~Hannah reporting in...

I miss blogging. I blogged for years here at blindbartimaeus.blogspot.com about my travels and adventures as a carefree soul with the "will o' the wisp," as folks said about my grandpa and began to say about me when it seemed I was destined to follow in his wandering ways.

Blind Bartimaeus and I have had great times together, but about a year ago, my posts started to sputter like an old VW about to run out of gas. Last March 2013, they just stopped. I haven't looked at this blog since then as life took a decidedly steady turn.

My boyfriend got a job as a photojournalist at the local newspaper. I took a job shortly thereafter at the same paper as a government reporter.

We got engaged!!!!!

We are planning a wedding and a life together. Here.


When I started thinking about blogging again, I came here to blindbartimaeus.blogspot.com, and it just didn't seem right to try to revive it as something other than a travel blog. Even when I wasn't actually traveling, Blind Bartimaeus has always had the flavor and energy of traveling solo wherever my feet took me.

(Blind Bartimaeus refers to a blind man in scripture, in Mark chapter 10, who was healed by Jesus. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted after he kept calling out, louder and louder, for Jesus to help him, Bartimaeus simply said, "I want to see!" I always thought that was such a simple, yet all-encompassing, plea, and so I made it my prayer as I traveled and wandered that I would see as Jesus would have me to see.)

Plus, honestly, Blind Bartimaeus is a mouthful. It always took me about ten minutes to write out my blog address for someone who was interested in reading it, and then we spent another five minutes sounding out the letters and correcting the mispronunciations. I imagine a lot of folks got lost trying to find my online wanderings at Blind Bartimaeus.

And so, with a hint of nostalgic sadness, I have decided to start a brand new blog and let Blind Bartimaeus be what it was meant to be: a travel blog written by a younger me. Maybe I'll send our kids there someday when they want to know what I was like at their age and await their awe-struck squeals of, "Mom! You were crazy!!!!"


Sheesh. One step at a time now.

I have a wedding to plan and a life to look forward to with a man I love so much I can hardly breathe when I think about it sometimes.

I love my life. I am grateful for every moment, good, bad and in-between. I am grateful to God for all the travels and look forward to more wanderings with my husband-to-be.

But for now, I am here. And if you want to join me, you can find me at: hannahreporting.blogspot.com. Hope to see you there! 

~Hannah reporting in...

Justin and I on top of the mountain where we got engaged. September 22, 2013.



Since I last wrote, I got a new job! I am once again using my degree in journalism as the government and outdoors reporter for the local newspaper. I really like it. And I'm really super busy most the time.

In the transition between my job as a barista and my job as a reporter, I was working both jobs "part-time." As in about 30 hours at each job.

It was tiring.

But I survived.

On one rare night I had at home during that crazy couple of weeks, I was so, so, so very happy to be at home that I went all nerdy nutsy and took a bajillion photos of...HOME!

I just finished editing those photos with Snapseed, this great, cheap program that makes photo editing truly fun. Here is the result. Hope you enjoy.

Welcome home...to my home.


A strange mix of tears

Tonight I am baking a cake, and drinking tea, and looking at photographs, and listening to some good tunes.

And tonight I am crying the strangest mix of happy tears, and wounded tears, and tired tears, and relieved tears, and hopeful tears.

I wore mascara today hoping it would help me not cry. I thought the prospect of black streaks upon rosy cheeks would dissuade the flow. Alas, it feels good to cry. Really, oddly, insanely good.

It's been a roller coaster of a week.   

Last Monday, January 28, my Dad had a minor heart attack during a game of racquetball. My Mom, who was suffering from a nasty cold at the time, called me at about 4:30 in the afternoon to ask me to go to the YMCA and take Dad to the Emergency Room. He had refused the costly trip from the ambulance after reporting chest pain and a numb left arm but had assured the EMTs he would get a ride and a check up just to be safe. Within a couple hours, he was in ICU, and by the next morning, doctors were wanting to ambulance him to a larger hospital a couple hours away for an angioplasty.

How quickly life turns!

