Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Psalm 24

we have a book of some of the Psalms adapted from the Hebrew, and this one really stuck out to me as I was flipping through it this morning. I've been ruminating on it all day.

The earth belongs to the Lord,
  and everything in it is his.
For he founded it in empty space,
  and breathed his own life-breath into it,
filling it with manifold creatures,
  each one precious in his sight.

Who is fit to hold power
  and worthy to act in God's place?
Those with a passion for the truth,
  who are horrified by injustice,
who act with mercy to the poor,
  and take up the cause of the helpless,
who have let go of selfish concerns,
  and see the whole world as sacred,
refusing to exploit her creatures
  or to foul her waters and lands.
Their strength is in their compassion;
  God's light shines through their hearts.
Their children's children will bless them,
  and the work of their hands will endure.
                                   -Adapted by Steven Miller

What do you think?

peace. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a drop in the ocean

Since my last post, both pre-K and elementary programs have started, and life has gotten pretty crazy. In the elementary program, I have the 1st and 2nd graders, which is wonderful but exhausting. I've had 6-8 students every day, and they've gone from angels to screaming and running in circles around the classroom. I have discovered, though, that the more prepared I am for homework time (i.e. the classroom set up, extra work for whoever finishes their hw, distractions out of reach), the better the kids are.

For the most part the kids are pretty good - there are a couple of trouble makers, one little boy with a short attention span (think "i'm bored" every five seconds), and another who is easily distracted (by anything and everything). One of the six year old girls, Kenyatta, has been consistently good every day, even when everyone else in the class is running and screaming. She is just the cutest, most precious girl. And another boy, Z (the easily distracted one), is precocious and so darn cute that I can't even really get mad at him when he gets distracted.

Z, eating his birthday cupcake!

The pre-K program started the 14th instead of the 12th, so we've only had two days of program so far, but they were super fun. We have 6 students signed up, but only 3 have come so far - Najamoney, Christina, and Nakeem. The girls are good - they've been best friends from day one - but Nakeem can get a little whiny and throws temper tantrums if he doesn't get his way...hopefully he'll learn quickly that that's not going to work in pre-K. 

Overall I feel like I'm starting to settle into my place at BFF nicely...I'm still getting used to program, and there are new experiences every day. Today, for instance, Kenyatta told me that her mom never wanted kids and is annoyed by her and her twin brother Kimball. It blew my mind and broke my heart that a six-year-old would ever hear her mother tell her that she was unwanted, and especially that she was so matter-of-fact about it - she just accepted that her mother didn't want her. I had no idea what to say to that, but I think what ended up coming out was that I didn't think she was annoying, and her mom was lucky to have her and her brother. It's strange to me that this sort of announcement and experience is normal in these children's makes me want to take them all home and tell them how special and good they are. I'm praying that by spending time with them and working in the programs at BFF, they'll realize that.

There are times when I feel like what I do or say at work isn't truly going to make a difference - that whether my kids sit quietly and do their work or run around the room doesn't matter - but I keep telling myself that it does...I guess I'm just hoping that I'm right.

I find inspiration in this quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

peace. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

is this real life?

I started work at my site, Bishop Foery Foundation, on Monday. Lucky me, I'm basically a pre-K teacher for the year in the mornings, and then I get to work with K-2 graders afterschool! I'm super pumped to get to hang out with the little ones - they're my faves. So far at work, I've looked up lesson plans, crashed internet explorer 7 times, discovered that my key to my office doesn't in fact work for my office (but emily's key does), and heard wonderful and horrifying stories about working for Catholic Charities in the South side of Syracuse. I have not, however, been priveleged enough to see the kids yet - pre-K doesn't start until the 12th and elementary program starts the 7th - but TOMORROW I get to go to the NY State Fair with a bunch, so I'm SO excited!! (And a little worried - 8 hours at a fair with young kids will be exhausting).

The house has been awesome - all 11 volunteers have clicked almost immediately and we're getting along really well. It's weird (and sad) to think that the Costa Rica chicas will be leaving on's so great having the whole community in one house! It's definitely bittersweet though - I know they're all anxious to get to their sites and start work too.

As everything starts to get busy, I'm realizing that time management is going to be key this year - knowing when I need to get to bed to be energized in the morning (and I'm going to need my energy - no time for RedBull breaks in the middle of the day...), and knowing when I need some me-time. I'm not very good at me-time, but I'm learning.

I've been spending my down-time at work reading this blog. It's highly entertaining, and actually fairly enlightening (when it wants to be). My favorite article today was one about preschool (for obvious reasons).

Finally - I'll leave you with some new music (because that's really what I'm all about)...

one you probably already know

one you maybe havent heard yet

peace :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

i think you'd like my new hair.

i'm in love.

(it's new music, of course. the whole album is good, but my faves (for now) are single girls and wicked world.)

you'll like it if you like: priscilla ahn, joshua radin, regina spektor

peace. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

13 is a lucky number.

On Saturday, I moved into the Syracuse house for my year of service with FrancisCorps. Already, it's so much fun! There are 11 of us in FC '13 - 5 Costa Rica volunteers and 6 Syracuse, and only one of them is a guy...he'll be living with the 5 girls in Syracuse, which will definitely be an adventure for him.

