Keith and Taylor’s Wedding

In the days following the wedding, my family had some conversations and disagreements about what exactly Tifie Ranch was. I thought it was just a regular campground and event center, until I remembered the “No Trespassing, Enter by Invitation Only” sign at the entrance. My Uncle Chad thought that some rich man had created it as a playground for himself and his friends, and Keith and Taylor had only managed to snag it as a wedding venue because they knew somebody.

There were no disagreements around the fact that it was beautiful.

We drove down the lane and into the ranch that Saturday afternoon, past the “Keith and Taylor –>” sign, and up to the young men who were pointing us toward the parking lot. Dad rolled down his window. “I have my father-in-law with me,” said Dad. “I was told I’m supposed to take him straight up to the amphitheater so that he doesn’t have to walk so far.”

After a conversation with a bearded guy in a red shirt, Dad drove off in the opposite direction of the parking lot. The road we were on seemed to peter out, so we turned right and drove up the hill on a road that ended…in a garage.

“This can’t be right,” we said to each other, as a garage generally indicates “this is a private residence” and “you shouldn’t be here.”

The bearded guy in the red shirt came walking up the hill. “I think this is right,” he said. “I think this is what they told me.”

Mom got out of the car, and she and the bearded guy walked up a set of stone steps to the left of the garage, and disappeared into the woods. We waited a few minutes, and then they came back.

“Was that it?”

“Nope.”

Back to square one. We turned around, which was a bit difficult in the small space we were afforded, and drove back down the hill. There, a pickup met us. Mom and Grandpa climbed in, and the pickup shuttled them up another road, a steep gravel number that disappeared up into the woods. I was a bit confused about what was going on, because I was in the back of the van and couldn’t hear people’s conversations very well. But my siblings and I got out and followed some wedding guests up a footpath, and there was a pretty little amphitheater, and there were Mom and Grandpa, safe and sound.

Now, let me pause at this junction to tell you a little bit about my cousin Keith.

Keith’s two primary characteristics are first, that’s he’s always doing something, and second, that he makes his life as uncomplicated as possible. When I lived with him and his family in 2010 he was doing wrestling, and then he went to college and poured his energy into Ultimate Frisbee, and then after college he moved to Utah and took up rock climbing. He even went rock climbing the morning of his wedding, hurting his knee a bit.

Our mothers are sisters and best friends. When their mother, our grandmother, died a few years ago, all the Yoders gathered at my grandparents’ house that summer to go through their things, because Grandpa was moving in with my Uncle Marcus.

Yoders are notorious for rescuing things. My grandparents’ house had banana boxes of rescued peanut butter jars in the basement, and Velveeta cheese boxes of rescued ballpoint pens under Grandpa’s bed. Those of us who’s Yoder genes were diluted a bit made plenty of jokes about this, and Keith, who has barely any Yoder genes to speak of, mocked the most.

Faced with a houseful of stuff I could just take if I wished to, I ended up salvaging two skirts, a pretty tin, two purses, some decorative buttons, and a navy blue faux fur coat. “Did you get anything?” I asked Keith.

“Yes! I got a pizza cutter, because I lost mine. And I got a rolling pin. I’ve been using a wine bottle for two years.”

The story goes that in January, Keith met a girl named Taylor who, like him, was always doing something, and made her life as uncomplicated as possible. Nine months later they got married.

Their wedding, then, was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

First, it was small. There were maybe 75 people in that little amphitheater in the woods.

That arch was designed and built by a couple of Taylor’s friends, and decorated with wildflowers they’d picked from the woods that morning. All the flowers were picked from the woods, including Taylor’s bouquet.

Keith’s mom, my lovely Aunt Rebecca.

My Dad showed off his handsome new beard.

There were no bridesmaids. No groomsmen. Just Keith and Taylor and the preacher.

Keith’s friend Abe sat in a corner and strummed his guitar as people assembled, and then when the ceremony started, Keith’s brother Derek attached a cell phone to some portable speakers, and voilà! Music!

Taylor appeared on her Father’s arm, looking like a woodland fairy.

 

She and Keith stood on the platform and gazed at each other, while the preacher performed the ceremony.

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife,” said the preacher, and Keith turned and winked at his parents.

Everybody laughed.

That’s what I remember most about the wedding: the laughter. Unlike the last time one of my cousins got married, the guests at this wedding laughed. A lot. Taylor laughed. Keith laughed. It wasn’t a stiff formal affair, it was a fun happy time in the woods with relatives and friends and love.

