JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for February 2013

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

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Ah, snow.

In less than a week’s time, we’ve gotten well over a foot of snow in St. Joseph. It’s so beautiful, so sparkly…and such a pain to deal with if you have to make your way to work in it because your job does not get a snow day.

Despite this season, I’m finding myself leaning forward, anxiously anticipating spring. Spring is probably my favorite season. It’s about life returning and bursting forth. Green leaves sprouting, flowers blooming, life.

I’m looking forward to Shakespeare in the Park in Kansas City, First Fridays, concerts, weddings, warm weather. I went to KC this weekend and it was sunny and warm (as far as winter weather goes) and it made me so excited for all that KC has to offer when the temperature rises.

Meanwhile, there have also been a lot of good things this season, and this last three-day weekend, too. I was recounting what happened between Friday and Monday to a coworker today and it was bursting with stuff. I got to hangout with coworkers in front of a fire Friday, go to KC and buy some new yarn and books Saturday, return to KC for a book signing by an admired author, then sleep in Monday.

I guess it’s all about making the most of whatever season you’re in.

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Written by Jessica

February 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

Posted in Missouri Living

… I also suck at follow-ups.

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So yeah, I just realized I had yet to share my crazy inauguration adventure.

Somehow I managed to pack a ton into two days, and it turned out to be a really fun trip.

After about 8.5 hours of travel (6 by plane, including a 2-hour layover in Chicago, and two and half hours from Philly to Northern Virginia (or NoVa), I arrived at my friend Melody’s new home in the bustling suburb of McLean.

After unpacking a bit and getting my phone all charged up, I was able to take a quick tour with two other mutual friends who now live in NoVa too (I’m really jealous, fyi) and we packed into Melody’s car to head into the city for dinner.

Barricades everywhere.

Barricades everywhere.

Lemme tell you, that was probably not the best decision of our evening. D.C. by car during inauguration weekend…just say no. We went into the downtownish area (Metro Center, Chinatown, that area) and traffic was crazy every which way. Mostly because there were a TON of people in town, plus a lot of routes around the White House/National Mall were closed down for Inauguration festivities.

After about an hour and a half to two hours of trying to maneuver around, with no luck, we finally were able to access the 3rd Street tunnel (huzzah!) and get.out.of.dodge. We ultimately decided to go back to NoVa and do dinner in Old Town Alexandria.

We went to this really cool place, Virtue, and I nearly became delirious over a lack of sleep (I only had about two hours before I had to get up — dang late-night schedule/early morning flight combo!), but a good time was had by all. I seriously have laughed harder with those girls than I have in a long, long time. And I’ve had some good laughs in the last year, so that’s saying something. 🙂

GlimmerGlass colleagues/Olivetians unite!

GlimmerGlass colleagues/Olivetians unite!

We parted, and I tried to head to bed because morning was going to come too soon. I ended up waking up after 5:30ish, and was aiming to be in D.C. before 8. I think I got there a little bit after 7:30. I’m a crazy person, I know.

Compared to 2009, getting into the city was a piece of cake. There was no line at the park-and-ride area at the Metro stop (last time, we went to Vienna, this time I was a few in at West Falls Church), and the train didn’t really start filling up until we were in the city. I got off at Farragut West, when the train was really full (had to squeeze my way out…eek!) and then made my way to meet up with Brandon, a Kansas friend who was in town for a bit.

We finally found each other on Constitution Ave. and then made our way to a spot on the National Mall. I geeked out over the press areas, like these:

CNN's National Mall digs. Not too shabby.

CNN’s National Mall digs. Not too shabby.

Not too bad, either!

I know, I know: I have a problem. I must see what my brethren who make way more money than I do are up to.

So, after walking through several Inauguration volunteers who were dancing and waving and hopped up on legal stimulants and super excited to be there…we found our place not too far out, kinda by the Air and Space Museum/the National Gallery of Art.

Two Kansans in D.C.!

