Suzanne's Second Estate

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Breakfast Addiction

During college I quit eating breakfast.

Oh, I'd have the occasional Pop-Tart, and I consumed plenty of burnable energy via calorie-rich mochas. But I pretty much eliminated the most important meal of the day. When my bagel and orange juice-addicted friends tried to force breakfast upon me, I claimed I wasn't hungry in the morning (and this was true). I relished the few minutes my anti-breakfast clause saved me before 8 a.m. classes. And when I was battling the freshman 15, skipping a meal seemed like a reasonable idea.

Two years ago, something changed. It started with my friend Heidi. A breakfast-addict, Heidi suggested we meet once a week for bagels. Later, my friend Krishana had the same idea. Suddenly I was eating breakfast twice a week. You may or may not know this...but once you start eating breakfast, it's hard to stop. I noticed that I was hungry on the mornings when I did not meet my friends. I started eating a bowl of cereal at home or getting eggs and toast at the cafeteria.

Not only was I now eating breakfast on a regular basis; I was thinking about how I could eat MORE breakfast. When friends would ask to get together, I would suggest, "How about breakfast?" I plotted to schedule Saturday morning breakfast — the king of breakfasts — most weeks. Pleasant thoughts of chatting over a plate of golden french toast and unlimited coffee refills would fill my mind. Or worse, for dinner, I'd suggest going to one of those "breakfast all day" places, just so I could feed my addiction. Even at home, I kept eggs on hand. And sometimes when I got home from work, I would make a hole-in-one or a breakfast burrito.

Years of breakfast deprivation had brought me to this sad state. But I discovered something through my breakfast addiction; it really IS the most important meal of the day. After reinstating breakfast, I felt better, got more done and lost weight. I also discovered some of my favorite foods are breakfast foods. This weekend I will be home with my family. A Hadley tradition is eggs for breakfast on Saturday morning. Dad makes a mean omlette. So maybe it's in my blood; I was born a breakfast eater.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Civic Duty

I find myself with time to blog on a Monday morning. I'm sitting in the county courthouse. Don't worry; I'm not here due to unsavory circumstances. I am reporting for my first (well actually second) jury duty. While I was in Washington for Christmas break, my roommate called me and told me jury summons had arrived. Because this was my first time, I carefully planned around my appearance date — January 17. I informed everyone at work several weeks in advance that I might not be there that Thursday. I rearranged several meetings. I completed my deadline early. All to discover (when I pulled out my summons the night before) I was actually supposed to be there on Wednesday, January 16. I was panicked, especially when I saw the warning: "Failure to report for jury duty could result in a $750 fine or jail time."

The next morning I received a voicemail from "Deputy Bob" informing me that he knew I had skipped jury duty and it would be wise for me to turn myself in. (Deputy Bob sounded remarkably like Hunter.) I called the courthouse to confess my mistake armed with my excellent excuse and a list of character witnesses. In an unimpressed, monotone voice the guy on the other end said, "When would you like to reschedule? February or March?" (Lesson learned: If you want to choose your jury duty day, accidentally miss your original day.)

So here I sit. After watching a 17-minute video about the Colorado judicial system, in which it was stated no less than 15 times, "You're probably really bummed to be here." I wouldn't say I'm put out. After all, "Ice Age" is playing. Not to mention I have access to free wi-fi, which is allowing me to catch up on e-mail and blogging. And after watching the video, I'm thankful for a jury trial system. The first jury has already been selected — four more to go. Evidently, if you don't want to be here, the odds are in your favor. This means I'll most likely be back at my desk this afternoon — feeling slightly more patriotic, no doubt.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ben and Aaron

I'm not sure I've posted a picture of my nephew Aaron with his eyes open. Here's a recent picture of the two nephews. Aaron will be 3 months on March 5, and I will be in the Northwest seeing him then. So cute!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More on the Awkward DTR

Here is the second Boundless video performed by Stick Horses in Pants.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fresh Start

Thursday afternoon, I arrived at the Broadmoor Hotel. I've performed at the five-star hotel half a dozen times, but this was my first opportunity to stay here. The occasion? Jerry B. Jenkins'"Writing for the Soul" conference. My main responsibility has been to meet with writers and explain to them our editorial needs in the hopes that they might get published.

