4.29.2011

The Royal Wedding: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Hi friends!

I was so excited about William and Kate's nuptials (oh, I'm sorry, it's Catherine now) that I got up at 6.m. this morning to watch them get married at Westminster Abbey. I'm glad I did! I wouldn't have wanted to miss such a beautiful ceremony. Her dress was incredibly gorgeous, and possibly a throwback to Grace Kelly's gown from her 1956 wedding to Prince Ranier of Monaco. I love the traditional style. Commentators on the Today Show kept talking about how they were surprised Sarah Burton (from Alexander McQueen) didn't create something a tad more dramatic, but I think the royal family has had enough drama to last them a few centuries! Princess Catherine is the picture of grace and beauty, and her gown reflected that.


Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge
as she approaches Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. 
Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco
on her wedding day in April 1956.
Some of my friends don't understand why I would even care about the British monarchy, but my ancestors are English, Scottish, and Dutch (among other things), so I can't help but feel some kinship with them. Plus, since Princess Di was 1/6th American that makes Prince William 1/12th American...although, technically, most Americans are descendant from British subjects, so it doesn't really matter much either way ;). Besides, what girl doesn't love a fairy tale wedding?

William and Catherine looked so in love, albeit decidedly more formal than most brides and grooms I know (but I suppose that's to be expected when an estimated 2 billion people are watching you!), and I got a little misty when William looked over at his bride as she approached the altar and said, "You look beautiful". A far cry from the behavior of this father, Prince Charles, who barely cracked a smile on his wedding day. I wish them all the best! I pray that God will work through their marriage to bring hope into this world, and that they will always honor and cherish one another.

The happy couple as they greet the thousands gathered outside Westminster Abbey <3.

Google's header image for the day, which is adorably appropriate.

Gorgeous!

I love the little girl in the bottom left of the photo...she is not at all impressed with the pomp and circumstance!


William had just said, according to a professional lip-reader (how do you get that job?!)
to Kate and her father: "This was supposed to be a small family affair." Love her smile!

Kate's stunning sister, Pippa, the maid-of-honor, with the little bridesmaids.

On their way to Buckingham Palace <3.

Love.

Until next time,

Wendi

4.27.2011

And Today Was a Day Like Any Other

Hi friends!

Some of the more conservative female bloggers I follow like to periodically post what's called "The Simple Woman's Daybook", which is pretty much a cute way of telling readers a little bit about their lives at that very moment.


I am no simple woman. I love simple things- like iced coffee, making flower bracelets, playing chess- and, stripped down (I'm talking figuratively here, people, not literally), I've never grown away from all the things I loved to do- and wanted to do someday- when I was little: plant flowers, climb trees, nap on a hammock, find seashells on the beach, read good books, laugh, make sweet tea, kiss, write, sing, ride my bike, listen to all kids of music, and make tons of food for Hubby and myself. But I'm also a wife, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a daughter, a professional, an aspiring author, a student, a slave to the IRS, and many other things...life sometimes gets in the way of being simple, so I'm going to follow this trend and show you all a little bit (more) about me.

Outside my window... it's cloudy and dark. After three days of massive thunderstorms here in Georgia, we're expecting the biggest one yet this evening. I actually LOVE storms, but I pray that this one will leave families and homes untouched.
I am thinking... about one message, in particular, that I can't wait to receive...details on this will have to wait, unfortunately, until after it arrives in my inbox.
I am thankful for... everything! In-laws who are letting us stay with them for a few weeks while we figure out our apartment/home situation, parents who help us pack, paint, and move, friends who make me laugh, iced caramel coffee, can't-stop-reading-until-you've-finished-the-whole-book stories, the Word and His grace, and good hair days.
From the kitchen... last night I made chicken alfredo penne pasta with zucchini and mushrooms. We devoured it while watching the premiere of "The Voice". Good show.
I am wearing... A black and white cotton dress, brown boyfriend cardigan, brown skinny belt, gladiator sandals, chandelier earrings and sparkly cuff. I feel like a cross between a kindergarten teacher and a first century Roman guard.
I am creating... memories.