Two Kansans in D.C.!

The crowd!

Free inauguration swag!

Everyone got flags, too! And I’m so excited I’m using lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!

So, after standing around for a long time, everything got rolling. We were thankfully able to hear everything through speakers and, when the super tall people didn’t step into my line of sight, I could see a monitor to the right of that last photo. It was really, really stinking cool. It made me a little sad that I didn’t have that experience in 2009, when I had tickets to be in a special section, but it was full by the time I got there (even though I got there before 6 a.m.).

Though my feet were hurting, it was really amazing to hear President Obama speak, and to be a part of the crowd. It was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Even if Beyonce was lip syncing. 😉

After, Brandon and I went in search of food, then walked around the monuments a bit. We saw the MLK Jr. one, which was fitting for the day (MLK Jr. Day), which was really powerful. It’s a moving memorial.

Then, alas, I had to shuffle back to NoVa to get my stuff and head back up to Maryland, where I’d gotten a hotel room to be closer to Philly for my 6:30 a.m. flight (egad) to Chicago to Kansas City to work that afternoon.

Thankfully I had no issues (other than an intense security line in Philly) and got to work ok, and managed to not get too spacey that Tuesday, despite being up since 3:30 a.m. and working to 10:30ish. (I slept very well that night, that’s for sure!)

So anyway. Yeah, that’s my #inaug2013 story.

Written by Jessica

February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I suck at dating.

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Fact: I haven’t gone on a date in about two years.

Two. Long. Years. And what’s sadder? It wasn’t really an official date kind of date…sigh.

Part of this has to be geography. For one of those years, I lived next to what is sometimes called Disney World for senior citizens. Another part of it is just not meeting many people beyond work/working an awful lot/moving.

This weekend, at a low point realizing that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I succumbed to temptation and put my dating profile back up on OK Cupid. I’ve not really shared this extensively, but I’ve been on and off it for the last few years.

I’ve really been more off than on — I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the ability to see people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met. I hate the uneasy feeling that so much of online dating is just like shopping for a significant other…we’ve managed to reduce meeting possible spouses into just a shopping list of items. There’s just something so … inorganic about it all and I’m not really sure if I will find someone there. But there’s something to be said for trying and putting yourself out there, so there you go.

Given that, it’s kind of a funny coincidence (or a God-ordained moment?) that I’ve been snapped up into a single young ladies’ group at church AND the first sermon series I’ll hear here is about marriage/relationships. Yeah, I bet you can guess my first reaction to that news. It may have involved an involuntary gag reflex. 😉

But it’s started and it’s been pretty decent. I really appreciate my pastor’s sensitivity and honesty in addressing some pretty tough topics, like why we’ve as a culture delayed marriage and why it’s important to be pure before marriage and why we need to have a solid foundation in God before we really can love other people selflessly. The last is a good reminder — unlike the messages we hear elsewhere, we don’t find completion or wholeness in another person, it’s really in God. We love others because He first loved us. (See 1 John 4:19 for that one!)

It seems like the older I get, the more clearer the ache gets for another person to do life with. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel like I’m hopelessly single. It doesn’t help that nearly every other day Facebook delivers new hearts in the upper-righthand corner of my screen: “So and so is engaged!!!!!” I mean, seriously, Facebook? It’s usually hard to miss the million ring pictures, was that feature really necessary? And well-meaning loved ones. They can be add to it, for sure.

Like so much I’ve been thinking about in the last year with jobs junk (having a crappy one, getting a better one at a financially not-so-great company to getting a new one), I really just have to trust in God’s providence and timing. And try to confine my inner-green-eyed-monster.

Barbara, the leader of my small group, has been beating one thing into our heads in recent weeks, and I’m kind of trying to internalize it. She always says the desire to get married is God-given, and quotes Psalm 37:4…”Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, who knows? Maybe there’s hope for me yet. Despite sucking at dating. 😉

Written by Jessica

February 5, 2013 at 2:19 am