Friday, December 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes


1) I have survived my first term as a University student. I took academic 18 credits, as well as at least 20 credits in life. Classes this term included: How to Make New Friends 218, Introduction to LTD 100, Parking at U of O 450, What the Heck is a Roommate 180 and Growing Up and Becoming You 244.

2) Tuesday was the day of two finals. The one in the morning was Poli Sci, and it was ok. I had put a lot of time into studying, but, as it happens somtimes, what I knew the best was not on the test. Afterwards, we got our term papers back and I was dissapointed. All in all, I was bummed. I went out to Newman for lunch, and when I was leaving for my next final, it was pouring. At this point, I realized I had a choice. I could choose my mood and my day. I decided to redifine the problem. Instead of the issue being that it was raining, the issue was that I was wearing shoes. I arrived at McKenzie with muddy wet feet and a much better attitute, and then preceeded to dominate my 3PM final.

3) Can I just say, I go to the coolest school. Our mascot was in the top 4 in the country, our football team is going to the national championship with an undefeated season, and our acapella group is showing the world how a singing frat does Lady Gaga. The best part? I've seen all of this live. Puddles is a frequent atendee at all kinds of campus events, the Ducks are even better in person at Autzen, and OTR gives concerts every Friday where my friends and I sit right up front.

4) There's nooooooooo place like hOOOOOme for the hahlidays!!!

5) My friend Kaya is leaving for Spain next week. I am going to miss her a whole lot. She has brought so much sunshine into my life, and has made me feel at home, at the Honor's College and at the Newman Center. Kaya is like having a big sister, and I love her.

6) On the plane leaving Portland, I got to sit next to the Newberg FFA advisor, Mr. B. I realized, that like Mr. Linegar, who never lets us go anywhere without this object, as it must contain the very fiber that holds us together, he had a briefcase.
7) Cookie day was Saturday, and this year it was just me and Grammie. For some reason, it felt so fragile, just the two of us baking all those cookies. After the turmoil of the past two years, I was uniquely thankful to get to have this opportunity to be just the two of us, with a holiday tradtion that goes back as long as I remember.
P.S. Sorry this is late, I have been spoiled at school with wi-fi everywhere, and now I must go to the coffee shop to get it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

remember the birds

So, today I got a little reminder in Providence. I agreed to work a shift at The Dining Room from1-3, doing food prep work. Going, I was nervous, because I thought I was running late, and it was my first time, and I was thinking I shouldn't even have said I would do it because I had a final that I could be studying for. I was antsy.

However, right about 2:00, I was finishing the desserts and a little reminder occurred. I had had to grab extra plates earlier, so I had a few left, and I was down to filling in the last of the tray, and had part of a cake left. So, in the very last tray, the end of the plates, and the last cake, and you know what? It all lined up. There were enough plates to fill the tray, and enough pieces of cake to put on the plates and it was the very last tray in the dessert rack. It was a little thing, but it reminded me of God. If He takes care of the little things, like cake and birds, He will take care of me too. And you know what? We got done early, about 40 minutes early. And I got more time to study. He took care of me too. God is so good.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Week 10, Term 1, Year 1
1) Dead week kills. I had major projects Tueday through Friday this week. A Poli Sci paper, Accounting Ratio Project, 3PM paper, and my part of the final project for our CHIP.

2) Parts of me: Psalms 139:13- In doing my final project for my CHIP, I researched everyone's names. The version of mine I found online listed Aimee as "beloved friend" I've also seen it as "beloved" or "to love". This is perfect for me. Another little thing that is a perfect part of how God knit me together is my blood type. I am O-, the universal donor. Both of these are just little things that remind me that God knew all of me before I ever even knew myself.

3) Concert- Friday night I went to see the music department's choral concert. It was incredible. We have such talented students at the U of O. My favorite song was the first one, where the choral groups surrounded the audience, on the stage, and in the balcony and in aisles, singing in parts Gustav Holst's Christmas Day. I had heard my friend sining part of it earlier this week, but it was so incredible the way it was preformed.

