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Monthly Archives: April 2012

life lately

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this little dude turned two yesterday. his sister & I threw him an impromptu party at the kitchen table.

:: most of my Thursday was spent observing in classrooms a lot like mine will be next fall. I had prepared myself to feel pretty overwhelmed (a typical first reaction to life in a high needs school), but the day went better than I could have imagined. I know that there are going to be good & bad days, but I was so blessed by what I got to see. the kids were spirited & delightful. more than anything, I was a little taken aback by how much love & warmth I felt towards kids I don’t even know… praying that God gives me the grace to feel that for my kids next year, even on the rough days.

:: the high school that I observed at was failing last year, but the morale boost & positive discipline that’s happening there this year is really incredible. the idea of spending (at least) the next two years working at restoring & reconciling things that are broken makes me so, so excited & grateful for the opportunity. I think it is going to teach me a whole lot about the heart of God.

:: my current project is listening to Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Albums of the 2000s, thanks to Spotify. recently learned: I like Bruce Springsteen way more than I thought.

:: Wednesday night we had a cookie party over in a5. it was wonderful to see so, so many of our favorite people coming in & out, talking & laughing & eating. there aren’t any pictures because we were having too much fun to take them. sometimes it’s more fun to live life than to document it. most times, really.

:: life looks like this… graduate. home. weddings. home. Grand Canyon!!! California with the fam. then I’m going to be swallowed up by “The Teacher Factory” (aka TFA Institute), which I’ve heard is just real awful. this post on how to survive Institute encouraged me a lot. but right now I’m just hanging on to sunshine & sleep & friends for as long as I can.

bits & pieces

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these last few days have been real good & here are some pictures to prove it. soup on a cold rainy day with Brett & Leslie. Ronnie & Casey played on the porch at Cups. last ballet class ever. birthday party for Mitchell. library trip with Hannah. lots of playing with Carter & Dylan & Isaac. thrift stores & restaurant week with Emily. making a skillet cookie with David. RUF end of the year party. real, real good meeting at the (probably) new Journey space. McDonalds (for the first time in ages) with Parker & Varina.

I went to my very last undergraduate class ever today. now just one test, one project, & one graduation. it’s been real & it’s been fun. & tonight we are having friends & cookies & milk to celebrate. happy “study day”… & good luck to those of you who have to take more than my one measly final.

twice the fun

great minds think alike. whoops. @the_emily_story

today, in a brief role reversal, Emily was sleeping when I got up, got dressed, & left for class. I came back to eat lunch & she walked in… wearing almost exactly the same thing I had put on that morning. great minds think alike, I suppose.

happy weekend!

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this has been turning around in my head all week, in both english & greek. good stuff.

:: I think wedding band tattoos are cool.

:: spent some quality alone time in B&N the other night. read through some of the April issue of Christianity Today, including this excellent article on “the new school choice agenda,” (hint: it has nothing to do with politics) which challenged & encouraged me in all the best ways.

:: I just finished my last full week of college classes ever. this is insane.

:: we made this monkey bread for David’s small group last night over in a5. it was delicious–Pioneer Woman has never failed me. only use like half the butter, though. it’s still good, promise.

:: finally got around to reading Shauna Niequist‘s second book “Bittersweet.” she writes like a slightly more soccer mom version of Anne Lammot, I think. I enjoyed the book as a whole, but the epilogue was just gutwrenchingly good. I cried twice. go read it.

:: it’s restaurant week in Jackson. Emily & I have had fun picking a couple of the really cheap deals… today we’re getting $10 Sal & Mookies, yay!

:: the weather forecast for next week is all sunshine, all the time. I could not be more excited.

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this past weekend my roommate Emily & I made a speedy trip to Pensacola for the Gulf Coast half marathon. we fit a whole bunch of fun (& a lot of miles) into 24 hours. after 4 music filled hours in the car (& a trip to Cracker Barrel), we went to the beach, where we accomplished what we could both probably agree was some of the best people watching of our rather extensive collective career. if you want to people watch, just go to Pensacola Beach during spring break. enough said.

