Blog on the Run

Here is an experiment to see how good the WordPress app on my iPhone works to write and post a blog post in a time-efficient manner. We’ll see. For some reason my WordPress app likes to crash, and so it has not been as cool as I hoped it would be. Plus, I am on my lunch break from work, and I went out to eat actually. Yay! I get tired of being diligent and always packing my lunch. I try so hard to be a good budgeter but life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, and honestly sometimes you just need to go out to eat.

So, in honor of where’s Waldo, where am I?  Here is a pop quiz. (See if you pass).
Where is Julie???
A. Taco Bell
B. Chick-fil-a at a food court
C. Little Asian place down the street from my office
D. None of the above

Alright, I will answer the quiz at the end but gotta watch my time. So, yesterday I was thinking about how I really missed being a kid.  Life can get mundane, ok that is true. I was thinking about that great cartoon The Jetsons.  I want a dog named Astro. And a robot maid- seriously that is cool!  In all of our technological  progress, we are not flying around in cars yet. That would be interesting. Yay, deep thoughts. 🙂

I remember when I was a kid how exciting it was to watch Saturday morning cartoons.  I would wake up super early on Saturday mornings just to watch cartoons.  We had cable when I was little, and I thought the Cartoon Network was awesome.  Here is a question for anyone reading this- what was your favorite cartoon growing up? Mine was Scooby Doo, but The Jetsons were cool, too.

The other thing I have been missing was when I was a kid and my family would always go to this amusement park in Iowa every summer and have the best time. We would ride roller coasters and go on bumper cars and have a blast. At the end of the day we would always end up in the Bingo parlor (that sold fudge) and we would camp out and play Bingo.  It was great.  Oh, my family would always play against each other in those fun horse race games (the kind where you roll mini-golf type balls into holes in order to move your horse or where you shoot a water gun into the clown’s mouth to increase and pop a balloon, which moves your horse.  Skee-ball was fun, too.  I lost tons of money playing Skee-ball.  I miss that!

Ok, well gotta go. Answer to the pop quiz: A. Taco Bell (It would have been B. Chick-fil-a, but I changed my mind at the last minute.  Also, the little Asian place is closed for maintenance for 1-3 weeks, from what the sign on their door said yesterday.

P.S. Alright, I am really trying to be better with my grammar and actually edit my writing these days…and I couldn’t resist going back and also adding some cute pics of The Jetsons.  Now, I really want to watch that classic cartoon.  Gotta love old school, it is still cool! 🙂

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Things and People Who I am Thankful for

Inspired by David Kanigan, I also decided to write a post about things and people who I am thankful for.  If you are not familiar with David Kanigan, check out his Thankful post.  I follow him, and he is always very inspiring and positive, plus he also regularly has interesting charts and cute +/or funny photos in his posts (re:  http://davidkanigan.com/2012/04/15/thankful-sunday/).

Without further ado, here are the Things and People Who I am Thankful for:

1. God.

2. Nature- our Creation is so beautiful, and I am a particular fan of the sky, ocean, beaches, sunsets, and the moon and stars.

Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The im...

Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The image was taken at negative low tide that happens just a few times per year. One could see how far away the ocean went back exposing the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. My family.  I love being from a HUGE extended family.  Also, being an Aunt of my niece and nephew adds a special joy to my life.  I love being a twin, also.

4. I am thankful for my brother Kevin’s new job.  He was doing some freelance writing and finding it challenging to break into a more steady job since he graduated from college.  The economy is still weaker than I think we all would appreciate, but honestly, I am so grateful for Kevin’s new job (IN HIS FIELD) at a newspaper.

5.  I am thankful for WordPress.

6. Taco Bell. And Starbucks. LOL.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Redbox free promo code that they sent me by text today.

8.  I am thankful for my friend, Amber.  She fixed a maintenance issue in my apartment that was incredibly frustrating, and it was stretching out into almost a week.  I shouldn’t have to beg for maintenance, and I think I disagree with my landlord about what constitutes a maintenance priority (or border-line emergency).  So, kudos to my friend Amber.

9. Music.  Sometimes when I am riding in the car with friends and family, and they are driving without music, then I ask them to turn on the radio.  Seriously, I can’t imagine a world without music- it would be a dull world, indeed.  Music brings color to life.

10. Art.

11. I am thankful that my work blessed all of our front office staff this past Friday by giving us the afternoon off to go celebrate Office Support Professional Day a bit early.  I went to a nice restaurant that I normally could not afford (they donated money for us!), and we saw a movie.  I got popcorn, too (movie theatre popcorn is the best).  Also,  THREE of our Deans in the academic program where I work even volunteered to cover the front desk, so we could be off.  Is that cool, or what?

