Sunday, August 4, 2013

My... Baby

So I got a Baby.

Anyone who knows me is probably very confused right now.  How does the college aged girl who has never even had a boyfriend have a baby?  Easy, I bought one.

It was an investment, but so far I love having it around.  Still thinking about names though and haven't decided about the gender.  Haven't decided the gender?  Oh yeah, it's not actually... human.

So pretty much every photographer I have ever met has referred to their camera as their baby.  The first time I heard that I simply thought it was strange.  The second and third times I questioned the photographers sanity due to their attachment to an inanimate object.  Following occasions I began to think there was some strange cult... like those moms who buy life-like baby dolls and pretend they are real.  Now I've joined their ranks (the photographers ranks I mean, not the weird moms.)

Well, I've mostly joined.  I haven't referred to my new Nikon D3100 as my baby... yet.  I haven't created a scrapbook of its first stuttering steps in ISO and aperture.  And I certainly haven't lovingly cradled it in my arms, crying tears of joy, as I imagine our long future together, which will probably include Doctor Who and bacon, and feeling overwhelmed by the fact that I can have such a true and steady friend who will simply capture the memories instead of insisting that I share the bacon too.  Certainly nothing like that.

I will tell you that I have never been so excited when waiting for a package.  I don't know how many times I plugged in my tracking number to see where it was at.  When the doorbell rang the only thing that could have made me happier was if I saw the current Doctor standing there with the TARDIS perched in one of the front yard trees.  Unwrapping it was sort of like Christmas on steroids.  Taking my first Photo Adventure was great fun. 

And it was during that adventure when I got the first inkling of why photographers might refer to their camera as their baby.  And not just cause you want to hold it close to your heart... but because when you do, it's heavy.  Seriously.  How do these photographers do it?  I lugged my camera bag all over campus and when I got home I felt like I had not just a baby strapped across my shoulders, but more like a very small hippo.  And the camera is so heavy around my neck.  This could be just me, because sometimes even just wearing lightweight necklaces gives me headaches, but my neck is always sore after carrying my camera around.  I really wanted to have this camera for if I study abroad, but now I'm wondering if I'm that committed.  I guess I'll just have to keep practicing and maybe hope that love will lift the weight from my shoulders.  Till then, I can see how "baby" is an adequate description.

The photo below is from my first Photo Adventure, and is of a yellow hibiscus.  Not a perfect photo, but pretty good for the first hour of use I'd say!

yellow hibiscus

Oh yeah, I'm thinking about Mildred.  Opinions?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obsession... Oh My!

I used to be obsessed.  I mean, knock-down drag out in love.  You know how some girls are all "Team Edward!" "Team Jacob!" "Team Anything Hot and Popular!!!"  Yeah, well, when I was 10 I was like "Team I Freaking Love Books!" and "Team What Is Twilight?" and "Team I Love The Wizard of Oz!"

Yep, the Wizard of Oz.  I was into guys made of metal before Iron Man made them cool.  I liked green people before the Hulk made them awesome.  I liked people without brains before Bella made them... oh wait, no, she didn't really give anything a good name.  Anyways, while other kids shuddered at the sight of a flying monkey I was like "ermergerd rubyr slerperrrs!"  And not because I was particularly fond of shoes.

I had this calendar with pictures from the movie and my mom and I cut it up and laminated it and then hung them all over my room and painted the walls and furniture to match.  I had a Glinda bank, a Wizard of Oz clock, and Oz themed fabric.  I collected all the books and movies.  Wait - books and movies?  Plural?  Oh yeah - it didn't stop with The Wizard of Oz.  You've got Ozma of Oz, Rinkitink in Oz, The Road to Oz and a whole host of others.  Plus the books other authors wrote when L. Frank Baum died - including some by his illustrator and also his son.

