Monday, January 30, 2012

perfect score.

This is just a little something we like to call complete and total domination. I would like to be able to take some sort of credit for this seeing as I am his biggest fan, but seriously. I'm beginning to wonder if he's completely human.

And this was supposed to be the victory lap.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

reunited (and it feels so good)

One week in to Spring Semester 2012 and ohhh what a whirlwind it has been so far! It is so good to be back at the Brick House, back with my brothers and sisters, back in the wonderful town of Oxford, etc. etc. etc.

First things first, we kicked off the semester with a camping trip last Friday night! Why sit around and talk inside when you can go outside with a fire, a lake, beautiful stars, and Julie's homemade blackberry wine cake? One minor problem...the severe thunderstorms/tornado watch that occurred around 2 in the morning. Perhaps that was a lack of planning on our part...but what can I say? We were really excited to see each other again after the break.

Milkshake Monday this week resulted in more people crammed in the Brick House than you can possibly imagine. So many best friends, soon-to-be friends, international students who we barely know... If you are anywhere near Oxford on a Monday night, I'm telling you, you have to come. I cannot explain how fun/overwhelming/beautiful it is. You would be amazed to see the ways that sharing a milkshake leads to sharing the Gospel.

Anna and I are taking Ceramics this semester. Not as easy as it looks. Which was to be expected, but still. It's very fun, very time-consuming, very challenging, and probably going to teach me more about life than all of my other classes combined.

I think that's about it as far as back-to-school news is concerned. The rest is just normal life in Oxford: bonfires, brother-sister breakfast, good conversations, me trying to avoid working on my thesis, LOTS of Settlers of Catan, my English class that might as well be National Treasure (ok, that's not normal at all, but more on that another time...), etc.

I always forget how full-speed-ahead life in Oxford is. It's a bit of an adjustment, for sure, but in the best of ways. I want to take advantage of every single second of this semester, and I'm thankful for friends that intend to do the same.

Friday, January 13, 2012

new places, new friends, new year

Seeing new places can change your life. Meeting new people can change your life. Combine the two, and I've had a definite whirlwind of a start to 2012. South Africa is absolutely, positively beautiful. I've tried for three days now to upload pictures of the mountains and the ocean and the penguins (yes, penguins - who knew?), but for some reason I can only get these two to work. Fitting, somehow. Because while the mountains and the ocean and the beauty definitely leave an impact, it's always the people that change you a little bit more...

Meet Timo and Nicol, the new friends I was blessed to spend the week with. I cannot imagine anyone being any more amazing to a total stranger than these two guys were to me.

This boy and I have pretty much the same taste in everything. Seriously, it's crazy.

I got back to Kentucky on Wednesday, but it already seems so long ago and so far away. And, to be honest, I'm not really sure what to do now, with only a few days of holiday left and so much to take care of. I know this for certain: I would go back in a heartbeat. I miss the summer weather, breathtaking views, the constant tea breaks, and my new friends trying to teach me Afrikaans and swapping awesome music. But I also know these things for certain: the world is actually a lot smaller than we think it is, God is actually a lot bigger than we think He is, and there is incredible purpose in every single interaction that we have. So much more purpose than we could ever predict or realize.

So while I'm currently still a little overwhelmed by it all, I am thankful beyond words for the experience of South Africa and the ways it shaped - and, probably, will continue to shape - my life and especially this new semester. 2012 is going to be a big year; I can't imagine a more incredible way to start it!

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