29 January 2010

i'm out of milk...LAME!

I will not write about ministry. I will not write about ministry. I will not write about ministry. (It's Friday! I am making the conscious decision not to think about ministry for the next little while here, for the sake of my sanity.)

SO ANYWAYS! Guess what I did?

NO, I did not train a flying turtle to turn on the DVD player in the youth room!

NO, I did not come across a napkin with a grease-stain Virgin Mother silhouette and sell it on eBay for thousands of dollars!

I opened a bank account here in the Burgh! That is a BIG step. Now I just have to transfer all my auto-pay bills over to my new account and get some new checks (they're YELLOW!) and stuff. It'll be so much more convenient to do all my money stuff here! Party in the USA! (Ew, did I just quote Miley Freaking Cyrus?! Punch me in the mouth!)

In other news, there isn't really any other news. I got a Netflix account, which is great...I think I'll be watching the Star Wars trilogy within the next couple of weeks, since I (*gasp!*) haven't seen them all the way through yet. I mean, I've seen bits and pieces here and there, but I've never actually seen the whole thing. I guess it's just another thing I can check off my list!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to head up to the Campbells' cabin for a day so I can have some chillaxin' time. I'm really looking forward to it!

And now I'm going to make myself some dinner. I'm thinking...something involving eggs. YUM!

24 January 2010

christmas cactus!

A quick post this evening...

The March for Life was a wonderful experience. There were somewhere around 250,000 people there, which was definitely a powerful presence. And here's an accomplishment: I didn't lose any of the ten kids I brought! Wahoo!

The one thing I did lose, however, was my cell phone. I left it on the bus. Of course. So if you need to contact me, you can e-mail me or leave a comment here...but I'll try to track down my phone soon so you can call me ALL THE TIME!

Okay, off to youth group!

20 January 2010

it's quite pretty even though it smells a little funny

I hope this video works...I tried uploading it earlier and it didn't. Ugh.

video

And now it looks like a real person actually lives here! TWO THUMBS UP!

So what do you think? I know you can't really see it too well, but WHO CARES?! Just tell me you think it's fabulous and it'll be fine. Haha...

18 January 2010

reader's digest

I had a really great day.

Like...really great.

I woke up early, had a very healthy breakfast (homemade granola, yogurt, and some fruit), cantored at 10:30am Mass, bought a couch, ate a late lunch (spinach salad with cottage cheese and raisins), prepared a bit for tonight's Life Night (youth group gathering), actually had the Life Night, and then went to a restaurant called Eat'n Park with three of my St. T's teens for some evenin' vittles.

YEAH, I bought a freakin' couch. It was the only one in the entire furniture store that passed the "plop test." That's basically where I would imagine coming home from work and wanting nothing more than to plop down on the couch and sit for a little while...so I would do that. I did that on every couch in the entire store--minus the leather and the recliners because, helloooo! Not interested! Some of the couches were too mushy and I would basically get sucked into them, and others were so hard that I was like, "Ugh. This is like sitting on a freakin' board!" But I finally found this one, and it even comes with pillows! So they're going to be delivering the thing on Wednesday. I sure hope it fits in my hallway...and doesn't look terrible in my living room. I'll get pictures/video up when I can.

At our well-attended Life Night tonight (25 kids!), a couple of my moms (Mary and Chris) surprised me with an ice cream cake, candles, a ridiculous hat, a little banner...the whole shebang. Of course, I had just had a piece of a different ice cream cake with my Core Team before the teens got there (leftover from when I brought it in to the office on Friday)...so what I'm saying is, I had two pieces of ice cream cake within the span of half an hour. I am happy to report that both were delicious. Good thing I ate healthy the rest of the day. SHOOT!

Since school is off tomorrow for Martin Luther King Day, a few of my teens invited me along when they went to Eat'n Park after the Life Night. It was a nice time--a great chance to just hang out with the teens and do the whole relational ministry thing for a couple of hours. It reminded me of our Perkins runs when I was in high school...good times indeed. I still remember (in high school) the funny look I got from the waitress when I ordered a chicken caesar salad bread bowl, minus the chicken, with breakfast potatoes on top instead. I'm telling you, it was the best salad EVER! But tonight, I had some cheese sticks. Yum. Again, good thing I ate healthy the rest of the day! (Well, other than the ice cream cake...but that doesn't count.)

