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T-Minus…Not sure June 27, 2009

Posted by amberpeace in family, living as a 20-something, relationships.
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I’m excited for my vacation, don’t get me wrong. Sleep hasn’t been coming as easy as it should, and everyone needs to hope that I can drive to Bushnell, IL in one straight shot. I hate pulling over to sleep.

Katie (teenage sister 2) has been staying with me since Thursday evening and helping me keep the house in general order. There has little time for anything though, besides cleaning. That means no bags are packed for Cstone, or wedding invitations have stamps on them.

By the way, our post office had no wedding stamps. So everyone is getting liberty bells. Oh, and the postcard stamps nowadays? Polar bears. That’s right, polar bears. Who’s coming up with this?

Work until 11am tomorrow. Some sleep. Some driving to Knoxville. Some more sleep. Then – it’s time to head to Bushnell. 1 week of glorious music, vendor food, little sleep, and running amuck. I don’t even know how often I’ll see my siblings on the festival grounds. Mary and Katie are working 10 – 2 on the beach, I’m working 5pm – 2am on the Gallery Stage, and Joseph will be wherever.

There will be twitter updates.

Cornerstone is almost here!

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An Epiphany April 11, 2009

Posted by amberpeace in family, Living, relationships.
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We have left on our own pilgrimage. Behind us is everything we hate – chaos, lies, discord, and alcohol. In front lays everything we love – Jesus and music, but mostly music. We’ve hated each other for the past 15 years out of necessity, but this one week is most sacred to us. Hate is impossible. Even when we argue we are aware that we’re wasting time. Arguing is for back there, in the hills. Excitement and awe are for out here.
This is Mary’s first time away from the mountains. She fell asleep some time back, but has now awoke to corn and soybeans. She can’t comprehend it. There is nothing but flat, and to us this is just as exotic as seeing a lion in the wild. We’re snaking our way across the farmlands and Google Map has told us wrong. We’re passing through small places with names like St. Augustine’s Hamlet.
A sign tells us that we’re in Avon. The only Avon I know provides me with great moisture benefits. As we drive through, Mary and I silently take in what we see. Clean little houses with clean little yards flying their clean little American flags. The sidewalks look swept and the trees look like something Martha’s Vineyard would be proud of. We pass in on one road a primary school, a middle school, and a high school. Mary speaks, “Is this really here?” The whole town takes about seven minutes and as we pass two horses and a camel beside the “Leaving Avon” sign, I have an epiphany. I look at Mary and say, “I’m suppose to be a Midwestern housewife.”

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The truth about Christmas Cards December 18, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family, friends, relationships.
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I hate Christmas cards.

There I said it.

I do not like them because I do not understand them. Why do I want a notecard that has just your name on the inside or, worse yet, a form letter that you send to everyone? Why would you want one from me?

Myth: Christmas Cards are a nice way of saying that you’re thinking of someone

Fact: No they are not. If you were really thinking of me, you would send me a personal letter, or a personal email. Christmas cards only mean that you’re thinking of a person if there is a personalised note inside, like the one my bff sent me this week. Signing your name to an impersonal quote created by hallmark is not.

Myth: Christmas cards are a good way of showing everyone how your family is doing.

Fact: Christmas is not about your family. In fact, Christmas isn’t about family at all, unless you’re talking about the Holy Family. Photo Christmas cards completely miss the point. Completely.

So that’s my feeling on Christmas cards. I admit here that I tend to open Christmas cards, look at them, and then put them back in the envelope. Then I usually toss them out a few days later. I tried to send Christmas cards once. Then I realised I was only doing it because I felt pressure from everyone sending out their 200+ cards a season. Mine didn’t even make it to the post office. 

Today is a holiday November 27, 2008

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Some Subtle Differences June 19, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family, living as a 20-something.

     In ten days – my sister says 9 – I will be leaving for my holiday. Many of the bloggers I read have been dashing off to warm tropics or at least a pretty beach on the New England coast. A few of you (one of you?) might be the owner of a Hampton home.

