Friday, May 31, 2013

A Big Milestone!

I can't believe it!  
He's all graduated.  
What an emotional night.  
I'm so proud of him!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good times with old friends

Day 16 - I'm not following her 
prompt today, because today was 
just too cool not to share

Tonight I got to see someone that I didn't think I'd ever see again!  Natalie and I, along with Brie, got to catch up on life with Mr. and Mrs. G [aka Jon and Erica, now that we're 'adults' - according to Mr. G, haha].  Mrs. G was one of my band directors and she was there when I first started playing bassoon. I was a freshman when she moved away and I think she may have visited later that year, but it's been a while!

Natalie, Brie, and I headed to the Spaghetti Warehouse tonight to meet up with their band, who is playing all over Ohio for the next few days.  We got to catch up with them and meet a few of the band members.  They introduced us to the band as her "now adult students."  It was fun. Add to that hanging out and having adventures with Natalie and Brie - I'd say it was a good night!

Also, I got to tell Natalie 'Happy Birthday' in person!  I failed to mention in my recap of the day that I also told her Happy Bday yesterday!  So we celebrated with goofy faces and a surprise from California :D

Typical Day

Day 15 - A day in the life of

Today was a bit rough for me... it all started with forgetting my cell phone (stupid) and my attitude did nothing to help.  I thought about postponing this day in the life of for another day that was a day filled with fun, but I guess this is more real. 

I overslept and didn't get out of bed until around 7:25. Skipping breakfast because I knew I'd be eating at work, I talked with Mom and headed out the door (remembering the camera, but not the phone)

I listen to Air1 or the Fish radio every morning (or my iPod, if it's charged).

3 minutes from work, I  realized the phone was at home, yelled a lot and banged on the steering wheel.  Decided to just go to work. 

I was in training all day and worked through lunch, otherwise I'd have pictures of my knitting project for you. 

I love my drive home from work :D

After work though, life was a bit more normal.  I came home and headed to the pharmacy.  Yay for an inhaler :)  I then went to the car wash.  The truck was in desperate need of a bath. So desperate that I'm still going to have to hand wash it. 

Isn't my truck gorgeous!  I love it!

I came home and talked with Mom.  I washed the windows in my truck and laid the floor mats out to dry in the sun while she worked in her flower beds.  I caught up on Once Upon a Time and Dance Moms (guilty pleasure) while I ate supper. 

I talked on the phone with a friend while I waited for Reata to come over. We made a trip to Wal Mart to pick up way too many ingredients for rigatoni.  I've never made rigatoni before, but I'm making enough for a hundred people this weekend.  Pictures to come of that for sure. 

Rigatoni anyone?

We danced around Wal Mart and got plenty of stares given the large amounts of food in our cart. 

How did I get so lucky to have her in my life?

We came home and reminisced about life.  Spent some good quality time together... I called my brother to wish him a happy birthday and now I'm headed to bed.  All in all, a typical day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seek Joy

Pinned Image

Day 14 - Ten things that make you really happy
(in no particular order)

A hot cup of chamomile tea 
and a good book in the early morning or late evening

The clip clops of a buggy coming down the road

Doing and experiencing new things

Cantering full out

Catching up with my far away friends 
both in person and over the phone!

Random Dance Parties

Teenagers and Preteens.  
I love working with them! 
They make me smile!

God speaking to me through scripture.

Sunsets - oh my, how I love sunsets. 
They make me stand in awe.

Seek Him

Day 13 - Issue a public apology. 
This can be as funny or as serious or as 
creative as you want it to be.

Way to dig in deep here this week.  I only hesitated on this one for a little bit.  And if you have followed my fun blog posts, you'll know I do my best thinking in the shower... and that's where this one hit me. 

Confession is good for the soul.  I truly believe that.  And this is less of an apology and more of a confession.  

Tonight was amazing.  I got to hang out with 80 plus teenagers and pre-teens.  It's the highlight of my week.  I look forward to Monday nights. And Sunday nights.  Oh and now I think I can add Thursday nights to this. 

