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Showing posts from September, 2010

table for one

Ok. So I’m still way too tired and too busy to process 90% of the conference stuff.
That and I still haven’t done my homework.
And the week is only getting busier, so maybe after Sunday I’ll unpack a little.

Instead I’ll talk about traveling alone.

My husband travels alone all the time. For work.
I almost never do.
Like I’m not sure that I’ve ever flown into, an airport other than my own,with no one to pick me up on the other end.

I was excited about the trip and exploring a new place and some alone time.
Until the few days before.
And then I kind of panicked.

My dad has always been a ridiculous traveler.
He is a crazy planner. When we take family trips I get bound copies of maps, itenoraries and things to pack. Really last summer it was 13 pages long. There was even a table of contents. My husband isn’t nearly that type A, but he does his research. He looks up maps and restaurants and even checks the weather. Even when I go somewhere with friends, I know I can usually count on someo…

Ryan from Cleveland

I’ve been away for a few days.
I went to the Storyline conference by Donald Miller…
And it was uh-mazing.
I’m sure I’ll be writing about it a lot over the next few weeks.
Or at least things he/we talked about.
But tonight,
I mostly just need sleep and to process all that good stuff I am chewing on.

So for now, Meet Ryan from Cleveland.
I met him in Portland, but not at the conference.

Sunday night the conference went until nine. And afterwards we were invited to a special movie test run from an amazing director that Milller interviewed.
He rented out some cool theatres in downtown Portland…and I couldn’t wait to see the movie.
Except it was not at all close to my hotel. And it would finish after 11:30 pm.
And I wasn’t 100% sure I could even stay awake that long ( 2 hour time difference not in my favor). But I was not ok with walking over a mile in a strange city, when I wasn’t sure where I was going, close to midnight.
So I relucatnantly decided to pass.
I hate missing out, and tried…

tess is two

Two years and one day ago, we were just another family of three.
And we didn't know how easy we had it.

Hurst, table for four, is at least 10X more work than the table for three.
We are way more broke. Way more tired. My car is even more disquisting than it used to be and suddenly there are dolls scattered among the Legos in the living room.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Today, my sweet Tess is two.
And nothing about this girl has been easy. From a long sick pregnancy, to a scary delivery, to lots of long sleepless nights, ear infection after ear infection and temper tantrums. But, she has always always been ridiculously easy to love.

The biggest lesson you have taught me is that people are different, even ones that look just alike. What works for one kid, doesn't necesarily work for the other. One kid will sleep through the night at 8 weeks, and the next kid will finally get the hang of it around 21 months. My fabulous parenting skills before you got here were …

the friday playlist....with a little help

I used to have a cd habit. I had one of those huge black cd holder things that held like 100 cds. And some of mine had 2-3 cds in each pocket. I joined BMG and everything
And I still occasionally go a little crazy on itunes.

But for the most part. I am no loner that hip girl with the huge cd collection. So I need a little help finding current good tunes. I have my sources....
And one of my favorites is my 15 year old nephew who plays the trombone and knows a good tune when he hears one.
He needed some help from me on a science project. I said sure, if he'd write my playlist this week. Which he happily obliged.
And of course it is so current that some of the songs aren't even in grooveshark...(she's leaving home by outasight and holy roller novacaine by my terrible friend).

clariol and quicksand

Sometimes I get this urge to do something a little drastic.
And I’m mostly too old for piercings and tattoos (ok that hasn't really stopped me yet, but at least not during the school year), so last night I had to settle for a bottle of hair dye. And I’m not really sure what it is, but somehow the 8.99$ spent on whatever dye I choose always seems to renew me. At least a little. I know this is a little teenagerish of me to think that new hair will make me a new girl. But it always seems to help.

Last weekend, I ran a race and at one point we were trudging through the mud and the people in front of us stopped in their tracks.
Quick sand. They warned.
And they tugged and pulled and retrieved lost shoes from the mud.
The trick was just to keep moving. Not to stop. Because each time I paused, to catch my breathe, I would sink a little bit lower. And further. Making it only harder to move at all.
This week has felt a little bit like quicksand.
And it is probably because I am barely keeping my h…

all the single ladies....

