Friday, September 30, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grieving Expectations

Do you ever get smacked in the face by an expectation you didn't even know you had until it is broken or let you down?  What then?

Today I felt sucker punched as an expectation I wasn't even aware mattered to me was revealed and my emotional response shocked me; honestly, I was bemused by my own response of tears.  Disappointment and frustration are always triggers for my tears but when I didn't even know I had an expectation it is somewhat hard to comprehend the emotional response of tears.

So as I contemplated my heart break I realized that regardless of my disappointment it is healthy and appropriate to grieve the loss of it. Too often I think I should discard my feelings (not respond like a girl) and put aside my disappointment and frustration without processing it.  I guess that's "bottling" which I kind of a pro at but this time I want to reflect, I want to grieve, and I want to give that broken expectation to the Lord.... not blaming anyone, not feeling sorry for myself, and not feeling silly for grieving my unexpected broken expectation.

I'm sure I could find some scripture to add as supplemental reading but my heart keeps repeating one prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; 
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; 
trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; 
that I may be reasonably happy in this life and 
supremely happy with Him forever in the next. 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Adventures in sports and getting old

A few weeks ago a friend invited me to join her and another lady to participate in a 5K Mud Run in Sanger, TX.  I thought it would be fun to do another Mud race since the last one I did was in 2003.
So Saturday was our day!  Our 5K - 18 obstacles - Mud Run started at 9:30am.  So as any good team would do we prepared for the event by making matching outfits which consisted of a bright pink t-shirt and bright pink zebra print bandannas.  We did a bit of brainstorming for what our shirts could say and came up with  Team JAC.  JAC is our first name initials (Juli, Andrea, Constance).  So these are our shirts.
We pretty much had the brightest outfits in our heat so we became known quickly at Team Pink which was fun as the race staff yelled encouragement and cheers as we ran along.  The first obstacle we came across was a giant bail of hay which had to be jumped on top of in order to climb over.  It was pretty high so pretty much we just beached ourselves on it and pulled up the rest of the way.  There was only one bail so everyone had to wait their turn to go which thinned the group out for the rest of the run.  Our third obstacle was our first mud pit which you had to army crawl through! We were instantly mud covered and drenched.  Good times!

The rest of the obstacles pretty much involved climbing over things...
like this... nothing to catch you at the bottom.
Prior to the race I had tweaked both ankles and so I decided that I better get ankle braces for the race, and boy am I glad I did!  It was fairly rough terrain for my weak ankles (we saw a guy with a broken ankle after the race) and so I was glad for the added support.

We finished the race in about 53 mins so under an hour which we were happy with considering all the mud and obstacles.

Final Mud Pit!

Muddy Team JAC!

So that was the race!  So glad I did it.

Then Sunday Phil and I had a soccer game.  He some how convinced me to play in this indoor league - I have no idea what I am doing, but I run around and flail.  This week I made a GOAL!!!!!  But playing soccer has its consequences.  Last Sunday at the soccer game I tweaked my ankles... yes that is both ankles, at separate times during the game but nevertheless both.  Then Tuesday we played a little baseball at the park and I hobbled after the balls in the outfield because actually running was kind of a joke.  So thus ankle braces were required for the Mud Run and then Sunday I had to tape my ankles for the soccer game. But now both knees hurt and I'm really hobbling around like an old woman.  Today (Monday) I don't have ankle bones that are visible I just have cankles :(

So I'm not even 29 yet and today I feel OLD!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Club

A few months back well maybe like six I joined a book club.  It all started when we first joined a small group through church.  I met a gal who was fairly new in town and she had joined a book club through and invited me to tag along.  (this is the same gal of course who we ended up going on our Colorado rafting adventure with)  Anyway,  since I have joined the group we have read Love in the Time of Cholera, The Help, Jerusalem Maiden, and I just finished The Violets of March. I thought I would do my own little synopsis of the books and ratings for those who are looking for books to read this fall/winter.

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

First of all,  a little on the author: 
Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and is the earliest winner of this prize to be still alive.
He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism.  His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magical realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo  (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them express the theme of solitude.
This book was on Oprah's list as well as this book has been made into a movie, which I haven't yet seen. 

My take on the book:

These are not meant to be plot spoiling just an overview of my thoughts.
Basically I thought this was the book that would never end.  "Gabo" is known for being very descriptive, and that he was.  I appreciated the detail with which he described the setting; however, the plot just wasn't one I got into. Well actually, I guess I got into it and then I got sick of it.  I loved the idea and the first part of the book and the end, but for me, the middle was a drag.  The main character Florentino drove me crazy.  He needs a therapist.  And his coping style was obnoxious.  Gabo created an elaborate story with so many characters with small parts it is almost impossible to remember them all  - let alone correctly.

Okay so that isn't a raving review but I'm glad I read the book.  I feel a little more cultured.

