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Erica's Journal
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Date:2009-01-24 11:48
Subject:My New Blog
Security:Public

Hello All,

Even though I haven't blogged in a long time, I'm going to start up again. I've consolidated everything into a new blog:

http://lynn-erica.blogspot.com/

So come visit me there!

Love,

Erica

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Date:2008-02-18 22:06
Subject:Absorbing
Security:Public
Mood: thoughtful

I had the most amazing weekend ever.

Navigators Winter Conference. Singing Hills, Plainfield, NH.

Wow.

God is beyond amazing. His name is like honey on my lips. He was, He is, He's always gonna be. His is too incredible for words. He is indescribable. He is awesome.

My first ever retreat was exactly two years ago, February 2006, Singing Hills, Plainfield, NH. Looking back to where I was then and where I am now... incredible. God has begun a good work in me, and He will bring it to completion. He will.

Sunday night was a mountain top experience. It truly was. God was just there. His presence was amazing. So much so that all I think to myself is "Now what?" How then shall I live? Xaris said something to me tonight. She said we have to come down from the mountain in order to minister and be a blessing to others. After His Resurrection, He came down from the mountain to tell everyone what miracle had just happened. He chose to return to us, to share with us. I realize now how much I had always sought that spiritual high in order to feel God's presence, to know He was close, to bask in His glory. That's exactly how it was two years ago. I wanted that spiritual high for myself. Not to share, but to experience and to feel. Now things are different. I will always seek God, but what good does that do me if I don't share Him with others? What good does a spiritual high to me if nothing transpires from it? I am an open vessel seeking only to pour myself out to others. I want to give and to serve as so many others have given to me and served me.

I feel like I have so much to say but I can't articulate it. My mind is a jumble of thoughts and ideas and just... it's just going and going right now. I need to study for Irish, but I just feel like this is too important to put off. I can't be too busy to write. I need to do this more often.

I absolutely love John Dufresne. He is such a beautiful writer. In Love Warps the Mind a Little he writes "But if you have to attempt love, can you be in love?" I remember being in 9th grade English class and discussing the question "Do you believe in love at first sight?" I said, yes, of course. You just know. Your heart tells you. I remember other people in the class saying no, there is only lust at first sight. Destiney was in that class, and I remember her saying "Love is something you have to work at." I remember thinking no way, that's not true. Well, like so many things Destiney has said, once I believed her false, now I know she was speaking the truth. Love is something you work at. Sorry Mr. Dufresne. I think that attempting love is a sign that you are in love. Why else would you work at it? I still believe in love at first sight, but I no longer view it as some kind of feeling. It is so much deeper than that.

The week leading up to Winter Conference I had not had a quiet time all week. Too busy, yeah yeah. I could tell, I just knew, that God wanted to open Himself up to me so much at the beginning of the weekend, but I wasn't ready for Him. I couldn't handle it. Stasi Eldredge says the same thing in Captivating. It takes practice to meet with God. We have to open ourselves up to Him. He's not shy, but He will never give us more than we can handle. That goes with both trials and difficulties as well as Himself, I think so at least. I think Dogma got it right when humans died if they heard God's true voice.

People say things all the time that I view as so incredibly significant and wise. It's usually just a sentence or a phrase, some kind of offhand comment, but my world stops when I hear these tidbits of truth. Like:

"I wanted to make sure this was God's desire and not my desire."

"It's impossible to want people to love me and to love Christ - that's not the goal or how it works."

"I was so afraid of throwing myself into the work God had given me that I would forget who I was serving and that it was God who had given it to me."

"I can't wait for the perfect time to meet with God because that time will never come. Any moment is the perfect time."

"being satisfied in Christ"

"washed in the blood of the Lamb"

"You can ask God to help you have faith. I can know something and still need help really knowing something."

"Everyone breaks sophomore or junior year."

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."

"Jesus loves you, and He has a plan and a purpose for your life."

"Lucky? Are you really saved?"

"He is kneeling down right now, too."

"God gave you talents. If you don't know what to do, just develop those talents. God may not tell you what to do until the day of your graduation."

"Maybe God doesn't want you to go to law school. Maybe he just wants you to meet someone in the history department."

"It's not about you."

"You need to ask God to erase it from your heart."

"What am I good at? What do I enjoy? This is 90% of the will of God."

"God is the only One who chose to die. Others have chosen how, when or under what circumstances to die, but no one else has ever chosen to die."

"It's our choice to give up our choices."

"Hope is nothing of this world, not even the Rapture. Hope is Jesus' coming."

"Is my relationship and ideas with God based on the Holy Spirit moving in my life or is it based on what someone else told me?"

"our strongholds buried deep in our hearts"

"God cares about those things."

And this is just a sample. Wow. So many people have ministered to me, and I long to minister to others.

Now I really need to study Irish. I have no idea what this journal entry says. But here it is.

Quote for the day is:
"Truth does not blush."

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Date:2007-09-03 21:01
Subject:Just Because
Security:Public
Mood: contemplative

I really feel like writing in my journal right now. I've actually felt like it for a while now, but I kept putting it off because I (still!) haven't finished my Paris entries yet. I know, I know, way late. But right now, I'm just in one of those moods.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I am now a junior in college. Wow.

I know something big is soon happening. I can feel it. God is preparing me for something absolutely amazing. I have no idea what it is, but I know it is coming. And "soon" can mean not for another ten years for all I know, but I feel like it's coming much, much sooner than that. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next year. Only He knows, and I'll know when I'm ready to know. I just know something big is coming.

"Lord, this desert is killing me/And my throat's dry from screaming Your name"

I was feeling like this for a very long time. But I know God is with me. He is there, He is absolutley amazing and incredible, and He knows my name. Me. Such a small, small part, but still a part of the plan. Precious. A precious jewel.

I learned yesterday that life is for serving others. Xaris said to me that people learn two things in college: to serve and minister, and that life is not about them. I read this in a book that same day:

"I don't believe the purpose of life is to be happy. It's to serve. It's to be useful."

I always knew I want more than anything to serve others and to help others, but I never felt... "ready" is not quite the right word, because I have always been ready and willing, but "ready" in the sense that I am starting the work God has planned for me. Does this make sense? I would give anyone the shirt off my back, absolutely. But now God is going to point me in His direction. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." These are my life verses. The concept I learned early. The idea is fantastic, putting it into practice is harder. It takes a lifetime to learn how.

Two people have asked me this week what I am looking forward to this semester. I answered both of them with "to become the woman God created me to be." I hope they both understood what I meant. Yes, it takes a lifetime. But I feel closer now, at this moment, than I ever have in my life. The only catch is, who is going to notice? No one, except for the Lord, and He is who really matters. But even a small amount of encouragement is nice. Appreciated. Occasionally even necessary. But only He knows the progress I have made. I have changed so much in such a short period of time.

My life is divided into pre-NYU and NYU. Pre-NYU I was someone, and then I found Jesus. Someone gave me the best advice that summer before college: Find Christian friends. And I did. And I love them more than they can know. But who I am now is not who I was. And I know only the Lord could possibly have caused such an amazing transformation. But I want Him to continue to transform me. Constantly growing, seeking Him. I long for nothing more than to be absolutely intimate with my Creator. To love Jesus with my whole heart. And not be like Amaziah, who "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a whole heart." I never want to hold back what belongs to Him.

And by opening up to the Lord, by breaking down every boundary, every roadblock, every barrier I have guarded myself with, I am completely wide open. Completely open with everyone I meet, friend or foe. My heart may break every day, but He will restore me and heal me every moment of every day, as long as I ask Him to. I would rather my heart be broken than closed off. Kind of like this quote from The English Patient: "Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again." I want people to see someone real, not a mask.

"Yesterday I found/That everything I knew was wrong/It was upside down/The life I thought I had was gone/But You came and whispered love to me/And You gave me strength to carry on"

That's how I feel my walk with Christ started. It was both a process and a bolt of lightning. I never turned to Jesus because I was afraid of Hell. I turned to Him because I wanted to know Him, because I knew I needed Him, because I realized how much He loved me and had a plan and a purpose for my life. I remember the various moments when I received a piece of the puzzle, and I remember when I finally put them together. I'm still adding pieces all the time, but the center of salvation is put together. "I've been saved!" Amen, Hallelujah, praise the Lord!

I feel I have only a small amount of wisdom gained, yet I want nothing more than to tell everyone I know, to share it with all who have ears to hear. I say it, but I don't know if anyone is listening. I know there have been plenty of times where I have heard a pearl of wisdom, and either not understood or ignored it, thinking to myself, "I've got this." Then I looked back and realized it was sort of a preview of coming attractions.

"Only You can take this heart/Only You can take this mind/Only You can take this life"

This is an incredibly deep and personally journal entry. But I needed to get it all out. I am still joyous and happy, believe me. But I feel the need to post what's on my heart every now and then :)

Tonight's quote for the day is also from The English Patient:
"In Italy, there's always chickens, but no eggs. In Africa there's eggs, but never chickens. Who separated them?"

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Date:2007-02-12 12:04
Subject:Paris and New York Are So Different, Yes They Are
Security:Public
Mood: happy

So I'm so glad that I actually know my way around New York. I mean, I'm glad I lived in a big city before I came to Paris. If I had only lived in Navarre, and then came to Paris, I would be so incredibly lost right now. Not only the language, but also just city life in general. I know how to cross a street properly. I know how to walk with a purpose even if I'm hopelessly lost. I know how to use public transportation. Thank You Jesus.

So, might you ask, what exactly is different between Paris and New York? Beaucoup de choses, that's for sure. So let's start with...

