Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Parade Pictures!

Waiting for the parade to start!

Turkey float!

Captain Jack Sparrow. Kinda.

This group was intense. I was nervous to walk in front of them to get a picture.

One of many marching bands.

Confession. I’m selfish. My favorite part of photographing the parade was flashing my press pass and walking in the middle of State Street without getting run over.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Printed Newspapers

Call me old fashioned, but I love newspapers. I love writing articles and seeing them printed. This morning was the final distribution day for The Moody Standard until next semester. I'm already looking forward to the interesting and new assignments that next semester will hold!

Monday, November 21, 2011

1oo Things I'm Thankful For (41-50)

41. Productivity. It feels so great to cross things off of my ever lengthening to-do list.
42. Cookbooks. My appreciation for them is growing.
43. Kids. I love seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
44. Libraries. I occasionally get a lot done there!
45. A Younger Sister. Someone to pick on as well to love and protect.
46. Leggings. These come in handy under skirts on windy days.
47. Can Openers. What would we do without them?
48. Warm Bed. Favorite place in my room.
49. Joy. I’m thankful that I’m learning it’s a choice not an emotion.
50. Church. I’ve been enjoying church more this semester than I have in a long time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Navy Pier

On Friday night a group of us from Culby 16 and Smith 5 went to Navy Pier! It was cold and windy, but the ferris wheel ended up being free! We rode it like 5 times in a row. Fun stuff!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1oo Things I'm Thankful For (31-40)

31. Accurate News Reports. I like the truth.
32. Crunchy Leaves. The ones that make the great noises when you step on them!
33. Sleep. There’s nothing like a fluffy pillow and a warm blanket after a long day.
34. Blogs. I thoroughly enjoy writing mine and enjoy all the blogs I read.
35. Cute Jackets. I have way too many lightweight jackets.
36. Dictionaries. I’m horrible at spelling and mix up words all the time.
37. Umbrellas. Things like umbrellas are simple but very necessary sometimes.
38. Handwriting. I love how unique everyone’s is.
39. Alarm Clocks. It’s a bittersweet thankfulness - I don’t like waking up to them, but I don’t like being late for things.
40. Sweatshirts. I’ve been living in them all week!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perfect and Plastic

I interviewed the most lovely girl today! As a journalist, I’m used to one way conversations and being interested in the person’s life for the sake of the story. It’s not that I don’t have genuine care or concern for the person I’m interviewing, but it’s professional.

The girl I talked to today gave me a very accurate glimpse into my own life and put words to my experience growing up in a plastic and controlled Christian world. Here's an excerpt of our conversation...

In the perfect world I grew up in, the one I thought I could construct and I control, I had a false sense of happiness. I’ve gone through intense suffering and have memories that I still carry with me. But through the grace of God, I have joy from God that others don’t always understand. Many Christians understand what a sorrowful joy is though and it’s not one that comes without tears. The Lord does things too wonderful for me to know during these times of trials.

While I was young, I lived in a plastic self-contained world. This world was one that I thought I could control, but eventually realized I couldn’t as it was gradually falling apart. God wasn’t just a distant piece of information anymore, but a relational and relevant Savior. In this new world that I entered into, there were things I couldn’t manage.

There was great joy to be experienced that I could never experience in the plastic world I built up for myself. Joy was able to be found through the trials and suffering.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Colors

Not to betray my favorite season (summer), but fall is gorgeous! I love all the vibrant colors.

Monday, November 7, 2011

1oo Things I'm Thankful For (21-30)

21. Quiet Moments. “Be STILL and know that I am God...” Psalm 46:10
22. Boots. They’re becoming my favorite type of shoe.
23. Chick-fil-a. I’m just really into chicken right now!
24. Fireworks. I think there should be fireworks for every holiday.
25. Patience. I don’t typically have an abundance of it, but I’m working on it.
26. Journals. So many blank pages to fill with thoughts, adventures, memories, emotions, desires, pain...
27. Change. It scares the crap out of me sometimes, but I’m learning that it’s not always a bad thing.
28. Accountability. I’m thankful for the 2 other girls in my small group and that they keep me accountable to my goals.
29. Yoga. Not the creepy spiritual yoga, but the stretching, quiet, and focusing one.
30. Allergy Free Foods. Foods without dairy and soy are a rare but precious find!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina. They’re beautiful, graceful, strong, controlled, and driven. And they get to twirl around in tutus. I was a swimmer. I was on swim team for about 8 years and loved it. The early morning practices, wearing the same team swimsuit as everyone else, the initial painful dive into the frigid water and that first breath of bitter air after emerging from the water... It doesn’t sound so attractive in a list like that, but it was a wonderful experience! I learned about dedication, being on a team, having a positive attitude, respecting leadership, losing graciously, and winning humbly.

