Monday, 17 December 2007


I awoke this morning with pain in my back. Oh yes, the joys of shoveling! It was fun though, getting decked out in my snow pants, mittens, ski coat, huge boots, and knitted hat. And when I got tired, I just plopped into one of the piles of snow on the side of the driveway. Amazing to be sitting in snow and not wet or cold. Yes, I am that easily amused. Hard work though. We got 8 inches of snow over night.

Shoveling is a strange concept if you think about it..... take the shovel load it with as much snow as you can and fling the snow as far as possible, ideally off the driveway, usually not though, so you get closer to the side and pick up the same snow again, this time it does get thrown onto where you guess the lawn is, yes! How many times do you pick up the same snow??? So a few hours later, the driveway was done. (all while the snow blower sat in the garage..... turns out it only works when there is less snow, not that I really like the idea of a snow blower anyway.) And there was a lady across the street shoveling and I over heard her getting yelled at. "Do you remember the one rule? Don't step on the snow!" Sad. I can understand the logic, if you compact the snow, it gets icy easier, but sounds strange and I felt bad, shoveling is hard enough, no need to be yelled at for doing it wrong.

I had not much focus or method, just pick up snow and chuck it, none of the rows. I don't have the focus for rows and find it more fun with the random method.

I did try to make a snow man once I was done but the snow was too fluffy and wouldn't stick. There is a snow angel in the backyard though and it looks great!

Friday, 14 December 2007

things moving forward

How many times does life not go the way that you thought it would? But there is something better around the corner.

So I'm off to Madison, Wisconsin, a place that I admit I don't know much about, but that's part of the fun. Just go somewhere, discover the great things about the place, your favorite places to go, meet new people there and see what happens and where life goes. New adventure.

But for the next few weeks, I am here in Michigan, enjoying time with mom and becoming a regular at the closest coffee shop to my mom's house. (they are really sweet here and pull out the soy milk as I walk in the door)

Applying for jobs is a strange concept really. I send resumes and emails and work samples to people, most of whom I am expecting not to respond. Funny cause the worst that can happen is that they won't respond. Otherwise you get a "we'll see if you have the experience we're looking for" email, which of course I don't have the experience. But somehow I still like those emails, makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere, even if it goes no further than that. And you never know what'll happen. Like I emailed design firms in Chicago that I liked, which got me a meeting with one of them, which got me the name of a recruiter. I got in contact with them, and they are great. After a nice interview there, I had someone looking out for jobs for me. Perfect. Now of course, I'm not going to Chicago, which foils that plan slightly but still a good experience. I called a place in Madison who only does design work for companies that they believe in and want to support, interesting concept, eh? That guy was friendly and gave me some suggestions of places to look into. Like a big jigsaw puzzle or a maze or something, some kind of riddle that needs to be solved and get some money at the end, good deal. And get to meet new people, added bonus.

So much of life can't be sorted or figured out though and requires that "wait and see" and a trust that things will work out. And the crazy part is that they do work out, and the plans that you had or thought you had are replaced by something bigger or better or closer to who you are.

Monday, 3 December 2007

oh Christmas tree

Imagine the scene. Me and my mom head to the Christmas tree farm, grab a saw from the stand full of them, and start the hunt for this year's tree. Seems strange, a. to walk around a field full of trees with a saw, b. that this field of trees is there for this specific purpose, c. me walking about with a saw, ha. And so we looked at some trees, and finally found the right one.

It is great, looks like you can hug it, though I don't want to try. So I set about cutting it down. Me, half squatting, half kneeling in the snow to cut down this tree. Back and forth, back and forth with the saw. To my surprise, I was actually cutting through the truck, hooray! I did have to take some breaks though to rest my arms, it's hard work! Then as my mom is starting to doubt that I am going to be able to do it, I push the tree over. (I didn't know I had cut enough of it either, to be honest) Then simply sawed the little bit still attached and tadah, our tree was free. Now what???

Me dragging the tree back to the entrance. Victory. Of course as we get to the entrance, the man half laughs at me dragging this tree and takes it from me. Um, thanks.

After getting some hot cider, loading the tree into the trunk and using a bungee cord to hold the truck sort of shut, we took off, driving back home through the fog and rain. Yes, my friends, even getting a Christmas tree is a great adventure. "Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches" Yes, true story, this is a pretty tree.

Sadly though, I killed a tree. I could never be a hunter, as I can't even kill a tree without feeling bad. And what are the environmental people going to have to say?

Sunday, 25 November 2007

fairy tales

This afternoon I went and saw the movie Enchanted and it was really cute. Next to me were are few young girls with their popcorn, frozen coke, and candy in a nice little carrier box. Ha. Which probably cost at least $5, ah! My mom and I went to a movie last year and got the smallest popcorn and pop possible- good thing there were two of us cause you needed two hands to carry each item, gross. Yet is it just me or is it hard to go to the movies without the snacks? No, you don't need 64 oz of pop, or a pack of candy for $3.50. It's ridiculous in size, desire and price but such a part of the movies for some stupid reason, or some stroke of genius by some marketeer back in the day. And at the place I went today, you can even get a Starbucks coffee. Life is complete, ha.

