Thursday, December 27, 2007
Ontario Man to Wed Island Girl – She Said Yes!
Waterloo, ON — Dec. 24, 2007 — Christmas came a few hours early for Ellen R. Graf this year. Dan J. Martin of Elmira, Ontario presented a sparkling diamond ring to Ms. Graf (formerly of Nanaimo, BC) while on a snowy Christmas Eve walk to admire the Christmas light sculptures in Waterloo Park. While the Bride-to-be looked on agog (slightly resembling a fish out of water) the Groom-to-be knelt and pulled out a ring box and asked her to marry him. Although Ms. Graf had stopped breathing temporarily, his repeated asking prompted a response of “uhuh, yes, mmhmm, yes” accompanied by strong nodding of the head. She is currently being treated for shock. Mr. Martin is being treated for compulsive grinning.
Friends and family are thrilled for the couple and have offered their heartfelt blessing. Said the Father of the Bride, “At last!” The Bride’s mother advised “You make a great couple (keep him, he does dishes!)”. Other reactions have included “Yahoo”, “YAY!” and high pitched loud squealing noises. Ms. Graf and Mr. Martin are sincerely grateful for the prayers that have been offered on their behalf, and are so honored to have friends and family who have encouraged and loved them while their relationship has developed.
While a date has not yet been set, the couple will be married in the New Year. When asked about the date, the groom advised “Sooner than later!” After the wedding, they will reside in Waterloo, Ontario. The bride’s process of ‘clutter reduction’ has already begun so that her husband-to-be might have at least one shelf in the closet to call his own.
Mr. Martin hails from Ontario, while Ms. Graf was raised on Vancouver Island, BC. They realize that this is a cross-cultural relationship and have enjoyed learning about each other’s respective backgrounds – especially the foods.
Both the bride and groom are available for interview (they’re regaining their coherency by the day) and the ring is available for viewing. Photos available upon request.
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Monday, December 17, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
So, it's been a few years since I've skated, and it wasn't the best conditions to practice on for the first time again. There were hundreds of people on the ice, and it was totally chopped up.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It's such an odd mixture of feelings as we follow St. Paul's instruction that "we do not grieve as those without hope". What does that look like practically? How does that work out for Lisa's best friend who never planned for this to happen? How does that look for Lisa's sisters who don't have her support? How does that look for me who needs someone to challenge me like only Lisa did?
But then...I remember that Lisa now knows the answer to the questions. Although we can only imagine, Lisa knows the answer to "will I dance before You Jesus, or in awe of You be still?" She knows what the rooms look like that Jesus had prepared for her in His father's heavenly mansion.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Since i've been disconnected, i've been fairly disconcerted.
When I started University in 1994, I got my first email account. I remember typing in a little computer lab on campus, and printing out my email on dot-matrix printers. In 1997, when I spent a year on a ship in Central America, email was a luxury that kept me connected to my family & friends. This week, 13 years after I got my first email account, with no internet connection, I didn't even know how I would communicate to plan an event. I couldn't print out directions. I honestly don't know how to cope without internet. I can't remember how to do this. I forget that I own maps. I forget that I own a phone.
I forget that being constantly connected has added an incredible level of pressure to my life. Pressure to know all things, do all things, be all things, and do them perfectly. It's also more expensive - more things to buy, internet connection to pay for.
There are some huge lessons in this, but now I need to slow down long enough to learn them.
This past week has been frustrating - Dan was sick with sciatic nerve problems, and in miserable pain. I was out of town for work. My computer crashed and still isn't working. My internet is down. My cell phone died. The media tour i'm working on for next week has been problematic. And to top it all off, when I went to the bathroom at the hotel, soap squirted up my arm. Stuff has been happening with friends & family back home. Stuff has been happening with friends & family in Ontario. Enough wrenches have been thrown in my perfect plans this past week to make me run entirely off kilter.
However, those things are small things. They will pass. In five years, I will remember none of them. Good things are happening. I drove back and forth to Toronto a number of times, and was perfectly safe. No car accidents, despite my stressed out distraction. My computer will eventually get fixed. My friend Erin is here this weekend, and we've laughed enough to work off a few of the Jelly Bellys we've been eating. I had wonderful meals with friends at the Keg and Mandarin last week. Dan is feeling much better, if not perfect. I have the luxury of warm water and soap to wash my hands. I have a job that I love. I get paid to do things that I love. I have friends and family that teach me that i'm loveable.
So, to those who have endured my rants this past week, I ask for your forgiveness. Life is good, God is patient and endlessly gracious with me, and I need to state that far louder than my yowling at temporary inconveniences and frustrations.