…well the single moms at least.
Mad props to you.
My husband has been traveling much more than usual and I am so failing at the single gig.
As in right now, my son is watching G-force for the second time tonight.
And I’m pretty sure there is a one viewing per lifetime rule for a movie about talking hamsters. Or gerbils or whatever.
I don’t know because I have been de-licing Tess’s room.
Actually she doesn’t have lice that I know of.
But someone in her class does.
And when I picked her up from school and they handed me the letter,
I flashed back to all those “lice checks” in school where you had to put your head down on your desk and the nurse came and picked through your hair.
I was always petrified they would find something and washed my hair with vigilance that night.
Lets just say, for the first time I was super thankful that Tess has almost no hair.
But still, the sheets and clothes and pillows and blankies and teddy bears all must be washed. And I am feeling a little paranoid itch myself.


funny photos from my phone

I think I have admitted here before that no one would ever accuase me of being "tech savvy".
which is ironic for a girl who spends so much time on her blog.
but really, I've already told you that I can't use my scanner. still true.
and this confession is even more shocking. I don't know how to upload my pictures on my iphone to facebook. And yes I know it is super easy. I've watched friends do it for me a handful of times. But have never even attempted it myself. Which is a shame, because I am all about a funny photo. And plenty live inside my phone. Here are just a few...

1. my friend thais, never one to pass up a piggy back ride. good thing she weighs like 5 lbs. And yes, we were in public. a very crowded mall on tax-free weekend. the people waiting on us to take this picture were less than amused.

2. I decided to try on a swim cap in the car. alone. and take a picture of it. which is probably a horrendous safety hazard. and just weird. but not as weird as the f…


My church is doing a sermon series on brokenness.
And recovery.
Last week I slept in.
And was a little tempted to skip again.

Even though the point of the series is that we are all recovering from something.
I am well aware that I am no exception.
And even though I share a lot of my life in this space.
I keep some things back.
Especially the cracks.
And this is a part of my past life that I have only hinted about here.

Partly because I have this fear that a student will stumble across it.
Or that maybe I am not totally all the way fixed.
And feel like I should be before I start writing about it.

Which really means there is shame.
And fear of accountability.

Because even though my bottom was a relatively high bottom.
It was still an ugly lonely place.
One that I would really like to avoid and not revisit.
And even though over a decade has passed.
It still feels pretty fragile.
Like those broken pieces have been tenderly and carefully glued back together.
But that it wouldn’t take much to send them …

Free Coffee!

Freshman year, I lived in the dorms and Friday night dinner often consisted of a bowl of captain crunch. A friend’s parents came to visit her. And they were fabulous parents who volunteered to save not only their daughter, but also some of her friends on her floor (shout out 4th floor Stangel) from eating dorm food.
And they treated us to dinner at Olive Garden.
About halfway through the salad, her mom turns to us and says,
“So girls, tell me when you were saved?”
I about choked on my breadstick.

I am not sure how I responded. But I am pretty sure there was some mumbling and looking at my shoes.
Even though I had a real answer. I was super uncomfortable giving my “testimony” to people I had just met.
And to be honest.
You could ask me the same question right now, and I’d probably cringe and spit out some lame version of 8th grade church camp.

But if we just started talking. Really talking.
About things I love and like and where I’ve been and what I’ve learned and who I am.
Then I’d get a chance …

open eyes.

Lately I have been busy.
School started three weeks ago. And I’m already about three weeks behind in grading papers and lesson plans.
I’m training for a race in a few weeks that I’m so not ready for.
Soccer season has started.
And there are appointments, open houses, practices and already sick kids.

And today I noticed something I hadn’t noticed in about a month.
A man living in his van.
Literally down by the river (or technically a lake). I had just parked at the dam and was about to try and ride my bike across the 8 mile stretch . This slightly dirty long haired guy in a old beat up van started to pull all kinds of things out of the back.

Usually this is where I feel my heart being pulled and I can’t not do something.
Say something.
Give something.
At least try. In some awkward way to help.
At least, look the guy in the eye and say hello.

Instead, I wasn’t sure. I talked myself out of it.
Maybe he wasn't really homeless and I'd just insult him by offering to help.
Because when he pulled a…


The jaguars had their first game of the season this weekend.
In the post flash flood sticky heat.

Those poor boys who never seem to run out of energy,
Looked like they were going to melt out there. Most of us sat on the sidelines under umbrellas downing Gatorades and sweating through our clothes just watching.

Owen has decided that he now likes soccer.
Even games.
And he is still the littlest and least decorated ( they get a patch everytime they score a goal). I am happy to get to keep my seat on the sideline. And even happier to not have to bribe him with a nickel for everytime he touches the ball.
He may not be scoring any goals, but I’d be out at least a few bucks these days if we still resorted to the bribing.

After the game which was lost in heartbreaking last second fashion, the jaguars quickly forgot their misery as they got snacks and high fives.
We were packing up our chair and cooler when someone else’s lawn chair flipped.
Another player’s grandfather sprawled on the sideline.
A few pe…

like riding a bike

For the last month I’ve been training for a sprint triathalon.
It is a 300m swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run.
Guess who won’t be sprinting?

