living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

christian karma?

Maybe I do believe in karma.

If you recall, upon driving up to WA on the 680 in CA, August of 2005, a bike wheel mysteriously disappeared off the back of Raul the Jetta. I may have caused quite the collision of dodging vehicles that sunny Saturday.

This past Thursday, on the 680 in CA, two pieces of plywood slipped off of the truck in front of me. I dodged one and hit the other...but this time, it wasn't Raul the Jetta, but, er, Rosarita the '96 Jetta (aka: my buddy Libby's car). Good-bye, turn signal! So long, grill! Hello paint scratches, and welcome to this world, chunk of pressboard wedged into a random crevice of the front of the car! And finally, gooooooooooooood morning de-duc-ti-ble! (If only I had Robin Williams' voice to insert right here...).

I'm not meaning to be entirely sarcastic, just a little bit so. :)

Happy new year...rest up, or party on, Wayne! chm.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

stayin' alive

it's 1:23 am. I am still awake. It kindof makes me feel like a giddy little college school girl...but then I remember that in order to fall asleep, I need to get off the laptop, so I shall do that in just a minute. In other exciting LIFE OF CARA news (hmmmm...), here you go:

*this week I traveled down to tahoe for a little mtn. lodge reunion. my heart swelled with SMILES at seeing christie, jamie and lily. i squealed with glee at the sight of jenderr, bonnie and my hapa sister mishi. I laughed until tears with the reuniting of dan gannon.


*I got to hang out with J LO....jennifer lopez....the real deal....well, the one with jason as a husband and two cutie boys, cayton and isaac, who lives in truckee, ca.

*we snowshoed castle peak!!!



*yesterday we had a campaigners' shopping trip in seattle; I think my favorite was when danny showed up to make an appearance before pottery barn grabbed him, and the girls just ignored him. awesome. I still love them....even if don't realize how uber cool my over-18 friends are! :)

*had a great meeting with my regional director yesterday. yup.

*had hang out time with kurt and sally who no longer shall be called WOOFY AND CHAI. they have two weiner dogs, frank and beanie, who scared the crap out of mr. darcy. seriously, mr. d., you're bigger!!! be a man-dog - you can do it!

*and for the next bit of the weekend I'm hanging out with mindy and johnny in ptld; i accidentally crashed date night tonite upon not going to a party....and we all gloriously watched a brazilion sub-titled film about incest and eastern religion. it was about 2 hours and 56 minutes too long.

merry christmas. loves cara "it's now 1:31 am" mac:)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

get on the christmas cheer

here are some christmas pics to put you in the celebrative mood....ps: though I hate that consumerism has taken over this peaceful holiday, there are still such things like pictures with santa that I'll partake of....

Danny getting jiggy with his starlight, starbright.

Mr. darcy's first christmas. :)

Cute roommate Grace hanging up an ornament with care.

The Auburn Young Life staff (and its Christmas pic): me, Shawn, Kim, Jane and Jordan.

Have you ever been to one of those houses where they hang up their pictures with santa from every single year....yeah, I don't think I'm starting that tradition with my DOG.

Friday, December 08, 2006

fondness and shoe-ness

I am fond of footnotes. MFFT. My first footnotes were used this past week in my Fuller paper; as an Education/English major, I was an MLA kid...and then as an English teacher, I was nothing but down with MLA, but now, here in the realm of religion, we embarked on a whole new journey. A footnotes journey. And footnotes, when you're writing a paper are just fantastic; everything you want to say but think might be a little too off the beaten path - footnotes! Those further thoughts that are just going to take you out of the sphere of focused exegetical research writing - footnotes! If I could figure out how to incorporate footnotes into this blog, I think I would, but for now, parentheses will have to do....



One more brain-dead thought: I've been trying to find those all-Christmas radio stations. Why drive in the holiday season if you're not going to embark on singing the tunes as well? Long story short, I found a station...and then I heard the God's-gift-to-women commercial of commercials:

*Two women knock on the door of their girlfriend's house.
"Hey girl, we heard you were sick, so we brought you some ... SHOES!"
"Shoes?! Oh, just what I needed to feel better!!! thank you thank you thank you - new mules? The sniffles are gone!"

Of course, then it goes into a tirade about how if you're sick, the new slingbacks of the season aren't going to make you feel better - you need to go to your local practitioner...

But man, I heard that advertisement and just died. Shoe therapy - and retail therapy at that - DOES in a sick, unhealthy way make a girl feel better. Ladies (and okay, gentlemen too) out there: if I call you, sick as a dog, feel FREE to send me some chicken noodle KNEE HIGH BOOTS in the mail!

Ahhh....

Life...much love to all, chm:)

Monday, December 04, 2006

true or false

Cara has a PHAT paper for her fuller class due thursday. true.

Cara is still in the midst of researching and hasn't started writing her fuller paper due thursday. true.

Cara hopes to finish that research today and then put her stylin' ex-English teacher skills to full-speed ahead. true.

Cara also has overnight training with young life tomorrow night and has only finished one of the assignments...out of five. true.

Cara thought she was done with her slacker, procrastination days, but apparently she's just going all out. true again.

The cool thing is that she's learning TONS about Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, and that's what she then gets to write the paper all about... true dat.



Cara now feels like that one Seinfeld "Jimmy" episode...and cara would rather be watching lots of seinfeld right now. very true.

In the meantime, there will be no creative blogs but many smart hours spent in front of the computer. wish me luck!

Monday, November 27, 2006

yesterday...

I ran 13.1 miles....MFHM. My first half marathon. I was excited to actually LIKE running that far, and felt great up until about mile 10 when I realized that hurt was setting in... The best part was looking down at my shirt, and thinking to myself, man, did a bird crap on me? Am I all of the sudden sprouting dandruff? Nope. It was snowing...and just like the mail must go through, as my old Sesame Street tunes sang, we kept running through rain and snow and fabulous Seattle weather.

Sometimes we have to be proud of ourselves, and right now, I smile knowing that I did something I never thought I could or would do...and am actually excited about another (SUNNY!) one in the future.

Peace out! chm.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

i like nuns.

here posts some pics of my time with the nuns yesterday and monday....

The nuns raise rare animal breeds, including "hairy coos", aka: Scottish Highland Cows. This is Liam, whom we affectionately named EWOK, who's about 4 weeks old...

Christmas card '06 preview! Mr. Darcy and I at the edge of Shaw Islands in the San Juans....

We met a lady! ...er, a Baronness in the British Parliament. This is Janet, a regular at the monastery, who also fell in love with Mr. Darcy. I really don't think I'd have friends if it weren't for this pup. But in all seriousness, Janet is the equivolent of a US Senator in England; she's been in politics for ages (running and serving in what we'd call the House), but is now appointed for LIFE to her current position. I loved discussing British and US politics over tea with her!

After picking carrots, Lizzy nearly got attacked by the herd of llamas. Fight for your life, lizard!

And now for my favorite picture of them all...

