Friday, December 19, 2008

sigh of relief

finally, all four finals are done. i got three A's and one B, the B being in math, which i hate, so i'm pretty pleased. christmas shopping is over too, thank God. i must say i'm pretty bummed because i had originally planned to make all my gifts this year but then i realized i'd be short on time due to school and had absolutely no idea what to make the guys on my list, so i buckled and shopped. oh well, i think everyone will be pleased with their giftings and that's important to me.

i'm feeling very pleased about school at the moment. i did some calculating and determined that, if i continue taking 4 classes a semester and take two classes each summer term (four in all) that i will graduate spring of 2010. this is a much more specific 'end in sight' for me, so i'm excited. it would be fantastic if i could somehow cram more classes into my schedule and finish earlier but i'm not sure i could handle the stress.

tonight eric and i are going to That Fun Place, which is greenfield's version of chuck e cheese. that's right, we're playing ski-ball and eating pizza and if we're lucky we'll jump in the ball pit. we're such kids sometimes. tomorrow i'm going to my girlfriend allie's house to lunch on pizza and make homemade spa gifts to give to friends and family. i love that girl, we have the same heart in many ways.

next week is christmas! who knew? it creeps up so fast. i'm very excited for christmas eve where eric and i exchange gifts and my family watches movies and drinks holiday beverages and eats finger foods and plays games into the night. best part of the holiday season.

merry christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

carry through

despite much stress, i am still more or less "happy." i'm enjoying colder weather and the friends it brings- warm beverages, baking, homemade candy, fingerless gloves, presents, craft time, etc. last week we had our annual christmas party at work, and when i got my present, i couldn't tell if it was candy or fake vomit. one of the doctors assured me it was homemade peanut brittle, even if laying the sheet candy flat on the floor looked 'suspicious'... last night was our church's christmas party. for the white elephant exchange, i gave away my copy of Sister Act on VHS that i watched incessantly when i was about 11 or so. i got a crystal chip n dip on a lazy susan that i gave to my mom that had been through a few rounds of re-gifting. it was a fair trade.
i've been taking some anxiety medication to help with the clenching of my jaw, and thank God for that, because if i wasnt i might start to buckle under the sobering realities that flock to my household. large ER bills, no insurance, dad still being out of work, mom's exhaustion, my (current) lack of money, etc... it is indeed "sobering," but my faith carries me through. i've always been a fan of living below my means and i am, in a sense, excited to find new ways to define that. i just hope my parents can share in that somehow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

write it down

i have this little journal that i've been writing in off and on for the last four years in an attempt to document some of my spiritual walk. last night i wrote the following entry:

"11/26/08:
Tonight I did a lot of internet surfing. I came across old journals and memories and writings, and through re-reading them, I really saw for the first time what a mess I was. I always knew that I had issues, but re-reading old poems, thoughts, and [online] journal entries of mine actually felt, in a way, disgusting. To look back at the person I used to be from that viewpoint actually makes my stomach churn. What's even scarier is that some of thsoe writings & thoughts are only a few years old! In a way I feel like I'm glancing over my shoulder as I run as quickly away as I can. I thank God so much for working in me & changing me- He only knows where I'd be today if not for His work in me. Scary! I am so thankful that i never have to go back to those places; that God offers us freedom, even/especially from ourselves. I have been through some crazy things in my life, and if there's one thing that I've learned from dealing w/ all those crazy things, it's that God is always working things out for our good and that He is always to be trusted
."

A little over a year ago I began to realize that my thought patterns were not good. I often found myself thinking things that I normally wouldnt choose to think- angry, negative, cynical, bitter, and sad things, to mention a few. Some of those things about God himself. I realized that that wasn't God's plan for me, yet I had no clue how to fix it, so I began to pray for the exact things that I lacked at that time: gratitude towards God, joy, and peace. I can happily and victoriously say today that, through much trusting and counseling, I have all three. It is always so cool to see how God really and truly listens to our prayers and works all things for our good. For the first time in a very long time, I feel true peace and happiness, and it's not because things are "how i want them to be" in my life; it's really because I finally learned and understood that God is 100% on my side, always hearing my prayers, always working things out for my good, always meeting my needs.

I'm sad that i spent so many years being the person i thought i wanted to be. The truth is that i spent so long with that version of myself that i'm not entirely sure of who i am. I feel at times like i barely know myself, which in turn makes it hard for others to know me as well. eric deals with this issue as well unfortunately, but in a way it's kind of neat that we can deal with this together. i'm thankful for him and i know that if i can just continue to put myself and 'old ways' aside, eric and i can bring out the best in each other, and that is exciting. i'm pretty psyched about the vision God has given me for our church and for what eric and i can do for Him...

