Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas time!

I am SO excited to go home. I feel like a five-year-old on Christmas morning. I'm trying to pack, but I keep having to take a mini-break so that I can jump up and down and clap my hands. And I keep galloping around the house. Galloping. Like a horse! Hahaha.
If you love me at all, go here. And just laugh. Laugh a lot. (Most of you have already seen this, but still, do it for me.)

I'm reading Eat Pray Love right now. It's great. I can't stop. I'm just flying through it, but I don't want it to be done. I love/hate that about good books. I also love/hate when I read books about people who are on some kind of spiritual journey. It gets me all tumbly jumbly inside and then I have to find some way to smooth it all out. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do as a result of reading this book, but we'll see.


Sunday, December 9, 2007


From 4pm Friday to 12:10pm Saturday I stayed in bed. Some of the time was spent sleeping, most was spent watching episodes from season 3 of Grey's Anatomy (Thank you Markus!)
In place of cookie-making/eating (though I can't argue against that wonderful idea, Mary), my method of coping this week has been to stay in bed.
At 12:10 yesterday, my roommate Amber came to my door bearing muffins, commenting that she didn't think I'd eaten in a while. (She was right) Then she said, "So, you'll still come with me to get my eyebrows threaded, right?"
Ugh, crap. How does one become presentable when they haven't showered in a couple days? Answer: Baseball cap.
After returning home, I promptly crawled back into bed.

This might sound like a sad day... I don't think it was, I think it was great, but I understand it could sound pretty pathetic.

But here's where it turns around.

I went out to dinner in Little Italy with Fargo and Nicole. Yum yum.
And then Markus' friend Reinstatler invited me to come to a party he was going to with some friends.
I really didn't want to go. Like really. Like I called Markus and told him he was in big trouble for having this friend who invites me to parties. What I wanted... ... was my bed.
But I felt like a big fat jerk because Reinstatler, who normally resides in Virginia, was in Baltimore.. actually, was about 4 blocks away from me... and all that I could think was, "will you please just let me get back in bed?"
So I went. I did it. (But I told him that if I couldn't find a parking spot I was going to drive right back home. Hah.)
And it was so fun.
I was greeted at the door by one of the girls who lives in the house, and upon attempting to tell her who I knew she said, "Forget about it. It doesn't matter. You're friends with everyone here. What's important is that the kitchen is straight to the back and there are cups on the counter, jungle juice in the cooler, and a keg out back." Before I could get to the kitchen, before I could even say hi to Reinstatler I was pulled into a game of flip cup, hugged by girls, high-fived by guys, and completely welcomed by every person I saw.
Eventually I got to hang out with Reinstatler and Beck, Markus' roommate from Kentucky, who is a big bunch of fun. It was great. I just really never expected to be so welcomed.
I don't know anyone who lives in that apartment 4 blocks from me, but I might just go knock on their door sometime.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I was just sitting here knitting, which got me to thinking about Lars and the Real Girl. Would someone please watch that movie soon so I can talk about it?

We're sitting. That's what people do when tragedy strikes. They come over and sit.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A nice Sunday

I looooove my roommates.

(Steph, Nicole, me, Cassie, Amber)

Unfortunately the only picture I have of all of us is from a couple months ago.
They're cute though, and I love them.

Today was nice. Nicole and I went to church at Cedar Ridge (I love it there! Love it love it love it!) Leslie came, which was a nice addition. :) I talked with my wife for a while, then with my (future) husband for a few hours! Woot. Then I said, okay, time to be "available" so I opened up my door and started crafting.

A couple cards I made.

While I was crafting, Cassie and Nicole came in for a couple hours and hung out. We chatted, I crafted, Cassie lesson-planned, Nicole crafted too, and it was very nice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If every day were Saturday...

I'm at work. You wouldn't know it though. If you took away my surroundings and just saw my actions, you might think I was at home.
There are a lot of reasons this is incredibly unfortunate.
For example:
- If I were at home I could be wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. Instead I'm wearing polyester pants, uncomfortable shoes, and two short-sleeved tops because for some reason (ie. I'm poor) I don't own a single long-sleeved shirt that's appropriate for work (meaning I have 2 long-sleeved t-shirts, and one of them is from 8th grade).
- Also, if I were at home I wouldn't feel guilty doing enjoyable things to fill the time like reading, knitting, and making cards. I don't think it would go over to well if I brought my crafting items to work.
- Not having work to do isn't fun. It's boring. And I also feel like my co-workers are getting irritated with my lack of productivity. But it's not my fault. Really.
- I cannot possibly get as much as I intended to from this year if I'm not actually doing something, which makes me want to not be here. Why be in Baltimore away from family, away from Markus, not making any money if I'm not gaining much from the experience?
- My boss thinks that a good way for me to fill my time is to create a resource manual. While creating a resource manual seems like a fine thing to do in between doing "direct service," I don't think it's appropriate that it be the only thing I'm doing.

Complain, complain, complain.
Yeah, I know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

the weather

I described the weather this morning as being blustery.

Shirley just did a better job by saying, "This wind is not jokin'."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last night

I felt like May Boatwright.

"She sure does get upset easy," I said.
"That's because May takes in things differently than the rest of us do... when you and I hear about some misery out there, it might make us feel bad for a while, but it doesn't wreck our whole world. It's like we have a built-in protection around our hearts that keeps the pain from overwhelming us. But May -- she doesn't have that. Everything just comes into her -- all the suffering out there -- and she feels as if it's happening to her. She can't tell the difference."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hannah and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I had the most terrible day today. Really, it was actually terrible. Not just sad or depressing or infuriating or boring. Absolutely, downright terrible.
I'm exhausted from crying and I can't believe I didn't go to bed hours ago. I'm on my way now.
But I wanted to say something first. Well, really two things.
1. I just read a comment from Tricia on Adam's blog where she said "oi." And it made me laugh. Because today when I was at the doctor, I said, "oi vey" to the nurse, and she laughed at me and said she hadn't heard anyone say that since she went to college with a lot of Jewish girls.
2. My favorite band posted a comment on my myspace. This is more exciting than I could ever describe.

