Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shade tolerant, will self-reseed. 
Prune back old growth around Christmastime.


We've hit that spot in the relationship - the one where you realize you really do have to get back to exercise and eating healthy.  It has been a fun vacation from it all.  But gym memberships have been purchased and new recipes are being sought.  Of course the struggle between a night owl and a morning bird is, when to work out.  Lately, we've been heading over after work (usually with roomie Megs), but this means we get back and all start making dinner around 8:30pm.  And for those of you who know my tendency to take a really long time to make a meal.... you realize how late we eat.

Yesterday, I came across this great site - Organized Living Solutions -  and a quick trip from one link to another lead me to a tasty looking (simple) meal!  We had plenty of leftover chicken in John's fridge that we needed to make use of soon.  Perfect!

It was delicious! Though, I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that Couscous really isn't that healthy.  I mean, it's no quinoa.

We were eating within about 20 minutes.  We used craisins instead of the dates.  We did toss in some feta, but we opted out of the sour cream.  This meal is so flavorful, it really doesn't need it.  In fact, a little of the dressing, tossed well throughout, goes a long ways.

Here's to a new season of meal planning, and quicker, healthier dinners.  Any suggestions - or favorite healthy (quick) meals?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Last week, in the middle of my work day I realized that everything was well.

I just sat in it for a second.  Life is good right now.  How rare it seems we can say that ore genuinely feel it.  And I'd typically shy away from posting "My life is good."  But, sometimes it's good to hear. Sometimes, it doesn't make us frustrated, jealous or annoyed  - sometimes it encourages us.  Reminds us.  Life can be good.  Not perfect.  Not easy.  But truly, good.  I'm not even going to balance this with the truth of all the things so dear and near that still ...hurt.  Life is good and all is well with my soul.

I get so much spam in my comments.  And sometimes, I enjoy them.  Here's a favorite I received last night to my personality test post:

Gift ideas for her: If she likes to Learn than an obvious selection would be to bump a new the interesting prehistoric animals useable in our On-line gift patronize.

John, I do love to learn.  Take note perhaps...

Monday, February 25, 2013

INFJ:  The Protector 
Inner Spontaneity,  Outer Structure.  

Seems about right.  

What you see on Instagram: 

What you don't see on Instagram: 

Despite my near-addictive behavior on Instagram... I like real life better.  

With piles of laundry and messy tables, no warm filters, and this guy .... 

Blackmill just came up in my Pandora station - and I like it. After checking who it was, and doing a quick search, I am proud to finally, truthfully announce that I am listening to (melodic) dubstep.  And that I like it.   (Court, I'm pretty sure I recognize this name from drinks last week...yeah?)

Last in this nearly broken down wagon, but I don't mind so long as there is room.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A friend mentioned the Jung Typology Test a couple weeks ago over coffee.  I had her send it to me yesterday, and after receiving what I believed were frightening accurate results, I sent it to my sisters.   Theirs too were uncomfortably spot-on.  While I don't think personality tests should define how we see ourselves, becoming limiting, I do think they can be a huge aid.  They can help us examine ourselves a bit more unbiasedly - linking our skill sets with common downfalls too.  They might open our eyes to strengths we don't often take the time to consider. They could lead us to better consider career decisions.  It is the test's ability to help us analyze and grow that I think makes them worthwhile.  They can also help us understand one another better.  Seeing my sister's results, and hearing them acknowledge that they find them accurate allowed me to read through and better understand how my sister's see themselves - and it is rare indeed to get a comprehensive description of a person's self-view.  It is powerful to read something a loved one feels communicates this is who I am.

Here is the test.  If you take it - I'd love to know what you get - post a comment. :)  Tell us if you think it is accurate too, or perhaps where it might be off.  As you work your way through the test, don't think too much about your answers, go with your first instinct.  I typically get hung up on these sorts of tests/questions, but I gave myself just a few minutes to take it, forcing myself to respond immediately to each.

Once you get your results, google "____personality page"   (eg "INFJ personality page")

According to my results, I am an INFJ.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

last week's 
LIE:  Listening to Dubstep.  

