Thursday, February 28, 2013

For Your Listening Pleasure

So, get this: Treehouse Sanctum has three shows coming up!

Who knew they were getting so popular?

Well, apparently a lot of people because they are quickly working their way up the ranks in Colorado. And last week they were on the radio for ONE WHOLE HOUR! I listened from my hotel room in Philadelphia and I couldn't have been more proud of Danya and the big, gangly brother of mine.

SIDE NOTE: Don't you find that siblings make you want to drop-kick them into next week one minute and throw them a parade the next? Jacob and Esau had similar problems so it must be biblical.

Anyway, if you are ready to listen to some fun music and mix up your routine a little, check out these dates, starting with TONIGHT:

Show #1:
Where: Quixote's True Blue (new location: 314 E 13th Ave)
When: Thursday 02/28 @ 9pm
With: Collin Whelley's Appalachian Beardsmen & The Ghost of Joseph Buck

Show #2:
Where: Marquis Theater (
When: Saturday 03/09 @ 8pm
With: Current Swell (Blues Rock from BC) & Policulture (Reggae from Boulder)

Show #3:
Where: Paris on the Platte
When: Saturday 03/16 @ 9pm
With: a group of friends & some Irish swagger

All three shows are bound to be a good time, at least that is what I am banking on. Thanks for the love, peeps!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Greener Grass

Every time I return from a trip, whether that be overseas or over state lines, I hit a bit of a slump. I find myself discontent, bored and tired, making me the most dull person to be around. I am sure it has something to do with the return to normalcy and the coming off of some sort of travel high.

Currently, that is my state of being. It does not make for good blog material. No one wants to read about my overwhelming pile of laundry or how I feel like I need to change everything in my life that I have the power to change: where I live, what I wear, my hobbies and my hairstyle. Apparently, I am caught between wanting to do nothing at all and doing everything I possibly can. And that just makes me tired.

My trip to Philadelphia was insanely busy and full of many wonderful new things, like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company which has the best cookies ever created in the history of baking. That, my friends, was a gem of a find. I was also on an extrovert's joy ride, talking and meeting with tons of people every day, discussing things that are dear to my heart and crucial to my work. And I lived for five days in a fabulous hotel with a Starbucks downstairs and the aforementioned cookies right out the front door. Obviously, I was slightly out of touch with reality and even considered taking the housekeeper home with me.

On the flip side, Philadelphia was cold and windy, I ate only carbohydrates for five days straight and I hated paying $13 everyday just to have internet. Part of me was craving home and everything familiar.

I realize I am a very fickle human being. I want what I do not have or cannot attain, yet I long for everything familiar when I no longer have it in front of me. I want both the exciting and the mundane, the thrill and the calm, the adventure and the routine. And at the end of the day, I just want to lie down on the couch and watch Netflix.

What the heck?!

On Saturday, while Vicki and I were busy talking to people about IDEAS and our work in social justice, a couple of girls came up to talk to us. I asked one of them what she was enjoying about the conference and she said this:

"I learned that if I am always thinking that the grass is greener somewhere else, perhaps I need to ask the Holy Spirit to water the grass I am standing on."

*blink, blink.*

Well, isn't that just brilliant.

Perhaps there is beauty embedded in my pile of laundry. Perhaps I can make my own unbelieavably delicious cookies. Perhaps I do not need to get on an airplane just to find adventure.

Perhaps I need some help with watering.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Snow Day

As Vicki and I were getting ready to head to the airport this morning, we got a text saying that our flight from Philly to Denver was cancelled because of the blizzard in Denver. I am so thankful we received it before we left the hotel because it made our day so much easier. All we had to do was turn around, re-check into our rooms and book our flights for Monday.

I so love technology.

So, for our "snow day" in Pennsylvania, Vicki and I set out for an ATM to bankroll our outings. Unfortunately, the GPS lead us astray, not once, but twice, and when you are navigating all of that by foot, an outing turns into a pilgrimage.

I hate technology.

However, along the way, we found the LOVE park! Recognize this famous sign?

I think every city should have a LOVE sign.

And, of course, a giant macaroni:

And yes, yes I do love it.

We then ventured forth and spent two hours in the Barnes Foundation Museum. Dr. Barnes was a doctor from Philadelphia who amassed a huge collection of Impressionistic art and donated it to the city. It was incredible to see Manets, Renoirs and Van Goghs up close. I feel more sophisticated just typing that out.

While we were inside growing our minds and expanding our artistic tastes, an arctic blast from the frozen north swept into the city and we fought each block on the way back by walking at a 45 degree angle. We finally found our way to Chili's where I ate my weight in guacamole. I think food tastes better when you come in from the cold.

