Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow Days. (for some)

(The view from my window at work.)

I don't know if you know this... but we've been getting a lot of snow. Two weeks ago I was talking to a friend at church and I said, "I'm just so ready for spring." And his response was, "Yeah, but I would like one more really good, get stuck at home, snow day." I don't know if he had already seen the weather forecast or if he's a prophet, because that's exactly what we've been getting.

Last Thursday morning it started, and just wouldn't stop. Everyone declared snow days, and offices closed, and highways closed, and hospitals closed... but not JPMorgan. We've gotta help our people with their 401(k)s. (I hope you sense my sarcasm.) So we stayed open. And just so they could make sure we would show up to work instead of call in, they paid for us all to stay in a hotel for two nights - all of our meals and expenses paid. The weekend came, the weather got better, and we all thought we were in the clear. And then it happened again yesterday. The snow is back.

So here I am. Just hanging out at the Overland Park Sheraton. Doing my thing. This is my 4th night here in the last week. Craziness... Did I mention I'm ready for spring?

While I am ready for it to be gone, you can't deny the beauty of this snow... Here are a few pictures I've taken over the last couple of days.

 (The drive from Kansas City to Wichita.)

(The walk in to work.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Will Wait.

Confession: I was kind of a hipster when it came to Mumford & Sons. I was late getting on the Mumford & Sons bandwagon, so I decided to just not join it at all because everyone liked them, so I was too cool for them. The truth is... I really like their music. I saw them perform "I Will Wait" on the Grammy's last week and really liked it. And then their album won Album of the Year so I decided to give it a shot. And I'm now officially a fan.

Let me give you a little backstory...

I recently ended a relationship with a guy I really liked because he didn't love Jesus. Loving Jesus is number one on the list, and I thought this guy was going to get there, but things became apparent that he wasn't... so I had to end it. I was angry. Angry at myself for letting it get that far. Angry at God for bringing this guy into my life (when really it was my fault for letting him in my life in the first place.) Angry at God for not providing me a guy who loves Him. Angry at God for his timing... the list goes on. I was angry.

And then I heard their song "I Will Wait." I will wait. Wait: "to stay in place with expectation of." This is what I want and need to be doing. Sure, I need to "wait on the perfect man for me to come along." But more importantly, I need to wait on God. I need to wait for His plan... His timing. I just need to relax and wait. These lyrics are pretty stinkin' powerful and they brought me to this place where I'm trying to be content in the waiting. We are all waiting on something. A job, a baby, a husband, a grandchild, a house... This is a song that brings you comfort and strength in the waiting. At least it did for me... Who would have thought such a gem could be found on popular radio... Not I.

I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons

And I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of darkness
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
You forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

But I will wait, I will wait for you

So I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
That tethered mind free form the lies

But I'll kneel down
Wait for now
I'll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

Cause I will wait, I will wait for you

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Passions: Revisited.

(Couldn't think of a good picture, so I thought I'd post one of a sunrise on the way to work a few weeks ago.)

I just got out of a meeting at work and for some reason I left in a funk. I thought, "What am I doing here? Why am I working in retirement? Do I even make a difference in the world?" It was right before my lunch so I thought, "I'll look at blogs, they'll cheer me up." That didn't do it... They all have Valentine's Day themed recipes on ways to treat your significant other. Not helpful. So, I decided to read old posts of my own blog. Strange, I know... But I came across a post below that I wrote on October 7, 2010, and it kind of snapped me out of my funk. Way to go, 22-year-old Abby! You were wise beyond your years...

The post was entitled: Passions.

I feel like the word "passion" has come up in a lot of the conversations I've had lately... but it's been in the negative. When referring to my new job at JP Morgan, many times I've said the lame statement of: "Well, it'll be a good job, but what can I say, I'm just not passionate about 401ks." I was just reading a friend's blog and she answered the question, "What are you passionate about?" and upon reading that I was completely convicted that I've been focusing on the negative rather than the positive. What am I passionate about? What gets me excited and motivated and high on life?

After much contemplation (ok, not that much, maybe 15 minutes), here is my list of things I am passionate about:

1. Encouragement. I think everyone deserves to hear the nice things we sometimes think in our heads but for some reason are too embarrassed to say out loud. If you like a person's sweater or think someone did a great job at work, why not tell them about it. I love to give compliments and I love to write thank you cards. I'm passionate about encouraging people.

2. Friendships. Solid friendships are pretty huge to me. Tonight I went for a drink with a friend and asked her how she was doing and she didn't waste any time with the lame, "I've been good, how are you?" She went straight into how her heart really is. I loved it! I love how real our friendship is. I'm passionate about friendships. Not only my own but that we all need them.

3. Music. I suppose this is a little more shallow than the things above, but I'm passionate about music. I'm passionate about singing and communicating a message through notes and words. And I'm passionate about instrumentals and communicating emotion through a major or minor key. I love it all...

4. Creativity. I'm passionate about thinking outside of the box. About creating beautiful things out of not so beautiful things. I kind of feel like creativity is a form of redemption, artistically improving a situation. I know... I just made that way deeper than it probably is, but why not...

5. Christianity. This is what I build my life around... or try to. (I fail, again and again....) It's where all of my passion begins.

The kicker is that while, no, I'm not passionate about 401ks, I can still incorporate all of the things I am passionate about in my new job (ok, well, maybe not music, but I will do that on the side...) It's these things that I will be focusing on... The end. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Are you as sick of seeing "Week 29" and a picture of the Plaza lights as I am? It's time, my friends. It's time for me to be for real about blogging more. My mom asked me the other night, "So, are you officially done blogging?" Nope, Momma, I'm not. I'm back. And hopefully for good.

Things got busy. I started dating a boy. The holidays hit. The holidays ended. The winter blues kicked in. My busy schedule started back up. I decided to stop dating said boy. I cried for a few weeks about it. And now I'm back. And I'm happy to be here...

So, what do I have in store for you on this momentous occasion of blogging? I thought I'd hit you with some things that I've been loving lately. Things that if I was blogging consistently they would have had a whole post dedicated to them. Things that I'd like to tell you about right now.

Almond Poppyseed Bread. I made this last week and it may be one of the best things that's graced food blogs in quite some time.

New Girl. I love this show. The humor is a bit inappropriate at times, but if you can look passed that, I'd highly recommend it.

Philip Phillips. I have liked the song "Home" by this guy for a while. But a friend told me last week that this album was worth having and I couldn't agree more. The song "Gone, Gone, Gone" is currently my favorite.

Jawbone JamBox. I splurged on this little guy and it's maybe one of my favorite purchases ever. It's my constant companion when I'm in my kitchen baking. Me. My JamBox. Quality Tunes. Butter. Sugar. Eggs. Flour... Perfection. (I'm sure it's good for other things, too: dance parties, game nights, pool parties, any kind of party really...)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. My favorite Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars made into an easier, cookier form. They were quite the hit at my church potluck today.

Meatball Bubble Biscuits. Funny name but a really easy and delicious meal if you are looking for something easy and delicious. 

Ha, music, food, and TV... There are other things that I'm loving lately but I'll post about them some other day. I've missed you, blog. Hopefully you've missed me too...