Where you invest your love, you invest your life...

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 27:17

I want to write about my new church. Thing is, it's not really my new church anymore, because this past Saturday was my 6 month Downtown Church anniversary. If you recall this post, I loved it from the beginning. It was upbeat and the worship team pwned and, the thing that got me most, people cared about knowing me.

Like I mentioned back in June, girls were coming up to me to meet me from the get go, something that didn't happen a single time when I was going to Immersion. And not only did they want to meet me, but they were immediately asking if I wanted to hang out with them.  I was all like, "Whaaaaaa?"  But they didn't stop.

So, three weeks in, a girl asked me if I'd want to get dinner at Uncle Wendell's BBQ, the best restaurant ever.  Of course I agreed.  So we went to dinner, and then she convinced me to go to her bible study come fall, and I did.  And here you can see most of the Super Models, my bible study:

Yeah.  I love those people to teensy bits and pieces.  Every single one of them is amazing.  They love the Lord like something crazy, and they build each other up and love each other, and the thing that baffles me the most is they actually like me.  I don't say that to throw myself a pity party at all, but I'll be honest with you:  I've never really had very many real friends.  I had a lot of people I spent time with because they tolerated me, but it was usually short-lived and I couldn't escape the fact that it felt like many of my "friends" were really very self-centered about the relationship.  If I had something to offer and if it was convenient, I was in.  If those things weren't there, I was out.

I have yearned for authentic friendship and fellowship for years.  Literally since like, junior high.  I was sick of being taught that fellowship just meant Christians doing fun stuff together, and I was sick of trying to force friendships with people who frankly didn't even want to be around me a lot of the time, and I was sick of dealing with drama crap, and I was sick of shallow, half-hearted interactions that only occurred because someone was bored.  I wanted something real, something where there was love and encouragement and depth.  I wanted relationships where I could thrive, where I was loved and cared for, where the Lord was the center of everything and there was meaning and openness and realness.

Basically, in many forms by several people to varying extremes, I was told that those things were unattainable, that my expectations were too high, and that no one was that intense about their friendships.  I was told that I would have to wait until I was in my thirties when everyone magically would get mature and deep like I apparently was.  It wasn't going to happen.  I was told and I started to believe that it would be years before I ever got even close to the kind of authentic friendship I desired, and that at the current time of my life it would never happen because no one is that serious, mature, loving, whatever.

That was a lie.  I have that with these people.  They love the Lord and each other the way I had always believed could happen.  This is the Church.

I hope someday you all find people who love the Lord and who love each other this way, because they are quite possibly the greatest blessing in my life right now.  This church is wonderful.

I love the Super Models.  You guys are bomb.

Lovelovelovelove to all.


Call on the life...

Sorry if these little fill-in-the-blank survey things annoy you, because I love them.  Take that, haters.

The Valley Song
Love Affair
American Dream
Lollipop Parade
Hearts Safe
10.) WHAT IS 2+2?
Long Shot
The World is Alive
Soft Skeletons
Lesser Things
Until the World
Last Day of 1888
Up and Up
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
A Love That's Stronger Than Our Fear
One Moment Away
Call on the Life


Let's stay out all night, go everywhere we don't, live while we're alive and take the world for more...

Tonight I went out sharing with some of my friends from bible study.  The people at DTC, or at least the people I run with, say "sharing" when they mean "witnessing" or "sharing the gospel."  So, in other words, we went to the mall and paired off and then went up to strangers and told them about Jesus.  It was fantastic.  I haven't done that in forever, and I'll be honest with you, I didn't want to go.  But I did anyway, and I am so glad I did.  Matt Moklestad and I went together, and Dave and Chrissy, and then Tyler and Patrick.  Patrick isn't in my bible study, he just tagged along.  Anyway, it was really good.  Pray for Scott...he grew up going to church as a kid but hasn't gone in several years, and he was really interested in having a relationship with the Lord.  He was at the mall with two friends, and all three of them were amazed that Matt and I, plus the other 4 who were out in the mall, were spending our Friday night sharing the gospel at the mall.  They ended up just following us around watching and listening while we talked to people.  We talked to these three guys a lot about just living your life for the Lord and how it's totally worth it, and they seemed to really respond and be interested in what we had to say about all of it.  Matt said it was the best response he's ever gotten when he went out witnessing.  It was a really encouraging time.

Soon I'm going to blog about all my new friends and how much I love them.  You should eagerly await that blog post, because they are all rockin' awesome.



You are more than the sum of your past mistakes...

I'm really not going off the deep end.  I promise.

This is a good song, everyone should listen to it.  It's called You Are More and it's by Tenth Avenue North.  Not the style of music I usually listen to, but when I first heard their album The Light Meets the Dark I could have sworn they'd written it for me.  So go ahead and hit pause on the music maker to the right, and then after you listen to this handy YouTube video that I handily embedded below, hop on iTunes, pay a dollar for this song, and listen to it lots and lots more.

Bless the day this restoration is complete...

Here's the deal.  I'm going to get all intense on you guys.  Ready?  Here it comes...

I'm sick of screwing around.  That's it.  I'm sick of it.  I'm sick of feeling like a fake, sick of knowing I have a sickness, a problem, and never being honest about it and never being quite willing to expose myself for what I am.  I'm sick of feeling like I fail constantly, and then going on like I'm fine.  I'm sick of struggling and fighting and trying to beat down my flesh and being completely and utterly unable to do so.  I hate who I am.  I hate it.    I hate my sin, and yet I am incapable of getting away from it, and even more incapable of doing anything good.

These verses from Romans 7 have been running through my mind lately:

14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
 21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 
This is exactly how I feel in my life.  Paul and me are on the same page here.  I don't do what I want, but I do the very things I hate...I know that nothing good dwells in me in my natural state...I do not do the good I want, but the evil I don't want is what I keep on doing...what a wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this?  I am incapable of not sinning.  I sin every single day.  I hate it, and I do it anyway.  The desire of my heart is to do good, and yet I can't.