(post title thanks to Judith Viorst)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I'm veerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyy tiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeddddddddddddd.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mm hmm

When I ordered my wedding dress, the lady said, "You're measurements were just a 10, so you should try to lose some weight before your dress comes in April." I said, "Yeah, I'm planning on it."

Today for lunch I packed a giant piece of funfetti cake.

I'm so disciplined.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Einstein says coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.

I guess God has put me in the right place at the right time.

Something magical has happened and I can't even tell you about it.


This is amazing.

How can I ever repay?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I made my own day

Work today really sucked the life out of me.
Actually, it started before work. I woke up this morning with the heavy fog of sleep refusing to be shaken away. I lied in bed for a few minutes, trying to allow the fog time to lift, but still... I couldn't draw up enough energy to hoist myself out of bed, let alone propel me through my day. I didn't even shower because I couldn't fathom having to go through the process... remove t-shirt, get wet, lather, rinse, lather, rinse, dry off, find clothes, get dressed, decide whether or not to dry hair or pull up in a cold, wet ponytail. No, definitely not today. So I brushed my teeth and washed my face. I stared at my heaping pile of dirty laundry, shaking my head, before digging through both clean and dirty clothes, trying to find something appropriate for work. Really, what's so wrong with a comfy pair of jeans and a t-shirt?
Today on Ellen, she explained that she's a crier. She's always been sensitive. And the people who tell her to grow some thick skin should just stop because if she hasn't by now, she's just not going to. What she's going to do it cry. Yeah, me too.
My co-workers were all mean to me today. I don't really want to talk about it. Just accept it as truth. Now, they may not have been trying to be mean, and yes, I am sensitive, but none-the -less, they were mean. And my phone, which normally doesn't ring more than 3 times during the day, and it's usually from someone within the office, rang continuously today, but only when I was seeing a client, and when I was trying to take a lunch break. Bah!
My roommate Nicole, with whom I ride to work, called at 3:30 to say that her boss had told her to leave early. Deal. Thank God.
And then I decided that the rest of the night would be spent trying to recover from a crappy couple of days.
I vegged on the couch and watched Oprah while eating a dinner of Ritz Chocolates. When that wasn't enough, I popped in Little Miss Sunshine, half watching the movie, and half reading a magazine. Olive's dance raised my spirits so much that I felt ready to leave the house. I decided to go to Arhaus to take pictures of the 'branches wrapped in yarn' I've been talking so much about. My roommate Stephanie joined in on the fun. We walked around Harbor East. The air was warm as a July night and smelled like a steakhouse, with hints of sea salt and rotting fish poking through. It was lovely. We came upon a Starbucks. Grande soy no-water chai. And on the way back to the car, we popped into the place that I knew would turn my night around. Whole Foods Market. Wandering leisurely throughout the store, I stopped, I smelled, I sampled, I even perused the cheese section in honor of my wife. And then, before leaving, I bought myself a fall bouquet of beautiful yellow and rust-colored daisies and mums to put in the vase that has traditionally been filled with gladiolis from the farm between Corry and Union City. This was the first fall since 2003 the vase has sat empty on my window sill. I think it's happy to be useful again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm feeling funky this morning.
Not funky fresh.
Not funky fun.
Just funky.

I can't figure out why, but I have the feeling that something happened to cause this. Three things come to mind, yet still I'm not sure if any are the real culprit.
1. intense chronic pain. it's been probably the worse it's ever been for the past week. it's enough to make anyone go crazy.
2. talking to the guy from christ house last night at the volunteer fair. :(
3. maybe i had a weird dream.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the weekend

My wife came to visit me this weekend. How wonderful was that?!
So wonderful!
We relaxed, we explored, we had girl talk... she said that she felt bad because she felt like she was on vacation and realized that I wasn't. And that's what we do. We travel together. But it was a vacation for me!
Friday night we relaxed and watched The Devil Wears Prada with my roommate Stephanie.
Saturday morning Tricia, Stephanie and I went to Cameo II Bridal Salon in Glen Burnie and .... dum dum dum.... I ordered my wedding dress!!! It's so perfect. I'm really excited!
Saturday afternoon Tricia and I were joined by Markus' Army friend, Billy Reinstatler. That was lots of silly fun. He was up visiting from Virginia and the three of us went to lunch at Teavolve, a restaurant/tea house that I've been wanting to take someone to. I kept joking that we were a funny combination of people... me, my wife, and my fiance's husband... but I don't think Billy liked that very much. :)
Saturday night I was craving a cheeseburger like no other. We hunted for a cheeseburger in Federal Hill for about an hour before settling into a fun little bar right next to Cross Street Market. It was full of young people. We sat at a table next to a large window that opened into the busy sidewalk. People stopped outside our window to take a peak at the game, check out the scene, and ask for directions. It was fun.
And Sunday! Oh Sunday! T and I went to breakfast at Paper Moon Diner, and then explored the Baltimore Museum of Art. My favorite painting was of a dense forest by Gustav Klimt.

I had more Starbucks this weekend than I have the whole time I've been here.
And that's okay. I like Starbucks.

Yesterday I had a weird day, so today I'm staying home from work.

See ya.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Breathe Deeply into Us

O unwearying One
who stalks us down all our days,
bring us up short, now,
and breathe deeply into us
for we come breathless to you
from fretful times and frangible relations,
our attention distracted,
our energy drained,
our intentions splintered,
our love glazed over,
our hopes unmet,
our faith frayed.