When (one of the) Mothers introduced herself to me, I responded with telling her my name: Cara. "Really?" she asked. "Yes....." "Oh, okay then." Here I begin feeling a little worried...if a nun doesn't approve of my name, how am I going to do with Jesus? "Is that bad?" "Well, no - it's just that we have a cow named Cara. Her full name is Cara Mia, but we call her Cara for short." What the COW!?!!! So here I am with Cara the cow...maybe THIS should be the Christmas card. :)

So did we get solitude time? Yes. Was it different than we expected? Yes. These are Benedictine nuns, so they follow a sect (order?) of work and prayer. These ladies have dedicated - consecrated! - their lives to God, so in between praying 8 times a day, they also run and work on their farm. We "paid" part of our stay by working as well, bailing hay, picking vegetables, feeding cows named Cara...yet what a joy it was! We also attended a Vespers (evening) service and Mass in the morning, and then got "down time" and were fed meals by the ladies as well.

Will I be joining the ladies any time soon in full-time nun-ship? No way, Jose....but I will be visiting my friend Cara again.

happy thanksgiving....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

the uploading of the camera presents....

God bless Macs. The computers, not my family....though we are one to be blessed, I suppose. :) I kept holding off on uploading my pics from the camera to the computer, having not fished for the installation software. Who knew that you don't even NEED that software to connect the two? So, though a bit tardy, here are a bunch of pics from the past couple of months...

At a YL staff retreat in Poulsbo, a continued theme of (my) being WHOLE in Him came to me...






Dear buddy Pam, from Illuminate, has become a feeder to my soul. She's one of those people who gives with every ounce of her being simply because it's who she is and not because she has to be...


This is a picture of Katie, also from Illuminate, at Mr. Darcy's TEA PARTY here at the casa...Katie and I are excited for future puppy play dates when she gets a pup of her own.












Sometimes Mr. Darcy gets all tired out and becomes a little snuggle bug. Please note the "sometimes" of that sentence.












And then sometimes it's time for Mr. Darcy to say his evening prayers! Can I get an AMEN, Mr. D?







Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the FALL CUPCAKE FESTIVAL with cupcake-lover, Aaron, from Illuminate. Once upon a time I told him that my favorite part of New York City was the cupcake shops! In disbelief, he just about renounced our friendship because I chose cupcakes over the nightlife or renowned steakhouses. Well, the history behind Saturday's adventure made the day even better. God bless cupcakes.


Aleah (my sister!) was in town last week! Here we are on our way to the Ray Lamontagne concert at the Paramount...wow.



Have you ever bought a pumpkin Odwalla at your local Safeway, taken it to your car, started driving, had your sister shake it and then leave the lid sitting lightly on top, all for you to NOT realize the "lid lightly on top" part of the sentence, grab the drink two minutes later, shake it profusely, and then proceed to have PUMPKIN PROTEIN SHAKE all over the inside of your car? Well, I have...






And, then, upon pulling over at the gas station to clean up the Odwalla juice, have you ever gotten out of your car only to find your right rear tire completely flat? Have you then filled it up with air, driven to the naval base, gone to your sister's appointment with her, and then come back to find the tire flat again? Has that ever led you to have the Navy boys fix your flat? Note to self: Learn to change a flat tire!






Ahh, there's nothing like a mashed potato sculpture contest at Wyldlife to celebrate Thanksgiving club!






that's it friends...thanks for tuning in for all the picture updates!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

parkalicious

A must-read: Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak. Wow. Here follows the chapter excerpts from a recent assignment I had...er, got... to do. It'll take you a little bit of time to sift through, but his thoughts are INSPIRING...

“My life is not only about my strengths and virtues; it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow” (6). It’s easy for me to think that calling (within a vocation) is simply about the good strengths of my character and personality, but here I was reminded that in ministry we come face to face with the positives and the negatives. If life is lived out in reflection of the calling one receives, then I must face reality in those activities that give me energy, and those that ultimately provide frustration and death (to self).

“…vocation, or calling, comes from a voice external to ourselves, a voice of moral demand that asks us to become someone we are not yet – someone different, someone better, someone just beyond our reach” (10). Who is that external voice? Is it God? Is it man? Is the “voice” really a voice giving us hope and inspiration, or is it simply a call to the greater good, that as we sift through the garbage and muck of the present-day life, eventually we’re going to find the valley of green goodness on the other side of the landfill? I'm chewing on this one...

“…the God I know is the source of reality rather than morality, the source of what is rather than what ought to be” (50). How often Christians, in their pursuit for what becomes legalistic morality, forget that the essence of our faith is authenticity and reality. Likewise, in thinking about calling, I have to examine my own heart in the matter: am I being who I was created to be, or am I “being” what I think I ought to be in the good Christian scheme of life?

“To embrace weakness, liability, and darkness as part of who I am gives that part less sway over me, because all it ever wanted was to be acknowledged as part of my whole self” (71). To put it simply, I wrote “October 2006” next to this quote. Last month I embraced the reality of brokenness; I admitted the hardships of loneliness, and though it was a dark night or two of the soul, I’ve come to acknowledging my whole self, which I hadn’t done before.

“Those of us who readily embrace leadership, especially public leadership, tend towards extroversion, which often means ignoring what is happening inside ourselves” (79). Ditto to the previous paragraph. Many times I wear the extroverted mask that because I’m always around people (in ministry…), I’m not in need of the need inside of me. That need gets ignored and pushed to the side and masked in a number of different ways, until a brutal, unstoppable explosion of the heart occurs.

“If we want to save our lives, we cannot cling to them but must spend them with abandon” (105). My work crew motto 10 years ago was be here now; how true that mantra rings today. I cannot cling to the recognitions of yesteryear or hope for the fulfillment that the future might bring. In order for my life to be salvaged and made whole, I must run with wild abandon the here and now…

Yes. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mr. Darcy seems to have quite the aversion to the rain....granted, he's only been in our lives since last Monday, but on the two biggest rainy days (today and Monday), he's busting out the pee in the house like there's no tomorrow! I'm thinking we have quite the fair-weather pup....

On another note, what do 'hairy coos', llamas, Jesus, nuns and the San Juan islands have in common? THIS: www.rockisland.com/~mhildegard/. And I'm excited to take a solitude retreat out there in a couple of weeks... And the sixth best thing about it (besides the five previously listed items?), I get to check off TWO on my '30 before 30' list! Go to the San Juan Islands...soon to be check... Stay at a convent or monastery...hey check-arana...

The whole idea reminds me of Kathleen Norris' The Cloister Walk; it's a poignant book about her off and on again experiences at a convent in the midwest....she's rather Anne Lamott and Annie Dillard-like, in the sense that she writes to a secular audience, but easily includes faith and spirituality in a non-threatening sort of way.

Okay, I'm delaying the homework inevitable and must go, but friends, make a list - it's soooooo healthy!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

is mr. darcy still cute? yes.......

.....to an extent. :) For the record, he's only peed in the house ONCE today. ...though previous days boast quite higher numbers (like last night, for example: who needs to pee three times inside in LESS than a two hour period?! My puppy! Hey, it was better than the present(s) he left early that morning...wow, now that was a looker. Ring around the rosy...and around, and around and around). We've started going on walks now every morning, and I'm trying to become a not-so-fair weather walker! He's certainly teaching me the art of routine...

On another note, the other day my friend Lizzy, Mr. Darcy and I were driving through CLATSKANIE, Oregon; I laughed and giggled at three coffee shop names along the "main drag":

*Some Like It Hot - Coffee AND Tanning!

*Latte-da....

*HUMP'S Restaurant and Coffee Shop. (come on people, it says HUMPS!....and I work with 12 year olds...)

So if YOU were to drive through Clatskanie, which coffee shop would you want to frequent?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

REACH.......


