Carpe Septem Dies

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 28: Business Week

Hello, friends! Welcome to week 28, but before I get into that, I'll recap last week. Now, I didn't blog as much as I wanted to last week, but that's ok. Even though I didn't post everyday, I took last week to process through the changes that are happening in my life right now, and I must say that doing that has made all of it so much easier. I had a wonderful few days processing through things on my own, with friends, with God....I know that any time I start to freak out about not having a job, living with my parents, running out of money- I just need to stop and re-focus. God is faithful and provides. He has done just that my whole life. Why would I think it would be different now? Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement in this transition. I have felt the power of those prayers, and I am so grateful!

This week is Business Week. I've been thinking about opening a store on Etsy. If you haven't been to the website, check it out. Basically, it's a site you can go to and find awesome, homemade gifts. I love the website, and I've purchased quite a few gifts from there for friends. The last couple months or so, I've been looking through the site and found myself thinking, "Wow. That's super easy to make. I could totally make that!" So I've decided to open my own store, make a bunch of handmade gifts (which I love doing anyway), and sell them so that I can make a little extra money and people all over can enjoy them! I'm actually really excited about this, and I have friends who are interesting in helping so this is going to be a lot of fun.

This week, I plan on looking into how to open a store. I also need to come up with a name for my store, which will probably be the toughest thing for me, and I am going to start building up my inventory. I'm planning on making journals, picture frames, ornaments, gift boxes, buttons, etc. Then I will need to come up with some prices. As I make stuff, I will post up pictures and you guys can give me your feedback. How does that sound?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 27, Day 3

So my phone has been off for a couple days- sorry if you have tried calling me : ) Reason: couldn't pay my phone bill. I haven't even stopped working yet, and already struggling to pay bills. Not good. The change that has been on my mind a lot today has been that come 18th, unless something happens quickly, I will no longer have an income. I almost don't want to fully say what I'm thinking because I know that I am so much better off than so many people who don't even have a roof over their head, but this not having an income thing worries me a little. I have my loans to pay for, which takes up a big chunk and then everything else. It just stinks that I spent so much stinking money on college which has left me in a lot of debt, to get a job which I am being let go from.

Now, I need to focus on the truth. God will provide for me. He has this far! I have nothing to worry about. All I need to do is seek God- He has it all under control. When I worry, I am saying that I don't trust God and His promises. God will and has been opening and closing doors. I am so unbelievably blessed because I can stay with my parents and not pay rent until I get my feet back on the ground. I have people in my life who love me and support me, so there's nothing to worry about.

The verse I am memorizing is Psalm 46:10 which says, "He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.'” Be still. That's a hard one for me, that's for sure. All I need to do is be still and know that God is, well, God!

My friend Linda will be praying for me this next week- that I wouldn't stress out about money and that I would remember that God will provide! And also that I would be a good steward of the money I do have. I have already set up financial accountability so that I will spend very little money in order to save what I can.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 27: A Week of Change

Hello, everyone! After 24 Hour Blog Day, I needed a couple days to recover : ) Plus, today was my grandma's wake, so we were all busy preparing for that. Thank you all for your support, prayers, for coming to the wake, for the's all very appreciated and has been a huge blessing.

So as I have shared with you guys, there's a lot of change happening in my life right now, and some of you may know that I do not deal very well with change. I am done at my job on the 18th, I just moved back to my parents' house after living on my own for 6 years, I have no idea where I will be working and when, and my grandma just passed away. Any time there is change, it is usually followed by some depression and a bumpy road for a while. A friend of mine suggested that I react in this way because I'm not prepared for what's coming. Maybe that's true. Whatever the reason, I've decided to try and prepare myself a little bit. Really, the change has already happened, but I don't think that it has sunk in yet.

This week is really pretty simple, but may be hard for me. Basically, each day I will take an aspect of my life that is going through change and face it head on. I tend to run away from facing change by being busy and distracted, but that obviously hasn't worked for me so far. My plan of action is to journal and pray through a part of my life that is going through change; find some scripture pertaining to that change, write it, and memorize it; find a friend that can pray for that specific area of my life. Make sense?

I guess today I'll start with the passing of my grandma. A lot of times, when a person passes away people say "He/She's in a much better place now." For some people, that statement is not helpful at all and for some it is. For me, it is very helpful. My grandma loved the Lord and had a relationship with Him, so I know that she went to heaven. There is absolutely no more suffering, no more pain, and while we were all crying over our loss, she was sitting there with Jesus, basking in His wonderful love and peace.

