Suzanne's Second Estate

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Boundless Post for Guys

There's an interesting post on the Line right now, asking for feedback regarding how Boundless relates to men. I've heard a few of you offer some critique in the past, so this is your big chance to make your voice heard.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Attitude 2007

I attended this conference last year, and I can truly say it changed my life. I hope to return this year.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Humor as a Witness

Photo by Alicia Shober Copyright © 2003

Three years ago, I was standing at a church leadership meeting and talking to my friend Krista about improv. She and I had acted together in church skits and productions, and we discovered that we both wanted to try improv. Jared and Hunter were at that same meeting and we asked them to join us. With the addition of another girl from church, Tonya, and her friend Sarah, the Stick Horses came to be.

Since the beginning, our group has desired to use improv for ministry. Sometimes that means performing a free show for a church function or other group that cannot afford to pay. Another aspect of our ministry is interacting with the improv community. We engage in great conversations after our improv shows in Denver. But something I have really wondered about, and hoped for, is that our group somehow reflects the Lord Jesus on stage. Sure, we're a family-friendly group, so we avoid crass humor, but there are other groups that do that. Do we just come across as nice people? Or does our relationship with Christ shine through?

I have recently been hearing some comments that seem to indicate people notice a difference. "You guys really seem to like each other," "It seems there are no outsiders in your group," "Every person seems valued." Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:25). As Christians, this is a difficult mandate to follow. But when we do, people notice.

I was recently made aware of this comment posted on by a long-time improver:

In Colorado Springs...there is a fun short-form troupe — the Stick Horses Pants. Give 'em a call — they're a self-taught group that has the most genuine spirit of having fun doing improv I've ever seen in a group.
That spirit is a working of God's grace, not anything we can do. Paul wrote: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).

The grace Paul is describing works in every area of our lives as believers. Improv is a great example because it is not specifically a spiritual act. But the way members of our group love each other shows in our performance. And while we may not be the most technically gifted group, people who see us feel invited into our friendship — and subsequently friendship with Christ.

If improv games can be weilded for God's glory, I believe anything can. Don't underestimate an area of influence God has provided for you. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). Eating, drinking, making people laugh; that's what it's all about.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Learning New Things

I have been dragging my feet on learning the finer points of Web design, but it seems the handwriting is on the wall: learn or perish. That is a little dramatic, I know. But I am in an information industry, and information is now dominantly dispersed on the Web. I am starting to feel the limitations of not being familiar or competant (enough) with this medium.

This is something I have been dragging my feet on because Web design (particularly that involving code) does not use the strongest side of my brain. I am decidedly right brained: creative, intuitive and big picture. I have never excelled in math, mechanics or musical theory — disciplines which require use of the left brain.

When I was in high school and college, I was forced to continue exercising my left brain. I took piano lessons for seven years and plugged away on those Saxon math lessons. Since I entered an industry where I write every day, I am afraid I have allowed my left brain to atrophy. This manifests itself in my frustration with HTML and anything code-related. Navigating tables and code to create a Web page leaves me drained and cranky. Thus, my aversion to embarking on the world of Web design.

But someone said insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The result I want is competance in Web design and implementation. My desire for this result has grown to the point that I am willing to push through my left brain deficiencies and force myself to learn. I will ease myself in by reading: "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?" by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg (How bad could it be? It has a cat on the cover — the pet preferred by right-brainers); and "Please Don't Make Me Think," by Steve Krug. Both books cover the theory of good Web design, which should appease my right brain while providing me additional motivation to exercise my left.

Is there a pursuit you're avoiding because you've written yourself off as not cut out for it? I'd love some moral support here. Also, which side of your brain do you use most? Let's not be old dogs (new tricks, get it?).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This One's For the Girls

Warning: The following blog post contains highlights, make-up and a trip to the salon. I realize I have some faithful male readers, but you may want to tune this one out, guys.

A couple months ago when I was at the salon getting highlights, I read something in a beauty magazine that changed my life. You heard me: Glamour, or some equally unenriching magazine, changed my very existence. The article was about shaving minutes off your morning routine.

To give you some background, my mom taught me to put on make-up when I was about 14. Girls learn beauty routines from their mothers. My mom's routine included foundation, blush, eye shadow, eye-liner, eyelash curler, mascara and lipstick. And, so, since I was 14, I have religiously applied those items each morning. It takes about 10 minutes.

