Saturday, December 11, 2010

Breathe out...

There are no words to adequately describe 
these bittersweet hours...
I am just glad to be here, 
celebrating life and re-telling stories.

My Grandma is amazing.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Breathe in...

Lights and a gift for a friend will brighten my library space
until she comes to collect them...
(in the meantime, I have "A Christmas Carrel")

Monday, November 29, 2010

Breathe out...

My new favorite snack
(and way to be silly)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So conflicted!

Sometimes I want to give away every single book in our house & SIMPLIFY.

Other days, I remember this massive list of books I'd love to read and I want to have them all in a tangible stack right next to me.

I think that tangible stack might sound a lot like the audio on this (awesome) site: Save the Words

(By the way, I adopted the word senticious, which means prickly or thorny. Like hedgehogs and porcupines and sticker-bushes and those lovely goatheads that like to puncture bike tires. Oh, and me when I'm irritated...)

Today's pickme!'s:
  • Spiritual Direction & the Care of Souls by Gary W. Moon & David G. Benner
  • "The Red-Headed League" from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
There are plenty more begging to be read...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dangerous Prayer, part deux

Sure, I'm up for an adventure. :-)

Good thing, since that seems to be what happens when I say a prayer that actually seems to be genuinely in line with God's will, rather than the selfish dithering or silence that have occupied my prayers of late. I'm pretty selfish and near-sighted apart from Jesus.

Almost a month ago, I asked God to help me be more at home with ambiguity, uncertainty, the unexpected. After all, that's the reality that most of the world faces on a daily basis.

He's been answering that prayer in some amusing ways... and I'm pretty sure that the fact that I was even aware enough to pray that prayer in the first place would be an answer to the original dangerous prayer post here. (By the way, he's been answering that one like crazy in other ways too.)

So now I find myself listening again - about my community, about my neighbors, about my marriage, about my calling, about my posture in life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A thank you...

Garmin is awesome.

I got a Forerunner 305 last year for Christmas, which I have loved to PIECES all year long. Haven't tracked as many miles as I would've liked since I spent 2.5 months recovering from a strained MCL, but hey... it's still a great little tool. Sadly, it started developing some kinks last week. The mode button got finicky, then pooped out altogether. I contacted Garmin with little hope for help (since I'd gotten it refurbished through an ebay seller) and ended up pleasantly surprised. All I had to do was mail it in, and they'd mail me a replacement within about 2 weeks at no cost.

I went on one last run with it last Saturday morning, packed it up, sent it off and commenced mile-tracking-gadget withdrawal. I figured I'd be Garmin-less til after next week's travels and settled back into my old ways of mapping & riding routes...

As you can imagine, I was delighted when I arrived home today to a bulging doormat. Astonishingly fast turnaround, considering that Monday was a postal holiday. Yay for excellent customer service & a quick return!


I am one happy runner.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weather & Warm Toes

This morning, i left the house for a bike ride at 7am. The temp was between 40-50 the whole time & I just about froze my toes off. (Time to invest in shoe covers, I think).

A mere four hours later, it is 68*F. The projected high is 75*F.

Out of curiousity, I checked the Englewood weather records for today...

Avg high: 52*
Record high: 90*F (1962)
Avg low: 35*
Record low: 2*F (1969)

The record high for the month of October is apparently 96*F (Oct 18, 1977), and the record low is apparently -2*F (Oct 13, 1969).

Yet more proof that Denver weather does whatever the heck it wants. :-) I'm just glad we aren't setting another record today either way!!

Now that my toes are toasty again, it's time to study...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things I wish I liked...

1) oatmeal
2) downhill skiing
3) housecleaning
4) cottage cheese
5) improvising (aka, flying by the seat of my pants... i'm scared to call it that. someone might defenestrate me using my beltloops...)
6) stove-top cooking (see immediately preceding item)
7) small talk
8) large groups
9) 48hrs> leftovers > 12hrs
10) mornings

I'm making efforts... particularly regarding item #5.

Anyone care to mentor me in fine art of dealing well with chaos?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Strange Territory

My husband and I live in a little one bedroom apartment in the Denver area. We've been in this little space for about a year and a half now, and we're slowly figuring out how to glean every last bit of storage out of the place. Last week, the purchase of an inexpensive corner shelf enabled me to move the microwave out of the (itty-bitty) kitchen...

