my life in my words

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Painting Pictures of Egypt

Tonight was my first ever Seder meal. My small group got together and we made it a potluck/Seder evening. It was a “Christian Seder” actually, not the legit traditional Jewish one . . . we only had 2 hours so we had to shorten it from it’s traditional entirety. Though I’m kind of glad we did. I have a really hard time with really traditional things. Here’s why:

1. I have a hard time being serious. My brain is seriously like spaghetti. One phrase from someone will trigger a funny thought or a memory and my mind just jumps on that wave and rides it until it meets another. There is pure joy and bliss in being random. Let’s just say, my future husband will never cease to be entertained. I am, in fact, 99% random and 1% ridiculous . . . and sometimes they switch sides.

2. I have never been good at doing things “traditionally.” In fact, more often than not, I hate doing things traditionally. I don’t always like order or set rules and limits. It’s something I try to work on, but more often than not, I lean towards nontraditional approaches to things.

3. I am accident prone. I will be honest, for the majority of the night, I sat on my hands. I had to. I get so fidgety and I get easily distracted. Most of the time, this results in spills, broken items, and frequent visits to the first aid kit. Needless to say, when it’s a celebration of reflection and spiritual growth, such accidents are kind of distracting.

4. I don’t really enjoy trying new foods. In fact, the majority of the time, I’m just fine with my standard comfort foods. So when you ask me to try new sorts of cheese and herbs and things I can’t pronounce, something in me tries to find a way out of it. 😦 PS: I totally ate the horseradish . . . not knowing what it was. And since I didn’t know what it was, I spread it on THICK. 😐 Never. Again. 😐

All in all, tonight was pretty good and was a great learning experience for me. I actually had a great time and I was really proud that I caught my glass of grape juice before it spilled all over the table. The only downside was that to symbolize having a lamb shankbone, we just used a stuffed animal as representation. Did I mention that the stuffed animal lamb was sitting in front of me? BAD IDEA. Again, distraction and randomness comes full force and things like this happen:

(get it . . . they lost their shankbones!)

Here are some other photos from the evening πŸ˜€ I love my small group! πŸ˜€

**to any of my Jewish readers that I may have offended with my stuffed animal lamb shenanigans, I apologize. I’m really working on it.

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Blood Bank

Hello everyone!

I realize that the readers of this blog come from all different religious/non-religious backgrounds, but I am asking you to lift up some prayers/send good thoughts/send positive vibes/send non-sequential unmarked one dollar bills for my friends from Austin. They are 3 youth kids from my home church in Austin. Their names are Andrew, Micah, and Rachel Ansohn. They were in a head on collission today. This was an update from my friend Mariah:

Three of my friends were in a head on collision this afternoon and two were starflighted Brackenridge and the other is most likely going to have heart surgery.

I had the opportunity to be a mentor to Micah and Rachel personally, since they were in the youth ministry small group that I led. I know that the doctors that are treating them are competent and capable of fixing them, but there is also a lot of mental trauma and emotional trauma for them and their family that can come from accidents like these. They are so near and dear to my heart and I would appreciate any love you could send their way.

Thank you so much!



some of my Flying Marshmallows small group members.
Rachel is the one in the pink shirt

An update about the accident:

Andrew’s ankle was broken and Micah’s wrist was broken. Rachel suffered the most injuries but is doing really well now!

thank you all so much for any well wishes or prayers or thoughts πŸ˜€

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Do What You Want, Be Who You Are

Sometime this summer I will be getting my first tattoo . . .

I am equal parts ANXIOUS + EXCITED + SCARED OUTTA MY MIND! I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was a teenager, but here’s a little bit of something that you probably should know about me: i am deathly afraid of needles. Like, REALLY. The last time I got a shot was 2 years ago, and I cried. No lie. I shed tears. I have an incredibly low pain tolerance . . . did I mention that I’m not 5 years old? I’m not. But I still cried. I hate pain. So naturally, you can see why I’ve waited to get a tattoo. I can’t guarantee that when I go to get one that I’m not going to cry. In fact, I’m 99.9% sure I will. Whatever day I get it done, I’m going to request the next day off so that I have plenty of time to cry every freakin’ tear in my body because my friends who have gotten tattoos already have been up-front honest with me about the pain. It helps to have friends who can help me prepare. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fraidy cat. Especially after seeing the movie trailer for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO:

creep me out that has to hurt like no otha’!

I’m still gonna get one though!

