Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do you have some free time?

Here it is. Every single picture I took while I was in Nairobi on one website PLUS bonus video! If you are bored and looking to pass the time, this is the way to go.

August in Nairobi

Have fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Number 64 SO HELP ME!

One day, a long time ago, I fell in love with a band. I don't remember how it happened, but it was instant. Everyone in my family knew, but only a few close friends new. I felt a little ashamed. Oh boy, am I about to dish some secrets.

I have a large imagination and when I was younger I was in a completely different world most of the time. I felt like if I invited certain friends over and they saw the Hanson and Babysitters Club posters on my wall, they'd somehow be transported into the world that I imagined everyday and then I'd be a complete outcast from society.

Sooo...that's about the time the Internet was becoming accessible to me. I remember I used to run home from school before my parents get home, log on, and hit up all my favorite Hanson websites. Then I'd talk to the three friends I met in a Hanson fan Yahoo group (Amy, who I met eventually at a concert but lost touch with, Kelly, who was also a huge Jane Austen fan, who I also lost touch with, and Amber, who's real name turned out to be Mikkele, who is my facebook friend - hi Mikkele). Finally, ugh, I'm cringing...finally...finally....I would print off as many pictures as I could before I heard my parents come home. I used up so much ink and paper. I felt convicted of it often. Such a bad person. Such a terrible thing to hide. But I kept doing it. And I have proof. Two large bins of my...collection...are in the attic of our house.

Mom, please don't throw them away?

But aside from my crazy, this band had some good impacts on me. Thankfully, they were influenced by some great legendary artists that I found myself researching out of curiosity. Jackson 5, James Taylor, Chuck Berry, and so on. And then I started writing music. And I started writing stories, and drawing pictures. And over the years I realized that music was where my life was headed. It was the one thing I never grew tired of. So now, twelve years later, I'm still a Hanson fan. And I really think their music helped put me on a path that has lead to me being here in New York, working in the music business.

So imagine how I felt when I got a call on a Friday afternoon - that I almost didn't even answer because we were about to close up - from Hanson's lawyer, saying that Hanson was going to come in for a meeting with my boss the following week.

Well I spent the next few days hyperventilating a little bit, just to get it out. Celebrities really don't make me nervous anymore but COME ON!!!!!!! I had to do my best to suppress every little thought that went through my head between the ages of twelve and twenty three sixteen years old. I had to keep my composure. I had to not throw up, which was definitely what I felt like I was going to do.

They came in and my boss told me to go out and greet them. So I did. I shook their hands and introduced myself, like a good executive assistant, and then I lost it. I started crying. Whimpering, even. I grabbed the closest brother to me and held on for dear life because for goodness sake THIS WAS MY CHANCE!!!!

Good story, right?

Alright, I lied. All I said was, "It's so nice to meet you, I'm a huge fan." And then it was like I mattered, and they looked interested and genuinely thankful and Isaac laughed and said, "Well you have terrible taste in music, but thanks!" And then he asked where the bathroom was. I make such an impression.

And then I shook hand with their dad. And then Taylor went directly to the piano and got in a zone and started playing. And then I just kind of stood around and watched and tried to be normal, then realized I was looking like a freak, so I went back to my desk. Then they followed me and went into my boss's office and I tried to pay attention to what was going on with my emails. Then they moved around the corner and played some new music that they brought in and I was dying to go in there and swipe it away, it was so good.

I did go in there, though, at my boss's request. I went to offer them water bottles. And this is where I really did feel like a FREAK as I stood in the middle of the room and offered water to a bunch of confused looking faces, which I didn't understand, until I saw that everyone was already holding water bottles. And then I did the Linus walk back to my desk.

They left two hours later. I was happy. And I crossed something huge off my list. There are a lot more details, but I'll spare you. I have a lot more insight into what this means, but I'll spare you that, also.

They look like this now. Don't say I didn't tell you so:

And they are all married. The oldest has two kids, the youngest has one kid, and the middle:

By the way, want to know why I'm still such a huge fan? Because of their passion for Africa. What they are doing to raise awareness inspires me. And it makes me wonder what I can do to share with the world the impact that Africa has had on my life.

But more about that later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Check, check!

Sometimes I think about my list and I feel a little discouraged. Mostly because I know I've already failed on a few things liiiiike send Lauren and Rachel a post card every month. And a few other monthly/daily things that I definitely am uh, not doing.

