Monday, January 4, 2010

random thoughts from the last month

Thought #1: Accents. When I went home for Christmas, I noticed everybody's accents more than ever! Also, when I lived in the South, I sometimes said that I didn't think I had an accent. People would say, "You may not notice it here, but you do. If you went somewhere else, they would think you had a southern accent." Well, it turns out, they don't. People often ask me, "How are you from the South and don't have an accent?" I'm not making it up...I hear it all the time.

Thought #2: I don't know how many people actually floss regularly. Maybe I was just behind. Nevertheless, I am very proud to say that I now floss daily and have for a couple months. Haha. I guess that's a small accomplishment and a strange one to share, but I'm happy that I've finally gotten in the habit. It is just a small thing that makes me quite happy.

Thought #3: Well, more a fact than a thought. I finally moved downtown, to the Congress Park area. :o) I no longer live 45 minutes at least from church, but less than 10! So now I can see friends more often, do more fun things, and spend far less money on gas. I'm hoping to have a moving-in potluck next week, so friends can see where I live.

Thought #4: Whole Foods has tuna salad with cranberries. I have never seen that combination before. It is wonderful.

Thought #5: My New Year's Eve did not go as planned. My car died that evening for the third time in about a month or so. I was so bummed because I had really fun plans to meet Brian Elliot (from my Ride:Well Team) and watch fireworks from Pikes Peak, and I couldn't go. After a short pity party, I reluctantly realized that it was a blessing in disguise. As a culture, we are addicted to noise. (If you haven't seen it, you should watch Rob Bell's Nooma video called Noise. You can see it on YouTube right now, but I bet they'll take it down go watch it now.) In the video, Rob Bell says that in 1970-something, to record 60 minutes of pure quiet took 30 hours. Now it takes 2,000 hours. (I might not have gotten that exactly right, but that's at least close if not right.) And it's not just audible noise; it's visual noise, too. I personally like to have music playing all the time. At home in Nashville, I have a shower radio so I can listen to music while showering. Anyway, one of my goals for 2010 was to become more comfortable with silence and solitude. So, the thing I reluctantly realized, was that being alone that night, without even a TV at the house so I could see the ball drop, was perhaps the most appropriate way to start the New Year. Instead of stepping into 2010 accompanied by lots of noise, I entered it quitely in prayer.

Thought #6: I recently saw my favorite ice skating program to date. It's a Sale & Pelletier program to a song called Molly, and it is absolutely breathtaking.

I have many more random thoughts to share, but I will stop here for now. I promise the break until my next post will be shorter this time.

Happy, hopeful New Year!



A Tender Tennessee Christmas is the Only Christmas for Me!

My trip home was so needed and so, so good. My family and friends are so dear to me. I recently wrote that I am obsessed with how amazing they are, and I think that does describe it quite well. Anyway, going home for Christmas was wonderful. Here is sort of a picture story of my time home.

*I got my Dad and brother Colorado bike jerseys for Christmas :)

*I don't have any pictures of this, but I was really happy that I got to cook with Mom some. I also got a lot of cooking gadgets for Christmas. When the tornado destroyed my dorm kitchen almost two years ago, I lost all of my kitchen things I had just gotten for Christmas, and still hadn't replaced them.

*Mom and I also got to spend a day at the mall and Cheesecake factory, one of our favorite things to do when I come home to visit.

*I got to travel to Jackson for a day to see my second family. I love these kids, and I'm so thankful we are still family even though I have moved far away.
*This is Aiden, their new baby. He is precious.
*Jack wanted to go to my ears! Misty said that he loves watching hockey and has mentioned that he wants to play, so she asked me to see what I thought...if he could do it or not. Well, for most of our time skating, he kept falling constantly. I really thought at first that he just seriously could not get it (most kids can get the hang of it after a few minutes). Anyway, I finally figured out that he actually just really liked to fall. He was even trying to make me fall. He could run on his toe picks, too. I think he's just really agressive on the ice, which I guess would make him possibly a great hockey player. :o)
* I got to spend tons of time with Jack, and I LOVED it! I was so spoiled, and I miss him so much already. Isn't he the sweetest? He loves to cuddle still, and I hope it lasts awhile.

