Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006

I know everyone and their mom have already written a "year in review" post, and you probably won't read this, but I decided I couldn't be left out!

2006 has been an interesting year. Here are some of the highlights:

- I got engaged.
- My mom was diagnosed with cancer.
- God began to heal my mom of cancer.
- I thought I might lose my job.
- My friends lost their jobs instead.
- I got a roommate.
- My sister lived in Mexico.
- I discovered Soft Paws.
- I was diagnosed with Gilbert's Syndrome.

See? It's been a busy year!

Today, during my devotional time with God, I was praying through the things I have to be thankful for from 2006. One thing stuck out to me. God has shown me over and over again how He uses sufferings to draw us closer to Him. I can see how He has used suffering in my and my family's life to teach us about Him. What an incredible gift of grace! Last year I could not be thankful for hard times. Going through some minor ones, I am seeing how precious those times and the intimacy with Christ that they brought are.

For a Christ follower, pain does not prove that God is unloving, it generally shows the opposite if we let Him. It is in the midst of pain that Christ's hope is sweet. That his sacrifice seems so dear. That his promises are so real. That his peace truly is beyond understanding.

I hope that 2007 brings less trials, but if that's what is required to walk so closely with my Sweet Jesus, then lead me on.

If You Say Go

If you say go we will go
If you say wait we will wait
If you say step out on the water and they say it can’t be done
We’ll fix our eyes on you and we will come

Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid are good and true
If You call us to the fire You will not withdraw Your hand
We’ll gaze into the flames and look for You

Friday, December 29, 2006

No. You can't have a hug.

On Tuesday I had an ultrasound of my tummy done. After it one thing was known for certain.

I hate strange people touching me.

Family touching me? Fine. Ben? Sure. Close friends? Maybe. Strange people at a hospital? No way.

I mean seriously. They need to figure out a way to conduct ultrasounds without touching you and letting you leave all your clothes on. The twenty minutes of me laying on a table with my stomach bare and a strange woman touching me was horrible. The only thing worse was the 30 minute massage I got last spring. That was not relaxing. At. All.

I think the ultrasound lady gets some kind of sick joy out of making people worry too. I mean I'm not having a baby, so an ultrasound is not a happy occasion. She should know that I am already a little concerned about the results of this test and should not ask questions like "have you had any major surgeries lately?" while zooming in on a large black spot on my liver. She also should not ask if I have diabetes and when I say "no" go, "hmmm..." and adjust some knobs on the machine. These are the kinds of things that will make a person worry. Another thing she shouldn't do, (besides touch me) is dig the reader thingy into my ribs. MAN HOW THAT HURTS! Does pressing harder really make the image that much sharper?

Anyway, I've decided that I am never having kids because people will have to touch me again. Oh and those kids might want a hug every now and then and that much touching may kill me. (I know. Drama. Queen.)

So the ultrasound came back that everything is normal and pretty much confirmed that I have something called Gilbert's Syndrome (GS). Yeah! No more tests! No more people touching me! Doctors really don't know much about GS, but from what I have read you can manage it through diet and lifestyle. The good thing is that I think I just need to keep eating what I've been eating the last couple weeks. I do need to change somethings in my lifestyle and by that I mean that I need to live on the beach and not work. (Are you still reading Ben?) Otherwise I could get really, really sick. (You don't want me to get sick again do you Ben?)

Hopefully, this is the beginning of me feeling better! I would like that very much.

I should probably point out that GS isn't serious. It won't kill me, or put me in the hospital. It can just make me feel really sick but I think the beach will help.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Arms Full

If you had asked me a month ago if I regularly believed the lies Satan told, I would have said no. I didn't believe his lies because, can't you see? I wasn't struggling with drugs, porn, or alcohol. I hadn't taken the lies he told me about myself and made them a part of my life. I would have told you that I did not listen to lies. And I would have been lying to you.

Looking back I see now how the lies were not forced upon me. Instead they were laid out like cards on a table before me. I was not forced to read them or believe them, they were just there. Slowly I would pick up each card, read it, finger it, and hold on to it just in case it was true. The cards had just enough truth in them to be scary. I told myself that all the fears about the future, the "what ifs", really could happen and if I held onto them I would be prepared. I would not be one of those people who were caught off guard when the worst happened; I would know what to do.

But in the process of being prepared, I kept holding onto these cards. I was filling my arms and my hands with the "what ifs" and in doing so my arms became too full for the blessings from God. I could not stretch my arms out to God anymore because I had to hold onto these cards of fear and fear became a part of my life.

Most of the time I can trace my fear to a specific area that I don't trust God in. This past month God has been showing me how I have let fear control me most of my life. He's been showing me, through His word and other Christ followers, that He can handle all my fears and is worthy of my trust. I am reading scripture with new eyes and I am learning that this Bible is amazing! I mean it's GOD'S WORDS WRITTEN DOWN FOR US! Here are some of the verses that God has been using to speak truth into my life:

Psalm 139
Psalm 119:165
Colossians 3:2-3
Psalm 23
Romans 8:26-27
Psalm 121:5-8
Proverbs 3:25
Philippians 4:6-7

Slowly I am learning to let go of the cards of lies and replace them with cards of God's word. The best part about this trade is that the cards of lies were burdensome and heavy. God's word is refreshing and a guide. It is a light load and a joy to hold. What a loving God we serve!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Good Word

If Your law had not been my delight,
Then I would have perished in my affliction.

Psalm 119:92

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Letter From My Trip

Dear TSA,

Thank you for doing such a thorough job of keeping our planes and airports safe. I appreciate all the work you do and the people you put up with. You were very professional and helpful at every encounter I had with you on my last trip. I just have a couple questions.

When you searched my bag before loading it on the plane, was it really nessecary to remove the nozzle on my mousse? Is that really a danger? I didn't think it was, but since you took it from me, it must be. I never knew that a little peice of plastic could be that dangerous. I am glad you took that extra precaution, took the nozzle, and allowed the mousse to leak all over my clothes. Thank you.

Also, did you really need to empty the contents of my purse into my suitcase? I mean, I appreciate your thoroughness, but I don't appreciate picking earrings and loose change out of my dirty laundry.

I probably don't understand what it takes to do your job, because frankly sometimes it doesn't make sense.

- A confused Traveller

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Scopes, Blood Tests and Kansas

Yesterday I went to the doctor to get the results of my blood tests. Before I went I said to my roommate, "If they don't find anything in these tests, they may have to run a scope down my throat." To which she replied, "At least it's better than a scope up your butt!"

She has the amazing ability to put things into perspective.

The test results came back inconclusive. Well except it did show that I don't have ulcers. They are running some more tests to see if I have a hyperthyroid. Apparently a whacked out thyroid can make you feel sick AND anxious. So we shall see. It'll be good to finally know what it is.

