Thursday, July 15, 2010

the day i became a sci-fi novel.

Listening To: Monster Ballads by Josh Ritter
Quote Stuck in my Heart: Your promised land is a place where your theology matches your reality. - Beth Moore

Hey lovelies! I look like a very sleepy chipmunk as I type tonight's post. Today I got the first operation I needed to prepare my mouth for a dental implant I'll get this fall. Dental implants are basically fake teeth, bolted to one's jaw, that look, and feel, like real teeth. Yay modern medicine! (Note: Sometimes I like to say, "I'm getting implants," leaving out the "dental" bit, just so I can see the look on people's faces. ;)

Today's adventure involved receiving a bone graft in my jaw, which is a very common procedure. (Seriously - you shouldn't feel sorry for me. The whole shabang took less than an hour. I'm feeling good tonight.) Still. This bone graft business? I've been shrieking about it for weeks now. Because my bone graft came from a cadaver. Like, at this moment, there is an itty-bitty piece of bone in my jaw that used to belong to someone else. Crazy! Even though I realize how common this is ... I still feel like a walking sci-fi novel. My brother hopes I suddenly develop a hankering* for cigars. He's sweet like that. I'm thankful my family has such a fun/bizarre sense of humor.

I'm also thankful for ....

1.) A body God created that is so darn cool. I complain about my body as much as the next girl, but the fact that it can heal and get well? And utilize cadaver bone to make more bone of its own!? The human body is a miracle of the wonderfully, fearfully variety. :)

2.) Great doctors. And sweet nurses. My nurse this morning even said, "You are so cute!" At 7:30 in the morning. That's nice to hear when you know your face will look like a basketball before the day is over. (In the wise words of my brother, "Flattery will get you everywhere.")

3.) The brilliant people at Smoothie King who invented the Cherry Picker.

4.) My mom, who brought me a Cherry Picker this afternoon. It was like someone had handed me the whole world in a Styrofoam cup.

5.) Cows, 'cause they make milk that eventually becomes ice cream.

6.) The brilliant people of Bluebell... because they know how to mix cowjuice in such a way that it becomes the most magical, marvelous ice cream I've ever tasted.

7.) Dad ... because he bringeth the bluebell!

8.) Target ... because they make stretchy yoga pants that are necessary when your plans for the week consist of eating ice cream and watching TV. (You thought people used yoga pants to do yoga, didn't you? Wrong.)

9.) My sweet dog ... because, while she is always sweet, and frequently likes to snuggle, she's especially snugly when I'm sick. Sometimes I wake up to find her looking at me, with her paw on my arm like, "You can go back to sleep. I'll keep you safe." Sometimes I wake up to discover her face like an inch from my face while she sniffs the ice pack tied around my head. (Have I mentioned how hot I look right now?) As I type, I'm balancing my computer on one leg so Biscuit can sleep against the other. Ever so often, she'll blink up at me with her big brown eyes like she's just checking on me, just making sure I'm okay. I'm so crazy about her :)

10.) Bravo ... for giving me plenty of Top Chef to watch OnDemand. I still don't have a favorite chef though. In past seasons, I was able to latch onto a personality fairly early in the process. (No chef will ever replace Fabio.) I'm having a hard time figuring out who I want to root for this season. Anybody else watching?

11.) My blue ribbon. I'm wearing a blue ribbon around my wrist for the next ten weeks. I love what it symbolizes. And I can't wait to see what's happening in my life when I snip that ribbon loose sometime in September. I'll discuss the meaning in another post (because trying to discuss faith and cowjuice in the same blog entry requires more brainpower than I have tonight).

12.) Music ... because it makes my heart feel peaceful and easy, even when my world feels heavy. This is my favorite song tonight:

13.) You. I try to always comment back the comments you leave (I'm sorry when I miss them, but I try). I hope this blog feels like an ongoing conversation and not just a place where I yap about myself. I haven't answered the comments from my last entry yet, but I've read them all many, many times. I can't even tell you what it means to know I'm not the only person asking the questions I ask, or having the doubts I have.

