music monday-12.27

I think my friend Ryan first told me about Mumford & Sons on a mix he made. Here is their hit Little Lion Man. Enjoy!

Mumford & Sons - "Little Lion Man" from Mikey Levelle on Vimeo.


the greatest story ever told

The Conception of Jesus Foretold

Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.
At first Mary was afraid and troubled by the angel's words. Being a virgin, Mary questioned the angel, "How will this be?" The angel explained that the child would be God's own Son and, therefore, "nothing is impossible with God." Humbled and in awe, Mary believed the angel of the Lord and rejoiced in God her Savior.

Surely Mary reflected with wonder on the words found in Isaiah 7:14 foretelling this event, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus:

While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.
Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with
extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.

When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly father.

Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)

At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

The Shepherd's Worship the Savior:

Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God. As the angelic beings departed, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.
There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby, in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. They went on their way still praising and glorifying God. But Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the tender child she had just borne—was the Savior of the world.

The Magi Bring Gifts:

After Jesus' birth, Herod was king of Judea. At this time wise men (Magi) from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, "In Bethlehem in Judea," referring to Micah 5:2. Herod secretly met with the Magi and asked them to report back after they had found the child. Herod told the Magi that he too wanted to go and worship the babe. But secretly Herod was plotting to kill the child.
So the wise men continued to follow the star in search of the new born king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. (Most likely Jesus was already two years of age by this time.) They bowed and worshipped him, offering treasures of gold, incense and myrrh. When they left, they did not return to Herod. They had been warned in a dream of his plot to destroy the child.


music monday-12.13

I first heard The Weepies awhile back when they were on a Paste Magazine CD Sampler. The band is a husband and wife team from Cambridge, MA. Here is their 2010 single, I Was Made for Sunny Days.


end of job

I have been thinking a lot lately about my whole career situation. My seasonal job with Operation Christmas Child came to an end today. It was such a great experience for me to be in a positive work environment and with such awesome leaders and coworkers. Another nice thing about OCC was having the affirmation that I can be successful in a work atmosphere. Even though I know I got laid off by EOTS for reasons I could not control, I have to admit that it did have an effect of my confidence in the working world. If I am still unemployed next year, I would love to work for Samaritan's Purse again.

I read this article on CNN the other day, and it honestly made me pretty upset (see below). It's hard not to get discouraged about our country's current situation. I need to remember everyday that God is greater than my unemployment, greater than our economy, and greater than my fears about it.

"In the world you will have trouble and sorrow, but rejoice ... I have conquered the world." John 16:33

"Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart" Philippians 4:6


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Laid off twice by age 24? Absolutely.

"A surprising number of employees in their early twenties may have already experienced multiple layoffs," said David Morrison, managing director and founder of Twentysomething Inc., a marketing company that focuses on Gen Y.

That's because the job pool for college grads continues to shrink. In November, the unemployment rate for those post-college age (20-24) was almost 16%, compared to 9.8% for the nation. And according to a recent Pew Research Center study, nearly 40% of 18-29 year olds have been unemployed or underemployed since December 2007.

"Youth unemployment is a crisis-level epidemic. Millions of college students can't even get their foot in the door," said Scott Gerber author of "Never Get a Real Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business, and Not Go Broke."

Sasha Maese has already been laid off twice since graduating in 2008. "It's incredibly frustrating," said the 25-year-old who graduated from New York's School of Visual Arts.

When she graduated in May 2008, she landed a job as a copywriter. But, she said, "I lost that job after three months. Then, I had a full-time job for over a year as a copywriter with an advertising agency and I was laid off from that with no notice. I was 24 when it happened. I was actually escorted from the building."

Since then Maese, who graduated college with $132,000 in debt, has been juggling freelance copy writing jobs to make ends meet. "It's awful because it's like I have to put the whole rest of my life on hold, I can't move, I can't plan for my future because I don't know what my financial situation is going to be."

Michael Whelply, 27, graduated in 2006 and has since been looking for a full-time high school teaching position. "Unfortunately with the downturn, a lot of towns are cutting budgets so there's not a lot of opportunity to get into a school district."

Whelply's longest stint so far was filling in for a teacher out on a six-month maternity leave last year.

"I substitute right now and tutor at a local college, but I haven't been able to get in the door full-time at any institution," Whelply said. "I try to be optimistic but it's pretty bleak."

Without lasting jobs, many recent graduates not only struggle with mounting debt -- and are forced to move back in with their parents -- but also miss out on valuable time when they should be building a career.

"There is a reason to be concerned," noted Brooks Holtom, associate professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. "One of the challenges that people who graduate in a recession face is lower aggregate lifetime income. They are likely to earn less money over the course of their careers."

