Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Melissa (from Chattanooga) was in town
for a wedding last weekend. It was so fun
to see her and hang out again. She used to
live two doors down in our apartment
complex and she was like the 4th roomie.
While she was back, we hit up the mall,
the famous Henry Doorly Zoo, and the
new outdoor shopping center she hadn't
seen. Oh, and how could I forget - Red
Robin, where we ate at least once a week
when she lived here. It was fun to have
her back for a few days and reminisce
about football Saturdays, reality TV,
snow storms, trips to Target, and lots
of other random memories.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Things like this shouldn't happen to young girls. They shouldn't happen to anyone. It's one thing to even hear of what happened or what was lost. But then to hear their feelings, their thoughts, and to hear how it's affected them. I was just speechless. I wanted to say something to make them feel better, do something to fix it. I can't heal their hearts, but God can! He's grieved as He's seen what happened. And He is the only One who really understands. And if they'll surrender their lives to Him, He will delight in healing the pain and giving them grace to forgive and a new beginning, no longer victimized or affected by their past. Free. Now that is beautiful.

John 10:10
The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

"Your heart was torn; forgiveness was born
Yet through Your pain, You call us by name
That we would be free, yes free indeed
Free to run with You, to be all that You created us to be
In You, it is true, that we are free (oh Lord we are free)

"Oh we've come to declare the beauty of the Lord
To declare the beauty of the Lord
Oh we've come to declare the beauty of the Lord
To declare the beauty of the Lord"

- Christy & Nathan Nockels

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Detour in December

Last December, Best Friend & I took a little detour through Oregon on our way home from Kansas City. Oregon, Missouri, that is.

Psalm 144:2
"He is my loving God
and my fortress,
my stronghold,
and my deliverer,
my shield in whom I take refuge . . "

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sweet Running

At Fresh Start the other night, I gave the girls an example of "processing an issue of the heart" by using one from my past. Sharing my experience with them was good in that it reminded me of all the Lord had done in my heart. A miracle. He is my healer. He is everything.

As I went for a run that night, I thought,

"Lord, these past couple of years have been bittersweet. And all the sweet . . . that was You."


And this is why I can keep on running. I can keep on smiling. I used to run, years ago, out of my own strength. It was my outlet. I didn't really believe He could/would heal my heart. Once I let Him, He so proved me wrong. Now I run because of His strength that He has given me. A new, bridled (guided, purposeful) strength.

"Come what may, I want to run" - II Samuel 18:23

Today's M-ism

"Hi, Heth!"

(Our manager's name is Heather. M & Heather are not friends.)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

You're Not the Boss of Me

If my legs could talk, I'm pretty sure this is what they would've said last night:

"We remember the 5-mile run last week and no way is that happening again."

Good thing I'm the boss.

Today's M-ism

Remember M? The gal I work with? I've decided she's too funny to not write more about. So, here's the first M-ism:

"I'm pretty sure that the dead black squirrel I saw was actually the 9th black squirrel I saw this morning."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

24 Hours of Joy

My cousin, Joy, that is. She's hilarious. She's random, impulsive, fun, funny, often loud, and blatantly honest. Some say she's ditzy, but she's far from dumb. Her high-pitched voice and laugh make her . . . distinctive. And she's beautiful :)

Here's a recap of our weekend together>


2 p.m. : Shopping @ the Mall. Joy is usually the one to randomly decide she wants an outfit and blow all of her money on a shopping spree. I prefer to shop and shop and find the sales.

3 p.m. : I pay full price for a belt and shirt. Joy pays $10 for cropped trouser pants.

4 p.m. : Joy's friend meets up with us. Her home has just burnt down and she has lost everything. Joy buys her a very expensive pair of jeans and a shirt. How sweet.

5 p.m. : Joy & I run to Wal-Mart so I can pick up a birthday gift for my nephew. Joy disappears and comes back with sugar on her face. She's just eaten two doughnuts. Then she forgets to pay for them when she checks out. Easy to forget to pay for something you've already eaten.

6 p.m. : Micah's 2nd birthday party. Joy & I enjoy food and try to decide what to do that night.

7 p.m. : T calls and invites us to his party.

10 p.m. : We arrive at T's house and play polish horseshoes. We are awesome!

11 p.m. : We become the life of the party. We bring in Joy's techno CD and do a "dance" and sing for everyone. Several guys get into it; everyone else just laughs and watches - and we play the song 3 times over. It's hilarious!

