Monday, December 13, 2010

Celebrity couples

Ok, so I admit that I am often intrigued by the attention given to celebrities and their personal life. Sometimes it is easy to ignore especially when you are not watching the current television shows so you don't really recognize the celebs on the front page of the tabloids (I am actually quite excited when this happens especially when I have been known to know a lot of random things about celebs. I blame my stalker memory for this though)

As it so happens, my homepage is Today, while procrastinating on finishing my research paper that is due in a few hours, I decided to browse this website and there was a headline about a celebrity couple break up that caught my eye: Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron. Because of my high school celebrity crush past, I decided to peruse this article.

There was no drama about it but there was an interesting comment made about the break up: "They were together for so long. It just ran its course."

They were together for three years.

I didn't know that was a long time. I mean, in this day and age, I guess it can be considered a long time. Especially since they were a couple of celebs.

Its just interesting that we have relegated relationships to 'running their course.'

At church this weekend, the pastor said something intriguing. He was talking about Mary and how she was 13 when she became pregnant with Jesus. He said something about how we are so shocked at this but at this age people were often promised to wed someone. And how there was less divorce in this culture because they were taught that love grows. It is not just a mushy feeling that we get when we are around a certain person.

I think that is why family is so important to have because no matter what, they have to love you. It doesn't matter how long you are around them. It can't just run its course and you drift away. I mean, there might be things that happen in any family situation; but there is still love. And you can't break up with your family.

But relationships can break up. They can run their course. Instead of working at making things better and admitting being wrong and apologizing, people give up. And they drift apart.

So the good news about this all is that Zac Efron is back on the market; so for anyone who still has the celebrity crush, there's still hope.

As for me, I think that crush has run its course.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cleaning to Avoid

These past few days when I have been at my house in Azusa, I have had the urge to just clean and organize. I am rarely home during the day and this past week I have been off from clinical. Meaning that instead of going to South Hills from 2 to whenever and then going straight to work or the library I have been at home.

And when you are around a mess for so long, it gets to you. And you can't help but clean and organize and scrub and drain-o that drain that is shared by three ladies with long hair.

I was telling my mom this when I went home for thanksgiving and she offered to let me organize her sewing room. I declined and the conversation went on. We talked about school, homework, roommates, friends, gifts, church and then grad school. I told her I was avoiding hitting submit. And then she said "Oh so that's why you are cleaning."

Bingo. I didn't even realize I was doing it. I mean, don't get me wrong, out house was messy but not as messy as I am probably making it seem. It was just something that I was doing to avoid that stupid admission essay.

But I finally finished it this morning. And we'll see what happens. Maybe nothing. And I don't even have a back up in line. I just want to go to this one school. I probably shouldn't put all my eggs in one basket, but for now that is what I am doing. I am looking at other options. But I'm not as excited at any of those.

Maybe it will just be a year off next year. And I'm just going to have to be ok with that.

Or maybe I'll get it.

Time will tell.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Big Sky Country

AKA Montana.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Montana with APU football for the first round of playoffs. Chrissy, the Grad Assistant was in a wedding and couldn't make it. Glory, the head football AT, usually travels with her and two students. So he asked me to go and because we took a charter flight, another student got to go, too. It was one big happy family.
Here is a photo blog of the whole experience.

At the airport. Airports always make me go insane. Before we were able to board we had to tell them how much we weighed so that they could spread it out evenly, or something like that. Apparently last time APU took a charter flight, the plane wouldn't take off because there were too many heavy people concentrated in the front.

This is Glory and Duke. Pat Duke is the team physician. Duke is probably the most ridiculous individual in the world. He is so smart and so crass and yet so generous. He gives up his time to go to all the games with the team just so that we always have a team doc with us. And he always takes Glory and all the athletic training students out to eat. This time he took us to a very nice steak dinner.

This was our first view of Montana.

While we waited for our luggage we had a nice little photo shoot outside the airport. It was snowing. And our lack of layers made it really cold.

This was the view out our hotel window on the day of the game. We woke up to a nice blanket of this.

Here we are all bundled up, ready for the game. We also put on a huge outer layer of a jacket. But we knew that for treatment and taping we would get sweaty if we had everything on.