4) Coincidence/Providence- Saturday night I went to Divisi and On the Rocks' annual holiday concert with some people from my hall. Interstingly enough, while going to talk to another friend, I ran into my friend Jazzi, from DDA. She lives in Bend, and I had not seen her in almost a year. It turns out her sister is in Divisi, so she came up with her family. Still, I never would have expected this, and could have easily missed her in all the people. It was so cool.

5) I LOVE MY DUCKS!!!- and they are going to the BCS championship!! What a great time to be a duckling.

6) Lector- Tomorrow, Sunday, I get to be an actual, official Lector at Mass for the first time. I am so excited, and also a little bit nervous. I have been waiting for this time to come for about four years now. God, please let them be Your words, the way You want people to hear it, not mine.

7) Friends- I continue to wrestle with one group of friends. I feel like I'm on the fringes, like I'm missing something and don't know what. It is incredibly frustrating, because it wasn't what I expected would happen and I don't know what to say or do. On the positive side, I am making friends in other areas. My good friend Maggie W. and I baked a cake and cookies, while watching a Muppet Christmas Carol and singing and dancing around her living room. I am learning and growing. I am also learning from my own experience, and realizing that if I turn to God for everything, He is *always* enough for me. Everything might not work out, but I will be ok, because I have Him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Somebody prayed for me

Have you ever had an experience where you know, without any proof, but beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone just said a prayer for you? You're having a bad day, or even an ok day, but something is up, not everything is right. Then, suddenly, it feels like whatever was holding you back or down just lifts, and even if it is not toally gone, you feel hopeful, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. To me, that is the sign of a prayer said for you.

This happened to me walking to class today. I have been stressed out today, just not having a great day, and then suddenly everything just seemed more hopeful. That was a prayer.

It was't the first time this has happened either. One instance I distincly remember was at the Day of the Son retreat last year. It was Saturday, and I was just not with it. I knew I should be excited, and engaged, because, after all, I was on a retreat, with some of my best friends. But I just wasn't feeling it. Then, in the middle of a talk, something just clicked. It was totally apart from what the speaker was saying, and I was engaged. I just knew, at that moment, someone had said a prayer for me.

Another, more recent example happened to those around me. Our rec indoor soccer team, the Newmanators, was in the first round of their playoffs. With 90 seconds to go, they were down by one goal. In those 90 seconds, they scored twice, to win. This is the Hail Mary of indoor soccer. We are all convinced that everyone they asked to pray for them, remembered at that exact moment. It worked.

So, if you get the strange urge to pray for someone, please don't ignore it. You never know what is happening on the other end because of your little faithfulness. Trust me, it makes a big difference.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

