Tuesday, December 23, 2014



My Life (In Lists) turns four today.


I cannot believe it's been four years since I sat in my room at my parent's house and acted on my long-time desire of starting a blog. What a journey it has been.

I so appreciate all of you who've popped in along the way. For me, this has been a way to process, to learn, and to grow. I hope you've grown and learned along to way too.

I pray that as I continue to grow, this avenue can continue to be a way for me to connect myself and others to the Heart of Christ.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Friday, December 19, 2014

7 Quick Whats!?

1. Um, what? #7QTs moved!? Clearly I have been immersed in the SEEK planning world for way to long...but here I am! I'm popping in to say hi today because I've missed you guys, and I've missed writing.

2. I haven't written since October. Which is really weird. Life has been a whirlwind of sleep, work, sleep, work, repeat for the past two months. One of those reasons is because we exceeded our goal of 8,000 attendees...the last time I checked we had about 9,400 people coming to SEEK! Can you believe it!? I definitely cannot. God is so good - none of this happened because of us.

3. In TEN DAYS I will be in Nashville. I don't know how I feel about that! Excited, weird, nervous, hopeful, and like I'm going to throw up. Fun Fact: Jen is one of our main speakers! And I get to run production during her session! It is going to be awesome.

4. One of the strangest things about this job is the timing. I'm headed home for Christmas tomorrow, but I will pretty much be working straight through SEEK. Today I'm grateful that my family is understanding of the demands of this job and that my boss lets us work remotely.

5. My brother is coming to SEEK, so that's cool. It's strange to think how significant of a part of my life planning events is, but no one in my family has ever attended one I've planned. So I'm excited for him to see what I do, but I'm more excited for him and all other 9,399 people to experience the conference.

6. I would like to shoutout to Emily, Carley, Steph, & Carol for being really good friends this week. I love you guys. Additional shoutout to Murph who I get to see in the AM for brunch.

7. I picked up this book at the store on Sunday. Because I'm, well, Crazy Busy, I have only read the first chapter. And I already recommend it. I think it's going to be just what I need.

Hop on over to, um, This Ain't The Lyceum, for more quick takes!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Quickest #7QTs That You Ever Did See!

I'm sick today. Like full out fever, cold when it's hot outside, and needing to stay in bed all day.

Expect, being sick when you're an extrovert is the actual worst. If you want to come play, I won't be opposed.

Since I'm sick, this will be the quickest quick takes...that you ever did see!

Yes, this is a child's song from camp. Yes, it is in my head. And, no, it is not fun while being sick.

Last week I got to run around NYC and pretend like I lived there. It was awesome. Shout out to team NYC & Columbia for generously letting me stay with them!

After REACH | nyc was over, I stayed a few days to play. The missionaries were very busy Friday, so I took the day to sleep in and explore. I'd never been to the NY Public Library, so I spent most of my day there wandering the halls and rooms and exhibits. It was great.

While I was in NY, I got asked for directions 5 different times. Apparently, I looked like a local. For the longest time I've wanted to move to NYC, but after being there for a week, I don't know anymore. I missed nature too much. I think Colorado has spoiled me.

My dream came true when I got to see Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp in If/Then.

This show was incredible: it follows Idina's character's life after she makes a decision and shows you the way her life would have been different based upon which simple decision she made. I loved every second of it.

During my alone day, I went and saw Matilda. It was so. good. Think big production musical with amazing singing and dancing and technical work, then add ridiculously talented children.

I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat for the past week.

Today is Carol's birthday. Happy birthday, Carol!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Deeper Conversations: How to Connect with Others (New Post on the FOCUS Blog)


I've written another post up on the FOCUS Blog today.

It's about how to really talk to others, and a little bit on why we want to be known and loved.

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I'd just love it if you went it checked it out.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Say Hello

A few weeks ago, I was visiting Emily in Chicago, pretending to live the city life. I was so happy - we took the bus and the train and cabs all day. And yet, as we wandered through the forest made up of bricks and windows and street lights, I noticed that we all seem to be scared of each other. No one made eye contact. No one said hello. No one acknowledged the homeless veteran asking for a sandwich, or even thought about acknowledging the man talking to himself on the train.

