Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've always had a drive inside of me. I've always tried to do as well as I could at something. When I was young, I would practice soccer constantly so I could be the best on my team. In school, I always studied until the early hours of the morning. In my work, I am always trying to learn as much as I can to do my job as well as I can.

But why?

I was thinking about this the other night while I was falling asleep (which happens to be when I think up a lot of blog-worthy subjects but they slip away after I fall asleep). And I think I came to a conclusion. I've always just assumed that it was only because I had older brothers (3 and 5 years older) who were always more talented, bigger, smarter, faster than I was. I just wanted to keep up, right? But I don't think that's what it was.

Before I got into college, I felt like I wouldn't be able to pass my classes because I didn't have enough knowledge from homeschooling. Before I got into the workforce, I always felt like I wouldn't have enough skills to get/hold a job. Before I got married, I feared that I wouldn't know how to love my wife in the slightest.

So what drives me? I think it's a pervasive fear of failure. Not debilitating, but nagging. Always a whisper letting me know that at any moment, I could make a huge mistake and lose something.

Now, I don't have some enlightened conclusion to this. Just some thoughts. I think recognizing a problem is a good way to begin to address it. All I have to do is look back in my life-- I am not a giant failure. I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined: I have a beautiful wife whom I love very much, an incredible job about which I get excited every Sunday evening, I hold a degree from a highly, HIGHLY reputable university (cawwww!), and everything is just fine. God is sovereign and there's nothing I can do about that, so I will take what He offers, do the work He gives me and let Him worry about the details.

Hopefully I'll be able to write some more posts soon. No point having a blog if we don't write in it, eh?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Too much Quiet on here

I think a new post will be coming soon.....not sure if it will be by me or Graham. We will see. ;)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Church, New Friends, New Emotions

So Graham and I have been visiting a Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Providence Presbyterian, the last few weeks. It has been good, but hard at the same time. I didn't realize how easy it was to make friends and put yourself out there as a college student. I am also learning it is a lot different as an adult. That's fine though, in the end I will end up maturing and learning how interact with people who aren't college students and that's good. Haha.

So last night we had a young peoples gathering with the young people from Providence. It was also then that I remembered I get so intimidated by a backyard full of people I don't know. Luckily, these people are very nice and I met one girl who pretty much said, "Hey let me walk you around and introduce you to people." It definitely boosted my confidence, but I still remembered I am an introvert by nature and do much better with a group of small people than a room full. I tend to cower in room full of people and will stand off by myself until someone talks to me, whereas with a smaller group I get noticed that I am standing alone and I am forced to chat. I am slightly stubborn and need to be forced.

So while all these people are standing around chatting, I am aching for the food to be served so I can sit at a table with just 5 other people. This was the best part of the whole night. Graham sat on one of side of the table with the guys and I sat on the other side with some girls. I ended up chatting with a girl who reminds me of someone, but I can't put my finger on who. I guess that's why I felt so comfortable talking to her. She was God's encouragement to me that I am not the only one moving from a church where you grew up spiritually and had friends as close as family. She has been at Providence for about 2 and a half years, but she mentioned still struggling with similar things I am struggling with in being in a new place and in a new church. I wanted to just cry right there. Not only that but she came from a Bible church and mentioned missing a lot of the things from the Bible church that Presbyterian churches don't necessarily put a lot of emphasis on - especially if it is a planter church. I am not saying one is better than the other, they are just different. No church is perfect because it is full of sinners. We talked about desiring to "Do life" with others and being involved in our neighborhoods. It was so encouraging and I needed it so bad. I have been in dire need of a deep conversation about God, His glory, His desire for His people, and other random things with a girl. God knew I needed it even before I knew I needed it.

I think the hardest part about making new friends and being in a new place is that I just don't want to do it. I just want to be where I am comfortable and be with the people I already know. I don't like having to start at square one and start over. I don't like change. I am fighting on all fours against the change that has already happened. I feel this fighting and these changes have made me this ridiculously emotional person that I never used to be. I used to never cry and now I feel like I cry at least once a week. Little things that used to never bother me hurt my feelings. The Devil feeds me lies about other people and I believe them. It's one of those situations where I am at the end of the road and I just have to stop and tell the to Lord to take it from me. The problem is is that I don't like change, I am stubborn, and if I give it up then the change has happened and I can't take it back. It's a vicious cycle in my life that needs more serious prayer than I give it.

