Tonight Derek and I went to a b-e-a-u-tiful wedding for my college friends Ryan and Danielle.
It was so perfectly them. I love that. It's so great when you go to a wedding and you feel like it really represents the people who were getting married.
Our 1 year wedding anniversary is quickly approaching. It's just 8 days away! When I think back to it, I know it represented us then, even though I think now there are things (just a couple) that I would change about our wedding. Nothing big, just color scheme or the tuxes the groomsmen wear. But one thing I don't think I'd ever change is our wedding music. I loved it. It felt like us.
None of it was traditional music. The wedding party processed in to "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from the Once soundtrack.
I walked down the aisle to Coldplay's "The Scientist"
"Better Than Wine" by Derek Webb was sang in our ceremony
and we walked out to Bright Eyes "First Day of My Life"
When people ask about our wedding, that's what I want to tell them. We had an awesome wedding soundtrack. Maybe I'll share more this week about our wedding. But that also might not happen. I'm not exactly consistent with this whole blog thing as you know.
If Dani Mac and Ryan are half as happy as Derek and I have been this past year, then they are lucky people. Their minister (and my former college professor) said in his homily tonight that they were really entering into one of God's great miracles and I completely agree.
Tonight Derek and I went to a b-e-a-u-tiful wedding for my college friends Ryan and Danielle.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 10:36 PM
Just as he did in this post, Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like has hit another home run with his Serious Wednesday post. His posts on other days always make me laugh, but these Wednesday ones remind me of some pretty powerful things. Go check it out HERE!
And if you ever just want a good chuckle check out the rest of the website.
P.S. Things are good here on the home front. I know I haven't posted recently, but that's nothing new and I don't want to throw anyone off by posting too frequently.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 8:17 AM
I just thought I should let you know what my Sundays have been like here recently...
2 Sundays ago: The great flood. Our plumbing needed to be "Roto-rooted" (I still have no idea what that means) and apparently the only way to know that is to have your bathroom and your laundry room flood. With sewage. That's right people, I mean poop. My shower and subsequently my bathroom floor filled with poop. What did I do? Somehow managed to stop the flood before it hit the carpet. And dry heaved just a little. That got fixed and bleach got used in our house like it's never been used before. Sometimes I still feel grossed out when I get in the shower and I know how many times I've cleaned it.
Last night: About 15 minutes after Derek left for work last night, a huge storm came out of nowhere. A giant oak tree fell in our yard about 2 feet away from my beloved Honda Fit "Armando". It blocked my car in the driveway, knocked down a power line and we still have no cable or internet. 2 good things: I'm so dumb I thought that the sound of a tree falling down was just screen doors swinging open. (God please don't let me procreate - they'll never make it!) And I'm leaving to go see my mom in Valdosta for a few days so I'll have all the cable I want!!!
Have a great week!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 4:55 PM
Derek and I went to trivia in West Point as usual last night. The rest of our team, Dumbledore's Army, were gone/busy but we decided to play anyway. Well, after 20 questions and some crazy answers that we managed to miraculously know we were declared the winners! First, let me say that there were only 2 other teams playing. Second, let me say that one of those two teams was the best in the state and we beat their score by double!
But, I figured I'd give all of you a chance and see if you can answer some of the the harder questions we had last night. You can highlight to see the answer after each question. :
1. What Oscar nominated director also won a Razzie award for her performance in The Godfather III? Sophia Coppola
2. What 1990's Tom Hanks film featured the fictional island of Waponi Woo? Joe Versus the Volcano
3. What celebrity created the form of martial arts known as Jeet Kune Do? Bruce Lee
I hope you enjoy your little quiz and if you want to join in on the Trivia fun and you live in Georgia go to www.thetriviafactory.com and find a trivia night near you!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 4:22 PM
Things that are going on in my head/life right now:
- I just caused shock and awe to all 12 of you who follow my blog because I'm doing a post for the first time in 9.6 billion years.
