Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Survey...

Thanks the the HeadMistress, Zookeeper over at The Common Room I found this survey for the New Year, and thought it would be a good way to summarize 2009. It has some thought provoking questions, unlike most surveys I've found... I hope you enjoy:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never before?
walked under/in a waterfall, played in the Atlantic Ocean, and slept in my car to name a few.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions and will you make more for 2010?
not all of them - but I continue to make goals each year, otherwise I lack direction.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?
a couple close friends gave birth (one being the Equuschick at the Common Room) and a couple other friends got pregnant (including my dear friend BarlowGirl).

4. Did anyone close to you get married?
yes. HeadGirl over at The Common Room.

5. Did anyone close to you die?
my friend Jesica passed away on 10.9.09 of Ovarian Cancer. I didn't know her for long, but she was a shining spirit and the time I did get to spend with her is forever precious to me.

6. Travel?
I travelled to West Virginia a couple times, to Indiana, to the Great Smokey Mountains, to Savannah, Georgia and across the country.

7. Did you move anywhere?
moved from Nashville, TN back to my home state of Washington.

8. What was the best month?
I can't pick just one - April (Great Smoky Mt trip and my sailor brother visited), July (my family visited), August (I got to see the ocean with friends), and December (holidays with my whole family).

9. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
financial freedom.

10. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't really remember dates - I remember experiences.

11. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
finding true contentment in my singleness.

12. What was your biggest failure?
I wish I had done more gardening-focused activities while I was in TN.

13. Did you suffer illness or injury?
nothing major...

14. What was the best thing you bought?
Nothing really sticks out... unless I'm counting the airplane ticket I bought to visit home in May...

15. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I have to say that I'm pretty proud of my Sailor brother's behavior over the last year, for making the commitment to join the Navy and sticking to it. I think in the long run it will be a good experience for him, and has already helped him mature some.

16. Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?
I don't really like to dwell on those type of things... however, I've been pretty appalled by the behavior of a certain friend's sister-in-law.

17. Where did most of your money go?
food, cell phone bills, and travelling.

18. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
visiting places I hadn't been to before... ok. really? visiting the ocean at Tybee Island. I love the ocean what can I say?! :)

19. What song will always remind you of 2009?
any of the following: 'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus, 'I Got A Feeling' by The Black Eyed Peas, or 'That's Not My Name' by the Ting Tings.

20. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? I would say, its about the same level of happiness.
ii. richer or poorer? richer in the sense that I have had so many great experiences this year. not necessarily richer in the pocket. :)

21. What do you wish you'd done more of?
reading & keeping up with world events.

22. What do you wish you'd done less of?
eating out. I might have less pounds to shed now, and more money in my pocket.

23. How will you be spending New Years Eve/Day?
I spent New Years Eve during the day with a friend from church, assembling a going away gift for some friends moving cross-country. Then we all went to a party with our young adults group in Seattle and watched the fireworks off the Space Needle. I beat my record from last year... stayed up till almost 6 am! Then on New Years day I chilled at some other friend's house, and then played mini golf that night, and went down to the Mukilteo waterfront at midnight. Overall it was a great couple days!

24. What was an unexpected surprise?
the HeadGirl's engagement and then wedding...

25. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I have renewed my love of the Pacific Northwest... does that count? ;)

26. What was the best concert you've been to this year?
pretty much the only concert I went to was the Hope 4 Samoa benefit concert with The Katinas, Natalie Grant, Jeremy Camp, and Michael W. Smith. It was really good though!

27. What was your favorite TV program?
'Lie to Me' and 'Glee'

28. Do you dislike anyone now that you didn't dislike this time last year?
not that I can think of - there aren't many people I dislike.

29. What was the best book you read?
Through Painted Deserts bye Donald Miller (review coming soon)

30. What was your greatest musical discovery?
thanks to my friend with Night Sky Entertainment - I found an up and coming young bluegrass artist: SaraBeth & Co. she has some great vocal skills!

31. What did you want and get?
a year packed full of great memories.

32. What did you want and not get?
my Nashville friends to move to WA with me. :)

33. What was your favorite film of this year?
probably 'Yes Man'

34. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
my family was visiting from WA, and I took them on a tour around Nashville. THen we met extended family I had met before, and spent the evening with my close friends laughing and visiting and watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (w/ Depp).

35. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I honestly can't think of anything... I am really happy with 2009!

36. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2009?
color & comfort.

37. What kept you sane?
writing in my journal, and getting out into God's creation.

38. What political issue stirred you the most?
the healthcare reform bill and how politicians don't actually read what they sign.

39. Who did you miss?
when I was in Nashville - my family and church family. Now that I'm back in WA - my Nashville friends.

