Thursday, April 30, 2009

She had me at Costco

Besides worrying about getting our Visa applications in on time, there are a few things that are occupying my mind about our impending move to Scotland:

1. I know the official language is English, but will I really be able to understand what the heck they are saying? (I am brushing up on this by reading a fiction novel set in Scotland. See Taylor, I needed to buy Thorn in my Heart . It's for research purposes...)

2. Will I have a dishwasher? (not the kind that is bent over the sink, up to her elbows in dish soap, and has a Texas accent)

3. Will I have to go grocery shopping before each individual meal because our refrigerator is the size of a shoe box?

4. Will my diet consist of eating parts of animals I do not normally eat (or ever want to eat) and cannot pronounce?

5. Will I be able to get a job that does not require me to serve said food (or food at all for that matter)?

6. Will it be worth living in a beautiful and historic old city since I won't actually be able to see it? (Apparently it gets dark around 3 PM.)

OK, I know I sound high maintenance which should surprise all of you, but I am just kidding.


I'm not really worried about all of that stuff...just the food part because I LOVE TO EAT! Some might call me a picky eater, but I disagree. I'm not picky; I just know what I like and prefer to eat it. Maybe we could call it persnickety. I can live with persnickety.

Speaking of food, last night Taylor and I had dinner with some of our good friends, Mel and Chris. They met while working together for YWAM in none other than, Scotland. So we jumped at the chance to pick their brains and look at their pictures, so we would have a better handle on what we're getting ourselves into.

We ate dinner in their new gazebo on the back porch - the weather and food were glorious. Mel and I chatted about what to expect in a furnished apt so that I would know what to pack. And this is when the Lord gave me total confirmation that I could indeed survive living in Scotland for 3-5 years.

"So Mel, should I bring my dishes? Mixing bowls? Cutting boards? What won't be furnished that I need to bring with me, and what food will I miss?" I ask eagerly, pen in mid-air poised to take copious notes (OK you caught me...I'm not that organized and suffer from a false sense of having a great memory). But seriously, I do not want to be without what I consider typical kitchen necessities - I've already made plans to drive to San Antonio when we're in Houston to pick up some Rudy's BBQ sauce and have already stock piled Tabasco!

Nonchalantly she answers, "Nah - don't bring any of the kitchen stuff. You can get it all at Ikea cheaper than shipping it over. You'll find it, it's huge, and it's right next to Costco - you can't miss it."

"Did you just say Costco?" I shriek in disbelief. By now the guys have stopped in mid-conversation, wondering why my voice has risen multiple octaves. "Taylor, they have Costco in Edinburgh!"

Taylor turns to Chris to shed some light on my insane outburst, "Costco is basically Robin's second home."

And this is what I love about Mel and Chris. Instead of looking at me like I was a nutcase, they immediately advise, "Just make sure you cut the pizza in quarters before you try to bake it because the whole thing won't fit in the oven at once."

And with that - Scotland, here we come.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Globe Heads

Ever since we've been back from Spring Break, our students have been infected with Spring Fever. I run a tight ship from the beginning of the school year to avoid this as much as possible, but even with a typically well behaved group of kids, I am seeing the symptoms. I think I may have contracted a little bit of it myself.

I love teaching 8th grade. Usually when I tell people that I teach 8th grade, they say something like, "God bless you - I could never do that" or "I'm glad it's you and not me." Well I am glad too because I really do absolutely love it. 8th grade is such a great year because they know how to take care of themselves, they know how to "do" school, and most are not too cool for school yet. I've taught 6th grade in the past, and as precious and innocent as they are, they ask way too many questions.

When I first started my undergrad, I was on the early education track (K-4th certification). As soon as they promoted the middle grades program in one of my early ed classes, I jumped at the chance to switch. My decision may have been heavily influenced by the fact that I could drop 2 math courses if I made the change. This ended up being a great decision because

a) the thought of me teaching anyone's child math is just scary and

b) once when I subbed for a 1st grade classroom at my mom's old school, she came to check on me, and found me backed into a corner by 15 six year olds asking different questions all at the same time. Can we say claustrophobia?

But back to Spring Fever.

Our 8th grade team is made up of 4 core subject teachers, and I am the 2nd oldest if you can believe that. Needless to say, it's a really fun group. The 8th grade is stationed in modular units (euphemism for trailers) behind the middle school building. I share one with Lauren, the history teacher, but unfortunately we don't have a door in between the wall that separates our classrooms (pictured) like the math and science teacher do. I think our principal may have done this on purpose.