Today I leave for Wichita for work. I've never been there before; it should be interesting.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Hard Lesson of Compassion

When I pray that God will give me attitudes like humility and compassion, I expect him to do it quickly and easily. I expect to go to bed proud and wake up humble. I expect that compassion will come easily for me after I pray about it. I do not expect that God will use the refiner’s fire to teach me these things. It’s true that God can grant us a change of heart over night, but many times he uses trials to teach us. I must admit that in the times when the trials come I get mad. Who am I to deserve such treatment? Doesn’t God know that I love him and seek to serve Him? Why must He deal with me so harshly?

But in reality who am I to say what I deserve? Who am I to question the road God asks me to walk? Don’t I know that God loves me and that He seeks the best for me? Don’t I know that His wisdom is far beyond mine? Don’t I trust Him? That’s the big question: Do I trust Him? Do I really, truly trust Him when things don’t make sense and are hard? I am learning to.

Recognizing that I am so broken is teaching me to deal much more gently with other people. Maybe they “can’t pull it together” either and who am I to stand above where they are in life? It is humbling to see that God is using me, in all my brokenness to minister to others.

Compassion is never really something I had for people. Through this brokenness God is teaching me a little bit more about His heart for people.

What a good God we serve!

John Piper:

“God ordains in the lives of his messengers that suffering severs our bondage to the world. When joy and love survive this severing, we are fit to say to the nations with authenticity and power: Hope in God.”

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Hard Lesson of Humility

Through this time of… well, I’m not sure what to call it.... so I’ll just call it a time, for I know that is all that it is; a phase and a season to pass through. This will not last.

Through this time God is teaching me humility. There is nothing more humbling than realizing that I don’t know how to “pull myself together” and deal with this. Realizing that I can’t help myself and that I am broken has humbled me more than any other situation in my life. What have I to be proud of in myself now?

I am realizing that I can control nothing in my life and when I try to I get stressed and generally mess things up. I must give all control to Christ, for He is the only one capable of handling it all. Elizabeth Elliot said:

“God gives us material for sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice makes little sense to others, but when offered to Him is always accepted.... What will He do with these offerings? Never mind. He knows what to do.”

Right now my material for sacrifice is nothing great. It is worry, anxiety and fear. But with it comes complete surrender of my future and He knows what to do with it.

Through my brokenness I am learning of Christ’s strength. My Mom has been a great help through this. She wrote me this in an e-mail:

“I guess we just need to get past ourselves, broken, so we’ll really know it’s Him who leads us.

That’s what I am learning. To get past myself and surrender control. To know that it is Him who leads me. What a sweet lesson.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hard Lessons

I have been debating whether or not to blog about this. I was reluctant because I have no control over who reads this blog or what they do with the things I share about myself. I mean, you really don't want people you graduated with to talk about your problems because they read it on your blog, it's much better that they talk about the tree in your miata. But I am learning a lot about God through this, so I think I'’ll post.

My stomach problems have not gone away. They have lessened, but eating is still a chore. I have lost about 10 lbs through this and that puts me at 5'’7"” and 105 lbs. I didn'’t really want to lose any weight. With the stomach problems has also come some anxiety attacks. I think it'’s the stress from work, my mom'’s cancer and my engagement all catching up to me. Yea! (Any suggestions for high-calorie foods that are gentle on the stomach?)

The anxiety attacks are the hardest to deal with. I have decided that I will take physical problems over problems in my head any day! There have been times when I have felt like a trap door under me has been flung open and I fall quickly into fear and worry about the decisions I am making. Other times it feels like I am standing, or jumping, on the trap door waiting for it to fall open. It'’s a horrible, horrible feeling that I am tired of having.

And I think I can blame it on answers to prayers.

I have prayed to learn humility, compassion, dependence on God, how to pray, the importance of scripture, the gift of the cross, and complete surrender.

In the midst of this seemingly dark time God is showing me so much of Himself and myself. He is teaching me all of these things. I will explain more of these lessons in later posts as it would be too long to explain it all in this post. I can say that all of these things can be boiled down to one statement: Christ is enough. When I don'’t understand things or can't make things work, Christ is enough. When I can't "pull it together", Christ is enough.

I pray that these feelings will end soon, but I will walk through whatever I need to in order to remember that Christ is enough.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Isn't it ironic....

... that my parent's neighbors took down their christmas lights from last year when they re-did their roof last month and then put them back up this month. Any bets at how long they will stay up this time?

Monday, November 27, 2006

A post in which I talk about my health

Listening to people talk about their health problems never really excited me. I tried to avoid those conversations as much as possible. I never understood why people would volunteer that much personal information to someone. Until recently.

I've been having stomach problems. And I feel the need to talk about it with people. I finally went to the doctor today and we won't know what it is for a few weeks but here is the list of things I have worried it might be:

- Stress!
- Lactose Intolerance
- Ulcers
- A sign that I shouldn't marry Ben
- Stomach Flu
- Irritable Bowel syndrome

My dad finally convinced me to stop worrying about what it MIGHT be and just go to the doctor and find out what it really is.

In all of this I have come to think that people talk about their health problems for several reasons. One is to let you know what they are going through. Life isn't easy for them and you should know that. Another is to explain why they aren't active or excited about something. They are sick and please understand that being sick takes all their energy. And the final and probably most likely reason is that they are scared. They want to tell someone what they are going through and that person to respond with "Oh that? Not a big deal at all. I had that and it cleared up in 2 days." They want someone to tell them that while it isn't fun, their illness will go away. Because being sick can be scary.

So to all you people who talk about your health problems with strangers... I get it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I forgot to blog about this...

Here are a couple things that have happened this month that didn't make any sense:

1. The news coverage of the election results being interrupted by the announcement of Britney Spears filing for divorce. Obviously this is more important than announcing who will be running our country.

2. That the only parents in my apartment building are also the only people in my apartment building who smoke pot. There may be a link there....

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


"My wife and I started reading the Great Divorce together, but then we decided that it probably wasn't the best book to read the first year of marriage."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh Snap! A post in which my man lays the smack down Baptist style

Ben and I have been praying about a church to join once we are married and move away from my home church. It seems like we may have found one. The only problem is that it isn't Baptist - I don't even think that they have a baptismal! But in spite of their obvious lack of doctrinal understanding, they seem to be a friendly church with a heart for biblical teaching and serving their community, so I can overlook some differences (Just please don't tell my family).

This past Sunday we decided to check out the twenty something Sunday school class to get a better feel for the church. It was a small class with only about 10-15 people in it and most of them were of newly married couples. There was one other couple there that were visiting for the first time. They seemed like nice-down-to-earth people that I could see Ben and I spending time with.

As we were studying Ephesians 2, someone brought up the lack of unity in the universal church. They made a few ignorant statements about how Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants all hate each other. Not necessarily true but I could overlook his gross generalizations until Mr. Tactful said, "And well, everyone just hates Baptists." This led to some nice awkward silence until Mr. New Couple spoke up and said, "Actually my wife and I are Baptist and this is the first non-Baptist church we have ever gone to." After that we just kind of sat there not really sure what to say, but sure that the new couple would not be coming back. Ben broke the pregnant silence with, "Yeah my fiancee goes to a Baptist church and I grew up Baptist so I hope everyone doesn't hate Baptists...." Oh, Snap!