I am reading... the Amazon home page on my Kindle. I just finished Heart of the Matter (go check out my review!) by Emily Giffin and Night Road by Kristin Hannah (wow!). Now I'm looking for something else to tickle my fancy.
I am hoping... for an easy move, safe travels in this weather for my friends and loved ones, some good news, and a request for pages of my novel!
Around the house... there are boxes everywhere. It's not pretty.
One of my favorite things... is sitting up on the kitchen counter, watching my husband proudly display his purchases from the grocery store (living in the 21st century certainly has it's advantages).
A few plans for the rest of the week... Packing. Cleaning. Moving. Wash, rinse, repeat...Oh! And shopping with my bff Jill(ian).
Until next time,

Wendi

4.26.2011

Heart of the Matter: A Review

Hi friends!

It feels like an eternity since I last posted a review for the 2011 Chick Lit Plus Reading Challenge...perhaps it's because I posted my March review very early and now I'm posting this one just four days shy of the end of April? But that's neither here nor there...

I've been reading tons of women's fiction lately (including Kristin Hannah's Night Road, which made me cry for more than an hour straight last night...my husband kept looking over at me to see if I was okay), but Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter was the perfect choice for this month's Chick Lit review. Of course, anything written by a woman that Vanity Fair once called "Atlanta's modern-day Jane Austen" is enough to make me drop everything and run to the bookstore (or turn on my Kindle!), so it wasn't exactly a difficult choice. Plus, I've read all Emily's (yes, we're on a first-name basis) other books, and I couldn't wait to read this one.

But I soon found out that even my most tried-and-true favorites can be a little unsettling...

Heart of the Matter: My 100 Word Summary

Tessa and Valerie are two mothers, from two very different worlds, whose lives converge in a single evening...except they don't quite know it yet. Tessa has two children with her husband, Nick, a handsome surgeon who adores his family, yet is more attentive to his pager and his patients. Valerie is a single woman whose young son, Charlie, gets severely burned at a friend's birthday party. As a result of his injuries, Nick is assigned to operate on the little boy, and he soon falls in love with both Charlie and his mother.

Heart of the Matter: What I Think

Emily Giffin is the perfect storyteller. She writes with such compassion and truth that I find myself nodding as I read her words, realizing that she has put onto paper things I've only spoken in my mind.

But I struggled through Heart of the Matter for two reasons:

The first is because I've seen what adultery does to families, and Giffin's portrayal of Nick's affair with Valerie really hit close to home. Obviously, this is what writers are supposed to do; it's why we love their work. But the second reason I struggled is because I could see the selfish reasons behind Valerie's love for Nick, and his distance from Tessa, and I had to work extremely hard not to hate both of them...for a time.

But on the other hand- and I've said this before- strong emotions are evidence of strong writing and strong stories. By the end of the novel my heart broke for Tessa, who was simply trying too hard to be everything for everyone (something I share with her, unfortunately), as well as for Valerie, who only wanted to know love and have a father for her abandoned son. Nick was caught in the middle, but I never really sympathized with him because it seemed as though he left all the emotional baggage for Tessa to carry. This explained her need to become a people-pleaser, and I wanted Nick to fight for her the way he did for his patients, for Charlie.

But none of this is really very important. Why? Because no one can ever dispute Emily Giffin's talent or her ability to see right into...well...the heart of the matter. Besides being a beautiful tale of love in its many forms, this novel helped me look past the ugliness of our sometimes terrible decisions and see that there is always more than one side to a story.

