Archive for July, 2010


probably the cutest thing I have seen in a long time!

July 21, 2010

Somehow I missed this when my cousin’s husband posted this on his blog, but you have to watch this.  Their two and half year old daughter sings Mary Had a Little Lamb while my cousin and husband harmonize from the front seat.  I watched this on repeat for a while last night to distract me from the hateful task of packing.*  Also thanks to my Dad for pointing this video out for me (and probably thanks to Mom who showed it to Dad).

*Which I actually took pictures of this time, as motivation for me not to just stuff everything into my suitcase and call it good enough.  Although when I finally get around to posting them you will be able to see my moment of weakness where I packed a pair of heels (I am going to the city after all!)



July 20, 2010

Our second campsite during the Boundary Waters trip, a great jumping rock, tons of berries and location of our bear sighting.

I knew July was going to be a bit crazy going into it, but I hadn’t fully anticipated how quickly the month was going to fly by! No wonder I tend to miss so many birthdays this month (Sorry Dad, Becca, Miriam and probably others)!  I just spent the past few hours dragging myself through 3 out of the 4 parts of my final Ed Psych lesson.  Now if only my professor could finish grading the lesson I submitted OVER A MONTH ago, I could maybe take my mid-term and final exam before September.  But regardless of that, it feels nice that the part of the course that I actually have control over is almost done and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go ahead and fax my exam requests in early.

We had some very early mornings on the trip, which I have to say meant for some really pretty sights

In other news I got back from a wonderful trip to the Boundary Waters this weekend.  I helped my good friend (of world traveling fame) Zeb co-lead a group of high school students on a 5 day canoe trip through Wilderness Wind.  It was an incredible week with a great group of kids.  Not only were they cooperative, of the non-complaining sort (for the most part), they were seriously hilarious in that goofy way that reminded me a lot of my own high school youth group days.  For example cannibalism was a featured topic at every meal and sarcasm was rampant.  They also stepped up to the challenge of a pretty exhausting trip of 51 miles of paddling (just under 3 of them spent portaging canoes and packs along wooded trails).

We didn't actually see this beautiful animal in the wild, but during our trip to Ely's Wolf Center.

We saw two bald eagles carrying freshly caught fish, a bear (from a distance), a beaver, muscats, countless loons and some very beautiful, very early mornings.  In addition to really enjoying this trip, I also really enjoyed the chance I had to push myself further than I ever had in regards to canoeing abilities.  I went into the trip rather uncertain of my ability to portage an 85 lb aluminum canoe on my shoulders for any extended period of time (most of my previous trips I had let the privilege of that task fall on others), simultaneously paddle and steer a canoe, set up a bear bag, or several other activities that are usually done by the guide of a trip.  This trip greatly improved my confidence in my abilities because I carried canoes on almost every portage (including the one that was about as steep as it was long and basically felt like climbing a stairmaster with canoe and pack included), learned to steer, and basically learned the responsibilities of a wilderness guide.

Our first morning Zeb got us up quite literally at the crack of dawn.

During our 3 days at Wilderness Wind where we did orientation, service and several local field trips, I experienced a brief burst of anxiety when I realized that the responsibility of being the adults on the trip was going to fall solely on Zeb and I.  And as I have said before, I tend to be kind of weirded out by the idea of being an adult and don’t tend to feel that different from my 16 year old self.  However after bringing this up with Zeb, he figured that between the two of us we could probably average out to be at least one adult at most times.  I have to say, I think it worked!  Other a few unmentionable incidents involving the bear bag tree from hell and my own brief freak-out during a thunderstorm driven paddle across a big lake with an inexperienced canoeist in the front of my canoe, it was an incredible week!

We took a brief break our second third day to go see Eddy Falls

Now I am trying to transition my way back through a backlog of emails, details, unpacking and re-packing because tomorrow Becca and I leave on our epic train ride to Seattle.  46 hours on undivided lounging time! I hope to read like crazy, journal, nap, take pictures, watch Bones (Season 5!!) and generally relax before arriving on the West Coast Friday morning.


Productivity = Awesome

July 2, 2010

This morning as I was laying in bed indulging in my post-breakfast nap (my house has breakfast at 7am and during the summer when I am not working, I find the best way to encourage my attendance is to allow myself to go back to bed afterward) I found myself tossing and turning and generally not wanting to get up.  The past few days I have been feeling a fair amount of anxiety about the fact that it is already JULY!  You see, there are all these little things, emails, phone calls, online classes I need to finish this summer, and the beginning of July marks the beginning of all my trips this summer.  Which means that before you know it, it will be August, summer will be over and I will need to be ready for fall.  So this morning, instead of anticipating all the fun I am going to have this month, all I could do was lie there and recite this monologue of all these things I should be doing.  And of course doing this type of thing makes me very disinclined to actually get out of bed and start the day.  Finally around 9am, I decided that you know what, I had a whole day ahead of me and I all of the things on my list were actually things I was fully capable of doing.  All I had to do was get out of bed and start the list.  Fast forward almost 8 hours and I have to say this has been one of the best days of my summer so far.  While I didn’t go to the lake, bike to the library, watch a bunch of movies or read on the front porch, I single-handedly reduced my to-do list from around 15 items to 3-4 and I feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. So here is a short list of what I did today:

  • picked up all my dirty clothes, hung up all my clean clothes and just to top it off organized my closet by color (an idea I saw modeled by Jess and liked), and learned that I own a crazy number of white shirts
  • sorted and filed the remaining piles of paper in stacks all over my floor and mailed off two long postponed businessy things
  • briefly video-chatted with Jess, showed her the two shirts I found for her during Becca and I’s most recent thrift store outing and talked about her upcoming research paper
  • had lunch and looked at Vancouver guidebook, decided that pretty much everything looked awesome in this city and that I would probably need to do some picking and choosing
  • called 8 people about forming an activity planning committee for a church function (this is especially impressive when you consider how much I hate a) calling people in general b) asking people to do things c) combining those two into calling strangers and asking for help
  • wrote 4 long overdue emails, two in regards to student teaching and 2 in regards to church stuff
  • solidified plans to go to a state park for the day tomorrow as part of a friend’s camping bachelorette party
  • walked to coffeeshop with Becca and finished up Lesson 4 of my online class
  • finally updated my poor dusty neglected blog!

So there you have it, a snapshot of a great day that leaves me feeling like July is going to be an awesome month full of travel and adventure instead of just another month that will fly by bringing me even closer to deadlines and responsibilities.  And just in case you haven’t seen these updated photos from over there on my flickr stream, here are few long delayed photos:

Jess and I went to Joanne's graduation where she kicked ass (i.e. led songs) and got her very well-earned Masters in Divinitiy. You rock, Jo!

At the end of May, Tara, Erini and I traveled to western Ohio to see Libby get good and married to a Mr. Zach. It was a beautiful wedding.

Despite my proud expression, Becca and I were bummed to find out that our strawberry jam attempt resulted in a double batch of delicious strawberry sauce. On the plus side, it still tastes very yummy, if slightly runny.