Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Musings

*Been feeling odd all day today.
As in, a little dizzy, a little out of it. Headache has been present since 7:30am yesterday morning.
Don't know what all that's about.

*BUT, all the kids were finally healthy and back in school! What a wonderful thing.
Nate was home (since he's working tonight) so we had a fun just-us kind of day...
wish I would have been feeling more normal.

*He convinced me to go to the Y with him and not swim while he worked out, but work out with him. Didn't really want to, but since he JUST FINISHED HIS MASTER'S LAST NIGHT I went anyway.
(I think that's his favorite thing. The two of us doing some work-out-y kind of something, together.)
I pouted on the way there.

*Ummmm, I actually enjoyed it.
I didn't do much.
But it felt good anyway.
(But I still felt weird before, during, and after.)
And I got to watch My First Place on HGTV...
and remember that watching close captioned stuff messes with my eyes.

*I've never eaten at Spicy Pickle before.
I don't know why not. It was yummy.

*Thought it was interesting that my blog post the other day stirred up some offense... 
but not about what it was written about. 
A few people (like, 3) were offended at what it wasn't about, but they thought it was about that. Which was odd to me, because it wasn't about that at all. That wasn't even mentioned in the post, because the post only mentioned what the post was about.
So, it didn't make sense to me why they were offended with the post.

*I now realize most of us need to re-learn the way our government is actually supposed to work.
As in, how our laws actually state our government works.
Not how we think our laws say it should work.

*I didn't watch the Oscars last night, but I did catch up on the fashion today.
Post pending.

*Suuuuuuure would love to walk a red carpet sometime.
So I can wear the gown and the jewels? Yes.
So I can walk confidently and turn my head toward the camera and smile like it loves me? Yes.
So I can make unexpected goofy facial expressions as they take my picture and then laugh hysterically?
Maaaaybe...   *wink*

*Because all posts are better with pictures, here's the man I'm so proud to call my husband...
who is now finished with his Master's Degree.
(A good pic... and then the one he always does.)











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Saturday, February 26, 2011

At this moment...

...I'm sitting at the Olympic Training Center looking way more official than I actually am.

I've had the honor of singing the National Anthem at our home gymnastics meet four times in the past 24 hours.
(That song will always inspire me. Every time. Powerful.)
I've been doing some announcing, and they actually had me do some of the awards.
I can't believe they're trusting me with the microphone.
(Just sayin'...)



My awesome hubby has been filling in with security (he looks awfully tough/snuggly), concessions (where he's keeping order amongst teenagers) and holding down the chair next to me when he's not in either of those places.


Ian competed last night and had a blast. Our awesome friends from church, Kevin & Becky, as well as his teacher, Mrs. Pedersen, came by to cheer him on.
I'd post pics, but I took them with the regular camera... so I can't upload them right now... because I don't have the cord... because I didn't think I'd be posting in the middle of the meet.


One of the coaches from Xtreme Altitude posed for my iPhotobooth pic...



Love this flag. LOVE this flag. (Too bad iPhotobooth takes reverse pics.)



One of our Colorado Training Center Level 10's on rings.



After the third session was over we had an exhibition on the Pommel by CJ Maestas, who lives and trains here at the Olympic Training Center and just made the Mens' National Team.
(I video'd it, because it's super cool. This stuff is amazing!!!)


Here I am with the MAN, Ron Brant. He pretty much makes this place run.
(I asked nicely for him to stop for a minute to take the photo... on iPhotobooth... so the flag is still in reverse.)


And here's me super excited because Ron gave me this furry head thing that is FABulous.
(It was sitting in a box of goodies and I'd had my eye on it since yesterday. "Ron! WHAT is THIS?"
He said I could have it for volunteering. Love. You are SO going to see this in upcoming fashion posts!)



And then me and Nate goofing around with the iPhotobooth camera...
(you can tell I'm really busy and really official.)