- I learned from watching this Gilmore Girls clip
- We've won 3rd place at trivia several weeks in a row. I don't know if we're getting better or just lucky.
- I really wish I owned a house.
- The AT&T guy I called to talk about the internet the other day asked me if I knew what YouTube was. My internal response was, Duh!
- I am the least domestic woman imaginable.
- I've been constantly nauseous for 2 months and I'm not even pregnant (which is everyone's first assumption) so I have nothing to show for it.
- Being sleepy makes me reeeally cranky.
- I feel sorry for Iranians.
- It still doesn't make me proud to be an American, but at least my government probably won't shoot me.
- I wish I could fix the world's problems.
- I thought about Iran and then the Bachelorette and that makes me feel a smidgen shallow, but I'm going to blame my environment for that one. :)
- Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey monkey underpants.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 4:25 PM
I know I haven't blogged in forever. I just don't have much to say.
That's not true. I have tons to say. I mean, any of you who actually know me know that I have an opinion on absolutely everything. But I don't feel like I can/want to blog about it.
I guess I just feel like my blog reflects my life. It's a little stagnant. I mean, I don't have a whole lot going on. That's not to say I'm not happy. I'm very happy. I have an amazing husband who I adore, some pretty cute dogs, great friends, a job I enjoy, etc. But I still feel stagnant. I think it's because I haven't found much to do after college. In college I was incredibly involved. I was always on the go, attending meetings, etc. But now, I don't have any of that. I don't feel like I'm being productive with my life right now. I'm working on changing that, but I guess that's why I haven't blogged much.
It also kind of feels like everything is in limbo for me in some way. Derek and I won't be in LG forever. We're going to move in the next few years. Then we have a fresh start. But we'll also be here for 2 more years or so. Part of me feels like I'm just waiting to move to do something. Even though that's really ridiculous because I have at least 2 entire years to get involved with things, to do things. In some ways I even still feel stuck in that "not in college but not entirely an adult yet" phase. I know I am an adult, I have a spouse and bills and responsibilities and all of that, but it still feels a little weird.
I know that's a lot of rambling, but I figured I'd give you a reason why I haven't blogged in so long. I'll work on it. :)
Posted by amberbaldridge at 3:37 PM
My sweet, precious little dog Barkley
is not feeling well at all. He doesn't want to get up and move, he only wants to eat when I bribe him with really delicious table scraps, he yelps if he ever jumps down from the couch/bed (which he refuses to even do anymore), he yelps when I pick him up, he's lethargic and oh so pitiful. I'm taking him to the vet this afternoon and hopefully it won't be anything serious. I've done a full body check and have absolutely no idea what could be hurting him. I want my little cuddle bug back!
Update: He has a sprained back, he had to get a shot and he'll have to take some medicine and he's forbidden from jumping up on things or down from things for about 3 weeks. I did learn that my precious little baby is 8 lbs (um... that's chihuahua for "fat"), does NOT like getting his temperature taken (for the record I wouldn't like that either) and is really scared of big dogs that bark at him. But he's also a great little patient.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 10:57 AM
I read a blog called Stuff Christians Like which usually is really funny. It's intentionally a play off of Stuff White People Like. Both of these websites are hilarious! When someone takes the time to point out some of the ridiculous things that we do, it really makes you stop and laugh at yourself. To really get a good example of the hilarity you should probably check out this post:
However, today he wrote about something a little more serious. I'd summarize, but it's well written and he says it better than I can so go check it out: http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2009/04/512-thinking-youre-naked.html
It's beautiful and heart-warming and good. You are not naked.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 9:19 AM
So we might be moving TONIGHT!
Pray for us.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 4:55 PM
We start moving... tomorrow!!!
I'm so excited! We weren't supposed to start moving until April 1st, but after we both started thinking about all we had to do around that same time, we decided we better go ahead and get started.
