12.12.2008

and my dear I'm still goodbye-ing.

I am absolutely drained.
and completely behind on my blogging.
it really bugs me writing out of order. but whatever.

today was the last day of the first term at Ecola. I can't believe its already almost half over.
goodbyes were abundant today. I felt like the only one crying.
saying goodbye to so many dear dear friends - some I may never see again. [some cant afford to come back, others finished up from the previous year.]
I'm already a sentimental sap, so goodbyes are hard enough on me.
but on top of that, I have never wanted to go home so badly.
I bawled like a baby for about an hour. Each embrace brought new tears to the surface.
"Wait, are you not coming back next term?"
"No, no, I am!! I'm just going to miss everyone so much!"
The difference is this: I'm going to go through a huge withdrawal of friends.
From one extreme to the next.
Thats my life for you....
The people here at Ecola are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. To go from that, saying goodbye to people who are excited to return home to old friends, going to three weeks without them, and without your own old friends, is just a bit too much for me right now.
"Keep in touch! Call me, or text me."
"I don't have reception at my house..."
"Then facebook!"
"They don't have internet set up yet..."
oh snap. this is going to be good.

My flight isn't until tomorrow morning. And then I'm off to Texas.

I'm at the Fourtners house right now :) sweet Terry opened her home to me, kind of unexpectedly. We had previously talked about the short sleep over, but we told her the wrong dates, and she thought it was next weekend. So, I called her today as we drove into Portland. "I'm here!! Where can we meet?" As you can imagine, this was a fun surprise for both of us. I'm really ready for a trip to go right.

but a fun thing about that was I got to spend extra time with Kyle, Meagan, and Christina...staff members this year. We dropped everyone off at the airport, and thankfully I was done crying by that point. Then we went to IKEA to buy some frames for Christina's prints. We spent about an hour in there...a major portion in the photography area :) I was in heaven. very inspired. I cant wait for my own house, to put up my own prints. how exciting. But it was cool getting to hang out with the staff members. students spend alot of time together. staff does a great time mingling and interacting with the students...dont get me wrong. its just nice having that extra time with them. I told them how much I wanted to come back next year.
"Its so weird. I want to come back, but there's nothing I can do. It's all up to God. Normally, I would be trying to 'up my resume' but thats pointless in this case. 'I know I'm supposed to come back. Now I just have to convince God that's what's supposed to happen.' Doesn't really work that way, does it?"
"No. But bribing does. We respond well to chocolate."
baha. I love them so much.

[going backwards.]
Last night was the winter banquet!
fabulous food.
twinkle lights.
pictures galore.
fancy ladies.
dashing gentlemen.
abundant compliments.
making christmas trees out of paper, behind your back.
the christmas song war.
secret santas revealed.
communion.
a night to remember.

12.06.2008

pairing words.

sleepy saturday.
crisp air.
christmas cheer.
secret santas.
decorating journals.
dark teas.
booking tickets.
coach house.
puff vests.
no makeup.
long talks.
sleeping in.
cartoon morning.
unexpected calls.
potential sunset.
remedy drive.
dance routines.
simple escapes.
leaves falling.
checkered floors.
people watching.
photo editing.
book reading.
chap stick.
candy canes.
beautiful bo's.
inside jokes.
table drawings.
chocolate chips.
assorted plasticwear.
holiday flavors.
alone time.
complete contentment.

11.28.2008

turkey day!!

So finally. Turkey day.
Happy birthday Moxie!!
I woke up a little bit late, so Mom, Dad and Moxie left before I had finished getting ready. I thought I would be last to get ready, but Auntie went on a mad cleaning spree right as I walked down the stairs to leave. She was still in her pj's, and we still had to load up the car. I let her do her cleaning thing; whatever will help you feel not so flustered, Auntie. I sat down for a few minutes, and texted a "happy thanksgiving, i love you" message to probably 200 people. It made me giggle, listening to the SMStext alert over and over again. Not sure why, but it was funny to me to hear it. Poor thing was on overload!! We loaded up the car, and the puppies came along for the ride. As much as I love those dogs, I still hate riding with animals in the car. I think its gross. Plus, one of them kept rolling down my window from the drivers side. I tried to find it humorous, but after about the 3rd time, my hair wasn't laughing and neither was I.
Pictures, pictures galore, between me, Moxie and Auntie. [Truly, it runs in the family. You should see the boxes full of pictures from my grandparents...] Moxie brought her large format camera from school, and had me as her "assistant," teehee! It was really neat being able to work with a new piece of equipment and learn a little bit about it...just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure. It was raining outside, and was really chilly. Poor Moxie had to drag us outside for her pictures, but they turned out amazing, of course.
My cousin Aubree and her boyfriend Tyson showed up later :) Last time we saw each other was on vacation about 5 years ago. It only took a few minutes for the jitters to leave, and to be warmed up to each other :)

well golly. i've blogged so much today. but still SO much more! and the best part, too!! but i gotta scoot. my ride is about to get here. I'm finally in portland, and about to head to Hood River for the next few days. So...more to come!

preparing.

Almost to the summary of turkey day!
I decided to break up the last blog, since it was so huge.

Wednesday morning, Mom, Dad and I headed over to Grandmas with three vehicles: their van, my cousins Mercades, and a U-Haul truck. [which means I got to drive! oh how I have missed driving.] And so it happened, that it was raining. This is St. George, Utah, where it only rains 7 to 10 inches each year. OF COURSE it was raining!! I couldn't help but laugh. That would happen, now wouldn't it? But, the show must go on!! Mom and I wrestled with getting Grandma packed up. Didn't take much, because that was part of her daily routine! [ha ha.] Another bittersweet reunion. Its been probably two years since I saw Grandma, but she thinks its been longer because of her dementia. It was like dealing with a child, really. She couldn't remember anything, so we kept having to tell her the same things over and over again.

"What are we doing?"
"We're packing up your things, because you're moving to Uncles, remember?"
"Oh, right!"
Everything in the room was hers, but she kept telling me to leave things behind. "No, that was here when I got here. That stays; its not mine."
So on and so forth.

Thankfully, we were able to get her out of the room at lunch time, and Dad was able to join her. Mom and I hauled cart loads of things, up and down the elevator into the vehicles. Auntie was off elsewhere, running errands. I was really being a pain. I didn't want to be there, and I was sick of moving. But I had to stop complaining after my Mom made a comment to my Dad as a joke. "This is our own personal hell. Moving, once a week!" And its true. The last month or so they've moved once a week, whether it be their own house, or someone elses. Ridiculous. At one point, we were standing at the elevator, waiting to take another load up. Auntie got off, pushing and empty wheelchair, saying, "This is a really bad idea. We shouldn't be doing this right now..." I nearly lost it for Mom and Dad's sake. I was frustrated enough, but I haven't been in the glue of this family like they have. We had already pretty much cleared out the room, and she was saying that it was a bad time? She thought it was going to take forever because it was lunchtime...lots of elevator traffic. When she said that, she didn't realize how much we had already done. But I was still mad...would you rather us wait another two hours? Or even do it tomorrow, on Thanksgiving day? Hmmm....so many OPTIONS!!!


["moving again..? seriously??]

Whew....anyways. Mom pointed out to me a darling old couple. "They used to be big swing dancers, and every Tuesday, they still dance here. Eventually, they had to tell him, 'Now, you can't be throwing her over your head anymore!'" I wish I could have seen them. She was so tiny, and they were both so happy.

