austin.

although my time in austin hasn’t been sufficient enough to thoroughly evaluate the city or its inhabitants, i can already tell i’m going to like it here in this city. a lot. why, you ask?

1. sweet friends who let me sleep in their extra beds and eat their food. haha! no, really. i’m beyond thankful that the iveys and bushs are so generous to let me bounce between their houses while i look for a full time job. i only hope one day i can repay them in some way!

2. a healing and awakening of my soul in the community of the austin stone. in a conversation yesterday, it was said that we truly know when we’re in a healthy church because we’re painfully aware of how messed up we are. i’m learning to rely on christ’s grace and mercy instead of my own futile efforts… it’s the beginning of a long journey to healing.

3. diversity. i love the cultural diversity of this town. my spanish is very mediocre, but here i’m surrounded by people who speak english, spanish, german, vietnamese, chinese… and i love it! i love observing the differences between cultures and the conversations that transpire.

4. the weather. despite the fact that 19 of the past 20 days have been over 100 degrees, austin has weather like a beach town. pretty blue skies and quick rain showers [most of the time]. you know this girl loves beach weather!

6. hills and trees! austin’s landscape is decieving… it looks as if someone took pieces of tennessee and planted them in texas. it’s beautiful.

6. coffeeshops galore. i loved my favorite coffeeshop in dallas [the crooked tree] but it was really the only non-starbucks java the city had to offer. not so here! i have handfuls of recommendations i’ve yet to try. i’m currently sitting at epoch’s coffee (24 hour! whee!) sipping on an iced mojo… procrastinating. eek.

alright. on to those resumes!

past. present. future.

over six years ago, i visited texas for the first time. i’d flown through and had layovers in different cities before, but i’d never actually experienced texas beyond terminal eight. six years ago, i spent a weekend in austin and taught at a disciple now event. there was something so distinct about the city that stirred my heart–i remember arriving back in nashville and telling my family that if i ever left tennessee, it would [only] be for austin.

then, two years later, i moved to austin dallas. it was most unexpected, but i quickly fell in love with the town. the four years i spent there were some of the greatest, most refining years of my life… personally, spiritually, and professionally. many intimate, lifelong friendships were forged there–friendships that i believe will continue for years and years to come.

but now this journey has brought me to [what i thought was] my original destination: austin. even after six years, this city still captivates something deep inside my soul and challenges me to look beyond what is now. walking away from a successful job and steady paycheck… into the unknown of the lord’s direction is [scary] good. i’m excited and wait in expectation to see what he has in store for this part of the adventure.

join me in praying for clear direction during these next few months!

[i promise i'll try to blog more often.]

points made of bullets.

  • it’s february in dallas, but it feels like april and looks like june. and i am totally okay with that!
  • keeping good music going in my office helps keep me in a good mood all day. i forgot about that yesterday and it resulted in bad vibes.
  • got the chance to get away for a while over the weekend and went to austin. (where else?) it was great and refreshing to just chill–to be able to wake up in the morning and not worry about walking out of the bedroom and into a flood. ha.
  • got to hang with sweet friends and this precious little man. good lord, i love being an aunt!

n515702903_1342856_1356

n515702903_1342838_290

  • there is progress in the i gotta move again/where to now? department. praying through those things now. details forthcoming.
  • m&ms are the devil. even though chocolate gives me migraines, i find myself unable to resist them during the valentines day season. i just finished off a 13 oz bag. re dang diculous.
  • will there ever be a season in life that i don’t move every six months? sheesh!
  • i find myself ending exciting emails/status updates/twitters with the word ‘wheeee!’ it’s a fun word to write. but i never ever say it.
  • chipotle. it’s what’s for dinner.

weakend.

on friday afternoon i fully anticipated writing a humorous blog in which i would chronologically explain to you the events of my crazy morning. but it’s just been one thing after another this weekend, folks. and humor has gone mia. if you find him, please tell him to come back home. i miss him. life is just more fun when he’s around.