We also found out today that they're installing new flooring in our kitchen tomorrow. That's awesome because the other stuff was kind of old and ugly. New house here I come!!!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 2:07 PM
5. To go to grad school.
6. To be finished with grad school.
7. A whole new wardrobe.
8. A raise.
What I need:
1. More quality time with my husband.
2. To excercise.
3. To pray more.
4. To clean my own dang house.
5. To accept that what I have is way more than what most people in the world will ever get and I am extremely fortunate.
6. To not be lazy.
7. To worship.
8. A raise.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 9:22 AM
I might just be the laziest person alive. I woke up with intentions to thoroughly clean my house today. I had plans to organize, and maybe rearrange a few things and give the house a good scrub down.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 2:22 PM
To preempt the inevitable snow "sickness" that people would suffer from tomorrow, all of the schools in our town are closed including the college I work for!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 8:30 PM
It. is. SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 11:54 AM
Lent is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a powerful time of reflection, repentance, and change. During Lent we focus on the life, death, and finally the glorious resurrection of Jesus. When we intently think and pray on those things, we cannot stay the same. Lent calls us to strive to love God and our neighbor more. Lent calls us to mourn and rejoice in the crucifiction and resurrection. Lent calls us to be honest about our deepest sins. If we truly celebrate Lent, then on Easter day we will find ourselves resurrected with Jesus, and given the opportunity to start anew.
Typically during Lent we give something up or take something on. I know that I am often guilty of giving something up for shallow reasons. Or because I just felt that I had to. I'll admit that my Lenten practices have often been selfish, and had very little to do with strengthening me as a Christian.
One Lent, I gave up meat under the guise that I wanted to explore my commitment to protecting all of God's creation. This was partially true. I also thought that I could lose some weight, and I think that vegetarians are cool (that's the hipster in me). Another Lent I gave up excessive spending. I genuinely wanted to be less wasteful with my money. But Lent requires that you follow up with your sacrifice. I'm pretty sure that instead of donating all the money I saved that I bought a ridiculously expensive bike that I've ridden less than 50 times. I've had it for 4 years.
So, let me encourage you to think and pray long and hard before you make your Lenten decision. Genuinely reflect on what needs to change in order for you to be a more faithful servant of God and neighbor. And if you need some help, here are a couple of videos to help you think about the amazing things that you can do with your Lenten sacrifice.
These both come from Living Water International which I've mentioned before on this site. My friend Danielle will be going on a trip with them during the Lenten season, and I'm sure if you have more questions about that particular organization she'll be happy to answer them for you! But if that's not your thing, then think about other ways that you can give to others during Lent. Yes it's a time of reflection and change for you, but it's also a time for you to live as Jesus lived and radically serve others. So, here are the videos that (hopefully) will soften your heart to the purpose of Lent:
Lent: Prepare the Way from Living Water International on Vimeo.
Don't fast. from Living Water International on Vimeo.
And here's a great article I read that might help you today on this beautiful Ash Wednesday:
Smudges on the Soul: A Meditation for Ash Wednesday
by Safiyah Fosua
Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. (Joel 2:12-13, NRSV)
I would rather wear the smudge on my forehead than to admit its residence upon my soul. I prefer a crude cross above my eyes to questions about runny mascara and smudged liner. In a place where self-confidence is rewarded and any sign of weakness or emotional predisposition is held suspect, it is difficult to consider actually following the advice of the prophet to return to the Lord with fasting, with weeping and with mourning. It is, however, acceptable — maybe even fashionable to appear in public with a dirty forehead as a sign that I have religion. It is amazing how the symbols of piety, sackcloth and ashes, have been transformed into mask that hides me from myself and circumvents the intent of Ash Wednesday.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, the prophet said. Not the trumpet that signals advance to war, or the trumpet that celebrates victory, but the one that warns trembling penitents that the day of the Lord is coming. Blow the trumpet that warns a penitent like me to wear the smudge of ashes long after her face has been washed and to admit the smudge on the one place that matters to God, her heart.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, the prophet said, and sanctify a fast (Joel 2:15). Hear the sounds of grumbling need in a world where few are filled — and where we are overfilled. Today I am called to push away from the voracious consumption of everything in my path, for at least a little while, in hopes that I might realize something about the equitable distribution of the world's resources before the fast is over.