Perhaps I need to do another 40-day complaint fast - maybe for, say, Rosh Hashana or something. (and maybe I need to fast from Jelly Bellys also)
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Now to figure out how to convince Dan to take me to see the new movie!
|You scored as Emma Woodhouse, Emma is possibly one of the most loyal characters of Austen, always wanting better for those around her and doing all she possibly can to make it happen. Her motives sometimes get in the way of her good intentions and her own opinions can end up ruling her actions, but she has a good heart. She loves to be social and is welcoming to most, unless they are too silly to tolerate. While she sometimes changes her behavior to make others feel comfortable, she knows who she is and is always bettering herself.|
Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with QuizFarm.com
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Mostly only my Toronto area friends (and Dan) get to cash in on any of my work connections (we went to Joel Osteen a couple weeks ago - interesting...) but for once, I have some comp passes to something in the West!
So, if anyone in Calgary reads my blog - or if anyone who reads my blog has friends in Calgary... I have two free Women of Faith tickets (free - no strings) to the first person from Calgary who emails me or posts a comment! They're in section 121, Row 11, Seats 1 & 2. Pretty good tix! They're worth $150 together!
The conference is being held on August 17 & 18th (in just a couple of weeks!). So, let me know if you'd like to go!
Monday, July 30, 2007
I admit it.
I've watched Pride & Prejudice too many times to count (the 5 hour BBC version - truly the only REAL movie representation). I try to convert others - i'm downright evangelistic about Jane Austen.
So, i've been excited about the forthcoming movie of Jane Austen's life, and in preparation have read Just Jane and Becoming Jane. Of the two, Just Jane was far better.
Any other Jane Austen afficiandos will be clap their hands and exclaim 'Capital!' with this novelization of Jane's life. I passed on my copy to Heather, who I imagine will start wearing Regency-era dresses while reading it. Nancy Moser did an excellent job of getting into the life and words of Jane Austen (and those of us who know books verbatim will recognize some key sarcastic phrases like, 'shelves in the closet, happy thought indeed!').
So, my second most interesting meeting this year? (After Jim Caviezel, of course!) The Simpsons!
I still haven't seen the movie (waiting till next weekend) but can't get enough of the Spider Pig trailer.
The phrase "from the sublime to the ridiculous" seems to fit here.
Here it is, at long last, proof of my Jim Caviezel moment. And no, Kelvin, there is no Photoshop involved... anyone who knows me enough will figure that out. I do have a few questions though:
1. Could I wear a louder jacket?
2. Did I do something offensive to make Jim Caviezel stand away from me? Was he offended by my jacket?
3. Exactly how tall is Jim Caviezel? I was wearing heels - so was probably about 5'10" in this photo!
I can't wait to hear the full Word of Promise New Testament... everything i've heard so far is awesome.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I have realized that I actually miss something from my old apartment that i'd never thought i'd miss.
Black berber carpet. Ugly laminate floors.
Why? Because, no matter what you did, either nothing showed on the carpet or you could just wipe it off the old asbestos laminate floors.
Now, although i've only lived here not quite two months (and have only actually been here for about half of that time) i've already spilled 3 cups of coffee, one cup of tea and one margarita on my light beige living room carpet. And heck, with the enormous sofas there isn't much carpet to be seen! And although i've scrubbed and Dan has scrubbed (twice when he's come over now i've been on my hands and knees scrubbing carpet), although I bought "mean green" cleaner and used it generously, although I wished the marks away... they're still there.
So, i'll have to ask a friend with a steam cleaner if I can borrow the only machine that might make my carpet clean again.
Hmm... interesting spiritual lessons out of this? (Don't you love how I have to do that?) No matter what I do, I can't get myself - or my own carpets - clean enough. I have to ask someone else to help. I need a Savior. I can move furniture to hide stains, but they're still there. I try to clean myself up, but "I do what I don't want to do, and what I want to do I don't do", like Paul said.
I'm grateful to know a Savior who has cleansed me... and who leaves no stains - none at all. Everything that is forgiven is forgotten. It's done. It's over. No more judgement. Nothing. Nada. Pitched into the deepest part of the ocean. Completely over.
I'm also grateful to have a friend with a steam cleaner. I'll soon have her on speed dial.
And perhaps I should invest in a couple of spill-proof cups.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I finally caved and signed up for facebook. I had sworn that I wouldn't (kind of like how I wouldn't blog) but I've chosen to go for it and just start up an account and see if I actually use it. Thanks a lot, Michelle! Seriously, you're going to make me be all postmodern or something.
I was so happy being behind the times.
