Category Archives: travel

Updates: Websites, Weddings, Work, Writing

Hi! Here are some updates of our life over the last few months.

Most of my blogging time these days goes to http://www.AverageAdvocate.com I have been excited because recently I have had people guest blog (finally)! I need the help, the other opinions/experiences, and the networks which other people have. So this is great. In addition, I was a contributor to the Human Trafficking Daily (a web news site) with my book review on Not For Sale. Score! In case you can’t tell, really getting this going has been important to me. Its the merger between some of my passions and a skill- my little small fish and loaves.

Of course, being mommy is still my main job (I hear this rumor I should expect this for at least the next eighteen years). Avi is now four and Josiah is now two. They are so much easier now, having grown a bit older.  We love them bunches! And it seems anyone else who meets them does too! As of yet, Avi is a drama queen and Josiah is a soft-spoken linguist.  They have had their fill of wedding this summer. My cousin Brett’s wedding in Wisconsin, Josh’s brother Ben’s wedding in New Jersey, and Josh’s dad’s wedding in Tennessee.  Annoyingly, none of these weddings were at a beach! Oh well. But, apparently, we discovered that getting down with sweet dance skills is my kids’ fave thing to do!

I have also been working for my church , J10 Church, as “connections chick” for coming up on a whole year now. I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and hopefully I have been a blessing there too. I wouldn’t say it has been easy at all in any way. But I think the job fits me; I feel content in it. Although I do confess, I also feel like I am about to screw something up at any moment! So, on a positive note, it draws me to God.

Because it is writing related, I can easily share with you the book review posts I randomly write for my friends’ website, Reading Teen. This is total fun and fluff for me. Here are some others posts beyond what I have shared to you before:

This is my most favorite review because I thought it was really funny, the author of the book asked me to write it, and a lot of people liked it 🙂

http://www.readingteen.net/2011/08/cascade-river-of-time-2-by-lisa-t.html

These are some other not-so-thrilling posts:

http://www.readingteen.net/2011/07/waterfall-river-of-time-1-by-lisa-t.html

http://www.readingteen.net/2011/07/choices-by-katrina-l-burchett.html

A buddy and I pretended we were the site’s typical authors, and did an IMM for them. They are on either side of us, coaching us on the books we were supposed to let their readers know about. To us, this was hilarious, but maybe its just because we are all friends. Here you go anyway!

Adventure Day

Did I tell you that I am starting a new blog? I was thinking, if I am doing all the work to drag my kids around D.C., anyway, I might as well write about it to help other moms out. Deep down, I want to be the travel guru for every local mom of young kids. In reality, I am trying to set something up so that I can help at least a few people like me. It is far from done yet, but your welcome to check it out Adventure Day Blog. Feel free to give me any feedback! Maybe I’ll change the name, maybe I’ll change the format, who knows. But, this is something new and exciting for me. I’m learning the new skill of basic web design, too, which is different.

Thing’s I Learned From my Night with a TV

My daughter’s friend decided to ride her choochoo train down the stairs. The result of this thrill-ride, was pain, I assume. Especially as she has spent much of the past few days in-and-out of the hospital, getting her little arm put back together again. I have been inspired to remove all “riding” toys away from staircases without baby gates.

My daughter is only friends with this little girl because I am friends with her parents. So, in actuality I should have said “My friend’s daughter decided to. . . ” They go to our small-group, which makes me thankful that I rather like their family. Because I am a good person I decided to offer my “babysitting” services tonight after my good friend/neighbor/family, Jill, has already babysat for them twice. Actually, I think it was more so because I was jealous that Jill would get all the credit for being a good person, and I none. If you read the Bible, you know that any such prideful motive results in no reward. Still, I didn’t get nothing out of this.

I got to watch TV. The real thing. Not Hulu, my typical computer TV fare, or even watching a DVD on a TV. It was real TV where you lounge around and change channels and stuff. If you know me, you know I don’t do this because we don’t have a TV which is usable as a TV. If you know us well, you know that we don’t want such a vile instrument of evil in our home. Or at minimum, we don’t want to pay the money and are too lazy to get said vile instrument of evil working in our house. Whatever. In otherwords, don’t watch TV much.

TV is a window to the world. Its a dab slower than the super-sonic internet (that we do have). Unlike the Internet, with the whole world at your fingertips, TV filters the world so you don’t have overwhelming choices. You just sit there, fumble your fingers over a ‘hookie‘ (i.e., remote control), and someone else chooses what you download into your brain. And this is what I learned from such a spectacular window on the boob-tube:

Samoa is actually a territory of the United States! Well, part of Samoa is. Recently, their economy was devastated thanks to SunKisk’s corporate value system. Also, a few months ago they had an 8.1 earthquake, resulting in a small, but deadly tsunami. Poor Samoa, how did I not even know?! But they do have some good things going for them. 200 of their 500,000 people play at least division one football (which is really good, right?)! I am no mathematician, but there seems to be some major connection between football and Samoa. I got to watch a really cool haka war-dance they do for football practice warm-ups, similar to the haka I learned when in Fiji. Fjij and Samoa are relatively close, which is probably the only reason this caught my attention.

The Golden Globe Awards give awards for both TV shows, and movies. Watching them is like getting media review of the last year. After watching them I am officially current on my popular culture. I can tell you who had a funky dress, who cried, and what movies the rest of the planet considers worth seeing that maybe I should see (you know, just to keep from sounding like an idiot). I grew up in California, which is where the awards took place. Maybe this is the reason this caught my attention.