Voila! More room in the kitchen!

Little did I know I would be frequently assaulted by the urge to bake stuff. Amazing what a little re-arranging can do... I usually avoid the kitchen like the plague!

WELL. This morning, I figured out that I could study AND bake at the same time since I have an audio study-guide for the NCE. Oh, mercy...

A few hours of wakefulness have already produced pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and banana bread just because I wanted to. The revelation that I could study too might mean more deliciousness...

I am limited only by the contents of my pantry and the fact that I have to be at school by 1pm. :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Le Sigh

Change itself, I do not typically find difficult. The process of changing or being in transition, however, is an entirely different story.

That is all for now. :-p

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Breathe in...

Sleeping under the stars is good for my soul.
Laughing with family and friends is even better...

* My friend Sarah assisted me in capturing
one of my backcountry oddities in photo - -
eating the whole apple. Bottoms up!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Breathe out...

Hand-knit socks & another 14er (albeit a short one)...
I'm feeling accomplished. :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Breathe in...

Lunch under a clear Colorado sky
during a long bike ride,
mountains in view from afar...
yeah, that's definitely one of my "happy places."

More to come later from this year's Colorado BikeMS ride.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Still breathing...

Just a note... I haven't fallen off the face of the planet.

Since my last post, I have:
- finished my 4th semester of grad school
- started my last semester of internship
- spent some sweet time with my neighbors and other neighborhoody-folk
- gotten quite a few decent rides in, including a 60-miler on Tuesday
- begun to appreciate the work of physical therapists
- decided that my goal for the summer is to become a morning person

We'll see how that last one goes...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breathe in...

Apparently the birds of Englewood awake
to sing in the day at approximately
... 4:37am.

Oh, the unexpected things one learns
while sipping coffee and writing papers.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Breathe out...

I've been spending far too much time in the library lately,
but it's tolerable when I can peer around the corner
and catch a glimpse of my hard-working husband.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


For the first time in my life, I've successfully done this:

with no help and no mistakes and no hair-pulling-outing!! That's a major accomplishment in my book.

We may have a sock-knitting fiend on our hands...

Breathe in...

A third attempt at sock-knitting
in the generally grad-school-induced
wreckage of my humble abode

All you knitters out there, wish me luck...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breathe out...

A library desk, a view of the foothills,
Sigur Ros & Album Leaf,
& a frustrating paper that the Spirit of God
is using to bring me to my knees...

not what i planned, but so much better.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two Funnies

While I'm busy avoiding a paper for school,* I thought I'd share two funny exchanges from today.

Intentional Bad Joke #1: On the way home from out-of-town, we passed a sign that said something to the effect of:

"Welcome to Superior, CO" (to which I chuckled and said, "Just know we're better than you...")

Unintentional Bad Joke #2: I've been sneezing all day. I managed to live 27 years of my life with no particularly pesky allergies. Then we moved to Denver. While gearing up for a particularly annoying sneeze, I proceeded to make a series of funny faces...

Jeromie: "Wow, you're making some rather Calvin-esque faces there..."
Me: "What do you mean, Calvinist faces?!"
Jeromie: "Calvin-esque. Like Calvin & Hobbes."

Also... we got some fun toys yesterday. :-)

Kahtoola Micro-spikes

We took them for a short spin on the Gregory Canyon & Saddle Rock Trails in Boulder. Now I'd much rather be back out & hiking, but alas... papers call. I should get back to them.

* Hey, now... it's spring break AND a Saturday AND I'm in the library.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Breathe in...

Same desk as earlier. New view.
Just for clarification - the snow is blowing sideways.
Oh, and it's accumulating on the side of the classroom building.
And I can't see the campus apartments from here.
I should probably go home...

Breathe out...

Beautiful & crisp morning - perfect for a ride* -
but you can just see the clouds rolling in...

*Alas, no ride for me. Couldn't get my stuff together in enough time this morning AND (as a friend put it yesterday) I really must get some traction on all these papers today... Boo library but at the same time yay library. I am more than blessed to be where I am and to be what I'm doing at this point in my life & story. :-) You know, I'll happily settle for that mug o' tea & some good tunes.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

J. & Silent Liz

Oh, goodness... I haven't watched any of those movies in years. Maybe I should remedy that this weekend while Jeromie's away at a weekend class. :-)

I admit, I've been silent around here lately. Some weeks the ol' blog is just not at the top of my priority list or, alternatively, I have nothing of substance to say. Sometimes I just feel like being quiet, and I'm alright with that.