Now, here's where I am going to have a problem: Things keep running through my mind like, "Why didn't you spend more time with her? Why weren't you home more often? Why didn't you ask her to tell you stories or teach you lessons or ask for her advice?" I know that I shouldn't do that to myself, but it's hard not to. I hope that she knew how much I loved her, even if I didn't show it as much as I should have. I have definitely learned a whole lot from my grandma- the importance of family, of loving everyone you encounter, not to go to bed mad at someone because you'll never know if that person or you will wake up the next morning....those things she's taught me will live on, and I will pass those things to my children and so on.

My family put together picture boards for the wake, and today my mom told me that I looked like my grandma when she was my age. You guys, my grandma was beautiful! Breath takingly beautiful. I thought my mom was nuts. Then another women who was friends with my grandma said the same thing...maybe it's true, even though I don't see it. If I am half as beautiful as my grandma, I'd be happy! My prayer is that I will love people like my grandma did, that my family will experience peace and joy, that God will turn things around for my family. We've been through so much, Lord!

My memory verse: Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I take refuge." When I got home just a little bit ago from the wake, there were flowers waiting for me from my best friend, Lisa. God laid that verse on her heart, and she wrote it on the card with the flowers. I think it's a perfect scripture for right now.

See, I feel a lot better already : ) Whenever my mind starts to race with those questions, I will remember this verse- the truth that God is my strength and refuge!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Topic #24: Cartoons

Cartoons. Really? This is the last topic of 24 Hour Blog Day? Well, poo. Ok, here we go: Cartoons are awesome. My favorite cartoon growing up was "Doug." I often get that theme song stuck in my head. Roger, Skeeter, Patti Mayonaise, Porkchop- awesome names for cartoon characters. Yay for "Doug!" The end.

I made it for 24 hours!!!!! Insane and quite the miracle. Thanks to Mike for inviting me to participate. It's been awesome reading my friends blogs during these last 24 hours, and now I'm taking a nap. See ya later, friends!

Topic #23: 80's movies

Oh man, the '80's hold some of the greatest movies ever. First one that comes to mind is "Ghostbusters" which came out in 1984. Epic movie. I think it would be interesting to see how society would have reacted if that movie first came out now in 2011. People would probably think it was lame, didn't have enough sex in it, and was "blah." Not all people would think that way, but I just don't think this movie would have been as epic had it come out now. Here are other ones that stick out to me:

  • "The Blues Brothers" started their mission from God in 1980

  • "E.T." came out in 1982 and honestly I was a little scared of E.T.. Kept thinking he would pop out in my own pile of stuffed animals

  • The first "Back to the Future" came out in 1985 and started an epic trilogy, or so I hear. haven't actually watched them. I know, I know-it's embarrassing.

  • "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" (1987) is another awesome movie. I think that movie is hilarious. Steve Martin and John Candy are great together. Have you seen the new movie "Due Date?" In my opinion, it's a disgusting version of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles." Perfect example of how there seems to have been a shift in society- with sex entering in, inappropriate language, and other "adult themes." I could go on and on about this, but I won't because it will just make me mad.

  • "When Harry Met Sally" is one of my favorite movies of all time, and that came out right at the end of the '80's-1989. That's how I want to fall in love- we'll see if it actually happens that way.

In conclusion, 80's movies rock.

Topic #22: Awkward Moments

Wow, there have been far too many in my life, mainly because I am so empathetic. It takes a lot for me to personally feel awkward, but I get embarassed for people which can lead me to feel awkward. Does that make sense? Example: It's hard for me to watch American Idol auditions because I feel soooo embarrased for some of those people. Awkward. Then there are people who don't understand basic social cues. They don't get it when the conversation is ending, and it would be the best thing to politely excuse themselves. Awkward. If I am in that situation, I am usually the one to break that ice and relieve the awkwardness.

Many times I've wondered what it would be like to be that person who doesn't sense the awkwardness. What runs through that person's mind? "This silence is quite refreshing. Why does everyone else look uncomfortable? Oh well."

My sister has the tendency to just say "that's awkward," but 9 times out of 10 the situations aren't actually awkward. If they actually are awkward, I think it's a good way to break the ice.
And who remembers (or still uses) the "awkward turtle?" Never used it- thought it was awkward.

