Just a quick update--a LOT has been happening in my life!

  • I'm now a proud resident of Clarkston, MI! After a long, long wait, God has given us a home. And guys--it's a great one!:)
  • I have a new church family! And I am so proud to call them my family. I get to go to church twice a week with some truly amazing people. They've opened up their hearts to us and already I feel so at home. :)
  • I started school at Oakland Christian on August 23rd. Let me just say--being the new girl is definitely scary. But so long as I have to be the new girl, I can't think of a better place to be than OCS. I'm taking some great classes (Honors British Literature, anyone?:) ) and making some great friends. Even though the transition is, well, a transition, I am so so excited to be making it. (here's the school website for any interested--oaklandchristian.com)
  • Thank you Jesus--we bought a house!! It's absolutely beautiful, in a great location...and it has a pool:) It was sugh an act of God thing I just can't stop praising Him about it! We move in around the end of October--I can't wait!:)

In other words...I've been busy busy busy!! Between a new town, new church, new school, new living space, and of course new friends, I've hardly had time to catch my breath! Things are crazy--and I'm thriving! Thanking Jesus all the time for the great things He's doing. How encouraging it's been to know God's grace is sufficient! Even though I'm weak, He is strong!

I'd love to share about it all sometime too--give me a call, shoot me a text, facebook me. :)

Hoping your Saturday is absolutely great!

Allie :)


Dorothy en Route

You know how when you're little, you sort of get attached to that one movie? For example, Luke watched Toy Story 2. Everyday. Sometimes twice a day. For a year. Me, I wasn't quite so extreme--though I could still probably quote The Little Mermaid...in it's entirety...complete with the French song. In fact, I'm inclined to think that my near-phobic fear of eels & octopuses (octopi?) has a lot to do with Ursula and her henchmen...but that is a story for another time. Today, I want to talk about Lindsay's favorite, The Wizard of Oz.
I've been thinking about Dorothy a lot today. As a writer, I'm constantly in search of just the right words that will communicate what's happening in my head. It's been pretty difficult lately...my life right now is a lot more conducive to prayers in a journal than thoughts on a blog. But I think I've finally found a way to explain myself.
I feel a lot like I think Dorothy must have felt just as she touched down in her flying house and saw Oz out her window. She had just been through a terrible storm, and instead of finding comfortable familiarity, she found she had landed in a place completely new and unexplored. And I don't care what you say. That is seriously scary.
In the past two years, I've had more in common with Dorothy than you might think. I've heard the winds of change, I've felt the floor fall out from under me and watched as my life spun around in a way I'd never experienced. I've cowered in the corner and I've stared out the window, wondering. I've waited, suspended in mid-air for a year, questioning whether or not we'd ever touch down. And now--I can see Oz underneath me. I can't make out the details yet, but I can tell we're rapidly approaching the ground. And of all things, I am terrified to leave the house. Or rather, was terrified.
I'm not now. Because you know what? Oz is beautiful. Remember how bright the flowers were? How blue the water was? Remember how when Dorothy stepped out of the sepia-toned house...she became colorful too?
That's not to say there won't be scary things. But it is a great thing to know that God is preparing a beautiful place for us. A place to live and love and put down roots. Because after all...(I have to say it!)...There's no place like home. :)

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

PS--I was watching a video of the scene from the movie where Dorothy first lands when Lindsay asked why I was watching the Wizard of Oz. She's across the room...all she heard was the music. Gotta love good memories!:)


A Post Almost as Good as a Four-Leaf Clover.

And, in honor of the day, I give you 5 Reasons to be Excited About Being (even a little bit) Irish.

  1. You get to be super annoying on St. Patrick's Day. Not that it makes a difference, since apparently "everyone's Irish." (I don't think that's very fair...)
  2. You get to wear green...yeah this is a good thing I'm pretty sure.
  3. You get to get to be mean to people who forgot to wear green and viciously pinch them multiple times, even if the only reason they weren't wearing green is because they'd just gotten out of the shower and were wearing nothing but their bathrobe, which was unfortunately blue...Yes, this happened to me this morning and yes, I'm pretty bitter!
  4. You get to go around saying things like "Everyone loves an Irish girl!" and "Kiss me, I'm Irish!" without sounding arrogant or scandalous. (Well...that's my take. Dad still isn't thrilled with this idea.)
  5. All in all, you just get to claim awesome status for a day just because your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was born on the Emerald Isle. (His name was Patrick Finn. Awesome right?)

