Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Count

My Christmas so far...
  • Being sick (boo)
  • Watching the Food Network all day while sick (yay)
  • Bacon wrapped Filet Mignon for dinner (thanks Jon!)
  • New York City at Christmas time (loved it)
  • Times Square (First visit ever....loved it)
  • Macy's (crazy sales people)
  • Rockefeller Center (First visit ever....loved it. Took token family picture in front of the tree.)
  • Saw Hair (on Broadway....First time actually seeing a show on Broadway in NYC. Loved it!)
  • Lincoln Tunnel into the City
  • George Washington Bridge out of the City
All in all, it's been a good Christmas so far! (Minus being sick....oh well.) Hair was awesome by the way. A little risque (ok, maybe a lot risque, but still really really good.) And at the end, they put railings on the stairs and invite the audience to come dance with them on the stage! Sweet! (No....I didn't go). I definitely recommend seeing the live stage version if you ever get a chance.

Now I'm off to finally do some Christmas baking (the bad part of being sick at Christmas is missing out on all the baking. Boo.)

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Epic Expiring Espicades

So I mentioned in my previous post (which was now like a month ago....sorry to the 2 of you who have actually been waiting for something...) that I had some wonderfully exciting travel experiences. First there was the bridge....oh the bridge... then the moving airport. Previous to that there had been hammers confiscated by travel security, emergency chutes deployed on airplanes causing day long delays. As I've said many times, I'm always ready for an adventure when I travel.

So a couple of weeks ago I was heading to New York again to visit my sister. I was so excited. I hadn't been on vacation since March, and I hadn't been to my sister's since last November (see the story of the moving airport.)

My flight left Indy at 11:30 Wednesday morning. I figured "I'll leave at 6:30, get there by about 9:30 and have plenty of time for any delays on the road, problems etc." Boy am I glad I gave myself extra time!

6:30 my room....putting my wallet in my carry-on. For some reason I think to myself, "I should just double check my driver's license. You know...make sure I have it and whatnot." Oh slay me.

Let's back up for a minute...I was traveling on Nov. 18. My birthday is Nov. 14. Four days prior to the date of my epic trip. This is important.


Yea....driver's licenses expire on your birthday.

Not kidding. By myself in my room, as I frequently do when I get flustered, I muttered to myself (ok, there may have been some yelling) and proceeded to figure out how to deal with this. Got online, looked up BMV hours printed directions to the BMV in Carmel and headed out.

Part-way there realized I'd be hitting Kokomo right about 8:30 when the branch opened. So I called my dad to get directions to the branch in Kokomo, at which point he just said "Well, did you think to just grab your passport? You can fly with that?"

More muttering. Dang it. Wisdom I could have used 2 hours earlier.

It all becomes very unexciting from here....I make it to Kokomo, am first in line to go in, and make it in and out in 15 minutes with a new license. Hallelujah!

Made it to the airport by 10:30 and was just fine to catch my flight.

The moral of the story....Traveling is always an adventure for me.

And oh yea...Check the expiration date before you travel.

Coming soon....How to catch a mouse when you return from vacation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aaaaand.....I'm back

Not that there's actually anyone around reading this anymore (except maybe my dear friend Rachel...Hi Rachel!) But I am officially back after a 5 months blogging hiatus...Also known as "camp was in session and life was crazy busy but incredibly amazing at the same time."

I would love to share lots of insightful thoughts about this summer and everything going on....but quite frankly my brain is a little fried. So instead, a list of things that I am so incredibly thankful for.
  • My family. They were a great sounding board all summer. They listened to my thoughts, celebrated the successes with me, and continued to steer me in a good direction.
  • The people I work with. They truly are a great team of people who do everything to make sure that kids have the opportunity to hear about and experience Jesus every day at camp.
  • The way God provides. So many times this summer, God provided in ways I couldn't have imagined or expected. As my boss said recently "I need to pray bigger prayers!" I serve a BIG God who loves to answer prayers in a big way.
  • My Life Group. It's a great "home base" group of people who are walking through life together. Even when I couldn't be there throughout the summer, we emailed, talked, and met when we could. We share the ups and downs and I am so thankful for the community that God has so clearly provided.
  • My Church. I am challenged, encouraged, and strengthened by worshipping every week with the body of Christ.
It's been a good few months. Many ups and downs along the way. But in the end, I know that my God is a God who provides.

