now. I love what my life looks like. 

So I can't be promised a good, happy, easy year. But during it I can pray and trust the Lord, that He already knows
in Mornings and Evenings today I read this:
"Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian. If you are a child of God, you will seek your Father’s face, and live in your Father’s love. Pray that this year you may be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter more often into the banqueting‐house of His love. Pray that you may be an example and a blessing to others, and that you may live more to the glory of your Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue... in prayer.”

2011 was hard, but good.
and 2012 might be hard. But it will be good. It will be sweet. It will be filled with new mercies and joys. We will all learn and grow. We will continue on the path laid out before us. We will come out of trials, start new ones. And I am sure on 12/31/12 at 11:59 PM  I will be more than happy to bid '12 farewell. I will have high hopes for '13. But until then... I want to see what is coming up. And continue in prayer.