28 February 2013

More volunteering

Last year, I got involved with my running pals in planning a 5K for a neighboring town. Sadly, due to work, I wasn't able to partake in the day-of activities.

This year, the same group is getting together again. Somehow, I've been handed the task of Facebook page management. This should be interesting. Granted, I'm on FB all the time, but I'm still trying to figure out what the Race Director's vision is for this. For now, I'll just keep working on it.

So Tuesday, I had lunch with the RD and Peter, whom the RD wanted to also do the FB updates. But since Peter tweets more than I do, he's going to take on the Twitter page and I have FB. The fun part is I'll have some giveaways and basically can put up whatever I want that's running or race related. It should be good.

Tonight, we had a full-on team meeting which was fun. Despite the fact that I'm not really running right now (which I do miss, and I am thinking of trying to take it up even though I'm at 20 weeks), it's fun to get together with runners. I miss these days.

I know I'm pathetic. I'm growing a person, I shouldn't be all upset that I'm missing out on things like running, but I am. I need to figure out some new release.

24 February 2013

No sex, please! Just books.

Today Mom and I went to the community theater to see "No Sex, please. I'm British!" This was a fun mom-daughter day. (We also had lunch - fun!)

Anyway, it was the Q-tip crowd so when the lead actress was pretty quiet at the beginning and not projecting very well, several people around us started muttering (or talking right out loud), "She needs to be louder!" or "I can't hear her!" or "What did she say?" ugh.

The play was fun though and it was really nice to spend the afternoon with Mom. We need to do that more often.

After I got home, I headed south to Kari's for our first night of book club. She had put out a request on Facebook if anyone was interested and while she initially intended it for the youth in her church, she had half a dozen of us adult types who wanted to read too.

So we're reading "Red Letter Revolution". It's an interesting read by Shane Claibourne and Tony Campolo. It'll will truly engage our minds on this one, and it's really nice to have some interaction with adults who aren't talking about work all the time. It'll be fun for the rest of the spring.

18 February 2013

Trying to volunteer more

I made M volunteer to help at church last month, so when I saw a request for offering counters I thought it might be my turn.

So today I was "trained" on how to count the offering bags. It seemed a little crazy and very disorganized, but maybe that was just our "leader" Dave. I did get to meet Jess and Shelly. Jess is pregnant and due in a couple months, so I'm hoping she and I can become friends so I can pick her brain.

This was pretty fun though. I do like to count money and it brought back memories of working at Arby's. I hope to be able to help more in the future.

14 February 2013

A regroup of ash

So yesterday I posted my plan for my 40 day long Lenten journey. I put it on facebook, but I think I'll be taking it down today. Because this morning, I read a sermon by the famous Sarcastic Lutheran, Nadia (whom I went to sem with) and I have had a change of heart.

Not that yesterday's plan isn't a good one. These are things I need to fix in my life, but like I said in the last paragraph, Lent is a time to come closer to God. Not biting my nails and reading fun books isn't really going to get me there.

Nadia's point that we give so much of our hearts to so many things that cannot love us back is so true. I give my time/heart/love to stupid things - like Facebook or food - when I should be making more time for Mike, my family, for God. And the funny thing is, I feel empty inside - I NEED God's grace more now than ever.

So while my plan yesterday is good for me as a person, my soul needs some work. Finding Making time to pray and return to God needs to be at the forefront. The rest will come.

From Nadia's sermon:
That’s what Ash Wednesday and Lent is…a thousand opportunities to return to God with all you heart. Returning again to the only thing in which we have any true self-hood …and that is the eternal and divine love of God. The eternal and divine love of God which created you from dust and breath.  The eternal and divine love of God to which you will return after your last breath when again you are dust.
12Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