The Help, 
Kathryn Stockett
So again I will start with about the author,  
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. The Help is her first novel. 
So of course I found this quite intriguing because in so many ways she is writing her story.  Many have seen the movie so I don't really need to talk about the plot but I enjoyed the book immensely and I was pleasantly surprised at how closely the movie followed the book with only a few changes which I understand for movie purposes.  As far as characters, I adored Minny she has the stubbornness yet faithfulness I find within myself.
I never cease to be amazed that such hatred and racial turmoil that took place not very many years ago -- not even a lifetime ago (and let's be honest it still happens today) 

Jerusalem Maiden, 
Talia Carner
I have to admit I don't know much about this author but the novel was very intriguing to me.  Several people I talked to said they had a really hard time getting into the book and my personal thought on this is because they aren't "religious" people.  I found this book so interesting because it depicts the life of a Hasidic Jew in the early 1900's.  Her inner turmoil of her creative passion fighting against her strict religious society and her desire to honor God the way she had been taught creates a battle and a dynamic worth considering.  The first few chapters are kind of smack-you-in-the-face religious sterility but the story that follows is far from stale and definitely crossed bounds from what I expected. 

Violets of March, Sarah Jio
I read this book so fast!  I don't know how many pages it has cause I didn't look it up and since I read it on my Kindle I never see that but I read it in about 3 sittings which was unreal!  It was certainly a fluff book compared to the others.  Just a life book - about hurt, love, betrayal, secrets, forgiveness, all that good stuff.  Can't say my life was changed by this book it was a bit predictable but since I read it so quickly I didn't mind, I mean everybody can use a little soap opera in their life whether they are daytime soap's or Gray's Anatomy.... this book hit the spot for an easy read.   

Well that's it for book club reads so far.

Some other books of interest I have read:
Water for Elephants, which I loved and can't wait to see the movie. 
Same Kind of Different as Me, I cried - so will you.
Kite Runner
Confesssions of a Shopaholic
 If you want a review let me know I'll be glad to share my take.

And more...  if you like to read and what to keep up with what your friends are reading a great site that I use is

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

The List
I decided the other day to reembark on an adventure I haven't participated in since high school; that is, hunting for treasures in thrift stores.  Of course, Pinterest is the culprit behind this long lost desire.  So I decided on Wednesday during my lunch break to take twenty bucks and see what what I could find.  I started my hunt at The Goodwill.  I took with me my list of things to look for so I wouldn't get lost or discouraged -- sometimes the hodgepodge of stuff is overwhelming to my type A personality.  So I headed right in to the housewares area looking for brass candle sticks, mason jars, cool mugs, old chandeliers, etc.

I found a chandelier that would be pretty awesome painted a bright color but I think it is too big for my low ceiling house.  I guess if I was truly committed I could get it and paint it and sell it for a good price, but that sounds like making a hobby a job and I don't think I'm ready for that.  Maybe one day...

Unfortunately... no wait fortunately I got a bit distracted in the dishes area.  I was inspired!  Much of my house is very eclectic well I actually describe it as modern eclectic because I love to mix the modern with the vintage eclectic. But as most engaged couples do we registered for dishes and kitchen ware for our wedding and were blessed by our family and friends to receive plenty.  But it's all the same!  I don't know maybe it just matches too much but I love the idea of mismatched dishes.  So each place setting is unique. So I started gathering dishes that were in my favorite color palette which is greens, browns, and golds.

I also found a few other things I couldn't resist.

Note: the blue one has Ray etched in it!!!!
The clear glass mug I am hoping is actual glass and not pyrex... I don't really know how to tell.  I need to look into that, anyway I really want to etch it.  Here's to hoping!

So The Goodwill was a success... although I didn't find much that was on my original list so I decided since I  still had money from my $20 left over that I would hit one more store.  Hear I found brass candle sticks!  This store had TONS of clothes so I could probably find some good shirts for making skirts or quilts but I was pretty much out of time on my lunch break so I took my candle sticks and went home.

The idea behind the candle sticks is that I paint them... but then I got them home and kind of loved them just as they are - so I don't know if I'm going to paint them or not.

Well I really had a good time and I hope that my hubby isn't too annoyed with the my rekindled hobby and joy of great finds.  Oh I found a large black ceramic vase at a garage sale in my neighborhood today, as  I rode by on my bike, for $3!!! So awesome.  I'll probably re paint that one!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sun Pictures

I was syncing my phone the other day and in the process decided I should download all of my phone pictures so they would be safe.  I synced them into iPhoto and began sorting them into their proper folders.  As I was doing that I realized a had quite a repetition of photos.

The main categories were:

  • Me (I sort of use it as my mirror)
  • Food I Made
  • Dogs
  • Sun

The category with the overwhelming majority of photos was Sun.  I realized that I take a sun picture about once a day, generally in the morning because my commute is usually around sunrise or just after but sometimes the clouds provide exceptional midday photos that just can't be passed up... if you can get the phone out and app loaded before the moment is gone.

I decided that I should display these images... so here they are:

I made a movie.