And here's when I talked three of the CTC level 10's into stopping by the iPhotobooth for a second.
(Truth be told, I don't think they realized what was going on. I just said, "Hey! Lean in!" Then I'm quasi-squinty-eyed because I'm laughing.)

(from left, Greg, Corbin and Nick)


Now the last session is almost over, and I think I'm on cue soon to announce awards, seeeewwwww...




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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Struggling

 I am really left struggling to understand the decisions of the man who is leading our country.
I didn't think a President could just do that.
Simply stop enforcing the authority of a law?

But, then there is the issue of the Arizona borders.
They aren't enforcing that federal law, either.

I guess I had thought there were laws in place to maintain and enforce order.
And that if a President's administration doesn't agree with laws, well, that's what the judicial process is for...
what Congress is for...
what elections are for.
There are processes in place so our country will stay healthy.
That's what I was tested on in social studies my junior year, right?

It concerns me that our President can just throw away a federal law like that, without any due process, simply because he believes it should no longer be enforced.
It seems to me that if you undermine any legal process or law that governs our great country,
then you undermine all legal processes and laws that govern our great country.
You no longer have a country that is justly governed, you have anarchy and rebellion.
Because, if we don't agree with something, then we just won't enforce it.

If we have a government that picks and chooses which laws it will enforce, we will have a people that picks and chooses which laws they will obey...
and a complete sabotaging of the legal processes set in place by our forefathers to maintain the health and vitality of this great nation...

...which will lead to us no longer being a great nation.

Mr. President, I'm struggling to understand your approach here.



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Blog-hopping

In this post on Hillsong Collected, Christine Caine completely and totally sums up my passion for women and women's events.
Her words capture the essence of my heart... because it's not just another conference that we need, it's a continual awakening.
This woman speaks my core.


It's something we may not talk about often, but we all know exists.
God wants us to rise up and walk forward effectively, and sometimes this means realizing you don't have to walk with everyone by your side.


Holly Wagner, the founder of GodChicks, wrote on stretching.
"God rewards the stretch."
I have found this in my life over and over and over, yet it's so easy to forget when I'm back to an uncomfortable, stretching place.
(Which, why does it seem I'm always there???)
"God rewards the stretch."
Mmmmm... this phrase is going to be a new, almost daily reminder for me.
"God rewards the stretch."
Ouch. Okay.


Michael Hyatt has one of the best posts on the temptations leaders face.
Whether you think yourself a leader or not, you should read this.
(Because you are a leader. No... no! Don't shake your head at me. You are, whether you want to realize it or not. We all are.)
Whether you think you need to or not, you should read this.
(Because we all need this.)
It will stick in your heart and remind you when you need to reminded... so you can grow into more of what God is desiring you to grow into.
(Hey, did you know I got to meet Mr. Hyatt? Yes. Yes, indeed.)


The Nester might have described me *just a bit* in her post on I Hate To Pass Up A Good Deal-itis Disease Syndrome.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.
Ummm... I'm only partially admitting to a little bit. Does that mean my problem isn't as bad as everyone else's? *ahem*


Last, but not least, my college friend Anna from Sweet Nest posted this photo.
It brought me such a profound moment of quiet joy I had to share it with you...




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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random Outfit Post

Holy outside photos, Batman!
I mean, I know you love my cracked, dirty mirror and all, but I thought I'd take 5 yesterday and catch some of that lovely Colorado sunshine.
(But, maaaaaaannnn, was it NOT warm, thank you Colorado wind!)

