Friday, December 21, 2007

About Time

It's officially the Christmas season at our house. We finally put up our Christmas decorations today. Life has just been to busy. I debated digging them out and putting them up at all. But now that I've done it, I'm glad. It makes the house feel so cozy and festive. I feel like I can breath a big sigh - the house is clean, the decorations are up and the presents are wrapped. Ahhhh!!!! Feels good to be done.
I called my mom today and she was cross country skiing with Nathaniel and Amanda. It made me miss my family. My mom was skiing with one pole so she could talk on her cell phone, with intermitten yells at Amanda to, "pull with her arms more" or "No, cross country skies aren't made to go down hills". Nathaniel was skiing on the bleachers at the park and at one point Panda, the dog, stole my mom's gloves. Stuff like that makes me miss my family and all of their quirky personalities. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful family.
And on that note, I'm going to close so I can go hang out with my wonderful family - Jadon and Maya. We'll have fun too!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

My dad is a baker. He bakes cinnamon rolls, rye bread, and limpa bread. He devotes whole entire days to baking and stocks the freezer with bread that will last for months and months. I've always watched as he baked, but that's it. Dad loved baking and so he did it alone. I must have picked up something just from watching though because yesterday I baked 35 dozen cinnamon rolls and they all turned out great. The youth group sold them for a fundraiser for the missions trip to Mexico. I offered to bake not really sure of what I was doing, but thanks to my dad, baking was in my genes, it came naturally, and it was actually a lot of fun. I don't think I'll take up baking in bulk on a regular basis. But at least I know I can do it. So the legacy of Carlson cinnamon rolls continues under a new name "Ross"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Yucky Winter

Was there ever winter in the Garden of Eden? I just can't picture it; Adam and Eve walking through the snow with nothing on and not considering clothing. The Bible says that Adam and Eve were naked, so the weather had to be warm. So were there seasons in the Garden of Eden or was the weather always the same? Did the change of weather come with Eve eating the fruit? Is winter the result of sin entering the world and God punishing Adam and Eve? Does cold and snow go right along with pain in childbirth and thorny ground? I may be way off base, but then that's legal when you're contemplating something. I don't know the answer, but I'd like to so maybe I'll ask someone who knows more than I do. Either way, winter is cold and miserable and seems like a bit of a punishment to me. I can't wait until spring!

Friday, December 7, 2007

"Jimmy-rigged"

"jimmy-rigged" What does that mean? Did Jimmy do it? No, I'll tell you who did it. It was the mechanic that fixed our truck for free. He added extra switches under the cigarette lighter to turn on the wipers. And I don't think his name was Jimmy, based on his nationality. He was Hispanic. (like Amanda)
I'll tell you what else is "jimmy-rigged" - ME. I'm jimmy-rigged. The way my body works, has tell tale signs of jimmy rigging. I'm not sure why, but if I do this, and tweak that, and stand up straight, and roll my foot on a golf ball, and sit this way, and avoid eating that, and drink plenty of water, then my body works great. But if I don't, everything falls apart. The thing is, doctors don't know why it works that way. They never have.
When I was 9 I had a short leg, why? who knows. I also got lots of headaches and so I wore a baseball tied on the front of my pajamas so I wouldn't sleep on my stomach at night. Now that sounds like jimmy-rigging to me. And now in my twenties, this jimmy-rigged body continues to have new quirks which I must find new remedies for. Once again doctors don't really know the answers. They offer suggestions, and then they leave me to being my own remedies.
They remind my of my doctor when I was a kid. I would go to see him and he would ask me, "Well, what wrong with you?"
I always thought, "I don't know, that's why I came to see you, isn't that your job."
Evidently, in my case, it is not. The doctor's job is to run the tests, give me the results and then leave me to the tweaking and self-remedying (I don't think that's a word - but it works).
So, I am officially changing the work "jimmy-rigged" to "audrey-rigged" because really Jimmy never had anything to do with it. So far it's working out alright, and if it stops working out, you know what I'll do? I'll Audrey-rig it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

