All morning long there has been a guy outside my apartment building serenading someone, begging for a girl to come down.  I'm starting to think she's not there.  There's no way a girl could resist a guy serenading for this long.  I've heard interesting renditions of "Listen to your Heart," "Be My Baby," "God Blessed the Broken Road," "Hey Baby" and many more that were semi-unintelligible.  He's been going for hours, and shows no signs of stopping.  I don't know what he did, but it must have been pretty bad.  If it doesn't win her heart back, he sure has entertained me. 

p.s.  Been listening to The Postal Service, upon the request of my dear ol' friend Rachel.  I'd heard some of their stuff before, but the album is "luvin' for my ears!"  Thank you!


Train Song

This is part of a song that I wrote on the train on the way to NYC last year.  I came across it and thought it was pretty funny...

i hear burping and bubbling from behind
they gurgle and snort all the time

the people lost their train
they found the one we're on
they've been riding for hours,
just trying to get to orlando

i don't wanna get old like them
i don't like phlem
i don't wanna make noises like theirs
i don't want long yucky nose hairs

*Hopefully, more songs to come.  I've written a few.  I just have to get brave enough to post them.  I thought it would be easy to start with something light-hearted.



     The first exam of the semester is upon me, and here I am on Xanga.  I think I ought to block this and the facebook for myself.  I'd probably be more productive.  Then again, I might find some other way to procrastinate.  It would only be treating the symptoms, not the disease. 
    This was a fun weekend.  On Saturday, Ash and I went and bought my wedding dress.  It wasn't as fun as the day I picked it out, but I'm glad to know it's mine!  After the football tailgate, I went to the BASIC house and Kyle and I fell asleep on the couches when we sat down to watch The Two Towers.  Saturday night, we all went over to Mike's for a par-tay.  Okay, it wasn't much of a "party," but we did play Scene It and watched The Time Machine (kinda lame). 
    Wonderful day today.  Church was great, and then my grandparents came over for the afternoon.  We have an annual tradition of going to Curtis Orchard and Prairie Gardens.  Every year, they get me some pretty decoration for autumn, and some apple goodies.  Today I got a Yankee candle, a pretty basket full of pumpkins and gords, some slightly- used Halloween decs from Gram's house that she wasn't using, and of course some tasty Honey Crisp apples.  It looks so cozy in our apartment now.  You can check out the pictures here.
    To top it all off, I spent the whole evening with JUST KYLE!  It was so great to have time alone that lasted longer than an hour.  Quality time has been tough to come by this semester.  It was rather drury outside, but inside it was warm and snuggly.  The perfect night for sweats, a movie, and some chicken soup.  Is married life going to be that great every night?!  Probably not.  But I think those nights will be more often and less far between! 
Did you do anything great this weekend?