This morning I awoke to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground. The fresh, clean start was reflective of what the Lord has been impressing on me this weekend. Ever since I determined to write a book, each conference finds me a little closer to my goal. But this weekend, the Lord has convicted me of dragging my feet. One speaker put it this way: "Five frogs were sitting on a log. Two decided to leave. How many frogs are on the log?" Five. That struck me. I have decided to write a book, but I am still sitting on that log. I am burying that talent the Lord has provided. When I consider it that way, I have to thank God for his patience and mercy.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." I have planned a course. But in order for the Lord to determine my steps, I must walk. I have to get off that comfortable log. In the words of famous philosopher Steven Curtis Chapman: "I'm divin' in. I'm going deep. In over my head I want to be." If you're still sitting on that log, it's probably time you dove.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This post is mainly for Mom. (Hi, Mom!) I visited my grandparents in Parker this past weekend and got to meet Snuggles, my grandma's new cat. Grandma got Snuggles from the Dumb Friends League, and she lives up to her name. When I heard my grandma say wistfully (for the third time), "No one's taken any pictures of her yet," I got the hint and pulled out my camera. The lighting wasn't great, but these should suffice for Grandma's fridge.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Sweet Story

Happy Valentine's Day! Though single for a majority of my 28 Valentine's days, I've never felt bitter about the holiday (like some people). In fact, I find it sweet. Yesterday, I received a call from the front desk informing me that I had a flower delivery. I was not expecting any such delivery, so I giddily made the trek to the administration building. Imagine my delight to discover not only a red rose, but a balloon, stuffed animal and candy! The note read: "Happy Valentine's Day! We love you! Mom and Dad." As I walked back to my desk, I received several ooo's and ah's from fellow employees, along with a few envious looks.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, blog friend! Whether you are single, dating or married know that many people love you today. Enjoy the story of St. Valentine (who could have been one of three men), a man who celebrated God's love. From

The holiday of Valentine's Day probably derives its origins from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. In the early days of Rome, fierce wolves roamed the woods nearby. The Romans called upon one of their gods, Lupercus, to keep the wolves away. A festival held in honor of Lupercus was celebrated February 15th.

One of the customs of the young people was name-drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew a slip. The girl whose name was chosen was to be his sweetheart for the year.

Legend has it that the holiday became Valentine's Day after a priest named Valentine. Valentine was a priest in Rome at the time Christianity was a new religion. The Emperor at that time, Claudius II, ordered the Roman soldiers not to marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that as married men, his soldiers would want to stay home with their families rather than fight his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor's decree and secretly married the young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned and put to death.

Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, the eve of the Roman holiday Lupercalia. After his death, Valentine was named a saint. As Rome became more Christian, the priests moved the spring holiday from the 15th of February to the 14th—Valentine's Day. Now the holiday honored Saint Valentine instead of Lupercus.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ben's Fauxhawk

Gotta love my nephew's new do.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I May Be Addicted

OK, I think I'm addicted to YouTube. I've been messing around with iMovie. Here's a video I made from last Wednesday's improv practice. Am I the next great director? Maybe not.

Friday, February 09, 2007

World's Worst DTRs

Stick Horses in Pants debut on Boundless as part of the "defining the relationship" campaign.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Confessions of a DTR Consultant

We sat, just the two of us, at the cafeteria table. He produced a notebook and pen from his backpack as I pushed the pasta around on my plate. He tore out a sheet of paper and handed me the pen.

"OK," I said, removing the cap. "Here's what you need to do."

I was on a mission. My brother needed my help.

And so goes the tale of one of my first "defining the relationship" consulting sessions. This one had a very happy result. You can read about it in today's article on Boundless. A few of my blog readers may be familiar with this story. (Although, my brother would probably never become aware of it if it weren't for Anna.)

My sister-in-law, Anna, used to tell me, "You are very wise about relationships. Especially since you have never really dated." I considered that a compliment. The truth is, you can learn valuable truths from observing the successes (and failures) of others. If you're single, I hope the article will encourage you (For a DTR certainly lies in your future). If you're married, I hope it will bring a smile at the remembrance of your own DTR. Any good stories out there? Please, do tell....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Memories of Warrenton

Nine years ago I spent the summer in Warrenton, Missouri, with college friends Kelsey and Annie. "What's in Warrenton?" you might ask. The Child Evangelism Fellowship Childrens Ministries Institute (Say that five times fast.) I returned to complete the training the following year, but that first summer was special. The institute was offering a special grant (and academic credit) to college students, so besides the three of us there were half a dozen other young people mixed into the primarily more mature class. One girl, Susan, ended up being our local CEF director here in Colorado Springs several years ago. Another girl, Sara from Michigan (who drew the picture above), became a very good friend.

