Archive for May, 2010

Your Mom Wears a Dress

Posted: May 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am a child of the 60’s which means that my mom often wore a dress.  A “day dress” I think they were called and while I didn’t think much of it at the time, how I wish I had a few of hers around now.  Not that I could fit into my mother’s size 2 day dresses.  Not that I even could have then…but I could hang it in my closet and remember chicken stew and Avon’s Roses, Roses perfume and being loved and not worrying about much of anything at all.

Oh, the power of a day dress.

I ran into the design work of Lesley Evers recently and it reminds of all things mom couture – but updated.

It’s June Cleaver and Betty Crocker and Lucille Ball, all rolled up in a  2010 package!

Family reunion photos circa 1969 are swimming through my brain right now.  Nobody’s dress was this cute or current, but the vibe is so there.

Oh, dear.  I think the word ‘winsome’ works well here.  This is the perfect dress for going from carpool to canasta in one perfectly-coiffed afternoon.  And look at this little number:

Doesn’t it make you want to whip up some meatloaf and mashed potatoes and iron your sheets and stuff?  Here is my favorite thing of all:

Love, love, love it!  And I love the era of women who enjoyed looking like women.  Even in the middle of the day.  How about you?  What do you remember about the fashion sense of your mom and your youth?

Voraciously Vintage,



My New Best Friend.

Posted: May 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, here’s what is changing my life right now (besides Jesus, who is always busy making something out of nothing):  Korean Tacos. This incredible fusion of Korean and Mexican food is just exactly the right combination for me and it was made famous by street carts like this one – Koi Fusion in Portland:

When something falls under the umbrella of “fusion”,  my mind immediately races to the ultimate destination known as:  NO RULES!   I love cooking without rules.  However, it makes it tough to find a recipe.   I’ll give you a minute to consider the irony of that last sentence.  So I read a big ol’ gob of recipes and made my own fusion for Korean Tacos that looks like this:

Here’s the recipe I used to cook the ribs.   The flavor was awesome, but I incorrectly assumed that Tori and I could spend the whole day shopping and movie-ing and they wouldn’t burn in the crock pot.  Again, wrong.  If you make them in the crock pot, 4 or 5 hours will be plenty.  Anyway, they were wonderful, but pretty crispy. (When pressed for time, I just grill a steak marinated in hodgepodge of fusion ingredients and slice it thinly – but the ribs are definitely worth the time.)

We placed the spicy beef on a small flour tortilla and topped it with an Asian slaw, green onions and – here’s the kicker – radishes.  I don’t understand why radishes make SUCH a difference, but they do.  They are miraculous because they cool the whole thing down, but they also give it a little diverse heat as well as a happy crunch.  Please do not attempt this recipe without radishes.  Also, some recipes call for bean sprouts which I suspect would be awesome, but I don’t know personally.  Mark my words, though:  I will know personally.  It shall be my solemn mission.

For the asian slaw, I used shredded cabbage and julienned carrots and then made a sauce of balsamic, sugar, salt and pepper, cilantro and sriracha (Asian hot sauce – SO good and SO hot!).

Really, you must try Korean Tacos and see if maybe…perhaps..your life changes a little.



Maximum Security

Posted: May 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Something fun happened yesterday.  Fun and important and maybe even life changing. Bear with me because it might seem a little woo-woo.

Here’s the picture:

I had a great day at work (my first real day out of the house since the yucky flu invasion) and a fun talk with my amazing mom  on the phone on the way home.   Then I enjoyed a lovely mocha as I waited at Costco for my pizza (no cooking!) while looking forward to a night with my loves at home.  Into all that fell this…feeling.  It was a feeling that can only be described as rightness.  Things were just right.  And so good.  Like the combination of warm sun and cool breeze, all the lovely in my life had collided in one moment and it was just beautiful.  At that moment I could only think of  one thing I wished was better and so for a minute I imagined what my life would look like if that one thing was fixed.  I actually had butterflies in my stomach as I pictured the world my wishing had created and then – out of nowhere – flew a flaming arrow of fear.  “But you could get sick….or your kids could get sick…or someone could die…” and the list of possibilities rolled in front of my imagination like the credits at the end of a scary movie.  It seems that no matter how many things work out in life, there’s always a new fear waiting to take the place of the old one. I sat on my bench at Costco thinking, “Wow, can we ever really be truly secure?”

Into that hurricane of fanciful and fearful came the wonderful voice of a perfect and generous God:

“There will never be a day in your life that is more – or less – secure than this one,  because I do not change and I do not let go.  If the other shoe drops, I’ll catch it…and I’ll catch you.”

Oh, so brilliant.  So loving.  And exactly what I needed to hear.

Today when I got to my office I printed that little Holy Spirit sentence out in pretty orange font (clearly, orange is the font of the Holy Spirit!) and taped it to my computer monitor.  The day was not as good as yesterday…but it was definitely as secure.  Tomorrow will be as well.  And Friday.  And all the days I’m on this planet after that day.  Because He does not change and He does not let go.