I used to be in this drug-free club in middle school called REACH: Responsible Educated Adolescents Can Help! (We were always sure to include the exclamation point). Our highlight of the year involved taking a field trip up to Portland for a drug-free march around the city. We walked around the city chanting our acronym and its power while encouraging our newfound homeless friends to just say no to drugs. The day ended at down at the waterfront where our keynote speaker and drug-free peer, RUDY from The Cosby Show, exhorted us to keep up the clean lifestyle; then she soared off in a hot-air balloon, while all of us reached out our little REACH hands for her.

I kid you not. Rudy in a hot air balloon.

But that's not why I wrote this post; I am now Cara, a REAWCBTCOAP: Responsible Educated Adult Who Can Barely Take Care Of A Puppy. I don't want to say that Mr. Darcy is kicking my butt, but man, can't a girl get 8 hours of sleep in a row? I said I wanted and needed to be "needed," and yup, he's need-a-ble... As I told my friend Anna, some people get married, some people have kids, and whelp, some people get a dog! And all three of those things teach responsibility to say the least...and three days into it, truly, I'm loving the little bugger.

Tonite we had a party: a tea party with Mr. Darcy! For those of you who aren't familar with his name, go and read or rent PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Not only will you understand the psyche of a woman, but you'll have a greater appreciation for my buddy and his effeminate name. One of these days I'll send him over for some manly boy football-watching time, but in the mean time, we'll settle for tea parties.

Crumpet anyone?

Monday, October 30, 2006

presenting.........

Friends, I'd like you to meet.........MR. DARCY............

Friday, October 27, 2006

zach and patrick


Zach Morris, old cell phone...

Meet Dr. McDreamy, aka: Patrick, your replacement.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

a check check ... and then some more

Can we check another one off the 30 before 30 list....Grace and I are going to be puppy-mommies, as our friend Rachel said....we found a dog. Hee hee. He's a border collie, and he's going to be part of the fam early next week. A puppy. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! What am I doing?! Name applications are being accepted now (and a picture will be posted as soon as I figure out how to download it off of the cell phone...).

-------------

On another note, the past 36 hours have been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows; loneliness came to an abrupt climax yesterday and continued to last throughout the day. My heart broke - over and over and over again - like it's never broken before. And I didn't understand...and I won't understand, and that's okay. What I have come to understand is that this is the particular season that I'm in, though the fog seems dense and thick right now, is not going to be like this forever. And there isn't a perfect explanation that I can give someone as to what I'm feeling, and there isn't a perfect solution from other people as to what they can give me.

this is my season, my particular season...

But there's a "but" that happened today, and today I saw evidences of that void, that gap filled. Today I saw His grace morning, noon and night. Today I caught glimpses of that grace like droplets of rain falling from the sky on my tongue, and so that is where my heart continues to lay: may my eyes be open to seeing what He has placed in front of me, even if it isn't ideal and doesn't always make sense and looks a little more foggy than clear.

It's a weird, unexplainable time in life right now, yet I'm learning that to be vulnerable, to let myself be broken, to tell others of my needs - and to let myself have needs! - is of the utmost importance. And I even find myself wanting to bust out with the LIVING, LOVING, LAUGHING part of life right now....but this right here, right now, at a 12:04 am time of reflection is where I'm at. I'm discovering and uncovering a side of myself that I don't even think I've let myself see before, and I can only describe it as WEIRD...

Friday, October 20, 2006

okay, fine....


I do love the various questions of, sooooooooooo, did you get the dog? Well, the bright-side answer is that the cute little girl dog liked me. Let's just say she knew who to wag her tail at...but the sad answer as of this point is that the "six week old" puppy (which is questionable at best) was the size of a baby horse. So, knowing that a baby soon grows into an adult, we decided to just say no to the dog who could be a good 100 pounds someday.

As for speaking, I'm at the Pacific Bay Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, CA right now....blessed be the name. : )

And as for the MAC, I love the new MacBook! Shown here are some fun with photo booth pics: the first is an inquisitive Cara on the airplane today (pencil sketched), and the second is Mel, me and danny last night. Apple, I heart you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

a dog, a mac and a talk.

A dog: I go to look at a puppy tomorrow night...he's half lab, half beagle. Moore's, could this be Buster's long-lost mutty cousin?

A MAC: The Millers will shoot me, but I've found my heart in a MacBook laptop that's soon coming in the mail...and at that point, these blogs might just become more regular (and with pics again!).

A Talk: I'm speaking this weekend at a retreat down in the greater Bay Area with/for middle school kids. I'm stoked, though my heart is going through a wide range of emotions; the "talks" are on two DEAR subjects of the heart: Community and Love. My first reaction was WHAT ARE YOU FRICKIN DOING TO ME, LORD?! Second thought: Oh crap....this is going to do a work on my heart. And it has. Community (the group's overall theme), and Love (the 1 Corinthian passage I happen to land on) are THE two subjects I am most passionate about, but they've stirred up the deep dark portals of the heart. I want to be all about loving Jesus and loving people...and I desire it more than anything...and that's why it sucks (to put it blatantly) to be without it much of the time. Loneliness has never been a word in my vocabulary, so to experience it brings about a whole new range of emotions.

BUT - PLEASE can we have a "but"-like conjunction in this sentence?! - are we NOT the strongest when we're weakest? Because this is such an area of passion for me, am I not going to bring to the table that which someone else (who hasn't experienced the "best of times...and the worst of times..." in community) wouldn't be able to touch on? It's hit me, and it's made me question the WHYs of every equation known to man, but it's also made me VALUE and CHERISH even more deeply that which is right in front of me. It's a season. And a season is not forever. So what am I doing right here, right now, to change - and to ACCEPT - the clouded, gloomy view?

Yes. Dogs. A Mac. And a talk. Whew.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I loved this yesterday AM...

O God, immortal, eternal, invisible, I remember with gladness and thanksgiving all that thou hast been to this world of men (er...peeps):

Companion of the brave:
Upholder of the loyal:
Light of the wanderer:
Joy of the pilgrim:
Guide of the pioneer:
Helper of labouring men:
Refuge of the broken-hearted:
Deliverer of the oppressed:
Succour of the tempted:
Strength of the victorious:
Ruler of rulers:
Friend of the poor:
Rescuer of the perishing:
Hope of the dying.

I think it's really interesting that there's a colon following each line; if a colon presents something, then each of the lines present the next signifying name of God. Yes, and it's beautiful....

Friday, October 06, 2006

the excuse...

My home laptop (which is nameless, unlike Zach Morris the phone and Raul the Jetta...) has officially died. A graveside service will be held in the upcoming future, and all of you can pay your respects to the many pictures and documents I'd still like to someday retrieve. Laptop - you've served me well! It's been a good three and a half years...

In the meantime, blog posts haven't happened as much... If anyone knows a steal of a deal on MACs (caramac needs an i-mac...let's just be honest here), please let me know. Also, if you know how I can score a free thousand dollars without robbing the local bank (ooh- but what if I told them about Jesus? Ahh, Christian rationalization), holla at me, yo.

Tonite is our first Wyldlife. Yippee! I will share the story of MFC - my first cavity - and somehow relate it to what Wyldlife is, and why Wyldlife leaders do what they do... Tonite some kids may realize that my "job" is more than just passing out forks in the cafeteria. Forkalicious! Hey fork-a-rana!

