Tuesday, April 08, 2014

READying Myself For A Move

In the last year or so, I have been drawn to photos of in-home libraries. 

I own many, many books already--and will inherit many, many more someday--and have always loved the idea of stacks and stacks of books in one well-lit room of my house.

It makes me sad to think of all of the books that will be purchased electronically and grow old without a scent to age them...without yellowing dog-eared pages, notes in the margins, quotes marked in several colors from the different readers or same reader in a different time of life...

I'm packing up to move in to a new home at the end of the month.

Each time I begin the moving ordeal, I realize how much I have accumulated since the previous move: clothes, shoes, art, craft supplies, and always another box of books. I always think about how much I want to give away, but it's rare--if ever--that books that go out with the pile. It's more common that I would go to drop off bags of donations and come home with four new books and a Spice Girls backpack...thus beginning the accumulation process once more.

Monday, March 31, 2014

35 by 35 {an update}

I have mentioned that innate desire for list-making...so it should come as no surprise to you that I have made several lists and blogged about my progress, successes, and failures.

25 by 25
500 Day Goals {in which I had little understanding of the brevity of 500 Days}
30 by 30

I posted my 35 by 35 in August {two months before my 31st birthday}, but only had 29 of the 35 things chosen. And so, here is the complete list, as well as an update on my progress:
35 Things to do Before I Turn 35
1. Record the life stories of all four grandparents {2 completed. 2 in-process}
2. Travel to 15 never-before-visited states {5}
          a. Massachusetts
          b. Rhode Island
          c. Connecticut
          d. Maryland
          e. Pennsylvania
3. Visit the Rose Bowl Flea Market
4. Raise $1000 for charity: water
5. Write 365 notes in 365 days
6. Learn to use a sewing machine
7. Do the splits both ways
8. Read 40 books {4}
            a. Harry Potter 1
            b. Night Film
            c. Special Topics in Calamity Physics
            d. Intensity
              {currently reading: The Jungle Books, East of Eden, Birds of America, and A Hologram for the King}
9. See 25 bands play live {10}
            b. Moxie
            c. Ivan & Aloysha
            d. The Lone Bellow
            e. Cast of Once pre-show
            f. Dominik Michalzik
            g. Tyson Motsenbocker
            h. Lowly Spects
            i. Noveller
            j. St Vincent
10. Participate in the freeing of a child slave
11. Learn to drive a stick-shift
12. Create "memorable childhood moments" for kids who have had to grow up too quickly
13. Travel to 2 never-before-visited countries
14. Attend a balloon festival
15. Make a lobster dinner for two
16. Complete 60 DIY projects {25}
            a. bjork swan dress
            b. pumpkin garland
            c. donut pumpkins
            d. Mike Wazowski
            e. black and white canvas
            f. animal masks {16}
            g. claw gloves
            h. pink ribbon canvas
            i. stocking garland
            j. sequins ornaments
            k. cloth napkins
            l. embroidered map routes
            m. pinecone garland
            n. mood board
            o. brooch magnets
            p. paris calendar
            q. herb pots
            r. painted bobby pins
            s. vodka gummy bears
            t. mounted animal heads
            u. dentistry mobile
            v. surfer canvas
            w. legwarmers
            x. chalkboard wine glasses
            y. felt owl
17. Be in a photo shoot
18. Complete an entire Annual Bible Read with Mariners
19. Write a song
20. Read the Complete Works of Shakespeare
21. Address a set of envelopes in calligraphy
22. Camp 
23. Hike to the Hollywood sign
24. Watch every Hitchcock movie in which he made a cameo {9 of 36}
            a. North by Northwest
            b. Rear Window
            c. The Birds
            d. Vertigo
            e. Psycho
            f. The Lady Vanishes
            g. The 39 Steps
            h. To Catch A Thief 
            i. Suspicion
25. Complete a Color Run {registered for the May 10th race! Go Team 'Color (Run) Me Badd'}
26.  Speak conversational Swahili {currently enrolled in a Swahili class and  l o v i n g  it}
27. Host an outdoor movie night
28. Spend 52 days unplugged (one day a week for a year)
29. Watch planes land from the hood of a car
30. Learn to use my camera // take and frame two photos
31. Take OT and NT classes {currently listening to an OT class on iTunesU}
32. Watch 3 new TV series
            a. Melissa and Joey
            b. That 70's Show
            c. West Wing {almost finished!}
33. Record a Christmas album
34. Buy a domain for my blog {still can't figure out how to link it properly, but I own it!}
35. Have coffee with Bob Goff