Here's a little taste of me, my flesh and my weakness:

  • I don't think I've ever gone more than a week reading my bible every day.  Never in my life.
  • I want to get married desperately.  Part of me regrets that I didn't just say "screw you, God" and go along with the plan that would have ultimately gotten me what I wanted.
  • I have only like, three or four bible verses memorized.  I can tell you plenty of things the bible says, but can I point you to the specific verse?  Heck no.
  • I haven't been baptized because I was embarrassed of the fact that I hadn't been baptized yet.  Ridiculous, but true.  I didn't want any attention paid to me, and I was baptized as a baby, so I have avoided it, because it seems ridiculous that I've been a Christian for so long and just didn't get around to it.  Hopefully in a couple weeks this will be remedied when DTC starts doing baptisms.
  • I hate cleaning my apartment, because I'm lazy and I just want to do what I want to do, and cleaning is one of my least favorite things.  So, there's a nasty layer of dust on my ceiling fan and a huge pile of nasty dishes in my sink and the floor hasn't been swept in weeks.*
  • Etc.
That's just little small stupid problems.  Real ones, but not even the biggest struggles in my life.  Not even close to the things that bother me most about my flesh.

In Romans 7:24, Paul asks who will deliver him from his flesh, from the sin that he hates and can't get away from.  Who will deliver me from the prison that is my mind and my flesh and this wretched body?  Who will deliver me from this bondage, from my own inability to do what I long to do, to do what Christ commands?  My heart swells with this, it cries out, asking who will save me?

In the beginning of verse 25, Paul answers his own question.  The NLT says it this way:

25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
I read this verse, and in a sarcastic manner I said "Great, awesome, Jesus is the answer yet again.  What does that even mean?"  And because I was using Bible Gateway and it only shows one chapter at a time, I almost quit right there.  If Jesus is the answer, I should just shut up and stop asking questions, right?  Jesus is the trump card.  But no, I wasn't happy with that "Jesus, fine if you're the answer to all my issues with my flesh and sin.  But why?  What does that mean for me?  You can be the answer, great, but what makes you the answer and what does that imply?"  I sneered at myself inwardly a little bit, because I found it ironic that the very question that "seekers" ask themselves when they are investigating Christianity is the question I, a "long-time" believer, asked myself today.  So, I thought I'd do the obvious thing, and read the next chapter.

Romans 8 happens to be my favorite chapter in the entire bible, so you would think I'd know what it says right?  I sure thought so.  But God smacked me in the head when I got to the first few verses, and said, "Yeah, you don't really have it figured out after all, do you?"

1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 
 9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
God did what the law could not accomplish.  The law couldn't save us.  Paul explains the role of the law back in chapter 7.  (This is NLT again, by the way)

7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. 9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
Satan uses the power of suggestion. The law seriously says not to covet? That sucks. I bet you could just try it. It's not really that big of a deal, I mean, come on. But go back to what Paul said in chapter 8.  "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."  The law, which is good and holy, but which has been used against me and which condemned and killed me, has been fulfilled.  By me?  No!  By Christ, who God sent to fulfill the law, because just as Adam's sin condemned us all, Christ's righteousness saved us from a life ruled by sin.  Romans 5:18,19 says "Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."  I am righteous and holy not by my own actions or anything good I've done, but through the righteousness of Jesus Christ and the love that God had for me that he sent his righteous son to bear my own sin so that I might live an eternal life that I don't deserve alongside Christ, the very man who became my sin, (John 3:16) and so that I can live a life free of condemnation and guilt and shame.  God knew that I could not fulfill the law.  He knew that I was incapable of not sinning (pardon my double negative) but he made a way that I could be free of that.

I sin every day.  But it's my flesh that sins, and I no longer live by the flesh, I live by the Spirit, because God sent Jesus (by the way, isn't the concept of the trinity beautiful?) so that I could not only live an eternal life with Him, but so that I could live an earthly life free of condemnation.

*I took a break from writing and cleaned the dust off my fan.  That would be Christ working in my life.  Ha.

NOTE  I don't believe in proofreading.  So, if anything wonky happens to have slipped in there, just try to see past it.  I know it's hard, but I believe in you.


For a moment I was warm and the world made sense, for a moment there this storm had no consequence...

I play music a lot more now.  Tons more.  I love music.

Warning: Honesty moment.
No one gets it sometimes.  No person does.  You want to rely on someone, you want to trust and talk to someone who gets it, who gets you, who relates to you the way you need them to, who doesn't have an agenda or a selfishly-motivated opinion.  But sometimes there isn't someone like that.  So, then, you're told to go rely on God because he is all you need.  True, he is.  But let's face it.  Relying on God is a lot of work.  Sure, I want to rely on God, and I do, but if I want to hear from God it isn't like he just makes it plain, he makes me work for it. I have to think through everything and ask myself is this God speaking to me? or I have to sit and be still and basically pray that I get something concrete to hang on to.  Sure, I'll talk to God, but hearing from him is freaking a lot of work.

That said, I still love God a lot.  I just get impatient sometimes and I want everyone to be perfect.  But it's all good.

That's the end.


One day the sun will cast your shadow on fields created for you...

Edit:  Just to warn you all about the time inconsistency,  I started this almost a week ago, and never got around to posting it.  Now, here it is.  Just pretend I posted it on like, Sunday.

I typed up a slightly lengthy blog post, and then my computer ate it.  Lame.

Lots of things have been going on the past few weeks.  The first notable thing that comes to mind is that I sang a song that I wrote while my friend Matt played guitar.  Matt is an awesome guitarist (he plays on the worship team at church on Saturday nights) and a super cool guy, and he was asked to play a song for Java Jazz, a live music and art event at DTC.  So, he asked if I'd sing, and he said he'd like to play one of my songs, so we did!  A guy from bible study has a video of it, but I don't think he's posted it yet.  It was really cool to get to collaborate with someone, and working with Matt was super fun, and getting to perform for the first time at a DTC event was really awesome.

