Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Blanshan Thanksgiving

As an initiation to the Blanshan clan a few weeks, I was invited to my first Thanksgiving celebration with them. This is no ordinary family get-together; it is an event. The whole crew descends on the tiny town of Madelia, MN for several days of food, fellowship, parties, and music. This years' reported head count was 71. Here's a few snapshots of the festivities.
descriptions of pics in order of appearance:
1. Me holding the super-cute Oliver
2. Barbara and Paul's kiss during their surprise 40th anniversary celebration
3. Music time with Suzanne, Brenda, and Dale
4. Bob and his adorable Grandma June
5. Bob's immediate family, including spouses and kids
6. Filling out the annual surveys that eventually are posted on the Blanshan website

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Signs of Life

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." -Epicurus

Here are some "signs of life" I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

*Spots of exploded permanent marker on the new hardwood floors (and walls and couch, ha) that happened during a 24 hour prayer
*A minor ding on the car that occurred while I was parked chatting with the boy
*Crumbs on the counter and dishes in the sink from all the good food I have
*Piles of research work from my opportunity to go to grad school
*Dirty laundry that once kept me warm
*A Bible with water-damaged pages from a camping trip
*Dark circles under my eyes from sleep deprivation from the plethora of fun things to do
*Friends who wake me up to come join them for breakfast, welcoming me showerless and in sweats
*The emotional exhaustion and lability after spending a weekend offering comfort and companionship to a traumatized family
*A messy, uncoordinated art project gift from a kid whose mom is in jail
*A charge for overuse of my cell phone minutes from talking to my family
*An out-of-tune piano to play

Save the date!

Speak now or forever hold your peace...

The wedding will be June 13, 2009 in Rochester, MN unless someone brings up a major conflict with that date in the next few days.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Updated with video

Thanks to a great future sister-in-law, I was able to post the proposal video on here! See the previous post.

Inadequacy Part II

To continue on....

At 6:15pm, he showed up in coat and tie, holding a bunch of gorgeous red roses, and a tub of mystery items that he wouldn't let me see. After getting the roses in water, we went out to Victoria's Italian Restaurant, a nice little place where we went on our first date, exactly 7 months before. We chatted and ate, and it was very nice.

We headed back to my place, because he said we were going to watch a movie. This is where I got a little sad. I had been hoping he would propose to me but trying not to predict, but now it was seeming like this was just another regular date, slightly more formal because it was our 7-month anniversary. He had been quiet and solemn during and after dinner and we had not really talked about anything out of the ordinary. So, I just sat back, told myself to stop being dramatic, and to be grateful that we had a whole night together during a season where our time has been short. But I admit, I was a tiny bit sad. He was not going to propose to me.

We arrived back at my house and things changed. He went down to my basement and pulled out the tv to watch this movie. Before it started, he read me a journal entry he had written back in February before we started dating. He started the movie, and from that point on, I was enthralled.

The intro started with an old home video of him when he was 3-4 years old, singing this funny song about boys and girls hugging and kissing. Then it transitioned into a different form, starting with an alarm clock going off and him talking to me. He was applying for a job--the job of being my husband. The footage showed him getting ready, pep talking himself in the mirror, trying on 5 different shirts, as if he was preparing for a big interview. He named off some of his strengths and qualifications, and how he was the right one for the job. And of course, as with any application, you need to have good references, and his were most excellent.

He had dozens of our friends, his family, co-workers, and random people on video telling me why I should marry Bob. It was AWESOME. I was completely speechless-I only had the occasional laugh and intermittent tears. There were so many people on there who are critical to us. His grandfather read a poem about us. His siblings all wanted me to be in the family. My favorite kid from church told me he wanted to be just like Bob when he grew up. My best friends were there telling me how great Bob and I are and how he was going to make me laugh for the rest of my life. People from different states and foreign countries had sent in videos to support the cause. I still cannot believe everyone kept it a secret and I didn't have a clue.

This boy is a keeper.

I sat stunned for a minute before I could accept his proposal. He pulled out a beautiful ring. We had the best time the rest of the night, ending with a kneeling prayer searching for God's protection and guidance in the years to come.

Years to come. Wow. That is crazy to think about-that I finally know the man I'm going to marry. And I'm so excited about a lifetime with him.

see facebook pictures here, courtesy of Amy Harris

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sometimes in life, there are no words. But, alas, I will try to use words (and the occasional picture) to convey what has transpired over the last several weeks.