Rend your hearts and not your garments, the prophet said (Joel 2:13). The gift of the day is personal reflection, a season of confession, and change. Start the arduous journey from shadow to substance, from ritual to reality, from façade to faith. Today, choose the harder course. It is easier to buy new clothing than to mend a soul.
Prayer: Lord, as I begin this year's Lenten Journey, turn my attention to the things that matter most to you. Amen.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 8:18 AM
Here's all the craziness going on in my head right now:
- I went to the aquarium and got to hang out with my awesome BFFs this weekend!
- I was super sad that the penguin exhibit was closed for construction, but not willing to pay an extra $50 (really $100 b/c I'd have to take my husband with me) to see the penguins in the "Behind the Scenes" tour. It's cheaper to just go back to the aquarium when construction is done.
- I think it's totally wrong, but I understand why people want otter fur. It's soft!
- People had their infants there. If your kid can't say sea anemone then they don't need to see one!
- Some fish have funny teeth (yeah, who knew fish had teeth?!) and it reminded me of this
- I thought the Oscars were great this year! I loved the way that they announced the Acting awards - it was so sweet to see the nominees reactions as the presenters talked about their great performances.
- I love Kate Winslet and I'm so glad she won!
- Today Derek and I have been married for 6 months (that's half a year!). I love him more everyday.
- We desperately want to move into a real house so I'm commissioning all my LaGrange friends to look for houses for rent for us. If you see one that's even remotely decent tell me about it please!
Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 9:16 AM
So, apparently I'm bad at blogging. I just never feel like I have enough time to blog, or that I don't have anything to write about that's interesting enough. So I think I might just steal my friend Katie's idea and blog in short little thoughts. I love reading her blog and I like that she posts multiple times a day and I really feel like I would be a much more interesting and successful blogger if I do that. Don't worry Katie, I'm not completely copying you, but imitation is the best form of flattery, right?
And don't worry - I haven't forgotten about my commitment to sustainability! So, I've already blogged about these once, but they've come out with new designs so I wanted to remind you about Envirosax aka the best reusable shopping bags EVER! The new designs are super cute, but I think my new faves are the kids series:
How stinking cute are those?!
And hey, if you head over to the Envirosax blog you can see all the celebrities that carry them too! What's better than being environmentally friendly and super hip like Amy Poehler, Neil Patrick Harris, & Jennifer Anniston? Seriously, if it's good enough for Doogie Howser M.D. then it should be good enough for you!
Happy shopping :)
I am a huge NPR fan. If you're in the car with me you'll probably find me listening to my local NPR station with great interest. Or sometimes you might catch me listening to a Pop radio station, but I consider that research because my Thursday night trivia team depends on me to know the popular music questions. But mostly, it's NPR. I find pretty much every story they have fascinating! Even Science Fridays (Oh Ira Flatow I love you) are interesting and I typically have no desire to think about math or science unless I'm forced to.
If you don't already listen to NPR then I highly recommend starting out with the Saturday morning standard Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me because it is hilarious! And interesting. And in case you missed all the outrageous news stories for the week it's a great way to catch up.
But alas, that's not exactly what the point of my blog is today. I wanted to tell you about this great piece that I heard on NPR a few days ago. It's a story about Evolution Weekend in which about 1,000 pastors this upcoming Sunday will proclaim their belief that science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive. The link above will take you to the article and the recording of the radio broadcast about the article as well.