The Metro:
In Paris, the metro (not the subway or the train, as I'm in the habit of calling it) is so much cleaner and nicer. I mean, it's still public transportation, but hey. Paris is much smaller than New York, so the metro may or may not be more efficient, I'm still not sure. I do know that the Paris metro has many more lines for such a small area and runs in every direction possible, not just uptown/downtown. So basically, I can just get on the metro anywhere and transfer to where I need to be. And transferring is so much easier here than in New York. But, the metro here does close. Yes, it closes. At around 12:15 AM, except for Saturdays, where it closes at about 1:15/1:30 AM. So you either have to head home or stay out all night and catch the first metro at 5:30 AM. Comme vous voulez. And over here the doors do not open automatically - there is a handle you have to pull to open the doors. But the doors do close automatically, and there is no way to keep them open once the conductor has sounded the buzzer. You can lose your arm so easily in these doors. So yeah, you just pull the handle to get out.

Milk:
Yes, milk. Over here, unopened milk does not have to be put in the fridge. Believe it or not, not all milk is "fresh" milk. My host mom actually stores milk in bulk in la cave (basement). This is still so weird to me. I mean, you don't have to keep milk in the fridge? And it's not powdered milk or anything like that. This is real milk. Wow. Once you open it, of course, you have to keep it cold. But this is like buying milk at Sam's or something.

So that's all the time I have today, but there will be more updates in the future. I leave you for now. Quote for the day is:
"I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will."

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Date:2007-02-07 17:35
Subject:Paris Part Deux
Security:Public
Mood: happy

Can I just say one more time how absolutely thrilled I am to be in Paris! I love it here so much, and I am so incredibly happy here. The people are great, the buildings are beautiful, the food is amazing. I love the language, I love the museums, I just love being here. I love the people I meet and the things I see. I love just being alive over here.

Wow, I have done so much since I've been here. There was the wine and cheese tasting, which was so good. I'm still having a heckuva time with wine, though. I mean, I've only dranken red, but all I can taste is "sour grapes." Which is exactly what wine is, but still. Looks like I won't exactly be a connoisseur.

So, how 'bout dem Bears! My friends Lacy and Halley and I went to a sports bar called "The Long Hop" and we watched the first three quarters of the NFC Championship game. Lacy is from New Orleans, so we were totally rooting for two different teams, but I had such a good time. I'm glad the Bears played in the afternoon and not at night, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see any of it. Unfortunately, we couldn't go all the way this year, but maybe next year... :) I did not get a chance to watch the Super Bowl. This is the first time this has happened my entire life. I have always, always watched the game. Even when I was very young and didn't have a clue what was going on. Sigh. Oh well, it would have been worse if the Bears had won and I didn't get to watch.

I've seen the Sacre-Coeur as well. Talk about an absolutely beautiful church. It's high up on this hill, all white and pretty. Then then we walked around the neighborhood, which is called Montmartre. Kind of trashy, but a lot of fun. Then we walked over to the Moulin Rouge. Past the red-light district. Wow... extremely trashy. Nothing but sex shops. Yikes. And the Moulin Rouge is just one of the buildings on the street. Very amusing to me. Then we decided to walk to the Louvre, which was a long but beautiful walk. I enjoyed it very much. Then we went to the Latin Quarter, which actually reminds me a lot of Bourbon Street, and we had dinner at this amazing Greek restaurant. It was a three course meal for only 10 euros. For starters, I had this dish called... well I can't remember exactly, but it is rice wrapped in grape leaves and it is so delicious! I had it once in New York, and it tasted so good! For main course I had this skewer of grilled meat and onions, with rice and a baked potato. Then baklava for dessert. Yum. That's just all I can say. So delicious.

Speaking of Montmartre... so there is this French song I like to listen to on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack called "Complainte de la Butte." It is very beautiful, and one of the lines in it is "The stairways up to la butte can make the wretched sigh/While windmill wings of the Moulin shelter you and I." So, the Sacre-Coeur is on this enormous hill, which is actually called La Butte. And the Moulin Rouge is below the church. And to walk up to the church there are about a thousand stairs you have to climb. So I was listening to this song and I finally got it! Isn't that cool? I just get so much more about Paris in pop culture now that I actually live here. It's kind of like watching Seinfeld after you've lived in New York. It's so much funnier.

All throughout my first three weeks here I've had this prelim workshop class, which is three hours every morning of French. The very last day is a placement test because it is a two-credit course. Now that is over with, and I am so glad, too. I'm really looking forward to my regular classes, which just started on Monday. One of the classes I am taking is called "May '68" and it is about the student riots, etc in Paris and the rest of France during the summer of 1968. I am very excited for it. My homestay mom, Dominique, and her husband, Jean-Francois (come on, how French are their names? And their last name is Le Garrec) were talking to me (in French of course)about May 68. Dominique was 18 years old and was really into it, doing protest marches and stuff like that. She said it was such an amazing time in her life and in French life in general. I am so excited for the class.

One Saturday I went with my friend Iva to see a French move called Hors de Prix. Very amusing. And last Sunday I went and saw Bobby. Amazing. Just amazing.

By the way, I love the way the French do meals. I love having separate courses and I love being able to take my time and not feel rushed. I hate rushing. I like to linger over coffee and talk, though I'm rarely actually drinking coffee. And I love French bread. I've eaten so much of it here... we just won't go there. But it is so delicious :)

Last Thursday, the day after our last day of prelim and the day of our final exam, was a very good day. Lisa, Victoria and I went out to a bar after lunch for drinks, then we walked around the neighborhood for a while. Later that night a bunch of us went to this bar called "The Frog and the Rosbif." It was actually a lot of fun. So about me and alcohol - I've actually started to drink it. Nothing big, and of course never enough to get drunk. That night I ended up having three within about an hour and a half, and I was fine. I'm glad I'm such a big girl. Plus I make sure I eat a good meal beforehand and I drink lots of water. So what did I have... haha just kidding. I had a strawberry shot, which tasted like syrup, a Long Island Iced Tea and then a shot of tequila. I promise, I'm doing well.

Last Friday was such a great day. We went to Fontainebleau, which is this absolutely beautiful castle outside of Paris. We took a tour of the castle, which was so incredibly beautiful and gorgeous. I still can hardly believe that people actually lived in rooms trimmed in gold. Talk about wow. And I am totally in France, because there was the King's bedroom, the Queen's bedroom and the King's mistress's bedroom. Yeah. After our tour of the castle we drove to another small castle and ate a gourmet lunch. It was absolutely delicious! It was three courses, plus lots of bread and some wine. So good, so good. I know I'll never be able to have one of those meals again, so I savoured every bite, for sure. Driving around the French countryside was so nice. It was actually very foggy that day, so everything was kind of mystical and I really felt like I was in a fairy tale, in my castle in the clouds.

After we got back to Paris I went home and then Lisa, Amie and I went out with some of Lisa's French friends. Who are actually very nice by the way. We met them at a restaurant and then we went to a bar and then a club. Hmmm. Now, I'm definitely not much of a clubber, but I had the best time! I had so much fun that night! We left at like 3:30 in the morning, and I felt like I’d only been there like an hour. It was such a blast.

I love how Madame has a washing machine, but unfortunately she does not have a dryer. I need a dryer. Need one. Hanging your clothes up to dry just isn't the same. So Saturday I set out to find a dryer, and find one I did. It was at the Laundromat down the street, one of those huge industrial dryers. My clothes were done in like 10 minutes, it was great.

Sunday I went to the American Church in Paris, and I met a lot of great people my own age. We just had Bible study last night, as a matter of fact. I'm so committed to finding and developing relationships in a Christian community. I know my avoidance of one during the fall was the reason I ended up being so miserable. I need people, need as in I have discovered how important relationships truly are. Thank You Jesus that the people You have shown me are so incredible. We've grown so close so quickly and it's so wonderful. Thank You Lord for being a relational God, a God who knows us so intimately and so deeply.

So here is my class schedule:

Monday: Conversation and Composition 9:00 – 10:30
Tuesday: Democracy in Europe 18:00 – 19:30
Wednesday: Conversation and Composition 9:00 – 10:30
Thursday: Democracy in Europe 10:45 – 12:15; May '68 12:30 – 15:30

Oh yeah. No Friday classes, and only one class a day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That's right, I'm only taking three classes this semester. The prelim workshop was two credits, so I'm still getting 14 credits this semester. I'm going to enjoy myself. I love having free time to go running and to go to museums and to go shopping at the market. I love taking my time.

Monday I went to the Louvre. Check this out – since we are students, we can get into the Louvre for FREE! That's right, gratuit. Normally the Louvre costs something like 14 euros a pop, and there's no way anyone can see the whole Louvre in one day. I still remember the first time I saw the Louvre. It was breathtaking. I mean, my breath was literally taken away it is so beautiful. And it's so big! I had no idea the Louvre was so... huge until I actually saw it in person. Did you know the Louvre has something like five miles of galleries? It was so overwhelming when I went inside. I walked around and I saw the Mona Lisa (La Joconde, as it's called in Paris), Winged Victory (the angel statue with no head) and Venus de Milo (the statue with no arms). They were all so beautiful and I got chills down my spine just thinking about how famous and beautiful these works of art are and that I was actually seeing them live and in person. It was so cool! The Louvre just has so much stuff. I decided I am going to buy a sketchbook and just spend some afternoons sketching the beautiful Greek statues. And when the weather gets nicer I will sketch people on the bridges or in the parks. Yay, I love being in Paris!

Monday night I made beef stew with my host family. It was so much fun, and plus I learned how to make it. She pulled out this retro 1970s pressure cooker. I'm sure my dad's got one of those around somewhere, so I will make it for sure when I come home. I just had a very enjoyable day yesterday with my host family.

