Thursday, June 25, 2009

New York

Well, the time has finally come.

I am off to New York, New York! Woohoo!!

I'll be back next Wednesday.

Time to par-tay in the Big Apple.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

beach volleyball

Every Monday evening in the summer, the college group gets together for some beach volleyball. Last night was the first one and it was a blast! We played for a couple hours, then ate dinner and went on rides at the Boardwalk (on Monday and Tuesday nights, rides are only 75 cents. Woohoo!)

BTW, it has been sunny and beautiful the past few days. I LOVE SUMMER!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Boyz in da Hood

Changes are a-coming, my friends.

We will soon be getting BOY housemates.

Oh yes.

Starting next month, the Gordon House will be co-ed.

This is very strange for me. Actually for all of us. We've lived here for 7 years and it's always been girls. And before that I had female roomates in college AND grew up with all sisters. And with BOYS!?!?

Here's the sitch. The house belongs to the family of one of our previous roomates, Jen. Her grandparents built the house in the 40's. Both died back in 2002 and the house was left to Jen's dad and aunt. Jen's dad and aunt were both living in different towns, didn't want to move, and didn't want to sell the house, so they offered it to Jen and some friends to rent. Boy, we jumped on that. Sweet!

Jen's brother Scott moved into the area a few years ago. We always knew he could move in whenever he wanted to (because it's his family's house). But up till now, he has lived in an apartment with guy friends. However, he wants to go back to school and get his Masters degree, so he needed a place with cheap rent. Guess who has cheap rent?

We have two roomies moving out this summer. Joanna is moving into a house with a friend about 10 minutes away and Annie is getting married. That leaves two open rooms. Scott and his friend Nate were thinking of spliting a room, because Nate is in a band and won't be there often (because of touring). Yes, we will have a rockstar living with us. Have you heard of the band "Sherwood"? (Like Sherwood Forest in Robin Hood?) Well Nate is the lead singer of Sherwood.

THEN, Scott's current roomate Travis was looking for a place to live. So Scott asked if he could move in, too (if we had an extra room). We did, so he is. Travis is also a singer/songwriter/musician. You can check out his music here. Travis will be the first one moving in next month. Scott and Nate will move in January.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Megan

Dear Megan Fox,

I'm sure you're a nice girl and all, so please don't take this the wrong way. But I don't GET IT. You've been in ONE movie. One. And no offense but it wasn't the greatest acting I've ever seen. It was actually some of the worst. So what's the fuss? Is it your looks? I guess that's part of it. Your last name? Fox is a cool last name, I suppose. But I would say it's definitely NOT your acting skills or that (annoying) Marilyn Monroe tattoo on your arm. Why must I see you all over the internet like you've made 5 million movies? And I finally caved and started receiving Entertainment Weekly magazine again, and guess who was on the cover of my first issue. Booooo....

Oh well. That's all I wanted to share.

When does Transformers 2 come out?

Sincerely, Sarah M

Monday, June 15, 2009

spelling bees, parties, and sweet potatoes

It was a fun weekend.

Friday night I went to see a musical with my sister, Liz. It was called "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". I had heard of it before, but didn't really know anything about it. It was so great! There are 6 contestants (adults acting as adolescents), 2 judges, and a moderator. And the thing that made it even more fun was they brought up 4 people from the audience to play other contestants! If you were chosen, the actors on stage showed you what to do and say. Liz and I tried to sign up to be possible candidates but we arrived too late. Oh well, next time.

Saturday was two par-tays. The first was a BBQ for little Eli who turned 1. He is the son of two very good friends, Amy and Josh. My favorite part of baby/little kids' birthdays parties is watching them when they get their cake. Are they gonna eat it? Smash it on their face? Make a mess? Eli did all three. He didn't seem too stoked on the taste so he mostly mashed it up and flipped his plate repeatedly. Love it.