I started my first semester-long seminary class last night: Biblical Interpretation, and was stoked to see that all the homework assignments had to do with finding the verbs, pronouns, articles and antecedents of the sentences! Teaching English dun me good!

That's it. Prayers. Peace. Blessings, c:)

Monday, September 25, 2006

the musings of me...

Yesterday: I went over to a dear friend's house for lunch with her and her grandparents, whom she lives with. Her grandma is in the late stages of Alzheimers...and after lunch my friend asked me to sit down at the piano to play through the hymnals for grandma. I can't really explain the many emotions that went through each of our heads.

First, I saw my buddy...here she is, a woman in her late twenties, selflessly living with and taking care of her grandparents. She prepared lunch for all of us, walked her grandmother to the table, fed her the meal between her own bites, and continued to give of herself as she sang along wholeheartedly with the music. For her, to then see her grandma, who seldem utters more than a few words, to sing entire phrases and stanzas of ancient spiritual lyrics, she was BLESSED. She was fed.

Then I saw the grandma, and having seen my own grandmother battle the mind and body-killing disease as well, she's "gone" according to societal standards. But I can't help but think that the spirit, the SOUL of a person continues to live on past that which the mental and physical can express. I believe that Jesus heard her songs yesterday, as she expressed the deepest part of her heart in the only way she - literally - could.

And as I sat there myself, I didn't really know what to do with the situation. There's the part of me that acknowledges that I've been given a gift of music, and knowing that it's okay to admit that, I'm led to believe that those gifts should be used for a greater good. But as I sat there at the (beautiful!) baby grand yesterday, it more importantly a moment of SOUL for me. My eyes filled with tears as I heard her hum and sing along at times, and then utter a lilting "ohhh!" at the end of a songg. There's also that part of me that's brought back to the good-bye with my own grandmother, five years ago. My sister and I drove to Nevada City at the end of a summer at Frontier Ranch to see Grandma Mac one last time. She couldn't talk. She couldn't communicate. She couldn't feed herself...and she didn't know who we were, at all. I remember sitting in front of her, afraid to talk or communicate myself, because I knew I'd cry if I opened my mouth. So I didn't say anything. I never said good-bye outloud, yet only in my heart. ... Yesterday was a day of healing for me; yesterday in playing for this grandma, I was saying good-bye to my own.

It was a powerful afternoon.

Today: It starts with myspace a month ago. I got a message from "C" who simply said this: "You don't know who I am, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for always being so mean to you when you tried to be my friend during lunches last year at Mt. Baker. I just wanted you to know that." Wow! So here we were a month later, having coffee together at Starbucks. As I listened to the story of the here and now in "C's" life, it was pretty cool hearing how she's been given an entirely new start and is CHOOSING to live as such. Crap happens in each of our lives...and we can choose to hang on to it, bitter to the sucky curveballs we've been thrown, or we can choose to do something about it. So here she is, a freshman in high school, starting over...and for her that meant starting over by being nice to people. (She's almost like My Name is Earl in the real life 14-year old female sense...)

But here's what AGAIN got me about our conversation: "So Cara," she asked, "why did you keep coming to Mt. Baker [her middle school] even when everyone was so mean to you? I mean, I was mean to you, but there were people who were even worse!" What do you say to that? ... And I realize that it's not my job to be liked...it's not my job to make them want to be my friend...my job is to try and be this fleshy Jesus-like person to them who loves them regardless of what they think of me. (Later, she had a rather hard time dropping that "everyone hated you" part of the conversation, and according to her lunchtime conversations with her peers, I'm too happy, preppy and nice for them...).

And I tell you, I don't always get this thing called ministry. I don't get why I'm in the thick of it...but when something like this happens, I begin to get a twinge of thankfulness and a bit of understanding why I do what I do. As we left Starbucks, I didn't know whether to be encouraged by the encounter or mystified at my own complete lack of coolness with the under-15 crowd. (The self-esteem reminder, "It doesn't matter what a 14-year-old thinks of me" comes to mind...). But I know that it's where I'm supposed to be for the time being. And I know that I'm encouraged and supported by people who DO believe that this is where I'm supposed to be, even if I don't always see it (and that something like a Starbucks' date with "C" wouldn't have happened had it not been for financial donors!).

yes. Many musings. That's all.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a sad day in this neighborhood...

I knew it was bound to happen someday...

I knew I'd have to get a new winner for "I've never..."

I knew I wouldn't be a part of the CLEAN TEETH OF AMERICA CLUB forever.

And it happened yesterday: MFC. My first cavity. Oh the pain! The drama! What's a girl to do?!! Here I am, at age 27.5 (can we please bring back the half ages? "I'm not 7....I'm 7 and a HALF..."), and I've successfully just said no to cavities. But on Tuesday I'll walk the gauntlet of shame as I receive my first filling.

I'd even told the dentist the day before at our YL golf tourney that he had NOTHING to worry about because I was cavity-free...PRIDE! It's been our downfall since the beginning of time...but maybe there's a conspiracy in it all. MAYBE I don't really have a cavity, and Dr. Matsen just wanted to take a stab at my teethy pride. I'm beginning to see the truth in it all...

But I'm still buying the flouride and heading into the bathroom right now to floss...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

checkin' off the list...



Today I accomplished the first of the 30 before 30: try out for a reality TV show... Today, with 9,000 of my closest friends, my buddy Heather/Sammsonsite and I tried out for AMERICAN IDOL. I now stand in the American Idol rejects pile, but hey, it was an awesome 12-hour experience! :) Among the highlights: realizing that we weren't the best...or the worst. Arriving at the Key Arena at 5:14 am this morning (see morning pic), and then not leaving until 4:14 pm this afternoon. Do the math. Yelling and screaming for William Hung, guest star (look at his bodyguard!). She bangs! She bangs! Rolling our eyes at Ryan Seacrest - oh, the drama! And just DOING IT...I think that's what the "30 things to do before I turn 30..." is all about - just doing it.

Among other news: I'm on the search, big time for boxer baby dogs...of the smaller, female persuasion...so we'll see what happens. I had a fabulous lead today, but the guy ended up being a jacka#%. Bleep bleep bleep, Mr. Craig's List!

Finally, CONGRATS AARON AND ANNIE who just got ENGAGED this past Saturday! Aaron wins quite the award for the engagement story; between her day-long spa treatment, then hydroplane flight up to the San Juan Islands, complete with homemade appetizers, between him and my brother, I don't think boys get more generous than that! Aaron's been one of my dearest friends since middle school, and Annie (who's obviously amazing) and I are excited for our first "one-on-one" oh-so-soon! It's rather surreal right now...and I'm not even the one getting married!

Mwah! signing off...bleep, bleep, surreal, surreal...it's your auburn idol, cara:)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

some mornings...

Some mornings I wake up and decide that I want tea instead of coffee...

One morning I woke up and decided to go for a run at 6:06 am - just because.

One morning (long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away) I decided to trade in Marty the Tacoma for Raul the Jetta...

And this morning I woke up and thought to myself, "self...your hair grows like a weed. You should cut it!" And so here, with my quasi-Kiera Knightly lips pose, I am with the new, 6 inches shorter hair cut.

that's all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

5 years ago...

5 years ago...

I was in my first week of teaching at Monte Vista Christian School.

I was trying to fake my way through teaching Hamlet (which I hadn't read...the only book I didn't read and tried to teach - yes, true confessions) to my seniors.

