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Showing posts from 2013

The one with a manger

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Christmas decorating began early for me this year. Early- meaning- 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. And I'm not even mad about it.

A couple months ago I posted about the new Christmas season approaching and how decorating my apartment would look incredibly different.

For the last four years or so, my parents have been gifting me with new pieces to my WillowTree nativity set. This year, I have to start over again. I got an early Christmas present in the mail last week as mom and dad gave me the first starter set again. You know, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. They were feeling lonely all by themselves in the manger until an email appeared courtesy of my blog.

A couple of months ago, JoAnne emailed to introduce herself and let me know she'd been following my blog for over a year now and had commented on a book I posted about. She and I both had so many similar takeaways from the book. A month later after reading my post about Christmas decor, I receive an email from her saying she wa…

One Year Later

Only I can tell my story. And the older I get, I realize more and more how my story is about who God is and what He does in each of us. And part of what He does is provide comfort. "Deep and enduring, powerful beyond all imagination." I've experienced that comfort this year.

One year later, this November feels so different.
I know what it's like when the things that always used to make you happy don't do the trick anymore, because they can't break through the sadness and fear that are covering over everything in your life. I was there, and I'm not there anymore...But you'll get through this, and you'll find yourself in an entirely new place... Shauna Niequist November 27, 2012 I lost my apartment to a fire. I wouldn't say I was materialistic and lost a ton of high priced things (let's be honest- my two couches combined cost a total of $100) but I did love my stuff. And the things I lost meant a lot to me. In the last 365 days, life has been…

The one from Lisa

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Guest blog post from my older sister, Lisa. 

Today is my baby sister's birthday; her 26th to be exact. Hard to believe that little blonde-haired, blue eyed heartbreaker is now a skilled ER night nurse with the heart of an adventurer. I could spend all day praising her many talents, show you a map of all the places she traveled, speak of her love for all things Portland, or tell you how many half-marathons she's completed. But, today, I'm here as a guest on Minda's blog to talk about how Caralyn was, and perhaps still is, everyone's favorite. 

Growing up as pastor's kids in rural East Texas, the church members become your extended family of sorts. We didn't grow up near any actual extended family, and so we welcomed the idea of so many new aunts, grandmas and cousins to act as our surrogate family. 
However, things didn't turn out for Minda and me quite as well as they did for Caralyn. When we moved to Cunningham, Texas, I was just on the cusp of entering…

The one with the woman on the balcony.

My friend Darrah is in town this weekend. She arrived yesterday morning and we've had a fantastic time of catching up, eating, and sight seeing so far. Last night after dinner, we called it a night and headed to bed.

Since Jaryn is out of town, I gave Darrah my room and I took Jaryn's room. (surprise, Jaryn! Hope that's ok!) :) ( In OTHER news- I know Jaryn's totally fine with that. If she wasn't- I'd NEVER announce via my blog that I'm using her room! I'm a good roommate, people!) :)

So. We go to bed and around 2am, I hear a pounding outside my apartment. My neighbor evidently had a visitor. But the visitor didn't get the message that she wasn't home. For about 15 minutes- he pounded on her door. At one point I got up out of bed and looked through the peephole to see some dude standing outside and continuing to pound. I went back to bed and about 3 minutes later, he stopped. I am drifting back to sleep when I hear MORE pounding. Except this tim…

The one with the 'comedy' of errors

I left the office last night a little after 5:30pm. The metro was broken and it took over an hour to get home.
I sat on metro underground for an hour. When I finally arrived at my stop, I walked home, and began to dig for my keys. I realize they are still in the office.
My first thought is to call the apartment office and see if they can let me in with a spare key. The on-call people said they don’t do that and that I need to call a locksmith.
So I just decide to head BACK into the city and go get my keys.
I don’t want to get back on the metro as the blue line was CRAP and broken- so I decide to cab it back to the office.  So I pull out my wallet to get cash and realize….No wallet in purse. (I’m not sure WHAT I was thinking when I left the office earlier.)
So I think- no biggie. I’ll just uber back to the office. (uber is a car service and I have an app which I can pay for the service through my phone. No card/cash required.)
And then I remember I’d just gotten a new debit card and Uber …

The one where I talk about social media

It seems almost a weekly occurrence that someone is in the news for getting fired over a tweet that shouldn't have been sent. As someone who works in social media, people ask me often if it's a fear of mine. Let me be 100% honest.

I fear tweeting from the wrong account, sure.

But I do not fear getting fired over a mistweet.