So I close with a song that has been perpetually on my iPod all summer and into the start of the fall.

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great Leaders

Each of my summers at camp, I have been blessed with incredible staff leadership...people from within the ranks of the summer staff who step up to lead and supervise during the summer program. They've been AWESOME!

This year is no different. I've got motivated, hard-working, self-starters who are working hard already to make sure things go well for training and the entire summer. Working alongside them this week has made me sit back and think about what qualities I have valued in the leaders I've worked alongside over the past 2 1/2 years.
  • I value people who try to lighten someone else's load. Their attitude is, "It's got to get done, so let's get it done. We can either keep pushing and do this now, or someone else will just have to do it later. Let's serve the staff by taking care of this before they even know about it." How great is that!
  • I value people who think outside the box. I get stuck in my plans and my way of doing things. They point out other options that I hadn't considered. Together, we come up with a great solution rather than settling for a good solution.
  • I value people who challenge the process while still respecting authority. They question and offer alternatives. But bottom line....they know where the authority to make the final call lies, and they submit to and follow that.
  • Every single one of them is unique! They all bring something different to the table. IT's in that balance that I think great things happen.
My leaders are here. My staff arrive Saturday. We've been planning, preparing, and praying all year for what begins in less than 48 hours. I can't wait to see the staff come together, the directors arrive, and the campers meet Jesus.

Camp is here! It's going to be awesome.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


To begin: Why are all my recent posts centered around rodents? I would love an answer to that question. Oh wait....I know why....I LIVE IN THE BOONIES.

Moving On.

This epic story began Sunday morning, just before church. I was inside with the dog, the cat had already escaped outside. I opened the door to let the dog out and found myself standing on the front porch shrieking as the cat chased a CHIPMONK into my house. The dog of course followed, while I stayed on the porch...still myself. Picturing it? Yes, I am an idiot.

Well, before I even got my act together to run inside and at least find out where the blasted rodent had gone, the dog chased the cat back sign of the chipmonk. One questions: WHAT KIND OF HUNTERS ARE THEY!?!?!?! My dog and cat stink at the whole "stalking their prey" thing. So, I was left to go inside, having no idea where the chipmonk had gone. It literally could have been anywhere.

I had about 10 minutes before I had to leave for church, so I quickly glanced under the sofas and behind the piano...the most obvious places I could think of. I did NOT, however, check under the sofa chair that sits in the corner. Mostly because there was no way to look under it without fully tipping it over, and I surely wasn't going to do THAT to let the thing escape and run upstairs and hide in my bed (which is clearly what it would have done.) I left the door open during all this hoping that maybe it would miraculously find it's way outside on its own. I didn't find it, before I had to leave for I just left.

Got back Sunday sign of the chipmonk, the dog and cat weren't going crazy or anything, so I assumed that maybe it had in fact run out while I had the door open earlier in the day.

Friends came over for a cookout Monday evening. My dear friend Erin stayed late, and as we were sitting on the couch chatting at about 10:30 that evening, I heard rustling and scratching guessed it, the sofa chair in the corner. I calmly looked at Erin and said, "The chipmonk is still in my house." She graciously agreed to help me out. So we set about devising a plan.

Our step-by-step thought process:
  • How do we know the chipmonk is actually under the sofa chair? We need to find out.
  • But if it is, and we tip the chair back, it's free to run anywhere in the house....therefore, we must contain it. How do you contain a chipmonk?
  • You build a SWEET FORT! That's right, we built an awesome barricade using plywood, coffee tables, end tables, name it, and blocked off from the wall where the sofa was to the front it was contained in the fort until it ran outside. Brilliant eh?
  • We didn't want to open the door until we knew it was Erin in her infinitely genius wisdom figured out how to open the front door with a broom handle while still standing OUTSIDE of the fort. Erin....hats off to you my friend.
  • I patted down the curtains for good measure to make sure it wasn't there, then tipped back the chair. We didn't see it, so Erin came over to help me tip the chair alllllll the way back and pat it down with the broom. Still no sign of it.
  • We concluded we had been hearing things.
  • Erin began tearing down our fort (don't worry, we got pictures), and I righted the couch and began sliding it back into the corner when all of the sudden.....
The Chipmonk appeared out of nowhere right at my feet!!!! I screamed (again....are we sensing a pattern when I'm faced with rodents?) and yelled for Erin to get the door. Well she had a choice to make: fix the fort that she had started tearing down so it didn't escape, or open the door. She fixed the fort, but the door stayed closed, so it ran to the door, and promptly ran back to the couch.

