things i love...#7.

#7: musicals! (theatre and film)

so, i went and saw high school musical 3 last weekend (i know, i know) and it was a reminder that i just really love musicals...there's something about telling a story through song that totally captivates me. sound of music was the first movie i watched straight through without saying a word or moving an inch as a kid. my first love of the stage came from singing "you can't get a man with a gun" as a 5th grader from annie get your gun. middle school and high school of course followed with many shows and many roles, developing my love for song and dance and performing. i saw my first broadway show my freshman year in high school on a theatre trip to NYC (also the start of my obsession with new york!) and have loved professional theatre ever since.
my favorites: wicked, rent, chicago, thoroughly modern millie, and les miserables.
not to mention my all-time favorite movie...newsies!

sometimes i wish my life was a musical...communicating messages in melodies and conflict through a chorus line...beautiful bright colors and loads of laughter.
but until my neighbors all bust into jazz squares as we get our mail...or our next conference call at work begins a beautiful ballad with 4-part harmony...

i guess i'll just settle for the stage.


pumpkin carving ABCs...

here's a little picture recap from our "carvilicious pumpkin & chili partay" tonight. (thanks to annie for the awesome photos)

A: ANGLE your pumpkin lid (so it doesn't fall in) then dig out all the insides (ewww)...

B: BEGIN carving...

note to self: do not pick a complicated pattern

C: CANDLE - put one in & watch it glow...


gone campin'.

after waiting far too long to find a weekend to plan a camping trip, we were all set for last night. but thursday it wasn't looking good -- forcasts for constant rain showers all day and night on friday. but we would not back down so easily...we decided to wait it out, and prayed for a weather miracle. friday morning was rain and more rain...but by mid-afternoon, the clouds began to part, and the sky started to clear! it was on..we were heading to the woods.

and it ended up being perfect fall camping weather - the brisk cool air that makes you want to sit close to the campire and then snuggle in your sleeping bag. there's just something about being out in nature with great friends + good conversation.
here are a few highlights...

julie and i excited about jiffy pop + s'mores!

the group...staying cozy by the fire.

at the end of our morning hike.


things i love...#6.

#6: free music.

we already know i'm obsessed with pandora.
but there's another little treat out there...and it's called noisetrade. you can download entire albums for FREE, if you just email it on to 5 friends. (or, sans emails, just "pay what you want")

people to check out on noisetrade:
mocha club artists micah dalton, katie herzig, blake aaron guthrie, and green river ordinance.
nashville friends matthew perryman jones, disappointed by candy, harrison hudson, and juddandmaggie.


things i love...#5.

#5: arbonne.
what is arbonne? it's skincare, makeup, aromatherapy, nutrition, and more. (and yes, they even have products for men. just ask my friend matt.)
and i'm an independent consultant...obviously not a very good one because most of you probably don't even know i sell it. i mostly just do it for the discount :)
but seriously...the products are awesome.

my new favorite is the spf 15 mineral powder.

i love the sun products... sunscreen, self-tanner, bronzer.

i use this line for my skincare...face wash, lotion, and more.

and this is constantly burning in my office right now.

oh, and check out the holiday line for some limited time specials!

well, this kinda turned into an infomercial...but seriously, if you're shopping for new products, let me know! you won't be disapointed.


free to be me.

i'm becoming more and more aware of how desperate i am to fight for truth..to battle the lies that i all to often believe. as i've been fighting against anxiety and fear...and for joy and peace, i was journaling these words today...

Lord, show me how to be dependent, how to rest, how to sit and be still in Your presence. i know i live by performance all to often. continue to shout themes of grace into my heart. help me believe that i am free. remind me that i am fully loved and accepted today...exactly as i am.

then this song, "free" by shawn mcdonald, came into my mind. it so perfectly expresses what i'm feeling.

i feel like the weight of the world is all crashing down on me
and somehow i just don’t believe this is how it's suppose to be
all this expectation on the way i’m suppose to live
becomes my mind's distraction, with nothing left to give

You said Your burden is light and Your load is no more
You said Your ways are right and in You i will soar

i want to be free, free to dance and free to sing
free to live and learn and free oh, free to be me

i feel like my heart is being beat down into the ground
in You i’m longing for some peace to be found
i know the heaviness that’s making me cold
is stealing my youthful soul and making me old

You said Your burden is light and Your load is no more
You said Your ways are right and in You i will soar

i want to be free, free to dance and free to sing
free to live and learn and free oh, free to be me


things i love...#4.

#4: city skylines.

i don't know what it is, but when i see a skyline i just smile. that was a huge deciding factor in where i purchased a place in nashville...
"is the skyline in view?" check.i think it reminds me that i'm just a small piece of a big story. and it reminds me of my city love. i'm realizing how much i thrive in a city environment...in the hustle and bustle of life, in a metropolis of people, in an urban atmostphere...i just love it.
here are few of my favorites...

new york



i continue to pray jeremiah 29:7 for nashville...for my community, for my city. "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you..."


things i love...#3.