The Vanity Fair photo shoot spotlighting some of
my favorite Southern authors, including
Emily Giffin, Joshilyn Jackson,
Kathryn Stockett, and Susan Rebecca White

And I also have to add a few more reasons why I love Emily Giffin (indulge me...you know you love her, too!):
                                
1. She lives in Atlanta. So do I. I'm a little partial...and I would love to be out running errands one day and run into her at the Whole Foods market (although I have no idea if she shops at Whole Foods, but it's a pretty popular place!).
2. According to this post, she's friends with Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help (drop what you're doing and go read it...NOW!) and Susan Rebecca White, author of A Soft Place to Land (which is, coincidentally, on my list and also largely based out of Atlanta).
3. She's gorgeous and has great style. I love the fact that she's a fabulous writer AND she can rock an Herve Leger bandage dress like no one else. What's more to love?

Until next time,

Wendi

4.25.2011

Happy Easter!

Hi friends!

Technically, I can still wish everyone a happy Easter since it's Easter Monday in Canada (eh?).

It's thrilling to think about the sacrifice of my King (once I actually take the time to sit in quiet and consider all that was given) so that my every failure and flaw would be made perfect. I cannot wait to see His handsome face and rejoice in all that He has done for me. I am free of this world because of what He did. In all honesty, I try to rejoice and be thankful now, but I will admit that it's difficult because I can't actually see Him beside me. Does anyone else struggle with this? I feel Jesus' sacrifice in my heart, especially when I sin and I am reminded of what that sin did to Him, but I wish it were a physical presence. Nonetheless, I adore this holiday (much like Christmas) because of what it represents. And, yes, I love to fill plastic eggs with chocolate, hide them all over the yard, and watch my neices and nephews scramble to find them :).

Yesterday was the first Easter in years that the whole family has gotten together to celebrate: my older brother, Tommy, and his wife and children (two boys and one girl); my older sister, Beth, and her two little girls (her hubby is fighting in Afghanistan); my Dad and his wife, Cessy; my stepbrother, Cody, his fiance, Elizabeth, and their two little girls; and, finally, Hubby and I. We ate baked ham, green beans, potato salad, heavenly eggs (backstory on those in just a sec...), and banana nut bread, along with big ol' glasses of sweet tea. A classic, Southern, Easter meal...and I was dying for the sweet tea because I hadn't had any since Ash Wednesday. In fact, I am sipping on a Chick-Fil-A sweet tea as I write this...I'd almost forgotten how much I loved it (ha!)...

(My family calls deviled eggs "heavenly" eggs because, when we were little, Daddy would say that nothing that good could come from the devil...it's one of my favorite family anecdotes)

After lunch, Hubby, Daddy, Tommy, and I went frolicking (yup, frolicking) around the front yard, hiding eggs in tree branches, bushes, windowsills, potted plants, and more. We had so many of them that, after a while, Dad just started tossing them out of the basket as he walked back towards the house. I was running around barefoot in my new green dress, a wilted flower bracelet on my wrist (which I made myself). I felt like I was nine years old again, once an avid tree-climber and lover of all things that allowed me to go without shoes or schedules. It was a perfect 86 degrees outside with enough breeze to keep us cool, and the little ones were soaking wet, having used my Dad's old tarp and waterhose to rig a homemade slip-n-slide. They were itching to get started on the search, and sort of went crazy when I told them I had hid one dollar bills in three of the eggs.

I understood then how a parent feels- as I watched those sweet children dash about- because I realized that I love my neices and nephews fiercely, like a mother would, and I longed for them to live in that happy moment forever. They were so precious- with their little legs, tangled hair, and multi-colored baskets swinging back and forth- as they giggled and ran and played. I was not content to sit on the porch and watch them; I wanted to be out there having fun, too! So I got up and wandered between them, dropping hints here and there about where the eggs might be hidden. Don't judge...you would have done it, too :).

And for your additional entertainment- just a little snack before you go- here's a photo of my (very masculine) Dad on Easter afternoon. Apparently someone told him to pose and, seeing as how he's holding a pretty, feminine woven basket, he chose to pop-and-lock and be a proper gentleman by holding out his left pinky. Ha!


If you look closely, you can see my brother and I
in the distance, searching for great egg hiding places!

Until next time,

Wendi

4.18.2011

Keeping Up

Hi friends!


