capturing summer

Remember this post a while back in which I posted my hectic schedule for the upcoming summer? Well, that schedule is now complete and all I have left to do this summer is the dreadful and simply unavoidable task of summer reading. This assignment consists of reading the Gospel of John, the Book of Hebrews (yes, the Bible) and the Fast Food Nation, plus an essay for each and a test following once school begins. Beautiful. Anyway, I thought I'd share some pictures from the events I discussed previously to show you just how exciting and crazy my summer has been and how sad I am that it is coming to a close.

1. Though it was not a part of my "summer" schedule, Rachel and I had a joined birthday party which turned out to be a blast and a fun 16th birthday memory.

2. May 21st was the last day of school (for those of us who didn't come the following Monday), and as we only had to be there for an hour and a half and it was the exam day for 7th period, Dance Team A minus the seniors and Austin sat in Mrs. Rose's office and watched old recital videos and laughed endlessly. This is a picture we took randomly of Max, Katie, Mallary and me in her office before departing from Mallary for the last time. :tear:

3. I didn't get any pictures of all the graduation festivities which dissapoints me, so the next
summer activity that I documented in pictures was my trip to New York. You've all heard about it if you read the entry, but I'm posting a picture of Joan and me because, ironically, that was the greatest part of the whole trip. Taking classes, seeing shows, simply being in New York City was all wonderful. But there was something magical and extremely special about seeing Joan again after so long. Hopefully it won't be another 4 years before we see each other again (And, yes, I'm really that short)!

4. On June 15, John Barnwell Pajcic was born. Unfortunately, all pictures that were taken
of me and the baby that day are on Annie's camera, but I will request that she send some to me so that I might post them on here. He's a beautiful baby (6 weeks old yesterday!) with a full head of dark hair and piercing dark eyes. He's a got a wonderful personality and is a great sleeper--except when I need him to be asleep so that I can put the other children to bed. Hehe. It will be amazing to watch those children growing up. I love them so much and they mean the world to me. I was telling Annie the other day how funny it will be if in 10 years or so when Daley's about 16, I'll probably have a kid or 2, and she'll probably be babysitting them! How weird to think about?! Since I don't have any pictures of baby John, I'll post one I took the other day of Daley and Winnie the day after Daley split her head open and had it GLUED back together.

5. June 18, my cousin Ashley and her wonderful fiance Cliff were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Citadel in the Sumeral Chapel in Charleston, South Carolina. I was her maid-of-honor and it was such an awesome place to be. Standing to the side of Ashley as she took her vows was so special, as was handing her a hanky when she asked for it, and holding her 5 pound bouquet and constantly fixing her extravagant train. But more than that, being a part of it, being there for her, was the most meaningful thing. Mom told me I had to make a toast at the rehearsal dinner, since it was a tradition for the maid of honor to toast the bride and groom. I was very hesitant, but Mike and Uncle Bill were wonderful and helped me out a lot by introducting me and encouraging me. But, basically what I told Ashley publicly was that it meant so much to me to have the opportunity to be in her wedding since I didn't have any sisters to share that with. And, though we were never super close because of our 10 year age difference, I did feel an incredibly special bond with her that no sister could ever replace. Most of the pictures of us together are either with Carmen, the photographer, or with my Aunt and other people. So, I have a picture of my Dad and me dancing at the reception and a beautiful picture of Ashley and Cliff dancing as well.

6. Encore Nationals. Wow. 4 days with Competition Team...there's some excitement for you. I would have to say, though, that the greatest highlight of our trip (not the competition, but the trip itself) was the military car wash. I'm still laughing about it. Here's a tidbit of it that we attempted to capture for the world (minus the Providence faculty) to see.

7. On June 25, while I was in South Carolina, Spencer
left for Harvard where he would be spending the next 8 weeks, and the first 2 weeks of his senior year of high school. Needless to say, I don't have any pictures of this, but I do have the picture my mom forced us to take to send to Spencer all wearing the Harvard t-shirts that she brought back for each of us (she flew up to Boston with Spencer). Please note that the dog and the rabbit are very much a part of this family photo.

