living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Monday, January 30, 2006

indeedy

To thus prove the mechanical bull-riding post from a couple weeks ago, I direct you to the following...



It's me! Look ma! ...although I'm not so cowgirl savvy...



TEAM LET'S RIDE THE MECHANICAL BULL: Josh: "parnstar" P., Lizzy: "the real cowgirl deal" B., ME: "get a new day job" mac, Jessica: "can you hear my yee haw?" A., and JOE: "bonafide rider" Q.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

sometimes I like to remember

It was a weekend of goodness...it was a weekend of pure smiles...it was a weekend of really stupid one liners at times (like, "sometimes I like to remember"...do I NOT like to remember and choose to forget sometimes? well, I suppose. maybe that's a bad example). Bianca Jane "Schitt" as they called her in Cannon Beach on Wednesday, was here from Santa Cruz...I loved showing her my world, showing off the WA peeps, and then eating meals and drinking coffee and laughing and BEing and dancing and -MAN!- it was GOOD. Can I even condense the top moments?

*time with JC at fun coffee shops: we love Bella's and Zoka's...

*phone calls with Danny and Charlie in preparation for Friday night fun - oh the incoherent laughter! (those poor boys). I'd still like the stilettos.

*Friday night: the Pink Door for dinner...for the love of proper toasting! I so wish the man on the flying trapeze would have been there! Oh the Disney favorites-songs we could have sang! And like the mechanical bull, he's for reals!

*Friday night: hot smocholates at the chocolate place. It brought me back to "heidi's hot chocolate" in Gimmelwald, Switzerland with Lola. We'd sit there with Petra and Waltie and just dream of staying there forever, climbing the Swiss Alps in our leiderhosen. Take me back to the paradise city where the Alps are hot and the owners are pretty?

*Friday night: Chopsticks, the dueling piano bar place. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! So much fun!!! When a song came on that was even remotely danceable, Bianca and I broke it out. Katie joined in for a few favorites, and I really think I saw Danny and Charlie shaking a toosh or two as well.

*Friday night: watching the TEAM GEELS wedding DVD. Again. Apparently I'm obsessed with Jerry and Carrie, but for good reason.

*Saturday am: the Blue Star Cafe! Barbara Ann, my favorite new waitress pulled out the punnies within the first two minutes by giving me enough room in my coffee to instead make the drink "do you want a bit of coffee with your cream?" if you know what I mean. Oh Barbara Ann.

*Saturday am: just being with my peeps: B, D-lund, Charlie and Ian (charlie's friend from HOTlanta). I'm just a big fan of them all. Smiles.

*Zoka's debriefing. No comment.

*finishing LIFE OF PI: what a great book! Read it! and answer this question: would you rather....be on a carnivorous man-eating algae-filled island for one week with the prospect of looming death (or possible -???- survival) OR be stuck on a rowboat for nine months in the middle of the Pacific and just eat raw turtle meat once every three days for a meal? I think I'd take my fill of algae.

*Man, this is getting long....

*Dinner with superstars TEAM MILLER (!) last night! We had Mexican fiesta. I actually cooked...Josh and Brenda were rockstars, as usual. I love just BEing with them. It was rad having oldie Josh Taylor there as well and Patrick and his two pharmacy school buddies, Paul and Kevin.

*Finally: sleeping in this morning. Praise the frickin' Lord. Glory glory. Love the sleep in.

I must package up the remaining christmas presents. Yes, I'm a little behind. This week I'll really start getting back into the swing of life up here...the kids have tomorrow off, so sadly times at MBMS won't start up until Thursday again, but it's good just having down time as well... Answer the would you rather.... Blessings, c:)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Oh - C-O


It's snowing at Frontier Ranch. Frontier in Buena Vista, CO, that is...it's seriously a Narnian winter wonderland. My mind is slightly exhausted, from having been sat in classes day in and day out the past two weeks; we took a life of Christ class last week by a little old man named Dale Bruener who doubled as the modern day Luther. This week Chap Clark, author of HURT (excellent book on the world of kids today), taught a class on Adolescent Culture....I wish my mind wasn't so numb intellectually, my body so tired physically, my heart so -WHEW!- drained emotionally...but it's been really really good. It's hard to sometimes explain what happens in the world of YL, but all I know is that right here, right now, I feel SO set up to succeed. It's been a further confirmation of the fact that I've been CALLED to Auburn Young Life for the present time...I meet people who are in the same spot in life, who uprooted and transplanted themselves from their places of comfort. (ie: California dreamin' comes into the blog picture once again...). I find people who struggle with finding community other than the kids and leaders of Young Life in their respective areas, and I strangely find myself comforted by that. Part of TEAM NORTHWEST - Josh, Joe, Lizzy and I - have taken up permanent residence in "the world below," for classes....we've loved the laid-back atmosphere that allows us to make sarcastic (unheard) comments and the flexibility to lay on the floor or play hangman if need be. What a horrible grad student I am. :) Finally, the last highlight (before another class in 11 minutes) happened a couple days ago: I asked Josh and Joe if they wanted to go on a walk with me. On one condition, they said: if I would ride the mechanical bull. "The mechanical bull?! Stop lying to me!!!" I think was the extent of my response...so an hour later, with my cute little walking outfit on, the three of us and Jessica and Lizzy all trekked up the hill to the entrance of Frontier Ranch. There, in the middle of the horse arena/corral was a real, live mechanical bull. I almost peed my pants seeing that they weren't joking with me....Josh, afraid that I'd fall, hurt myself and cry (thanks Josh) simply shook his head back and forth while the rest of us giddily snorted with glee. Joe was the daredevil of our group, attempting to actually SPIN on the bull....Lizzy looked pretty au natural herself, and, well, I don't think I looked all that cowgirl-ish. But heck ya'll, I tried.
That's it. Class is now in 7 minutes.
It's been a hoot and a holler out here.
I can't wait to write more about it when I'm a little more coherent.....
blessings, cara:)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

