Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Love...

...that half of the teens in the youth group can't imagine me angry and the half that has seen me angry thinks it's terrifying .

...playing games.

...winning at games. Especially if I get to beat a family member. soundtracks. I don't know if it's because I associate them with great movies but I ADORE soundtracks. Remember The Titans, Once, Stranger Than Fiction, The Wedding Singer, I Am Sam, Walk The Line, My Girl, some of my most listened to CD's.

...when I get to take a Post-It off my wall because I've already done what it was reminding me to do!

...hilarious kids.

...dumb inside jokes. Sometimes you can figure out why an inside joke is funny. The people involved explain the situation and you can clearly see-that was hilarious. But I get a special joy when there's just no explaining it. "So, you accidentally called the guy a corn fritter? I still don't get it."

...when the dishes are done.

...hearing my nephews in the background when I talk to my sister on the phone. My youngest nephew is just about 6 months and I love hearing him babble to himself or laugh at something his brother is doing. My older nephew is 3 years old and sometimes it sounds like he's playing with someone but no, he just knows how to have a good time all by himself!

...being unexpectedly treated to a coffee. You meet up with a friend, fully expecting to get your own, and out of the blue you hear, "I got this".

...unexpectedly treating someone to a coffee. You meet up with a friend, they're fully expecting to get their own, and out of the blue you say, "I got this".

...I-have-to-watch-this-all-alone-because-the-amount-that-I-cry-when-I-watch-it-is-not-socially-acceptable movies. Sometimes ya just need a good cry.

...trying to figure out why a friend is laughing uncontrollably when no one else is. You're basically grasping at straws. "Is it that Sharon's eating a turkey sub? No? Ummm....Ryan's haircut is pretty funny lookin'-is it that? No? Oh. The corn fritter thing again? Yeah, I still don't get that." cuddles.

...recommending kids books to people. Please, please, please, ask what book you should get your toddler or your tween.

...when I have enough gumption to put the laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. No fishing shirts and socks out of a pile on the couch for me-Ive got gumption!

...when I hear a song and it immediately transports me back to my high school cafeteria. Fastball's "Fire Escape", Christina Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle", and definitely The Proclaimer's "I'm Gonna Be(500 Miles)"

...getting real mail.

...a hug when I really need one.

...triumphant sports movies. Everything about them.

...wearing scarves and mittens. Cute coziness!

...staying at my parent's house. I revert back to being a kid(it's not that big of a jump) and it's fantastic. much I was in to The Beatles as a teen. Some of my favorite memories of my teen years center around some sort of Beatles music, movie, or activity.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Top 10 Retail Rules

I'm entering my second holiday season as a retail employee and already I can see the...lack of common sense that many of our customers seem to exhibit the closer Christmas gets. Reader, I'm sure you're a model retail shopper, always showing the best of manners and displaying common courtesy to all around you. If so, read on for purely entertainment purposes. But perhaps you're like the vast majority of the population and your brain short circuits the minute you walk into a shopping establishment, please, take note. I've outlined 10 of the basic retail rules, in no particular order, that you can follow to get the best shopping results and show the Christmas spirit to those around you. I work in a book store so some of them are book store specific, but with some minor context adjustments, I'm sure most of them can be applied to numerous retail settings.

1. Product displays are meant for displaying product.
They are not meant for the following:
-A place for you to sit.
-A place to pile stuff you've spent the last 2 hours looking at but now don't want to buy.
-A place to put your garbage.
-A place for you to sprawl across as you read a book.

2. If a store employee is clearly talking with and/or helping another customer, that's not your cue to jump in with your demands.
Store employees can see you waiting. If you patiently wait your turn, we'd be more than happy to give you our undivided attention, just like we did for the last guy.

3. Remember, when we ask if we can help you, it's not our attempt to insult you to your core.
If you're just looking around, that's great! When we ask if we can help, just let us know and we'll back right off. There's no need to roll your eyes, reply as if we've just kicked your dog or walk away as we're talking.

4. The friendlier and more understanding you are, the harder we want to work to find you what you want.
Generally, the floor staff you talk to are at the bottom of the retail food chain. Especially during the holiday season, when many are just hired for a few months. They're working as hard as they can to find you what you're looking for. If you're grumpy and/or unreasonable, it's not going to help your case.

