Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Little Time, So Much to Do

So much has happened! I'll just highlight certain days...

Thursday Feb. 25th: We went to the Lifeline Theater to see Mrs. Caliban! It's a surreal show about a woman who has a romantic affair with a green alien. Yeah, it sounds weird, but the story is full of commentary on the human race, our relationships and how much we help and hurt one another. We had the entire theater to ourselves, so they had a Q&A Section at the end. The ultimate question was; Is Larry (the alien) real or a figment of the heroine's imagination? 0o0o0o....It was a lot of fun to escape into that world where a green alien would rather eat a cereal box than the cereal it self. So it was rather humorous, but ultimately it was very sad, open-ended play that really got us thinking and talking about  very deep things. It was a great experience! What made it more special is that a friend from the CS Program, Meredith, is interning there. So it was great to eat out with her before the show and have her show us around.

Friday Feb 26th: A group of us went out for Chicago Style Pizza around the corner at Edwardo's Natural Pizza place. the best part about waiting for the pizza was getting to decorate the coloring pages on the back of the place mats! We felt like little kids again :) After stuffing ourselves with the yummy pizza, we came back to the apartment and played some Catch Phrase and Apples to Apples! YAY! What fun! 

Sunday, Feb 28th: This morning Rachel and I went to First United Methodist Church again. I was supposed to interview someone for my Opera Encounter project, but that fell through. But we stayed downtown for lunch because we were coming back for the Gospel Choir Concert at the church. It was very spiritual and fun. It made me really miss being in choir, but gave me hope that after I graduate and settle down somewhere that maybe I can find a choir to be a part of someday. After the concert we went to the library to pick up some old movies for a movie night on Monday, our day off! Woot! That has to be the BIGGEST Library I've ever been in! It was insane with about 8 floors of books, resources, computers and other fun stuff for the public to enjoy. Rachel got a library card which I will help her take full advantage of! haha

Don't know what will happen next, but I'm ready for it!

Update on Dad: He'll be starting radiation treatments soon. Not chemo. The cancer is concentrated enough that he'll go in for regular treatments after work. The side effects will hopefully be minimal, but I'm sure he'll be careful (riiiight...haha) So thank you everyone for your prayers and support. The Lord is taking really good care of us as a family and our beloved Dad. We're just ready to take the next steps to beat this thing again! 

Prayers: My right hand is experiencing some sharp pains between the ring finger and pinky. I hope it's not tendenitus or anything, but prayers that I can figure out how to avoid the pain. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Praise! The Lord has been good about surrounding me with good people, interesting ideas and, of course, his love. I've been able to reconnect with some people that I haven't been able to talk to for some time. Most recently my friend David who's in Bath, England in graduate school. It was fun talking to him about the culture he's in and what God is revealing to him through those experiences. He's been to Chicago so we had some fun chats about the City.

Encounters: I've been struggling with how to interact with the homeless people in the city. So far I've had two very good encounters with some homeless men who have asked me how I'm doing and I respond to them and give them a smile. Both times totally changed their attitude and made me feel better too. I'm very careful about when that's ok to do; like during the day, if they ask me how I'm doing first, that sort of thing. I trust my instincts and both times it has been good. But sometimes I wonder if I'm really doing it for them or if I'm doing it to make myself feel better? Or am I being proded be the holy spirit? I don't know, but I'm listening and it's been good.

Up-Coming Events: Daniel Donkersloot is coming to visit next weekend!!! He almost came this weekend but the flights didn't work out. But that's ok. We need to go see Alice In Wonderland anyways :) (I'm sooo mean, I know haha)

More to come!

Love you all!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nights Out!

This is the Modern Wing of the Art Institute! We went there with Chicago Semester. It's free to go there for the whole month so I would really like to go back again. I was really impressed with the building and most pieces in it. We had someone come to our class at CS to explain the history of the museum and some of the pieces. So it was good to have some familiar ones like Picasso. I wish we could have stayed longer but Keeley and I had to leave early to meet some of her friends at a concert. The concert was pretty sweet. The Empty Bottle, the venue, was pretty eclectic with weird decorations, fun drinks and upbeat music. We got back really late but it was worth it :) 

On our way to the Art Institute we finally visited the Infamous Bean!!! It's really a lot cooler than you would initially think. It reflects everything and warps everything. It's like a hall of mirrors on a bean! haha Check out the pictures on Facebook of us being touristy :) 