Here is the revolutionary information I gleaned from the article: foundation, blush, mascara and lipstick are enough for the office. What? This I can accomplish in less than 5 minutes. I began applying my new knowledge (pun intended), and I discovered I barely notice the difference. I can still use the other stuff for a special night out (see my Audrey Hepburn look above), but I can get ready 7 minutes faster each morning and still look polished and professional.

A few other great tips from the article:

  • Edit your closet mercilessly (don't keep things you don't wear; make sure most items are mix and match).
  • Don't skimp on maintenance items — a nice haircut, manicures and pedicures, tweezing — that keep you looking polished.
  • Wash your hair every other day; your hair will eventually adjust and look better for the natural oils. (See above picture)

I'm happy to say that my morning routine, which previously took 40 minutes, now takes less than 30. I wanted to pass on this most helpful bit of advice to my girls. Because 10 extra minutes of sleep is a beautiful thing!

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Feel Like This Sometimes

Excellent Message on Islam

Kamal spoke at my church yesterday. Raised in the Middle East, his message is revealing and inspiring. Islam is the second largest religion in the world (only 10 percent behind Christianity) and gaining. Kamal explains what Christians can learn from Islam.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Perfect Day

Today was an ideal day (Well, I suppose we're talking yesterday at this point).

At chapel this morning, Aaron Shust led worship. I love his music, and his heart for the Lord really shines through. Aaron was one of my first myspace friends. Back in the day, we would exchange occasional messages about his worship philosophy, and the number of times I changed my picture and number of times he checked his myspace. But, alas, Aaron has become too famous for such things. I wanted to say hello after chapel. As I waited, I noticed Aaron's wife, Sarah, sitting off to the side with their new son, Daniel. I introduced myself and had a nice little chat. I did eventually say hi to Aaron, too, and he remembered our days of myspace friendship.

This afternoon, I received a call from Hunter. He told me one of his buddies was interested in hanging out with me in a group setting. I told him I already had plans tonight (because a friend and I had been planning a "Freaks and Geeks" marathon for weeks). Hunter said he and his buddy would stop by. I was sort of thinking this guy was going to feel out of place (not to mention, I might feel awkward), but Hunter seemed determined.

So back to "Freaks and Geeks".... Several months ago, I purchased the first and only season of the show, which came out because fans demanded it. When I first moved to Colorado, this show was on every Tuesday on TNT. I fell in love with the quirky tale of Michigan high school students in 1980. Not only does the show brilliantly capture the trials of high school — first loves, bullies, popularity — but it blends a unique cast of characters that is magical. While the show has some crass moments (to illustrate the rebel attitudes of the "freaks"), it focuses on the loving relationships within the Weir family, particularly that of brother and sister Lindsay and Sam. This kind of relationship is rare in TV, and I think it is what draws me most to the show.

Some fellow F & G lovers arrived around 7:30, and we ate dinner and started watching the pilot episode. I received a text from Hunter around that time, saying: "We're on our way." I kind of dreaded the intrusion of a newcomer, but a few minutes later, I received a second text. It was from my friend Anthony who used to be in my improv group but now lives in Texas. It said: "I'm in ur house." I lunged up the stairs and found Anthony and Hunter in the foyer. I'll admit it: I squealed. I was so surprised and excited to see my friend. This just added to an already great day.

My friend Mike, who is also a big F & G fan, stayed the longest and watched all the extra features with me. Most of the "behind the scenes" stuff looked like amateur home movies and showcased actor John Daley's embarassing crush on his TV sister. We also watched the auditions of the actors, which was really fun. Linda Cardinelli, who played Lindsay, was 22 when she played the part of a high school junior. She went on to be a regular on "ER." Another familiar face is James Franco, who played Daniel, but is best known now as Peter Parker's best friend in Spider-Man.

Almost nothing makes me happier than a day spent with friends. From myspace to just across town to out of state — good friends make for a perfect day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mamma Mia!

Myspace finally paid off. Several days ago, when I logged in, a banner ad appeared promoting the musical "Mamma Mia!" playing at the Pike's Peak Center. The ad offered myspace users a $20 discount per ticket. I have been interested in seeing the show, which features songs by the group Abba.

