March 5, 2014
Lent starts today, guys. (I made paleo pancakes last night because I just happened to be hungry for pancakes, and also it was Fat Tuesday, and also I can’t eat fattening foods because I would like my white dress to fit this summer. p.s. Paleo pancakes are not as good as delicious, normal pancakes.)
I like Lent. I like it because the date of Easter changes every year, and during Lent I am so aware that it is coming — that the death and resurrection that brings restoration is on its way! I like that in giving something up, I am reminded of the One who emptied himself for my sake. I like it because it makes Easter Sunday so, so joyful!
So as I thought about Lent this season, I thought of my past year. Ugh. It has been and continues to be hard. The past week has been rough — I have felt sad and mad and listless at times. It has been hard for me to see bright spots. I have thought of every worst-case scenario for the next ten years.
Because of all this, I have decided to give up my favorite pastime for Lent — worry.
I’m worried about how it will go.
(See what I did there?)
I’m not quite sure how to go about giving up worry. Most of the time I don’t even know I’m doing it until I suddenly realize I’m thinking about how I will have to work on a ranch in Montana so I can live close to the Canadian border so that Andrew can come see me and our future children on weekends. Or something equally as reasonable.
But it’s dumb, you guys. I read this post by someone else who gave up worry for Lent one year, and it described exactly what I do:
Suddenly, it became crystal clear to me why I worry so much. Somewhere along the line, I’d convinced myself that worrying prevented bad things from happening, or at least, mitigated the damage when the worst occurred. Worrying helped me prepare a mental emergency first aid kit, and if I could manifest that preparation, like the gray tub of survival supplies in the garage, all the better.
I try to control everything by worrying. If I’ve imagined the worst, I won’t be surprised. If I’ve thought of all the horrible options, I won’t be caught off guard. It’s really dumb and not helpful. And most of all, it shows that I am not trusting God’s control. I am not trusting his character and plans.
So, what I am going to try to do for the next 40 days (and hopefully beyond) is redirect my thoughts when I realize I’m worrying. I will pray about whatever I’m worrying about. I will read my Bible. I will remind myself that worrying doesn’t work — what’s the point? I will pray for someone else. I will try to notice something in that moment to be thankful for. I will ask God to help me to trust him more and more each day.
If you want, you can do it too or help me out. I am going to Instagram a picture a day under #noworrieslent. You can Instagram along with me (my username is denise_ruth) and share your own ways you are trusting the Lord instead of worrying.
So that’s my plan. Sometimes I will blog about it; sometimes I won’t. (I like to be unpredictable. Like John Travolta’s name pronunciations.)
Anyhoos. Thoughts on Lent? Giving something up? (I recommend giving up paleo pancakes for Lent.) No? Love Lent? Hate it? Leave me a comment!
Have a good day! Don’t worry!
March 3, 2014
Oh hi, you guys.
My friends and I did a practice table setting for the wedding the other day. The best part about this is that we’ve had fresh flowers in the house all week! And the last few days, I’ve needed the brightness of these pretty flowers in my “Made in Canada” mason jar.
So late last week we found out that my work visa was denied. Canada hates me. Or something. Not sure. I do know that all hope is not lost. My potential employer is still looking into options, so we will see.
But overall, I am discouraged.
I am tired of never getting to see my fiance — I miss him all the time. I am tired of not having a steady job. I am tired of worrying about money. I am tired of living out of a suitcase. I am tired of explaining that even if we got married tomorrow it doesn’t automatically make any immigration things easier — it is all a long process with more waiting and more unknowns. I am tired of Pinterest and Facebook and Netflix. I am tired of being lonely and bored. I am tired of trying to be strong in this completely abnormal and difficult situation.
I’m tired, guys.
Thankfully, the people around me aren’t as tired as I am. Andrew has been so encouraging and faithful and hopeful. I thrive on expecting the worst, and he’s one of those optimists. (I’m glad.)
So, I continue to wait. I have no clue about a timeline for anything at this point. I am looking for temp work and hoping that Canada eventually decides to call and invite me to take Rob Ford’s job.
