March 31, 2010

mush, mush I tell you

Photos like this make me go to mush. A giant puddle. A pile of nothingness.

This is the newest little one that I'm sponsoring through An Orphan's Wish. Isn't Shannan just the cutest thing?! Don't you just want to scoop her up and kiss those chubby little cheeks?! Don't you want to whisper in her ear that she is loved by the God of the universe?!

Remember Janie? She has now finished all her casting in the club foot unit at An Orphan's Wish. My sponsorship for her through AOW is now over since her time there was complete. Her little face has continually been on my heart and in my mind. I beg God to send her a loving family who will want her to be theirs forever. A family that will tell her about Jesus and how much HE loves her. A mommy and daddy. Most of the time those prayers come with tears.

If you are interested in standing in the gap for little orphans like Janie and Shannan, being an advocate and helping to heal their physical needs, check out An Orphan's Wish or Show Hope. Both of these incredible organizations are doing so much to care for the orphans in China.

And don't forget....these precious ones also need loving families. Could that be you?!

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:27

March 30, 2010

(I almost blew off the Top of the Rock. It was crazy windy!)

This is my happy face.


My dearest little brother flies in tonight.
LATE tonight.
He'll be here for just a few days before we head back to NYC with my parents to drop him off.
He'll be living there for a month.
Same time zone.
I have a horrible addiction to him.
I hate it when he's far away.
In a dream world, he would live in a house on my right and my sister with her crew would live in a house on the left. And we'd have dinner together at least once a week.
It's fun to live in dream world.

March 29, 2010

Random things that don't go with this photo (which is from Top of the Rock, btw.)

1. I LOVE the movie Iron Man. Love it, like I can watch it again immediately after the credits roll at the end, love it. Why? Don't know. I went through a Twister phase just like this several years ago. And then a Garden State phase. I think I'm OCD sometimes. Seriously.
And speaking of Iron Man, please let the second one be like Temple of Doom was for Indiana Jones....awesome. I hate lousy sequels.

2. I traded out my hearts for a new fun seasonal thing yesterday. Photos to come as soon as this horrid rain/clouds clear up.

3. My friends are such an incredible blessing in my life. I was reminded of this last night at an impromptu gathering. We can all sit and chat and just enjoy each other's company. It isn't forced.

4. I've been watching Scrubs and Gilmore Girls again. They never get old.

5. 33 is creeping closer and closer and I'm caring less and less.

6. My car has a broken part that manufactures aren't even making yet because the car is so new. Of course this would happen to me. And of course, my warranty doesn't cover it.

7. I desperately need a hair cut, but hate spending the money.

8. My sister offered to mail my niece and nephew to me today. If only this could be true.

9. I find this photo by Chrissie White completely inspiring. This one, too.

10. Do you have one of those songs that you just always hum/sing to yourself? One that you've had for years and years? This one is mine...

11. Monday night TV = awesome.

12. Thank you for all you kind comments. I really enjoy hearing what you have to say. It means the world to me that you read my little blog.


Cottage Girl

March 28, 2010

Evil Ben or Good Ben?

There is a guy at my church who is the long lost twin of Ben Linus. The first time I saw him I swear I did a double take. I had to stare for a long minute and hope he didn't see me. They are that similar.

Today, I sat next to Ben Linus and his wife. It was rather strange to see him singing,

"amazing love,

how can it be,

that You my King would die for me."


"Savior, He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save,

He is mighty to save."


"Oooh, praise Him,
He is holy."

Then, we took communion and I wanted to scream,

Benjamin Lius, you have blood on your hands!

Think about Jack and Sawyer and your daughter!

Look at all you've done!"

But I didn't. I calmly blinked a few times and reminded myself to step out of TV world and focus on the service. The service, this morning, that happened to be about propitiation. God's great mercy and love on us, the evil ones that don't deserve all the forgiveness and righteousness He has bestowed upon us. Then I thought that Jesus loves even Benjamin Linus (if he were a real person, of course). Needless to say, my brain was going a little crazy in church this morning.

In other news...

I've completed a fun, new project that I will share soon.

I get to see The Bro this week!!

The stop motion animation in Fantastic Mr. Fox is astounding. The story is just "so-so" though.

I'm in love with this painting. Two things I love. Silhouettes and tall ships.

You have to see this photo of my niece. She IS my sister's child.

March 27, 2010

Which way?

Just having some Poladroid fun. It's been a while.

Have you tried it yet?

This is from the Top of the Rock. I still have tons more to say about that. Just need to play with the photos still. Today is devoted to crafting though. Gotta finish some gifts.

