Saturday, December 25, 2010


Feliz Navidad!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No Holly, No Jolly...

I just haven't been in the mood. Nope, all I want for Christmas is not you Christmas music.

Bing, Mariah and good 'ol Manheim can go have a White Christmas, a Blue Christmas or even a Hawaiian Christmas somewhere far, far away from me. I won't be home for Christmas and hopefully this is what I will be listening to instead...

GOTAN PROJECT - La Gloria from Ya Basta records on Vimeo.

Here are a few non-Christmas, Christmas songs that have appeared while I haven't been in the mood for Santas, or chestnuts, or Angels on high.

Horchata - Vampire Weekend

Winter Winds - Mumford & Sons

2 Bodies 1 Heart - Noah and the Whale

The Hat - Ingrid Michaelson (video is live, but

Winter Song - Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson

Rocks and Daggers - Noah and the Whale

and the jingle bells go crazy...Sinking Friendship - Jonsi

(ok, not really jingle bells...but doesn't this song sound like twinkling lights or frosty trees?)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Word Pictures

Come, let us return to the LORD.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.

Hosea 6 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Woes

driving in snow • itchy skin • constant need for lip balm • shivering • cold cars all the way to work • boots • smartwool on every inch of my body • icy roads • bell ringers who look cold so therefore I am cold too • snow drifts • sun goes down before I see it up • visible breath • getting out of my warm bed into the cold world • christmas • blizzards • daily bloody noses • a noisy humidifier • pilly sweaters • excessive layering • I should be drinking even more water than I am already not drinking • a draft • guilt for not being outside ever • stepping out of the shower • never really knowing if I will make it home because of the weather • longer commutes • less motivation for everything • january • driving slow • needing to take vitamin d • people with white winter coats • knitted blankets with holes big enough for my big toe • crunchy footsteps • angry unfriendly wind • frozen february • the word inclement • feeling like a popsicle • window scraping • people telling me I just need more body fat • static cling •

...did I mention I hate being cold. I am such a baby.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Monday Morning: Suddenly my world was white.

Tuesday Morning: I think it will be white for awhile...

Friday, November 19, 2010

the moment I almost didn't...

It is fun looking back on those moments in life that had specific and palatable consequences whether good or bad. Maybe I shouldn't label that fun, but definitely interesting.

Speaking of palatable, this story involves chocolate and a whole surprise ton of it because of a couple of those moments that I almost didn't.

Intrigued? read on...

Take it back a few weeks...I had gotten news that the job in Tennessee was a no-go and I was back to square one looking wide-eyed at a quickly approaching new year. I was still living at home, still 26, and still lost in knowing what my next move should be. Before the frantic feeling could take root, I found myself in a few blessed days of productivity. My to-do list and I found ourselves in a relationship where I was more attentive and intentional about our quality time and this budding relationship was actually mutually beneficial. My research brought me to a local non-profit that has 19 different programs all working to benefit those in North Dakota who have a rocky road to walk. As with most websites I visit these days, I found myself on the employment opportunities page. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota had a lot of volunteer opportunities including a Communication Internship. I emailed a few of the other volunteer opportunities first because I was skeptical that the Internship was still available being it was already almost November. I must have gotten distracted after those first few emails because it was later that day that I found myself back at the Lutheran Social Services website and finally emailing the Communication director. The next day I had an interview. The following week I was "hired" for the volunteer part-time position and yesterday I made brownies for their Thanksgiving dinner (some of us find pie a once a year experience). I have only had two full days of work, but I already love it there. I love the work I will be doing and the people I will be working with. I just wish I loved the paycheck too.

After my interview at Lutheran Social Services, I stopped at the mall. Which was a strange occurrence. I can't even remember what brought me there that day. The mall and I used to be tight, but its appeal to me has dwindled to almost nil. I have learned a few things that I am not sure the mall has learned yet. Bypassing my short plug for responsible consumerism...I was still at the mall that fateful day. There I was standing in front of Macy's ready to head back out to the car, when a thought hit me. "Jessi...I bet the mall has seasonal job opportunities..." A seasonal job at the mall around Christmas...when and where over-active consumerism is awarded with extra hours to shop, fake Santas for posed moments, hearing Santa Baby blaring from Holister 18 times a day and excessive amounts of red and green? Sounds like a delightful experience to expose myself to on a daily basis! Not. I kept walking to the car. I hadn't made it two steps till I decide that is was probably something I should look into despite my lack of yuletide cheer. I stopped at the Customer Service Desk and inquired about seasonal jobs. The lady behind the counter said that she didn't really know of any but that she was looking for extra weekday help at the C-desk. "Great!" I said as she passed me an application. She also gave me an application for See's Candy and told me that they were interviewing on Friday. The C-desk seemed promising, I wasn't so sure about the candy job, but I interviewed anyways.