Ben later went on to set Mr. Tactful straight on a couple other misstatements he made. Don't you be messin' with my man. You think you know a little bit about church history? Just watch out because one misstep and he'll set you straight so fast you won't even know what hit you. Newb.

This is just one more reason why I am so excited to marry this man!

Note: Growing up as a Baptist I never hated people in different denominations, I just didn't think they were Christians. It wasn't until about High School that I realized Methodists and Presbyterians loved Christ. In college I figured out that Lutherans, Catholics and Penecostals also could get into Heaven. This past year I've come to understand that the Orthodox Church isn't some crazy cult, but that they really are trying to follow Christ. Crazy huh? It's like I just found out there are a whole lot more people who love God than I thought. This is GREAT!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Corn Maze

A couple weeks ago Ben and I and some friends went to a corn maze. If you've never experienced a corn maze, I am guessing it's for one of two reasons:

1. You don't live where they grow corn. To you I say - I am sorry your life sucks so bad. Sure, you may live in the mountains or by the ocean or in a desert, but it can't be that great because you don't have any corn and without corn, you don't have corn mazes. This is why I think Ohio is a great place to live. It's cheap, it has corn mazes, and it's not Indiana. I mean, I guess Indiana isn't soo bad, but all they have is corn and basketball and smelly Gary, Indiana. Sure, Ohio rivers may catch on fire now and then, but that's minor to all the great things about it - like corn mazes.

2. You just have never gone. To you I say - What are you waiting for? Fun awaits you! Well not right now, they are all closed now. But next fall - fun awaits you!

This is a picture of Ben and Chris sliding through the mud in the corn maze. If you are going to a corn maze, make sure that you go right after 2 days of rain. Corn mazes are only fun if they are super muddy. How muddy you get directly correlates to the quality of flashlight you have. These pictures explain how this works:

Nick and Beth got pretty muddy because their flashlight wasn't so hot. Which you can see by the lack of flash light beam on their face.

I stayed pretty clean (see how clean I look?) because my flashlight rocked, but Ben got muddy because I kept running off with the rockin' flashlight.

Chris and Casey got really muddy because Chris wouldn't let Casey use the flashlight since they "had to conserve the batteries", which is probably why she is trying to throw him to the corn.

In this maze you had to find mailboxes that had pieces of the map. Once you had all the map pieces, you could find your way out. It really was a lot of fun. Except for that time when Nick and Beth found some map pieces on the ground and tried to cheat. Ben, Chris and I took care of it though and wadded up the ill-gotten map pieces and threw them in the corn.

We eventually found all the pieces and made it out of the maze. At the end we split up to see who could find the last mailbox and the way out the fastest. Ben and I won!

Friday, November 03, 2006

This is kinda strange, but oh-so-funny!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

She might spit in my water...

I have such a great roommate. Let me tell you how great she is.

The other day I was brushing my teeth and I noticed that the tooth brush felt different. Almost new. I looked at it and admired the nice, new green bristles and slowly, I realized that I didn't own a green tooth brush. I owned a blue tooth brush. Amberly owned a green tooth brush! I had brushed my teeth with her toothbrush!

So the next morning Amberly woke up to a note on the mirror explaining that I used her toothbrush and that she wouldn't have one that morning. She went to school with only mouthwash to get rid of the morning breath. And she didn't get mad at me, she actually laughed! She's so great!

I bought her a new toothbrush and wrote my name on mine. I can tell the difference now. Can you?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Blog post Number 350

No wonder I have run out of things to post about. It wrote about them all in the past 349 posts!

This weekend Ben and I had our engagement pictures taken. I was trying to figure out what we should wear and Ben offered to bring a brown sweater up with him to see if it would work. Our conversation about it went something like this:

Ben: So this is the sweater.

Andi: Hmm....What's that on the neck?

B: Where?

A: Right there. Is that make-up?
(It sure wasn't mine - I had never even seen this sweater before!)

B: Make-up? Umm..... (Ben turned bright red at this point.)

A: umm???

B: I don't know where it came from.

A: (Die laughing)

In Ben's defense I really do think that it was his aunt's or grandma's make-up that got on there when they hugged him. It just cracks me up that he didn't even notice it on the sweater.

Anyway, here's one of the pictures that were taken. What do you think?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hi! Will you please talk to me?

I've discovered this week that I am a bigger extrovert than I had thought. I NEED to be around people most of my day. I used to share an office with Stephen but he left last Friday to move to Colorado where he can wear birkenstocks and eat granola with his friends. So now I have my own office and it's killing me. Slowly.

I'm supposed to like having my own office right? Wrong. Most of my day is spent doing paperwork at my computer and it wasn't bad when I could talk to Stephen while doing it, but now I talk to my lamp like a crazy person. I need some distraction to get my work done. It's too quiet now.

The problem with my office is that it is in a cave. You have to walk back into depths of the building to get to it. There is only one other guy who works back there and he prefers working to talking. Lameo. So no one really has any reason to just wander into my office and chat. Now I have to tackle people as they walk back past my office to the color printer and force them to talk to me. Either that or I have wander into their offices to chat. I'm afraid I might become "that person". You know. The one that everyone dreads because they walk right into your office and keep you from getting any work done while they tell you about their cats. That could be me.

If you are looking for a job or a maybe just a desk to hang out at, let me know and you can share my office and perhaps save my career and my social life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Words aren't sufficient

Sorry it's been a while since I posted. I wasn't sure what to write about. I wanted to post something about what been going on with the whole cancer thing but I didn't know how to say it.

God has blessed my family in so many ways. Time after time He has taken care of us. Sometimes I look around at all the good gifts He has given us, a loving family, education, housing, all of our needs are met and more, and I have to wonder if He made a mistake. We've been blessed so much. There are so many people who live much harder lives and it's humbling to see Him provide for me, a sinner.

On Tuesday, God blessed us even more. My mom got her blood results back and everything was normal. NORMAL! They showed no cancer activity. Normal! This is the work of a loving God. The Doctor didn't expect this at all! Our family had been praying for wisdom about mom continuing chemo and she felt like she needed to wait on the next treatment and have another test done to see where the cancer is now and the results came back NORMAL. Now, this doesn't mean that the cancer is gone, but this is a HUGE step. They cancelled chemo treatments and are just monitoring it right now. Praise the LORD! He is so good.

