Monday, December 15, 2008

"I'm An Excellent Driver"

(Ahem, thank you, Rain Man.)
So, it seems that it just never ends when you get into two auto accidents in one year. Not only did I have to buy a new car, but then had to fix it when I crashed it again. Not only did I get dropped by GEICO, but we have to pay almost 1200 dollars to insure me for the next six months. Not ONLY am I reeling from all this money-spending and embarrassment that comes with crashing twice in one year, but then I get...a letter.

I came home last Thursday night, exhausted, only to receive a letter from the DMV informing me that I had twenty days to come in and retake not only the written but the state driving test as well. I cried for about two hours (again, like I did when I found out I was dropped by my insurance company) and made myself sick over thinking about taking that test again in Colorado, six years after failing my first three times in California. I could have sworn I had improved since then, but two accidents are glaring evidence to the contrary, no matter how many times people tell you that you are a good driver and that you have nothing to worry about. I nearly worried myself into an illness, and doubted my ability to operate any moving object bigger than a scooter-board. I began to fantasize about what it would be like to be a shut-in, have to ride the bus, and have to quit my job because it wouldn't be feasible to ride a bus two and half hours each way to work every day. How would I be a good wife and be able to run errands and do the shopping, etc, etc...? I was a mess.

So, in the midst of all my whining and crying and fearing and worrying, my gracious God and my gracious husband (or perhaps more rightly, my gracious God THROUGH my gracious husband) talked me down from my dramatic heights of hysteria and back into reality. I went from feeling like I was going to vomit every time I thought about driving to waking up on Sunday morning feeling inexplicably confident that I am a good driver and that I would pass the driving test.

So I went in this morning on my morning off, got up at 6:30am to drive through -8F degree weather and snowpack on the highways to take the test. I only got one answer wrong on the written, so it was on to the driving. My instructor warned me that if I lost control of the vehicle in any way (skidding or fishtailing, even because of the icy roads) that I would automatically fail and I would be issued a 60 day permit (where I wouldn't be allowed to drive alone) until I could get it together and pass the test. She asked if I would like to reschedule to when the roads were clear, and I decided it was now or never. If I was to prove myself to the DMV, I wanted it to be in those conditions!!

Needless to say, I passed. She barely had anything to say about my driving, except that I could go even slower than I was already going, considering the conditions, and that when I make left turns, I don't use the "hand-over-hand" method of steering. (Psh.) Apparently I'm fine on my steering in right hand turns. Go figure. So I thank God, my husband, and my friends for praying for me. I am so blessed to have lovely people around me. I am blessed to be able to drive, and I have vowed to remember that, and to take my driving a little more seriously than perhaps I have been previously. Lives are at stake, after all, not to mention thousands of dollars spent on every crash I decide to get into again!

Hopefully, I'm done with accidents forever (a girl can try!), and the DMV for quite some time, at least. Praise God!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marriage Update - 3 months later...

Three months into marriage is apparently when people really start to bug you about whether you're pregnant or not. I don't know what has been going on, but I've gotten people asking me all over the place, in several different states and countries. I'm NOT, for the record. Not that I don't want a precious little Tenny baby some day in the not-so-distant future. I do, but I want the future to be a little more distant than sometime in the next six months before we move to California!

(Incidentally, due to the wonders of technology, here's what Chris and my baby is supposed to look like).

Anywho, this is supposed to be a marriage update, not a baby update. We are having so much fun being married. I'm sorry single people, but I just can't keep the secret: being married rocks. Perhaps we are still in our honeymoon phase, to be sure. Perhaps its that we didn't date for that long, so we're still in our honeymoon phase times two. Perhaps we are brainwashed. I don't know. All I know is, these three months have been awesome! The part that is stressful is having seminary and work schedules conflict and make us busier than we want to be. We have to run off somewhere, or write papers or something when we really just want to hang out and watch a movie and go to bed early. *wink*

We are getting excited and a little bit anxious about the whole moving to California to start a church thing, as is normal. The big idea doesn't scare me as much as all the small little details do. But what do they say, "God is in the details"? I believe it, but not perhaps the way that "they" mean it. (Whoever "they" are.) I believe that if God wants us to move across the country, then He'll continue to iron out the details and work His grand scheme in our lives to make it happen. It's the way He has always worked in my life, so I've come to expect nothing less.

So anyway, just thought I'd let you know that I'm a deliriously happy little redhead. I adore my husband, I really like knitting, and I'm quite excited for the holidays. Hurray!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I think it is funny the things that will arise from one good idea.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has spawned (that I know of) National Screenplay Writing Month, and now National Blog Posting Month. I think a month of blog posts sounds like a good challenge. But would they be interesting, or just clog more internet space? If they were interesting, would anyone read them or care?

(Yes, I know you would, Kev, but you might fall asleep!)

Anywho, I'm not committed to a blog a day, so I get to blog when I feel I have something to say. Except right now, I don't really have that much to say.