But for the most part, it was so hard for me to watch everyone else in the home. Getting old and fragile is unavoidable, but its so painful. "I don't to watch you get old, Momma..." I choked up and tears began to well up in my eyes. "Hey...Dad and I are sticking to our plan...mustang off of a cliff!!" She always knows how to make me smile.
All three vehicles loaded up. Grandma was going to be in the Mercedes with me, and I prepared myself for an...interesting ride. I followed mom to a sandwich shop, and the two of us went inside. It was colder than I was expecting, for Utah. Grandma thought so, too, so she just waited for us. We were famished, so she didn't have to wait long for us to snarf down our food. I continued to follow Mom to Uncles house, with Grandma asking the same questions.

"Is this your car?"
"No, Grandma, its Ashlee's..."
"Oh..."
"She's in New York right now."
"Oh, that's right. They just might keep her there, you know."
"They just might..."
Sometimes the conversation would be different, like she would remember Ashlee was in New York instead of me having to remind her. But the hardest part was having to remind her that she was moving.
"So where are we going?"
"To Uncles house, remember?"
"What? There must be some misunderstanding. They never asked me if I wanted to move..."
"Yes they did, Grandma. In fact, you asked to move there."
"Hm..." A few moments would pass, and more than likely would say, "It sure takes a long time to get there. Is that our van in front of us?" [She would be talking about Mom's van.]
"Yeah, it sure is. I'm following her because I don't know the way to Uncles house."
"Oh sure you do. You're a good driver. Very smooth. I'm sure you wouldn't get lost. Do you like driving these streets?"
"I do, but this is the first time I have...I don't live here, Grandma. Ashlee does, but I go to school in Oregon."
"Oooh really? What are you going to school for? What's your major?"

I did my best to explain Ecola Bible School to her, knowing she wouldn't remember it for loing. This was pretty much the extent of our conversation for two hours, but recycled. I thought about mixing it up and making up stories, but knowing my luck, she would remember the incorrect versions. But she was right about one thing...it was taking us a long time to get there. Mom missed an exit, so she had to turn around. I didn't mind. Any excuse to drive more.


[around uncles house.]

We finally got to Uncles again. Needless to say, I was ready for some new conversation and was happy to see the rest of the family. The guys were unloading the big stuff from the U-Haul truck, and I was banished from the garage because of my wet hair.
"I don't want you getting sick!"
"Okay, okay, Mom. So what can I do?"
"Peel apples!"
Once she was done in the garage, she got to baking immediately. The house was filled with "scrumtrulescence..." I wish the thanksgiving aroma could be captured in something besides a memory. She made a fabulous roast that night, and two teasing pies that couldn't be touched until the next day. Grandma had already gone to bed when Auntie showed up with Moxie, who was feeling and sounding better. She could hardly whisper, but it was good to have her around again.



[happy apples!]

The dinner meal before day of thanksgiving was put to good use; consider it stretching, the warm-ups for eating. We stuffed ourselves, almost to pain, and pushed that pain to the limits with reminiscing. Dad and Uncle were howling as they quoted things their dad used to say. I won't even bother quoting them, because I'll either butcher them or they won't make sense in the humor department to people outside of the family. But it was lovely to see Dad and Uncle talking again. We've been through so much, this little family of ours. Those are tales of their own... Even now, it brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for the turn of events to bring everyone together again. No one could have predicted it. It truly is a blessing.

11.26.2008

hectic.

my flight went smooth and quick to Vegas...and I didn't have to wait long for Mom and Auntie to pick me up. We were waiting for sister, and I had been texting her all day. She told me that she had no voice, but when she walked up, the poor thing was crying her voice hurt so much. We got her bags, and went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I had heard many good things about it, but had never actually eaten there. The three of us giggled a lot, but it wasn't as loud as normal since poor Moxie couldn't talk or laugh. Sitting there, watching the servers and bartenders made me miss working. It feels nice to be able to say that I miss my job. Not alot of people can say that :)

It was a two hour drive to get to St. George, and we were all welcomed by 4 little dogs. Normally, I'm not a fan of the oversized rats, but they are just too sweet. Mom and Dad are going to keep one, actually. Its been a long time since we've had a dog, and Mom wants one for the grandkids to play with in Texas. Such a good Nana... After catching up a bit and planning out the next day, we were thankful to be able to climb into bed. I woke the next morning to see Moxie was gone. Dad had taken her to the doctors office to see if she had strep and to get a prescription. She didn't have strep, and the doctors tried to draw blood to test for mono...but as always, Moxie's veins wouldn't cooperate. While Moxie and Dad were out and about, Mom and I went to the store to shop for thanksgiving dinner. I began to prep myself for seeing my Uncle since he was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

So Mom and I got done shopping, and made our way over to Uncles house. I was a nervous wreck. The last time I saw him was 6 years ago, but I was at my cousins graduation, so it was nothing but a quick hello/goodbye. I honestly cant remember the last time we had some time together, and that saddens me... Mom has seen my Uncle quite a bit, between her travels this summer, with helping Grandma, and Auntie. So she knew his condition. I could only imagine it. I had talked to him on the phone about a month ago, and hearing his slurred speech was hard enough.
"It's going to make you want to cry when you see him," she told me. "But don't. He doesn't like to see it make people sad. Just be happy to see him."
It was about a half hour drive to his house. He lives out in the boonies, but its so beautiful. He used to run a 4-wheel tour, so he lives around amazing red cliffs and sand dunes. Once we got there, we unloaded the groceries. Dad was inside, sitting at the counter on the phone...as always. [Some things never change :] Uncle wasn't around, so I went back to the car for another load. When I came back in, I saw Mom hugging him in the reflection of a mirror. "Don't lose it, Laurel." I rounded the corner to finally say hello, and was greeted with a more tender Uncle than I remembered. His face lit up as soon as he saw me, and began to walk towards me. Each step was a struggle for him, and he was hunched over like an old man. I looked at his face...such a contradiction to his body language. He's so happy, so full of love. Definitely changed...

For the next few hours, we caught up on so many missed years, interrupted occasionally by Mr. and Mrs. Cat...the sweetest kitties in the world. [my whole family isnt a cat family, but we wanted to steal them...even mom. thats saying something...] Mom baked up some pizza, and the chatting continued between everyone. After dinner, Auntie, Mom and I went into a room we had set aside for my Grandma.

[okay...a catch up on the Grandma situation. Grandma and Grandpa used to live in Alaska during the summers, and Palm Springs, California the rest of the year. They were both in their late 80's, and needed an in-home assistant. Grandma was beginning to get dementia, and Grandpa had...well alot of things. Congestive heart failure, diabetes... He passed away a few months ago, and Mom and Dad tried to let her stay home with her caregivers, but the sassy old thing kept kicking them out!! So, Mom flew back down to California, and began, yet again, another moving process. Grandma wanted to be near family, and she had none in California, but Uncle and Auntie were in Utah. So, to Utah they took her. Mom found a great nursing home for her, but poor Grandma was so confused. Since she wasn't used to all the stuff in her room, she thought it was a hotel. Each day she would pack up, and go to the front counter. "I'm ready to check out...here's my key!" My poor Auntie was ready to pull her hair out, between the unpacking and all the phone calls from Grandma...


my flight went smooth and quick to Vegas...and I didn't have to wait long for Mom and Auntie to pick me up. We were waiting for sister, and I had been texting her all day. She told me that she had no voice, but when she walked up, the poor thing was crying her voice hurt so much. We got her bags, and went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I had heard many good things about it, but had never actually eaten there. The three of us giggled a lot, but it wasn't as loud as normal since poor Moxie couldn't talk or laugh. Sitting there, watching the servers and bartenders made me miss working. It feels nice to be able to say that I miss my job. Not alot of people can say that :)

