Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Jesus said that in his Kingdom the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

These people are neighbors.  But something separates them:  a fence.

A fence to keep poverty out.  If you walk along it you will see that it is placed specifically blocking every view  that borders a neighbor's yard that looks less than desirable.  Perhaps it is easier to live in wealth while your neighbors live in ruin when you don't have to look at it.  The thing is, my heart is broken for both of them.

Because those big, fancy houses are prisons too.

The poor may be imprisoned by institutions that hold them back, by the shame comparison, the uncertainty of whether or not daily needs will be met.  The rich may be imprisoned by a tight grip on stuff that moth and rust will destroy,by the isolation of comparison, and by a belief that their value comes from their status.  

Maybe the first will be last because that is what they really need.  To be humbled.  To realize that they are broken deep down inside.  Maybe the last will be first because that's what they really need.  To see that they have infinite value.  To realize they are not junk, because God doesn't make junk.  May God help us to realize that we are wretched sinners, but we are also original masterpieces.  May we tear down the fences that keep us from seeing pain and delve into the messiness of the lives around us.  May we humble ourselves so that those around us can be lifted up.  Like Jesus did.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thrift Store Finds

A good friend of mine introduced me to a new thrift store in the area.  And it turned out to be a true gem.  Everything was cheaper than thrift stores in Pullman/Moscow.  Which is cheaper than cheap.  It is one of those places where they don't know what's cool so they practically give away treasures.  Other stores I've been to seem to mark up trendy items/vintagey things.  I feel weird getting so excited about it because it's just a Goodwill.  But check out the goods I scored.

A pretty teacup.  I have some plans for this that include wax and a wick.

Isn't this key a beaut?  I can't decide if I want to leave it as is or give it a coat of black spray paint to make it look more like those antique keys.  What do you think?

I couldn't resist.  ND is my husband's favorite movie of all time.  It's a lot like pictionary except you have to draw two animals (from cards that you draw at random) combined into one.

Here are some of the masterpieces we came up with:  A horsebunny, jellyfox, a turkowl, a fllama, a hedgeull, a frogbra.
I got all of this for under $5!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Introvert Fell in Love with the Extrovert

I bet that no one that knows Phil and I would guess that there are moments in our marriage where in my head I am saying, “Please just stop talking!”  But it’s true.  My husband is what we lovingly call a “reserved extrovert.”  Yes, he is quiet.  But he gets energized by being around people.  He loves being around tons of stimulation.  He’s happiest when he’s out an about—preferably somewhere with lots of people and sounds and flashing lights.  I have learned that I, on the other hand, am an “outgoing introvert.”  I know, it sounds bizarre.  For the most part, when we’re in a group setting together I am the one venturing out and talking to people.  I love people.  I am very feelings/people centered.  Many tasks/goals fall at the wayside because of this.  However, I must confess that being around people kind of wears me out.  I’m happiest curled up on the couch watching a movie with Phil or during coffee shop conversation with a small group of close friends.  Now that we’re commuting a lot we have seen this come to a head.  On the long drive home from hanging out with friends Phil starts chatting up a storm.  To me, it sounds like he’s going 500 mph!  (With his words, not our van, although he has been known to drive fast and furious).  All the while I am trying to connect deep thoughts and internally process the conversations we’ve just had.  I can get pretty frustrated because I just can’t diffuse with all that talking.  I am thankful (I say this by faith) for all the ways that Philip and I are different.  I am glad that we are constantly forced to compromise.  I am glad that we have to sacrifice in order to meet each others’ needs.  It is so good for me to constantly be stretched—to constantly have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.  Marriage helps me be less selfish and for that I am continuously pissed thankful. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fridays Letters