Monday, November 24, 2008

the battle of dark and light



this photo was taken nearly two years ago at The Peggy Sues' very first show. As you can see, my hair is very dark brown in this picture. i particularly like this picture because i think the darkness of my hair compliments my fair skin and brings out my eyes. before this past spring, my hair had been 'dark' for nearly 8 years straight. i literally had not seen my natural hair color since the year 2000. recently i thought it might be good to give it a rest, so this past spring i got only highlights instead of all-over "brown." truthfully, the highlighted result is much closer to my natural haircolor and i've gotten many compliments on my current hair, which is always nice and appreciated, but... it just doesn't feel like "me." maybe it just became comfortable after 8 years of dark-headedness, but part of me really feels like a brunette... and that part of me feels really weird when i look in the mirror and see blonde.

one thing is for sure. spending $8 on a bottle of colorant from Sally's Beauty Supply and doing it yourself definitely beats paying $100 for someone else to do it for you! i cringe every time i get my hair done at the salon; how on earth can i justify spending such a large amount of money on my HAIR when i have friends who need shoes? the girl who does my hair does an excellent job for sure, don't get me wrong, but i think my priorities need some re-examining...

it's nice to know i'm growing :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

thank God that's over!

dear reduced-fat cheezits,

i'm sorry, but i'm breaking up with you. it's been fun munching on you while i drive, shoving handfuls of you into my mouth as i study, eating you one-at-a-time while i work on a new crochet project, but that fun-ness has worn off. our relationship has gone stale (pun intended). perhaps your addition of 10 pounds to my already 'curvy' figure had something to do with it. i'm sorry things had to end up this way ("it's not you, it's me..."). maybe i'll see you around next fall.

sincerely,
a more diet-concerned rachael

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

addiction: crochet and cheez-its

every year around this time i get crazy, cracked-out, pregnant-like cravings for reduced fat cheez-its. it's a little ridiculous. i'm not a snacky person, i like meals and maybe some fruit in between or at least something healthy... you will rarely see me snacking out of a bag of chips or box of cookies. until right about this time... it sounds crazy but my tongue tells me that every single activity i might have an interest in doing will be infinitely more enjoyable if i am eating cheez-its while doing so. sadly, sometimes it's true (insert sad "wah wah waaaah" noise here). of course this isnt helping my figure or my diet. i'm sure my kidneys are pretty pissed at me. i'm currently up to about a half-box a day! i can just see it now: intervention on the A&E channel- "i'm hooked on cheeze crackers"...

a possibly healthier addiction i'm also dealing with is crocheting. i've mentioned it previously but something about fall just makes me want to crank out cozy, handmade items. i've already made a pair of fingerless gloves and started another pair, but tonight i finished a "mobius strip cowl scarf" as i am calling it. it's basically a big crocheted tube with a single twist, hence the mobius reference:



i guess it's a good thing i'm not in the photography business as i once hoped to be... my pictures never turn out great. anyhow... as you can see, the scarf goes around my neck and twists under my chin, just enough to hide it in a coat and keep me cozy. this was sooo easy to make! and i love the green. i plan on making more for gifts... possibly with fingerless gloves to match! wheeee!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

stitch-n-bitch

recently my pastor's wife Niccole and I decided we should start a stitch-n-bitch. i've been wanting to join one for a while and we have plenty of crafty ladies (and dudes) within our church body, so i was psyched to hear that Niccole would be willing to have the first official group night at her house ("are we gonna say 'bitch' at church?"). for anyone who doesnt know what a stitch-n-bitch is, it's usually a group of ladies (dudes can join!) who get together to crochet, knit, or do a similar craft activity and vent to each other. for someone who isn't married, with children, or a homeowner, this is my version of domestic bliss. while we only had 4 people in attendance, it was still lots of fun and a very satisfying way to spend a chilly fall evening. we dined on Pastor Danny's famous hot chocolate, peach crumble, chocolate chip cookies, and tea. I was inspired by my recent purchase of fingerless gloves, so i made these:



i am still working on my crocheting skills, so they are a little wacky in places, but extremely useful. i plan on making another pair with this yarn that i bought while in bloomington recently:



the picture doesn't do it justice at all. the color is much more rich and warm, even spicy/fiery. oh well. you will just have to see the finished product in person.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

indieana handicraft exchange & new bike

so within the last two years this awesome girl named amanda moved here from chicago, where they have an awesome handmade art event called Renegade Craft Fair. many have heard of it as it has become quite famous, and i've always wanted to go but never wanted to brave the drive to chicago. well, lo and behold, amanda brings to us hoosiers our own craft fair: Indieana Handicraft Exchange. i went last year and was so thrilled about it that i decided to have a booth at this year's event... unfortunately for me, that got put on hold when i became a full-time college student. however, i was bound and determined to get involved somehow, so i emailed amanda and asked her if i could get involved somehow. she put me to work with fliers and word-of-mouth advertising, and this past weekend when the event actually took place, i volunteered by cheerfully ushering patrons to the second gallery and giving vendors bathroom/lunch breaks. it was lots of fun and i'm already psyched for next year.

here's what i bought:


(awesome handknit fingerless gloves)


(orange-ology tea from Herb and Ginger- i bought some of their )apple tea last year too... soo good! they ran out of a special christmas blend but i ordered some anyway... i'm a tea freak)


(a screenprinted bandanna i got for eric from Mythdemeanor!)


