life as we know it

Friday, January 28, 2011

RIP seed stitch block

Today was a sad day to be my knitting needles and my most recent project-in-progress. I've been learning to knit for maybe a month now and I'm really enjoying it. One of my friends is kind of my knitting mentor and for Christmas she bought me my first set of needles. They were wooden, 8s and I just really loved them. Last night was the first time I pulled them out because I've been working with 10s since I have a tendency to knit so tightly. I went to a group knitting class thing where we'll be meeting once every other month. Each meeting we'll be doing a different block- seed stitch was last nights. So knit, purl, knit make a 9"x9" square. We make four blocks of each stitch in our free time. At the end of the year, we'll be putting all the blocks together to make a blanket. Sounds fun, so I'm in.

I just learned how to purl stitch this week. I also had to youtube some videos to refresh my casting on and binding off skills (actually, I haven't finished a project yet, so I had to learn to bind off. Not a real hard concept, though). I got home from the group and was really excited to show Nick my block. It was pretty. I choose a silvery-grey yarn that was really soft.

I went to work this morning like any other Friday morning. After lunch, I got a text message from Nick. He informed me that Duke had decided to use my knitting needles as a toy. Or more like a snack. I was so sad. Nick was so mad he didn't even pick it up off the floor so when I got home, I got to see for myself. My knitting needles were shredding on the floor and the entire skein of yarn was a tangled mess. The block I had made was still somewhat intact but definitely not salvageable. Sigh. Starting over. Once I go get some more needles. And yarn. And sometime before I leave for Ethiopia. Which oh, by the way, is only 15 days!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Marathon

No, I am not running a marathon. Nor do I think I will ever. It's not one of those bucket list things for me. Although I'm not technically going 26.2 miles, I feel like I'm in the midst of a marathon. I've been working A LOT. As much as I possibly can. We do feel like it's made a difference, at least. But I'm also sick right now. I came down with a cold? flu? Not sure, but I've been pretty miserable for the last week. I am making it, though, and just continue to remind myself this is partly temporary. There is a bigger goal here that Nick and I are working towards with this adoption and it will be SO worth it. I am excited about the days that I will look back and think I would do this one hundred times over to be where we will.

I've realized recently I need to clarify our upcoming trip! We will NOT be traveling to meet the child we'll be adopting. This trip actually has nothing to do with our adoption. We're still far off from any travel dates, let alone a referral. We are going there for my second trip volunteering as a physical therapist with Superkids. My first trip was May-July 2009 and I kept a blog while I was there. Catch up with the old adventures here. It was an amazing adventure, life-changing (although I don't think I fully grasped that at that time) one that I will never forget. Since I returned, I have felt like there was one more trip I was supposed to make. I am overwhelmingly excited about this trip. I am SO appreciative that I will share the experience with my husband this time. We are leaving from D.C. February 12 with equipment, supplies and high hopes for what we'll be able to do while we're there. We'll return to States on March 6 and we'll hit the ground running once again when we're home.

Of course we'll be trying to blog while we're there, although we know the first week will be off the grid for sure. The last two weeks may be more stable as far as internet connection so I'm sure we'll have a lot to share. There are five of us going, including our most recent addition. One of my best friends from college was so hoping to join us in Ethiopia when we started talking about the trip. She was excited about the possibility but couldn't commit because of work. She has recently accepted a job with a new company and worked it so she has those three weeks off. Because everything is happening so fast with her trip, she is doing some fundraising. Go check out her website and support her trip. I love her and think she is going to have so much to offer while we're in Ethiopia.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I heard on the radio that "poverty is a result of hopelessness." Hmmm...I'm really not so sure how I feel about that. In my limited experience in extreme poverty while I was in Ethiopia, rarely did it seem that so many of those people were hopeless. I recall the desperation in the eyes of the beggars with children strapped to their backs; I remember the eyes pleading for adult attention from the orphans; the faces of street kids shining shoes are still etched in my mind. I also remember their faith. The deep-seeded, blind TRUST in God and that somehow, He would provide for their needs. In fact, the phrase most appropriate to say to beggars that you don't give money to translates roughly into "God will provide for your needs." Their faith convicts me. Convicts me for all the little worries that cause me sleepless nights (in my warm bed in my nice house in my comfortable, clean pajamas) and the details I get caught up on. The whole idea that God WILL meet my every need (in HIS way! not mine!) is pretty easy to say, a little harder to wrap my mind around and seemingly difficult to live out. Someone says I WILL MEET EVERY NEED. DO NOT WORRY. It's like a get out of jail free card. My jail of anxiety and worry that causes me to spend more time calculating and creating to-do lists than reading His word, praying and really fully committing myself wholeheartedly to live how He wants, that I could easily walk away from. It's all about His grace. I am having a hard time finding the words to really describe how this hits me.

Anyway, I suppose I'm beginning to ramble...the point, really, is that the people I met were NOT hopeless. One of the greatest things that has ever happened to me is to have an Ethiopian say I am an answer to their prayer. What? God is using me? I am just a normal person, and God has blessed me enough to use my life to further His kingdom. I'm in awe. Some of the Ethiopians I met are homeless, cannot provide for their families, are unable to send their children to school, CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY FOOD. Not "can't afford to eat out." Literally, sleep in a dumpster and eat scraps from a landfill. Yet they have 100% believe that God is the creator of the universe and that He will provide their needs, somehow. And maybe that somehow is through me. Or you. I'm so excited for the return trip to see how God will use those wonderful people to teach me about hope.

