Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunny basement

I found it!  I found my new home!

I had been focused on the roommate idea and hadn't even considered the basement apartment angle for the most part.  Mostly because private landlord situations kinda freak me out.  Not the same accountablity of a corporate managed apartment building.  BUT, I've found something even more rare then a perfect roommate set-up!  A basement apartment with landlords I know, and are well known and trusted by lots of people I know well and trust!  No worries about shady dealings or safety issues.

I will be in a magical location that is both inside the beltway, walkable metro stop AND 2.5 miles to work!  This should extend my life expectancy.

I will have a nice airy newly renovated studio space with a LOT of windows.  Access to the family washer and dryer.  My own entrance.  A wall of built-in bookcases that I dreamed about as a child (I had nerdy dreams.)  And I'll be tucking away a nice amount of savings over the sky high not-quite-Ballston rent.

So.....who wants to help me move MLK weekend?  ;-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forward motion by a path I didn't expect

If you live here in the DC area, you already know this.  But if not, let me give you a little background first.  Rent in North Arlington is about triple rent in Palm Bay.  Rent out in the 'burbs is still more than double.  And you probably don't get a patio or a pool like you would back home either.  While we get paid more here, I wouldn't exactly call it triple.

I had a studio for a little bit when I first moved to Arlington and then upgraded to a normal 1-bedroom.  I like living alone.  I've done it for 8 and half years now.  Kinda makes up for not having my own bedroom until I was 12 and sharing a bathroom with too many boys until I was 20.  2011 is the year to change that.  I'll still have my own bedroom and won't share a bathroom with boys, but it's time to join the DC roommate culture.

I've thought and prayed for more that a year about my long-term goals and how to make sure I'm planning for the future.  My career + my rent = no savings or equity.  Change careers?  Go back to school?  It would be smart, but it's just not for me right now.  Move somewhere where rent is more reasonable?  Like to the burbs and commute?  Too stressful and isolating.  To another town entirely?  Thought, prayed, visited, no go.  DC for me for now.  Roommates?  Fought the idea for a long while.  But then, with a realization that God loves me and desires good things for me, it didn't seem all that bad.

So here's the deal.  I'm currently in a month-to-month rental agreement.  All I need to do is give 30 days notice and I'm gone.  I've love to live with one or two girls who love Jesus and keeping the kitchen clean.  And who live in Virginia inside the Beltway.  I have my ideas about neighborhood preferences, but I'm going to see what God has up His sleeve first.  I'm not in a hurry.  I want to find the right fit.  Pray for me and tell your friends!

*Oh, I did have a roommate my last year in FL, so I have a reference if anyone wants one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

change is a brewin'.....

I wonder who coined the phrase "God works in mysterious ways"?  Because really, they hit the nail on the head.  Things are churning around in my heart and head.  Change seems to be coming up.  Not change that would really make a big impact on anyone around me, but personally could be a huge change.

Let's see what the next weeks bring......

Monday, October 18, 2010

A random thought about dating in the church

So much I could say.  So much I could overshare.  So many specks of dust I could pick at while ignoring the plank sticking out of my eye socket.  So I'll highlight one particular plank and let you draw your own conclusions.

In my experience, women in the church, especially those of us who grew up there, are not very good at flirting.  We are often described as cold and unapproachable.  It's not because we ARE cold, it's because the idea of being flirtatious seems taboo.  Of course, for the most part we don't want to be labeled a flirt.  But given our rep, we seem to be drawing the line WAY too conservatively.

I have a dry and sarcastic wit.  When I'm comfortable, I'm funny and can tease.  At church, I often work behind the coffee counter keeping cream and sugar filled while greeting people as they arrive.  Sometimes I'm more "on" than others.  Sometimes I worry that some funny witty convo might be seen as flirting.  Especially when I'm taking to a new male only to have his wife suddenly appear and snuggle up to him.  Mostly I'm just doing my job.  Sometimes I'll admit I'm trying to get a look at that ring finger.  (It would be SOOOO much easier if wedding rings were worn in the nose or eyebrow.  Not that I'm a fan of that look, but still.)

What is flirting really?  How is it different from being warm and caring/funny?  If you accidentally flirt with a married man do you need to repent?  CAN you accidentally flirt?  Is it simply a specific set of outward actions or is it defined in it's motive?

Another plank in my eye: I over-analyze anything and everything.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Love Concerts

This should not be a surprise to anyone at this point, but I LOVE concerts.  I love music.

My brothers got all the actual talent in the family, but I have this part of my brain that thinks I'm somehow musical.  I blame it on my oldest brother actually. He has music in his blood and took his first lesson at 4 yrs old.  When he was 8 he joined the church band and I would sometimes carry his guitar since it was as big as he was.  And when he was in the youth group band I was his taxi service.  Their Christmas parties were "the band and Elizabeth."  My BFF was in the band as well and I always thought of myself as one of them.

Instead of spending my money on lessons and guitar strings, I spend it on concert tickets.  This year I've seen TobyMac, Relient K, NKOTB, John Mayer, Rhianna, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys and a festival that included MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Building 429 and Amy Grant.  I've got tickets on my fridge to see Jeremy Camp and SCC again too.  There is just nothing better than hearing your favorite songs played live.  And preferably, from the first 10 rows.