7 Quick Takes

for Week 8, Term 1, Year 1
it's most definitely not Friday at this point, so why put in the day, it's for the whole week anyway
1) I have learned how to crochet. It was caused Crochet for a Cause. I got a lesson in how to crochet a hat, and in exchange, when I finish this hat, I donate it back to give to be donated to a cancer treatment facility or a homeles shelter.
2) Lovely Ladies go to Voodoo Doughnuts. At least, four of us lovely ladies from the Inside-Out CHIP went to Voodoo after class on Tuesday, because Maggie was a Voodoo virgin. It was a blast, and just what I needed. I had been having a terrible day, and that absolutely made my day.
3) My friend Constanza always texts me about the weather, and that also makes my day.
4) This week has re-opened my eyes to the plethora of opportunities in college to practice the works of mercy. Feeding the hungry, in the homeless, in the friend without food, those without money to provide food for Thanksgiving, giving drink to the thirsty, during a loooong class, or to a friend who's feeling sick, clothing the friend who is locked out of their room straight out of the shower, and driving friends home so they don't have to walk in the rain or at night. I don't think that last one is a technical work of mercy, but I say it counts. Ü
5) I love watching the acapella groups preform! Every friday there is a group of us Newman girls who get together to see Mind the Gap, On the Rocks, and Divisi in the EMU ampitheater or fishbowl. I was especially excited this week, because Mind the Gap and On the Rocks preformed my favorite of their songs, Zombie and Insomniac. It was wonderful!
6) For most of this week I sounded like a dead or dying frog. I croaked and hacked, and consumed a massive amount of cough drops. I was felt terrible. On Monday I had the bulk of the day off, and I took a two hour nap. When I finally went to the Health Center, they told me it was only a cold, and, surprise surprise, I've gotten much better since then.
7) 7 for 7!!! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (aka Book 7) Part 1 came out at 12 am on Friday. Thanks to friend of the year Maggie, who waited in line for four hours by herself, both of us had amazing seats in, get this, theater 7!! I was excited, because I had been to the midnight showing of movie 1, so to go again for movie 7 was so cool. My favorite part: they kept the holy/holey scene!! Weasly twins ftw!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My (A Soft Spot) Heart

I love life, all of it. However, there are some things that just have a special spot in my heart. I want to share a couple that have come recently.

Easter Vigil- For those of you who know, it is the longest Mass there it. We're talking at least 3 hours, plus. If you're participating, in the choir or as an altar server as I have, it is intense. There is a lot more prep work, plus so much to remember and do during the whole service. It only comes once a year, and it is a big deal. It always starts in the evening, and goes late into the night. There are more readings, and lots of special traditions, to celebrate Easter as it first comes into being. One of the coolest parts is watching the catechumens, the people who have been praying, discerning and studying to become Catholic get baptized, recieve Sacraments and join our Church family. Anyway, for all the work, for all the stress, for all the time, I just love Easter Vigil. It occupies a special place in my heart, and it all will. Sometimes I wish it came more than once a year, but I think the very exclusivity makes it even more special.


Puns- Most people groan, but I absolutely love a bad pun. They make me giggle, and I love to use them. There is seriously a soft spot in my heart for this verbal trickery. It's wonderful.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday 2

Year 1, Quarter 1, End of Week 6

1. A schedule of a different sort

You might notice that is not technically still Friday at this point. Well, college students run on a different schedule than most of the world, so this is still a totally typical hour to be awake, and, in my head, if I haven't slept yet than the day hasn't changed, so it is still friday. Ü

2. Community

This week I have realized (again) why God didn't make us solitary creatures, but rather gave us the gift of each other. For some reason, this week especially I have seen how we fit together, to encourage each other, and to be able to offer encouragement and love.

