Monday, April 30, 2012

The Monday After Sunday: Nearing the End

It's my turn to write The Monday After Sunday post.  I hope you all have enjoyed hearing from Matt, Amy, and Anonymous.  I have loved reading their thoughts and getting to know them better.  I must admit, I am slightly torn between writing this week's or next week's because next Sunday is my last Sunday in Columbia until I move back (assuming all goes according to plan).  But, this Sunday it is (because I want to and because I don't have anyone else lined up).

This Sunday was my first lunch at the Crutchfield's in three weeks.  The anticipation of laughing and eating with everyone was the light at the end of my tunnel all week.  I had massive amounts of work due, and by Saturday night I was exhausted to the point of tears.  Sunday began too early for my taste, but the Senate Execs were able to have a final meal together.  Finishing earlier than anticipated, I went to the early service so that I could go home with Mrs. Crutchfield after Sunday School.  It was great to spend time with both Mrs. Crutchfield and Andrew (being around Andrew makes me miss my little brother-who is not so little anymore).

Lunch had more people than usual.  We even pulled out the card table for extra seating.  It was different sitting around the table yesterday than in the past.  I was more aware of what people were experiencing in their lives.  I know there were people around the table who have had recent pain in their life.  It is special, though, knowing that Sunday is a restful day for so many who come to the table.  I found myself feeling more and more a part of the family.  I was referred to as an adopted sister.  It's nice to be accepted into a family that is not your own.

Like I said above, it hit me yesterday that I have one more Sunday in Columbia.  Then I realized, when I come back it won't be for school.  Although there is the possibility that I won't be coming back, I am expecting to be moving back.  It feels like I am going to have a three month break and will then come back and take my place in "real life."  I will be back with my church and friends.

During the service I realized I feel like I have a church family.  I am meeting new people, making friends, and becoming a part of the church.  It is special.  I am pulling away from the CIUness of church and entering into as I did pre-CIU (but as a young adult and not a teenager).  I like preparing for this new phase of life, even though it is full of unknowns.

A photo from Easter...but exhibits our laughter:

Photo by Deborah Crutchfield
I hope you enjoyed this weeks The Monday After Sunday post.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Columbia International University Heading Up Soccer Program

Columbia International University Heading Up Soccer Program
By: Kirsten Richardson

Kim Abbott, CIU Athletic Director
Photo by Kirsten Richardson
COLUMBIA, SC- Columbia International University has been preparing for several years to enter the world of collegiate athletics with a men’s soccer team in fall 2012.  The university’s men’s intramural soccer team has an excellent reputation among the city league, and now they must prepare to move up to the NCCAA.

During my interview with Kim Abbott, Columbia InternationalUniversity’s Athletic Director, we discussed the preparation that has gone into planning the new Athletics program.  Hours have been spent informing the community about CIU and its plans to use athletics to spread the Gospel message, sharing the vision with potential donors, and hiring the coaches and staff who share CIU’s heart for Christ and who will help grow the programs.
New soccer field under construction
Photo by Kirsten Richardson

 The point that has been stressed the most throughout the entire process of developing an athletics program was that the students who sign up to play sports for the school will be evaluated through the same application process as all other applicants.  Not only will their athletic talent be observed, but, more importantly, their character and faith in Jesus Christ will be examined thoroughly.  The athletes that wear the Columbia International University Rams uniforms will be representing more than the university, they will be representing Christ.

Recreational field to be renovated
Photo by Kirsten Richardson
The Columbia International University campus began undergoing construction three summers ago.  During the spring 2012 semester the student body was informed the necessary finances to finish the soccer fields had not been received, resulting in the construction being postponed.  Consequently, the administration and athletic department decided to upgrade the recreational field that had been used by the women’s and men’s intramural soccer teams for practice, ultimate frisbee teams, and various student activities. Returning CIU students can now expect to return to a newly landscaped and irrigated field and brand new soccer field since the necessary finances have been received.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebrity Wedding Cakes: Bogart and Bacall

I found this fun slideshow via InStyle twitter!

