Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing you, Lord. (-Third Day)

Jerrod & April

7th August 2006

1:02pm: al's still here

When I was a kid and my mom would brush my hair, sometimes she'd pull and I'd wrinkle up my bratty little face and say "OW!". She'd look down at me calmly and say, "Al's not here." I'd pout, because she'd said it the last time, too, and I just didn't think it was funny anymore.

Al's my brother, and Mom was right: he wasn't there, for the most part. I was pretty teeny when he left home. When they all left home, actually. I was a surprise baby, so with lots of years between us, I pretty much grew up on my own.

Even though he had moved out before I started school, I still have sweet childhood memories of my brother. I have one memory that I'm almost positive isn't even real--you know the kind I mean? The kind that feels so real, but it seems unreal, but maybe you've thought it was real for so long that it seems like a real memory? We were driving along Rt. 21 in his little white car, and I swear we spun in a complete circle, and I swear he did it on purpose. Now that I'm a driving adult, I'm not sure what to think about that memory, but it's seared into my brain.

My sweetest memory of Allan is this: one morning I woke up, climbed out of bed, and went to find Mom. I remember pattering down the hall and looking into each empty room, my anxiety heightening each time I didn't find her. When I'd checked everywhere Mom ought to be and I hadn't found her, I came to the very-scary-for-a-little-girl realization that I'd been left at home alone. Where was my mom? I sunk down against the wall beside my bedroom and I started to cry. I think I started softly, but it must have gotten louder, because the next thing I knew, my brother was holding me. "You're not all by yourself. I'm here," he said, as I cried into his shoulder. He held me, rocking, until I'd calmed down again.

That's the picture I've always remembered of my sweet brother. It was nice growing up with older siblings who sheltered me and showered me with love. And even now that I'm grown, I still remember him holding me, and I know that he'll always be close when I'm feeling alone.

Allan scared me this weekend. I'd never stopped to realize before that my siblings aren't going to live forever. I never stopped to think that they're older and I might have to watch them go through growing-older things while I'm still young. It's hard to imagine losing my big brother, but I was forced to imagine it on Friday. I don't want to ever have to imagine it again.

Love you, Al.


1st August 2006


This is what I think about work.

(Photo courtesy of Justin taking pictures with my camera ['cuz his is ghetto] when we both should've been working)


16th July 2006


I'm sitting in a coffee shop. My favorite. My hang-out spot before him. I neglected it for the life of the relationship, but now I'm back. Back in the same chair. Back at the same table. Sipping the same drink from the same orangish-brown cup. Recycling my cup buddy in the same old bin.

Life has taken some crazy turns for me in the last few months. First I'm happily single. Then I'm nervously coupled. Then it gets comfortable. Then it gets difficult. And then it ends.

The end part has been interesting. I've always hated change, and this is hard core. A huge part of me wishes I'd never let my walls down so I wouldn't have to face the heartache at all. I could've stayed content with my kitty-litter-cleaning life and kept my heart safe.

But I didn't, and here I sit. A little up, a little down. A lot confused.

I hate change, but there's a good change in the works. My heart--the one that belongs to my Father and always has--is back in His hands. I've given up the fight. I've traded my sorrows. I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord. It will take time, but God mends aching hearts. I know that first hand, because he's done it for me before. I know he'll do it again.

I'm just glad that some things don't change. Like this place, this chair, this table, this drink. I'm really learning to appreciate the stable things in life, no matter how small they might be.


10th July 2006

7:38pm: more random than usual

Last night, Rob and I were watching Iron Chef. Well, he was watching it, mostly. I was zoning out. I can't cook and I don't pretend like I care to learn. But it was the end, so I was paying a little attention to the competition part.

The chefs were given a challenge to use frozen peas as the main ingredient for all their dishes. My story begins here: The judges were meticulously tasting each and every dish and handing out smart-sounding criticisms about the chefs' pea usage. One, a middle-aged lady, brings a spoonful of soup to her lips, smacks them thoughtfully, and then declares that she's not sure about the "pea-ness" of the soup.