It was a little crazy for me to sign up. Because I’ve never swum laps and the peak of my cycling career was about when I was around 10 years old.

I have run in over a dozen 5Ks. Or at least mostly run.
And even a few longer races.
So training for the running part doesn’t really scare me.
And back in the day, I owned my neighborhood on my Schwinn, so how hard could the bike part be.
I was petrified however, of the swim.

So. I joined a gym. Bought a decent pair of goggles, a speedo and started swimming laps.
I even broke down and bought a swim cap.
My first time in the pool was rough. After only two laps I was winded.
I couldn’t figure a breathing pattern out and the water felt thick and heavy and hard to push through.

But eventually, every day I swam a few more laps.
The water started to feel relaxing and I got into a rhythm.
I still haven’t figured out those cool …

technical difficulties

So on top of crazy September and back to work...
My internet is not working. Making me a negligent blogger and commenter.
I'm pretty sure God is grounding me. Or at least making me be productive.....

No time for a real post..........because I have a concert to go to :)
A friend at work, stopped me earlier in the week and said she had an extra ticket to these girls...who happen to be one of my favorite bands. (and Paramore).
I gladly agreed to sit next to her while her sweet girls moshed (or whatever it is you do at concerts these days) in the pit. I am just praying I can stay awake past 10 pm!

a lesson in falling

A few months ago, we ordered our son a piggy bank.
The kind with different sections for saving and spending and donating. We have been trying to teach him about money. And that he doesn’t need every thing he sees advertised on TV. (if I see the pillow pet commercial one more time I just might scream).
And he has been sticking his little coins and dollars in the slots and buying his own ice cream when the truck comes around. And he has been saving up.
For a skateboard.
Really, I have no idea where he got this idea. But he saw one at Academy about a month or so ago and wanted it. Bad.
Finally, he had the 10$ he needed. So we emptied out the piggy and went on our way.
He handed the sweet cashier his 10+ change. While dad waited behind him to spend twice that on a helmet. And I hoped our insurance coverage would be enough for whatever injuries might ensue.
And we got home, strapped on the helmet and tried the thing out. And I do mean we ( but I won’t be posting any of those pictures J )
It wasn’t…

breaking news...

My husband just sent me this link.
Go read it. Try not to cry.

CNN headlines

This couple was one of the first ones we met when we moved here and got involved in a church.I vaguely knew there was a story there. But never the details.
Mostly I knew that he would always sport a funny t-shirt and be the first one to laugh at a joke. And that I didn’t want to go up against him at Ultimate Frisbee. His wife and I were in a mom’s group for awhile……..and we have been to a few of that sweet boy’s birthday parties.
We have sinced moved to a different church and mostly run in different circles. But his story hit me. Not so much the unspeakable tragedy. But the amazing compassion and healing that came from it. His dad literally shot him in the head after killing his mom and his brother and later himself. Medics declared everyone in the house dead.
They were wrong.
And after all this. He tells his CNN interviewer that he knows that God has a plan. He looks at his son and states proudly the good that came…

two little piggies and a playlist

(...pigtails not toes)

Her brother came out with a headful of thick hair.
Her head has been bald for her almost 2 years.
Some of those months, shiny bald.
But eventually the hair came in with soft fine wisps of strawberry blonde hair, that was still hard to see.
We still get mistaken for a boy.
Even in pink.
Even with her ears peirced.
And I hate those big giant headbands (and yes we tried them anyways).
But I finally made peace with my sweet bald babies head....and hold my tongue when someone asks how old my son is.

And then yesterday I picked her up from school and she looked like this.
She was in no mood for a photo session so I coulnd't get a smile out of her....but you get the idea.
Those wisps -- were long enough for two tiny pigtails.
And suddnely she looked every bit her almost 2 years.
And now if someone mistakes her for a boy I will punch them in the face.

And so here is an "all girl" (atleast mostly) playlist in her honor.

the list

Recently I read Radical by David Platt. I’ll talk more about that later. Maybe.
I kind of had a mixed response ……but the last chapter I am especially a fan of.
It asks you to commit to reading the entire bible and praying for the entire year (and a few other things) over the course of the next year.
And I decided I was in.
That was a few weeks ago. And I’m not so good about every single day.
But I am doing it.
The praying for the world part is especially challenging because I’m pretty sure I am the world’s worst prayer.
Atleast the focused, remember to pray for your friends, and quiet listening type of prayer. And big general things like world peace and countries I have never heard of. Forget it.
The “please help” and occasional “thanks” prayers I have down pat.
But there is a great website ( that walks you through specific countries and needs to pray for each day.
And so today. I was good.
I had some time before my 1st block class and I went to the webs…