Suzanne's Second Estate

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Two Left Feet

So funny story....

Yesterday after work, I was supposed to meet a friend to complete my long run on the Santa Fe Trail. Ten minutes till 5, I grabbed my gym bag and went to change into my running clothes. I was completely dressed and ready to go when I discovered a sad truth...I had packed two left tennis shoes. They didn't even look similar, really. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I left the house early to meet a friend for breakfast and had a "morning" moment.

I had a choice to make. I could wear my two left shoes out of the building (I would have to go home before my run, of course), or I could put my heels back on. I chose to leave with two left feet. My coworker had a pretty good laugh about that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Kid is My Hero

Soft-spoken with gentle eyes, 16-year-old Zach Hunter doesn't look the part of an abolitionist. But beneath a quiet exterior beats a fiery heart akin to William Wilberforce or Martin Luther King Jr. In the past four years, Zach has written two books, founded an anti-slavery campaign and spoken all over the world.

This morning I sat at a table with Zach and his mom. When asked if he ever gets to be a "normal" 16-year-old, Zach shrugs and says, "Sometimes." His next words challenge me. "A lot of times kids my age are going out and doing things I don't want to do—because they're not right." He's talking about seeing certain movies or going to prom, things most teens—even Christian ones—probably wouldn't think twice about.

Zach has a keen sense of right and wrong—a quality that led him to start "Loose Change to Loosen Chains" when he was 12. The student-led campaign continues to raise thousands of dollars each year to end slavery. Gentle and humble (remind you of anyone?), Zach isn't your average powerhouse influencer. And yet his fierce dedication to God's calling on his life and willingness to sacrifice are inspiring a generation to take action. In a CT article, he says of his generation:

"I want us to make history—and I don't mean to get our names in some history book, but to be known as a generation that did something for God, cared for the poor, and totally stopped slavery."

And God is blessing Zach's willingness to commit his youth to this cause. Zach's book Be the Change surprised publishers with the number of copies sold. And his upcoming book Generation Change will be accompanied by parent-youth events to help parents empower their children to follow God's calling on their lives.

Someone recently told Zach, "I'd vote for you for president."

Zach said,"But you don't even know my political views."

"I don't care," the man said. "I know you'd do the right thing."

I know he would, too. And that's why he's my hero.

"He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." —Psalm 37:6

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Girls Need Girls Vlog

I was really excited to have my friend Melissa join me for my second edition of my author's vlog.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thai Cooking Night

Last night Becky hosted Thai Cooking Night. The food was amazing. I haven't been that full in months! There was also plenty of laughter and good girl time.
You can find Brandy's amazing Mango Sticky Rice recipe here!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Girls Need Girls

I originally titled today's article on Boundless "5 Friends Every Woman Needs." As I've gotten older, I've come to realize the importance and blessing of having godly female friends.

Female friendships have been celebrated throughout time. Anne had her bosom friend Diana. Elizabeth Bennett had her sister Jane. And DJ Tanner had Kimmie Gibbler.

One of a young girl's first desires is to have a "best friend" — someone who is like her, who shares her dreams, who keeps her secrets. A boy just won't do. When I was 8, my best friend Julie and I spent hours playing house, making strange crafts out of paper towel rolls and staying up late giggling at sleepovers.

The days of childhood sleepovers are gone, but I still crave the feminine connection — a sister and friend to be my advocate, support me in doing the right thing and remind me where my true beauty lies.

Read more....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Loved This Show!

I recently found this on YouTube. I loved this show (I had forgotten how VERY 80s it was). Check out those clothes, hairstyles and frequent laser noises! Radical! (This is also where Fergie got her start, apparently.)

K-I-D-S, Kids Incorporated!

Monday, April 21, 2008


A few of the Stick Horses and I will be running the famed Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day. In case you don't know, a 10K is 6.2 miles. Jared was kind enough to prepare a training schedule for me. It goes something like this:

One run per week: long, 2.5 miles building up to 5.5 miles, running a little slower than desired race speed

One run per week: speed, 1 mile building up to 2 miles (in 1/4-mile to 1/2-mile sprints with rest in between)

One run per week: tempo, fluctuating from 1.5 to 3 miles, running at desired race speed

Jared also showed me how you can use Google Earth to determine routes (including mileage) for outdoor runs. I've completed one week of training so far and am looking forward to my second long run this evening.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Big, Fat 70s Birthday

I got so caught up with my New York posts, that I failed to blog about another fun happening: my 30th birthday on April 6. My friend Melissa (pictured) organized a 70s-style (in honor of my 1978 birth year) progressive dinner, which culminated with some very fun karaoke. I found this dress vintage at a thrift store. It still had its original pricetag. It sold for $14.99 back in the day. The thrift store was selling in for $15 (but I got half off).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ali Wins Biggest Loser

Ali and mom Bette-Sue.

Last night was the "Biggest Loser: Couples" finale. I had a few friends over for dinner so we could root for our faves. I'm pretty sure we all wanted Ali to win (because Ali is awesome!), and we weren't disappointed. Ali became the first female biggest loser by losing 112 lbs. Her final weight was 122.