procrastination is key....the tops

I'm supposed to be working on my assignments for new staff training on Monday...I leave in two days...I still have (at least) two assignments left to do...checking up on friends' blogs was much more appealing, and then seeing Zig's top fives of '05 made me think of my own...so again, in an attempt to further prolong the assignments, I give you some of my top fives:

Top five books read:

*The Way to Love (Demello)
*The Motorcycle Diaries (Guevara)
*Searching for God Knows What (Miller)
*Fast Food Nation (Schlosser)
*Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (Lamott)

Top five books that I'm currently sifting through and/or reaching:

*Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis)
*Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
*Why Not Women? (Cunningham)
*Velvet Elvis (Bell)
...well, and I'm just now realizing that there's not a fifth...you can't love every book you read, and hecks, I don't want to over-extend myself. hee hee.

Top five conversations:

*middle school friend at camp on the lawn...
*Shelley Pimental, every time, enlightening, encouraging, of the heart...
*road trip convos with Charlie: what is the real YOU? what is the real ME?...
*the "WHY JESUS WHY?!" convos with, well, JC:)
*Hannah Grace Mello: summer of '05.

And we must give 10 to this....the top 10 MEMORIES of '05:

*leaving CA...the drive over 17 kills.
*speaking at camps...especially FRONTIER! (be still my heart:)
*WEDDINGS: Haidle's...Miller's...Szarawarski's...Fox's...Pimental's...and HELLO, my DEAR DEAR little brother and new sister-in-law's, THE MAC'S!!!! (how dear to the heart it is seeing your little bro find the sweet girl of his dreams....wow...endearing...)
*Tuesday mornings with the YL ladies
*Thursday nights with the girls whose hearts were AWAKENED.
*Costa Rica with Lola and B! ("como cara como?!")
*saying NO to Prospect (ie: teaching in general...telling my principal, my students, the opportunities, WOW...)
*saying YES to Young Life (ie: Why can't I stop screaming yes?! And why am I so excited to move to AUBURN?!)
*Re's bachelorette party weekend in NYC
*feeling loved, supported and set up to succeed in this new WA adventure...the support and generosity and encouragement and friendship of friends and family.

Okay. I've done a good job of remembering and of procrastinating. Back to work I go. :) What are your tops?!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

oh life. :)

What a fool I am. How grateful I am for those people in my life who are willing to stand up to my own stubbornness and preconceived notions. The funny thing about being human is that we think we're so right. All the time. We think we've got it figured out, yet the more we start buying into that idea, the more we start to lose the battle.

I thought I had my friend figured out. I had him pegged. I knew his type, and his type had hurt me in the past, so I didn't want to even let myself "go there." Who wants to even consider giving their heart to someone, when it's just going to be stomped on like every other girl in his path? "O Heart!..." Emily Dickinson wrote, speaking to her insides... So I wrote him off. And three months later I started to see a completely different side to him. I started to see that who I had judged him, labeled him, and made him out to be, were not his true identity.

And today we spent some time together. We laughed. Hard. We sang. Loud. We talked. Surface and deep and feelings and football. And we were just friends who truly saw each other for who we were and not for who we had made each other out to be. (Although I suppose I don't know his point of view in the midst of my own reflections...).

And I was reminded of the little mini book that more-than-rocked my world this past fall: The Way to Love by Anthony Demello. Demello writes that there are two blocks to sensitivity: Belief and Attachment. "...as soon as you have a belief you have come to a conclusion about a person or situation or thing. You have now become fixed and have dropped your sensitivity. You are prejudice and will see the person from the eye of that prejudice. ... Take just one or two of your acquaintances and list the many positive or negative conclusions you have arrived at and on the basis of which you relate to him/her. The moment you say so-and-so is wise or is cruel or defensive or loving or whatever, you have hardended your perception and become prejudiced and ceased to perceive this person moment by moment...."

So I'm working on perceiving people, especially, moment by moment. I suppose it's part of the process of growing up, that as we grow up, we grow out of our shell of self. We start to put the needs of self on the back burner and look to putting others before ourselves.

Yeah. My mind is swimming, but it's a good kind of swimming. I'm doing the 500 but I'm only half way through, so I just have to keep doing the flip turns and kicking hard. Kick on.