Sunday, October 31, 2010

I love

I love when the sky looks like this.

I love getting creative letters from pen-pals.

I love dictionary day and dressing up as "eclectic." I love that students were dressed up to represent hippie, monochromatic, hobo, eccentric, colorful, prepared, ninja, stealth, fat, and frost among other things.

I love being in a teacher donut eating contest with a gym full of cheering children. I love wearing chemistry goggles and plastic bibs as we scarf down 10 mini-chocolate donuts.

I love kids that cheer me on.

I love friends that come to visit, laugh, reminisce, eat, tell stories, witness funny things I do in my sleep, laugh, eat and talk about how we're going to keep being great friends in the future.

I love having Thanksgiving dinner in October. I love being in a community where people not only share baked goods and turkey but their lives, stories, Saturday nights, country-line dance moves, and laughter.

I love going to a church where we take off our shoes because we're standing on holy ground. I love that the singing feels like worship and not like a concert. I love that today we listened to a man talk about how God is leading him from same sex attraction to wholeness in God- this church talks about real life and puts a face to things people are too afraid to talk about.

I love books that make me gasp and scream with shock and anticipation. But I am very angry at this book and James Dashner now because I have no idea what just happened in the conclusion and what this means for Thomas, Theresa and the rest of the kids in the Trials and there is no book three to go read.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Modern Family

I love watching Modern Family on Wednesday nights. I love Alex, the nerdy one, Manny, from Columbia, and Cameron, one of the gay ones. I love how crazy and ridiculous they all are. It reminds me of Full House with all the random people and the wholesome message at the end of the segment. I wish this show would last more than 30 minutes.

This is my modern family. I live with Sarah and Shauna and Molly is my great friend. We ate dinner all together sitting at the dinner table (which we never do) and had a REAL meal- chicken rolls, garlic bread, and salad (which we also never do). Shauna prayed because she's the mom. Sarah asked dinner questions and Molly laughed and it was great. I love this family.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's worth it

I had to wait after school today so I went to get a cup of coffee and then sat on a blue bench out front reading "The Scorch Trials". I was attempting rest. I think I liked it. During school there had been crazy weather that forced all the kids to sit in the hallway but while I was reading the weather was perfect. 

I went to a visitation today. It was sad and broke my heart. I don't get death. I don't know what to say to people in pain. The only thing I know that we can do is to show up. My friend Amanda told me, "We've got to go and be there but then we can't stop. After the visitation and funeral we've got to keep being there for her and let her know that we care." I don't understand death but I understand that community makes it easier to deal with.

Tonight I gave the talk at the Young Life halloween club. I talk in-front of kids in my class everyday so it surprises me that I still get nervous when I give a talk. My hands literally shake-- so strange. 

I think that I'm nervous because this has such a different purpose. I believe that when leaders share stories about Christ that he shows up and that kids lives are changed as we think about things with a new perspective.

I talked about questions. I love questions that make me think, challenge me, and change my perspective. I told the story of a little girl I used to know named Baighleigh and how the loss of her life made me ask God questions. We watched the music video "Unwinding Cable Car" from Anberlin that is full of questions. I talked about questions that Jesus asked people thousands of years ago that I think are still applicable to our lives today. I talked about questions I heard campers ask God this past summer. We wrote questions we wish we could ask God tonight.

When we ask the hard questions we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and honest. We may not get an answer we like or we may not get any answer at all. But I believe questions are worth asking. 

Monday, October 25, 2010


Leadership was a little different, creative if you will, tonight. We walked to Bub's for ice-cream and talked about these quotes.

"Busyness is the enemy of creativity; rest is the enemy of busyness."

"Create the kind of culture you want to be a part of. Be a culture creator not a consumer today."

I love blueberry ice-cream. I love sitting on picnic tables talking about quotes. I love this team. I love Carmel YL.

Best mail ever.

This came in the mail from Olivia, age 11, today.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Camp + Wedding = Bliss

I got back from MI, put on some wedding clothes and got back in the car to drive to the wedding reception of my friends', Mike and Mel, wedding. Such a great decision.

