05 December, 2012

This is my catch-all blog post.  A lot has been happening and I haven't written about much, so today's post is going to be about a myriad of things.  In my last post, I mentioned that I applied to Starbucks, and am now announcing that I've been hired! I had training all last week and officially started working on monday! It's pretty fast paced and will take a little getting used to, but so far I love it and have been having a lot of fun (and a lot of coffee (: yum)!

I visited Atlanta a few weeks ago and had a wonderful time!  I stayed with friends Maureen and Katherine and spent a day with each of them.  I also spent a day with my dear friends from Blueprint Church and a day at the Georgia Justice Project, where I used to work.  My roommates were pregnant when I moved home from Atlanta, and during this trip I got to meet their sweet baby girl!  The time was short, but sweet, and I was able to spend time with everyone I wanted.  And I welcomed the crisp fall air and gorgeous autumn leaves that are so rare here in southern California.
Chattahoochee River
My beautiful friend Katherine
We celebrated Thanksgiving with family at our house.  I spent all morning cooking mushroom thyme gravy, pumpkin alfredo pasta, and basil pesto rolls.  Then the majority of our family members came over for dinner -- fifteen people in all!  After dinner, we have a tradition of going to the movies.  This year, we saw Lincoln, which was very good, but also very long. If you The following morning was spent at breakfast with friends followed by a hike along the beach in Torrey Pines with my family.
There is so much I am thankful for this year!  I am thankful to be cancer free and healthy! I am thankful to have had the love and support of friends and family! I am thankful to have had an amazing doctor and to have had an extremely treatable type of cancer.  I am thankful to have health care.  I am thankful for a new job! And more than anything, I am thankful to have a God who is faithful, even through the darkest of times.

If you remember back to my birthday, I made some resolutions for this year.  I've posted about a few things, but I've been busy with more than those! So here are some of the things I've been doing...

Craft Project #1: baby burp cloths
As I mentioned earlier, I met baby Mia for the first time during my trip to Atlanta.  I wanted to give her parents a gift, so I made them some burp cloths.  They're simple to make, but adorable!  All I did was cut out rectangles of cute cotton cloth and of terry cloth, sew them together, and add some topstitching. Easy as pie! And a nice, simple project to start out with.
The finished product
Documentary #1: No Impact Man
This is the story of a New York family who decides to live as eco-friendly as possible for an entire year.  They abandoned cars, made zero trash, and even turned off the electricity.  It's about minimizing our negative impact and maximizing our positive impact of the earth.  I really enjoyed this documentary and would recommend it to anyone interested in environmentalism.

Documentary #2: One Nation Under God
This film follows four Christian college students as they road trip around the US, meeting new people and asking them their views about God.  While it was interesting to hear what people had to say, there was no real point to the film.  I've heard their second documentary, Beware of Christians, is much better and am going to watch it next.

Book #2: The Gospel of Luke by William Barclay
I recently started reading this Bible commentary along with my regular Bible reading and really enjoyed the added insight it provided.  However, Barclay's writing is outdated and he seems too confident that his view and interpretation of scripture is the right one.  I doubt I will read another one of his commentaries, but will definitely continue reading commentaries on a regular basis.

Book #3: An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
I really enjoyed this book; this was the second time I read it.  It discusses ways to make every day tasks into spiritual practices, observing the work and glory of God in what may seem at first to be mundane.  If you are looking to lead a more reverent life, I would definitely recommend it.

Book #4: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The book is exactly like the movie, but it gives a little more background and depth to the characters.  What can I say? It's a classic!

Something New #3: Brussel Sprouts
We never had to eat brussel sprouts as kids.  I heard rumors that they were the worst food known to mankind.  They have a reputation worse than broccoli.  So that's probably how I made it all the way to age 24 without having ever tried them.  Well, we went out to dinner for my mother's birthday to a charming restaurant in Ocean Beach called Bo-Beau.  I was feeling adventurous, so I ordered the crispy brussel sprouts, and oh-my-goodness they were absolutely delicious!  They were drizzled with apple cider and topped with cranberries, hazelnuts, and goat cheese.  Brussel sprouts have overcome their infamy and now are one of my favorite vegetables. Yum!

Something New #4: Green Tea Latte
Now that I work at Starbucks, I have the opportunity to try a lot of new things!  This week, I tried a green tea latte. My coworker told me it's an acquired taste and she was right. I didn't like it too much, but people order them often, so I am determined to give it another try. I'll let you know how it goes the second time around.

Health Change #3: Use All-Natural Toothpaste
As I've mentioned before, I want to eventually switch all of my products to all-natural ones in attempt to be in contact with unnatural chemicals and artificial substances as little as possible.  So I was excited when our grocery store started carrying Tom's natural toothpaste. Unfortunately, after using it a few times, I realized it doesn't leave my mouth feeling clean and minty afterwards.  So I was even more excited when I realized that our grocery store also carries Burt's Bees natural toothpaste.  It seems thick and goopy compared to other toothpastes, but it makes my teeth feel clean and leaves my breath sufficiently minty.

Health Change #4: Use All-Natural Shampoo and Conditioner
I've started using a new type of shampoo and conditioner.  It's called Gud by Burt's Bees. The scent I've tried is called orange petalpalooza and it smells delicious! It's all-natural and makes my hair feel really soft.  I've tried other brands of natural shampoo, but several of them didn't leave my hair feeling clean (like Nature's Gate).  I'll have to see if I still like this shampoo after my hair gets longer, but so far, Burt's Bees has left my hair feeling nice and clean.

I've recently started what I would consider to be my most ambitious resolution: reading the New Testament in 24 days.  I'm about eight days into the task and let me tell you, it is a lot of reading! It's taken me about three hours each day. But it's worth it! Not only am I reading stories I've never read before, but I'm understanding familiar stories in their greater context.  I also am beginning to see the big picture of the Bible as a whole.  I have a lot of questions about things I am reading, but this has made me excited to read my Bible! I'll give you another update on this soon!

I hope all is well with you!