(i bought the "love more" and "give more" buttons from Sweetie Pie Press)

i also bought some gingersnap lip balm from In A Lather.


in other news, i can't sleep, i'm battling an addiction to garlic bread, and i bought a new bike:

eric and i will hopefully repaint it and replace the seat and tires, and add a book rack. any paint color suggestions?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

new shoes!



sometimes i get really excited about new shoes. i'm such a nerd.

tonight i found much peace through sipping chamomile tea, eating lemon poppyseed bread, and playing wordtwist- a game that is easy to get addicted to. its funny for me because almost all my life i've had little 'quirks' in my thinking...when i was little, if a song got caught in my head i had to hum it four times in a row before i could stop. i used to 'air type' words out in front of me. i used to spell words out in my head, one letter at a time, to the rhythm of songs on the radio. and now, thanks to wordtwist (brought to me by facebook), all those years of rearranging letters and words in my head can be put to great use. wheeee!

i think i will play a few more games before i go watch michael moore's new documentary.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

picnic, muncie, food poisoning.


saturday eric and i had a picnic in the park. some chili, cornbread, and an awesome salad from whole foods. did i mention how much i love that he works at whole foods?! i told him he can never quit.

after our picnic, we drove up to muncie to see some friends:


(josh)


(michelle, on the right, with baby heron)


(allie, on the right, with shiloh)

so once i upon a time, i myself lived in muncie while i went to ball state, and there was a chinese restaurant that was my most favorite ever because they had amazing bean curd. so after the show, i begged my friends to go there for dinner. i was glad when they obliged and i got to eat my most favorite 'bean curd home style.' however, i was not as glad when we all took turns barfing up the chinese food immediately after. china express is officially no longer my favorite chinese restaurant :(

i'm off to study for a big math exam! wish me luck!

Friday, September 26, 2008

officially the anti-christ

with all this talk about The Way lately, i was kinda intrigued by a program on TV tonight about cults and brainwashing. has anyone heard of Growing in Grace Ministries? scariest thing ever! this guy believes he has "Jesus' mind", has his followers tattooing 666 on their forearms (because "religion" has been lying to us for years about its significance), has people doing whatever he asks, and has no problem saying that he's done more miracles than Jesus Christ. the sad thing is the number of followers he has... bright, charming young people who've bought into it. it really broke my heart and took my breath away. deception is something that really gets to me lately and this may take the cake.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

sigur ros



on tuesday eric and i went to sigur ros in detroit with three other people. it was an amazing show for sure, although i couldn't see the stage for all the tall people in front of me (i'm 5'3" people!) and the two guys next to us were obnoxious the whole time (they aggravated 6 people to the point of leaving!). the trip to detroit was strange for me though, i realized it had been a really long time since i'd taken a road trip, let alone with 3 people i barely knew. i'm sure i gave off the 'wallflower' vibe, which is really fine with me as long as people don't misinterpret it. i promise i am working on being more socially adept.

i've been growing mentally a lot lately, re-learning how to think and what to believe. in a spiritual sense, i've been deceived most of my life about who i am, and now i can see how other people have been deceived as well. it really lays heavy on my heart. hopefully my 'opening up' can help others to do the same.

things with eric are going really well. we're taking things one day at a time and enjoying it all, doing new things together, re-learning what coupledom means. funny note: we went to a hookah bar last weekend! the apple-flavored tobacco really went nicely with our falafel sandwiches :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"winter shoes"

lately i've been trying to find more sensible shoes. it makes me feel old saying this, but i have chronic foot pain and nearly every pair of shoes i own hurts my feet after 3-4 hours or wear. i've been reluctant to admit it but the more cheaply-made the shoes is, the more it hurts my feet. this makes me sad because like most girls i enjoy cute, inexpensive shoes. so... yesterday i ordered these keens in dark mossy green through a shoestore in indy:



i have always been a sucker for mary janes. in fact when shopping with my mom, if i'm checking out a pair of mary janes, mom will say, "don't you think you have enough mary janes?" oh well. this company makes really comfortable and well-made shoes so i think it's worth it. i might even buy some boots of theirs. we'll see what winter brings.

i really should start getting rid of all the shoes that cause me problems, but then i'd have barely any shoes left :(

Monday, September 15, 2008

food and beverage geekery/at peace while eating

i'm such a nerd. lately i get such a kick out of food/beverage containers. a few weeks ago eric bought me one of these with his whole foods discount:



mine is just like this but silver with a black cap. it's huge! it makes me feel like i'm going camping whenever i carry it with me.

today i bought this:



i was actually hoping for something a little fancier than this one, but i was impressed by its ability to keep food hot for 7 hours. i'm excited to be able to use this and actually take something "dinner-esque" to eat between my classes at school. it's either that or max out my student account at the food court...

i realize this may make me totally nerdy, but i actually feel inspired when i buy stuff like this. like one day i might just pack up some soup and a sandwich and my fancy sigg bottle and hop on my bike and take a mini-adventure. i've noticed that eating a packed lunch by myself is actually one of the most peaceful, enjoyable moments i've had in a while. recently i've been packing cut fruit and either chicken salad in a kit or a sandwich and eating in my car, and the downtime seems to do immeasurable good for my mood. it's strange to me, but good! usually when i need to eat while i'm out, i go through a drive-thru or eat in a busy food court at school, and both 1) my food choices are unhealthy, and 2) my attention is not at all on my food. both are bad for me in the end.

now i think i might be obsessed with making chili. an awesome fall food!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

identity, church, cherry vanilla cream soda

amidst all this sadness running amuck in my head, God is gently trying to remind me who i am in Him. this is something i have struggled with actually for many years. tonight i was reminded that i am a creative individual with a unique view of the world... it's been a while since i've felt any sort of crafty inspiration. i'm thankful for it. i'm also thankful in understanding what it means to find my identity in Christ rather than by wordly definitions... hopefully that will get easier.