It was a two hour drive to get to St. George, and we were all welcomed by 4 little dogs. Normally, I'm not a fan of the oversized rats, but they are just too sweet. Mom and Dad are going to keep one, actually. Its been a long time since we've had a dog, and Mom wants one for the grandkids to play with in Texas. Such a good Nana... After catching up a bit and planning out the next day, we were thankful to be able to climb into bed. I woke the next morning to see Moxie was gone. Dad had taken her to the doctors office to see if she had strep and to get a prescription. She didn't have strep, and the doctors tried to draw blood to test for mono...but as always, Moxie's veins wouldn't cooperate. While Moxie and Dad were out and about, Mom and I went to the store to shop for thanksgiving dinner. I began to prep myself for seeing my Uncle since he was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

So Mom and I got done shopping, and made our way over to Uncles house. I was a nervous wreck. The last time I saw him was 6 years ago, but I was at my cousins graduation, so it was nothing but a quick hello/goodbye. I honestly cant remember the last time we had some time together, and that saddens me... Mom has seen my Uncle quite a bit, between her travels this summer, with helping Grandma, and Auntie. So she knew his condition. I could only imagine it. I had talked to him on the phone about a month ago, and hearing his slurred speech was hard enough.
"It's going to make you want to cry when you see him," she told me. "But don't. He doesn't like to see it make people sad. Just be happy to see him."
It was about a half hour drive to his house. He lives out in the boonies, but its so beautiful. He used to run a 4-wheel tour, so he lives around amazing red cliffs and sand dunes. Once we got there, we unloaded the groceries. Dad was inside, sitting at the counter on the phone...as always. [Some things never change :] Uncle wasn't around, so I went back to the car for another load. When I came back in, I saw Mom hugging him in the reflection of a mirror. "Don't lose it, Laurel." I rounded the corner to finally say hello, and was greeted with a more tender Uncle than I remembered. His face lit up as soon as he saw me, and began to walk towards me. Each step was a struggle for him, and he was hunched over like an old man. I looked at his face...such a contradiction to his body language. He's so happy, so full of love. Definitely changed...

For the next few hours, we caught up on so many missed years, interrupted occasionally by Mr. and Mrs. Cat...the sweetest kitties in the world. [my whole family isnt a cat family, but we wanted to steal them...even mom. thats saying something...] Mom baked up some pizza, and the chatting continued between everyone. After dinner, Auntie, Mom and I went into a room we had set aside for my Grandma.

[okay...a catch up on the Grandma situation. Grandma and Grandpa used to live in Alaska during the summers, and Palm Springs, California the rest of the year. They were both in their late 80's, and needed an in-home assistant. Grandma was beginning to get dementia, and Grandpa had...well alot of things. Congestive heart failure, diabetes... He passed away a few months ago, and Mom and Dad tried to let her stay home with her caregivers, but the sassy old thing kept kicking them out!! So, Mom flew back down to California, and began, yet again, another moving process. Grandma wanted to be near family, and she had none in California, but Uncle and Auntie were in Utah. So, to Utah they took her. Mom found a great nursing home for her, but poor Grandma was so confused. Since she wasn't used to all the stuff in her room, she thought it was a hotel. Each day she would pack up, and go to the front counter. "I'm ready to check out...here's my key!" My poor Auntie was ready to pull her hair out, between the unpacking and all the phone calls from Grandma...



my flight went smooth and quick to Vegas...and I didn't have to wait long for Mom and Auntie to pick me up. We were waiting for sister, and I had been texting her all day. She told me that she had no voice, but when she walked up, the poor thing was crying her voice hurt so much. We got her bags, and went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I had heard many good things about it, but had never actually eaten there. The three of us giggled a lot, but it wasn't as loud as normal since poor Moxie couldn't talk or laugh. Sitting there, watching the servers and bartenders made me miss working. It feels nice to be able to say that I miss my job. Not alot of people can say that :)

It was a two hour drive to get to St. George, and we were all welcomed by 4 little dogs. Normally, I'm not a fan of the oversized rats, but they are just too sweet. Mom and Dad are going to keep one, actually. Its been a long time since we've had a dog, and Mom wants one for the grandkids to play with in Texas. Such a good Nana... After catching up a bit and planning out the next day, we were thankful to be able to climb into bed. I woke the next morning to see Moxie was gone. Dad had taken her to the doctors office to see if she had strep and to get a prescription. She didn't have strep, and the doctors tried to draw blood to test for mono...but as always, Moxie's veins wouldn't cooperate. While Moxie and Dad were out and about, Mom and I went to the store to shop for thanksgiving dinner. I began to prep myself for seeing my Uncle since he was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

So Mom and I got done shopping, and made our way over to Uncles house. I was a nervous wreck. The last time I saw him was 6 years ago, but I was at my cousins graduation, so it was nothing but a quick hello/goodbye. I honestly cant remember the last time we had some time together, and that saddens me... Mom has seen my Uncle quite a bit, between her travels this summer, with helping Grandma, and Auntie. So she knew his condition. I could only imagine it. I had talked to him on the phone about a month ago, and hearing his slurred speech was hard enough.
"It's going to make you want to cry when you see him," she told me. "But don't. He doesn't like to see it make people sad. Just be happy to see him."
It was about a half hour drive to his house. He lives out in the boonies, but its so beautiful. He used to run a 4-wheel tour, so he lives around amazing red cliffs and sand dunes. Once we got there, we unloaded the groceries. Dad was inside, sitting at the counter on the phone...as always. [Some things never change :] Uncle wasn't around, so I went back to the car for another load. When I came back in, I saw Mom hugging him in the reflection of a mirror. "Don't lose it, Laurel." I rounded the corner to finally say hello, and was greeted with a more tender Uncle than I remembered. His face lit up as soon as he saw me, and began to walk towards me. Each step was a struggle for him, and he was hunched over like an old man. I looked at his face...such a contradiction to his body language. He's so happy, so full of love. Definitely changed...

For the next few hours, we caught up on so many missed years, interrupted occasionally by Mr. and Mrs. Cat...the sweetest kitties in the world. [my whole family isnt a cat family, but we wanted to steal them...even mom. thats saying something...] Mom baked up some pizza, and the chatting continued between everyone. After dinner, Auntie, Mom and I went into a room we had set aside for my Grandma.

[okay...a catch up on the Grandma situation. Grandma and Grandpa used to live in Alaska during the summers, and Palm Springs, California the rest of the year. They were both in their late 80's, and needed an in-home assistant. Grandma was beginning to get dementia, and Grandpa had...well alot of things. Congestive heart failure, diabetes... He passed away a few months ago, and Mom and Dad tried to let her stay home with her caregivers, but the sassy old thing kept kicking them out!! So, Mom flew back down to California, and began, yet again, another moving process. Grandma wanted to be near family, and she had none in California, but Uncle and Auntie were in Utah. So, to Utah they took her. Mom found a great nursing home for her, but poor Grandma was so confused. Since she wasn't used to all the stuff in her room, she thought it was a hotel. Each day she would pack up, and go to the front counter. "I'm ready to check out...here's my key!" My poor Auntie was ready to pull her hair out, between the unpacking and all the phone calls from Grandma... So after a few months of this, Grandma decided she wasnt adjusting well, and wanted to live with Uncle. So that leads us up to now, when Auntie decided to move her the day before thanksgiving, and I dont think that any of us knew those were her plans.]

