Hollison Journey

โ€œThe road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.โ€ – Don Williams Jr

New Restaurant #1

Goal #10 – Go to 12 restaurants I have never been to.

I think it must be a law that every town has an Italian restaurant named Napoli’s. Seriously. What’s interesting to me is that they are not all connected to each other.

Anyway, there is one in my town and I have never been. Which is semi-shameful, since the young adult group I am a part of goes there every Thursday night and has been doing that for the last couple of months (before Christmas, easily). Which means I haven’t gone to this group in that amount of time. Whoops.

I finally got to go on Friday with the rest of the volunteers in the youth ministry program. We had weekend retreat/reflection/whatever and we kicked it off with a dinner with the youth minister and the person leading our retreat.

First of all, oh my goodness the bread. So yummy! Since there was so many of us, everything took a little longer and the bread was a big hit. It is also ridiculously yummy. Maybe not quite as good as the gold-standard-of-all-Italian-food-bread at Zuko’s, but good. ๐Ÿ™‚

I ordered the Lobster Ravioli and oh my, is it ever tasty. There is a line in Gilmore Girls where Lorelai tastes a sauce that Sookie makes and says “I wanna take a bath in that sauce!” And that’s exactly what came to mind when I had the sauce.

I was so full I didn’t have dessert, so I can’t even comment on that. But I really enjoyed it and hopefully will get to go there more when I finally have the time to join the Thursday night group!

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7 Quick Takes – February 19, 2010

1. Oh my. I hope I can come up with 7 things. I meant to write a lot of this yesterday when some ideas were flowing through my head, but I didn’t, and now I’m not so sure the river of ideas is moving!

2. If you missed them, I wrote two posts on Lent. Here and here. Love this season!

3. Our weather is so freaky! Last week at this time we had half a foot of snow. Today, it’s beautiful and sunny (and when I say today, I mean yesterday because I have not even left my bed this morning!) I love Texas.

4. I might actually watch some winter Olympics today. I haven’t had the time yet, but today might be the day.

5. My roommate and I are watching all episodes of Bones, thanks to my NetFlix account. We jsut started season 3. I’ve always loved that show, but I’ve missed a few episodes here and there. It’s nice to catch up!

6. My friend Kathryn is coming over for lunch today and I am excited. It has been quite awhile since I have seen her and I miss her!

7. See. This is what I am talking about. I don’t know what to say. OH! I can talk about the retreat. It was so fun and so good! Sat night we had an 80s party, which was awesome because the oldest of these girls were born in 1992. They sure did rock the look though. Here’s our group picture:

as always, visit http://www.conversiondiary.com for more quick takes

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40 Days, Cont.

Last night, after the Ash Wednesday Mass, I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of our teens. Being the concerned, involved (read: nosy) youth volunteer that I am, I asked them what they were doing for Lent. Their answers blew me away, and I wanted to share (sans names, of course):

– No makeup (2 girls are doing this)

– Rosary and/or Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day

– Reading Confessions by St. Augustine

– Keeping a prayer journal

– Trying not to yell at her siblings, and saying an Our Father every time it happens (this from a girl with 6 siblings, 4 of them younger than her)

– Get Homework done by 8:00p.m. and go to bed by 10:00 p.m. every night.

– No internet or T.V. after 8:00 p.m.

– No facebook

– Drink only water

– No sweets

Not bad for some 14-, 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds, huh?


40 Days

Today begins Lent.

Oh, how I love this season. It holds a special place in my heart because 6 years ago, Lent was the time period I gave myself to be open to the Catholic Church. The 40 days was filled with interesting conversations, intense reading and prayer, and some really freaky “coincidences.” 2 weeks after Easter, I made my decision to convert.

But that’s another story.

Recently, I learned even more cool things about Lent when I had to prepare to give a lesson about it to our high schoolers. For instance, did you know that in the early church, ashes were placed on your forehead after you made a public confession of sin? It was to remind you (and others, I’m sure) of your own mortality. Others wanted the mark on their forehead as well to symbolize that they were repentant sinners, and eventually, the tradition became for Ash Wednesday. So cool. In some ways, I think that would be neat to go back to, but I also know that a visible sign of who has made public confession would give great temptation to judge others. Like I need help in that department.

