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My parents sent me home with a 4lb lamb roast.  I’ve never made lamb before.  But my roommate bought me a Coffee Cookbook for Christmas, which just so happened to have a recipe for lamb in it. Perfect.

Tonight I made coffee roasted lamb.  I served it with a lima bean and pasta salad (with a cheese sauce) that I made up, and ended up being delicious (I have long wanted to redeem lima beans from my childhood memories).  I had three friends come over for dinner, and one brought salad.

I thought everything turned out nicely.  And look, a real dinner, like an adult eats.  I admit my meals themselves are rarely balanced, but over the whole of the day I manage to get everything in.  It’s just so much work to make all the sides for one person.  It’s nice to cook for others.

You couldn’t tell the lamb or the gravy was made with coffee, but I think it needed something.  I’m just not sure what. I should have probably used cream instead of milk, but there is something else missing…  Oh well.  I’ll probably use the leftover meat in a Shepherd’s Pie or something.  Or a lamb stew perhaps.

I’m not sure if I’ll do anything else with my evening.  But I’m satisfied.

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I was going through old files on my computer tonight, and I came across one that was a copy of several blog entries I wrote about the one boy I ever loved, written from 2004-2005.  Mind, these were never public, but private entries.  Well, the entries were from those years because that was when everything happened (and didn’t happen).  I even included some that he wrote about me, after I broke his heart (and mine, for that matter).  And reading over them, I just started crying.  It’s funny.  I don’t think I ever cried about it then.  I wanted to, but I never let myself.  And now, this many years later, when I’ve been over him for so long, now I cry.

I don’t believe in regrets (just in repenting and learning from mistakes), but my biggest regret (other than not handling the entire situation completely differently) is that we never resolved anything between us.  It’s easier now that I no longer live at home and don’t have the opportunity to run into him.  I think our last communication attempt was over two years ago when he told me to please never contact him again.  Ouch.  But we had a knack of only hurting each other more when we tried to resolve things, so I can’t blame him too harshly.  However, I will freely admit that I still want to have things resolved.  To know that if I did come across him, we could smile and say hello without anything between us.

Many of you who know me know this story already, as it has been one that defined me in many ways.  But I think I’ve finally learned to not let it.  Until recently, I had refused to ever let my emotions get involved when it came to men.  I had decided after that guy that hurting like I hurt wasn’t worth it.  But that’s changed.  I’m still not keen on getting hurt, but I’m realizing that love is worth the risk.  And God has been working on me, not that I understand why He’s doing what He’s doing, but I trust Him.

Love is a funny thing, isn’t it?

[Note: Now, let’s see if I allow this blog to stay, or if I delete it…]

I’m back at my other home, feeling strangely at a loss.

The second half of my week went well.  I saw friends most days.  I considered staying with my family until tomorrow (Friday), but it ended up that the weather was supposed to turn stormy, and I am not a fan of driving in bad weather.  Truthfully, I’m not a fan of driving in general.  But, I actually wanted to stay, which might be the first time since I went away for undergrad.  There were no fights.  None. That is nothing short of miraculous.  I truly enjoyed my time at home.

Mom and I made two more puzzles. I made a new piece for one of the puzzles. Can you find it?  (Sorry about the flash. I really should learn how to use a camera one of these days.)

Dad and I went to lunch on Wednesday at a Thai restaurant I like.  I saw my brother and his family another time.  I also sewed.  I made new cup cozies and new coasters.  I wanted to make an apron, but decided it will have to wait until another time.  I’ve added some pictures of my creations below.

The top set of coasters I made for my mom.  Two of them have green on one side and brown on the other, and the rest are the same colour on both sides.  On the bottom picture, I should have had better lighting because the ones on the left look really washed out, but they’re a pale yellow with blue flower details; the back is denim on that set.  When my dad saw all of my creations, it was as if he’d never seen me (or my mother) sew before.  He couldn’t believe I was making all these, and wondered why I don’t sell them.  It’s simple. I have no time and none of my sewing materials at school.  Someday I’d love to be able to do more.

That’s all for now.

