Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New York New York

Before the new term started we took a day trip to NYC, because we're East Coasters now and it's no big deal. Just kidding, it is a big deal. We were the classic tourists- Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Central Park, FAO Schwarz. The craziness of the city made Baltimore feel like a quiet little country town.

My first trip to New York was in high school for choir. As a group of us were heading to Times Square, a homeless man stopped us and asked, "Going to Times Square? How can you square time? I mean, you can square the number 7, but how do you square time?" Another man told my flip-flop-wearing friend, "Damn girl, you's good lookin'. Nice toes!" This place is wild.



(Enjoying an amazing cupcake from Crumbs. Better than Sprinkles. Believe it.)




(Visiting Rupert Jee and the Hello Deli, of David Letterman fame.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christmas break #5: San Luis Obispo

We spent a quick day in SLO, thinking about how perfect it is, how lucky we were to live there, and how many dear friendships we made. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to, but we will be back soon. We have to, or my heart just won't make it. It was 75 degrees in January. C'mon.





(Last few moments before David's big haircut. Super cute pigtails.)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas break #4: Roommates

We spent the weekend drinking coffee and wine, eating homemade treats, hiking at a monastery, shopping, dancing, snuggling, and laughing. We even got to eat here with Nessie's dad. We were chatting so long after the meal that the manager suggested we move to the fireplace and gave us free wine. Quite the treat. We could, and do, chat nonstop for days when we're together. I love these girls.

(Is this Babysitters Club-worthy or what? Especially Erin's smile at the bottom of the pile.)

My favorite pictures of the weekend, all of us captured in very sassy moments:






And Gabe in his Snuggie:


Christmas break #3: Chico

Still going on Christmas break pics! I am technically on break until Monday, so this is allowed.

(Lovely Christmas dinner at my dad's house.)

(Thanks a lot, Leslie and Scott. They got David the Mischief Maker's Manual.)


(Hedo, named after Hedo Turkoglu, watched the festivities from the couch.)



(Jay-Mo thought 45 degrees was perfect swimming weather.)


Monday, January 18, 2010

Only love

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prayers for Haiti

(Tents act as makeshift shelters. Photo by the United Nations Development Program.)

The grandmother with a face covered in dust and a voice strained from crying. The girl with braids and a dress who lies covered in rubble. The stunned people running through the streets, looking for help but finding no one. The father who, in one moment, lost all 4 of his kids and his wife. The parents still searching and praying for their lost children.

It's been hard to stop thinking about Haiti. The heartache and suffering are so immense that it seems as though it can't be true. Each loss is a tragedy, and combined they form a situation that is incomprehensible. If any good can come of this, perhaps it is that people in America and other developed countries might recognize the need to strengthen places like Haiti before disaster strikes. Once the emergency teams are gone and the situation stabilizes, the need will still remain.

I am reminded of the lines from Hotel Rwanda, when some men film the genocide in hopes that those on the outside will be moved to act:

"How could they not intervene when they witness such atrocities?"
"I think if people see this footage they'll say, 'Oh my God, that's horrible,' and then go on eating their dinners."

Please, let us allow ourselves to be affected by Haiti and the DR Congo, Burma and Afghanistan. These are our people, our brothers and sisters, who are in pain. Their hearts beat like ours and their pain feels like ours. They need our attention and prayers, even after the camera crews are gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Acceptance

(My dad as a little boy. How cute is he?!
Dad- bet you're wondering how I got this. I'm sneaky.)

I am in my mid-twenties, a place that feels like the beginning of the transition from young and sparkling to adulthood and expectations of maturity. I am realizing that some of my assumptions about aging are not true. The me I envision in the future is much kinder and more thoughtful, finds time to write letters to family and friends, sits in a sunshiny garden and reads, hosts parties and never avoids visiting with friends, returns all emails and phone calls the day they are received, prays for everything she wants to and everything she says she will, eats chocolate cake and never feels fat. For years I have been idealizing my future self, and becoming disappointed by how little I really change. When will I become this perfect me I imagine?

While reading tonight, I came across this passage:
"Grace strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: 'You are accepted.... Do not seek for anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.'"
The Shaking of the Foundations, Paul Tillich

I have heard my dad say, while looking at old pictures, that he still feels like the boy he once was though his body has changed. For better or worse, I am me. I will very likely be me for the rest of my life. And God calls me- the me I am right now- worthy and loved.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas break #1

This Christmas David had the brilliant idea of wrapping presents in fake gift boxes. A toaster that plugs into your computer and makes up to 4 slices of toast in 30 minutes! A Visorganizor so you can carry up to 7 pounds on your hat! The iFeast portable mp3 player/feeding station for your dog or cat!

My brother, mom and dad tried to act excited about their gifts, but their faces didn't lie.







Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goodbye bangs!


Certainly, we have had a lot of fun together. I am sure I will miss you, and I know I will get tired of looking at my forehead. However, you just aren't practical for travel and humid climates. And because we will likely be somewhere humid for the summer and fall, I must begin to part with you now. You see, you take a long time to grow out and you don't always do it gracefully. So here is to side bangs, headbands and hair clips for the next few months!

Until we meet again, adieu.

From 75 to 15 degrees


After a few weeks of family, friends, food, Christmas, sunshine and chaos, we are back in Baltimore. It was great to hug those we love and visit our old favorite spots (more posts to come), and it was refreshing to forget about school for a while. Seriously, I finished finals and then immediately forgot about school. I was impressed with myself.

We are glad to be back, and we are glad that we are glad to be back. It is a good feeling to want to return to your home despite that home being new and very, very different.

And very, very cold.