Topic #21: Pet Peeves

I already touched a little on this, but I will put some more down. I'll do another Top 10:

10. When you text a person, and you know he/she got the text but is purposely not responding

9. When roommates don't clean

8. When you fix something that's wrong with your car, only to find the next day that there's something else wrong

7. When you get your car washed and a couple hours later, it rains

6. Spam- e-mails and the food

5. When a person never apologizes when they should

4. When one of my favorite songs comes on, and I say " I love this song," yet the person I'm with continues to hold a conversation through the entire song so that I cannot sing along

3. The motion censored light in my office that goes off after a while, and then I have to get up basically right in front of it and wave around like crazy

2. Traffic!!!

1. When some starts to say something, then say "Nevermind"

Topic #20: Most Influential Year in School

Mrs. Parker was my first grade teacher, and first grade was most definitely the most influential year in school. That may sound silly because, well, it was first grade and so very long ago but I wish you could have met Mrs. Parker. She actually passed away about a year ago, but she was the most amazing woman...ever. I have never seen a teacher love her students as much as she did. I learned soooo much that year, not only book stuff but things like how to treat someone like they should be treated and how to be a friend. She truly made learning a fun experience, and I looked forward to going to school each day. She was strict when she needed to be, and gentle when she needed to be.

I stayed in touch with Mrs. Parker long after 1st grade. Every year before school started, I would help her get her room together. I always felt so honored to be her "little helper." She was a Christian woman, and I didn't know that until much later in life but that makes complete sense.

The last time I spoke with her was June 2009 over the phone. We reminisced about school, how beautiful I was, how she knew I would grown up to do amazing things- most important of which was loving everyone that I met. Shortly after that she passed away, and let me tell you, there were hundreds of sad students, teachers, family members, and friends that day. I hope to deeply impact lives like Mrs. Parker did. Mrs. Parker, you are very missed.

Topic #19: Your biggest fault

It's probably not great that I can think of a lot, so the hardest part is figuring out which one is the biggest. I would have to say my low self esteem because it causes the most issues within me, which then comes out in thoughts, words, and actions that many times effect the people I love. My low self esteem causes me to care too much sometimes and to work too hard because it's like I'm trying to make up for what I think I lack. Does that make sense? It causes jealousy within relationships because if a person chooses to hang out with someone else and not me, maybe they finally realized that I'm not good enough to invest time into. It's like I'm easily dispensible, and "out of sight, out of mind." It's ridiculous, I know. I am being brutally honest though. This definitely isn't my thought process all the time, but on bad days these thoughts and feelings creep up. My low self esteem causes me to play the comparison game, which is NEVER a good idea. I sit there and play this game where I compare myself with this person and that person, and I almost always lose.

How the heck did I ever get this way? I think about that often, and I'm really not sure. Well, it's Satan do his job: stealing, killing, and destroying. Most times I recognize the lies, and I'm able to fight them with God's strength but other times I give in and believe them. It can be so bad that I can be told how amazing I am and how beautiful I am over and over and over again, but there's a big part of me that doesn't believe it- that can't see it. Again, I'd say this is the biggest fault because it trickles down to every single part of my life and causes other issues such as overeating, depression, etc. It's like a cycle, but it will one day be broken.

I've learned in the past few years that things I once saw as a character flaw that was there to stay, are actually things that God can take out from the root and then heal. It can happen, and it will happen in my life. That was a lot to actually confess and say out loud to people, but I want to make it clear that God wants so badly to take that fault from me. I just need to daily give it to Him, and in return, take His perfect peace, unconditional love, and unending grace. And when I mess up and believe those lies, He's right there to comfort me and to pick me back up. God alone can take your biggest fault and turn it into something beautiful.

Topic #18: What super power do you want?

I would love to fly! How awesome would that be? It would be the coolest way to get around that's for sure. For as much driving I do, flying would be so much faster. I know that there are many super powers to pick from: super strength, flexibility, x-ray vision, etc. but flying seems to be the best all around. It would be much more scenic- there's so much more to see when you're looking down. There would be a lot less traffic on the ground...that's really all I can think of. Actually, now that I think of it, flying might be super scary at first but I know that I could definitely get used to it! Yay for super powers : ) Honestly, this post stinks because I am tired and couldn't care less about super powers...

Actually I will invent a super power: being able to sleep while still doing something. Basically, there would be part of me that slept and felt the results of that sleep while I would still be able to participate in 24 Hour Blog Day every hour. What a cool power! Yep, I want that one.

