Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Blog!

Just wanted to let you all know that I am finishing my time here at Randi...like a boy and have created a new blog to capture all of the new things that have been unfolding in my life.


This is where (hopefully in a fairly consistent manner) you can gain insight into Clinton's and my journey through life together in Colorado.

See you there!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My first quilt.

A few weeks ago, Clinton's sweet Aunt Sandy invited me to come to her house with the other Waits women (Clinton's moms side of the family) and learn to quilt. This was not Sandy's first rodeo. She was so helpful and so patient with us beginners (Becky, Clinton's sister; Ellen, Clinton's cousin, and me). Clinton's mom and her sister, Phyllis, and her mother were there to aid us in our quilting endeavors. 

First, Sandy started by explaining to us how our quilt would be patched together.

Here was my post-it with my notes scribbled on it. 
Our quilt was to be 70in in width and 80in in length. 
The quilt pattern we would use consisted of strips of different widths. 

This list shows how many strips of various widths I needed to cut. Each strip would consist of two different lengths of fabric. A short one, 32 in, and a long one, 44 in (including our sewing allowance). 

Next came picking the fabric. Sandy had so many tubs full of fabric. It took us girls a long time to decide what look we each wanted to go for. It was challenging at times to find fabric that met our length requirements.

This was my cutting zone. My quilt ended up consisting of 56 pieces. 
Once we got all our pieces cut, we had to find a large place to spread out all our pieces and match them up. 

You will see that I chose all flannel and plaid for my quilt. 

Above is a glimpse of what Becky's quilt looked like. She choose all floral and vintage looking fabric. It is really a sweet combination. 
I started to wonder if my fabric choice was too masculine...

Finally, it was time to start sewing. We had four different machines set up and ready to go. 
It was a long process. 
First we had to pick up each strip and sew the two pieces together. 
Then, we sewed each strip together, one-by-one. 

Ellen's quilt is the closer one. Slowly, but surely, we started getting our quilt pieced together. 
We were up late that night trying to get the top of all of our quilts finished. 

Our next step is to pick out a fabric to put on the back and take it back to Sandy's so she can quilt it for us. The ladies were saying I should pick out a really girly pattern for the back and that way it can be a his-hers reversible quilt. Who knows what I'll choose...Any suggestions?

Below you will find her quilting machine. I had no idea those machines were so big. 

 I can't end this post until I give a shout out to the Genie. My magical-garage-sale-find-sewing machine. 

Wait for it...


 Ain't she a beaut?

Taste Panel at the Griffin Gate

Hi Friends!

I am determined to get better at blogging. My old is excuse ("I don't have a camera to take pictures of my day-to-day life") is no longer legitimate because I got a fancy camera as an early graduation present. My sweet roomie, Jenna, is teaching me all thing things. I am determined to document more of my life and to learn how to take great pictures. I am learning still, so bear with me. But, here is a picture that I think turned out pretty good. (Mostly thanks to Jenna coaching me.)

Now, onto the title of the post. Recently, I got to go to the Griffin Gate's taste panel. What is that, you ask? Well, when you have your reception at the GG they invite you to their place and make lots and lots of food for you to sample. You are supposed to take notes so that you can pick all the things you want to have served at your wedding. I know you think it can't get any better, but it can. I got to invite three friends!

So, Angie, Jenna, Holly and I set off to eat our body weight in fancy food. These pictures do not do justice to the amount of food at this place. We were stuffed after sampling the appetizers. There were lots of tasty things. I am pretty sure no matter what there will be macaroni and cheese (sans the lobster). If only they had the fried pickles we were thinking to do for appetizers..

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I know that it is socially unacceptable...BUT....

This is how I feel. 

I know, I know. 

It's not even Thanksgiving, yet. 


I have been full of Christmas cheer since before Halloween.

(Three days before, to be exact. That is when I listened to my "Christmas with the Rat Pack" C.D. on the way to work.) 

I don't know what has gotten into me. 

I won't lie, I'm not ashamed. 

However, I know some people don't feel the same way. 

Holly is not ready to talk Christmas. 

I told her that I would keep my cheer to myself. 

But, to be careful because one day she might walk into my room and find this...

Minus Will Ferrell dressed as Buddy the Elf.

