July 29, 2013

"no" really means wait

You ever wonder what is with all the waiting?
Why patience?
Why do you keep hearing the word "no"?

Waiting has never been something I am good at.
It is so hard to wait for something especially when you don't know what you are waiting for.
Every day feels long and every moment that slips by feels like another unanswered prayer.
There are so many days where giving up feels easier than waiting another minute.

I ran across some words this morning that really made me think about the providential path that God personally sets out for each one of us.

"Sometimes Christ walks through our crisis dressed in the best disguise of all: ordinary events.
He tucks a miracle in the fold of His robe and sweeps in and out unnoticed. Only in retrospect do we realize that a divine visitation graced our cold, crude winter and the resurrection of spring is on its way." (1)

I know that is so true in my own life.
I can look back and see how one ordinary day,
one simple little event,
turned into one of the most extraordinary and divine interventions of my life.

Didn't even know the waiting was over when it happened.
Couldn't see it till I got far enough away.

From far enough away I finally saw things much clearer.
All the "no's" became the best words I could have ever heard.
Because "no" really means "wait".
Just because things aren't being answered in your timing doesn't mean they aren't being answered.

"God is never late, but He misses a few good opportunities to be early."(2)

So whatever it is that you are waiting for...
a job.
a child.
an unanswered prayer.
the future.

Rest assured that the miracle is on the way.
It might already be here.
You just have to keep pushing forward to the right time to realize it.

(1 & 2) Beth Moore "Esther" p.132- 134

July 24, 2013

the mediterranean - venice

After nine days of sailing the sea we made it to our final destination.

You just can't wrap your mind around a city built on water until you see it with your eyes.
It is every bit as lovely, romantic, and mysterious as you imagine.
You can get lost in the winding maze of alleys that branch out from city square.
And getting lost is a welcomed adventure in this town.

This was the perfect place to end the trip of a lifetime.
To soak up the last bit of history.
No words I can give Venice would quite do it justice.
So instead I can only rely on the words brought to mind from the photos taken there.

Venice taught me a few things:
- i want to quit my job and become a full-time street artist
- there is at any given time a bazillion tourists in the square
- there is something perfect about a band playing while you sip coffee in the square
- if you get too close to the canals you can fall in (oh we so saw this happen)
- don't get wifi at a shady trattoria...find a hard rock cafe
- gelato is still goood...even in Venice
- take a gondola ride
- buy something - anything - made of murano glass
- never ever EVER book a flight out of marco-polo airport...ever.

July 18, 2013

the mediterranean - croatia

When I originally heard that our cruise ship would be docking in Croatia I was less than thrilled.
Probably because I knew very little about this country.
Once I got past trying to figure out how to pronounce Dubrovnik...
I swallowed the inevitable dread that this was going to be a "throw away" port and went along with the plans.

I have never been so wrong about a place in my entire life.
Dare I say I loved Croatia more than
More than Rome?

Gosh it sure seems like it.
And that is saying something.

Snuggled along the Adriatic sea we docked in Dubrovnik.
When I finally made it to the top of the ship I couldn't believe how far my imagination had originally led me astray.
Nothing about this place was "throw away".

Something about this port reminded me of St. Thomas without the electrifying multicolored houses.
But it also reminded me of a scene out of a James Bond movie.
It didn't really matter what Dubrovnik reminded me of.
I just knew I wanted to stay.
However many hours we were going to be there would not be enough.

We boarded a much smaller boat which tugged us slowly around the shoreline.
The pace was nice.
 Everywhere you looked there was something beautiful.
A light house here.
A small chapel nestled in the hill there.
The old city of Dubrovnik resting on a rocky cliff greeting the ocean-goers.

My face couldn't help but to react in shock when it finally saw our destination.
You know those travel magazines that you gawk at in the grocery line?
The ones with the beach and the sand and the water so perfectly clear...?
Places like that really exist.
But they are a hundred times better in real life.
We got dropped off at our beach.
I have never in my life seen water do what it did here.
From clear to light blue to turquoise to sky blue to deep blue.
There is no Photoshop funny business happening here.
This is real.

We baked in the sun
dipped in the cold, refreshing waters.

The lunch menu prepared for us on clean white dishes...
grilled chicken
baked zucchini
lettuce & vinaigrette
warm bread
croatian wine

I was in absolute paradise.
Croatia taught me a few things:
- there are more tints and shades of blue than this art teacher originally dreamed up
- you can absolutely not judge any destination by what you think you know about it
- i am going back

July 16, 2013

the mediterranean - sicily

I knew very little about this island right off the coast of Italy.
Nine hours later...
I knew I wanted to come back.
Sicily felt like home.
Although my home looks nothing like Sicily.
Something about the community.
The warmth.
It felt familiar.

We boarded a bus and let our tour guide lull us into an education about the island as we traced around the shoreline.
Her knowledge reminded me of my art history classes again.
Not the boring classes where the professor rattles off numerical facts from slide to slide while your mind slowly starts to shutdown.
More like the professors who have seen the artwork...been to the places they are showing you.
Everything has a personal story.
You sit on the edge of your auditorium seat and feel like you're participating in a conversation instead of a lecture.
That is what it felt like.