The juniors were less than interested in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

And here, 148 juniors and seniors and their 22 year old teacher (who tried to spread rumors that she was actually 26...), were trying to sift through the morning's events.

We prayed that morning - something I hadn't planned on doing, even in a Christian school classroom.

We dropped the lessons that day.

And forever it'll remain engrained in each one of our minds where we were on that tragic morning. As morning passed and turned into afternoon, I remember going home and just staring at the television until it was bedtime, watching raw and returning footage of the day's events.

It's the Kennedy assination of our generation - we'll always remember where we were, what we were doing, and how every "important" plan of that day ended ill in comparison to the bigger picture.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

popcorn and moonboppers

This weekend was FULL, but in an exhaustingly good way. Once a month I get to help lead worship, playing and singing at my church, ILLUMINATE. It's magical. I sit there...and play...and sing...and there are those moments when you're leading (and when you're participating) that you just let go of the chord changes and need to "pound" correctly and the absolute moment of the present is there.

BUT, back to the title: this afternoon, I got to rest at the Howerton's house before the last 7 pm service. Mike Howerton is the pastor, and I'm becoming more and more impressed with him as the days go on. (Dan, can I have a shared allegiance to my favorite pastor in America title?). They've got an ugly pug, Bilbo, whom I played with on the grass - and I now smell like stinky pug. Mike's wife, Jodie, had a copy of Traveling Mercies (by Anne Lamott) on the coffee table; she's read it eight times, and it happens to be one of my top two favorite books in America. [in case you're wondering, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard is the other]. Last but not least, they love Danny, and Danny loves them.

So they have this trampoline, and the kids, Alex (girl) and Caleb, decided to show it to me: "do you want to see our trampoline?!!!?" (What do you do but say yes and jump wholeheartedly?). One doesn't then know what mad trampoline-ing skills you have until you're up next to a 4 and 6 year old, and the ability to bounce is thus heightened by the sheer fact of strength and domination. (Hey, you got to give yourself those titles sometimes...). We played this game on the trampoline called "POPCORN," in which they were the kernals, and I was the popcorn MASTER. They'd sit, curled up in the fetal popcorn position, on the floor of the trampoline, and I'd start the dialogue of the popcorn popping process. (God bless strong alliteration. Amen). Though they're used to popcorn in the microwave, I decided to spice things up, and "make" popcorn on the stove. "First you put the oil in the pan..." (and they look up at me like "we're not the oil; why do you have to say that?"). Then I dump the popcorn kernals in (and they start wiggling around). Then the pan starts getting hotter and hotter (and I start bouncing around the outside - genius!), and even hotter, and then POP!!!! The popcorn starts popping! yes!!!

I think they liked the microwave version better ("but you didn't say 3.5 minutes on high")...or their dad's popcorn styling skills, for that matter. :)

It reminds me of this game, Brandon, Aleah and I used to play as kids: MOONBOPPERS. And I'm not really sure how or where we came up with it, but give us any discarded balloon, and moonboppers was on. It was a mix of volleyball, but with a balloon - and then I suppose at some point you were supposed to try and "bop" it to the moon for extra crazy points! We just stopped playing it last Christmas, so I'm sure it could easily be resurrected. :)

Today I was talking to a lady at church, Betsy, who's probably in her late 50's/early 60's. As we sat prior to one of the services, we surveyed the room, and I said (something to the effect of), "I love that the church is just not all twenty-somethings..." She then said, "You're right; even if there is a push towards a younger, "Gen X" crowd, it's not limited to age. It's for the Gen X AT HEART." I loved that thought...

So. How can I keep playing popcorn on the trampoline and moonboppers in the living room, and live that "kid at heart" lifestyle? That today is the question...

Monday, September 04, 2006

this is how...

I landed in the Sea-Tac airport this morning at 5:21 am, much to the dismay of my spirited, Aloha-ed, wish-I-was-tied-to-a-palm-tree self. The GOOD news is that I finally got a much needed vacation, and feel ready and rested to jump into this next school year with Young Life, LIFE in general and my own heart as well. This then is how I LIVED, LOVED and LAUGHED the past 8 days...

LIVED: bought a ticket to Oahu and then to the Big Island (although it wasn't until the day before my departure to see Lily, Michael and company that I realized I'd booked it a WEEK early...ie: I bought it to fly over there while I was still, whelp, on the mainland. Note to self: never book a ticket immediately after camp, and always double-check the calendar instead of thinking that the one in your head is really good and always right...). Went to the beach almost every day. Swam in water though there was a tiger shark warning...hey, you only live once, right? Jammed with Lily. Chatted with Lily, Melissa, Michael and Andy about Jesus. Swam and snorkled in Hanauma Bay. Read. A lot (which indeed, to me, is living...). Had Jesus time...in mansions and on beaches.

LOVED: Melissa (my BEAUTIFUL sister...let's drop the "in-law" part finally...); Lily (on staff in Hilo, HI); Michael (a leader from "Wai-kafornia", HI); Andy, Lars, Shannon, Tyler and Christen, Tiffany and Nick, and of course FRANK, my god-dog!!!

LAUGHED: Good convos. Snorkeling adventures. Phase 10. Friends, and Sex and the City reruns. Getting to know my sister better, minus the brother who's underwater... Watching Melissa try the "T" in TRB for the first time; hey, you've got to spread the tofu love!

It was good times, great oldies, gangsta jams, as my friend Jessica would say. And since my AUGUST tabs are now expired in this 9th month, I stayed in today, but for a slight jaunt to the nearby lake with cutie roomie. My 30 BEFORE 30 list is almost complete, though I'm apprehensive to publish it here for fear that ya'll might actually hold me accountable to it. Oh life. Yes. Life.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

oh 6:43 am


Sometimes all you want is a cup of coffee in the morning.
But sometimes all you get is a "cup" of coffee all over your counter, stove, sink, floor, cupboards, coffee maker, etc., when you forget to actually put the receiving cup underneath.
Oops.
God bless diet coke in the morning instead?
Not the same....

I think "I'm ready for vacation..." is quickly turning into "I really do NEED vacation..." That's all. I'm going to make myself a cup o' joe now.

Monday, August 21, 2006

a few little pics...

Well, if you haven't figured it out, my camera is slightly-MIA...I say "slightly" because I know where it is (in the trunk of Lizzy's car), but seeing as she's on a world tour of Young Life's Malibu and Wildhorse Canyon, I won't be getting it any time soon. In the mean time, I thought I'd show some of you some pics of JULY...yes, July, as in a month ago. If you recall, I spent the month in Tahoe at the Mtn. Lodge speaking to our high school friends in an adventure-discipleship setting. It was incredible, and here follows some pics I stole from Christie for you to catch the viz from...

Every Tuesday we climbed CASTLE PEAK which boasted almost a 3000 foot elevation gain in 3 miles. Pictured here is the "ass team" as intern Chris called us, or the ASSIGNMENT team as Jesus more lovingly refers to us as. Christie is an area director in San Fran, and Nobie's been on staff with YL for 38 (!!!) years, and is retiring next month. this was also Nobie's last climb...

