Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Musings

It's getting closer to Valentine's Day.
Which means it's getting closer to Post-Valentine's Day.
Which means it's getting closer to Sweethearts being 75% off. *evil laugh*
I was not stocked this entire last year, because someone wasn't HERE for Valentine's Day Clearance 2010.
The same someone who watches for the price drop and then stocks my Sweethearts reserve.
Well, he's here this year.

I hope it dumps lots of snow tonight.
Everyone was saying how much they were ready for Spring after the warm weather last week.
Well, I'm not.
I haven't had my big snow dump yet.

I've been thinking of my conversation over lunch today with an (amazing and incredible) friend.
(Hi, Jess!)
This afternoon and evening I have just been in awe of how two people can have an intensely deep passion for the exact same things, and because of the different ways God has gifted them they'll both affect what they're passionate about in different ways from different angles.
But, affect it they will.
What an incredible example of the different parts of the Body of Christ... the Church.
It's why we all have different talents, different strengths, different gifts... because when we come together we enact change as a whole.
I'm in awe.

And because posts are *in general* better with pictures...

Here is us celebrating this last Saturday at the Cheesecake Factory after Ian took second on Vault in his gymnastics meet:

And here is what they did for Ian on the cheesecake plate:
(He's sitting here as I post this and desperately wanted you to see.)

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ode to Christmas Cards

On Friday I finally finished putting away our Christmas Decor.
But, every year it makes me so sad to take down the Christmas Cards and pack them away.
I leave them up as long as possible.
(Which translates as "I leave them up until Nate can't stand it anymore.")
This year I could hardly bring myself to do it, so I did the only thing I could think of to lessen the heartache...
I video'd them.

(I keep telling everyone I'm a total nerd.
I think this really helps support my argument.)

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Friday, January 28, 2011


So, in the blogosphere, Do It Yourself projects are huge.
My issue is, I so often have the ideas, but rarely the time to... well... do it myself.

Case in point: Here is a picture I took last May of a sweater I wanted to attempt to recreate.
I mean, Christian Dior is brilliant and all, but, I'm thinking an oversized, nubby Goodwill sweater... add in some wide satin ribbon... and voila!
(Now, the sleeves are a bit much. I'd tone those down. 
And I'm budget conscious, so fur probably wouldn't be in the equation unless I discovered a dead rabbit behind our house... I kid! I kid! ...kind of.) 

I also had the idea way back then that *gasp* I may never get to it myself, so I should send it to Love, Maegan and see if she'd be up for it.
(Because she's so good at this stuff.)

I never did.

Now she's gone and posted this.
So, I'm thinking maybe she should still see this sweater?
Because, if my calculations are right, she'll die for it maybe as much as I did...
which she may have already when she saw it in the fashion mags last Spring but just forgot.

Hmmm... maybe I should just post my ideas on here, and then any reader who wanted to take a crack and DIY'ing them could and send me pics of the result?
Or just send me the item.
*evil laugh*

Once again, I always have ideas...

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What our family is currently laughing at...

Because there's always something new we're discovering and enjoying...
and over...
and over...

And then we all quote it constantly and laugh some more.
So, here are some of our current favs.
If you want to watch more of them, go here.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

About My Sister

I remember in middle school when my sister announced she was going to be a doctor.
I was sitting at our round kitchen table, and I think she was leaning against the counter.
It seems we had just come home from school and we were having a snack before starting homework.
(Maybe not, but that's how I remember it.)

"I'm going to be a doctor." She said.
"Really?" My question was a mix of are-you-serious and yeah-whatever and you-really-mean-it-don't-you.
"Yep. I'm going to be a doctor and go to Africa and help people."

I think it was later that night we were all sitting at that round kitchen table when she told Mom and Dad.
I listened as they talked about how difficult that would be and that it takes a long time.
But in the end I think Dad said something like, "Well, if there was ever anyone with the determination to become a doctor, it's you."

Over the years when people asked Charity what she was going to be in life her response never changed.
She was going to be a doctor... and go to Africa... and help people.
Some would shake their heads and laugh in that pat-you-on-the-head-whatever kind of way.
Others would be quite impressed.

Then she graduated from our small-town high school, where the rate of students going on to a four year university was something the guidance counselors were always trying to improve more out of embarrassment than duty.
She went to Oregon State. She took pre-med classes.
She even minored in French.
She even went to Africa for a while her senior year.
The head shakers were still there, wondering what good a minor in French would ever be... and thinking she wouldn't actually go to medical school... but there were fewer of them.