This was the entire game weather. Ashley and I were on first aid. Meaning our main job was to give the players cups of chicken broth. And use the chicken broth to melt the ice that closed up the water bottles. Other things we had the players do was put skin lube on their faces, put plastic bags on their feet in between sock layers, and hand and feet warmers. The table with the water had icicles hanging off the edges. The final weather report was that it was 5 degrees and -9 degrees with the wind chill.

This is us after the game. Our cheeks were so red. I'm just glad we came back with all our extremities.

At the airport ready to go home. Of course we had a photoshoot. This was one of my favorites. Too bad seats are crooked when we try to do a timer shot.

Ashley and I with some of the players. Still at the airport waiting to board.

This is our excited face that we got to wait on the plane for an hour and a half before it took off. Something about the weather and it being cold. It was just great. P.S. We weren't that excited. At all. (also this is Nick. Last year, he went down in the first home game and was unable to play the rest of the season. He took a medical redshirt and came back this year to play. When he went down, it was also my first time going out on the field to an injured player. We're kinda like best friends because of it. Ok. Not really.)
And that was the trip. APU lost but they played so well for most of them being Southern California boys with no concept of playing football in the snow. The final score was 35-21 and the last two touch downs Carroll scored were in the last 5 minutes. It was like we couldn't hold them anymore because we were so numb and probably so ready to get out of the snow.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Current Montana Weather
High 22 degree
Low 2 degree.
Tomorrow (game day)
High 11 degree
Low -2 degree
At least it'll be pretty.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last League Game

Last night was the last league game for South Hills. If they won then there would have been a chance at playoffs. Meaning that they would play next week and get pummeled by a team like Centennial.

They played probably the best game ever and they lost in overtime. It was one of the most heartbreaking things. First the other team scored and then we scored and then we scored again. So its 14-7 going into the second half. We score again and make it 21-7. And then they get a touch down. And then they get another one. So its tied. We answer back with a touch down. And in the last two minutes so do they. So its ties 28-28 and we go into over time.

For high school the overtime rule is that both teams get four downs at the 35 yard line (it might be 25 or 40. semantics..) Any way, we go first and all we can get is a field goal. And when the other team goes they get a touch down. It was like a punch in the stomach when they got the touchdown.

The boys played so great though. So proud of them.
This is when someone went down. They all took a knee. So precious.

Manning first aid with two of the girls from Darrick's Athletic Training class.

Here's Lyndsay stretching out a cramp. It was insane. In the last quarter about four guys started getting cramps.

Yep. I'm going to miss Friday night lights.
I don't think its hit me that the season is over for the high school. I think it was easier at the end of APU football then it is at the end of this football. Its probably because I still see the APU guys ALL the time. But I probably won't see the high schoolers that much anymore. I'll still be going to south hills for the next few weeks but it just won't be the same.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Second largest city.

It doesn't look so big from way back here. (Bottom right on the horizon)

I went on a hike by myself yesterday. I needed to clear my head and just get away. (Of course I took my camera.) These past two weeks have been hard. This semester has been hard. It's time I finally admit this to myself. At church today, I realize that it is exactly six months until my graduation date. I'm freaking out.

Time to get back to work and cease my dilly dallying.

Lyndsay Dean

Soon to be Mrs. Lyndsay Trefzger. She is my co-hort at South Hills and has the absolute biggest heart. She's going to do great things in the world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

list time.

This is my life right now.

1. My driver's side window is officially broken. For a while I had it staying up because I pulled it up but there was still a slit in the top. So I try to fix it today and I realize that it is completely off its track. This means I need to take the door completely apart and get it back on. Helloooo weekend project. (Especially if this rain persists).

2. In my research methods class, my professor told us that we have an assignment due every week till the end of the semester. Hellooooo library.

3. Currently, the high school football players at South Hills want to set me up with the linebacker coach. Today, the injured players kept repeating his number to me. And they found out I was 21 today and asked me about buying them alcohol. I gave them a strong no to both things. They dropped the alcohol buying. But they still are trying to push the coach thing. Hellooooo awkward practices. (And to all those wondering... Heck no to the coach).

4. I really need to stop and get back to homework now. Helloooo coffee.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This is how life goes

So sometimes, we can be sitting doing our homework on a supposedly stable surface and then we get up to go do something and we come back to this. Good things the bag caught the computer otherwise, this blog would have a very different outcome. Actually, there wouldn't be a blog.

