if i were anything but a christian

I would worship the following (in no specific order):

  1. Tony frikin Pierce.
  2. Music (Coldplay, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanalei, etc.).
  3. Philippa Gregory.
  4. Julie Kent.
  5. My best friend, Victoria.
  6. My parents (and other intellectual adults who have inspired me to be a better human being).
  7. The Google boys.
  8. Gregory Maguire/Idina Menzel/Kristin Chenoweth/Stephen Schwartz/everyone who made Wicked possible.
  9. The rain.
  10. Barnes & Noble. For getting a bookstore right.

But alas, I am a Christian. And therefore these things must always remain secondary to the rest of my life (with the exception of Tori, mis padres, and Tony, of course).

This list is just getting started.

God bless,

yesterday was my birthday

And although I don't like to blog about my days, I just have to tell you about my day. Because it was, quite possibly, the best birthday of all 19 thus far.

I began my day early, waking up at 7:30 (well, I got out of bed at 8, actually) to shower and go babysit little Agnes. Agnes is the happiest baby I've ever watched, and she's a joy to be around. We had a pretty good time together, and I was lucky to spend some of my birthday with her.

After babysitting, I met Tori--my bestest best friend--at Al's Pizza for lunch. She brought me a present: a Nemo-themed goodie bag for my car, Nemo! And a poster of The Other Boleyn Girl movie. Even though the book is better, Tori pointed out. Which it is.

"So, we're having pasta for dinner tonight."
"Oh. We're having pasta now, for lunch!"
"Oh, right. We are. I didn't think about that. But we're having ice cream cake!"
"We're having the Molten Chocolate Cake for lunch."
"Oh, right."
"So we're having pasta and cake for lunch, and pasta and cake for dinner."
"Yeah. Whatever."
"Happy birthday!"

That was part of our lunch conversation. We got the Molten Chocolate Cake. And decided the one we got at Crisper's last week was better. Just for the record.

We left lunch and went to the nails place in the new WalMart shopping center (across from the Target, yeah, on Beach and Hodges) to get manicures. I've never had a manicure or a pedicure, so Tori got me both. It was lovely! Tori had a slightly painful experience (one of the tools cut her finger) but I thoroughly enjoyed being waited on...hand and foot. Although, I did manage to mess up my finger nail polish before we had even left the store. Whoops.

After lunch came Claire's. Yeah. Teeny Bopper Claire's. Claire's where we used to go when we were 13 and buy cheap, tacky jewelry and be attacked by pink, purple, and cubic zerconia. We went there. It was a tribute to our last year as teenagers. Not really. We actually went because I wanted to get my second ear piercing, and we decided Claire's was better than a skechy tattoo parlor. After showing my ID, signing release forms, and paying way more than I did when I was 12, I emerged with new CZ studs in my ears and a "I just got my ears pierced!" bag. Embarassing. And then, of course, I ran into someone I knew. I swear, I just turned 19.

Then we went and saw Baby Mama, which we laughed through the entire time. Also, let it be known, that as soon as a possible love interest for Tina Fey's character entered the scene, I had the entire film figured out. Baha. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are, of course, brilliant and hilarious. And why wouldn't I want to watch a movie about babies with the funniest actors ever? I used to watch Baby Geniuses for my funny baby movie kick. Now I've got this one, thank goodness.

Tori and I came back to my house only to be inundated with the smell of homemade cooking and the mad rush of a family preparing for a sister's birthday celebration. I did what I could, but they had done a darn good job of getting everything ready. And we were 45 minutes until takeoff!

Needless to say, loads and loads of my friends showed up and we had, I hope, a great time. Ate lots of pasta, talked and took pictures, demolished an ice cream cake, played a painful round of Catch Phrase (but my team won, which is the important thing), goofed off on Guitar Hero for a bit, and had a few physical fights...all without injury!

In the middle of the party, Joey called from Argentina, so I put the shindig on hold while I chatted with him for a few minutes. I couldn't believe he called me from so far away. "I don't know how much this is costing me," he laughed. So if he doesn't make it back to North America, we all know what happened. He ran out of money. And died.

