Lent’in Exhausted

I often go into Lent wanting it to be a deep, spiritual experience. Sometimes it is. This year, it wasn’t; and that’s okay. This year was hugely interrupted by an international trip, during which most of my Lenten fasts were set aside, and my habits of spiritual discipline (and exercise) were thrown to the wind. But that’s part life when travelling. Then we came back just in time for Holy Week, sick and jet lagged, and work exploded. I’ve had two 13+ hour days this week! So I’m still exhausted and I’m far away from feeling any spiritual depth around this Easter.

But through all this it’s a deep comfort to know that Christ came to pursue us, not to be pursued. He doesn’t mind if we are tired, frustrated, and just not in the mood.  He loves us, and just wants us to show up and let him do the work for our salvation.

So tonight, i’m just going to show up at Good Friday Mass. I’m not going to worry about my hair or make up, or the fact that i’m kind of grumpy, or that I haven’t said a Rosary (or don’t any serious prayer or quiet time) in three weeks, or that I failed at all of my Lenten fasting. I’m just going to come as I am, burdened and heavy laden, mourn my Savior, and rest in his love.

Because really, that’s all he asks of us.

And, of course, I have to share again my Good Friday Lament.

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Friendship Is Complicated

And this is a great explanation of why My Little Ponies: Friendship Is Magic is amazing.

I will also note a story about my last con, Emerald City Comicon in 2013. I was standing in line for a Shadowrun panel and chatting with the guys ahead of me in line. It didn’t register with me that one of the guys was wearing all purple, or that he had purple and pink streaks in his hair, until I noticed a familiar sticker on his purple tie. “Oh my God! Are you Twilight Sparkle?!” I said. He broke into the biggest smile ever and very proudly replied, “Yes! Yes, I am. See, I even have a tail!” and he spun around to reveal purple and pink hair extensions clipped to the back of his belt. Twilight Sparkle is the most intelligent, mature, clever, and self-aware character in the show. A fabulous choice for anyone to emulate. He was my favorite cosplayer, even including the Spartan troop complete with grav hammer and a world class Captain America. Well done, Prince Twilight. Well done, indeed.

Friendship Is Complicated.

Fight the Silence

Last week I encountered an article that was inspiring, and hard to read. I couldn’t read all of it; about a quarter of the way down it got too hard, because my journey was different, and so much easier. But the author’s point really hit me. We don’t talk about miscarriages, and this culture of silence makes it all the more frightening, isolating, and painful when they happen.

So, I had a miscarriage last week. Praise God it was probably the easiest way one can go through something like this. Our first ultrasound wasn’t until about ten weeks in (this was two weeks ago. Jan 8), so when the scan showed a sac but no baby it was obvious that the pregnancy had kicked off well, but wasn’t going anywhere. I am so glad Trey was with me at this appointment. We also learned that something like a quarter to a third of all pregnancies fail, some so early the mothers may not even know they are pregnant.

Last week I had a D&C, and two days off work. The procedure was quick, easy, and as my lovely OB said, “boring.” Which is absolutely what you want in any surgery. While this hasn’t been easy, it could have been a LOT harder. We are surrounded by many loving and encouraging people, and physical and emotional healing is going very well–though the mood swings are not fun.

I don’t have a point with this post, or a lesson, or a platitude, or anything so trite. But I am always more comfortable with things in the open. So if you want to share, please do. The hard things also need to be talked about.

Christmas Updates 2013

Dear Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas! God has taken us on a wild ride since our last Christmas letter. It has been challenging for sure, but He has blessed us richly and provided continually.

Pirates

In 2011 Bizzy started grad school at the University of Washington, completing her Masters  of Communications in Digital Media in spring of 2013. Grad school was a wonderful experience, with many challenges and adventures! In the spring of 2011, Bizzy’s folks decided to move to Boise, Idaho, but asked us to stay on as caretakers of their house in Kitsap County, Washington.

In the winter of 2011, Trey debuted as a theatrical director for the

Christmas Dessert Theater production of Annie. It was the best-selling show GracePoint Church has ever produced! That year also saw the incorporation of PublishNext, an author-funded, top-notch publishing house featuring Trey as the Senior Editor. Things started off a bit rocky financially, but the company had a lot of promise.

School and publishing took up most of 2012. In the spring Bizzy planned a wedding for some close friends, and both Trey and Bizzy served as honor attendants. Trey took on more responsibilities at PublishNext, which still struggled financially due to lack of capital. Trey published his first nonfiction book in September, under the pen name H.R. Schorr. Also in the fall, Bizzy committed to planning and executing a fun but large and complicated wedding for Michelle Green and Alex Schloss, which then became the number one project of 2013.

graduation headshot

This year has been particularly challenging! In her final quarter of grad school, Bizzy joined the student-run media blog, Flip the Media, and attended Emerald City Comicon and SXSW Interactive 2013 as part of their press team. After graduation she turned all focus to job searching and wedding planning. Bizzy’s folks put their Kitsap house on the market in the summer, and much of May and June were consumed with home staging. We learned a lot about home decorating and maintenance during that process!

In July, Trey chose to leave PublishNext, which continued to have financial difficulties. He turned instead to seeking other employment and pursuing his own writing.

wedding portrait

August saw the fabulous and (nearly) flawless production of the Green–Schloss wedding at the Greens’ home in Kitsap County. It was truly magical!

Immediately after the wedding we were faced with a difficult decision: The house would be sold in a matter of weeks, and so far neither Bizzy nor Trey was having any luck finding a job in the Seattle area, despite dozens of applications, lots of networking, and even some informative workshops. It soon became clear that only one option was truly viable. God was calling us to join Bizzy’s folks in Idaho.

