Friday, July 31, 2009

Prank Wars

Last Friday, the interns arrived at the office ready for a busy, productive day only to find our room in complete chaos. Someone thought it would be funny to cover the floor in cups full of water, scatter candy from the Mars meeting all over the place, remove all of our chairs, unplug our keyboards and mice, turn everything on the walls upside down, and even tack our bathroom key to the ceiling. We knew the culprits wanted to see us panic and clean up the whole mess, so we did the opposite - we left the scene as we found it and went on with our usual day as if nothing was out of the ordinary. The guilty party was easy to identify - our secretary Alicia and the young financial analyst Mark. Although they denied our accusations, we gathered plenty of evidence to prove their guilt. Instead of immediate retaliating, we made these two sweat for a week.

Yesterday, Brad, Katie and I devised our plan and made preparations. This morning, we arrive at the office before 7am and put the plan in action. We replaced everything possible in Mark's office with cardboard replicas. Cardboard chair, computer, printer, keyboard, mouse, telephone, stapler, calculator, business cards, framed pictures, thermostat, newspaper... everything! We couldn't be so bold at Alicia's desk, so we just did a lot of little things: popcorn in her drawer, paperclips and hole-punched paper pieces, switched all the caps on her pens (a pet peave of hers), flipped her floor mat upside down, replaced her family pictures with pictures of us, added appointments to her Outlook calendar (9:00 apologize to interns, 10:00 bring interns ice cream, 11:00 give interns a hug)... and more!

It was a great prank war and we all had a good laugh and called it even. However, every time we walk by Alicia's front desk, she eyes us suspiciously and we wouldn't be surprised if they kept the prank war going either. I think the interns won the 1st battle, though!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Heat Wave

It is 11:00pm and I have yet to cool off for the day. Portland reached a record high of 102 degrees today. It finally feels like summer! "No big deal," you say. You've been facing worse weather in Texas for the past 2 months. But you have air conditioning. That's right... no A/C for me. Now can I have a little pity? It's not too humid, so at least I can still run/roller blade/hike and not pass out (although I've gotten pretty close), but there's nothing like walking in the house and being hit by the stale heat due to no air conditioning. I ran to Target today to buy an oscilating fan. It blows air, but doesn't quite keep my room nice and cool. I'm not complaining, I'll take the northwest weather over the Texas weather any day, but I'll probably dream of a nice air conditioned house in Waco tonight.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Baptized in the Water

Today after church, the Imago Dei community gathered at Rooster Rock Park for a baptism celebration. I've never witnessed a baptism like this. I'm used to 8-year-olds being dunked in a baptismal within the walls of the church during a brief 5 minutes of the service. This was a completely different experience. The whole church gathered to support these 15 people and to celebrate as they publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ. It was a party! There were picnic baskets, jump houses, snow cones and live music. And what I loved most is that we were in a public place. The Christians were baptised in the Columbia River amid other Sunday afternoon picnicers, sun tanners and jet skiers. It was a wonderful way to witness to others. What a joyous occassion!

Salvation through the Holy Spirit
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit... "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
Matthew 3:11-13

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sugar High

This has been quite an unusual past couple of days. Instead of waking up and heading to my daily job, I feel like I have been part of a whirlwind circus. The office has become an arena full of energy, excitement and something new around every corner! Yesterday, Murdock hosted the Mars Corporation for a roundtable discussion with local business people. Naturally, we brought in all of Mars' company products for the meeting... M&Ms, Snickers (regular and frozen), Skittles, Starburst, 3 Musketers, Dove ice cream bars. Bags and bags of candy. Boxes and boxes of ice cream. Your mouth may be watering, but my stomach is turing at the thought of sugar after being surrounded by it for the past 2 days. We even borrowed a couple of life-sized (if fictional chocolate people can be "life-sized") M&M characters from the local grocery store. Our stomaches were never empty and our mouths were never without a little smudge of chocolate remains. Therefore, the meeting when well!

During our candy breaks, we played our own personal version of putt-putt golf created by Brad. He even created a "Princess Mary Hole" in honor of me. Thanks, Brad!

What else made this week fun...
- Brad's suprise birthday lunch
- getting all 3 interns to try my grilled cheese and jam sandwich
- playing the newly wed game with the interns
- lots of laughter

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Adventurous Weekend

Saturday morning, my friend Amber and I headed down south of Salem for a day on the lake. We stopped to visit her 90-year-old grandparents at their farm, then her dad picked us up in his suburban and we headed toward Green Peter Lake with a boat in tow. It was the perfect day: 90 degrees and blue skies. I haven't been on the lake since last summer in Texas, so I was pretty excited to get back on the water and hopefully learn to ski. But about halfway to the lake, the car made a funny noise, started sputtering, and slowly died. We pulled off to the side of the road where her dad took a look under the truck. We couldn't figure out what was wrong and after several failed attempts to start the engine, we started to give up hope. Luckily, a tow truck just happened to be driving by and the man offered to help us out. He towed us back to the farm (my 1st tow ride ever!) and we turned to plan B.

We loaded up a raft in Amber's car and drove down to a creek that is apparently a great rafting spot. Amber and I jumped in the 2-person raft, pushed off with our oars, and started down the creek. A young man on the banks yelled a last piece of advice: "Watch out for the rocks you can't see!" and her dad reminded us to beware of logs that could pull us under.