5. We are not conspiring against you.
If the computer says a book is on the shelf and it's not there, we're not playing a trick on you. Books get misplaced, sometimes they take a while to find their home again and yes, sometimes, even books get stolen.

6. Kids Section does not equal babysitting service
Yes, we love kids and yes, we have a train table but we don't get paid enough to take care of your toddlers while you go get a coffee or peruse the magazines. Is it really that shocking when they wander off and you can't find them? Don't leave your kids unattended!

7. Come informed!
Especially during the holiday season, it's best to come in with as much information as you can when looking for a book. Descriptors like, "It was blue" or "I think it had unicorns in it" usually don't get you very far. Sometimes you can get lucky but don't count on it. Also, ask questions in your head before you share them with the public. When you ask questions like, "Excuse me, do you know all the stories?", you're just asking to be talked about in the staff room.

8. The employee you're talking to has no control over the price of your book
Many books are printed in the US and then shipped to Canada. It goes through more people to get up to our fine country, thus it costs more and is sold for more. It has little to do with the exchange rate. Whatever the reason, the employee who's helping you has no control over the price. Getting upset at them isn't going to get you anywhere.

9. Plan ahead
"My best friend's birthday party is in 25 minutes and you don't have this super obscure book from 20 years ago??? How dare you!" Honestly? How dare YOU!

10. Pretend you're at your grandma's house and clean up after yourself!
We have less time to help customers if we're constantly having to clean up the piles of books/magazines/garbage you leave in your wake. If you don't remember where you got the books from-that's fine! Just leave them by one of the computers or on one of the reshelve carts. But honestly? Garbage? That's not cool. Other people shouldn't have to look, much less touch, the used tissues you leave behind.

I'm sure the closer we get to Christmas and the busier the store gets, I could add to this list but for now, I think this covers it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pretty Sure It's Pride

We've never lived close to my dad's side of the family and as a result, we don't know them very well. My dad's mom died before I was born and my dad's dad passed away when I was a young teen, so I didn't get to hear a lot of stories about when my dad was little or stories about other members of his family, immediate or extended. I did however hear about Uncle Newton, my grandpa's brother. I didn't know a lot about him, just that he used to be a wrestler. I was told he was in the WWWF and I don't know if I didn't believe it, or what but I never really comprehended until I came across an article about him. Uncle Newton and his partner were 2 time Tag Team Champions. He even has his own wikipedia page! The fact that he was a Tattrie is so bizarre to me! My grandpa always seemed like a very straight lace guy and the fact that he had a brother like this is somewhat comical. I've gone back and forth trying to decipher if what I'm feeling is pride or embarrassment over this particular branch in my family tree. I have a WWWF Champion in my family...I'm pretty sure it's pride!
This is freakin' awesome!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Next On The List: Bookends Edition

So there are a couple books on my list from below and above the age ranges I've already shared, so I thought I'd throw them together and appropriately call this edition, Bookends. First, a couple books from the 6-8 age range, the section I know the least in the kids department.

Frankly, Frannie - AJ Stern
Sometimes I find characters in kids books to be...bratty. The author tries to pass them off as cute and curious and the kids think they're hilarious but to everyone else, they're just bratty. So it's always nice to find a character that's precocious but not disrespectful. Based on the few pages I've read of Frankly, Frannie, she fits the bill perfectly!

Sophie the Awesome - Lara Bergen
This is one that I haven't even the read the back of but the title draws me in. Bergen's also written, 'Sophie the Hero'. It seems like it'd be a fun story for a little girl just getting into reading.

And now for the few adult fiction titles that made the list:

My Name is Memory - Ann Brashares
Brashares is the author of 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants', which is a teen series that I enjoyed a few years ago. It's basically for that reason alone that I am curious about this one.

The Sudden Disappearance of Seetha - Andrea Gunraj
This book was on display at the store and every time I walked past it, I would have the urge to leaf through it's pages. I read the back of the book and it only made me want to read it more. Maybe one day it will actually happen. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Next On The List: Covers and Titles Edition

Some books catch my eye based on their cover or title alone. I will say, based on this list, and knowing that it definitely influenced my other lists, not judging books by their covers is a near impossible task for me.

The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester
This is the first of many books whose new cover greatly outshines its original. The vivid new cover on the left makes me want to pick up the book and start reading. The older cover on the right just makes me wonder what year it was printed in.