*We also had a surprise 80th birthday party for my Dad's Mom, Gigi.

* I also got to spend some time with a couple of my very best friends, Alicia and Katie. The second picture is from when Alicia and I went to Crema and Lacey was working. We were very glad to see her.
* This didn't happen in TN, but I'm going to post it here anyway. Yesterday, Brian Elliot (a teammate from the Ride:Well Tour) came to visit! He was my first guest since living in my new house, and I was so happy to see him!
Basically, it was a very wonderful Christmas.
The end.

Denver v. Nashville

Well, hello friends and family! It's been awhile. Today, a day off from work and most other commitments, is the perfect time to relax my body and mind, and attempt to sum up as much as possible the last month or so of my life. Actually, this blog post would be unbearably long if I tried to pack everything in, so I think I'll just write two or three shorter blogs. I'll write one about random things, one about my trip home, and one about the differences between Denver and Nashville.

The longer I live in Denver, the more I notice the ways it's different from Nashville. Especially since I got to go home for Christmas. Here are some of them:

*There are no bugs in Denver. Okay, at least very few. In Nashville, even the nicest homes will have bugs sometimes. Not in Denver. Not even in old houses. I think I have only seem maybe 3 bugs since I have lived here.

*The types of vehicles people drive are very different. In the South, lots and lots of people have trucks. Guys and girls, young and old. However, when I moved last week to a new home, it was near impossible to find someone with a truck. It was hard even to find someone who knew someone who had a truck. Finally, a guy from work helped me move with his SUV. The car that you see EVERYWHERE here is the Outback. Seriously, they are all over. I guess maybe because they're good in this weather. I'm not sure. But really, the differences in not hard to's pretty extreme.

*Speaking of cars and driving, people drive a lot differently here, I think. A lot more people drive the speed limit on the is not uncommon to drive slow. Also, in my opinion, they seem to be much less huried and anxious. Not to mention, they are much better at driving around cyclists. People in the south are sometimes pretty rude and honk a lot when they drive by. Here, cyclists are everywhere, as are bike lines, so road biking usually much safer.

*This is kind of a random difference, but so weird. For the first couple of months in Denver, I lived with two dogs, one of which was huge! Seriously HUGE! When I went home for Christmas, my dog who I previously thought was a medium sized dog, not too small, felt like a chihuahua! (Is that how that's spelled?) Her face felt so tiny to me. She is the best dog ever.

*There are tons of one-way streets here. I live on one now, actually. Denver roads are bizarre, and you can rarely return the way you came. I think it will take a while to really figure it out.

*My hair is prettier in Nashville...haha. Denver weather does a number on it.

*It doesn't really storm in Denver. It rarely rains. Just snows. So when I recently heard thunder, it startled me more than usual. It used to scare me a lot because of the tornado, but I had gotten over it.

*There are more mountains to be seen here, but more green in Nashville.

I think those are the main things I've thought of.

I like both cities for different reasons. Denver is a really cool place to live, and perfect for training for a cyclist. Nashville, though, will always be my city, my home.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I love my crazy, weird, hilarious, challenging, peaceful, beautiful life.

Sorry, folks, for the very long pause. Here is a much needed update.

Here are some of the facts of my current life:

I am a whimp. Well, mostly just when it comes to the cold weather. I am most definitely still not adjusted to this cold Colorado winter weather. Tonight we are supposed to have a low of 5 degrees. Oh man. I crave fresh air, so I don't like being stuck inside at all.

I am moving downtown! A sweet new friend from Scum, Jenny Holmes, offered to rent her guest room out to me. Her house is so cute, and I'm so, so excited about being closer to church and friends. I will not miss the 45 minute to an hour drive downtown.