We coasted along for a while and then ran into a few small rapids. We picked up speed and had a hard time staying straight, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. Then the water got a little more shallow and he hit a few more small rapids - and our bottoms hit a few rocks along the way! (Let's just say sitting isn't the most comfortable position today and I could be nicknamed "Blue Bottom"!) That was a rough spot, but we kept on going. We coasted along a little farther and then looked ahead to see a large log in the middle of the creek with water rapidly flowing over it. We tried to steer around it, but the strong current forced us over the log and our raft was stuck! Amber tried to get out to push the raft and got sucked under water and pushed down stream. For a second I thought I had lost my friend, but I saw her float down the creek and quickly climb up on the side rocks. Now I was stuck in a raft that had quickly filled with water. I tried to dislodge it for about 3 minutes, panicked for 30 seconds and thought about "aborting ship". Then I realized that if I jumped off of raft, I would a) get sucked under or b) end up on the rocks with Amber with no raft to get out of this whole situation. So I began scooping water out of the raft and then scootched the raft down the branch of the log and finally started downstream, oars and all! I pulled off to where Amber was and we dumped the water out and continued down the creek. Miraculously, Amber held on to the plastic bag which contained our food and her cell phone, so we called her dad who picked us up early. Amber was pretty scratched and bruised up and has a swollen ankle, but we both survived - and bonded since we shared a near-death experience. It was quite an adventure and we have a few pictures to remember it by.

Running Update

With my big Hood to Coast relay only 6 weeks away, I've been in a little bit of a running rut. But today, my roommate Kathy and I ran 8.25 miles all around Portland... and it felt great! That good run inspires me to keep up the training even though it's difficult.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hannah in Portland - Round 2

Hannah Sprague was back in Portland this past weekend. She had such a good time when she was here in May that she had to make a second trip. Well, she actually had a business conference a few hours away in Spokane this week and she was able to fly up early for the weekend, but she obviously couldn't get enough of the northwest! When she was here for Memorial Day weekend we packed in as much sight seeing and adventure as possible. This weekend was much more relaxing. We did start our time together with a bang - we went to the Coldplay concert at the Amphitheater in Clark County. It was an incredible performance at an awesome venue.

Saturday we slept in, ate a delicious brunch at Jam on Hawthorne, walked up and down the street to check out the interesting (very Portland) shops, enjoyed a quick hike at Mount Tabor, then layed out and read at Laurelhurst Park. That evening we had a fabulous Thai dinner at Typhoon, had dessert at Papa Hadyn's (one of our favorite spots) with Carrie, then caught a movie with Maegan Moore and Kaitlyn Amos.

Sunday we went to the 11:00 service at Imago Dei, ate biscuits and gravy for lunch at The Arleta Library, shopped at all of the great boutiques on NW 23rd Street, then cuddled up on the couch with a pizza to watch a movie while it rained outside.
It was a great weekend hanging out with Hannah just like we would if she lived here. It made me miss my friend back in Texas, but I enjoyed our time together and can't wait to see more friends when I travel down south next month.

at the Coldplay concert at Clark County Amphitheater

truly amazing performers

Hannah at Saturday brunch

on the sky tram overlooking Portland

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4th of July in Washington DC

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for the 4th of July weekend. I had never been to our nation's capital before so it was quite a weekend. My cousin Laura is there for the summer working with Fat Tire Bike Tours' City Segway business. The Mark family as well as our granddad was there for the weekend as well. Granddaddy and I kicked the weekend off by hoping on segways and getting a grand tour of the city from Laura. It was fun to see all of the sites on wheels instead of having to walk around the whole city. Laura was a fabulous guide and made the tour fun and educational. Later that afternoon we had a private tour of the Capitol thanks to a Baylor friend who is interning with a congressman this summer. Friday evening, the Braves just happened to be playing the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. We watched the exciting game (Go Braves!) from great seats behind home plate and enjoyed a wonderful fireworks show after the game.

The next day we all traveled to Arlington Cemetary where we visited cousin Billy's grave, saw JFK's grave and the eternal flame, and witnessed the changing of the guard in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. That afternoon, Laura and Aunt Allyson saved a spot for us on the lawn of the Capitol while the rest of us walked up and down the mall and saw many of the memorials. My feet nearly fell off, so I was relieved to be able to relax on the lawn for the 4th of July festivities. We had a great time at the concert singing along with Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Natasha Beddingfield, Big Bird and Elmo, and the cast of Jersey Boys. The fireworks show on the mall was absolutely stunning to say the least - the best I've seen yet (even better than the downtown Waco fireworks show if you can believe it)!

Sunday we all went to a delicious local waffle cafe, and then visited many of the museums including the National Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, and the Newseum which was by far my favorite. On our last night there we emjoyed one another's company at a nice restaurant by the waterfront.

I also got to see some good old Waco friends who are now living in DC during the weekend. It was such a great weekend. There is just so much to do in the capital. It was surreal being in DC for the 4th of July and I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ding Dong Ditch

We finally met the neighbor kids this evening... after they played ding dong ditch on us. Kathy and I were sitting downstairs when we heard the doorbell ring. We looked out the window just in time to see some short-legged kids running across our yard. We walked outside and yelled in a funny voice, "Who's that knocking on our door?" We saw some pigtails peeking around the corner then quickly disappear. "Oh well, I guess we'll go inside," we said and shut the door. A little girl tip-toed around the corner and gasped when she saw us standing on the porch. We starting laughing and before we could say "ding dong ditch", there were 3 little kids laughing with us on our porch! They started telling us knock knock jokes, teaching us hand clapping games and climbing on our backs. We all became instant friends! I'll bet that we see much more of them from now on.

our new buddies


instant friends

Jokes of the Day
Examples of the knee-slapping jokes they told us:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Dog who?
Dog cat.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Ding dong.
Ding dong who?
Ding dong run away from your door!