Wednesday, December 28, 2011

and the crazy things we do...

um, liz and i are going to run a marathon.  yikes.

carmel, indiana.  april 21, 2012.  just in case you wanna come.  :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: joy of the season

my life update.  just for you.

let's see...

1) i have one class and one internship left until they let me walk across the stage and get my master's degree.  holy moses.

2) i've paid off $2000 of my debt to dean chester.  still on pace.  

6) i went on a fabulous tea date with my housemates.  you can see lots of pictures and read all about it HERE.  it was really fun, and i will gladly go on dates with other people when they wander through marion.  

7) it is sort of hard to explain the 'something theatrical' that i went to...honors students are in a world lit class, and they perform trilogy plays at the end of the semester.  i went because a bunch of my freshmen were in them.  i sat with honors professors and laughed my head off.  there were togas, melodramatic tripping onto the stage, pregnancy with several different sized balls, british accents, and mocking of the professors.  all in all, a very lovely time.  and it was free.  bonus!

11) i made another meal.  not my finest, but it didn't appear to kill anyone.  you can see most of it HERE.  so now i have made 13 out of 20.

15) i kicked the crap out of chicken.  and i continue to do so.  cause all i do is win.  you can see the big event HERE.

29)  i only finished two books this month.  i'm at 47 out of 100.  i read God's big picture and everyday absurdities.  

and...that's it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

tea house!



so as a fun little christmas treat (and something to cross off my 30 by 30 list), my wigger house girls and i went to this super cute tea house in marion called aunt sue's tea room.  



it was sooooo fun!  we all chose to order the queen's tea, which included:

our own pots of tea in little cozies.  mine was sencha kyoto cherry rose.  very light.  we all ordered different kinds, so we passed them around and got to try four flavors.  (watch for the changing colors in my cup in these pictures!)


my housemates are adorable. 


choice of soup or salad and a main dish.  i had minestrone and egg salad.  very tasty.


 here's liz, sipping tea like a lady.  


the next courses came on a cute tiered tray.  there was fresh fruit and finger sandwiches...so yummy.


and scones!  with clotted cream and a lemon custard.  i could eat scones for days.


 finally, we had some little sweet treats.  kind of a brownie with powdered sugar, peanut butter fudge, and a tiny spice cupcake with frosting.  


we had a wonderful time.  i want to take everyone there.  :)   



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: bean and lily's meal of champions

so bean and lily came to visit.  many exciting things happened on this visit, but i'm sure their favorite part was the meal.  ha.  not really.  lily got a pink slicky, ben acted like a dinosaur, and the pie was soup.  so more interesting things happened.

but anyway.

i fixed them a meal.  it's out of my super cool wisconsin cookbook.  it involves macaroni, cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, cheese, hamburger, and french fried onions.  it's easy and delicious.  there was also garlic bread, peas, salad, and a sugar cream pie.  it turned out mostly fine, though lily tried to choke herself by sucking up the peas.  but she didn't.  so it was fine.


also, we performed baby shark for everyone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

holly vs the chicken

you may have thought the chicken killed me, considering the fact i did not blog about it. but it didn't. i think i may have actually killed it. the jury is still out.

what i CAN tell you is that i did not experience my 'traditional' symptoms from eating chicken. so it was at least a minor victory. and i have eaten chicken since then without any symptoms like that.

unfortunately, all last week, i was in the throes of great stomach pain. my best guesses were an ulcer, a tapeworm, a tumor, and stress. and since the pain has all but vanished since i turned my last assignment in, i'm going to guess stress had some part to play. stupid psychosomatic symptoms.

so...assuming i feel better for several days in a row, i will try it again and see what happens.

until then...for your viewing pleasure:

pre-chicken...so excited!


enjoying some delicious wings! (i got 6 thai curry and 6 mango habanero, if you're curious)


post-chicken...still alive! and very messy...



Monday, November 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: a semi-productive month, surprisingly

8 months to go. pow.

here's what i got done this month:

#2: i have paid off $1900 of my debt to my dad. booyah.

#5: i took a weekend trip by myself. it happened october 21-23. you can read about it HERE.

#11: i have been cooking tons and tons since i moved into the wigger house, and that has included several dinners for my super cool freshmen. THIS was one of them. my tally is 12/20.

#16: i have gotten a TON of reading done in the past month! i am now at 45/100 books. here's what i read/finished reading this past month:

the fire that ignites
dirk gently's holistic detective agency
crazy love
scholarship and Christian faith
the furious longing of God
the abbreviated psalter of the venerable bede
read, think, pray, live
is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns)
compassion
counseling research
assessment procedures
a parent's guide to the Christian college

#28: liz and i ran the flannels and flapjacks 5k at our church. you can see our ridiculous outfits HERE.

there's the update. november has been much kinder to my soul than october. i can't believe it is almost thanksgiving...and almost christmas...and almost my last semester of grad school. insane.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

new chapter

oh, hey, i wrote a little somethin somethin last night. it's chapter eleven of my book. you can either click HERE or go over to the cool sidebar on my blog and scroll down till you see it and then click there. whatever makes you happy.

disclaimer: if you are one of my housemates, it is about you. duh. and i love you. double duh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

my last will and testament...just in case?

in one week, i will be eating chicken. BOOYAH. 5 years of suffering, finally at an end. i am focusing on the positive (eating wings again) rather than the potential negatives (not being able to eat for a week...dying...living and still not being able to eat chicken...).

but a certain hockey player in the great state of wisconsin thinks i should prepare a will just in case. and...she also claimed all my books and movies.

so...who wants my stuff if i kick it?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

guest post: holly louise is also a rando...


