Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reflections from the Calvary Chapel Philly Conference

I'm going to share my reflections from the Calvary Chapel women's conference in Philadelphia this past weekend. I don't normally do this, but I'm feeling challenged to do so and a few people have asked so here goes...

First of all, I just want to say that this church was huge! There were about 2,000 women there for the weekend. And it's not even as big as some of the other Calvary Chapels are. They have a school, a huge parking lot with parking attendants (speaking of parking attendants I'm a firm believer that the Trader Joe's in my area needs some of these to keep things civil), and baseball fields. When we arrived on the second day everyone was waiting in line for the doors to open - check out this line in the picture to the right! Everyone was peaceful and it was awesome to see so many people there for a conference on the gospel, this wasn't a line for a 1999 N*Sync concert or something :) (haha).

The theme for the conference was "The Glorious Gospel of Christ" centered around 2 Corinthians 4:4-18. 

In the first session by Pastor Raul Ries, we learned it's not just how we share the gospel with our words, but it's how we LIVE it. He showed us that the Glorious Gospel of Christ will set us apart (Romans 1:1), will open doors (2 Corinthians 2:12), and will reach all the ends of the world (Matthew 24:14).  His wife then spoke the following morning and one thing that stood out to me was her point that we have to focus on preaching Christ, not ourselves. The son of man came to serve (Matthew 20:27-28). And to preach is to serve, not to elevate ourselves. Similarly, the third speaker, Karyn Johnson highlighted 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." So from the first session we learned that it is how we LIVE the gospel, but then this is qualified that it isn't focused on ourselves. So this means that we need to be setting an example for others about the truth of the gospel while also making sure that the focus isn't on us, but instead the work that God is doing in us. Great, super easy right?!

Of course it's not easy! No one is perfect at this, and God doesn't expect us to be. What a relief. 

Setting an example is something we've learned from our earliest days from our parents (hopefully :)), especially those of us who have younger siblings. People are always observing our lives, especially with social media now. Acting as an example while we put some of the most minute details of our lives on the internet can be a challenge! I think what makes this most difficult is that we never know where others are at in their lives truly. Someone may be really struggling with their job and or finances, drinking, or struggling in their marriage and a photo of us or a physical example of us drinking, posting a complaint about a co-worker or our job or making a joke about how "awful" our spouse is for something silly could change the entire focus of their day or challenge how they are feeling. We never want to be stumbling blocks to others and everything we do as examples could influence how non-believers and believers alike think about Christ. What a difficult, but great challenge. I remember thinking to myself regarding various examples and things that were posted on Facebook and that I saw in real life: "Oh! She's a believer so that must mean it's ok for me to do X or say Y" and relying on the examples of fellow believers instead of the Word.  Obviously that isn't a great practice, but for newer believers, that may be the case and it's important for us to realize. I'm also not attempting to make rules or laws for us to follow, I'm just showing examples from my personal life of how lives of other believers have influenced my idea about the Word of God. 

Several of the speakers light heartedly joked about social media and blogging, but that particularly stood out to me as I obviously am writing a blog post right now and I spend countless hours trying to pick out beautiful colors for it :). They stated that obviously these tools can be used for good, but they can also quickly turn into a "self-focused" platform. One of the speakers made a joke that we'll post a bible verse, then we'll post a selfie, then we'll post a bible verse and then we'll post a selfie. Everyone laughed, but it made me think. It's an illustration of how easy it is for some of us to quickly snap a photo of what we're looking like that day but we might not as quickly be comfortable to drop a line about how we are feeling spiritually each day when our spiritual self is SO much more important than our new hair-do (is that just a term from the 50s? I'm laughing now re-reading this before I post it) or glasses!

The speaker also told us that when our eyes are not on the treasure, they'll fall on the vessel. How true that is! I'll often talk about some of my favorite bloggers and when I explain why I like them, some of the first things out of my mind are - they are so artistic, I love her style, she posts the cutest outfits on instagram, or the blog is beautifully designed and I'll just leave everything about their Christ-centered message out.

And my favorite - one of the last sessions was Adie Camp. She talked about in order to fully understand the cross we must die to our selves daily. This literally means to give up our lives to allow Christ to reside in us. 