Lauren is one of the funniest people I know. Here is a direct quote from her "25 Things About Me" list on Facebook, "I love making people laugh. Whether they are laughing at me or with me, I don't care, just as long as people are laughing." Obviously this makes her perfectly suited for teaching 8th grade - they love her and think she is hilarious. There is never a dull moment with her around.

But like I said, after our students got back from the break, they have been crazy, so we have been cracking down on them and venting to each other about it because disciplining is our least favorite part of our job. Especially when nine times out of ten it's for a student having his shirttail untucked for the millionth time. Though I did get one recently for sending another kid's shoe up the flagpole. Where do they come up with this stuff?! We've overheard comments like, "Man, she must have had a bad Spring Break since she's in such a bad mood." I mean I love the fact that they think we're handing out more discipline referrals (known to them as Student Reminders) than ever before because we're in a bad mood, not because they are doing things to deserve them. And by love, I mean loathe.

When I remind myself that they are fourteen, it quells my frustration somewhat because weren't we all like that at fourteen? In one of her Bible studies, Beth Moore referred to this attitude as being a "Globe Head." She told a story about when her daughter was in middle school and how all middle schoolers and most high schoolers are Globe Heads during that time of life. You know, everything revolves around them, and they don't take much notice of things around them unless it affects them personally. It was extra funny to me because I was best friends with her daughter in middle school, so I'm sure I contributed to her Globe Head theory! Yikes.

The newest speculation of Lauren's heavy handedness was overhead by our Math counterpart during her study hall. One of the boys surmised that Lauren must have a boyfriend, and that is why she's always in a bad mood lately. Lauren and I howled over this one. Because, of course, having a boyfriend would put you in a bad mood, right? Gotta love an 8th grade boy's perspective.

Speaking of an 8th grade boy's perspective, I'll close with this noteworthy observation from a different one just today. Context: "Super Science Day" - we basically throw out the typical schedule to do science stuff all day IE make magnets (pictured), construct towers out of straws and shishkabob skewers, compete in egg drop contests, watch a local museum worker put on a Mr. Wizard-esque presentation, and listen to Larry Sprinkle (no joke), our resident meteorologist, talk ad infinitum about tornadoes (which did not help my phobia of them at all!). Once the dismissal bell rings, this boy exclaims, "Finally! We're free from this horrible prison of learning."

And that is why I teach.

I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as he does!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You are a child of the 80s if...

**Warning: this is a long post, but the last picture makes it all worth it, so at least scroll down and look even if you don't read the whole thing.**

You are a Child of the 80s if...

You had a crush on one of the New Kids on the Block

You wanted to be on Star Search

You know the profound meaning of, "Wax on, wax off"

You could break dance, or wished you could

You ever wore neon clothing

You wanted to be a Goonie

You know all of the words to "Ice Ice Baby"

Taylor turned the big 3-0 Thursday, April 16th. Because of his slight obsession for the 80s, how could I resist an 80s themed surprise party?

He had no idea what hit him.

It all started back in September. Tay and I were talking about his looming induction into legit adulthood (I mean "the hill" is in sight once you hit 30). He casually mentioned that it would be unnecessary to throw him a surprise party, and so, at that moment, it was on.

Hey, I love a good challenge, and with Susan Ince (aka Sparky) in on the surprise, you know it'll happen.

Now, I knew I could totally pull this thing off as far as not spilling the beans (you see, my being a human vault is good for some things), but I didn't know if I had it in me to actually organize a whole party, so in February, at Susan's behest, I enlisted my good friend, Dottie. We decided to have the party at her house - she has an amazing backyard - and the ploy would be that she was just having us over for dinner which is a regular occurrence. Taylor would never suspect a thing.

Towards the end of March, I figure it's about time I start getting serious. I knew I had to do all of my planning and preparing in the 3 hour window between the end of each school day and the time I pick up Taylor from campus and the occasional planning period during the school day. So in that week before my Spring Break, I got the evite done (yes, that's all I got done). I must say I am pretty proud of that thing. It had the blurb about being a child of the 80s that I listed at the beginning of this post and this picture of Tay:

This picture is worth a whole blog post, but I'll save that for another time.

