Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Fab Five

It is crazy to think that I am now of the age where I can say, "Back when I was in college..." This blog goes out to my college girls for life. We only spent two years together but they were full of fun and crazy memories...as you will see. There were five of us and we liked to believe we were hilarious. We were inseparable.

-These girls made me break the dorm rules the very first night of school...we snuck out to McD's for some ice cream...and got caught of course.

-We would watch scary movies and then try to see who could scare the others the most.

-Freshman year, we sat and talked for hours about the boys in our classes.

-We would predict who we thought the others would marry...none of us were right :)

-We would dance all the time, in our rooms and down the hallways.

-Pranks were inevitable, mostly on the freshman. One time they got my room baaaad. Chips in the bed, baby powder in my hairdryer, diapers ducktaped to the ceiling, and a big sign that said, "We love you!"

-When the sun didn't come out for 3 weeks, I began to feel droggy and sad, and they made me a giant sunshine and posted it in my room before I got home from class.

-They took me to the beach [in January] to cheer me up after a breakup.

-We threw each other in the shower...fully clothed. All the time.

-We cheered each other on @ our school basketball and soccer games.

-We went everywhere together...meals, church, classes, chapels, road trips.

-We argued...alot. But always made it through still loving each other.

-We felt the liberty to speak truths into one another's lives.

-We cried together when times got tough and life was hard.

-We laughed with each other about nearly anything and everything.

Now we're all split up in 3 different states, some graduated from college, others still pluggin' through. Some married and some almost married. No kiddos yet, but I'm sure it won't be long. We're all grown up but will never forget those days. [especially after they see these videos :)]

Sleep over @ Amanda's house, in the middle of the country.

Valentines Day/Amy and my birthday celebration. We bought those shorts because we thought it'd be fun...and it was. This is also proof about the dancing part. And note, Hannah's kicking Amy in the face.

This is what people do for fun @ the beginning of winter in MI. We slide on the snow in the parking lot.

I love you So, Amy, Hannah, & Mandie. Always will.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Knight in Shining Armor.

I know this is late, but I was out of contact with all major electronic communication for the past week so today is my catchup day. Sunday was Father's Day and I hope you all had lots of good food and Dad time.

Many of you know my Dad and will agree with me when I say, "He is the best". This man came into my life when I was 9 years old and our great God could not have picked a more perfectly influential time. I proudly call him my first Knight in Shining Armor, because that is what he is.

The list is endlessly filled with things he taught me, grew in me, pushed in me, and showed to me, but here are just a few:

-He taught me how to play the guitar.
-He taught me how to ski.
-He taught me how to drive my first car [an '84 Volvo].
-He goes out of his way to make us laugh until all of us pee our pants.
-He made me breakup with my first boyfriend.
-He taught me that boys only cause girls to be more emotional.
-He cared enough to monitor my wardrobe as a teenage girl.
-He disciplined me as if I were an adult, not a child.
-He trusted me to make the right decisions.
-He taught me how to change the oil in my car.
-He taught me the great treasure of loving Jesus.
-He was always ready to talk when I needed him and bold enough to give me advice he knew I wouldn't like.
-He never shut down any of my crazy dreams and desires.
-He flew with me and my mom to North Carolina for a singing competition I'd never win, just to show me he believed in me.
-He is a family man.
-He never turns his back on his children.
-He built our house with his own hands.
-He never runs out of grace and mercy for us.
-He showed me what to look for in my husband and that "a man tried and true will always rise above the rest."
-He treated us as his own flesh and blood.
-He is a man of his word.
-He taught me what the love of a father truly looks like.

And most importantly,
He loves my mother.

That is my father. He is a tool, used by God, to redeem our family. As a now married woman, I cannot express the gratitude I have for my father. By his actions, he showed me what a true man of God looks like so that my sisters and I would have a template for our husbands.

I love you dad. I always will. You are forever my first Knight in Shining Armor.

~Your Julie.

My 10th Bday Party.

Christmas Eve 1999.

Our 2 year house-building project. It was a family ordeal.

My Senior year in HS.

One of the craziest moments in my life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Friends: [We All Need Them]

Every Tuesday night I have a group of married girls [both newly married and seasoned wifeys] come to my house for food and study. These are the sweetest girls you'll ever meet and they are even sweeter wives to their lucky duck husbands. Each of us are so different; we come from different backgrounds, different lifestyles, different hobbies and gifts, but when we get together it is like we are the same. I think it is because we have the same mission: To be the wife God has called us to be for our husbands.

We are going through a book right now called The Sacred Influence and it is quite good. It is a book for wives written by a husband...cool eh? I mean we have books a plenty on being wives that are written by wives, but I have never read one by a man. He is very thorough and detailed proving that he understands "Woman Language" : )

A couple weeks ago we were discussing certain things we tend to do when communication in marriage goes sour. He is not understanding what I am saying, needing, wanting, asking. What are our tendencies? Or in other words, how do we make our husbands crazy? Thinking that I'd be alone in this, I shared a story about what my tendencies are. When Ty and I are having a "quarrel" [aka. a fight] right before bed time, he pushes to resolve before we go to bed. Most times this works, but sometimes it doesn't. On those times that it doesn't I end up laying awake in bed, fuming in my mind, thinking up a million other conversations we need to have. Turns out that guys, on the other hand, can fall asleep when they are mad. So to prevent him from doing so and to let him know I am still awake and upset, I do any and/or all of the following:

-shift non-stop so he can't fall asleep.
-slightly pull all the covers on to my side.
-breathe really heavily.
-start crying.
-turn on the light and read in bed [that way he really can't fall asleep].

