Friday, February 16, 2007

Moving to greener pastures

Hey everyone, I've decided to join the bandwagon and move my blog on over to Wordpress. It basically is just easier to operate with more fun features. So if you want to check my blog out, from now on the URL is:

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!!!

I had my first Snow Day since first grade today. They are really beautiful things, especially when you think you're getting up at 5 for clinical and get sleep in til 9:30. I lounged around the house in the morning, reading my Bible and drinking coffee and taking care of some things that have been on the "to do" list for some time. I then got the call from that my nanny services were needed for a bored little girl, stuck at home while Dad did work. So I braved the roads to venture out and save the day. My roommates gave me lots of tips on handling snow and they watched on amused as I attempted to clean my car off with a teeny tiny ice scraper. After a few minutes one of them offered up a more appropriate tool :) After my car was de-iced and defrosted, I threw my snow gear in the passenger sear and headed out to play! And man, was it a blast. Olivia's friend Hayden came to join us and there's nothing quite like enchanted kids to make playing in the snow even better. We sledded, made snow angels, built forts and had snowball fights. And when our faces were frozen and our legs were too tired to keep going we went inside to eat homemade chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa with marshmallows. After our cozy snack we snuggled on the couch and played charades. All in all a very good day. Here are some pics so you can see some of our fun (taken with my new incredibly awesome camera!) Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Cold "Snap"

I'm starting to learn about REAL cold weather. As the weather folks say, "we're experiencing a cold snap." I always thought of a snap as something quick. This is a biting, painful windy chill that came suddenly and seems to be hanging around. For those of you who blame this on my weak California constitution, I'd like to point out that all the born and raised East Coasters around me are at least as freezing as me. I have been the warmest of my roommates for the past week (albeit the one carrying the most body fat) and the only one not to complain about our apartment's lack of ability to heat itself. With 11-feels-like -10-with-windchill type temperatures, this doesn't seem surprising to me. I'm learning the value of appropriate dress and am starting to feel like Randy from "A Christmas Story" every time I leave the house. Today I actually screamed out, "I can't put my arms dowwwwwn!" as we walked to the exit of St. Mary's. But it works and even though we resemble puffy marshmallows at least I don't have to worry about losing my fingers, toes, ears, and nose.
But really, the persistent thoughts that have been on my mind for the past few days haven't been about my own chilliness. My heart is burdened for the homeless of this city, and really those without shelter in any of the places hit by the 'snap'. For me the cold is merely something to endure until I walk into the next heated building. I can fill my body with hot drinks, soups, chicken pot pie, and snuggle under warm blankets. But there are so many here who have much less appropriate dress than me that are bearing these cold days and even colder nights outdoors. Please join me in prayer for them. And if anyone knows of any ways I can help, or wants to join me in finding something, please let me know.

Dear God,
A lot of your children are cold tonight. My heart breaks for them, and yet Lord, I am not sure where to even begin to help. So I'm pleading for you God to deliver them. Help those who are outside to find comfort and warmth. Fill them from the inside out, taking care of not such their physiological needs, but their spiritual needs as well. Warm their bodies and their hearts. God I admit that I struggle to understand why such suffering still exists; why there are people out in the cold, harsh streets in a land of such wealth. Forgive me for not doing all I can to look out for my brothers and sisters Lord. Forgive me that even amidst all that you have given me in the world, I am not satisfied. I have done nothing to deserve the life of privilege you have given me. I so often look at the blessings in my life as things I have worked for and earned. But God, all of it is from you. Lord, help me to use all that you've given me to serve those in times of need. Guide my heart and show me how to love the world as you do. Amen

