Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back at it

So I think I've come up with 3 careers that I could pursue and be very happy with.

1) Environmental Law- I think this would be so fun! Except for the epic amounts of paperwork that it comes with... But I could get over that.

2) Journalism- Okay, this is something I have wanted to do for a while but I would want to be like Michael Pollen, Wendell Berry, or something along those lines... I have always loved my english classes (and done fairly well in them) despite my struggle with spelling and punctuation (my mother said I just need to have a spectacular editor). Providing reading material to raise awareness on issues that are important would be meaningful to me. Despite the poverty.

3) Environmental Engineer- I would enjoy working on clean water projects and pollution issues. The math and the physics is a little scary... But if that's really what I wanted to do I could push through them.

Basically it looks like I'll be back in school at some point. And that's okay. I think.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankfulness #16

I'm thankful for downtime. Sometimes life just gets too busy and downtime is rare. Tuesdays are always hectic but I usually get an hour or two to relax, grab a cup of coffee, pick up my Bible or book, and sit by the big window in the library. This is the best part of the day. I turn on my music, pull out lunch, and rest my brain. Sometimes I just sit and look out the window. And that's okay. I have a few minutes to do that. And today I'm thankful to be able to do just that. I'm practicing using descriptive words in my free time today:

She stomped across the snow-covered pathway, determination burning in her eyes. As she marched the snow fell from the trees heavy and wet reflecting her attitude. 

I would like to take a creative writing class sometime. I think it would be fun. Maybe next year when I have time :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankfulness 11 & 12

I'm thankful for my mother and my father. I could have made this one thankfulness and called it parents but I am thankful for each individually as well as together.

My mother: I'm so thankful for her and how she has shaped my life and view of the world. Her encouragement and expectations always pushed me to do my best and settle for nothing less. She instilled in me a drive for results and goals. She taught me how important it is to always put people first. Her emphasis on honesty, integrity, and character has shown me just how important those traits are. I appreciate everything she has done for me and everything she has taught me. I really couldn't have had a better mother.

My dad: What a guy. My dad is always asking questions. I think this is where I get my inquisitive mind. He is constantly looking for ways to do things better. One example I remember is when we were looking through a farm catalog at new tools that were out for farmers. We came across a self-feeder for calves. My dad really liked it but wasn't going to spend whatever amount it was selling for. So he went out and made one. He is an excellent problem solver and trouble-shooter. And he is hilarious. I have never met someone I find as funny as my dad. We have similar senses of humor which may account for some of it but he is also genuinely funny. My dad always let me do chores with him when I was younger. Which I loved to do. We would go 'out back' to the cattle pasture and he would let me count cows (to make sure we weren't missing any). He would have me count them by 1s then 2s then 5s and sometimes even by 3s. And being my dad was a farmer he was at home all day. So every morning he would wake me up before school and make me breakfast. Every. Morning. I had my choice of pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or malt-o-meal. It was wonderful.

I'm so very grateful for my parents. Most importantly I'm thankful that they love the Lord and have been an example for me throughout my life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I guess it was Veteran's Day!

I was driving to Morris this morning to go to work (Thursdays I don't have school so I usually work a full day) when I remebered it was Veteran's Day. I thought to myself, 'I thought today was considered a holiday. Maybe not.' I got to work and no one was there. Oops. It IS a national holiday and federal employees (aka me) don't work (but still get paid). So I drove home and made myself a mid-morning pick-me-up.

And I started on my homework. With my new friend :) who I should now introduce!

