Monday, March 29, 2010

friends :)

Since I've been reading Firefly Lane (an excellent book, by the way), I have been reflecting a lot on friendships. This morning, one of my friends wrote a blog on that same topic, admitting that she was having some challenges. Here is part of what she said

"I've pretty much accepted that I'm meant to be an independent loner in this current stage of my life. I envy those who can surround themselves with a tight-knit group of girlfriends who they can always count on for guidance and good memories. You know, like the Babysitter's Club.

Are friendships like that a reality? Or just another fantasy that I've fallen victim to?

Nevertheless, I wish I had someone who I could call my BFF4L.

When you feel like your close friends are slipping away from you, what kind of things can you do to help mend that void?"

My comment to here turned into a short novel.

If there is one thing I learned from college, it's that friendship is hard. I always thought it came pretty easy...I was one of those kids that was friends with everyone in elementry school/high school. I just assumed that my friends from high school would be my "best friends forever", that we would grow up and continue to have weekly sleepovers. That when we all got married and had kids, we'd be in the weddings and have play dates I was wrong. dead wrong. I think I stopped talking to them just weeks after I moved into my first dorm room. We grew apart extremely quickly, with different interests and new friends. Sometimes I'm jealous that some of them are still so close, it makes me think that something is wrong with me or that they didn't like me to begin with. But then I realize that the four years I was friends with them was incredibly important, but maybe I had to move on.

It's taken me a long time to learn what true friendship is, and I often envy those who are still best friends with their childhood friends. I have maybe three or four "best friends", people who I just know I will have around forever. They are too valuable to me, and they have been there when no one else, like Hanson, I "hold onto the ones that really care, cuz in the end they'll be the only ones there". (Seriously, mmmbop is the perfect song about friendship). Other friends I have come in and out of my life, and I've become okay with that. When I start to feel a drift or a wall, I send a text or give a phone call, sometimes I send a card. I just like people to know that I care about them, and still think of them.

Honestly, though, sometimes things are meant to happen. I firmly believe that we all cross paths at some point for a reason, and sometimes it's meant for just that- a moment or two. They come in, teach us something, and then they leave. So don't stress out about it too much. Friends are just like any relationship in that sometimes it takes a while to find the right one.

I love my besties, my good friends, backups, former roommates, sorority sisters, mercy girls, childhood friends. I always will. I cherish every moment I had with them, for the challenges, for the good times.

- finished Piece of Cake. Amazing. I'm almost done with Firefly Lane, also amazing
- In just a few days I will be at HOME with my parents for 8 whole days. I am ecstatic.
-Nashville is coming up! EEEEEEEEEE!

OH. I'm going to need you all to watch this.

Friday, March 26, 2010

praying Lord come through, we're gonna get there soon

The week is over, I'm ready for a relaxing weekend and counting down the days till Spring Break. Many good things happened this week, including pep talks with co-workers during lunch and hugs from students before they left the building today, saying they were going to miss me over the weekend.

Top 5 artists you have to own everything or everything you can afford.

1) Melinda Doolittle. Her live performances, her album, her book, everything is a must have because she is amazing and because I will always support her. Always.

2) The Spill Canvas. I honestly do not know what I would do without their music. Not only do I own everything they've released, I have to have it with me. Whether it's on my zune, a cd, a mixed cd, it's usually handy. Oh, and while we're on the topic of The Spill Canvas, please go to their myspace and click play on their music player. As soon as "Our Song" gets 50,000 plays, they will release a new song off their EP.

3) Kelly Clarkson...I've often said that she knows my life and sings about it, so yes, I always need her music...and home girl has recently been added to the Lillith Fair lineup. Now, mock Lillith Fair all you want, but check out who else is going to be there: Colbie Callait, Corrine Bailey Rae, Heart, Martina McBride, Mary J Blige, Sara Barielles, Sugarland. I mean seriously! Kelly hasn't been confirmed for the Detroit date, though. We'll see if I attend.

4) Gavin DeGraw. I can't get enough of his voice, of those lyrics. He's incredible. Home boy needs to tour soon. It's been too long.

5) Lady GaGa. She sucked me in with "Just Dance" and I haven't turned away since. She's for sure one of those artists that I support no matter what.

