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Skipped Back 10

November 25th, 2010

On Gratitude.

I've been thinking for a while, compiling a mental list, of all for which I am thankful this year. Repeatedly, my mind brings me this image of my 8th graders, those sweet little 13 year old girls. This year I am so thankful to know them and to be a witness to their innocence. They are untouched, unmarked by the alcohol, drugs, and sex that tear down so many young girls. They play cutesy games, they delight in Justin Bieber, and they are so dependent on their parents. They are how 8th grade girls should be, and, for that, I am thankful.

I suppose I'm also thankful not be in Mount Dora anymore, to teach in a school where I can pray with my girls, where I can wander off to the chapel when I need some quiet. I'm thankful for the creeper priest, who has actually really grown on me, because he doesn't deviate from the rubrics the way so many do.

I'm grateful for the friendships maintained through the years and over the miles. For Jeanette, who I still talk to almost daily; for Carolyn, who I can always call I'm bored or have a stupid question that requires internet; for Katie, who makes sure to call me every two weeks at a minimum; for Nicole, who always calls from the road; for John-Michael, who keeps me up-to-date on random news and calls me at home to save my cell phone minutes; and, of course, for Duggan, who through all and in all has taught me how to love and be loved.

Even more this year, I am thankful for the St. A's that I knew. For the parish that churned out dedicated, passionate leaders in spite of everything else. I am grateful for the people I met along the way who guided my journey there because they are responsible for making me the person who I am today. And I can't imagine being anyone else.

June 29th, 2010

(no subject)

T-R-I-N-I-T-A C-A-M-P camp. We love you. T-R-I-N-I-T-A C-A-M-P camp. We love you.

Trinita is a magical land. There are magical creatures like Schnookems. There are fantasy holidays like Olympics and Fiesta. There is music and laughter and joy. Tomorrow I will begin my fifth summer at Trinita. When I arrived for the first time, six years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. That first week was a whirlwind and that first Saturday, a devastation. I could not have imagined how hard it would be to watch those families leave.

It's still incredible to me how you can be so changed by people that you only know for a week. But the daily routines of eating together, washing dishes together, praying together, swimming together, and just being together form such a bond. It was at Trinita that I began going to daily Mass. The second week was when I began poking my head into the tiny "Come to the Stable" chapel to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. In the beginning the walk to breakfast from Cabin 4 seems so long - but by the end, it's simply normal.

Families come from the inner city, from New York and Baltimore, from Hartford and Philadelphia, from Jersey City and Bridgeport, to spend time together, to learn communication skills, to grow in faith. They pay a modest sum and survive with modest accommodations. The staff, those of us who lead the prayer, facilitate blanket time, lead games, and build bonfires, are volunteers. We are "paid" in housing, in food, and in love. The planning is done by the MOMS group, and the MSBTs are responsible for the program as a whole. It is a program built on giving, service, hospitality, and love.

Trinita is a ministry of presence. It is a place to just "be" with each other. At Trinita there is all the time in the world to talk over a cup of coffee, chat around the campfire circle while watching the children play on the playground, or bond over a game with the beach ball in the pool. There is a charism of hospitality, of welcoming, of friendship, of companionship. The volunteers are a crazy group of people with seemingly limitless energy, a strong sense of adventure, a willingness to help where needed, and a faith grounded in the love of Christ. We are all people who could very easily have chosen a summer job but instead we chose a summer of ministry, at our own expense. It's that element of giving that makes Trinita so special. No one is there for the money - because there is none. We are simply there because we experienced Trinitaland once - and wanted to make sure other people had the opportunity to experience it as well.

May 8th, 2010

(no subject)

Plan for tomorrow:

9:30 Mass
11am Return printer to Walmart
11:15 Buy different printer at Target
11:30 Go to the pool
1pm Come back from pool, eat lunch
1:35 Braves @ Phils on TBS
plan lessons for this week
clean house
Jillian Michaels DVD

January 4th, 2010

The Challenge:
 Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days (adapted version)

The Criteria:
 Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? 
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

My start date for this project is immediate – 1/5/09. I’ve adapted it to be 131 tasks in 1144 days so that it will end on 2/23/13, my 30th birthday.

Faith and Spirituality
1. Give at least $30 to church each week (0/52)
2. Make a holy hour each week (0/52)
3. Pray lauds and compline each day for a month, six times. (0/30)
4. Read the entire Bible
5. Be an RCIA Sponsor
6. Go on retreat (at least two nights) at least once a year
7. Find a spiritual director (meet monthly?)
8. Contact Salesians vocations director
9. Remember to pray before all meals for one month
10. Go to at least eight Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgies
11. Learn the ordinary of the Mass in Latin

12. Get my BMI to 22
13. Complete the Hundred Push Up Challenge
14. Run a 5k
15. Run a 10k
16. Run a half marathon
17. Complete the 1000 Minute Challenge for at least twelve months (0/12)
18. Actually chart for NFP for a whole year (0/365)
19. Play at least 30 minutes of Wii Fit everyday for a month (0/30)
20. Wear a skirt or dress at least once a week for a year (0/52)
21. Floss every night for one month (0/30)
22. Wear make up everyday for a week (ten times) (0/7)
23. Take at least two baths per month for the duration of the project (0/38)
24. Witness a birth (not on tv)
25. Get a pedicure at least every three months for the duration of this project (0/12)
26. Buy lingerie and wear it
27. Get to 100 hours on the Wii Fit
28. Take a multivitamin everyday for six months

