Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Josh!

Happy 26th to my cute, sweet husband!

We've had some bad luck with being together for birthdays... For mine in September Josh was at a retreat and I was in Grand Rapids. Now I'll be in Grand Rapids again for his birthday... leaving later today. Not so fun, but we make the best of it! We did a little celebration at home last night (including home cooking, which hasn't happened around here in at least a month) and plan to spend a weekend away sometime this Spring in St. Joseph to check out things for the summer :). Should be fun!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Book Meme! My favorite kind.

Here is a quiz that is near and dear to my heart - books! I got it from this blog and would be curious to hear the answers of other bloggy friends (hint, hint). And because The Bible could be included in so many of these answers I'm going to not include here. Just assume I read it and my life has been significantly changed. :)

One book that changed your life. What's So Amazing About Grace or Cold Tangerines. Or The Irresistible Revolution

One book that you have read more than once. Oh so many of them, including the Anne of Green Gables series (the cover actually fell off Anne's House of Dreams), the Little House series, and the Harry Potter series. Pretty much any Roald Dahl, Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, or Judy Blume book would make that list, too. Do you get the impression that was I was big re-reader as a kid?

One book you would want on a desert island. A Diary of Private Prayer. And Redeeming Love.

Two books that made you laugh. Blue Like Jazz and Messy Spirituality

One book that made you cry. Where The Red Fern Grows... but surprisingly not Marley and Me, which is why my friend Kendra calls me "dead inside."

One book you wish you'd written. I know Harry Potter is the obvious answer... but I'll have to go with that, too. Most popular books in history? Come on...

One book you wish had never been written. This one was a toughie, but I agree with Sarah about Wuthering Heights.

Two books you are currently reading. Feed (a young adult book recommended by my friend Lora) and Sacred Marriage (which we're reading with some other couples from church)

One book you've been meaning to read. This list could go ON... but includes Dear Church, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Peppermint-Filled Pinatas, Sin Boldly (which won't be out for awhile), Stumbling Toward Faith, I Am The Messenger, more Jodi Piccout books

I have a couple of additional questions to add:

New favorite author: Charles Martin, author of When Crickets Cry, Wrapped in Rain, and one of my new favorites, Chasing Fireflies.

Books you think you should read but have never been able to get through: The Lord of the Rings series. I don't know how I made it through my bookworm childhood without ever reading these. Still as an adult I can't, even though I've #1 watched the movies and #2 Josh owns the audio books. Still nothing.

Books that have touched your life (but you couldn't necessarily say changed your life): Anne Frank, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, Travelling Mercies, Not For Sale, Number the Stars

Summer Destination: West Michigan?

Just as we had suspected, this past week was crazy, stressful, and difficult for Josh. He had somewhere around 7 interviews for 6 companies, and it was a roller coaster of ups, downs, call backs, offers, and rejections.

We have been thinking about and praying through this Psalm all week, remembering that we have a God keeps and watches over us. It hasn't been easy, but overall I'm so proud of him for keeping a good attitude.

And Thursday evening he got some terrific news! One of the companies he was interested in called him with the promise of an offer for a summer internship! He is SUPER excited about this opportunity and quite relieved to have something in place. We'll find more details next week, but we DO know that we may well be in a little town on Lake Michigan for the summer! And that he'll probably be doing marketing for certain home appliances... very exciting. He has a couple more interviews lined up, so we don't know for sure... but it is great to have at least one exciting offer.

Thank you Lord for your continued provision and direction!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the Journey Continues

Does life ever get dull? I don't think mine has... it is always changing. And I'm still working on trusting God with each twist or turn.

The next one regards my job. Back in September I took a part time administrative assistant job with the local Chamber of Commerce and have really had an excellent 5ish months with them. SUCH a great group of people who made me feel welcomed and appreciated from the moment I started. And then "Big Z" (as I refer to it in my head) came back and surprised me with an offer to come back with them full time. Josh and I spent significant time thinking and praying about it, and decided it would be the best move. It is definitely an honor to be offered such a great position, and it will be a great way to grow in my career. Praise be to the God that opens the right doors at the right time.

Today was my last day at the Chamber, and I'll be back full time with Z starting on Monday. This new job will involve some travel, but not too far or too much. I'm excited to learn some new things... and I know I have a long way to go! And I'll be back in GR a little more often, which is sad in a sense as I'll be away from Josh but nice in the sense that I'll get to see family and friends a bit more.