Other than that, I can't remember too many things that I did in between then and now.  Friday night our bible study had a bonfire at Ashley's house.  We had a scavenger hunt and played sardines and then after everyone else left, me and Natalie stayed the night.  We started off in a tent, and I was ready to stick it out, but Ash and Natalie got cold, so we ended up sleeping on couches in Ashley's apartment.  It was a super fun night.  Being with everyone is always so great, and I loved getting to spend time with a couple girls making popcorn at 2 AM.

Then last night after church our bible study got together again (we spend a lot of time together, can you tell?) and we did what I decided was the best thing ever...we speed dated.  We each wrote down 3 questions, and then everyone in the bible study "dated" each other for five minutes.  We rotated around until eventually you got to talk to everyone.  It was so. fun.  I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it was bomb.

Anyway, that's my life right now I guess.  Churchy stuff all the time.  I love it though.



We are compelled to do what we must do, we are compelled to do what we have been forbidden...

So, lately, when I get 7 or 8 hours of sleep I am more tired the next day than when I get 5.  That doesn't make sense to me.  I mean, I'm tired either way, but for whatever reason the last couple weeks I'm groggier when I get more sleep.  Maybe I am just interrupting my sleep cycle at a weird time when that happens and then I never recover.  I don't know.  I should get sleeping pills again, maybe that would help.

I'm not really in that good of a mood right now.  Sorry.  I'm a little bit cranky.  Too much to do in not enough time makes me crabby.  I am a procrastinator and I am not self-motivated at all.

I slept in late today, because I didn't get  back to my apartment until 3 AM.  I spent the day yesterday with my lovely boyfriend, and then went to my parents for a little bit.

I really enjoy sleeping.  I get to forget about life and everything for 6-8 hours of the day.  I don't have to think about anything or do anything or be anyone.

This is a short, lame blog post.


In all these twisted thoughts, I see Jesus there, in between...

Today I am cleaning, because my friend Cara is coming over for dinner.  That means that in a little while I will also be cooking.  Scary.  But inviting her over for dinner was a great way to get to know one of my lovely new friends, and also a way to force me to clean my crap up.  So it was a win-win!

I injured myself slightly.  I scraped up my calf because I fell through a rubbermaid container.  Yes.  Through it.  I needed to fix the slightly broken blinds on my window, and instead of going and getting my step stool that I got because I am too short to reach anything important, I decided I would just stand on the rubbermaid container that was filled with clothes.  It apparently was not full enough to support my weight, and the lid broke, and I fell all over the place.  It was hilarious.  And now I need some duct tape.

I just burned my hand on some hot soup, and it hurts.

I just purchased my first Dashboard Confessional album.  This seems like a monumental thing, like I should celebrate and have a party or something.  But instead I'm going to listen to it while I clean.  That is almost the same, because when I clean, a lot of dancing and hopping around happens.  True story.

Well, it's time for me to shower, sweep, figure out what I'm cooking, and then grocery shop, and then cook.  Lots to do.  Laterz.


I'm not too sure that I want it to be this way...

I was going to spend the time I had between work and bible study by cleaning my extremely messy apartment.  Instead what I did is practice my songs.  Today Josh, my friend and lead guitarist in the greatest band ever produced by the city of Sheldahl, texted me and asked if I'd play a few songs for an open mic night event at Grandview University here in Des Moines.  It's tomorrow.  I said yes.  I'm nervous.

Now, I'm obviously wasting time blogging.  I promise it will be fast, because I am going to go and practice some more, and then go to bed, because it is actually quite late for me to be up.  I am trying to get used to running on less sleep though, because there is always so much I want to do and never enough time to do it.  Actually it has less to do with time and more to do with procrastination and lack of motivation, which is why my apartment is such a disaster.

I need a job where I can work at night and sleep in the day.  That is how my body wants to work.

This is the end of this post.



I was young, but I wasn't naive...

I miss Andrew a lot today. More than normal. Long distance relationships are ridiculous. As if we didn't already have enough things making our relationship difficult.

I am waiting for two packages. One is a new cellphone battery which supposedly will last longer than the one that is in it now. I get about 5 hours out of my phone with what I would consider moderate use. I get 7 or 8 without using it a lot. Even if this new battery doesn't last as long, it will at least be a good back-up.

The second package I'm waiting on is my new sewing machine. I am really, really excited for it. I've been talking about getting one for a long time, so I'm getting geared up to finally learn how to sew. Maybe soon I'll even be able to sew some little girl dresses for Kim's project.

Yesterday I got to feed a tiny baby. I'm used to the big babies that I watch, but baby Noah is only 2 or 3 weeks old. His mommy and I have been friends since junior high, so I've been pretty excited for her and her husband to have this baby. I got to feed him and hold him, and Friday I'm going to watch him so Liz can get some stuff done around the house and so she and Ethan can have a night out.

I drank a lot more coffee today than I usually do. 3 cups. That's a lot for me. I usually make that much and then drink half a cup or so, but today it was extra delicious.

I want to make music. I toy with the idea of music as a profession sometimes. Doubt I'd ever get that far, but still, I can pretend.

A week or 2 ago Anberlin decided they were going to release a new CD without telling me. Well, thanks to Amazon's deal of the day, I ended up downloading it that day for $4. Ohmyword. It is really good. Reminds me a lot of their older music, meshed with even more awesome. Definitely redeems them from the mediocrity that was New Surrender, in my opinion. I haven't really listened to it a whole lot, but I'll probably throw out a more thorough review after I've had a chance to listen to it more.

I should get back to conquering the world now.