Monday, October 09, 2006


This past weekend I went to visit Ben. The only problem with visiting Ben is that I have to drive through Cincinnati which is also called "the city where every highway is a parking lot". There are ALWAYS traffic jams in Cincinnati. I got stuck in 3 on my way down on Friday. And it was 3 pm! Rush hour isn't even supposed to start until 4pm. I could actually handle the traffic jams if they were caused by construction, wrecks or broken down cars but they aren't! There is no reason for the traffic jams in Cincinnati. I think the traffic jams on Friday were causes by people stopping to look at the bridges. Or maybe the sky. Or maybe they just stopped because they were driving in Cincinnati and that's what we do! I am just a little frustrated by this.

By anyway, the weekend was great. I had a fun time visiting Ben. We went and picked apples on Saturday and here are some pictures from that:

I think Apple orchards are really pretty.

We only got 4 apples since neither one of eat them that much.

We got some red and green ones. Yum!

It was a good day!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Office

Ok. Last night's episode of The Office cracked me up! Sorry. I know posting about a TV show is lame... but I'm ok with that.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from last night:

"I have this sweeper at home that's broken.... maybe that could be the branch manager."

"You can lead the women."

"I am sooo going to kill you in real life!"

"I remembered why I dress the way I do at work."

"Your dentist's name is Krentist? Sounds an awful lot like dentist."

Such a funny episode....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I crack myself up!

I work as a project manager. I really like it. A lot. There's something satisfying about working all day making sure that people do or don't have money and hours and telling them what to do. I like it.

Yesterday I had this conversation with one of my Principal Investigators (PI):

Me: So did you find those files?

PI: You are always pressuring me. Do this. Do that. Come on!

Me: That's because I get evaluated on the number of people I make cry every year. I am below my quota.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yeah Glasses!

I got new glasses today. I am pretty excited about them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

How can I creep you out today?

I don't just make people uncomfortable, but I can make them fear for the safety of themselves and their children.

A couple of weeks ago Ben and I were at a Chick-fil-a and there was a young couple there. They were probably close to our age. I noticed them because the mom was wearing combat boots, fish net stockings and a mini skirt. Not an outfit you normally see at a Chick-fil-a or on a mom.

Last Friday Amberly and I went out to eat and wouldn't you know it, the punk rock family was at the restaurant too. There were no fish nets this time but I definitely recognized them. This is the point were I made a fool out of myself.

The dad looked at me with a puzzled look and asked "Do I know you from somewhere."

I blurted out, "I saw you at a Chick-fil-a one time." Because that's what normal people do. They remind people that yes, I was the creepy girl staring at you at that restaurant 3 weeks ago and yes, I remember you and yes, it is a coincidence that we happened to be eating at the same place again!

The dad's look turned from puzzled to scared and he replied with, "ummm.... no..... I don't think that's it...."

"Did you go my university?" I asked.

"No. I go to the Tech School."

"Oh I live near there. I drive by it all the time. Maybe that's where you've seen me." I said further implying that I am stalking him.

The mom at this point isn't really sure what to do. I soon put her at ease by commenting on how cute her baby is. And that I would love to kidnap it.

I actually left that last part out but it was implied by my evil laugh and the frantic rubbing of my hands together.

Well I didn't actually do that either, but I'm sure the mom could envision me doing that...while hiding in the bushes near where they live.

The freaked out couple soon moved to the other side of the room and probably discussed whether or not to call the cops. Amberly leaned over to me and said "You are so strange."

Yes. I am. And I don't even mean to be.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'll just wake up from this, right?

I think faith and trust in God is easy. When life is easy. I once took a spiritual gift survey and it told me that I had the gift of faith; trusting in God when other people find it hard. Looking back, I don't think my trust in God had truly been tested at that point.

My mom was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. It's a cancer of the plasma cells. This has been testing my faith. My mom rarely gets sick and what's the deal with her getting cancer? It scared me. How do you deal with cancer? People in my family don't get cancer. We don't get speeding tickets, cavities, F's or cancer. No. Cancer is for other people. Other people besides my family. People who aren't like us. Other people get cancer. Other families deal with cancer. Not us.

And then one day it hit me: We are now the other people.

And it scared me.

And I had a hard time trusting God. Didn't He know my mom can't get cancer? I need her to help plan my wedding. Work needs her to take care of customers. We need her to make home, home. She doesn't have time to get cancer. There's a life to live, God, what were you thinking?

And all I could do was cry and pray. People had to remind me to trust in God. He had a plan and a purpose for all of this. He still loved my family, even if we were now "the other people". I had to put verses on my computer and my desk to remind me that God was still in control.

One night last week our family got together to pray for my mom. And it was then that I finally accepted that God had a plan for this. That there was a reason for this pain. And maybe it was to bring one person to Him. He loves people enough to allow His children to experience pain to bring someone to Him. And that gives purpose to the pain. This would draw someone closer to Him, and even if it doesn't - Christ is our eternal hope. This is not an interruption of life. It is part of life and one with different opportunities that we cannot waste. God has given me a peace about this now.

Please pray for my mom. The doctors are confident that the chemo should knock this into remission. Pray also that we all learn to trust God more.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Super Cat

Do you see that cat? It's on top of the door. He's just chillin' on the little 1.5 inch space on top of the door. Why? Because he's a cat and that's all the reason he needs. How did it get there you ask? Well I didn't put him up there.

He jumped, no, flew from the dresser. What a crazy cat. And then he jumped down without knocking over anything on the dresser. I watched him. It was amazing. I should be able to somehow make money off of this cat....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Engagement Story - Part 2 -

I wrote out all of the details of “Part 2” and I sounded like a crazy. So you get the condensed Andi-doesn’t-sound-like-a-crazy-woman version.

After we finally got engaged and things started to settle down I started to feel sick and freaked out. I couldn’t believe that I was engaged! The thought that maybe I was making the wrong choice scared me. There was nothing in Ben and I’s relationship that made me think that I was making the wrong choice, I was just plain scared. Ben was so great throughout all of this. He was so patient and took off work to sit and talk things through and pray with me.

On the third, and probably hardest day of all of this drama I had a great conversation with my Mom and she gave me the best advice about all of this. She said “Are you just laying on the couch crying?” I was. “Then you are just letting this fear control you. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING. Talk to someone about this. Find a book to read about it. Be proactive.” And that’s when it clicked. The peace I had about marrying Ben on Saturday was not a lie. I had just been focusing on the fear. . I wanted to fight through the fear for us. And after that I knew we were going to be ok.

That night we went and talked with my uncle Dave, who’s a pastor, and he assured me that I wasn’t crazy – I was just taking this decision very seriously. Uncle Dave gave us some great advice and a couple of books to go through that could help us talk about some things before we get married. I loved it. I had a book. With chapters! And discussion points! We had a plan!

It took a while for me to physically feel better, but the fear had subsided. Throughout this whole thing prayer played such a huge role. God continually gave us comfirmation that this was of Him. He reminded me to trust Him. While this whole ordeal was a crazy emotional rollercoaster, I do believe that it brought me closer to God and Ben and I closer together, which makes it all worth it.

And now, I am excited to be marrying Ben. So very excited! And 9 months seems so far away...

