May 31, 2010

mind cheater. saw you


I have watched this clip about 10 times in the last 24 hours. Please, watch and laugh and wish you had licorice (liquice? that's for you, J) hair, too.

Chuck has been my "TV to craft to" as of late. I adore it. It's just so sweet and funny and the story line is cool (and gets better every season). Not to mention the adorable main character, whom I have already gushed about time and time again. I've gotten so many of my friends and family hooked on it as well. (Thanks, brother for introducing me on our vaca years ago). After the super good season finale this year, I had to go back and re-live the season 1 fun again.

What do you have playing in the background lately? I'm always on the hunt for new TV and music to fall in love with.

May 30, 2010

art journal

This art journal class that I'm taking has been so good for me. It's helping me explore my style, try new things, write down who I am at this moment in time, play with the piles of paper I have saved up and explore new ways of expressing myself.

It's kinda embarrassing to share your journal. All those thoughts you usually keep inside. But in some ways it's so free-ing to get it OUT.

Here are a few pages I've finished over the last few weeks....

And now, on to the craziest 10 weeks in my life each year. We start staff training on Wednesday after we host a picnic for 500 people tomorrow. Holiday, you say? Really? Not here. We don't believe in holidays during the months of warm weather.

May 29, 2010

highly inspiring at the moment

This piece by Paper Twins. The color combo and the geometric shapes. Yes, more please.
Found on Danielle's blog, one of my faves for years.

Took the plastic wrap off the new Band of Horses album this morning and have listened to it about 5 times since then. It's fantastic, wonderful, so good. Which reminds me, I need to buy their other ones and stop listening to all their songs online. I think this will be my "summer CD" like Beck's Modern Guilt was last summer.

What's inspiring you at the moment?

May 28, 2010


I know I'm completely biased, but she's pretty darn cute. Isn't she? I mean look at those cheeks and blue eyes.

And don't forget the spunk. Sassy is her middle name.

She's just like her mommy.

Look out big brother....

May 27, 2010

summer reading list

(my favorite book. it still has a magical pull on me. once i start it, i can't put it down. i've read it more times than i can count. and yes, sometimes i read on the floor. usually because i'm too dirty to sit on any furniture like this particular day.)

I've always been a big reader. I love coming home from the library with piles of books of all different types. There is just something about a good book that thrills me to my very core.

As the summer approaches, it just feels like it's time for a good old fashioned reading list, right?! I've found a few recently that I want to get through or at least give them a good honest try. But let's be honest. There is no way I will have time to get through everyone of these this summer. Camp is too all-consuming. But at least I have a list to go off of.
  1. The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan (this is the one series I still really want to try.)
  2. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (been looking for this one at thrift stores since I saw the movie. It's no where to be found.)
  3. Deadline - Chris Crutcher (found on this list on Pop Candy. such a great list)
  4. The Book Thief - Markus Kukas (This has almost gone home with me from the library about 10 times. It's time has come)
  5. The Associate - John Grisham (I have a weakness for his stories. Been reading them since I was in high school. Guilty pleasure.)
  6. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen (presently on its way from Amazon. I like Jane Austen in pocket size for easy traveling.)
  7. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart (it's been sitting on my nightstand, half-read for months. must finish.)
  8. Shadow of the Hegemon - Orson Scott Card (been saving this one for a while.)
  9. And finally......Be still my heart. Look what comes out August 24th.

I....can...not...wait. It's going to be so sad when this trilogy is over. It's quite fantastic.

What's on your reading list? I hope it's full of lots of fun, silly, easy to read books. You know, the kind that are perfect for sitting by the pool or laying on a picnic blanket in the park. Please share!

May 26, 2010

untitled random things

What the heck is my face doing? It looks like I want to eat him.

My fam has all gone back to their homes (except the parentals who only live a hop, skip and a jump away from me). Sad. Boo-hoo. Good-byes are no fun. But I'm thankful to have the fun memories and tons of photos too.

In other news....

Camp starts in about 2 days. Staff starts arriving tomorrow night and training begins. I just want to publicly say that I am over the moon excited that I don't have to take lifeguard training this year. Over. the. moon.

Quick run down of TV finales. Best to worst.

1. Grey's Anatomy (a season finale so intense I'm already planning to watch it again. SO good.)
2. Chuck ( Fantastic on so many levels. I'm in love with this adorable show. So many great Chuck and Ellie moments. Oh, and please read this. Adorable.)
3. Lost (I was on the "loved it" side of the fence. Sweet wrap up and glad it's over)
4. Modern Family (funny, adorable. Can't wait for next season.)
5. 24 (so disappointed by this series finale. boring...)
6. Gossip Girl (seriously? even for this silly show it was unbelievably stupid.)
Still to be determined: Glee, Parenthood (on the DVR), Friday Night Lights

coming summer reading list.