I like to think I've gotten out of the Oz obsession phase and have moved on to other things like Harry Potter and Doctor Who.  But I admit I still like it.  In fact, just naming off some of those old books really makes me want to re-read them.  However, perhaps the reason I know the phase is over is because I found The Wizard of Oz shoved under my bed a few days ago and it looked so sad and lonely I just couldn't bear to shove it back under... so I cut it up and made it into some cards.

Okay, I left you guys some room to gasp and freak out for a moment.  I promise you I love books.  And I promise I still love the Wizard of Oz.  But I hate books that just sit under my bed so lonely.  Plus, it's not like it was my only copy!  And, I also figured some of the pages would feel much more loved when they were in the hands of a soldier overseas.  I used the pages to decorate the front of AnyHero Mail, that is, letters of encouragement for our American hero's.  The cards will then be donated to Operation Write Home which will mail them to hero's who don't get much mail.

Wizard of Oz brown

Wizard of Oz pink
Wizard of Oz red
This card-making technique is so easy and... I don't know, I guess I just love books even if they are cut up into pieces.  I'm sort of hooked and can't stop making them!  I think half of my motivation to write letters is just to make these cards at this point.  Seriously, I freaking love making these cards!  And the quotes are sometimes so perfect and... shoot.

I'm obsessed.


Thursday, May 16, 2013


I think the title describes it all.  Whew is right!  It's been a crazy semester at college.  I don't ever actually remember breathing, but I must have since I'm still here.  I don't think I remember sleeping either.  Maybe I did.  I definitely ate though - some of my best friendships were formed through food.  That is, if bacon can even be classified as simply a food... I'm thinking it deserves a title closer to Life-Giving-Substance-That-Tastes-Like-Heaven-In-A-Frying-Pan.  So yes, I definitely remember eating bacon.  And baking cookies.  And making crepes.  Not sure about the vegetables though... I think I probably ate them at some point.  Hm.

So, yeah, a crazy semester in which breathing, sleeping, and eating healthy was forsaken!  But, really, what else are college memories made of?  I certainly did homework somewhere in there and did amazing in all my classes (that's not bragging if the grades back me up haha), but I won't be telling my kids about that great afternoon I spent working on an English paper.  Although I might tell them about the time I spent an hour in a "study group" for history which deteriorated to making voices like Yoda and Tinkerbell.  Yeah, I think they might enjoy that one... especially if I include the sound effects.

You know what else I didn't do a lot of in college?  Crafting.  Seriously, I've missed my ATG tape gun.  A lot.  That's probably something really weird for a college kid to miss... I mean, imagine the conversations that could take place:
RANDOM ADULT FRIEND OF PARENTS: So what do you like best about being home?
ME: ...I get to use my tape gun?
ADULT: I think the stress got to her.
But, in all seriousness, I really have enjoyed crafting again.  And taking some time to write letters!  I'm still making cards to donate to Operation Write Home, and I'm still writing letters to heroes to send to OWH.  I wrote a bunch through my year at college and now it's time to mail them off.  I probably should have done that more regularly throughout the school year but... well, like I said, breathing, sleeping, healthy eating wasn't happening, let alone mailing off packages.

To start the summer crafting marathon off right, I've posted a picture of one of the cards I made recently!  Rather simple design, which I like, and the teal blue color is one of my most absolute favorites in the world.  I mean, if I had to choose a favorite color that would probably be it.  But I'd feel bad for all the pretty colors I left out.

Anyways - I can't promise to post here regularly throughout the summer.  Promises, promises... easily made, not so easily kept.  But, I am in a writing and a crafting mood, so I figure posting may kill two birds with one stone (although I really don't advocate killing birds and my aim is so bad I would probably end up hitting some rabid animal hiding in the bush which would come out to chase me.  Oh, and I don't run, so I guess I'm doomed.  Yeah, let's stay away from killing birds with stones.  The consequences could be terrible.)