Every Friday I'd put on make-up and quasi-clean clothes, and we'd have THANKSGIVING DINNER!!! That's right, bring on the stuffing, the turkey, the mashed potatoes and gravy...the evening always reminded me that my eyes are NOT bigger than my stomach! Pictured here is Christie again, my BFF(FTW) of the summer...I can't give away the "ftw" part of the equation, but if you guess it I'll send you a kite in the mail. Yes. A kite. (Second pic is our Saturday evening out in Squaw Valley...it's so different in the summer!).

This is Chris. And me. Chris was an intern at the Lodge all summer, and boasted such feats as hating me for the amount of mail I received, while also then ALWAYS putting a smile on anyone's face. Chris is going to be a junior at Notre Dame, so he also falls into my "very smart friends" category. Here we are apparently skiing or acting like penguins...I'm really not sure.

And here we have the celebratory daily doings of Mike Wilkes and his high shorts. Mike is one of those guys who doesn't TRY to be funny, but in not trying to do so, he vicariously puts a smile on everyone's face. I can't tell you how many serious conversations I'd be in the middle of in which I'd then have to divert my eyes 180 degrees the other direction as to not be distracted by Mike's high rolling shorts. So here you have it - Mike "high pants superstar" Wilkes...

Thank you again for your continued prayers on this adventure of a LIFE. Three of my girls accepted jesus into their hearts this past week at Wildhorse, and it reminded me WHY I do what I do... So thank you. Peace. c:)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

camp-street's back, all right

We leave for camp on Tuesday, and as I just wrote my brother about, this is what I've been doing since returning to washington:

*going to goodwill in search of FIESTA outfits! (arriba, arriba!)
*hitting up wally's world for candy, junk food, colored wife-beaters and iron-on letters.
*ironing on cheap iron-on Walmart letters at Danny's place as an excuse to get hang out time. (or as I told him, "I'm just using you for your iron!").
*thinking of cute, creative and witty notes for the leaders while we're there. I can't give away my secrets quite yet...
*treating leaders to smoothies.
*shopping at the dollar store for $1.29 mini-maracas.
*priding myself at the meaningless hours spent on Excel typing camper-cabin lists.
*having a "pray and play" in my apartment. take a guess at what that might be...
*mmm....getting good jesus time on the deck, in the sunshine, with coffee by my side.
*calling all my campers with the following question: "ARE YOU SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR CAMP?!"
*calling all the leaders with the following question: "ARE YOU SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR CAMP?! (and what can I do to calm those fears...)"

Yes. I think that's it.
And that's why I love my job. No two days are ever the same. 93 kids and 17 leaders, Wildhorse Canyon, here we come!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

butter on mashed potatoes

Last night, as I was nearing the completion of the trek back up to the northwest, I caught a glimpse of the most beautiful sunset. Many times when I see a sunset, I see heaven (or so I like to think)...I see God winking at me, giving me a glimpse of what it's someday going to be like with him in eternity. I think that's because I can't picture anything more beautiful than the sun saying goodnight. So upon driving up the I-5 corridor yesterday, I just kept staring to the west at the butter on top of mashed potatoes.

I remember this book I checked out over and over again at the Cummings Elementary School library - the best was looking at the little index card in the back, and seeing the once a year check out...seeing how your handwriting had changed...I loved that - and it was this quasi-manna-from-heaven book. Everyday the "sky" would provide food for the people to eat - spaghetti and meatballs, pancakes with syrup (way too messy, but always enjoyable), and then the end feast of Thanksgiving dinner complete with the forementioned mashed potatoes and a dollap of butter on top. So last night when I saw the sunset, I just wanted to eat that portion of creation!

I'm glad I didn't get in a wreck. I'm glad I didn't pick up the Zach Morris (cell phone) to thus be distracted from Beauty. But overall my favorite glimpse of this Beauty came in the light streams. Man has made and created skybeams, highbeams, spotlights - whatever one calls them - to shine into the sky and promote car sales and the annual state fair. But last night those beams were stronger than any Volkswagon dealer could have made them - and a strong four or five broke through the clouds and disappeared into the sky above.

So in all, I think we're called to choose to see the creation around us. The other night I was hanging out with some eco-savvy friends, and it struck me that if this - creation! - is something I'm passionate about, then the head needs to match up with the heart. So Ryan and the Geels loaded me up with some "recommended reads," and I've been chewing them up ever since. It's our responsibility, as creatures on this earth, to not only care for that which we've been given, but to take note of our immediate surroudings. Current read: For the Beauty of the Earth. Check it out. And that mashed potatoes book as well. :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

back to life, back to reality

Tomorrow AM I start the trek back up to the northwest, with a stop at Team Gleason's along the way. The past five weeks - at Young Life's Mtn. Lodge, and then at Mt. Hermon's Redwood camp and in Santa Cruz in general - have reminded me much about my heart. Today I sat for a little while in the sunshine at Skypark and just reflected...and dreamed...and wondered...and was thankful all at the same time. I don't really know how to process all that's happened, and I think that's a good thing... I do know that a key theme has been RESTORATION to and of the soul, and it's beautiful beginning to see glimpses of that truth. In the mean time, starting Wednesday it's a little bit of the 80's action of BACK TO LIFE, BACK TO REALITY. Next Wednesday, the 15th, we take our middle school friends from Auburn, WA to Wildhorse Canyon. Friends from Mt. Baker are going to hear about Jesus for the first time, in the midst of a CRAZY and WILD five days.

Yes. That's it. But it's good finding the portals of the heart.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

far far away

dear friends,

Posts here on the ol' Blogger will probably be rather zero to none, as I'm gone for the month of July speaking at Young Life's Mtn. Lodge (in the greater Tahoe area). It's been amazing, and there will FOREVER be stories to tell...in the meantime, if you pray, pray for kids' hearts and pray for clear communication and proclamation of Jesus on my part!

I speak every night, and then we go on adventure excursions every day:

Sunday: mini hike (talk: directionally impaired? Intro John 14:6)
Monday: group bonding, kayaking (talk: THE WAY)
Tuesday: Castle Peak climb (talk: THE TRUTH)
Wednesday: Lake Tahoe wakeboard, ski and tubing (talk: THE LIFE)
Thursday: Mtn. biking/boarding (talk: second half of verse, ETERNITY)
Friday: cliff jumping (talk: mini wrapping it all up, kids and leaders have the floor).

Blessings, cara:)

Monday, June 26, 2006

cat-like cara

The good news is that my roommate just told me I have cat-like reflexes...

The bad news is that there's a very angry wasp on our patio, searching for his home that I knocked down with the mop...

Man, you should have seen how fast I slid the screen door shut, though. Catwoman!

It's butt hot in Washington...and I love it. We have a lovely pool at our complex, so this afternoon I spent time just soaking in the rays and reading WHY NOT WOMEN? (a book about women in ministry).

Cutie cousins Meghan and Kaitlin fly in on Thursday, and we drive down to TAHOE on Friday.

I finished all my talks for camp this summer this afternoon at 12:37, so if you pray, pray for me while I'm speaking the month of July at Young Life's Mtn. Lodge!

Hopefully those cat-like reflexes will really come out to play this summer. Meow!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

the act of being proactive

Being proactive in friendships is a weird thing, and I'm not really sure what to make of it. Last week, I met with a wise lady who feeds my soul wisdom, and she cautioned me to not always be the one asking. It's easy for me - and be it because of my job (and all its asking...), because of my networking nature, or because I want and love to build community around me - to simply be "the asker" in all of my relationships. Whether male or female, if "friend" A is always doing the asking, then a few things can happen: "A" can become the sole asker and initiator, and "B" becomes reliant upon that role; "A" asks, "B" doesn't reciprocate, "A" doesn't get the picture, and thus wrong feelings can be communicated; the list of "asker" problems goes on...

