Dream Vacation!

Today is the last day of Jenna’s Commenting Challenge! 🙂

It’s been fun to meet new people and I’ve gotten so many ideas from you all! 🙂

Today’s Topic: Tell us about your dream vacation! Where would you go? Have you been there before? Who would go with you? What about it draws you in?

As fun and interesting as some of the places I’ve been are, I think my dream vacation will always be some destination that I’ve not yet been. I’ve been collecting places I want to go for a LONG time. At the top of my list are:

The Holy Land
Grey Bear in the Holy Land

Rome
St Peter's Square

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Galapagos Islands
Sally Lightfoot Crabs - Galapagos Islands

Paris
Paris Exposition: Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900

Moscow
Moscow at night

Thailand
Thailand Buddha

China
Guilin fisherman - China

New Zealand
New Zealand - Lake Hawea

The South Pole (How many people can say they’ve been THERE?!?!) 🙂
South Pole Landscape

As much fun as I have traveling, it’s always better to be traveling with friends. So, if you are up for it, let me know! I tend to pop off at a moment’s notice! In fact, I keep my passport on me most days. 🙂

What I Love To Do!

Today is Day 4 of Jenna’s Commenting Challenge! 🙂

Today’s Topic: Tell us about your hobbies! What do you do in your free time? What are your favorite books, movies, music etc?

I love photography! I take a camera (or two, or three if you count my phone) with me wherever I go! 🙂 This usually means that I end up with hundreds of pictures of things I’ve photographed a billion times over, but I don’t mind. 🙂 What I shoot mostly are probably flowers, but I would love to take portraits and travel pics. Which leads me to another favorite hobby:

I love traveling! I will go anywhere! I love beaches and things like this, but if it’s interesting, I will seriously go anywhere. Some of my favorite places have been:

Jamaica
DSCN6343

Gorgeous Water - DSCN6619

Hawaii
World's Largest Aloha Shirt

Australia
DSCN2111

I also love to read and will read whatever’s put in front of me. My favorite reading of late has been Catholic non-fiction. Theology and spiritual reading. I guess it’s a good thing that I am working on my Master’s degree in Theology, or else I’d just look like a big nerd… 🙂 Which I totally am.

Lately, I’m very restricted in the physical activities which I can do, but I love to rollerblade and have a trampoline in my back yard. I also like playing volleyball when I can get a group of friends together. Tennis and golf are fun, too. Oh! But SWIMMING! I love swimming! It’s hard to pull me away from the water! I’ve been known to take naps in the pool.

I like going to the movies, too! I have a wide range of things that I will see: comedies, dramas, action, thriller, etc. I am, however, getting out of the horror flick genre. I used to watch this all the time as a kid. Not quite sure why. But I just don’t have the interest in it that I used to. And popcorn is usually a must. Except if you happen to be watching “For Greater Glory.” Then, don’t buy popcorn. In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t eat right before or right after the movie. Amazing movie, though.

I love to dance, I love hanging out with my friends, I love going to Mass, I love amusement parks (Rollercoasters!), I love…

I love a lot!

How about you?

Socially Speaking…

Day 3 of Jenna’s Commenting Challenge has arrived! 🙂

I would say that so far the challenge has done for me what it’s intended to do… So far, I’ve read 52 people’s blogs and left comments for them. I’m pretty sure my comments seem a little generic (I was responding to the introductions), but I quite enjoyed meeting everyone. I know we are only “supposed” to read/comment on 10 per day, but my goal is to read something of each person on the list.

Today’s blog topic: Tell us about your social media! Where can we find you? Link to your twitter, pinterest, Facebook, instagram, or google +. If you don’t use these sites, then tell us why not!

Also, what are your favorite websites? Are there any that you check daily? What do you like about them?

Looks like I am all on up on my social media! LOL!
Twitter? Check.
Pinterest? Check.
Facebook? Check.
Instagram? Check. [I’ve only ever used this on my phone. Can you see it on a web page? I can’t get a link…]
Google+? Check.
St. Blog’s Blog? Check.
WordPress Blog? Check.
Blogspot Blog? Check.
Livejournal Blog? Check.
Tumblr Blog? Check.
Foursquare? Check.
YouTube? Check.
Vimeo? Check.
Qik? Check.
Flickr? Check.
Evernote? Check.
StudyBlue? Check.
Goodreads? Check.

I’m sure there’s more out there, but this is what I can recall off the top of my head. 🙂
I suppose I’m a pretty social person. I took a temperament test. It said that I was a sanguine-choleric. So maybe that explains something about me.

