Friday, January 18, 2008

Last Round!

Well winter break is over. I was not ready for classes to start this time. BUT it is my last semester, so I can only complain about it so much before seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It just feels like I have been in school forever.

All I have left is electives. So, I am taking courses which will really challenge me and make me think with a different "hat" on. I will be wearing the Social Work Hat (this is of course my standard hat, it may as well be my hair...), the Theology Hat, the Psychology Hat (I miss this hat. Even though a lot of my courses have been psych related, I love that it is in the course title!), and the Pastoral Hat. . Here is what is on the platter:

Justice and Migration
This course is team taught by a PhD. of Ethics from the Theology Department and a Social Work PhD.
The course is focused on the major theoretical approaches to the notion of social justice, major ethical and justice dilemmas related to migration; justice issues related to social work practice, policy, and programs.I am very interested and excited to learn more, but after the first class I left feeling like an idiot! Not only because the Profs. are extremely bright- I realized how much I don't know about migration, both in the U.S. and abroad. Like I said, not something I have thought about to an extent before, so I really feel like this course will expand my knowledge in a new arena.

Spirituality & Psychology of Life Transition
- Offered by the graduate school of Psychology in conjunction with the Institute for Pastoral Studies.
I am very excited about this one! It ended up being a last minute add on due to some chaos with registration procedures. It will be great to have a curriculum that ties in my faith once again.

Social Work with Children
- This is probably self explanatory and sounds much more like what you would expect an MSW student to take. Have a great professor, and looking forward to this class as well.

Oh, I can't forget the beloved Integrative Practice Seminar I have to take every semester... ughh.

So even though my life is now surrendered again to academia for a few more months, I am excited to learn and switch things up a bit! I have a feeling you all may be learning more about these topics if you continue to read my blog....

Friday, January 11, 2008


We could've been really mad at our dog. But what is the use. It was his bed after all. "His" pillow which he so loved, until last night. For some reason his little doggy brain decided it was time to kill the pillow. And that he did.
Jon and I couldn't help but laugh at his tremendous efforts to destroy the white fluff. We just laughed and sighed, "Ahh, well..It is only a pillow."
Funny as it may seem, Peter reminded me of how often we get caught up with all of our "fluff". We forget that our belongings are only temporary, and really, in the end, meaningless.

While I was at the gym the other day, I over heard a conversation about a house fire. I couldn't help but think of how horrible it would be to lose everything to a fire, or another natural disaster. I imagined how distraught I would be. But then, I was comforted by the instant response my thoughts conjured up. "Well, it would be awful, but at least it is just stuff."

The days I am focused on materialism, are usually the days I am also depressed and miserable and trying to find something to instantly make me feel better. It is so easy to get up in living for "the fluff", always wanting something bigger and better. Whether it be the houses we build, the latest fashions in our closet, or the newest video game, it is such a relief to take a step back and remember none of this matters. I am so grateful my hope and my purpose is in something bigger.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy 2008!

Above: The fondue team! With the help of everyone, we had quite a yummy meal. (Left to right: Kjersten, Mike, Branden, Jon, Rachel, Greta, and Britta) It was a great way to enjoy each others company and welcome the new year...
one bite at a time!

And of course the doggies were welcome too!
A little guitar hero never hurt anyone (Note: I am BAD at this game. Maybe that is why I gave up guitar after 2 lessons....) These girls rocked! And so did these folks..Branden the Pro

And Mr. and Mrs. Jennings were jiving!

Happy New Year! Cheers to good friends!

New Year

Well I wasn't going to buy into posting something about the "New Year" because usually I am not a resolution advocate. Then I got tagged, read others blogs, and truth be told... the turn of the New Year did inspire me to make some changes. To sum it up- my life patterns need to have an over haul! Audrey said 5... so here we go.

1. Give God time.
I say my faith is the most important thing in my life. But my time certainly doesn't testify to this. Even in the midst of a crazy schedule I can find time to go to the gym, go shopping, call a friend, or watch TV. So, now, I vow to give more time to God. One thing my faith has taught me, if I do this- it is likely all these other resolutions will fall into place, and life will feel more as it should.

2. Go to bed before 11pm
I work well late at night. That is when my brain seems to know there is nothing else to do, so I am free to write and read. I prefer to come home at 5, take a nap, and then tackle the rest of the evening. However, this means I am tired in the mornings and hate waking up early. It also means Jon and I are constantly on different schedules, when he is tired I am awake, etc. I think we would enjoy each others company much more if we were on the same page here and I am the one that has the wacky habits, so I will try to conform to the "normal" way of being....

3. Plan Meals
Now most of you think I am a very healthy eater. I am. However, it is not healthy to wait till you are starving because you don't know what to eat, there is no food at home that is appealing, cooking seems too hard, or it is 10:00 pm and you have waited to figure out food until you arrive home. This often leads to eating things one would rather not be. I will attempt to go back to planning weekly menus, easy ways to cart around food I will actually enjoy, and understand how my decisions about eating effect me.

4. Run the Chicago Marathon.
It's about time I just did this. I've been talking about it for at least 4 years. I loved the 1/2 marathon.... I can take on the real deal (yikes!).

5. Think about others over myself
These past few years I have had so many things to focus on, it has been easy to just get stuck in the mode of doing what I need to do to survive and succeed. This is not how I am, nor how I want to be. I need to learn how to be selfless.

Ta da! Cheers to 2008!

P.S. We had a great New Years Eve Gathering- will post on this soon.