Saturday, March 7, 2009

A little U2 for a Saturday...

This morning I met with a friend for a relaxed Saturday morning brunch. With my tummy full of egg casserole, bagel, juice & coffee, we sat on the couch watching the odd hail/sleet/rain/snow flurries out the window and talking about t.v. shows. Thanks Cristina. Brian got up at the crack of dawn for his opening shift at Starbucks. This afternoon we are listening to U2, finally paying attention to accumulating piles & neglected emails--this is for me the most re-filling kind of Saturday. I need these days of organization, quiet, weekend optimism and space for my soul.

My sister Candace has been reading "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World" and has been enjoying it. Brian knew I wanted to read it and bought it for me as a way to nurture my own self-exploration. I can't wait to delve further into the pages tonight. Brian and I are going to make some mango-raisin couscous, maybe watch an old 40s flick from the library, and have a quiet evening. Doesn't the glory of such an evening in my mind confirm why I'm reading this book?

As far as life-place-journey-direction-ness... [deep sigh]... this can be a bit of an overwhelming question for me at the moment. We are both working, and for this, I praise God. I am extremely thankful that God ended that long lesson of jobless patience with employment. We are working toward restoring a little bit of savings that last year's schooling depleted. I am hoping to take some online courses from the same Canadian school. Brian is interested in other ideas as well, such as teaching, and community development education. I feel a bit paralyzed in all the future's ambiguity at the moment. At the same time, I think we are happy and trying to enjoy life's current season unto the glory of our God. I have become more open to future ministry/vocation not looking like I always imagined. Vamos a ver.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plain Grandeur

What was the last risky move you made? I suppose we all know risks are necessary in life--none of us want to end up living a solitarily safe, predictably plain life. We want to be part of something immense and noble, something that makes us study a stranger's face more intently, that makes our blood pulse more quickly, that takes pain out of focus. It seems like a lot of people expect this life decision to waltz into view one day... that one morning they'll wake up and see the fork in the road--the plain ol' boring life or the amazing, looming opportunity they've dreamed of. Is it like dreaming for a future lover? Someone we imagine will bring every perfect quality into our life but whose face is still obscured in the fog? I think a lot of people are frustrated by seeing only the everyday before them--instead of grandeur. I don't think life's largeness usually happens that way though. So today I am trying to remember to constantly thank God for the simple, good things around me--like the way grass is a sword and an ocean at the same time... like the smiles of the beautiful people around me... like the black balm of a needed moment of silence. I want to be as Paul said, "content in any circumstance."
I love you all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sandwiches and Siestas

There are two things I believe in today--sandwiches and siestas. If you are going to eat a sandwich, it is wrong to just put mayo and meat between two pieces of boring bread. A sandwich deserves to be glorious. It is important to invest time in this, so slow down Brian.

First a little mayo & mustard, then turkey, green peppers, thin cucumber slices, juicy tomato, fresh lettuce or spinach, diced peperoncinis, and a little Pappy's seasoning. (I've been enjoying the local produce stand immensely).

Secondly, I think I need to live in a country that takes siestas--wake early and stay up late... broken by a solid nap in the middle of the day. Kinda like this...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Glorious Summer

What a beautiful day... it is days like today that polish Seattle's dreamy allure. The trees are full and lush, giving the air a fresh summer sweetness that you can't breathe in except in the Northwest. I enjoyed a long walk/jog on the Cedar River Trail this morning and now I'm back to the job hunt again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fingers to the Keys

I often wish I came to visit this blog more often... yet there is a fierce resistance within me if the time isn't right. I must bring my fingers to the keys when my heart and mind and fingers are all ready. Now with Yann Tiersen's melodies to keep me company and the sun setting behind the big leaf maples out my window... I am ready.

Ahh.. a swallow has come out to keep me company... how kind. Why does the gentle glow of dusk make any landscape more luscious than it has ever been? Perhaps that's another reason the swallows soar to the setting sun... not just the increased availability of bugs but to become part of such a beautiful moment.

