Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Every day I'm at my desk by 6:30 a.m. I wake up at 5:10 and by 6:15 am pulling onto Broadway in downtown Nashville. The early sunrise surprised me when I first moved to Tennessee. Nashville is on the eastern edge of central time, so during the summer the sun sometimes pops up at 5 a.m. (Sleeping in is difficult.) To be presented with such radiant colors as I start my day is a gift.


take two.

It's been nine months since I closed on my house and nearly six since I've made any deliberate attempt at decorating. But today I was in the mood so I tried a little. Here's my problem: I can sit down and have a vision for what I want a room to look like. I can draw it out and in my head, it looks fabulous. But I have extreme difficulty when it comes to making it happen. I go to the store and simply cannot find what I want, or in the color or price range I want. So I'm left working with what I've got, and everyone knows it's very difficult to win a championship with a bunch of B-team players.

Wall art. I'm quite fond of it.
I got a couple of glass dishes and filled them with potpourri.
This one is in my bathroom with the tea lights.
Clock and shelf
So I tried to put up a clock and shelves in my dining room. Kind of a disaster. The shelves (three of them) came with picture frames; I got them in Andrea and Matt's garage sale leftovers. They are very similar to the cubes I put up in March: very difficult to hang. At least the first shelf I got the screws in the right spots so they slid into the back of the shelf, but my drywall anchors keep falling forward, even though they're the fancy kind with hooks on the back so you don't lose them in the wall.

So that shelf in the picture is very much slanted forward and I don't know how to fix it. I still have two more shelves (a medium- and small-length) to put up, but I'm going to put that project on hold until I fix the first. You don't get any do-overs in this unless you want to end up with a bunch of holes in your wall. Pictures are a piece of cake to hang. It's this double-screws-holding-up-the-entire-structure nonsense that I can't do. That, and pancakes. I'm too impatient.

Practice makes perfect,


the city that listens.

Today I met up with Anne, Sam, and Zoe at Centennial Park to enjoy Musicians Corner.
Kennan Hunter
Alli Rogers

Westbound Rangers
Courtney Jaye
 Anne :)
Crowd in the park
All the music was great. I was excited to see Alli Rogers because I spent a lot of time in college listening to her music. I'm glad I decided to not go to the writers conference today. I woke up early this morning and got a lot done: two loads of laundry and lots of cleaning. Lots. of. cleaning.

Until tomorrow,



Cheryl, me, Jessica, Andy, Jeff
This is the LW Preteen team: Cheryl, me (Alyssa), Jessica, Andy, and Jeff. We work on Sunday School curriculum and a devotional magazine for preteens. I think we should start a band.


                                   "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
                                   your sins like the morning mist.
                                  Return to me,
                                   for I have redeemed you." 
                                                                                                         —Isaiah 44:22



On days like this, I would like to work outside. Our preteen team went out this morning around 8:30 for a team picture to go on a Web site. I met Jennifer (my former roomie) for lunch out on the LW plaza. Soaked up the sun then went back to endure a few more hours in my windowless and very noisy office. My office is at a corner where three hallways intersect and it seems to be a popular place to talk. It's a good thing I'm not an impulse buyer, because I almost solved the problem for $20. Most of the time I depend on my earbuds and tunes to keep me going. Here are a few artists worth checking out:
1) Rosalyn - Thad Cockrell
2) The Invasion (Hero) - Trip Lee
3) Warrior - Sojourn

Also today I got Google Voice. It's free and gives you a phone number you can link to your phone. So now I have a Nashville number (area code 615) that I can give to people. When they call it, it will ring my cell phone (a Kansas area code). Google Voice will also save your voicemails online and transcribe your voicemail to text. Perfect because I hate checking voicemail on my phone. You can also opt to have text messages sent to your e-mail. This is great for me because on more than one occasion, I have gotten too click-happy on my phone and deleted all of my texts. Now they'll be saved online and I can easily search them and find that mailing address or photo or whatever I'm looking for.

This Saturday I was signed up to go to a writers conference here in Nashville to learn about getting published. But last night I decided not to go (I got a refund). Saturday will be my first day home and not busy in a very long time so I will hopefully get a lot done around the house. Also the weather should be beautiful Saturday so it would be nice to hit up Musician's Corner in Centennial from 3-6 p.m.

This week has worn me out. I wish I could pause time and catch up to it. It's been a blur. Even my dreams are wearing me out. Tonight I've shut off my A/C and opened the windows. I will undoubtedly wake up to mid-60s and a stuffy nose. Totally worth it. I'm very much looking forward to Labor Day weekend and going home to see my parents. I haven't been home since Christmas. Now Nashville feels like home.