Still, we gasp to thank you
for this undeniable impulse
to thank you,
for this insistent yearning
to know you,
for this throbbing desire
to love you back;
for this quick, trembling,
sensuous sense of all your gifts
showered like rain on lives
long parched by inattention:
bread to empower our bodies,
beauty to quicken our pulse,
night to show off the stars
and put us in our awesome place,
problems to summon our talents,
love to link our lives,
laughter to nurse our wounds,
passion to shape our maybes
into a brighter day for
the whole human family;
and for this mystical, magical moment
of peace and shimmering power,
of grace and prophetic stretch,
in which you work the miracles
of gladdening our hearts yet again,
in spite of painful patches,
sobering losses, and puzzling trails;
of balming our souls with a touch of joy
because we are,
and are yours,
and you are forever;
of heeding our prayers beyond our words
in the spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Ted Loder

At the start of our community night tonight, Shannon grabbed a book of prayers off the shelf and opened up to one 'randomly'. It's amazing how much this prayer spoke to my life right now.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


As Markus put so eloquently, "I'm over my week and a half long case of the Sundays."

You'll be glad to know I'm not feeling so totally crappy anymore.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To tell you the truth...

I'm not really happy here.
I know that I need to transform my mindset or else this will be a terrible year. I know. And I'm sure I will. (I'm pretty sure I said the same thing about camp, which helps affirm me that it will happen.) But seriously.

I don't like living in the 'city.' In quotes because I suspect I would feel differently if we lived in a different part of the city.

I'm sick of being called "white girl." Yeah, it's weird to be the minority. But it's not just race. Race isn't a big deal to me. Besides my roommates, I'm the only 20-something I interact with.

I'm sick of watching my every step to make sure a discarded needle doesn't puncture a hole through my shoe. Through me.

I'm sick of people having no respect for themselves, for others, for their environment. Every day my clients tell me, "I'm going to stop using." Then they tell me the same thing the next week. And the next.

Today I was walking down a street near where I work and I truly couldn't believe the amount of trash on the grass next to the sidewalk. It's across from a methadone clinic, so a lot of people stand there to smoke or hang out or whatever, but there was a trash can literally 10 feet away. The city where I live has no hope. So people don't care about themselves or their world.

I miss parks that are safe to lie down in.
I miss being able to see for miles.
I miss tree-covered landscapes.
I miss dirt roads.
I miss the way people from small towns acknowledge each other.
I miss going to convenience stores that you can wander around in. (The ones here only allow you to enter a portioned-off front section. The rest of the store is behind a wall of bullet-proof glass.)
I miss feeling like I'm home.
I miss Markus.
I miss my mom. And gramma. And papa.
And the list goes on.

What to do, dear reader? What to do?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The sound of sirens

I don't know why sirens don't make the same sound in different cities, but apparently they don't.
When I hear sirens here (I'm not sure if they're police, fire, or ambulance, mostly because they sound so strange) I have to pause a moment and concentrate before I realize what they are.

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I convinced myself that I could hear the loud wailing of ghosts in this creepy old convent.
Then I realized it was the wailing of sirens from a mile or so away.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Cake. eat it too.

I'm feeling a bit less stressed. Still all the same stuff to do but yesterday Markus and I were online at the same time, so we got to send each other guest list after revised guest list and look at gowns on TheKnot. It was really fun. Woot to the wonders of technology.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Stressed is just desserts spelled backwards

(I really have been eating too many desserts as a result of this stress)

I'm stressing out a bit about life. I don't even like to be stressed, so why do I keep doing it?

Here's the thing:

I've got real life stuff to be thinking about. One set of thoughts are about my immediate surroundings... like getting used to my new life, Baltimore, my roommates, living in community, working with people who have a terrible disease. It's a lot.

Then there is my professional life. I decided about 3 weeks ago that I don't want to go to med school. And by 'decided' I mean 'voiced'. I think I may have decided a year ago. Who knows. So anyway, I just started researching this whole PA thing and it looks like I've missed nearly every deadline. Because for some reason you have to apply to PA schools more than a year ahead of time. Whatever. So I'll probably have to take (another) year off. This situation becomes more complicated by the fact that I am looking only for PA programs that are near Army bases Markus could potentially be transferred to. We thought I would apply to programs and Markus would apply to be transferred near them, and then wherever he ended up would be okay, because there would be a school there that I had been accepted to. Now we're just going to have to choose somewhere that I'll be likely to get in, move, and cross our fingers. Blaaaaaaaaah.

This is enough to keep me busy. Seriously.

And then I get phone calls from my mom.
And faxes while I'm at work.
Telling me that if I don't choose a photographer and DJ now, we're in deep shit. OOoooKkkk.... can someone please tell me how I'm supposed to choose a photographer that is within our price range when only large (expensive) studios have websites? Does anyone know of a great photographer that likes to take beautiful candid shots (who is also inexpensive) that lives in the Erie area? Ack.

Ack. Ack.

Oh, another question.
When you move to a new city, where do you go to meet friends?

Friday, August 31, 2007


The leaves on the tree outside my window are becoming brown and crispy along the edges. They remind me of a pie that has been in the oven just a tad too long.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another first

Today I went to the hospital to visit a couple of our patients who have been admitted recently. This was my first experience with a person who is very sick with AIDS. I went with my co-worker, Shirley, who is an amazing woman, a great teaching tool, and a wonderful success story. I just know I'm going to learn so much from her. Being with our patient flooded me with emotion. His CD4+ count is at 18. A count of 500 is pretty good. Dropping below 200 moves you from HIV to AIDS defined. Right now, he is a very sick man. "Right now" because as Shirley taught me, "You may have HIV, but just remember, HIV doesn't have you." I wanted to cry right there because of his suffering, but I also wanted to cry because of the hope that Shirley gives our patients. When she told him about her experience, his eyes truly lit up. Today was hard, but also nice to be someone who will care for this beautiful man that society has rejected.

Life in Baltimore

Yesterday I saw my first drug deal. They were so slick I wonder how many more I've seen and didn't even notice.

I mentioned my breakthrough at work.... I'll tell you about it later.

This weekend Nicole, Cassie, and Steph are going away to see their boyfriends. Amber is probably leaving to see a friend. .................................. ................................ .......................................

I will most likely be lonely and depressed for the majority of the weekend, not necessarily because they aren't here, but because they all have friends to go visit. I will try to curb this by talking on the phone a lot, and by scheduling a date with Brian and Monica.