12:30 p.m. : We drive home, so not tired or ready for bed yet.

1:00 a.m. : We stop at Taco John's and go through the drive-thru twice. We immediately regret it and drive to the nearest facility.

2:30 a.m. : We reluctantly go to bed for lack of something else to do.

3:30 a.m. : Joy is on my side of the bed. I try to be nice and fall back asleep.

4:30 a.m. : Joy is still on my side of the bed. There is room for another person on the other side of her. I nicely shove her to the other side.


11:30 a.m. : We go to church together.

1:00 p.m. : Joy tries to bribe the hostess at Mimi's to seat us faster by offering her $5. Nice try, Joy. "I used to do that for other people," she says of her days as a hostess.

3:00 p.m. : We lay out at the lake and get no sun, because, who are we kidding - it's September.

5:30 p.m. : We go inside and Joy pulls out brownie mix and cake mix. We make both. And order a pizza.

6:30 p.m. : Brownies are gross. Joy eats five anyway. We toss the rest. Cake is delicious. Pizza still hasn't arrived. Joy has called and chatted with the manager twice about the late pizza. She has decided to give the delivery guy some cake and asks the guy on the phone if he wants a piece, too. "Ask your manager, Kevin, if he wants a piece." Kevin wants a piece.

7:00 p.m. : Pizza arrives. Delivery guy is flustered by the cake. "This one is for you, and here's one for the guy with the deep voice and one for your manager, Kevin." Delivery guy starts to walk off without the money. We give him the money. He starts to walk off without giving us change. Joy says, "Hey, we're not tipping you that much. Kevin said we could have the pizza for free. Keep the ten for yourself." Kevin never said we could have it for free. But, we should have, because it was late and cold.

8:00 p.m. : Grandma comes home and we present the cake to her, even though we know she's starting her diet tomorrow. She doesn't seem to mind.

9:00 p.m. : Joy heads home. It's been fun.

(The picture is Joy doing the "dance" to "What Was Her Name?")

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This world is full of colorful people

Ahh, co-workers. You gotta love 'em. I happen to have a few personal favorites here in the office. Let me share. However, I will not mention anything about my superiors, because, if you read, you'll see that it can actually result in job loss, which wouldn't be all bad, I suppose, but who am I kidding, I need this job and want to eventually leave on my own accord. Also, I am definitely not going to be using actual first names, even though I will not be stating anything negative or derogotory about my co-workers, because although they may be quirky, I enjoy them.

First, let's start with Liz (short for Elizabeth, short for Elizabethan, because she likes RenaissanceFaires) and yesterday she came in, back from a long weekend at the Faire (not Fair, mind you) with a loud, jingly, gypsy-like anklet and hair still up in braids. Hair (very thick, long hair) that, after much subtle hinting from me - actually, it was pretty blatant - she refused to cut into layers, because it would prevent her from putting it up in said braids. After sighing and choosing to "give up the fight", I had to remind myself that there are many things in this world that are more sad than someone refusing to style their hair in a more flattering way. For example: overgrown eyebrows. . . . mis-matched foundation . . . . and, of course, high-water pants - none of which has she fallen victim to.

Another thing that sets Liz apart are her frequent outbursts of frustration. She basically says what the rest of us think. Only, there is a reason we don't say it out loud all the time! Even though I like Liz, I'm allowed to be honest. I think anyone would agree that if one is on the phone and one's co-worker is in the background making comments such as "STU-pid MOR-on" and "Are you FREAKIN kidding me?", it doesn't present, say, a professional image, of one's company. But, even though it may not be proper etiquette . . . I understand. Because when you work for a fast-growing company that has many clients - wait, I take that back - When you work anywhere you're bound to become frustrated with the way someone else does or doesn't do their job. Am I right?

Next, we have M (which isn't short for anything; I just don't feel creative enough to think of a fake name). She has to be my favorite, though. She is always happy and purposely makes ditzy comments that make some people laugh and others roll their eyes. I say purposely, because I can see the look in her eyes when she does it and she knows exactly what she's doing. She also tries extra hard to be nice to managers, etc, and is constantly popping in their offices to say hi or sending them friendly IMs. But no one feels threatened by this, because she is just genuinely that friendly. She's not trying to accomplish anything by being that nice - it's just who she is. She calls us all names like "You little skunk" and "darlin" and she compliments people all the time. The other day she exclaimed, with much joy in her voice,

"Oh my gosh, I just love my job. Don't you love your job, Laura?"

