Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol 3)

I didn't mention it in my last post, but my great-aunt passed away last week.  It was fairly sudden and we're still trying to get everything in order.  I'm sure my whole family would greatly appreciate your prayers for her soul, and for the family's peace.
The longer I am in my Principles of Biblical Studies class, the more I get excited about Theology and the Bible.  my high school scripture class was what convinced me that I needed to major in Theology in the first place, and this class is confirming that.  We just learn so many fascinating things, and almost every class, I have that "Catholic nerd" moment when I look at Grace and say "Oh-my-goodness-this-is-so-amazing!!!!!!"  Unfortunately, when I attempt to share my joy with others, they usually don't quite understand my excitement about learning that, for example, there were so many sacrifices at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem (when it was built by Solomon), that they had to wash it out, so blood and water flowed out of the side of the temple.  Jump forward a couple centuries, and blood and water flowed out of Jesus' side on the cross!!  How amazingly awesome and beautiful is that??
Last night, I had the opportunity to go to a Byzantine Divine Liturgy here on campus!  I had been to one before, in 8th grade, but when I had gone before, we didn't have booklets, so we couldn't really participate.  So, for clarification, I am a Roman Catholic, and this was a liturgy in the Byzantine rite, so it was a liturgy of St. John Chrysostom  who was a bishop of Constantinople.  It was really beautiful and made me think a lot about what was going on, mainly because I had no idea what was coming next.  I would love to go again and hopefully participate more this time!
When I go home, I am going to sleep until I wake up on my own.  No alarm.  Enough said.
I made pumpkin bars over break!  And they were quite yummy, if I do say so myself... I got the recipe from Stephanie at Little Bit of Paradise and her Thanksgiving Desserts post.  Although, I have to admit, I didn't use a jelly roll pan.  I actually used the bottom of a broiler pan.  They turned out just fine, except the middle 6 bars were rather wet still.  Oh well, snacks for me!! ;)  The other thing that went a little wonky was the frosting... I'm not sure if it was the melted butter, or what, but Stephanie's frosting looked creamy and think, whereas mine was more like a glaze.  hey, as long as it tastes good, right?!

I know I keep saying this, but Europe is just getting closer and closer!  43 days from today, I'll be on a flight overseas... Yikes!  Plans are starting to come together.

Last but not leastvote for Scythian for the best studio album of 2012!  Danylo and Alexander, who started the band, walked with us for 2 weeks this summer, and they are wonderful guys in addition to being fantastic musicians!  Check out one of our (Northern Crossroads) favorite songs from the summer here!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paper Planes and Playground Games

(20 bonus points if you get the song ^ reference ;) )

So, as I mentioned in my last post, it's getting quite hectic and stressful here in the Ohio Valley... I mentioned that I had 12 projects/papers/tests to complete in 14 days (including exams).  (It's actually 15, but who's really counting?)  Well, I've officially finished 4 of those!  So now, I've got 5 exams, 2 somewhat long papers, a Bible journal, and 3 graphic design projects.  Thankfully, I have some friends who are seemingly light on the homework, so they have been keeping me sane with off-key singing parties and lunches at 2 pm.  Oh, and Carol of the Bells has helped too :)

I wanted to share a post with you by Grace, my roommate for next semester.  She just started a blog at Behold Your Beauty, and THIS post is absolutely fantastic.  Ya'll should check it out!

Stay warm!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brace Yourselves...

...for the end of the year is coming.

In 2 weeks, I will be done with the fall semester of my sophomore year.  2 WEEKS.  *minor freakout*
Before then, I have 12 things due (tests, papers, projects, and finals).  11 of them still need to be completed.

I'd appreciate your prayers for my sanity and the sanity of all my friends and professors during this ultimate crunch time.  We all feel like the end of the year snuck up on us, and that is not a very pleasant feeling.  No one likes endings to sneak up on them!

I can't give any promises about posts in the next couple weeks... I know at least one will happen between now and then, I just don't know when :)


Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol 2)

I'm home again!  It's yet another whirlwind trip home late Tuesday night, back again early Sunday morning.  Leaving early Sunday, that is.  Evelyn is driving back with us, so we should have a fun car ride!  And I'm imagining there will be some homework done, as well.  Nothing like productivity!

Thanksgiving was a little different this year- My brother and sister-in-law hosted, so it was at their new house, but my sister and brother-in-law were hosting his family at their house.  So we had a mere 12 people for dinner instead of 19 :P  We all pitch in to make parts of the meal, so I made the spinach artichoke dip for the football-watching, as well as the cranberry sauce and pumpkin bars. :)

One of my favorite parts of breaks is seeing friends... Wednesday morning I met a friend from high school for breakfast, and tonight I saw another high school friend for FroYo ;)  Que delicioso! *

I didn't brave the stores for Black Friday.  Or gray Thursday.  BUT I did go shopping for a couple things that I needed, both for the remainder of the school year and for Austria.  I purchased some quite awesome boots to replace my old ones that are literally falling apart!  I also think I'm going to try the mall tomorrow for new snow boots for overseas.