Last night was a great night because we went to see a band that Keeley has wanted to see for a long time, and now I see why. This is Ha Ha Tonka from southern Missouri! (not my pic, it's from thier site, but it's close to the lighting we saw them in :) They are a southern rock band. That sounds weird, but they were such great showmen! They did a lot of four-part harmonies that reminded me of the music from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" but better! They did Black Betty as their seond finale, yeah, we, the audience were THAT pumped that we had two encores! It was a fantastic night! The other two bands were good too. Rego was a down to earth kinda hypie band with a great sound. I loved the lead singer, she was very cute and fun to interact with. The venue, called The Subterranean, was my favorite so far because it was multiple floors with cool staircases and sweet old-fashioned wall paper and lighting. You could watch the bands from either the floor the stage was on or from the balcony on the second floor. So far that was my favorite concert! What a great night!

More to come! Love you all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I had the pleasure of watching the Olympics Opening Cerimony!!!! It was so beautiful! The pow-wow Natives, the great dancers and the special effects were all AWESOME! I loved the part with the whales swimming and spurting across the floor! What a cool stage! I loved how they represented each regeon and season. It made me really miss the West Coast...But I'll be back again! Someday....
I haven't been the most loyal watcher, but I'm enjoying what I've been watching. Tonight I saw Shawni Davis the speed skater win gold!!! What a great race! He was racing so hard and them BOOM he's waaaay ahead of the Korean skater! But I kept thinking "Colbert is there! Colbert is there!" Because I saw the episode of The Colbert Report where they raced...Shawni 13 minutes I think haha That was a great episode!

Now I'm watching the women's downhill sking races. It's so intense! Three girls have already fallen! The USA is DOMINATING! My roommates are suprised how I get in to watching sports. It's a drug to me (to quote a famous Vampire :) Naw, it's just fun to get excited! I like competition, if I'm not in it haha So GO WORLD! It's great if we win, but if we lose to someone awesome, that's ok with me :) But we won this one! Go L.VONN!!! What an incredible run!

Last night was Fat Tuesday, I guess, because at around 10pm last night, Keeley and I were getting in bed (yeah, we're workin' girls now...wait...not like that, but you get the gist haha) and we hear a band playing...a Marching Band?!? They were playing jazz variations of "When the Saints" haha! We couldn't see them from our windows but aparently there were clowns with them and guys on stilts! It sounded like they were having a lot of fun :) It was nice to go to sleep with them boogieing down the street. Chicago....Only in Chicago...I <3 Chicago...

We had class again today. I would MUCH rather be at my internship, but oh well. It's nice to have a change of pace. Inspired by our books we're reading, including The Saint's Guide to Happiness by Robert Ellsberg, we did some mindful meditation in my Vocations Class. I'm not much for meditation but it was pretty nice, actually. I was able to clear my head and just breathe. It's kinda hard to slow down sometimes, so it was refreshing. Most people reacted in mental ways. I reacted physically. I was very aware of my inner strength. So Thanks Keeley for getting me to work out! My subconscious must be aware of these physical changes. Sweet! But I also started crying a bit...don't know exactly why but I have a theory....

On top of my Dad's cancer coming back, last week I was hit with another blow in that my grandpa had a major stroke that put him in the hospital. I was kind of expecting him to go but he can't yet! He doesn't know the love of Jesus! So prayers that he would be more open to Jesus would be almost impossible...almost...keehee There's always hope in the Lord :) But now he's actually doing better than he was before the stroke! How awesome is that!

UPDATE ON DAD: he went in for some tests and they found out how much cancer is in there, but they're going to do some scans to find out where it is. Chemo is deffinately his best option and he'll start as soon as he can. He should be done with all that by May so that he can get me home and go to Graduation. Praise the Lord! Thanks everyone for your support and prayers.

I love and miss you all!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dancing, Parade and a Concert

This was an eventful weekend, to put it lightly. I could have had three seperate weekends with all that we did!

Saturday: After a lazy, yet busy Saturday day spent shopping and getting groceries we decided that we needed to get out on the town...

First, we were invited to a neighbor's for Mexican Food! Yum! Thanks Matt and Tim, it was Wonderful! It was nice just to talk, read the Red Eye paper and take the silly Valentine's Day quiz in there. Later, we went out for some margaritas and guacamole from my new favorite little place off the Harrison stop Flacos Tacos! The prices are really good and the food is even better!

After that, a few of us went to a bar closer to home off  near Rush Street called The Hunt Club. It's good for drinking before and going there after 10:30pm for the dancing upstairs. At first it was just us and an older black guy who just held his hand up and pulsed to the music (he was still going when we left! What a guy! haha), but then more couples and groups saw that we were having a good time and decided to join us. It was really fun! It was nice to have self-proclaimed 'awkward dancing guy' there to protect us gals from the occasional creeper, but nothing serious happened. We can thank Matt for that :) We all slept really well that night.