I have a lovely little pile of trophies, ribbons, and paper plate awards. My favorite were the paper plate awards. Paper plate awards were given out by the coaches at the end of the season. They were ordinary paper plates with a phrase written on them. It was a way for the coaches to remember the funny things that had happened throughout the season.

My paper plate awards included... Tripping and falling into the pool with my blanket, refusing to get in the pool one morning before coloring with the coach (I was 6 at the time), slicing my foot open as I dove into the pool and then getting upset when I was told I was done with practice for a few days, refusing to eat the gummy worms* given to me as a reward for getting first place in a race (I was 7 at the time), and asking if the water was going to be wet (I was 5 at the time).

During my sophomore year in high school, I traded my swim cap and goggles for a guitar. Picking up a guitar opened a wonderful new world for me.
But back to wanting to be a ballerina, it’s not that swimmers and musicians can’t be beautiful, strong, and graceful... It’s just different.

Or maybe I really just wanted the tutu.

*Worms are too much like snakes and I was (and still am) scared of snakes. Therefore, gummy worms are considered gross and creepy in my world.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crafts at New Life Lincoln Park!

Emma, Gaby, and I had lots of fun this afternoon doing creative and girly crafts with a handful of ladies from church!

Friday, November 4, 2011

1oo Things I'm Thankful For (11-20)

11. New Guitar Strings. They hurt my fingers, but sound so bright and clear.
12. Clorox Wipes. My roommate and I are anti-germ.
13. Sunrises. “Morning by morning new mercies I see...Great is Thy faithfulness."
14. My Chiropractor. Dr. McCallister is one of my favorite people in the world!
15. Discernment. Knowing right from wrong and then having the wisdom to act upon it.
16. Books. I love reading the words of others.
17. Imagination. I don’t know where or who I’d be without it...
18. Water. Another one of those things I tend to take for granted, but it’s super important.
19. Maps. Not that I’m good at reading them, but they come in handy for some people!
20. Camera. I love capturing moments in time and turning them into treasurable memories.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tangled Up

I walked into my room this afternoon and exclaimed, “I’m freaking out over here!” as I threw myself on my roommates bed. I wish I could say that this was a onetime occurrence, but it’s not.

I know I’ve written a few other posts about anxiety, but that’s what I’m currently working through, so that’s what I’m thinking about and want to write about.
I’ve been doing better overall, but still have moments of mass panic. Today was one of those moments of mass panic.

Story time with Andrea...

I played guitar and sang on the worship team almost every week this summer. I’ve been on a worship team since freshman year of high school. So being a part of a worship team and leading is nothing new for me. And it’s something that I love and find joy in!

My last Sunday at Cedar Grove this summer had the potential to be a fun one! Most of the new sound equipment was on the stage and being used. The sanctuary was painted and the carpeting was new, as well. We also switched from pews to chairs. Everything felt contemporary and exciting! I got to play electric guitar for three songs, acoustic for two of them, and a high hat for like 2 measures of another song. Plus I sang harmony. I was on my side of the stage with Rusty. All was totally normal in my world of worship team and being on the stage.

Except for the mass amount of panicking I was doing. And it was frustrating. I was so annoyed that I couldn’t figure out what was causing the anxiety that I’m sure it was causing more.

Do you have people in your life that can tell when something’s wrong without asking? Because I do. And these people drive me absolutely crazy! BUT, I also love and appreciate them more than I’ll probably ever be able to express to them.

Tom was in the back in the sound booth and walked up to the stage.

“Are you ok?” he asked.“Yes.” He took a few steps away from the stage when I realized I’d totally lied to him.
“Tom. I’m really anxious.”
“I can tell,” (or something along those lines) was his response.

I don’t remember the short conversation that followed except that Tom was gentle, reassuring, and encouraging.
It makes me laugh a little looking back on the scene because I’m really not good at hiding things when I’m overwhelmed, especially when I’m around people who know me.

