Well shock of shocks guess who is sunburned again?? But of course it is all worth it for the wonderful weekend I just had! Invite-a-family 2013 was a whirlwind of cloudless skies, dune hikes (AGAIN!!.. I should be a fitness climber or something), beach walks, picnic food, berries, wet feet, sandy cars, lots of laughs, AC caravans and beach takeovers, volleyball (or watching ;), bonfires, singing, and lots of talking! It was a ton of fun to get to know some other sisters and find out mutual connections (like we might be vacationing together next weekend??!); plus you can never have a bad conversation when walking the beach! Except you may get asked if you are missionaries, apparently. But that might be due to the fact that we were 160 ACs in number, taking over a huge part of the beach with our swishers, volleyball net, football zone, deep-sea fishers, swimming kids, sunbathers, and of course, fellowshippers of all ages! I guess we were a bit intimidating. Wonderful chats with new friends and great heart talks with close friends soon to be moving away;( Love where I am in life right now, and no matter the struggles I have such a support group! Need to remember this!
Sunday morning was EARLY for church since we served and there were so many visitors. I always like serving though (not that I’m doing anything), and I tried to zip in and out of the kitchen to have some friend time too. It was also such a blessing to have 3 visiting ministers — in all, a GREAT day in church! We heard that we are called to HIS purpose, and sometimes that may mean we are called to eliminate things from our life– not that we really want to, but He is asking us to so we can better serve Him. That really hit home, as did the point when we heard that we are not to fit God’s plan into our ideas for our life; it is HIS plan that we need to live by. I feel sometimes like I’m just asking God for the ok on my own ideas and this is not what I should be doing!
And a special shout out to Taylor in the photo above… WHAT AN AWESOME FACE. I need to learn how to do such things. Plus, she has taught me that Rockville is pretty cool and no, they are not snooty for saying “aunt” funny (whoops! did I say that?). I need to go there! It’s been on the list for ages but I really want to make it happen.. cool people, awesome history, Cape Cod, NEW YORK CITY… Anyway, us Silverton girls are going to be saving our pennies because we made a pact with Taylor that this group would be reunited again in Rockville August 4th, 2014 (how did this happen? I really don’t know. But it better!).
After the dinner and singing on Sunday a group of the “young people” headed over to Wendi’s for volleyball (again, watching ;), bonfires, and great chats. Pretty much we solved the world’s problems. Well, some of us at least talked about our life problems and the quandary of being an adult. Sigh. Why do we have to grow up sometimes? (Mostly in regards to the idea of a job and limited vacation time).
But life is pretty peachy right now so I can’t complain one bit! I get to leave Thursday to meet up with my new friends from Kansas, go to friend’s wedding this weekend, possibly head to Chicago with a bunch of girls, then spend a week with my sisters in Illinois, go to the conference and be refreshed on God’s plans for our lives, go to my cousin’s baptism the weekend after, drive all night to Zion National Park, spend a week with my awesome family wearing matching sweatbands and baseball caps and laughing our heads off while we go four wheeling, hike The Narrows, and tube down rivers. Seriously. (Except maybe about the sweatbands and hats…still under consideration ;). What a blast!
And today I found out who else is going on my Caicos program because it is a little more than a month away! Plus, my dive slate, mosquito net, and scuba parts came today. And Kendra’s headlamp for flying and 10 foot iphone cord (why do we need this? I don’t know). Seriously, our house is like a party with how much cool mail we are getting these days. Kendra and I ordered about 50 things from Amazon one night (really.. you don’t want to know) and the list is pretty crazy! Life is SO GOOD!
