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February 2011

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I love the way candles reflect shadows and light. I was mesmerized the other night by it, and remembered something really sweet about my sister, Carrie. Carrie is 6 years older than me. She married at 18, and so in some ways I had to separate childhoods – one with her, and one without. I will say that life for the first born in a family is much tougher than that of the baby. Carrie paved the way for me. We also became very close during my teen years. I am thankful for her. When I was 4 years old, there was a storm and a power outage in the neighborhood. Wind was howling. Flickering shadows of candles and flashlights did not bring comfort to my 4 year old heart. I was scared and did not want to sleep in my room. Carrie invited me to her room for the night.…

It has the bill of a duck, yet it’s not a duck. It has the tail of a beaver, yet it isn’t a beaver. It sports feet of an otter. It’s a mammal, but it lays eggs. Don’t let its cute little ducky face fool you, it’s venomous and can cause serious pain. What’s the deal with the platypus? People much smarter and more educated than me are in awe of this biological wonder. A lot of my life I have felt different; that I didn’t fit in. I never seem to fit neatly into one category. I’m young-ish, but I’ve been married for a long time (12 years). I was a pastor’s kid, now I’m a pastor’s wife. I don’t have kids, so as much as I try I don’t relate to the treasures and trials of motherhood. I hate chick flicks and like guy movies where crap blows up and…

I often call myself “the girl with the plan”. I am detail oriented. I like to plan events. I like to think my attention to detail is was makes me a good administrative assistant. I am always trying to think a few steps ahead. I try to anticipate needs, and take care of things before they are a necessity. I know exactly who I am. I know what I want, though I don’t always know how to get it which has led to some misguided, hair-brained ideas. This can be frustrating for someone like me who plans out everything down to their eyeshadow color for the day. I’ve heard it said “Fail to plan, then plan to fail.” This is all fine and good and true. Trouble is, often in life, few things go according to the plan. Things change. People change. You can’t really solve an equation where the variables are…

When I think back on it, I have come to realize I have a life-long history of inappropriate laughter. Here is special memory of note I’d like to share with you. Circa ’95, when I was around 15 years of age. A very kind man my family knew passed away. I sat there at the funeral amongst the weeping and sadness when I remembered the way this man laughed. His eyes would widen. He’d let out a hoot. His whole jaw moved a bit like Firemarshall Bill when he laughed. At first, the notion of this made me smile. Then I chastised myself “Quit smiling you idiot! A man is dead!” Then I lowered my head. I covered my mouth with my right hand. Then the left. Oh. Dear. Sweet. Jesus. The shoulders started bobbing. It was all over. I covered my face. I am pretty sure people just thought…

It’s not her birthday, and it’s not mother’s day. I just wanted her to feel special today because she makes me feel special every day. Mother, there’s no one else like you. My mother is crazy. She knows it. I know it. She also loves me more than life itself. It is my goal when we’re together to make her laugh until she pees her pants. I will neither confirm nor deny if that has every actually happened. My mother was at lunch recently with her dear friends Betty and Joanna (a special birthday shout-out to Betty today!). I am convinced mother is their entertainment. Her antics in restaurants alone are a thing of legend. This lunch was no exception. When the waitress returned to their table from the kitchen and said “It’s really quiet in here!” mother instantly responds, “You want us to do something about that?!” Oh, mother. Mother…

I suppose you could say I am afraid of the dark, though it isn’t darkness that scares me. It’s what may be IN the darkness that concerns me. As kids we fear the monster under the bed or in our closet or mean older siblings who sharpen their big toenail into a point to stab you with it. (Sorry to rat you out, sissy!)  I am not scared so much of literal darkness any more, but I have faced some dark times. While I have faced my share of challenges, I will not claim to have had a rough life. Truth is, I know so many hurting people who have been through or going through worse. I am blessed that I am surrounded with love. Truly. That being said, stuff happens. Things that are out of our control. You wonder if you’ll survive it. You feel the weight of it pulling you…

It’s not easy being my husband. Just ask David Conlee. While I like to think I am pretty laid back and not terribly demanding, it must be exhausting being married to someone who is “always on”. David says I am like Snow White in the morning because I wake up singing. Yes, I am THAT person. I once sang WHILE sleeping. What can I say?! I like singing, ok! Sheesh! I can understand how something like this may land me on a non-morning person’s list of People I Want To Hit Over The Head With A Shovel. I joked not long ago that “be yourself” is the worst advice ever. Why? Because we should be BETTER than that. I don’t want to be the same old me every day. I long to be better than who I am today. I want to grow and move forward, living a life of passion and no regrets. (I’d really like to…

This Valentine’s Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about one of my fav topics: LOVE. *Cue Barry White song* I despise chick flicks, but am a hopeless romantic. I love the grand gestures. I find it hilarious with as much as I love singing and songwriting, I find it impossible to write a love song. It’s not for a lack of trying, I can assure you. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the romantic side of love, we forget its deeper meaning. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts,…

Snarting: to sneeze & fart at the same time in a public setting. Is there anything worse? I am not so sure. Though I am your classic extrovert, I submit to you that I fear public involuntary flatulence. I pride myself on being like a Girl Scout, prepared for nearly anything. My handbag is a bottomless pit of things that I or a friend might need. Lipgloss? Check. Bandaid? Check. Bracelet (c’mon – for FASHION emergencies!). Check. Among some of my social fears is bad breath. Gum and/or breath mints? Check. Got junk in your teeth? I recommend those toothpicks with the little flosser thingy. Uh-oh…where’d they go? Time for a Target trip.

I had my very first mammogram on Friday. I have to admit, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. I wish someone had given me a few pointers. For example: don’t wear lotions or deodorant, or you will have to scrub yourself down with not one, not two, but FOUR moist towelettes. Quite unsavory. Another helpful hint would be to wear your hair in a ponytail to keep it out of the way and so it doesn’t look like you have a hairy chest on your scans. You’re welcome. I am especially thankful for Mona, the technician. She completely put me at ease and had a great sense of humor. She told me she’d been doing this for thirty years. I told her, “That’s a lot of boobs, Mona.” She laughed. She worked quickly and efficiently to get things done. Once in place, she’d say, “Don’t move, don’t…