Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I Found a Dress!!

How excited am I?!?! I know that 90 percent of you reading this could not care less that I finally found a wedding dress I love. But after three shopping trips, six stores and probably upwards of 50 dresses tried on...this is a momentous occasion :)

Mom and I went to Indy yesterday--where, as an added bonus, we got to have lunch with the lovely Sandra Andrews, who I hadn't seen since graduation!--and hit two more bridal salons. I finally got to try on the dress I found a picture of online and had been in love with ever since. But I didn't love it like I thought I would. I started to get pretty discouraged, wondering if I was just being too picky or if I would ever find something.

At the next store, the third dress I tried on brought tears to my eyes, and Mom's. And the price tag brought tears (of joy) to my dad's eyes :) Whoo-hoo! Now I can finally get more excited about wedding planning. It was hard for me to care about cakes and flowers when I didn't even have a dress to wear. Let the planning really begin...

P.S. A picture of my dress can be found here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Step-Dig, Step-Dig...Jazz Hands!

Went to the Christmas dessert preview for my old high school show choir tonight. What a trip. For one thing I felt OLD--a kid I used to babysit for when he was, oh, probably about five is now in the group. Also kids that were fifth-grade munchkins when I was in The Wiz in high school. Whew, where does the time go?

It also made me miss show choir. Only those of you who have experienced it can truly understand :) Such good times...you move on, and of course the IWU Chorale was a hundred light-years beyond the sound quality...but there is just nothing like singing and dancing with a cheesy smile plastered on your face, with some of your closest friends. Ah the memories...

Monday, November 22, 2004


So it's been a while, huh? Does anyone care? Did anyone miss the regular updates on Lavender *Sparkles*? Comment and make my day :) Eh, maybe I'll make this a long post tonight to make up for it...

"Random" is one of my favorite words. I don't know why. One of my all-time favorite professors, the wonderful Dr. Mary Brown, hated when my classmates and I used it all the time. She said that the things we called "random" weren't really random at all--in the literal sense of being completely accidental and by chance. Oh well, we used it all the time anyway. That said...a few completely random and unrelated thoughts tonight, to catch you all up on my life:

*First, Chrysalis, for those of you who are wondering how it went, after my last pathetic post. Well...I am not sure. Honestly if you asked me on Friday or on Saturday, I might have said it was terrible. Sunday, I kind of came around. I wouldn't say it was the most positive experience for me personally--but it wasn't supposed to be about me anyway. The girls at my table had a great time and seemed to get a lot out of the experience. I am still trying to process the whole thing. I kind of wonder if I had to feel like I was useless the whole weekend, so God could really make the point that what got accomplished through me really had absolutely nothing to do with me, and I could take no credit whatsoever. Hmm. There was some drama on Saturday...a certain United Methodist pastor who basically spoke heresy in a Q&A session. Whew, it was awful. But that's another long story...

*I have recently discovered the message boards on The Knot, and it is dangerous. Thousands of brides and newlyweds all over the country, who have nothing better to do but talk all day and all night about wedding ideas and relationships, etc. I know, it sounds dumb. I thought so too the first time, but now I have been sucked in. Argh.

*In other wedding-related news: A happy-anniversary shout-out to Sandra and Kevin Andrews, who are celebrating one year of married bliss today. And congrats to Janet Maddox, who just got engaged. Unfortunately she is one of many who got engaged after me, and is getting married before me. Enough of THAT already, people :P

*Try looking up yourself on Google, or MSN or someplace. It's kind of interesting what comes up. In a Google search, lots of legitimate stuff comes up for me--articles I've written and such. But it also indicates that I am 1) pregnant with twins; 2) manager of the Special Olympics in Illinois; 3) a North Dakota 4-H champion; 4) involved in a Supreme Court trial; 5) winner of a Maryland high school essay contest...and the list goes on. Who knew?

*When I am feeling sorry for myself not getting to see Steve often enough, I think, "it could be worse. he could be Crossing the Globe (dot-com)...seriously, check out this site, a couple of guys I know from school are doing this around-the-world adventure that just makes me jealous of all they're seeing and experiencing. Pretty cool.

Umm...guess that's all for now. I have a million other things to do rather than blog about them :)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prayers for a Broken Vessel

In a few hours, I head out of town to serve on the team for the girls' Chrysalis Flight this weekend. Never in my life have I felt more ill-equipped to serve. I feel like I am a mess these days, so what business do I have serving as a shepherd and mentor to a group of high school girls?

All I can do is trust that God, in His sovereignty, knew what He was doing when He put this team together. And if He hadn't wanted me on it, He could have easily stopped that. He knew where I would be when this weekend came around. So hopefully, in my extreme weakness, He will show His power.

I don't know what possesses me to be so vulnerable with the whole world. Mostly I'm asking for your prayers. Please lift me up to the Father this weekend (Thursday night-Sunday night). Pray that somehow, some way, He would use this cracked pot, this broken vessel, to minister to the hearts of girls who need a touch from Him. You could even pray that He would use this weekend to fill up this empty jar of clay, too. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nichole Nordeman

Currently Playing: Nichole Nordeman, Woven and Spun

This is one of my all-time favorite CDs, as in, would-make-the-list-of-CDs-I-would-take-with-me-if-I-had-to-live-on-a-deserted-island-and-could-only-bring-ten-CDs :)

A certain Southern roommate of mine overplayed it a bit this summer at work ;) ...so I haven't listened to it in a while, but I broke it out tonight and was reminded of why I love it so much. So, I'm feeling compelled to share some lyrics tonight...