the other day d'arcy did the cutest thing. so you've heard of the crazy cat lady? well, i'm gonna be the crazy dog lady and post pictures of my dog. sorry. feel free to caption it and send it to 'ihazahotdog.com'.



so d'arce being an ol' lady dog hasn't been feeling well, and on one particularly painful day for her, i found her like this- curled up in her bed with her 'baby' under her arm. my heart broke and i gave her some pain meds and a cookie.

on tuesday my good friends mark and ange moved to ireland. i am happy for them but sad in their absence. a week or so ago we had one last hurrah at the claddaugh, an irish pub in indy:





i really like how things are going with our church. i'm excited to see what will happen.

one last picture... this is what i had for lunch the other day:



homemade chili with locally grown ground chuck, sweet cornbread, and cherry vanilla cream soda- my newest addiction. praise God that my boyfriend is a manager at whole foods!

Monday, September 8, 2008

no darkness too dark

fall is finally creeping back in, and i'm beginning to feel more and more alive. ironically, i am also dealing with what is possibly the deepest and darkest thing that i've ever had to deal with in my whole life. i won't go into details for internet's sake but i will say that there is no way i'm letting this 'thing' ruin my fall. fall has been and always will be the most important time of the year for me and, if i can just get my homework/school schedule under wraps, i plan on maxing it out this year.

i am excited for:
bike rides, tea drinking, crocheting, trips to the orchard, baking, craft times, apple cider, sweaters, colored leaves, awesome playlists, homemade soup in a thermos, hats and scarves, day trips, rosy cheeks, boots, oatmeal, quiet time, hoodies, outdoor games, bonfires, beans and cornbread, brown county, long walks...

what am i missing?

Monday, August 25, 2008

more adventurous

last week eric and i went to summit lake state park by ourselves. we had originally wanted a few people to go with us and have a big pitch-in/cookout deal and go swimming, but it worked out nicely that just the two of us went. his father has two kayaks which we borrowed to skim around the lake. it was nice to hang out in that context for a change, not so much pressure to figure out what's going on between us. my arms hurt so bad! i thought for sure i'd look like popeye the next day.

last night we had more fun as well. after shoe shopping and partaking of the lovely discount we get from whole foods, we jumped on his trampoline for a few hours. i can TOTALLY still do backflips! that felt awesome. we then sat on his couch eating ramen noodle soup and watching gattaca, which unfortunately was interrupted by my sudden loss of vision... migraine auras can have that effect :( eric being the gentleman he is kindly whisked me off to starbucks in my blind stupor and purchased two(!) venti mint mocha chip frappuccinos for the two of us in an effort to ward off the impending migraine. what a guy to spend $10 on two beverages! the rest of the night was spent sipping said beverages, watching episodes of flight of the conchords, and having much needed conversation.

as a result of the caffeine bolus, i only got about 2 hours of sleep... and now i have to go to class. bummer. better get another mint mocha chip frappuccino (light of course, to save on the calories) to get me there.

here's to sleeping the rest of the evening away!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

school daze

today was my first day back to class. i am going to be so busy! i dont know how on earth i thought i'd be able to take 13 credit hours. sigh. i guess the end is in sight, though...

i am so excited for fall! who's with me?!

cider, leaves, scarves... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

oh re-invention

when i came back from mexico, i had initially planned on not returning to my previous job. when i went into the office to tell my bosses this, they offered to allow me to come back on a PRN basis, meaning i can go into work whenever i want and work as much as i want. perfect. so i've been doing that and trying to work in some rachael-time as well. i really have felt 'dead' in some ways for a few years... i can remember when eric and i first started dating, i had just started working this job. we would stay out 'til 2 (sometimes 4!) just talking and hanging out, having little adventures all over the city, and i'd go into work with 2 hours of sleep. sure it wasn't comfortable but it didnt mean much, i felt like i was having the time of my life. slowly but surely i lost that feeling, i began to "need" 8 hours of sleep every night, i began to come home so tired from work that i never had time/energy to do the things that i really wanted to do, the things that made me feel 'alive.' living with your parents can have that affect as well. so, to summarize, after 2 years of working 40 hours a week (and then some) as well as balancing school... i feel like i dont know myself anymore. i used to love doing so many things, things that almost defined me in a sense. now i feel lost sometimes. does this happen to everyone? i'm not sure this is what God had in mind...

anyhow... today i made beer bread from a recipe in my ol' "How it all vegan" cookbook. turned out nice. I also made a chicken pot pie for my parents to eat for dinner. i plan on making salsa and jam from goods i plan to buy at the farmer's market. eric and i are going to see sigur ros in detroit next month. i plan on camping out within the next few weeks at a campground near my house. i'd also like to go swimming at a lake in a nearby state park soon if the weather permits. i hope to visit my friend kathryn in her new apartment down in bloomington (how i miss bloomington in the fall!!). yes, i have many things on my mind.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

i already know.

yesterday i went to a birthday party for my friend jason. we had a dance party (population 2-3), grilled out, had a bonfire, played whiffleball, and had a rad jam-out session comprised of accordion, banjo, and some other small guitar (they played 'king of carrot flowers'!). i had a beverage so i spent the night at eric's place so as not to risk getting a DUI (low tolerance!). when i came home this morning my mom asked me to go shopping with her, so i did. now my parents are out on their anniversary date dinner (28 years!) and i fully plan on getting a cheeseburger and fries from culvers (+ child-sized burger for d'arcy), renting "smart people" from blockbuster, and finishing the night off with ice cream.