By God's great mercy, however, the brand new heart catheter lab in our small town had opened that day. My Dad would become one of the first patients.

My Dad spent three nights in ICU. My Mom spent nearly every waking hour with him. Due to co-workers with sick kiddos, I ended up working overtime that week, but the coffee shop where I work is in the hospital so I was able to visit often, too.

The angiogram showed a 90 percent blockage in a major artery. Doctors inserted a stent, and my Dad is now making a speedy recovery from the surgery.

A week later, with my Dad on the mend and both of us looking forward to backpacking trips this summer, those are the relieved tears. I am so thankful for doctors who can fix the ones we love.

The wounded, tired and some of the hopeful tears stem from...conflict. I hate conflict. I am one of those people who will write an elaborate, heartfelt apology note...even if I have nothing to apologize for. I'll find something, and I'll be sorry for it. Anything to make things better again.

I am learning that is not a good thing to do. That is not making peace. It is living in fear, and it is dangerous because it leads me to a false sense of having forgiven the one who hurt me. So I'm working on these issues. I'm working on speaking up when something is not right. However, I have not learned what to do when I do speak up and my adversary speaks louder and meaner and harsher than me.

Last Friday, at the end of an exhausting, draining week, I addressed an issue with a new co-worker in a reasonable--albeit tired--tone. She yelled at me. I tried to offer to talk it out, and she yelled at me again. I drove home crying, cried into my boyfriend's arms, cried as I brushed my teeth that night, cried the next day on a walk, and cried today after a miserable day of not talking to each other and feeling her disdain washing over me all day as we worked awkwardly side by side.

I hate conflict. Hate it. Hate, hate, hate it. I admire peacemakers because they are so strong. I want to be like that. But I'm scared. And I feel so small. So wounded.

So I cry wounded tears tonight. And I pray God will heal the wounds and show me how to be strong and how to truly forgive. And in the tears, between sips of tea, I feel hope rising. Hopeful tears. They sting less.

As for the happy tears? I just had dinner with my boyfriend. That makes me happy. Eight months into our relationship, and my heart still skips when I think about him. As I reflect on a rough week, he is a bright spot in many of the days. I would say he's the high spots on the roller coaster, but a more accurate description is that he is the harness. He held me tight through the ups and downs. I hope he can say the same about me.

Happy tears. Those are the best kind. I'm saving those for last and finishing this post with a smile and a hopeful look toward tomorrow as life continues on, with all its twists and turns. 


Good morning, Wyoming!

I believe friendships need adventure. While talking about the ups and downs of our days is valuable and needed, there is something special about the bonds forged when paddling up a river or trekking across a mountain. We strengthen each other when striving for a common goal. We buoy each other when the going gets rough. We double, triple, quadruple our joy when we see the summit smiles of loved ones.

I recently enjoyed a sunrise hike with two of my dear, adventurous gal pals. We hit the summit of Steamboat Point just as the sun opened its eyes on the horizon. It did my heart good to gaze upon God's beauty with two women who radiate strength, purity, and beauty inside and out.


Thankful on November 30

Today I am thankful for...

164. God's mercy, new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-26)
165. CoCo Wheats.
166. Friends who love me even when I'm not so very love-able.
167. Feeling beautiful when my boyfriend tells me I'm beautiful.
168. Milk.
169. Coffee dates with dear gal pals.
170. My ears. I like to listen.
171. Lists of thank yous. I like this practice of noticing God's many extravagant gifts.
172. Fuzzy slippers.
173. Rest for weary minds and bodies.
174. Lotion.
175. Brooms and dust pans.
176. Coffee. Always coffee.
177. God's mercy, new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!


Thankful on November 29

Today I am thankful for...

162. The way smiling can make me feel cheerier.
163. Soup.


Thankful on November 28

Today I am thankful for...

155. Tree branches iced white, sparkling beneath the winter sun like a sequined ballet dancer in pirouette.
156. Bowling with the beau on a cold Wednesday night.
157. The fact that my boyfriend never makes me feel stupid.
158. The security that comes with knowing my beau is actually my suitor :). I am being courted, and I delight in knowing every moment we spend together is a moment that will, Lord willing, become part of a lifetime together.
159. Breakfast burritos.
160. Dry cereal for snacking.
161. Handwritten cards from dear friends.