Sick Days

Posted: May 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

I realize that in the course of my blogging life I’ve talked about having the stomach flu an  inordinate number of times.  It’s because I have had the flu an inordinate number of times…and this is weird because I’ve enjoyed sickness-free seasons that lasted for years…perhaps even decades!   Anyway, again I find myself blogging from my bed, wishing I felt better but so thankful I don’t feel like I felt yesterday.

Here’s the big problem with me being sick:  it slows me down and slowing down makes me think more creatively…except not really.  Because my brain is not functioning as well as I think it is, so I tend to write long pages of words, secretly thinking they’re brilliant and then I re-read and say, “What the what?”  So, sickness makes me feel creative and contemplative, but it doesn’t actually make me smart.  Sad.  With all this time on my hands it would be awesome to also be smart.

Since that’s not happening, I’ll tell you what I am doing instead of clever, creative writing:

  1. Wedding shows.  I am watching plenty of Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings on TLC.

One reason I love Say Yes to the Dress is because the moms are often so wretched that they make me feel good about myself by comparison.  When you’re sick, you’ll take all the positive reinforcement you can get.  This particular episode, however  – and this exact bride –  made me feel really thankful for the goodness of my daughters.

2.  House.

Even though it creeps me out sometimes most times, I get sucked in and can’t get out.  Also, the conditions on this show make me happy for my flu.

3.  Blogs.  Sigh.  This is a little weakness of mine, sick or not.  Here are some of my current favorites:

So, that’s what I’ve been up to the past four days.  I’m finally up and around again and hoping to feel all-the-way better soon. How do you kill the time when you’re sick?

On the mend and caught up on House,


Pastor Barbie

Posted: May 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s an amazing thing when the one thing you’ve joked about for years becomes a reality.

A strange, strange reality.

Yesterday, I had coffee with a dear friend who I haven’t been able to spend time with in a long time.  When I saw her I was amazed. Because she weighs like 63 pounds.  No.  I’m kidding about that.  But she has lost weight and she looks fantastic!  I was immediately jealous as I have some pounds of my own that will not go away and stay away so I asked her what she’s been doing.  She told me that she is using a book that she picked up a few months ago and it’s changing her life.  Not just how she looks, but how she feels.

Here’s the funny thing.  I have been struggling with losing weight for a good two years.  I mean, it’s really been frustrating me and I’ve tried a lot of things.  And in that time, I’ve walked past this book at Costco at least 50 times.  The book proclaims on the cover that it will CURE the very problem I am struggling with and yet I have never taken a single look.  Seriously, never even flipped through it once to see if just maybe it wasn’t kidding about having an answer to my problem.

Here’s the second funny thing:  I left that coffee with my friend and I drove straight to Costco and bought that book without even opening the cover.  The book didn’t have to prove itself to me, my friend had already done that.

Pivotal Circumstances:  I have a problem that’s affecting my happiness.  I’ve tried to solve it myself, but nothing has worked.

Providential Relationship:  My friend’s life demonstrates exactly the results I’m looking for.  Therefore, I will try exactly the cure that she tries even though that cure has been available to me for a long time and I have already rejected it as an option.

Discipleship.  It’s not a program or a class or a college.  It’s a story.

As I continue asking people about the things that have grown their faith, I’m discovering  that I have chances nearly every day to help fulfill the Great Commission by using the regular, everyday things in my life to make disciples.  You may not be a teacher or preacher, but you are someone whose life demonstrates the results of following the God who heals or sets free or provides.  You have a story and your story may make all the difference for someone who has a million times passed by the answer to their eternal questions without even lifting the cover.

You, my friend, matter.

Loving the story,


I recently watched this message by Andy Stanley and I loved it.

In it, he talks about the studies and surveys they have done to discover what things are the most instrumental in growing the average person’s faith.  Of all the thousands of answers they have heard, they have found that the faith Miracle-Gro always fits into one of five categories.

  1. Practical Teaching
  2. Providential Relationships
  3. Personal Ministry
  4. Pivotal Circumstances
  5. Private Disciplines

In looking over my journey of faith and growth, I would say that those are exactly the five things that have made the greatest impact.    I’ve watched this message repeatedly and keep mulling it over in my mind,  trying to figure out ways to help life group leaders at our church leverage their moments with their group members to help maximize their effectiveness as disciple-growers.  Because of the constant mulling, when I hear something like “My neighbors were on the brink of divorce and they came to our Life Group and they are doing better than ever,” I immediately think “Yep.  Pivotal circumstances and providential relationships.”

Recently, I had lunch with the lovely Mekenzie and she told me about a Graham Cooke CD that’s nearly on constant repeat in her car, it’s impacted her so much.  When I heard that, my mind held up a little sign that said, “Practical teaching!”  And the CD was given to her by a friend who felt it was something Mekenzie could really use in this season of life.  My little brain sings, “Providential relationships, baby!”

So, since my mind is doing this automatic connector thing (like Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys – remember those wonderful guys?)  and it has me wondering:  of the five things listed, what would you say has had the most impact on the growth of your faith?

Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you a funny story about how dieting and a friend and book brought these principles all the way home to roost!

Grow gracefully,