Friday, March 29, 2013

good friday

There's something about today that makes my heart jump inside.  I think it's because spring is finally around the corner!  The days are getting longer, the snow is actually melting and the temperature is climbing (slowly but surely).  Can't wait for that first Friday night grilling out on the patio.  Summer will be here before we know it!  So on that happy note, here are my five silver linings this week:

1.  Today is an extra special Friday - it's Good Friday. Today I am extra-thankful for what my Savior has done for me, including giving up his life for me and taking all my sin from me. Because of this weekend over two thousand years ago, I have been washed white as snow. While today I am reminded of Christ's death, I cannot wait until Sunday when I celebrate that He is Risen! Hallelujah!

2.  I can't seem to shake my connection to March Madness this year. I somehow got put in charge of running our firm-wide tournament (and am shockingly in 12th place...don't know how that happened), I got to enjoy a girls' weekend while the hubs was at the Big 10 Tournament a couple of weekends ago and tonight Steve is taking me to back-to-back Sweet Sixteen games at Lucas Oil Stadium. While I'm not an avid bball fan, I love all live sports so it's going to be a fun date night.

3.  Florida. Sunshine. Need I say more? You can read about the best weekend getaway ever here.

4.  While in Florida, I got to dive into several books that I've been dying to read (or re-read) for ages.  I'm a fan of the classics and forgot just how much I enjoy John Steinbeck.  If you haven't read East of Eden, you really should.  It's terrific.  Now to just find a copy of the movie somewhere...

5.  I'll leave you with this awesome "12 Questions You Didn't Know about Beauty and the Beast."  I was a huge Belle fan growing up (probably because she was the kind of girl who would take me up on #4 above...) and this rocked my world.  Seriously.  I mean, did anyone else ever wonder how the Beast managed to stay the same age over the years that he was a Beast??  Someone didn't think that one all the way through.  Regardless, still my favorite Disney movie.

Happy Easter weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

trading snowstorms for sunshine

When my friend Jess invited me back in January to join her and her parents in Florida for a long weekend in March, I responded with a resounding "Yes!"  Jess is a dear friend of mine.  We first met the summer after 1L year when we interned at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic together.  We became fast friends and I was so glad to have her stand with me as a bridesmaid when Steve and I were wed in June.
 
And Jess' family is awesome.  Not to mention she has the sweetest dog known to mankind, Allie. 
So Jess + parents + puppy + beach = yes please. 

Just getting away from Indy for a weekend was good enough for me - a time to clear my head and relax and hang out with my dear friend who I never see often enough. 
 

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that we were staying in a mansion that is directly on the beach with a private patio and I got my own bathroom w/ a rain shower (I am a big fan of rain showers).  I felt like a celebrity, haha. 
 

 
 
Jess' parents were very gracious hosts and her mom got to spend 6 weeks in this gorgeous setting.  We have dubbed her an official "lady of leisure."  And after being in FL for only 4 short days, I could maybe see myself being a lady of leisure someday too ;)  Here's Jess' and Allie's best lady-of-leisure impressions.

Sadly, I didn't get many pictures of anything but the beach... but I can't really blame myself, since the view was so gorgeous.  We spent the majority of our days just reading in the sunshine.  Luckily Jess is just as much of a bookworm as I (we both confess to reading books at the lunch table in middle school - yes I know, ultimate nerd move).  I got through this one, and this one, and even this one.  All in all, one successful reading weekend. 

 
 
Not going to lie, it was very hard to leave.  Especially when I found out my flight was cancelled since Indy was getting 7 inches of snow that night.  Yes, that's right, 7.  Sigh. 
 
On the bright side, I think I may have brought a little sunshine back with me - the snow is (almost) melted and I think spring is finally around the corner!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

deep in the heart of texas

A little bit about me: I grew up in Indiana but moved with my family several times in high school.  We ended up in Houston, Texas during my sophomore year of high school - quite a shock to my little midwest self to see cowboy hats and pickup trucks everywhere!  But let me tell ya, Texas grows on you.  I remained in Houston through college where I was a proud attendee of this university (hint: I love owls!).  I came back up to Indy for law school (where I met Steve) and consider myself to be some sort of a Hoosier/Texan hybrid. 
 
I love Indiana.  Chances are that Steve and I will be here forever, and I'm okay with that (I think).  But every once in a while, I get a huge hankering for Texas.  It gets especially bad in March.  That's probably because March is, by far, Houston's best month.  While those in the midwest are attempting to thaw out from the bitter winter and battling ice/snow/rain/mush all month long, Houstonians are soaking in the 80 degree weather, throwing the biggest Rodeo in the world for 3 straight weeks and welcoming early summer.  It's hard to beat Houston in March.  (Now August, on the other hand, is a totally different story!)
 
