Saturday, October 27, 2007

She'll make her way.

I used this image for my Evite and I'm a little frightened at how well their graphic design department has my style aesthetic pegged. I guess I'm a little whimsical and different just like everybody else.

Anyway, I turned 30 on Thursday. It was there on my to-do list right between "coordinate the next up/rooted meeting" and "laundry."

I have to say it feels pretty good. I felt sparkly all day on Thursday and still feel pretty good today.

I woke up naturally around 5:30 and spent about an hour luxuriating in bed, which is my favorite thing to do of all time. I can never remember what time I was born but when I talked to my mom, she reminded me by pointing out that she didn't call at 5:30. I got out of bed, put on my red, maroon, black and lime green striped tights with my sexy black pencil skirt and a demure black 3/4 length cardigan. I know I'm in big dork school because I answered a question about the outfit by saying that bright colors were a function of my birthday. And it's true. I've always wanted to wear rainbows on my birthday as a teenager and an adult. My father called a little before 8:00 and told me that about that time 30 years earlier, he had pulled off the expressway at the Dempster exit to call my grandmother and tell her that she had a beautiful granddaughter. He did not cry. However, when I called my mother at work and left a voice mail for her thanking her for going through the trouble and inconvenience of my birth, I got to the end of telling her that the effort was worth it because it's been a pretty good 30 years overall, I cried. I guess I am definitely my father's daughter.

I bopped through the rest of the morning and as the bus pulled up to school, Natalie Merchant's "Wonder" rotated into my iPod. I love this song. Especially on my birthday morning, I felt like she was singing with my mouth. Her description of the miracle of birth for every child gives me a deep feeling of joy and I recognize the feeling of being special just like everyone else as absolute truth.

Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me. Stand over my bed, disbelieving what they're seeing.

They say I must be one of the wonders of god's own creation. And as far as they can see they can offer no explanation.

O, I believe Fate smiled and Destiny laughed as she came to my cradle, "Know this child will be able." Laughed as she came to my mother, "Know this child will not suffer." Laughed as my body she lifted, "Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith. She'll make her way."

With love, with patience and with faith.

Now, goodness knows that I have not always been the most patient of people. But people have been patient with me. And that is a gift greater than almost any of the others because it gave me room to grow without having too much of my growth clipped off by overzealous gardeners.

Anyway, class was good. My friends didn't show up until 5 minutes before class so there was no one to shout "Happy Birthday!" as I sat there but they more than made up for it once they got there. In the TA session for econ later in the afternoon, I turned a corner and it no longer sounded like a foreign language. Maybe it was because this was the 4th or 5th time I've seen the material or maybe it was cute and nerdy Yuri the TA who carries his own colored chalk in his backpack to illustrate the optimal consumer bundle on the budget constraint. Regardless, right now, econ no longer scares and does not leave me in a puddle of despair. I will still have to work my ass off to pass my mid-term, but it's no longer impossible to do so. After that, I had a great meeting with my mentor with some really hopeful implications for my professional future.

Then, on to my friend Jake's condo for aforementioned Evited party. About 15 of my friends from all different aspects of my life showed up for Lou Malnati's pizza and Coca-Cola. Because it was my party, there was no diet Coke and no mushrooms. I loved it. My friends don't tend to know many of the others. There were a couple from junior high, one from college, one from my first teaching job, several from my last church, one guy that I went on three dates with off but decided we'd be better friends, my brother Daniel, and my friends from school. I love it that they're all willing to just put themselves out there and ask each other how they know me, then let the conversation go from there. It was delightful to be able to just bop around conversations.

Erika brought me a rediculous crown that said, "Birthday Princess" that I wore all night. It had pink tinsel and was totally awesome. Shiny pink zebra stripes was certainly a reflection of how good I feel being thirty. As I said in the invitation: "My 20s were slightly tumultuous but also full of joy and learning. I'll be happy to leave them behind and see what my 30s bring me. Join me in saying hello to them,will you?"