Topic #17: Someone/something you always wished you were

This one is hard. I mean, I wanted to be a doctor, a famous singer, a teacher, a nun, a forensic specialist, and a lot more at different points in my life but those "wishes" lasted only momentarily. Really, I wanted to be me all along but with certain things tweaked if that makes sense. I wanted to be thinner, prettier, smarter, funnier, richer, and more adventurous. If I'm completely honest with myself, I still struggle with wanting to change myself to be "perfect." I think it's ok to strive to be better to a certain extent. It's ok to strive to be a better "you," but only God can help you do that. I am never going to be perfect, and I'm in the process of learning to love being me. I don't need to be hard on myself for not coming up with the funny joke, not having an abundance of money, not being the smartest person on the earth, and being at the weight I'm at. I have goals, and I'm working toward them: goals to be healthy and fit and to take care of myself more. After all, I am the best version of me that there will ever be. I don't need to be anybody or anything else.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Topic #16: Mundane talents or skills

I am quite the shoveler. I was able to put this skill into practice during the Snowpocalypse. I am quite determined whenever I go out and shovel snow. On Wednesday night through Thursday morning I shoveled snow for a total of 6.5 hours, which I definitely felt the day after.

I am also the most awesome cleaner ever. I can clean a toilet like nobody's business. Speaking of toilets, I am really great at unclogging them as well. Gross story: When I was working at camp a few summers ago, I spent a day working housekeeping. All of a sudden me and a couple other girls got a call saying that a toilet in the men's bathroom in the cafeteria was clogged. We headed over there, plungers and plastic gloves in hand, to take care of the problem. We get in the bathroom, plunge the toilet, and then try flushing but it began to overflow like crazy. Immediately the two girls started to scream, and I ran to turn off the water. Let's get say someone had taken a big dump, and it overflowed onto the floor. This left us in quite the predicament- we couldn't mop it up or else it would be smeared all over the mop. Gross. We also couldn't just leave it there. Someone would definitely notice. So as all of my camp friends still say: "Amanda Keene to the rescue." With my plastic gloves on, I take some paper towel and pick up the "waste" by hand. Gross, I know but honestly it really wasn't a big deal. I think being a poop picker-upper is quite important...

Topic #15: Cleveland

Never been there. I have a friend from college who lives there, so I would love to go and visit sometime. Mostly, I think of "The Drew Carey Show," which was an obnoxious show through which I learned a ton of blue eye shadow is a horrible idea. That's really all I have to say about this. Now, nap time!!!

Topic # 14: Better Creature: Dogs vs. Cats

This is very easy. Dogs will win every time. Cats are lazy, and all of the ones I've met are just plain mean. Evidence: In "Cinderella," the cat of the evil stop mother is SOOOO mean. That cat lives to make the lives of others at horrible as possible. Then in "Stewart Little," there are multiple evil cats. On the other hang, dogs are awesome! They are fun, loyal, playful, you can take them for a walk, they have been known to save lives. They are heroes!!

Now, for all you cats out there: I'm sure not all of you are lazy and evil. I don't want to make that generalization-that's not fair. But in my experience, a lot of cats are. After all how can you compare to the infamous "Lady and the Tramp?"

Topic # 13: Irrational Fears

In my opinion, all fear is irrational. God clearly tells us: "Do not fear, for I am with you" in Isaiah 41:10. Different fears have always fascinated me, and I'm not exactly sure why. My fears range from mice (even dead ones) to the fear that I will be alone my whole life, fear of Orcs (what if they were real??) to the fear that I'm not worthy of love. There are more deep down, but those are the ones that stick out. Irrational, I know. Some are goofy, and some are deep seated ones that need to be taken out and then those places where they used to be need to be healed. Whenever those fears come to the surface, I try and rebuke them right away and speak truth. Then sometimes I let fear consume me. I think we all have experience with that.

Like I said earlier, fear fascinated me. There are some fears that I hear of and find myself thinking, "That's ridiculous!" The thing is, some people could hear my fears and think the same thing. There are some people who are afraid of chewing gum. Stepping in gum could completely ruin a person's week. Some are afraid of lawn gnomes, spontaneous combustion, bathtub sharks, butterflies, mugs, subliminal messages, and much more. Honestly, some of those things make me want to laugh, but then I think about my fears and how those are serious to me. Real fear that can over take me. The only thing that subsides my fears is knowing the God is in control. If I didn't have that to cling to, I wouldn't know what to do.

So whatever your fear is, know you aren't alone!

Topic #12: Christmas

I think this is an odd topic, so I am going to write just a little bit and take a break : ) I love Christmas, but I don't like the whole idea of buying presents. For the past couple of years, I have made all of my presents and spent as little money as possible. Call me cheap, I don't care. The way I see it is that the gifts I make, I make with love for my friends and family. Why people spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars, I'll never understand. Check out the Homemade Gift Week entry I wrote in December to actually see a couple of the ornaments I made this past Christmas.