Anyway, after the invitations went out, there was no turning back. Thank goodness it was my Spring Break the following week, so like the non-procrastinator that I am, I used that time wisely and was totally prepared for the party by the end of the week.

Yeah right, I was writing blog posts and not packing or applying for my work visa, remember?

Thursday I decided I had better take advantage of having the whole day to get stuff done and hit every grocery store in Charlotte for the second time that week (check out "Home Sweet Home"). Friday, Dottie and I hit up the Dollar Store where we scored a knock off version of Pop Rocks and glow stick lanterns. Next, we scoured Party City where I promptly left my passport.

Did I mention I am not an organized person?! By the grace of God they still had it that next WEDNESDAY when I realized I had lost it. Scary that I am the adult in charge of 73 fourteen year olds during the week. For the record, I have never lost one of them. However, I did find out Saturday night, at a freshmen dance I chaperoned, how they used to sneak out of my study hall on a regular basis last year...sweet. Apparently it involved blankets, crawling under desks, and somersaulting out the door right before it closed. I may not have any future Shakespeares in my classroom, but James Bond stunt doubles, look out.

Lastly, our cars bursting at the seams with the decorations, we head to our final stop, my dad's favorite store in the whole world, Costco. It always makes me less homesick whenever I walk in there. We eventually make it back to Dottie's in time to unload before I pick up Taylor to meet some of our friends at the dollar theater to see Paul Blart Mall Cop.

Beggars can't be choosers...literally.

However, we were pleasantly surprised by how funny it was (though paying $2.50 for a movie considerably lowers your expectations).

So I make it to the week of the party. I am back in school, and just like I told you, after all of that cleaning I did over Spring Break, our house is already a wreck:

Merriweather didn't seem to mind, and Taylor knew better than to say anything.

Each day after school, I headed over to Dottie's and preparations commenced in full force. Like many events, there were a lot of things that had to wait until the day of the party to take care of; mainly due to the fact that Taylor would notice them missing from our house.

Thursday night, Taylor's actual birthday, would be my biggest hurdle. You see, we meet with our small group on Thursdays, and they were also invited to the party. I was afraid someone would get confused and say something. I brought a cake so we could fake celebrate and hopefully throw him off of the non-existent scent. I prayed no one would spill the beans. Besides the, "see you guys soon" nod, nod, wink, wink - they could get away with saying this because we all go to the same church - and showing the blissfully unaware Taylor his birthday present (a bottle of Chimay) without letting him know it was for him, we made it through, and I thought I was home free.

For the record, I iced this cake in the car as we drove to small group. Just call me Martha Stewart.

This is Taylor fake blowing out his candles. I made him re-do it because my camera is slow (and apparently sensitive to motion). At first, he waved out the candles for the hypochondriacs in the room - ahhh! He's starting to think it's normal for there to be multiple hypochondriacs in one place. My freakish tendencies are rubbing off on him in negative ways!

Friday had finally arrived, and I had planned on using my 2 hour planning period in the middle of the school day to run by the house and get the last minute supplies for the party: card table, lawn chairs, serving platters, picture frames (you know, the things he would notice that were missing had I taken them earlier) etc. Well, I had forgotten it was our service project day at school which meant we'd be off campus until lunch, and there would be no off periods all day. I was kind of freaking out. On the ride back to school, the mom assigned to my service project group asked if she could get anything for me at Costco. The heavens opened up and the Hallelujah Chorus erupted, and I about jumped out of my sticky bus seat with excitement. She picked up the cake, and about 70 assorted hamburger and hot dog buns and was back at school right when the dismissal bell rang. It was glorious.

We made the hand-off, I raced to the apt to gather all of the aforementioned supplies, and made a bee-line to Dottie's, but not without begging my friend Kristen to pick up the balloons and make a last minute grocery run. Actually, I didn't have to beg; she's just nice like that.

At last, Dottie's backyard had been transformed into an 80s wonderland, and the food was basically ready to go. And by ready to go, I mean once Sarah stepped over the threshold, I handed her a box of Velveeta and ran out the door. Thank goodness for really good friends who can read your mind.

I race to go pick up Taylor from campus. In the car on the way to school, I call him. Apparently our friend, Mark (Sarah's husband), dropped him off at home where he was currently drinking a beer and stuffing his face with a fourth piece of free pizza. You see, our apt complex was giving away free pizza to those who ordered one a few weeks prior. Knowing Taylor's love for free food, I promptly hid the order form seeing that it was on the same day as the party. But as only Taylor Ince can do, he still scored a free pizza anyway. I try to act calm because typically I'd be stoked about a free pizza. We were so close; I couldn't blow it now.