But that's how life goes. You're walking down an unbeaten path and some unexpected curve ball comes at you and the cookie crumbles leaving you with an egg to put back together again.
It just happens.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I just have to be stronger
And hold out a bit longer
Take a break from facebook
And stop taking that second look
Learn to say NO
And just go with the flow

Don't spread myself thin
And maybe I'll get a win
Life is sometimes hard
So we stay on our guard

But what happens when
We go ahead and let someone in?

Maybe it will be okay
And we can finally say
We don't need to belong.
We are strong

Friday, October 8, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Do you think a place like this exists?
I want to find it.
And when I get there I am going to do nothing. I am not going to worry. I am not going to fret. I am not going to try and impress anybody else. I am just going to sit.

Wet Ground

In case you were wondering if the ground gets to wet around here we need to blow it dry with a leaf blower.
Even though the sun is coming out.

Because thunderstorms only last about seven minutes in these here parts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are you ready for some football?

Last weekend I was able to help out with APU football. Here is my account of the game:

I'm on the sideline with Glory. Its my favorite place to watch a football game. Walking back and forth in front of the players. Hearing the occasional burp and exclamation of disbelief of the first string mess ups. Its exhilarating and at the same time nerve racking.

Please God, don't let anyone get hurt. After doing this for a while, this becomes my prayer. It used to be the opposite. I wanted to see some action. Get some experience. Now the football players have become my friends, in a weird twisted way. Do we hang out on the weekends? Nope. Do they say hi to me in the cafeteria or between classes? Sometimes. Do I care what happens to them? Most definitely.

During this particular game, its the middle of the third quarter. We're winning. By a decent amount, too. This is just weird. Last year our record was 3-8. This year we won our opening game against University of San Diego and we're winning this game. We're just better this year. The crowd knows it. They are already starting to leave because it's almost boring watching your team smash the opponent.

I just keep praying for no injuries and keep scanning the field and the players as they come off and on. Are they bleeding? Are they excessively limping? Are they okay after that last hit from the huge linebacker? The worries never stop and neither does the adrenaline.

And then it happens. Glory is running on to the field. Crap. Why was I watching the ball for so long? I didn't scan back to the start of the play. But Glory did.

My instincts take over. Just follow Glory. I'm holding a six-pack of half filled water bottles. I know Glory once said to just put them down and run out. But I'm afraid the players won't see them and we'll have more injuries on our hands so I just carry them out to the player with me.

I finally let myself see who it is. Oh, please God, not Straz. But it is. The quarterback.

Straz is probably the unluckiest person when it comes to playing ball in college. His first game as a redshirt freshman had him on the injury list. He has surgery for it. He rehabs. He comes back to play again the next year. He's out again in one of his first games back. For a completely different injury. No surgery this time. He rehabs. This year he comes back. He's not the first string quarterback. He goes in on the field goal plays. And when we are winning. And it's not cause he's bad or anything of that nature. The first string quarterback has had to step up and play and fill those shoes. So of course he's the starter. But we're winning now. So let's rest our first string quarterback and give Straz some playing time.

When I see this, I'm excited for the guy. He's such a good player and deserves it. And then I just find myself praying again that I won't have to go out to the field for this guy. Anyone but him. You know what they say about murphy's law...

The doctor and Gloria, another athletic training student, meet Glory and I at the 20 yard line, where Straz is writhing in pain. He's crying out, "It hurts so bad!" He's clutching at his knee. I find myself being thankful he's moving and not paralyzed. Or clutching at his back.

I'm realizing my face is probably portraying shock and fear. I get a grip of myself. Time to get my game face on. What does Glory need? I see that April Reed has met us out there too. She's the head athletic trainer. The doctor says let's splint him and get him off. Gloria, April and I all stand up and put our right hand to the left arm. The sign for splint. Glory just radios the sideline. Oh right. Technology comes in handy sometimes. He also calls for the Gator.

Abella brings the splint bag out. I take it from her and get the leg vacuum splint ready. I get the pump out, too. Am I doing too much right now? Should I let April be doing this? Whatever. That starts to not matter anymore.

Glory slides the splint under his leg and he velcros it. I put the pump in and pray that the tube is on the right side. Thank God for correct labels of 'air in' and 'air out.' The air comes out of the splint and it creates a nice temporary cast for his poor leg.

The Gator is there. We stand him up. The stupid seat on the Gator won't move forward or backward anymore. It just permanently stays stuck in the back position. But it works. We have to hoist him up to the seat and carry him back. I think he's in too much pain to realize if this makes it worse. Glory tells me to sit on the side to stabilize it while the we drive away. I don't even see who's driving.