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Engagement Story - Part 1 -

Hello! I am back. Hopefully this post is a little more coherent than my last one. Ben has gone back to school and I have a little bit of free time to write about the engagement story. It’s a long story so this is only the first part of it. I had to beat everyone else’s story so here it goes….

First off let me say the Ben completely and utterly surprised me. I had no idea this was coming. None. I knew Ben was thinking about proposing and that this summer was the “make it or break it” summer for him. We had also talked a little bit about engagement this summer, but I was convinced that the soonest Ben would propose would be Christmas break. And since I had until December to get everything about marrying Ben all worked out in my head, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking or praying about it. I didn’t want to focus so much on marriage that I didn’t enjoy dating Ben. You need to know these things in order to understand…

On August 26th, 2006 Ben and I were supposed to go to a local park to get pictures of each other before Ben went back to school. I fought him on this because I figured we had enough pictures of each other, why do we need more? Apparently this caused a lot of frustration for Ben because he really just needed an excuse to get me to the park and I wasn’t buying it. MWAHAHAHA. Amberly was also in on it all and before Ben picked me up she decided that we need to go over what I was going to wear. She and I fought over how dressed up I should be. I should have gotten a clue then – but I just figured she was weird. I was late getting ready because we couldn’t agree on a dress and I didn’t have time to let my hair dry properly so it looked like crap. Curly crap on my head. I was breath-taking. But I did wear make-up and I had a cute outfit on so I didn’t look completely repulsive and scare Ben away. Which is good because I want him to stick around.

The whole ride over Ben was acting really weird which was making me really grumpy. When we got to the park I noticed this blanket in the back of his car and asked him what that was for, he said the trunk was dirty and he wanted it to look nicer; I totally didn’t buy that lie and kept bugging him about it. Finally, exasperated with my persistence, he said “there are flowers under it. I was going to surprise you with them when we left.” Which was the truth, but I didn’t believe that either. I am such a trusting person.

We walked to the butterfly house and we passed this little arbor that was really pretty. I told Ben that we should get pictures there and he suggested we come back. So we walked around the butterfly house and Ben kept getting frustrated with how many pictures I wanted to take of the butterflies which I didn’t understand because, pictures, Hello!, that’s why we came.

Anyway, we walked back to the arbor and as we were walking there Ben got really, really quiet and I could tell he wanted to say something so I asked him what he was thinking about. He barfed out a whole bunch of stuff about marriage and husbands and wives and love. It was good stuff but seemed really random and out of the blue. I smiled and nodded and gave my two cents worth and then we took some pictures of us.

After a little while Ben started to play with my hair and started to sing me “Have I told you lately that I love” and that’s when I knew he was going to propose. See we hadn’t told each other we loved each other or shared our first kiss at this point. We had decided back when we started dating that we would save those for engagement if we ever got to that point.

So Ben sang the song and then got on one knee, pulled out the ring and said, “Andi will you marry me?”

And I started crying and said, “I don’t know.”

Yep. I said I don’t know. To the man whom I loved and had just asked me to marry him.

Ben just froze and said “Really?” And I cried harder and said, “I really don’t know.” I hated what I was doing to him. Hated it. I felt like dirt. You aren’t supposed to feel like dirt when you are proposed to. You are supposed to feel loved and happy. But there I was ruining both Ben and I’s proposal.

We moved to a more private place and I explained why I couldn’t give him an answer. My relationship with God hadn’t been the greatest in the last couple weeks and I knew there was unconfessed sin in my life and there were areas of my life that I wasn’t surrendering to God. There was no way that I was in a place in my life that I could make a big commitment like “yes I will marry you.” And Ben got hurt because I wasn’t right with God.

While we were talking it started to rain, which was fitting, I felt on the outside what I felt on the inside. Ben was so great through all of this. He agreed that I couldn’t make a decision like this without praying through things. He told me that he respected me for it and that we would work through this. I asked for a week to give him an answer.

Then we headed back to my apartment. He gave me the flowers he had under the blanket and dropped me off at my apartment that was filled with pictures of us. Amberly had put them up while we were gone. As soon as he left I just sobbed. I knew that I had already committed to God that He would be first in my life and He is relentless in His love for His children. I couldn’t commit to Ben when I wasn’t keeping my commitment to God. I couldn’t hurt Ben like that.

So God and I talked and I cried and confessed and surrendered. And I knew that no matter what happened He would always be there for me. I may have messed this up – but God still loved me extravagantly. During this time I also talked with my parents and Amberly and after a while I had a peace about all this and I could give Ben an answer. I could finally say YES! When I told my Dad I was going to go back and talk with Ben he said “Now, you be NICE to Ben because you have not been nice to him today.”

When I got to Ben’s it had been 3 hours since he had proposed to me. We sat down and I started explaining what had happened in those three hours and he wouldn’t look at me. When I asked him why he told me it hurt too much. I felt like dirt again. I don’t ever want to hurt Ben like that again. I finally got to the part about how I knew this peace was from God and something in Ben clicked and he knew it too. At that point he hugged me, told me he loved me and kissed me for the first time. And then he went and got the ring and proposed a SECOND time. I know. He must really mean it. And this time I answered “Yes, with all my heart YES!”

It was after this second proposal that we got to finish everything that he had planned for us. We danced to a CD he made for me. We finished the puzzle of us that he had made (he was giving me a puzzle piece a day up until this point) and we discussed all the pictures in my apartment about the different times in our relationship.

The rollercoaster was slowing down. We were engaged. I was happy and excited and it all felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe that I was going to really marry this wonderful, godly guy that could make me laugh and I felt so comfortable around.

And then that night I started to get sick and the rollercoaster started all over again…..

Monday, August 28, 2006


Are you ready? For the big news?

I mean really big news!

I mean change my life news.

It's that big.

And it's good news.

I just saved a bunch on my car insurance by switching to Geico.


And Ben and I are ENGAGED!

Yeah I flipped out too. But not so much now. We are getting married!

Ben proposed to me at a local park (so pretty) had flowers for me, and pictures of us and we finished the puzzle, and he had music. We told each other we loved each other and we shared our first kiss and it was magical.

So I'm sure I'll blog about more of the details later - but right now, Internet, you just get a gush of happy, emotions. And pictures:

Don't we look so happy? Cuz we are!

Ben picked out the PERFECT ring.

I really wanted an aquamarine stone and it's beautiful.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ignore the typos... I only have one arm

I am sitting in an Alabama airport waiting for my plane to arrive. One more business trip done. These conferences are exhausting. Glad I only go to 2-3 a year.

Nothing crazy exciting happened on this trip. Well some bartender at a restaurant thought I was 19 (I'm 23) and some other bartender was willing to serve me champagne without any ID. Whatever.

