Thursday, November 30, 2006


I am in Charlotte, NC for the last of the four Youth Specialties' Conventions. It's nice to see my 'exhibit booth buddies' who are quasi-friends based on the fact that I've seen them more in November than I've seen my roommate. (I'd like to give a shout-out to the peeps of Easy Worship, Bigstuf Camps, Reach Workcamps, Time Ministries...)

I'm tired, and I don't feel like I should be. But--when I say that, I say, "Heather. You've been in Washington, California, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina in the past thirty days...and you've slept in eight different beds. You are allowed to be tired for no other reason than that alone."

So. Here I am kicking it in the amazing lobby of the Westin Charlotte, and I'm excited to start the last of the four conventions. Tomorrow, Havaleh (my best friend from high school) is coming to spend the day at the convention too! Fun!

There's so much anticipation--like--I'm going to meet a few future YD staff this weekend...

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Home Office

Am sitting in kitchen of parents' home in Ohio on my laptop and cell phone communicating with YD Office in Washington and Youth Specialties in California and friend Havaleh in North Carolina to hash out logistics for YS Convention in Charlotte, which begins on Thursday.

Feel very much like trendy jet-setter / road warrior...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Life on the Road

I've been living beyond Washington for the last eleven days, voyaging through Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania...and before the trip concludes, I'll be in North Carolina.

What in the world! All of this while my job title is being a missionary to Pacific Northwest youth!

The third of the four Youth Specialties' conventions was last weekend in Cincinnati, and it was by far our most productive convention in gathering leads for staff. Our biggest draw to the booth was Baby Caedmon Rider (Jade's son whom I blogged about last month.) All the booths around us were using sign-ups for "Win an iPod" to get people to their we stuck a sign on Caedmon's stroller that said, "Sign Up to Win a Baby." People would giggle and ask us baby-related questions, and then we could tell them about the ministry...I have pictures...but my cable to upload them is in Washington, so you must wait in suspense.

Sarah and I's adventure of sharing a hotel with Jade and 8-week-old Baby Barth proved to be pretty fun. He slept through the night all week and only cried as Jade strapped him into his carseat for our drive to Muncie, Indiana after the convention. I'm praying right now for God to gift me such mellow/non-crying babies (since I know I was colicky and fussy myself.)

After the convention was a three-day excursion through Indiana to visit friends in Muncie and at Taylor. It was so fantastic to trudge across TU's campus, visit chapel, hang out in the Union, talk with Prof's, visit Admissions, and miss my community in Upland...

And for the past four days, I've been bumming around C-town with the family, enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, family football (in competition for the "Casey Cup"--photos also pending), and lots of good hang-out time watching football and putting up Christmas decorations.

Wednesday I fly to North Carolina for YS Convention #4, thus ending my fall travels.

Yesterday I was talking to Heidi and homesick for Washington. I miss my bed and my books and my car and Heidi and I's house.

Blogging will probably be not happening much until I return to Washington the first week of December. If you're missing me, please visit Homestar Runner and watch Teen Girl Squad. It's essentially what I would write if I were posting blogs anyways.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The flooding in Washington has done interesting things to all of our rivers.

Here's my beloved Wenatchee River at 35,000 cfs (cubic feet per second.) For comparison's sake--the highest I've ever guided on the Wenatchee is at around 12,000 is bigger...

The Land of No-Phone

Offices become eerily quiet when the phones are disconnected for four days.

I think I could get used to this...

Monday, November 13, 2006

AAAAAHHHH! And I'm going to be in Ohio. What more is there to say, really?

Christmas is Coming

Okay. I have a confession...I really love that all the Christmas decorations are starting to go up. Yes, for sure, I could do without the commercials...but I really, really love Christmas decorations and candy canes.

Over the weekend I enjoyed my first candy cane of the season, and I've been listening to songs from Over the Rhine's new Christmas album this morning.

