Monday, May 31, 2010


We actually had a nice little three hour break from training today. So three other girls and I decided to head on out to a coffee shop in Lincoln Square. It is an adorable little place called Cafeneo. It is currently a rainy and thundering and lightning day, which makes this off the wall coffee shop the perfect place to be on Sunday.

So what have I been up to lately. Well, today, out session consisted of learning to deal with conflict. I learned that I am a turtle when it comes to conflict and just avoid it. I guess this could be good. But it probably really isn't.

We have been doing a lot of tests like these to find out where we fit on the whole spectrum and find out our personalities.

One of the tests we took was what we value. Whether we were a visionary, a doer, a planner or a people person. Yeah, all my scores were within one point of each other. So I'm a four part blend. And you know that sounds good and all but really it just means that I am such a fence sitter. One of the girls here told me that it meant I was balanced. I just think that I am in a transition part of my life. So everything is changing.

I finally broke down today. We were driving to the coffeeshop and I just started crying. I love the people here but I have not had a real genuine hug from someone yet. That was a part of it but I'm also just homesick and it's also just raining, which often brings me down.

This is the last week of training and groups will be coming next week. But not everyone will have a group. The co-hosts that don't have a group will be their own serving group and go to different ministry sites.

I don't know if I have a group yet. I'll find out later this week.

Thank you for your prayers and support. And I'll keep you updated when I can.


Saturday was a wonderful day off from training.
I have a friend who is on the football team who is from Chicago. On Saturday, Austin agreed to meet me down town and show me around the city. Ironically, his dad is a pastor of a church down here that CSM frequents.

He was so proud of his city and pointed out all the cool architecture. And he knows a lot of random things. When I was taking this picture he told me that I better make his city look good.

It was Memorial Day weekend, there was a cub's game and the blackhawks were in the Stanley Cup final so there were a lot of people out and about.

We went by the bean and of course took a picture with distorted bodies. This is in Millennium Park. A while ago there was a major that made a rule that the lake front is for all the people of the city. So no businesses can build homes or industrialize it. So there are so many parks along the lake front. And gardens. And museums. And just everything.

The first place we went was here. It is called the John Hancock Center. It has apartments where people live and there are also businesses on the ground floor.

We went to the top which is ninety seven (I think?) floors up. It was insane. We stayed for a while in the Signature Lounge. It was kind of a hazy day so it wasn't that clear. Austin could point out familiar buildings in his neighborhood but I was pretty much blind when he tried to point things out.

Then we walked along the lake to this wonderful view of the city. While we were walking it didn't seem that far. But if you look at the picture we walked from the building that is on the far right with the two antennaes sticking up. We didn't walk back. Thank goodness. My knee was definitely hurting that night. Austin said it was probably three miles that we walked. And ironically, Austin also had a torn ACL that he had to get surgery on. So we related well on the walk.
We went to eat at Portillos then, which is actually in MoVal so not far from where I live but definitely have never eaten there. It was quite good. I recommend the Chicago Style Hot Dog.
I really do love the city of Chicago.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Photo Blog

One time I am going to post a blog of all the funny signs and things that I see around here.

This is when they announced what our anchor sites and what prayer tour we would be leading (I am leading the South Side prayer tour). The three people standing up are Hannah, Sandy and Tim. They are the people in charge. Tim is Puerto Rican and for all of you who know Mike Rodriguez, he is exactly like that. It's nice having someone like that here.

This is my room-roommate Katie. She is absolutely adorable. You know those people that talk and ask questions and proceed to answer their own questions? Well that is what she is like. She barely take a breath sometimes. But she's really been able to get me out of my quiet zone because I'mm trying to keep up with her.

Ok, so this guy is the president over all of CSM. He grew up in Queens/Brooklyn so he has a lot of attitude but at the same time he is very humble. (He even got in the back of a fifteen passenger van.) He came to meet all the hosts and even led one of the training sessions about customer service and not becoming synical when we serve and talk about being task or people oriented. He was a cool guy to talk to because he often said funny things.

We were group 3. Don't mess. This was the group that I walked around Wicker Park in for an Immersion tour. They were a fun group.

