Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... Freedom!

Well hello there!

I hope you have not forgotten about me in my absence. I hopefully won't have any more absences soon, because I have a lot to catch you up and I'm filled to the brim with ideas about blog posts.

But first I need to share something...
I turned in my big paper!! (oh you thought I was going to say we are expecting huh! Gotcha!! We are not expecting anything other than a signature on my paper!) You know the one, the one I keep mentioning and blabbing about and wrestling with. I think what I turned in was totally and completely solid. So... hopefully~maybe~possibly it will be signed off and then I really will be sooooo very much closer to graduating.

(Eeeeck. The idea of graduating is terrifying and thrilling wrapped into one!)

Anyway, I have been working on this silly paper since oh, around this time last year casually, and more seriously since April, and very intentionally since September. For the final stretch, I got much assistance from my mom, who read through several drafts and called me to make edits over the telephone. And I totally wrecked and dominated our little home in the process because I just sat on the couch for three days (Monday through Wednesday of last week), getting up only to bake cookies, eat several times, go to a couple classes, and to move to the bed for sleep. (Don't worry: I showered and took my eyes off the computer screen at regular intervals too).

Mr. Ruggedly was so wonderful keeping himself busy, helping me by picking up a pizza and a latte, and staying quiet so I could dominate the living room and make a permanent tush impression in our couch. And it was all worth it because I finished my paper at around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. I didn't have to ask for an extension and we were able to head to our hometown for Thanksgiving before it was too late in the night or Thanksgiving Day. Now, I wasn't that great of company for our little road trip, but I'm returning to normal now. And so is our couch. Thankfully, it was not a permanent indentation.

So at the home of KB and Mr. Rh, we are winding down very quickly to the end of the semester.

I turned in another smaller paper today.

By the end of Thursday, I will hopefully have completed one more paper, given one presentation, and attended five classes. And I will take one final the following week on Friday. And by Thursday, I will hopefully have posted 3 more blog posts, too!

Yes, that is a new goal: to post once a day each day for the month of December. And not a bunch of posts about school!

Oh, we are going to have sooo much fun together, just you wait and see.

I'm here. And I'm back to (this kind of) writing...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pictures of Marriage and of the Works of God. And something about Vows and Presents.

We had a great weekend this past weekend.

One of my very dear friends married the love of her life at her parents home in our small hometown. We ate and ate and prepared. We relaxed and chatted. We decorated (ourselves and the reception) and then we partied. I even DANCED during the recessional in front of my parents, my husband, and my in-laws. Me, the girl without any rhythm. Which. was. interesting. And everything other than that part was beautiful. Sadly, I forgot to take photos of the beautiful reception and other festivities. But thankfully, no one caught my dance on video (that I know of).

It was a lovely, joyous time and I am so happy for my friend and her new hubby. Their marriage ceremony was a great reminder of the vows my husband and I made on August 9 of last year. It was a gentle reminder to us from the Lord about how holy and beautiful of a thing marriage is, of how he ordained it, and that it is what we are now called to even in the most mundane and ordinary of moments in our lives. We are to put our spouse in front of ourselves. That he is to love me as Christ loves the church and that I am to respect him.

And how fitting and personal is God to not only remind us in one way, but to personalize the reminder for us by another means.

You see, my Milly (my nickname for my mother-in-law) had been working since April (unbeknownst to us) with a calligrapher to have our very own vows memorialized into a piece of art. Now she had been hoping to have it ready for our first wedding anniversary, but God had another plan and the artist was unable to get things ready until now. Just in time for this trip, after fifteen months of marriage, the vows we spoke to one another some fifteen months ago have been written down and my Milly presented them to us after my friends wedding festivities were over. They are now hanging on the wall of our home. It is a joy to see them and read them again.

Now after all of that it is about time for me to get back on track with my schooling. But friends, I am a tired female. And I made (asked? begged? suggested!) Mr. Ruggedly Handsome and I listen to Christmas carols on the drive back to our home last night so today I am in a Christmas-present shopping mood. (And because I have been surfing and shopping today instead of studying like I should be, I have come to realize that it is sooooo much easier shopping for women than for men! Or perhaps it is just more fun. ha!)

Anyhow, I have to push through the next three-ish weeks without distraction and primarily the next 9 days to finish up the paper for real this time. I did get a draft turned in and my professor did not review it, but hopefully, it is because he thinks its probably close enough that it will be signed off on after this impending due date!

One final though before I force myself to study for the next two hours before Mr. Ruggedly Handsome comes home.... I just saw my reflection in the iron that is sitting on my coffee table (because I was ironing earlier). Now, it is not just any reflection that I saw. It is one where my hair is all on top of my head in a crazy bun that looks like one of my dance teachers from childhood (or the mean substitute teacher we had frequently in high school). The reflection is quite dim, so when I first noticed myself, I was quite terrified of what I saw, because I thought it was someone standing behind me. (I'm tired). But before I screamed I looked at little closer and was able to recognize myself to some degree.

