"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Not So Easy Being Not-So-Green

I am not sure if it is with pride or embarrassment that I admit the fact that we are not a "green" people, per se. I honestly don't know what I believe... or what I should believe. I simply feel nothing one way or another. We used to collect cans when I was little, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I really don't think much about it.

Then Ryley comes home from school more animated than I've seen her in months, all because of a very special Earth Day assembly in the gym! Non-stop chatter fills the car, along with thrilling stories and ideas of how each and every person can be involved in saving the earth. There was even Earth Day homework, and we had to pick from a list of things we could do to save the earth this very night and then write about it. Being the multi-tasker that I am, I encouraged Ryley to pick "walking somewhere instead of taking the car" so we could get our exercise in, too. Maybe not the best idea.... As I stumbled home from Little Caesars with a rambunctious dog on her leash, a skipping little girl at my side, and a pizza in my hand, I said to Ryley, "Wow, driving would have been much easier than this, wouldn't it have been?" "Yes," she replied. "But we're conserving!"

Ryley shared with me that she would really like us to start recycling, too. There's certainly nothing wrong with recycling, being frugal, or with adjusting our lifestyle so as not to be wasteful. But the term "green" is different. It's overboard. It evokes a level of passion that makes me feel guilty for just living my life the way I normally live it. When people take their greenness to extremes and become obsessed with "saving the earth," I think they sometimes start losing sight of the greater battle (and maybe were never really aware of it to begin with)...the one that Christ died for. People's hearts. God's more concerned with people than with the state of the earth.

Enough Earth Day chatter. I'm probably alienating most of my audience! Again, I'm not "anti-earth." I just think that as a society we have bigger fish to fry.

Today was also Administrative Professionals Day. But since my workplace tends to not do things the way other offices do, my co-worker Leahh and I celebrated of our own volition, buying tortilla chips, queso, and salsa to share between us. We appreciate each other tremendously. :-)

And here's a little personal/work issue I am still trying to wrap my head around: Ryan's brother Derrick moved back to Florida last September very suddenly. And for the last seven months, since the day Ryan gave him a ride to the airport, none of us have heard a thing from him. He doesn't have a phone, he hardly checks his e-mail, and to be perfectly honest, we have all been very concerned about him. We've just been praying for him, trusting that God has him in His hands.

Enter interesting development of the week:

This past weekend, we were online when, out of the blue, we received a Yahoo Messenger chat message from Derrick. Ryan started chatting with him, asking him how he was, etc. Derrick started explaining his new job...that he works for a company that helps insurance companies connect their customers with preferred roofing contractors. It turns out that this is the same company for which I completed training in Houston last October and through which I have been extremely involved for the last six months!!! Derrick has been working there for only a couple of weeks, however, his best friend and roommate is an executive within the company (son of the founder), as is his friend's girlfriend. When he named them, I knew both of them immediately; I e-mail the girl back and forth at least once a week regarding various issues! In fact, both of them were there in the room with Derrick as he was chatting with Ryan, and we were making this very unreal, odd connection across the miles.

This entire time, as we've prayed for Derrick's safety, etc., he was literally within my career's social circle. God definitely has a sense of humor; I felt like He was saying, "See? I had him in My hand the entire time. There was no need to worry." It's still hard for me to believe, though. :-) These people that I would e-mail back and forth throughout my workday, would, unbeknownst to me, leave the office to go hang out with my brother-in-law at night.

Not really a small world....Just a world where God knows what He's doing. :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I sit here on a Saturday morning, with our big fluffy snowflakes trying to turn into rain as the day grows warmer. We have a foot of snow in our yard, and I'm sure it will be a big, slushy mess by evening. We have no TV (our satellite is laden with snow), and we've been busy baking...snickerdoodles, banana bread, etc....enjoying this (most likely) last snowfall of the spring.

But this is why we live in Colorado...because we love weather. I was planning to take Ryley to Nebraska to visit my grandma for the weekend, but yesterday I decided we had better postpone our trip to a few weeks from now. Good thing I did....We had a tornado, thunder, hail in some parts of the city, rain, sleet, and big, chunky snowflakes that left parts of the foothills with two to three feet of snow. Very odd weather day.

I am looking forward to the snowmelt tomorrow. Muddy yard + energetic puppy = just lovely. Fellow dog owners, do you have any tips for me????

Also, how do you keep her out of chocolate that is already on top of the piano AND out of Miracle Gro that is on the patio table? This is going to be such a fun summer with all the lawn chemicals, the water hose, the garden....Oh my.

The last few weeks have just been jam-packed for us. So many thoughts in my head and so many pictures to share! I think we'll start with the present and work backwards....