However, I'm busy because a chick at work quit and I get her stupid hours because no one else can take them. Chris' birthday (31!) and Thanksgiving are tomorrow, which we will spend at his dad and step-mom's house with my dad being graciously invited along. I went on a little bit of a spending spree for my spouse...a little more than I wanted to actually spend, but then again, I wanted to make his birthday a completely separate entity from both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I think it'll be worth it. I'm trying to dress him a little more like a California boy and prepare him to go plant some churches in NorCal. That's all I'll say, just in case he reads this! (doubtful)

I've also become completely enamored anew with knitting. Yes, I am a grandma at the ripe old age of 24. I'm on a website called where I can check out patterns, log my yarn stash, post pictures of things I'm working on, and all for people to comment on and "favorite", of course. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculously fun and addicting. I'm finishing up a little teddy bear for Cordelia Marie, my cousin's new baby daughter, and I'm in the middle of knitting a coat for my niece Brooke, which I may or may not have done by the time her birthday (12/10) OR Christmas roll around. *sigh*

So that's about it. Shopping and knitting. Oh yeah, and I had my court day today for that accident I had a while back. The judge was actually very jolly and not mean or condescending at all. I got only two points off my license instead of four and a hundred and fifty dollar fine, which is about what we expected. Lame right before Christmas, yes. Especially with the skyrocketed rates of insurance for me =(, but we'll survive.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Now that this church-planting business is more out in the open, I can finally blog about it! I've been writing prayers down for the past couple of weeks, and sending them to Jason and Chris, but I've been itching to just kind of write out what I've been thinking and experiencing in this process so far.

My first thought is, "Wow, God is so awesome." I mean awesome in the more biblical sense of the word...He fills me with awe.

My thoughts that come tumbling after are: "What the heck? Church planting? Where did this come from? We never dreamed of this. Why does God think we can do this?"

Many lovely people we know are realistic and tell us things like, "This is going to be the hardest and most painful thing you've ever done." I know that they are speaking from experience and trying to be helpful, but I am such an optimist that I almost completely disregard anything negative as "nay saying". Just like when people told Chris and me that our honeymoon phase would not last and that we would get used to each other, etc... I kind of know it is true, but I don't want it to be true, and in some sense don't we sort of create our own reality? Anyway, I'm kind of blathering.

So, I kind of feel like I'm back in college again. You know, sitting around in coffee shops, talking in very philosophical (or sophomoric!) terms, not knowing much about what we're getting into, and dreaming big dreams. And who didn't love college? So far, life hasn't been that terrible for me. Things generally work out, and though sometimes they are hard, I haven't had too many giant faith-shaking events. I feel I perhaps lived a charmed life, and that scares me a little because what if there really is a horrible world out there, just waiting for me to fail...instead of the sunshine and shiny happy people that I believe are there? Am I too naive? Is that necessarily bad?

I don't know anything about church planting. I barely feel like I know the men I am following out to California (well, I feel like I know Chris of course, but we HAVE only been married for three months!). I am totally trusting God alone, that He will take care of us, not give us more than we can bear, and that we will succeed or fail for the sake of the Gospel, and that there is nothing more noble than that in the whole wide world. Or else what are we doing?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The High Fidelity Game -or- How Opposites Attract

So, Chris and I were having Friday date night this past weekend, and since it was freezing outside and we had plans for a movie on Saturday, we didn't really want to go outside or see a movie and we were both a little too tired to play Risk or Backgammon or anything like that.
So my brilliant husband came up with something for us to do that was quite telling. He called out, "Okay, top 5 albums of your senior year of high school. Go." It was fun because we didn't just list them. We had to kind of explain them, and then play a sample song from the album for the other, so that they could get a sense of it. I thought the striking differences in our album choices were hilarious. Keep in mind that Chris was not a Christian yet, AND he wants you all to know that he graduated in the 90s in a weird time for music. But here are the lists in all their glory. (Keep in mind that these are representative of our lives at the time, and these albums did not necessarily come out in that same year or anything.)

Cassie - Top 5 Albums of My Senior Year of High School - 2002
1. Beck - Odelay
2. Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
3. Cardigans - Life
4. Fiona Apple - When the Pawn...
5. Jennifer Knapp - Kansas

Chris - Top 5 Albums of My Senior Year of High School - 1996
1. Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral
2. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
3. Stabbing Westward - Wither Blister Burn and Peel
4. Smile - Marquee
5. Rage Against the Machine - Self titled

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Now THAT Is What I Call Hope...

Whether or not you agree with Obama's politics, reading this article brought a little tear to my eye. Even in my cynical state about our country, I still have enough youthful exuberance to feel as if I am a part of something greater than myself by casting my vote today. It is rare that I will say that about something political, but there you have it.
It was my very first presidential election today, and I felt pretty important to get to be a part of something big, no matter who wins the election.
As a side note, I think that it is important as Christians to remember what the Bible says about respecting earthly authorities.
1 Peter 2:13,14,17
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right...Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Good Very Bad Week.

Far from wanting to air all my dirty laundry online and complain about how bad my life is at the moment, I still want people to know where I'm at and how I'm dealing with things that get thrown my way.

Thing 1: Car Crash (last Wednesday)
This is my second one of the year, and it was ALSO my fault. Don't dismiss me as a bad driver right away, though. In my humble opinion, this one was truly why they call them "accidents". I had terrible sun glare in my windshield, and couldn't see a single thing. I slowed down and tried to look in my rear view mirror in order to see if I could guide myself in that way, and realized I had drifted onto the wrong side of the road, because the road had curved right when I got blinded. *crash* The best part of all (she types, sarcastically) is that "driving on the wrong side of the road" is a four-point violation, and one which you MUST go to court over. D'oh. So now my car is in the shop (not badly injured, but enough to take four or five days to fix...) and I have a court date the day before Thanksgiving. Hurray.

