December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

See you all in 2008! Off to party will my friends. Dance, dance revolution and Guitar Hero style...

for once I'm happy about the Writer's Stike

Cause now I get to see all the fun shows that I haven't watched yet this season. This way, I know it won't be pulled from the schedule after I get hooked after 2 episodes. I've been burned by the networks before, so now I wait. I love NBC and their full episodes online. Catching up is easy.

2 of my favorites so far (another being Sarah Connor Chronicles, which hasn't aired yet, but I got to see early. It's GOOD tv, guys. Sci fi fun.)

Chuck (NBC) Funny, great characters, fun idea, and I love the geeky main character. Always been a sucker for the nerds. And, of course, Adam Baldwin (Jayne of Firefly).

Gossip Girl (CW) I didn't want to like this one cause I am in a fight with the CW for canceling too many shows to count in the last 2 years. GG is silly, high school, cheesy fun. You want to stop watching so badly, but you can't. Dan is my favorite.

Couple more I want to try while TV is on hiatus. Pushing Daisies and Mad Men. And then Lost will start. And Battlestar in April. Hard to believe, but I actually watch less TV than I used to. It's a life long addiction I tell you....

In closing, I got a super cool phone call today. Our cottage line rang, which we rarely ever answer cause it's usually telemarketers. Anyone who knows us, calls our cells. I picked it up on the off chance that it may be a call I wanted to get. Then I heard that pause and then a person beginning his long winded shpeel. Rats...shouldn't have answered. But then to my utter excitement, the guy on the other line said he was from Nielsen ratings. We were chosen to do a diary for the sweeps month of February. Sweet! I get to write down what I watch and it will actually make a difference and go into their ratings summaries for sweeps month. The shows I like will get counted. I'm super excited about it!

December 30, 2007

it changed my world

I've been thinking about doing a year wrap up post. Tried to think of what to say. Tried to think what has impacted my little world this year. Tried to think about what changed me or how I changed myself. Tried imagine who I was 1 year ago. Tried to imagine how different I am now that 365 days have just about gone by.
I'm sure there are many things. Some of those I never shared here. Many, I did. My TV addictions, my new little nephew, pictures, friends, thoughts, verses, books I've read, links I share.
It's still crazy to me that people read my ramblings. I think do this mostly for myself. I like to re-read over what I write. I like to get a glimpse into my past in a more tangible way than "oh, remember when..."
But then again, I love telling each of you things. I love knowing that someone else is going to read this too. I love that I can share something that I've found or am enjoying.
I love that each of you read. I read each and every comment you write. I count it a privilege that you take time out of your day to read something that I write. It truly means a great deal to me. The greatest compliment any artist can receive is to be validated in their form of expression.
So, in all of my thinking about the year that has gone by, I wanted to just say how much Flickr has impacted my life this year. It has enhanced my photography in ways that I know are just beginning to bubble to the surface. It changed the way I look through my viewfinder. I found many, many photographers that are constantly pushing me outside my little box of what I think a picture should be. It helped me learn Photoshop. It taught me what Actions were.
I click over there way too many times a day to see what new pieces have been uploaded. I have tons of pictures in my "fave" folder. I get giddy when a photographer I admire leaves a note on my shot. It changed my photography for the better. It's helping me discover my own style.
OK, I've rambled on way too long. Too many rabbit trails. Short version....I "heart" Flickr.

we nerds travel in packs

Standing in line or waiting for fireworks, warrants an impromptu photo shoot.

Well, one of us wasn't too nerdy. He fell asleep every night in his stroller and had to be carried on the bus. He was so tired the last night, he fell asleep in my arms while chewing on my zipper to my jacket on our bus ride home. It's the only time he isn't squiggly. Isn't it so sweet!
One of my favorite things about Disney is all the kids passed out in their strollers mid-afternoon (nap time) and at night after the fireworks. I love how "family" Disney is. Not like other amusement parks where the teenagers are all over each other and have their hands in each others back pockets. Gross!