If I were a monster would you wince when you looked at me? If I was a freak would you stare?

I'm chock-full of new songs lately. I would really like to know where the phrase "chock-full" came from.

LifeLight was absolutely fantastic.  We rocked out, we danced, we laughed hysterically, we were too loud late at night and got the police called on us, and we had the best time ever.  I miss everyone already just because it was so fun.  LifeLight 2011 will be even better, because it will be the 5th year that the original 6 of us have gone.  The Original 6 as we like to call them were myself, Andrew, Andy, Emily, Kacy, and Elise.  We had a blast that first year, but then we decided to share with a few others, and now there are about 10 of us that go.

I got to meet Aaron Gillespie.  We had a conversation.  A short one, but it was chock-full of meaningful interaction. (I decided to say chock-full as many times as I can)  He was just as insanely awesome in person as he was in my mind.  Greatness radiates off of that man.  In all seriousness though, I am a huge fan of Aaron's music, and I think he has a real heart for the Lord.  Getting to meet him was awesome.

Someday I'm going to be in The Almost, just so you're all ready.  They were super great in concert.  So was David Crowder and House of Heroes and, of course, Family Force 5.  FF5 did 3 sets, including one acoustic set that was actually really great.  We all loved it.  I got to meet them again too, and Chap Stique gave me a Silly Band shaped like a trumpet.

While I was there I saw a guy speak about a ministry called cloth your neighbor as yourself.  I loved the message he gave, and upon researching his ministry a little more after hearing about it initially I decided I loved it.  I bought a shirt while I was there, and I think you all should too.

Lots more fun things happened, and we all had a lot of fun, and I wish you could have been there to join us.  So, next year, you must go.  For sure.



And with our feet we'll stomp a cadence to You...

LifeLight 2010 Packing List

-jammy jams
-4 shirts
-3 pairs of pants or shorts (2 maybe)
-4 pairs of socks
-Pink Converse
-Flippy Floppies
-Swim suit
-anything crazy

-Face wash
-make up (mascara, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow)

*Sierra: straightener and blow dryer

That is more or less what I'm bringing.  I'm SUPER EXCITED.  LifeLight 2010 is going to be the bomb diggity.


You have my attention like you've had all the while...

I had typed out a blog with my new fancy phone, but the app I was using decided it didn't actually work.  So there went that.  This is a new fresh one.

Andrew left on Friday.  I had intended to blog lots before he left, just to keep you all posted on my emotional rollercoaster, but you know what I realized?  When you're riding that emotional rollercoaster, blogging isn't too high on your priority list.  I cried every night before he left.  I haven't cried too much since Friday.  I'm hanging in there.

So, our plan had been that we would see each other every other week.  We would alternate who went where.  It was a good system.  It worked out even better because Lifelight landed exactly two weeks after he left, so he would come back first, we'd go to that with our friends like every year, and that would be the start of visiting.  Now, one thing you should know about me is that I'm a planner.  I'm a little obsessive-compulsive about knowing what is going to happen ahead of time (far, far ahead of time.  Years ahead sometimes.  Yeah, it's that bad.) so I hadn't really questioned this plan or tried to stray from it at all.  I was trying to be flexible and allow for wiggle room, but that was more in the event that we would have to go longer than two weeks before seeing each other so that I wasn't frustrated and upset and all in a huff.  So, yesterday I'm thinking about all the things I have happening this week, and I realize that Sunday is basically empty.  Below is a summary of the conversation that happened in my head:

"Hey!  Why don't I go to Iowa City that day?  I can leave in the morning and be back before it's very late."
"No.  That's not how it's supposed to work.  You'll see him in another week."
"But it makes lots of sense to go!  I mean, he's already seen the apartment and my church and all that, and I haven't seen any of what he's getting to experience.  I should go."
"No.  Just wait until he comes.  He'll be back in a week and a half.  He can come to you.  It's good for you to wait."
"But I don't want to wait."
"Why should I wait if I don't want to?"
"Because it's good."
"What is good about it?"
"That's just how it is.  Waiting is good for you."
"You don't even know why, do you?"
"I guess not."
"Well, I want to go."
"Then go."
"Okay, I will."

I literally do think that way.  In case you wondered.  Sometimes I wonder if that's how people end up getting Multiple Personality Disorder.  Anyway, that's how I decided I'd go.  So I'm going.

Tomorrow night Ian is spending the night.  Friday night my cousins are spending the night.  Should be a fun weekend, overall.

That's the end of this blog post.  At least for today.



Change is coming, no, it's nothing personal...

9 days.

This is my 400th blog post, not counting the draft that I keep meaning to delete. I'm working on a new playlist to celebrate.

So, remember how I said I basically am in a constant state of being about to cry? Well, I still am, and it's only getting worse. If you're talking to me and I spontaneously burst into tears, don't take it personally. It's most likely not your fault.

I am officially moved in and settled into my new apartment. So far I totally love it. The apartment is really cute with all the paint and my awesome furniture, and living in Des Moines is totally bomb. I moved from Des Moines to a small town near where I live now when I was 11. Even though was 7 or 8 years ago, I kind of feel like I never got used to the whole small town thing. Mom has always said I'm more "urban" than the rest of my family. I'm definitely city girl. Don't get me wrong, riding dirt bikes and 4-wheelers through the backwoods is a fun time, but that's why it's good that my family still lives in good 'ole C-town.*

Tonight's agenda consists of cleaning some stuff and maybe going to Plato's Closet to look for some jeans and most likely going to Zanzibar's or Smokey Row so I can use the Internet. Right now I'm typing this on my iPod at work. I haven't been on the Internet outside of my laptop in like, a week. And before that it had been another week. I'm not even going through withdrawal or anything. I just miss Hulu. But honestly, the Internet takes up too much time when oh have it available all the time. There are lots of things to do that are way cooler.