My eyebrows went up and the two of us just looked at each other. Umm, did she just say "penis"?

Can't watch anything these days.


6th July 2006

9:36pm: friends, fireworks, and fizzle

It was Independence Day, 2006. I had fun with friends. Picnic. Food. Mad badminton. Fun. And then the fizzle.

There were fireworks. But faulty directions left me driving around forever, and then there was the rain, which together caused my mood to nosedive.

At home, there were tears. Then the end. Then laughing. Then tears. Then laughing again. And maybe some more tears.

Okay. I'll cut the cryptics. Rob and I have decided (together) to give up the fight. It's sad, but it's right. We both knew it. The timing joined us, and so it happened. It actually wasn't hard. We agreed on everything. We sat close as we talked about it... maybe closer than we've been in weeks. Geez, I love the man. I wanted it to be right, so much. I know he did, too. But we finally got smart, and I think we're going to be better off because of it.

We have a new freedom now when we talk. This isn't easy, and it isn't happy, but it's freeing. It's like we have our old connection back--the one that drew us together in the first place. It disappeared somewhere when we were bogging it down with relationship woes. Expectations. Resentment. All gone.

Now comes the hard part. Adjustment. I'm so used to him being a huge part of every day. I'm so used to sharing everything with him. Learning to adjust will be difficult. It's already been difficult. I'm sad, and I miss him, and sometimes I start to question myself. But I'm trying to remember that most of what I'm giving up is the hard stuff, and I still have this amazing friend beside me.

Life, man. Life is a tricky monster.


27th June 2006

10:36pm: festivities

I just got back from a magical mystery birthday tour. The last few days have been crazy with birthday fun. I'm tired, but it was great. I think I just had the best birthday ever.

Lots of time with friends, twister with the girls, a balloon pit in the cubicle, cake made by friends, silly party games, balloons at Fridays, peeps from Easter, sun, movies, dinners, friends, friends, friends. I love my friends.

And Rob did an amazing job making Monday really special for me. I just wanna hug him again.

Only 364 days until My Day comes around again. I'll be ready.

Thanks, everyone. Love you.


14th June 2006

10:40pm: the summer of my discontent

discontent (dis kun TENT) n.
1. Absence of contentment; dissatisfaction.
2. A restless longing for better circumstances.

Sorry, Shakespeare, but my winter was fine. It's summer now, and I should be doing a-ok... basking in the sun, enjoying the breezes, listening to fun summery noises with the windows open... but for some reason, the sun isn't fixing everything for me right now.

I don't know why I'm dissatisfied with so many things right now. I have so many things to be thankful for--a job, a home, a family, good friends, and a great guy. It's not that I want more. Well, maybe I do. I don't know if it's just that I'm not feeling useful at work that is making my dissatisfaction spill over into other areas of my life or if I'm just heading for the loony bin.

Work. Well, I wonder if I started calling it something more appropriate, if someone would catch on. Perhaps, "Hey Nina, I might be a little late to idle tomorrow." Or "No, I can't hang out with my school-teacher-boyfriend-who's-off-work-all-summer because I have to go to idle every day like normal people." I'm so sick of doing nothing and trying to make it look like something. I'm dying to use my brain again. I feel like it's just shriveling up inside my head. Soon it will just look like a raisin or something, all little and brown and wrinkly.

Maybe my restlessness has something to do with the aforementioned boyfriend and the summer break he's enjoying right now.

I don't know what it is. But I'm restless. Almost crazy-person restless. Like I'm going to start swallowing my tongue or jumping off tall buildings. Or maybe stamping "Send Revise" all over myself and running naked around 8787 Orion Place. Or maybe just running OUT of 8787 Orion Place. Out and away.

Not sure that will fix anything, though.