Found in the bottom of my luggage. A napkin from a meal, a Magic Kingdom map, my room key, which doubled as my pass to "extra magic hours," 4 day Hopper pass, Sea World ticket and my movie ticket to Sweeney Todd (loved it. Couldn't believe how many of the songs I remembered.) It's sad when it's over and this is the only thing you have left, isn't it?!

December 29, 2007

and it looked even more beautiful when it was actually in front of you

Our last day in Disney was at my favorite park, Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, Luke and I were both feeling yucky. We stayed 'til late to see the fireworks. Here's a quick peak at the castle. I took my D50 to the park that day. The rest of the time it was my Easyshare. Man, there is a difference in the quality. Click to see them bigger to get the full effect.

i heart old music

This morning it's Frank Sinatra. A fun CD from my sister for Christmas. I think I was born in the wrong time period sometimes.

December 28, 2007

live and in person

So, I got a web cam for Christmas. Now I can video chat with my sis and Lukes and my parents. And I can take pictures of myself.
Here I am in my messy room. Behind me you can see "the beast" my old monitor, which my parents gave to me and asked that it NOT be returned. I think it's off to the glue factory. My new monitor (thanks, bro) is happily installed in all it's huge flat screen glory.
On the left is a box with leftover Christmas craft present remnants and a picture that I took out of the living room and still haven't done anything with.
Then on my dresser is a cup of water that has been transfered from my desk, which is now all moved around because of said monitor. I drink a lot of water. It's always severely lacking when I go on vacation, so I have to make up when I get home.
My robe is hanging on the backside of the door. Since we have no storage around here, towels are hung on the backs of doors. Lovely, yes, I know. But my robe is a cool black and pink polka dot softy. It's so warm and snuggly.
Note the hair. In a messy ponytail with no regard as to how it looks. Truth be told, I haven't washed it in a couple days. It's been in two Anne of Green Gables braids all day. Sometimes your hair just needs a break from all the chemicals and washing, you know? The Florida water stripped mine. Maybe it will be happier tomorrow.
Finally, I'm wrapped up in a blanket, which is how I do all of my posting in the winter. Lovely is the view from this cottage, yet freezing is the temperature. I forgot how COLD it is in this house!
There you have it. The glamorous life of Cottage Girl. I'm sure you are all so jealous of my mad decorating skills. I guess we can't all excel at everything. Decorator I am not....but oh, how I wish I was.

December 27, 2007

swiped from mom

My hair actually looks pretty here. We were on our Disney safari. I was taking pictures of Luke and not the animals.
Disney transportation. I love those stupid busses. I love that you don't have to pay everytime you get on. I love that the people driving are so nice.

He was done by the time we went home. This picture makes me laugh. He loves to tortue my mom by not smiling when she wants to take picturs.

I'm home tomorrow, so more to come. Can't wait to go through my own! So many to go thru though. Then it's time to get ready for the big New Year's Eve party.

December 26, 2007

Mish Mash

I still haven't uploaded my pictures, so I'm not going to go into a vacation recap. I got a sweet present for Christmas that is making me want to wait until I get home to play my pictures.

My present from my brother is an amazing "new" computer montior. He got an enormous new one and I'm ecstatic to have his old one. It's much nicer than anything I could afford to get. I can't wait to use it!
My parents also got me video cam for my computer so we and my sister can video chat. Fun,fun!

I must say that as much fun as it is to be on vacation and be with my family, I miss my little cottage. I miss the water! I don't think I realized how much until today. I miss seeing the tide change everyday and the sun set over the river. I never get tired of it. Never.

My renewed passport came in the mail, and I'm dying to use it. It looks so lonely without any stamps on it. It was a fiasco trying to get it done. It came back 2 times because of the picture. Frustrating. If the same thing happens to you, you have to try this site. It saved me from screaming a third time.

Currently reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Was recommended to me by her. We got to talk about it in person. Fun story that I will post about when the pictures are uploaded.

My TV show to watch this Christmas (an annual tradition) is Gossip Girl. I resisted after my brother kept saying it was good. (yes, my 25 year old brother. "the girls are hot" is his description for it.) It's okay. It every so slightly fills that Veronica Mars hole in my heart. Only slightly. Maybe because she is the narrorator. It's a fun way to fill the rainy day and a long drive to FL.