[note from holly: the wigger girls have decided they would like to guest post on my blog. so this one is brought to you from the special hearts of kelsie, megan, and liz...]

Holly Louise is also a rando joker. We adopted her into the Wigger house about two months ago, and she has made oodles of candy-topped brownies since then. She did her undergrad at the University of Indianapolis. She is getting her masters in Student Development Counseling and Administration and graduating in May 2012… long before any of the rest of us will be walking the stage.

Holly has a super-cute niece and nephew, cooks to de-stress, is an introvert, daily hits her “people wall” at 10 pm, LOVES CHEESE, and is a HUGE Colts fan. She brings lots of fun to our house as our live-in Blockbuster with her insane amount of movies. We love that she introduced the whole house to Monopoly Deal.

Kelsie’s favorite thing about Holly is that she manages to work towards an inspirational number of personal goals while still taking the time to give little gifts of love to those she lives with. Also, that she teaches me about Brian Fahvrah.

Liz’s favorite thing about Holly is the unending amount of love and grace she gives to others--it’s a crazy amount.

Megan’s favorite thing about Holly is how much she encourages her and how enthusiastic she is about Jesus and serving Him (it’s really infectious).

Our overall favorite thing about Holly is how much she cares for others. She always knows when you need a hug or an encouraging word (she really good with those).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

taking risks

i have started and stopped this post several times now.

i began with a list of risks i took today. it included trying a new drink at starbucks and talking about phd programs.

then i felt those were low-level risks and that i should aim higher.

and then i contemplated if risk was a worthy aspiration.

and then i got frustrated by getting caught in my head.

it happens to me quite a bit.

what have you started and stopped because you got caught in your head?

Monday, November 7, 2011

be present

Simply being with someone is difficult because it asks of us that we share in the other's vulnerability, enter with him or her into the experience of weakness and powerlessness, become part of uncertainty, and give up control and self-determination. And still, whenever this happens, new strength and new hope is being born. Those who offer us comfort and consolation by being and staying with us in moments of illness, mental anguish, or spiritual darkness often grow as close to us as those with whom we have biological ties. They show their solidarity with us by willingly entering the dark, uncharted spaces of our lives. For this reason, they are the ones who bring new hope and help us discover new directions. Henry Nouwen, Compassion

I am in the middle of some really excellent books. This is one of them. My transfer students are reading it and processing about loss, suffering, and compassion.

I really enjoyed this quote...it has some of my favorite words and phrases in it:

simply being
vulnerability
give up control
new hope
being and staying
dark, uncharted spaces
discover new directions

For someone who really likes order and control, it's interesting that these are the things that leap off the page for me.

What speaks to you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

my siblings have produced really good-looking children...

in case you didn't see these on facebook, here are lily (rainbow brite) and daniel (yoda) in their halloween costumes. yes, they are adorable. i am aware.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: feeding the freshmen

my internship this semester is with the honors college freshmen. they are cool, and i like them. so aside from stuff that they have to do with me (i know, coffee dates can be such a drag, right?), i gave them some stuff they could choose to do if they wanted.

so i invited them to dinner. and sixteen of them came. plus emily and olivia, the two peer facilitators.

needless to say, i had to fix a crapton of food. two lasagnas (one with meat; one without), six loaves of garlic bread, salad, easy cheesy lemon bars, and toll house cake. i think they left satisfied.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

flannels and flapjacks

check old #28 off the list...i ran a race with liz. and i was less in shape for this business than for the warrior dash.

this was a 5k at college wesleyan church...we ran 3.1 miles in our flannel shirts...and then they fed us pancakes. not bad. ok, i thought it was rough. old injuries were flaring up all over the place. but liz was a rockstar and encouraged me to not be a little baby about it.

so we made it through, didn't get hit by any cars, and will be sore for days. boy, getting old is fun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

picture this: heroes...

every time i walk by this banner, i think about saving cheerleaders...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the wigger house cast of characters

so i have mentioned a few times how i live in the wigger house with some randos. and some of you loyal readers don't have any idea what or who that means. at long last, here is the explanation:

last year, i lived with uncle jon and aunt betty. and fritz, of course. (who could forget about fritz?!) and i met some cool people in grad school. and four of them got a house together this year on wigger street. yeah, that's a place. well, one of the cool people had to leave for financial reasons, so the other girls asked if i would like to move in.

i realize that me moving where MORE people are is a strange concept, but you might also remember that community has been an important focus for my time here in marion. so having the opportunity to live with some friends--and live just off campus--was a cool thought. i prayed about it and decided to jump in. thus, the day after i ran the warrior dash, i moved my worldly possessions from lantern lane to good old wigger street.

and here are the jokers i live with:

kelsie

kels did her undergrad at taylor and is getting her masters here at iwu in clinical mental health counseling. her boyfriend, ben, is cool [because he is getting his masters in student development at taylor] and hangs out with us sometimes. kelsie is a missionary kid, has a terrible sense of direction, is an extrovert, and wears her snuggie backwards. she unintentionally says funny stuff all the time, and we really ought to have a quote board just for her. my favorite thing about kelsie is her gentle spirit.

