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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Day of the 12!

Yesterday was filled or not filled.  It was one of those days where I did work and was productive, but I felt like I didn’t finish anything.
I started a book that I am loving.  A Portrait of Integrity which is about the life of Ray Stedman.  I grew up in a church plant of the original church he pastored Peninsula Bible Church.  It is interesting to read about these men that he impacted or that impacted him and to have heard about them my whole life, or know them personally.  God really made this world small.  And he made us relational which means it seems to get smaller quickly!
She's the only one whose gift is purchased and under the tree...
I have work to do!
I am working on Christmas shopping.  I haven’t gotten very far.  And I found that when making my Christmas list {I’ve been asked about to make one, don’t worry I’m not that interested in getting gifts}, I am pretty picky.  I am grateful for whatever, but I have specific styles or trends that I either really like…or really don’t!
I got to have dinner with my mom and a sweet friend.  She is engaged and getting married in February.  We haven’t seen her since she got engaged and it was so fun to hear about the exciting things going on with planning, but to also hear about life.  It was a lingering dinner.  It was supposed to only be an hour, but we stretched it to 2 hours.  There always seemed to be another question to ask or another hug to give.  I am so thankful for friendships like that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Break {1}

It is Christmas break.  I have expectations for this break and what I want to happen.  Every break I come up with this list of projects or of things I want to do.  I want to share what I am doing with my break and I am hoping that this will be a good outlet. 
Here is what has happened so far, because we have to start documenting somewhere.
When I got home from school on Saturday I walked into a decorated house and a lit tree.   The house smells so beautiful.  Back during thanksgiving weekend my family went to go get a Christmas tree.  We have a tradition to go up the mountain and saw down our tree.
Saturday night I went to a dinner in celebration of Christmas.  It was in a nearby town at an Italian restaurant.  I tried things I had never had and some I had never thought of.  Did you know that there is such a thing as eating marrow?  Yes I tried it and it was good.  I also had boeuf bourguignon {which is French} and exactly how I hoped it would taste.  The company was the best part.  I finally got to meet some people I’ve been hearing about for months.  I also got to say a few phrases in Italian and watch an older man light up with surprise and delight.  I think I need to start practicing my Italian again...
On Sunday night our church hosted the annual Christmas open house complete with a hayride around the neighborhood.  I grew up in the suburbs and it is quite comical to see people’s faces when Clydesdale horses go clomping past their houses with a wagon of singing carolers . 
Monday I had the pleasure of helping {ok I stood and watched} my mom and a friend sell lunch to middle schoolers.  I was also present to consult on the baking of peanut butter m&m bar cookies.  And then me and a rather adorable 4 year old spent part of the afternoon playing tag and laughing on the front lawn.  I forget how much energy a 4 year old can have.  We don’t have many 4 year olds around my house at school!
So though there are things that haven’t been done that should have been done already, there is still more time.  I am so excited to enjoy it

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sneaking an Opportunity

I love blogging…really I do.  But you know what I love more, living life.  And I’ve been living and going a little crazy.  It was “dead week” and now finals are going on around these parts.  My head feels like it’s ready to explode and everything is scheduled so that it all gets finished. 
Dead week means that you have regular classes and all the extra tests, projects, and papers that go along with the end of a term.  Unfortunately, we don’t have cancelled classes for a week.  Our dead week means the library is buzzing, the coffee is chugging, and the daylight is coming.  The joke is that dead week is that you will be dead at the end of the week.
To make the craziness a little more tangible, I am getting around to doing my chores.  I finally unpacked my bag from thanksgiving on Friday…sort of.  There’s clean clothes on my bed, dirty laundry to be washed sitting by my closet and books sitting next to my book shelf {nope, not on it}. 
It’s also been raining here.  I like rain, especially if I can stay inside.  Let’s be real for a moment.  As much as I would like to tell you that I am not a typical California girl when it comes to rain, I am {which was reaffirmed during this last ‘storm’}. 
To tell you how much I’ve been studying, I ordered food today at one of my favorite coffee shops and the freshness of the salad caught me off guard. I’ve been eating leftovers and cleaning out the frig before break and I’m low on veggies.  So low that I have a lemon, celery and rotting tomatoes.  Who knew eating out would get me my much needed fresh food!
I’ll be back when this is all over