The decision to go to Tulane was a big one.
Oregon Health and Sciences University was a short drive from home, but Tulane offered an accompanying Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine...
something that could come in quite handy in Africa.
Some people thought she would get down there and change her mind because of the pressure.
"Normal, small-town girls don't do this kind of thing. She'll be back."
Others knew her determination, and knew that for Charity there was no turning back.
(And, why can't they do this kind of thing?)

It was weird saying my sister lived in New Orleans.
Here I was being a stay-at-home mom and having babies, and my sister was going to medical school.
Medical School.
And she went to Africa. Again.
And her french came in awfully handy on that West Coast.

She graduated in 2005... Dr. Charity... and moved to Santa Barbara, just before Hurricane Katrina hit.

It was at Cottage Hospital that she began her surgical residency.
They asked if she had any plans to have children during her time there.
Not that it was forbidden, because that would be illegal. It was just... just... just not conducive to the residency environment.
Well, no. She didn't have any plans.
But Dr. Charity met Dr. David.
(Think Grey's Anatomy, but real life... and not so wishy-washy.)

Sunday, after five and a half years...
...after realizing surgical residency was changing her into someone she never wanted to be, and consequently switching midstream to Internal Medicine...
...after marrying her sweetheart and giving birth to three adorable sons...
...after going again (this time with her husband) to Africa...
...after sticking it through to the bitter end, despite the head shaking and the what-good-will-French-ever-do-for-you and the you-might-as-well-throw-in-the-towel people...
...Sunday, at 9:30pm on America's West Coast, my sister walked out of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital finished with residency...
Doctor of Internal Medicine.

And in a few weeks she will officially be the Director of Communicable Disease for Santa Barbara County.
My sister.
Dr. Charity Thoman, MD, MPH and TM - Internal Medicine.

It's been a long road.
A hard road.
Along the way she lost some things that were dear to her.
She also gained some things that are very dear to her.
Yet... she did it.

And someday I know... because I know... that we'll be in Africa.
Each of us doing what was placed in our hearts to do from the very start.

(Je t'aime. Je suis si fier d'ĂȘtre votre soeur.)

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random Outfit Post

Wore this out and about, like, over a week ago I think.
I just remember I had a really full day that day... which seems crazy that I wore heels for all the running around.
Except that I've fallen in love with these things!
(Actually, I think I wore them the next day running around, too. Nuts, I know. But they were great!)

Anyway, quite a few people made comments on how they loved my outfit, so I thought I'd capture it
...that's right! In the trusty ancient bathroom mirror!
(That also happens to need a wiping down with Windex.
See my face in this photo? You don't even need to tell me. I already know.)

pulling it all together...
Skinnies & long sleeve purple tissue tee: H&M
Striped top, vest, chunky gold hoops: Forever 21
Boots: Charlotte Russe *gasp* I know!
Awesome Gray Infinity Scarf (that you can't see too well): Made by my Mom-in-Law (I wear this constantly!)
Small gold ring: Grams' that my sis had resized for me as a surprise.

Thaaaaaat's right.
Now I remember.
This was that day.
The one where I raced to get ready and we rushed out of the house really fast first thing in the morning.
The one where we were told Brit's foot was going to take a long time to heal, and be really painful for quite a while, and that the chunk of bone would stay there. Floating. Forever.
The one where we had to get a referral for an MRI, and set up a second-opinion, and schedule lots of physical therapy into our already full calendar.
The one where my heart was aching for my daughter and my mind was a whirl with appointments and times and referrals and doctors...
so I wasn't watching my speed down that hill... the one we're always so careful on...
and the cop was sitting there.
And none of those things matter when you're speeding... even though you're always so careful every other time not to speed right there.
And then I cried.
And I hate crying at times like that. But it was just too much.
And then the full day kept rolling, and somehow I got through it...

I wore this outfit on that day.

Then this happened.
And our prayers were answered.
And referrals came lighting fast.
And appointment times seemed almost held open just so we could take them.
(They were. Because God's awesome like that.)
And Brit came out of her boot.
And she's walking... and jumping... and running.
(No back handsprings or tumbling or vaulting quite yet, but we're getting there.)

God is so, so good. SO good. And I think I see His goodness even more when I walk through days like the one where I wore this outfit.
Because if we don't walk through the valleys, we'll never recognize the peaks when we're standing atop them.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Choose daily.
Be intentional.
Hate injustice.
Act swiftly.

I am striving to be a Trader.
Are you?