I have to say, though, I'm not sad to see the show end. I've had my fill of overbearing product placement and endless "recaps" to fluff each episode to two hours.

Congrats, Ali!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Vlog

I had a couple of friends asking when I was going to do a video blog again. This week I received a very encouraging e-mail from a Boundless reader in Pittsburg, and it inspired me to offer this little behind-the-scenes explanation of a recent article.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I didn't watch "American Idol" last night, but the way the show closed was all the buzz this morning!

New York: Celebrity Sightings

Besides seeing Uma Thurman in Central Park, the sisters an I had a couple of other fun celebrity sightings. I saw Peter Gallagher as we walked down 5th Avenue in the posh shopping district (you can't mistake those eyebrows).

After "The Lion King," I was trying to find this amazing pizza place I'd eaten at last time I was in NYC. The problem was, I was convinced it was called Mike's Pizza, but it turns out it was John's Pizza. I knew it was near Times Square, so after the show got out, we just began walking down a street that looked familiar to me.

Suddenly we noticed a crowd of people. They were holding up their cameras as high as their arms would reach to take pictures. We rushed over (the celebrity-hounds that we are) and did the same. We soon realized it was Clay Aiken coming out of "Spamalot."

We walked a few more blocks, and with no sign of Mike', John's, we decided to head back to Broadway. "Let's walk up a different street," I suggested. As we walked back toward Broadway, we spotted another crowd with camera's flashing. In an earlier post, I mentioned I was a fan of "You're the One that I Want," which cast the main characters for the musical "Grease." Turns out, the crowd was out to see Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, the winners of the show and the performers who now play Danny and Sandy on Broadway.

And, of course, you already know about me meeting Chad.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New York: The Lion King

The show Bekah most wanted to see in New York was "The Lion King." The show, which has been on Broadway for 10 years, is truly spectacular. I've seen a lot of shows, and "The Lion King" is the most innovative and visually stunning of them all. Particularly noteworthy is the show's almost exclusively African-American cast, lending it an authentic African feel.

We had a bit of a laugh over the theater attendant who seemed to REALLY like his job. Before the doors opened he was circulating around the lobby offering to take pictures for people. At intermission, Bekah witnessed him giving some of his own money to girls so they could buy souvenirs! And in the closing scene when a single camera flashed somewhere in our balcony section, he was on the job — using his flashlight to attempt to identify the culprit! I wish I had gotten a picture of him.

"The Lion King" was a fantastic show to end on. Hakuna Matata!

New York: Subway

Sarah looking like a real New Yorker at home on the subway.

Not the sandwich shop. We were semi-successful at figuring out the subway system. Sometimes we ended up going the wrong direction or having to hike awhile to get to the proper line, but it was good fun.

Catching a pic while we wait for our train.

As Sarah says, "There's a lot of weirdos down there."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Home Schoolers Who Don't Do Anything

My coworker Jamie (who was also home schooled) passed on this clever rewrite of the famous VeggieTales song, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." Brilliant parody by Ethan Perkins. Enjoy!

We are the home schoolers,
And we don't do anything
We just stay at home and lie around.
And if you ask us, to do anything,
We just tell you: "We don't do anything."

Well I never took a math test,
And I'm not too good at science,
And I'm not too good at reading,
'Cause I never read at all.
Oh, my spelling is atrocious,
And my English is ferocious,
And my mom wears denim jumpers in the fall.

Well I just clepped out of high school.
How I love my mathematics.
And I own a corporation
And I'm eight grades ahead.
And I've programmed twelve computers,
And I always get an A plus,
And my mom wears denim jumpers in the fall.

Well, I think third grade's amazing,
And I play the ukulele,
And I plan to go to Harvard,
How come people always laugh?
Oh, I think that flowers smell nice,
And I wake up around lunchtime,
And my mom wears denim jumpers in the fall.

Copyright 2007 Ethan Perkins

Monday, April 07, 2008

New York: Central Park

As I mentioned in my last post, we walked through Central Park to get to the upper west side. The park is 2.6 miles from top to bottom and half a mile wide. We bought some warm honey roasted almonds in the park to enjoy as we walked along. I thought we passed Uma Thurman, but I can't be sure.

With about 25 million visitors per year, Central Park is the most visited city park in the United States.

And the Hadley girls made it 25,000,003.

Confirmed: I did a little digging, and we definitely saw Uma Thurman and her son in Central Park. Her little boy was wearing the same hat in some pictures I found.

New York: Cafe Lalo

Sunday was such a full and diverse day, that I will stick to shorter posts about some of the highlights. After walking from our hotel up through central park, we ate brunch at Cafe Lalo.

Fans of You've Got Mail will understand what I'm doing in this photo. Cafe Lalo was featured in the film, during the scene where Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is waiting to meet her online love interest and her mortal enemy Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) shows up instead. It's a great scene. (Hint: "She's GOT TO BE pretty.")

Something we learned by talking with our server is that Sunday brunch is a big deal in New York. The cafe was packed out! Bekah and Sarah got avocado and feta sandwiches, I ordered the Moroccan breakfast.

Our weird (but cute) non-coffee-drinking sister.

