Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Google image

I'm still recovering from my recent work trip to Florida. My eight-day visit to the southern peninsula state was steamy hot (+100F, plus incredible humidity!), ridiculously full, and absolutely exhausting...

I can't even begin to describe the craziness.

Over the course of the week, I was involved in behind-the-scenes details for three major events (over 100 people, over 300 people, and over 500 people, respectively).

In addition, the communications department adopted me to write daily blog posts for the week. The photographer and I spent hours each day arranging words and photos for the masses. The posts (check them out here) are nothing fancy, and definitely reminded me that I'm not a professional journalist (I'd be one of those starving artists for sure). Writing, while I do enjoy dabbling in it, is a time-intensive process that requires a great deal of focus.

Day upon day I was awake way past my bedtime, and up again at the crack of dawn. There was no break (okay, so I did catch a nap Friday afternoon during free time-- major highlight of the week. I'm.not.joking.) Late-night ice cream breaks may or may not have happened once or twice while grasping for some strands of sanity.

This brain was fried.
The bod was ragged.


Now I must confess a new traveling low:
Last Tuesday afternoon,
I slept on an airport floor.

Friends, I've traveled the globe days at a time, crossed time zones, missed flights, endured long layovers, often endeavored to get comfy on airport benches,

{note: I know where to go for the widest selection of non-arm chairs in the Chicago airport if you ever need to know}...

NEVER before have I stooped to the point of being that traveler curled up on the [gross, dirty, yucky, germy, public,ugh] airport floor. never.

Never until last Tuesday.

But after eight full days of people (hundreds of them), work (approximately 16 hours each day), emergencies (countless...), and not-enough-sleep night after night (about 3 hours Monday night before we left for the airport Tuesday morning), I plopped my head on my leather laptop bag, draped my curled-up self in a chitenge, and slept on the floor of the Atlanta airport (be assured that the floor was not my first napping location preference. I could not find any airport seating without arms... and, I didn't fit across the armed seating... yes, I definitely did try twisting my body around the armed chairs before resorting to my place on the floor).

It was a pretty swell nap, though, all things considered.

When I got up, my head was pounding a little less, my eyes were open a little more, and I could almost remember 75% of the basic facts and information I typically keep within my brain's reach.

Though I may wish to block certain memories from my trip to Florida, last week was full of adventures not easily forgotten. It was the kind of week that leaves me overjoyed that time can NEVER repeat itself. Oh yes, I may wind up sleeping on an airport floor again one of these days, but I will never again have the same week that I had last week. That, my friends, is today's good news :).

PS- One of my coworkers snapped a photo of my nap on the airport floor, but I wasn't able to get a copy of the photo for this post... thus the generic shot of a Delta plane in Atlanta.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016


Another chapter of life is wrapping up soon.
We've set our final rent check for this half-a-house, and have been sorting, packing, and organizing our possessions from attic to basement.

Since we're saying good-bye to this old house, I figured it would only make sense to list a few pros and cons of our half-a-house:

white walls
original trim
large windows
wood floors
room for hosting
gas stove
plenty of parking
great neighborhood
walking distance of downtown, Heather's, and the library!
church bells every day at noon and 6pm
the nearby cemetery (great for walks and jogs)

It's a half-a-house... which means... we feel like we spend every night in a cheap hotel room next to our neighbors (you know the type of room, paper thin walls-- you hear the alarm clock buzz, toilet flush, drunk guy bumble, etc. next door...)
COLD winters (remember the large windows I mentioned above?!)
missing sidewalk (I despise wet feet)
limited kitchen counter space
broken garage door
moldy pantry (true story)
impossible-to-open-or-close front door
mosquito infested grass
forgetful mailman

Well, off we go to learn the perks and quirks of another dwelling. I'm not sure if we're more excited about the fact that it is a single-family home, or the fact that it is sealed up snugly and has a much more economical heat source than our half-a-house.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Chris and Marlys sharing at a prayer breakfast

Recently, Heather and I spent some meaningful moments with our friends Chris and Marlys.
This couple blessed and refreshed me many times throughout our time in Zambia.
Looking at photos, hearing stories, and chatting about memories carries my heart back to Tonga-land.

PS- Chris and Marlys brought me a little jar of Zambian peanut butter! yummy.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Rather than writing an itemized list of all the contents of a tub of kitchenware, I decided to snap a picture. 

--Almost a complete set of necessary kitchen items... okay, so maybe this shot is missing the pots, whisk, 3 knives (chef's, paring, and serrated), and measuring cups, but when one has a waffle maker, muffin pan, stick blender, rubber spatula, cooking stick, Rada wear veggie peeler, and a set of miniature tea spoons, the essentials are nearly 100% covered :)


I love morning light.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ikea Experience!

For years friends have raved about the great, Swedish Ikea (home furnishings mega store), but I had never been inside an Ikea until last Saturday, when Sandy and I planned a date to Conshohoken, PA outside of Philadelphia. Sandy wanted to introduce me to Ikea, and we both wanted to stop by a Trader Joe's as well. What a fun day!

I have now experienced Ikea.

If I were still in business and management classes at SVSU, I could probably get some extra credit for writing some sort of analysis on Ikea's business style. There are many clever parts of the Ikea experience, but I think the most brilliant business strategy is their in-store cafeteria conveniently located in the center of each massive store, between hundreds of square feet of showrooms and an extensive marketplace and warehouse.

Ikea is not one of those "bop in and bop out" stores. Rather it's one of those "meander through this way and that" (for a few hours!) stores.

Meandering shoppers get hungry... And hungry shoppers get grumpy... And grumpy shoppers do not have a positive shopping experience. :(

Enter: Ikea's cafeteria-- where normal-sized portions of food are served on normal-sized plates for $5 to $7. (Of course the Swedish meatball meal is a popular choice.)

Ikea's in-store cafeterias are a fabulous business move!

99 cent mug I bought at Ikea
Sandy and I wandered the showrooms oohing and ahhing at so many fun and wonderful products and inventions. By the time we rolled our cart out of the bedroom furnishings area and started whiffing Swedish meatballs at the cafeteria, we were ready for lunch and a nice place to sit down and relax.

After we finished our meals, we browsed the Marketplace and made our final product selections.

I left the store quite pleased with my bag of household purchases.