Week 26, Day 7

Our last but not least Guest Blogger is Ryan Hulett. Ryan is a friend of mine from church who I've known for about 2 years. He quickly became one of my best friends: a constant source of support and encouragement. I spend the most time with Ryan- it's a blessing to be in community with him. He's seen the Jekyll and Hyde in me and hasn't run away. One of the things I admire most about him is his love for God. He challenges people to think, and he's so stinking intelligent. It's truly amazing how God uses Ryan to teach me and challenge me. He's a pro at strategy games and has introduced me to those games, which I now love to play. Ryan is like a chameleon and can blend in with any group of people, and part of that is because he loves and accepts people for who they are. Ryan is great at so many things, and is truly more awesome than he thinks.

So here's Ryan's blog! Enjoy!

There once was a young jeweler who owned a shop on the edge of town. He kept mostly to himself and went out only in search of a new piece to add to his collection. He had no close relations and he took no lover but his collection.

The jeweler’s collection was the finest in all the land, full of rare and exotic gems beautiful beyond description. Daily he would spend hours poring over them taking in as much as he could of each, seeing them, touching them, breathing them in. His collection was full but it had not satisfied him. He longed for more.

He had heard rumor of a gem, a most beautiful gem beyond compare. One which when gazed upon could lift the spirits of the bearer and bring happiness to the soul. A gem lost long ago and for many ages.

One day as the jeweler examined his treasures a strange and hooded man came into his shop. The man wore a long brown cloak which hid his shape and his hood obscured all but trace shadows of deep set eyes.

“Can I help you sir?” asked the jeweler.

To which was replied, “No sir, indeed I am here to help you.”

Somewhat confused the jeweler listened on with intrigue.

“I know what it is you desire, and I know where it can be found,” said the man with a distant gaze in his eyes. He moved toward the window and with a long spindly finger rising up out of his cloak he pointed to a mountain in the distance. “There is a gem on that mountain which cannot be found by natural means. It calls to you. Possess this stone and your collection will be complete.”

The young jeweler came to stand next to the man and as he did so there came a twinkle of light from up on the mountain so subtle yet so certain, as if winking at him. Caught off guard the jeweler turned to ask the stranger what it was but turning found that no one was there.

For the rest of the evening the jeweler could not get the encounter out of his mind. He could not focus and so he decided to leave the very next morning in search of this most beautiful gem. Selling what he could of his collection and resolving to abandon the rest he bought supplies and went to sleep restlessly if at all.

The next morning before the sun had risen he left his shop burning it to the ground and began the long journey toward the mountain. As he walked the jeweler began to grow weary and every time he did that same twinkle up the mountain would spur him onward until at last he came to the base.

That night, sleeping at the base of the mountain, a strange dream came to him where he was swimming with mermaids in an endless see until after blinking his eyes he found himself alone in a desert. He awoke abruptly to find despair had come over him. Shaking it off he decided to set on up the mountain.

He followed the twinkle he had seen before until after half a day’s journey it appeared to him again in another place and then another. This went on for three weeks time. Up and down the mountain he went round and round and round to no avail. Frustrated, exhausted and unable to take even one more step the man collapsed on a rock and began sobbing.

All was lost, his shop, his collection, his sense of purpose, and for what? For nothing, a fool’s errand. He would die here alone on this mountain. Then, as he wept, head buried in his hands he saw it again.

The twinkle appeared to him. But this time it was not far off but close at his feet. A small light shone from under the dirt and he began to dig quickly uncovering a stone unlike any he had ever seen before. About the size of his hand the gem was light in weight. So light in fact that it felt almost as if it would float away. And it made the jeweler feel lightened as well.

There was a warm glow about it and when he gazed inside the jeweler could see all the colors of the rainbow (and some not) dancing about one another in a myriad so mesmerizing time seemed to both fly by and stand still. Staring into the gem all of the cares of the world seemed to disappear.

Before he knew it night had fallen and the jeweler needed to make camp. He placed the stone in a small pouch on his side and headed off down the mountain. As he walked the burden of the gem grew heavier on his side. When he pulled it out to look upon it once more is seemed to have shrunk in size and its once brilliant finish appeared hazy. His exhaustion must be playing tricks on him.

Looking into the gem he slowly began to walk down the mountain when all of the sudden the root from a tree seemed to reach out and grab his foot, he tripped, and the gem went sailing down the mountain and rolled into a hole at the base of a tree. Frantically the jeweler raced to reclaim his treasure. He dug and he dug but it no matter how much dirt was removed the stone was just out of reach.