megan

megan did her undergrad at capital university and is getting her masters here at iwu in clinical mental health counseling. she has a niece and nephew who are super cute. megs has a twin sister, loves glee, is an introvert, and eats a lot of macaroni and cheese. she is easily amused and laughs often. my favorite thing about megan is her excitement over small stuff.

liz


elizabeth ann is one of my best friends. she did her undergrad at iwu and is getting her masters here in clinical mental health counseling (have you noticed a theme in this house?). liz is a basketball superstar, loves going for walks, is an extrovert, and drinks more water than anyone i know (except travis). she has her own language and is hilarious and weird. my favorite thing about liz is how she relates to people in a very intentional, focused way.




all of us like hugs and watching cool shows like the big bang theory and the amazing race. we play lots of monopoly deal, eat kind of a sick amount of brownies, and make bonfires. i love living in this house. these women challenge, encourage, and love me well.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

impressions...

i realize some of you do not know what i have been thinking about regarding my future. that could be because i have not really talked about it. so...these are the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head:

go somewhere to do a doctorate program.
go somewhere (some campus) for a job.
stay in marion for a year or so to work and hang out in the wigger house.
etc.

during my time of solitude this weekend, i read a verse that i loved:

my heart has heard you say, 'come and talk with me.' and my heart responds, 'Lord, i am coming.' psalm 27:8

i should note that i was not processing about my future at all when i read this. i just loved it and wrote it down. and then [because i was drinking a million pots of tea] i went to the bathroom. and in the ten feet or so between the bed and the bathroom, i was struck with a very strong impression about my next year.

this is straight out of my journal:

i am going somewhere new. alone. where my faith will be challenged, where people are desperate for Jesus, though they do not know it. where i will build authentic, vulnerable community that chases hard after truth and life-change. God is about to shake my life hard; he is going to require much of me. and the time i have in marion is meant to prepare me for this next step. it will be hard; it will be uncomfortable; it will require great faith.


---

so i'd love if you would start praying over those words...start praying for this time right now, where i am being prepared and equipped to be sent out...start praying for my protection...start praying for what's ahead in my life. thanks. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

kapow! look at all these blog posts!

don't get too excited, but i am posting again. true story. but today's post will be brief anyway.

one of the things i did while i was gone this weekend was write and think and whatnot. and i wrote a poem. you can read it here: solitude.

(in case you didn't see it last week, i wrote a poem--read it here: wednesday--and solitude is sort of its answer.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

a weekend away...

you may have noticed a sudden decrease in my blog posts. the primary reason was the craziness that is my second-to-last semester of grad school. but beyond that, i have just been tired.

i am an introvert. i need alone time.

but i am also a grad student who lives in a house with three women, has two grad assistant positions, leads a breakout group of seventeen transfer students, and has an internship with twenty-nine honors college freshmen. i do not get much alone time.

there have been many cool things going on this semester. but also a lot of heavy things. that is what happens when you are immersed in community. that is what happens when you are in relationship with flawed, hurting people.

in an unprecedented way, i have felt the weight. it has pressed down on me.

i had to get away. i needed rest. i needed solitude.

so i made plans to spend the weekend alone. and then i actually went. and it was wonderful.

day/night one:
i shut my phone off. i put my sweatpants on and made many pots of tea. i did logic puzzles. i read books that had nothing to do with school or students. i ordered a pizza. i read a book in a bubble bath. i pampered myself with some mary kay treatments. i got caught up on parks and recreation. i slumbered happily in a big, cushy bed with a ridiculous amount of pillows.

day two:
i got up when i felt ready. i ate a leisurely breakfast and read. i made coffee and had quiet time. i got caught up on how i met your mother. i got caught up on community. i wrote some poetry. i rested. more logic puzzles. more tea. more reading. i took another awesome bubble bath and actually took the time to shave my legs well. i ate jimmy john's. i watched some badger football. i finished two books. i slept long and hard.

day three:
i ate breakfast and read. i spent some sweet time with Jesus. i finished another book. i took a luxurious shower. i enjoyed the quiet in the air and the quiet in my heart. and then i went home.

it was an excessively good and restful time. very quickly, i realized i need to be more deliberate about this. and do it more often. i have some more things to share about this time alone, but they are for another post.

for those of you who were aware i was doing this and were praying for me, thank you. i felt wrapped up in those prayers and loved well.

30 by 30: still alive, surprisingly...

i know i have been a terrible blogger for a while. and i apologize if you are experiencing feelings of abandonment. as promised, i made some changes to my list. i am including those changes on this update list.

2) another hundo. officially $1800 out of $2700.

4) i posted about the warrior dash last month, but here's the 'after pic' with my friend, nate:


6) CHANGE: have a tea room date with my housemates!

7) CHANGE: attend something theatrical...

11) once again, i did not post the picture for my monthly cooking blog, so here it is:

bleu cheese pita pizzas. let me just tell you, they were super easy and super delicious. let me know if you'd like the recipe.

also, since moving into the wigger house, i have been cooking nonstop. it's really fun to fix a big meal and know i don't have to eat it all by myself.

12) CHANGE: plan a scavenger hunt for my housemates. (they seem excited about this one.)

24) i did this in august, but here's the skinny dipping proof picture:

you do not even have to tell me how awesome those tan lines on my arms look. i know.

