Woke up this morning, smiled at the rising sun...

hola blogworld.

this time tomorrow i'll be in nyc. it still hasn't hit home yet, but i'm getting more and more stoked by the minute. i have no clue how i'm ever going to get to sleep tonight. mom said she has a surprise in store for us saturday night, i think we're going to mass on sunday, and i'm really looking forward to checking out the statue of liberty and ellis island. oh yeah, and just walking around nyc.

this year's merry christmas madness was a huge success. we had to tone down the list a little bit, and there were def some naysayers trying to rain on the parade, but we triumphed and had almost 40 kiddos participate this year, almost half of which had never been to our church before. that has me really stoked too. i think the funniest thing i did this year was convince a stranger to shoot a marshmallow out of his nose.

best conversation ever.
- i think we need to talk about this year's list for merry christmas madness.
- okay.
- some of this stuff doesn't seem appropriate.
- like...
- well, i think it said on there to pick a teammates' nose.
- oh yeah.
- that's kind of gross.
- yeah, nobody did that one last year.
- why is it on the list?
- the kiddos came up with the list, they thought it was pretty funny and gross.
- and you approve?
- yeah, it's pretty funny.
- i don't think we should be doing things as a youth group that are embarrassing.
- it's gross, but i don't know about embarrassing.
- there shouldn't be anything on there that would embarrass the elders.
- if we're going by what they would do it's going to be a pretty short list.
- i can't believe you think this is okay.
- yeah, it takes a lot to pick someone else's nose.
- are you kidding me?
- well, this event is about creating memories and doing crazy things to get the kids out of their shells.
- by picking each others' noses?
- it does create a unique bonding experience
- it's gross.
- it's a memorable relationship bonding moment. it asks the kids to step out of their comfort zones for a second and do something that might forge a relationship with someone they go to church with. there's a pretty big community building thing going on there.
- you're talking about picking noses.
- yep.
- just take it off the list.

the serious.
last night i ran across a homeless guy sleeping on the balcony at the church. supposedly, i'm to ask people to leave the property but i couldn't do it last night. i talked to him for a while, and he said he remembered me giving him a bottle of water this summer on a hot day. we talked for a couple of minutes, then he said he was going up to the grocery store to get something warm to eat. i gave him a ride to the store and a few bucks to get a meal. he said he was good to go and thanked me for my kindness.
it's nights like last night where i remember how truly blessed i am. i live in a nice apartment, in a safe town, and make a pretty good living. i'm headed to new york city for christmas to spend a week with mi madre and mi hermana. i have what i want for christmas. i have more than i need. here's to all the people who are spending christmas alone, in the rain, or simply having another tuesday.

i'm finding out more and more that people around the church are noticing that i've become a much happier person. i feel it too. bad days just aren't that bad lately. i'm not sure of what the exact reasons are for this, but i do have several educated guesses going back a few months. i think a lot of it has to do with me listening to my heart a lot more lately, and not trying to be a minister. this feeling of being more and more genuine is addicting. every time i do something that feels right, i feel right. i wish i could describe it more eloquently, but it is approaching 2 am.

books on tape.
my newest addiction. so far i've listened to velvet elvis, wild at heart, dennis miller, and i've got several more lined up. i kid you not when i say that i'm excited to spend all day on a plane tomorrow with my ipod.

well merry christmas and happy hanukkah to all those that i love.

one love, one heart.

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