29. Ride in a helicopter
30. Ride a segway
31. Go to the Sweet Corn Festival
32. Take a hot air balloon ride
33. See a movie at a drive in theater
34. Go skinny dipping
35. Swim with dolphins
36. Do the Shuttle Launch Experience at Cape Canaveral
37. Learn how to stop when ice skating
38. Ride on a zip line
39. Tour a castle

40. Knit a blanket or sweater
41. Sew a table cloth
42. Send a postcard to PostSecret
43. Sew an outfit (dress or shirt/pants)
44. Complete a Project 365 (4/365)
45. Learn to play at least five songs on my guitar (0/5)
46. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
47. Learn 20 new origami practices

48. Watch all seven (eight?) Harry Potter movies in a row
49. Find the international space station in the sky
50. Host a slumber party for my girlfriends
51. See a show on Broadway
52. Visit five museums
53. Go to the Harry Potter land at Islands of Adventure
54. Complete the A-Z Movie Challenge
55. Stay off Facebook for a week (separate from no internet week)
56. Complete a crossword puzzle
57. Celebrate a holiday I don’t usually celebrate
58. Dress up for Halloween

59. Go to Europe
60. Get to 25 states on my haircut map (16/25)
61. Take a road trip (at least 400 miles)
62. Complete A-Z City Challenge
63. Visit at least four new ballparks (0/4)
64. Go to New Orleans
65. Fly first class
66. Eat at one of the restaurants that Rachael Ray is filmed eating at

Friends and Relationships
67. Host a monthly dinner party for a year
68. Update my “Husband List”
69. Meet a boy and have a serious relationship for at least six months
70. Kiss someone at midnight on New Year’s
71. Meet one person I know through the internet in real life

72. Make at least one new recipe each month for a year (0/12)
73. Eat in at least two new (to me) Zagat rated restaurants per year (0/6)
74. Don’t eat out for at least one month (0/30)
75. Be vegetarian for a month (0/30)
76. Each fifteen things I’ve never tried before (0/15)
77. Go without soda for a year (4/365)
78. Join a CSA
79. Take a cooking class
80. Have tea at the Plaza in New York
81. Go apple picking
82. Bake something from scratch each month for the duration of the project
83. Go wine tasting at a winery
84. Eat gluten-free for a month
85. Make dinner in the crock pot once a month for a year (0/12)
86. Try to find a beer I like
87. Drink a half a gallon of water a day for a month

88. Make a household budget
89. Save at least $100 per paycheck
90. Limit food/fun/non-bill spending to $100 for one month
91. Get digital cable
92. Go at least a week without using the Internet
93. Get clip for Bianca’s bumper

94. Get Florida Professional Teacher Certification
95. Begin Masters Program in Theology
96. Join NCTM
97. Find a new job

98. Read at least 50 books in a year (0/50)
99. Read at least five books from the banned book list (0/5)
100. Be able to label a map of the world
101. Get a Mt. Dora library card
102. Become a member of Mensa
103. Read all the books I own but haven’t read
104. Take a leisure course at a college

105. Clean out closets and donate/throw away stuff at least three times a year
106. Set up digital address book
107. Compile all Alpha CDs in iTunes from Spring 2001 til now, make “talk” playlists
108. Use re-usable bags instead of plastic bags at grocery store for at least three months
109. Frame my college degrees (find Bachelors Degree first)
110. Start composting

111. Go on a mission trip that is at least a weeklong
112. Donate 100,000 grains of rice via freerice.org (0/100000)
113. Volunteer at least 20 hours with youth
114. Go back to Trinita
115. Do at least one random act of kindness a month

To be Determined (suggestions welcome)

101 in 1001 Project

126. Review my 101 in 1001 project list each week
127. Inspire 5 people to make their own 101 in 1001 list (0/5)
128. Give $5 to St. Augustine’s for each item not completed
129. Save $1 for each completed item
130. Make a new 101 list when my 1001 days are coming to an end and include on it all the things that I failed to complete (which hopefully is none)
131. Have a party to celebrate the successful completion

This could be fun


December 24th, 2009

(no subject)

Look to the future with peace in your heart. -Fr. Robert, Feast of the Nativity, 24 December 2009

November 16th, 2009

Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should, and
let go of what you can't change.

Kiss slowly,
play hard,
love deeply,
forgive quickly,
take chances,
give everything, and
have no regrets.

August 15th, 2009

Roasted Chicken


Begin by harvesting eight to ten springs of rosemary from the garden.

Boil potatoes along with a whole lemon for about thirty minutes.

Jamie Oliver says to dip the rosemary in the boiling potato water before stripping the stems. Combine with an entire head of garlic and lots of lemon zest to make this yummy paste. Add olive oil as needed.

Rub all over chicken. Put the whole lemon from the boiling water inside the chicken and stick him in the oven.

After a while, drain the potatoes and put them around the chicken.

Take the potatoes out after an hour. They should look delicious. You also should have tossed some asparagus in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to roast for about thirty minutes.

The chicken himself will look AMAZING. And taste just as good :)

May 17th, 2009

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa
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