I extend the same invitation to you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Please pray for Pastor Daniel

This morning I got a phone call from my dad. He told me that he had received an email telling him that the pastor of my old church, Daniel Hill, had been in a car accident last night and is currently struggling with short term memory loss.

Please pray for Pastor Daniel. He is one of God's childrens like we all are. Also, he's a good man with a good vision and an amazing talent for preaching. I like him quite a bit and I hate to imagine how he and his wife must be feeling right now.

My main sense of identity involves my intelligence. The thought of losing any part of my brain function scares the hell out of me. I worry that I won't be myself any longer. I am praying that Pastor Daniel won't be as scared as I would be. He once said that a major step toward racial reconciliation is taking your identity out of your race and putting it into Jesus. I think his words also apply to anything else we identify with: if I think of myself as a child of God first and a smart girl second, I have nothing to fear. Still, I'm human and so is he. So, I pray for him that he will not fear.

Please consider doing so, as well.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mary Lena Gets Married!

So, my cousin Mary Lena got married last weekend in Danville, where my family line originates. My immediate family drove down there and my extended family also came out. It was a gorgeous fall weekend and I had a really nice time just being with them and being put to work wherever I could be helpful.
Here's Mary with her new husband Ed and our Great Aunt Emma.

My brother Daniel turned out in his hot pink ruffled tuxedo shirt with his natty pin-striped suit and white belt. Notice my mother's rhinestone glasses. I believe that the appropriate cliche involved apples and trees.

My brothers Paul (on the left) and David (in the center) also made the drive down. Kimberly, Paul's girlfriend, was lovely and gracious in sitting with the two knuckleheads.

My father has a history of callng my cousins at important milestones in their lives to congratulate them and dissolving into tears by the end of the voice mail. They promptly call each other and share the messages, much to his chagrin. So, I thought that I'd document the visual for Mary of what he looks like while doing this.

Of course, the reason that they subject him to such ridicule is that he will do things like insert himself and my Uncle Kim in the front of the church during pictures because he's certain that the photographer wants one of them, too.

Two of these cousins are that my father dotes on are Megan and Eva. They had the difficult task of lighting the candles before the ceremony started. I'm afraid I disturbed some of the guests with my uninhibited laughter caused by Eva blowing out her lighter and being unable to get it lit again. Seriously, what's a family wedding without laughter?

Here is the talented and beautiful duo as they return from their daunting journey.

Finally, I wanted to share with you the picture that my purse took of me. I'm very glad that I had no boogers and pleased that the slight curve of cleavage showing looks pretty damn good.

Thanks for getting married, Mary. It was all sorts of fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007


So, my birthday is coming up and since I know that I have abandoned you recently, I thought I would share a birthday-themed photo.

This is my younger brother Daniel's third birthday party. I know my bad grandma took the picture because it's a polaroid and she always had a polaroid. It's a good thing she did and that she disowned us several years ago and signalled aforementioned disowning by sending us all the pictures in her archive that she didn't want any more. Otherwise, I wouldn't have pictures like this that look like they belong in the pages on Gourmet magazine.

I'd like you to notice Daniel's adorable little overalls and my pixie hair cut. I used to think I looked like a boy but I think my mom made a pretty good choice for this particular five-year-old.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SMRT, I mean S-M-A-R-T

So, I've been ignoring you and I'm sorry.

It's not you.

It's me,

If it makes you feel any better, the fruits of your neglect are that I can now tell you what the following means:

I can also talk about game theory and externalities and indifference curves and and null hypotheses and what feels like a zillion other new things.

In this post I feel pretty smart but in general, I feel pretty dumb. I'm so out of my league. I believe that I will grow to full-sized so that at some point I won't feel like a t-ball player in a little league game, panicking because a ball is actually barreling toward my face. However, until that time, most of Intermediate Microeconomics (see homework assignment above) will feel like a foreign language the first time I encounter any of it.

Right now I'm at the Christian Community Development Association conference with my mom and dad. With free wireless between good speakers, I'll try to catch you up with what's going on here in this grad student's life.