Friday, December 4, 2009

I don't know.

I don't know.

This is the simplest way to descibe the happenings of the past two weeks or so. I don't know. I'm not completely sure. But, somehow, I'm ok with that. It feels weird because usually I'm a little wound up and being so uncertain would send me on the path to the House of Pain. But, through some miracle, I'm embracing it for the first time in my life. I think I might even be...en..joying it...? That's hard to swallow, but very well might also be true.

What the what....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

the verb

It's another slow day at work. So, this is what I ahve been doing:

Listening to

Perusing Etsy. Might have just found a new favorite ( I think I want all of her paintings.

Looking up new recipes. I may or may not be in the process of becoming a foodie. If so, hopefully not a snobby one.

DIY-craft & design exploring on I love all of their ideas!

Buy my favorite soaps and body products! I absolutely love this company and their mantra on being a small business.

And lastly, I've been planning a tour to where I am planning on creating my own unique roast.

Enjoy some favorites.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

and now for a life update

My left foot is currently recovering from being 'asleep'. I don't understand why that's what this horrible feeling is called.

Work is really boring as of late. The plants are switching production and as such we have nearly zero samples to analyze.

Confession: I have never been crafty. I remember in girl scouts making swap pins and absolutely HATING it. I thought it was dumb and pointless. Periodically I would try to change this and get obcessed with something until I burned myself out. I have a large collection of half-finished projects like friendship bracelets, nylon lanyard keychains, tote bags, latch hook rugs, and crocheted potholders.

Lately I have been exhibiting some strange symptoms. I have been found wondering local craft boutiques, actually working on the quilt I started over the summer, and perusing DIY/decorating websites (like I have this strange and intense urge to start making things with my own two hands. And maybe (hopefully) finishing them. I just don't know where to get started! There is so much that I could make. I'm going to try and stick with the quilt thing for a while and see where it takes me.

This has manifested itself into cooking as well. I love it! I don't really cook all that often, nor is it very elaborate, but I enjoy what I make, so...I'm trying to work my way through a cookbook. We'll see how this ends up.

And in other news, I've decided to volunteer with MOCSA again. I've had enough of a hiatus and it's time to serve.

And I'm listening to Blitzen Trapper. Ahh-sommme.

the best way to spend an afternoon


I find it overwhelming the ways in which I miss my time at Jewell. But two things stand out:

- I miss being continuously surrounded by such quality people. Each person I was blessed to meet on the Hill was able to teach me something or plant a thought seed in my life. The daily encouragement and support (for and between everyone) is something I wish I would have bottled up so I could carry it around now and share with the world.

- At Jewell I discovered how to truly appreciate individual moments and really be present in them. Some of my favorite memories are simply of lying in the sun on the Triangle or the quad, or sitting outside of Browning with a warm cup of tea. I have become very relational and it was in these places that I was able to develop my real communication skills.

(Most of all, I really miss Becky's scones).

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today at work I spent a good ten minutes daydreaming about what I would look like when I'm 75. I still can't really imagine it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I don't like admitting when my life isn't going in the direction I think it should. I don't like submitting to the idea that things are less than ideal. I've always been optimistic and blissfully looking towards the future.

Well, my friends, my life isn't going quite how I had anticipated it would post-Jewell. It's hard to write.

I am not excited about my current job. I don't particularly enjoy getting up before the sun and heading to a place to do something that I'm not passionate about.

I think in my life so far I've always done things that I have been excited or passionate about. And that has kept me going. This time I'm doing something that, really, I have to do. At least for now. It's all very surreal. I haven't had this type of experience before.

I have been blessed to have little tragedy in my life. Granted there have been bad times and things that I have struggled with, but it has always seemed that there was a light at the end of the tunnel...something new and better was coming along to look forward to. It feels a little like that is missing right now. I know that I will not be at this place forever (honestly, I might not be here in six months), but somehow it still feels like the end for some reason.

