Wednesday, October 27, 2010

autumn song

Last night Tim and I wrote a new song. Last night we recorded it. Today, I'm sharing the lyrics with you and a link so you can hear it for yourself.


cast off shorts, naked feet
cover skin, arms and legs
the wool, the tweed, the sweaters
button up, in the middle meet

in shades that match the darkening sky
earthy hues as faces pale
the leaves, the ground, the trees
we live while summer dies

the wind has left us breathless
hair unswept and scattered
chilled but not yet frozen
we love you nonetheless

your colors fall for one last dance
one cool blast, your time has past
the frost, the wind, the cold
so it ends, this short romance

the wind has left us breathless
hair unswept and scattered
chilled but not yet frozen
we love you nontheless

Hear it here at our myspace.

Monday, October 25, 2010


"To err is human, to forgive, divine." Alexander Pope

I have been pondering the difficulty and blessing of forgiveness over the last two weeks. Not just pondering, I guess, more like living forgiveness. Its pretty interesting too that I had to be on both sides of it. I have needed forgiveness and needed to give it on two separate occasions.

Somedays I don't know which is worse.

It is difficult at times to forgive. To forgive someone who has wronged, particularly when you have been wronged repeatedly in the exact fashion of the previous offense. Saying this I feel myself echoing Peter's question, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answers Peter and I, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

It's a hard saying. It feels as though you have no protection from the pain. Seventy times seven, the ultimate number isn't important, it's the idea that forgiveness is unlimited.... and when I don't forgive, the resentment simmers, threatening to boil over.

I had to work on this one last week, I needed to forgive. I had forgiven previous offenses, but the last couple were festering in my soul. I knew it wasn't holy, and I asked God for help. He came through. Forgiveness.

I forgave and let God calm my stormy waters. And I must forgive repeatedly until the wrong is forgotten, lost in love.

I also struggled with being forgiven recently.

I hate making mistakes. I weep my eyes out and beat my soul and mind silly over them. Hearing that I'm forgiven after I have personally flogged myself is always so wonderful, but I always have to take care that I don't continue the torture after I'm forgiven.

Maybe I think the self-punishment will merit forgiveness. Maybe I just feel too deeply. Maybe it's pride. Whatever it is, I don't always just take the forgiveness easily, it works itself in slowly.

I particularly hate it when the person I wronged is the person I love the most in the world, my husband. Hurting him is one of my worst nightmares. And I punish myself thoroughly for it. He is always so quick to forgive when I ask him. It puzzles me. I expect anger, frustration. But he forgives and reminds me that he will always love me, and he loves me just the same as he did before if not more.

Why is this unexpected, even confusing? Because it isn't our nature, remember what Pope said? It's divine.

God forgives, humans don't. We hang onto the pain when we ourselves are hurt, or we punish ourselves for the pain we have caused.

Jesus Himself, who carried the sin of the world on His shoulders and was wrongly killed though innocent and perfect... forgave us while on the cross. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34

How powerful, how divine. It puts my efforts at forgiveness into perspective. God has forgiven me all, can I not forgive my brothers, my sisters? God has forgiven and taught others to forgive, can I not accept forgiveness from others?

Forgiveness is the kind of thing I think I have under control when there is no one that needs my forgiveness. These last couple weeks were a good reality check. Forgiveness must be a way of life.

I am so thankful that there are people in my life that have taught me forgiveness first hand. Tim, thank you for showing me what forgiveness looks like again. I love you.

My prayer is that I will be quick to forgive and eager to love. Jesus, please make me more like You.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

new in the shop

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend, and a blessed Sunday morning! I just wanted to share a new card that I posted yesterday in my etsy shop: Mother and Child. I think it would be a great card to send to a new mother, your mother, or even as a Christmas card.

If you would like me to make you more of this card, or even have a design you would like me to create for you, send me a message!

You can find this card at my shop

Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

road trip-the wedding and the end

Congratulations Jesse and Kristen! The wedding on Saturday was beautiful, and the church was quite stunning. It was the oldest church in the diocese and the architecture was impressive. We are so happy for the new Mr. and Mrs., and we wish them all the best!

The road trip was great fun, we got to hang out with our dear friend Chuck (good conversations, playing lots of Boggle and Epidemic, as well as going to Starbucks) and we met new friends too. We got to know the great city of Buffalo and see Niagra Falls... all in all, it was very fun and relaxing.

Can't wait until the next one.

*This is the card I designed for Jesse and Kristen... both of them being excellent poets, I copied a few Elizabeth Browning's poems to create a Chicago skyline.... more coming soon.

road trip-niagra falls, canada

On our trip to Buffalo, Tim and I took a jaunt across the border to see Niagra Falls. It was so sweet. It was pretty cool being in Canada, and the falls were amazing. It is one of those things you just have to see, I can't explain it... so I will leave you with these photographs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

top ten: buffalo road trip

My top ten favorite things about a road trip to Buffalo with the husband:

1. Unforced, quality conversation-time, if you don't have anything to say for an hour, no problem, still have eight hours to go.

2. Listening to music, especially picking out songs that fit the mood- just leaving joyful songs- moody moonlight songs- autumn leaf songs-etc.

3. Filling out a mad lib with words like squirrels, bologna, pants, boisterous, and chinchilla.

4. Stopping at a rest stop and discovering interesting, new things. For example, a woman shaving her armpits in the ladies bathroom. No joke.

5. Going to a Chik-Fil-A in Cleveland, finding it had the most leisurely, friendly, happy service at a fast food chain, ever. Delightful.

