I truly believe that Satan doesn’t want us to go to church. Why would he? Keeping me away from worshipping my God alongside my friends would be a great victory for him. And this morning… he played dirty.
This morning, I think Satan came in the form of toilet bowl cleaner. 
Fitting, isn’t it?
I got the bright idea to clean my toilet first thing this morning. I find the whole process to be dirty, so I try to do it right before shower time. So this morning, before I could have my first cup of coffee (which let’s admit, I don’t think clearly before that first cup of joe), I decided to pull a Martha move and clean my toilet. I opened up a brand-new container of Clorox toilet bowl bleach and went to town.
And that’s when a little splashed in my eye.
It didn’t really hurt, but I knew immediately that this could be very, very bad. I went to the sink and started flushing my eye out with cold water. Once I felt I had gotten most of it out, I picked up the bottle to see the bad news. 
Houston, we have a problem. I don’t need PERMANENT eye damage! I’m only 28! I’ve got a good 70 more years to use these baby blues. Not to mention that I have my Sunday morning routine down to the millisecond… not a single minute to spare, or I won’t make it to church on time. It’s not easy to be this naturally beautiful…  it takes a lot of planning, primping, plucking, poofing… you get the picture. No time to wash my eyes out for FIFTEEN MINUTES with water!
But I didn’t want to go blind. So I settled on a good 5 minutes of flushing. Ironic that I went from flushing my toilet to flushing my eyes? Sorry… chasing rabbits now. Back to the story.
During the five minutes that I hung my head over my bathroom sink, flushing my sad little eye with cold water, the hypochondriac in me started to flare up. Working at a hospital pretty much cured me of these tendencies, but suddenly, my brain started to burn. I was pretty sure the clorox had traveled up my eye canal, through my sinuses, and gone straight to my brain. Pretty soon I figured I’d turn loopy, start twitching and eventually fall to the floor in a tangled mess of limbs as the bleach burned out my brain from the inside out. They would probably discover me days from now, with Harley the Wonder Schnoodle standing vigil over my sad body, surrounded by his toys and tennis balls.
Plus my eye started to throb. But then I realized that I’d been flushing my poor eye with water for five minutes, so then I wondered if it was the bleach or the water. 
Finally I just gave up, went outside, watered my roses, jumped in the shower and got ready as normal. Three cups of my hazelnut brew later and all was right with the world. I was able to go to church sans eye patch, and it wasn’t even red. So hopefully that means I’m out of the woods. I think I’m going to live. Maybe. Probably. I think.

New Moon

I’m such a bad blogger. I have just been so busy playing this summer and enjoying a little freedom from school and obligations that I haven’t had time to sit down and put anything down on paper. I’ll assure you that things are very, very good right now, and I continue to enjoy some real blessings from unexpected places. I’m very thankful these days. 

Since it’s been awhile, here’s a classic “Bethe Moment” from last week to hold you over. I took a quick business trip down to Austin last Thursday to go to a conference. On my way down I spotted an outlet mall in Round Rock with my VERY FAVORITE STORE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD… White House/Black Market. I could wear their clothes every day and be perfectly content to live in a colorless world of black and white. 
I made it a top priority to stop there on my way back from the conference. I found endless bargains (everything 70% off, praise the Lord!) and then spotted my SECOND FAVORITE STORE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD… Banana Republic. God was smiling down on me that day at the outlet mall Round Rock, Texas!
I was so excited and distracted by this fantastic find that I must not have paid much attention as I put my clothes back on in the dressing room. I took my bags and the pretty green shirt I wanted to buy and made my way through the very crowded store to the front counter. But on the way, some sparkly (discounted!) jewelry caught my eye, so I spent several minutes leaning over the endless options laid out on a low table, trying on necklaces and comparing dangly earrings. I spotted more necklaces on another table, and again leaned over and marveled over all the glorious wonders to be had at BR that day.
But I was good and talked myself out of buying more jewelry (confession: I had already bought fantastically cheap jewelry next door, so I had plenty) so I finally made my way to the check-out line. Several minutes later, a nice woman came and stood in line behind me.
And then I got a tap on the shoulder, and this nice lady told me…
“Honey, your skirt is unzipped.”
Eeek! I reached behind to feel the zipper. Not only was it unzipped, but it was gaping open, leaving my beautiful underwear visible for all the world to see. Eeek! I quickly made a mental note of all the times I bent over to look at the beautiful jewelry, with all the folks standing behind me. Yep… there was a full moon that night in Round Rock, and the moon was me!
Which is why I can never go back. Or if I do, it will definitely have to be in a disguise.

