August 30, 2009

see you soon

(photo by Jen Beckman)

I'm gone for a few days. Be back soon, promise. I'm snuggling with my neice and nephew and doing my best to make them laugh. That must take precidence over blogging. And I don't have a laptop either. I know....what a lame-o.

August 28, 2009

write it down before I forget

This summer, I was one of the people in charge of doing the island trip. The island trip was only for our senior (11-15yrs) campers. Tuesday we took the girls. Thursday, the boys. The island trip was basically just another opportunity for the kids to do more water activities like banana boating and tubing and maybe a jet ski ride. We go to this island (that has been shrinking every year because of erosion) that is just up the river from our camp. It has a decent sized beach with absolutely nothing on it but trees. Perfect for dropping off the kids and letting the run around for a few hours.

At the end of one of the boy's island days, I was making one of the normal runs back to camp. My boat was filled with 10 people (me, campers and counselors). We pile the kids in to shuttle them back and forth from the island. Ten people is the max in the Moomba, the boat I was driving this particular day. This means that there are kids in every seat available. They are sandy, sweaty and usually have their hands full of towels and candy or drinks. Once I get them loaded on, I quickly announce the normal amusement park ride rules "no arms, legs, hand or feet outside of the boat at anytime. and stay seated." Sometimes the kids are grumpy because they are tired and it's HOT and they want to be back on dry land in their "cool" clothes. Then other times they are happy, laughing and enjoying every minute of their fast boat ride.

So, as we pull away from the island and head into the river, I see the kid in front of my windshield look at me and say something. It's so windy that I can't hear him, so I ask him to repeat what he said. This was our conversation...

"Miss Cottage Girl (no, he didn't use that name. He used my real name.)"

"Yes, B??"

"Can we sing a song on our way back?" (note: B is a 15 year old boy.)

Big smile from me and a laugh. "Sure, what would you like to sing?"

"Oh, I don't know. What do you think?"

"How about you sing your favorite song." (thinking I would hear 50 Cent or one of the other bazillion rappers I know nothing about)


Then he, no lie, began singing...
"Just a small town girl,
Livin' in a lonely world,
She took the midnight train goin' any where."

I could not stop laughing for about 20 seconds as he belted out the entire first verse. Then I joined in and we sang (screamed so you could hear us over the wind) that song the entire way back to camp. He was smiling and weaving his head back and forth enjoying every minute of it. The rest of the boys were looking at us like we were crazy. Who cares?!

This kid was one of my very favorites this summer. He was here for 5 weeks. He laughed, sang, was polite, funny, caring and just adorable. His mom told us over and over that he just loved it here and kept asking to come back again and again. I can't wait till he is old enough to work here and watch God use him in some amazing ways.

One of my favorite memories from this summer. I still get a huge smile when I think about it.

August 27, 2009


(photo by: La caitlin)

* I totally want hair like this.

August 26, 2009

Soon and very soon

Have I mentioned that I miss my brother?


Not in the last 2 hours?

Cause I do.

A whole, whole lot.

But the light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel.
The wait is getting closer to being over.
I'm going to MAKE him give me a hug.
A good one.
Like he really means it.

Hear that, mister.
I expect an airport greeting like the ones on that montage at the end of Love Actually.
Music playing.
Flowers (for me, of course)
Maybe some tears
Not too much to ask, is it?

August 25, 2009

it's finally hit me

At the end of every summer that I have been at camp, I have come upon "that time." "That time" that is hard to explain to anyone else unless they have lived through the same summer I have. I know that sounds snobby and rude. I know it does. Sorry. But it's kinda true.

You see, camp takes it OUT of you. In good ways, mostly. In ways that make you contemplate and mull over life. In ways that make you stare off into space for long periods of time right in the middle of when you are supposed to be DOING something. God is rolling about 2.5 million thoughts around in your head on any given day, reminding you of things that happened just a few weeks ago. Suddenly these things are beginning to make sense in the context of your life and not just the moment that they happened.

And then there is the MISSING. That's the worst part. You are making discoveries and learning new things and the actual PEOPLE you want to share it with are scattered across the globe. And they are usually having the same feelings and not able to share them either.

