Archive | April, 2013
28 Apr

I napped in the hammock.

I wore my yellow keens.

I drank iced coffee.

I walked with Mabel.

I sewed the binding on a quilt.

What more does a sunny Sunday afternoon need?


Happiness and stuff.

27 Apr

What makes you really happy?

Ready?  Go!

Make a list.

I’ll wait.

[Need some music while you make a list.  Listen to this.  My confirmation kiddos loved it while they compiled lists of questions.]

Okay.  You have your list.  Now how many of those lines on your list are things?

I’m guessing not a whole lot.

More than likely, the bullet points on your list are words like family, friends, traveling, a job that’s fulfilling, meaningful relationships, learning, new experiences.  Right?  Things don’t make us happy.  We hear that all the time from educated people and studies.  Just because you have the great house and all the toys doesn’t equal happiness.  Right?

Right.  But damned if we don’t try.

I’ve noticed that in myself lately.  I’ve always known it’s true but this past week, I’ve noticed pronouncedly what all the experts say.  I buy something [new minty green bag from Target – on clearance; a new coffee table; 300 awesome straws from IKEA] and get a little excited.  I’ll carry the bag or put my feet up on the coffee table or drink iced coffee out of a great straw and think, This is the life.  Until it’s next week and it’s just old hat.  The bag will get dirty, the coffee table will gather dust and dog hair, and I will have cycled through every color of my new straws.  It isn’t so exciting anymore.  We’re back to square one and I just want to buy more stuff to simulate the immediate buyer’s happiness.

Darn experts.  They’re right.  Colorful straws [and big tvs and ipads and everything we’ve ever wanted] don’t make us happy in the long term.

How do we get it through our thick skulls when my brain seems to be wired towards accumulating things?  I literally hear myself correcting my own thinking when there is a thing I think I need.  Your life won’t change because of a thing, I tell myself.  Sometimes I listen.

And other times I buy 300 straws from IKEA.  [I really like straws.]

Friday Favorites.

26 Apr

Yesterday was [finally!] a nice day outside.  Sunshine.  Little wind.  All I could think about was iced coffee and hammocks.  Regardless that the temperature hasn’t yet passed 60 degrees, my coarsely ground coffee beans were mixed with water in giant pitchers on my counter last night, and I have pretty solid plans to take a nap in my hammock on Sunday afternoon.  Iced coffee and hammocks.  Definitely two of my favorite things.  Also –

A vintage Nancy Drew party!  Now granted, it was planned for an elementary crowd.  If I planned a vintage Nancy Drew party for my 30th, would you come?

How fun do these look — Springtime Italian Rainbow Cookie with Lemon Curd.  I’m going on a retreat next weekend and I’m tempted to try these to take a share.  We’ll see if early next week holds the time needed to bake them.  They do look a little involved

DIY Bird Feeders.  I might have to find some time to make these to hang from the trees for my bird friends.

I want to make at least five of these.  Terrariums are the coolest.  I would put a gnome in mine.

Martha does it again.  Travel keepsake boxes to hold airline tickets, photos, and all sorts of things from trips.

And, lastely, a motto for a new week.

Dear Lindsay of middle school,

24 Apr

As a pastor who loves working with confirmation-aged kids, I catch glimpses of my own past middle school experience as the confirmation kids share their own experiences.  I slightly remember* what it was like to be awkward and a seventh grader.  It wasn’t easy.

I was so incredibly lucky to have awesome friends.  More or less the same awesome friends I still have now.  [Dancing Banana shout-out!]  But there was still drama.  There was judging.  There is terrible shit that goes on in middle schools.  And I can’t imagine it if one doesn’t have awesome friends.

There are a couple gals in my confirmation class that often only have lows to share in the rounds of highs & lows.  A lot of time, those lows are there’s just lots of drama at school.

Ugh.  Drama.

What I want to say to them is much like what I would say to my own middle-school self –

Dear Lindsay of middle school,

Being popular doesn’t matter for shit.  Forget those queen bees.  They suck.  You should just be nice to everyone.  [And probably not say people suck.  That wasn’t nice, future Lindsay.]

Be friends with the people who make you happy and people with whom you can be yourself and silly.  Form a gang.  Call it Oatmeal.  Make cardboard necklaces for everyone in the gang with raw oats glued to them.  Your name as gang leader shall be Raisin. **

The boys are pretty cute, aren’t they?  But don’t worry about them.  Just because they’re eye candy doesn’t mean they’re worth crying over.

School work is important but trying to get straight A’s isn’t worth sick stomachs and sleepless nights.  And hey – good job on that newspaper writing competition.