friday morning. getting in my car to head to the office, i just happen to notice that there is a rather large hole in the dashboard where a stereo and cd player once lived. thieves broke into the car sometime during the night and stole it, along with my cds, ipod adapter, and 3 coats from the back seat. they freaking cleaned house. took everything including kleenexes and hearing aid batteries. but they did leave me a half-used pack of newport cigarettes. i don’t smoke, but i do appreciate the friendly gesture. it’s for this exact reason that i don’t keep anything valuable in my car and i always keep a door unlocked. please. if you’re going to steal something from my car, just do it. don’t bust the window–that makes such a mess. getting the stereo replaced is a hastle, but the rest of the stuff is just that. stuff. i could care less.

friday night. on the way to see the movie ‘he’s just not that into you’ (this is a statement, NOT a movie recommendation!), i get rear ended at a stop light. actually, it was more of just a forceful bump… not really blunt enough to do any damage. i look in my rearview mirror and see that it’s a sweet looking old couple and i decide to just wave them on. it’s okay. they look sweet and seriously, it’s just a car. it may be cursed today, but it’s still just a car. as the cute little old couple drives off in their mercedes benz, i read the license plate. it says ‘texas state judge.’ of course the guy who rear ends me and i just let drive off is a texas state judge. it only makes sense. i wish i’d pulled over and talked with him before i let him drive off… i could use a friend like him!

saturday afternoon. i finally decide to purchase a new tv and walmart’s got a great sale going on right now. i drive to walmart to buy the tv, but they’re sold out. the nice salesman calls all the stores in the dallas area and they’re all sold out. so i leave walmart empty handed. boo.

saturday afternoon. i get home from walmart and walk into a lake… in my apartment. the eighth flood in a year. i’ve handled the quirks and mishaps of this apartment with as much grace and patience as i know how, but this one broke me. i actually sat in the pool of water in my living room floor and cried. then i went into the bathroom and found my chi iron on the floor submerged in water and i got mad! ha. called the landlord and left voicemails, but didn’t hear back until 4pm on sunday… over 24 hours later. looks like the problem isn’t going to be remedied anytime soon. i’m looking for a place to move asap–even if it’s just crashing in someone’s extra bedroom for a couple of months!

sunday evening. went to church and was sweetly reminded that the lord is here. in the midst of chaos and floods and frustration. he’s here when life is going smoothly, but he’s still here when life is turned upside down. he brings restoration–he’s taken my weeping and turned it into laughing.

my prayer tonight is that my life would truly echo his worth… from the halls of bitterness and loneliness to the fountain overflowing with blessings undeserved.

intentional.

welcome to a new year, my friends. i hope that you’ve had a chance to reflect on what 2008 held for you, as well as to set expectations for what 2009 will bring!

in brief, my trip home to nashville for the holidays was wonderful–perhaps the best trip home since i’ve moved to dallas! so good, in fact, that it was difficult for me to leave. it made me realize how much i do love that town and what deep roots i have planted there. i am immensely blessed to have such wonderful family and friends in my life, all relationships of which never change… no matter the distance. i left town with such thankfulness in my heart and my cup literally running over.

and then i came home to dallas. and my cup keeps running over. and over. and over. i’ve only been in dallas for 3 years and so my roots aren’t nearly as firmly planted here as my 25 years in nashville–but i am so blessed by the community and friendships that i have encountered in this journey. the 3 years i’ve spent here in dallas have been some of the hardest–yet most fruitful–years of my life. i’m so thankful for a handful of sweet, close girlfriends who know me for who i am… and who i am not. i love that we challenge each other in our differences and grow together in our strengths. 

for so many years i struggled and prayed for the lord to show me how to go somewhere and be “all there.” how not to dwell on the past or dream too far into the future, but to see the opportunities that each day offered. for the first time in my life–i think we’re getting closer to that point.

my prayer is that this year i would learn to do just that: to make the most of every day and every opportunity. to be intentional with the time i’ve been given.

christmas? christmas.

i’ve yet to seriously acknowledge the typical things that happen during this time of year… call me a scrooge, call me a party pooper–but my perception of everything has changed this year. i’ve come to cherish some of the christmas traditions… but i’m still wondering where in the world the partridge in a pear tree fits into it all.

in honor of christmastime: a survey from the lovely christin.

1. wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping paper. picking out the perfect wrapping paper is a very important responsibility… almost as important as making sure there are no creases in the tape after the gift is wrapped.

2. real tree or artificial? we always had artificial, but i love real trees. this year, though–i’ve foregone the tree and decorating altogether. meh.

3. when do you put up the tree? me: thanksgiving. my mom: halloween.

4. when do you take the tree down? january-ish.

5. do you like eggnog? do you like rotten milk?

6. favorite gift received as a child? a poodle skirt AND a matching one for my doll.

7. hardest person to buy for? my daddyo.

8. easiest person to buy for? mama mia!

9. do you have a nativity scene? at the office. in a box.

10. mail or email christmas cards? i love to get them in the mail.

11. worst christmas gift you ever received? a 10 lb bag of coins (pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters) from grandaddy–which was actually slightly better than the sheet of uncut dollar bills he gave us the year before.

12. favorite christmas movie? white christmas. luv me some bing crosby.

13. when do you start shopping for christmas? a couple of weeks before… although i only buy gifts for a handful of people, i like to hunt for the best deals.

14. have you ever recycled a christmas present? mmm. yes.

15. favorite thing to eat at christmas? sausage balls and pineapple punch on christmas morning afternoon!!

16. lights on the tree? um. yes. a tree without lights really is no tree at all.

17. favorite christmas song? o holy night, have yourself a merry little christmas.

18. travel at christmas or stay home? travel home.

19. can you name all of santa’s reindeer? indeed i can.

20. angel on the tree top or a star? neither. can we be a little creative please?

21. open presents on christmas eve or morning? christmas afternoon–because we sleep all morning.

22. most annoying thing about this time of the year? that dang eggnog.

23. favorite ornaments? the gingerbread men.

24. stockings? i call them socks.

25. take turns opening presents? yep.
 
26. what do you want for christmas this year? a throw blanket for the living room… the fleas ate mine.

christmas crisis.

i’ve got lights.
i’ve got decorations.
i’ve even cleared a space in the living room.

but i’ve still got no christmas tree.

the past few days i’ve been hunting for an artificial christmas tree of just the right size, color, and price. i don’t have much storage space in this cracker jack apartment, so a smaller tree is ideal… but a tree like charlie brown’s just makes me sad. so, here is my dilemma:

should i go with a decent artificial tree for $100 orrr should i get the real deal for half the price? 

either way–i’m dying to start christmasfying this place just a little bit!

numbers.

one: monster critter [still] lives in my ceiling.
two: cups of coffee were consumed last night after dusk.
three: a.m. is when the caffeine finally wore off. whoa nelly.
four: tires on my car need to be replaced soon.
five: tortillas from taco cabana have 625 calories. eek.
six: times a day (at least) i wonder if what i’m doing really makes a difference.
seven: pictures in my apartment need to be framed and hung.
eight: is a perfectly round little number. kinda like jlo’s butt.
nine: pandora radio stations are in constant rotation on my computer.
ten: years have passed since high school graduation.
eleven: fabulous girls in my small group make me thankful.
twelve: hair styling products are currently in my cabinet. i’ve downsized!
thirteen: isn’t really an unlucky number. you’re just paranoid.
fourteen: times i’ve hit my elbow on the edge of this desk… yet i keep on doing it.
fifteen: minutes until i’m headed out for some sweet tea!!

critter.

9 pm last night. angel (my neighbor upstairs) is supposedly out of town and i’m busy hanging and re-hanging bookshelves… trying to get the dang things level. i hear a strange sound. again. and again. and again. it’s coming from above.

9:05. the sound is rapid and loud. i call angel to verify my sanity and make sure she isn’t cleaning her hardwood floors with her fingernails. confirmed.

9:15. angel gets home and we scope the scene. no critter upstairs. the only alternative: it’s stuck between my ceiling and her floor.

