Friday, April 6, 2012

101 in 1001- Update #2

In the last months, I've been able to cross several items off of my list and begin several more. I've really enjoyed checking in with 101 in the last year or so. Its been a good way to see and remember what I've done compared to what I wanted to have done with my year. I strongly encourage you to make one if you haven't already.  So far, I've started or completed 28% of my goals, with a year left to finish them. Not too shabby! :) 
Blue- completed , Red- in progress
Life Goals- 
1.     Find a fulltime job, whatever that looks like J
2.     Fly internationally- flew to Jordan and Lebanon 
3.     Visit at least two foreign nations- visited Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria 
4.     Buy my first car J
5.     Learn another language- ish; learned around 30-40 words in arabic 
6.     Visit my brother in Chicago
7.     Go back to IJM for the Global Prayer Gathering
8.     Pay off a portion of my student loans
9.     Rent an apartment
10. Reply to emails within 24 hours
11. Reset my horrible sleep habits
12. Do laundry once a week for two months
13. Make my bed everyday for a month
14. Go to the doctor, dentist, and optometrist regularly
15.  Take my vitamins daily for a month
16. Give up sugar for a month
17. Purposefully befriend someone new
18. Learn to coupon
19. Tithe 10% of my income
20. Open up a savings account- did twice, actually
21. Get a Netflix account again- 5-20-2011
22. Update my resume and practice writing cover letters
23.  Create an exercise schedule and stick with it
Organization Goals- 
24. Sort through and organize my books
25. Sell old textbooks on
26. Organize my three folders of school papers and purge
27. Print out favorite college photos and organize them into an album
28.  Declutter and organize my computer
29. Create a budget and track all expenses
30. Create a file with all of my medical and important documents
31. Go through my inbox once a month and declutter
32. Organize my jewelry making supplies- done! 1-21-11
33. Create a binder with all of my favorite recipes

Spiritual Goals- 
34. Join a Bible study/small group/ Sunday school and attend regularly for three months
35. Explore and decide upon a home church
36. Purposefully read through the NT making comparisons between books
37. Find a daily devotional
38. Make plans for another mission trip
39. Make a prayer journal
40. Volunteer at church- specifically with the youth or children groups- have been working with a monthly Kid's Club since September '11
Just Because -
41. Explore N.Y City
42. Visit three new states
43. Take a long roadtrip (6 hours +)- drove to GA to visit N, M, E and H :)  
44. Treat a friend to lunch
45. Blog once a week for a year
46. Learn how to swim, for reals.
47. Go to the beach- swam in the Red Sea in Jordan 
48. Read a biography
49. Take a pilates class
50. Go to an art museum with a friend
51. Find a perfume that I love
52. Spend a day in a bookstore
53. Make a card and send it to a friend
54. Go to a movie by myself
55. Explore a new location- explored Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash and several other sites in Jordan 
56. Hike to the NE lighthouse
57. Spend a day exploring Longwood Gardens
58. Go antiquing with Mom
59. Make the Pioneer Woman’s amazing cinnabuns
60.  Get a massage
61.  Cuddle with a newborn
62. Go stargazing
63. Try sushi- a Korean friend made sushi for me. It was quite yummy :) 
64. Get dessert at an expensive restaurant
65. Buy an orchid and keep it alive for 6 months
66.  Cook 35 new recipes
67. Learn to make a three layer cake
68. Cook a special meal and invite friends over
69. Splash in a puddle
70. Go to the county fair- went with S, truely awesome! 
71. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July
72. Buy something off of craigslist
73.  Spend a day exploring Philadelphia
74.  Learn to type faster
Musical Goals- 
75. Find three piano studio blogs and read daily for two months
76. Create a piano practice schedule and stick with it for at least two months
77. Practice violin twice a week for a month
78. Practice sightreading every day for a month
79.  See a musical- either on or off broadway
80. Go to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra- went in November as a birthday treat! 
81. Begin the process of becoming a nationally certified teacher through the Music Teacher’s National Association
82. Go to the MTNA national conference 
83. Reread my Piano Ped. Textbook because it is awesome
84. Learn how to play 6 chords on the guitar
85. Have a piano studio of at least three students- currently have 15 students :)
86. Upgrade my piano
87. Start building a library of piano materials
Hobby Goals- 
88. Take a photography class
89. Learn to use my film camera on manual
90. Make 4 sets of earrings and send them to friends
91.  Learn how to make chandelier earrings
92. Read at least ten non-fiction books
93.  Learn how to use a decent photo editing program (program to be decided)
94. Take a photo a day for a month
95.  Spend three hours figuring out the basics of Excel
96. Crochet another afghan
97. Relearn how to use the sewing machine
98. Alter a garment
99. Upgrade my digital camera to a SLR
List Goals-
100.   Fulfill at least 65% of this list  
101.   Make a new list! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Not exactly, dear

Today I was explaining musical sequences to one of my students. It is where you take the same musical pattern and repeat it multiple times. I asked her if she had ever heard of the word "sequence" before. She nodded quite enthusiastically. Surprised, since I expected to need to define it, I asked her what it meant. All seriousness, she looked at me and said, "It's those shiny things on shirts."