(The belt slid more to the middle in this pic. Didn't realize it 'til now. It's supposed to be more of a side-knot thing.)





pulling it all together...
Animal Print Silk Blouse: My fav thrift store... for 25 freaking cents, baby! (Remember?) (Also seen here.)
Black basic tank layered under so I don't show my belly when raising my hands: Forever 21
Skinny Cargos: Charlotte Russe ($5. They washed a bit funky, but stretched and are fine.)
Boots: B. Makowsky. Divine appointment in Nashville. Will blog on them soon.
Belt: Off of my fun faux fur long vest from Charlotte Russe.
Earrings: From antique store in Coburg, Oregon
Silver Cuff & White Gold Ring: Grams'
Leather Brave Bracelet: You know. Because it's always on me.
Wrap-around White Leather: from Revolve, which I'll also blog on soon.
Gunmetal bracelets: I stacked two to get the big cuff effect. Forever 21
Rhinestone Stacked Rings: Forever 21

The shirt is cut boxy, so I cinched it with the belt. I also rolled the sleeves because... ummm... I wanted to. (Hmmm... I actually do this a lot.)
Sometimes I like that asymmetrical jewelry feel, and I was in that mood on this day.
Really, I just liked this outfit. In some moments, it almost felt a tad pirate-y... which inspired the silliness below.

"Avast, matey! Is that land I spy in the distance?"



Oh, the view, the view, the view!
I am so thankful for where we live!!!


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Monday, February 21, 2011

All Access - Nashville

I still can't believe I had the experience.
I mean, I did. (Duh.)
But, I still sometimes have to pinch myself.

Women of Faith brought me out to Nashville to par-tay with all the other large group leaders from around the country at their All Access Conference.
And one of the best parts? My Mom-in-Law is a group leader in Washington, so we got to par-tay together!!! How cool is that?

Airplane ride out...
(Check the background. Hilarious.)


Chatting with Patsy, Marilyn & Lisa. I know. I die.


Me with a women who has put more solid foundation into my life than she'll ever realize, Mary Graham.
She's the President of Women of Faith, and from watching her I have learned so much about patience, respect, timeliness, careful speech, and priorities.
She has shown me such grace and care, and it is because of her that I have been able to keep attending Women of Faith over the years.
Because of her I found myself, last minute, at the 2010 Denver WoF...
which is where I clearly knew I was supposed to lead a group of 75 women to the 2011 Denver WoF.
I haven't led a group of more than just a few since living in Montana and Denver, but here we go. Together.
(Are you coming with me?)
I'm so thankful for Mary.


Lisa Harper is SO much fun. I seriously click with this girl. Although, sometimes I'm at risk of peeing my pants from laughing too hard.


The amazing Luci Swindoll. This woman has swagga, let me tell ya.
What a mentor from afar and inspiration she has been to me over the last decade.


Truly, one of the most incredible things for me was sitting just about 15 feet away from Amy Grant as she sang and was so real.
(Remember, she's one of my "people.")
She got caught in traffic because of a snow "storm" (1.5 inches) in Nashville and was about 45 minutes late to the hotel.
When she came in she just went straight to the stage and began to play.
So real. So you. So me. That's why I love her.
See? I can't even describe anything in words. It was just beyond what I could say.


I ran across my purse sister.  =^)
Mine was a Christmas gift from my hubby.
Hers was a Christmas gift to herself after her hubby went and bought a new truck. Ha!


With my MiL...


The conference was at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, which was stunning.
I can honestly say that I have never been to a hotel with such stellar service.
There was never a "no" or an "I'm sorry, we can't do that." It was always, always "Of course!" or "Let me check on that for you."
I was truly impressed.
Usually at something like this you prepare yourself for food that's maybe one notch above cafeteria fare... but our meals were spectacular!!!
(Which was also kind of a bummer, because I was meeting so many people and talking so much that I didn't usually get to finish.)

Of course, I had to take some videos to show the kids... and you. *wink*




This is a pic of where the riverboats go through the Delta.
(Doesn't that just sound fancy?)


The fountains in the Cascades were so fun to watch! Except that I wanted to climb in and wade around and duck under the shooting streams.
On our last day there I saw a guy with waders doing exactly that and tending to the plants. I wondered what he'd say if I offered him ten bucks to let me do it.