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Most Thankful

When you are celebrating with your friends or families today and setting aside what I hope will be a day of reflection and of thanksgiving, what are you most thankful for?
At the end of it all I am most thankful for people.  Yes, all people.  How many people in my life are there that I don’t tell them that I am thankful for them, that I appreciate them, that they have an impact on me?
Today, or tomorrow {or whenever you read this} I want you to think who you are most thankful for and maybe don’t know it.  Please write in the comments section and then commit to doing something for or saying something to that person.  Your comments can be anonymous.

Monday, November 19, 2012



I love reading the thoughts of another blogger named Hayley.  She is a woman who is a different place in life as a mom to almost 4 boys.  Yikes! I am inspired by and thinking because of her article called “Brave.”  I like to dream, but I don’t know if I am brave.  In a lot of ways I really am not.  I don’t like to fail.  And wow, do I not like others to know my failings.  I am learning.  I am learning how to open up.  And yes I fail.  Miserably.  I am exceptional at failure.  And it is teaching me that I need to let others know that I know that they will fail and that I will give grace and that I love them.  I need to learn how to communicate those things better.
A little deep for a Monday, but I feel so inspired by a conversation this morning and recent thoughts. 
Are you brave?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Giving Thanks

Do you remember last year’s thanksgiving adventures?  If you want to refresh your memory go here .  I’m overdoing it a bit this year with four thanksgiving meals.  Yes, four, but I figure I have a lot to be thankful for. 
I have been slowly reading through One Thousand Gifts.  It talks about what we have to be thankful for!  There are statistics that say if you are able to read this blog post than you have internet which puts you in the top percents of the world.  And there are statistics that say if you had clean water to drink today {which is more important than the internet} then you are in the top percentage of the world.  And those are silly things that we do without thinking.  Think of all the things that we don’t offer thanks for.  What are the simple things that you are grateful for?  I am thankful that I got to spend my thanksgiving in Italy learning and growing with other students.  I am thankful that I was able to fly on a plane and visit Spain.  I am thankful that none of those things were difficult for me to do {even though it was difficult for me to pack apparently!}
I am even thankful for an awful meal last year, because it means that I appreciate this year{‘s} so much more.
{Last year we had dry turkey and gravy, garlic with mashed potatoes, canned creamed corn, overly sweet stuffing, coleslaw, and no pumpkin for dessert}

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Coming to the Table

I went and studied in a coffee shop.  It’s one of the quirky and whimsical ones in the area.  There are so many coffee shops around and they all have a different feel.  There are the ones that are good for the coffee, ones that are good for the tea, ones that are good for the food, ones that are good for studying, and ones that are good for having conversations.  It struck me how odd it is that each coffee shop is different.  They all serve coffee, and all will make you a latte.  But…they all taste different.  And because they are different you enjoy your time there and get work done in different ways.  It reminds me of how we as people are all different.  We all bring something to the table.  And we bring different things to the table depending on who we plan to meet there and what our purpose is.  How neat is it that we bring something to each situation that is unique.
I am so thankful that I don’t have to be the same as the guy or girl sitting next to me.  I am so glad that I have something to offer the world, or someone’s world, that no one else can bring.   As we get ready to sit around a table, whether it is full of family or friends, what are you bringing?  What do you offer up that no one else can bring to that table? 
Is it peace? 
Is it a gentle spirit? 
A booming laugh? 
A listening ear? 
A curious intelligence?
My roommate was so encouraged to know that there are 9 intelligences in her psychology book.  She feels as if she doesn’t think the same way as her sister and brothers.  Which is ok, it’s good.  But in a way I believe that each person has a unique intelligence.  They might seem like some of the categories her textbooks describe, but none of us fit in a box.  We are all different.
We all might be the same coffee drink, but we all taste a little different.  We all offer up something that is not the same.
 For that I am grateful

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We've got Apples!