... and the Chamber folks were sweet enough to send me off with a really nice card and gift certificate to a yummy local place. How nice is that? I'll definitely miss them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Pilgrim on a Journey

I'm loving this Psalm right now...

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Im learning how it was actually sung by Jews who were making their way to Jerusalem for various feasts and festivals. The literal references to a journey are everywhere - feet, sun, coming and going. I love imagining God's faithful on that trip to the promised land, trusting him for safe travels.

But I don't think that a literal journey it all this is talking about. I'm continually learning about the journey-ness of life. There are so many things I want to do and be and am just not "there" yet. And won't be this side of Heaven. Sometimes just putting one foot in front of another is all I can do. Acknowledging the journey is key for me. Its okay for me to be unfinished, in process. As Shawna Neiquist puts it, "I imagine God noticing all the things about me that should get fixed up one day, and loving me anyway and being okay with the mess for the time being." Exactly.

Then there's trusting God with the journey. Acknowledging the journey only gets me so far. I'm such a planner, such a security-lover. Where will Josh work? Where will we live? Will we have a family someday? I'm slooowly working on, as I walk through life, trusting the One who does not slumber or sleep, who watches over me now and forever. I don't like the phrase, "let go and let God" as I think you can take that one too far. But working on trusting God for the next step, and for his continuing presence and guidance, is what I'm doing right now. I know there will be bumps and bruises as I travel, but God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, promises never to leave or forsake me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

LeCompte Visit

A random weekend with longtime friends... what could be better?

We spent a fun, lazy weekend with Chris and Dee Dee, complete with late night chats, The Office, outlet shopping, a quick, cold campus tour, and lots of good food. Dee Dee was even sweet enough to run my 2 miles with me on Saturday. It almost killed both of us, but we did it! On to 2.25 tonight...

Anyway, here we are at Oliver Winery, a super popular wine tasting spot here in Bloomington.

-Good old fashioned conversations about life, jobs, homeownership, etc. I love catching up!
-Walking ALL around the HPER (old student gym) to find treadmills that we eventually discovered just aren't there
-Eating cheese fondue twice in 1 weekend
-Testing our ability to tell Coke apart from Pepsi (3 out of the 4 of us were succesful!)
-Finding excellent deals (including a $65 Ann Taylor suit) at the outlet mall

And now we're looking forward to what will inevitably be one of the craziest, busyest, and most stressful couple of weeks in the business school process. Internship interviews start tomorrow and Josh has 6 scheduled in the next 3 days. We're praying for successful interviews, calm nerves, and, well, internship offers, but also for the right perspective in all of this...

Running Update: I ran that 2.25 m only by the grace of God tonight. Definitely a toughie...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happiness Is...

I enjoyed reading this post and this post and thought I'd throw in mine as well...
...a cute husband who brought me my special latte from Starbucks (grande vanilla with skim milk and two pumps of syrup) out of the blue this week

...a visit from my parents (see below for a picture of my mom + Riles)

...taking an afternoon nap with Riley (who is always up for naps!)

...friends coming to visit for the weekend. the kind of friends you don't have to entertain but are happy to watch The Office or play Guitar Hero with us all day long. we will miss caring for Natalie this time around!

...organizing my scrapbook paper into 3 foot shelf I bought on sale this week at Hobby Lobby

...trips to Hobby Lobby, and un-spent gift cards to use while there

...a bubble bath with a good book, like this one or this one
...digging into the Psalms of Ascent (more on that later, I'm sure!)
...a birthday party planned for Josh, Amber, and Chad tomorrow night (and the cheese fondue we're planning on bringing)
...a clean and tidy apartment, which was done today in preparation for our friends' visit! otherwise we're not all that on top of things...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The New Look

I'd like to give props to my husband for the new blog header!

I had wanted to jazz up the blog for awhile but didn't know how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to make it happen. We bought the programs a few months ago (students can get them really cheap, which was helpful) but I've been clueless as to how to use them. Josh had used them during architecture school but hadn't had the chance to show me.
Then we were looking at some of the cute Christmas cards we got from friends who had ordered from Tiny Prints and I mentioned how I really liked the designs that website comes up with. Josh responded with, "you know you can design your own on Illustrator, right?" And then he offered to give me lessons that next evening. I've only BARELY scratched the surface but WOW is that a fun program to use! Can't wait to make holiday cards for next year. Should be considerably easier than making them by hand, like this past year!
Josh took the lead on the blog header and did a great job. Nothing too fancy (yet) but I like it. Plus it was fun to sit next to him and learn all about it.
Just what I need... another hobby. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Family Photo

I asked my mom to take some shots of the three of us when she was here visiting. We have so few and it would nice to have a couple nice ones...

