Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Baaaaack!

Hey everyone! I'm back! Sorry it's been like a billion years since my last post. There's been so much going on and so much to blog about but I didn't have time and now that I do have time... I can't remember any of the great posts that were running through my head even just yesterday. Sorry for that too.

I'm officially done with CEF for the summer. I thought I was going back out for another week, but they cancelled on us so my summer is over. And really, it almost is really over. I can't believe it's the end of July already!

The last week of clubs was kinda scary, like I expected, and there might have been a few tears. But it was also pretty awesome, like I prayed and expected it would be. I learned that people are great, in small controlled doses and after a week staying with around twelve people...I am very introverted. In case there was any doubt. Which there wasn't. But let's just say that by Wednesday I was having a kill all the people on the planet and do it now or explode moment. Or hour. Or let's just be honest and say the whole week was like that.

There were moments, though. Moments of holy cow, I love these people so much and can I just stay here forever? In between the moments of if one more person so much as looks at me I am going to tear their head off, of course, but the good moments were there. I loved driving to and from the club, loved teaching it, loved eating lunch with my team because they were my team and they liked me and they wanted me and good gracious, they needed me. I didn't feel like a fifth-wheel anymore because I was part of them and it was great.

And then we finished our first club and headed back to the house and there were like a bajillion people and it was not so great. I used to think that I wanted to grow up and get married and have a ton of kids because our family is small and big families fascinated me.

I've changed my mind. I'm going to grow up and move to Alaska and be a hermit in the snow for the rest of my life.

I just don't think I could make it in a big house. Not permanently. Temporarily, maybe, but no way could I do it for years. One week just about killed me. So yeah, if this blog sort of shuts down after I turn eighteen, you know where I am.


Boot camp. Marines.

Phooey. Life is so complicated. Hang on while I go lock myself in a padded room until I figure this out.

Okay. I got it. I'll go to boot camp, but as soon as I'm done in the Marines I'm going to Alaska.

So you have a little longer with me. Yay!

But for now, I'm out of brain power, so that's a wrap. Adios.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Taking Off Again

Well, we're coming up to another stretch of living in Wyoming, people. I'm a little more okay with the being gone again idea this time around. I mean, I survived the first time, so why would this one be any different? God will still be with me and guide me and keep me safe, so why bother getting all worked up about it?

I say all that about being gone, yes, and then I think about the differences in this round that have me feeling a little apprehensive.

For instance: last time I was staying with a family of five, which is bigger than mine but they were very relaxed and basically gave me plenty of space. This round, I'm staying with one of my Sheridonian best friends, who has a family of nine. There are eight people in her house right now. I'm super excited to stay with them and know it's going to be a blast, and I'm really grateful that they're letting me stay...but I'm super introverted.

Like, immensely.

The Squirt has dance twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for about an hour and a half. She's pretty much the person I spend the most time with, because it's just her and me basically until three in the afternoon. Which is great if you're not a fan of big crowds all the time.

And I still have to restrain myself from doing a little introvert's happy dance when she walks out the door (sorry, Squirt, love you) because I have the whole house to myself and I can just be all by myself for an hour.

I need to depeople. A lot. Or I go crazy. My family gets that. We're good.

A house full of nine people...might not be so good. We have some friends who will be in Sheridan next week until Tuesday and Mom has it all worked so that all I have to do is call them and be like "please how about we go to Starbucks please just us?" and it'll be good. Not that I don't absolutely love the folks I'm staying with...just I don't want to end up in the mental asylum by the time Mom picks me up on Friday.

The joke is that Mom will pull into the church parking lot, I'll climb in the backseat, and proceed to remain there, silent, clutching my blanket, rocking back and forth and sucking my thumb. And probably no one will say a word for the entire six-hour drive home. I'll run into my room and tape a sign to the door:

Caution! Do not disturb!
It's not that I didn't miss you,
Or that I don't want to be around you...
But if one more person so much as looks at me 
I am going to implode!
So please, do not disturb.

But wait- it gets better.

Last summer I worked with this team for a week. Their intern was a 20 year old dude, we'll call him Rob. 

You know how I'm severely introverted?

He's severely the opposite of me. Veeeeerrrry extroverted, veeeeerrry touchy, very inclusive and "hey look, I just met you, let's be buddies and I'm going to just randomly hug you and we'll have a blast, right?!?!?!"

I'm very much not that. Do not touch me. Especially if we just met. I will slap you in the face with a saline bag. So just stand about twenty feet away and wave, and we'll be fine. 