The house that I grew up in has an apple tree in the backyard.  We used to have 2 trees, but they both started to show signs of disease.  Anyways I grew up with these apples that were only good for baking.  Just plain they are tart!  We would make all kinds of goodies, and in the process of peeling we would eat apple peel strings.  Sweet times!
The campus ministry I am a part of announced a community program where people would invite friends over to make apple pies and treats and then give them to people in the community. The night that was planned is the night that my biblestudy meets…so we incorporated it into study!

 The girls had so much fun and we made 4 pies.  Dutch Apple style.  It was easier than trying to do two crusts.  I went cheap on this one, and with lack of time as a college student we went with store bought crusts.  The girls cut enough apples to make an apple dessert {Apple Kuchen} and a pot of applesauce.  And there was still more apples.  I am still trying to use them up, so you will probably see one more post of apples! 
What is your favorite apple dish?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Accident Prone

It’s a week of accidents…so far.  My limbs are getting roughed up.  For some reason even with living normal life my body is taking a beating.
Sunday I was helping my roommate with making applesauce {super easy} and moved the pot with the metal handle.  Obviously I wasn’t thinking.  The burn on my right index finger at first didn’t seem that bad.  For the past 3 days I’ve walked around with a blister.  Although in the spirit of Halloween it looks like a wart…
Monday I decided to make one of my favorite feel good and fresh foods… brucchetta.  Its funny because I don’t like tomatoes, but somehow between the garlic and the basil I adore this appetizer.  As I was cutting the tomato, I sliced my left index finger.  It took awhile for the bleeding to stop.  I did a good job and I was using my brand new, extra sharp knife.
Tuesday was just a lack of sleep, although I was a little nervous to be in the kitchen.
And that brings us to today, where I had a series of binders fall on my foot.  I was minding my own business at work, hadn’t even touched anything when binders fell from the sky {or the top shelf}.
I’m learning that life is not safe.
I also have to let you in on a secret, even though I like the kitchen I don’t like dealing with heat, the stove, the oven, hot water…
And I also am very careful with knifes and usually keep my fingers at the very, very, end of the vegetable. 
What is a fears that you’ve been burned by {yes, that pun was intentional}?

Saturday, October 27, 2012


It’s been an interesting past week. Tuesday night was the night that the last month and a half caught up with me. Yuck! I struggled through Wednesday at school and came home to sleep. And did no homework.  And then decided I needed to go to school on Thursday.  I’m glad I did…Yay extra credit!
I came home and slept some more and then made a cake for my bible study girls.  No worries, it wasn’t taxing just fun.  And I substituted ingredients that I had in excess.  Even though I told them it was an experiment and they didn’t have to eat it if they didn’t like it they told me it was delicious.  Thanks girls!
Friday and this weekend is just for laying low and having fun.  {Already made pancakes for breakfast and spent time reading}
Oh…and I'll be catching up on homework

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Retreat {Weekend Recap}

This last weekend I spent time with some awesome people at “fall Retreat.”  500 of us invaded a Marriot Hotel in Ventura, California.  Its craziness, but oh so much fun.  We had a wonderful speaker talking who did a great job of connecting with her audience.  I had the opportunity to talk with her one on one.  Yeah, we talked about other places in the world :)
Megan and I mid date
She is a globe trotter…4 continents in one week.  Impressed?  I was tempted to ask if I could go in her suitcase, or maybe I could be her personal assistant.  She just came in from Accra, Ghana.  We talked about the Frankfurt airport and how we really don’t like it.  We talked about people’s insensitivity to culture.  After our conversation I am convinced that I should be a trainer for groups that want to go abroad on cultural norms, dos and donts.  I shared in her horror as she recounted a recent cultural slip up that she witnessed.  Let’s be aware of other cultures people!
I got to hear parts of 3 amazing girl’s hearts.  I love first year of college students and the way that they have a blank page before them.  These girls have gone through so many things and yet I can see the ways in which they grow.
There was a crazy dance party on Saturday night.  The theme was Disneyland and there were some pretty creative costumes. Yay for dance parties!
I got to go on a lovely beach walk date with Miss Megan.  We’ve been meaning to steal some time away and it was so good to catch up on life.  Friend dates are a necessity of life.
That is just a flavor of this last weekend. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coffee Shop Time

