Monday, June 30, 2008

Movie Madness: The Kite Runner

I started reading the Kite Runner about a month ago... it got off to a slow start, and it was a hard read until I got to about page 70. I am SO glad that I kept reading though, because this book could very well be the best book I've ever read.

I've wanted to write about it on here for a while, but felt like that would be kinda lame... so when I found an outlet to write a review on it I was like "yah baby, let's go!"

Jen at Daily Mish Mash is hosting Movie Madness so I decided to join in. She's giving away a super cool prize... it's a movie madness gift basket, such a great idea! If you have watched a movie recently that you'd like to put a blurb up about then head over to her site, read the rules and how you can enter to win and then you're good to go!

Anyways, on with the review!

Like I said earlier, I read the book, and I LOVED it. In fact, loved is not an adequate word to describe what I felt about that book. But this isn't a book review is it?!? As soon as (and I mean within a couple hours) of finishing the book, I went to the movie store, and rented the movie. I paid full stinking price too... I never do that.

I had to babysit that night, so after all the little anklebiters children were finally in bed I sat down to watch this movie...

It's hard to say a whole lot about this movie without giving away important details, so what I say will be cursory at best but I will try to cover the aspects that make the story so amazing.

I picked out 5 themes... (I don't know if that's the right word but it's my review and i can say whatever i want!) It encapsulates the beauty of friendship, the horror of tragedy, the guilt of betrayal, the grace in redemption and the light that brings hope.

Two boys growing up in Afghanistan before the Russians invaded. Living their lives so closely, they love each other as brothers do. Through awful circumstances they are separated by guilt, betrayal and thousands of miles.

They both grow up and life continues, but a phone call sends one of the boys back to Afghanistan to save a life and redeem his own soul. Out of that journey, back to his past, the guilt and the shame, and the opportunity to right his wrongs a portrait of hope and forgiveness is drawn.

I would highly reccomend reading the book before watching this movie, however, I'm sure that even without reading the book the movie is still amazing.

If you liked this, and want to enter to win head on over by clicking on the Movie Madness button here!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

get ready

If you read my blog, please take a moment and prepare yourself for the fact that 78% of my post content for the next couple weeks will have to do with Mexico.

Why is that you might ask?

Because I'm SO going there in 4 days!

I thought I would write a bit about what I'll be doing there and why I'm going etc before I inundate your reader or bloglines with random pictures and info about Mexico.

Last summer I went on my first missions trip to India. It was incredible - and seriously life-changing. My perspective of the world changed dramatically as a result of the trip. I realized a lot of things about the way I live my life that I would like to change. I want my life to make a difference in this world. I don't want to necessarily be recognized for some great achievement, I just want to know that when I'm gone, my efforts will affect the next generation... and maybe even further.

When I think about stuff that way, it's easy to see how inconsequential so many things I have and the things I do day to day are.

I've always been more of a "big picture" type thinker, and I understand that not everyone is like that. So since going to India and seeing more of what my life could look like if I hadn't been born in America into a home with so much opportunity, I've been trying to see what things I can do and how I can use my time and energy to make a difference in the world.

In the meantime, I decided I really wanted to travel more to other countries and get a feel for different cultures. Not only that but I want to be obedient to God's call in my life. Enter Mexico.

I really feel that this trip is a stepping stone for me and it definitely is stretching me past my comfort zone. It already has! We are going to be doing some sweet dramas and to say that I wasn't a "drama person" would be an understatement. But I'm having so much fun with it, and I'm really happy that I've been forced into doing it because I never would have done it voluntarily :)

While we're down there we'll be doing some work projects, working with some kids and the most exciting part for me is that we're actually going to be travelling to a village. Ok, I live in a village... what's the big deal? Well, going to a village in an underdeveloped country is the best way to see what life is really like... where the cultural differences really stand out... and where the people are most excited to see you. I can't wait to go and get to stumble my way through conversations and get to meet kids and sing and play with them... it makes me smile just thinking about it!

One of the best parts of this trip though is that we have been able to really plan ahead with what we'll leave behind when we go. We were able to budget in all the money we would need for the work projects so that when we get down there it won't be like "ok here we are, but we need you to pay for everything..." Yah that's not really a blessing. The other thing is that we knew that they need a sound system, so we were also able to budget that in and get a really nice one... good for like 300-500 people. I'm pretty stoked about that... it's one thing to go and do good stuff, but it's another thing to be able to leave permanent things behind.