I've been corresponding back and forth with an amazing blogger named Trish, who was kind enough to link me to a review she did of Paperdoll. (Also, Trish just started her own Nashville based company called Frilly Milly Events. You can check out her blog here but, be warned, you'll quickly become addicted. She's way too talented for her own good.) Trish's review made me smile so hard. I treasure every single note I get about Paperdoll. Seeing the age variation in the messages I receive is always super fun.

Example: last week, I got a Facebook message about Paperdoll from an eighth grader and an email about the book from a reader about to begin her last year in college. Both messages made me squeal out loud (while sitting in Panera). When I read Trish's message, I realized we were the same age. And I was definitely encouraged to know I'm not the only girl past her teens, past college, still figuring out what beauty and grace and living free and fully really means. If I live to be 95, I think I'll still be learning what that means. It's really cool to know we're all in process together, all learning form each other, regardless of what part of life we happen to be living out.

There were parts of Paperdoll that were hard to share. There are certain blog posts, like that last one, that are just a bit harder to write. But I've discovered when I do share something a bit more serious (whether it's funny or sad or so heavy on my heart I can't sleep at night), your comments back always make it worth it. You help me remember what matters.

So. For those of you who shared little snippets from the journey you're on in the comments - I am truly floored. Thank you. For every thank-you that came from a name I recognized, or a name I'd never seen before, you are welcome. And for every sweet anonymous who said thank-you - you are so welcome. No matter how anonymous you're feeling, I hope you always feel welcome here.

I would love to hear what you're thankful for in the comments. And if you care to recommend a good movie, have an idea for how to waste some time (that doesn't involve much movement) or know of an ice cream flavor I simply must try ... that would be fantastic ;) Thanks for being so classy.

* I think "hankering" might be a Southern term? It's basically the same as a craving. :)


  1. Ok first things cream flavors! Cotton candy is always a nice choice, or birthday cake. It actually tastes like birthday cake, it's amazing!! :)
    Good always, Princess Bride. Also, The Proposal is hilarious along with being sorta romantic, too. :)
    I'm thankful for being able to dream, even if it always doesn't go the way you imagine. I'm also thankful that God thinks I'm beautiful. I'm learning a lot about my insecurity and just knowing that He made me who I am and He loves me just the same. It amazes me totally and completely.
    Thank you so much for blogging! I totally love reading and seeing what God's doing in your life, whether happy, sad, seriuos, or funny. It always makes my day! :)

  2. July is National Ice Cream Month, and I've been pretty depressed because we don't have any (although we did make some chocolate homemade ice cream the other weekend). I've really been craving some mint chocolate chip.

    Have you seen the new "Alice In Wonderland" movie? I love it. Or "Penelope," which is one of my favorites.

    I'm thankful for:
    1. Beautiful children's books. I've had to review 20 picture books recently and have become even more obsessed than I was.
    2. Music. Including the three songs I just bought by the Avett Brothers. :)
    3. This morning off from class (even though I have to spend it doing homework...or at least that's what I'm supposed to be doing :)
    4. The fact that I only have one more week of summer classes left, and then I get a month off!
    5. Sunsets.
    6. Knowing that God sees the whole picture of my life right now, even though I can only see a tiny part.


  3. Hey Natalie!
    Oh how I love your blogs, like honestly. You such an awesome writer and your blogs just take me to another world, as cliched as that sounds. I hadn't actually been on blogspot so I've been reading your recent posts in bulk and cant get enough of them :)
    So firstly, i would reccommend checking out a man called Ken Davis, he's a Christian comedian and I really like him aye. :) Oh it'd be like on video tapes (not dvds I'm pretty sure...all like old school hehe).
    Things I'm thankful for:
    1)I'm thankful I went on blogspot tonight.
    2)I'm thankful for your blogs, they've inspired me (loved Ashes)and influenced me actually to buy an album (I literally just bought Elenowen :) )
    3)I'm thankful for brothers who somehow manage to make me yell and giggle at the same time.
    4)I'm thankful for my guyfriend who listens to my rants about my annoying brothers tehe.
    5)I'm thankful for the different seasons, as here I am sitting by the cosy fire in wintertime, reading your posts about your hot summer filled with terrible and ants and yummy ice-cream.
    6)I'm thankful for a loving God who somehow manages to nurture every individual on this planet, at the exact time! Its amazing! :)
    7)I'm thankful for hot water bottles and cuddly blankets in mid winter :)
    And on that note, I will head to bed (it is 1.22am here :P )
    Get better Nat :)