A year ago, I had no idea what my life was going to look like.  I graduated college, rode at Nationals, traveled for 6 weeks and began my job.  And I doubted.  I got back here and realized that I built a life in Bowling Green and I didn't have one here.  I had nothing to do except work.

So many nights I've spent in self-pity, not believing that I'd ever find a group of friends, a church, a barn, a life here.  Yeah, I had a job, but a life? I don't want to discount my family, but a good group of friends isn't exactly my strong suit.  And I'm used to being busy, and I had nothing to be involved in here.  And it was discouraging.  And depressing. I hated bouncing from church to church, barn to barn, group to group. It felt like I was never going to find anything. I gave up for a while. 

God had different plans for me though and He told me to keep seeking.  To keep putting one foot in front of the other. And I doubted, and complained, dragged my feet and again, I gave up.  Nothing was happening.  A year had passed and I still had nothing. Woe is me. Pity party on this end.  Gross.

  But leaving Montage tonight, God reminded me that He will always provide.  Here I am a year later and I have to step back and count my blessings.  I'm working with youth again.  I'm meeting some really good people.  I'm getting to spend time with my family.  I've traveled, I've grown closer to God.

Tonight Mike talked with the kids about Peter walking on water with Jesus.  A lot of people focus on the fact that he doubted and fell, but how about the fact that he took the first step. I want to be like that, not afraid to take that first step.  Hindsight may be 20/20 and I may be able to see all a lot of what God's done for me in the past year now, but I want to do more than that.  I want to really believe and trust that He's doing stuff right now, that I shouldn't give up, that I still need to seek Him with all I have. 

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stars in the sky

Pinned Image
Day 12 - What do you miss?

Oh, I could see this one go so many ways, but because today is mother's day, I can think of two great people I miss.  Grandma Janet and Edna... I miss a lot of other people, but, well I lost them both in the same week, and they both were some pretty amazing people.  And raised some pretty incredible children. And among the people I said happy mother's day, I wish I could have said it to them today.  But I am grateful for the time I did have with them and the things they taught me.  

God has blessed me with amazing women in my life who have raised me to be who I am today.  And for that, I am eternally grateful. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A snapshot of my day

Day 9 -  Share a moment of your day

I am so blessed to have this place in my life.  Montage Ministry.  Tonight we started a women's Bible study.  And it was amazing.  God is really working on my heart right now. On changing my life to be what He has planned for me.  On believing and trusting in His promises. And this place, this outreach, this ministry is a part of that. 

The truth in listening to your elders

Day 8 - A piece of advice - anything at all

Over the past year or so, a lot of things have happened.  Like it always has been and always be, things change.  Such as where I want to go in life.

And the best advice I've ever been given is to ask for advice from people who are doing what you want to do. Whether it's finding a job, owning a house, serving others, getting married, anything, it simply makes sense to go to someone who has been there, done that, doing that.  

There are a few things in my life that I'm struggling with, and it has been extremely refreshing and encouraging to talk to someone who has been there and who has gotten where I want to go.   It gives me hope that some day I'm going to get there too...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Being stuck

What are you most afraid of?

What a deep question to have on day 7 - the day of rest.  I need to make rest a bigger part of my life.  More time just spent being still and basking in His Presence.  

Right now, I'm afraid of spiders.  Our house has so many spiders crawling around. I check for them all over the place (especially the shower... nothing is more disturbing than getting in the shower just to notice a spider decided to join you... Ahh!)

But honestly, I'm afraid of being stuck.  Of not moving forward, of clinging to a life that was instead of the fullness that God promises. I'm afraid that one day I'll wake up and be in my 30s, my 40s, my 60s and still be where I am now.  Of ultimately being alone, and not just marriage, but in friendships.   I want to live my life and experience things, show God's love, get married, have a family, travel to weird places, goof around with friends, get caught up in deep conversations contemplating life, ride horses, work with the youth, move forward. 

