Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Beginning of My First D.C. Trip

We just arrived safe and sound at our nice little hotel "suite" for the first night of my first ever trip to Washington D.C. We had a lovely 4 hour drive from the ATL. Mostly sun. There was really hard rain for about 10 seconds once we got into North Carolina. I think we went under an angry skinny cloud. We had turkey and cheese sandwiches for dinner in the car and listened to Jamiroquai for my leg of the driving. I would love to tell all the exciting details about our four hours in the car, getting gas, putting air in the tires, etc., but I feel more like doing jumping jacks to get the circulation back into my legs! You probably would rather do jumping jacks than hear all about that, anyway.

Two highlights of the trip: Our oil and transmission fluid stayed full! Yay! And on the way out of Atlanta, we stopped in Duluth and got tickets for the October appearance of the So You Think You Can Dance Tour!!!! I never thought I'd follow a reality show, but I couldn't help falling in love with the contestants--they are so much fun to watch and so talented. Ok, I won't start another rant, but it certainly makes the first day of our trip exciting. Have a good night, y'all.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

public speaking for a writer

I know many people have an aversion to speaking in front of a crowd, but none more than writers, I think. The whole reason we write in the first place is because we express our deepest thoughts best through the written word. We ponder over each word, we bleed onto the page, the letters have our own DNA.

Personally, I have a hard time finding the right word when I'm talking one-on-one to somebody. I pause, I stumble, I embarrass myself. It's that much harder when I speak in front of multiple people. Yet, I did it! Yesterday I gave a short message about discipleship at youth group. It couldn't have been longer than 10 minutes, but I was anxious about it all day. Thankfully, on the way to youth group, the tightness in my stomach left, and I was left with a confidence not in myself but in God's ability to take my delivery and speak to each student what they needed to hear. I still blanked out at one point and had to figure out what I was supposed to talk about next. I still had that compulsive nervous swallow in the middle of a couple sentences. Why does that happen anyway? I should look it up.

Anyway, I had a lot of people praying for me to get me over the hurdle of the first "public speech" since freshman year of college. I know I needed to hear what I talked about, so if nothing else, I learned a lot from doing this. I think I get to speak at youth group again in September. Here we go!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Formula 1 Family

OK, so this is a little belated, but I realized I've never written about our famliy trip to Indy for the Formula 1 races. I don't recall ever being to an Indy car, Nascar, or any other kind of car race, and I'm pretty sure any time they were on TV I said Boring and changed the channel. Well, in June I got the opportunity to experience F1 racing with the only experts I know--my dad and brothers. It was also the first vacation I've been on with my parents, both of my brothers, and their wives. Andrew came too. We had bleacher seats on corner 6, full sun, 90 degree weather, and raving fans all around. I was surprised at the energy among the fans. This was no beer-guzzling, wife-beater-wearing, redneck sport (pardon my french); this was a cross-cultural international experience. (There was definitely beer-guzzling going on, but it was mostly Fosters.) I got chills as the cars made their first lap, despite the clear skies and unobstructed UV rays. The screaming engines, the insane acceleration around the curves, and the sheer technologic engineering creativity--all add up to a surprisingly amazing sport. One of the favorite drivers was Lewis Hamilton, a guy about my age. They did interviews on Friday (this was a whole-weekend thing), and Hamilton had so much poise and eloquence. He didn't seem full of himself, and he sounded like a seasoned celebrity. Anyhow, I was thoroughly wooed to the sport of Formula 1 racing.

It was cool just to experience that with my brothers and their wives, who I don't get to see very often. Spending that time with them, going out to fun restaurants with them, getting birthday goodies from them :) all made the weekend 100% more fun. I don't know if I'll be able to go again, but I'll remember that family vacation forever.