Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review

okay. don't blog since the summer but here's my annual review of the year! 
`finished my winter break course I was taking at the college farther away to bang out some credits
`started college full time with 17 credits. it was honestly a holy experience
`such a snowy and freezing cole winter (its here again). did lead to some SAD blues (NOT A SIN BTW) due to so wicked low vitamin D
`also got really into raw food dieting. in no way a fully raw (freak) but really implemented more of those wonder foods and eat about 2 or even 3 raw food meals a day. usually. dairy is usually the downfall. cheese, man. 
`had a few good skypes with my SA loves. miss them so. 
this is one of the only pictures of have from winter 

`a week before my birthday my mom lost her job. total shock. she's amazing and resourceful and literally had people asking her to work for them that day and is at a much healthier workplace and thriving. God uses everything for his glory. 
`I had zero plans to join any extracurriculars while at school. I met a teacher (who is now like family) that advises the student volunteer organization and I joined and became the secretary (keeping track of all the minutes) and it had been a super life giving experience. anywho we serve and funded a dinner at our local and awesome (sustainable and trusted) city mission. it had been a few months since I had done that kind of stuff and man did I miss it. it's fun, joyful, and humbling.   
`turned 19. wow. wasn't all the eventful of a birthday honestly. went to my fave italian restaurant with my mom and dad. cavetalli cooked to p e r f e c t i o n. i got a sewing machine. another check on my dream endeavors to bring God glory in my niche for him. ;)

`my mom turned 51 on Easter. the hottest, most amazing, kindest, loving, caring, could go on 51 year old in the world
so pretty. got her genes. at this really good italian restaurant we ate at after my cousins father's wake. does everyone go out to eat after wake/funerals or is it just italians?!

`my nephew Luca (technically my 2nd cousin but we're italian so go with it) was born. so presh. 

`did another service project with my student volunteer organization at a local shelter for homeless and sexually exploited teens. was really intrigued by the place and set up an interview to intern/volunteer over the summer. 
`finished my first semester of college with a 3.8 GPA. my goal was deans list and I made it to presidents list. to God be the g l o r y. amen. btw and I'm getting better at this leaning thing and its kinda beautiful, i still get my days. 

`such a busy time. june and july was a mix of the worlds worst human bio class (grateful for my edu but HOLY CRAP it was just death and lots of tears, so much time and effort, STRESS, I STILL DONT KNOW WHAT A CELL IS) and my other summer class, my internship at the shelter, my  job, studying, future planning, summer socialization (or lack of note AWFUL bio class). I took a CLEP test so I got to get out of my introductory psych class (saved time and money. 
mommy and dad at the festa. i'm just noticing the italian world cup shirt on my dad. so much ginny. 
`my fave beginning of summer tradition is this italian fest with amazing food and pretties decor and atmosphere (you just run into everyone) at this italian church. we go like almost all 3 days haha. 
`Because of my summer classes and such I didn't go to Africa this year. Ugh so hard. kinda an identity crisis but kept myself busy for sure. Mission still came up when I got to mentor the SA mission team on children's ministry stuff. LOVE and honored. My friend Courtney was going to SA missions trip and I got to help them shop for all their supplies and pay for it. If you can't go, you give. Court also stayed a few extra days in SA to help at the same place I did last year and I got to send a picture with a letter on the back to each of the kids and a necklace for the girls and candy for the boys and babies. The oldest boy I was close with got a Yankees snapback and the oldest girl I was close with hot a hairband. They loved everything even though I with I could have got to gov sit to them in person. They sent me back a card and pics I loved and I called them on Skype and they said they miss me. That call gave me such a rush.  
`went hiking with my dad at thacher park when the summer classed peaced out. 


`my internship at the youth shelter was a really good experience. I mostly helped the clients fine and apply to jobs and apartments, go to DSS with them, help them with schoolwork, fundraising, and recreational/ art therapy activities with the clients, helped the staff. learned a ton too that I wouldn't really be able to learn in a classroom
they were so good at scrabble. i got really into it and still rarely one and i'm a words girl. 
`wildwood was in august. so good to be back. good food (fish tacos, chips and salsa, ice cream, gelato, coffee, italian cookies, pasta, banana chocolate chip pancakes, pizza). getting addicted to the water and waves and getting pulled out way to far and realizing you can't touch the bottom and you tray to swim back to shore and you can't and a life guard has to help you and then you can't find your sister for a half hour after. reading love does on the beach. remembering old memories and making new ones. remembered following the Micheal Brown case here too, it had just happened and so hreatbreaking. Black Lives matter!!

`my niece, Gia, (technicaly my 2nd cousin but we're italian so go with it) third birthday

`after a sabbatical or more a drought from crafting I got to catch up on some crafting in august. and all God's people said amen.