I got one of the jobs...the one where this is my uniform...haha.

I guess it was fashionable in 1921...

"Would you like a sample? I have a dark chocolate with caramel, a milk chocolate with butterscotch, a coffee-flavored krispy, a mint-flavored krispy, and..." I get to say this a million times a day, but I really like it so far. I meet tons of cute old couples who have had their children mail them boxes of See's candy every Christmas. They are so excited we are here and I am excited to be there too. The register and I are still getting comfortable with each other, but over all I am doing well. This cute old man told me I was born to be a saleswoman. haha! It is really easy to sell a well-loved product! Especially chocolate! I am not sure if his comment will have any effect on my future, but I do know that the next few weeks will be busy and delicious! A good saleswoman knows what the products taste like of course! This stuff is really, really good. Oh man! All-natural ingredients, no preservative, no high-fructose corn syrup and lots of variety to keep me sampling for weeks! Plus, I get to wear this hot outfit! Oh goodness!

I have a job and an internship for the next few months. This is good. I am happy those moments that almost didn't happen...really did happen. A little bit of money in the bank, a whole lot of good experiences, pockets full of deliciousness and a cold well on its way!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Music Swap

Cheers to those who like good music and then tell me about it...
We'll call this paying it forward.

Thanks Jeremy.

Dear World, but most specifically...Chelsea, Sister, Chris, Nick, Mel, Tara, Anthony, Brad and me. If I could sing you this song I would. Love Jessi Jo.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

How do you measure a year?

In baby steps and Big Bird steps.
In tears and exclamation points.
In community and deep reflection.
In pictures and limelight.
In searching and finding.
In heartache and headache.
In whispers and starlight.
In emails and scribbled dreams.
In dead ends and elevators.
In imagination and stewardship.
In haircuts and mittens.
In chocolate and Chai tea.
In textbooks and cookbooks.
In yearning and growing.

By breathing. By being. By feeling. By loving...Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes.

I love Rent! A rock opera. I cry. I think. I boil. and I think some more. It is raw and powerful and applicable. The documentary is awesome too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is it Christmas already?

Argentina allá voy!


Argentina aquí vengo!

either way

I'm going!

(To those who actually speak this language...which one is right?)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I heard from God today.

I heard from God today.
He wrote me an email.

Clarity and mystery all in the save breath or in this message.

He was sorry to inform me that HR and budget cutbacks had vetoed my almost job. The message was kind but clear. My neon sign had appeared from heaven and I was thankful, but bummed too.

Rewind a week and a half and you find me stressed. The Titanic kind of stress that shows a bit above the surface, but the massive mean part lurks just under the water's edge. The what ifs, the maybes and the life decisions that have Everest sized consequences are Thing 1, 2 and their younger brother 3 causing chaos and commotion in my brain. Sleep...Ha! Who does that anymore? I certainly don't partake. But, that sleepless night a week and a half ago is when I told God that I was too weak to make this elephant sized decision. I would pursue this job until He opened or closed the door clearly. Well...the door closed.

Slammed in fact.

This is good to know. It is also good to know that God is working/not working things out and letting me know along the way. The main dish is gone, but there are a few peas and carrots left on my plate. Edible hope. Is an extra helping of patience included in this happy meal?

"I wish I had better news for you but that came down from the top. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck finding a great job and if there is anything I can do to help you with your search please let me know."

Kindest Regards, God

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

you don't need a three piece suit to argue the truth

Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will

watch till the end...

Brett Dennen Ain't No Reason

I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday

People walk around pushing back their debts,
Wearing pay checks like necklaces and bracelets

People walk a tight rope on a razors edge
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons
It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen
Or a thought or a word or a sentence

Keep on buildin’ prisons, gonna fill them all,
Keep on buildin’ bombs, gonna drop them all.