  4. Sorry about all the spelling errors in my previous comment. I was meant to put I hadn't been on Blogspot in a while not "I hadn't actually been on blogspot", because obviously I have been on before. Whoopsies! Oh and sorry for the overuse of "I'm thankful" haha. Didn't realise I'd typed it that much! :) :)

  5. Ashley, those are great recommendations! I thought The Proposal was great. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Renalds were awesome together! I forget what good chemistry is like in a movie until I see it. They definitely had it! I heart TPB too. My brother and I sometimes quote that one back and forth. Your thankful list is so good. I've been doing this Bible study that centers around what it means to have faith and trust. The author talks about how sometimes trust is hard b/c we start thinking of the dreams we had that didn't come true. She goes onto say if they don't, it's only because something better will happen. I thought that was so encouraging. You are so right - dreaming is a good thing.

    Kristin, I need to send you an Avett list! I can't believe I forgot that. I'll consult with The Rogue Accountant and get some of his favorites too. I really loved your last point. I was reading Ruth last year and it hit me that she didn't know everything would work out in such a great way - she just had faith enough to follow God one step, then another. That's so hard for me to do. I want to read the ending before I start (which does not an adventure make...). Thanks for that sweet reminder. (And no, I haven't seen Alice in Wonderland! That might be especially fun while medicated...)

    Saviors16bak, thanks so much for your comment! I'm so happy you found your way here. I must admit, you made me miss winter. I feel like summer lasts forever here which is no fun when summers here are so HOT. I'm a big fan of all four seasons too. And the note about your brother? My word ... you nailed it. Nobody makes me laugh harder than my brother. And nobody tries harder to annoy me. :) And FYI - I never ever notice spelling mistakes. And I don't think it's possible to say "thankful" too much :) Thanks so much for dropping by!

  6. Oh Natalie I just love you! LOL! Your brother sounds a lot like mine! Is he younger or older? If younger I think I'll spazz! LOL!

    Godd movies.. Well Ill name my fav four and I hope that you have already seen them though =] "A Walk to Remember" "Pride and Prejudice (2006 version)" "The Drak Knight" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas". Everyone laughs when I tell them these because they are two romantic movies and two kind of on the creepy side movies LOL! Yeah I love sweet innocient romance and Tim Burton (To bad he didn't do The Dark Knight LOL)

    Things Im thankful for...
    1) God NEVER giving up on me! Me and God have had a tough week this week... I finally let go of my anger and pride this morning and came back to Him. But it's amazing how He gets ahold of you. Granted I wish He had done it differently but hey, He found me and thats all that matters =]
    2) COFFEE!!!! Oh it's so good!
    3) COCONUT CREAMER! Not many people carry it but it is AMAZING! Even if you don't like cocomut you'll LOVE this! Oh the sweet creamy goodness =]
    4) Music. My brother has been learning new songs on his guitar and he'll play them all day (Litterally) and I enjoy it! I ask him to play what I call my song because it's my fav that he plays on his guiatr! IDK the name but it's by Pink Floyd! I have a video of it on my blog if you wanna here it =]
    5) Despicable Me! I get to go see it today!!!!!!! "IT"S SO FLUFFY!" I like fluffy things =] and cute little grls with big checks =]

    Ok, Once I get money Im going to buy your book! If I learn to stop shopping for clothes that I dont nee maybe I'll get it before the month is done! No promises because Ill be going St James Island but hey.. maybe LOL =] I want it so badly! LOL!

  7. Hey Natalie! :) I love to read your blog - and I had to smile this morning because I just wrote a blog a week or so ago myself with a list of things I'm grateful for. Time spent dwelling on gratitude is never time wasted, am I right? Anyway, my blog is and I'd love to share it with you!