Bob has always been a romantic and has always doted on me, surprising me from time to time with sweet, thoughtful gifts and actions. However, a while back, he stated he wanted the next few weeks to be "spectacular," and they most surely have been.

It started with random little gifts, usually left in curious places for me to find,

like this homemade book full of things he likes about me on every page.

Or this "Dating Survival Kit" filled with items relating to our many inside jokes.

Next came "a dozen I-love-yous", which were in the form of little yarn flowers specially made by a nursing home resident he works with. These were scattered all around my house for me to find after a long day of work, some attached to little cards with messages.

The day before I was to leave town for a conference, he gave me a journal in which to keep notes on all the little things I'd want to tell him when I got back. On the front of the journal, he wrote, "This journal belongs to Sarah Dill. This girl belongs to Bob Blanshan."

While I was out of town for four days, I was not to be forgotten. He made arrangements with my best friend Amy to give me little notes from him, one in the morning and one in the evening. They were the cheesiest, cutest things you can imagine, and they made me laugh and feel extra special.

The following days brought more cards and special attention. On Tuesday, he left a bottle of wine, some love songs on cds, and a "to-do" list for me to find. The to-do list was for Wednesday, and it included things such as placing the wine in the refrigerator, dreaming of tall, sappy guys, picking out something formal to wear for the evening, and being ready to go when he came at 6:15pm to take me to dinner.

I'm pretty good at following directions, so I did as I was told and waited for a tall, sappy guy to appear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Only in Nursing...a Collection of Quotes

Me: “I want you to stick your tongue out like this” (I demonstrated, saying “ahhhh”)
Patient: “Oooo, you’ve got a nice tongue!”

Patient: “Where’s my husband?”
Me: “I think he went back to the hotel.”
Patient: “Oh, I thought he was dead.”

“Are you sure you’re old enough to be a nurse?”

“Where’s my waitress?” (Said while sitting on the bathroom floor after falling)

Me: “Your sheets are all crooked!”
Patient: “What? You want to come into bed with me?”

Me: “Now we’re just going to roll towards me a little bit….”
Patient: “I’ll squish you!”

“What are you, a student? Get me a real nurse!”

Me: “Do you feel like bugs are crawling on your skin?”
Patient: “No, they’re on the wall.”

“You’re not from here, are you? I don’t like no foreigners….”

Nurse-“Did you have an accident?"
Patient: "No, my belly button just exploded again."

"This is the first time I've ever eaten a hamburger naked!"

Random Thoughts

I did this a long, long time ago, but I like it. It gives you a nice little snapshot in my life. Since I'm sitting in a super-easy one-on-one assignment at work, it's 4:00am, and I don't feel like doing the mound of homework in front of me, updating my blog seems like a good idea.

What's lying around my house:
Several sample hardware pieces for the kitchen cabinets
The comfy, dingy love seat I got on craigslist
Mounds of neglected papers from my research class
A half-watched VHS of Fiddler on the Roof
Furry gloves and my grandma's quilt

What's in my fridge/pantry:
Cracked pepper and olive oil Triscuits
A smorgasbord of yogurts
Fair trade coffee and tea
Yummy soy milk
Sweet potato pancake mix

What's on my mind:
My busy patient from last night who couldn't keep a blood pressure and my stable, crazy patient tonight who keeps randomly yelling expletives
The fact that I've been a total slacker on schoolwork
Some crazy boy who keeps hanging around
The 24 hour community prayer time planned at my house next week
All the fun things planned for November (2 medical conferences, Thanksgiving, a trip to Central MN, seeing old friends)
Today would have been my granddad's 95th birthday were he still alive

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Funny Quotes of the Week

A sampling of the funny quotes from the past week:

Taylor: I've had these shoes for a long time (looks intently at them). Maybe I could put a little caulk right here, and they'd be fine.

Dad: You got any tylenol?
Sarah: No.
Dad: Well, what are you good for?

Peggy: And you're Tyler?
Bob: No, his name is Taylor.
Taylor: Yeah, it's Taylor.
Peggy: That's what I said, Tyler.
Dad: Hi, I'm Ken.
Peggy: Oh, Kian.
Dad: No, Ken.