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one plus of half marathon training being over is that we no longer have to obsessively think about how much water we are drinking on any given day. in case you were wondering, Gatorade Recover is gross & Gatorade Prime isn’t much better. there is a reason why people usually just drink the G2 stuff.

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we were excited that all the participants numbers also had names on them. people would occasionally do the whole awkward “I don’t know you but I’m working your name into our brief exchange because I read it on your name tag” type thing which I always enjoy. also, Emily’s phone takes pictures within our running app. sometimes this results in really hilariously bad pictures.

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the sky was glorious that morning, the beach was super pretty to run alongside & it was a joy to do with one of my best friends. the first ten miles were a lot more fun than the last three point one, but overall it was such a good experience & I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m real thankful to God for being so gracious in giving us healthy bodies that willingly run, but even more so in giving us each other to do it with. as fun as this weekend was, even better were all the dozens of days of running, swimming, Healthplex workouts & water running where we talked about everything under the sun. it’s been fun, Em… now let’s do a tri!

pictures // words

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an Easter party for egg-dying newbies Parker & Varina. Helen channeling her inner lion. Chikfila breakfast (for dinner) with Annabel. Snickers ice cream bars for my very first time. life is good in Clinton.

vulnerability in the kitchen

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Hannah & I were able to spend some quality time with this little lady & her parents last week & it was such a delight. Chandra & Kennen & Annabel were thrust into our lives almost two years ago through a random mutual coffeeshop connection & we have been so blessed because of it. Hannah & I have loved watching miss Annabel grow up, as well as talking to her parents about everything from boys to theology to what makes good coffee. they have become one of the closest things to family we have here. & in the spirit of true family, last week we cleaned the house together. what started as scrubbing & organizing in between Chandra’s hectic trips to be with her dad ended with a time of fellowship & sweet prayer together.

as we left their house, I had one of those beautiful moments where I realize, “this is a little bit of what it looks like for the Kingdom to come.” for us to work alongside each other as the Church, even in something as mundane as folding laundry feels good & right. (it even feels a little bit rebellious, kind of like giving the middle finger to suburban sprawl & proclaiming with our lives “we do not have to do this alone.”)

lots of people talk about “living in community” but I think that, sadly, so very few ever get to really do it. & as I’ve thought more about that night in the kitchen, I think I realized why. to get down deep to the big beautiful parts of community, you have to be humble & vulnerable first. if Chandra & Kennan hadn’t been willing to invite us into their messy living room, if they had been more concerned with seeming like “the perfect family,” then we would have never been able to do that little bit of life together. we might have admired how nicely their pillows match their couch, but we wouldn’t have had the privilege of learning & loving & working together. when we invite others into the messes of our lives (both literal & figurative), that is where good things start.

& the cool thing about inviting someone into your chaos is that, well, they have a mess somewhere too. maybe it’s a closet or maybe it’s a relationship… but they have one, probably more. and we are so scared– I am so scared– that irrational thoughts & messy drawers will scare others away. but maybe sometimes the exact opposite occurs. oftentimes vulnerability bolsters & comforts others, giving them the courage to return the favor, invite you into their mess. & then we can begin folding & scrubbing & healing together.

this has been an especially good lesson to muse through as I teeter on the edge of this “adult world” of lipstick & clean kitchens. although I can be scatter brained, I’m a little bit type-A deep down. (as the kid of a man with a Daytimer & a woman with a categorized Walmart list, it kinda comes with the territory.) there are areas of my life where I do not want to be real. the desire to be “put together,” to please & impress is seductive– & will probably only become more tempting with time. so as I grow up, into high heels & a real job & more responsibility than I’ve ever had, I hope I remember the lesson I learned in the kitchen… that being humble about my messes & vulnerable about my need for help will bring greater reward than I know. here’s to hoping for the grace to live deep. it really is better that way.