OH, and it rained cats and dogs today. Most of the snow has melted away. I think I'm going to go write an emo poem about it. JUST KIDDING! Haha...

Cool, well...that's about all for now, I suppose. Love you, miss you, ET CETERA!

14 January 2010

russian, spanish, french

My birthday was wonderful. I was on retreat with a bunch of other youth ministers from around the diocese, which was much needed and very refreshing! But it also got me to do a lot of thinking. Some of the following thoughts are my own personal reflections, but some are also things we talked about as a group throughout the retreat.

I've been really frustrated lately, because I feel a bit lost here, in the "big-picture" kind of way. I mean, I know God put me in Pittsburgh for a reason, I just haven't figured out what it is yet. And it's not like I'm not listening, either. I've really been trying to hear what God has had to say over these last few months...I just haven't heard a peep. Don't get me wrong--I absolutely love it here and wouldn't trade my experience for anything, I'd just really like to know the reason I've been called here. Of course, the obvious answer is "to do youth ministry, silly!" But here's the thing: there's more to me than ministry. At the end of the day, I'm not a youth minister, I'm not a cantor, I'm not even a website committee member (as awesome as that is, haha)...I'm a child of God. God loves me for who I am in God, not what I do for God. So there has to be another reason for me to be here. I just have to figure out what it is. So any time you're ready to tell me, God, I'm ready for it! Until then...I guess I'm just...growing?

So after all the retreat stuff on Tuesday, about ten of us piled into a few cars and went to a place called Wings, Suds, & Spuds. I had a strawberry milkshake and some macaroni and cheese bites (SO DELICIOUS!), and they even gave me an orange balloon because it was my birthday. So that was exciting...a very laid back birthday celebration, but very nice. And then it was back to retreat stuff on Wednesday. :)

Well, it's back to work now...I decided to spend the morning working from my very comfortable bed--I made some phone calls about the March for Life in Washington, DC next Friday, and I've been working a bit more on the semester curriculum for the youth ministry program. I've got most of it pretty well laid out until May, but there are a couple more details to work out so I don't have to keep putting all my time and energy each week into "AHHH what are we doing this weekend?!"-type stuff. It'll be a relief to get all that taken care of!

And ALSO! I need to get myself a Dairy Queen cake today or tomorrow. I mean, it's not just for me, of course--it's like in elementary school when you brought cupcakes for everyone on your birthday...only with grown-ups on the church staff instead of sugar-crazed little children. Yippee skippy! I looooooove ice cream cake. I might even share it with the teens on Sunday if there's any left over...or maybe I'll just take it home and keep it in my freezer just in case I need my sugar fix...

11 January 2010

apple cores

All in all, this was a very exciting weekend--more exciting than most, anyway!

I went skiing with the Campbells on Saturday and Sunday, which was SUPER FANTASTIC--I spent the day skiing with two of the guys from my youth group, Jeremy and another kid named Nick. It was so fun...I hadn't been skiing in years, so I started the day by taking a quick run down the bunny hill just to get my "ski legs" working again. I was surrounded by little children who were learning how to snowboard and stuff. They were funny. Especially when they fell down. But then again, you could say the same for me.

On our second-to-last run, I took the most EPIC fall ever. I mean, we're talking flying through the air, flipping over a couple of times, losing one of my skis, my helmet flying off. EPIC. I have a nasty bruise on my left leg (which sucks because that's the side I usually sleep on), but other than being a bit sore, I didn't really get hurt. Though I did keep wondering to myself, Is it possible to get a concussion without knowing it? (If you know the answer, please leave me a comment or something, because even though I'm fairly certain I did not get a concussion, I am very curious now if it's possible!) The Fall happened right next to a chair lift full of people (which had STOPPED for some reason), and I could see them all staring at me and hear them all going, "Ohhhh!" and laughing and stuff. Heck, I was even laughing! I can only imagine what I must have looked like. I figure, I would have laughed at someone else if they had fallen, so I didn't mind ONE BIT if people laughed at me!