The joy of the Lord has been so sweet this last week.  Yesterday was rainy and cold.  I was meeting up with a sweet girl and in our text conversation I asked her if we could cozy up at a coffee shop.  I got there a few minutes early to do some things on my own.  I love a warm beverage, the bible or a good book, and being wrapped up in a sweater.
The days of Italy came back to me.   I didn’t really take my bible and read it out in public when I was there, except for a few times.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to talk about it, {which is a great conversation starter} but because my hands would get too cold while reading!
One of my favorite things to do was to make my own cappuccino in the apartment and curl up in a down blanket on my bed.  I would be in my grey wool knit sweater, and sweats with 2 pairs of socks covering my feet.  My room was always incredible cold.  I claim that that is the reason I spent so much time in the kitchen!
For a few minutes today I was transported back to Italy.
I love being in Slo, but I miss the places I’ve been.  I’ve left a piece of my heart in each place.  I hope that I will have the opportunity to go back, but for now I am content to enjoy my coffee and time in a little local coffee shop.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Music to My Ears

The sound of a language is music to my ears.
As I sat on the lawn studying for my class, 5 international students came and sat in a circle.  They grinned at one another, laughing.  And then the words started to flow.  They were softly spoken and only brash from the language, not in the harsh American English tone.   The French flowed from their mouths and the laughs ensued.  Also did the sharing.  One sandwich was produced, cut in half and it was passed around the circle.  The cigarettes came out and at first all I could do was smell the smoke.  And somehow it doesn’t bother me anymore.  It is a smell that though I would rather not smell it and though I do not want people to have the health effects, it is a part of the culture.  It is a way of life.
I wanted in on the conversation.  Every once in awhile a word would come wafting my way and I would understand.  That one word. 
It was hard not to stare, not to be interested.  But I also was timid.  I don’t know French.  I don’t know the culture.  I don’t know how to approach.  But I do know that I was offered a window into their life.  Just to be in the presence of a little difference was refreshing.
What is changing your outlook today?  What is making you feel refreshed?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Little Life Update

Has it really been since September that I have written? This blog has not been far from my head or my heart but life has moved along whether I wrote or not.
As you can see it’s a little different around here. My hope is that it will continue to change and develop. I’m not satisfied yet. This whole using someone else's template drives me crazy but I have no reason to complain since I’m not taking the time to learn html format right now. We’ll get there...someday...
Happenings, a little life update :)
My birthday has come and gone...and fall is coming and then decided it only wanted to pop its head in not stay for awhile. {It's been in the 90's this week.} Fall is my favorite time of year. It didn't used to be. I love that we can change our ideas.
I went simple for my birthday, taco bar with friends Saturday and then a nice dinner with roommates and the boyfriend on Sunday. And my family was able to be here for the weekend and so was one of my good friends. We had fun hanging out around San Luis Obispo and rushing through the grocery store. I love making unexpected memories. It’s the little things that make us laugh, isn't it?!
Mostly I’ve been being a good student and hopefully a good biblestudy leader. I stepped into a new role this year of leading girls the year below me in school. I love investing into their lives. I have the privilege to meet one on one or two on one with some of the girls. Those times are some of the highlights of my week. Oh and I’ve been working. Fall is a busy time of year when you work for a school. I’ve gone to more football games this season...although that wasn't very hard to do. {I’m lame, I know.} And I’m up-to-date on the Cal Poly soccer world as well since my bosses are into soccer. I love fall.
Senior year is all about going big or going home...right?!?
Really there haven’t been big things going on. And sometimes I feel like I need big things going on to write and make them important. I’ve been reading a sweet blog The Beetle Shack and she is showing me how the simple things are relevant and real. And she gives me a little international flair since she lives in Australia. {sigh}
Disclaimer: She does not know me, and did not compensate me for this.  I just think you should go visit her space!
I have a geography class this quarter and my test this week is on Europe...which we've been learning about the last 2.5 weeks. After our last class I was ready to book a flight and go on an adventure. Responsibility and knowing that I am where I am supposed to be has kept my feet firmly on the ground.
Expect to see some international talk and some more thoughts around here soon. {And maybe I'll get pictures up too}