We finally opened the door, I grabbed the broom, found the little guy hiding behind the couch (not under or in it again...he was too tired...and probably pretty close to a heart attack) and began sweeping him to the door. He tried to climb the plywood and escape to the kitchen, but I swept him down and out the door!


Let me just say....I don't like rodents. Period. Erin made me promise not to scream during this entire ordeal. I asked her "what if it climbs my leg?" She agreed that then I would be allowed to scream. Well...given that leeway, I screamed every time the curtain touch my foot or leg. I thought Erin was going to choke me.

Alas, the chipmonk is gone, and I can sleep peacefully knowing that the only animal I'll find in my bed when I wake up the next morning is my stuffed Owl. (Okay, I don't really sleep with a stuffed owl....but I do have one.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Another story courtesy of camp...

Took trash to the dumpster yesterday.  As I pitched it in, I noticed that as it landed, something moved in the dumpster....and looked up at me with beady little eyes.  Yep.  A raccoon.  Go figure.

Normally I hate raccoons.  All they do is cause destruction and spread grossness due to their ripping apart of trash bags and strewing about of garbage.  However, I'm not going to lie.  In this case, I felt kinda bad for the poor little guy.  Why?  Because the dumpsters had been recently emptied, so now that he's in there, he's going to be waiting until garbage piles high enough that he can get himself out.  Basically....he's stuck.  And I'm NOT going in there to get him.

The end.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On trusting

Confession. I'm a planner...and when I don't know the plan I get impatient. I am an impatient planner. And while I'm impatiently waiting for the plan....I worry about the plan that I haven't even heard about yet. I know....pretty ridiculous eh?

I'm learning a truth that is new to me these days, and it is this:
I don't need to know the plan. And even when I don't know the plan, I can still be at peace.


Because God knows the plan. In fact, He is the author of the plan, and the one who carries it out (Hebrews 12:2). He's known the plan in its entirety from the beginning of time and nothing is going to stand in the way of it's completion (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14). Not even me. Not my worrying, not my compulsive efforts to plan out my life....nothing.

So do I just sit back and do nothing? No. I still pray, listen, and take steps....but the fear that accompanies worry is gone!

That's the new reality I am beginning to learn.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." ~Hebrews 12:1-2

"What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." ~Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

Monday, May 4, 2009


This past Saturday, I ran the Indy Mini! Woohoo! It was 13.1 miles, and my friend Sarah and I ran all but 2miles...maybe a little more that we walked. It was so great. I had 2 goals going into it: 1. Finish and 2. Don't get forced to ride the bus (they have a bus that you have to ride if you can't keep pace.) And we did it!

There were 35,000 people there running and walking with us. It was incredible! We saw so many different people:
  • Father and son (I saw these 2 with matching shirts. On the back it had their names, and on the dad's it said "20th mini" and on the son's it said "1st mini." How cool is that?
  • Firefighters. We saw groups of firefighters in full gear: masks, hats, boots, air, and everything. It made me wonder if they were completing the mini in memory of someone or just to build community among their team.
  • A group of teenage girls dressed up as ninja turtles (AWESOME)
  • An older man running, and pushing his wife in a wheelchair.
It really was an incredible experience. There was also just a great sense of community among the runners. Obviously the people at the front of the pack were the seasoned runners, able to finished in just over an hour. So many of them, after they had finished running, came back out and lined the course to cheer everyone else on. There was one girl in particular that was so great! We were 1/2 mile from the end and were taking a short break before we finished running. She saw us from the side and started cheering for us by name (our names were on our Bibs) and encouraging us to keep going and start running. So cool that someone who had probably finished a good hour before us took the time to come back and cheer her fellow runners on.

I know I asked myself many times if I was crazy for doing this....and to be perfectly honest, yea I think I kind of am. But I really did enjoy it, and am excited to keep working and hopefully run again next year and set and accomplish some new goals!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Mini

The Mini is Saturday (May 2) to be exact. I'm excited...but a little nervous. Not so much about how I'll do (I really don't care so long as I finish and don't get forced to ride the bus....not kidding). It's more that I'm afraid I might die. Ha! Not really...but sort of.

My mom and I are going down Friday, the race is Saturday, I'm contemplating trying to catch up with a friend afterward, but I'm pretty sure I'll just pass out and fall asleep. So we'll see how it goes.