Adie talked about God's perfect plan and that through suffering and hard times we have a great opportunity to depend fully on the Lord. He doesn't create these bad things that happen in our world, but he does allow things to happen that he knows we can handle or be perfected through.  She mentioned the emphasis of our society to always focus on being happy and not letting things bother us, to move on, to distract ourselves from our burdens. But, she also mentioned that one can be in a time of sorrow and unhappiness but still find joy in the Lord. 

God allowing suffering is a tough thing to think about and something that many of my friends who aren't believers ask me about. For me, the foundation of my faith is that I believe in the absolute perfection of God's plan for the world and I also believe that I will never fully understand it because we just aren't able to while we are on Earth. If we understood every detail of his plan and how it works - we'd be equal with God.  As I grow in faith I find that He's revealed more and more and I've come to a fuller and better understanding that can't be easily explained. It's a gift that comes with time! Taking that into account, there are some things that I know I won't be able to figure out, but when it comes to the bad things that happen here - what if they didn't? What if the world was perfect, no evil. Would we even need God? Would we willingly choose to enter into a relationship if we can already have perfection here on Earth? He doesn't force us to believe or enter into a relationship with him, he wants us to choose that. 

In Adie's talk she talked about the importance of really understanding the cross of Christ referencing Phillipians 3:10 "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." Suffering allows us to really know Him and become like him, and while the world may say this is a burden - is it really? 

I think the Lord's heart breaks for the terrible things that happen to His people, but Romans 8:28 tells us "and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." In Genesis 50:20 an example "as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." 

For me, being away from home and all of my family and friends can be really tough, but in this time when I haven't had that support system to rely on I'm closer to the Lord and I'd move out here and be "lonely" all over again for that. Now some of you may be saying "my burden is worse - that's not an extreme example of suffering", but in this point in my life I trust that the Lord knows I can handle this and knows what you can handle and he's using this period of being alone to perfect me. I am so comforted in the fact that I'll only be dealt what He knows I can handle. 

Remembering what was said before about using suffering to become more Christ like and dying to our selves, Adie gave awesome examples of what this could look like in someone's everyday life. She talked about those who were struggling in their marriage, instead of fighting based on what their emotions or feelings told them to do, choosing to give up their personal desire to defend themselves.  She also talked about those who are burdened with something as simple as their page-long list of monotonous household chores, to essentially not allow these things to frustrate us but instead give them to the Lord and tell Him your heart, because he already knows it and we don't have to hide it. And after we've been honest, we need to give these things up, die to our selves and pick up the cross that God has asked us to carry. Whatever our cross is, in carrying it and dying to our selves we allow Christ to live through us. Galations 5:24 says "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." 

Last but certainly not least, imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini's wife Naghmeh was the last speaker. Naghmeh was such a perfect example of a real life person who was living her life as an example to others, dying to her self and allowing the Lord to work through her in unbelievable ways. It was so abundantly clear that the Lord was using her. I've been following Saeed's situation for a long time now and was excited to see her. Naghmeh talked about the overwhelming peace she has received from the Lord and the amazing chances she's had to share the gospel with the UN, over 50 million Iranians via television and other world leaders she never dreamed she would meet. Every time she speaks about her husband's situation she emphasizes the peace she has and explains that this peace would not be possible without the Lord. She also explained how she does not like public speaking and she does not like flying - but through this experience she has had to die to her self almost every day and allow the Lord to use her. She is an amazing individual and her strength in the Lord is so awesome to see in person. If you haven't heard about her husband read the link above, pray, and follow along! His suffering has allowed millions to hear the gospel. He also released an Easter message about the same verses Naghmeh spoke about at our conference. You can find the letter here. 

Almost the end, I have to include something about the music! The Scott Cunningham Band from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa performed throughout the weekend, this was my favorite. I LOVE that song and their music, check it out if you don't know them!

Ok obviously that's a ton of information. On top of that we had the strangest hotel experience ever where we saw someone in a full glitter body suit, our room was a mess like someone else was already living there and we found a champagne bottle topper on the floor and then when housekeeping came to change the sheets they instead just sprayed our sheets with lysol to make it "all better." (Since then we've been refunded in full for the room without me asking for that so that was good!) I also was terrible at giving directions on the "turnpike" or whatever the crazy 12 lane road right outside of Philly is called, and we also got ourselves some true Philly cheesesteaks. All in all an awesome time.

Thanks for reading friends <3

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hello Wednesday: So you're wondering what it's like to help your husband study for law school exams?

