stories about memories

messes and memories.

at several points in time, i’ve meant to write a rambling post about how much i love my apartment, but haven’t done it yet.
this isn’t that post; i just thought i’d mention that so that, for the purpose of background info for the rest of what i’m actually writing about, you’d know that i do in fact absolutely love this place.

i just cleaned my entire room in 24 minutes flat.
as i guiltlessly put on an episode of Friends and sat down to play candy crush for a while, i started wondering why it’s so easy to clean here. true, my room is still usually a mess just like my room at home, but when i do get fed up with it and want it to be clean, i can set my mind to attacking the mess and get rid of it in usually less than half an hour. whereas if i start cleaning my room at home, i work for five minutes, get stressed out, and decide i don’t need to spend any time there unless i’m sleeping.

then last night, i found the answer.
as my getting ready to sleep routine goes, i wrote my to-do list for today(which read “CLEAN ROOM” in all caps at the top), and crawled in bed with the third book of the sisterhood of the traveling pants. i’ve read all four books more times than i can count(at least ten), but i still find something new every time i reread them. i came across this line and realized why.
“had she ever thrown anything out in her whole life? there were layers and layers of Tibby detritus both on the walls and on the floor…it was dusty and stuffy and it bothered her.”
that’s literally me. i always refer to cleaning my room as an excavation, because the more i clean, the further back i can trace my whole life.

my apartment is only me and my life now; the only memories in here are the ones i chose to bring. but my room at home is full of ghosts.
it’s easy to clean when it’s just putting away clothes and throwing papers from weeks ago into folders. it takes hours to clean when everything i find has a story attached to it. so it doesn’t stress me out to clean this room, but it also doesn’t have as much personality as my old room.
i’m learning that i have a major love-hate relationship with memories. i’ve saved everything my whole life, in hopes that i could look back at them one day.
past linda didn’t know that looking at them would be so hard for future linda.
people have said i live in the future too much. i’m always counting down to what’s next, talking about how excited i am for things happening later. they’ve told me i need to appreciate the present more. and i’ve always agreed.
i’m realizing that i like the future is because i’m afraid of the past. the present always reminds me of the past; the future, i can imagine that it’ll be brand new and different.
and yet, i don’t want the things in the past to go away. i want them to stay where they are, and think about them when i feel like it, and not have the present bring them up anytime it wants.
i want to remember how happy i was at certain times, without getting sad when i realize the present will never have that specific kind of happy again.
i want the past to stay contained in the past, and the present to stay unaffected by it.
so i hide it all away in boxes. but the fact of the matter is, you can’t put memories in a box; just things that represent them.

try as i may to leave half my life behind and move on, i can’t. my life today is made of all the bits of what it used to be.
the more i look at it, the more i can see that God broke each of my “selves” at the perfect time, and built the pieces into something new. when i think about all of them now, and i see what came out of it, i can’t stop thanking him for it. even the ones that are hard to look at.
i look at all of these random artifacts from different stages of my life, and i remember who i was at those times. i look at who i am now, and imagine what each old self would think of that person. which parts of me i wish had stayed the same, which ones i’m relieved have changed. and it tells a good story.
it’s easier to clean though, when there aren’t so many physical memories sitting around…so i’m happy to have both rooms. =)

stories about memories

i’m thankful for thanksgiving.

most people don’t know this since i love christmas so much and go crazy about it all year round like a little kid, but thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday.
while giving people gifts and getting some myself makes me happy, getting excited about all the great things i already have makes me even happier. but that’s not the biggest reason why i like this day so much.
i don’t like change, and thanksgiving never changes in my house. it’s the most comfortably familiar day of the year.
while i’m always aware that i have the weirdest family in the world, our thanksgiving traditions are the best proof of it that i know of.

this is how our day goes down, every year, and it’s been this way my entire life. some new things get added sometimes, but the old things never get thrown out.

