Monday, December 31, 2007

Yuletide Logging

Mom and dad live in the woods, so they had a lot of splitting and stacking for us to do over Christmas Break.

Papaw is a lumberjack at heart, so he thorougly enjoyed helping with the splitter. I hope I can trompse around in the woods when I'm 83!

You may think that Aaron's long lost brother is in these pictures, but that's actually our cousin Hunter! Can't you tell they're related? Hunter is at Purdue getting a degree in Civil Engineering. Way to go Hunter! You are awesome!

Charlie Brown Tree

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ode to 2007

This year was the first time since we got married that I didn't send out Christmas Letters - so I thought I would give you a quick recap of our 2007.

January: The final month of interviewing for residency. Ryan and I drove all over the midwest checking out hospitals and learning about different programs where Ryan could go. You can read what I had to say about that HERE and HERE

February: It snowed INSIDE of our apartment in Chicago. We had a Super Bowl party with our friends from 2by2 and Ryan imitated Prince, the artist formerly known as Prince.

March: Match Day was on the 15th when we opened the envelope that said "DeVos Childrens Hospital" so we finally knew where we were going to live! We also went Skiing with Ryan's family at Gore Mountain in NY.

April: We went to the Bulls/Pistons game with Bryan and Michelle, celebrated Easter with my family, and found our new apartment in GR.

May: We went to Florida for the Beeson Family Vacation and Ryan and I celebrated his completion of med school with a trip to the Smokey Mountains!

June: Ryan officially became a doctor in June, we picked cherries with our BFF's and I learned a valuable lesson about putting palmolive in the dishwasher.

July: We celebrated THREE YEARS of marriage and moved to Grand Rapids with the help of our friends Bryan and Michelle.

August: We met Bryan and Michelle in New Buffalo, my friends Brooke & Ruby came to visit and all of Ryan's friends from Hope had a grill out reunion.

September: I biffed a squirrel, went to Innovate, celebrated my Dad's birthday and had a quick dinner with Lloyd Carr at the Common Grill

October: We stopped by Niagara Falls on our way home from New York, I started my new job at Designvox, has a little situation with shampoo and conditioner andn read Cold Tangerines.

November: We visited my parents, learned about and went on the Thanksmas Hunt.

December: Ryan was as busy as a resident is legally allowed to be. I posted about positivity and the next day my car got broken into. Perfect.
2007 was an incredible year for Ryan and I. We've had lots of fun, have learned a lot, have been making our mark on a new community in a new city and have been so blessed by family and friends. We can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the year ahead.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2008 to you!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Last night Ryan and I went with some of my friends from vox to a free screening of the Sigur Ros movie "Heima" which means "Home" in Icelandic. They did a series of unannounced concerts in Iceland after they returned from their world tour. It was an awesome film with incredible music (obviously)

Rob Bell was sitting behind us - and Flannel, the company that makes the Nooma videos was sponsoring the event - so I'd be willing to bet that some future Noomas will have some cinematic similarities to Heima.

Check out the trailer

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Handbell Hero

and you thought guitar hero was cool...

Click here to play

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Life is not a snapshot. You take a picture with a camera, and it freezes that moment forever, its part of the reason we like pictures. Its frozen in that moment forever, Its captured, preserved. But life's not like that. And when you are in a moment, and you're looking at yourself thinking, "I am a failure, I can't even serve God right, I can't even be faithful to Christ. I am a failure." You have to remember, life is not a snapshot. Life is a video. And I know it feels like this is a moment, frozen in time, but its not, The camera is still rolling. Tomorrow is different, the next day is different, five years is different. But not if you stay here. You can't stay here in this misery. So come to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness. And get on with your life. God has a plan for your life, and you are too young to quit now. You'll stumble from time to time, but don't think that your life is frozen in time. Its video baby. So go out there and Make a great Movie."
- Mark Beeson

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"community is not a luxury but a necessity for life"

This is going to be a long post - but all of these thoughts have been swirling in my head for a couple of months and they NEED to come out.

I've been reading Randy Frazee's book "The Connecting Church" and have found it very intriguing. Maybe because Ryan and I have been trying to get connected to a large church in GR for 4 months now - and still feel like we don't really know anyone. We love the pastor and have really grown and been challenged by his messages each weekend. We just don't feel that sense of belonging yet, and it seems like no one knows our names.

I think one of our main problems has been that we haven't seen the same people two weekends in a row. Its a BIG church - and they offer 3 video venues simultaneously, which make it feel smaller, but makes it hard to find a consistent crowd in any venue. We met a friend from Hope one of our first Sunday's visiting - and then never saw her again until 12 weeks later when I ran into her at a women's ministry event I went to trying to make friends. We exchanged numbers and she invited us to a small group that we're planning to try out this next Sunday. - So that is one connection that will hopefully lead to the authentic community that we are starving for.

