Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Break and Musings on Dad's Deployment

Hello, dears! In two days, I will have been on Thanksgiving Break for a week. That's absolutely crazy; I still feel like I just got home. At the same time, I feel like it's been forever since I was back in my room at Tech. I'm not sure how I can explain those two co-existing feelings, but the disparity definitely says a lot about me.

Since coming home, I've done quite a lot. I've read five books, written one 6 page paper, caught up on iCarly, spent time with my mom, babysat, and just plain relaxed. You have absolutely no idea how good it felt for me to be able to just veg in bed reading for fun. It's been so very long since I've gotten the chance to do that. This semester at school has been so ridiculous that I honestly had not gotten a single chance to read a book for fun. I've started several over the semester, but had not managed to finish a single one. I have a feeling that next semester is going to be just as bad, but I will survive, somehow. Especially if I have such relaxing breaks as this one.

The one non-relaxing element of this break so far was that horrible paper I had to write. I've never had such a difficult time writing a paper in my life. The novel we had to write about, Midnight Cowboy, is so obscure that there weren't any sources about it. That was quite frustrating. It's done now, but I'd venture to say it's one of my worst ever. It just felt disjointed and pointless the whole way through. I hate sending in papers that leave me feeling that way, but, I'll have a chance to make it better after my teacher gets a look at it, so everything will be fine. I'm just glad I have that weight off of my shoulders and can now enjoy the rest of my break. I do still have more work to do over the break, but nothing so horrible and exhausting as a paper.

Because of that unexpected hitch, I didn't get to go to Dennis' show at the NorVa tonight, but he says it was probably their best-sounding show yet, so I'm extremely proud of him. :) I still wish I could have been there to support them. Dennis was the most optimistic he's been after an Early Departure concert tonight, so that was a good sign. In addition to being there for him, I would have been able to see a bunch of people I wouldn't otherwise have seen on break, but, that paper just had to get done.

I'm not excited to spend a holiday without my dad. We all miss him a lot and it'll be rough having the fact that he's not with us so glaringly at the forefront of our thoughts tomorrow, but we'll make it through. My dad has it worse, after all. He doesn't have the rest of the family to console him on the absence. He's by himself in Iraq. I'm sure he and his new friends will find a way to celebrate the holiday that helps them feel a semblance of the comfort he'd feel here at home. I think, next to my family, he'll probably most miss doing all of the cooking in the kitchen with the family. You'd swear we were Italian, we're so loud when we're all together in the kitchen. I'm going to miss that this year. I wish I knew exactly what my mom felt about my dad being deployed. I know it has to be hard on her. I just feel so horrible for her and my dad. To have to be apart for a year when they love each other so much must be so very hard. I know my mom is lifting it all up to Jesus and I'm very glad for that. She knows how to make every season in her life bring her closer to God. My mom is such a beautiful, wonderful person. I'm so blessed to be her daughter.

Sigh. On the brighter side, I got to talk to my dad on the phone for at least twenty minutes yesterday. It was so great to hear his voice and just talk about all the little details of our lives that we don't often get the chance to share anymore. It seems he's definitely coming home for my Spring Break, though, and I'm beyond excited for that. It was frustrating thinking that the date was up in the air for so long. It will be so good to have him home.

I have a lot on my mind and a few things I still need to do before I fall asleep on my all-too-comfortable bed, so I better stop for now. You all know from experience I could go on even longer. :P

Have beautiful Thanksgivings, everyone! Don't forget to thank the One who blesses us all so thoroughly. <3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time Flies When You're (Not?) Having Fun

Really? Has it really been two weeks since I last wrote a blog post? That's absolutely insane. I would like to be able to tell you all that things have actually started to slow down, but if I did, I'd be lying. I think the mere fact that I hadn't realized how long it had been since my last blog post. That's not to say that a lot hasn't changed since then, though.