9:20. the wild animal apparently does not like its accommodations. i’ve never heard such vicious clawing in all my life. i’ve got no idea what this critter might be, but it has HUGE claws. or talons. or nails.

9:45. this animal wants out. now. and if it continues digging/clawing at my ceiling with such vigor, it just might get out. and into my apartment.

10:30. what IS this thing? too big to be a mole. a raccoon, perhaps? a 40 lbs rat with freddy krueger claws? even when it walks, i can hear its claws crunching against the ceiling.

11:20. ah. peace and quiet.

11:22. just kidding. critter back in action. thankfully he likes the bathroom area best. he’s ventured out to the kitchen and living room, but he keeps on going back to the bathroom and digging.

12:00. i give up. going to bed. but i must first take all precautions: turn on tv so the critter thinks someone is awake. close bathroom door just in case he breaks through the ceiling. close bedroom door just in case he claws through the ceiling AND the bathroom door. wrap self up in comforter like a burrito–and cover head completely, just in case he comes through the bedroom ceiling.

12:05. critter still clawing. hearing aids out. aaaaaaaaaaah. peace and quiet.

8:00 am. hearing aids in. take broom and beat on ceiling to see if critter is still there. yep. but moving slowly. good lord–i hope he’s just tired from all the digging–i hope he’s not dying. that would stink. literally.

still waiting to hear back from the landlord. here’s to hoping the creepy critter’s gone by the time i get home today!

up to the minute.

dearest blog friends and stalkers… i know it’s been nearly a week since we’ve last chatted. my bad. can i blame it on being sick? ’cause i am. and that was a good enough excuse to get me the day off work [which i spent in bed]. even though i’m still not feeling up to par, i shall try to catch you up on life. prepare yourselves for some crazy bulletpoint action. ready. set. go.

  • not only have i neglected my blog over the past couple of weeks… i’ve also been neglecting my apartment. um. you know when it gets so bad that you distinctly start walking around stuff instead of picking it up? yeah. that’s me. when you live in a 550 square foot apartment, things can only go so far before they start piling up on top of each other. must.clean.this.weekend.
  • last weekend i flew out to atlanta for my cousin brent’s wedding. it was a great weekend and a sweet wedding–all of the cousins were together for the first time in about 3 or 4 years, which is crazy. so great to see them. i forgot how beautiful fall is in the south and i was SO glad to see some gorgeous trees!!
  • i finally joined 24 hour fitness last night… i’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, but just never have because of the stupid outrageous startup fees. my hot friend lisa got me the hookup and i signed up for free. now i just need to schedule a couple of sessions with a personal trainer and i’m set. [oh, and i forgot how intimidating the gym is. eek.]
  • not wanting to rant, but if anyone knows where the mature late 20-, early 30-something year old guys are in dallas, shoot me an email. particularly ones who don’t talk about toilets and “getting crazy” on the weekends. for the love.
  • my grandaddy–my mom’s dad–passed away this week and his funeral is on saturday. although we were never close and no one is expecting me to be there, i hate that i’m missing it. it’s one of those rare times that i wish texas was just a little bit closer to tennessee.
  • on one hand, i can’t believe it’s mid-november already. on the other hand… is this year over yet?!?
  • i think i’m ready for another roommate. i know, i know–“are you sure?” yep. i’ve learned that i’m not the type of person who can just live with anyone… i have to be somewhat [more] selective of my roommates. i love where i live and want to stay in this area, but yes. it’s time for a roomie.
  • it’s christmas in dallas. tonight they lit the christmas lights downtown and we’ve had a cold front come through. [although it's still not nearly as cold as atlanta last weekend!] if i wasn’t sick, i’d be outside in the middle of it all, getting the warm fuzzies deep down inside. it’s the most wonderful time of the year!!
  • pictures from the wedding last weekend:

[the fam. nick and i weren't quite ready.]

dsc000821

[cousins! paulina, cole, mi, nick, shaunna, daniel, brent]

dsc000921

[favorite men.]

dsc000951

[favorite mom!]

dsc001021