Basically, if you type my “name” (CadyLy) into Google… At least the first 10 pages, excluding maybe the foreign language ones, are me. 🙂

As far as what web pages I read… I have some of my favorite blogs loaded onto my Google Reader, but to be honest, I don’t read it every day. The nice thing is that Google will collect them for me there, so I don’t miss anything when I do pop on.

Facebook is probably my most used social media site. I look at it as the CNN of what matters most — the people I know and love. 🙂

Wherefore Art Thou, Blog?

Welcome to Day 2 of Jenna’s Commenting Challenge!

Today’s blog topic: Tell us about your blog. What do you blog about? Why do you blog? How did you start blogging? What kinds of things do you/are you willing to share with the world? Where do you find your topic inspiration? (Hint: Don’t share about your social media just yet!)

I actually have quite a few blogs going. Unfortunately, I tend to keep myself busy, so I don’t update them nearly as often as I’d like! 🙂 This particular blog is my “number two” blog. I created it not too long ago as a place to document all of my adventures.

I have a real passion for life and adventure. My mom said that from when I was a little girl, I would be willing to go anywhere with anyone. I would ask people their names, so they wouldn’t be “strangers” and I’d be able to talk to them without getting in trouble. Without really knowing what I was getting into, I joined the Navy. I have packed a lot of experiences into my life, and I like to think that I’m still fairly young. The world with all it’s beauty and delights beckons to me and I long to see and take in it all.

But.

About two years ago, I started noticing my capacity for running diminishing. I was getting short of breath very quickly. It was so bad that I could only run for maybe 2 house-lengths. I started having chest pain. I went to the doctor. Over the next several months, I became a frequent visitor to the ER. I was admitted one night and they kept me for a few days doing all sorts of cardiac and pulmonary tests. I had all kinds of scary diagnoses thrown in my direction as the doctors tried to figure out what was going on. Congestive heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension. What was it?

After ruling these out, my doctors began to suspect a mitochondrial process. At the time, I was working as a secretary for three surgeons at U of M. So, although the muscle biopsy which would confirm the diagnosis is normally performed by a neurosurgeon, I asked one of my surgeons to perform the operation. He’s always looking for something new and interesting, right? Just after Christmas, I went under the knife. Or, well, the scalpel. 🙂

I had the results read by two neurologists, one a U of M doctor and the other outside of the U of M community. Both came back with the same diagnosis: I have a neuromuscular disorder, a mitochondrial myopathy. There are different kinds of mitochondrial myopathies. Mine seems to be most closely identified with the one called MELAS. This disease looks differently in each patient, so there wasn’t too much specific information that could be offered me.

Except that this is progressive. And terminal. And there is no cure or treatment.

So, while I always enjoyed life, now I have more reason to document it. That, and I like people and I love sharing! 🙂 I hope you stay and poke around and see what trouble I get into next! 🙂

Oh. Wait. There’s more questions up there, isn’t there? Okay. Um. There’s not much that I *wouldn’t* share with the world. I mean, we are all going to be united in the Divine Life in Heaven, right? If we’re all going to be friends there, why not start now? Seriously. Why not?

Inspiration. Hmm. I guess I don’t really worry about this. Usually, I am either (a) busy or (b) sick, so I am back-logged on the things that I want to blog about. This has gotten so bad that I’ve even taken to writing what I intend to blog about on my to-do list on my calendar. 🙂

Commenting Challenge Commences!

DSCN3008

My friend Stacy is participating in a Commenting Challenge to help her get to know some of the other bloggers out there. I’m always up for participation in fun things, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

What about me? You can call me Jenn or Jennie. I’m not a fan of my full name and only use it in an official or legal capacity. I am currently single. I have been civilly married and divorced, but the Church found my marriage to have been null. It feels like a lifetime ago, and in a way, it was. I live by myself in a house in the suburbs. I’m not sure how much or how little to say in this little introduction. If I had to describe myself, I suppose I would say that I’m a truly happy person. And that I love deeply. I giggle a lot and tend to spontaneity.

And… that’s the short, short version!

I’m looking forward to meeting you all! 🙂

The Supreme Purpose

DSCN3039

This week’s theme is on purpose. Today, they are talking about being called to do something. Perhaps something out of our comfort zone, or that we don’t particularly wish to do. They distinguish between calls. If the call causes us to run away from God, then it surely wasn’t an authentic call *from* God. He would never call us to something which causes us to pull away from Him, since our supreme calling is to be His son or daughter. God’s call is always one which draws us in further to the Divine Life. It’s a good reminder for the discernment we should make about all of our activities.

Is this drawing me closer to the Lord? Is it pulling me away from Him? Am I growing in love? Or is my heart slowly being hardened?