#3: edamame! this little soybean is rich in protein and vitamins A, B, and C. you can get it as an appetizer at many restaurants, but it's super easy to make at home, too...i eat them as a snack, or sometimes as a meal! i buy frozen bags by the handful, and just pop a bag into the microwave, and 4 minutes later...ta da! once cooked, add sea salt for added flavor.



things i love...#2.

#2: pilates.
those who know me well, know that i have always enjoyed the gym and group fitness. i've taught step, kickboxing, spin... but i never really ventured into "mat classes"...ie: yoga + pilates (which are very different, by the way -- instructors do not like to be grouped into the same catagory)

if you live under a rock and don't know what pilates is, read about it here

the pilates workshop is right down the street from me, so i've been taking classes with some neighborhood friends there once a week now for a few months. it increases your strength and flexibility, reteaching your body how to move with a focus on a mind/body connection (but not the meditation element like yoga)
i can tell a difference in the way i sit, stand, run, and walk.

don't be afraid of the mat!


things i love...just the beginning.

earlier this year i made a list of things i love. in an effort to appreciate and enjoy the little gifts in our lives, i've decided to now break those down into more detail. some of these will overlap with that list, and some are newer loves in my life.
all in no particular order...

ok, so #1 is RED BOX. seriously...$1 movie rentals? it's like a too-good-to-be-true romance. i think my roommate and i are averaging 2 movies a week now. reasons i'm hooked: you can return the movie to ANY mcdonalds (and you have until 9pm), it's quick & easy, email receipts, a wide selection, no membership required, and the machine remembers me by my debit/credit card.

sorry, blockbuster, i hope we can still be friends.

10/15 update: i have just discovered how you can also get FREE REDBOX RENTALS...score!!


call + response.

so midtown has begun a new series of "movies + discussion" that we will do once a month to encourage our community to step into some deep issues and then discuss ways we can take action. we watched our first film today, called call + response. y'all, this film is good. it's a "rockumentary" which basically means it's a documentary with some amazing musicians. imogen heap, cold war kids, switchfoot, natasha bedingfield, and more contribute songs and thoughts to address the issue of human traffiking...the real story of more humans being sold into slavery today than in any other time in history.

- over 1/3 of prostitutes in south and east asia are children.
- 40-50% of men in thailand and cambodia, whether married or single, regularly pay for sex.
- in india, an estimated 40% of all prostitutes are under 18.
- more than 17,500 are trafficked into the US each year.
- every 10 minutes a woman or child is trafficked into the US for forced labor.
- in 2007, slave traders made over 8 times the amount of the annual UN budget, and more than google, nike, and starbucks combined.

1. watch the trailer.
2. find a theater.
3. go and SEE this.
...then spread the word. respond.

"all that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing." -edmund burke


debate 08 - update.

today's "block party" = 9 hours on our feet + torrential downpours + a lot of crazy people.
but let's just say we made some connections... ;)

here's a shot of the event center about an hour before the debate.


debate 08 - welcome to nashville!

so tomorrow is the big day...and i'm pretty sure nashville has been preparing for this for over a year now...DEBATE 08. there are signs all over town, it's all everybody's talking about...mccain and obama (+ 3000 reporters) will be HERE...TOMORROW.

i admit i have been less than enthusiastic up until today, but found out over the weekend that WE get to be a part of the "block party" leading up to the debate tomorrow afternoon...so i'm excited to see all that entails, and i'm looking forward to educating myself more in this process.(read an article here)


humbly His.

i feel like i'm getting hit with the humility stick a bunch lately. i'm so quick to define myself as better...better than "them", better off without "their" help...whoever or whatever that might be. my pastor said something interesting this morning -- that humility is not about weakness or forfeiting who we are...but that it's all about who we are completely submitted. and something about that completely resonates with my spirit. i'm growing into a place of really appreciating and resting in who i am...the gifts God has given me, the passions He has placed in me...and the idea of having to forfeit all of that makes me sad. so i love the idea of submission...reminding myself He is the gift-Giver, He is the passion-Provider...wanting to use the power and the position He grants me for His purposes, and not for my own. finding joy and satisfaction as i am allowed to play a part in a bigger story, but humbly reminded that i am neither the author nor the narrator of that story.
i'm humbled to say today i need the Lord more than ever -- i need Him to strengthen me. i need Him to affirm me. i need Him to guide me. and honestly i just need Him to show me how needy i really am.



today i feel like i have nothing valuable to offer. so let me redirect you to a few men who i think do...

matt chandler -- dwell deep.
mark driscoll -- the resurgence.
john piper -- desiring god.