Archive for February, 2012

What’s On My Mind?

Written by abbynormally
February 25th, 2012

Oh hey, it’s been awhile, huh? I’m still here. I just don’t have anything to write about–well, I think I actually have too much to write about. Here’s a brief synopsis of everything that I could write full posts on (heck, some could be actual books).

1) Here are two articles I recently stumbled upon about C.S. Lewis that are very informative. It’s no secret that he’s my favorite author of all time. Actually, I’d go so far as to say that he’s my favorite intellectual of all time. You should read them.

C.S. Lewis as a Political Thinker
I love this line: His concern was not policy but principle; political problems of the day were interesting to him only insofar as they involved matters that endured.
The Eternal C.S. Lewis

2) Speaking of C.S. Lewis, he once said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

This has never been as true as it is today in America.

Geneva College filed a lawsuit this week against the federal government for the mandate that religious employers must provide abortion inducing drugs to employees (and in Geneva’s case, students). The lawsuit has been filed in defense of religious freedom. I am so proud of the College (and the other schools) for taking a stand against this attack on our constitutional rights. And also for its unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life. If you’re interested, you can read more here.

3) I’m trying to read The Help, but I find it inexplicably boring. There’s only one other person that I know who shares my opinion. I think that whatever the author was trying to do, Harper Lee did it better with fewer words and fewer characters. I’ll finish the book, but I’m not happy about it.

4) I plan to chase The Help with In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Harper Lee’s character “Dill” was based on Truman Capote, a childhood friend whom she helped throughout the mystery of the Clutter murders–the subject of In Cold Blood.

5) Is that last sentence as confusing as I think it was?

6) I am so sick of training for races. Seriously. I don’t care how great I feel when I cross the line at the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in March–heck! I don’t care even if I win the dang thing– do NOT let me sign up for another race at least a year. I hate the feeling of always feeling like I “have to” run. I run simply because I enjoy it. Lately it seems like it’s a chore which makes it unlikely that I’ll do what I need to do because I’m a slacker.

7) I’m much more interested in planning for Rome than I am for my race. Dave had the brilliant idea to schedule our week using post-it notes. He’s full of those. Brilliant ideas, that is. Although I was surprised at how many post-it notepads he uncovered so I’m starting to think he’s full of those too.

8) I also updated my photography blog.

What’s been on your mind lately?

Abby {Normally} Playlist

Written by abbynormally
February 15th, 2012

I’m really not that into music. I like it, but I tend to listen to only the artists and songs that I’m familiar with. I spend a lot of time in my car (and other rentals) and sometimes it’s nice to have all of my favorite songs on one playlist. I have a few spread out between my iPod and iPhone (I don’t dare sync my iPod to my macbook because it has music from a lot of different computers and I don’t want to lose it!). The playlists on my iPod are the ones I listen to most often because there is more option. However, tonight I decided to make a playlist on my iPhone for my road trip tomorrow. As I was making the list, Dave was playing video games and he heard the music and said, “Are you listening to music?!??!!!” That’s how rare it is!

Here’s what Abby normally listens to:

(Note: my taste in music is about as random as my personality.)

The Ballad of Love and Hate – The Avett Brothers
King of Spain – The Tallest Man on Earth
The Space Between – Valencia
I Killed Sally’s Lover – The Avett Brothers
No One Like You – David Crowder Band
Aside – The Weakerthans
Colorshow – The Avett Brothers
Rumour Has It – Adele
Disarmed – Thrice
Amazing Grace – Waiting for Iris
Music – Procession Came Opposite
The Death of You and Me – Noel Gallagher
Honey – The Hush Sound
Stranger – Dr. Dog
Lead Me – Waiting for Iris
You Are the Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
Last Pack of Smokes – The Weedrags
Don’t Wake Me Up – The Hush Sound
Heart Transplant – Punchline
For the Moments I Feel Faint – Relient K
Of Dust and Nations – Thrice
The Feel Good Drag – Anberlin
Weary Saints – Dustin Kensrue
All I Want to Do – Ginny Owens
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
Love You Much Better – The Hush Sound
Repo Man – Ray LaMontagne
My Heart Will Sing – Silers Bald
He’s Always Been Faithful – Sara Groves
Prelude 12/21 – A.F.I.
Please Come Home – Dustin Kensrue
Very Nervous System – Punchline
Magic Trick – M. Ward
Save – The Rocket Summer
Crooked Teeth – Death Cab for Cutie
Go To Sleep – The Avett Brothers
Man Named Truth – Monsters of Folk
Got To Get You Into My Life – The Beatles
Eleanor Rigby – Thrice {the only Beatles cover I like}
Where’d All the Time Go? – Dr. Dog

Are there any songs on my playlist that would make it onto your list? What artist have you been enjoying lately?

