Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Snippits

photo courtesy of Pete Cabera Jr. accessed 3/30/13


Back with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly linking up with 

GOOD: We had a bit of a holiday break, which is always appreciated. It's a good time to get some extra Zzzz's & to catch up on a few assignments & personal things. We attended several worship services all at Humble Walk Church & a dose of a home congregation at St. Philips. We also enjoyed a fun evening of having a few friends over & enjoyed some 

3 Buck Chuck!

We enjoyed receiving some fun Easter cards & a care-package we weren't expecting (Thanks to AJO & Momma P). We made it a point to get out & enjoy the warm weather at Como Zoo & Conservatory. We enjoyed Easter brunch at the Afton House Inn with Dad & Mom N. And most of all, I worked on my thesis & resume & Z played a lot of Mario Kart. 

BAD: Our energy is low because it's break, but we still have lots to do to finish out the semester. One classmate and friend said that her goal is to have all her assignments done by the end of April & I think that might be my goal too. I don't like to put it in writing, but there ya have it.

UGLY: Because of low energy & stress of the unknown, we've been a tad grumpy. Other than that, I can't complain.

COMING UP: More chiropractor & massage appoints (though doing much better), lots of writing, dinner with my girlfriends & some of the women faculty (in honor of our classmate Tony who passed away in December, this was something auctioned off at the annual variety show), & a few wedding celebrations.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Foto Fun...Jelly Beans & Jesus

photos courtesy of Candy Warehouse & Prague Guide accessed 3/29/13

Jelly beans & Jesus ...  does this confuse anybody else? 

One memory that I left out of Tuesday Tea Time was eating green spiced jelly beans with my Mammaw. They're still my favorite, I just don't have traditional jelly beans around very often. Z really likes Jelly Bellies & there's nothing traditional about those!

So what's the connection between jelly beans & Jesus being hung on a cross (like dozens of other heretics of his time)? The only answer I got was a Jelly Bean Prayer that you can read here! It's pretty hoky, but could be a ministry tool for something.

Maundy-Thursday meals start with joy & end in confusion, so maybe that's what all this commercialized Easter stuff is about. We know how the story ends, we know what's coming in 3 days (or 2 depending on how you count it). It's pretty miraculously incredible & pretty mind blowing.

Is Holy Week supposed to be confusing?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

photo courtesy of Blogs Babble & Etsy 3/25/13

It's Tuesday Tea Time!

I heard on the news last night that at on average, a person spends $150.00 on Easter between food, candy, & clothes.

This shouldn't surprise me as Momma P's love language is gifting others & I had some lavish Easter baskets. 

What I remember most is the excitement of driving home from church knowing the Easter Bunny would have visited & left vibrant candy filled eggs throughout the house or yard (depending on the weather). I also remember the Easter tree, which was really just a big branch spray painted white & mounted on a piece of plywood as a stand. Then there was the Easter Bunny cake that my Mammaw would always make for the family. The best part about all of this was having the whole family together. And by whole family I mean my Dad, Mom, brother, Mammaw, Pappaw, Aunts, Uncles, & cousins. There were likely some neighbors & close family friends there too.

What makes Easter special for you & your family?

Z & I haven't been married or stable in our residence long enough to create such Easter festivities. Maybe next year when we're some place we might be for more than a year at a time, we'll attempt to make our own Easter bunny cake. Momma N did make one for us 3 years ago when I first joined the Nelson family for a holiday (Z & I had been dating for a total of 2&1/2 months).

This year I'm not only excited because it truly is my favorite Christian holiday, but because I am ready for Lent to be over. The remorse, the waiting, the heaviness can all loosen & lighten up already! 