I was going to be all serious and talk about meaningful things but I'm not going to. I don't feel like it.


*I am guessing that you thought the C stands for Cambridge. It doesn't. It actually stands for "Crap." HA.  Just kidding.

EDIT:  I'm at Smokey Row.  This place is pretty hoppin'.  There's a country singer chick here playing some tunes.  She's a character.  That's what I've decided.  I don't know what she's a character in, but the fact that she is one is certain.  Anyway, I'm going to go order something tasty and leave my laptop all vulnerable here at my table.  Hasta la pasta.


I know you're leaving In the morning when you wake up, leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream...

Today I picked up the keys for my apartment.  I am insanely excited about it.  I know I haven't mentioned it a whole lot, but long story short, I am getting a cute little studio apartment in Des Moines, right by where I work.  It's going to be super fun.  I'm starting to move stuff over tomorrow, but official move-in day is the 7th.  Sorry if I've already blogged about this.  I don't remember what I've written or if I've written anything.  I use Twitter a lot and sometimes I forget what I blogged and what I tweeted.  Twittered.  Twitted.  Hahaha.  Anyway, so yes, starting tomorrow I'm moving stuff over.  I'm excited for that.  Then the 6th we go to IKEA and get a lot of furniture, hopefully, so that the few people who are coming to help me move can carry it up to the 3rd floor (heck yes) and assemble it.  If you've bought anything from IKEA, you probably know that putting stuff together that comes from there is no simple task.  Along with the cheapness comes complicatedness.  Haha.  But it's worth it, because IKEA stuff rocks.

So.  21 days before Andrew leaves.  For the last several days I have felt like I am kind of about to cry at any second.  So far I haven't.  But I will.  Lots.

I went on vacation.  That was exciting.  I kind of went on two vacations, even.  The first vacation was to Door County with Andrew and his family.  I had a lot of fun with them, hanging out on the cabin at the lake with his parents and siblings and grandparents and a couple of his cousins.  We did fun stuff, like going to a candy store called the Yum Yum Tree and this ice cream place where you can get a giant huge massive sundae with five softball-sized scoops of whatever ice cream you want and toppings and whipped cream and cherries.  I got all the cherries on me and Andrew's sundae.  I also consumed a large portion of the whipped cream.  Not to mention far, far too much ice cream.  But it was fun.  After Door County for a few days, I went to Mount Rushmore with my family, which was really great.  We saw some bison.  Actually, they basically surrounded our van and trapped us in the middle of Custer State Park.  Which was hilarious.  And we saw many prairie dogs.  They are really cute and funny, and we learned that they don't drink water.  We went to Wall Drug twice, and I got a shirt there.  I also got Andrew a cool knife while I was there.  We saw some other stuff too, like the Badlands and stuff.  And Mount Rushmore of course.  Mount Rushmore is pretty boss, I have to say.

I'm kind of lame at blogging right now, so I'm just going to be done.  Love you all.



You can’t even hate on me 'cause you don’t exist...

This is my 398th blog post, just for the record. Also, I am blogging from my iPod, so of there are lots of typos and places where i lack appropriate punctuation, it's because this thing ia actually not too easy to type on. So, anyway. That's that.

I do have a legitimate reason for blogging today, as opposed to any other day. I actually have two reasons. The first one is a confession. I have confessed this to people before and they tend to not take me seriously. If you don't either, I won't be too surprised. The confession is that I need to lose about 20 pounds. Ha! That's all. And actually, at this point I have already lost 5, so I have 15 more to go. That's not really the part that I want to talk about so much though, although there is plenty I could say on it. I never wanted to be the girl that gained the weight after high school. I never wanted my old friends to come home and see me and think "Wow,that's sad, she looks heavier." I eventually realized that this was, indeed, what I was becoming. So I decided that I didn't want to be fat, I didn't want to be lazy, and I didn't want that to be what people thought of when they saw me. So I started to make changes.

I know people who have much more weight to lose (I get that 15 pounds is a drop in the bucket compared to the challenges some people face with their weight)and several of them have started consistently blogging about diet and weight loss and health and whatnot, so I had an idea of what it would take. My friend Art (you can find his blog over at overweightamerican.blogspot.com if the URL is still the same) started doing a thing called Couch to 5k. C25k = running. I HATE running. But I wasn't being consistent with any other form of exercise and my diet is inconsistent enough that I knew I couldn't rely on eating healthy alone to get me where I wanted to be (which, again, I realize is not that far from where I am now) so for whatever reason something came over me and I decided to do it. Not sure what got into me there. But I already finished Week 1 and the first workout of Week 2. And frankly, it isn't so bad. And like I said, I lost 5 pounds already. So I am doing something right.

So, I'm running. Which is insane. But so far it is going really well, and I feel really good about it.

The second reason I'm blogging today is to ask for prayers for my friend Blake. Blake found out last week that there is a mass in the back left portion of his brain. He is having it removed on Thursday and will then find out what it is and what course of action will need to be taken to get him back into good health. We are praying for a miraculous healing to take place. Blake graduated from high school this past Spring and plans to attend Ohio State University to major in Aramaic. He is an amazing young man after God's own heart. Please pray for his complete healing

Mara Tenille


We've got the motions down, and we all have the moon and the raining clouds...

Since no one wants to comment on my angsty blog, I'll post another one that's less moody. Haha.

Last night I started my house sitting adventure!  I'm staying in the house of one of the families I work for while they are on vacation.  They suggested it, since it will be closer to the other family so I won't have to drive.  Plus, it's super fun to have this cool house all to myself.  Just me and Franky, the dark grey kitty.  This morning I woke up (A whole half hour later than normal!  Woo hoo!) and got ready for work, which is a whopping 5 minutes away, grabbed a hazelnut latte (my favorite) on the way at Zanzibar's Coffee Adventure, and took care of TWO kids instead of four.  I took Alex and Jacob on a walk in the morning, and while we were out we saw a deer just chilling out eating grass in somebody's yard.  We stood maybe 15 feet away from it, all while Jacob was repeating "Hi deer, hi deer, hi deer!" and waving, and it didn't freak out or anything.  I guess I'm just not used to these "city deer," because I thought it was super cool.  I even took a picture on my phone because I was so astounded, and now I'm posting it here because I'm STILL astounded.  Pretty cool, eh?