Glory tells me to also hold on to the Gator so that I, myself, am stabilized. April sees this and tries to take my place. I'm already sitting there and I know I won't fall off. I also feel somewhat protective over Straz. That I should be there. Or something. I tell her "I can do this." She lets me.

The whole offense comes over to him right before we drive off. "Keep your head up Straz" and other words of encouragement follow us as we go. My main thought is keep this leg stable. The crowd erupts in cheers and applause. I look at Straz. Yeah, his eyes are red from crying. My heart breaks more for him.

We get him to the treatment table and somehow get him on to the table. I'm pretty sure those details are now a blur. We get some redshirts to make a wall between him and the crowd. Trying to reduce the looky-loos. I look up into the crowd. My friends make eye contact with me. They shrug their shoulders as if asking 'What?' I can't tell them anything and just shake my head. The doctor does more evaluating of the knee. I hear the last thing I want to hear. ACL tear.

Not another one. Why do we even let people play sports anyways? My kids are playing chess.

We get ice bags for him because that's all we can do right now. If someone ever comes up with a cure for ACL tears that does not include surgery, that person will be a multi-millionaire.

The players make their way to Straz throughout the rest of the game. They come and pray. His dad comes down from the stands. I see his roommates come down. Ironically, roommates that have both torn their ACLs and both played football and both now don't play. And his roommates who are in the middle of playing look over. Should they come see what's up? They eventually do. Give him some encouragement. Yeah, this guy is loved. Its all about having a support system in times like these.

And now we wait. How soon will he get in for surgery? Does he need surgery? Is he still going to play football? Seeing him around school breaks my heart. But he has a relatively good attitude. Injuries are all mental anyways. You can't let them win.

I love football game days. And at the same time, I hate them.

P.S. I got Straz's permission to talk about him. Thankfully he didn't ask to read it. And he didn't ask too many questions about it in general. Like why I even have a blog? I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dream Job

When I was in Chicago, one of the hosts asked someone what their dream job was. If money wasn't an issue and you could pick the perfect set up to do something for the rest of your life what would it be?

And that became something that we talked about. We had visionaries in our group that I think often fueled this discussion (Nicole). But its something to think about.

The other day when I was talking with my ACI (Approved clinical instructor) Darrick, we talked about what his dream setting would be. This question was sparked by his statement "I hate injuries. I'd rather focus on performance." If money wasn't an option he would open up his own facility and have every performance gadget out there. But when he was at APU, they only had athletic training, not applied exercise science. So that is why he ended up an athletic trainer.

Its interesting to see what's important to people if they could imagine the dream job for themselves.

My friend Matty P recently showed me this amazing article:

It honestly made me cry reading it because it moved me so much. Basically its about this woman named Natalie Randolph who became the head varsity football coach at a high school in Virginia. She didn't plan on it and even refused to accept the job at first. But she's in charge of 130 athletes, inspiring them to not only be good football players but also encouraging them to excel academically.

And as I'm reading that, this is my dream job. (Probably not a football coach though. I don't know enough about that sport at all.) But to be in the inner city somewhere, getting these kids to believe that they can accomplish so much more then what society has told them.

Based on what we see in our world, we have dreams of doing things, but it is not necessarily where we end up. Life leads us down different paths. So I might end up being an athletic trainer for the Chicago Bears and I'll still like it even if its not my current dream right now. How do we become match our reality with the vision we have for ourselves? And how do we know what the right choices are? And how hard are we willing to work to make it happen??

Ugh. I hate growing up.

And yet I love it at the same time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Strong enough?

I hate when people say I need two strong boys to help me with such and such. If I lived in the seventies, people would probably say that I'm a feminist. But I don't think that's it. I just sometimes wish I wasn't a girl.

My sophomore year of high school, I had this literature teacher, Mr Ayres, who would each week post questions and if we answered them in a forum then we would get extra credit. One of the questions was who has it easier boys or girls? (Side note: I don't think I ever responded to this question and I rarely did post because I didn't like sharing my opinion, but look at me now, commandeering my own blog.)

And really that's not the issue either. I don't think either sex has it easier or harder consistently. I think both are faced with their own challenges at different stages of their lives.