3. Family
Tonight I drove out to Albany for a family dinner. I got lost, and so arrived late, but it was so great to just be with everyone, to eat and talk, and just be. Little Kohlie made my night. She was walking by the counter and reached up above her head, and stuck her finger in the pumpkin pie to taste some. It was totally nonchelant, so our pumpkin pie had a finger-hole in it.
4. With Jesus
I want to take a moment, and honor the passing of Jeff Meyer. He was the brother/son of three of my friends. He was a fellow rosary-maker. He is now with Jesus. Still praying for him, and his family.
5. Being the Change
So, this Monday I got to help with Challenge Day at my old high school. It was interesting. Last year, I had been on the Core Team of student leaders, and this year I was an adult. There was definitely a difference, and perhaps most of it was in my head, but I didn't know as many people, and the day seemed to go by a lot faster. It went well though, and I was glad that I drove all the way back to be there. For my part, it got me thinking. How can I be the change I wish to see at U of O? What can I do when I'm so out of my environment? What kind of a difference can I make?
My answer was exactly that, to be the change. I've noticed that not a lot of hugs are given here, for one reason or another, mainly because you don't hug strangers. This has led to me becoming hug-deprived, with a serious shortage of my 12 a day. So, I've decided to intentionally give more hugs. To everyone. We all need them, and I have a sneaky suspision that the vast majority of us are not getting enough.
6. "It is in giving that we recieve"
One quick shout out to an act of change that happened because of this. Late on Tuesday night I was in the next building over studying, when I saw someone from one of my classes. She has a physical disability that is very noticable, in a limp and the way she talks. Something inside of me was telling me to reach out. I almost didn't listen, but I'm so glad I did. I think it was the first hug she'd had in a while, and it was so satifying to get to bring that kind of joy into someone elses life.
7. A Thursday to remember
This Thursday was intense. Let me give you the highlights of my day:
-midterm #1
-international skype with my college friends in Idaho and Dubai
-lit class where I was totally ill-prepared and thought about hell
-midterm #2
-discussion group
-go to see a play/try to get a football ticket
-think I actually do have a ticket, but shut my laptop because I'm still in the play and I'm annoying the guy next to me
-walk over to self-defense workshop
-realize that I didn't complete the checkout process, therefore I do not actually have a ticket
-realize I am in wrong room for self-defense class
-attend self-defense workshop where I get a self-esteem boost from yelling "NO!" as I kick a pad
-finish watching several more episodes of Glee
Yes, this is my life, or 7 brief glimpses into it. If you like this style of blogging, check out more at my inspiration: Conversion Diary

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Souls Day

Today is All Souls Day in the Catholic Church, and as it is something I celebrate, I just wanted to take a moment to remember those loved ones in my life who have passed from it:

Gramma Mary
Mrs. Hedricks
Olivia Mia
Myra Lee
Jeff Meyer
Katie Church

All of you are loved, and I know you're in a better place. Today though, I remember your lives, and the difference you made in mine, and I say a prayer for you, and your family.

Twinkle Twinkle

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star/How I wonder what you are/Up above the world so high/Like a diamond in the sky/Twinkle, twinkle, little star/How I wonder what you are”
I am not a child anymore, but I still love this song. Mainly because I love stars. I have been known to get incredibly distracted, stop walking in front of people, and suddenly look up at the sky. For some reason, stars continue to fascinate me. To me, they are a reminder of how much, and how unconditionally God loves me. So, last night you could find my car, pulled over on the highway, in the high desert area outside of Bend, with me standing outside, staring up. The night sky was so incredible. I have never seen anything like that before. The Milky Way was clear, and there were so many stars. For the first time, I noticed that the song is true. Stars do twinkle. Then, as if just to make me giggle, because He knew I was watching, I saw a shooting star.
The whole scene was so amazing; this duckling’s heart was filled with joy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday 1

I got this idea from a fellow blogger, Jennifer Fulwiler at Converstion Diary. This is just seven random tidbits from my life and my week.