Horse on 5th Avenue
Explorer pointing to the Ohio River
Downtown Louisville
21c Museum Hotel
Me and Nate at Southern Seminary


Last night I dreamt I was in a boat—a fairly large boat. And it was sinking. I was considerably calm because it was daylight and the water was warm and we were somewhat close to shore, and I found myself and about six of my friends balancing on deck chairs atop rocks in the sea. Then the waves got bigger and bigger and I kept getting knocked off those rocks. One of my friends lost her chair altogether but I was able to stick my hand into the surf, pull up the chair, and give it back to her. The rest of my night was spent swimming and flailing and swallowing significant amounts of salt water. I woke up exhausted.

Two nights ago I had a dream that I was at a fancy party, something important that you had to dress up for and take a date. The host was quietly panicking because the piano player she had booked was a no-show. Somehow I was convinced to play the part even though I haven't taken piano lessons since I was eight. Maybe I wanted to be the problem solver. The piano was electric and actually played itself, so I just pretended. Everyone thought I was real great but I felt like a fake.



Stinky Elizabeth
This weekend I'm hanging out in Louisville with Nate. His friends Paul and Kimi were kind to let me stay at their house. This is their cat, Stinky Elizabeth. I woke up this morning to find Stinky had puked on the floor. (I have lots of practice cleaning up cat barf thanks to Miles.) Adventures today. More later.



I've been making snickerdoodles since I had to stand on a chair to reach the mixer. They're kind of my specialty. I'll let the Louisvillians judge for themselves. Here's the recipe:

Yields approximately 5 dozen. Enjoy!


This morning I participated in a training class, Exploring Personality Type, in which I discovered my Myers-Briggs type: ISFJ.

If you've never heard of Myers-Briggs, that probably doesn't make any sense. Basically there are four areas: Extroversion (E)—Introversion (I), Sensing (S)—Intuition (N), Thinking (T)—Feeling(F), and Judging (J)—Perceiving (P). In class we talked about what each letter meant and where we might fall on each scale. A 90-question test and an examination of the types led us to discover what we are. There are 16 possibilities. (For some, there are 17. Nateoh, I'll let you be an ESPN if you really want to.) :) I am an ISFJ.

What's an ISFJ like? Not all ISFJs are alike. My clarity report showed that I am very clearly an introvert, moderately a senser, slightly a feeler, and clearly a judger (organizer/planner). 

Type Description
  • Practical, realistic, considerate, and responsible
  • Focused on the needs of others; take responsibilities seriously and expect others to do the same
  • Respectful of established procedures and authority; value harmony and cooperation
  • Likely to see facts clearly and accurately, especially those that have a personal meaning for them
  • Likely to make decisions based on personal values and concern for others
  • Sympathetic, tactful, and supportive of others
  • Usually seen by others as quiet, serious, conscientious, and traditional
I am: a sympathetic manager of facts and details, concerned with people's welfare; stable, conservative, dependable, painstaking, systematic. Having introverted sensing as my strongest mental process, I am at my best when using my sensible intelligence and practical skills to help others in tangible ways.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
I value:
  • preserving; enjoying the things of proven value
  • steady, sequential work yielding reliable results
  • a controlled, orderly outer life
  • patient, persistent attention to basic needs
  • following a sensible path, based on experience
  • a rich memory for concrete facts
  • loyalty, strong relationships
  • consistency, familiarity, the tried and true
  • firsthand experience of what is important
  • compassion, kindness, caring
  • working to a plan and schedule
  • learning through planned, sequential teaching
  • set routines, common sense options
  • rules, authority, set procedures
  • hard work, perseverance
Our graphic designer, Andy, also took the class this morning. He's basically the opposite of me except for also being an introvert. The thing is, there's no right or wrong type. People with the same type generally get along well, but differing types compliment each other and with a team of varying types, everyone has something to offer. So, there you go. My type is basically what I expected. I thought I would be more of a Thinker than a Feeler. I used to really be a Feeler when I was younger, but now I only slightly am. My Thinker side tends to kick in more when I'm at work. Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs? Which type are you?


D: Demos'

Nashville: A to Z is a series featuring things to do and places to see in and around Nashville. For more, check out the Nashville: A to Z page.