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Phlebectomy is an odd word.

I'm laying here on the couch with my bandaged leg propped up on pillows.
I either have to be up walking around, or my leg has to be elevated higher than my heart until my follow-up appointment Thursday morning.

Yes. Fun.

So, I didn't say much about it in early December when I head my right leg done.
For some reason, Endovenous Laser Vein Ablation and Phlebectomies just doesn't sound like a riveting blog post subject.
Gee, not sure why.
And then there were curious questions about why and how and "You're only 34. Varicose Veins?"

But, this is a real blog about a real woman living a real life.
And when you've carried to term and birthed four children for some reason veins can have a tendency to say, "Hey, I'm tired! I don't want to pump your blood like I did before!"
Then they decide to only pump 75% of your blood back up to your heart, and the other 25% goes backwards.
Then it pools in unsightly little places on your legs and people say things like, "Gee, what did you do to your leg? That's a huge bruise!"
And I say, "Nope. I just had four children, thank you."
And then when you try to do anything physical like, umm, exercise your veins say, "Hey! Ow! That hurts! Stop it!"
Then you feel like "Why in the heck should I even BOTHER?" Because anytime you try to go running, or row a raft at a family reunion, or even sit in a raft while other people row it but you just brace your legs for balance,
or maybe you sit in a car that is driving cross country and changing altitude...
your veins say, "Ummm... we don't like that." And they decide to cause you pain.
Or itch.
Or throb.

For the last seven years.
Getting worse every year.
And the doctor's just tell you "Well, wear compression stockings and don't cross your legs."
So you say, "I'm in my twenties! You're telling me to wear those in the summer? With shorts? All the time."
And the male doctor looks at you with this well-why-not stare so you give up trying to explain to him why this is not okay.

Then, from the grace of a female doctor at the Air Force Academy, there descended an understanding ear and the words, "Oh, those can be awful. I'm so sorry. I'll go ahead and put the referral in for you to be seen downtown and if they find them to be a medical problem, they'll remove them"

What? Oh, glory be.
And I worried that they wouldn't find them to be bad enough, that they'd say it's all in my head
...but I was thankfully wrong.
What the actually said was that I was glad I was coming in now instead of waiting even longer.

So, in early December I had my right leg done, and today I had my left.
Basically, they insert a laser into your calf, wind it up to your high groin, then slowly pull it back down your greater saphenous vein (I know I sound very technical and important right now.) while it heats up to over 900 degrees and pretty much cauterizes the vein that thought it was so high and mighty.
Then the doctor (The cool one with the Manolo's I tweeted about a few weeks back.) makes little incisions and pulls out all the big vein's little accomplices that would have grown all gross and bulgy over time had their plans not been thwarted.
(That's the phlebectomy part.)

Not that it's a fun procedure, by any means.
But it will be worth it in the long run.

So, for now, Nate's at the Y with the kids and is bringing me back something yummy from Chick-fil-A.
I sit on the couch with my leg bandaged and very attractive, covered by even more attractive sweatpants and fuzzy Christmas socks.
(Because they're some of the fuzziest, so I wear them year round.)
And my brainpower hasn't quite returned enough to return emails or phone calls or organize anything (read: Valium during surgery),
so I'm finally able to recede into the gloriousness of the beyond-awesome book I'm loving.
(God has funny ways of forcing us into downtime.)
Come Thursday I'll have my follow-up and then maybe I can highlight how to fashionably work compression stockings into your wardrobe.
Because I'll be wearing them for the next two weeks.

Of course I wore them in December, too, and few people knew.
The Christmas Eve services at New Life?
Oh, those weren't black tights, honey. They were very attractive compression stockings.

But, the reality is we women walk around with these things going on and we hide them because we feel for some reason ashamed or embarrassed.
As if no one else is having body issues but us!
No, we're usually not going to tell the world, "Hey! I've had babies and now I have to pee all the time because my bladder just ain't what it used to be!"
Okay, maybe I am. Because I'm crazy and I blog on these things.
But, we're women. And this is real life. And these things happen.
Thank the Lord he created smart people to somehow discover things like, "Gee, do you think we could stick this laser up that vein and sear it shut and then the blood won't pool in those other veins and be so painful?"

I mean, seriously. At the end of the day, medical technology rocks.
Like the invention of cotton candy or pre-strung Christmas lights. Life is just so much better.