Thing 2: In Sickness and In Health
Chris is sick. Hacking, coughing, spitting, cold-sore-getting sick. We sleep in the same bed every night. I am trying to get him not to breathe on me, but when you snuggle, that is a near-impossibility. Being newlyweds, not-snuggling is not an option. When my throat starts to feel tingly and swollen, I panic, because I cannot have a sore throat and do well at my involves a lot of singing and talking over twenty loud two-year-olds. Not good. Also, my body does NOT deal well with stress, so I can actually feel myself shutting down. *sigh*

Thing 3: JAIL
Not me, but my dad. Without going into too much detail because things are very unclear at the moment, my dad got arrested this past Tuesday at five in the morning on some pretty serious federal charges. Talk about a bad week for the Bertolucci family. He bonded out of jail yesterday, praise God, which means he can keep his business afloat and get his crap together before his trial dates, which we are still unclear on. The justice system seems pretty vague on a lot of things at this point, which I suppose is for security and protection issues, but it is aggravating nonetheless.

Lots and lots and lots of prayer. I am praying that my Joy remain ever before me, and that I do not fall into despair. I am grateful (oh so much) for a stable, loving husband who loves God and isn't prone to panic or be dramatic like I am. (He's a pessimist, but that's another story.) I am thanking God every day that I have a caring community of believers and friends around me who are excellent listeners, pray-ers, bolsters, and coffee-drinkers (which is important in times like these!)
Thank you, family and friends, for being those type of people. I love you immensely, and I hope I can do the same for you some day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

away from judgment

I'm attempting to leave harsh judgment of my fellow human beings behind.
I thought I wasn't judgmental. I thought I was open-minded.
Perhaps compared to some people, I was.
But compared to the way that my biggest hero viewed people, I am a bigot and Pharisee.
I apologize if this ever affected any of you. I love you and want to know you more for who you really are. I am attempting a shift in my life.
Pray for me!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Just wanted to write an update for my thronging readers (hee hee).
I'm married and I am LOVING it. God really knew what He was doing when he brought Christopher into my life. I have found a wonderful person, and I won't waste time trying to find superlatives to describe him or our relationship. Suffice to say, we're in love and we're blessed, and that's all I can ask for!
I've moved up to Wheat Ridge, which hasn't been as tough as I originally thought. Some of my favorite things and people are still entirely too far away for my taste, but with the way the modern world runs, there are still all the same kinds of places one suburb up as there are in Lakewood. So besides the huge decision to move from King Soopers to Safeway, things really haven't been that difficult. I adjust fairly well, anyway, so moving is rarely tough for me.
Chris is working full time and going to school twice a week at nights. That's a little difficult for me because I'm only working about 25 hours, however I have had lots of time to get the house in order. It desperately needed to be transformed from bachelor pad/construction zone into a HOME. So, with my feminine touch, I have nearly succeeded. The extra time at home has actually been helpful for me to find my footing faster as mistress of the house. I think they call this "nesting".
Work is going well. We've just started our new fall schedule, so I'm still just barely getting started on that. New curriculum, new classes, new kids. It's all good, just a little scary starting out. I know I'll be fine, but there's nothing like the fear of failure to keep your job exciting! =)
Chris and I are both concentrating on keeping Sabbath these days. We're going through a book called Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn (what a name!). So our Sundays are not spent in the normal yuppie fashion of errands, cleaning, remodeling or renovating. We go to church, read, drink hot beverages, play games, visit with friends, and maybe cook a meal if it is not too stressful. I can already feel the calming effect that a day of rest has had on me. I am less angry on the long commute to work!
That's about all I have to report. The wedding was gorgeous and the honeymoon was lovely. If anyone hasn't seen photos, just let me know and I can send you a link. If you're reading this on Facebook, just click under my photo albums to see them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Commencing Countdown, Engines On...

Only two weeks from now, at this exact time of day, Chris and I will be riding off into the sunset (or, um, midday sunshine) in a bicycle rickshaw as man and wife!
But until then, we have a lot of work and stress ahead of us.
We've taken many strides in the right direction in the past week, though. We've finished the flooring everywhere downstairs except the bathroom, and put most of the base cabinets into the wall. I myself finally got taught how to use the miter saw and the jigsaw, so I got to do a large part of the kitchen flooring myself while Chris prepared a sermon for today. My lovely father has been over working hard for us, too, along with some of his employees, and they've painted our living room and put in baseboard and door trim, among many other details.
Chris and I finally found a time where we could go down to the Jefferson County Courthouse and get our marriage license. I have a very fancy paper in my possession now, just waiting for our signatures. I think in the state of Colorado, we'd basically just have to sign it and we could be married, but of course we'll wait for the day and the pastor and all the trimmings. =)
It's been really surreal for me to take a step back, look around, and realize all the things I do in a day that I'll soon be doing for the last time as a single woman. Things like brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed will seem solemn and ritualized for the next couple weeks, as I do them for the last time alone in my father's house.
I've started to think about what kind of wife I'll be, and if I'll be any good at it. I've thought about a few years down the line, what our marriage will look like, will there be children, and will they be cute like their parents? Ha ha. It's such a bewildering experience to count down the days of singleness, realizing (and praying!) that they will never come again. The next two weeks will bring my last week of work until I'm back from my honeymoon. It will bring many friends and relatives from afar, all descending on Denver for our big day. I'm the most excited to see all of my sisters and my brother in one place again, and also to meet my sister Rebecca's boyfriend Justin, whom she has been dating for quite awhile while she's been at sea. Then there's all the Australians, traveling farthest of all to see me, and I'm just so excited I could pop!
It's going to be a marriage, a reunion and a great party all in one day, and Chris and I will be at the vortex of it all, trying to keep our heads and not vomit with happiness (and nerves!). God help us!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weddings and Remodels and Summer, Oh My...