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The More You Know (A Brief 'About Me')

1. It's next-to-impossible for me to have fewer than five open tabs on my Chrome browser. {Right now, there are 11.}

2. My brain never stops moving. {I just found out this is odd.} I am almost constantly thinking something--or multiple things: people, movies, song lyrics {pretty much all the time}, to do lists, what did I miss today, what should I wear tomorrow, to whom do I need to apologize. {It sounds exhausting, but it's actually not too bad.}

3. I am a great keeper of the secrets of others. I'm terrible at keeping my own.

4. I  h a t e  moving. I joke that I'd rather burn my house down than pack-up and move. Were it not for the arson charge and the expense of re-purchasing things, this wouldn't be a joke.

5. I want to live in a house full of items that could each be categorized under "Who in the world would ever want this in their home?" {like my framed portrait of the stranger: Glory Beshore...and, someday, a big giant bison head!} I imagine this will create the greatest Grandma house...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Word(s) for 2014

I had heard of the tradition where people choose {or are given by God} a word for the year.
To be honest, I was a little eye-rolly {an obviously made-up term, but accurate, nonetheless} about it in years past, mostly because I didn't really understand it.

On my birthday, last year {October 2012}, I heard God say some pretty clear statements of what the next year would hold for me...for my growth.

And, this year {2013}, on my birthday, as I reflected on all that had passed, all that had been reconciled, all of the despair that had been replaced with joy, I wept and thanked God for those sentences that had been so BIG and cryptic at the start of the year, and so rich and incredibly meaningful at the end.

Though I heard a few more sentences on my birthday this year--and believe that, on my drive to work on October 24, 2014, I will be in tears again as I reflect on the ways God's presence and provision has manifested in my life--I hesitantly prayed for a few words that would be a glimpse of what 2014 will hold for me.

And, in the listening, I heard


I could try and explain what I think these words will mean, but I know that whatever I write here will pale in comparison to all that God will do this year.

I mean, it's only January 15th and I already feel like my life has been really wonderfully shaken up.

I am eagerly anticipating all of the goodness, growth, healing, mercy, and laughter
that will come from so many painful steps, awkward conversations, vulnerable confessions, tearful prayers, and honest friendships.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Questions

The end-of-the-year survey tradition continues for a eighth year {!!!}

1) What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Went camping. Bought a new car. Fed (led?) a turtle like E.T. Visited Boston and Pennsylvania. Drove a car in New York City. Visited the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Bought (and then learned to use) a BBQ. Stood up for myself in conversations. Dyed my hair pink. Learned to twerk...and gas pedal (and then taught several friends each move). Supported the Veronica Mars Movie on Kickstarter. Baptized 10 of my small group girls. Led worship at each of the four Mariners Church campuses. Made our own donuts at home. Walked more than forty New York City blocks in falling snow.

2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more next year? 
I made four daily goals this year: 1) be active for 20 min 2) write 365 cards in 365 days 3) write something every day 4) fight a fear. The last I kept, for the most part. I fought--and conquered--a lot of fears this year.

Not sure what my resolutions will be this year...I'm still thinking them through. I'm leaning toward a list {classic Allison}. Any suggestions?

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Emily and Natalya. 

4) Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, but I attended a few funerals in support of people I love who lost loved ones.

5) What countries did you visit?
None. This will not be my answer at the end of 2014.

6) What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Less fear. More confidence in exactly who God has created me to be.
And a smaller dress size.

7) What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No specific dates...I could lie and look-up a few, but I'm more attached to the memories than the actual dates.