Dale: If you beat a cow when it's young, it will act that way its whole life.
Polly: Mr. Dill, is that true?
Dad: Um...I wasn't listening.

Taylor: Your legs are hairy.
Sarah: How do you know?
Taylor: I can hear 'em comin'.

Sarah: We could go to Oxbow, where they have an....animal museum.
Justin: Um, we call that a zoo, Sarah.

Taylor: One day, I let contact solution dry in my contact case, and it fermented.

Taylor: You're the perfect size to poke--not too thick it doesn't affect you, and not too skinny I think I'll break you.

Taylor: You only wish you were cool enough to have a turkey call on your phone.

TN Travelers

This last week has been pretty busy with my family visiting from TN. We had a great time together, and I must admit, I am sounding a little more twangy than I did before. I will have to work on reintegrating into MN life now to avoid being ridiculed.

We did a whole host of things while they were here. If you can't tell by my personality, my family likes to be busy. And with a new, fixer-upper house, I had no shortage of projects for them. Here's a list of what we accomplished in about 2 good days of work, in addition to cooking a lot of meals, meeting my friends, and attending a benefit lunch:

-repainted all the doors in the house so they are no longer two-toned
-painted half the cabinets in the kitchen (sparing the other half that are to be replaced)
-fixed a wobbly table
-completely reconstructed two mangled storm doors
-cleared out the backyard fence row, leaving me with a minivan-sized pile of brush
-fixed all the storm windows
-tore up yucky landscaping border
-painted doorframes and baseboards
-installed a few sets of blinds
-purchased a nice array of tools

I also coerced my family to meet a portion of my boyfriend's family over pie and hot chocolate, which was quite the entertaining experience, at least for me. :-) The colliding of two worlds.

My brother stayed two days longer than my parents, and we had fun. We went to a birthday party, had people over for a pancake breakfast, went to church, went to a zoo, watched a movie, and just chilled out. I like that boy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I've been tagged!

1. Any nicknames? The Real Dill, the Big Dill, Little Dill, Dill Pickle, Sweet Pickle Relish
2. Favorite drink? other than water, coffee, chai, or limeade
3. Mother's name? Peggie Lucille
4. Tattoo? no, but I can't say I don't want one
5. Body Piercing? Four earrings holes
6. How much do you love your job? Quite a lot, most of the time. My favorites: feedings the babies, really supporting a stressed out family, being competent with an unstable patient
7. Birthplace? UMC in L-town
8. Favorite vacation spot? Where I've actually been--Washington State. It's got the mountains, water, and interesting people
9. Ever been to Africa? Only in my dreams and vicariously through others. Hope to go soon.
10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Yes. I've even done cookies for breakfast.
11. Ever been on TV? In high school I was the substitute anchor for our morning tv show
12. Ever steal any traffic sign? Not personally, but I was present when such crime occurred
13. Ever been in a car accident? Once, but I wasn't driving
14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4-door
15. Favorite salad dressing? currently blue cheese
16. Favorite pie? Pumpkin--yay for fall!
17. Favorite number? 4--I don't really know why
18. Favorite movie? It's a Wonderful Life
19. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
20. Favorite dessert? Ice cream on a warm brownie
21. Favorite food? peanut butter, pizza, ice cream
22. Favorite day of the week? Sunday
25. Favorite smell? fresh baked bread
26. What do you do to relax? Go for a run, read a book, or talk to a friend
27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? That question overwhelms me right now. Tomorrow I'm going to work, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

For Emily Kathryn

What is reality?

Enter into my world for a second. The world of nursing.

Nurses are weird. We are jacks of all trades and masters of none (usually). We like gross topics. We can hold a sandwich in one hand and a bowl to catch some one's vomit in another. We typically like people, though we see the best and the worst of them. We work in an endless myriad of clinical and academic places doing an endless number of things: community health, hospitals, nursing homes, education, clinics, legislation, etc.

And then there are nurse researchers.

This takes weirdness to a whole new level. I don't think other researchers are quite like nurses. Here we are, trained in a very practical, tangible field of clinical things, yet we approach them with a highly philosophical, holistic worldview. This is one of the main differences between the medical model and the nursing model. For example, the medical model will look at a disease progression and try to figure out how to fix it physically at the cellular level. The nursing model will look at the disease progression, try to get in the person and see how they and everyone around them reacts to it, and still try to fix it, but in more ways than physically. No wonder nurses are so stressed and overworked many times.

