Friday, February 26, 2010


so yesterday i was running around on errands and i was struck by SOH (Sudden Onset Hunger). i am trying to make good eating choices, but there was a Chick-fil-a there and i could almost taste a waffle fry on my tongue. So i caved and pulled into the parking lot, but as i did, i noticed a little advertisement stuck in the ground for a low-fat yogurt parfait. i fought off my craving for something salty and went with the parfait and i am so glad that i did because it was absolutely delicious. It had sliced strawberries on top and something else like cranberries in it also.
When i arrived back at home, i looked up the nutrition facts on the Chick-fil-a website cause you know as well as i do that something THAT delicious has to have tons of calories, but no! Only 180! Incredible! Of course that is without topping, the cookie topping adds 20 and the granola topping adds 60 and isn't it typical that i would assume that the granola would be a better choice and select that one?
Have any of you tried it? Did i make you want to? You won't regret it, i promise!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Household Inventory

Just in case you were curious, here is a list of everyone (and everything) i share my home with now:

1. A really old, lumpy dog who pants constantly and will do anything to get a scrap of food.
2. A 75 pound lanky dog who tries to climb in your lap whenever he hears a loud noise.
3. A fluffy, matted cat with a facial tumor, constant drainage, and heavy breathing.
4. An overweight calico who fights the dog for lap position
5. A gray cat whose previous illness has put him (and the rest of the cats) on a special and expensive diet.
6. A black cat with gunk in his eyes who you will never see unless you have food.

The People
1. A younger sister who is yelling at the older sister for doing her laundry incorrectly
2. An older sister who is dumping the younger sister's clean clothes in the hallway
3. A father who slams every cabinet, drawer, and door that is left open
4. A mom who freaks out about computers, coupons, bread, and traffic
5. And me, quelling anxiety by organizing the house, one closet and cabinet at a time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

a practically perfect saturday

i am really low on cash right now, as in scrapping change together for gas money, so when my friend Juli asked me if i could come to her house in Jefferson to baby-sit her two youngest on Friday and Saturday, i agreed. Not only would i make up the gas money in under two hours, but i would get a chance to spend time with one of my favorite families.

i got there on Friday afternoon in time for Juli to go to court (she is a lawyer, so she wasn't IN court- side note, i think that Christian lawyers are just about the coolest thing ever because you get to really fight for justice, PLUS Juli works from home so she can home school her kids, which just about makes her my hero) i took the kids to taekwondo, then we ran around in the yard because the weather was beautiful, when Juli got home we all went to Korea night, ate some weird desserts, went back to the house, ate frozen pizza and watched Kung-fu Panda.

i slept in a little on Saturday and got up in time to see the kids off to their baseball try-outs, then i proceeded to lay around while watching a Tim Hawkins video (if you don't know who that is, YouTube him, you won't be sorry) right around lunch time my wonderful friend Monica, who was in town from Macon for a wedding shower picked me up and treated me to lunch in downtown Athens. It was such a nice day and i even got some sun while walking around downtown and north campus.

Afterward Monica dropped me back off in time for my next gig, and the kids and i went to this really cool playground where i scratched and scraped myself on an obstacle course (but still won), swung on the swings, raced down the slides, climbed on tires and up walls until we were tired and hungry enough to go home, eat dinner, watch Angels in the Outfield (a May family classic), and clean up cat puke.

i give the day two thumbs-up (minus the cat-puke)

i hope that you all got to spend some time outside in this spring like weather this weekend. i am hoping that we get to enjoy it a little while longer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i wish i was sleeping

i have been having trouble sleeping lately, so in honor of my insomnia, i thought that i would take this late night opportunity to share one of my dreams with you. i have pretty detailed, movie like dreams, so don't be too scared, it won't be that bad, i promise.

So i had this dream that i was Cinderella (weird i know), i was under the rule of my step-mother and step-sisters, but i had managed to escape after i found out that there was a possibility that my father was still alive, but under a spell.

One of my step-sisters was a pop-star, or an aspiring pop-star and they were very upset that i was not there to cook for them. In anticipation of this, i had baked a lot of cookies to tide them over. Now when i say a lot of cookies, i mean there were cookies over every inch of surface area in our very large kitchen. (i have no idea what this has to do with anything)

i was running away, but i did not have any sort of plan or anywhere to go. i was lost and confused when a guy with crazy hair driving a cart/buggy picked me up. We talked for a while and really started to hit it off, he told me that he could take me to meet the Prince- my dream (duh, i am Cinderella, remember?) and that he knew the Prince's secret palace. i knew that if i could just meet the prince, then i could get to my happily ever after. As i talked to the cart-driver it came up that i was just a maid-servant in my home. He started to act really weird and make judgments about me, and i was like "this is coming from a cart-driver?" he paused and said "good point" He was surprised then to find out who my Father was because he did not know that my Father had a daughter (besides his step-daughters)

We arrived at the secret Palace and it was everything that you would imagine a secret palace would be, it was hidden in the forest and full of magic.

i have written here that i don't know who i am- as in not Cinderella anymore, but someone's daughter, or someone rescued

i was trying to get ready for the Ball, but i did not have the right clothes but if i just imagined or believed, then i could have new clothes on, but they did not seem to be getting better, i was trying to visualize the outfit i wanted to wear, but i did not have enough self-esteem for the magic to work well.