And I really love that Starbucks has the Christmas decor up already. This reminds me of spending a late-November weekend in New York with Danara in Fall 2003...when we hung out at a Starbuck's and roasted s'mores at Cosi's...and for whatever reason, that weekend represents so much good Christmas nostalgia.

Mom said that we're going to put up the Christmas decorations next weekend while Sean, Rachel, and I are all home for Thanksgiving. I love the idea of putting up ye-olde-ornaments with Barbra Streisand singing, "Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Jingle Bell" and reminiscing with Sean about our favorite presents of Christmas past...(which certainly includes our beloved kids still get excited about getting interlocking PVC pipes for Christmas? I don't think so...)

So...Scrooges...if it's too early for you to celebrate Christmas, feel free to direct some candy canes my way.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Highlights from Anaheim...

I spent six days within sight of Disneyland, and I did not go there...and I was ten miles from the Pacific Ocean, and I did not go there either...

...but I did spend a lot of hours in the Anaheim Convention Center, where protesters stood outside with signs that said, "Youth Specialties Sends People to Hell." (The best part about the sign was that the part at the top that said "Youth Specialties" was not a permanent part of the sign...meaning that the picketer probably writes out a different organizational name to protest each week...I'm sure it would be funny to show up next week when his sign says, "The Organization of Real Estate Professionals sends people to hell" or something like that...)

We did what we came to do: talk to people about working for YD. Over the six days, we have five people seriously interested in being an Area Director, another ten people seriously interesting in being on full-time staff, and 19 people interested in summer staff and/or internships. Wowzer!

I felt 247% better about the logistics of everything, having a much better idea of what to expect this time around. We ended up with a spot on the corner, which meant a little more traffic. And I ordered this bright red carpet, which shone as brightly as the sun, beckoning passersby...and--best of all, I eased the logistics of my next two conventions by having everything shipped directly from the Anaheim show site straight to the Cincinnati show site! Woo woo! This means I did not have to cart excessively heavy luggage on my way home from Anaheim!

My numero uno favorite surprise visitor for the week was Scott Greene, who was the Camp Director at Camp Adventure in Indiana during my internship there in Summer of 2001. I told him that to this day, he's still my favorite boss, which is true. Because he taught me a lot about empowerment--and--how to get your staff excited about Junior High ministry by blasting Petra in their ears at 7am on a summer morning. It was definitely fantastic to talk with him!

The most entertaining evening of the whole event was on Sunday night when the YD staff team got together for a final hurrah dinner. We ended up at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney (which I describe as Easton or Alderwood on speed.) We were having a pretty fun night, chilling in the rainforest and eating schmancy appetizers.

Then, I realized the men around me had started to go crazy. My coworkers Bethany and Teresa had taken off early to go to a concert, and I was left at a table with eight of my coworkers, seven of whom were wifeless married men. Within a few moments, all of the pent up "being good and being professional" seemed to get to them, and they disintegrated into the mentality of junior high boys. Kevin sprayed water all over me...Aaron and Joel were competing in a credit card tossing competition, and Eric was on the verge of breaking an expensive-looking 6-foot tall space heater. The moral of the story? If you're ever with a group of two girls and eight guys (seven of whom who've spent six days without the supervision of their wives), and the other two girls take off, go with them. Seriously.

And now I've returned to Mount Vernon, which is flooding. I haven't been inconvenienced by it, really, which is funny because we definitely live in the flood plain...and we definitely live less than fifty feet from the river...and the river level is easily higher than our house's foundation right now...all to say, Praise God for sturdy dikes...

here's a photo of Heidi's wonder dog, Max, staking out the flooding and ensuring that he'll protect us from encroaching waters...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Skagit River Flooding

I returned from Anaheim yesterday to discover that the entire Northwest is flooding. Here's footage I shot of the "World's Largest Log Jam" as it traveled down the Skagit River. This was taken on the north side of the dike, which is about fifty feet from my backyard...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I can see Disneyland from the hotel window...

...this freaks me out a bit, because you can't see Disney World from hotel windows.

The convention starts in 90 minutes. Things are ready-set-go.

I'm excited...

...pray for us!