28 January 2009

Settled & Online

This is a quick note to share my appreciation of all of the help I had during the Big Move. Thanks to Mom (Kick Start), Daddy (Omelet), Chuggy (Toot Snapper) and Grandpa (Mr. Snuggles)! I (Goldilocks) couldn't have done it without you!

We arrived on Friday, according to the plan, and the men got all of my stuff up to the third floor while Mom and I situated boxes in their appropriate rooms; we showered up and had "shushi" at Seito - I think everyone enjoyed it, and if not, I know they liked Cold Stone's afterwards! Saturday we took it easy, played some Putt Putt and had Bahama Breeze in lieu of a seafood buffet. Sunday morning the gang left dark and early - I was sad.

So now I'm officially on my own. It's kind of weird. I went half way around the world and that didn't get to me, but this move, it's so different.

I've stocked my pantry and fridge, unpacked everything and have just had my Internet hooked up (yay!). Time for a run, then dinner, and then I think I'm going to catch Twilight at the Regal Cinema. Don't worry, I'll post about the last week's going-on's in more detail and with photos (compliments of Chucky Bucky).


19 January 2009

The Big Move

Wednesday I will be embarking on my big move to Florida! I am as packed as I can be, and I'm making the most of my time in Indiana that remains. Tonight I'll finish my first quilted pillow with Mom, and tomorrow morning I'll take care of the last minute packing and meet my cousin, Darin, for lunch in Indy. I hope to catch as much as I can of Obama's inauguration (I'm frustrated that I'll not be able to watch it all live... oh, well). After lunch I'll be heading up to Purdue to visit with friends up there one last time. I'm really looking forward to a stop at The Hookah and Vienna and a bite of Jimmy John's (though they now have JJ's in Orlando, the ones at Purdue will always be special to me). Wednesday I'll pick Chucky up from his last class, and we'll head to Indy to meet up with my folks and Grandpa who will have the Rendezvous and trailer. From there we will all make our way to the Sunshine State! It shouldn't be too bad a trip since we're giving ourselves from Wednesday evening until Friday morning to drive the 18ish hours.

I will miss you dearly, Indiana!!! Take care, and stay warm!


15 January 2009

Book Ends

I'm quite excited to invest in a pair or two of book ends! Obviously I need to sort out my book shelf situation first, but I'm enjoying some online shopping here. = P

After surfing images of book ends I settled upon these six as favorites. Quotation marks are ever so befitting, and these ones have a contemporary look to them; I can see these on a shelf in the living room. I've been getting into chess lately, so I took well to the idea of a knight and castle as book ends. I really like the peacocks! They're pretty and unique and elegant. I could see these in the master bedroom. The a-z book ends are awesome. They are up there with the quotation marks. The Jefferson ones are really fancy; definitely guest room bound. (By the way, my guest room will eventually double as a study.) The ampersands are cool. I've always had a thing for ampersands, but I must admit these are my least favorite. On the contrary, the globe book ends are a favorite. They may clash with a real globe when I get my hands on one of those, though?

Shopping for apartment furnishings is lots of fun!


Blik Faves

I was surfing the Web for wall decorating ideas and stumbled across a website called Blik. It is an online store for all sorts of wall decor - I was mostly interested in the stickers:

Something modern with dots:

The birds are a favorite of mine. I think I might do white birds in my master bedroom. They would go nicely with the canvas photo of the Sydney Opera House my parents gave me. I'm thinking that I'll put it in a thick-bordered, white frame.

Some more dots. I'm not sure I'll have a use for them, but they are fun. I'll keep them in mind.

I really like the next two designs. Very classy and vintage. Perhaps the guest room or living room?

These bamboo decals would go perfectly with the guest bedroom decor - it's avocado green an bamboo-themed already!

I have always been a sucker for trees, especially silhouettes of trees such as these. I think I might put some of these decals in the entry way or maybe in the living room?

Let me know if you have insight on other wall decoration ideas! Your thoughts are welcomed.