You don't need no reason or a three piece suit to argue the truth.

Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes

Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will

Friday, October 22, 2010

To You the Only Wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Who was...

You have led so many times in the past. High School seemed scary...but You gave me four girls who were there then and are still here now. Picking a college was stressful...but You opened a door with tons of awesome people and experiences behind it. Choosing and re-choosing a major gave me headaches and sleepless nights...but You brought peace. Which boys to date and which ones to let go...You held my hand whether they were or not. I felt called to be a student missionary...but the last minute came and went. Both You and Egypt run on a different sense of time it seems. Egypt was perfect for me.

Those are the big bullet points...but You have worked out the details too. The tiny details and decisions are where You have pruned me and left something that can grow stronger.

and is...

You have given me a family and a home where I can park until the next adventure begins. I am fed. I am safe. I have time to learn and look and figure out what is really important.

and is to come.

Your leading is so apparent looking backwards. I see it. Why can't I remember as I look forward? I smile and hardly remember those moments of indecisiveness and the stress and despair they caused. Why do I doubt so easily? You have proved Yourself time and time again. My faithlessness has nothing to show for itself but weakness.

With all creation I sing...

I did the top of my lungs with the song blaring while I peeled potatoes. I get it Lord...for now, until I forget again...You have led in the past...You are leading now...You will be my Guide in the future as well.

Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything and I will adore you!

I will work on adoring You...I am not very good at it right now.

Revelation Song

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coke & Condoms

My thoughts after watching this TED talk:

Everybody in every country drinks Coke (roughly). What if every Coke came with a condom?

Interesting idea for family planning.

Some would argue that it might look like Coke was encouraging sexual behavior...well, I think our American media has that covered already. Plus...the rampant spread of AIDS might seem to say that sexual behavior goes on with or without our approval/disapproval of the matter. Why not encourage the idea of protection and respect...a different kind of pleasure.

A drink that rots your teeth and can clean out your toilet's plumbing but encourages wise choices? Now that is a conundrum...but perhaps a question that could save the world.

P.S. She shows part of K'naan's World Cup commercial! Yah K'naan!

Monday, October 18, 2010

no strings attached.


Skyping that happened today.

North Dakota

"Don't you feel like we're kind of from the future when we talk on skype." Thoughts from Nick.

It's magic!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My species drums...

Dad has been so excited lately because he has figured out how to watch online things through our TV. A few weeks ago I came downstairs and found him watching soccer. This last week he wanted to have the miner rescue on all evening.

Today...he was showing off his new found skills to my grandma and grandpa.

"You want to watch a show on Hummingbirds?" dad asked nonchalantly. (but more chalantly than non)

"How are you watching that?" Grandpa asks.

"PBS online," says my puffed-chested father.

So for the last 30 minutes I have been watching hummingbirds. Some with long beaks, some with curved beaks, some with territorial issues. Mostly I was bored. Then the not so deep-voiced narrator said this...

"The so and so hummingbird spots a female so and so hummingbird in his midst. To attract her love and attention he instantly starts his special hummingbird dance."

"Dad...what if you had had to win your lady friend by dancing?" I ask.

"You would not be here." Mom interjects.

"He drummed instead." Mom qualifies previous slam.

"My species drums." Dad concurs and then giggles. (Yes, my father does in fact giggle)

Dad won my mother's love and affection by playing the drums...good to know. I guess he is winning her love and affection now by playing online shows for her on our romantic.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Sometimes I wish I could listen to more than one song at a time. Or sometimes I want to fast forward or skip ahead to the next song on my playlist. Then I remember that I love the song I am listening to.

My cousin Brad got married today. One of his groomsmen fainted. Brad almost did.

Mr. & Mrs. Bradley Thames
According to my cousin Lori I have no hope of finding a man now that I have graduated from college. I rolled my eyes a lot this weekend. As if marriage is the only happiness in life.

Sometimes confiding one's hopes, dreams, feeling, concerns, etc with parents makes one discouraged. I should have known.

I cried at least twice today...for very different reasons both times. The first time I was listening to a love story in a church with friends and family. The second time I was alone, in an elevator headed to the forth floor, listening to Mumford & Sons (refer back to sharing hopes and dreams with parents).

A simple wedding...yes please!