But it reminded me of 1 Corinthians 3:12 "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

And it was this beautiful picture to me of how very little we really do see of the work that God is doing. So much so that at moments we do not even understand what we are seeing. Just as today I did not even recognize my own reflection in the iron until I studied it very closely. And even upon second consideration, that image in the iron does not very much resemble the image I see look much like the me I see in a clean mirror in the bathroom in the morning, but was enough that I could slightly recognize what was making the image.

Just so you get a bit of an idea, you can see some of what I saw in this photo above. It was a little less shiney and a little more reflection-y from my view, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Working and Waiting in Earnest.

I know it is not quite time yet, but I am SERIOUSLY, like in a hard-core kind of way, looking forward to Christmas Break!

My insides are just tingling with excitement at the prospect of staying home, reading, going shopping, and "chillaxin'" as I have heard it called. I might even try out some new recipes and tackle some creative projects I have been wanting to tackle.

But then panic overwhelms me a bit when I realize this might be my last significant Christmas break. Dang it! Going to have to figure out a life plan that includes some sort of two-ish week period of rest around the holidays.

But today I work. And prepare for interviews and finals and papers that must all be prepared for. But I work and wait in earnest anticipation of what is to come.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


**Edit, I just submitted and though nervous to some degree, am hoping that I'll be one step closer to finishing.**

Dear Friends,

Today I am planning on submitting another draft of my "paper" to the professor I am working with. I have done some significant revisions and am wishin' and hope-in' and prayin', that he will find it significantly better and that much closer to a "sign off!" (You see, we are all supposed to be COMPLETELY finished by November 25th and that date is fast approaching.)

Just wanted to update you because I feel that I have been absent. I am writing, just not here.

I'll be back so sooooooon,


Saturday, November 7, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

After Kelley posted this video about the elephant and the dog, I laughed until I cried and my heart was filled with joy at the sight. So then I made Mr. Ruggedly Handsome watch it, oh, at least three times. And then I decided I needed to share it with all of my other favorite people and I watch it then too.

So now my favorite Mr. has shared a video with me that is quite lovely as well. Since you all are some of my favorite people... and since I haven't seen someone else post this yet:

Watch more National Geographic Channel videos on AOL Video

Thanks for sharing Handsome.

I'm here. And today I'm not so much writing...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Okay, I'll Admit It.

So this may seem funny or odd or totally cool to you. I'm not really sure how you will respond and actually each of "you" could have a different response.

I'm about to share something with you that I think is a little known fact about me. You see, I feel like my persona wouldn't clue anyone in to this fact. Except maybe those people closest to me. Some of my family members might know and a few close friends are probably on the same wavelength as me.

I'm pretty sure my mom won't think twice about this and Mr. Ruggedly Handsome will just chuckle to himself about it. My brother would probably be appalled and my dad would just shake his head and sigh.

Even though it isn't an earth-shattering revelation, it is something I have only recently come to either know, or accept, about myself.

Are you ready?
I am a pop music junkie!

Ah. I feel better now that is out of the table. I realized it today while I was working on my paper at the Starbuckles of my choosing. I had everything set up on my table. Organized stacks of papers that might be cited. Computer plugged in and charging. A hot latte and an ice water. Phone handy, but not in sight, so as not to be distracting.

I had planned on typing to the music / noises of the Bucks, but I was sitting next to two very chatty women. After a minute or two of distracted eavesdropping, I realized I better plug in to some of my own music for two reasons. 1. To drown out their conversation, which wasn't particularly interesting to me and probably because I disagreed with most of what they were saying and 2. So I could actually focus and get some work done (because that was the whole purpose in paying 2.80 for my latte: to have a nice study environment and have the caffeine as a bonus.)

Anyway, I turned on iTunes and picked a song that I thought would be a good start to my writing mindset.

As I was sitting I realized I could be certified as a pop music junkie because I was skipping over my classicals (which are usually good to study to) and choosing songs with a bit of a pop.

Here is a random sampling of some of the tunes I most enjoyed today:

1. Chances by Five for Fighting
2. Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie
3. All I Need by Mat Kearny
4. Maybe by Ingrid Michaelson (new purchase today)
5. Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles
6. My Wish by Rascal Flats
7. Crush by David Archuletta
8. Hollywood's Not America by Ferras
9. No Air by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown
10. Shakespeare by Susan Cagle Band

Ahh. It was a lovely sounding day.

I'm here! And I'm definitely writing... (and listening.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quote For Today

Martha Washington, the first first lady, said

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances."

I'm here. And I'm still writing (but primarily on the paper and not on the blog!)