So, I realize that the last time I wrote a blog was late May.
I also realize I have probably a grand total of 5 readers (hi Kev!), so probably not that many people miss me, but here I am again, regardless!
Soooo, wedding planning is time consuming, sure. But what will get you is when you try to remodel the entire bottom floor of your future house simultaneously!
Chris and I had the brilliant idea that we would not only rip out all the carpets and put in new laminate flooring, but we would also get rid of all those pesky old cabinets and make the kitchen a nicer place to cook in. (Good for making your new wife happier about preparing your meals...)
So now poor Christopher is living in a construction zone with possible defective flooring (about a literal half ton of it) and partially constructed cabinets strewn about, while I languish away in a house with my dad and new roommate, which is becoming increasingly bachelor-ized with each passing day. (Note to roommate: not even an industrial dishwasher is supposed to clean off a peanut buttery knife all on its own!)
This summer is very interesting, as a result, as Chris takes on more responsibilities at work and I wonder how I'm ever going to commute 20 miles each way making what I do and with gas prices being what they are. How are we going to make time for each other when we're married and have all this "stuff" to do separately? How are we going to live if the house isn't done by the time we get back from our honeymoon? Where is the wedding planning in all of this mess? Who am I, where am I, and why is there a chicken strapped to my waist??!!
But I'm not freaking out. I'm rather calm. When my world is so topsy-turvy, I can't help but just step away, take a deep breath, and use that breath to exhale a prayer to our Father who cares about my well-being. He doesn't need to, because He's got a lot of other world problems to think about, but my Father will make sure the house gets done in due time. He cares about priming and texturing, and He cares about our laminate flooring. He's also given us people who care for the things we do, and who are willing to do something about it.
For all of this: wedding, remodels and summer, I am thankful.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Font of All Wisdom...

...Blog Things. Ha ha.
But no really...this one was cool.

The True You

You want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be more relaxed, calm, and composed.

With respect to money, you spend carefully and save your pennies.

You think good luck depends on maintaining good relationships with others.

The hidden side of your personality tends to be satisfied to care for things with a minimal amount of effort.

You are tend to think about others' feelings a lot, perhaps because you are so eager to be liked.

When it comes to finding a romantic partner, you base your search on information from your friends.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Snarled in Bed Bath and Beyond

Yesterday Chris and I decided we would put the final touches on our wedding wishlist and go register at Bed Bath and Beyond. We had gone to Target last Friday and had a fun time with the scanners, going around and trying to find some fun and slightly ridiculous things to scan so people could have a little fun while shopping for us (if they choose.)
As background, I originally resisted going to Bed Bath and Beyond because I think it is a snooty place and I've never bought anything from anyone's registry there (mostly because it seems like everything is over fifty bucks and I was so poor during college, etc...) However, their return policy is one of the best I've ever heard of, and so we were compelled to try it out, with thoughts of 8 un-returnable toasters dancing in our heads, spurring us on.
So we go in, and the dude is nice and all, encouraging us to register for things we don't need because we can get free gifts just for registering for them. However, the problem was that most of the free gifts we didn't need either, and that was one of the first things that started making me a little bit upset: need vs want syndrome is fine, but this was don't need/don't want vs FREE syndrome.
When we were finally set loose, I was alright to let Chris go a little crazy with the pots and knives, because having a husband who will cook is enough of a reward for me, in this instance.
It was when we got to towels that I started getting agitated. I looked on the self-proclaimed "Helpful Checklist" that Bed Bath and Beyond had provided for us, and saw that they think we should all invest in three sets of towels per person per bathroom. I was already thinking to myself, "What a racket!". But when I saw the little part of the checklist that read "decorative finger towels" and "bath sheets" and "bath mats" closely followed by "bath rug", I started getting really, really angry. Like, oddly angry right in the middle of the towel section. Chris tried to ask me what the heck was wrong with me (in a loving way, of course), and I started snarling at him about people starving in third world countries and I'm being compelled to buy a "f***ing decorative FINGER towel?" I did not really cuss, I think, but I mouthed it, which is really just as bad.
The rest of the time passed rather uneventfully, despite a mild disagreement regarding fine china, but I was left wondering why I am such a crazy person sometimes when it comes to the stupidest things. I've had a few days to think it over, and I've come to a tentative conclusion, which might sound crazier still, but there you go.
One of my spiritual gifts is perceiving, see. When I get into a consumer-driven, high-cost environment like Bed Bath and Beyond, there might not actually be a dude there pressuring us into $400 crockery sets, but the spirit is there. The whole place is saturated with it, and so you'll recall I snarled that I was being "compelled" to buy things, even though there was no salesman there? That's what I mean! I felt it just as surely as if some slick, suited man was there spouting facts and figures at me.
Don't get me wrong, I don't really feel any less crazy, but at least my craziness has a half-baked reason behind it. Stupid consumer-driven culture that I willingly participate in!