I feel like I'm in the middle of a sticky Algebra problem right now.

So whether I'm right or wrong in asking, there exists the delicate balance of friendship. With a kid, it's different - I know going into it that I'm going to be the asker, and until they intitiate with that phone call, the ball's in my court to let them know that I'm here and that I want to be in their life. With peers I have to ask the question: in relationships, in friendships, in getting to know people, where and when do I eventually stop asking? Is three the magic number? Ask three times, and if they don't reciprocate, then don't you dare, try try again... With the opposite sex it's even more tricky, and I ran into that this past week: I didn't MEAN to send ill "I like you" signals, yet because of my proactiveness in our friendship, that was communicated.

So is it simply that I don't want to be alone? Is that it? In still feeling that the sharp numbing pains of settling into life up here, I've put myself out there in friendship more than ever; perhaps I've tried to create community too hard, and now it's coming back to bite me in the butt, BUT I firmly believe that we're meant to live life side by side with people.

Without making apologies, I guess I just don't know where to draw the line. I don't know where my own personality meets what I'm finding out are the rules and regulations of friendships. I hate the lines that have to be drawn. But do they exist, or have to exist? As much as I want to be understood, more importantly (as St. Francis of Assisi once prayed), I want to understand. So whether that's with other people, or just of life in general, the answer my heart comes to at this moment is that it'd rather put itself out there, even if it's not understood, in order to love someone else and try to understand them.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

dedica-cion


This is Dan. He's my dad. Today is Father's Day, and for some of us it brings up happy emotions and memories; for others of us it's a day of frustration and sadness. Whatever it is for you, here are 10 things danny mac taught caramac...

10. How to smoke cigars, preferably while lounging on a back porch.

9. A love for words: he's still up on the crossword puzzle everyday! (And friends, writing in pencil is not an option - it's a sin. Pull out the pen and be hardcore).

8. A love of quality television programming like COPS: HUH! Cops is filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement; all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law...

7. That even when you lose someone's $200 binoculars while camping, forgiveness is still possible.

6. That you can never hold on tight enough while Dad's driving the motorcycle.

5. Jesus.

4. That taking the scenic route, and stopping to observe every highway, bridge and road barrier in the state of Oregon is necessary when you're the daughter of a civil engineer.

3. The art of storytelling, especially when it comes to making people laugh!

2. MUSIC. Man, he always encouraged plunking on the piano, even when a barely recognizable song like "Hot Cross Buns" came out.

And the number one reason (Oh! I'm thinking of so many now!) is....

1. That being supportive of a child's decisions and choices in life is the best thing a parent can do or give that child. To be believed in, to feel like a million bucks, and to be supported and loved through college major changes and job/career changes and everything else under the sun is all that's necessary to survive and thrive.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

help me obie wan, you're my only hope

This is where I wish I had my own creative planning team to help me in working on my talks this summer....so here's the question, friends: what movies, songs, pictures and photos (or anything else you can think of) depict the theme of THE WAY? THE TRUTH? and THE LIFE? It can be anything from Cinderella to Braveheart...but do tell the movie and its specific clip. (And these are all separate talks, so think of the three themes individually moreso than collectively).

Help, help, help...

PS: I'm looking out the window right now, and the past two cars at the coffee shop stop sign have been the classic MINIVANS driven by high school students...I LOVE the days of driving the minivan. No matter how cool you try to make slingin' the arm over the Voyager steering wheel look, I just don't think the two go together... Love it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

it's every paragraph ends in an elipsis day...

So. Life. Yesterday the sun was out in all its northwest pride - as Danny would say with a thick and juicy Scottish accent, GLORY GLORY!! Oh sun, how I've missed thee...let me count thy ways. I even put my quasi-bikini on, and bearing my stomach to the world, laid out on the balcony for some quality time with JC. (((of course I still haven't figured out how to react to today's weather given the rainstorms that inevitably came...)))

These people make me feel like a million bucks...

96 middle school friends from around the Auburn area came to our end of the year/kick off to summer and to camp Wyldlife pool party on Friday night...I was reminded that no matter how much one plans, sometimes you have to plan for those plans not to plan - or pan - out. It was a kick in the pants getting to give the talk at 11:38 that night. Sometimes Jesus dares us to step both outside of the boat AND inside the boat as well...

Saturday night community came to Auburn; dear friends Heidi and Gaylynn, and then roommie Gracie and I made a night of it just playing catch up and BEING in our little apartment. I just think the ebb and flow of friendships is a beautiful deal...

Earlier that night my friend Moriah Anne was baptized by her daddy. As well, community was key and it happened...

Some 19 and 20 year old friends are hanging out at our kitchen table right now, munching on tortilla chips and peach salsa; I forgot what a big deal partying is at that age...

Last night community came via Young Life and a ferry boat ride to Anderson Island. This amazing couple, Mikaela and Joe, live and do ministry out there. I loved and appreciated seeing the personal, family-oriented side to these friends...and has anyone played the game MAD GAB?! It's a game of words - so, all Scrabble and Boggle and Balderdash lovers, I feel like you would like this one...

Today I chaperoned a trip of my high school friends to the ZOO and the tide pools down in Tacoma. I love that that got to be my job today...then we celebrated our last HOMEWORK CLUB of the year at Mt. Baker this afternoon, complete with rootbeer floats! It's amazing to see the friendships that truly have formed with those buddies over the course of the year...

Finally, tonite I was up in Seattle for a meeting at Fuller, where I'm starting grad school. I like and appreciate their stance on faith, on women, on ministry and on research papers...how excited am I to practice my mad MLA and APA citation skills?! After that, I had a pretty epic sushi dinner with some pretty epic friends. Again, I have to wonder what's really important in life: community? a job? sunshine?...

Finally, northwest friends: emergent author/speaker Brian McLaren is speaking in Portland on Friday night...anyone up for a road trip down to hear him speak? Dot dot dot...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

just a little random thought...

I don't think that Jane Austen ever intended her well-famed and acclaimed Pride and Prejudice be turned into a musical...the song, "No Life, Without Wife" from BRIDE and Prejudice (the Indian version) is playing in the background. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, and upon seeing the jazz hands, I'm wondering if I once looked that cheesey in my high school musicals... Grease. Little Shop of Horrors. Brigadoon (mmm, no jazz hands). Yup, I think I did. :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

elizabethtown

Last night I sat down and watched the "dramady" ELIZABETHTOWN with Orlando Bloom and oh shuut, what's her name? The girl in Spiderman, spidy...ah yes, Kirsten Dunst. Besides loving the overall plot of the story, "Claire's" character was brilliant to me. She loved life and she ran after it. She wasn't afraid to entirely be herself, no matter what anyone else thought of her. Near the end, she sent "Drew" on a road-trip journey, complete with the cutest scrapbook of driving instructions and maps and pictures and music; besides wanting to jump in Raul the Jetta right then and explore America, I had to pull out the pencil and paper to record these thoughts and instructions of hers:

***About MLKjr, at the Lorraine Hotel where he was shot: "His death was only the beginning of his victory..."

***To Drew, as he's starting the engine for the first time: "Begin your journey now, and do NOT skip ahead..."

These two lines were profound to me; are they to you? What do you think they mean, and how can/do they parallel our own lives? (I know, Miss Mac is coming out to play, but you'd better believe I'm using these in talks this summer!).

blessings, c:)

ps: right now I'm hanging out with my two-month old friend, Moriah Anne; check out her blogspot HERE.