Also Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. :)

Book Meme time.

1. What author do you own the most books by? Jen Lancaster. I will never not purchase one of her books. She inspired me to write, she makes me laugh, she puts things into perspective.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? The Bible.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? No.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Omgz, Edward Cullen, DUH! Kidding. Totally kidding. This may sound crazy, but probably Holden Caulfield. Yes I realize he was depressed, but I really loved him when reading Catcher in the Rye. I'm not sure what that says about me.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life? That would be "P.S. Longer Letter Later", a book I read when I was a teenager that I was obsessed with. I pracitcally have it memorized.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old? Probably a Babysitter's Club book or an American Girl Book. Molly was my home girl.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Probably The Pact by Jodi Picult. I enjoyed it, but it was extremely predictable. I'd still give it a 8/10, though.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? The Help! Did you read it yet?

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? To Kill a Mockingbird.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? The Help! ha.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Difficult as in "this is too hard to read", then Absalom, Absalom. I will never forgive my junior year English teacher for making us read that. Difficult as in emotionally challenging, then A Child Called It or Push.

12. What is your favorite book? I really can't choose just one...all of Jen Lancaster's books, Catcher in The Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Outsiders, The Bean Trees, Lovely Bones, The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest... I could keep going.

13. What is your favorite play? I don't like reading play's, really. However, I did really love Our Town. I mean, I really loved it.

14. Poem?

by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

15. Essay? God In The Doorway- Annie Dillard

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Stephanie Meyer.

17. What is your desert island book? I don't even know what that means.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now? A Piece of Cake. Outstanding.

Other than my excitement for the weekend, I'd say my mood right now is "hanging in there". I'm really anxious and nervous about next year, worried about my kids, and tired all the time...but I'm happy.

Listening to - "Closer To Love" Matt Kearney.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where Did March Go?

It's March 25th. Can you believe that? Where has the time gone? Only three more months left in the school year! This makes me really sad. I'm not ready to leave this kids yet. They have become such an important part of my life. I've come to love each and every single one of them. I'm going to cry my eyes out on the last day of school. They are just SO funny. For example, this morning when one of my students YELLED "have you guys heard whats going on with the health care bill? Them republicans are CRAZY!".

This week has been very interesting. We've been doing Iowa testing the past three days...which means that from 7:55 to 10:40 AM, the kids are testing. Then we start first hour at 10:45, and just have shorter class periods. It's been nice to have shorter classes, but the days still seem to be going even longer.

Last night the four of us went to the Red Wings game. I'm so glad we went, it was fun. It happened to be a game that Lauren was attending, as well as my sister and her husband's family. In fact, my sister's husband's nephew got stand on the ice during the national anthem and participate in a shootout after the first period. Adorable, little Gumbel out on the ice :) Anyways, it was fun and good to see Lauren, my sister, and Dave. Go wings!

I've got two new books to read, both recommended to me by my dear friend Jena. One is called Piece of Cake, a memoir by Cupcake Brown. There's a lot going on in this book, but a constant theme of child abuse, sexual abuse, drugs, and alcohol. I'm about 200 pages in, and I've already cried, laughed, put it down out of anger, and refused to let go because I was so involved. It has me emotionally attached the same way that the books A Child Called It or Push did. It may be even harder to read now, because I know so many of my kids are dealing with issues that reflect the ones in this book. I do like it so far, though. The other book is called Firefly Lane. I'll start it when I am finished with Piece of Cake, but it looks promising :) Plus, Jena's a genius, and I trust her opinion.

This weekend should be pretty quiet, I'm just ready to go home for a week and 1/2 for spring break.

Oh, and since Idol official sucks this year, here's a video from one of my faves. Look at her go.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

keep faith

I'm going to need you all to do a few things for me.

1) Rent and watch Up in the Air. I've wanted to see it since it first came out, but I didn't get a chance in my movie watching frenzy over Christmas break. I am so glad that Dave got it from Netflix, because it is an amazing movie. Depressing, but amazing. I strongly suggest it. I was surprised at how well Anna Kendrick did in this film, since I just know her as Bella's ditzy friend in Twilight. She was great, though, as was Mr. Handsom George Clooney.