    I just want to let you know too that when I 'discovered' your blog a few weeks ago I had to squeal with delight - I LIVED for your columns in Brio Magazine when I was growing up. I actually interned at Brio with Focus on the Family three years ago, thanks in a big way to how you drew me to the magazine. So thanks for that. (How fun is Susie?!) :)

    It's a perfect post to read while babysitting (:
    I'm thankful for.. (:

    1. Huggies blue jean diapers commercial. The coolest you’ll ever look pooping in your pants.
    seriously those things are just too funny.
    2. endless amounts of ideas for my story (:
    3. good books (:
    4. babysitting :) outside of the poopy diapers
    5. yummy coffee (:
    6. fingerpaint & endless smiles.
    7. getting the privilege of decorating the foyer of church for vbs. (:
    8.for cute little jellyfish in the aquarium
    9. for mercy & forgivness
    10. & finally for the funny texts you send when messed up on happy medicine (: haha

    love from the land of juice cups and stinky diapers (:

  9. As of now, I am thankful for summertime and rereading books (and books worth rereading), my sis who will be a senior soon *tear*, and a bunch of other things I can't fit in this comment. I don't know about movies but have you ever listened to Sara Groves or John Mark McMillian, they are really great. Well, I hope your implants go well and I wish I could stop by with a big box of ice cream sandwiches.

  10. I can see how the bone graft might make you feel a little less "yourself." At least it's a good excuse to catch up on R & R!

    As for Top Chef, I was rooting for Arnold and Kenny until Arnold was unfairly kicked off last week. I'm going to one of his restaurants next week with coworkers and hope that we'll get to see him there:) Even though I think Kenny is a great chef, I'm not sure that I like him as a person. That seems to be true of most of the chefs this season. Quite a few of my friends haven't picked favorites yet either.

    That's so fun that you're talking with Trish! She's the reason I found out about Paperdoll (which I also posted on my blog- your book seriously spoke to me) and now that I've moved to Nashville, she kindly emailed me suggestions of what to do around here.

    I am thankful for good books (I've been sinking my teeth into Ahab's Wife and loving it), starting my dream job, new flavors at Gigi's Cupcakes, great coworkers, a phenomenal church, a God who pays attention to the little details, and making new friends.

  11. First of all, ice cream flavor recommendation: Cappuccino Fudge Blitz from Publix. Seriously, it's the greatest stuff ever.

    A few things I'm thankful for lately...
    1. Sunsets. Actually, I'm always thankful for sunsets. They're one of my favorite things ever--I don't think I've ever seen one that I didn't love!
    2. The Milky Way. (I kinda love nature. And the sky.) I love looking up at the night sky when it's really clear and you can see stars forever. Favorite thing ever.
    3. Paint! Granted, I'm not a phenomenal artist or anything, but I've been painting a lot this summer. So much fun!
    4. Time to read. One of my top favorite things about summer. I never have time when I'm at college!
    5. Meeting family members you didn't know. I met my mom's cousin today - she was so quirky and fun. I loved her!

  12. Thankfuls...

    1. Music. Elenowen, Yiruma, B. Fraser, and lots of classical music has been on constant repeat in my room.
    2. People like you who have very cool, artsy, inspiring ideas, places, books and music to visit. Your reccomendations never fail me :)
    3.Diet coke, cheesecake, and Starbucks.
    4. My sister. She is one of a kind.
    5. Love. Love stories, poems, sonnects, pictures, books, and living love.
    6. Did I mention Starbucks?
    7. I am the most thankful for a love that never fails me. A love that pursues me, haunts my thoughts, and allows me to be the crazy, unique, inspired me who loves books, traveling, coffee,and sweets a little too much. A love that only my Savior can give.

    As for ice-cream, if you like cookie dough, brownie batter and choclate and vanilla ice-cream, you MUST try Ben&Jerry's Half-Baked. I know it is a little more expensive for a smaller container, but I promise you, it is worth it.I haven't had it in so long, but it still makes my heart do a flip when I think of it. ;)

    Feel better Natalie!