However, I just wish I was a boy so that people would think I'm strong without having to prove myself. Basically, once you get to know me, then its like oh yeah she's strong and capable and good at soccer. (Had to throw that in because I really can't seem to shake that one.)

So where is all this coming from? Just the comments that people make. The other day I was at South Hills and I went to the office with Darrick to get some papers. He apparently got a whole lot of copies made that filled up a whole box. When we walked in and he saw it, he must have said something because then one of the office workers said "I told you to bring someone strong."

Really now?

I stumbled upon this exerpt from a book on Donald Miller's blog. Its taken from a book called "Bitter sweet, thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way" and is written by Shauna Niequist:

"My friends Brannon and Chris have a little girl named Emme, and before she was born, Brannon and Chris declared their house a princess-free zone. There could be pink, there could be dresses and lace and babies galore, but no tiaras, no wands, and no princes coming to rescue any little princesses.

I love this. I think maybe we should all live in a princess-free zone. I think the current cultural messaging that tells women it’s attractive to play dumb and fragile and hope that they’re saved by their beauty is incredibly destructive.

I’m not anti-feminine. I operate, in many ways, within squarely traditional gender roles. I love to cook, I hate to drive, and I’m terrible with technology of all kinds. I fit squarely within the stereotypes, and then also not, largely because I was raised by a strong leader who recognized aspects of himself in me. I wasn’t raised to play dumb, or play cute, or play princess. I learned to work hard, to develop my skills, to contribute on a team and in society, and it drives me bonkers when women depend instead on their sexuality or their fragility. I think there’s a better way.

If you’re a woman, and you get what you want by batting your eyelashes or faking fragility, and then you wonder why you’re not taken seriously in your career or given responsibility in your church, I think you may have believed the reigning cultural lie about what makes us attractive. And if you’re a man, and you celebrate femininity only as it presents itself in beauty and tenderness, please consider widening your view of what it means to value women. Consider strength, intelligence, passion, and compassion.

I want businesses and government systems and certainly churches to be led more and more often by women. I believe that men and women would both benefit from it in dozens of ways. But if that’s going to happen, I think we have to declare a princess-free zone. No tiaras, no Girls Gone Wild, no pretending we can’t carry things. No fairytales, no waiting around to be rescued, and absolutely no playing dumb."

Now, I have always liked the idea of Princesses and Queens and Kings. For a while growing up, I was obsessed with Queen Elizabeth I and her father King Henry VIII. I loved learning about everything of that monarchy.

But I also agree that some girls let themselves get consumed in this idea and they don't even realize it. Its society bearing down on them that they must fit this mold to be the defenseless one.

My roommate and I have a bunkbed. Because of circumstances, it took us a while to put it together. Basically because we didn't have time. During this time of not having the bunkbeds made her boyfriend told us "Do you want me to put the beds together?" And he asked it in such a condescending way that it immediately made me think that he thought we would not be able to do it ourselves. So I took the defensive. And brushed him off that he didn't need to do that. (P.S. I may be down playing this exchange and may have said other things.) All he had to do was to ask if he could "help" us put the beds together and I would not have been so defensive.

And did her boyfriend really think we were too helpless to put the beds together? Knowing him, probably only a little. But he also just wants to be the guy in the relationship and be there for his girlfriend. And I can respect him for that.

And no matter what guys say about not wanting to have a dumb girl in their life, there is some part of them that subconsciously searches for that. And that's good. Guys should protect the girls in their lives and strive to take care of them. I just don't know how to be that kind of girl yet. I'm learning though.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Sometimes I complain a lot. Or maybe you could call it venting. Or maybe I just want someone to say, "Man that sucks Jane." That's it. I don't really want to answer the question "Why?" about whatever I'm feeling. I don't want to hear about how your life may or may not be more difficult. I just want to complain.

So I try to be careful to who I complain (or vent) to. I don't like people knowing that I am an ornery person at times so it takes a special person to complain to. (Except I'm telling all four of you that read my blog regularly. The vain person in me would like to think its more but its probably not. And I'm okay with that.)

I guess the point is, when you say something that I don't like to hear after I complain to you, then I find myself avoiding you when I need to vent.

Anyway, the other day, I found myself discussing how crappy my schedule was lately because I have less free time then I had originally thought for this last wonderful month of summer of being an undergrad student. I was "venting" to my friend Leary (his last name) and he just looked at me and said "You picked your major Jane." And I immediately knew I would not be

"discussing" things with him anymore.

