Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

How To Not Marry A Jerk

This was the title of the Theology on Tap that I attended last night with Amy and Charlene. Side note: it’s pretty hilarious that the three of us went seeing as one of us is single, one of us is engaged and one of us is entering religious life in 3 1/2 months.

A Deacon and his wife were the presenters and their words were based on 44 years of marriage, experience in counseling couples for both pre-Cana and annulment, and the book How To Avoid Marrying A Jerk by John Van Epp. They were a funny, delightful couple and the information was good. I don’t think there were many “aha!” moments for me, but a lot of it confirmed in my head what I already knew. Some of it simply put in words what was already in my head.

Maybe the most interesting part was that we picked up a handout called “Premarital Questions” that had a list of questions you and your intended should know the answers to before marriage. Charlene took pen to paper and circled the ones she and Wally had not yet discussed. Some of the questions included:

How often will they want to go out socially as a couple, on their own, or with their friends?
Do they currently have a savings plan? Do they actually have money saved?
Will they lie if it makes it more convenient for them?
Do they complain often about people, work, or other things?

They also gave us characteristics of a trustworthy partner in a fun acronym:

Mature faith
Adaptable (coping)
Relationship skills
Responsible (work ethic)
Inner confidence
Anger management
Gracious (sacrificial)
Emotionally stable

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Signed, Sealed (with the holy spirit), Delivered

On Friday, the confirmation class I’ve been working with was confirmed! 31 beautiful teens stood in front of approx. 300 parents, siblings, relatives, friends, etc., and were sealed with the Holy Spirit by the Bishop. I felt like a mom to all of them and tears formed as each of them shook the Bishop’s hand. I got to organize them before the mass in another building and they were so scared and vulnerable and excited.

Back when we started in January, they were just a group of kids that came every Tuesday. Then we took them on confirmation retreat. You put 30 kids on a bus for three hours each way, they will bond. After that weekend, we’ve seen them all become friends and interact so much more. The papers they wrote throughout the semester brought laughter and tears. Some of them were the most touching, insightful papers. And some made me laugh harder than I can remember. We saw their eyes light up when they finally understood something and heard them talk about the challenges they face. We watched them pretend to be tough, and then get excited over the smallest things.

The communion of saints they picked is incredible. Saints Francis, Faustina, Maria Goretti, Ann, Michael, Valentine, John Bosco, Cecilia, Mark, Matthew, etc. Two of them did an amazing job as lector and four of our young ladies were EM’s for the first time after they were confirmed.

I’m so proud of every one of them. They continue to touch my life.

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Where The Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down The Plains…

This is a two-part post. Pics will be added later.

Part One:

This morning, my parents and sister picked me up and we headed north to Oklahoma. My parents’ best friends welcomed their third grandchild (and first grandson) was born Wed and we went to go visit. The whole family hasn’t been in the same car for an extended amount of time in quite awhile, so it was nice to spend the time (good thing it wasn’t much longer though). We got to Edmond and had a great time catching up, seeing the new baby, and playing with his big sister. We left in the afternoon and I was back by dinner time.

*adorable pic of me, big sister and new baby will go here

Part Two:

Friday was a great day. Mainly because prayers were answered and I got a new job! In the interest of keeping information off the wide world of the internet, I won’t divulge many details. But if you want to know, just ask me.

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On the Road Again

Sometimes, and I hope to make this more often, I visit a site that generates random writing prompts. You remember writing prompts: those things teachers would put on the board or overhead and tell to you to write five minutes about in an effort to improve your writing simply by having you write every single day. I loved them.

Anyway, I visited tonight and the prompt generated was “where would you go on a road trip if you could go anywhere?” I already knew the answer.

Since the definition of “road trip” would mean that you’re not going over water, I’ll exclude my foreign trip wishlist. Let’s keep confined to the contiguous 48 states.

Several years ago I bought a book called The Summer That Saved Baseball, It was about these two guys who visited thirty baseball stadiums in forty days. Hello, dream trip. Not only would you get to see the country, but thirty baseball games! thirty baseball stadiums! thirty ballpark hot dogs! thirty renditions of Take Me Out to the Ballgame! Oh my. In a perfect world I would take longer than forty days, specifically so that I could see other attractions besides the games, but if that was the only way to do it, then I am ok with it. I would even keep the good ol’ Ballpark in the schedule even though I’ve been there more times than I count (no lie. i worked there for two years). It would be part of the experience.