I really wanted to have Vanessa (my niece) draw something and then get THAT tattooed on me, but last time I saw her, I asked her to draw something and she drew a creepy stick figure with a pumpkin head . . . and it was angry. So I’m gonna go with a no on that one. However, I go home next week and I get to spend 2 and a half days with her, so I’m gonna go for a do-over. This time I’ll have her draw a few things . . . and pick the least creepy one. πŸ˜‰

But as I’ve been looking at tattoos and contemplating which one to get, I’ve discovered others that I’ve fallen in love with. If I was truly brave, I’d get themβ€”ALL of them (or at least some variation of them):

In fact, lately I’ve been drawing on myself often with Sharpies when I am waiting for slow computers to load/save/print things. Here are some I’ve done recently.

As you can see, I kind of like the simple ones, nothing frilly and nothing really Old English or biker style. Just simple, unique, and fun like me πŸ˜€

As I said, I’d like to get more, but I’m going to stick with one now, and after about 5 years when the pain goes away (jk!) I’ll THINK about another. One thing I do know that I want to stick to is having meaning to what I put on my body. Which is why I’m really leaning towards this one as a back up plan. I LOVE the book The Little Prince. I re-read it often. This would be a constant reminder of the lessons I’ve learned from that wonderful book:

And I’ll end the post with an episode of UNDER THE SKIN featuring Andrew McMahon from Jack’s Mannequin, because I love his tattoos and the meanings behind them.

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I found this website last night and the slogans it generated are hilarious!

You should go to SLOGAN MAKER and try it! πŸ˜€
If you want, post your favorite result in the comments! πŸ˜€

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Don’t You (Forget About Me)

I’m back in blogtopia folks!!

This past week has been pretty “goβ€”goβ€”go” and I’m finally at a point where I can really unwind. πŸ™‚ I was able to meet our press deadlines for our two latest journals, which is a pretty big deal for me because I seriously had about 3 days to make one of them press-ready and it was kind of hectic. But I love to test my limits and push myself, and now I feel pretty accomplished. Tomorrow should prove to be a slower day, though, and that’s also a really good thing! πŸ™‚

In an attempt to unwind from today’s adrenaline rush, I’ve been watching funny videos on YouTube πŸ˜€ I think I hit the jackpot when I found a collection of AMC commercials advertising Forrest Gump, in which they created movie trailers for it in different genres. They are still making me laugh!

In other news, I’m going to be home in one week! I still have so much to do. I told a friend of mine that I was already shopping for gifts to take home to my family and she thought it was silly that I would start planning for my trip 2 weeks out. But here’s the thing, I’m a procrastinator when it comes to that sort of stuff. Seriously. Like, I generally don’t even pack ’til the night before and even then, I’m really slow about it and I get distracted. So, come 1:30 a.m. the day OF my red-eye flight, I’d normally be saying to myself,

“Crap! I forgot to get that _______ for _________! Great.
Now they’ll be the only one I didn’t get a gift for. How awkward.”

Trust me, it happens more often than you think. So I like to plan things out so that I don’t leave anyone out. That’s like, the worst feeling in the world to me.

Tomorrow I get off of work early and I’m going to get the rest of my family gifts, that way they’re all in my room, ready to be packed! Next week will be another busy week, since I only have 3 days to get things ready for a big mail-out after I get back from my trip. Plus, I have a lot of stuff going on in the evenings as well.

PS: I can’t wait to go to the beach!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

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GUEST BLOG: How To Save A Life

Hello everyone!

Well today is a REALLY busy day and I won’t have time to write a quality entry, so I’ve asked my friend Kelley (The Blog) to write a guest blog entry!

I’ll be back in blog land tomorrow!


If you could save a life by swabbing the inside of your cheek, would you do it?

The National Marrow Donor Program, the national bone marrow registry, can let you do that.

No shots.

No needles.*

No stinky alcohol wipes.

All you have to do is rub a Q-tip around inside your mouth.

And it’s free.

Exercise your mouse-clicking powers on these links:

Educate yourself.

Join the registry now and order your donor kit (this is the swabby part.)

Or look for a registration and donation drive in your area.

So, what happens if you’re a match?

Is your eggo prego? Check out umbilical cord blood donation.

Find other ways to get involved.

Please, please consider joining the registry. But don’t just consider it. Do it. Please. Be a Q-tip Hero.

You + Q-Tip = Curing Cancer

P.S. My birthday is April 20th. Order your kit between now and then and we can call it my Birthday present. (…Because you were totally going to get me a Birthday present, right? That’s what I thought.)

* Well, okay, if you’re a match and you choose to donate there will be needles involved. But you can cross that bridge when you come to it. In the mean time, all it takes is a Q-tip. And come on, faced with the opportunity to save another human being’s life, I’m pretty sure that in the moment you’ll do the right thing, needles and all.