From the official Web site:

Timeless songs such as "Dancing Queen," "I Have a Dream," "Voulez-Vous," and "Take a Chance on Me," are ingeniously woven into an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago.

The show was great fun. The first half was excellent. I must commend the sheer brillance of a group of men performing an entire dance wearing swim flippers. Three middle-aged women singing into curling irons while reliving their youth in "Dancing Queen" was also very funny. At times the show seemed contrived, since it had to incorporate a variety of songs and justify their presence. But the choreography was impressive, the humor plentiful and the energy through the roof.

The audience laughed throughout and even began clapping during "Take a Chance on Me." I think my favorite moment was watching the white-haired lady in front of me "groove." She didn't strike me as the Abba type, but she was almost fanatical about the show. She even raised her hands above her head and waved them side to side at one point. After curtain call, the entire cast reprised three of the numbers, including "Dancing Queen," wearing these metallic 70s jumpsuits. "Mamma Mia!" was a lighthearted, good time.

Public Service Announcement

This morning I woke up at 5:20 a.m. to the chirping of my smoke dectector. I'd already experienced the piercing noise with the detector in my room (it took my housemate and I a full half hour to figure out how to make it be quiet). Having gone through this before, I knew removing the battery would not help. I had to put in a fresh one. Unfortunately, I did not have the necessary battery.

I went to my basement and tried to sleep on the couch, but I could still hear the annoying sound. Finally, at 6, I got dressed and drove to Wal-Mart. The associate looked at me strangely as I purchased my package of batteries. I returned to the house, changed the battery and went back to sleep.

Word to the wise: When they say you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors once a year, they mean it. Only YOU can prevent 6 a.m. battery runs.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

About a Bag

Find out why I spent $165 on a computer bag.

Placing Value

I've been thinking about the act of placing value on others. We place value on ourselves easily enough. In fact, I believe I am quite enamored with myself most of the time. But how do I value (or devalue) others? A few observations.

When I was in college, a friend told me about something her now-husband said to her while they were broken up. "I'm learning to value women as individuals created in God's image," he said. "Not just potentials." How many times do I consider someone of the opposite sex with the selfish perspective described here. When you view people as "potentials," you are placing value not in them, but in what they can possibly offer you.

A second thought: Don't underestimate the value of valuing things those you value, value. Got that? I enjoy talking about myself and indulging in conversation about things I love, as much as the next guy. But do I take time to explore another person's values and honor them? This could be a simple thing, like learning more about a particular subject someone cares about in order to be able to converse intelligently on the topic. This assigns value. Or it could be more complex, such as honoring a perspective that is not your own.

I have a friend who is very courageous. He enjoys trying new things and taking risks. Sometimes these risks turn out brilliantly; sometimes they don't. Being a perfectionist, I place less value on risk-taking and may even write it off as foolishness at times. But if I truly want to value my friend, I must consider how God has created him. His strengths may be different than mine, but that only means he can accomplish things for God's kingdom that I never could. Embracing this view of conflicting personality traits can increase cooperation and allow each person to feel valued for his or her unique qualities.

There is great power in valuing others. I think this was what Paul was talking about when he told the Philippians: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (2:4). Peter's advice in 1 Peter 4:8 also addresses this: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Value proceeds from love. When you love someone, you will naturally seek to look past differences and see value.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Don Miller on Pride and Prejudice

Today a friend was explaining that a woman can impress a man by knowing facts about his favorite sports team. He then asked if there was an equivalent for women — a particular subject men could research that would help them make a good impression. My answer: "Pride and Prejudice."

Here’s a tip I’ve never used: I understand you can learn a great deal about girldom by reading "Pride and Prejudice," and I own a copy, but I have never read it. I tried. It was given to me by a girl with a little note inside that read: "What is in this book is the heart of a woman." I am sure the heart of a woman is pure and lovely, but the first chapter of said heart is hopelessly boring. Nobody dies at all. I keep the book on my shelf because girls come into my room, sit on my couch, and eye the books on the adjacent shelf. "You have a copy of Pride and Prejudice," they exclaim in a gentle sigh and smile. "Yes," I say. "Yes, I do."

–Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003), p. 140

Thursday, January 11, 2007


My friend Adam ponders breaking-up according to theology. A few of my favorites:

Atheist: The burden of proof is on you to establish the existence of this so-called “god” but I believe that if there was any such divine entity “it” would not want us to continue dating.