Heroes of the Valley - Jonathan Stroud
When this book(on the left) came into the store, a co-worker and I assumed it was a new book and thought it looked like it would be good. Then our manager told us that it was a reprint of an older book(the one on the right). Both my friend and I had seen the older version and had never given it a second thought. Seriously, if I ever write a book, I'm definitely getting a great cover. It makes all the difference in the world.

The Higher Power of Lucky & Lucky Breaks - Susan Patron
These two books by Susan Patron caught my eye with their simple covers and matte finish. The first one, The Higher Power of Lucky won a Newbery Medal. They look charming to me.

An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
This book made my 'Teen Edition' list because I think it would be a great book but I wanted to include it on this list as well, to show the two different covers. Surprisingly, I like the original cover(on the left) better than the newer version(on the right). I think it sets the book apart from the masses of teen books with girls faces on the front. It also gives you clues(the equation artwork) as to the content of the book.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Next On The List: Preteen Edition

Continuing the tour through all the books next on my list of books to read! Here they are in no particular order!

Mister Monday - Garth Nix
This is the first book in The Keys to the Kingdom series. A set of grandparents said that these were great and that their grand-kids loved them. I can never give their synopsis justice but they sounded fantastically interesting!

Dark Life - Kat Falls
This is one whose cover caught me eye as soon as it came into the store. It was unlike any other book I had seen and after hearing a bit about the book(there are people that live above the water, but the majority of the book takes place in an underwater world), I can't help but be curious to crack this one open!

Frindle - Andrew Clements
Clements has written many preteen books but I've heard great things about this one in particular. According to the Frindle wikipedia page,'Clements describes the idea(for the book) as having come to him in the form of the thought, "What would happen if a kid started using a new word, and other kids really liked it, but his teacher didn't?" ' Nick decides to call a pen a frindle. It catches on and while his schoolmates spread it like wild fire, his teachers are determined to stop the spread of 'frindle'. It sounds like the type of fun book preteens would gobble up!

The Capture - Kathryn Lasky
This is the first in a series called 'Guardians of Ga'Hoole'. I've been curious about this series for a while because it has a number of books(15) in the series but there's only a customer here and there asking for them. When that happens it always makes me wonder if it's a terrible series or if it's actually an unknown treasure. When I found out that a movie was coming out based on the series, it made me want to read them all the more. When a book-based movie is coming out, I always tell customers to read the book first. That's so much easier to do when I've taken that advice and read it myself.

Holes - Louis Sachar
This is another book, like 'The Hunger Games', that it seems everyone has read. It is on the Indigo Recommends list for this age range, but at this point it's on my list not because I have a burning desire to read it, it's on the list just so I can say it's done.

Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder
This is one of the rare, multi-generational series we have in the kids section. By that I mean, parents and grandparents can come in and say "I read these when I was little and I would love my kids to read them too!" Personally, I know I've read a couple of them but it was so long ago that I've forgotten them completely. I'd love to make my way through them all.

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
I'm half way through Riordan's first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and though I've enjoyed it, I feel like I'm playing catch up with everyone who's already read them all. I'd love to get in on the ground floor of his new series.

The Dragonfly Pool - Eva Ibbotson
This is a book that my Grade 5/6 practicum class was just beginning to read when I left. I remember being intrigued and disappointed that I couldn't stay and keep reading it with them. I've had co-workers tell me great things about other Ibbotson titles and I think this one would be no exception. The fact that Ibbotson isn't overly popular is another draw. Authors like her are great for suggesting to kids who have 'read it all'.

Among The Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix
This, again, is the first in a series called Shadow Children. Set in a world where there are population laws restricting families to a maximum of 2 childrenm Luke is the third child in a family and therefore has lived his entire life in hiding. I think I've read one of these books before, perhaps when I was younger but it's completely escaped my memory now. This is another lesser known series I would love to suggest to customers.

Fablehaven - Brandon Mull
I would never have picked these(yes, it's a series again) books off the shelf if it weren't for a co-worker. She raves about them! A brother and sister become caretakers of a place called Fablehaven that is a sanctuary for mystical creatures.

The Last Invisible Boy - Evan Kuhlman
I initially picked this book up because of the look of it. Then I read the back and discovered it's premise. This is what the publisher has to say about Kuhlman's book:

'The Last Invisible Boy is an unusual and unique tale of love and loss as a boy who slowly begins to disappear after his father's death.'