My room in North Dakota a.k.a The Black Hole of Despair is ever approaching.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Review: Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love
Author: Francine Rivers

The Overview: 
I picked this book up on Friday night with a bit of trepidation. Christian novels and I parted ways long ago. Some people dig them...I have mixed feelings. I was going to read one baby chapter that night before going to bed...10 chapters later and it was suddenly 2 a.m. I read for four hours down to Minneapolis the next day and even while the TV was on that night.  When I finally shut the light off and called it a day, I purposely didn't look at my phone to see what time it was. Yikes! This book sucks you in!

Hosea: a book of the Bible, a man called to do the unthinkable, and a picture of God. It was a powerful portrayal. I couldn't put it down...obviously [see above paragraph if you perhaps skipped it because it had nothing to do with an actual overview].

Redeeming love takes place during the gold rush of CA. A farmer, a prostitute named Angel, and a handful of other interesting characters take the stage in this early 1800s update of the Biblical story.

The Good:
This book is dedicated to those who hurt and hunger. I cried. I pleaded with God. I threw the book on the ground disgusted at the way we treat each other. We make judgments without knowing anything about people, where they come from, or what they are going through. We do this...God doesn't. The last lines of the book say this:
"Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back to life."
The Bad:
The farmers name is Matthew Hosea...I know this book is a story of the actual Hosea but do we have to be that literal? I say no, but that is my opinion. Francine Rivers is a phenomenal writer and I will not pretend to know more about writing than she does.

The epilogue: I wished they hadn't even put it in there. I love knowing what happens next, but this was to cliche and ridiculous...

The Memorable:
This book is raw and truthful. A bit surprising honestly. I will never forget the description of Angel's life before she met Micheal or the way I could read/practically feel God's love for me through the pages of this book.

The Recommendation: 
I loved it. But it is still a Christian, if you do perhaps decide to read it, just accept that fact.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shoot me before I head for Hollywood!

Nick: Jessi, what are you doing? What are you lookin' at?

'Til I only dwell in Thee

Chelsea told Krista and I about this beautiful song last week...little else has been played on our ipods since. Krista even figured out how to play it on the piano. It sinks in and haunts your soul in the most awesome way.

Hymn by Brooke Fraser

If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather 'til I only dwell in Thee?

If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after
'Til I only dwell in Thee

If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 'til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee 

I have lots of goals and ambitions right now...I guess I only need One.

This is perhaps the least lame of the videos on youtube...they didn't have the song on I guess you get to enjoy the waves and other waters while you listen...sorry.

Thanks for sharing Chels!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I hear girls on TV talk about how much they love shoes or how a fancy/shiny pair of new shoes makes any day better or by owning hundreds of pairs of high heels you have some how...arrived. I laugh at them and then I puff up just a tiny little bit because I think to myself "haha...i'm not part of your system...I throw your shiny high heeled shoes on the ground!"

I do hate those kind of shoes...the bedazzled, pointy-toed, fancy instruments of pain that I am sure a boy came up with because it supposedly makes lady's legs look hot. My sister likes high heels a lot. She does look hot in them...she is tall, has long legs, and tiny feet. I am short and even though I like to walk around barefoot and carry my shoes, I would like my shoes to be comfortable enough to stay on my feet.

So as I was laughing at all the future husbands who are going to have to allow and perhaps pander to this shoe addiction of their lady of choice...I noticed that I have a Firefox bookmark entitled "shoes." Oh high horse just became shorter.

My research into sustainable business and corporate social responsibility has led me to many a shoe company's website...what is it with shoe companies and wanting to change the step at a time...haha...cheesy joke alert! Well, whatever it is about shoe companies wanting to instigate change I am happy about it.

When my mom asked what I wanted for my birthday all I could think of was shoes...haha...I guess I love shoes too, just a different kind. They have to look good with Smartwool socks in them!

Here are a few of the shoe companies I love or want to love.

 Simple shoes started as a reaction to the over-marketed, over-glitzed shoes that were inundating the store shelves. As they were growing, they realized that mother nature was taking a beating and they didn't want to be throwing any punches. They use natural products like organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp as well as recycled materials like bike tires, car tires, and plastic bottles.

Their goal is to make a 100% sustainable product. Less>More is their new campaign which is "a call to action for those who are fed up with the over consuming. over stuffed. super sized world we live in."