My bed is going to consist of a sleeping bag.

June 29th, I pack a turtle and my two sisters into the family van to drive them semi-cross country to Bushnell, IL for the Cornerstone Festival. Some of you (none of you) may have been reading my blog last year to know that I took the 16 year old for a test run. We enjoyed it completely and when we go, I’ll be returning with several photos. Now, for many of you, the pictures will be peculiur. I’ve decided to help my readers so they won’t be shocked by sharing photos of the differences.

Location: From reading your blogs, many of you enjoy vacations that look like

fancy hotel. ooooooPreppy much????St Thomas

My vacation looks much more likeanberlin rocking outthis is from some flickr user.

from the cornerstone blog

Next up, how to stay “clean” without showering for a week while at a punk rock festival


This is where you’re caught up June 12, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family.
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Troy Morris and I have a thing where we send each other items and describe it in two sentances only. I forgot the last part of the deal AND my camera is acting up. So I have to ask for you to humor me. Troy sent me an envelope filled with cat hair. Yeah. Eww. He wrote that it was all from brushing his cat on Sunday (seriously, this was a ton of hair), but not to worry. His lungs are safe.

The car is fixable, thanks for asking. Not only can it be fixed, but it can be fixed for just under $600. It will leave me with nothing to put in the bank, but I’m grateful I can get my car back and drive it for a bit longer. The next near death experience will probably get it sent to the junk – yard. This is just a warning, car. Now Whitney can haver her little honda -thingy back that looks like a Geo Tracker and perhaps my budget for gas can actually last a week.

All the catastrophies this year involving my car and my health have lined up nicely with my vaction plans that involve treking across the country to Bushnell, IL. We leave in 17 1/2 days. I’m glad I only need to pay for gas and not food or liquid or maybe flair…oh wait. Mary and I currently debating taking a cooler or making a zeer pot. I am all about the zeer pot, because it’s pretty inexpensive to make and water is free from the pump. Spend here in knoxville what we would on one bag of ice there. Mary wants to take the cooler and use ice because, well because she’s 16. What average 16 year old girl wants to make a zeer pot? The next two weeks is going to involve lurking around Big Lots and UGO waiting for electrolyt drinks such as Propel to go on sale for 60 cents a bottle. We buy canned tomatoes and lots and LOTS of pasta. The most amusing side advantage to this trip is watching my sister (and now sisters) eat food they don’t like. I buy food that is healthy and keeps well in hot heat. This doesn’t particularly jive with their idea of food. So after about the first 24 hours of going hungry, Mary will start to eat. I could see Katie trying to hold out longer, but she’ll quickly learn that you can’t do that in a high heat – semi high humidity situation.

There is plenty of advice out there for staying cool and safe in high heat, low humidity camping situations. I’m having a difficult time finding high humidty + heat situations. Any site suggestions, or tips of your own?

Family Matters: Brothers June 3, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family.

My little brother is ten years old. He is naturally smart and a gifted athlete. Being the only son in a brood of four, he took the route of being sensitive – usually overly sensitive. When he was very little, my younger sisters would dress him up in their clothes and put his hair up in pigtails. This was when Powerpuff Girls were popular, and he wanted to be one, too. We had to convince him to be MoJo JoJo instead.

I’m not quite sure what to say about my brother, honestly. He’s thirteen years younger than me. My position in his life was like a miniature mother. It wasn’t until I went to college and I came back for my first visit that I experienced disobedience from the boy because I “wasn’t mom.” I’m sure I didn’t react well to this. I can’t remember, I just assume. Recently he has become a clingier child as I become more distant from my childhood home. I’m becoming more aware that I should be spending time with him, but I don’t know when. Work all day and study all evening – I don’t know how my mother was able to finish college on time while having an infant – then toddler – then young child at the same time. My brother is probably growing up with a different notion of what a sister is than most of his friends are. I suppose that if they are only two or three years older, it’s a friend. If it’s someone like me, it’s some type of authority figure that you’re not quite sure what to do with. At the same time, I probably don’t have the same idea of what a brother is compared to what many others have.