I've joined Twitter (and I'm still feeling a little adverse to it, but the more social networking I can pack into this blog, the better!). Follow me @ladynunnery!

I'm going to add a gadget soon which will keep a running tally of my query letter rejections (and my future requests!). As of right now, the list stands as follows:


6 Nos (7 if you include the one I haven't heard from...it's been more than 6 weeks since I submitted and that is, according to the agency's website, the "no response means 'no'" cut-off date)

(out of the 6 Nos there have been 2 form rejections and 4 personally addressed rejections)

4 No Responses

0 Requests

But the queries are still going out! I don't know what my limit is for repeated rejections, and I'm not even certain I should have one. At what point does a person accept their continued failures? Should they ever? As a Christian, I find myself wondering if being a novelist is simply not in God's plan. But, perhaps, failing is a means to an end, and perseverance is the key to seeing my novel on bookshelves across the country.

This question is the most difficult to answer, simply because we cannot know what the specifics are for God's will. I know that my role as His child is to bring glory to Him, to make His name known among the nations, to love others as I would love myself (even more), and to allow His Spirit to work through me so that I am a reflection of Jesus Christ. But I always wonder what that means in my daily life. What's the difference between writing and not writing? Between sending out queries and moving on to something else?

I'm reading Deanne Gist's Deep in the Heart of Trouble (sequel to Courting Trouble), a wonderful novel about a feisty, unique, God-fearing woman named Essie Spreckelmeyer living in Texas oil country in the late 19th century. She rides bicycles (scandal!), and loves the outdoors, but she's 30-years old (spinsterhood) and longs for a husband and a family. In Courting Trouble, Essie sets out determined to find herself a man, and, eventually, it comes to ruin.





There's one scene where she's praying and asking God why he would give her the desire to be a wife and a mother and, in the darkness, she hears His voice.

You should have no other gods before Me.

I know this command, and since reading Gist's novel, I've begun to think about what it means for my life (though I probably should have been doing that a long time ago...). This section of the novel felt very timely because it made me pause and consider whether my dream of becoming a novelist has become my top priority, rather than an outlet for bringing glory to my heavenly Father. As I've said before, I fully believe that God has given us our passions and talents, and that pursuing them is not a sin. He wants us to dream big and live big, but not at the expense of sacrificing the purpose He created us for...Essie's dilemma mirrors my own. Eventually, she gives up chasing the dream of a husband and family and pursues a love story with Christ, where He is her total provision. She acknowledges the struggle, but allows God to be the One who fufill her needs, rather than mankind. I have a feeling that He blesses her obedience with a husband at the end of Deep in the Heart of Trouble, and I believe that He will bless me. But just like Essie's husband will probably turn out to be someone completely unexpected, I am aware that my blessings might come in other forms as well.

Hope you're enjoying this beautiful day!

Until next time,

Wendi

4.13.2011

Happiness is a Good Day

Hello friends!

As you can see (if you've been following ABC for any length of time) I've updated the site so that it's a genuine reflection of who I am and what I love. It took me quite a while to really get the hang of designing and rearranging elements on the blog template, but now that I have I think it looks pretty good, wouldn't you agree?

It's quiet here today, and so any work I should be doing is already done. I had lunch with my big sister, Beth, today, and I gave her the jewelry box I had painted, distressed, and decorated as her birthday gift. Without going into too much personal detail, she has recently made many wonderful changes in her life, and I felt that giving my sister a place to put some of her new jewelry, as well as any other items of intrinsic and sentimental value, was appropriate (I'm not trying to put myself up on a proverbial pedestal, but I was proud of the work I'd done and had high hopes that she would like it, too!). She seemed to really love it, which makes me happy.


Beth's favorite color is blue, so I was uber-excited
to find blue and brown polka-dotted lining paper!

I have a number of things on my heart at the moment, and I do want to share them with you all; however, I need to spend some more time in prayer before I can articulate them here. One fun update I do want to add, though, is that I've started sending out more queries! I'm over the "I've-gotten-nothing-so-far-but-rejections" slump, and it's time to get back to work.