Check them out at:

Timberland is an awesome company. Their CEO is awesome. Their corporate social responsibility efforts are awesome. They own Smartwool...that is also awesome. The fact that they don't want to hire me is not awesome...I am trying to get over it.

Timberland wants to be ethical, sustainable, and responsible as a company. Stewardship is important to them. Their "new long-term CSR strategy focused on four strategic goals:
  • Energy...Become Carbon Neutral by 2010
  • Products...Design Recyclable Products
  • Workplaces...Fair, Safe and Non-Discriminatory Workplaces
  • Service...Service Campaign: Community Greening"
Their CEO, Jeff Swartz is an activist at heart and wants to do good business which is so refreshing. EarthKeepers is their entire website dedicated to being transparent and joining us in the fight.

Check out their shoes and their CSR at:

Birkenstock prides itself on not being a bandwagon hop-on to this green revolution we find ourselves in today. They have been dedicated to "environmental sensibility" for 230 years. Yikes! That is a long time. Quality materials and low-waste production is their mantra. They also want us to know that their packaging comes from recycled paper and we can have our shoes repaired instead of just trashing the old ones and buying new ones. "A company with a conscience" is the label they give themselves and if you would like to learn more...

Check them out at:

Wrapping it all up...We say something about ourselves with what we wear everyday...I'd be proud to advertise for these shoe companies and support them with my dollar.

I cringe when I say it...but I do love on on mission. But...this doesn't make them have any less of a negative effect on my wallet and therefore my love needs to be kept in check and my credit card not involved in my "research."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: Searching for a God to Love

Searching for a God to Love
author: Chris Blake

The Overview: 
A look at faith for what it trust in something that we don't understand fully and probably never will. This book provides reasons and examples for us to know that a faith in God is not ridiculous. It makes sense:
  • We have a loving God who sees justice as mercy
  • We have a world around us that testifies to a Creative power as well as paints a vivid picture that this is not our home or the way God planned things to be
  • We see what love can do in our very own lives
Non of these ideas are new to anyone who has sat in a pew once a week their entire lives. But Chris Blake uses wit, life experience, and the thoughts of great scholars, authors, and regular Joe Smith to show that questions are good, yearning is great, and coming to terms with a faith that is honest is best of all.

The Good:
Before each chapter there are a page of quotes that pertain to the coming chapter. I am a sucker for quotes. Here were a few of my favorite... 

"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and willingness to remain vulnerable."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh) 
"In all my years in art, nothing is more artistic than loving people." (Vincent Van Gogh) 
"If you're coming to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let's work together." (Aboriginal woman from Australia) 
"It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way." (Rollo May) 
"Of what use is immortality to a man who has not learned to live half an hour? (R. W. Emerson)
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'They will be done.' " (C.S. Lewis) 
"To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven." (Jesus)

The Bad:
The chapters are REALLY long. I am a short chapters even if that means more of them kind of person.

The Memorable:
Chapter 6 - A Path of Astonishment
A walk with Jesus through the last few days of His life on earth. Real. Honest. Love. A story...where human and divine save me.

The Recommendation: 
Those who are searching for God are not likely to want others to come to conclusions for them. The search needs to be personal or it won't mean anything, but this book isn't trying to make conclusions for us. It shows why we are searching and gives us hope that our search will not be in vain.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Red & Green...more than just complementary colors.

Red & Green...also awesome food complementary colors!

I had the most delightful epiphany today. There is was...sitting on the open avocado. This open avocado was then added to my favorite sandwich at the moment: crusty bread layered with pesto, tomato and mozzarella. This layered loveliness was then broiled.

I almost left it under the broiler too long...this is the genius behind timers i guess. Maybe the genius is remembering to use them.

Another red/green complementary food combination I had today...salsa and guacamole! Brilliant!

Yum! Red and Green taste so good together. I wonder if my taste buds know they look good together too. My eyes and mouth are in cahoots...I knew it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

warm and snuggly

It's computer is now ready for winter. Computers need warm, snuggly things too.

It only took me 18 redos of each part to get it right...but it is nice to have it done...finally.