The good thing about this whole endeavor is that I actually look forward to running I'm thinking I will at least continue doing a couple miles a few times a week. As for training for another distance run....still undecided. But all in all it's been good.

And many many thanks to my friend from Life group who runs with me, pushes me, and encourages me. Don't think I would have gotten this far without her!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Turns Out I Get Seasick

Yep. I discovered that fun little fact the first night of my cruise when I had to ditch my friend Sarah in the middle of dinner for fear of puking all over the table. Fortunately, I never actually got sick. I made it to the first women's restroom which conveniently was out of order....found my way to the second women's restroom, out of order again! Are you kidding me? So I just walked a lap around the ship, felt much better, returned to the dining room and ate dessert (that was all I was able to make myself eat that was soooooo good.)

So clearly I was on a cruise. We left from Charleston, made 3 stops at different islands in the Bahamas, and a final stop in Port Canaveral, FL before returning to Charleston. It was a great trip...very relaxing. I'm pretty sure we took an afternoon nap every single day, never got up before 10, and spent most of our time in lounge chairs in the sun (when it was sunny and not too cold...) All in all it was good.

A few things I discovered about myself on this trip:
I don't like driving through mountains at night.
I apparently do get seasick
I am a huge dork (ok, I've known that for quite some time....but let's just say it was way more evident on this trip)
I'm really not sure how to barter...(I managed to barter when necessary, but probably not very well...)
I want to go back to the Bahamas. Mostly, I want to live there for awhile with people who call the Bahamas home. Experience what real life is like there....not tourist life.
Sarah's a good traveling buddy.

On another addition to cleaning the rooms daily, the housekeeping team also came in every evening (usually sometime during dinner) to "turn down the sheets," leave Andes mints for us and....A TOWEL ANIMAL!!! That's right....we had an elephant, a snake, a monkey....all sorts of different towel animals left for us on a nightly basis. Sweet! Honestly, I'm pretty low maintenance, so it was kinda silly to me that they turned down the sheets and leave a mint every night...but the towel animals? Oh that was awesome.

Pictures will be coming soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lifelong Friends Part II

St. Louis is awesome. Great friends are even better.

This weekend I got to go see my dear friend and college roommate in St. Louis...and I fell in love with that city (again) and remembered (I had never really forgotten but it just became even more evident) why we were meant to be lifelong friends. I personally think we were meant to always be roommates, but she had to go and get herself engaged and blow that plan! Jeez...

My dear Katie had an itinerary for the weekend that involved an urban chic restaurant, breakfast at the London Tea Room, meals at 2 different Crepe Restaurants, dinner on the roof of her building, strolls through downtown, and a walk around the Wash U campus. Let me just say it was an incredible weekend. (Partly because of the food....GLORIOUS!!! But mostly because I remembered why Katie is such a good friend.)

We would just sit and talk over coffee, tea, gelato...whatever and get lost in conversations about helping people, serving people, how the church can be involved in helping and serving lost and hurting people. We share similar passions but approach them and think about them from different angles, and that is something I love!

Katie is amazing friend. She is a lifelong friend. And I am so thankful for the blessing she is in my life.

*My roomie reunions over the past month have been terrific. My goal is for this to continue for many, many years.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

5 Miles

Last Saturday, Sarah and I did 5 miles.  FIVE MILES!!!!  Yea buddy. 

Not gonna lie, we walked a mile in the middle.  But still.....I was pretty pumped.  And Sarah is awesome.  Such a great encourager.  She pushes me even when I say I need to stop.  Running outside and with someone is so much better than inside or by yourself.

Indy Mini here I come!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lifelong Friends

Two of my college roommates were in town visiting this weekend.  There were 2 sad parts:
  1. Katie - my 3rd college roommate and queen of awesomeness - was not here.  I'm still crying over that fact.
  2. They left to return to B-town.  Boo.
However, there were many many highlights.  Here are a few.
  1. I got the best ab workout of my life (all from laughing.  score!)
  2. Collapsing onto my bed giggling and eating peanut brittle immediately upon arrival.
  3. Amazing dinner.  A classic "cardboard shack" concoction of pasta deliciousness.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  4. Curulean: Japanese Restaurant/Sushi Lounge of AMAZINGNESS in Winona.  Best meal I've had in a long time...maybe ever.  I want more now.  Now...
  5. Reading, chatting, and drinking coffee all morning long.
  6. They like (put up with) my dog (when she's well behaved.) 
  7. Popcorn.
  8. Spontaneous Dance parties in the kitchen
  9. French Techno music
  10. Falling asleep on the couch watching a movie.
It was a weekend of sharing old memories and making new ones.  They are life long friends and I love them.