Mel was beautiful and I loved seeing them swing dance for their first dance. I wish I could have seen the ceremony at camp. I hope they will be so happy.

So so happy to see Arielle. I was thinking about her all weekend while I was at Hope. I'm so thankful for a friend like Arielle that just gets me and I get her. I didn't realize when she moved to camp at age 5 that we would grow so close.

I have beautiful friends that have the most beautiful hearts. One of my favorite things is walking into a room of people that you really love that you haven't seen in a long time. So glad all these girls were there.

Sophie caught the bouquet and Krafty caught the garter- such a lucky pair, if only there wasn't such an age difference. I think he is my oldest camp friend at this point and we have witnessed 7 years of each others lives- crazy. I love that now he is always asking advice about what book to read next (The Scorch Trials is soooooo good).

These two are the bomb. Funny, kind, loving-- yep, that's Emily and McSoley.

Yay weddings!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I woke up at 5am to drive to Holland, MI with my friend Taylor so that we would arrive in time for chapel. I've missed sitting in those wooden pews with the black and white tile floor. I love the morning light coming in through the stained glass windows. We sit in rows of SIBs and hold hands when we pray. I got so excited as everyone arrived and I kept climbing over pews to hug old friends.

I met Taylor and Susan in Carmel YL last year. Now Susan is a Flying Dutchmen at Hope and is loving this new life. Taylor surprised her and got to spend the weekend hanging out.

Favorite Holland Things Checklist:
chapel in Dimnent
Hope College bookstore
seeing Dean Frost, Ellen Awad, and Wilma in Dewitt
visiting a Professor and leaving a note for another one
cards from Moynihan gallery
walking 8th street stores with Haley
sitting in JPs talking
lunch at Good Earth
dinner with my old YL girl Lindsey
Kletz lunch - #5
breakfast with SIBs
dinner at the Brewery (yes, there is a food trend here)
climbing a tree in the Pine Grove
hanging out in the SIB cottage
talking school with Allison and hearing her laugh
late night talks with Krissy
breakfast from Big Apple Bagel
church at Mars Hill with Haley

Saturday afternoon Taylor and I went to Lake Michigan to walk out on the pier. Our hair was whipping in the wind and it was the perfect Fall temperature weather where a sweatshirt is just enough. We swung and talked for two hours. I love Taylor's perspective, patience and dreams.

It's interesting to go back to a place that was my home for four years. In some ways, the people and the place haven't changed at all. Parts of it I can just count on and I know what to expect. In other ways the places and the people have changed- I guess that's always going to be true in life. Sometimes we welcome that change, sometimes it's harder to accept and sometimes you're the one who has changed.
I'm thankful for this trip back to Holland- for the parts I expected and for the surprises.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Real Life

I'm thankful FBC only had 40ish kids today because I actually got to sit down with them. I learned all of their names and could say good-bye to them by name when they left today. It's crazy that 40ish seems like a small group. I love this community of kids and how excited they get when they finally figure out the V and how to make 4-knots the right direction so it looks hardcore.

I'm thankful for great roommates. I'm lucky that we all get along and take care of each other well- that's the way it is supposed to be. I love that even if we're tired or cranky or frustrated we can come home and just be here. And I love that they're the friends that make it okay to go grocery shopping and eat a donut while you're still walking around the store.

Tonight I was watching Brothers & Sisters and the family has crazy conflicts going on for every single character. Basically these people think they're lives are falling apart about 15 minutes in. But as shows always do, they make everything neatly resolved by the end of the hour. Real life is not like that.

Life's conflicts do not get resolved so quickly for every character. Today I was reminded of that.

But we have something going for us that TV shows don't. We have real life friends that are surrounding us. They truly care about us, want to listen to what is going on, and pray for us. Friends don't always have the answers and they don't have to supply a quick solution. They just have to show up and be there for us.

When conflict is going on we have to allow other people to come alongside us. We have to trust them enough to help us when we need it.