Lately I have been recovering from a month of travel. All of it has been quite lovely, but a bit much for my frail self to endure all at once. We've been all over... WA - CA - HI - TX - OH - NY - NC - GA - AZ - CA - WA ... 11 airports in 3 weeks... we've had a lot of great times, though. We went to a wonderful wedding in Hawaii (close friend of the family) then I was in another wedding of a good friend in Buffalo. After Buffalo we spent a week with our dear friends Jed & Crystal & their kids in Mesa before seeing more family in California and returning to Washington. What richness, what favor. Even in the midst of challenges God allows in life, I am so thankful for the gift of friends and family and for the ways God sovereignly cares for us.

Here is the lovely bride and her family - great friends.
A gorgeous place... we love Maui.
Enjoying papaya with my mother-in-law on our lanai (this is the papaya my dad told me to eat on his behalf -- great with lime).
Then we were off to Buffalo and a couple time zones later, Kacy's wedding--another fun time of meeting new friends and celebrating with Kacy & her new husband Bryan.
We always have a fabulous time with our friends Jed & Crystal - and with their kids D'Arcy, Oran & Beck. Here's Oran, listening to worship songs on my ipod...

And Jed & Brian - kindred creativity, love & humor... another great gift from the Father.

D'Arcy- beautiful D'Arcy - inside and out - she is such a fun, sweet, talented girl. She is 7 1/2 now, and still so fun to hang out with. Thanks for being you D'Arcy!

It was also really good to hang out with Crystal and to get to know Beck better - all that 1 year old personality. :) Crystal is such a great mom. I treasured the moments I got to spend with her on this trip - I think it really made Brian and I wish we were closer to them... algun dia.

Now Brian and I are avid job-hunters, praying and searching for the right spot. We are also going to research more about how we can keep working toward our degree online or by transfer classes until we can go back to Canada and complete the Master's. I think it will be a good autumn, once we settle in to our new routine this month.

I hope all of you are enjoying lots of life memories this summer... and also life lessons, as we are. I'll try to find a good moment to right again soon. May God give you peace, friends.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Book

Some of you already know that I have recently written and illustrated a book. It's called Man Eating Vegetables. It all started out as a Christmas present to my brother... I was laying in bed, about to fall asleep, and I had a vision of writing a crazy book about vegetables that eat people and giving it to my brother for his Christmas present. I immediately grabbed my journal and started sketching ideas. Over the next month, I would make more sketches, bounce ideas off my wife and classmates, and eventually publish the book through
This book isn't for everyone. The humor is certainly targeted toward my brother and myself, so if you don't think we're very funny, you probably won't enjoy the book.
I love it, though, and, like my t-shirt printing, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to just get creative and make something.
It's about 19 pages total and you can check out a mini-preview or buy the book at
Happy reading.

(you can click on the images to enlarge)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Man Shower

About two and a half years ago, right before Jenn and I got married, her dad and brother threw me a man shower. We used old license plates as plates, nails for toothpicks, a bucket made from tires for chips, a hard hat for dip and other manly, non-conventional ways of serving and eating food. We had a contest to see who had the manliest car, who wrapped their gift in the manliest way, and who could match the most tools to their slogans. For gifts, all I got were tools. It was one of the coolest ideas.

The whole idea behind the man shower is to put a little focus on the groom. Most, if not all of the presents that the couple will receive from bridal showers and the wedding itself will stereotypically be catered toward the wife- towels, plates, stuff guys don't really care about, etc. Even a lot of aspects of the wedding are all about the bride. At the man shower, everyone brings manly gifts and does manly things. The groom is celebrated and remembered (along with manliness).

A couple of my friends at school last semester were recently engaged, so I decided to throw them a man shower too. We had CAUTION tape streamers, ate out of my toolbox, had nail-pounding competitions, root-beer floats, a manly knowledge quiz, and a great time just laughing and hanging out. Both of the guys told me afterwards just how blessed they felt by the whole thing, and I just said, "Great! That's the whole idea."

Last night was the pinnacle of man-showers. The groom to be was my future brother-in-law Tim. We combined elements of the first two and added some new, amazing ones. The highlight for me was the hatchet throwing competition. Some low-life had escaped from the local prison, robbed the local orphanage, and came across our path. Luckily, we had hatchets to throw at him. Needless to say, we took that creep down and the day was saved. Russ won the competition by disabling the culprit with a key throw. Looking out for orphans is manly.

Moral of the stories- throw a man-shower for someone you know. The things we did don't take a whole lot of effort to put together. It's such a cool way to support the groom. They are guaranteed to be tons of fun. And every guy likes the chance to just be a guy.