Friday, May 16, 2008



Hey, I'm getting much better!

Anyway. The other day I was marveling about a certain aspect of our culture that I wanted to write about, but I just haven't gotten the chance to until now. So here I go.
(end awkward introduction.)

Chris and I watched Moonstruck the other day, after years of having people tell us that we have to see it, and also years of wondering how Cher could be a good enough actress to warrant any kind of award. So Chris got it on his Netflix, and we sat down to watch it.

There were some charming moments mixed into all the ridiculousness, but most of the time we were sitting there confused (and really upset by how early Nick Cage started acting that badly). The final scene kind of tied everything together and saved the film a little bit in our eyes, mostly because it was really funny, but I still had major problems with the entire plot, and here's why.

There is something about our culture and the films of our culture which leave us rooting for people in the movies that we would never root for in real life. Cher is a lonely, aging widow, who thinks that she can find happiness by marrying a man she doesn't love. She becomes engaged to him, which signals a promise in our culture. We understand pretty early on that the man she's engaged to is not the man she'll end up with at the end of the film, which sets up the whole plot from the beginning.

So Cher meets Ronnie, Johnny's brother, played by Nick Cage, and we see the sparks fly and she sleeps with him and he falls in love with her. Immediately, everyone is supposed to be rooting for this relationship to happen, because Cher is actually in LOVE with Ronnie. LOVE trumps promises and propriety. What if a close friend of mine behaved that way? I wouldn't be like, "Aw, its so cute that you're in love with him. Who cares about your fiance, everyone knows that you're in LOVE with his brother, so that makes it all okay in the end." It was especially odd because I was sitting next to my own fiance while watching all of this!

It happens thus in many films, not only ones made fairly recently. If a man or woman cheats on their partner or spouse, but its for LOVE, then it becomes automatically alright. Even we as movie-going Christians can probably admit to wanting the guy to end up with the nice cool girl instead of his demanding and domineering wife. Just leave the mess you've made and give up because you've fallen in love with someone infinitely cooler? It's just not biblical! If real people were acting this way, we'd be up in arms and telling them to go to counseling and save their marriage at all costs! Why is it different in the movies?

I think it is just another subtle way that a secular worldview worms its way back into our hearts and minds. I feel like I need to be much more vigilant about what I watch. Its strange how the Holy Spirit has worked in my life to get me to this point, but there you go. Moonstruck wasn't really worth watching after all, except for ONE redeeming part of the film: Cher's mom, who knows her husband is cheating on her, has the chance to invite a gentleman up to her room one night to have an affair of her own. She, however, does NOT choose to do so. He says, "Oh I'm sure there are people around and we wouldn't want to get caught." She says, "No, I'm not inviting you into my house because I know who I am..."

We as Christians really need to know who we are in Christ, so as not to get moonstruck by who the world expects us to be.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

100 Days of Singleness


That had nothing to do with anything except that I was glad to beat Paul (although Paul, that was my second time. First time I totally blanked and didn't get how the thing worked, but I took the second time directly after, with no cheating.)


Yes, I have a mere 100 days until I get to marry Chris and become Mrs. Tenny. I was mentioning to Chris yesterday that I should probably be savoring these last days of being single, but mostly I'll just be happy to live in the same house as him and have someone to come home to every night. The very best part is that "someone" will be the man that God planned for me to marry, so that's always good.

Meanwhile, we are getting through the beginning phases of wedding planning alright. There has been stresses here and there, and some tears on my part, but things have smoothed out already. I'm not anticipating that finalizing the guest list will be any kind of walk in the park, but I'm prepared for conflict. I'm prepared to not demand my own way, because although the guest list will be an essential element of the wedding day, it will NOT be an essential element to a happy and long-lasting marriage. We must continue to keep all things in the proper perspective. And really, anytime that Chris and I anticipate conflict, it rarely arises. It's so interesting how much more we get along than even we expect of ourselves.

I've got my dress picked out, both venues booked, the wedding website up and running (, wedding invitations designed, we've got our preliminary guest lists written and colors picked for the ceremony and reception, Chris has the officiant picked and notified, counseling to begin in the next few weeks, far away guests notified, and I think that's all for now. This weekend we'll finalize the guest list and invitation wording, and we might even get to start thinking about where we want to register for gifts! We haven't even been engaged for two weeks, so I think we're rather right on track.

So that's where we're at. We're more in love than ever, and I'll just comment that I think there's something to be said about change of status going from "Dating" to "Engaged". There's definitely a huge shift in attitude and direction (obviously), and I think that it affects the relationship in so many interesting ways. We are able to (and will have to) talk about things and consider things that wouldn't have been appropriate to discuss or consider before I had a ring on my finger. It's all new and exciting, and I'm just pumped about starting my married life in 100 days and counting!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I hate cake and flowers...

Okay, I don't really hate flowers, but I do resent the fact that anyone expects me to drop any amount of money on something so ephemeral for my wedding day. Just get married in a GARDEN! (If anyone knows of a garden that will not steal my unborn children's college fund just to hold my wedding ceremony there, please let me know immediately!)