Me: "I don't know if I'd go straight to love".

M: "But you really really like it, right?"

Me: "Sure, I like it. I'm just not used to sitting in one place for 8 hours."

M: "Oh, well I love it!"

And, she does. Do you wanna know how I know? Because she decorates her space. If you decorate your space, usually that means that you're pretty content in your space. My space is not decorated. I have 4 pictures (only one framed) that lean against my computer, two deflated balloons from my birthday last month, and contact solution for when my eyes dry out from staring at my screen all day long. M has a calendar, pictures, multi-colored sticky notes, some little crocheted thing her niece made her, and tons of "supplies" in her drawers, such as 4 different kinds of gum, lotions, snacks, mints, candy, and it's all in organized little cubbies. It's really quite nice, because she likes to share.

M also asks me random questions, like,
"Laura, would you ever wear hiking boots with a long skirt?"

Me: "Maybe if I was alone in the mountains and I knew no one would see me."

M: "Shoot."

This, everyone, is just some of the randomness and "flava" my co-workers bring to my otherwise boring work week. Like I said before, you gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Do your body a favor . . Think Happy Thoughts

I never realized the impact of stress on the body until yesterday. Everything was going along just fine at work. And then, for some reason, (don't ask why), I took a trip to Negativetown. I began thinking about things that were upsetting and focusing on things that were untrue about myself. I could feel my back getting tight as the tension slowly crept up into my neck and eventually resulted in a terrible headache. I spent the rest of the night feeling dizzy and trying to crack every joint in my body over and over hoping to release some of the pressure. I've experienced tension from stress before, usually after a tough day at work (and I realize that I don't really even know what tough is), but never has it come on in such a short period of time. It was crazy. I tried to think of some way to shake my bad attitude and loosen up a little. Funny, the mall just didn't seem to do it. I hadn't been for nearly a month (excuse me while I pat myself on the back), but I've noticed since having my "real" job these last 5 months that my closet is lacking (usually those last four words should never be said in reference to my closet) some more tailored, work/business appropriate clothing. Nevermind that dress code is business casual and I've probably only worn the same thing 3 times max. I'd say at least a few days a month we have important clients drop by and the dress code is business professional - and those few days are what I must be prepared for . . as well as the next job I have, which hopefully isn't too far into the seemingly distant future. So I went to the Gap - the one place I can always shop even when I don't feel like shopping. And I walked out empty-handed . . . . so I turned around and went back for my big bag full of two tailored, cuffed, button shirts and a black blazer I've been wanting for months. (You thought I actually left without buying something?!-never)

Last night I had my first meeting with my small group of teen girls at what is called Fresh Start. I have not actually been through it (the class & small group) myself before, but the Lord has used the principles and tools taught at Fresh Start in my life in a huge way. So many people are becoming whole and learning how process the issues of their heart and have right relationships with one another. It's so awesome. I can't wait to see what He will do in these girls' lives. And it's especially neat that they are so young and learning biblical principles that they can apply to so many of life's situations. Another perk about them being young . . we get candy every week!

After Fresh Start last night, I was dying to get home and take some drugs for my headache! I don't know if it was the back massage my mom so graciously consented to give me, the pork chop, the two bites of vanilla bean ice cream, or the pill, but by the time I hopped in bed, my headache was considerably better.
We think that what we want is sex, drugs, alcohol, a new job, a raise, a doctorate, a spouse, a large-screen TV, a new car, a cabin, a condo in Hawaii. What we really want is the person we were made for, Jesus, and the place we were made for, Heaven. Nothing less can satisfy.

We may imagine that we want a thousand different things, but God is the one we really long for. His presence brings satisfaction; his absence brings thirst and longing.

To see God's face is to behold His beauty which is the source of all lesser beauties.

- Randy Alcorn

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Whip it good!