"If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life... were you alone? Life's better with company."

2) Read the book The Help. It was included on my long (about 50) books I want to read, and I'm lucky that was at the Bowen Branch Library, my first stop of Detroit Library branches. It is one of the best books I have ever read. I started it Thursday morning and was finished by this evening. It's intriguing, creative, heart warming, heart breaking, amazing. It was one of those books that makes me even more passionate about writing. The author took a risk, and it worked. I don't know what you're waiting for. Go read it.

"If I start praying for Miss Skeeter, I know that conversation gone continue the next time I see her. And the next and the next. Cuz that's the way prayer do. It's like electricity, it keeps things going."

"My real dream was that one day I would write something that people would actually want to read".

"For a minute, we're just two people wondering why things are the way they are".

"She can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right into your pocket".

"We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought".

3) Watch this video. My good friend Dean Simmer posted it on his blog. It's quite moving. Check it out. You will be touched.

BIRTHRIGHT from Sean Mullens on Vimeo.

Now that we have that taken care of...

I had a pretty good week. The sun was shining, which is good. Students made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to quit, made me want to stay at Cristo Rey forever. Typical week :) This weekend has been quiet, which is nice. Tomorrow I'm taking a couple students to go see Annie at Mercy and get a tour of their theater department. I'm excited! We have so many talented kids at our school who are very interested in theatre, but we don't have the resources for that just yet. Other than that, I'm just sitting here watching March fly by, getting excited for Spring Break and Nashville, and applying to jobs.

Of course, this wouldn't be a post without some music talk.

♫ List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now.

1st song: Telephone- Lady Gaga. I know, big surprise there. I can't help it! I just fall in love with every single song of hers. I won't post the music video (heh), but here is the song.

2nd song: Our Song- Spill Canvas. They have been releasing new music like crazy in preparation for their spring tour. This is the latest. I don't think there is ONE song of theirs that I dislike.

3rd song: Opportunity- Pete Murray. I kind of stumbled on this song, and I'm so glad I did. It relates to what I'm going through right now.

4th song: God Speaking- Mandisa. Even though I've heard this song a thousand times, it recently spoke to me in a BIG way.

5th song: I Won't Disagree- Kate Voegle. I adore her. I just found out she's opening for Jordin Sparks this spring...I'm mad at both of them for not coming to Detroit. I would love to see them both again.

6th song: Keep Faith- Matt Wertz. Another song that has given me comfort in my times of feeling overwhelmed.

7th song: Meaning- Gavin DeGraw. My favorite Gavin song changes almost every week. I've fallen in love with this one.

Monday, March 15, 2010

one step at a time

What a great weekend! Not only was I able to talk to Melinda on the phone on Saturday, but also I made the decision last week to drive to Sam's side of the state to visit her. Surprise :) I am so glad I went. I took of Saturday afternoon and arrived at Lizz's house that evening. The three of us went to dinner and then met up with more people at MegaPlay before heading back to Lizz's for a party. It was such a good time and so good to see my best friend! Deep talks at 3 am about Lady Gaga (she prefers to be called Gaga, actually), Jason Castro, and David Archuleta are the best. I think we finally fell asleep around 4:30 am. When we woke up just a few hours later, we watched the Season 7 Idol Finale. Good times. I hit the road around 11:45, and made it home safely with my road trip cd's. The trip was necessary and made me even more excited for our trip to Nashville in April.

I drove back to my parent's house yesterday afternoon and passed out in my big bed for an hour or so. I miss that bed. My dad took me out to dinner and then drove me back to my Detroit house, where people dressed in green were still out walking the streets from the Corktown St. Patrick's Day Parade. Even though I was still exhausted, I had a really hard time falling asleep last night. Last time I looked at the clock, it was 2 am. Needless to say, it was a very rough wake up call at 5:30. I made it, and I'm here at school. I'm not feeling very well, probably from lack of sleep. Good news is the green group is working, which means an easy day for me. I may take off early if I'm still not feeling well.

