Sunday, January 13, 2013

Don't & Remember

Two frequent commands we read in Scripture:

Don't be afraid: just think about how applicable this is. Every day, we're afraid of something. Failure, rejection, losing someone, going bankrupt, wondering how you can make it to the next day, raising kids wrong, burning dinner, posting too many pictures on instagram, you name it, and we can be afraid.

Does it seem a little trite that God just says, "Don't"? Like when you're really upset about something and someone flippantly says, "I'm sure it'll work out." Really? You're sure? YOU are sure? What power do you have?

But when God says, "Don't" it actually carries weight, because... drum roll please... He actually has power. I don't have many answers today, just thoughts and more questions about why we really fear. What is at its base? I want to think about that this year.

The other: Remember. God would say it to the Israelites all the time. Remember what I did for you...  I always knew about ebenezers, that were piles of rocks that they would stack when God would do something just incredible, so that when people passed them by they would remember the Lord. But I didn't know until recently (or I had never really thought about it) that when they were walking through the desert for 40 years, it was so flat, that they could turn around and literally see for MILES, and in this horizon they would see piles of rocks and remember. Isn't that crazy? That on a tough day, they could simply turn around and stop and stare and remember what God had done.

My thought jumps to, oh I wish we lived then. Or I wish we lived when things were more simple, or when this happened or that happened. But the crazy thing is, we live in a time where I have more pictures of my bedroom rug than my great grandmother had of her parents. I have volumes of journals dictating my thoughts through life sitting in a dusty rubber maid container in my attic that I never read. I have videos of everyone I have ever know at my disposal in a few clicks. I have anything I even wanted sitting in my DVR que, waiting to be watched.  And we still forget.

This year I want to remember more. I want to reflect more. That's part of the blog revamp. I'm still writing in my daily "line a day" journal every night (entering my 4th year- crazy!!!) and also doing this cute little free download from Paper Coterie once a week. Just different ways to remember: some public for some accountability and the sharing factor and some private because not every thought we have should be published.

Happy Sunday. So far I've blogged, written & even turned on my sewing machine- not too shabby for my resolutions.

And what's a post without a pic? Here's something worth remembering: me on a pony out in front of a Kroger store moments before the infamous missing purse incident of 1988.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Getting in the Game

I've always been a huge proponent of participants over observers.  Part of it, is my nature. I am in or I am out; not a lot in between. If you're at a party, be in a conversation that is taking people somewhere. If you're in a Bible study, speak up, share your heart. If you're shopping and someone is lost, go help them. I'm a big fan of jumping into the action versus waiting for someone else to do it.

I'm also a huge hypocrite.

While I've probably done all the above, I've also sat silently waiting for someone else to lead, driven past a broken down car hoping someone else would stop, because it's WAAAY easier to live life at your own speed and on your own agenda.

When it comes to the online world that is so second nature to us we can't even remember what it felt like to wake up and not check your e mail in bed, I'm pushing myself to be a participant. I love blogs: ones about nail polish designs, DIY, home decor, people's kids, photography, you name it, it's in my google reader (or ipad Feedly). Once upon a time I had a blog called Suzz News where I wrote random musings from time to time and one to two people occasionally read it. I was fine with that. I had promised a friend of mine to keep a blog when I moved from Maryland to North Carolina and I have done a horrible job of keeping it up.

I have two New Years Resolutions this year: to learn how to use my sewing machine and to push myself to be a participant in the wild world of blogs that I love so dearly.

I have mulled in my head over and over how to do this blog, what it is, who I want to read it, what to post, and how to be transparent without being that weirdo that over shares and you wonder if she has friends in real life. On a long car ride with a friend, I went on and on and on about my blog quandaries and finally asked for her advice. She simply said: "I think you just need to write."

Write on.

Here's to a year of writing, sewing and more tiny hats. Happy 2013! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Not where I should be

Where I should be: the class I take at the gym on Mondays.

Where I am: Blogging from a hammock in my back yard. I mean, how could I resist?

I have often shared how I love the art of sharing. It's really my favorite side effect from reading blogs. So here is a book some good friends of mine shared with me. You should read it. Wonderful story telling, a genuine author, a really cute cover, and I think it will inspire to go do something crazy in pursuing deep, meaningful friendships.

Let me know what you think. Love ya, mean it. Now back to my back yard lounging. I'll got back to the gym next Monday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Am I really blogging from my phone!?