Two weeks and I'm going to St. Louis to visit my Katie!  More epic greatness to come.

But for now...I am content, having had an amazing weekend with great people.

*There may or may not be pictures coming soon.  Fortunately I was the only one taking pictures all that means I am in COMPLETE CONTROL of what gets posted.  (evil grin)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Impress or Impact

I was visiting a church this past weekend for work, and got the chance to hear a different Pastor preach...and I was challenged!  Love it when that happens...

Have you ever considered the difference between Impressing someone versus Impacting someone?  I never really had, but he offered a good thought.

You can impress someone in the short term....but impacting someone takes long-term effort and energy.

You see, impressing someone can be fairly simple, it doesn't necessarily take a lot of time, and the person you are trying to impress doesn't need to have a deep understanding of who you are.  You can keep them at arms length, yet let them get just close enough to impress them.

Yet impacting takes work.  It's difficult, it takes time, and it requires closeness: them in your space, and you in theirs.

I think this rings true in many areas of life....not just relationally.  Take a job for instance.  In the short term, you can come in, show proficiency, keep things running smoothly, and earn praise and accolades.  But have you made a dramatic difference?  Have you tried to leave a lasting impact in the organization?

Often in our lives, we sail through the impressing phase, hit a difficult spot...and rather than digging in and fighting through it, we give up thinking "I've done something good here.  It's time to move on."  NO!!!!  The good stuff...the great stuff is just ahead! 

Impact comes when you hit a challenge, dig in, fight through, and come out on the other side.  You've worked hard, taken time, and gotten messy doing it....but what a glorious mess.

I'm tired of just making an impression...I want to make an impact. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finding the Bright Spots

It's been an interesting/chaotic/rough week.  Lots of stuff happening...good, bad, and other.  And I'm exhausted.  So I've decided to look for the bright spots of my day that make me smile.  Today's bright spot was early this morning.  

I was up visiting my grandparents last night, and by the time I was ready to head back home with Misha (my dog) in was super windy, raining/snowing, and altogether gross.  So I stayed at my parent's house and decided I would just leave early this morning to get back to the office.

This morning, I loaded the dog in the car at about 6:30, ran to Starbucks, and was on my way.  I realized after Starbucks that I had forgotten something at the I ran back, left the car running, ran inside and ran back out to find.....

Misha sitting in the driver's seat.  She looked so cute and innocent as if she was saying, "Come on mom...let's go home already!!!!"  I stood in the driveway laughing for a good minute or 2. 

Normally I make Misha ride in the back...but she just looked so stinkin cute that I acquiesced and let her sit in the passenger seat....where she remained with her head in my lap the whole way home.  Awwwwwww.  (Sarah N. please refrain from gagging or mocking me as I know you will upon reading this since I know how much you love Misha and dogs in general....)

It definitely made me smile.

That's all I've got...Now I'm on my way home to run, grab dinner, watch The Office and do massive amounts of laundry.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tonight, I had the opportunity to speak at a college service in West Lafayette.  I am too tired right now to really say anything of substance about what I talked about....but in a nutshell, it was about the community of believers in Acts.  (More on this later....maybe tomorrow)

If you haven't read the book of Acts...READ IT.  It's amazing.  The church has such an incredible beginning!

I was blessed by the opportunity to be there speaking to the group.  Although I was nervous and felt unprepared, I enjoyed being to able to share from scripture.  There's something that fires me up about challenging people (students specifically), and I find that I walk away challenged myself.  Even beyond that, I want so desperately for people to "get it"...  To truly understand what their faith is all about, and if God gives me a chance to play a tiny role in that...I'll take it!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Things