Light of the world… literally

I went to my parents’ tiny Baptist church for their Christmas Eve candlelight service. It was very special… all the families gathered together, babies dressed in red velvet dresses, little ones anxious to come home and devour their presents under the tree, slightly older ones just ready to come home and devour Christmas dinner… and everybody looking forward to the climax of the service–lighting the candles and singing Silent Night.

Only at this tiny Baptist church, Silent Night wasn’t so silent.

Because I set my hair on fire.

I was being a bit mischievous. That’s what happens when you get my family together, we look for any excuse to laugh and have a good time. So of course, when I put my lit candle under my chin and made a scary face, kind of like one would do when telling a ghost story around a campfire, sister Sarah provided me with the reaction I was hoping for… a giggle. But then sister Lindsay, in a motherly way, brushed the hair back on my right side and said, “Don’t catch your hair on fire…””

And right at that moment I heard a gasp, then “BETHE!!!” and then she reached over and put the fire out that was starting on my left side. It’s amazing how fast hair can burn… one minute you’re just standing there, being silly and singing Christmas carols, and the next minute, “SPARK,” then “POOF” and a terrible stench of burned hair fills the room. Luckily she saw it as it happened, so I only lost a small amount at the bottom, and I have such long hair (and so much of it) that nobody will ever notice, except for the singed ends which I should probably trim off today.

I’m glad we were sitting on the second-to-back row and not in our normal front-row spot for all the tiny Baptist church to see. Only the rows behind us and in front of us really got to experience me adding a “spark” to Christmas… ruining silent light but taking Jesus’ command literally in Matthew 5:14 when he told us to be “the light of the world.”

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you in 2009.

Sometimes I’m just stupid.

Tonight, the minute class was over (at 8:30) I rushed to the Taco Bell drive-through. My stomach had been growling for hours and I was famished to the point of dizziness. All I wanted was my Mexican Pizza and a big Diet Coke (because tonight is a late night for homework… I need the caffeine!). I was on the phone with Sister Lindsay as I barked my order to the lady in the intercom. Then I pulled up to the window, threw her my money, got my Diet Coke…

And drove away.

Without my food.

I realized it right after I left. So I threw my car into park, jumped out, pranced back up to the drive-through window in my high heels and Jackie-O black dress (never got to change after work), and tried to get my food. There was already a new car at the window, and I’m sure he thought I was crazy and about to rob him or the restaurant. But no, all I wanted was that Mexican Pizza.

We quickly became friends as I tried to explain why I was standing outside his car, wedged between him and the window, in the dark, in my high heels. He was nice, but kept looking at me like I was scaring him a little. After the Taco Bell lady handed him his food, he tried to drive off without running me over, but I had blocked the driveway with my SUV. There was no escaping. Finally I got my Mexican Pizza, pranced back to my car, hopped in, and drove off into the night.

I bet that guy thinks I’m a complete nut. But I’m not… just easily distracted!

No more Olympics

Tonight I had to turn off the Olympics. The addiction has proved too strong, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in almost two weeks. All of the good “stuff” happens after 10:30, and I just can’t pull myself away. Last night, I lay in bed watching Shawn Johnson win her gold medal and found myself CRYING. I don’t know this girl, but seeing her look so thrilled, and watching her parents cry out of pride for their daughter was just too much for me.

I have become such a sap. Someone please make it stop.

Random hilarity in my head

1. Good old Tiffany saved the day yet again. She got my sewing machine to work, and thanks to her help and encouragement, I have successfully pieced together my first quilt! It helps to have friends who are talented, occasionally it rubs off on me. It also helps to have a hobby that involves an excuse for a girls’ night. Not that anybody ever needs an excuse for girls’ night! This means I’m well on my way to becoming a quilting phenom… maybe I’ll be the female Michael Phelps of quilting. I’ll post photos as soon as I can find where I put my digital camera…

2. I ran seven miles tonight at the park. It was ugly. On Saturday, when I did six, I felt fantastic. Tonight, I just wanted someone to shoot me. Funny how that happens sometimes.