STRENGTH

Pain brings strength. I've been thinking about that concept a lot lately. I've always loved strength. I love feeling strong, doing things that take strength, feeling capable. However, I'm also not a huge fan of pain. But I don't know if true strength can ever really develop without pain.
Body builders work hard and push through pain in order to gain muscle or strength. Runners run longer and harder in order to be stronger runners. They must feel some degree of pain in order to develop any level of strength. This isn't just true for athletes. Scholars, scientists, all those brainy people must study and go through the pain of diligently applying themselves in order to see growth or develop strength in those areas.
I think this concept is true in everyday life as well. Pain is a definite part of life. We don't wish for it, but it's always there. It comes in so many different forms, physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, financial pain, spiritual pain. Pain hurts, I know that's redundant, but it's true. Whatever hurts in life, is pain. But in that moment of pain there is the opportunity to build strength. However that only happens if the pain is faced. Avoiding pain does nothing. Pain must be experienced in order to reap the rewards.
We all like, soft, cushy, comfortable, safe, secure, relaxed, supportive atmospheres and experiences, but if life was only made up of those times we would be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually weak. There must hurdles to leap, hills to climb, obstacles to go around, big guys to tackle, and pain to endure.
I think that is why Jesus was always telling the disciples to do things that weren't comfortable for them. Leave everything, love your enemies, give all your possessions away, FOLLOW ME! So although pain in daunting at times, I'm encouraged because I know that the result of going through it is one of my most desired attributes -- STRENGTH!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snow Day

It's a snow day! I know I put an exclamation mark after that but I'm not sure if I'm feeling that exclamation or not. If I was in 3rd grade and I got to stay home from school and sled at Blairtown Park I might be feeling that exclamation point, but I'm not. So, let me rephrase that. It's a snow day. Just plain and simple. It's a matter of fact. I have had very relaxing morning but now it's getting close to noon and I wish it was nice enough to get out. But it's really not. There has been freezing rain since 6 a.m. so it's slick out there to say the least. Unless it warms up a little we won't be going out at all today. So here goes a slow Saturday indoors. I'll probably do some crafts, clean a little, read my book, "Kite Runner"(if you're looking for a good snow day book to read I highly recommend "Kite Runner") watch a movie with Jadon, maybe take Maya for a walk. That's about it. I guess for the Type B personalities out there today would be their dream day, but for me, the Type A person, it's a little too slow, and a little too confining. I'm going to make the best of it though and be thankful for all the days that aren't snow days! (That exclamation is for real :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS


I am now in my third year of marriage. Monday, the 26th marked Jadon and my 2 year anniversary which makes today my second day in the third year of marriage. WOW!

I so clearly remember daydreaming with Amanda about what kind of guy I would marry. I was probably in junior high, but it kinda feels like yesterday. Sometimes I can hardly believe that Jadon is my husband, that I'm married, that we own house, that we have a dog, etc. etc. etc.

I think girls probably spend 99% more time than guys dreaming about who they will marry and what their life will be like. I remember spending hours playing "MASH" with my friends. It's a game where by random selection you find out who you'll marry, where you'll live, how many kids you will have, what kind of car you'll drive and more.

The cool part about the game was that if you didn't like the outcome you could just play it again. I'm pretty sure I ended up marrying Nathan, having 8 kids, driving a Porshe, and living in a mansion many times. But I never got the one where I married Jadon, lived in Carlisle Iowa, drove an Expedition, lived in a brick house, and had one dog. If I gotten that one I would have stopped playing the game because it's perfect.

We can dream all we want but we'll probably never guess all that God has in store for us. His plans are so much better than our imaginations. God knew that my perfect match was Jadon. No one else would do. And so here I am now happily married, still in awe at it all and anticipating what God will do next. It's a great place to be.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Details

I've been wanting to blog all weekend, but somehow never found the time. For some reason I was wide awake an hour before my alarm went off so here I am blogging (actually I know why I'm awake, it's because on almost every other morning I wake up at 4 a.m. for work, so 6 a.m. is actually "sleeping in")
Thanksgiving weekend has been full and fun. Adam came to spend Thanksgiving with us and it was a blast. We started our Thanksgiving with a 5 mile Turkey Trot at the snowy, freezing Iowa State Fairgrounds. During the first mile I have to admit I was a little ticked to be running in frigid weather, "just for the fun of it". But after that my competitiveness kicked in and I knew I was going to finish the race.
As with every race I run, I'm always amazed at the different styles of running. Some people make amazing progress moving in what seems to be very unconventional ways. There was a man in front of us who had a profound waddle and yet he covered ground quickly. Running is the greatest sport because everyone has there own technique and as long as your moving, it really doesn't matter. I'm sure I have a funny looking run too. I know other people in my family do and so I'm sure my run looks a lot like theirs (Aaron - the leg flinging, deer run and Nathaniel - the bowlegged, ball kicking run). So anyways, Jadon, Adam and I all ran a wonderful Turkey Trot, which not to mention is another form of running.
For Thanksgiving we met some friends at Cracker Barrel. I found out that the only restaurants open on Thanksgiving are Cracker Barrel, Village Inn, Perkins and Quik Trip. So we figured Cracker Barrel was our best option, and even though we had to wait over an hour, it was definitely the best choice.
I've never been a fan of turkey and stuffing and all that. I do like gravy, but that doesn't make a meal. So, I had one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I've ever had. I had Catfish and Fried Okra. It was wonderful. I think that instead of everyone acting like the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner is their favorite meal and pigging out on it, people should truly make and eat their favorite food and more fully enjoy the feeling of fullness. If Thanksgiving is an "eating day" why not make it your favorite. I think next year I'll have fried mushrooms, scallops, a salad with honey mustard dressing and raspberry pie with lots of whip cream, unless of course I have some new favorites by then.
My time is quickly running out so before I go I also wanted to mention my hair. I got it chopped off. Kind of on a whim. At 2:00 I told Jadon I was tired of my hair because it was hard to put it up and then wear a hat in the winter. I wanted something that I could just pull a hat over and not worry about it getting messed up. At 3:00 I called the hair lady and set up an appointment. At 4:00 I looked up hair styles on the Internet and at 5:00 I got it whacked off. I like it, it's simple, it's fun and as far as I'm concerned hair is a commodity, you can play with it because it will always grow back. I'll email some pictures around.
Well the alarm should be going off right now so I'm going get started on my day. Until next time, Over and Out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mixed Feelings About Snow