I'm planning a pretty fantastic date for Saturday.  It's going to be epic.  Like the kind of date you watch in movies and wish you could go on.  Hahaha.  Maybe not.  But it's going to be sweet.

I need to eat something for dinner and I don't know what to make.  I bought some alfredo sauce at the store yesterday to have one night, because I'm a loser and I didn't want to actually make homemade alfredo sauce, but I think I'm going to have that tomorrow night maybe.  I suppose that means it's time to scout out the freezer.


Sweet Jesus Christ, my sanity...

64 days.

Today Jessica, my roommate-to-be, and I picked an apartment and started filling out the application.  I'll get the deposit put down this weekend and hopefully we'll be able to pick our floor plan soon.  I'm excited about it.  I bought some plastic dishes and some kitchen towels and dish cloths and a rug, so the kitchen will be all decked out in a cute apple green color.  We have a couch, but we're getting a slipcover for it, and we have lots of other stuff too.  Like, a toaster oven.  And stuff like that.

I went to DTC again this week for church.  Emily Rollman, my supercute friend, came along and we had some good conversations over pie afterward.  She's really awesome.  You should all know her.

Andrew comes home from Florida tomorrow night, and Monday night we're going to go out for a little time together.  I miss him.  I don't like it when he's away.  If it were up to me, we would just share every exciting thing together.  He would be there for all of my favorite moments, and I'd be there for his.  Unfortunately that isn't how it works.  He's far away now.  He will be far away for a large portion of the summer, and for nearly all of next year.

It literally makes me feel sick, the fact that he is leaving at the end of the summer.  We have always been together.  We've always been in close proximity to each other, even if we didn't talk or interact much.  We were just there.  I've never gone more than a few weeks without seeing him.  This isn't how I want it.  Sure, it is probably best, and sure, it is probably God's plan, and sure it'll probably be good for us.  But sometimes I just think, screw what's best.  I don't give a crap.  I want him to stay.  So, as you can see, I sometimes have kind of a bad attitude about this whole Andrew-leaving-for-college thing.  I'm being a wimp, I get that.  I'm wimpy.  I want things to be easy.  I want to just be in love and to float away on that, happily ever after.  I don't have it so bad, other people have it way worse, I'll still see him plenty, it'll be good for us and we'll grow, and absence makes the heart grow fonder, blah blah blah blah blah.  I get it.  I really do.  I'm not claiming that I'm rational or that I'm unselfish or that I'm right.  Just that it sucks, hardcore.

I hate Drake University.


PS: Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.  It makes it grow sicker and tireder and angstier.  So there. [/cranky]


There are moments when, when I know it and the world revolves around us...

...And we're keeping it, keep it all going
This delicate balance
Vulnerable, all-knowing...

71 days.  70 if you don't count today.

This weekend I visited both the Saturday night and Sunday morning services at The Downtown Church.  I loved it.  I don't even want to visit other churches now, just because it was so great.  From the moment I walked in I had people introducing themselves to me.  Two girls in particular exchanged numbers with me, invited me to hang out after the service, and offered to meet me on Wednesday for Epicenter, a program where they do dinner and have a speaker and do service projects and such.  I didn't have to work to meet people, they reached out to me.  The worship was also really, really good, and the sermon was great.  Dan Rude is their pastor, and he preached on Heaven and how God gave us a picture of what Heaven will be like so that we can imagine it, because Heaven is supposed to give us hope, and we can't hope for something we don't desire or can't imagine. The Saturday evening service was where most of the youngish people went, although I am guessing that most of the people there were a couple years older than me.  The service this morning was smaller, had more young families with children, and was a lot more low-key.  I liked both of them a lot though.

So, now my plan is to keep going to DTC on Saturday nights, and probably visit other churches on Sunday mornings.  Or vice-versa.  Because even though I really liked the church I feel like I should still be seeing what else is out there.  So, I am also going to visit The Gateway, Christian Life Assembly, and Lutheran Church of Hope.

Tonight I am going over to Kim's house to watch The Village.  We usually go over a book, but last week the book talked a lot about that movie, and neither of us had seen it.  I'm pretty excited to see it, actually.  Hopefully it isn't scary.

My boyfriend got me a prize at SeaWorld today, and he won't tell me what it is.  He's off in Florida for their family's Make A Wish trip.  He got to touch dolphins.  I'm jealous.

...Sing me something soft
Sad and delicate
Or loud and out of key
Sing me anything...



You were always hard to hold, so letting go ain't easy...

75 days.

Going to Ohio fell through.  I'll reschedule it to some other time, but yeah.  That was a bummer.  Hopefully it will happen soon though.

Phil Wickham was really good!  We had a fun time and the music was great.  The amphitheatre was really pretty once it got dark.  I'd never been to a concert at Simon Estes so it was really cool to be on the river with my friends, listening to some music.

I bought a really nice guitar on Saturday, and oh my golly does it sound good.  It's a Martin DC-1E.  It's beautiful, and it sounds amazing.  I love it.  It needs a name though, so feel free to shoot out any suggestions that pop into your brains.

I'm digging on this thunderstorm that's happening right now.

I am feeling terribly unproductive.  I am generally not motivated to do anything today.  That is really a terrible way to be.  I don't like when I feel like that.  So, tomorrow will be better.

I'm not even motivated to finish this blog.  So bye!


I'm out of touch, I'm out of reach...

80 days before he leaves.