Tuesday morning I went running in the Bois de Boulogne, and it felt so good! It was nice to get my blood flowing and my muscles moving. Afterwards I took a nice shower, and then I went over to the outdoor market and I actually bought stuff! Woo-hoo! This French market is so huge. It has absolutely everything you can possibly imagine - fruits, veggies, fish, cheese, bread, meat, clothes, shoes, purses, belts, coats, baskets, absolutely everything. I was so intimidated the first time I went there, but today I told myself I was just going to do it and I bought some bananas and a baguette. I was just so happy that the vendors actually understood me and what I was trying to say. Later in the afternoon some friends and I went to a grocery store and bought some Clementines. They were so good! I think the next time my outdoor market is open I am going to buy some. I love having fresh fruit and fresh food all of the time.

Today I went over to the Musee d'Orsay with my friend Allison. Wow. The paintings there are so beautiful. I actually stood next to real paintings by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Gauguin, etc. I took my picture next to some of the Monet ones so I can send them to my mom. Afterwards we went over to her apartment and hung out, drinking tea. It was very nice. Her place is so beautiful, too. She totally has a balcony. That is my absolute dream. And not just for a house in Paris, for any house. I love windows and balconies. If I had one I would open the windows to it every day and say good morning to the city.

So I love living in Paris. I am so happy here. And this is one massive journal entry.

I will write more because there's still so much more to write. Have a lovely day, everyone, and here is the quote for the day:
"Les escaliers de la butte sont durs aux misereux/Les ailes du moulin protegent les amoureux"

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Date:2007-01-17 15:53
Subject:Paris!
Security:Public
Mood: happy

Yes, I am finally writing in my journal, yes! I have very little Internet time while I'm here, mainly because my computer isn't picking up the signal at my house and I am not lugging that heavy thing to and from class every day, you can forget that.

I'm in PARIS everyone! It is absolutely gorgeous here. I'm in love :)

So, where did I leave off?... Christmas break was very nice, but now it's over. It was so great to spend time with my family and friends before I jet off across the Atlantic. Anyway, so my flight left Pensacola on Tuesday the 9th and I arrived in Paris on Wednesday the 10th. I have never been on a plane for so long before, and it was tough sitting still for 7+ hours. But I did manage to sleep a little, and none of my luggage was lost, thank You Jesus. The Charles de Gaulle Airport is absolutely ridiculous. At least I was fed on the plane, or else I would have been extremely cranky. There were just so many people all around, everyone trying to navigate a luggage cart and there was so much construction, too. I didn't catch a ride to the FIAP with the NYU group flight, so I grabbed a taxi. My driver spoke no English, but at least I had the address written down so he could read it. As we were driving into the city, my tummy started feeling a little queasy. About 10 seconds later my driver hands me something. It looks like a piece of candy, and at this time my mind is finally working and I remember how to ask "what is this?" in French. He tells me it is a piece of candy (duh Erica) and it tastes like a cough drop. But it really helped my tummy. Of course, I did totally ignore the don't take candy from a stranger rule, but oh well. People are friendly.

The next few days here in Paris were pretty much let's get used to the city and hearing French all of the time and learning to navigate the metro. Which is absolutely amazing, by the way. It is so clean and efficient. Paris is actually a very small city, so you can actually walk everywhere. And there are so many metro lines, like 14 or something like that. Je crois. And the run in every direction possible, so matter where you need to go you can transfer like that. Transferring is so easy. No matter where I am, I know that all I need to do is go to any metro station and I can get home. Plus the trains come all of the time. I've never waited more than about four or five minutes.

My host family I live with is absolutely amazing! They are the nicest people ever. It's an older couple with three grown children. The weekend I moved in (Saturday after I landed) two of her kids surprised her for the weekend, and one of them has two grandbabies. So cute. Anyway, I moved in on Saturday morning, which was great because she picked me up in her car. A note on cars, by the way – they are all extremely tiny. Like a regular four-door car is about the size of a PT Cruiser. And a two-seater is about the size of a go-cart. The two biggest cars I've seen in Paris were two American cars (surprise surprise), one was a Trailblazer and the other was some type of Ford. And they were huge for Paris but still smaller than they would be in the U.S. Anyway, this host family is so nice. I have my own bedroom and my own bathroom (praise the Lord!) and my own entrance into the house. They actually live just outside the city of Paris in a suburb called Boulogne Billancourt. It is very safe and very residential. Plus it's like a ten minute metro ride, so door-to-door time is about 20 minutes. I can use their kitchen and eat dinner with them, I can call the U.S. for free (!!) and they have wireless internet. Although my computer is not cooperating at this point, it is still so great. And now, drumroll please... my rent is a mere 450 euros per month. Oh yeah. Praise You Lord God for being my Provider, now and always.

Friday night a bunch of us went to the Latin Quarter and went to a bar. First we got totally lost, and they we ended up walking by the Notre Dame. Gorgeous!! It was so amazing to see it in person, finally. Of course, I didn't have my camera, but oh well. It's not going anywhere. On Saturday Dominique came to pick me up at 10:00, and I totally slept in until 9:00. Yikes. I mean, I don't even remember turning off my alarm or anything like that. She drove me through the city and showed me all of the famous buildings. We drove down the Champs-Elysees and it was so cool! Later in the afternoon Iva and I walked around the city and I bought a black coat. I finally bought one, and I've worn it like every day. I love it. Sunday I walked around the city with Halley. We met at the L'arc de Triomphe (!!) and walked down the Champs-Elysees. How amazing. And it was such a gorgeous day, too. We just spent like four hours just walking around the city and talking. I love it! Everything here is so beautiful and so old and so famous.

Monday was our placement test to see what level of language class we belong in. After the test I had academic orientation. There are two classes that I really want to take at the University of Paris: History and Film and American Literature in the South. How cool would that be!! And both classes are in English, yay. Not like I could ever handle a non-French class taught in French, no way. Especially not at the University of Paris. Yesterday was the first day of class, and it was quite interesting. I always get so frustrated in French classes because I can never understand what anyone is saying. However, my French comprehension has vastly improved in this past week. It has gotten so much better. Now I can understand pretty much anything anyone says to me in French. Obviously if they talk a little slower than normal. And something I'm finally able to put into practice is that I don't have to understand every single word, but as long as I understand the gist of what they are saying I'm good. I had to learn that while taking French at NYU, and now I get to actually live it out.

I just love Paris. I'm having such a wonderful time. I truly am.

Okay, so this was the "this is what I'm actually doing" entry. Next entry will be how I'm feeling and that type of entry. Plus I'll start my long, long list of the differences between French life and American life. Pretty big so far, and I've only been here a week.

I miss everyone! I love you guys! P.S. I love mail, so let me know if you want to write me and Ill give you my address. And even if you don't want to write to me give me your address and I'll send everyone postcards.

Quote for the day is:
"Paris is the city in which one loves to live."

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Date:2006-12-23 16:05
Subject:Back Home
Security:Public
Mood: content

I love going to Winn-Dixie. I think that's the real Navarre. The Navarre I grew up in.

rednecks
Southern accents
little kids running around
trashy magazines (I bought one of course)
"long blonde hair, dark blonde roots"
work jeans
a huge beer display
thin gold wedding bands
NASCAR T-shirts
cigarettes

Yup, white trash how I have missed thee. In all seriousness, I really do love Navarre. It took me leaving and trying to run away from it all to realize how much I loved it. I absolutely love New York, that's for sure, but a part of my heart always belongs here.

So my dad and I just got back from there and we bought – get ready for it – a whole case of oysters. He just shucked two, and we each ate a fresh raw oyster right from the case. Yum. My hands are gonna be sore tonight. Luckily the shrimp we bought is already deveined, yes. Plus we're cooking crab and deep frying a turkey. This is going to be one amazing Christmas dinner.

Everything on the to-do list is now complete. School is officially over, and I am so happy! I am so content right now. Je suis contente. I love that sentence in French. It says exactly what I'm feeling. Contentment, happiness, comfort.

Mary, Missy and I went to Swing last night. I had so much fun! I love swing dancing even if I'm incredibly awkward at it. It's easier if you're dancing with someone who really knows what they're doing and they just swing you around the whole time. I'm not great, but the very last person I danced with during the last dance had the same rhythm as me, so dancing with him was perfect. We both naturally kept the same beat, so that was so cool.

My three cats are huge. Especially Booke. When I left in August, she was the smallest of the three. Now she's the biggest. Monster Cat. Catzilla. Kat Kong. She is so huge! I still can't get over how much she's grown. I don't think I'll ever put my kids in boarding school because I wouldn't be able to get over how much they change over one semester.

God has been so amazing to me. I absolutely trust Him completely. I just know everything's gonna work out in the end.

"It's alright/It's okay/I won't worry 'bout tomorrow/For it brings me one more day/Closer than I was to You"

I love You Jesus. Thank You for everything.

I'll write more later, promise. This entry is just right the way it is. Quote for the day:
"I love this bar/It's my kind of place/Just walkin' through the front door/Puts a big smile on my face/It ain't too far/Come as you are/Mmmm, I love this bar"

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Date:2006-12-11 13:03
Subject:The Next Step in This Journey We Call Life
Security:Public
Mood: indescribable

I'm not quite sure what mood to label this journal entry with. I just got my student visa to go to Paris next semester. It's all kind of hitting me at once. I'm going to Paris next semester. I'm really actually going. Leaving the U.S. Leaving everything I know. I'll be back, absolutely, but I'll no longer be able to say I haven't traveled outside the U.S. before. Which has always been interesting about me. Now I can replace that with "I lived in Paris for five months." Which is cooler. I'm so excited. I'm also anxious, but in a good way. I'm anticipatory, I think. Is that a word? I think it is. I'm a little bit nervous, but again, in a good way. I'm just so excited! But then, I'm also leaving my friends for a semester. So I won't see people until next fall, and if they're studying abroad in the fall, then I won't see them for an entire year. It started to hit me at IV family dinner last Thursday. Wow. I'm actually doing it. I'm getting ready. I'm gonna pack my bags and be off. But I'll be back. I just know God has amazing plans for me in Paris. I have no idea what they could possibly be, but He knows. And He's preparing me for them, whatever they are.