In other local news, last night was the spring semester kick-off for youth group. It was pretty fun--nothing too structured, but we did have a giant Catch Phrase tournament and played Bananagrams and whatnot. In addition to a bunch of junk food, I had bought a veggie tray and a fruit tray at Sam's...but then I forgot them in my refrigerator at home, so now I have two giant trays of fruit/veggies sitting in my fridge. I'll have to pay the church some money since I'll be the only one eating the stuff...but OH WELL! I had some yogurt and pineapple chunks for breakfast this morning, which was delightful.

And if you're wondering, NO! I DON'T HAVE TO DYE MY HAIR!!! (Phew!) We had somewhere between 25 and 30 kids come, so...no blue or purple hair for me. It was still a good time, though! Apparently, the bulk mailing I spent hours working on this past week didn't get to the families in time--which I was kind of relying on to get the word out about the kick-off. Grr, United States Postal Service!

I have a love/hate relationship with the USPS. I so appreciate how they deliver letters and care packages (HINT) and forgotten Christmas presents right to my door! BUT the process of preparing and sending bulk mailings is so utterly filled with red tape and ridiculousness that I can't help but shoot death lasers out of my eyeballs at them whenever I think about it. I would totally devote an entire post to how truly absurd the stupid little rules are at the USPS, but then you might think that I'm one of those ultra-annoying people who complains about little things all the time...and I know how irritating that is, so I shall spare you the gory details of bulk mailings.

And now, I am going to go shopping. Love you! Miss you! Be well!

08 January 2010

don't run with scissors, OKAY?!

Today, I went to Sam's Club and got my official business card. Here's the dangerous part: having a Sam's Club business card in my possession means that I can make purchases for the church and charge it to the card (like chips and whatnot for youth group events), but I can also make personal purchases as long as I pay for it another way (like a huge container of hot chocolate mix). So I need to be careful with how I spend my money (both the church's money and the stuff that comes out of my wallet) at Sam's Club.

(I just realized that is not an interesting thing to write about.)

When I got a ride to St. Cloud from Tibby's family on my way down to the airport in Minnesota (a couple days after Christmas), we listened to Mika's album The Boy Who Knew Too Much. Ever since then, I've been listening to it basically all the freakin' time. It just seems to get better and better with every hearing. I especially like the songs "I See You" and "Blue Eyes," but honestly, the whole album is quite a wonderful experience which I would highly recommend to the WORLD! Maybe I'll mail a copy to President Obama. He'll probably write me a thank-you card for changing his life with the power of pop. And he'll probably also send a thank-you card to Mika for writing the music, and then Mika will write me a thank-you card for exposing President Obama to his high quality tune-age, AND he'll give me a plane ticket and a VIP pass to one of his European shows and then we'll fall in love and be together forever...err, maybe that last bit wouldn't work out so well. But everything up to the VIP pass would be quite possible, I think.

I got my car back yesterday! AHHHH! It was awesome...apparently, the folks at the shop started referring to my car as "The Little One" because all the other cars getting fixed there were twice its size or something...and when I walked in the door, the lady sitting there gave me one look and said, "I bet you're looking for a little car." I was very relieved to be reunited with my baby after weeks and weeks of sadness and despair...and the inability to drive to a grocery store. Things were really looking a bit desperate there for a few days. I kept thinking to myself, "One can only survive on crackers and peanut butter for so long!" So since there's been a SUPER INTENSE snow storm ravaging the Burgh the last few days, and since I'm generally pretty good at driving in such admittedly perilous conditions, I braved the snow and ice last night and went to Giant Eagle for some super fantastic grocery shoppin' awesomeness. My fridge is full of good things like...eggs, yogurt, carrots, broccoli, cottage cheese, and MORE!

Oh, small note, but worth mentioning: one of my New Year's resolutions is to take better care of myself...so I am proud to say that I did not buy any junk food yesterday. None. Not even a little bag of chips or candy or anything. All good things--fruits and vegetables and the like. So my first trial has been successfully overcome...we'll see what happens the next time I go grocery shopping! But I'm really serious about this, so hopefully I can continue to stay away from all of my favorite things...haha! But really, living by myself, I don't have someone who will see what I'm eating and judge me (consciously or not) if it's something terrible...and sometimes that judgment is a good thing because I often adjust my behavior when I'm in the spotlight...but no one's here to do the judging...it's like when you know company is coming over so you clean your house. Okay, now I'm just rambling.