Thanks to Christoffer and Chelsea for getting me started! I appreciate you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stuff White People Like...the blog

Chelsea would sit at her desk in headquarters (her third choice of which desk she finally wanted to claim as hers...oh goodness) and read to us from this blog when we had free moments. We would chuckle...then frown...then laugh at ourselves. Headquarter is where we gathered to work/soak up every moment of being together before we had to leave each other for the unknown life beyond August 2.

Nick was usually there...working on finding jobs or something. If it was a Monday, then Bryan James was huffing and puffing about parents and their lack of parenting skills or swearing mathmatically while working on the dish/serving schedules. Anthony was in and out mostly. Brad was there when he wasn't teaching Basketball...probably farting at least once or fifty times before he had to leave again. Chris sometimes came in and laid on the icky floor or plopped his butt down on the floor and leaned his back against the wall to work on his never ending picture picking job. He likes the floor. I was there too...I was organizing. Girls directors get to organize a lot...I love it!

Anyways...back from Nostalgia Nook at the end of Memory Lane and on to the point of this blog...The Blog...Stuff White People Like.

I think it is funny. I am white and I like a lot of the things that this blog says I am supposed to like. For example: Camping, Vespa Scooters, Ugly Sweater Parties, San Fransisco, Appearing to Love Classical Music, Hating Corporations, Public Radio, Sushi and Tea...just to name a few. I'll be makes me a little mad that everyone else likes the same things I like AND that he is making fun of us...oh well...I guess I will just have lots of friends...everywhere.

Obviously this blog should not be taken seriously. But it is funny to see how serious we take ourselves. We think we are unique. We are of course...but perhaps not as unique as we all thought we were.

The newest post (#134) is on TED talks. I happen to be a recent fan of TED talks. I am white yet again...haha. I downloaded the Podcast version just a few weeks ago! (Podcasts will probably be post #135 on SWPL).

Anyways...check out the blog...I think it is funny. Chelsea does too. So does Nick. We all thought they were funny...or maybe we just liked that we were together. It is up for grabs.

Stuff White People Like

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I longboarded this weekend. I went around and around my grandparent's block. I live on a farm...there is no cement...therefore no longboarding. I am pretty sure I haven't longboarded since Southern Village last May. I was rusty. (Obviously this post is all about me with the amount of sentences I have started with I).

But...don't worry. This post is NOT all about me.

My mom wanted to give it a try.

Mom is trying to get Dad's attention
She didn't like the cracks in the cement so well

Longboarding this weekend made me miss this...

...a lot!

To those who pushed me to learn...and bought me the board...and went down Pierson before me...this is for you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I am Jessi Turner

Can Jessi Turner be defined. Should I be able to look my name up in the dictionary and find a one sentence answer of who I am or what I do? I am not just a noun. I am a verb and an adjective too. Today, you could describe me one way. Tomorrow...if I wake up spicy, you would probably describe me another. When I was 6...who was I? Or 16? Who will I be next year at 26? Who will Jessi Turner be at 86? Do I define myself or am I defined by the people I surround myself with. My experiences? My career choice? Is God the definition giver or do we work together..or am I on my own in this?

We have a new pastor at our little home church. He has an accent. He is from England. His wife is Russian. The accent helped me listen. I decided he is a good speaker. I have started journaling while I'm at church. I don't think it helps me listen any better but it does help me remember what happens to me or things I find interesting. Today, while I was listening and journaling I heard the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I know nothing about Dietrich other than that he is famous. The pastor mentioned a book I should read and the following is a portion of it.

Who Am I?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Am I then really all that which other men tell me of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my thoat,
Yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

I am not sure that this clears up any of the above questions, but it is a thought to think on a bit more.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Philippines has taken her away from me...

She should be there now. Twenty-six hours of travel time. Two children. One sick. A new culture and language to learn. New Friends to make. Darn she is brave.

That is my friend Erin...the brave one. She left for her new life in the Philippines yesterday morning bright and early and now she should be there! Tuesday evening, Fargo time she told me last week on Friday when I got to see her for the very last time. Two years she will be there. A lot happens in two years! I am quite certain that our other friend Jess will be married by then. Cari will have her doctorate. Jenn will be somewhere doing something good for the world. Who knows what I will have happened in my life when the two year mark rolls around.

Erin came to my school in 4th grade. She had grown up in the Philippines because that is where her parents were missionaries. I can't remember exactly when we became good friends...I just know that it happened. We wrote notes during class constantly. We had matching shirts...mine had a J, hers had an E. We joined yearbook to spend more time together after school.