Hopefully I don't swallow needles or smother myself with a pillow before the next entry. If I do, well... you guys were great. ;)

Naw. I'm pretty sure I'll be back.


12th June 2006


Is it possible to be a motorcycle rider and have a brain at the same time? Who in their right mind jumps on one of those killing machines... and without a helmet? Our own Ben Roethlisberger, I guess. Stupido.

Risking next season (and your life, I suppose) for a little helmet-less joy ride is pretty selfish, Ben. There were some fans out here who really thought you had some brains with your brawn. If the Browns win next season, you're gonna hear about it. From me and Terry Bradshaw.


8th June 2006


Cleanse all of my mind that is not of You.
Break me, teaching me how to find rest in Your hands.

Come and take my life.
Make my soul refreshed in truth now.

I am ready for You.
Take my heart and make me new now.
-Kutless (Ready For You)

Lord, I've allowed myself to be so distracted. Take my hand. Hold my heart. Help me to fix my eyes on you. Remind me who is the source of my joy. Break me, make me humble. Help me to love the way you love. Teach me. Convict me. Change my heart, O God. I am ready for you.


23rd May 2006

8:53pm: time

I know it's been awhile. Sorry to anyone who's got me bookmarked and checks daily for updates. I didn't mean to stay away so long.

Life has had me preoccupied lately. Adjusting to the whole in-a-relationship thing has been interesting. There are the emotional things... learning to trust and feel and share. Then there are the logistics... balancing time and energy and chores that need done.

It's all been good, though. I don't mean to make it sound like a burden. I wasn't sure I'd ever be ready to share my time and space... it doesn't take too long being single before you really start to appreciate the time you have to yourself. I wasn't sure I was ready to give that up. But it's proving easier than I expected.

Before things got started, I remember him asking me if I even had time for a guy in my life. I remember shrugging to myself and answering, "if it's worth it, you make time."

Well, I'm making time. Because so far, I think he is.


14th May 2006

9:42am: happy mother's day

There's a saying old today
Chicks come home to roost, they say
But let me tell you one thing
When you wander away

No one loves you any better than your M-O-double M-Y
And when you start to cry
She'll dry each tearful and make you cheerful

M is that she misses you, she's all alone
O is that you only want to get back home
Double M is for the many months of care and strife
and Y is that she'll yearn for you all through life

And though you roam this whole world over
Sure a love like hers you can't buy
'Cause no one loves you any better than your
M-O-double M-Y

-The Mommy Song

I love you, Mom.


9th May 2006



Big news.

Now in the candy aisle: white chocolate M&Ms.

My life is complete.


29th April 2006

1:22pm: walls

take my heart and wring it out in your hands
and watch it all collapse

and everyone seems to say you can work it out
but under my skin I'm shaking and I can't get out

don't give up on me
i want to believe

(-Bebo Norman, I'm So Afraid)

I have a problem with walls. Not the plaster or cement kind. The kind made of fear, of self protection, of false security. The kind that have kept my heart safe and secure for the last few years.

I didn't realize there was still hurt left over. I thought it was gone. But apparently there are remnants, because I'm finding myself afraid. Afraid to open my heart. Afraid to share. Not afraid of hurting, really... but afraid to feel.

What is it about feeling that makes me so vulnerable? What is it about being vulnerable that makes me want to run? What is it about running that feels so safe?

I want feeling to be safe. Maybe it is. I think I have a lot to learn.


19th April 2006

12:29pm: family ties

Have you ever had a friend so close that it seemed like you could be related?

Well, you should do some research. 'Cause maybe you are.

I was home in PA for Easter this past weekend when my mom handed me a binder. "Here," she said, "look through the Logan family history." Someone somewhere in my lineage decided to make a giant family tree book. I rolled my eyes, but I was bored, so I sat down and started flipping through the pages.

