60!

Montana, February 2011

Someone super, super special turned the big six-oh today! My beloved, awesome, amazing papai. I got to celebrate in person with him and all the fam this weekend on our vacation in MI. But I wanted to tell the blogosphere what an incredible man is celebrated today! So I came up with a list of sixty things about or memories of my dad which I love. You ready? Here goes…

  1. He’s a godly man
  2. The personalities he made up when we were little
  3. Making my dresses compete to be worn on Sunday morning
  4. Writing Bible studies for us for homeschool
  5. His sense of humor
  6. Speaking Portuguese together
  7. His influence and care of the young men in Brasil
  8. How he’s always taken me seriously
  9. Talking about “Booland” with me when I was little
  10. Getting to see how many lives he’s changed
  11. Taking him to the steak restaurant for his birthday two years ago
  12. Watching the sunset on our last night in Brasil 2007
  13. His wisdom
  14. “Family Devotions” on Sunday nights
  15. Torn-paper art 🙂
  16. He picked out my alligator-skin stilletoes
  17. Our shared love of Simon & Garfunkel and Peter, Paul, & Mary
  18. His commitment to mission
  19. He’s an academic
  20. He’s a huge encouragment to me
  21. He’s always willing to learn
  22. His love for God over us
  23. How he loves to serve and take care
  24. His love for his family
  25. His understanding and acceptance of other people
  26. His hands-down AWESOME preachin’ skillz!
  27. His integrity
  28. That he irons and does laundry
  29. His earnestness in following God’s call, wherever it takes him
  30. Watching him as a grandpa
  31. He’s a cancer survivor
  32. He always knows the right thing to say
  33. He has been a runner as long as I can remember
  34. He knows everything! Seriously… he can talk intelligently on almost every subject
  35. I know I can call him with anything
  36. He is thoughtful
  37. He is a caring husband
  38. He still lets me sit on his lap 🙂
  39. He taught me to love the church
  40. How he used to make “pictures” when he made us lunch when mom was gone
  41. He is a brilliant leader
  42. He’s not embarassed to show emotion
  43. He loves to travel and experience new things
  44. He is good with all ages and types of people
  45. He loves to sing
  46. He’s always encouraged me to do what I love
  47. He is a friend to so many people
  48. He’s happy watching football or reading about history
  49. He is such a good writer
  50. How he picked out my favorite Beanie Baby and was careful to get the cutest face (I was 12)
  51. He does things the right way, even if it’s inconvenient or hard
  52. He can confront tough issues, but does so with grace
  53. He’s pretty good looking and passed that on to me! 😀
  54. He is a good decision-maker
  55. He makes his unconditional love for me clear
  56. He is an amazing listener
  57. He’s shown me what I should look for in my future husband
  58. He’s affectionate, both in word and deed
  59. He is humble
  60. He is so patient!

And there you have it. I challenge anyone who says he or she has the best dad in the world. It’s clear I do!

Te amo demais, meu papai querido! BEIJOS!

xoxo
Alanna

Leavin’ on a jet plane

 ***

Today was a hard day. A day in which I wish I could run away to Narnia. I found out that the job I wanted so very much was a “no.” I was – and am – pretty crushed. I had been trying so hard not to build castles in the air but I could so see myself there. I’ve been encouraged to keep applying and that I will. There are several other positions open and this is an organization for which I really would like to work. To be a part of.

But for now… it’s catching my breath after such a disappointment. Thank the Lord, although I can’t go to Narnia, a long awaited Family Vacation is scheduled for this weekend! My parents, sister and brother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, and my sweet bébé nephew will all be sharing part of a beautiful 1920s inn in a quaint lakeside town in MI. It’s supposed to be delicious Autumn weather all weekend – which will be a delight to me. It’s just been in the past week or so that the 90s have broken to high 70s and 80s here in Memphis. Oooh… I’m excited for sweaters and hot tea, pashminas and that smell of Autumn. I am hoping there is a firepit so maybe one night we can bundle up and snuggle around the fire (hot dogs and s’mores?). I’m excited for family time… do you know I can’t even remember the last time we went on vacation? As a pastor’s family, vacation was hard to come by especially once we started going on mission trips to Brazil. Don’t get me wrong – I would pick Brazil over a vacation every time, but it meant we only had time for smaller trips so dad could be back on a Sunday (and let me tell you… a pastor is one of the busiest persons I know of and he/she really can’t be gone that much during the week either unless there’s an assistant pastor). Plus we were all then going through college… working… get married (well, not me)… moving away. So this is SPECIAL. It’s not a holiday with all the holiday things to accomplish. It’s just time to be together. AND… the half of the inn we’re renting has five bedrooms so guess who doesn’t have to sleep on the couch? 🙂