I think it's a great story because as I Christian I get very frustrated when non-Christians assume that I lack reason, or that I don't believe in science, or that I am an idiot. Frankly, I believe that God created the earth and I have absolutely no idea how God chose to do that. But I do fully understand that evolution has been tested repeatedly and is widely accepted in the world of science to be truth. I also understand that a scientific theory isn't just an idea that some scientists came up with, but in fact an idea that is highly supported by experiments and research and has yet to be disproved. I get all of that. Just because I think God is Creator doesn't mean that I think science is stupid or wrong. If that were true then I would never go to the doctor. But as someone who may one day stand behind a pulpit to preach (not frequently, but occasionally) I certainly hope that people will view me as intelligent, reasonable and faithful. You can have both! In fact, I would say that believing in the intricacy of science helps me have even more faith in how incredible God really is!
So, this isn't supposed to be a soap box or anything, I just wanted to put it out there. I hope you enjoy the article, but if you don't then you should still check out your local NPR station because it really is so awesome!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 12:31 PM
I haven't blogged, but I have been:
- Working like crazy getting ready for a big event
- Traveling a bit for a work again
- Going to trivia on Thursday nights (ok, tonight will be my second night)
- Named the Vice Chairperson of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee at my church
- Going to the new church tradition of potluck dinners on Wednesday nights
- Getting excited about all of the new, amazing, gospel fulfilling stuff that my church is doing now that we've rebuilt
- Wishing I could spend more time with my husband. Why does he have to work late everynight?!
- Dreaming about moving into a house. I'm so over this apartment.
- Wishing I could find a house that's not in the ghetto and in our price range to rent every month
- Getting my dog Barkley treated for epilepsy. Poor baby.
- Obsessed with Wheat Thins - I forgot how delicious they are!
- Super excited for my friend Danielle getting engaged!
- Jealous of Sara for getting to swim with penguins.
- Wishing I could be in school again because I'm so much better at school than I am at work.
- Highly emotional (God bless my husband)
- Super sleepy
- A bad wife. I suck at being domestic.
- Ready for a vacation. Anyone want to donate a vacation to us? I'll take it!
Hope you're having a super great day!
Posted by amberbaldridge at 11:10 AM
Two stories about my mom:
1. About a year (or maybe less) ago my mother was out walking her dog Tessa. Tessa is a miniature pincer that my mom inherited when she married my step father. So, as they're taking a leisurely stroll down the street someone else's dog come running out of nowhere and attacks Tessa. The other dog was big and angry and mean. My mom couldn't reach down and get in between to dogs with bared teeth who were trying to kill each other so what did she do? She ran inside to get something to fight this other dog off of poor Tessa. And the first thing she finds is... a grilling fork. You might be thinking right now, What good is a grilling fork going to do? I mean, I guess you could smack the dog with it or something right? Not if you're my mom. In her panic she just ran at this dog and stabbed it with a grilling fork. Yeah I said it. She STABBED a dog. Right in the side. She quickly scooped Tessa up, carried into the house and rushed back out to see if the dog was okay. (She was pretty mortified about what had just happened.) But the other dog had gone away already and my mom was just left completely freaked out. (You would be too I'm sure).
2. Skip ahead to Wednesday: As I'm driving to a college fair my mom calls me sobbing. Tessa just got ran over. For the first time in her 12 years of dog life she had run out into the road and had immediately been hit. The family who hit her (bless their hearts it was a horrible accident) ran up to the house to tell my mom. Again ask yourself so what did she do? My mother tried to resuscitate her dog. Seriously, mouth to snout, chest compressions, everything. After failing to resuscitate sweet Tessa she called my step dad who told her to just leave Tessa by the back steps and he'd bury her when he got home (Rick's had Tessa since she was a baby so he was super upset but he works at Dude Central aka a garage so he waited until he got home to cry like a baby). But of course, my mother wasn't just going to leave Tessa outside so instead she brought her inside, wrapped her in blankets (because she was cold) and laid her in her dog bed.
Now you might be thinking whoa Amber, you're mom is a crazy lady. Well that's true, she is. But all this also makes me realize how much she'll do for the people (or pets) she loves. I'm pretty lucky for that.