And in a month or so my legs will be much happier, and maybe I'll even try running again.
Or maybe not. Maybe I'll just stick to swimming.
But the point is, if I did want to try running again, I could.
And those little veins would have nothing to say about it, because they died a harsh death and are now sitting somewhere in Dr. Seagraves trash can.
(She's the one with the Manolo's. She told me today she has two pairs because she decided a few years back she should step up her shoe wardrobe. I died. Not literally, because I was on her operating table. But, in the figurative, dying-for-fashion, Rachel Zoe sense of the term.)

And here is where I must apologize, for I know blog posts are better with pictures.
But this isn't going to have any.
Even though my toes are a great Air Force blue peeking out of the bandages, they are covered by my Christmas sock which will require too much effort to remove since my knee doesn't have too my bending motion when wrapped like a mummy.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Answered Prayer

I pray for things in my every day life, but then there are times when I get so busy with the daily-ness of it all that I don't necessarily notice when a prayer is answered.
The big ones, yes. Of course.
Healing. Saved marriages. Job stuff. Church stuff. Dream stuff.
But, the daily ones, not always.
I mean, I do.
But, I don't.
Can you relate?

Last night we prayed for something very specific concerning doctors and Brit's long-broken foot and appointments and such.
This morning I made one phone call and that prayer was answered.
The prayer that last week seemed like a ginormous long shot.
The prayer that we prayed anyway over the weekend.
And again last night.

But, I was so caught up in my daily-ness that when it happened I pretty much said, "Awesome!" and moved on to the next thing.
It was Brittney who stopped, realized what had happened, and said, "Mom! That was our prayer! That was exactly what we prayed. Mom, God answered our prayer!"
"Brit. You're right." And we stopped and thanked Jesus that He heard and that He answered.

Oh, that I would always see...
always recognize...
always stop to take joy in the answered prayers amidst the daily-ness, and to thank my God for hearing the cry of my daughter's heart...
and my own.

I'm so thankful for children who wake our attentions to greater things.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Needed some laughs today...

...and this brings a smile to my face.
Now we're not a mini-van family, but you just gotta love this full version ad no matter what you cruise town in.  =^)
 (And I bet I could write some sweet lyrics about a Suburban Mom who's got it goin' on.)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Random Outfit Post

So, last Friday I gave you this current fashion tip (that I know some of you don't like, and that's okay).
Well, that day I also wore this outfit
...and then changed later on because I wound up having something to go to and my slip kept peeking out because you can't wear a dress like this with cotton tights and them not stick to each other so you have to wear a slip *gasp* and I didn't want to worry about whether or not it was showing as I stood in front of a few hundred people.
(Run-on QUEEN, I tell you!)
And now, Amanda, you know why I changed and was not wearing the boots when you fully expected me to be wearing the boots that I had indeed been wearing.

and I got silly taking pictures...

...and then I got sillier taking pictures.
(Why do I always look the same direction in pics?)

pulling it all together...
Dress: BCBG/MaxAzria, via garage sale for $2
Jacket: Gap, via Goodwill
Black Tank: Forever 21
Leggings: American Apparel, via the hubby
Gray Knee-Highs, scrunched: Target. $2. Go now to get your own.
Boots: You know.
Earrings: Made by Hannah
Bracelets, ring: I talk about these all the time.

I realize this isn't the most flattering outfit in some aspects, but I wanted to wear it.
I also realized after I had the tights on that they were a bit baggy because I hadn't ever worn/washed them.
Oh, well.
I wore them anyway.
(This was also the first time for wearing the dress... and the socks.)

Sometimes I pull my hair back like this because I don't want to deal with the length of it.
But, I kind of have fun with the layers falling around my face and pretend I have short hair.
I embrace the choppy-ness.
Sometimes I even pin up the pony into a little bun and partially cover it with some of the layers,
which really throws people off because they think I actually did cut it.

And this is evidently my "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay" pose:
(I think I was just in an uber-silly mood at that particular moment.)

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

" her heart."

As a mother, I have hopes and dreams for my children.
I see their different personalities, their unique strengths.
I pray for what their futures may hold, that they would be bold and courageous to face whatever lies ahead.
Because, as a mother, I hope for an abundant life for my children, but I know that also means trial and hardship.
For anything worth something will cost us.
Our life.
I pray my children will not run from the cost, but will step forward into whatever God calls them to.

I pray.
For their wisdom.
For their discernment.
I pray.
For their marriages.
For my grandchildren.
I pray.
For their faith to be their own, and for their hearts and minds to be deeply rooted in Truth.
I pray.
For their steps.
That when they stumble they'll get up and keep walking, keep fighting.