Then the ceremony was over, and we wandered down the paths and across the little bridges to the reception venue.

Instead of a cake, or fancy catered desert, there was a large stack of delicious little pies from Walmart, in their tiny square boxes. There was tea, and beverage-unsuitable-for-Mennonites, and some ginger ale that quickly ran out because there were so many Mennonites.

We took family photos, which of course were missing the bride and groom, as they were off getting their own pictures taken.

big family

The Yoder Relatives

little family

My Family

And then the taco truck arrived, and that was our dinner. Tacos from a taco truck. Which was delicious and all, but it did make me wonder about how tacos because such a trendy thing to eat. Is there a trick to eating them without bending your head at an odd angle, taking too large of bites, salsa juice running down your chin, and taco filling splooshing out the other end onto your hand? Can one eat a taco elegantly?

In any case, it was yummy, and I suppose we all looked inelegant together.

Here’s a secret: When I got to wedding receptions, I usually feel like I should be having more fun than I am. I sit at a table with people I’ve known all my life, and gaze across the crowded noisy reception venue at people who are cooler than me and having much more interesting conversations than I’m having, wishing there was a way to join in.

This wedding receptions was different. I made more of an effort to move around and talk to different people, and I had a lot of relatives I hadn’t seen in a long time that I wanted to catch up with. Somehow this was made much easier by the fact that the crowd was so much smaller than I’m used to. I suppose there’s no real real way to achieve smallness at a Mennonite wedding unless you only invite your immediate family or have a destination wedding in a cold remote location, but it was nice all the same.

The sun set. Six of Keith and Taylor’s relatives and best friends gave toasts, and I raised my glass of sparkling cider.

Then Derek announced that the father daughter dance was happening soon, and I went outside to watch Taylor and her father dance in a little pavilion decorated with strings of lights. When I went back inside, the crowd was thinning, and most of my family had left.

“We should really go,” said Matt. “I need to go. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning.”

So we said goodbye and took our leave.

Drove back to our rental house, almost hitting a porcupine on the way.

And went to bed.

And that is the story of the lovely wedding in the Utah woods. Tomorrow I will write the last branch of the story, about the journey home.

Advertisements

Utah in the fall. Who knew?

As I mentioned in my last post, my cousin Keith’s wedding wasn’t until 4 pm Saturday afternoon. The nature around us was so magnificent that we couldn’t bear to stay indoors, so on Saturday morning my siblings, some of my cousins, and two of my uncles went on a hike that Ben had found using his magical Ben powers. It was just…beyond breathtaking. Utah in the fall. Who knew?

IMG_1879

IMG_1882

IMG_1887

IMG_1888

IMG_1890

IMG_1891

IMG_1898

IMG_1899

IMG_1901

“Which would you rather do, skydive or scuba dive?” Uncle Fred asked us as we gazed out over the lovely little lake at the end of the hike.

“Here’s what you do,” Matt said. “You put on full scuba gear, and then a parachute, and you skydive out of a plane and into water and then you scuba dive.”

“I’ve always wanted to scuba dive,” I said, “but I have absolutely zero desire to sky dive.”

“I’d rather skydive,” said my cousin Austin. “When you scuba dive there are a lot of different things that could kill you, but when you skydive there’s only one thing that could kill you.”

“I don’t know about that. You could die by crashing into a large bird,” one of my relatives chimed in.

But wait! Couldn’t crashing into a bird help break your fall, if your parachute didn’t open? What if you grabbed onto it? Matt and Uncle Fred began to discuss this in earnest. I don’t know what conclusion they reached. I stopped listening when they began to calculate landing angles.

By the time we got home we were late for lunch, which was unfortunate because we were also celebrating my Grandpa’s 101st birthday. He won’t turn 101 until November 26, but as the family was already gathered, we decided to celebrate early.

Those of us who were late ate our lunch, and then we brought out the cake and sang “Happy Birthday.” Grandpa stood up to make a speech.

“Around 30 years ago, the doctor told me that I had a stomach ulcer,” he said. “After that I had to watch what I ate, and make sure I didn’t eat too much, or else my ulcer would act up. I think that’s why I have lived so long.”

He said more than that, but that was the gist of it. It was a bit disheartening to those of us who were preparing to gorge ourselves on birthday cake.