This all sounds like I'm talking in code, doesn't it? I wish I could explain it better. I wish I was gifted with words and could pen my thoughts eloquently. I wish that I could write what is going on in my heart, but I can't. And maybe that's just how He wants it. HE wants to be the author. HE wants to be the one who GIVES the me the words and the knowledge. HE wants me to stop trying so desperately to figure things out and just let HIM move and work and change.

And slowly, ever so slowly, I'm finally getting it.
It's hit me.
It's not about me.
It's about being less of me.

August 23, 2009

little ones

Wanted to share this post I read today on Mary Beth Chapman's blog. Big crocodile tears streaming down my face by the end. Wow.

ps...I heard SCC's newest single on the radio yesterday. It's called Heaven in the Face. It was playing when I was supposed to be working. I couldn't do anything but stand still and just listen to the words and choke back tears. You can read part of the lyrics here.

That family continues to be on my heart....

August 22, 2009

Aquatics staff 2009

We all:
  • had fun this summer.
  • had tans.
  • had mosquito/fly bites.
  • used lots and lots of sunscreen
  • used lots and lots of lotion
  • miss the water, the kids and each other (at least I do).

August 21, 2009

blog updates

(Oh, Vancouver. I adore you)

Cottage Girl is bigger than ever. I finally figured out how to make my template bigger. Quite a chore to get it right. This means bigger pictures. Yes!!!!

I was feeling all music-eee tonight, so I decided to add a playlist to the right sidebar just for fun. It's totally random. Weird mix of songs I like. I'll change it every once in a while. Grooveshark is the best for music.

I'm still working on a few small things, but it's nice to clean house every once in a while. Get all those cobwebs out of the corners, you know? I'm feeling very inspired after watching way too much Project Runway last night. I just want create and decorate everything. If only I could make my own clothes. Oh, what a happy girl I would be....

August Flickr faves

August favorites, originally uploaded by cottagegirl1.

Hello, big photo.

It appears that I'm into granny squares, vintageness and fun colors at the moment.
There is something so neat about scrolling through your favorites and seeing a theme. Kinda makes me feel less crazy and all over the place.

August 20, 2009

book nerd

Just realized today that this paper delight comes out in less than 2 weeks!! Eeeeeekkk!!

For those of you who are scratching your heads say "huh?" is the sequel to this

If you haven't read The Hunger Games, you must! It's a great mix of original story and characters you can love and hate. I think I read it in 2 sittings. Just couldn't put it down. I've recommended it to several friends, and they have done the same thing.

I'm currently reading Zot! The Complete Black and White Collection.

I've been quite taken with comics lately. This one is really fantastic. The story is about a girl who lives on our Earth and a boy named Zot, who is lives in a parallel Earth. He is like a super hero and she is normal high school girl, who jumps back and forth to this other universe to see her friend. I really like it and the simplicity of its beautiful black and white drawing. Found it on my local library shelf.

What are you reading?

August 18, 2009

Repeat this day please...

I so wish that I had taken (or been able to) take more photos this summer. This one, which may seem so odd and silly to you has so many great hidden meanings.

Wish I could go back and have one more Free Time. Sit in my chair next to S. Laugh at kids all around us. Stick our feet in the river while it was HOT all around us. Laugh, talk and just enjoy the evening.

Oh, I'm missing it so much today!

August 17, 2009

teach yourself

(granny square by Rachel via the RVA blog)

I've learned almost all of my crafty skills by teaching myself. One big exception is crocheting. My mom taught me when I was, oh, I don't know, maybe 13 or 14.

The last 2 nights I've been brushing off my skills and teaching myself to do granny squares. It's only taken a few tries, and now I think I've got it. It's so very easy and almost soothing.

Never been really big into the aesthetics of the granny square, but I've been scouring Flickr and craft blogs and have found a few patterns and color combos that have changed my mind. We'll see where it takes me.

August 16, 2009

You should read this

It's inspiring and moving and humbling all at the same time. Read Katie's latest post on her blog.

Oh, how much I would love to go there and see those precious children! Especially the one whose picture hangs in my room. Support a child through Amazima. It's amazing to see how God opens your heart in ways you never expected!

August 15, 2009

Lost and Found score

Every once in a while I hit the jackpot with the left over summer camp lost-and-found.

Like this gem.


Need a closer look?

Be still my heart.

