I wonder…

I wonder if I could write a letter to Jodi Picoult and get her on the ball and writing faster. I read her books too fast. I like them all so much. Here are my favorites: (I don’t know if I can count the new one, I don’t know how it will finish, I’m not done).

All photos via


All Dogs Go to Heaven

It really breaks my heart to see dogs that have owners who mistreat them. It is so sad. My family’s first dog, Casper, was from the pound. He was an American Eskimo dog. The only men he ever let near him was my dad and my grandfather; we safely assume that his previous owner was a male who most likely beat him. Other than having a strong dislike for me, he was the best dog ever.

That’s Casper helping me hunt for Easter eggs a long time ago. He really was the best dog ever.

Anyway, I remember when we had to put him down. November of 8th grade. It was hard, but he is in a better place. Yes, I believe that animals have souls; especially dogs. Trust me, if you have ever met Casper, or Lucie, or Ricky, you definitely know that they do.
This is a short post, but please don’t abuse your animals. If it turns out you’re not an animal person, find a home for them. When Chris and I buy a house someday, we want a small house with a big yard for lots of dogs. They really are man’s best friend. Be nice to them, and they’ll be nice to you.

Happy Easter!

Easter is one of my favorite holidays (it is a three way tie with Christmas and 4th of July). After church we decided to stroll around Seaport Village. My camera is not the greatest, and we are not the best photographers nor are we the most photogenic, but I’m glad I wore a bright pink sweater, it stands out nicely with the San Diego background. I apparently told everyone that called us who asked about the weather that it was overcast. (Everyone who calls us always says, oh it is storming here in Maryland; oh we haven’t seen the sun in weeks up in Sacramento; etc.).

Me looking somewhat awkward. I’m not an uptight person but I can never manage to look very laid back in photos.

Chris looking casual, calm, and collected as if he was born for taking pictures in Seaport Village. Two thumbs up!

Us right before we decided to head back to the Pier Cafe for lunch. It wa really awesome basically sitting over the water. The windows went to the floor and a seagull was walking right on by. It moved to fast for me to get a picture though.

A boat on the bay. Say that ten times fast, okay twenty times fast.

We were able to enjoy all the neat shops. It was crowded, but not so bad for Easter Sunday. We’ll have to go back and pretend to be tourists again, it was fun!

I am updating my post because no matter what news website or newspaper website one reads, there are always people who feel the need to bring others down. The Sacramento newspaper posted a story, on Easter Sunday, about a man who was given a 20% chance to live and miraculously lived. The arguments amongst those leaving comments were of negativity and disdain for Christians. I understand their anger and irritation with a newspaper commenting on religious aspects of life. I for one, however, do not believe the newspaper was trying to say Christianity was any better than choosing to not be Christian or any other religion. They were clearly stating the facts of this family. This family believes in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of prayer. I do not believe when we pray that God just “magically” makes something happen. That is absurd and ridiculous. I believe he gives people like the doctors and nurses the ability to heal someone. Maybe someone was called into work that day who was not supposed to and was the best in that field. Nobody knows for sure, all that should matter is that this man is now able to live his life. I doubt this family discredits the doctors, after all, they clearly don’t believe that God magically cured him.
Non-Christians always throw out the idea that all Christians are evil, mean spirited, hurtful, and full of anger. I can tell you, as a Lutheran, that we are not that way. We want everyone to believe and go to heaven, but I am not going to fight you, belittle you, or berate you. There are extremists, for every religion and every way of life, that give people a bad name. Just like the men who flew planes into the World Trade Center were extremist Muslims, not all Muslims are that way. There are just as many who loathe and love the United States. Yes, these extremists give us a bad name, but it does not give anyone a right to mistreat through words or any other means. I do not understand the atheists and the agnostics, the hippies and the earth lovers, who do not believe in a spirit, an idol, a god (or God) of any kind, who mistreat those of us who do believe in something. You want us to be respectful and do not want us to try and convert you, yet, you treat us as if we are bumbling idiots. You blame all the hate and anger; death and destruction; foul mouthed and debt filled cities on us. You blame our God for not fixing everything with a snap of His fingers. Well, let me give you a Bible lesson.
A long time ago, God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, and rested on the 7th. He created a man, whom he named Adam. Adam walked around naked with all the animals, where God thought, this man needs a companion. While Adam was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and created a woman, Eve. There were no rules. There was no shame. There was only pure and joyful happiness. Well, except, there was one rule. Not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden. (A useful tidbit, Satan was once an angel, and now he is a fallen angel). The serpent aka Satan or any name you want to call him, tricked the woman into eating an apple and sharing it with Adam. They realized they were naked, felt shame, and hid from God. (Paraphrase of Genesis 1 and 2). Where does all the questioning that non Christians have about our God come in, for this, no more paraphrase but actually verse:
“So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”‘” Genesis 3: 14-19.
What non Christians tend to forget is that there is more to our God that answering any prayer and making a beautiful world. He told us long ago that it would not be easy. He told us that the world would be sinful, that the devil would be everywhere, and that there will be pain and sadness because not everyone will believe. Yet, He gave us a way out, because He couldn’t give up on us, He loves and cares for us a lot:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
So we have faith and we believe. We try to be good people. We pray and worship; give thanks and praise because of what God has done for us. Easter is that reminder. On Good Friday, Jesus hung on the cross to die for our sins (mine and yours no matter who you are and what you believe). Then three days later, He rose again. Did you hear that? He was not in the tomb that morning, He was with His Father in heaven preparing a place for us. God created the world in 6 days and Jesus has been preparing heaven for us for years. Think about it, you’re throwing a huge party, you spend a lot of time preparing it for someone special. We are someone special.
You then say, well leave me alone, I don’t believe, I am not religious. We can’t. We’re happy to share the good news of Jesus. It is in our makeup. Plus, we were commanded to:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Great Commission. It is my job. I apologize if you don’t like it, but hopefully my prayers will be answered and your heart will be softened and if not my prayer, maybe somebody else’s prayer will be answered. And if not, I will know that is not in God’s plan. If you know the Good Friday story, which I won’t preach to you here, you know that Jesus wanted to get right off that cross and walk away; He was human after all, BUT He knew it was God’s will that needed to be done, not his. I know God’s will needs to be done, not mine.
Sorry for the long post, but I was upset and irritated by those leaving comments on the newspaper’s website and could not hold it in. Happy Easter!! Enjoy your Bible lesson!

