s”NO”w day

I lay in bed this morning, watched my roommate take a picture of the snow out the window, and went back to sleep without fully realizing that there was snow – both on the ground and more coming down.

My instant response to inclement weather out of its proper season shouldn’t be to pull my covers tighter around me and decide firmly that I’m not leaving my apartment. (Well, maybe some inclement weather could warrant this. Floods, for example, or an inordinate amount of snow)

I reasoned through what would be required of me if I were to, say, work out as I usually do on Monday mornings. That would require getting out of bed, putting on workout clothes instead of my flannel pajamas, walking through the snow across the street, and actually doing the work of working out. Then I’d need to shower. Gosh, life can be so demanding.

I told myself I was going to stay home and do work and not do anything else. I was going to skip classes and study for my comprehensive exam and write. Drink as much coffee as I wanted to, gosh darn it!

But I remembered that living requires participation. Taking days off is good, but not because it might get my feet wet or make me shiver.

I’m embracing the day, not because I like what’s going on or because I’m enjoying the many inches of wet, sloppy snow that were dumped on me today or because I like feeling busier than the common drone in the hive, but because this is my life. This is where I’m living right now: in a busy season, a season that isn’t spring yet but should be, and without hope that the busyness will let up before the semester ends. This is where I am.

I may go on a few junk food rampages, may have some lapses of willpower to do what is needed at the right time, may throw multiple fits about the snow, but it’s time to live in the here and now.

On airplanes and coffee

After a whirlwind week that was pseudo-named “spring break” I boarded a Southwest plane this morning and sat by the window, intently watching as we rose up, farther away from home.

I’m leaving you, my homeland. You, with your brown patches surrounding your frozen lakes. You are dead and icy, but when I come back you will be green and coming back to life.

I’m sure I will be, too. The last two months of this semester are asking much of me, which can make a girl feel less alive, but deep breaths from the new air in town will help.

I don’t like airplane turbulence. The shaking, the threat of falling out of the sky. It makes me think that man is not welcome in the skies, and the clouds are trying to shake him down. We weren’t meant to soar, but it makes it faster to get back to school.

Something crazy has been happening this year. I haven’t had to buy coffee once. Not-a-once. My friend Kristin brought me Austrian coffee back from Europe, and my professor gave me Puerto Rican coffee because she knows writers need coffee (and I was trying to conserve by going down to one cup a day). Then my parents brought me coffee beans back from the vacation they took without me to San Diego that I’m not bitter about. It’s good coffee, too. And my friend, Harold and Dawn sent a bag home with my parents to give to me, just because they’re kind.

I like having friends who support my habit… and my sanity.

It’s like God knew that I would see having extra supplies of caffeine as having extra troops. There may be many a box to check off that list, but we are so stocked with java that we can take anything down.

And so, into the next half of the semester we go, coffee cups in hand and a prayer at the ready.

Springing into break.

Time to blog from a bus again. Brooke and I have been on here since noon, and fortunately the ride had been fairly uneventful. We’ve done some productive things, read a little, and I took two naps to bookend the trip.
Now we’ve got less than an hour left and are driving into the last little strip of raspberry sunlight at the end of the highway.
It’s almost all black now.
We’ve had sister time for the first time in a while this weekend. Of course it was mostly about the food and the book stores, but we walked all over Chicago to do it.


We ate Chicago style pizza and enjoyed the thaw from the frozen windy barren land Chicago has been this winter. 5he sunshine lit our walks, and we bought more books than we needed.


Well, you always need more books, but we don’t really have time to read them right now. I think buying books is like saying you believe you have a future with free time where you will read them. It’s optimism in action.
We just crossed the state line into Minnesota, so it won’t be long now.
I didn’t really do much on the bus, but I look like I’ve been on one for a while. It’s the strange, horrible power of buses that it gives you a look. Not an altogether desirable look either.
I’m headed into a week entitled, “spring break” with quite a few plans and to-dos. It’s less of a break than precious years have been, but there’s something to be said for being home. Someone else will probably feed me, the laundry will just be 14 stairs away instead of a billion treacherous ones, my bed won’t squeak when I move.
The excitement builds.
I think I only brought one pair of jeans, but I have creabelis, so that’ll be fine. I packed in such a scatter brained stupor after walking around the city all day (we topped 13 miles this weekend for sure) that I’m sure I forgot something important.
All I know is I’m leaving my winter coat in Minnesota. I’ll shiver as much as I have to. I’m not wearing it again til next winter.
Ah, homeland. The sights out the window are getting more familiar by the minute.
Let the spring break commence.

21 things you probably didn’t know about me

As it’s my 21st birthday, I’ve decided to share more of myself with you….

Meaning that I’ve picked 21 obscure facts that you likely didn’t know. It’s hard to find 21 things that I haven’t mentioned about myself on here (as I’ve been writing for a while), but I think I did pretty well.