The inn (I like to call it that although it’s really a rental house now) has wireless so I may post from the beach. Mmm. I just so cannot wait. I’m leaving Friday morning.

xoxo
Alanna

A sick Cam!

Hello, firemen! Hello, my sweet Camry! Ruh-roh! Those two things shouldn’t go together. Cam and I had quite an adventure this morning. And this was after last weekend, when she started steaming and ended up having her radiator replaced by a sweet church friend. I literally have THE BEST friends EVAH.

Roomie M. and I had a lovely morning planned… we headed to Shelby Farms (the largest urban park in the nation, FYI) to run. I do SO love Shelby Farms. It’s so cool to see how many people utilize this awesome park. There are always loads of people there… from all walks of life, in all shapes, sizes, genders, age. There are walkers, bikers, runners, and families strolling along. I didn’t have the greatest run… I was dehydrated and it was pretty humid, so I did walk 1/4 – 1/2 mile when it got really still at one point. I have exercise-induced asthma and, although I take my inhaler before running, I am very affected by the weather when it comes to running. Wednesday I had a lovely 4.5 mile run, never felt sore at all afterwards. This morning I probably didn’t quite make 3 miles before walking. In the heat I just wasn’t breathing in enough oxygen and combined with dehydration I felt light-headed and sick. Okay, sorry! //running nerd//

The adventure with Cam started when we arrived home and I pulled the key out of the ignition. Only problem is… the car didn’t exactly stop. To be precise, she started shaking and the engine made that choking sound like when it has trouble starting. It would disappear as soon as I restarted the engine, and shake and choke when I turned it off. I even opened the hood, although I really couldn’t have done anything since I don’t know the first thing about my car’s engine. I tried once or twice to start the car again. That’s when it happened: white smoke started pouring out of the hood. M. and I pulled our stuff out and stepped to the other side of our SMALL parking lot… it’s really just spaces on either side of the one-way drive through the complex. I called 911 right away, and thank God the smoke started dissipating by the time I’d explained what happened. They sent a firetruck – sirens, lights and all! – and the guys tried to see if they could figure anything out. See above. Again praise the Lord, there is no evidence of a fire and the engine is perfectly in tact.

The friend who replaced my radiator came out to check Cam out. Long story short: she has a problem with the starter (not too shocking as she’s had some trouble starting this summer) and someone at some point ghetto-fixed an important fuse. There’s not even a fuse box (is what the plastic thingy is called?), they just pinched the metal connectors together. So that is overheating and it looks like it heated up the wires to my headlight, which are right beneath, which is what shows signs of heat damage. Also I think the starter could have been smoking, he said, because it couldn’t turn off. BOOOOOOOO!

Did I mention that I make my final car payment next Monday? It’s like that event triggered poor Cam to start falling apart. At least it seems that once I replace the starter and this bad fuse, Cam will still run fine for a while. I was planning to drive her as long as I can and use the money from the car payments to start a fund for my next down payment and also apply it to my student loans. Thanking God that plan still seems feasible!

I am waiting to hear back from I job I want so badly. Like, more than I’ve ever wanted a job before. It seems like a perfect fit and the whole process leading up to it seems so clearly to have the Lord’s hand on it. I had a great interview last Friday. It was tough to end the week yesterday with no word, but I realized on the phone with my parents that perhaps it’s good I don’t have a job to try to get to Monday morning. Now I can take care of my Cam. 🙂

xoxo
Alanna