            I struggled to think of guys in my life that I could classify as a “brother.” Someone who wasn’t so much older than me that they would be more like a father figure (different post) and someone I was as close to as I am with the women I mentioned in the previous entry. Aaron and Zach would guys that I consider brother – like. They are protective to a point, but mature enough to let me fall – quite often. When I do fall, they are there to help me up or pick me up, depending on what I need. As far as I can remember, both of them know everything about me and I don’t fear them using that against me. Like my sisters, I feel safe around them and that we can do things for each other with gladness and joyfully.

Family Matters: Sisters pt 2 May 31, 2008

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     I have other sisters. Courtney, Megan, Whitney, Kathryn, and Rebecca, and Rose come to mind. In the past two weeks, and this is another topic, I’ve been out of medication. I’ve been affected and of course the effects become worse as time goes on until I can get back on my medicine (tonight!). My sisters are there to support me and remind me of several things. On Tuesday when I was overwhelmed with fear, my sisters were reminding me of the irrationality of my fear. They did it with the words they were saying and with the actions they were providing. The words they were saying weren’t necissarly answers. I didn’t get any profound truths ofn Tuesday night, but their concern to sit there and be a physical precences and use what words they have to show their love for me were healing. On Thursday when I showed up at home crying (it’s been a long week) there was concern and practical advice (go wash your face), later in the night when I was offended, a bit embarrassed, and hurt there was love and defense. We play and we laugh and we worship together.

Family Matters: Sisters pt 1 May 27, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family, relationships.

     Someone said to him, “Listen! Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to you.” But, he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And, stretching out his hand towards all his adherents he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”  


     There are plenty of passages of scripture in all religions that cause division amongst the followers, just like there are plenty of philosophies amongst the non religious that cause division. The above passage is one of those in Christianity. People become nervous. It’s a story that is used to manipulate and tear people away from their families. I’m not writing on the theology of this passage, specifically. I is a prompt for my own personal story of asking the question “Who is family?” This will be a longer series because of how much there is to write and the easiest ways to break up the thoughts



     I have two biological sisters. They are younger than me by seven and eight years. This means that currently I am living with two teenage girls. I don’t think many people need to be told about the stereotypical Millennial teenage girl. After living with other women my age for four years, living with them is a test of the virtue of patience. My maturing and growth came under a living situation of several women who were striving for a situation where what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. Our selfishness was constantly being pulled apart when other girls were asking for skirts, movies, and our best jewelry. You would bite your tongue and think to yourself, “It’s only an object. Why don’t I want to give it? Because I’m selfish. It’s not mine. I don’t own anything. It’s all a gift to give to others.” Of course that’s not actually what when through our heads, but that is the best way to explain the process. There was a safety and a trust in the group. You took good care of the things you were borrowing. Weren’t we all, in some way, borrowing? We owned nothing; all is a gift by grace.


     So, my biological sisters, they own things. That’s their perception. While they want me to drive them to their social lives, drive their friends home; borrow clothing, electronic devices, and hair supplies, they are wary to let me borrow anything. Often I am met with a “no.” This I have to admit, makes me angry and hurts me.

     The feelings are similar when it comes to chores in the house. While the two of them have chores, there is no discipline in my mother’s house. Often, I do their chores because a clean and sanitary house comes before “who’s responsibility is this?” Since there is no discipline in the house, there is no learning about community living and sharing the burden of a home. This has leaded to them taking advantage of the fact that they know someone else (namely me) will do the work for them.


     This isn’t a question on “What should I do?” I know what to do. The answers given to me by my faith are pretty cut and dry. You serve. You serve when you are blessed and you serve when you are cursed. I don’t stop giving because I’m emotionally spent on some days and I don’t stop working because I don’t think it’s fair. The way I’m learning to stay emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy is to have other sisters.

A video for Wednesday May 21, 2008

Posted by amberpeace in family, friends, εκκλησία, Living.
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