One of the reasons for my lack of posting is due to recent trips I have been able to make. I really think I was just waiting for a dependable car before I became, as my mom would put it, a "gad-about."
My first trip was last weekend. I took a personal day on Friday (any time you visit your pregnant sister it is definitely personal!), and tore out of Louisville as soon as I could to get to Nashville in time for the Dove Awards. I barely had time to throw on my dress, but I'm glad I made it in time for this incredible event that Kali helped plan. Instead of boring you with a list of all the artists that were there, check it out online sometime. Needless to say, we saw a great show at the one and only Grand Ole Opry and had a fun opportunity to get gussied up! .
It was also incredibly good to spend time with Kali and Dan. I still can't believe we don't make the trip more often, but I am oh so thankful they are relatively close. We had a good time just relaxing, and Kali and I were even able to find a maternity swimming suit she liked! Whew! It's hard enough for a Carroll girl to find a swimming suit when she isn't pregnant! :) Dan grilled out for us while we were gone and now I am addicted to the grilled veggies he made! And doesn't Kali look cute:
We also went and got haircuts together...what a girly weekend! Brent wasn't able to make the trip, as he was gallivanting around himself on a trip to Phoenix for a Sport's Ministry conference through the church. He had a great time and made some good contacts.
This past weekend we made the trip through Indiana up to Illinois: final destination: Chicago. I had Friday off for Oaks Day (this is a state holiday... it is essentially the horse race for "commoners." The Derby was on Saturday and Brent and I decided to get the heck out of Dodge!). So Thursday after school we took off and made a pit stop at Ryan and Sara's in Indiana. (Sara was my RD/boss in college...Ryan was/is her husband). I hadn't seen her since last May, and it was great to visit and have coffee together again. (Don't know what is up with my hair in this picture)Ollie is their 2 year old and boy has he grown since I last saw him. I babysat him frequently while in college, and was a resident assistant under Sara when she was pregnant with him: even though he didn't technically remember me, I felt we still had to have some kind of connection :) He didn't mind Brent either! Thanks for a great visit!
Definitely a two-year old face :)
Our next stop was Chicago to visit Renae and Jared. Since Renae starts with an R, I decided she should get her own subheading...
I should probably clear something up first: I have no romantic feelings towards the city of Chicago. Most people at least want to visit at some point in their life... I would be perfectly happy if the city did not exist. It is too much upon too much upon too much. Needless to say, for Renae, Brent and I country-folked our way through 2 1/2 hours of rush hour traffic(We even saw the Sears Tower!!! :)But it was all worth it. I think in one's lifetime they are only allotted a certain amount of authentic friendships. I believe Renae is one of these lifers, and I believe it is my responsibility to continue to invest in such a beautiful friendship. For those of you that don't know Renae, she was my college roommate, and we could not have been more different in a lot of ways. We became friends our Freshman year because 1) She was dating a guy who was 8 hours away as well 2) She was close to her family and missed them and 3) She had a nice car and I didn't trust mine to get across campus, much less to Walmart (this is a familiar theme, huh?) Thus our friendship was born. She is loud and blunt and yet surprisingly introverted; an accounting major who can add numbers quickly. I am not blunt, extroverted, and am afraid to make a doctor's appointment; and English major who still has to count on her fingers.
Somehow this all worked though and through the years we bonded in ways we hadn't bonded with many others in our lives. We threw each other surprise birthday parties, fought with each other, went to movies in our sweatpants together when everyone else were on dates, and we stood up at each other's weddings which were three weeks apart from one another. And it was high time we were together again! Her husband and Brent get along really well together also, and so the weekend was a lot of fun. We decided we didn't want to do much but hang out, play games, and eat good food. Renae made great meals, and they even treated us to a Chicago deep-dish pizza! (and Renae even bought lettuce for our visit, thus the lettuce in the picture, even though she does not eat "that rabbit food.")
It was sad to leave, as it always is sad to leave a good friend, but mostly as we drove away I was again thankful that the Lord has blessed me with such a friend! Thanks Renae, for your patience with me all these years and for a wonderful weekend!
I am officially, 100%, DONE with KTIP. I got my certification in the mail today. YEEHAWWW!
Our church is currently doing a series called "On the Rock: Building Relationships that Last." There are 4 sermons in the series: Friendship, Dating, Marriage, and Parenting (conveniently on Mother's Day). The first three have been incredible. I especially encourage you to listen to the Dating Rocks message if you 1) are dating or 2) have kids who are dating or 3) have kids who will one day be dating. I just feel that in the society we live in few people invest in truly authentic relationships, and as Christians, that is part of what we were created for: to be in a relationship with God and others. This is a very long post, but I just want to end it by encouraging you to stop by and listen/watch online if you have a chance (The previous series is posted as well "The Upside Down Way of Jesus" and if you want some solid teaching, listen in there as well!)
Hope to post sooner rather than later...we'll see. Who knows WHERE I'll be next weekend :)