Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Friday, September 30, 2005

Camera much fun!

I emptied my camera phone pictures onto my photo blog. Take a look at the little moments in life where my phone is my only witness.

Thursday, September 29, 2005's a beautiful thing.

My friend Linda, who was also the photographer on my Russia trip this summer, took this photo of me overlooking Moscow. I'm just now really starting to process my experiences in Russia.

I've written several articles and shared my experiences and the vision of Children's HopeChest with departments at Focus. Something that struck me as I talked to people in Russia was the general lack of hope. I've grown up with the mantra, "If you dream it you can achieve it." This seemed to be a foreign concept to many I spoke with, especially orphans. Many of the teens I talked to preferred not to think about the future...because their dreams will likely not come true.

Against this gloomy backdrop, Children's HopeChest shines brightly, offering resources, education, help, love and ultimately the hope of Christ — a precious commodity in a place where opportunity is scarce. And that hope is changing things! How exciting to see former orphans ministering Christ to children still in the orphanages! The gospel is being preached freely in one of Russia's most hopeless places. And perhaps because they have had no hope, these orphans, so precious to the Father, grasp onto Him in a way you or I could never understand.

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." —Ephesians 1:18-19

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Autumn is here.

I love fall. Football games, the smell of leaves burning, the chill in the air. It always fills me with anticipation — like something new and exciting is just around the corner. As if on cue, the first day of autumn here in Colorado Springs was chilly and overcast. Yes, autumn is here.

Although I love this season best, it's still a little sad to say goodbye to summer. Especially when you've had a good one, as I have. What made my summer so special? A nephew born, ferry rides, good times with friends. I took this picture when I visited Catalina Island. It reminds me of a satisfying summer.

I'm thankful seasons change. Like a fresh start, each season offers its own hope of something wonderful to come.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." — Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, September 23, 2005

Aren't We Serious?

I have this photo as my desktop at work. My coworkers love coming by to look at it. What a little man. He's growing up so fast!

P.S. Any myspace people out there?

Nanny McPhee

I love searching imdb for new movies, favorite actors, who starred in what. It's great. I especially keep my eyes open for movies starring Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy in the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice.") And tonight I found one! "Nanny McPhee" is a Mary Poppins meets Sound of Music meets Harry Potter tale of a magical nanny who comes to help a father (Firth) care for his seven children. This movie is due out around Christmas. Happy holidays!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I've Got the Power!

After 7 good years with my IBM, I finally upgraded and bought a Mac. I got a G4 PowerBook. If you're wondering why I crossed over, it's because I used Macs in the J-House at MBC and I've used one at work for the past five years. Frankly, my loyalties have shifted. Not to mention, Mac leads in creative capabilities: design, publishing, video editing. Like a new relationship, I'm currently enamored. Wireless internet, DVD viewing, iMovie, garage band, myspace (Bekah talked me into it) — it's computer heaven.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Examining my Options

One hundred plus Focus employees lost their jobs this week, including my good friend Ashley. We knew several weeks in advance that the cuts were going to be made; so we had several weeks to panic and think about what we'd do if we were the ones. I felt 90 percent sure my position was safe, but I did consider my options:

1. If it would pay the mortgage, I could work for Starbucks and freelance. This seems like the ideal combination — a pound of coffee a week to fuel my creative energies.

2. I could shoot for the stars and apply to some big-name newspaper or magazine. Starting at Focus right out of college is in some ways like marrying early — though I dearly love my job, I never got to see what else was out there or test the limits of what I could achieve.

3. Go back to school for a Masters in journalism and move toward teaching. The professor I worked for my senior year continues to call me "Dr. Hadley" each time I see her. It does have a ring to it, don't you think?

4. Find a husband immediately who makes a good salary so I can stay home all day, watching soaps and Oprah.

5. (added by Dad) Stand on street corner holding sign that says...WILL WRITE FOR FOOD. (Thanks, Dad!)

As tempting as option #4 is, I did not lose my job. And for that I am exceedingly grateful. However, it's good to be shaken up now and again and realize that there are other options — other paths God may choose to direct you down, unexpectedly. And that's a comfort in sad or uncertain times.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


OK, I admit it. I think Ben is very cute and I want to share that with all. Here he is smiling at my brother.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My First Press Release

My friend Hunter asked me to write a press release for this mildly wacky thing he was doing: standing on a busy street corner during rush hour traffic each day holding a sign that says: "Will Do Financial Planning for Food." I won't give away the whole story (read it here), but he's giving half of the commission he receives as a result to our local food bank to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

I wrote the press release. Hunter released it to PRWeb and so far it's received 85,000 hits. As a result of that publicity, he was featured on two local newscasts last night and in this morning's Gazette. I'm gloating at the success of my press release but really it's Hunter's idea that deserves credit. As 11 News said last night: "Just one man. Standing on a street corner. Doing his part." Way to go, Hunter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sisters, Sisters...

