Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today, while teaching religion class, one of the girls asked what exactly I do (I'm pretty used to it by now). After telling them that I work with the High Schoolers and Middle Schoolers that go to Messiah one of them asked how old I was.

I said that I turned 26 today, which turned into a spontaneous singing of Happy Birthday by the 3rd and 4th grade class and a handful of homemade cards.

It was the best kind of "Happy Birthday song" I've ever heard.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


So, today was an insanely busy Sunday. I had children's message, sunday school, an adult leader meeting with those going to youth quake, children's message, voters meeting and in a few minutes, small group. The day started out great, I got to church early, gave my children's message round one at early service and was helping the acolytes fill their tapers (or as they call them "fire sticks"), and spilled oil all down my pants. Not only did I look like I could not control my bladder, I had to run home in between early service and sunday school to change. Awesome.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


A few weeks ago I got a call from my Aunt asking if she could pass my number on to a boy that she met at a party, I said that she could pass on my email address and we could go from there.

Apparently, it's going. Contact from said boy has been made via email and while I have responded, I remain a little weary about this whole, "let's set Hannah up with whoever is available" fever that seems to be gripping, well, everyone I know in these past few weeks.

It occurred to me earlier today that as my Aunt has now taken up for me the position of matchmaker that I am now either going to have to a) marry the boy that she wants me to or b) find a spectacular match on my own.

Neither of these choices seem like they are going to be particularly fruitful.


Friday, January 25, 2008

A Semi-Adventure in Oklahoma City

Earlier this week, I finally got up the nerve to ask one of the girls from small group if she wanted to grab some lunch with me. This whole grownup version of making friends seems to me to be much much harder than elementary school when all you needed was a cool Barbie (and trust me, my Barbies rocked).

Even though I've been going to this particular small group for nearly 4 months, my social contact remained largely in the small group setting. Call it fear, call laziness, or blame it on busyness, I hadn't really reached out in that way.

So, before lunch on Monday, I thought about all the possible topics of conversation that I could bring up in case of a dreaded lull, but found out that within about two seconds that I didn't really need to be worried. I think I have found a soul sister, a kindred spirit, a good friend. Yay!

Friday, January 18, 2008


"She took a midnight train going anywhere..."

Ok, so it's not that kind of Journey. This weekend, the high schoolers are going to Journey in January at Camp Lutherhoma in Tahlequah, OK.

Journey is by far one of my favorite retreat weekends, albiet the campy-ness and coldness that accompany it. Journey is a retreat that is planned and led by high school students from all over the state of Oklahoma. These youth plan for this for months and willingly give up a lot of their time and energy to make this weekend work.

This year's theme is "Good Morning Journey" and is supposed to address the urgency of our faith. I'm excited and interested to see how it's addressed.

Mostly, I'm excited about Journey for three reasons 1) It is a GREAT opportunity to spend some QT with the kids at much church without having to really be in charge of anything other than the youths themselves. 2)the youth are really pushed to think a lot harder about who they are as Christ-followers and how that relates to their every day lives and 3)there are a lot of kids going this year... more than have ever gone before, which is exciting. I know, I know, it's not about the numbers, it's about the relationships, but it is nice when a lot of kids want to come to something that was once only a few (like 2) youth attended.

So, yes, I'm braving the cold and braving the "wilderness" and I am excited. I am excited for the youth going, for the other adult chaperone going, and for myself. Is it time to go yet?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fears and Fifth Grade Religion Class

"What do you think demophobia is?"


You gotta love 5th graders.


"Oh HELL no, I am WAY more of a prude than that!"

My hairdresser Anna, as we were talking about boys who try to hit on us.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Many thanks to the spode. Without her I would descend into a swirling vortex of crazy.

Also, one would think that as a "Youth worker," (I'm not sure why the quotes), that I would look past outward appearances and see the "goodness within."

I'm afraid I am just too shallow. Attractiveness is a must.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


In the summer, I'm not the kind of girl who does a cannonball straight into the pool. I like to dip my feet in, comment on how cold it is, let my toes get used to the water, get in a little bit farther, and repeat until I'm completely submerged.