I.  the parade.
     A. i run through the house yelling and waking everyone up like it’s christmas. i’ve done this since i could talk and i did it today even though i’m 21 and old and stuff.
     B. dad tries to convince us that there’s no point in cutting on the tv until about 9:10, because that happens in the first ten minutes is al roker and matt lauer talking about how cold it is and some random people getting interviewed. but we remind him of the one time that we took that advice and missed the garfield balloon because of it, and i freak out about possibly missing the ribbon cutting, and in the end the tv always goes on at 8:58.
     C. we eat waffles for breakfast while making fun of all the corny broadway acts
     D. we comment that there are more commercials than the year before
     E. i make the pumpkin pie, and mom hovers and makes sure that i focus because i keep walking away to look at the parade.
     F. we have the same conversations about each float and balloon as if we’ve never mentioned these things before. my favorites:
          1. me: it’s so sad there’s no garfield balloon anymore.
              scott: THERE’S NO GARFIELD?
              me: no, there hasn’t been for years, and you’ve acted surprised every year.
          2. me: reckon those big balloons could hold [however much i weigh that year]? cuz wouldn’t that be the coolest thing ever to hijack one and ride on top of it?
          3. scott: why is there still a ronald mcdonald float?? i thought he died!
              me: um no. but he scares me. they shouldn’t have him in there just because of the creepy factor.
          4. our surprise at there still being a sonic the hedgehog balloon(because one year there wasn’t, so we thought it was too 90s and they’d axed it for good)
     G. the skype date with susan.
          1. we all take turns sitting by the computer narrating the parade for her, but she goes to bed before the end since she’s 13 hours ahead of us.
     H. the stuffing.
          ever since we were kids we’ve always helped my mom make the stuffing by tearing the bread into pieces for her. we’d fight over who did more slices and daniel would keep telling mom i wasn’t making mine small enough(actually he still does that).
II. the national dog show.
     A. dad and daniel complain and ask if we really need to watch it, me and mom say yes of course, and scott settles it by pointing out that “the spirit of thanksgiving is listening to linda squeal every five minutes for 2 hours. we’re watching it.”
     B. everyone pretends to be annoyed but still ends up having enough fun laughing at me.
III. snunch.
     this is a tradition that i’m positive is unique to our family, even though it’s a very smart idea. see, since we have such a big dinner and we eat it earlier than usual, we don’t want to spoil that by eating a real lunch. so snack+lunch=snunch. our obnoxious word for crackers and cheese, chips and dip, etc.
     A. the olive count.
          1. this tradition started about ten years ago when my dad was looking at the serving size on the label, and it said there were 55 olives in the jar. well we all looked at it and thought there had to be more than that. so we got a piece of paper and every time someone took an olive we’d tally it up and when we finished the jar there turned out to be about 70.
          2. now it’s become a thing we do every year. and every year my mom asks if we really need to do it since we’ve proved the label wrong and know full well that there’s gonna be more than they say.
     B. remembering other thanksgivings.
          1. at some point we always end up talking about other years. some get brought up that we’ve never mentioned before, and some stories end up getting told every year.      
IV. miracle on 34th street.
     A. by the time this comes on(after the dog show), the food is all cooking so my mom is actually able to sit down. not only is this movie the perfect thanksgiving-to-christmas transition, it’s also her favorite holiday movie, so half the fun of watching it is seeing how happy it makers her.
     B. this is the only movie that my mom has memorized. so for once, it’s her, not me, that everyone is complaining about saying every word as the actors say them. though they get less annoyed with her than they do me. =]

and that’s how it goes down every single year. my family isn’t one to make purposeful traditions, but we do the same things the same way every year because they just happen. and my orange self likes it better that way.
so on this day to be thankful, i’m thankful for the day in itself, because of all the fun moments that repeat themselves on it.

stories about memories

monday memories.

