Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Senior semester #1... in numbers.

4 girls in a 2-bedroom apartment.

15 units, 15 hours of work per week.

115 cups of coffee... at least.

1,879...7,090...5,995...5,441: the number of miles between me and my long-distance loved ones.

2014: the year by which I hope to have college loans paid off!

0.5 mile: my walk to and from campus

30 papers to write... give or take (probably give).

10:00pm... my anticipated bed time for life.

6:00am...my anticipated "arise" time... for now.

55 pins tacked onto our living room's world map.

1: God... he's my sole, significant audience.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What could I make with... ?

Let's play a little game.

Or rather, let's have you watch me play a little game.

How many different meals could I make with the food in my house RIGHT NOW?? Both the pantry and refrigerator are pretty well-stocked and I need some creative ideas... think, think, think.

Pasta! Lots of whole wheat pasta on hand...pasta with red sauce, another pasta with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and grilled tomatoes, vegetarian curry rice with green beans and yogurt on the side, pancakes, cinnamon bread...wait.

Let's narrow this down to just dinners because I could bake anything with what I've got around, really. Ok, resume.

Teriyaki chicken salad, creamy potato and cheese soup, twice baked potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes (lots of potatoes), tuna salad sandwiches, tuna and noodle casserole (gross, but I could make it), hummus and lettuce wraps, stuffed quesadillas, omelets and toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (boring...), tuna melts, lentils with curry sauce, spanish rice.

16 dishes... not bad for my pint-sized pantry. Now I just need to actually use these ideas...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Last First Day

Today I started my senior year of college... I could talk about first day traditions from elementary school, or I could talk about how I can't afford a new first day of school outfit (whatever, I'm fine with it), but I think I want to talk about breakfast.


I feel like the blog world is really missing out on the excitement of my new apartment, but my camera is broken! So I will take pictures soon, post them, and talk about one of my very favorite subjects: homemaking. However, what I CAN share today is something I've been really enjoying since moving in. Yes, breakfast!

I've switched over to (mostly) whole wheat and organic sugars in my diet... and it's only made breakfast more delicious. I also got a french press for my birthday and I love the texture of this new coffee experience. My typical breakfast this past week has been: a warm banana bran muffin, plain yogurt with honey, and a cup of coffee with homemade creamer.

My creamer recipe? Sure I'd love to give it to you.
1/4 cup blue agave nectar
1 T vanilla
1 cup organic half & half
splash of water
Combine nectar, water (seriously, just a little splash), and vanilla. Mix and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add half & half and stir. Store in a liquid-friendly/pourable container.

I eat in the corner chair of our sunny kitchen. I prefer to use a coordinating plate, bowl, and mug to off-set the extremely collegiate feel of our mix-matched collection of dishes. This morning I ate with Jesus Calling and the book of Psalms...I communed with the Lord. I think that breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but also the most life-giving and soul-nourishing (for me, at least). Now I realize my love for quiet breakfasts can only last for so long since I do want to be a wife and mother one day. But for now, I'm embracing it. I'm embracing the fact that I'm the early bird of the apartment. And though I did enjoy my first class of the semester: Theories of Personality, I think I'm gonna say that my favorite part of this last first day was breakfast.

Thank you, Jesus.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pardon Me

There is so much going on in my life at the moment... good things, most of them.

I've been on a bit of a writing hiatus, as you may have noticed. I've just lost some of my gumption and energy. And when I say I've lost my energy, I really really mean that.

Last week, I started going to this wonderful doctor. She's a "natural path" chiropractor (that's what I'm calling her at least) and she made me feel so pardoned. You may be thinking, "odd word-choice there", but pardoned is exactly what I've needed to feel all throughout 2011. I just didn't know that's what I've been needing.

You see, I seriously struggle with my energy level. In the (recent and far) past, I would state possible reasons to people whenever I felt guilty or embarrassed for having to sit or lie down at a time when energy should have been flowing (like at Disneyland!). "My blood sugar is low." "My immune system is weakened." Well, as it turns out, these things are true. But I learned how very much it makes sense that I was constantly tired!

My doctor did a thorough check of all my systems: adrenal, endocrine, digestive, etc. & etc...I have strep in my system from when I was little, my adrenal glands are shot because of stress, I am mineral-deficient...and a load of other things.

What's wrong with me, though, is not really my focus. Remember my word: pardoned. I say "pardon me" a lot... but I think it and feel it a lot too.

I can't sit in this chair one more moment without falling asleep. "Pardon me."

I have to get home to rest. "Pardon me."

I'm so hungry I could eat my own arm. "Pardon me."

The greatest pardon I have ever received in life comes from my Lord Jesus. God the Father has pardoned me and my sins because of Jesus' sacrifice. That beautiful picture has been mirrored to other areas of my life this week as I realize that my not feeling well is genuinely justifiable. My numerously uttered concerns have not all been complaints; they were legitimate.

Justifiable, legitimate, pardoned.

It all comes down to being truly, truly understood.

So I moved into my new apartment this week (Yay!) and one of the first things I did was turn on the AC, plop down on the couch, and rest. Oh that's so not me! I flutter around, opening kitchen cabinets, exclaiming, "oh what a lovely window!", and admiring the '70s trim inside... and I did do that. But directly after, I plopped.