I think that might make Clinton feel uncomfortable. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

All Hallows Eve

I am so excited.

Tonight, I am going to our grad student Halloween party. Not only is this a fun excuse to hang out with my school friends, but the theme this year is phenomenal. We are having a "throw back to your childhood" party. Needless to say, I have been pumped for quite some time.

However, there is also a lot of pressure associated with any sort of costumed event. Maybe others don't feel that way, but I really like to take full advantage of these type of situations. If I could dress up everyday in costume for my life, I would enjoy that. However, my students already think I am over caffeinated and spastic. I am not sure we want to include a crazy wardrobe and props to that. Unless, of course, it is a fanny pack. But that is an other story, entirely.

It was a lot of fun remembering all those toys and television shows the defined much of my childhood. Are You Afraid of the Dark, Salute Your Shorts, Boy Meets World, Designing Women, The Golden Girls  (I hung out with my grandma a lot, okay?), ribbon dancers, skip-its, Power Rangers, Clarissa Explains it All, and the list goes on and on.

While it was quite enjoyable to ponder the joys of my youth, many of the ideas I came up with presented several problems. First, some of them only required some 90s clothes and a Canadian accent.

Unfortunately, I do not look enough like any of those characters for people to understand who I am without wearing a lame name tag.

The other problem is that some of my ideas required a little too much effort in the costume department....

Just when I had settled for dressing in some sort of ballet outfit and making my own ribbon dancer, it hit me. I knew exactly who I was going to be. Though this person was not my favorite of the group, she epitomized a long forgotten portion of my childhood years.

That's right. Kerri Strug. Only I will wear pants. If only Little Clinton were here to be my Bela Karolyi... 

My other thought was to find a Kippy Strug from the SNL skit...

Here is the link to refresh your memory... http://www.hulu.com/watch/ad/66968

Needless to say, I am very excited for tonight. I love reliving my childhood. I am going to be one of those creepy, stuck in the past moms, I know. I'm okay with it. 

( Clink on this if you are interested in what these retired olympic gymnasts are up these days... http://usagym.org/pages/features/110301_96team/ )

What costume would you sport if you were going to a throw back to your childhood party? 

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Horse and His Boy

"Shasta didn't!" snorted Bree. "At least he ran in the right direction: ran back. and that is what shames me most of all. I, who called myself a war horse and boasted of a hundred fights, to be beaten by a little human boy-a child, a mere foal, who had never held a sword nor had any good nurture or example in his life!"
"I know," said Arvais. "i felt just the same. Shasta was marvelous. I am just as bad as you, Bree. I've been snubbing him and looking down on him ever since you met us and now he turns out to be the best of us all. But I think it would be better to stay and say we're sorry than to go back to Calormen."
"It's all very well for you," said Bree. "you haven't disgraced yourself. But I've lost everything."
"My good horse," said the Hermit, who had approached them unnoticed because his bare feet made so little noise on the sweet, dewy grass. "My good horse, you've lost nothing but your self conceit. No, no, cousin. Don't put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You're not quite the great Horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help that. It doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you're nobody very special, you'll be the a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with the other. And now, if you and my other four-footed cousin will come round to the kitchen door we'll see about the other half of that mash."

{from the end of chapter ten of "The Horse and His Boy" by C.S. Lewis}

I've been reading devouring The Chronicles of Narnia lately and, let me tell you, they are rocking my world. Not only are they wonderfully entertaining, but they call you out and inspire you as you read. I'll admit I sometimes get too into the plot to really reflect on the Truth that is hinted at in these tales.

However, this passage {above} stopped me in my tracks. It was like Clive Staples the Lord had been reading my diary (or He just knows my heart) and knew it was time to gently, but firmly call me out.

I'm like Bree the horse. Even though it was apparent to everyone that Bree was a Narnian horse (the talking is a dead give-away), he was still caught up in being one of the best Narnian horses. He was self-conscious about it, obsessed with making sure no one mistook his identity. Even though his identity was already set. He thought that something small would discredit him or steal his Naranian status from him. Therefore, he was always self-conscious, overly aware of others opinions, and continually striving.

Like I said, I am Bree.