Someday I'm going to go visit "the homeland," even though I'm really just more American than anything else. But in this world of everyone being excited about their heritage, this is all I've got. So I'm gonna flaunt it today--with my Irish eyes a-smilin'!

PS--The story of St. Patrick is one of my favorite of all time. For a fun, informative take on it, I absolutely LOVE this video. Yes, it's from VeggieTales. Which in my book just makes it cooler. :)


The Inevitable Post, in which I give more information about my wisdom teeth than anyone ever cared to know.

I got my wisdom teeth out about three weeks ago--let me tell you, it was not what I expected. They gave me laughing gas to calm me down before they put in the IV., but was did I relax? Of course not. I tried and tried, breathing in like there was no tomorrow. All it did was muddle my brain into thinking there really was no tomorrow. And so, embarrassingly, I sobbed in front of 5 dental technicians (one of which just couldn't shut up about what exactly they were about to do to me. I am still rather bitter toward thsi woman.)
I vaguely remember waking up...getting in the car...trying to tell everyone I was okay. And no, the anesthesia did not make me happy. It was pretty much just a repeat of the laughing gas episode.
Anyway. The first three days were not fun. Thankfully though, toward the end of Day 3 I fell asleep during Frodo's quest to destroy the ring--and woke up feeling a million times better. (I like that movie so much more now!)
Finally, on Day 4 I got my appetite back--but not the function of my jaw. So I was applesauce girl for about 12 hours until at last I thought of "real food" I could eat--Chinese! Never have I been more thankful to China. I am firmly convinced that it quite possibly saved my life.

More things I learned form having my wisdom teeth out:

There are some movies that are just amazing no matter how many times you watch them. (Example: Phantom of the Opera, which I watched twice within 4 days.) On Sunday, Day 5, my Gram brought me some lo mein and we found You've Got Mail on TV. Oddly enough, I think this may end up being one of my favorite memories, awkwardly chewing Asian noodles and watching Meg Ryan fall in love with Tom Hanks (again), just hanging out with Gram. I re-fell in love with that movie, and now Lindsay and I quote it almost religiously. We feel the same way about You've Got Mail as Tom Hanks feels about the Godfather. "The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all Wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to every question--'what should I pack for my vacation?' 'Leave the gun, take the cannoli.' " Etc, etc.

My family is really, really nice. Like, really, really nice. Who else would have retrieved applesauce from the local Kroger for me at 9 pm? That's right, my dad. Not to mention everyone who selflessly brought me ice packs every 20 minutes and my wonderful mother who woke up in the middle of the night to give me medication--2 nights in a row. (She said it was like having a newborn again. Ha. Ha.)

I am in love with Jimmy Stewart. My dad made me rent "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" from the library and promised me I would love it. And I did. A lot. Needless to say, if Jimmy were still alive, he would find more than a couple love notes in his mailbox. Sigh. He was wonderful. Not to mention handsome.

The best thing I learned, though, is this--I never have to do it again! :)


"100 Years to Live"

Everybody says to enjoy your teenage years, because after all, "they're the best years of your life!" But personally, I'm inclined to think that statement is absolutely ridiculous, for a lot of reasons. I mean, think about it. At age sixteen, I regularly encounter struggles in just about every area: personally, spiritually, relationally, physically, even financially. Now throw in a tendency for embarrassment, very little life-experience, immaturity, peer pressure, the media, acne, and (shudder) boys...none of that sounds easy to me. I know that there are definitely great things about your teenage years--a lot of great things! But if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, I beg to differ. I hate to ascribe that title to any certain period of life...so many great things are going to happen in these few years God has given me.
Think about it!
The next two years of high school. The day I graduate and close that chapter of
life. The day I leave for college and become truly independent. The amazing
friendships I'll make there. The day I get married. The birth of my first
child. The births of all my children. Watching them grow. Loving them. Being a
family. Helping them as they grow up. Watching them become their own people,
loving life and loving Jesus. The day my own child let's me hold my grandchild.
Spoiling them rotten. Celebrating my 50th wedding anniversary with a man I love. Etc, etc, etc.