1.What's in a Name
Names carry a lot of meaning, especially here, where, in essence, we have all started afresh, and are builiding our names and what they mean all over again. I got to thinking about this after a professor called me, in the same style he was using for everyone else "Miss Aimee". I liked that. I like being called Miss Aimee. In my head, that always has a positive connotation, and is usually used by someone I respect. Which raised the point in my head, it is often just as much how someone says your name as what they call you. A name is more than a name, it is a part of who you are, and while a rose by any other name might be as sweet, it wouldn't mean the same thing if you called a rose a yahallet, and Aimee means something different as Aimee, Miss Aimee, Aimee-izzle, Aimee Kapie or Aims.
2. Service
The rule in the Diocese of Baker used to be that you had to be 18 to be a lector at Mass, since then it has been moved back to 16, but I had already aged out when it changed. Last night, now in the Archdiocese of Portland, I read the reading and psalms for the first time in a long time. It was wonderful to be asked to do it by the Jeni, an older lady sitting in front of me. Her asking me was a sign that I belonged. You don't ask a stranger, a visitor to be lector, it is something that the community takes care of. And you don't ask newcomers to be of service, they are treated with honor and respect. But now, I am part of the community, I am a living, serving, belonging part of the community. And tomorrow I head out to Eugene to do some more commmunity service, more proof that I belong in this community.
3. Friends
It is a wonderful phenomenon to have friends. Let me clarify: good friends, my own age, who I can hang out with frequently. I have many fabulous friends, but this group is different. The freshmen, particularly the freshmen girls, who go to the St. Thomas More Newman Center are amazing, and my friends. This whole group came out of the Fall Retreat last weekend, and now we're hanging together at and outside of Newman. I'm still trying to understand all this, because it hasn't happened to me before. Mostly, I'm trusting God and the process, and I'm so thankful for the whole thing.
4. Newman
The Newman Center here at UO is amazing. We had our Fall Retreat last weekend at my favorite place in the whole wide world, St. Benedict's Lodge at McKenzie Bridge. It was fantastic, comforting, and God-filled. As Caire said "Mission Shatter the Darkness: Complete"
5. Being Me
While I was at said amazing retreat, I got a reminder of why faithfulness to God and myself is so important. Originally I was staying in the loft with all the other Freshmen girls, but ended up moving to the cabin. One of our Newmanators has a physical disability that means that she can't get up the stairs to any of the rooms, and she didn't want to stay in the cabin alone. I didn't particularly want to switch, but part of who I am is including, and she didn't want to be alone.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. We talked until 1:30 Saturday morning, about all kinds of things. We have so much in common, and it was incredible. Faithfulness to God is a gift in itself, and brings all kinds of gifts along with it.
6. Midterms
This week I had my first midterm, in Accounting. It was ok, save one problem where I could not make the numbers add up. Oh well, I did my best, and I'll be excited to get to see in class how I could have done it better. One midterm paper due next week, and then two more tests the week after. Gulp. I can do this thing
7. dadadada.... Pants!
Just pants! I was so proud of myself, I navigated the bus system all the way out to the mall and back, and acquired two more pairs of pants! yay!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dancing Queen

This term I am carrying 18 credits, and one of them is ballroom dance. It is twice a week and almost exactly a 50/50 mix of girls and guys. I love it. Currently we are learning East Coast Swing, something I've done a little bit before in high school, back when there was a six person ballroom dance club during tutorial once a week.

I thoroughly enjoy this experience. The class always goes by so fast, and I enjoy dancing, in a way that I'm actually good at. It makes me laugh, which is a sure sign that I am simply joyful, enjoying what I'm doing.

Last Friday, as part of an assignment, I went to the weekly Ballroom Dance Club here, and, for four dollars got a lesson in the waltz and admittance to the dance. This is what the order of dances was for the evening.

Out of the evening, I had two observations worth noting. The first was rather minor, which is, guys that come with their girlfriends and trade partners dance better than guys who come single. Every time, that I could tell anyway.

The second was more complex. I realized, dancing with a random partner, in some split second during our lesson, how intimate and romantic dancing can be. This sounds obvious, but let me explain. When my eyes caught his, just for a moment, I could see how much love and trust and joy can go into a dance. I felt like I had a glimpse into a world beyond what I know, and I could why dancing is a powerful experience for couples. It is intimate, in a trusting, celebrating way. The joy I feel while dancing was meant to be shared and this let me see how. It was a remarkable half a second that has left me contemplating even now, days later.

