The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

this should explain it.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks around the GS office. As if a "normal" recruitment season isn't crazy/stressful/exhausting enough, things got a bit more so last week. One of the membership gals (those lovely ladies that do the same things that I do) quit last week. She was very new - only been with us about a month - and left with little explanation and absolutely no warning. She had 4 service areas - one near the office and the other 3 out in fairly rural counties. These areas - full of schools that have not had a recruitment yet - now are the responsibility of myself and one other membership manager, my friend K (who really got the bum deal on this one - I got one area and she got the other 3). Second blow...another of the what WAS 5 girls that do what I moving to another department after recruitment season is over and I will get her two areas. This leaves 3 membership managers - one of whom will be having a baby soon. Then we will be down to 2.
Let's sum this up - two weeks ago I had 4 service areas with 52 schools (32 of them being elementary schools). Now I have 7 service areas with - frankly I have no idea how many schools - and currently I prefer to live in uneducated bliss.
In all honesty, I am already so stressed out and overwhelmed and filled with there-already-aren't-enough-hours-in-my-day-ness, that I am really not worried about it. My boss knows what kind of workload she has placed on us. She knows that we are working as hard and as fast as we possibly can. She knows I am already working 12 and 14 hour days. I will continue to love my job, give it 100% of me while I am there. But I have also had to come to this conclusion that I am only one person and I can only do just so much in one day. I still need time to hang out with friends, keep my house clean, do laundry so I don't smell funny (!) and love on my sweetie.
So, I will do my best.
And the light at the end of the Tunnel of Recruitment might have gotten a little further away but it is still in sight.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

buzzing louder now...

We moved the bees to our house tonight.
Yes, a hive full of bees.
In a van.
Please note the use of duct tape and screens and a blanket and NOT my car.
Pictures to come.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today was the last of Chad's mentoring sessions for his bees...
I have some picures of his hive opened but my camera battery died before I could load them.
Now we get to figure out how to move his hive the 20 minutes to get it in our backyard.
Yes, I will take pictures when THAT happens.
And please, rest assured that I was using my zoom lens today.
After getting a bee in my hair and having to help him escape, I backed off a good pace!


If I haven't said it in a while, it needs repeating.
I love my life.
It is messy, busy, crazy, unorganized, fun, and lovely.
And I love every minute of the long nights at work, early mornings at schools, Saturdays at home with my sweetie, being in the car along with the catchy Sugarland anthem of the day blaring way-too-loud on my stereo, dancing along (but only when you think no one is watching...), fixing up the house just a little more every weekend, clothes on the line, planting fall veggies in the backyard, always praying for rain.
I love my life. Craft projects and work projects - finding time for it all.
The waking up together or sleeping in alone, dog-barking, cat-climbing, laugh so hard you almost pee-your-pants, doing life together days.
I, so-incredibly-much, love my life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

oh blessed friday.

Friday is here and's a darn good thing.
My brain is in overdrive, my body is exhausted (and I just got out of bed!), and I seriously have about a 10 inch tall stack of registrations that I need to process and girls to place in troops. I brought all that stuff home with me today because I sorta figured that I might be able to sit in the quiet and work better without the email going and the phone ringing but it might not work out that way. Chad is off work today and I would much rather hang out with him than do work at home so I might as well go to the office. If I can be super productive today, I might spare myself a trip to the office on Saturday or Sunday when I would rather be devoting myself to my sweetie.
However, I think God was - in His ever present Kindness - aware that I was struggling this week. That is was probably my fullest week of recruitments and my mind and heart were getting close to maxed out. He definitely sent me unexpected volunteers at two of my big parent nights this week - ladies I didn't expect to be there - who just showed up - and blessed me more than they know with their presence. They helped answer questions, form troops, help take up registrations - it was amazing. Last night's was especially awesome - she stayed afterwards and helped me figure out who the leaders were for each troop and what girls could get placed in what troop. What a blessing! I recruited about 47 girls and 8 leaders last night - fabulous and exhausting!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy,
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflications eclipsed by glory,
I realize just how beautiful you are,
And how great your affections are for me,
And oh, how He loves us so.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh how he loves...
We are His portion, He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
So heaven meets Earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves us.
Oh how he loves."