Why? Because I'm not concerned with representing my organization or my boss. I'm more concerned about representing MYSELF well. I most likely will not tweet a picture of myself or a status update on my own PERSONAL account that wouldn't be safe for all audiences. Even if that audience is the organization I work for or the Chairman of our organization. Would it be silly and embarrassing? Yes. But not inappropriate and worth getting fired over.

I want to just shake shoulders sometimes of people who carelessly tweet or add Facebook updates that are not representing them or their character well.

I had the opportunity to hire someone not too long ago…

The one where I pack 7 pairs of shoes

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Next month (November 27th to be exact) will mark one year since the fire.  Crazy, right? 

I was in DC at our 2012 National Summit- first day of the summit- when I got word about the fire. 

Well. Our National Summit is next week. I leave Tuesday morning and will head to Boston. 

Last year, the day before the summit, I tweeted this:


Headed to DC in the morning for #EIA12. Packing warm clothes is stressful. And I might have packed 7 pairs of shoes. Just maybe.
And yes. I had packed 7 pairs of shoes. Upon finding out that my apartment had burned down, I was glad I'd packed those 7 pairs of shoes. #SilverLining.

So tomorrow I will begin packing for Boston. And I'm feeling the need to pack....well, everything. Everything I own. Is that weird?  I honestly want to pack up all my clothes, shoes, and my journals. Aside from furniture, I don't have much more than that- so I can't really lose much else. But I want to pack it all. So. Coworkers. If you see me arrive at the airport with 3…

The one where I celebrate 2 years

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Two years ago I started a job that would propel me into places I never dreamed I'd be in. I know I've written a lot about my job, how much I love it, yada yada.
But sitting in my office tonight (after hours), I'm incredibly grateful.
Not once in the last two years have I wished for a different job. Not once have I thought to myself "Why am I working here?" The questions have been more along the lines of "how did I get here?!?!"
I was in New York yesterday for an event and will be in Boston next week for our National Summit. 
If I could have written my own life story, I couldn't have dreamed this up for myself. 
I'm reminded today how small I'd dreamed. 
Grateful that God has bigger plans for me that I could have created for myself. 
Even if they are about 1000 miles from anything I would have seen myself doing. 
Here's to the most exciting two years I've ever known.


The one with the football season box

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Along with Football comes one of my favorite seasons to decorate for.

Fall. 
I love having pumpkins, fall leaves, and other autumn paraphernalia in my home. The Cowboys will kickoff the 2013-14 season and as I look around my apartment this morning, I realize I have no decorations up. I don't have my gorgeous fall wreath hanging on my door. I don't have my "Give Thanks" plaque hanging in my kitchen. I don't have my ceramic pumpkin bowls and platters on my coffee table. I don't have my fall tablecloth. I don't have a mantle decorated with a stream of (fake) fall leaves....I could go on, and on.  Talking with a friend last week who said "Wait...it hasn't been a year yet since the fire??"  
Not quite a year. Almost 10 months since the fire. And with each month, I feel as though there is something else that I remember I don't have. (We're not going to talk about my Christmas decoration boxes. Just no. Can't do it.)
This weekend, the b…

The one with the books I could have written

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I've been reading highlighting a couple books lately. Seriously. Someone should have given these books to me completely highlighted. Because that's what I've been doing. Almost every chapter.

With each page I read, I think to myself "I could have written this. This is me."
http://www.shaunaniequist.com/books/
A few examples of sentences that express exactly how I feel (and have a friend who is working on some art work for statements like this to hang in my kitchen!) 
Preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness and fragility.
Feeding people I love is a hands-on way of loving them. When you nourish and sustain someone, you're saying that you want them to thrive, to be happy and healthy, and able to live well. There's something about seeing your house filled with people you love, something abo…

The One Where I Cry Uncle

*Editor's note....(yes.that would be me, Minda. Seriously? Who else writes on this blog?)  
Anyways. I wrote this post three weeks ago. It was too fresh to post after writing. And too vulnerable. And honestly, I didn't want anyone to call me after reading and utter these three words: "How are you doing?" Because if someone asked that question- I would either have to lie to them and say "I'm good" or I would probably have broken down and fallen apart. And no one wants to fall apart on a phone call. Falling apart should only happen when you're sitting on the couch with a good friend, or sitting at your dining room table with a large bowl of pasta in front of you. Falling apart should only happen when your dear friend can reach out and put an arm around you. 
So. When you read this post, know it was three weeks ago, and if you ask me today "How are you?" I can respond truthfully with this:
I'm better. I'm not ok, but I'm better. And …