But I digress. Nurse researchers: odd people. A nurse researcher would ask: "What is green? How do you know what green is? What if green is different for you than for me? What causes green? What does green lead to? What are the attributes of green?" Get my point?

This is on my mind because in grad school I am currently enrolled in Theoretical Foundations and Research for Nursing. It is the beginning of my thesis project (i.e. a several hundred page document about one very, very specific topic). Here we dissect everything. To the most minute detail. I am just starting to learn this process and am only a couple of weeks in, and already my office is a mess, with dozens of papers, notes, and highlighted articles staring at me in distress yelling, "GET ORGANIZED!" There is a small rain forest in the Amazon now gone because of all the paper I am having to use.

The way the thesis process works at my school is a little different than most, and is much to my benefit. Our professors already have areas of interest, and they already have databases full of information waiting to be analyzed. So, I will not conduct my own study like many schools do (praise the Lord!). I get to work with a group to determine new relationships between the already-gathered information and publish on that. So it is a thesis, streamlined.

Not to say that this is not a huge project. It will take over a year, but my partners and I are super-motivated to get done asap, so hopefully by this time next year we will be defending our thesis, and our thesis board will say with gusto, "You are fully prepared to be an advanced practice nurse, ready to change the world!" My chosen thesis area deals with recurrent ovarian cancer and couples. It is looking like the focus will be relationship quality and communication between these couples, and how these are affected by a certain variable (yet to be determined-probably length of relationship, number of recurrences, or religious participation). Specific enough for you?

So for now, my first assignment is to start to get a hold on these concepts. In particular, what is communication? How do I know it when I see it? What leads to it, and what does it lead to? But before I can really do that, I have to examine these research articles to see if they are of any quality and usable. Do they have an appropriate design? What about their assumptions of the concepts? Why did they choose the participants they did and is that appropriate? How do I know I got all the good articles, considering there are 6,000 new nursing journal articles published every day? And what worldview am I working from anyway? How do I see man? What is health?

You didn't know nurses were philosophers, did you?

I say all this not to bore you, but to let you know what my thinking is like now and to explain why I may be out of touch from time to time. Feel free to remind me why I am in grad school because I may forget.

And don't stay up at night trying to fully understand green. Leave that to a nurse.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look, Mom!


....and after.

My Favorite Part of the Day


Yep, that's how excited I was to be at Jackpine.

"What is Jackpine?, you ask....

It is an annual camping retreat with a tight group of Christians mostly from Northern and Central MN, and that's where I was two weekends ago with boyfriend Bob, his sister Peggy and brother Billy, and friend Lori (all crammed in my mighty Honda with all our camping gear and food).

I have heard about the infamous Jackpine for a long time now, and was glad to get to be a part of it myself.

The 8-hour car ride to Williams, MN (which is about a stone's throw from the Canadian border), was a lot of fun, even though no one could move very much and many people were slightly sleep deprived.

Bob did a great job of delivering all four of the keynote talks, despite being distracted by cute little girls who just HAD to be held by him while he was talking.

Peggy really was happy to be sitting next to me.

There was plenty of time for good fellowship, spontaneous singing groups, volleyball, and a road trip to Warroad, MN, which is what I guess you would consider Bob's hometown.

(Bad picture, but it is the only one I have of us from the whole weekend.)

And, of course, in MN weather is always a consideration, and we had our fun share of it. It was cold---like I'm-so-glad-I-brought-long-johns-cold---but that was the perfect reason to drink more hot chocolate and coffee (see first picture). And there was a considerable deluge of rain the last night, which resulted in a sopping wet tent, one night sleeping in my car, and no change of clothes for me. But, hey, I love that stuff. It's worth it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering....

Life is always an adventure. Here's what mine has included lately.

My sister came to visit for a few days in mid-August. It is always so hard when people come visit--I want them to get a good, thorough look at my life here, but it is impossible. There is just too much to share, and when I try to cover it all, it is just annoying. But we had a good time, even though she spent part of the time helping me dust off the entire house from hardwood floor debris. Thanks, Anne!

Work has been really good. I can't tell you how much more I enjoy this job than my last one. I ADORE working with kids. I have actually had a marathon patient for the last month and a half. I took care of him every day I worked except two since the beginning of August. I think I'll do a separate post about it later along with some reflections on nursing because it meant so much to me.