And you know what is worse? I have no idea how to really use facebook, so I need lessons. Pitiful when I need to find someone younger than me to teach me this stuff!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The living room, bedroom and kitchen are all organized and sorted out (mostly - except for trying to figure out huge lazyboy sofas in a not so enormous room).
Today is D-Day though. Dan is working on a patio with his brother, and i've got the day to sort out the nightmare room... we shall see how it goes. Meanwhile, i'm...erm... spending a little time blogging. No, don't call it procrastinating!
Please, tell me i'm not alone in this!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
* Searching for miles for a Dairy Queen with Erin, and Dan giving us internet directions from Ontario - and then waking up in the morning to realize that there was a huge DQ right outside our hotel all along.
* eating White Spot burgers at a Triple O's in a gas station with Heather & Paul, Dan, George and Darian. Excellent. Darian thought it was romantic.
* Darcy wanting a fog / lights show like this.
* Dan finding a kid in the bathroom with TH1NK tattoos all over his abdomen.
* Driving a brand new Ford Mustang... over a curb.
In the final stages of 'The Big Move' two weeks ago, the guys thought that they'd throw my circa 1960 sofa off the balcony - third floor balcony. I was getting rid of the sofa anyhow (it's remarkable - you can leave old furniture on the curb here!) and the guys deserved a break / some fun (it was 32 degrees C and horribly humid) so, out went the sofa. The sofa wouldn't die! They couldn't get the legs off of it, and it looked no different after hurling down three storeys than it did in my living room. Solid as a rock. And hey, I paid $10 for it three years ago!
Ahh... i'm sure that no one will be using my new sofas in 47 years... they just don't make sofas like they used to.
Anyhow, today I got a very funny Chuck Norris Mountain Dew commercial forwarded to me. I love to watch the man crack his knuckes... as he prepares to roundhouse kick these guys!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
I've loved watching Paul & Wanda's blog to see news of their new daughter. They're amazing people, and I can only imagine them as amazing parents. Congratulations, Paul & Wanda.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I got to spend a little time with Colleen Coble this Sunday / Monday. She is a kindred spirit! She's fun, smart, warm - and Colleen is addicted to chocolate and coffee... and loves turkey! In the midst of a discussion on the evils of asparatame an it’s tendency to aggravate gout (in my dad’s big toe – not my own) I realized that I had released my inner geezer (or more appropriately ‘senior adult’). You can get in on the discussion with some diet Pepsi addicts here.
A few years ago, some friends and I came up with a theory: just as a person can have an inner child, they can have an inner teenager or even an inner geezer (old person). I most definitely have an inner geezer. I admit it. I may look like I have an outer teenager, but I can tend to act more like someone who regularly gets to order from a reduced-price menu at family restaurants.
I like routine. I like early bedtimes. I like Antiques Roadshow. I get cold easily. I can discuss intestinal issues and things like gout. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs.
So, do you have an inner child – an inner teenager – or an inner geezer? I think this might be more revealing than any other personality test… For the record - I believe that Colleen has an inner teenager!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
While my favourite Easter treat is still the Cadbury mini-eggs (tried the dark chocolate ones this year – mmmm…) and Cadbury cream eggs, I love the kitschy comfort of the classic solid chocolate bunny. Maybe it just has to be better chocolate now, no waxy ‘chocolate-flavoured candy’. And, I might just bite the ears off first.
a. What part of the bunny do you eat first?
b. Do you take glee in chomping off the tail / ear / foot?
c. Have you already started in on the Easter chocolate?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Plus - it's proof that I have a dangerous job. Someone has actually been killed by a bookcase! Does anyone else think it's odd that her mother didn't find her for 11 days?
Death by Bookcase
Mariesa Weber was reported missing by her family for nearly two weeks before they found her in her bedroom, wedged behind a bookcase.
"I’m sleeping in the same house as her for 11 days, looking for her," her mother, Connie Weber, told the St. Petersburg Times. "And she’s right in the bedroom."
Both Weber and her sister had previously adjusted the television plug by standing on a bureau next to the shelf and leaning over the top. Her family believes Weber, who was 5-foot-3 and barely 100 pounds, may have fallen headfirst into the space.
It was really lost too – no one seemed to know where it was. You see, between a cancelled flight and being rerouted, the suitcase got lost somewhere in Toronto, Philadelphia or Pittsburg and it had seemingly vanished.
Now, this sometimes happens, and you get your bag in a few hours. Not a big deal. However, my bag didn’t reappear until 3:30 AM two days later, and only 3 ½ hours before I was leaving Florida.
I also had a car rental nightmare, cancelled / delayed flights, 3 ½ hours on hold with US Airways, and a crumbling living room wall at home that was supposed to be having repairs but wasn’t.