So this month, I am really longing for the best that Texas has to offer in March: 
Cowboy hats. 
Country music. 
Driving with the windows down. 
The start of baseball season. 
 
Patios.  Especially at Chuy's (aka the best tex mex you'll ever eat, I promise). 
 
Steve's first trip to Chuy's (and Houston) - it was love at first sight.
complete with fried oreos,
ferris wheels,
all things rodeo,
 
and concerts galore. 
 
And of course, Rice's biggest event of the year, Beer Bike.  This event happens every March at Rice, and is a bigger deal than Homecoming or any other typical "college sporting event."  Rice is very unique in that it operates under the residential college system - when you come in as a freshman, you are assigned to a college instead of a dorm and that college is your family for your entire time at Rice.  I am, and always will be, a Bakerite (aka member of Baker College).  Here's me with my roommate of four years during our first Beer Bike, proudly sporting the Baker red.
On Beer Bike weekend, you celebrate the awesomeness of your residential college and compete against other colleges to see which one is the best.  Baker comes first, obviously :).
The Beer Bike race itself involves bikers and chuggers...it's complicated and I've never actually participated... but the best part of Beer Bike is cheering on your college, celebrating Rice, and everything it stands for.  It makes for great memories with great friends.
Alumni come from far and wide to attend Beer Bike each year.  We don't participate in the campus-wide water balloon fight anymore...
But we do enjoy seeing each other and appreciating all that makes Rice truly special and unique.
 

Beer Bike is happening this weekend.  And I'm so sad that I'm going to miss it.  But I am looking forward to visiting the Lone Star State in less than a month for the wedding of a good friend.  It will be so good to go back, even if just for a weekend.  After all, I am a Hoosier... I just have a little bit of Texan in me that needs her fill every once in a while too :)
 


 


bloglovin'

So I am still relatively new to this whole blogging business.  How thankful I am that I have can follow more experienced bloggers who tip me off on new happenings, like the discontinuation of Google Reader.  Right as I was getting used to the darn thing.  Oh well, c'est la vie :) 

I'm venturing into the unknown world of Bloglovin'.  And if you'd like to follow me there, here's the link: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

In other news, I'm headed to Florida tomorrow evening with a dear friend for a mini-vacay.  I couldn't be more excited to escape from this never-ending winter and soak up some much-needed sunshine.  Thinking about the beach and sunglasses and seafood and sundresses is helping me get through today and tomorrow.  Happy Tuesday! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

springing forward

TGIF!  Wahoo, I am quite glad that this week is coming to an end.  Winter is still lingering here in Indy (convincing me that Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day prediction is a complete hoax).  I am so ready for spring! 

Five silver linings this week:

1.  Daylight Savings Time.  I know, I know.  Most people hate DST.  I mean, to be honest, "springing forward" every year is absolutely miserable.  And driving to work in the dark stinks.  But to me, it's totally worth it for the sunlit evenings!  I have noticed that I am a lot less tired when I get off of work, even if i don't get home until 7:30.  I give all the credit to good ole' DST.  And running outside for my mini training can finalllllly commence!  Yippee!

2.  Speaking of running outside, how could you not enjoy running through downtown Indy with blue skies and this gorgeous view, despite the cold?

3.  Big 10 Tournament.  And no, I am not really a huge basketball fan.  But my husband is, and he is currently in Chicago with his brothers and dad for the tournament.  Leaving me with the house all to myself.  It's actually quite nice for a day or two! 

I can watch all the episodes of this fabulous/terrible show that I want without him making fun of my bad taste in TV :)
Hi my name is Amy and I'll admit it... I love Cougar Town.

4.  Skyping with my sister.  Or letting Lyla skype with my sister.  Either way, I miss her dearly (she's in TX, I'm in IN) and it's so fun to see her beautiful face :)
...or this:

either way, skype with the sis is always entertaining.

5.  Pops' Birthday.  I think one of the best ways to remember those who have passed is to reflect on some of the best memories you shared with them.  So I'll leave you with this one.  Have a lovely weekend :)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

happy birthday, pops!