Her words for the island of Sicily made me
love it there.

When we finally made it to the base of our journey I simply looked up in awe.
Mt. Etna.
Europe's tallest active Volcano.
One of the most active volcanoes in the world.
There she stood.
And we were going to climb our way to the top.

And when we got to the top.
What a view.
They said we came on the perfect day.
You could see the coast clearly.
You could see the summit.

Sicily became my adventure that day.

Sicily taught me a few things:
- there are two types of "Fire from Mt. Etna"...the kind that went down my throat burned like a melted fireball candy
- cannoli originated here...cannoli thus  got eaten here
- honey has more than just the flavor we know of here
- generally the temperature is a lot colder at the top of a volcano than at the base...dress accordingly
- lava rocks are lucky...and they are totally okay with you taking some with you for your journey home.

July 12, 2013

the mediterranean - naples

Dean Martin got it wrong.

In Napoli beside the sea
It happened on a night like this...
There 'neath the stars I knew this was paradise...

Now I didn't leave the ship expecting to become a trip-snob.
There is beauty and excitement to be found wherever you are in the world.
But Naples left me with a hole in my heart as I wondered where oh where it was.

I know it is there.
But I don't think I dove deep enough into the city to find it.
A regret I have from the trip to be sure.

I'd return.
But if I did I'd pass right by the port.
I'd get in a taxi and head for the Amalfi coast.
Or Vesuvius.

Naples taught me a few things:
- looks can be deceiving but sometimes looks are the complete truth
- knee caps and shoulders are the devil even if you are just nearby a church
- graffiti and trash can ruin the prettiest of places
- sometimes tanning on a ship can be more fun than the port itself

July 8, 2013

pinterest and printing pins

My most popular blog post happens to be about // Pinterest and Lesson Planning //.
Recently, I've been getting some comments that the new layout on Pinterest is causing some issues with printing pins.

After much hair pulling and scowling I've come up with a new way to print.
Although I will warn you it is:
1) annoying
2) not nearly as convenient as it once was

But my hope is that one day Pinterest will get it together and solve this problem.
Wanna help the cause?
You should go "me too" // this comment // to hopefully speed Pinterest along in getting a printing function.

The most annoying best way to print your pins...

Step 1
Zoom out as far as you can on your board.
To do this on a PC you hit the CTRL and - buttons together.
It should look something like the above picture.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the board to make sure you can see all your pins!
Then scroll back up to the top.

Step 2
Right-click on one of the side margins and select the "print" option.
This will bring up the print dialog which looks something like this:
Analyze the information.
Mine said I would have 18 pages of pins.
If you scroll through them all, you will notice, the pins disappear after a few pages.
Hence this tutorial.
I know that in the end, I need to have 18 pages. 
So I scroll through and on this particular one my pins end up vanishing around page 6.
So instead of printing all 18 pages,
I selected pages 1-6.
I also want to print it as a PDF.
Don't know how to do that?
Install it for free // here //.
Print on landscape mode.
A dialog box will pop up after you hit print and you can save your PDF to your computer.
How to get the rest of the pins...

Step 3
Look and see what was one of the last pins to appear in the print dialog.
Mine happened to be this Eiffel tower project.
So when I return to the board I need to scroll down and search for that pin.
I made sure that pin was near the top of the screen and then started the printing process again.
This time my pages 1-6  and 11-18 were pretty much blank.
So I selected pages 6-10 where the pins were appearing and printed another PDF.

I continued this same process till I finally got to page 18.
There are some pins that overlap from one PDF to the next.
It is annoying that I have to have 4 PDFs of the same board.
Until Pinterest fixes this issue, this is our best bet.
Hopefully that helps!
Happy Pinning!

July 2, 2013

the mediterranean - rome

When you've never been somewhere but have only heard words and seen pictures 
you tend to create your own idea of how a place looks.
Your imagination runs wild.

I've been doing this very thing with Rome.
I'd say a good portion of my undergraduate years were spent dreaming up a Rome in my head.
Maybe it was the countless art history lectures.
Maybe it was picture after picture of the Pantheon, Colosseum, or Vatican.

So I imagined in my head what my Rome would look like.
And I was wrong.
And I am so glad I was.

Rome is better than my imagination.
Better than my best dream.

Whereas here we drive down the street and see a grocery store, a bank, some concrete sidewalks...
In Rome...
you are in the middle of an art history book.

You look down the street one direction and there is the Colosseum.
You look to your right and there are the ruins of the Roman Forum.
You let your feet lead you through the maze of cobblestone...
past trattorias...
past pizzerias...
Turn a corner and your breath catches in your throat as your stare at one of the most unbelievable sites.
A fountain so grand in size and beauty.
The Trevi.
I need a week in Rome to fully soak it up.
I got about 9 hours.
But oh what a wonderful way to spend 9 hours.

Rome taught  me a few things:
- it is possible for reality to be better than your best dreams
- priests don't always give the best directions
- art history books don't do art history justice
- always rome on your own
- romans love their cats and thus I love the romans
- historical treasures are literally hidden within the city