It was an experience. But oh my word it was fun! I was glad I went! The whole dive trip experience and atmosphere was a ton of fun.. the camaraderie of 30 plus people who hardly know each other, living in one big area, tied together only by their interest in diving! So we arrived Friday night around 10pm and unloaded our stuff and the trailer of dive gear and tanks; then some of us (RARE) girls decided to go for a walk down to the dock to see where we’d be diving. The moon was reflecting over the bay and it was gorgeous! However, thinking of jumping into that black black water was kind of frightful! When we got back, the whole group was instructed to try on our wetsuits right there to make sure they fit right. But while the guys felt comfortable to strip to their boxers in the middle of the room, I was relieved to see the other girls heading to the bathroom as well. We all helped each other into our wetsuits and then were told there was a group announcement so went back to the big room to hear; my extremely thoughtful instructor decided at the end of his speech to ask how my wetsuit fits because it was a different one than I had tried on at the dive shop. So all 40 people turn to look at me in my wetsuit, if I wasn’t awkward about it enough! Luckily people turned back to their own business as he came over to inspect it and pronounce me a little “hippy” (as in, I have hips..!) which is why the wetsuit fit a little weird. Oh the joys of being a woman. The next morning (Saturday) we were all up around 8; we were split into groups and told to get ready in varying stages because only so many people could dive at a time and they didn’t want us overheating in the wetsuits. My dive buddy and I ended up being towards the end and I was jittery as we went through the drill of gearing up and checking each other. We walked down to the beach and waited in the surf until we were called to swim out to the instructor and dive. During certification, on each of your 4 open water dives, you complete certain skills either underwater or at the surface, and then the rest of your dive time is spent “touring”, or just swimming around looking at stuff. Only the dive instructors can certify your skills, but then divemasters take groups of divers to tour around so you can be underwater longer. The first dive went fairly well, but not without some excitement: 2 minutes in to our “touring” session, my fin came off. I was pretty proud of myself for not really panicking and just reaching up to my buddy and tugging on her BC. But she was a little ahead of me so I yelled a little bit in my reg and tried to catch up to get her attention– our instructors said they would rather lose 2 of us than 1, and so we were always supposed to stay with our buddies. I wasn’t getting her attention but there happened to be a divemaster trailing the group who clearly thought I WAS panicking: he and “told” me to calm down and then motioned me to follow him to find my fin. He found it (shocking!!.. it was murky!!) and then since we couldn’t find the group we just surfaced. When the rest of the group surfaced a few minutes later, my buddy’s mask was filled with blood and I was terrified that I had shook her so bad that I had made her bleed!.. but the divemasters reassured us (me) that she just got a nosebleed, which is common considering the pressure changes. The walk up the beach was tiring … with all of our gear and weights .. and exhausted as I was, I wasn’t sure if I could make it up the 3 rickety wooden steps from the sand up to the pavement. The minute I lifted my leg to climb up, I knew I didn’t have the energy and with all the weight on my back I went tumbling backwards and completely biffed it on the sand. If you can picture a turtle stuck on it’s shell with it’s arms and legs dangling in the air, that was me. It was hilarious (and MORTIFYING!!). Of course the divemasters (who ALL happened to be male, and in their 20s) saw it happen and rushed over to help me up. Just to add to the earlier encounter of me “flipping out” underwater about my lost fin— I’m sure they thought I was high maintenance!
After lunch we did 2 consecutive dives where we stayed in our wetsuits and only got out for 45 minutes. The weather was awesome and sunny and 80s so outside we weren’t cold (though the water seemed to get colder on every dive!!). And let me tell you, wetsuits don’t keep you from getting wet (and cold); no, they let water IN, and then your body heats up that water that is in your suit. So you still have this layer of cold water that you are swimming around with! After those dives, we put a “WOMEN’S SHOWER” sign on the bathroom door and sequestered ourselves in there with the hot water… ahhhh it was wonderful. After a cookout dinner, the girls retreated pretty early— diving takes a lot out of you!!!– while most of the group headed down to the beach for a fire. The really neat thing about the group (and I think dive groups in general), is the variety of people: there were typical students (most of us)– marine bio majors to forestry to business, people in their 30s, retired army 50 year olds looking to refresh their skills. It was so fun to see the diversity and hear why different people were interested in diving.
