living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I feel like a (sad) seattle-ite.

When will the transition be over? That's my first question. This weekend was filled with so many "greats": a BBQ at Josh and Brenda's, white chocolate americanos at Zoka's, email time, a rad concert last night, church for the first time since I left SC, Sunday night potluck at Nick and Carina's tonite, runs around Greenlake, getting lost in the city, a Target and grocery store run, a fab convo over green tea with Mel...and in the midst of all those, I felt like a true Seattle-ite for the first time last night and then again tonite. First, the SHIM concert last night was AWESOME...I felt like I was back in the garage band days of Keizer, OR 97303, with the best of in northwest alternative at my listening fingertips. Held at the Liquid Lounge in Seattle's EMP, it was an epic location...and I was like, ooh, I'm in the grunge capital of the world. I'm back to my roots. I love it. Then tonite, upon chilling at Nick and Carina's, catching up with old friends and making connections with new, the rain first Seattle rain. My first thought? Dear's August, and it's raining. But it was beautiful. And I (again) felt like a Seattle-ite.

But that's where the "but" comes in: I still have a hard time being a Seattle-ite. I love it...and I hate it. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I don't want to have to put myself out there...I want to be where I'm comfortable and I walk into the Cheers' bar and everybody knows my name. I don't want to get lost three times in one day, just to have to get to know the streets. I want to be on top of it...I want to know my job...I want to have a plethora of kids and leaders to just love on and meet with so can fulfill my relational "duties"...I want to feel important and useful...but in the midst of all these "wants," I realize that unless I'm forced out of my comfort zone and stripped of all these secondary things I deem necessary, I'm going to stay stagnant and complacent. I'm not going to grow...and I need to grow.

So the biggest lesson I'm learning is simply that I need to BE instead of DO. And my life in Santa Cruz, though significant to my heart and growth, was a lot about doing. So that's why Seattle is a good thing because it's forcing me to least that's what I'm trying to tell myself. That's all I've got right now...but it's's good...I'm letting myself feel and be given grace...

Thursday, August 25, 2005


It's not everyday that in a girl's life she gets offered 6 free tickets to a John Fogerty and John Mellencamp concert...
it's not everyday that she gets to hang out with five new Washington friends: the roomies - Jen, Shannon and Amy - Vander and Ryan (okay fine, minus the Baum, whom I've loved since I scared her day 1 at PLU...)...
it's not everyday that we get to sing along to Creedance Clearwater hits while doing motions like we're live at a Young Life club...
it's not everyday that we get to ride in Vander's hoopty-fun minivan and watch his pro "it's okay...I back up ambulances" skills into a spot fit for a miniCOOP...
it's not everyday that we get to watch Fogerty do the old man dance and Mellencamp gyrate his pelvis while he yanks his pants up every 25 seconds...
it's not everyday that we get to hang out at the BEST OF in Auburn, WA...I mean, don't get me wrong, Auburn is slowly becoming my turf, but the White River Amphitheater was one to remember....
finally, it's not everyday that you get to sniff the air and then simultaneously hear "the coug," aka: Mellencamp say, "what's that smell? Ammonia? No that's more than ammonia, that's anmonia and chicken shit. I know that smell - I used to live on a farm. Couldn't they have waited a couple of days?" Oh Coug...

Indeed, it was a night to remember, so thanks anonymous Annie for the free hook-ups...though I don't think it was the point, I haven't laughed so hard in quite a while. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

two words

Friends, I have two words for you: THE COUG. Courtesy of my favorite area director in America, we just scored 6 free tickets to the John (no longer "Cougar") Mellancamp concert at White River Amphitheater tomorrow night. The new roomies and I are going to practice our Jack and Diane skills all day to come. Stories to be had, for sure. Go Coug.

Monday, August 22, 2005


It's 3:03 pm....yesterday at this time dear buddy Aaron and I were starting our near 8 hour jaunt back from Keizer to Seattle. While in the car, quite a bit of good thinking time was had...and in thinking about what TODAY would bring, I thought about what I was most excited about in this land called Washington, and what I missed the most about the land called California.

MFD. My First Date!....with a Young Life kid. :) Ha ha, I know some of you just got SO excited that I may have actually gone on a real live date with a real live boy over the age of....well, eligible. :) Nope. There's nothing like this heartfelt glee feeling when a kid calls you for the first time and wants to hang out on their time, and on their turf. I love it. So my 13 year old buddy Nicole and I just went to Starbucks for some frappuccino fun, and then went to her house to see her lime-green room and talk about Napoleon Dynamite. My first date. 13 going on 30?

TRB. Tofu, Rice and Broccoli (and spinach in parenthesis). Roommates of America, I am TRYING my hardest to convert the masses of the west coast to the delightful experience of TRB, but so far, few and far between are the takers. Now for those of you who have never experienced the Monday night fun, not only is the grub de-lish, but it's a whole body experience. (Scotty G, would you attest to this?). So friends, I desire for the whole world to delight in TRB...but like every other lesson I'm learning right now, it takes time...patience is a virtue, etc etc.