Do thingsLearn things. Serve others

And deep down, I cling to His promise of life, and life to the fullest. And that He will provide.  And I believe what He says.  And I know that He has things planned for me.  But sometimes, it seems like I'm stuck in place.  Frozen, like freeze tag in grade school. And the fear continues to creep in and take over.

I know and I believe that I'm going to do things, accomplish things, and experience things, and continue going on crazy adventures. It's just sometimes hard to remember when I'm sitting on my bed, eating ice cream, feeling hopeless. 

And my fear of being alone - well that one goes deep and is a daily battle.  But a friend told me that God will provide what I need.  And if I don't have it, I don't need it.  And when I need it, I'll have it for He will provide. 

Though I fear it, I'm holding onto the promises

What I do, besides my job :)

When someone asks you what you do, the normal response is your job.  For me, I'm an applications developer.  I support different systems and make sure they work for my customers.  But in today's May challenge prompt, I was asked that question, but told not to use that as a response.  

What do I do?  Often I sit on my bed and read Harry Potter.  Sometimes you can find me out in the woods on a hike in my barefoot shoes. I start a ton of different projects and tend to not finish them in a timely manner.  At lunch when I'm not working, I'm knitting with a really fun group of people. 

Sometimes on rare occasion, I'm an equestrian.  Or a dancer.  Or a teacher. Or even a choreographer.

Equestrian, Choreographer, Teacher, Dancer

I'm a shower thinker, a car singer, and I tap dance down the grocery store aisle. I eat entire bags of potato chips in one sitting.  

I learn new things.  I explore random hobbies.  I get lost in Amish country just to find new places. I like crawling on steam engines and taking in the smell of coal smoke with a smile on my face.

The locomotive at the Roundhouse that I someday hope to work on

I'm a musician. A bassoonist if you're being specific.  If you're not, woodwind player will suffice.

If there was such a thing as a closet adrenaline junkie, that would be me. 

When I'm happiest, you can normally find me with a group of teenagers. Particularly jr. high kids.  They've kind of stolen my heart.    

1 - My crazy campers 2 - Ziplining 3 - My bassoon and contra 4 - My Ruth study girls

I do a variety of things, and often it includes something no one has heard of, or can't believe that I do. 

I think the best thing though is that God's got everything already planned out.  Everything that I'm going to do.  And the coolest part is I'm the only one who can do what He's got planned for me.  All my quirks, my flaws, my experiences are being used in His plan for my life. It gives me comfort in the many random things I do, that somehow they all fit together.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ever since fourth grade...

Tonight I was at Montage, typically where I am on a Sunday night.  It's a ministry that reaches out to the Massillon community.  They open up as a coffee shop on Sunday nights and then at 6:30, they have a worship session.  It's kind of amazing!  

I started going there with my amazing best friend Reata.  Oh if only words could describe our friendship.  Any who, we decided that we wanted something new in our life and another friend had said I should check it out, so I grabbed Reata (because I was too chicken to go alone) and we went and, well, here we are 4 months later!  
1 - Random Dance Party 2 - Teaching Reata to ride a horse 3 - Goofing off in the barn
4 - Self Explanatory 5 - Riding Mel 6 - Getting ridiculously dolled up

All this intro to lead into talking about my wonderful friend Reata-Mae.  It was a really good night at Montage.  After the final worship song, I looked at Reata and gave her a big hug!  And then we had a moment.  I'm so unbelievably blessed to have this amazing woman in my life.  

1 - Post-prom senior year 2 - Our first steam show 3 - Cedar Point with Katie 4 - Mission Trip

Reata is the friend who gets me to be spontaneous.  It was her life goal our senior year to make me spontaneous.  She succeeded, a little bit at least.  I can spend hours talking about everything with her.  She is dedicated to everything she does, and I'm not quite sure how she does all that she does.  