go America! go unemployment!

i promise i will try to do something more productive and less "commercialist" tomorrow... living in Mexico for a month will certainly make you love your country in a totally new way.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

etsy sweet etsy

i ran into this gal's shop once upon a time, and ever since then i enjoy checking in on her and her lovely girly clothes. i dont know what it is but something about her designs and her wording just make me feel all squishy inside, like i'm drinking a mug of hot tea in the fall...
(i kinda dont blame you if you're making fun of me for this)

anyhow...
here's her site:
ananya @ etsy

hope you enjoy as i do!

i'm home.

i came home saturday night. my head has kind of been a whirlwind for the last few weeks; there was a lot to take in and process and now that i'm home it doesnt feel real. it seems like this trip changed a lot for me- school, work, attitude. we'll see what happens. i feel bad saying this but i felt like i couldn't find God in mexico. for that reason, my little brain is especially tired.

i am looking forward to a very flexible work schedule, finding more classes to take, and both relaxing/adventuring.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Teotihuacán

i climbed a pyramid! it was huuuuge!

teotihuacán

teotihuacán

teotihuacán

flickr is slooooow or i would upload many photos. everything here is so different, yet so awesome. my brain will certainly be resting a lot when i return home.

¡hasta luego!

Monday, July 7, 2008

holaaaaa

hola! estoy en mexico ahora!
i have been speaking SO MUCH spanish! i have learned so much already in just two days. the family that i live with runs a restaurant out of their house and i have eaten many delicious meals here.
hopefully soon i can figure out how to upload pictures from my camera without software. fingers crossed.
¡hasta luego!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

voy, vamos

on saturday i threw myself a goodbye party. more like a "im leaving for a month so come and hang out with me" kinda party. hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, watermelon, organic soda, and lots of cornhole! it was awesome. we ate, played many rounds of very competitive cornhole, and ended the night with an entertaining game of apples to apples. it was a nice way to see everyone before i leave.

cookout
allie, baby shiloh, and myself (aka the picture that launched a very serious diet!)

cookout boys
the brothers o'dell (alex and eric), conspiring in a serious round of cornhole

cookout
jason's cornhole method was very entertaining to me.

cookout
jenna and baby ryker.

i can't believe how fast this trip creeped up on me. i spent most of today packing and running some errands to grab some last-minute needed items. the rest of the week will be spent at work and doing homework, and trying to see a few friends here and there before i'm gone.

it's strange how this trip has brought about a sort of 'fork in the road' in my life... much change is on the horizon. i can hear God calling me to step out in faith, into the unknown... who knows what i may be writing on here in a month.

dios te bendiga!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

departure

i can't believe how fast time is passing me by right now. it feels like so much has been going on, and yet it hasn't really...
work has been out-of-control! covering here, training there, overtime here... it's a lot of stress for someone to deal with and i'm pretty sure i'm not handling it 'properly.' stress has pretty much always been my arch enemy.
crafts are on a hiatus at the moment. while i still have visions of totebags/wristlets/wallets dancing in my head, i dont have the mental energy right now to do as much as i want to do, mostly because...
i leave for mexico in a week and half!
i can't believe departure is so close. i am very excited to be in a different mind space for a whole month. i am hoping their culture will help me to see my own in different ways, even though i am already pretty disenchanted with "America" at the moment.
speaking of which, i saw shane claiborne speak last night at the church i use to volunteer at from time to time. he stopped in indianapolis on his 'jesus for president' tour with the psalters. i always love hearing what he has to say. i think he could probably talk about anything and i'd be inspired somehow. it was great to see mike and allie, twon, brent, kevin and naomi, but the bummer of the night was that one of the psalters' lost his dog and we walked about the area trying to help him find it during the intermission, only to be told that the dog had been hit by a car :(
i'm having a cookout this saturday so that i can see everyone and have some fellowship before i leave. burgers, hotdogs, and some rounds of cornhole! sounds awesome to me.

Friday, June 6, 2008

bad weather magnet

i think hancock county must have some sort of gravitational pull of bad weather. we ALWAYS get the bad weather that comes through the state. so far we have been very lucky...

how about a craft update?!
adorable bibs
some bibs i made for a doctor i work with that adopted a baby last week

beth's bag, all finished!
beth's bag, my first custom order :) im pretty pleased with how it turned out!

camera case wristlet
this is a camera bag wristlet that i made for beth as well. it's really well insulated with some heavy duty interfacing.

good news on the craft front, my mom took pity on my craft explosion room (see below) and decided to clear out the upstairs living room, which we dont really use, so that i can set up a studio. it will be super exciting to have a bedroom that is not covered in fabric, pattern, thread, and other miscellaneous supplies.

workspace
it's much worse than this at the moment, and soon to be in another location!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

rachael x corpses, reminiscing

warning, long story!