Thankful on November 27

Today I am thankful for...

153. Beautiful, heart-wrenching words in Alan Paton's novel, "Cry, the Beloved Country." 
154. Beautiful, humbling words in an email from a well-respected leader in my church's denomination who was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I include some of his words here because I can't say them as well as he can:  

The prognosis is that medically speaking the cancer is not curable but treatable. Without treatment the average survival rate is a few months. With treatment survival is 12 to 14 months. Some folks with this kind of tumor are cured. The response to the treatment is highly individual and not predictable...

...This journey has been a great learning experience for me. I embrace Paul's statement of the two options. To continue to live is an opportunity to serve. To die is gain, to be with the Lord, is better far. I am ready to die and to live as he wills. He is smart, good and sovereign. I am justified by his atonement, saved by his mercy and grace, and ready to meet him. I can only imagine. He is my healer, now, later or in heaven. The outcome is going to be good because of God...

...We all have to face death one day or another. I have thought I would face it earlier, and I did, and I thought I would face it later. It may pass this time around, or not. Either way. He is good. With him as Lord, there is no bad outcome.

Thankful on November 26

Today I am thankful for...

148. Caffeine.
149. The satisfaction of finishing a task well.
150. My job.
151. Freedom of speech.
152. NPR.


Thankful on November 25

Today I am thankful for...

143. My friends' children. It is a joy to watch my friends be moms and dads and to watch their kiddos grow into creative, energetic little people who will hopefully love and serve God with all their hearts.
144. Spontaneous visits with friends.
145. Movies on cold, snowy days.
146. Cold, snowy days. I do love this time of year.
147. A relaxing holiday and a refreshed mind.

Thankful on November 24

Today I am thankful for...

139. Saturday breakfasts out with my parents. I am glad that tradition has held strong for more than 30 years.
140. A little Christmas tree to call my own.
141. Homemade Christmas ornaments made from paper and string.
142. Days spent crafting in my cozy apartment.


Thankful on November 23

Today I am thankful for...

131. The chance to shut off my alarm clock and snuggle under the covers.
132. Leftovers.
133. Blue mountains capped with shimmering white peaks.
134. God's patience and compassion.
135. Answered prayer.
136. Books. I think I would feel lost without them.
137. A warm hat and gloves.
138. My bike.


Thankful on Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for...

125. Times spent cooking with my mom.
126. Conversation over the dinner table with my folks. I marvel at how much of who I am I owe to these sweet, meaningful, encouraging times with my parents. 
127. Pictionary. It's been way too long since I played last.
128. Hearty laughter, blushing laughter, appreciative laughter, silly laughter, joyful laughter.
120. Opportunities to say, "I love you." May I take them often and without hesitation.
130. Hugs--tight, joyful, reluctant-to-let-go--under stars shimmering in a crisp night sky.

Thankful on November 21

Today I am thankful for...

120. The ability to mix various ingredients together and end up with pie.
121. Fireside chats with my boyfriend on a giant bean bag chair in front of the woodstove.
122. The way my mom and I share life.
123. The way my dad shares his knowledge with me and makes me think and ponder.
124. Anticipation of the arrival of my nephew in one month! 


Thankful on November 20

Today I am thankful for...

114. Breakfast.
115. Dinner.
116. Lunch.
117. Having enough energy to make it through the day.
118. Photos that make me laugh.
119. My friend, Ashley, who makes the world better with her sweetness. 


Thankful on November 19

Today I am thankful for...

110. Reconciliation. Resolve.
111. Opportunities to say sorry.
112. A God who hears our prayers.
113. Pumpkin pancakes.

Thankful on November 18

Today I am thankful for...

105. The way honesty opens the doors of communication.
106. Grilled cheese.
107. Time to chill on the couch and read the comics.
108. Pizza with friends.
109. The way my parents and boyfriend interact. It makes my heart happy to watch them talking over the dinner table.