"Even Then"
So I put aside the masquerade / And admit that I am not okay / Which may not be the thing to say / But I'm not ashamed to need You more each day / So, thank You, Jesus / Even when You see us just as we are / Fragile and frail and so far / From who we want to be / So, thank You, Jesus / Even when the pieces are broken and small / Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind / Thank You, even then...

"Take Me As I Am"
Oh, for a heart that does not ache / For a backbone that won't break / For some steady feet or sturdy ground / A road that isn't gonna let me turn around and run / For a thousand tongues to sing...But the gap grows wider / Between who I am and all I aspire to be / I never could be good enough / To measure up / But You want to take me as I come / You're the only one that can / Take me as I am...

"Mercies New"
Is it fair to say I was lured away? / By endless distractions and lovelier attractions then / Or fairer still, my own free will / Is the better one to blame for this familiar mess I've made again / So I would understand, if You were out of patience / And I would understand, if I was out of chances / Your mercies are new every morning / So let me wake with the dawn / When the music is through or so it seems to be / Let me sing a new song, old things gone / Every day it's true, You make all Your mercies new...

Send some rain, would You send some rain? / Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again / And the sun is high and we are sinking in teh shade / Would you send a cloud, thunder long and loud? / Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down / Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid / But maybe not, not today / Maybe You'll provide in other ways / And if that's the case / We'll give thanks to You with gratitude / For lessons learned in how to thirst for You / How to bless the very sun that warms our face / If You never send us rain...

Good CD. Thanks Nichole.

Go Figure

So I picked up the rest of my paperwork today from the school where I taught for Project Respect last week. And the teacher who intimidated me the most, gave me the highest rating on the evaluation out of all the teachers. Figure that one out.

Back to Work

It is so nice to have a job that you enjoy to the point where you are anxious to get back to it. The past few weeks, I have been so overwhelmed with Project Respect that I have not had any time to work on the curriculum writing project that I'm doing with Kingdom Building Ministries. This week I have finally been able to settle back into my work for them...this afternoon I had to run some errands and as I drove back home, I found myself thinking, "I can't wait to get back to the computer and spend some more time on this project." I believe so much in it and I am so blessed to be a part of what God is doing at Kingdom Building Ministries.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Eighteen Things

I Love...
ice cream drumsticks from the mom-and-pop place down the block from my grandma's
turtleneck sweaters
fall colors
novels you can immerse yourself in
Billy Collins' poetry
encouraging, helpful, understanding bosses

I Hate...
Sunday School answers
getting up when it's still dark outside
that sinking feeling when you realize you said something you shouldn't have and hurt someone
toenail polish that chips
wearing socks and real shoes after many months of flip-flops
being so busy that you feel like you're struggling to keep your head above water
computer viruses, and people who are malicious enough to create them
feeling intimidated

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Some of the comments I got on my evaluations from the sixth graders this week (reproducing exact spelling and all):

"I think Ms. Kaylor is great. She's not embarrassed to talk about sex or STDs. (yeah, doing this for a living quickly takes away any inhibitions you have about discussing these subjects) ...She should get the college education in no time." (what?!)

"I think Amy Kaylor is a great person and I hope everythings goes okay with her marrage!" (that one still makes me smile)

Then the serious ones that make you go, okay, it's worth it: "This presentation has helped me alot! Thank you!"

"It was good but uncomfortable."

Last but not least, perhaps my favorite: "I think that Mrs. Kayler was very brave to come and talk to us about it." :)


Well, somehow I survived my first four-day teaching series on abstinence on my own. No more observing, no team-teaching--just me and a roomful of sixth graders, four times a day for four days.

I'm glad I'm only doing this until May.

Seriously, it wasn't all bad. Thanks to an exceptional memory (which obviously I can't take credit for--just a blessing), I learned most of the kids' names and was able to really connect with many of them. Many of the classes went more smoothly than I feared. I got to share personal stories and talk about the love of my life--nothing like a job that allows you to do that :) I think being young in this job is a positive thing. Though I may be inexperienced at teaching, it hasn't been long since I was where these kids are at. And abstinence isn't just a word to me--it's a choice I'm still having to live by. So I'm not just another adult telling them what to do, and I like that. And it's gratifying to get evaluations back and see the vast majority of kids circle "yes" for the statement, "I have made a decision to save sex for marriage."

But...then you've got the couple of kids who heard all the information, and still didn't make that choice. The obnoxious, immature boys who give the opposite answers of what you're looking for. The annoying chit-chat that doesn't stop. The class who gives you blank stares when you ask questions. Or off-the-wall answers that aren't even in the ballpark. Rising levels of impatience when it's all you can do not to blow your top. The teacher who intimidates you. The lesson that seems jumpy and disconnected and makes you fumble over your words. Tired feet, a hoarse voice...the sheer unpredictability of it all...how do teachers do this every day?

But I survived, by the grace of God. All I can do is hope that the seeds I planted this week are cultivated and watered somewhere along the line...that the commitments those sixth graders made this week stick, by His grace...and that somewhere along the line, they find Him.

So there you have it: More than you ever wanted to know about my first full week of abstinence education. Whew. Maybe later I'll post some of the kids' comments from my evaluations, for a few laughs.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My Thoughts Exactly

How I feel about cooking (scroll down to the entry for Tuesday, November 2)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

If Kerry Wins...

Hahahaha...check this out. Texas knows what it's all about...