Tell me your favorite acronym of the day. love CHM.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

down with biscotti

This morning, upon getting to the YL office, I thought it'd be a brilliant idea to try and figure out how to work the espresso took me awhile, but as a former Starbucks barista, I wasn't completely ignorant of the task at hand. Despite an explosion, smoke, and a shot that looked like dirty polluted water, the second shot was a success; I rummage through the cupboards and even find a box of biscotti to go with my coffee!

While manning the desk for a little bit, I coffee and biscotti it up. As I'm about halfway through the biscotti, dip, eat, drink, dip, eat, drink, I notice that there's still some coffee left on the biscotti. It looks almost like cream got clumped biggie, that happens to biscotti. Yes, biggie, it was a little WORM!!!!!! EWWW!!! I spit it out as fast as I could and threw the biscotti across the room. I ran into the bathroom and started spitting and rinsing out my mouth as fast as humanly possible. Are you kidding me?! Mini worms in biscotti?! SICK! Or as my friend Hannah would say, STUPID.... (I love you, Hannah).

I don't know if I'll ever a) eat again, or b) (and more importantly) have coffee and biscotti ever again. I shudder just thinking about it. How many worms now crawl inside my body? Why is it that whenever anything slightly touches or brushes up against me, I jump and almost wet myself wondering if it's one of those disgusting little worms. I may have worked at camp where little smokies and mini tacos were a staple item but worms? Worms are altogether too much.

PS: Live. Love. Laugh. :)

Monday, August 15, 2005

adventures in shaniko, ho ho

Shaniko: population 19 peeps. Shaniko: where their very own mayor was murdered a year ago. Awesome. Shaniko: used to be home to 3000 Oregonians in which WOOL was their export item of choice, but the town burned down one too many times. Shaniko: where bus #3 with 48 YL kids and leaders from Auburn, WA hung out for 3 hours yesterday afternoon while we waited for a new bus to arrive. YEE HAW!!

After a FANTASTIC five days at Wildhorse Canyon, precious old man Bob the bus driver arrived at camp with his hoopty bus. In obvious comparison to the two other Auburn buses, it was a little older, a little more "loved," but hey, maybe it was Bob's baby. You never know. Less than 10 minutes after leaving camp, the bus overheats and we pull to the side of the road. Bob is sad. We get started again, and it overheats again. Bob gets mad. We start up again (are you seeing the pattern?), and now Bob starts cussing. After putting more water in to hopefully cool it down, five overheating times later, it overheats for good and the starter dies. We pull to the side of the road in high desert Oregon...taking up one of the two lanes, kids shuffle off the bus and try to smoosh in the shade of the sick mobile. Bob hangs his head in shame. He really is a precious old man. Finally, with Bus #1 out of site, out of orbit, bus #2 drops their kids off in Shaniko, comes back and picks up our kids, drops us off in Shaniko and takes its original passengers to Auburn. We are left in Shaniko (insert again, population: 19 peeps) to chill while the bus company sends another NEW bus down from Yakima.

Among the highlights: the icecream and hotdog parlor (ewww...lethal combination!) that threatened to close as they saw hoards of junior high kids coming their way. The Texaco gas station. All the fake western storefronts that Shaniko uses for their festival days in early August every year. The seasonal antique stores [there were at least 3 of them!] selling $1 off back-to-school t-shirts! And finally: Dan the man.

Dan was one of the shop owners who sat in front of his store in his wheelchair. Quickly he caught the kids' attention with his witty stories and "funny" jokes. Slowly Dan wheels out to the middle of the street and then BAM!!!, he pulls out his pistol with blanks and fires into the air. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Kids are screaming and running wild and giggling nervously and BEGGING him to shoot again; the other leaders and I are just thinking, dear god, this is the end of our ministry, of our lives, as we know it. So Dan became Mr. Popular and I take a picture of every kid posing with him and his pistol. Can't you just hear the stories the kids will tell their parents upon getting home? "Yeah, we went to this old ghost town...we ate hotdogs and icecream for lunch....then this guy went and shot at us..." "HE SHOT AT YOU?!" "Well yeah mom, but it was COOL! Look, he even let me keep the blank as a souvenir!"

