that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

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i am a failure

So for a year I’ve been telling people that I am going to give up wearing makeup for Lent. Jes suggested it when I was in Camrose a year ago and I figured by the time this Lent rolled along, I would be totally ready for the challenge.

I am not.

Granted, I don’t wear a ton of make up but I do wear foundation, mascara and a bit of eyeliner, and the odd dust of blush. More than being a fake face, it’s a matter of routine. I do well with routine. Plus I would have non existent eyelashes if I didn’t wear mascara and my eyebrows without a little clear mascara would be like a bad hair day on my face. So needless to say, I am STILL warming up to the idea and I don’t know what to think of myself. Maybe I will give up one category of make up per week until Easter, ie: no mascara on my left eye this week, graduate to right eye next week. That’d be fun hey?

In other words, I need something else to give up for Lent… any body have any ideas/challenges for me? I am thinking maybe facebook. Not that I am that hardcore about it either, I’ve been trying to quit, but yea. Ideas? Challenges? Double-dares?

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what I’ve given up in the past:

-milk/cream and sugar in my coffee
-coffee in general
-wanting to be ‘in the loop’ of people’s lives/gos
-chips (I think that was dumb because I don’t eat them very often
-other vices not blog worthy

So give me ideas!

(For those of you confused, Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter and for the majority of my life, circa early 90s when the Pederson tradition caught on at the Stam house, we’ve picked to give up something (food, habit, vice) for those entire 40 days. A type of fasting. Last year I gave up coffee and I all but died. Thankfully, when I started my fast I started a week too early so when I cheated a week before Easter, I actually had completed a full 40 days. I rock.)


this is so stupid it’s awesome

Right before reading break (which was last week), I wrote a midterm for my Weimar and Nazi Germany class (awesome, awesome class). The Prof is a bit of a Nazi (in the loosest sense of the word, he/she’s outta control intense and hard) him/herself so I was nervous about it. When I wrote the lame thing, I all but cried to my mom, etc. over how brutally I did and I even wanted to skip that class today for I knew what was waiting for me. By the time 1:00 pm hit, I had worked myself into a painful acceptance for the 55% I was sure was waiting for me.

I got an A! That NEVER happens. Usually if I say I did bad and felt bad about it, I DID do bad. This is historically stupidly awesome and I want you all to share in my joy! JOY I TELL YOU.

Hip – Hip – HOO-ray!

In other news, Amanda made me chef’s salad for dinner tonight, I got a new basketball, had coffee with a friend, talked to Ang, found out I may have a computer virus which sucks, saw a gorgeous prairie sunset on Jes’ blog, and decided that I need to take some more time to myself.

In other words, sleep tight my friends.




Today this guy carrying a guitar was running at break neck speed towards me from quite a far distance. He was waving ridiculously but I couldn’t make out who he was from how far back I was.

So I did what any rationally minded, smart, spunky female would do in my situation: looked and saw no one else around me, assumed I knew him, sped up my pace, flashed my best grin and waved back.

The bus stop was apparently right behind me.


it may look narcissistic, but…

These are actually for Auntie Anita. I told her that I’ve decided not to dye my hair anymore (for awhile anyways). I am getting a haircut on Tuesday so maybe by then I will chop off all that remains of 10 straight years of highlighting, dying, the whole bit. So here my sweet Aunt (and embarrassed-on-my-behalf readers), if my natural hair colour du jour. Enjoy the photos of me while they last, as they are probably not going to be on here permanently. And forgive the oily forehead? 🙂 🙂



dsc00285All natural! Haha. I can’t emphasize how weird it is.

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new venture

…I got a digital camera for Christmas and on more than one occasion I’ve said “my blog will NEVER be the same again!”… so until I can figure it all out and do a pic-share with my sister who also recieved one and who also has a blog, my fabulous Christmas/New Year post will have to wait. Suspending the suspense…



through the ages

Thanks to the brilliance of the internet, I now know how I would’ve fared in the last 6 decades:


1960s (click to enlarge)

1970s (click to enlarge)



The year 2000

AND, saving the best two for LAST:

My Personal Favourite: 1956, the year my mom was born.

Andddddd…. below, 1985 – the year I was born!

I think I’ve aged quite nicely!!!



losing my mind

I just want to clarify that I am not as responsible as I appear. Or as organized.

Case in point:

A. Last Thursday, after she had repeatedly told me it was cancelled and wouldn’t be happening, I went to ‘family dinner’ at Auntie Monika’s, ergo forcing Uncle R. to order us pizza as a result of my forgetfulness.

B. Monday I took off my new watch in the library while I was reading only to realize two hours later as I was walking to my car I wasn’t wearing it. I ran back to the library to find it sitting under my chair, much to my delight.

C. That same Monday, I spilled my tea in the morning all over my seat (this issue has two parts, first the tea spilling) and it was a hot day so I assumed it would dry up. The reason I was walking to my car was because my books were getting really heavy so I wanted to dump them off. I put them all on the said tea-spilt seat only to find at 5:00 pm that the seat had not dried before I put the books there so my brand new textbooks boast tea saturated stains now.