It's snowing outside right now. It's our first snow of the year and I have mixed feelings about it. When it first started coming down, I was at work, I felt all cheery and jittery inside when I looked outside and saw the flakes drifting down. Then when I was walking back to my car and the snow was blasting me in the face my feelings changed a little. I didn't feel like an excited kid anymore. I felt cold, and wet and all I could think is, "you're almost there, you're almost there" Driving home in the snow brought out even more feelings, such as, fear, inpatience, annoyance, tension, anxiety, and relief once I was home. And now that I am home with Jadon and there is a fire in the fire place and it's warm and cozy, I feel.... cuddly (that's not really a feeling, but that's how I feel) and at ease and totally content. So, all that to say, "It's snowing outside, and I have mixed feelings about it"

It's gotta snow sometime, might as well be today!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My First Living History Farms Race


I'm pumped!!! I ran my first "Living History Farms" race today. It's probably the funnest run I've ever done. It's a 7 mile run and the largest Turkey Trot in the United States. There were around 6,800 people who registered to run and I just read that 6,240 people finished the race. The rest of the results aren't posted yet so I don't know if I won or not :-).

Actually I know I didn't. There were hoards of people in front of me and hoards of people behind me. It kinda felt like the Exodus and I bet a guy named Moses won.

Jadon and I finished in 1 hour 10 minutes and 25 seconds. Not bad considering we had to walk for about 5 minutes at the start because it was so packed, and I stopped to go the bathroom in a corn field. There were people from lots of other states and even other countries. We also discovered that dressing up is kinda the thing to do. There were people in santa costumes, indian costums, half-naked, bare foot, with masks, you name it, they were there. Jadon and I layered, but that's it. And really, I'm glad we didn't dress up. At mile 3 I heard a guy in a costume say, "this the point when wearing a costume isn't fun any more"

So the greatest part of the race is the terrain and the route. It's just this random course through the Iowa "wilderness". I slogged through 3 creeks, climbed up hills using a rope, crawled over logs and under trees and pretty much had the time of my life. It was like racing without rules. There wasn't a trail to stay on, there was a course, but even that was up to the runners discretion. Basically it was all open terrain and everyone just wanted to "get there".

I fell pretty hard once and banged my shin up, but other than that I'm no worse from the wear. In fact, I'm probably better andI've got an incredible "runner's high" goin' on - I'm still pumped from running this morning and I'm already anticipating running again next year. I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

People Watching

I love watching people, and working at starbucks I get a chance to see so many different people. Today a man came in with his dress shirt untucked and buttoned up wrong. I told him he was looking little casual. He said he had picked up his work clothes from the dry cleaners on his way to work and had changed while he was driving. He didn't seem to care that he was rumbled and crooked. He said he would get it together after he drank his coffee.
There are also two indian men who come in and order a Grande Brewed Coffee with an extra cup. Then they go over to the condiment bar and split the coffee and fill the rest of their cup of with milk. They've figured out that it's cheaper that way. They take turns paying.
There is a blind man who comes in almost every day. I love helping him. He is so cheerful and friendly and it's fun to tell him what all the pastries look like so that he knows what he wants to order.
Another man orders a shot of espresso, then downs it in one gulp at the bar and walks out. And there is a lady who insists on having red sprinkles on every single drink she orders. Everyday I look forward to who I will meet. God has made so many beautiful, hilarious, and completely original people. What a joy to see just a few of them