I had a really frustrating travel week, but I ended up with new clothes and new shoes, which is a bit of a comfort. It made me realize though, how when you live out of a suitcase, the suitcase is pretty important. It’s kind of like your house goes missing!
Monday, March 19, 2007
There are the pros: interesting foods at new restaurants, Starbucks along the way (I think that travel has contributed to my caffeine addiction), seeing different people and different places, gathering information (I love collecting information – geek factor), making friends in other places, shopping in the US regularly, expanding my world.
Cons: sleeping in numerous beds that who knows how many people have slept in, breathing in gallon after gallon of recirculated airplane air, seeing new places only through the windows of the airplane / cab / hotel / conference room / hotel / cab / airplane), very long days of taking in new information and new people (which can be exhausting), being hit on by creeps, always living in a state of transition, the mad race before I leave (did I take out the garbage? Water the plants? Cancel the paper? Make arrangements for small group? Clean out the fridge?).
Looking at my schedule over the next couple months, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m excited about the opportunities (a conference in Florida next week, Ottawa, Nashville & a week long conference in Toronto in April) but they mean that I’m away from my regular life and the love of my life. I miss Dan while I’m away. I miss my small group while I’m away. I miss my dad’s phone calls. I miss my bed. I miss my friends. I miss my church. I sometimes even miss my Tony Little Gazelle elliptical trainer. Right now I don’t miss my apartment, but I used to!
However, I’m excited about my trip to BC in May. Historymaker is honestly my favourite conference, hands down. Darcy and Leanne are fabulous hosts and friends. Hopefully Paul and Wanda will be there. My friend Erin will be there from Colorado. I love seeing kids not only entertained, but discipled and challenged. Plus, I get to see my family and Dan will be joining me. Now the countdown begins – two months to go and counting!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Citing management consultant Robert Updegraff, Max writes,
You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about
half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult
people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could
be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start
looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good
judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself
getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for
people who are not afraid of troubles.
Ahh...so, my frustrations mean I have a paycheque, I guess. I like being paid - and really, I love my job - but there are those frustrations. This might help me with my pledge to not complain for Lent. Speaking of which - how are you doing with your Lenten fast?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
So, here's the info so that you can enjoy a free coffee today between 10:00 and noon (wherever you are in Canada or even worldwide). Poor Paul the Starbucks barista - he'll be swamped this morning in Downtown Vancouver, I imagine.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Miss Invisible was fun, and although it didn't have the same 'oomph' as the previous titles it was still a fun, clean, witty read. Centered on a cake-decorator character who feels like she is invisible to the world around her, Jensen-Walker included descriptions of cakes and meals that made my mouth water (I want to try the Danish-layer-cake – can this be offered on the author's website?) and other characters who you either love or hate.
I would recommend this to any ‘chick’ looking for a good weekend read. However, I’d really recommend that you definitely pick up Reconstructing Natalie – Jensen-Walker’s courageous story of a young woman battling breast cancer. It literally made me laugh and cry, and consider my own mortality!
Monday, March 12, 2007
My lunch today consisted of things that would make my father slap his forehead and say 'yeesh', while he fell back heavily onto his recliner (seriously, he would).
- 3 rice cakes
- 1 Odwalla super-protein meal replacement bar
- 7 almonds
Sort of a 'prison-chic' menu I guess. Now, I actually like the convenience of meal bars - and don't mind the taste of them one bit. I've tried enough of them to know which ones to avoid. However, when there are so many good food choices out there, why did I eat this?
1. They were in my drawer at work
2. I didn't want to expend any more energy than possible this morning making a lunch (this daylight savings thing is killing me - and it's only day 2)
3. I don't want to eat unhealthy fast food, and i'm willing to settle for just something to scrounge up at my desk.
I know that there's a spiritual parallel here... and - ugh - I see it. Rather than 'going for the good stuff' I often simply scrounge up whatever passes for nourishment. I'll settle for CS Lewis' mudpies when there is something so much more satisfying to all my senses readily available. Am I motivated to do anything about this though, or is it simply part of the human experience this side of paradise?
So, what do you do when you don't have the luxury of time to prepare something interesting?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Last night we tried a new Thai restaurant in Cambridge (yummy spring rolls - and something called "Kiss Me Beef"), and then tried a new cafe / restaurant for dessert. Both places had fabulous atmosphere, fun decor, great food, and an interesting menu (and we were with fun friends, which made for an excellent night). The cafe actually reminded Dan and I of Victoria... (sigh) We tried these places, both out of town for us, because we had an Entertainment coupon book. Now, you might laugh at us using the coupons, but we've tried a number of things simply because we had this book! Sure, we had a couple of bad experiences with the coupon book - one very odd 'Mexican / Indian' combo restaurant (odd - very odd) and one with the worst Chinese food either of us had ever eaten (grease literally oozed out of Dan's eggroll). However, we've had some great things too - and this weekend, we've enjoyed the best of the coupon book.
