Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stepping It Up with the Social Calendar

Slowly but surely I've found myself emerging from my self-imposed "Summer Family Hiatus" (that tends to happen over the summer where I lose touch with folks and do my own thing) and have started to fill in the calendar with dates and activities with folks I've been missing.

I guess this first couple of pics don't really fit though, in that I'm still just hanging with my family, but last Tuesday, Mikayla and I got to attend the Duck Volleyball game with Mom (Dad wasn't feeling so hot so he elected to stay home).  Special shout-out to Marie Jones who passed on the tickets to Mom and Dad.  Her and her husband are huge supporters of the UO, so we felt like royalty as we were escorted in from the parking garage to our seats by UO staff just because we were guests of Marie.

I don't think Puddles (the mascot) was given the message of who were guests of though, he was just overly friendly - and quite a flirt throughout the match.  (Love this pic of my mom and Mikayla!)

The Ducks played exceptional volleyball - we were very impressed and thankful for their dominance as it was nice with it being Mikayla's first day of school to be able to get home at a decent time. 

On Thursday, I got a walk in with Leah (no pic) and then had a coffee date to catch up with Nancy.  We chatted it up for over 90 minutes, and after a while, Whitley was getting a little bored.  We finally let her scoot around on the concrete next to our table while we talked (and watched carefully!).  I cracked up, though, in discovering she'd worn several holes in the bottom of her leggings in the process of this scooting.  Glad that was a pair I'd purchased and that she'd had plenty of padding with her diaper beneath them.    It was really great to spend time with Nancy - now that Tanner's at Sheldon and Brayden's at Marist, we don't see each other as often.  

Friday's day spent putting up Harvest decor was capped off with an evening visit to the Whites to check out their new back yard.  It looks amazing - covered porch, handmade table and furniture, and this spectacular propane firepit.  Ahhhh, it was wonderful to just relax back there.  

On Monday of this last week, Elaina came over to hang out with me for the afternoon.  I love that gal, and am so happy that she's in such a happy place in her own life and only lives a couple of blocks from me.  I'm hoping the adorable baby and fall decor might entice her to come down and repeat this delightful afternoon hang-out more often!

Tuesday morning showed a little bit of change in the weather, but Lisa and I never guessed we'd be hit with a deluge on our the furthest point out from where we started.  It was pouring down rain, we got soaked - but it wasn't cold, so we pretty much laughed about it as we should in being Oregonians.  Fortunately, Whitley was under the cover of her stroller...but, as you can see, she wasn't entirely thrilled by the experience.

Sadly, following that walk, the sinus headache I was trying to stave off with medicine hit full force.  I felt so pathetic after both Whitley and I woke up from naps, emailing Steph and Travis with an "SOS" as I was literally alternating between throwing up in the sink and laying down on the floor next to Whitley trying to keep half an eye on her while staying absolutely still.  Blessedly, Steph was able to get to my house to rescue her daughter within a half hour and I basically spent the rest of the day sleeping.  She also worked it out for her mom to watch Whitley on Wednesday so I could fully recover.  That did indeed happen, with a lot of help from mom the next morning.  I wasn't completely healed mentally though, as I texted Steph Wednesday afternoon expressing my thankfulness in not having Whitley that day as who knows where I would have misplaced her.  Earlier, while putting air in my tires, I left my wallet next to the dispenser at the gas station.  I didn't realize until getting out of the car across town to get groceries.  In a panic, I headed back to that gas station where (THANK GOD!) the attendant had it already found and ready to hand back to me (I was calling on the way over).  Upon returning to the grocery story, I was doing great until I went to check my store (coupon) app on my phone only to realize I'd lost that.  As I had talked to John in the store, I knew it had to be somewhere....but, upon retracing my steps, couldn't find it anywhere.  A stop by customer service after checking out, brought my MIA phone back to me (THANKING GOD AGAIN!) - it had been found in the meat case.  Sheesh Steph, this is just plain ridiculous!!!!!

I wish I'd though to take a picture Thursday night of the ladies that all showed up again.  We are changing our title from "Thursday Night Ladies" to "Thursday Night Life Group".  As defined by the website from our church...but relevant to those not just attending our church:  In Life Groups, people learn what it means to love each other, encourage each other, serve each other, and challenge each other.  They are relational environments where people are free to be real with one another - where a group of people can learn to live, love, and lead like Jesus.  That definitely sums up the desires of our hearts (especially after having some real honest discussions about it all) - and I'm excited to get back into a consistent routine, learning about God together, and praying for one another.  (Not to mention just to being with these amazing gals).

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to take a walk with Christy in the morning.  It's been a long time for the two of us too - especially without us both working out together at ESTC.  This time, I didn't get rained on.  =)  Following that, Whitley and I headed over to the Trinity House.  In what I consider to be a brilliant idea by the CCF Staff, women in my position who would consider being used in a "mentor capacity" for college age gals, have been assigned a room at the Trinity House to bring treats, offer notes of encouragement, and most important, offer our contact info to be used if ever the girls need/want to connect with us.  It's a great way for the Trinity girls to feel like ladies at First Baptist are thinking about and caring for them, but it's not in any way pressuring them to feel like they are obligated to "meet with an older woman".  That's always been my issue - if someone wants to meet with me, I want them to initiate as I'd never want them to feel trapped into it.

Fortunately, I got to semi-pick my room (many had already been claimed).  Ashley is the dear friend that helped coach volleyball with Jonna and I last year and will help coach Mikayla one on one this fall.  I adore her.  Alesha, her roommate is a gal we met when we took the Formal pictures last spring.  Through Facebook bantering, she asked if maybe we could get together sometime, so it was very comfortable reaching out to both of them.  Ashley is gluten-free and Alesha is allergic to honey so we went with Monster Cookies as the main treat. 

The returning Trinity girls are actually moving in today and the new girls are moving in tomorrow (so we were encouraged to have our gifts to the rooms by the end of this week).  This year's house leadership is SPECTACULAR!  The leadership has been in the house through the week cleaning and preparing - so when I brought Whitley and the box over, upon catching a glimpse of "the baby" they all gathered round to meet her.  She didn't disappoint with her happy smiles, semi-coy bashfulness, and gleeful giggles when I tickled her and threw her in the air.  I told them all her "miracle testimony story" - and how extraordinarily she is loved and adored by her parents who are beyond thankful that God chose to bless them with what He knew they needed but hadn't originally asked for.  I love how captivated all of the girls were with her and the story - even asking that we'd come to hang out on a regular basis.  (I'd be fine with that!).  Honestly, it's not only a lot of fun to just have encounters like this with Whitley (who is such an amazing baby), but it is awesome to be able to bond with these girls I'd really like to get to know better because of her. 

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