Wednesday, May 30, 2007


To satisfy my good friend's curiosity, this is a blog post about nicknames.

Because I'm cool with letting my vast audience know that my name is Trish, I think it would be fair to let you also know that I'm not down with putting out the names of my three precious nephews. Mainly it's just friends and other church-type folk who visit this page, but alas, this is the Internet. So, I make up nicknames for my little people.

Sis's firstborn son's nickname is Howard because when she was pregnant with him, I laughed because she had one boy name and one girl name picked out. I said, what if it's triplets? You'll give birth and only have the first two named, and you'll be too drugged up to think of a name for number three, so you'll just name him the first thing that comes to mind, which will probably be Howard or something. So, while none of us call him Howard anymore (it was pretty much an in-utero thing), I still call him Howard when I'm blogging. Howard has real nicknames that we call him in person.

Sis's second son is nicknamed many things; I'm just waiting to see if I like "Sunscreen" enough to keep it. I've been calling him Sunscreen because his initials are SPF. So, Sunscreen is one of the nicknames I've come up with. Other potentials include:

Mellow Yellow or Mel for short (He's a mellow kid. He'll wake up and just look around instead of cry).

Squeaker (When he does cry, it comes out in little squeaks)

Speedbump (Howard is rambunctious, so BiL's sister's boyfriend says all he'll really be for a while is a speedbump for Howard to make sweet jumps off of)(P.S. Bonus points if you can name that movie).

Red (He has a hint of red in his hair, and it comes out more when he's wearing red).

So, those are the potential nicknames for now. Maybe one will stick; maybe none will. We'll just have to see. Any thoughts?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Laughter is good for the soul

Yesterday, while I was holding Sunscreen, he laughed.

Only I got to witness it.

It made me laugh.

I am the one person who heard both Howard and Sunscreen's first laughs.

Being an aunt is great.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

You should have seen the look on your face!

This morning I didn't go to worship at my normal place of worship. One of my CPE colleagues was being installed as a children and family minister at a church about an hour and a half away. Supa told me about it the other day when he called. I'm SO glad I went. My friend was being installed at both services, and so I went to the later one. I got there and stood around reading all the stuff hanging on the walls and stuff. A few people introduced themselves to me, and I felt welcomed. Someone asked me where I was from and if I was going to start going there for good when I said no because I live far far away. I also told her I was there to see my friend get installed. She then took me down to the fellowship hall where the church was having a "welcome to CPEFriend/happy birthday to the Christian Church" party (considering today was Pentecost Sunday). I went down there and found my friend, but she was talking to a bunch of other people, so I just waited about 4 feet to her side. She was talking to some people and wrapping things up with them when she looked my way. I thought she saw me, but she didn't. Then, another minute later, she looked my way again and her face totally lit up and she let out a very excited yell and gave me a big hug! It was totally worth making the drive just to see that reaction from her. We talked for a minute, and then I said I'd see her after a bit because I was going to go sit down for worship.

I went up to the sanctuary and got a bulletin and was reading through it when I looked up and saw Supa enter the sanctuary. He saw me and got a grin on his face and came over to sit by me. I talked to him for a minute, but he said he was going to go see if he could catch my CPE colleague before worship. He came back after a few minutes and we saw CPEMate come in, too. Worship started not long after that.

Since today was Pentecost Sunday, the pastors had a more interactive service set out. It was really cool because the church had these paper flames strung up by fishing wire above the pews. The kids came up during one of the readings and they made the sound of wind, and we all raised our bulletins and made the flames move by the air movement. Then, when the lesson started talking about how the people were speaking in tongues, different people within the congregation started speaking different languages. One person was even doing American Sign Language. It was totally awesome! They were all doing it at the same time and it was just a really neat way to emphasize the point. During the sermon, the pastor who was preaching asked us to think of something that we feel passionate about in our life, but not personal things like gardening for ourselves or something. Then she said, "Now, turn to someone near you and tell them." Supa and I turned to each other and I said, "I like to make people feel important/valued/loved for the "uninmportant" things, and through doing the simple things. Kind of like the song, "Little is much" when they say, "He changes the world with the seeds we sow." Supa also told me his, which did not surprise me at all. He's a very wonderful person and his passion is evident in the way he lives out his ministry. I really liked the service and everything. And seeing my friend being installed there filled my heart because the church is VERY fortunate to get her, and I know that she will feel blessed by being able to do ministry there. I pray all God's deepest blessings on her. She's great.

After worship, I saw a seminary friend there. It turns out that one of the pastors is her dad! Ha. Small world. I could only talk to my seminary friend for a minute though, because my friend was showing us her office, which is totally sweet. I just can't get over how happy I am for her. YAY!