40. Random memories from 2009?
Micah & Gabe falling into the stream in the Smoky's, TBerry singing at the top of his lungs driving through Georgia, Emily getting excited about Tim Horton's, BarlowGirl's daughter crying when she thought my Mom was taking me away from her. Evenings on the big couch watching TV or reading with BarlowGirl and Siah,. The tears of pride in the eyes of Tasha's mom at her college graduation.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Changing Life... and Happy Christmas!

Once again, I find myself needing to 'catch-up' my blog... Nothing unusually exciting has happened since my last post. Mostly because I feel like life overall is exciting. It is all exciting! My life this year has been constantly changing, and I am making it my goal to continue this in 2010. I don't want my life to be stagnant... to get stuck in a rut. I want my life to be active and changing... more on that later...
As most of you know... I did make it home safely after spending a longer stay in Denver with my good friend SweetLeesh and her family. That experience was such a blessing, and their family is amazing! I haven't updated my blog since arriving home for the simple reason that I've been spending pretty much all my time with my family, church friends and job hunting.
This holiday season has been extra special, because unlike last year, my family is all together this year. My sailor brother is home on leave, and we get him for two whole weeks! It has been a true blessing to spend this time with my family and not having to worry too much about going anywhere.
I want to share an excerpt from my personal journal about this Christmas with you:
"The last few days have been so enjoyable. The focus has been almost completely on family and just having fun together. That is the true meaning or purpose of Christmas, in my mind. Nowadays people get so caught up in the religious arguments about Christmas. Why do you waste time arguing? Just spend the time with family and friends. During that time just spend it loving them and then Christ is automatically infused into the holiday. There is no need to use words in arguments, just act your belief out!
I think this Christmas has been the best of my memories. Maybe part of it is that I appreciate it so much more from having been gone, that I don't sweat the small stuff. "

My hope is that you all are pulling your family close around you as much as you can, during this time and also throughout the next year. God, Family and Friends are the most important things in life... I don't care what anyone else says! Love them to the point that they cannot question it! In conclusion here are some thoughts from Donald Miller's book 'Through Painted Deserts' that I'm currently reading...
"I figure you might forget what kind of person you were back when you were on this trip. I want you to know you weren't a bad guy. But you fell into thinking a lot of money and a lot of stuff and a lot of social collateral would get you somewhere. And I don't know who you are now, and what you've done with your life, but try to remember, God doesn't expect you to accumulate a lot of stuff. You were really happy here in the canyon, you know, I promise it's true. I guess I just want you to remember there was a time when you did a pretty difficult hike, and you decided that you didn't need to carry a bunch of stuff on your back because the climb was hard. And I don't know who is around you, whether you met a woman or have some kids, but I really hope you have shown them this stuff, that life is going to be okay, that you just have to enjoy it. If you can't buy a nice car for your family or anything, don't worry about it. Just go into your kids' room and kiss them on the forehead, okay, 'cause there is all kinds of beauty and it doesn't have anything to do with having some stuff. Also, don't kick yourself around. If you can't climb up out of a canyon real quick, just do it slow."
I am really enjoying this book so far, and plan to post a full review soon! It has some parts that I've really identified with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An update from the road...

Day 1: (October 25th)
I got a late start due to goodbye breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my Nashville friends. We were very loud and joyful at the breakfast table, so much so that we actually received a compliment from a couple strangers. They said we made their breakfast more enjoyable by how much fun we had. We took a bunch of group photos outside of CB, which made some people stare. Tears were shed - mostly by me. It was a long day of driving which ended near Topeka, KS at a rest stop. This was when I discovered the amazing rest stops that are actually service stations in Kansas. They have, not only clean bathrooms, but also gas pumps, convenience stores and fast food restaurants all in one location in the median. It was great!

Day 2:
Sleeping in a car packed with all your worldly possessions is not the most comfortable thing. I Kept startling awake thinking I had fallen asleep while driving. I left the service area at 6:15am and witnessed a beautiful sunrise which made up for the lack of sleep. :) When driving through Topeka I saw a small car (similar to mine) with a Vermont license plate, packed full with belongings. I wonder where they are moving to? I drove on the part of I-70 which was the first section of interstate to be built in the US. Why did they chose Kansas for this first section? I saw a church called 'JC Naz' which was apparently a Nazarene church. I arrived in Denver at a very decent time (about 3pm) and had a very nice chat with my good friend Sweet Leesh, before everyone (her husband, brother and sister-in-law) all arrived for dinner. I really enjoyed dinner with all of them, and we played some fun games afterwards too.

Day 3:
Denver has been issued a Winter Storm Warning. They are expecting it to snow, starting tonight and going through Thursday. Up to 18 inches is expected. So I am going to stay a couple extra nights with Sweet Leesh and her husband. This afternoon we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater and took lots of pictures. Tonight we had dinner at Sweet Leesh's parents house and got to play Apples to Apples with the whole family afterwards. It brought back many fun memories, due to the fact they were the ones who helped teach me to play that game in the first place.