Whoa baby. Once again, my friends have shown me the way. This time, it was CoJoBo teaching me to blog from my phone.

You know what else I can do from my phone? Upset babies hundreds of miles away with FaceTime. Okay, not really, Anna Kate LOVES talking with her aunt Susu, but she had just bumped her head on the phone, prompting the pout.

This is really just a test post. Sorry it's pointless. But really, if I ever start to take all this technology to total granted, someone punch me in the face. Or at least text me. We're living I the time of the Jetsons people!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I love blogs, I really do. I just usually forget that I have one. And I usually get annoyed when my favorite bloggers aren't blogging, and look at me... for that I am sorry. But I know that you all have some how found a way to make it through...

I have been reflecting on reflection recently. I always remember a quote from my old YL leader in high school saying that a bunch of old people were polled and one of the number one regrets they had in life was a lack of reflection. That stuck with me because I would have assumed their biggest regret was never learning how to use e mail or watch television at a reasonable volume...

But reflection is so important in life. We learn about ourselves, patterns, seasons and in the midst of that traditions are born. Those are some of my favorite things in life! A few years ago, my friend Courtney (you can read her fabulous blog here) told me about the journal pictured above, One Line A Day. It has 5 mini lines to record your day, any way you'd like, for 5 years. So it'll say April 15 20_ and you fill in for 5 years. I am in year 3 of doing it every single day. It's one of my many night time rituals, and I can't believe I've done it every day. It's been fun/challenging/encouraging/comforting to see what patterns repeat, to see what has changed and just to see what I was processing at the time. Since my job (like most) is pretty seasonal, I like to see where I was just last year at the same time.

I would like to buy everyone I know one of these journals. I have even bought myself an extra one for the next 5 years, because I have horrible luck with products I love going off the market. I guess I could always just make my own... that's for another blog post.

This Sunday, I have relaxed, laid in a hammock, read, grocery shopped, meal planned, and even scrubbed baseboards (woof). Sundays always feel like that fresh start to the week, but in the midst of to-do lists, I want to reflect as well. I want to build reflection into my week, like I do laundry or watching Dance Moms (why can't I stop?!).

Just to hold myself accountable, and to give you a bit of a tease, in the near future, I will blog about:
  • Downton Abbey
  • My Hunger Games party (if you're not into either of these, how are we even friends? jk)
  • Seeing Titanic 3D (okay, I need to get a life)
  • House tour with all my steals and deals I've gotten
  • My hopes and dreams for my backyard (Have I mentioned that I am "indoorsy"?)
  • My invention that I hope to sell to Hallmark for at least $540 Billion

Lastly, I sort of hate how hard it is to post pics on this blog, so if you want to, follow me on Instagram, I like it: suzznews is my username (duh).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Personality Quiz: Online Fail

Like most casual internet users, I've had a Twitter account for a few years (if you want me to prove it, check it out @susankehoe, I know, the name is very creative), but in the last 9 months of so, it feels like people have actually started using it. Twitter seemed to always be the over anxious little brother of the internet, who had a cooler, more attractive older sibling in Facebook, who made sure everyone of his friends made fun of his annoying little brother that talked too much. But in the last year, the little Twitter brother grew up, learned the ways of the world, while his older brother started dabbling in some weird things and oddly trying to copy his little brother.

We're now living in a time where most connected people are using Facebook and Twitter often, and dabbling in other addictions such as Pinterest, Instagram, 4Square, and Tumblr just to name a tiny few. I think of it like the days when you had to carry a cell phone, calculator, GPS, 6 megapixel camera, compass and flip camera just to make it through an average trip to the library... I mean those days really weren't that long ago. Now if you have an iphone, you're pretty much good to go climb Mt. Everest. I feel like one day the internet will somehow join forces and we won't be repeating ourselves on every platform possible.

But in the mean time, it creates something in people that I have been furrowing my brow at for a while. All these social medias (of which I am fully apart of, I admit) create online personalities for people. And to say it bluntly, none of them are winning Best Personality in their senior superlatives. Almost all of them boil down to sharing waaaay too much. I've talked on here a lot about the lack of inner monologue in teenagers today (can you imagine yourself blogging/tweeting/facebooking in your room when you were grounded? Every day, I'm grateful my parents were on the far right side of the bell curve when it came to home internet). But it's not just for the kids anymore! A few examples:

  • The mom/aunt/sibling who posts too many pictures of small children. I can't say it enough. Put up a few of the best and share them with the world, put the rest in a book that will embarrass them privately for the rest of their lives. And just a friendly reminder, no bodily fluids please. Ever.
  • Celebrities who self-promote. Ugh, is there anything less becoming? (Other than complaining on a blog, of course).
  • Pictures of yourself, looking cute, and justifying it by saying it's part of a "photo challenge". Here's the thing, you probably are really cute, but if you need to share it someone, go walk in a mall and show your bad self off, or if you're desperate, text a picture of your new scarf to your BFF- I did that this week. And she loved it.
  • Pastors/Christian authors who brag too much about what's going on in their world. It's some people who I really like to listen to/read. I want to follow them online to glean some wisdom here and there, I just don't want a countdown to your church service or see you retweet your wife's comments on your new jeans. TMI.
Just remember, there is always, always something enticing about an air of mystery. Always. Think: dating, the best book you've read, every dramatic TV show: they don't spill the beans in the previews, on purpose. Facebook newsfeed got it right when they mastered the art of showing you a sample of what was going on, not everything, that way, if you're really interesting in someone, you could click on their profile and stalk away, but in the mean time, they would just tease you with a status update or two.

You may be saying, Susan, you're online personality is ruining my cup of coffee today, the simple answer is to stop following these people online! To that, I say, please stop yelling at me, and I wish it were that easy. But some of these people I have to keep tabs on! And maybe my online personality is a bit sarcastic and quick to point out the flaws in culture. Well, to be honest, it's not that far from my real personality, thank you very much.

Monday, January 2, 2012

new year: new room

Well if my New Year's resolutions were to narrowly escape a carbon monoxide poisoning and roam around a Lowe's helpless like an idiot, well slap me on the back and call me resolved!

Don’t worry, I'm alive. In the midst of some motivation to get moving on my house projects, a noise that undoubtedly disturbed all dogs in the tri-county area, sent me into a tizzy. I had no idea what was going on in my house. Finally, I found a C02 (pretend like that was a mini 2) detector screaming. Like every responsible person, I took the battery out. Then I sat on my front porch, a bit helpless in my pajamas. I just kept thinking, I hope I don't die in this outfit. I started feeling dizzy and thought maybe I was going to throw up. It had to be mental, I kept thinking. (Don't worry, it was). After googling who to call, I got a gas company to come out and check the situation. Everything was fine, probably a faulty detector, he said.

Me: "So, I'm not going to die, right? Hahaha…(nervous laughter)"

Detector Man: "Naw, we usually find 'em all red and nak'd. That's when you know you're gonna die. When you start taking off all your clothes."

Me: "Alright, thanks for coming out!" Then I shut and locked every door in my house.

And off to Lowe's I went to replace the faulty detector, because I didn't totally trust that guy and didn't want to die in my sleep. I know, I'm needy.

Now, I'm an avid shopper, and I pride myself of knowing my way around malls, department stores, groceries, and Tanger Outlets…but I am a moron at Lowe's. I just wander and pretend like I actually am really interested in the caulk isle I accidentally turned down. It's not that I won't ask for help, I just like browsing at my own pace and finding what I need. Truly, Lowe's needs to equip you with a personal shopper when you walk in the door. A nice young man that will find all your stuff and not make fun of your lack of knowledge of primer and S clips.

I bought a lot of stuff. The most stuff I have ever bought at a hardware store. But I really went to get some wood cut for some shelves. I hated this part the most. I finally asked for help.

Me: "Hi, I’m, umm, I, you see, I, I.. I don't know what I am doing. But I need some wood for some shelves. And I actually have dimensions!!"

19 year old Male Saw Operator: "Okay, what kind of wood?"

Me: "Like, normal wood."

MSO: "Yeah, we have an isle full of wood…"

Thankfully I left with wood that by some miracle I had actually measured dimensions correctly for. I had the wind in my sails to tackle some projects that I have had on a to-do list since November. I love multi-tasking projects. If I have one going on in every room, as I walk around, I have something to work on.

But my main goal was to tackle my guest room, in which I wanted to have:

  • A place for someone to sleep.
  • A crafting closet.
  • A gift wrapping station.
  • A place for all my cards & stationery.

I didn't take great before pictures because I didn't really realize I would be tackling this project so quickly.

And here is the transformation. Move that crap!

I was so proud of myself, I can't even tell you. And I share all of this, not to brag but to show you how messy this room was. If this room can be transformed, I am SURE anything in your house can. And now if you don't get a present or birthday card from me, you can call me out. More house projects to come!