We had a BBQ on Saturday night for all the volunteers and our families, and then on Sunday we were commissioned at Assumption church - we all received Blessed Tau crosses to wear. After, we blessed our house, and then the parents headed out and we were on our own. Now, we're on retreat for the week - at Alverna Heights retreat center until tomorrow, and then headed down to Seaside Heights in NJ for the rest of the week. It'll be wonderful to be at the beach again!

The view from the house at Alverna gorgeous.

You know in Annie when she moves into Daddy Warbucks' house and everyone offers her stuff and she sings "I know I'm gonna like it here"? Well, this is only my 4th day, and I'm definitely not living like Daddy Warbucks...but I'm pretty sure Annie was right - I'm gonna like it here.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

of course she did.

did anyone else see Sonya Tayeh's outfit on the SYTYCD finale?! actually, if you watched there's no way you didnt because it was BRIGHT YELLOW and absolutely fabulous. the second i saw it, I was like - OMG WHO MADE THAT DRESS?!?

Betsey effing Johnson made that dress. of course she did. AND the tiger/leopard accessories were hers too. obviously.

brilliance. (sigh).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011


anybody want to give me a job where I can listen to new music everyday and then tell people how awesome it is? I think that would be pretty awesome.

how does one go from the girl her friends go to for music suggestions to someone whose opinion people actually want?


also (and totally unrelated) - watched Finding Neverland today. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are brilliant. (incaseyouforgotorsomething).


PS has anyone else noticed how the Farmers Insurance commercial jingle ("we are Farmers, dum da dum dum dum dum dum") can be made to fit absolutely anything? it is CONSTANTLY stuck in my head and I sing it all the time, but with words like "work is boring, dum da dum dum dum dum dum" and "i love ice cream, dum da dum dum dum dum dum." absolute genius.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

more ingrid gorgeousness

this will probably be the song I walk down the aisle to. or something like that.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

new music from Ingrid and inspiration from tragedy.

I found an article on msn last night about a little girl from WA who asked her friends to donate to charity:water instead of giving her presents for her 9th birthday. Her goal was to raise $300 and give clean water to 15 people in 3rd world countries. She was tragically killed in a car accident last week, but from her death has come such an inspiring outpouring of love - her birthday wish was publicized on the news and all over facebook and twitter and such, and people have begun donating to help her achieve her goal. So far she's raised over $300,000. The goodness in people amazes me - I feel like the public opinion is that people are inherently awful, but things like this give me some hope. :)

Also, Ingrid's newest single was released recently - hopefully the last of the album will come soon, but for now I'm perfectly content to listen to her gorgeous voice over and over again in this song. Perfection.

"I don't know when I will be completed. Maybe I will never be completed. And maybe, it is ok if we are never complete.  Maybe our completeness comes in the incomplete. Chocolate helps." - Ingrid Michaelson


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


yay for non-pc, tell it like it is comics.

I think I'm done pretending this is going to be a reliable blog...

Time to recognize my limitations - remembering to post more than once every few months is one of them.

So from now on, this is going to be a place for me to post anything and everything (maybe not that exhaustive) that I find online/in the world that makes me want to tell people about it.

Starting with these:

1. TWLOHA Fears vs. Dreams Campaign - watch the video here, and then post your fears & dreams here. :)

2. Peace Love World Clothing - Jeanine Mason (winner of SYTYCD Season 5) is one of the spokespeople (is that a word?) for this line, with the mentality "a day without love is a day wasted." I like it.

3. TOMS Shoes just came out with their fall collection - my bank account is waiting, terrified.

4. Just finished reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young - please go read it. It's a story of a man who loses his faith when his daughter is kidnapped and murdered, only to find it again in the most unexpected way. AMAZING.

"i am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." -m.a. radmacher

peace. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

it's me again.

Well, I'm back. Miss me? Last time I wrote, I was about to start my senior year, and now it's over and I've graduated!! I'm spending the next two months at the Marianist Family Retreat Center in Cape May Point, NJ, which is beautiful, peaceful, and across the street from the beach. I got here last Friday, and have since run a retreat and welcomed 3 more groups that are using the house...and been useful in the kitchen, for once. I'm the summer intern, which loosely translates to "I do whatever anyone tells me needs to be done." Granted, today what needed to be done was transcribing a song and making up dance moves to it, so I'm not complaining one bit.

Yesterday was beautiful - after dinner Eden (my roomie until tomorrow) and I went down to the beach. No one else was there, and we both just chilled for an hour until it started to rain. I jammed out a bit with some P&W until my fingers were dunzo - it seemed so fitting. Between the peace of the empty beach, the calm of the water, and the beauty of the sun shining down through the clouds, it was so easy to feel the presence of God, and it felt natural that I should praise Him for it.

Tomorrow we start really planning for the summer retreats - I'm excited to get to really see this place at its finest. But here's a pic to leave you with for the day (taken on my phone - digital cam's STILL out of commission...) from the beach this afternoon.

peace. :)