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saying Grace

I have been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She talks about having an attitude of thanksgiving.  Yesterday I found that I have fallen out of the habit of giving thanks for my food.  I am still thankful for my food, but I havent set aside the time to offer up thanks.  I am thankful that I can go to the store and buy food and that there is the possibility for me to buy seeds and grow my own.  But how often do I acknowledge it?
2 times in the last week I have watched as someone has bowed their head and prayed over their food, prayed over the blessing it is to be thankful for nourishment. 
In my home, as a family we hold hands and take the next few moments to be thankful.  When I am by myself, why don’t I do the same?  When I am in a public place, why don’t I do the same?
I pray throughout the day, especially when I am walking between classes or walking home from the bus.  I take a walk with Jesus.  Why am I not taking the time to be thankful for what is right in front of me?  for what I am consuming?
I was thinking about the phrase “saying grace”.  When I say a prayer of thanksgiving I am acknowledging the fact that I have been given grace.  I am covered in grace when I offer thanksgiving.  How amazing is that?
Today I am thinking about what it means to be truly thankful.  The leaves are about to change and in a couple of months my favorite holiday Thanksgiving will be here.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to take time out now to be thankful for the sweet blessings that grace my table and inhabit my kitchen pantry.
Do you ‘say grace’?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Livin' with Purpose

Yesterday I felt like I got nothing done but I ran around like a busy bee.  I can tell you what I was doing at almost every moment of the day…scary
Yesterday I thought about life.  I pondered what I’m holding onto, maybe a little too tightly.  I’m learning to let go.  It’s a beautiful thing.
Yesterday I got to realize that I knew more than my professor on a particular subject. 
Example: Dear Professor, if you are weighing whether I might know what I’m talking about when I say something about the EU, know that I have studied and lived there for a semester.  You on the other hand have presented only limited, and somewhat skewed information on your PowerPoint slide {yes singular slide}. I would say I know what I’m talking about.  Oh and you have that fact wrong… 
{talked about here and here}
Usually I’m not so disrespectful of my teachers or people in my life in general {even if I am talking in my head}. 
I think that it was a good wake up call.  I lived something amazing a year ago.  And it saddens me to know that it has been that long.  It’s been a year.  But I learned so much.  I lived so much.
I want to live like I lived there; with purpose, in the moment.  I knew that that moment may not come back again.  And that’s not to say that I want to be a busy bee all the time.  I want to be intentional and live with purpose.  And I want to learn.
Lessons for today, give your professor the benefit of the doubt…even when you feel like you know more, keep an open mind for future classes, and ask lots of questions to get as much information!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glory Revealed

I am a future thinker.  I like to know what’s going to happen next.  I like to be prepared.  I like to consult directions when I need help.  I don’t like doing things first.
I am also a woman, which is like code word for worry.  Yep, worrier right here.  I’m working on being better about not being a so worried.  Life will go on; at least that’s what I tell myself.  And while I believe that to be true I don’t always live it.
When you put those two things together you get worrier of the future.  A friend and I were talking about the future today and our worries and fears of what it might hold.  I was telling her how I’m done being ‘bad’, doing things wrong, and generally messing up.  I’m done not loving people well.  It breaks my heart.  And yet I am being refined.  With every ill timed comment, with every mistake, with every hurt I cause; I am being refined and changed.
I was so encouraged when a few hours later I read this verse:
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Romans 8.18
I don’t have to be so future thinking, because I know what is coming.  Glory will be revealed.  I don’t have to worry, because now is not the end.  Glory will be revealed.  But not now.  Later.  In time, glory will be revealed.  And what a sweet promise that is to hold close.
‘In the end it will all be ok, if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.’ Unknown

