Bargains, Birthdays, Bribes and (B)muffins.

March 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s a sunny day in Seattle, and I started thinking…is God trying to bargain with me? You know, like when you pray, “God I’ll do anything you want if you just give me this one thing.” I think maybe God gave me this sunny day so I would blog again, because I’m always more inspired when it’s sunny. Is that sacrilegious? Probably. Never mind.

In 9 days or less I have to decide whether or not I’m doing a second year of MVS. It’s a pretty big possibility that I will, but this decision is way more difficult than the one I faced a year ago as I applied for the first year. I’ve successfully avoided thinking about it as I spend lovely times with housemates (see photo below), volunteer for free classes at a local Zumba/Nia studio, sing with a folk group from church, and volunteer at the food bank and Ten Thousand Villages. Thinking back on all of these experiences strengthen my desire to stay.

Then I’m reminded that I’m 26 years old. Actually, my housemates just sang “Happy 1/2 birthday to you” in my honor last week. In 6 months, I’m assuming I’ll turn 27. You get the idea. How would a new group of mostly/all 22 years olds coming in to the house feel about that? Who or what has made this age difference such a barrier in my decision making process? My current housemates have certainly been gracious and wonderful. And the question that makes me a little sad if I dwell too long on it…what are other people my age doing?

AH! Stay tuned. You only have to wait 9 days. I don’t have many clues to offer you. Bribes will be accepted. These can include, but are not limited to: full-time dream jobs, all expense paid trips around the world, 100% tuition scholarships to academic institutions, or marriage. Think big, people.

Thanks for reading my rants. Now look at this photo of the life-changing pear cardamom muffin and cup of coffee that I enjoyed at Volunteer Park Cafe with some really lovely people. In case you’re worried about me, those people aren’t pictured.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

February 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm (Uncategorized)

No, I haven’t completely lost it. I realize it’s February 14. But after a pretty funny slip up from my Nia instructor last Friday night, when at the end of class she accidentally wished us a happy Thanksgiving, I realized I’d rather celebrate that holiday today. Love and gratitude abound today for new opportunities, people, and places in the last year. Love and gratitude to and for all my friends and family. Love and gratitude for all of the people and circumstances that have shaped me, and the God that is always present.

In slightly less happy news, my housemate’s fish died. Kyle McFeely Anderson had become a very important and active member of our household over the last 6 days, but passed on to the great pond in the sky sometime in the wee hours of Monday, February 13. I can only hope he died in his sleep. We held a lovely chocolate chip pancake breakfast this morning, followed by a burial service in the backyard which all housemates attended. He was buried next to his spirit sisters,Walter and Delores. Several housemates provided special music, “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed. Memorial contributions seem inappropriate to ask for, but hey, if you’re so moved…

Kyle McFeely Anderson during his first car trip home. Possibly the happiest 45 minutes of his life.

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Choosing Joy

December 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

This morning I woke up on my own about an hour before the alarm went off. I gladly took my time getting out of bed and had plenty of time to make breakfast, drink a cup of coffee, and head to the bus before I usually do. For the most part it was a very pleasant morning. And then I encountered a very grumpy bus rider. We exited the bus at the same stop and before I could get off she managed to yell at one of the best drivers I’ve experienced (I already have my favorite and least favorite drivers) for at least a minute. Her main concern was that it was too cold on the bus. I managed to keep my distance behind her as we walked down the Ave, and witnessed a few more negative interactions between her and other people (and one innocent newspaper case).

Maybe it’s the sunny day getting to me, but throughout the day I have went back to that incident and thought about it. I’m sure her experience was jaded by something else going on in her life, but what a great reminder of the joy we can miss if we’re constantly stuck in our own grumpy mind. I’m not claiming any expertise on this…it’s a struggle to keep perspective when you’re having a bad day. But today was a very positive and happy day because I chose to make it so. Hopefully I can get enough practice in before the next unlucky day and be a little better about controlling emotions during overwhelming times.

Happy weekend all! Have fun and be safe.

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Back to the land of rain

December 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm (Uncategorized)

It has been a fantastic vacation visiting friends and family in Ohio. More on that later, but for now a song to listen to as I fly back to the Northwest. Housemates, mountains and drizzle, I’ve missed you. Friends and family, I’ll miss you more.

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Homebound

December 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, a little bit of packing to do and then I am on my way to the airport. I’m having some mixed emotions because I will definitely miss my housemates and all of the other people/experiences in my Seattle life, but I’m ready to see some Ohio people and drive my car. Some snow would be nice to see…AFTER I arrive at my parents’ house. A quick update, but just wanted to give proper goodbyes to Seattle. See you in 10 days.