He's very much an 'in your bubble' kind of guy. And very loud. 

I don't do loud well either. 

Basically, Rob and I did not mesh well. At all. He wanted to be best friends from the minute we met, and I take a little more time to decide about things like that. 

This year he didn't go to CYIA because his uncle started a church and he was out there helping him with it. (I was more than a little relieved.)

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'm going to make it through the summer without bumping into him. You know that church he's working at? 

Next week we're doing a club there. 

I don't think I'm gonna make it.

Then again, it'll probably be a blast. 

If I survive.

Prayers are requested.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Finally 15

I've only seen the Disney movie "Tangled" once in my life, but I do remember a scene that I found kind of hilarious, where Rapunzel tells Mother Gothel that her birthday's coming up (Rapunzel's, that is), and Mother Gothel says "Oh no, dear, I distinctly remember that your birthday was last year."

Rapunzel replies smoothly, "That's the thing with birthdays, Mother, they're kind of an annual thing." 

So okay, maybe it's not that funny, but I laughed. And now every time someone I know has a birthday, that scene plays in my head about a thousand times. 

And like we said, birthdays are sort of an annual thing, and mine was yesterday. 

Now please understand, I'm a big fan of birthdays. I find that everyone generally lives a lot longer if they just go ahead and keep having birthdays. (Funny how that works, isn't it?) I love giving gifts. Like actually, it's one of my favorite things to do. I feel like I'm showing you love, like now you can feel loved by me because I gave you a present. I don't know why. Maybe because my mom's love language is Gifts. I really don't know. Being given a gift doesn't really do much for me, but if I can give you one, we're all good, right? 

So anyway. I love birthdays, as long as somebody else is having them. When it's me...yeah not so much. I'm not a fan of all the fuss and fluff and all. I know some people really get a kick over making a fuss over other people (I'm one of them sometime, actually) but please, can you just be like "Hey, happy birthday," and we can move on? 

I actually get really stressed out opening gifts. Yeah. I'm crazy. It just freaks me out, sitting there with this who-knows-what all wrapped up in pretty paper and people want me to destroy this work of art that somebody spent at least three minutes on, getting it cut and taped and folded and creased just perfectly and you want me to blow through it? 

Uh. No. Sorry. I can't. Let me spend at least a minute and a half untaping and unfolding and uncreasing and laying the paper out just so, and we'll be fine.

And also? Everybody watching me, waiting, suspensefully, staring at me as I'm sitting there with this thing in my hands and they're all watching me and it freaks me out. I'm crazy, I know. It just completely overwhelms me. Christmas isn't half as bad as a birthday, because as soon as I'm done we move on and it's somebody else's turn to be watched and stared at. But birthdays...yeah. Scary. I like being recognized a little for living this long, but really, we can just hang out and have frosting (more on that later) and maybe watch the stage of Le Tour de France and we'll all be fine, please. 

I can handle family gifts, opening them in front of family. Last night SW was over for supper and that was great too. I don't mind. But birthday parties? Yeah. No. Please. I'd love to have you over to hang out and have cake or frosting or whatever, but don't bring gifts. It sounds crazy, yeah, I know, but that's just how I am. I know people have the love language of gifts, and generally you speak your own language best, so you feel like you're saying "I love you" when you hand me some little trinket in shiny paper. I get that. It's cool. I know that feeling. 

But my love language is Words of Affirmation or Quality Time. Not Gifts. Not even a little bit, not even at all. So with all due respect, please, you could bring a card if you want and that will be great. Because you can give a card, see, like a gift, and it has words inside that can say anything at all and I love words. So we are all happy. 

To all of you who are the best ever and give gifts at every birthday party and those of who who have given me presents at any or all of my birthdays, I love you dearly and truly do appreciate your skills at gift-giving. You make my birthdays rock and I love you all so much. Keep being the awesome you's that you are and keep speaking your love language to every one. 

So anyway, yesterday pretty much rocked. I've had an insanely busy summer and really just wanted to have a chill day at home, and that's absolutely what happened.

My alarm went off at 4:57 a.m. because I'm cool like that and was born at that time on July 8. My due date was July seventh, so the joke is that I overslept and realized I was going to be late being born, so I got on the stick and was less than five hours late. This year I thought, hey, let's get up then just for grins and giggles and tradition. 

It wasn't any more fun yesterday than it was fifteen years ago, I'm sure. Unlike fifteen years ago, however, I did not go back to sleep. And let me just say, three o'clock in the afternoon feels like midnight if you've been up since shortly before five. Just in case you were wondering about that.

