29 September 2010

our favorite things

That last complainy post was just me keeping it real, I guess. I mean, I know I have such a fabulous life that I should never have stress or reason to complain. Living in such a wonderful place in a wonderful city, having my own piano and the time to use it, not having to go to work right now, having a patient husband who loves me and lets me take care of him, having family and childhood friends living nearby.

And suddenly perfect weather, which I celebrated last night with my first yoga bikeride, and also riding my bike all the way to my freind Ellen's house without being afraid about sharing the road with cars!

Anyway, since we are finally pretty settled here, I thought I'd do a post about our favorite things here in Austin. And the best part is, we can walk to most of them and bike to all of them!

The food trailers. They're all over town and there are cupcake trailers, snowcone trailers, sushi, barbeque, and mostly taco trailers.Tacos are my favorite but Hey Cupcake makes me happy too.

Then there's Stubbs, right next to our apartment:

where you can get barbeque...

or go to a concert in their backyard.

6th street isn't far away either. It gets pretty crazy at night. Here's what it looks like on a typical Friday or Saturday:

Woodrows is our favorite spot in 6th street. It's on the calmer end, where fewer college kids go. We walk there every Thursday night, and there's always a wonderful taco trailer parked right next to it.

Here is where we go late at night for great people-watching. Notice the glowy orange candles.

Here's Barton Springs. It's fresh, cold water, even in triple digit summers!

This is also one of our favorite walking places.

We love that Austin has so many lakes around it, with hike and bike trails.

And we also love that we live in the hill country now, and when you leave town, you see the blue hills far, far away on every side.

We just love living here.

Thanks to everyone who unwittingly contributed pictures though google images. This technologically incompetent person really appreciates it.

28 September 2010

Sorry about all the sunshine

An unmotivated day today. I would not allow myself to go out to the storage unit to look for my fall clothes, because I was supposed to practice. But I hardly did at all, so I should have gone.

Wanted to go outside and take a walk, but wouldn't let myself because I was supposed to practice, which didn't happen because I was dreaming of doing other things. None of which I did because I was supposed to practice.

I am going to try this thing called a yoga bike ride tonight with my dear freind Ellen. It's where you meet at a certain spot downtown and ride bikes for a while and stop at the park and do yoga. The yoga instructor leads it. I'm a little nervous about the ride because my bike doesn't have gears and Austin has some pretty big hills. The worst that could happen is I'd have to get off and walk up a hill, so it's not that bad. And I'm excited about the yoga part. This will be the only thing I have accopmlished today.

I think it wears me out to be away from my Love so much. In the last three weeks or so we have probably seen eachother for about 4 hours total. He has been traveling and working late nights, a couple Saturdays and even a Sunday! He likes his job, and is so sweet to time to be with me as much as he can, even in crunch time. I'll just be happy when this particular crunch time is over.

Oh, and the shooting at UT today just sort of made me sad. I was glad that the guy did not hurt anyone else though.

17 September 2010

Life's a fairytale

To me, the essence of a fairytale has something to do with the unseen and the unexpected, the way it ends. It always has to do with truth, love and beauty, and with evil and ugliness going away.

I've been thinking about how life is really the ultimate, true fairytale. Not because I'm young, and nothing bad has ever happened to me yet, but because I know a God for whom truth and beauty are the rule and death is not the end, and love conquers all.

14 September 2010

mars hill

How has 20th-century science fiction encouraged the rise of new religious ideas? What motivates so many people to seek celebrity status, and what sorts of institutions enable their quest? How do modern assumptions about freedom differ from those held in pagan antiquity and by premodern Christians? How did the 1960s counter-culture mutate into the 1980s cyber-culture? How do educational technologies affect our assumptions about what education means? How might concern for redemption survive in some films that seem relentlessly dark? Why is sociobiology a bad place to look for convictions to sustain political life?

I took these questions from a little pamphlet that came with my subscription to Mars Hill Audio Journal, given to me for my birthday by my brother, Stephen, who himself is a longtime subscriber and from time to time has shared issues with me over the years. Those questions above are listed in their brochure as examples of "the sorts of issues that deserve thoughtful consideration by Christians who are eager to understand the shape of contemporary culture."

I have always felt driven to be a student of cultures, histories and languages, at times without quite knowing why. This wonderful journal brings up answers, opinions and questions that have never occurred to me, as well as reminding me why I search. It follows everything from literature, art and music to technology and philosophy- one of the best birthday presents ever!

Hear a free sample here. :)

10 September 2010

a new thought for fall

I've been thinking that I should just calm down and have a nice Fall. A Fall with my practicing, my yoga video, my cooking, my reading list, my learning German, and my Love having a happy job. When else might I ever have a Fall like this? Stop stressing, stop putting things off and stop being scared about graduate school. And stop hiding from the next step.

07 September 2010

I'm 71% neurotic?

In my Bible this morning, I found a note card with the results of a personality test scribbled across it, Steves results on one side, mine on the other. I don't know how long ago we took it (I found it in Daniel 6), or even what test it was, but looking at it made me laugh at how different we are.

It rated certain salient qualities, and here's how we came out:

Openness: Steve, 76% Me, 90% (I do just like to get everything out there.)

Conscientiousness: Steve, 89% Me, 10% (I guess I don't really care, y'all.)

Extraversion: Steve, 4% Me, 91% (not surprising)

Agreeableness: Steve, 87% Me, 44% (not surprising either. It seems that being right is often much higher on my list that being agreeable. I'm working on that.)

Neurotic: (what does that even mean?) Steve, 43% Me, 71%

So thank you for that assessment, now anonymous personality test. You can clearly see who is the kind, quiet person, and who is the loud, careless, neurotic one. And since the parenthetical comments are only about the author, it would be fun to see what Steve would say in his parenthetical comments, if he had a blog and made a post like this.

In other news, we had a really awesome time together all Labor Day weekend! :)

03 September 2010

book review by a stubborn girl

Steve and I are starting a new year in Bible Study Fellowship, studying one of my favorite books ever, Isaiah. The closer it gets the more excited I am. We have not done a structured Bible study together since the one where we met!

I was thinking this morning on why I've loved Isaiah so much ever since I first read it. Its main themes match the over-arching themes of the Bible: the rebellion of Gods people and His anger, judgement and mercy towards them. Being a thoroughly stubborn person myself, I really identify with Isreal when God calls them "an obstinate people" and says that their neck is made of iron and their forehead of brass. This is an accurate picture of how I am naturally, without God's grace.

Knowing the awful kind of person that I am without Jesus makes me so passionate and excited about these parts of Scripture--the parts about God's mercy on a stubborn people. It's just too awesome that God allows me to see the other side--the part that He plays when His people rebel. Part of it is awful judgement, but the other is the mercy.

Psalm 107 is a little like a condensed version of Isaiah. I ran across that it when I was 15 or so, and it struck me then, and still does now, because it lays out four awful people and their situations and shows what God does to change them. It makes me so happy because each one of the rebellious people described is me. They are what I look like without God, confused and in sad circumstances, brought on by rebellion. And each one is rescued in a different way by God's mercy. They have ashes and He makes beauty out of them!

And knowing that He is my God, too, and does for me what He did for them, and gives me beauty for my ashes, is the most amazing thing in my life and it is what I try to live under. It is easy for me to forget, by being caught up in the moments of living and stress, but the ultimate fact of my life is Gods mercy. I can never stop being so touched and so excited by it.