March 26, 2010

positively inspiring

The whole reason I took my whirlwind trip to NYC was for Tim Burton. I had read several months ago about the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. I read about it and instantly wanted to go. HAD to go. NEEDED to go. My roommate and I had planned a trip for December, but then that fell through. Then we planned another one and we didn't get a hotel, so that date fell through as well.

Finally, we decided that we couldn't wait any more because time was running out and our lives were getting swallowed by the monster that is "spring time at camp." We booked a hotel on Saturday. Bought the tickets to the MoMA on Monday and left on Tuesday. And I must say that it was one of the most amazingly, inspiring things I've seen in years.

Tim Burton is the genius behind so many great films. Many of which are some of my all time favorites like Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Sweeney Todd. His films are, for the most part, very distinctively his. And I am one of those people who loves them.

(entryway into the exhibit. It's even more amazing in person.
Image found via google images.)

I went into this exhibit knowing that it was light on the film side and more heavy on the artist side of his work. I didn't know what to expect, really. I think that was a good thing because I was in awe when I saw drawings/painting like this....

Or this. Note the details. You could stare at this for a long time just trying to see it all.

I was simple astounded/awestruck at his drawings. I fought my way (that place was crazy crowded!!) to stand in front of each drawing that I could to really look at them. The details. Oh, the details. There is just something about seeing these works in person that doesn't compare with seeing them in a book or on a computer monitor.

There was a room devoted to his films as well. Drawings like this from Edward Scissorhands

And not just drawings, but outlines for scripts written on yellow legal pads, drawings on cardboard boxes, napkins, hotel notepads and sketchbooks. Sketches of the Penguin (from Batman), Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hallow. There was a beautiful piece from one of his Corpse Bride collaborators that was a silhouette of every character in Corpse Bride. I wanted a print of that one so badly to put on my wall because it was so beautiful.

It was like getting to walk through his imagination and see how he creates. He seems to love stripes and patterns. He loves creepy and different.

My favorite drawing was similar to this one. I just adore the walls and the floor. Again, the details in person are just incredible.

I can't recommend this exhibit enough. GO, if you can! If you can't, the exhibit's website is full of great things too. You can see a small image of just about everything in the exhibit here. Here's a quick video that gives you a glimpse of pieces of the exhibit without the 675 people crammed around them.

***photography wasn't allowed in the exhibit. I snuck the first 2 photos while no one was looking. hehe. I just had to have some record that I was there. The other photos are all from Google images.

March 25, 2010

bright lights, big city

I feel like I have a city hangover. It's still lingering in my mind every 2 seconds. The lights. The hustle and bustle. The masses of people. The sounds. It's all right there...

I'm sure NYC is an acquired love. Some people simply hate the city. They hate everything that I love about it...what makes it what it is. I love it mostly cause it isn't my every day life. Don't know if I would want to live there for the rest of my life, but I LOVE visiting. I love swimming around in it for a while and heading back to my own little pond.