And cake. WHAT is the DEAL with this tradition? I hate cake! (Not the band...I love Cake with a big C). And most wedding cakes taste even worse than a normal cake, and yet this is another thing that people spend painful amounts of money on. For what? So they can take the same pictures that everyone else takes of you feeding the cake to each other? As if that really happens in the rest of your married life! If Chris tried to feed me cake, I'd be tempted to bite his finger. But he would know enough not to, because he's smart like that.

I'm sorry if I sound like a crazy and enraged human being (Freudian slip=I almost typed "engaged" instead of "enraged"), but that is exactly what I feel like. Is wedding planning supposed to feel like banging your head against a brick wall? Because if it is, then I have nothing to worry about and I'm on the right path.

Sigh. End vent.

For now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Big Week Got Bigger.

On Saturday, I got popped the question. Which question, you ask?
No, you probably don't ask. There is only one BIG question.
Chris met me at the door of his house after I had spent a long day in adoption classes. He was wearing his "I'm A Catch!" t-shirt, which made me laugh, plus a big ol' grin.
He gave me a kiss and I came in and asked him how his day went as I put my purse down. He told me something about Frisbee Golf with our church friends. As I turned to face him, he was standing really close and broke out with, "I need to ask you something!" I barely got time to stammer out, "Okay" when he was down on one knee and asked the aforementioned question.
And so, in the grand tradition, I said, "Awww Honey, of COURSE I'll marry you!" He didn't pop open the ring box at that moment, but rather handed it to me in a gift box. So after a bit of anticipation of opening two boxes...this is what I get to wear.

It's perfect. He was so glad that I liked it, and relieved. But I said, "What's not to like?" I was more looking at him when I said it, though. =)
We're most likely going to be joined in holy matrimony on August 10th of this year. So now, in addition to looking for a new car as my insurance stops paying for my rental, I am now the proud owner of a big ball of stress called "wedding planning". Then again, I am also the (whatever) of a fiance! So it all evens out in the end.
The amount of people that I know and love and even the amount of perfect strangers that have told us that we look and act like we completely belong together, well, that's encouraging. Knowing that God had His mighty hand in all of this, that's what makes me so confident in this impending marriage. We are going to be such a great team, because besides getting along wonderfully and being totally in love, we've got God on our side to remind us of what true love looks like.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Big Week

This week started out normally, but it has gotten increasingly interesting as the days have passed.
Tuesday I was in a car crash that was my fault. I went through a green light that was very closely followed by a red light and just didn't see the latter. So, I daydreamed through a red light and slammed into some poor woman just trying to turn left to get to her second job. I totaled my Corolla and her Ranger. Lame.
The next couple of days I just spent in a funk, with my neck stiff and my outlook not-so-great. Wednesday it snowed a ridiculous amount, and we went out for a prayer the the dark. At least it gave me some perspective, and it ended in a hot tea and time with friends. (It also made me fall more madly in love with Chris, who despite all the odds and the whining, still insisted that it was our "Mission Week" and that we should Walk and Pray! What a man.)
Yesterday I found out that I'd need to return my rental car by Monday because the insurance company had cut me a check. The check is barely enough to cover a good used car, but I can finance and pay $50/month for the next two years to get something that I want that is slightly more expensive.
Today I had adoption training from 5pm to 9pm, and tomorrow it will be from 8am to 4pm. I didn't really know what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed the format, learned a lot and never got bored. It was amazing. Tomorrow we get a Continental Breakfast, too...I suppose as a consolation prize for getting out of bed at a rather ungodly hour on a Saturday.
So, things are looking up. I feel better about life, I'm more in love than ever (with both God and Chris), and I am convinced that there is no victory too small for Christ to see and give to us if we ask in faith and good motive.
Our God is the God of the universe, but he is also the God of my used car purchase! Yay for Him.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lord, I was born a ramblin' (wo)man...

Every year I have a day when I decide that, for me, it is officially spring.
Last year I donned a very festive green skirt, even though there were still patches of snow on the ground, and decided, "Too bad for the snow, cause its spring!"
This year, its today! I have a day off, the sun is shining, I went for a tiny Savers shopping spree ($11 and some-odd cents) and I really enjoyed driving with the windows down. If you know me, you know this is one of my most favorite things to do. Unfortunately, gas prices being what they are, the concept of going for drive might soon to become obsolete! Anyway, I was almost home from the shopping trip when the Allman Brothers came on the radio, singing "Ramblin' Man", which just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite driving/road trip tunes!
In honor of the "Cassie-decided" first day of spring, I drove right past my house and made a large loop just so I could feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my skin, and sing, "They're always havin' a good time down on the bayou, Lord...them delta women think the world of me!"
So, I just wanted to let you know...its official. Spring has sprung! =)