I feel like my posts are depressing. I might change that next time I decide to post. I guess I only feel like writing if I am sad or thinking about life or something like that.

P.S. Just wanted to mention that my husband is a Godsend and I don't think the Lord enough for his encouragement, wisdom, patience, and love.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Being lonely can even happen when you are married

Graham hassles me to post in our blog, but I just really never have much to say. That and what I want to say, I can't really say. Haha. I want to post about work and its happenings terribly bad, but I am afraid of my boss finding my blog, reading it, and getting angry or something. So many funny things (funny to me) happen at work, but I can't share them. Haha. If I speak to you in person on a frequent basis, I have probably told you several stories. I can do that because it isn't traceable, like this blog is. Anyhow...

I don't really have much going on on my side of the world. Graham pretty much covers the events of our lives. He can't really talk about what I have been thinking or feeling, you know since really I am the only one in my own brain, and lately I have been feeling terribly lonely. I know you are thinking, "You are married, how can you feel lonely?"

The loneliness I feel does not involve that part of my life. I honestly don't know how I would be able to fight the loneliness I feel without Graham beside me encouraging me. That and being married isn't all I am or my life - it is a part of my life. I am lonely in a sense that I miss having a church family, I miss having friends around the corner, I miss ministering to people, I miss serving, and I miss being invited to places and involved with people. It's so hard for others to understand and remember that just because Graham and I are married doesn't mean we don't want to see people and be a part of get togethers, events, and so forth. If we just hung out with each other and never saw other people, what purpose would we be serving? What would we be doing with our lives? In addition to that, I'm also allowed to go out without him and he without me. You know, I was told people would stop calling just because I was married, but I didn't believe it would happen to me, and actually, if it did, I didn't think it would hurt this bad. It's been a long time since I have felt this type of sadness. In fact, this blog is probably going to take several tries for me to write, just so I don't sit and bawl at the computer as I type.

And instead of just talking about my lonliness, I've been trying to figure out how to resolve and defeat it, but I don't know what to do. I hate inviting myself to things. I feel like its rude and if anybody really wanted me around they would ask me to be around. So, dead end there.

We have been visiting a church. That's a start to finding ways to minister to people, serve, and be a part of a body of believers. The hard part with this is keeping my patience and waiting to build friendships and being willing to put myself out there. It was always so easy at DBC, but then again most people were college students. I think as a College Student it is so easy to meet new people and get plugged in because everyone else is in the same boat as you. When it comes to being in a new church and meeting new people , I tend to just hide behind Graham when and I need get out of that habit.

One thing I do think I have going for me is that I own a dog. I know this sounds silly, but having a dog in an apartment complex instantly makes you friends/acquaintances with everyone else in the complex who has a dog. I miss living in community and this helps with that a lot.

You know, this is rather long and I know people don't usually read the long posts, so I am going to go ahead and end it here. Maybe I will type more later, but maybe not.

Oh and don't feel sorry for me. Pray for me instead and if you happen to be a friend of mine, invite me places so that I know my friends are my friends and that they want me around. Remember that just because I am married, doesn't make me a different person.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gnat Me to the Moon

Just a little story...

While waiting in line at the box office, I overheard the follow snippet of a conversation behind me:

Person 1: Fly Me to the Moon? Isn't that the movie about monkeys in space?
Person 2: No, that's Space Chimps. I think this one is about... I think gnats? I don't know.

It's about FLIES. Sheesh.

Person 1: What about Tropic Thunder?
Person 3 (in front of me, while searching through the showtimes): Chocolate Thunder? What's that?

A little silly, but it made me laugh.

Oh. We watched the Dark Knight. It was depressing. I don't like movies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sheesh, Natalie needs to write on this thing more!