AHH! Can you tell I'm excited yet?!?!

I think that's enough pre-explaining rambling. You get the idea :) We'll be down there from July 2nd - 13th and we'll be working with a church down there, Vida Abundante. If you think to pray for me as I travel or while I'm down there I would so appreciate that. Like I said before I will one of these days write about my travel woes on the way to India... that made me believe that prayer is necessary... always :)


Saturday, June 28, 2008

my first newborn pictures / birth announcement!

Finally I have something worth posting!

A couple months ago I did my first maternity shoot and was just itching to take pictures once the baby was finally born. Well, she was indeed born, two weeks late, but hey, who's counting? :)

I actually converted these all to black and white as well as having them in color but when I was looking at them trying to decide which ones to post I decided that since she has the most lovely blonde hair it would be a shame to revert to a lifeless shade of gray somewhere between black and white *smile*

Since I had some great pictures, I really was itching to do a birth announcement. So yesterday I spent some time looking at other ba's online (google image search!) and then came up with this one.

Congratulations Tim, Michelle and Samuel!


what's wrong with me?

Today is Saturday... and I usually consider it my "day off" even though often times it isn't. This one was no exception...

Answer this question for me: Why do I still feel like today is a day off when I've worked over 8 hours?

Such is life... and it's mine and I truly love it :) It feels like a day off because I love what I do!

Please don't try to kill me after reading this...


Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday night IN

I am so happy to be home with nothing to do right now it's not even funny.

I truly enjoy being busy and keeping my time occupied so that... well so that I don't overthink everything. I tend to analyze things until they are dead. I can't TELL you how many times I've thought about something so long that I felt it necessary to start talking about it, and then after days or weeks of working something over, I am met by a blank unbelieving stare from the poor soul I chose to overthink my "problems" onto. HAHAHA!

That last paragraph makes me sound like a real nut job.

Oh well whatever! That's me! Anyways, tonight my parents went out somewhere and my brother isn't home... and I have nowhere to be. No kids to be watching, no butts to be wiped, no fights to break up. Peace.

So you wanna know what I did?

I decided to get a fish fry... Yah, not sure why, but as I was thinking about what sounded good for dinner that's what came to mind. So I WALKED to the village restaurant and got myself one. It was tasty and good.

And that's not all. Nope.

I sat in front of the TV for approximately 2 and a half hours before becoming so dreary I decided to pick up and move to the bedroom. But then I got sidetracked here... and here I am.

I'm ready for bed. Good night all... it's so nice to see my bed again!


picture withdrawl!

I know this is my own darn fault, but remember the last time I posted I was saying that my camera had been put away for like 3 days or something? Well now it's like 6.

I actually have 2 dilemmas in this area. Two weeks ago I took some newborn pics (which will be up THIS weekend if I have to quarantine myself for an entire day) and I'm still working on photoshopping them. However, I went into them yesterday to finish it up and realized that when I was retouching before I must have been on crack or something. Because they are blown out like crazy! What's wrong with me!?!!?!!

It sent me into a slump with this set, and so I'm trying to muster up the mojo to go back in there and fix it up. I know that once I get it done I'm gonna feel like a million bucks... but I thought I would just vent a little of my frustration here so I can look back and remember that every set of pics doesn't always "go as planned." Plus, I've got a birth announcement swirling around in my head that I am going to get out as well... and that will make me feel good :)

Here's some good news though. I've lost 3 pounds this week. And it's been by way of - wait for iiiiit... - EATING HEALTHIER! Oh snap, that was profound. Yah i've been eating really well this week (for the most part) But just to prove that I still haven't turned into a health freak (I admire those who are, but a girl's gotta have some junk once in a while!) Here is a picture of my "second breakfast" my first breakfast was some fruit.

mmmmmm cheetos... that's right folks.

anyways, i'm gonna get back to my autoposting editing now... I know i'm a dork. I'm actually having more fun with THAT than my real time posts. What's wrong with me?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

for lack of a better title

Currently, I am in the process of coming up with a few posts that will "autopost" while i am away in Mexico! Somehow, i am coming up with the greatest material as a result and it's KILLING me that I am saving it for the trip.

In fact, I feel so at a loss for good things to post NOW that i don't even want to post! AHHH!!! This is just NO good.

But alas, I actually do have some things to say.

Today, I woke up with unbelievably itchy eyes. So much so that I took benadryl BEFORE 7am. My body shuts down on benadryl... I cannot keep my eyes open. But it was a risk I had to take. My eyes were really bad! I am thinking about banning the cat from now on. the allergies are just too much to handle.