I have one more observation, compiled from my class and from experience, one that I believe says a lot about me. I have a hard time following. It is an effort for me to let myself go, to turn from showing the way, to being more aware of my own body, and taking clues from the gentleman that is leading. When I can do it, and we just dance, it is wonderful. I don't have to worry about what we're doing, or what is next, I just move my body in the ways I've learned that correspond with the pressure I'm recieving. In this way, the art of dancing becomes an act of surrender, something humbling, requiring me to trust the person I'm with. It adds a new dimension, one I'm not really very good at, but one, when compiled with the rest of this experience, I enjoy enormously.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Right now I can say
that in my own small way
my life has significance
it is infused with meaning,
drawing from the past,
the beauty and love and support
the struggle, the triumph and the failures
all the colors and shades
wound in the journey of who I am

My life has purpose
was created for a purpose
and I'm using what light that I have
to light candles and bless the darkness

in the now there is hope and joy
enough to calm the questions
and balance the wondering
it is found in wonder, in suprise
and in the simple pleasure of a crips apple

so thank you,
God, the Cosmos, and all who have been a part of me
for I am enough
beautiful and efficate in my own right
and a part of something much larger than myself

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So a week ago today, I participated in a classic American collegiate experience for females, I "Rushed". I went through Greek recruitment.
Going into it, I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't know if I wanted to join a sorority, I didn't know what would happen, and the whole thing was very intimidating. But, starting last Thursday, I did it.
We were put into walking groups, about thirty girls who went from house to house together. Actually Lucky Number 7 and group 8 were together, so at each house there were around 60 of us in at one time.
At every house, we lined up in numerical order, which corresponded with our last name. We'd end up standing outside for about fifteen minutes, just talking, and our Rho Gammas (recruitment guides {girls that temporarily dissasoicate with their sororities to guide us around}) checked to make sure everyone was present and in order. We chatted, nervous about the whole experience. Then, finally, we would usually here the girls inside chanting their sororities cheer, and at last two girls would come out, usually the sorority president, and whomever was in charge of recruitment. They'd introduce themselves, and welcome us to the house. Then, the first girl would come out, and it would usually go like this:
"Hi, my name is Sara, and I'd like to welcome you to Pi Sigma Delta Episilon Omega Nu" or "Hi, my name is Amanda, and I'd like to welcome both of you to my home"
It varied slightly, but the format was almost the same every time. If she said "you" it was just you, if it was "both of you" it was you and the girl in front or behind you. Once inside you proceeded to converse for about ten minutes, usually sitting close together and shouting, because it would get so loud. The best way I heard it described was "it's basically speed dating with girls". After about ten minutes, another girl would come by the conversation, the one you were talking with would sum up the recent topic, and they would trade off. Typically there were two trade-offs, three total conversations, per house. We went to five houses a night for two nights.

This was a strugggle for me, because I felt like I wasn't getting enough information. I couldn't ind out anyting about the sorority in such a short, barely audible conversation. At the end of the second night we picked our top eight. When I was filling out the form, I realized I was more worried about being late to the Freshman Retreat at Newman than I was about which houses I was picking. Reflecting over the course of the night, I decided that that mindset reflecting how I was feeling. I just didn't care about joining a sorority that much, and I don't think I would be as into it as I would have needed to be. So, I decided to drop Rush. I just didn't want to invest all the time.

This is not to say sorority life is a bad thing. I have a whole handful of friends that have done it and love it, and I congratulate all the girls that Rushed and stuck with it. That's so cool. It just wasn't for me.
Anyway, I can now say I've been a part of the tradition, and know what it's like. I'm glad I did it, and glad I stopped. And it's all good!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So, last Sunday the Dyment Dymentors joined the huge parade of FIGs and Halls and processed into Autzen for Convocation, where speeches were made, and faculty recognized. The highlight of the afternoon, excluding the picnic afterward, of course, was the speech given by University President Lariviere. He gave a list of eleven things to do, as freshman, at the U of O. I thoroughly enjoyed his speech, and found his suggestions worth sharing, so here it goes:
1. "Learn the wide-ranging geography of our University", look around, explore and learn
2. "Find a piece of art that means something to you", whether it makes you laugh, or makes you think, open your eyes to the professional and student art that is all around you
3. "Thank a groundskeeper" I believe he said 11 people take care of our whole campus, and they do an amazing job.
4. "Take a class that has absolutely nothing to do with your major" explore, take this time while you can to learn
5. "Talk to your professor during office hours" Honestly, I have heard this advice from everyone, so I think I will most certainly do it.
6. "See if you can find all the libraries on campus, find your own secret study space" I still like that one nook in the music building, but I really need to find somewhere because my dorm bed or the lounge doesn't work so well.
7. "Run in the footsteps of legends" Literally take a run around campus and recognize how many history makers have run in that exact spot. I haven't yet, but just imagining it is an awe-inspiring idea
8. "Get your passport" because U of O students go abroad
9. "Do a good deed" it is a long-standing tradition of U of O students to give back to others. I'm still looking for my place, but there's a volunteer fair coming up this week.
10. " Go out of your way to meet people" There are so many of us here on campus, it can be hard to reach out, but necessary

