Week #52: L’année de fin*

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln

This week has been full. (It seems somewhat appropriate since it gets two extra days (I’m lumping in the Sunday & Monday for a nice round 52 (instead of Week# 52.285714 (can you tell how much I love using parentheses?)))). Full of mini AN52 things (julienned carrots, explosive drinks & hurriedly—but unsuccessfully—trying to finish this post at the library before they closed), happy little surprises & the appropriate year-end retrospection.

Looking back over all of the things this year surprised me. There were some really cool things I did that I’d forgotten. I’d have to say that some of my favorites were going curling, car buying & selling, crazy foods, colored hair, Pride & Prejudice marathons, cute, beardy men at the tree climbing competition & dressing up for midnight premieres.

While completing this blog post in itself would give me my new thing (I’ve never done something for a whole year with only myself as motivation), I actually did do a new thing. In the past, my favorite Christmas movie has been Elf, which is a bit silly since it doesn’t have anything to do with the real meaning of Christmas. But it’s funny & loud (like me) & very quotable (also like me). Plus, all of the claymation Christmas ‘classics’ freak me out (those little things are so creepy!); I think A Christmas Story is awful & I’m not a huge Chevy Chase fan. But on Saturday, I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. I wasn’t a huge Peanuts fan growing up & my interaction with it was limited to the Saturday funnies. But I really enjoyed it, especially the sweet emphasis on Jesus’ coming & birth.

So that’s it—a new 52! Thank you so much to all of you who have journeyed with me & encouraged me in this. I don’t know that I’m a totally new person, but that’s good ’cause I’m already super awesome & now I can add a ton of new experiences to make my life a little more epic. May your 2013 be full of awesome epicness!!!

Thumbs up for rock & roll—& 2013!!

*French for “the year’s end”. Je suis américain, but I like different languages 🙂

Week #51: Bedtime bivouac

“Let the tent be struck.” — Robert E. Lee

I used to drive a Ford van. It was a big green, gas-guzzling machine, but I loved it. She was almost like an institution of my life; ‘the girl with the van,’ that was me. I could haul people & things & even used the van for sleepovers & camping once or twice.

Come to think of it, I’ve slept in some weird places. Not only in the van, but on a trampoline & in church pews. What can I say? I’m good at sleep. But I still haven’t slept in a blanket fort—you know what’s coming up next—till last night.

Le fort

My brother & I used to make sofa cushion forts & play all sorts of games in our little world, but I think Mom always had us put things away before bed. I felt like a kid as I was putting the blankets together, creating a little cave with blankets & chairs. Layered blankets, pillows & my bear completed the inside of my den. Crawling inside, I let my sleepiness do it’s thing. I woke up a few times throughout the night trying to find a comfortable position & stay warm. When I finally emerged I realized why people don’t usually do this after the age of ten. My back was kicking me & muttering doubts as to my decision-making skills.

But would I do this again? Heck yes! I like caves/homey holes. Not nasty, dirty, wet holes, but comfortable ones. So next time I’ll put an air mattress in it or just build it over my bed 🙂

Week #50: Half & halfling

“Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. ” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Right now I have an insistent headache & my body is craving sleep, so you’ll forgive me if I make this short. Like maybe 4’11”. I think the last time I was that height, I was eight years old. I don’t remember exactly, but I do know I’ve always been on the tall side of average or the short side of tall. Why then would I choose to portray a hobbit (or halfling) for this week’s thing (who typically are about half the size of a normal person)? Mainly—because I can!

My half birthday was yesterday & happened to coincide with the release of The Hobbit. In true hobbit-y fashion, I decided a party with friends & suitable dress was necessary. We were going to the midnight premiere (which I’d never done) & as previously stated, I dressed up like a hobbit (which I’d also never done). I have honestly been planning this since January, so one might think I’d be a little better prepared. Ha. Hahaha. I got everything pulled together the night before & that’s good enough for me.