26) CHANGE: play guitar in a public place. (no, mj, not the farmer's market)

28) CHANGE: run a race with liz.

29) i forgot to say i read a book last month: another fine myth. and this month, i read ish, the dot, 31 days to finding your blogging mojo, the prayer matrix, and pray. so i am up to 33 out of 100. grad school has severely slowed my reading pace.

Friday, September 23, 2011

hands to the sky

one of my new jobs this year is working as a grad assistant for the office of student engagement and retention. my workspace is in the academic affairs suite in the library...right at the heart of the campus.

something i love about this job is what happens on friday mornings: the professional staff gather together to share stories, breathe at the end of a busy week, and pray for one another. it's one of the unique things that happen in this type of community. and honestly, it does wonders for feeling known and loved in the midst of a crazy semester.

today, we commented that all of us were really experiencing a heavy tiredness--and it's only three weeks into the semester. you can see it in our eyes and hear it in our words. i've written about how i really feel like God is going to move in powerful ways on the iwu campus this year...but that doesn't come without a battle. and we are already feeling the weariness of the fight.

if you get some time, pray for our community. and if you know any staff or students at iwu, send them an email or message on facebook or something and let them know you love and support them.

thanks. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: wild weekend adventures

it was a whirlwind of a weekend. i definitely am feeling the effects of it right now...my normal wednesday night of reflection is taking place in my bed instead of starbucks because my head decided we shouldn't go out in public tonight.

here's a little list update for you:

i wrote a fatty check to my dad for $850, so my debt is down to $1000. smackin it in the face. booyah.


i officially became a warrior. my friend, nate, and i ran the warrior dash on saturday. he has some pictures that i will post whenever he gives them to me. but you can also see a couple cool ones of me by going here: http://www.warriordashphotos.com/?SiteID=2 choose 2011 wd twin lakes, wisconsin--saturday. then enter 60345 for the bib number. you can see me jumping over fire and crawling through mud.

i fixed a meal right at the beginning of the month, but in the chaos of school starting and me moving, i never posted a blog about it. here it is: steak with bleu cheese crumbles, sauteed asparagus and shrimp, hawaiian bread, and watermelon. yup. it was sooooo good.


i am in the middle of a ton of books for school, but haven't finished any of them yet. i will keep you posted.

the other big thing you should know is that i am going to be rolling out some changes to the list in the next month. hey, it's my list...i can do what i want, right? as i mentioned, i moved...into a house with three super cool women from grad school (i'll do a post on them some other time)...and i want to shift my list so it resonates with where i am at right now...with this community of mine. so expect five or six things to get changed or removed completely from the list.

deuces.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

oh my gosh

i'm trying hard not to type in list mode today since i did that monday, but that's really just how my mind is wired. i like the organization of lists. eek. i will try for paragraphs.

first, i have a story about yesterday. it's called, 'cars are the literal bane of my existence, and i would instead like a moped to ride around marion.' it's a long title. but i think it really captures the essence of what i am about to say. i was driving home from work, and a couple of friendly-but-rather-overzealous people in the car next to me managed to indicate that i had a flat tire. you may recall the (hey, miranda and heather, i am about to post a link here!) incident i had in june. so imagine my frustration at hearing i was having more issues with ron's tires.

well, i quickly pulled over (ironically, it was a kfc parking lot) and got really mad at ron swanson and the world in general. that quickly petered out (i mean, it's really not useful, so what's the point?). and then i called a bunch of people to try and figure out what i should do. my friend, andy, came and helped me think clearly.

we drove slowly to a gas station across the street and filled the tire with air. then he led me to his tire place. they were super awesome. they pulled a screw out of my tire, patched it, and had me ready to go in about five minutes. and it cost me $10.70. i can't say enough about how cool they were.

so the tire situation is fixed. phew.

second, i am struggling at waking up when i am supposed to. as a result, i ate chips and salsa for breakfast.

third, i am reading bryan allain's '31 days to finding your blogging mojo.' not so much because i have great aspirations for this blog at the moment (turns out grad school is a blogsuck), but because i like bryan allain and it was $4.99.

Monday, September 12, 2011

brief pause in the action

a) i wish i had the money to subscribe to a bunch of scholarly journals, including this one. yup, i am super nerdy.

b) a week from now, i will be living in the wigger house. yowza.

c) although last week was a full week for me, this one is technically our first 'real' week. but i am claiming next week as my first real one. so take that.

d) ouch, colts. ouch. at least yovani and the brewers stopped the bleeding for a moment. and the badgers rarely disappoint.

e) my super cool boss, sara scheunemann, sent me home an hour early today and commanded me to spend time outside. i like her.

f) in my snail-paced packing, i have again affirmed that i might own too many books, movies, and shoes. in that order. and most of my books aren't even in marion...

g) i am making a speedy trip to madison this weekend to run a race i haven't trained for...even a little. should be great fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

new student experience...2000

eleven years ago, when i was a wee freshman girl at the university of indianapolis (go greyhounds!), we were required to take sort of an orientation class based on our majors. i guess the point was to begin forming cohorts early or something.

but for those of us hapless undeclared students, we got stuck in a special section: new student experience. so there we were, a bunch of eighteen year-olds without any direction in our lives.