Well, life in Carrollton has been fine and dandy. We are all settled into daily routines and such, we made a friend in our apartment complex (how fun!, you say), my job schedule is perfect, Natalie only has to drive 10 minutes a day (as opposed to 90+), little Maeby is being allowed to stay out of here crate for 5+ hours at a time and she's almost not peeing anywhere, except for those couple little neon green surprise spots she left us yesterday.

So, things are going well. God is sovereign and we don't have much to worry about.

I think we have probably found a church-- Providence Presbyterian Church. It seems like a very good church. It's a 3-year-old plant church from Park Cities Presbyterian, like New St. Peters is. We'll see how it goes. :)

My job is amazing. I know I've said that about all of my jobs, but this one is really really great. The company is growing and after a year of doing business, we're close to breaking even, which I've heard is great for start-ups. It's like working at UNT, but on crack. More to do, more to learn, more to earn. I was very hesitant to take the job when it was first offered to me, but I definitely am glad I did.

We are saving up to buy a house now that we'd paid off all of our debts. Here's my plan for getting the house: 1) Save up a significant down payment until 2) We are able to make minimum mortgage payments that are less than our current rent then 3) continue the rate of saving, but put the extra cash toward payment of the principle of the mortgage.

So here's a little breakdown of that: If we were to buy a house for $140,000, which is a pretty stinking nice house in the Dallas area and at the high end of what I'm willing to spend for a house at their current values and considering Natalie's great credit score (we would probably leave my name off since I have next to no credit), we would aim for a down payment of $63,000 or 45%. Assuming a 5.8% rate, that would make our monthly payment ~$650. Having paid $25,000 and a year of tuition while I was still working my student job, I think we could reach this goal within 2 years, and probably surpass it.

So, why not get a full mortgage or only make a 20% down payment like everybody else? I could definitely put that money in a mutual fund and make an 11% return long-term and just eat the mortgage payments. But I've seen what monthly interest payments can do. The lenders want you to be stuck with them for 30 years. Heck, our student loans got to the point where they didn't want another payment from us until 2016-- they want you to only pay the minimum because that's how they make the money.

Thanks mom, for the inspiration to save up cash for a house. As long as I can remember, she told us to work for a couple of years after getting married and save save save. What an incredible idea. That's what I'm doing now. :)

Okay, phew. Sorry for all of the finance talk, that's just what I focused on when I graduated, so I've become a little obsessed. Here are some other things I want to learn:

1. Get a firm grasp on the concept of the Covenant of Grace. Be able to explain paedobaptism to Natalie, because she sure doesn't want our babies being sprinkled right now. I read a book on reformed theology, just a big overview, and it was really good... there's just so much to it and the concepts are very new to me.
2. Understand myself a little better. I've been feelling a little introverted lately, slightly overwhelmed in certain social situations, which is very unfamiliar to me.
3. Learn about the history of capitialism, consumerism. Any suggestions here? I've only heard of a book called "Jobs, Machines, and Capitialism" but I'm not sure of the content.
4. Learn how to troubleshoot/debug software. I'm getting much better at troubleshooting problems on computers, but there's always room to grow here. I'm such a nerd.
5. More job-related: Learn how a doctor's office works, from when a patient walks in the door to when the check comes from the insurance company. Maybe I could find some office manager training material.
6. More job-related: Learn about routers, learn how to do a CAT5 cable drop from start to finish, learn more about VBScript (sweet language, incredibly useful).

That's all. Thanks for reading

Oh, P.S...

My new favorite song:

(ruff ruff ruff ruff)
Dog Police! where are you coming from
Dog Police! nobody knows who you are
(ruff ruff ruff ruff)

Jumped in my car last Saturday night
Had a blind date she was out of sight
She was a chick from the canine scene
Her hair was blue, her teeth were green

Drove down to the Lone Star Bar
Scratched her flea as I parked the car
As the place was full of punks and minks
Got a little table and a couple of drinks

Went to the bathroom and combed my hair
Left my baby at the table there
Looked in the mirror and I wiped my nose
And when I came back, what do you suppose?

The boys in blue had my baby on the floor
They were asking her if she wanted some more
They pulled out a net, they pulled out a leash
They said they were the...