We soon learned that getting an excited, confused, distractable dog to cooperate makes things a little interesting. Here are some that we came up with, however.

And in case you're curious, those are monkeys wearing santa hats on my jammie pants in the bottom picture.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Since this crazed entry, I've had some good time to pray and seek the counsel of friends, and think I've figured out a few things about the upcoming semester...

So here is a glimpse into my life for the next few months...

1. Still planning on that mini-marathon! Yesterday I actually ran 1.75 miles, more than I ever have before, and it just about killed both me and Riley. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but there was a certain feeling of accomplishment there that felt good. Tomorrow is a 2 mile run... yikes.

2. Co-leading the Partners Club. Although it sounds crazy that this would be important or a big job, I really think both are true. Lots of planning, meeting with the school, answering questions of prospective partners, and social activities. Last night was a really successful event, in my opinion, the kind that reminds me that this work is worthwhile. It was just a casual get-together, but the other leaders and I made a point to call partners we don't know to personally invite them. Three "newbies" came and, as far as I can tell really enjoyed themselves. One of the girls I talked to admitted she was really lonely sitting at home in the evenings and was looking forward to making new friends with this group. With so many of us in the same boat (new town, don't know people, partner busy with school) there is no reason for people to be lonely or bored. That's why we're here.

3. Trip to South America is planned for March! Yay!

4. Although we're working out exactly when to start, we are moving forward with some other couples with a church small group on Sunday evenings. At least two other couples are interested, and we're looking forward to that.

5. Very excited about this as well. Although I know I'll have to miss some sessions here and there, I'm starting this Beth Moore Bible study at church on Wednesday. I'll have almost daily homework, but think the discipline and accountability will be good for me.
What I'm cutting out, however, is KATS. Back in November, I had agreed to do it again in the spring semester, and I hadn't wanted to back out. But I explained my situation to the organizer, who is also a good friend of mine, and she said it wouldn't be a huge problem on her end for me to change my mind. So I won't be making the extra cash this semester, but there are more important things than that!
Now I'm off to do some house cleaning in preparation for my parents to visit. They'll be here until Tuesday - yay :)

Big Yawn

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Benny Look-a-like

Yesterday I was at the Chamber over lunchtime and stepped out to walk a block down to a local organic grocery store to grab a sandwich. Right as I rounded the corner to the store, I spotted a kid who was the SPITTING IMAGE of Ben, my little brother. So much that I did a double take and thought, "what the heck is my brother doing in Bloomington?"

Same face, same skinny-ness, same long curly brown hair, same mustache. See left for a picture of my actual brother and you will also see a picture of this kid.

So of course I stared at him open mouthed, realized he wasn't actually my brother, and continued to turn back to look at him because the resemblance was so uncanny. And of course the poor kid got really freaked out and I had to explain, feeling both foolish and bad for being so weird, that he looked like my brother. Then he game me a strange look that turned into a half smile, then took off. Probably thinking, "that was weird." Can't blame him.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Completely Random

I realized that I've missed blogging about some things recently, so here is some catch up.

See left for a shot of Josh & family playing some golf from our recent trip to Phoenix. I was observing the game from a hill next to the bunker - a great place to sit. We spent a relaxing 5-ish days in the Phoenix area over New Year's. Lots of good eating, board game playing (I even won a couple games of Settler's and Ticket To Ride this time!) and family time. Plus IU was in a bowl game (BIG STUFF for IU) and we got to see them lose. Sad, but still fun to go and support the Hoosiers. Plus, who doesn't get excited about a little arm marching?
And now we're back in Indiana and working/schooling/etc. and have been for about a week.