Because I've been tagged in this on facebook....Here goes.  I may or may not go back and tag people in this on Facebook.  I am still undecided.
  1. I hate being cold.  It is one of the worst feelings in the world to me.
  2. I once earned the nickname Ballerina Barbie (don't ask, and please, for the love of all that is good, don't ever call me that.)
  3. Oh yea, I used to be a dancer (ballet, clearly...see above.)
  4. I am petrified of heights
  5. I love climbing and working high ropes (clearly 4 and 5 make no sense...that's why 4 is an irrational fear.)
  6. I am also petrified of bridges
  7. I am very shy, but wish I was more outgoing.
  8. I have a yellow lab named Misha.  I secretly thing she is awesome even though I call her "the beast" and blame all disorder and chaos on her.  Shhh....don't tell
  9. I love having an excuse to get dressed up and go out with friends.  Always a good time.
  10. Back in college, my roommates and I had a traveling can of rutabagas that mysteriously appeared in random places.  My favorite was in my purse, which I discovered after I got to class that day and opened it up to find...not a pen like I was hoping....but a can of an unknown, orange, root vegetable. 
  11. I used to hate The Office....until I watched the bloopers of Season 2 with some friends, and I have been addicted ever since.
  12. I am one of those people that watch almost all the bonus features on a DVD or TV season...."The Making Of" features, gag reels, you name it.  Yep, I'm a dork.
  13. I want to move to Boston some day
  14. I still watch the TV show "ER."  Feel free to judge me.  Yes I know it's been on for way too long, and is really bizarre...but it sorta fulfills my former desire to be a doctor.
  15. I have an intense fear of drowning (even though I am a decent swimmer and used to be on a swim team).  And don't even think of dunking me unless you want me to start crying hysterically
  16. I only went to 1 high school dance....and I DO NOT regret it.  Turns out for being a former dancer, I'm....not much of a dancer.
  17. A good day to me involves a couch, a hot drink, a good book, good music, and snuggling with my dog.  Maybe a good movie to finish the day.
  18. I secretly wish I had Sarah Neel's sense of style...but don't think I could ever pull it off.
  19. My sister is my hero (awww.....)  If you haven't met her, you probably should.
  20. Flattop Grill is one of my all-time favorite restaurants.
  21. If I could do anything right now and be guaranteed I would succeed, I would want to open a residential program for young girls who have nowhere else to go....Maybe they have psychological problems, have gotten kicked out of school, their homes....Not really sure what exactly...but something along those lines.
  22. I am not a competitive person, however I become competitive whenever I am around my brother-in-law, Jon....and I tend to make lots of empty threats.  It's highly entertaining (and he usually schools me anyway).
  23. I wish I was more witty....My staff is crazy and I can never keep up with them.
  24. I have flown a plane....and it was awesome.
  25. Bring me a cup of coffee and chocolate and you are guaranteed to become my friend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Tradition

This fall a tradition started at my house.  Every Thursday, friends in the area gather at my house for dinner and to watch....The Office (one of the greatest shows ever, thank you very much.) 

To be honest, I didn’t think it would become a tradition, but I think it’s GREAT that it has, for so many reasons: It gives me an excuse to cook (I love cooking, but it seems a little silly when cooking for one), It gives me a chance to catch up with friends, and last but certainly not least....The Office is way more funny when watched with friends.

As this tradition has developed, I have enjoyed noticing some things about great friends and great friendships

  • The door is always open.  People come on over whenever, let themselves in, and make themselves at home.  I LOVE it!
  • The door swings both ways.  I know I am welcomed to their places whenever the opportunity comes up.
  • They move from “guest” to “family.”  They know to help themselves to drinks, snacks, blankets, and pillows.
  • No lost time.  No matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other or talked, we pick right back up where we left off.
  • Great friends have earned the right to push, poke, and challenge.  They can say things that I may not like, but I know that they still love me.

I am thankful for friendships like these.  They encourage, challenge, and strengthen me.

*Side note: I also found out this week that some friends of mine are actually attending a Journey Class on Friendship at GCC.  How cool is that?!?!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In You

I sing for joy
In my remorse
A well within prosperity’s curse
That drowns the mighty oak of pride
But feeds the root of God inside.

In You
I find my rest
In You
I find my death
In You
I find my all and my emptiness
Somehow it all makes sense

In You I’m rich
When I’ve been made poor
Comfort found when I mourn
The prideful one You see from afar
Drawing near to low, broken hearts.

In You
I find my rest
In You
I find my death
In You
I find my all and my emptiness
But it all makes sense

"In You" Shane and Shane

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do You Love Me?

"Look at Jesus.  The world did not pay any attention to him.  He was crucified and put away.  His message of love was rejected by a world in search of power, efficiency, and control.  But there he was, appearing with wounds in his glorified body to a few friends who had eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand.  This rejected, unknown, wounded Jesus simply asked, 'Do you love me, do you really love me?'  He whose only concern had been to announce the unconditional love of God had only one question to ask, 'Do you love me?'