Then graduation time came, then summer after graduation, and then we all went our separate ways...all to different schools in different states. Erin went to New Tribes Bible School in Wisconsin.

I think it was that first Thanksgiving after we parted that Erin came to stay with me at my grandparents house for a couple of days. She talked to this one boy on the phone a lot...I had my worries. She had a twinkle in her eye.

I got the phone call later that year..."Jessi...will you be my maid of honor?" Haha! I knew it! So she got married and I had to change her name in my phone.

Erin...married. After Bible School, Matt and Erin moved back to Fargo and that is when an extra happened to be on the way too! Erin...pregnant. Can I just tell you how adorable Erin is pregnant...sooo cute!

And then she came...

Then they were three...

and then four...a boy!

This is the picture we took last Friday at their farewell party...

Erin and Matt are off to be missionaries in the Philippines. There parents were both missionary families in the Phiippines and that is where Matt and Erin met as kids. There lives didn't meet up again until Bible School and then they fell in love. They also fell in love with the idea of maybe going back to where they grew up to serve again. It has been a long process for them and now they are finally going! There, in fact! Guys! I am so proud of excited for happy that it all came together. This is one of those times that you can see how God puts puzzles together. Each piece...working together.

God is leading...there is no doubt. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Erin and I are at such different stages in life, but our friendship has proven its worth and hung in there this long...I am sure that two years will be "ain't no thang" (in the words of a dear friend named Ben Schnell).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

123 Haiku

Haikus we do love.
You should visit my new blog.
You can Haiku too!

Friends! I just started a blog called 123 Haiku at
And although playing 123 Haiku is definitely more fun when we are all together...that is not an option right now. So, this is the next best thing.

Let your creative juices flow... 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For Nick...mostly thanks to Christoffer (the finder of good music).

Here they are Nick...the songs I am listening to over and over again.
  1. Coin Laundry - Lisa Mitchell 
  2. I'd Be Lying - Greg Laswell 
  3. The Book of Love - Now It's Overhead 
  4. Avril 14th (LP Version) - Aphex Twin 
  5. Congratulations - Blue October & Imogen Heap 
  6. Your Love Means Everything, Pt. 2 - Faultline & Chris Martin 
  7. Leave Me Here - Hem 
  8. The Chain - Ingrid Michaelson 
  9. Boy Lilikoi - Jonsi 
  10. Let Myself Fall - Rosie Thomas 
  11. Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol & Martha Wainwright 
  12. Comatose - Timmy Curran 
  13. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman 
  14. Gotta Have You - The Weepies 
  15. The Fear You Won't Fall - Josh Radin 
  16. Intelligentactile 101 - Jesca Hoop 
  17. You Don't Know What Love Is - The Kin 
  18. One Moment More - Mindy Smith 
  19. Winter Song - Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson 
  20. Ghostwriter - RJD2
Coin Laundry is my absolute favorite at the moment.

Lisa Mitchell - Coin Laundry from Scorpio Music on Vimeo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

old people

I am practicing to be old.
my grandparents are old...they are giving me a glimpse into what it is like.

I went shopping with my grandma the other day. She wanted to get some capri pants because everyone is wearing them. haha. My grandma has the beginning stages of alzheimers...she is starting to forget things. I am dreading the day she forgets who I am. She is looking really old these days. She doesn't walk outside because it is either too cold or too hot or too windy...she has a thing about wind. I had forgotten this fact until the other day when she asked me to go on a walk. I got my shoes on and was ready to walk around the block. Grandpa got the car keys and we drove to the mall. They have a route. Grandpa babies her...he has been for awhile now. She has become weak and frail looking. When we were trying on clothes she needed me to hold onto her so she could get the capris on and off. She held my hand as we were walking back to the car...for stability.

Thursday night means out to eat night for grandma and grandpa. They have a few restaurants that they like to frequent but when I am here they like to give me the choice...but I know that if I was to pick they wouldn't actually like it. There are some awesome vegetarian/local produce restaurants that I want to try in the Minneapolis area but I know they would not be down with that. Grandpa has celiac sprue. He can't eat gluten products...wheat, barley, etc. No bread. No Pasta. No donuts. This limits the options. As does his long list of dislikes. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He doesn't like garlic or spice of any kind. Ethnic foods make him uncomfortable. So the decision of where we are going to eat usually comes down to me just choosing something they would like. Old people are set in their ways and don't usually want new or uncomfortable to be a part of their everyday routine.