Sunday started out good; I was disappointed and a little out of touch because I wasn’t in church, but God worked it out to His glory. I took my Bible and cheerios outside to read by myself in a deck chair before anyone else was up, and it was wonderful to really tune my heart to Christ. Sometimes I get so caught up in church and the “system” of our faith–how we worship, how we look…, that I lose track of the pure reason WHY. It was so refreshing to have some quiet time with God and think about why I live the way I do; it is for HIS glory and HIS honor, and I should be able to live by that whether I am surrounded by 300 members in Silverton or a cabin full of guys from the world. I loved this feeling of “going back to the basics”, of connecting with Christ so closely when I felt so far away (from my church family). I am hoping I can have this positive of an experience in Caicos this fall — I don’t want to lose conviction or lose faith because I am far away (this is something I know I will need to watch for), but rather grow closer to God and appreciate His work in my life for bringing me where I am.
Anyway, Sunday morning was the last (scariest!!) dive of all: the one where you have to take your mask all the way off underwater. While we’d had a variety of intimidating skills on the prior dives (including flooding our masks), we hadn’t had to take them off until this one. While it is clearly a psychological fear–physically completing any of the skills isn’t hard, but somehow the skill seems terrifying! Still, as I’m thinking about it (and knowing I’ll have to do it again in Caicos), I get jittery. But I self-talked myself into better spirits and went down to the beach to conquer my last dive! Of course, this one couldn’t go without flukes either: 5 of us went down to 20 feet with an instructor and a divemaster, and the instructor first turns to my buddy and motions for her to take off/replace her mask. She started having problems with it and I couldn’t really tell what was going on, but she couldn’t get it cleared and she kept coughing, so the instructor signaled for us to stay on the bottom while those two surfaced. This totally freaked me out and as they were swimming up, I was thinking “Don’t leave me!!!!”. So the 4 of us (a buddy pair, 1 guy by himself, and me) and the divemaster are just sitting there on the bottom, waiting, and it is REALLY bad visibility. Like we could see less than 5 feet in front of us. We were all on our knees in the bottom to try not to stir up anything else. After (what felt like 20 minutes!) 5 minutes, the divemaster looks at us and says he’s going to go up to see what was going on… I can tell you at this point I was so scared, I did NOT want him to leave us. He stirred up another cloud of mud when he left, and it was all I could do to just make out the neon yellow edges of the guy’s mask beside me! The two buddies started holding on to each other and I was THIS CLOSE to holding on to those guys too… I did NOT want to get lost on the bottom!! Anyway, after some of the most terrifying moments of my life (theme of the day, right??!), they all came back and the rest of us took off our masks without a hitch. You don’t know how SATISFYING it was to walk out of the water on that last dive and know that I was certified, I had done it, I had survived! Because I had wanted to quit so many times and was really pushing through as a personal challenge, it was so much more thrilling to actually finish! I was literally on top of the world for the rest of the week!!
So. That is my dive history thus far. And my trip last Saturday to buy dive gear turned out successful .. I am now the proud (and scared) owner of a wetsuit, BC, regulator, alternate reg, and dive computer! And this girl is SERIOUSLY PSYCHED FOR CAICOS!!