On a sad note, I was checking my email last night and noticed I had a facebook message from a former high school classmate. I normally automatically delete my facebook notification emails, but I saw her name and thought it may be something important. I'm glad I read it, because she was informing me that another former classmate passed away. The details have not been released, but she was only 23 years old. I am praying for her family and friends during this hard time. I am the coordinator for our class, so I had to let everyone know via facebook. I'm collecting email addresses so that we can send a donation to the Michigan Humane Society as a class in her name. Pray for peace for all those whose lives she touched.

Since I've been off facebook and twitter, I've been reading more. I've finished Sag Harbor and The Women Who Raised Me and I am almost finished with Cutting Stone. My favorite was The Women Who Raised Me, but here are some of my favorite quotes from each book:

Sag Harbor:
-"I could've made up my own lyrics to what passed between the father and the son, something about misunderstandings, the ones that don't matter and the ones that are everything, but I would've gotten the words wrong. Make up lyrics to someone else's song ad you put yourself in there, botching it all".
-"Out of the speakers emerged a song you'd heard only once before in your life, one that left such a faint record in your brain that it was a memory of a memory. Paralyzed by confusion, you wondered, Where have I heard this before?"
-"If someone was playing their record after all this time, then they actually existed and it wasn't just a dream, their moment onstage. They heard their words again, and were made hold".

The Women Who Raised Me:
"That absolute and unconditional trust in someone else was unbelievable. Could I ever feel that certainty that someone else would never fail to catch me? It seemed impossible."
"To be great, however, meant being fearless. To reach high, risk failure, falling, getting up and starting over. Lessons to be learned".
"Nothing is done alone, even great mean need support. It proved to me that impressive triumphs always had assists, that mentoring happens everywhere and everything, inspired through genuine action."
"If I didn't shovel my way out, I would remain snowboud; if I didn't pull water out of my well, I wouldn't drink; If I didn't lift grain bags, my animals would die and if I didn't spread manure and pitch hay, I couldn't back the fruits of my labor. Once again, I witnessed the truth that abundance was predicated on what your poured into the soil- YOUR soil".
"If I fell while trying my wings, I had to take the leap of faith in believing that someone would be there to catch me".
"It's important to take time, to step back. We all tend to want to do for others, and most of us get pleasure out of it. But don't forget to think about who you are and what nourishes your soul".
"Each is gonna be real different from the next. You don't have to worry, you just gotta be prepared".

Cutting For Stone:
"You are in instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in it's case. Play! Your 'Gloria' lives within you. the greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you."
"Make something beautiful of your life".

More to come with that one once I am finished.

Have a great week, everyone <3

Friday, March 12, 2010

when irish eyes are smiling

What a week. Our principal was right, March is the hardest month. So close yet so far to Spring Break, change in weather, crunch time for grades. Not to mention...DRAMA.

Wednesday night was one that left me full of pride, joy, and reassurance. We had a scholarship dinner at St. Ambrose in Grosse Pointe. It went so well, and the kids that we brought along with us were incredible, so poised and mature. I happened to sit at a table with a student that I am very close to, along with another student who is quiet, a black belt, and smart. I loved seeing them interact with our guests, and speak highly of school. Our principal gave a talk and spoke about the volunteers, it was so nice and left me very touched. It was yet another reminder of how blessed I am to be at this school.

This weekend should be good. Nothing too exciting planned other than the Corktown St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday. Next weekend will be pretty quiet, too, but on Sunday the 21st I am taking a few students to see Mercy's production of Annie. I'm excited about that :)

Well, I hope you all have a good weekend, especially all my friends who are traveling to Pigeon Forge.


Top 5 musical things that make you think of St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

lately i've caught you smiling a little more, you're beautiful

It's beautiful outside. I love spring time ! I can't wait for rainy days, those are my favorite. I know that might seem odd coming from someone who hates gloomy winter days, but there's something about rain that I just love.