I have felt so sad and sometimes mad about this situation. One hour I feel a bit hopeful, and the next, I am so discouraged. I am not feeling all that resilient anymore. But, the day we found out about the visa, both Andrew and I saw my friend Heather’s Facebook status — a couple of verses from the Psalms. And at different times, we were both reminded that the Lord is in this. Even when it is hard to see.
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
So, that’s the update. If you think of it, please pray that something will work out sooner rather than later. That would be good.
This is also good when you are feeling sad.
OK, have a good Monday, friends! Thanks for your prayers!
February 19, 2014
Here are some things I would like us to discuss today:
* This Wendy’s Ciabatta commercial. Why is it a thing? No.
* Have you guys been watching the Olympic snowboard cross races? Why is this a sport?!?! Basically someone dies in every single race. Five snowboarders race through a crazy course at breakneck speeds, and at least two of them crash and break their entire bodies every single time. I don’t think I’ve seen one race where everyone has finished. Every race. Someone dead.
* I made these Thai chicken quesadillas the other day and they were delicious. I highly recommend them.
* Here’s a girl HOLDING A TINY HORSE!!!!! Please share your thoughts of joy and love about this best picture ever in the comments.
* Speaking of Olympics. (We were speaking about the Olympics a couple points ago, you guys. Please keep up.) Did everyone see that sweet young skier with the wife and baby? And he loves Jesus? And he does crazy flips on skis? I liked him. Also, apparently all the cool skiers and boarders live in Colorado. Let’s go meet them. And … I’m super happy for the American ice dancers. But also, they kind of bug me. Like, cut your hair, Charlie. And calm down the eye makeup, girl whose name I am too lazy to look up. Anyone else? No? Just me because I’m a horrible person?
* My friends and I have been working on wedding craft projects. And if you know me, you know I am not good at craft projects. So, basically, my wedding will not look pretty, and things will probably fall apart in the middle of vows. But if you’re there, just smile and tell me I did a good job anyway. Thanks.
* Just waiting for news on the work visa. #storyofmylife. No updates.
* Finally, in conclusion, to end with: Has everyone seen the best video ever?! Landry and Crucifictorious are with Amber and Max at the Luncheonette! Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. Together. You must watch it because: Landry is the best. Billy Riggins might be there. Tim Riggins is mentioned. So many FNL references. Texas Forever.
February 5, 2014
Guys! I haven’t blogged in over a week!
Now that I am an expert at being engaged, I have a lot of planning to do. I’ve been Pinteresting and it takes up a lot of time.
I may only be in Colorado a couple more weeks, so I have some wedding things to figure out before I move to Canada! (Canadian government, please let me move to Canada. I will let you come to my wedding.) I have to figure out venue, food, flowers, teacup piglets, etc. Also, why does it cost $400,000 to rent an empty room? Do you have an empty room I can rent for $2?
Also, my heart was broken last week when Diana and I were out shopping for venues. (I have never said the word “venues” so much in my entire life. I find myself annoying.)
We went to City Park in Denver because I had seen a picture of their amazing pavilion online.
It looks out over a lake, and I loved the turquoise details. It would be a lot of work for a wedding — we’d have to bring everything in, but it was only $600 to rent. (This is super cheap in the ridiculous world of weddings. Apparently once you get engaged you’re supposed to be dying to spend every cent you and your loved ones have ever earned on creating personalized chapstick favors.) Diana and I had ninety bazillion ideas for how to decorate the space. So I called the parks and recreation department — I hoped so badly that Tom or Donna would pick up, but apparently it was Treat Yo Self 2014 because some other guy answered. He immediately informed me that every single Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June through September was booked. Heart. Broken.
Whatever. We found somewhere else, parks and rec department! (Also, one place we looked at was going to charge us $100 per TV if we wanted to have a slideshow. And if we wanted bistro lights, we couldn’t bring our own, but they would kindly put them up for us for $250. Wedding industry, you are drunk.)
JK, guys. It’s fine. I’ve been pinning all kinds of darling ideas over on Pinterest. Andrew knows about none of them. He’s fine. (Hopefully he won’t mind when our wedding theme is “Little House on the Prairie” and we make all the guests wear petticoats and eat head cheese.)