Enjoy your tea or other delightful beverage & soak up the warming Spring days & the fact that our Lord & Redeemer is incredible in this week we call Holy & always.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Snippits...the good, the bad, & the ugly

It's Palm Sunday! The church nerd inside me is fully soaking up all the Holy Week festivities this week.

photo courtesy of Bliss Street Studios 3/24/13

Today I'm linking up again with Kate & Kati for the GOOD, BAD, & UGLY to cover the last week & move into the week ahead. If you didn't check out their blogs last week, take a few minutes & enjoy life with some other bloggers at Incorporating Color & Classy Living.

the GOOD: Life is good, though crazy busy as I thrive living in the fast lane. Remembering back more than a day ago is challenging though when you live in the fast lane. I know I had lots of meetings & appointments this last week. So I thrived in networking & collaborating with others. I also participated in Humble Walk's monthly Beer & Hymns finally! It was splendid, good times & I finally got to officially meet the talented Rachel Kurtz & reunite with a few other youth & family ministry folk that I don't see too often like Tay Wilson. Tuesday Z & I went to Anchor Fish & Chips to meet up with some friends that I hadn't seen in years. We got our food & headed over to Dangerous Man Brewery for some beer & soda. Friday night was the first of several SENIOR FUN events & this one just happened to be my event. We focused on a family friendly event with the movie Happy Feet, popcorn, root-beer floats, & photos with me in a penguin suit (thanks to AButler!). Saturday I spent all day being certified, with about 50 others, as Zumba Basic 1 Instructors. I'll let yall know when I'm able to join the ZIN program & start teaching! This morning we went to worship at St. Anthony Park Lutheran & I was reunited with a friend from working @ Camp Wapo & then came home to clean up our drying laundry for Rikki from Thirsty, Nerdy, Cats & Justin to visit. A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway that Rikki did on her blog & it gave us a reason to see each other for the first time since 2008. We originally met through Spoke Folk years ago & have kept in touch through blogging & facebook. Here's some photos of the good stuff!

3 Spoke Folkers & their spouses

Z kissing his penguin wife!

RR, Me, J (our instructor), & SB at Zumba Instructor Training

Rikki & I! So blessed by friendships that withstand time & distance

the BAD: My thesis is a thesis & a word that I have dreaded for years now. I have a cover sheet, but that's about it. Thankfully I have till April 20th & the research work is pretty much done since I'm taking my Diaconal Ministry project & editing it. It's a good thing I'm passionate about Children, Youth, & Family Ministry & Pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit)

the UGLY: Two chiropractor appointments, a massage therapy session, some kenesio tape, & two slips that ended me scooting across the ground till I could find dry ground to stabilize myself on have all been helping to better or worsen my wacky muscle & joint issues. I have two more chiro & 2 more massage appointments this week & I am really hopeful that will do magic because insurance won't cover these treatments for long. Z told me I'm not allowed to talk about being old till I'm 65, so I have a few years to go!

coming up this week: I WILL WRITE 10 PAGES OF MY THESIS! This is my pledge in front of yall, to myself. A few meetings of this or that, classes through Wednesday, Holy Week festivities with the communities of Humble Walk & St. Philip's Lutheran (Z's home congregation) & Easter brunch with Dad & Mom N. Here's to productivity & a piece of holiday break!

What was GOOD, BAD, &/or UGLY about your week?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

photo courtesy of LuLuSoSo 3/22/13

Did you ever loose something & just knew that it was magically taken from you? 

I have had this happen a few times in life & genrally it reappears within a year or two tops. The problem is, if it has a mate (like a sock) I move housing often enough (at least once a year since 2003) I have typically thrown the other half away. 

This morning I was in the trunk of our car, getting out my bag chair (aka camping chair for some) for a friend to borrow & lo & behold the individually wrapped piece of salmon that we thought we were shorted of back in at least November, was hiding under the bag chair at the very back of the trunk. In the last couple of months we have smelled something funny once or twice, but nothing so horrible that we had to investigate. SO THANKFUL we found this before it really warmed up outside!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

Tuesday Tea Time! Anybody wanna write a theme song for that?! I think it'd be fun & quirky.....

First I want to say thanks to my followers. Yall don't comment very often, but it means something to see the stats provided by Blogger & even something extra special when you tell me in person that you like reading my blog.

 Mission Blog Makeover Success!

While I sit here sipping on my Tuesday Tea, I wonder when the snow will actually stop falling for the season. Here in the great white North, it just keeps dumping on us! It'll occasionally warm up to around 40 degree fahrenheit & then drop just low enough for another half foot of snow. I have to believe that in a month there will be significantly less snow & even better yet, would be no snow. It has snowed on my birthday in WI, not too far away from here, on my birthday before. Please, Lord, no more snow past March!