I am so thankful for Brittany's and my new tradition of a weekly lunchdate. I love my Britt and I love quality time, so it is a beautiful combination.

(If you are reading this, and you are my friend, and you live in Denver, and you like quality time, too, I think it would probably be a good idea for us to do something about that...let's get coffee or something. That would make me smile.)

I have discovered a very yummy new meal...a delicious, healthy alternative to burgers and fries. Last night I made a bruschetta tomato basil parmesan veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with sweet potato fries and sea salt. Oh yes, YUMM!

I have some really wonderful new friends here. I'm really, really thankful for them. And the memories that are being made. Like Thanksgiving dinner with some Scum girls at Kimberly Claire and Christina Lynch's apartment. And the apple pie that Katie Daniel made that was one of the best ever. Seriously...melt in your mouth apple pie.

I have lots to look forward to, both in the distant future and the not to distant future! Check it out...

This weekend, aside from 2 full days of work, I have lots of fun things to do. Friday is the debut of the new art exhibit at the 11th Ave Gallery. The art has been done by some guys from the Denver Rescue Mission, and what I've seen so far is amazing. Also, Saturday night is the Scum Family Christmas Party. Sunday nights are super casual and nobody really dresses up, so the party will be formal. Aw, it will be so fun. And of course the best part of my week...Sunday night Scum.

I will be home in 20 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, I can't even describe how excited I will be to see my family and my Alicia! My family and best friends are so incredibly important to me, and I'm a little obsessed with how amazing they are. If you've been around me for long at all, I'm sure you've noticed. Also, I'm thinking about getting my nephew Jones Sodas with his picture on them for Christmas :)

If you haven't heard, next summer I'm going on a cross-country bike tour AGAIN! This time I'll be leading a tour from Washington State to Long Island to raise funds and awareness for the fight against human trafficking.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful life. It may have some scraggly edges, but I love it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bike Trails, Christmas Gift Ideas, and Good TV?

Yesterday I finally got to check out the Denver bike trails. Good job, Denver...they were excellent. And I didn't even get to go that far, so I have lots of miles left to explore. In the middle of my ride, I got a call from a coworker to work her evening shift, so I turned around early and rushed home. Turned out she wasn't feeling well, so I'm glad I could help. I think I'll be able to go on a longer ride tomorrow. Oh yeah, one more thing. In the middle, I really needed to use the restroom but there were no businesses anywhere. Finally, I saw this huge building, and even though I had no idea what it was, I just hoped they were nice people. Turns out it's this company called Teletech...I still have no idea what they are, but they are very nice, and said to come anytime. So, attention fellow riders...if you find yourself needing to use the restroom while on the C-470 trail, visit the nice people at Teletech :o)

Tonight on TV, I saw a very different sort of special: Top 20 Celebrities Gone Good. How cool is that? It showed 20 different stars who have been especially involved with various charities. You know, like Lance Artmstrong, Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Alicia Keys. Personally, I just thought it was pretty great to be showing something so much more positive than the crap that typically dominates our television sets. And by the way, one great thing was that they didn't spend much time on how many thousands or millions of dollars each person had given, but did focus on their character and what kind of person they are. It was refreshing.

Need ideas for interesting Christmas gifts? Oh, you do? Well, I have some good ideas for you! I recently found out about these really cool gift cards you can find at,, or You can choose any amount, and the person you give the gift certificate to gets to choose which charity to give to! (The three websites each have a huge list of charities, some more than others. You should check out the options to see which has the most charities that you support.) I just thought that was pretty cool. Here's another idea...cute personalized magnets...check out the great styles available at Another...this super practicle coffee cup sleeve with a handle for $5 from (I got these ideas from the new Real Simple magazine, and there are lots more!)

Random Thought Time!