You would think that as a college student, I'd be quite adept at finding sales.  But I am just now getting the hang of it.  I've found quite a few handy websites to help with saving money!  And who doesn't love saving money??  Of course, Amazon is a common go-to.  Hukkster is a new website that helps you track sales.  You just find an item on, say, and then "hukk it"- the item is added to your hukkster page and you'll be notified if it goes on sale!  Lastly, has coupons for tons of common items, from sausage to shirts at Target to pens.  This week, there are $671.66 in available savings!

I could happily spend many hours doing many different things- reading, scrapbooking, watching Once Upon a Time... but when I am in an organizational frame of mind, I love to go to blogs like i Heart Organizing and admire people's beautiful houses.  She has some amazing ideas for organization, and they are (mostly) totally do-able!

Last week, I gave you a video that I couldn't get enough of.  This week, I share one that you will only want to see once.  But it is worth watching.  Prepare to laugh.

I hope you all had a beautiful day with your families!

*I have no idea what that technically says... hopefully it means something like "How delicious!".  My spanish skills are questionable.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

With a Grateful Heart

Thanksgiving Day is a day that most see as a day of family and food.  But, as my pastor reminded us at Mass this morning, it's primarily a day to thank God for what He does in our lives.  That's so important for me to remember, and I definitely don't do it enough.

My "Thankful" List
My Faith- a God who loves me, a Savior who died to save me, and the Spirit who gives me so much grace and inspiration
My Family- Mom, Dad, Aunt Patti, Christine, David, Teresa, Jake, Sarah, Matthew, Joseph, Tobias, Rebekah, Catherine, MaryGrace, Celia, Jacob, Jonah, Rosie, Baby G*: You guys are awesome, I love you, and I thank God for you every day!  Thanks for keeping me “in the loop” while I’m constantly away from home :P
My “Second Family”- John, Josh, Zechariah, Peter, Mario, Stephanie, Grace, Kirstin, and Amanda: Thank you all for the beautiful friendship that we all have.  We’ve all been blessed beyond imagination and God certainly knew what He was doing putting us all together this summer!  I say this with all the sincerity in my heart- you are family, and I love you.
My Friends- Hannah, Robyn, Hannah, Leslie, Abby, Leslie, Gracie, Evelyn, Stasia, Grace and everyone else who has made me who I am over the years: I’m so grateful that you’re in my life.  I’m sorry that I haven’t kept in touch with all of you like I should have, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you.  Thank you for your friendship.

What else I’m thankful for: (in no particular order)
Spiritual Direction
the opportunity to go to a Catholic school **
Once Upon a Time
Waking Rose
Principles of Biblical Studies class
Skype and Google chat
laughter at 2 am
The Milky Way
the founders of Crossroads and all current directors
Andrew and his beautiful witness
tea & scones
conversation with friends who expand my worldview

* surprise!  Come June, I will have a new little niece or nephew!!  Needless to say, I’m fairly excited (read: I’m freaking bouncing off the walls!)
** despite the fact that sometimes it drives me nuts… ;)

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving Day?  Maybe tonight, before you fall asleep, you can say a quick prayer thanking God for something that you usually take for granted.


Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol 1)

"This is the start of something new...."

This Friday (and hopefully every Friday following) I will be joining Jen at Conversion Diary :)

I am tired of sporadic weather.  Three days ago, it was quite literally 75 degrees outside.  I had a short sleeve shirt on.  Today, I walked out the door to 29 degrees and cold.  Not cool, weather guy, not cool. 

Getting older is happening to me.  Quickly.  No matter that I'm "only" 19.  When one's niece is applying to the junior/senior high school that you graduated from 2 years ago, one realizes how old one is.  In other words, my super cool niece is applying for 7th grade at my high school!  I'm really excited for her :)

I am not a fan of this whole 2-breaks-within-one-month thing.  I just got back from All Saints Day Break (also known as Fall Break), and then we have 12 days of classes and "spliies!" ("surprise" for those of you who are not Stephanie.) we have Thanksgiving!  and then oh, look at that, 10 days later we've got finals.  Humph.  In the words of a dear friend, "I'm not a fan". :P

Last night I room-hosted for the first time... and it went really well!  (room hosting is when someone who is visiting the school stays with me overnight).  I didn't know this girl, so I was worried that it would be super awkward or she wouldn't want to do anything or we'd just stare at each other, but she was really awesome and we had a lot of fun.  I can be an extrovert when I want to be!!

Austria is becoming more and more of a reality.  Last week we got information about Eurail passes and roommates.  58 days.  1 month and 28 days.  aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......