Early early the morning after our campfire, I headed down to Eugene for a huge SCUBA sale where I was going to either (a) decide to SCUBA in South Caicos and buy all my gear, or (b) decide it would be too expensive and I would just buy what I needed to snorkel (still a wetsuit, etc.). But in my head I had pretty much convinced myself that this would be the opportunity of a lifetime and I should just pay whatever price and SCUBA… I mean, how often will I live for 3 months in the Caribbean with some of the best diving in the world?? Probably never again. But then there is one tiny problem.. I might be scared of diving. We’ll see. I’m really hoping that warm water diving will be so far beyond Pacific NW diving that I won’t be afraid at all, but there is the SLIGHT possibility that I will buy all this gear and then hate it even in the Caribbean. But at that point I would probably make myself do it anyway as a growth experience. So anyway, how this fear thing all started…
So when Caicos was actually going to happen, I looked at the program and decided I would learn to SCUBA.. it had always been on my bucket list and looked like a ton of fun. Since it is a marine resource program, there is ocean field work every day and some ocean research (not mine though, because my thesis will be more socioeconomic related and not strictly marine bio), and you have 2 options: you can SCUBA or snorkel. They don’t really care which (though most people SCUBA it sounds like), but whatever you choose, you must bring all of your gear because they are too small to have any dive rental shops. So I signed up for an open water SCUBA class at OSU spring term, thinking I will get certified for South and fulfill my P.E. credit at the same time. Life was a breeze, and every Monday I went to 2 hours of classroom lecture and 2 hours in the pool, and every Wednesday another 2 hours of lecture. Around week 3, I was on the bottom of the pool with my class of 25 peers and 3 dive instructors and I started having breathing issues: every time I breathed in, my regulator would fill up with water; when I would clear it, then my mask filled up; I cleared that and my reg filled up again. I started to get panicky as I couldn’t breathe and kept getting mouthfuls of water. We were told that no matter what we were supposed to solve our problems where they happened, so if you have a problem on the bottom, you should solve it there (not surface for everything). But I was way too scared and couldn’t tell what was wrong, so I made a freaked out motion to my dive buddy and kicked up to the surface. Moments later my instructor came up and asked what was wrong, but the burly guy was very unsympathetic and simply said he couldn’t tell what was wrong but thought my mouth wasn’t sealing around the reg good enough. Then he proceeded to tell me that since we were doing emergency breathing on the bottom, he couldn’t let me keep going until I did that skill. The emergency breathing exercise consists of the instructor turning off your air tank and you breathing until there is no air left, and then you signal that you are OUT OF AIR AND CAN’T BREATHE !!!and then they will turn your air back on. SCARIEST EXERCISE OF MY LIFE! And so, even though I am still all panicky from my drowning moment on the bottom just minutes ago, my instructor turns off my air and watches me gulp the remaining air and then quickly signal. Surviving that, he then motioned for us to descend again to the bottom where the rest of the class had continued on and my buddy was likely bewildered. At this point I was still shaking and close to tears because one of my biggest fears is being without air. And the minute I get to the bottom, my instructor TURNS OFF MY AIR AGAIN!!! I had to repeat the skill again at the bottom to simulate the real thing. Oh my word, scariest thing ever. At that point, it was all I could do not to walk out of the class. I told myself I could survive another hour and then there was no one making me continue. I barely made it out of there and then was immediately contemplating my options.. I decided I wouldn’t go on the open water certification trip, and depending on the next week I would possibly drop the class.
Unfortunately, after that week I had a fear of the water in me which made it a struggle to keep trying and some of the fun from before was gone. I kept at it though, trying to convince myself it was just a bad week, and I was having fun, right? It did get better, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to dive open water because what if I had another freak out moment at 60 feet down?! I was so glad to talk to another diver friend who understood what I was working through — insignificant in the long run I knew, but that was my life this spring. As the dive trip approached though, I started thinking that I might always regret it if I didn’t follow this through and get certified (plus I got some unsympathetic “oh come on I think you should do it” advice from my sister). So 2 days before the trip, I decided to go for it.
That Friday, my peers and I packed our gear and our selves into 12 passenger vans and headed for Lilliwaup, Washington. We were going to get our open water dives done in the Sound, and we were staying at Mike’s Beach Resort– but don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a resort. The room they had for groups like ours was one huge open area with bunks 3 stories high along the walls, garage sale couches and scattered furniture clustered in the middle (and more bunks), a sparse kitchen along the far wall, 1 regular bathroom, and a group bathroom with a group shower and 3 curtained-off toilets. For 25 people. All in that room. And only 6 of them were girls. Including me.