I wonder if Andrew is excited that he gets to marry this.
Here’s my excuse for these pajamas. 1. It was super cold when I woke up! 2. I love to represent Colorado whenever I can. 3. That sweater is so warm. 4. I have no excuses. It’s hideous.
I’m working on a book editing project, and it’s making my shoulders hurt. It’s also convinced me that I have arthritis or carpel tunnel. (I never jump to conclusions, guys.)
It’s just snow city here in Colorado. Probably punishment for the worst Superbowl in the history of ever. Yikes. We watched the game at Micah’s, and we spent most of the time either yelling in disappointment or silently eating dip in disappointment. (I preferred the silent dip times.)
I suppose I should go do some more editing (i.e. pinning things on Pinterest).
OH. I forgot. Sherlock. Who writes that show and how are they so freaking smart and clever?! I just love it with my whole heart. Sherlock at Watson’s wedding was the best.
OK, now I am done. (Parenthood hasn’t been on, so I’m out of blogging topics.)
Have a lovely day!!
January 26, 2014
You guys! Andrew and I have something we’d like to tell you.
Here’s a hint.
Here’s an even better hint.
Here’s the best hint.
Oh my gosh, you guys. Saturday, January 25 was a crazy, shocking, amazing, beautiful day.
I have been back in Colorado for about a week. I am waiting on my visa (#whatelseisnew), and didn’t plan to see Andrew again until my visa comes through and I move to Red Deer!
On Saturday I decided to go to Denver to hang out with Diana. We had planned to have a relaxing day (Treat Yo Self 2014!), shopping at the mall, getting our nails done, and grabbing dinner. I texted Diana and asked if she’d want to meet me at the mall at around 1:30. She never responded to my text. Rude. (I didn’t realize it was all part of the trickery and deception!)
Anyhoo, I ended up at Diana’s house and then we shopped around in the Highlands, and then we went and got manicures and pedicures. (p.s. ask us about the Broncos coach who was there with us getting a pedicure. Or don’t.) After we got our nails did (that’s right did), we headed over to Park Meadows mall. Diana suggested we go to Anthropologie first because it is my favorite store and it is made of beauty and truth and joy and expensiveness.
I picked out some clothes to try on, and the lady led me back to the fitting room. I opened the door, and this is what I saw.
My boyfriend, who I thought was in Canada, was in the Anthropologie dressing room. Obviously.
I saw him and he said, “I have something else I’d like you to try on instead.” And then he got down on one knee and told me some beautiful things that I made him repeat again later (because of all the shock), and then he asked me to marry him. I think I said yes at some point.
I was so shocked. And so speechless. And so amazed. Our friends Diana and Andy helped coordinate the entire thing. The Anthropologie employees were all in on it. They had decorated the fitting room with candles and flowers, and champagne and truffles. Everyone knew what was going on except for me. All the stalling, the manicures, the suggestions had all been so that Andrew could surprise me and propose. So amazing.
We are hoping to get married in August, and we are so excited!!!
Andrew and I met Easter of 2012. We sat next to each other at a kitchen table and started talking. He liked the dip I had brought to the potluck. We had no clue that we would connect, and hang out, and talk on the phone, and video chat, and visit, and pay hundreds of dollars to fly back and forth from Canada to the States. Life has been really wonderful and life has been tough at times. We have come a long way in the past year and a half, and overall, we have seen God make a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
The verse that has come to my mind in the past year — the verse that has now become a reality — is this:
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3
Filled with joy! God is good and he has blessed us. We are so grateful.
I think we need a pictorial essay to top off this post. This one is titled, “Mall Madness: Denise and Andrew Got Engaged!!!”
I am starting to realize I’ve just been proposed to.
How are you not in Canada?! What’s happening? Where did this bling come from? We’re in a dressing room!
The Anthropologie folks made this room so beautiful for us!
Andrew’s impression of what I did when the fitting room door opened and he was standing there.
Andy and I are not engaged, but we decided we should take a picture together anyway.
No one told me I was going to be surprised with an engagement. If they had, maybe I wouldn’t have worn my army jacket? But who knows. I like to make bold fashion choices.