This is a song we have sung the past couple Sundays at church - has made me cry, made me smile, made me whip my journal back out and write down the words. Love it.
I think it is ung on an album by John Mark McMillan (don't really know him - sorry!) but that is who I found when I looked up the full lyrics...

Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. ::Sigh::

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We are hitting the Hiwassee River today folks...for a leisurely stroll down the water. This isn't anything like the last white water experience...also with no pictures. Sorry. Camera is NOT going on the river.
I think you can actually go tubing on this river it is so leisurely but they literally do not release enough water to be able to do that after Labor Day. So, we shall take something you can paddle so we move a little faster. Haven't decided what yet - canoe, inflatable kayak? We shall see. However, my mom is coming up to go with us today so I am pretty excited. The water will probably be heckuva cold but I get to see my mom so all is well!
We met friends for dinner last night - my old friend (old as in have known him for a while, not as in HE is old!) G from Girl Scout camp back in the day and his cute new fiance K. We had fun just swapping stories, hanging out, ate good food at the Terminal, and then saw a free concert in the park - Katie Herzig? She was actually really good - I am glad they convinced us to go! She was folky (word?) catchy, cute words, great all around!
Headed out to put on the sunscreen...I just know I will get toasted otherwise.

Friday, September 10, 2010

happy friday!

I am thrilled that it is Friday - there isn't a relaxing weekend in my future but I am still excited that it is here.
One school today, a HUGE PILE of paperwork on my desk, then possibly a leaving early afternoon? We might have friends come in tonight for a little concert downtown and hopefully we will get to do dinner with them and hang out a bit...
Oh bless the coming of Friday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

day 3.

Well, it is Day #3 of those poor guys out fighting the same (rather large and annoying) fire that someone thought it might be a good idea to start.
Chad is exhausted, tired, and tired some more. Did I mention that he is tired? Cause he is.
Gwendolen was very, very sick last night.
I knew that dogs are not supposed to eat grapes - enough of them can be toxic and cause kidneys to stop working. Apparently no one sent Gwendolen that memo and she thought the muscadines in the compost pile looked mighty tasty.
Probably not as much later when she threw them up. 6 times. We made it outside for the last 2 or 3 (since I was in bed at the time and was putting clothes on as fast as I could). Chad was so tired I couldn't bear to wake him up so I dealt with the grossness (murmuring the entire time - "this is why I don't have kids yet - barf makes me barf").
Sorry was that a little too picturesque for you?
I was quite concerned. Mostly about her kidneys.
Woke Chad up.
We stayed up late with her, making sure she was not going to be sick anymore.
Called the emergency vet. They told me to bring her in and it would cost $110 just to look at her.
Whoa-ness. I cried. A lot.
Scared for her. Mad about being up. Tired of dealing with animal issues.
Called her vet this morning - told him everything. He says she will be fine. For free.
Love our vet.
Going to church. Alone.
Cause Chad is still on a fire.
did I mention he is tired and this is Day 3?
Please pray for rain.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Neither of us expected fire season to start so early this year. We are still hoping that it was due to the glorious weather we experienced over the weekend, encouraging bad decisions and too much alcohol consumption (by those making bad decisions - not us!). After being gone about 4 hours on Sunday, Chad then worked from 8:30 yesterday morning until about 11:30 last night. He was so exhausted and frustrated when he got home. I think (biased, I'm sure) that he is such a reliable, hard-worker, that never quits that he gets sent to do most of the most tiring, dirty parts of the work - mostly because no one else will! That just means that his workload gets doubled, tripled, added-to, etc...and he comes home ready to pass out. Just to hit the road again first thing in the morning to go back to the same fire.
Yeah. Bummer.
Please pray for him today if you think about it. He needs a strength and a peace about his work that can only come from God today - and every day - but especially today. He is physically exhausted, mentally drained, and just plain ole' tired.

Monday, September 6, 2010

blessings flow.