For lunch today I went with a CMP/LW Kids group to Demos' Restaurant, a steak and spaghetti house located downtown at 3rd and Commerce St. This was my second time eating there; the first time was February 12 -- my birthday. My team said, "Let's go out for your birthday. We will go to lunch wherever you want." So I picked Penn Station Subs. My team vetoed my decision and took me to Demos'. Am I bitter about being denied birthday privileges? Of course not. Well, okay, yeah, sort of. But Demos' was good and the prices are reasonable. Plus, it's within walking distance from work.

If you're looking for a place to park, there is a parking garage right next door. Rates start at $2 for 30 minutes. (Forget about finding free parking downtown!) If you're staying at a hotel downtown, walk over to Demos'!

300 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN‎ 
(615) 256-4655

Sunday - Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Open 7 days weekly except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day



Yesterday marked my one-year anniversary of working at LW. Has it really been a year? I'm more excited about my job than ever, and what an experience Year 1 has been! I think Year 2 will be even better.

Today I'm soaking in God's grace. Grace like rain. It poured on my way home and the interstates were jammed. I-440 wasn't moving but I took another route y no problemo.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. Trash day.

Thursday I'm going to a training to learn about my personality type and how I can mesh well with my coworkers. It's the Myers Briggs test. I'll let you know how it goes. In the evening, I'm planning on baking snickerdoodles for Friday (see below).

Friday I have my annual (first year) performance review. I've never had one but all I can think about is the episode of The Office titled "Performance Review." :) Also a lunch meeting I'm pretty excited about. After work I'm heading out to Louisville. This is where the cookies come in, you see. A type of peace offering to Nate's friends who will be sad when he moves to Nashville. Cookies speak to guys like that, like, "Hey, I know you're bummed, but have a cookie. It's gonna be okay." :)


this weekend.

This weekend I exhaled
and laced up my sneakers to bounce the ball
on 103-degree pavement,
through nylon nets that caught it and wouldn't let go
until we coaxed it with a slap.
Prove it, for the win.
Then the Gatorade quenched our thirst
A sweet nectar from the gods.
When the plague of gnats forced us from the grass
we threw the Frisbee in the parking lot
and walked
and talked
and balanced
beneath the building thunderheads, orange and pink
until it was time for dinner.
Tacos and jalapeno
chips and cherries and grapes
made a good night.
Saturday we Scrabbled
and so this weekend
I exhaled.



We'll just try to keep the stars from falling.

Tonight I'm writing, and revisiting Fall 2008 -- my last year at Kansas State -- courtesy of ink pressed intentionally on yellowed pages of leather journals I bought solely for the smell. Those days I contemplated the details of life and things in black and white and wrote poetry with reckless abandon. I want to write a book someday.


britt nicole.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Christian pop artist Britt Nicole. She came to LW so I could interview her for a feature in our preteen devotional magazine. The majority of my interviews are done over the phone so getting to meet Britt was a real treat. Britt is 26; I've been listening to her music since I was in high school. Her second album, The Lost Get Found, released a year ago and peaked at #1 on the Billboard's Christian Albums chart. Check out Britt's latest album, her Acoustic (EP), coming out August 24.


home again.

St. John's Harbour
I'm back in Nashville. Check out my pictures from St. John's here and read about our trip here. After getting up at 2 a.m. in St. John's (that's 11:30 p.m. in Nashville) to leave for the airport at 3 a.m., we arrived in Toronto to catch a connecting flight to Nashville. Let me tell you, getting back into the U.S. takes forever! We had about an hour to connect, and I didn't think we were going to make it. Our team had to pick up our baggage and recheck it in Toronto and then go through customs (really long line) and then through security (really, really long line). I followed Snoop Dogg through customs in Toronto. True story. We landed in Nash around 10:30 a.m. and exited onto the tarmac. It's hot here!

St. John's from Signal Hill
At home my yard was freshly cut, courtesy of Kevin. The zucchini in my garden are dying off and the bell peppers are starting to produce: red and green. My hedges are out of control though; my next task is installing an outlet on the outside of my house (and fixing my broken latch on my side door; I sliced my arm carrying in groceries yesterday) so I can use an electric trimmer. I unpacked, started laundry, vacuumed and swept my floors, showered, went to the store for groceries, and folded laundry. Then I headed over to Anne and Sam's to hang out for a bit; I was pretty sleepy because I took a half of a Benadryl to ease a stuffy nose. (And sleepy because I'd been awake since 11:30 p.m.) Anne sent me home with leftover chili and cornbread for my dinner. :)

Signal Hill over the North Atlantic
Tomorrow at 2:45 I'm interviewing Britt Nicole for the devotional magazine I work on. Back to the office tomorrow. It's good to be home again.

Ferryland, Newfoundland (08/08/10)

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