"Well Jess, should we make a trip to Dairy Queen" are magic words. I still feel like a kid when he says them too. It has been part of grandma and grandpa's house forever. Grandpa ALWAYS gets a pineapple sundae. always. I don't think I can even remember a trip where that hasn't been asked of the teenage cheerleader behind the counter. Pineapple sundae...who even orders that. Grandpa does. He is content...with the sameness of life.

My grandparent's friends are old too. They have seen Krista and I grow up. They were there when my sister walked away from church when she was 3 causing a huge panic. They taught us Sabbath school. They remembered our birthdays. They sent me money for graduating. Today we visited an assisted living home. I almost lost my breath when we walked in the room today. He looked frail. His skin was a funny color. He was hooked up to oxygen. But he still had his jokes. He was still Emmit. Just old...dying actually.

I am dying too...i just don't realize it. The consequences of life are not written all over my face yet. I have been yearning for wisdom. Wisdom to know what to pursue and where to go with this life I have been given. I am even reading Proverbs...the tidbits of wisdom that are supposed to help and direct and point us in the right direction. Old people have wisdom. Wisdom through experience. Is that what I am yearning for? My grandma can only see what is right in front of her feet because her posture is so bad these that wisdom? My grandpa won't try Chipotle because he thinks it will be too that wisdom? Emmit watches Hogan's Heroes at four and eats supper at a quarter after that wisdom?

I don't know.

Will I be old someday?

Will I talk about the weather all the time and constantly watch the news?

Maybe I will wear capris because everyone is doing it...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

this is what happens when you miss your flight

you wake up to a great view of Loma Linda and its blanket of smog...

you visit the TOMS shoes headquarter in Santa Monica...wearing your TOMS of course...

you visit the Getty Art Museum with Kaitlin...

and are inspired by photographers who preach the social gospel through stunning images...

you eat pesto with friends...

you visit the thursday farmers people watch and buy some fruit...

you stay at a house that is part storybook/part fulfills all my mother's dreams...

you visit a childhood friend who is going to be a doctor in the very near future...

and who gives you a tour of the "last chance ranch"...

you run into the weavers at church...jessica fresh from Egypt...jeremy fresh from South America...

you spend sabbath at the beach with friends of the old and new variety...

you also spend sunday at the beach with a couple of world travelers...

you attempt to surf for the first time in the frigid pacific waters...these are Brad's legs...a much better surfer than i...

you spend time with deep thinkers and awesome individuals...

and then you have to say goodbye...

my missed flight was truly a blessing. it distracted me for awhile. i didn't have to go home right away after camp...i got to enjoy friends a little bit longer before going home to start growing up and finding a job.

so here is to a new kind of adventure...a one that has to be searched after...and planned.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

i'm tired of feeling

Not really. I feel. I am a strong F. It is part of who I am and I embrace that...but I don't need to admit it every time I blog. So" i feel" has become "web and flow". My blog got a new name and a revamping at the same time. The other night I was talking to The Anthony Handal and I told him that I wanted to change my blog title but was having a hard time coming up with something different. He suggested "i slack the line" which is awesome because I do love to slackline but I thought this might represent me as a slacker and that is not so much what I want to be known for. So as I was thinking about slacklining: the word, the movement, the inner peace, the idea of ebb and flow came to mind and then the play on that idiom "web and flow" was conceived.

Ebb and Flow means to decrease and then increase, as with tides. I think this describes life - always growing, making mistakes and then growing again. This describes my life at least...cycles of learning and growing. Balancing those cycles and what they bring into your life is what keeps us sane and functional. Kindof like slacklining.

I am growing and changing.
I do love to slackline.
Welcome to my new blog...web and flow.

Friday, May 28, 2010

i feel...sweet

Why is it that when I have a sour attitude I think eating an excessive amount of sweet treats will somehow have a positive effect?

I had my forehead all scrunched in the frown position even after I stuffed my face with a piece of coffee cake and two cookies.

Why do our minds play these sorts of tricks on us sometimes? At least my mind figured out I needed a change of attitude.