Campfires are one of the best parts of summer and talks around a fire are always good, so I was thrilled when one of my friends decided to have a bonfire and camp out behind her house last weekend. The spontaneous planning continued when we decided to have special desserts to surprise another friend for golden birthday. So toting my Pinterest-inspired chocolate (of course) brownie trifles and a sleeping bag, I headed down to Silverton for a night under the stars.
My speedy self had to slow up and drive 10mph around the country curves to keep the trifles from dumping and I’m sure people thought I was lost, but we (me + the chocolate) made it safe! Lydi and Breezy had brought their campers around the fire pit (we weren’t for real camping ;) and everyone’s contribution to the food table made for a beautiful creation. As has been my theme this summer, I took some artsy photos and had a ton of fun as Lydi joined in her with Nikon. Life is so much more fun when you stop and appreciate the beauty of it! Anyway, as females we knew you can never have too much chocolate so it was no problem that I had brought trifles and Tressa a chocolate cake; we all had both… and then immediately decided a walk was in order! Gravel roads at sunset are perfect for great conversation and some needed heart-to-hearts… it was fun to connect and refresh after a busy busy summer and — for some of us — talk about what the coming months will look like as we move to new places.
Pjs and hair down characterized the late night (and early morning) talking around the fire… and for those of us who forgot pajamas (I was so proud of packing light that I forgot pjs!!), knit skirts were welcome! I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends to share evenings like this!
So her dream for flying has been in-progress for the past 8 months-ish that she’s been taking flight lessons; last Friday was the day for her first SOLO FLIGHT! She was a nervous wreck, and we were nervous wrecks (so many prayers!!), and so when she left after dinner to fly we were all told that it would be best for her and her instructor if we weren’t there. I mean, a fidgety mom watching from the ground is just as scary for the student as it is for the flight instructor who is hoping her student doesn’t die! But of course, this girl knew that this moment had to be documented for history when Kendra is a commercial pilot! So I waited a while until I knew pre-flight and the trial run with the instructor would be over, and then drove over to Aurora.
However, I’ve never been there before and every single entrance of the quaint, small-town airport was locked with a gated driveway. I was winding around on the last road past the runway — giving up hope, thinking I missed her — when I saw a plane sitting on the runway and another one in the air… so I rolled down my windows and started shooting pictures of all of them. I figured one of them had to be her and she could tell me later. Then the plane on the runway started moving so I tried to follow it with my car and by then I was pretty sure it was her so I pulled a U-ie and parked in front of one of the locked gates. Running out of my car, I found a woman (current pilot.. who knew?) on the other side who let me in and then with a bright smile offered to take me to find “my sister, she’s doing her solo right now, I need to find her!” She went to her hanger to grab her radio, and as she turned it on I heard Kendra’s voice radioing that she was turning above. It was kind of unreal to see and hear Kendra actually in the air — what she’s been telling stories about for months but we’ve never actually seen. We did an excited fast-walk down 10 minutes of runway and gates til we reached the hangers for Aurora Aviation and Kendra’s flight instructor, Robin, who was on headset and watching. I snapped pictures the whole way as Kendra AWESOMELY did 3 touch-and-goes in the sunset (without killing herself!!) and then taxied off the runway where we were waiting.
It turns out, the plane I saw initially on the runway WAS Kendra and she even saw “Jenna in her little silver car” hanging out the window with my Nikon. At that point (I didn’t realize), her instructor had just got out and she was getting ready to go for her first touch-and-go… so whoops about not making her nervous with people watching! But she did great anyway and now she has awesome pictures to celebrate the experience!