Okay, so you know how we all sit around and complain about the way the government works? Oh and you know how we have representatives in Congress that are supposed to vote for what we as the people of their state support but then sometimes they get a little distracted by glory and money and whatnot? Okay, well now is your chance to actually be heard. How you ask? In a few simple steps you too can be a citizen who changes things!
1. Head on over to Change.org and look through the ideas presented there.
2. After picking 10 ideas that you like, vote on them!
3. Make sure you do it today because it's the last day to vote!
4. Sit back and watch as the government bows down before you.
Okay, so maybe step 4 is a bit exaggerated, but the really cool thing about all of this is that these ideas will get presented to Barack Obama's administration tomorrow! Then, these ideas will start being put into effect by various non-profit groups across the country! We're talking real, tangible change here people.
There are plenty of ideas in many different areas that you can vote on. And you've got to think, the more people that vote the more attention the Obama administration will pay to it. So what are you waiting for? GO!
Alright, maybe the title is a little dramatic, but I was terrified. What, you ask, could strike fear deep into my heart on a calm Sunday morning? TAKING CARE OF THE NURSERY. (Insert doom music here).
A lot of people think I don't like children. Sometimes that's true, like when they are sticky/drooling/sweaty/screaming. Other times I think they are super cute but the problem is I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH CHILDREN! I'm an only child. I've never changed a diaper, I've never held a small baby, I babysat one time and one of the children ran away. No one should trust me with their children because I am clueless.
So what did I do when precious old woman #1 asks me to watch the "nursery" during church? I said yes and then immediately thought "What the crap are you doing?!" Could she not see fear on my face? Luckily for me there were only 3 kids in the nursery and two of them were these precious children:
So with the help of my good friend Nate I was able to make it through with no complete disasters. All the kids retained their fingers and toes, none of them cried, and I didn't walk away smelling like chewed up animal crackers (you know that smell!) so that must mean it was a success!
But seriously, unless it's an absolute emergency never let me watch your kids. Maybe next time the church asks me to do this I can fake being sick or something... is lying in church really that bad if it's for other people's protection?
Posted by amberbaldridge at 4:37 PM
I have a problem. Oh, what's that you say? Is my problem that I neglect my blog and don't write anything for over a week? No. I mean, yes that's a problem but not the one I'm referring to. My problem (or at least one of the many) is what my BFF's refer to as "a voice inflection issue".
What does that mean? Sometimes it means that I just say things oddly. Like Chandler on Friends. You know how he put emphasis on the wrong words in a sentence: (fast forward to the 2:50 mark for the example made by Joey)
Okay well I do that. I say things weird. It's a voice inflection issue. You can decide for yourself where it comes from.
But sometimes my voice inflection issue is a bit more of a problem than that. You see sometimes I have trouble controlling the volume and tone of my voice. I have had people tell me that I have sounded mean or angry or condescending when I have no clue that's how I sounded. I think it's because I get very nervous during any sort of confrontational moment (people who know me may be surprised by this considering that I don't flee from confrontation). Some people avoid confrontation but I get uncontrollably loud and angry sounding. I've said before that I am extremely passionate and opinionated about everything. However, when given the appropriate setting I can also be very articulate. I have good reasons for my opinions. If you were to ask me what I thought about an issue or to write a paper or give a presentation on something I could do so easily. But in the heat of the moment when I disagree with someone it's like my vocal chords pirate my brain and take over and I am left to watch in horror.
So for anyone I offend, please know that I am usually not offended by most things that people say, I am fully aware that we have different opinions and that's perfectly fine and I don't ever expect you to agree with me, nor am I trying to convince you to do so. You don't need to defend yourself or apologize to me for your opinions. But also please know that my vocal chords have taken control of my and are wreaking havoc on the world. I apologize and I'm trying to tame them.
Welcome to the world of a woman with a voice inflection issue, not an angry bitch.
Posted by amberbaldridge at 10:41 AM