I read the first dozen or so pages on one of my breaks and although I wanted to keep reading, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read this sad tale. From what I read, it seemed like it would be a touching book. I can't think of a scenario that I would suggest this book though. I'm not sure I've ever had a customer looking for a sad book for their 10 year old. Even with that, I feel like it would be a good book to read on the off chance a customer comes in looking for a book for their invisible boy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

2010 Rolling Roadshow Trailer

I think this is such a cool idea. I also love drive-in movies and movies in the park. Basically, I can get on board with anything that lets you watch a movie outside. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Next On The List: Teen Edition

It seems that every book I see is next on the list of books I want to read. The only thing is that I'm adding books much faster than I can read them, resulting in a rapidly growing list and the increasing feeling that I'm just fooling myself. I thought I would share some of the books that are 'next on the list'. Here's the teen books:

The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
Everybody and their dog has read these books(The Hunger Games, Catching Fire with Mocking Jay releasing on Aug 24) and at this point I'm just getting annoyed. I want to read them partly because I hear great things about them and partly because I just want to be educated when all my friends start talking about them!
**Update: I have read 'The Hunger Games'(in two days) and have just started Catching Fire. I'm really enjoying them!
**Update: Finished Catching Fire in two days as well! Mockingjay, here I come!

- Jerry Spinelli
Spinelli has written many pre-teen and teen books, with a few of them ending up on our 'Indigo Recommends' list, Stargirl included. However, I only picked up one of his books when a teen in our youth group starting raving them. This one is her favorite and she strongly suggested I read it.
**Update: This is definitely one of my favorite books now! A must read!

An Abundance of Katherines
- John Green
When I see Green's books in the store I always notice that 99% of them have great covers. This one is no exception. But this one has a fun sounding premise as well-Former child prodigy, Colin has dated and been dumped by 19 different girls all named Katherine. Colin and his buddy set off after graduation to figure out why he's had such a rocky history with the ladies. It sounds quirky and fun.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin
Zevin wrote 'Elsewhere' as well, but Memoirs makes my list for completely different reasons. It looks cool and the title makes me curious. This book proves that it doesn't always take a lot to make my list. :)

Alanna:The First Adventure - Tamora Pierce
Had no one suggested this book to me, I would never would have picked it up but so many of my co-workers have said what a great series this is-it made my list. Here's what the wikipedia page on Alanna says about the plot:

Alanna is a tomboy who dreams of being a knight, and Thom(her twin brother) wishes to become a sorcerer. Unfortunately, Alanna is shortly to be dispatched by her father to a temple in the City of the Gods, to learn to become a young lady- whilst Thom is similarly destined for the royal palace, where he will train as a knight; his worst nightmare.

To avoid their respective fates, Alanna and Thom hatch a plan; Alanna will disguise herself as a boy, call herself Alan, and take Thom's place as a knight. Thom will go to the City of the Gods, where he will hopefully be able to train as a sorcerer.

The Alchemyst - Michael Scott
This is the first of four books put out by author Michael Scott. I'm not going to lie, the authors name is part of the reason I love these books. :) However, I also love the look of them. I don't know much about them but I know they're really popular and they don't have vampires in them. That alone makes me want to check it out.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
The title alone intrigues me but then you read the back of the book:
n Mary's world, there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

It kind of reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Village', which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's the first in a series.

The Juvie Three - Gordon Korman
I'm always on the look out for teen books that boys might enjoy and this one caught my eye. The premise:
Gecko, Arjay and Terence are all serving time in juvenile detention when Douglas Healy, a former juvie resident himself, comes and gives them a second chance. Healy runs a half way house and when he tries to break up a fight between the boys he's knocked unconscious. Frightened of the consequences, the boys drop him off at the hospital and run. Then Healy wakes up with no memory of the boys or the half way house. Scared they'll be sent back to juvie they plan to carry on as if Healy is still there. But things keep happening that make it more and more difficult.
Korman has written many preteen and teen books and this sounds like it would be perfect for a boy(or girl) who has no interest in the variety of vampire/werewolf/undead books the teen section offers.

Customer Recommends

There are a couple books that customers have recommended to me to check out. It happens so rarely that I definitely take note when it does!

Jerk California - Jonathan Friesen
*This one's about a boy with Turrets. Reco
mmended by a teenage boy that was looking for something else by the same author. Said he LOVED it! High praise from a teen boy.

Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin
*More than one teenage girl has suggested that I check this one out. It makes me curious. It's about a 16 year old girl who is killed by hit and run driver and wakes up in the afterlife.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I love 1000 Awesome Things, I've told you that before. However, today's entry is particularly awesome. I would never have thought that this item was necessarily awesome and then I read the post and I find myself wanting to run over to the drawer and marvel at my small collection! :)


Sunday, July 4, 2010

To Do: Sharkwater?

I usually have a To Do List going that covers everything from the things I plan on getting done that day to the things that, realistically, I won't get to for another week and a half. If I get most of a list done, I may begin a new list and transfer the few items that I didn't get to. Sometimes it's on my official To Do pad, but sometimes it's on a Post-It.

The other day I was looking at the Post It list I had going that day and I saw a note that said:


Now, Sharkwater is a fantastic movie I saw a few years ago that made me fall in love with sharks. You may think, "Fall in love with sharks? Seriously?" but I promise you, you watch this movie and you'll have a moment right after it finishes when you'll consider becoming a shark advocate. I kid you not.

But all that is beside the point. At some point, I had written 'Sharkwater' down on my list of things to do. The problem is, I have no idea why I wrote it down. I haven't seen the movie in years. I don't even remember writing it. At first, I just kind of stared at it, thinking it would come back to me....nope. Then I tried repeating the word out loud, "Sharkwater. Sharkwater....Sharkwater." Nothin'.

So now, I've got a To Do mystery on my hands. Sharkwater has made the transfer onto my new To Do list but now it has a little question mark beside it, essentially saying "You must have blacked out when you wrote this one down. Hopefully it comes back to you at some point."

Sharkwater. Sharkwater.

Still nothin'.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

3 Week Bliss

The people with their heads down studying at the table in the back.

The group of teens chatting and laughing on the couchs.

The older woman who glares at the group of teens.

The 5 year old boy who doesn't understand the phrase, 'inside voice'.

Countless others milling about perusing the books on display.

There's so many different sorts of people at a public library, which is one of the countless reasons why I love them so much. Generally, everyone keeps to themselves, wandering the aisles or flipping through books. And in a world of constant noise and movement, I think people crave the hushed calm of the library. When I walk into a library, and the sound of my shoes squeaking on the floor suddenly becomes deafening to me, there's an instant connection I feel with my fellow patrons. It's the same feeling I get when I ride public transit. Even though we may have different backgrounds and values and we may even be coming to the library for completely different reasons, for a brief window of time, we are part of a small community of people, quietly living their lives together.

I never feel that connection stronger than when I borrow library books.

A few weeks ago, I borrowed a book from the library that I heard about years ago called 'Letters To A Young Poet'. The book is, in fact that, letters to a young poet. A fledging poet had written to a more established poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, whom he admired. The book is a collection of the letters Rilke wrote in response to the rookie. It's a small book but knowing that it was written in the early 1900's and translated from German, I guessed that it might not be the easiest read for me. It would be, when I finished it, somewhat of a personal accomplishment. I searched and searched and finally spotted the skinny white spine of my desired book. I signed it out and walked out to my car, eager to get home and start reading. To my delight, when I finally settling down to start reading, I discovered the book's previous reader has written small notes in a number of the margins. The notes were carefully written in pencil and often included a circle around a portion of text that the note taker wanted to pay special attention to. Now, not only am I reading the correspondance of two poets, I also get to read the thoughts of a stranger. I get to see what inspired someone else to read this book. The graffiti scrawled in the margins had suddenly connected me to a person I would never meet.

Library books connect countless strangers. As we share them they change hands, coming into our lives at different times and for different reasons. They allow you 3 weeks to immerse yourself in a story and connect yourself with that book. Books that we love become a part of our lives, a part of our journey. The beauty of library books is that we get to be a part of their journey as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blog Smog

At one point in time, I was somewhat cynical about blogs. I would roll my eyes when I heard that yet another person had created a blog. Just one more person thinking that we cared what they thought. It seemed egotistical and somewhat obnoxious.

And then I created a blog.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked why. My mind went blank, I stumbled over my words, mumbled something like, "Uhh..well...I dunno, I like it?" and, I'm sure, gave them them the impression that I really had something worthwhile to say.