Please, quit wearing the over-sized flannel shirts and carpenter jeans sooner than later.

That one day, after school, when marching band rehearsal gets out late and everyone sprints back to the band room – hold onto your flute a little tighter.  Trust me.

The drama will end.  It will be okay.


Future Lindsay

I started to write this post before confirmation met tonight.  I finish it after confirmation.  After the one confirmand who-never-has-a-high-and-her-low-is-always-drama had a high that the drama has ended.  Hallelujah.  Confirmation was awesome tonight.  Not only did every seventh and eighth grader have a high – if not many – we threw out our lesson for the night because all they wanted to do was ask questions.  About God.  About the Bible.  About doubts.  We tackled a few tonight the best we could and they made a list for next week.  Here’s to the freedom to ask questions and doubt in church.  Important stuff.

* I quite literally remember NOTHING about my seventh grade year.  It’s a blur to me.  I remember some of sixth grade and some of eight but seventh?  Nada.

** True story.

A coffee cup.

22 Apr

I chose this one today.

 I miss my gnome friends.

[Both the ones who live in Gnome Park and the ones who worship and work at Grace.]


What’s in my meal-prepped fridge this week?

21 Apr

I’m so glad you asked.

I just finished cutting veggies, washing fruit, and cooking rice for my week. I haven’t done the dishes yet; those can wait for tomorrow. Or Tuesday. We’ll see.

I started doing my weekly grocery shopping and meal prep a couple Sundays ago and I must say – it is pretty awesome. The Sunday night is crazy and the clean-up sucks. But the rest of the week is pretty low key, clean, and worth it.

I’m only one person. I can’t imagine doing this for a family! Being one, I basically make one main dish and will eat that for one lunch/supper a day. The second meal is typically a salad, and breakfast – dear breakfast – is so simple and yet so my favorite. I also try and cut up a bunch of veggies and fruit to have handy for snacks. Easy peasy, light and breezy.

This week’s main dish: Bok choy brown rice salad with orange sesame dressing. Minus the bok choy. I am making a conscious decision right now to admit failure to you; please be easy on me. When I got home tonight and did a little research AFTER my grocery store run, I figured out that what I thought was bok choy in the florescent light of Hyvee was indeed a leek. I’ve never bought either before. Humor me and agree that they look slightly similar? I know the difference now and will remember FOREVER. [Forever + five years if any of you mock me for it. Then it will be seared in my brain.]

Along with that, I cut lettuce and stored them in mason jars for easy salads. I made overnight oats [old fashioned oats soaked in almond milk, ate cold, is my most favorite food] with strawberries for the week, and baked egg whites in a muffin tin inside a crust of deli turkey meat. I may have bought $8 worth of strawberries which I washed, cut and stored. [I’m a sucker for strawberries. I can’t wait until they’re in season this summer … you know, in early August.] There are a couple new things on my counter too. Apple chips [the most wonderfully simple idea ever – my mandoline has been busy] and date/almond bites.

With that, I’m ready for the week. And maybe, if I travel to Austin tomorrow, I’ll pick up some bok choy to add to my bok choy brown rice salad with orange sesame dressing.

Friday Favorites.

19 Apr

Favorite/current netflix obsession: Classic episodes of The Office.  Lately, all my current shows on Hulu + are in reruns and not new; hence returning to the old classic.  [“You can’t fire me.  I don’t work in this van.”]

Favorite confirmation moment: We were talking about birthdays and one young lady said that for her birthday, they always eat a trifle … which automatically transports me to the thanksgiving episode of Friends when Rachel makes [and screws up] a trifle … and so I said, “You guys are too young for Friends, right?” … to which they all looked at me like I was off my rocker.  “We have friends …”

Favorite upcoming weekend activity: Sewing & wine sleepover at Sara’s!  Mabel and I are hitting the road this afternoon to stay at Sara’s in the cities.  I’m taking my sewing machine and binding quilts is the name of the game.  Along with drinking wine.  And probably watching Pride and Prejudice.  Speaking of which –

Favorite Pride and Prejudice line of the week: As I reread a chapter or two each night before bed, I was delighted to read this gem again.  Mr. Collins to Lizzy – And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection.  Violence of affection. Oh, awkward Mr. Collins.

Favorite sign of spring:  The snow.  Definitely the snow.  [That be sarcasm, dudes.  And I can’t complain.  Southeast MN has had it the easiest of all the MN quadrants.]

May the snow melt quickly.  Happy Friday.

A Saturday slump. And goodbye, Facebook.