*I guess it was 2 weeks ago. 
Oddly enough, after posting it as a lie, I did end up spending a day listening to dubstep. 
Kind of.  Kind of dubstep. 

For those of you who happened to read my Beau's comment last night -  I do have some other, big news.

I am not engaged.

But, after 13 months at my current position, I turned in my two weeks notice yesterday.  It was a far harder conversation than I had even expected.  And I spent most of the night more sad about the company I had to say goodbye to than excited about the new opportunity that has so kindly been presented to me.

My focus right now is on how to best help WA transition and prepare, but soon my thoughts will once again fly to my new company.  Every little detail of how it came together seemed so easy - I even had uncommon peace leading up to my interview.  Conversations were perfectly presented and experiences shared.  Each person I met with seemed genuinely kind and professional.  All this, the sudden end to a very long, hard process.

What it all comes down to is I know I am called to write.  More than that, I don't feel alive when I'm not.  Yesterday morning I was offered the Proposal Writer/ Marketing Coordinator position with LMN Architects.  Their reputation professionally and personally is above excellent.  Their portfolio is exciting and the people who comprise their team have only been given high recommendations. I will have the opportunity to go after and write about important buildings in the development of Seattle.  I will have guidance and mentorship. I will be getting paid to just write and design, for a leading firm. (And once again, I won't be answering phones!)

The sub-story was, I'd also been through the application and preliminary interview process with Alaska Airlines.  I've played with the idea for years - it would offer me the opportunity to travel, find adventure, and write!  I still think I'd enjoy it.  But, I wouldn't enjoy constantly saying goodbye to my Beau, never having weekends together.  I just decided to knock - and doors kept opening.  I was invited to the interview for this Friday.  You arrive at 7:30am, and if you continue to be invited to the next rounds of interviews... you are hired at 6pm the same day.  Maybe arrogant, but I just feel like I would have been there at 6pm. I emailed them yesterday to respectfully decline their invitation.

We set two prices - the one I would take, and the one John wanted me to get - and we hoped/prayed that we'd hear from LMN before Friday, if I was supposed to take the job.  Wednesday morning, which they knew would be my first day back from Arkansas - they sent me an offer, with the exact salary John had wanted. Without me ever even asking for a specific number.  All these little details we'd set out as hopes.  Along with many more. All of them granted.

That said, yesterday was a very exciting day.  And scary.  And hard.  New beginnings mean necessary goodbyes too - that is how it always is - some things must end for others to begin.  We have to let go of what has become "comfortable" in order to move to where life for us has moved.  And trust that Father has something better for those we leave behind too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The next big deal in the Seattle coffee world is opening their shop on my street.  Quite literally.  Since the little local coffee shop on the corner of 8th &NW Market shut its doors last Fall, I've been eyeing the scene with vested interest.  While not great in production, the previous owners had served my favorite beans (Stumptown) and I'd been willing to settle occasionally on my morning walk to the bus.  Now each day I walk by and peak past the plastic-wrapped windows.  "Coming Soon - Slate Coffee Roasters" has been pinned to the front door for months and months (and months!).  I finally decided to do a bit of research.  I read through all the articles I could find on them - friended their facebook - and eventually shot them an email.  But no response.

A few weekends back, John, Mallory and I decided to support our good friend Michael Ryan at the Northwest Barista Regionals.  When a friend of Mallory's (I recognized as a fellow volunteer at the Special Hope Benefit) began to walk past us, I gave her a big smile.  She walked over and introduced the friend with her -  the owner of Slate.  Their barista, Brandon Weaver won first place in the Brewers competition and the stir continues to grow.  I asked a few barista competitors if I should be excited about Slate or not - after glances and pauses, they said most likely, yes.  They explained that if Slate can pull off what they aim, they will be worth all the fuss.  The team they have collected looks every bit as though they just might.  Within a few days of the competition, my Facebook reply arrived. It seems, after the preliminary quiet stages of building a business, they are ready to engage the neighborhood. 