I was thinking about what Jin said last Wednesday, about how 2006 wasn't a great year and how 2007 will be on the upswing. I absolutely agree. I'm finally comfortable with saying how I did not have a good semester this fall. I didn't. I felt depressed and lonely, and looking back I realize I did it to myself. I let myself get obsessed about things I thought I was over. And right now, I truly know I am completely over them. Well, at least one for sure. This other issue is becoming less and less. It's all a process. Fruit needs time to ripen, it doesn't spring up all at once.

So since this is my journal... I've kind of been hung up on someone. A boy. It was worse last spring, but now it has... not lessened. I mean, lessened isn't the right word. I just took a step back and thought about our relationship. And I realized how we don't really have one. I mean, we don't have one other than semi-friends. And he is my brother in Christ, which is a stronger bond than anything else. So it's okay. I mean, I know nothing will happen between us. But we'll always have this bond. A bond I have with all of God's children. And I have such a peace about the whole situation. I'm good.

I don't want this to sound like I was crying myself to sleep at night over this. I definitely was not. I didn't even think about him that often. Usually only when I saw him and then for a little while afterwards. But he certainly did not consume my life. But it was just a... what? A phase? Something everyone must go through. Some kind of right of passage, I guess. But right now, right at this moment, I feel so peaceful. So, friends (if anyone actually does read this), I'm good. I can just hear Mary now, ready to fly up to New York to make sure I'm alright, haha :) I'm good.

So how has life been since my last update? Good, actually. I've been getting my work done. Speaking of work, check out my to-do list:

French workbook
French presentation
French oral exam
French test
Film paper
Film reading
Religion final
Genetics presentation
Genetics final

It looks very manageable. Especially since I'm about to take my French oral final in 20 minutes. Better go listen to some French music to brush up.

I'll write another entry later. Coming soon: My Thanksgiving break, my experience playing Halo, going to a sketchy bar uptown, singing Christmas carols, my visa appointment.

Have a lovely day everyone! Quote for the day is:
"There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God."

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Date:2006-11-06 14:59
Subject:My Weekend in PA
Security:Public
Mood: happy

So I just had the most relaxing weekend in the world. I spent it in PA with my aunt, uncle and two cousins. Fantastic. You want to know what I did? NOTHING! It was so great! I did absolutely zero homework, yes that's right. Zero. And it felt awesome!

So this past Friday... yikes. I had a study abroad meeting on Friday morning at 10:00 am at Silver. I figure, why not do my laundry on Friday morning since I'm not going to work until the afternoon. I do my laundry and my bedclothes which, unfortunately, don't dry the first time in the dryer. Big surprise, but it did make me a bit late for my meeting. And then of course I decide to do my paperwork for my new bank account. Let me tell you how ridiculous the questions were. In order to "confirm my identity," they asked me these bizarre, off-the-wall questions based on my credit report. I ended up calling the customer service line and telling them "Look, I don't even HAVE a credit report!" Seriously, the only thing that could be on it is my student loans. Which I have made no payments on. So, honestly, my credit rating is probably zero since I have never had a credit card or made a loan payment or taken out a mortgage or anything like that. Even though I had to give them my birthday, social security number, blood type, mother's maiden name, DNA sequence, first born, etc. they still had to ask me these dumb questions to establish that I am who I say I am. This was supposed to take like five minutes, ended up taking over an hour, and I ended up leaving Greenwich at about, oh... five minutes till 10. Oh yeah, I have never in my life made it to Silver that fast. I literally ran across 7th and 6th avenues. I hate banks.

And then after the meeting (which was very informative) I was starving (no breakfast!!) so I bought a sandwich across the street from work. I was late to work, but no big deal. Like anyone would notice at this office anyway. I left work at 3:45 and then ran home, took a shower, packed my bag, packed a sandwich for the trip and then I was off! Except my bag weighed about a million pounds and I was not about to lug that sucker up and down the subway, so I took a cab instead. And the driver and I had a nice conversation, too. I bought a bus ticket and then headed over to good ol' gate 19. Except the line was SO LONG I ended up standing in front of gate 27. It is now ten till 6, so I'm not making the 6:00 bus. No way. 6:30 bus? Maybe. But yeah right. At gate 27?

These are the moments in my life where Jesus reminds me how much He loves me. I don't ever want to trivialize His love, but it is so wonderful when He takes care of the little things for me.

So at about 6:20 the line starts to move. I think, no way am I making this bus. But the line keeps on moving. And then all of a sudden I'm standing in front of gate 19. There are seven people in front of me. Driver announces "There are four seats left on the bus." I think, oh well, at least I'll be on the 7:00 bus for sure. But, it turns out there was a group of five women together who had to wait because not all five of them would have fit on the bus. So, me and the guy behind me were the LAST people to get on the bus! Yay! I was so excited because it is a two hour trip, I was tired and I wanted to get going. Whew! Thank You Jesus!

My weekend was so relaxing. My cousin Naomi (who's 11) had a soccer game on Saturday. It was so cold outside and windy but I loved it. Going over to their house always gets me in a mood. I'm just like, Okay God, I'm ready to settle down and all that. Bring on suburbia, a minivan, laundry, the works. I'm ready for it. So God, where is it? Hello? Are You there? It is a cycle. Not the desire part, but the impatience part. I have to remind myself everyday that God's time is not my time. He has a perfect plan for my life, and I know He is preparing my heart for whatever will happen tomorrow. He knows all and I definitely do not. So it's all good. If it is supposed to happen, it will. No worries.

On Saturday we went for a walk to visit Laura, and then on Sunday Bobby, Janie and I went for a walk by this creek at Beaver Dam park. It was so amazing. The leaves were all falling, and I love the sound of crunching leaves. I love to walk in them. Same with crunchy snow. Sometimes I deliberately change my path so that I step on what looks like an extra crunch leaf. It was so nice to be outdoors. I love this weather.

Took the bus back Sunday, made a quick run to the grocery store and then settled down to watch Desperate Housewives. Wow. Can I just say WOW about that episode? I've only been a fan of this show since this year (since it is always on in my room). Same with Grey's Anatomy. And this new show, Friday Night Lights is so incredibly good! I love it.

I want to write so much more, but I have to go to class now. Oh French class.

Oh, and I put Christmas CDs on my MP3 player! Yay!

Have a lovely Monday everyone. Quote for the day is:
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."

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Date:2006-10-24 19:50
Subject:God is Amazing
Security:Public
Mood: happy

Yes, I definitely plan to update my journal very, very soon.

But I just really, really need to say God is good. He is so good to me. He loves me no matter what, and I am so grateful.

He saves me every moment of every day. He is my Redeemer. On my own strength I would drown, but He keeps me afloat.

And now we can walk on water together.

Thank You Jesus.

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Date:2006-09-13 18:53
Subject:J'adore Paris au printemps...
Security:Public
Mood: content

Finally, journal updating time! I have been wanting to do this for a while, but life's kind of been getting in the way... and I totally should be doing my reading for tomorrow, but I'll do that after Nav meeting tonight.

So, I'm back in New York, made it alright. Summer was pretty rough, and if you really want to know I'll tell you personally. But that's over and done with now, so moving on.

Or moving in, I should say :) My new dorm is Greenwich Hotel, a mere two blocks from the river. I absolutely love it. I was kind of wary going into the whole eight-person-room thing, but it's not bad at all. Especially since we have two bathrooms, two fridges, a huge kitchen and common room, a dartboard and TiVo. Not that I watch a whole lot of TV anymore, but still. Plus, even though I'm in a triple, my room is still huge. I've got my own little corner all set up nice. And we get maid service, which is incredible! And it's once a week. And we get free HBO. Awesome. Well, for what I'm paying it had better have all that. I should also get chocolate mints on my pillow, but hey it's New York.

So let's see, my roommates are Sasha, Amanda, Alyse, Caroline, Becky, Hyun-Jin and Anne. Whew :) But they are all so nice. We all get along great, which is a huge relief after last year. Plus I get to actually cook this year. No more dependence on a meal plan for me. And I can go running in the morning along the river, which is fantastic. Though the gym is a lot farther away this year. But I've got my schedule down pat. Oh, and I got a job! It is the easiest job in the world. During the interview, the woman who hired me told me there isn't a whole lot of work for me to do, so most of the time I'd just be sitting around. Which is absolutely fine with me. I've gotten a bunch of reading done at work, getting paid $9 an hour to study. I can deal. Plus when there is work it is easy stuff like faxing or stuffing envelopes. I am so grateful for this job because I need food money this year.

My classes are great.

Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion:

Lovely. The reading is so... deep, meaty, intense. All these philosophers debating the question "what is religion?" Yikes. I didn't realize there were so many answers. This class has tons of reading, like 200 pages a week. So it is most definitely keeping me busy.

Science Fiction Cinema:

Incredible. Today we watched Forbidden Planet. And last week we watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. This class has a lot of papers (four 5+ pages during the year, and one 15+ page paper at the end of the year). No exams, though, thank God. But I'm a sci-fi junkie, so it will be good.

French:

Last level of French, thank You Jesus. I'm almost done with the required stuff. But actually the class is getting better. Meaning I can actually understand stuff now. It's finally not all gibberish. Plus the prof is very nice.

Human Genetics:

This class is great. The prof is incredible. I heard so many great things about him, and they were all correct. He makes the class interesting, and he really helps us out a lot with notes and stuff like that. He's so organized.

Oh, and the big news for the day: I'M GOING TO PARIS NEXT SPRING!!!