Topic #11: 12 Rhyming Couplets

Twenty-four Hour Blog Day-
You better think of things to say.
Every hour something new.
It's amazing how that hour flew!
One by one you type each word-
Barely have time to drop a terd.
Memories, utopias, and a favorite book
Pictures of favorite friends that I took.
India and my favorite band-
All this typing is cramping my hand!
How will I stay awake?
Caffeine, I'd love to intake.
What will the next topic be?
Well, hopefully something easy!
Five more couplets to go,
Who picked this topic? I'd like to know...
Glee is playing in the background,
it's a wonder I can think with all the sound.
My poem is coming to an end,
Another post I'll be able to send.
Thanks for reading my post
Of all poems, I dislike this one the most.
Ten minutes to spare
You write a poem- It's a dare!

Topic # 10: One place you have always wanted to visit

Calcutta in India. I have wanted to visit there ever since the 4th grade which is when I did a report on Mother Teresa. There are most definitely other places I would like to visit, but this is the place I've wanted to go for the longet. One day I'll get there. Fun fact: My grandma actually corresponded with Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa actually wrote back, and they were pen pals for years. That made me want to get to Calcutta even more! When Mother Teresa passed, my grandma lost a friend. Her passing was actually personal- it's wasn't like any other famous person passing.

Mother Teresa is still a role model in my life. She knew what is was to live a life of ministry with joy; this is something I'm still trying to figure out. I want to go to The Home for the Dying, a free hospice for the dying and The Children's Home of the Immaculate Heart, a haven for orphans and homeless youth. So if any of you readers have connections in Calcutta, hook me up : )

Topic #9: Utopias

Utopias. I think of heaven, and one day I will actually be there, and it will be AWESOME! No more of this world's struggles, no hatred, a place where there's peace and justice, no violence, no anger, a place where I can be with God. I don't know exactly what it will be like, but I'm sure it's going to be far better than I or anyone else could ever imagine. It will be a great day when I get there. My grandma is there. I know I haven't said anything on my blog about this yet, but she passed away yesterday. It makes things so much better when you know that person is in heaven- no more suffering and no more pain. I'm going to go off on a little tangent and put up the obituary I wrote for my grandma:
Jennie R. Terselich Judnick, loving known by family as “G.G.”, passed away February 4, 2011 at age 86. Beloved wife of Richard J. Judnick, whom she has now joined in heaven; loving mother of James (Margaret) Judnick, Patricia (Jay) Zurawski, Marie (Steve) Keene; devoted grandmother of Amanda, Jennie (Cory), Elyse, Kris (Betty) and Lenise, devoted great grandmother of Riley and Dylan; devoted aunt of Judy (Robert), Margaret (Vic), Joan, and Janice (Gale). Preceded in death by her dearest brothers John (Fan) and Tony (Helen). Jennie was a member of St. John the Evangelist Church and “adopted grandmother” of Jeanite from Haiti.

Words cannot express the love her family has for Jennie and the love she had for them. She was the strongest woman, with a faith that has moved mountains, with the biggest heart, and the largest capacity to love not only her friends and family but everyone that she encountered. Her love for the Lord shined through in the love she showed every person she encountered from Candy, her mail delivering friend; Angela, a dear friend whose friendship will always be treasured; and Riley, her great granddaughter whose very life meant the world to her and brought so much happiness. Never was there a woman who lived with so much joy, maintained a great sense of humor through all situations, and treated everyone with the dignity and respect they deserved.

Grandma is in a place where joy and love abounds. A utopia.

Topic #8: Theme songs for different moods and moments

Scenario #1 (input from my brother-in-law, Cory): Somebody comes up to you as you are having a nice dinner with your girlfriend, and she punches your piece of pie.
Listen to: Hate (I Really Don't Like You) by the Plain White T's

Scenario #2 (in put from my sister Elyse and Cory): You win the lottery, and decide to take a vacation away from the blizzards of Chicago and head to Florida.
Listen to: High of 75 by Relient K

Scenario #3: You have a boyfriend who takes you out to eat and doesn't bring his wallet, then asks you if he can make a phone call on your phone and calls Hong Kong.
Listen to: Idiot Boyfriend by Jimmy Fallon
Scenario #4: Going through a bad break up (because of scenario #3), and you need a good song to belt out in anger.
Listen to: Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

Scenario #5: If you really want to express to someone what you want over and over and over and over again.
Listen to: Wannabe by the Spice Girls

Topic #7: Review your fav book, movie, music, etc.