So when I signed up last fall to be on the activities committee for our Labor Day invite, I had no clue that the committee would consist of me and 3 brothers, 1 of whom would get announced and married before planning even started. But being a very related SG out here, everyone knows each other well and I knew we’d be fine. Much procrastination has happened since then, but our remaining group finally came up with a schedule for the weekend that includes a waterfall hike and trip to the coast. However, only one on our committee had ever done the hike before and (being a brother) you never know how accurate (his) advice may be. Inviting a brother/sister sibling pair to go with us, we decided to check out the hike (so I could figure out exactly how do-able and skirt appropriate it was!) and the drive to the coast. We all met at church — some straight from work — one evening, and packed into a car to drive out. Great company and great conversation filled our 1.5 hour drive to the hike, where we realized the unfortunately limited bathroom facilities (this will be fun for labor day, oh my word) and started hiking. The hike to Drift Creek Falls is beautiful and serene, mostly downhill, and relaxing. We tried to meander slowly to simulate a heard of 80+ talking ACs, but for a group of healthy and slightly goofy 20-year-olds that resulted in shenanigans and tree climbing. Seriously though! I actually participated in that one.. the fallen tree was at least 15 feet up and looked like a ton of fun. It did require some careful maneuvering and tree gripping though. But a ton of fun!!
The best part of the hike is at the end where a 240 foot suspension bridge hangs above the falls. I have always wanted to walk a suspension bridge.. I’m thinking a swinging rope bridge above a Brazilian rainforest— totally bucket list item!!… but this is a cheap close second. It was a beautiful view from above the falls and I was kicking myself for forgetting my Nikon (all these pictures are Rachel’s)!
Some even more clever maneuvering (and jumping and slipping) across the wet rocks and boulders at the bottom allows you to get even closer to the falls below. So of course we had to try it! And it was so much fun (and again, beautiful) that we’re thinking it would be awesome to get the whole Single Group down there and have someone from the bridge above get a group picture. Getting back up to the bridge was an adventure, and I took many “leaps of faith” that evening; we’re thinking we might bring rope to help get the sisters up on Labor Day!
The hike and goofing took longer than we thought and so we didn’t get into Lincoln City for dinner until 9:30, but it was well worth it. Laughs and teasing and red vines and Swedish fish followed dinner all the way back to Salem (well, with some engineering talk that the girls slept through), a great end to a fun evening! I am so blessed to have such wonderful brothers & sisters to spend time with and enjoy God’s glorious creation around us. Excited to share this beauty with our Labor Day visitors!
So it’s been another lazy week. I actually started “work”/interning at OHSU on Tuesday, so that was good, but my schedule is so flexible it hardly feels like work. I am interning with the director of the Sustainable Food Programs, and it sounds like her job description is pretty much open: do what needs to be done to improve the sustainability and environmental responsiveness of food-related activities at the institution. The OHSU farmer’s market is a big focus during the summer– to encourage and facilitate the spread of locally grown foodstuffs into the homes of downtown residents; she also works with the waste stream (garbage, recycle, compost), getting farmer’s market/local food into the hospital restaurants and cafes, and improving the labeling of organic/local/etc. food in hospital venues. I’m still learning exactly what her job entails, but that’s what I’ve gathered so far. It’s helpful to see what a sustainability position looks like; it sounds like many people in these positions are the first in the role, and have free rein to improve operations in any way fit; there is no how-to book for this stuff (which makes it both interesting and challenging!).
So, Tuesday is market day. It was exciting to see the set-up of the market and arrival of 20+ unique vendors selling everything under the sun: berries, produce, duck, freshly pressed juice, specialty nuts and granola, wood-fired pizza, spicy kale chips, homemade ice cream, and gourmet crepes were just a spattering of the diverse selection. There was even a massage therapist! It was definitely a fancy “Portland”-esque farmer’s market. My day varied between running debit card transactions, taking census counts of foot traffic, collecting vendor sales reports, coordinating the money collection/exchange with vendors, and clean-up. It was great fun to talk to the vendors– especially the crepe guy, John: he sells his crepes at 6 markets a week during the summer, plus contracts out to businesses and company parties, and then winters in France. What a deluxe life! He had an awesome custom crepe cart with piped in radio and a running-water sink (!), and he clearly did a very successful business! I also ran into a mentor/former teacher of mine from Wilsonville HS who was at OHSU for a research study event, and it was great to catch up. Crazy to think it’s already been a full year since high school; most of the times it feels like ages ago, but other times I still feel so young!