Me + Pets

Me and my pets! Cali is the big, beautiful, black Newfoundland. Creasy is the fluffy Havanese, and Ashes is my grey tabby cat. = ) These furry friends make me smile!


14 January 2009

Instant Gratification vs Patience

Instant gratification: obtaining gratification without regard to whether it may or may not be in one's best interest to defer gratification.

Patience: the state of calm endurance under difficult circumstances.

Something that has become very present in my life is that of instant gratification versus patience. We live in a fast-forwarded world where instant gratification is seemingly - key word - necessary. What happened to exercising patience, waiting something it out so that it's that much more fulfilling in the end? I believe that aspect of culture (of the US alone? of the world?) is dying, if not dead already.

I asked an old friend of mine, Roy Hobbs, what he thought about instant gratification with regards to our society. Here is the conversation:

Me: what is instant gratification to you?

Roy: hmm never really thought about it i guess.....i suppose the expecting or meeting your wants/expectations/whatever quickly

Me: what do you think when you apply that concept to our society?

Roy: i would think its def. a big part of american society... everyone wants everything now and doesnt want to wait, if they dont get what they want they get pissed off....hmm yeah

Me: i agree. why do you think that pisses people off?

Roy: people basically have a pre-disposition that if they should be and are entitled to be able to get exactly what they want
basically. our society is spoiled

Well put, Roy. "Our society is spoiled."

Here are a few examples of the ways our lives demand instant gratification and my respective thoughts:

Text messaging. I used to be against it. Now I still am. You read that right. It's one of those evils in my life. I mostly use it for the sake of others who can't seem to communicate without texting. It bothers me when folks text when having dinner with family and/or friends (same goes with answering a phone call unless it's been announced that you're expecting an urgent call from someone having a baby or in critical health condition, etc.). It also bothers me when people text (or just fiddle with their phones in general) during meetings. Don't forget about those who text on the move. Watch out for those ones. Bottom line: texting is yet another way in which we take the personal out of personal communication. Sad.

Email. Emailing for business purposes is great; you've got an electronic trail/proof/whatever you want to call it. Emailing when you can chat in person is just as bad as texting. At least pick up the phone and call the person. If it's an issue of time, or say you're at work, fine. Email the person to ask if they're available to chat on the phone later that night. I find that I set up lots of phone dates with my friends who are out of state. It keeps friendships more lively. Again, it's that personal aspect that email takes away. Really want to impress someone? Send them a letter using good old snail mail. The recipient will be thankful for the time you invested in the relationship when you sat down and put your thoughts onto paper.

Ah, yes. Let us not forget about the fast food industry. The name says it all. Personally, I hate McDonald's. I won't get into that, but I'm also not a fan of fast food. It's more like fat food. Remember Super Size Me? Plan out some meals, make a grocery list once a week, buy only the listed groceries. Look, you're eating healthy and saving money from all the eating out. Don't like to cook? Make it fun by spending the cooking time with family and/or friends. If you have no choice but to cook alone, throw on a phone headset, and call up a friend instead of emailing them. Ta-da!

Here's one that's slammed into our faces nearly every minute: sex. This picture points out a very brutal truth, one that is so often blatantly ignored. Long-term consequences of sex: STDs, pregnancies, emotional baggage, money issues (regarding children). I've made choices to avoid the instant gratifications of sex, so I don't know for sure, but I bet that list of long-term consequences is longer than what I have here. Why not gain some respect and self-control and disassociate sex and instant gratification from one another. After all, shouldn't sex be continuous gratification, meaning: shouldn't sex be shared with a worthy person in the long-term?

The well-known "Easy" button. I take pride in doing things the so-called "difficult" way (difficult means time-consuming to most). Why? Because then I know I've done it right, not taken any short-cuts, and I'm more satisfied with the result in the end. As far as the time I invest in doing something the hard way, it almost always turns out worth it. The next time you want to do something the easy way, rethink your reasons. You probably have the time to do it "right," and I'm sure you'll be more satisfied if you put some time and energy into it.