In the perfect world that lives in my head, this road trip will happen. In the realistic world that I have to live in, I’ve been to five stadiums. 25 to go (well, really it’s six since I went to Arlington Stadium. But also really I have 26 stadiums to go to since I went to the Astrodome but never Minute Maid Park).

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Umbrella-ella-ella

Wednesday night is bible study and occasionally some of the teens come up early to play basketball or soccer or a combination of the two. This week when they showed up it started raining, but we decided to play anyway. A new sport was born: Umbrella Basketball.

And finally, this is what happened when we finally got into the portable. Sorry it’s sideways, but it was the best way to do it:

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Set Me Free

This weekend was greatness. A perfect mix of fun and ministry.

Friday at work was the end of a very long and frustrating week. I was supposed to go out to a concert, but I decided what I really needed was to sit at home and eat some mexican food. So I made enchilada casserole and queso, watched some tv, recharged and went to bed.

Saturday I worked some overtime and then headed over to the airport. Marcel was coming in to town to speak to our teens at Life Night, and since Joe was previously committed, I was in charge of picking up Marcel. Since I always tease Marcel and call him by his full name including his post-graduate initials. So, I stood outside my car with a sign like a limo driver. I should have taken a picture. We headed to the church where the teens were working on a service project, then headed to dinner with some Tech people. It was an awesome day, weather-wise, so we sat out on the patio. Then we went to adoration. To end the evening, we introduced Marcel to the wonderful world of Wii.

Sunday Joe and I took Marcel around the town and showed him the sights. After I completely schooled Marcel in Wii bowling, it was time for mass and Life Night. The LN went pretty well. Marcel gave a great talk and we had a pretty cool skit (we taped it, but it isn’t loaded digitally…i’ll work on that). After that, most of the core went to dinner, which was great. A lot of times when we go out it’s just a few of us and it was great to have fun with the whole group. We then went for one more round of Wii.

It was great seeing some old friends and having fun with them. As Angela and I discussed, this whole 1 1/2 months between visits just isn’t cool.

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What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

One of the nice things about my job is that since it’s independent work that is not on the phone, I can listen to my ipod or the radio. My friend Jared recently listed some blogs he reads; I thought I would list some of the stuff I listen to. (note: ideally, I would listen to the local Catholic radio station, but it’s AM and is not received in the office. And we can’t stream stuff because of the broadband.)

Mornings: From 7:30-10, I listen to Kidd Kraddick. When I was growing up, I didn’t like his show. At all. However, in Lubbock, the options are limited, so when I had to drive around doing errands every morning in an old truck with no cd player, it began to grow on me. Now I love it.

Podcasts: I like to learn things, so I have a couple of podcasts I listen to that are educational. My new favorite is Grammar Girl. The podcasts are short (5 minutes or less), but very informational. I also like listening to one of her counterparts, the Get-It-Done Guy. Despite what the name implies, the podcast is subtitled “tips to work less and do more.” He gives tips on being more efficient and stuff. In the Catholic realm, I like listening to Daily Breakfast with Fr. Roderick, EWTN, and some podcasts from a local church. All of these cover either relevant topics or catechesis. (all of these can be acessed through iTunes; you don’t have to go to the websites)

Afternoon: From 2-4, I listen to Dr. Laura. I know, a lot of you just went “eww.” While I don’t agree with her 100% of the time, most of what she says makes sense. Plus I like that she is not afraid to tell people they are acting wrong or stupid. So many call-in hosts (especially the ones I’ve heard in this area) will do nothing but stroke people’s egos and tell them that “everything is ok.” Whatever. Some people need to be told they are making bad decisions.

So there you go. Now, some days I don’t listen to podcasts and just jam out to music, but for the most part, that’s my work day.

**UPDATE** Not three hours after originally posting this article, I went to plug in my ipod and update with new podcasts and the like. And it wouldn’t turn on. My heart somewhat stopped. I tried a few things, went to bed, left it plugged in to the computer, and now it’s just fine. Whew!

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