Yes, I have been accepted to NYU in Paris for Spring 2007. I paid my deposit today, and I am so excited! I think this will be such a good experience for me, especially since I'm going into it with the mindset that it is a semester-long mission trip. I'm really going to focus on doing God's work in France. The cool thing was, in the same batch of e-mails where I got my acceptance letter, I also got an e-mail from this group called "Pray4Europe" and the prayer for this week was "Let's focus on France." Ha! Isn't it amazing how God works?

By the way, He has been so incredibly good to me. I love being back at Remnant. Worship is incredible because I can really feel God there. I feel so free there and so clear. But the most important part is I know I am truly worshiping Him there. He knows my heart, and my heart is completely focused on Him. Honestly, this summer really showed me that fact. I trust in Him for everything, for He is faithful and He will always provide.

I bought some posters at Kimmel yesterday. I couldn't take the bare white space anymore.

Last week when I bought a croissant from a street vendor, the guy I always went to last spring before my Einstein class, he actually remembered me! Which was so weird, but cool because I felt like now I'm a part of this city. Even if just one random person remembers I was here, it's still pretty cool.

I had a dream last night, and I'm still working it out in my mind. I feel so content right now. I'm glad I have a journal to write down my dreams in, and I'm glad I have a journal where I can talk to myself about the dream.

Je suis contente.

"I love my Father/My Father loves me/I dance for my Father/My Father sings over me"

I love You Jesus. You are my everything.

Have a lovely night everyone, and here is the quote of the day:
"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway."

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Date:2006-05-23 16:20
Subject:Daily Grind
Security:Public
Mood: happy

Yay, journal updating time!

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week were very normal. I got up, did my thing, went to work and came home. Woot. Now, I had been feeling kind of... down. Not depressed, just not quite as happy as I normally am. Like a funk or something like that. So on Thursday I'm at work and I open up my Bible. I randomly flip to Psalms. And on the right side of the page is Psalm 55. One of my life verses is in Psalm 55, so I considered actually reading the entire thing. The title is "Betrayal by a Friend." I wasn't quite in the mood for that one. So on the left side of the page is Psalm 51, "A Prayer for Restoration." Bingo. Praise God for knowing what I need when I need it. I love the line "Restore the joy of Your salvation to me." Beautiful. So now I am restored. And I'm feeling fantastic.

Friday was another typical day at work. Afterwards was the best part. I had been looking forward to taking a bubble bath all week, and on Friday I finally took one. It was so nice. With real bubbles, too. And Friday night was Graduation. Sigh, 2007 is now finished with high school. And now my brother is going to graduate next year. Yikes is right. Sarah gave me a ride there. She probably parked in the best space ever. See, graduation in Navarre is definitely the event of the week. Everyone in the whole town goes. So of course parking is a disaster. So we drove over to the teacher parking lot, and she quite literally stopped her car and said "Okay, here's our space." Amazing. I saw lots of people I haven't seen in a while. It was actually very nice. On the car ride there, Sarah said casually "Yeah, we'll see lots of people we haven't seen in a while." I started thinking, "Oh no, there are definitely some people I don't really want to see." But luckily I didn't see them. Graduation was very short, too. Record short, I think. Afterwards Sarah, Mary, Andrew, Craige and I went to Sonic. Yay for their banana splits. We talked for a while, and it was a lot of fun. It was nice to catch up. I feel so comfortable with my friends. Praise God for that feeling. Mary gave me a ride home, and I think the funniest thing that has ever happened to me in a car happened. Mary turned left at the light at Publix, except she accidentally turned too sharp and started heading down the left turn lane going the wrong way on 98. I died laughing! It was so funny, and luckily it was only funny because there was no traffic and no one was coming the opposite way. But it was funny! Haha Peaches, I still love you :)

"Ooh child/Things are gonna get easier/Ooh child/Things'll get brighter"

This song is actually sung by... The Five Stairsteps I believe. Or Stairsteps 5. I've been meaning to look that up for a while.

Saturday morning I didn't do a thing. And I felt like a bum. Then in the late afternoon my dad and I ran errands. First we went to Home Depot. My dad is buying cabinets for the house in Biloxi. And we ended up buying a dishwasher also. I actually enjoyed it. It was so... homey-ish. After that we went to the Commissary. Now, they close at 6:00. We walked in at about 5:15. And despite running up and down the aisles at breakneck pace, we still didn't finish on time. Thank God we were on the bread when they made the announcement "It is now 1800 hours..." We didn't want to be one of those jerks who shop at the last minute, but we were still the last people to check out. Now we didn't have to wait in line... so one good side.

After I put the groceries away, my parents, brother and I went out to eat at this new Mexican restaurant over by Wal-Mart. Of course, "new" is relative because it wasn't here back at Christmas. Then my dad and I went to see The DaVinci Code. I have been looking forward to this movie since I first heard about it. Which has been a while. And I really liked it. The beginning was a bit awkward, but it picked up. I was just so glad they stuck close to the book. And they sure did. It was almost exactly right! Good job Mr. Howard. They were very blunt with the ending, too.

Sunday was a nice day, too. I went to church, and then my mom and I drove over to Phyllis's bay house. My dad, brother, grandfather and uncle went to play golf. So I just hung out on the porch and read my book. I kept moving my chair to keep my feet in the sun to keep warm. I found out on Monday that my ankles got sunburned. How did that happen? Oh, well. Then when everyone came back we ate salad and spaghetti and strawberry ice cream. Mmm... heaven's food right there. And we watched "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and the end of the basketball game. It was such a nice day to spend with my family. And I was so incredibly tired on the drive home. Dead tired in fact.

Monday morning before I woke up, I remember dreaming these words: "don't get up because mom is not going to want to go running this morning." So when my alarm went off, I didn't get up. Which was absolutely incredible since my mom didn't get up. Thank You, God, for letting me sleep in a bit. I appreciate it.

So far this week has been nice at work. Monday was the first day of summer camp, so I had a lot of paperwork to finish. Other than that, it's been pretty quiet. Nice.

Oh, and I got a new bike seat, yay. See, I ride my bike to work. And my old bike seat was very hard, very narrow, very uncomfortable. And now my new one is very comfortable. I mean, for a bike seat at least :)

The Hippies won The Amazing Race! Yay! I liked them from the start. I so want to be on that show one day.

Right now I'm reading The Princes of Ireland. I started this book last summer, but I didn't bring it with me to New York. So now I get to finish it. And it is so good! I love Ireland, I really do. I really want to visit it one day. When I spent time with Amanda's grandma over spring break I remembered why. Now I'm reading this book and I'm still remembering why. I so want to go to Paris next spring. I hope it all works out.

Something I was thinking about when I was at graduation is what actually happens after graduation from high school. You go to college, which is the perfect alternate reality between being a kid in high school and being an adult in the real world. I mean this in both a physical and emotional sense. Physically, I can't be an adult yet because I can't financially support myself. There's no way in hell I could afford NYU on my own. I am my own person, and I have spent this past year affirming my identity in Christ. Which has been so incredible I can hardly stand to write it down because then it seems so final. And His work in my has hardly begun, that's for sure. Anyway, I think it is amusing who you hang out with after high school. Everyone has friends in high school. Now look back and see which ones you actually spend time with after school ends. It is positively tickling! I mean that in a nice way, of course. For the vast majority of my friends, I can not see them for a long time and then pick right up where we left off. It's amazing to me. I love my friends and I only wish the best for them. They'll be fine in the future, and I'll always be there if they need me. I just hope they know that.

I had some chicken noodle soup today. I tasted so good. I haven't had it in a long time.

I jumped in the pool today. It felt so good. Freezing, but so good.

I enjoy the simple things in life. Like at the Commissary, when they water the fruits and vegetables. Right before, thunder and lightning sounds play over the speakers. Then the water comes on to water the produce. I love watching this. And I enjoying making tea in the afternoons. And eating my turkey sandwiches.

Nothing else pressing is going on right now. I'm just at peace in my life right now. Je suis contente. I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but God does. And I rest in Him. I'm so glad He restores me and holds me.

I think I'm going to watch American Idol tonight. Just to see how it goes.

Have a lovely rest of day, everyone. Quote for the day is:
"And they go dancin'/Around and around/Without any cares/And her very first true love is holding her close/And for a moment she isn't scared"

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Date:2006-05-15 20:31
Subject:Politics
Security:Public
Mood: relaxed

So President Bush just addressed the nation about our border security and illegal immigration. And I feel a need to write about it.

First of all, I thought it was a good speech. The first half was the best. I think his approval ratings may go up during the rest of the week. I mean, not like he ever addresses the nation a whole lot. His administration is so secretive and does not use the media at all, so whenever he does actually choose to speak to us we're all so relieved. The speech was short, to the point and it actually included some specifics, not just rhetoric. Yay for that. And I was happy how at the end he mentioned the humanity of illegals. It's too easy for people to just treat them as objects without remembering they are people with families to feed.

The thing I still don't think many people understand though is we can't have an immigration policy until our borders are secure. Hello, how are we going to enforce any policy if people can still just walk right in? So another point for Bush where he set up his speech saying "this first part has to be done, and then the second part." That's why the first point on securing our borders took up a lot of the speech.

Part of my problem is I'm still not sure how the numbers work. Sure, 6,000 more agents sounds good, but I don't know how much of an impact that number will make. I want someone who actually works on the border telling Bush how many troops are needed. And I don't think the National Guard should be forced down any state's throat. The governors should be able to take them or leave them.

And another thing -- the "temporary worker program" sounds a lot like a program we already have: green cards. Which apparently isn't working because there are lots of illegal immigrants in our country. So why should a temporary worker program work out? If they can already cross the border, why get a pass to do so? Which goes back to my point -- we have to secure the borders before we can do anything else. And it sounds like we won't have those extra agents until 2008. The National Guard will only be there for a year, so I don't like the idea of creating a new program until our border is secure.