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I made some pretty rad rainbow pancakes for Sara's birthday. Calling them my biggest achievement may be an overstatement, but I was {and should be} pretty proud of them.

9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a strong case of bronchitis right before the road trip. And then almost completely lost my voice on Christmas Eve.

10) What was the best thing you bought?
I am pretty glad I bought plane tickets to Boston and New York.
I also really love several sweaters I've added to my closet.
Oh, and I suppose my new and totally reliable car should make it on this list.

11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
My dad and I really kicked-up our friendship levels this year. It was such a joy to be so excited to see him and talk to him frequently.

12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, I think I decline to comment on this one.

13) Where did most of your money go?
Rent, gas, food...Target, Forever 21, Starbucks.

14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our 2nd Annual Road Trip. A birthday trip to Mani-Karaoke. A Christmas Evening with friends. 

15) What song/album will always remind you of 2013?
Nashville (the TV show) songs. Roar by Katy Perry. 

16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
Wiser? Yes. Healthier? Yes. Richer? Probably not.

17) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent time in prayer. Spoken up for myself. Asked questions.

18) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Let my insecurities get the best of me. Make assumptions {which nearly always turned out to be incorrect.}

19) How did you spend Christmas?
With A LOT of people I really, really love. Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve were spent mostly at the church. Christmas Eve: at my mom's, then back to church for the midnight candlelight service. Christmas Day: I went to my grandparents, talked to my dad and brother, played games with Cathi and LV's family, dinner with the Andersons (and others), then went to play more games and eat great food with my closest friends at what is now, hopefully, a Christmas Evening tradition.

20) Did you fall in love in 2013?
I think I fell in love with 2013. It was a strong showing this year.

21) What was your favorite new TV program?

22) What was the best book you read?
Fiction: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Non-Fiction: Cold Tangerines.

23) What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mostly the music from the Nashville TV show. I also fell in love with Ryan Adams, Ellie Goulding and Otis Redding.

24) What did you want and get?
Another rad small group of girls. Another great birthday road trip. A trip to New York {in the snow!}

25) What did you want and not get?
A new suitcase? My passport renewed? A Hawaiian Christmas vacation? {my dad moved to Hawaii...the visit was postponed, not canceled} All such great, silly things.

26) What was your favorite film of this year?
Saving Mr Banks {I just realized that I saw 6 movies in the theater this year and five were in the last week.}

27) What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn?
I turned 31. We took another road trip leading up to my actual birthday. On the day, I was celebrated at work with decorations, cards, presents and my favorite Chinese food was brought in for lunch. That afternoon, I went for a pedicure/karaoke session, super tasty burger (with a slight car accident in-between), an ice cream run and then a dance party at the Hays. So many things and people I love in one day.

28) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
You know, I really love Kristen Bell...but this is nothing new. {She named her kid Lincoln, so it really feels as though we're MFEO.}

29) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
No jeans. Not once. Lots of dresses...and for the last few months, styling the same dress(es) on repeat.

30) What kept you sane?
Jesus. And naps.

31) Who did you miss?
Katie Hunt. {times a million}

32) What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2013?
There's only one me. 

33) What did you gain this year?
Some really great {and, hopefully life-long} friends.
A deep love for brussels sprouts.

34) What did you lose this year?
Lots of fears. 

35) Who was the best new person you met?
Es. {Molly Gazin is a close second.}

36) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
What good is living the life you've been given if all you do is stand in one place?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013: A Photo Recap

{lots of rides on my new bike /// a Sunday Night blade gang /// manicure-karaoke}

{heart attacks /// matching hairstyles}

{family Easter}

{Sunday Night band takes Huntington Beach campus by hadouken /// ho is for horse /// the tower is terror is terrifying}

{50th birthdays /// new cars /// deer rides}

{we got a backyard pool}

{Caleb loves our country}

{camp cabins /// camp baptisms /// camping rookies}

{Crystal Lewis is Batman /// Wildside is 20 /// the Witts are the best}

{New York /// New Jersey /// DC /// 31}

{Rooted baptisms /// Thanksgiving crazies /// Woodbridge Homecoming}

{Tree Pick-Up /// Tree Lighting /// Tree Trimming}

{Caroling /// Disneyland /// Santa Dom /// Felt Needs Christmas Eve}

2013 was so great.
Looking forward to a 2014 that's even radder.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Road Trip Day 6: A Walk Through DC Part 2