I decided that my stylish laptop case was not made for a 57 lb laptop (It's gotten heavier throughout the week). I think my laptop case was made for a PDA. You could comfortably carry a PDA, notebook, files and pens in it without feeling like it was sawing your arm off. However, with a laptop, wireless card (because I am crazy cool like that) and power cords - the case DOES saw your arm off. The only good solution for carrying my laptop is one of those nerdy backpacks with wheels.

My friend, Jessica, had one of those in High School. She only used it because her mom bought it for her and she felt bad saying no. So since we were all great friends, we would pull the handle up on it as she wore it on her back and then "steer" her down the hallways. She would laugh and yell at us. It was great fun. She doesn't talk to me anymore....

I am taking tomorrow off of work and relaxing and then this weekend Ben and I are going to visit his Grandparents and visit an amusement park. Such fun.

Monday, August 14, 2006

But the cat came back the very next day....*

It's been a long day and it's not quite over. I am traveling for work this week. Tiring stuff. This is the first time I have posted on the road.... because.... drum.... roll.... I got a wireless card. For my 30 pound laptop. Watch out 20th century I am here.

So the other day I almost skinned my cats. Alive. While boiling them in water. Alive.

It started when I showed up at work and my office smelled horrible but for some reason Stephen didn't smell it. I started to get suspicious and think that it might be me when the stank followed me to every meeting. And every building. It was like this aura of stench hung over me but I was only one who could smell it. Which is good because it smelled nasty.

So I figured that my dryer was on the fritz and had blown this stench all over my clothes. Bummer. I asked my mom, who works with me, to bring some Febreeze when she came in. It was 2pm by the time I could use it but since no one seemed to notice the smell it wasn't a big deal. I figured that the Febreeze would get rid of the smell but boy was I wrong. All it did was remove the thin scent of fabric softener from my pants.

And that's when I realized it; my cats had peed on my pants and I had worn them to work. Yes. I know what you are thinking. I did curl up in a ball under my desk and die. But after that changed into some jeans I had in the car. What an embarrassing day.

When I got home my cats died.

*Anyone know what that is in reference to?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Even sleeping is exciting

I live in a one bedroom apartment with Amberly. It's a pretty big apartment - but it's still cozy with two of us here. We managed to shove a queen bed, a twin bed, two dressers and a night stand into the bedroom. Going to bed and getting up requires a spy-like silence since we both have very different schedules. Amberly is still in school and stays up late and sleeps in when she can. I on the other hand am an old fudy-dudy who works and needs to be in bed early and can't sleep in even when I try. With our schedules we rarely see each other awake - but we do get to witness the craziness that happens when one of us is asleep.

A couple of nights ago I couldn't sleep because my legs were dry and oh-my-I-needed-lotion-right-away! We keep lotion on the floor next to our beds for an occasion such as this. I rolled over, grabbed the bottle and began to put on the lotion. But then I fell asleep in the middle of applying the moisturizing goodness; however, my legs still itched and I kept waking up and putting lotion on and falling asleep before I was done. My brain couldn't remember that I had already used the lotion because every time I woke up my brain screamed "PUT THE LOTION ON NOW. YOUR SKIN IS DRYING UP." I must have applied 7 layers of lotion to my right calf because it's crazy soft.

By the time Amberly had come in I was sleeping with the lotion bottle and had lotion all over my bed. As she was trying to see what I was doing my brain kicked into gear and the lotion cycle began all over again. My leg shot in the air, I smothered some lotion on it and then turned to look at Amberly. I this point I realized that I was laying in bed, sticking my leg in the air and I was covered in lotion. I rolled over and thought to myself "Where did that strange girl come from? I bet I look like an idiot."

About a month ago I woke up to Amberly curled up on the edge of my bed. I don't like people touching me and I don't like people touching my bed so this made me angry and I woke her up with "WHAT in the world are you DOING?" She looked at me and mumbled something and then sheepishly headed back to her bed. And since I am such a great person when I am woken up I growled "Move or I'll kick you in your head." And then I went back to sleep.

In the morning I woke up wondering if all that really happened. "Yes. It happened", explained Amberly. "There was an airplane in my bed so I had to sleep in yours," she stated very matter of factually. She continued with, "I was mad at you for making me sleep with the airplane when you had such a huge bed!" I would be mad at me too.

Oh the excitement in this little apartment!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I realize that I haven't blogged much about my involvement with inner-city ministry lately. I am still working with the church plant on the East side and things are going well. They are moving slowly - but they are moving.

If you are free this Saturday a bunch of churches on the East side are working together to paint some houses. You are welcome to come and help. (I know! Churches. As in more than one. Working together! And different denominations too! The unity of the Body of Christ is a beautiful thing.)

Things are also starting to move forward with my church getting involved in ministry downtown. I haven't been able to be too involved with that yet - but I hope to be soon.

Tonight we were discussing the possibility of the church plant purchasing a building. The cost is roughly $100,000. We have NO CLUE where that $100,000 is coming from but when you think about it - a building, a large building for a church for $100,000 is a steal. An absolute steal. I was pondering this during our discussions tonight and it made me sad to think that $100k is a struggle for this church. There are so many churches in this area that have spent millions on extravagant buildings. And I had to wonder if our suburban churches were really being good stewards of our resources.

Are we really sharing with everyone as he has need? Or just as it serves our congregation? We know they need money for churches in Africa but do we notice that the churches and ministries in inner-cities also need funds? Could we do without the designer exterior lighting and purchase a new roof for a struggling inner-city church? Are we leveraging the resources God has given us, or will we be just as guilty as the person who never gave a cent to a church in their life? Do our wealthy churches have just as much a responsibility to give as do our wealthy individuals?

To some extent suburban churches do need to use their resources differently. They are reaching different groups of people. But, is it the building that reaches people or is it the people of the church that reach people? I think it is the people. The building can just help facilitate that.

I do think that the leadership in my church understands the responsibility we have for our resources. I think they are being a great example of how a suburban church can leverage their resources to make an impact for the Kingdom. Props to them.

I know this whole post is so vague and more like nothing than something. These are just my thoughts. And if you know of someone who has an extra $100k laying around - I know a small church that is doing amazing work for the Kingdom that could use it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Look Mom! I ate something new!

Tonight I was driving home and I realized that I NEEDED sushi. NOW. So I went and got some from a market that is supposed to have really good sushi. Sushi is a pretty strange craving for me considering I have only ever eaten it twice before. Once my friend from Thailand forced me to eat some and the second time a co-worker forced me to try some of her's.

But tonight.... tonight I went and bought sushi all on my own. And ate it. With chop sticks. Here is a picture of the pretty little sushi rolls:

And it was good. I ate three whole rolls before I got grossed out by the thought of eating eel. I tried really hard not to think about it. But the harder I tried the more I thought about it and no matter how good my tongue was telling me the sushi was, my brain was yelling at me that it was gross and SPIT IT OUT. Oh well. Three rolls is two more at one time than I have ever eaten.

Tomorrow I will try and eat the rest.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Is That a Cow?

My favorite pictures from the Slip-n-Slide costume contest:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I got pictures!!!