I am realizing more and more how much I seek my own glory and not seeking to glorify the Lord. In every area of my life God is revealing this to me. Some areas are more apparent, like appearances ("i want people to think i'm cute") and school (i want people to think i'm smart"). But, man, some areas are harder to identify (and harder to admit)...

"I want to be an awesome Christian so people think I am awesome."


I didn't even know that was in there. But I think God has been working to gently, but firmly inform me of my mixed motives. I say "mixed" because I don't think my self-glorifying mentality is always in control or my basis for doing everything, but I know it is in there. I do desire the Lord. I do want to know Him richly, deeply, intimately. But, sometimes, this ugly monster motive tangles himself in my heart and thoughts and before I know it I am focused on glorifying me again...

"It doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you're nobody very special, you'll be the a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole, and taking on thing with the other."

I don't want to strive to be the best, to stand out, to be praised. I don't want to want it.

I don't want people to look at me and see a "good Christian."

I want people to look at me and not even see me, but to see Christ.

I know, I have a long way to go.

"He must become greater; I must become less." (John 3:30)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Challenge: The Rules and Week 1

Hello Sweet Friends, 
I have stolen a challenge that was posed to my sweet friend and roommate, Holly. Not only have I stolen it, I have revised it to my own liking. 

What is this "book challenge," you ask? 

Well, the challenge is to read a book a week. To read it to get it read and to try your hardest to abstain from underlining, highlighting, commenting, etc. (This last part is actually really hard for me. I have already failed..) 
The point is that instead of trying to squeeze every ounce of awesome from a book (in a way that usually leaves me exhausted or so intimidated that I never even finish the book...), you read it and at the end you think back on what has stood out to you the most. 

Now, I don't think that books should always be read this way, but I think there are some great reasons to do this every now and then. 

Now, without further ado, let me introduce you to Book #1. 

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

I am pretty sure I have started and failed to finish this book at least 10 times. It is crazy because I really enjoy the concept of the book (A high positioned demon, Screwtape, writing to his lowly demon nephew, Wormwood, on how to properly win a soul for Hell.) But, for some reason had never finished it. Until last weekend, my friends.

Main take away/thought provoking/convicting point: Humility. Perhaps, this topic stuck out to me so much because I have been praying for humility for months and months. (For those of you who know me outside the blog world, this probably comes as no shock as a big struggle of mine.) 

I think maybe why this concept has been so hard for me to wrap my head around is because from a young age I pursued inverse or false humility as genuine humility. For example, being scared about being prideful about things, I went the other extreme and tore myself down "to keep myself in check." This only led to me being really self-conscious or overly aware of myself and how others perceived me. It is still pride, just wearing wearing a hat or a fake mustache. 

I still find myself thinking over many of the things said about humility in Screwtape's letter....
1. He encourages Wormwood to help the "patient" (aka believer or soul they are attempting to capture) be aware of his humility, so that he can, in turn, congratulate himself on his ability to be humble (aka turn him back to pride). 

2. "You must therefore conceal from the patient the true end of Humility. Let him think of it not as a self-forgetfulness but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character."

3. "To anticipate the Enemy's strategy (God's), we must consider his aims. The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents a frankly and gratefully as in his neighbor's talents- or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall."

4. "Even his own sins the Enemy does not want him to think of too much: once they are repented, the sooner the man turns his attention outward, the better the Enemy is pleased." 

I tried to practice some restraint and not type up the whole letter to you. If this piques your interest, I highly recommend going back and reading it. 

And, just to further persuade you...

"He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it."
"The Enemy described a married couple as "one flesh." He did not say a 'happily married couple' or 'a couple who married because they were in love,' but you can make humans ignore that." 
"The sense of ownership in general is always to be encouraged. The humans are always putting up claims to ownership which sound equally funny in Heaven and in Hell and we must keep them doing so...And all the time the joke is that the word 'Mine' in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything."

"For a long tie it will be quite impossible to remove spirituality from his life. Very well then; we must corrupt it." 

"It is funny how mortals always picture us putting things in their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out."

"He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them."

Father, I pray for a "self-forgetfulness." Help me to understand and cultivate a truly humble heart. I pray that I would be humble hearted because I understand deeper where I stand in relationship with you. I pray that this would translate into the way I interact with others here on Earth. Teach me this deeper, so that it changes the way I live my life. Amen.