Diana and Andy organized a surprise engagement party with lots of friends from Denver and Colorado Springs!!
Please note the difference in our beautiful descriptions.
I’ve decided I want a teacup piglet petting zoo at the wedding. You’re all invited.
Ok, that is enough already. We’re so excited, guys!!! We are grateful and blessed and thankful for God’s goodness, wonderful family, and supportive friends. We’re also thankful for Anthropologie fitting rooms. New store logo: “The perfect place to commit!” (Just a suggestion, Anthro. If you take it, I’d die for some free bridesmaid dresses in exchange. Thanks!)
Love you all!!
Denise Ruth Morris (soon to be Snyder — that is weird!!)
January 24, 2014
1. My friend Kim is watching Friday Night Lights for the first time, and she invited me to come watch an episode with her today. So, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in Dillon with my best friends this afternoon.
2. Parenthood. Ugh. All the crying and the sadness and the heartache. I don’t want to be too spoilery, so I’ll use code words. Lawyer Lady and Schmole need to work it out. (Code, guys.) Also, do we think Crosby and Jasmine are going to end up buying the house? Because I do. And, last night’s episode reminded me of the saddest song in the world. Now I love me some sad songs, but “Say Something” is just almost too much for me to handle.
3. I am thinking of seeing if 24 Hour Fitness will let me buy a month-long membership. That way I can pretend I am being productive by going to Turbo Kick and Body Sculpt and like such as. I will not, however, be going anywhere near a treadmill. They are the worst invention in the history of the world. They promote running, which I am against.
4. I liked this article with Three Tips for Better Bible Reading. It suggests listening to an audio version of the Bible. I like this because back in the day, people didn’t have their own copies of the Scripture. They heard it and learned it by going to the synagogue and hearing it read aloud. Much of the Bible was meant to be read aloud (think of Paul’s letters that were read to congregations, the poetry of the Psalms, etc.) It also suggests reading one book of the Bible in one sitting and reading without the chapter and verse markings (chapters and verses weren’t added until the 1500s). I love both of these suggestions because they promote reading the Bible like the beautiful, true story it is. When we fragment it, we miss so much!
5. I’m going to see The Book Thief tonight. Has anyone seen it? I really liked the book. There was a 7 p.m. showing and a 9:30 showing, and we are opting for the earlier one. Because of old age.
6. Here’s the thing, Ralph Lauren. I’m not sure I can approve of your patchwork quilt sweaters for Team USA at the Olympics. They’re too much. I feel like they should be hanging in a farmhouse kitchen. I also feel like, why is Carson Daly still on TV? (p.s. apparently that sweater is only $598.)
7. I have nothing for #7. Leave a comment for what you think it should be!
Have a great weekend!
January 23, 2014
My whole face hurt when I woke up this morning. And then I realized that yesterday the temp was in the mid-40s, today it’s snowy and 9 degrees, and tomorrow it’s supposed to be back to the mid-50s. The pressure is too much for my sinuses! Oh, the joys of Colorado life.
Also, I think a lot of the schools and businesses had two-hour delays this morning because of the snow. Do not tell Canada. They will make fun of us incessantly, especially because there are only about three inches of snow, and it’s the really, light fluffy kind that looks like the fake snow they use on low-budget Saturday morning TV shows. You know, liked Saved by the Bell specials where Zack and the gang go skiing and Zack wears a huge printed sweater, and Kelly is skiing in supposedly cold weather but still manages to somehow wear a one-shoulder ski jacket, and it’s clear that all their “ski scenes” are shot in an indoor set that’s about 12-feet wide and filled with fake snow.
What just happened up there? Did any of those sentences make sense? I think not.
Micah is going to be blogging about her pregnancy, and she’s the funniest and bestest, so you should read it. Favorite lines: “See above, large.” “Also, work.” She kills me. Anyway, go read her blog along with her mom.
Guys, have I told you how much I love the 1994 Whoopi Goldberg classic film, Corrina, Corrina? I am embarrassed for having written that sentence.
