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Easter Through The Years…or Snippets of My Spiritual Journey

Over the years, Easter has become less and less of a big deal in my life, which is sad, because Christ’s resurrection is like THE CORNERSTONE of Christianity, right? My mom used to make a huge deal out of it. New dresses. Dyeing eggs. Church (except the year we stopped going), and big dinners that always involved ham. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a pretty awesome holiday, but for me, it doesn’t have that same anticipation and specialness that Christmas does. And it should, and not just because of the chocolate.

Here’s a short pictorial trip down memory lane, where you can see how I celebrated Easter through the years, complete with retrotastic furniture and all.

Happy Easter, Little Ronica!
age two

Easter Basket
age three

Easter
age eight

When I was twenty, I was initiated into the Catholic Church through RCIA at the St. Thomas More Newman Center (Eee, Father Vinny is still there!). The ceremony took place during a three hour long Easter Vigil, during which I was baptized, confirmed, and had my first communion. It was pretty cool. After the ceremony we had a huge party and were given giant Easter baskets full of chocolate and a Pass The Pigs game. (We’d had too much fun playing Pass the Pigs at the RCIA retreat a few weeks earlier.)

Being Baptized
being baptized

Confirmation
being confirmed by Father Vinny

Neophyte
being a neophyte

Once I was a confirmed Catholic, I went nuts. I was a Eucharistic Minister. I was always involved in one thing or another. Student ministry. RCIA (this time as a sponsor). Volunteering. And I even worked on staff there as a part-time receptionist for a while after college. I very fond memories of that church and that community.

I am no longer a practicing Catholic, but I still find many aspects of the faith beautiful, and I still have a collection of all kinds of rosaries, including a few that I handmade. I was just thinking tonight about how I kind of wished I was at an Easter Vigil. Yes, it’s a long service, but the way my church did it? It didn’t seem that long at all. It was a beautiful, amazing service. I don’t know if I’d want to go to anywhere ele, but I kind of wish I was at Newman Center right now. I have this to keep me company though:

As I said, I drifted away from the Catholic Church and church in general. Until about 2004, when I became really involved in an evangelical community. This was Aidan’s Easter basket that year:

Aidan's Easter Basket

That Easter was pretty cool. I spent the night under the stars with a bunch of other young (or young at heart) people (I’m sure I was the oldest one there, but it was still fun) and we did a sunrise service that was amazing. I was SO HIGH from that.

2004 was a crazy year for me in so many ways. I made a lot of new friends (most of whom I no longer really talk to except for the occasional facebook stalk or facebook game spam), I became super involved in church activities: volunteering with the teen ministry (my FAVORITE!) and the young adult ministry, doing Power Point presentations, throwing parties, putting together newsletters, and even running a life group. There was a lot going on at home as well. I get exhausted when I read those entries–I was always going going going. No wonder I’m so content to just sit and read these days.

There was the Easter in 2006 where I was treated to a double rainbow.

Double Rainbow - Easter Morning

2006 is also the year my life changed in so many major ways that to think about everything that happened to lead me to where I am today is overwhelming and crazy. And also kind of amazing. Needless to say, my spirituality took some crazy twists and turns, and right now, it’s an ever growing and ever changing and ever winding journey. Maybe one day I’ll go more in depth.

Happy Easter!

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A Good Weekend.

Just Thinking...
Just Thinking…,
originally uploaded by & Banana Girl!!.

Today, Bizzy, Chris, Aidan and I went to The Dawes Arboretum and Black Hand Gorge. We got some great pictures and had a LOT of fun. I heart Bizzy.

I had a good day. Aidan dressed himself and came into our room saying “I very very cute.” Indeed he was. :)

There was church. It was the celebration service. :) The choir was good. The message was good. I had a backache and slight cramps and I was STARVING for some reason, so I wasn’t enjoying it so much by the end. We hooked up with Bizzy, took her to lunch, and then we went to The Dawes Arboretum and Black Hand Gorge. What beautiful places. I used to get so annoyed when Chris wanted to go to those places back in the day, but now that I’m into photography, I love going. Bizzy is super fun to hang with, too. We had a BLAST. Especially singing the BOOTIE song. WOOHOO. :D I always enjoy having quality time with Bizzy and today was especially good. <3 You can see more pictures here: CLICK!