But as I sit here on my couch, aching from standing at stupid high school football practice, dreading the start of tomorrow's practice, wishing someone would do some myofascial trigger point release on my neck (Nicole?), those words keep ringing in my head.

You picked your major.

So convicting. And so true.

And really, complaining does nobody any good.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Way down at south hills.

From APU, travel about five miles south on Barranca St, take a right on Cameron and you will be at South Hills High School.

This is my current life: High School Football.

And let me tell you, its different then what I am used to. At APU, its a Christian atmosphere, with dedicated players, intense, short practices and people my age. At South Hills, I hear multiple cuss words, inappropriate comments to the "water girls," and coaches who don't know how to coach. (I'm not saying I could be better at this part but at least I would take it seriously.)

And as the days go on, it is growing on me. Its becoming endearing. And really its probably the setting that I want to be at in the future. And I know that I would have those players cease their cussing within a week. At least while they are around me and in the Athletic Training Room. That part is definitely not growing on me.

The other day we had to call the ambulance. And by we, I mean me. It was almost exhilarating putting the emergency action plan into actual action. I think the hardest part was when Mr. L (my new clinical instructor) had me talk to the kid's mom. She had no idea what was happening and only had me to bridge that gap. I could tell that she was really close to tears and she also told me that she was pregnant. It was just so real at that moment.
The kid is fine. No broken anything. Thankfully.
But while I was on the phone, we didn't know that. It could have been anything.
I feel like I talk about athletic training a lot. But its currently my life. They have been doing two a days. Get there at 8:40. Leave at 12:00 (ish). Come back at 3:30. Leave when the sun sets (About 7:40). Next week they start school so it will slow down a bit meaning, it will only be one practice. I think I expected it to be fewer hours and more laid back in terms of injuries. But its about the same amount of hours and its definitely laid back but way more injuries than college. But not as severe. So there are tradeoffs. As in everything in life.
P.S. I took the pictures with my phone all stealth like. I feel like blogs are better with visual aids.

Friday, August 20, 2010

coolest job ever.

Ok so I have been hecka busy since I've gotten back from Chicago. Well, not hecka, but moderately. I seem to not be able to stop. I slow down some. But never just stop because that is not the type of person I will ever be.

I have been helping out at football practice with APU and its been quite interesting being a senior and knowing more about football and having the players themselves respect you and ask specifically for you. Whether its to tape ankles or ask an opinion. Honestly, its not just interesting, its been great.

Today was probably my last day of helping out at APU because today I also get to start my rotation at South Hills High School. But it was a great last day:

I was standing by the Offensive line (they were doing a drill against the defensive line) when one of the players put his hand up. His ring finger was definitely not the way it was supposed to be. I was like "crap, I hope he walks to the other student that was over there." Because if he came over to me, it meant that I would have to make a decision and take care of it. And since I was closer he walked over to me. I radio-d Glory (the head athletic trainer with football) that there was a dislocated finger. He said to stabilize it and he'll be right over.

But the player kept saying, "Just put it back in."

So I took a deep breath and did just that.

Ok, honestly, it took me a few tries. But it went back in. Nothing was broken. I taped it up and he went back in the next play.

Can I just say that it was so exhilarating? If the player had come to me a year ago, I would have just waited for Glory. But honestly, I feel like I have just grown so much in this past year. And I'm excited for this next year. And the many stories I will have about the high school players.

Who knows where this life will take me. But if I am doing this the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure I would have the coolest job ever. And that was just a dislocated finger.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nicole Sandford.

Chicago brought me to a wonderful lady named Nicole Sandford.

She is the light of my life. She's a fiery spirit with a huge heart for God. She's from Seattle and she is now the apprentice for CSM Chicago. Basically this means that she has a year long internship with CSM. She'll be at the same ministry site all year and rarely (if ever) host groups.

She is probably the best encourager in the world. But its not fake. Its so genuine and real and you can just tell that she means what she says. And at the same time, she has this streak in her that makes you realize that you would not want to get in a fight with her.

She understood me when I didn't understand myself in Chicago and she enlightened me to the wonderful world of frosted shredded wheats and peanut butter. I miss her a lot right now. Nicole, please come back to me?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

California Beginnings

So I am back in the state of California. It is so weird to think that only three days ago I was 2000 miles away in Chicago.