Cassie said to me yesterday, "Boy, you really like the phone, don't you?" Ugh. No. The answer is no. I don't like the phone. I don't particularly like talking on the phone, especially for long periods of time, and up until this move I would most commonly use my phone to check the time. Ok, maybe that's stretching it a little... but you know what I mean.
What I do really like, though, are my friends and family. And if staying close to them means talking on the phone more than I would ever want to in my entire life, so be it.

So sorry.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I had an interesting breakthrough at work today.
I'll blog about it tomorrow.


Monday, August 27, 2007


I have a serious stomach ache.

When I was in high school, I would avoid the school like the plague during the summer. Then, on the first day back, driving over those railroad tracks and getting my first view of the school, I would nearly vomit. First days make me terribly nervous.

Last night my mind didn't want to go to sleep because it was afraid I wouldn't wake up in time for work. Once I finally got it to calm down enough to "sleep" it did crazy things all night. This morning I checked the crack between my bed and the wall to make sure that I didn't drop a piece of bread down there in the middle of the night. How strange.

Last week was so busy that I didn't have time to feel homesick. Maybe that's why they do it... I know that was our MO at camp. But now... I'm leaving the comfort of my new home and my new roommates and going out there all on my own. It really makes me miss home. Family. Friends. Gannon. Camp. And all the people that go with it.

Right now I would give just about anything to be playing in Erie with my wife, Katy, Gillis, Dugas, and Markus. :(


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i should have been asleep hours ago

It's late. I need to go to bed. I spent a little more than an hour tonight messing with the house computer, just trying to get it to work. I ended up uninstalling Norton antivirus, installing Avast, and restarting quite a few times. It seems to be doing better now. It's way past my bedtime.

I just wanted to let you know that everything is great. This is a super busy, super full week of orientation, but I'm really enjoying nearly every minute of it. The Sisters of Bon Secours are amazing, and all of the Bon Secours programs that we have seen this week are just incredible. It's so hard for me to believe that a few nuns can make so much change. Tomorrow we are visiting the site where I will be working, so I'll update on that when I know more.
I'm living in a neighborhood called Sowebo, which is right on the line between "bad city" and "good city." It will be really interesting and exciting to become a part of this neighborhood.
The girls I'm living with are all great. Shannon, who is our director, is also just amazing.

Now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I don't think I've been managing my time very well, because it's looking like I have 2 days to see everyone who I want to say goodbye to, and to pack up all of my belongings that I plan on taking to Baltimore. What an interesting predicament.

Tonight after dinner I went to my sister's house to visit with her family. It was nice to see them all, especially considering that camp prevented me from hanging out with them at all this summer. Isabelle and Cameron were playing with the dog, Ella, in the kiddie pool in the side yard, but when I pulled in the driveway all 3 of them came running up to give me hugs and kisses! Yay for wet kids and dogs! Belle, who will be turning 4 in October, was so adorable all night. She kept trying to get my attention while I was talking to Rachel and Ernie, "Hey, Aunt Hannah? Aunt Hannah!" And when I'd turn to her she'd just smile and say, "I love you!" And she had this little toy cell phone that makes calling noises and she goes, "Look, you just do this," (presses numbers 1-0 in order, then the call button) "and then you lift up your hair," (flips her curly wet hair to one side of her head) "and then talk!" I seriously love 4-year-olds. Especially when I'm their aunt. :)
And Cameron, who will be 13 in September, was just as hilarious as ever. He really does crack me up. And I'm so excited that we have the relationship that we do. Since he was born, I wanted us to have a special relationship. I was only 10, so I figured I would be close enough to his age that we could be friends, but so that he could still look up to me as a role model. I've tried to make sure to maintain a close relationship with him through the years, and I really think that we have a unique bond. For a little while last year it seemed like he was entering the "I'm too cool for you, especially because you're a girl" phase, but now it's amazing how affectionate he is. He calls me just to say hi, he says I love you even before I do, and today he was really upset when he had to say goodbye. I, of course, don't want him to be upset, but I am glad that he values our relationship. I'm definitely going to try to remain close, even though I'm moving away.
It's going to be hard to be away from my niece and nephew... I love being a part of their lives, and the last thing I want is to be one of those aunts (in this case I would pronounce it 'ahnt', rather than 'ant' like I normally do) who is totally disconnected from the kids' lives and sends the occasional present at birthdays and holidays. It's just really important for me to have a real relationship with them! And THEN!!! when we were chatting, Rachel told me that she and Ernie are pregnant! Hurrah! She's only about 5 weeks, but it's still super exciting. So where will I be when that baby is born? When (s)he is 1? 2? Ack. Growing up, moving away, being engaged.. it's all really great stuff and very exciting, but it sure is strange.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sweet sweetness

Today was another wonderful day. Everything about it was perfect. I feel lucky to be alive.

This morning I woke up at Heidi's house. Wonderful.

Then I went to the Ritz to see Mr. Zaphiris and get some delicious chocolate. Wonderful.

Then I drove to Erie to meet up with the girls. It was the most perfect, beautiful day. I soaked in the northwestern Pennsylvania view since I won't be seeing it again for quite awhile. That was wonderful. And sad. Bittersweet.

I met Em, Mal, and Fargo at David's Bridal and I tried on like 500 wedding gowns. Today was like a big trial day... I told the girl to give me anything. And she did. Some of those dresses were horrendous. Finally after like 20 really big and gaudy gowns, she realized that I was leaning towards something more simple. There was one there that we all liked a lot. Trying on wedding dresses didn't seem too crazy until she put a veil on me, then we were all like 'holy crap.' Mal goes, "What is this, Halloween?!" Trying on wedding gowns with great friends. Wonderful.

I wanted to try on more, but I didn't want to force my friends to do any more if they would be bored. But when we left David's Bridal, THEY suggested we go to Bridal Elegance! Yay! I tried on several dresses there, having a better idea of what I was looking for. We found two that are very different from each other, but both really beautiful. I think I like dress 2 better, but mom and the girls said dress 1. I think they maybe are drawn to the color of dress 1, so I'm going to keep looking for a dress with all of the right elements. Wonderful.