Getting back into the work schedule has been something of a cannon ball this week (or more likely, a belly flop). It has been and continues to be insane. I am ready for this week to be over.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Christmas Vacation

Highlights from Illinois:

*My grandpa's appreciation over all his new pajamas (that's all he asked for.) He promptly told us, "Now I won't have to sleep naked anymore" (Thanks Grampy for THAT.)
*My Aunt's suggestion to go out and then another Aunt's comment,"that new place in town just put in a pole!" (ummm, what kind of dancing do you think that we're going to do?)
*Lunch at the Freeze with Jenny P. Just like old times (only we weren't the ones doing the cooking.)
*Prom dress shopping with the little sister.
*Hanging out with the brother.
*Apples to Apples with my Dad's side of the family.
*Baking cookies with my mom
*Realizing that even near 26 year-olds enjoy owning American Girl Dolls.
*Wicked. Amazing.

*Mahesh, the shopping cart and the lawnmower.
*Good sushi and the inquisitive girl.

And now, some pictures....

1. Sydney with her amstel light beer bottle. Before you think we're serving minors, it's filled with $80.00 worth of pennies.
2. Kristy and I before WICKED!
3. Miller's Pub: Chicago... no relation
4. At American Girl Place. :)

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Simple Life

One of the things about growing up in a small town is that you know EVERYONE. When you leave that small town and then come back for an extended stay, you're almost certain to run into someone that you know and haven't seen in forever, at the grocery store, getting gas, whatever. I'm usually pleasantly surprised by these run-ins and enjoy the chance of catching up with people.

One day during vacation, I met my friend Jenny and we had lunch at the freeze (where we worked in high school--formally a "tastee freeze" of "a little ditty 'bout Jack and Diane" fame). I ran into the equivalent of my high school sweetheart. It had been about 18 months since I had last seen him, about 3 years since the drama of the high school reunion.

The times that I've run into this boy I am always reminded of the life that I could have possibly had, bittersweet in its' simplicity. We would have hung out the summer before our freshmen years of college. We would have dated throughout our college carreers (his a two, mine four). And like every country song ever written, we would have gotten married, bought some land and settled down.

Obviously, my life hasn't turned out to be quite that simple. However, the beauty of the complications makes my life more full than I could have imagined at 18. Had I followed that path, I never would have met my college friends, or the high schoolers and middle schoolers that I work with, or my friends here. I never would have learned what it meant to live on my own, to have a chance to get to know myself.

This life is infinitely more complicated and infinitely more beautiful and I am thankful for that.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Ah, 2007. I'm happy to see you gone.
I was very, very ready to begin the final countdown into 2008. Good Riddance 2007.

And just so you don't think that I am completely cynical, here's my list of things that affected my year. In 2007 I:

1) Fought for my job.
2) Survived and enjoyed an 8 day trip to Florida with the high school students and got to see my middle schoolers--the "David and Goliath" group, shine at a service project in New Mexico.
3) Took vacation for me that wasn't attached to any family time (Hello, Colorado!)
4) Learned to ski (though not very well) and hiked in some mountains.
5) Said goodbye to an uncle who will be very much missed.
6) Joined a small group Bible study, made some new friends here and found (quite surprisingly) family.
7) Reconnected with old friends (Girls' Night!)
8) Started getting paid to write and to speak.
9) Learned the effects and consequences of vacation, altitude and alcohol.
10) Got a roommate and a step-dog.
11) Learned why I kept expectations low.
12) Celebrated with Bethany and Mike at their wedding (and tried roasting marshmallows over a candle).
13) Fell in love with my middle school confirmation class (also was hit on by a sixth grader).
14) Paid off bills and took some responsibility.
15) Had an interview with a church close to the parents and realized that I wanted to be here.
16) Spent lots of time with college friends in non-work type settings.
17) Got closer to my brother and watched my sister become a full-fledged teenager.
18) Felt like I am seeing fruits in the ministry here.

Bring on 2008!