The last few weeks have been a jumble. A combination of under-the-weather or injured, stressed, and busy has dominated Casa del Rand, but we're alive.

We're alive, and actually laughing quite a bit. :-) Sometimes we get so busy that we forget how to be light-hearted with each other. No more of that... my newfound goal for this next year is to find plenty of (healthy) opportunities to laugh and smile and invite others to do the same. I discovered it in the middle of last night's Fishes meeting, but it makes sense in hindsight... I've become quite the fan of "comic interludes" lately.

Aside from laughing, meetings, paper-writing and internship, I've finally hit a good pattern for training. Like I mentioned a few posts back, I'm training for the CO Bike MS ride in June. I'm also hoping to run the Denver Marathon in October. Right now, barring injury, they both look doable. Either way, it's so good to get out and move around.

Anyway... just felt like checking in.

Got anything to add to my barrel of laughs?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thank you!

I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to anyone who reads this, and particularly those who took a moment or two to comment on the last 2 posts! It was so fun to read about "little things" other than my own, and I was very encouraged to receive some feedback on the poem. I am not much of a creative writer, so posting poems always feels a little like sticking my neck on a chopping block! :-)

So... thank you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Winter branches hover
silent and still,
achingly bare...

Are they not weary?
Are they not cold?
Are they not waiting
to be clothed anew in green?

Even so, perhaps they are in some way

To whisper the truth
that we are ALL waiting...

and that it is better to be bare for a time
than to be false.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Little things

Here are a few "little" (read: maybe not so little) things that have been bringing me a lot of joy lately...

- crisp, cool days
- running on slightly crunchy snow
- running at all
- cranberry-apple juice
- good conversation
- hearing or reading poetry from friends
- God's presence in the community of His people
- home-cookin', a la Susan
- colorful, noodley stews that create plenty of leftovers
- Monday's bus commute
- Theology 501 with Dr. Buschart
- comic interludes in serious meetings

I'm sure there are more...

I know I've got at least a few readers out there... what are some of these little things for you?

Breathe in...

postcard from the Moores
& my favorite furry friend -
silly snow-loving critter, so excited!
i miss her.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breathe out...

Favorite pen, favorite place.
Tattered Cover Colfax
Denver, CO

Good place for a 200th post, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

on worship.

"God wouldn't be GOD if we could always understand Him. The One whose ways are not our ways does not have to make sense to us."

~ Marva J. Dawn - In the Beginning, God

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Breathe in...

Glad for a little congruence...
it's been snowing in my soul for days.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Breathe out...

Fake fire, real coffee, real questions.
I can deal with 2 out of 3...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breathe out...

Nestled among the periodicals, warmed by the sun-
a favorite niche that I have (and have not) missed...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Breathe in...

I've been hibernating,
which has been both good and bad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I should explain something.

I promise you, I'm not hyperventilating. (I suppose it might look that way if all you see is, "Breathe in, Breathe out, Breathe in, Breathe out...)

I also promise you that my actual respiratory rate is not that low. I take more than one breath every day or so. :-)

Last year, I made an attempt at participating in one of the many 365 photo projects floating around the web. It seemed all well and good - an opportunity to look at my world through a creative lens on a regular basis - however, the pace was not sustainable. I got behind, and then I gave up. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was just one more thing to do. After a while, it felt forced, ingenuine. If you know me, you know I hate that.

There had to be some way to incorporate the looking and listening that I was hoping for with 365, without the frantic, guilty feeling I'd get (give myself) for skipping days.

Last month, I came across a blog that captured this, and I love their description:

"welcome to habit. a place to capture and celebrate the bits of our daily lives. it is our intention to make this capturing and celebration a habit, so we will be here regularly.

we'll be inviting friends to join us here. and in some small way, we are hoping to capture the collective life of a community of women who are artists and writers, photographers and bloggers, mothers and sisters and daughters and granddaughters, and thinkers and seers and wonderers.

we believe that there will be something extraordinary about holding these pieces of life together in one place."