Right when I landed, my parents took me to Huntington Beach where my sisters were at so that I could see them and the kiddos. There was also a fabulous sunset that night. It's amazing how smog and the ocean can just enhance the sunset. Of course I took multiple pictures. I'm only subjecting you all to one of them.

Tomorrow I go back to my apartment near school. And Sunday I start orientation for Athletic Training. Sometimes I feel like I never was in Chicago. And then I look at all 2800 of my photos and realize that this past summer really did happen.

I'm glad to be back. But I can't wait to go back again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



by Tony Hoagland

Don’t take it personal, they said;

but I did, I took it all quite personal—

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;

the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—

And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,

the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,

with its deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,

with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness

Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said

at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t

believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture

served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all

and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure

while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds

and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me

for making a scene?

You were that yellow caboose, the moon

disappearing over a ridge of cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;

barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else

to take it personal too.

My roommate introduce this poem to me. I just love it.

I hope you do too.


Today I was faced with a sombering reality of how different my life and childhood has been then from the kids I work with everyday.

I have become almost best friends with Ms. Cassandra at my Boys and Girls club. She works in the front office but she's really not the receptionist or secretary. Often times I find myself hanging out with her during the day between playing with the cadets and checking on my students because she is just a wonderful person to talk to. She's in her late twenties/early thirties and has two kids and she's not married. She says she did her life backwards and she's going back to school now.

Well, today I was sitting in the office and Ms. Carolyn, the program director, and Ms. Cassandra were talking about a shooting in the neighborhood. And then they started talking about Thomas, a summer youth staff worker, and how he didn't come into work.

They then started talking to other people about where he would be. And they called another member into the office to call a friend to see where he was.

I know that if I was working at a camp in Riverside, California, my first thought would be that the worker slept in or he was too lazy to come to work.

But that's not the reality here in Roseland, one of the top three most dangerous neighborhoods. The reality is that he could have been shot. Or who knows where. And knowing Thomas, he probably just did not feel like coming into work today. But that's not the first thought at all.

My heart just breaks for the kids of this neighborhood and I ask myself why am I so lucky? Why was I able to be born with soft hair? Why do I have the means to go to Chicago for the summer to just serve? Why am I so lucky to be able to go to college? How did I come from such an amazing family that loves me?

And I don't want to leave. I want to stay here and not just bring 12 or so white volunteers to this club for one week. I want to live here so that it becomes the norm. I want to be able to reach out to them as a staff person rather then a temporary worker.

Because at the end of this week, I have to say good bye. To Ms. Cassandra. To Ms. Carolyn. To Marcus. To Timothy. To Noelle. To Faith. To Demetrius. To everyone.

Because the reality is I might not see them ever again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I just love my boys

This was taken during our morning exercises. They were showing me how they did clap push ups.

Memorial Church of Christ

I loved my group this week. They were just so generous. This was the first week my Boys and Girls club was having a snack bar at lunch and my volunteers stepped right up to help them out even though it was so hectic.

They also helped fix a thousand brochures that the club had printed.

We got to go on a field trip with the club to a pool down the street.

The kids absolutely loved ganging up on my volunteers to try and take them down.

On the last night of debriefing, I told my group that its nice when I get to the end of the week and I'm telling myself that I can't believe its already Friday instead of thanking God that it's finally Friday.

They were just a good group of volunteers to hang out with all week.
I have one more week left. That means one more group. One more prayer tour. And a lot of lasts. Last days at the club. Last going to a soup kitchen. It's just almost over. I'm still trying to figure how I feel about it all.

Cuuuuuuuubbbbs game.

This past week Katie and I co hosted a group from Houston, Texas. On Wednesday, they took us to an Astros game that happened to be taking place at Wrigley field where they played the Cubs. They had originally bought tickets for about 38 people but they only brought 27 people. That means they had extra tickeys not only for us but also for some of our friends. So Katie and I were able to bring people along.
I was super excited because I had definitely wanted to be able to go to Wrigley field and I didn't even have to pay. I love black and white photos so here is one of the field.

It had such a old time- feel. Really different then what I'm used to at Angel Stadium. They even had these musicians just walking around.