13 February 2013

A little ash

Today is Ash Wednesday. I fully intend to get my ash in church, which is much needed these days.
A lot of my friends are talking about what they are "giving up" for Lent - whether it's beer, wine, facebook, etc. I like this concept - the idea that we sacrifice something we like to make room for other focuses.
But I also subscribe the concept of adding something into your life that is beneficial, that can help you grow as a person, or changing your life to make it better to being open to receiving God. I've heard of folks taking their lunch money (or what they would normally spend on lunch) and giving it to a worthy cause either daily or at the end of the 40 days (plus Sundays). I've heard of folks adding meditation into their daily routine to help them become closer to God. I like these ideas.
Mine are pretty basic this year, but full and with lots of explanation and underlying meaning.
  • In January I stopped biting my nails, in an attempt to 'become a girl', and let them grow. I did really well until last week. One snagged and ripped, so I had to trim it down. Then another did the same. In my trimming, they became rough and ick, so I started gnawing on just those two to try to 'clean them up' (I really need to invest in a good file). My nails are back to my normal, which isn't good. So my FIRST Lenten discipline is to not bite my nails. They did look nice when they were longer, I just need to not let them get as long so they don't snag.
  • Also in January, Mike and I took a concerted approach to church and made it more of a priority. He already volunteered to help with building the Faith Boxes for the church's newly baptized members. I am getting training next week to help count offering on Mondays (since I have that day off). And as for going to church we have only missed for guard drill and last week when we weren't feeling well and the weather was crap. It's great to be back in the church community. I'll be attending Wednesday services, too, and hope that he'll join me when he's not with his mom. So the SECOND is to continue to include church in our lives more fully.
  • Over the weekend, Mike and I realized that we both really need to get back into an exercise routine. Winter is bad for us as our motivation lacks and it's just so much easier to sleep in or curl up on the couch at night. So yesterday, we got up at 5am to work out. He's going gung-ho, which is great, and started back with P90X. I'm going a little slower but steady with yoga and the elliptical. I wasn't sure if I'd make it this morning too, but I did and I do feel better because of it. So my THIRD add is to keep exercise in my morning routine. I need it - bad - on so many levels.
  • This is starting to seem like a lot, but if you didn't have my long explanations, it would be quite short, really. My FOURTH plan is to read more and to take time for me. I haven't read a book in a VERY long time, and I really found I've missed it. This past weekend I needed something to read so I started the Harry Potter series...again. I'm almost done with Book 3 and, while I will finish the rest of the series - because I'm anal that way, I really want to read some other books and get back into a routine to take time for me. I do have quite a few books I've purchased over the last year, so I'm not lacking for books, I just need to shut off the TV and read.
  • My FIFTH and probably final, because I may be setting myself up for failure here, is to find and acknowledge the good in my day, each and every day. I really am blessed with great friends, awesome family, a loving husband, great job, and so much more. There are days when the world gets me down and I forget that. I once attempted a gratitude journal - it lasted a day. My hope is to revive that and really think about and acknowledge my blessings each day.
Lent doesn't have to be filled with darkness and depression. It's a time to reflect and find a way to be closer to God. I'm not sure if my plan will get me there, but I have hope that it will help me to be a better person all around which will lead me closer to God in the end.

05 February 2013

West Side Story

This is becoming a habit, but I'm not complaining. Kari and I went to West Side Story tonight. It was playing at the Pavilion and we both wanted to see it. She gets season tickets so she invited me along.

This one is a bit of the opposite from Les Miz. I think I actually prefer the movie version of this one. The acting was good, but the staging and choreography was weird. There were times it I wondered if the choreographer was getting paid by the step, and at other times if she/he had just run out of ideas because the actors just stood there.

Example of the latter - During "Something's comin'", the actor playing Tony stood at the front of the stage, a single spotlight on him and just stood there singing. Don't get me wrong, he sang well, but if I was Tony and I was anticipating something exciting happening, I might be doing more than just standing still. But that's just me.

Lighting was okay, but a couple times it was abrasive. At the end of the song I just mentioned, they had wheeled in the "balcony" with Maria standing on it. All of a sudden the spot was BAM! on her and it was so striking that it didn't feel right. Had they eased into it, it would have made more sense.

The other thing I didn't quite understand, and maybe it was just a movie thing or lack of understanding on my part (both theatrically as well as the language barrier) - often the Latinos would slip into Spanish - in the middle of a song or dialogue for several lines, leaving me, the listener, to piecemeal what was being said.

Other than all that, it was a pretty good play, just not my favorite.