Another potentail connection is serving. I emailed the usher/greeter guy to see if maybe Ryan and I could plug in that way, but the email back let me know, "the Sunday morning greeting ministry is currently full..."
I am signed up to help in Discovery Village next Saturday night as a one-time 4th grade girls small group leader (which is blogworthy as it's own post). There is only one service on Saturday - which means if you serve on Saturday then you have to come back to attend a service on Sunday. We live about 30 minutes away, so that makes it a little bit challenging...and Ryan can't serve there with me, which is bothersome because of his call schedule at the hospital keeping us apart enough as it is. Those are excuses. I'm not saying I'm not willing to make it work - but it would be awesome to be able to serve together as a couple in the service we are attending - ie: ushers or greeters

So how's that for a servant's attitude. I am a bad person.

Back to the book. One of the big problems Randy talks about is that people have too many worlds to manage.

"There are too many sets of relationships that do not connect with each other but all require time to maintain"
When I read the truth in that statement I nearly fell out of my chair! Ryan and I are currently maintaining the following:

My family out of town, Ryan's family out of town, two sets of extended families beyond our immediate families, two places of work, church and our potential small group, neighbors, two sets of friends from high school, two sets of friends from college, friends from our church where we used to live in Chicago, neighbors/best friends from Chicago, friends from med school, wives of friends from med school, friends from Granger, friends from Marshall, and to top it all off - friends from the blogosphere!

You may be thinking "brag brag brag, so many friends she doesn't know what to do" and I challenge you to do the same exercise with yourself. How many worlds are you managing right now?

It only makes sense to simplify our lives in such a way that we concentrate more energy into a circle of relationships that produces a genuine sense of belonging. The book suggests that we look to the church to help us in our search to belong.

So that's what we're trying to do. I haven't read far enough to find a solution to our problem, perhaps I haven't lived in Grand Rapids long enough or attended this church long enough. How long will it take for us to feel like we belong?


Monday, December 10, 2007


A lone gunman entered a Youth With A Mission training center in the Denver, Colorado suburb of Arvada early Sunday morning, opening fire and hitting four members of the staff. All were taken to local hospitals and two later died of their injuries.

You can read the official YWAM press release HERE

It's so crazy to me - having lived on a YWAM base myself for quite a few months, and knowing how tight the teams get, I can only imagine the trauma this has caused the other YWAMers.



We lived in Chicago for three years and never had a mishap. Only 4 months in Grand Rapids and already a problem. This morning I went out to my car to go to work and discovered that my passenger side window had been kicked in, my glove box was open, the ash tray had been ripped out and no longer contained any change, and glass was strewn about.
They obvioulsy didn't want my mittens...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Friend Sandy

I love my friend Sandy and yesterday I got to spend the day with her. She is one of the most incredible women I have ever known. We lived together at Hope - she was a transfer (which she described by putting the palm of one hand on top of the fingers on her other hand in the shape of a "T") and I had just returned from a semester abroad in Australia and came home to discover that my housing plans had fallen through which left me with no place to live! What I thought was a devastating problem turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to me...becuase I got to live with Sandy. From the moment we met, we clicked. Sandy is dear to my heart, one of the closest and best friends that I have.

She pushes me closer to Jesus.
Do you have friends who push you closer to Jesus?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Curry Christmas Card

This morning GCC did the annual Food Drop and I hear it was INCREDIBLY AWESOME! More on the food drop later...

My friends Brooke and DC Curry were there - and this picture my dad took of them should be their christmas card.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Roller Buggy

I don't think this looks safe...

Get yours HERE

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Choosing Positivity

I've been reading this awesome blog by Tina Su, this 27 year old gal in Seattle who's title is Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) and I really love so much of what she has to say. Today she wrote a post that really got me thinking about Positive Mental Attitude. You can read it HERE

I remember a few times in my life that I have learned specific lessons in Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). When I was in 5th grade, one of my spelling words for Mrs. Kirkpatricks class was the word "attitude". My dad had these pants - does anyone remember zubas? - that had tons of colorful cartoon fish with huge teeth all over them, and up both side seams on each leg they said "attitude attitude attitude attitude" up to the elastic waistband. So, of course, it helped me to envision those pants during my spelling test.

I remember dad talking to me about how "attitude is everything" and that I could decide each day, and throughout each day how I was going to react to things. I could decide for myself if I was going to be a negative or a positive person! I remember thinking that was really cool (actually, at that point I probably thought it was radical dude) that it was all up to me! I decided then and there, while studying for my spelling test, that I was going to be a positive person.

Speaking of positivity, my friend Robbie got in a crash this morning - but look at his smiling face. What a great reaction to a difficult situation.
Another time I remember learning a direct lesson in positivity was when I was in high school. I was in Chamber Choir, this group that would sing songs and dance around in sparkly dresses and high heels (the guys didn't wear sparkly dresses, they wore tuxedos). We would perform at nursing homes and elementary schools. Anyway, our director used to say that if we raised our eyebrows really high and turned up the corners of our mouths when we sang, we would look happy, and ultimately would trick ourselves into actually being happy about what we were doing. I think for me it worked.

It makes me kinda chuckle right now just thinking about it.

Would you consider yourself more positive or negative?
What lessons have you learned about positivity?