Who has international travel tips??  I'm looking for tips on how to pack for 4 months abroad, how to pack for weekend trips abroad, what not to bring, things I absolutely must bring, and anything else you think may come in handy.  One of my challenges is that I will be there in the winter and in the warm(er) weather.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!!  It's beautiful music, and perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit.  ssshhhh!!  Usually I'm all for waiting for anything semi Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving, but this just can't wait.  it's that good.

Have a good weekend, all!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Striking a Balance

Today was a beautiful day.

It all started with the walk to Mass in 70-degree weather.  Say-WHAT?!  It's Ohio, in November, and we get 70 degrees?  I'll take it any day!
Mass was great, as per usual, and I was able to EM.
Following Mass, I had lunch with Stephanie, which was really nice since we hadn't really caught up since fall break 2 weeks ago.
And THEN we ran back to my room and google-chatted with our Crossroads Family!!!!  Everyone except Mario and Zechariah was able to come, at least for a little bit, and it was so awesome to be able to talk to everyone.  We all gave our little update as to what was going on in our lives, and we laughed a whole lot.  Fun times :D
As if that wasn't enough, I then spoke with my friend from when I was in kindergarten, who I haven't actually talked to in about 3 months.  Whoops!  I've known her and her sister for 14 years!  I'm so blessed to know them, and the great thing is that no matter how long its been since we've talked, we pick right up where we left off.

Now, though, the fun is over.  I have quite a few books of the Bible to journal through before 1 pm tomorrow.  Wait, scratch that.  The fun can't be over when Grace is coming to journal with me!!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

show us where to go

Well, last night was interesting, to say the least.

Yes, this is a political post.  In my (ever-so)humble opinion, I have spared you all from rants and raves throughout this election season, so maybe you can put up with one little tiny political post?  Perhaps?  Good, I thought so.

Um... what happened last night?  Really, America?  Right now, I'm just sad.  Does our country realize what it's done to itself?  I honestly don't think it does.  We just re-elected a man who is against religious freedom, against life, and is driving our country further and further into debt.  And yet, we've re-elected him.

Needless to say, campus was going nuts both last night and today.  Reactions ranged from "WHATTHEHECK" to "Well, that's the end, then" to "I'm moving to Canada/Malta/Australia/[insert country of choice here]".

This election was a deciding point for our country.  I truly believe that everyone will be affected in some way, shape, or form.

My professors will no longer have health care, because Franciscan University of Steubenville will not support a mandate that provides birth control.
I will most likely not have health care after college, because any parish I work for will have the same mentality of Franciscan. (just for clarification, this is a good thing!)
Catholic OB-GYNs could potentially be forced to close down.
Any retirement home is in danger of forcing to euthanize their residents.
Unborn children are still at risk of being murdered.
Any nursing majors here at school could be required by law to assist at abortions or to recommend birth control.
--This is not ok!  Talk about removing freedoms...

Now, I'm not one to think that the world is over and we're all doomed to go to Hell in a handbasket.  There's still hope.  The church militant is rising up, and the youth of my generation are impassioned!  We can't sit by and just let all this happen, but at the same time, we must trust that this is either ordained or allowed by God for a reason.  We are meant to be alive right now, we are meant to have our Catholic faith at this point in time.  We must work alongside our Lord, stay in tune with His will, and pray for our country and our President.

Speaking of praying for our president, 5 friends and I were talking at lunch today, and we've decided to start something kinda big.  It involves facebook, twitter, tumblr, and lots and lots of praying.  We're still in the baby steps, but in the next couple days (yes, days.  we're movers and shakers here at Franciscan!)  we should have this up and running!  I'll be sure to let you know what's going on!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Language is the Music of the Soul

I've had various conversations lately about words.  Words are amazing things.  Ya know those people who use language so elegantly and beautifully without sounding funny?  I love those people.  And if they can write like that, all the better.  So when I fell across Renee's blog over a year ago, I fell in love with her writing.  Renee's beauty comes out in her writing, and I love that so much.  And then, last week, she posted this jewel of a post.  And it happened to just fit perfectly with a conversation I had recently had.

There's something about spending time with people that gives you more things to laugh about.  It's different from connecting via text or email or chat.  Because those funny one-liners rarely come from email messages.  They do, however, emerge from phone calls, skype conversations, or, best of all, talking in person.

(Don't get me wrong, I see the value of today's social media (Hello, multimedia major here!).  But the personal connection from talking goes way beyond any other type of communication.)

These types of one-liners are beautiful.  And fun.  And they tie you closer to the person or people with whom you have them.  Cases in point:

"Pinterest!"- I can't hear it (from certain people) without laughing, unfortunately.
"I heard he was cute""Brilliant!""Where's the van?""Group Dynamics!!"

These phrases draw my friends and I together.  Each time we use one of them, we are reminded of an experience that we had.  That's such a blessing, you guys.  When you re-hash a fun time or a difficult week, you are re-learning about the people with whom you experienced this, you are re-learning about yourself.  It's so beautiful, important, and crucial to your growth with your friends.

And that's how friendship turns into family.