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To-Do lists

December 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm (Uncategorized)

I have about 5 running “to-do” lists right now. Packing list, Work list, Home list, Shopping list, and Christmas gift list. All of them need to be accomplished by Saturday. Wowzas! Honestly though, this busy-ness is a blessing. I’m flying home on Friday night and without lists to check my way through, I’d be crazy anxious. I still am a little bit because I just want to be with my friends and family, but thankfully I forget about it sometimes when I’m trying to take care all of the details to make it happen. I look so forward to arriving in Columbus on Saturday morning and seeing my Dad, then the rest of the family on Saturday night. I can’t wait to worship with my church family on Sunday morning and get some serious organ music and hymn singing going on. Spending time with some of my closest friends Will. Be. AWESOME!

In all of it though, I’m trying to soak in as much Seattle and MVS family as I can. I’ll miss this place while I’m gone.

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Christmas Spirit

December 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm (Uncategorized)

I think that the holiday fever has spread among our house. All of us had different Saturday plans, but in the evening we put up the tree and some lights. Pleased with how it turned out, we sat basking in the warm glow of the lights when someone pulled out a hymnal and suggested singing a Christmas hymn. This led to about an hour of singing and laughing, which we followed up by reading aloud the first part of  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As I sat knitting and listening to others read, I thought about how I always figured this kind of stuff only happened in movies. In fact, I’m sure I’d be pretty cynical about it if I saw it in a movie. But that’s the thing I’m learning about living in community…even though it’s difficult sometimes, the connection that can be experienced through people also willing to make themselves vulnerable allow you to realize the sometimes cheesy expressions of love that you wish for deep down.

Sunday after church I went to “Urban Craft Uprising” with a support committee member and found a lot of things I wanted to buy or make. Then in the evening we had a Christmas party for our support committee and host families. It was a nice time of eating, chatting, and white elephant gifting. I think people were pretty pleased with their gifts, ranging from flair to dental hygiene. I know I was pretty pleased with my Barbara Streisand vinyls that already belonged to the house. 🙂

 

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Fleeing

November 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm (Uncategorized)

The last two weeks have been interesting. I think with the excitement of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, I forgot to check in with myself often enough. All of the fun activities just helped mask some underlying things going on and once they were over, the mask was gone. So, the last few days have been rough. Last night on my way home from work, I got so restless and anxious that I felt like I wanted to start walking and not stop. Running even sounded like a good idea.

By the time I got off the bus and walked home, I had talked myself down to about a 45 minute walk. So I changed, grabbed my iPOD, and got out of the house as quickly as I could…for 45 minutes. I don’t even think I was technically in my neighborhood anymore. Adele kept singing and I just kept fleeing. And now I realize, that’s what I was doing, fleeing. Eventually I calmed down, didn’t feel so closed in anymore, and turned toward home. By the time I got home, I felt stronger and more relaxed. Some stretching helped as well.

Perhaps others experience these feelings often, but the whole process was new for me. I don’t think it’s all settled yet, but I do feel more like myself. And ultimately I was reminded of the importance  of daily reflection before things get that crazy inside.

Happy Wednesday

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Thanksgiving Recovery

November 29, 2011 at 12:12 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I’m currently reflecting as to why I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been busy, there has been plenty to update on, etc. I think sometimes the pressure of sharing in a public forum gets to me and I just like to reflect on my own for a while. Hopefully more thoughtful posts will begin flowing again soon. For now, a few photos from my favorite Thanksgiving weekend activities. It was a great weekend to spend with friends, skype with family, and SLEEP!

Free cupcakes with a coffee purchase started out our Thursday morning

 

Friday morning we went downtown to the Macy's Parade

 

My favorite in the parade 🙂

 

Some Christmas cookie baking with friends on Friday evening

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“Now-slice”: An extremely mushy post

November 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm (Uncategorized)

I love the Seattle MVS unit. Each of us is very different from the other, and it works! Heading in to MVS, I was a bit concerned that community living would feel like college living. OK…sometimes it is like that. But more commonly we float between chores and hobbies, group time and alone time, upstairs and downstairs, and those times that we intersect make up the memories I know I’ll keep forever. Not everyone believes in miracles or even God, let alone God’s desire to intervene in our lives, but everytime we’re together and I laugh until I cry, receive or witness their support, or feel connected in any way to this seemingly random group of 8 people, I see God. God didn’t intend for us to live lonely, unconnected lives. My housemates remind me of that promise daily, just by being around.

As I peeled off painter’s tape from our french doors, one housemate sat reading, and two others watched a NOVA special on time. One concept is that people experience the present differently, even if their place and human concept of time are the same (their “now-slice.”) I’m sure everyone in the house is experiencing this time and place differently, and most likely aren’t as emotional about it as I seem to be today, but I will always be grateful for having a chance to share my “now-slice” with them.

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