I had the pleasure of my sister Bekah visiting me this weekend. She flew into Denver Thursday night at 8:30. I gave her an extensive tour of Denver (after taking the WRONG exit and learning that a series of Southbound Interstate entrances were closed for construction). We arrived home at 12:30 a.m. (Suzy was tired the next morning.)

On Friday, after walking through Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs' perennial tourist attraction, we decided to take the Cog Railway up Pike's Peak. We had initially intended to just buy tickets on Friday and ride up Saturday, but when we arrived at the station the last train of the day was leaving and the people in the office convinced us to go. So up we went, braving 35 degree temps in t-shirts. We wanted to buy a camera at the top, but they were out so we asked this couple I knew from church if they'd take our picture (to prove we'd been there!).

At the top, we sang a couple bars of "America the Beautiful," which was written by Katharine Lee Bates from the top of Pike's Peak. Then we talked to Allen, who, evidently, has made it big in Native American music (he claimed to have opened for Kenny Chesney, George Straight and P Diddy) but sells fudge in the visitor's center. He invited us to his concert the next day...but we had other plans.

After Pike's Peak, we stopped by the house my friend Anthony rents. It's a really cool, old, 4-story, 10-bedroom mansion downtown. Bekah likes old houses, so as we took the tour she made Anthony open up every crawl space and cranny. It happened to be Anthony's 30th birthday, so a bunch of the Stick Horses, old and new, joined us and we went out to celebrate. At the end of the night, my existence was validated by Bekah's simple statement: "You have cool friends." :) (It's true. I do have cool friends. But it means a lot coming from her.)

The next day, we slept in, did a little shopping and went to "the 605" where I guest hosted (see entry below). On Sunday we did more shopping and visited my grandparents in Parker, Colo. And yesterday, you guessed it, we shopped some more before heading to the airport. I can't believe Bekah starts college next week! Was it really nine years ago that I was a college freshman? I loved having her, but it's always sad when I have to drop a family member off at the airport and am once again the sole representative of the Hadley family in Colorado. I hope for more visits like this one in the future.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

After the Storm

Blake Bailey reflects on losing it all after surving four previous hurricanes. This piece from Slate is witty and heartbreaking all at the same time. (Photo from

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

605 LIVE!

This Saturday night at, you guessed it, 6:05, my church launches a brand new service. The drama team (605 LIVE) has been hard at work preparing fresh, funny skits to accompany the first sermon series — Song of Solomon. If you're in the area, come check it out. Live from Pulpit Rock Church, it's Saturday night!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Movie Stars

I recently finished a story for Clubhouse on this brother and sister, Jenna and Cayden Boyd. The article will be in the November issue, but I interviewed the kids in May. You may recognize Jenna from "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and Cayden from "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" and "Mystic River."

I didn't know what to expect for my first "celebrity" interview. We met in Burbank and I chatted with the Boyds over "Chunky Monkey" and "Peanut Butter Cup" at Ben and Jerry's. I was impressed. Jenna, the obvious leader of the two, admitted that she's a "baby Christian." She accepted Christ just this year. Her testimony is powerful for kids who have grown up in a Christian home but never made a personal decision to follow Christ. "I knew all about God," she said, "but I'd never made a decision to give my life to Him."

Cayden, who agreed with everything his sister said, plans to shine his light one person at a time. "I'm proud to tell people I'm a child of God," he said.

I was blessed to meet this pair of committed Christians who are shining a light in Hollywood.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Dreaded Head Cold

It's here. The dreaded head cold. I always feel it toast crumbs in my throat. I took the echinacea, but too late. Monday I felt that burning sensation behind my eyes. Tuesday my eyes and nose burned. Yesterday I finally admitted I was sick and stayed home. I slept, took vitamin C, watched Oprah...all the things you do to recover from such things...went to bed at 9, slept straight until 7 and decided I should go to work.

Bad idea. Everything went fine until I actually got to the office. My first phone call came from a Zondervan publishing rep who wants to give us free stuff to give away to kids. I immediately recognized my brain was completely unable to comprehend the situation and deal with it in a logical manner (probably due to a high dose of Tylenol cold and flu). So I asked my editor if I could pass the call to him. He seemed a bit mystified at my request but agreed. I then proceeded to transfer the call...into his voice mail. Oops. Things went downhill from there, and I soon received an e-mail (not a personal visit) from my other editor asking if there was anything she could take off my plate so that I could get home and into bed (i.e. "Get your germs out of this office as soon as possible.") I thought that was a very nice offer and took her up on it.

There's not really a moral to this story, other than "It is better for one to admit that a head cold is, in fact, a sickness and go home than have one's co-workers decide you're crazy." Wise words. I'm going home now.