  13. Hi! I'm Annie, a teen girl, and I subscribed for Susie Magazines and in the August issue, I read your article on jealousy. That helped me alot because I struggle with jealousy all the time. Sometimes, it's a good thing, becuz you can tell other people how to over come THEIR jealousy, thus making this world a better place. It also helps to know that I'm not the ONLY one in this world that needs help in that area. Keep writing!

    { psst! I own a blog as well @ }

    Annie {never forget to love}

  14. Natalie, any time you can give me your Avett Brothers recommendations is fine. :) I've only bought "Swept Away," "Will You Return," and "I and Love and You" so far. I then proceeded to buy the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack, because I'm a geek like that. :)


  15. Haylie, I heart creepy-romantic movies! Last year on Valentine's Day I watched The Corpse Bride :) Also, P&P is incredible. Every month or two I get a Pride and Prejudice craving. It's high time I watched it again. Your thankful list was super sweet (I'm intrigued by this coconut creamer...). Let me know what you think of Paperdoll if you get a chance to buy it! (I understand how difficult it is. Cute clothes lure me in way too often ;)

    Maria, I'm so glad you found your way to the blog! Thanks for the kind words you said about my Brio column. How cool that you interned there! And YES Susie Shellenberger is incredible. There are very few people I would describe as unique ... but I've never met anybody with a personality like hers. She's such an awesome lady. I can't wait to check out your blog!

    Emily, I haven't seen that commercial but just reading it in your comments made me laugh :) And fingerpaint! Fingerpaint! What a fun thankful. I hope you had fun babysitting.

    LF, those are seriously sweet thankfuls. I know what you mean about re-reading books. I love reading a book I know I'm going to read again. Sometimes I'm sad I can't experience it again for the first time ... but I always find something new to love. I haven't listened to the guy you mentioned (will check him out pronto!) but I'm a big fan of Sara Groves. She's an incredible songwriter.

    Leigh, you are the reason I found Trish's blog! (I'll comment in detail over on your blog ;) Thank you so much for the kind things you said about Paperdoll! It's also nice to know someone else is into Top Chef. You said exactly what I've been thinking! The chefs are always competitive but this season they're coming off more like jerks than they have in seasons past. I want to like Kenny but his attitude keeps putting me off. I agree Arnold went way too early. Let me know what you think about his restaurant!

    Brittany, this cappucino ice cream ... sounds like heaven in a box :) I'll definitely give that a try! Your thankfuls are so sweet too ... I'm obsessed with stars and sunsets too. I'm so glad you got to meet a new family member! :)

    Steffanie, as if the "diet coke, cheesecake, and starbucks" didn't clue me into the fact that we were destined to be friends ... you mentioned my favorite flavor of Ben&Jerry's. That ice cream is way too delicious. Dangerously delicious. I went to the Ben&Jerry's downtown with my niece, planning to get that flavor ... and they didn't have it in the store! I was so bummed out. I haven't had that in ever! As soon as I can eat crunchy things again ... I'm going to splurge ;)

    Annie, thank you so much for this sweet comment! It's nice to know you can relate on the jealousy issue. And you are so right - sometimes when you've gone through something it gives you a whole new perspective when you're helping other people struggling with the same thing. I'm glad you enjoyed the article (and so glad you found your way here! :)

    Kristin, I heart the HP soundtracks too! I have a few from Half-Blood Prince and a few from Goblet of Fire ... but I think I might download the whole HBP album. I support you in your geekness!

  16. I'm especially thankful right now for the ministry trip I went on last week - I got to work with refugees living near me and do a VBS. <3

    And, for pointe shoes! I love, love LOVE pointe and Gaynor pointe shoes really help me have tons more fun with it :).

    And for you and your incredible blog :).

  17. i agree with you on the bluebell!

  18. You are lovely, and you are a beautiful witness of His love. Your blog is wonderful, your devotions in Susie are uncomfortably relevant (in a way that causes me to want to pray to Him to rid me of my sinfulness!) , and I can't wait to pick up a copy of Paperdoll.


  19. Blessed by good books and Brooklyn today.