And this is the apartment that I am staying in. 39 steps. That's how many steps it takes to get to the third floor. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Week 1

So I have now been here in Chicago for a full week. It has been an insane training filled week. We start at about 8:00 and continue doing things until 9 or 10 at night. It has been amazing though.

I really love Chicago. Here's a few reasons why:
1. There are no random hill that would make riding a bike or running more difficult.
2. The people are so nice and want to help you with public transportation questions, direction questions and really are just more inclined to smile at you then anything else.
3. Public transportation. I've actually really only been on it once and that was with a group. But I am about to meet a friend downtown and taking it by myself. And I'm not scared. Well, I'm nervous. But it will be fun.

And that's just the start of the list. I haven't even gone exploring. That's later today.

The only thing is the weather. Currently it is absolutely beautiful with no humidity. But the first day was soooo humid. And its never that humid in May. It was a nice little wake up call. But it will definitely be more inclined to present with that weather later in June and July.

The other co-hosts are wonderful. I'm pretty sure we have had to just connect because we are all we have to get through this summer but we really do all get along. All the profiles are up on the website here: if you are so inclined to check it out. (its not a link. whoops.)

So when groups start coming, we have something called an anchor site. And that means that this place will be the first site of the morning that we take the groups to everyday during the week. Mine is the Roseland/Pullman Boys and Girls club. It is in the waaay south side of Chicago. And Albany Park, where I'm staying, is more on the north side of Chicago. So it will be a nice little drive everymorning.

But I am excited about the site. It is not associated with Christian organization so we can't verbally and outwardly talk about Jesus, but we can be there, hang out with the kids and relate to them on a different level.

Well that's about it for now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No big thang...

... but I will be in Chi-town in twenty four hours.

How excited am I?

But I'm scared. And I'm worried that I will have forgotten something packing wise. I just finished packing. And I got everything into one checked suitcase, a carry on and a personal item bag. Everything that I will need for ten weeks of being in Chicago.

Now I wait.

I wait till my dad and I leave our house at 7:30 tomorrow morning to go to LAX.

And its weird because I don't want to go right now. I don't want to step outside my comfort zone. I don't want to make new friends. I have such awesome friends and I don't want to leave them. I don't want to leave my sisters and their kids because when I get back they are going to be huge. I want a nice easy summer. But instead I'm traveling 2000 miles to work in the inner city.


Don't get me wrong though. I am super excited. Just nervous. And scared. And second guessing myself, but what's new?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


It is most definitely summer break when I am posting three times in one day.


The choices we make is what brings us to the place we are in life. I was in Barnes and Noble just a few hours ago and I saw some girls from APU. I know who they are but I'm pretty sure they would only recognize my face as one that goes to APU, if that. Even though freshman year I went to a screening of some television show and I traveled in the same car as one of those girls. (I went because Criss Angel was a judge on the show - it was about magicians - I can't even remember what that show was called). We could have potentially been friends at school because what better bonding experience is there then Criss Angel? Yeah, nothing.

Anyway, the point of this little anecdote is that we're not friends. She probably doesn't remember at all because it was just a dot in the whole scheme of her college experience and I only remember because I have a freakish good memory. (In fact, there are things that I wish I could just forget things. Make some more room for new things. But not the point.)

I am now a senior in college and its weird to think how I got to the place that I am in. Like the choices of who I became friends with. Like if I had really talked to that girl in that car would we have made a connection and then become best friends? Maybe. Maybe not.

Today I also found out that a girl in my alpha group from freshman year (alpha is the freshmen orientation to help us get better situated at school) just had a baby. And get this. She still has been going to classes this past semester. And she's a nursing student. How the heck did she accomplish that? College is a big deal. The nursing program at the school is a big deal. Having a baby is a big deal. Now let's just put all of those together. Wow.

And then on top of that, APU is a Christian school. The girl is not married. Dealing with the judgmental gazes of everyone on campus is just another thing she had to deal with. And really the judgmental gazes of everyone in society.

And then it goes back to choices. She could have just dropped out of school. Instead she kept going. Or she could have just avoided any circumstances that would lead to a baby. Yes, we all know what I'm talking about so I don't have to say it.

I like who I am right now. I like my friends. I like my major.

