Magical and Majestic

Some days, I feel restless sitting at home all day and doing nothing.  It feels wrong.  But today, it just feels right   Because..

  1. It has been raining and is still overcast.  A cozy day.
  2. Its a day off from school, so I’m supposed to be resting.
  3. I have a pretty bad cold.  Not terrible, but pretty bad.

So today I am going to rest and do nothing.  And by “nothing” I mean read, watch TV, draw, look at Pinterest, maybe even start knitting something.  Anything that requires sitting and not putting forth too much effort.

Sounds marvelous doesn’t it?

Something else that is marvelous is my current Desktop picture.

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It was taken on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, when Ryan and I were there in August. The majestic Cuillin Hills. I try to “x” out of all my windows when I finish using my computer, so that the next time I sit down in front of it, its like “BAM.” Beauty. That’s what it was like a few minutes ago, when I sat down to write this blog post. BAM.

That little path on the bottom of the picture led us to the fairy pools, which is a beautiful series of waterfalls.
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Man, I feel so blessed that we got to go there. On the Isle of Skye, you half expect to bump into a hobbit or centaur or some other magical creature.  It a majestic, magical landscape.

This book just came in the mail.

I ordered it when we got back from our trip, but it just got to me a couple of days ago. Maybe that will be part of the “nothing” I do today–start that book.

Man, I have a lot of nothing to do, better get on it.

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Scotland Rundown

Back at Heathrow airport, waiting for a plane that will take us back to Dallas. It was such a good trip, we had a great time, but it will also be nice to be home. It’s good to have balances in life like that–it’s nice to leave and nice to get back.

Another good balance we had in our trip was the city to countryside ratio. Our first couple nights were spent in Glasgow. We had a fun time being shown around by Will and Bailey.

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Then Ryan and I took a train to the beautiful and enchanting Isle of Skye and explored around there a couple of days.

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Then back to Glasgow for one more night with Will and Bailey, plus some amazing Indian food.

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That above picture is on the Subway. Ryan is hidden behind his massive backpack.

It was a really fun trip and a great visit with Will and Bailey. Soon I’ll put up tons more pictures in a Facebook album, so get excited.

Pretty soon it’s back to the real world… But that world is good as well.

Good Reminder

Sitting outside at The Pearl Cup with my honey.

He’s pretty cute.

They make a good latte here. And it’s such a beautiful day to sit outside.

Remember when I used to always blog from coffee shops? I would be studying there. Now, spending an afternoon at a coffee shop–reading, blogging, sipping, people watching–is a rare treat. It’s usually a Sunday afternoon affair.

I don’t really have much else to say. Well, there is this poem that I like. It’s by Ted Loder and I found it on chatting at the sky yesterday.

Gather Me to be with You
Oh God, gather me now to be with you as you are with me.

Soothe my tiredness;
quiet my fretfulness;
curb my aimlessness;
relieve my complusiveness;
let me be easy for a moment.

O Lord, release me
from the fears and guilts which grip me so tightly;
from the expectations and opinions which I so tightly grip,
that I may be open
to receiving what you give,
to risking something genuinely new,
to learning something refreshingly different.

Forgive me
for claiming so much for myself
that I leave no room for gratitude;
for confusing exercises in self-importance
with acceptance of self-worth;
for complaining so much of my burdens
that I become a burden;
for competing against others so insidiously
that I stifle celebrating them
and receiving your blessing through their gifts.

O God, gather me to be with you as you are with me.

Amen.

Good truth in that poem. Good reminders.

Empty Nest

Last night was a big deal in the life of our little family (and by “our family” I mean our dog, cat, 3 fish, 6 chickens, and of course Ryan and me). Our little chickens spent the night in their new coop for the first time. The coop is located on our friends’ land, about 10 minutes from our house.

Ryan has been working on the coop ever since we got the chicks, and yesterday it was finally finished enough for them to start living in it. They were getting too big for the little cage they had been living in at our house. So this is their mansion.

Ryan is out their right now, adding the finishing touches to their coop and installing the solar-powered electric fence that lines the bottom to deter predators. He still hasn’t let me know if they survived the night … suspense!

It was kind of sad leaving them out there last night. They seemed scared, all huddled together, clucking and chirping worriedly. They are used to spending the night in our bathroom with a heat lamp on them, not in a big, dark, empty coop … And it was raining …

I’m sure they are fine. Just wish I knew for sure for sure!

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I also finished a really good book this week. I gave this book to my mom for Christmas, having not read it myself but knowing that it was supposed to be really good. Then, when she was finished, I took it back and read it myself. Don’t worry, I gave it back to her. Eventually.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautifully written book. Voskamp takes you on her journey of discovering the transformative power of gratitude–of intentionally naming the gifts God gives us everyday. She is achingly honest about how hard it can be to see God’s grace in all that he gives and takes away. She writes in such a way that you really feel like you are right next to her, experiencing the same pain, frustration, revelations, and redemption. All is grace. This book makes you want to laugh and cry. It really dug down deep into me. Definitely something I need to read again and again.

View all my reviews
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Update:
They survived; they are a happily settled into their home after their first night. Of course they are. Their Dad is taking care of them, he sent me a picture of the solar panel.

And did I mention the coop has wheels? You move it around every couple of weeks or so. Having chickens is really good for your soil–they till the soil by scratching, they eat bugs, and their poop is really great fertilizer. In a couple of months they will start producing eggs. Having chickens is a fun endeavor. If you want to know more about having your own little flock, this website is very helpful.