11 Random Things

Written by abbynormally
February 10th, 2012

I’ve seen this floating around the blog-o-sphere and Kristen tagged me. It’s like blog content in a bag! Here goes:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 random things about me:

1.  I hate feet! I think they are so disgusting! I don’t like my feet and I don’t like anyone else’s. My mom and Dave sometimes try to “snuggle” their feet against me and it sends me flying off of the couch in a fit of rage and disgust.

2. Underwear lines drive me crazy. You can infer what you want from that sentence but all I’m saying is that I can’t stand to see underwear lines.

3.  I have a really weird obsession with the DISC behavioral assessment. I figure out what everyone is and act accordingly. Obviously you need to handle someone with a high D differently than someone with a high S. Me? I have a really high S and I. Dave is a textbook C (<–why he’s a great engineer!!) with a strong D. I’m people-oriented and he’s task oriented. Opposites do attract!

4.  I’m a rather private person. I know I have a blog, but I’m very particular about what I put on here (I know who reads it!). I have very firm boundaries and don’t like people trying to cross them without my permission. If I am comfortable with you, I’m an open book. Otherwise, I’m very selective about the information that I share.

5.  I almost transferred to Geneva College for Biblical Studies and Languages my sophomore year. But I decided on Classics and Philosophy (at Pitt) since that’s what C.S. Lewis studied and I think they are the foundations of education and culture as we know it. Also I like Latin a heck of a lot better than Hebrew.

6.  I think poop jokes are hilarious!

7.  I can’t dance for the life of me. I have little rhythm and no coordination. I only will dance at the weddings of close friends. And that doesn’t mean that it’s still not humiliating.

8.  I finally went to the dentist yesterday. After SEVEN years! The Dr. said I can put my picture on the “No Cavity Wall.”

9.  I’m not a cat person, but I have a bleeding heart for any animal and one time I rescued a kitten. Dave said we could try it out for a week. That was on a Monday. On Friday I came home to no kitten but a Vera Bradley purse in its place. Dave’s not a cat person either.

10. I once told my English teacher that she bored me. It’s not my fault public schools don’t teach direct objects until 9th grade! My mom made me apologize the next day. I was such a brat. Who am I kidding? I still am.

11.  I am shockingly strong-willed. I come off as a “golden retriever” and a follower, but if I’m ever pushed to do something against my will or values or if I ever feel threatened in some way… LOOKtheheckOUT. I have a spirit of steel and I don’t give in easily (if at all!).

11 Questions Answered:

1.  What’s your most irrational fear? Flying!! I HATE to fly. I do it, but I stress and lose sleep over it MONTHS before I have to get on a plane. Dave will be drugging me and slinging me over his shoulder when we board for our vacation in March. WE HAVE TO FLY OVER THE OCEAN. ::panic attack::

2.  What’s your dream job?
I want to be a Latin teacher at a Classical Christian school. I also wouldn’t mind teaching Logic and History.

3.  Are you a napper or can you do without naps?
I love to nap but rarely do it. I tried to nap yesterday because I had a free evening (I ran six miles before work! That never happens). Unfortunately I couldn’t fall asleep, so I read about ancient Rome instead.

4.  Do you have any tattoos or random piercings? I have my nose pierced. I also have an idea for a tattoo that I’d like to get, I just need to courage to do it!

5.  How do you like to spend the weekend?
Relaxing! I don’t like to have any plans, but I still like to do things. Ideally, I would run, read, shop and watch hockey. And mayyybe do some chores or crafts.