I think part of it stems from Jewell as well. So much is expected out of students. Lead, serve, achieve. I felt kind of like a (somewhat) big fish in a (kind of small) pond. It's assumed that even more amazing this are going to happen immediately upon graduation. I feel a little bit like I've let Jewell down. I guess I romanticized my next step and I feel like I've fallen short somehow.

There are good things going on in my life and I need to remind myself of them. I HAVE A JOB. Two jobs, actually. I feel selfish whining about not having a job that I love, when there are literally millions of Americans who can't find any work. Not only is it a job, but I'm using my degree. Be thankful.

I do love working at the coffeeshop. It's a blast. I love my co-workers and my customers. I love Westport.

I love Jacob's Well. Even though Pastor Tim is gone, there is so much for me there. Small groups, second saturdays, potlucks... I also just bought Mike's cd. I love it! It's like being at JW wherever I go.

And the community center that I recently joined. I'm taking yoga starting next week.

So, I need to stop dwelling on what's getting me down and look out and ahead. I'm only 23 with a lot left to give (new mantra).

|As the eternal optimist, I am planning my next move(s). I'm going to take my GRE again soon and apply to grad schools for the fall of next year. I need some research in my life.

Monday, August 10, 2009



My grandpa loved (loves) me.

One of the most treasured relationships in my life (besides the one with my mother) is the one that I had (have?) with my grandpa, Robert Herman Luerding.

I wrote a biography of my grandpa when I was in 5th grade for grandparents day. I learned that he was born in 1922, went to Lutheran school day school, he went to the same high school that I eventually went to, he went to Dartmouth, and eventually became a VP with the Lee Rowen company in St. Louis. He married his high school sweetheart and had five children.

Robert Herman Luerding (known to his 16+ grandkids as Poppy) was never a very emotional person. He was stoic and reserved and only spoke when he had something to say. But his wit was razor sharp and he never missed the opportunity to make a joke. He told great stories that always held my full attention.

Poppy, like Scrooge, liked the darkness because it was cheap. He was always very frugal with his money. But, he did have room for one frivolity: music. He was quite the musician. He even wrote a hymn in his later life. He sang in his church choir for nearly 30 years and donated a sum of money for the choir to get new robes. He had a piano which he loved to play "like a Baptist".

My Poppy was the most faithful person I've known. We had great (semi)theological talks. When the end of his life was near, he reassured me that he was headed home. He wasn't afraid of dying because he knew where he was going: to be with his Beloved. I still remember the look on his face at my confirmation. He was so proud.

During my senior year of high school, Poppy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He opted out of treatment and spent his remaining time at home. That's when I like to think I got the best of him. He passed only two weeks later. I was there when he left us. I'll never forget that moment.

At his funeral I sobbed. Because I missed him. Because this world had lost a great member of mankind. Because the church was packed. And because the church choir came and surrounded his casket to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic (one of his favorites) as well as the hymn that he wrote, Not Ashamed.

I was very sad that Pop had died, for selfish reasons: he didn't get to see me graduate from high school or start college. Academics were always very important to him. But I also felt at peace.

Tonight I was drawn to Psalm 4:
Many are saying, "Who can show us anything good?"
Let the light of your presence shine on us, O Lord.
You put more joy in my heart than when their grain and new wine increase.
I fall asleep in peace the moment I lie down
because you alone, O Lord, enable me to live securely.
It's been on my heart lately. After I read this passage, I randomly flipped through my Bible. I found a single sheet of paper at the near the beginning, tucked between the pages. I pulled it out, realized what it was, and wept. That's really the only way to describe it. I wept. Big fat tears fell down my face.
It was an email from RHLuerding, my Poppy, who actually had email before I did. He wanted to tell me how much he loved the pictures I had taken on my recent voyage to France, being a world-traveler himself, he wanted to share his excitement. He wanted to congratulate me on my recent 4.o and offer to help my apply for scholarships to college.
And the very last sentence, that's what got me. He said he was proud of me, that he prayed for me everyday and that he loved me. Very much. Which means so much coming from him.
I can't help but think this was meaningful. I know that my Poppy is still praying for me. He still loves me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

