It’s been a year and a month, but I’ve finally, FINALLY gotten a wedding album together. It took some major time…we had a TON of pictures, and since we had numerous activities before the wedding, we had even MORE pictures to go through.

For our guest book, our friend Richard took Polaroids of all of our guests and then our guests created their own scrapbook page. At some point during the reception, the Polaroid camera saw a lot of action…it was so funny going through those pictures!

Below is a sample of some of the Polaroid pictures. Enjoy!

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Today I decided to unplug from Social Networking for a bit – FB and Twitter specifically. Perhaps this will kick start a new wave of blogging again; since those two sites were my go-to sites when I was bored, maybe my blog will become my new go-to.

Other than unplugging, it’s been a quick summer, or at least it feels like it. The other day my friend Kristy asked me what Nathan and I had been up to in June, and I sat there…and sat there…and sat there…and could not for the life of me remember June! Bah.

Things I do remember doing this summer:

  • Celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary
  • Going sailing for my anniversary and with friends
  • REI Used Gear Sale
  • First Dim Sum experience with friends
  • Working a trade show booth with Nathan
  • Attending an Iron Chef birthday party for our friend Rebecca (the secret ingredient: AVACADO!)
  • Celebrating my dad’s birthday and 4th of July in MN
  • Going to Disneyland
  • Celebrating Nathan’s 29th birthday by planning a surprise visit from his family
  • Pedicures with Jayne and Allie
  • Realizing I am no longer in the “everyone’s getting married” season of my life, but have definitely entered the “everyone’s having babies” season – and no, I am NOT one of them!
  • Celebrating Grandpa Clark’s 90th birthday with a surprise party in Ventura
  • Clark family photoshoot in Ventura
  • Girls night out at Eclipse Chocolate

Whew…ok, so a lot has happened this summer. No wonder I can’t remember it all!

Nate, me, and our friend Rebecca
Our trip to Disneyland
With my cousin’s kids in MN
Clark family photo shoot

Pucks Dropping

Whoa. When you live in a city that doesn’t have a hockey team, and you don’t watch much television anymore, and even if you did, your city doesn’t air any hockey games on the local stations anyway, well, when you put all those things together, it comes as a surprise to you when you find out that the hockey playoffs are just starting.

During the Winter Olympics, I did get to rediscover my love of the game. Suddenly, hockey was being broadcast in San Diego. Joy! Even the Russia vs. Czech Republic game gave me a thrill.

And then, it was gone. Canada won the gold in a nail biting overtime game, and then, no more hockey. Out of sight, out of mind.

But now…here we are, playoff time. And wouldn’t you know, 2 of the 3 California teams are in the running? What the what?

I can clearly remember watching the Flames getting beat by (I think) the Tampa Bay Lightning, and I was TICKED because some state down south who didn’t know what ice was beat out a team from hockey country. (I’m a Minnesota girl…if the Wild aren’t in it, I’ll probably go for a team from Canada. It just seems right…well, unless it’s Vancouver…) But now…after living in California for almost 3 years, and the Kings and the Sharks in the playoffs, I feel like I’ve gotta support one of them.

I think this would be a good time to spring for cable.

Side note: I discovered that it was the playoffs via a food blog, and I love that.

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Video Killed the Radio Star…But What Killed Good Videos?

I can clearly remember MTV’s early years. I loved my MTV. I would sit with my dad and watch Madonna, Dire Straits, ZZ Top, and Cyndie Lauper tell stories through their songs. MTV in the 80s was awesome. MTV now is not. I know they still do Music Video Awards on MTV, but do they actually show them anymore? I swear all they have now are reality TV shows. Even if they do show them, music videos today are nothing like music videos of the past; they barely ever tell a story anymore.

When I was in high school, I had a weird pastime. I loved music, and loved lying on our living room couch with the headphones on listening to the radio. While listening, in my head, I would make up my own ice skating routines, dance routines, and music videos to whatever song happened to be playing. I always kind of wondered if I brought my skating routine ideas to coaches if they would actually work, or if they would be physically impossible to do.

I still do this from time to time…ok, I do it a lot. And this week, students at the college I work at are making their own music videos for Student Senate’s annual MVA’s (Music Video Awards). There have been some really, really fantastic ones in years past. The faculty and staff are even getting involved this year and are making their own; I am on the planning committee for it.

This has caused me to again hear songs and build music videos in my head. I have created music videos for most of the departments on campus that will never get made…but they’re entertaining to me.

In honor of music videos of the past, I am sharing with you my All Time Favorite music video from my childhood. If I were a judge at the college MVA’s and someone recreated this, they would get an automatic WIN from me…it is that good…

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Good Intentions

I think we often go through life filled with good intentions that never take shape. These intentions sit in our heads, waiting to be given life, but are never given a chance. Before to long, these good intentions die off and are replaced with other good intentions that may or may not happen.