  1. I play Clash of Clans. Yes, it’s true.
  2. My clan is called “Noodle of Life”… and I am one of the most faithful attackers when we go to war.
  3. There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t eat potatoes. Now I will eat them in almost any form and love them very much. We’ve been reconciled.
  4. I used to request sautéed yellow squash and onions for my birthday dinners, along with Stouffers macaroni and cheese.
  5. I’ve lived in the same room in the same house for my entire life.
  6. I was a firefighter for Halloween the first time I went trick-or-treating.
  7. I’ve been drinking coffee everyday since 8th grade. This was also the year I stopped growing. There is no correlation there.
  8. I took synchronized swimming lessons for a couple years around the age of 11.
  9. I’m a lip stick enthusiast. (There are currently seven in my makeup container… plus a few more in purses)
  10. I once cried for at least an hour because my mom wanted me to try a half of a pinto bean. I was about six.  I wasn’t really the type for trying new foods.
  11. I have slept with an oversize purple bunny every single night since I was in second grade. I named it, “Purple Bunny.” Very creative.
  12. I didn’t know my hair was curly til I was in 8th grade…. strange thing to not know. Perhaps the coffee drinking spawned the change.
  13. I met my current roommate through the post office at school, when she saw on my blog that I loved getting mail, she sent me a letter. Now we’re tight.
  14. My favorite flowers are peach roses.
  15. If I could, I would watch every single figure skating event in the Olympics.
  16. I climbed my first mountain at the age of five. I mean, my dad did carry me for the last twenty minutes at the top, but we can still give me credit for it.
  17. I’m a vegetarian… which is not really a secret, but apparently a lot of people don’t know this. Now, you have been informed.
  18. My mother used to call me an “air fern” because I didn’t like drinking water.
  19. I’m terrified of spiders… not being bitten by them, just that they’ll crawl on me.
  20. My hands are always cold, so when I shake someone’s hand for the first time, I usually have to apologize.
  21. I’m raising money for clean water for my birthday!!! Oh, well, that’s not a secret, but it’s fitting. You can be involved here: https://my.charitywater.org/drinks-all-around

Wasn’t that fun? (Liesel was keeping score on how many she knew… she’s pretty knowledgeable)

And now, I shall continue having a very happy birthday.

Taking stock again.

I’ll turn 21 on Tuesday, so I’ve been taking stock of my life again. This happens every couple months in college anyways, when events like the mock interview I went to on Saturday remind me that I would much rather create for my work than just about anything else – besides help other people create. As I prepared what I was going to wear the night before, I asked Liesel if she thought it was appropriate to wear a bright purple pencil skirt to a job interview. It was past knee length and not skin tight – color was the only question.

She approved.

And then I thought, if I couldn’t wear that to my job, it’s probably not one I’d want. 

I took stock with my friend Rachel today, as we took the bus back from church, about reconciliation and relationships and how even when you think it can’t happen, it can. 

I took stock during communion because that’s the time to do it. Our pastor was talking about how sin keeps us from taking new ground in our lives. As much as I hate talking about sin because it means I have to evaluate and change, I found I appreciated that he brought it up. I was reminded that God calling something sin and telling us not to do it isn’t his way of taking our satisfaction or fun away but rather his way of protecting us from something that wasn’t meant to be ours, something that would destroy us in the end. He said that sin is “belittling something God has made sacred.”

So I made it my business to know what God considers sacred. Consequently, I’m reading in Exodus right now, where you get a pretty good idea of what God considers sacred, then you just have to figure out what it means when you aren’t a Hebrew living before Christ. God hasn’t changed, but the world has. 

I took stock of my hair this past week, too. Because curly hair – though one of my favorite things about the way God made me – is limiting in terms of length and what shape you can give it, I dyed it red instead. More and more I find that I value variety. (If I succeeded at embedding an Instagram post, you’ll see a picture at the end of this post… or you might not and you’ll just have to imagine what I’d look like with red hair or come see it yourself)

21 feels both incredibly old and impossibly young. How is it that I’ve only made it to that number? I feel as though life has been so long, but of course I’d feel that way since it’s my only reality. I’ve never lived 60 years, so 21 seems like quite a few years. Also, how is it that I’m this old? I feel as though I haven’t qualified to be 21 in many respects. But who sets the qualifications for age? I’m the one who determines how I spend my days, so I suppose I have, in my own case.

It’s always a little bit less exciting when your birthday falls during midterms week, but I’ll still be able to celebrate with friends, and my sister will come into town a few days later. Then we’ll go back to Minnesota on Monday, where homework will be much less of an issue.

I’m thankful for birthdays, new years, and other times that give me pause to think about the trajectory I’m on. In other news, I’m thankful even more so for this birthday, because my charity: water campaign to provide clean water instead of receiving birthday gifts (which my grandma half-ignored by sending me things to help me give myself a manicure as well as a check) has reached $3,822, with 30 days still left to donate. If you want to join in on the fun, check out the campaign here.

New hair, revitalized ideas about where I’m going and who I am, reminders about my relationship to God, one stressful week of work before spring break, and providing clean water to 127 people. Stock = taken.