this morning on my way back to school, i was thinking of times when i felt the most absolutely accepted by the people around me, and my mind pulled up this sunday from the summer of 2010.
we’d had our first mother-daughter camp that weekend. i can’t remember for the life of me what we did that saturday, just the wonderful sunday.
i slept nice and late that morning(again i can’t remember whose room i was in, because i know i wouldn’t have slept in cabin five all by myself), and me and jenn went to sonic for breakfast/lunch/whatever you call your first meal when you eat it at 11:30. we had driven around camp looking for other people but somehow ended up going by ourselves. we talked about how different the summer had been so far from the one before, how no one hung out with the same people anymore, and laughing at how she was one of those people who i hadn’t thought liked me the year before but now here we were.
when we got back to camp, me and her and marley sat around the office rolling around in our chairs writing postcards, filling out ACA forms, typing the camper essays onto the website, and intermittently showing each other youtube videos or funny pictures of cats. i remember running barefoot from the admin to my cabin to get my giant bag of sour patch kids, then walkie-ing them once i got there because i forgot what i had come for.
then on my way back it started raining, and i ran in the back door, dropped my stuff behind the fireplace, joyfully announced “there’s RAIN!” then ran straight through the front door to play in it. marley and jenn came out and sat on the porch and watched me do cartwheels for a while and laughed. when the hoodie i had just run all the way to cabin 5 to get was soaked through, i finally joined those smart people under the roof, and we just sat on the porch in silence and watched the rain.
i felt so full right then. it had been the kind of day that would sound boring to me if we purposely planned to spend it as lazily as we had, but when it just happened that way, i was so content with the simplicity of it all.
peace, quiet, camp, rain, friends. it was one of those moments where it feels like God is reaching down from heaven to give me a hug and a christmas present all at the same time.
after a few minutes of thinking, i turned to them and said a quote i’ve become semi famous for at camp.
“yall, we live here. isn’t that so cool?”
jenn just turned to marley and said “i love linda.” and we all laughed.
the rest of that afternoon is a happy blur of laying around in the office eating my sour patch kids, laughing at things the campers had written, and people one by one getting back to camp until the unit leaders kicked us out of the office to have their meeting and do busy things.
i think i remember that day because it was one of the few times, in this time that one day i’ll call my “college years,” that i didn’t have the slightest feeling that anything was wrong with who i am. the people around me not only let me play in the rain and say all the dumb things i wanted; those were reasons why they loved me.
i miss camp. and rain.

stories about memories

ghosts of farm retreats past.

this anniversary is extra special this year because not only is it five years, but it’s also falling on a friday again.

november 2, 2007 was my first retreat with my at the time new youth group.
it was today that i learned that i had a family in these people.
it was today that i first realized that i could be totally accepted for who i was. i’d spent the last four years hating myself and hearing every day that i was too much and not enough. too fat, too loud, too slow, too lazy, not smart enough, not cool enough. but now, these real friends had taken me in and shown me that i was just right. i wasn’t annoying, i was funny. i wasn’t fat, i was beautiful. i wasn’t complicated, i was fascinating. and i didn’t seem loud to people who wanted to listen to me.
i remember lying on the floor between melanie and shane that night and feeling more content than i had in possibly my whole life. i was loved.

i never imagined at that time that i’d ever have to miss those days. i felt like youth group would be part of my life forever. i’d grow up someday, but i’d always be able to come back if i chose. there were plenty of college kids on that trip; in a few years i’d just become one of them.

but nothing stays the same.

there are no more fall retreats, and ridge haven isn’t like it used to be. this time of year hurts now. instead of a weekend making new memories, i look back at all the old ones. and they make me happy for a while, but in the end all they do is remind me that there won’t be anymore of them. a lot like looking at pictures of someone who’s dead. remembering them can only do you so much good; it’ll never be like having them around.

but i have to make do with what i have…and i really can’t help but smile about these.

stories about memories · stories about nothing and everything

who needs sleep or coffee?

this morning i got up at 4 am. first and last time i’ve ever done that in my life.

like normal humans are at the butt crack of dawn, my poor team was dead when we all got on the road…but bless their hearts, i was kid-on-christmas-morning excited. i love them a lot for not throwing me off the bus. =)

around 6 when we stopped, coach ashley asked me, “you’re a morning person aren’t you?” and i said i had no clue how i was so awake.

but since everyone was asleep and i wasn’t allowed to talk until 7, i had plenty of time to think, and i came up with a clue.

i’m definitely not a morning person; i’m just a people person.