But here is the cool part, i do get to meet the Prince, but it turns out, i already know him, and he already likes me. He was in disguise as the cart-driver the whole time.

Wouldn't you love to sleep if you had dreams like this?

me too

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


i know that i need community, but it is hard to manufacture that community, so in an effort to help myself out, i went to a small group last night. This is a Bible Study for people in their twenties, mostly single people.

i loved it.

Here is why:
1. The leader is someone that i have a lot of respect for, and whose teachings i love.
2. i knew like 5 people there! One of whom i actually used to live with!
3. We did real Bible study, actually we started with a Bible knowledge quiz (on which i got a 95% - nothing like acing a test to put you in a good mood) and then picked up in Hosea which they have been studying.
4. After the study and discussion, we had a time of worship
5. THEN we broke into small groups and prayed for each other.

It was awesome. And can i say, i can't wait for next Tuesday.

On a completely unrelated note, i have found my Olympic calling. Curling. What do you think guys, want to join my team and go for gold?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Fever

i am crazy about the Olympics. i don't know what it is; the patriotism, the passion, the things that people do to push themselves, all of the above? i am not generally a crier, but when the Olympics are on, i cry several times a day, watching the back stories, learning about what people have sacrificed in order to make their dreams come true. It is really inspiring.

So many of them have overcome tragedy (near-fatal accidents, cancer, death of a loved one, failure in previous events) to achieve under tremendous pressure. The word redemption becomes common, but we really can't get enough of it. The idea and possibility of redemption is one that we were created to identify with and something that we love to root for regardless of country allegiance.

One of my favorites so far was the guy that won the men's moguls last night. He won Canada's first gold medal on home soil, which i am so glad about because maybe they will stop talking about it. But what i loved was how he spoke about his older brother. His brother (and biggest fan) has cerebral palsy. He talked about how even on days that he did not want to train, he would because his brother did not have that chance, but he smiled anyway. As someone who has an older sibling with a developmental disability, this really struck a chord with me. How much time do i spend thinking about myself and feeling bad for myself when my sister will never be able to have a drivers license, will never be able to live on her own, get married, have children (don't tell her this, i think she is holding out for one of the J*nas Brothers).

When i wrote about Choices a few days ago, that was a really turning point for me lately. i am really encouraged, actually spending time in The Word, and feeling a restoration of my joy. i am excited about what the Lord is doing again. Yesterday (a wonderful day) i read this scripture:
"Who has despised the day of small things?"
i feel like this has been my life lately, despising the small things (and all things) when really it is the small things that add up to the big things. It is in the day-to-day, gruesome, tedious training that equip us for our true calling.

i am learning a lot right now, sitting in my chair watching the Olympics.
They aren't the only place to find redemption.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


This evening i was standing in the living room wearing sweat pants, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. My mom walked into the room and said "where are you going?"

lest you think that you may assume too much about my mom's fashion sense by this statement, let me assure you; you won't.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Things are looking up

My phone works!!!! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


For those of you who have not had the wonderful pleasure of reading John Steinbeck's book East of Eden, you are not aware of where my blog name comes from. It was actually Kristina's idea for me to use this name. But i liked the idea because of the idea of how our choices shape our lives. The premise of the word timshel is that it means "thou mayest" as in, thou mayest conquer sin, thou mayest make the right decision. We have a choice in this life of how we will live, but really we have a whole bunch of little choices that all add together to direct our life.

i found myself over the past couple days, really getting down. Every job rejection was like a rejection of me. Messing up my phone and every other mistake i make (which is a lot according to my family) were really causing my view of myself to suffer. As i was running last night trying to get all the voices out of my head i thought about how i was not make good choices. The more i felt bad about myself, the less i was able to do the things that would really make a difference. All i want to do is stay in bed all day. i am sure that all the stress and anxiety of not having a job and being broke is contributing to my stomach problems. i realized that i am letting my circumstances dictate my identity. Which is the opposite of what the Lord has called us to do.

i remembered that song that we always sing (isn't it funny how the Lord reminds you of things that you have told, or sung to him?) Blessed be the Name of the Lord, how no matter what, i will say "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" and sure enough, as i was driving back from the gym, that song came on the radio.

i am choosing to surrender my life and circumstances to the Lord, i am choosing to trust that He has my best interest at heart, i am choosing to keep going, to keep working, to keep believing.