I'm glad I asked. 

Friday, January 27, 2012


Although I am also piano teacher, I work part time as a housekeeper at a local Christian retreat center on the weekends. Its not a glamorous job by any means, but it pays off my student loans and I enjoy working with my co-workers.

The one thing  I often don't enjoy, however, is the guests. In the last four years I have worked there, I have met the nastiest, neediest, angriest people I have ever had the misfortune of interacting with. The worse part is that all of them claimed the name of Christ.

The worst, by far, are those who aren't just Christians, but who try to use their rank in Christianity as a way to cowl others to do what they wish. For example, tonight, there was a simple misunderstanding with booking rooms, which was unfortunately irreversible. The group had wanted rooms looking out over the beautiful river, and they had gotten the parking lot side. Sad, but not life altering.  As I watched, the pastor, THE PASTOR, screamed over and over again at our front desk staff about the issue.  The worst part, was that the pastor kept saying, "I'm the pastor, and I am so mad about this!! You need to fix this because I am the pastor!"

It  made me so furious watching the exchange. It made me want to scream, "How dare you use your position as a leader of Christ's people to try to intimidate someone else, especially over such a petty, petty issue. How dare you claim Christ's name but behave in such a way."

And yet..... and yet.... as I thought about it later,  part of my heart convicted that I do the exact same thing. I yell at people who cut me off while driving to church. I have been angry at the person next to me in the pew, even if I never screamed in their face.  I have hummed a hymn while walking quickly by a beggar, hoping that they don't notice me.  My heart has been just as ugly as that pastor's behavior.

As I think about Christ, the Christ who threw out demons, who hugged the untouchable, who ate with tax collectors, who gave grace to the broken, the poor, the weak,  the more it makes me feel so small. So weak. Claiming His name, claiming to be His hands and feet,  means so much more than dressing up and driving to a perfect little church once a week and hanging out with picture perfect people.

It means loving others more than ourselves. It means humbling ourselves. It means giving others the grace that we have been given.    

Tonight was a reminder of what not to be that I desperately needed. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

101 in 1001- #16

16. Give up sugar for a month

I don't know about you all, but I must confess to being a complete sugar addict. I LOVE sweet things- I rarely ever crave bread or carbs, but I have never met a sweet thing that did not become my favorite thing ever. Going to Jordan just made my sugar habit worse, with a pound of sugar in the tea and crazy sweet pastries. 

While I may love it, sugar for sure doesn't love me. It makes me grumpier, hungrier, and more sluggish than a bear just after hibernation :) . So, I've decided that I need a break. From today until Feb. 25th, I am breaking up with processed sugar. I may eat fruit, a dab of honey in my tea, and an occasional diet soda, but other than that, no bueno.  
     You may be thinking- wow, way to over share here. You may have a good point, but I have come to realize that I really need accountability. Even the thought of this posting makes me want to stick through it, just so I can say I did. Maybe my stubborn tendencies can be useful for once :) 

Piles, Piles, and more Piles

Staring at the tornato wreck that is my room this evening, I suddenly realized how the disorganization mirrors my own mental mess this week. Currently,

1. four piles of piano method books from lessons this afternoon
2. a stack of yarn for an afghan I need to crochet
4. half a stack of clothes that need to go to Goodwill 
5. flashcard project that got abandoned half way
6. two cups of tea
7. a library book that should have been returned in Dec
8. laundry, laundry, laundry!

Goodness. Time to go organize! How about you? Do your spaces get cluttered the busier you get? Or, are you an neater person under stress? :) 

Favorite Things #1

I must admit, I am a blog addict. As a curious person, I love the candid glimpse into someone else's life.  Over the last few months, I have developed quite a list of daily reads, but one of my favorites is Habit blog.   The tag line to the blog says it all- it is a collection of days. The authors post a daily photo and a short caption to their day. Though the captions are often vague or cryptic, the photos are lovely and  I still enjoy the peek into their lives.

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