Insta-life

Yes, Instagram is addicting.

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Yes, it makes my everyday life seem way cooler.

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And yes, I am re-reading the last two books of the Hunger Games trilogy. After watching the movie from the first book, I realized I almost totally forgot what happened after. The red book under my coffee is Catching Fire. The red read book, haha.

I was reading and sipping coffee while watching my chickadees free-ranging.

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And yes, this post is a little pointless.

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That’s the middle school track behind my house. I walk by it with Akon at least once a day.

Instagramed.

A Few Things

It’s been a week since my last post so I figured it was pretty much time for a new one. I have not embarked on any new drawings, though I am knitting an afghan. I haven’t knitted anything in a few months so I’m excited about it, though I know it will take patience.

Ryan and I also had an adventure this week. We went camping for the first time since our honeymoon. Almost two years! Much too long.

It was pretty relaxing, and a lot of fun. And it was Akon’s first camping trip.

He had the time of his life, but seemed to be pretty nervous at night. He paced around our tent a lot of the night. So many strange sounds!

We better not wait two years until our next camping trip. Hopefully we can do another one this season.

My new header image is also from our time camping. My husband is good at the macro pictures.

I was going to devote this post to how much I love my running shoes.

But I’ll save that material for later.

(But really, they are just so light, so flexible, so minimal, fit like gloves . . . later!)

For now, I think my breakfast has digested enough that I can go for a run at the park.

Happy Saturday.

At the Lake

I just can’t stop being outside today.  
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Ryan and I tried out our new Texas State Park Pass today and went to Lake Ray Roberts. Went walking/running on a trail, felt the water, took some pictures. The water is still pretty cold, but Akon found it refreshing. Though he was a little uncertain about the slippery rocks

And of course as soon as I came home I had to upload all the pictures to facebook and blog about it (sitting on my porch swing, because I want to stay outside, like I said). It’s like our adventure is more legitimate whenever I share it with others. What if we had taken no pictures? What if I never mentioned it? I’m afraid it would just fade away.

Which is silly, but I’m sure you can relate.

Like I mentioned last Monday, I’m just trying to soak up this beautiful weather while it’s here.

Back from NM

Yes, we made it back from Angelfire in once piece!

Such a fun trip. Aside from the fact that we had no hot water all weekend. So, aside from the cold showers (which, for me, was more of a sponge bath), the trip was fabulous — skiing, snowshoeing, Settlers of Catan, Pente, movies, pizza, chili, brownies, beer, hot tea, and cold sponge baths. That about sums it up.

On the way home I achieved something great. I finished reading The Brothers Karamazov. And I actually enjoyed it! I feel so cultured. Here is the little review I posted onto GoodReads, which is yet another social-networky-type-site. The purpose of this one is to keep track of what you are reading, what you want to read, what you have read, and what your friends are reading. That last part only works if I have friends, so go ahead and join if you enjoy documenting what you read and look me up.. I enjoy documenting everything.

The Brothers KaramazovThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“‘But in some cases it is really more credible to be carried away by an emotion, however unreasonable, which springs from a great love, than to be unmoved. And this is even truer in youth, for a young man who is always sensible is to be suspected and is of little worth-that’s my opinion!'”

When I started this I wasn’t sure that I would be able to finish it. It’s a book we’ve had on our bookshelf for awhile that has barely been opened. Well, I did finish it and felt very fulfilled after doing so. The characters are all slightly crazy, but I was sympathetic with them all. I think I most enjoyed the little biography of Father Zossima in Book Six. That’s where I have the most underlining . .

“Remember particularly that you cannot be a judge of any one. For no one can judge a criminal, until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime. When he understands that, he will be able to judge.”

“It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.”

“Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth.”

I should read this book again someday. I’m sure there are layers of meaning that I didn’t catch the first time.

View all my reviews

4th Weekend

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There’s Ryan, Akon and I in the Red River this past Sunday.

I am pretty sure this was Akon’s first time swimming. But he was a trooper.

We were at the OK/TX border hanging out with Ryan’s extended family. There were lots of dogs too. Ryan’s aunt and uncle, who live in Oklahoma and pastor a cowboy church there, have 3 dogs they take with them everywhere.

Here’s some.

Along with Ryan’s Grandaddy, Uncle, and Dad.

Akon was the biggest and most awesome.

And here is Ryan with he little cuz-cuz, Gracie, who is a ball of energy.

It was an eventful fourth of July weekend. We were all pooped by the end of it.

Pinterest


I want to do that! (she looks kind of stuck though, doesn’t she?)

I found that image on somebody’s Pinterest board. Pinterest is a website that lets you easily share and keep track of things you find online that you like/want to do/want to make/want to eat etc. You can see my pinterest boards by clicking on the red “Pinterest” button to your right.

I know, I know–you already have facebook, a blog, maybe twitter and some other online social media thingie you keep track of. Don’t tell me about another, Laura! Well, I mainly like Pinterest because I so often see cool things online that I want to do. Sometimes I’ll bookmark them, sometimes print them, but either way I usually just forget about them. Now I can have them all organized onto boards with pictures and everything to go back and look at later. I also like to see what other people “pin” too.

So that’s just a little explanation. Some of you may have noticed that red button show up a little while ago, so I thought I’d tell you what it is all about.

Oh, and you can link it with your facebook account so you don’t have to remember another password

More about this canoe.