6. Laughing about many, many things. So many I can't remember them all.

7. Reminiscing about childhood, particularly what were our favorite things to do when we played outside and what cartoons we watched.

8. Planning our next road trip.

9. Admiring the beautiful, absolutely incredible autumn colors. The crimson, the orange, the gold, the green.

10. Being with my favorite person in the world for ten hours straight. Glorious.

And that was just the ride to Buffalo! More coming soon about our adventures in the city of wings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

secret garden card

I'm slowly working on my etsy store again. I've been working on some cut-out collages. Here is one I made over the weekend. I like to think it's the doorway to the "Secret Garden," full of roses and violets, or maybe just the door to your sweet thoughts.

Hopefully more coming very soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

interludes and adventures

I love music. I love listening to it, singing, playing music, and writing music with Tim. As early as I can remember, there was music playing all around me... at home and at church. And before I can remember, my mom has stories of how I responded to music (particularly the soundtrack to Amadeus). I remember singing along to Phil Keaggy, Say-So, and Jacob's Trouble. I remember singing in church, during Sunday services or Christmas plays. I remember my first radio with a tapedeck. My first discman. My first recital. The first song Tim wrote for me. Our first show. On and on. Music.

One thing I didn't love about music when I was young was the interlude. When I would listen to a favorite rock song, I hated the parts where there weren't any lyrics. I wanted them to get back to the words, to the story. Stop messing around with guitar solos, I want to sing a long... this is boring.

I don't really feel like this anymore. I enjoy beautiful interludes, weeping strings that swell with emotion, intricate guitar parts carefully picked, and passionate melodies from piano keys. Sometimes it is the interlude that moves you to tears, the music can speak what words cannot.

However, I do think my childhood dislike of the interlude sheds a little light on my tendency to be, well, a little impatient during waiting times. Times when life is an interlude. Nothing is really changing, just waiting for the next direction from God.

I get excited for changes. Moving around with my family instilled a little wanderlust in my heart. I get ready to move on to the next adventure. But sometimes, its not time for an adventure. Sometimes, its time to wait, be still, know that the Lord is God.

I think my impatience sometimes gets in the way of what God wants to do next. I'm so busy trying to peek around the corner, I miss what is right in front of me. Maybe its a small adventure, maybe its a heart change, maybe its a friend that needs an encouraging word.

The last couple weeks I have been striving to take more time to be with God. I have found that being more faithful in the day to day is making the day to day more purposeful, and dare I say... an adventure?

I forget that being a follower of Christ is all the adventure I need. Everyday following Him is beautiful, be it an interlude or sweet lyrics. I do not need a change to find purpose, following Christ provides my life with meaning everyday. Days I feel joyful, days I feel depressed. Days I'm ready for, and days I'm too tired for. He can handle all of them, especially the ones that are too big for me.

"My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me." John 10:27

I'm His sheep and He has a plan for me everyday. Sometimes I listen, sometimes I stuff my ears with my own wool.

I'm ready to wait on my King, my Shepherd, my Love, my Songwriter. What do You have for me today Jesus? Interlude or lyric, rest or adventure.... I'm here.


I took a walk today with Chewie (Tim's childhood dog) through our neighborhood. I believe the time of day was what our wedding photographer called the "bewitching hour." Everything looked beautiful outside so we ran back upstairs to get the camera. I was a little disappointed at my attempts to catch the gorgeous lighting, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my walk with Chewie and the beautiful leaves.

It smelled like cold weather was rolling in, and it mingled deliciously with the smell of perishing leaves. I truly love autumn, I love the cool days, sweaters and khakis, changing leaves, pumpkins, apple cider, etc. It reminds me of days spent running around outside as a child, thrashing through leaves and building forts. It reminds me of when Tim and I started dating three years ago (it seems like forever ago, that sweet exciting time). It's such a lovely season filled with wonderful memories....

What do you love about autumn?

Monday, October 4, 2010

wuthering heights

I got a nasty cold this weekend. Headaches, congestion, sinus pain, bad dreams. Nasty. To combat this I took echinacea, vitamin c, tylenol cold, chicken noodle soup, clementines, watched the Bears, and started re-reading Wuthering Heights.

You may or may not have read Wuthering Heights. Some of you may have read it for English class, if you are an British Lit nerd, you may have read it for fun. Either way, this is one of the greatest novels, ever.

I haven't read many novels since graduating with an English degree, you kind of read novels until they are coming out of your ears as a lit major. The other day, however, I was sitting next to the bookcase staring at it. This is an old favorite pastime of mine, I used to spend time just staring at the bookcases in my parent's home... thinking about the books I had read and speculating about the ones I hadn't. I sometimes get caught staring at other people's bookcases.... all I can say in my defense is this, you can learn a lot from a bookcase. I happened to rest my eyes on Wuthering Heights, and began to read it while Tim worked on homework.

I have really enjoyed re-visiting the Yorkshire moors and the sad characters contained in the pages of Emily's classic book. Re-reading a book is like visiting an old friend. It brings back forgotten memories from the first read. I remember the first time I read this book very vividly. My family had driven out from California to visit our family in Illinois. We were at my grandparent's house in the country and we made a trip into town to visit my old favorite bookstore that doesn't happen to exist anymore, Pages for All Ages. I picked up a paperback of this book at my Mom's suggestion and brought it back to my grandparent's. I couldn't put it down. I believe I finished it in two days. It really is that good.

Although I read this book for the first time in the summer, it feels like fall to me. What books can you read more than once? What books contain old memories for you? What are you reading now? I'd love to hear about it.