Don't each of us pray these things for our children?
Whether you're a mother now or whether you will be someday.
Whether your children still run around your feet holding sippy cups for you to fill,
or whether they live in another state and don't call hardly often enough.

I hear things spoken over my children.
From teachers, friends, relatives.
From strangers who happen to encounter them in a grocery store, or babysitters from years past.
I embrace the good words.
I evaluate the negative words to see if they have merit, if they require action.

But, every so often something is said that sounds different.
There is a weight to the words spoken that goes beyond breath or annunciation or tone.
There is a power that is greater than human insight can have, because it comes from Someone greater.
It is when my heart senses this that I sit up straighter.
I pay closer attention.
And I do not forget what or how it is said.

"But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart."
Luke 2:19

I know I am not the only mother that understands this.
The desire for something greater for your child, and the quickening of your spirit when it is spoken to.
You grab hold of it and tuck it down securely in the deep, quiet places of your heart.
I think this is every mother, whether you have recognized it before now or not.

When the Shepherds came and "made known this statement which had been told them about this Child" (Luke 2:17), Mary held it close and deep.
When they told her what the angels said, that "there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11), she knew they were not mere earthly words.
She sat up straighter.
She paid closer attention.
She did not forget what or how it was said.
And I can darn well bet you that she prayed into it with all her heart.

I'm sure many things had been spoken to her about this Child.
People wanting to be encouraging, wishing the Child greatness.
People wanting to get their thoughts in, subtly (or not-so-subtly) commenting on how she and Joseph had not been married long enough for any conception to morally take place.
I'm sure lots of words passed between her and those who came across her path.
But these words were different, ones from her Father in Heaven.

"...and His mother treasured all these things in her heart." Luke 2:51

When Jesus was 12 and was able to converse with the teachers and scholars of the day, but went back with his parents instead to Nazareth and "continued in subjection to them" (Luke 2:51), Mary took note.
Here was His behavior reflecting what had been spoken of Him...
reflecting the Spirit of His Father in Heaven.

My children behave all different sorts of ways, but there is a kind of behavior that especially touches my heart, that captures my attention.
When they show love, kindness, peace...
when they are full of joy or patience or self-control...
when they display goodness or gentleness...
there is something in it that reflects the Spirit of their Father in Heaven.
I sit up straighter...
I pay closer attention...
...and I treasure it in my heart.

Can't you relate to that?
To hearing the calling of your child in words from Heaven, spoken through someone right in front of you?
In seeing the calling of your child in their actions, even unbeknownst to them... but you catch a glimpse?
And you hear it and you see it and you treasure it in your heart.

Just like Mary did with her Son, who is Salvation come to this world.

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."
Luke 1:45

She didn't just believe for her, she believed for her Child
...and she pondered it
...and she treasured it.

When we seek God for our children, He hears us.
And He responds.

God has spoken things to me about my children.
Some more vague, some more focused, but one recently that is quite specific.
When the words came I sat up straighter,
I paid very close attention,
and I will not forget what or how it was said.
I will think of it often, and I will treasure it deeply.
When things come along that confirm, I know I will take note.
And I will wait, and I will pray, and I will believe...
not just for me, but for my children.

What is it that you're hearing? That you're seeing?
Are you listening? Are you looking?
Pray into it, ponder it, treasure it...
...just like mothers through the ages
...just like the mother of the One who did not turn away from the cross, but faced it with the love of His Father, knowing it was His own children He was saving.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Today I Wear Green & Yellow

I grew up just outside of Eugene, Oregon, in a little town called Junction City.
It was the kind of place where 9 and 10 year old girls could ride their bikes the few miles from the farm outside of town to get to swim team practice.
Then, in their still set swimsuits and half-dry shorts, ride by Dari Mart on the way home to spend their allowance money on sodas... or by the Ben Franklin to get penny Jolly Ranchers.

In high school our church's youth group had an amazing opportunity to work the parking lots at the University of Oregon football games.
We'd stand outside Autzen stadium in the sometimes freezing fog, ushering cars to the open spaces.
Then we were rewarded by getting to sit in the End Zone.
The sun would come out, the air would warm up, and we'd shed our many layers.
We would eat hotdogs that were way too expensive but totally worth it.
We would cheer amidst the deafening roar of Autzen.
We would blow into the little yellow duck bill quackers 'til our lips were numb.
We would laugh with friends and sing the UofO fight song at the top of our lungs.