each of these classes was led by a faculty or staff member. and there was also a peer leader. the purpose of the class was generally to be a resource for students--"[presenting] academic and developmental information....to meet the needs of students and help them develop skills and relationships that will serve them well as they pursue their degree and career goals." yup. i am nerdy enough that i went to the uindy website to look that up. no shame.

my staff member was christy stone, and my peer leader was tiffany rife.

now, i don't know if they did this with other students or if i was just a special project to them, but these two women dramatically shaped my future at u of i...and my life in general.

i felt lost and completely without purpose when i got to school. i didn't know what i wanted to do or who i wanted to be. christy and tiffany basically took me by the hand and 'encouraged' me to get involved on campus. they made me help out at events. they forced me to become an orientation assistant. they bullied me into applying for a position on the campus program board. they coaxed me into being a peer leader.

i was undeclared for a year and a half, and even after that, i ended up changing my major halfway through my junior year. but it didn't matter. i was hooked on my school. i bought into the community. i was passionate about involving others.

i stayed in school because people on campus were committed to me.

****

the things i am doing with my life right now have everything to do with members of a campus community investing in me. very few things bring me greater joy than connecting with students.

it's pretty sweet.

so...thanks, christy and tiffany. your lives are still impacting students today.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

wednesday nors

nights of reflection are back!

every wednesday night this semester, from about 5-9, you can find me plopped in a chair at the marion starbucks.

i have a hectic schedule. it basically jumps from one job to coffee date to class to job to...well, you get the point. i don't know the last time i deliberately crammed so many things in my life. i'm fairly certain i was never this busy during my undergrad days.

but here are two things i carved out in my schedule: night of reflection on wednesdays and sabbath on sundays. if my life is going to be busy and full of people, i need to be diligent about stopping and resting in my father's arms. otherwise, i will shrivel up and die.

it's going to be a good year, friends. i live and move in his grace.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

words

last year, my focus in marion was on building authentic community.

last night, i experienced the fruit of that labor in a really excellent way.

there are some super awesome people in my life that have become very dear friends in just a year...and what a cool blessing...to love and encourage one another in what projects to be a very busy and stressful time of life for us.

in a couple of weeks, i will be moving into the wigger house. i'll tell you more about that later. it's a story of sweet community, and i am very excited.

last night, the wigger house girls hosted a time of fellowship. we built a fire, roasted random food, and shared our hearts. we talked about the upcoming months, challenges we are facing, our fears and dreams, etc. and then we prayed together.

what a comfort these women are to my life! what a joy! i honestly didn't need more affirmation to know that i was in the right place and that leaving wisconsin was the correct decision for my life last year. but God, in his loving grace, keeps pouring that affirmation out anyway. this is right where i am supposed to be.

i get to work with students, learn, laugh, love, and grow. i have friends who will challenge and encourage and love me well...all within arm's reach.

my God gives good gifts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

quick thoughts from the back of the room

i start my fall semester (officially) next week. but i have been back in marion, settling into life, for a couple of weeks now. i'll post my set-in-stone schedule later, but here are the major things i will be doing:

2 classes (research and appraisal)
an internship (working with the honors college freshmen)
leading my breakout group (i have transfer students again)
grad assistant position with the office of student engagement and retention (this is new)
grad assistant position with the honors college (i did this last year)

so this week, we are doing training for the peer facilitators (each breakout group has a faculty member (me) and a student peer facilitator). part of my ga position with student engagement means working with these students...the ones who are connecting with other students.

and i am really enjoying it. i have not been super involved in the training...i am mostly observing...but it is getting me so excited. i was already excited for the semester, but this is really good.

we have been talking about a culture shift on our campus (if you knew how students feel about this class, you would understand why), and there is a general sense that revival is coming to iwu. i talked about that in july, and it is pretty cool to hear other people are feeling it, too. this idea of culture shift is something i am going to dig into and develop more thoughts on throughout the semester/year.

so i'm curious...how are you feeling about the next few months? leave me a comment and tell me what you're excited about...and what might scare you. i'll start...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: let the crazy commence


once again, i have been a negligent blogger. i won't make excuses, but i will apologize. some of you missed my shenanigans. then again, some of you were part of my shenanigans. so whatever.

i am pleased to say i crossed a few things off my list since my birthday...

11) considering the amount of running around i did in the past month, it is kind of crazy i actually made a meal. but here it is.

18) i went rock climbing with my friend matt in colorado! woot! ok, i guess what we technically did was bouldering, but i wore the climbing shoes, and it made my arms ache for days, so i am counting it. i wish i had a picture of the cool stuff we were doing, but all i have to prove i went is this picture (and i am sad to say you can't even really tell how scary red my fingers were):


24) i went skinny dipping. i do not currently have the proof (no, there are NOT naked pictures to prove this) because miranda took the picture. but i have jennifer's whole bridal party to testify that i went skinny dipping at okoboji.

29) i finished three more books (snow crash, forgotten God, and scouting the divine) to bring my total up to 27. this one is actually proving more challenging than expected, just because i have had to do so much reading for school.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: even better than fish sticks!

so here's a tasty little meal i whipped up for myself: potato-crusted cod fillet on a bed of spinach with fresh mushrooms, sliced pears, fresh bread, and brie.

it was all kinds of delicious.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: one more year


well, friends, it is my birthday. 29 whopping years old today. which means i have one year to complete my list. which means i need to get my butt in gear.

but here's what i got done the past month:

1) my last paper for my summer classes isn't due till tomorrow, but i [amazingly] did it early so i could enjoy my birthday. i have two [crazy busy] semesters left, and then i will be a master of students. or something like that.

