Thursday, August 30, 2012


People keep asking me what my favorite state was, and I have to say Montana.  I could never live there- I'm definitely a city girl- but the skies were phenomenal!  

windshield sunset

Mario's amazing photo-taking skills... yes, this was posed, but I still love it!

the road goes ever on and on

This is the Cathedral of St. Helen in Helena, MT.  We were blessed to be able to attend Mass here 3 mornings, and boy oh boy, was it gorgeous!

Is it not apparent that there IS a God, and that He is oh-so-good?  How could all this beauty have happened by chance?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors

Ah, yes, I do believe I am the only person who would have set off the smoke alarm in the dorm whilst using a hair straightener.

How hawkward. **

Time: 10:15 am, Monday, August 27, 2012
Place: my dorm, my room
The Situation: a workman had just dropped by (at which point I was mid-way through straightening my hair) to show Ev and I how to adjust the temperature on the heater.  He left, I started the straightening process again, and 3 minutes later, we heard a piercing alarm.  Thinking it was a fire alarm, we bolted from our room, then realized, Hold Up, That's Coming From Our Room.  The workmen (now there were 2 of them) meandered down the stairs (apparently they weren't half as worried as we were) and then wandered into our room, thinking, wondering why it was going off, at which point I meekly informed them that I had been straightening my hair kinda-under the smoke detector (SIDE NOTE! I stood in this same place while using the same straightener for the last week, and no alarms went off).

Oh goodness.

So these two workmen (who were very nice) didn't know how to turn the alarm off, because it was a new model.  It took them a good 5 minutes, while I stood in the hallway with Evelyn and looked embarrassed.

Finally, the alarm was turned off, and we returned to our normal lives.
Well, as normal as a day can be after you set the smoke alarm off.

**Taken from my blogger/friend RenĂ©e at Sweet Unrest who in turn took it from her friend: "an adjective used to describe a situation so painfully awkward, you with that a hawk would swoop down and take you away."

and at last, we come to it

My friends, I'm starting my sophomore year tomorrow. Like, officially.  I mean, I've been here "as a sophomore" since last Sunday, but I legit start tomorrow.  Ok, by now it's today.  You can ignore that fact.  I haven't been to bed yet, so it's tomorrow.

Tonight, I went to the Ministry Fair here on campus.  But this time, I didn't go as a participant.  I went as a member of the Liturgy Committee (LC), and laughed with my fellow committee-members, and I handed out applications for people to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and told them about the training meeting.

I have to run the training meeting.
That means I have responsibilities.

Yeah, yeah, any college student has responsibilities.  But when you're in charge of making sure the EMHCs know what they're doing and are comfortable serving as ministers at Mass?  It's ever-so-slightly (read:extremely) terrifying.

I have an official-looking committee shirt, and an official-looking sweatshirt, and an official-looking binder, and an official-looking name tag.
Oh.  You're claiming I'm official?  If you say so....

So tomorrow I will skip off to my first class as a sophomore (Enviro Sci.  Uhm.) and then have a gigantic meeting with my co-lead of the EMHCs and decipher the handwriting of 70+ students who signed up to be trained next week.  And we WILL be leaders here on campus.  We will train those people and we will train them well!

People have asked for pictures, so I shall give you pictures.  Even if it's just a couple this time. ;) The theme of the day is "Churches".

 (no special effects were used on any of these!)
And if you have a moment (or if you don't, if you could make a moment), say a quick prayer for my brother-in-law who had back surgery today!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I have mixed feelings about sharing summer happenings- I'm worried I'll forget something.  Happy you get to find out what went on in Rhonda (the RV).  Overjoyed that I get to think about it.  Sad because it's over.

And so, over the next few/many days/weeks, I'll sporadically share bits and pieces of the summer with you.

We meet.
We laugh.
We have a good time.
We worry that these nutso people will get on our nerves.
We laugh some more and play Apples to Apples.
We go to Seattle and John holds a fish.

We gather at the Space Needle...
We start walking.
We think the first 5 miles is sooo long... and drink 1 1/2 gallons of water in one day.
And then we drink some more water.
 We explore little paths off the road, and stop briefly to watch the water rushing past us.
 We look at the mountains that are oh-so-close and say to ourselves "Did we really just climb UP over a mile?!?"
 Yes, we did.
And that was only the first 3 days.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interior Life

"Do not be vain, my soul. Do not deafen your heart's ear with the tumult of your vanity. Even you have to listen. The Word himself cried to you to return. There is the place of undisturbed quietness where love is not deserted if it does not itself depart."
St. Augustine

I feel that I must apologize for my prolonged absence. I know, it's been a while. In the week I was home, I had little time to unpack and pack again, much less to blog. So sorry!
I'm currently on a retreat for liturgy committee, but when I return to campus, I PROMISE I will bombard you (via this blog) with stories and pictures and other lovely things.

Please pray for us as we discover the best ways in which to lead our respective ministries.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Learn From Those With Whom I Disagree

Last weekend, we went into New York city to do a little sightseeing.  And I learned what could be one of the biggest lessons of the whole trip.

Episcopalians are Christians too.  They've got something in common with us as Catholics.  We're all Christian.

Yeah, yeah, I knew this already.  I did.  But it didn't really hit me until last Saturday.
Because Peter and I walked into St. Thomas Episcopal church, which is right across the street, practically, from St. Patrick's Cathedral.  As I entered, I was struck by the beauty of the architecture.  I would have to say that it was up there on my list of favorite churches.

My eye was immediately drawn to a side altar, to the left of the main altar.  There was a service going on (it was noontime) and I walked quietly to the front to admire the carvings behind the altar.  And then I sat down in a pew and watched the service.  I looked, and I watched, and my jaw dropped.

I saw a man dressed in vestments, facing the altar and elevating a host, then a chalice.
I saw him genuflect in reverence.
I watched as the people responded, and he said a prayer.
And then they came forward to the altar rail, where they knelt while he distributed the hosts and chalice.

What was this?!  Most Roman Catholics don't have the kind of reverence that these people had.

I had always believed (assumed, really), at least a little bit, that Protestants went to church on Sundays, where they sang hymns, heard a sermon, and may have a communion service.  I never, ever thought that I would see a group at a weekday service.  As Peter and I read the liturgy card in the back of the church, I read their beliefs, and the beauty of it all hit me.  Over and over and over again.

We are so similar.

Do you realize the beauty and grace of this?  In an age where division seems to be the norm, we have so much in common with other Christians.  Shouldn't this be something that we hold on to?  That we cherish and remember more often?  I truly believe that it is.

I was overwhelmed.  I don't know if anyone else understood what I had seen.  While I get their perspective as well (that St. Patrick's is really cool), I just couldn't get that picture of the service in St. Thomas out of my head.  Even on Monday, when we went back to the city, I encouraged everyone to visit.  And even though I don't think anyone did, maybe, just maybe the thought was planted.  Perhaps they will go, one day, and experience what I did last Saturday.
I am beginning my last week on Crossroads.  Josh will leave this afternoon, Mario and Claire tomorrow night, and the rest of us will slowly disperse to cities around the country to begin a new school year.  I have a feeling that you all will be hearing a lot about Crossroads from me in the next couple weeks: reflections, fun stories, (hopefully) lots of pictures.  I hope you don't mind!  I also hope that you've been able to experience some of it with me this summer.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to post half as much as I would have liked, but I'm sure I'll make it up this semester!

Please keep us in your prayers as we walk into DC and end this crazy amazing journey.  You're all certainly in mine.