Mal, Farg and I went to lunch at Panera. Wonderful.

Mac met me there and we then went to Starbucks to hang out and catch up. It's been way too long since we've had a good chat, so that was definitely wonderful.

He wanted to see the two gowns that we liked at Bridal Elegance so we went and I tried them on for him. He liked dress 2 better. I think this means something, because Mac and I are similar in some ways that the girls and I aren't, so maybe he can see beyond a pretty dress to what is actually more me. It was fun having Mac's input. Wonderful.

I went for a run tonight. Wonderful.

Since camp ended I've been able to talk to Markus much more frequently and for longer periods of time. WONDERFUL!!!

Life is good.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Haha hahaha

You know what's really hard? Starting to blog again after taking a couple months off.
Seriously, how in the world am I supposed to do this? How am I supposed to fill in all the blanks? I just don't think it's going to happen as smoothly as I would like, but I guess it's time to give it a try.

My life is great. It's crazy and baffling and totally frustrating, but it's so great.

So, it's Saturday, August 11. I came home from Camp about 2 hours ago and I am so completely exhausted. I'm slightly sunburnt. My voice is hoarse from shouting camp songs and yelling loud enough to get the attention of 12 little girls. I don't remember the last time I showered. It was probably Thursday after the hike, which isn't too bad.

Ack, I'm stuck. I'm really struggling with what to say... there's just so much.

Ok, I'll have to pick up with the Camp talk in a moment, because I just can't go any longer without telling the most important and exciting news that I've got. Anyone who reads this blog already knows, but how could I not say it again?
Last Friday Markus flew home to propose to me! I said yes, of course, so now we're engaged!!! Ahhh! I still can hardly believe it. The whole thing was pretty hilarious, and if you want to know, I'll tell you the story, starting with Markus calling my boss at camp. You can check Markus' blog for some of the story. This is where some of the life-frustration comes into play. We want to be married. Like ASAP. But when is ASAP? No one knows. I'm going to be in Baltimore until the end of July of next year. Then I have no idea. Will I go to med school? Sooner? Later? At all? Will I decide to do something else? These are questions that need some answers. Oh, and how about questions like will Markus be able to transfer from Ft. Lewis? Hahaha. Life is funny. But anyway, I'm hoping these things work themselves out fairly quickly.. we'll just have to see. At any rate, I'm pretty darn pumped.

I guess what I need to say about Camp is that I'm grateful for it. When I entered into this summer I was feeling depressed and very unlike myself. I felt like I couldn't trust people, and like I couldn't love them. I looked at Camp as a filler. Just something to do between graduation and Bon Secours. I don't know how I believed this, but I really thought that I wouldn't get close to any of my co-workers and that I would leave in the same condition that I entered. This is nothing close to what happened. I am changed. I am in love with a group of more than 20 people. I feel myself again. I believe that people are good again. I can love again. My experience at CND was somewhat inexplicable. I'm going to leave it at that for now, though I am absolutely sure that later blogs will give a bit more insight into my summer at Camp.

Thanks CND 2007 Summer Staff
Even at my worst, I'm best with you.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

lame blog

I miss blogging!

I'd do more of it on the weekends, but my parent's internet is so slow that I truly want to just pick up the computer and throw it on the floor WWF style. Does the WWF even still exist? The last time I've heard anything about it was like 8 Christmases ago when my cousin Justin got some crazy little action figures.

I slept in today, which was wonderful. And I was woken up to my mom telling me a had a package on the dining room table! Today was Markus' and my 6 month anniversary, so I was really excited to see what he could have sent. I jumped up and bolted out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. I was even wearing the traditional Christmas morning attire of a t-shirt and underwear. I skipped into the dining room to see a beautiful bouquet of red roses!!! Yay! I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

too early to tell

I thought I would probably post today, but I'm not going to. Not really anyway. I don't feel ready to talk about camp... I still need to get used to it.

I'm sick of feeling awkward and out of place. I had a whole semester of that. Summer isn't supposed to be that way. Summer is supposed to be best friends and family and beaches and coookouts and bonfires and festivals and driving around singing country music.

I just checked my email and had several businessy things I need to take care of. This stresses me out because I'm not going to get to them... ever.
Will someone do some research and tell me which med schools to apply to? And then maybe fill out the application? Yeah, thanks.

Oh, and if you feel like sending me mail this summer:

c/o Camp Notre Dame
400 Eaton Road
Fairview, PA 16415

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh boy

Well, I start working at camp today and I'm really nervous. I think this is mostly because there are still a lot of unknowns. It will probably be better when I get there and get to know camp and the people I'll be working with better. But, eak!
From here on out I'll be at camp from Sunday day to Friday night.
I'll give updates when possible.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Here's a reason why I love him

Let me tell you, it really sucks to have your boyfriend go into the Army. Especially if you don't know when you'll be able to see him again. Maybe September! Maybe Christmas! Maybe February or March!
Last night I cried a lot and ate a whole bag of chocolate covered pretzels from the Ritz in one sitting. This seemed like not the best way to cope, so this evening I decided to try to pack my apartment and drink mojitos. One half of a mojito later, I called my sister to see if she would go see Knocked Up with me. I'd heard it's really funny, and being at my apartment alone just wasn't helping the situation. She said no, that she had to study (for her GRE's), so I texted Markus to see if he wanted to go. This is a funny little (and maybe a bit masochistic) game we've come up with where we pretend we're not apart.
Well, my freakin' awesome boyfriend said YES! So we both rushed to catch the 7 o' clock show (mine started about 15 minutes late), and were able to watch a movie 'together'. It was great fun, and we're hoping to do it again sometime soon, but this time probably with a rental so we can talk more and make sure we've got the timing right.
Thanks babe.