So, Mom, Auntie and I unpacked boxes of nick-knacks from Grandmas house in California. We wanted to put things in her room that she would remember, and make her feel at home. I think they did a pretty good job :)

About 11, Mom, Dad, and I drove back to Aunties house, and she stayed at Uncles to finish up some paperwork. We got home, and poor Moxie was still in bed, not feeling much better. The girls stayed up talking for a bit, but made ourselves go to bed, knowing we had a big day ahead of us.

11.24.2008

leaving.

It's a lovely day in Portland, Oregon. sunny, and colorful. I adore fall. I truly do.
I'm sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight in a half hour. I've flown so much, but this is my first time alone. I was mostly nervous about tickets/security, but it went smoother than normal. Sister and I are flying into Vegas this afternoon, and mom and auntie are picking us up. We'll drive to St. George, Utah tonight for thanksgiving. But for now, I'm just texting, blogging and watching away. I love people watching. Especially putting the pink panther theme song to the rhythm of strangers walks. That will keep anyone entertained for hours...

It was so strange to be sad saying goodbye to my Ecola family this morning. Its only been what...two months here? ...and I'm already calling them family. Crazy how fast people can bond. But at the same time, it was a good feeling, knowing that friendships like these dont just come and go. 

So, my last blog was asking for prayer for confrontation. Well, the confrontation happened, but definitely not like I was expecting. I thought I would have been speaking to a guy here to clear up some "he said she said" nonsense. But instead, I went to the source of the story. I'm not used to girl confrontation, actually. So this was very new to me. But thanks to alot of freaking out before hand and lots and lots of support and prayer from my dorm girls, the conversation went really well. I dont like being mad, especially if there's not point to it. So, it felt good to get it all out. No screaming matches, thankfully. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to talk to the sir involved. I have all week to figure that out. 

I'm really nervous about Thanksgiving. Its going to be great seeing family, but my Grandma and Uncle are in really bad conditions. I'm just trying not to be negative nancy right now. I'm so happy I have somewhere to go for thanksgiving :) there. that helps. I fly back into portland on friday, and then I'm heading to a friends house. He's an R.A. at Ecola, and he always opens his house to students who don't have anywhere to go. Pretty cool. 

Meagan drove me to portland today. I adore Meagan. I believe that we are long lost sisters. Its frightening how much we have in common. We went to coffee on Thursday to a cafe I hadn't been to before. Waves of Grain, with hearty goods and the best foam in town. Chalkboard finished tables, and an abundance of colorful crayola chalk. We ended up talking for 3 hours. We got a bit carried away once we started talking about musicals and choir. I had my laptop, so OF COURSE I had to show her video clips and songs...We want to go caroling before Christmas break! It's going to be great. We have alot of good people wanting to join along as well. 

Little random blip - volleyball is great. I just needed an attitude check. And...I'm getting a killer overhand serve down haha. 

Anyways. Last night, I went to sushi with a few friends. I was in heaven...so distracted by the food I forgot to take pictures until it was all gone! But it was a great time of laughter. I went with people I haven't really hung out with before. I love that there's always more people to meet. Always something to learn about those we have met. 

Well, I believe that's all for now. Its definitely been a stressful, busy week. But life is good. Joy is abundant. Love remains.




[oh sushi. my love. i had two whole rolls all to myself.]

11.17.2008

request.

so if you think about me this week, please pray for me.
drama just developed this week.
a lot of he said she said nonsense. 
there's a certain girl here who isn't here by choice, and she's right out of high school...definitely still in that mindset. 
ug. ug. ug.
i dont want to be claiming "woe is me" but i honestly dont understand why drama always flocks to me. i avoid drama as much as possible, and it hunts me down. 
so in the next few days, I need to approach someone about this ridiculous situation. I'm kinda nervous [even though being confrontational is normally no problem for me back home] because i dont really know everyone yet. Back home, i could pretty much predict how someone would react to confrontation, but here I'm still learning people. I dont want to lose a friendship. But I'm so scared it might come to that.
heres all I can think right now....seriously? already? its only been 6 weeks. 




[my friend candi drew this for me in class to cheer me up. it certainly worked.]
[oh yeah. the 'team girl squad' is a group of friends i have here...]

11.14.2008

much missed.

this last week was kinda rough on me.
Sunday and Tuesday were really bad days, and I really dont like to write out my anger on days like that. So, I'l try to re-cap now, after I've had a few days to brew over my thoughts, have friends pray for me, and get into a better mood :)

[I woke up this morning with a stye beginning to surface on my right eye. Glasses and no makeup for the next few days for me!! it hurts!!!!]

Little blips of drama were beginning to pop up on the radar...but I think they are under control for now. 
Volleyball is fun again...I think i just needed a good "attitude adjustment" as my Dad used to say when I was little :) 

Yesterday was good. Terribly rainy, and the roads were closed, but I was in a much better mood than the previous day. I really dont like being upset, and I know how obvious it is. I hate that. But I cant hide it. I had a few friends pray with me, and encourage me. People are so amazing here. I cant get over it. 
So... I was exhausted all day yesterday, and I planned on sleeping all afternoon. But that didn't happen. Instead, we played volleyball for a bit, and then i played 4 games of pool with some really fun (and good pool players) guys. dinner, and then 2 hours of some great games of volleyball. we had enough for 4 teams....the most people we've had so far. Then an hour of basketball. I came back to my room and showered, and headed up to the lounge with Hilary to watch Kung Fu Panda, but it was already half over. There were a few people playing volleyball again, so I went back to do that instead. We had a great gang of 4 on 4, and then more people joined. So, for a good 5 hours yesterday, I was being active instead of sleeping. 
It sure caught up with me today. I kept falling asleep in class this morning, and I felt terrible. So, I took a 3 hour nap after lunch. [and because of that, I'm sure I'll be up all night. sighs.] Today was sunny! But so cold. Its definitely fall, but I love that. I was able to pay attention in class tonight (really good speakers this week :) which is always a good thing. Tonight was our first meeting for book studies. We have the Anchorage dorm girls meetings in Molly's room (our R.A.) and it was exciting seeing who was in the small group. We have about 10 girls, and its so neat getting to know everyone on a deeper level. We're reading Lies Women Believe, and I can tell this is going to get deep and painful fast. But its needed. Molly challenged us with the question, "What has you in bondage?" I spoke up and said something like this.
"Personally, I dont know yet. I know I have alot in my life that is wrong and that needs to be fixed by God, but I'm such a busy person. I'm always on the go, and I never slow down to examine my life. I think I'm scared to do that, and scared what will be revealed to me. So thats what this year is for....to slow down and listen and examine."
There was something so liberating about saying that out loud. Like it hit me hard. SLOW DOWN, LAUREL. 
After our small groups, we went to the coach house for bagels! and smoothies. It was neat getting to talk to katie and molly plowman (not our r.a. to clarify :) theyre such sweet girls, and I'm definitely going to hang out with them more. Molly is crazy. It was freezing tonight because of the full moon and clear skies, but she wanted to go for a walk on the beach. We always tease her about "BEACH LOGS KILL!!!" (orientation week was all about that getting hammered into our heads. a very comical week indeed.) So a group of five of us went walking, and it was so neat seeing how rapid the beach changes after a storm. It was alot warmer than I was expecting...clouded over. 
Mom and Dad are flying out tonight to head to Utah. I miss them so much. Lynne and a few others held a goodbye party for them, and that made me so happy. They definitely needed it. I love and miss you homer people so much. I'm just now beginning to get homesick, and its all your fault, Lynne!! Your pictures did it for me :( I wish mom and dad could have stopped and driven to Cannon beach, but that would have been really out of their way. I'll see them in like 10 days!!!  Thanksgiving...
So I guess that catches up on this week :) 
Saturday a group is going into Portland, and we're getting dropped off at the largest book store in the U.S. 
Powells, I think its called? Yes? anyways. I'm pretty thrilled about that.