Flash forward to last weekend. My mom came to visit me, so we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to hike and just be in the wilderness. Every person we passed on the trails smiled, said hello, and asked how we were doing. It was really nice to be acknowledge, and we even ended up making a few friends. 

I was so struck by the stark contrast between the two.

I think there is a lesson to be learned from the friendly hikers on the trail. When we disconnect from the busy and from our technology, we can begin to see and acknowledge one another. We can begin to see that really, we're all just souls searching for happiness, and hoping we will find love and companions along the way. If we just say hello, we let people know that they are someone worth acknowledging

Instead of complaining about our disconnected, technological world, it's time we do something about it. I believe that small acts of kindness can change the world. So this week as I wander the halls of the office, and the streets of Denver, I will be putting down my phone and sharing the simple kindness of "hello," with a smile. Will you join me?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Reading: Paper Towns, by John Green.

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Watching: Lots of Jimmy Fallon clips on YouTube. This is one of my favorites:

Wearing: Boots, boots, and more boots. Especially dresses with my boots. I love fall.

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Drinking: Loose leaf tea from Davids Tea. Specifically: cinnamon rooibos chai, pumpkin chai, and queen of tarts.

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Feeling: Wanderlust. For big cities.

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Writing: About what moves me for the FOCUS Blog. The answer surprised me.

Praying: Morning Prayer. The praise of the psalms have been making my heart swell each morning.

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Making: The final play by play for my roommates wedding this weekend.

Pondering: How I can be kinder in my daily life.

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Anticipating: Site visit planning trip to Nashville and my mom's visit next week.

Tell Me: How are you, currently?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Snake Bites and Suffering

A reflection from last Sunday's First Reading. Numbers 21:4B-9.

Ok, first things first. We have to set up this story by remembering that the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians for a really, really long time. God's heart hurts for his people, so he sends Moses to "let my people go, HUHHHHH, YEA YEA YEA YEA!!!!!!!!"

Moses gets them out of Egypt (AKA frees them from SLAVERY), but then they have to travel through the desert. The Israelites are pretty whiny and seem to immediately forget that they have been FREED FROM SLAVERY BY GOD, so they start complaining against God. Which pretty is dumb. So God sends them some snakes. 

The Israelites are getting pretty upset because they keep getting bitten by snakes and dying. They repent, and ask Moses to talk to God, because dying from snake bites is not cool. Moses agrees, so he asks God to take away the snakes - to take away their suffering

God doesn't take away the snakes, but instead tells Moses to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. If anyone gets bit by a snake, they just have to look at the bronze snake, and they'll live! Hooray! Everyone hugs each other and they walk off into the promised land, never to offend God again. (LAWLZ. I'm kidding. The Israelites were the worst.)

What I love about this passage is it is proof that God hears our prayers, and he answers them! But...he doesn't answer prayers how we expect him to. I think what God does in this story is even more beautiful. Instead of taking their suffering away, he gives them a way to overcome it. 

Now, instead of God working the miracle of making snakes disappear, he works a greater one. He transforms their suffering into a way for his people to grow closer to him. Every time an Israelite gets bit by a live snake, they have to look at the bronze snake and they get to remember the miracle God has provided them. Their suffering gives them an opportunity to fix their eyes back on God.

So today, as I suffer through my email (and probably other small things), I will choose to look up at the bronze serpent and remember the miracles God has preformed in my life.

Monday, September 15, 2014

On Nuns in the Airport

The last two times I've flown, I've left Denver on a Saturday morning. This Saturday was just as bad as the last. People walked slower than glacier, and took up the entire hall. They presented baggage claim tickets to the TSA instead of a boarding pass, and they had no idea why they had to take off their shoes and things out of their pockets. Guys, this has been the policy for the past 13 years. None of this is new. All of this, and more, happened at DIA this weekend. If I can help it, I'm never going to travel on a Saturday again. 

So there I am, riding up the escalator instead of walking because the guy in front of me is taking up the entire thing. I'm irritated, but I'm not going to be late for my flight so I'm trying, but miserably failing, to choose love and instead of harboring hate in my heart. I weave through more leisure travelers and sigh when I approach my gate. 

Then I see her.

beautiful nun, in a full, navy habit. She has a white wimple, and a black veil.

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Without thinking, I walk up to her and call, "hello, Sister!"