So, it was a great week...some kids came to Jesus...I hung out with my 13 year old friends and got to know some super cool leaders...I went on a 1/4 mile long zipline, swam and played in the pool, had amazing one-on-ones, and didn't even wet my pants jumping off the pamper pull. Dan the man got to show off his Shaniko Days' firing skills and Bob got to drive us home. Bob was happy. What a day. What a week. What an adventure. :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the new "schedule"

Well, I just finished day two of my new job...I can't believe this is my job, that I'm blessed and believed in enough to simply DO young life full time. For starters, here was today's "schedule":

*7:07: wake up, take shower to meet ANNA HALL ANDERSON!
*7:45: coffee at Zoka's in Seattle with Anna...get coffee and scones, walk around Greenlake.
*8:30ish: drive to work
*9:15ish: arrive at work and set up more pics and books in office
*9:30ish-10:30ish: have a meeting with new boss Shawn, admin Ginger and parttimer Kim, discuss CAMP
10:30ish-11:45ish: play on Internet looking for books on middle school kids and reading up on the YL website for resources
noon: meet HS girl Christy for Starbucks...we're leading a cabin together at Wildhorse tomorrow.
1ish: go to Fred Meyer's, Walmart and the dollar store with Christy to find stuff for kids at camp. We bought kids' goggles and water wings; we're going to look hot.
2ish: head back to the office...write thank you cards and chat with Anna, Shawn's wife. Cool girl.

And then I went home....ran around Greenlake...ate white cheddar shells...watched There's Something About Mary...laughed...chatted with fabulous roomie Jen. It's hard not to want my schedule all laid out, like I was so used to with teaching, but it's GOOD. Upon meeting almost 140 kids and leaders tomorrow AM at 6:30, that's when the real fun is going to start. We head to YL's Wildhorse Canyon down in Oregon and will be back on Sunday. Until then, all hail the green and white, everyday. (Green and's).

Finally, here are some pics from last night. We had SUCH a fun dessert time pretending like we were our very own MIX/Coldstone....Danny, Aaron, Josh and Brenda and Jen and I hung out. It's epic to me because all my different worlds come together in community (ie: high school, PLU, Santa Cruz...all in Seattle now). It's a glimpse of heaven. The hot dog - that's Zeke, Brenda and Josh's 4 month old mastiff puppy. Hot stuff.

Monday, August 08, 2005

a hard good day

In the wise words of Holly Fail last night: "Every day's a good day; some are just hard good days." The past two days have been hard good days. I finished speaking at Frontier Ranch Friday night, then gave a little send-off Saturday morning. Said good-bye to FR (classic was to Chris/Chops: "I don't want to say good-bye to you!", so he just walks away. Oops. I had to explain that I was just prolonging the inevitable, not not wanting to say good-bye)...went out to bagels with Amanda, Jer and Care, Lola and Jojo...finished packing up my room and the car...drank lemonade while next door neighbor Daniel figured out how to make my NEW EBAY BIKE RACK WORK (!), and then drove out of 210 Weible Drive with tears streaming down my face. WHY is it so hard to leave? Why am I doing this? Why am I having such a hard time with it? I thought by now that I'd be like wa-hoo, take me to Seattle, baby, to do Young Life and love kids and serve Jesus FOREVER....and even though I catch glimpses of the good, I feel more confused than ever as to what the hell I'm even doing and why I'm even leaving.

So it was a hard good day. But there were funnies to it: Amanda Susanne Nelson. Losing an entire bike tire on the freeway (not just the wheel...wait, is it the other way around? Regardless, I probably caused an 18 car pile-up on the 680 due to the need to speed my beach cruiser in Auburn). Amanda's total remorse over her roadkill squirrel yesterday. Receiving a two-minute flip-off while talking to Hollie W. somewhere near Shasta. Holly Ann last night. Making my parents follow me while doing 80. Hee hee. Seeing The Wedding Crashers tonite with some cute new roomies. Walking around Greenlake. Talking to the Anna's and the Aaron's and the Joshy's up here whom I can't wait to see.

And I go to the YL office tomorrow around, mmm, 9ish, 10ish, to begin my new life. That will be good. It might be another hard good day - and there will be many more hard good days - but in more wise words of wisdom (this time from C. Gothie): "no decision is ever a bad time is ever wasted...the Lord's going to USE each and every place and opportunity." And if that means serving and growing in WA for a couple of YEARS or a couple of DECADES, it's going to be good. Hard good days are good to have. They just suck in the moment. Bear with me. Thanks friends. c.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

this I love...

This I love about Frontier Ranch: skits. theme skits. blue punch. the chicken walk. microphones. Jesus. reading corner at the nurse's station. sunshine. campfire. cabin creations. carpetball. the wagon wheel. dancing before campfire. games that stink with two people. eating meals with cabins. girls who throw footballs. the big hill that always makes you winded no matter how many times you've walked up and down it. primetime. song cards. devos. camp names. kujo. duke. chops. spicy chicken. (those are the ones I see right in front of me...). the pool. the pool trail. Coffee Cat when it's time to work on my talks. worship. kids going crazy. making purple. the barn. the donkey that won't shut up. laughing. snorting. chats with kids under the willow trees. high fives. God in the bod. Abba.

It's a GREAT's good being back at FR...I love just sitting back, watching, as kids live life to the fullest and the staff just go for it as well. My talks are a minor part of the big picture, but I'm learning names and getting little chats in and winning the right to be heard for 25 minutes each night. It's good just to BE. love kujo:)