Monday, September 24, 2012


I’ve been taking a break…if you haven’t noticed.  Sometimes it is so much more important to live life than to write about it.  I haven’t been taking many pictures, not been on my computer much…just figuring out this new point in life.  Isn’t grace wonderful?!
I have the travel bug.  A friend and I were talking about the trip I took to Africa 4 years ago.  My heart swells with joy and eagerness when I think of that place across the water.  I have many friends that are studying abroad this semester and it has been such a joy to read and see what they are doing.  I’ll be posting some of their links soon.  I have a friend that is working in Uganda at a school and it is so fun to read about her interactions as she enters into a new culture and deals with some language barriers.
The other night I got asked if I could go anywhere, where would I go?  I don’t know.  There are so many places I want to experience.  I want to see them, but I’d rather have the relationships.  I love knowing that I have friends all over the world.  What a gift!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sports Weekend

This was a weekend of sports…and yes another weekend of no camera.  How did that happen?
{The no camera, not the sports.}  I got a little sunburned at the first event.  I knew I should have put more sunscreen on.  I now have a nice red triangle from my v-neck.  Thankfully it doesn’t hurt, but it looks painful!  I was watching my sister’s first soccer game of the season.  Unfortunately, they didn’t win…but that only means they can get better!
After the game we ran into some friends and had fun chatting on the sidelines.  I got some love from a girl I babysit.  It’s so nice to feel loved.
This weekend I also had the opportunity to go to my first professional baseball game.  I grew up an hour south of San Francisco and this was the first time I’d been to a game.  I know it's a little sad.  {It helps when you know someone that has season tickets.}  And boy did I go to a good game!  I know the Giants and Dogers have a rivalry {we joke about it at home…in the safety of our home} but I did not realize that it is the oldest rivalry in the history of baseball.  Thank you Giants for winning, you made it an enjoyable game and ride home!
On the way to the game {an hour or more in the car} we listened to the 49er game.  I didn’t realize that they would show the game on screens at AT&T park before the baseball game.  It never occurred to me that baseball fans might be football fans as well.  Silly me.  It was a great day to be a fan from the Bay, the 49ers beat the Packers.
Even though I wouldn't be considered a loyal sports fan it was fun to celebrate with those that are devoted to their team. 
Who were you rooting for this weekend? 

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Other Name

Olive is my other name.
{Part of my inspiration}

 The name that I named myself this Labor Day weekend.  It’s hard to get accustomed to a new name.  It’s almost a new identity.  It’s odd to think that I am the same person...with a different name. I have very few nicknames.  Some that Ii shy away from...or more like run from. Some that I allow, only because I know the intentions behind them.  And some that I adore.  My sweet friend calls me belle. And I adore it. Or Haleigh belle. Or Haleigh girl {yes, where this web address originates}.
This was different. Sometimes these fake names stick. You have to choose carefully. Sometimes they are just for a season...a few short days.
I think besides naming myself {odd concept}, the worst part was responding.
"Olive, olive, olive!" shouts the little girl. Oh, that's me...brain, respond. That's me; I have to say something back!

Source: via Haleigh on Pinterest
{I just love her!}
But now that I am no longer at camp and with children who only know me as Olive my name hasn't kicked back in. I don't know what to do.
Hi, I'm...oh, that's right. I'm Haleigh.
I got introduced to someone as Haleigh and it almost sounded foreign. Why is that?
It reminds me that I have many names. And some of those names are my identity. They are the ones that count. That matter.
Someday it would be wonderful to be called Olive again, but for now I am so happy about my name.
Hi, my name is Haleigh and my identity is not in that name. I am a child of God, saved by the grace of Christ, and the daughter of a king. It is so nice to meet you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dirt and Water Makes Mud

It was a dirty weekend.  But something about saying that just sounded wrong...

I was a camp counselor this weekend and it was wonderful but tiring.  I spent time with 1st through 6th graders in the Santa Cruz mountains.  I love the fresh pine smell and the clear air.  I personally could have done with a little less dust.  Whoever said 'a little dirt don't hurt' better be right, because I think I inhaled quite a bit over the course of this weekend!
There are so many fun activities that these kids get to do at what we call Day Camp.  Since it was just a weekend {even a long weekend} the programs were shortened and change a little bit.  I had a group of 3rd and 4th grade girls.  They were a blast!  I got to take them down to the creek {or as we joke 'the creech'}.  Down there they can build a dam, go crawdad hunting, or do rock painting.  There are sand rocks and clay rocks, so with a little water and some rubbing you get "paint."  I got the opportunity to be painted.  I ended up with a dripping necklace, a dotted crown, pictures on my back and some arm and leg art!  Love little imaginations!