It is twenty famous wedding cakes (and their couples)!
My favorite is #5, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.  It is such a sweet and cute photo!
#18 was my second favorite, Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

I hope you enjoy 20 Celebrity Wedding Cakes We Loved (Including Kate’s!)!

Aren't they adorable!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tid + Bits

Fun links to check out:

Redecorating your home?  Like playing Dominos?  Check out:  Domino-Like Furniture

Want an easy way to slice your bread?  Well, check out the Self-Slicing Bread Chains

DIY and Citrusy!  Yum!  DIY Lemon Scrub (I am going to have to try it out!).

Now, you should head over to the Crowley Party and check out Tid + Bits!


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Monday After Sunday: Sunday Niceness

Dear Friends,

It is that time of the week again...The Monday After Sunday!
This is the third week of hearing different perspectives from those individuals who have been privileged to sit and partake of a meal around the Crutchfield Family dining room table.

Once again, I was not able to be at the Crutchfield's for lunch.  However, this weekend Deborah C. and I were on a girls/mother/daughter youth retreat with the middle school and high school girls at our church!  Deborah works with the middle schoolers and I work with the high schoolers.  It was a truly incredible weekend!  We went to the beach, where it was mostly cloudy.  However, I was not upset by that in the least.  In fact, I really loved it!  It was restful.  We enjoyed great conversations, hilarious times, playing with hair, making journals, eating large amounts of delicious food, and really learning from God's word and what it means to be His daughter.

Anyway, like always, I enlisted the writing style of one of those in attendance at the Crutchfield Sunday lunch.  This person, who wishes to be left anonymous, wrote words that truly touched me.  I feel like I know them a little better now.  I hope you enjoy reliving Sunday lunch through this piece of writing:
Sunday Niceness
                Sunday has found new meaning in my life this past semester. The week comes with anxiety, depression, stress, and frustration, which are followed with feelings of hypocrisy and loneliness. A week that is full of homework, papers, endless studying; and sometimes lacking enough time to accomplish the tasks. A week for me is nothing short of hidden hurt and spiritual dryness that gets pushed down and is only seen deep behind a smile everyone gets. They are full of business, never enough time to deal with life’s problems and a lack of rest. I bear threw the weeks in hope of a better day, a day full of joy, time to face the realness of life I sometimes hide from. The weeks of this semester… have become a preparation for Sunday.
                Sunday’s waking is never giddy; all I want to really do is stay in bed and sleep. I think better of the thought and feelings that come with it. I get ready, and pull up to church, church number one: 10:00am. I take a deep breath thinking, “great time to put on my happy Christian face, so everyone thinks everything is ok,” which is a thought I think every day of the week. I tell myself, “this isn’t about you…. just go in.” The door man dressed casually, khakis and polo, usually with his wife, wearing a sundress of bright spring coloring. This marks my first joy, a nicely dressed couple’s greeting smile, serving the Lord together. I make my way to my usual seat, center column, middle of row, middle seat, surrounded with friends and familiar faces.
                Worship begins. I feel hypocritical of the words, so I begin to just pray, or watch everyone else worship. This marks my second joy of Sunday. The joy of seeing a group of people come together and worship the Lord, not that they are worthy, but someone has paid the debt owed. This is the reminder of the gospel and allows me to worship with the congregation. The sermon comes and goes, full of truth, conviction, joy, and a reminder of the gospel.
                11:15am. Church service number two. Not that I feel like I need to attend another, but the first I hold responsibilities too, and the second I absolutely plan on serving and worshiping in solely when the time comes. I pull up to the second church and let out a sigh, “a time of relief,” is my thought. I walk into the building and take my usual seat, back row, back right seat, sitting by nobody, and surrounded with half familiar faces and partly known people; a time that is full of rest and spiritual replenishment. A time focused on worship, prayer, confession, joy, and what He has done and less of what I am doing. The faces I do know: smiles full of sincerity, compassion, and words of understanding and grace. My heart begins to drop knowing that the week is coming, but to come is the highlight of the week, lunchtime!
                12:45pm. I pull up to the Crutchfield’s, a smile upon my face. I walk through the door, and smell the sweet scent of homemade cooking. I am welcomed with smiles and the embracing of a community of brothers and sisters in Christ. We gather to break bread, but the gesture comes with much laughter, and many stories. Mostly, I just make a fool of myself by telling embracing stories of things I have done or been through, and sometimes the unfortunate choice of wording can be taken out of context.  An few examples: Sunday niceness, a bunny costume, or shagging. This is a time where I can be me and take a break from the craziness of life. We follow with a remembrance of God’s goodness, movies, video games, walks, funny pictures, games, and just pure fellowship with one another.
                Past the laughter and food is a ministry to me, unknown to most at the table and of unknown proportions to all. The kind words uplift me, the laughter heals the pain temporarily, the rest and replenishment gets me through the next week, and the gesture brings me joy. It’s like God knows my pain and is using people, without them even knowing, to help get me through this tough time. It’s a reminder that I am not alone, community is with me.  It’s not that community is the answer, but that community points to The Answer.