11) the monthly cooking segment. i'm on pace with this one. which is logical, since i tend to eat at least once a month.

16) the book is certainly not finished, but here's the latest chapter if you didn't see it.

29) not surprisingly, as i finished up my classes, i also finished up several books: where you work matters, how colleges work, college of the overwhelmed, the idea of a Christian college, the Bible, and emotionally healthy spirituality. 6! so i am up to 24 out of 100.

so there you go. spending another birthday in a random place with random people. it's how i roll. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

repentance is the heart of revival

i am not really sure i can pinpoint why.
i certainly do not know how.

but over the course of the summer, i have had one thought sort of lingering in the back of my head:

something is coming.
something big.

i have had some mental pictures of fire coming...racing...toward my campus.

iwu better look out.

i feel revival coming.

Monday, July 18, 2011

thoughts from the fort

i'm in fort collins, colorado, for the next week and a half. i am here because i love heather dawn dundore and her family. there's really no other reason. i just adore them.

and that's important to remember on days when mika spends the morning screaming for no discernable reason.

one of my classes has finished up, and the other one will be over in just a few days. i am SO thankful. i love my program, but not having any sort of break between spring and summer...taking two classes i am not super interested in...and feeling really busy during the summer...missing being on campus while i learn...all these things have made taking summer classes a bigger challenge than expected.

***

i don't know if i mentioned this before, but it is my goal to read through the Bible twice this year. so i am currently back in exodus. and it has been neat to see the parallels between the preparation and trust-building that God did with the israelites in the desert and what he is doing in my life right now.

i'll dig into that more pretty soon for you.

but it's been a year/summer of really intense growth and development for me. there are a lot of components. i'm excited to share some of those...and express some of those through my writing.

***

look for some new chapters within the next couple of weeks. colorado has a positive effect on my writing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

oh dear. summer has been bad for my blogging. i guess that's the way it goes. i'd like to tell you it'll get better, but i really doubt it will until i have a real schedule in my life again.

i went to the lake this past weekend and soaked in lots of sun, got my fill of bugs and lake water, laughed a ton, and ate wayyyy too much food. super unusual, huh? (i wish)

i also got some writing done. if you didn't see it over on the side of my blog, i posted a new chapter called 'slavery and freedom.' and i edited all the writing i had previously finished, so the older chapters have been cleaned up a bit.

i wrote a poem, too, so once i get that put on docstoc, i'll post it here as well.

and for your enjoyment, here's the cast of real world: okoboji.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

announcements, announcements, annouuuuuuuuuuuuncements!

a) it's slicky's birthday today. boom.

b) i am going to the lake this weekend. my plans are: sun, homework, work on my book.

c) i haven't had time to generate something real yet, but in my quiet times, i have been hit with the theme of slavery and freedom over and over...so look for a blog post/chapter about that.

d) it's 3 weeks till my birthday. hope you're ready for that business.

e) both of my frisbee teams have been smashing our opponents this week. pretty great. currently, liars and cheetahs are 7-1, and once a cheetah is 6-2. not bad.

f) peace and blessings...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: beautiful food on a beautiful day


yeah, yeah. i made a pretty similar meal last month. but i can't help it if the farmer's market is so freaking awesome.

fresh spinach.
fresh asparagus.
fresh strawberries.
amazing ravioli.
oh, and spicy cheese bread.

i love madison. good heavens, do i love madison!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

30 by 30 update: avoid the tornadoes, and you'll be all right...

so. i should have posted yesterday. i had really good intentions. but frisbee ended up taking much longer than expected because we waited out a storm in our cars. don't you worry...we won. oh...that wasn't what you were worried about? also, no one got hit by lightning.

i don't have much of an update regarding my 30 by 30 list...i thought i would get a lot done this summer, but i am busy as crap. so we'll see.

1. i am still taking classes for another month. should be wrapping them up around my birthday. just two semesters left after that.

9. miranda and i DID actually go on a road trip to indiana...and we had several crazy adventures, documented here and here. but as she pointed out, we don't really want that chaos to be our documented road trip. so this one is both technically done and not at all done. are you following?

11. this was my monthly cooking segment, and looking at the picture again is making me hungry.

14. i got a different car! i traded bj novak for ron swanson. aside from the blowout picture, i don't have any of him. miranda has the official picture. so that's forthcoming.

29. i am almost done with a handful of books, but i have this huge pile sitting on my dresser reminding me every day of how little fun reading i get to do anymore.

it is officially less than 13 months until this list is supposed to be finished. yikes! (and if you have somebody with whom you would like to set me up for a blind date, you can help me out for number 25).

Monday, June 20, 2011

oh, i did actually take some pictures of life...


so here's my sweet brother and his new wife. i love them. their wedding was beautiful and funny.


and here's my sweet best friend taking good care of ron swanson when we blew a tire on our way back to wisconsin.



and here are my sweet legs after a full weekend of frisbee. this picture probably doesn't even capture the full color difference between my feet and legs. you can also see a knee brace line on my left leg. and every place that looks like i was beaten with a baseball bat is, in fact, a bruise. those are real. and there are actually many more than you can see in this picture.