I am in LOVE with my new Cricut. A scrapbooker/card maker's dream. Seriously, with the exception of the Christmas tree on the left, everything you can see here was cut out with my new toy.
I'm not a manual-reader but my friend Lora is and went through page by page and explained all the cool features. Glad she did because I learned all sorts of fun things about its capabilities. Like big shapes, small shapes, paper saving, etc. I'm looking forward to making special cards and things for family and friends. Plus the exciting scrapbooking dimension... mm... :)
And of course a fur-ball update. Josh and I came home from AZ early Thursday morning, but we didn't get the rug-rat back until Sunday evening. A very sad couple of days! But we knew of someone that was conveniently already driving from Grand Rapids to Bloomington that Sunday and figured it was worth it to wait. Definitely nice to not have to take a big road trip to get him! But we're super excited to have him back at home with us. What a joy he is, even if he does like to chew on my slippers from time to time.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 7, 2008

Too Much?

More thoughts on the year ahead.

I have big issues with taking on too much. Spreading myself too thin. This is true both in work stuff and personal stuff. There are so many things I want to do in 2008 (even just in the winter semester!) that I'm having a hard time making some immediate decisions. I'm trying to pray a lot about what to take on, and what to pass by. It is so hard! I like to be involved in so much!!

Here is what I have planned already for the semester:

Running in a Mini-Marathon in May
As previously discussed. And this will involve some significant training.

Co-leading the Kelley Partner's Club
My friend Lora and I are Co-Presidents this year. The KPC is a group of partners of MBA students here at IU. They did a wonderful job welcoming me to Bloomington, answering my questions, and just planning all kinds of activities so that I didn't have to sit at home all semester while Josh was busy with school. This group has been such a wonderful social/support network for our move here, and I'm happy to help carry it on for new partners! But leading this group is actually a lot of work. Meetings, correspondence, planning, etc.

Trip to Chile/Argentina in March
WAY excited for this one. The school calls these "KIPs" trips (Kelley in Perspective, I think) and Josh will actually take a class on business in those countries, then go, then eventually get some credits too. But I (along with a few other wives) am going along for the ride! The students won't be busy EVERY day, and when they are we can just do some extra sight-seeing.

I did this last semester and involves working for the business school and getting well paid for it. Somewhere around 30 hours, spread over a few weeks. Doesn't sound so bad until I remember I'll still have a normal job to work and KIPS falls right in the middle. But extra $ always helps when you're married to a full time student!

And here are some things up in the air:

Small Group with Church
We kind-of started a small group with some other young couples in the fall, but I get the feeling it is falling apart at the seams. We have a book picked and bought, but when I email out information only 1 or 2 people (out of 4-5) answer. Are people just too busy? Not interested? Not sure. If it does get up and running, that would be great. We've had great experiences with small group in the past and hope for the same here in Bloomington.

Women's Bible Study with Church
Am I crazy? I'm beginning to think so. I wouldn't think twice about this opportunity except they're starting a Beth Moore study (her new one) on Psalms in a couple weeks. I HEART Psalms and have really wanted to do a Beth Moore study with other women for a long time. I've done some workbooks on my own and always learn so much. I'm sure it will only be better in a group of people working through it together.

Spending time with Josh, Riley, and friends. Work (more on that at a later date) and church and time spent in prayer and the Bible. Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, reading, crafting, blogging. :) And as I've mentioned, I really want to get out there and serve people. Plus there is a part of me that knows it is sometimes best to be still. I'm praying specifically about the Beth Moore study in particular, and am leaning toward NOT doing that one. Is that the right thing to do? Especially after just typing this out I'm leaning toward that one.

I'm honestly asking for advice. Please feel free to leave some!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thoughts for 2008

He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly
and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

When I think of resolutions and goals for myself, this verse often comes to mind. I don't know that I'd call the principles listed above goals or resolutions, but more overarching truths to align my life with. Not that I'll ever "get there" (whatever that means) but I want to make it my life's work to pursue each of these things. I love both the simplicity and depth found in this verse, and am thankful that while I can get my mind around these truths with relative ease, there will always be more to learn and grow in with each.

With that in mind, I've been thinking some in the last couple of weeks about New Year's resolutions. While I agree that they're almost meant to be broken when called such, now is such a great time for new goals. Something about January says "fresh start" for me. Maybe its because I still think in terms of semesters, like I'm still in school. Now that Josh's life is again set according to a school calendar, this is even more the case.

But here are my goals for 2008:

1. Pray

Consistency in prayer has been an issue throughout my walk with God. While I understand in my head that it is important and worthwhile and good, I fail to do it on a regular basis. Like, beyond a blessing before a meal or a quick "help me." My heart isn't always into it, and this frustrates me. And then I just don't do it. Spending more time on my knees (or even talking to God while soaking in a bubble bath) is definitely on my list of goals.

