Thursday, March 6, 2014

And Suddenly It's Halfway Gone

So many updates to be had. Let's jump right in.

Only one week after getting back from Panama, I had the unique opportunity to go to Passion, in Atlanta, Georgia. Me and eight or so other girls made the five hour trek down on a Friday morning. If you know me, you know I love a good drive, so I welcomed that trip with open arms. We stayed at one of the girls' houses in Atlanta, just a short 20 minute drive from the Georgia Dome where we would have our sessions. In case you didn't hear, Passion got a bit of a facelift this year. Typically it is a three day long Christian youth conference at the Georgia Dome. Of course, if you know passion, you know that calling it a "Christian youth conference" is a gross understatement. It is more of a revolutionary uniting of the college generation, to encourage and propel us to great things for the Kingdom. this year it was a condensed version, all the glory of Passion packed into just two days. We spent long and glorious hours in corporate worship and were fed wisdom by some of the greatest ambassadors for Christ: Francis Chan, John Piper, Christine Cane, and Louis Giglio. Attending Passion was on my 20's bucket list and I was elated to get to check it off. It was a great time to draw near to the Lord after returning from Panama just 4 days before and also was a wonderful way to be launched into my last semester of college. Talk about perfect timing.

all the girls in Atlanta

a glimpse inside the dome

Now just to hit the highlights of the rest of January and February....

I got to check another thing off the Senior bucket list - paint a painting. I'm not a painter, I'm not artistic, and it's even a stretch to say that I have artistic leanings. All the same, I decided to put the brush to the canvas and see what happened. Of course, I didn't do it without aid. Beth and I went to one of those assisted painting places where they walk you through your painting step by step. And y'all. All of my previous artwork was worthy of being posted on the walls of a kindergarten classroom, and nothing more. So this, was mind-blowing to me. The thought that I would actually be happy, even proud, of what I produced was WILD! I've even hung it up in my apartment!

this is what I had to work with, a canvas with pencil tracings and an example

essentially our personalities captured in a photo

aaallll finished!

love it love it love it

In mid February I went to my first hockey game in Raleigh. It was the minor league team, the Checkers, but all the same I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! I might actually enjoy getting into hockey! 

and I got a puck!

This February....and March have been particularly snowy. We have had three (and currently going on four) snow storms. The first was a dusting of 1-2 inches, the next was almost 8 inches, then another dusting of 1-2 inches, and now we're getting a wintry mix of snow and ice. I have never seen this much snow in my time in North Carolina! And that 8 inch snow storm? I stayed in my apartment for 36 straight hours. I have never experienced that kind of snow before! North Carolina is one of those weird in-between states, where it's not uncommon to get a decent amount of snow, but we still don't know how to deal with it. That being said, everything was shut down for two solid days. I got a twinge of apartment fever, but I loved having the overall experience! Check that off my bucket list too!

our parking lot

the entrance to the apartments

this was all right outside my door! 

In late February, Mary Catherine came to visit me! Wheeeeeeee!! That's always fun! Our time together involved the typical sisterly shenanigans. I always love having family come visit at school and getting to show them parts of my life here in North Carolina. While she was here, we had some unseasonably warm weather. I'm talking 70's. So we went to the gardens near campus and spent some time lounging in the sun. 

doing what she does best: chilling.

had a blast with this nugget!

The last big thing that's happened for me so far this semester is that I took the Praxis! EEEEEEEEEKKK. If you don't know, the Praxis is the MCAT/LSAT for teachers. If I pass the Praxis, I can officially get certified! I was scheduled to take it on February 14th (yes, Valentine's Day), but that, unfortunately, was at the tail end of our big snowfall, so it actually got cancelled. I got it rescheduled for the 28th, took the extra time for extra studying, and when the time rolled around, finally checked the test off my list. I have yet to get my scores back, so for now I'm just waiting...with all my fingers crossed.

all the prep that went into the test

Now we're all the way caught up to last weekend, when a friend of mine from Pine Cove just so happened to be in town. Paris, who I hadn't seen in 4 years (where does the time go?) was in town with her mom for a women's conference at the church they used to attend when they used to live here. So I was lucky enough to get to see her not once, but twice in just two days. This chickadee is one of the coolest girls I know. Really and truly, she is confident and assured of her identity in the Lord and it is evident in all aspects of her life. I love how God can craft relationships that can pick right back up after so much time has passed. And what's more, how he can make those relationships so much richer when they are picked back up again. I really cherished the good heart-time I got to spend with this girl talking about what the Lord has been doing in our lives lately. And I think the Lord is reconstructing a friendship that had been put on hold for far too long.

I took her to what I consider to be one of the (very) few cool spots in town - a local coffee shop called Krankies.

So that sums it up. And just like that, the semester is halfway gone. Which means I only have about two more months left at my beloved school. Which means I'm totally justified in getting sentimental and super sappy, and posting as many pictures of campus as I'd like. Right? So this is where I leave you.