In other news, I just checked my email and had my first group email from Bon Secours. It looks like Nicole, Stephanie, and Cassie are the other volunteers, though the email mentions that one more will probably be joining the group. Getting that email definitely made this seem more real, and I'm both very excited and very nervous. I really do think it's going to be a great year.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hilarious graffiti

This post is for djamine, a person I don't know. In fact, I don't even know her real name. But any friend of Craigmary is a friend of mine.

This is the best photo I could get while driving, and this one took a couple trys! Although not an easy subject to photograph, I chose this graffiti because it makes me laugh every time I go by. The bottom line says "Sparky Webb has AIDS."
Yeah, I know laughing is totally inappropriate, but seriously, who would write something like that?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Does this mean I'm an alcoholic?

The other day I was at my parent's house and realized we have a ton of mint growing out back. This made me think, "Mmmm. I like mojitos."

So I promptly ran to the store and bought some rum, lime juice, and club soda.

That night I made myself a mojito and watched a movie.

The next day I put my mojito in a Starbucks travel mug and took it to the Gannon library with me while I researched med schools.

Right now I'm drinking the delicious drink and watching the news (and blogging).
This much solo drinking would normally make me worry, but the thing is, this limey, minty refreshment is just sooooooooo delicious that I don't even care!
On another note, my life is weird. I've been trying to do some self-reflection in all of this alone time that I've had since Markus left. At times I feel like I'm benefiting, then others I just feel more lost. I have a lot of discerning to do, and it's just really overwhelming.
I keep wishing someone would just tell me all the answers to my life questions, but I know that wouldn't be life at all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It would be nice to be a real person

I want a great dane soooooooooooo bad.

Markus said that when we get dogs they have to be medium-sized, at least until we have a house and big yard. And I have to agree, that big boy wouldn't fit very well into my little apartment, or any apartment for that matter. But still, my oh my, I sure do want one!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Summer is sometimes boring and that's OK.

I have a pretty boring life these days, but I'm okay with it. Mostly I've just been hanging out with my sister, and I'm glad for the opportunity to do that. I just keep thinking that in a couple weeks when camp starts, I'm never going to see anyone. That sort of bums me out, but I think camp will be fun. On Saturday I went to a staff meeting/sleepover at CND, which turned out to be a pretty good time. I was having a really sad miss-Markus day all day, so I didn't really want to go, but when I got there I forced myself to be friendly and everything turned out alright.

I'm just realizing how incredibly lame this post is, but I truly have nothing very exciting going on these days!

Today I'm going to go to the Blasco library to get a couple books, and then to the Gannon library to continue with the med school search. Wednesday morning I have a meeting with Dr. Andraso (my advisor). I need to fill him in about Bon Secours and let him know that I've decided that I will not be applying to LECOM. I imagine he will be mad. I'm afraid of this situation. Ugh.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Army stole my boyfriend.

I ran errands today and went for a walk with my sister.
This is a definite improvement from my depressed couch-sitting that I've been doing for the rest of the week.
Maybe tomorrow I'll actually make some phone calls that I've been needing to do for a week or so!

Monday, May 28, 2007

No, not the Weepies.

The weepies.

Today I am very weepy.

Whenever I think about going to bed Tuesday night without Markus, something grabs my chest. When I think about waking up alone on Wednesday morning, my throat closes tightly.

I don't want to do this.

Friday, May 25, 2007

So green.

When Markus and I left for vacation, Erie was just starting to bloom. The trees by the Blasco Library (which I have used to be my 'season/weather indicator' for the past four years) had just started to pop open their white flowers, and most trees had tiny leaves. The tree between my window and the apartment building next to mine was too sparce to feel comfortable sitting naked in my computer chair, and Markus couldn't identify a tree from a certain distance because the leaves were too small.
Then we went to Las Vegas. Spring was over months ago for them, not that we would have been able to tell anyway. As a stranger to the desert, I couldn't tell you if it was spring or autumn. All I could observe were the palm trees, pine trees, and vast desert. Seriously, how do you know if it's spring in a place that doesn't have deciduous trees?
Vegas was followed by Edmonton. Although Edmonton certainly isn't desert, it is in the plains. They have grass and trees, but nothing like we do here. Craigmary and their friends kept commenting on how green everything finally was, after months and months and months of brown and white, but -don't tell them this- it wasn't really that green.
Now, we're back in Erie. Spring has sprung. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's summer. I missed the blooming of the lilac bush outside my parents' house alltogether and the tree outside my window is now plenty of cover. All the side streets of Erie are covered with a lush green canopy. I feel connected with this section of earth. It feels good to be home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ta Da!

Both interviews yesterday went really well. The second ended with Kim saying she would send me an invitation to the program which I have two weeks to sign and return!

Talking to Jen and Kim today was great. For a few months I've just felt like there was a curtain separating the months of July and August, and because I couldn't see past it, I was scared and worried. I felt confident that I would be doing service, but I was worried that as a result of my procrastination/difficult semester I wouldn't be in the right place. But talking to them yesterday made a lot of things clear.
First, the curtain has been lifted. I know that August 20, I'm going to be in Baltimore, Maryland.
Second, I know (sort-of) the kind of work I'll be doing, and it sounds really great. I'm so excited. More on that later.
Third, the program itself sounds really wonderful. Because they're small (about 4-6 volunteers/year) they are able to be much more flexible than, say, VSC. I'll be allowed to go home for holidays, have visitors, and take time off to visit med schools! Woot!

Here's some more awesome stuff.... now I'm just bragging:
  • Our 'house' is the third floor of a former convent. As such, everyone will have their own bedroom. Also, there is a courtyard out back with picnic tables and a grill!!!! (I cannot stand living in the city and not having any grass to lay in.)
  • I'll be living 3 blocks away from the University of Maryland Baltimore campus (the law, med schools, etc.) and Bon Secours purchases gym passes from the university for all interested volunteers.
  • We live about 30 minutes from the Sisters of Bon Secours provincial house in Marriottsville. We can go there whenever we want (like to get away for a weekend, etc.). The house is on 300 acres in the country which backs up to a national forest that has hiking trails. The property also has a pond, a labryinth, and an in-ground swimming pool. Tehehe.