11.10.2008

swirling waters

my friend sarah and i are in bellas right now, and we are looking through the giant blank books they have for people to write in, and we found this poem we love. and i wanted to share it with you all :)

brown shoulders, 
white sand, 
swirling waters kiss land,
surf calls,
fading free,
night falls,
and so does she.

11.09.2008

frustrated.

Things have been pretty great. I feel like I've gotten to know a majority of the students, which feels pretty good. Its November, meaning stormy season is on the way. Normally, I hate rainy days, but I've been loving them lately. 

But the last few days have been kind of irritating. I try to play volleyball and basketball as much as possible, but lately they've gotten way too competitive and dramatic. I'm a competitive person, but when everyone stops having fun and starts to make it so serious, I just get mad at myself and the drama. Ug. So, I'm trying to decide whether or not to play anymore. Sounds really childish, I know, but I would stop playing so I stop getting so mad at myself. There's more to it than that, but thats what it boils down to. I don't like being angry, and that's the only result these days. 

Please be praying for me for patience and focus. I know why I'm here, but it's so easy to get distracted. I can't stand drama, but it's inevitable. More girls than guys, so of course cattiness will break loose. 

11.05.2008

day of prayer.

how appropriate that today - election day - was set aside as a day of prayer. 
it was so encouraging - personally, and corporately. 
we started off with our morning lecture, but at 10:30 we were finished and had until 5:30 (dinner and then 7 for classes) to do as we pleased. Seemed like most of the campus was quiet today. So peaceful, knowing that about 100 students were coming together in prayer, but in their own time. 
we had a website for prayer requests, where students could post something anonymously or publicly. it was nice having so many things to pray about. we had de-briefing tonight, and it was really amazing hearing so many stories. for some, it was a struggle to pray and be still all day. others, it turned into a day of praise. for me, and alot of the students, I felt like there wasnt enough time. there were so many things that kept popping into my head. "oh i need to pray for that....oh and that too. oh I'll pray for that later...." i must admit, tho, i had to start off with a nap. i was so exhausted today, so i slept for about an hour, and then i was up and ready. so excited to see what would happen. i journaled for about an hour. for me, journaling helps me stay focused, and its so amazing to be able to look back and see prayers that God has answered later down the line. anyways....so i did that for about an hour, and i really wanted to set aside about a half hour where i wasnt writing and just listening. but some of my friends called me and said they were going to have a small worship gathering in the classroom. it was all girls, so that was nice and NOT distracting. they all had lovely voices too :) simple and beautiful. 
this weeks speakers are pretty diverse. we have a "christian life" speaker, and i really enjoy him. then we have a genesis speaker. and i dont know how i feel about him yet...he doesnt really speak about genesis alot, I feel. seems like he tells alot of personal stories. he has notes outlined, and he skips over everything saying, "you can read over this later on your spare time..." and im thinking.... well isnt that what classroom time is for...for you to teach us?   whatever. I'm just nervous about the test. he has some interesting stories, but come test time, its going to be like my junior year u.s. history class. (my teacher was a football coach. imagine THOSE stories and come test time. yikes.) and on top of that, I'm really kinda sick of genesis. sounds horrible, i know, but this is like week 3 of it in a row. plus, hes skipping over so much because of Dr. Chittick being so thorough last week. "Dr. Chittick went over this last week, right? Ok....just skip it." 
anyways. It was really great getting together with a small group of girls, bringing our prayer requests forward, frustrations and praises. so encouraging to hear that other people are going through the same thing.
and you know where this is going...the election. I wasn't really shocked, actually. But here's something God has shown to me this year. It was as I was praying for my roommates at home. When you pray that God's will is done, you know that whatever happens isnt by accident...but in fact is in plan and is exactly how its supposed to be. So, despite the fear I have about our upcoming president, I am trying to rest in the fact knowing that God puts who he wants in power for a reason. There were some terrible kings in the bible....but they were there for a purpose. So there. This is whats supposed to happen. Its not an accident. 
One of my roommates told me today that its official - shes not going to stay for the next terms. It really makes me sad because I feel like we connect. One other roommate is questioning if she really wants to be here. And my third roommate is here for sure, but I'm considering moving to another dorm. I would feel terrible for leaving her here, tho. [wow that sounds like im leaving the state or something haha] Anchorage dorm [my dorm] is set up like appartments, the doors leading to the outside. The other dorms have indoor hallways, where everyone mingles. I feel like i know Old Ecola girls more than I know my Anchorage girls. I love the social interaction in Old Ecola [where I am considering moving into next term] ...and I feel like I'm a wilting flower here in Anchorage. I guess I just need to pray about it....good answer for everything.
Anyways, I better get to bed soon. I've been staying up way too late lately. 

11.02.2008

rainy sunday.

at the moment, im in bellas (as usual) listening to old music, like ella fitzgerald and frank sinatra (thats what they play here alot :) its a great day. just little things adding up. i have worship practice in a few minutes, and i just looked outside and it just started to POUR rain. but i dont mind, actually. 
i dont know why im in such a good mood, but i like it. 
a perfect mocha. zebra print. worship at hand. the pouring rain.
its a good day.

10.31.2008

down time.

This week has been just absolutely amazing. 
Best two teachers (in my opinion) yet. I've learned so much, and friendships have just grown so much closer. 
Today everyone is running around Seaside, a town about 10 minutes away from Cannon Beach, putting together last minute outfits from misfit thrift stores. There's a Halloween costume party tonight, and sounds like a bunch of people will be there. Its going to be fun. So all day, I've had to myself. I really haven't had that since I've been here. I've been at bellas all day, editing photos, working on my absentee ballot, and my friend Jordon joined me for a bit. 
Yesterday was great. We did swing dancing inside for the first time during the afternoon break for about an hour and a half. Normally, we do it at night outside. It sucks because its kinda cold (but you get moving so you dont feel it) and there's no outlets, so no music. I wish we could do it on campus, but its considered PDA...understandable. So, we did it at the information center. They started there last year, so they were happy to see people coming back. They had a huge room with wood floors, and PLENTY OF OUTLETS for music :) it was much much better with music, even though not nearly as many people showed up. Alot of kids work while they're here so they can afford to come. So, I was a happy clam all day. Later that night was more waltzing...I just cant get enough dancing, it seems. My knee is all banged up tho, between skim boarding and bumping into shins of my various dance partners. Owwie. 
Anyways, tomorrow morning is a hike to Saddle Mountain. I dont know how strenuous it's going to be, but its sure early. I usually catch up on my sleep on Saturday mornings. Oh well. The sight is breathtaking, I've heard. I'm sure its worth it. Other than that, not alot of big plans for the weekend. 

10.30.2008

daughter of the king.

short and sweet, but here's the paper about purpose.



From our youth, we are pressured to make something of ourselves. If you can dream it, you can do it; find the best paying job, the most handsome spouse. Life is so fast paced here in America, and its so easy to get caught up in this mindset. 


In these last few months, God has been revealing to me that I am too caught up in a fast pace. I need to slow down and do something that scares me - listen. What will I hear? Condemnation or admiration?  our god is a god of love, of conviction and not condemnation. 


"Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear. Forget your people and your fathers house. The kind is enthralled by your beauty. honor him for he is your lord." (Psalm 45:10)


What defines us? Our past, our future? What about resting in the knowledge of being a child of the lord most high? Who am I to argue with such love? Forget your people and your fathers house - leave them behind and focus on God, our true Father. 


My purpose is to find who I am as a daughter of the King. 


I am loved - cherished - adored, and my duty is to be open to his plans. Not knowing my future used to scare me, too. But i now see that worrying about the it is pointless, because plans change daily.


For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Who am I? 

I am Laurel, a daughter of the Lord most high. and my life is in his hands.


10.29.2008

bruised.

today was pretty glorious.
wednesdays are usually stressful for me, because i procrastinate homework monday and tuesday. papers are always due on thursday, but i cant write if im not under pressure. anyways. 
so today i was still procrastinating, but i went SKIM BOARDING for the first time. pretty amazing. i fell three times, and dang. that sand is hard. im so very very sore, and im hoping that these red marks will turn into some sweet bruises. i never get bruises...unless its my black eye haha. 
so i got done skim boarding and came back and did homework. it really didn't take me that long. i absolutely love this week. awesome teachers who didnt assign super hard homework. and i feel like im learning alot too. cant get better than that. oh wait yes it can....SUNSHINE AND SKIMBOARDING!
my friend calli got some pictures, so up they go!!

i feel really bad. mom and dad are at home packing away and moving like crazy. and im here having the time of my life. i want to be there to help them, but i am so thankful to be here. bittersweet.



[left : kim. she's hard core. right : me. this is going to hurt tomorrow.]




[okay, so im still learning...]




[my salty friend, calli]




[mmm. salty.]




[I believe my words were, "OWWIEEEEEE!"]
[if you look at my right knee, its swollen. this was after my 3rd fall. 
and that explains why i am so wet :]


10.28.2008

stretching.

ug. my internet freaked out. so this is my second time typing this up. PISSED!! urg. sketchy internet.

anyways. this week is going to be a big push for me.
We have a speaker on creation, which is super exciting to me, because I've always loved studying creation.
But then our second speaker is focusing on James, which I love too. But his assignment to us is this: write your purpose statement.
I could easily make something up...bluff my way through it, like I did in high school, but thats not why I am here.
I actually need to sit and listen. Figure out why I am here. 
Is it just to take pictures? 
To be loud and outgoing and loving?
To find my place, being content as a daughter of the King?
To give up everything and run after Christ?
I don't know. And that's what scares me.

Last week was the same thing. Our Old Testament teacher had us do a 20 minute "quiet time," to just listen, and write down our train of thought, and what we heard. This was so scary for me. I really haven't done this in a long time, but especially after the whole New York thing blew up in my face. I was so scared to sit and listen to God, because I doubt myself. What I thought I heard from God before may have been wrong (or it may be for later in the future). This really made me question alot, and realize so much. When we want something so badly, we can actually convince ourselves that we hear an answer from God, when its actually just our selfish desires. I wanted New York so badly, which isn't really a bad thing...It was with YWAM, after all, but i can see now that my motivations were more for the setting, and not for seeking the heart of God. Being here has opened my eyes to so much.
Fear. 
Need.
Love.
Fellowship.
and i know i have SOO much more to learn. This is just the beginning.

So, if you think about it, be praying for me. To focus...Ecola isnt about taking the best pictures, or the hikes, or all the cute boys. No no no. Its about focusing on God. Be praying that I can begin to see changes that need to happen. Its already started, but it needs to keep happening. I know its going to be a stretch. A big one. And its about time. I'm definitely going to be needing some re-enforcements. 

10.26.2008

week two ending.

the last few days have been pretty rough on me.
i feel like im getting sick, but thats normal for me this time of year. [i've gotten sick the last three years ... all state choir helps me keep track of that.] i've been really low on energy, and really short with people. it makes me feel even worse when i do that. but its still been fun, just havent been the normal crazy me.

Friday morning, 60 students went to Camp 18, which is like 30 minutes from here, for cinnamon rolls as big as your head. we had to wake up at 6. [that morning was when i started to feel sick.] it was soooooo good. but the rest of the day was so rough for us. people kept doing the falling asleep nod in class. and it was sunny out, but all i did was edit photos the rest of the day. i went to the beach to try to take a nap, but it was pretty windy, so i went back to the lounge. really annoying people kept coming up to me, and talking to me. i felt so bad for thinking it but, i thought, 'why are you talking to me. all you are saying is word vomit. theres no reason for you to be talking.' i hate being sick. i hate being grumpy. but the two come hand in hand.

today i slept until one. i was so out of it. i definitely needed to catch up. after i got ready, my roommate hilary, kaja and i went to Ross, spent some money, and then went to freddies to catch up on groceries. then dinner with some more girls. that was alot of fun. its been great getting to know these girls more and more. around 8:30 we went to crescent beach for a bon fire. the tide was really high, the stars were out, and it wasnt that cold, like it was last night. a few times, a wave would come up higher than the rest, and a few of them actually hit the fire. my shoes and vest got soaking, but thankfully, i had taken my phone out of my vest pocket when i set it down. hiking back in wet shoes was really gross. 

tomorrow is sunday...church! its so weird for me getting back in the habit of going again. last week i tried a local one in cannon beach. it was good, but this is my first time of actually church hunting, since i went to the same church my whole life. comparing is good, i guess. so tomorrow im trying one thats about an hour away. 

we've started dancing after classes a few times a week. theres swing dancing, and then another girl, chelsea, is teaching ballroom dancing. last night was the waltz, and it was nice already having the basic step down.  i love dancing. i want to learn as much as possible.

anyways. needing sleep. love to all.

10.23.2008

glorious.

today was picture perfect. a little TOO picture perfect, in fact.
it was sunny - like its been all week - and SO very warm. we had alot of reading assigned to us today, and i needed to start a paper as well.
i went to the beach with my new friend Kaja and attempted to settle in to read. Just as we began to do that, a few of our friends from Ecola came down with their skim boards. I hadn't seen skim boarding yet, tho i had heard of it, so I decided to take pictures and see it in action. I really wanted to try it, but I was in some white shorts....bad idea to get THOSE wet! I took about 300 pictures since it was on continuous setting, but it was so glorious i didnt want to stop!
anyways, I felt really bad wasting an hour instead of reading. But it kept happening all day. I kept getting side tracked... mom called me, dinner time, and AMAZING sunset, bonfire (which I passed up actually...) and volleyball. It was a great day, but I didn't get any homework done haha.
oh well. i dont regret it.

[mmmm. fall.]



[i love pelicans. theyre my favorite bird, i do believe.]



[alright...time to study!]



[SO MUCH READING!]



[so loud, yet so peaceful.]



[surreal.]



[skimboarding is much too big of a distraction. no studying accomplished today!]
[Sam]



[Jeremiah]



[Nate]



[scoping the next set of waves]



[another way to skim board. maybe I'll try this tactic!]



[Jeremiah likes to pretend he's a model. alot.]



[Doug loves cheesy surfer poses. I love posers. Its a perfect match!]



[surfs up! wait...that doesnt work...]



[take a breather, guys...its tough work looking good! haha]



[Nate skimming, and Kyle photographing.]



[I love everything thats going on in this picture.]



[okay. time to try studying again.]



[one of the best sunsets I've seen in a long time.]