So is it my new home because I fluttered and got excited and am now starting to decorate? Or is it my new home because I was beyond tired, in pain, and needed to lie down? I don't know. But it doesn't matter... because I am pardoned. And that feels good.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What 20 Was

Twice a year, I take time to reflect on my life. Really reflect. I do it on New Year's Day and on my birthday.

On New Year's Day, I read through my entire journal from the year before. This can literally take hours because my pen takes to paper on a daily basis. It's a really neat way to start my year... I can read with a sense of retrospect, sort of knowing what will come next. Then again, there are little things I completely forget about that come to mind... making me smile, causing me to shed a tear, helping me to make an awesome connection...

And on my birthday, I come up with words to describe my past year. Today I'm happy to be celebrating my 21st birthday, so I made a "20 words that were 20" list. I can think of no way to explain this list to you without simply...well, listing it. So here is my (slightly edited, hehe) "20 words that were 20" list:

1. Levi! Havin' this boy in my life has been awesome. I got to see his little face this morning and he did his new "shrug your shoulders" bit for me.

2. Spiritual growth. From taking Theology I first semester and Theo II second semester, to attending a very theologically different conference in January, to putting Theology to practice this summer... see a theme?

3. Anxiety. Not a word I want to see in my list of "21 words that were 21".

4. Goodbyes. Saying goodbye to my brother and his family in February...saying goodbye to new friends in Turkey...saying the goodbye to Jamie that so annoyingly comes twice a year...

5. Apartment! My first independent home. I am thrilled to be moving into apartment #2 this weekend!

6. Cooking. I learned what I like to stock up on in my pantry... invented a few new recipes, and fed my hungry roommates on more than one occasion.

7. Grace. Oh, His abounding grace... I experienced it in entirely new ways this year. God is so good. And his people; oh he makes them so good too!

8. Naps. Though taking a nap is great, this word is a little hard for me to reflect upon... naps have been needed this year. They are now, and very well may be part of my daily life for a long while. But then again, grace. Ahh.

9. Tattoo. Sorry myHandH readers, I forgot (well, didn't forget, but...) to tell you I got a tattoo! It's a little heart on my ankle, and well, it happened this year!

10. Assertiveness. Decision-making is becoming an ever increasing part of normal life.

11. Family. For 6 sweet months, all 8 of us did stuff together on a weekly basis.

12. Alone time. I broke away a number of times for quiet Sundays, weekends, single hours...

13. Commuting. Oh, never again, please Lord. Though I'm grateful to have Shamu as my faithful minivan, I got to know him a little too well this year.

14. Cohort group. For some reason, my Theology cohort group stands out in year 20. Maybe because we met at 7am every week? That sure makes for a memorable discussion time.

15. Long Tuesdays. Marathon Tuesdays is what I called them sometimes. 5 classes in one day; 7am-9pm nonstop. Yikes!

16. Soiree. The Sleigh bell Sisters' Soiree at Christmas time, that is!

17. Turkey #2. An experience filled with culture, service-opportunities, and character-building challenges.

18. Trials and growth. Again, please refer to #7. God is so good!

19. Summer with Jamie. Daycations!

20. New friends. New friends that sometimes cause me to think about my future in a whole new way... lovely.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Something on Your Mind?

I read an article today about writing (sorry, don't know WHERE). In it, the author suggested writing about something that's been on your mind incessantly.

Well, I can't say this has been an absolute, constant thought, but I've been thinking a lot about my joints. Like the joints in my body... neck, back, knees, ankles, fingers, wrists, collarbone, elbows (yeah)...

I don't know if I've ever written about my most favorite disease: scoliosis. I'm actually not being sarcastic. It is my favorite disease and I have it. It's not that I enjoy having scoliosis. No! But of all diseases, it's pretty easy to manage (mine is mild, I must say... because some folks with major cases of scoliosis would bite my head off right now). It's more like a "never have I ever" or "2 truths and a lie" fact about myself.

However, I've been thinking about my joints a lot because they hurt. In the morning, my body sounds like a popcorn machine. And while I relish in a good neck pop every so often, I wish... oh, I don't know, I wish IT ALL DIDN'T HURT SO MUCH.

I'm second-guessing this article from which I've taken direction. I don't know that writing about what's been on my mind is very fun... I usually use writing to escape my mind. Ha! Well, not to escape it, exactly, but writing is certainly a holiday-like experience for me.

Back to it. Here are the things I've done in the past to help with these joint issues, all associated with my scoliosis (self-diagnosed correlation, by the way). I've had X-rays done, been prescribed anti-inflammatories and allergy meds (why?), gone to physical therapy, gone to the chiropractor, done exercises (inconsistently, cough), gotten massages, gotten acupressure...

And when it comes down to it, I have prayed a lot. I mean, this is something that I do end up thinking about every day because it's always there. But I really am not trying to complain. In fact, I'm just trying to become a better writer. Humph, I'm frustrated.

Ok, ok, where's my closure? I look forward to the day when we will run and jump and skip in heaven with NO pain. Not to mention no tears, no sadness, no weakness, no exhaustion... oh Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

[Sorry for the gross, boring image... had nothing else.]