The question is not: How many people take you seriously?  How much are you going to accomplish?  Can you show some results?  But: Are you in love with Jesus?  Perhaps another way of putting the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God?"

~Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus (36-37)

What do we measure ourselves by?  Our accomplishments, our status, our results?  Or do we find purpose in our most important task: loving Jesus?  Out of this all other things will follow.

I have found myself challenged by this recently.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reflections on Two Years

I’ve been full-time at camp for just over two years now. Hard to believe...and boy does time go by fast. So in honor...A quick bullet list of the funny, the serious, and the future.

Funny Stuff...
  • Never underestimate the need for knowing random yet practical skills...shutting off water lines, repairing plumbing, using power tools, water softeners 101, how to start a lawn mower....these skills will get you farther in life than you think! 
  • In college, 3 weeks of vacation at Christmas is not nearly enough...In the adult world, you don’t know what to do with yourself when you’re given that kind of time off!
  • Laugh at the ridiculous things in life (even yourself if the occasion calls for it.) Life is way more fun when you laugh....a lot.
  • A dog is really like an infant....or a toddler. If you get a dog, be ready. It’s intense.
  • And oh proof your house, otherwise you’ll be buying new furniture within 6 months.

For Serious...
  • It will take your body a few months to get used to a new schedule (getting up early and going to bed early). And once you adjust, you’ll wonder how you EVER were able to stay up until 4 and get up at 8 and still function. It’s normal...and you may even come to love early mornings!
  • It will take time to adjust to not being able to just walk down the hall to your friends room to hang out and talk. Enjoy it while you have it. 
  • Find a place to connect....TODAY! Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Don’t let work, or the temptation to skip town to visit friends all the time stand in your way. To make some place home, you have to be fully present there...Not somewhere else. Find a church, make new friends, meet random people, invite them over for dinner. 
  • Don’t be afraid of silence. Enjoy it and appreciate it for the opportunity it is.
  • No matter where you go or what you do, push yourself to learn something new on a regular basis. It will keep your job (and life in general) way more interesting.

The Future...
  • I want to keep learning. Today I got to learn some web stuff I never thought I would know or need to know...but it was actually kind of fun to learn! I am choosing to look at everything that comes up as a new opportunity and a chance to grow.
  • Wherever I am, and however long I’m there, I want where I am to be home. Be invested, have meaningful relationships, and feel good about being there (whether in small town Indiana or wherever life takes me.)
  • I’m going to focus on where God has me right now and the tasks he’s put before me...not what other people are doing, not something “better” that might be out there. Live every moment fully, and give everything I have to what God has called me to today. God will take care of tomorrow.
Two years down...who knows how many to go!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My running quest

Progress is being made. And that is good, considering how destructive the holidays were to my training schedule.

But...I have a running buddy now! So I have no excuse for sleeping through my alarm clock and justifying it by saying "well, I can run tonight."

....Because she will be waiting for 6:30...AM...

Thanks for being my running buddy Mel!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Meet Nikki and Jon. They are cool. Two of the coolest people I know. (I may be biased considering they are family....but anyway.)

I got to spend over a week up at my parents with Nikki and Jon for Christmas. It was great, but a little crazy at times too. That may or may not be because my dog, Misha (the yellow lab in the picture) was there...along with 3 cats and Jon and Nikki's dog, Marcy (black lab). It was INSANE. sister and I always tend to go a little bonkers when we get together. Usually we just laugh a lot...but this year, back when I went to visit them in November, we had the genius idea to get crafty and creative for Christmas...and my our entire family Coordinating Christmas Pajamas! Sweeeet!

It all started back when we were little, when grandma would make us matching Christmas nightgowns (these suckers were elaborate....I remember peach flannel, white with pink rosebuds, and green silk just to name a few.) So, in honor of Grandma, we thought we should pick up the old tradition.... which led to us making a combined total of 7 pairs of pajamas (we limited this to immediate family to save ourselves a huge headache since we both tend to procrastinate on things like this.)

Let me just go on record as saying these are the sweetest pajamas ever. Super comfy, and very Christmassy...they were a huge hit, loved by all (except for maybe dad and Uncle Tom. But they obliged and wore them Christmas morning.)

And yes...we took pictures and everything.

We are officially "that" family.