4 pm rolled around eventually. The house was a bevy of activity as we showered, ironed shirts, combed hair, put on pantyhose, and did all the usual pre-wedding prep. Matt drove some of my siblings in his rental car, and the rest of us piled into the minivan with our parents and Grandpa.

As for the wedding itself, well, I suppose I’ll get to that part of the story tomorrow.

The Full Utah Experience

My family’s road trip through the night to Utah for my cousin Keith’s wedding left us rumpled and unwashed, but in generally good spirits. We freshened up as best we could in a gas station restroom, ate a good breakfast of McDonald’s pancakes, and then drove on and on, through Idaho and into Utah.

We couldn’t get into our rental until 3 pm, so we stopped in Ogden to run some errands. First, Walmart. Jenny and Mom went inside to buy some snacks and paper cups.

“Do you want to take a walk around the parking lot with me?” I asked Amy, after a few minutes of boring van waiting.

“Sure.”

So we climbed out, just in time to see Mom and Jenny coming back. Mom marched up to the back of the van and flung open the hatch. Crash! A giant banana box, perched precariously on top of garment bags and backpacks and pillows, fell face down on the blacktop. A pair of shoes, a large dishcloth, a box of granola bars, a small metal teapot, and every other random item that we’d thrown into the van at the last minute went skittering across the parking lot.

“I’m so sorry! I’m so so sorry!” said a stranger who was standing in the area. Where had this stranger come from, and why was she apologizing?

“Well, um, here’s some granola bars,” said Mom, picking up a box of them and handing them to the stranger. “And, let’s see.” She peeked into a paper bag. “Bananas! Do you want a banana?”

“Thank you!” said the stranger, taking the food. “I’m so sorry! The shelter doesn’t feed us on weekends.”

“It’s no problem, we had plenty of food.”

“Thank you so much!” she said again.

“What’s going on? We asked mom as we scooped up the remaining fallen items, and placed the banana box carefully back into the van.

“She wanted some food, and I thought, ‘well, we have plenty of food in the back of the van,’ so I came back to get some for her,” said Mom.

When everything was successfully placed back where it belonged, Mom and Jenny went back inside to buy snacks and paper cups, and Amy and I finally took our walk around the parking lot.

After the Walmart excursion we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, my first time in that famous establishment. I saw one of the employees through the window and immediately thought, “that guy looks Mormon.” Then, “that’s a little odd.” And then, “oh wait, we’re in Utah. He probably is Mormon.”

Then we went inside and everyone looked Mormon.

We also visited a large thrift store called Savers, another chain which I’d heard a lot about but had never been in. I could have spent a lot of time in there. I’m telling you, Utah thrift stores have modest Mormon girl dresses like nothing I’d ever seen before.

When we finally got back to the van, Dad said, “what took you so long? We’re gonna be a half hour late.”

“Late for what?” I asked.

“Late for…the earliest we could have gotten into our rental.”

So we drove away to our rental, and presently the scenery outside the windows became lovelier and lovelier. And then, we arrived!

The relatives were gathered, all my moms siblings and many of their spouses and children. All my brothers and sisters came. And my Grandpa, who is almost 101.

We unpacked, showered, dressed, chilled with our relatives, and then headed to the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was held at the same ranch as the wedding was, a breathtaking location which I’ll discuss in more detail tomorrow.

Our rental was less than ten minutes from the ranch, and was beyond lovely. Deer wandered through our yard multiple times a day. It had beautiful log beams, and large open spaces full of couches. It was slightly lacking in the bedroom department, however. My choices ended up being either to A. sleep in the living room, or B. sleep on a mattress on the floor of my parent’s closet.

I chose the closet, since I knew I would hardly get any sleep in the living room, the way people like to stay up late and get up early nowadays. Unfortunately, the closet opened, not into the bedroom, but into the bathroom, which my whole family was sharing.

So in the morning, I had to knock on the door before I left my little closet bedroom. But it worked out fine.

The wedding wasn’t until 4 pm Saturday afternoon, so on Saturday morning my siblings, some of my cousins, and two of my uncles went on a hike that Ben had found using his magical Ben powers. It was just…beyond breathtaking. Utah in the fall. Who knew?

