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what’s good about life

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walking hand in hand with your dad & realizing that, even at 22, you’re still his girl. tight hugs from little kids. running a half marathon behind a guy with a t shirt that says “don’t let the 53 year old open heart surgery survivor beat you.” kid’s bible stories that calm your soul right before bed. impossibly blue skies after all that grey rain. there are some moments where you stop & think… “this, this is what is good about life.” & yesterday, I had one of them.

sitting at northside starbucks with three of my best friends from college. even though we don’t have that much time for coffee-getting & table-sitting anymore, it still just kind of happens. I was borrowing a dress from emily & eating chips on her couch when helen asks if emily wants to go to starbucks. she does & she brings me with her & before long leslie is there too.

emily is a nurse that works nights & I’m a teacher who works days. leslie is in law school & helen is getting in med school. emily & helen grew up presbyterian, leslie & I were raised southern baptist. but none of this really makes anything any different. first & foremost we are daughters & sisters. we love one another deeply & our differences usually just make for good conversation. as someone who didn’t really have girlfriends in high school, their love has been healing & lifegiving to me.

we sit around that table in starbucks & ooooh & ahhhh over the ring (leslie & brett 4eva). we talk summer jobs & helen’s future as a trophy wife & premarital counseling & kitchen aid mixers & babysitting & a whole host of other things that are really just between us. we only have about half an hour between when leslie gets there & when I have to leave for tutoring. but it’s enough. & I walk back out to my car in the glow of being known, being loved. community is a huge part of what is good about life… & even 30 minute dose is beautiful enough to put a light inside you that lasts all day.

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shawreth informal was a real good night. so proud of David & Wilson & all the “new kids”… they’ve done a lot of life together these past few weeks & it was a joy to celebrate that together.

p.s. if you like pictures or photo booths or christmas candy cane ice cream,
you should check out Chase Richardson Photography.
not just anyone can photograph 120 college kids one weekend & a wedding the next.

graduation, whattt?

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3 commencement addresses, countless photographs, one itchy robe… just like that, undergrad is over. it was a little surreal to see so many people that I’ve spent so much time with walk across that stage & claim their “piece of paper.” but at the same time, it felt very right & timely. God has given so much grace in this season. both this weekend & so many weeks leading up to it I’ve felt so very calm & assured that this is good, this is right, this needs to be now. I know His ways & timing are always best, but it sure is nice when my heart feels that as well.

a couple of weeks ago I was walking to work & thinking about how college was almost over… looking around campus, thinking about the different buildings I’ve lived in and memories I’ve made. nostalgia, blah blah blah. & I quietly, confidently realized… this place has been very, very good to me. all the disappointments & tears & tests & times when things just seemed pretty miserable have been more than “made up for” in relationships & joys & victories & learning. time here has been full of those moments when you realize that you’re really, actually doing it…. living truly & deeply. sucking out marrow, as Thoreau would say. it’s been real, MC. the past four years have been full to the brim with learning in the very truest sense of the word. college has taught me Greek & literary criticism & Spanish & philosophy. but mostly, college just taught me a whole bunch about how to live well & love deeply. & I want to keep learning that for the whole rest of my life. cause heaven knows, I’m not nearly done.

in no particular order

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living room floor vegetable soup picnic with messy-mouthed ms. annabel & her parents. sonic shakes with david (half price after 8pm)! hot pink fingernails for the first time since 6th grade. emmy locked herself out a couple of times. lunch with wilson. after hours pizza. cinnamon roll star wars muffins for brett’s birthday. so much quality time with carter & dylan. meeting ashley & tim’s new baby, mr. tanner jude for the very first time! poppyseed chicken. sunglasses weather, finally. canoeing in the rain was actually super fun. pretty sky on the way to mary nelson res life reunion dinner. roof & sunshine with emmy. last finals week ever. graduation & 22 so soon.

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turned in my last assignment & took my last test yesterday. my greek final ties for the longest I’ve ever spent taking a test at MC. fitting to end my academic career with a long test in a really hard elective– one that I’m so thankful that I took. greek has taught me a lot about linguistics and a lot about life. it’s changed my understanding of what Scripture is… but in a way that has made me love it more, not less. and last but not least, it’s brought me into a really delightful group of people. Sunday night we finally ordered After Hours Pizza (after talking about it for almost a year) and had our last group study session. thankful for these boys & our little journey together. I’ve never had more fun being “the token girl.”

p.s. in honor of graduation coming soon,
check on this excellent article:
11 things to know at 25ish

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.