Saturday, June 28, 2008

100 things

Well, it looks like the time has finally come! My 100th post! To celebrate (?), I'm posting the big time list: 100 things about me.

  1. I frequently wake up laughing.
  2. I grew up living next to my grandparents. To get to their house I walked through my Papa’s small garden and over a bridge that he built for us.
  3. My friend Heidi and I have been BFFs since we were 4!
  4. I consider myself pretty lucky in friendship. I’d say I have six best friends.
  5. From age 3, I wanted to be a pediatrician.
  6. I recently changed my mind.
  7. In high school I was elected to be Lieutenant Governor in Key Club. I was a major Key Club dork and loved every minute of it.
  8. I went to a laboratory school from 1st-3rd grade. We didn’t have textbooks – everything was hands-on. This totally shaped me. It’s where I fell in love with science.
  9. I’m getting married September 20th! I never imagined I’d find such an amazing, kind, fun and perfect partner.
  10. I am incredibly gassy. All the time. I’m starting to wonder if I have a gallbladder problem or something.
  11. My Papa always grows gladiolus in his garden. Every year of college I would bring a bouquet of glads with me when I moved in. They’re going to be part of the wedding flowers.
  12. Perry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream is my favorite!
  13. I’m terrible at sports. Or at least I’ve convinced myself of that.
  14. I grew up on a dirt road. When you pass someone, you wave. No question.
  15. My Papa built the house that I grew up in “with his own two hands.”
  16. During college I worked at Starbucks for awhile. One time a guy brought in several dozen roses for me!
  17. In middle school I went on a trip to England.
  18. The next summer I went on a missions trip to Durango, Mexico. I worked with the kids in Bible School and loved it, loved it, loved it!
  19. I think a lot about grace. I try to remember that God is always revealing God’s self to us, we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see it!
  20. I think the perfect number of kids to have is 4. Two is too boring (from my experience), with 3 there’s a middle child, and more than 4 is too many for me.
  21. I really, really love trees. They are magical.
  22. I have had white spots on my finger nails for my entire life. It makes me mad when people suggest they’re bruises. I don’t go around smacking my fingers into things every day!
  23. I love to sing, but my voice is really out of practice. I’m currently looking for a voice teacher who can help me get back in the groove.
  24. I love being in musicals. A few summers ago I played Cinderella in Into the Woods.
  25. My friend Mal makes me laugh more than anyone else. I’ve peed my pants because of (and in front of) her twice! Hahahaha.
  26. I apparently have a urinary control problem. Don’t tickle me.
  27. I’m too uptight. I need to relax and go with the flow more.
  28. I don’t feel like I had the typical “college experience.” Mostly I just worked my ass off.
  29. In 4th grade I learned sign language so I could befriend a deaf Amish girl who went to my school. We had lots of fun together. My favorite memory of her is when we went swimming in my Gramma’s pool. It was the first time I’d seen her without her bonnet. Her hair was so long!
  30. I still know some sign and took a semester of it in college.
  31. My first (and favorite) job was working at Ritz Chocolates. It’s truly a ‘small town’ store. We hand-dipped every piece of candy and gift-wrapped every box for free. It’s the best chocolate in the world! Seriously, try some!
  32. My least favorite job… well, it’s a tie. Working at Dollar General the summer after my freshman year and working for 3 months at Romolo Chocolates my junior year. I thought Romolos would be like the Ritz, but they were so mean.
  33. After college I volunteered in Baltimore with the Bon Secours Health System/Catholic Network of Volunteer Services/AmeriCorps. I worked primarily with a clinic that provided free health care for uninsured patients who had HIV/AIDS.
  34. The last month of my volunteer work was spent in the hospital, working for the cardiology department. I spent my days doing EKGs and visiting with patients.
  35. During my junior year of college I lived in an intentional Christian community called the Kirk House.
  36. Part of my Baltimore experience was living in an intentional community with four other girls. I don’t think we did a very good job. After that experience I’m questioning programs that ask young people to make volunteering, intentional community, and simple living all of the highest priority. It’s especially difficult when living in a very dangerous part of the city, so concern for one’s life is also a priority.
  37. My favorite flowers are calla lilies, but I think they’re over used. I also like gladiolus and daffodils.
  38. I still care deeply about living simply, intentional community, living justly, and doing service.
  39. I feel constantly disappointed that there isn’t a sense of community in the places I live (ex. My apartment building senior year, my neighborhood in Baltimore City, the apartment complex I live in now.)
  40. My favorite science classes in college were Human Gross Anatomy (I dissected a cadaver!) and Structural Biochemistry.
  41. I also really enjoyed my senior seminar, Literature and the Healing Arts.
  42. A class that really influenced me was Theology of Marriage.
  43. I saw Anathallo perform live in Cleveland about 3 years ago and they’ve been my favorite band ever since. Watching them perform is a spiritual experience.
  44. My mom was married to Les and had Chandra. My dad was married to Sue and had Rachel and Chad. They all got divorced. Then mom and dad got married and had me. Chandra grew up with me, Chad and Rachel grew up with their mom. We all lived in the same town.
  45. When I was 9 my family decided to start having GIANT family reunions. My grandma’s siblings and their kids, and their kids, and their kids call come to Corry and camp out in my Gramma and Papa’s back yard for a week. One time the theme was ‘carnival’. Another time it was ‘holidays’. Each family (core sibling and progeny) takes a day and plans food, activities, etc. The next reunion is this August!
