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are you kidney-ing me??

Sunday morning one of my kidneys decided it was tired of taking a back seat. I woke up with the most horrific pain in my side and couldn't do anything to make it stop. Not even a rousing episode of Downton Abbey would distract. Two hours later it was time to call Mom. In typical Parker fashion she suggested I drink some Peppermint tea and said she would bring me some on her way to church. By the time she came, I couldn't think straight and was ready for the hospital. We headed over and waited an ER hour before anyone would see me. The pain was brutal at this point! First thing the nurse asks me, "you been out drinkin' a lot last night?" To which I responded, "no, just watching a little PBS". I seriously thought I was going to die. Once we walked back toward a room, all of a sudden, the pain stopped. I felt really dumb. What if it was just last night's Willy's acting up? But just in case it really was my appendix...
The best part was the adorable doctor who came to talk with me and the worst part was how disgusting I was looking at that moment. You have to know I was in the most serious pain of my life because I left the house without contacts, make up, half in my pajamas, didn't even brush my teeth. So here are my parents standing at the foot of the bed with huge grins while the doc tells me what is going to happen next. As soon as he leaves my Dad points to his 4th finger and smiles, "no ring"....okay Dad, great time to troll the ER for single doctors. In the end it was just a kidney stone and I am very thankful. The most embarrassing moment was definitely the doc walking in on, not naked, but watching "Say Yes To The Dress" on the hospital TV and commenting, "seriously". It was pretty funny. So, that was a whirlwind adventure with a probable $7500 price tag. Yay! They want me to bring them the stone (spare you the details here) so that they can examine it and in the worst of my thriftiest brother Nathan, I should tell them it's gonna cost 'em! My deductible to be exact. And hey, they say it's like labor pain, so maybe I need to go register now to celebrate that it's over.

My new best friend, 4X a day! I'm also quitting caffeine, which is really tragic. I might have an entire post dedicated to grieving the loss.


food on his dog

I'm sorry but this is funny. I intended to write a serious post today but I just feel like this is better. If this dude can have followers, there are so many more undiscovered topics out there to blog about!

Food On My Dog


hannah's prayer

Sometimes there are just no words to describe how to make sense of my life. I heard a pastor say once that Christians should learn to force feed themselves scripture (even when you're not feeling it) until something resonates. Today this prayer has resonated with me, and that is God's mercy.

"My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies because I rejoice in your salvation.

There is none holy like the Lord.; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life, he brings down to Sheol and raises up
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's , and on them he has set the world.

He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in deep darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them will he thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king
and exalt the power of his anointed."


stinkin amazing cs lewis quote on love

"Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and probably broken.
Don't love, and lock your heart up in a casket of selfishness.
Make sure you make yourself vulnerable to no one.
But in that casket, dark and motionless, it will change.
Your heart will not become broken but unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
The only place safe from the tragedy of a broken heart is hell. Where nobody gives their heart to anyone."

Bam. CS Lewis, you're amazing. I so much agree with this quote I don't even know what else to say about it but I'm so glad that my heart is wrung rather than being locked up in a casket right now and that is only because of God's grace.


understanding hope

The theme of "hope" has been on my mind and it seems also on many people's minds around me. Why? Because the world is not right and things aren't what they should be and we want something more. Even on the best day where the list gets checked off and the weather is perfect, relationships seem right and the bills are paid and absolutely on the days where it feels like more failure, more bad news, more to do than I have the capacity for, more anger and junk in my own heart to deal with; I hope for something better. Does God just want me to hope for good things to come my way? I want to think "yes", but then I actually READ the Bible and realize that's probably not the whole story. "Now may the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit".
"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the HOPE to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.."
I have true hope because of Jesus' sweet & specific sacrifice for me! This hope has amazing power in my life which gives:
-More power in the Holy Spirit to do life
-Eyes to see my calling
-Eyes to see my inheritance
True hope is a lens with which I see clearly what is mine now and in the future. Falsely, I make it something that I muster up, like a positive feeling or energy or a vibe that gives me enough guts to wish or guess that God might do something good in my life in the future. That is not it at all. Yes, God will do things. He will act on my behalf because he is my father and my best friend. He wants to give good gifts, but more than that he wants my heart. If I am hoping for good stuff that is not him, then my hope is misplaced. This is a daily struggle  because I just want good stuff, an easy and comfortable life and to be the queen of my own kingdom. But in moments where I have had those things, there is so much emptiness. There is no peace, joy or power for life and I am so selfish. I have no eyes to see my calling or eternity or other people and their needs. Today I am praying for the God of hope to fill me with all joy and peace in believing so that I will abound in it by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Last night I received a box at my doorstep from I hadn't ordered anything, but look what was inside:


psalm 119

"Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness, you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. vs.73-77

This piece of Psalm 119 resonates with me deeply after a three year season of suffering through loss of identity in many things outside of Christ. A much needed and necessary time of pruning and God's gentle revelation of many areas of sin in my life. God made me and fashioned me personally with his own hands, and certainly designed this season as well. I do not think that my experience caused many others to rejoice because they saw that my hope was in the Lord. It was a very hopeless season from my limited perspective. However, the Lord was my comfort and he did keep his promises to me during it all. His love was steadfast and his mercies were new every morning. There is great freedom at the end of such a season and I am so incredibly thankful that my hope is strengthened for the next time of affliction which will surely come. For God's glory maybe others will rejoice as they see this hope more fully displayed in my life.