Monday, October 18, 2010


First of all- today I got to hang out with Susan, home from HOPE college, at Goodwill.  She is joyful which I think is a quality hard to come by. Many people can pretend to be happy but to be truly joyful when your circumstances aren't all perfect is something you work at and something you find through faith.

Second of all- I ate dinner with my friend Molly and we wore our country hoe down outfits to Noodles and people thought we looked...really fun. I love spending time with Molly because of how genuine she is- there's no act, she just tells it how it is and expresses every emotion with full force.

Third of all- we went to a BARN PARTY!

This is my "best friend" David. 

One of my favorite things is dressing up- dictionary day at school or theme nights and campfires at camp or YL club. We borrowed flannels from Matty B and there were several pairs of overalls and dozens of cowboy hats.

Club in this barn was crazy. We were up on the second floor in the loft and hundreds of kids from all the Indy area schools were crammed in. Kids were in every square foot of the loft and climbing up onto the beams to see. While we were first singing everyone was jumping and I thought the floor was going to collapse. I think all the leaders had minor panic attacks.

It was so fun to have a club where all of YL came together. I love the energy and excitement that comes from an event like this. I kept hearing kids say, "this is SO cool."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Red River Gorge shirts 3 for 12.95. Maybe we could bargain 4 for 15.

Ready to head off on our camping adventure with our packs and pillows. I made Sar bring her pillow even though everyone thought this was kind of ridiculous.

Kaylee, Kayla, Sar and I drove 4 hours to KY. Then we drove around the forest until we finally found out campsite at 1am. It was full. We drove around some more until we went back to the Shell where we had bought our permit to find directions. We bypassed a sketch campsite and finally went to Miguel's a pizza place and a place for hardcore climbers to pitch their tents. At 2am we unpacked all of our staff in the parking lot. We silently, sleepily carried all our stuff to the field/yard/campsite and then set up our tent in the dark. By 2:30am we were in our sleeping bags.

When we woke up at Miguel's I felt like we were in the Olympic village.

We are hardcore campers. Duh.

We packed up the tent and snuck away before anyone discovered we weren't hardcore climbers.

Beware of Bears. We were ready to not be attacked but this is what we would look like if a bear popped out.

This is pretty and I like the curvy tree.

Lunch was gourmet Ritz crackers, a bag of pepperoni, 14 servings of cubed cheese, and a bag of Michigan apples.

We set up camp at Rockbridge, one of Jim's campsites, for our second night. He and Sue have been on this property since 1980. My favorite part was the big swing in the tree right by our fire pit.

The sun was so warm and it was great to be out of the car after driving around the winding Kentucky roads to find this spot. We couldn't wait for night because this field would give us the best view of the stars.

One more hike in the afternoon where we hiked over 72 logs, passed Dudley Dursley, saw Sky Bridge (but didn't really see anything), saw more of the giant leaves, and played the state game. When our stomachs started growling we found our way back to Miguel's for their infamous pizza. We got one large pepperoni and one large chicken/avocado/pesto tomato with a Diet Coke on the side. Yes, it was perfect. A stop at the Shell for s'more supplies and we were back to the campsite.

We played with a flashlight and extra long shudder speed.

Another night in the tent which was accompanied by yelling frat boys across the field, cold toes, my coughing fit, and dewy sleeping bags in the morning. Breakfast was a tortilla of peanut butter, cheerios, and raisins. We cleaned up in 15 minutes and were back on the road to Indiana.

Thank You

I love making Top 10 lists. When I run out of ideas I ask friends for inspiration. My friend Casey emailed me they other day and said, "I have a great list for you, it'll be really hard. Make a list of your Top 10 Favorite People In The World."

So I tried to make this list and it was really difficult. Not like I didn't know this before, but I realized that narrowing down my favorites to just 10 people was too hard.

Thank you to my friends for loving me well. I know that I am so blessed in this season of my life that I am surrounded by people that are fun and caring and choose joy and are adventurous and ambitious and loyal and faithful.