Time has been weird this week, feels like Monday and feels like Friday at the same time. Ever have one of those weeks?  My husband just started his second semester of law school exams. Where has the year gone?! Williamsburg feels like home to us, but just missing our family, wish everyone was here!

So you're wondering what it's like to help your husband study for law school exams? Glad you asked because I'm going to share.

While studying for exams may really stink for him, it's been a surprisingly "fun" (I use that term lightly) time for us these past few days. He spends many many days in a row watching tutoring videos and writing an outline that's 100 pages. It's an outline, isn't it supposed to be like, two pages? A 100 page outline is a book. I rest my case. (HA, the law school puns and ridiculous jokes I produce these days are second to none.) But anyway, he spends a lot of time writing and sighing really heavily.

But then after his outline is finished, it's flashcards time! I am a visual person, so I tend to think that if we move around a lot and study flashcards he'll remember the time we talked about defeasible somethings or fee simplys (whatever they are called, you get the point) and be able to think about a unique location to jog his memory. Or maybe I'm just hungry and want to go to more than one fast food restuarant in a day.

So for instance, here's how we did flashcards for his property exam.

Round 1: At Jimmy Johns while eating a humongous pickle. We got a booth and I spread the cards out everywhere. So many of these cases were brother v. brother - that made me sad. I made up stories for each of the characters. I also made up a really elaborate story about a lady who wanted to sell her house but was really sad about leaving the coy pond in the back so she wanted to make sure the next owner took care of them. That scenario stuck with us all day!

Round 2: Eating sweet frog in a little down town center. That was fun until we realized we were sitting on a pile of ants. Literal ants in the pants. You bet he remembers those cases!

Round 3: On the way to Taco Bell. What did this look like? It looked like a flash card, and then a 30 second discussion about if we should just get regular tacos or a crunchwrap supreme, and then a flash card, and then me questioning if I think this is going to make me sick, and then a flash card, you get the idea...

Round 4: In the Taco Bell parking lot while eating tacos. Why didn't we go inside Taco Bell? I dunno, our car was like a safe little nighttime club house. So we nommed on some tacos - I got a crunchy potato soft taco. Only $.99. I love them. We ate and quizzed some more flash cards.

Round 5: Taco Bell drive through round #2 to get some carmel apple empanadas. We debated for about 5 minutes if it would be embarassing if the guy at the drive through window would remember us. We have an Alaska Airlines card, so we decided that was really noticeable and instead scrounged up all of the change in our car to pay with that instead. LOL Really? I'm seriously laughing about this in hindsight, but it was a very serious decision at the time.

Round 6: Eating the carmel apple empanadas and more flash cards. I think we were talking about landlords and stuff.

Round 7: On the drive home and then walking to the mailbox. (Gotta fit one in wherever you can!)

Round 8: Taking a walk on the golfcourse at 8:00pm. It's pretty dark at 8:00pm so when it was time to read a flash card I'd have to stop and read very slowly, I couldn't even pronounce half of the words anyway "alienability"  somehow became ""an alien's ability to rent a property..." which I legitimately thought was a question a law school teacher would ask with their crazy hypotheticals. Apparently not. It was literally pitch black by the time we finished walking. I caught a frog and picked him up - that was fun. This was our view in the picture to the right. We walked quite a distance away to the 18th hole across the little lake. (Side note: look for a blog post from me soon about my adventures catching a bull frog in the pond....I hear them and I want to catch one!)

So what do you do when an exam is over? You order a tray of 60 chicken nuggets for the two of you and eat them all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Paper Flower Projects

My shop has been a bit slow lately and I've been able to get back to how my shop first started, by making whatever I wanted, in whatever colors I wanted and experimenting! Lately I've been working on a lot of custom wedding orders, which are very fun - but it's also fun to be able to pick my own colors every once and awhile.

I asked my fellow blogger friend  for some inspiration and she sent me this color combo from JCrew...I think they photoshopped her know, like that whole Target deal?
Tropical floral bandeau tank
Anyway, loved it. I had a lot of tangerine, peach, and coral paper arounnd. These crosses are essentially a mini version of the paper flower wall. I think I actually enjoy making the tiny versions of flowers better.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Paper Flowers with a Purpose

My little shop has been such a blessing in my life. It has fulfilled and currently is fulling so many different purposes! Pancakes & Glue Guns started off as a respite because my dream job opportunity fell through and I was having a hard time being content where I was. With the encouragement of my husband this shop really helped me through that time.