And Bush went way too easy on employers who employ illegals. Duh, that's a huge part of the problem. This "forged documents" BS is ridiculous. Most of these employers just fill up the back of a truck with anyone who wants to work for a day and then pays them under the table. Or they just follow some "don't ask/don't tell" policy. Unfortunately, Bush was elected by Big Business. Heck, so much of our economy is based on this cheap source of labor. And people don't want to pay higher prices for anything. Hardly anyone cares about what Wal-Mart does to keep always low prices. They just want to buy things cheap. Because Wal-Mart's prices help people survive on what they make. There are so many people who don't get hardly a living wage. They need those cheap goods to provide for their families. It's one of those vicious cycles. And the problem or rich v. poor is so deep I don't think it will ever be completely solved. At least not by us ;)

This issue has been a problem for... what? Forty years? Why all the attention now? Gas prices are going up, 9/11 happened. I just wish we could solve our problems before they escalate into what this issue has become.

Whew, I feel better now :)

Friday was swing dancing night, woo-hoo!! I had a really good time, too. It was sooooo nice to see Sarah, Mary and Missy, yay! And I finally got to meet Sarah's beau Andrew. And I will say that I approve :) Afterwards we went to McGuire's and were accosted by a homeless man in the parking lot. Thank God I've spent so much time in New York. I was prepared.

Saturday I went shopping in Pensacola with my mom. We had a nice Mother's Day weekend together, shopping and eating at Olive Garden :)

Sunday I got to go back to CCCN, yay!! I really missed my home church a whole bunch. It was so incredible to see everyone again. And I have never felt freer as I did on Sunday. I realized what my true idol in life is: my future. I got rid of so many other idols connected to that big one, like grades and academics. But I still never quite attacked the main problem in my life. It was kind of like treating all the symptoms but never the disease. When Donna invited us to the altar to lay our concerns before the Lord, I knew immediately that I needed to give my future over to God. For real. Not just believing I had, but actually doing it. And it was an absolutely incredible moment.

"It is finished."

I am so glad God knows what He's doing in my life.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

And after church on Sunday I went home and made a fruit salad, and then Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Uncle Jeff finished playing golf and came over to eat hamburgers with us. Pretty good stuff, too.

Today was my first day working at the YMCA. I rode my bike over to work, which felt really, really good. Jenie had been working there, so the office was actually organized! I was in shock, I will say. And Beth, a marketing director, was hired. It felt good to go back to work. I love working there. And I am so excited about the new building. We're actually going to have a real building, yay! July 15!

And now I'm here. I watched Lord of War. I loved the ending. The very last statistic, saying how the largest arms dealers in the world are the US, UK, China, France and Russia, made me think "hey, those are the charter members of the UN." Well, wouldn't you know it the very next titles on the screen mentioned how those five countries are the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Ha! How ironic.

It's been a good day. Praise God. Praise Him for everything, the good and the bad.

Now I must depart. Quote for the day is:
"There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?"

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Date:2006-05-11 23:26
Subject:Home
Security:Public
Mood: calm

I'm home everybody! Yay! :)

I have officially survived my freshman year of college. And I have learned a whole lot, too. Only now do I realize what a piece of work I was back in September. God had a lot for me to learn, and I am very happy to say I've learned and grew a whole bunch. I honestly understand James 1:2-3 at this point in my life looking back: "Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith provides endurance." And I know the lessons I must learn are great and will continue my entire life, thanks to James 1:4: "But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." So here I am. I've given it all up to God.

So I know I am not a writer. This was made very evident to me based on my last journal entry. Thanks everyone for all of your comments, both on LiveJournal and MySpace. I really appreciate them. I think, however, that the message I was trying to convey didn't quite come out like I wanted it to. Which goes to show you how one can pass NYU's writing proficiency exam and still not be a very proficient writer :)

At the beginning of the semester, I fully expected God's timetable to line up with my own timetable. I had a plan and God was just going to have to work around what I had planned. Yeah, right. Now I know better. And I can honestly say I have given it all up to Him. I am living on God's time now, not my time anymore. I understand now. At least, I understand much more now than I did then. I will always be learning and growing in Him. But until I actually grew, I couldn't see that I had grown. It's kind of like... one day you wake up and notice the bathroom sink is lower than it used to be. Or the kitchen counter is lower than it used to be. Those kind of things help you notice that you've grown taller. God works kind of like that. Like when I came back to my house, I could feel... bad things. Not like my family was possessed by demons or anything like that, but I could feel that they had been hanging around my house. I called upon the Word to cast them away from my room and my house and my family. Satan has no authority in my house. I am bought and paid for by the blood of the Lamb, by Jesus Christ. I couldn't sleep last night, not just because it was way too quiet but because I could feel evil's presence. Now they know Jesus is (literally) in the house. But coming back home, I remembered what my life was like before I was a Christian. I remembered the burdens I carried around and the pain I constantly felt. Now, I have no idea how I survived so long without God. I know He was always there with me anyway, but I kept pushing Him away. And if I'm not home, I know His presence is not as strong in my house. Is this making any sense?... see I'm not a writer. But I'm trying here :)

So I guess my point is that no worries, God is good and He's completely and totally in control of my life. He loves me and has a plan and a purpose for my life. Praise God. So I will be patient and still and know He is the Lord. So I have given it all up to God. I am His instrument here on Earth.

I was writing my last entry from the perspective of where I was, not where I am now. Does that make sense?

And I don't want to discourage comments. Keep them coming :)

This reminds me of over last summer, Pastor Skip talked about God's timetable. And I learned a whole lot then. I read Ecclesiastes in a whole new light. But I never took the step to applying it to my entire life. I only applied it selectively. Same way with Psalm 55:22. I only casted the largest burden on my heart to God. I still kept the smaller ones, not realizing they were also weighing me down. Now they are all cast out. This was never more apparent to me than last Thursday, when I received a piece of bad news. It was transferred to me from the person who told it to me, and I knew I was the one shouldering their burden. So I cast it to the Lord. And He gave me His peace. It was incredible.

So now I have patience. More patience than I used to have, anyway.

And now I'm back here. Back to country music, back to driving, back to the quiet. And of course, back to my family and friends. And swing dancing :)

Je suis contente.

Whatever happens, happens. Because God wills it. Amen.

The drive down from New York was nice. Tennessee is absolutely beautiful. So is Virginia. And Alabama. I loved the Smokey Mountains.

We stopped at a Waffle House in Alabama. This was the most Alabama-ey place I've ever been to. I loved it.

See, now that I'm back in the country, I don't want to leave. I want to leave my parents house, but I still love the country.

"I was born country and that's what I'll always be/Like the rivers and the woodlands wild and free"

If I'm in New York, I want to stay in New York. If I'm in the country, I want to stay in the country.

I don't know.

But God does.

Thank You Jesus.

Amen.

I love life. I love my backyard. And my cats are still adorable. Oh, and there's been a new addition to the family. Her name is Booke. She is calico and tiny and so cute. Now we have three cats: Belle, Booke and Candle. Aren't we punny! Haha :) Belle is actually asleep in my bed right now. She's gonna have to move in a minute.

And I got most of my stuff unpacked today, yes. All that's left is one suitcase of clothes. All the clothes I own.

Now I must go to bed. Goodnight everyone. Quote for the day is:
"Nothing wrong with the Bible/Nothing wrong with the flag/Nothing wrong with the working man"

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Date:2006-05-08 20:15
Subject:Movies
Security:Public
Mood: calm

Yay, now my dad is here in New York :)

My dad can now say he's been to New York City. Quite an achievement, I'd say. And all it cost was about three tanks of gas. Getting thru New Jersey was the easy part. It was the getting into the Holland Tunnel where he got lost. I was on the phone with him while he was trying to figure out where he was. And it doesn't help that Tribeca and the West Village are ridiculously hard to navigate anyway. But I did manage to get him here :)

We spent Sunday afternoon moving most of my stuff into the back of a Chevy Trailblazer he had rented. I definitely brought way too much stuff, but oh well. So it takes two trips. No big deal :)

We spun the Cube at Astor Place. I showed him Union Square and Washington Square Park. We sat on a park bench and counted how many blonde men we saw. Which was one out of 35 males. See, my dad has long blonde hair. Long as in waist-length. So something he does is he looks for other blonde people. While we were on the phone earlier he said "New York has no blonde people." I said "Sure there are. Just most of them are dyed." So we tried to find a natural blonde male in Washington Square Park. Odd, yes, but still funny. And I noticed that there aren't that many blondes in New York. Natural at least. Seems we blondes are a dying breed. But we'll never die as long as people keep going to hair salons and buying fashion magazines :)

I showed him the view from the 9th floor of Kimmel. Then I showed him Times Square. And he got to ride the subway. This was his first time riding the subway in America. Cool :)

While in Times Square we decided to go to a movie. We saw The Sentinel, and I enjoyed it. It was kind of like 24 the Movie. A few people have told me I should watch that show because they thought I'd like it. Maybe I will someday. People have also said that about The West Wing. Anyway, my dad is a big Michael Douglas fan. His favorite movie is The Game.

Then we came back downtown and went to Uno's for dinner. I love their pizza. And my dad is from Chicago, so I wanted to know what he thought of the crust, hehe. After we ate, I walked him back to the car and he drove off. I was on the phone with him as he made his way out of the city. I guided him to the Holland Tunnel. He assured me that once he found the tunnel, he wouldn't get lost. Ha. I talked to him on the phone today and found out he got lost in New Jersey. Oh well, at least he did make it to PA safely.

Today was a nice relaxing day. I did laundry, the last two loads I'll ever do at Brittany. No more time in the dungeon for me. Then I had lunch at Downstein and went to the movies again. Today I saw Lucky Number Slevin. Which I also enjoyed. For some reason, the ending kind of reminded me of Dogville. This deliberate act of killing. Physically either doing it or giving the order.