We talked for maybe two minutes. At the end of the conversation, she asked for my name and promised that she and all her sisters would offer their rosary for me that night.

I walked away with a little skip in my step, and I completely forgot my airport woes.

I don't know her name, and I never will. But when I saw her across the airport, I sensed the peace, love, kindness, hope, and joy that radiated out of her. And in just under two minutes, she transferred all that and more to me.

That was a gift that Blessed Mother Teresa had. She a remarkable ability to make every. single. person. she encountered feel like they were the most important person on Earth in the moments she was with them. She was so filled with Jesus that just in being who she was, others felt the transforming power of his love.

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I want to be like that.

Jesus, make me be so filled with your love that when others encounter me they no longer see me, but only you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

#7QTs on DG, Travel, & Cats with Instruments

My first ever post went up on the FOCUS Blog today! If you haven't yet, head on over there and check it out! It promises a list of fun things to do, wit (according to my friend Joanna), an image of me pieing my friend Amy in the face, and a little kid in a big hat.

Here's a quote from it for your previewing pleasure: "If you focus on making memories with your new friend, not just trying to awkwardly force conversation over a latte, trust and community will spring out of the fun. "

I think we've all discovered new blogs to read via the #7QTs link up, but have you ever discovered the blog of someone that you know!? That happened to me last Friday after I linked up with Jen. 

Do you live in NYC?? Do you know someone who lives in NYC? Will you happen to be in NYC on October 16? Then you should probably come to REACH | nyc. Or invite your friends to come. Or both!

The Events Team has started helping with FOCUS' REACH prayer breakfasts, and I am so excited. Our first one is about one month away in, you guessed it, NYC! I'm freaking out a little bit because I love New York and not only do I get to go, I get to plan an event there. Dreams really do come true, people. Everyone should also be aware that I might never come back. You've been warned.

Last weekend, Saint Louis University held their formal recruitment. My sister is a senior in DG there, and 5 (five!!!) of my former campers went through recruitment at SLU. I've known some of these girls since they were 12 (wut).

It was fun to talk to Steph all weekend about recruitment, but the best news came on Monday...four of the girls went DG!

Some had been in my cabin, others I taught in show choir, and one was a neighbor and camp friend. 

Smoon had a lot of these girls in her cabin and as CILTs, so she was equally excited to add so many beautiful faces to the CT DG Family. We wanna make shirts. 

ITB, ladies, and welcome aboard!

Tomorrow starts my fall stint of travel. On the list is KC (x3), Chicago, Nashville, NYC, and Atlanta! The great news about that is I've never been to Georgia...taking me up to 23 states! We've got two more to go, people. DC might be added to the list, and if it is, I can probably make it up to 24 states. I'd also be traveling every other week for the next two months, which is crazy.

My friends Cait, Becky, & Mallory are going to watch Kat while I'm gone this week. They're amazing. But what's even more amazing are these pictures of cats playing instruments that Cait put on the facebook.


Hey, if you haven't done this yet, I'd really love it if you hopped on over to the Facebook and liked My Life (In Lists)'s page.

Happy Friday, friends!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, September 5, 2014

7QTs on #whatmovesyou

Let's start with a question...What Moves You? What gets you up in the morning? Why do you do every little thing that you do? No, I don't want the answer that you know you're supposed to give, I want to know what really moves you?

It's time to engage that question, to go deeper than the simple, easy answers. Come explore with us; register at www.seek2015.com. Join the conversation: #WhatMovesYou.

I've watched this video a lot of times in the past couple of days and I've really started to engage the question myself. Sure, I know the answer. Jesus. He's the answer to every question, right? But...is He really what moves me? Is He truly the guiding force of my every action at every day?

My friend Mary writes for Catholic News Agency, and she wrote an awesome blog post about SEEK, Socrates, & Beyonce. You should check it out, and start asking yourself that question. (And if you don't know #WhatMovesYou, join us for SEEK!)

I've been praying a lot about living simply and living in the moment. On the Feast of the Assumption, I went up into the mountains with (a different) Mary & Steph to go stand up paddle boarding. It was so much fun and so incredibly beautiful. As we were paddling, Mary said, "Isn't it awesome that God's will for us today is to stand up paddle board and soak up the beauty of nature?" That is living in the moment, my friends.