Then my sister went to Oregon State.
My Dad came out of the closet as a long-time Beaver fan.
And outside of my childhood home there suddenly waved an orange and black flag.
All things green and yellow were banished.

It was a bit confusing to me, because we had never been Super Fans of anything, save the Junction City High School Tigers.
It's not that I hated OSU, because I didn't. To me, they're Oregon just like UofO is Oregon.
But I hadn't grown up eating their hotdogs, sitting in their End Zone, singing their fight song.
What I couldn't reconcile back then, and have actually never been able to reconcile, is that the team we had seemed to enjoy so much over the years was suddenly the enemy.
What remained in my heart was that we had all loved attending those Duck football games at Autzen, and that I would always be a fan.
Because once an Oregon Girl, always an Oregon Girl... whether that's yellow & green or black & orange... or both.
(You can move away from the mint fields, but they never actually leave you.)

Over the years, Oregon has been up and down, tending toward middle of the road.
No one outside Oregon ever wore green and yellow... unless they were from Oregon.
So it's been bizarre to walk into Nike stores in Colorado and see green jackets with a big yellow O in their center.
I'm still startled and think "What?" every time the University of Oregon is mentioned regularly on ESPN... because that just hasn't been the case for... well... ever since we all had cable and satellite and the ability to even watch ESPN.
The Pac 10 has always been the underdog, always underrated.
But, we've also kind of done it to ourselves.
Over the years it's just seemed like every time the Ducks had an opportunity to step into success, they somehow threw it away... or spoiled it by one of their hooligans stealing tv's from a frat house... or punching another team's player after the game.
The Civil War would come along and it was always anyone's game, no matter who was on top that year.
I'd cheer for friends and acquaintances that would go through their system,
whether football or track or basketball.
(Your hometown is proud of you, Justin Wilcox.)

And now here we are.
Getting ready to root for them in the National Championship Game.
Come on, guys. Let's not throw this one away, too.
But, something in me says it will be different this time. That Coach Kelly has maybe been able to bring out of these oft-hooligans something greater.

So, today I'm wearing green and yellow... all the way to the tips of my fingers.
I'm humming the UofO fight song in my head.
Because it sure would be great to see an Oregon team bring it on home.

(And, Dad, don't worry. I root Oregon... as in the state of Oregon. So when the Beavs do make it someday, I already have my black and orange nail polish in the drawer. But you'll have to supply an OSU t-shirt.)

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Fashion Tip Friday: Dig out the Lacers

I know some of you aren't going to like this fashion tip,
and that's okay.

I've been meaning to pull out my old Lacers for quite a while, I'd just always forget every time I was rushing to get ready and get out the door.
(Because, I'm always rushing, for some reason.)

I remember posting on them way-the-heck-back-when (which is an official term for time, fyi) and wondering if I'd actually ever wear them again.
Truly, thinking I wouldn't.

But, times change...
and where it used to be laughable to wear your lacers with your pants tucked in,
now it's more of-the-moment.
(Check out the fall runways.)
Because, like it or not, grunge is making a return.
(Holla, Seattle!)
We're just not into it quite full-blown yet, but we're on our way...
and lace-up boots are in full swing...
whether military inspired or country inspired.
(Man, am I ever glad I don't have that If-You-Haven't-Worn-It-In-A-Year-Get-Rid-Of-It Rule! I've always thought that was ridiculous. How do you think we get "vintage?")

So, Sunday I wore this:

And Sunday night I wanted to keep wearing the pants because they were stinking comfy, so it was then that I finally remembered to dig out my old Lacers and wore this:

(Yes, pics are in my cheapy mirror in my bathroom. That can't be helped.)

pulling it all together... Jacket: Target, Scarf: Made by Mom-in-Law, Tee: Men's Hanes v-neck dyed "black" which is evidently gray, Belt: Thrited, Skinny Cargos: Charlotte Russe, Lacers: Laredo, Necklace: Lisa Leonard Designs, Earrings: Same rhinestone ones you always see from Denver Airport, Bracelets: Same leather ones I wear constantly

Then Monday I was in a rush again *gasp* and didn't want to think much about my outfit but wanted to be comfy, yet not in sweats.
So it was the same pants and boots again.

Denim jacket: Gap, via Goodwill, Striped Top: Forever 21

I'm loving them... just like I did when I was 17.