May 24, 2010


We aren't perfect.
We are crazy, silly.
We annoy each other.
We fight.
We hug.
We laugh.
We travel together.
We quote movie lines.
We laugh.
We have memories.
We love.

This little family.
I'm so blessed to call them mine.

****ok, who watched Lost last night? Let's hear it. For the record, I loved it. But maybe it needs a post all it's own. Oh, and there's a great discussion I read a lot of today on Pop Candy. Gotta do something while doing all that filing and copying and binding or I'll go crazy.

May 23, 2010

yummy smoothie

The past few mornings (almost a week now) I dove into the world of green smoothies. Gotta admit that I'm really mad I didn't do this earlier. I've wanted to. Oh, how I've wanted to. I LOVE a good smoothie. I mean I throw a smoothie PARTY every year for goodness sake.

I read about the green smoothie challenge on Happy Foody a while ago. It looked so inviting, but it just didn't seem like the right time then. I threw caution to the wind the other day, not really thinking about it other than "hey, I want a smoothie for breakfast this morning." That turned into morning after morning of "I want another one."

Favorite ingredients at the moment...

Frozen peaches
Frozen pineapple
Fresh spinach (a cup or so)
Chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons)
a teeny-tiny bit of Agave nectar

It's been having some amazing benefits. I'll share more when the experiment has had more time to work. But as of today, I'm a total believer of the importance of fruits and veggies in the morning. And Chia seeds are my new best friend.

Have you done the smoothie breakfast thing? What are your favorite recipes or websites to find recipes? Did you notice a difference in your health or energy? I'd love to hear about it!

complete side track.....did anyone else see the Grey's Anatomy season finale? (It's still on Hulu, at the moment) Oh. my. gosh. I haven't seen a TV episode of anything that intense in a long, long time. I was literally shaking/screaming into my pillow so I wouldn't wake up my roommate/crying/yelling/freaking out. It was delightful!

May 21, 2010

where I've been

I've been out of blogging world for a day or two. Important things to take care of. You know, like swinging.

And making munchkins smile and laugh and run.

And taking photos of The Bro whilst on said swings.

And following around little feet wherever they may take me.

(please note my mom in the background of this photo. To say that she loves being a grandmother is a slight understatement)

May 19, 2010

a day of happy colorful balloons

One of the wonderful ladies that I volunteer with at AOW sent me a quick email this morning telling me to hop on over to Love Without Boundaries' blog. And low and behold, there was sweet Janie. WALKING!!! I can't even tell you....the joy that filled my heart....the tears that pooled up in my eyes. That sweet smile of hers has been cemented in my heart forever in a way that I can't explain.

If you are interested in helping other orphans like Janie walk and run too, check out An Orphan's Wish. They do amazing things for the little ones in China. And maybe when your sponsored child is done with their treatment, you can follow then to another organization (like Love Without Boundaries) and support them there too. It has been one of the coolest things to watch Janie grow and WALK and have HOPE.

Today is a day full of happy colorful balloons for sure. Congratulations, sweet Janie!

***feel free to email me if you have any questions about sponsoring an orphan. I'm always happy to help!

May 18, 2010

tears rolling down my cheeks

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Just had to share this clip today. I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I watched this piece this morning. God was working on Matt L's heart. How amazing to see these wonderful people share Christ's love in such a gentle and beautiful way! We just never know how our lives will be used to show others who Jesus is. wow....

May 17, 2010

i love it when...

I love it when God surprises me with good things. When He answers the little requests of my heart. He's doing that right now through An Orphan's Wish. Those little cuties have captured my heart. I'm honored to be able to help them in the smallest of ways. And I just LOVE sponsoring one, too!

I love it when I open the Word, just hoping and praying that God will speak to ME and He DOES. Almost word for word what I've been pondering over. I get chills and sing a little hallelujah chorus in my mind. And then I journal feverishly, hoping to get down all the words that He is trying to speak to me.

I love it when God is vague. He makes me actively seek His heart. He makes me test the spirits. He wants me to look for HIM and not to just take what my heart, or what other say as the definition of truth.

I love it when prayer is a two way conversation and not just me asking for things.

I love it when my journal has daily entries of my cries out to Him. His words back to me are soothing to my very soul.

I love it when I am faced with the situations that are SO HARD that I can do nothing but fall down and let Him pick me back up and live life.