`this semester flew by sooo fast. I had 18 credits. Mostly good professors thanks to rate my My classes were Statistics, Western civilization, social problems, abnormal psychology, interpersonal and group dynamics, and physical geography. Interpersonal and group dynamics was my favorite class for the content and teacher but I also like abnormal for the professor too. Physical geography was so boring like bad but I mad this really embarrassing but good video project last minute for the class and got out of the final for it and got an A for the class! I did so well grade wise and for all A's and a B in stats a 3.83 gpa and made the president's list. Ahhh! to god be the glory.
`La turned 23 on October 6th. I actually got her a really good gift- a snack subscribtion since I fled the country on her bday last year.
`I didn't actually go anywhere for halloween-shocker! But at work I dressed up as mary poppins (with out buying anything) an dressed up my resident as the old man from up. it was perfect.

`so for my interpersonal and group dynamics class we do a group project called a service learning project. we address a need in our community a do something about it all while working in a group and practicing communication skills. I had a group that restored my faith in group projects. we helping the Girls on the Run club at our local elementary school. we asked business for donations of healthy snacks for the club and got monetary donations so we could have a team tshirt making day. we went to their practice and official 5Ks too. We wrote encoring notes each week for the girls.
Because I cannot say no I signed up to be a "running buddy" in the spring, I love kids!
my group!
`Mommy and I in the fall took a few trips to Scoharie a small, really rural town about a half hour away for the scenery and this really good cafe that has all farm fresh meals. killer food.
she'll kill me for this pic. cider doughnut bread pudding though. 
`thanksgiving was really good. the parade, lauren and I had our annual sbux coffee date, i worked for a bit. we went to our last holiday at aunt sharons (before she sold the house) and the whole family was there. so fun and yummy. probably the best dessert was the brownies my cousin andrea made. her kid, valentina was sooooo cute and I hadn't seen her in awhile and she has the best personality. andrea and marc are really good parents too. Laur and I drove dom and nico to bart's house and they got locked out so then I drove them to their cousins

`Started out kind busy with the week before and finals week.
`I was really busy planning for a lot of it a Christmas party with gifts for the clients at the youth shelter I volunteer at. I was able to get a lot donated and fundraised. YAY! Put a lot of time into it.
`Also have an insanely GENEROUS friend, Tanneal, that brings and helps coordinate Christmas gifts and dinner to over 74 families in municipal housing in our town so I was helping her at a few events and donated a few of my signature paint bucket gift baskets to her families and fundraisers.
`my aunt kate and uncle dick visited literally the week before an part of finals week but it still was a really good visit with them
`Had to put my sweet orange boy down
RIP Burturm
`Went to visit lauren in Brooklyn. It was my first time seeing her apartment and it was nice to toole around the city and go to the is South African restaurant, Madiba, I've been dying to go to. It was really good and fun. All I bought was the TIME Ebola Fighter Person of the Year magazine while most girls shop on pink or whatever.

`took my mom to see Elf the musical for Christmas at a local theater

`Participated in Dressesmber (only missed one day!) see above photo
After church Erinn, her boyfriend Eric, kristen, and I had lunch at Chipotle after church and stayed awhile, we went to the Asian supermarket too and it was a fun afternoon.
`Christmas was really good. Worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Sad I missed church cause working eve, we were out of power too for quite a few hours, "dinner" if thats what you'll call it was at my Aunt Pat's, really quiet there just because family always has to be all over. We hosted Christmas day and it was good too. I got out of work really early. Such good food! I begged mom for no gifts but she mostly just got me "gifts that give back." We all looked through old pictures which was really fun too!

`For Christmas I went on a Christmas letter writing spree started with a letter, picture, and sweets an headband for every single one of my South Africa loves. They are never forgotten. PRAYING the USPS and the SA postal service do their thang and get them to my loves!
`Sorta facing the post christmas, low vitamin D, IT'S SO COLD, my dr. took my off a medicine too drastically blues mostly anxiety. Jesus plus mommmy plus crafting plus more bible and jesus is the cure but mostly Jesus and Bible.
`New Years Eve. Such a fast and beautiful year. Today I read the Word, did some crafting, ate a gingerbread milkshake from stewarts (thanks dad!), met Mom and Leigh (her coworker) for lunch with laur at the standard (really good time), drove home with mommy, did this and some crafting, visited my grandparents and finishing this review. I good day to end a blessed year. About to go finish my 2014 memory jar!

Thank you Jesus for another year. So grateful, thankful, and hopeful.

P.S. Seemed like I really followed through on my 2014 declaration. Sanctification Station as Jami Nato says. Yay! Go God!