Since we had extra tickets, I invited Austin. At first he told me that he had to work. But then he texted me later to see if there were still tickets available. No one can pass up a free cubs game :)

Katie brought about 5 people because she actually knows more than the one person I know who lives near or around Chicago. This is Pauline, one of her friends from school

Apparently the birds around the field are trained to know when the end of the game is so that they can eat all the leftovers that the crowd leaves. Too bad the game went into extra innings and people were still there.

Austin was telling me that they change this sign for each team that comes. Get it cause they were playing the Houston Astros. And then last week it said something about being "philling" because they were playing the phillies.
And then there's me in front of the field. The Cubs lost. But it was still fun. I was glad that I had my hat to wear, too. Thanks mary :)

Lincoln Park

Last Saturday, Sarah, Elizabeth and Meagan had the opportunity to go and explore Lincoln Park.

The one goal for the day was Molly's cupcakes.

These aren't just any cupcakes. They deluxe cupcakes, with some kind of center, delicious frosting and the actual cake of the cupcake is quite delightful.

This would be the Cookie Monster cupcake. That is cookie dough in the cupcake. It was amazing.

Going to Lincoln Park was very different then what I have been doing lately. All summer I have been around kids or around homeless people. When we started to walk through the houses/condos/townhomes there were a lot of young adults and older adults having house parties. It was game day for the Cubs and that always means a party even if they lose. It was just the part of Chicago I have not experienced but its the part of Chicago that is most expected.
There was this sign. Actually, there were a few of these signs and it made me laugh. Because even though the partying wasn't allowed on the streets or parks, there were probably about 25 people in each front yard every other house.

Friday, July 16, 2010

63 stairs

One of the ministry sites that I go to at night is the CCO free store. Its on the fourth floor of a building. And there are 63 stairs to get to the door. I may or may not count them everytime I climb them. (Its actually just something I do. Count stairs. I can't figure out why...)

Any way the building itself is associated with Cornerstone Community Outreach which is the ministry of Jesus People U.S.A ( a local church). On the floors below it is a shelter for families and women. The free store is just what it sounds like. On certain days, they open it up for the people in the shelter to come and take clothes, shoes, bags or books for free.

Our groups come and help organize.

These used to be the windows in the building. And unfortunately I did not get a picture of any of the new windows. But because of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, these brick windows were taken out and instead they got windows that can be opened and allow light to come into the floor. It still gets hot as heck up there but I can imagine it being a lot worse if it was just these windows. (This window is in the stair well of the 63 stairs).

They get tons of donations. And this is where they are stored until people go through them.

And here is just one row of the clothes that are there.
I'm gonna be honest. It's by far not one of my favorite places to go because there is not necessarily a lot for groups to do if there are no hangers. However, this past week when I went with my group. I told them we could leave (because time was about to run out of the meter and it is definitely one of my fears to come back and see a big fat ticket on the windshield). But the group wanted to stay and finish using all the hangers (there were somehow a lot that night). I was shocked.
So instead I went down the 63 stairs to put more quarters in. But I didn't grab the leader's keys and didn't realize this till I got back to the van. So I went back up the 63 stairs, grabbed the keys, walked back to the van, put the quarters in and returned to the group (after climbing the stairs for the fourth time that night). I keep telling myself that at least I'm getting my exercise somewhere since I have no time for a real workout but it doesn't make it any more fun climbing those stairs.
One of the hosts here (Nicole) and I have a joke going about those stairs. She made fun of me for counting them. And it somehow ended up that I kept getting this ministry site to return to each week.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lou Malnati's

Part of the experience that groups have coming in is trying different ethnic restaurants in the city. We have Indian, Thai, West African and others.

And we have pizza. Chicago style. Deep dish. At Lou Malnati's.

But this place isn't just any pizza place. It's in the Lawndale Community, which is not an affluent neighborhood at all. It was opened as the tenth store of the chain. As such, Pastor Wayne Gordon, of Lawndale Community Church, encouraged the brothers to make it their tithing store. They make no money from this place and are always in the red. They also hire workers from the Hope House, which is a recovery place for people in the area.
I have not been able to go to the pizza place too many times, but everytime, the waiter, Josh, has just been amazing. He's so friendly and always joking with the groups. Here my group started playing a card game and he is watching. Too bad we had to leave shortly after this so he wasn't exactly able to join in.

The decoration in the place is so fun.

Even Michael Jordan graces the place.
And here is the sunset from the window.

Standing by the sign.

It's just such a cool idea for a restaurant chain to open a store in a neighborhood that it knows it won't make a lot of money from.