So - happy summer, happy crafting, happy eating-sleeping-breathing on a semi-regular basis!

teal and yellow origami flower

Friday, April 5, 2013


Jesus paid it all

All of it.  Everything.  The little white lie you told your parents, the gossip you spread, the time you ignored a person in need, the impure thoughts, the malicious actions… everything.  And not just for you – for everyone.  Every single person living on the earth today, their sins were all paid for by Jesus.  The irritating person who likes you more than you like them, the pastor who isn’t perfect, the prisoner who raped, murdered, and stole.  Christ came to pay for all of the sins of all the people, past, present, and future.
He really paid for them too.  Sometimes when one thinks of the word “paid” a simple transaction comes to mind.  We think of Jesus coming to earth and chillin’ down here for a while before deciding it was probably time to trade in his life for the forgiveness of sins.  But it wasn’t that painless.  Jesus really paid for our sin.  He didn’t just trade his life in as if he were exchanging an old car for a new one.  No, he paid for all sin for all people with all of himself.  He lost everything, not just his life.  Stripped nearly naked and ridiculed, he sacrificed his dignity for our sin.  Whipped until his flesh was filled with long gouges pouring blood, Jesus paid for our sin with his comfort.  The entire time his mother watched.  The woman who had rocked him to sleep as a baby, who had raised him into a young man, who had watched him work as a carpenter, was forced to look on from the sidelines as her son was tortured in a manner that must have made her sick.  It was hard enough for her, but Jesus knew she watched his suffering and he had to give up his peace of mind that his own family could be spared the horror of seeing him in his current condition.  Jesus paid everything he had in the most terrible manner possible for all the sin of all the people.

All to him I owe
All of it.  Everything.  It was my sin he suffered for.  The thing is, I should have been in his place.  In fact, with all I have done to hurt Him, Jesus probably should have been the one driving nails through my hands.  Instead, he took my place.  I didn’t just stand on the sidelines weeping in gratitude though.  No, I held the whip in my hand and beat him repeatedly.  I shoved a makeshift crown constructed of thorns on his brow so hard it punctured his skin and caused little rivelets of blood to trickle down his face.  I mocked him when he fell and the cross nearly crushed him.  And it was my left hand which held the nail steady as I raised the mallet in my right.

Christ did this for me without complaint.  He did it knowing I would continue to whip and mock him with each sin I committed.  He paid for it knowing I might not even accept him as my Savior.  For this perfect, unconditional love, I owe him everything.  Just as he didn’t only give up his life, so I can’t just give him mine.  I must give up my dignity, comfort, wants, time, money, talents… everything.  Without Him I would be without it anyways, as I would have been the one hanging from that cross.
Sin had left a crimson stain

Without Jesus I would be wearing red.  Perhaps even more than that – without Jesus I would be red.  Sin would be my identity.  The thing is, stains hard to hide.  Sure, you can try to cover them up for a while, but soon enough you’ll get another somewhere else and the more you accumulate the more difficult it is to hide them.  And with sin, they all leave the same crimson mark.  It’s not like a white lie is a little faded pink pin prick near the hem and adultery is a large blood red blot on the shoulder.  No, all are the same and are equally obvious to God.  Not only are they hard to hide, but they are also hard to wash out.

But he washed it white as snow
Here’s what I find interesting – Jesus washed out blood with blood.  The blood we have on our hands from all manner of sins, he cleanses it off with his own.  It doesn’t make sense.  I was baptized into His death and subsequent resurrection.  I was baptized into his suffering, His pain, his blood, and then resurrected with His triumph.  Through water and blood I am made as white and as pure as snow.

The idea of being washed also evokes the image of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet.  This simple act of service is reminiscent of his entire ministry and the sacrifice of his death.  His whole life seemed to be about washing – washing others with love, washing them physically in acts of service, and washing away their sins with his blood.  This is a reminder that if we want to imitate Him then we must wash others with love and service in any way we can.
Since Jesus paid for all the sin of all the people with all he had, I owe him all.  I must ask for His help in making Him my all so He may use me to reach all I meet, even if in the smallest way.  Lord, you paid it all, and I owe all to you.  Be my all.