Last week, FOCUS Events was so #blessed to be able to help out with the Amazing Parish Conference. It was an intensive two day workshop for parish leadership teams to help their parishes become truly, well, AMAZING! It was cool stepping into another event with the goal of making disciples, but for a different audience. I think this Amazing Parish movement is really important. I'm excited to see how they grow in the next few years, and how Amazing our Church can become.

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Christine and John Paul asked me if I would be interested in helping with production (aka Audio Visual things) for the conference. While I basically had no idea what I was doing, I had so much fun. I got to run microphones to people asking questions in the audience, move chairs and podiums on stage and then off again, and help Matt Maher sound check. 

But the BEST part was getting to call camera's for the Thursday morning Mass. I was terrified that I would mess up, but I think it went pretty well. It was cool knowing that what everyone was seeing up on the big IMEG screens was there because I put it there! Our AV team (JP, me, 2 PSAV guys, & 3 video guys) was the reason every went so smoothly. Everyone was so much fun, especially when we told lame jokes over our headsets. 

Recently, we've been talking a lot about how important it is to spend time with the people we work with and invest in our teams so that we have trust and a good working environment. I am so #blessed that the Events Team gets along so well and we make loving one another a priority. 

On Wednesday, we had a team half day offsite with our #SuperTeam (read: all the departments that my boss' boss oversees) at the Colorado Rockies game. It was crazy hot (read: 91 degrees on the roof of a baseball stadium), but it was crazy fun. It was really fun getting to know everyone a little better and learning about their team dynamics. Take some time to intentionally invest in your team this week - you won't regret it.

I have very exciting news, my friends. On Monday, the FOCUS Blog is publishing one of my posts! I'm pretty stinkin' excited.

And let's be honest...it's the main reason I posted some quick takes today. If you're stopping by because you found me via the FOCUS Blog...HI!!! IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU! Leave a comment and introduce yourself! I hope you like cat pictures and FOCUS Conferences, because that's pretty much all I write about.

Here's a cat pic, incase that's your thing.

Everyone else: be sure to check out www.focus.org/blog on Monday to see me in all up on the fancy FOCUS Blog!!


Linking up with Jen. Check out more quick takes at conversiondiary.com.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Learned About Community While Biking 28.2 Miles Down a Volcano

At 10,023 ft above sea level, you can't see all the way down to the bottom. You can only see clouds. And, well, the crater.

The view as the sun rises is breathtaking, but I think my family has just as much fun huddling around each other like penguins trying to stay warm.

Once we see the blazing sun, the six of us pile back into the van with three other couples to drive out of the national park.

Owen, our guide, lectures us about the rules for the ride and how many different ways there are to die. I'm extremely nervous - I'm not very athletic and I'm suddenly not very confident about my ability to balance on a bike. Owen lines us up by height (shortest in the front, tallest in the back), and we're off.

We fly down the side of the volcano, reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour. It is exhilarating. It is cold. It is beautiful - I can see all the way down to the Pacific.

The rider in front of me, Daisy, is terrified. She is riding her breaks, causing me and all nine riders behind me to do the same. Owen coaches her, trying to coax her to let go, but it doesn't seem to do much.

At first, I am frustrated. The breaks hurt my hands and I want to go faster. But then I realize that Daisy is doing the very best she can. Owen is setting the pace, and I am staying close behind her, my very presence pushes her along, encouraging her forward.

Later, when Owen rearranges us and I am in front, I am the pace setter. Every little move I make affects the rest of the group. When I break, they break. When I speed up, they speed up.

As we flew down the volcano it struck me that this is not unlike community. I am going to reach the beach no matter how fast we go and whether or not Daisy herself does. But her progress affects me. If she slows down or falls away from the faith, I must slow too. I miss out on the beauty of the full family of God.

But when she flies, oh, but when she flies, she paves the way for me to fly too. Her holiness and closeness to God show me an example that allows me to flourish.

And when one of us messes up, or struggles, like when my mom couldn't get her bike to stop on a giant hill, one of us can reach out to assist, helping each other reach the finish line.