Dear Rockstar, You don’t know it, but you are so going to love dinner tonight.  Hint:  it will be very manly.  Dear Teach For America, please accept us!  We are going to be awesome teachers and we care about the same things you care about.  So what if we might not know how to write a professional resume?  Dear Clarkston, did you know it’s almost fall?  Maybe you should consider cooling down so I can sip tea and wear scarves in peace.  Dear Mom, thanks for reading my blog and loving on everything I write and photograph.  You have always been my biggest fan (and that’s not a fat joke!  Seriously, my mom weighs like 100 pounds).  Dear NYC, there is something coming your way in the mail for one of your cutest new residents.  Dear weekend, we have no plans for you and I am so happy about it!  Here’s to watching movies, window shopping, going on walks, and probably trying another restaurant in our new town.  Dear Phil, come home so I can kiss your face already!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fair Photos

Last weekend I was a little disappointed.  It was a great time, all in all.  Got to see one of my favorite people and peruse a park and get a Cub meal at the-one-and-only Cougar Country with her.  Then Phil, the in-laws and I hit the fair, which as a small town girl I adore.  I love the small community coming together and presenting their crafts, crops, and animals.  I love the greasy somewhat-unsanitary food.  I'm trying to love the rides since that is my hubs absolute favorite part of the fair.  This year I decided to enter some photos.  Photography is just a hobby for me.  I do it for fun.  I never claimed to be an expert. So I don't want to sound snobby when I say this, but I've entered before and usually I get mostly blue ribbons with a few reds.  The last time I entered this particular fair I even won a best in show.  This time I entered five pics and came out with one blue, one red, and three whites.  That's more white than I've ever gotten before (except maybe my legs during the winter harhar).  I think the judges (sweet little old ladies) just didn't get it.  I took some risks.  I had a some safe-route photos, but I wanted to enter pictures that were difficult to take.  I wanted to enter photos that meant something to me--photos with a certain uniqueness about them.

Title:  Friendship.  This was my blue ribbon winner.  Ironically, I almost didn't enter this one.  It's cute and all, but I just feel like I've seen it before, you know?  

Title:  Against the Grain.  This won the red ribbon.  I like it because it is a picture of wheat, but as a silhouette.  Usually the thing that stands out about wheat is the golden color, and that color is actually in this picture (the sunset) but instead the focus is on the unique shape of wheat.  I also like that it has a lot of depth to it.

Title:  Hunter at the Office.  This is my lovely father-in-law while he was out hunting.  I intentionally focused on the log, and let him be blurred into the background even though he is the real focus of the photo.  I really like the colors and how the lines on the log draw your eye back to Leo.

Title:  Dancer on her Toes.  This was exceptionally hard to take.  My sister was a clogger in high school.  That's a fast-pace dance done wearing shoes similar to tap shoes.  Here she is doing a toe-stand which lasts for about a split second.  

Title:  Snowflake Stowaway.  Yes, this is an individual snowflake.  I was pretty darn proud of this one.  With my little point-and-shoot, it's pretty difficult to get this close.  The snowflake is on a kitten's fur so I was also wrangling that squirmer in order to have it still enough to capture that small detail.
I was upset at first.  But judges don't define my worth.  I still think I am a fair photographer (get it? harhar) and will keep doing what I love and finding small ways to share it with others.  

P.S. Here's me holding a chicken.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Photography Perspectives: Fun

I'm linking up with Lena B photography.  Each week a new theme is chosen, and the challenge is share 3 photos that line up with that theme.  This week's theme:  F (is for friends who do stuff together) U (is for you and me) N (is for anywhere and anytime at all...)


Thursday, September 6, 2012


Philip and I have a habit of freaking out about money.  Usually, needs come before funds come.  My reaction to said needs arising is usually panicking and getting into fights with my husband about how we’re possibly going to afford to…well…live.  Dramatic, no?  One time that is particularly stressful for us is the beginning of a semester.  As a couple of college students, we rely heavily on financial aid.  Financial aid is, without fail, always delayed in getting dispersed to us.  I am happy to report that for the first time this year we didn’t freak out!  It’s actually kind of pathetic if I think about it.  I’ve watched God provide exactly what we need in the nick of time over and over again.  Yet still I don’t cling to him when disaster comes.  I flee in terror and scramble to provide for myself.