# 3


As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of summertime. I mean, it's always been great to be off of school and not have a lot of responsibility, etc. My birthday is even in the summer. But the weather! I'm a fan of the cool/cold/freezing variety, not this sticky humid mess. I generally don't enjoy warm weather clothes (i.e. tank tops, shorts, bathing suits) in lieu of sweaters, scarves, hats and winter coats. Historically I just haven't enjoyed it.

That being said, I should probably eat my words. So far, without little doubt, this has been the best summer I've had. Camp was great this year. I've gotten to spend time with great friends, people who make me feel truely alive. I have a job. Two jobs in fact. I finally feel like an adult (which is really scary, but I'm going with it). I'm truly having a blast. I couldn't ask for more.

In other words, I have a new-found appreciation for summer. Summer now means Boulevard, sun dresses, babysitting fun kids at the pool, driving with the windows down, drinking on the porch at night, best friends, basically: KC at it's finest.

This is terribley incoherent, but true.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The World at Large

Halfway through the second week of camp. It's boys. They are so funny. Honestly I don't think it's more stressful to have the boys. I just think they have a very different energy than the girls do. The girls can be mean and catty and giggly. The boys just talk about weird and occasionally gross things. Their energy is just more physical and they are louder and listen less. But at the same time are more laid back. The only thing that might make this week worse is some of the staff. They drive me a little nuts...but, you know.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Stowers. Hopefully by the end of this week I will know. I just want a job. I want to have a plan at least for a little while. I need a reason to stay in KC because camp will be over soon. Bah.

I need to get back in the habit of reading and checking the news. When camp is over.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

it's summertime

I need to know. I think my interview went well, but you could go either way.

I'm trying to get excited for camp...slowly.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

living in twilight

I'm taking a break to share some news. And general excitement/fear.

I graduated. It's weird to consider myself an alumna of Jewell. I think in my mind I'll always be a student there. This has been the weirdest feeling of my life. It really feels like most any other summer, except that in the deep recesses of my brain I know that I won't be going back to Jewell in the Fall. And now I feel like I just have too much time on my hands. Weird.

So, the day before graduation I had an interview at Children's Mercy to work in the Cytogenetics Lab. First I met with HR, the the lab supervisor, then the lab director. Honestly, I don't think it really went that well. I'm not totally sure that a clinical lab is the right setting for me. I have research at heart and I'm not sure working there will satisfy me. That said, I would love to have a job right now, and if I was hired, I would definitely consider it.

Now I have an interview at Stowers next Thursday. It's in the Gibson lab. I want this so bad I can taste it and I'm willing to be cliche. The more I read about developmental biology the more I am interested in its potential. I think that Stowers would be the perfect place for me. I love KC and would love to spend some quality time there as an adult not in school.

I feel like things are really starting to happen. I just don't want to blow it by wanting it too much.


Friday, April 24, 2009

underneath the skin

# 2

I think that for the most part the different parts of my body seem to be fairly normal-looking. They are approximately in proportion with one another and all look like standard versions of other people's body parts. There is one (or two rather) exception.

My feet. As a general rule, I'm not really a fan of most feet anyway, but mine feel especially foreign on my body. They are clearly reminiscent of hobbit feet, rather squarish with a few stray hairs on the tops.

I do like the scars I have from my surgery; they are kind of neat. Especially where the two scars don't overlap.

As I've gotten older and my feet have taken more abuse, there are strange little knobs on their sides. These are probably not good, but they don't bother me yet.

My toenails are small.

My feet are weird, but they probably fit me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

july, july!

I have decided to mix things up a bit, chart myself a new course. A blogging course at least. It might be copying from Nicole Krauss...just a little for inspiration.