That evening was my friend Jenn's bachleorette party! Woohoo! She is getting married up in Oregon this summer so she wanted to have her bachleorette with her friends in town. It was at this amazing Italian restaurant where there was wine, candles, and live Italian singing throughout the night. Jenn's maid of honor had bought a T-shirt that said "Advice for the Bachleorette" and we all got to write words of advice on it with a Sharpie. Then our friend Jody (big props to you) started going around asking strangers in the restaurant to sign it, too. Jenn got marriage advice from tons of people, and some written in different languages! It was awesome.

Sunday was the day we celebrated my Dad's birthday and Father's Day (a little early). It was wonderful to spend time with the fam, and of course little Judah. I think he gets cuter every time I see him. The big news with him lately is that his bottom two teeth have come in. So now he can eat "solid food"! (solid food = mush) Amy was feeding him sweet potatoes for the first time and he was making the BEST faces, I HAD to grab my camera and take a video. I seriously could not stop laughing.

Fun, full weekend. Today at work I went to Costco with two students to buy all the food for our summer kick-off BBQ. Summer program starts in 2 days! Let's do this!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

another bittersweet goodbye

Back in January I had to say goodbye to a close co-worker, Christian. He worked in the high school ministry for a few years and then left to be a Jr. High pastor in Fresno. And now I have to say another goodbye to a close co-worker. Clint, our High School director (who has worked at our church for 7 years), is resigning to go back to school full time and become a counselor.

Again, I am so happy when my co-worker buds find fun and new opportunities for growth. But selfishly I want them to stay. I have had so much fun in the office with Clint throughout the years, it just won't be the same without him.

Favorite memories of Clint:

* singing Disney songs ("Be prepared!" -Scar from The Lion King and "A hundred bad guys with swords!" -from Aladdin)

* the many times he pretended to fire his high school staff: "That's it, Judy. Pack your bags." or "Christian, clean your desk."

* 3 amazing mission trips to Mexico with the high school and college group. Driving through Rosarito to all the different work sites. "I own the toll booth! I own the road! I own the taco stand! I own the police! I am Mexico! YO SOY MEXICO!!!" - Clint

* getting the students in bed at night: "Consider the option of BED. You and your sleeping bag should be ONE right now..."

* long talks in the office after everyone else went home. Ministry, students, church, Christianity, life, God.

* Listening to him rant about how one day he will write a book for youth pastors titled What's Wrong With My Youth Group? "And when they turn to chapter 1, it will just be a mirror. That's it. They can write notes in the rest of the chapters..."

* all our high school vs. college games during the year: softball, soccer, and flag football. Clint pretending he was going to make all the students take steroid tests before each game.

* playing songs off his iPod to add to the 90's playlist compilation - an afternoon of amazing music and nostalgia

* Youth Specialties training day. The leaders wanted all the youth workers to do an interactive get-to-know-you game. All other tables got up to play except our table. Clint: "Are WE the tools? Or is everyone else?"

* loud belly laughter and then saying, "Oh crap" through the laughs

* while reading The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell (speaking of TOOLS - I could not stand this author), Clint would make comments like, "I hated this section. I wanted to pee on it..." or pretending to be Maxwell: "I'm so freaking cool! I should marry myself!"

This and many more. Man, those were good times. Clint, thank you for spending seven years of your life loving crazy high school students. I know God will continue to use you in the lives of the people (kids, adults, families, marriages) you counsel. I will miss you!

Monday, June 08, 2009

i'm tired

The past two weeks have been busy.


This was supposed to be my "break" from work. As in, I'm still working but don't have college program to plan for, so I can chill, catch up on some sleep, re-coop from a crazy semester/school year.

But I always forget this time of year. Lots going on. Which don't get me wrong, I LOVE. It's extremely nice to finally have time for my roomates and friends. I miss them when life gets busy. But I feel like there's been too much going on; like it's all happening at once.

Graduations, graduation parties, so many birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, goodbye lunches or parties for friends or co-workers leaving town, a bachleorette par-tay, an open house for friends who just bought their first home, etc. All within two weeks. And I just looked at my calendar - my next two weeks look like that, too.

I'm tired.

I conked out today for a 2 hour nap. I was dead to the world. Again, I hope I don't come across as complaining because I am so grateful to have these reasons to celebrate life with wonderful people. But is there a way to spread things out? It makes me thankful work stuff is slow. I don't think I would have been able to do this all (or at least with any energy) if work was like normal.