First you should know that Warrenton is an "if you blink you miss it" kind of town, containing every fast food restaurant you could desire but little else. The Child Evangelism Fellowship headquarters is located out of town at what used to be a Catholic seminary. Coming from the metropolis of Portland, Ore., Annie, Kelsey and I quickly mined the local attractions: Taco Bell, Wal-Mart (which was actually a blessing, in this case), the roller rink. Eventually we discovered a movie theater in a town 30 minutes away.

We didn't have cars at CMI, but the facility had one very old beater car that we could sign out for excursions to the grocery store or Dairy Queen. We lived for the $.99 super nachos. The rest of our free time was spent swimming in the pool, taking occasional runs in the stifling humidity, chatting about boys in our rooms and doing homework and laundry. I remember we'd always volunteer to accompany Alma Lou, the older woman who had driven us from Oregon, on airport runs so we could get a Starbucks. My favorite pictures from CMI were taken in the St. Louis airport (where I'm pretty sure I saw Michael Tate from D.C. Talk). A group of us from CMI took a trip to St. Louis, where we went up into the Arch, explored the science center and ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Later that summer we attended a Steve Green concert.

Of course, Warrenton wasn't a vacation. We worked hard to learn everything from Piaget's stages of child development to a biblical theology of child evangelism to teaching children (and teachers of children) in a dynamic way. And in addition to the uncomfortable heat (outside our air conditioned rooms), sometimes-boredom and Kelsey's ankle injury, we had an unfortunate encounter with chiggers. (Annie, I later learned it was probably a bad idea for you to put bleach on your legs.)

Still, that summer was a wonderful experience. Perhaps it was because in the absence of excitement, Kelsey, Annie and I created our own fun. There was also something rich about the intergenerational format and meeting people from all over the world. In an unlikely place, our friendship and creativity bloomed.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Screwtape Coming to Big Screen

I posted this on the Line earlier today, but I wanted to share the exciting news with my own blog readers, too.

Luther at the Movies reports that The Screwtape Letters is going to be made into a movie.

First it was The Chronicles of Narnia. Now The Screwtape Letters—C.S. Lewis' often-imitated but never equalled epistolary masterpiece—is coming to a theater near you at some point in the not-too-distant future, God willing.
LATM goes on to ponder who should play Screwtape (Jack Nicholson? Willem Dafoe? Sir Anthony Hopkins?) And then the more important question:

Will his nephew, Wormwood, be portrayed? Will someone have the audacity to write return letters, from Wormwood to Screwtape, which, in the book, are only inferred from Screwtape's replies?
Whatever choices are made to take Screwtape from book to big screen, one thing seems certain: This film will not lack in quality. Gene Veith notes:

And the portents are very promising: Walden media (the pro-family media group with big pockets that is funding the Narnia movies) is putting up the money; Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham (who ensured the fidelity of the Narnia movies) is involved; and Ralph Winter (the promising Christian director who made it big in the mainstream with movies like "Fantastic Four") is producing.
I consider The Screwtape Letters my favorite of Lewis' works. I also greatly enjoyed Lord Foulgrin's Letters and The Ishbane Conspiracy, novels by Randy Alcorn based on the same premise. The story illuminates the subtle ways the enemy gains a foothold in a believer's life. I love the tagline on the back cover of Alcorn's book: "Know your enemy. Read his mail." I hope the film, which I await eagerly, will reach a modern audience with the spiritual insight that comes from knowing who your enemy is.

HT: Justin Taylor

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Supposed to be Here

Ministering to me this weekend: the lyrics of "Suddenly" by Superchick.

She feels lost in her own life
Treading water just to keep from slipping under
And she wonders if she's where she's supposed to be
Tired of trying to do it right
Her dreams are just too far away to see how steps
she's making might be taking her to who she'll be

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly I am where I'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, I was supposed to be here

She feels locked in her own life
Scared of what she might lose
If she moves away from who she was
And she's afraid of being free
There's a way she knows is right
And she can't feel the things she knows
And so each step she's taking
Is a step of faith towards who she'll be.

And here where the night is darkest black
She feels the fear
And the light is farthest back
And through her tears
She can see the dawn
Its coming skies will clear
And the light will find her where she's always been

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly I am where I'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, I was supposed to be here
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light." —Ephesians 5:8

Dad on the Beach

With my new understanding of YouTube emerges incriminating footage of my family. I love this one taken in August.