southern voice

This probably won’t be 101 reasons, but that’s what I’m calling it.
“101 Reasons why I should have been born a Southerner”
1. I’m nice as pie, sweet as sugar, and full of spice (that’s how I would describe all the southerners I met on our travels from Maryland to California).
2. I loooove Red Velvet Cake (ahem look what I baked today…). It is a southern dish, yes, that’s right. I am generalizing all southerners.

3. I like my music bluesy, folksy, twangy, country, and I want it to be about your mom your sister your dog your ex-wife, your house your job, or your truck aka country music.
4. Nashville is by far my favorite city ever. Like, no joke. I don’t like nightlife, but I love Nashville’s nightlife.
5. I’d like to sit on a swing set on a big front porch drinking either ice cold sweet tea or ice cold beer, I’m really down for either.
6. I’d like to swear dresses and cowboy boots and not look like an idiot; or look like I found it in a magazine.
7. I’m more into family gatherings than drinking until the wee hours of the morning at the hottest club. Unless it involves #4.
8. “Whether you’re late for church or you’re stuck in jail, hey word’s gonna get around. Everybody dies famous in a small town.” (Miranda Lambert)
9. Roads that look like this:

10. Biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, oh and Cracker Barrel.

I guess I can be thankful I was born a California girl though.

twelve years

And nothing has changed. Well, except that everything has changed. My grandmother has missed a lot in our lives and I miss her a lot. Last night I was watching the “Girls Night Out” special honoring some of the greatest women in country music. I went to bed after Miranda Lambert performed, she is my fave, but then when I woke up, I heard that Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill had performed this (my grandma’s fave) and it is so fitting:

Here is one of my favorite pictures of her and I (my grandma, not Carrie Underwood):

(Yes that’s little baby me. Maybe around 6 months old or so?)

It is kind of perfect that this anniversary is falling on Easter weekend. Anyway, I miss you grandma Pat, but I know that you would love everything all of us are doing these days. I hope we are making you the most proud grandmother ever. I wish I could remember your voice, and I wish I could have spent time with you as an adult. I hope I still look like you as some people have said.

Good Friday

Today is such a vital day not only in a Christian’s life, but especially in a Lutheran’s life. The key role in being a Christian is always to believe in Jesus Christ and to give your life completely and wholeheartedly to Him. However, for us Lutherans, it means quite a bit more.

For anyone reading who does not remember their history lessons (shame on you says the history major) that Lutheran’s have not been around forever. When the Catholic church was selling indulgences to get to heaven, Martin Luther said, that doesn’t make any sense. So in 1517 when he was sitting around with his monk duties, he decided, if God grants us grace and expects us to have faith in Him, should we be buying our way into Heaven? The Bible clearly says you can’t take your earthly things with you so how could you buy your way in?
Anyway, so why is Good Friday so important? When Jesus was nailed to that cross, He was both human and Son of God. Countless times he could have said, “thanks, but no thanks. These people mock me, beat me, laugh at me, treat me less than a peasant, berate and belittle me, mistreat my followers and believers, and the list could go on, so I am not going to save them. Why put myself through the pain and torture?” But He didn’t. He endured the pain and suffering so we wouldn’t have to. In one moment, his human weakness showed when He asked God to take it from Him, but then He realized, it was His Father’s will and He would finish the task. We are FOREVER indebted to him. Today is vital for us. Now we wait, because we all know that for three days Jesus was dead, but soon, He will rise again. And someday, He will rise above earth and take all of us to heaven to be with Him and His Father for all eternity.

can you see it?

I can feel/see my body changing. I am so much stronger from doing these Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout.s I have definition in my biceps, I have more stamina, I do better planks and crunches. The number on the stupid scale won’t budge, but if I can notice a difference SOMETHING good is going on.

Today should have been a bad self-esteem day. I was feeling good, ready to go for my run when my stomach started rumbling. If you run often, you know that running gets your innards moving out. If you catch my drift. I hate on my run feeling like I need to use the bathroom. I was happy, its always better to go on an empty tummy than a full one. Then it got worse. I was changing and couldn’t wait, I had to use the bathroom. Normally you feel better or relieved, not this time. I felt worse. I said let’s walk it out. I then had Chris pick me up. I couldn’t manage. So I bought saltines and some carbonated water. Calorie and carb wise such a bad choice, but I chose to make up for it.
Come Level 2, 30 Day Shred. I’ve been trying to keep track of my exercising and my eating, not a real diet but a conscious awareness of it. Overall I think I am moving in the right direction. Two thumbs up for me today.