This is what I was fortunate enough to experience when I arrived at one of the orphanages each day. You tell these kids look hopeless to you?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Melkam Gena!

My friends in Ethiopia are celebrating Christmas today! Melkam Gena! countdown: 33 days!

Things I Love Thursday

So we're new to this blogging thing. When I follow blogs, I like people who post frequently. Does that mean I'm supposed to post frequently, too? Oh the pressure. Which leaves me to participate in perhaps weekly posts. Thursdays: Things I/we love {this week}. Enjoy.

Wipeout. Hilarious.

Hehehe. Sometimes I feel like that.

I love the vintage key pendant trend.

Math done the Mortellite way.
Favorite place in the world. Santorini, Greece.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One year ago

I have never particularly enjoyed driving. In fact, I have believed that I have truly experienced some spiritual warfare surrounding cars (think Frank E. Peretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness). This is all very funny, considering I commute 30 miles one way every day. 30 miles doesn't sound particularly bad, actually. Except that I live in Colorado, which had one of the most brutal winters last year with lots of snow and freezing temperatures that kept the snow around from October until April (seriously, the dead grass in our backyard proves it). And that my commute involves almost 3,000 feet in elevation change. And that the drive looks like this on a map:

My commute starts in Loveland- not at the A. I also got to experience a longer term detour up to Glen Haven (at the top of the map) last winter due to construction.

Fortunately, I know this road and could drive it with my eyes closed (and sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, I wish that was legal and safe). I know the curves and how quickly you can take each one safely. Where the drainage isn't good and the road always freezes. Where the speed limit changes (which it does about 100 times between my house and work). Where it's safe to pull over in case you have someone particularly speedy behind you.

One year ago today was a Monday. The first Monday back from work after celebrating the new year. I think someone says something like, 'you never expect the unexpected.' Duh. I was only 10 minutes into my usual 45-60 minute commute and there was no snow on the ground. Still, though, I know you can't always see the slick spots, so I was going much slower than normal. I came around a somewhat gentle curve (at least compared to the others along the way) and the back end of my car ended up where the front end used to be, although my momentum was still in the same direction. Bad idea. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a car coming towards me. There was literally nothing either one of us could do. I don't have solid memories of the collision itself. The details from that point on are fresh in my mind, though. A little too fresh sometimes. I begged for the first car I saw to call 911. No cell phone. The passenger side of my car was smashed, so along with it, my purse that was sitting in the front seat with my phone in it was, also. The next car called. As the ambulance came around the corner with lights flashing, it also lost control and fishtailed around. I was in the ambulance to be evaluated and felt another big impact. It also got hit as we sat on the side of the road. It was an ice skating rink that I was lucky enough to have discovered first.

I have spent every single day I commute that road thinking about my accident. What if? If only. But it often occurs to me, also, what if not? What if the other car hadn't been there? I have no idea where my car would have ended up (although I do know it was heading straight for the river). My dear husband drove me to work the rest of that week. The next week, he told me no. Said it was time I needed to drive again. I hated it. I cried. I thought about quitting my job. But Monday came, and I got in the car. I pulled over about 8-9 times to let others around my white-knuckled self, but I made it to work safely. And I have every day since. When I resent my commute (which is all the time quite often), I now stop and after being grateful for having a job I enjoy, I thank God for allowing me to arrive safely and safely back home. I hope I can always allow myself to regain perspective in life.

I do some things differently now. I call or text Nick every single time I start my commute and let him know I'm leaving and that I love him. You just never know. I also keep my cell phone in my pocket. If I'm in another accident and there is a way I can make a phone call, I'll have it on me. I drive like a grandma (a safe grandma) when roads are wet and it's below freezing. I think about things differently. And I'm grateful for that. And I'm grateful I'm here to remember those things.

 Lucky to have walked away.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I can't believe we're here in 2011 already. Nick and I have enjoyed the pretty good snow storm that came in Thursday and the temperatures have seriously dropped. Even Nick who LOVES the cold thinks it's a bit chilly.

Last night I was pretty content with the idea of lounging in my sweatpants, hoping to watch the ball drop at 10 mountain time and get to bed. Nick decided to stop by the neighbors house for a few minutes, came back home and said we were heading back over- together! I begrudgingly hopped in the shower and am happy to admit I was glad I did. We really do have great neighbors, and they have great friends and family. Lucky us. We played some games, ate, talked and missed the ball drop because we were having so much fun. I've always thought New Years was a bit overrated with the whole build up and need for big, expensive plans. I've found (other than our New Years spent in Rome in 2006) the best memories I have from ringing in the new year involve quieter nights spent with friends at home. I appreciate these times of fellowship with others and am so thankful to have those opportunities now.

Nick and I are sending in our visa applications for our upcoming trip to Ethiopia. We leave in 42 days and are SO excited. I have to admit I'm a little anxious about a few of the details coming together...mainly what we'll be doing with Duke. We have a few options, so we'll see how it all turns out. If God has brought us this far, I trust that He'll bring all the little details together. That gives me the most peace about it all. That, and the fact that we have a direct flight :)

We pray that you all were able to ring in the new year with friends and family and that 2011 brings you all the peace and joy in the world.