A little about a lot

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Hey all-
I'm about to leave for the Christmas holiday!

I'm so looking forward to being home, I can't stand it! I hope you all have a great Christmas and very Happy New Year.

Remember why we celebrate Christmas - and think of what the world would be without the gift of the baby Jesus - Emmanuel- God with us.
This morning, Dr. David Jeremiah spoke on that subject on a radio broadcast. He said if there was no Jesus, we wouldn't have a savior, our Bible wouldn't be accurate as the hundreds of prophesies about Jesus' birth, miracles, death and resurrection wouldn't be fulfilled, and we wouldn't have a relationship with God, as before Jesus, he spoke to his people through prophets.

How blessed are we that Jesus did and does exist - in the flesh and now within us.

Love you all

P.S. I received an e-mail from Jared today. He's in Kuwait and will be there through Christmas and a little afterward. Please pray for him. Also, pray for Jackie and Mark who are in China right now on a missions trip.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

clickity click-click clack

When I was a kid, I always liked the clicking of computer keys.
I wonder if that was a foreshadowing of what I'd become.
God is good at foreshadowing. :)

Today is going well. My grand total of stories for this week is a whopping 4. Ugggghhh. I talked to my mom about it last night. I'm worried because I'm not really that upset about only having four. I hope I'm not going soft.

I've been pretty busy each day up to this point and even have four hours of overtime. Right now, at 3:11 p.m., is the first moment I haven't had something I needed to do right away. (I still have some things to work on for next week, but am taking a lil' break.)

Anyhow -I don't know how I've worked that much and only gotten four stories out of it, but oh well. I guess as long as I'm busy each day I shouldn't be overly worried about reaching my 10-story goal. Still worried, just not overly worried.

Last Sunday I went to this church ... did I already write about this? It was like a TV evangelism church. Not for me - but the choir was good.

Then, last night, I swam 2100 meters - further than I'd ever swam before. It was greeeeeaaaatt.

Tonight I have a swimming lesson with Victor. I'm excited to see what he's been practicing in the last week. His homework was to make a list of the small things he's having problems with so we could go over them. I hope he did, or there's not a lot more I can do for him.

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut, and am soooo excited about it. It's to that point that I wear it up every day because it's not healthy enough to wear down.

I almost had to go to this reception for this girl who married this guy from Africa tomorrow night and would've had to miss my hair appointment. I said I'd go, but was secretly hoping my editor would kill the assignment since it was a little weird.
The girl's mother called and said this daughter's husband was an African King - then she said that he's not really an African King, but his father was, and now the country he's from - Senegal - is a democracy, so this guy is in line to run for president.
I can't find anything about the family on the Internet and am not real trusting that this woman is telling the truth. Not that she's being dishonest on purpose, but maybe she just doesn't KNOW the truth.
Anyhow, I don't have to go now, since we can't authenticate her claims, and also because it is basically a private wedding reception.

Anyhow- then I'll go pick up Steve-bob (this is my new name for him) at the airport and head home. I can't wait to be home. I miss the openness so much. Home is so crisp - each element of the landscape is it's own, but also blends where it meets other elements.
Here, everything is just ... gray. bleah.

Well, I better start working on projects for next week.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Whoooo, this week is a doozy.
With only four days, we need to get a lot more done in a much shorter amount of time. I'm lucky that some of my stories from last week have been held, and the census project I did is keeping Loren's section pretty tight for Wednesday, so he doesn't need a lot of content.

I'm working on a story about last night's City Council meeting. It will be good, I just gotta get going on it, and needed to take a break before diving into it.

This morning I had an assignment for this story on how more women are getting into motorcycles, etc. This Harley-Davidson dealership is owned by three siblings and their mother. Their father, who started the business, died in 1996. So, as of now, the dealership is owned by three women (mom and two daughters) and a man (son).
All three of the kids worked in the dealership growing up, and now their kids work there as well.
It's just an interesting story in itself. Unfortunately, it was difficult to get the owners to talk about their experiences. They don't seem to think what they do is that unique. I guess if they don't think it is, maybe it's not. I dunno - I'll see what I can do with what I got.

Last night I went for a good, long swim before going to the City Council meeting. It felt great. I was running out of time and had to do the last eight laps pretty quick. It was a nice way to finish up - and a great way to relax before that stupid FOUR HOUR meeting. :)

I had to run out of the gym half-wet to get home and ready for the meeting in time. (You all would've been proud of me. I think I got ready in 15 minutes, despite the fact that my shower decided to quit working and made it to the meeting about three minutes early. :) )

Anyhow, then, after the long @$$ meeting, I grabbed my tool box and fixed my shower! I know this is probably not a big deal to anyone else, but I am very proud of myself. :)

I can't wait to finish up this week and see Steve and the rest of the family, and of course, have Christmas.

I've had a really bad attitude about sharing my Christmas with Dwight's family, who will celebrate with us on Christmas Eve.

Sheesh, how selfish am I? I know God knows my heart, so there isn't much point in me pretending (to Him) that I'm excited about our traditional Christmas Eve changing a little this year, but I am asking for forgiveness and a changed heart.

