Monday, June 8, 2009

marshmallows and mayhem...couldn't get any better than this

Oh my. I could write PAGES about what I've been up to for the past couple weeks. But I'm not going to (right now). I will say- this weekend was amazing. We had our first two events for our youth at Great Lakes Church. It has been interesting, challenging, exciting, and super rewarding to be a part of the planning process to make it possible for our youth to start connecting with each other. I had all the familiar feelings of working in ministry (that I love and have been missing)- I definitely put some effort into the planning, and I was met with the equally familiar results of success and fulfillment when everything was over. We didn't do anything special or elaborate- but God was totally in it all. Man, I LOVE seeing kids laugh and smile- mostly when it's a result of raw egg goober or a broken water balloon being splatter on someone! I love when I know a kid has a reputation for being shy or difficult and they come to hang out and you know the event would have been seriously lacking without their presence. I LOVE working with students. It is nothing short of a passion. In the 2nd video, there's a blip at the end where Dave turns the camera on me. Now you know when you see yourself appear on the screen you think "ugh, am I gonna look and sound like a totally nerd." I'll say this- I love everything about those few seconds when the camera is on me. You know why- because I recognize the joy and passion in my eyes---it's good to be doing this again. And as much as I'm excited for myself to be involved in youth ministry again, I'm a million times more excited for the youth to start to experience what God has in store for them here!

(turn off the blog music by scrolling to the bottom of this page and pushing pause)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

may you live all your days in love

Today my beautiful, funny, friendly, sometimes slightly annoying, mostly wonderful, always generous and loving parents celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
I'd say that 30 years of stickin' it out through think and thin is quite the accomplishment.
They're getting back from Vegas this evening and we'll celebrate as a family (sans Stacie) at Texas Roadhouse.
I'm proud of them- and blessed to have them as parents.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


WOW! It's been a week for proposals! I'm so happy for my friends who have taken this next BIG STEP in their relationships. In both cases, the love I've seen shared is so genuine and tangible. Such an exciting time!

A fairytale romance that started in the land down under and continues to grow even in the frigid cold of Minnesota! It's been such and incredible joy to be a witness to the love shared between my dearest Love and her Seattle man. For two years I got to experience firsthand the smiles, elation, and sometimes just simple frustrations of their long distance relationship. Knowing that, someday, it'd all pay off. Now, one (big) step closer to saying "I DO," I couldn't be any more excited for my dear friends!

Down south they have these fast food joints called Krystal. Every single time JonBert would pass one during our summer of camp- he'd sigh and ever so gently say the name of his beloved. They've dated for 7 years (and she's only a sophomore in college)!! And if you're wondering if it's even a bit of a surprise that JonBert would propose in something so crazy as a mascot costume----the answer is NO!! :) SO CUTE!!! SO PRICELESS!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I LOVE celebrating Easter- it is, afterall, what I have chosen to live for. While everyone is hopped up on sugar I'm completely hopped up on the Holy Spirit. and Today is turning out to be a Good Friday indeed.
My aunt called early to see if Jeffrey could come over. She has to work and leaving all three kids with Grandma is asking for trouble. We've enjoyed a little Guitar Hero action and while we waited for Mario Kart to load- I got to explain what Good Friday and Easter Sunday are really all about. He's never heard any of it before. So awesome. He told me that when he's walking down the halls at school he feels Jesus walking with him---how cool is that!
We're going to run some errands now. I need to pay some bills, clean my car, and get these gnarly eyebrows under control! But the most important part of this day has turned into some quality time spent with an 8 year old who is trying to figure out this whole Jesus thing.
My parents are heading up north this afternoon to spend the weekend with my mom's family. I opted to stay in Kenosha. While I LOVE Eau Claire, I'm trying to make Kenosha 'home' again- and that means staying here for the weekend and spending Easter Sunday with my new community- which includes my aunt and cousins.

well--Jeffrey is on the verge of tears because he's mad at me for sitting at the computer....

here are some pictures from our day. We decided to 'go on vacation' right here in Kenosha. We ate a Trolly Dogs, spent some time down by the lighthouse, and got ice cream at a really cute place downtown. It was super fun- and something we'll definately do again. Even after 23 years, there is so much in this city that I've yet to experience. If I can't travel the country this summer- I'm going to travel this city- who knows what we'll find!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

for your listening pleasure

you're shocked? confused? a little ticked? thankful?

I decided to completely dump the old playlist and play ALL new stuff. I've just spent some quality time rummaging through pandora to find some new stuff---even some stuff I don't know all that well. If you're like me, and you open this page just to hear music everyday- than I'm going to assume that you are thankful for the change.
That last list was- hands down- quality music. I hope this one serves you just as well--if not- let me know.

God Sightings of the day:::
I bought a new pack of sharpies (seriously--it's like a drug for OMs--and not because we sniff them!)
I found out that, while I still owe the government money, it's not nearly as much as I had projected.hooray for the tax lady!?!

these are what we,um, call Satan sightings:::
I think (if you're not in college) April Fools day is just dumb and annoying.
someone at work keeps steeling my coffee creamer
the lady at UPS was a biotch and took the only ray of sunshine I had left

I'm off to bed- driving down to O'hare to send mom to Texas for the weekend. This means- if i don't want to- I don't have to do dishes for 4 WHOLE DAYS....that is going to be my God Sighting tomorrow--fo sho! (yes, em, I do dishes daily now!!)


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Spring officially started a couple weeks ago.
This is what it looks like in Wisconsin!!

Last weekend when it was probably 60 degrees out, my mom uncovered all the furniture on the deck....whoops.