The one where they think I have klout

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Was at work last week when I received a notification saying I'd won 2 free tickets to the Redskins game. If you know me- you know that's not exciting. NFL Football game? Exciting. Redskins? Ick.
I put the idea on the backburner as one of those "If nothing better comes up on Saturday night, I might go."
On Friday I received an email saying "Actually- You've been selected as one of 50 people to go out on the field as the players run out on the field."
Ok. That sounds fun. Not Cowboys stadium and NOT the Dallas Cowboys players, but still. Sounded fun. 
I've been to two NFL games in my life. Both Cowboys games. With my dad. On Thanksgiving Day.
I know NFL games are a big deal- so once the opportunity came to go on the field, I started making arrangements. (Arrangements being: Find someone to cover my fantasy football draft that was taking place on Saturday afternoon.)
I asked around here the few people I know in DC who might be available to go to the g…

The one about Hailey

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Hailey Morgan Barr.

We were an unlikely match. Everyone knew it. We ourselves knew it. When people heard Hailey and I were going to be roommates, their response was most often "Wait...you and Hailey Morgan?!?" Hailey was all sass. I was boring. Hailey was the life of a party. I just hosted the party. :)

My roommate was getting married (shocker!). I needed a new roommate. Hailey needed a roommate. We made it happen.

We took a couple of days to get moved in, but our first official day as roommates just so happened to be the same night our good friend Laura was getting engaged. We had unloaded boxes all day (in the middle of the Texas summer) and were heading to the engagement party that night. Needless to say- showers were needed. We were rummaging through boxes trying to find clothes, shoes, and other things needed to show up decent to the engagement party when Hailey decided she was hungry and thought she'd have enough time to cook and eat dinner. She had a box of spaghet…

The one with the 'street corner'

During my time living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and now my time living in DC, it is not uncommon to hear someone on the street corner yelling at anyone and everyone "Repent! Turn to Jesus. You don't want to burn in hell!"

You are familiar with these sorts of people, yes? In DC, I've even found some people will come out with more than just their voices and a few tracks. They will have a large speaker and mic. They just blast to whomever.

How many people walk by them thinking "Wow! This person really cares for me and wants me to go to heaven- so I will stop and talk to them and accept Jesus right on the spot!"...? Anyone? Do you ever see these people and think to yourself "Man. They've got it. They are doing it right."

I doubt it.

Well, friends.  Facebook has become the new 'street corner.'

Those who blast their religious and political views are spewing. They are spewing at whoever and whomever. They don't care who hears or who do…

The one with the cookbook

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While working yesterday, the mailman came. 
Yup. That's the sentence I decided to start this post off with. Exciting, right?  
Well, what's even more exciting is that he had a package for me. 
I opened the package and I immediately became choked up. In my little cubicle, while trying to get a press release out, I just sat at my desk and could barely move. 
Inside was a custom made cookbook that contained recipes not only from one person, but many. 
Recipes from my grandmothers, my aunts, my dear friends....
Recipes from people who have never met each other- but they all know me. 
Recipes from my grandmothers that are family favorites. The ones we have when all our family is together. Seeing my grandmothers handwriting on those recipe cards.  Knowing how difficult it was for my grandma Scheatzle to write those out as she has MS. But seeing the handwriting I know and love. 
Recipes from friends whose kitchens I've been in and had great meals with. And along with a great meal…

The one where it all picked up

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I took this photo a year ago.  Even looking at it now, I still can't believe I was able to be in a room where taking such a picture would even be possible. And to think that life would even get more exciting from here. It's crazy.

My first 6 months in Tallahassee at the new job- I wouldn't have called them boring- AT ALL- but it was definitely the learning phase. Learning the Foundation. Learning our mission. Learning how to be their voice on social media.

Then June came along. And life became FUN. Lots of fun. Life picked up. I went from sitting in my little office communicating with people via Twitter to sitting in a room with a presidential candidate, to Disney World, to the RNC (OMG), to DC, back to DC again, apartments burning down, moving to DC, traveling to Arkansas, attending conferences.... I mean really. Life picked up. 20 months in to my job with the Foundation and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I mean that.

In other news, not much to update as of la…

The one with the cute knees

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We have a home video of my older sister and I modeling our new Christmas clothes. From 1987.

I was three years old. Almost four.

I was kinda cute, I must admit.

We each had a handful of dresses and Dad had received a new video camera equaling the perfect combo for a modeling show. He put on some sweet tunes and was more than happy to narrate as though he were a beauty pageant host.

We came out from our room, bashful at first, not sure what we were supposed to do. Dad had to do some encouraging along the way....asking us to twirl, curtsy or asking question like "who gave the dress to you?" Of course, as the modeling progressed, we became more and more comfortable in front of the camera. So much so, we'd hear in the background "Minda, put your dress down!" after I'd get so excited and my twirling would become a bit aggressive.