Dwight is such a great guy, he deserves to have his kids at Christmas time. And as a Christian, I should look forward to spending such an important holiday with people who maybe don't have as much faith as I do - to be a light - that's what I'm called to do.

Anyhow, if you all wanted to pray that I could have a changed heart about this (and Steve and Mom, too) that would be great.

Also, please keep praying for Jared. He's on my heart and mind a lot these days.

Love you all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

You are beautiful

"You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song."
"You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song."
"And I will sing againg."

"You ride upon the clouds."
"You lead me to the truth."
"You are the spirit inside me."

mmmm....I love this song. :) It is impossible to be in a bad mood when listening to it.
Marc Powell's voice is deep and open. I guess what you'd call "throaty." The music seems to flow out of him. I've never seen Third Day in concert, but I would guess that he doesn't even have to open his mouth - that the sound just resonates from him. That's what I would imagine.

Today has been OK. I got to work on this Census project that I should've been working on for a couple of weeks already. It's not going great, and I feel bad for letting Kris (boss-like man)down. I think it will be OK, but not GREAT. That makes me mad at myself. They gave me a chance to soar and I chose to stay grounded. I won't make that mistake again.

I'm still fighting the fever. I thought it was gone yesterday, and felt pretty good this morning, but am fading fast right about now.I had planned on just working straight through to 7 and then going to teach Victor, but I think I'm gonna take off at 5ish and go sleep for a bit before heading back to Bally.

I dunno. Maybe I'll stay - probably shouldn't, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to go home for just an hour.

I just booked tickets to go see Steve and Stacy in January. I can't wait. It will be nice to get away, just for a weekend. The next weekend after Chicago, I'm really taking off and Jackie, Mark, Brennon, Adam and I are going skiing. Maybe some more people I don't know about are going, too. It will be fun. I prolly won't do a lot of skiing as I don't have a lot of money, but I'll do maybe one day. I don't really have anything to ski in. Hmmm... hadn't thought about that yet. I guess I'll pull out the HUGE blue coat from freshman year. :)

Wulp, better get back to work. I just ate some cookies and am picking back up a little. Maybe I will make it to 7.


P.S. Are you guys praying for Jared? Please do. Pray for strength and for protection from physical, emotional and mental harm. Also pray for him to see who loves him.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The weekend warrior

Remember how I said I felt like I was fighting the bod last week? The bod fought back this weekend, and won.

The worst thing about being sick now is that there is no one here to take care of me. (Parents, that is not an invitation to come up and baby me.)I did have phone calls from Mom, Aunt Sheri, and Aunt Sheri's friend, Susan - all within 10 minutes of me calling my mom from the bathroom floor and telling her I was pretty sure I'd be dead in the next half hour. :) Ten minutes LATER, I was back in my bed and calling mom to tell her NOT to make the two hour drive up there, I thought I'd be OK if I could just sleep a little.

Dad and Anita came up Sunday and took care of me (and brought me a CHRISTMAS present. :) ) It is great to see how much I'm loved and how my family flies to my side when I need them.

Today is a little better. I'm a little sluggish, and am going to try to go home a little early to get some sleep before a city council meeting tonight.

The swimming lesson went well. Victor had a nice stroke and once he learned to put his face in the water - conquered that fear - he was flying along.
It's a great feeling to see someone do something they never thought they'd be able to do. It's interesting how various people have problems with the water.

God didn't give us gills, so he didn't mean for us to live in water, but I do believe it's one of His many gifts to us, and I enjoy helping people see it as a gift and not a nightmare.

Victor was still swimming when I left and was practicing alternate breathing, which I mentioned, but didn't specifically teach him. He said it was going well, but was a bit disheartened when I told him how many laps a mile was. He has to swim 1.2 miles for the triathalon. It won't be a problem once he gets past the first five laps.

We're having another lesson Wednesday. I'm going to give him some pointers on not fighting the water, and also teach him how to float and tread water - so he has the tools to keep him from panicing if he does swallow some water.

I'm excited about all that - hope I'm up to it by Wednesday. :)

My friend Jared e-mailed me over the weekend. His Army Reserve unit is about to take off for Iraq. I'm so worried about Jared, I want to cry most of the time. I love that guy more than I can express and was thinking about all the memories I have of him. It's amazing how much of my life he's been a part of. Pray for him, please. Pray for physical, emotional and mental strength and safety.

The week is lining up well for me to hit my goal of 10 stories. I think I'll have four or five in Wednesday's paper - and hopefully as many in Saturday's paper.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Swimming Lessons

Well, I'm back to teaching swimming lessons. Victor, a grown man who is training for a triathalon but isn't great with water, is my student.

Tonight is our first lesson and after e-mailing back and forth, I have a pretty good idea of where he is with water - he doesn't like it, and I'm sure his muscle doesn't help as it makes him sink. I'm looking forward to working with him. Everyone should feel comfortable in the water - it's a gift to us that we should take advantage of.