I found some quotes about patience. Not just quotes, but words spoken by great minds. I think we should all start heeding their advice.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." -Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

“Have patience! In time, even grass becomes milk.” -Charan Singh, satguru (1916-1990)

"God's way of answering the Christian's prayer for more patience, experience, hope, and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction." -Richard Cecil, a leading Evangelical Anglican clergyman of the 18th and 19th centuries

“Patience is also a form of action.” -Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (1840-1917)

You may have noticed that the majority of these quotes came into existence long ago. What is the one thing that has changed most drastically over time? Technology, if you ask me. Maybe we should assess our dependency on Technology.

I, for one, work hard to keep myself from being dependent on Technology as society deems fit. When I went to Australia last year I was without a phone for a month - it was great! I felt so free! If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of keeping track of things with paper and pencil. Sure, it may be more tedious than typing on a computer, but what are the chances my paper will go up in flames, and what are the chances that my computer data will be lost, saved over, etc.? Not to mention the fact that it is much easier to tuck a planner in my purse than my computer just to have my calendar and events with me (don't get me started on keeping my calendar on my phone; it's another story altogether).

Here's a prime example of deferring gratification. My BlackJack phone has served me well (for the most part), but it's beginning to fail in a hardware sense. I am eligible for a phone upgrade, free of charge, on Sunday, 8 February - less than a month away. I could just pay for a brand new phone right now! But I'm not going to for several reasons:

1. I want to make a point that patience is a virtue that needs to be revived in our lives.
2. I don't have the money for a brand new (or even discounted or used) phone.
3. If I wait, there may be a better phone available by the time I get a new phone.

So, let's all hope my phone gets me through the next few weeks while I'm moving from Indiana to Florida, haha. I'm pretty sure that I'll secretly enjoy not having a phone for a while in the event that my phone does conk out on me.

I encourage you to think of ways you can defer your own gratification. Resist impulse purchases, don't answer your phone/text messages when you're engaged in conversation/activity with someone in person, write a letter and send a long-distant friend some snail mail rather than an email. You'll be happier, I promise.

To close, here are a couple images that I associate with patience. Here is a young girl sitting quietly. I like to believe she is praying, at least she appreciating the meaningfulness in her life.


13 January 2009

Pondering a Tattoo

Since late high school I've considered what life might be like with a bit of ink. In those several years I've narrowed my tattoo down by a few details:

1. The tattoo will be smaller; no larger than a playing card's width and height.
2. The tattoo will be simple rather than complex and detailed. Maybe just a silhouette.
3. The tattoo will not be in an area that will be exposed in work attire. (Honestly, I'm a little iffy on this one...)

I have been seriously considering a tattoo in the last year. I'm very interested in butterflies and birds. I'll post later with some photos and my critiques.

Here are some tattoo locations I've given thought to:

1. Behind the ear, high on the neck. I really like the idea of having a small tattoo behind my ear, but I don't favor it as the area would often be exposed at work (I usually wear my hair up in a claw clip). I could get used to wearing my hair down. I'm investigating tattoo cover-up, too, although that kind of defeats the purpose in a sense. I'm of the mindset that a tattoo isn't well accepted professionally, though. Hmm... do I want to deal with covering it up for work on a regular basis?

2. If tiny enough, the top inside of my ear. I know, it sounds odd, but I've seen a very classy rose tucked in the high cartilage. See the photo below but imagine a delicate rose instead of those mean teeth.

If I go this route, I would get a flower of sorts, most likely. I'm not sure a bird or butterfly would fit. Probably not.

3. Top of foot, off-center, toward the outside. I hear this is a painful location, but that doesn't bother me. This spot would be easy to cover up when necessary (i.e., at work), and I like my feet, haha (you may have seen a photo of my feet in the sand of the beaches I've traveled to). I really like this place for a tattoo. It's my number one choice right now.

4. Just above the ankle, on the outside. Probably my second choice at the moment because it's out of the way, like the top of the foot. I would have to watch my attire at work, though (hello, socks and nylons?). Eh.