Also, teaching a three year old to curtsy is quite comical. Each time the curtsy looked different, but most of the time it just involv…

The one with the Wall of Frame

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In each apartment I've had the past 7 years, I've had a wall in my home with a collage of frames. No frame was the same, and each contained pictures of dear friends. In my first apartment I think I'd had maybe 5 frames, but had 13 in my last apartment. In the picture here taken after the fire, you can see the outline where the frames had been hanging. One of my favorite things about this wall was the fact it was always a conversation starter. People would immediately go to the wall and look at each of the pictures, usually prompting questions about each of the people or places the pictures contained.

The hard part about 'recreating' that wall in this new apartment is the fact that each of the frames were different. It's not like I could just go buy 15 new random unique frames all at once. So. I've begun a new search. I'm buying frames to fit 4x4 pictures.

I bought my first three frames this last week while in Florida (fitting, I guess) and have the pict…

The one that is raw

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If you follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram, you know I take a lot of pictures. And post them. For anyone and everyone to see. But today I want to share a picture with you that means a little something different.

A company called Social Print Studio has made it possible to take all instagrams photos and print them on quality photo paper. I had several posters made using this company and decided to have some 4x4 prints made.

One of the photos I selected to have printed was of just myself. Which is kind of weird. Maybe. Well, no. It IS weird. It's a selfie. Taken myself. In my car.

When I was flipping through the prints I'd purchased, I came across this particular photo of and stopped.

It's an interesting photo. I have no makeup on. My hair is not fixed. I'm wearing a sweatshirt. These are usually not descriptions that most girls would say they find great about a photo they find themselves in. But when I came across the photo after having it printed, there was so…

The one where Chandler takes a bath

No, really. That's the name of the episode I'm currently watching. But not the part that I just cackled at. 
Yes. Cackled. And no one is around. I'm at my dining room table working and listening as Friends is on TV and I'm laughing outloud. By myself.
Weird? Maybe.  
Happen often? Yes. 

Phoebe: Hey! Have you started off thinking of names yet?
Rachel: Oh yeah! I’ve come up with a bunch of ideas!
Ross: Really? Me too!
Phoebe: Me too!
Rachel: Really?!
Phoebe: Uh huh! If it’s a girl, Phoebe, and if it’s a boy, Phoebo!
Ross: Maybe. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a backup, you know? Uh, Rach-Rach, what were you thinking? (Gives her a look)
Rachel: Okay! I was thinking if it’s a girl, how about Sandrine? It’s French.
Ross: Huh. That’s a really pretty name for-for an industrial solvent.
Rachel: Okay fine, what do you have?
Ross: Well, OK, it’s for a boy. Well, I know it’s a little out there, but…Darwin.
Rachel: Wow, oh my God, our child will be beaten to death in the schoolyard.
Phoebe: Yeah…

The one where I give you tips

Washington, DC.

I've been here 3 months. (!!!)
I've learned a couple of things. 
I've seen a couple of things, too. 
Now that I've been here 3 months, let me tell you a few things I've learned- because of what I've seen.
If you go to a new city and visit- it's totally ok to buy paraphernalia. Really. It is. 
But save it for when you get home. Don't buy a purple zebra hoodie that says "Washington, DC" and then wear it in the same city.  We know you're here.  If you're one who needs to wear a screen printed shirt, wear one from YOUR home. Maybe someone will see you and be able to associate with you because of that. 
From Texas and love the Rangers, Cowboys, or Mavs? Wear one of those shirts. I'll for SURE stop you and tell you I love the teams too!  But if you're wearing a Washington, DC screen printed shirt, I'll most likely avoid you at all costs. (And for those of you thinking, "THIS is how to get her to leave us alon…

Book Review: Woman At War

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I met Jan at a Panda Express in Southlake, TX in the spring of 2008.

I'd actually called my friend Elisa and asked if she wanted to grab lunch as I was in her area.

She responded "I just arrived at Panda Express with my friend, Jan. Come join us!"

Elisa had just started a new job at Gateway Church working in the women's ministry department. I should have realized she'd be eating with someone who was ALSO in the women's department. But not realizing Jan was a women's pastor, my mouth got the better of me when she said to me "since Elisa is now working in women's dept, will you be a part?"

I responded with a very emphatic: "Ha! I don't do women's ministry."

THAT is how I met Jan Greenwood.

Jan responded with an ever so kind "oh honey. I believe you do."

As I sit here and even type the above story, I can't help but smile to myself. Ok, scratch that. I'm grinning like a cheshire cat.

Women's ministry in a church.

I…