Then, when we moved for law school and became a single income family the shop supplemented our income and allowed us to pay for textbooks, a new computer and other things before school started. 

Then, we started the adoption process and 100% of the proceeds of the shop went towards funding our agency fees. 

HomeAnd for now. Now, that we are on hold with the adoption journey I've been praying about finding a purpose for my shop again. We're still a single income family and certainly need this to help us survive out here - but that purpose alone doesn't make the shop fun, it doesn't make me WANT to make my paper flowers. I've been searching for awhile for a purpose for my shop and finally found "No Ordinary Love Ministries" Everything about these people, their ministry and what they do is awesome. It is exactly what has been on my heart and I'm not sure why my million google searches didn't lead me to them sooner. :)

I reached out to Jimmy and Rachel of NOLM to confirm the needs of the mission and I'm really excited to help from afar. From this point forward at the end of each month, the proceeds from the Pancakes & Glue Guns shop will sponsor one young woman or child through the "Home Based Reunification Services" NOLM offers. Each sponsorship is a $500 one time donation that helps provide for these individuals' stays at the Emmanuel House and any costs  to help reunify these individuals with a family member or friend willing and able to care for them. Check out the link here to see more specifics about how these funds help. 

These guys are awesome, their hearts for the Lord are awesome and the work they do is amazing. So, from now on, when you support Pancakes & Glue Guns at Etsy you'll be helping those in Ethiopia who desperately need it. The Lord has really blessed this shop over the past year of it's existence and I am so excited to see what the future holds!

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hearing His Voice

For those that have been following along, this post is likely not a surprise. As of now we've put our adoption journey on hold.

When we first started this journey we passionately felt that this was what the Lord was calling us to do. Just because we've put this on hold doesn't mean this doesn't still hold true. With complete confidence we are so sure that this process was a part of our plan.

While it might seem disappointing to our followers thinking that this process is fruitless without a child at the end of it, this process was anything but fruitless. In this process we've been drawn closer to God, closer to eachother and he has really broken our hearts for what breaks His.

As I think back on our first days of the journey we were open to a healthy infant 0-2 months old and this was still SCARY! Six months later we were considering children over the age of 10, HIV+ children, and children with Down's Syndrome and it actually wasn't so scary. Talk about a dramatic change. That was all the Lord, we would have never been open to considering any of this when we first started.

So part of me says - OK Lord, we were willing to do something extreme, and then you opened our hearts to something even MORE extreme, why are we putting things on hold now? How can something this "good" not be a part of your plan? But putting things on hold doesn't mean this is over for us. What all of these changes in the process have done is help us to better discern His voice and understand our calling.

Here are some of the MANY things we've learned:

1. The orphans of the world are His children. We aren't going to be able to save them all by ourselves, it is through him that we are used to help - he doesn't need us and that burden is not on our shoulders. Thinking if we don't adopt them, they are doomed shows a lack of faith in Him, prayer can do amazing things.
2. Just because something is "good" in the eyes of the world does not automatically mean it is in God's plan for you.
3. Learning to discern His voice in any process is an amazing gift.
4. He reveals his plan for you in your everyday life, through little things, through big things - He is everywhere and therefore if you attune yourself to His voice, you'll find guidance anywhere and everywhere.
5. We want to help families stay together in Ethiopia.

Disclaimer, this doesn't mean we are anti-adoption at all. We are pro-trusting the Lord and following his voice intently. For us that means to wait until we know what's next, it could be to pick this process up again! Who knows? The Lord does, and that's why we are content in this waiting/holding period.

As many of you know I have an Etsy shop that helped fund the initial part of our adoption. I want it to continue with that same mission to help families stay together in a non-dependence forming way. I've found quite a few organizations with micro-grant opportunities and that work with re-unification in Ethiopia. More to come on this. I'm praying about and searching for a organization to partner with so these paper flowers can help families!

Side-note. My posts have been lacking pictures recently. I need to work on that, I know.

Thinking about adoption...blogger style

I can't fathom going through this adoption process without the internet and current technologies. Since beginning the process in September of 2013 I think I may have honestly read every blog out there about adoption. Through my virtual explorations I've been angry, distraught, challenged, excited, inspired, you name it.

Like anything, you can find amazing resources online and extreme propaganda as well. As the amount of information on the intenet expands each day we are charged even more so with learning how to decipher this information and search for the truth amongst pages and pages of noise.