Yesterday was good too. Aidan and I didn’t get up until 11am! That was amazing. The cable guy came and installed cable for us and then Aidan and I headed to my counseling appointment. My counselor was very good with Aidan and she took us to Goodale Park. That is a beautiful park and I can’t believe I’ve never indulged in that place before. It’s very pretty and Aidan had a blast on the swings. She also bought us treats (I need to locate mine!) and it was good. After counseling, Aidan and I went to In His Presence, a Christian bookstore, so I could pick up another copy of The Ragamuffin Gospel. I had a copy but I lent it to Jon and Bizzy’s mom over a year ago and honestly, I don’t want to ask for it back. Meaning–I don’t mind if she keeps it because she’s so sweet to me. :)

After that, Aidan and I went home. We hung out for a bit, I finished reading Lust by Robin Wasserman. I am eagerly looking forward to the other six books in her Seven Deadly Sins series!! Apparently this author has been around for ages–why have I never heard of her before? I’m not usually a fan of third-person point-of-view stories, but she is one of the authors who does it well.

She is an inspiration to me and there are characters running rampant in my head, dying for their stories to be told. The trick is that they need to tell me what they want me to share, and show me how to do it well. I guess that’s where this crazy writing talent God gave me comes in. Right?

And holy banana, is it really already 11pm? :( *sniffle* My weekend is over already. At least I have tomorrow evening and Thursday evening free. Tuesday is The Grove, Wednesday is Life Group, and Friday is AIDAN DUTY for real yo.

I watched Cold Case again last night. Damn you, Cold Case, for making me cry even when I don’t give two ice creams about the characters for the first 45 minutes of the show. I was thrilled, however, to be able to watch Pimp My Ride, and Southpark again for the first time in MONTHS. :) Ahh, cable TV. I promise not to abuse thee, but I did enjoy indulging yesterday, that’s for sure.

Good night.

P.S. I want this. Now. LOL.

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Friday! (Pictures)

I thought I could go one day without updating, but not so much.

Tonight, there was the most beautiful sunset, but as I was driving and there was no place to pull over, I couldn’t capture it. I hope to get one soon, however.

I did get the moon, though. I need to get better at it, but this is my first real attempt at a moon shot:

I don’t think it came out too badly, especially considering it was my first time and I didn’t have a tripod (I can’t find mine!!) I want to get good CLOSE pictures like Kristy (disneygal). I guess I’ll have to keep practicing and also get out there when the moon is just rising.

I also took this picture tonight, which I LOVE:

Heritage held its Harvest Block Party tonight. I took Aidan and we had a BLAST! :) It was so much fun! And OMG the church is huge now. I was walking around, taking things in, and marveling at how big and beautiful this place is–and thinking of how this gigantic church is full of people who probably don’t know what real hardship is. Although that’s not fair to say because it’s all relative when you think about it. Now I will worship in this building that I will probably get lost in the first few weeks or months I attend. I will look around and wonder how many of us are really faking it. Why are we there? What are we seeking? And are we willing to give?

The church expansion cost a LOT of money–I think millions. Will we be able to spread the blessing(s)? You should see the place. It’s unbelievable. Should serve many of our needs. I hope we can serve the needs of so many others. (And when I say WE I mean ME because yeah. I need want to give more.)

And WHOA, totally did NOT mean to get all reflective there. I did have fun tonight. There was a HUGE party with food and music and puppets and SO MANY PEOPLE. Visitors, information, tours, activities. I hung out with Megan (megnita) for a LONG time which was AWESOME. :) I also saw Emily and Bizzy and other cool folks. Had fun, lots of fun. Aidan should be WORN out with all the running and playing he did, but he’s taking a bath (in LAVENDAR) and seems to be going strong, still. *sigh*

I am tired, though, so I think I’ll head to bed soon. I have a long Aidan-filled day tomorrow. He and I are going to hang out. It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so I think a trip to the park for autumn photographs is in store! :) YAY! I hope he’s a good little boy for me, cause we’re going to be together all day long. Wanna see how cute he is???

I am going now. Good-bye!

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Tuesday Night (Pictures)

The Grove! YAY. It was good. It’s Ocktoberfest. They had brats and rootbeer. Yucky to the brats and sauerkraut. YAY to the rootbeer. I’m not a fan but it helped when I was thirsty.