Some of you might recognize another of the barista's their team boasts:  Nik Virrey.  John and I have laughed for months over this man's mysterious appearances at every coffee event we stumble in, or out of.  We didn't know his name, but we seemed to see his face all over the city, be it the One Year Party for Milstead, the NW Barista Regionals, or outside of the Unicorn.  He also bar tends from time to time at one of John's favorite Capitol Hill bars.  But those of you from the east side will be wondering why it is you recognize his face (and long dreads).  I'll solve your mental turmoil:  Zoka. 

I've decided I'm excited.  And now, the wait continues...    
I am still on the English mailing list from UW.  Often I find myself reading emails like this, making me wish I were back in school.  How I wish I could spend 20 hours of each week devouring and digesting this literary conversation!

ENGL 307: Critical Approaches to Tolkien: Cultural Studies and Fantasy Literature

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings, insists and argues, "I should like to say something here with reference to the many opinions or guesses that I have received or have read concerning the motives and meanings of the tale. The prime motive was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them...As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical" (xiv). This course will decidedly not believe the author's intentions, rather we will draw on the broad archive of Tolkien's novels, Peter Jackson's films, and scholarship as occasions to identify and explore the key concepts, moves, and terms of the interdisciplinary field of cultural studies.

CENTRAL QUESTIONS AND ENGAGEMENTS INCLUDE: What are the different critical practices and methodologies of cultural studies? How might we employ different cultural studies approaches and lenses to Tolkien, film adaptations, and fantasy literature more generally? Why study fantasy, how is this oft dismissed "genre" important, and what values, ideals, and norms does it have? In this course, we will look at and analyze Tolkien through the lenses of cultural studies and deploy literature as theories about and dramatizations of different social relationships and realities, to unpack and analyze the intersections of cultural formations like race, gender, class, nation, and sexuality, particularly in the US context. Ursula K. Le Guin in "Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?" argues, "For fantasy is true, of course. It isn't factual, but it is true. Children know that. Adults know it too, and that is precisely why many of them are afraid of fantasy." This class will spend the quarter reading, watching, thinking, and writing about how and what these texts argue, reveal, narrate, hide, perpetuate, and complicate the world we live in. In other words, we will try to challenge Tolkien's denials above and to answer Le Guin's proposition about fantasy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Selected sample paints for a project yesterday.   And of the three options we sent, the client chose my palette. : )   As I told the designer who talked me into helping -  I feel so validated as a creative individual.  I enjoy when I get pulled into the creative design side of my office, but I still remember it's not what I love.  It's just a bit more enticing than billing.  If my boss has his way, he'll turn me into a full-time accountant/ office manager.  If the rest of them have their way - I'll become an interior designer.  If those are my two options - I know which one I'm picking.  Thankfully,  I think there's a third option.

Yesterday I was the HR manager, the bookkeeper, the secretary, the marketing manager, the office manager, the IT person, the design librarian and rep contact, a designer and a photographer.  I am unqualified.  For all of this!  I went to school for English people!! Give me a word doc and walk away.

Today, I'm researching accounting software and design libraries.

Never stop learning.  :)  I can't deny I have been given a lot of new opportunities here, some of which I like.  All of which I may need.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I've decided I want to set one of my guy friends up.  I'm currently looking for the sort I'd have a girl crush on...

Wanted [For a fun-loving-employed-male-friend]: 
Fun-loving, beautiful twenty-something female. Must have s-it together, be down for an adventure, consistent and stable.  Good sense of style, better sense of humor, even better shot.  Deep thinker.  Fearless.  Good dancer.  Must love dogs and country.  Good cook (taste test will be required upon application).  Love God.  Dislike BS.  Kind.  

That will do for a start.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm learning.  

The danger of a song: all it can do is end or repeat.  

Remembering how songs have kept me cycling in a heart break.  

And how some have set me free. 

One of the hardest and best lessons I ever learned was how to feed my soul... and how not to.

You all are HORRIBLE at playing games.


(please tell me someone is tracking with what I did there?!)

One person called me out last week.  ONE PERSON.


Don't worry, I don't know Shaun.  

I just feel like getting lost in some beautiful new place.