at camp, i’m high as a kite at 7 am every day no matter how late i was up the night before. my kids hate me in the morning. =p

on youth retreats, i was always the last one asleep. i’d stay up until the last leader finally needed to sleep and sent us all downstairs, then talk from my bed to the last few awake ones until they fell asleep. and as soon as i was the only one up, i’d suddenly feel exhausted.

so whether i’m waking up at 4 am, or staying up until 4 am, as long as i’m around my friends, i’m never tired.

which is why, even on a bus full of sleeping people, you’ll find me wide awake. =)

i wrote more about this a while ago…so if you feel like hearing more of my ramblings, go here.

rambles on ciu sports · stories about memories

a happy day on a sad anniversary.

three years ago today was the saddest day of my life.

you know how there are certain memories where you can replay a whole hour of your life like a movie in your head? this time in 2009 is one of them.

life changes fast. at 9:41 am, i was happy and motivated and determined to fix things, start doing work, eat again, find some friends, and make college work for me.

at 9:42, the phone rang. it was my mom.

whenever she has bad news, she always very cautiously asks “how ya doin’?” i guess she likes to know whether she’s making things worse, or knocking me off of cloud nine.
this time i burst into a happy ramble about my great weekend and all the studying i was about to get done.
still in her careful voice, she says “well i’m really glad for you…”
i ask her if she needs something.
she says, “well, i have to tell you something.”
i knew what she meant. i just asked when it happened. she told me it was the day before.

9:44 am. in a matter of 3 minutes, life as i knew it ended.

last night i went to bed thinking about how badly i didn’t want to run. when the person who would be the proudest of me is gone, nothing seems to matter.

my granddad thought the sun rose and set on my mundane life. he never let me quit anything, and he was always on my side. i get my fierce loyalty from him. if i were to get last in a race, i know he’d be convinced that something was wrong with the course, or someone else had cheated. he’d never admit that i’m not good or suggest that i didn’t try my best or didn’t want it enough. he’d find some reason to call me the best on the team; if nothing else he’d say i was the prettiest.

this morning as i got up at 4:30, i fought away the ache around the edge of the gaping, never-to-be-full-again crater in my heart with the idea that i would run every one of those five thousand meters for him. and i would smile the entire time, because he loved it when i smiled.

the last time i saw him was about a month before he died. it was a week before i left to start school. i knew he wouldn’t be around much longer. i was sitting with him one afternoon for over an hour just talking with him, and he asked me why i didn’t smile as much anymore. i lied and said i hadn’t realized that; i didn’t want to tell him how sad i was. he said he wanted me to stop looking upset all the time.

and then he told me something i’ll never forget.

“you need to always smile. because you’re my happy girl, and you make everybody happy when they look at you. so don’t you keep that sad face on. right?”
i’d never thought about that before. but i liked the idea of making other people happy. so ever since then, even when i have to fake it, i try to let everyone else see a smile on my face.

every time people at camp comment that their day gets better when they see me because i’m always happy, i feel like i’m making granddad proud.
and every time someone at school asks if i’m tired or something, i feel like i’m letting him down. i don’t make many people happy here.

today i ran my race imagining him cheering me on. i don’t know much of what he looked like when he was younger, so it made it funnier picturing 89 year old him running beside me. and i remembered something i wrote to myself during soccer season about the people who had graduated.

just because they’re gone doesn’t make the things they said while they were with you any less true.

i knew what all he used to tell me. and i knew that no matter how i did today, if he were here, he’d tell me i was perfect. any little victories would be like gold medals. and when i thought of that, i was suddenly free to enjoy running. every little mistake stopped mattering. 2 seconds slower than i expected on the second mile, who cares. second to last on the team, no big deal. i got 54 seconds faster than my last race, and that was all that counted.

plus, someone told me that it’s encouraging to watch me run because i’m smiling anytime they see me.

granddad, wherever you went, i hope you were able to hear them say that. i miss you, my biggest fan. i’m lost and weird without you here.

stories about memories

the worst movie…the best memories.