I know not all of those things are guaranteed, and there are tons more things that I haven't even imagined for myself yet! But God has. And that's the great thing. There are no "best years of my life." Every year is a God-filled, God-imagined year. And that will continue until my final year ends! How great is that...the only thing I have to worry about is today, because God has taken care of every other day before and after. Every day!
Anyway, that's just me thinking out loud. I'll post something sillier later that might be a little more coherent. I love you all...live enjoyably today!


Kleenex, anyone?

Hello darling people--I'm calling you darling for reading the blog, though I'm sure you are darling for other reasons too. :)

Well. It's already been a week since The Big Trip. And still I am in shock of how wonderful it was. I think I'll end up telling a few different stories during other posts, but here's one of my favorites for tonight:

Last Sunday we had an experience that will go down in history among "The Cousins" (and company!). But let me start with this:
For a long time, I have had a dream of consuming an entire pew/row of seats with my "church posse." That's right. I want the whole thing to myself. I think I feel that as a veteran PK, I have the right. So on Sunday, I thought with eleven people in my posse I had a pretty decent shot at attaining this dream. But alas! Auntie G's church is one of those 227-wide rows...so my dream was dashed again.
As it turned out, our seating was even more unfortunate than I thought! Behind us sat a small coalition of South Korean exchange students, all little boys. I didn't notice it right away. But about 10 minutes into the sermon--I heard it.
A sniff.
And then another.
And another.
Lizzy, sitting next to me, noticed it about a minute and a half before I did. But once I had noticed it--oh boy, had I noticed it! At 11:14, I began to count. By the time the clock had reached 11:15...
Do you realize that that is over one sniff every three seconds? Doesn't sound like a lot? Have someone stand right behind you and sniff every three seconds. If you don't go crazy by minute 3...you have more stamina than I did.
One by one, the rest of the family seated in front of the little boys noticed it too. We stole glances, we smothered our laughter, we bit our lips--all while the pastor expounded on covenant theology. I'm sure it was a great message...but my "take-away" had more to do with sniffles than sacrifices.
The best part to me was the fact that boy #4 held an orange the entire service. Apparently vitamin C did not heal his cold.
Anyway. Shout-out to the snifflers--one more memory we won't forget!

Love to you all. More ramblings later...have a dazzling next 24 hours!


Coming soon...

...a post involving:
  • much loved people
  • a basketball game
  • a lot of laughter
  • an almost-family
  • the Most Squished Car Ride in the History of the World
  • Wisconcitizens
  • sardines--not to be confused with the afore-mentioned car ride
  • the Olympics
  • futons
  • Valentine's Day
  • my family
  • and much much more...


Flibbertigibbet, Vol. 2

Never in my life have I met anyone who enjoys anchovy pizza. (Not to my knowledge at least...and if you do, you might want to keep it to yourself. I don't think a love of anchovies is going to get you very many dates.) Actually, for a long time I didn't know what anchovies even were. I had a vague idea that they were brown and slimy and an acceptable food to hate. And I was right. What I didn't know was this--Anchovies are actually little blue fish that only taste so salty and icky because they're put in brine. And think about it people, nothing that is soaked in brine is good. (Example given: pickles, pig's feet) So maybe we are a little too hard on anchovies...What am I saying? They're still gross.

Yesterday I took a trip to the oral surgeon. Needless to say it was hardly a pleasant visit. As it turns out (get ready to be sympathetic), on February 24th I will have 5 teeth extracted and one exposed. (Ok, that's your cue--be sympathetic!) Since I've learned this, I've taken up randomly informing people about my bad luck. So far, I've informed my family, Liz, Logan, my Spanish teacher, random people in my Spanish class, and my entire list of facebook friends. And I'm just getting started. (I figure, so long as I have to go through it, I will demand as much sympathy as possible without even a tinge of guilt.)