Unfortunately I’m having picture-uploading issues at the moment, and I need to go to bed. So the photos of the hike will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Road Trip Through The Night

pexels-photo-373248

My cousin Keith got married on October 7, in one of those small exclusive weddings that makes everyone who is invited feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t show up. The wedding was to be held at a ranch outside of Salt Lake City, which promised beautiful views and abundant wildlife, and good times were anticipated by all.

Matt decided to fly to Salt Lake City from DC. Ben had to attend a conference in Wyoming, so he drove to that, and from there spent a week hiking and camping alone before making his way to the wedding venue. The rest of us thought, “hey, Salt Lake City isn’t very far away! Let’s drive! Together! Through the night! It will be like a giant moving sleepover!

We had a plan.

We’d leave at 10 pm, Pacific Time, in our red minivan. Jenny would drive for the first three hours or so, then Dad would take a shift, and then Amy. By 11 am Mountain Time, we’d be in Salt Lake City, after 12 hours of driving.

I got in the front passenger seat to keep Jenny awake. We started the van, and began backing out of the driveway.

“Wait!” said Amy. “Is one of our tires low? This van is vibrating like one of our tires is low.”

Jenny stopped the van. Dad got out and checked. No, none of the tires were low. We got back in and backed the rest of the way out of the driveway.

Amy, Steven, Mom, and Dad relaxed in their seats and tried to go to sleep. I relaxed in my seat and tried not to go to sleep. It was hard. I was tired, it was near my bedtime, and the van, despite its tendency to vibrate more than usual, was lulling me to sleep. “Are you okay if I sleep a little?” I asked Jenny.

“Please don’t sleep,” said Jenny. “When I asked Dad where to go he said to ‘Get on the 205,’ and then he went to sleep, and I’m not exactly sure what he means.”

And so our trip began, with Jenny driving and me navigating. Just to be clear, my version of “navigating” was to say, “hmm, I think I-205 takes off of I-5 around exit 283…nope, I guess not, there’s no signs for it…oh, there’s a sign, it’s exit 288.” There’s signs for everything these days; who needs a GPS? Who even needs a map?

In Portland we got onto I-84, and began a midnight drive along the Columbia River Gorge. This was the area that got destroyed so terribly in the Eagle Creek Fire, and I strained my eyes through the faint smoky haze that still hung in the air, trying to assess the damage. Against the full moon I saw trees. Trees with leaves. So perhaps they were mostly undamaged after all? The ones along the road at least?

The exits to Multnomah Falls were blocked off. We rounded a corner, and suddenly the trees stood stark and black against the sky, just for a short stretch, and then we saw leaves again.

I was so curious to see how it looked by daylight. But like all wise men, we ended up returning by another way, so I never saw.

Jenny began to grow a little tired. “Hey look, I think that’s a dam!” she said of the white structure to our left that glowed oddly in the moonlight. I squinted at it for a second, puzzled by its oddly train-like appearance, when Jenny corrected herself. “Oh wait, that’s just a train,” she said sheepishly.

Dad woke up around 1 am. “You ready for me to take over?”

I don’t know about Jenny, but I sure was. Jenny and I moved to the middle, Mom and Dad moved up front, and I tried to sleep.

The odd vibrations of the van made sleep difficult at first, but I managed eventually. I slept for hours and hours, waking only when it was Amy’s turn to drive and Jenny and I moved to the back seat.

When I woke up it was Friday morning, and we were a good ways through Idaho. With greasy hair and un-brushed teeth, we had just a few more hours of driving until we’d reach Salt Lake City, and after that, a few more hours to kill before we could get into our rental house.

But I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.

 

Why Personality Tests Always Misdiagnose Me

IMG_0448

I struggled through years of taking personality tests that gave me absurd results. They told me I was an ENFP, a Sanguine, a 9 on the Enneagram, and then I’d read the description for what “I was” and it never sounded anything like me.

“Don’t overthink it. Go with your gut,” people told me. So I’d take another one, get similarly silly results, and roll my eyes in frustration and annoyance.

I assumed that the problem was the false dichotomy of the questions. “Do you enjoy parties, or would you rather stay at home in your PJ’s?” they would ask. Can’t someone legitimately enjoy both?

I wrote a slightly rant-ey blog post about it, and all the Myers-Briggs-obsessed people came swarming out of the woodwork, insisting that I must give it another try, and I need to make sure I don’t overthink the answers, and I will get it figured out and feel so understood.

I thought they’d completely missed the point of the post.

