Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Goddaughter Cecilia

This Sunday I became the godmother to precious Cecilia Anne Schobert.  Cece's parents, Matthew and Camden, moved from Waco to Portland about 3 years ago and they have become like family to me.  Matt was actually one of my youth group leaders at 7th & James when I was just a confused little teenager.  Now he is someone I talk theology and life with over beers as a complicated young adult.  It crazy to think that I have known him for half of my life (which equates to about 1/4 of his life - love you, Matt!).  I've gotten to know Camden since they've lived in Portland, but I've known her family and extended family through various, random Baylor connections.  Cece is now a little over 3 months old, and is lucky to have 2-year-old Trey as her big brother.
 
Little Cece is such a happy baby with the chubbiest, cutest cheeks you've ever seen.  I have yet to see her cry (at least for more than 10 seconds) and she smiles and laughs at the smallest things.  She's a true joy and I am honored to take on the special role of godmother to her, and watch her grow into the beautiful woman God has created her to be.
 
after the baptism ceremony at St James Lutheran

the Schobert family
(poor Trey wasn't feeling well that morning)

godmother Mary, Cece, Camden, Trey, Matthew, godfather Rick (Matt's friend from college who now lives in Denver)
 
the whole crew, including Camden's mom from California, at Petite Provence for brunch after the service

 Cece with the blanket I knitted for her baptism gift
she spit up on it several times which I'm pretty sure is how she shows her love
 

Borning Cry
This is the song that the congregation sang at the end of Cece's baptism.  I love the words - they are a great depiction of the roles of parents and godparents (spiritual "sponsors" of the child) and really the community as a whole which surrounds her.  There have been many people in my life who have rejoiced with me, cheered me on, guided me, and helped raise me as a child of God (and continue to do so!).  My hope and prayer is that I can do the same for little Cece.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell.
When you heard the wonder of the Word I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk ’till rising sun.
In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.
When the evening gently closes in, and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise.
I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow Days

Two weekends ago Portland got some major snow!  Like 6 inches of white, fluffy, powder snow.  It was beautiful.  And it shut the city down for 3 and a half days.  Snow days are fun, but snow weekends are glorious.  For 3 days, the whole city was forced to stay off the streets and in their homes, or at least their neighborhoods.  I didn't touch my car for 3 days.  If I wanted to get out to go anywhere, I had to walk.
 
The snow weekend was great because it forced me to slow down and just relax.  I knitted, read books, watched movies, cleaned out my closet, went for walks, and played cards with our neighbors.  Once the snow started falling on Thursday, Megan and her roommate Becca (who live in the suburbs) decided that if they were going to be stuck at home all weekend, they wanted to at least be in the city.  So they packed up their bags and came to my house for the weekend, which was perfect because my roommates were both out of town.  I loved just hanging out and doing whatever we wanted to do each day.
 
sometimes we actually did nothing but stare at the snow
 
video
Laurelhurst Park by my house became a snow park!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When the New Becomes Old

Starting something new is exhilarating, isn’t it? Beginnings are exciting. At the beginning of something, you are full of energy. You put your best foot forward. You’re determined to give your all. You have high hopes and big dreams. This new something is just what you need in your life, because many of the old things in your life are stale and boring.

Think of the first day of school... and all of the time you put into that first-day outfit (I still remember the plaid skort, black collared top and mary jane shoes I wore on the first day of 5th grade).  Think of your new year’s resolution to exercise… you bought new workout clothes and hit the treadmill running (literally, of course). Think of a first date… you curled your hair, put on heels and even wore a little perfume.
 
Beginnings are exciting! But after a while, that excitement fades. The shine wears off. School becomes overwhelming and you can’t wait for summer break. Exercising becomes mundane and going home sounds more appealing than going to the gym. And after a few dates, you’re likely to be in your sweats with your hair in a ponytail when the guy comes over.
 
You’re over it. The new is now old.
 