D. That same Monday I was praying in my morning devo about finances and struggling already and God just reminded me he’s taking care of me. That being said, I decided to go and buy my $70.00 textbook that I was trying to avoid purchasing. UVic has “cubbies” in the bookstore where you put your bags before entering the store. I bought the said book as well as a binder and notepad so in the process of putting those two items in my bag, I failed to put in the very-expensive-prayed-about-item and walked away. This was at 9:30am. At 4:00 pm, driving home, I was halfway back to Colwood (far) when I realized I hadn’t seen that book all day. I mad dashed in sheer hysteria back to UVic, praying that someone from the bookstore would hear my case with compassion and honour my receipt. As I ran into the bookstore, I glanced over to the cubbies and lo and behold, there sat — after seven hours — my history textbook. I estimate hundreds of students walked in and out of those doors but there. It. Still. Was. God was 1/2 smiling on my that day.

I went home in dire straits. I had had enough. Thinking the week could “only look up from here”:

E. Yesterday, I felt like junk. Like someone had taken my throat, head, and stomach out of my body, stomped on them, and put them back in. So I decided to skip my last class of only 2 classes of the day. As I am walking back to my car, I realize I don’t have my keys. Sure enough, they are locked in my CAR. What now you wonder? Well, bless his heart, my Dad (and his BCAA membership) were heading to Victoria that evening for dinner at my Aunts. Would he leave a little early? Sure he would! But that didn’t eliminate the awkward girl sitting on the curb right beside her car, in an act of fear someone would steal her pretty little car, reading for two hours in anticipation. (That was me, in case I lost you). By the time Dad arrived, called BCAA, tow truck never arriving at all, Dad takes matters into his own hands and in an act of true heroism and bravery, lassos a pieces of rope through the crack of the window and, with the aid of a long piece of wood, manages to open the window enough to reach in, it is now 6:15 pm and my skipping class to go home to bed is a distant memory.

The whole time I am thinking: My joy is being tested. My joy is being tested. My joy is being tested. My JOY IS BEING TES….ARE YOU SERIOUS, GOD?!?!

Like, enough is enough. I am sick of near-catastrophic events! I haven’t had a bad day in about 12 months… why now a bad WEEK?

On the upside, this week:

A. I sent Jes’ birthday present on time for the first time in a long time.
B. I finished all my History 315 readings early as well as finished three of my Young Adult lit readings on time.
C. Finished three items on my new “to do” list.
D. Successfully went down the blue (and tumultuous, freakishly scary) waterslide at our private swim at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre.
E. Witnessed a miracle. (It’s not an emotional, but rather hilarious, one for which you need my voice, animation, and excitement over the matter to explain. And it’s only amazing if you know the person it involves.)
F. And finally, after a year of dreaming, planning, devising, calculating, waiting, Joce and I took our rollerblades out on the Galloping Goose trail. It was a dream, I tell you, a dream. Complete with the misty eyed viewing and sun ray bursting setting.

See? It’s apparently not all bad.


put it this way

I need an overhaul. Kinda like that show. I need someone who cares about me to steal me away, overhaul me-renovate me-re-furbish me-shine me up-and plop me back into this life again. Really. At least, I was beginning to think so. Sometimes I am not sure.

I was reading a housing listing in the paper this afternoon. I exchanged every “home” or “house” or “it” with the words “Me” or “Woman” or “Wife” or “She”.  Figured this might be an insight into my life?

So, check this out:

“Needs renovation. Woman available at low cost, inspection needed, and she is showing her age. Will be able to have no sooner than June 2009, the cost of the wife is subject to change providing increases in the market”

“Woman has nice view. Overlooking the quiet, serene waters of the bay. Very expensive to maintain but could be rewarding if you wish to resell her”

“Wife on the corner. Not much to look at but in excellent location”

“Woman gone through multiple renovations, increased the quality of her exponentially. Still needs work but she’s worth more after the renos than before”

“Wife for sale, in the middle of renovations. Needs imaginative and skilled owner to finish the job. Will be transformed in no time”

“Old woman in low-end neighbourhood. After extensive work and cleaning you won’t recognize her”

“Fashion her to your desire! Woman built to your standards. Call toll-free”

“Tired of the same old thing? Give your woman a face-lift. Improvements always welcomed”

“First time wife-owner? Careful! She is harder than you think”

“Woman to rent. Comes furnished”

“Woman to rent. Fits up to 4 people. No pets. Students need not call”

Sometimes I think of myself like that:  always being negotiated or stripped down or needing improvement. In need of an overhaul.

What I really want is this kind of ad:

“Woman; not expensive, but fairly priced; ready as-is, no improvement necessary; inspection passed with flying colours; rave reviews; prior owners left because they weren’t able to maintain it in it’s original fashion; if you’re right for it, you will love it just simply for being its own. Cozy, open, lots of light and amazing view”



I was talking to a coworker about a month ago about how smoothly things seem to slide into place for my move to Victoria. I shared with her about my acceptance to Victoria (and lack of acceptance to Lethbridge), which explicitly removed any decision making; finding a place so quickly; having most of my courses transfer easily; and genuinely just feeling God’s peace surround this transition in my life.