But I don't want to go with Shaun. 
("Never go to the second location, Boo.  Never go to the second location.") 

It is very uncommon that I type on my laptop any more.  After a few good hours of it this weekend, I must say, I miss it.  The smooth, silent punching.  The beautiful design.  The thrill of quick capacity as my fingers fly over the clean keys.

What a blessing my Pro has been in my life.  If only it could cuddle, I might never have started another relationship.  ;)

Started waking up 3 hours ago.  Been up and 'at it' for 2.  Running on less than 5 hours sleep. 9 hours to go until I can nap.  Dear Lord, be near.  So much to accomplish before I can retire for the day!

Amazing that I cannot find a better way to do this...

A little, good, good morning music for your heart:

"Awake" by Josh White.  

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Beloved and Pure,
Seem the two are enemies at war
Always desiring the love and the cure,
Though I know both are only in the Lord.

You looked into my heart,
And named my fighting nature
A core contradiction from my start
Two giants in this tiny stature.
So you peered into my future.

And when you watched me break my heart,
And my inmost cries call out,
You added Hope to play her part
To ensure I’d never quit my route,
To wrestle through my sins and doubt
And render in the end some rest
Beloved and Pure, in you, and blessed

July 31, 2010.  Poetry of Presence.
I needed to be reminded.  I've been asking in my heart for a refresher - What am I supposed to be doing?!  What is my calling?  Little did I realize where I'd come across it...  I haven't been too productive in collecting and editing my writing portfolio tonight, at least not many pieces I could send to a potential employer.  But, I've begun to remember something far more important...

"SLT has taught me not only to be more self-conscious when it comes to my thoughts and how they are tied to my history, destiny, and the raw material of who God created me to be, but it’s taught me to use those same skills to perceive who others are deep down and given me some skills as to how to call that out. I’ve learned to ask questions, rather then tell. I’m practicing these skills today still, but my trajectory remains steep and I am so grateful for the abundance of lessons I’ve learned and the example my facilitator was to me of the sort of leader I want to be.
            When it came to xxx, I could see a lot in her that the Lord wanted to touch and change, things He desired to tell her and show her, but I’d also learned that the most lasting impact wouldn’t come from me telling those things to her, but by faithfully helping lead her to those revelations herself. My place was just to walk beside her, listen, and when the right moment came, ask the question. It came one night, “Why are you with him?” She opened up her heart, and listened to what God had already been faithful to plant. Two nights later I think, she had broken up with her boy friend. Within a couple weeks, she was at an Encounter Retreat, a week after that I was helping her move out of her apartment and in with an incredible family, months later she entered Masters Commission. Where she is today is a testimony to the Lord’s love for her, and her responding to his love. But it also has shown me that a question is many times more powerful then giving someone the right answer. The revelation you come to yourself sticks much deeper then the one someone easily hands you.
            I want to lead people to the Lion and the Lamb, not by telling them the right answers, but by guiding them. And I want to guide them through poetry and prose. Just last week a friend gave me a prophetic word that “your writing is going to  illuminate in people the things He’s called them to be that they couldn’t see or had a hard time believing. Making the invisible visible specifically in regards to destiny and calling. Prophetically calling out to them what is already a reality in heaven.” I want to write stories that hint at something magnificent, that pull people into the sublime and beautiful, marrying the two. I want to lead them to a place where they stand face to face with the Lion, and leave them there to hear Him speak what He wills.
            I don’t know that I would be able to accomplish the level of effectiveness in my writing that I feel called to, had I not received the tools I did in Strategic Life Training, especially Year 2 where the tools got worked out into life. As I mentioned earlier, it’s transformed the way I look not only at my future, but also at the literary past. I see the heroes of past literature and my heart aches, because I can see where their desires that should have led them face to face with God instead led them astray, and how those desires went unfulfilled. I want to be faithful to prepare, in order that my writing will accomplish all that the Lord has planned.  I have a healthy fear to keep myself hid in Him, searching Him out, but not looking to go outside of Him. I also don’t want to limit the Lord in my thoughts, dreams or expectations. He is the source of the sublime: awful, overwhelming, untame and uncontrollable. What an adventure He invites us in to!"