Thought #1: Tonight the pineapple I bought was finally ripe enough to cut, and it was amazing! Fresh pineapple is always better than canned pineapple...and cheaper!

Thought #2: The fact that I get my clothes drycleaned makes me feel like a grown up. I just won't tell the people at the cleaners that I actually work in a restaurant. I will just pretend I am CPA or an attorney...Erin Morris, Ph.D. ...yeah, like I could ever actually pull that off...haha. If I am ever a professional, my outfit will not be a suit, but spandex :o) Yep, that's my kind of professional!

Thought #3: I love doing laundry. But it has to be all at once. I even always make sure I put on perfectly clean clothes right before I do the laundry. Because I love how it feels for all of my clothes to be clean :o) It's just one of the little things that makes me happy.

That's all. Sweet Dreams.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Very exciting news and Hardihood

First thing's first...I'm riding my bike across the country again! I so, so can't wait because I know what can happen on these trips. At the same time, though, in many ways it will be a whole new trip. I will be with a whole new team, in new places, with a new role, and with a new purpose. This time I'll be taking a northern route across the US, going from Seattle to Long Island, going through lots of big cities including Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philly, Pittsburg, NYC, and more. I'm really excited about that part! Also, this year I'll be going as a leader. I'm even more excited about that! This time, I get to be there for the rest of the team, to help them discover their story and to encourage them along the way on this journey of a lifetime. I can't wait to serve them and to stand beside them as they see new places and think new thoughts. To greet them as they meet each other for the first time, and to cheer them on as they leave. And lastly, the other big thing that makes this trip different is that it will not be a Ride:Well Tour, but a Just+Hope Tour, benefitting anti-human trafficking efforts. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. It is so amazing and humbling that God has let me be a part of such an incredible and beautiful movement.

Next thing...I am so grateful for the friendships that are beginning with people in my church family. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it lots and lots more times, but I absolutely love my church. Anyway, Wednesday and Thursday I got to go check out some small groups. I loved them both, but I especially loved Thursday night. The group is called "Making Space" and discusses spiritual disciplines. We talked for at least 2 hours, so I definitely could not share all that we talked about in one blog. But I'll at least chare something small. The topic this week was examination and contemplation as spiritual disciplines. Actually taking time to intentionally think about the ways God is involved in our lives. There are so many small things you can do, but one thing is to try asking yourself a certain kind of question at the end of the day. There were lots of examples, but one of the ones I like the best was: "Which part of my day was the most life-giving and which was the most life-thwarting." The others were good, too, and if you want to know them, just let me know, and I'll share more. Anyway, the moral of this story is that I so enjoyed that opportunity I had this week, and am also so grateful for all the amazing women (and guys, too) that I'm meeting. I really do look forward to finding out what friendships God has in store and what other awesome things he has up his sleeve.

Oh, and I'm also thankful for friendships at work. I'm (thankfully!!!) starting to feel more and more comfortable there, and really am thankful for the girls I work with.

Random thought time :o) .......

Thought #1: Did you know that hardihood means boldness? I like that word. Also, logorrhea means talkativeness. Think about's pretty funny. Have you ever been to If not, you should. It's great, and I think you should go to it right now.

Thought #2: I am constantly reminded that I need God all the time. This one might be a repeat, but it doesn't matter, because that's the point. This very important fact is just as true today as yesterday, and will be just as true tomorrow.

Thought #3: Tonight there is a meteor shower! I've only seen one once before, and it didn't even compare to this one. Apparently, they even get much better...I think during the summer, and also later at night if I would stay up. Anyway, I did go out for just a few minutes (it's still very, very frigid outside), and I saw a beautiful shooting star right away! I love nature. I especially love the sky. All kinds. But my most favorite is a starry sky. I love the feeling of being in awe and at the same time humbled at the thought of how tiny I am and how big God is.

