Thursday, December 27, 2012

the weird and the good and everything that is home

Isn't it weird going home after you've been away for awhile? The way you feel when you drive down familiar streets - the time you spent walking with your friends when you were in high school. Your favorite late night diner , nights spent over stale but wonderful coffee, conversations that flitted around into the familiar place of an old friendship. The spot in your kitchen where you sat every morning with a cup of a tea, after you graduated college and moved home and worked to save up money so you could move across the country to a life that at the time was simply an idea but now a reality. 

Being home is a mix of wonderful and sad and weird. It's sad because sometimes it feels like an old sweater you've outgrown. A favorite sweater you desperately try to squeeze yourself into but you realize it just...doesn't fit. You love it and part of you wants to fit in it, but it just isn't right anymore. So you look at it and sigh and tuck it away somewhere special so you can always go back from time to time and remember how much you loved wearing it and how right it felt. 

It's a tired subject. 

"Where do I belong?"

"Where am I called?"

"What should I do with my life?"

I write about it most and I write about it often. Maybe because there's no definitive answer. Maybe because it's pretty relevant to a twenty-something who is trying to figure their life out. Maybe it's because we all know there will never be an answer and we'll never know where we "belong" because that's such a petty sentiment and doesn't really make sense. 

* * * 

I love my hometown and I love my city. I love sitting in my home church and seeing people there worshipping God. I love driving to Melrose diner late at night with friends and seeing the Philadelphia city sky-line. I love how broken everything is and a little edgy and rough and loud and how where I've grown up has shaped the person I am. 

Sitting here in this kitchen where I spent thousands and thousands of mornings sipping my tea and writing - it's just...weird. I can't express it in any other word. It's weird because I love it and I miss it and it's weird because I know God calls us out of our comfort zone.

And sometimes I hate that!

I hate being uncomfortable! Who doesn't? Who goes around and on their Facebook profile puts, "I'm Nina, I'm 23, love reading and writing and being uncomfortable!" If there's one thing I love, it's being comfortable. So why does God call us to lives that are so completely opposite of that?

Because in the end, as I think about it, I realize I wouldn't want it any other way. When we are put into situations and places that cause us to look at our character and our lives, it helps us grow and it furthers the story that God is writing for us. 

Isn't that why we love movies and stories about people that do something amazing and brave? Isn't that why I am obsessed with Harry Potter? Isn't that why I watch episode after episode of Doctor Who on Netflix? Because we all love a good story - everyone loves the story of the underdog fighting for a cause, for the good of the world. 

God already wrote the best story ever and we're all apart of it and it's so freaking cool that it just makes me want to be all like DAAANGGGGGGG I AM BLESSSSSEDDDDDD. Do you know what I mean? It's beautiful. 

So yeah. Being home is weird and great and special and tiring and awesome all at once. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

how to be okay over the holidays

listen to george bailey's voice

I could listen to Jimmy Stewart talk every single day, but there's something special about it during Christmas. The way he just says everything is perfect. And him talking to Donna Reed? Well MIGHT AS WELL JUST START PUKING UP SPARKLES AND GLITTER AND SPROUT A UNICORN HORN BECAUSE IT DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN THAT. Without a doubt, "It's A Wonderful Life" makes me cry every time I watch it. Because without fail it captures the entire point of Christmas and life and every day that we have breath in our lungs. I want to BE George Bailey but I also want to marry him. Even though he'd probably be the worst prom date ever, he is literally pretty much as close to perfect as can be. Let's just all relive that last moment when Harry toasts George as the richest man in town!! IF YOU AREN'T CRYING AT THIS POINT I AM THINKING HMMM MAYBE YOU DON'T HAVE A SOUL.