This is, in all fairness, my favorite type of snow. I think it's pretty pretty---but still ridiculous and quite unwelcome!

Our neighborhood this morning. What a site!! There's dad in the driveway plowing. I think he secretly loves it. He practically plows for the whole neighborhood.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I just got home from the RecPlex. One of the oh-so-many perks of being a pre-k teacher are the invitations to themed birthday parties. Today it was princesses-- Tons and Tons of them- everywhere you looked!! I went a little late (simply because 3.5 hours of hanging out with the kids I see all week---unpaid---is outside the job description- and I had lots to get done today) But it was fun. We swam. And by swam, I mean I walked around the pool with at least 3 kids latched on. I can guarantee you that this little girl has no idea that 'times are tough.' She can probably play with one new toy each day for the next 2 months. It was INSANE. (and, honestly, kind of sad.)

I'd also like to note that I learned an important lesson today. My parents always tell me not to park in the street in front of our house. It's pretty busy, and people are always speeding to merge after the intersection. Well---I don't always listen and this morning when I went out to leave, I discovered that someone clipped the side of my car and busted off a good chunk of my driver-side mirror. I'm kinda WAY TICKED about it---at the person who did it and at myself! SHOOT.

Oh, and here's a funny thing- I was at the grocery store yesterday during my break at work. I got the intuitive feeling that I was being watched. (I should mention that I was at a very shady store downtown) Anyway- sure enough- I'm picking out some granola bars and Loraunt -as I would later learn his name- came up and told me he liked my toe polish ( i KNEW I should have worn tennis shoes!) He continued to make small talk while I politely laughed at almost everything he said. He told me he was just bein real and hoped he'd be seeing me again.....I can promise you he will not! Oh- and when I got out to my car, the alarm was going off---clearly someone was trying to get into it. Gotta love Kenosha!

There are many more hodge-podgish things I could write about- like my wonderful weekend in Eau Claire a few weeks ago. (I got 'scolded' for not writing about it!) I could also tell you that I've started working with some of the leaders at Great Lakes Church to launch our youth group. I'm pretty excited about it. I've been making contact calls the last couple days and just feeling out the situation. We won't officially launch until June- but there's definitely tons to be done before then. This is literally a dream come true for me. In high school, my friend Kevin and I always tried to start a youth group at our Catholic church- usually when we'd get back from Workcamp. I'm so excited to be a part of something that I so desperately wanted when I was in high school.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Sadly, another wonderful weekend has come and gone. This one happened to be particularly special- with special guests and celebrations. The anniversary party was fantastic. Mary Helen has always known how to throw an outstanding party, and you have no idea how super cute it is to clink classes for a couple married 70 years!
The Herbert girls also sharpened our shopping skills this weekend. You'd hardly no that 'times are tough' when the weather is nice and you live by an outdoor mall. I had to wait in line to get into the Coach store! My mom thinks people are buying purses instead of putting food on the table---she may be right.
Today I went to church with my sister and our cousins - always a good time. After, we cooked out at Sara and Jeremy's house. I then had a rather long 'membership class' at church. We officially launched just 6 weeks ago, and today there were 126 people that committed to being contributing members (and not just in the financial capacity). I'm excited to be a part of the community- and even more excited to start leading some jr/sr high ministry groups. I've found that I miss that the most.
And finally- the weekend ended with a short- but great- visit with Phil and Kyrie. He brought her here so I could drive her to n. Milwaukee so she could get a ride back to school. A little guitar hero, some Luigi's, and a couple good laughs will have to last until we see each other again (hopefully in just a couple short weeks).
So that's it. Here are some pictures from the weekend. Let's be honest--they're always the best part! I even fancied them up a bit- ENJOY. Have a great week! <3

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy 70th Anniversary Mary and Emil!

Today, my ‘adopted grandparents’ are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary! We’ve been blessed to be their adopted family for 30 years now. Next door neighbors since the day my parents married and moved into our home, we’ve shared so many memories- and I’m so excited that this is one of them! It certainly doesn’t happen often. Think about it- most of us don’t even have a shot at having a 70th anniversary. (By the way- the traditional gift is platinum. And for an 80th anniversary it’s oak. I can only think of one really practical use for oak around the age of 100---and I think that’s cruel!) Anyway- on with the this----

Emil said at Christmas about the approaching celebration, “I didn’t think I’d live to be 70 years old- let alone married this long!!”

The story of how they met is a fairytale- maybe because it was 1938- maybe because for fun they went dancing on Saturday nights and a date cost 5 cents- because the places they lived and worked are only in pictures of the past.

He was a buff football player. She was the cafeteria worker. She cut her leg on some glass. He carried her upstairs to dress the wound. BAM! I don’t know if that’s exactly how they’ve told the story- but I like it like that. My favorite part is that they eloped in Waukegan after only a short courtship. Both living at home with their parents, they got the required physical, drove down, got hitched, stopped for a beer, and then went back to live separately with their parents. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when Emil’s mom was doing his laundry that the secret was discovered. She cleaned out his pockets and found a physical slip with Mary’s name on it. She said, “This Mary Helen- are you married to her?” How cool is that!

It could be the one martini a day (err straight glass of gin) that keeps them going. But, I’d put my money on the bond they have and the love they share. It’s been pretty incredible to witness.

So today, March 19, 2009 we raise our martinis high and toast to 70 years of marriage!
CHEERS-- Mary and Emily Pietrangeli---CHEERS!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Word of God speak

I wish I had a freakin clue about what to do with my life!!

That's all I have/want to say right now. :)