10.22.2008

pictures.






so, a few things besides all the pictures: 
its only the beginning of the second week, and it already saddens me thinking about being here for just one year. So, I am going to be applying for the internship or the RA at the end of the year...
my roommate jenna asked me the other day if i wanted to go to lunch with her and her family when they come into town. i thought that was pretty cool, since she seems quiet.
thats all. enjoy the pictures.


10.21.2008

IT NEVER ENDS!

gosh. this is beginning to get frustrating.
i had such a routine down at home, and im trying to figure mine out here. blogging is really hard to fit into everything!
Ecola is so glorious. Theres ALWAYS something going on. I'm really happy to be so active....swing dancing, volleyball, skimboarding, basketball, or just walking between the dorms.(ours is really far away from everything. my dorm is named anchorage :)
So far everything is great, even with the roommates. Its inevitable - there's going to be fights, but for now its calm.
Yesterday my boxes came in, all 8 of them!! Feels so nice to have something besides my 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of BLACK shoes (meaning i couldnt wear anything brown) and 2 sweatshirts.
I went to the store yesterday to buy cleaning supplies since it was my week. I went through the line, and the cashier asked me, "Do you own a cleaning business??" I was tempted to say something sassy (imagine that..!) but i didnt. Do I look old enough to own a business? Anyways, I just explained to her that I just moved here and told her a bit about Alaska, and she brought up the topic of Sara Palin (thats normal now. not a bad change of subject from polar bears and igloos when alaska is brought up.)
So after I got back and cleaned and unpacked a bit, my roommate Steph asked if I wanted to go to dinner with her. So we skipped out on cafeteria dinner and went to Pizza A'Fetta just next to bellas cafe (a minute walk from Ecola...seriously.) It reminded me alot of Fat Olives, and made me a bit homesick. But it was really great having a one-on-one with my oh-so-sarcastic friend. I'm really happy to have her for a roommate. Before I moved down here, I knew I should start praying for my roommates. I could have prayed for friends who I would easily get along with, but instead I prayed for girls that I need in my life right now, and who need me. It really made me realize that no matter who they were, I knew it was who God wanted for me and vice verca.

[sorry my thoughts are really random, or if I'm repeating myself. I cant remember what I've posted in the last few days...]

I played basketball last night, despite how nervous I was. I was the only girl on my team, and thats what was so frightening...playing with all these good guys. But I wasn't doing too bad, considering that I haven't played in a few years. Felt good to run and be part of a team after so long. and I made two baskets...hooray!

I called Livi last night, since i miss her oh so much. We talked for nearly a half hour, and I really want to go visit her in Spokane for All Northwest if she makes it. The concert is in February and I have a few girlfriends who are from Spokane, so its not completely impossible...

Mom got home today, so tomorrow I need to call her and have her walk through my room to see what else I forgot. I'm such a space cadet....

Its been sunny almost every single day. I'm so thankful for it. Today I went to the beach with kaja and candi to work on some papers and read. Felt SO good to lay in the sun on the sand, AND be productive.

Its so amazing already. We're reading through Genesis this week, and normally I would read through it and not think anything about it. But I'm already looking at it differently. I have questions...that never has happened before. Its like looking at it in a whole new light. Seems like thats the same story for a few other people.

People are beginning to not be so shy/awkward. Its nice. I'm definitely past that. ON TO BEING NOISY AND SILLY! people dont seem to mind too much....yet.

Mom said that theyre flying me down to utah for thanksgiving. (did i already mention that? oh well.) Mel called me a few days ago and said she will be there too. YAY! i miss my sister...

anyways, that was productive. but its dinner time. I'll post again when I can. LOVE YOU ALL!!

10.19.2008

Catching up, part two

i think its going to be pretty impossible to blog every day, sadly. theres SO much going on, and then there's the iffy internet from my room. so i think that sundays will the the day that i take a day to find quiet time and catch up on the previous week. 
okay. so, finally, after wandering around for a few hours, i met one of my roommates. her name is Jinah (pronounced Jennah) and she's 25, and a very sweet girl. She was adopted from Korea when she was 4. I got to meet her mom, and had a bit of relief as I watched them carry in many many totes. I was so worried packing, scared that girls would assume I'm a materialistic girl since I was bringing so much. But honestly, I was less than 2 of my 3 roommates. Mom was right (as always)..."girls are going to be driving their cars completely packed full to school." So, it was a few hours before I met the two other girls. Stephanie, from Minnesota, and Hilary from Washington (pretty much raised in the Philippines with her missionary parents.) Steph reminds me so much of my friend Sam. Doesnt help that their names are similar, so I keep calling her Sam. And Hilary knows the Weissers! Small world. She went to Faith Acadamy in Manilla, and was on the swim team with a few of them. So we find that funny :)

10.16.2008

sorry.

sorry the last blog was cut to and end randomly. 
i had to go leave suddenly and so i posted what i had.
ug im not even going to start on it tonight because im so tired.
but ill have free time this weekend and catch up on the week.
love love!!

10.13.2008

Catching Up!!

At last! internet connection!!

so catch up on the last few days...


Friday was a mess. Bre came up to my house with a cup of love to wake me up. We chatted for about a half hour, and had a tearful goodbye. Ugh. I hate goodbyes. 

Then the insanity began! Packing up the last minute things. We wanted to get on the road by 10, but as always, we didn't reach our goal. Mom and I were headed to anchorage by 11. As we were passing Diamond Ridge, I realized that I had forgotten some sushi I had made the night before for the road. No big deal, really...its just food. But it was just a foreshadowing for the rest of the day.


As we got to Soldotna, I asked mom, "Did you grab the hair straightener off of the table?"

"No, I thought you did..."

"Uuuuuuuugh. I guess We'll just buy one in Anchorage. But where can i pack it? I HAVE NO ROOM!!!" 

We get to Anchorage, and head over to the new Target. Woo hoo!! So we looked for the same style of hair straightener, but didn't find it. "Maybe I got it in Wal Mart..." Mom suggested. I ended up buying a folding hair dryer and a tube of mascara. When we got to the car, thats when I realized the worst. "I FORGOT ALL OF MY MAKEUP!!!!" Mom did her best to calm me down, reminding me that its all replaceable. "But I just bought a bunch of new makeup!" I was ill. I couldn't believe I forgot it. And its going to be another 2 weeks before I get it since mom is in Utah for awhile. So, over to Wal Mart we went. No hair straightener there either. But I could replace the real necessities.


I finally calmed down. I was so tired, so stressed...but amazing mom was there for me as always. I was really mad at myself, but mom was right. It was all replaceable. $50 later, and I was restocked. 


We went to dinner with Melissa and Lance. We all caught up on whats been happening lately, and shared many laughs about old memories. Such a good way to end my last day in Alaska. 


The flight went well; just a short three hours. It was better than I was expecting, due to the newborn baby sitting RIGHT behind me. I thought it would have been screaming the whole time, but thankfully, it was a good baby. I was sitting next to mom, and Steven. Needless to say, he had me laughing for half of the trip, so I got a few glares. Mainly from this weird guy sitting one seat ahead/across from us. I felt creeped out, so Steven put on his sunglasses, and put up a pillow, and peered over it at the guy. (I was sitting next to the window, so Steven's little charade blocked me from the creepers view.) I love Steven....its never a dull moment around him. 