Since last Wednesday, I found out and informed my friends Katie, MB, and Megan that I won't be able to live with them next year due to financial constraints my family and I need to impose. To remedy our current situation, I am applying to be a resident advisor next year. Here at Virginia Tech, not only do Resident Advisors not have to pay for housing, they get paid, too! Twice a month. Craaazy. I'm not really doing it to earn money, though, to be honest. I'm doing it because I really just want to give it a shot. I think I'd be a great RA. The perks aren't bad, either. After all, I get paid, I don't have to pay for housing, I get to make a lot of new friends, I get to make the most of my incessant desire to fix peoples' problems, AND I get a room all to myself. I really hope I get selected for the job. It'd be just TOO much fun. :)

I am pretty upset that I won't be able to live with MB, Katie, and Megan, though. I wish I would have known MUCH earlier in the semester that living off campus just wouldn't work for my family. Katie, MB, Megan and I have been talking, more or less since the semester began, about all of the awesome things we'd do as apartment mates. We had weekly dinners, cleaning parties, dance parties, and so on already in planning stages. It was so much fun to imagine all of the exciting things we would have done together. It's a little sad to hear them continue working on plans for next year without me. For example, today they met with Maria, who is going to be living with them next fall in my place (Megan will be in that room in the Spring). While I don't think I should have been invited and am not sore at all about not having been invited, it makes me sad to think that all of these plans are occurring now without me when I had been suggesting them before. It's okay, though, because I know they'll welcome me over anytime next year. I'll be an honorary apartment mate or something to that effect. Everything will be okay. Plus, if I do get a position as an RA, my room, seeing as I'll have it all to myself, will be a great place for them to come and hang out during the school day so they don't have to go all the way back to the apartment. Things always work out for the best. I have yet to see what "the best" is yet, but I believe it's yet to come. ;D

Right now, I'm staying up late with Katie as she studies for an organic chemistry test she'll be taking Friday morning. Thursday night is our friend Corinne's 20th birthday party and Katie doesn't want to have to worry about studying at all Thursday night while celebrating at Corinne's house. Speaking of Corinne, she told us recently that she just gave her two weeks' notice to Quizzno's which has been keeping her from spending any time with us. We're all VERY excited to get to spend more time with her in the upcoming weeks.

It's crazy to think that it's already getting down to exam time. I've already practically finished one of my classes. I just have to write a reflection on a paper I'm going to write for another class. This week was more or less the worst week I've had so far at Tech. Even worse than the week that I had three tests all on the same day. Even though one of my papers due this week had its due date postponed until next Wednesday, I'm still feeling crushed by this week. I know Dennis is feeling it, too. We haven't gotten the chance to video chat for two days in a row now and I could tell it was getting him down tonight. I feel bad about it, but we've both just been so busy that it couldn't be helped. I just have to keep reminding myself and him that sooner rather than later, we'll be seeing each other in person for Thanksgiving Holiday!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I'M GOING HOME FRIDAY AFTERNOON. Oh, guys. You have no idea how excited this makes me. I've been DYING to go home and this week has just made that desire all the more poignant. It really has been most dreadful. I'm lucky I have great friends who cheer me up during the week with fun text message conversations and forbidden trips to the café for ice cream. :) I'm convinced that I wouldn't have made it through this week without experiencing a mental breakdown if not for all of them.

A lot has been going on in my life outside of schoolwork recently, too. We just had discernment at Newman for our new Student Campus Minister and Music Minister. I, personally, can't wait for Council Discernment, because I'd really like to be Hospitality Coordinator. The housewife and mother in me is just dying to express itself and I'm convinced this is a healthy channel for it. Haha.

In other Newman News, Megan and I joined a bunch of kids from Newman on a Hike this past Saturday to McAfee's Knob just outside of Catawba, Virginia. I had never been, but, oh, my, goodness I have been missing out. It was absolutely stunning. Despite being the 14th of November, it was absolutely gorgeous outside and I got away with wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. It was about a three and a half mile hike to the top of the knob. Once there, Megan and I went exploring. We tried to make it out to a rock we lovingly dubbed "Pride Rock" due to its uncanny resemblance to the rock of Lion King fame. We sustained quite a number of scratches from thorn bushes and scrapes from rocks and even soaked our butts on unexpectedly wet moss in our attempt. The group was assembling for a group picture and preparing to hike back down to the parking lot just as we started getting really close. Don't worry, Pride Rock, Megan and I will return someday and conquer you. Just you wait. :) We may even bring reinforcements.