It was slightly interesting... I mean, I did get to see my name on some of the pages, and who doesn't like that? But I kept flipping through the pages and scanning the names, and after I turned the Aunt Edna page, I was surprised to see a last name I recognized--Lisa's last name! And it's not a common name, so I called her right away. She checked with her dad, and I checked with mine, and holy crapoli, we're related!

We're fifth cousins... by marriage, of course, but still... we have cousins in common--her cousins are also my cousins, so even though she and I don't have blood in common, those little girls have a little bit of each of us.

What are the odds that I'd move away from home, come to Ohio and meet a random girl at a random church, become best of friends and find out years later that we're distant relatives from a land far away?

Life blows my mind sometimes.


16th April 2006


††† Happy Resurrection Day! †††

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."
-Mark 24:6

My Jesus lives!


9th April 2006

7:21pm: BFFs and BFs

Someone should write a book on the psychology of a girl when her best friend starts dating someone.

I think it would be long. And complicated. With a million chapters. Maybe something like I Feel Like I'm Losing My Friend. Or I'm Happy for You, but I'm Jealous that I'm Still Single and You're Not. Or Why It's Not Safe to Call Anytime Like it Used to Be.

I hope I'm not the only girl who gets like this. It's just a natural gut reaction to the whole thing... something that I can't really fight off. I wonder if it's been like this for girls and their best friends forever.

Anyway, it's okay. Part of being a girl. I'm still happy for you, Lis. :) And I like him for you. It's not like last time, and that makes me even happier. I guess we all have to grow up one day, right?

And even in grown-up land, I'm still lucky we're friends. :)


6th April 2006

3:40pm: conjunction junction

This song makes me want to dance. Dance with the Grammar Man.

Conjunction junction, what’s your function?

I got and, but, and or, they’ll get you pretty far.

And, that’s an additive, like this and that
But, that’s sorta the opposite, not this, but that
And then there’s or, O-R, where you have a choice like this or that
And, but, and or can get you pretty far

Milk and honey, bread and butter, peas and rice (hey that’s nice)
Dirty but happy, digging and scratching
losing your shoe and a button or two
he’s poor but honest, sad but true
boo hoo hoo hoo

When you say something like this choice: Either now or later
Or no choice: Neither now nor ever
Eat this or that, grow thin or fat

Hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses in complex sentences like:
"In the mornings, when I am usually wide awake,
I love to take a walk through the gardens and down by the lake,
Where I often see a duck and a drake,
And I wonder as I walk by
Just what they'd say if they could speak,
Although I know that's an absurd thought."

Conjunction Junction, what's your function?
I'm gonna get you there if you're very careful.

You can take me anywhere, Grammar Man.


26th March 2006


Crazy weekend.

It's true that strangers have the best candy. Especially when the stranger purposely sets out some peeps to air before your arrival.

I went to see Jamie Cullum in Cleveland on Thursday. He was amazing! Everything he sang sounded just like on the CD, which I think is rare for a live performance. He's a little over the top, though... he was jumping around like a kid without his ritalin, and he drank two beers while he was on stage. But I can't fault him, really, because he put on an amazing show.

I got to meet a couple good friends from Internet-Land and I didn't get chopped into little pieces. And I don't think there was any date-rape drug in my sprite or anything... at least not that I remember.

Home again, though, and back to work tomorrow. Hello, real life.


15th March 2006


Oh. My. Gosh. The TWE came in before the SE.

Look! Proud parents!


3:08pm: work, shmurk.

Most days I can deal with the slow-going season here at the office... but not today.

Today, I feel like my brain is shrinking. It's like when you've tried to walk up too many flights of stairs too quickly... your chest feels like it's constricting and you'll never be able to breathe again. That's how my head feels. Like my brain is constricting and I'll never have an intelligent thought again. I feel like my head's going to explode if I don't find something to do.

