Thursday, September 30, 2010

Up to bat

So this might be a totally lame post but I don't care. I went to the Braves game on Tuesday night, and a few of us were talking about what our "At Bat" song would be if we could have one. Now, this is a pretty important decision and potentially could say a lot about you and what motivates you and get's you going. The conversation surrounding our songs was so hilarious that I decided to ask some friends at work what their songs would be, and let me tell you- I was so incredibly surprised by some people's choices.

First things first, my song would be one of three (and yes I realize that with all three of these choices I am painting a huge gigantic sign on my face that says "JUDGE ME"- but I'm over it): "Oh I Think They Like Me" by Dem Franchize Boyz, "What's Your Fantasy" by Ludacris, or "Shoulder Lean" by Young Dro. And if we're being honest, "Barbie Girl" and "The Thong Song" were also in the running for the top 3, but only ended up in my top 5. I was going to defend these choices, but they need no defending. I love them all. A lot. So go ahead, judge me.

Here are some other "at bat" song choices from friends and co-workers:


  • Chumbawamba "Tub Thumping" - my boss (he was completely serious)


  • Teach me how to Dougie - coworker


  • Welcome to Atlanta - coworker


  • Who Let the Dogs Out - guy at work (he was even more serious than my boss- and all I could think about was this movie clip from the Hangover when he told me - what can i say? he's a one man wolfpack)


  • Precious Lord - Frank at work (I don't know how motivating a hymn is...but I'll step aside so I don't get hit by the lightning)


  • Numb/Encore - coworker


  • Meant to Live by Switchfoot - coworker


  • Blowin' Money Fast by Rick Ross - sorority friend


  • Ignition by TobyMac - cousin


  • Shake Ya Tailfeather - girl in my small group


  • Crazy Train by Ozzy - friend from high school


  • No Scrubs by TLC - male friend who went to Kenya with me and who is completely straight


  • Woman King by Iron and Wine - friend from college


  • The Thong Song - female coworker


  • some Led Zeppelin song - Patrick



And yes I love my life. And this mini project I created for myself. And the fact that writing this prompted me to spend 40 minutes on youtube watching Hangover movie clips.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Richly Satisfied.

Over the last few weeks, I've realized that I'm so satisfied with life.

And no I don't have my dream job and I still live in an apartment, but that's okay. I am where I'm supposed to be. And I don't feel pressured to be somewhere else. I don't have kids, my room is still as messy as it was when I was 16 and not married, I drink regular coke (and yes I know that coke is so terrible that it gets rid of battery acid corrosion - but I happily put it down my throat all the time), and I still don't like vegetables. All that to say that I haven't necessarily "matured" any more, but I have just found a way to be happy amidst the messiness. Sometimes you just have to embrace the process of life.

Some reasons why I'm happy:

  • I have great and supportive friends, some that I talk to every day and some I only talk to every few weeks. 
  • I get to read a good bit (this summer I read all 4 Twilight books, Eat Pray Love, The Host, The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Same Kind of Different as Me, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Through Painted Deserts, and am now working on the very short 1,000 page novel "Pillars of the Earth")
  • I go on frequent walks with friends by the river (although fortunately not with Cameron or we'd no longer be friends because we'd realize we know nothing by going on walks)
  • I get to cook dinner most nights (when my job doesn't own my life from 9am-7pm), and I get to watch new episodes of Project Runway and America's Next Top Model while eating said dinner
  • I've gotten to travel to fun and exotic cities (although some might not consider Driggs, Idaho exotic)
  • I get to drink endless amounts of Starbucks coffee (but let's be honest, I don't really drink coffee without sugar and syrup and cream, so we might not really be able to call that "liking" coffee). 
  • I've been doing some creative writing every day which is hard but really fabulous at the same time. One day I might actually get a book out there.
  • We have a really great church. It's growing and changing every week, but we've been with it since it was first planted so we feel like we're key players in all that is happening. 
  • We're surrounded by people that challenge us and force us to communicate better, which in the long run is a beautiful thing, but not always the easiest. :)
  • And just for fun: I always have Gushers and fruit roll-ups in the pantry, and still wear Celestial Strawberry lip smackers lip gloss (hello pink sparkles and tongue tattoos). Perfect for a bad day.