Mumford and Sons. I love them. Actually, I found them during Music Week for Seize the Week. Their lyrics are awesome, love the sound of their music, and I think that some of their songs have spiritual meaning. I have no proof of that actually, but I just feel it. A friend of mine actually told me that one of the band members has a father who is a pastor, which would make a lot of sense. My favorite song is "Awake My Soul." Here are the lyrics:

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
Har har, har har, har har, har har

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker

Check out the song at

Topic #6: Friends

Well, I certainly have been watching a lot of the series "Friends," so much that last night I had a dream I was the lead in a play and Joey Trebiani was my love interest yet I didn't know any of my lines. Scary!
I really don't know what to write about because I feel like I'm pretty open about my friends and how I think they are absolutely amazing. The fact that I have so many amazing friends is one of the greatest blessings from God. My friends are so different from each other, yet I've always chosen to join all of them together. My high school friends know my college friends, and they all know my church friends. Some of my greatest memories include my friends, as well as some of the hardest memories. I'm just going to post some pictures of my friends and let those speak for themselves:

Topic # 5 Alter Egos

First thought that comes to mind: Jekyll and Hyde. Second thought that comes to mind: double life. When my friend Matt who is also doing 24 Hour Blog Day told me this was the next topic, I laughed to myself mainly because I've felt like my "alter ego" has been getting the best of me lately. Honestly, I think it's a God thing that this topic would be brought up. Stay with me....

Paul, a guy from the bible writes in the book of Romans: "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do...." Sounds like an alter ego to me- living a double life. I did my very first sermon on this topic actually. We are human- we mess up, right? Sometimes there's something that just takes over us, and we do stupid things. We hurt the people we love the most (just did this a few days ago), we say things we don't mean, this Jekyll and Hyde thing from a movie actually becomes a reality. And these things we do- we don't want to do them, but it happens. Anybody know what I mean? That's what Paul is talking about.

I won't say much more because I don't want to give a sermon, but I will say that good and evil is constantly in battle within ourselves and evil will always win without God. Just the other day, I was stressed and had to shovel A LOT of snow on very little sleep after the heat was out for about 18 hours in the midst of job loss, having to move.......I say all this but there's no excuse. I was talking to a friend and was annoyed by something sooooo tiny, yet it was like Mr. Hyde took over. I felt terrible after. Praise the Lord that this particular person is a good friend who cares about me despite my psychoticness (is that a word) and that I serve a God who is forgiving.

Point is, we all have an alter ego. I think we all lead a double life at times, if not all the time. Remember that evil will take over without God- take my word for it.

Topic #4: Methods of Destroying Traffic

Chicago wins the award for "Worst Traffic Ever." I have a few pet peeves, and #2 is traffic especially when I am driving. for those of who who are curious, #1 is when people start to say something but then stop and say "Nevermind."

Anyway methods of destroying traffic.... how about everyone keep moving?!?! Now sometimes I understand traffic. There's an accident and something is actually blocking off lanes. Understandable. But when people go 1 mile an hour past an accident just because they are nosey, that's annoying. Even when lanes are reduced, sure it might slow things down a bit, but if everyone kept on moving, it would be fine. Simple, yet profound.

Or.... we could use our advanced technology and create Transformer type robots that will look out for those drivers who cause traffic or those road blocks, reach down, pick them up and place them down somewhere else (maybe in Lake Michigan) so that every can resume their driving. Actually, I like that idea. Minus the Lake Michigan part. That's just mean.

Topic #3 Childhood Memory

"Once upon a time, there was this little girl about the age of 7. She had beautiful brown eyes and beautiful brown hair. One day she noticed that she had a loose front tooth. A loose tooth!!! Do you know what that means? The Tooth Fairy!! She was good friends with the Tooth Fairy- they went way back to the loss of her first tooth. It had been a little while since the Tooth Fairy's last visit, and the little girl could really use a quarter to get one of those big gum balls in the machine at the grocery store.... what could she do to get that tooth out? Now, I know what you may be thinking- just pull it out or tie the tooth to a string and tie that to the door knob then slam the door! Those just weren't good enough. This little girl had a real big sense of adventure and wouldn't settle for anything less than epic. She wanted this story to be told in every household for centuries and centuries later.

Finally, she thought of the best idea ever. She headed downstairs where her family was sitting, watching TV. She sat right down, smack dab in the middle of the room in a small card board box next to a little plastic shovel. It was time....She took the shovel, put it in her mouth and flipped out her loose tooth! It went flying making a perfect arch onto the floor about 5 feet away from her. Her family looked at her with awe and admiration! What an epic way to lose a tooth!