1 - Cookies at Grounds 2 - Shopping in the snow 3 - Wizard of Oz
4 - Annie Get Your Gun 5 - Shopping faces! 6 - Pajama Game

She thinks I'm crazy; I pretty much think the same thing of her, and it works for us.  I'm so excited to be living here again so that she's in my life as much as she is.  I love our random dance parties, sleepovers, ice cream dates, Bible studies, and other adventures.  I love that she's convinced me to go kick boxing this week.  I might not appreciate her as much after kick boxing, but we'll see how it goes :)  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Glory of God

Day 4 - Favorite Quote.

I debated what to say for this one.  I have so many!  But in the end, Psalm 19:1 is my favorite.  

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

This is one of the reasons I love living in Amish country.  Everyday I walk outside and simply cannot deny God.  It's clear everywhere I look.  His beauty, His majesty, His artistry, His love is E V E R Y W H E R E!

He paints beautiful masterpieces in the sky every hour of every day and I simply love being able to enjoy it.  And this verse just reminds me of his glory in the heavens and the work of his hands.

At first, I just wanted to grab a picture from Pinterest that had the verse, but I have so many amazing pictures of His handiwork.  All these pictures were taken by me on many of my various travels and back road adventures [correction: the fourth image was taken by a fellow camp counselor, Jenna ].  Each one has a story that I could tell you about, but I'm going to let you simply enjoy Psalm 19:1-6.  I think of His glory every time I step outside.  Such a blessing to see and be a part of His handiwork.

North Carolina with family
Disney with Jasmine
Back roads in Amish Country
Marmon Valley over the Hen House
Storm clouds over the house
Clouds on the way to Cali
Rainbow on the way to Alamere Falls
Jamaica Sun
Clouds at Marmon Valley while berry picking
Marmon Valley - catching horses in the morning fog
Sunrise while leaving Findlay's barn training for Semi Finals
Jamaican sunset
Field by where I used to ride
Disney sunset at Epcot

Squirming a bit

...One of the thoughts that run through my head nightly
This thought happens a lot in my life...

So, Day 3 didn't get posted.... and this time not due to procrastination. The prompt for yesterday was things that make me uncomfortable.  And well, that made me uncomfortable.  I tried all day to think of things, and a few came up (spiders being the main topic - until I realized that they freak me out more than they make me uncomfortable... another topic for another day).  And everything that I came up with, I really didn't want to write about here. Because what makes me uncomfortable is the fact that people I know read this :D  Now that's a duh statement if I've ever heard one.  That's kinda the point, right? But sometimes I question what I'm writing and how they're going to react or what they might think.  I most often get over it, but it still makes me squirm a bit.    So there you have it, but stay tuned for more later today (aka my Day 4 post)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Under Pressure

Time pressure does have an amazing effect on people :P #efficiency #job #funny

Today's prompt for the May Challenge is to write about something we're good at or know a lot about. I couldn’t figure out what to write, so I kept putting it off.  That’s when it dawned on me that I’m really good at procrastinating!  It takes some skill to do what I do with procrastinating. I hit my deadlines and get everything  done, but man can I put things off until the last minute (take this post for example). So why not write about that?  My favorite way to procrastinate is to make a list of what I need to do.  For example: my general to do list for the week is as follows  [notice it’s Thursday night and only 3 got checked off ] -

·     Organize paperwork
·       Figure out bank accounts before Friday
·       Hem Black and Brown Pants
·       Create Corey’s graduation invites (5/5)
·       Update Resume
·       Update Linked In
·       Plan tea garden
·       Call Bobby Jo to make lunch plans
·       Call Tru Strength to set up an appointment (5/4)
·       Call Nick to catch up
·       Call Jasmine
·       Get summer clothes out of the barn
·       Pay Dental Bill (4/29)

On top of my lists, here’s how I manage to achieve optimum procrastination levels

This was Brandy's Christmas gift - I made the skirt
and sent it to her in March...
just a bit late
1. Always have multiple things that need to get done, especially a few that don't have deadlines. 
By having a few that don’t have deadlines, I can always start working on an item that doesn’t have to be done.  That means the task that needs to be done tomorrow can wait until one in the morning.  Take packing luggage for example.  That never happens early.