It was inescapable, though. Once the personality people have you in their sights, they don’t let you go until they figure out what you are. During a sleepover with my friend Sarah Beth, we read over brief descriptions of every. single. one. of the 16 Myers Briggs types, until we landed on one that actually sounded a little bit like me: The INTP.

“The INTP personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being ‘common,'” we read out loud from the 16 Personalities website. Then we burst into gales of laughter. Finally, a personality description that fit me.

Once I’d “found myself,” so to speak, I became one of those personality people who tries to type everyone they meet. My friend Esta and I talked endlessly of personalities, typing all of our family and friends. Then we moved on to the Enneagram. Tests once again epicly failed me, but again, after studying the different types and discussing it with Esta I figured out that I’m a 5.

Last Wednesday I was at the ACE teacher convention, and I was listening to a talk on how to handle stress based on your personality type. The first thing the speaker did was have us take a short, 6-question test to figure out what Enneagram type we were. “Now don’t overthink it!” she said, pulling the quiz up on the screen.

For the first time, I was taking a personality test backwards, knowing the outcome before I’d even completed the questions. I saw the difference between what I knew my answers were and what my quick, automatic responses might have been. And suddenly I saw the problem. The reason I always got misdiagnosed.

I LISTENED TO THE PEOPLE WHO TOLD ME NOT TO OVERTHINK IT.

And you know what?

Every single person who ever told me not to overthink it was a Feeler, not a Thinker, on the Myers Briggs scale.

For example, one question asked, “What is your biggest fear?” Of the nine options, three stood out to me: not being loved, being overwhelmed, and being abandoned. I don’t like being overwhelmed, I don’t like it when people march off and abandon me, and of course not being loved sounds pretty nasty. In an effort to not overthink it, I probably would have scribbled down “being abandoned” and moved on.

However, after pondering it for quite some time, I realized that while abandonment and not being loved sound like they’d be nasty if they happened, I’m never actually afraid that they will happen. Ever.

But once, when I was sick with West Nile, I mustered up my strength and tried to go to a youth event. There was a fog in my head, and people were talking and laughing and I couldn’t follow the conversations or figure out what was going on. And it was awful.

That night I lay awake, terrified to my core that this would be my life. “I’m afraid of not being able to process amazing things as they happen.” I wrote in the dark corners of my diary.

I was afraid of being overwhelmed. But when that question popped up on the screen,  my “gut” didn’t immediately know that I’m afraid of being overwhelmed. I had to think about it for a while. Remember the incident. Recall that it was being overwhelmed that I was afraid of, even though I didn’t call it that.

So, the final point I will leave you with is this: If the results of your personality tests don’t make sense, try overthinking it.

The Death of a Beautiful Place

When people die we remember all the meaningful moments we had with them, even if we didn’t know them well, and when beautiful places die we do the same thing.

As the horrible Eagle Creek fire destroys the Columbia River Gorge, I remember the last time I was there, and what I felt, and how meaningful it was. I almost blogged about it at the time, because it was such a beautiful experience, but then it was the end of my very last term of college and blogging fell off the priority list.

At the end of last May I went to my cousin’s wedding in Michigan, and then road-tripped home with my brother Ben and my cousin Derek. We left after lunch on Sunday, drove straight through the night, and arrived home Monday evening.

Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana were pleasant enough, although I must admit I slept through a great deal of it. Scrubby at times, perhaps, but at least the temperature was fine. And then we descended into the desert of eastern Washington. What a ghastly place it was that day. Barren, and a thick blanket of heat that my poor failing air conditioner couldn’t begin to combat. We opened windows, and the hot air moved, but didn’t cool us. I spread newspapers over my lap because they absorbed less heat than my black skirt.

But though we were hot, tired, and travel weary, with un-brushed teeth and rumpled clothing, we held out hope for the gorge. Maybe, when we got to Oregon, it would be cooler.

We got closer and closer, and then, as we crossed the bridge into Oregon, across the Columbia River, I felt it. A cool breeze. A cool breeze drifting over the water and into my soul, just for me. All of the sudden life was, again, something manageable.

We drove along I-84 with our windows down. The hot desert was replaced by trees of all species and sizes, and the blue of the Columbia river, and the cool breezes that drifted into our windows.

There was a car accident on I-84, creating a traffic jam, so we zipped off at the nearest exit and drove along the Columbia River Highway for a while.