8. Fun in the Son was absolutely the best time I've had all summer. Not the best because we practically lived on the beach, not the best because we had no obligations except to God, and not the best because we were with the people we love and care for the most besides our family...No, the best because we receive one-on-one time with our Father God every moment of every day and it is the most spiritually rejuvenating experience ever. It was my second time, and why I didn't experience the same things as last year, it was not a dissapointment. God constantly reminded me that He was in control of all things--specifically my life (or whether I'm going to be conssious or not)--and I really learned to let go of my desire to do everything my way. This group shot doesn't even attempt to capture the authenticity, spirituality, power and life changing aspect of FITS, but it does show both the sun and the Son reflecting on our brightly lit faces.

9. That about wraps it up for my summer photos, though I do have a little over a week left to capture some last minute memories. But, one last photo I must share is that of my best friend and me at her surprise
birthday party which *applaud* was planned very well by her sister, parents and extended family. Unfortunately, I was at FITS so I could not help with the planning, but I was able to take part in it and it was very special to share such a memorable time with Katie. She also came home on her 16th birthday to find a red VW Beetle in her driveway with a huge red bow on it. She felt uncomfortable driving the stick, so she and her family are looking out for an automatic to come their way, but Katie does have a car coming soon and I'm so happy for her! Yipee! Oh, and, SHE PASSED HER DRIVER'S TEST TODAY! Congrats, love. :)

Thanks for listening and viewing the pictures. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do.

God bless,

I'm getting my braces off tomorrow at 9 am and I'm taking my driver's test at 1:30 pm. Please pray for me; it's a huge day and I'm quite nervous about both of these events! Gracias, amigos y amigas!


my seasonal allergies, if you will

Kristin, Megan, Grace Anne and I went to dinner together tonight--the first time we've been together in quite a long while. It's amazing to me that we can go so long without seeing each other (specifically Grace Anne) and yet we can all go to dinner and never have an awkward moment. In fact, we had a fabulous time together. On the way home, Kristin and I were talking about how interesting it is to live in a place like Ortega, where there are the cliquey people, and then there are the people like us. Those who go to school together in kindergarten and elementary school, don't see each other for 5 years, go to church together, lose touch because of schedules and such, and yet--we can come back and spend time together like we've never missed a beat. It's incredibly special to me...and I can just picture how neat it will be 5 years from now, when we've all been at college for a few years, and we can come back and see each other as if we've never spent a day apart. Such a different life I live from my mom, who was constantly moving due to her father's job in the military. The fact that I am in contact (or at least on a see-you-remember-you-talk-with-you basis) with people I went to preschool with still amazes her. And I'm truly blessed in that regard.

There are also the friends who I've known for a large majority of my life. My two best friends: Katie, who I've known since I was a year old and met at the neighborhood pool where I still spend time and recently had my 16th birthday party; and Lindsay, who I met over 8 years ago when she came to our new home from her house across the street to greet her new neighbors: "Hi, I'm Lindsay. Welcome to the neighborhood!" she announced, at her tender age of 9. We became friends quickly, even though she had a hard time remembering if my name was Lucy, Lisa or Leslie. She moved after living across the street from me for 6 1/2 or so years. Her house only 10 minutes away seemed like 10 hours compared to a 30 second walk. But, alas, drivers' licenses and cars came along and life resumed to almost normalcy again and, as far as I'm concerned, she'll always be my across-the-street-neighbor and my best friend number 2. I remember my 8th grade year--the year I was cut off from all social encounters except for the high schoolers at Village Dance and the 'dangerous' world of internet paedoephiles (I'm only kidding. They were harmless girls who were inspired and obsessed with Nicole Kidman)--realizing that the only two people I ever considered 'hanging out with' were Katie and/or Lindsay. Katie attending Episcopal, Lindsay attending La Villa and me attending...homeschool...made for some interesting times. But, they were my best friends when I didn't even have other friends, much less best ones. And, thus they will forever stay my best friends. I would venture a guess that they will be in my wedding, and I in theirs. Unless Katie picks out some horridly ugly bridesmaids' dresses. :p

And then there are the friends who I've known for less time, but have gotten astoundingly close to in that smaller time pocket. And it seems, often, that those you grow extremely close to are the ones who you cannot reconnect with after so much time. It's as if there is so much time lost and so many memories forsaken that it would take too long to put the puzzle back together.

