Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calling Shopping

Have you ever had a calling at church you wished you didn't? Do you ever think about moving just so you can lose your calling? Have you ever dreamed about going into your bishop and negotiating your calling the same way you do your annual raise or when your searching for a car?
"Well, I'd like to stay in this ward, but the Bishop of the third ward promised me assistant scout master (Matt's dream calling not mine). If you can match that offer I can promise to stay, otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to move." Or, "I can promise full tithing, double fast offerings and 100% home teaching and visiting teaching if you can promise me the calling of my choice. Otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to have to go somewhere that will. You're choice and, in my opinion a fairly easy one."
Ah, if only.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I turned on my iPod the other day, to listen to music while I sew, and just hit play. No fussing over one specific artist or podcast. Just play. What started was Air Supply's greatest hits album. Before I could even make it over to my sewing machine I was rocking out, singing every word (because who doesn't know every word to every Air Supply song - they're like the Wilson Phillips that way), and dancing in my private apartment stomp (do you remember those Melissa and Aubrey?). I couldn't help but laugh to myself about how silly it is to rock out to Air Supply (no offense Graham and Russell). How uncool is that? So I started thinking about what other guilty pleasures I have.

I thought about it for a couple of days and could only think of one other -wearing my PJs and bath robe for the better part of the morning instead of getting dressed like real people. Yeah, that's it. I felt so ashamed that those are more or less my only guilty pleasures. I guess I could name some others but they're even more lame than those already mentioned so we'll leave it at those two.

I imagined this great post about the random uncool things I do and could only come up with two. Sorry about that. So what I'm hoping is that you all fess up about what your guilty pleasures are. Come on, I know you have them. Hopefully they're not as dorky as bathrobes until noon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reality Check

Do you remember a month or so ago when I wrote about Matt entering the world of writing via two contests? The first one was a nation-wide novel contest sponsored by Amazon. The second was a city-wide short story contest sponsored by some local non-profit. Well, I am pleased to announce that Matt made it through to the quarter-finals in the Amazon contest!!! Honestly I don't think either of us could be more thrilled. Even if he doesn't make it to the semi-finals we are just so excited to have made it this far.
At this stage of the contest, an excerpt of each contestant's novel is posted on amazon for feedback by editors and customers (that's you). We would love if you would take some time and provide some honest feedback to Matthew. You can find his excerpt at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG3B72 and everyone else's at www.amazon.com/abna.

As of April 15, Matthew is out of the contest. We got the feedback from the reviewer, and after a few hours of grieving the loss, he was back at writing making sure to incorporate the feedback so as to make his writing that much better. I couldn't be more proud of his resilience and am loving the revised Reality Check. I'll let you know when it's re-completed as I'm sure you are just dying to see the new Matthew and the new work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Letting in Love

I grew up for the first 14 years of my life in the military. For the next 15 years I kept up the military way of moving every two to four years. As such I am great at meeting new people and making new friends. What I'm not so fabulous at is the depth of these relationships. With the exception of my family and a very small number of key friends I don't open my heart to that many people. And maybe that's a good thing, but this past weekend I found myself opening it to people who should have had access years ago.

A neighbor and friend of mine in college was re-diagnosed with cancer after successfully battling through it once before. This time it turned up in her lungs. Using her as an impetus, her 3 college roommates and 4 of mine descended on her home in North Carolina for a long weekend.

I'll be honest, when the trip was first mentioned I wasn't overly enthusiastic to go. I hadn't talked to most of these women in years and was unsure about the strength of my bond to the group. But with some intense peer pressure I caved, bought my ticket and headed out. I'm not sure how "myself" I allowed myself to be throughout the trip, but somewhere I knew that I wasn't truly letting these women into my heart. I prayed and vented and cried and hugged and somehow in the process of the weekend my heart was changed. No longer did I feel like the outsider trying desperately to fit in but I assumed my position within the group. The position the rest of the women had already given me but I just couldn't accept.

When I left I felt forever altered. These wonderful women will always have a special place in my heart and I promise them personal phone calls when fun things start happening in my tummy. I love you Courtside Chicas!

Aging - Is it Really Necessary?

For the last few years I decided that I had no reason to dread turning 30. In fact I told a few people that I saw no reason to not be 30 now. After all, it's just an age, what's the big deal? A few months ago, somewhere after turning 29, I realized that 30 does bother me after all. But it's not the number so much as the looking that number. For much of my life, thanks to my late birthday I have been the youngest in most groups. Youngest in classes, youngest in relationships. It became part of my identity. And what do the 20's symbolize if not youth? Who wouldn't want to look 25 for the rest of their lives? And not that 30 is old, it's just not 2_. It has been hard coming to terms with looking somewhere past that seeming prime of life. Somehow 30 seems to mark the beginning of the end, and I'm just not sure how comfortable I am with watching my body slowly atrophy.

I thought I was alone in my vain notions until I talked to my dad about his milestone birthday commemorated on March 2. It turns out he is just as unsure about whether he wants to look like a man in his 60's. I was so relieved to know that I wasn't alone in my age insecurities. Because while I wouldn't change my life experiences for the world, and will probably not do too much to unnaturally alter my appearance, growing old seems kind of dreary.

Please tell me how wrong I am.