Man, re-reading my original post on these things in my myspace archives took me back.
Maybe you grew up in a small town like this?
Maybe you're still in one?
Well, go dig out your lacers. Dust them off.
(Or go to Goodwill and find someone else's old ones for cheap.)
Then pair them with some skinny jeans... or tights and skirt... or leggings and a nubby wrap-sweater.
(Only pair with Wranglers, though, if you're actually working on the farm. I don't still have those.
Wouldn't be able to fit into them if I did.)

Just for fun, here's my original post, from April 12, 2007:

Sassy Shoe Thursday, Vintage Edition: "These Boots."

There was a time when I knew every single word to every single Garth Brooks song. When we'd sit in the back of Jason's old truck, stare up at the sky, and get a little emotional when "The Dance" came on. When I was the lifeguard with blond hair that spent her summers racing and teaching swim lessons. I was not the girl working in the bean fields of the farm down the road. And I was thankful.

There was a time when boys had gunracks in their rear windows and wayward straw from hay bales stuck in the crevices of their cab. If you lived out of town chances are you really used the boots you wore. If you lived in town you wore them either because you worked on a friend's farm or because that's just what you wore. Some had the hat because they worked all day at the auction, in the stalls, in the sun. Others worked at the hardware store on Main Street, but they had the hat anyway. Regardless, everyone would wear them to the rodeo that occasionally came through town.

There was a time when I pined away after the cowboy. The carefree nature. Working hard to earn a living. He broke my heart once. He broke my heart twice. I learned the hard way. 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket 
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wore these boots and loved them. I was a part of that town, living just beyond the city limits. Something about the simplicity. Seeing my friends drive the combine through the wheat fields. Turning my head for air in the middle of the 100 freestyle and breathing in the freshly cut mint. I didn't toil on the farm. I didn't use my boots for work. But I was a part of that town.

Then I left for college. A bigger world. Be whoever you want to be. The cowboy sudddenly became antiquated... not really what the majority of life was about. There was more to experience than Dari Mart on a Saturday night. More to love than Lori Morgan's "Something in Red" and Chris LeDoux's "Watcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy."

I grew.

So when that cowboy came a callin' saying I was the best girl he ever knew. When he said sorry for breaking my heart. When he tried to woo me with promises of marriage and rodeos. When he said I was the dream he always longed for... I didn't fall for it a third time.

These boots will stay in my closet. A reminder of more innocent days gone by. A piece of the past that I love, but proof I embraced a future better than they had to offer.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Last Christmas..."

Christmas eve I was tucking Brit into bed. We'd had such a fun day!
I had the honor of singing in all three of our awesome church's Christmas Eve services.
Our whole family attended the 5 o'clock one.
We came home to yummy crock pot lasagna. (In our new 8 1/2 quart slow cooker!)
Mrs. Claus had left the kids new pj's under their pillows, just like every year.
We watched Boris Karloff's How the Grinch Stole Christmas right before bed, just like every year.
And now the kiddos were snuggling down.

This little conversation ensued:
Me: So, Brit. What was your favorite part of the Christmas Eve service?
Brit: The sound effects and the video.
Me: Hmmm... so, basically, your favorite part was Jon Egan?
Brit: Yep.

Such an adorable glance into the mind of a ten-year-old girl!
My heart smiled and I couldn't help but laugh.
Brit laughed, too.

The hilarious video YOU MUST WATCH that has moved this song to an everyday singing occurrence at our house:
(Jon also did the "sound effects" during the reading of The Night Before Christmas, which I think has convinced at least half of my children they need to practice odd noises regularly so they, too, can aspire to such a high honor.)

"Last Christmas" - Jack & Colby from Timothy Dumais on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Jon Egan and Rob Stennett (Who read The Night Before Christmas and is the other half of the dynamic Wham duo.) for all the laughter and singing you have (probably unknowingly) brought to our house.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Random Outfit Post

Wore this to yesterday to church.

pulling it all together...
*Skinny Cargos & Fur Vest & Booties: Charlotte Russe
*Black Top: Goodwill (Vintage?)
*Black Tank layered under: Forever 21 (Had this for 7 years. GREAT buy!)
Belt: Thrifted. Love it. It seems like a leather scrap that someone just punched holes in.
Silver Cuff: Grams
Silver bracelet: from Qatar, via hubby
White Gold Ring: Grams
Leather Bracelets: Brave - Godchicks, Grace - Epcot (In Canada Land... eh.)
Earrings: Made by my awesome friend Hannah.
Sunglasses (in first pic): Wal-mart