so i've mentioned this shop i have on etsy... it hasn't gotten much business really because i dont have a whole lot of time to put things up. maybe a handful of things. anyhow... this total stranger messages me and says she likes my bags and wants to know if i'd be interested in some custom orders. i say okay, and over a few conversations she asks me to make her a few different items. we politely chitchat over messages getting item details and colors and sizes and what not, and through all of this she casually mentions that she's in Pennsylvania but from Portland, and her in-laws live in Goshen (sidebar: i used to spend a ton of time in Goshen; my old best friends Sara and Erica were from Goshen). well, Sara had another good friend named Dave Moral, who moved from Goshen to Portland to Pennsylvania, so i think to myself, hmm, who do i know that has attachments to portland, goshen, and pennsylvania? wouldn't it be funny/ironic if this girl was dave moral's wife?

so i prod a little... turns out i'm right! sara and i were inseparable but lost touch over the years; she lives in washington now and i'm here in indy, and this girl knows both sara and another girl i used to be friends with, and knows them well! needless to say i've been reminiscing with her of all the fun adventures i had with sara- we were a couple of vegan straightedge kids in the hardcore scene, back when there was a vegan straightedge scene. we used to drive all the way to chicago for soul veg! we had vegan pitch-ins and would take road trips all over and stare at other drivers on the road until they got so uncomfortable that they would either slow down or speed up. we made up goofy things to yell at other people. we took sticker pictures in the mall. we tried to mail a frozen pie to a guy in oregon. we sang along to Good Clean Fun out the windows of our cars. we hung out at steak n shake at 3 am, followed our friends in bands around the midwest, slept on erica's floor, cut each other's hair...

i guess this was a really long way to say, "small world." I am always a sucker for irony.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

tuesday night review

after a three day weekend, i did not really want to go back to work today. but alas, i did. and it was not so bad.

i finally have a "greenfield" friend, and it is nice to have someone call me up and say, "hey, let's go to the coffeehouse and paint pottery" and then go. i wish i could be more bold in the social arena. "i'm working on it."

also, i got my first custom order on etsy! i'm pretty excited. i like being challenged to do new things and explore new skills.

things are moving along nicely.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

dia fantastico

1) just went to goodwill and purchased a bunch of vintage sheets, curtains, and tablecloths to upcycle for the shop

and

2) won a scholarship!!! so psyched!

i'll be in mexico in a little over a month! that's CRAZY.

GOD'S RAD.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

etsy, etcetera

i think my whole "etsy endeavor" has taken a turn for the awesome. to explain, i've always thought that God speaks to people in their own special languages and in ways that only they can really appreciate, and lately i can back this up wholeheartedly. first, i received an awesome book in the mail on saturday and i've been crazy inspired because of it. that same day, my friend allie bought a bag from me, and when i tried to just give her the bag instead of letting her pay for it, she insisted on paying, stating that she likes to encourage people in their dreams (i really love that girl!) in any way she can. she and her husband mike took some cards i'd had printed up and said they'd help distribute them and that i could probably sell some of my stuff at mike's shows (he plays guitar). super encouraging. later in the conversation, we were talking about how my job isn't guaranteed when i come back from mexico and that i may need to start looking for a new job. allie very encouragingly suggested, "maybe you can do your craft stuff full time!" i swear, when these words came out of her mouth it sounded like God himself talking through her. so the seed was planted then... which brings me to today. at my biblical counseling session, i told the lady i meet with about how i started a little shop on etsy to try and sell things i'd made to make money for mexico. out of the blue, she said the exact same thing allie did, and again, it sounded like God was talking! has anyone else ever experienced this? it gave me chills. it's true, i have always wanted to be able to do something creative and fun for a living, but i never thought i had enough skill or talent or drive. maybe God is challenging me to walk out in faith... a very exciting thought for me.

on to tonight... eric taught me how to do some linoleum carvings, so i gave it a shot and printed an image onto some fabric. this is what i came up with. i may use it as a panel in a tote bag for myself since it's pretty beginner-level, but i'm still pleased with it. hopefully one day i can print my own fabric by the yard!



i also made tags! pretty exciting for me.



goodnight!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

a good day

i tend to get fussy when things dont go as planned. it's silly, i know, but something about me kind of 'freaks out' when i plan for this or that to happen on a given day and then everything changes, on that day. i guess i feel kind of out-of-control in a sense. anyhow, today i had planned to do nothing but relax, do some sewing and get more things into the shop, and just hang out by myself (i'm a homebody for sure). well, as of yesterday, all of that changed. normally i dont like when other people make my plans for me or tell me what to do with my time, but today i'm actually finding it enjoyable. so far, i have made two batches of muffins and fruit salad to take to my friend allie who just gave birth last tuesday. i'm also planning on making a dinner to take to her and her husband later. eventually i will go grocery shopping for grandma and also to get the things i need to make allie and mike's dinner. earlier today i checked my etsy shop (now stocked with 7 whole items! thats a lot for a busy girl) and i have lots of people looking at items and saving them on their favorites, which is promising. and THEN, this happened: a few months ago amazon.com had a sale on pre-orders, so i pre-ordered two awesome books and kind of forgot about them... until today. in the mail i received lotta jansdotters new printing book and sew & stow, a book with lots of projects right up my ally. so all in all, even though my day didnt go as i planned it, it's turned out okay.

i think that shows some maturity on my part...!!! (i'm laughing at how much i mean this and how ridiculous it sounds)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

a calm saturday.

a few weeks ago i tried to buy fusible ("iron-on") interfacing. i even asked the lady at the shop to sell me a yard of the "iron-on" kind, to be sure. after many failed atempts, i came to the realization that the lady sold me the sew-on kind, because today i bought a small package of pellon interfacing and it worked exactly the way the directions said it would. i'm even sort of excited to use it again! here's what i made with it- my brother and i are treating my mom to a spree at the clinique counter for mother's day, so i made her a new makeup bag:



here's the detail of the bird applique and the stitch


exterior and lining with green zigzag stitch.

i'm pretty pleased with it, and i really think the interfacing made a nice difference. hope mom likes it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

yeah!

today i made my first etsy sale! to my friend amelinda in milwaukee!