Wednesday I went in again, but this time parked at the waterfront and rode the tram up to the hospital, which was kinda fun for a first time (wearing a badge means a free ride). I worked on updating signage for the 3 cafes on campus, and then started researching plans and marketing for selling farmer’s market gift baskets in the gift store in south hospital. So far my experience at OHSU has been good but a little more lax than I was expecting; hopefully it will present some challenging projects and growing experiences in the next 2 months. My supervisor’s schedule is so open — she doesn’t work Fridays and is taking off a lot of Thursdays — which is somewhat positive, but means my days are very up in the air and I only go in a few days a week. I will try to appreciate the free time this is allowing me.. to swim, read, shop for this fall (need to start!), catch up on bills/apartment stuff, enjoy the fam. But it’s hard.
What a wonderful week! A group of six cousins, friends, and sisters-in-Christ from Kansas came to see Oregon in a whirlwind trip that included many miles in a 12 passenger van, bare feet in the ocean, roaming the shops in Lincoln City, sleeping on the afternoon sand (hence the SUNBURN!), curling up with new books in the beach house, several enthusiastic rounds of Dutch Blitz and ping pong, dinner at Mo’s, Nicole’s conversation cards, singing as the sun set, many pictures, a crab (somehow) making its way inside our house, climbing the dune at Pacific City, and great conversation throughout! I feel so blessed to have met these girls and made such amazing new friends (which I will hopefully see again in a few weeks?!). It was a wonderful couple of days to slow down, appreciate God’s awesome creation, and talk about life’s joys and trials with my sisters-in-Christ… I feel so rejuvenated and energized; blessed to be called His!
The only regrets from the beach trip would be the lack of sunscreen on Tuesday.. and the wonderfully powerful sun in a cloudless sky and reflective beach. Combined with my unthinking wear of sunglasses and nap on the sand, which resulted in a bad burn all over but an especially attractive raccoon-esque burn on my face! Three days later and I am still reaping the unfortunate consequences (now to the peeling stage). I wore my glasses to Wednesday night church in efforts to distract from the raccoon eyes but still got some laughs and Tan Republic comments… Haha at least Lorraine and I (for some reason the only ones with face burns) can stick together with our stylish rotisserie chicken look. We also resemble birds-of-paradise with our gorgeous white strips on our necks — how do you burn in some unfortunate areas but not in others? Who knows but at least I’ve learned!!
We were back for the Fourth and ended up having a great group of families and kids that included the Kansas girls. Hamburgers, watermelon, ice cream sandwiches, ladder golf, and sparklers were all part of the evening before we loaded up into quite a few vehicles to watch fireworks in Lake Oswego. It was a ton of fun to sprawl out on the railroad tracks and wait for (and watch) the fireworks with both old friends, sisters, and new! It was also the beginning of an all-nighter for select Oregon girls and the Kansas sisters.. when the airport run will begin at 3:30am why go to bed anyway? A 7-11 coffee run was necessary before we headed out to the berry-picker to see what that was all about (can you believe after 10 years in Oregon I still had never seen one? That is now remedied), and then back to Nicole’s to combine pictures (over 1200 from about 5 cameras), veg, and talk into the early morning hours. What awesome memories and great discussion (and encouragement) on our walks with Christ and desire to shine with joy in this (sometimes disappointing) world. The bonds didn’t end there– we left at 3:30 for a long ride to the airport of more chats and praise singing before we had to hug goodbyes at PDX. But hopefully not for long!
Nicole and I (as our tradition during all-nighters) had a wonderful conversation on the way back from the airport and were encouraged to do better at supporting our sisters, stand taller for Christ, and embrace the lives we are living.. as they are! God’s plan is truly the best we could hope for and sometimes we just need a little reminding that He has things in control (and thank goodness!); blessed weekends like this go far in reminding me of this awesome truth!
Even when I don’t get to bed till 6:30 am.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.