"And just because everyone told me to have ten things, hell, here is number eleven"
11. "Thank the people who helped you get here" Thank someone who made this possible for you, a parent, teacher, counselor. Tell that person the difference they made in your life, and thank them.

I was inspired, I thought it was a great speech, and maybe there'll be more posts as I accomplish the items here at the good 'ol U of O.


Okay, so much has happened in the past week-ish of my life, and I have had such a lack of time to write, that I decided to divide what I want to say up by topic, and cover it that way. In any case, my posts will be shorter and hopefully easier to read, and more centralized on one common theme. This is my grand adventure really truly beginning, and I'm sharing it with you, so enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And the Adventure Begins

So, I've been in Eugene since Monday, and I really haven't seen much off of campus. But, I'm starting to be able to find my way around within the university. Walking around today I knew I had Freshman eyes, as big as saucers, but I was learning, and that's got to happen for a while until I udnerstand what I'm doing.
Life is awkward. Everything is new, and confusing, and there is so much information at once. After hearing the girls on my floor talk, I feel like a square because I don't drink or smoke or really party and I'm into God. This is the time where I stop and remind myself that it pays off in the long run to be who I am. That everyone is knew and I do get respected, even if people don't think I'm cool. I'll make and find friends. They won't all believe the same things I will, but we can still be friends, and I'll make friends I can share my thoughts and beliefs with, and learn and appreciate theirs.
In the meantime, I'm not going to fret. I'm going to be chill, pray and keep moving forward one day at a time. I'll focus on losing the Freshman eye look, with saucers in the place of optical lenses on my face. Life is good, and it will all work out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get Ready, Get Set.....And Wait

I am nearing the end of a truly amazing summer. In the past several months I've been blessed with some amazing experiences, and have gotten to make new friends from all over the country. I just want to share a few examples:
I went to church camp at Camp Connelly outside of Powell Butte for the first time ever, as a part of the youth leadership team. It was an amazing six days, with so much love, laughter, pranks, "family" and God. It filled me up and continues to be a source of strength.

The next month I flew across the country to Tennessee, for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Convention, and the National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE). At FBLA I competed in Job Interview, and unfortunately didn't make it past the preliminary round. But, the highlights of that adventure included going to the Nashville Parthenon, where Percy Jackson and the Olympians was filmed, seeing the Charlie Daniels Band preform at the Grand Ole Opry, and a delicous pulled-pork sandwhich from Hog Heaven. At NICE, I was one of two students from Oregon, and, along with learning and experiencing much from the conference, I got to compete in the Outstanding Youth Scholar Competition. I am proud to say that I not only made finals, but won, and am the Outstanding Female Youth Scholar, representing all coops on the nation. And while that was a high light, the best part of NICE was getting to meet new friends, in a smaller setting, playing Mao and in our Stu-Cos, and of course, Dollywood. AAAAAA!

Most recently, I went on a family camping trip. As my mom put it, picture "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", up in the woods, and you have our family. It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday, surrounded by people I love, having a great time. It's always special to spend time witht the babies of the family while they are so young, because I can't help but remember how fast time goes.

