Monday, May 22, 2017

"We went to a garage sale today and all the clothes smelled like you. I bought a few things just because of that."

At the end of each week of Tecumseh, we talk about the Sagamore Creed. It challenges campers and staff to not be content with how we are, but to always strive to become more like the Sagamore and to improve in areas of initiative, friendship, responsiblity, trust, faith and joy. Recently, Camp T released these Sagamore Creed inspired posts on Instagram. I'm obsessed and would like to have each one as a poster in every cabin. 

This was a Chicago weekend of epic wedding proportions...

Road trip to Chicago
Friday rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for Justin's cousin Natalie and her soon to be husband Mike
Meeting allll of the family members
Saturday morning donut adventure

Brunch at Le Pain aka Cafe Patachou's Chicago cousin

Walking in the rain down Michigan Avenue
Meeting up with the one and only Maggie Shadid

Hanging with Justin's Grandma Frances and showing her old family video footage

Wedding at Holy Name Cathedral in the late afternoon
Meeting up with Emily and Kara
Justin reading from the Book of Tobit and 1 Corinthians (and then getting so many compliments for how well he read the rest of the weekend)

Wedding reception at the Knickerbocker-- note the illuminated dance floor

The fanciest place settings that you ever did see-- four courses and four forks
Father of the bride toast that made everyone cry and a best man speech that concluded with a gigantic $100 check for the happy couple

Sunday morning brunch with the family
Walking Lakeshore Drive all the way to Maggie Daly Park and the Bean

Tom's surprise birthday dinner in Lafayette and hanging with Tecumseh friends

Did you know it's the last week of school before summer break?! There is so much to anticipate in the next 7 days.

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Seriously-- that's like getting a face tattoo. You're basically just giving up."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Do you know how long it takes the body to make a red blood cell?!"

It's the end of an era. Friendship Bracelet Club has gathered for the last time this school year at the Clubhouse. Our girl gang sat together in a giant circle, shared highs and lows, worked on bracelets and plotted a summer edition of FBC is Brooks School Park. 

Our dream came true today-- Ellie's chinchilla Ozzie came to FBC!!!! After months of trying to get a chinchilla and then weeks of hoping to meet the softest animal in the world it finally happened!

I'm so thankful for this crew of girls (and those who are still at Track) that I've spent Thursday afternoons with this year. From chanting "Falcon Frost!" to climbing on the Clubhouse sign by Olio, bringing Mr. Amones and Mrs. Lippe to FBC and delivering locker bracelets on National FBC day. We've had a freak ton of fun together.

I've got two weeks of bracelet making left before I retire for the summer. Today I started the Friendship Bracelet Draft, kind of like the NFL Draft that's going on. After building the stockpile all year, I'm figuring out who gets each bracelet this summer at Tecumseh and Timber Wolf.

Tonight I got to have a reunion with my old roommates Emel and Colleen aka two of the funniest people you'll ever meet. I love that we always meet at Arni's, talk about our projects we've been working on and look forward to what's coming next.

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"I shouldn't have to do this-- I didn't commit to running! I committed to dating!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Extravagant love always finds a way to multiply itself." Wyld Life Parade 2017

Sunshine. Good friends. Coffee in my hand. Witnessing the news being filmed. Anticipation of summer. 

Wyld Life 2017 celebrated with a grand finale tonight (even though WL camp is in a couple weeks, the school schedule is over). Our leadership team (adults, HS leaders and new Sophomores) gathered in the basement to go over the lesson and then to make toasts with cake celebrating the last year. There is so much to be thankful for. 

When we got together into small groups I had a surreal moment of getting to sit in a circle with all of these girls at the same time. These Seniors, Sophomores, 8th graders and Cass are the ones I've taken to camp, sat in bible studies with, and been friends with for years. They have each made such an impact on my life and they mean more to me than they know.

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved." Eph 2:4

"Immense in mercy and with incredible love, he embraced us... Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world, and the next, to shower grace and kindness upon us in Jesus Christ... He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we better be doing." Eph 2:5-10

For the 2nd time, we celebrated the end of an incredible year of Wyld Life with a Parade inspired by Bob Goff. His neighborhood has had a parade on New Year's Day for more than 20 years. The idea is that everyone is in the parade, no one has to sit on the sidelines watching. The most unlikely people are chosen to be the grand marshal of the parade each year and everyone gets to share in the fun.

I've been part of HSE Wyld Life for five years now, and I have the unique perspective of getting to see how we've grown and changed and loved well along the way. I'm so proud to be part of this group. Tonight our parade included 35 Junior High kids, 6 adults, 24 HS leaders, 3 elementary kids and 2 dogs-- we had a party.

We took off from the Halkyard's house with balloons in hand, signs lifted up high, bikes, blades, scooters and hover boards rolling. We passed out candy along the way and gave our balloons away to strangers.

"We just want to give love away like we're made of the stuff."

"Jesus didn't want us just to be believers; He invited us to be participants."

"If our lives are filled with purpose we won't be distracted looking for everyone's approval."

"We'll become in our lives what we do with our love." 

God delights when we live in community. Think symphony, not soloist." 

"People grow where they're truly accepted, not where they're merely informed."

"Quit holding on to your love waiting to find your purpose; give it away freely and purpose will find you."

"It won't be our message that wows people; it will be our love."

"What dazzles God isn't our accomplishments; it's our love."

"Quit waiting for a plan; just go love everybody. Give love away freely. We're rivers, not reservoirs."

"Some of the best evidence of our faith will be our kindness." 

"To do list: Love more; fear less."