In recent years (7 or so), I have become very aware of the practice of “taking up” something for Lent, besides just “letting go” of something. I like it alot.

Last year, I gave up the internet after 10pm. That was rough. It also brought me so much extra time for prayer, sleep and other activities, as well as taught me to prioritize my internet time. If it was 9:56pm, I was checking email and looking up the weather, not typing random actor’s names in Wikipedia and sifting through useless trivia and news.

This year, I am doing several things:

– Listening to Catholic Radio or nothing at all in the car. I have gotten in the bad habit of listening to secular talk shows (that make me mad) or music (that makes me hum through objectionable lyrics). Catholic radio is beautiful and I learn so much. Silence is also much needed. This includes (hopefully) once a day listening to my Chaplet of Divine Mercy cd.

Spiritual Exercises blog, daily. I’m already loving this. So good, and the reflections have been wonderful! (ok, I’ll admit, it’s just day one). I’m keeping a journal to answer the questions and reflect.

– Read To Live Is Christ by Peter Celano. I tried this last year and failed, so I’m going to try again.

– Remove one bag of trash or clutter every day from my home, car, or office. Whoa Nellie, is this ever needed. I have a feeling that near the end, this might be hard, but it will be good. Just to clarify, I don’t necessarily have to throw it away, I could recycle it or take unwanted things to Holy Family Thrift Store or Recycled Books.

I have two more that are quite personal, so I am not going to share those. One of them will be quite hard, but I am very interested to see what God has to reveal to me about this.

The garden of Easter is so much sweeter after 40 days in the desert.

Below, enjoy a great song from Matt Maher.

(Confidential to Amanda: Yeah, the title made me think of high school…we were so silly back then!)


Seven Quick Takes: Feb. 12, 2010

I haven’t done this in a few weeks – though I’m sure no one noticed! So, what’s going on in my world:

1. Fridays have become great days for me! A few weeks ago my boss came back from a conference with the idea to close the office an extra day of the week. It’s supposed to be good for the environment cause we won’t be running electricity and lights and heat and blah blah blah, but all I really care about is getting a three-day weekend EVERY WEEK! I didn’t lose hours, we just adjusted them to fit within the other 4 days, plus a few hours on Friday of telecommuting. So yes, I do still work on Fridays, I just get to do it in pajamas! It’s nice to have a 2 person office!

2. I got a new phone! My old one was ok, it had a few wonky keys, but when my friend got an iPhone, and offered me his BlackBerry, I decided to go for it. Even better, his phone had a crack in it, so before he gave it to me, he traded it in (yay for phone insurance) and they upgraded him! So, I now have a brand-new BlackBerry 8530. It’s pretty sweet. Just taking me some time to get used to BlackBerry. I’ve always had a Samsung or an LG, so I have to rethink where things are.

3. My favorite feature of the phone so far? Agenda calendar view. I’ve never used electronic calendars before because I’ve never been a fan of seeing one day at a time. But this phone not only lets me look at my events in Agenda view, but in some themes, I can have my agenda on my phone’s home screen. So nice to look at my phone and see the next 4 things I’m doing.

4. My goals for 2010 are going well, despite my lack of updating the Goals page. I’ll try to do that soon.

5. Anyone see the nuns on Oprah? I did not, but I’ve liked the clips I’ve seen. Yay for vocations!

6. Confirmation class has started up again and it is so fun! The teens are hilarious and this year, I have the awesome honor of being a sponsor for one of them. She asked me the day before classes started and I am thrilled! I have never been someone’s sponsor and I am excited to help her on this journey and be a part of her spiritual life. She is an awesome kid and I’ve already seen her come so far just in the past year or so that I have known her. Now if only we could get a Confirmation date…

7. The BIG part of my life right now is this weekend: Spring Retreat 2010! Woo! Last year’s retreat was SO fun and I think this year might top it. Our Spring Retreat is supposed to be low key. We hold it at people’s homes and don’t charge a lot and don’t do a lot of bells and whistles. All this adds up to lots of kids wanting to come. So, Saturday and Sunday, I will be at a friends house with 32 high school girls. Yeah. 32. The first retreat I went on with this church has 20 teens, boys and girls. This year, we have 32 girls and 20 boys. Holy Moly. We should have a lot of funny stories and pics soon. Pray for us.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at http://www.conversiondiary.com