(ruff ruff ruff ruff)
Dog Police! (Bow Wow)where are you coming from
Dog Police! nobody knows who you are
(ruff ruff ruff ruff)
Dog Police! (Bow Wow)where are you coming from
Dog Police! nobody knows who you are
(ruff ruff ruff ruff)

I guess I should have noticed that box of filled bones
She sniffed the cups in my stereo phone
She barked so much she was on fire
She wented outside and whizzed on my tire

Havin’ those puppies was a little insane
But boy she loved that gravy train
Next time you’re out with a real strange beast
Make sure she’s not wanted by the....

(ruff ruff ruff ruff)
Dog Police! (Bow Wow)where are you coming from
Dog Police! nobody knows who you are
(ruff ruff ruff ruff)
Dog Police! (Bow Wow)where are you coming from
Dog Police! nobody knows who you are
(ruff ruff ruff ruff)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maeby had an accident

Natalie and I left Maeby (our new dog... I don't know if she's been mentioned on here) out of her kennel while we dropped by Target for a few minutes. We thought she'd be okay since she's gotten over her bladder stones and has been pretty well-behaved for the last couple of days. Little did we know she was preparing some sort of fecal helicopter attack for the bathroom...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quick Update

1. Natalie and I live in Carrollton now. It is foreign (half way... it's Dallas, really) and a little lonely. Come visit us. :)

2. We are 100% debt free as of today (because interest made us still owe $3 after I thought we were done...)

3. On Friday, my car's passenger side front wheel came off while I was driving. Thankfully, we were going slowly and no major damage was done (except $1045 out of our bank account...). Pictures to come.

4. We got a dog. Her name is Maeby and she is cute. And she was $15. Pictures to come.

5. I am reading about covenant theology and paedobaptism. Good stuff. Next I read about dispensationalism.

6. My new job is incredible. I am doing IT support for mostly doctors and a few small businesses. I do a lot of driving and it's very busy right now, but I'm looking forward to seeing the business grow in the next few years.

7. Life is good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's been nearly two weeks since I graduated. Here's an update:

1. I have been reading about as much as possible. I'm 2 1/2 books down, 2 on the list. I can't believe that I went so long without reading during college. Homework is the mother of all excuses to avoid things.

2. I've plugged it before, but Mint is amazing. Here is a breakdown of our spending from the last 6 months!

Things to note:

We are kicking our loans' butts. We eat out too much. We don't give enough. Our cars are great. I need to categorize $242 in spending. I'm considering adopting the envelope budgeting system to keep Natalie and I from driving each other crazy (we have very, very different spending habits).

3. Natalie and I are moving to Carrollton. If you are from Denton, you should come visit. We love Denton and everybody in Denton and you will be sorely missed. The last three years have been amazing and I wouldn't take them back for anything. :)

4. I read something interesting the other day... We need to be sure our churches are preaching about sin. Many churches avoid the topic to keep people happy, but paradoxically, only when we understand our true place with God (unable to boast... sinners) can we actually experience true joy. So all of this beating around the bush ultimately has no purpose.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Sleepy Graham says Funny Things

So this morning right before I was about to leave, I went to go tell Graham "Bye." Now, I do this every morning at 6:20 or so. He is still sound asleep and I will wake him a bit to tell him, "Bye." Sometimes, I am cruel and ask him a bunch of questions and talk to him, but most of the time I will just lay down with him for a bit before I go. Well, this morning I thought I'd start talking to him as soon as I went in there and asking him questions. I usually know the outcome of this - he will not remember anything about our conversation and/or he will say something that makes no sense and makes me laugh a lot. I always hope for the second.

Since we are moving this weekend, I have moving things on my mind and I start talk to him about getting newspaper today so we can wrap and pack the dishes (and if you have any newspaper, we would like to take it). We are also selling our twin bed to one of Monica's roommates. So, I tell Graham he needs to make sure to message Monica to tell her roommate to come get this bed. So he mumbles something and I ask, "So you already took care of it?" He replies, "Yes, you want to see the messages, they are right here." He kind of moves his arms a bit - to me, it is in a mocking manner. Now, I think he is pulling my leg because I am bothering him and it is his way of telling me to go away. No, he opens his eyes slightly (which is a huge deal for a sleeping Graham since he hates light in the morning). Then he kind of looks around and says, "Except I don't have my computer." Apparently, his computer was on his lap in his head and he already had Facebook open with the messages being displayed.