YAY 2015!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

L I F E lately

So...sorry I've been busy being type A and updating my blog with edited pics and posting them on social media-not! So life since January? Fuller and fuller but I'd don't think I'd have it any other way! God is so good always, in every season and as my bff Erinn says "I am so taken care of!" So life since January?!

`Kicked some serious A in college and made a 3.8 G.P.A. in my spring semester(GOD DID THAT) 
`Leaned to ENJOY and actually be good at learning/school and give Him the glory for it (#GOD IS STILL IN THE BUSINESS OF MIRACLES)
`Joined the Student Volunteer Club at school and had so much fun with it and making my crazy city-home a better place 
`Turned 19! Celebrated with my parents and cavitelli. Because Italian. And flour less chocolate cake. 
`Went on a raw food lifestyle change after feeling fatigued for too long on my clock and then changed it up a bit while not 100% raw vegan but some grace and eating the healthiest I've ever been! And really learned what true health is! 
`The salon closed so not there anymore, but my retirement home job and babysitting. 
`Had lots of beloved Skype dates with my favorite people in the entire world who taught me how to LOVE-my little Jo'burg South Africans!! You have no idea they make my heart swell and I get such a natural high after our 3/4 AM Skype dates-and they're probably the only people I ever wake up a that ungodly hour for! 
`Because of my full summer class schedule until the end of July and internship I'd didn't get to go to South Africa or Malawi #IDENTITY CRISIS but sent my main girl Courtney who was going to South Africa with a QUALITY missions team and was going to the children's home/school that I interned/fell in love at with pictures of all my loves with encouraging letters on the back and American candy or a necklace- they loved them but man, did I want to hand deliver it! 
`Served a long side people that guided me while I was a student in youth ministry. 
`Read lots of textbooks, scripture and novels!
`Just loved people that encourage me and that I get to do LIFE with. 
`Crafting? What's that?
`Stressed ate a lot of Chipotle. They'll cater my wedding someday too. 
`Getting mentored my pastor from SA for the plan God is building me up for. Mhmm. 
`Got a new nephew, Luca Vincent via my cuz's Dina and Mike. He sure is an ovary explosion. 
`Grateful fun farmers's markets and fresh produce.
`These are most of the highlights, I'll leave some of the not so fun out for now. 

(cats, my people, the daily, drives to the country)

Summer has been wild from a full summer school ached (with a human bio class that nearly drove me over the edge), working 2 jobs, church life, planning for His plan, and a hectic but fulfilling internship. I've been interning since June at a non-profit shelter for homeless, runaway, and sexually exploited teens-20 year olds that provides shelter, counseling, referrals, adocavcy, meals, and life skills training olds. I mostly help the clients apply for jobs, search for stable housing, assist with their clinical intakes, encourage them to keep going, and do some recreational activities. I know as a mentor to them I should be teaching them things by their mostly teaching me things. I'm slapped in the face daily by the amount of privilege I've been born and blessed with, knowing I'd be a horror story and a half if I'd have to walk the road some of them have been through. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 in review

2013 was one of my greatest years! fo' sho. so much joy, memories adventures and even its fair share of downs. 
here's my annual play-by-play:

- I was half way done with my senior year, begging the Lord to do big things with the next chapter/season of my life, and working a lot and had a few coffee dates. 
(some real classy filters)
-February consisted of a lot of celebrating the little things, working, some rest, gratitude for amazing friends, watching my older sister fulfill her life long goal of moving to New York City, and an AWESOME youth retreat that helped me check off a few of my "Before I Graduate High School Bucket List" items. 

- I failed my road tests, which sucked so much at the time. 
- Did a lot of baking and reading and enjoying of snow days.
-Had an AMAZING (i use that word a lot) and memorable birthday on Easter, with my besties which indluded a lot of laughs, encouragment, and Thai food. 
(i'm such a dork, but i dig a social life with my co-workers)

(birthday love) 

-Mother Hen's 50th birthday, crafternoons, reading the Hunger Games Trilogy, and PASSING MY DRIVERS TEST!!!!

(mom and her favorite hobby)

-Much busyness, last month of school, some ugly cries with the unknown of my future, so so so much rejoicing with clarity, did a spoken word at my youth group create night, finished high school. 