Listed below are a few of the challenging commentaries or series I've read that have really pushed me. If anyone following along is interested in our journey and what we've been thinking over the past few months I'd encourage you to read. I don't necessarily agree or endorse every word written in these articles but together they illustrate how we are feeling now.
(In this series, #7 in part two really tugged at my heart.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tips for Working Remotely: Reflections from the Past Year

I've just finished up the first academic year of working remotely. It was quite the experience. I thought if I made a plan with a set schedule I'd be good to go, it would be just like working in the office - right?! Wrong, in general it's not an easy thing to do. Don't get me wrong, I am so beyond blessed that I was allowed to keep my job when we moved for law school, but I've definitely learned a few things this year about how to do this semi-successfully I wish I knew ahead of time.

I think it's really important you feel like your home is a safe and relaxing place to be, and when you work in your home it can easily turn into a reminder of your never-ending to-do list or your work deadlines. I've put together a few tips to remind myself for next year and to potentially help anyone else out there who may be transitioning to work remotely. Everyone works differently, so these might be very specific to my work-habits. I still wanted to share.

1. Seasonal Schedule
First tip: don't create a year-round schedule, try to change it with the season (if you're allowed to do this). After this year, I have now reflectively found that a seasonal schedule makes much more sense. When I say seasonal schedule, I mean maybe just an hour or two adjustment throughout the week.  Looking back I would have adjusted my schedule during the winter so that I would have been able to go outside or enjoy a bit of sunlight. Maybe worked from 11-7 three days a week and had a few mornings to get out and run errands. Working during the sunlight hours and then concluding when it's dark is one thing if you're in an office, but if you attempt to do this in your home it can be a bit depressing if you're like me and don't really like to go out or run errands when it's dark out.

2. Field Trips
Find somewhere outside of your home at least once a week, if not more. This isn't possible for everyone, but I work out of the law school library 1-2 times a week. This has done wonders! I'm relieved when I walk in the door in the evening to be home - that's not something you feel often when you work from home. It can be a bit sad that after all of the energy you put into building a home, you just can't wait to escape it because you've been working in it all day. So, find a chance to get out and allow yourself to be relieved to come home at least once a week!

3. Schedule Chores
Working from home can be distracting, I think people mostly have one of two situations - they are either completely distracted by things going on in the home and end up not working as much as they should, or they are too busy during their work hours to tend to anything around the house but it stresses them out to look around at the household chores that need to get done. I'm the latter. When you normally leave to go to an office in the morning you can leave the dishes in the sink and not think about them until you come home. If you work from your home, you are reminded that things are left un-done. I created a very detailed google calendar, one has the hours that I am online working and another with my personal life. I sometimes will schedule these down to the 15 minutes (I'm not crazy, my entire calendar is not in 15 minutes, I'm just saying that if something only takes 15 minutes I schedule it for 15 minutes, I don't milk it out and put an hour that only makes the problem worse!). I put in a 15 minute break 2-3 times a day with a specific task like laundry, dishes or whatever else is relevant at the time. This is great for two reasons: first, if your work is challenging that day and things just aren't coming off of the to-do list, this is a great way to feel like you accomplished something and to re-energize you; second, you can do both things at once while being very mindful of your work schedule. The key here is to force yourself to be ok to do one chore at a time. I used to want a two hour block to clean, do laundry, run errands, all at once, but that just wasn't compatible with when I needed to be online for work. Breaking these down into smaller tasks throughout my day makes me more efficient in all areas.

4. Look Good
Even if you know you are staying home for the day and you'll be in front of your computer all of the time, more often than not, try to put on an outfit you'd be ok with in public - and if you can, something nice! Now, when I first moved out here I was beyond thrilled to wear yoga pants every day with my new handmade tank tops from old-tshirts. However, after awhile this can wear you down! I'm not sure what it is that makes me feel better and work better when I am dressed up - but it works. No way do I do this every day, but I try to at least 3 of the 5 work days. I also realized that my husband would come home from school lookin' fly, open the door with a look of excitement to see me, and surprise! Here I would come looking like a swamp creature. So I figured we all benefit if I take a few extra minutes to brush my hair and put on matching socks. (HA, who has matching socks?!)