5. Lower belly/hip area. If I knew what kind of stretching child-bearing will bless me with, then I might consider this location more seriously. I like the look of tattoos situated here, but I am certain that with my luck the tattoo would be distorted when the stork arrives.

Well, that was productive: I think I just came to the personal conclusion that if I get a tattoo, then it will be located on the top of my foot. I like that idea.

If you have any criticism on this topic, I'd love to hear from you. It's a big decision for me, and I would appreciate your thoughts.


Free as a Bird

I feel so free.

This morning I woke up and felt happier than I have in the last 5 weeks. A sweet breath of fresh air. I don't know if I should say that I finally got around to doing a few, simple yet difficult things that have proven necessary in a portion of my life, but, nonetheless, I've done them. The result: I am truly elated. It's like a padlock inside me has been released.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

-Maya Angelou


PS - I'm listening to a Norah Jones playlist on Pandora; this music makes me smile inside and out.

12 January 2009

Art, Dreams, Logos, Etc.

I have a section in my web browser bookmarks called "Blog This." The links are basically random but noteworthy in some small way. I've chosen a few links to share with you for some Online Entertainment. (Click the images for the links.)

First up we have Yay Art. I forget how I stumbled on this website, but take a look at what it offers (see the "Shop" tab). They have heaps of modern artwork.

Don't have a Nano iPod to use with a Nike+ running kit, but you do have a GPS-enabled phone? You're in luck. Check out the Wireless Run Tracker from Runner's World magazine online! Check the list of compatible phones before you get too excited.

Ever think about how other people dream? Engadget has an article about folks who were raised watching black and white TV dream in monochrome. Pretty interesting.

Maybe you've pondered the story behind Dreamwork's young boy fishing on the moon. Neatorama did a little research into Hollywood studio logos. Personally, I like the 4th Paramount logo best.

And the last bit of Online Entertainment I have today is a YouTube video. I came by this in my Change Management class at Purdue. The video is called A Vision of Students Today. It's a very straight-forward approach to how Technology and accepted behaviors and attitudes affect the learning process.


11 January 2009

In a Fish

Jim Lyons and company are currently serving in The Holy Land, so Jay Harvey spoke to us today. Jay Harvey is a comedian who founded the GOOF Principle. Click his name to see his website. Here is his book's cover:

Through Jay's sermon I learned about Jonah and the Whale. I remember the Bible story from my childhood; it was a favorite, though I didn't fully understand the point until today.

Here is the 101 on Jonah: for the majority of his life he was a good servant to the Lord, but one time Jonah went against the Lord and disobeyed; in fact, he fled the Lord and boarded a ship headed away from God. The price for his disobedience was death, and a brutal storm blew across the sea Jonah sailed on. The other men on the ship prayed to their respective gods, but soon learned that Jonah was to blame for the angry sea storm. Upon this realization the men hurled Jonah into the sea, and a great fish swallowed him up.

This is the point is where I learned the story for its true meaning. As a child I thought God sent the whale to swallow Jonah as a punishment; this is inaccurate. Jonah's true punishment, as I wrote earlier, was death. But God is merciful. God sent the fish to provide Jonah a time during which he could repent his sins and return to the Lord.

From the belly of the whale Jonah prayed to God, seeking forgiveness of his sins. Here is an oil painting on canvas of Jonah praying from the belly of the whale:

After hearing Jonah's prayer, God commanded the fish to free Jonah. I thought this was a really neat piece of art; I like the fish. Another thing I like about the image is that the horrid storm is in the background, no longer present:

Jay took an interesting look at this story. Jay said, basically, that our hardships are acts of mercy from God. It is during these tough times that God is putting us in a fish to save us. When we totally surrender ourselves to Him, we are set free.

That takes me back to Jay's book about the GOOF Principle. It is this:

Get over yourself
Own your mess
Open up
Forgive yourself (of mistakes, not the original sin)

To note something else Jay said today, he said he wanted to be a weak Christian. It seems backwards at first, but really it's not. A strong Christian is bound for trouble, if they think they have it figured out and all this. Eventually they will need to apply the GOOF Principle to their life. However, a weak Christian implies that they are continually surrendering themselves to God.