-Was encouraged greatly, took a few mini road trips, reunited with a friend that moved away, oh AND GRADUATED and BROKE THE NEWS to my besties and family that im moving to AFRICA FOR 3 AND A HALF MONTHS to work/volunteer/have no idea what ill get myself into. and took family pictures (which won't upload :() 
good ol' lake george

Country Living Fair- super cool vendors but it poured buckets which sorta put a damper on it 

i babysit for a newbie photog so we did a service trade and gave my parents  family pictures (which we still have to print, maybe their next anniversary gift) for their silver anniversary that i would be out of the country for
gosh, i'm photogenic
pretty sure im grabbing my boob here, some of my nervous ticks
what im talking abouttttt
blood, sweat and tearssss-mostly sweat and tears

clearly, i was really devastated about graduating
also i look like an oompa loompa next to the kid next to me 

the reason i survived my senior year, and jesus a lottaaa jesus

my cheerleaders

Where do i even begin with July?!!?
-here is independence day:
i lied i don't have any pics that are flattering. 
-my besties LIED TO ME FOR WEEKS and I went along with it in order to throw me a FABULOUS, umm undeserved, going away/wedoubtyou'llcomeback PARTAYYY. blahhhed about it.  

     -and boarded some planes. started out my african adventure in M A L A W I.   
ohhhhh snap, forgot to say i went to the kruger national park in south africa too, legit times had by all. 
malawi buddies
-the start of my time in south africa working/loving/learning/pouring my self out/err so much at a children's home there. 
-in the beginning it was sorta a whole new set of a routine a lot of cleaning, a lot of working around the language barrier, a lot of prayer, a lot of a lot honestly, "africa" is not new to me but the "stuff" i encountered at the beginning of this felt alot like katie davis' story in her book kisses from katie, "like emptying the ocean with an eyedropper."
-i journaled lots of this and did a "sweet bits" of the day re cap my whole time there i just never got to blog it.
-i found my self in a new church family that is a sister church of my one back "home"
-near the end of the month i was asked my the manager (who do to maybe some of her own reservations never got to really enjoy me) of the children's home asked me to help teach at the montessori type school that they children's home had started for the kids with learning delays or some behavioral problems, it was a start to another unexpected, thrilling journey within a journey
-i was in a HABITUAL closeness with jesus that i've learned to still make happen or jesus made happen
-skypeing was always a delight

-Watched from a far my friends or old class mates settle into their opaque dorms in college town, america making new friends, studying, and doing college etc. while i was over on the other side of the world doing something quite contrary. I had no reservations about doing what i did, i knew the whole time i was in the epicenter of God's outrageous plan. 
-(crying right now as a write this i miss everything about it so so much)
-The pastors from my church back "home" (who are from south africa) were coming to the church i was attending at the time for a conference so we got to have lunch and catch up, felt pretty good
-i got to make memories for the kids i was serving which was simply the best the boys liked pizza and the girls loved taco night

-My last month in Africa 
-Thrived on times with the Lord in the morning, the hearty laughs from the babies, and texts and voxers from friends and family (well i do year round) 
-served my tail off!!
-i left johannesburg, south africa on october 28 (I was a HOT MESS walking all over that airport), owing the embassy 1000 rand for over staying my visit #YOLO and arriving at jfk international airport at 6:15 AM on october 29 and had a very decadent breakfast at max brenners chocolate restaurant and knocked out on the bus ride back to my town, my mom had the pictures i would email back all around the house and it felt okay, i knew in every season god is always god and he is good and this plan for whatever is next is always always better that what i could ever imagine or dream. im blessed to be his daughter. 

- i had a two day rest and i was back to work
-i was like a celebrity my first sunday back at church, i guess i was missed for something  
-starting to give back to the ministry that makes me who i am today- youth ministry, i co-lead an 11th and 12th grade girls small group with one of my besties
-thanksgiving was spent with family friends and gaining back my pre-africa weight ;))
-took a short road trip to visit my friend erinn away at college 
-applied to community college

-so busy between working two jobs full time, youth ministry, and all the other things life brings.
-my church's youth ministry puts on their talent show called create night which is incredible, i was just a spectator this time 
-started my college career taking the winter break classes at a community college
-christmas was simple and nice. jesus, family food. 
-new years was rung in my my crew of besties laughing and chatting. 

2013 has been so beautiful its taken me like a week and some to write this post. I would live it again but the best is yet to come. lets DO this 2014!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 declaration

2014 declaration... (a few days-ish late ;)

here's to more joy, more adventures, and being brave
here's to praying more and worrying less.
here's to caring more about my neighbor, the poor in spirit and being a hopeless encourager. 
here's to arriving on time, being less of a scatterbrain, and working hard and hoping it pays off.  
here's to writing a book proposal, getting grades i deserve, and learning more.
here's to loving and giving more. 
here's to drinking an insane amount of hot, caffiniated beverages and relying on more of his promises. 
here's to doing small things with great love. 

declaration inspired by the shine project blog. 

goals, catchup, and 2013 review to come! :))