So as I was with Andy, literally on the verge of passing out i was so tired, he asked if he could watch a movie. *Perfect!* So I laid on the couch while he sat next to me and I slept while he watched the movie, yay!

Then again while he was napping I took another catnap knowing that once the girls are done with school this will no longer be an option. And boy am I glad that I did! Becaaaaaause when they came home today they informed me that TODAY was the last day of school... and all this time I thought it was TOMORROW.

This is one instance I am so glad I didn't procrastinate the nap. it would have been a sad day for me :(

So that brings me to my final point here. Not that i had points to begin with, but my intent was to write about how summer has officially begun because the kids are now out of school.

So tomorrow will be the day that we do some planning. Syd is a planner and I like to sit down with her and think up fun things to do. Then we write them down in her little calendar and fill in the gaps as we go.

But for now, I need to get some sleep! It's gonna be a new day tomorrow and I am excited to see what it brings! I'll be busting out the camera too... it's been in it's bag for what like 3 days now? Unacceptable.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

All the things you CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

***Yesterday there were a couple people who expressed interest in posting so I decided to leave this open a little while longer! So if you wanted to but thought it was too late, feel free to link up today :)***

Well, here we are. Today is the day to tell me all the things you can't live without! I must say that I was a total slacker when it came right down to doing this... I know how awful, and when I'm supposed to be hosting it blah blah blah... But I totally did it! And I even got some fun pictures to go along!

I actually ended up coming up with three categories, and decided not to go with the pie-chart, but simply assign everything a percentage. So, are you ready to see what I can't live without? OK then, let's go!

Category 1: Things I CAN'T live without


I would not be who I am today without His love, grace, forgiveness and hand upon my life. He is my Saviour and I can't imagine my life without Him.

My family

Unfortunately I don't have a recent picture of my family... and consequently most of them are in bed already so I'm not sure they would appreciate a flash in their faces right about now :) But let me just say this about my family: They are the stabilizing factor in my life. When I am away from home for days and days, the only faces I long to see are theirs... and I know that when I come into the driveway and walk in the house everything will be at peace and I will know that no matter what, I am loved by them.

super amazing worship music

This is the album I am currently listening to and the one I listened to all last summer. I find that I listen to music most often in my car and I love it because it's like God-time for me... Like what else do i have to be doing? OK there is that whole paying attention while I'm driving thing, but who really does that anyway?

Category #2: Things I DON'T WANT TO live without

My good friends

I have a feeling that after they see this picture, they will no longer be my good friends... hey is that Chandler Bing? But seriously, I love you guys! My life would be so boring without you! And my car rides home from outbreak would be so much longer without Alicia *evil smile*


Again, no picture for this one... but how exactly do you photograph accountability? I for one, don't know. I know that without accountability in my life I would probably do some horrible things. I have my mom and my friends who know me so well and are always checking me... although I don't always like it, I totally need it!

my camera

This camera goes almost everywhere with me... and when it doesn't, I end up regretting it.

my lappie

this little lappie has been with me for over 2 years now and has been with me so many places... it went to India with me and on the way got to connect to wifi in Dubai... it was pretty stoked about that. Then it went with me to Brazil and has been to Canada once or twice. Big woop right? But i think it's most noteworthy achievement has been having the privilege to hold tight onto all my pictures... I wouldn't love my camera as much without my lappie :)

my awesomely comfy bed

O Bed, where would I be without you? You make my sleep cycle complete... and I know I don't take care of you the way I should... you rarely get made... but somehow I think that adds to your comfiness.


My mom and I have a mild addiction to watermelon. It starts early on and we push through all the way to the end of the summer. We eat a couple a week usually... It makes a great breakfast... and lunch... maybe a snack? Heck! It's good ALL the time!

Category #3: Things that MAKE MY LIFE MORE EXCITING!


This little cat makes me so happy. I am totally and horribly allergic to her... but I DON'T CARE! she makes my eyes itch and my nose runny... but I still let her sleep with me when she wants to and I still pet her and love her... how could you NOT love that face? oh no... I just realized that I'm starting to sound like a crazy - dare i say it! - CATLADY! NOOOOOO!!!

bloggie friends

no cutesie tootsie little picture here... But my life is definitely more interesting and exciting as a result of bloggie friends. I love reading about their lives and different activities!

random smoothy concoctions

I go on sporadic smoothy making frenzies... Usually they conincide with having many kinds of fruit in the house at one time. I like to experiment with anything and everything. Last week I had one that ended up green... it was... well... interesting LOL! But I love them!

my razor

Yes. My razor. I love this thing so much. I really wouldn't want to try and live my life without it... but if it came right down to it, I probably could. I just wouldn't want to... and neither would anyone else hahaha!!!