But I decided to go ahead and give that list another gander today BECAUSE...one of the things that I thought would most definitely not happen, or at least be really hard to accomplish...happened. Last Friday.

And so I started scrolling down that list and you know what? I forgot about a lot of things. And I DID a lot of those things. I guess it's all apart of my adventurous spirit that I subconsciously...remembered? Yep, that's it.

So let's catch up, shall we?

Number 12
Bring baked goods to work at least once every three months
One of the first things I made from that list down there was Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. I cut the recipe in half and still had three pans, so I gave one away and brought one to work.

Number 18
Become a member of City Church
Did it! When Lauren was visiting in July, actually. I'm so blessed to be a part of City Church.

Number 34
Cook a meal for a family in my church
Well, I think this counts. I pretty much eat and cook at least once a week with the Gillens. This particular picture is from when Lauren was here and we made pizza. I really love eating and cooking with the Gillens!

Number 38
Eat and/or drink on the roof
Yep. Did that a lot this summer.

Number 41
Go apple picking
I did this! Two days ago! And I just made some Pioneer Woman apple cake with 'em.

Number 44
Go on a road trip
That came with the apple picking. We went to Poughkeepsie. I took lots of pictures!

Number 45
Go to a beach other than the one on Coney Island
In July Lauren, Claire and I went to Long Beach where we got more than we bargained for. Topless beaches? In New York? Did anyone know that? Did we participate? Did I take pictures? Am I still talking?

Number 46
Go to a concert in the park
Philharmonic in Prospect Park. Check!

Number 48
Go to a spa
Okay, uh, sorta did this. In Kenya. Went in for a massage and a manicure and I don't know...pretty sure I don't like massages from strangers. Just wanted to giggle the whole time. And also, we went to the wrong spa. It was about as big as my living room. Anyway, don't think I need to do it again.

Number 49
Go to a vineyard
There was a small winery at the orchard this weekend! I tried Macintosh, Blueberry, Peach, Blackberry, and some amazing tasting fall flavored wine. I'd like to go back. Really would.

Number 50
Go to Africa
Yeah. I will hopefully be sharing more about this soon, but click on the photo up there on the right (the one of me with a baby I stole met) for a quick run through!

Number 59
Host a BBC party (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre)
This is not for the faint of heart.

Number 68
Picnic in the park
This has happened many glorious times so far.

Number 69
Plant an herb garden
This might be toeing the line, but I'm going to count it. A few months ago I bought a little basil plant from Ikea. All I had to do was spread the seeds, add water, and place on my window sill. I did that and my little basil plant grew beautifully! We even used some to put on that previously mentioned homemade pizza. I forgot, however, to ask my roommates to water it while I was in Africa for a month. I thought they might do it anyway. And even if they didn't, basil doesn't require a lot of water. Well, they didn't. It's okay, I don't blame them. I blame myself. Basil killer! Basil killer!

Might try that one again.

Number 72
Pray with a stranger
Thank you, Africa, for this. I prayed with many new brothers and sisters. Strangers no more.

Number 95
Take a homeless person to lunch and ask to pray for them
In the same vein as number 72. This is literally what we did one day in Africa. Brought them lunch, asked to pray for them. Most of them were high on glue and/or drunk. It was really hard, but it wasn't apart from God's reach. And can I just say that my little sister, Rachel, is super anointed? You should hear her pray. Ask her to pray for you someday. Please! You'll be blessed. Actually, thinking I need to take my own advice here. Rachel...?

There is one more that I didn't mention. The one that prompted this whole post in the first place. But seeing as it took me over two episodes of Glee to type this up, I'm going to wait on The Big One. The one that truly could not have happened outside of the Lord's intricate weaving. I mean, you're going to laugh when you find out what it is (if you haven't already narrowed it down), but I don't care. I'm over the moon, in fact!

But that story is for a later day. Until then, I'm off to comp-template how in the world I'm going to get Lauren to read a Harry Potter book.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

So busy.

Since I got back from Africa Saturday, I've been super busy. It's insane! I'm so freakin' busy!! Ahh!!

Just look at my TO DO list:

Cinnamon Rolls
Onion Strings (I have a new-found love for onions)
Baked Beans
Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits
Pumpkin Muffins
Apple Crisp
Pork Dumplings
Chicken Enchilada's

I have to make up for my First American Dinner of Velveeta Mac 'n Cheese and 7-11 brand peanut butter sandwich cookies. That meal needs to be completely erased from memory.