  • My job will include doing case management for Ryan White Programs about 40% of the time. This means I get to interview patients, do biopsychosocial assessment, make sure people keep up with their appointments and adhere to their treatment plans, etc.
  • The other 60% can be tailored to what I'm interested in and may include working with doctors and hospitals to find patients with HIV a primary care physician, working in the wound care and specialty center, and shadowing a doctor once a week, among other things.

  • It won't let me stop bulleting. That's funny. I still don't know how to use blogger.

  • Today is our last day in Edmonton. It's been a really fun vacation, but I'm definitely ready to go home. I haven't hung out with my friends or family in a long time.

Oh hey, it just stopped. Weird.

I think this vacation has seemed longer than it really is because I've been trying to drag it on in my mind. When we get home everything will start moving again, and then it will only be 5 days before Markus leaves for Armyland. I really can't even deal with it. Every time I allow myself to think of it for more than 1.5 minutes, I start crying. So, time's up. Buhbye.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Baltimore is humid

I have two interviews tomorrow. The first is with Jen, the director of the Ryan White Programs, and the second is with Kim, the volunteer director of Bon Secours. I'm figuring everything will go well. If it does (and I really hope it does, or I'm pretty screwed), I'll be in Baltimore this coming August. I Wikipediaed Baltimore yesterday and found out that it's hot and humid in the summer. Damn. (This makes my hair completely unmanageable and I end up looking just like I did in 4th grade... frizzy messybun and a giant greasy forehead.) Just what I was trying to get away from. And it has winter. Double damn. When I was fighting my way to class through the ice, snow, and wind this April, I thought, "Oh boy! This might be my last winter for a few years!" No such luck. It looks like it doesn't get as cold as Erie though, so that's good. Now the only thing I have to worry about is the homicide rate that is seven times the national average. Yeah....

Anyway, peace out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Entering real life

I forgot to mention something in my last post.
I'm about 99% sure that I'm going to be volunteering in Baltimore with Bon Secours beginning in August. I have a couple interviews next week, but the lady that I have been corresponding with said that barring any crazy circumstances like my references coming out terribly, I'm 100% sure to get in. Yeaaaah!
I'll know more next week after my interviews, but it looks like I'm going to be working with the Ryan White Program. The woman in charge of the program gave this description, "Duties could include community development and education projects, assistance with efforts to locate and apply for new grants (including coming up with new projects for providing services), client interviewing and bio-psychosocial assessment, and assisting clients with whatever the need help with."
It's not as medically-intensive as I was hoping for, but I think it will be great to be able to still work with patients and doctors. Also, I'm excited because Mason will be in NYC, and we were afraid that we'd never see each other after he left for school and I left for volunteering/med school.
Anyway, it's not for sure, but it's for pretty sure, so I though I'd let you know.

What a vacation

I've been sort of internet-less for a few days, so I couldn't do as much blogging as I would have liked. Once an adventure is followed by another, it's really hard for me to write about the first.
But I'll give it a try.
Markus and I are currently on the second half of our vacation, spending time with Craig and Mary in Edmonton. As expected, it is a totally different vacation from our time in Vegas, but is also proving to be a good time. We've been resting a lot... I'm afraid I'm giving Craig and Mary the impression that I'm a big fat lazy person. I seriously haven't slept this much since Christmas break. We've been hanging out with C and M's friend Zach, who up until very recently worked at BioWare with them. What this basically means is that everyone around me is speaking nerd (this is their term, not mine) and I have no idea what's going on about 72% of the time. Seriously. It's a little bit hilarious. The only gaming system I've ever owed was the regular old Nintendo that gramma bought Chandra and I for Christmas when I was like... I have no idea... maybe 5? Today C and M are having friends over for dinner and afterwards we're having a giant Guitar Hero tournament. Markus just finished creating a bracket system on Excel. Tehehe. I love my nerdy boyfriend.

As far as the first half of our vacation goes, it was pretty awesome. We were so lucky to be staying with Dawn and Joey, because they really showed us things that we otherwise wouldn't have experienced. I've never really thought that those vacation guidebooks were necessary when going on vacation to a place where there is obviously tons of stuff to do, but I can definitely see now why people use them. If we didn't have Joey and Dawn, we would have just wandered around and spent a lot of money. I mean, spent a lot more money. Because a lot of money was definitely spent anyway. Yikes.
Joey works at Wynn and got us tickets to the two shows that are playing there right now. Sunday night we saw Le Reve, which was basically the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It's totally inexplicable. Markus and I were trying to tell Craig and Mary about it and we were just babbling and throwing our hands around and giggling. Even someone who isn't impressed by art would be impressed by the feats of strength or the amazing set. I really can't convey how impressed I was. If you really care, ask me in person, and I'll try to babble a bit more to you.
Monday was Markus' and my anniversary, so we went to dinner at Tao and then to see Spamalot. Markus does a good job at describing these in his blog, so if you care, check it out.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Joey took Markus and I to Zion National Park. We went for 8-hour "hikes" on both days. The first day we hiked Subway, a trail that took us down a mountainside and into a canyon where the water had carved out a subway-looking tunnel through the rock. It was really neat to be so far down inside the rock, surrounded on all sides by giant walls of sandstone. That hike required a couple small rappels and a few swims through icy water.
The next day we hiked Mystery Canyon. For the first two or three hours of the hike, my mind kept replaying these words, "This is the worst day of my life. Why do people do this for fun? I hate Joey. This is the worst day of my life...." To get down into the canyon we had to climb down a steep forest-like cliff. Joey read the guidebook aloud before we began down the trail to make sure we were at the right place, "notice a fairly prominent trail that traverses to the right, going across a steep scree slope heading toward some thicker vegetation on the right and downhill. Be very slow and careful on this section of the trail. This is called Death Gully for a reason." Seriously people, from where we were standing, you could see about 2 feet of the trail, then it dropped off and disappeared. At this point I started crying. Not sobbing, just like, tears coming from my eyes because I wasn't going to see my mom again.
This hike had 12 rappels, two of which were about 150 feet. The first big rappel lowered us into what they call The Jungle, and it really was like paradise. After hiking hours and hours through rock and sand and sun, all of the sudden we were in a pool of clear blue-green water, surrounded by ferns growing on the walls of rock. It was at this point, about 5 hours into the hike that I really began to be okay. Before that, I truly couldn't figure out why anyone would do this, but then we were in such a beautiful place that other people will never see. Suddenly, I had my reason. The last rappel took us down into The Narrows, which anyone can access. As we rappelled 150 feet down a waterfall into the Virgin River people took pictures of us, and when we landed, they cheered! Hah. At that point, Markus and I high-fived and decided that we, most definitely, are some serious bad-asses.