12. I am thankful for the new building for my church.  Last year, right before Thanksgiving, my church caught on fire.  Actually, the investigators said the fire appeared to be arson.  It was a horrible time, and we were displaced for about the last four months and meeting in a hotel.  We couldn’t have almost any of our normal church activities, and we lost all our of children’s ministry toys and items due to smoke damage due to the fire.  But, the awesome part of the story is that my church recently purchased a building (we had been renting the church building where the fire was and sharing it with another church).  Now, while we often have yellow construction tape at various places in our building and work is still in progress while we meet there, however, it is coming along.  It is a fixer-upper, but the building is our’s.  We even have some pretty flowers planted outside.  It has been a long road, but things are finally looking up.

13. Spring.

14. My new iPhone.  It is really cool.

Leave a comment.  I want to know what are you thankful for???


On the Eve of Valentine’s Day

A treehouse in Marayur, Kerala, India

When I was growing up, I lived on 18 acres in the country and we had a creek that ran through the woods…..that was definitely pretty cool….but I must say a major childhood disappointment of mine is that I never did get the horse that I longed for when we moved from the city to the country when I was in grade school.  Back then, I subscribed to Horse Illustrated, wanted an Arabian (one of the most beautiful horses, in my opinion), and I loved Black Beauty and the Black Stallion.  We also had a tree house which was neat….and then of course I also thought it was fun to build a fort with couch cushions and blankets.  But, here I am digressing…and if you are wondering what building forts (with couch cushions or otherwise) has to do with being on the eve of Valentine’s Day….well, then I guess you will have to bear with me.  Don’t forts and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand?  I have always thought so.  Just kidding!

Seriously, I think the reason I used to build forts out of couch cushions was because I was attempting to be safe and secure when my world had sort of fallen apart.  I think I wanted to “hide”(important side note: what concerns me is that sometimes I still see this tendency in myself, to hide, and that is something that I am attempting to break out of).  So, my parent’s divorced when I was five, and one of my earliest childhood memories was waking up to my parent’s in a huge fight and sitting on opposite ends of the family couch….and then my Dad leaving with his suitcase in hand the next day.  Honestly, every child longs to know they are loved and to know they have a family that they can lean on through thick and thin.  Divorce makes the security of a family unstable, i.e. that when the going gets hard, your family falls apart and marriage vows get thrown out the window.  When my Dad left our family, it was really sad.  I think for me it was like no longer having a security net. It did not help that my Mom would constantly bad-mouth my Dad, and sometimes it seemed like I was the ping-pong ball going back and forth between them.  Add in having to deal with family conflicts related to holidays and the added challenges of step-parents and you have a lot for a child to emotionally process, especially at a formative young age.

As you may suspect, my parent’s divorce PROFOUNDLY shaped my life and my childhood.  Sometimes, even today, it is really hard for me to imagine what it is actually like for someone to have 2 parents who are actually married, stay together, and are happy.  I wonder what it is like to not have to be a human ping-pong ball between 2 households?  I wonder what it is like to be a “functional family?”  Does anyone even know?  You only ever hear of “dysfunctional” families.  Personally, I think we need to talk more about family strengths and about the “functional” family.  I desire to know more about families where marriages thrive and are beautiful, healthy, and whole.  Since my family on both sides has a fair number of divorces and broken hearts, I eventually realized that I needed to cognitively search out marriages that I admired, which would give me hope and inspiration.  This was a good idea, and I think helped me to fill in the gaps, so to speak, in order to encourage me in my views of marriage and enabled me to have a more positive, healthy mindset (not a fear-based one….which can be hard sometimes, if I am being real).

Finally, being on the Eve of Valentine’s Day makes me think of love and joy and marriage.  I am not trying to be a “downer” with this post, and I know that it is nowhere near a typical Valentine’s Day post.  I do want to mention that Valentine’s Day is a beautiful time to express the sweet appreciation that married couples and dating couples should be showing to each other all year round.  It is so important to not take one another for granted….every day is a special, amazing gift….and kind words like “I love you”, “I appreciate you”, or “you make me smile” may just be what a spouse or significant other is longing to hear.  Some people also enjoy gifts, such as flowers, chocolates , or Teddy bears.  Valentine’s Day is also a good day for children to know how much they are loved by their parents and other people in their lives.  Essentially, while some individuals are jaded about Valentine’s Day, perhaps due to bitter break-ups and various hurts, and others lament about it being a “Hallmark holiday”, I believe that Valentine’s Day is a nice time for kind words, love, and appreciation.  May all who read this know they are loved and cared about.  Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

Happy Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine’s Day… (Photo credit: Јerry)