Even better was that I got to spend a LOT of time with my new buddy Jon C. He is out of control, that one. Loads of fun. After the Grove, he and I hung out and talked for a long time. Other people popped in and out as well. Mike B. headed over with his second (?) brat. HA. HA. Check this out:


Think he liked it?

It was especially funny when THIS happened:


SPLAT! Right on the new carpet!!!

He shouldn’t feel bad. Kim’s entire brat went SPLAT to the floor!! Besides, he cleaned it up so well that it warranted a comment from Jon C: You cleaned that up like a girl!

Later, a group of us went to Applebee’s where EVERYONE was out of control. It was interesting, being the only girl in a group of guys when almost ALL of them are fairly good-looking. I ate wings and fries and shared them with Jon R and Jon C. They played great ’90s music. Here is Jon rockin’ it out to Guns N Roses:


Adorable, isn’t he? NO boy should have eyelashes that long. Unless he’s Aidan. ;)

There were a few downer spots, the biggest being that I LOST MY WALLET. :( I didn’t realize it ’til I went to pay at Applebee’s. (Thank GOD Rob covered for me). This is bad. Firstly, it’s a SWEET Mickey Mouse Club wallet, but secondly, everything is in there. Cards, money, license, insurance, gift cards… I’m PRAYING it’s in the church–but the last time I remember seeing it was at the gas station. However, my debit card isn’t in my car, so I know I had the wallet when I left the gas station. I think it fell out of my bag while I was rifling through it for a pen before service started. I am going to go during my lunch break and try to find it. :(

I should sleep. I have a longish meeting filled (GRUMBLE) day tomorrow, and I’m working for two; covering for someone who is out of the office until Monday. AND it’s already nearly one. I still need to get a shower. ACK. Time flies when one is having fun, yes?

*sigh*

Later…

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Science + Beer = GOOD! (Pictures)

I’m sorry, but this is bloody hot:

I had two good nights with two good guys this week. Monday, I hung out with Rob all evening. We ate dinner at Max & Erma’s (he bought!), and we watched Wedding Crashers. It was a good time. Rachel McAdams looked COMPLETELY different from when she was in Mean Girls. I honestly did not recognize her. I liked the dark hair on her. She was very pretty. I enjoyed the movie, and the company too, of course.

Last night was The Grove. But before that, I hung out at Abbie’s place. She made me dinner (yummy Van De Kamps fish!), and from there, we went to drama rehearsal at the church. Then I went to copy the Bark. I got 50 made before I was summoned to help out the multi-media folk. Of course, the projector wasn’t acting right, so we got to fuss around with that. Christie M. figured out the problem at EXACTLY 7:30pm. Jon C played Fix You and sounded darn sweet doing it. After The Grove, a bunch of us went to The Claddagh Irish Pub for drinks and chillin’. Jon C and I shared chicken tenders, fries, and salad. He bought too. :) It was yummy. I drank an amaretto sour. Mmmmmm. TOTALLY hit the spot. I enjoyed the time with those folks and with Jon C too. :)


Jon C & Me

Today was work. I was tired and anxious to get home because I had to get started on my packing! So the clothes are just about done. I just need to pack essentials that are still in use (hair brush, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.) and the other stuff like a book or two, my journal, pens, my camera, laptop, things like that. I’ll do that tomorrow. There is so much to do still. I need to get gas. I have to get stuff to Lauren so she can take it down to New Orleans. Plus I have blocking rehearsal. ACK. Tomorrow will be crazy. But Friday this time, I’ll be in CALIFORNIA with Amy (nerdiness)!!! WOO! I am excited and can’t wait to relax. But first, I get to endure hours on two airplanes. Oh well, it’ll be worth it. Plus, it’ll be my first solo flight ever. I’m just a little nervous, but I have a feeling I’m going to be catching some Zs at some point, reading like crazy, and listening to my iPod. (mental note–pack iPod charger)

I’ll try to update tomorrow, and maybe Friday morning before I leave for the airport (mental note #2–call mother-in-law to confirm pickup/drop-off times). Of course, I will also try to update when I am there. We’ll see how that goes, though. :)

ONLY TWO MORE DAYS (or something) ‘TIL CALIFORNIA!!!

Most bizarre line from a book ever:
“You must fornicate in public or forfeit.” – The Bartered Bride by Mary Jo Putney

HUH????

‘Til later…

P.S. Thanks to those of you who answered my poll and commented. For now, I’m going to put the entire project on hold and decide what to do a bit later. :)

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