I love it when I realize that amidst the tough times, I am seeing His heart and growing closer to Him. I make not "like" it very much in an earthly sense, but I do love it.

May 16, 2010

another week before me

Can't even believe that another week is upon me. It's back to the office (thankfully. i've been MIA from the actual office for days because of climbing walls, kitchens, Home Depot runs and low elements courses). Oh, the amount of phone calls that await me...

Thankfully my work isn't done on a machine such as this one though. However I did learn to type on a machine that pretty much looked exactly like this.

Hopefully by the end of the week I won't look like this (poor Betty...). Actually I'm pretty sure I won't cause the end of my week will be the icing on this long long month. A visit with the ENTIRE family!

So work your hardest, Cottage Girl. Hugs for your niece and nephew await you on Friday.

ps...I'm SO ready for Mad Men to start. Season 4, please come quickly.

May 15, 2010

personal sob story

(source and this photo reminds me of Grey Gardens)

Okay, so last night, we were having a terrible thunderstorm, so I unplugged my computer and posted via my phone. Well, also, I went to bed before 9pm last night. Early? Um, I haven't been to bed that early since 3rd grade.

Here's the situation with my life lately. May is insanity. Literally. My brain has been shutting down. I'm staring into space all the time. I've had 2 days off since May 1st. I've been working 12 hour days since Thursday. And I've been running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done.

And here's the fun part....I haven't hit the "busy" season yet. Now, I will admit that May looks like this pretty much every year around here. We are in a full out sprint to get things ready for camp/staff training. Not only that but we are hosting school groups during the week. Weekend groups on the weekends. Volunteer groups doing work projects (and working with them) all over the property. Plus, trying to get our buildings, grounds, waterfront, low elements, etc ready for camp to start. It's a sprint to the finish I tell you.

Basically all this means that we are working ALL the time. However, it only gets worse once camp starts. Then we work 7 days a week and 10-12 hours a day. It's even crazier.

Now don't get me wrong. I love it here. I love the craziness. I love all the prep work. I love it! But it is SO HARD to deny myself "time." I like my free time. I like to art journal and sit down at my computer every once in a while. Yesterday, I had time to take a shower and eat dinner. That was my "free" time.

I was "tired" on Monday and it's really only gone downhill since then. Tired....ha! Tired was so 3 days ago. But you know what? Each day, I found a few moments (sometimes only 10 minutes) to open the Word and find exactly what I needed for the day. I honestly 100% believe that the only reason I haven't dropped from exhaustion or yelled at 15 people is that Jesus has become my strength, my energy, my everything to survive. I rely on Him to walk around when my feet are just HURTING from standing all day. I rely on Him to help me balay a kid on the wall when I can barely keep my eyes open. I rely on Him to help me have a pleasant voice/attitude when I answer the phone for the 85th time in the last 15 minutes.

He hasn't failed me yet, which is awesome because that's exactly who I will be depending on in the next few weeks when things really get crazy!

"...He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.
As soon as he hears it, he answers you...." -Isaiah 30:19b

Off to give 25 kids some s'more ingredients and then GO TO SLEEP!!

May 14, 2010

Storming and sleepy

It's 8:53 andstorming like crazy here at the moment. And I'm going to bed. Actually, I'm already in bed. Phone posting.
I can't begin to explain why I'm tired enough to go to bed at such a ridiculously early hour, so enjoy this picture of Winnie instead. She decided she was too good for her basket.

May 13, 2010

Hello from headquarters

This is pretty much how my room has looked for the last two weeks. A few things to notice...

1. Random clothes thrown across the foot of my bed. I change at least twice a day cause I get so yucky/dirty or the weather changes 20 degrees (79 yesterday 60 today. what?!)

2. Sigg bottle tied to my keys. This indicated busy-ness and no pockets. Don't want to loose either so I tie them together and drag them all over creation.

3. Bed is made. This must be done every morning, or I go insane. Really.

4. Art journal in progress. My desk has looked like this since my art journal class began 3 weeks ago. I do a little here and there when I have a spare minute.

5. Please note the adorable "Cottage Girl" sign my friend B made me for my birthday day. It goes perfectly in my room.

6. Bible, journal, camera bag on bed. The things I use the most during the day pretty much end here before going to their proper place at the end of the night.

7. Rabbit ears on computer monitor. I don't have satellite in my room. And after my old converter box fried, the new one I got doesn't seem to have as strong of a signal. Hence, its precarious position.