disclaimer: i don’t still like the movie. i haven’t watched it in years until today. =p

while i was trying to get ahead on homework, i got the most random urge to watch twilight. i wondered why in the world that was. but i needed background noise anyways, so i put it on, and literally the second i started it(as in the very first second when the summit pictures logo comes up), i knew why.

yes, it’s one of the worst movies ever made. but it has some of my favorite memories attached to it.
in high school when we didn’t know any better, me and my best friends were ridiculously proud fans. one of us read the book over the summer, then it was like a domino effect and one after the other we all got each other into it and by august it was all we talked about. our whole lives were hanging on november 21st. we bought our tickets for the midnight show a month in advance. we watched every single trailer/commercial/interview that came out(and as soon as one of us found a new one, we’d call each other and watch it together over the phone). and yes, shameful confession, i did have a team edward shirt.
a year or two later, we laughed about it and asked each other what we were thinking. but at the time, we thought we were so cool.

so when i watch the movie now, i don’t really think about the fact that it’s some of the worst excuses for acting, that all the effects are cheesy and could have been done with my 10 year old brother’s camera. every other minute, i think of some fun moment with someone.

waiting in the theater for four hours, never bored for a minute of it. going in pairs to the bathroom and having everyone else sit across our seats so they wouldn’t get taken. being more excited for this dumb movie than i was the day i got my first camp letter, and not even making fun of ourselves for it.
sitting between shane and leighanne, frantically squeezing our hands or looking at each other when things happened(because we believed the scary usher who said that if we talked out loud we’d get kicked out).
sitting through allllll the credits, for some legit reason, but i forget what that was…(i do remember katie being slam exhausted and telling us about five times that she had to be up early the next day)
the ride home at 3 am, crammed into leighanne’s mom’s van, replaying the whole thing and screaming about all the things we’d wanted to tell each other during the movie.
waking up the next morning, and all of us calling each other and still talking about it.
going to see it again that sunday night, because melanie hadn’t been allowed to go on a school night.
two days before Christmas, when me and leighanne saw it twice in a row. (yes, we paid full price. twice.)
and every scene(which i somehow still remembered every word this time…), i could hear us all saying each line. and shane shushing us.

there are a few semi-embarrassing phases that i look back on, laugh at and want to forget about. but even though it probably should be, this one can’t fit on that list because of the people i shared it with.

i was a dork, but so were my friends. and we had the best times being dorks together.

stories about memories

just my mom.

when i was a kid, and i did awana at our church, we had these forms we filled out at the beginning of every year. you know, the classic name, address, age, birthday, school, etc etc deal. one of the blanks was for “mother’s occupation.” the first time i had to fill one of those out, i remember raising my hand and asking my leader “what do i write here?” she thought i was asking what occupation meant, so she answered “write what your mom does for her job.” and i said “she doesn’t have a job. she’s just my mom.” (i can’t remember what they told me to put, but i decided to just put “homeschool teacher.” every year after i’d put something else funny, like “swier family chef” or “assistant manager of 5 creekfield court.”)

but as i grew up, i realized my mom does have a job. she has the job i want most in the world.

the first time i remember wanting to be a mom was when i was five, and someone asked what i wanted to be when i grew up. i said “somebody’s wife.” i paused and clarified “well, really i just want to have a lot of kids.”
my whole life i’ve wanted to be lots of different things, changing my mind every year or so like every kid does, but i always figured i’d be married with kids while doing those things, if i even did any of them. i couldn’t imagine not being a mom someday.

my favorite thing that i learned in my counseling youth and families class was that my mom is the biggest reason that i want so badly to be one myself. one of the books i got to read for that class talks about the idea we have of what it means to be a parent and how that comes from our own parents. since my mom loves being a mom so much, i learned to look at that as the best thing i could possibly do with my life.

my mom loves her job. she’s never wanted any other one. people today are always saying women need to work and get out and “be their own person” or whatever, but i think my mom did just fine spending her whole life taking care of her family.
some moms get jobs and are able to give their kids a lot of things. my mom stayed home with us and was able to give us herself. i’d rather have that than a big house and cable tv and a dog.

i could list all the things she did for us, but since she’s the most wonderful person in the world for three billion other reasons, that seems like a better list to make on mother’s day.