The party was a success. Even though it seemed no one could make it, we still had a group of 16, which was a nice size. AMC (Awesome Married Couple) brought so much stuff and really they were the hosts in my opinion. I provided the place, but they, pretty much, took care of the rest. We did a lot of tubing, and as much as Big D tried to whip me around and get me to wipe out, I managed to stay on the whole time, even while balancing on my knees, taunting him and challenging him to try harder. I knew when he circled the island a 3rd time that he really wanted to see me tossed off. Nah-NAH-nah-NAH. Other than tubing, we just relaxed in the sun and ate snacks all day. A bunch of us played a few games of volleyball, too. When I saw that the sun wasn't going to be around much longer, I asked Big D to pull me skiing. I'm so glad I did, too. It's probably my last time this year, and it was beautiful. The lake was like glass and on one side of the island it felt as though I was slalom-ing into the sunset. Gorgeous. Dinner was great. I expected AMC to buy pre-made burgers for grilling, but they actually bought the meat and pre-made the patties themselves! They also brought baked beans and potato salad (great summer side dishes). M brought her famous cheesecake (in pumpkin and toffee flavors) that she actually sells to a few restaurants. I don't even like cheesecake, but this was good. It even looked amazing. The day was made pretty much perfect when the Huskers beat Wake Forest 31-3. The only negative about today is that I want to rip my eyeballs out of their sockets because they itch and burn so bad from my all-day exposure to everything I'm allergic to. But, I suppose it was worth it :)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The beach party

I had planned to go on the church retreat this weekend, but ended up opting out. I'm so sad to miss hearing Cousin speak (my cousins and I all call each other "Cousin!" as opposed to using our real first names), because he is one of my favorite people to listen to. He has so much passion and I'm always impacted by his messages! Fortunately, I'm sure I can get the audio. What AMC (Awesome Married Couple) and I decided to do, instead, was to have a party out at my g-ma's lake. It may be our last truly hot weekend here in NE - you never know. Plus, we've wanted to all summer and, of course, never got around to it. The problem with waiting until the last minute is that a lot of people have already made commitments and several have season football tickets or weddings to attend. BUT, it looks like we'll still have a good-sized group of people out today and I'm excited to get together with everyone. I'm pretty sure I'll be the only single person there, but that's cool. J offered to come and leave her hubby at home, which was really sweet of her, but no way would I want her to actually do that. I'm way too laid back about this party-thing. AMC has asked me all these questions regarding the party this week and getting ready for it. They wanted to make sure all the bases were covered. And, here I sit, with people coming out in less than 3 hours, and I've yet to make a side dish or pump up the tube! Yikes! My brother was sweet enough to go out and make sure the boats had enough gas and oil last night. He's so great. AMC is supplying all the meat for grilling out, which is so nice of them. I've got to make sure the TVs are on the proper channels so we can keep an eye on the games today, too. Iowa plays Iowa State and I have a lot of (unfortunately) ISU fans coming out today -hehe. I do want to watch that game, but I am, by no means, a fan. I'm a little nervous about our game vs. Wake Forest tonight - should be interesting. I better get my suit on and get out there. I'm missing some prime-sunlight hours.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Boys and Babies

I'm feeling a little left behind. "Oldest" friend (we go back to 6th grade) just called and told me she's pregnant. And she let me know that one of my high school friends is engaged. T just told me last week that he's engaged as well! And I've had two other friends announce that they, too, will be having babies the beginning of next year! So now, not only is everyone getting married (I've been a part of 4 weddings in a year's time), they're having babies, too! Fortunately, this doesn't bother me much at all. I'm so excited to watch everyone fall in love and start their families. I know my time will come. But, it's a little strange when suddenly, within a year's time, your relationship with someone changes. You may grow completely apart because of a guy or you may just not be able to talk as much or hang out as randomly as you used to because of a husband or baby. I counted and realized that I have only two single friends left. Thankfully one of them is Best Friend, and I don't know what I would do without her. But, there's no more group of girls. There's no more dropping by AMC's (Awesome Married Couple) house all the time because the baby requires so much attention. Sometimes I kinda wish I could relate and chat about my husband or baby, but I don't have either. Not even a boyfriend. I love being single and so much enjoy my freedom. I've never been one to daydream about my husband when I have no idea who he is or what he'll be like. But, being single does mean that many of my friends are in a different place than I am. They're one or two "life steps" ahead of me. I would like to someday double-date with kid-less friends, but the chances of that happening are getting slim. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy attending more weddings and baby showers, and know that God's timing is so perfect.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Long Weekend

The long weekend was so nice. I went to a co-worker's wedding on Sunday and loved it. It was my first time attending an African-American wedding. She played one of my favorite love songs when she walked down the aisle - "Spend My Life With You" and she had about 3 soloists that did an awesome job! I loved the pastor, too. Let's just say the message was pretty lively! After the wedding, I went to an all-black Baptist church for their anniversary service. I was the only white person amongst a few hundred black people and they were all dressed in white! Surprisingly enough, I didn't feel out of place at all. A couple of choirs performed and made me want to jump out of my seat and start dancing like one of the girls I came with . . I should've. Instead, I just bounced around in my seat a little. I've always wanted to attend a black church service and I'd love to go again.