Today is Friday and I'm done with stories for this week. I will only have seven in this week - mostly because I only had three in Wednesday's paper. Needed two more Wednesday and one more today to get it. Maybe next week.

Things seem to be slow, and after I work a bit on this Census project for a bit, I might go to Merriam or Shawnee and try to find some stories.

I'm working with a new format for business stories - I call it the WSJ format because they do a great job of using it in the Wall Street Journal. Yoda told me about it, and this will be the first edition in which I formated my stories that way. I'm pumped about it. :)

It's really cold out today. The weather has been strange - it was nice yesterday. I hate the cold. I'll be glad when it's summer again.

Dinner with Jill was fun last night. We went to Jose Peppers, and I learned a little about her. We've had a lot of similar experiences. She worked for a semester for the Des Moines Register and actually kind of stumbled onto covering the riot in Ames last year. We like her.

Not real sure what's going on this weekend. Dad is coming up Sunday to help me hang a shelf over my fireplace, and Saturday I have the Star dinner thing - but that's all I know. I guess that gives me some time to work on this project, which I've been doing a great job of putting off because I don't have a real great idea of how to go about it.

Or...maybe I'll sleep. :)


Thursday, December 09, 2004


I'm wearing green and pink today - I feel like a watermelon. A cheeful watermelon.
I'm glad my job is so easy-going about when we come in and when we leave, because I had a heck of a time getting outta bed this morning. I didn't make it here until 10 a.m. It's cool because I have four hours of overtime, but still. I don't know what my deal is.

Today I'm going to talk to disgruntled business owners. This huge construction project is being extended. This is a big problem because business owners who work on that road have already complained that the construction is hindering their business. I'm thinking the construction has been going on for YEARS.

I'll have 8 stories this week - not my goal of 10 - but closer. I'm working on it. :)

Last night I went to Bally for a swim and one of the trainers there asked me if I gave swimming lessons. I told him I used to - and he told me about a guy who is training for a triatholon, but doesn't know "anything" about swimming. He wondered if I could teach him.

I have some experience with teaching grown men how to swim - mostly soldiers - it's not easy. But I gave the trainer my e-mail and told him to have the triatholon guy e-mail me. I guess he used to be a personal trainer there at Bally and had offered to train me for free if I gave him lessons. That would be cool. :)

The thing that is bothering me still - is the trainer told me he had heard I was a good swimmer. Who told him that? No one knows me there. I don't like the idea that someone is critiquing me while I'm swimming. ohhhh well. I'm probably making a bigger deal out of it than it's worth.

I'm excited to get through the day - after work I'm going out to dinner with a co-worker, Jill. I'm excited to get to know her better. Then, this weekend, the staff is having a Christmas party. I'm nervous to go - because I will feel awkward and won't really know anyone - but I'm making myself go, and I'm taking a dessert pizza. Now I just gotta find someone who has the recipe. :)

I feel like my body is fighting me every step of the way this week - can't figure out what's going on. Anyhow - I'm looking forward to a long sleep this weekend. :)

Better get back to work.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Quiet time

I had an amazing quiet time this morning. Yesterday, I was sitting down to have my quiet time, and looked at my watch. I had five minutes in which to "fit God in." That is ridiculous. I prayed about it and God was so faithful this morning with changing my attitude about what is really important (and also about sleeping in).

I read Collosians chapters three and four - and they provided so much insight on what kind of person I need to strive to be if I've truly died to myself and died to the world and am living for Christ.

Here it is, with emphasis added.

Colossians 3
Rules for Holy Living

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your[1] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[2] 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Colossians 4

1Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

What a great reminder of how to act each day.

Love you all-

Monday, December 06, 2004

Unquenchable Desire

This is a great moment. As I sit here, my earphones in, watching co-workers bundle up to go out in the cold on their way home, I know this is where I belong. Here at this computer in this office, or at another computer in another office – as a journalist. It's the Sunday afternoon warm car after a post-church lunch feeling - but in front of a screen.
I’ve been so richly blessed by God with a deep desire to do this. He drives me to stay up late, get up early, stand out in the cold and even listen to irate people yell at me – as long as I get to write about something at some point.
I’ve been told my work ethic separates me from others, but I just realized - it’s not mine. It’s that desire again. The desire for journalism He’s given me is like a double-edged sword. It drives me to work so hard and at the same time it gives me joy and happiness. I work hard because I love what I do. It's like working hard at having fun.
What a gift- the gift of words.
I pray that I never lose sight of that gift.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fab Friday

I like the alliteration a little too much, me thinks.

Annnyhow, today is Friday and a fabulous one at that for reasons I don't really want to share with the entire blogging audience, but would rather keep in my little heart.

This week, I had 12 stories published. Not something I'd normally be so ecstatic about, except that it's the first time I've met my 10 stories per week goal.

Mom is headed up here this weekend and we are going shopping, so I'm looking forward to that. And tonight I'm covering Christmas Around Town -which I'm really looking forward to, it will be a good chance to do some featurish writing.

That's it for now.

Things are looking up!