And here I am, at the end of the day, just totally glad and filled with love and fondness for people who I've only known a short time. And I realize that in my friend's surprise at seeing me there, that I got to do a bit of my passion. She was surprised I made it to the installation because the church she serves is so far away from home for me. But, I wanted to go and show my love and support for her. Just to see her face and receive her warm hug when she turned and finally actually saw me was more than enough reward. I hope she realizes that I'm truly grateful for the person she is, and that I have every confidence in her abilities as a called child of God.

Friday, May 25, 2007


So, Supa called me today to ask me a few questions while he was filling out his review of me for the seminary. We had a short talk, and I found out that one of my CPE mates is going to be installed Sunday at her position as a child and family minister. I think I'm going to make the drive and go. I really like this person, and I think it's great that she's found a place that suits her, and where she can use her gifts. I'm excited!

I'm also thoroughly enjoying my new nephew. He's so darn cute. Howard looks a lot like his daddy, but Sunscreen looks a lot like us. I noticed the first time I ever saw him that he looks a lot like my dad looked, and how my Aunt Joyce looked. It's cute. He's such a pudgy baby! :) Howard crawled over to the cradle today and stood up and was talking to Sunscreen. He wasn't saying real words, because he only knows a couple, but he was doing his little jibber-jabber thing. It was so adorable. I hope that those two become really close brothers. I would love that; probably because my sisters and I are all so close.

Anyway, I'm helping Sis take care of Howard and Sunscreen because she had a C-section and isn't able to lift anything heavier than the baby, and because she's still sore. So, I'm being dutiful Aunt T. I am so blessed!

Monday, May 21, 2007


I'm an aunt again! Speedbump was born at 10:14 this morning, weighing in at a hefty 8 pounds, 14 ounces. He measures 19 inches tall, and he has some strawberry blondish hair. I got to hold him a bunch today, and as per usual, I got all teary eyed over him. I've mentioned many times before that I'm not an emotional type person, but babies do it for me. He's so cute! I was holding him and looking at him while his daddy slept on the chair, and his mama tried to take a nap. After about half an hour, Sis said, "You have the same smile on your face now that you had on the last time I peeked at you." I just can't help it. I love the kid. I love all three of my nephews. They're special children. I said many thanks to God for the wonderful gift of life that is shown when babies are born, and I gave many thanks for allowing me to be a small part of that wonder. Again, I say, "Thanks be to GOD!!!"

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Church Message 20

Today, I got to lead worship. I preached my 20th message. I think it was received well. I got compliments on it. I went a little too fast today, though. Anyway, other than that, I'm just waiting for time to pass. Sis and BiL are going to the hospital tomorrow so Sis can be induced. I will have a new nephew either tomorrow or the next day. I'm pretty excited.

Oh, this morning, Sis, BiL, Howard, YS and Ma were in church. Howard was laughing when I got up and started the service this morning. It was cute. Then, when everyone was filing past me and shaking hands, my family came out and BiL was holding Howard. BiL shook my hand and he said to Howard, "Do you have a kiss for Aunt T?" And he leaned over and gave me a big kiss. You know, not a real smooch, because babies don't kiss like that. But, it was what he does as a kiss. And then, after I was done shaking hands, I got all my stuff gathered to go to the other church. Before I left, I said goodbye to my family and Howard leaned over and grabbed onto me and gave me a huge hug. He's such a cute kid. I love him so darn much I could puke. :) Well, that's enough gushing for now. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends, and have a marvelous week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well... Today, I took Ma to her neurology appointment. It turns out that they don't think she has Alzheimer's. The doctor called it a degenerative brain process, or dementia without further differentiation. She's got hardening of the arteries in her brain, which is closing off blood vessels, thus acting somewhat like strokes. Pretty much, there still isn't much they can do for her. The diagnosis could change. I like her "new" neurologist a lot better than the old one. One time with the old one, I was asking questions and the doctor got up and practically ran down the hall to get away from me. She basically dismissed us. Today, the doctor sat with us, answered me, and even gave personal examples from his own family. It was heartening.

In other news, I'm going to a state park here in Illinois so one of my friends and I can go hiking! I'm excited. I LOVE hiking at the park where we go! It's kind of like tradition for us. We've walked almost every trail at the bigger state park because that's where we go. It's so much fun. We're going on Friday. Yeehaw. And, I'm totally wanting to go skydiving! I can't wait. I dug out my log book that I need to take with me next time I go up there so I can redeem my 2nd jump that I bought last year. I'm SO excited!

And, finally, I got my car fixed to the tune of way more money than I'd hoped to spend. Yikes. But, it's nice to know that when I go to start the car, it will start, and the wheel no longer vibrates when I'm applying the brakes. So, yay for a fully functional car. I just need this sucker to last me for four more years at the very least!!! :) Anyway, that's about it for now. Have a nice day, and hopefully you all find your comfort and rest.

Remind me to blog about how nature makes me feel.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No cohesiveness to this post.