Spaceships and aliens, boys. Spaceships and aliens. It's the key to this girl's heart. it sad that I can pretty much quote this entire 9 minute clip? I can't even count how many times I've watched this movie since I was a little, little kid. It's in my top 5. I wanted to marry Han Solo.

August 14, 2009


A lesson I am learning in a much deeper way this year. It's almost embarrassing to realize how much your things over take your life. Trying to be better about that by buying less and giving more in so many different areas of my life.

August 13, 2009


This has been pretty much all I've listened to in the last 3 weeks.

Yes, it's just that good.

I get chills and stare off into space for moments at a time because of how hauntingly beautiful it is.

I think this CD has solidified Bear in the top 2 of my favorite composers of all time. And the fact that he asked his fans what song they wanted and then delivered above and beyond with a 2CD set. So say we all.

August 12, 2009

(photo by: Dude Crush)

"One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdowns is the belief that one's work is terribly important. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important."
-Bertrand Russell philosopher

No, I'm not suffering from an impending nervous breakdown. Nor do I believe that working in ministry is not important. It changes lives for eternity for goodness sake. But after 10 weeks of the high stress of camp, I am quite ready for a vacation.

August 11, 2009

For Lindsey

You know why.
Miss you...

August 08, 2009

Had this in my saved box for a while and keep forgetting to post it. Have you tried Mad Men Yourself yet? It's really quite fun!

Of course you won't look as good as these lovely ladies...

I instantly recognized the artwork on the website because I've had this saved in my Flickr faves for a while now.

I just LOVE Dyna Moe's illustrations. Oh, how I wish I could draw like that.

I'm trying to finish Season 2 via Netflix before the new season starts on Sunday. My favorite character....

I also love how sassy she is...

And I equally love and hate this guy....I do love this photo though and Betty's dress and their headboard. And the yellow tint.

It's such a beautifully designed show all around. Creepy and twisted, but pretty to look at.

Hello, 1920's

And of course I had to include this one just once more. Oh, King Kong, I still drool over your beautiful costumes.

August 07, 2009

So happy I won't have to say goodbye to ALL my new friends today...

Some of them are STAYING ALL YEAR. Hip-hip-hurray!

And I'll finally get to see my friends...

and roommate again.

We finish tonight.
10 weeks = quick as a wink.
Now to wait 9 more months for it to all happen again.
Goodbye, Summer 2009.
My 11th year here at camp.
You were one of my very favorites.
What beautiful memories and lessons you gave me.

August 06, 2009

Help needed...

So, I finished Ender's Game this week. Got sucked in and sat for an hour speed reading to finish it before I had to be on the beach. While it won't be among my most beloved books of all time, I really enjoyed it! The sci-fi nerd in me was in spaceship heaven.
Now, that I'm finished and closed the cover, I'm craving more. My question is for any of you that may have read the series already (SO excited there are more!). Should I read them in the order they were written or in chronological order? I've heard that the author says it really doesn't matter. Should I finish out the Game series or jump into the Shadow series? Are there some books I can skip and read later and some that I MUST read now?

Ok, that's enough book nerd speak. If you've never read it, I DO recommend it (as The Bro did to me). So creative and imaginative. There is something about spaceships and aliens that makes me positively giddy inside.

August 05, 2009

Laugh it up, fuzzball

The Bro and I were talking about this last night on the phone and I just had to pull them up and watch them today. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

Enjoy the wonder of Laser Cats...

August 03, 2009

Only at camp...

That song will never be the same again.

(background: we have an event called Air Jam every year for one of our big Friday Night events. Two cabin's pair up and perform some type of lip-sync/dance. It's hysterical. This particular number was a surprise for everyone. It's 2 of my favorite counselors, our programming coordinator and this one. It's most likely the last year for one of them and he wanted to go out with a bang. Hence he dressed in a neon leotard and danced to Single Ladies. Of course. The kids went crazy.)

August 01, 2009

Cottage Girl is...

already dreading the Friday goodbyes.
Especially with this (see above) one.
Tonight, I had a near meltdown as I thought about everyone that will most likely be having their last week at camp forever.
I have to stop.
The lump in my throat is getting worse by the minute!
It's Emotional-Basket-Case-Week around here.
Anyone else wanna join in?!!