This was Brandy and my belongings when we switched cabins at camp...
Campers showed up an hour after this picture. 
We got it clean, believe it or not.
2. Rationalize putting things off with prioritization.
By prioritizing my list, I can come up with reasons as to why it’s okay for something to get put off for another week, despite it being an easy task.  For example, I have enough pants to last me.  I don’t need to hem my pants yet, I’ll just pull my summer clothes out.  Solution: summer clothes beats hemming pants. Unfortunately, my pants have needed hemmed for weeks and they are  only partially done.  But those summer clothes are now sitting in a box, not quite sorted and brought out, but they’re in the house!!!
My room looked like the picture on the left for over a month...
3.   Netflix
In college, Netflix and I became best buds.  There went my studying hours, I discovered a new TV show.  First it was Grey’s Anatomy, followed by many others.  My current unhealthy obsession: How I Met your Mother.  Thank you bub for that suggestion.  I can always justify another 22 minute episode over paperwork.
This is a stack of t-shirts all ready to be made into a quilt... from 3 years ago... Never started it.
4. Busy-ness
Best way to procrastinate, get involved in something and be busy.  Pack every activity you can into your schedule – coffee with a friend, a ride at the barn, shopping, the library, reading a book, anything to keep you from your task.  [[P.S. Busy-ness will be a topic some other day.  God’s really been working in my life on that one]]

This was the quilt I made for the Varga's...
Pretty sure I spent three hours the day of the wedding in the
laundry mat washing it to finish it :D
And last but not least

5. “I work better under pressure”

My best results come from when I’m under pressure.  If I want my best, it just makes sense to wait until the last minute!!! There’s nothing wrong with being grumpy because you’re stressed, right? [Honestly though, I do work well under pressure, but my attitude stinks during it]

Disclaimer: While I may work well under pressure, and I do meet my deadlines, procrastination is not something I support.  I may be good at it, but it’s definitely a struggle of my life.  I try to be organized and that helps, but waiting until the last moment is something I’m trying to work on.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Now is right on time

 I've been rather absent here over the past year.  I am really good at doing super long recaps, but I'm not going to do that here, despite all the awesomeness that's been going on here.  I did however stumble across a beautiful challenge to write every day in May over at Story of My Life.  Each day has a different prompt.  Click on the image on the right to see what it's all about.  

Maybe this will get me back into this, because truth is, I miss it!  For May 1st, I get to write my life story in 250 words or less... here you go!

Well –
I was born in raised in Amish country - hence my need to yell buggy whenever I see one.  I grew up a dancer, starting at the young age of 2.  I went to a little hick town school in the middle of nowhere.  I was the smart kid, the kind who read books at recess [don’t hate, I love my books!!] I started competing with my dance team/family when I was 8: we had a pretty rocking ballet team :)
Music entered my life and I made the decision to be a band director, throwing myself into practicing my bassoon.  I was all set to go to college for bassoon when I had a few amazing teachers tell me other options.
I ended up a math major my freshman year.  I got my first real job as an RA in the towers at BG.  For 10 weeks one summer, I got to love on some kids as a camp counselor at Marmon Valley Farm, which added the horse obsession to my life.  It also reignited my faith in God and Changed. My. Life.  After that summer, I knew without a doubt that youth ministry would be a part of my life.
I eventually graduated college, moved back to Amish country (I love it here), became an application developer (oh yeah, computers came into my life too), and now I’m working on what life looks like post-college. I’m excited for what God’s got planned for me here!

1 - My coach's horse Lily and I doing a photo shoot. 2 - Camp staff making an movie for Saving Private Smiley. 3 - RA Staff Offenhauer Towers! 4 - Practicing Bassoon 5 - Graduating from college! 6 - My lovely youth girls.  I love them! We were studying Ruth that year. 7 - My crazy cabin. 8 - Our first ballet competition
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