My friends are incredible. We get together every Wednesday for dinner and often see each other additional times in the week. The last few weeks have consisted of a baked potato bar, gourmet peanut butter sandwiches, pizza, etc. Mix fun food in with great people and some worship and it becomes a date you hate to miss.

Speaking of dating, after a realitively short but seemingly very long hiatus, I am back together with the boy who has captured my attention. :-) Like I said, always an adventure...

In all my free time (and in some of my not free time), I've been working hard to fix up this old house. It is fun, but also very trying when you've got limited finances and even more limited time. I can't decide if it is rewarding or not. I like accomplishing things and making things beautiful, but I really don't care about appearances or material things. Yet I act as if I do. My only comfort in this endeavor is that I'm going to make this house look so much better I'll be able to sell it for a profit to help support my next move, which will hopefully be to some impoverished area much different from where I am now. I could write a whole essay about this. But I'll spare you, because it is 5am, I'm at work, and there is no telling whether or not I'm making sense.

Grad school started again a few weeks ago. I'm studying to be a family nurse practitioner if you weren't aware. Two more years to go though, so it still seems distant. I'm only taking one class, and it is the fascinating subject of Theory and Research. Not my favorite. But I will start my thesis project, which is looking like it might deal with recurrent ovarian cancer and women and couples' responses to it. I'll keep you more updated as the subject gets fleshed out.

So there you have it, folks. Work, school, relationships, renovation. I don't know why I think this is so interesting everyone should read it!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Progress Slideshow

Saturday, August 30, 2008

November Happenings

Who wants to go with me?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mental Health Break

1. Where were you 3 hours ago?
Holding the crying mom of my patient while she processed some devastating news. It was a bad day.
2. Who are you in love with?
Whoever invented ice cream.
3. Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Not that I remember, but I have had cow's tongue.
4. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
Definitely not.
5. When is the last time you went to the mall?
Probably two months ago.
6. Are you wearing socks right now?
7. Do you have a car worth over $2,000?
Yes, got to love the Honda.
8. When was the last time you drove out of town?
I went to Houston, MN last weekend for a bluegrass festival.
9. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
Probably not the last five months.
10. Are you hot?
Yes, it has to be about 80 degrees in this room.
11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
12. What are you wearing right now?
Charlie Brown scrub top and blue scrub pants.
13. Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
I like to wash it if I have time and cash.
14. Last food that you ate?
Muffins cooked by Amy
15. Where were you last week at this time?
At the bluegrass festival in Houston, MN.
16. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
17. When is the last time you ran?
18. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Olympic basketball today
19. What is your favorite animal?
White tiger
20. Your dream vacation?
A survey trip in Rwanda
21. Last person's house you were in?
the B.A.J.A house
22. Worst injury you've ever had?
Couple of broken fingers
23. Have you been in love?
I think so
24. Do you miss anyone right now?
Too many people to count
25. Last play you saw?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.....I don't recommend it.
26. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
I am just ornery enough to be fun.
27. What are your plans for tonight?
28. Who is the last person you sent a Facebook message or comment?
29. Next trip you are going to take?
Louisville, KY for a medical missions conference in November
30. Ever go to camp?
I suppose you could call it that.
31. Were you an honor roll student in school?
Yes, and proud of it.
32. What do you want to know about the future?
I would take anything about now.
33. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
I probably smell like hospital or baby lotion.
34. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor's visit?
If I have to
35. Where is your best friend?
Somewhere in Arkansas.
36. How is your best friend?
Much shorter than me.
37. Do you have a tan?
No, I'm trying to be a real Minnesotan.
38. What are you listening to right now?
The rain.
39. Do you collect anything?
Projects, lately.
40. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
My neighbor Jane.
41. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
Sophomore year of college, I think.
42. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?
43. What does your last text message say?
Kristy asked if I could do breakfast in the morning.
44. Do you like hot sauce?
45. Last time you took a shower?
Last night.
46. Do you need to do laundry?
Nope, did it yesterday.
47. What is your heritage?
My dad says he doesn't know. I apparently have no identity.
48. Are you someone's best friend?
I think so.
49. Are you rich?
In more ways than I deserve.
50. What were you doing at 12AM last night?
Heading towards bed.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Last night was so good and so powerful I'm not quite sure it happened. But I'll come back to that.