I’ve been “home” with the family since Wednesday night.  It’s been a pretty good trip so far.  I think I’ll be driving back this Thursday, but I might stay until Friday.  I’ll see how I feel when the time comes.  (The upside of only having myself to worry about: I can make decisions like that at the last minute and on a whim.)

Mom and I have made two puzzles so far, with one attempted and abandoned (I decided it was too hard for this trip).  It’s actually pretty relaxing, as I’ve been realizing.  Dad and I have watched some Top Gear together, at least, their top 40 count down.  Not the whole thing, but boy they are hilarious.  I really like that show.

We had Christmas eve lunch with my brother and his family.  He loves cooking for us, so that was pretty fun.  Hanging out with my nieces is also wonderful.  They all came over for Christmas dinner, which was also great.  This was one of the very few Christmases where there was zero fighting.  Praise be.  Maybe this is a new trend?  I can hope, right?   Anyway, on Christmas, I spent the day mostly in the kitchen with Mom, helping prepare the meal and helping clean up.  It’s nice being in the kitchen with someone other than myself.  And it’s a role I can fit with confidence.

I’ve had several opportunities to have the sound of football in the background, which is mostly nostalgic for me.  It’s the background to my growing up years.  And Dad, Mom and I have watched quite a number of movies together.  Best one so far was Red.  I highly recommend it: good action, good plot, and most importantly, clean!

Last week I saw some friends for a birthday.  Today I had an all day date with one of my good friends from home.  She and I went to Half Price Books (so good), had lunch, then watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which I also recommend.  I also recently found out that the nemesis, Professor Moriarty, was at least partially based off a real guy, Adam Worth.

I’ve also picked out a bunch of fabric and buttons to make some cup cozies (as I call them).  Plus I dug out the material for the apron I’ve been meaning to make (which I might still put off).  Now I just need to make the time to actually cut out the pieces and sew them together.

And, on top of all that, I still have made time to do homework.  Amazing, yes?

 

A note before I write about what I wanted to say: every time I go home to my parents’ house, one of the first things I do is doctor all my mom’s plants back into the land of the living.  It is amazing to me how in such a short amount of time (four months) she can nearly kill all of them.  By the end of the week I’m here, they should be back on track, but goodness knows that won’t last.

Now… change.  The older I get, the more it is obvious to me that I don’t like change, neither good nor bad.  I think this is something I’ve written about before, but it constantly surprises me how resistant I am to change.  It’s like I need to have the idea presented, then I need to be allowed to ruminate on it, then I can accept it.  But to simply be presented with a change and expected to immediately accept it?  Never.

Decisions go along with change.  Making a decision feels like making a change, so it follows the same line of reasoning, frequently.

It is not as if I cannot change or make new decisions that change previous plans: it is that I need to have it as an idea for awhile first.  I need to have the chance to consider it first.  Then I am more than willing to try something new or to change directions.  This is why God and I so often wrestle with new things in my life.  He presents something and I ignore it, then He brings it up again and again until I have dealt with it.  But He’s a patient God.

My sister is visiting for a few days before we head up to home.  It’s nice to have her, but I imagine it will be a bit harder to accomplish my homework goals. It will be different when I’m at the folks’ and not entertaining anyone.  Although, I’ll only be home for about a week anyway.  Then back here so I can work for a couple weeks and take a Jan term class.

I have two grades back thus far… In Greek, I got a 97% and in Hebrew I got a 95%.  I don’t know what my ethics grade is yet, but I suspect I did well enough.

My motivation to accomplish my MDiv is lacking indeed.  The drive just isn’t there.  I suppose that’s okay.  I’ll keep on keeping on unless God says otherwise.  But if He did, I wouldn’t complain. :)

The ignorance of people frustrates me mightily.  I’m watching Dances with Wolves and it has had its good moments, but overall, it just reminds me of how entirely terrible people are.  The problem is that I know it’s portraying a reality about humankind, about the past of America, that I wish wasn’t true.  And it’s a reality that is played out over and over again.  It’s not new and it’s not over.