I have come to realize in my life that most of the time there is little I am certain about. There are a ridiculous amount of unknowns. I've realized that I focus too much on these question marks and as such I worry about things I don't need to. So, I am going to start focusing on what I do know. What I have learned, the easy or hard way. What I feel is right in the world. In my life and the lives of those around me. I am hoping that this way I will be able to focus more on positive and tangible things that will remind me of why this life is so incredible.


The part of my life that is the most stable, the most constant, and the part that will always be true and honest is the part of my life which centers around my mother. As much as I joke about her and take it light-heartedly, I get teary-eyed when I think of a life without her. She knows me inside and out, probably better than I understand myself and she knows just how to keep me in line. She has always put my needs first in her life and done her best to protect me. Sometimes the threat was real and tangible, but mostly it wasn't and I thought she was just being overbearring. I now realize that she has always had my best interest at heart and she just wants me to be happy; to know love and kindness, and to never live outside of the moment. She is beautiful and clever and sometimes sad and angry, but she is and always will be my mother. Our relationship is the most real thing in the world to me; the thing I understand and treasure the most.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

come crash

So, I'm mixing things up. It's going to be a bit different, but now is not quite the time. I'm not quite in the right place. But get ready, it's coming.

Monday, March 16, 2009

lost in the plot

Spring Break '09.

I needed a break in the worst way. This past week has been sickly and tiring. I managed to get everything finished on time, but I needed to go home.

Last night I went with Anna and Katie to see Andrew Bird! He was fantastic. In general, I try not to compare concerts because they are usually so good, but in different ways. Andrew is definitely the most talented and unique popular musician I've seen live. His skill is ridiculous. I just love how he loops different components of the songs together. There were a couple of times that he and his band actually messed up and had to restart. On one hand it is a little bit lame to go to a concert and have the band restart the song, but on the other, if you think about it, when he loops the songs like that, if one part is not right, then it's going to be wrong the whole time. So, I didn't mind. I think my favorite part was definitely the gramophones on stage. I think they were a mix of decoration and functional speakers. There was also a double-gramophone that spun in time with certain songs. There was a microphone positioned at each of the ends and as the sound came out, because of the doppler effect, they kept their own time. It was really neat. Bah, great show.

So far being at home has been pretty peaceful, very renewing. I feel like I'm heading into the home stretch and it's nice to check in first. Crazy though. Strangely, it has also been reassuring. I like coming home and being reminded of who I am. Sometimes I feel that gets a little lost on The Hill.

I got about 10GB worth of new music on Saturday. I'm in indie heaven.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

glittering blackness

I'm feeling very awake right now. I think just being out late with other people is enough to keep me alert.

Life is good! I have a few exciting weeks coming up. Lots of work to do, but also lots of fun to be had; two concerts in two weeks (ish). And I get to meet some pretty sweet people at the Cope Lecture and Achievement Day.

I get crushes too easily. That's something I don't like about myself. It makes me feel shallow and a little needy. I don't like to think of myself as either of those things and so it's a little disconcerning. It's just that I get a crush and then it gets to be too much. Plus this time around I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. And the other one will win. I'm so lame!

Moving on, I had my first official job interview the other day. Well, it was for a staffing agency and not a specific position, but I think it still counts. It went well, but I feel so green about this whole process. I need to get some more job knowledge.

I really need some time off.

I like shuffleboard.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the birth and death of the day

I have had an exceptionally lovely day. And it's not even over yet.

The weather is cold, but sunny, my favorite, and although I didn't really wear an appropriate jacket, I'm pleased.

Pryor went very well this morning. I'm very glad that we are going to do the Campus Kicthens Project. It is going to fill such an important need in the community and I think it will really help show Jewell's commitment to service to the greater KC area. We formed into project teams this morning and assigned classroom roles for the rest of the semester and I am very happy about my choices. I'm going to help coordinate volunteers for the project which is something I love to do.