For those of you around Rochester, you've probably been aware of or are a part of this "community" here. For a brief reference to the girls in this group, see this post . It all started last fall when four girls, including myself, started meeting with the intent on doing a Bible study about Daniel. We did that for about 1.5 weeks, then decided we needed something different. We needed to get real.

So we did. The four of us, who barely knew each other, started sharing our lives with each other. The good and the bad, the hurts and the triumphs, the profound and the mundane. We prayed for each other. By that, I mean more than a few tired words spoken almost by repetition. We prayed for each other. We cried together almost as much as we laughed. This weekly meeting became a mainstay for all of us, a must-have that profoundly impacted our relationship with God. Not that we are the first people in the world to do this, but we realized we had stumbled upon a gold mine, something that had to be shared. Everyone needed to experience this relationship, this true community. And so we grew.

More ladies started coming. Finding a place to meet became an issue. We needed places big enough to handle us, but cozy enough so we could converse. We bounced around all sorts of restaurants and houses. We made it work. We shared ideas of living together, serving together, being a constant support for each other. Our core group of four grew to eight.

Our guy friends became jealous. They got tired of hearing so much about this "girls' meeting" that they started their own. Pretty soon, you couldn't see another friend without hearing the buzzword "community." We had a goal, a common vision, a unified purpose.

The guys and girls started meeting together. It came to settle on Wednesday nights, and now it is a standing date. We eat together, usually share communion, then often having a time of sharing and prayer for each other. We all come from various backgrounds and different faith traditions, but all built on Christ. Several of us bought houses and live together, opening our doors to each other at any time of day. We share many things, and if it is in your fridge, you better consider it fair game to be eaten. The community has grown by leaps and bounds, and now you can expect several dozen people every time we get together. It has blessed my life in immeasurable ways.

The girls continue to meet on their own at a different part of the week, though it has been hard to coordinate that the last month or two. We have become a little distant, disconnected from each other and left to struggle through life more or less on our own. Though God is always there and is always helping us, without the constant support of our Christian sisters, we were hurting, and it came to our attention that we needed each other. So we scheduled a girls' night with the core group of eight, which was last night.

We were (are? it has only been one night) a complete mess. A complete mess. Every single one of us has been struggling with some major thing, be it loneliness, fear, sin, temptation. We were antsy at the beginning, knowing this was going to be a rough night, so we started out stating praises. It went from praises about happenings in our life to praises for the good things in each other, building each other up in love. It was good.

Then we took turns sharing what we had been struggling with. Every single one of us cried when talking. Life has been too hard. We have not been there for each other. We confessed many shortcomings, many sins--some almost unbelievably, shockingly bad--some of us so far from the Lord.

And we loved on each other. We loved on each other. We cried out to God to heal each person, specifically, passionately. We spoke strong words against the work of Satan and how he had taken hold of us. We sobbed together. Maybe it is so significant to me that we cried together because I am not typically a crier. But there were no walls last night as we mourned for each other and sought out the guidance of God. And it was very good.

How we need each other. How we need the Lord. May His Name be praised for breaking us and building us back up. I have a feeling for the next good while us girls are going to be attached at the hip. May we never fall apart like that again. And may every one get a taste of this community, this fellowship, based on Christ with a foundation of love. Let me know if you want to join. We'd love to have you.

Small Joys in Life

I have a nice, big red dumpster in my driveway right now, and it is one of the most fun things I've ever experienced. A sampling of today's accomplishments:

Nastiness carpet from the living room and bedrooms---gone.
Three layers of carpet and one layer of plastic unknown thing from the stairs---gone.
Sneakers, gnarled tennis balls, random pieces of wood, empty sticky bottles from the basement---gone.
Dead branches and bushes that haven't been trimmed this millennium--gone.
Yucky green tile covering perfectly good hardwood---gone.
Gooey, greasy non-functional stove vent---gone.

It is liberating, exhilarating goodness that gave me quite a high. I love that feeling of declutterizing. Absolutely love it. And right now, it is incredibly convenient. All for one flat price.

(P.S. Are you tired of hearing about this house renovation yet?)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Before and Afters


Dining Room


Living Room

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Makin' Progress

The house is coming along, being salvaged from years of neglect and bad interior design, one coat of paint at a time. I could not have done this without the help of my oh-so-faithful friends. You guys are simply incredible.