Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I love documentaries. I like that they show reality (and I'm not talking about Jersey Shore reality). I like learning about different topics and seeing parts of people's lives that I may not have ever seen. I just love documentaries. So here are a few of my favorites:

1. The Business of Being Born
The first time I saw this doc I was amazed! It's no secret that women nowadays are terrified of the whole birthing process. I love how this movie really takes away all those fears and shows how normal and truly beautiful birth is. I've always been interested in having an all-natural birth, but there are so many nay-sayers out there ("You're gonna want that epidural! Are you crazy?!"). Well, according to this documentary, I'm not crazy! It can definitely be done (as long as the pregnancy is not high-risk). I love the idea of having a water birth either in a birthing center or at home with a midwife.
Watch this movie. Alex watched it with me and he loved it too. It's nice having a supportive husband who sees the beauty in birth. Get educated, people...don't be afraid of the birthing process! Do research and make an informed decision. If you decide you still want to go the epidural route, that's fine, it's your birth, but don't make decisions out of fear and ignorance. You don't have to be afraid. Be empowered.

2. Danielson: A Family Movie
I saw this years ago and I loved it. This film focuses on Daniel Smith, a very eccentric musician/artist. He led a band made up of his siblings and they were actually pretty popular in the indie/Christian music world. Daniel is a bit disturbed and it's fascinating and sometimes a little scary seeing his ups and downs. The music is interesting and there's even an appearance by Sufjan Stevens, a family friend. I love music and creativity and seeing that whole world...so if you're into that you may enjoy this film also.

3. The September Issue
Okay, I think you all know I love fashion! It's not my life...but I appreciate fashion and all the creativity and aesthetics that goes along with it. This doc follows Vogue as they prepare for their biggest issue of the year, the September issue. The focus is on Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and legend in the fashion world. As interesting as Anna Wintour is, I was really fascinated with Grace Coddington. She is the Creative Director at the magazine and in my eyes, an absolute genius. She would pull together the most beautiful photo shoots. When you first look at Grace you don't really think much of her (at least I didn't), but as the film goes on you begin to realize that this woman knows what she is doing and seems to almost effortlessly make these incredible fashion photo shoots happen.

4. Food, Inc.
I'll admit, I avoided seeing this movie for a long time. I didn't want to know how my food was being made. I just wanted to eat, drink, and be merry. But I finally broke down and decided to watch it (thanks to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution) and it rocked my world. I was so disgusted with...everything. I hated seeing how cows and chickens were treated and what they were fed. I hated seeing how American companies would take advantage of undocumented workers. I hated seeing how local farmers were being bullied. I was just disgusted with the food industry in general. This film really exposes a lot of ugly truths. Since watching the film I have tried to make some changes in how we eat. I shop for produce at the local farmer's market and only buy beef that is grass-fed and I purchase cage-free eggs. I'm trying to make a change, but it's difficult. If there is anyone out there who has advice on how to eat organically and sustainably (while not spending a whole lot of money), please share. This movie is really eye-opening and I highly recommend it. It's not just about eating healthy...it's also about being humane.
I think when we move to Colorado, this will be even easier to do because it's such a healthy state and it seems that the people there are big advocates for eating sustainably.

Those are just a few of my favorite documentaries. What are some of your favorites? Any recommendations? Which one should I watch next?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This past week our church had a week of local outreach with ServeRDU.
You might remember my post about this from last year.
This year I was able to participate in several different projects (the perks of unemployment!) and I loved every minute of it.

On Monday our small group hosted a picnic for refugees that came to the States from Nepal, but are originally from Bhutan. Many of these refugees had been living for years in Nepal (they fled from Bhutan because of ethnic cleansing that was going on) and had to leave because Nepal felt they could no longer care for these refugees. There are a few people in our small group that are actively involved in ongoing ministry with the refugees so that is how we came to know of them. This is the organization that has been helping them out.
A group of us went to the apartment complex where many of these refugees live and were able to help cook their food with them. Well, I really just chopped vegetables and watched them cook. ;-) Then we loaded up the cars and headed to a park nearby where we enjoyed their delicious food (seriously, it was so good!), chatted with them, played games, and learned some traditional Indian dances that they enjoy.
The kids loved Jaxon. He was in doggie heaven running around with them, getting his picture taken, and enjoying all of the attention. The picnic was so much fun and I loved getting to know the refugees.

Tuesday evening the Pregnancy Support Services of Wake Forest wanted to do a photo shoot for some of their clients. We all know how expensive it can be to hire a professional photographer for maternity and family portraits, so I, along with four other photographers, went to a beautiful farm in Wake Forest to shoot some photos for these clients. Again, it was so much fun and I loved chatting with all the different moms and moms-to-be. So many of them expressed their appreciation for PSS of WF and are so thankful for all the different practical programs they offer. They really walk with these women and their families through their pregnancy and even offer help after the baby is born. They are doing great work there.
(our location - Horseshoe Farms in Wake Forest, NC)

Wednesday morning I helped with a baby shower being hosted for one of the clients from PSS of WF. I was really just there to take pictures...capture the moment. :-) The client and her boyfriend loved the baby shower. They were really blown away by all the great gifts. The girls in charge of putting the shower together did a great job. Again, it was great to see how PSS of WF has really committed to help this couple figure out how to care for their unborn child.

Finally on Saturday I was back at PSS of WF with a big group of people to help do a deep cleaning of the center. We scrubbed and vacuumed and mopped until it was looking shiny and new. It was a joy to be able to serve them in that way after all the ways they have served our community.

I hope everyone else from the Summit enjoyed their service projects as much as I did. Check out this brief recap video about our ServeRDU week and click here to see how you can stay involved with local outreach in the community.

ServeRDU from The Summit Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


I love old hymns.
I'll admit, I didn't always love them. I used to be a punk teenager that thought I was too cool for hymns. Who wants to listen to old boring songs?? Laaame.
But over the years, I've grown in my appreciation for these beloved spiritual songs of the faith. I love how these hymns have so much theological meat to them. They're beautifully written. They don't just say, "I love Jesus...God is awesome...Praise Him." They say so much more.

One of my favorites is called "Be Thou My Vision."

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Another old favorite is "My Hope is Built," (I know it as "On Christ the Solid Rock").

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

And then there are modern-day hymns written by people like the Gettys and Stuart Townend.
In Christ Alone, How Deep the Father's Love, Before the Throne of God Above. I love all of these songs and I love how they point to God and remind me of His love, greatness, and sovereignty. They really touch me in a deep way.

Here are the lyrics to Before the Throne...this one seriously gets me every time. The beauty of my God and the deep unconditional love He has for me is so overwhelming.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there! The risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless, Righteousness
The Great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of Grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

Do you have any favorite hymns? Please share!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Jaxon is famous!

We've had a great time with Jaxon the past few weeks that he has been a part of our family. He is incredibly sweet...and spoiled! He loves to be cuddled with and if you stop petting him he will nudge his little nose on your hand to let you know that you should keep petting him.
He's very sweet with everyone he meets...other dogs, however, that's another story. We're considering enrolling him in obedience classes to help with his aggression/anxiety towards other dogs. I'm sure he will get over it if we keep working with him...because really, he's so sweet!

All Dog Blog somehow saw my blog post about bringing Jaxon home and featured our little pup on their blog. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the post. Click here to see it.

We love you, Jaxon!