Childhood and Money

Can you think back to the first time you understood that some people had more money than others?  I remember.  I really wanted one of those Barbie convertibles to drive when I was about 5.  I wanted one sooo badly.  My friend, Kristin Meredith, had one that we used to drive around when I played at her house.  My mom told me that Kristin's parents had money to buy it and we didn't. 
    The next time after that was when I went over to a friend's house to play after school and she basically lived in a mansion (not uncommon for Sherman/Williamsville kids).  I was probably only 7 or 8, but that's the first time I ever remember being embarrassed about my home and my possessions.  When her parents took me home that evening, I remember thinking that I didn't even want them to see our house. 
    Up until then, I was particularly proud of that house.  It was the first house my mom, Bob, and I moved in to as a family.  Before that, we lived in an apartment.  It was, somewhat ironically, the house that my grandmother grew up in.  My great grandfather built it with his own hands.  My grandmother's prints were cemented on the back patio from when she was a little girl. Mom and Bob worked hard to buy that house.  It had a pool, a big back yard, and was just two houses down from my best friend, Erin.  I loved it, until I saw that someone else had more. 
    Interesting that no one had to teach me how to covet or be jealous.  I so quickly forgot how much I had.  After a few years, my family bought a nicer home.  I suppose my parents wanted more too.  So that's what we got.  A newer, bigger house with a bigger pool in a nicer neighborhood.  We moved many times growing up, each time advancing in quality. 
    When I look back on the many places we lived, my happiest memories come from those of 121 E. Lester Street in Williamsville.  Playing "witches" with my best buddy, Erin, swimming in my pool, playing dress-up in my mom's old clothes, heels, and jewelry, performing for my dolls in the basement, having Miss America pageants with my Barbie dolls and making Bob judge, watching re-runs of Gilligan's Island... the list goes on and on... It was before I knew there were mansions, before I knew about motorized Barbie cars, before I thought possessions would make me happy. 
(Actually, I probably thought that well before then.  Little kids often say "gimme!"  I guess that's just my first memory of it.)
    These thoughts stay with me today.  My name is Chelsea, and I am a shopoholic.  Tonight, I made on giant step in the way of recovery, I cut up my credit card.  It was freeing.  I actually had two, but the other is just a $300 limit, emergency-only card I never use.  The one I cut up is a big one (a $7000 limit) that I've given in to using waaaayyy too much.  Don't worry, I didn't max it out!  It's funny how things add up so fast and then you look at the bill and realize, "How did I spend all that money?"  No more charging.  No more shopping.  I have enough to clothe Foellinger auditorium!   I better get cracking on MK!  Praise God for bringing conviction.


Hump Day Love

I actually really like hump day.  My MWF classes are pretty cool.  On hump day, I get to meet with Joanna at noon, and Jim at 1:30.  My afternoons are pretty free after that, which means either productivity or nap time, which ever is more neccessary!  I'm looking forward to today, though I am beginning to feel a bit worn.   The work load is getting pretty thick for all of us. 
    Kyle told me once that in distances races, the middle is the hardest part.  We are now in that middle part of the race.  The part where you can't look back, but the finish line seems so far away.  The part where we want to quit the most.  I found this encouraging this morning-
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne. -Hebrews 12:1-2
    I am so thankful that I have Jesus to keep my eyes on, to give me endurance, to bear witness to others, to give God all the glory.