Monday, May 29, 2006

livin' la vida Raul

Raul's been quite the traveling Jetta lately! I've been gone the past 6 days, and am glad to announce that it's good to be back, soon sleeping in my own bed...ahhh. Good times, good times.

Wednesday-Friday morning I was at Anna's parents' beach house for a little R and R/work on my talks in preparation for this summer time. WOW!!! It was BEAUTIFUL being in Ocean Shores...relaxing...getting time with Jesus and direction on the month of July...watching movies, eating good food, sleeping in....walking on the beach...reading and FINALLY FINISHING Pride and Prejudice (and being quite amped for the 6-hour BBC set...finally!). All in all, it was amazing.

Then Friday afternoon I drove down to Portland to meet up with dear friend Mindy for a little Memorial Day kidnapping. I felt like a million bucks as she treated me to a weekend at the SASQUATCH FESTIVAL (alternative music, Indie scene, local bands...) at George at the Gorge!

Favorite bands we saw: Ben Harper, Beck, Sufjan Stephens, The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Yahoo.

Hours spent in the sittee chairs watching the bands: 18...

Minutes the golf-ball sized hailstorm kept on storming, killing the show and delaying everything for 2 hours on Saturday: 20.

Amount of sleep due the cattle-like camping spots with our 18-20 year old neighbors: hmmm, 3 last night, and probably about 5, 6 each night before.

Best cheekbones ever and best call for action: Mr. Ben Harper

Biggest potential druggie band and Best anti-conformist with the marionette puppets: Beck.

Best awkward stage presence: Sufjan

Favorite new band: The Decemberists from Portland, OR

Best made-you-feel-right-at-home (with 20,000 of your best friends) band: Death Cab

Best overall moment: Modest Yahoo.

So it was just crazy weather all weekend, and after surviving a hail storm that we thought might bring about a potential Woodstock revival, on Sunday there were off and on little bits of rain. After one such 5-minute storm when Modest Yahoo, the Hasidic Jew raggae artist was playing, a BEAUTIFUL rainbow appeared over the Columbia Gorge. Modest Yahoo stops the song he had just started performing, and begins to tell everyone the story of God's covenant with Noah, that resulted in the promise and blessing of the rainbow. I sat captivated by this man. Though I believe in the Jesus that he doesn't believe in, he was obviously passionate about his faith, and EVERY song had some message about Judaism and the God of the Old Testament. What an incredible platform, and what an incredible way to reach - literally- thousands of people. I doubt half the people knew what - or who - he was singing about, but it didn't matter. Wow.

So yes. It's 10:08 pm now, and I'm officially ready to hit the sack. Many blessings to you all. And look up all those cool new bands.

Monday, May 22, 2006

the wet rainbow club


All right, so a little bit of background, and then the present day: summer of 2001...I'm doing program with Mr. Kurt Kroon at Frontier Ranch. For those of you who know "Woofy," he really is one of my top five funniest people in America. The man is frickin' hilarious...and there were - count 'em - three incidents of the "wet rainbow club" that summer. Two partials and one full... Now what is the wet rainbow club, you might ask? Well, it's peeing your pants, because it produces this little "rainbow" over your seat. Indeed, I've never laughed so hard, and will FOREVER remember the three incidents that led to a dependance on Depends (or the washer...whichever came first).

Fast forward to Friday night. Again, junior highers were involved, although this time Kurt was NOT present...we decided to do a little camp fundraiser, and have kids eat goldfish for 50 bucks off camp. Now, I'm not an idiot when it comes to the parents of middle school kids, and seeing that it's my first year at the school as well, I'd like to try and keep the relationships as unsevered as possible.

Four goldfish sit in a bowl up front. I call up Christy, one of our stellar leaders, who with the help of a Capri Sun gulps down the little 13 cent bugger. Props to Christy, that's for sure. Kids are screaming at this point, wanting to come up and eat the remaining fish. So Mandy, Jessica and Jacob are called up to the front, and "in order to help speed the digestive track," I blindfold them. God bless the gullibility. (is that a word?).

The fish are left to the side, and a container of drippy orange insides sitting in water is instead pulled out. Dribbling the orange guts over the kids' faces, they're CONVULSING, gagging, and not knowing how to conquer this mental block of eating a "goldfish." Finally it gets to Jacob and this is where the wet rainbow club is resurrected: ample amounts of "goldfish" juice is dribbled on his face, and he starts gagging before the thing reaches his mouth. I drop it in, and he heaves to the left and to the right, forwards and backwards, gags again, and finally spits it back out into his hand, where I quickly remove it before he quickly removes his blindfold. He's screaming that it's the nastiest thing he's ever tasted, spitting to and fro towards the audience and all of us are just rolling.

And there, underneath the mumu I had donned for our SUMMER PARTY theme, the wet rainbow appeared, thankfully oblivious to the audience.

What we do so that kids might meet Christ.

A few minutes later, I told the miraculous story of how the goldfish reproduced into three more goldfish so now they got to take them home. More screams! More excitement!

The night was only topped by leader Nathan using Star Wars clips to talk about God, and then speaking "Yoda" as the voice of God. Try it sometime. It was incredible.

Friends, thank you for allowing this partial pee to happen. Amen.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

the catch-up on life...

Okay, so I used to be so good at this thing called blogger...and it's not that I've lost steam, but maybe it's just lost its newness. As well, life, as we know it, has been pretty busy as of late, so I'll try and give you a photo recap of the past couple of weeks:

1. So it's not a photo, but we decided to just say no to the promised half marathon this past Sunday. Sad! On Saturday I went to the doctor to try and get a little antibiotic boost, and instead ended up with a note good for no running for 10 days. It was great hanging out with Ranada for the 24 hours, though!


2. New roommate! This is Grace...she and I met a couple months ago, but her older sister Gaylynn and I were on work crew (with YL) 10 years ago, so she hooked us up.


3. Team Gleason got hitched! Indeed, dear friends both, Brian and Mary from Walnut Creek, CA., got married Saturday, May 6th. It was a relaxing weekend of friends and family, and I felt honored to wear the beet bridesmaid's dress. :)



It was fun making new buddies too: first, the bachelorette party in the city...check out the matching outfits. :) Then new buddy Corrie and I in our saucy dresses with little sweaters over the top.


4. Cirque de Soleil! One sentence: I HEART BENDY PEOPLE. (and Katie, I heart you!)


5. Reunited and it feels so good! Last night one of my favorite Young Life "kids," Jenn, age 23, came over for dinner...and good convo...and a Fred Meyer run to pick up a table...AND a putting-the-1000-piece-table-together night until 10! I was reminded that good friends just DO; for Jenn, it wasn't an option for her NOT to stay and help us out. So she, Gracie and I had a little table and bookshelf putting together party!

6. Tomorrow night is our SUMMER PARTY-themed last Wyldlife of the year. Might you want to donate $50 for a middle school friend to eat a goldfish and thus get money off of camp this summer? I'm telling you, it's a good deal. Let me know if you're interested.

Much love, friends!