Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Best Date Ever!!!

Yes, you did read correctly. I did, in fact, go on a date... and it was, in fact, my best date ever. Yesterday afternoon after work I went for a run in what has quickly become the dead of winter in North Dakota. Well, I say a "run", but it probably resembled more of an eskimo waddle with all of the layers I needed to wear. When I got back to my house my dad was there to take me out! We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant, caught a movie, raced back to the car (my dad was a sprinter and can still beat me), went to a another restaurant for dessert and coffee, and then sat at my apartment talking late into the night like two long-time acquaintances truly discovering the other for the first time. I went to bed marveling at how crazy it is that people can live in the same house for years and still not really get to know the depths of the other. I've always been completely proud of my dad and known that he loves me more than words can say. But we have also always lived in two quite different worlds, and I'm thrilled that those worlds are colliding!! When sharing the story with a pal today, she said... "I wish my dad would do that! I can't even imagine such a thing." Needless to say, I've really been blessed. It'll be tough to beat that date!!!

Christmas is coming! The festivity in the air is easily caught, and I find it delightful. With the first big snowfall last Monday night I was decorating my Christmas tree and brainstorming best possible gifts for all of my loved ones. Then I took advantage of "Happy Hour" at Moxie Java. Coffee shop "Happy Hour" just rocks, because you can get the expensive, 16 oz. soy latte for $1.89 instead of $47.63 or whatever we are required to pay for two shots of espresso and steamed milk these days. Give me a break! Anyway, with coffee in hand and back behind the wheel I was free to sing along to "O Holy Night" at the top of my lungs... going for the high notes and caring little if I reached them or not. The beauty of singing in the car is that a person always sounds good there. Perhaps not as good everywhere else, but definitely good in the car. SING ON:)!!!

This living alone thing is becoming something that I really treasure, and I'm thankful that God knew I needed it. He is showing me again the beauty of silence, the wonder in little things in life, and the peace found in trusting Him and being content.

Tomorrow I am going to watch my sister play basketball and plan to be as obnoxious as possible. Then my brother, sister, and I are headed to Minneapolis to watch the Vikes take on the Bears this Sunday!!!! I can hardly wait...

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Last Tuesday I was sitting in my dad's office and we were having an awesome conversation. It was my third awesome conversation of the day... coming on the heels of one with a good friend who I haven't talked to in quite some time, and lunch with my pastor. Anyway, I was busy pouring my little heart out to my beloved pop when I noticed there was a mouse sitting at our feet. To my great delight, I felt completely indifferent towards the mouse. Instead of screaming and jumping onto a chair like I would have done 2 years ago, I simply said, "Oh, there's a mouse." It was a triumphant moment in the life of this scaredy-cat:). Now if it had been a rat, that is an entirely different story. Don't even get me started on rats...

BBC News

BBC News rocks my socks. I am often on their website, trying to keep up with what is going on in the world... clicking primarily on the "Africa" link. Tonight I found this great article about conjoined twins in Tanzania. It both blessed me and broke my heart. If you want to read it, here is the link.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Last December as Sarah and I, quite literally, BAKED in Mozambique I made a promise that I would never again complain about snow for as long as I live. It seemed like the obvious remark to make at the time, with sweat pouring off our skin and our faces pressed as close to the fans as possible without getting our noses caught in the blades. Back in North Dakota, today marked day #1 of flurries, and so far I am doing well with my promise:)! Ask me again in two weeks and I will probably have failed miserably, but today I loved the snow. In fact I am rather impatient for enough to fall so that I can build a snowman, have a snowball fight, and of course, go sledding. A new tobaggan may need to be purchased this winter, as my unstoppable, lightening-quick, inflatable, 3-person snow machine sustained a terminal punture wound at the end of winter 05-06. That sled was amazing.

With Thanksgiving just a few hours away I am faced with the happy obligation of thinking through the myriads of things for which I am grateful to God. He has blessed me with much... opportunities, relationships, health, family, toys, imagination... I could go on and on. The more I think on these things the more I feel like a brat for asking anything else of Him. "Yes, Lord, I am thankful for these things... but if you would just give me _______." This is often my attitude, and I wish that would change but I don't know how to completely change it while still being honest.

It is a simple thing to remember last Thanksgiving with fondness. Sarah and I made an extremely untraditional meal of chicken (we couldn't get turkey), potatoes, veggies, and apple cake for dessert (pumpkins didn't appear until April/May). Even without the traditional cuisine, last Thanksgiving was beyond memorable and loaded with thanks. We celebrated with our family, Carlos, Pascua, Nysha, and Tabitha Giua. The evening began as all evenings do in the Giua household, with fervent prayer and lots of laughter. I remember the smell of their home, the way their chairs felt, the coolness of the floor, the noises outside... everything. It's such a wonderfully real memory. Just as I missed my American family last year, this year I will miss my Mozambiquan family.

At this moment I am fighting the urge to start a list of things I am thankful for. After all, there is no way I could possibly do justice to such a list even if I were to type all night long. Hopefully if you know me well you can hear the things I do not say...