So now, I'm back at home. I've found a job, for the next month, doing some office work before I leave for school. It can't go fast enough. I recieved my dorm information from U of O about a week ago, (I'm in Walton) and I was ready to pack up and go then! It's been a challenge being in the middle of who I've been, as a kid, and soon to be an adult, headed off to college. I've been a little insecure, and unsure, trying to figure it all out. Days go by though, some where I think I know what I'm doing, others when I don't. Great friends and family have been a big help though, as I'm sure they'll continue to be when this strange little duck finally leaves the nest.

Until then... Sunshine!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eugene Adventure

So, it's been a while since my latest college adventure, but I this is the story, for all the Universe to see. I finally eased my mind of the worry about never having been to the U of O, even though that's where I'll be starting this fall. So, my family and I took a roadtrip up to Eugene.
It was a blast. Not only was it a great time to bond with family, it put my mind so at ease. I feel like my worry has almost totally melted away. I've been all over campus, met people that I'll be interacting with next year, and had a tour by a family friend who used to be a student there. The one thing that really let me know that I'll be at home though, was that when it was time to head off to see some family, I didn't want to leave. The campus already felt like home.
Of course, being on campus I finallly understood what people mean when they say, that's Eugene for you! Some illustrations:

If you look colosely, you can see that yes, there is in fact a garden gnome riding atop that suburban

The gargoyle for what I believe is the physics building... and then my very favorite of all...

No dog, no bikes, no skateboards and NO beavers!!!
Go U of O!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

If you really knew me...

This is a phrase we use a lot in Challenge Day, it lets us express our truth of what it’s like to be who we are, where we are. It is a sign of trust, because in sharing whatever it is that follows an “if you really knew me” is something below the water line, and letting the other person see what is usually hidden from others’ view.
I have been thinking hard about this blog, and what I wanted it to be. I saw two real options, I could either keep it on the surface level, writing about things that really don’t get deeper than an average conversation, or I can give a glimpse into what it is like to be me, right now. I decided to take the more difficult and vulnerable path in letting you all see the real me. After all, my light, the light of God, cannot shine if I hide it under a bucket, and I cannot do good in this world if I am not first good to myself, no hiding.
So, here it goes:
If you knew me, if you really really knew me, you’d know that I am more scared now than I can ever remember being at any point before in my life. Everything is changing, and I am overwhelmed and confused. It is to the point where I don’t even know what I don’t know. I am scared.
If you really knew me, you’d know that I have my good days, like always, but I also have my bad days. Life is like a rollercoaster, and often I’m up and down on the same day, which leaves me even more confused. When I’m up, I’m excited for this new adventure, and ready to get going with my own life. I feel good about how far I’ve come, and confident about moving forward. When I’m down, I’m scared to leave, uncertain about what is awaiting me, and not sure if I can make it out there. I already miss my family and the life that I know. I am scared, and then I am ashamed at myself for being scared. Usually, I do not let myself be so afraid; I can control my emotions and be positive. It makes me feel weak that I simply cannot.
If you really knew me, you’d know that what I need now is not someone to fix me. What I need are people who love me enough to hold space for me, who are ok with me not being ok. My parents and friends have been great about this, and I am incredibly grateful.
Throughout everything, the little normal things are what hold me together. I went for a run yesterday, out in the country, where it’s open. This morning, I went to morning mass, which, if you really knew me, was kind of intimidating, because I haven’t been in so long. And even though it was different, it felt good. But normal stuff, talking with a friend, and with an old teacher, following my friends to WalMart. The normal stuff makes life make sense. At least for now.
So now, you know, you really know me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

an experiment

So, inspired by my friend Kelsea D, I finally got a blog. This will be an experiment, in finding my voice, in understanding my world. It's about to take a radical change, from a sheltered high school student, to college and being on my own for the first time. I'm a thinker, and with this blog, I invite you into my world, to think and see with me... to experiment.