Did you know I like the name Penelope? Its so, well, confusingly fun to say. Penelope. Penelope! I think she is one of the most beautiful actresses, along with all the rest of them. Did you know Penelope Cruz is sometimes insecure? Of course! She is also very stubborn, thinks Tom Cruise is treated wrongly (we share an opinion) and grew up in the outskirts of Madrid! I was near where Penelope grew up when I was in Madrid, which is probably the reason she caught my attention.

Some dude thinks we should be happy that we can’t control the weather, even though the people in Florida have frozen oranges. I too have been to Florida a really long time ago, which is probably the only reason this caught my attention. My brain is becoming a frozen orange popsicle.

Yet Haiti, Haiti caught my attention for a whole different reason, not because there was sometime I was nearby or some other frame of reference. My heart breaks for Haiti, just like I want it to for those few unheard of in Samoa who’s lives were also ruined a few months ago, even if there are 1/100 of the amount of people. Although I keep up with the news, and have seen my fair-share of pictures of the disaster, I haven’t really watched any TV clips of it until tonight. Watching doctors amputate appendages with saws they found and sterilized with vodka, and seeing bodies piled in the streets, being picked up by earth-movers is surreal. As always, I contemplate the horrors that others experience and cry for a thousand reasons. You might feel those reasons too, or surely we share at least one or two of the thoughts on the issue. My fear is not just that Haitians are dying without the help they need, but that those in less heard of crisis’s around the globe will also suffer, as we will stop any assistance to others in need. Need is always great. There is no shortage of it.

My TV watching evening is over and I have gleaned some random knowledge, while relaxing a little and maintaining indifference to our own TV ownership (or lack thereof). Besides feeling like this is the time to proclaim my innocence, that I was not a bad babysitter as their daughter was sleeping the entire time of my stay- I should also note that in this life we can’t protect ourselves forever. We try to live the good life, enjoying our TV shows, making money, havin‘ babies to watch TV other shows. There is nothing wrong with wanting comfort. But there is something wrong when we are so comfortable we forget to love God and love God by loving others. There is something wrong when we think we can keep ourselves from the bad things, and the unexpected things. We treat ourselves like overprotective parents, sitting in emotional and physical safety-nets while guarding our rights, our happiness, and our money (as if we deserve any of it). And maybe we do deserve it. We deserve the worst reward, comfort in this life alone. Instead, lets challenge ourselves to not just watch the world around us on our TV sets (or whatever characterizes your safety-net of comfort and relaxation). We must always be aware of the greater world around us, as lives never cease to be at stake.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 (New International Version)

Cities I’ve been to

Apparently I have the travel bug today:

    If I had Six Months to Live . . .


    If I had six months to live what would I do? This was a discussion question I had to write an answer for after we studied the chapter about death and dying in my adult development psychology class. Its easy for me to write lists of goals to do throughout my life time. I try to make a new list yearly as its interesting for me to see what stays the same and what changes. But if my perceived life-time was shortened to just six months? That means I would be dying around my 25th birthday, in September. I guess as follows is what I would hope those six months to look like:

    I think firstly, I would live out a spiritual purpose to a greater extent. I would try to know God more. I believe in the afterlife, and that I will go to heaven because I have trusted Jesus to cover over anything I’ve done wrong. I believe my hope during this six month time period would be based upon this faith I have. I would probably capitalize on it to try to know God more now if I will spend the afterlife with Him as well as to sustain me with as much peace as possible before I die.

    I have always believed I am alive for a reason. I don’t think I would try to be consumed with the question “Have I fulfilled my purpose yet?” but I would hopefully try to be purposeful with my time, spending it in ways that could continue making an impact after I died. It would just be trying to have an overall attitude of investment.

    Spending time with my family and trying to make it easier on them would be a major focus for me. I think I would try to leave something behind for my daughter and soon-to-be son to help them know who their mother was. I’d probably try to make a journal and/or scrapbooks for them, as well as leave them cards/videos for different ages of their lives. I would likely make something similar for my husband which I hope would help him remember me and let go of me at the same time. Of course, just trying to spend a lot of time and create memorable experience with them as well as my parents and other family members and friends would be my hope.

    I have no doubt that I would try to take care of arrangements after I die, such as for my children’s upbringing and funeral stuff. I’d also write down some ideas and plans I have which I would have love to spend my life doing. Maybe someone would catch those visions and take them on to use them as a positive impact in the world. I would also hope to record some of the music I have written, and finish some artwork I have never finished.

    I’d love to spend some of my time traveling, maybe going away every few weeks to visit people I know in California and other places. I’d also love to travel some more internationally, going to locations I have never been but have always hoped I’d have a chance to go. I would hope that it could be fun and enjoyable traveling, yet also I would love to go places where I could help during the time I was visiting. I don’t think I would be so concerned with how I was helping, as much as just knowing I had a chance to get my mind off of myself and my condition, whether that would be distributing relief aid, teaching ESL, working in orphanages or spending time showing love to people forced into prostitution or slavery.

    Randomly, I would also love to go parceling once. Mainly I just hope I could wrap up my life and relationships here, make a difference and prepare for moving on. I would love to be an example of living the shortness of life I have left as life to the fullest.