Then when I got here what was intended for catching up with dear friends and family has evolved into an unnecessary string of difficulties that are leaving me wavering on tip-toe, trying to hold my balance. From computer troubles to a lacking-home; from tears, trials, and arguments with family to not checking if my class room changed, resulting in missing my writing class. All of these things may sound miniscule to some… but reality is for me that I am not very often shaken. I think about stress and pain and confusion…emotions and dealings most people have often times in their lives..but when I look at mine, I’ve had a pretty ‘easy’ go of it. So naturally, when God decides to rock my world… he does in full force. And it’s really new for me…this concept of trusting him. Or trying to understand.

I went to Powell River this past weekend with Marli and Dad… genuinely desiring to leave and just think about things (and how I was going to solve them). Mars and I wee in a litle gift shop when I came across this card that said:

“Each new wave re-arranges the patterns in the sand so we may pretend our footsteps are the first.”

I liked that. Although the relation to my predicament is slightly obscure, I really found comfort in that. Simply put, I like to be in control. I like to know and believe that what I am doing is so uniquely my own that I forget people have come before me and done what I’ve done and mess up like I mess up. We have the same struggles and fears… and yet with God, he allows us to experience them individually… for each suffering or meager sadness and problems we deal with become our own, simply because he finds is necessary for it to happen. Necessary for me to grow from it. Rather than independent of need, he makes us dependent of Him. And that’s how I know there is reason for this. Because as I found it too easy, too calm to get here… so God sees fit to rattle me out of my comfort. You know what I mean? I am sorry if it’s out of control.

And typical, in my morning devotions yesterday and today, I was given two awesome words. So here, maybe they will help you too:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end.” – Eccl. 3:11

And what I needed the most,

“The LORD will fight for you…you need only to be still.” – Ex. 14:14

Praise God for His mercies. And reminding me that this wave, and my footprints, too shall pass.

Sorry for the babbling!

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zebra-striped thinking

First of all. Brian, I don’t remember posting about facebook so if I did, I am truly embarrassed and I won’t do it anymore. But yes, your text message was heartfelt and delightful. And I can’t give up on the Vic scene… more to come later.

My brother and I went to the movie tonight. When we were there, I saw a boy with a broken leg that was the same boy we had past last night when we went to the beach and the night market for my birthday. I pointed out to Nate that he was the same kid, and Nathan was shocked that I remembered. I don’t think it’s the remembering that is interesting, it is that I noticed him at all.

Often, people will make comparisons in their lives that are best explained as “black and white.” Such as the truth and lies are black and white. Or the rules set in school are black and white, you break them, you get punished…no in between. But what about the grey? We strive so often for answers and understandings that we omit the areas that seem to have no concrete place; order notwithstanding. It intrigues me how much we leave behind when we are searching for one…or the other. I think what is interesting is that the most solid things are ones that occurred in the past: I had blond hair; I read that book; I went to school; I didn’t like that soufflé; I love soccer but now I love baseball more. All of these absolute experiences and favours are results from our dabbling in them.

Present blacks and whites are a little less obvious for me. There are very few things of concrete existence: I am 22, my Mom and Dad are Jack and Lucy; I am a Christian, I work in an office, I
have brown hair, I like to sleep, I go to university. Currently, these aspects of me are black and white, no variations, no opposites… what I’ve listed is what is true. And what is true is what is real. Yet the best part is those are all subject to change, I just won’t know it until it happens.

So why do we think in black and white? Why do lives so consumed in brilliant colours need outlines of white and black? Things are not always one or the other way… the little things, that often go unnoticed, do not always match very easily or stand firmly on their own. No, these parts of our worlds rarely catch the glint of our eyes and harness the avenues of our minds. I think that there is a huge part of me that is looking out for those components in my worlds, almost like if I blink I will miss it… or I look around, at everything, drinking in every littlest detail of my surroundings. It’s why I notice when the girl in the corner of my english class, who’s bottom lip is trembling. Or the little boy in my grade 5 practicum class was hesitating to join the other children. It’s why I read stories without skimming paragraphs (unless it’s a Karen Kingsbury novel) or how I don’t need to watch a movie twice to understand how they did that. It’s how I remembered that boy with the broken leg.

I have decided it’s because I think and see the shades of grey. The undefined, quiet, shy, lonely, independent parts of life… my world is consumed by the lack of labels and the fact that the fantastic parts that colour my world are made so by their shadows of grey.. Because I can guarantee you, things we used to believe are black (or white) can get to be pretty grey now. We need to be vigilant in protecting those things we are sure about… so that once we stop focusing on the things we already know to be true, we stay driven to discovering and learning about those parts that are grey. The parts that stand alone and in dire need of our attention.