Photo taken by: Normandy R.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mason Jar Cakes

Check out these awesome cakes!  In a jar!

Yum!  See more here...

Friday's Letters

I am linking up with a blog I follow by Ashley Slater, Adventures of Newlyweds.
Fridays are accompanied with:


So, without further ado:

Dear Friday,
You mean I have no more classes till next Tuesday!

Dear Weekend,
Hooray for a weekend at the beach with a bunch of young ladies, leaders, (and a few of their husbands)!  Youth Beach Retreat!  I honestly don't care if it is sunny or stormy.  I will be happy either way!

Dear Schoolwork,
You somehow multiplied last night.
I need intense motivation!

Dear Future,
I have to stop focusing on you so much!  But, you are just so much fun to dream and plan!

Dear Readers,
Have a fabulous weekend!!!

You should check out:

Half-Country Hotels

Curious Cone-Topped Dessert (Green Mint Chocolate Chip!)

Classic Hollywood Portraits

100 Sensational Summer Sandals <--- There are some crazy ones!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Grand Adventure Lies Just Beyond the Skyline...

...Or maybe within the skyline.

I have waited to make this announcement for several weeks.  There were people I wanted to tell without them learning through the medium of a mass communicator.  However, the time has come for me to disclose this news to others.

I have been accepted into an eight week journalism program that begins the day after I graduate.  I will be in New York City learning intensive journalism skills that I hope to put to use in the future!  Three weeks will be spent in NYC and then I will return home and write for my local newspaper for five weeks (and will hopefully be published)!

I have thought about writing at certain points throughout  my entire life.  Inspirations over the years have been Jo March, Harriet the Spy, various stories about writers, The Devil Wears Prada (movie), an article I read in Vogue last summer, and a conversation I had with a woman about the publishing industry (she went to school for journalism).  I am so excited about this adventure that is looming in front of me!

Three different people told me about this program.  The first two people mentioned it within a few weeks of each other.  One at a book club/gathering of sorts through my church.  The other was my grandfather.  I looked it up online and dismissed it, thinking it was not for me.  Then, earlier this semester I was speaking with a gentleman at the same place as the first and he mentioned the program to me.  I went home, looked it up, and thought, this just might be doable.  After discussing it with different people, I finally applied just before spring break.  I learned a few weeks ago that I was accepted, and I bought my tickets last week.

God has been providing in so many ways!  As I move forward He is paving the way and making everything fall into place.  I am looking forward to seeing how He uses this experience in my life.  Life adventures are my favorite!

I loved this as a girl!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Beautiful Bookstores!

I was on facebook and saw a link posted about the top 20 most beautiful bookstores in the WORLD!
(Thank you, Tovey!)

As of yet I have not looked at all twenty, but I have already seen numerous ones I would like to visit.  Imagine being a person who flies all over the world...just to visit bookstores.

Check it out:  The 20 Most Beautiful Book Stores in the World

One of my favorite pictures is...

I have the Amelia Earhart biography in the foreground!

Britain's Bachelor

This is the summer to be in London ; )