Monday, September 9, 2013

Catching Up: September Edition

I didn't want this to happen, but it was inevitable. And it's really not even school that made me fall so far behind on blogging this time. Friday evening was the start of the Hills YoungLife area retreat, and we met up at a park in Tarrytown, where we enjoyed a delicious Chick-Fil-A dinner, and engaged in a friendly game of kickball. We intermixed teams, so I was reunited with some of my Murchison teammates, while at the same time getting to know my new Anderson teammates. 

After an hour or so of kickball, we were told that the next part of our retreat would be going to The Friendly Savages and Penny & Sparrow concert at Stubb's. All the girls went back to the house of one of our area director's friends and changed, and we all re-met up outside of Stubb's. The concert was incredible, though I honestly don't know if I ever stopped sweating. At least until I escaped the packed-in crowd and made my way to the back of the room and talked with some of my Murchison teammates for the remainder of the evening.

After the concert, Team Anderson went back to a house in Northwest Austin and half of the team went to Whataburger for a 1:00am Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit run, while the other half of us went to sleep. Just guess which category I fell under. The next morning we had our big area meeting where we talked about the calendar and hopes and dreams for this semester in YoungLife, and it was honestly probably the first time I left that meeting feeling encouraged and excited for the year as opposed to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Our area director is incredible and I am so excited for this year to get going. And while it is hard to jump onto an established team as a new member, I think this year is going to be great. My new team is full of incredible people who are goofy and full of big ideas to get new kids to experience the gospel.

On Sunday, after a 9:15am church service and a little bit of homework, Taylor, one of my best friends from high school, picked me up and we drove to campus to go watch the Nike Big 4 Volleyball Tournament. The tournament featured the Texas Longhorns, the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Stanford Cardinal, and the Florida Gators. Mary Ellen, one of our other best friends from high school, plays for Stanford, so we rearranged our schedules when we found out she was coming to Austin to play. 

Because she goes to Stanford, and her family moved to West Virginia, we don't get to see her very often, and we jumped at the chance to see her, even if for ten minutes after the game. Lindsay also drove in for the game from Houston, and it was such a great start to my week being reunited with the Stratford volleyball dream team. 

Taylor, Mary Ellen, Lindsay, and I
And though I was wearing my burnt orange (as hard as it was to put on after the abysmal performance in our football game on Saturday), Lindsay, Taylor, and I went crazy when Mary Ellen took the court. We may have gotten a few stares, but it was well worth it.

Stratford America
After the game I went on a relaxing walk around Town Lake, where I was met with a beautiful sunset to end my weekend.

And now it's back to the books. School is really starting to pick up speed, and it's only going to get busier once I start going to the high school (hopefully next week). Have a great Monday! And GO TEXANS!

P.S. Here's a very special shout out to a great roommate - Natalie - for holding me accountable and posting this blog post. Once I get too far behind, there is no hope for me to catch up. Thanks, Nat! Hopefully some new workouts and recipes will be making an appearance on the blog soon!

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