I have a final tomorrow. But it should be the easiest final in the entire Einstein's Universe (ha).

A couple of days ago, I got a salad at Upstein. I wondered to myself, "I wonder if anyone would notice if I took two pieces of bread instead of one." Of course, I didn't take two pieces. I was just curious. Well, when I got to the register to pay, the woman charged me for two pieces of bread. Turns out I accidentally grabbed two pieces of bread. I just thought that was strange.

I love 1 Corinthians 13. "Love is patient." I just keep going over this verse in my head all the time. Love is patient. Meaning if I want love, I must be patient. God's time is not my time. I need to remember this. I need to pray for patience. I have desires. There are things I want. I just pray the desires in my heart are the same ones You have for my life. I'm alone but not lonely. I know I want to share my life with someone. I have an image. I just pray it is the same image You see. Probably not because God knows infinitely more than I do. I place my trust, my hope and my faith in You because I know You have a plan and a purpose for my life. You love me, more than I can possibly know. I love You with everything I am. Heart, mind, body, spirit, soul.

Another verse strikes me. "Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known." There is so much about my past I don't know. So many questions I want to ask. But asking them would be too painful for those who have the answers I seek. So I will wait. I will wait for God to reveal them to me. He knows what happened, He knows why it happened.

You may have beautiful eyes, but who's ever going to come close enough to notice?

I love my eyes. I love eyes in general.

I pray someone sees inside of me what no one else seems to notice. I want them to see God, of course, and I also want them to see me. See His love and what I can do with it.

I remember things other people have said. Long after they've said them, I remember them. And then one day, all of a sudden those sayings answer a question I have, or answer a prayer, or help me out in some other way. Amazing.

I love life. Praise God for it. Speaking of love, quote for the day is:
"Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

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Date:2006-05-06 17:40
Subject:Saturday in the Park
Security:Public
Mood: satisfied

I love Central Park! :)

I've spent the last two days walking around the park, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. It is absolutely gorgeous outside. Real t-shirt weather. Yesterday I just went to Central Park and walked around and sat down and journaled. Then I came back to my room and collapsed on my bed. I was so tired. Then I went to Starbucks at Astor Place and journaled some more. Sasha called, and she, Amanda, Alyse and I went to Palladium for dinner. Then we went to Third North where Sasha, Alyse and I had some... interesting conversation. To say the least. Then we went to Coldstone for dessert, along with Sarah. I didn't get any, just some water for me. Afterwards Alyse, Sasha and I went to the Barnes & Noble at Astor and sat and read. Seriously, we each grabbed a book, sat by the window and read for like an hour until the store closed. Good times :) Then we just went back to our dorms. When I got back, three of my roommates were packing. One of them left this morning, actually. But rather than be productive, I just went to sleep.

I decided to be productive this morning. And I was, oh yeah. I actually got a lot of packing done this morning. Much better than what I was. Which was nothing. Now at least my room is a mess, a sure sign of moving in/out. Then Sasha and I ate at Palladium (she had breakfast food, I had lunch food) and then took the Subway up to Central Park. We had decided to do this last night. We walked around for a bit, then we found a bench and sat. She studied for a final while I read a book. It was so nice just to sit in the park. That's part of the reason I love it so much. Then we got up and walked around for a while. We got ice cream from a vendor. We considered going to the zoo but didn't want to pay money for tickets. And later on she headed back while I read some more. Heaven on earth, I'm telling ya.

God is generous. Last week, I found $5 in my bag. Total surprise. I thought I was flat broke. So I donated the money to Remnant's mission fund. Today, I'm going through some papers on my desk, and I find a $20 bill. Yes! Thanks, God. I'd love You anyway, but it's nice to be blessed also. Amen

I love New York. We spent part of the afternoon walking around 5th, Madison, Park and Lexington Avenues in the 70s. Beautiful. Not like I'll ever make it there :) but maybe one day.

I'm just so at peace right now. Life is beautiful.

One step at a time. I just gotta keep thinking that. One step at a time.

So my freshman year of college is coming to a close. Incredible. I've made it farther then I thought I would. I still can't believe I'm actually in college sometimes. And after three more years, I'm going to have a college degree. I am really proud of that. I'm on my way to actually graduating from college. I still get chills when I think about that.

I think I need to get some food now. Been a while since Palladium. So I leave you with this quote:
"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."

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Date:2006-05-05 11:00
Subject:Capote
Security:Public
Mood: hungry

French workbook
French oral final
French test
ConWest final
Modern America final
Einstein lab
Einstein final

Three down, one to go. Oh yeah.

Last night was the last Thursday night movie night. After an indecisive struggle (meaning I'm the only one capable of making a decision :) ) we decided to watch Capote. Now I have seen all five Oscar nominees for Best Picture. And Capote was amazing. I'm still absorbing it right now. Philip Seymour Hoffman most definitely deserved that Oscar. He was incredible. I was just watching this movie and watching someone being completely consumed by their writing. It was amazing to watch. And I can't imagine ever being completely consumed by anything. Except for God that is. Honestly, what would drive me to the point Capote reached? Clueless. Anyway, I'm still thinking about the movie and I'm going to go to Barnes & Noble and read In Cold Blood after I eat lunch today. I want to read the masterpiece.

I've been trying to think a lot about where I want to live after graduation. I still don't know what I'm doing with my life, but I discovered I really don't want to leave New York. Ever. Maybe I will end up leaving and living out my life somewhere else, but I don't know if I'll want to or not. I love New York. The city has taken me in, teased me, completely caught me up and now it is in my blood forever. I don't want to leave New York. This summer is going to be very long. I'm excited to see my family and I really want to spend time with them, but I'm going to miss this city. A lot. Can you have a love affair with a city? You can have one with an idea, I know that. Maybe I'm in love with the idea of New York. No, I was in love with the idea of New York before I moved here. Once I came here, I fell in love with the city. I want to move into my own apartment next summer, provided I can find one of course. And afford one. I want to live in the city on my own.

Where should I live? Still clueless. I could live in Brooklyn. I would love to live there.

I really need some new clothes. And new shoes. Can't wait to go shopping over the summer. That girly moment is over now.

I miss routine. I was in one for a while, and then the school year started to end. I'll get back into my rhythm over the summer.

So my dad was supposed to leave for New York this morning, yay!

I have these two images of what I want to be. They are very different from each other. I don't know which one God is calling me to. Can I have both? Or does God intend for my life to follow a completely different path? I have no idea, but at least He does. Knowing He has a purpose with everything has made my life so much easier.

"To everything - turn, turn, turn/There is a season - turn, turn, turn/And a time for every purpose under heaven"

I am quoting from the Byrds song rather than Ecclesiastes. I love music. I wish I could play guitar. If I could, right now I'd sit and strum until the melody said for me what words cannot accomplish. At least not the words I am capable of stringing together. Some people are just writers. I read what they have to say and they can say it better than I ever could. They somehow know what my heart is trying to say. Some people are like that. They have a gift.

"Strumming my pain with his fingers/Singing my life with his words/Killing me softly with his song/Killing me softly with his song"

"I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud"

People are blessed in different ways. God is amazing.

I hope this entry doesn't sound emo. I'm really not emo. I just was thinking about music. I love to sing. Even if it hurts others when I do :)

So now I am hungry. Thomas is leaving today. I wonder if he's finished packing yet.

Now I must depart. Quote for this day is:
"I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat."

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Date:2006-05-03 21:25
Subject:Central Park
Security:Public
Mood: ecstatic

So it has been a while. Sunday was such an incredible day! Before church I went to this deli I used to go to every Thursday morning last semester before my 8:00 am class to get a 60 cent toasted buttered bagel. This morning I got a nice breakfast. I went to church, and worship was very moving. A lot of the message was about God being a Father to us all, so afterwards I called my dad to tell him I love him. After church, let's see it was Regis, Kenny, Jin, Jodi and I went to the grocery and picked up some picnic food, and then we walked to Central Park and had a picnic. It was incredible! I absolutely love Central Park, especially on gorgeous Sunday afternoons. Heaven. The food was wonderful, the company was better and I just lay in the sun. Heaven.

Sunday night was incredibly productive. I studied for my French test, finished Fast Food Nation and got a very detailed outline for the first question on my Modern America final. Awesome. Monday morning was great because I did NOT have to go to lab, woo-hoo! So I got a nice breakfast at Downstein and then went to Starbucks and studied for my French test. The test went alright. Mainly I'm just SO INCREDIBLY GLAD to be finished with one of my classes for the year. One down, three to go. Monday was also my last Modern America recitation and my last ConWest lecture. Sigh. Oh, and I got my ConWest paper back. The paper I was never going to mention ever again. Wasn't even going to look at again. I actually did well on it. So God has once again proved His sense of humor to me :) And Monday night was the last night for women's small group. It was a great night; we prayed over each other, and we will get to see everyone in the fall. After that I went to the library and wrote out the first two pages of my Modern America final. My outline was amazing. Then Thomas and I went to Midnight Breakfast at Palladium. I was happy with it.

So even though Monday was the last day of classes, I still had my 8:00 am Einstein's Universe lecture on Tuesday morning. This last lecture was our exam review. I am not worried about this final at all. Good, one less thing to study for. After class Grace and I got breakfast, then we walked back to Brittany together. I had to unplug the fridge so it could defrost. Then we both walked back to the library to be productive. And I was massively productive. I finished the entire first question for my MA final, and I did an outline and wrote the first two pages for the second question. I found my miracle spot for the day. At 12:30 I went and got Grace and we went to Kimmel for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was devoted to being productive even more. Dinner at Downstein and then more work at the Penthouse in Brittany.