Here's hoping for some good news next time around!

I've also been thinking about writing a YA (Young Adult) novel because I feel it's important to speak to teenagers right where they are. They have so many issues to face each and every day, and I feel encouraged by my time with my little sister, Kati, and other young ladies in my life to write something that will connect with their hearts. I remember all too vividly what being a teenager was like (it has been only 6 years since I was one, after all), and how everything seems to be either the lowest valley or the highest peak! There's so much to learn, to explore, to understand...and I want to be a part of reaching out to help them move in the right direction on this grand adventure we're living.

Back to work! Until next time,

Wendi

4.12.2011

Hot Off the Press!


Hi friends!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Hubby and I went hiking up Kennesaw Mountain on Saturday, which was exhausting but also enjoyable. I sometimes forget how much I love being outdoors, and the cardio was great because I'm trying to be more active (sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day doesn't bode well for burning fat!). The view of Atlanta in the distance was breathtaking, and I was happy to see so many people there with us, hanging out with their families and taking pictures. Here's a conversational tidbit I hope you all enjoy as much as I did:

(Scene: Little Girl, about 9 years old, hiking with a group of other young ladies, ranging in age from 9-17)


Little Girl (pointing to something in the distance, her arm stetched out as far as it can go): "What's that light out there? Do you see it?"

Friend (deadpan): "It's Jesus coming back."

Little Girl (after a pause, then with clap of her hands): "Oh yay!"


This is why getting out of the house is so much fun!


View of Atlanta from the top of Kennesaw Mountain (not our
photo- I haven't uploaded them yet; if this is your work, please let
me know and I will happily add a credit!)

When we reached the top of the mountain, there were mini battle sites still standing which commemorated the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain during the Civil War- particularly cannons surrounded by what are called "earth mounds", which are basically mounds of dirt (imagine that!) that were built up around artillery to protect Confederate soldiers. The Civil War was one of the biggest turning points in our nation's history, and, as today commemorates the 150th anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter, it was an appropriate outing to take (even though, I'll admit, I didn't realize the relevance of our visit until this morning. Thanks AOL News!). I did feel somewhat mournful as I thought about the nearly 600,000 people who were killed during the Civil War, and how we were standing where they had fought and died. As sad as it is to think our countrymen were fighting each other, I believe we should pay attention to our history and honor what our ancestors endured. We are, in many ways, a product of their sacrifice.
On another note, today is my big sister's 30th birthday! She refuses to acknowledge that she's turned 30, but I have no problem reminding her ;). I wish I could tell you what I got her, but since she hasn't actually received it yet I must keep my mouth shut. Don't worry (like you were going to...)! I will have pictures posted later. Let's just say it's something that required a bit of creativity on my part...

Before I go, here is the most recent calendar for this summer's blog tours:

Monday, May 2- Jessica Chambers Guest Post

Sunday, May 8- Review of Jessica Chamber's Voice on the Waves

Wednesday, May 18- Review of Chantel Simmon's Love Struck and author guest post

Wednesday, June 8- Review of Misa Rush's Family Pieces and author guest post

Friday, June 24- Review of Cassandra O'Sullivan's Little Miss Teacher

I'm still working on guest post dates for Chantel Simmons and Cassandra O'Sullivan, so keep checking back!

Until next time,

Wendi

4.08.2011

The Submissive Feminist

Hi friends!

In recent weeks, I have been reading a blog called True Femininity (which will henceforth be referred to as TF), which I first stumbled upon as I was looking around for some Goodwill shopping ideas. It's a well-written blog by a young, unmarried college graduate in her early twenties. She discusses everything from frugal living, modesty, and homebirth to courtship, college, and cooking- all of it from an extremely conservative perspective that she supports with specific Bible verses.

Having given you a little background information, I would encourage you to go take a peek at TF for yourself. The last thing I want to do is to wrap this young lady's blog up into a package and make sweeping generalizations about what she's doing there, but after having read almost all of her posts, I cannot keep quiet any longer.