Day 4: (October 28)
I slept in this morning and by the time I woke up there was a couple inches of snow. Sweet Leesh and her husband went to a special lecture at the Bear Valley school this morning. It was bad enough when they got out of that, they decided to go get more food supplies for the next couple days. When they got back we ate and watched movies all afternoon. Its about 10pm now and there is at least 9" of snow from what I can see. It is still snowing too. I think I may have to change my route home from here, in addition to waiting a couple extra nights.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Words are inadequate...

... for the mix of feelings I'm experiencing at the moment.
I've just gotten back to the house from a wonderful night with the girls (Miss Grey, BarlowGirl, and Sunny B) where we did pedicures, watched Anne of Green Gables, and ate popcorn. I love these friends of mine! I am lucky to have such amazing friends.
Today it has hit me. Everything was so 'matter-of-fact' until today. I don't know why or when exactly it happened, but it hit me at some point today that I really am moving back to WA and that I leave the day after tomorrow. This was, and still is, my choice. I have chosen to go back to WA and in doing that, leave my friends behind. Of course, the selfish part of me would much rather just take them along, but that is impractical and somewhat unfair to them.
I have chosen to move back because I have missed Washington, my family there, and my church family especially. This seems like a good decision. This may sound hoaky, but I feel like this is the right decision right now. That community is where I belong right now. One major thing I have gained from this year of living in Tennessee, is a much greater appreciation for my church family, and the community provided there. Like everything else, it has its flaws (how could it not, consisting of humans as it does?) but I know those flaws and understand them.
I want to take this last quiet moment to say, that I will never ever regret my decision to move to Tennessee. The experiences I have had while living here for a year were worth every minute I missed home and family. Because of this adventure, I have gained much confidence in myself and cemented bonds of friendship that I feel will last forever. Nothing could make me regret that.
To my friends in Tennessee - whether you are a new friend, or an old one... I'm not always good at being able to verbally express my appreciation for you, but please know that your friendships mean the world to me! Believe me when I say, this was not an easy decision to make, or to follow through with. Nothing and no one can take your places in my heart. I promise to come visit often. I love you all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

15 Things I will miss about TN

Since I did one about my home state, I thought it only fitting that I do a list for the state I'm leaving...

15. the amazing fall color
14. walking downtown at night without being accosted
13. friendliness from strangers
12. being within easy driving distance to multiple states
11. warm summer evenings
10. fireflies
9. crazy country sayings
8. poofy shaped clouds
7. the fried okra and hot rolls
6. having a Sonic less than 5 min away
5. thunderstorms that shake the whole house
4. all the many shades of green during the summer
3. being able to play with BarlowGirl's kids anytime I want
2. my coworkers
1. my friends

Saturday, October 10, 2009

15 things I miss most about WA state

Since I'm getting ready to move back to Washington state in two weeks, I thought I would share some of the things I miss about where I grew up...

15. knowing all the back roads
14. having good teryaki just around the corner
13. waking up to a crisp cool morning while tent camping
12. having multiple bodies of water close at hand
11. fresh crisp apples available for decent prices
10. recognizing most of the native plants
9. having a Taco Time down the street
8. being surrounded by greenery during the winter
7. Trees taller than 3 story buildings 8 story buildings (edited 1.2.10)
6. rain 3/4 of the year
5. seeing tall snow-capped mountains every day
4. having the beach less than an hour away
3. the hint of salt water in the air
2. My church family (especially weekly tuesday night gatherings)
1. My Family

Sunday, September 27, 2009


During my time here in Tennesee I have heard many sayings that I didn't quite understand (and some I still don't fully understand) but that are quite humorous.... so I thought I would share some of the most common ones. Thanks to my coworkers (John, Tracey, and Pat) I have compiled quite a list:
  • Smells so bad it could knock a maggot off a gut wagon.
  • As useless as tits on a boar hog.
  • That boy’s two bricks shy of a full load.
  • Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
  • They’re as bright as a burned out light bulb.
  • I think he’s one fry short of a Happy Meal
  • Slower than molasses in January
  • Grandma’s slow so what’s your excuse?
  • He ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, so we call him spoon
  • He just made himself look like the north-end of a south-bound donkey
  • Don’t mind the mule being blind, just load the wagon
  • Blind man runnin’ for his life will never see it
  • Ain’t seen hide nor hair of 'em
  • As many as Carter’s got liver pills
  • If you run with turkeys you’ll never fly with the eagles.
  • If you lay with dogs you’re gonna get fleas
  • As busy as a one arm paper hanger
  • You’re the cats pajamas
  • As fine as frog hair
  • Goin’ to hell in a handbasket
  • Happy as a coon in a rock house
  • As easy as catchin’ fish in a barrel
  • Happy as a cat in the scratchin’s
  • Don’t want to hear the labor pains, just show me the baby
  • I’m ready, if I don’t get to go
  • Full as a tick