Thursday, February 28, 2008

spartanburg here i come!

life has felt out of balance these past few weeks with traveling, challenges at work, losing papa overstreet, waiting for grad school news, homework galore, and the like. we have been chugging along through it, but because of all that has been happening, i failed to post exciting news: i am going to spartanburg, south carolina for spring break!

i was chosen to be the "adult leader" (haha) for a group of 11 students for the alternative spring break the university sponsors. we will be working on a habitat for humanity build over the course of the week, making our home on the floors of a local church. it is going to be a lot of tiring work, late nights, and emotional reactions but i am excited to be part of it! i rarely get to work with "traditional" students as most people in the apartments are older of have families, so it will be rewarding for me to build relationships with an entirely new demographic of students.

one of the bonuses about being a leader for the trip is that i don't have to use vacation time as i will still be working for the university during that week. i don't have heaps of annual leave hanging around so it will be nice to get out of dodge without using any. plus i don't have to pay for the trip either!i leave at the ridiculous hour of 2:45AM next saturday and return at the equally ridiculous hour of 2:00AM a week later. i have a strong feeling that upon my return i will spend many hours with my eyes closed under the covers! i will appreciate prayers in the following ways: that i can be competent to deal with whatever comes up, that our group meshes well and has little drama, that we have safe travel, and that are lives are forever changed by the experience!

Monday, February 18, 2008

good and bad all in one weekend

it will be hard to capture this past weekend in a blog post, as we had wonderful highs with longtime friends and received some painful news.

brandon's grandpa passed away over the weekend. papa, as he was known to most, was an incredible man who leaves behind a shining legacy. he will be sorely missed in our family. as the weekend progressed his situation got worse and we learned on sunday that he died during the night. there is much to process right now, but in many ways it will take a lifetime to work through the pain of losing him.

brandon thought of going down for the funeral, which will be a formal military service, honoring papa for his purple heart and service to the country, but flights were going to be over $1000. it is going to be hard not to be there, but we simply can't make that happen. we know papa will understand.

fortunately we were able to be among friends this weekend and introduced sara "mia" to cross-country skiing. she is so brave! i was blown away by how FEW times she fell even though she had not been on skis before.
i get really freaked out going down steep sections, so i have developed the dwarf practice of squatting down when i get afraid. brandon doesn't object, as i bomb down the hill at record speeds when in this pose. i introduced mia to it at one point, but i think her natural ski abilities negated the benefits. oh well, i guess i am the only one destined to ski so close to the ground!
here she is trying out my technique

this may be my most favorite picture of mia ever--it captures her joy
and willingness to try anything. i just can't get enough of this girl!

it was nice to be in seattle while the sun was out for a change--it is truly a beautiful city when the clouds part.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

numero siete

these are the remnants of our seventh valentine's day together. although we know we have many more to look forward to, we were both surprised when we sat back and counted. seven, really?
oh how quickly good love grows.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

rash decisions

it seems that between brandon and i, life generally throws the strange injuries and illness my way (shingles, concussions, broken ribs, etc.). every year i have some "big" medical deal and i am always embarrassed because, for pete's sake, what is wrong with me?
this time however, brandon is the unfortunate one. over the past couple weeks he has been overly tired and he developed this strange rash on his abdomen, which has recently spread down his biceps. i concluded it wasn't shingles because it crossed his mid-line and from my 3 shingles experiences i know that is an impossible feat. so, there's one virus ruled out!
i (being the worrywart my mother taught me to be) insisted that he go to the doctor. he is almost always opposed to such suggestions, claiming that they won't know what is wrong or that there won't be anything they can do. this time i made the appointment for him and the doctor's conclusion was that he has pityriasis rosea. basically, a rash they don't know much about and can't treat. so brandon was right: going to the doctor accomplished next to nothing.
upon the diagnosis his first question was whether or not he could be around babies, as we are going to visit our godson this weekend. fortunately, the little they do know about this rash is that it is not contagious by contact. to be safe, we'll make sure he has plenty of long-sleeved shirts so we can keep rowan safe.
another note: the doctor told him his "bedmate" (i.e. his wife) would be safe from contracting the rash. i believe that is the first time i have been referred to as a bedmate--and hopefully the last!

Friday, February 8, 2008

my anti-hillary campaign

i am an avid obama supporter, which most of you know. his desire to breakdown the partisan system, restore hope to the american people, and end the war are among some of the reasons i see him being the best candidate. (for more reasons check out his site.)
anyhow, despite my being a democrat, i would not vote as one were hillary to be the candidate. frankly, the idea of hillary in office scares me--for many reasons i don't want to delve into at this point.
i realized this week that were hillary to become our next president we would enter into 24 years of a bush-clinton regime, possilbly 28 years were she to then be reelected. i haven't been alive that long, but doesn't it seem that by the time someone reaches the ripe age of 24, there should have been more than three families in the white house?
if you haven't seen it yet, check out the video below. and by the way, yes we can restore america and be proud to call this country our own. yes we can.

Monday, February 4, 2008


woohoo, i'm an oregon resident!
some of you may have already thought that i was (as i originally did). however, last month i had my oregon residency audited by UO. they made me complete paperwork documenting that i was pursuing educational endeavors while outside the state, not just raking in the dough. fortunately i make almost no money and i take classes so i had a case.
it was a little strange to have that oregon identity questioned. i began to wonder, 'if i am not an oregon resident then what state am i a resident of?' a friend at work thought that if if i wasn't an oregon resident that that would mean i was an illegal alien.
happily, my case was settled and UO will view my application as a legal oregon resident. this will help tremendously with financial aid and the like. now hopefully they determine that i am a good enough resident to be admitted into their program!

Sunday, February 3, 2008