The Columbia River Highway was the first road through the gorge I believe, but as it was just a regular little road, Interstate 84 was built parallel to it when more and more people began traveling through. I-84, though it has beautiful views, is very much still an ugly man-made rode. The Columbia River Highway, on the other hand, looks like it grew out of the mountain, with trees growing right up alongside the road, and little stone walls instead of guardrails, with moss growing through the cracks.

There was a traffic jam here, too, but I didn’t care because in the shade of the abundant trees, everything was cool and beautiful. Inching along, we soon began to see that this traffic jam was caused, not by overflow traffic from the I-84 accident, but by the giant crowds of people who had come to Multnomah Falls for Memorial Day. The parking lots were filled and overflowing, and people were parked along the side of the road, narrowing it so much that only one lane of people could drive by at a time.

And when we did get a chance to drive by, it didn’t feel like driving down a road, it felt like driving through someone’s yard while they’re hosting their annual neighborhood BBQ. There were people everywhere, and as we inched through them and tried not to hit anybody, I leaned out my window and watched the tall, tall waterfall and felt like I was part of the same grand party.

Multnomah Falls is a funny place. I’ve gone there countless times, and once I even blogged about going, but sometime between my childhood and now it went from being a pretty place to being a TREnDy place, and now it’s splashed across Instagram and always overcrowded. However, once we were past Multnomah and driving down the road like it was a road, again, we passed waterfall after waterfall that were probably just as beautiful, but no one seemed to know about them.

We twisted and turned around the mountains, past waterfalls, over bridges, always under the deep green canopy. And there were views, always views around this corner or that, of the wide river. And such a cool breeze, after that abysmal heat! A simple concept, but there are no words to describe what it does to your soul.

And I thought that I would treasure this forever. I took a few pictures with my phone, because I wanted to remember. I never edited or Instagrammed them, and they didn’t begin to capture the beauty, but I still get an inch of that feeling back when I look at them.

IMG_1504

IMG_1505

IMG_1506

IMG_1507

IMG_1502

They say to tell your loved ones that you love them, because in the blink of an eye, they could be gone. It never occurred to me that places could be the same way. That one day, a fire might destroy these trees, and it would never again look quite like it did that day.

I don’t know what the gorge will look like after this fire.

August 2017 Life Update

As I close out August, I thought I’d do a quick post with a few updates on my life.

My Poor Computer

The internet on my little laptop is not working at all, EXCEPT Youtube works. And Google. But not Gmail. So, needless to say, being limited to the family computer and my little iPhoney does not inspire me to blog frequently.

(If you have any insight into what might be wrong with my laptop, please share. I thought maybe it was a Chrome problem, but Internet Explorer doesn’t work either.)

Stories vs. Opinions

My eclipse story didn’t QUITE break my record for most hits ever in a day (that record is still held by my post on singleness) but it was my most-shared post ever. This got me thinking about how most of my really successful blog posts are opinion posts. But I would much rather be a storyteller than an opinion writer.

The Scarlet Pimpernel 

I backed myself into a corner with this one. I’ll admit that when I posted about finishing classics I secretly hoped that my readers would give me the necessary encouragement to finish, and in the case of The Scarlet Pimpernel that was overwhelmingly true. So I thought I’d read it and report on what I thought, only to discover that I have no real way to talk about my experience of reading it without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it. Oops. Sorry about that.

My Job

I’m starting my “real” job on Tuesday. Our little church school had a huge administration gap when my dad retired as principal last spring, so I was hired as secretary. (Not principal, because I didn’t want to discipline anybody, haha). Anyway, I wanted something part-time so I would also have time to write, and then this fell in my lap, so I took it.

Hopefully this means that more Emily-authored writing will hit the world soon.

Amy

My sister Amy came home from Thailand yesterday, so right now all three of us girls are living at home with no boys. I don’t know how long that will last, as I really would like to get my own place now that the thing-I-do-with-my-time will be earning money, not eating my money. But for now it’s fun.

She is going back to college to get a teaching degree, to make it easier to get a work visa to teach overseas. Which means that every single one of my siblings will be in college this fall, except me. Matt’s getting his master’s degree, Ben’s getting his PHD, Jenny and Amy will be working toward their Bachelor’s, and Steven will be working toward his second Associate’s.

We may not collect spouses or produce children, but we sure do collect degrees, haha.

That’s all. I hope you feel sufficiently updated.