I had a nice weekend. I think I must have passed out after dinner on Friday, because I don't remember doing anything. I was pretty exhausted, last week was rough. Dave and Katie went to Toronto with some of our friends on Saturday, and I spent half of the day with my mommy. I had to help her with a powerpoint presentation for her open house. It was good to see her and spend time with her. I came home and sat around for the rest of the day, which was actually kind of nice. I haven't had that in a while. Sunday was Church, then Katie and I went to see a play, "The Underpants". It By the time we got home, I laid done for an hour and then we attempted to have bible study with our friends Meghan and James. When we sat down, Dave realized that the 10 pm mass he was planning on attending was cancelled, so he decided to leave bible study and go to Church at a different evening mass. The rest of us got up with him, we all ran around the house like mad, finding our shoes and coats and piled into the car. We just couldn't let him go alone. I loved that, it was one of the coolest things that has happened this year. It just showed that we are all together in this faith/spiritual journey and that we'll support one another, even if it means going to Church twice.

We didn't have school yesterday due to parent teacher conferences the day before, but we had a staff meeting. I got to school early to see off the kids going to work, and spent the hour and 1/2 in between that and our meeting to get a ton of work done. Our meeting was great- very productive. I'm excited about the things happening at the school, especially as far as admissions goes. I'm also coming up with some ideas for retreat to plan with our priest, which is exciting.

The upsetting part of the meeting was when we had a round table discussion on issues some of our students are facing at home...and when I say issues, I mean horrible, heart wrenching situations that are ripping these kids from their childhood. Sometimes I get so frustrated with their behavior and attitude, and I forget the things that they have to deal with. It's heartbreaking. On a positive note, it made me even more glad to be here and to possibly play a small role in shaping them. So many of them have so much potential, they just need the extra push, the support that they may not be getting at home.

Keep praying for them, and for me. This week is going to be pretty busy! I love you all.

PS. Jason Castro's new single "That's What I'm Here For" was released to Itunes. His full album will be out April 13th, and his own tour will follow. I'm so happy for him!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cure my boredom?

Just play along, okay? I'm very bored. Someone amuse me.

Just a little game where you post the first line in however many songs you want (I'm going with 25) that pop up on your media Player randomizer. So set your music thing to random, click next and write the first line from a song. Then people guess what songs and by whom the first lines are from, and post their own lists of first lines. Savvy?

The ones that have been guessed correctly are in BOLD

Here's my list:
1. You fire words but all they do is ricochet/you think I'm paying the price, but it's not costing me Jordin Sparks- Walking On Snow
2. All the single ladies, all the single ladies Single Ladies- Beyonce
3. Where is your boy tonight, I hope he is a gentleman Fall Out Boy- Grand Theft Autumn
4. yeah yeah yeah (x 4) I love you but I gotta stay true
5. (test, test, test) liquid, melancholy dreams, so tell me what it means Hanson- Crazy Beautiful
6. Had the notion that you'd make me change my ways
7. (cherry cherry boom boom) boy we've had a real good time and I wish you the best on your way Gaga- Eh, Eh
8. Caught in a downpour of a rain of stones, felt like an exile in a world I had known Melinda Doolittle- I Will Be
9. And i know you've been through more things than most, and it always seems that it will never get any better
10. I've gathered you here to say my last piece, a few finals words before I am deceased
11. If i'm not in love with you, what is this i'm going through
12. It's getting colder in this ditch where I lie and I'm feeling older and I'm wondering why Hanson- this time around
13. You and me, we used to be together, every day together, always. no doubt- don't speak
14. Girl you're beautiful, you're bound near perfect Lady Antebellum- Lookin For A Good Time
15. Tell me what happened this time what made you come back again, i find i only see you when love deserts you
16. There's something about the way the street looks when it's just rained Taylor Swift- Fearless
17. You better take it from me, that boy is like a disease Carrie Underwood- Cowboy Casanova
18. When I think of home, I think of a place where there's love overflowing Melinda Doolittle- Home
19. Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world journey- don't stop believing
20. Three little birds sat on my window, and they told me I don't need to worry Corrine Bailey Rae- Put Your Records On
21. Dust it off, break it down, get to what we're talking about

22. When I woke up, I can see the daylight had already passed me David Cook- Barbaosal
23. And I don't know, this could break my heart or save me
Kelly Clarkson- Sober
24. My steps were wandering, my lips were hungering, my heart was thundering
25. I don't think that passenger seat has ever looked this good to me