Instrumental was awesome today. I have to admit that so far there is a little more physics involved than I had anticipated, so sometimes it gets confusing, but today I totally understood. And by far the coolest thing I have learned this semester we discussed in class, which was why carrots look orange. The reason is becuase carrots are comprised largely of a compound called beta carotene. The structure of beta carotene contains a number of double bonds which result in delocalized electrons. The more delocalized electrons there are, the more potential jumps between energy levels the molcule can make. With more possible changes in energy, the compound will absorb visible light of a specific wavelength, which corresponds to a color. The opposite of that color is the color that it appears. Beta carotene actually abosrbs blue light and so it appears orange. Hooray!

The rest of the day has honestly been a little disappointing comparatively, but still good. The sun is shining, I'm listening to some sweet tunes, I have work to do, but not too much, and everything is right.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jai Ho

I saw Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday. Honestly, probably the best movie I've seen. At least in several years. I've been playing the soundtrack on repeat.

I'm heading back to school early tomorrow morning. I really feel that this break, as boring and somewhat difficult as it has been, has really helped to renew me. I finally feel ready to get started on what is the last leg of this section of my life's journey. I'm so glad that I can say that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My family is large and complicated and weird and global (nationalities, not locations, for the most part we all live within a ten mile radius of each other).

The easiest way to start is this: my mother is one of five children. She has three brothers and one sister, therefore I have four aunts and four uncles (seeing as severyone is married). One set lives in KC, but the others live in Saint Charles, or a surrounding county.

My uncle (mother's brother) and aunt in KC have four children, two girls and two boys, each roughly a year apart. The girls are biological and both of the boys were adopted from Columbia at different times and from different cities.

My other uncle (mother's brother) who lives the closest to us have five adopted children, three boys and two girls. The oldest boy is from the states, but I'm pretty sure he is Vietnamese. The next oldest boy is from Korea. The middle child, also a boy is from the US. The two girls are the youngest (but just a few months apart in age) and are from the US as well. The three youngest children are African American.

My other other uncle (mother's final brother) lives a little further away, approximately 10 miles. He has four children, all his own, three boys and a girl.

My aunt (mother's sister, pretty much my second mother) adopted a baby in the summer of 07. He is from Florida, but his father was Lebanese and I think his mother was half Hispanic.

Then there is my mother's little chunk. So really there is just me and my mother. But, I have a half sister, same father, different mothers. She is married to a wonderful and patient man and they have two beautiful children. Their daughter (my niece) is three and their son (my godson and nephew) is about 10 months. She has a real life and is only 27.

These are only my first cousins, etc. It only gets crazier the further out you get. But, quite a few of them still live in town. And seeing as my maternal grandparents' families were some of the original folks in our area, I'm [somewhat distantly] related to nearly everyone in St. Charles City.

I don't know why I'm sharing all of this. I think my family is loud and corny and funny and lame and weird all at the same time. I really like it. I find it strange that although our family is this large and so close to one another that we are not actually all friends. We don't have traditions as a family. The cousins don't have stories to share like our parents do, of family gatherings. I wish we had more traditions. In my old age I'm starting to wish some things were more traditional, I want to have roots and know what they are. I mean, we have a more distant relative working on this massive genealogy thing and our family is all traced to Piencenza (I think that may be spelled wrong), a town in Northern Italy, but it doesn't seem to matter to anyone.

I think I started thinking about this when one of my cousins and I had an actual conversation at our Christmas gathering. It was our first one and I really liked it. Then my mom and I ran into him at the grocery store and we had another. Then I thought, hey I should hang out with him sometime. So, I went to ask him on facebook if he would like to get together sometime but I almost didn't send it because I thought that would be weird. And it bothered me that I had to hesitate about it. I mean, we're family, shouldn't it be second nature that we spend time together? I eventually did and we are going to get together in the near future and I'm glad. I'm actually really excited. I just feel like this is how it's supposed to be with family, but I was bothered by my immediate hesitation.

The point is that I'm glad to spend more time with my complicated family.