Oh, no! I may fall over the balcony to my death in the lush greenery below!


Shiny boots in one of the stores at Opryland.
I had to capture them. (Even though they weren't good quality.)


Ummm... yes, please.
Wait. $5,000? Nevermind.


Holy cow!!! It's Michael Hyatt!!!!! I know, I went a little cheesy. It was just so awesome to meet him!
This guy seriously, seriously has massive God-given wisdom on leadership.
If you don't already (because I've referred you enough, people, but here's another chance), you need to follow his blog.
Incredible, life-giving insight.
(And I got my picture taken with him! I thought of saying, "Okay, now silly picture!" But, I refrained.)
One of the coolest things is that he took time to chat with me for a bit, as if we were acquaintances that just hadn't seen each other in a while.
Well done, Mr. Hyatt. Well done.
I could (and have) learn(ed) so much from you.


The (i adore) incredible Mary Graham, Michael Hyatt, and Luci Swindoll speaking on mentoring.
It was one of the most knowledge-gaining sessions for me. Very casual and laid back, but so full of life and wisdom.


Oh, dear me!!! We went to the Grand Ole Opry!!!


This is the newly refurbished green room at The Opry. See that iron bar on the wall over there?
Yeah. That's where the water reached in last year's flood.
The damage was devastating everywhere. Everything redone/rebuilt.


What an experience to stand and look out at these seats.
See that bit of the stage in the lower left-hand corner? The water was 4 feet high on the stage.
So, basically that entire bottom floor was a submarine. Crazy.




Yes, they gave those that wanted to an opportunity to sing on the stage of The Opry.
Well...
you know I didn't pass it up. (I almost did, but I realized I'd regret it for a lifetime.)
What did I sing? Amazing Grace, of course.
It was a funny thing how when I set foot in that circle...
the one that my favorites have walked upon...
thinking of The Judds, Pam Tillis, George Strait, Garth, Reba, Lorrie Morgan, Diamond Rio...
I suddenly got very nervous...
I mean, it was just in front of the rest of the tour group and our guide...
but even if there was no one else in the room I think my stomach would have still been doing flip-flops...
it's the history of the place...
the stories that circle could tell...
but I let my voice ring out on the hallowed stage of The Grand Ole Opry.

And it felt good.




Yes, we bought the picture.
Lynn, Tammy, Me (of course with the guitar), Carolee, and Jennifer.


Being goofy out front... because it's often what I do best.
(Or maybe it's just want I do often.)





Oh, my goodness gracious, the voice we got to hear!!!
Sandi Patty was incredible as always. I love how normal and down-to-earth she is!
And I now know why people love Mandisa so much. That girl is awesome!
(Not just her voice. Her heart.)
She has been on an amazing journey this past year, and has lost 100 lbs to date! (You rock.)


Lynn & I had to pose with the horses... I think it may be required.
(At least, it is in Angela Land.)


Me & Sandi... because we're cool like that...
(Yes, I realize I'm very white. Shush.)


My MiL with the (awesome, again) Mary Graham...


What would the trip be without some silly faces?




What an incredible time this was.
I know I tell you over and over that Women of Faith has been such a foundation for me over this last decade. So much of who I've grown to be... my passion for life... has been nurtured at this conference.
And being around these women in a setting such as this?
I knew before... but now I know that I know that I know...
these speakers and singers are real, people.
They're you and they're me, simply sharing what God has shown them through the years.

How thankful I am to be a part of this big family.
I heard story after story of life-changing... of grace-giving... of JOY and HOPE... of devastating circumstances being overcome... of lives restored and relationships renewed.

I am PUMPED to take a group of women to the Denver conference this fall.
(Are you going with me?)
The thing is, you don't realize how much you need it until you're there.
You have no idea what you will receive until you go and receive it.

Thank you to Women of Faith for this incredible experience.
I won't forget it for a lifetime.
(Can't wait for September 30th!!!)
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