When I was a little girl (ok, little-er girl), I said exactly what was on my mind, without regard to public opinion. I wanted to be a ballerina-firefighter, so I said so. I liked to sing songs, so I did, loudly and off-key. I loved my teddy bear (a lot!), so I slept with him every night. And I never worried about what the rest of the world would think of me. I think little kids are brave like that. I mean sure, it's not like they do it on purpose, it never occurs to them that they should worry about what other people think. But still, I wish I could be like that. Jesus said we're supposed to be like little children, maybe part of that is being courageous about who we are. It would certainly simplify our lives a lot more. I wouldn't waste time worrying about other people's opinion or obsessing over my imperfections. Maybe I could be excited about just being alive, alive in Jesus. I'm not sure if that even makes sense, just something I've thought about.

Today I found out that before the Cookie Monster had his first cookie, he was named Sid. Really guys? Sid? Thank goodness for the cookies.

Have a groovy day everyone! :)

PS--Shout-out to Eleny for actually looking up my new favorite word! How heroic :)



Chapstick has changed my life. Throughout the winter (and in Indiana/Michigan, that's about half the year), my personal Chapstick is a permanent resident of my pocket. Well, that's how it was last winter, and let me tell you it is amazing what moisturized lips can do for your self-esteem. But this year I went Chapstick-less for about two months when I lost my Chapstick, and--tragedy! My lips chapped. Fast. Don't worry too much though. I found a stick of Chapstick a few days ago and I am back on the road to soft, pain-free lips. So. Shout out to Chapstick!

It's January 31st, and I say it's about time! After possibly the longest January on record (sure, every January is 31 days, but measured length and low long something actually is are very different things, you know) February begins tomorrow! I know, I know. February? I'm excited about February? The thing is, I've developed this thing for new beginnings recently--new year, new clothes, new recipes, new month, who cares? It's new! And new things are adventures waiting to happen. So yes, February. But who knows? It might be the best February ever!

So far, I know 5 things about the state of Wisconsin:

  1. You can also call it "Dubya-Eye" (as in, W-I). usually I call it by this name, because let's face it, it's just more fun.
  2. They make cheese in Wisconsin. Cheese is cool. (Except not the spray-able kind, which really shouldn't be called cheese in my opinion.)
  3. It is cold. But so is Michigan, so that's ok.
  4. Four of my favorite people in the entire world live there! Yep, Osh Kosh (great name) has been blessed with a family that's all that and a loaf of the 'bread-of-life'. Auntie G, UJ, Wubi, Dwighterz...Dubya-Eye is a lucky state.
  5. In just 12 days, the state will be twice as lucky as four more of my favorite people and I make a visit! Between Mom, Linz, Luke, Lizzy and I, I doubt Wisconsin will ever be the same.

Yep. I like it already.

All right, that's three really random thoughts for you. Enjoy your Sunday!

*look it up!


On the Road Again...

The time has come--I am a week away from 16, and the proud possessor of a Level 1 learner's license! So far, after 3 weeks of driver's ed successfully completed and about 8 hours behind the wheel, I have learned many valuable lessons. So, without further ado, I give you Allie (or Alex, if you're my driving instructor--long story) Wood's Do's & Don'ts of Novice Driving.
  • Do consider the fact that Mom & Dad will never be as laid-back as your crazy driving instructor. Plan your braking distance accordingly.
  • Don't say "I know" when your mom tries to supply you with important information. Just don't.
  • Do remember that this is the only time in your life where you have a legitimate excuse for driving badly. Also, do remember to mention this fact loudly and often.
  • Don't sing while on the road, unless you want to get...instructed...on why that's not a good idea at this stage of your driving.
  • Do try to retain as much as possible of the pointless trivia tidbits you pick up in driver's ed. This information can make for great on-road conversation when you're in the passenger's seat. In my opinion at least--my mother does not agree.
  • Don't forget that as soon as you let someone drive with you, you are giving them implied consent to comment on your driving--every rolling stop, every pothole, and every traffic cone you've hit in the past.
  • Do keep in mind that little siblings find the entire situation incredibly entertaining, and will perform spontaneous karaoke in the backseat. (Today, the lineup included Shut Up and Drive, Thriller, and Jesus, Take the Wheel.)

Above all, don't get discouraged if you have a few less-than-NASCAR-quality moments. It doesn't come naturally to everyone--in fact, there will be moments when you're pretty sure it's not going to come at all, naturally or otherwise. I'm just holding out hope that I'm a late bloomer.