I wish I could show you pieces of this weekend, but you will have to use your imaginations.  I decided that I was going to limit the camera use this weekend.  It worked so well that I forgot my camera at home...oops!  Imagine tall redwoods on sloping mountains, laughing children, and ridiculous costumes.  Imagine 130 kids in a pool full of splashes.  Imagine the sweetness of holding hands to cross {suspended} bridges.  Imagine power fish {goldfish} and sitting on stumps in a circle.  Imagine ice cream and late night donut runs {both these without children}.  Imagine making new friends and bonding over silliness.  Imagine {fake} camp names and yelling 'lawn chants' {voice is a little scratchy}.  Imagine late into the night chats with a missed friend and canoeing with new friends.  Those were some of the moments this weekend.

Thanks for using your imagination with me!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adventures are a Big Deal {1 year}

One year ago today, I stepped onto a plane.  I was anxious and nervous and tried to look like I had it all under control.  I was excited too, but at that moment the butterflies in my stomach was the only thing on my mind.   It was a long day.   Through the 3 times of loading and unloading my laptop in airport security, the horrid blisters forming at my heels, and lugging around the {probably} overweight carry-ons I gain confidence to be a traveler.  I was no longer a college student with a plane ticket off to another place; I was a woman studying and experiencing Italy.  

I was looking for adventure.

This space was created to chronicle the adventures of that time, but it has become much more.  I see the adventures in life more easily now.  {Besides lifestyle blogging is taking ordinary things and making them a big deal}  Adventures are a big deal!

I am so excited to keep sharing thoughts, ideas, and ordinary turned extraordinary adventures in this space.  
Welcome to the adventure…

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Celebrate {Happy Birthday}

Do you remember when you were 13?  Well, the youngest in the house has reached the threshold of being an official teenager.  She's growing up! 

Happy Birthday Chloe!

I am so thankful I get to call you sister!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When I grow up...

It’s going to be a school year where I’ll ask myself ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’  And I’m going to ask it a lot.  {I just have this feeling…}

It will probably come up on here as a topic of conversation.  If I’m being truthful it will be me, writing, sifting through thoughts.  Not a conversation, but a monologue.  It’s going to look like blurting out the mess of ideas that go through my head.   It’s going to be hard.  And I think that putting it into writing is going to be a challenge.  I think it will be a challenge to share my ideas in a way that makes sense to others.  I think it will be a challenge to realize the amount of limitations that I put on myself. And it will be a challenge to not feel like I’m failing…all the time.
This year will be the last year of college for me.  At least for while.  I need a break from school.  I love learning, but I’m not keen on the testing idea.  I’m excited to be done with the institution of learning {at least for now} and take some lessons from life. { Life, you are a rough teacher and having you on top of assigned papers and reading has been brutal at times.}   I’m excited to learn in a more unconventional way.
I didn’t pick a major that led into a defined profession.  I wanted options to choose and discover more about myself.  I’m glad I did.  Now those options are still there.  Yes, a few have been thrown out, {but more came to the surface, which a whole different story} but still there are many options that remain.  This leaving options open method has led me to outside questions.

I don’t like not knowing the answer to the questions, ‘So what’s next for you?’
‘What do you plan to do when you graduate?’
‘What do you want to do?’
‘And what are you planning to do with that degree?’
Because I don’t know. I want to know, and if I did know, I would probably tell you.  But, I don’t know.  And no matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t morph into an answer.  Not an answer that is satisfactory to me. 
Here’s what I do know.
When I grow up…
 I want to be kind and love well.  I want to help others and live passionately.  I want to be a friend that listens and helps picks up the pieces of this messy life.  I want to give grace and lots of hugs.  I want to be an encourager and a hospitable hostess to everyone.  I want to be a safe place and a person who breaks down limitations by being bold and courageous.  And as much as the humanness in me strives for perfection, I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be the best me that God has created.
What do you want to be when you grow up? 
{I’m exploring options, and I need some more ideas!}