Thankful on November 17

Today I am thankful for...

101. Operation Christmas Child. It is an effective ministry, and I feel so blessed to be part of God's work around the world through shoe box gifts.
102. Floss.
103. Spontaneous singing.
104. The way my Dad pours his life into the lives of his students. He is an example of selflessness to me, and I think his students are lucky to learn from him--about English and about this adventure of living.


Thankful on November 16

Today I am thankful for...

93. Opportunities to hone my skills as a photographer.
94. Opportunities to learn what it means to be like Christ. I am lacking beyond description, but I trust God's promise that He will satisfy my hunger and my thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
95. Dear friends who fill me with their love when I am empty.
96. A good--though slightly unpredictable--landlord who deals with problems in my apartment in a timely manner.
97. New containers of hot chocolate.
98. Cinnamon toast.
99. Lamps.
100. The fact that it is easy to reach 100 things for which to be thankful.


Thankful on November 15

Today I am thankful for...

88. Pain au chocolate.
89. My missionary friends. I feel blessed to hear their stories and to partner with them in prayer and finances.
90. Difficult people in my life because I know that somehow, some way God is using them to mold and teach me and make me more like Christ.
91. Happy people in my life because I don't know if I could handle the difficult people without the listening ears and encouraging hugs of my happy people.
92. Mint tea.


Thankful on November 14

Today I am thankful for...

83. The wrinkles that fan out from my eyes when I smile because they mean I've been able to smile a lot in my life.
84. Naps that leave blanket creases on my cheeks.
85. New notebooks and pens.
86. The way my boyfriend looks at me. I didn't know it was possible to feel so special inside of just one glance.
87. Photographs that show, in their horror, just how peaceful my life really is. May I not become jaded to just another image of a starving child. May my heart always be moved to compassion and prayer.


Thankful on November 13

Today I am thankful for...

78. The view of bison silhouetted against a crisp winter sunrise on my way to work this morning.
79. Fresh fruit.
80. Shampoo.
81. The ability to dream dreams.
82. God's imagination and creativity.

Thankful on November 12

Today I am thankful for...

75. An improved attitude about a frustrating situation.
76. Operation Christmas Child and the way it shows God's love to millions of children around the world.
77. My houseplants. They are so cheery.


Thankful on November 11

Today I am thankful for...

68. All those who have served and currently serve in America's military. I appreciate their sacrifices for the freedom we enjoy--and too often take for granted.
69. Dishes washed and put away before another week begins.
70. Warm sweaters and coats.
71. Hugs.
72. Kisses.
73. The goodness of an invisible God who became visible in the person of Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:15).
74. Sunday afternoon naps.


Thankful on November 10

Today I am thankful for...

62. Soft blankets I can buy for my coming nephew.
63. An evening of snow forts, hot cocoa, uplifting conversation, and prayer with my girlfriends.
64. Crepes.
65. The sound of my boyfriend reading the Bible out loud.
66. God's desire to be near to us through prayer. Who am I that He would listen to my pleas?
67. Second chances.


Thankful on November 9

Today I am thankful for...

58. Tears. They make me feel better.
59. God's grace. I think I've listed that already this week, but since I've desperately needed it, I am very thankful that God is loving and patient and compassionate.
60. Snow. It makes the world more quiet.
61. A Mom who listens to me and fills me up when I feel deflated.


Thankful on November 8

Today I am thankful for...

54. That feeling of accomplishment when tenacity pays off.
55. My hand-powered coffee grinder and the smell of fresh ground coffee all ready for tomorrow morning.
56. The ability to ask questions.
57. Whispy clouds.


Thankful on November 7

Today I am thankful for...

47. Bike rides that are fast and furious, that pump up my heart and free up my mind.
48. A guilty conscience that prods me to ask for God's forgiveness.
49. God's forgiveness.
50. Calculators.
51. New adventures.
52. The ability to remember my childhood.
53. Sleep.

Thankful on November 6

Today I am thankful for...