Starting a three-hour movie at midnight in a roomful of strangers is a brave thing, but it’s also a beautiful thing. There were a bunch of other people dressed up & the comradery & the creativity—ah! Such a happy thing. Now, I am not a night owl at all & had we been at home, I would have been sleeping through this great movie. But since we were in public beholding such grand epicness, I didn’t really have a problem at all. Being on the cusp of tiredness, my brain made everything feel bigger somehow, like a kid watching Star Wars for the first time. I felt like I was being completely washed over by the story & filled full with the moment.

Now that I’ve made it to week #50, half of a hundred, I wish I could say something epic & inspiring to match this experience, but all I really have to say is, “Good morning!”

Week #49: Crazy Christmas

“…I realized that tradition is priceless…[It] doesn’t have to be logical; it only has to emphasize the light of Christ & His everlasting love.” ― Lori Copeland

People do strange things. Like this guy, who has come up with another way to put his hood up. Or this parent who took their toddler in a shark costume to the beach.

Or these people. Seriously.

But one of my favorite weird things that people (& yes, I’m including myself in that group) have done is the Internet. After the invention of this instant connection to people across the globe, vast sums of information & knowledge, what do we do? Anthropomorphise cats who communicate in ‘lolspeak’ & who plot our demise as we’re distracted by their adorableness. One of the newest incarnations of this is Grumpy Cat, a perpetually frowning feline who just wants the world to burn. Since it is the Christmas season, Grumpy Cat contributors had to celebrate in their own special way:

https://i1.wp.com/www.dumpaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/grumpy-cat-its-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-christmas.jpg & https://i0.wp.com/animalshak.com/files/2012/11/74782_10151260551658605_1558933715_n.jpg

Like I said, people do strange things—& the holidays catalyze this tendency into an avalanche of cheery traditions & manic celebrating. One such tradition is the Penguin House. For some reason, one house puts up what seems like hundreds of Christmas-themed inflatables to celebrate Christmas. (It’s called the Penguin House because the majority of these blow-ups have at least one penguin on them.)

Paulie's Penguin Playground - Christmas display in Olathe, Kansas

Even though it’s a local tradition, I’ve managed to make it through 5 Christmases without visiting. But last night, a few friends & I trekked through a drizzling December evening to this penguin-y winter wonderland. Wandering around, dodging Santas on motorcycles & getting scared by elves popping out of chimneys, it struck me that Christmas is about joy. For me, that joy comes from celebrating the birth of my Savior, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be accented by sharing strange traditions with the people I share my life with. Sometimes we can get tripped up in all of the conventions of something, when we should remember that birthday cake isn’t the reason for the hullabaloo, but another way of saying, “Today is special”. I just might be adding a visit to the Penguin House to my yearly Christmas customs & I hope that whatever spells special to you, you can enjoy it this year, while remembering the source of joy that fuels all our crazy fun 😀

Week #48: True lies

” If you know the enemy & know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu


When I was little, I was a bit of a pathological liar. I would always tell my friends that my dad had a house with 100 rooms & that I rode snapping turtles in ponds & all sorts of things. I’m still a creative thinker, but now those energies are directed in more theatrical ways. I’d like to think that I’ve become pretty honest with myself, but there’s still one area where I get caught up.

Fear. I’m probably the easiest person to scare you’ll ever meet (I’ve scared myself trying to scare someone else before). But I’m not really talking about the “Ah!” sort of moments. I’m talking about the deep down, inside yourself fears. I’ve never really acknowledged those things in my life that really make me worry in my soul (much less shared those worries with all of the millions who read my blog 😉 )

These are the biggest fears in my life right now:

  • Living in insincerity. Acting without really meaning it.
  • That I’m choosing my own comfort over God’s path for me.
  • Growing old without romantic love or choosing a husband for the wrong reasons.
  • Losing the best parts of who I am because it’s easier to be scared.
  • Waking up one day to find myself not really connected to anyone beyond a superficial level.

I know that God will get me through all of these & bring me to where my life glorifies Him. I know it because I’m His & He has thoroughly trounced & defeated Satan, who is the master of lies. But the thing about fear is that it’s not rational & I’m not great at focusing on that fact. So hopefully, through writing those down I can remind myself that trusting in God is really all I have to do, because He’s already won.

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