Thoughts on my career

Just under eleven months now on the wedding countdown.  It seems a little crazy.  You all may have to tolerate me talking about it for a while.  People tend to talk about what's important in their lives, and nothing (other than God Himself) is more important to me right now than preparing for our marriage. 
    The wedding will be fun, the honeymoon will be more fun, but nothing compares to the sense of joy and excitement I have just to be in the presence and care of my groom!  As Kyle and I pray and prepare for our marriage, I have been so amazed in the growth God is working in both of us.  I'm not sure what it looks like on the outside, but between Kyle and me, there have been some awesome developments.  My favorite is seeing how God is growing Kyle into a better spiritual leader every day.  I see more wisdom and knowledge in him.  I see him taking on responsibilities, and handling them quite well.  I feel both of us handling conflict and frustration in a more mature, patient, and rational manner.  I feel myself learning how to be led.  I notice myself wanting to turn to him more for guidance and help. 
    Every day I feel a greater sense of the "calling" God has given me.  I feel this nurturing, devoted, protective, maternal sense rising.  I believe that the calling God has put on my life is to be a wife and a mother.  I think sometimes women try to fit those things into their schedules, rather than making them priorities.  After school, I plan on staying home with our (future) children and working the Mary Kay business.  Kevin asked me earlier why I wanted to go to college if these were my plans.  I've had to answer that a lot.  Usually, I explain that a college education is freedom in that I might never be stuck or helpless.  I will always have that to fall back on. Though last night I was plagued in really answering and getting to the heart of that question I have heard so many times.  Permit me, if you will, to have a little tangent here...  I want to address a few ideas.  The first is the priorities of women (even many Christian women), the second isn't quite as clear to me at this hour of the morning, but (I think) discusses stay-at-home moms and college educations.
    God comes first, and Kyle second.  Not my friends (sorry people, not that any of you are shocked by this statement!), not Mary Kay, and not school (haha).  Everything I will do in my life will be for the glory of God and the benefit of Kyle.  He will have no lack of anything good (Prov. 31:11)  Our household will be before all else.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to say that all women should quit their jobs and all their activities, and all be stay-at-home moms.  I just think there are major issues in marriages when a woman puts her own agenda before the needs of her husband.  We as women must say no to business that takes time away or causes us to neglect the affairs of our household. 
    Proverbs 31:10-31 is something I look to daily for wisdom and growth.  It is a TALL order for all women.  That woman is amazing!  One of the things I have drawn most from it recently is that she sees that everything in her house is in order so that her husband and her family can take their respected places in the community.  She is not worried about her own status (though she is well respected for her hard work and dignity).  I doubt you'd ever hear her say to her husband, "You're not meeting my needs."  She makes it her constant business to bring him good. 
    There are certainly women who do indeed need to find new jobs and quit at least some of their activities.  (It is my opinion that if they feel the need to be involved in everything, they might be trying to make up for something missing at home.)  I've prayed for God to change me and mold me that I might not put anything before my (future) household.  I am seeing fruit from the Lord.  I am beginning to find joy in things the world calls mundane and old-fashioned.  It contradicts the world's opinions that I might be college educated and still find great in joy running the vacuum sweeper or cooking dinner (especially when it's for Kyle). 
    The world, including most of my family, feels that I am crazy because of this.  Why bother getting an education when my greatest calling is to motherhood?  An educated woman ought not to love housework;  a wife who is submissive cannot possibly have a career.  That is their idea, but not God's.  I think my education will benefit my household in innumerable ways.  First of all, the process of attaining an education is one that requires hard work and self-discipline.  There are trying experiences in which we gain and learn perseverance, responsibility, and many other priceless experiences.  The second is that my degree will be in communication.  Most anyone will tell you that healthy communication is key to any relationship.  I will have a whole degree focused on how to communicate better with everyone around me!  I find it an incredible blessing that God would choose that for me.  If that isn't a major that will benefit my family, I don't know what is. 
    However, I will find my greatest sense of fulfillment in submitting myself to Kyle in marriage.  Why is this idea of submission so stifling to many?  In Christ, we submit our will.  That is an accepted idea.   For those who are in Christ, each of us has been given a calling.  I have been given the calling of marriage.  My highest sense of fulfillment will be found in obedience to that calling. 
    Many of you know that Elisabeth Elliot (wife of the late Jim Elliot) is my favorite author.  My favorite quote of hers in her book Let Me Be a Woman is, "We are called to be women.  The fact that I am woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am Christian does make me a different kind of woman.  For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am, and all that He wants me to be."  What does God want me to be?  Like that selfless Proverbs 31 woman?  Certainly, but mostly like His Son in that I would die to my desires and do all things for His glory and live with the *full acceptance* and knowledge of Christ  (1 Tim 1:15). 
    Well, that's my little tangent that went way deeper than I expected, but also included so much of what's in my heart right now.  I am anxious and excited to discuss these ideas!  Feedback would be good... or maybe an AMEN! (Joanna?  Anyone?)  I welcome correction and further teaching a



The last two nights I do not know what's wrong with me.  I cannot go to sleep.   I lay there and toss and turn and begin to think of things I need to do and things that would make good xanga stories.  Weird.  Here's a little one-
Waxing.  Who in the world came up with this ridiculous idea?  Really.  I'd like to know what ever made someone think that pouring hot wax on yourself and then RIPPING it off would be a great idea.  Sure, it works.  In fact, it's rather efficient.  But COME ON!  It's CRAZY!  As you can probably guess, I just waxed my eyebrows.  The end result is a much smoother, softer look than simply plucking.  However, it is messy and oh, so painful.  I wouldn't even want to think about what waxing your legs would be like. 
Kyle and I had a good night.  We watched the first five episodes of the show "The 4400."  I recommend it to fans of Lost and ALIAS.   It's similar, but not as high-class.  That's what you get for a show on USA.  Oh well, still very entertaining and lots of questions raised. 
Tailgating in the morning!  (Ugh, that's not so far away!)  I really ought to sleep.  Nighty night... or perhaps morny morn...


Wedding Dress Found!