Monday, April 07, 2008


Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
- Dave Barry

Ha ha, I just thought that quote was funny on iGoogle this morning, although it really has nothing to do with my thoughts today except for that word "Protestant".
I have been watching The Tudors on my Netflix for a few weeks now. Even though I feel like I know the story of King Henry VIII quite well, it has been very interesting to see how they choose to dramatize certain things and which parts of the story they choose and all that. It is also cool because they must have money enough to hire good actors, because people like Sam Neill, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeremy Northam all play part in the royal court, giving it a little more star power than your average TV program.
Jeremy Northam, in fact, plays Sir Thomas More, a great name in church history, and a man of very sensitive scruples trying to survive in the royal court and keep his integrity as a man of God. He sees that his beloved Catholic Church is crumbling in England before his very eyes and uses his newfound power as Chancellor of the Realm to try and quash Reformers he sees as heretics. He gets to the point where he is so frantic against Martin Luther, Reformers, and the fact that the King of England is considering major reform of his own, that Sir Thomas More begins to burn the heretics. He doesn't go crazy or anything, but in the season finale, when the King asks him how many he's burnt, More replies, "Six. But all according to law. And all well done."
Stick with me here, I'm trying for more than a synopsis...I do have a point! One of the heretics that More decided to burn was a man called Mister Fish. He had written a pamphlet stating that (horror!) the Holy Scriptures should be available to every person in their own native tongue, and that Christ had appointed us all to a royal priesthood, and therefore we had no need of priests on the Earth. This is basic Protestant stuff. But Mister Fish was BURNED at the stake for writing such a thing. BURNED!! He went to his death with Catholic priests uttering Latin prayers towards him, and when asked to recant of his heresy, he instead starts boldly praying The Shepherd's Psalm IN ENGLISH as he is engulfed in flames.
I thought about that today as I read my Bible in Greek, but then was able to read it again out loud in English, which of course I can readily understand. I often think about people in China who have died for possession of one page of the Holy page which lead them to Christ and eternal life and which they probably treasured above all other things. Someone translated it into their Chinese dialect, and that is not heresy anymore. I don't often think about the people who were burned at the stake and thrown out of the Holy Catholic Church for paving the way for things like that.
Doesn't it make you want to kinda hug your Bible a little bit? Is that sacrilegious? I don't really know. It makes me appreciate all the more the Reformers who stood up in a dangerous time to things that were revealed to them to be wrong. They gave us the Bible in our own language, and the belief that we are a holy priesthood and that we are all saints. They even gave us the right to wear hideous clothes and play golf and have Dave Barry make jokes about us...because without the blood of the martyrs, what sort of Church would we be?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Ultimate TEST! (dun dun dunnnn)

Well, here we are. Lent is over; Easter was a joyous day spent reflecting the wonder of our risen savior among many friends. And this past weekend was spent in what is meant to be one of the ultimate relationship tests: traveling with the beau.
Chris and I embarked on a plane pretty early in the morning this past Friday en route to San Jose, California for my cousin Brittany's wedding. Even early in the morning, Chris and I had no disputes or tiffs or anything of the sort. We flew together fine, we waited together fine. We woke up in the same house and kissed each other good morning just fine. And even when our flight back to reality required us to wake at 4am, we got along perfectly well. And even when the only tension of the trip, a ticking clock and a very, very flat tire, presented itself...we handled it as a team. Perhaps my part of the team was the shivering-cold,-don't-do-anything-to-get-in-his-way part, but I did give input on "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey", as well as help reattach some bolts.
All in all, someone mentioned near to the END of the trip that it was supposed to be a really difficult thing, or a really telling thing, to travel with the one you love (but the one you aren't legally required to stay with yet). If that's true, then either Chris and I are still firmly in the lovey-dovey phase (well, yeah) or we just get along really well (also yeah). Either way, it was a lovely weekend with family and a beautiful ceremony and reception, and I'm very grateful that I got to be there!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shut up and sleep.

I have learned that in our busy world, sometimes rest can actually be a discipline. I woke up this morning at 6:30am, after having a rough night of sleep, and only getting to bed at midnight anyway. I was in pain, and I knew I would have to get up to take something, so I thought, 'What the hay, the I might as well get up and pray since I probably couldn't get back to sleep if I tried.'
I ate some yogurt so I could take an Aleve, made myself a cup of tea, then sat down to read my devotions like I always do these days. I got through the reading, barely. I had to read most sentences twice because I couldn't focus for the life of me. I literally kept nodding off, and no amount of slapping myself or drinking my tea was helping to keep me awake. I thought, 'I can't nod off while I'm praying, that just defeats the whole point of getting up early to pray!' This has not been a problem the whole time I've been trying to get up early to pray for Lent.
So, after fifteen minutes of staring like a zombie, open-mouthed and half-lidded, I decided it would be better if I just went back to bed for an extra hour of sleep. I would get up at the normal time, alert and ready to pray.
Or not.
I didn't get up until 9:30am this morning, and I'm not going to lie to you, it felt GOOD! I don't feel guilty or anything like that, I just feel rested and jolly and ready to face the day.
And, at 58 degrees in February, what a day it will be!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wake Up and Smell the Nation.

So, in case you're slightly behind in my life, the season of Lent started on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and instead of "giving something up", as many people are wont to do, I have decided to rise an hour earlier every morning in a practice of discipline. In that extra hour of time in the morning, I also practice other disciplines, including (but not all together!) prayer, meditation, Bible-reading, exercise, silence, and others.
Okay, you're caught up.
So today being a glorious and unseasonably warm day, I decided that I would get straight up out of bed, slap my shoes on, grab scarf, jacket and sunglasses and head out the door to walk the mile around the lake right next to our house. I had a song stuck in my head, one that I had first heard in Australia. Some of the snippets are,
You said, Ask and you will receive whatever you need...
You said, Ask and I'll give the nations to you.
Oh Lord, it is the cry of my heart."