Hello. This post is just going to be things that I've been doing, and things about which I've been thinking. There will be no cohesiveness between the items.

I'm done with my first semester at Seminary. I have no idea what kind of grade I got in history. Hopefully an A or B. I was talking with my advisor earlier this month and she suggested I do "Credit/No Credit" for my classes because there is less pressure that way. I'm usually driven by the grade thing, but I think C/NC could be a nice change, if only for one semester. We'll just have to see how I like it when I use that option next semester.

I'm keeping my room over the summer, but I came "home." And by "home," I mean Sis and BiL's house because I don't want to stay at my own home. Sis is going in to have baby #2 on Monday. I'm very excited. I love babies. I'd sincerely appreciate your prayers to keep her and the little one safe.

Mom isn't doing any better, really. She keeps asking us where Dad is. Dad's been dead for almost 12 years, and I hate to tell her each time about where he is. The look that briefly crosses her face is awful. Dementia sucks.

I've been jonesing to go skydiving again. I have until August 14th, but I plan to go before then because Summer Greek starts July 23. I also want to go before July, because I'll be babysitting Sis's rugrats that month. One of my friends told me she'd go with me, but she got a job, so I'm hoping she's still down with it. I hope to have my next jump videotaped, and if I do, I might try to put it on YouTube. It depends.

Sis and BiL got a new computer (thank the Lord; the old one was awful) and so I've been helping them put things like Adobe and MSN messenger on this one. I really miss my cable Internet connection that I have at Seminary. Dial up is the pits!

My car keeps having problems with it. I had to have the outside passenger tie rod replaced a few weeks ago, the solenoid went bad about a week after the tie rod, and there is something wrong with the brakes. The mechanic (a trustworthy, less expensive guy) replaced the tie rod. BiL whacked the solenoid really good and made it start working again (although that is a short-term fix), and the mechanic is now in possession of my vehicle in order to fix its maladies. I'm bummed.

Life Cereal with Chocolate Oat Clusters is very good.

I'm leading worship at my church and I'm preaching at Pastor's "other" church this Sunday. He's going on a continuing ed trip. I'm excited.

Anyway, that is my life in short paragraphs right now. You all have a nice day, and enjoy the weather.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A *simple* request.

I was wondering if all my fabulous, wonderful, and supportive friends could come live with me in my dorm room? I'd like that a lot! :)

Anyway, my previous post was me being angry with myself because a neighbor/older friend died before I had the chance to go see her. I have realized that I all too often take people for granted. I didn't say hi to Dick the last time I saw him because I thought I'd get to see him again, I didn't make the special trip to see Karen because I thought there would be more time, and so forth and so on. I really need to realize that, as Chris Rice puts it, "I have no guarantee of my next heartbeat." So, as I learn to not put off tomorrow what I can do today, I also challenge you all to say something important to someone you may feel like you've taken for granted lately.

Jacki-thank you for your seemingly endless Internet hugs when I need them! You're the bomb, girlfriend. And I'll say that to yer face, Randy!

Monday, May 07, 2007


I really flipping need to stop taking things for fricking granted.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I wasn't expecting to feel like this.

I miss my CPE group a lot more than I thought I was going to. I knew I was going to miss them some because we all became pretty close during our time together. But I really miss them a lot, and we've only been done with CPE for less than a week.

They all mean so much to me. They were good listeners, they cared a lot and asked how I was doing, they opened up to me, they didn't dismiss my ideas or thoughts for any reason, and they never treated me like I was stupid, dispensable, or immature. Sure, they have their faults, but don't we all? They're just a great group of people. Also, my gifts were appreciated within that circle, and that meant a lot to me. I think that I value my time so much with them because we were so incredibly honest from the get-go, and that's not something I'm really used to. Usually, it takes me a while to open up to new people, but they provided me a safe place to talk. While I wasn't as verbose as some of the other ones in my group, I still feel like I got enough talk time in when I needed it. I'm very grateful for the time I did get to spend with them. I just wish CPE wasn't over. :(

All good things must come to an end, but I sincerely hope that we keep in touch over the years. I also hope that when "my" class comes to Seminary for summer Greek, that I'm able to bond with them well. I need some friends. The people I've met here so far have been nice, but they already have their "groups" formed, or so it seems, sometimes. And before this comes into a boohoo pity party, I'm going to go. Bye.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A few more things about CPE

Now that I've gotten the majority of my sorting done, I was looking through my notes and found a few things I'd like to share. These are some of the things I've learned.

1. When I run from pain, I become irrelevant-in regards to the pain of people in the congregation.

2. "Oh the agony of heart until someone finds us out." This is a quote from one of Robert Frost's poems. Supa is fond of quoting Frost, and I really liked this line. It is something to think about.

3. It's okay to have anger. But we might want to make it anger with love and forgiveness (ALF).

4. Change=Grief. All things come to an end in some way or another. Grief is cumulative because new grief taps into old grief.

