Sunday, July 27, 2008

camping done well, camping done right

a couple posts ago, i mentioned that i loved woodleaf. it makes my heart breathe. it really does. as i drove closer to the camp, my hear started to beat fast... and that started when i was still two hours away! this camp saved my life, it changed my life and it forever changed my expectations in camps. they do it well. they do it right.

campers stay in air conditioned cabins with real sheets and blankets on them. they don't bring sleeping bags. they have showers in their cabins. nice showers. that don't run out of hot water. their food is worth writing about in magazines. they don't skimp. it's not chicken fingers and tater tots. on friday night, the last night of camp, it's filet mignon, broccoli with cheese, a baked potato and raspberry cheesecake for desert. or at least that's what it was when i was working there. it's probably better now. i'm not kidding.

i love young life camps because they don't sacrifice quality which is a relief to see in a ministry. i've heard a lot of ministries say, "well, we're a ministry so that's why we can't do things as well as other people." i hate that answer. i'm a firm believer that because it's a ministry they should do it better and not settle for less. i feel like young life does this.

i love that they are a relevant ministry that teaches in relevant ways to the high school aged camper. being at woodleaf and seeing again what they do during every week of the summer and every day of the year, it made my heart beat fast for ministry again. it was like one of those defibrillators right to the ministry part of my heart! here are a couple pictures of their grounds. if you are ever near a young life camp, go tour it. it's incredible, i promise

this is 'burning man' aka the ropes course (ps, james, i liked the old one better minus the video stand!)

the view across the lake to town hall where they have their nightly 'club' meetings - which are incredible!

across the lake to the cabins - again, a.c., sheets, towels, carpet, windows, showers

this is the dining hall

this is the view from my old office - which has since been remodeled and is quite nice WITH A SHOWER (ps. james you and i need to have some seriously harsh words!)

this is the deck behind the game room that has pool tables and ping pong, also the sugar barrel aka snack shop where you can get blizzards or 'whirleys'

ziplines across the lake

this is the whiffle ball court

this is the town hall where the club meetings meet. instead of chairs there are just big steps so you sit on the floor which is much more welcoming.

i know, i know i'm a little biased. i love this camp. i also love spring hill. they are also doing amazing things.

here is a video that my friend tim sent of a drama that the summer staff - who are college kids who volunteer for one month at a time - put on during one of the club meetings. it brings tears to my eyes every time. it's INCREDIBLE!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


have you ever tried to fold origami in attempt to impress a boy you have a crush on? no? just me then?


ps. i suck at it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


i'm waking up at woodleaf this morning and there are no words for how this place makes me feel. it makes my heart beat faster and my brain slow down and my body breath. it's the most amazing feeling. i'll post pictures a little later but i'm afraid they won't do it justice. i kept taking pictures today and thinking, anyone who sees this won't really understand the magnitude of this place. it's like serenity and peace in a physical location. it's amazing here. i stepped out of the car and took a deep breath of fresh mountain air and it felt like pure oxygen in my lungs.

i'll post pictures soon. i have to leave here in four hours and i'm not ready. i could stay for weeks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


a friend of mine just accepted the dream position with a prime time television show and i could not be more excited for him! i plan to beg him to be his personal assistant and to just bring him coffee as a full time job.

more in the future!

more exciting than words can say.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Theres just so much

okay, too much to tell it all.  i'm right now in LA staying at merediths house.  here are some pictures from the trip so far.

dodgers game vs. atlanta braves at dodger stadium
me, rachel, meredith and leah at the dodger game.
me rachel, meredith and leah ouside the stadium.  we wanted the cityscape in the background but that's easier said than done.
i love how it looks like my head was photoshopped in.  this is krisit, steph, rachel, ingrid, leah and me in the 'tabu' club.  this was taken on the dance floor where we were having a blast trying to fend off very forward boys.  pretty funny.  this is when i figured out how old i am when after dancing for about an hour, my knees hurt.  how is that possible?!?
alcohol was not a factor.  we discussed how there is a 'club' of guys in ohio that are tattooing fake mustaches on the inside of their index finger so they can throw a mustache up at any time.  so, we found a permanent marker and added some mustaches which became a HYSTERICAL part of the trip.  you have no idea how funny this was to us.  so much so that we even got some perfect strangers to add mustaches too.  so great!  on the second night, we got daring and made more two fingered mustaches.
this was after the most expensive buffet i have ever eaten at... totally not worth it.  this is at the planet hollywood on the strip.
kristi, rachel, steph, meredith, ingrid, leah and me in front of the bellagio.
dodger game.
dodger stadium
ha!  i was in town for the HOLT vs. SOMEONE ELSE fight.  there were HOLT signs everywhere.  so great!

random guy adding a mustache, and rachel showing her hitler mustache on her finger
random guy in the tabu club dancing with rachel and rachel was NOT pleased!  she disinfected her entire body with purell after we exited the club.
the only gambling we did.  4 nickel slots and no one won.
kristi, me, rachel, leah and the mustaches
steph, meredith and ingrid and their mustaches
leah, me, rachel, meredith and steph all balancing on a pool raft.  impressive task i will add.
all of us with the mustaches.  we really couldn't get enough of this.
again, hysterical
not kidding.  so great.
in front of the vegas sign, our cab driver was NOT pleased we asked him to stop.
steph, rachel, kristi and me in front of the mountain view.  this was a self portrait i took with my long monkey arms.
dinner the first night.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

i LOVE hotels!

okay, i love hotels. it's kind of a strange love. for example, i am currently in las vegas. this is a pretty happening town. now, i can see the strip from my room but i'm... in my room. because i love it. if i needed to self diagnose myself i would say it's because i like to step out of my life and into this or because no matter where i go, if i'm in a hotel, i'm doing something out of the ordinary. i'm out of the hum drum every day life. i could stay in the marriott in south bend and still feel like i'm on a spectacular vacation. it's so wonderful. so tonight, i'm staying in my room. i got takeout, i took a nice hot shower (compared to a camp shower style) and i'm sitting here in my pajama pants, watching movies and cruising the net. it's wonderful

keep in mind that i just spent five days camping in northern wisconsin where i showered in a camper shower. and for those of you who don't know, that's not easy. today i could only shave from the knee down because the hot water ran out. you typically have to pick between washing your hair and shaving both legs. it's... an experience. but i had the camp fire and smores and thunderstorms during the night. oh and the excitement of having a BEAR in camp. they set the bear trap and we still saw nothing! i drove the boat for the kiddos to tube, we took a boat ride and found TWO eagles with their nests and a beaver. i also found a turtle but i'm still scarred because he peed all over me. it was quite unfortunate.

so, here i sit, in my fancy hotel room (that i got for super cheap from - the only way i could afford to stay here $60!!), with mosquito bites all over my ankles. and if i weren't a germophobe, i'd totally be enjoying this suede body pillow but instead, i will look at it from across the room.

ah, vacation!