But sometimes....

I wonder how my life would be different if I made different choices. Became better friends with that girl from my alpha group? Maybe I would be pregnant now. Or maybe not.

Just something that I was thinking about today.

Soldering or soddering

"It's ok to show up at a guy's house with a dozen roses and declare your undying affection. It's ok to have too much to drink and call your ex 20 times and then to be mortally embarrassed when you realize your number must have shown up on his caller ID. It's ok, because making a fool of yourself for love is ultimately about you, how much you have to give and the distances you will travel to keep your heart wide open when everything around you makes you feel like slamming it shut and soldering it closed"
-Veronica Chambers

(I'm not going to lie. I looked up soldering (the process of joining metals). I realized that the definition of this word is one that I associated with the word "soddering." But that's not a word. And apparently to Urban Dictionary, I'm an idiot in thinking that this was the correct way to spell it. Oh English and their silent 'L's. But this is completely not the point of this blog)

I just liked this quote. I wish I was brave enough to make a fool of myself. That's all.


I love my friends.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eight Days.

Ugh, I have not posted in a while.

So here it goes. I leave for Chicago in eight days. That is the one thing that I cannot stop thinking about lately. And I want to just pack for it but there doesn't seem to be any reason to have a suitcase full of clothes that I still want to wear for the next few days. So I can't necessarily pack.

But I still have to gather things that I need. Like my passport (for identification) and a copy of my TB test.

Oh and there is my birthday on my Monday. I'm excited for tonight because we are having the family dinner celebration and my roommates get to meet my family. Or vice versa. Instead of bringing home boyfriends, I bring home roommates. It works.

I have to be honest with you, I am freaking out about Chicago. I don't know what to expect. And I thought I would know. But I'm realizing that it is going to be a long ten weeks. And it is good to not have expectations. I learned that from going to Louisiana when I had too many expectations.

But I'm still freaking out. Also I hate packing. So even when it is a reasonable time to actually pack up, I'm going to hate my life. No big deal. But I'm really good at it. Making the most out of the space in my bag is a talent I am quite proud of. Just ask my mom how good I was at packing the grocery cart when we went to the grocery store. It was amazing. But I still don't like the actual packing.

And plane rides! I don't like those either. But it will only be four hours. But really, security at those airports just give me anxiety. And then it doesn't make for a pleasant plane ride.

But get this, for the way home, I planning on taking the train. How awesome would that be? Because I am probably going to have gathered a whole bunch of stuff and it won't fit back in nicely into my suitcase when I am probably going to pack it to the brim. So if you have any requests about receiving anything, better tell me now.

Oh that's right because there's no wireless internet. And the only computer with internet is in the office, so my facebooking, blogging, emailing, etc is probably going to be limited. (But I still have twitter.) And I'm actually pretty excited about the limited internet access because then I know I won't be wasting my life checking facebook which has been a constant pattern since school ended.

And if any of you want to mail me something nice, here is my mailing address:
5047 N. Spaulding Ave
Chicago, IL, 60625

I'm actually kind of hesitant to just put that out there but it's not where I'm going to be staying. Just the mailing address.

It's amazing what we just put out on the internet and are somewhat comfortable with.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This is how we celebrate

Yeppp, those would be post its.

It was our friend Nick's birthday on Saturday. And we decided to post-it note his big, huge, red truck. This is Meghan and I. We did most of the work. Oh yeah, we started at like 12:30 in the morning. And finished about 4. (And we stayed up till five that morning. Oh college...)

There's his name. That's how skilled we got.
There it is in all its glory. We went to Wal-Mart and bought eight packs of 12oo post-its. That would be a total of 9,600 post its. (Right?) We even had some left over. So it took about 7000 post-its to cover his car.
Meghan and I talked about how we spent $40 on this "present" that he is just going to throw away.

And indeed, the next day we even helped take all the post-its off.
And they just ended up in the trash. But it was still fun.

There's the birthday boy. Helping to clean up his awesome present.
And there's the truck. Back to normal. (And Ashley, Nick's girlfriend - she wasn't ready for the picture...) There are still random post-its around the parking lot. It makes me laugh. I also have post-its (from the left over stash) to last me a while.