Two friends got engaged. Busy week, last week.

And......I still miss riding the bus around Disney.

December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas, everyone!

from me and my Disney lovin' family.
**photos by my mom

December 24, 2007



a horrid sore throat

a sick nephew

2 cameras full of pictures to upload

all my Christmas presents to wrap

laundry to do

and a slight case of missing "Under the Sea" on the steel drums every time I get on the Caribbean Beach bus. (I just love Disney transportation. Really, truly love it.)

more to come later...

December 20, 2007

EPCOT today

The first time I've had time or internet access. We've been having a grand time here. A few highlights...

A safari at Animal Kingdom yesterday.

The Exploration roller coaster 3 times yesterday.

Luke asleep in his stroller.

Fireworks outside of the hotel everynight.

Warm weather, finally!

Disney transportation. I love it!

Meeting a new friend.

OK, off to jump on the bus to EPCOT. Will write again when I can.

December 16, 2007

first day

I must say that no matter how old I get, Disney still holds that weird special place in my heart. Just pulling up to MGM today on our Disney transportation bus, made me smile a huge smile and do a little skip into the gate. I screamed and laughed and loved every minute of the Tower of Terror. And like my mom says, there's nothing like a Disney park all lit up at night. And at's really is pure magic.
I love seeing the kids everywhere in strollers, especially late at night when they are sound asleep, clutching their newly purchased Mickey or Minnie stuffed animals. Luke was one of those kids tonight sans the Mickey. He LOVED looking at everything. Big eyes full of wonder. He watched the shows and stared at the characters.
So, my favorite part of the day....I don't know. Tonight, after we finished at the park. Oh, wait, I do have to say was/is COLD here. Like in the low 50's and into the 40's tonight. We were freezing when we left MGM tonight. It's kinda weird to be at Disney and be cold. I had a winter hat and gloves on tonight....
But my favorite part of the day.... I don't know if I could choose one thing. After we finished at the park, we ate dinner at our resort and then headed back out to look around. We rode the monorail to the Contemporary and just happened to see the water parade on the lagoon. (ok, me and my mom ran like crazy people out the door and down to the dock to watch.) My dad asked me how far back I remembered seeing it. The furthest back was about 4 or 5 years old, or at least that's what I could remember. He thinks it was probably before that. The lights are the same. The dragon, the octopus, the flags and stars. So many memories. Maybe that's the best part. The memories that come along with this place. The utter feeling of magic and fun and it feeling ok to be ridiculously excited about Christmas lights and rides. The smiles and laughter and the fun that goes along with it.
And the knowledge that today was just the first day...

December 15, 2007


pop in

Just popping in to say hi from Rocky Mount, NC. We traveled for a couple hours last night and are getting closer to "the happiest place on earth!" The bro is making me watch Gossip Girl while were in the car. Yes, Gossip Girl, and yes, I made fun of him for it. Hey, it passes the hours, right?!
Later, gators!

December 14, 2007

All right, friends...

I'm off to the land of castles and make-believe. I'm off to the place where I can act like a kid and no one will even notice. I'm of to see Peter Pan, Mickey, Goofy and Donald and maybe even Captain Adama! I'm off to snuggle with my nephew, chat with my sister, annoy my brother during our 12 hour drive and laugh with my parents.
I will do my best to post as long as we have internet access. Have a Happy Christmas. I'll see you on the flip side.

came across this the other day

Anyone else ready for summer like I am?!!
I miss the campers like CRAZY!
This little guy is one of my favorites.
He is hysterical, absolutely hysterical.
Come on June!

December 13, 2007

20 minutes

This will take a little bit of your time
it will be worth it.

It was exactly what Jesus has been whispering to my soul
for the last 2 months.
Jesus spoke His words through this man
directly to me.
It was like a revelation,
and the peace that now covers me is almost tangible.
It takes my breath away with the beauty
of it's simplicity.