P.S. - New York: 17 days and counting...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fun Friday

Guess who I get to spend my day with?

Woohoo! I'm so lucky!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

what I'm learning about myself (part I)

My boss approached me a month or so ago.

"Sarah, I want to coach you."

"Huh?" I asked.

"I'm going to take a year and 'coach' you," he replied.


Basically my boss wants to help me grow as a leader. He has been working with a guy who has been coaching him and he wants to take this opportunity to coach me. He says it's helped him a lot. Hey, I'm down! I am always seeking ways to grow in my leadership skills. Many times I feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

Last week was our first coaching session. It was a preliminary meeting to discuss what the year will look like. I was given a book to work through. And then my homework was to 1) take a test about my leadership styles/personality and 2) set aside a day this week for a "retreat day" to start the whole process.

This post is kind of long and is actually more for me to work through what I'm learning. But if you feel like reading, go for it.

Here is what Sarah is learning about herself (thanks to the test results and book I have started working through):

* I am overly sensitive to criticism of my work. Why? Because I'm a perfectionist and am already so hard on myself. I have super high expectations for myself and my job performance. So when other people try to give constructive feedback, I get defensive. I need to chill!

* I prefer things to be orderly and approach work in a systematic manner.

* When I see something that is wrong, I want to fix it.

* I display enthusiasm for almost any project.

* I am capable of making daily decisions routinely but usually become cautious about the bigger decisions (SO true!)

* Ok, this one hit me - The test results said I am basically introverted but have great people skills (and some extroverted tendencies). Whaaaat? I have always considered myself a total extrovert. But then I stopped and thought about it. The past four years at my job, I HAVE found an introverted side of me that I never knew was there. I still love people but I'm finding that after being around people, I need to be by myself for awhile and re-charge. Instead of being 100% extroverted, I feel more like I'm 50%/50%. I think my job has caused this. It's so emotionally and spiritually draining that after work, I feel like I have nothing left to give. I don't have energy to be around people and have conversations. I need to be alone to rest my heart and spirit. I'm trying to decide if I'm ok with this change in my personality. I think I am.

* I avoid face-to-face conflict. SO true. I dislike confrontation. And not just between myself and others; I don't like seeing conflict between anyone (I don't even have to be involved). Charlie (my boss) was trying to help me figure out why this is true, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Is it because I'm the middle child and I felt like I always had to be the peace-maker in my family? I felt like my theme growing up was "Why can't we all just get along?" Why can't I realize that conflict can be handled in a respectful, loving way and it's not always bad? What is my deal?

* I respond to challenges in a cooperative manner and want the "team" to win.

* I enjoy analyzing the motives of others.

* I want to establish good will with others and to influence them in a friendly and sociable manner.

* I enjoy providing a warm and friendly place for the college group.

* I need a support system; I don't want to feel like I'm alone in ministry.

* I prefer not to verbalize my feelings unless I'm in a cooperative and noncompetitive environment.

* In the book, I realized I want to grow in my faith for selfish reasons, not because I want to grow closer to God. (Ooooo, good conviction for me)

Good good good stuff. It's bringing many things to light. This is part I. I'll post more as the coaching continues...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy B-day Ese!

It was one of my roomate's birthday (her name is Jessica but I call her Ese) and to celebrate, she wanted to go on a night hike. So when we all got home from work, we piled into Jen's (another roomate) car and drove to the entrance of a trail Ese likes.

It was a beautiful hike! The sun was setting and there were wild flowers everywhere! I am so glad I brought my camera. And we didn't run into another soul the whole time. It was like we owned the forest.

We hiked up to the "Observation Deck" which has a gorgeous view of the surrounding area in all 4 directions. We had secretly brought some chocolate goodies and candles so we could sing happy birthday to Ese. We ate, drank, talked, and laughed till the sun started going down and then we started heading back. As it got darker, we whipped out the headlamps. It was pitch black by the time we reached our car.

What a great way to spend an evening. Happy birthday Ese! We love you!