There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light; In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right

Well, every time I consider posting something new, I get overwhelmed by the depth of the flood of experiences I have to relate to my long-distance friends. 

Basically, since I posted last, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve written a lot of papers, I’ve cried, laughed, planned, taken tests, been tested, packed up, cried more, made some pretty stinkin’ delicious soft pretzels, gone on some dates, gone to Europe, drunk a whole lot of coffee, moved to Virginia, started a new job, gone to lots of museums, fallen way in love, struggled and grown and rejoiced and mourned and had lots of precious time with family.

That’s the short of it.

I’d probably say that the past year has been the most insane and busy and adventurous and fun and not fun year of my life. I mean, I got my first boyfriend, went to 4 summer camps across the country, broke up with my first boyfriend, had an incredibly fun and stressful school year, got back together with my first boyfriend, got healthy, got happy, conquered fears and failings and depression with the help of my Father and so many of you, had a perfect family Christmas in PA, wrote over 150 pages of history/Bible papers, went to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and now I’m working at Ford’s Theatre in D.C. All that stuff is pretty crazy. And in some ways I kind of feel like I’m never going to quite catch my breath in life—that there’s always going to be some huge milestone around the corner waiting for me to tackle it or stumble over it or become friends with it. But boy am I thankful for all of these crazy things.

Europe was fabulous. Got so close to my lovely friends and got to explore places filled with so much beauty I couldn’t capture it with words if I tried. Got to learn from my Dad and see some of his favorite places, got to smile and cry with my Mom at the beauty of our Lord’s creation and got to even enjoy some friendly Mafia with not-so-little brother Jesse, who is surprisingly much cooler than I am at this point in life.

Highlights of the trip: getting totally fit from walking ~408983 miles per day, friendship bracelets and four-leaf-clover boxers from Dublin, art museums with my Dad, meeting a real life Duchess, fish and chips, Jolly Ristorante (just kidding, guys), cathedrals, gingerbread, Becca Hancock, singings on the bus, worshipping with Irish and English saints, exploring sketch alleyways, and games at night with the groupies. So thankful and so ready to go back for a visit.

After Europe I was home for a few days and packed in some sleep, packing, William-time, and doctor’s visits before hopping in the car with Mom for the road trip to Arlington.

Arlington…a summer filled with a perfect blend of hilly neighborhoods and hydrangeas and babies and sister time and running and parks as well as city life and Starbucks and office work and history. I love D.C., I love how independent I feel up here and how I feel grown up dressing up for work every day and going to meetings and having my own computer and desk. I love learning so much about history and about museum work, and I love the opportunity to explore and read and do big-kid work things. There are challenges, too. I’m learning what it’s like to work in an environment that is not religious or selfless or peaceful. I’m learning to work hard and that you don’t get excused from work when your back hurts (#fc), I’m learning that it’s so much harder than I ever imagined to keep my moral and careful lifestyle; it would be so much easier for me to just adapt and blend in with my language and habits and attitude and beliefs, rather than to stand out and stand up. I’m learning the balance between standing up and being a gentle example. I’m thankful for all of these things. But it’s definitely a challenge. It’s a culture shock coming from having 500 Christians who are my age around me 24/7 to a house with kids and siblings and no one really in my phase of life at home or work. But it’s so, so good for me.

Overview: I love my job, I love my summer home and my family, I love this part of the country, I love that God is willing to put me in challenging situations and He is showing me that I am strong enough to handle it, I love that I have friends and a boyfriend and siblings who are working to keep me focused and cheerful and prayerful and thankful. God has been so good to me.

What a cool life we have. And it’s pretty amazing that as fun and crazy as my experiences are here on earth, even the best and happiest moments are just a taste of what eternal happiness and peace and worship will be like.

God is good.

Love to all from the Federal City.