Seeewwww... the other day I posted about Charlotte Russe and how my former opinion of their shoes has been turned upside down.
Well, when I went in to trade the heels for these boots, they were having a massive, massive sale.
I've been wanting skinny cargos since last Spring and FREAKED when I saw these for 5 bucks.
I just said FIVE DOLLARS.
I thought they would be junk, and I will say that I had to try on a couple of pairs to find ones where the seams were straight.
But, these are SO awesome. We'll see how they wash up, but they're totally on my Current Favorites list in my closet. Incredibly comfy. I don't want to stop wearing them.
(Obviously, since I'm wearing them again today.)
I also splurged on this faux fur vest.
(Splurge = $20.)
It almost looks like little feathers in person, and I'm not quite sure what fur it's supposed to be mimicking.
But I totally fell in love (even though it doesn't have pockets).
It's just so unique! I knew I'd get lots of wear out of it over the years, and it's such a fun piece to add to my funky jacket/vest collection.

As for this top, when I first tried it on at my most favorite Goodwill EVER in California,
I was like, "Hmmmm... I don't know."
But I decided that I adored its vintage flavor and, even though it was short in the waist, had to bring it home.
I think this is only the second time I've worn it, but I do really like the texture of the X across the front.
For a dollar it's a funky piece to keep in my wardrobe.

Just fyi, nearly a year ago I posted on how I'm not a fan of black shoes with brown heels... albeit there are a few exceptions.
(VERY few.)
Well, these are one of them.
I think it's because the heels are so dark brown that you almost don't even notice. And it adds a subtle funk factor.
So, there you have it. I now have black shoes with brown heels.
(I'm sure that was high on your I Care About This list.)
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Song in my Head

I woke up from my Sunday afternoon nap today with this song in my head,
and it just won't leave!
Except, it brings to mind thoughts of middle school dances and spending the night at Amy Loffelmacher's house, so I don't mind too much.
I remember the two of us walking down the country road out where she lived talking about Doug Sutton and other boys and laughing and singing this song.
And it makes me smile.

Ah, Rick Astly...
(Check out these background dancers... and corded phone... and blue and pink neon. So great!)

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

...blessed is she who believed...

"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."
Luke 1:45

This past year has been one of walking out and waiting, action and preparing for action.

Walking out the things I know I am called to in this moment.
Waiting and watching for the opportunity to walk into the things God has spoken to me.
Taking action where I'm at.
Preparing for action in what I know I have not yet reached, but will.

I don't want to be found unprepared because I slipped into unbelief of what has been spoken to me by the Lord.
I want to walk out each day with expectancy, with a boldness of faith.
Not an assumption of how things could/should/would happen, but a belief that they will because He said they will.
My timeline isn't His, and with that can come a tendency to think, "Is that really what God said? Maybe I heard wrong. I sure don't seem to be in a place where that can happen."
It can be easy to slip into doubt... disbelief.
But it's because my timeline isn't His that, if I continue to walk in belief, I will be more prepared... perfectly prepared... when the time comes than if I were to launch into it when I think I'm ready.
(Did that make sense?)

At the close of 2010 God reminded me of this scripture.
"...blessed is she who believed..."
I do believe. I know God has spoken things to me... over me... that He will fulfill.
He has shown me glimpses.
He has whispered in certain moments, "See? This is part of it. Keep walking it out."
He has sent people to remind me of what is coming, and that where I'm at is just as crucial as where I'm going.
He has also allowed me to feel frustration from those who don't see, who doubt, who have spoken discouraging words.
But that, too, has a purpose and drives me back to the One who is calling me to walk it out in Him... 
not in them.

"...there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."

"Lead when I say lead,
pray when I say pray,
speak when I say speak,
rest when I say rest."

This is what I have been walking out in 2010, standing in the belief that there will be a fulfillment of what has been spoken to me by the Lord.
And it is what I will keep walking out as I step into 2011.
Because there is a world that needs light, and the calling on my life... on your life...
is just as much about us as individuals as it is about God's plan to spread the light that has come to this world through His Son, Jesus.
Because the very loving God that has an intimately designed plan for each and every one of us weaves it into a beautiful tapestry for the salvation of all who believe in Him.

So I will walk out.
I will watch and wait.
I will take action.
And I will prepare for what lies ahead.

I will lead when He says lead.
I will pray when He says pray.
I will speak when He says speak.
And I will rest when He says rest.

And I will walk forward believing that there will be a fulfillment of what has been spoken to me by the Lord.

"We have nothing, if not belief."

Do you have belief?
If not, what do you have?

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