The last thing I have to say about today's sermon regards part of the opening prayer. The speaker mentioned having a heart of rock turned into a heart of flesh. At first I thought that was a silly thing to say. Obviously it's not meant in a literal way, these things never are, but still, rock to flesh? It seems obvious now, but at first I was puzzled for an unknown reason. Then it donned on me. Inherently we have hearts of stone. Cold, sinful rock-hard hearts. It isn't until we let go of everything in our lives, until we surrender our everything, until we put our full trust in the Lord - only then will we have hearts of flesh, hearts that are truly alive.


PS - The Newsboys have a funky, "GOOFy" song about Jonah called "In the Belly of the Whale." Click the title to see the songs' lyric.

07 January 2009


On the first Sunday of this year my family and I went to church. We decided to try out Madison Park Church of God (formerly North Anderson Church of God, moved to a new location). The place is enormous, and so are the hearts of its congregation. The Hannas have nurtured our interest in attending Madison Park, and I'm grateful. I am already a big supporter of Jim Lyons, the pastor.

Sunday's lesson was about "looking up" and "being spoken to in a language you understand." Jim said that if he had to make a headline for the sermon it would be this: "Looking Up Brings Hope, Fixed Star Makes Sense." The three Wise Men were students of the stars. When they saw the star about Jerusalem the night of Jesus' birth, they understood its true meaning because God was speaking to them through stars - something people who study stars would understand.

This year I am going to continue my journey with God and continue to "look up." If I seek, I will find. God provides, and I have already begun to notice the differences in my life with having attended church just that one Sunday morning.

"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed." -Matthew 2:10


Defining December

Define: to state meaning and identify essential qualities.

December 2008 was a very critical month in my life. It was the hardest month, no doubt. The long story made short: I broke up with the man I loved for God. Still, there were many other things happening in December, and it is of those things I will write.

I was asked to be in some photos for a women initiative lead by Alka Harriger. The program is called SPIRIT, and I'm excited to see its efforts results in C&IT at Purdue.

Adam and I celebrated Ed's birthday and saw the Nutcracker together. It was a beautiful ballet performance.

Late on 6 December I broke up with Adam, and our lives were drastically altered from where we thought they were heading.

Dead Week at Purdue had never been so true to its name. I managed, and busied myself with my forensic research paper due at the end of the week, which I received a high mark for. Through the week I met with several students bound for Australia come the spring semester. It was really fun to chat about Australia after having not so much for several months. I wish them all the best! I ended up moving home to Anderson at the end of Dead Week.

Sam did really well at the Pendleton 6-Way wrestling meet. I taught my grandma, brother, dad and mom how to play backgammon that weekend. During the same weekend my family celebrated my great-grandmother's 88th birthday. She seems to be enjoying her new living arrangements at Crown Pointe.

Mom and I spent a lot of time shopping up until Christmas. It was a nice way to spend time with her before my two finals. Mid-week of Finals Week I went up and stayed with Alex. Adam and I met up and had a lovely dinner at La Scala, then we hung out with Alex and Feras. The next evening Alex and I went to Vienna to see a Chicago photo exhibition of a friend of his, played backgammon and enjoyed some tea. The following day Alex, Feras and I caught the Colts' game at Hunter's Pub - I really like that bar. Friday I had lunch with Toni, and we had really great conversation. I'm going to miss Toni! That afternoon I met up with Roy for tea. It was so nice to catch up with him; it had been a couple of years. That night I met up with some friends to celebrate Christmas. We had lots of junk food and played Robo Rally, which happens to be a very fun, if not nerdy, game!

Over the weekend I celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family, the next morning I graduated, took a day off, then went skiing with Chucky, Christmas Eve party at Grandma's, Christmas Day festivities, and Christmas dinner at my Grandma's. That weekend Sam performed very well at the Ben Davis Invitational wrestling meet. He is still undefeated this season! That Sunday was my Open House. Monday Mom and I hit up several post-Christmas deals and made plans for New Year's Eve.

