Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thank God for Pumpkin Spice Lattes...

Seriously. They are back in your friendly neighborhood Starbucks (or in my case, one of the many Starbucks' in the neighborhood), and their timing couldn't be better; boy do I need them... The joys of grad. school. Inspired by my friend Nick, I thought I'd do a countdown of my insanity. For one of this week's 3 exams, in the next 10 hours (note, that would mean I will not sleep tonight, hence the gratitude to Starbucks for the quad-shot venti latte) I have to write 15 pages by 6am. Why 6am? Because then I have to drive to school to turn it in. There's no emailing or mailing this one in, it must be hand-delivered, l-a-m-e. And then I turn around on the freeway and start reading for my second one, due by midnight on Saturday... And I did mention that I fell down the stairs and my neck/back feel like I was in a car accident, didn't I? But, alas, I have no time to go to the hospital until at least tomorrow. Maybe I can read in the waiting room.

Oh don't you all miss school? Good times. Wish me luck. As I always say, it's not the writing of 15 pages that I have a problem with, it's the figuring out what to say for 15 pages that gets me... Here goes...

Pray for my neck and my back

So last night, almost asleep, I walked down the stairs and tripped over Burly. So we both fell down the stairs. After I figured out I hadn't broken his leg, I laid there and cried, it hurt so bad. My wrists/elbows/ribs/spine/neck... all feel like I'm a hockey player or something. Today I am super stiff/sore. Nothing's broken, praise God, but I need to go to a chiropractor quickly... Pray that I get better soon, I have 3 exams due in the next week, I don't have time to be in so much pain.

This is my third time being careless in the past month. First I burnt my finger, sticking it in the oven on to a 400 degree pan... 2nd degree burn. Not good. Then I was gardening and dropped my clippers, sharp points down on to my big toe this weekend. Blood gushed everywhere. Unbelieveable. So if bad things happen in 3's I should be in the clear; but in any case, pray for my neck/back. Meanwhile, I'm gonna get an IV of Ibuprofen:)

Monday, August 27, 2007

photo help...

Can someone much smarter than me tell me how to put this as my profile photo?

More photos of her!

Isn't she so sweet?!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Burly's getting a little black sister! We're trying to come up with the best name on earth, any suggestions? Our 'theme', if you will, is geographical locations... too many choices. I'm liking Brooklyn and Bellingham (Belle, or Hammy as nicknames)... Los likes Brasil and Beijing:)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ethics and sports- mutually exlusive? Since when?

I grew up in a family who worshipped sports above all else, the daily sports page was the Bible by which we lived, breathed and had our being. That’s why I’ve been interested recently, as scandals have crossed the globe in all kinds of sports. From referees game-fixing, to athletes’ use of illegal substances, hardly any organization has clean hands in the matter. ESPN just finished a series of stories this summer, called “Cheatwave,” trying to engage people in the problems of cheating in the past, present and future. With genetic engineers’ current research, it will soon be possible, supposedly, for athletes to be given performance-enhancing genes. Where did the purity and integrity in sport go?
ESPN’s contention was that cheating has become much more commonplace than it was a generation ago, and makes the argument that it will go on until we fans refuse to support it monetarily. However, many people critique the organization, saying that ESPN itself is one reason why sports have become entertainment, and players, stars in our culture, who we exalt to an unhealthy status. Americans love winning, and don’t mind ignoring illegal activity if the scoreboard ends up in their favor.
What was more alarming to me, than fans reactions to the athletes, was the quiz results ESPN posed for readers. Almost 50,000 people over this past weekend filled out an online quiz about their cheating habits, and the results echoed their sentiments toward others. Only 15% of the readers said that they never cheat, and the highest score for something people would never do was a question about parking in a handicapped space. On the contrary, more people said they would cheat on the person they date or their spouse. Our culture has something wrong with it.
ESPN quoted David Callahan, author of the book, The Cheating Culture, who insists that “the integrity that seems to be leaking out of sports simply mirrors the ongoing erosion of ethics in our society.” And readers defending against ESPN’s critique of sport, “noted the questionable ethics of our political, corporate and, in certain cases, religious leaders. They asked who are we to question the integrity of our athletes when we speed on the interstate, cheat on our taxes and falsify our résumés?” Many assume ethics and sport cannot go hand in hand.
I find this issue fascinating, sad, and problematic for multiple reasons. For one, the billions of dollars our country invests in sport could be spent many other, healthy, ways. And I seriously doubt changes to that effect will ever be made. But more importantly, these ‘idols/heroes’ of sport are communicating to youth that it is okay to take short-cuts in life, a dangerous message across the board that says winning is more important than integrity.
In my own family, when I become a mom, as well as in ministry situations with youth, I will try to juxtapose those who cheat with those who have integrity. The maxim that “cheaters never win” certainly isn’t true in the short-run, so I will try to focus on the long-view of life. I imagine this will be something challenging we’ll face the rest of our lives, as the advantages one can gain from cheating, in any circumstance, can be enticing and deceiving, though wrong.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Europe 3.0

Well #1, I finally didn't get sick on a vacation, so that was super... But the stress of having a car/not being able to read road signs, etc. was enough to make a person crazy. Maybe that should be another blog, European lowlights? But this is the highlights. So...