5. It is okay to be wrong and vulnerable.

6. You are loved, and They are loved.

7. God likes a tree for its tree-ness. God likes me for my me-ness! Go Cursive!
-Supa shared this with me one day during group via a note scribbled on yellow notebook paper. I said near the beginning that I didn't want to be block print, I wanted to be cursive! (In regards to making the ministry I offer be specked with pieces of me).

This is not ALL of what I learned, but a few bulleted "biggies." I got a lot from them. I hope you are able to think about them as well.

Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

My room is a little more cluttered than I would like it to be, and thus, I am organizing and cleaning it. The largest source of my angst regarding the state of my room are the large stacks of paper that have to deal with CPE stuff. Because CPE is over, I have decided to file all my CPE stuff. As I have sorted the papers, I came across the notes from one of the didactics (lectures, really, that pertain to a specific topic) and have decided to share a brief outline of what that didactic mentioned.

The Five Things We Cannot Change:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is a part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.

The "Yes" Responses when confronted with these things:
1. Grieve and let go.
2. Acceptance.
3. We win, we lose, we work for justice.
4. Allow pain that is natural.
5. Speak up and say, "ouch."

I really got a lot out of that didactic, and although this post doesn't even prepare to do it justice, I thought it might trigger some extra thought. Plus, I want to remember these for a while. See ya.

Sunflower Seeds!

I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not, but I have a deep and abiding love for sunflower seeds. That's all I really wanted to say. Later.

Ok, just kidding. Well, today, I'm on campus for my first Friday of the semester. Since CPE is over, I have more time here. So, instead of doing anything productive, I'm listening to songs you can wear pants to, on this, "No pants day." Yup. And I'm procrastinating with the writing of an annotated bibliography and a sermon. I will get it done soon and very soon. Why? Because DINOSAURS ARE SWEET!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It really IS the Mothership!

Yesterday, my CPE group and I had our offical "final" day. We had exit interviews conducted by some of the people on the committee for CPE for my hospital. Then, my group led closing worship in the chapel. All the staff chaplains came, as well as the mother of one of my CPE mates, and the husband of another. It was really nice. Then, we went for lunch at Biaggi's, courtesy of the Spiritual Care department. It was cool. I'd never been to Biaggi's before because BiL says, "I'm not payin' 10 bucks for a plate of spaghetti!" Haha. It was good, but the Italian restaurants in the next town over from my own are just as good, in my opinion. Anyway, the day was really great, although I'm sad that this experience is coming to an end. I say coming to an end because I'm on call tonight because I'm covering for one of my CPE mates who couldn't be here tonight. This is the absolute last day for this unit of CPE. I'm really going to miss everyone. But, I digress.

The day was good, except for the fact that I had a MONSTROUS headache for almost the whole entire day. When I got back to the seminary, I put a cold washcloth over my eyes and my forehead, and I laid down in my bed. I accidentally fell asleep (at 4:30) in the afternoon. I woke up at about 10:00 and figured I had better put my PJs on so I could be more comfortable and less hot. So, I put my jammies on and put the cold washcloth back on my head/eyes. My pajamas during the warm months are my Spongebob shorts and a tshirt. Not 10 minutes later, this ear-piercing sound started going off. I thought, "Is that the fire alarm?" So, I realized I couldn't go outside as I was with my Spongebob short-shorts, so I grabbed some jeans from the dirty pile in the laundry basket under my bed and pulled them on. I also put a jacket on and grabbed my keys and walked out my door. I followed some of my neighbors outside and we stood on the sidewalk. I thought it was a drill, but they said it was not a drill. The R.A. was walking around and my friend, "Michelle," whom I talked about before was walking around, I think making sure everyone was out. I could see her when I was looking up into the windows.

As I looked into the windows, I saw that there was a flashing light going around. It was travelling very fast and it was going throughout the halls and stuff. I thought those lights made the seminary look like a spaceship! I laughed because people call the seminary, "The Mothership." Ha. It really did look like the stereotypical spaceship though, what with all the lights flashing and all. So, the firetrucks came and they checked the place out and turned the alarm off when they found out what happened. One of my neighbors accidentally started burning some stuff in his microwave, causing it to smoke. I hope the guy doesn't feel too embarrassed. I actually had fun out there. I laughed especially hard when someone went in to loan a fan to the man in order to air his room out. When she came back out, she fake coughed this horrid "Hech, hech" type sound. It cracked me up.

Anyway, so after the firemen got everything under control, we all went back inside and I went back to bed until about 8:00 this morning. Man, was I tired! I'm such a lazy bum. But now, I'm sitting here at the CPE house, wondering if I'm going to get any more calls tonight. Who knows? As one of the staff chaplains at the other campus says, "May your night be what it needs to be." Later.