On our final full day of vacation, we knew we had to do it up right. So, we slept in a bit, ate a big breakfast at Lincoln's Waffle House {where it is rumored that many Presidents have eaten...there's no way that's true} but it was delicious and we had a waiter who literally stood in front of us at the counter and met our every dining need: coffee was always full, no want for a napkin, check handed at the right moment--not too early, but we needn't ask for it. Fantastic service.

This was Sara's first time in DC, so she had a long list of sights she wanted to see. Cathi and I had been before, so we were ready to accommodate Sara's tourist dreams! The only place I wanted to see was Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated.

We walked in at the perfect time: the next tour was just beginning and tickets are free! However, the tour is 90 minutes. Seriously? Fortunately, the first part is self-guided, so we quickly made our way through and then up the back stairs to take a photo of the balcony. 

We did overhear a piece of the presentation in which he said, "Lincoln loved to go to the theatre since it was the rare occasion when he was able to hear the people laughing and enjoying themselves, as opposed to the rest of his day-to-day when he heard about the problems of the country."

From there, we decided to start at one end of the stretch of important buildings and work our way across town. Beginning first at the Capitol Building. {Man, the number of grumbling comments this instagram photo received...give it a rest.}

As we arrived, it started to sprinkle, so we took cover under a tree next to a pond in front of the building. {My time is Kenya has caused me to believe that a sprinkle can become a downpour within minutes, so I always run for cover.} We walked through a group of middle school kids {150 of them, at least} taking an organized-by-height group photo and finally found our way to the next stop.

The White House Backyard

Cathi had some work deadlines she had to meet that afternoon, so she had stayed behind for the morning. We stopped for coffee and to check in with her and then decided to have some lunch. Lucky for me, there was a Pret A Manger up the street--my favorite!

After lunch we saw the front of the White House {I prefer the back yard}, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial {where there was a group of Veterans touring the grounds, which made it so much more moving}, and the Reflecting Pool {you know, from Forrest Gump.}

We opted not to go back inside the Lincoln Memorial, since I had at least 50 pictures from the night before.

As we walked down the Pool we saw this fox running the path. He circled and came back around and was just too close, and too beautiful, to go un-photographed.

Our final stop was the Martin Luther King Memorial. Throughout this trip, I was consistently in awe of how great an impact he had on our country. I'm hoping our 2014 road trip will have quite a few MLKJ-related stops.

For our final--and Birthday week kick-off--dinner, Herman {our friendliest concierge} recommended Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. We had an appetizer of cheese, bread and garlic {my absolute favorite meal} followed by amazing cheeseburgers, and capped with a huge slice of chocolate cake and, of course, some singing.

The next morning, after a dark taxi ride to the airport, we were greeted by curbside check-in. The guy helped us moved our bags and began to check us in, but when he got to me, he said, "Well, this is strange. It says here you're on the no-fly list and there is a warrant for your arrest." We were shocked. He told me to please move over and put my hands on the counter as he pulled out his walkie-talkie and said, "I have Allison Hibbard here and it says to notify you." He looks back and me and says, "Believe me, I'm as scared as you are." The three of us all looked at each other, unsure of what to do next. And then he says, "Well, are you all fooled?" We breathed a sigh of relief and began to laugh with him. He told us it's his favorite trick to pull on people--that the walkie-talkie power just went straight to his head. He also said that earlier that week when he'd done the same to a man, who ended up throwing his wallet at him after he was told it was a joke. What a memorable pre-sunrise airport experience!

We landed in Long Beach at 8:30am and each headed off to work--vacation was officially over. {Well, mostly for them, since it was birthday week for me!}

Second Annual Road Trip was a huge success. We're already talking about next year's trip, hopefully to the South!