So while I could have biked down the volcano on my own, the experience was so much better in communion with others. Thank you Jesus, for giving us community to help us fly towards you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best Moments from our trip to Maui

Aloha, friends! I am back from Maui quite a few shades darker (seriously, I am so tan). Hawaii was incredible. The weather was perfect (minus a minor hurricane glitch), the landscape was so beautiful that it looked fake, and the people were incredibly laid back. I don't think I've ever felt quite so disconnected from the world while on a trip before. It was a perfect nine days of just relaxing, being with family, and trying not to get too sunburnt.

Here's a quick recap of our trip, in the format of a list of bests!

Best Adventure: Biking down the side of a volcano! More details to come on this tomorrow.

Best Meal: Crab Mac & Cheese at Honu on our very last night. Oh my goshhhh. I would go back to Maui just to eat this again.

Best View:

Drinking: Iced White Mocha
Reading: The Paper Magician

Just kidding. Here's Ka'anapali Beach without anything blocking your view! That island in the distance is Molokai.

Best Sunset:

The sunset in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Best Loss of "What are the Odds": "What are the Odds" is a game where you challenge someone to do something. You ask them, "what are the odds you'll eat an entire pizza?" and they answer saying something like, "1 in 10." After counting to three, the challenger and the challengee say a number in that range. If they say the same number, they have to do it. If they say a different number, they do not have to complete the challenge. At the end of the beach, there's a giant black rock that juts out into the ocean. If you swim out far enough, you can climb up 20ft and jump in. Tommy is not a fan of doing things like this. Steph, Joey, & I all jumped, and we wanted Tommy to join in the fun. After making all sorts of offers (like endless baked goods, Joey being nice to him forever), Tommy lost What are the Odds and had to jump. It ended up being a great experience, and we were all glad he did it!

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Best Ocean Experience: Snorkling right next to a sea turtle off the coast of Maui! Amazing.

Best Hawaiian Moment: Either surfing, or attending the Luau! Surfing is hard, but super fun! And the Luau was a sweet way to try traditional Hawaiian foods while watching hula!


Best Book Read: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book was so enchanting, I could hardly put it down. It's the story of two opponents, competing to show who is better skilled at magic. The two main characters have been bound together their whole lives, and the story is about how they overlap and how the magic that they create is a gift to others. I highly recommend it.

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Best Parents in the World: MINE. Huge shoutout to my generous parents for taking us on this trip!

Aren't they so cute!?

But the best part of the whole trip was being able to spend 9 days of carefree timelessness with my family.

Aloha, Hawaii! Can't wait to see you again.

Friday, August 1, 2014

7QTs on 22 States, Moving Day at the Office, and Weird Trollies that I Found on My Desk

It has been pretty crazy in the office this week. Lots of new people are starting, and today is moving day! Many departments are moving around and getting new desks. Luckily, Events is staying in our little back corner. I'm looking forward to being neighbors with Formation, staring at Allison, Theresa, & Katie through the far window in our office, and continuing to have yelling conversations with Christine through both our open doors.

We are having our very first whole events team lunch today! Well, minus Carol. Our three new teammates are all in Colorado now, so they're coming up for lunch! We're all excited to introduce them to our very favorite mountain Thai food place. Can you say pineapple fried rice?

It'll be just like this, except more Thai & less wings
Welp, it has been one week since Jess & Seth's wedding & I'm pretty convinced it's time to have another reunion. Who will volunteer to get married next, just so we can all see each other??

This was on my desk today when I got into the office...

What is this mystery trolley!? Where did it come from?? What does it mean!? We may never know. A few months ago I discovered a random green army man on my desk and I still have it. He, the rock, and Mary are happy to welcome the San Francisco trolley to my desk trinkets.

I'm aware that is very sad that my picture frame
(which has been there since March), does not have a picture in it.

Remember the state thing I'm trying to do? Great news: as of last Thursday, I had never been to Michigan. And, I guess I went to Alabama a few times as a child, so that brings me to a total of 21 states visited!

AND, the goal is even closer than that... tomorrow morning I will be flying to HAWAII for our first whole family vacation in four years. Ten whole days of relaxing and adventuring and being with family and not working. It's going to be so great. 

Also, that's 22 states, meaning I only need to visit 3 more before March. 25-in-25 is going to happen, people.

Speaking of vacation, I'm going to take a quick hiatus while I'm with my family next week. I'm looking forward to sleeping in, reading on the beach, biking down a volcano, & just being with my family. I'll be back in Colorado in about a week, so I'll talk to ya'll then.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!