First, I admire her dedication to the Word of God, and her struggle to live a life that goes against the commercial, individualistic, selfish consumerism that has become our American culture. TF appears to be a strong, intelligent woman with a heart for Christ and for leading a simpler kind of life that represents what she calls the "anti-feminist". She strives to wear skirts and dresses and to embrace womanhood in a way that is reflective of her own femininity. She has stated that she will forgo birth control in favor of God's will for the number of children she should bear, and that women don't necessarily need college educations in order to excel in life.

And I understand and empathize with much of what she says, I really do. TF does a fairly decent job of expressing her opinions in a way that reveals her acknowledgment of other beliefs (notice I said "fairly decent"), and I can see how she would struggle to lead a life that is "in the world, but not of it", particularly because she resides in southern California.

But the one thing I cannot understand is how she expresses such a deeply antagonistic view of feminists, even as she admits their role in allowing her to voice such opinions! It is true that while women have come so far, staunchly liberal feminists have pushed us to the brink of actually losing our natural, God-given femininity. But I have trouble respecting someone who does not seem to value the thousands of women who took risks for equality so that we (and by "we" I mean the contemporary woman) could speak up and have our say. The only reason TF can have a blog and promote her beliefs is because someone came before her and stepped outside the traditional role of a housewife in a corset and demanded that she have the right. It seems like TF has glamorized the notion of a woman without choices.

I want to clarify here that TF has stated she believes women are equal to men; she simply believes they have different responsiblities and varying roles to fill. I agree wholeheartedly. We were created in the image of God, and we need to embrace our natural inclinations for serving, nurturing, loving, and caring for others. This is a reflection of Christ within us. I respect women who make the choice to stay at home and care for their husband and children, and build a life for them together in a way that honors God and brings glory to Him. We need more women like that, if I'm being completely honest. Our society has pursued an "everything is relative" mentality- so much so that we've lost respect for the importance of  honoring our husbands as leaders, viewing children as a blessing, and acknowledging the significance of our biological differences with men.

My point here is that women should be (and, in America, are) free to choose what kind of wife or mother (as well as both or neither of these things) they want to be. And the very fact that we have a choice in the matter is not something to be spit upon, but appreciated. TF seems to be doing much of the former and little of the latter.

Personally, I want to be an author, but I also adore being at home. Fortunately for me, these things complement each other. But there are many women who want to work outside the home (as well as some who have no choice), and that is also a wonderful thing. The greatest obstacle to doing this, however, is ensuring that you have enough rest in order to be both healthy and present in the lives of your husbands, children, friends, and family. It's not a matter of which is right or wrong but, rather, how to honor God with our choices.

I love to learn how to cook new dishes, clean my house so that it is a welcoming place for both me and my hubby, decorate so that our home is a reflection of our unique styles, and enjoy my quiet time away from the busyness of the world. I grew up in a small town, but I live in downtown Atlanta- I have the best of both worlds! But one day I want to have a front yard again, with a porch swing and a magnolia tree. Whether it's in Little Five Points or Savannah, I don't care. I simply want to enjoy the beauty of God's creation even as I participate in the liveliness of the city.

Overall, what I want is to pursue God's will for my life, and TF makes many great points about how hard it is to discern what He wants for us. If you've been following me here you know how I feel about wanting what the Lord wants. It's a difficult journey, to be sure, but it's important to recognize that Christ is not just a part of our lives- He is in every tiny detail and we should welcome Him as top priority.

I don't know know how many children we will have (or even if we will have them at all), or what our careers will be, or where we will live and serve...I have so many passions and the Lord has struck a chord in my heart for missions and discipleship, so I have to allow myself to be submissive in my search for His will.

Submission has, unfortunately, become a byword for behavior that is weak or, even worse, passive. The Bible paints a beautiful portrait of submission; however, the majority of the population tends to stop reading once they realize that the Word calls for women to obey their husbands. I wish they would dig a bit further because they would see that men are required to love their wives as Christ loves the church...