Sunday: We slept in a bit, then started our day off with a healthy dose of Fourth Presbyterian Church. Very traditional, but in all the right ways. A great choir, new (to me) hymns and some baby baptisms where one was taken done the ilse of the church to be introduced to his new family. But he was rather preoccupied by the grandure of the church building itself. And so was I! It was georgeous! Stained glass, carved wood and guildedness (I don't think that's a word, but oh well) on everything including the ceiling and chandeliers. So Beautiful! The message was very well delivered by a younger paster who had a slight lisp that reminded us of Screech from Saved By the Bell, but that didn't get in the way too much of our hearing the great message. It was rather close to my heart because he talked about how hard it is to convery certain experiences to others and how there can be such large gaps between people sometimes. I feel that way all the time when I'm trying to explain what I'm experiencing here. It's my new life and how do you explain your life to someone? Well, I'm at least trying through this because I want you to know. And if you have questions, please let me know. It's easier to answer questions than just told to tell.

After church we went to China Town to see the Chinese New Years Parade! It was so crowded we could barely move. We were shoved, pushed, pulled. Most people were nice but some were extremely annoyed at the whole situation. People were yelling out at each other like this: (among other variations)
"Hey, can people move so we can get over there!?!"
"No, man, there's no room over here! There's no way through"
"Why not?"
Through all this craziness I did get some pictures of the parade. I had to hold the carema way above my head a guess, but it was worth it.
After the parade we were starving but every place was full of people. Eventually we just decided to go home. There was a long wait at the Redline station because that's how most people had gotten there, but the CTA people handled it really well. We got home only to get ready for our next adventure....

Keeley and I went to a concert which featured one of the bands from the label she's interning at. Metal/screamo is not really my type of music, but it was fun to people watch and listen to some of the more melodic bands. The only part I didn't like was the moshing. I just don't find that attractive at all. Oh well. Thanks to Keeley we only got our toes stepped on once by some spaz.
A highlight for the evening was getting to encounter a guitarist that I formed a little bit of a crush on :) When we were heading out, we went by his bands table and he handed me a sticker! I thanked him for a good show. He was very kind. Wish I had asked for his number, but thank goodness I'm not that bold! haha

What a weekend! I'm not feeling very prepared for this week, but some sleep should help.

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Roommate Picture Time!

Here's a pic of me and my roomies! We're all so busy, so it's nice when we can just chill :) Love you two!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here I Come to Save the Daaay!

Yes, I feel like Mighty Mouse today! First Monday at TCPR and I'm getting some great encouragement, some fun assignments and taking on the phone system!

I had several major successes today. Here we go!
1) To start off my day, I got an email from a TCPR affiliate named Candy. She wrote me to encourage me because she has been in my shoes. She was a PR intern in Chicago and found a job right after graduation. I asked her where she worked, but I haven't heard back from her yet. I hope she and I can meet up someday.
2) I wrote a "pitch" email to send out to professors asking them to consider incorperating a certain book into their curriculum. I got a few responses before I was done sending out all the emails! It felt great! Mel, my supervisor, only had a few minor changes to make to my pitch before I could send it out. I forwarded Mel the first response I got back and she wrote back: YOU. ROCK. She's so encouraging! She's had a lot on her plate lately, so I'm very very glad to help.
3) I CONQUERED THE PHONE SYSTEM! I got up the gumption to pick up the phone and connect calls, take messages and use the speaker function. Gotta love that!
4) At the end of the day I made Bill's day! Bill is a TCPR Account Exec who used to be in radio. He has an awesome voice! Anyways, I said goodby to him with a big smile and he p[erked up and told me, "That smile just gave me a boost for the next hour!" or something like that. He's such a sweet man.
5) I got A LOT done today. I pitched a book, got half a research prject done, started writing drafts for a blog template and newsletter revamp AND changed some files to PDFs for my beloved Steph because her fancy computer can't do that yet. Go Old School Computers!

Praise the Lord! Things are looking up and continuing to go well. Some fun people I've seen/heard in the train station are a man who sang "It's a Wonderful World," an old guy playing violin, a jazzy guy playing on the smallest saxophone I've ever seen and many, many fur coats! And I still can't listen to my ipod while going to work. I want to take in everything still, not block it out.

I really feel incorperated into my life at work, in my commute, and at the apartment.