I get to the apt and wait for him to come down. Seeing him with his backpack in hand assured me he was still clueless about the party; that is until he got into the car. Then, he dropped the bomb.

"Did you do anything with our lawn chairs? They're not on the balcony," he asked.

I froze and quickly thought of multiple ways to kill our "friend" Mark for taking him home.

"Umm what are you talking about?" I stuttered trying to keep my composure while wildly racking my brain for a plausible excuse.

"The chairs on our balcony are gone. Did you pack them or something?"

"I don't think so. I mean wouldn't I remember something like that?" I said lamely. We were 5 minutes away from the party - how was this happening? Think Robin!

"Maybe they were stolen. What else could've happened?!"My voice steadily climbed as I intimated that somebody had scaled our third story apt only to steal four decrepit chairs that cost $5 at Walmart.

He bought it.

"Calm down, Robin. There's nothing we can do right now. There's no use in worrying about it." Quickly, I shut up, my heart pounded in my chest.

We pulled up to Dottie's driveway.

"Surprise!" They all yelled in unison followed by the shrieks of the children at the party who were scared to death by the sudden noise.

We did it!

Here are some more pics from the party. The captions follow the pictures.

Karen and Rick, our young adult Sunday school class leaders, and Jennifer and her husband Tim (below: he's the one with the mo-hawk!), friends from church

Check out Ben's (friend from Wake; down from Lexington, NC) shirt - love it!

Matt, friend from Wake - came up from Greenville, SC for the party - and Taylor (check out Tay's short 80s shorts; I came prepared)

Mel, friend from church and our small group, and Sarah, seminary connection

They were such troopers to bring their kiddos - they both have 2 year olds in addition to the munchkins they're holding: Esther was born in Dec and Connor was born in Jan

Lauren and Jenni, seminary connections; Jenni and her family drove up from Spartanburg, SC.

Ashley, Matt, and David (seminary connection) - came in from Gaffney, SC

Daniel, sweet Caroline (3 weeks old!), and Tay

Daniel and his wife Meredith go to our church and host our small group. They take good care of us - we would never get to see American Idol if it weren't for them!

Chris (Mel's husband), Esther, and Rick

Jenni's husband, Andrew, and their daughter, Kathleen

My heroes, Kristen and Sarah

Mark, Sarah, Matt, and Ashley

Joe (Kristen's husband) Tay, Matt, and David

And this last picture basically sums up the whole party...

Happy 30th Taylor!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Side Note

I think my Smartboard and this computer are in cahoots.

Seriously, I had all of this other stuff typed in between the two passages of Scripture in my last post, and they just did not show up when I hit "publish" - hence the gigantic blank space. Even when I go to my editing window they are still there. I tried to re-publish it 3 times. I guess the Lord agrees with me that His Word and that song were really all that I needed to share.


PS Taxes are done - woo hoo!

PPS Click the seemingly random "I Will Rise" to hear the song I was talking about towards the beginning of yesterday's post.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Music's in my soul"...Thank you Jonas Bros

Wow - I just wrote this long, emotionally raw post, and it disappeared...ouch.

Technology is not my friend. I have this really cool interfacing white board in my classroom called the Smartboard, and it hates me too, so to get it back, I call it the Not So Smartboard. I don't think it's impressed.

In my original post, I typed out all of the lyrics to a whole song, a 5 minute and 10 second long song mind you, so it took quite a bit of time. I think maybe the Lord wants you to listen to it instead of reading it on my page, or maybe He's protecting me from some copyright laws that I am unaware of; either way, I have a link to it later on in this post.

So I was wanting to write a post on the profound meaning of Easter and a little of what has been happening in our lives lately, but I can't find the words, so I am going to borrow others'.

First, let me give you some background. As long as I have been old enough to sing along with Sandy Patty and the Safety Kids (Mom, I think this may have contributed to my hypochondriac tendencies I've come to notice in adulthood), I have been deeply moved by music.