Maybe it's exactly
what you need to hear as well.

Listen and don't just hear it.
(there's about 1 minute of silence at the beginning while the speaker is getting ready)

So, I'm sure you have stupid things you love, too..

Two times in the last 24 hours. 2! And I may watch it one more. I must say, it's a great "packing for vacation" movie cause you don't have to pay close attention to the story. Plus, the music is stupidly, perfectly, delightfully fun and addicting.
I'm totally using the excuse that I HAD to watch it before I left for Disney because there will be shows there about it. You can bet on that one. And wouldn't I look stupid if I only knew the songs and the story from the first one? (no comments on me looking stupid just GOING to the show. It's freakin' Disney World! I go to shows with the Little Mermaid!) OK, maybe that's a good excuse for the first viewing. The second time around....well...I missed some parts when I was sewing and packing. Yeah, that's right...I missed some parts. I simply had to watch it one more time just to be sure....and because I was already singing the songs and dancing around my room....
Anyway, it's fun. It's clean. It's sweet. It's stupid and crazy. The plot is ridiculous which makes it even more perfect. And, seriously, what high school do kids this gorgeous go to?!!
Um, not mine. Yeah, no way. Not if I squinted really hard and spun around in circles. These two are just adorable! (and dating in real life)
Okay, enough gushing. I loved it. Good fun.
And I must say that I am excited there will be a #3.

See a clip here.
and here (and yes, I laugh at it ,too, every time, but I dare you not to sing it over and over after you hear it. or stare at his eyes for half the song. again, not my high school....)

December 12, 2007

Why I give...

I have said before how Shaohannah's Hope is so very near and dear to my heart. I love that, even though I'm not able to adopt at this point in my life, I can give to families who love Jesus and want to open their hearts and homes to a little one who needs a family.
About once a month, I get an email newsletter with 2 stories of families that have adopted along with other news and information. This month, one of the stories touched my heart and I just wanted to share it with all of you.
This family was so grateful and kind in their words. It's so nice to know where your $$ is going when you give to an organization. You sometimes wonder if it makes a difference or if anyone is being helped. But seeing the faces of these little ones and knowing that they are now being loved and being told about makes me cry every time. I pray that these children will grow to love Him and tell others as well.
I love this quote:

"I discovered that, yes, there were other people out there concerned for the children and for truly making a difference for Christ. It is you guys who make what we do possible as parents. Without other brothers and sisters as yourselves, many children would not come to know the Gospel."

I feel like that is so similar to the ministry I do hear at camp. We have so many donors that give of their time and resources and money to support our little ministry here. Because of their generosity, we are able to share the gospel with over 1,000 children each summer. Some of those kids come to know Jesus for the first time. It's humbling to be on the receiving end of that generosity. It's humbling to be used by God here. I forget that too often.
I hope all of you are able to be involved in a ministry that you feel passionate about, whether it's a check once a month or an hour every now and then. Get involved. Do something that has an eternal purpose. Make sure that you are part of the gospel going out into the world. Don't just sit on the sidelines and let someone else help. YOU can make a difference. YOU can be a light.

For more info on Shaohannah's Hope, click here or watch this video. And I double-dog-dare-you not to cry at least once. I haven't made it through with a dry eye yet, and I've watched it a ton of times!

December 11, 2007

close to home

Maybe because I work in ministry.
Maybe because my camp "family" is so very close.
Maybe because I understand how working in the trenches of the evil one's battleground unites those of us who fight.
Maybe because their faces could so easily be one of my co-workers instead of their's, if the location had been different.
Maybe because God is reminding me how precious life is.

For whatever the reason, as I was reading about the shootings in CO, it felt so very close to home. Their pictures were so normal, so very like some of our staff pictures. These young 20 somethings. Just like our summer staff. How would I have handled a situation like that? How would we, as a ministry, make sure that Jesus was still #1 in everything we did, even in the press conferences and press releases. Would I proclaim His name faithfully? Would I? I don't know. I pray that I would. I pray that Jesus would be evident in my grief. I pray that I would be able to forgive and love.