6.  What’s your favorite dessert?
I can’t even name one favorite dessert. I love them all. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about tiramisu and I can’t wait to have some in Rome!

7.  If you could go to any sporting event in the world, what would it be?
Probably the Winter Classic or the Stanley Cup final.

8.  What was your major when you first started college and did you graduate with that same major?
I started out as a Nursing major at Pitt but graduated with a degree in Classics and Philosophy. I was really born in the wrong generation.

9.  Beer or wine? Beer! But good gluten free beers are hard to come by and I will never turn down a glass of wine.

10.  What’s your guilty pleasure?
Browsing GOMI forums. It’s like a train wreck–so horrible but I can’t look away!

11.  Hair up or down?
I have a pixie cut so it’s kind of up and down at the same time.

11 Random Questions:

1.  What is your greatest strength?
2.  What’s your best Halloween costume to date?
3.  What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
4.  What’s your biggest pet peeve?
5.  If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
6.  What’s your dream vacation?
7.  If you could choose one celebrity to play you in a movie, who would it be?
8.  What is your favorite class you’ve ever taken?
9. Who is your favorite literary character?
10.  If you had 24 hours left to live (and unlimited resources) what would you do?
11.  What’s the first thing you notice about someone else?

Who I’m tagging:

Susan (Coffee and the Paper)
Amanda (Cucina Amanda)
Ashley (Edible Perspective)
Lindsay (Cotter Crunch)
Kacy (Low and Behold)
Liz (The Sixth Letter)
Susan (Nurse on the Run)
Jessica (How Sweet Eats)
Melissa (Trying to Heal)
Jill (Jill Will Run)
Natalie (The Sweets Life)

I know this is against the rules, but go ahead and tag yourself too! If you like things like this but weren’t tagged–just go for it!

Or just choose a question or two that you like and answer it in the comment section!


Written by abbynormally
February 8th, 2012

This blog has evolved. I know I’m not posting frequently and that’s fine with me–I certainly hope it’s ok with you! If it’s not…well, sorry. Part of the reason is that I don’t know what to write and the other part is that I don’t want to write if it can’t be quality. AbbyNormally should be a blog that is true to me (thus the name). And I think I’m standing at a crossroads and wondering who exactly I am. Not just “how do I want to portray myself on my blog,” but more of “what is the essence of ‘Abby?’”

And while there are many aspects to my being, here is what I have come up with today:

Can you relate?

I’m a confident person, generally speaking. I know my beliefs and values. I know where I stand on most issues. I know there are times when I should speak up and times when I should shut up. I also know that there’s a lot out there that I don’t know. And I know that I’m nothing on my own and my God, my family and my friends are my greatest strength.  Having that kind of foundation has made it easy for me to survive situations outside my comfort zone.

But stepping outside my comfort zone on my own is a rather…uh, terrifying.

That’s when the 15% crippling self-doubt really makes its presence known. And the truth is that it is entirely self-imposed. I immediately think of all the reasons why this won’t work, why I don’t like it, why I don’t belong here. I try to find my “happy place” instead of accepting my discomfort and being in the moment.

Actually I avoid those uncomfortable moments if it is at all within my power to avoid.

Yes, I just publicly admitted that I’m a coward. Maybe that’s part of my confidence. I know I’m a coward and I’m not fooling myself or anyone else by trying to be something I’m not. Know who you are, and embrace it.

But there has to be some room for growth, right? I am human and I am vulnerable. Some people spend so much time covering up their vulnerabilities to protect them from future pain. I don’t cover them up; I wear them on my sleeve. But that doesn’t make the dangers hurt any less when they inevitably strike. Trust me, they hurt. However, I can’t spend the rest of my life running from people and circumstances that make me uncomfortable or wounded. What am I missing in life because I am so scared to take a leap of faith?

So I, Abby, normally feel both confident and insecure. It’s part of life and it kind of sucks. But I think that our confidence comes from recognizing those insecurities and facing them head on. And I may not defeat them in this life, but knowing that I won’t give up or give in is a victory worth celebrating.

 This post was born of a moment of self-reflection–a hobby in which more of mankind should partake. I’m not fighting some secret battle right now and posting cryptic things. I’m just being pensive.  :) 

What are running from?

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