As most of you know, I'm not very forthcoming in the verbal articulation of the stirrings in my soul. I can do it, but it is hard, and to be honest I don't like to force myself to do hard things; I've found that it is fairly easy to do this as an adult (oh wait, except for filing taxes, and filling out work visas - no I haven't completed either of these yet). But I'll leave that particular topic to another post. Music has such an uncanny way of simply putting profound ideas into words, and it moves me.

It says what I am trying to say and don't even realize it.

It evokes longing: Jack Johnson makes me feel like I can't live anywhere but Hawaii and must never wear shoes again; Pat Green makes me ache for Texas until I have to turn off the music or get in a plane and come home.

It time warps you to the past: "Walk Like an Egyptian" transforms me into a five year old in a side pony tail walking apparently like an Egyptian with my dad leading the way; Clay Walker's "This Woman and This Man" takes me back to any middle school dance I ever went to; the entire Coldplay XY album brings back the heartache of dating Taylor long distance.

And it adds a soundtrack to our lives: lately for us it has been Fernando Ortega because, man, that man loves Jesus. (Of course it is also interspersed with Jack Johnson's Sleep Through the Static album and High School Musical 3 - wow, did I just admit that?).

Unfortunately, I only use music and don't contribute to it. I cannot sing and am no poet.

This has been our hardest season ever (understatement), but I am seeing the Lord make beauty out of ashes, and most of it has come from reading (soaking up, bathing in, eating) His promises to us in Scripture and through, you guessed it, music.

I am going to let them help me articulate my thoughts...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

(Does it make anyone else happy that these verses perfectly line up to make a V shape? Anyone? OK, maybe it's just me.)

These verses were my lifeline immediately after our loss. I clung to the promise that His mercy was (is!) new for me every morning because I would have fallen into the depths of despair if it wasn't true. Also, even though He took our daughter home way before we would have chosen, His love never ceases. He didn't allow this to happen out of spite for us or anger toward us - man He is so much bigger, greater, better than we can ever grasp or imagine.

I love how His hand orchestrates everything so beautifully - at our wedding Susannah sang, "He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves (you can listen to it on my playlist - #29) which was inspired by these verses. He knew how I'd cling to this promise so shortly after our wedding.

Most recently this Scripture especially in connection with "I Will Rise" (the song I typed out originally) has resonated.

So we do not lose heart.

Though our outer nature is wasting away,

our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

For this slight (thought it feels massive) affliction

is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory

beyond all comparison,

as we look not to the things that are seen

but to the things that are unseen.

For the things that are seen are transient,

but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Because He has conquered death (Rev 1:17-18), because He is risen, we will also rise. (So here it is - "I Will Rise". Listen and be blessed.

Happy Easter,

PS - Sorry for the crazy spacing. This thing has a mind of it's own.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Home Sweet Home

This week is my spring break, and I have been trying to be really productive. I've been to the grocery store (4 different ones in one day), made chocolate chip cookies, cooked dinner every night (oh wait, that isn't true - Dear Papa John, Thank you for using only the freshest ingredients as it truly does make for a better pizza. Don't tell Papa J this, but I actually prefer Dominoes; they just won't deliver to our apartment after dark -whatever that's about), written thank you notes, watched Twilight the movie (which was highly underrated by the way), de-Merriweathered our furniture (Dear Pledge, Thank you for inventing the Pet Hair Fabric Sweeper. It truly works miracles including saving my cat from being given up for adoption. My trashcan full of enough cat hair to donate to Cat Locks of Love, however, does not thank you), wrote more thank you notes, and cleaned almost our whole apartment. My two goals for spring break were:

1) apply for work visa for Scotland
2) start packing

Hey, it's only Wednesday - I am good under pressure. If it weren't for having goals I wasn't motivated to fulfill, my apartment would never get cleaned.
And it's funny to scare Merriweather with the vacuum.

Anyway, my procrastination has led me to this post because how could I pack up our home sweet home of two whole years and not document what it looks like - can we say posterity? Plus, not all of you have gotten to see it (and probably never will now - thanks a lot - we'll be expecting you in Edinburgh since that is a city actually worth visiting).
So now, when you envision us in Charlotte, you will know just how to picture it. You just need to add some dust, laundry hanging over various chairs, and scattered cat toys because it will only look like this for approximately one whole day.

I am placing the pictures in order of how I see my apartment each day.
A day in the life of Robin Ince...
(5:30 am) I wake up in the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in in my entire life (this bed is what I will miss most about Charlotte in case you were wondering - we can't take it with us to Scotland because it is so massive. I may miss it more than my mom next year. Mom! You're second, I promise (not fromise!))