Sarah enjoys a cappuccino.

After Cafe Lalo we explored a bit more of the upper West side, including Amsterdam Avenue and Zabar's, the grocery story where Rose says: "This is a cash only line." Rose, that's a pretty name.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New York: Day 3

Sarah and Bekah waiting in line at TKTS.

Day three was a good one. We started it by taking the subway down to the South Street Seaport location of TKTS. This was a tip I received from my coworker Jesse. TKTS sells all the remaining tickets for shows the day of. You can get AMAZING seats for around $50, which is a great discount. Thing is, you don't know what shows will be available and it's cash only. The popular location of TKTS is in Times Square and opens at 3 p.m. However, Jesse told me that the South Street Seaport location gets the tickets first at 11 a.m.

We walked through Wall Street to get to the ticket location. It was strangely quiet, since it was a Saturday. I tried to imagine working there. We arrived at TKTS 20 minutes before it opened. It was a rush once the booth opened. Our options included "Rent," "Chicago," "Caberet" and "Gypsy." However, one show appealed to all three of us: "Legally Blonde."

South Street Seaport

We meandered down to the dock after getting our tickets and enjoyed some seafood at a waterside cafe. The port provided a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

A common sight: Bekah took 500 pictures.

Brooklyn Bridge from South Street Seaport

Next we headed over to Ground Zero. There's not much to see. Just a big expanse of dirt with digging machines — all veiled behind plastic netting. It's weird to look up, though, and see the strangely empty spot in an area crowded with buildings. This picture was Bekah's creative concept.

We meandered over to the Staten Island Ferry after that. You can ride the ferry for free and get a great view of the Statue of Liberty.

Then we headed back to our hotel, popping up briefly in SoHo to walk to a different subway station. That's where we saw the Lincoln Tunnel, and I was reminded of the movie "Elf." Buddy: "I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."

Ready for the show.

We ate a classy dinner at McDonald's before the show. (New York is expensive!)

"Legally Blonde" was a vastly entertaining adaptation of the movie starring Reese Witherspoon. It was a good "sister" show. And we had great seats. In a side section, five rows back. The show is fairly new, so the Tony Award nominated characters were still playing the lead roles they originated. We felt especially gratified since we had paid less than half what we paid for our other Broadway shows. TKTS rocks!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Interrupt this Presentation to Bring You...Altar Boyz

So I have to jump ahead to an NYC highlight. Last Spring, Becky and I got addicted to NBC's "Grease: You're the One That I Want." The show was something of a Broadway version of "American Idol," where the roles of Danny and Sandy were chosen from among thousands of contestants. One of my favorite contestants for the role of Danny was Chad Doreck. Unfortunately, Chad did not win the competition.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Sarah, Bekah and I attended the off-Broadway show "Altar Boyz." The show was a spoof on boy bands. To my surprise and delight, Chad Doreck played the part of Matthew. It was neat because off-Broadway is a much more intimate setting than the bigger theaters, so you feel like you're practically on stage.

After the show, the Boyz announced that they were doing a fundraiser for Broadway Cares. For a donation of $20, you could get your picture taken with the cast. We decided to go for it. As we waited in line, Sarah leaned into me: "It's important to you that you stand by Chad, isn't it?"

I smiled sheepishly. "Yeah."

I'll admit it: I was a little starstruck.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New York: Day 2

Friday was a day of exploring. Since we were still on Mountain and West Coast time, we dragged ourselves out of bed around 9 and out the door (to Starbucks) a little after 10. Our first stop was Fifth Ave. for some shopping (H&M, one of my favorite stores, is there).

We passed Trump Tower, Tiffany's and some cool churches on the way.

While on Fifth Avenue, we passed 51st Street, and Bekah happened to see "Wicked" down the way. So we walked down to Broadway and scoped out the theater where we'd attend "Wicked" that night. Next we walked through Times Square, which was amazing! (These incredible photos were taken by my sister Bekah.)

Taxis are kind of a big deal here.

Hangin' on the streets of New York.

We returned to our hotel late afternoon to get ready for the show. This was the third time I'd seen "Wicked," but it was my sisters' first. The show was what you'd expect from Broadway—outstanding.

"Wicked" tells the tale of how Glinda the Good Witch and Elpheba the Wicked Witch of the West were college roommates. The music is beautiful, fun, poignant and passionate.

A vacation that includes a good show (or four) is ideal for us. "Wicked" was a great one to start with.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New York: Day 1

I [heart] New York City. I really do. My sisters and I just returned from a trip there that was everything I had hoped for and more! We arrived at LaGuardia International Airport around 6 on Thursday night. After I found my sisters' terminal building, we took a taxi to Hotel 57 (I got an incredible deal on the room online, and it turned out to be very nice -- kind of artsy -- though small).

Our hotel was only a few blocks away from Bloomingdale's and Serendipity III, where part of the movie starring John Cusack was filmed. We waited for over an hour for a table (part of that time was spent shoulder to shoulder with fellow patrons in the tiny lobby) but weren't disappointed with our delicious meals and famed "Frozen Hot Chocolate."

Then it was off to bed (around midnight) in preparation for a busy Friday.