So overall, life is good. I'm learning a lot all the time but sometimes wish I could move to another part of the world and just spend a few years. Whether that be the Middle East or Asia, I think we learn so much more about ourselves when we get away from everything that is familiar. But alas, we live in Atlanta and both mine and Patrick's jobs are headquartered here, so it doesn't look like we'll ever be needed overseas. But if it happened, I'd be completely happy with that. 

But until then, bring on the fall. Fires, apples, cold weather, sweaters, scarves, cider and colorful leaves. Fall was modeled after heaven. 


Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death

I know that this title doesn't exactly make you want to devour this post, but that's okay. Its more for me than for you. So feel free to skip it or face it with me.

Two loved ones passed away this past week. One was 89, lived a good full life, left behind a husband that she'd been married to for 69 years, and left an incredible inheritance to her family. She was vibrant until her last breath and will be remembered fondly. Her time had come, and she was ready to meet her Creator.

The other one was taken too soon. He was a man with twin 4 year olds and a 7 year old, a wife of 9 years, a career and a life still meant to be lived. Cancer consumed his life over the last two years and at the end of the day, cancer won.

But Jesus did not die and defeat death so that we could walk in anything less than divine health. It is not okay for us to contract diseases and to die before we've lived an abundant and happy life. Leaving behind a spouse and young children just breaks my heart. That family was meant to have more. Jeff is still needed to tell his daughter how beautiful she looks before her first high school dance, she needs her dad to clap for her when she graduates college and she needs her dad to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. The sons need someone to throw a baseball with in the backyard, to be taught how to take a girl on a date, to give them advice on how to get into a great college and land the perfect job. Kids shouldn't have to grow up without their dad. Moms shouldn't have to raise their children without a husband.

God created us to need helpers and to live in community. To be a part of a family and to grow up with a mother and a father.

Bill Johnson talks about when his father died of cancer a few years ago, that he is now owed back 7 times what was stolen from him by the devil. And I am believing that same truth for the Rosenberg family. That they would know more love and life than they ever thought possible over the next few years. That happiness would engulf them and peace would embody them. That God would strategically put people in their lives and completely restore all that was stolen from them. They were meant to have abundant life, and I believe they will have it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Explosion

Have you ever exploded on someone in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong way? Maybe you had good intentions for the conversation, but you never expected it to take such a drastic turn and for you to reveal your gut-level honest true feelings? You know, those feelings that you've had for 6 months but never had the balls to bring them to the respective people?

Well I had one of these blow-out conversations last night, and it went TERRIBLE. I had high hopes of presenting my thoughts in a beautifully packaged way whenever the time for the conversation presented itself, but I was not prepared for there to be a straw that broke the camels back and for me to just word vomit all over 2 of my friends. One friend said one comment that made me lose it, and before I could even express how I was feeling, I was ugly-crying uncontrollably. Real mature Mary. Way to have a private conversation with two separate people at the same time and in the wrong way.

My feelings had been bubbling under the surface for months and months, and I always knew that I'd need to say something. I would have to. This issue was hurting me too much. My personality and insecurities have completely changed because of the way certain people in my day-to-day life talk about themselves and other people. I've slowly felt like I can't be me anymore, and that me isn't okay.

What a crappy and isolating feeling.

So although in my mind my feelings are valid and legit, I don't necessarily feel that they were treated as such. I had high hopes of presenting my heart in a more receive-able way, and to be understood, but I might have just caused more stress for myself and the others, and not actually communicated the specifics I needed to say. And the situation might not actually get any better because I just cried my way through the whole thing.

Lesson learned- if you're feeling emotional, don't try to have a serious conversation. Unless it's about something you have no personal relation to. If you want to be heard, you can't scream and cry and complain. You have to package things better, and be willing to give specifics and handle the situation if the other person turns defensive.