So back to thoughts on this movie. I am a sap, a romantic, so a fairy tale is great. Princes and love and happily ever afters. So the premise of the movie is a princess from the animated world who ends up in the real world "where there are no happy endings." Sad. No happy endings? Surely that is not true? Yes there are horrible things that happen in life and life is hard, but there is hope and there are happy endings, not perfect everything goes exactly the way you think it will but still. I saw a book today and it was by a lady who things that we need more celebration and need to be disciplined in celebrating. I think the book was lots of little stories about seeing God and hope and life in the ordinary things. Ha, this lady is so me, she even loved dinner parties. So basically, I'm not saying that bad things don't happen, I'm not denying hardship, but why stop there? Why dwell in the negativity?

I have an English friend and when we first met, he basically said Americans lie. English people see things the way that they are and we Americans make it up, make things seem better than they are. To which I said that he saw the negative side of the way that things are and I saw the positive. So we were both seeing the same things but the interpretation is the difference. Not failing to recognize when things are crap, but not failing to see good in normal life too. God is good. Life is good. (not perfect or easy)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

day before the turkey

Last year at the Thanksgiving dinner I made everyone go around the table and say what they were thankful for. And I said that I was thankful for this adventure that is life, hence the name for my blog. I think life is a crazy adventure and you never know what's going to happen next or where you'll end up and so many things are out of your control, yet so much turns out so differently and usually better than it would if you were to plan it and control it. But there's a price to pay too, a sea of uncertainty at times. Times where you are on an adventure but not sure where you are going or what that'll look like. I'm not always so good in those times, times of trusting God and waiting and seeing where he leads. But it is good and you learn a lot. And you make it to the other side of the uncertainty and think "why did I worry?"

Life is an adventure too cause there are so many experiences that you get to have and you think "wow, is this really happening?" Take time to cherish moments and be thankful for where you are at.

Friday, 16 November 2007

friday afternoon

So I am sitting in a coffee shop and there's a Dad and daughter playing Uno and it is basically the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I love chilling out in a coffee shop and since Mom's house doesn't have internet, I have the privilege often. The different people that come to places like this are interesting with varied degrees of stress. You have the people who talk to each other and smile, then you have the ones that come in, have a coffee and are gone within 5 minutes. Sad. Then you have the ones that are working on computers (or pretending.) And the people who come in to have a chat. Oh how I love coffee chats!

How important those moments are when there is no where else that you have to be. And how valuable the people are that you can spend those moments with. How often to we hurry through life, like getting something done in the next three seconds is going to change the world. I am one of those people who needs to remember to slow down.

Last year we had discussions on what rest meant. The conclusion that we came up with was being present.

So the little girl who was playing Uno came over to me. "I like your apple" talking about the glowing apple on the back of my computer. Then we talked about her doll which is wearing pajamas but apparently has a church dress, and other dress, and back pack, and coat, and this and that. So cute.

I love when you get to interact with people generally and it is always nice to talk to people that you've never met and probably won't see again. Like the man in front of me just turning around asking what book I am reading. Cool. (right now it is the Alphabet of Grace by Frederick Buechner, but to be honest, I'm on the first page)

Or last weekend, talking to people at the train station as the train was delayed or the guy who sat next to me who was traveling four hours to purchase bookmaking supplies. (better than the internet cause you can see the colors of the leather more accurately) It makes me sad though that you interact with so many people that you really won't see again. Seems weird. Like you get a glimpse of their story but don't get to find out what happens next. Left with the curiosity..... what color leather did that guy purchase? Does the girl I met at the train station get back with her boyfriend? Will the guy from the station get to go home for the holidays? Will he finish his marketing studies? Will the little girl's doll get to wear a dress? Simple things but still questions that I'll never know the answers to and people that you will probably never see, and never know if you did. (I may not recognize them either.) Strange.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

faith, naivety, foolishness

So where is the balance between having faith or being optimistic or just being naive? And is being naive a problem in the first place? So what if things don't work out. Wouldn't it be better to try something and have it not work, than to be so planned and timid, that no steps are ever taken? Challenges are needed, steps should be taken. Now I am not saying that you should be an idiot and be stupid about things. Where's that line anyway? I guess you have a trust in God and go with things and see. A classic quote from my mom "Chels, I don't know if you have faith or if you're just being naive. And yet things seem to work out for you." Life's an adventure, eh and we just have to see what happens.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Rainy day in Michigan

Have you ever listened to Joe Purdy? good stuff.

So it is raining and my nose is all sinusy which seems to fit the weather, ha. I am sitting in a coffee shop, enjoying the time of chilling and checking emails, wonderful internet. I got to talk to some people through skype too, hooray! What a crazy thing. And how small the world becomes when you can chat across oceans no problem. And the flight between London and Detroit is only 8 hours. If I got in a car and drove 8 hours, where would I make it to? New York? Georgia or only Tennessee?

So when I go to a coffee shop, they give me a cardboard sleeve on the coffee cup. Each time a new sleeve, so I decided to save them.... for what, I don't know yet. Does anyone have a creative idea of what to do with them? I brought one back to the coffee shop today, yeah recycling. ha.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Beginning....

So here I am in England, then I will be in Michigan tomorrow. That's pretty surreal. How funny that life goes on and things seem so normal and yet not at the same time. Like living in England, traveling to Spain, getting deported, meeting new people, all seems so normal. But life is an adventure really, you never know what's going to happen next, where life will take you, and when it takes you back to somewhere that you were before.