What is it with humans that we believe we are better than someone else because they are not like us?  That we can hurt and destroy and be terrible to each other?  That we have the right to do so?

Why can’t we just get along?  Why can’t we just live out the love of Christ?  Even if just everyone who claimed to be Christian began living how we ought, that in and of itself would make a difference.  But those of us who have that knowledge, that love, don’t live it.  Why?

[This is why I tend to pick fluffy movies to watch in my free time.  The real ones are too hard to watch.]

My free time has largely been filled with… you guessed it, baking!

Yesterday I made Orange Chocolate Buttermilk Scones and garlic naan (for my tandoori chicken).  Today I made truffles and pumpkin pie.  Not that I need this much food in my apartment, but it’s delightful nonetheless.  Real food wise, I made Praise the Lord Soup, which despite its corny name, is one of my favourite soups.  And it will feed me for several meals, which is what I’m looking for.

In between baking, cooking and eating, and sometimes concurrently, I’ve been watching movies.  I won’t confess how many I’ve seen in the past three days, but let me tell you that it is more than I usually watch in a month.  Ha!

Fear not, I have left my apartment a few times… I did have to go to the grocery and check the post.  And perhaps tomorrow or perhaps by Monday, I will start doing homework again.  But I felt like I deserved a few days rest and relaxation.

Lovely.

I should be in bed, instead of posting, but I really wanted to at least “briefly” talk about something…

I found out tonight that the wife of a couple I knew back home has been cheating on him for 1.5 to 2 years.  They’ve been married probably 15 years; they have kids; I’ve never heard him speak of his wife in anything less than glowing terms.  The thing is… that’s a lifestyle.  That’s a conscious decision everyday to live a double life.

How do people do that?

I talked about it a bit with some friends tonight over drinks.  I have enough fears about marriage as it is (having grown up with more bad examples than good), and while I feel like I’m getting closer to truly believing a healthy marriage is possible (instead of just hoping it is), things like this scare me.

But I realized something tonight.  Something I knew, but don’t articulate, even to myself.  When I look at marriages and consider how they’ve fallen, I often blame it on communication.  I think this is true, but the problem is deeper, and oddly, although I’ve seen and identified this reason with why a marriage might not improve, I don’t know that I’ve pinpointed it as the cause of its problems (although I should have).

It was pointed out to me that the reason a marriage starts going bad, any relationship really, is that each person’s relationship with Christ isn’t where it should be.

It is so vitally important to be right with God, to have Him be your foundation and rock…  And this is true for every part of life, not just relationships.  The friend who pointed out the above statement has a good habit of bringing God into the equation, where I have tended to just assume His presence.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated that, how much I’ve realized I need to be more explicit about my walk with God, my interactions, my daily need for Christ.  I take too much for granted, even in how I articulate things about my faith.  I want to make Him more of my normal conversation, more than He is.

I don’t want to take God for granted. Ever.

The other night, I’d gone over to my friend’s house to go over our Greek assignment together (a good practice to ensure neither of us missed anything).  Afterwards, I ended up staying a bit, hanging out with the guys, “watching” football.  My Hebrew tutor is one of his roommates.  And this was the opportunity that my tutor took to follow through on his threat to teach me about sports.

I ended up engaging in a 15-20 minute lesson on what all the positions in football are called and their basic functions.  I was told there would be a test.  I wanted to know how this conversation even happened, because my tutor claimed, at first, that I asked.  I felt certain that while I would ask follow-up questions and continue the conversation, I would have never asked the first one…  And I was vindicated when he remembered that he asked me if I knew the name of the position that the quarterback was throwing the ball to (which, of course, I did not).

The next day, I sent a text listing all the positions I could remember, with the question, “did I pass?”  His response?  “A for the day.”  hahaha

In other news regarding sports, my team won that night.  That is, every time I “watch” football with guys, I pick the team I think will win based on a very scientific and proven method: I pick who has the best uniform.  My theory is that whoever has the best uniform also has the most money, which means the best players, which means the best team.  My theory generally works, but it does require that I carefully examine both teams’ uniforms before picking one to win.  Try it sometime, you’ll like it.