Monday, June 27, 2011

recent wanderings.

So, my blog has been neglected the past few weeks. And it's not because I don't have anything to say because let's be honest--I always have something to say.

Summer doesn't seem like it's really started yet in someways, which I suppose is appropriate for my current state in life: I'm just somewhere in between. Between being an undergrad and being a Jesuit Volunteer. Between being a kid and being an adult. But that's what the people tell me being a twenty-something is all about.

My days have been mostly been taken up by working, driving on country roads, reading lots of books, and attempting to organize the chaos my material possessions have become over the past 4 years, while my nights have been taken up by cooking with my parents, hanging out with friends, going on runs and riding my bike (while admiring Missouri's beautiful sunsets). And I've been squeezing in visits to St. Louis every week or so to see my SLU friends that are around.

It's really nice to be home. College has made me appreciate small town life in ways I would have never predicted. It's good to have a few more months here before I head off to Bean Town in August. Life is good...even as I spend my days reveling in the in-between.

photo via pinterest

Sunday, June 12, 2011

bakin' up a storm.

In the midst of graduating from college and moving home for the summer, I found time to bake a few things, too. As you can probably guess, I really enjoy baking for my friend's birthdays! It's a great time to try out new, usually excessive recipes that I wouldn't get a chance to make normally.

monkey bread.

for Mary and Laura's birthday:
chocolate peanut butter cake (glaze omitted so we didn't die from a sugar coma).

pumpkin muffins (minus the cream cheese filling.)
irish soda bread (a combination of many recipes, I believe).

banana chocolate chip bread.

for my roommate, Kate's, (early) birthday:
tres leches cake & black-bottom cupcakes.

and for Jessie's birthday...
  the rainbow cake! (with a double batch of this icing.)

And here's a few of the other things that I've baked recently that I didn't get pictures of... Spiced Applesauce Bread. Peanut Butter Banana Bread (with added chocolate chips) . Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.

P.S. I think my obsession with smitten kitchen is completely obvious after this post.

Monday, June 6, 2011

she's got the world at her fingertips.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my dad about my future--which after next July, is wide open. At one point, he laughed and made the following comment: "You know that song, 'My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades'? Well, your future must be clouded by smoke, it's so uncertain."

While part of me wanted to take offense to this (well-meant) poke at my lack of life direction, but I couldn't help but agree because, well, it's true. My future after my JV year is like a blank page. I don't know what I'll be doing (grad school, working, traveling, etc.), what field I'll be in, or where I'll be.

This past week I participated in Cura Personalis, the national conference for college CLC members/coordinators. The conference includes two days of silent retreat, during which participants meet with a spiritual director each day. I spent the first part of the silent retreat feeling like my head was stuffed full of cotton, like if I could somehow extract all of that cotton out of my head, there would finally be room for my thoughts to be clear.

After sensing my jumbled state of mind during our first meeting, the second day my spiritual director (an incredibly sweet, elderly nun) gave me a copy of this Thomas Merton prayer: "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end..."

Well, to say that that's the truth would be an understatement. But although I'm uncertain of exactly where this path of JVC is going to take me, I have to say that I'm excited for the ride. At this point, I honestly can go anywhere and do almost anything. That kind of freedom is a liberating, and it's kind of exhilarating to not know where I'll be: that means there's still a world of possibilities open to me. And in my moments of uncertainty, I am still sure that the God of certainty is guiding me every step of the way.

photo via pinterest // title via "She Is" by Ben Rector [one of my current favorite songs]