8. I still love my yellow walls 2 years later. Great choice.

9. The late evening sunshine. Oh happy day, the long summer days are here! If only the heat would come too.....

love from CG headquarters

May 12, 2010

stop motion inspiration

I found this when I was watching the Amazon Kindle commercial on youtube for the 37th time. It's done by the same people. Isn't it magical?!

May 11, 2010

water lilies part 2

Here's my other favorite. This one is even bigger. So big, in fact, that I couldn't fit it all in one photo. And seeing it in person at the MoMA...priceless.

It has that same peaceful, delightfully, dreamy quality to it. Again, happy sigh....

And here's van Gough's The Starry Night (a little blurry, sorry).

Like the Mona Lisa, I was surprised how small it was in real life. But so much more beautiful in all its paint textures than a flat print. The colors are perfection.

I'm realizing, the older I get, how much more I appreciate art when I'm standing in front of it and not reading about it or looking at a print. Being there standing before it changes everything. It's like you get to be a part of it and share in the mysteries it holds.

May 10, 2010

water lilies

I got lost in my thoughts for a long time at this spot in the MoMA. Monet's Water Lilies series took me by complete surprise. A wonderful, beautiful surprise. This one was my favorite. I'll share my other favorite tomorrow.

I was shocked how big they were. And how beautiful the colors were. Those colors were just inspiring in every sense of the word.

I wish we could all go and sit in that room and just stare for a good hour. We could talk about what we see or don't see and how it makes us feel. Even now, I just feel peace and tranquility and hear water calmly gurgling down a stream. Sigh.....

May 09, 2010

Love you, Momma

(taken just after our dolphin swim adventure)

My mom is off on yet another sea adventure with my dad and The Bro today. She loves traveling with her kids. She loves just BE-ing with her kids.

So many people ask me where I get my creative side. Why do I knit and crochet and sew and make stuff all the time? It's hereditary. My mom is one of the most creative, crafty people I know. We were doing little crafts with her as kids long before it became the "cool" "new" thing to do. She taught me to sew and crochet when I was young. She sewed lots of my/our clothes when we were younger. She's a quilter, too. And so much more creative than me.

Love you, Momma! Happy Mother's Day! Thanks for handing down your creative goodness to your kids. And thanks for your great example of loving Jesus. It taught me how important my relationship with Him is. Hope you have fun on your trip! I'll be sure to give Winnie lots of love for you.


your oldest

May 08, 2010



God and I have been having lots of talks lately. More than usual, actually. I've been filling my journal up more than I have in a long time (it's gotten much emptier since I started my blog). I desperately WANT to dive in the Word, seek His guidance, beg for His discernment.

It's exciting and comforting and scary and terrifying all that the same time. I just love these moments when He feels close and I can feel His presence. They are like little pieces of heaven in this fallen world that distorts our view of a loving God. These moments where I am humbled by His mercy and love. They are so beautiful and true.

I hope you have moments with Him like that, too.
I hope that His presence is something you crave and long for. I pray that you hear when He whispers your name and calls you to His heart. Because, I promise you, you won't be disappointed. And I want that for you so desperately.

May 07, 2010

FNL's return

My favorite show on TV returns for it's fourth season tonight. And it is amazingly good as usual. No, make that the best show on TV right now. Nothing else can even come close to the incredibly well written characters.

I know I've gushed on and on here before about Friday Night Lights, but I'm telling's fantastic.

This season there are fun, new characters to love. And you will love them by the end of the season (I've seen it on Direct TV already).

And the old ones only become more near and dear to your heart.

Oh, Friday Night Lights. Thank you for doing it right. I know you'll never be truly acknowledged by the TV community at large, and that makes me love you even more. I don't think I'll ever get tired of your stories, even if I watch them over and over for years to come.

May 06, 2010


This is precious Harmony.
The old girl was built, oh, I don't know, in the 50's maybe?
She needs some work done.
A face-lift, if you will.
She still has her ready arms open for all those 11-15 year old boys that will be living inside her walls this summer.
She's ready to take the rough and tumble, the late nights, the flashlight lit rooms, the heat of the summer's day.

But first, she needs a new roof.
And that means, that we were up at 6:30am to do some shingle removal.
That's me up there on the yellow scaffolding with boy shorts on and cuts all down my legs from the sand paper shingles sliding off the roof.
I'm so tired right now, it's not even funny...

Sweet Harmony is going to look so good come Saturday.
Oh, I really can't wait to see her all pretty again!

May 05, 2010

oh, boat rides...I love you

Today, we had THE most amazingly, beautiful weather in the entire world. And it just so happened that I was asked to drive the boat around for a while. Score. I took my D50 along to snap some photos.