And those bright lights and colors.....magical.

~~~in non-vacation related news:

I'm super excited to sign up for this class.

My semi-new car needs a new muffler. awesome.

The Cottage is at war (an annual event) with the ants. They are winning at present...

March 23, 2010

Mini vaca

On a wim, my roomie and decided to take a road trip and go to the Big Apple. Be back soon with more photos and stories.

March 22, 2010

trip down memory lane

This past weekend, I was watching one of my 15 DVR'd (is that a word ?) shows.

side note on DVR's: I resisted for years. Mostly because I think it was (and still is) ridiculous that I get charged a monthly fee to record television. Also, because I feared I would watch more TV than I already do. Now that I have this magical machine, I love it just like I feared I would and don't mind paying that extra few dollars a month to use it.
That...on top of the fact that I no longer have to remember to set my VCR timer. I don't have have be home on Wednesday nights for Glee or have any type of TV viewing schedule. I fit it in when I can and let the episodes pile up when I more important things to do (read: live my life). I'm hopelessly addicted to television, as stated before several times here.

Back to the topic at hand. I was watching a show on my DVR and realized that the hotel used in this particular epidsode looked very familiar. Like, REALLY familiar. I realized that was because I had actually stayed in this hotel when on my one trip to Los Angeles in 2006. That brought back all sorts of wonderful memories of one of the best trips I have ever taken in my life. I went searching through my photos to sort through all those fond memories.

I got to see so many fun movie/TV filming locations.

I got to sail under and drive over the Golden Gate bridge.

And Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

I fell in love with Vancouver.

And introduced my family to one of my favorite spots on the planet: Cannon Beach, OR.

I hung off a cable car on the way to Lumbard Street.

I found where Veronica Mars lives (or the studio where they filmed it at least) .

And found a pretty beach in San Diego.

Hollywood's magic captured me.

And saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen.

And I did it all (except for a few extra days in Vancouver and LA) on a cruise.

My mom and I still say that it was one of our favorite trips ever. It's a shame that this cruise itinerary isn't offered any more. It is magical!

March 21, 2010

Since the weather has warmed up quite a bit, I can't stop dreaming about camping. The spring smell in the air brings to mind things like campfires, meals cooked over the grill, sleeping bags, the smell of my family's old camper, the soothing sound of rain on the roof and other such wonders.

My summers as a kid (and teenager) always involved several camping trips. Those were our vacations. And as much as I love traveling the world and staying in nice hotels and cruise boats, there is nothing that compares to camping.

Maybe it's cause I'm a "home-body" and I like sleeping in "my own bed." Or maybe it's just the general nature of people who camp. They usually seem more open and kind than hotel dwellers.

Whatever it is, I haven't outgrown my love of it. Now, I will say that I've always camped in a camper/travel trailer. Tent camping is much tougher and rugged for me. But either way, there is something magical about it. And this warm air and bright sunshine is making me crave it somethin' fierce!

March 20, 2010

I got to swim with the dolphins

For Christmas this year, my parents got me a "swim with the dolphins" adventure. My mom and I did our program through Dolphin Encounters in Nassau. And I must admit that it was one of the coolest things I've ever done. And NO I wasn't scared for one second. I wish it could have lasted all day!

The day was a little colder than we were hoping, but we got to wear wetsuits which were a life saver. I think I would have been purple and frozen if we didn't have them. I needed one of those when I took lifeguard training last year!

We got to do all kinds of cool things and touch and play with the dolphins. I've loved dolphins since I was a kid. I've gone to the touch pool at Sea World several times reaching out my hand as far as I could to feel their soft skin. And yes, they are soft and smooth. Kinda like a wet inner tube, but smoother.

At the end, we got to do the foot push. Dear goodness, I could have done that 10 times. It was like flying across the water. I felt like The Little Mermaid. You lay on your stomach in the water with your legs out straight behind you and your arms out to the sides. Two dolphins come behind you and they one puts their beak on one of your feet. Then they swim super fast and you fly halfway out of the water. It was incredible. (see a video here)

Such a cool experience. Thanks, Momma! I LOVED it!

March 19, 2010

Should have

(This fish at Atlantis just stared at me for a solid 5 minutes. So I took his photo.
And yes, I need to finish showing you my cruise photos....)

I should have gone to the pool today.
I should have practiced my strokes.
I should have swam a 500 to refresh my memory of lifeguarding.
I should have hair that smells like chlorine, wrinkled fingers and goggle marks.
I should have, but I didn't.

Instead, I chose to enjoy our 70 degree day. I drove my car around with the windows down, my hair blowing in the wind and Jimmy Eat World cranked up. I breathed deeply in the spring scented air and smiled at the daffodils that are popping out of the muddy ground. I took of my socks and coat and let the sun beat down on my winter skin.

And I have to say, that I don't feel that bad about it.

Then I came home and ate my roommates delicious brisket and we watched Project Runway (go Seth Aaron!). Then friends came over and we ate yummy pie and talked until late into the evening. It was a lovely day. Lovely friends. Yummy food. Warm sunshine.

Night, all! Happiest of weekends to you!


Cottage Girl

March 18, 2010

come, Spring....come quickly

I'm very ready for:

short sleeves
bicycle rides
skirts with no tights
warm sunshine
green leaves
bright flowers

It's getting warmer here. But not quite that warm yet. I'm trying my hardest to be patient, but it is SO HARD!

March 17, 2010

1975 documentary gem

Two things:

How have I never seen this magical piece of cinema?


When can I watch it again? And again? And again?

I don't know if I could even pick a favorite moment...

Edie's thoughts on being single.

Mother Edie cooking corn on the cob on a hot plate that sits on her bed.

Edie's dance with the American flag.

Or this moment:

I'm so excited to see the other DVD that came out more recently with even more footage. Already put it on hold at the library. Plus the HBO TV movie that won all the Golden Globes last year.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't stop watching. Maybe cause Big Edie reminds me so much of my own grandma. Or maybe it's just how very interesting they must have been.
But I don't know if I could have stepped inside that house with out freaking out. I have to clean up my room each night before I can go to bed or it drives me crazy. A room full of empty cat food cans would have sent me over the edge.