My side has the chair for the bedside table, and if the lamp wasn't creating a glare, you could see my Anne of Green Gables boxed set.

Taylor is the best, the other day I was looking through a Pottery Barn catalogue (ahhh! I found out they don't have a Pottery Barn in the UK - what am I going to do?! Oh wait, we don't yet know how we're going to eat when we get over there. First things first I guess), and he pointed out a chair being used as a bedside table, "Look!" he exclaimed excitedly. "They copied us."

I love that he thought I thought of that idea on my own (I totally got it out of an old Pottery Barn catalogue by the way.)

Apparently Merriweather thinks it's funny to get in the bed while I try to make it. It is one of her favorite pastimes.

(6 am - no, it doesn't take us 30 minutes to make the bed. We are addicted to the snooze button.) I stumble blindly to the bathroom to put in my contacts.

Picture omitted due to uncleanliness - Mom, come back to visit soon!

(6:05 am) Enter kitchen to retrieve my steeping cup of tea lovingly made by my cute, crazy-haired husband - we're practising this Scotland thing as much as possible. (Thanks for the fun Easter towels Susan!)

(6:06 am - Ok, I know this is getting ridiculous) This is my favorite room in our apt, the sun room. I sit here each morning with my tea and have my quiet time. Merriweather loves to sit on my lap, on top of my Bible. I think since she can't read, she's trying to soak it in by osmosis - man, I remember wishing that would work with my biology book in high school.)

Ok, here is rest of it. I'll spare you the play by play...
The dining room (college roomies, notice the right drawer face is still missing :))

The guest room/Tay's office (see you could've stayed here!)

The living room (check out the books stacked under the coffee table - they're everywhere! Makes for less floor to vacuum)

Yes, I like feeling like I live on the set of Seinfeld!

Ok, the gig's up - this is really what it looks like, but I just moved the card table for each photo so you couldn't see it. It's like my Dad says, "I can't feel comfortable in a place that isn't a little messy and lived in, so I feel really at home in Robin and Taylor's apartment."

Thanks Dad. (I'll miss you just as much as Mom.)

Yay! One box. Now there's progress.
(Merriweather is now scrapbooking by osmosis - if only we could tap into that efficiency.)


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Anne of Green Psycho

You're probably thinking right now, isn't it called Anne of Green Gables? And you'd be right. But this is what Taylor named me last night. I can't help it, I LOVE Anne Shirley. And Gilbert Blythe is perfect. I told Taylor not to be jealous.

Let me back up. This all started with a post by Beth Moore on her LPM blog. She, being a fellow book nerd (is it ok to call Beth Moore that? it seems wrong, but I'm going to go with it), asked her blog followers to comment on her post leaving the title of their favorite book so that we could share our "must reads". I was salivating when I stumbled upon this post a few days after she published it. To my dismay it had already been blocked from any more comments due to the volume of replies received (over 1500!), but who wants to read for the 1, 021st time that Redeeming Love was some one's favorite book anyway?

Side note: what is it with that book? Seriously, it was the winner by far - most people didn't follow my lead (or what would have been my lead had I gotten to actually leave a comment) of choosing your next favorite book because we get the picture, Redeeming Love is a great book! I had Taylor guess which was the most popular book listed, and he did - easily, I might add. So really, what is it about Christian women that makes this our favorite book? It bothers me that we are so predictable, but maybe that is indicative of why so many chose that book in the first place...

But, I digress.

Anne of Green Gables happened to be another big favorite among LPM blog commenters. Being a lover of free books, it quickly dawned on me that I had AoGG in my personal classroom library. My mom had gotten me the boxed set (all 6!) after I fell in love with the movie as a little girl. I just finished Anne of Windy Poplars (book 4) last night when I was labeled "Anne of Green Psycho" because did I mention that I LOVE it? I may have told Taylor that too.

Anne, "with an e" don't you forget, is just so lovable. At first she annoyed me with her "scope for imagination" business and being so bright-eyed and naive (kind of like the girl on Enchanted), but her zest for life is so refreshing. So I have been devouring this series in all of my spare time. I am in that place where I don't want to finish them, but I can't stop reading; you know, how books become like good friends, but then you know you'll have to put them back on the shelf when the story's over? Wow, nerd alert.