1. How does the world see me? Slow Down Sister- Lady Antebellum
This is a Lady A song I've thought about a lot, actually. Maybe I do need to slow down :)

2. How is my life going? Hello Alone- Anberlin
Well, that's depressing.

3. What do my friends really think of me? My Life Would Suck Without You- Kelly Clarkson
Aww. I hope that's true.

4. Do People Secretly Lust After Me? I Did It For You- David Cook
I'll take that as a yes.

5. How can I make myself happy? Home- Melinda Doolittle
True :)

6. What should I do with my life? Worker Bee- Motion City Soundtrack
Ugh. I guess so.

7. Will I ever have children? No Such Thing- John Mayer
Well, poop.

8. What is good advice for me? Lover Be Strong- Gavin DeGraw
How appropriate.

9. How will I be remembered? Cancer- My Chemical Romance

10. What is my signature dance song? Buy You A Drank- T Pain
LOL can I just say that this is one of the few songs in this genre that I actually own? How ironic that it came on shuffle at this moment. It is my jam, though.

11. What do I think my current theme song is? Faith- Jordin Sparks
Omg, shuffle. You're psychic tonight.

12. What do my friends think my current theme song is? Love, Sex, Magic- Justin Timberlake and Ciara
Really, friends? Really?

13. What song will play at my funeral? Cemetery- Say Anything
CREEPY. Amazing song, though.

14. What kind of men do I like? The One That Got Away- Pink

15. What is my day going to be like? I Don't Care- Fall Out Boy.
Well, that is the kind of mood I'm in.

Friday, March 5, 2010

don't let go

This week has been full of tears, hugs, yelling, and headaches. It's a good thing it's been so sunny out, otherwise I'm not sure what kind of state of mind I would be in right now. It seemed that all of our kids were going through some pretty tough challenges. As I would sit there and hug them as they cried, or patted them on the back while they wrote out their feelings, I had to hold back tears myself. For two reasons. 1) Because I cannot imagine what they have been through, and I never know if what I say will be of any help at all. 2) I don't know how I got so lucky to be born into a family that would go above and beyond to care about me. I don't think it's fair, and I want to take away the pain that these kids feel.

I honestly don't know how they do it, and I admire their strength so much. What my kids don't realize is how much they have inspired me. I just hope they never give up, and always push through whatever is holding them back at that moment. I have so much faith in them, if only they had the same faith in themselves.

I love this job, and I know I say this a lot, but my God am I blessed to be here. Even on the hard days, even when I don't think I can take anymore, I still come out smiling and thankful.

No big plans for this weekend. Two/four of us are going to Toronto tomorrow with some other people to spend the day, I am going to help my mom with her powerpoint for her open house. March is going to be a pretty quiet month in general. April is back to being crazy, with spring break, a trip up north, Nashville (eee), and Pittsburgh. Pretty soon, this year is going to be over. It's so hard to believe.

On a random sidenote, this is the longest I have ever gone without seeing Sam or Lauren. It's strange and I don't like it. It's like a part of me is missing. I miss those two SO much. :(

Music Memoirs: Top 5 On Friday
Top 5 concert experiences

Seriously? Way. too. many.

I picked my five favorite concerts, and then songs from those concerts.

1) Melinda- Music City Fest. This was her first solo concert. I was so proud of her :) Plus, she sang all her new songs for the first time. I chose this show for the memories it holds. It wrapped up an amazing summer. I miss her. waaah.

2) Spill Canvas- Grand Rapids May 2008

I met Nick at this show! One of my lifelong dreams, complete! Always a good show and I cannot wait to see them in May.

3) Kelly Clarkson- Detroit, MI October 2009

Met Kelly after so many years of trying. Plus, she sang Chivas for us.

4) Lady Gaga- Detroit, MI January 2009.

I think this was the first concert I've been to for a MAJOR artist (besides Kelly, I guess). She was outstanding.

5) Idols Season 7. The reason this belongs on here is for the friendships, laughter, tears, heartbreak, road trips, etc that these concerts brought. I'll never forget that summer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

retreat :)

I'm not quite sure what this blog will turn into. I went from being refreshed and happy to lost and anxious within a matter of hours on Sunday, and since then my emotions have not stopped riding a roller coaster.

