Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

Tuesday Tea Time!

photo courtesy of Center Church

I didn't know what I was going to talk about other than this adorable Tea Time photo I found today, until I saw a Kays Jewelers commercial. 

I know they're selling love & think that every kiss begins with 'K,' but c'mon! Really? This is how you promote love between two people? You have the guy propose in your store? That's weird & public & not at all creative. So I clearly like some creativity & I was thankful that my engagement with Z was not public. 


How do you promote love between two people?

and shoot, look at that cute icon I found from an event at a UCC church in MA!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Snippits!

Goodmorning! Here we are back again
linking up with Kate & Kati with
the GOOD, the Bad, & the UGLY

GOOD: Last money may have actually been the last snow for a few months! The last three days in a row have been in the high 60's to low 70's & it has been glorious. It's so nice to move some fresh air through our apartment. My second highlight was hanging out with WOK not once, but twice. He even did a jig when I came to the door on Friday morning. Gotta love hanging out with a 2y/o whose worst part of his day is maybe getting his diaper changed. Everything else is peachy! Then Friday night we got to have the first grill out of the year with some good friends. It was good times all around. To top off the week, Saturday I went to the movies with my girl friends AUB & BDL to see The BIG Wedding. BDL is getting married this summer, so it was fun to see it with a bride to be. AUB's wedding was the summer before Z's & mine so that's all pretty fresh too. The movie was a good laugh with a great cast. Z & I also got to FaceTime with our niece EJ & her parents JMN & CDN. EJ will be 1 in June & is quite adventuresome. She maybe tried to eat the camera on the ipad once or twice. To top off the night I finished my first full draft of my defense presentation & Z decided to make brownies from scratch!

BAD: It snowed another 6 inches last Monday evening. It was wet & heavy. People have started to have a pretty great humor about it, but this hoosier girl is not impressed. The end of the school year is slightly stressing several people out.

UGLY: The last part of bad might be the ugly really. Our emotions are up & down & when I say our, I mean Z, me, & our entire community. The weekend of graduation is exciting, but creating a bit of stress because of all that's being crammed into one weekend, with the ultimate knowledge that it might be our last time seeing many of these people ever again.

Coming up:  Today we are going to see KJ get ordained as a pastor in the ELCA! Tomorrow is Word & Service led chapel at Luther Seminary & I'm receiving an award for leadership (with other leaders too). Thursday I will turn in one final assignment & essentially be done with all of my assignments. I'm the student host for a showing of The Evidence of Hope with the producer, Thursday evening. Then Friday & Saturday are spent with final CYF class time & thesis defense.

That's life in the fast lane!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

Photo courtesy of The Line Media

As we transition with life there are places that I realize I haven't gone to regularly while I've lived here, but I will miss once we're gone. The Finnish Bistro is one of these places. Tonight we were blessed to be able to spend time with a potential student & his family & have dinner at the Finnish Bistro. There's always good food, good baked goods, & it's attached to a Dunn Bro's Coffee - or the Dunn Bro's is attached to the bistro. Dunn Bro's isn't my favorite coffee shop as a non-coffee drinker, but from our good friend PMc, we hear that they have the best coffee around.

When I was in college the place I always visited (often with AJO, MB, or JMDT) was Cup O Joe.

Where's your missing bistro or coffee shop?

Wondering what my next place will be...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time...with the English!

Tuesday Tea Time!

photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

This morning I am drinking English Breakfast Tea,so I'm not really with the English. Though I often like to reminisce about my time in Scotland & England. It's hard to believe that this Fall it will have been 8 years since I ventured across the ocean on my own. The above picture reminds me of several tea rooms that I enjoyed with friends while I studied at Stirling Uni

While the snow continues to cover my world, I daydream about being back in one of these places. Shoot, I daydream about being back in IN or OH where they haven't had snow for weeks! However, there is work to be done to finish out my degree & then the sunny shores of warmer weather & iced tea can be a reality. 

What are you daydreaming about being a reality?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Snippits!

Sunday Snippits
with the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY

the GOOD: In the last week I spent several days & many hours on my computer editing & re-editing my Children, Youth, & Family Ministry (aka CYF) thesis. I seriously have not edited with such significant changes maybe ever. However, I turned it in Friday night & look forward to defending it in a couple of weeks. I reworked my Diaconal project & my work from my Holy Spirit course to make a new paper & feel like I have something of quality compared to the pieces it came from. It really was a matter of refining. Tomorrow is my final group presentation for another course, so a lot of time was spent on preparation for that as well. One of my favorite times of the week was of course hanging with WOK. It's so fun to have a 2 y/o excited to see you :-) Saturday Z & I went to Fuji Ya for a celebration dinner thanks to Groupon. It was SO much wonderful Japanese food! Then we celebrated being a month away from graduation & being done with writing another thesis with some friends at Station 280. All in all it was a hectic, productive, & celebratory week.