At about seven thirty, my mom came in and my sister woke up. At this time we had the first gift-opening ceremony of the day. Unfortunately, my dad missed this one because he was at work at seven. And can I just say, my sister knows me well.
Yep. I finished this before noon. I loved it! Big thank you to the Squirt.

Pretty much, we just chilled around the house in pjs until about two. 

In the afternoon.

Because, heck, you only have one birthday a year, so why not? 

When Mom got done working in the office, we ran to Staples (not literally), the library, and Target. Upon arriving back at the house, we started yesterday's stage of Le Tour de France. We're big on cycling in our family. The idea was that  one of our favorite sprinters, Peter Sagan, aka Sparty (see, we call Fabian Cancellara "Spartacus", so then Sagan is like a smaller, younger version of Cancellara and therefore he should be called Sparty, like "little Spartacus.") would win the stage since it was my birthday. 

And he tried! He tried very hard. If the stage had been ten meters longer I think he would have won it. But he was also probably kind of tired because he worked hard for his team leader all day. So it's all good. He came in second, at least. 

Anyway. Around 5:30 pm, SW came over (she had a dinner break mid-rehearsal; she's in a musical called the Adams Family or something like that) and we hung out for about an hour. We also ate Chinese food. (oh, speaking of which, I have leftovers and it is almost time for lunch...) At this point we had the second gift-giving ceremony of the day.

This was from mi madre, a hand-painted, wall-hanging flower that says "Let your faith be bigger than your fear." I get really nervous and freak out easily, so this is really super cool!  I'm going to hang it at the end of my bed. 

And this right here was from my daddy- a book called The Founding Fathers' Guide To The Constitution. As most of you know, I'm sort of into American politics and government and such, so I'm really excited to dig into this treasure. I read the first couple chapters last night and it looks like a keeper. Maybe I'll post a review when I finish it. 

The last birthday gift I got yesterday, I cannot post here. I would absolutely love to because it was beautiful and I loved it, but I can't, so I'll just tell you about it instead.

You all remember my Sparky friend, Annie, right? She turned seven in May. She's one of my bffs and she knows it. I got to hang out with her and her baby sister and my baby sister on Tuesday, which I thought was super great and happy birthday to me. We had a blast! She was a little wild-child every once in a while, but we also just had some time to sit on the couch and chat. At one point she looked at me and said, "You're not very mean. Are you ever mean?" 

I sort of laughed and said, "Yeah, I can be. Do you want me to be mean?" 

She grinned and replied, "Yes!" (what can I say, she's all Annie.)

So for like fifteen minutes we pretended to be mean while laughing hysterically. 

It didn't work out well. For one, it's really hard to pretend to be angry with someone when you're laughing. For two, it's really hard to pretend to be angry with your little people best friend.  

I am just sayin'. And like we discussed earlier in this very long blog post, my love language is words of affirmation. So when we finally gave up and I said, "Man, Annie, we're not very good at this, are we?", and she laughed and said, "Of course not- best friends aren't good at being mad at each other!"....  

Made my day. She totally made my day. 

Yep. I love that kiddo.

Then last night, we were hanging out and my mom said, "okay, I gotta show you something." 

I seriously almost cried. Annie had had her mom record a video of Annie singing and dancing to the happy birthday song, and her mom posted it on Facebook so my mom could show me. She's so sweet. 

Pretty much the only other detail of yesterday that needs blogged is the frosting. Ever since I was little, I've loved frosting. More than cake. I used to scrape every molecule of frosting off my cake and then request more cake. I'm not quite that extreme anymore, but I'm still very picky with icing. And I love it. Still.

My mom once made a cake and put homemade cream cheese frosting on it. 

I've never looked at good old buttercream the same way since. It just doesn't compare.

So this year my mom asked what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and I thought for a little while. Just as I was about to grab a flavor out of the air, she suddenly suggested, "hey, we could even just make you a batch of frosting."

I thought for like half a nanosecond. "Yes, please, let's do that." 

So we did. Yesterday evening my mom made a bowl of cream cheese frosting and that was my cake. It was divine.

It's chocolate cream cheese frosting, I promise. In the photo it somewhat resembles dog poop, which is entirely my fault because as you may have noticed, I am not the world's greatest photographer. 

It was delicious. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Scotty's 15th birthday. 

That's a wrap.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Desert Song

Just going to post some lyrics today because honestly, I love them.

I will bring praise

I will bring praise

No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice

I will declare

God is my victory and He is here.