As we packed our things and said goodbye to Kitsap, Bizzy’s childhood home passed to new owners. Though they are wonderful people who will do very well by the house, it was a sad and difficult time. In mid-October, we crossed the mountains for good.

But what an exciting ride the rest of the year has been! In November Trey completed the first draft of a manuscript as part of National Novel-Writing Month and landed a part-time job for next semester as a junior-high drama teacher at a prestigious private Christian school not a mile away from the Greens’ house (where we are living). Bizzy has had nearly half a dozen interviews for marketing and event planning, and every week brings new leads.

We have also found a wonderful church! Despite the best intentions to be slow and intentional about making commitments at Eagle Christian Church, we have found ourselves—Bizzy particularly—jumping in with both feet! Bizzy has been invited to sing four solos at three different events and been asked to join one of the women’s leadership teams.

Even in such a short time, it has been clear that this is where God wants us to be. We are very excited to learn what He has in store for us here!

In the next year we hope to:

  • Find some financial stability, hopefully through a great job for Bizzy,
  • Publish several books and build Trey’s author career,
  • Get involved in some local theater,
  • Do lots of hiking(!), and
  • Make more great friends.

God bless us, every one!

                    Trey & Bizzy Schorr

photo booth fun

Jalapenos and Benadryl

Yesterday I made Mexican rice for the first time.  It turned out really well, by the way! I will tweak it a bit next time but the texture and flavor were pretty good.

This experiment also had me cutting up jalapeno’s for the first time. Now, I’m not a spice person.  I will on the rare occasion go as high as 3 stars, but 2 is my comfort zone.  My husband, on the other hand, likes it HOT. When he makes hot chili, he uses a mix of peppers that includes those tiny Thai peppers that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole (I don’t eat any of this chili, in case you were wondering). Chopping up said pepper mixture usually involves rubber gloves and chemistry glasses and lots of warnings to anyone else in the house, “Do Not Touch That! Don’t even BREATH it!”

But, as I said, I was chopping jalapenos.  Little, innocent, jalapenos.  So, even if I had known where Trey keeps the rubber gloves, I probably wouldn’t have used them anyway.  I just held the slices with my fingers while I scraped out all the seeds. Mistake number 1.

Mistake number 2, which was probably the worse one, was that after chopping said jalapenos and putting them in the food processor, I did not immediately wash my hands.  Instead I continued chopping the other veggies I would need for the mexican salad I was making to go with the rice. Half an onion, one bell pepper, and 1.5 tomatoes later the thumb and forefinger on my left hand start to sting, like I had a tiny papercut that some tomato juice got into.  Huh.  Not a big deal.  I finish the third tomato and it’s really stinging!  But I merely rinse off my hands and the knife and finish arranging things to start this fabulous mexican rice.  Suddenly, it gets bad enough I can no longer ignore it.  I wash my hands.  Then again because it still stings.  I put some oil in the Dutch oven to start the rice.  Wash my hands again.  About now I stick my thumb in my mouth to try and suck out the really stubborn tomato juice.  Thats when my tongue starts burning and I realize… Crap.  That was not the tomatoes.

Of course, by now it is not jalapeno oil on my finger continuing to burn.  It is the jalapeno oil that soaked down through several layers of skin and is protected and continuing to burn from the inside.

It is now about 2:30. We are supposed to leave around 6 to meet friends for dinner at 6:30.  So I have four hours to cook the rice, finish the salad, clean the kitchen, and shower.  Not a big deal, except that now I also have to take care of the burn on my fingers! I tried flushing with cool water, rubbing my fingers while flushing them, soaking them in ice water, ice water with soap, milk, milk with ice, even yogurt.  I tried ice bags, aloe, aloe with lidocaine even!  Turns out that once pepper oil actually saturates into your skin, topical treatments do pretty much nothing–at least not towards making the burn actually go away.  Keeping the burn suspended in cool liquid, especially flowing liquid, helps somewhat but only until the second you take said burn out of said cool liquid.  then the pain is absolutely excruciating. Not. Fun.

I am rather impressed that with only one working hand and having to keep the other one suspended in cool liquid I still managed to get the rice done and take a shower–both of which took 2-3 times as long as they should have.  I also toughed it up to go ahead and go to our dinner date–ice bag in tow.  They were really sweet about it and let me just sit with my fingers in a bowl of ice water.

So what did finally help? Benadryl.  About 5 hours after initial contact with the evil peppers, I called the family doc (aka Dad) and learned that by now, all the oils causing the burn are definitely gone and what I’m dealing with is an inflammatory response.  So, cold stuff helps somewhat because it is anti-inflammatory.  Ibuprofen might help, but Tylenol won’t. Benadryl is one of the strongest non-steroidal anti-inflammatories out there. If that didn’t work, the only trick left is prednisone, which would require a doctor visit to get a prescription.

Fortunately, the Benadryl worked!  And it has the lovely side effect of putting me right to sleep. By 2 am, when I discovered by ice bag was leaking, I was too tired to bother getting another one and my fingers were only irritated, rather than excruciatingly painful.  By 7 am, the burn is gone though my fingers still feel tight and grainy.

So, if I could give you one piece of advice for the future, this would be it:

WEAR GLOVES!

The Effect of Context – Vlog

This is my first attempt at video blogging. Much like Lizzie Bennett I am getting a Master of Communications, and this weeks intensive course is all about web video storytelling, huzzah! I address this same content in the previous post, just to cover my bases in case this one goes horribly wrong.

<I am also typing this on my table of doom, and so hyperlinks are not working. i will add those tomorrow.>