With anything/anyone willing to cuddle. You might be thinking, "Yikes! Nina! Can you say 'desperate?'" And to THAT I'd say, "Yes! I can! In several languages!" And then I'd stare at you for a second and then sprint away because in fact, I can't speak any other languages. The point is cuddling makes everything better. Ewwww, I know, I'm soo0o0o0o0o0o0o girly. Get over it. It's true. Grab a cat! Grab a pillow! Grab your little sibling who squirms! Grab a baby, preferably one you know! Spend a few minutes cuddling and you'll forget all about the fact that you suck at giving presents and have lots of student loans! 

put Sufjan's Christmas album on repeat

Perfection. It's just so great. Throw on a big blanket, make some hot chocolate and just sit there and listen to this glorious man. I love this album and I usually start listening to it right after Halloween because it's never too early, right? This album has the comfort of a friend - it's familiar and magical and lovely and weird. It's like if Zooey Deschanel never divorced Ben Gibbard and picked roles like the ones she did ten years ago. 

read the about the birth of lil baby Jesus




God came down to Earth in the form of a little tiny baby, born in a nasty freakin' manger, for us!!! Because He loves us so much. God loves us more than a 12 year old girl loves Harry, Louis, Naill, Zayne & Liam. (onedirection4ever). That's cray-cray. That makes me sit back and think, "Dang. That's a lot of love." That's more love than I know what to do with. 

Jesus was literally BORN so he could one day DIE. Whaaaaaaat. I'm such a mess but the one and only constant in my life is my relationship with Jesus. It is radical. It has changed me - it is forever changing me. It is complicated & hard & painful & wonderful & scary & the most important thing in the whole wide world. 

say i love you a lot & mean it & don't say it sarcastically & it's okay

There's a lot of pain in the world all the time. We take so much for granted, ya know?! This morning my baby sis woke up on Christmas morning and said her heart was heavy because of all the little babies from Connecticut who wouldn't be celebrating Christmas with their parents. We prayed for the families in the world who had to go through today missing loved ones. Who go through everyday missing loved ones. So let's say I love you more and let's mean it because really that's what it's all about.

* * * 

Because it's hilarious.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

a completely non-holiday related old re-post because i'm too busy being in love with Philadelphia

a few things i didn't realize about Hey Arnold when i was little but do now

1. Helga's mom is an alcoholic
Either that or she is addicted to Xanax or something. I was rewatching Hey Arnold! recently and COME ON! It's so obvious Helga's mom has got some issues. In one episode she is freaking passed out behind the couch. WHAT THE HECK?! She is scatter brained and always seems like she is seconds from being unconscious. Watching this when I was like, ten or whatever I don't think I really got it but now it seems glaringly obvious. Oh Nickelodeon. 

2. Poor Arnold's mom
How in the world did his mother give birth to a FOOTBALL head? One word: Ouch.

3. Arnold's grandpa is literally Eminem
Don't think so? COME ON! There's such an uncanny resemblance people!



The chin! The nose! It's there, I don't care what you say. If they ever make a live-action movie, Eminem MUST play Arnold's grandpa. It's perfect!!!

4. I didn't know 9 year olds could meander a city by themselves and NOT get kidnapped
I guess they live in the safest city EVER! I wanna live there! They are never with parents. Like, legit, they are NINE YEARS OLD, in fourth grade, and taking cabs, buses, subways and whatnot by themselves. They are so cool. Either they live in the safest city in the world or they are superkids and I wish I had friends like them. Ugh. 

5. I thought massive floods killed people and destroyed cities?
Well apparently they just create water that rises and you can literally take a boat out on out. Oh Arnold, I love your universe.

6. This show is literally hilarious and smart
It's so great to watch it now. There are so many things I didn't get when I was little but do now--the humor is freaking amazing. Everytime Helga yells at Arnold and then goes off on a poetic rant about him...oh my gosh, it's just ridiculous. I love it. ALSO SHE HAS A GUM SHRINE OF HIS HEAD. This is beyond bizarre and amazing. Freaking 90s. I love you.

What do you guys remember about the show now that you didn't when you were little? Isn't Arnold such a classic? So great.