I've been toying around with re-listening to all my SLT tapes.  I have not forgotten the impact those two years of teaching and application had on my life.  Looking back, I think they transformed me more than Masters Commission.  A big claim, but probably true.  My year in MCs was a blessing in relationships and healing.  My two years of training in SLT taught me how to process through confusion, how to train, how to get what was on the inside, out.  They gave me a whole new set of tools, and more importantly, Jon Pinkston helped the four of us who finished work through each teaching week after week.

I just came across my papers, and some notes.... and I don't think I'm toying with the idea anymore.  I'm looking for the tapes... 

Lesson 4, Dennis Peacocke:
“A desire for purpose and meaning was put into our hearts by God. Destiny is the joining of His sovereign choices and our heartfelt drive, producing a life of consequence.”
“We must pursue our destiny according to God’s will, God’s way, and God’s timing”
“Three questions to help you discover your destiny: 1. What must I do before I die? 2. If I am really growing in my life, what does it look like? 3. What is hindering me from sharing my life and my faith more effectively?”
“The power of a proper perspective of destiny (1 Cor 12:27)”
“Clues to your place on the wall: A. Take inventory of the history of your life experience. B. Take inventory of the tools you have. C. Take inventory of the family in which God has placed you.”
 “Destiny is buried in the people we look up to”
“Where’s your fire? And after you get your fire going, where’s your control? What’s in your hand? What did God put in your hand to deliver your people?”
 Lesson One:
“Destiny is developed by embracing a life of strategy.”
“Strategic living can be defines as doing what you should be doing when you should be doing it.”
“Destiny is realized by embracing problems as opportunities. Power is guarded by problems.”
“Daniel was a trained man, not simply an anointed man. (Daniel 6:3-28)”
 Lesson 9
Provers 1:2
The road to responsibility runs through discipline.
Suffering> Discipline> Skill> Stewardship> Responsibility
 Lesson 10
“desire is not enough- discipline prepares us to succeed beyond our limitations”
 Lesson 14- Adam Peacocke- Becoming Problem Solvers
“A self-conscious problem solver is someone who attacks problems, and the circumstances in which they develop. He has a purposed drive for solution, a skilled application of principles and resources, a persistent effort that endures until completion, and a discovering disposition that gleans what can be learned from one problem, and then applies it to others.”
-the importance of preparation- matthew 17:19-21
Hey Beau, ...

Working on my writing portfolio.  It's vastly more challenging than that might sound.  For starters: creative, technology, academic?  What type/ styles of writing to include.  Then, how to track some of them down.  I wish I'd been more intentional in saving samples in my first four years of work.  If you are young and plan on writing, in any degree: keep samples of your work - career and personal.  As long as it is not expressly against the culture of your company, save some.  Odds are, if you ask, they will say okay.  And you will need it one day.


Friday, February 08, 2013

I spent the majority of this week at work, listening to Dubstep.

Someone please tell me how this happened?

I've been thinking of the change in music lately.  And how the subtle, tamed sounds of techno and other less-mainstream genres have melded their way in.  I've heard a few friends mentioning bands and genres they love (such as Dubstep) for the past almost two years.  And admittedly, I wasn't part of that cool crowd.  But, once it got tamed and mixed into some of the music I'm already a fan of... I find myself wanting more and more.  And likely the gateway, suddenly I'm into all sorts of music I would have switched the station on just months ago.

I'm sure there's a marketing lesson in here.  But I don't want it.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the

courage to continue that counts.” 

― Winston Churchill

Today is one of those days.  The boss is out and we are moving desks, resetting computers and accounts, running to the store to get the right cords.  Nonstop questions.  Half of which I don't know the answer to, or have the pull to even give an answer.  The printer breaks.  The email server goes down.  The remote bookkeeper keeps calling with details I don't need.  No one can get on the internet.  The IT guy accidentally unplugs my computer in the middle of my project.  And the phone won't stop ringing.

We have these beautiful old, tall white windows all around the office.  I've been indulging in a daydream of opening the grand window nearest me, toeing my phone along, and tipping it right over that pretty stone ledge. It's a truly wonderful daydream.