5. Take Charge of Your Health
Working from home provides an amazing advantage to increase your health. You are not constrained to an office chair 8 hours a day and instead you can be very purposeful about where and how you are sitting. I break my day into three time chunks. I spend the first chunk in one particular chair, the next chunk at the office table and the third chunk on the floor. Think about what is good for your circulation and health and take advantage of the fact that you can do this. I'm sure individuals who work 9-5 in an office chair would earnestly encourage you to do this, as they can't! Figure out what works for your posture, your circulation, your energy and change it up. I've seen a lot of articles about making a designated office so you aren't distracted and I certainly see the merits of that. However moving around throughout the day (with a purpose and schedule) can really help.

So what do you think? Have any tips? These tips might make it seem like I've got it all figured out, but this is still a constant struggle for me. I find I over-work, my house isn't always relaxing, and household chores stress me out much more as in my mind I clump them together with work tasks. However, it's getting better day by day. Please do comment if you have other suggestions or modifications to the above, I'm interested!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

25: Singing Monsters Style!

I've recently come across a game, My Singing Monsters, that I believe was made just for me. You hatch little creatures, they each sing a different note or sound, and together they make the funniest music. I just love it. (My facebook friends probably see the updates that I've hatched a monster or made it to a new level, sorry - I can't figure out how to unlink that....)

So, for my 25th birthday my sister made me a "My Singing Monsters" inspired birthday cake. It was probably one of the cutest things I've seen! The monsters are brownies that were baked in a cake pop tray and then frosted.

Just wanted to share!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The tube.

Moving away for law school and becoming a single income family meant we didn't purchase a cable plan. (Might I add we still have a humongous TV transferred from the husband's first apartment and gifted from a precious soul, it has been turned on a record of 3 times - one of which was to stream the superbowl from our laptops.) This might seem like a ridiculous post but here's what I've been thinking lately about "the tube" and I want to remember this in the future when we decide about cable again.

1. This is number 1 for a reason! Listening to sports games on the radio is fun. We really only listen to hockey games, and sometimes football - but you learn the game so quickly when you listen to the announcer and then picture it in your head. I like it.

2. Not having a TV and needing to listen to games on the radio is the perfect excuse for a late night date or drive to get a milkshake or soda while we listen to the third period or quarter of whatever game it is.

3. When you don't have a TV, it doesn't mean you don't watch TV shows. Instead, watching TV series becomes a different experience for you. You rely on Netflix which means instead of catching a show once a week you choose a show and then watch all 4+ seasons within an unreasonable period of time. That's not necessarily healthy - but I do want to add I spend hours and hours making paper flowers for my shop where I can't do anything else with my hands so watching a TV show is one of my options. What is interesting about this is that you can certainly fall prey to an addictive series, but you make very conscious choices about what you watch. There's definitely more ownership over the process and channel surfing is no more!

4.. Without a TV, we don't spend time on the couch in a living room really. So why do you have one? It's made me think about how that space could be better used and what we should do with it. Um, if you're expecting that idea to be further explained any futher I've hit a dead end, so yeah - more to come on that. A second craft room? OK!

5. Silence in the background of your day is not a bad thing! In our old apartment, the TV used to be on at all times in the background. I'm not sure why - we were in a different room and not watching at all times, but it was always on. Sometimes I have music on now, but most of the time I'm just ok being able to hear my own thoughts!

6. Not having a TV means you have no idea what movies are in the theaters because you never see previews anymore. When you decide to go see a movie, you look at the list and have no idea what any of them are. That's more strange than you think!

7. When your TV is your laptop, you have to force yourself to pick one activity over the other. I used to sit in front of my TV with my laptop on - why? I have no idea, maybe I enjoyed sensory overloads. I would watch TV and surf the web at the same time.. It's impossible to do that now. Well, ok smart phones but I don't surf the web on my iphone - I just play "my singing monsters." That game deserves its own special blog post.

8. When you don't have a TV it's awkward to invite people over for the first time without a sports game as an excuse. You actually have to them. Which is probably why we haven't invited anyone over. HA, that was honest.

9. When I do have access to a TV with cable at my parents house I want to watch the most obscure things that I can't find online, like a show about the top music videos of the 2000s and I genuinely enjoy channel surfing instead of watching one show. Ask any of my family members -they seriously avoid handing me the remote.

I will go ahead and say that I think I'd really prefer not to have a functioning TV with cable ever again. Everyone can point and laugh in a few years when I have one in every room of our house and write a post about how I cannot imagine living without cable. :)