Now, I know none of you have ever done this before. I just know it. :) BUT for those of us that have, as funny as it is to talk about it now, it is so wrong. I confessed this to my group and they all laughed and said they do similar things! What is it about women? So we decided that next time any of us is in bed angry at our beloveds, we would call or text the others for accountability [whether or not we were right of wrong].

Well, a week later Ty and I had had a disagreement that could have turned into a monstrous late night argument, but [totally against my natural impulse] we agreed to disagree, I turn the light out and grabbed my phone to text the girls. This is what I wrote:

"Hey girls! I'm laying in bed, frustrated at Ty but I'm not turning and tossing! :) "

Then the amazing happened: one by one I started getting texts that made me laugh and appreciate my dear friends. I gave Ty a kiss on the head and smiled myself to sleep. You see, we need each other. We all need friends, but not just friends that will tell us what we want to hear when we want to hear it. Those are not friends.

We need friends that will keep us accountable.
Friends that will tell us when we are wrong.
Friends that we can call or text in the moment of uncertainty.
Friends that can pray for us or be there for us in a moments notice.
Friends that point to the Word of God before they give you their opinion.
Those are friends and I am so glad I have them.

"Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

-"Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses."

Proverbs 27:5-6

Who do you have in your life that is this kind of friend to you?


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Morning Breakfast & Writing

I love breakfast. If I could eat only one meal for the remainder of this life, it would be breakfast. Turkey bacon, over easy-eggs, sourdough french toast, banana foster pancakes, Belgian waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, and coffee of course. The list is endless.

This is my delicious breakfast on this fine Saturday morn. I know it's 11:00 AM. Don't judge me. I have found that Fresh & Easy's Vanilla flavored yogurt is divine. Mix that in with some fresh produce and your choice of granola and you're golden. If you have a giraffe bowl, that's a must. For some reason mine tastes better in my giraffe bowl than in the regular white ones. I think its in my head.

Today I am reading chapter 2 of The Right to Write.

It is titled "Let Yourself Write". Without giving too much away, Cameron uses this chapter as a psychological exercise to debunk the mental road blocks that come between us and writing. Judgement, pressure, presuppositions of the writing life. She tears down everything thing we think we should be prior to beginning our writing adventure. Let me give you an example. I thought, let me finish school, we'll save enough money to let me stay home, and I'll write for a whole year, and maybe get pregnant in time to have the baby after the book is finished.

Well, according to Cameron, that is probably not going to go as I wishfully planned. Life happens ya know. She suggests just doing it. Making small amounts of time in your day to sit down and write, sentences, paragraphs, notes, emails, just to get yourself in the habit of writing.

"There is something too casual [we think], too effortless, to normal about this kind of writer's life. It too closely resembles everyone else's life--just with some writing sandwiched in. Why, if this is how a writer lives, lots of us could do it. If the suffereing is actually optional, if writing needn't be an antisocial activity...What if there were no such thing as a writer? What if everyone simply wrote?" -Julia Cameron
So be encouraged. You can write. I can write. You do not even have to figure out what you want to write about. Brainstorming is good, but "blahing" on a page is also good. Let the words guide themselves.

Ok, now I really have to get ready. This is just getting ridiculous.


Initiation Tool for Chapter Two:

"Go to a cafe with writing paper. Buy yourself a cup of coffee, tea, soda, or mineral water. Write out the following exercise. Step One: What are your hidden associations with the term 'writer'? Fill in the following as rapidly as possible:

Writers are_________________________? [x5]

Step Two: Now convert those to positives."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Right to Write

A couple months ago I started reading this book. It's called The Right to Write by an explicitly authentic and enamoring author by the name of Julia Cameron. I started looking into her books by recommendation of Shauna Neiquists blog and I am in love. The premise of this book is to convince her readers that everyone is a writer. We are all born loving and leveraging words but are quickly discouraged from exploring the millions of facets of writing when we enter into a formal box of strategy and construction. I don't get the sense that she is against formal education, but definitely that she is saddened over the lack of creativity it allows its students. Therefore, through her book, Julia has made it her mission to guide her readers through a simple, everyday, habit-forming way of writing.

So I'm gonna do it.

Now, if you are a frequent Julianna blog reader, you know that everyday commitments and me go together as well as oil and water. So as ambitious as I am, I'm not going to commit to an everyday thing. Life as a wife, student, teacher, and singer does not allow any more room for more commitments. But as an aspiring writer, I want to document this process. She gives practical advice, aids, and homework assignments that start the juices flowing. My favorite part about this book so far is that she emphasizes over and over again that everyone is a writer. Everyone. That means you too. We all have something to say and someone to say it to.

"In our current culture...writing is not forbidden, it is discouraged. Hallmark does it for us. We shop for the card that is the 'closest' to what we wish to say. Writing is about attractions, words you can't resist using to describe things too interesting to pass up. Forget the lofty motives. Begin, begin where you are." ~Cameron.
And that is what I am going to do. Your encouragement, ideas, and advice are greatly welcomed!


Initiation Tool for Chapter One:

Take 3 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 paper and fill those pages with how you are feeling right now. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Write about anything and everything. Stop when you fill the 3 pages.
[paraphrased from the book]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Sincere Apologies...

For the lack of photos in my blog. I had them all up, but wordpress decided to get iffy with me. I'm going to try to repost the pictures in their correct blogs but it may take time :( Sorry! From here on out I'll have new photos in the blogs.

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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