Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Break

Wow what a spring break. I love having time off to be able to travel and visit with people. This year's spring break started in New Lexington, OH then took me to Cincy for a day then I was off to Marion, IN and a whirlwind tour of Illinois.

The majority of my time was spent in Illinois where I got to do a bunch of sweet stuff. I spent the first few days hanging out at the ACA Midstates Conference taking in some awesome keynote speakers and tons of educational sessions all on one of my favoritest topics - CAMP! Yeah, I chose to spend my spring break in a bunch of lectures and presentations, but it was fun to be surrounded by so many camp people from so many different places and I definitely got some good networking in. The keynote speakers were great, especially Scott Arizala. I also went to one of his smaller sessions as well as a session with Michael Brandwein and one with Jim Cain all of which were incredibly valuable learning opportunities. It was also really good to see ACA from a different perspective than being at camp when it just seems like ACA is a lot of rules. Now I definitely see it more as people and as a growing organization with lots of room to grow and expand the ministry of camp. Which is especially exciting for me, someone who is just getting started in the field. I like that it seems like there are places to go :)

During my time at the conference I stayed with my Uncle Joe, Aunt Judy and cousins Jon, Matt and Zach. I haven't seen them since I was in 6th grade. I was worried at first that that might make it awkward, but it was totally great. I felt right at home and have discovered that my dad and my Uncle Joe are practically the same person. It was a fantastic visit and I'm so glad that they offered to let me stay with them. Hopefully we won't wait another 6 years before hanging out again.

After the ACA conference I headed into actual Chicago (all of the above was in the western 'burbs) to visit my friend Emily who just moved there. It was a super short visit but it was well worth having to drive through Chicago traffic to get there. We didn't really do much of anything, but it was good.

Then finally on my way home to Cincinnati yesterday I went to Champaign for about 2 hours to take a walk and visit with my friend Amy. She's from the youth group I was in way back in the day and she and her husband have been living in Champaign for about 5 years. This was the first I've made it out there. Amy was an integral part of my spiritual formation growing up (she's got about 5 years on me) and being able to talk and relate as adults was fun. Plus I love the fact that she understands the importance of talking or having a meal or taking a walk when you get together instead of just going out to a movie or watching t.v. We had some good chats and then I was off again.

All in all I would say it was an incredibly successful spring break and I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to take on my next challenge: my internship - starting tomorrow!! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

At least I didn't burn down the house....

So the other night when I was working on my laptop when all of a sudden it went to battery power. This was strange because I knew for a fact that my computer was plugged in. I went to double check all the connections and everything was indeed plugged in. Then I started hearing a static-y noise coming from behind my computer. I tipped my laptop forward to find that my computer cord had torn (?) and there were blue sparks coming out of it. I quickly unplugged everything and was very grateful to not have burned down the house in which I've been residing a week before I leave.

In any event I have been trying to use my laptop as little as possible so if you don't hear from me or I don't respond to things such as myspace, facebook or other such messages in a timely manner I apologize. You are more than welcome to call me or talk to me in person though. Which, in all honesty, I prefer better anyway. Just thought I should let you all know what's up.

And throw out the praise that my house is still standing :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What a weekend

What a good weekend.

Thursday: Applebee's with Cassie, Heather and Jaime.
Friends make college what it is. I'm love these three girls. They're fun. We spent most of the evening trying to figure out where we knew our waiter from but never really figured it out. We also tried to figure out what this decade will be called once it's over. The '80s and '90s were easy but the '00s? Nothing sounds right. We also stayed up and watched Good Luck Chuck at my place. It was good times.

Friday: TNFN show, running ing to chrysalis girls, sleepover at Faith's in Pickerington, good car and falling asleep conversations with Molly.
I was sorry for Jami that not more people showed up to the Charity Gig she set up. I think most of it was probably due to timing, but she did a phenomenal job putting it together. And the bands were fun, although I will probably never be a big fan of loud concerts. I was excited to see some of the girls from the Chrysalis Flight I helped with back in January there. I love Chrysalis, but it's true that you don't really see the people from the weekend again very often, so it was fun to see them and catch up.
Of course spending time at Faith's was fun. How could it not be? We watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and I don't care what the other two tell you, it's still funny to me. There's just something inherently fun about staying up way past your bedtime with close friends, eating junk food and watching movies. Sharing secrets or whispered conversations in the dark while drifting off to sleep will always be one of my favorite things to do. It's comforting to know that no matter what ups and downs my friendships go through there's always going to be times when you can just talk, chill, do whatever and have fun.

Correction from above: Friends don't just make college what it is, they make life what it is. Or at least for me they do.

Saturday: more good car conversations with Molly, African Children's Choir concert in A-town with Joel and Wendy, impromptu overnight at my other home.
I love good conversations :)
The African Children's Choir was fun. Their faith and their joy astound me, especially after hearing some of their stories. I'm a so incredibly blessed to live the life I do. Yet I feel as though they feel the same way.... sort of. I really want to strive to know joy and hope like that. What a show it was.
Since I was feeling too tired to drive I ended up car pooling with my fellow show-goers as well as spending the night at their place. I love having a home away from home, and it being an actual home, not just a house with other college students but a home with a family. It's nice. I like it.

Sunday: still goin'!
So we'll see where it goes. Then it's paper writing and take-home-final-finishing so I can really be officially done with this quarter and get on to chillin', relaxin' and hangin' out before leaving town next weekend.

If you wanna hang before the end, hit me up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winton (ah ah) Woods!!