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Joys of Wawa

If I'd have heard someone mention "wawa" 9 months ago I probably would have thought they were referring to someone's baby learning to talk. Then I came to live in Pennsylvania, land of a Wawa on every corner (sorry Starbucks). Wawa fever is rampant here and at first I just didn't get it. From the outside it looks like your ordinary convenience store. "Isn't it just like a 7-11 or something?" I asked in my ignorance. My friends were appalled and taken aback by such a statement. Kelly decided it was her job to educate me on the goodness of Wawa. She explained to me firstly, that there were two kinds of Wawa's. "There's your everyday Wawa's Kallie, and then there's what I like to call your Super Wawa's. Super Wawa's are the ones that are gas stations. As if Wawa goodness wasn't enough, they've gone and made them even better." She was quick to point out the the gas was always cheap and the pumps well-lit....yes I'll confirm this is true. Kelly then told me she had something for me to read. She brought to class the next day this gem written by her friend Erin on why Wawa's are the best convenience store ever. I came across it when thumbing through some papers the other day and was reminded of my previously ignorant state. I couldn't let my readers suffer from the same lack of knowledge. I think she expresses explains the joys of Wawa with more passion and experience than I possess, so I've decided to share her writings with you. It's somewhat edited for language to keep this readable for the kids, but here we go...Erin whoever and where ever you are, all the credit to ya! (The bold comments are my own thoughts on the issue)

Well my friend,
You are in great amounts of luck...I have some free time on my hands and can't think of a better way to spend it than to write my larn and spout my praises of a little slice of heaven I call- WAWA. Here is a numbered list (in no particular order):

1. Wawa is clean and nice. 7-Elevens and most other convenience stores are in a consistent state of dirty shadiness - whether they are located in the nice part of town or the slummiest slum ghetto they seem to retain their relatively shady nature. Sooo true! I have been struck by the cleanliness of Wawa's statewide. I mean, I can even use the bathrooms without thinking about all the delights I could probably culture off the surfaces.

2. Wawa has the best hoagies ever in life that don't come from a 'specialty' hoagie shop - such as Lee's - Helloooo - touch-screen-build-a-hoagie?!?!? Touch-scree-build-a-hoagie rocks my world. And the speed and options for sandwich creation make me want to give Wawa a standing ovation.

3. Wawa almost always has my most beloved Doritos - the Salsa variety. And in addition, it's not just Salsa Doritos - Wawa is almost always equipped with whatever I need - my honey wheat pretzels, Frank's hot sauce, mountain dew code red, etc. Very comforting. Ok, so I've never actually had Salsa Doritos, but I can always find what I'm looking for whether it be a pick me up coffee or study break snack.

4. Wawa has SUPREME lemonade iced tea (my sister is addicted) - rivals Tea Cooler my friends - rivals Tea Cooler (actually I think it might be better - it seems a taste test is in order). I will gladly perform that taste test (as I am an avid fan of the Arnold Palmer) and get back to you.

5. Not only are their hoagies and lemonade iced tea orgasmic, but all other Wawa products totally beat all other convenience store products. Weird, wrinkled, strangely red/brown Sunoco hot dog - or plump Wawa dog?? Bagels, breakfast sandwiches, those specialty meat things, potato/macaroni salad - it's all good. Oh what, Dunkin Donuts burned in a fiery blaze (another East Coast phenomenon to be detailed on another day) - Wawa is there for you, ready to please. It may not be ol' D&D but it's still good. Like 7-11 creates things that don't even really exist in life - like weird rolls and stuff. Seriously, I never thought I could like convenience store food. I usually think it = nasty+salmonella. Wawa has shown me there is a better way.

6. Employees gotta mention employees. With the exception of one former Wawa employee who used to work at my Wawa til it closed, all Wawa employees that I have encountered are relatively pleasant nice people. You know they speak clear English, they move fairly quickly, they are not scruffy men that smell like gasoline and cigs, and they are not outwardly rude...not that I really care about any of the stuff, but you won't find those types at Wawa my friend. Being a friendly Californian, this actually does make a big difference to me. I've met some super friendly Wawa employees who ask how my day is, smile, and even give decent directions.

7. They have frozen cappuccinos that are SO good. And their regular cappuccinos and coffee isn't half bad - I know a lot of people who don't go without their Wawa coffee man. As do I. It's pretty good and there's like 1 million different kinds to pick from. Unlike Starb's it won't cost you as much as a meal.

