Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Buttery Roles

I finally found a recipe for dinner roles that can be started in the bread machine that I really like. Totally unhealthy...but soooo good:

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Happy

Random Ponderings: A few weeks back, we attended an arts conference put on by one of the local churches here in town. One of the preforming artists that was there was a singer by the name of Sara Groves. During her performance, she sang a song entitled "Different Kinds of Happy".

I really like the concept of there being different kinds of "happy". In particular, it made me think about the happiness that I feel in regards to my marriage and how it's a different kind of "happy" than it was 6 years ago. Or the happiness I see in various friends who have faced really hard situations like death, sickness, or life altering situation. What strikes me is that many of them have regained a happiness in life, but it's a different kind of "happy" -- a "happy" that is wiser, deeper, less innocent, and noticeably different. It's still happiness...but just really different.

I don't know what God has in store for my life, but I pray that I will never lose sight of happiness and joy...even if that happiness and joy become a different kind of "happy".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Baby Needs What?

We recently worked up enough courage to walk into Target and create a baby registry. I think it took us so long because 1) we knew once we did so, the whole baby thing would be a lot more real. 2) We knew there would be a ton of options and lots of beautiful packages with smiling baby's whispering "if you buy this I'll be the happiest baby in the world". And then 3) personally, I was a bit scared that creating a baby registry would be similar to creating a wedding registry -- flashback to 6 years ago to a young Matt and Sarah standing in front of comforters at Linens and Things as we held back tears realizing we had very different tastes in what style bed comforter should grace our bed.

But an hour later we walked out smiling having survived creating a baby registry. It definitely helped that there were only 5 isles of baby stuff compared to a whole store full of stuff.

What took me a bit by surprised was how overwhelming everything felt. There are like 20 different bottle options and 50 different pacifier options all claiming something spectacular. And there was this overwhelming emotional desire to read every last word on the packaging to determine what would be the very best option for our little one while at the same time my brain kept trying to remind me that " this kid will only be using that swaddling cloth 3 to maybe 6 months so it probably doesn't matter if it's has the pretty pokadots or the cute owl on it."

All in all, the registry is created and we survived. And I guess that make it a success and brings us that much closer to being ready.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Can you work in a cube and still be creative at home?

About a month ago, a friend asked if it was possible to work a 8-5 job, in a cubical, on more "creative" projects and still have energy and inspiration left to be creative on personal projects at home. Such a great question and I've actually been pondering that question a lot this past month -- and I think I've decided that it is possible...but really hard.

In fact, this blog may be a good example of how it's been hard recently. This past month I had to devote a disproportionate amount of my time working on two writing projects that took a lot of collaboration, blood, sweat, and tears. And to be honest, the last thing I wanted to do when coming home was write a blog entry. It was as if all my creativity had been reallocated into these work projects. Since writing at work wasn't super fun, blogging, journaling, and any other kind of writing did not seem fun.

But I think there are other aspects within my job that do make it hard to remain creative away from my job:

1. Working in a cube: There is something about being confined in an 8x8 square without access to windows that puts a damper on my creativity. And I wonder if that's because at some level it puts up barriers between me and God's creation (both in terms of people and nature). Now I know that not all inspiration comes from nature...but I have found it true that more often than not I'm inspired by God's creation far more than I am by things I see on the internet (with maybe Pintrest being the recent exception to that).

2. Not separating work from non-work projects: as I've mentioned above, I have noticed that if I am engaged in writing a lot at work, it's harder to find the energy and passion to write outside of work (especially when the work project is hard, political in nature, or emotionally draining). It's been easy to let the frustration at work creep into personal projects.

3. Time: While working a 8-5 job has brought a sense of stability into my life (as compared to the haphazard life of a campus staff worker), it does seem like there is less time to devote to creative things in my personal life. Or I find personal projects get postponed to the weekend (and even then...those projects fight for time between all the other weekend activities). So finding time to work on projects has felt more challenging.

I'm sure there's more...but those have been the few things I've noticed about my current job that make it hard to be creative outside of my job.

But again, I think it is still possible to be creative when you work in a cube from 8-5 -- it just takes some creativity.

So thanks Abi for a great and though provoking question. It's been good for me to think about.