Monday, April 15, 2013


Tragedy. Its one of those things that is impossible to put into words, yet everyone feels the need to do it.

By now you've heard of the tragedy surrounding the Boston Marathon. As of this writing and to my knowledge, there are two dead, 57 injured, and 8 critical. Some of my good friends are passionate about running. It could have been any one of them. When I heard the news I just couldn't be on the computer anymore. I had to leave the room.

This was the first time a tragedy in the states really hit me. I'm not going to say that the recent shootings or 9/11 haven't had an effect on me, but I tried not to let them touch me. This one did for some reason. I don't even have any family or close friends living on the east coast. I think it was the photographs. The image that really broke me was one I saw on Twitter, where several runners were just laying in blood. That's when it became real.

In my mind, bombs don't exist in my world. The Middle East, sure. But in my perfect, untouched,  middle class world, it is full of student loans and groceries. Nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing life shattering. I know this sounds ridiculous since it obviously isn't true, but sometimes brains don't make sense.

Yet, even in the midst of this turmoil, people weren't just losing it, they were rushing to help others.

       "What I'm most struck by: video of the explosion shows police, military, bystanders
         running TOWARDS blast area to help. People. Are. GOOD." @DrGMLaTulippe

Pray for Boston. Pray for helaing. Pray for understanding in this chaos. Pray for peace and hope.

Energy! No energy required!

I would have taken a picture of my own, but my camera is currently in the shop. Sadness. I found this recipe on pinterest through Gimme Some Oven.

These things are delicious, but be careful! All of that oatmeal can really fill you up. I didn't have any coconut flakes or chia seeds, so I just added in a little more oatmeal and flaxseed. I didn't try honey yet, but the syrup made it very, very sweet.

No-Bake Energy Bites
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • ⅔ cup toasted coconut flakes 
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed/wheat germ
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup honey/maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
This is an incredibly simple recipe.  Just mix all of the ingredients together, chill for 30 minutes, and roll into balls. Makes about 18 per batch (maybe more...I always sample my treats while I'm making them).


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bates Motel

Can we talk about the Bates' for a little bit?

First of all, I'm a huge Hitchcock fan and therefore, you are required to bear through some Psycho trivia before I continue:

  • First (American) movie to include a toilet. Hitchcock had to make sure it was necessary to the plot, so that he could keep it in.
  • The (90!) splices in the shower scene were so fast that the sensors were sure they had seen some nudity. The slowed it way down, and had to admit that there wasn't any.
  • Did you notice all of the taxidermy in the scene where Norman and Marion are eating sandwiches? The Birds was Hitchcock's next film.
  • Psycho is based off a true story, serial killer: Ed Gein.
  • Hitchcock's last film in black and white. He thought it would be too gory in color. 
  • Hitch was forced to use money from his television show because of the lack of support from studios.

I love that they brought in an older brother, Dylan, for Norman. Brings in a whole other aspect of Norman's family life. I hope they interact more in the next couple episodes. I keep wondering what the writers are going to do with Dylan's character. Will he help Norman develop into his own person, or will Norma interfere and send him packing?

I also really love that the whole set is very classic, but still set in modern day. When I saw the first episode, I was assuming that it was set in the 60s. Before I knew it, Norman had earbuds in, listening to music and girls were wearing leggings.

By the time I saw Psycho for the first time, I already knew about the infamous shower scene. However, the scene where Detective Arbogast is stabbed by 'Norma' is what shocked me. So the stairway got me really excited when they first showed it in Bates Motel.

Now we know that one of the first things we hear from Norman in Psycho is a lie. "My mother moved here and bought this hotel with a guy." That quote is very summarized; I couldn't remember what he said exactly.

When I first heard about Bates Motel, I was worried it would just be really kitschy, but the teasers got my hopes up. Who could replace Anthony Perkins as the adorable, but frightening, psychopath? Overall, I think Hitchcock would be proud of this series if he had been around for it.

Does Norman actually see visions and go into trances? Or is his mother planting ideas? Who killed Norman's father? How long until Norman kills his mother and her lover? Is that what really happened?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Broken and joyful.

Okay, this is ridiculous. It has been more than three months since I last posted. Not much has happened since then... Oh wait, I went to Mexico.

Why Mexico? Because I like to scare my mother - it's a wonderful past-time.

Michelle, one of my good friends, asked me if I would be interested in going down to Mexico for a mission trip. I, always up for wanderlust, jumped at the chance to go to the orphanage. I had no idea how much I would learn from it.

A team of eleven of us left at the end of January for the 1700+ mile journey. Before we even got to Mexico, I knew that I would be coming back next year. We shared our testimonies on the way there (plenty of time in the spanse of three days!) - it was so wonderful to hear the backgrounds from close friends and from new ones too. We are not what we want the world to see, we are so much more broken than that. Really brought us all together. We also went through Forgotten God by Francis Chan (about the Holy Spirit, I highly recommend it!) as our devotions. It can be easy, even if you go to church and Bible study on a regular basis, to just sit back and go through the motions. It was  wonderful to be challenged. One night I remember feeling so unworthy to read the Bible, not because I clutching to my own sin, but just realizing how often I ignore the Bible as it sits on my nightstand waiting patiently to be read.

The kids amazed me. They had so much joy amidst such heartbreak. Once you hear their stories, you question if you are thinking of the right kid. How could THAT have happened to him?! Molestation, exposure to sex at such a young age, false accusations. What do you do with all of this despair? How can it be turned into hope? We are so much more broken than we let on.

It was phenomenal going to church in a different country. We went twice, Sunday and Wednesday night. Even though we couldn't understand 94% of what was being said, we all really loved it. There is comfort in knowing that you are worshipping the same God.

Though we have brokenness, joy can break though.

I learned that images can really bring people together. I've known this for a long time (and especially true with kids), but it was lovely to be surrounded with the kids looking at images of themselves and their friends. I was really debating having such a large memory card though, my fingers got tired of pushing buttons! :) Images transcend where language and cultural barriers begin.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • Fixed broken tiles in the girls' dorm
  • Fixed braces on the girls' beds
  • Changed out lights
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Painted kitchen ceiling
  • Started walls for laundry room
  • Got rid of black mold in the house parents' bathrooms
  • Gaga Pit
  • Benches for additional seating
  • Locks
  • Fixed knobs on drawers
  • Changed faucets
  • Started new relationships with the kids! 

Make sure to check out the video I put together. (If you are using a blog reader, the embedded video isn't showing up for some reason.) A lot of the images are the same, but you can get a better feel of what we did if you watch it. I also put up a shorter version.

I also started an account with YouCaring - it's a great website for fundraising. If you feel the urge, I'd appreciate it. You can click the link or get to it by the widget on the top right. If you click on updates, the needs list for this coming year is right there.

I still don't understand how these kids can turn such despair into fierce joy, but I'm anxious to go back and find out.

joy | alegría