On the hike, I met another Kara who, like me, is a sophomore at Tech. She just transfered to Tech at the beginning of this semester and is an absolute sweetheart. I really sincerely hope we get to be good friends because she honestly is one of the nicest people I've ever met. I feel stupid for making a joke about her being my doppelganger the other night at Newman Thanksgiving Dinner because I have been trying so hard not to make her feel like "The Second Kara" if you know what I mean. It's hard enough transferring into a school without someone with your same name stealing your thunder. I hope she doesn't feel like I was trying to stake out my territory like some snobby dog or something. Haha. Okay, now I'm just being ridiculous. But the point is, she's a real sweetheart and I'd love to be her friend. Just think "The Kara's." It'd be hilarious. :)

Newman Thanksgiving was a boatload of fun, too. Megan and I made a funny-looking batch of mashed potatoes after stealing a bowl from the Newman House to make them in. :) We documented the experience with pictures and I can't wait to see how ridiculous I look in them. There was SO much food and SO many people! I wish I had gotten the chance to go around and meet a whole bunch of new people, but I was sitting with Kara and trying to keep watch over the plate of food I made for Megan while she was at a meeting for Relay for Life. I got to talk to my friend John Keenan for quite a while during the dinner which was a lot of fun, considering what a funny person he is. I don't get many opportunities to joke around with him, so I definitely appreciated that time. :)

Katie's still studying for organic chemistry. I never thought she'd stay up past one o'clock doing her own work, but, alas, she has! Amazing. :) I almost feel like writing an essay about her here on this blog just to tease her since she's already said she wants to read this blog post when she's all done studying. Buuut, I think I'm too tired for that, so that'll have to wait. :)

I suppose that this is all for now (ha. ha. ha.), guys!

I love you all. :) God bless you! <3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I didn't even realize the truth of my own words when in my last blog post I wrote, "Jesus and I have a long week ahead." It's been longer than long. And it's only Wednesday. Last night, I was crushed with the weight of this world, the weight of disappointment. Let me tell you, it was not a good feeling. Honestly, I don't exactly know what caused it. All day, I'd been experiencing really heavy thoughts that seemed to just come out of nowhere--an inescapable feeling that people just can't do anything right. I kept listening to the girls screaming and yelling and laughing out in the hallway of my dorm and all I could think was, "Why is it that they have so much fun making fun of other people and preying on their weaknesses?" I just don't get it. Why do we like so much to put others down? Why does it make us feel good about ourselves? All I could think in response to that was just how awful we must look to Him and how I just can't grasp the fact that He loves us. How can he love someone like me? Someone like any one of us? It's not that I don't believe that He loves us. I believe that wholeheartedly. But it just makes me sad for Him that what he loves is so seemingly irrevocably broken and sinful. I want to actually make Him proud, but I don't know how. Every time my teacher compliments me for my grades and my "moral character," I thank him, awkwardly, not sure how to respond. If I'm such a good person, why am I not making the difference I should be? Why can't I stand up to someone out of love when they're doing or saying something that both they and I know is wrong? Why can't I be what I think He wants me to be?

God's love for us will never cease to be a miracle for me. I am blessed far beyond what I could ever deserve.

I really, truly do not know how to end this post. I feel like my thoughts are incomplete. Like I'm incomplete. Can't I be better than I've been? Of course. Always. But how? How did He do it? Being human is so hard, so frustrating, so aggravating.

Will I ever feel like I've tried hard enough for Him? I think it'd be okay if the answer to that was 'no,' so long as I never stop trying. I just want to make Him happy. I'm aware of how screwed up and broken our world is, so isn't it time for me to do something about it? Then again, our world is beautiful and charming, too, but all of that charm and all of that beauty is Him manifesting Himself to us. Oh, that we could ever deserve such beauty, such love.

I don't know how you did it, Jesus, but I won't rest until I've tried my best, too.

Goodnight, everyone. Good luck with the rest of YOUR week, and God bless and keep you always.

Jesus, don't let go.