*Being with my brother in a foreign country. He is just cool. And as much as we are different, and hardly know each other as adults; it was really special to see him in his element, living Euro... He has huge hair, is super tall, and rides a scooter. So he majorly sticks out over there, it's pretty funny. But he keeps it real.

*Hiking Cinque Terre in Italy. Absolutely GORGEOUS view and the strenuous hike was way worth it. Put this on your list as a must-do in your lifetime.

*Seeing all the cute coastal villages in Italy. I'd recommend Monterosso over where we stayed in Riomaggiore.

*The South of France. Gorgeous mediteranean sea, next to massive vineyards in Provence, sooo peaceful.

*Aix-en-Provence. Go there. Sit in a cafe on Cours Mirabeau, the "most beautiful street in all of Europe." You'll be glad you did.

*Buying wine= one of the best things I did was bring an extra rolly suitcase and carry it on to the plane. I bought tons of wine, champagne, olive oil, soaps and gifts and had lots of space for it.

*Going to the Brocante. For my mother-in-law, we went to a 'flea market' and saw all this old awesome stuff that French peeps didn't want anymore. If I had more money, I would've bought beautiful silver serving pieces, but instead we bought cute old french kids books, etc. It was a lot more fun than shopping at touristy places, because it was all authentic. Next time I would buy linens and house stuff.

*Lac d'Annecy= Gorgeous. Go to Annecy in your lifetime. You'll be glad you did. I will be back there in my life, I hope.

*Switzerland. Love it. I've now been almost everywhere in the whole country (a ski trip to the Jungfrau region will complete my journeys there). Go there, eat the chocolate, it will change your life. And eat Raclette if you can:)

*Chartres- I'll post pics of the cathedral where we got engaged, but it was so special to revisit it with my mom and in the summer. A majestic, 800+ year old place.

*and lastly, Paris... My third time there, and it never fails to impress. I took my mom to our favorite restaurant, Fuxia, and it was the best meal of the whole trip. They grow their own grapes in vineyards in the south of France, Italy, and Chile, and they have a market up the street from the restaurant where they sell all their stuff. Awesome. I bought some for Los for an anniversary present. Don't tell, it's a surprise.

*we got there on the last day of the Tour de France, so that was a cool experience, seeing all the decorations up around the Champs Elysees, etc. I almost bought Los a jersey, but they were 80 Euro (over $100 USD) so I balked. I got him soccer shorts from PSG instead:)

Over all, even with it's stresses, this trip was awesome. I got to go to a lot of towns/cities I'd never been to before, and unlike my first time in Europe, I didn't hear too much English/meet that many Americans (which was a good thing). I think we picked places to stay/visit that Europeans were vacationing in, which I took as a good sign. I found some quaint, untouristy villages that I would love to go to again, as well as appreciated a couple popular places (Italy, and Paris).

When we go to Europe again, I'd love to see other areas (Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Turkey/Greece, etc.) but it's always great to go to these countries I know and love. I'd love to hear advice from you who've been to other countries, and/or to encourage you to travel where we have! Gimme a holler...


I'll post pics and write about that soon...


I am not sure how my husband can fly for a living... After 12 legs around the world this summer, if I don't get on another flight for months, I will be one happy camper. The waiting, the stale air, the back pain in uncomfortable chairs, the small bathrooms, the turbulence, the less than ideal food, the crying babies, the lack of adequate sleep, the grumpy flight attendents, the damaged/lost luggage, the bomb scares at airports, oh man... I used to love flying, but I'm having second thoughts about that!

I will say this. Qantas to/from SYD was great (I watched 8 movies), and the people in the airports in Melbourne and Sydney are so relaxed, I love that. My Alaska flights to/from OAK also went well. Flying from SEA to SJC was fine but not out of SJC, that was my worst flight (a plane crashed on the runway with a malfunction, then our flight attendant fainted, we were just hanging out there forever...). Delta sucked, both to ATL and to ZRH (Switzerland), they were disorganized/chaotic. Air France was okay, the direct flight from Paris to Seattle was novel. I watched Blades of Glory multiple times to keep myself amused... I need to meet some rich people, so I can fly first-class, I envy their lay-down beds... and the food they get is way better... What's up with that! I'm gonna start saving my pennies...