I wanted my friends to come around me and apologize and hug me and ask me what they could do better and to give them things that they've said that have hurt me so they could better love me. But that didn't happen. And I think I just felt worse. I said things, and showed my true feelings, but since they weren't being received well...I think I just tried to downplay them to get out of the conversation.

So it was a lose-lose for all. But a valuable lesson learned. I know this happens to everyone at some point, but its always better to communicate BEFORE it becomes a big deal. And to do it the right way, not at the height of anger or frustration. Or when you're on your period.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fashion Staples

Here are some fashion staples I don't leave home without. 

Vests. I have over 20. Down, fleece, cotton, cashmere, etc. I. love. vests. 



All things "cardigan."





Scarves in every color.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How the West Has Won me Over

While on my trip to Idaho, I felt like I started to understand a part of myself. Not only do I love to travel, but I love to get away. I love not having phone/internet access (although I had better service in nowhere Idaho than I do in downtown Atlanta), or being able to watch TV. I loved having a big porch that looked out into the mountains, a lake, big blue sky with no clouds, a fire in the fire pit, and family that constantly tells jokes and plays pranks.

The quietness of Driggs, Idaho seemed to engulf me. It wasn't a loud quiet, but a soft quiet that let me rest. I slept soundly. I wasn't worried about the next day's plans or what we'd have for lunch. I was completely content to grab my jacket and camera and go with whoever was going out, or to read my book on the porch. I could sleep as much or as little as I wanted, because my family wanted me to just be me. Something that is a rarity in most life situations.

My family is made up of some of my favorite people in the entire world. And getting to sit around a fire with them, wrapped in blankets, drinking wine, smoking cigars, laughing hysterically, quoting movies and just connecting with them was more joy than my soul could take. I don't think anyone could be more loved or accepted than in the presence of my family. They love well and do relationships well. I want to be and am an extension of them, and I love that.

I've been reading Donald Miller's book "Through Painted Deserts" and I never thought I'd get into it. The whole story is about Donald and his friend Paul road-tripping from Texas to Oregon. They go through boring towns, meet quirky odd people, sit on the side of the road with a broken down van, do some hiking, and occasionally buy a souvenir. B.O.R.I.N.G. Or so I thought.

But I've gotten to the place in Donald Miller's life where he is starting to embrace the quiet of the open road. He starts to see God differently. He starts to see the things he carries around differently. He starts to value things that are good to value and release the things that are dead weights around his neck. Reading this book while escaping into backwoods Idaho, Wyoming and Montana (albeit those are amazingly beautiful places to escape to), really struck a nerve with me. I started to get to know people better. To ask more questions. To sit around the fire a little longer or have an extra s'more. To stand longer in the cold because I couldn't take my eyes away from the sunset. To sleep an extra hour because my body needed it.

I felt more alive when I got away from the busyness of my life and stopped performing and trying to make everyone like me. Getting around people that just want you to be you is so freeing. I just couldn't get enough. I didn't get on Facebook or check emails because I wanted to be all there. Not leaving one foot at home and one foot in the Tetons. While I was gone, I took deeper breaths and ate bigger meals and took longer walks and hotter showers. It was perfect.

I just got to be me this weekend, and it was so refreshing. God's peace swept over me like a wool blanket and settled into my insecurities and stress, leaving me feeling invigorated and loved beyond belief. The West is truly a spectacular place and partnered with my family, an impression was made on my heart that releases me to just be me and to love people well. The West has truly won.

Head West Young Man

Here are some pictures from our trip out West this past weekend. Sorry there are tons! I tried to take out as many as I could, but I just have too many favorites. :) Enjoy a taste of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.




At the base of Grand Targhee in the Tetons



Yes that says "Mary's Nipple" - I also bought a sticker that said "I hiked Mary's Nipple" just on principle



The top of Grand Targhee, the taller peak in the background is Grand Teton



Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone



Our House in Driggs, Idaho


The view of the Tetons from our porch


We were in Idaho, which meant we needed potato guns











Another view from our house



My dad and sister Libby Gray


The Spud drive-in- One of America's top 50 roadside attractions





The Lake at Yellowstone