So there you go - a little tip for those who are caught in the North American trap of crappy food. Plus, I love marketing that works.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
"When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But He doesn't put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead, He sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project -- a mosaic that tells the story of redemption."
(Ken Gire - The North Face of God)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Ah... I feel so empowered. :)
Monday, March 05, 2007
Opening Credits:All Praises to the King - Hillsong
First Day of School:Missing Missouri - Sara Evans
Mental Breakdown:On Our Side - Chris Tomlin
Driving:All that Noise - Dave Barnes
Flashback:Gotta Serve Somebody - Nichole Nordeman
Getting Back Together:I Wonder - ABBA
Wedding Scene: The Happy Song - Delirious
Birth of Child:The Christmas Song - Mariah Carey
Final Battle:Shake it Off - Mariah Carey
Death Scene:Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
End Credits: The Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks
Friday, March 02, 2007
I confess, all it took was a day of travel exhaustion to lead me to complain bitterly on Monday evening. After being yelled at by an Air Canada lounge employee, a delayed (deicing) flight to Nashville, a wait for my luggage, a taxi ride to the hotel, and a round-about shuttle ride to a late-night dinner meeting, I was tired and cranky, and I WANTED to complain. My travel companion / coworker, Tim, worked to keep spirits light by laughing at the ridiculous situation, but you know what? I didn't WANT to laugh. I wanted to gripe and let my frustration be aired. I did NOT want to allow God to show me what He would have me learn in this situation.
Later that evening, and the next day, I realized that the source of my complaining (other than simple weariness) was control. The situation was out of my control - the delays, the detours, the waits, the surprise meetings - I had no control, and wasn't necessarily willing to recognize that although I had no control of the circumstances, God did. I wasn't willing to surrender my grabbing 'me' attitude for Spirit-generated self-control.
So this is what Lent is about, isn't it? Recognizing our own sinful nature and laying down our 'self' so that we recognize God's rule in our life and in our world. Oh... I have so far to go. However, i'm back in the saddle, as it is, and praising God for snow (as it means a snow day for me today!), rather than complaining about winter!
How are you doing on your Lent fast?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I recently had to review a book for work, and found myself totally engrossed in the content. It hit me where i'm at (perhaps this is due to giving up complaining for Lent?), but anyhow, I thought i'd post a quote from the book here. It is from "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst.
Yes, Lord. I want your patience to invade my desire to fly off the handle. Yes, Lord. I want your perspective to keep my emotions in check. Yes, Lord. I want your provision so things don’t seem so overwhelming. Yes, Lord. I want your courage to do what You’re calling me to do. Yes, Lord. I want and need more of You in every moment.”
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Now, however, I'm taking this seriously. Giving something up for Lent has been an exercise in discipline, and really has been one that allows me to examine my sinful nature in the lead-up to Easter. Examining my sinful nature allows me to understand why Christ died, and gives me a new perspective on His resurrection. It allows me to reflect - although reflection is something, arguably, that I should be doing every day of the year.
I can say, with conviction, that examining my own inherent tendency and inclination to sin, which is highlighted during Lent, gives new meaning to the words of the hymn by Stuart Townsend:
So, what am I giving up for Lent? Complaining.
It wasn't what I wanted to give up (since i'm on a diet right now, chocolate would have been a lot easier) but I believe that I've been compelled to give up complaining. I don't expect it will be easy - and it is something that people will be able to catch me in if I don't catch myself first. I'm hoping that by giving up the habit of complaining about circumstances will force me to have a proper perspective - knowing God's presence and His activity in my circumstances.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have been collecting favourite quotes, and contemplating them. I thought this might be a good forum to share some of them and share my thoughts on them! Maybe that's how i'll start out blogging a little more. It's a try anyhow (and good distraction while my boyfriend watches "Joe Dirt").
From the sublime:
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin
To the ridiculous:
"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey
Please forgive me for quoting Mariah Carey! (I admit to owning two albums) Sadly, we often fall into the ridiculous category, don't we? We see stuff, and cry, but our response is all about ourselves and not about doing anything 'worth writing'. If I might make New Years' resolutions this year, one might be to write something worth reading, or do something worth writing, rather than simply having temporary pity for those who are hurting.
Afternote: Joe Dirt went the way of the dodo when Dirt got too... well... dirty. :)