We got into Portland at 5:30, and got some breakfast. Steven went down to baggage claim to meet up with his brother, so mom and I went to the first class lounge area. (Cant remember what its called.) I wasn't going to be picked up until 11, so I was really thankful for the quiet area to catch up on a little bit of sleep. I kept getting phone calls from wrong numbers. Why does that always happen? Whenever I get a new number, it happens to be THAT number...the one that always gets called by banks, or other stuff. Previous owners had bad credit. Or they were drug lords. Ug. Just my luck, I guess. Anyways, so finally around 10:30 mom and I headed down to baggage claim. Steven was sitting there with his bags, and had been there the whole time! His brother was sick, so he didn't come pick him up, and Steven didn't want to go back through security. I felt bad for him.


We met the other girls who flew in; Stephanie from Chicago, and Julie from Concord, California. I had to say goodbye to mom then. SO HARD!!! I wasn't as much of a mess as I thought I would have been. A few tears...but I think I was so tired. But it was a really fun trip, even tho we got lost and doubled our car ride. I was so tired, I didn't notice. It was a sunny day on Saturday, so I was super excited about that. It was perfect weather to me, but cool to everyone else. 


As we drove into Cannon Beach, it was just like coming into homer. Just like baycrest! There's a hill with a big reveal; but instead of the bay, you see haystack. So amazing. It so strange to me being at the ocean with no mountains across the bay.  And the sand! Its so soft, and NOISY! They call it barking sand (not to be confused with barking spiders haha). I've been to alot of different beaches, and I've never heard sand  like it before. Its also a shock to see that its white sand, and not the normal grey I'm used to. But I totally feel at home. Same rainy weather, same small town feel, but without the hovering feeling of having your personality caged. 


I thought that registration was on Saturday, but to my surprise - and relief - it was on Sunday. I was really not looking forwards to traveling for 24 hours and showing up without any makeup, slept on hair and PJ's....here I am...take my picture. Awesome. So I was really thankful for a day to recover, and I didn't have my roommates yet. But problem...a bunch of my stuff is still in the mail. including my blankets and towels and pillow. Oops. So I've had to make a pillow out of my sweatshirt and scarfs. Thankfully, I'm not a picky sleeper. Lights on. Noisy. The floor....doesn't matter to me. 


Molly, my dorm R.A. is super sweet. She's my age and we get along really well. She gave the 6 girls a tour (thats all that had showed up at that point) and introduced us to the RA's, interns and deans around campus. I felt like I already knew Diana and Meagan (office worker and the Dean of Women) because of facebook. They really make you feel so welcomed here. But as I met more people, I kept getting the same response. "Oh Laurel! You're Kevin's friend, right?"

"Oh no." I moaned to myself. "...expectations. Just what I was happy to get away from."

After about the 5th time hearing that, I nearly started crying. It was a mixture of exhaustion, and frustration. I was on overload. So many people to remember, and so many more to meet. I still had to meet my roommates the next day, and I was still dreading that. 


Saturday night we walked to crescent  beach, which is about a 20 minute walk away from the school. It was really cold that night; clear skies and almost a full moon. I still don't have all of my sweatshirts either. They're being shipped too. So, I was pretty cold, and everyone was making fun of me because I was from Alaska and cold. "It's damp cold!" We had a pretty good laugh about that. But once we got to the beach, a group had already gotten the fire started. Before long, it was huge. Molly and I got a little crazy and waded into the water. She went in a few feet, and I just kept running till I was knee deep. So refreshing, and made me feel back at homer. I dont know what it is about the ocean....but it calms me down. I have such a connection with it. Molly and I ran back to the fire and dried off. It wasn't long till we went back in again. "I can tell we're going to get along really well," Molly said. It felt nice to hear, especially since I was hearing this when I wasn't even being the real Laurel. I was more like Zombie Laurel. Of course, I took some pictures. It was such an amazing sight; the 7 foot bon fire, with the sparks flying into the air, reaching out to the moon. New and old friends gathered around. The sound of the waves. This is like home to me. 


The walk back was really entertaining. Kevin introduced me to John - a skinny red head, with a talent for impersonations. "Do some of your voices, Laurel!" I had to ask Kevin what voices I COULD do. I was so tired I couldn't even remember. "TEEN GIRL SQUAAAAAAAD!" I went off on that tangent for a few minutes, and the voices kept coming to me as John and I took turns. My goodness...he's amazing. Can't say I've ever heard so many perfect voices from one person.


I got back to my dorm and continued unpacking. I was really glad that there were 4 dressers, and that I had first dibs. I made sure to test the drawers to see which one didn't stick. By around 11:30, I was wondering why I was still up and organizing. "JUST GO TO BED!" I told myself. I had no problem falling asleep. New places/beds dont bother me either, apparently. I didn't wake up until 11 on Sunday when Livi called me. We talked for a few minutes, and then I got my butt in gear and finished unpacking, and then showered. Very awkward drying off with a sweatshirt...


I headed to the gym for registration, where a line was just beginning to form. I was second in line, and Steven was the official "door holder", so he was first in line. It wasn't long until the line was past the first dorm. We made small talk with people around us, but I was still being a little 'awkward turtle.' Its going to be probably a week until everyone starts getting past that. It so hard stepping beyond your comfort zone, even in a Bible College. Our society is so about privacy and first impressions, judgements and appearance. Its so strange. I look around the faces, knowing that most, if not all, of these kids are my brothers and sisters in Christ, yet we are still scared to talk to each other. There's something majorly wrong with this picture. After a quick run through the registration line, Steven and I went to Bellas Espresso, for my first Bella experience. SO AMAZING!!  (In fact, I am in Bellas right now :) 




10.10.2008

tears.

tears of joy. 
of sorrow.
of stress.
of worry.

its all so jumbled right now.
i had say goodbye to my dad tonight unexpectedly. thats when the tears started. i havent cried yet amongst all of these goodbyes. i knew the water works would begin once it came to family. i just wasn't expecting it so soon.
tonight was a going away party for bethany, a dear friend of mine from YWAM here. she's going back to canada for a while to see her family, and then she'll be road tripping with her sister. there's talk of her coming to see me in oregon :) pretty excited about that. her party was alot of fun, being pirate themed and all. like always, i was a little over-kill. i showed up, expecting everyone to be in costume, but the average was simple striped shirts, or bandanas. to put it lightly, i was jack sparrows. oh dear, i felt out of place, but tried to make the most of it. in the end, it was fun being the hit. bethany said i made her night. 'both jack sparrows AND laurel came to my party! what more could i ask for?'
[again, i'll post pictures soon. i just dont have alot of time right now to edit pics.]
i dont know how ready i am. i wanted to have the rest of my stuff packed up to make it easier on mom and dad for the move. there's just so much on my mind...stupid doubts about fears of being judged. 
'like omg. look at how much stuff she brought. shes such a materialistic girl.'
or how first impressions are so important. and normally, my first impressions are either:
-being snobby and mean
-or being 'that girl'...you know, the really loud annoying one.
ug. ug. ug. i hate being a worrier. 
i'm totally dreading saying goodbye to my mom on saturday. i'm going to be such a mess. saying goodbye to everyone in homer is hard enough. but shes my mom. my best friend. my life line. i honestly dont know what im going to do without her. im crying already just thinking about it. 
its all hitting me at once. thats how life usually does it. not one thing at a time...one big whammy. 
i'm so excited. so scared. so worried. 
i know if i said 'timing couldnt be worse' then somehow...it WOULD get worse, but this is really really bad timing. 
'just stay one more week!' mom keeps saying. i wish i could. i want to help, but i cant. mom and dad have so much going on. you couldn't make up the drama that happens in our family. its pretty unbelievable. 
ug. i could keep going on about all of my worries. my stupid fears. but i need sleep. shut my brain up before i think myself to insanity.
goodnight insane world.