Monday, December 24, 2007

Living the Questions

Lately I feel like I've lost my footing. I stumble a lot in my journey through life, but it's an exciting adventure usually. Lately I've just felt "off" and instead of catching myself after I trip on uneven pavement, I hit my knee on a proverbial brick wall to keep from falling down completely. Either way there's a sting of pain.

This weekend was awesome though. I feel like I got a bit of myself back. My parents drove up from Maryland to spend the weekend and holiday with me. We were able to put together a smashing smorgasbord for several of my friends. It was such a fun event. It was a great reminder of the many wonderful friends I am surrounded by who bless my life. (Even those who were already out of town or couldn't make it for other reasons--I am just grateful for so many positive relationships in my life.) My parents and sister went to church together and had a great Sunday!

Today I'm thinking about a few different things. My friend Seth introduced me to a great quote by Thomas Paine:

"There are certain circumstances, which, at the time of their happening, are kind of riddles, and as every riddle is to be followed by its answer, so those kind of circumstances will be followed by their events, and those events are always the true solution. A considerable space of time may lapse between, and unless we continue our observations from the one to the other, the harmony of them will pass away unnoticed: But the misfortune is, that partly from the pressing necessity of some instant things, and partly from the impatience of our own tempers, we are frequently in such a hurry to make out the meaning of every thing as fast as it happens, that we thereby never truly understand it; and not only start new difficulties to ourselves by so doing, but, as it were, embarrass Providence in her good designs."

I love this. I have been in such a hurry that I have not understood "Providence in her good designs" and may have started several new difficulties. But what I love the most is that as I realize this, I can change it. It reminds me of my favorite quote right now from Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet:

"...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

I love this too. It has a way of helping me relax, let go of some of my impatience and uneven temperament. I'm excited for the new year. I'm hoping that I'll be able to live the questions, letting go of my own interpretations and meanings. Won't that be a beautiful thing!!

Footing a little bit more settled.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My special Christmas Greeting: It NEVER Gets Old!

This will forever warm my heart and give me peace and joy. I hope it makes you laugh out loud and wish your friends and parties were just like this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Day!

I really love the snow. The last few winters in Boston haven't been that bad. This winter is already shaping up to be a doozy and I'm really excited about it. Last Thursday we had a great snow fall!

I got out of work early and 2 hours later was finally home. I live at the top of a hill and pretty much any road you try to take is steep. I had difficulty making it to my house, but finally did. I had a friend coming over too and it was an adventure to brainstorm ways to spin up hill and criss-cross to find more traction. Once we finally go to my house we decided to hike back down the hill to go find food. Silly me, I hadn't been grocery shopping in a long time and we were going to starve. It was an adventure. I love wintry hikes especially when I get back to my house and It's warm and cozy inside. Thursday after we got back to my house it was great to hear the snow and wind outside and just love being home. Eventually you have to go back outside and try to dig out cars, but even that can be fun.

Today is Sunday. I woke up and there is more snow and a lot of wind. I looked out my window and noticed none of our streets are plowed and it's still coming down. I know my bishop refuses to cancel church but I also didn't want to slide down hill and then not be able to get up (let alone trying to dig out my car...) My roommate Katy and I decided it would be best to stay in. We drank hot chocolate, made pumpkin pancakes, and decided to decorate our house a bit for Christmas. We sat down in our living room to check the weather channel and we received the greatest gift in the history of snowstorms...An Anne Of Green Gables Marathon!!!! Wahoo!!!

Which leads me to the greatest movies list for snow days and sick days when I was a kid:

*Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea: Anne with an E is one of the greatest characters ever. and let's face it, Gilbert was always a cutie. Katy and I are laughing out loud right this very second! Anne just wailed on Gilbert with her slate and is now in the depths of despair because she dyed her hair green! So Brilliant! Being smart is better than being good looking!

*Jane Austin's anything: my personal favorites are Emma and Mansfield Park. I find that for some reason I feel a connection with Emma--like I understand her foibles, they are much like my own.

*Farris Bueller's Day Off: the day we all wish we had the guts to follow through on in high school.

*Goonies: I never get sick of that one. Goonies never say die. Never.

Our Christmas decorations are coming along nicely and cheaply. I bought three fake little trees and put some lights and bulbs on them in the corner. They're small and cute. I love poinsettias, so we have a few of those. We also have more lights and garland. We're trying to decide what to do with it. Next Saturday my parents are going to be here. We're going to have a holiday dinner at my house. My mom is Swedish and my Dad German so we like to put out a great spread of European cheeses, breads, and all kinds of holiday food. mmm...m...m!! Siblings, I wish you were going to be here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Leaf Removal 2007

Welcome to my back yard in Maryland. It's beautiful, and the colors are always amazing. The problem is that all the leaves fall down. Leaf Removal goes in several stages. Grandpa rallies the troops and then all the magic happens.
This was Max's first opportunity to "help" with leaf removal. Really it was his first introduction to just how great it is to rake all the leaves in huge piles and then jump in them. (a must experience for any child)
Amanda, Max and I were raring to go when grandpa made the call that it was time to brave the cold air.
The Key Players:
Grandpa "I'll show you how it's done" Rueckert
This here's a leaf blower.
The wee Family: Dave, Tiffany, Shmeese and Schwab
JCrew photo shoot #437.
Max "you don't need to show me twice" Rueckert
The leaf roller.

Linda "Wannabe a Chimney Sweep" Rueckert

Amanda "are we done yet" Rueckert

making it all happen.

Dave: "Look Max, These are leaves. We're going to put them in a pile and then you get to mess it all up!"
Max: "Ga!"

...and you jump in like this....
and then you roll around...
and then we throw more leaves on top of you until you're drowning in them. We continue until the laughing turns to whimpering.

and then you get out and we do it all again.