So, these whimsical friendships, though they seem to be fleeting, are actually a huge part of my life, and very special. They're not just high school aquaintances that I see in the hallway and wave for good measure, and they're not the ones that I've spent hours pouring my heart out to and sharing my gravest secrets with only to be forgotten and betrayed. No, they're the ones who were there in the beginning, are here in the middle, and will be there in the end. The seasonal friends. My seasonal friends. I love you all. Thanks for always being there.

"To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weap,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
God bless,


'we shall prevail and they shall not'

I woke up this morning to my alarm for the second time this summer. However, my incentive to get up this time was not that I was leaving for New York City. Rather, it was that I had set a goal for myself and I was destined to achieve it. Destiny, if that's what you can call determination. I woke up 10 minutes before seven, got out of bed and brushed my teeth, pulled my hair back, put on soffee shorts and a tank top, threw on my tennis shoes, and drank a glass of water. I greeted my mom in the family room where she was watching her morning dose of the Today show. Noticing her fixated attention, I turned mine to the television as well. Seeing the caption--"London Terror Attacks"--I found myself immediately engulfed with an array of emotions which consisted of fear, fury, and frustration. All day long now, I have been asking myself "Can't these people find something better to do than spend their time killing innocent people?" It was sad for me to see the Londoner's excitement of being the 2012 Olympic host dwindle to anger and fear because of four terrorist bombings. My heart was breaking for them, especially comparing the footage of the bloodied, injured, and dead bodies to that of September 11, 2001. With friends in London, I became worried for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. My prayers have been going out not only to them, but to all of England, and to the British Prime Minister, Tony Blaire as well as our faithful president, George Bush. It was amazing to me to see, in a public announcement that Tony Blair made several hours after the attacks, George Bush standing on the right side of Blaire...and Jacques Chirac to the left of him. Such a sissy and a coward. However, I don't want to get in a political debate. I think it is important, however, that we remember the British in our daily prayers, and all of those who are involved in this terrible crisis. Remember your loved ones, and never forget to express how much they mean to you.

After taking in the devastating news of London, I started out of my first run of...well, ever. Having noticed a pattern (that being that 9 out of 10 regular runners I've met are in fabulous shape), I decided I would attempt to make it a morning routine, at least until dance starts back up again. I would love to have a way to keep up with exercise on the off seasons of dance, and running seems like such an exhilarating and rewarding way to not only exercise, but stay in shape. It was very tolling on my body, as I ran 1/4 of a mile and have scarcely ran a total of 1 mile throughout the entire course of my life. Despite the extreme physical exhaustion I felt when I finally arrived home, it felt good and rejuvenating in a way that I had never quite experienced. Almost like a fabulous dance class...but different in a sense that it wasn't dance at all. This is perhaps the only form of exercise I've ever attempted that wasn't associated with dance. It was a thrilling experience, and one I hope to get used to and more acquainted with as the summer comes to a fast close (unfortunately).

Later on in the day, I spent four lovely hours babysitting for my favorite children. Curry, Winnie, and baby John, as Daley was with her mom going to her dentist appointment and running errands. Curry and I played an aggressive and suspensful game of sword fighting in which Curry was invincible from dying, but Leslie could die when he pressed the sound and light button on his sword. "You're dead, you're dead!" he would cry, as I attempted to make myself look...dead. Then he settled down on the couch for a little bit while Winnie and I convened outside at the swings. We sang a little bit, swang a little bit, rode those electric toys in the grass for a little bit, swang some more, then went inside for Scamper the Penguin (one of my favorite movies growing up which I have now passed on to my favorite children) and lunch. Winnie, after eating, fell asleep on the couch next to Curry, so I carried her to her bed for her nap time that I had frankly forgotten about. So, thank heavens she reminded me (inadvertently, of course). John was still asleep, so it was just Curry and me until the end of Scamper, at which time I went and checked on Baby (of 3 weeks, by the way), only to see him lying contently in his crib with his eyes open and his mouth making little gurgling noises. I couldn't resist picking him up, so I did so, changed his diaper, then took him downstairs and gave him his bottle of breast milk, which he decided he didn't like as much when it was coming from a plastic nipple. :shrug:

Now, it's sleep time. I will sleep restlessly tonight thinking of what is occuring in London and, as result, all around the world. We must be in constant prayer for not only our nation, but our internations and allies. May God be gracious to you during this difficult time.

God bless,