Thank you to one of my junior high girls that surprised me with a card and a bag of carmel corn on my desk before first period. A note from a 12-yr old is a rarity and it meant the world.

Thank you to a friend that wrote me a surprise letter this week. It was full of kind of words that meant so much to me.

Thank you to my friend that brought me extra socks, gloves and a hat when we went camping this weekend so I would stay warm.

Thank you to my friend that spent an afternoon talking to me about life, watching youtube videos, and decorating shoe boxes.

Thank you to all of you that have taken the time to be my friend and made writing this list very difficult.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just a normal day in Junior High

Payton stopped me in the hall and said, "Look Miss Wright, I have a blue tooth." She then opened her mouth and craned her head back--she had a blue filling in one of her top molars. I told her it was really cool and she said she wished it could have been pink.

I was checking homework in comp and all students had to do today was print out an article about their first research topic. Mikaela is always on top of everything and extremely organized. I stopped at her desk to check her article- she laminated it for fun last night.

One of the Science teachers in my hall came out with a toy air bazooka and was hitting kids with balls of air. I borrowed it for 7th period and we decided to call on people by shooting them with air instead of calling their name. I've never had students so excited to read.

I often put a riddle on the white board outside of my classroom. Today's has stumped a lot of people: Two words both beginning with F and ending with E that fit in the blanks F_____E and F______E that make a common three world phrase.
As people were trying to figure it out Erin came up to me, "I have a riddle for you- What's blue and smells like red paint?" I stared at her very confused and told her I didn't know. "BLUE PAINT!" she said and then ran to her next class.

One of the 8th grade Science teachers invited me to come down to her classroom to eat a graham cracker that had been in liquid nitrogen. She pulled it out of a styrofoam cooler with tongs. As soon as I put it in my mouth it started burning it was so cold. Steam came out of my mouth and nose as I tried to quickly chew it up. My mouth still feels strange.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I lift my eyes up

Recently I have been reminded of the brokenness that so many people are going through. When we sang this at Common Ground tonight it put into words what I've been feeling about all of these awful, painful, frustrating, sad situations.

Oh how I need you Lord
You are my only hope
You are my only prayer
So I will wait for you
To come and rescue me
Come and give me life

I pray that we would know in the very deepest part of us that we are not alone. God is our hope and he has promised to never leave us. I pray that we would not give up and we would not stop searching for real, abundant life.


10 reasons why 10-10-10 was great

1. I slept in till 11:00. 

2. I played with Molly Henry all afternoon.

3. Lunch at McCallister's- I not only had my favorite salad in the world but I got to sit and talk with two of my favorite people in the world.

4. Getting to laugh with Taylor Porter, tell old stories, drink large Diet Cokes together, and hear about her new adventures and dreams. I miss seeing her as often as we used to but these reunions are the best.

5. Baking chocolate chip cookies with Molls, writing a letter to one of our favorite friends, listening to our favorite new songs, and talking about real life.

6. Dance party with the mat snatchers. Go listen to "I Whip My Hair Back and Forth" if you haven't heard it yet.

7. YL Dinner at Butler and taking Ashlee with us. Timing Kylie as she did skipping laps in the room.

8. Communion and praying at Common Ground.

9. Carving pumpkins with two of the mat snatchers.

Guess which pumpkin is mine. (Hint: Noonway)

10. At 10:10 on 10-10-10 we spit in the fountain 10 times, did 10 jumping jacks, and gave 10 high-5s.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Ohio State

These are what true Americans look like.

This is Scales, Scales, and Glanders on the Ohio State Field.

This is Beef being a coach.

This is Emily and I loving this afternoon and our courtesy water- 7 rows up from the 50 yard line.

This is Beef watching the game. Look to the right of the open window. He is the third guy over.

These are Ohio State fans that live and breath Ohio State football. O-H-I-O

This is the team right after they beat Indiana 38-10.

The combination of this field and a "council" of camp friends made this a perfect day.