The cold woke me up pretty quickly, but it still took me about 3/4 of a mile to figure out for what reason this song could be running through my head this morning. I finally thought, Hey perhaps I'm supposed to pray for our nation. *silence* Where the heck do I start?!
When I got home, I sat down to read my devotions and my Bible. Today's passage came from 1 Timothy 2:1,2. I read it in the Greek first, understood about 1/8 of the words (this is a humbling daily discipline), then read it in English. The devotion was about how important it is to pray for our leaders, no matter whether we agree with them or not. If a nation is united in its prayer, not for the success of their personal agendas, but for THE GOOD OF THE NATION, I believe we'd get a lot more accomplished.
If I pray for George W., it does NOT mean that I agree with everything he does, or that I think that he's listening to the voice of God just because I'm praying for him! (Yikes!) It means that I care about our nation and our people, and I don't want to see it come to ruin. I think its good that we've been taken down a peg or two, but I certainly don't want to be invaded, or have our economy crash or anything! These are things I can be praying for.
This is so pertinent, I think, in the face of recent Super Tuesday events. People are so excited about ousting the current president, that its easy to forget that he's still in the White House, plugging away until next year! Our leaders need our prayer! Not only our fathers, pastors, congressmen, and senators, but our President and all the people bidding for his seat for the next four years. Our whole land lies in the balance. God will not bless sin, but that doesn't mean He won't let us realize the consequences of our actions as a nation. However, I do believe He will uphold a nation of praying believers!
My personal challenge for today will be to pray for our nation, and in the words of Paul in his first letter to Timothy, "...for kings, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Into the Great Wide Open

(Thank you, Tom Petty)
It's so amazing. Life is very unpredictable, and as much as you think you might know where you are going and what you will be doing ten years from now, you can never truly be sure. I, for one, relish this. Not knowing where you're going is so exciting, and it really makes you rely on God all the more.
Take me, for instance. I have no idea where I'll be in the next six months, let alone ten years. Six months from now, my life could radically change forever or it could look generally the same. What do I know? I could be married, single, at home, abroad, happy, freaked out, contented, uneasy...all of the above...
That's life! It's great! I wouldn't go to a psychic/soothsayer/tarot reader/general future-knower if you paid me, because I don't want to know what's ahead for me. God doesn't want me to know, either, because He knows I probably would start planning and getting too worked up about things and forget completely about the "now", the things that are right in front of me, the work I've got to do to get where I'm going. He's pretty smart like that.
I want to pray through every step I take.
Throughout Lent, I hope to be doing just that with my extra waking hour in the morning. It will be so great to see how this works itself out in practice. I'll keep you updated. This is going to be great!
PS. Our trip to the mountains this past weekend was great. If you don't believe in God, I suggest you move to the Rocky Mountains and then shut your trap. You've got nothin'.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

We Are Family...

I had quite the talk with my youngest sister tonight over the phone, which is probably the longest we've gotten to talk since last May when we traveled the Mediterranean together. We spoke about things that are exciting (we're both in love with men seven years older than us), things which frighten and distress us (family issues...long story), and things that make us happy and make us laugh (each other).
I find it so interesting that though the adults in our lives, the people who were are parents, have made such ridiculously bad decisions that have torn us apart, though life has taken us and scattered us all over the world, though we grow older and mature in ways that are separate, we remain sisters through it all. This goes for my older sisters and my little brother, too (who remains my brother, not my sister!). There is a love that is inexplicable as it is delightful, that binds us as nothing else in the world does. It is truly a gift from God that five people with messed up family trees could grow up and still want to have contact with one another, still be involved in the lives of the others in a positive way.
I value my relationships with my siblings so much. I thank God that He saw fit to bless me with these four very different and amazing people. We are family, in the truest sense of the word.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lengthening of Days

It has been quite awhile since I've written here, and I plan on being much more deliberate from now on.
This has been prompted partly by the advent of the season of Lent. Though I attend a Baptist-affiliated church, and was raised in non-liturgical churches in my youth, I think I have explained in previous years why I choose to celebrate certain seasons of the liturgical calendar. The simple explanation is that I had a Catholic grandmother who was excellent at explaining the importance she found in liturgical observances, and I clung to them because I saw how they benefited her in her walk with Christ. Also, I'll admit it, I like structure! =)
At any rate, my wonderful pastor/boyfriend gave a stirring message at church last night about fasting and the different ways it can be done and the good and bad reasons to fast. He, too, was prompted by the oncoming Lenten season to begin thinking of things he could do to observe the 40 days leading up to Easter. We were all encouraged as a congregation to think about things that have become compulsions for us, things which tear us away from our focus on God, addictions, things we like a little too much, etc... and to consider them all prayerfully as things we could fast from.
I have thought and prayed, and I have decided that I am going to get up one hour earlier every day of Lent in order to take more time with God in the morning. This could mean reading my Bible, praying, reading a devotion, meditation, worship or any number of other disciplines that I need to be better at (which is every discipline, really). In addition to this, I am going to limit my internet usage to one hour a day. Really, I don't need it for my job and anything else is just a waste of time. I do not need more than an hour to check my e-mail and write a blog, for heaven's sake!
So, I guess I could glut myself on sleep and internet until next Wednesday, but maybe I should begin preparing for the fast now.
Signing off!