"You and me are floating on a tidal wave
 You and me are drifting into outer space
 And singing oooh, oooh..."

I found my wedding dress today!  It's so gorgeous!  It's very antique-looking.  There's something about it that is soft and romantic.  I want to wear it every day.  A little more expensive than I was hoping for, but you get what you pay for.  It's called "Ophelia" by Maggie Sottero.  Why do girls get so excited about wedding dresses?  I don't know!  Anyway, I'm bubbling with joy because of it.  I can't wait for you all to see it in person.  It will be beautiful.  338 days!


Lessons from Naveen

Something else Naveen made me think about last night was "loving that person you know is going to hurt you."  That's an interesting concept.  I think almost everyone could say that there's someone in their life who has hurt them time and again, and will continue to do so, yet we are obligated to them for a reason other than because God told us to love them.  In my case, it's family.  I have a couple family members who have hurt me a lot.  I've always said that I'll keep on trying to love them because they are family.  However, to think of it in the light that Naveen presented, to love them when they don't deserve it because of God's love for us when we don't deserve it, that's freeing.  One of our many freedoms in Christ is forgiveness and healing.  We receive that all the time from God, yet we're not always good at dishing it out.
Why is it so easy to dish out the bad things- sarcasm, bad jokes, crudeness, teasing, criticism, resentfulness, irritability, boasting- and so hard to dish out the good- praise, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, gentleness, patience, humility, generosity?
Do you have people in your life who you feel like you embody all the bad?  I know I do.  I struggle with these people almost daily.  As soon as wounds begin to heal, they are thrashed open again.  But by Christ's wounds, I will always be healed.  There are times when I embody all the bad too, and I expect forgiveness from others.  However, I have problems forgiving when others do the same to me.  Because of Christ's love for me though I do not deserve it, I will continue to press on and love these people. 


Weirdest dreams last night.  The first thing I remembered when I woke up was that I shot someone.  It was in self-defense, but it's still pretty crazy to remember it so vividly.  They were attacking someone I know in a plot to take out the people of BASIC (not kidding) and I came along pointed my gun at him and told him that if he didn't stop, I would shoot.  Then he started coming at me.  He tried to turn the gun around on me, but I remembered to SING (thanks, Miss Congeniality!) Even though he was at point blank range, I missed the first time.  I wasn't trying to kill him, so I aimed at his arm.  The second time, I got him in the armpit.  Right after I shot him, he turned into Teddy!  (That's Dave & Ashley's puppy for those of you who don't know!)  So then I was scrambling running in the house of where we were to get the phone book to find an emergency vet hospital.  When I got the phone book, I somehow forgot how to read!  Poor puppy...
I remembered a little more about what happened earlier in the dream.  The basic crew had been on the run (from whom I do not know).  I think that we were in another country on a mission trip.   It almost felt like we were in Romania, but there were Asian people everywhere.  We were staying in a castle, and some of our group was kidnapped.  The three of us girls who were left had to go rescue them.  We got to the other castle where they had been taken, got them out, but were chased down by guards.  I was hiding as I watched all the other people in my group get beat down by them.  As it turned out, though, they weren't real guards, but people trying to help us escape. 
We got back to our castle, packed up and headed back to the city.  Then somehow we ended up at that house where I shot the guy.  I had heard our attackers plotting, and was able to thwart their plans.  Somehow, I saw a vision of what they were going to do.  That's about all I remember.
In another dream, my parents were married again and we were hiding in our basement from possessed cows.  That's right.  Cows.
On a side note, I was sick, but I'm feeling a little better today.  Kyle took care of me, and it was sweet.  Lynn (one of my roomies) is sick and I got to take care of her today.  I like taking care of people.   I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's a spiritual gift.  Maybe I should have been a nurse, or maybe I'll just be a really great mom!
Going to Michigan this weekend for my cousin's wedding.  Not looking forward to paying for the gas!  It'll be a fun weekend, though.  Be back Sunday night! 

p.s. Mary Kay, Inc. made a 1 million dollar donation to hurricane Katrina relief.  I'm so proud to be part of this company.