-Visting Gem: I visited Gem a few days before her birthday. It was a time when I was really stressed out with no sign of a summer job yet, and I also had not heard about MVC. The trip was good for me and we had a lot of fun. It was the first time we spent time together when we didn't have to rush around and be on a schedule, so we just enjoyed each other's company. I really enjoyed that weekend and I am very thankful to have her in my life. No pictures for this one (Gem, do you have any?).
-Nanny for Sophie and Kate: Shortly after I returned home from Gem's, I got a call for a nanny job. I was a nanny for Sophie (age 2 1/2) and Kate (age 1) for about a month- until their dad was laid off. It was a challenge, and exhausting, but I loved it. They were so sweet and intuitive. I won't forget Sophie saying to me "you're the best Megan ever" or Kate calling me "wagon" and asking to see "puppy". I still think about them sometimes!
-4th of July with Sam and Lauren: So random but SO much fun. We got in trouble for singing David Archuleta too loud on the tunes, spied on a high school party, and partied at Monaco. I got us a ride home from Booker T, who later gave us his personal card. So funny! I love those two so much. Girls, thank you for being amazing friends and always making me laugh.
-Women of Faith in Cleveland: Considering I wrote a 2 part blog for this already, there's not much more that I can say other than spending time with Holly was AMAZING and see Mandisa was, as always, a wonderful experience. Not only that, but I also pulled away from the weekend a fulfilled, stronger person. The speakers helped me out so much, and Mandisa's story/music were the added bonus. She's such an inspiration. I owe her so much!
-My Birthday: I celebrated my birthday by going out to dinner with friends from softball and my best friend Christine. It was really nice and a good way to wrap up the summer and say goodbye before I left for orientation. I raised $200 for Malaria No More via facebook. It also helped that I got the best present EVER from Chikezie. I had been hinting that I really wanted him to cover the Justin Timberlake song "Another Song". Well, I woke up the day after my birthday and I had an email from him...with an mp3 of that song and in the e-mail he said "I'm sorry I couldn't get this to you sooner, I was up until 3 am trying to get it on youtube". How precious is he?
MVC Orientation: I was so nervous for this and for the entire MVC process. However, the week was so positive and reassuring that I knew I made the right choice. I made some amazing friends and was lucky to have people there that understood my anxieties and pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. Each of us in the program bonded instantly and I will not forget telling ghost stories outside or doing puzzles without looking at the lid. I had so much fun getting to know my roomies and the other MVC volunteers. Also, our act for the talent show was pretty amazing.
-MVC Experience/living with Dave, Katie, and Nate: The first week in Detroit is a blur. We were all a little nervous, still trying to feel each other out, and anxious about our sites. However, I am amazed at how close we've become. The four of us have really been lucky, we look out for one another and have so much fun just hanging out. I am appreciative of everything that they do for me, and they each hold a very special place in my heart. I have enjoyed growing spiritually and emotionally, I couldn't imagine having three better roomies to share it with. I can only hope that we continue to grow.
-Idol Concert Grand Rapids: Even though I wasn't emotionally attached to Season 8, I still went to the concert with Sam, Lizz, Brenna, and others. We had amazing seats AND won after party tickets through Michael Sarver. We met Matt, Michael, Scott, Allison, and Kris before the show. Michael LOVED us during his set. We met everyone but Adam at the After Party and I had a moment with Danny Gokey. I also made a sassy sigh for Aaron (drummer) and threw it at him on stage. Lil Rounds is STILL my hero for giving it to him, and Aaron is my hero for tweeting it later. I had so much fun with my friends and meeting the idols, especially my faves Allison and Matt. What a fun night- no stress, no drama, just fun. Oh, and my epic picture with Megan....AND the amazing Slow Ride, which was one of the only reasons I went to the show.
-E Women Conference: When the stress of living as a volunteer was JUST starting to get to me a little bit, E Women came and saved the day. It was EXACTLY what I needed: refreshing, fulfilling, and peaceful. I was able to talk to Mandisa for a few moments, and she gave me two shirts and the sweetest card. I also met Thelma Wells, who is an incredible person. I learned so much that weekend and much like WOF, I take it with me every single day.
-Kelly Clarkson: When I found out that I was meeting Kelly, I screamed a little. I have been trying for SO LONG. That night was incredible. She is exactly what I thought she would be, chatty, outgoing, and SO sweet. I was VERY nervous to meet her, but she made me feel so comfortable. I had to stop her from talking because she kept going on and on. I had to make sure I told her about my songwriting, since she is the reason I write. She looked at me like I had said I was Obama. She was like "thank you so much that is the best compliment. Don't stop writing!". THE SHOW ITSELF WAS INSANE. Wow. Screaming the words to Never Again and crying during Chivas. I miss it. Let's go back.
-Thanksgiving Weekend: Ya'll know how special this weekend was but seriously, I look back on it and smile. I had so much fun! Bringing my roomies to meet my family/family football game, Archie/sleepover with Sam, barbie party with Alex. Good times all around, and I felt at peace and completly comfortable and happy.
-Working at Cristo Rey: I saved this for last even though I have been working there since August. You guys, I cannot even tell you how much I have grown because of working at this amazing place. I am such a different person. Stronger. More confident. More compassionate and understanding. I have seen the world in a different light. It has made me more aware of my blessings and surroundings, a better picture of WHY I am volunteering for a year. I love this school, I love my co-workers and I am in love with those kids. I will never be able to put into words just how much this place means to me, or how much it has given me. It has forever changed me. Thank you, Cristo Rey. Thank you, kids.
Well, that's it. I want to thank Sam, Lauren, Alex, Alicia, my family, backups, my roomies, MVC'ers, my new friends, and my idols for the amazing year. Here's to 2010 and what it will bring. I have no idea where I will be sitting a year from now, but I'm confident that with God and my support system, I will be happy.