Sunday night was another "Cousins Night"! I love my cousins. Even though we live close, we don't get to see each other that often. But, when we do, it's a blast. Dancing, eating, movies, chats, and silliness. It was a late night. We woke up the next day to rain! I was so bitter. Rain on Labor Day?! I was supposed to get a tan! Instead, it was raining so hard, we couldn't see the other side of the lake! My family is so great that I really couldn't complain being cooped up in Grandma's house with all of them eating appetizers all day. It cleared up in the late afternoon, though, in time to get a pontoon ride in and teach one of our guests to water ski. Supper was burgers and brats off the grill, Grandma's signature baked beans, potato casserole, corn on the cob, fresh fruits and veggies. . and more . . with ice cream and (my fave) triple choc cake again for dessert.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I hated to see Tuesday come. How was your weekend?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

It's Game Day

Best friend called it first. We always try to be the first one to announce that "It's Game Day" or even "Pre-Game Day" for that matter. She called it last night at 12:15 a.m. And she's the lucky one that gets to go watch the Huskers kick off their 2005 season with a game against the Maine Black Bears tonight. If we win this game, it will be our 20th straight season-opening victory. We've never played MU before and they're our only Division I-AA opponent this season, just as we are their only Division I-A opponent. I'm not real worried about this game. I know Maine had a really tough schedule last season and they beat their first-ever Division I-A opponent, Mississippi State 9-7, but with our 2005 recruiting class (supposedly one of the nation's best) and some great players returning (ie: Daniel Bullocks, Cory Ross) it shouldn't be an issue. Go Big Red!

Last night was a good time with Best Friend. She & I, instead of eating out, decided on a $.69 box of mac n cheese and leftover pizza while watching the "Concert for Hurricane Relief" and gasping at the idiotic, emotional statements made by Kanye. I can't even comment about it, because I will go on and on. I do not, in any way, think that this is a race issue. I'm praying for the people who have lost everything; it breaks my heart. It makes me think of the end times and how close we may be to seeing Jesus return.

Best friend and I went to this documentary/movie called "Mad Hot Ballroom" which we loved. It was about 5th grade inner-city kids in NYC and their required ballroom classes and competition. It was so cute and I definitely recommend it. It makes me miss ballroom dancing. I haven't gone in a couple months - it's hard to find someone willing to go with me. After the movie, we snuck into "Wedding Crashers", which made it my 3rd time seeing it, and I still laughed throughout the whole thing. I want to recommend it to people, but I can't because of the language and nudity - dang! I just wouldn't feel right about that. But, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are hilarious! Best friend loved it, too.

I feel pretty lazy right now. It's noon and I'm in my pajamas, because I slept until 11, which I haven't done in ages and didn't even think I was capable of it. But, last night, after getting home around 1 a.m., I discovered two boxes in my living room. . . . "I got a Dell!" So I had to open them and play around on my new 'notebook'. I forgot I had gotten a printer, too. You may remember my blog about buying myself an iPod, which I did . . . and two days later I decided I needed a new computer. Mine is 5 years old and . . I need a new one. I discovered that my iPod was not compatible with my parents computer (which has Microsoft ME) and realized that I wanted to put iTunes on my computer anyway since I won't/shouldn't be living here too much longer. Soo, that meant new computer. She's a beauty, too. (I named her "Adella" - don't think I'm a dork - you have to name your computer when you start it up.) I called Dell up and had them customize my Inspiron 6000. I was a little nervous dropping $1500 in one week (on both gadgets) but it made me feel better to know that I did get some deals. I saved $200 on the Back to School sales w/ Dell and I got the guy at Best Buy to throw in the iPod armband for free. So, I feel good about it.

Well, I'm pumped about this weekend. It's supposed to be hot and I plan to spend the rest of today on the beach at the lake (as well as Sunday and Labor Day with family). Have a great holiday weekend everyone!