If you know anything about Christ, how could you possibly turn away from a man who loves you like Him? Jesus humbled himself and became human so that He would experience all that we do. He sacrificed his very life, bleeding and broken, so that we could know His grace, joy, and all the fruits of the Spirit in return. I don't understand how every woman in the world is not rejoicing over this truth!


Me and Hubby, dancing on our wedding day!

I am a feminist because I believe that women are equal, as God handcrafted each of us as individuals; but I also believe we we created to do different things. And I call myself a submissive feminist because God blessed me with a husband I can respect as a spiritual leader. This does not mean he makes all of our choices (in fact, as a testament to our equality we are both extremely stubborn!), but it does mean that if we struggle with a tough decision, I have enough respect for and faith in Hubby as a man of God who wants nothing less than the best for me to have the final say. And then there are moments when I make the choice, or when neither of us can agree, so we play "Rock, Paper, Scissors". Don't laugh. It works!

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't look down upon the roles that God created for us, and neither should we fight against the women who worked to give us an equal advantage. It wasn't God who diminished the female gender and imposed restrictions on women; it was mankind...it was a society that interpreted the Bible as it saw fit, rather than seeing the Word as it was written.

Until next time,

Wendi

4.07.2011

Oh, wouldn't it be loverly?

Hi friends!

ABC is up to almost 1300 page views and 19 followers! Thanks everyone! This makes me very happy.

I hope you're all able to get outside at some point this afternoon and enjoy the beautiful weather. I love spring...and summer...and fall, for that matter. I just hate winter. I also love vacations and trips! Got quite a few of those coming up this year!

A few updates on my end:

I recently attended orientation for Inside Out, the high school ministry for Buckhead Church, and I submitted my application last week. It was no joke, people. Which, despite being intimidated by the depth of the essay questions I was required to answer on smoking, drinking, illegal drugs, homosexuality, and pre-marital sex, I was very happy to see. It seems like they really want to bring on small group leaders who are going to walk with these students from 9th to 12th grade and, since I have a 14-year old sister (whom I adore!), I feel a strong connection with that age group. They need mentors who will be empathetic to the issues they face while still holding them accountable to biblical principles. I believe I can do that, and I look forward to serving with the people at BC!

My mother has asked me to create a blog for services where she works (I don't want to say for privacy issues at the moment), and that was a delightful request because it's just more professional experience I can put on my resume.

Speaking of which...

No news on my recent queries...the first ones I sent out are just at the 6-week due date (meaning if I haven't heard a "yes" or "no" by now, it's more than likely a "no") so that has been a little discouraging. But I'm not giving up just yet! I took a break from querying for a few weeks in light of how many I had sent out, but now it's back to the drawing board (and back to my computer to write the synopsis most agents require that I've been dreading).

In addition: I look cute today and I'm drinking a caramel iced coffee, so things are going well!

Be blessed! I'm sure I have more to say but my train of thought has derailed...

Wendi

4.05.2011

Ode to Unsweetened Tea (and why it is the devil...)

Hi friends!

As you can probably tell, I'm having somewhat of a difficult time giving up my sweet tea addiction. Don't panic! It's only until Easter, but I'm actually getting headaches from the lack of sugar in my system...

No, I'm totally kidding.

But, in all sincerity, trying to chug unsweetened tea is like trying to drink lukewarm water. No bueno. I'm definitely getting used to the taste (and it has made me realize that the addictive taste of sweet tea is basically just an addiction to sugar), but it will never take the place of the "amber-colored tonic [that] sets my heart at ease".

Plus, I can't really say that giving up soda and sweet tea for Lent has been that much of a sacrifice (though it has been difficult) because I've replaced them with iced caramel coffees. I suck at life!

My brain hurts right now (first week of the spring quarter at work+ last week of the spring semester for my graduate classes= lots of stress) and all I want is to go home, put on my pjs, curl up on the couch, and spend some time with Jesus.

Until next time!

Wendi