Friday, June 17, 2011

one month down

i can't believe a month of my summer is gone already. CRAZY.

i am mad busy. but it's good. working for the dollar bills (and really enjoying ye olde magic shoppe)...frisbee till i wanna puke (another tournament this weekend...i'll strive to be better about sunscreen)...homework (not gonna lie...i'll be glad to be done with these classes. they're more fun in marion. lol. i have less distractions there, too.)...and trying to hang out with people. that is a surprisingly hard task.

let's see...what else has changed in the past month...

i got a new sister.
i got bangs.
i traded cars.

yeah, i think those are the highlights.

here's what i haven't been doing:

writing.
working on my t shirt quilt.
running (aside from frisbee).

eek.

we'll see what the next two months bring.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the terrain is actually rougher on 3 tires...

our adventures were not over. miranda and i drove to marion on monday morning to get some stuff from aunt betty's house and see some super cool people. and participate in the planning phase of the wigger olympics. trust me, you're gonna want to be there for those.

we were driving back to madison...about 45 miles south of rockford...when disaster struck. it sounded and felt like the back end of my car exploded. which is not a great feeling when you're driving, by the way.

i pulled over, and we got out to see what the rumpus was. my tire was not flat. nope. it was completely jimmy-jacked. as in...shredded to pieces. awesome.

good news, though. my best friend is an expert tire changer. who knew? so she got the spare on just fine, and we made it (oh so slowly) to rockford.

our pal, rex, helped us out. i obviously had to replace one tire, but it turned out the other back tire was so old that he was afraid it would blow out soon, too. and then they told me that they tested the battery, and it wasn't even registering. they had no idea how we had even made it to rockford in the first place. (you'll recall that grandpa's car had to be jumped before going to fishers and refused to take us to the movies.)

so i had to replace two tires and a battery. that was not a cheap trip.

but i made a million memories with miranda...we weren't hurt...we came up with a name for the car...all good things.

my car's name is now officially ron swanson. (and if you don't know the reference, i demand you watch 'parks and recreation' immediately.) i'll post pictures soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

it may not be rock bottom, but the terrain is getting rough...

it was a long and strange day.

first, i should mention that my sweet brother got married to the love of his life. and i am so excited and happy for them! there was a lot of celebrating and hoopla.

second, miranda is here in indiana with me. she is integral to the story.

---

so...my dear, sweet car...i've told you stories...bj novak has just seen better days...so i decided to retire him. that's why we drove him down to indiana instead of taking a nice [read: reliable and air conditioned] car on our road trip.

anyway...so we had lots of running around to do today to prep for the wedding. like take lily to the hair salon. (one of the cutest things ever.) and drive to the church and to the reception...whatev.

my grandpa, who is no longer allowed to drive, is letting me use his car for a while since bj novak has been so sketchy lately. so my cousins drove his car down from marion and took it to the reception. well, grandpa's car hasn't been driven since december, so they had to jump it before it made the trip down. but no worries. made it to the church and to the reception. and then i drove grandpa's car home while miranda drove bj novak.

[miranda would like to interject here: 'of course, bj did not start for me even though he had started every other time all day long...so i had to bang on him in my nice wedding clothes']

we eventually got both cars back to my parents' house. i emptied bj novak and put everything in grandpa's car. good to go.

---

miranda and i decided to go to a movie tonight to unwind after our long day of wedding festivities. cool. so even though four different people mocked us for going to a 10:15 pm movie, we headed out. i was pretty psyched to take grandpa's car for a little test drive with miranda.

nothing doing.

yeah, that battery appears to be dead.

no problem. i went inside and bemoaned my ironic car troubles to my family while grabbing the keys to bj novak. one last little date with him. sweet.

[side note from miranda: the drive over was interesting... holly was frustrated with the car situation, but she had also had sugar cream pie. who knows what holly is allergic to? oh yeah, sugar. and for those of you who know what happens to holly when she eats sugar, we'll just say it was a fun, adventurous drive to the movie theater. no animals, signs or people were injured in this escapade.]

he did not sound great when we started him. but...we left anyway. and went to the movie and had fun and laughed and had good best friend time. awesome.

while we were in the movie, i leaned over to miranda and said, 'i hope bj starts ok, because i moved the scraper [which i use to bang on the starter to make him start when he doesn't want to...which is often] to grandpa's car already.' i am kind of prophetic.

when we left the theater, we tried to start bj. but...that didn't happen. so...........we eventually had to wake my parents up at 1 am to come and pick us up from the parking lot. great. totally what they wanted to be doing. oh, wait...they were happily sleeping.

---

i don't think it's a good thing when two cars fail you in the same day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

devo thought: old testament themes

reading through the last chunk of the old testament, some themes keep popping up--words, phrases, and thoughts that have really just resonated with my heart.

see, israel and judah have made some poor choices...lots of willful sinning, in fact...and as a result, God allowed them to be taken into captivity. his people. his precious, beloved people. so they're kind of scattered all over...in places like babylon, for one.

and even away from their homeland, God chooses to do some really cool things with individuals who are still seeking him. pagan kings hear testimony and see miracles as a result of God's people being flung about the world. pretty sweet. and God does not forget or neglect his people.

in fact, he longs for them. though they prostituted themselves with idols and other nations, he desires to be with them. he says multiple times that he is returning to them because he is passionate for them. and then he calls them to return to him.

he talks about how he allowed other nations to come in and attack his people, but they did far more damage than was necessary. he wanted to lovingly correct his people, not make them suffer like these other nations did. and so he redeems his people. he brings them back to him with strong, loving arms. he fights for their hearts.

he is in the restoration business. beautiful.