I have never been good at sending thank-you notes. I appreicate them and think I should be better at sending them, and many time intend to, but it hardly ever happens. At this moment, I have a long, running list of people I should send thank-you notes to, dating back a few months. Which means the list is growing and now I’m feeling overwhelmed by the number of thank-you notes I need to write. And, being a recently married gal, I’ve already had my fair share of thank-you card writing, so this long list isn’t exactly taking a priority in my life right now. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

You know why? Because those people on my list can’t read my thoughts; they have no idea that they are sitting on a list of people that I really do want to send a note of thanks to. This is the realization I have been coming to more and more; yes, God sees my heart and knows how thankful I am, but people in my life who have blessed me beyond belief with gifts or amazing hospitality can’t. I need to take action to thank them.

It isn’t just with thank-you notes; it’s with words of encouragement, expressing your opinion, calling someone out, sending a random gift, volunteering, actually praying for someone right there when you say you will, calling a friend to catch up. Keeping these things inside you, as good of intentions as they may be, won’t really do anyone any good. Let them loose! Take action!

I am preaching to myself in this blog post. I so often internalize good intentions; I need to practice action.

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Stuff Christians Like – The "Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian?" Scorecard

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”
47. During a commercial break, they try to lay hands on Ryan Seacrest = + 2 points  
To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit

Websites for Churches

Everyone seems to be on the internet these days. My mom has a Facebook page; Nathan’s grandparents have email addresses and Facebook; former and current co-workers are LinkedIn; news agencies are following Twitter for the most current breaking news.

With this explosion of online networking happening, CityGates wants to help your church reach others, build community, and continue conversations on the web. CityGates was conceived and built by my husband, Nathan, and his business partner, Matt.

CityGates offers some really great features for churches in this ever-growing online social networking era, including their newest feature – an iPhone app (you read that right!)

    One of the best things about CityGates is how easy it is to maintain. At one time, I was an intern for a youth ministry at a mid-sized church; I can guaruntee you if we had had a website, I would have been the one doing most of the updates for the youth ministry part of the site. If we had had CityGates, there would have been no issues – I could have created mission trip forms, uploaded photos from our outreach event, and blogged my heart out about what God was teaching me as I worked with students.

    Nathan and Matt are available for support as you get set up or run into problems, and they are always working to make CityGates better. You can try it for free for 30 days, and if you mention me, you get 20% off for life!

    Whether you’re starting a church, at an existing church, or at a parachurch organization, Nathan, Matt, and CityGates can help you get you on the web. Check them out on their website, or give them a call. Tell them I sent you!

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    College Advertising

    Colleges and Universities today are really doing a great job using the popular social networking sites to connect to current and future students. And now, YouTube. The Chronicle of Higher Education featured this video as one of their favorites. It is very, very clever. I think it is great when college presidents are willing to go outside of the “President” box for something like this.

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    Cooking Classes

    This blog should have been written last week, but, well, things got busy again. So here it is now.

    For Christmas, Mellie and I got cooking classes from our dear, sweet husbands. While this could be taken a completely different way, we both actually wanted them. We signed up for the class of our choice, and our first class was Thursday. Below are some pics of the items we made with our group: Mellie helped with the pork loin, and I made the mashed potatoes.

    The potatoes boil. I am very impatient with potatoes. Our teacher, Chef Jen, said to boil them until you could easily stick a knife through. That took FOREVER.

    Here, Mellie is peppering the pork.

    The pretty pork is tied up and ready to be cooked.

    Ooo…so golden!

    This asparagus was AMAZING. I want to make it all the time now.

    The class is every Thursday during the month of February. I will be posting pics here after each class to show off our cooking skills. The best part about the class is getting to eat everything we make!

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    2 years ago Nathan and I joined a community group at church that met on Thursday nights. In the bulletin, the leaders of this group said that their group would be “done  in time for LOST!!!” (There actually might have been more exclamation points.) At this point in my life, I had seen 1.5 episodes of this phenomenon – a recap show during Season 3 and half of a Season 3 episode. Needless to say, the whole LOST thing wasn’t a draw for me, and I thought maybe I could get away with bringing a book to read since I knew I wouldn’t be getting sucked into this show.




    LOST should come with a warning label: “May be addictive.” “May bring out the conspiracy theorist you thought was dormant.” I mean, wow. I had no idea it would suck me in, but there I was, eagerly awaiting the next episode, wondering what would happen to the band of survivors.

    Last year, for the Season 5 premiere, Chad and Mellie (our small group hosts) got uber-creative. We all got these in the mail:

    We also played LOST bingo:

    This year, the FINAL SEASON, we all gathered once again to take in the Season Premiere together. Bingo was played. And, Nathan and I got creative as well:

    This cupcake cake was the brainchild of my creative husband. He had discovered the exact shape of the LOST island, and found some sweet, cheap airplanes to tear apart. Of course, they were edible:

    Watch out for the tail-ies!
    I really do love the fact that LOST is ending after these season. It is truly brilliant, and I think most shows should plan their life-span this way. 
    The best part about LOST is talking about theories. There are so many floating around the internets, and so many talked about in our group (but only during commercial breaks – strict rule. You will get the evil eye and SHUSHED if you try to have a conversation during the show).
    If you haven’t watched the show, I recommend starting at the beginning. I swore I wouldn’t do it, but found there were quite a few pieces I was missing in the LOST puzzle. Get all 5 seasons and by the time you finish, the final season will be out on DVD. 
    Raise a cupcake for the final season of LOST! It’s bound to be a season of answers, more questions, more theories, and more mystery.
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