I have already told you the story about when we bought our house and discovered that a bunch of our neighbors had been praying for its potential owners and how blessed and directed we felt about our purchase.
Last night was just icing on that sweet cake.
We were invited over to one of our neighbor's houses (the house that backs up to ours and is owned by a couple of native South Africans who are lifelong missionaries - worked with the Presbyterian church and also with YWAM for a while - small world huh?). She invited us, a couple and their kids from down the street, some friends from Kenya that are now living here in Chattanooga - a really cool conglomeration of people - most of whom have either lived abroad, are from another country, or have done foreign missions to another country. I didn't think we would be able to go because Chad got called out on that darned fire but he got home about 6pm last night and was so exhausted and frustrated that I didn't think he would want to go. But we did.
And we are thrilled we did.
We had the best food (chicken curry - felt like Indian home), awesome conversation about each of our lives, and the neatest time of just asking each other questions and learning about individual walks of faith. I can not even begin to tell you how blessed we are to know these people and have them in our lives. We literally live next door to them - in a cool, unintentional that is now very intentional - community of believers. I am thrilled that we went, glad we stuck out the evening instead of pleading off early, and got to know some of our amazing neighbors. God has provided us mentors in faith and in life - with examples of how to live a rich, love-filled life - and beautiful examples of strong marriages that have weathered continents, coups, and time.
I love our house. I love that it is becoming a home, surrounded by people that care about each other, take care of each other, and love on each other.
Oh how the blessings flow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Well folks, this day could not get more beautiful. It feels like fall outside - clean skies and wonderful temperatures. Chad and I made it to early church this morning, leaving us plenty of afternoon left to enjoy ourselves. We've worked in the yard a bit, I've done a couple loads of laundry, and we were discussing our afternoon plans when it hit us.
That phone call beginning the thing we know as "fire season".
So much for spending this entire weekend hanging out together...we had even joked that Megan was busy with friends, Jay was not in town this weekend and Chad's parents reported that they didn't feel well so were declining all offers to hang out.
So I will stay home, blog for you (with a slightly pink-colored cat curled up on my lap - my bright spot in this afternoon!), and finish folding laundry while we all hope and pray it is a small fire, not as far away as we think, and is easily controlled and put out.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

our evening.

I had the honor of taking engagement pictures for a friend from work...C and N got engaged just over a week ago when they went to her hometown for a visit. These are just a couple of the pictures we took - straight out of the camera with no editing (though many of them need it, due to an inexperienced photographer!) I am as crazy about photography as Dani and I wish I were as good as Lindsey but I guess everyone has to start somewhere right??

This one is probably one of my favorites...I like that you can definately tell they live in Chattanooga...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It has been a nice two days at work. Yesterday was long and tiring - but capped off with a recruitment of 65 girls and 45 adults. Crazy. Chaos. And awesome!
Today I didn't have to visit the first school or print the first flyer. I spend most of the day at my desk, returning phone calls, processing registrations (did I mention that there were 65 girls and 45 adults at my recruitment JUST last night...not to mention all the others I have done?). And hopefully tomorrow will be more of the same. I have a staff meeting in the morning and then a service unit meeting tomorrow night but there will hopefully be some much needed paperwork time tomorrow as well.
Tonight, at our small group, one of our leaders said something about travelling with AIM (the organization I went to India with). I discovered that he and his wife worked for AIM for a while and another couple lived in South Africa with AIM for a while serving with their teams there. They know one of the guys that was one of my team leaders and knew a lot of the staff that worked my training camp. It really isn't THAT small a world - and I knew this leader/friend of mine was from Chattanooga (and also lived with my Chad's best friend Chad for a while)...but really, it is weird! Wait...are you totally confused yet? Awesome! Anyway, it is sorta cool for me. I think Chad just feels like it is another way that he is excluded from that part of my life by not knowing any of those people so I am trying to explain people to him as they come up. It is almost like it is more confirmation that India was an important, huge, God-led part of my life (not that I had any doubts - but confirmation is always nice) and now it is coming around again that God leads people in all kinds of crazy directions but always leads us "home".