"Thou mayest! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win." Steinbeck

"if you do well will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and it's desire is for you, but [thou mayest] master it" Genesis 4:7

Confessions of a dog lover

the other night, i slept sideways because my dog was stretched out across the bed. if you could look into his eyes you would do the same.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

all i need now is a flat tire

last night while i was driving the wrong way on the interstate, i set my phone into my cup holder. it wasn't until i heard my phone making a strange noise that i realized that i had previously placed a cup of water into that very same cup holder.

anyone have an extra phone?

Monday, February 8, 2010

How a bad day becomes a good day

i woke up this morning with a stomach ache, which nowadays is not unusual. i feel sick until i am hungry enough for a hunger stomach ache to replace a sick stomach ache, then i eat something and the process starts again. The good thing is that yesterday there was a Monk marathon on and i recorded them all, so i was able to lay around feeling unmotivated and bad about myself. After lunch i decided that i would cheer myself up by using an Old Navy gift card that i got for my birthday.
i decided that i would go to Hiram instead of the Mall because traffic would be better and maybe there would be more clothes on sale. Unfortunately there is no Old Navy in Hiram, so i drove out there for nothing. On my way back to civilization (aka Cobb County) i passed by a couple places where i had put in applications, so i decided, while i am out, it can't hurt to check on that. The first place told me that they are not really hiring and that their current employees are not getting hours. At this point i am really bummed about this day and thinking about going home. At the second place the manager came out and talked to me, he told me that he remembered me because i had turned in a resume with my application. He also said that they had not really gone through the applications yet, but they were definitely going to be hiring a few people (hope!)

This is where my day starts to turn around. i got a free coke from chick-fil-a (need i mention again my love of coupons) then finally arrived at Old Navy where i purchased a CUTE dress, skirt and cami with my gift card plus $8. By the way, the Cami's were $2 so if you need some lace cami's i would check that out!

i came back home to find that my book had arrived for class, unfortunately it is HUGE, but i am sure that i can deal with it :)

Now, i can relax, look for jobs online and watch Monk for the rest of the evening.

And that is how a crappy day, becomes a good day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

School Days (or Day)

i drove to school one day a week last semester, and have only had to go there once this semester, but it seems likely that every time i go, it rains. Sure enough after getting a grand total of three hours of sleep on Thursday night, i got up Friday morning and it was pouring. Fun.

i sat in an hours worth of rainy traffic (thank the Lord for Chick-fil-a coupons!) and arrived at Richmont at 8:30ish, and had a tiny moment of panic when i saw that there was no one else there. But it turns out that i just happened to be the first one because by the time 9 o'clock came around, most of the class was there.

The class is pretty interesting which is good because otherwise i never would have made it. Sitting in the same chair for eight hours is not my idea of a good time. The class is called Methods and Models of Integration, which is a fancy way of saying "how do we mix psychology and Christianity" and it turns out that a lot of really smart people have very different ideas about this subject. But we get to talk about the Bible and about Psychology and i like that.

Now i just have two books and 9 articles to read, and a paper to write before we meet again on March 19. No sweat.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a not so terrible birthday

Although my birthday wasn't QUITE what some of my friends dreamed up for me (see comments on previous post) it was actually a good day (or more accurately weekend)
My fun weekend started Friday morning when I slept in then went to the gym. After I showered, my mom and i went out to shop for my birthday present, new running shoes! We hit the jackpot in the very first store where i found cute shoes on clearance for $10! Add to that my mom's $5 off coupon and you get, that's right $5 tennis shoes.

i am pausing so you can let your jealousy sink in.

Then it was off to Target where i got some flats for $6, And Ross where i got a spring jacket for $10 and a couple of dresses that i returned the next day- don't ask me why. Then i got a skirt and hair clips at Wal-Mart and because i was so efficient with my birthday budget, i got the cash that was left over, can we say gas money?

That night my family and i (sans one brother and one sister) went to eat Mexican (where i had a sombrero placed on my head) then we went home ate cake and ice cream and played Wits and Wagers, and Nertz.

On Saturday, my actual birthday, after sleeping in and going to the gym i packed up my stuff and headed to Athens, rode around with my friend Mary, had BBQ with some friends, then played Rummikub with the Suarezes and my wonderful roommate Diana.

Sunday was church, Barbaritos, Monk, and then to dinner with the Bateses where i was pleasantly surprised to find that the Van Pelts were also attending this delicious dinner of pork sandwiches, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and angel food cake with strawberries. After dinner we played this fun game of questions. Allow me to introduce the players:

Erika Bates: expert in all things financial, bouncy, and dental
Matthew Bates: dark, handsome, and a great conversationalist
Adam Van Pelt: lover of all things orange, and bodily functions
Sarah Van Pelt: maker of aprons and delicious things, fan of hyper color clothing
and me: finder of a bargains, wearer of hats, and lover of games

thanks to all of you who made my birthday awesome

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