42. The privilege of voting. Good friends have been helping me with my cynical attitude towards politics; it is nice to care again.
43. Coffee in the middle of stressful moments. It's like a deep, calming breath but better since it tastes good, warms me up, and gives me energy, too!
44. Music.
45. God's sovereignty. He is a just and praiseworthy authority.
46. French Toast.


Thankful on November 5

Today I am thankful for...

34. Staying in touch (at least a little) with old high school friends.
35. Cereal...because it is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time...yes, sometimes all of those in one day.
36. Prayers in the parking lot spoken while holding my boyfriend tight.
37. The calming power of deep breaths.
38. An excellent sermon yesterday that I'm still pondering today.
39. God's wild imagination.
40. Finger nail clippers.
41. The Christmas lights placed on a giant tree outside my kitchen window.


Thankful on November 4

Today I am thankful for...

28. Songs that make me cry because I live life more fully when I lay down my stoic guard and let myself feel sloppy, mushy happy, or mournful sad, or desirous to the point of voice-cracking in mid-plea, mid-prayer. I do not need emotionalism to feel like I've met God, but I do appreciate when God meets me in my emotions and speaks to me there beneath any shields or facades I turn to the world.
29. Eyes that can see rays of sun spotlighting the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains.
30. Candle flame.
31. Warm water.
32. Sleep for weary minds and weary bodies.
33. Thank-You notes. 


Thankful on November 3

Today I am thankful for...

18. Walks in the sunshine.
19. Pumpkin, and all the yummy stuff it can become...i.e. pie, cookies, bread, soup...
20. Small opportunities to make a friend's day a little better.
21. Washing machines and clothes driers.
22. Hair bands.
23. Parents who listen so well and so often.
24. Phone calls from best friends.
25. My hand-powered coffee grinder because it makes me slow down and enjoy my coffee even more.
26. Giant bean bag chairs.
27. Clean water.


Thankful on November 2

Today I am thankful for...

8. Hot tea and the steam that tickles my nose when I sip the warmth.
9. Socks.
10. The view of the courthouse and main street from my kitchen table.
11. The laughter of friends.
12. The way I feel safe when I look into my boyfriend's eyes.
13. God's justice...because I cannot love and serve a God who is imperfect, who fits my human view of what good and right is. I need a God who is bigger than everything, greater than all.
14. Pens that write on the first stroke.
15. The cadence of foreign languages.
16. My brother, sister-in-law, niece, and coming nephew.
17. Words. 


Thankful on November 1

Today I am thankful for...

1. God's grace. It is undeserved. I am unworthy. I don't want to take it for granted.
2. Cedar plank salmon.
3. The way my boyfriend compliments my outfits. I always walk a little taller when I know he thinks I'm beautiful.
4. Sunrises that are so strikingly beautiful they make me cry.
5. Chapstick.
6. Photographs of my niece.
7. The Bible. I am so glad God chooses to speak with us, to be near us, to love us through His words.

Thankful for...

Since it is November, the month in which we celebrate and hone the practice of giving thanks, I am going to morph my "Small Things" posts into posts of thanksgiving. I will spend this month (and hopefully much, much longer (like my entire life)) writing out my gratitude for blessings (and trials) big and small. I always enjoy reading what others are thankful for, so I hope these lists and thoughts spur thanksgiving in your life, as well.


The small things: October 28

Today I woke up with a shooting pain in my neck and shoulder that made it impossible to move my head or move much of anything else without tears welling in my eyes. After some ice and ibuprofen, I was able to get dressed and get to church, but I was unable to do anything with my hair. My friend Shelley didn't even miss a beat when I held up my hair band and asked her if she would please put my hair into a ponytail. It was a small act, but her willingness to help me with such a simple task made me feel cared for and loved.

I hope I can return the favor someday, if needed, and I hope I will always jump as readily as she did to another person's aid--be it a big or small need.


The small things: October 25

Today one of our customers who hadn't stopped in for a while made a big deal out of the fact that I remembered she likes lots of room for cream in her medium size, medium roast coffee. Though I consider it part of my job to remember what customers like, I was glad such a small thing could make her feel so special.