1. she has superhuman patience. anyone else would have sent scott to military school by now.
2. she’s never negative, and she tries to get us to think on the bright side. but in the non-annoying way; she agrees that we have reasons to complain, but she lets us figure out that the positives she pointed out are more important. and she doesn’t say things unless they’re true. she’d never say “it’ll be okay” or “you’ve got this” just to fill a silence or attempt to make us feel better. she’s realistically encouraging. (i think this is why i hate fake positivity so much; i never got it so i don’t have a need for it)
3. she’s fiercely loyal, like i am. she’s much nicer about it than me, but any time something happens to one of us, she doesn’t usually stand up for the other person. eventually she gets around to the are you sure they didn’t mean so and so, or maybe they just wanted to do such and such, because like i said she’s crazy patient and doesn’t want to say mean things about anyone, but she’s on our side. she has more self control than i do, or else every person who has ever hurt one of her kids would get an angry phone call.
4. she loves people. when i say “i love people” i mean i love being around them all the time, but when i say my mom loves people, i mean she loves people. she’s always helping someone, and like me, she doesn’t stop and rest as much as she probably should.
5. she’s a great listener.
6. she loves to read. and for the most part she passed that onto us(“most part” meaning matthew straight up hates it, and daniel isn’t a fan). when we were all little and in school at the same time, we had one day every week that we’d go to the library, and any time we wanted to watch tv or get on the computer we’d have to read for a half hour first. every summer, she and i would pick a book that we both wanted to read, and we would race to see who would finish first(i’d usually win, partly because i didn’t have five kids to take care of, but mostly because i’d always be hogging the one copy we had). books were always important in our house.
7. she likes to understand people. she’s always reading some book about something that has to do with one of us(i think she’s read every book on ADD ever published). and not just because she wants to get it, because she wants to know how to help us. and whenever i talk to her about something, she’s always asking questions, which some people hate but i love because when i’m done talking to her, things always make better sense because i hadn’t thought to ask the things she did.
i guess she just likes to understand everything actually…when we watch a movie together, especially if i’ve seen it before and she hasn’t, she asks questions every five minutes to clarify what’s happening. most of my family gets annoyed by it; i think it’s hilarious. =p
8. she doesn’t like her singing voice. but because we loved it, she’d always sing to each of us at night. it always made me feel better, and even now if i ever have a bad dream i kind of wish she was there to sing the “friends are friends forever” song you hear at graduations. see, when i was little, anytime i’d have a nightmare and wake up crying she would come in and i’d tell her to “sing the friend song.” i don’t remember how this first started, i probably just liked the song and felt like hearing it one time when i was scared, then every time after that i just thought of what made me feel better the last time and asked for that. either way, every time i hear that song now, i feel like someone’s playing with my hair.
9. sometimes, she just does ridiculous things that are completely unlike her just to make us laugh. for instance, she was telling me a story one day, i don’t even remember what about, and she ended with “and that sucked.” and i stopped her and said “i thought you hated that word!”(it’s true, she tells me every time i say it) and she says “i’m just trying to speak your language!”
10. she is completely helpless with any kind of technology, so she gets really excited when she does something on her own. my favorite example: this one day she calls me just to tell me that she learned how to text.
me: “oh. great i guess…did you not know how to do that?”
mom: “no! but i figured it out all by myself, and i spelled things like ‘pls’ and ‘thx’ and everything!”
i was very proud of her.
11. she never forgets to have her quiet time. every single morning, at least on school days(weekends i was never up early enough to notice), she’s reading her Bible in bed.
12. she always smells good. i think everyone says that about their mom, but mine is the only one it’s true about.