A friend of mine told me this week that she is thinking of leaving her church, which surprised me because she seems to really love her church. When I asked her why, she said that she’s been at that church for four years now and she’s ready for something new. There’s nothing wrong with the church, she just wants a change.
 
Did you know that the average worker today stays at their job for 4.4 years? And the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that. My generation tends to stay at one job for about two years before they get tired of it and want to move onto something new.
 
It’s a vicious cycle: try something new, get tired of it, move onto something else.
 
So what do you do when the excitement fades? My hope: Push through. Keep going. I know, that sounds like work.  It isn’t always easy; it’s oftentimes hard. The adrenaline rush is gone, and now you have to find a new source of energy to continue moving forward. It is work, but it’s worth it!
 
Greener Grass
We tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. But you can’t just hop over the fence and enjoy your neighbor’s luscious grass. You have to put some time and effort into growing and maintaining your own green grass. I bet your neighbor didn’t get such beautiful green grass by being lazy. They probably took time to water, cut, fertilize and tend to their yard. That’s why their grass is greener.  You have the ability to make the grass on your side just as green!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

5 Year Portland Anniversary

Today is my 5 year Portland anniversary. Five years ago today, I arrived in this wonderful but foreign city. It was Super Bowl Sunday and it was raining. The Moores picked me up from the airport, took me by the grocery store to get some necessities for my first week here, and kindly opened up their home for me to live in for the first two months.
 
Here I was: a 22 year old girl from Texas who had just graduated from college, never really lived outside of Waco, and had never even visited the Pacific Northwest. I had no idea what this journey would look like. I didn't know what to expect. But I was open to whatever lie ahead of me and as I look back, I see that this journey has been more than I ever imagined.
 
I have changed, that’s for sure. I have grown immensely. I have learned a whole lot. Here are a few of the pieces of my 5-year journey that I am most thankful for:
  • A church home community group that I have been a part of since the first week I moved here: there are six of us from that remaining group that are still very close and get together at least once a month. I am so grateful for these people whom I have known the entire time I’ve lived here.
  • “Intentional community”: these are buzz words, I know. But “community” is very much a focus here in Portland. Over these past 5 years, I have learned how to dive deep into relationships in a way that I had never quite experienced before.
  • Becoming closer to my family, the Moores: I say this often, but I don’t think I would still living up here in Portland without Steve and Thanne. They are my second family. Being away from my immediate family is very difficult, so having family here to invite me into their home and look after me is a huge blessing. I have spent numerous holidays at the Moore’s home (they even invite me over for Mother’s Day!) and they have been like second parents to me: bringing me food when I’m sick, helping me move houses, picking me up from the airport, going to dinner or coffee with me when I just need someone to talk to, encouraging me and giving me advice to help me through my 20s.
  • Unleashing my adventurous spirit: I’ve got 4 marathons, 2 half marathons, 1 triathlon sprint, 5 mountain summits, 5 Hood to Coast races, 5 epic backpacking trips, rock climbing at Smith Rock, bike commuting, and so many ore adventures under my belt. And hopefully this is just the start of a lifetime of adventuring! - An amazing internship at a prestigious foundation which led to a wonderful job at an international nonprofit where I’ve grown professionally for the past 4 and a half years.
  • Experiencing some hardships and heartaches of the “real world”, but experiencing more of the joys of life… all which have made me a better and stronger person.
  • Building relationships with people who are very different from me: people who see life through a different lens, have a different background and upbringing than myself, those who are homeless, homosexual, of a different faith/religion, a generation or two ahead of me… all of whom I love and have learned so much from.
  • Gained a new appreciation and love of amazing cuisine, coffee, beer and wine: Portland is the place to be to become a snob in each of these areas. And I am fully embracing it!
I could say a million other things that I love about Portland and am grateful for over these past 5 years. Thanks to each of you who have supported me here in this wonderful city and from far away. Let the adventure continue!
 
#best5yrsofmylife #iloveyouportland #texagonian #portlandia #livingthedream #westcoastbestcoast #rctid