Weekend Whirlwind

Hello, bloggy friends! I’m writing my post a bit late today, but better late than never, right? 🙂

This weekend did not go at all as planned, but that was a very good thing! As I was getting ready to leave work on Friday, I noticed a few text messages from my dear friend Emily (who was my college roomie and maid of honor at my wedding), asking if I was going to be around that weekend because she was coming into town. She needed a place to stay for the weekend while she took care of some sorority business (she’s on the advisory board for the sorority she was in during college). Even though I had a jam-packed weekend full of cleaning and grocery shopping, I was willing to let her ruin those plans and stay for the weekend! 🙂 (I’m so thankful that I have a flexible husband who willingly goes along with spur-of-the-moment plans!)

Emily was going to be occupied most of the night on Friday, so Stephen and I were able to do what we had originally planned–go see Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t have terribly high expectations because I never know what to expect with Tim Burton, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the movie and thought it was really well done, although I don’t really think it is a movie for young children. We didn’t see it in 3-D, but after not really loving the 3-D experience I had with Avatar, I didn’t mind. Emily got to our place later that night, and of course we stayed up late talking and catching up.

Saturday morning we woke up at 8:30, got ready, and then headed out. We made a stop by the bank and then on to IHOP for breakfast. Yum! Then I took Emily on a special trip–grocery shopping at Walmart! Do I know how to treat house guests or what? Even though grocery shopping is not at all thrilling, it had to be done, and Emily was kind enough to keep me company.

The afternoon was spent playing Wii, which was hilarious and fun. Then we cooked a pizza Stephen had bought at Sam’s and watched a movie that Emily had brought and that neither Stephen nor I had heard of–Fracture. It actually was a really good mystery/thriller. I can’t believe I’d never heard of it. Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling were in it, so it’s not as though it was a movie with obscure actors.

Sunday we got up and went to Bible Study and the worship service at church. Then Emily was kind enough to treat us to lunch at Zaxby’s–score! Not long after, Emily had to head out again and it was time for me to face what I had been dreading all weekend–a 10 mile run. It took me 2 hours, and it was HOT (upper 60s is hot to me when I’m running) and uncomfortable at times, but I just stuck to my run/walk intervals. I made it through it, and while the run itself wasn’t amazing, it did feel amazing to know I had completed my first double digit run! I only have 3 miles to go to get to a half marathon distance! Yeah!

The final event of the weekend was dinner at Moe’s with our friend Marya (another college roomie) and her husband and ADORABLE kids. It was like a little reunion, and we had such a good time!

So even though I didn’t get a lot of the things I had planned to get done, I am totally okay with that because time with friends beats time scrubbing the bathroom any day! 🙂

I hope you all had a good weekend and are enjoying the week!

A Little Dose of Happy

I realize this blog has been kind of a downer lately, so I thought I’d list some things that make me happy.

1. Being able to see Stephen every day. Longtime readers of the blog will remember that we had a long distance relationship the whole time we were dating and engaged, so I cherish all the time we have together even now. (I am sure longtime readers also probably remember my posts about Stephen as being nauseatingly cheesy.)

2. Watching episodes of Gilmore Girls. Yes, I’ve seen every episode at least three times, but I still find such pleasure in watching this show. It’s just unfortunate that the last season did not do the show justice at all.

3. Sunshine. I love how the sun creates both shadows and rainbows.

4. Rain. I love rainy days and clouds and cool breezes.

5. The smell of freshly cut grass.

6. Hugs, especially the all-encompassing, soul-warming kind.

7. Getting phone calls or emails from dear friends, or better yet, having a face-to-face gabfest.

8. Rereading a favorite book. I know some people don’t read books more than once, but I find it so comforting and refreshing, and I often discover things I didn’t notice the first time through.

9. Daisies. They really are the “happiest flower,” to quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.

10. Lying in a hammock. I haven’t done this in SUCH a long time. When Stephen and I buy a house, I will find a way to have a hammock!

11. Reading a good poem for the first time. Poetry is like chocolate for the soul.

12. The smell of books. I’m not saying I want this smell bottled and sold like a perfume, but honestly, books just smell intoxicatingly good to me.

13. Finishing a hard run. I ran 5.2 miles on Saturday, my longest run yet, and I felt AMAZING afterward. And also ridiculously hot and sweaty.