So maybe my brain is actually expanding, then, if it's threatening to explode. Maybe it's starting to touch the sides of my skull. Maybe that's what's making me crazy. And I mean crazy. I feel nearly insane. Like it's one baby step away. Right in front of me are looming white jackets and heavy metal doors. I need to escape. Oh, help me. Help me. Heeelllllp meeeeee.


10th March 2006


I'm sick.

But there's a bright side.

It's almost Easter, and that means... Peeps! I have peeps in front of me and that can cure all the unhappiness in the world. These peeps have almost reached perfection... they've been airing--sitting here opened--for a day and a half. Another few hours and they'll be just the right combo of mushy-crunchy. Oh, yum.

I love that there are peeps for every season now. I think I still prefer the original... the yellow peep-shaped peep. The ones I have are bunnies, and it's fun to bite their ears off, but really, it's not the same as a true peep. And those purple and blue ones? That's just wrong.

Halloween peeps are good, though... since they're little baby pumpkins, it makes me feel like I can eat more without feeling too guilty. And if you're on WW--four pumpkins = 0 points. I haven't calculated any other shapes.

The only peep I really boycott is the flavored peep. Gross. That's the only peep you can find at Valentine's Day--the pink-flavored, heart-shaped peep. Gross. There's a flavored one at Christmas, too--the gingerbread-flavored, gingerbread-man-shaped peep. Come on. A gingerbread man as a peep? Seriously.


8th March 2006


I've managed to make it through most of the day, and so far I've only done about 10 minutes of real work.

A month ago, I would have given up some body parts to have a little break. But the little break will undoubtedly stretch into a very long break, and I'm running out of things to fill the time.

In between my little bit of reprint work, I can only do so much emailing, reading the news, checking the weather, doing crosswords, and balancing my checkbook. It might sound nice and cakey, but after the niceness wears off, I think I just start to feel resentful about the millions of hours of overtime I put in earlier this year. Can we not make schedules that work?

I guess I have the afternoon to study the lesson for youth tonight. I'm planning to sit my girls down and have a long talk about why they're there. Being in charge of teenagers these days is a little scary--they know so much more than I ever did. Maybe more than I know now, even. Lord, help me!


25th February 2006

4:29pm: forward

I ran into a friend yesterday from my "other" life. It was strange to be tumbled back in time... when I walked through the door and saw him, it was like I left today and skidded back into another lifetime. When we parted ways, the yesterday curtain went up and I faced today again.

I recognized him instantly, but it took my brain a minute to sort through my jumbled memories and figure out which lifetime the face was from. I remember smiling as it hit me--which must have been quickly, but it felt like slow motion--and we hugged a quick, awkward hug. As I asked the usual questions--where are you living, where are you working, how's life--I noticed his eyes go to my naked left ring finger... twice. We didn't mention it. He didn't ask. I didn't offer.

He was on his way out, and I was on my way in. I let him go, and with my first step, I was back. Back to today. Well, not back. Forward.


23rd February 2006

8:15pm: johari window

Click and add your thoughts:

My Johari Window

A Johari window is a metaphorical tool intended to help people better understand their interpersonal relationships and communication.

Terms selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Facade quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware.

Terms that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are.

Terms which were not selected by either the participant or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives which were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of that trait.


13th February 2006

6:04pm: For What I'm Worth

I'm worth $1,614,558.

Click here to fnd out what YOU'RE worth.



Name: Shannon
Age: 27
Occupation: Editor
Identity: Child of God
Location: Ohio
AIM: ShanRock79

My MySpace
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My Library
Genoa Baptist Church
The Walk
Free Bob and Randy
Grammar Hell
Slick Deals
Herald Standard
Ashland University
Kitten War

Current Book Pile
It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken
Traveling Mercies
Blue Like Jazz
Good Night Nobody
The Husband
Odd Thomas
Forever Odd
Spiritual Relationships That Last
His Needs, Her Needs
Mary Mary
Dogs of Babel
The Frog King