(habit: about)

I may never be invited to participate in the habit postings (one can be invited as a guest contributor), but I see great value in the rhythms of the project itself.

After some thought, I decided to adopt it as a discipline, of sorts. My hope is to capture the rhythms of my own life and experience - to listen to the Lord and to listen to my heart more gently. I've spent far too much of my life tossing it around senselessly.

SO. I want to give credit where credit is due. Go visit habit, and maybe dive in yourself.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Breathe out...

Not picture perfect, but still accurate.
Seems we were always on the move,
inching along.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Breathe in...

We spent the whole afternoon chatting, knitting and working a puzzle.
We were also periodically puzzled...

Friday, January 15, 2010


Note to self for future trips: the Denver International Airport (DIA) appears to have free wireless interwebz.

I would've been content to sit here and knit for an hour, but curiosity got the best of me as I counted the laptops in our boarding area. (Five are in visible use from where I'm sitting.) It boggles my mind (just a little) how widely "connected" we are with or without smartphones. On the way back to Denver two weekends back, our flight itself had wireless. Not free, of course, but internet in flight. I'm not sure what to think, really. I waste enough time on the internet at home!

Time to shut down & board the plane... a few hours, and we'll be in DALLAS. :-)

Breathe out...

My wheels are true, yes,
but Christ alone is Truth.

(Photo: an angel made entirely of bike parts & sheet metal, found at Any and All Bikes in Englewood, CO.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Breathe in...

Just another day at Casa del Rand:
fishing for photos.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Breathe out...

Being thirsty together -
breaking bread & (perhaps) breaking ground.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Looking forward

Oh, life's a jumble... as usual. A strange, lovely mess.

This week has been one of getting rest, of getting organized, of getting excited.

Originally, Jer and I had planned on taking a January term class this week. We were really looking forward to the class, but we ended up dropping it just before Christmas, sensing that we needed rest (not more books and papers to fill up all the empty space). Seems God knew what we needed.

In about a week, we'll be heading to Dallas (unexpectedly) to spend some time with my mom. Mom has had multiple sclerosis for MANY years and it's become steadily more restrictive for her in a lot of ways. It's a wretched disease, and I'm realizing that I haven't really grieved well over all the moments and memories that it has stolen from my family. Now that I'm aware of that, I intend to listen closely to the Holy Spirit, to my heart, to my family, and to my (several, amazing, wise) companions.

I also intend to not sit on my rear any longer.

Bike riding (for more than fun) has been a part of my life since I was about 12 or 13, though there have been extended seasons where I haven't ridden as much. I'd intended for it to be a major part of my marathon training, as riding become the best prevention for injury. This week, it occurred to me that riding is perhaps the most natural way for me to be more actively involved in the life of my mom, even though we live hundreds of miles apart.

Enter the MS 150.

The MS 150 is not a new event; it's been going on for years - I've just never been in a good place to participate in it. Despite the fact that I've been planning on running a marathon this fall for more than a year now, I'm willing to let that go if need be. Perhaps I'll manage to do both... if not, the riding wins out because it's about more than just my interests.

It's one small way that I can fight for my mom, so here goes...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Breathe out...

Making the best of our days off,
'cause we know there's plenty of busy to come!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Breathe in...

Minor mistakes don't have to ruin an evening...
but they do necessitate a (literal) run to the local bike shop!

Looking back

Last year around this time, I did a little bit of a year-in-review complete with a handful of my dids and didn'ts for 2008. Don't have much of a review for this year... for the most part, it seems to have been utterly consumed by school. As I look back, the highlights of this year were mostly little things.

... an hour here or there in the company of a friend
... a breath of fresh air, by bike or foot
... recognition of a few unexpected fellow travellers
... the opportunity to show love through creativity
... the rhythms of liturgy
... the hard questions of messy ministry
... little gestures of love & commitment from my amazing husband
... God's steady invitation to become awake and alive with him

My desires for this coming year haven't really changed...

I want to listen well.
I want to love well.
I want to work hard.
I want to play hard.
I want to rest when I rest.
I want to give... life, encouragement, time, money, creativity.
I want to trust... God, my husband, my friends, myself.

And this year, I want to run a marathon. :-)