the BAD: I am lacking sleep. It's the end of the semester & I am trying to have all of my assignments done by Thursday May 2nd because they're really all due by Monday May 6th. However, the weekend is filled with CYF Defense & a friend's Bachelorette party. My recovery from the auto accident I was in last month is taking longer because my backpack is so heavy. However, now that I have my thesis writing done, it might not be as heavy. Here's to hoping!

the UGLY: There was a lot of ugly last week :-( The first thing was the Boston Marathon bombings. I heard about it while at work & didn't realize how serious it was. Then I found out later that my best friend from college & maid of honor was actually at the marathon cheering on a friend who was running. They are both thankfully alright & doing what they can to continue on with their day-to-day schedules. Then there was the explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, TX that killed & injured several people. Finally there was severe flooding in my home town & a bomb scare that created a stir there too. Oh, & did I mention there was more snow & there's more coming?

Coming up: MORE finalizing assignments. I have to put together a 10min defense presentation, write 10 pages for another course (between 3 assignments) & do some exegetical work for a sermon for another course. Tomorrow night is a fun girls' night with some friends for KW's upcoming wedding, Thursday is another fun girls' night with some of my senior classmates, & then hanging out with WOK again. It should be a pretty good week & it's actually looking hopeful that it might be above fifty degrees next week!

Hebrews 12:1-2

New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

photo courtesy of The UQ Psyc Blog

When you google the word 'thesis' you get some funny comics. I suppose they're only funny if you've lived through, or with somebody, writing a thesis. 

Your thesis becomes your life. It is something you truly believe in, no matter the length that you are asked to produce on your topic. The topic essentially is your life. You lose sleep due to research & editing. You eat whatever is put in front of you just to get a meal. You start wearing nothing but workout clothes & don't worry about your hygiene. You find relief in daily household things like washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, or doing the laundry. And when you get near the due date you have a feeling that you need to scrap the whole thing & start over. It's not good enough, but for who or what?! 

How do you describe your life in 3 minutes?

I'll let you know my answers after the readers have seen it & the defense day has come & gone (so in a few weeks!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time! ...a piece of stress relief


Apparently today is National Stress Awareness Day. I say apparently because other than a friend's post on Facebook, I couldn't find anything officially declaring this. The closest I got to a clear declaration was that it is a national day of awareness in the UK. This is quite fitting after yesterdays's events at the Boston Marathon, finishing my graduate school thesis (due Saturday), & figuring what comes with life after graduation in less than 5 weeks.


It is part of our daily lives, part of our being. It is often translated into levels of anxiety. Because both stress & anxiety are active parts of our life, they do not need to be negative pieces of our life.

How do you manage your stress?

If it's not obvious, I manage my stress by drinking tea. I don't believe I've ever had Kava Tea, but it is labeled as a stress reliever. Is anybody familiar with Kava Tea? I also participate in things that lift my energy & increase my endorphins, bringing a smile to my face. One of my favorite things is dance & another is travel. Ultimately, I find peace in dwelling in scripture. While there is plenty of intense & graphic scripture, I make sure to dwell in that on days that I am not as stressed.

What lifts your energy to a smile?

And I must admit, I also am a stress eater & cleaner. When I feel like I cannot control other outside forces of my life, I do what I can to control the tangible things in my home. A clean kitchen is an accomplishment that helps me to breath easier. This may also be because my kitchen is also my dining room & my living room.

Where is your stress today? 

Prayers for your stress, whatever level it may be, & that a deep breath, an encouraging word, & mug of relaxation be part of your day!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Snippits

We're back for another week life in the fast-lane!
Because I find it easy to highlight the past week we're gonna keep going with
the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY

the GOOD: This last week was busy, but fairly mild. I completed a full draft of my thesis. The light is a little brighter! I also got to hang with WOK, a pretty cool 2 y/o that have been privileged to kid-sit for over the past several months.

the BAD: the snow...in April

the UGLY: more snow...in April

up & coming: MORE THESIS! It's due in next weekend. Rain pellets & today's Twins vs. the Mets game postponed till August! Hang time with WOK & a sushi date with Z.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

Photo Courtesy of T0M & Jerry's Wordpress Blog

While everything seemed to be melting & letting Spring come up, the Ice Queen reared her ugly head (with awesome dreads) & graced us with more ice & snow. The only place I've seen flowers like this are in church or the grocery store. In Minnesnowda, they really haven't had a chance to start to bud yet.

No, not the most uplifting reality of Spring, but a piece of beauty in the gray winter weather.

Where do you find beauty amidst the gray?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

Do you have a favorite travel mug?