A trip to Tom’s office was in order early that week (dun dun duuunnnnnn) before I headed back to Chicago. I got to the church and was glad to find Alicia and Robert there. There’s something comforting about having friends to creatively stall with! It literally took me 15 minutes to finally walk through the doorway into his office and I only went through the door because Alicia pushed me.

It’s obviously not Tom I dread - it’s knowing that I’m imperfect and have big hurdles to overcome.
As I sat in the chair (NOT the couch) wrapped in the fuzzy purple blanket I store in his office, we talked through everything and he gave me some great advice. I’ve been giving a lot of advice in the past year. Some pieces have been more helpful than other pieces. But something that's stuck with me these past few months was the advice to cling to Jesus and to place Him over my anxiety. It’s a choice. I need to choose Jesus and run to Him instead of letting my anxiety take root and control my life.

There’s a scene near the end of the Disney Princess movie Tangled that I think gives an accurate picture of how we need to fight against these things we struggle with.

Here's the link to it... (It won't let me embed it. Sorry!)


“No. I won’t stop for every minute for the rest of my life. I will fight. I will never stop trying to get away from you.”

Intentional. Persistent. With all the strength and determination that we have. That's how combating anxiety (or any struggle) must be.

I lost the fight against my anxiety today, but I won’t lose this battle. Tomorrow’s a new day with more choices to make and more chances to succeed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Social Media Invasion!

Here's a video Mrs. Janosz shared in my Public Relations class today. I thought the statistics were interesting and a little unnerving at the same time. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1oo Things I'm Thankful For (1-10)

It’s November and Thanksgiving will quickly be here.

During the Women’s Ministry meeting this evening, I was reminded that I have countless things to be thankful for. So throughout November I’ll be writing about things I’m thankful for. Some big and some little.

1. Acoustic Albums. Who doesn’t love a good acoustic set? I’m currently a huge fan of JJ Heller and Brooke Fraser.
2. Long Walks. I love walking through Chicago on warm evenings. The skyline is beautiful!
3. Photoshop. I learn something new each time I use it!
4. Tomatoes. Specifically cherry tomatoes.
5. Waterproof Mascara. Necessary for rainstorms, running through sprinklers, and rough days.
6. Sunshine. Even when it’s cooler outside, blue sky and sunshine will undoubtedly make me happy.
7. Texting. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I really enjoy how convenient texting is.
8. Organization. I’m all for sticky notes, file folders, lists, binders, and labels.
9. Opinions. I love hearing the opinions of others more than expressing my own...
10. Teachers.

The handful of “teachers” that came to mind were Danny, Bobby, Tom, Rusty, Craigen, Nate, and Eric. However, Bobby and Craigen are the only professors I’ve had an actual class with, well numerous classes. I think I’m at 9?

Danny’s like an annoying older brother that I didn’t grow up with. He’s full of wisdom, is good at giving advice without being condescending, and I can’t remember a time that I’ve spent with him that I haven’t laughed!

The Bible classes I took with Bobby taught me to value God’s Word and to be excited and intentional about studying it, even the tedious genealogies and other seemingly boring parts. And he’s just a super awesome professor with two wonderful kids!

While I’m not a big fan of the couch in Tom’s office, I’m always grateful for his understanding and encouragement with my “in-process” life. And Alicia and I just really enjoy making fun of him (all in love, of course). After all, isn't that what youth pastors are for?! :)

Having Rusty in my life is like having a cool and compassionate rockstar dad. He’s taught me some sweet things on guitar and has also been an example of how to humbly serve God through music while on stage.

Through my Urban Ministry classes with Craigen, I gained a different and more accurate perspective of the world. I’ve realized that it’s not all about me and have cultivated a desire to love and serve forgotten people.

Nate is genuine and discerning and I value his honesty and openness. He also killed a spider on the stage one evening for me at rehearsal, thus making him a lifelong hero!

Eric is another wise person in my life. I think him and his wife, Jodi, must be undercover rockstars. Over the past 5 years I’ve had the privilege of learning a lot about music and seeing firsthand that coffee is an essential part of ministry from him. Not to mention the random conversations that happened frequently this past summer and the practicality of the advice he gave.

So there you have it! I'm really thankful for the teachers in my life.