The snow early this morning. We've received a few more inches since then:


Easter was a beautiful, rainy day!

Coleen and Paul came over, and we had a delicious ham dinner, followed by naps and indoor eggs hunts.

We attempted to give Juliet some bunny ears (courtesy of Aly and Justin), but this is the best we could do!!

The night before Easter, we were so excited to see our good friend Jeremy Marchbank and meet his wife Becky and daughter Reagan. They are seriously the nicest people in the world...the kind of people that have such a sweet spirit and good hearts and that you know you want to stay in touch with the rest of your life. We had a lot of fun reconnecting, talking about old high school days, etc. Funny little bit of trivia: Jeremy was my only other date in high school besides Ryan!! He and I also went to Washington D.C. together our senior year, and he and Ryan were good friends throughout high school too. They live in Iowa and were visiting family in Denver, so we felt really blessed that they would call us and take the time to come over for dinner.

I love this picture of the two old friends and their little girls:

When we have warmer weather, Ryley and I have been trying to take Juliet on walks to tire her out.

Ryan's dad and his wife Linda left Denver and moved to Florida last week. We helped them get out of town. It was really sad to see them go. They moved to Denver the same month that we moved here from Montana.

Ryan gets stern with Puppa:

Painting eggs:

We tried to dress up Juliet again, but the shirt got all muddy within a day's time.

And here's a sweet shot of Ryley reading a book to herself. It makes our hearts glad!!!

One of my biggest struggles of the last few weeks has been getting enough sleep. Ever since college, I have made it my routine to stay up until midnight or later. I guess I feel that it's an improvement on my college days when 1 a.m. was considered "early." But I think it's starting to catch up with me! My 31-year-old body is starting to wake up with headaches if I get less than five hours of sleep. I honestly don't know how people get everything done when they go to bed before 10 p.m. I mean, I'm still going strong until about 11, and then we start to wind down with some Tivo'd programs. Every morning I promise myself that I will go to bed early that night, but by evening, I can't justify losing more precious hours to get things done, so I just stay up. I have to somehow adjust my mindset, but it's really hard when this has been my lifestyle for 13 years, you know?

Our lives are so full, and maybe I need to back it off just a little bit...cut some things out. Like housework. If I got a maid and a cook and a dog-looker-after, that would help a ton. Anybody think they can convince Ryan of this for me??? ;-)

I'm just whiny, I know. My final magazine deadline is in two weeks, and then things should slow down until fall. That alone will help tremendously.

It feels good to blog. Writing has always been therapeutic for me...clears my chest and head of the thoughts that are bogging me down. And once they've been written, I'm free of them. And now that I'm all caught up on blogging our lives, I can get back to folding laundry, doing some editing, cleaning up muddy paw prints, and enjoying this wet, wet day.

Dog aside, it's still my favorite kind. :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dummies, Not Mummies

Ryley has a very bad habit of crawling into bed with us during the early morning hours. We love the cuddling, of course, but since we're actually often still asleep, it can be kind of annoying to be jostled and kicked and elbowed and whispered to at 6 a.m.

"Mommy, let's play 'I Spy'!"

"Mommy, what do you want to talk about?"

"Oh, let's play the Rhyming Game!"

But a couple of days ago, she woke us up with a very serious, important question.

"What is a mummy?"

That sounded to me like a question for Daddy. Now, in the long-run, I should probably re-think my whole "that's a question for Daddy" stance on life. Ryley is beginning to assume that I am not as smart as her daddy, which is absolutely not true. I'm smarter. We all know that. I'm just not quite as patient with the multitude of questions and the complicated answers. :-)

So anyway, we woke up Ryan, and he delved into a long explanation about Egypt, ancient mummification practices, King Tut, etc. Ryley was extremely wide-eyed and continued to contribute thoughtful questions.

Somehow the conversation quickly (and without explanation) turned to the Test Track ride we rode at Epcot at Disney World. The ride was all about testing fast cars. I forget how it all went down, but Ryley alluded to the fact that she remembered seeing mummies in that ride. We told her she hadn't. She insisted that she had -- that the cars had had mummies in them to pretend like they were drivers.

Dummies! Dummies, Ryley, dummies. NOT mummies.

Ryan then explained what a dummy was, how it's never been a real person but just looks like one, and what it's used for. We assured her that the dummies we saw on the Epcot ride had never, ever been real, living people. But what an interesting thing to get confused!!!! Has she really thought, all this time, that those were actual dead people scattered around that ride?

And using her pure, five-year-old logic, Ryley replied, "Well, they could use mummies instead of dummies to test cars if they wanted to... because they're already dead."

Hmmmm. How about it, GM? Honestly, how much more realistic can you get? ;-)