I am going to Ohio in two weeks to see Hans, Lara, and Sarah, my three good internet friends.  I love them all.  I am very excited.  Today is Hans' birthday even, so everyone should say hello to him and tell him they love him dearly.

Tonight I'm going to see Phil Wickham with some friends.  I've only heard a few of his songs but they were really good, so it should be a fun time.  Music is just awesome any time, so I can't imagine it will be lame.

My last time on worship team is on Sunday.  It's also the day of my last special music.  I'm going to sign Come My Way by Skillet.  I'm kind of melancholy about the whole thing, but it will be good to just get it over with and then move on to the next chapter of my life, or whatever it is they call this awkward transition.

My car has been backed into twice.  Both by the same person.  It is getting fixed soon.

My hair needs to be cut.  It is currently burgundy.

I miss my boyfriend.  He's out of town for a wedding.  I have a 5-day weekend and no one to take me on dates. *sigh*  Oh well.  I'll just sleep instead.

I don't have anything else to say at the moment, but I promise to write something more interesting later.



Here's my kiss to betray, desperate to brush the lips of Grace...

Do you feel hollow when you think of how I've lied?

Seriously, Underoath and Aaron Marsh, could you have made a better song?  No.  This is my favorite song.  Number one favorite.  I mean, I have lots of songs where I say "Hey, this is one of my favorite songs!" But this one is different.  It is my number one favorite.  That's a big deal.  I don't have many number one favorites.  Stop by iTunes and buy Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape if you'd like to listen to a piece of me.  Or come to my church on May 30th and hear me and some rad people play it.

Sorry that I haven't blogged in forever.  I've been lacking inspiration in the blogging realm.  I am stoked enough about this song that I had to tell you all about it.  Anyway, so if there are things that I said I'd tell you about and haven't that you want to know about, I forgot about them so go ahead and comment or something and tell me to talk about it, because I will.  I really just forgot.

I am sleepy and tired and I have yet another busy weekend.  I desperately want to sleep in, and it isn't going to happen this weekend, yet again.  That makes me irritated, but that's because I'm kind of a lamewad.

That's all.



If the world could just stop turning so I could take a moment to catch my breath...

Today I am going to review some music for you.  I've been thinking of directions that I could take this blog, and I think that focusing on music would be a really neat thing to do from time to time, in addition to the regular talking about my life type stuff.  I'm just going to tell you about this really great band that I think you should definitely check out.  We'll see if I ever do this reviewish thing again, but for now, here's my first attempt!

If the world could just stop turning
So I could take a moment
To catch my breath
If I could just speak the words my heart has longed to say
I wouldn't be where I am today

I have become a huge fan of Alex Arthur's music over the last few months as he's emerged with this new acoustic project, recently formed of Alex Arthur, Justin Carmichael, Griffin Landa, Joseph Farrell. Last night the group, called The Still Sound, had a release show for their new 7-song self-titled EP.

I'm pretty used to going to shows where three or four local high school and college bands play and open for some other little-known midwest punk band.  I've learned how to live with bad music for the sake of a fun show.  I like to see people I kind of know playing on stage, I like to support the often short-lived musical endeavors of the members of the small opening bands (I was one of them not too long ago) and I like to see what glimmers of talent can sometimes (hopefully) be found in them.  So, when I first heard that Alex Arthur was going to start playing acoustic music, I wasn't too sure what I would experience when I heard it.

The first thing that Ben Wiedenhoeft, my friend and the drummer for Ames ska band Atombender, told me when he mentioned that Alex was going to start writing and performing acoustic songs was that it meant that he (Ben) was going to be crying a lot more often.  I immediately raised my eyebrows and thought to myself, Hmmm, this must be good stuff.  Before I knew it, my email inbox contained a copy of the first Alex Arthur song I'd ever heard (besides the songs from his hardcore band, local favorite Keep and Confess) in raw, unedited form.  Breaker instantly became one of my favorite songs, and within days it had moved to the top 25 or so of my Last.fm most-played songs list.

Months later, The Still Sound was formed, and 6 more similarly fantastic songs were written and recorded with the full band.  It's honest, real, and totally marketable.  Everyone would listen to this music if they had good taste.  Alex's voice is incredible both on stage and in the studio, the instrumentals are well-crafted, and the lyrics are beautiful.  Combined, these things make seven songs that constantly leave you wanting to listen to another.  Breaker has been re-recorded with the band, and although I'm still partial to the original version that Ben sent me some months ago, it's still a beautiful song about the search for happiness after a broken heart.  If I Could is definitely a close second to Breaker as far as my favorites go, which might be because it was the second raw, unedited Alex Arthur song I heard, but it's such an honest song that I can barely listen to it without closing my eyes and singing along.

The rest of the songs are just as awesome, and I encourage all of you to click the link below and buy the EP.  If they ever do a concert and you have the opportunity to go, do it.  And when they are famous, just remember that I reviewed them first.

Mara Tenille


Because when I arrive, I, I bring the fire, make you come alive, I can take you higher...

I don't condone roughly half the lyrics of that song.  But, let's face it, the other half is just awesome.