---
once a cheetah is 1-0

Sunday, June 5, 2011

this happens when you play frisbee all day long...

so my legs got a little burnt, but the real key here is how very very white my feet are. thank you, cleats.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

summer has officially begun


it was supposed to start yesterday, but something happened to our opponent.

so tonight was my first official game of the summer season.

you know i'm talking about frisbee, right?

*phew*

i was beginning to think you didn't know me at all.

---

liars and cheetahs are 1-0.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: farmer's market!

howie came up to visit. we did some really fun things in madison, including going to the farmer's market. we decided to make a meal with some stuff we bought there: two different kinds of ravioli and asparagus. yes, it was awesome.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

what to do


last year, i followed a little plan to figure out the next step in my life. it was surprisingly effective. or it could have been that God had perfect plans laid out for me to follow if i was quiet and obedient. one of those. :)

anyway, in my whole figuring out what to do plan, i sent out an email to a bunch of people from various stages of my life. i asked these questions:

a) what are a couple of my weaknesses?

b) what are a couple of my strengths?

c) what are some things you know i am passionate about?

d) what is something you hope to see me do with my life?

some of you, dear blog readers, responded to this email. thanks for that.

tonight, i read through the responses, and they really made me smile. i was particularly psyched to see that i have grown (a crapload, if you want to know the truth) in many of the areas that were listed as weaknesses for me. and i felt really affirmed to see that i am really (and i mean REALLY) living out of my strengths and passions.

it was a good heart check for me.

if you didn't have a chance to respond to the email last february, i'd love to hear your thoughts now. (and if you did respond, let me know if you have more to share!) go ahead and hit me with the responses in the comments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

oh yeah...so here's some stuff.

i wanted to try and explain what i am doing this summer. this is not necessarily in order of priority or time spent.

a) i am taking two classes. (shout out to those jokers reading this!) they are online. lots of the same people i've been 'in class' with for the past two semesters.

b) i am playing frisbee. 4 nights a week. and almost every weekend. booyah.

c) i am working for my friend, dan. i will eventually post some pictures (that would require me taking my camera to work) that will better illustrate the things i am doing. the short version is that i am sorting and merging magic cards. and picking and shipping them. and other random stuff. the key is that i am getting really good at 'colors' (colorless, white, blue, black, red, green, gold, hybrid, artifacts, lands) and alphabetizing. and i am working on memorizing the sets. dan has informed me i will make a nerd husband very happy someday.


d) i am [theoretically] working on my book. but i haven't actually done that at all yet. too much homework...too many magic cards.

e) other random things. like brewers games (this sunday!!), going to all the cool places in madison that i love, playing excessive amounts of settlers with josh and jennifer, eating and cooking (but mostly eating), and mowing the penning's yard.

it's good times. i am busier than i expected. i think the summer will be over in the blink of an eye.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: the back in madtown edition

1. still getting my master's degree. still have a 4.0. woot.

2. so far, i have paid off $850 of my debt to my dad. working it down.

11. i just did this one, so i am not making a whole post about it. but i made lunch for josh, jennifer, and me today. it's one of my mom's favorite things that i fix, and it's so simple. imitation crab, lemon juice, celery, and miracle whip...mix that all together. mash up an avocado and spread it on some toast...throw the crab mix on top of that...throw some sprouts on that...eat. boom. delish. if you're curious, josh plated the sandwich and grapes so they would look awesome for my blog. :)


22. heather and i went and painted cathy and eric's house a couple weekends ago. didn't realize till i was midway through my first room that i was actively crossing something off my list. haha. awesome.


29. i read serenity: the shepherd's tale. i think that's 18 out of 100.

so there you have it. i am settling into a more regular schedule now, so i *hope* i will be a better blogger in the coming month. we shall see.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

my favorite...coffee place

i'm currently at starbucks. no, not my favorite starbucks. that one is in south carolina. and my second favorite one is in indiana. shoot, i'm not even at my favorite starbucks in madison. this one is probably number 3 on my list. but it'll do.

i like coffee. i'm not a starbucks snob in the sense that i think they have the best coffee or the greatest music or the comfiest chairs (actually, i might make that argument) or whatever. but i am a starbucks snob in the sense that i would always choose to go to starbucks over any other coffee place.

let's be honest: i almost always have starbucks gift cards people have given me. that's free coffee, in my eyes.

and i know what i like at starbucks...actually, seven or eight things that i like (although, yes, i still really only typically order one of three drinks). don't underestimate how important a sense of familiarity with a place is in my mind.

starbucks is my favorite coffee place, though, for one major reason above all others: it reminds me of wednesday nights in myrtle beach with miranda.

starbucks reminds me of post it note passing, of intimate moments with Jesus, of a corner with purple chairs, of falling madly in love with 90 people, of learning how to be real and authentic and vulnerable about my heart, of desiring to know and be known, of laughter, of talks about boys, of dancing in the rain, of jumping in the pool with all my clothes on, of sand everywhere, of runs with nina, of experiencing so much in ten weeks that seven years later, i am still talking about it with wonder and deep affection.

every moment i have ever had in a starbucks since myrtle beach has brought me closer to Jesus.