Intelligent Design Theorist: Our relationship bears the marks of irreducible complexity making it too difficult to explain by way of natural causes. Therefore, there the most reasonable conclusion is that we were designed to break up since things have gotten so complicated.

Calvinist: We were predestined before the creation of the world to break up according to God’s good pleasure. I am, on my own power, unable to break up with you apart from the irresistible draw of God’s sovereign grace which leads me to end this relationship. Those that truly break up will not get back together in the end.

Arminian: While you love me and have a wonderful plan for my life, I have the power to resist your will. If I did not, love would not be possible. For our relationship to be loving it needs to include the possibility of breaking up—something I am doing right now.

Theistic Evolutionist: The beauty and rhythm of random variation and natural selection over long periods of time has presented us with a world where God has shown us that our relationship is too biologically expensive to maintain and is destined for extinction.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Train to Wheaton

The Metra. Photo by Darren Larson

On the morning of New Year's Eve, I set off on my own from the apartment and took the L downtown to catch a train to Wheaton. My good college friend, Kelly, and her husband and two children live there temporarily, while Darren attends grad school.

I researched where I was going and gave myself plenty of time to get there. But after getting two sets of conflicting directions to the train station, walking about 15 blocks and arriving at the wrong entrance to the station, I stepped up to the ticket counter 8 minutes before my train (which only departs every two hours) was to leave. The guy ahead of me in line, who looked like a college student, asked me if I knew information about a certain train. I shook my head and explained I wasn't from Chicago.

When I stepped up to the counter, I was panicked to learn that they only took cash. (Note to self: Always carry cash in the city.) I'd spent my last 10 recharging my transit card, and in all the rushing I hadn't had time to stop at an ATM. The man at the counter told me the cost was $3.80. I plopped down one pitiful dollar and began scrounging through my change, which mostly consisted of pennies. At that moment, a $5 plopped down in front of me. The guy I'd talked to in line smiled. "I understand," he said.

It was hard to accept his generosity, knowing that I couldn't repay him. But I realized maybe I'd have a chance to pay the favor forward someday. When he got off the train at Alders, he happened to glance back. I waved and mouthed "thank you." He smiled. I hope he realized the joy his simple act of kindness brought me.

Kelly met me at the Metra station. I missed the first Wheaton stop (trains are very tricky to exit, I learned), so she picked me up at the second one. She took me to Butterfield's Pancake House where we had a delicious breakfast. Her 2-month old, Zach, came with us and received much attention. After lunch Kelly drove me back to their townhome and I got to see Darren (again) and her 3-year-old daughter, Bethany. We spent the afternoon catching up, enjoying some local shopping and touring the Wheaton campus. Getting to see Kelly was such a special part of my time in Chicago.

Kelly and Bethany (before Zach was born) Photo by Darren Larson

Monday, January 08, 2007

Chicago: Day 2

We woke up bright and early Saturday (seven women getting ready in a one-bathroom apartment was an adventure in itself!) and took the L to downtown Chicago for brunch on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building. The food was delicious and the views were spectacular if a little foggy.

Chicago from the Hancock Building.

Then it was time for some shopping on the "Magnificent Mile" along Michigan Avenue.

During this trip, I rode in a taxi for the first time. Well, unless you count that one time in Tampa....

The American Girl Doll Salon

The doll salon on the second story of the American Girl store is one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. For only $25, your doll could get one of eight different hairstyles or just be pampered. Can you imagine what these employees tell their friends? "Um, I'm a hairstylist...for dolls."

We were all quite tired after shopping for a few hours. Melissa and I take a rest and pose for a picture.

When I struck this pose, Melissa's sister said, "You just watch. She's going to be a star."

My absolute favorite experience of the trip was seeing "Wicked" at the Oriental Theater. The show was absolutely stunning—the best production I've ever seen. The women who played Glinda and Elpheba were exceptional. Also, if you've listened to the soundtrack but haven't seen the show, you have a few surprises in store! As my friends like to say: "I love it so much, it hurts!"

Keira, Carmen, Me and Melissa dressed to kill.

Did I mention I went to "Wicked"?