Note: This post is cross-blogged from my own blog. And speaking of my blog, Amanda already linked to my Blogger profile above, but – as you’ll see if you try to click it – my blog is “private.” Private doesn’t mean you can’t read it, though! If you ever want to check it out all you have to do is shoot me an email at kelleyarowe(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know. I’ll add you to the reader’s list and you’ll receive a verification e-mail from Blogger letting you know you’re approved. Annoying, but not too painful I hope. -Kelley

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Oh Chariot

Hey boys and squirrels!

Today’s a little hecticβ€”we have 2 journals that need to go to press tomorrow/Thursday and I just found out about it yesterday. Originally we were scheduled to just send one, but now we’ve got double duty going on here. Thankfully, my co-worker Hugh is in here keeping me company and helping with the editing.

One funny thing about that is that earlier I made a joke referring to the classic line from KINDERGARTEN COP where the kid goes, “Maybe it’s a tumor,” and Arnold replies, “It’s not a tum-ah.” I only said the “Maybe it’s a tumor” part, but Hugh didn’t get it. 😦 But then I got to explain it to him and then I could not stop laughing about that line for seriously a good 5 minutes!

So I’ve been hearing something recently about some new-fangled health care bill or something . . . am I the only one whose heard of this new thing going around? i hope not. πŸ˜‰

I know that a lot of my friends have already taken sides. I will admit, when it comes to politics, I tend to be more apathetic, if that. Politics don’t interest me much and I CERTAINLY don’t think they need to fuel fires of dissension among friends and families. Granted, this is coming from someone who admittedly isn’t interested in politics and by nature, I’m an idealist. So there’s that.

Here’s the way I see it: Our health care system is currently a mess. More importantly, our insurance system is a mess. I have no possible solution in my brain that would meet EVERY need and would make EVERYONE happy. Obama won the election, and thus, we must trust him to make wise choices. They may not be OUR wise choices or what we think is best for our country, but the way I see it, we can either deal with the hand we’re dealt and learn to be peaceable human beings about it or we can whine and flood our lives and the lives around us with ridiculous banter about who is going to hell and who isn’t,* all the while not adding action to our opinions. If people are desperate for their voice to be heard politically, it would make more sense to work with the politicians they support and fight the fights together. That way in the end, if you don’t win, there’s at least the satisfaction of doing all that you could have possibly done to change things on a governmental level.

One of the main complaints is that our money is going to help someone who can’t afford health care, with drug addicts and homeless people and other “lower class” people benefiting from our tax dollars. I’m trying not to be ignorant about all of this, but, is that SO entirely bad? Would we rather they die from a common cold or a treatable disease? Now I don’t personally make more than 200k, but if I did, I don’t think it would be SO bad if I learned to survive on less so that all of those around us, no matter what their social standing or personal habits are, could get the care they need? I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to ‘be about’ anyway.

Is this situation fair? Maybe not. But, I’ve heard that life is not fair.** But from what I can tell, the bill has been passed and there’s nothing any of us can do to change that right now unless you have direct personal ties to the White House or the Mafia.***

So what do we do? What are we going to do? What can we do?

Step One: Educate ourselves> HOW HEALTH CARE REFORM WILL AFFECT YOU (article)

Step Two: Assess our current lifestyle and our heart

Step Three: Adjust our sails.

Step Four: Read Psalm 20:7

I don’t have all the answers. And I’m not too politically minded. But what I do know is that the government DOES NOT have the power to change my heart and my attitude/outlook on life. I’ve weathered some pretty hefty storms, going from a broken, lower-income family to a working-class young adult. And I can safely say that whining and getting angry has never helped me take the next step to push me forward through a trying situation. I am the only one who can make myself do the research, come to a rational conclusion, and adjust my sails.

I in no way intend this post as a personal attack against you, but simply an insight to my thoughts and to offer a few steps in a forward moving direction. Please feel free to share your thoughts as well in the comments section, but please, let’s keep at least an ounce of decorum and civility with each other.

As a side note, I also read this really good post on Matthew Paul Turner’s Blog about a Canadian Pastor who is questioning why Americans are so upset with the new health care bill. It’s definitely food for thought.

* Last I checked, that wasn’t my job.

** My parents may or may not have mentioned this to me a multitude of times, growing up.

*** If you are in the Mafia, please don’t kill me for posting this. It’s just an opinion. And I’m just a peon. I mean no harm. And I like Italian food. πŸ˜€