8. One time they caught me stealing a candy bar. No cops were called - I was just banned for awhile - then I came back and like a loving parent, Wawa opened their arms back up to me. I wouldn't recommend trying this...but it sounds like love to me.

9. There nothin like a Wawa fountain soda. Fountain soda tastes different than canned which tastes different from bottled, just as Wawa tastes different from 7-11, the Mobil store thingy, Sunoco, whatever you can think of (I'm not that great at thinking of other stores b/c I am adamantly trying to only patronize Wawa). I've always been a fan of the fountain and the freshness of the Wawa fountain is one to be rivaled.

**This is all off the top of my head - I am confident with more thought I could delve into the subject further. Plus, I am an expert on this subject being that I have lived in other states and visited MANY other proclaimed 'best' Wawa-esque stores. There is one rival I will concede the statement that they are equally good as Wawa and that is Sheetz. Sheetz is VERY good. And 7-11 lays claim to the Slurpee - the ultimate drink. Mmmm, Slurpee....

Thank you Erin. Ok, so I hope this provided those of you previously unfamiliar with Wawa goodness with some valuable information. For those of you already in the know, well feel free to add anything that you think should be shared. I'd like to note the free ATM's...where can you find that these days?! And that the coffee comes with any and every possible add-in. I like mine with just a little milk or half and half, but it's nice to know if I wanted Sugar in the Raw that it's there. If only I had one within 122 steps of my house...some of us are just luckier than others.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Being Far Away

Today I'm wondering why it is I moved so far away. I'm having a twinge of sadness as I realize that I've started this new life, one that I really love, so totally separate from my family. And my girls are only phone calls away, but we are no longer doing life together. At times I find myself wondering at friends who were born and raised here in Pennsylvania, who went to college locally, and now raise their families within an hour or so of where they grew up. "Don't they long for adventure? Something...ANYTHING different?!" I ask. But today I find myself envious of those very same people. Those have all of their brothers and sisters and childhood friends within an hour's drive. Who can return to the places that carry memories of life's milestones when they are having a nostalgic moment. I know that is not me. I would be going crazy by now if I hadn't left El Dorado Co. (and I'd likely be married with a kid or two, as that seems to be the trend...though not necessarily in that order). I know I'm where God wants me for now. But I wonder how permanent this change is. I miss my wide open spaces. And yet right now, I can't imagine leaving this place.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bum Bum! Bum Bum! This Is The Sound Of Settling....

I thought this "love story" from The Onion was hilarious, so I'm sharing it with you. To all those lonely singles out there, all you need to do is find some who is as desperate and fearful of being alone as you are. It's like a fairy tale!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This Week's Thoughts

I haven't been very good about keeping this blog up lately. As I look at my recent posts, there really hasn't been anything substantial for awhile. It's definitely not because there's been a lack of things to talk on my mind. Quite the contrary, I feel like my head has been so full of thoughts that I am not quite sure how to put them into any coherent kind of post. So every time I've pulled up my dashboard during the past week my attempt has failed within 5-10 minutes with me realizing that I'm exhausted and that I can't put anything together clearly enough that it would make any sense.
I'm still tired. I still probably can't make sense of things, but I'm determined not to close my dashboard until I've posted something and caught y'all up on a few things. So here we go.