13 Apr

Sometimes I think quitting facebook would be a really, really wise decision.  I read this article the other day and it has stuck with me – Instagram’s Envy Effect.   If you don’t want to read it, allow me to summarize.  When people post on social media [instagram, facebook, etc.], people share a partial truth about their lives.  A perfect family photo … but not the fight that happened five minutes before.  The perfectly decorated party … but not the mess that came afterwards.  Etc, etc.  It’s so true.  I don’t instagram photos of hacked sewing jobs before I take the seam ripper to them.

The other part of this equation is that we refresh our twitter/facebook/instagram feeds [I’m guilty of all three.] when we’re bored or feeling sad or lonely [yup, occasionally all three].  Right?

When you’re laughing at a meal with friends, are you scrolling through Pinterest? When you’re in labor with your much-prayed-for-deeply-loved child, are you checking to see what’s happening on Instagram? Of course not. We check in with our phones when it seems like nothing fun is happening in our own lives—when we’re getting our oil changed or waiting for the coffee to brew.

It makes sense, then, that anyone else’s fun or beauty or sparkle gets under our skin. It magnifies our own dissatisfaction with that moment. When you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, the majority of your friends probably aren’t doing anything any more special.

But it only takes one friend at the Eiffel Tower to make you feel like a loser.

This happened to me this morning.  I already wasn’t looking forward to my day.  There were a couple things on my to-do list that weren’t real high on my I-want-to-spend-my-Saturday-doing-this scale.   I checked facebook only to find glimpses of more people engaged, more people having cute babies, and more people traveling and doing fun things while I faced my Saturday with less than any enthusiasm.  One more real life example of what the article articulated.

That being said, I’m not quitting facebook.  But you won’t see me there any too often.  We’re going to spend some time apart.  I think it will be good for me.  And then I’ll have more time to do other stuff.  Like go to quilt shops and go for walks with Mabel and call my mommy, all of which I did today and all of which were very good additions to my Saturday.  See, it wasn’t all bad.  But at 8am this morning when I was catching up with facebook happenings – those small, perfect glances into friends’ and acquaintances’ lives that make mine feel boring and behind compared to my age demographic – you would have thought the world was ending by my reaction.  Enough of that, lady.

Enough of that.

Friday favorites?

12 Apr

Not in the traditional sense this week.  My Friday  was spent in two of my favorite places, neither being this computer compiling links and lists of favorite things.  Two places –

1. My sewing room.  Suddenly, in the last week, there has been a project on the design wall that grew and grew and I couldn’t stop working on it.  The quilt is now on my dining room table, ready to be sandwiched with batting by millions of safety pins.  It was going to be a quilt I give away but that jury is out; I’m kinda in love with it.  Especially the back.  [Not shown.  Cliffhanger!]



2.  The elementary school.  You know last week when I complained about not being a needed volunteer in first grade anymore?  About an hour after I published that post, I received a phone call.  Could I please come in?  There was a big project and they needed my help.  Of course!  I went to the elementary school and traced about twenty first graders on a very large roll of paper.  I traced and then they cut themselves out.  [It takes longer than you think to trace a kid or twenty!]  Today I had to go back to finish up the last fifteen kids or so.


That was my Friday, about to be rounded out by old episodes of The Office, red wine, and a skype date with some of my favorite people who live in Montana.  How was your Friday?

This week –

9 Apr

I’m trying to be a better, healthier, more whole-food eater and trying all sorts of things as a result.  Salads in jars, more Thai chicken quinoa, date-and-peanut-balls, and HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS.  That’s in caps because – holy shit – they are delicious.  It might be the coconut oil.  And the dried cherries.  And a little bit of sesame.

The other part of my better, healthier being is figuring out my sleep.  Goal: In bed reading at 10.  Lights out at 10:30.  That goal has failed in execution more than it has been successful.  The early bedtime was instated because I can’t. get. out. of. the. bed. in. the. morning.  Ever.  But really I just end up sleeping more because I go to bed early and still stay in bed just as late.  Enter new app.  It’s pretty cool and wakes me up within the best place for waking in my sleep cycle.

The better, healthier Lindsay is also – thanks to awareness from her counselor – becoming aware of her distorted thinking.  Distorted thinking is when I am hard on myself, when I assess situations to be all or nothing, when I discard compliments I receive as not true.  Distorted thinking is basically how my brain works so it’s being aware of my negative thoughts, turning them around, and “telling the negative committee inside my head to shut up.”

That’s my week, along with meetings, two-hour long pastoral visits [I need to work on leaving.], rain, and hanging with confirmation kids.  How’s your week?

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