Melissa and I go on random scrapbooking rampages. I love scrapbooking, but it's so dang time consuming! This picture is actually the header we used for our scrapbooking blog... unfortunately, we haven't kept it very updated :(

cake dates

Cake dates started a few years back at McCollege (aka monroe community) with my friend Deb. We would go to a local dessert place and eat cake and just talk and talk. I really miss those times and am really hoping that we might be able to do it again soon. If not, I'm tempted to find someone else to do cake dates with me... I have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket! :) anyone want in???

Well there you have it! I had fun with this, and I hope you feel like you know a side of me you didn't necessarily know before :) Don't forget there is a prize at stake here, so I hope you'll join in on the fun!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just a reminder

This is just to remind you that the posting date for my contest is coming up this Monday, June 23rd.

If you're interested in joining, click here. There's a great prize to be won and I'm hoping to send it off to someone who doesn't live in my house! *grin*

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This picture makes me feel summer.

The first official day of summer is coming up this Friday! I have come to the conclusion that it is useless to try and relive the past, which is why I have made up my mind to make new memories each new year and believe that the "best times are yet to come" :)

But stay with me awhile and I'll muse on some of my favorite summer memories.

When I was little, and I mean really little, like a baby, my family used to vacation at Black Lake.

I actually almost choked when I found this picture! I know I was little, but this is EXACTLY how I remember it! The last time we were there was when I was 4 and my younger brother was 2.

(my brother Rob and I outside the cottage - 1987)

For the first few summers of my life we stayed here at the cottage at the top of the hill that had that cottagey smell you can only achieve by boarding the house up all winter and then opening it for the summer :) I still love that smell. Since I was too young to remember all the details of this vacation time in my life, I'm going to speculate upon how I imagine it might have been ;)

(fishing on the dock with my dad - 1987)

I envision our pale blue on the top half and wood siding on the bottom beaver slug that was indeed our family car at the time, LOADED to the gills with coolers, laundry baskets (since this has always been the preferred form of packing in my household, I still do it today!) lots of baby parafernalia, two teenagers, two adults and two kids under 4. Let's not forget the super amazing speed boat that always trailed behind. And I can't be sure about this, but I think that I remember our Dodge Omni coming with us a couple times...

(in the background is the super amazing speed boat which lasted us many a summer)

Fast forward a year or two. I'm 5 or 6, OX (aka my brother) is 4ish and we headed off to Maine. This became our traditional vacation spot for the next 4 or 5 years. Our travelling style changed slightly from the days of Black Lake because now we had a Starcraft pop-up camper trailing in place of the speed boat. Which consequently had seen to many summer days out on the lake and soon thereafter bit the dust. We also had upgraded to a new beaver slug that had a navy blue top half to replace the pale blue of old. We also had lost the two teenagers (aka my older brothers) to the NAVY. And we had gained a new affinity for strategically tying coolers to the top of the car since they would no longer fit in the back of the wagon.

(typical campsite set up)

That first summer we went to Maine, we didn't actually have the camper yet. We roughed it in our trusty rusty 6 man tent. Maybe it was bigger, but that's what I remember. My brother Jay was also stationed up there for some sort of pre-academy training... again details are foggy... but I remember visiting the ship he was on, and I also remember the coolest playground ever at the campground we stayed at.

(our first summer in Maine - 1991)

Second summer in Maine... one I will ne'er soon forget. You know that little dingy bell that goes off in your car is the seat belts are not buckled? Well, there was a short in that bell... for our 12 hour drive up there. It was sick, like that Chinese water torture or something! It would ding so faintly and then wait until you thought it might FINALLY be over... and then it would ding again. This time a little longer. By the time we made it up there, it had become a very long drawn out diiiiiiiiiiiiiinggggggggg... almost sounded like we should give it a mercenary funeral since it was suffering so. But our plans to bury it early on were foiled as my dad was unable to find the wire to short circuit that lovely memory.

(family and the slug - 1992)

There's so many more memories from Maine... such as (these are for my mom :)
- "oh the mail must go through!" -
- "We're going camping now, we're on our waaaaay!" -
- blueberries -
- swimming in the bay -
- exploring tidal pools -
- Schoodic Point -
- all our adopted aunts and uncles -
- and last but not least, the wicked witch of the west "do da doo da doo doo, do da doo da doo doo!" -

(Dan and I in our MATCHING smurf sleeping bags)

Sadly, our trips to Maine became increasingly harder as my brother and I got older... but by that point, my older brothers had started families of their own. Score on the new vacation spots! We spent a lot of time travelling to Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, California, HAWAII... there are some plusses about the NAVY ;)

(at the airport before we flew to Cali for Rob's wedding)

A few of those summers were spent at Camps, Cherith and Shiloh... I made some great memories there which when I got a little older decided to go back and be a counselor. I counseled at Camp Cherith for two summers and Camp Shiloh for just one week. So many amazing times!

Last summer, however, was the summer vacation to beat all summer vacations (in my book at least). I got to go to India on a missions trip with the youth at my church. We travelled quite a bit while we were there as the conference we were holding was about 50 miles from the village we were actually staying in. In the car it took about an hour to get there... on the busses... it took about 2. I didn't understand what motion sickness was until then. I do now.

(the team I travelled with)

And you may wonder why I say this was the best summer vacation? Well simply put, I saw God while I was there. In India the spiritual atmosphere is so much different than it is here in the states... and much of the world. I was amazed to watch as deaf people received hearing, someone be healed from elephantitis, and blind people receive sight. It was truly amazing to see and experience that and I am honored that I was able to go last summer. I would love to go again and experience even more of their culture and the country!

(the stairs at one of the Hindu temples we visited)

India wasn't the only exciting thing about last summer... I have some pretty crazy stories, one of which I have pictures to go along with. My friend Beka invited me out to her place one night and told me that we were going to swim out to Squaw Island at midnight. ooookay. It was one of those things where I didn't know if she was really serious or not... apparently she was. We walked a couple miles down to the lake and when we got there, ditched our clothes for our suits and proceeded to swim out their. We took the camera and a lighter and some cardboard so we could start a fire and put it in plastic ziploc bags so they would be safe.

And while we were there brian may or may not have thrown the lighter in the fire because it was "not working" and it may or may not have exploded and singed my eyelashes, part of my eyebrow and the front hairs on my head. This is a purely hypothetical observation of course.

Anyways, after I started this post, I realized that Elaine over at the Miss Elaine-ous Life is hosting a Summer Vacation Carnival! So I'm linking this post back to hers and will be heading over myself to read everyone else's summer memories :)

I hope you enjoyed reading about my summer's past. Obviously, it is not a full account of every vacation I've had throughout my life... I just highlighted the ones that stuck out most obviously in my mind :) If you would like to share some of your summer history I would LOVE to read about it!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WWWAT: Vintage

As is always with these WWWAT's, I almost always find myself waiting until the last minute... based on the premise that I have NO idea what to do. I should know better by now that my camera has a built in brain and when I'm holding it, I somehow manage to tap into that. Which is indeed a good thing!

Ok so anyways, I'm going to explain a little bit of the loveliness that is contained in the house I work at. Maureen has very eclectic/vintagey/mixed with modern taste in her decorating style. It really wasn't hard to find an abundance of cool stuff to photograph. The hard part was picking which ones to use!

Also, I am going to deem this post as a "not so wordless" entry. Because I just can't help my fingers... they're typing out of control and I am afraid what they will do if I try to stop them!

This is the first thing I came across, a beautiful glass sugar bowl that just happened to be filled with pansies! When I walked in this morning, I actually noticed that the pansies along the pathway were looking rather blossomless... and this is why :)

These cupboard latches could not go unphotographed. They were literally begging me to take them. These are what most of the latches look like around the house... and I love them.

This doorknob is pretty much amazing. I really don't have a lot to say about it though... everything I thought of was promptly deleted... so I think i'm just gonna leave that one alone :)

this will be the only "wordless" picture i post today :)

This is about as vintage as you can get. I mean seriously, how often do you see wallpaper like this anymore? and then the chest handles that are getting their bokeh on... so lovely :)

This. This I saved for last. I stumbled across this as I thought I was done taking pictures. It's a collection of The Black Stallion books. They even smell vintage!

Well that's what I came up with. I truly had a great time this time around (of course I always do!) Many thanks to Rachel at AmericanMum for hosting! Head on over to her site and check out all the other entries!


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