Archive | March, 2009

"Tale as old as time … "

31 Mar

What a whirlwind of a weekend!!

After both of us getting soaked in the rain on Friday morning, Bruce and I headed to the airport in the afternoon.  We both took our shoes off in the car and cranked the air vents in an effort to have dry feet for the plane.  We were somewhat successful.  We got to the airport and our flight was 45 minutes delayed.  Then an hour and a half.  And the terminal was FULL of people who were stranded because of the monsoon-like storms that had flooded Atlanta throughout the day.  We decided to go and get something to eat and look at who we ran into!!  I was looking at something on my phone and telling Bruce a story and all of a sudden he tapped me and said “Sarah look who it is?!”  I didn’t respond so he tapped me harder and said “SARAH LOOK WHO IT IS?!”  My Aunt Jennifer!!  She was in Atlanta from Daytona Beach for a bunch of business meetings for Merck and was stranded with a delayed flight because of rain as well.  I guess she had been there for five days but literally had been in a conference room that entire time.  Bruce and I thought it was good that we ran into her at the airport, because even if she had the time during her week to see us, we probably wouldn’t have!!  So our delayed flight and her delayed flight ended up being a wonderful blessing in disguise.  We actually ended up being some of the lucky ones – both of our flights managed to take off only about two hours after they were supposed to (that was actually good considering some of the stories we were hearing) and the flight was fairly smooth, all things considered.
We landed, got our luggage and met my mom outside of HPN.  She took us straight to the high school so we could see the end of the show.  Bethany was texting me on the way saying that she thought we would make it for the transformation of the beast.  We got to the high school and the doors were locked!!  I texted Bethany and told her the doors were locked and three seconds later saw her running to the doors.  She slammed them open and yelled:  “Hurry up, the beast is transforming!!”  So she and I took off, leaving my mom and Bruce to explain to the security guards what was going on.  The simple explanation of “I’m Bob Keck’s wife” was apparently enough for the security guards and Bruce and my mom weren’t far behind us.  We got into the theater just as the smoke started and the roses lit up – and the beast was transformed into the prince!!  It’s magic.
After the show, we went to the choreographer’s house for an adult cast party.  It was fun for me to be able to relax and not be in Connecticut for meetings and to feel like I had to be on top of my game.  We got home around 3 in the morning and went to sleep.
The next morning we got up and got ready for a day at the high school.  Because my dad knew Disney would attract families and girl scout troops alike, he added another matinee this year – the second Saturday.  The first show was at 2 p.m. and it was WONDERFUL.  I started crying during the song “Beauty & The Beast.”  During the second show I started crying before intermission!!  The show was really THAT good (and there’s also something about Disney).
Sunday morning we went to church and I’m happy to say that I got to talk to most of the people who I had missed when I was there two weeks ago.  Lynn was back in church and overwhelmed by the support she received when Natasha died.  I told her that I finally had to stop watching the news because it was making me so upset to see a family trying to grieve with cameras in their face and she looked like the paparazzi had been as bad as they seemed.  She also told me that a group from the Westboro Baptist Church had flown in to protest Natasha’s funeral because she supported AIDS research (for more information click HERE).  This was the same group that tried to protest Heath Ledger’s funeral for his role in “Brokeback Mountain.”  I was absolutely horrified when I heard this.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about homosexuality and even to its link to the spread of AIDS (even if I think they’re wrong, to put it nicely) but every family allows to grieve the loss of a loved one and no one has the right to take that away from them.  Plain and simple.  I will not disagree with someone’s opinion on homosexuality, but I’m horrified that this church puts this kind of distress on God’s children in the name of the Christian Church and Salvation through Jesus Christ.  It’s pathetic.