3. I think I have a ripping problem. Or a “moving too fast” problem. Today, I bent down to grab something off the bottom shelf of my storage cabinet, and stood up too fast. Riiiiip. My high heel got caught on my cute black skirt and ripped a hole right through it! It wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t the millionth time I have ripped my clothes at work. I had to go home and change. I loved that skirt, but alas, now it’s just a distant memory.

4. I’m now a girl with two jobs! As if I didn’t have enough things going on right now, I have taken the job as a graduate assistant to a professor up at school. In exchange for working on projects for them from home, I’m getting free tuition PLUS a stipend! Hooray! The only challenge will be fitting in that work between my full-time job, my homework from grad school, my half-marathon training, my tennis game, my new quilting hobby, my Sunday School teaching, and my social life. Yeah, I think I can do it! (In reality, I’m super thankful to have this new job, because private school tuition is EXPENSIVE, so this is a huge blessing!)

5. A few months ago I blogged about running into a guy from high school whom I hadn’t seen in nine years. When we finally ran into each other, I was getting my hair done and had a head full of goop, wearing a shower cap, sitting under a hair dryer (hey, having hair this naturally blonde requires a lot of work). I looked awful. Well, guess who I saw AGAIN after I ran my six miles on Saturday in the heat of the day. Yep, same guy. Only this time instead of a head full of goop, I was sweating PROFUSELY, my face purple, huffing and puffing. Boy do I know how to impress a guy! Groan.

Sorry, my head was just swimming with information. I’m probably still a bit delusional from lack of oxygen to my brain after all that running. I’m off to go soak my poor muscles and slip into bed early. Thanks to everyone who has been leaving me comments, it makes me so happy to see them!

The crash

I was half-way through my 4-mile run yesterday, when it happened.

I fell off the elliptical machine.

I was in “that” groove. You know the one, where running stops being horribly painful and starts becoming fun. I wasn’t thinking about anything, I was just rocking out to my iPod, covered in sweat and thinking about what a rock star athlete I’ve become.

It was time to hydrate. I reached for my water bottle, took a sip, and then…

Chaos. My foot slipped off the machine. My legs became tangled in the pedals. I hit my head on my way down and landed in a sad heap, half on the machine, half on the dingy gym floor. My water bottle, the cause of all my problems, exploded all over me, soaking my shirt. And my head. For a moment, everything went dark.

Okay, that’s not how it really happened. In all actuality, I was this close to doing just that, but caught my foot as it slipped off the machine, and steadied myself. Catastrophe averted.

But one more inch, and…

I’m a bad blogger… but you still like me, right?

I’ve been neglecting my blog. Mostly because I’ve been so busy I barely have time to eat and sleep, much less think any original thoughts. But my crazy-intense summer school course is almost through, and then I’ll have time to ponder the meaning of life, or at least come up with some funny stories.

Until then…

Check out this video of my favorite team having fun. It almost makes me want to be a fan again.

Oh, and my other favorite team (my church softball team) finally won our first game tonight! After two VERY bad losses, tonight we won 16-10. Of course, we recruited two college ball players and a semi-professional to play with us tonight, which might have helped us a little. But we’re happy just the same!

At tonight’s game, for the first time EVER in my whole life, the pitcher looked at me and asked if I was a boy or a girl. Now granted, I was wearing a helmet, but I have a LOOONG pony tail, and very girlish legs. I am not sure how he could be so confused. It was somewhat disturbing, and somewhat funny. I think next week I’ll try playing in a skirt, just so there’s no question.

The worst feeling

Today I’m hosting a group of community leaders at the hospital all day for “health care day.” They’re learning all about health topics and getting the “inside scoop” on how hospitals really run. We’re in a boardroom, listening to speaker after speaker, and I’m making sure everything runs smoothly.

Mid-morning, I had to switch out somebody’s presentation on the computer at the front of the room. I was talking, and squatted down quickly to stick the flash drive in the back of the computer.


That’s the worst feeling. Ever. I’ve got 20 community leaders staring at me, and I’m not sure if my pants are in one piece or two. Or in shreds. All I know is that I heard a terrible, terrible sound. A ripping sound, right in the back of my pants.

Thankfully, I only ripped the lining. The outside is still intact. For now at least.

But it looks like I’m going to need some new pants.