SO EXCITED.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

a new first

today, for the first time ever, i voted.

...i also got gipped on etsy!!
(did i spell that right?)

God's probably trying to tell me to chill out on the online shoppery.

Monday, May 5, 2008

an eventful weekend.

what a busy weekend. friday was first friday and eric, alex, jason, and i went to watch our friend emily walk down a runway in a dress made of teabags. then some of us ate a glorious meal of steak n shake.

saturday was julie's baby shower, which despite being windy was very fun.
julie's baby shower
please disregard my "skater" look. i promise i'm not in high school anymore.

sunday was awesome. i got up early and began sewing a new bag for myself, then ange, mark, and laura picked me up and we drove north to michelle's baby shower, which was probably the most awesome baby shower i ever went to.
michelle's baby shower
(michelle's mother-in-law, michelle's mom, michelle, some guests)
please note that we are outside and that there is a teepee in the background. a real one. it was awesome. michelle got some really amazing handmade gifts; i was blown away by all the creativity that was present. we also got to design either a bib or a onesy for her and the baby.

after the baby shower we headed over to another home for a cookout where the girls' group met up with the guys. awesome food and hang out time. when it got dark and chilly enough we set up a bonfire down by the river that borders the property.

so far that was the best day since the warmer weather began. i hope we have many more like it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

craft drunk and blogger sabotage

i wrote up a long, thought-out entry a second ago. would you like to read it? too bad... blogger apparently lost it somewhere...

i'm too tired to type anymore. here's what i made tonight:


wristlet for my friend emily


onesy for julie's baby kairos

Sunday, April 27, 2008

etsy excitement

i have been a sewing fool lately. last night my parents went out to eat, invited me to go with them, and i declined so that i could begin making items for sale in the shop. tonight, with much excitement, i posted my first two listings in my new etsy shop. here's what i made:

a cute appliqued tote bag


a cute "market tote" with a pocket in the lining that folds up nicely into a pouch.

i love craftery so much. i wish i could just quit my dayjob and sew all day long. i have tons of cute fabric just begging to be made into something useful!

tomorrow i plan on sewing some more, then getting my bike from eric (gas is ridiculously priced! i'm biking to work), and then going to church. then it's back to the daily grind...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

very exciting

thanks to this lovely lady, i learned how to sew a zipper tonight!!! i feel like i just got my driver's license!





lining and all! i'm so psyched.

tonight i bought a ton of fabric on sale. and it's all cute, nature-y inspired stuff. i also bought a bundle from a nice gal on etsy. now, i'm off to create business cards. i really hope this shop thing sticks, i'm really good at getting awesome ideas, diving into them 100%, and then letting the buzz wear off after a while...

warmer ways

spring is such a freeing time for me. it seems like every spring i have this huge urge to reinvent myself. two springs ago i swore off shopping in 'fashionable' stores and decided i'd shop only at goodwill... it sounded really good at the time but it didnt stick. anyhow, lately all i want to do is wear my short jeans (that are about 7 years old!), tshirts, messy hair, old sauconys (circa 2000), and a bandanna. haha, it's funny to me how 7 years ago this was the "emo" uniform, and now kids in high school think "emo" means crazy asymmetrical haircuts, tight jeans, brightly colored shoes, and t-shirts that parallel avant-garde design. so much has changed!

anyhow... warmer weather really does something in me. if i could quit my job, i would travel all over the country with dear friends and only bring what i needed. i would go to cornerstone! i would visit the folks at 'another way is possible', i would hit up greasy diners on the sides of dusty roads, i would go dumpster-diving to feed the homeless, i would plan adventures with friends, i would camp out of my car, i would make sure to finally see built to spill live, i would drive across the country to keep in touch with old friends, i would see the grand canyon and enjoy feeling very small, i would do a lot of things. etc, etc...

sigh!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

sad news

my dear friend michelle's father passed away saturday. my heart is breaking for her, her family, and her little unborn birdie.

please keep her in your prayers as she is very pregnant!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

i felt the earthquake.

the previous week has been both stressful and enjoyable.

first of all, my jaw is getting better. the muscles in my neck however are still very sore. i feel like such a baby when i complain about it. anyhow, school will be done with on thursday for this semester (!!!) and i anticipate the muscle strain will relieve itself with a lighter stress load. i will have free time again! speaking of which...

i opened a shop on etsy.com... i already had an account for purchasing purposes, but i went ahead and made up a little banner to use for selling purposes for the time being- i dont have any good photo software on this computer, so i had to use paint, so obviously it is high-quality (sarcasm). i'm even thinking of making up some business cards. i had wanted to do something like this for a while now, but i just never had the time. i am hoping that school's ending will bring about more time for me to sew & create, and learn new skills on the sewing machine. so far i plan to sell a tote bag that i began last year, other tote bags with the fabric i've bought from sellers on etsy, and maybe some bibs. nothing much. i certainly dont plan on being very successful, but Lord Willing i might be able to make some extra money to use for the mexico trip, which i will most definitely need soon.