Monday, November 12, 2007

God is Good

I went running today and I decided to treat Iowa like Wyoming. I considered all the land, public land and I went off roading. It was blast. I had Maya with me and together we ran through corn fields, hay fields, ditches and tree lines. There were deer tracks everywhere and Maya was going nuts trying to keep up with all the new scents. The sun was also going down and it was beautiful.
The whole run was exhilerating. As I ran I was overwhelmed with how amazing God is. He created it all, He gave me the ability and the strength to be running, He blessed me with a dog who loves to run more than I ever will, or ever want to, He gave me the most wonderful husband in the world, He provides for all my needs, and He blesses me with much more than I deserve. So as I ran I cried too, out of awe and gratitude to God.
Looking back I realize it may have been one of my most dangerous runs. It was dusk, the terrain was uneven and unpredictable, I wasn't following a road, I wasn't watching my feet, my vision was blurred by my tears and I hadn't told anyone where I was going. But then, sometimes we have to do something a little dangerous to more fully see God.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Using up a gift card

Where do they keep the 24 year old, married, modest, outdoorsy, sporty, slightly classy clothing in a department store?
Today Jadon and I went shopping. I was looking for a pare of black or kahki pants. I didn't think it would be too hard. Wrongo! The pants I found were either extra low rise, stretch, extra flare, extra tight, making me look like I was trying to be one of Jadon's students instead of his wife. Or the pants were high rise, pleated, spandex waste, with a tappered leg, making me look like elementary librarian. I just wanted a normal pair of pants. I wanted to look 24, not 13, or 52.
After much searching I found one working pair of pants.
I wish someone would just hang one of those signs above the single, solitary rack of normal pants that says, "start here". But then it wouldn't be "shopping", it would just be called "finding" oh well!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What to do?

So, the strangest thing happened today. After working all morning, going for a run and doing some cleaning I was looking forward to a leisurely soak in the the bath tub. I had just gotten in, the water was still running as the tub filled up. When the temp was right and the tub was full, I went to turn the water off. To my disappointment the hot water would not turn off. I twisted the knob as hard as I could and still hot water poured from the faucet. Well, since I had just gotten in I decided to continue bathing and worry about it when I was done. It was the fastest bath I've ever taken. Most baths end with a person climbing out because their water has gotten cold. Not this one. I was soon leaping out because I was being boiled alive. I did make it out safely, and what dirt I didn't have time to scrub off was definately seared off.
Earlier that day Jadon and I discussed what to do with our Saturday evening. We tossed different ideas around like going to watch a movie, staying home to watch a movie, going shoping and things like that. We never totally decided what we were going to do though. We soon found that it didn't matter though. Sometimes you make plans and other times life makes the decisions for you. We hadn't even considered the option of working on plumbing, going to pick up parts and yelling "ok, here it goes", "is it on?" "is it dripping?" "is it still dripping?" over and over to eachother through the walls of the house.
Our options were so limited. I can't believe we didn't think of plumbing problems as a Saturday evening event. Maybe we'll do it again sometime. Hopefully not too soon though, I wouldn't want to overdo it and get tired of it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Up and At'em

Morning is so beautiful. It's new, it's fresh. I gives us every opportunity to live the day for Jesus. There are always consequences from the days before. But the potential of today and the days to come are so much bigger and stronger than the past. And the only reason for that is Jesus.
What if we were stuck in yesterday? What if there was no fresh start? What a hopeless situation.
But Jesus brings mornings, new days, fresh starts, light, another chance to glorify him.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Nasal Congestion

So, I read Jadon's blog and decided I wanted one of my own. I'm not to great with computers and technology but really this isn't too hard.
I've been sick at home all day so setting up my blog gave me something to do as well. Hopefully I'm not to out of it to make sense.
So this is what I feel like right now. I feel kind of like a baby, my head feels much bigger than my body. It actually feels like it could explode. There is this pressure behind my eyeballs that makes me feel like a whipcream can. It's all pressurized in there. And I sure wish someone could push on the side of my head and make it all come out.
But alas, we all know that nasal congestion doesn't play the game that easily. No, it makes you sniff until you feel light headed and then blow until your nose is raw. If you lean to the left, it leans too, if you lean to the right, it leans too. But, the neat thing about it is that it's like a sippy cup. You can lean, and it will slosh, but it doesn't spill.
However, when you are least expecting it, it will suddenly pour from your nose in a stream that almost resembles water.
So in between nose blowings, medicating myselft and drinking, drinking, drinking like my mom said I've done almost nothing today. But others tell me that sometimes it's hard for me to take a break and relax, so maybe this is just what I needed.
Hopefully I can be back in the saddle tommorrow
Aud