He is so patient with me to let me do this to him on a daily basis. (Thanks, Graham) Things like this make me happy and my day.

This is almost as good as Graham telling me "Thank you for the cake" that didn't exist. ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

What the crap is a mass flow sensor?

I graduated officially on Saturday. It was a really long ceremony, especially since they decided make me go third... out of everybody. I'm not big on ceremonies, anyway. My wedding was neat, but after the wedding is a bigger deal to me because it takes up my whole life. :)

My car broke down on Saturday afternoon. I just got a call back from the mechanic and the repairs are only $42! Turns out, my mass flow sensor was all clogged up. Pictures of our event to follow... I am an awesome photojournalist.

If you're looking for an honest mechanic in Denton, check out Tommy's Hi Tech Auto on Ft. Worth Dr. They could have ripped me off multiple times now, but the repairs have always been a reasonable cost.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hopefully I will post...

So Graham really wanted a blog and I said, "Okay, but I suck at posting in blogs." I bet he posts a lot more than I do, but I will try. I think I don't like to post because I never know what to say and I am never satisfied with my words. So I thought I'd just post a little, "Hello," and possibly think about posting more later. The reason I say I will do it later is because (1) that's what I always say, (2) I don't know what to say, (3) I have to clock back in in about five minutes, and (4) my life and thoughts are not really that exciting. Really, they aren't. Haha.

And out of curiousity, I checked my last post on Xanga and it was Novemeber 15, 2006. It has been a long time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I finished college this morning. Like... it's all over (and I did it in four years! Woohoo!) Here are some thoughts:

1. Natalie and I will be millionaires by the time I am 30. (That's 9 more years, for those of you counting)

I am really getting into personal finance. I picked up one of Dave Ramsey's books, the Total Money Makeover, this evening (since I don't have anything to study for...) and I'm going through his plans. It all makes perfect sense, and Natalie and I actually follow most of what he says already.

We currently have a net worth of about -$1000 ($14,000 liquid funds, $15,000 in student loans), so we have a ways to go.

Growing up, my parents were in debt. My mom decided to always mention what she was looking at, and what their financial situation was ("My retirement money went way up this week! Look!"). My dad wasn't so sure about keeping us in the loop about their finances. He didn't want us to have to think about it or worry about it. Looking back, it's one of the things my parents taught me for which I'm most thankful. I know to avoid credit card debt, I know to live cheaply. Natalie was just born cheap and a saver, so I don't have to worry about her. :)

Being a millionaire isn't about having nice things or making lots of money. I don't want to pursue it for money's sake. It's a challenge, it's a commitment and it's a responsibility. I don't consider myself one to turn those things down. Better yet, if you have more, you can give more. Plus, I can teach other people about money when I learn enough about it!

Also, I'm considering paying 100% down for a house... I'll have to talk to Natalie about this one first.

Also also, check out the blog Get Rich Slowly. Good stuff.

Also also also, check out Mint. The only disadvantage is tracking usage of cash.

2. I can't WAIT to start reading again.

I forgot how much I enjoyed reading. I've kind of forgotten about it for the past four years because of all of the required, assigned reading in my classes. I finished my last test about 18 hours ago and I'm already 106 pages into a new book. I love learning what I want to learn.

3. 5 years ago I began questioning a lot about wants vs. needs.

I am going to reconsider what kind of things I am wanting (a 24" iMac... so sweet) vs. what I need. I don't need an iMac... but I wannnnnnt it. Maybe I could settle on the 20"er... or just my current PC. I am cursed-- I can never justify getting a new computer because I know how to fix all of their problems.

I want a scooter. It makes financial sense (gas at $3.50 and all) and it's really fun... but there's the initial investment.

4. College is over. So now what? Suggestions are welcome-- I don't have any homework to do!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


After a 3 year hiatus from Xanga, Natalie and I decided that we would start a blog, if for nothing else than to keep everybody updated on our lives in Carrollton/Dallas.

We plan on general butt-kicking, so keep an eye out here!