What will Spring bring for you?

For me it'll bring many walks & hopefully bike rides. It'll bring deadlines that will mean graduation is just around the corner. Graduation is 9 weeks from this past Sunday! It'll bring knowledge of future work and networking opportunities. It'll bring green grass & pretty flowers.

Spring will bring lighter, fruity flavored teas!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunday Snippits

Today I'm linking up with Kati & Kate for the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY

THE GOOD: I was jazzed & filled with good energy to start off last week, thus I was uber productive at the beginning of the week. I was amazed at how fast the Catholic conclave went and happy to see that everybody sincerely seems to adore Pope Francis I. Thursday night the annual Luther Seminary variety show was incredible and all for a good cause. I participated in the Zumba skit with Agape, who just happens to be a long-time friend, colleague, & classmate at Luther Sem. And lastly, time with friends is always appreciated. We went out Thursday night to celebrate a multitude of things, Friday night to celebrate AUB's b-day, and Saturday night with good friends who are going to Slovakia for his pastoral internship next year.

THE BAD: My motivation started to waiver by the end of the week & I haven't taken some prime opportunities to work on my senior thesis. I need to lock myself in a room & get it moving!

THE UGLY: I was in my first ever car accident as a passenger. Thankfully we are both okay and the car barely was scratched. However, the guy that hit us was a sad case of trippin' on something & didn't have car insurance or a driver's license. As the police officer said, the good news is the guy wasn't lying, his license had been revoked. We were able to get his license plate info and he gave his name, but ultimately he fled the scene.

coming up: I will sit down & start writing my thesis, getting to see a couple of Spoke Folk friends that I haven't seen in years, one of two group presentations will be done by Monday at 10:50am, and on Saturday I will be certified as a Basic 1 Zumba Instructor!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Foto Fun

photo courtesy of Fox News 3/13/13

What a mighty job this man has been called to. May the Lord guide him and empower him in all that he does for the Church. May the Lord guide us and empower us in all that we do for the church as people of God's creation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

photo courtesy of Eco-Artware 3/11/13

This is a tea strainer in a tea cup with some loose leave tea in it. You might be thinking "duh Julia!" Prior to the holiday season of 2012 I had never seen one like this. Then much to my surprise I received one very similar to this as a gift from my brother EWP.

My little confession, I haven't used it yet. My loose leaf that would work very nice with this strainer is more of a spring or summer-time tea. I have some older loose leaf tea from Hong Kong that I mentioned a few weeks ago. However, when not mixed with other tea bags & heavily watered down it is very strongly caffeinated tea. If you read my Tuesday Tea Time last week, you'll know that caffeine is not my friend. In fact the tea that I believe would work nicely in this strainer is also caffeinated. 

Can I get a womp, womp?!

I write all this to say that I've been straining through fun activities like hot water strains through loose leaf tea. There's such an urgency to be with one another as a graduating class and I love get togethers. I'm a social butterfly. However, I have my limits & while I am 75% extroverted, there is that other 25% that needs a little peace, quiet, & me time.

What should I be straining out of my day-to-day life?

Maybe the straining is more like a refining fire... quick who can tell me that scripture reference!

A little Tuesday Tea Time for your thoughts

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Snippits

This last week is another blur.

Mainly because I slept a LOT this last week with a darn head-cold that Z had the week before. As our professor said, "Ah, the dangers of cohabitation!"

What sticks out in my blurry memory is: Lunch with long-time friend RB. Starbucks treat to celebrate my good friend AUB. Lunch with a mentor & friend LRK. An afternoon & evening learning about resumes, interviewing, negotiating salaries, & planning a consecration service. Starbucks again to catch up with my New Dawn teammate (see Youth Encounter) for the first time in over a year & a half. Good friends' wedding & some Zumba prep for the Variety Show on campus next Thursday.

Pretty blurry & but seemingly eventful!

The wedding was a really nice service at Mercy Seat & the reception was phenomenally mostly handmade decor. We got sent home with plantable seed paper which will be fun to use when we're settled somewhere more permanently some day. It looks something like this:

photo courtesy of Gracious Rain 3/9/13


photo courtesy of Back Space 3/9/13

Coming up next week: Watching The Bible mini-series on the History Channel with B & her kitties, more class, lots of homework, some sleep, Zumba, variety show, & celebrating a friends birthday at the end of the week.