  46. My friend Tricia is called my wife because we act like we’re married. We get each other.
  47. Tricia and I have had adventures in Detroit, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Fort Collins, Colorado.
  48. I always had this idea that it would be great to wear Depends on a road trip so you would only have to stop half as much. (hahaha) On the way to St. Louis, Tricia tried with me!
  49. My favorite food is my Gramma’s lasagna.
  50. We don’t have a TV. On purpose.
  51. I like to think my favorite season is summer, but really it’s autumn. (At least that’s true in northwestern Pennsylvania, I don’t know about WA yet.)
  52. I overheat really easily. Recently I learned that lines up perfectly with my Pitta dosha.
  53. I think I’d consider myself pretty if the skin on my face and chest weren’t so yucky.
  54. When we were little, my sister and I would catch little baby tadpoles and bring them home until they had completed their metamorphosis. Then we released them into the field across from our house that we took them from.
  55. In 2nd grade I was in a (pretty minor) car accident. My back and neck have been messed up ever since. L
  56. I think I’ve been shaped a lot by my sister’s struggle with her mental illness. It felt like our roles switched, and suddenly I became the older sibling.
  57. In grade school I won the prize for reading the most books over the summer. 76!
  58. My grandma used to think something was wrong with me because I cartwheeled everywhere I went! I would cartwheel all the way to her house and all the way back home!
  59. A photograph that I took of my little cousin Kessli was published in Gannon’s award-winning literary art magazine last year.
  60. The words “after” and “slacks” are really weird, especially if you say them out loud a few times.
  61. My name is a palindrome.
  62. A few of my college friendship made me feel like I’m a terrible person. I’m just starting to be able to see the falsehood in that.
  63. I have three sets of Tibetan prayer flags.
  64. Every day I have to talk myself out of wanting to have a baby.
  65. I have a dream of owning a Laundromat. Ask me, and I’ll tell you all the glorious details! Really!
  66. I look just like my dad.
  67. Last summer I worked at a kids’ sleepover camp and loved it.
  68. I believe every human has value and worth because we all have a bit of God in us. This is what drives me to care about social justice issues.
  69. I’ve wanted to have a baby since I was a baby! I’m convinced God made me to have children, and thus have a dream (delusion?) that pregnancy and childbirth will be fun and relatively easy for me.
  70. When in Baltimore I attended Cedar Ridge Community Church, which was founded by Brian McLaren. It was the church that I’ve been looking for all my life. I miss it lots.
  71. Markus and I met the first semester of freshman year and became friends the second semester. We were friends, then best friends, and finally started “officially” dating January of our senior year.
  72. One of the first things that I do when I move to a new place: Go to the public library and apply for a card. I love libraries!
  73. I love drinking water! It’s my beverage of choice. But I don’t like it if it’s too cold; no ice for me!
  74. Speaking of water… I’ve always lived near a large body of water. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever move “inland.” (In PA I lived near Lake Erie. We have beaches!)
  75. I wish more people read my blog. There, I admitted it!
  76. I’m starting to forget what I’ve already put on this list!
  77. Growing up, I lived on the same road as my grandparents, my great aunt Agnes, my aunt Joni and cousin Emily, my best friend Heidi, and my sister Chandra’s father!
  78. My name means “grace.”
  79. My middle name, Hall, is my mom’s maiden name.
  80. I’m a text-o-holic. Mostly with Markus.
  81. My favorite artist is Gustav Klimt.
  82. I like to scrapbook and make my own cards. Basically I just love pretty paper. I’m currently doing a scrapbook of Markus and I since we’ve started living together.
  83. My body and soul prefer “early to bed, early to rise,” but unless I put a lot of effort into making that happen, I fall into the opposite routine.
  84. I’ve always been somewhat of an “activist.” In 2nd grade I was a picky kid who would only eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch. That is, until I found out that migrant workers were being harmed because of the pesticides being sprayed on the grapes! I boycotted grape jelly, and my poor mother, for the rest of the year had to make me cheese sandwiches! (I still eat the same kind of strawberry jelly that I eventually switched to back then.)
  85. In 4th grade I got an F in library class because I wrote “white people are mean” in an essay about Rosa Parks.
  86. I’ve been accepted to medical school. Can you imagine how thrilled my parents are right now? Ha.
  87. I have always wanted to do some type of medical missions work. I used to think that I’d be doing that as a doctor, now I think I’ll be doing it as a midwife.
  88. I am a Leo, so I love lions, but my Leo personality is tempered because I’m at the Cancer/Leo cusp.
  89. Since starting this list, I’ve stopped waking up laughing. That’s sad.
  90. I have had several really bad sunburns, and am afraid of getting skin cancer.
  91. A big floppy hat is on my wish list.
  92. I am somewhat obsessed with the United States postal service.
  93. I could eat grapefruit every day.
  94. My family wears slippers a lot. We even take a pair with us when we’re going to visit another family member!
  95. My little cousin Emily is like a sister to me.
  96. Despite all I’ve ever said, I have to admit that I’m considering moving back home when the time is right.
  97. I hate muggy weather, but I’d take it over constant cold drizzle.
  98. I’m trying to become more honest with myself and others.
  99. I am a big time crier. I’m just very sensitive!
  100. Last, but certainly not least, my mother instilled in me a terrible (and perhaps a little irrational) fear of rodents.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nom nom

Mmmm. Books are yummy.

Out of excitement I just had to report that I just got back from biking/busing to the library to pick up two books that I had requested.
Markus cautioned me to only request on book at a time, because the last time I had a huge list I ended up getting them all at once, and that was a little stressful.
I couldn't do it though... I just had to get two. Even though I'm in the middle of three of my own. (They can wait if necessary.)

Ok, so, here they are:

Jesus for President
by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw


Food & Faith: justice, joy and daily bread
edited and compiled by Michael Schut


It was brought to my attention by Christy over at After a Cup of Coffee... that tomorrow is an important day for Compassion International, so I thought I'd spread the word. Compassion is very close to my heart, as I sponsored a child all through my high school and college years. (Not that I was bringin' in the dough during college, but I guess I figured that someday I would be in a position that a few extra hundred dollars on my student loan wouldn't be a big deal, where as for a child in need of food and clothing now, that few hundred dollars meant a lot.)
Anyway, after I started my work with AmeriCorps, I tried to keep up with the payments, but just couldn't do it, so I had to stop my sponsorship. It was such a sad day for me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Better to tell them right away so that my child could get a new sponsor as quickly as possible than to wait it out and miss payments, and potentially cause her any more hardship.
I'm still not in the place financially where I can sponsor again, but someday I know that Markus and I will be writing letters, and sending photos, pages from coloring books, Christmas and Birthday presents to a Compassion child once again. So even though I cannot sponsor a child now, I can still support Compassion through my prayers, and that's something I try to do frequently. It's something I'll definitely be doing tomorrow.

A video that gives a little explanation of how Compassion works.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A visitor!

Markus and I had our first friend visitor this weekend, and it was aaaaaaaaaamazing!!! Our college friend Jimmy (he's a groomsman!) went through ROTC with Markus and went National Guard. For the past several weeks he's been working at Air Assault school for National Guardsmen in Oregon, and was able to drive up to see us this weekend.
It's really indescribable how nice it was for us to just hang out with a real friend. No pressure, no getting to know each other, just hanging out, catching up, laughing, comfortable silence. To add to the joyous excitement, Markus got Sunday off! It was his first day off in a couple months, and actually felt sort of weird. I think it definitely took some adjustment for both of us, like, OK, here we are... now what?! But we definitely filled our time well and really just enjoyed each other and our friend.

Now back to reality.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Email from Mal

Regarding what the groomsmen should wear.

Subject: men should just go naked....scratch that. young, hot military men should just go naked.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good news!

Exciting news:
I got a new phone! Markus' phone died while he was at work on Saturday, so when he came home, we went to the Verizon store to get him a new one. We were both eligible for a 'new every two' upgrade, so I figured, "Hey, why not?!" With the discount thing it ended up being only about $20 and the phone I was using was a free one that I got this fall because my other phone broke, so it was a little crappy thing. This isn't as irresponsible as it may seem because Markus and I are planning on combining our plans here sometime soon, and once that happens, I will no longer be eligible for an upgrade.

Excitinger news:
We're going on a great honeymoon!!! My cousin Keri offered us her time share awhile ago, but we couldn't find anything open for the week after our wedding. There were some availabilities in October and November, but Markus is going to have to do a couple weeks of field training then, and the dates aren't set yet, so that wouldn't have worked. Well, anyway, for the past few days I've been searching, searching, searching, and actually found a few resorts in various locations that were open! Last night I called Keri and she went through the whole 'exchange' process online, and bam! We're going to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!!
Markus and I are both a little apprehensive... we've never vacationed in Mexico before! Eak! How much will things cost? Will getting around be easy? What sorts of things can we do that won't break the bank?
But we're also sooo excited!! This is going to be such a picture-perfect honeymoon! Our resort is on the very tip of the peninsula, rather than the Pacific Ocean side, which means we'll be able to swim at the beaches. This is going to be grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to count my blessings.
But life just keeps going from bad to worse.
I know that I need to keep seeing the gifts in my life, or God might say, "Oh, you think this sucks? Well, watch out!"
Markus is working so much. It's unrelenting, wave after wave crashing down, and just when he thinks that he might be able to come up for some air, another one crashes. He's tired. He's frustrated. He's burning out at speeds only previously seen by meteors. And I feel helpless to it all.
Our car broke down last night. $300 to repair something in the fuel line.
Thankfully our friends Ben and Julia came to the rescue with their second car.
I took John to the airport this morning. And then he missed his connecting flight and won't be getting back to Erie until tomorrow afternoon. :-(
We have to buy our plane tickets to go home for the wedding in order for Markus to have his leave officially approved, but we don't have money to buy them!
(Dad might be helping us out with that one.)

Basically, we're very seriously going broke. I hope the universe is ready to give me a job.
Yesterday my landlady told me that her chiropractor's office is looking for a receptionist, so I'm definitely going to submit my resume and application ASAP. I'm crossing my fingers. Will you cross your fingers too?