This year we had every reason to freak out.  I don’t know if you have seen this in the news or experienced it for yourself, but my college has been having huge problems getting financial aid to students this year due to a new computer program that’s proving to have lots of glitches.  For the first time, Phil and I aren’t working to supplement our Fin. Aid, simply because with Student Teaching it’s a near impossibility.  He just finished up his summer job.  His last paycheck was retracted due to problems with his employer’s bank account.  On top of that we’ve taken on extra financial responsibilities.  This year we decided to be financial supporters of a few of our friends who are working in full-time ministry.  It’s something we’ve talked about for the future.  You know, when we have careers and such.  We want to be a family that lives simply and gives generously.  However, we felt God say to us, “Why not start now?”

Through all of that we remained at peace.  I remember thinking, “Well, we always seem to have what we need so God will work it out.”  Was that really me?  I said that?  Yup.  We had enough in savings to wait out the delayed financial aid (since we’ve come to anticipate problems with it).  My check was mailed to us within a couple weeks.

 While we waited for Philip’s to come we received a huge, unexpected blessing.  He logged onto his student account and noticed that all of his tuition had been paid.  This seemed odd since when you receive loans you have to accept them before they are processed.  Looking into this he discovered something huge:  all of his tuition for this year has been paid for in grants!  As in, money we don’t have to pay back later!  He also received extremely low-interest loans that are plenty to cover our needs and then some*.  My friend told me that she believed God would bless us for giving.  I know that those blessings aren’t always monetary, but it is still so sweet to see God be so generous with us.  

*Before you judge us for going into debt, let me assure you we do not have credit cards or plan to use loans unless absolutely necessary in the future.  Student loans are different to us, because you have until you graduate to start paying them off and they have very low interest rates.  And we have a plan to pay them off.  When we get teaching jobs (and we’re willing to go anywhere to get these jobs) we plan to live off of Philip’s income and pay off debt with my income.  That way, in case a little one comes along we will already be used to living off one income for when I stay home and cuddle the little bundle of poop joy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Our current hometown has a dollar theater that plays good, recently released movies.  This last weekend What to Expect When You're Expecting was showing.  We got tickets and snacks (I know it's a rip off but once I smell that movie-theater butter I'm done for) for two for 10 bucks!  The movie was really funny and heartfelt:  two components that, in my opinion, all the best movies have.  It followed a few families through the pregnancy process--and I mean ALL THE WAY through.  It showed many different outcomes of pregnancy including miscarriage, twins, c-section, adoption, and your typical birth.  Warning:  it might give your husband baby-fever.  For real!  I don't think anything else has ever done that to Phil. The movie's unique in that it shares a little bit of the male perspective on parenthood.  The "dude's group,"  shares--along with some hilarious one-liners--the good, the bad, and the ugly of fathering babies.  In the end, they conclude that they love being dads.  That all the hardship is worth it.  That they are exhausted, but happy.  And that, "You don't know true love until you've wiped someone's butt."

On the other hand, it all but convinced me that adopting children from Ethiopia is the best way to go.  Okay, not really but...for realz.  It was a little bit of a reality check for me.  So many of the married couples I know right now either already have stinkin' adorable kiddos or are in the process of making them.  I can get jealous pretty quickly, or think that the stage of life ahead of me is the best stage of life to be in.  The movie showed me that I am not ready to grow a human inside me and most certainly not ready for the part where it goes from womb to open air.  Husband said that he thinks that it is a good thing that I don't have a huge desire to be pregnant and that when it is time God will give me that desire.  Much like right before we got engaged I seriously had a huge, healthy, desire to get married.  Now, I'm not saying that every desire we have is automatically God's will.  I'm just saying that the more we seek God the more he makes our desires line up with his desires.

No matter what stage of life you're in, I would reccommend seeing this movie.  You'll most likely get some laughs, some tears, and some insight into the world of parenthood.      
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