But on a serious note, I'm going to be doing more legit cooking from here on out, so if I find any delicious recipes, I will be certain to post them here!

That's really all for now. I'm going skiing up in the mountains tomorrow with the Campbells. I don't remember the last time I went skiing...so this will be an adventure. Pleeeease God, don't let me break my leg!

OH and I won't be back until Sunday afternoon, so the next time I post anything will be after the kick-off...meaning that I may or may not have a different hair color. AHHHHHH!!!

04 January 2010

how many black skirts can one girl own?

I decided to switch things up a bit as far as the colors and whatnot on this here blog thingy...mostly because I was bored. So THERE!

I took down my Christmas tree today, so now there's a giant gaping hole in the corner of my bedroom. Maybe I'll just stand there several hours a day, just so there's something there. No, actually, I'm waiting for the perfect couch and chair to come along on Craigslist so I can put them in my living room, and then take the chair I have in the living room now and put it in the corner of my bedroom. Does that make sense? And really, it's all just a matter of time (well, six months) before I drive back to Minnesota and get my GREEN CHAIR AND OTTOMAN OF DESTINY. I wish I had a picture of them, just so you could see their epic-ness. Oh wait, I do. I had to copy these two pictures off Facebook (from my FORT photo album), so it might not be the best quality ever, and you might not be able to tell how green they are, but at least you can see a small bit of the epic-ness this way. Or maybe not, in which case you need to get some new eyes, homeslice! Because if you can't see the epic-ness of the GREEN CHAIR AND OTTOMAN OF DESTINY...well, maybe we just shouldn't be friends anymore.

BEHOLD! THE GREEN CHAIR AND OTTOMAN OF DESTINY!


Annnnnyway. I've been trying to solve a mystery that occurred in my apartment over the last few days. So while I was back in Minnesota, I found a little container of holy water that I forgot to bring with me when I moved out here, so (naturally) I brought it back to the Burgh so I could splash it about and bless stuff. WELL, I have a little prayer corner in my bedroom, and I put some of the holy water in a small bowl that I have (like probably a quarter of a cup or something). And...over the last couple of days...the holy water DISAPPEARED. Like, it's completely gone. I get the whole evaporation thing, but there is NO WAY it's supposed to happen that fast. Maybe God needed it for something super important...but you'd think He would have left a note. I guess it must have gotten soaked up into the clay or something. But seriously? That's WEIRD. I thought at first that my mind was playing tricks on me...but then I went over to my corner and gazed into the emptiness of the bowl and was like, "WEIRD. It's GONE."

That's really all that's been interesting in my life recently. This week is going to be CRAZY at work, because I'm getting ready for our spring semester kick-off this Sunday. I don't think I've mentioned this here before (though I've been talking about it on Facebook a lot the last few days), but it bears repeating because it's that hardcore. I've made a bet with some of my youth group kids that if 80 high schoolers come to the kick-off (that's double the number we had in October), I will dye my hair any color of their choosing. I'm so scared...I have a terrible feeling that if they actually succeed, I will end up with electric blue hair or something crazy like that. The priests at St. T's are pushing for fuschia. One random usher told me after Mass yesterday that I should do half black and half gold (go Steelers!)...but I specifically said any color, not any colors! If that were true, I'd probably end up with a rainbow on my head, and I'm going to go ahead and avoid that if possible.

Regardless, part of me is going: I hope they get 80, because it might actually be cool to dye my hair AND because 80 is a TON of people...

And then there's the part that's going: 79, 79, 79...

Peace out, folks. Keep in touch! Leave me a comment! Whatever!

02 January 2010

we are not what you think we are!

A quick post today:

Happy New Year! 2010 promises to be a crazy year full of excitement and adventure...I hope I'm ready for it!

I'm making announcements at all the Masses this weekend about what's coming up this semester in youth ministry. Two down, four to go. I'm especially looking forward to the 7:00am Mass.

...

Oh sorry, I just zoned out a for a bit thinking about being awake at 6:00am. *shudder*