14. Realizing that slowly but surely, I am starting to appreciate my body. I don’t know that I love it yet, but I definitely appreciate it all it does for me.

15. Buying clothes in the misses section. As shallow as this may seem, I still get so excited about all of the options there are when I don’t have to shop in the women’s section.

16. Laughing. Laughter warms me deepdeep down to my core, and I try to laugh every day.

17. Rereading all the emails Stephen and I exchanged during our long distance relationship. We wrote A LOT (I can’t help but call attention once again to the fact that “a lot” is in fact two words. Ahem.) I have thought about printing out the emails, but it would be an absurd amount of paper (like hundreds of pages).

18. Walking. Whether I’m walking briskly, looking like a doofus because of my fast-swinging arms, or just leisurely strolling, walking is one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise for me. And it’s so low maintenance! Just put on some shoes (and clothes, of course), and you’re ready to go! Even klutzes can walk!

19. A fire, hot chocolate, and a good book on a cold day. I can’t wait for fall and winter.

20. Reading the Bible and connecting and responding to what I read.

I think I’ll stop there. One thing I noticed is that food is nowhere on this list. That should tell me something, huh?

What makes you happy?

(And in case you’re wondering, I did in fact write this post at 2 in the morning. I have had a horrible time falling asleep the past few days. So frustrating!)

My day got better! I suppose a day that starts out so badly can only improve, right? Turns out I got to leave work early b/c, get this, our electricity went out! Around 3 pm I was typing away when there’s this loud popping noise and I’m convinced that either we’re getting shot at or Jesus is coming back, but then the lights go out so I know it’s just the power. So we all go to the door and we see a power line just whipping about in the breeze. I guess the wind must have blown it off or something. I love wind. But did I get to go home right away? Of course not! I sat in the dark for over an hour planning my budget for the fall on a piece of paper and realizing that I’m going to be so beyond poor before my boss decides that I can leave since I can’t really do anything in the dark. Still, leaving early was super nice, and on the way home guess what song was played on the radio? None other than “Straight Up Now Tell Me”. Crazy, man, crazy. (I’m in a weird mood, can you tell?)

After I got home from work I got to experience one of life’s little pleasures, the last 30 minutes of a Gilmore Girls episode on ABC Family (don’t even think I’m obsessed. I’m totally not.). It was “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” where Dean breaks up with Rory at the dance marathon b/c she’s in love with stupid rebel Jess, and it’s drama and heartache and I love it! Then I hung out with my parents, who are super-fun, and we went to dinner at Perkins (I had breakfast at dinner, which I adore) and then we went and saw The Interpreter which was smart and thrilling and gripping, and I highly recommend it. I’m a big fan of Sean Penn, and I think I fell a little bit in love with his character in the movie. He was such a tragic, mysterious character. Isn’t it interesting how the human mind can become so captivated and interested by a fictitious character? It’s why I love literature. It allows us to become a part of something outside ourselves and yet oddly connected to ourselves as well because who doesn’t want to be part of some story, whether large or small?

Speaking of small, I was thinking today about how incredibly weird it is that I will, in my lifetime, only meet a small fraction of the people who have lived the same time as I have. It’s an almost insignificant number, really. When I was visiting UT and walking around the large campus, I passed all of these people who were so absorbed in getting to class or catching a bite to eat or talking on the phone, and I realized that none of them knew who I was, and that most of them never would know who I am. It made me sad, although I can’t define quite why. That night I went to Union on my way back home and heard a poetry reading by Judson Mitcham, and he talked about this very thing, this “otherness,” this vast world that exists outside our periphery. I don’t often think about the fact that I’m pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, probably because truthfully I think I’m pretty important, but I did this week, and I did when I was in Bangkok at the top of this 84-floor hotel room and looking out at a city of millions of people I would never meet. And I marveled at how each little speck of light from a car or a building represented a person that God knew by name and wants for them to know Him intimately. Truly we serve an amazing, unfathomable God who can turn His eyes from the beauty of the earth He created and stoop to look on us lowly creatures. It is this God who calls us to something greater than ourselves, to something that both satisfies and tantalizes, and it is to this God that I offer up praise, and I know that among all of the voices speaking to Him even now, He can still identify mine.