But it’s the truth! I love that movie! (Speaking of Whoopi, I also love me some Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Whoopi was on it with dorky movies back in the day.) My friends got me the VHS of Corrina, Corrina in college, but hello, as of last year VCRs aren’t cool. (Neither is saying hello.) So, I’ve been looking and looking for the DVD (actually, I haven’t), and then one day I saw it for $5! Guess where? That’s right; the place where dreams come true.
I just realized that I was writing my blog post with my coffee perched on my knee like this.
What the?!?! Next to my billion dollar computer. And in the past, I have ruined a computer by spilling on it. My ability to be the worst amazes and astounds. Maybe I’ll open a circus where people can come watch me excel at life.
Parenthood is on tonight, guys. I’m nervous.
Today I read the story of Gideon in Judges 6 and 7. Basically, the Israelites had disobeyed God and worshiped false gods (shocking). So, God allowed the Midianites to take over the Israelites. It got so bad that they finally cried out to God. So, because God is kind, he decided to rescue them.
God went to Gideon and told him to lead the Israelites in their battle against Midian. But Gideon was skeptical. He had heard that God had done amazing things for his ancestors in Egypt, but he had not seen it himself. He wondered if God had abandoned them. But God doesn’t yell at Gideon or call him a fool. Instead he tells Gideon to go rescue Israel because he’s sending him.
Again, Gideon wonders and questions. God says that he will be with him. Gideon asks for a sign. God gives him one. Gideon asks for another sign. Again, God gives it.
(This is in Israel. It looks weird. It’s related to the Gideon story.)
How kind and gracious God is to us! He didn’t owe Gideon any signs. But he gave them. He showed up and proved himself to Gideon. He didn’t yell at Gideon or berate him for questioning. He provided signs so that Gideon’s faith would be strengthened. And then what is so cool is that Gideon, the one who needed sign after sign, the one whose faith we might call weak, was then used by God to be the leader who defeated the giant Midianite army with only 300 men. Under Gideon’s leadership, the land had peace for 40 years.
I’ve often thought of Gideon as weak and foolish. Someone who needed signs. I’ve wondered that about Abraham as well because he also questioned God. But in both of those stories, we see no negative reaction from God. Instead, we see people wonder and question and then God answers and provides. Although he didn’t have to, he gave signs. He made covenants. He reassured and showed up and proved himself faithful. God is really, really good to us. I’m grateful.
So today let’s try to be aware of the all signs God is graciously giving us to show that he is faithful, even when we are not.
K, I’m out!! (Mic drop.) Have a good day!!
January 22, 2014
Well, I am back in Colorado Springs with my beloved Pikes Peak!
Alecia picked me up in Denver yesterday and brought me down to pick up my car. My car begrudgingly greeted me with a “service engine soon” light. Any thoughts on why? Is it because it’s been sitting for two months? Do I need all the oils and transmissions and coolants and things changed?? And will all of that be free? Help.
I got back to Ashley’s, which has been my home base the past few months. She has kindly let me stay with her and use all of her water and electricity and fridge space and TV time.
Also, every time I have come home from a trip, she has done something special to the door of my room to welcome me home. So yesterday afternoon, I was greeted by this.
The Biebs is happy I’m moving to his home country.
I laughed out loud when I saw the door. That Ashley. She’s so clever. And then I opened my door and was blown away with patriotism and that star-spangled banner yet waving.
I died. What a stunning, home-of-the-brave welcome!! Ashley is ah-mah-zing.
I am back to healthy eating, guys! (Let’s count how many times I’ve said that phrase in the last few months. Actually, let’s not.) It’s true this time, though. I can grocery shop and cook and be on it. I made this crustless quiche this morning, and it’s so good and easy. I added garlic and bacon and used the cheddar I had on hand. Low-carb city! Do it now!
Okay, I best be going. I’ve got a lot of streamers to take down in my room. Oh, if any of you need or know someone who needs some freelance work, let me know! My skills include writing stuff, editing things, eating chips, whining, curriculum writing, article writing, blog writing, eavesdropping, etc.
Have a good day!!