After the show, we headed back to the apartment and I attempted to figure out how I would get to Wheaton the next day. To be continued....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Joy to the World

I interrupt my coverage of Chicago to bring you this post-Christmas cheer. Ben liked it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Chicago: Day 1

I arrived at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicgo on Friday, December 29. As I stood near the baggage carousel, waiting for my luggage, I spotted a lone figure walking away from me in the uncrowded claim area. That sure looks like Darren, I thought. Darren is my friend Kelly's husband. Surely I wouldn't happen upon the only person I know in Chicago. The figure turned and began walking my direction. To my amazement, it was Darren! His parents were flying in the same day, and he was meeting them in baggage claim. We caught up and discussed blogging as I waited for my luggage. Turns out Darren is acquainted with one of my favorite bloggers Justin Taylor. Small world.

I took the L and the bus to get to the apartment where six other girls and I were staying. Our purpose in spending the weekend in Chicago was to celebrate my friend Melissa's birthday. One of the other girls on the trip, Carmen, had a cousin who was generous enough to put us all up. Shortly after I arrived, we headed for the city to enjoy the best deep dish pizza in Chicago. Then we took a taxi to The Second City.

Considered the birthplace of improv, The Second City produced such Saturday Night Live greats as Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Bonnie Hunt, Mike Meyers and Tina Fey. We saw a sketch comedy show. I was disappointed with some of the offensive content, but I was also impressed with the talent of the cast. The show we saw was called "War." While I didn't agree with the opinions contained in the show, I was startled by the power of the artform to convey a message. I emerged with a new goal: to produce a sketch comedy show that communicates God's truth with the same impact.

Of course, I had to buy a t-shirt to make my improv teammates jealous. (That's not me in the picture.)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Girls' Night

Left to right: Krista, Gretta, Anna (and Aaron), me.

Freshman year of college, a tradition was born. Three other girls and I went out to Shari's 24-hour restaurant for an impromptu Christmas celebration. The following year we added Anna. The five of us have been getting together one night during Christmas week ever since.

We were all in the same dorm section our freshman year. Those early celebrations consisted of Martinelli's in the dorm room and small tokens of Christmas cheer. Krista and Kelly were roommates our freshman year. Gretta was my roommate for all four. Anna was my best friend and ended up marrying my brother.

When we graduated, I moved to Colorado while the other four remained in the Portland area. We reconvened each Christmas season to catch up on the past year, enjoy holiday goodies and share tales of our changing lives: jobs, husbands, babies and homes. Last year Kelly moved to Wheaton, Illinois, so her husband could attend grad school. We've missed her at our last two gatherings, though we know she is with us in spirit. This year I had a double blessing: After spending the evening of December 28 with my girls, I got to see Kelly three days later in Wheaton (more about that later).

I think it is quite special that the five of us have remained so close through the years. And it is even more special that we have kept our holiday tradition alive. This was our 10th "Girls' Christmas." Next year Kelly will be back in the Northwest....

The Conversation

Part 1 — Joy

Text: Before time began … a conversation took place.

Jesus: I’m excited about our plans, Dad. Mountains and oceans and people — especially people!

God: Me, too, Son. They will be like us, reflecting our glory.

Jesus: Yes! I already love them.

God: We always have.

Jesus: When can I go, Father?

God: In time…[chuckle] In time.

Jesus: Dad?

God: Yes, Son.

Jesus: They do know I’m coming, don’t they?

God: Yes, Gabriel’s on the job. I didn’t want to make our guests uncomfortable, so your birthplace won’t be the Grand Hilton. But I’ve arranged for a pretty good choir.

Jesus: Wow. I can’t wait.

God: Kings will travel to worship you, and learned men will marvel at your wisdom. When you grow up, there will even be a parade in your honor. Many people will love you.

Jesus: But not everyone.

God: No, Son. Not everyone.

Jesus: Still, it will be my greatest joy to save them, Father.

God: Yes. And when the victory has been won, your name will be greater than any other name. And you will sit next to my throne as their King…forever!

Part 2 — humility

God: Son, you should know that when you go to earth you will not be as you are now.

Jesus: I know.

God: You will be fragile. You will have to eat, sleep, wear sandals. You will be one of them … completely.

Jesus: Then I will truly know them. I will understand their sorrows.

God: You will. Your own family will reject you. Your best friends will betray you. I [pause]…I will turn my back on you.

Jesus: Must this be, Father?

God: Yes. It is part of the plan.