Thought #4: A few days ago, my Mom happened to randomly talk to my old High School Headmaster. She shared with him about my Ride:Well Tour, and he could not believe it! Haha...and understandably so. I was a choir and drama kid. Not even in the running for "most athletic." Anyway, he said he wants me to write an article and feature it as the main story of the next Alumni magazine. I'm pretty excited about getting to share the story with past graduating classes.

That's all for tonight. Maybe, if I can get myself to do it (what I'm saying is, no promises!), I should blog more often. That way, the blogs would be a little shorter, which I'm sure you would all like.

Good night.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exciting News, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and other delights of life

Making chocolate covered strawberries for people is one of my favorite things. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to make some to take in to work with me. I'm super excited. Also, I just have to say I make some of the best chocolate covered strawberries ever. Honestly, though, it's really not that hard at all. There are just a couple tricks most people don't realize. First of all, you have to dry off the strawberries after you wash them. If you don't, the chocolate will slip off. Second, the chocolate should be a mix of semi-sweet chocolate chips as well as those chocolate baking brick things, equal parts. Also, don't refrigerate them too much...the chocolate will separate and fall off easily. Other than that, just get yummy strawberries with pretty leaves. And if you want them to be extra special, melt some white chocolate, too, and drizzle it over the milk chocolate after it's dry.

Tonight I didn't have to work, so I got to go to a Scum small group. That was super exciting, because the people are pretty awesome, plus the conversation is pretty great. I'm so glad I got to go!

I have pretty exciting news! I've joined a racing team. My coach said being a part of a team is really important in racing. So I found out about an awesome new team. IC3 is the International Christian Cycling Club, and they have a Colorado club. Yesterday, I got an e-mail newsletter from IC3 Colorado that talked about a women's team, and I was super excited about the possibility of joining. I told my coach, Michael, and he said that would be an excellent team to join since it's for women and also because they have a great reputation and have produced some very successful cyclists. So I talked to the lady in charge, who is semi-pro, and found out that she lives in my town and is willing to ride with me! She is so sweet and very excited about me joining. There will be 2 groups: a cat 1/2 group of 3 semi-pro women, and a developmental cat 3/4 group. I'm so thankful for this awesome opportunity and can't wait to start riding and racing with this great group of women!

Now for my random thoughts:

Thought #1: Today I got the best fuzzy slippers ever. From Wal-Mart...who knew? I feel like I am walking on, fuzzy clouds. :o) I have figured out that these are non-negotiable in Denver.

Thought #2: One of my most favorite drinks of all time is Odwalla Mango Tango, but it's so expensive! Today I found out that they are on sale at Vitamin Cottage, our local natural grocery store. That was a pretty wonderful surprise. I also got sweet potato fries, which I had for dinner, and thought of Alicia :o) I really hope she sees this.

Thought #3: There is a meteor shower coming!!!!!! November 16th @ 11pm - November 17th @ 4am. I so can't wait! Apparently, from here the meteor showers are so clear and you see so many shooting stars. Just have to hope the skies are very clear that night!

Thought #4: As of yesterday, I think, I have lived in Denver for a month! That seems so crazy to me. I still feel like I just got here. After living in Nashville basically my whole life until a month ago, knowing lots of people and places and being incredibly familiar with the area, it's pretty tough to move to a place where absolutely nothing is familiar. But I'm realizing that if everything's easy, we're probably missing out on something. God has held my hand all the way. And things are finally feeling a little more familiar. Most importantly, my church home really does feel like home. Having a local church family is so important, I think. If you ever make plans to come visit me, please make sure you will be here on a Sunday night, so I can take you with me! :o)

Thought #5: I feel like this blog might be a little lame, because I'm too tired to expand on some things and take time to articulate thoughts really well. I just wanted to go ahead and say some stuff while it's on my mind. I'll try to do better next time :o) But for now, I'm off to bed to get up early and make some yummy chocolate covered strawberries.

That's all. Sweet Dreams.