What are you looking forward to in your week ahead?

If you are interested in hearing my Lenten message about how I learned to Live Christ, here's a link to that too! Servant of Christ Lutheran Church

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Photo Reminder

Photo Courtesy of: Southwest Florida Waterfront Properties 3/7/13

Daydreaming is a new hobby of mine. Two years ago when I was working on the plans for Z's & my wedding day (with Z & others) I often drifted off to wonder what "that day" would actually be like. Now, with life in the continuous fast lane, I find myself wondering what life will be like after we graduate. 

We don't have jobs yet, but we know that we are more than well taken care of. The fact that we don't have jobs yet is what makes it more fun to daydream. Our whole future is in front of us wildly staring us back taunting us to want to know more.

What we do know is that we'll be taking a vacation to Ft. Myers Beach, FL in just a few short months!

What do you daydream about?

Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie (daydreaming) is its pleasure.  ~Victor Hugo

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

This week I find myself telling myself to embrace my inner 9 year old, who would be very excited that there's new snow on the ground, & to enjoy the beauty of snow. It does make for perfect hot tea drinking.

Lately I have been very easily distracted. Part of this is due to the fact that Z & I & our community has had a lot of exciting news in the past two weeks. Aside from finding out our regional & synodical assignments we also have friends having babies. NJB - our next door neighbor - was born last week & today JWS - friends of ours from seminary - was born yesterday & just a few weeks earlier AGH was born to some seminary friends of ours. Plus there's more babies, & hopefully more exciting news about our futures, on the way in the next couple of months!

So I wonder, how do you stay focused?

I believe it's partially just choice, but there's got to be some practice to being focused & on task too, right? Today I'm drinking chamomile tea with a splash of half & half & a bit of honey to help ease my mind & sooth my head cold symptoms. Maybe this will help me stay focused? Maybe not though, since I'm blogging about it.

As winter weather falls from the skies & I spring fever heats up next to a good case of senioritis, how do I keep from going stir crazy? 

What are some of the things you do? 

Help me stay focused!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Snippits

The fact that the Oscars was simply a week ago, seems hard to believe!

Yet again, we're livin' life in the fast lane & not always sure which end is up.

Last week: Sunday we enjoyed the Oscars with good friends. Monday - Friday is a bit of a blur with classes, meetings, & a few extra things. I preached at Servant of Christ Lutheran Church on Wednesday & I spent much of Monday & Tuesday preparing my message. The podcast isn't available yet, but should be sometime soon, so I'll be sure to post it on here. The topic was LIVE CHRIST.

How have you learned to Live Christ?

The rest of the week was filled with a movie premier & a night & a night in with some good friends. The Evidence of Hope by C. Amour is definitely worth checking out. C was on a Youth Encounter team in the mid-'90s & my family was a host family to his team, so we've known each other since I was roughly 10 years old. Through the ministry world we've managed to stay in touch all these years & it's great to see how God is using him & his talents to serve the larger church.

Where do you find evidence of hope?

THE BIG NEWS! Z & I have been assigned to North/West Lower Michigan Synod  for first calls as Diaconal Minister & Pastor in the ELCA. We'll learn more about job interviews & potentially moving in the coming weeks & months.

Coming up: A few lunch dates with long time friends that I also happened to meet through Youth Encounter's ministries. A meeting with A. Root, to hopefully better hone in on my thesis topic for Children, Youth, & Family ministry. Card night with friends, prepping for the variety show on March 14th, & Last Chance Seniors (an afternoon & evening of workshops to help us better prepare for job applications & transition into life after graduate school). We'll close up the week by celebrating with our  friend B&R in their marriage! It should be a splendid week.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Photo Reminder

Photo courtesy of: Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Visitors Bureau 3/1/13

As a child I loved going camping with my family at Silver Lake, MI. We went for several summers in a row. Growing up I didn't realize how unique the sand dunes were though. The campground is on one side of the lake & the other side is the dunes. Today I want to look around - you can do this too - and breath in something truly unique to its location. 

"God looked over everything he had made; it was good, so very good!"
Genesis 1:31a The Message Bible