First we did this:

And then we did this:

And then we looked like this:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Fun and the Sun

Friday Ben and I took a day off of work and spent the day at the waterpark. I know. Slackers. That's what you are thinking. Or maybe you are thinking you should do that. I agree. You should. It's a lot of fun.

The best part was when Ben grabbed my leg just as I slide down the last hill and it pulled him off of his inner tube. I almost fell off of my tube just watching Ben slide down on his back. Like a fish.

It was a good day and Saturday was my company picnic and the giant slip-n-slide. If I get pictures, I'll post them! What a fun weekend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mr. Fix-it

Conversations or quotes from our maintenance man:

Returning my call to the emergency pager:

Maintenance man: "So what's the problem?"

Andi: "My roof is leaking in my storage room."

MM: "In your apartment?"

A: "Not really. In the storage room off my balcony."

MM: "Is it leaking now?"

A: "No."

MM: "So there isn't water currently leaking into your apartment?"

A: "Right"

MM: "So would you classify this as an emergency?"

A: "No. Not really."

MM: "The girl at the office told me you had water pouring into your apartment."

Same conversation:

MM: "The leak is probably from the people above you. They have dogs."

While that's gross, it's also impossible since I live on the top floor.


MM while replacing my faucet: "Man! I think I got my head lodged between the disposal and the sink!"


MM: "Your window won't shut? I'll just give it a little heave ho."

Loud crunching sounds from the window

Amberly: "Can we open it now?"

MM: "Ummm....I'll be back with my tools."


"It's ok. It's not supposed to rain anytime soon." MM referring to the leak in my roof and subsequent hole in my ceiling and why we shouldn't worry about it. As it is pouring rain outside.

Amberly: "So what happens if it does rain and leaks again?"

MM: "I would move that nice picture hanging there."

MM: "What are you doing at tonight? I get off at 5."

Amberly: " I go to work at 5. Ironic huh?"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How I almost blew myself up

Yesterday, Amberly and I decided to grill out. Because you see, it was hot and humid outside and that's what we do in Ohio when it gets hot and humid - we light things on fire and stand over them. Because we are tough like that. We also eat puppies. And we never cry.

My parents had given me a small propane grill for my birthday. I had never really used a propane grill before, but really, how hard could it be? You just hook the propane tank up, turn it on and light it on fire. So I did all these things. And it was working beautifully. The little blue flame was going, the lava rocks were getting hot, and I was sweating more. And then I brought the chicken out.

Apparently my new, clean, shiny grill did not want that greasy chicken on it. Oh no it did not. And it let me know it by bursting into flames. Yes. Bursting into flames. It was a full-fledge fire temper tantrum. Complete with banging fists on the floor. Actually, I guess it wasn't the whole grill that burst into flames. Just the line that ran from the propane take to the grill. That burst into flames.

I responded to the flames by screaming, throwing the chicken down (which landed right side up in their container), and running inside and shutting the door. I began screaming at Amberly, "It's on fire! It's on fire!"

At this point I realize that the tank looked like it was on fire and I changed my screaming to "The tank is going to blow up! It's GOING TO BLOW UP!" To accompany my screaming I started to run around my apartment. Because I am tough like that.

Amberly responded to my screams with "Water! We need the water!"

"Will that work?" I screamed back as I ran to the front door to grab the fire extinguisher. I soon realized I couldn't remember how to work the fire extinguisher and ran back to the balcony door. At this point the flames have gotten bigger and I couldn't figure out what to do. That's how calm I was. And I was shaking. All I could think was "If I just let it blow up, it shouldn't be too bad. It won't blow out the window will it? I wish my Dad was here."

Amberly moved forward with her water plan and shoved a glass of water in my hand and yelled "Throw this on it!" I did. And it started to work. So Amberly started to fill up a pot and I stood out on the balcony and sprayed the flames with a squirt bottle. The whole time picturing the tank blowing up taking my hand and face with it. The pan of water put out the flames and I was able to turn the gas off.

And that's how I single handedly saved the apartment from a fire. Because I am tough and don't ever panic when propane tanks catch on fire.

Amberly then cooked our water-soaked chicken on the Foreman grill. And it was tasty and safe.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Takin' Candy from a Baby

Friday night Ben and I went downtown and Ben almost got robbed.

By a two year old.

We went downtown for a baseball game and I brought a box of Sprees. It was when I took the box out of my purse that the trouble started. As soon as I opened the box, a little girl came running down the hill and started to climb over our legs. I wasn't sure what she was doing so I put the candy back in my purse and started to pick her up.

"You made a friend," Ben commented.

At that moment the sneaky, cute little girl reached her hand into my purse and grabbed my candy! WHAT IN THE WORLD! I took the candy from her and closed my purse back up. The little girl's mom yelled at her to come back and she eventually left us alone.

A couple minutes later Ben got some candy for himself and the girl came running back down to us, climbed right in Ben's lap and reached for the candy. Not one to be out done by a two year old, Ben closed his fist. This angered the little candy hunting demon child and she tried to pry it out of his hand. Finally Ben put the candy in his pocket and held up his empty hand and said "There's no more!"

With a scowl on her face the little girl stared at Ben and emphatically said, "BUT I WANTED THAT!".

With relief the mom came to get her little sugar tooth before she could pull a switchblade on us!

You never can be too sure of the people downtown.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

And then a giraffe ran over me

Last week I went shopping and oh the deals and not-really-a-deal-but-cute-things I found! I hadn't been shopping in such a long time. I finally have summer clothes that I didn't wear in high school! It's fabulous!

Anyway, my clothes are not the point of this blog. The conversation I overhead with a Mom and her 4 year old daughter in one of the stores is the point. The little girl was pretty bored and begging to go home. The mom promised that she needed to wait just a little more and then they would go. The little girl found a mirror and began to amuse herself.

She twirled in her pink tutu and began to ask her mom questions as her mom looked through the racks and distractedly answered.

"Mommy. Do you like my shoes?"

"They are very pretty dear."

"Mommy. Do you like my hair?"

"Uh huh."

"Mommy, do you like my skirt?"

" yes.... it's pretty." The mom answered as she held up a blouse.

"Mommy. Do you like my mustache?"

"uh. Yes. It's very nice."

At this answer the little girl looked at her mom and stopped asking questions.

I laughed to myself and gave the girl 10 points for her wit.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


It's summer time. And I am loving it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thoughts on my greed

I had thought my apartment was nice. Until I went and visited my co-worker's apartment. His is around 3 years old and is beautiful. I didn't even look at his apartment complex when I was apartment-hunting because I wasn't willing to pay over $700/mth for something I would never own. But visiting his apartment made me realize that not everyone has leaky roofs that cause holes in their ceiling:

Or has windows that are broken and require a log to keep them open:

Or has carpet coming up that must be duct taped down:

And to be honest. I got a little envious. I don't have a new apartment or new furniture. Pretty much everything I own except for my stereo, some of my clothes and my mattress has been owned by someone else at some point. And if I look at it that way, I get kind of bummed. That's my greedy side coming out.