Retreat was amazing. I hate that word, because it's overused, but it was. It was unlike any retreat I've ever attended in that there was only four of us. It was nothing extraordinary or intense, but the messages through the words of the sister's spoke to my heart and allowed me to open my mind and soul.

We arrived at Mercy Friday night where we had veggie pizza with Sr. Margaret and Sr. Mary Jo, who are both our contacts/coordinators for the program. They have both been wonderful :) We were meeting in the Heritage Room, which was like a mini Mercy museum. It was awesome seeing the history of Mercy, specifically its Detroit roots. After dinner Sr. Margaret took us through the Mercy daily prayer book. It was nice and I enjoyed the format and context of the prayers- especially since that nights prayers happened to revolve around children in need. In fact, one that I read aloud was about children with terminal illnesses. RIP Amanda and Laurence <3. That concluded the evening, so the four of us went wandering around the corridors. I love being so connected to Mercy. Seeing little things like "The Slubowski Family" (my best friends family) on a wall of donors just makes my heart smile. Nate and I stayed up for a while talking that night, which was good. We talked about our futures, something that has been on all of our minds lately.

On Saturday we were introduced to Sr. Rachelle, who is one of the smartest, most spiritual women I have ever met. I want to be her when I grow up. She was our leader for the day, but she did so much more than just lead. We spent the day going through a series of different types of prayer. We did Lectio Divina with a passage from Matthew. From that passage, this phrase stuck to me "So do not worry...your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all". I took that as my worries should not control me, and that God is protecting me, He knows what I need and He will provide for me.

After a few more discussions, we had lunch and then went outside to walk Mercy's campus. I have loved that property since I first became a Mercy girl in 2001. I am so grateful to be a part of it. It was gorgeous outside, and I was proud to be back in my roots. Mercy High School shaped me into who I am today, and anytime I can show other people "hey, that's where my life was changed", I'm proud. After our walk we took a break, so I opened my notebook and just started writing. After the break, we continued our "inner journey".

Among the different types of prayer that we learned were Tonglen and Kything, two very spiritual types of prayer that have to do with helping others. I won't go into details, but the concept was very interesting. We all sat around the table waiting for dinnertime and got into some very good conversation. I took away two very important details from that talk that I will never forget:

1) Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, forgive yourself and offer it to the Holy Spirit.
2) One of my biggest struggles with faith and prayer is that sometimes when I am praying, I wonder if the thoughts that come to mind are God or "just my imagination". Sr. Rachelle taught me that God created my imagination, He works through my imagination, and any thought that appears is Him. I can't tell you how much her simple words changed everything for me.

We took a break for dinner and then came back to talk about the Metta prayer. It is a short prayer which you pray for yourself, a person you love, a person you dislike or are having a conflict with, and for everyone in the world. Sr. Rachelle encouraged us to write our own prayer by asking us this question:

What is it I need most in my life that I'm asking God for?

I don't mind sharing my prayer. Here is is.

May I be filled with gratitude, compassion, and understanding.
May I be free from anxiety and live peacefully.
May I be strong, courageous, and patient.
May I have hope for and trust in Your will.

After that and a little discussion, we talked about Catherine McCauley, the Foundress of the Sister's of Mercy. Sr. Mary Jo read a short passage about her, and this line stuck out to me the most "Catherine broke down impossibilities". I want to do that. Like Catherine, I want to be remembered as a person for others, for the good I did in the world.

Overall, I'm so happy and blessed we went on retreat. It was a wonderful addition to my spiritual journey.

Now, when I got back on Sunday, I got the news that I did not get the job for the YMCA. I was already tired and drained, and that kind of put a downer on my emotions. I know I said that I wouldn't be upset if I didn't get it, because it was a good experience, but I can't help but be a little frustrated. I'm trying so HARD to remember what I learned from this weekend, and to remind myself that God's plan is THE plan...but I'm still a little down.

School has been crazy these past two days, which is not helping my stress/anxiety level. I would like to go back on my retreat, now, thanks.

Well, that's it. Have a good week, folks.

Oh, wait. Song of the day. I hated her on Idol, I LOVE her post Idol music.