Jul 6, 2012

Jun 22, 2012


Doesn't this look so fun?!

Now the zumba version:

 This is what zumba is all about- a totally random group of people, none of them experienced dancers, each with their own style- letting it all out together. I know its not everyone's cup of tea, but you can't help but watch this and think, "I want to go to that class."

Jun 4, 2012


I have the coolest mom.

May 31, 2012

Hayley and Tin Tin

For this blog, I want to give a shout out to two of my Boston friends. Hayley is a long time pal; we met in our study abroad in London in 2005. Several moves and degrees later, she is in Boston doing administrative work for an inner city school. Tin Tin also works at the same school as a teacher.

For Memorial day, we took a hike around middlesex falls together. As I shared things about my life and in turn listened to their stories, I couldn't help but be so grateful for these women and their friendship. When you tell someone about what you are going through, it is always nice to hear an empathetic "yeah, me too." It also doesn't hurt to stay up late watching youtube videos of This.

In short, they've been there.

May 28, 2012

In Memorial

This memorial day has got me thinking about all the people past and present that serve our country.  I recently visited my sister, Cassi, in Georgia. Her husband, Kelly, is in the middle of his second tour of duty in a year with the Air Force. With Kelly gone, Cassi keeps herself plenty busy raising her toddler Daphne. Daphne is precocious, smart (thanks to her mommy) and knows how to melt your heart.

It was so good to see my sister and her day to day life. In addition to looking after Daphne, she is devoted to occupying herself with meaningful activities, very little which benefit herself. From leading the 12-18 year-old young women in her church congregation, to keeping up her garden; she fills each day that Kelly is gone. I especially enjoyed the enriching conversations, the gymnastics, the traditional boarding house styled lunch and the nighttime movies.

Picture her saying, "more?" in the cutest
most wheedling tone.

Mother and daughter getting ready together
Daphne survey's her pigtails in the mirror

Sister, Sister
NCAA nationals, seeing this live was so worth it.

A traditional boarding house lunch. Yes, that is a plate of
cobbler and fried chicken.


There is something about coming in to this view last wednesday, after the day we had on Tuesday that makes you want to jump up and down and sing. Tuesday was a foggy, wet mess. At one point my co-worker Michelle looked up, and seeing the storm outside, cried "What a horrible day!"

Tuesday night I laid in bed reading and smiled because I had done something very exciting and brave. It began with a familiar inner dialouge which went something like this:

"I could really go for some (choose a flavor) Ben and Jerrys"

"Not a great idea. you've already had chocolate today remember?"

"Oh yeah, true."

Five minutes goes by

"I could really go for some (choose a flavor) Ben and Jerry's"

"Alright, compromise, if you ride your bike to the store you can get some. Plus you need contact solution."

So I got on a bike and rode toward the store. One problem though, the air was filled with mist and rain and it was cold. After a few moments I thought I should head back. I circled around my neighborhood, but then realized that that wasn't what I wanted. I wasn't so cold anymore and the lightness the bike provided as I flew through the small streets was unparalleled. So I rode, and before I knew it I was way past the store and practically flying. I whizzed through neighborhoods with huge green trees that grew over the streets all the while inhaling the sweet smell of rain and flowers. After what felt like no time at all, I finally stopped and took in my surroundings. I was in a neighborhood several miles from my house. I looked down at my hands, they were shaking.

When I got home, my entire back and legs were covered in mud and water. I threw my clothes in the washing machine and jumped into a hot shower. A bit later, I slid into bed to read "Unbroken" with a smile on my face. It was a good night.

May 26, 2012

Easter with the Olenicks

I first met Rachel when we lived in the same Flat (apartment or floor) during my London study abroad. A very dedicated student, she was the only one allowed to bring a laptop so she could write her thesis. The rest of us were required to write all of our papers by hand which if you've done before is pretty tiring. So, probably a bit annoyingly, we asked to borrow Rachel's laptop constantly. She didn't have to share with us, but she did, and she did it cheerfully and kindly. That's just the kind of person she is.

Rachel and I kept in touch over the years despite moves, marriage, missions and schooling. Lucky for me, she and her husband Michael live in Pennsylvania now and we were able to reconnect over Easter weekend:

Saturday we followed a dream itinerary that included a walk around historic Doylestown (found an old copy of Magical Mystery tour at a record shop!), a tour of the Mercer tile museum (so interesting), water ice (delicious), a Philly food tour (cheeses galore!), Mike's cheesteaks (the 1.5 hour wait in line was so worth it) and a revival show of West Side Story. I'm so sad that I left my phone at home that morning and didn't get to take any pictures.

On sunday I got to be a part of Rachel and Michael's sunbeams class. Seriously, the cutest kids ever.  My favorite was when one little boy raised his hand during the sharing time lesson and asked, "Can we go home now?" (Tell it how it is little brother!). After church, Rachel made a delicious Easter dinner. It was a great trip and I can't wait to see them again.

Easter dinner, yum
Rachel and Michael