And many more.

I have a love / hate relationship with Tupperware. I love it, because Tupperware means delicious leftovers, but I hate it, because who likes to wash dishes anyways.

Cooking for myself this semester has been an adventure. How much effort I put in depends on how much time I have, although lately I’ve noticed myself putting off homework so I can stand around and cook. There’s something soothing about it; intentionally taking time out of my day to do something good for myself. I don’t do that often.

I’m in a nutrition class this semester, too, which has made me hyper-aware of what I eat and drink. Add to it the fact that I’m shopping for and buying my own groceries… I’ve been kind of neurotic about food this past month. It’s given me time though to realize what I like, want, and need, and I think that’s good for me.

Right now I have casserole in the oven and it smells delicious. This is one of the few recipes that I’ve actually followed; normally I like to try to make stuff up, and it usually doesn’t work all that well. My nutrition book says that when people cook their own food, they tend to eat less, for a variety of reasons. I don’t think that’s true in my case. I’m all like “Shoot this is delicious and I made it myself… lets celebrate with seconds.”

I appreciate what I eat, now, from pb&j’s to peanut chicken stir-fry. I appreciate the effort, and the fact that I can eat what I like. “…It returns me to myself to shop for food, to wander through the produce section, to was hand chop vegetables, to heat garlic and broth, to taste the sharpness of cheddar on whole grain bread. ” (Exodus- Cold Tangerines) Shauna Niequist is a brilliant writer and someday I’d like to put my thoughts into words the way she does.  She talks a lot about food and cooking and how important an act it is to cook for someone, and to cook good food for yourself.

It nourishes you, body and soul. One of my favorite points she makes is this: “There’s still a big story, disguised as just regular life, and the big story is about love and death and God, and about bread and wine and olives, about forgiveness and hunger and freedom, about all the things  we dream about, and all the things we handle and hold.” The things we make and eat and touch and throw and hold are all telling a story, and some days we forget to see the big picture for all the minutiae in our lives, and other days we can’t focus in on the little, beautiful gifts we receive every day.

I’m going home to celebrate my brother’s birthday this weekend. For a few hours, everything will be right with the world; all the ice cream and the steak, and the hugs and songs. It’s all telling a story, a big story, but I’m going to dwell on the little things. Like guacamole and bananas on the sideboard and a warm cup of tea and my mom booing the Patriots and the fire in the fireplace and the cat on the windowsill.

Indistinct

I think I’ve gotten less than 8 hours of sleep in the past two days combined. Hoorah.

This semester is going to be so intense. My senior research project (“What’s Your Power Hour?” a study on the effects of time of day on exercise performance) started last week and I’m just going to go ahead and whine about how early I get up. I know, 7:30 isn’t terrible twice a week. It’s the staying up until 1:30 the night before for Ultimate practice that does it. I’m really excited, though, to see what we find out. This week wraps up the first round of tests, and we move on to our next set on Monday. It’s taught me a lot about being flexible, working with other people who aren’t as invested in something as I am, and how to write a semi-professional email REALLY fast.

Also, last week, I started my internship! I’m with the Training Center this semester, an after school program for some Marion kids, kindergarten through 7th grade, I think. I’m mostly with the 3-4th grade girls. I go in twice a week and there’s a chunk of recreation time that, as I get more used to the whole program, I’ll be leading. It’s so great to be around kids again. They’re so funny, and I forgot how quickly little kids form relationships. I’m thankful for that. The other volunteers there are really cool. One of them, Kinsey, who I’ve been informally shadowing, is such a great teacher. I start tripping over my words and concepts and she steps in with an awesome example and hands-on activity.

Ultimate finally kicks off this weekend for real with our first tournament, in Alabama, T-Town Throwdown. We’ll finally have our whole (almost…) team and our new coach, Joey, is coming with us too. I’m excited to see how our team develops and grows through this. Also, apparently we’re making dinner for ourselves. So that will be an adventure.

I’m exhausted. So here are some other people’s words that I really like.

“Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
—John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”
—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

And my personal, forever favorite

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

If you have a second, check this out. Andy is a good friend and teammate of mine, and he has meant so much to me over the past year and a half. He has so much passion and drive, and a story that gets at my heart. He’s a guy that I’m proud to know and call a friend.

Catch you on the flip side!

Two Things.

First thing: I’ve really been passionate lately about the idea of “your story.” Whether people know it or not, they have a specific way they like to tell their story. In writer lingo, it’s the “voice” of their life. I have a distinct “voice,” and only I can tell my story right because I tell it in my “voice.” When I tell stories to a certain sibling, I tell it exactly one way, and when I talk to my best friend, I tell the story in exactly another way.

I’m not sure that made any sense. Anyway, the point is that, though some people may like it, most people would prefer to tell their own story in their own voice. And we should let them. Sure there’s a time for the real story to come out without bias, but there’s also time for understanding someone in their own way.

Second thing: this past weekend was the Camp T summer staff reunion, and as always, it was a blast. We talked about how we could change summer camp for the better, in so many ways. One of the sessions ended up being about responsibility, basically, and how we could get the kids to really “own” camp. I liked that one. Dave Wright, the old CEO, modeled responsibility every time he stepped outside, always finding a piece of trash to throw away. That’s a resounding image that a lot of us will hold on to forever, and hopefully begin to model for our own campers.

I got to see a lot of my favorite people in the world, but the brightest minutes of the weekend were when Brody was around. Last summer, after trainings, we were in separate villages so I didn’t get to see Brody a lot, but whenever we ran into each other on lake road or in Main Field, he gave the best hugs.  He was in top form this weekend, coming up with brilliant thoughts like “What would human Bop-It look like?” (hint: hysterical, competitive, and totally doable. New camp game?) and “Can you imagine if someone was late to the Last Supper?” (“Freaking Judas, I’m going to die tomorrow and he can’t even be here on time??? I told you guys 6 o’clock, right?”) Things of that nature.

After people had started leaving, a handful of us were sitting around a table in the fellowship room and, out of the blue, Brody goes “Did you guys know, it was shameful to run back in Bible days? So like when the Prodigal son’s father ran to meet him, he just stopped caring about what everyone else thought?” Then Scotty D told us the origin of the phrase “gird up your loins, how to gird up our loins, and why they had to “gird up their loins” (they couldn’t run in those big old skirts anyways.) They painted a picture for me of an old man, his robe wrapped up like a diaper, running down a road, probably tackling his son into the ground in his joy.

Everybody always goes on about how we are to chase after God and “dance like David danced.” So true. I’m a fan of dancing, and I love David’s attitude. I’ve been there. When you’re feeling so on top of the world and blessed that you can’t stand still.

But I love the other image that Brody gave me; of a God who’s so excited and in love that he’s willing to look like a fool, just for us.