My heart is heavy for those YWAM workers left behind.....

December 10, 2007


I'll take:

2-3 week vacation in this house with this view.

Yummy goodness

Cliffs and beach.

I miss Hawaii so much that I want to scream! It's beyond beautiful there. Pictures don't do it justice. And seeing these on Flickr today made me miss it all the more!

on my heart

Four of the girls near and dear to my heart are going through some tough times right now. 4! It's so hard not to not be able to do anything to fix the problem. The only thing I can honestly do is pray. They are all constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
I just keep thinking how blessed I am to have them in my life. If I were in their situation, I know that they would do the very same for me.
Girls, you know who you are and I know you read this, I love each of you so very much and wish I could be there with each and every one of you to hold your hand and give you a hug. I know that God will be glorified in each of your lives because you are such Godly amazing women. Don't give up. Don't be discourage though the clouds may be dark around you. You are loved. You are precious. You are worth Jesus to God.

December 09, 2007

happy thoughts

My DVD player scrolls the words..."WELCOME....TO.....DVD......WORLD".....when I turn it on. Makes me smile every time. Then when I turn it off it blinks..."BYE". How polite!

The Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack. I forgot how magical it was. Haven't listened to it in forever. I sang along as I baked today.

Church was SO good this morning we sang 3 of my favorite P&W songs. It made me cry. I love when God feel that tangible.

Craft time. I waited way too long to start on my Christmas projects, but they are so much fun I don't even mind! Will post pictures after they are given to their new owners.

I get to baby sit the "little one" tonight. She's my Luke substitute. I miss you Lukey! Only one more week to go!

December 08, 2007

Christmasy Saturday

Working on my Christmas presents tonight. I decided to make some of them and am trying to finish up before we leave on Friday! Yikes!
#5 on my list is playing the background. Although I searched high and low on satellite for #1. It's the perfect night for it.....sigh....
Got lots of Christmas shopping done today. Went and watched the boat parade, a local Christmas tradition. One of the local yacht clubs lets people decorate their boats with 1,000's of lights and do a little parade for everyone. It's so fun!
I am loving the Christmas season this year. Anyone else?!

December 07, 2007

Christmas traditions - movies

The must watch list for the holidays. It just doesn't feel like Christmas if I don't see these at least once during the season.

#1. Holiday Inn is my all time favorite, although it was hard to choose. There is something about the mixture of Bing and Fred that makes it all the more magical. So many classic moments like Bing singing "White Christmas" (this was before the movie White Christmas), the songs and performances for each holiday, Fred Astaire's firecracker dance, and I LOVE the scene when Linda is shooting the movie at the end and comes in the "house" which is really the set for the movie and finds a surprise waiting for her. If you have never seen this one, I HIGHLY recommend it. I've loved it since the first time I saw it at 14.

2. It's a Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart (so dreamy...) and Donna Reed. Need I say more? There is a reason this one is a classic during Christmas or any other time.
3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
. Cause I laugh out loud every time I see him fall as he is watching the old home movies and Ellen opens the attic door. This is a MUST watch each year. More than once if possible

3. A Christmas Story. Yes, it's a tie for 3rd cause I can't choose between the two. I love every minute of this one. And I will watch it multiple times on it's annual 24 hours of A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. Plus, it's hardly known sequel is one of my top movies of all time. (If anyone knows where I can get this on VHS or DVD, let me know! I've been searching for years!)

4. Elf. It made me believe that Christmas classics can still be made today. By far, Will Ferrell's best.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1994 edition). I cry every time Santa signs to the little deaf girl. It's such a sweet adorable movie. I'm dying to see it the moment I watch the Macy's day parade each year.

6. Home Alone. I remember begging my parents to take us to see this. So many fun moments. And the John Williams musical score is perfection.

7. The Santa Clause. I love movies about Santa and the North Pole. Stupid cheesy, sappy holiday fun.
8. One Magic Christmas. One from my childhood. I haven't seen it in years, but I watched it every year at Christmas on the Disney Channel when I was growing up.