This is our new kitten June!! What a precious little cat! She is about 8 weeks old. A girl I work with found her and couldn't keep her and Levi has been practically begging for a new cat in the past weeks so I told her I would take it. What a cutie! She is a 'talker' and loves to sit as close as she can to you, especially if it involves your shoulder. So June and I had a good morning cleaning and doing odds and ends around the house (Harriet got spayed on tuesday and isn't feeling well so she wasn't around too much). As I was cleaning the kitchen I stopped and was amazed at how far our house has come since Levi bought it. Our kitchen went from this

to this

Ignore the dirt and mess :) but AMAZING! Almost everything has been miraculously transformed. Most rooms are a work in progress still but everything is livable. And we love it :) it has so much character. For example:

The brick in our living room from an old chimney. Love! This is what we had to deal with in the living room:

Ummm ISH! But now it looks a little more like:

Lookin' better! After doing all the sheet-rock, mudding, taping, priming, and painting it's getting closer to being done. We have invested so much sweat and time into the house. But all-in-all it's been fun. Or at least an experience. My mother-in-law likes to call it character building. We've enjoyed having our own 'place' and having pets and doing what we like with the house. It really feels like 'ours', even if it's not finished yet. Someday :)

But! Now I need to finish homework. I haven't had a day off in the middle of the week in a long time. Most importantly, thank you veterans!  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Holidays

I'm getting excited for the holidays... REALLY excited. I made my Christmas list already on Amazon! And currently I'm sitting listening to The Messiah on my computer.

I love listening to The Messiah. Most the scripture that is quoted in it is taken out of Isaiah, my favorite book of the Bible. (I even have a scripture from Isaiah tattooed on my foot. If I ever had a son I would consider naming him Isaiah but the problem is I have Isaiah tattooed on my foot. Which would mean I would have to get all my other kids names tattooed on me and that's not really my thing...) Anyway, when I was younger during Christmas and Easter my dad would have The Messiah playing non-stop on his record player down stairs. It was always family tradition to have The Messiah on in the background throughout the whole season. The Messiah consists of three parts: The Annunciation (baby Jesus), The Passion (Easter), and The Aftermath (when he comes again) with scripture being pulled mostly out of Isaiah, Matthew, and Luke. Needless to say, I have almost all 43 songs memorized. There are a few that have no words but I can still hum the tune! When I was pretty young I would sing the line 'All we like sheep' as 'go feed my sheep' while my brother sang 'the wee black sheep.' (My dad liked my version the best haha) Nobody ever complained when The Messiah was turned on in our house.

So sitting in the library now listening to my favorites has me all excited for food, Christmas cards, presents, time with family, and sipping hot cocoa on chilly nights.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm thankful for my health and well-working body!

I was working out this morning at the local gym and I grabbed a Runners World magazine to flip through as I did a little biking and they had an article on runners and tri-athletes that had prosthetics. I was shocked. This man had prosthetics on both legs from knee down. He completed an Ironman championship race in under 17 hours. WOW. (I looked for the article online but couldn't find it, if I do I'll post it.) I was totally floored. How many of us have two good working legs and choose to do nothing? I was pondering that during class today. How can you loose both legs at the knee and have to relearn to walk and then decide that you want to do an Ironman....? Good for him!

The weekend

AWESOME weekend! That's a good way to sum it all up.

Katy and I went down to REI for a scratch and dent sale. We spent the night sleeping peacefully in our tent under the glowing REI sign, dreaming of what we would buy in the morning... Actually, we spent a very frigid night on a cold slab of cement that was uncomfortable and then got up at 5am to seek refuge in a nearby Einstein's bagels. But is was an adventure!! I got a CUTE dress, a hoody, a mug, a headlamp, and Levi a new pair of shoes. Success!

That evening I got to meet up with a very dear friend that I have not seen in forever! We sat at caribou for a  while and chatted. I was so happy to see her :)

Sunday we were able to go to the vikings game (SKOL!) which needless to say was SO EXCITING! And I got to sit by my sister-in-law which made it that much better :) We had quite an adventure on the way home as the car broke down... It was a fun time of family bonding and joking AFTER we were safely in a different car :)

And because I missed my thankfulness posts for the weekend
#6- I'm thankful for a reliable car!
#7- I'm thankful for good friends to spend crazy adventures with :)

Friday, November 5, 2010


You'll notice that today is not a thankfulness post (look at facebook to check that out) I just wanted to chat about God for a few seconds before I go to class.