So if you've been here a time or two before you may notice that I've changed the heading of my blog. I tried the "Please Explain" thing which was fun for a while but sometimes there were days where I just wanted to write something and didn't feel that anything needed explaining. I'll try this new theme, of "Today's Praise...... or Concern" and see how it works for a while. Who knows, I'm bad at coming up with these kinds of things. I'm just trying to be clever.

Anyway, today's post is really both a praise and a concern and perhaps the reason I chose the new title. Yesterday I drove home to Cincinnati both to pick up my new license plates from mi padre and to hear my lil bro's "Tune Up" choir concert. All of the choirs at my high school are headed for contest this coming weekend and they always hold a concert right before in order to prepare.

Now, let me brag for just a second.... my brother is in Varsity Ensemble at Winton Woods. In case you don't know our V.E. is kind of a big deal. They went and sang in China for the Olympics last summer. They sing with the Cincinnati Pops almost every year. They've recieved compliments from some of the best choir directors in the country. Last night they performed a rather difficult a cappella piece that they learned just last week. (Link to Video Below) Oh, and my brother's a sophomore.... there are something like 4 sophomores in that entire 40+ person choir. :)


Last night was FUN. The choirs were great, as usual and both Counterpoint and Harmony sang. Counterpoint is the new a cappella women's small ensemble and Harmony is a long standing student run men's a cappella group. When Harmony sang I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard, they sang 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' and had so much fun with it. One of my brother's friends was the "lion" and.... maybe you just had to be there, but it was a good time. Finally Gospel Keys (another long standing student run group) finished out the night with high energy and enthusiasm.

It was great to see that the spirit is still there at Winton Woods. It's just as much fun to be a part of the choral program as it was when I was there. The student groups that either my friends or my friends' older sibilings started are still alive and kickin'. I went over and thanked Mr. Bell and Mr. Spaulding the directors after the performance and told them that it was well worth the 3 hour drive to get there for it and told them to wish all the groups good luck for me for this weekend.

I love my high school. I know I didn't always realize or admit that when I was there, but Winton Woods is truly a unique place with an incredible amount of spirit and..... I don't know.... dedication? determination? Diversity for sure. I'm not sure what other word I'm looking for, but it's a special place and I'm so greatful to have been able to spend 4 years of my life there.

The concern, however, is that there's another levy coming up in May. The last levy for the district failed back in November. I know that times are hard, but education is something that MUST be invested in. I can't wait until Ohio comes up with a new way to fund its public schools. Until then I guess I just have to pray and help in the fight to get the next levy passed. I'm glad I'll be home in April.... you'll definitely be seeing me going door to door or volunteering in any way I can in order to assure the levy passes. It needs to. "There's too much at stake if it doesn't."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today Was a Beautiful Day

Today was a beautiful day. I spent a majority of today on my back porch and outside in general. I actually got too hot at one point and had to come in because it was so warm out. Therefore I had the audacity to hope that for once I wouldn't seen any Uggs. Alas, I attend Ohio University and without fail, I saw a pair.

I hate Uggs.

Chacos, on the other hand = LOVE

And it makes me happy that I can wear mine again.

Friday, March 6, 2009

NOLS moment

Tonight as I was walking home I looked up at the sky and was amazed. I love the sky. I love cloud gazing, star gazing, and even just looking up into the giant expanse of blue. The sky is awesome.

Anyway, when I looked up there were clouds, but the moon was shining through them and it was just pretty neat. Of course I was walking so I couldn't look up for more than a few seconds at a time, but I loved it anyhow. Because I always do.

What I didn't expect, however, was to be hit with what I shall now call a "NOLS moment." You know, a brief second when you just wish you were back somewhere where you had been before. And you know that the only people who will understand are those who were with you there in the first place. Yeah, one of those. I definitely had a NOLS moment when I looked into the sky. Because no matter how cool the sky is to look at nothing, nothing, NOTHING will ever beat star-gazing from inside a sleeping bag while lying on a slab of slick rock in Grand Gulch. And if something ever does beat that, I will be amazed.

So of course I sent a quick text to my friend Felicia who was there with me, knowing she would understand and then went on enjoying the sky here and now. It did make me happy, however, to realize that there are definitely some great memories from the three months I spent at NOLS, and now that my knee is feeling better and that the experience is a bit further out I'm really beginning to remember the great parts. Of all the places I went and saw Grand Gulch was most assuredly my favorite and I kind of can't wait to go back sometime. Really. And realizing that is the best part of all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No More PT!!

I just got done with my very last Physical Therapy session for my knee. This is fairly exciting seeing as how it means that my knee has regained almost all of it's strength back. The therapist I've been working with encouraged me to continue doing my home exercises but said that I won't have to go back in. I suppose that's both great and kind of sad because I really enjoyed talking to the people who work there. But now I feel as though one big hurdle has been surpassed and that makes me even more ready to tackle the next.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The common cold

Why does the common cold always decide to hit at the most opportune time? Like during the last two weeks of the quarter when everything is due. It's really not enjoyable :( Someone please explain this to me.

Besides waking up with a cold this morning I also found out that my email is on the fritz and I can't open up any new messages. So if you email me and don't hear back soon that's probably why. Feel free to give me a call or hit me up on Facebook.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Singing Men

I went to the Singing Men of Ohio concert on Friday night and it was fantastic. I don't know what it is but there is just something inherently amazing about the male singing voice, and even more so about an entire choir full of them. The only thing to beat those two things out are men's a cappella groups and fortunately there was one of those there too. It was quite an enjoyable two hours of my Friday night and I have decided that wherever I end up after graduation I need to look into the area's performing arts groups. I love concerts and shows and live performances and am glad I was reminded of that this weekend.

On a completely unrealted note the wind outside my house is ridiculous.

Have a good night!!