Anyway, some friends of mine were also in church and they had very exciting news – they’re expecting a baby!!  She’s about eight weeks pregnant so she has a long way to go, but that gives me plenty of time to knit a blanket.  This is the second person who has told me they’re pregnant in the last couple of weeks and I can think of at least four friends to have welcomed babies so far this year – is there something in the water?!  I’m really happy for all of these wonderful parents – and happy to be the one spoiling their children and handing them back when they start crying!!
We had a fairly lazy afternoon at my parent’s house.  We had a birthday lunch for Bruce and then started slowly packing.  There were a couple more bridal shower gifts that Bruce and I wanted to bring back so we borrowed a suitcase from my parents and got ready to head to the airport.  When I checked us in, the flight was showing that it was on time.  Not for long.  By the time Bruce and I got to the airport, the sheriff standing outside told my mom to wait because a lot of flights were being cancelled.  Our flight wasn’t cancelled, but the plane we were supposed to be getting on was currently in Orlando and not expected to leave for another hour and a half.  We asked if we could get on the 7:30 flight the next morning, got new tickets and headed back to my parent’s house.  We ended up having a really nice night; we ordered pizza and watched March Madness and I worked on my exegesis for my Friday colloquy sermon.
The next morning was something of a fiasco.  The airport was packed, we were still standing in the ticket line as our flight started to board, Bruce got stopped going through security because of the guacamole stone we were bringing back and we got stuck in a traffic jam of people trying to get to the gate.  We raced through the tunnel and on the plane.  At this point I hadn’t had coffee and was very cranky.
We actually landed earlier than anticipated and our luggage came right out.  We took MARTA back to our car and I was starting to feel worn and cranky.  This eventually led to me crying in our parking lot because one of my bags had fallen over and everything had fallen out.  Not worth crying over for sure and at that point Bruce told me I needed to take a nap.
I did take him up on the suggestion to take a nap, although I first tried to outline a paper that I had due for Dr. Lartey’s pastoral care today.  I normally don’t outline papers, but I’ve been going through a phase lately and it actually has been helping me out a lot!!  So I sketched a rough outline, took a nap and wrote the paper.  And I’m actually fairly happy with it, too.  I was nervous about that paper and my sermon exegesis that was due today so I was relieved the paper wrote easily and I was able to wake up and focus on my sermon exegesis (which I finished this morning, e-mailed to my colloquy group leader and she returned it with an A on it!!).  So even though I got ZERO work done this weekend, it ended up working out for the best because I got to see the show and my papers were turned in on time!!
Anyway, I’m slowly getting back into the week.  I’m trying to get things accomplished, but having more luck in certain places than in other places.  I’m just trying to keep myself focused for the rest of the week.  Tomorrow’s Wednesday – halfway there!!  No matter how tired I am this week, the weekend was AMAZING.  People kept asking me if I was excited to see my dad’s show and I didn’t want to say yes because I didn’t want to jinx it (what if the flight got cancelled, etc.) but now that I’ve seen it I will say that I was jittering and rambling with excitement all of last week and I am SO HAPPY I was able to be there.  I will never be able to thank my parents enough for making it possible for Bruce and me to be there – for my dad for offering his own money and pushing the issue and for my mom for making multiple airport trips and rearranging her own schedule.  The phrase “thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough to express my total gratitude.  But for now – Thank You.
Until next time y’all,
Sarah