January 21, 2014
Last night Diana and I went out to a vegetarian restaurant because we are super healthy. Except that we accidentally ate a lot of carbs because apparently the only delicious thing vegetarians have to offer is bread. What were we to do?! Anyway, if you’re in the Denver area, you should try City O’ City. Their savory waffle was a carb-filled delight.
Oh, guys. I started to get caught up on all important television yesterday. Parenthood. You are killing me. I don’t even like you right now. So many tears. But it’s so good I just can’t stay away. Here are some people who need to get it together: Julia, Joel, Camille.
My friend Alecia shared this picture with me. It’s a lady who has decorated her cane with some stuffed animals. It’s cozy and fancy that way.
My jove Micah announced yesterday that she’s having a baby!! This is great news because she will be a wonderful mom, I will get to hold her baby, and she’ll also probably want to name it after me (Denise or Dennis, either works according to people at Starbucks and Panera who often call out “Dennis!!!” when my order is ready).
I realized today that I have been feeling anxious since I’ve been back in Colorado. Actually, I was feeling anxious the day before I came back. (Just ask Andrew about the crazy, moody, angry, crying person who he got to spend the day with on Saturday.) I am back here, and while I love seeing my friends and enjoying the gorgeous weather (it is 61F/16C right now!!!), I also feel really stressed. I think it is because I don’t have much to do except wait to hear about this visa. And the waiting gives me time to think about anything that could go wrong (I like to stay positive). But after last time, I just worry that the visa will get denied or delayed again, which would be the worst because I am about at my limit with airplanes, suitcases and travel-sized items! Anyway, I feel stressed and anxious, and I know those feelings do not come from the Lord. So I thought I’d tell you so that if you think of it, you could pray for peace and a quick yes to my visa!
OK, that felt heavy. Let’s cheer ourselves up with a picture of a tiny puppy in a shower cap and a tiny bathrobe!
He likes to stay so fresh and so clean, clean.
K, have a good day, friends! If you’re in Colorado, enjoy this gorgeous weather! If you’re not in Colorado, be jealous. Good day to you!
…I said good day!
January 20, 2014
Well, I’m back in Denver, everyone. My life is so weird right now.
Yesterday I said goodbye to Andrew, which involved tears and cursing the Canadian government. (JK, Canadian government. I heart you. Please give me a visa.)
I thought I was looking stylish in this pic, but then my mom told me she has the same sweater. So, there’s that.
I spent much of yesterday in airports, because that’s just what I like to do. At the Calgary airport, I saw the end of the Broncos game!! Superbowl City! I’ve never had a home team make it to the Superbowl (VIKINGS, I AM LOOKING AT YOU WITH DISAPPOINTED EYES). I have to find the nearest bandwagon and jump right on. Actually, I really like football, but because this fall has been so odd with constant traveling, I’ve barely watched any NFL this year. But I’m excited to get to cheer on Denver! Watch out, Seattle. We’ve got this guy.
Anyhoo, our flight was delayed (shocking), so as we were waiting to get on, I kept hearing what sounded like a cat meowing. And then I looked at the lady sitting across from me holding her cat who was having a nervous breakdown because his owner was making him fly on a plane. Like non-stop, loud meowing. On our flight. Fun.
It’s apparently impossible to get a direct flight from Denver to Calgary for less than $10,000, so I got to have a layover in Phoenix. Phoenix, what is your deal? Your airport is basically one mile long and it smells like a high school gym. Also, naming all your gift shops AmAZing Gifts is not that clever. Get it together.
I didn’t get in to Denver last night until after midnight. Airports are weird when they are nearly empty. I kept looking for Tom Hanks to see if he had set up a home I could stay in. (Get it? No? This is a poor and obscure reference to that not-very-popular movie, The Terminal. Only the latest pop culture info on this here blog.) My sweet friend Diana picked me up at 1 a.m., even though she had to work today. What a gem! (My new thing is going to be calling people “gems.” Get ready.)
Today I have to get an assignment done for Cook (sorry, Jen!) and catch up on all the Parenthood! Tears, drama! I don’t know if I can handle the sadness today. I may need to supplement with some Psych. You know that’s right.
Have a good day, friendsiedoodles! You are all gems.