9. Christmas inn Connecticut. Saw this last year for the first time. So sweet. There is just something about old Christmas movies that make me happy inside. The story is cute.

10. Little Women. Technically, it's not a Christmas movie, but I always want to watch it around Christmas time (plus it was released at Christmas in '94). My favorite movie. No matter how many times I watch it (and it's been at least 100) I still cry when Beth dies. I still cringe when Jo rejects Laurie. I still laugh when Jo dances with Laurie. I love this cast. I love this story. My copy of this book is so tattered from it's bazillion re-reads. Yup, it's a must at Christmas time.
There it is. My little list of Holiday fun. Now, I'm sure that you want to argue about it, don't you? I'm sure I left off one that you love, didn't I?

December 06, 2007


Do you remember 14 years ago?

I was in my senior year of high school (praises be, it was almost over!).

It was a good year in TV world.

ER began. Remember those days of drooling over how cute this new actor named George Clooney was? And loving Mark Green and Susan. And thinking how young and naive Carter was when he talked to Dr. Benton. And how pretty Carol, the nurse's hair was. And that totally new way of using the camera on TV. It followed people around! Crazy! And the stories that made you cry (Love's Labor Lost...bawled my eyes out). It was TV magic. Top of the charts for years. Won gobs of awards.
I've been a pretty loyal viewer over the years. I've missed an episode here and there (the college years with the "no TV" rule and hall meeting on Thursdays at 10pm. The horror! Us Dorm 20-2 hall dwellers often complained about that!). It had it's good years and bad. It's good story lines (Africa with Carter and Luca, Dr. Greene's death: another cry fest, Carol's goodbye episode with a cameo from Doug, Abby's mom: every scene she's in (the amazing Sally Field. I said out loud that she would get an Emmy the first scene she did on the show. Yup, I was right!) to name a few) and the bad (Dr. Corday and Dr. Benton dating, Ray looses both his legs, Dr. Malucci: hated him). I still love it. The last 3 seasons have been fantastic. Not as great as it was those first few years when it was still new, but still fantastic. It's still Must See for me on Thursdays.

Congratulations ER on your 300th episode tonight! It takes some serious hard work and a little magic to make quality TV for 14 years and running. Here's hopin' the powers that be in TV world give you another season to shine!

**pics from my LA trip in '06. I was a smiling idiot when we got to go the ER set. IT WAS JUST THAT COOL. And much smaller than it looks!

Hi, my name is.....

....and I am a perfectionist.

(a mug shot type photo for Kiefer, who began his jail term today. Seriously, Kiefer, Jack Bauer would have known better....)

I read this article yesterday. Ali's AEzine. It's always filled with cool ideas and links. Well, today it struck a cord with me. She was talking about the things that keep us from being creative. Fear, being afraid. Not like you are afraid of snakes (um, yeah!) or scary movies (heck, yeah!) or shots (passing out now...). But all the stupid things like messing up or making it perfect. I'm totally guilty of those two. I will sit down to do something creative like an art journal page or paint and not get anything done after 2 hours. It drives me insane. I feel like there are a million ideas in my head, and I can't get one of them out.
Well, starting today, I'm going to do better. I'm not going to over think everything. I'm just going to create and whatever comes out is OK. Good or bad. Cool or not. It doesn't have to win an award. It doesn't have to be the last thing I will ever do.
All of you who have the same excuses about creating, check in on some of Ali's advice. It may help you too. Don't say "I can't because it won't be as good as _____." Who cares! It's yours. Are you happy with it? Then that's all that matters. Create away!

OK, who's in charge of reminding me about this and shoving it back in my face when I get stuck again? Anyone? Anyone?

December 05, 2007

wonderful snow

We got some snow by surprise today.
I'm sure it will be gone by tomorrow, but it's beautiful today!

Love you!

A great big happy birthday to my little sister! Head on over and give her a little love. I love you, dearest. See you in a short week and a half!

And here's a quick peak at my new bathroom. The walls are like a piece of candy!

December 04, 2007

wish I was here

Cannon Beach, OR. It is breathtaking.
(taken in Sept 06)