the best coat i've ever owned

The BEST coat that I have ever owned was purchased from ZARA. I love it! It has a uniquely wide collar and three giant buttons on one shoulder and it ties around the waist. Also has great, deep pockets. I have mixed feelings about ZARA overall and sometimes the largest size is still minuscule since Spaniards are tiny and only eat a cube of cheese a week. I have worn it for 4 seasons now (that's right, during someones entire college experience) and still can't bear to part with it. It's totally pilled on the underside of the arms and when my dog was a puppy he chewed off the end of the waist tie. I had it fixed by a tailor but then he chewed one of the button enclosures and people always though it was some random fringe. Nevertheless it is the single most complimented item I've ever owned. I'm thinking I might just dust it off for one more season although Zara is starting online shopping with free shipping (what prompted this post).


Back of the coat



wow. just wow.

This 12 year old Brazilian boy is just getting warmed up at the three minute mark!


getting picked up at the assisted living home

Today was another one of those "Hannah has the funniest things happen to her" days. I told a friend who is in sales there that I would attend her Brighton Gardens (elderly care facility) Walk Out for Alzheimer's this afternoon. Insert "Dog" before walk and now you're probably getting a better sense of this event. I arrived late as usual and was ushered to the registration table where I had to fill out a long form all about my dog. I really only wrote in the basics because I was 30 minutes late:

Things that you dog can do: Hmmmmpf........well, he sometimes sits but only for a treat and even then it's about a 50-50 chance he'll do it. So I wrote "sometimes sits for treats" and went on with it.

The music starts and a guy on the bass is plucking along (Seinfeld style) really well with an over-the-top announcer who is calling each dog out one at a time to walk the floor and then to do their tricks or show off their costumes in front of the judges. It was serious business and I crammed into a small waiting area with Charlie bustling with nervous owners, dogs and tangled leashes. Everyone was looking at me as if I were an animal abuser because Charlie was costume-less. I gave him a bath people and that rarely happens.

One by one the dogs pranced out and gave Hi-5's, or caught a ball, or just looked cute silly in their tu tu's.
A lady even told me that her poodle named Cecelia got a "bikini shave" for the special day.
Last, but not least, Charlie steps up to the plate. It was rather anti-climactic as I tried to get him to sit (failed) and then eat a treat (spat it out on the sidewalk for me to pick up wet) so he neither sat, nor ate the treat. I also didn't realize that the form I filled out was where the announcer was getting his information to tell everyone about the dog. Apparently most people had written a private school application essay about their dogs while Charlie only had, "sometimes sits for treats". Awesome. He tried his best to talk about Charlie while I hurriedly walked around the courtyard before he had to say that Charlie was 3 years old for a third time....oops. In the end Charlie did charm all of the ladies and I'm sure brightened their afternoons. We went home with three goodie bags of treats (it pays to know the right people in high places at an active adult community).

After everything broke up, the bass player walked over and offered his congratulations to Charlie- for what, I'm not sure, followed by, "when are you going to come and see my band play?" Caught a bit off guard my instinct was to ask, "well what is the name of your band?" to which he replied,  "MarTAY and the ParTAY!" We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria area with all of the ambiance you can imagine. The smells and sounds and of course a room full of half asleep elders tired from the afternoon's excitement. I couldn't have made this one up if I tried. I smiled and we walked out. Later, I looked down at his business card to read only  this:

Marty Berning


and his phone number.

I thought he was gutsy and attractive.

Charlie's new girlfriend with the "bikini shave":

Check out the hand sewn Tutu:


things i am thankful for today

Ok, these are the kinds of posts no one reads, which is fine. I'm just really thankful today about lots of little things. This morning as my Dad would say, the first hint of Fall was in the air. I love it. Fall is my favorite season by far and the temperature change from Summer is a big part of that. I even went inside and put on a button down shirt with my shorts instead of a t-shirt just to celebrate. Yay, Fall is coming!

I scored some beautiful Hydrangeas at Whole Foods on Saturday that have been lighting up the table in my foyer. Every time I walk by them I can't help but smile. They are so robust and fresh and alive (I know, they're actually dead).

I'm thankful for music. Sufjan Stevens is playing some great songs while I do some work.

I enjoyed a post from Gwenyth Paltrow's blog, GOOP, which had a segment on travel in Hong Kong and made me think about great memories that I have from my time living in Asia and traveling there. It's hands down my favorite city in the world so far.

I'm really thankful that I have an informational conference call with a company today for a possible job. It is a sales position with a social media & digital marketing company called Sanjika. I am talking to them at 5:00 PM today. I'll post more about how it goes.

Last but definitely not least, I'm really happy that I was able to connect with a friend last night over coffee who has grown to see amazing works of God in her life through a very difficult and tragic accident. There is abundant redemption for our suffering, for those who belong to Christ. She is changed, her husband is changed and her children are changed. Good is good. I am encouraged to continue to move through difficult circumstances with hope and to be transparent about struggles. If we never tell our stories, others can't see God at work.