Joey took lots of pictures of the hikes, I'll post them as soon as he send them to Markus. In the meantime, just use your imagination.

Oh. Important add-on: I don't actually hate Joey. I just thought I did during those first few hours of hoping that I was going to live to see the next day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sweet summertime

I. am. on. vacation.

In Vegas.
With my sweet-ass boyfriend.
Mmmm yes.

And that's all I'm going to write right now because my sweet-ass boyfriend wants me to take a shower so we can go to dinner.
Well, really, he just wants to go to dinner. I want to take a shower. Being on an airplane for several hours makes me feel yucky.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm such a giant nerd.

The other night I had an adventure that I thought could only happen when my wife is around, but apparently I was wrong. Alright, this is what happened...

Markus and I went for dinner and drinks at the Plymouth with Jimmy and Leah.
(Here they are, the little cuties.)
Alright, so, that was a good time until the end when our waitress took approximately 45 minutes to bring our checks. During the waiting, M and I decided that we were going to stay out, rather than being lame-O's like we usually are. We went to Cellblock and drank and danced and had a merry time... Then, here comes the more interesting part...
On the way home, we were passing Benjamins when M decided that we might as well go in and have a drink. Oh Providence(ish). This bar, which is part of the Avalon Hotel, was full of foreign men who were in town for a convention of distributors at GE. I left them alone for a little while, but you know, it's so unlike me not to meet strangers...
No one really knows this except my parents, Markus, and Mrs. Kozak, but I have a great desire for the United States to start using trains again like we used to, and to get semi trucks off the highways. I did a little bit of reading this semester to find out the history of the US railroad, but there's definitely a lot more I need to learn. So, as I was thinking about the railroad this semester, I thought of an interesting question: Are all GE products shipped via locomotive? Because they should be! This question is what led me to meet the men in the bar. (None of them knew the answer, but agreed that if GE doesn't use trains to ship its products, that's just stupid.) I spent the next half hour or so talking to a Dutchman, a Russian, and a Spaniard about the railroad in the United States and Europe, and when that conversation started coming to a close I wondered about their thoughts on the EU. Bah! Seriously, I'm sure that when they went to the hotel bar that night, they weren't expecting to have serious scholarly conversations with a college-aged girl. It was a good time for me though, and I think Markus had fun too, so I guess all is well.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A grown up

Yesterday was a really wonderful day of celebration. It was beautiful outside, Markus was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Army, I was honored at the Bacchelaureate mass for doing a year of post-graduate service, Commencement was nice and the speaker was thoughtful, and I got to wear a really pretty dress all day long.

Yet, throughout the entire day, it still didn't hit me... I'm graduating from college. I tried really hard to think about it like, "I'm graduating, I'm a college graduate, I don't have to go to school on Monday, It's summer now, I'm graduating, I'm a college graduate....." to no avail. I guess I just felt like yesterday was nice, but it didn't mean anything. It's hard to explain, and I'm not doing a very good job. BUT THEN... I woke up this morning and rolled over and kissed Markus, and I thought, "Oh my. We're grown-ups. We're grown-ups laying in my bed." Hahaha. Does that even make sense to anyone who didn't experience it? Well, I hope so, because it was pretty hilarious.

Oh, something else hilarious that I definitely need to share: After graduation, Markus and I went out to dinner at Red Lobster with his family. Then we came home and decided to take a nap before going out to celebrate with friends. I think I set my alarm for about 9pm. Well, we totally passed out, and apparently I don't know how to set an alarm, because at 11:56, Markus goes, "Hannah, it's midnight!" and I had noooooo idea why he was waking me up from a perfectly good sleep to tell me it was midnight. I started getting cranky. I thought that he was the crazy one. I think I may have yelled at him. Then he says, "Where am I?" And I was totally convinced that poor Markus was having some sort of weird dream and didn't mean to wake me up. Then, the kicker, "Did we decide not to go out when I was sleeping?" Bahahha! Ooooh snap. So, we got our tired bums out of bed and got ready real quick and were able to meet Jimmy and Leah at Boardwalk. Let me tell you, going to the bar at midnight totally refreshed and sober = great amazing fun. We danced like it was 1999 just because we could.
So, not exactly the graduation night we had planned, but fun none the less.


Friday, May 4, 2007


I just found out that I've been awarded a scholarship to attend the Christian Community Health Fellowship annual conference! Now I just need to scrounge up enough money to pay for housing ($90, unless I can stay with Corey) and to get to Chicago. Maybe Sunday's graduation party will be able to do that for me.
Geez, what a busy summer it's turning out to be... vacation from May 11 - 24, CCHF conference from May 31-June 3, then work starts June 17! This is exciting stuff.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Living Juicy

I realized that I left out something important.

"Living Juicy" comes from SARK, one of my most favorite strangers. I like her so much that sometimes I even call her! Seriously. Do it, I bet you'll be glad you did.

SARK. She lives in San Francisco, so use your nights and weekends for this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Moving on

It's time, I suppose, to move on to a big girl blog.
I started using xanga in high school, which was perfectly acceptable then, but I'm pretty sure that people make fun of me for using it now.
I've been left in blogger dust.

Alright, alright, I'm ready...
This Saturday I graduate from college. That surely must mean that I can handle a grown-up blog.