For the evening, Vicki and I are geared up to watch the Oscars and dissect all of the red carpet dresses. This is, by far, the best part of this show. We are also casting ballots on who will win and the loser has to buy the other one dessert. My game face and my stretchy pants are ready for the challenge.

So, whether you are snowed-in in Denver, stranded in Philly, or you are somewhere in between, I hope you have a glorious Sunday evening. I look forward to getting home tomorrow but I must say that I have really loved my time in Philadelphia. Between the history, art, room service and the Reading Terminal Market next door, I may just stay in this Marriott forever.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Promoting Justice

Hello from the Philadelphia Convention Center!

Today is the first day of the Justice Conference where we are recruiting for positions in anti-human trafficking, women's empowerment and peace and reconciliation. Here is Vicki at our booth:

Lizz said we look totally legit, which is something you always want to hear about your place of employment.

The conference runs for two full days and they are expecting 5000 people to attend. It is every extrovert's dream.

I get to wear this very cool laniard with an all-access pass to anything I want.

I may hold on to this! Maybe I can have access to other things too, like meeting Dave Matthews or something.

If you are in the Philly area, drop on by! We are giving away Snickers and luggage tags, both crucial to our work.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Birthplace of Freedom and Cheesesteaks

I am feeling a bit patriotic today. As a history nut, Philadelphia is like the Disneyland of historical playgrounds. Everywhere you turn is another famous house or building or statue of someone who was instrumental in my ability to travel, work and bake with freedom.

I really love this land of ours.

We took a bus through the city that stops at all of the important places. It was colder than the arctic tundra so I was very happy to just ride along.

Here are the "Rocky" steps. I swear I could hear the guy next to me humming Eye of the Tiger.

At Independence Hall, we got out and walked around. This place is incredible. It actually made me a little teary.

Oh, if these walls could talk.

And then, there's this:

I had the overwhelming urge to ring it but an orange jumpsuit is not my best look.

We stopped for lunch at Reading Market. It is the most amazing covered market that just happens to be across the street from my hotel.

Oh, darn.

It is filled with bakeries, sandwich shops, butcher shops, cheese stalls and ice cream counters. It is every kind of culinary wonderful.

We rounded out the first half of our day with a cheesesteak. When in Rome, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Tuesday That I Thought Was Monday

As you may have guessed in my title, I woke up thinking that today was Monday. I know that does not make any sense since we just lived through Monday, but I did not have to work yesterday so I must have just thought that yesterday was my second Sunday.

However, can you imagine my SHEER DELIGHT when I realized that today is actually Tuesday?! It's the small things, people, that help us get through our days. Even days that we thought we had already lived or had not yet lived or were living twice.

This weekend was all about catching up with friends, catching up on laundry and catching up on sleep. I took Friday off from work as a day to recover from our marathon of meetings in the last two weeks. I tried to lay as horizontal as possible for most of the day, with the exception of eating pancakes with my girl Tara.

Saturday, my mom and I trekked to Alamosa where we spent time with my dad. Alamosa is known as one of the coldest towns in Colorado but thankfully the day was beautiful and you could actually enjoy walking outside. I have come to greatly appreciate the Walmart in Alamosa. Not only is it the only place to shop, but it also has items that I cannot find anywhere else, like cinnamon chips (for this amazing recipe) and cupcake liners that look like soccer balls.

Again, it is the small things that make our world a better place.

Sunday, I finally did a few loads of laundry. I also nearly got bucked off the elliptical machine while I was trying to text (thanks a lot, Melissa) and went to a crazy delicious restaurant with my great friend Sara. Since I knew I did not have to work yesterday, I stayed up way too late eating ice cream and finally finishing the West Wing series. I always hate ending a series. I feel like I have lost some close friends who I know are completely imaginary. But still, goodbyes are never easy.

Monday dawned bright and early with a few work emails, a breakfast burrito with Lizzy and a quick drive up to see Sam and Noah. Noah also had the day off and Sam was working from home. When I left, I wished them all a very happy President's Day in which Noah promptly replied, "You have made this the best President's Day of my life."

And then my heart melted into a puddle and I died.

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, vacuuming, having a quick but wonderful meal with Melanie, Bible study and making a chocolate ganache tart for a birthday party. I don't think the presidents thought that the day set aside to celebrate their collective birthdays would be filled with vacuuming and tarts, but what they don't know won't kill them, right?