work has been crazy! i'm training a new girl who will eventually help me out, and that will be a blessing, but as for now i am still the go-to girl for everything else. no wonder i have a tight jaw!

some girls from church called me to hang out on thursday after my last class. when i finally arrived, they had grilled chicken and kebobs, rice, fresh fruit, and fresh homemade cookies. it was glorious. they insisted i wash it down with a margharita-flavored wine cooler. it was seriously the best meal i've had in a while. i'm definitely ready for more times like that. i was really especially blessed that they thought to invite me... i'm not exactly a social butterfly. but i am trying.

i am looking foward to the coming whirlwind of this week. a spanish presentation, two days off in a row!, a pilates class that i normally would not be able to attend, sewing gifts for michelle's baby, a geography final which means the end of the semester, and saturday is michelle's baby shower/josh's dudely cookout in eaton, to which i will be carpooling with other ladies from church. and the week after that, all i have to worry about is work! bring on the freetime!

as you may have heard, indiana experienced an earthquake yesterday. the funny part for me was when i realized it was a real, live earthquake, i bolted into my parents' room at 5:37am thinking that our house might collapse upon us (i was half-asleep), only to see my dad naked, coming out of the bathroom to ask why everything was shaking... good thing i slept in my contacts, they were so cloudy that i didnt see anything, thank God!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

la batalla de cuerpa

lately i've been quixotic. in a spiritual sense, it feels as though my flesh, the 'old man', is attempting a takeover. i am most certainly in one of those spiritual growth times and it is really becoming evident. i have always struggled with issues of anger and pride, and lately my eyes have been opened to how these issues had become ingrained in me at an early age, so much so to the point where i am not 100% aware of what i am doing anymore. i struggle with compulsive spending and laziness! terrible things that are so epitomizing of the world i struggle to live outside of today. as if those arent taxing battles in myself, my literal flesh is fighting me. i wake up from terrible, anguishing dreams to find that i've clenched my jaw all through the night. i have not had one day without pain in the last 2 months. everyone i know says i must be stressed, but i would beg to differ. most of us would argue that we are 100% aware of it when we are stressed out, right? i am handling job stress, i am handling school, i am trying my darndest to handle my finances, so why am i always so tense? it's a mystery...
on a brighter note, my spanish professor said something very encouraging to me. after i made a short class presentation in which i garbled many words and apologized much, my professor said "rachael, no te dudas! puedes hablar" (rachael, don't doubt yourself, you can speak). it was really nice to hear.
i am really desiring a true sabbath. one that does not involve me sleeping the day away.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

reaching back and out

i did something really dumb tonight.

every now and then i miss people from my past, so i'll look them up on myspace or whatever and try to see how they're doing, what they're up to, etc... well, i went so far back to visit the past that now my heart is heavy. old livejournals with old feelings, old online albums that accidentally got deleted (pictures gone forever!), old email addresses, old personalities,etc...

i'm such a creature of sentiment, to a fault. i find myself missing things i really shouldn't be missing. i look back at all the adventures i used to have and it makes me feel old and depressed.

at least it makes me want to make new memories to replace the old ones. i'm getting better at reaching out.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

photo explosion and much ado about updates

I've been busy. See below.







so, i have about 235890 friends who are pregnant right now. with the trip to mexico coming up, i am not able to buy as many presents for people as i'd like to, so i've been buying fabric and making lots and lots of handmade baby gifts. on friday, i gave a co-worker a couple of bibs with a more rock n roll theme (zebra print, skulls, bandannas) and a burp cloth that was considered "gender-neutral." tomorrow my friend Haley and i are hosting a shower for our friend allie (michelle- coming?), who is keeping baby's gender a secret. thus commenceth the making of many gender-neutral gifts for the baby, as pictured above. tomorrow should be fun, neither haley nor i have ever hosted a baby shower, so we'll see what happens. allie wanted something very low-key, so i ordered a cake and some pretty daisies as favors, and we'll have a pitch-in, all before church tomorrow.

speaking of church, things are happening! it's exciting. we now meet in a very old methodist church even closer to downtown, right across the street from the mission. very exciting. however, i unfortunately may have to skip church tomorrow in order to write a spanish paper...

today i booked a flight for cuernavaca. it was a very nervous experience. i dont normally throw down $700 for something. it made me realize, "holy crap, i'm going to mexico for a month!"

last weekend we celebrated mom's birthday (ours are a week apart) by going to Benihana! so fun! here are some pictures:


this is Jose, our cook. i should point out that my dad gets very excited at any opportunity to speak spanish; he's been trying to teach himself the language for a few years now. when he asked Jose where he's from ("De donde eres?"), Jose replied, "Japan, Mexico."



(Mom Terri, sister-in-law Jen, brother Patrick)

last night i went to first friday with eric, twon, jason, and mike. it was a lot of fun seeing people i hadn't seen for a long time. free food and wine made it better! it was a really fun night altogether seeing as how i hadn't really been social for the past year or so.

i must now prepare to write the above-mentioned spanish paper. do you want to help? answer this: what solutions do you propose to alleviate the negative effects of the immigration influx on the US healthcare system? (i know. i picked a really awesome topic... )