and i found out a couple weeks ago that she’s an ISFJ. no wonder we get along so well.(that’s an ESFP’s perfect match)

at my church we just finished going through Crazy Love. there’s a chapter in there that talks about people who lived radical lives and did huge things for God. at the end it asks you to think of who you know that belongs on that list, and i immediately thought of my mom. before any camp staffers, before beth. i thought of them next of course, but mom was first. she gave her whole life to us, homeschooled five crazy kids, taught us about God and life and bargain grocery shopping, gave us the best birthday cakes in the world, watched the dumbest movies with us when we were sick, dragged us to all our dance recitals and debate tournaments and basketball games, and somehow managed to stay sane through it all. i think that’s just as radical and huge as a guy who gets all his teeth pulled so he won’t have to come off the mission field for a dentist appointment again.

she isn’t perfect, and i don’t always act this grateful. but i love her and she loves me, and we know that, so all the little things don’t matter. she’s “just” my mom, and that’s all she needs to be.

stories about memories

happy leap day!

the last time this day came, i got hired at camp for the first time, and i cut my hair for locks of love(i did that in 2004 and 2008, and planned on doing it again this year, but my hair wasn’t long enough).
but for a day that comes once every four years, i didn’t do anything particularly extraordinary today(although for me, going and promoting camp is the best way to celebrate any day!). in 2016 i’m gonna either skydive or bungee jump to celebrate; i figure anything to do with leaping off of or out of something is fair game.
one of my friends’ facebook statuses today said “i wonder what my life will be like the next time this day rolls around.”
that’s a good thought. most people say “how do you see yourself in the next ten years?” but really, leap day is a good milestone to base off of.
what was i like on the last february 29th?
well, i was in eleventh grade, loving my life, i had the best church and the best friends, i hated school, and i never wanted to go to college. i was gonna go to new york film academy and become either a director or a screenwriter. and i was looking forward to seeing if i would love camp as much as i expected.
i’m not only in college, but to make it even crazier i’m at the school i swore my whole life i would never ever go to. my friends are gone, even though they’re still my friends. my church fell apart; but thankfully God just gave me an awesome new one. nothing is like i would have imagined, had i thought to wonder what the next leap year would look like. except that i still have camp; that part i hope is true the rest of my life.
four years from now?
i really hope i’m out of college by then. at the moment i have no idea when i’m graduating.
i honestly want to still be at camp. if they ever open a position of “full-time publicist” where i can work there in the summer, and then during the year i’ll go to churches and get them psyched for camp, i have dibs on it; maybe in four years they’ll have one of those. =]
i’d better be married. seriously. i’ll be almost 25.
and more than anything, i really hope i have a little more direction in my life by then. a lot can happen in four years. if nothing happens in four years, that’ll be a big waste of my life. i want to have done something big for God by then. right now i’ve done hardly nothing.
so if nothing else, that had better be fixed. i want to live a much more purposeful four years than these past four have been.

stories about memories

rainy days at ridge haven…

piggybacking off what i just posted about rain, these are some of my favorite times on retreats that happened when it was raining.

this was in 2010. my favorite retreat ever, even though  because  it rained every single second. and i really miss jumping in the cold lake.

also 2010. this was when we hiked in the woods for almost three hours. the time i slid like ten feet down that hill, and when we walked like a mile straight up that HUGE hill to get back, and we hopped over all those rocks, and we saw that deer, and it was the best saturday afternoon we ever had there.

2010. beth’s windshield wipers broke. and the whole time that we were looking for a place to pull of and fix them, wayne had out his video camera and was narrating everything. i miss him so much.

2008, my first time and my second favorite. i actually can’t remember if it was raining, but this was so much fun, i had to post it.

2008. me and jonathan were the best dutch blitz partners ever. and then connor was scared to play with me because he said i would yell at him if he didn’t play fast enough.

my first shaving cream fight!!

these two were from last year. that was the only year that it’s rained for real the entire time. like from the minute we got there to our driving away on sunday. every other year it’s been nice and sunny on sunday morning(figures, right when we’re fixing to leave) but this time it never let up.
back to the pictures. we had been playing frisbee for over an hour in the POURING rain and there was so much mud, and we got so soaked and dirty and then we walked all the way back to the house from the field. this is when i learned to never wear a hoodie when i’m gonna get soaking wet, no matter how cold it is, because it gets really heavy and super uncomfortable.

whether it rains or not…WE HAVE ONE WEEK. =D