I ask this because there are dozens of styles of travel mugs these days. I know we have some even in storage either in IN or MN (at either of our parents' homes) that I am eager to use eventually. However, at the same time, a good travel mug is not something that I lack. Last year for my birthday my friend M gave a nice new travel mug & a matching floral thermos. She knows how much I love my tea!

A couple of years ago, when Z & I first started dating, I bought him a Contigo travel mug. Naturally, he has misplaced it several times, but thankfully always been able to find it. I was so impressed with his, that I got one for myself shortly after. Naturally it had to be purple, as I'm slightly in love with the color purple.

It looks something like this, but not this because this is the new style:
This is purple & shiny!

There's only one problem.

I attract leaky travel mugs!

I kid you not, I had a travel mug that I bought freshmen year at CAP & when I lived in a van doing traveling ministry with Youth Encounter, it rolled to the back one day & I never saw it again. Van 78 - if it was on my New Dawn year - ate my travel mug. It was all down hill from here. My life-long bff bought me a beautiful gold sparkly one for Christmas, before the van ate my other one, & I had a brain fart & tried to microwave it one day. BAD IDEA! So I bought a new one & it is nice, but small. 

How hot does your tea kettle get?

I believe my problem is patience. Tea kettles of all sorts make water incredibly hot. I think I put such hot water in my contigo travel mug, & others, SO many times, that I have melted some of the seals that help keep it warm & with Contigo, the seals that help keep it from being spill proof.

If I turn my purple Contigo upside down full of hot water, it sprays out horizontally from the mug like a garden hose when you put your thumb over the end.

What's leaking out of your mug today?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Snippits

Sunday Snippits with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Props to Kati & Kate!

GOOD: Easter Sunday was a fun & eventful day spent with family. Then the week sped by with class, assignments, appointments, & meetings. Last Monday two of my friends & I enjoyed dinner together at Shish. I met both friends in seminary, but one actually started at CAP after I had graduated. The Bible finished it's series & is now on the shelves at Target. It's an alright depiction of the stories. Thursday some of my senior girl friends & I had dinner with a group of the women faculty of Luther. It was a blast! We bid on this dinner at the annual variety show a few weeks back. The weekend has been filled with Spring cleaning, thesis writing, & weddings. Yesterday we attended the wedding of two of Z's high school friends & today we celebrated with my friend AWC & her new husband. They just happen to live in MI, so we'll be reconnecting again in the near future!

BAD: My great Uncle Roy passed away last weekend. I didn't really know him, but he was the last of my Grandpa Harold's brothers to pass away. Grandpa Harold passed away back in Oct. '94.

UGLY: Feeling suffocated as the weather gets nicer & the school work still exists. SENIORITIS

UP NEXT: more thesis work, meetings, class, & other homework. Depending on how all that goes, maybe a service project & maybe a party. Next Sunday we'll be at the Twins game vs the NY Mets!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Foto Fun!

photo courtesy of Camp Watcha Wanna Do

Do you have a place that you can go & simply escape? 

When I was 7 years old I was the poster child (literally, the only bald kid who was willing to be on camera) for the new camp for kids with cancer in Northern Indiana. Camp Watcha Wanna-Do (Be Watcha Wanna-Be) is a memory of the past. A past part of me that is scary to look back on because it is easy to forget the scary things in life. A past part of me that is wonderful to be reminded of because I met one of my life-long best friends there & dealt with things in life that we didn't know how to talk about with other friends. I got to go up in a hot air balloon & try high ropes course challenges. One of my favorite memories is that I used to pack my clothes for camp up to two weeks early. I LOVED camp!

Where is your camp?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time!

photo courtesy of Defective Compositions (another BLOG!)

Do you ever yearn for a day with nothing to do?

While I do not believe the yearning is counter-cultural, the day with actually nothing to do is counter-cultural. Even if we have a day with no appointments or agenda, we most likely will come up with things to get done. 


Holy Week was intended to be a holiday break from school, but other than some intentional choosing of social & church events to partake in, I don't feel like I got the break I was so badly wanting. Maybe this is partially my own fault, but it is also due to my desire to get some school work done & some of my thesis written. I don't even want to think about all the unfinished projects I've started over the years or even ones that I've intended to start, but haven't gotten there yet.

The funny little icon in the photo is supposed to be laundry. It's a format for making a free weekly laundry schedule. When I googled "a day with nothing" or "a day without a schedule" I got images such as 


How to make a schedule & how to fill a schedule with consumption!


This made me chuckle as it wasn't surprising. My curiosity made me wonder what images might come up.

This was one of my favorites. Place a few of my closest friends scattered around the globe in those seats & it would be a slice of heaven.

What does a day without agenda look like for you?

Here's to a day or two without an agenda or "to do" list!
Mine will get here roughly by the end of May.

Enjoy what's in your mug!