Tomorrow, I head out to the bustling city of brotherly love, also known as Philadelphia. My colleague and I are recruiting for job positions overseas and will return on Sunday. Since Dowtown Abbey has concluded for the year, (which, by the way, WHAT THE HECK, Julian Fellowes!?) my goal is to go to bed early and sleep until Easter. If that actually happens, eat a marshmallow peep for me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear Future Husband - Valentine's Day Edition

Dear Future Husband,

I really love this day. You should know that about me. I really love that there is an entire day set aside for eating chocolate and attempting to be romantic.

I also want you to know that I will be very schmaltzy on Valentine's day. I will probably decorate our house in hearts, wear red and pink all day long and make you dinner instead of going out.

Unless, of course, you choose to whisk me off to Paris or something. Then I will gladly let someone else do the cooking.

In case you are reading this and want to tuck a few nuggets away for next year (or whatever year we celebrate together), here are a few things you should know:

1. I don't like stuffed animals because I am convinced they are full of the plague or some other life-threatening disease.

2. I love tulips and peonies more than roses. And if that is the only thing you choose to give me on this day, I will soak up every minute of them until they fall apart.

3. If you choose to incorporate dancing at any point during the day (or on any day, for that matter), I will melt into a big puddle of lovey goo and think you are the most romantic person ever to be born.

4. Washing my car or washing the dishes will mean more to me than jewelry. Acts of service is my love language so hopefully you will come with your own tool belt.

5. I promise to tell you my expectations and will try my hardest not to get mad if you don't meet them. I apologize in advance if I am unable to stick to this one.

So, there is my Valentine's Day list. I am a low-maintenance kind of girl, unless you forget all together. But I doubt you will. You just seem to be that kind of guy.

SIDE NOTE: I realize that one day we may have children and may not have slept for three weeks. And there is a really good possibility that we may be too tired to celebrate this day, so I hereby decree that if we forego the wining and dining in place of a nap, I will still consider you the Don Juan of Valentine's Day.

Until then, soak up this day without having a care in the world. And I promise to eat chocolate for the both of us.

Yours truly,
The FC

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hometown Headline

I just saw this headline on the news: "A porta potty meth lab found on a golf course in Oklahoma."

Keeping it classy one outhouse at a time.

The Check Engine Light of Death

As I was driving home from work yesterday, my check engine light came on.

Car repairs rank right up there with dental visits, hangnails and cellulite: not my favorite. I think it has something to do with me not wanting to look stupid in front of mechanics. But it also has something to do with me not ever wanting to pay money for anything that isn't wonderful or exciting. And these repairs always come right when you feel like you have gained some sort of financial stability, or at least aren't eating ramen noodles anymore.

At first, I pretended I didn't see it. My car was still running quite nicely, no odd smells were coming out of the heater, no smoke was billowing out of my hood.

However, it is hard to pretend it doesn't exist when the neon glow of the light is staring you right in the face.

When I pulled into the garage, I decided to turn my car off and then on again, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke of some kind. Flukes never happen to me but I was feeling particularly lucky yesterday.

That didn't last long. The light continued to blare like it was from Las Vegas.

Next, I pushed as many buttons as possible because that was the only logical next step. Sometimes, I even pushed buttons simultaneously. I figured that is how I power down my iPhone when it isn't working properly so why not try it with a Honda. Tell me this doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense.

So I did what any single girl would do who believes that cars and technology should always work and magically fix themselves, I turned off my car, walked inside and decided to take a small vacation to the land of Denial. It is my most favorite place to visit.

The next 12 hours were glorious.

But when I woke up this morning I knew that I needed to call and make an appointment. Thankfully, they could see me right away. I always go to the same place and they are always so nice and helpful. When they asked why I was there, I said "Well, this light came on so here I am."

And he said, "That's great. I am glad you brought it in. Why don't you hop out and I'll give it a quick look-over."

So, I grabbed my purse and my apple and anything else I didn't want men in jumpsuits to see, and walked over to the side and waited for an initial report.

Finally, he came over and said, "We'll need to keep it for a little bit to check it out. The bad news is that we will have to take it apart to figure out the problem. Just to do diagnostics will cost you $116. The good news is that you do have an engine. If you didn't, it would cost you a lot more."

I do love a man with a good sense of humor. And yes, I am glad that I have an engine. That would be a automotive miracle if I didn't.

Now I just have to wait to see if I need to sell a kidney to get my car back. Hopefully not, I am very partial to my kidneys.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Like a Rock In Your Shoe

I think this situation with my dad is like walking around with a rock in your shoe.