Holtom advises his graduate students struggling to stay employed to consider alternative paths and plans. "It may be that they take something that's not at the level they expect but is a learning experience," he said.


music monday-11.29

You've probably heard this British band's new single, Dog Days of Summer, but I love Florence and the Machine's Kiss with a Fist as well.


music monday-11.22

I know I already blogged a Brandi Carlile song, but I just love "What Can I Say." She has a great voice and you can hear the honest desperation in her voice in this one.


operation christmas child

I got a temp job! I will be working with Samaritan's Purse (that's Franklin Graham's (Billy's son) organization), specifically on Operation Christmas Child. I am the Team Leader for groups of volunteers going to the warehouse to go through each shoebox to take out inappropriate items, the $7 donation for shipping, put new toys in, organize into gender and age group, scan the label, put the boxes into cartons to go onto pallets! It's a very complicated process, so I have a lot to learn about how to manage everyone. We had our first day of training today, and the volunteers start on Wednesday. The project is set to run to Dec. 15th, with a goal of shipping 1 million shoeboxes!

I think this will be a good and challenging experience for me, because I will teach and manage others, which is not something I am used to. It is also just a great opportunity to do something nice for kids who not only don't get gifts, but who don't have a chance to learn about the Gospel like we do in America.


kelly's wedding

Hi to all!

I just got back from a great weekend at my friend Kelly's wedding in Florida. It was good to catch up with my group of college friends (the crazy 8s..lame I know) minus my dear friend Laura, so it was actually the crazy 7s. Kelly looked beautiful, as did her bridesmaids in their yellow. Only Florida could have such a spring-themed wedding in November. Love it.

We stayed at the Waterfront Hotel in the Villages. If you don't know about the Villages, it's a very ritzy and HUGE retirement community north of Orlando. I actually hung out at the Villages during my sophomore year spring break when we went down to Kelly's house. My friends and I were not the only important (jk) people staying at the hotel. "Dubya" stayed at out hotel on Friday night. He was there promoting his book, Decision Points. He actually said "Hey Fellas" to Matt and my friend Jack! We also got to see him speak about his book at the Villages Town Square. John Michael Montgomery also played in the hotel lobby on Friday night.

Needless to say, it was a very fun and eventful weekend. Congrats to Kelly and Drew!

The bride:

The bridal party:

The book:

The country star:


trendy tuesday-11.9

They say everything comes back around. This has definitely proved true for the ole' shoulderpads from the 80s. I borrowed my roomate's black blazer (with shoulderpads!) to the Republican Election Party at the Hyatt. I must say, it looked quite good. Here are a couple celebs who have embraced this trend.
(This one is a little much)


music monday-11.8

Now some people might say this week's Music Monday differs from the other musicians I normally choose. However, I have always loved Taylor Swift. They are something my dad and I bond over, as he is a HUGE country fan. I know she doesn't have the strongest vocals, but I love that she writes every song herself...and that she doesn't seem to fall into the trap of other young female celebrities with the somewhat whore-ish behavior. This song, Sparks Fly, is one of my favorites on her new album, Speak Now.


music monday-11.1

I first heard Joshua Radin when he had two songs on The Last Kiss soundtrack. He is a good friend of Zach Braff's, so he also put Joshua's songs on some episodes of Scrubs (or as my dad and I call it, Scrubbies). My friend Natalie and I saw him perform a great show at Midtown's Center Stage. Here is his song, We Are Okay. This song was on my favorite photographer's (A Bryan Photo) website, where he filmed a large family walking through Central Park. Maybe it's creepy I'm showing it, (because I don't know these people), but I just thought the video with this song was super cool.


trendy tuesday-10.26

I'm loving blazers for the fall.

I can't believe velvet is back in. I remember the middle school days of velvet dresses.


music monday-10.25

I heard this band, Tokyo Police Club, on an episode of Gossip Girl a few weeks ago. Here is their song, Wait Up (Boots of Danger). It's a great song for exercising.


i want a puppy

It's been seven years since I had a dog. I realize that I should not tempt myself by looking online for puppies for sale, given the fact that pets are very expensive and I am in an apartment. Oh well. The breed that I am liking right now is a spaniel. Which one do you think is cuter? Also, which one would be a better pet? Feel free to let me know what you think.

King Charles Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel


music monday-10.18

I'm not even sure where I first heard Ryan Horne, but I have an album of his and love it. You can listen to my favorite song, Radio, here.



So I kinda sorta did something I probably shouldn't have done without a steady income.....

I went shopping.

But before you get on to me, here is a reason not to get mad -- this is what I do. I go several months without buying ANY clothes. Then I go through a month or so where I shop. Besides, my shopping is not other people's shopping (hint hint my roommate). I am pretty frugal and find great deals on the things I buy. To belabor my point further, here's another explanation.

I'm pretty sure I have a case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Cold weather (and rainy, dreary) really makes me sad. My friends will tell you. I can be pretty miserable when it's cold outside. Therefore, my theory is that if I have cute clothes, that I look forward to wearing, it will make me happier to leave the house when it's cold outside. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not, but it sounds good for now.

Anyway, here is what I bought:

I also bought a pair of brown shorts (like the brown ones in the next post).


music monday-10.11

First of all, I want to say Happy 59th Birthday to my dad! Love you.

I absolutely love James Morrison, and this is my favorite song he sings. It's at the end of the movie 27 Dresses. His voice is so soothing to me.