After MUCH harrassment from my family, here it is. An update!!!
The winter weather has hit. I spent my first night in the yard last night and was not sufficiently bundled, as Jamie had to give me her coat so I could put it on top of the button-down shirt, fleece, and jacket I already had on. But I must say that I LOVE being outside when it's cold! There is something special and sacred about being able to identify with the guests in this respect, even if for just an hour and a half. Cold weather is in full-swing and the holiday madness has begun!
But to give an update of what's been going on here for the past two months...
The end of September brought a journey by me, Michael and Jamie out to Ohio to meet Emily, Joanne and Katie to celebrate Maureen's (my housemate from last year) wedding! It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony and reception and it was wonderful to see someone I love begin her life with someone she loves! This is a picture of Emily, Maureen and I at the reception!
Early October brought the beginning of my birthday celebration! My housemates surprised me with tickets to see Jason Mraz in concert up in Scranton, Pennsylvania! The concert was absolutely AMAZING!!! It was the first birthday my dad and I did not celebrate together and we've resolved not to do that again, but it was good for both of us to learn that.
October also brought on a steady stream of guests. My mom visited the second weekend of November, worked the meal and made a delicious dinner for my housemates, Jamie and I. The following weekend, while I was at home, Tom, Amanda's boyfriend, visited for the weekend. Without getting too much flack from Michael, Tom left with the promise to return soon! The NEXT WEEKEND, Amanda's mom came for a brief visit! We also hosted the kids' Halloween party!!!
Amanda's mom also made us a delicious home-cooked meal and left us Sunday. We celebrated Noe's 29th birthday with a semi-Salvadorian feast! Amanda and I tried our hands at cooking Central American food and though it didn't quite resemble Noe's traditional cuisine, he said it was good! We plowed through the final week before retreat, all of us really looking forward to the break that would be coming.
Sr. Madonna, Myers-Briggs extraordinairre, joined us for a couple of afternoon sessions, telling us about our personality types. It was informative and a good start to our retreat.
We headed to the Mountain, as we did last year for fall retreat, Sunday afternoon after the meal. We had 3 full days of rest at the Moutain with a couple of talks by former FVMs, my housemate from last year, Emily, included! We were given much opportunity for personal prayer time and PLENTY of rest! While we were away, so much of the Team was away for other reasons, so in our absence, they worked extra hard and appreciated our return that much more!
Being back from retreat has been wonderful! We have all dove into ministry and are still doing our best to cater to our community. In upcoming weeks we will be heading down to Columbus, Georgia for the School of the Americas protest. Check out www.soaw.org for information. It's a great resource for learning about the SOA and all that is being done to put an end to it. The following week brings Thanksgiving and the insanity that follows it and then we jump head-first into Christmas!
I am anxiously awaiting the holidays here. Last year, despite the busy-ness, I can recall having this wonderful sense of gratitude and inner peace that I had never previously felt. I'm still trying to work out travel plans for Christmas and am not quite sure when I'll be able to make it home, but am excited nonetheless!
I would like to say that I'll try to update more frequently but the truth is, I'm just not that good at it. Hopefully I'll be able to put up some stories of what is going on around here at the Inn, but no promises! Take care and God bless!