My reaction bothered me and made me think-'Why in the world do I have a blog? I used to think they were pretentious, what happened? Am I just contributing to internet pollution??' So, I thought about it, alot. And after a while, I came up with the answer I wish I would have said.

There are a couple reasons I decided to create a blog for myself. The first had a purely practical purpose. Not all my friends and family were on Facebook, where I would post 'Notes'. And as elementary as this sounds, I didn't want them to be left out. I wanted them to be able to read what I was writing about without having to join something that they didn't want to join.

The second reason is that I really like writing. It has a purifying and calming effect on my heart and mind. It slows me down and focuses my often jumbled head on one thing. It also gives me a chance to think about what I'm going to say before I say it. I don't always do the whole thinking-before-you-let-everyone-know-what's-going-on-in-your-head thing when I'm talking to someone face to face. Writing makes me really think about what I truly believe or feel about a situation. Not to say that once I write it here, that's my opinion for life, but it does mean that I've been thinking about it for a while. Which leads me to my third reason.

I like to think about things for a bit before I come to any sort of conclusion. Now, I'm not saying I take 3 months to ponder what color towels I want or take a day and a half to decide where to go for lunch. But with bigger life issues, it takes me a while and once my opinion is formed I often express myself better in writing, for all the reasons I mentioned before. It ensures, for the most part, that I'm being clear and saying what I want. In conversations, I get distracted(I often interject 'Sidenotes') and forget things that I want to say until 4 hours after the conversation is over. People don't like it when I call their house in the middle of the night to say things like, "I remembered-a group of raccoons is called a gaze not a tribe!!" So instead of calling them, I write it on my blog. *Stay tuned for my riveting raccoon post later in the month.*

I'm not sure of other people's reasons for blogging, but these are mine. If you disagree, start a blog and tell me why.

Friday, April 23, 2010

1000 Awesome Things

The other day, as I perused one of my favorite blogs Post Secret, I came across a video promoting a book called The Book of Awesome, which is based on another blog called, 1000 Awesome Things. Always eager to discover new blogs AND awesome things-this seemed like something I should definitely check out! And I'm so glad I did. It's basically a countdown of awesome things that's updated every weekday. Now, I may not always agree with decisions about what is awesome(#985 Eating Things Past The Expiration Date-shudder. So. Gross.) I do generally love the list!

I read the different comments that people have made about how it's made them look for the awesome things in their day-even if it's just one awesome thing. That's one of things I love about this blog-it encourages people to be optimistic, look on the positive side and seek out bright spots of the day.

What's the latest awesome thing that's happened to you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy Love

It seems everywhere I look, guys are falling for girls who are slightly off balance aka crazy. TV shows are showing neurotic girls being pursued by kind-hearted guys who accept their crazy! I know, I know, it's TV. But even in my life, it surrounds me. Most of my girlfriends(I love you all dearly) have their fair share of crazy, and they have great guys who accept them for who they are-crazy and all.

I mean, all I'm asking for is one guy. I'm not asking for a parade of guys to come and lavish me with compliments and feed me grapes-even thinking about that is...awkward. Just one guy who says-"Your crazy? Manageable. Your crazy? Endearing. Your crazy? Makes me love you even more."


Patience. It's something I'm working on.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Deep The Father's Love

I've been thinking alot about purpose and vision lately. A few days ago, I was sitting with a group of friends and someone asked(without knowing this had been on my mind) what our personal purpose and vision were. We discussed the difference between purpose and vision. Purpose is why we're here. Vision is looking towards the future and imagining what would happen if we fulfilled our purpose. What would that look like? He asked the group to write down what those two things were in our lives and I struggled. Not because I feel I'm wandering or because I don't believe that I do in fact have a purpose but because I am sometimes overwhelmed by it. And because of that I have a hard time having a vision for the future. Here's what I wrote down.

My purpose-
To love and follow God with all my heart
To show God's love to others any way I can

My vision-

I couldn't write anything down under vision. I have a hard time imagining where God could take me if I fully and truly loved and follow Him with all my heart. Right now I feel like I am fulfilling part of my purpose with the role of Youth Leader that I've taken on in my church. I believe with all my heart that God has led me to this place and this ministry for this time. I am beyond excited to see what God is doing in and through me during this time. He has, and will continue, to stretch and grow me through this experience.