Love everything (except the coffee mug), down to the copper pencil holder.  
Strike that, especially the copper pencil holder.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

We are going to play a new game.  
We'll call it, Looking for a Lie. 

It'll be something like Two Truths and a Lie, which I assume you've all played.  There is one post from this week (written or so far unwritten) that isn't quite real life.  

You see if you can find it. ;)  

Feel free to call out "lie" in your comment when you think you have.  

Best of luck. xoxo 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

One of the greatest sermons I've ever heard on relationships, practically, was delivered yesterday.  It isn't up on the site yet, but the first part of the series is and you can watch it here.  Since many of you are very close to me in age and ....relational status, I think you might find this as wonderfully provoking as I did.  I love Pastor Richard's ability to break down truth in an academic and tangible way all at once.

I've struggled more than I ever expected to about how to build and walk out a Godly relationship.  What does the scripture say about this?   This one thing.  Nothing?  Obviously, it says a lot.  And we've been trained really well.  But still, there's a lot of wrestling through the practicals and the "yeses" of life - not just the clear "nos".  For me, I've had to be reminded time and time again by others that I do know the answer, that I'm a woman of God who has been prepared and trained for the season I am in... and not to over-think it so much.  Sounds about right, right?  In the brilliant, truthful words I heard last week, "You make it harder than it has to be."  Boy do I!! That could be a tattoo on my forehead.  A theme of my life.  

But even still, there is something to be said.  And I have said it a few times here already.  I know how to be a good single (I think).   I had a lot of years to learn it.  And of course - I still screwed up plenty.  But even if I failed to do what I should, I knew what I should do at least.  Here though?  This weird season where I'm not entirely my own - and I'm not yet someone else's... really.  I can't use either sets of scales I've weighed everything in my life by before -  "Single"  -  "Married".  

I think I'll make a good wife.  I think. I at least know bits of what I am supposed to do. But girlfriend?  How to be a great girlfriend?  How to be a Godly girlfriend?  How to be a wise, kind, giving girlfriend?  How to be open, and not inappropriately vulnerable?  How to be trusting and accepting, and not give more of myself than I should?  But also, not to hold myself back and build walls?   I've viewed it from before as a set of rules and lines not to cross... but it's not that stagnant.  It's really not.  And the deeper I get in, the more I realize why I feel so unprepared:  You can't just give one set of rules and say, "okay, you got it, now go be awesome at it."  By definition it's moving from one place, to another.  And you only get there by constant steps.  What was best for yesterday, is no longer best for today.

Protecting one another is key.  But I'm learning, you can hurt a person by trying too hard to protect too.  Even protecting cannot be your focus.  

All I'm trying to say is, it's hard.  And you can't study how to do it perfectly beforehand.  I've been given a lot of great lessons and skills.  I was shaped in some wonderful ways to be able to handle it.  And yet, I have so many questions.  When I find lessons like this - that help posture - I drink it up!!  

And sometimes I think, I wish all my friends could hear this!  So only for those of you who are curious, go listen.  And when this Sunday's (2/3) sermon comes out - go listen again!!

[ Had to post this with a few blogs between it and the "wait" post so you didn't all misread what I meant by "the wait".... if you follow...:P ]

Post Script: It's up now! :) 

Mt. Ranier

My grandmother. 
Quite the lady. 

I wonder how many blog posts have ever shared the two tags "grandmother" and "gun".

Monday, February 04, 2013

The wait is delicious.  

So long as we remember that something, 
that something is coming. 

Remember and taste the wait.  It isn't bitter.  
The fear is what's bitter. 

Friday, February 01, 2013


Dear Friends,

If you are watching Downton (ahem, Ashley, Meg, Samara), PLEASE don't post pictures or comments about what is happening!  I keep getting spoilers and I'm still a few episodes behind all of you!!  I'm going to have to remove all of you from my google reader if you keep this behavior up.

At least give a warning or something.  You're killing me!

Your friend, follower, and humble, slow Downton watcher,
K. Hope