In the past month or two I've been so focused on figuring out what I need to do with my life it's driven everyone (my husband, my mom, my dad, ML, probably Katy, the cat, the dog, and myself) INSANE. Being anxious and unsettled about my future makes me crabby, irritable, rude, quick to anger, easily frustrated (to the point of tears), and all-around a frazzled person. I feel empty and lost, like I don't have a plan or purpose. I'm not working toward a goal or a mission. (I'm a very driven person)

Last night at bible study we brought up the topic of surrender. I immediately thought 'surrender? no, i'm okay'. And I opened my bible and continued reading where I had left off the day before.

"There is a time for searching and a time to quit searching. " Eccl 3:6

Eccl 3:"9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God."

Eccl 69 Enjoy what you have (where you are) rather than desiring what you don’t have (where you could be in 5 years). Just dreaming about nice things (the future) is meaningless—like chasing the wind. 

Oh. Well.

I think I have some surrendering to do. But last night as I fell asleep I felt content with where I was, that there isn't a future mission in sight just yet, and as I woke up in my head was the song 'you are my treasure' and I enjoyed my coffee this morning on my way to school as the sun was coming up over the hill and fog was still creeping along the ground. And I was happy. 

"above all else give me Jesus, above the rest give to me the One my heart loves. You are my treasure, You are my treasure, the one I've been searching for, You are my hidden gold."

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Today I am thankful for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. I missed it today and 'things' get out of control fast without breakfast. I don't need to go into detail. You just need to know how thankful I am for breakfast. That is all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am thankful that we can make ends meet.

I was reminded on my drive into school today that there are families that can't make ends meet. Winter is coming and they won't be able to afford to heat their house. They can't afford to go out to eat at a nice restaurant when they choose. They can't afford to buy nice shoes or an extra pair of jeans.

I'm not saying this to brag that we have money (because we don't... believe me), but all too often I forget that we aren't lacking any essentials. We have a house that we can afford to heat, we have food in our fridge, we have hot water, we have cars that run, and we have enough clothes. We aren't in need of anything that is essential to our life. It's all too easy to come home and point out that the house isn't finished, there isn't enough cupboard space, the bathroom is small, the bedroom door doesn't close all the way, and we don't have any trim up. But NONE of those are critical to our well being.

We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today I am thankful that I live in a country where I can vote!! Levi made sure that we were at the polls bright and early this morning (good thing the polling center is only 2 blocks away!) so that he could wear his little red sticker ALL day long. :) That's my husband! Patriotic to the core.

I'm grateful that I could vote for people who would represent my values and and things that are important to me and my family. It's hard (or impossible) to find a 'perfect fit' politician but it's still important to participate (even for you cynical people who don't think one person's vote is important :) ).

I hope you got out and voted today too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

25 days of thanksgiving

Happy November! I decided this month to choose to blog / facebook post / let people know about something I'm thankful for everyday until Thanksgiving. This conscious effort to tell about what I am thankful for will help me 'count my blessings' with a happy heart. Often things and people are taken for granted and overlooked in my busy life. It's easy to grumble and wish things were different.

A thankful heart is a perfect place for joy to grow.

So let's kick off the month.

I'm thankful for my husband. First and foremost I am thankful that he loves the Lord, but I am also thankful for so many other things about him. He works hard to bring home a paycheck so I can finish school and get my degree and after working all day he puts countless hours into house projects. This weekend he spent his whole Saturday morning building me a shelf in the kitchen! And he came home on Friday and sanded all the mud (sheetrock mud, not mud mud) in our entryway before taking me on a wonderful date!

He even looked up the difference of chow mein and lo mein for me so I could figure out which one I liked (the waitress wasn't much help...) He takes time to ask about how my day was and listens to me rant and rave explain all the parts of my very complicated day. 

He helps me stay more focused on important things in life and less on the petty things. I appreciate his encouragement, support, and love. After having a trying day it's nice to be able to go home to him and relax. 

What are you thankful for today?