We had an AWESOME turn out for our Super Bowl Party! There were about 14 people stuffed in our little living room. We enjoyed chips and salsa (some homemade!) and some desserts like fancy peanutbutter cups (Thanks Rach for making those!) and Bannana Creme Pie. We were spoiled :) It was a great game because the score was close, the commericals were hilarious and the underdog won!

Life is good. Praise the Lord!

"Live well, Laugh often, Love much" ~Dove Chocolate

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prayers Please

My dad called me this morning and updated me on his health. There's usually something that's going on but today he was rather purposeful in his speech because his cancer has come back. He's going to have surgery and the doctors think that will take care of it. But radiation is a possibility. Pray that the Lord continues to care for Dad and our family.

Twelve years ago my dad's prostate was removed because it had traces of cancer in it. Since then, he's been getting annual check ups and nothing has shown up...until now. My dad and the doctors seem optimistic. They just need to take it out and maybe do some radiation treatments. It doesn't seem to be an aggressive cancer, just annoying.

My reaction is the same now as it was twelve years ago; strangely at peace. I simply trust God to take care of Dad. He has in the past, and it's because of that care that the doctors keep catching the cancer early. Pray that the doctors continue to wisely treat my dad and get this cancer out of him asap.

The person I'm most worried about, other than Dad, is my mom. Please pray for peace over her. I wish I could hug her and just cry with her. I know God is watching over Dad, but it's still scary.

One thing that sucks about being in a big city is that you can't be alone. I love my roommates and they are being really great, but I hope going to church tomorrow gives me a chance to come to grip with what's happening.

Also, my dad was planning on coming out to Chicago for a conference and to see me but that may not happen depending on when Dad's surgery is. I would rather have him at graduation in May than in Chi-town in March. Well, I'd rather have him around AT ALL than make him come here! haha

So pray that this brings us closer together as a family, even though there's so much distance between us.

I don't know how wide spread Dad wants this or not, so just pray for now and I'll keep you updated.

Thank you, all. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Days at TC Public Relations

I've only been at TCPR for two days, but I feel at home there :) They are very welcoming. Melissa (Mel, my supervisor) and Steph took me to Chipoltle for lunch!

I have my own office space complete with view of the beautiful buildings across Michigan Ave. I also have a view of the River too! Today it had a few icebergs floating in it :) haha Bill from TCPR (the former radio announcer) told me to take a picture of my first office, so I did!

So far I've been given reading assignments and looked up all their clients so I'm familiar with how they do PR and who they do PR for. They have a few law firms, books and publishers and Christian organizations. I haven't been given any "official" assingments yet, but since I got done with what they gave me yesterday, I was given some things to work on already.

Tom gave me a brainstorming assingment for a client who wants to introduce their new logo and website. I had a few ideas but Tom came up with a great plan! I didn't get it together before he left yesterday so I felt like I failed. But then today he listened to my ideas and he liked them!

I feel initiated since I was hot news in their e-newsletter! Mel dubbed me as a person who wears my heart on my sleeve. She's so right! But she also had a love theme for the e-newsletter so I fit right in.

I also got to do some reserach for a news release and put hyperlinks on a blog list to send to a client. Both of these were for Steph. I'll learn their office programs and start answering phones on Monday.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Story Time!

The first of many personal encounters with the people of Chicago.

Today was the intro to our classes at CS (Chicago Semester) before we start next week. This meant we had most of the afternoon off! We decided to check out a local thrift store called The White Elephant. To get to the good part, simply, we went too far in the opposite direction. Embarrassing, but a good experience because we found DePaul University and all the shops up to the highway...Yeah, that's how lost we were...So we figured out which way to go and hopped on the bus in the RIGHT direction (because that's how far we had walked in the wrong direction...urg...)

On the bus was a little old lady who was sitting in between Keeley and Rachel. I sat on the other side of them, directly across from the old lady. As we were riding the bus, I guess she noticed me pushing my hair out my face (out of habit) and I hear her say in a Polish-like accent, "Here, to keep your hair from your face." And she's holding out a hair clip with some little crystals on it. She insisted I take it and I did with a big thank you and a smile. I put it in my hair where she showed me to. Rachel had moved next to me and said it was pretty. The lady heard this and pulled out of her purse a cardboard holder with a whole bunch of the same clips! She gave one to Rachel and Keeley too! She totally made our days and I'm sure we made hers. She was smiling and chatting with us until we got off.

The funniest thing she said was towards a young teen getting off the bus whose jeans were down by his knees, "My GOD boy, pull up your pants!!" She even leaned away from him in disdain! It was very cute.

More to come!