At the same time, I know that there are parts of my life I have not completely surrendered to God. It is a daily struggle to love and follow Him with all my heart in all areas. But here's the crazy part-

Even though, sometimes I can't articulate it and I don't know where He's leading me; even though I don't see the big picture-He does. His love for me is so deep, so vast that He has a plan for me. For me! I believe that with God's help I can surrender all the different, difficult, hidden places of my heart that I know He sees. I believe He can give me a vision for what my life could be with Him guiding all decisions, actions and motives. And I believe that He doesn't just want to proclaim His plan for me and go on His way. He desires to walk along side me on my journey. In fact, He promises it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coming Soon To Theaters: Your Favorite Book?

The last two movies I have watched have been based on books that I have loved. I didn't read either of the books recently but I've loved them so much that I was very curious how the movies would stack up. This is what I've discovered.

If you love a book, don't watch the movie expecting to have the same appreciation for it.

It's just not likely to happen, and you'll just end up being disappointed. I have ruined some movies for myself because instead of trying to enjoy the movie for what it is(a movie based on a book), I'm checking off things on my mental list that are different or worse, or things they missed. However, when you keep your mind open and prepare yourself that it will be different and that it may not/probably won't include all your favorite parts of the book, you may enjoy it!

If you were curious, the two book-based movies I recently saw were The Time Travelers Wife and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Both books that I loved-both movies that I really enjoyed!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Second Take

I see alot of books working in a bookstore. I usually only see the titles because I don't have time to take a look through them. However, some titles are quite memorable. All of these are kids books or parenting books, as that is where I spend most of my time. I thought I'd share:

1. Moustache Doesn't Let Himself Get Pushed Around(Author unknown)

This is a kid's storybook that makes me laugh every time I see it sitting on one of our tables. Moustache is a cat who is frightened of a dog in a neighboring yard. The storyline isn't ridiculous or funny. The title however? Cracks me up everytime.

2. Your Kids Are Your Own Fault (Larry Winget)

This one isn't so much funny as it is shocking. I agree in some cases but I definitely did a second take and thought "Wow, I wonder what kind of feedback this one got?"

3. It Sucked and Then I Cried (Heather B. Armstrong)

This is pretty much the funniest title of a parenting book that I've ever seen.

4. I Was A Really Good Mom Until I Had Kids (Trisha Ashworth)

I don't know how many times I've heard my friends, who are now moms, say something along the lines of "I never thought I'd let my kid do that but now..."

5. The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear (David Bruins)

This is a preschool book that just makes me smile. I haven't actually read it, but the title is just so awesome that I'm not sure there's really a need.
That's it for now. I'm off to find more ridiculously titled books!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reading Is Reading

I've noticed something about some of the parents/adults that come into the bookstore. Alot of them have very strong opinions about what their child, or the child that they are shopping for, should be reading, which, let me state right here, I understand. You want your child reading great books. You want them to excel. I do however take issue when I hear parents saying things like "He's just 1 year old. He can't read, why would we buy him books?", or "I don't want her to be able to cheat and look at pictures to figure out what the words are." about a child who is just learning to read. Or getting upset when their child only wants to read a certain type of book. This is what I say to that-

Reading is reading.

No matter what kind of book your kid wants to read, if they want to read, they're doing better than alot of kids. Lots of kids hate reading. Partly, because of school(if it's assigned they want nothing to do with it during their free time) and partly because they have yet to find a book that interests them. If your kid is reading books that are at a lower reading level than their age, don't make them feel bad about it! Reading ability levels can be a sensitive subject for some kids. I read some books now that are in the Ages 9-12 section. They are definitely below my age appropriate reading level but they're great and I enjoy them!

Please, please, please, read to your kids when they are babies, just learning to read, and even after they've been reading on their own for a while. Not only does it let you spend time with them, it helps develop their imagination, their vocabulary and so much more! Instill a love of reading and books in them when they're young!! Keep at it and they'll start to want to read it themselves, when they're ready. Kids don't learn on your schedule. Keep encouraging them and exposing them to great books and they'll get there!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost In Translation

After years of seeing people write 'lol', 'ttyl' and a host of other texting/messaging acronyms, I just have one thing to say.

I'm not hearing what you're trying to say.

When you write 'lol' I don't hear you laughing, I hear you saying 'l,o,l'.

When you write 'brb' I imagine that you must be cold, not that you're going to be temporarily unavailable.

