this is awkward, but hilarious.

on a stressful day, i can expect kaylee to send me awesome links to cheer me up....

here's the link.

or if you want absolutely no context to the video, which is quite possibly even more hilarious, here you go:

by the way, it worked. totally cheered me up!


we're staying in iowa city!

the fact is actually kind of old news for us, but i realized that i should probably update you all since you so faithfully read and supported me through my time of emotional explosions. sorry about that, i can't realistically say it's going to end anytime soon.

as you remember, since last october really, we were considering our job options in seattle after bryan graduated. [oh yeah, bryan graduate from college! that happened too!] in april and may, he began interviewing at many different companies, a few in seattle, and several in iowa city, too. then he left for china, and everything he started was put on hold. then i left for china. then we came back together.

almost as soon as we got back, bryan started studying for his life insurance license exam. it is a required licenses for most companies, so he was getting a head start.

all in one day, july 10, here's everything that happened:

we received bryan's diploma in the mail! it felt pretty official-he graduated from college!

bryan called jim in seattle, to see if he had made a decision about hiring bryan. basically, jim liked him, but it didn't seem possible to make room for a new financial advisor on his team. that was the main job bryan had a shot for in seattle, so the door to seattle was basically shut at this point.

bryan had a two hour interview with northwestern mutual. bryan was super nervous about the interview, not because he didn't have confidence in himself, but more because he really wasn't sure if this job would be the right fit for him. he was basically afraid that he would get offered the job, but not want to take it.
we both had a great time with God as he prayed it out on his drive to cedar rapids. we knew seattle was out and we knew God would provide a great opportunity here in iowa city. bryan absolutely had the freedom to not accept the job and keep looking (that freedom was afforded to us mostly because we don't have any school debt). we gave it to God, trusting that He would guide us.
when i received the call from bryan, i honestly didn't know what he was going to say. when he started gushing about how great the interview was and how he got a perfect score on one of the tests and how they were really fighting to hire him and really seemed to want him. i was a little bit shocked to hear him completely change his demeanor about the job. immediately, i knew. we're staying in iowa city.

i called my mom, she screamed. i called holly, she screamed (and i heard all of her kids scream too). i told the salt staff (i was a salt), they were all pumped. i texted some of my other friends who i knew were waiting just as much as i was. it was a fun night.
the majorly bummed out pair was bryan's parents, who were obviously pulling for seattle-i'm still a little sad we won't be living near them!

two days later,  bryan passed his life insurance license and officially accepted the job. since then, he's passed his health & accidental license and started his training with northwestern mutual. he's officially a working man again, going into the office everyday. we even got him some dress clothes at goodwill and a new lunchbox to celebrate.


so i went to china. [the God thing]

yeah. that actually happened!

i'm really going to try to keep this short and readable, so it might turn into a couple different posts.

let's start this blog out with a bold statement: two days after i arrived in china, i told bryan i would move there if he wanted us to. 

those that walked through these last 8-9 months with us know that one sentence is exactly why i needed to go to china. eric & holly (aka the best connection group leaders in the world) said that almost immediately after we got back.

here's a little background. i took perspectives. it completely opened my eyes to God's heart for the world and totally shook my view on the Bible and God up. i loved it.

the class in no way made me want to go overseas. not even a little.

but it did stir my heart for the nations, and i began to support others with prayer and money with excitement. i was 18, working a fulltime job with no plans of going to college. and i wanted to be a wife and a mom. i remember saying that i didn't have any desire to go overseas myself, but i think i would be more willing to follow someone overseas (in other words, i want to get married and if he wants to go overseas, well, i guess i would consider that).

well, easier said than done.

last semester, God did A LOT in my heart regarding following my husband. a lot. it was the source of a lot of my tears, anguish, and worry. but God was working and just like Elizabeth George in A Woman After God's Own Heart, i was fully prepared to receive a call from bryan while he was in china asking me to move there and say, "yes!" ha. hahahaha. hahaha.

actually, i thought bryan was crazy for even thinking we could move overseas. what would he do? what would i do? when would i get to have babies?


i know, i know, i wasn't exactly the picture of an awesome wife. i was more like, sure, go to china, i'll stay here and cry until you get back.

i just needed to go. and here's what God showed me:

my husband KILLED IT. and by killed it, i mean, SAVED IT. because he was a part of saving eternal lives. and he was really, really good at it. he was bold, direct, honest and loving. and his impact was great.

i actually love asians! it's not that i didn't love asians before. it's just that i didn't love them NEARLY as much as a lot of my other friends. i think i was a little intimidated by my dear friends who are simply put, obsessed with all things asian. i was all, "if that's what loving asians is, i'm out." but God provided such sweet girls and guys that it was impossible not to fall in love with the people and culture there.

the fact that bryan went for five weeks and i went for one was just perfect. bryan had a enough of life there to become a little more grounded and a little less idealistic about overseas life. he got a realistic idea of what it would be like (somewhat), talked to the long-termers about their struggles, vision and advice, and had good days and bad days there.
and i went for one week and was prettily easily sold on the idea. i was all, "I LOVE THE FOOD. I LOVE RIDING BUSES. I LOVE SWEATING. I LOVE THE PEOPLE. I LOVE THE FOOD."


thanks Father, we really appreciate it.