Today is the first birthday that Pops will spend up in Heaven.  I am sure he is having an absolute blast.  I wish that he was here so that I could celebrate with him, but I wouldn't want to deprive him of celebrating his eternity with the Father.
My biggest fan - never missed a swim meet!
Pops always made birthdays special - I can't remember a single birthday when I didn't receive some sort of Peanuts greeting card, signed lovingly by Pops and accompanied by a picture of his "guardian angel."  He loved to celebrate the little things in life, and lived each day to the fullest.  He never took a moment for granted to show me (and all he loved) exactly how much we meant to him.
High school graduation (note the Diet Pepsi - his favorite!)
Pops was always my biggest fan and I knew that he was so proud of me.  He was there through every big milestone in my life - every swim meet (and I mean every one - he would drive for hours just to see me swim a 1.5 minute long race!), high school graduation, college graduation, law school graduation - and even stayed with us just long enough for my wedding.  He passed away two days later.  I'm certain that he planned it that way...thinking of others until his last breath.
College graduation
Law school graduation - 3 attorneys in the family
So happy birthday, Pops!  I miss you dearly but am so happy for you, spending eternity with our Savior.  I remember you with all my love today, and can only imagine how sweet the reunion must have been yesterday when Uncle Marty left us to join you in Heaven.  Miss you, love you, can't wait to see you again someday.
Wedding planning in Brookshire, TX

Love always,
Your Roadrunner



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

he sees you

Have you ever been hurt by someone else's sin?  And then needed to be there for them as a fellow Christian while they struggled to overcome that sin?  We have all sinned in this way and are called to show mercy and grace to those whose sins have hurt us - because after all, "I am the foremost of sinners."  But still, to support and love someone who is fighting the hard fight can be heart-wrenching at times.  And painful.  And just flat-out hard.  Especially when their sin has hurt you more than anyone. 

Sometimes it's easy to feel as if God has forgotten you while He is busy working in the life of your loved one.  While you are trying to pour out love and support for one who has hurt you, it's hard not to selfishly think, haven't I given enoughIsn't it time for me to get some love and support, after all, since I am the one who was hurt the most?  God, why aren't you there for me through all of this?  But God is there.  And he sees you.  He sees your pain.  He sees you striving to be a living example of His grace, even while you are hurting.  He sees the love that you are trying so hard to cultivate, even if it seems impossible at times.  And He is so proud of you for it. 
 
God is not unjust;

He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

-Hebrews 6:10
 
Everything that God does has a just purpose.  He would never let you suffer for no reason.  Every sin, every struggle - God uses it for the good of those who love Him.  Through sin, God can turn something ugly and seemingly ruined into something beautiful.   Even if it seems impossible.  He is just that good.  And when you choose to love, to support, to encourage, and to help heal - you are loving Him. 

Loving others is loving God.  Helping others is loving God.

If you are journeying through a tough patch, stand firm in your faith.  Love those who have hurt you, so that you can bring glory to God's name. 

He sees you.  He loves you.  Be encouraged :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

golden

Last Wednesday, I celebrated my birthday.  It was an extra-special birthday (aka my "golden birthday") because I turned 27 on the 27th.  Yippee!  I don't know who came up with the "golden birthday" concept, but I planned to take full advantage of making an even bigger event out of my birthday than it already would be, for the sake of it being "golden" and all. 

Then, I found out on Monday that I would be traveling to and from Wisconsin (about a 5 hr drive each way) on my birthday for work.  Through a snow storm.  And Chicago rush hour traffic.  Greaaaaat. 

And that's when I realized, I wanted to be completely selfish on my birthday.  I wanted the world to revolve around me.  I wanted the whole kaboodle - flowers, presents, birthday songs, cake - and felt I was owed all of these great things, just because it was my "golden" birthday.  How childish of me.  I was wallowing in self-pity when a good girl friend reminded me that God can still shower me with blessings, even if things don't seem to go the way I want them to.  And that's what happened on my little adventure up to the land of cheese.  God blessed me.  He gave me quality time spent undisturbed in His word.  Time to spend reflecting on some difficult situations in my life... and bringing God into them through prayer (which I am terrible at but am working on!).  Several hours of belting to showtunes, which I haven't done in ages.  Surprisingly safe roads - with minimal traffic!  And, to top it all off, He got me back home at a decent time, so I could still open presents and eat a piece of Steve's homemade strawberry cake (my favorite) before I tumbled into bed.  He is so good to me, even when I am as selfish as I could possibly be.

You know what else great came from this more unusual birthday?  Since I couldn't celebrate everything at once on the actual day, I was blessed with several "mini-birthday" celebrations, full of love and joy...and of course, lots and lots of birthday cake!