Last night was Newsboys from the FRONT ROW.  So much fun!  They did songs I remembered from high school and songs from their current album as well as a new DC Talk songs (since their new lead signer is Tait from DC Talk).  I think Tait appreciated that I knew most of the words to the new songs and sang to me a few times.  Random fact: he grew up on Capital Hill.

Next month I have a ticket to see Jeremy Camp from the 2nd row and in Nov I'll see SCC from the 3rd row.  It's just so much fun to not be in the back like I was for all concerts in high school.

So if you need a concert buddy, just give me a call!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Social Networking and the Introvert

My name is Elizabeth and I am an introvert.  I enjoy being around people, but doing so drains my battery.  At some point, I have to step back and recharge.  An extrovert has their battery charged by being WITH people.  I'm a little more on the extreme side where my battery drains fairly quickly.  If I was a laptop, I'd be buying a NEW battery because this one is holding a charge for less than the average time.  But I have discovered a power leak in my battery.  Social networking.

I've become a rather adept social networker in the last couple years.  But when it comes to flesh and blood people...I'm losing ground.  I've found myself skipping parties and events because I just didn't have it in me to chat.  Yet I'm posting here there and everywhere.  My battery was being slowly drained and I didn't realize it!

Recently I've cut back on Facebook.  I've experimented with my NKOTB twitter account.  I've actually increased posting on my regular twitter account (Yes, I have 2 accounts.  I told you I was adept.) I believe I'm drawing a conclusion.  Cutting back is good.  Very good.  Poor Facebook will continue to be neglected.  My followers in the Blockhead world will start to miss me.  And my other Twitter followers....probably will see a little cutback to where I previously had been.

Fall is beginning and with it more social opportunities.  Weekly ballet classes started tonight.  Bible study will start soon.  I might join a second study. I'm leading a monthly activity group.  I need to save my battery for real flesh and blood. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not-so-hidden treasure

Why do we overlook treasures so often?

There is a park just a short walk from my home. Its about the same distance as the metro, just in the opposite direction. It's a long narrow park about a half mile from end to end following a little creek. Full of trees and squirrels and the sounds of the water babbling past. Its not a national treasure. Its not the 8th wonder of the world. I only see public mention of it when the water becomes polluted by this or that city accident. But it's still a beautiful little taste of nature and a very peaceful place.

I actually discovered it in the couple months before I moved into my apartment while I was still staying with my aunt and uncle. Every time I'm here, my soul feels like its been feed. Yet, in 4 years why can I still count on my two hands how many times I've come here?? Why do I forget about the beauty? The peace? Why do I convince myself the walk here is longer than it really is? Why do I stay home when something better is waiting for me? Why? I feel God here. Why do I forget the good things He has for me?

(written on a bench overlooking the creek yesterday)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This but That

I want so much to be balanced. To be serious but fun. To be steady but adventurous. To be detailed but compassionate. To be focused yet relaxed. I want to be smarter. I want to have a better memory. I want to be patient. I want to be deeper. I want to reflect Christ. I want to be pure. I want to be fun without being frivolous.

I want to be unable to be defined by a single word.  Unless of course that word is "balanced." ;-)  But no, really.  I want to be a person who is neither extreme nor indistinguishable.  I in no way want to be average.  I want to be painted in a mosaic of bold colors and crisp lines.

I am at my root a person of contradictions.  The greatest of which involves the fact that is can be very hard to see.  I have a sweet candy shell that hides it all very nicely.

So tell me, what words would you use to describe me?  What words would you like to hear describing YOU?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1000 words

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.  Here is my 1000 word answer to my third question. Who do I want to be?  This pic shows a balance of romance and family that just about slapped me in the face when I saw it.  I love it.
(except my husband would never wear a tucked in polo shirt)

Photo taken by an old friend and stolen from her blog

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Starting all over. Again.

Someone told me that email is going out of fashion among the upcoming generation. It's all social networking now.  I've kept up pretty well I think.  I'm FaceBook savvy and I tweet from two different accounts.  I'm connected to my BlackBerry as if my life depended on it.  Yet, I feel like my soul has been chopped into status posts and 140 character statements.  My thoughts never develop fully. (My grammar and use of the English language as a whole has suffered VIOLENCE as well.)  The biggest upside is that people think I'm funny now.  I didn't really hear that very often until I had to make everything short and sweet.

In an effort to stop living on the surface, I am returning to the art of the blog.  No more FaceBook as a form of expression.  I'll use FB when someone leaves a message or a post for me or when I want to say hello to a friend.  I'll use my personal twitter account more as an information sharing vehicle.  My NKOTB twitter probably won't change except that it will see less personal musings from me.  I'll be coming HERE to share my days and heart.  I'll be exploring my thoughts to see where they go instead of losing them in the stream of constant updates.

I blogged fairly consistently back in 2005-2007, with a smattering of posts in 2008, and I captured a very interesting (to me) portion of my life.  Reading over those posts I realized that I had a much clearer grasp on WHO I was and WHERE I was going than I do now.  I might not have known the final destination, but I knew the direction most certainly.  I won't blame this change in myself solely on social networking.  There are other reasons I'll explore at a future date.  I will say that social networking has delayed the much needed ADDRESS of these other reasons.  Let this journey begin.