[as a point of clarity for the sake of our moms, we currently do not have plans to go to China at this moment. more on that later.]

coming up...
so i went to china [the experiences]


so i started running.

right now it's midnight, and i'm still up because my husband is driving back from chicago and i've got some nerves about it. those nerves are apparently turning into adrenaline which is fueling this writing spurt. lucky you.

normally it wouldn't be a big deal that i am up this late. but it is a big deal because i'm looking forward to a 5:35am wake up call...to going running. by my own choice. my eyebrows are furrowing in confusion too.

here's the story:
in late march, i got a call from ashley, one of the pastor's wives from veritas. she told me about this idea she had to start a run/walk club this summer and how all of our veritas ladies would get together and run/walk and get fit and we'd all do a 5k at the end of the summer.

sidenote: as the very general "coordinator" of a church, i get to hear a A LOT of these "ideas." and really, they usually mean, "lisagrace, here's something else i'd like you to magically organize and make awesome like you do." but you see, ashley is awesome (not JUST because she remembered "administrative professionals day" and made me a heart shaped sucker). no, ashley is awesome because she read my mind. she was all, "you won't have to do anything."


this is me after a run, my face is way more red than instagram makes me look.

well, anyway, i was excited about this little club, because although i look skinny and tall and athletic, it's all a lie. so i went the first week and told my friend kaylee to make me run.
needless to say, it ended in me, keeled over and gagging, while kaylee ran ahead because she was so grossed out.

the second time wasn't much better. nor the third.

but i'm pretty competitive and i was going to run without almost dying! and after hearing about it a bunch on facebook and all that jazz, i decided to download an app on my phone. and it's working. the app is called 5k Runner or "Couch to 5k." i was convinced by the name, because i was all, "hey i like couches and sit in them a lot currently."

i hated running (and almost all forms of exercise for that matter) for a long time because i wasn't good at it, i always quit too early because i felt like i was going to die, and i never knew how to breath while exercising.

but this little 8 eight week program is all i needed apparently. that and an iphone. here's how it's helped and made me believe that i can run a 5k.

  1. it starts off really easy, which made my ego shoot through the roof
  2. i don't have to think about it, all i have to do is run until my phone buzzes in my hand. then i walk until it buzzes. and all of sudden, i just ran for 8 eight minutes straight and i am in shock.
  3. it's not distance, it's time. i can go as slow as i want, as long as i'm still running. i take advantage of that as much as i can. i believe my friend sarai calls it wogging (walking+jogging)
  4. it's pretty much a built-in idea that you pace yourself and that is what improved my breathing the most. it still takes some focus, but my breathing is much improved and i don't gag anymore!

i actually also have a really spiritual post in my brain related to running, but i'll save that for another time. 



my latest self discovery is that i am a perfectionist. but i'm kind of a weird version of a perfectionist, because i'm also a very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind-of girl, which often warrants a lot of imperfections.

the perfectionist part of me can.not.handle. too much. which is what my life is right now. bottom line: if i can't do everything perfectly, i don't want to do anything at all.

and the worst part, the part that gets me in trouble, is that i want to do EVERYTHING. it's not just that life has given me a lot to do right now (which is part of it), but it's also that there are just so many things that i like and even love doing! so i say yes, yes, yes, and more yes...and then (you can probably guess) i end up crying in yet another staff meeting and this time it's all about how hard it is to be a wife and have a job and do every hobby and hang out with every person that i would like to.

and while in the past week my life has actually had somewhat of a routine to it, and i'm actually doing things i should and want to be doing, there is still so much i'm not doing and i'm just trying to sort it all out. sheesh. it's time for me to make a list. or several.

help people with crafts.
spend time with people.

making dinner.
grocery shopping.
having energy to love and care for my husband.
helping my husband with whatever he needs.
cleaning my house.

reading the Bible.
journaling to Jesus.
confessing my sin.

painting my bathrooms.
fixing all the slightly damaged clothing we have.
getting our back door fixed.
continuing to de clutter.

being a good friend.
being a good family member.
staying calm and collected under stress.
convincing bryan to get me pregnant.

right now. i'm working on 'write.' we'll see what i get to tomorrow.