That night, the little girl put that tooth under her pillow and a few hours later she had a visit from her friend the Tooth Fairy. The little girl woke up the next morning with a whole dollar under her pillow! She went to the grocery store later that day and bought that big gumball. While walking back to the car, chewing, there was a smile on her face as she remembered that most epic day that will live on forever and ever and ever and ever and......"

So that really did happen- the little girl was me. Now, I embellished a little bit : ) but I really did flip my front tooth out of my mouth with a shovel. I was just that awesome.

Topic #2 Funniest Moments

Funniest it sad that I can't really think of any? Well, I guess that's not true. I think of some, but I guarantee that they won't be that funny to you : )

As some of you may know, I have a niece named Riley. She's three years old, and I'm convinced she's the most precious and adorable child in the world (besides my god daughter Bayless). Kids really do say the funniest things. Most of the funniest moments I can think of came from her and other children I've worked with. For example, Riley tells her mom (Jennie) that she wants another hot dog. Jennie replies with "Then you know what you have to do to get it," and she points to her cheek, hinting that she needs a kiss from her daughter first. As she points to her cheek Jennie says "Right here, Riley." Riley looks at Jennie, looks where she's pointing and says "Mommy, that's not a hot dog!" I thought it was hilarious....

The only other thing I can think of was when Ryan and I were riding in the car. If you know Ryan, you've probably heard him sing. I've told him this before, and I stick by this: He should have been in a boys band like Backstreet Boys or 98 degrees (how the heck do you type a degrees symbol??) He looks like he could have been in one and sings like it too! Any way, we're on the way to church and he's belting it (and I mean BELTING it) out to some song while eating sunflower seeds. Wasn't a good idea. All of a sudden, he starts choking on one of them. And I started cracking up, for real. He was ok, of course. I'm not entirely sure why I found that so funny, but even thinking back on it, I start to laugh!

I think this topic has made me realize that I need to look for those silly moments in life more. I mean, they just happen, but when they do happen, I need to embrace them! As I typed that, I immediately saw Heath Ledger's face as the Joker in my head saying, "Why so serious?" For real, why so serious? I need to laugh more! You need to laugh more!! Now that I think of it, Ryan can make himself laugh really hard by laughing, which then always makes me start laughing. Sounds weird, but you should try it. Force the laughter at first but then you will actually start laughing. Do it! Find your husband/wife, friend, roommate and do it. You'll feel so great after! Bet you a $1 you'll start to laugh- I'm not much of a gambler : )

NEWS FLASH: 24 Hour Blog Day

So we're taking a little break to participate in "24 Hour Blog Day." My friend Mike and his friends started this, and they were kind enough to invite me to join them. At the top of each hour, for 24 hours, a new topic will be drawn. Mike is texting me the topics to keep me in the loop. The entry must be posted at the end of the hour it was drawn, and the post must be at least one 5 sentence paragraph. Got it? Good!

Topic #1: Best of 2010

Goodness, 2010. What a year! As I think back through the year, so many things come to mind. First thing that comes to mind is God's amazing love and faithfulness this year (and all years). It was in this year that I started my "Seize the Week" blog which God has used to grow me and change me. God has been faithful to my family as He has provided for us all throughout the year even in difficult times. My baby sister (who really isn't a baby anymore) started college! It seems like just yesterday she was in elementary school. She's in a sorority, making friends who will last a lifetime, having experiences that will shape her forever...what a blessing from God to have that opportunity! Friendships have deepened and others have fallen to the side, which I've learned is ok. While I will forever love all of my friends, my closest friends have dwindled down to a core group of people who are consistent in my life. And that's how it should be. It's taken me a while to figure that out, but it's that core group whom I want to love and share life with. No more spreading myself so thin that no one gets the full attention they deserve.

Ok, to end this I want to make a list of top ten best moments of 2010:

10. Going to a Lafayette football game with my baby sister, Elyse

9. Being a part of the ministry in Blue Island at the Salvation Army through the new community center

8. The weddings that I was a part of: Rachel's wedding, Danielle's wedding, and Kaitlyn's wedding.

7. The fast I did during lent- a period of time where I experienced God in a whole new way

6. The Murder Mystery Dinner I had with my wonderful friends from high school!

5. In-Fyuz, my youth group, and watching the teens fall in love with God and their faith.

4. Finally getting the hang of Settlers of Catan and being able to play the game well!

3. My friend Ryan getting a car- an answer to prayer

2. Going to Brazzaz for the first time in Chicago- seriously best restaurant experience ever and best company.

1. Jennie's (my other sister's) wedding. Had to put this one in it's own category....amazing time with family and my closest friends. Hands down, best celebration ever.

Yay! That was my first entry! Keeping checking back to see the other posts!