For New Year's Eve we all went to my Uncle David's for drinks, food and family time.

Many thanks to the friends and family who've helped me along through such a hard month. I couldn't have done it without you.


Graduation Open House

As with high school graduation, my parents hosted a college graduation open house for me. It was a time of celebration, great food, excellent company (I'm so thankful Jordan was able to swing up on his way home to Chicago), and fun (we played Apples to Apples, to Dad's slight dismay).

Here I am with my cake:

Lilly is so adorable! Here she is with her wacky hair-do and her daddy:

Jordan and I (no funny faces, wow!):

My parents ordered nice canvas prints of a few of my favorite photos from my trip to Australia - I love them and can't wait to frame them! The first is a shot of the Sydney Opera House from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the second is of the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains which lie just outside of Sydney. There was another one of some seagulls splashing around in the ocean at Bondi Beach, too.

I want to thank everyone for their love and support of my college years and graduation. I love you all! And, of course, thank you for the wonderful gifts! I have already read Confessions of a Shopaholic, from Brady, Tiffany and the girls, and I'm about to start on The Secret Life of Bees - also from Brady and Tiffany.

I just got my Garmin all figured out! Thank you, Mommy and Daddy! You know I'll be able to put it to good use, haha!

Thank you, all!


06 January 2009


Two Sundays ago my mom and I had an opportunity to visit with some cousins I've not seen in 6-8 years - maybe longer? My cousin, Sarah, and her husband just had a baby! His name is Dexter Theodore, and he's cute as a button! I also got to visit with Maggie, my Aunt Vivian and my Uncle David. The get together was over tea (yummy Earl Grey) and cookies (yay for peanut butter cup peanut butter cookies!). Here I am with Sarah and Baby Dex:

Naturally, the child turned his head a split second before the camera snapped, so here's a shot of Dexter, close up and personal:

My mom and her sister, Vivian:

Me and Maggie:


Sam at Ben Davis

The weekend after Christmas I had the pleasure of supporting Sam at the Ben Davis Wrestling Invitational. I'm happy to share that he went undefeated and took first place! In fact, he's undefeated this season! Here he is whooping fanny:

Mom and I at the mat side:

Mom, Nick and Chucky watching Sam:

Ben Davis (University) is huge. On the walls heading towards the gymnasium there are paintings of a world map. I couldn't resist a shot with Australia!


Christmas Parties

Just a quick post on the Christmas parties of 2009. It was yet another crazy holiday season, haha. The Saturday before Christmas I celebrated with my mom's extended family. Highlights: everyone was happy with their presents from the White Elephant Exchange, I made Jello (finally; it only took me 3 or 4 years). The next morning was my commencement, Monday I must have been lazy, Tuesday I went skiing/snowboarding with Chucky and Nick, Wednesday I went last-minute-Christmas shopping with my mom and brothers (wild). And that brings me to Christmas Eve.

Grandma had all of the awesome hors dourves, naturally, and my mom made a cute cookie Christmas tree:

Dad had made cute, personalized decks of cards for Ashley and Tori, so we got to visit briefly with them:

Christmas Day was spent with my parents and brothers. We watched It's a Wonderful Life (a favorite part of my holiday), and exchanged gifts.

I got some great shots with my brothers and the Christmas tree:

Christmas Dinner was spent at my Grandparent's house, which means more time with them and more great food! We all had a blast trading presents. I can't wait to try some of the chai tea my aunt made!

Here's a shot of mother dear and me:

So, wudja get? Wudja get? My big Christmas gifts this year were a nice and big jewelry box (which I've managed to fill almost completely) and a sewing machine (quite a surprise)! Here is the jewelry box I got:

And here is the sewing machine I got (Mom's kind of disgruntled that my first sewing machine is so nice, tee hee). I'm excited to learn to sew - Mom is teaching me. We're going to make pillows that match our respective bed sets! I'll be sure to post about it all when we get started on the project.

Everyone had a pleasant Christmas, and I'm thankful for all of the kind and thoughtful gifts. Most of all I enjoyed spending time with my family.