But, God quickly showed me a different perspective on life. I have 7 rooms that I share with only one other person. I have a fireplace that isn't used to cook food - it's just for decoration. In fact I have 3 pieces of equipment in my kitchen that I can cook food in. I live within a 5 minute drive of 5 major grocery stores that are filled with food. I live in a town that pays people money just to cut grass. I have a walk-in closet to hang the many outfits of clothes that I own. I have machines that will do almost everything for me. I think that for the majority of American's these things are standard.

To most of the world, that sounds extravagant. And in the grand scheme of things - it probably is. I didn't see abject poverty when I went to India, but I did see an area of India where the standard of living is much lower than even the poverty stricken families of the US. My life isn't about survival. It's about comfort.

Do I need a new apartment? No.

Do I want a new apartment? Sometimes. It is then that I need to remember that to the rest of the world, I really am wealthy. I need to stop whining and do something with the resources I am given.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Yesterday Ben and I went strawberry picking. Something that I hadn't done since I was a kid. My mom used to take us and we would pick pounds and pounds of strawberries. On the way home we would drive with the windows down and eat strawberries and throw the stems out the window until we felt sick. It was a lot of fun (the eating part, the picking part was only fun until I got bored) unless you sat in the back seat, where you would get peppered with strawberry stems that would be thrown out by the sibling in front of you and then blown back in the van straight into your face.

Strawberry picking was also our science lesson. I learned all about the parts of a strawberry plant and how they grow and what farmers do to help them grow.

Ben and I picked 8 lbs of strawberries yesterday in 45 min (that's a picture of them at the top!). This made me realize that getting strawberries at the store for $2.50/lb was a bargain, because it was hard work to pick them. I have a new respect for fruit pickers now. And I realize why my mom had so many kids...

Anyway, here are pictures from yesterday. They were taken with my cell phone, so they aren't the greatest quality but you get the point.

Doesn't Ben look like a giant?

This is what strawberries look like when they aren't in a container at the store.

Me with the berries.

Ben with our berries.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All you can do is laugh... or stab yourself in the eye with your pen

It all started yesterday when Bryan brought the purchase order into my office.

"Purchasing says you need to check and see if [insert contractual clause] applies to this."

At this point it was 2:58 and I had a report due to my boss at 3:00 and I still had about a half hour worth of work to go. If I had gone through the training manual, I might have been able to answer his question, but the manual was boring and I had put off reading it.

"Um.... I can't check right now Bryan. I'll try and get back to you in an hour."

By 4:oo I had his answer, No.

Today purchasing called me to tell me that I had read the clause wrong and yes it did apply. They sent the PO back to Bryan so that I could fill out "The Paperwork".

I had no idea what paperwork they were referring to. I read through the training manual twice, through all of the process instructions listed on our intranet site, read all of the instructions on submitting a PO and I couldn't find a thing on The Paperwork that I needed. Finally I called the head of purchasing and asked her where I could find it.

She replied with, "Well, it was in that e-mail I sent you."

"The one you just sent me?"

"Oh heavens no. The e-mail I sent about a year ago."

I have no idea why I wouldn't have looked in my e-mail archives for the procedure. That's a perfectly logical place to look. Silly me.

I found the e-mail and followed all the instructions. I answered the questions on the PO and initialed them all.

I finally turned the PO into the purchasing assistant who looked at it and said, "Where's the form that goes with this?"

At this point, I had spent all afternoon dealing with this stupid PO and I lost it.

"There is no form. Not in an e-mail. Not on the server. The form doesn't exist. I followed the instructions in the e-mail. This process is so ambiguous. I have no idea what I am supposed to do."

She just stared at me for a second and said, "Well Beth made a form up. You don't have that?"

I just stared at her.

"How about I type a form up, and send it to you?"

"Thanks. That would be great."

"By the way, what clause is this that you have listed on here?"

"Those are my initials. The e-mail told me to put them on there."

And then I curled up under my desk and cried for the sheer absurdness of it all.

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to make the receptionist cry

Stephen, my officemate, has prank called a few people in our office pretending to be a customer asking about topics my co-workers aren't allowed to discuss. It's hilarious to listen to them talk around a subject.

Yesterday Stephen and I were slightly bored and I suggested that he prank call the receptionist and ask to speak with Mr. Lewis. Here's how the conversation went:

Receptionist: Hello, how can I help you?

Stephen (in an Indian/German accent): Hello. This is Samir. I need to speak with Mr. Lewis.

R: We don't have a Mr. Lewis here sir.

S: What?!?! I speak with him yesterday. Please connect me to Mr. Lewis.

R: Just a moment sir. [Puts Stephen on hold]

At this point Stephen hangs up and calls back.

R: Hello, how may I help you?

S: This is Samir. You hung up on me.

R: I am so sorry sir. It was an accident.

S: Is this how you treat your customers? This is no good. What is your name?

R: I really didn't mean to hang up on you sir.

S: Put me through to Mr. Lewis.

R: Hold please.

S: Hey! (without the accent) This is Stephen! Just pulling a prank.

[Awkward pause]

R: You made me cry!

And sure enough we did. The president's secretary came back and yelled at us for making the sweet girl cry.

And suddenly the joke wasn't so funny anymore.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

On Stereotypes

Yesterday Ben and I drove up to my Grandma's house to bring a bed back here. My mom and I were discussing what truck we could borrow and our conversation went something like this:

Andi: Ben and I can take the truck up there tonight.

Mom: You could sit in the middle next to him. How cute. Do you have a tube top?

Andi: I could knock out a tooth and bleach my hair too.

Mom: You should take the dog...

Andi: You're right. We would have to have a dog.

A couple minutes later I called my mom back because I realized something:

Andi: Oh wait. I have to drive cuz Ben can't drive a stick shift. He'll have to wear the tube top

Mom: [laughing hysterically] That's an image I didn't want to have...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Well Hello There!

It's been a while. How are you all? These past few weeks have been crazy busy for me. Here are the highlights of what has happened:
  • My brother graduated from high school
  • I got the stomach flu and missed the graduation
  • I have a new roommate
  • My sister left for Mexico for the summer
  • My brother's open house went well
  • Went canoeing
  • Threw a great mystery dinner party with Tamara
And for a lack of something clever to say, here are pictures of some of those events:

The Suspects

Greg was an investor that was jealous the museum didn't recongnize his importance

Tamara was a crazy collector that wanted the museum's artifacts for her collection

I was a dealer in "imports and exports" and sold historical artifacts on the black market

Amy was a dealer in fine arts and history but she needed the big commission the article would bring

Ben was the crooked FBI agent investigating the case

Scott was a volunteer at the museum and was obssessed with the artifact

Thanks to everyone's investigative skills, Greg was locked away.

My brother is so big now! He's the one in black on the right.