Cranky

26 Mar
I would seriously like to apologize to anyone who may have come into my wrath this week. Perhaps not even wrath – quiet and seclusion is more like it. I don’t think I’ve been a good friend to anyone in Atlanta since I got back from spring break.

I’ve been in a funk – and I couldn’t figure out what it was all about. I might even go as far to say that I have had an underlying crankiness ever since I landed in Atlanta.  Yesterday I was driving up to Marietta to pick up Bruce and then go to church and I was extremely cranky. I pulled my iPod out, thinking that music would put me in a better mood. Nothing seemed to be working. Faith Hill wasn’t working, Tim McGraw wasn’t working … even James Taylor wasn’t working!! Shocking, I know … So then I thought perhaps showtunes were the cure. I tried Fiddler, Guys and Dolls and Thoroughly Modern Millie – nothing worked. The thought suddenly crossed my mind that I should listen to Beauty & the Beast. It’s amazing how quickly my mood lifted when I heard the orchestra start the overture.

I should be in Connecticut right now – plain and simple. The New Milford High School All School Musical is something that defines much of who the Keck Family is and I’m not there to take part in it right now. That sucks. There’s no nicer way for me to say it. It sucks.

I love Atlanta – and I need to be here right now.  I need to be at Emory.  The education that I’m getting is invaluable.  Bruce and I needed to get out on our own and really learn about each other and about ourselves.  I needed to live in a different part of the country, particularly a part where racial tension is still high – I needed to understand the realities that some people are still living in.  And most importantly – I needed to meet y’all you I love, adore and cherish.  And I know I’ve been distant.  And I know it’s hard for me sometimes.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
In the meantime I’m supposed to be packing for our trip to Connecticut, but I’m currently doing laundry and getting nowhere.  I went to do the laundry yesterday and found extremely potent damp sheets in the washing machine – I’m pretty sure they were from almost a week before.  Eww.  So needless to say I put those sheets through two cycles last night and then they dried overnight.  So that set me back on laundry.  Oh well.  I THINK I know what I want to pack – so hopefully it shouldn’t be TOO bad.  Hopefully.  It’s only a weekend, why do I always make this so complicated?!?!?!
In other news – you all should read this article.  For everything there is a season.  This is just another reminder that for every one of God’s children that cries out, another one rejoices.  Sometimes all we can do is pray and thank God for the blessings in our lives.
Peace & Grace,
Sarah

My Reflections: MIA

25 Mar

Over the weekend I told Kari that I felt like my blog posts were getting mundane – more of a recap of my life without any kind of reflection on it.  As soon as I said that to her the thought crossed my mind that maybe this in and of itself is a reflection on the way my life has been lately.  I’ve been so busy and trying to keep all of the pieces of my life organized that I really haven’t had a lot of time to reflect on anything lately.

I decided to press the pause button on my life this morning and go to the spa.  Bruce surprised me with a gift certificate for a massage on my birthday and I hadn’t had a chance to cash in on it – and after a face-numbing headache wiped out my entire day last Wednesday, I started to think that I needed to force myself to cash in on it – otherwise I may never do it.  I called and made an appointment yesterday and showed up at the spa promptly at 10 a.m. this morning.
I don’t know how many of you have had massages, but they’re pretty incredible.  Not only what they do for your body, but also what they do for your mind.  You’re pretty much forced to sit still for a certain period of time and breath as someone grinds out the knots that have been growing in your muscles.  But all of this happens in such a relaxing way.
At first you’re not really sure what to do, what to think about.  Should you talk to your massage therapist?  What do you think they’re thinking about?  Should you keep your eyes open or closed?  These were all the thoughts that were going through my head.  By then my massage therapist hit a nerve – literally.  She cracked a knot in a muscle in my shoulder that sent tingling movement down my arms.  Then I felt it in my head, then down my legs.  It’s amazing how connected our bodies are.  What happens in one part of your body really does affect what happens in another.
As I laid on the massage table feeling the affects of my spine down my fingers, I started to think about the Body of Christ.  I’ve been using that metaphor a lot lately in talking not only about ecumenism, but also in talking about church hierarchy and pastoral authority.  In talking about church hierarchy and pastoral authority, I remind people that all parts of the Body of Christ are crucial for a thriving Christian church – if you think about your body even something as seemingly small as a hangnail can make it difficult for a person to complete simple tasks.  But let’s think about the Body of Christ in terms of my massage – I could literally FEEL the effects of a knot being broken up in my upper back down my arms and legs.  That’s incredible.  Such is the case in the Body of Christ – you can feel the effects of one part in another.  When one hurts, we all hurt.  When one rejoices, we all rejoice.  We are all connected to one another throughout our beliefs and convictions.
The music that they played in this spa was incredible.  At first it was kind of celtic and eventually became the sounds of an ocean.  But I honestly couldn’t tell you when the change happened.  I was really overcome by the power that exists in me – through others.
All this AND my muscles are loosened up.  Incredible.
It’s a shame that I had to go to work afterwards.  But I walked in with a new attitude – and any time I started to get frustrated, I thought about my state of relaxation.  And something must have worked – after work I got home and managed to get through next week’s Con. Ed. assignment.
Today I learned the importance of hitting the pause button on life in order to reflect on what’s going on around you.  Otherwise – where’s the meaning in life?

First Day of Spring

20 Mar
I’ve often said that while fall is my favorite season, spring is the season I always need the most. And never has it been more true than this year.