Jesus: I will do whatever it takes.

God: Your sacrifice will bring peace. They will call you Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus: May Your glory fill the Earth, Father!

Part 3 — Separation

Jesus: Dad?

God: Yes, Son?

Jesus: There’s one part of the plan that troubles me.

God: Yes.

Jesus: The separation. We’ve always been together.

God: I know, Son.

Jesus: How can we be apart?

God: Their sin will make this so. I must pour out my wrath on You. I will crush You for their wrong. [heavy pause]

Jesus: I am afraid to be alone.

God: I know. It will be the darkest moment in history. The prince of demons will think he has won.

Jesus: Father, is there any other way?

God: No, Son.

Jesus: This is the only way they can know You?

God: That’s right.

Jesus: Then I will do it with joy. I will live as one of them … and die as one of them.

God: Through Your sacrifice, they will see life. And the glorious plan will be fulfilled!

Jesus: Father?

God: Yes, Son.

Jesus: We will be together again, right?

God: You will have to trust me.

Jesus: I do trust you, Father. I hope they will, too.

(based on Isaiah 53:2-12, Philippians 2:5-11 and Hebrews 12:2.)

Copyright © 2006 Suzanne Hadley. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Photos from Christmas

One of the best things about this Christmas was meeting my new nephew Aaron.

I bought the boys these old and new shirts at

Ben enjoyed opening his presents.

But he enjoyed the packaging more.

Opening the "big one." Notice Mom decked out in her Christmas finery.

Enjoy this moment; I don't look sporty very often (Go Buckeyes!).

Mom and I got Dad the same devotional book. Here Matt is the lucky recipient of the extra book.

Ben helps Sarah look something up online.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Christmas Eve to Remember

Matt and family. Some elder church members commented that he looked sharp dressed up.

Christmas Eve brought many wonderful experiences. I attended my brother's church in the morning. After lunch we all took much-needed naps. Then I helped Anna prepare the house for company. My family had decided to spend the night in Clatskanie and have Christmas at Matt and Anna's, since they couldn't easily travel with baby Aaron.

Me and the Ben.

My parents and the sisters arrived just before 7, and we all attended the Christmas Eve service my brother had put together. He's a worship leader at the church, and he had created a unique worship experience that involved singing, narration, projection, Scripture reading, solos and a dialogue between God and Jesus which I wrote. I wrote the conversation — based on passages in Isaiah, Philippians and the gospels — as if it were taking place before Jesus came to Earth. It explored the price He would pay to become human. The theme of the service was "Jesus is King," and when we sang "O Holy Night" at the close of the service, I had never felt the words more deeply:

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Later that evening we did something I have never done on Christmas Eve: We went swimming. My parents stayed in a nearby hotel with a pool, so Matt, Sarah, Bekah and I took advantage of the opportunity. The experience was very fun but surreal. It felt like we had been catapulted back to the 90s and family vacations...only we were full-grown adults. Still, it made this Christmas Eve the most memorable ever. And I cherish the special moments I still get to share with my family.

Airport Adventure

Thank you for hanging in there blog friends while I took a Christmas hiatus. As you know, I was concerned about getting out of Denver due to the inclement weather. Fortunately, the Denver airport was fully operational on Saturday, December 23. Unfortunately, the security line was three hours long. I had arrived early, but not that early. When I realized I'd missed my flight, I stepped out of the security line (which I later learned was the wrong decision; they could have put me on standby on the other side).

I stood in the rebooking line, preparing myself that I might not make it home for Christmas. In contrast to the many cranky or crying people in line, a nice girl stood behind me. We made some small talk as we waited, and I learned she was in the same situation — single and trying to make it home to D.C.

When we were both put on standby to our various destinations, we decided to brave the security line together. I learned that my new friend, Tamika, is a believer and just my age. We had the shared experience of both recently leaving a church, so our conversation was very encouraging. We exchanged information before parting ways and plan to stay in touch.

I was able to get out on standby at 3 p.m., and my sister-in-law picked me up at the Portland airport around 5. We had dinner and then headed to Clatskanie. It would have been nice to arrive at my original time of 10:30 a.m., but because I didn't, I met Tamika. Notice the picture of the people I saw while waiting in line. Evidently some people were still fairly stuck. All things considered, mine was a VERY happy ending.