Every once in a while it is almost unnoticeable, like that rock has rolled to the one part in your shoe that inflicts the least amount of discomfort.

Other times, the pain takes your breath away and you immediately have to stop and sit down. One more step may be more than you can handle.

Regardless of the location, you never really forget it is there. And if you had your choice, you would gladly chuck that thing in the dirt.

I think that rock, in a very strange, mysterious way, is one of the many ways God woos us to Him.

Rocks point to His grace, His extravagance, His provision.

Rocks remind us that we actually need Him.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
~2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, February 11, 2013

A List: Meetings Are My World

Aaaaaannnnddd...I'm back!

I am on day 8 of work. We had meetings from morning to night through the weekend and a full schedule in the office both last week and this week. I could use a nap and someone to wash my clothes.

Since the majority of my time lately has been professionally preoccupied, I do want to mention a few important things:

1. I am wearing tights today. As in the thicker version of pantyhose. As in at 6:45 this morning I was in a full-on wrestling match with myself to get them on. If you see me, please appreciate the effort and the fact that I burned 588 calories all before the sun was officially up. Thank you.

2. I am now watching The West Wing on Netflix. Yes, 1999 called and wants Martin Sheen back but it is a really great show! It is now my goal to be the press secretary for the president, although I think I would last approximately 30 seconds before I would just start crying at the podium. Reporters have a way of making me very nervous.

3. Next month is Spring. Doesn't that make you happy way down deep?

4. Did anyone watch the Grammy's last night? I didn't, I was too busy laying down and not moving. Even using the remote was too much work. Anyway, I saw a picture of Beyonce in her black and white pantsuit and wanted to know your thoughts on it. I am typically not a pantsuit person because I think they look like onsies for adults, but there was something I loved about it. I don't know, maybe I am in the midst of a fashion identity crisis but she did stand out among all the other sequin-encrusted dresses. Or, maybe I just loved her shoes.Whatever.

5. I am headed to Philadelphia next week for a work trip and my colleague and I are going to take a tour of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and a walking tour of the Constitution. Yes, I am nerd. No, I don't care. Long live history majors.

I hope your Monday is full of hot coffee.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baking Success

So, this actually happened:

It is a baking miracle!

I found frosting on my arm this morning AFTER I had already taken a shower. I would call that a total success...or questionable showering. Whichever.

And I didn't even catch myself on fire, although I did drop a lemon seed into the frosting and it took me a really long time to find it. I am just hoping there was only one. 

Thanks for all the cheerleading. I have a few extras if you want one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Six Dozen

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my amazingly wonderful, totally spontaneous, wacky friend Lizz. You know her well and all of her Las Vegas wedding glory.

Here we are on my birthday at the D Bar where we had cheese-smothered french fries, baked mac and cheese and a piece of cake with a milkshake.

Yeah, I am still working that one off. That meal is currently in an all-out battle with my "skinny" jeans.

Anyway...Lizz called me yesterday and asked me if I could perhaps/possibly/pretty please bake six dozen cupcakes and have them ready by Wednesday morning.

As in tomorrow morning.

And she wants two dozen chocolate with chocolate fudge frosting, two dozen vanilla bean with vanilla cream cheese frosting and two dozen lemon with lemon cream cheese frosting. No biggie.

To her credit, she has repeatedly said that she could order them from a grocery store (Oh no, that simply won't do) or have another person make them. I really appreciate her thoughtfulness and concern, but I have emphatically replied, "Lizzy, I've got this. I can do it."

Pride cometh, does it not?

I may be overselling myself a bit. You see, Mondays are a complete wash for me because I go straight from work to working out to dinner to Bible study and usually do not get home until 9:30. Today is equally as busy with work and very important conversations with friends tonight yet somehow I am convinced that six dozen cupcakes will just magically appear by 8:00 tomorrow morning. That can happen right? They can just appear, can't they?

The issue is really this: I want to make them. I want to be knee-deep in cream cheese and cocoa powder because those are my love languages, my therapy. And I don't want to miss an opportunity to bake for friends. That is at the top of my most favorite-thing-in-the-world list. And I really love Lizzy, I don't want to let her down.

So, friends, in all of my first-world baking problems, six dozen cupcakes is the challenge and I am perfectly content thinking that I may lose sleep over it. I may need to wear a cape instead of an apron today. Let's just hope I don't set myself on fire.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Perspiration Party

In response to the previous post, I just worked out for the first time since Christmas.

I think I am sweating sprinkles.

I Am Still Hibernating, Dang It!

I was in Target this week and guess what I encountered:


Life was so much better when I lived in a state of denial and salted chocolate caramels.