This morning I had to turn in the fridge at 10:30 in the morning. So I got up, showered and edited my first two question for the MA final. The thing is, the answer had to be no more than three pages. Well, my question one was three-and-a-half pages. So I had to cut parts of it down. I did get the fridge turned in today, so yay for one less thing to think about. I really needed some cash, so I sold the rest of my ConWest books back to the bookstore and was rewarded with $13. I know it was a rip-off, but I really needed the money. After that I met Sasha for lunch at Downstein at 11:30. She had her politics final today and I hope it went well. After lunch I went to Kimmel to study for my ConWest final that was today at 4:00. And right now I am SO glad that's done and over with. Two down, two to go.

After the final I hustled over to this Italian restaurant on University where I met with Grace, Nancy, Ina, Danielle, Kathryn and Jasmine for dinner. Today is Grace's birthday, yay! We ordered the "family size" of these three dishes, and they were so good. And I really tried to remember the names of them, but they were just too Italian for me. My Italian menu is pretty short. Spaghetti and lasagna are about it. I had a really good time. It was nice to spend time with everyone and have one last dinner together before summer starts. Then I came back to Brittany and finished editing the third essay for my MA final. And as of right now, I am completely done! Yay! That is one huge weight off of my shoulders. All I need to do is go print it out tomorrow and then I am done with another class.

So back to the old To-Do list.

French workbook
French oral final
French test
ConWest final
Modern America final
Einstein lab
Einstein final

I'm not crossing off the MA final yet because it isn't turned in yet. Patience.

Finals week is so different compared to the rest of the semester. The library is so much more crowded than usual. When I was there on Tuesday, it was packed. And it is never packed before noon on a weekday. Trust me, I know. And Kimmel was really crowded. There were lots of study groups meeting at Kimmel. Plus the whole atmosphere of NYU feels different. Everyone is a bit anxious and a bit excited to finish. I guess because I didn't have any finals last semester and because of the strike I missed all of this last time around.

It is really sinking in that my freshman year of college is ending. This is such a milestone. I can't believe it went by so quickly. And I'm still no closer to knowing what I'm going to do with my life. Comparatively, I know less than I did when I came here. But I got more of God, so it's a more than fair trade I'll say. And I've got some new ideas I never considered before. Like now I am seriously considering becoming a college professor. I would absolutely love to do it. And my love for CNN has been rekindled. I just am so interested in politics and making a difference. Now I am so much more at peace about it because I know God will call me to a profession. Before, I felt like I absolutely had to make a huge impact on the world or I was some kind of failure at life. Now I know that's not true. Praise God.

It's raining outside. I need to put my umbrella back in my bag.

I still have not even thought about packing. But my dad is leaving for New York tomorrow, yay! I am so excited for him to come see the city.

Quite an update. Quote for the day is:
"Direction is more important than speed. We are so busy looking at our speedometers that we forget the milestone."

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Date:2006-04-29 13:55
Subject:Pizza
Security:Public
Mood: hungry

I had the best day ever yesterday :)

I have gotten so efficient with my cleaning and laundry. I finished with everything by 11:00, yes I did. So then I headed over to Starbucks to do some reading, and I got a turkey sandwich from Campus Eatery with my last $5 of Campus Cash. As of right now I have 43 cents left. I'm reading this book Fast Food Nation, and it is so good! It's kind of like watching Super Size Me, only I'm reading. I saw Regis at Kimmel when I decided to go fill up my water bottle. And Jin and Jodi were on the 9th floor because there was an Invisible Children screening going on. I did manage to get some ConWest vocab done at Starbucks and I finished it at Kimmel. Very slowly, however, because my phone rang about six times. I would just get into my work mode and then the table would begin to vibrate. Oh well. So the morning and afternoon were good because I was so productive.

At 5:30 Sasha, Alyse and I ate at Downstein. And the food was actually good, too. And I used my last meal of the week. I'd been saving it, too. But it was fun to spend time with them, since we are going to be roommates next year. At 7:00 we went to Kimmel because Amanda was having her Christian art show. The room was decorated really, really nice, with rose petals and cool beads and coffee beans. The entire room smelled like coffee. And there were all kinds of different creams and powders to put into the coffee provided. And I definitely went overboard with some of them, hehe. But it was really good. Really, really good.

And the artwork was good, too. This one woman traveled to Israel and took pictures of a lot of the Holy Areas from the Bible. It was really moving, I thought. I started thinking what if I traveled to Jerusalem or Bethlehem or the Jordan River? I would be so moved that I'd just cry the whole time and my pictures would be out of focus. And there was this painting of a house with a mom in the kitchen cooking and three girls jumping rope outside and huge sunflowers making up the front yard. I really liked it because that's what my house might look like when I actually have one. I'll be the mom in the kitchen cooking and my kids will be outside playing. No TV, no video games. Outside. Fresh air. Sunshine.

So me, Alyse, Amanda, Thomas and Sasha hung out until 10:00 just talking. It was so much fun.

Afterwards we decided to go to the West Village for some pizza. We went to this place on 6th Avenue called Joe's Pizza. Apparently it's the pizza place in Spider-Man 2. Neat. So we bought an entire cheese pizza. We were going to walk and eat it, but it got too awkward, so we decided to go to the park instead. And then Alyse and Sasha were a little nervous because they had always heard not to go into the park after dark. Pshhh. No way, the park is so safe. Except for this one part, the entrance across the street from Hayden where all the drug dealers hang out. But it was so much fun. I just really enjoyed eating pizza and hanging out with my friends in the park. There was this cop car driving around the park also, and he slowed down to a crawl when he drove by us, probably looking to bust us for something. And they were checking out Amanda's bottles of whipped cream that were extra from the event. Yeah, now that's dangerous stuff, let me tell you. And then they circled around again watching us. We were just laughing at them the whole time.

It was just so nice to hang out in the park. Especially since it was a nice night. After that we decided to go to the Starbucks at Astor Place. We dropped off Amanda at Third North and found an empty table inside Starbucks and just talked. Wal-Mart, Mean Girls, tube tops, whatever. It was fun. We found out that Sasha had worn a tube top to a wedding before. And that is totally a line in Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck If..." jokes. We definitely had fun with that joke for a while. And Alyse has only been to Wal-Mart once in her life. I can't fathom a world without Wal-Mart.

Then Sasha and I walked back to 10th street. And my room was quiet, thank God, because everyone else was out of the room. So I could actually fall asleep in darkness and in quiet. Which doesn't happen often.

So I'm really thrilled with my Friday.

Today was supposed to be such a productive day, but so far it's not turning out so good. Oh well. Now I must find me some food. Quote of the day is as follows (which is something I fully believe in, too):
"The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?"

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Date:2006-04-25 19:45
Subject:Raindrops
Security:Public
Mood: happy

Today was such a good day. The SUN was SHINING!! Woo-hoo! Any day with the sun is automatically a good day. For the most part. And of course cloudy days are not all bad, just they could be better. But it felt so nice to walk down the street in just a T-shirt.

Einstein's Universe was more crowded than usual. And Thursday will be packed because it's supposed to be the last lecture to review for the final. However, we're supposed to review for the final next Tuesday (?) even though classes have ended, so I don't know what to do. Go to class I guess :) Hopefully the final will be as simple as the midterm.

(Quick side note: the woman at the computer next to me cannot type, so she is very loudly jabbing her index fingers into the keyboard. Using an immense amount of force. The entire table is shaking.)

Anyway, after breakfast I had my French oral final exam. Yikes. I'm just glad it's over with right now. Last night I was listening to my Notre Dame de Paris soundtrack, and I was looking at the lyrics as I listened. I have now gained a new appreciation for the songs. Now they actually mean something more to me than simply being beautifully moving songs of love, loss and passion. Take "Dechire" for example. It is so much more than a song about being split up and torn apart. It's about a man who loves two women, how one woman is for the day and the other is for the night, one woman is for Heaven and the other for Hell. It is so beautiful.

And "Florence." Now that I know what Frollo and Gringoire are really singing about, I can understand their confusion and sense of loss with how the world is changing, with Luther's new ideas and Gutenberg's printing press. No wonder they say the Bible killed the Church and man killed God.

So today I finally went to the gym. It's been too long and I really, really wanted/needed to go. After that I could relax and take my time getting dressed. I finished The Tempest today, and then I fell asleep in Kimmel for like 15 minutes. Which is so not like me. At all.

I ate three meals today. I'm so happy. And pleasantly full. However, now I only have three left for the rest of the week. Yikes. I'm glad we're having dinner at Navs and at IV.

On my way home from the gym I saw a dog and it looked like it was made of yarn. Seriously, this was a major case of doggie dreadlocks. Wow, someone was bored at the groomer's.

My French composition for tomorrow is finished, yes. Back to my list from Sunday:

French workbook
French oral final
French test
ConWest final
Modern America final
Einstein lab
Einstein final

Much better. Looks good to me.

I got an A on my Modern America term paper. I am quite thrilled. So I'm doing pretty good in that class, thank God.

I'm still not quite sure what to make of some people. Grace and I were in Barnes & Noble, and there were these three writers sitting next to us. Later we overheard them talking about the class they're taking together. They kept looking over at us as if our very presence, our very existence was disturbing the flow of their magic. Give me a break. New York is full of characters. I love it.

I should read Fast Food Nation right now, but I really want to read my Newsweek right now instead. And our last Brittany Bible study is tonight. Tear. But I'm really happy for Katinka, moving to Cleveland and all. And I'm so grateful for this Bible study and how it brought me lots of close friends.

Not much else to say at this exact moment in time. So I leave you with this quote (unfortunately LiveJournal is fighting my attempts at accent marks):
"Je m'enflamme et me consume/Pour les yeux d'une etrangere/Qui ont bien plus de mystere/Que la lumiere de la lune"

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