Prom was Saturday night, into Sunday morning.  It was lots and lots of fun.  We went to Centro for dinner, and we rode in Michael's dad's awesome Hummer.  I am fairly certain that the Hummer was actually a Transformer.  Dinner was lovely, and the Hummer was very loud and awesome and everyone wanted to be our friend while we were riding it.  The subs in that baby were pretty boss.  So, we went from dinner to the Grand March, did our thing there, and then headed over to the actual prom.  The dance wasn't as good as last year, but post prom was way more fun.  The music at the dance was lame and boring.  It was all either weird rap or country songs.  There were more slow songs this year, which was nice.  Not that there were a lot, but last year there were probably only three songs that you could even slow dance to.  So yes, that was kind of nice.  Post prom was at Perfect Games in Ames, which is a bowling alley/arcade place.  That was lots of fun, because we got a free $20 game card.  I was pretty addicted to winning those tickets.  I was like a little kid in Chuck E. Cheese.  I won some tickets, and I also pwned at Laser Tag. *coughnotreallycough*  Then, after post prom, we went over to Jessica's house for post post prom.  We watched (sort of) Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and ate a delicious breakfast prepared by Mrs. Wollaston.  Then we all went to church and half-slept through the sermon and then we went our separate ways.  I took a six-hour nap.  Mostly everyone else napped, too.  It was good stuff.  Pictures of stuff will come :)

I'm church shopping.  I have visited Immersion at Lutheran Church of Hope several times, and I'm eventually going to visit the regular service at LCoH, and I'll also check out Walnut Creek Community Church.  Immersion has been pretty cool so far, but I'm still kind of trying to figure out if it's something I really want to go to consistently.  I have kind of gotten the impression that the few people that are there are not really going to be easy to become friends with, or that they wouldn't be the type of people I'd really want to form lasting friendships with anyway.  But I am totally aware that I'm quite possibly being overly critical, and I don't want to assume things about people or make judgments on their character before I have even really been around them, and I don't want to lump them all together and assume that they're all shallow when that is really only the case with a few.  So, anyway, long story short, I'm still not sure on the whole Immersion thing.  But it has been fun to go to, and I'll keep going for a while and checking it out.

I'm tired and this blog is ready to be done for now.  Goodnight.

Mara Tenille


But you're no fool, baby, it was just me...

I am writing songs for the first time in probably 2 years.  2 years is a long time to have writers' block.  I'm glad for it to be done.

My day was weird today.  I am ready for bed.

This blog is short, and I'm sorry, but I really just have very little to say and I don't really even feel like blogging.  I'm just doing it to do something, instead of feeling useless.

I miss the kids.  They like me, and I like them, and I don't have to pretend to be something around them, because they don't really care about my issues.

That's the whole blog.


Make money money, make money money money...

I don't usually use lines from songs that are about money, but this John Reuben song isn't really in the normal spirit of money songs, and I really do enjoy John Reuben, particularly his older music, and this blog is about me wanting to spend money, and thus my need to make money, and also to save money, all things that are incorporated into John's song, Make Money Money.

This blog is a breakdown of some things I'd like to buy.  Not all of them, because that would take a disturbingly long time.  But, you know, I was on ModCloth yesterday, and found lots of stuff that I lovelovelove, and there are a few other things I have my sights set on.  Most of them I don't plan on buying, for the record.  I just like to look at them and speculate that someday they might be mine.

All A-Twitter Laptop Bag (ModCloth, $54.99)
Do I already have a laptop bag?  Yes.  Is this one cuter?  Yes.  Not something I plan on purchasing, but it's pretty adorable.

Old and New Pocket Watch Necklace (ModCloth, $27.99)
LOVE.  This is beautiful.  I definitely have a thing for pocket watches, especially in necklace form, and I think this one is the prettiest I've seen.  I would really love for someone to buy this for me as a present, but as far as buying it for myself, I'm not sure it'll ever happen.

Dining in Prague Plate Set (ModCloth, $34.99)
I really might buy these.  I already have these adorable Russian nesting doll measuring cups and a set of Russian doll salt and pepper shakers.  These would make my future kitchen PERFECT.  They are just freaking cute.  If I ever find $35 lying around, they're mine.

Other People's Love Letters, Compiled by Bill Shapiro (ModCloth, $22.99)
It's pretty obvious that this book is entirely comprised of love letters written by other people to other people.  I find it adorable and hilarious.  I can't see myself buying this, but I'd like to own it.  It's a good book to sit out on your coffee table for when you have people over.

Library Corner Cardigan (ModCloth, $52.99)
Just a cute cardigan.  I would love to be a cardigan person, and yet I have no cardigans.  Why is this?  Whatever the reason, this one is adorable but way too expensive.  Pretty to look at, not to buy.  I would totally wear it though.

Random Dawdle Paper Mouse Pad (ModCloth, $11.99)
A mouse pad with random things to write.  I actually would probably buy this if I were to see it somewhere in person where I didn't have to pay shipping and all that, but the truth is that I don't even use a real mouse most of the time, and I really don't need it.  But it's pretty funny and cute.

Refurbished iPod Touch, 16GB (Apple, $199.00)
I do plan on buying this in the very near future.  I sold my Nano to Emily, and now I'm ready for something bigger and flashier.  My only concern is that 16gigs isn't enough, and that I should wait and spend the extra $50 for a 32gig.  Thoughts?

So there are a few things.  The only trouble with the few things in that list that I actually would like to purchase is that I have not a lot of cash on hand right now, because I just bought a car and a prom dress and paid six months worth of car insurance.  So, even though I'm not really broke, I'm feeling the pressure to stop spending so much, which is not at all a bad thing.  The iPod will happen just as soon as I decide if 16gb is good enough, and those plates may hopefully happen someday, but all in all I really am happy with all the cool stuff I already have.  I have some neato stuff.  But of course, stuff never really ends, and there are always more things to want and more things to be had.  I try to take money seriously while still remembering that, really, it's just money, and sometimes there is more and sometimes there is less and sometimes you can spend it and sometimes you can't, but I do like to buy stuff just for fun sometimes.  Not just for me, but for other people, too.  Life should be fun, and stuff can be fun, when you're not just buying stuff because you think you need it or because you can't help yourself.  I think I can help myself.  I hope so at least.

In other news, I just did a guest post for Art's blog, Kind of a Big Deal.  Art is a great guy, and his blog is one of my favorites.  If you know me in real life, you may have met him a year ago at my graduation party, but if not, you'll have to say hello the next time he comes around.  In the meantime, go visit his blog and leave lots of fun comments.  It will make you smile.

The Butterfly Child