Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look, Mom!


....and after.

My Favorite Part of the Day


Yep, that's how excited I was to be at Jackpine.

"What is Jackpine?, you ask....

It is an annual camping retreat with a tight group of Christians mostly from Northern and Central MN, and that's where I was two weekends ago with boyfriend Bob, his sister Peggy and brother Billy, and friend Lori (all crammed in my mighty Honda with all our camping gear and food).

I have heard about the infamous Jackpine for a long time now, and was glad to get to be a part of it myself.

The 8-hour car ride to Williams, MN (which is about a stone's throw from the Canadian border), was a lot of fun, even though no one could move very much and many people were slightly sleep deprived.

Bob did a great job of delivering all four of the keynote talks, despite being distracted by cute little girls who just HAD to be held by him while he was talking.

Peggy really was happy to be sitting next to me.

There was plenty of time for good fellowship, spontaneous singing groups, volleyball, and a road trip to Warroad, MN, which is what I guess you would consider Bob's hometown.

(Bad picture, but it is the only one I have of us from the whole weekend.)

And, of course, in MN weather is always a consideration, and we had our fun share of it. It was cold---like I'm-so-glad-I-brought-long-johns-cold---but that was the perfect reason to drink more hot chocolate and coffee (see first picture). And there was a considerable deluge of rain the last night, which resulted in a sopping wet tent, one night sleeping in my car, and no change of clothes for me. But, hey, I love that stuff. It's worth it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering....

Life is always an adventure. Here's what mine has included lately.

My sister came to visit for a few days in mid-August. It is always so hard when people come visit--I want them to get a good, thorough look at my life here, but it is impossible. There is just too much to share, and when I try to cover it all, it is just annoying. But we had a good time, even though she spent part of the time helping me dust off the entire house from hardwood floor debris. Thanks, Anne!

Work has been really good. I can't tell you how much more I enjoy this job than my last one. I ADORE working with kids. I have actually had a marathon patient for the last month and a half. I took care of him every day I worked except two since the beginning of August. I think I'll do a separate post about it later along with some reflections on nursing because it meant so much to me.

My friends are incredible. We get together every Wednesday for dinner and often see each other additional times in the week. The last few weeks have consisted of a baked potato bar, gourmet peanut butter sandwiches, pizza, etc. Mix fun food in with great people and some worship and it becomes a date you hate to miss.

Speaking of dating, after a realitively short but seemingly very long hiatus, I am back together with the boy who has captured my attention. :-) Like I said, always an adventure...

In all my free time (and in some of my not free time), I've been working hard to fix up this old house. It is fun, but also very trying when you've got limited finances and even more limited time. I can't decide if it is rewarding or not. I like accomplishing things and making things beautiful, but I really don't care about appearances or material things. Yet I act as if I do. My only comfort in this endeavor is that I'm going to make this house look so much better I'll be able to sell it for a profit to help support my next move, which will hopefully be to some impoverished area much different from where I am now. I could write a whole essay about this. But I'll spare you, because it is 5am, I'm at work, and there is no telling whether or not I'm making sense.

Grad school started again a few weeks ago. I'm studying to be a family nurse practitioner if you weren't aware. Two more years to go though, so it still seems distant. I'm only taking one class, and it is the fascinating subject of Theory and Research. Not my favorite. But I will start my thesis project, which is looking like it might deal with recurrent ovarian cancer and women and couples' responses to it. I'll keep you more updated as the subject gets fleshed out.

So there you have it, folks. Work, school, relationships, renovation. I don't know why I think this is so interesting everyone should read it!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Progress Slideshow