And the worst one, not that we can blame this on messaging, is RIP. There is nothing restful or peaceful about the word rip. Especially when it's in all capital letters. If you're genuinely upset about the passing of a loved one or public figure take the time to write out three little words. I mean really.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ready For Change

I was searching through my iTunes library for an appropriate title for this post and I found numerous options. I chose this title because of the lyrics. Here are a couple lines that particularly struck me:

I promised I'd change about this time last year
We both know how that went

What does it take to start over again
Step out of comfort my friend
Yes, and change for the better

The first line describes how I have been feeling recently. Last year, at about this time, I started feeling like God had something big for me. Like I was right on the cusp of something extraordinary. I started getting really excited! I was praying about it and wanted to be ready for it, whatever it was, when it came.

Then, I got distracted. I let other events and people in my life distract me and I simply...forgot that I had been intensely listening for God's voice.

Months and months passed and I started feeling restless. The question "What exactly are you doing here?" would pop into my mind on a regular basis. It popped into my mind not in a "I came into the kitchen but I have no idea what exactly I'm doing in here" sort of way but in a "What am I doing with my life?" sort of way.

About a month ago, I began to feel like I was recalling a long lost memory. At first it was kind of fuzzy but slowly I remembered, "Oh right! I was excited about what God was about to do! What happened to that?"

So over the past few weeks, I've been praying, reading my Bible and trying not to get distracted as I wait for direction. In the past, I've been somewhat hesitant to give up certain parts of my life. I'm trying to let those go this time, to "step out of comfort" and "change for the better".

I don't know what this change will look like. It may be small, it may be bigger than I can imagine. I can only hope, that this time around, I'm ready for it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bookstore Sadness

The other day I was reshelving books that had been returned and found this card in the inside cover of one of our 9-12 books.
Just in case you can't read what the card says, let me help you out: "Hope Myles is not disapointed. Dad" It really looks like a Grandpa's writing. So it looks that a Grandpa sent his grandson, Myles, a book for Christmas hoping that he liked it and he returned it!! I feel so bad for this Grandpa and it makes me think that Myles is a bratty kid, although I really have no evidence of that. I took the card thinking that someone should hold onto it. Poor Grandpa.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Like Mother & Father?!?

Years ago, when I was knee high to a grasshopper(or maybe a bit older), I thought turning into either of my parents was a fate worse than death. I was a "free spirited child", or so I've been told, and my parents seemed slightly boring to me. Always wanting to be on time, to be responsible, work efficiently, all the things that turn an "energetic" child, such as myself, completely off. I never understood it. Why do something now when you can do it later, was often my motto and sometimes still is. However, the older I get, the more I come to realize....dun-dun-dunnnnn-I'm turning into my parents.

Now, the resemblance between my mother and myself is nothing short of eerie. Many people have told me that we also share some mannerisms, so turning into my mom was something I was preparing for. It was inevitable. I should just accept it. Turning into my dad on the other hand? I never saw it coming.

**I should state right now that both of my parents are wonderful people. I love them both but, like many people, I did not appreciate them in my younger years the way I do now.**

I like to think of myself of the perfect mix of OCD and laidback-ness(for the purposes of this blog lets pretend that's a word). There are certain things I'm fairly anal about. I like to have a plan but once I have a plan I can pretty much go with the flow. However, my desire for concrete plans, getting things done in a timely manner, in the manner I think they should be done(all of which are traits my Dad has in spades) are characteristics that have really come to show themselves in the last few years of my life.

The more leadership I take on in the church, the more the voice in my head says "Hey there, remember when you used to think your dad was nuts for acting like this? Welcome to the club!" At first, there was a part of me that was quite resistant to the discovery of Dad-like qualities(like I said, I hadn't been preparing), but now that I've had a chance to think about, absorb it, take a breath, I've decided to embrace it. However, along with this discovery I've made another one.

I am completely different than anyone else. I know this is something you learn in, like what, kindergarten? But recently, I've come to know it in a whole other way. I may be similar to my mom and my dad. I may be anal about following the rules of games, like my sister is. I have things in common with friends and family. But my combination is different. My path in life is going to look different than my friend's. The life I'm living now already proves that. I'm excited about the different way God is going to use me in my church. I'm excited about the different way God is going to use me in this world. I just hope I'm ready for it.