Anyway, it was so fun to spend the day with my best friend and the evening with my friends and family. You guys rock my world.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special!

God bless,


some things to think about

"Love (understood as the desire of good for one another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another's soul." -James Joyce

I love this quote. It was one of my "quotes of the day" on my google homepage a while ago. But "love" is one of those terms thrown around so easily that I am always thrilled to find a deep and insightful definition of the word. I like this one because it reminds me that there is one individual out there whose heart will fit into mine, and vice versa. I'm going to give my heart to one man and one man only, and the day I give my heart to him will be the day we stand before God and witnesses and promise to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of our lives--no matter the circumstances. The love that I long to experience is this kind of love that Joyce talks about--the kind that is reserved for one other person in your life and is not tossed around lightly. The one that involves commitment and sacrifice, not just emotion and feelings. As Thomas Mann put it, "He who loves more is the inferior and must suffer."

" 'Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.' 'Sounds like a wrestling match.' 'A wrestling match.' He laughs. 'Yes, you could describe life that way.' 'So which side wins?' He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth. 'Love wins. Love always wins.' " -Mitch Albom

Someone had this on their profile once, and I liked it, so I borrowed it. It's kind of self-explanatory and more sweet than anything. I'm not a huge Mitch Albom fan (he's so idealistic), but this little conversation just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

"The thing you have to understand about Daddy is that he wasn't just saying that stuff about the Lord. His God was a God who had a plan for your life, but who left you room to make your own mistakes. Your job was to watch for signs and to listen for guidance. What others might dismiss as the vagaries of fate, my father interpreted as dancing lessons from the Divine. Every step was part of a ballet too large for you to see it all, a provisional choreography perhaps not even intended for you to understand, and the key was to move into its rhythms with both humility and boldness, never mistaking yourself for the director." -Timothy Tyson

This is from Blood Done Sign My Name, the book we had to read last summer as incoming freshmen. I wasn't terribly impressed with it, but this quote struck me and I immediately wrote it down. It's such a beautiful way to describe a relationship with the Lord--at least a small part of it. And the fact that he used dance and choreography as an analogly, of course completely resonated with me.

That's all. Just wanted to share some little thoughts with you.

God bless,



it's all so beautiful it's unbearable

Last time I wrote, I was preparing to start my freshman year of college.

Now it's the beginning of post-freshman year summer. And I cannot believe it's over.

College, thus far, has been an amazing experience. I have loved almost every minute of it; of course there were those that I would not want to relive, but the good times greatly outweigh the notsogood times. If you'd like to read specifically about what I've been doing over the last semester, you'll have to read my "student blog." But I am going to leave it up to you to find it, because it's not something I'm particularly proud of. Not that I'm ashamed of it...but it kind of goes against my typical blogging style which is to not go through a list of what you did that day or week (unless you're actually doing something exciting, like traveling).

Anyway. Moving on.

Leaving Charlotte was a bit rough for me. Not depressing, I suppose. Not even sad. But strange. I said goodbye to my friends at school (most of whom left before I did; the only ones left by the time I went home were JBIP participants, graduating seniors, and residence life), said goodbye to my family at City Church that has been an amazing blessing in my life, and said goodbye to the kids I babysit for every week. The looks on their faces when I was leaving matched what I was feeling; I sure hope I get used to it since I'm going to have to leave them three more times! 

It was very interesting to me that the day I returned home (this past Friday) was the Providence seniors' last day. It made coming home from college even more of a shock. The end of my freshman year meant that it was the end of their senior year--and place I remember being just yesterday. Oh, wait. It was a year ago. That's almost unfathomable. 

High school will always be a precious memory in my heart. Providence was a fabulous place for me to grow up and build a foundation. It definitely prepared me (along with my parents, of course) for the world, at least as far as I can see it--that is, college. I don't want to go back to high school, though. College is a fabulous place to be in life, and I couldn't ask for a better university to be at such a time. Queens, though it is not perfect (as Providence was not, either) is so clearly where I am supposed to be and I feel blessed every single day I am there. 

It's hard being away from it. I have two homes now, and, as my best friend pointed out, "No matter where I am in life, I will always be missing a set of people." 

I guess I better get used to it.

God bless,