It’s been one of those weeks. I literally hit the ground running when my plane landed on Sunday night and I have no idea where the past couple of days have gone.  Part of it has been Natasha – I’ve been so sad for Lynn and her family that I haven’t even looked at the news.  I don’t want the media’s commentary on her death.  I just want to be sad and pray and let life be still.  So – needless to say – I’m out of touch with what’s going on in the rest of the world.
I’m ready for school to be over.  I feel like I’m at a point where Candler has laid a solid foundation for pastoral ministry and the rest can be filled in through experience.  I’m frustrated with a lot of my classes this semester and just all-in-all am ready for the year to be over.  There’s a good chance I will have a renewed sense of excitement for school after the wedding – with the plans consuming a lot of my life, it’s hard to even want to focus on anything else.  I really just need to put some blinders on when I’m working on school stuff, get it done and get on with it!!

Daddy’s show opens tonight.  I HATE the fact that I’m not there for opening night, but next week just made so much more sense.  And I’ll be happy to be there.  But it’s still hard to be away right now.  It’s just a reminder of how ready I am to fly back to (or closer to, anyway) the coup.  I spread my wings in a big way by moving to Atlanta and it’s been so wonderful for us.  But I will be happier when Bruce and I are closer to our families so we can be around for the big things (without having to think far ahead and deal with flying).  This picture was one that I took last week when I was watching them run through Act 1.  Half of the cast is in costume because the press showed up so the costume and prop ladies scrambled so there would be so good shots in the paper.  This was taken during “Be Our Guest” (about 45 seconds before the confetti canons went off!!)
… and now for something that doesn’t involve me complaining (because there are lots of good things going on right now!!) … 
My cousin Jodi is in Atlanta on business and her business actually took her to Emory today!!  She and I had coffee after her meeting and it was really nice to be able to catch up with her.  I didn’t see her much at her wedding (she was making the rounds) so it was fun to see how married life is, how life in D.C. is and also get her perspective on some of my own wedding glitches.  Having the whole planning process fresh in her mind, she had a lot of really good tips for me.  The funny thing is – her mom is actually at my parent’s house right now with some of my other family for my dad’s show!!  It’s like a multi-state reunion!!  It’s strange how you take extended family for granted, grow up, semi-enter the real world and miss getting to see them all the time.
I’ve heard from Neal a few times this week!!  It’s so great to just know that he’s a click of a button away and is the same Neal who used to live two houses down from me in college.  He’s part of a wonderful ministry over there right now – he’s sent several pictures treating Iraqi children for minor infections, etc.  I love seeing him do what I know he’s called to do.
I managed to send out all of my Thank You notes from my bridal shower on Tuesday, which was a big relief.  I never got a chance to post pictures of the shower – so I thought I would give you all a window into some of the fun!!

FiestaWare!!  I love it and can’t wait to complete the set and host wonderfully bright dinner parties!!
A beautiful photo album.  People brought tons of albums and frames which is going to be SO wonderful after the wedding when I have lots of pictures that need organizing and hung.  I can’t wait!!
Me and my “bouquet” – no one explained to me that I wasn’t supposed to break any ribbons and I broke three!!  AHH!!!!!  If anyone wants my breaks, I’ll be happy to let you have them. 🙂
Three Hungarian Women.  Intense.
With Peace, Hope & Love,
Sarah

Rest in Peace Natasha Richardson

19 Mar

With sorrow, Natasha’s family released a statement this evening that she has passed on. My heart breaks for their family.

*For everything there is a season*

Update

18 Mar

Natasha has been flown to NYC.  The family hasn’t released an update on her condition yet – and while the press is predicting the worst, that is no reason to stop praying.  Prayer works, miracles happen and God’s children are blessed every day.

With all of you in prayer,
Sarah

Prayer Request

17 Mar

Please keep Natasha Richardson in your prayers.  She is in critical condition following a skiing accident yesterday.

Natasha is the niece of Lynn Redgrave (daughter of Vanessa).  Lynn is a member of my church in Connecticut and has become a wonderful friend of my family over the past several years.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her entire family during this difficult time.
MSNBC has been updating as reports have come in.
Thanks for your prayers,
Sarah