This has all led to my wanting to rent the movie again, but Blockbuster does not have it! Can you believe this? Actually I can, it is too clean and pure for them to grace their inventory with I suppose. After asking the Blockbuster guy to look it up and finding it wasn't in stock anymore, he promptly told me to buy it on Amazon and suckered us into buying a six-pack of coke and two boxes of candy. We left with a documentary called My Date with Drew which was actually quite good. Sorry Blockbuster for maligning you.

What is this world coming to when you can't even rent Anne of Green Gables? Tragical is what it is.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm feeling the weight of this very first blog post. I mean, THIS is my first impression as a blogger, and believe me, I don't take that lightly. (Man, it kind of seems like this blog should have a truly significant purpose, like helping people...but it doesn't.)

It's a weird feeling to have to make a first impression with people who already know and love me (because let's be serious, who else is going to spend time reading this?) With my parents, my first impression consisted of being a naked screaming baby, so I'm pretty sure I've got them in the bag, but with the Inces, the stakes were higher. My parents were going to love me no matter what. The Inces didn't have to. I knew at least after Susan's first compliment to me -- (which by the way was given during my first date with Taylor - yes, his whole family was there), "Robin, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but..." -- that I was at least being myself. And I'm going to try and do that through this blog.

So now I am going to try to captivate you with a witty first blog post because I am a (reformed) psycho about beginnings. Did you guys know that about me?

I don't know when it started, but at some point in my life, beginnings became the gauge at which I measured the future success of most situations (friendships, dating relationships, jobs). Scary I know, and not a very accurate way of living life though it did help me avoid an embarassing first kiss under the glaring lights of the entrance to my freshman dorm at A&M, but we won't go there. My first impression of Taylor was, "what does this (really good looking!) preppy guy hanging out in loafers and a polo shirt at a high school youth group BBQ think he's doing?" Mind you, I was wearing boys' cargo shorts that I got at abercrombie kids and a graphic tee that read I love green eggs and ham. Apparently I thought you were supposed to blend in with the kids, not actually look like the adult in charge that you actually were paid to be. And guess whose clothes are still in style?

But my first "dating" impression of Taylor was of his coming to my house a few hours before our first date with a bunch of roses he cut himself and our jumping on the trampoline. Let's just say I was in Heaven after that. And it's been (mostly :)) Heaven ever since.

But back to 'first things', during those college years, I always felt plagued that if something didn't start out well at the beginning, it would ultimately be doomed (ooh, Taylor take note - there is some serious sermon material in that misguided theology). Thankfully I don't live like this anymore because by God's grace, as I've matured in my relationship with Him, He's shown me all through Scripture how he loves to redeem bad beginnings. (Case in point: Adam and Eve).

I was talking with my students about this very idea in my English class a few days ago. We're studying a novel where the main character doesn't have a relationship with his father. He is finally recognized and claimed by his father when he does something impressive, something worthy of his father's name. We talked about how we're thankful that God doesn't do that with us. He takes a bad beginning and redeems us:

"But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

But sometimes, old patterns creep up...hence the weight I've felt in writing this post.

I feel like if I don't captivate you with my impressive writing skills that this whole blog will be a waste of time -- something that you eagerly look at to get a glimpse into our new tea-sipping, hill-hiking, warm-clothes wearing Scottish life (O my Glory! The Lord obviously has a lot of grace stored up for me for such a time is this) but instead find yourself bored to tears or driven to them out of the frustration and resentment you feel in your obligation to read it. Y'all are shocked and slack jawed right now aren't you because

a) I'm not usually this forthright with my feelings and

b) since when is Robin Ince dramatic?!?

Fooled you. Oh wait, that was supposed to be yesterday.

A girl that writes a blog that I follow regularly beautifully put into words why I have put off this post for so long. Taylor has been asking me to start this blog ever since we talked of the possibility of going to Edinburgh, but I haven't been able to face the blank screen. I wanted to leave this aforementioned captivating and witty first post in "potential-land" because there it will actually be captivating and witty. It can stay where all of my other grand plans for writing have stayed, safe from the criticism of others. But I seem to remember some Scripture mentioning something about submitting to one another. So here it is -- our blog in all of it's glory. Be kind with your comments, but not false. I didn't create this blog to build up my ego, but to bore you to tears or drive you to them in frustration and resentment.