2. Serve

In some capacity or another, I want to serve people in the name of Christ this year. The poor, the sick, the needy. I have a bad habit of being paralyzed by not knowing how to serve or what to get involved in. A soup kitchen? A crisis pregnancy center? Helping international families get acclamated to the States? I don't know which and I don't know how to jump in. And then I just don't. But it is my heart's desire to get out of my comfortable shell and serve others.

3. Run

Back in October, I got really excited about running. And I did it relatively consistently through Thanksgiving, which is big for unathletic me. And then I got sick and stopped doing it. BUT I'm still signed up for a mini-marathon in May and need to get in shape to run it. I don't AT ALL feel like getting off the couch and out there on the sidewalks, but I know it will be good for me on several levels. So here we go.

So there we have it. Don't know how all this will pan out, but those goals are on my heart and mind right now for 2008. I think these specific goals fit relatively well with my "life verse" (hey, I can run humbly with God too, right? :)). I hope so.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 In Review

1) Where did you begin 2007?

At the Telman's house with the rest of our old small group - Buurstras and VanHaitsmas. We played games and ate a lot, then left there and went to my parents party, which was still going strong until 4am.

2) What was your status by Valentine's Day?

Married. Neither of us have any idea what we did to celebrate.

3) Were you in school (anytime this year)?

Nope - but Josh started an MBA program this fall

4) How did you earn your money?

Worked at Zondervan full time through July. They graciously allowed me to go part time from Bloomington when we moved, so I've done that since. Then in September I got a job with the Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington. Two jobs, 20 hours/week each. Then I made some money on the side K-Leading.

5) Did you have to go to the hospital?

I visited my cousin Christina there last week when we were in Grand Rapids. Also, I worked with folks from the Bloomington hospital to promote new a new health insurance plan. I had many meetings there.

6) Did you have any encounters with the police?

I don't think so!

7) Where did you go on vacation?

Carmel, CA - golf (well, not for me) and other fun

Beaver Creek, CO - ski trip

Chicago, IL - for our anniversary!

Sun City, AZ - to visit the in-laws a couple times

8) What did you purchase that was over $1000?

Josh had to get a new computer for school.

9) Did you know anybody who got married?

Yes - Boeve & Erin and Allie & Dan, pretty much all friends from Michigan

10) Did you know anybody who passed away?

Don't think so.

11) What was your favorite event?

Hm... a toughie. There were lots of fun events to go to, but I really loved Christmas this year.

12) Which movie was your favorite in 2007?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What was the furthest you travelled from home?

Southern California

14) What concerts/shows did you go to?

Josh took me to Wicked in Chicago!

15) Are you registered to vote?


16) What new person touched your life in 2007?

I can't pick just one, but I'm thankful for lots of new friends in Bloomington.

17) Where do you live now?

Bloomington, IN

18) Describe your birthday:

I turned 24 in Grand Rapids this year. Sadly Josh wasn't around, but I went to work at Zondervan, and coworkers there took me to lunch. Then I went to Mongolian BBQ for dinner with my parents, Ben, and Erin. Julie and Kara also managed to spoil me the next day. Had Josh been there it would have been perfect.

19) What's one thing you thought you'd never do but did in 2007?

Work 3 jobs at one time

20) What has been your favorite moment?

Getting Riley - and lots of fun times with him since

21) What's something you learned about yourself?

I don't have everything together. Far from it. I'm a work in progress and need God's grace every day

22.) Any new additions to your family?


23.) What was your best month?

Even though it was hard and stressful, August was pretty exciting. We had just started our new adventure in Indiana, just gotten Riley, and I only worked part time for that month.

24.) What music will you remember 2007 by?

I got really into Derek Webb this year.

25) Who would you consider your "partner in crime" through 2007?

Probably Lora - we got in trouble with our out-of-town husbands by staying out too late. Other adventures in there, too.

26) Made new friends?

Yes, and I'm so very thankful. We miss GR people, we have have great new friends in Bloomington.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Two Words.

So fun to watch the Wolverines eek out a victory against Florida today. After an ugly-ish season, lots of injuries, and a their long-time coach retiring, the game's underdogs beat out a SEC powerhouse armed with this year's Heisman winner.