There is nothing in the world that calms my soul and makes me love life like a boat ride. It's like magic somehow. I can breathe easier, deeper. I can let go of the craziness and stress around me. I can just be...

My mind has just been GO-ing like crazy lately. I can't turn it off at night. I stay up super late even though I'm exhausted. I wake up in the middle of the night with a million thoughts rolling around in my head. I dream weird dreams when I do sleep. And I read Psalm139 constantly. Oh, little month of May, how you do me in every year. And how thankful I am that...

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways."
Ps. 139:1-3

May 04, 2010

4 ingredients

This is something that my mom makes when we are having a big family dinner. Usually at the holidays. It's one of my favorites to eat at any time of day.

Only 4 ingredients. Jello, cranberry sauce, chopped apple, mandarin oranges. Put them all together, and it's ridiculously delicious.

I have no idea if it has a name or not. But who cares.

ps...I'm plum tuckered out. I was working outside pretty much ALL day. It was b.e.a.U.tiful, but oh so tiring. Finished it all off with a giant game of kickball in the field with my pals. That's how we do birthdays here at camp. Plus some yummy cake. I love living in community.
Now I just need to find a perfect recipe for Thursday night. Then Glee and s...l...e...e...p!

May 03, 2010

Daydream believer

I'm a big daydreamer. I think it comes from having an over-active imagination. This same over-active imagination that had me putting on circus performances for my parents as a child or doing dance routines to old kids songs on records in our basement with my siblings. My imagination is always going.

I won't even begin to tell you how many different scenarios I imagined myself in today. It's almost embarrassing. And when I get stressed or really, really busy, I find myself staring off into space for minutes at a time just dreaming. I guess it's my brain's escape and way of coping.

Then my brother and I were talking on the phone (soon to be face to face!!) about movie ideas tonight. This is a normal topic of conversation for us. Both of us being production majors in college. We often talk about ideas we come up with and judge them.
Anyway, he asked me if I really did pursue ideas or if it was just a thing I think about every once in a while. And I honestly said, "yes, I think about it all the time." I really do. I'm constantly going over new ideas in my head. Writing books and screen plays. Thinking up chapter titles and great lines. Daydreaming, basically.

Are you a day dreamer? What do you think about?

May 02, 2010

this photos says

I found this on my camera when I was downloading photos tonight. A few notes...

1. I'm in love with this new nail polish color, gumdrop. I rarely, if ever, wear nail polish on my fingers anymore because it chips so easily. This stuff lasts for a solid week. A camp week, no less.

2. Green onions. I'm addicted. No salad is complete without them.

3. That red zip-up hoodie is so old, but still my favorite one to pull out of the closet when I'm slightly chilly. It was a $5 clearance surprise at some random mall store years ago. It's the perfect shade of red for my skin tone.

4. The Cottage kitchen gets the best light in the evening.

5. That thin silver band on my right hand is probably my favorite piece of jewelry that I own. It has a small chip of gold panned out of a river on the other side. My parent bought it for me on one of their trips to Alaska. It never leaves my finger (and hasn't for years) unless I'm swimming. I love how simple it is.

6. The ring on my other hand is another piece my parents brought back from another trip somewhere in the Caribbean. It's made from Hematite. I've had several rings made out of this. They break easily. The first one I got while on a missions trip to Jamaica in 1998. My mom will bring me back one every once in a while and I'll wear them till they shatter. I just love how shiny and dark they are.

7. I've been eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies lately. I just feel better when I do. It's expensive, but worth it.

8. Good knives make all the difference. My roommate bought these a few months ago and they are fantastic.

9. I need to take more timer photos where I just sit my camera on something and capture me going about my day. I love the "everyday-ness" about them.

May 01, 2010

flip-flop day

It's so hot here today that I was sweating. And no, that's not a bad thing to me. It's quite glorious actually. I was wearing shorts. Flip-flops. Sunscreen. Hair tied back in a pony tail. Oh, summer weather, how I have missed you so much.

Things to look forward to this week:

The opening of the camp pool. This is always a big deal in my mind for the beginning of summer.

A bike ride. As soon as I fix my bike little bike problem.

Winnie's coming to stay for a few days.

More art journaling.

Summer staff starting to arrive.

Dinner with friends.

***side rant: to you strangers who think it's ok to drive around camp and do whatever you want, ignoring our PRIVATE PROPERTY: PLEASE TURN AROUND signs. I don't drive down your driveway and ask to camp on your front lawn. Please have the common courtesy not to get angry with me when I tell you can't do that here. Thank you.