Thought 1: Pride
How often do you find yourself tempted to fall into self-pity? It happens to me way more than I'd like to admit. And I mean, I have a really amazing life. If there were someone who you thought had a right to feel sorry for themselves, it wouldn't be me. And yet my pride over and over again produces in me this sense of entitlement that inevitably leads me to the thoughts and feelings that I "deserve" certain things. I've been doing this World Harvest study called Sonship with a group of girls from my church ( I should probably write women since we're all in our 20's and 30's but I still have a hard time thinking myself as a woman...women have kids and mortgages). It's quite possibly the most convicting study I've ever been a part of, but at the same time, the most hope instilling. Last night's study was on self-pity and pride. The combination of the study with Steve Huber's sermon on Genesis 28, plans and dreams and following the Lord Sunday morning left me extremely conscious, yet again, of how little I really trust God with my life. I constantly revert back to picking up the reigns over my own life, like I can somehow do a better job than God. As part of last weeks study, we had an assignment to identify a common surface (notable) sin that we fall into, then cite a couple recent examples of it. After recognizing the sin, we then looked into the motivation behind that action and how we were using the action to compensate in an area of our life where we weren't truly believing the Gospel. The sin I noted since it seems especially prevalent of late is my worrying about things in the future. I worry about things that are out of my control. I worry about silly things that really shouldn't even be a concern. And I recognize that at the root of that anxiousness is a fear that the future God has for me isn't going to be enough. That it isn't as good as the one I could plan for myself. I place my hope in my dreams above Christ and then find myself crushed, or anxious when life isn't working out the way I plan. How do I get over this pride of mine?! I feel like I could give myself the Sunday School answer- through prayer, being in the word, having accountable relationships....but I think the truth is, I'm always going to struggle with this. I'm daily going to have to recommit myself to believing God's promises. Any helpful thoughts on the topic are appreciated though!

Thought 2: The Disconnect of Worlds
After a meeting I attended with some folks from church on Monday and some thought provoking discussion, I've been thinking a lot about the disconnect of my many worlds. I live a compartmentalized life. Unless you're intentionally trying not to, I think it tends to just happen in modern day middle/upper class America. Once upon a time people worked in their hometowns, sent their kids to the same schools as their neighbors, shopped at local stores, and had cookouts and hangouts with those that lived around him. This isn't my life. I never see my neighbors. Only a couple of my "nursing school friends" and "church friends" have even met. Nobody in my life knows the families I'm babysitting for and I fill up my gas tank weekly to drive all of my many places. Money and transportation make it possible for the worlds we live, work, play, and study in to be almost completely separate from each other. And I think it also make us lonely, busy, and leads to that feeling of disconnectedness. With all these worlds we fit in, how easy does it become to lose track of one another? With all of these worlds to attend to, how easy does it become to lose track of ourselves? I struggle with knowing how to divide my time, how to pour into all my relationships, and how to live a life of simplicity when I have so many things going on in different places with different people. Thoughts of this have been on my mind all week. I want a life of connectedness. I want to have the energy to serve those around me. I want real community. So I'm gonna take some baby steps to try and bring my life together a little bit. Because of the fact that I have a lease, I'm not planning on dropping out of school, and I can't really bring my friends to work with me, there is not going to be a total convergence of things. But I would like to at least like to merge my friend groups a bit.

Thought 3: Finding my Calling
I began my peds clinicals at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this week. I love it. Just walking into that building makes me happy! I've been in a lot of hospitals in the last few months, and usually after a couple of days I find myself thinking, "yeah, I wouldn't really want to work here."...such is NOT the case with CHOP. The hospital is light, colorful, clean, and full of things to play with:) Not to mention full of tons of cute kids. It is a welcoming cheerful environment, clean without feeling sterile, professional, while still being fun. I'm doing my rotation on a general pediatrics floor where we see kids from 28 days to 18 years old. Taking care of a totally adorable 7 month old yesterday I found myself enjoying the tasks that felt mundane and laborious when performed on 87 year old men during my med surg rotation. I'm in my element with the kids! Now I'm just trying to figure out where in the hospital I belong. The flavor of the week that I'm leaning toward is the Emergency Department. I've been wary of the ED because of the fear of seeing kids who've suffered serious trauma, but I keep turning back to it, reconsidering the possibility. Excitement, variety, challenge, and the chance to show God's love to bunches of kids. I can't wait to be a nurse!

Thought 4: I love my people. However did I get blessed with so many amazing folks?

Thought 5: It's time for The Office and I am stoked.

So there's a few of the things on my mind these days. Maybe my next post will be a little more focused :)

My Accent

My friend Denise had this on her blog and being curious about how I'd turn out I thought I'd follow suit. Glad to see I'm accurately representing my home state :) Word is us westerners don't have an accent! I guess it's the "dude" and "stoked" that give me away as a California girl....or maybe the fact that I get so giddy about the snowflakes and consider 30 degree weather freakin cold.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz