Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Noise?

If you're reading this in a Reader, you will not notice that I have added (for a preliminary time) a link to my new Twitter account. I'll be the first to say that I think this quippy of-the-minute update system is a little over-indulgent. It's enough that my far away friends and family get to know me more on this blog than we have the chance for via more real forms of communication... Who really cares that I ate my mama's leftover stuffed shells cold at my desk this afternoon or that I'm watching Gilmore Girls DVDs in bed?

So, why, you ask, am I participating in this constant newfeed? Well, quite frankly, because everyone else is doing it. And while I pride myself on being my very own, I feel as though I've got to at least try and keep up with the media Joneses. My field of work is moving off the page and onto the screen. Words are everywhere, every minute. While it pains me greatly to have to comply, I've got to at least try my hand at keeping up. For a little while, anyway.

I'm pretty old-fashioned. And, to boot, I'm usually the last to know and/or catch on to newfangled forms of technology (pretty ironic in my line of work. I'm supposed to be the first to know, right?) But, here's me... a stubborn 23 year-old dog, struggling to learn the value of this new trick.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reading Rabbit Trails

I used to be a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl, but I recently had this moment in which I realized, HOLY COW! I've got some major literary catch up to play. So many books, so little time. I started reading one, which lead me on a trail to another and all of the sudden, my bookshelf was bending with the weight of my ambitious stack.

Here's what I'm digging into these days. Some of these, I've been reading (and gabbing about) for months, but with each new addition, my reading rate significantly decreases. Descriptions below, starting top left.

1. French Milk by Lucy Knisley. My first forray into the graphic novel.
2. This b.e.a.utiful book (The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket) compiles gorgeous photography with recipes and projects to make any domestic artist swoon.
3. Haven't started this one, Life Together, but am looking forward to reading this with a group of friends as we learn together how to strive toward Scriptural community.
4. This book, Celebrating the Christian Year, highly recommended by the ladies at Redeemer as well, is all about where holiday traditions originated and how their true meanings can be rediscovered in the ways in which we celebrate them in our homes and lives.
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Coming of age story of a little girl growing up poor in pre-World War I New York.
6. Crazy Love by Francis Chan.
7. Outstanding in the Field by Jim Denevan. One day, maybe I'll get to go to one of their dinner events. A girl can dream.
8. I'm reading this one, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, with a group of women at my church. If you haven't already read my ramblings about how much I'm enjoying it, read below. If you have and are bored with me, please skip to the following selection.
This (borderline-over-the-top-at-times) book about our Creator's love for beauty and creativity has caused my artistic resurgence. Artists are the ones who show up, after all. I love how Edith emphasizes how our domesticity can be used to glorify our Father, who prizes the things we've been made to appreciate, as well.
9. Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvnists by Collin Hansen

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This calls for a fist pump (or two)

In case you can't read what it says: "Gone for Good: Document Destruction." And then there's a guy fist-pumping. Add this to the list of things to be glad about.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 14 of 09 and I'm feeling fine

Just wanted to let you know that in keeping with my two-week-old resolutions, I'm learning to knit and am taking a creative writing class. YES!

Many thanks to:
*This patient lady
*This cool yarn store
*This cashmere yarn from heaven
(by way of the above cool yarn store)
*This bookstore, and it's pay-what-you-want classes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Audio Time Travel

I was scanning through my iTunes library tonight and happened upon an entire year's worth of the voice memos recorded on my iPod. Tossed in with my music were the interviews I've conducted for my job over the past months. There were a couple freelance assignment interviews interspersed, among many mistakenly recorded moments in the car or office. I'm nearing my one-year-in-this-job anniversary. What happenstance that I stumbled upon this audio scrapbook of my pilgrimage. In the span of an hour, I've re-lived the moments, people and conversations that have left traces on me. It is a privilege to get to re-enter into each one: to remember the beginner's nerves, to hear the light bulbs go off in my head and recall how life-giving each encounter was.

I had a similarly eerie moment the day I found an old cassette tape under my bed a few years ago. I sat indian-style in the corner of my childhood room, put the unlabeled tape into my boombox and leaned in close to hear my teeny tiny voice, singing and speaking quietly -- almost inaudibly. I spoke softly, as though locking up my whispers into a plastic sound vault. The little girl behind the tape had sat on the very same carpet upon which I sat a decade or more later, throwing open the door to her secrets.

There are moments when I am washed over with the reality that I am the little girl -- that she is me. Reading old journals has the same effect on me. I'm often doubled over with the truth that the writer of those pages is still very much a part of me. I will, years from now, look back on the words I write today, and marvel at how gracefully the metamorphosis continually occurs.


Monday, January 5, 2009


The above sufficiently sums up my hopes for the new year. A few months back, I read this challenge: "Try not to spend time and energy being against anything. Instead, invest that energy into your creative growth and personal best." This year, that's exactly what I'd like to do with help from the following goals:

a) Re-furbish, re-paint, re-style. Be resourceful. Beauty is important to our Creator. It's not frivolous. Did you know that even when money was tight, Norwegians used to work flowers into their weekly budget? Lovely things weren't considered indulgent; they were viewed as necessary. I hope that I can open my eyes this year to see the potential of what I have: to re-create somethings out of what I thought were nothings.
b) Do the write thing. Pen is poised, I'm ready to re-launch my adventures into creative writing. I hope to be able to take a weekly class, waking up my sleeping poet. Edith Schaeffer, author of the Hidden Art of Homemaking says that by squelching our imaginations, we stifle our personalities.
c) Knit a knot. I'd like to go back and re-learn what I used to know about sewing, cross-stitch and needlepoint. My preference will be to learn from someONE and not from a book. The most redeeming thing about traditional crafts such as these are that they used to bring people together. I hope that I can find an activity that will allow for me to spend time with people rather than in isolation.
d) Cleanse the lens. Open mine eyes that I may behold the beautiful things all around me! I'd love to learn more about the realm of photography -- one that has always interested/intimidated me. This is the year to put feet to my curiosities.

This is the year to invest in what lights me up. This is the year to spend time doing what enlivens me to be a better friend, more well-rounded employee, more aware human being. Here's to a year of creative growth.

Friday, January 2, 2009

In Re-view

Happy New Year, my friends!
Before I leap and bound into what's ahead, I'll toss a quick glance over my shoulder, looking back at this past week's memories and moments. It was a much needed return to the peachiest state in country.

1. Keri and Jenny yuckin it up at Twains in downtown Decatur. They are two of my dearest friends from the golden era of college. There's no match for this caliber of friend. Twice a year is not enough.
2. My feet, in mama's boots, at the cabin. We stole away for a couple of days post-Christmas. Lots of reading, being still, hiking and sleeping. It was just what my weary soul needed.
3. Me and Zach-Attack hanging at Walker's in Athens. My tour de Georgia included a short stint in my old alma mater. What a treat.
4. Mama and Daddy during one of our walks through the woods. Dad quoted Frost, Mama hummed and I shuffled alongside. Was this before or after we ran across the bear scat and I took each subsequent step with increased caution? Hm. Don't remember.
5. On Christmas Eve, Megan (sister, sister, there were never such devoted sisters) and I made a whole batch of homemade marshmallows, experimenting with three different varieties: maple, peppermint and chocolate. The results were delicious.
6. Deanna, doing a combination Mannequin face/Zach-impression at the dinner table at Clocked. We enjoyed a glorious progressive meal, starting off with the famous peanut-butter bacon burger and proceeding across the street for a slow dessert at Last Resort. The finest of Athens fare in one night.
7. A roadside barn. I can't get enough of em.
8. Mom in her reindeer antlers. She wore them all day on Christmas.
9. The fire, beside which I spent most of my time at home.
10. George and Megan. The Kaufmans. My bro-in-law and sis.
11. Aubs and me at Twains. Aubrey is on Young Life staff in Columbus, Georgia and rare the day I get to see her face. I love and miss her thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.
12. Dad doing the Peanuts dance on Christmas day. If I get my way, this will be a new tradition.