Protect your heart. It’s one of the most human things about you. And one of the most precious. But you can’t protect it by putting it in a glass case on display. A heart can only survive if it is used and shared. It’s a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, if it is not used, then it will atrophy. In fact, if a muscle is not used – is not stretched and broken – it cannot grow. It is in the healing process that a muscle becomes stronger and more useful to us. So we cannot fear using our hearts. We cannot fear heartbreak. Because heartbreak will definitely come. But if we allow forgiveness and God’s grace to heal our hearts, they will be stronger for it, and have a greater capacity for love than prior to our trials.

A good athlete strengthens all of his muscles. Particularly those he uses most in the exercise of his unique gifts, but he doesn’t forget that all of the muscles in the body need attention. So too is it with our hearts. If we want to be the most loving selves we can be, we should be willing to seek out love in different ways. Certainly, God will put certain things upon our heart and our unique gifts and abilities will draw us to certain ways of expressing love. But it never hurts to try out different expressions of love. You may surprise yourself with the new capacities of your heart.

I suppose my main point is that you should never fear to risk your heart. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Because our Father loves His children. How can we possibly doubt the depth and capacity of His love for us? Certainly no one’s heart has been broken and stretched than His by the constant denials, sins and rejections of His children than God Himself. Nothing can be a bigger heartbreak than to have One’s pure and completely good heart allow for the existence of sin in the world. But He did. And with every sin we commit, with every heartbreak we inflict, He shows us his endless capacity for forgiveness and love.

The Trinity, in whose Divine Life we hope one day to share, is a radical, reckless gift of self in love.

Love deeply.

Quick Takes Friday: Super Early Morning Edition!

— 1 —

Yesterday, I got about 3.5 hours of sleep. This means that I was super tired on the drive home after work.  So, I went right to bed.  At 4 pm.  Of course, I woke up just before midnight.  After “a full night’s sleep.”  There’s no fighting this, so I’m just going to stay up.  It will make for a long day today, but with Starbucks God anything is possible, right?  🙂

— 2 —

This section was deleted.  By my computer.  I don’t know if I accidentally brush the touchpad in the wrong way, but this stupid laptop likes to randomly select text.  So, if I’m writing something, it will have inserted text where it doesn’t belong, or randomly have highlighted something so that I’m typing over (and deleting) what I previously worked on.  Jerk computer.

— 3 —

I am going to have so many pictures for you to look at! This past weekend, I went on retreat at Marysville Retreat Center, near Holly, MI.  That is a gorgeous location.  The rooms are huge, too!  I could seriously live here.  Except maybe for the goose poop everywhere.  You really had to watch your step with that.  But they had Sandhill cranes that came to visit in the morning!  This was probably the best retreat I’ve been on yet!

— 4 —

This week at work was Go Live! Meaning that our implementation was put into production.  All of our hard work at preparing must have paid off, because the past couple days have been QUIET.  Freaky quiet.  I kind of miss the frenzied pace of the last Go Live.  It was pretty fun, actually, and our days flew by.  Wednesday, the first day of Go Live, we were supposed to be working a 12 hour day.  We got to leave 2 hours early and then set up staggered shifts for the rest of the week.  So, instead of working 6 am to 6 pm today, I will be working 6 am to 2:30 pm.  I must say, I’m liking these hours!  It makes my commute AWESOME to not have to deal with rush hour traffic.

— 5 —

Our team is going to be making breakfast today! We will have eggs with cheddar cheese, pancakes with syrup, turkey bacon and regular bacon.  I can’t wait!  Since I got up so early, it’s like lunch time for me.  But we have to wait until Nick gets here at 9:30 am.  The only sad point is that Justin and Carolyn aren’t here to share our meal.  The impetus for this breakfast is the discovery of a rangetop in the Board Room here at NCAC…  🙂
MiChart does Breakfast!

— 6 —

This past weekend I got to see the movie October BabyIt’s a really good movie about a girl discovering not only that she’s adopted, but that she’s the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  The main theme of the movie is forgiveness, which is such a great message, especially for today’s society.

— 7 —

Tomorrow! = My Best Friend’s Wedding! Please join me in praying for Erwin and Lindsay as they prepare for this sacrament! 🙂  The day has finally (almost) arrived!  Tonight is the wedding rehearsal at church and the rehearsal dinner at Kim’s.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Today is my friend and co-worker Justin’s birthday. It’s also Go Live day at work, with the implementation of ASAP (for the ED) and EpicCare Ambulatory in a few areas. So, we have been trying to plan on doing something for him, as he has to work a very long day today.

I had asked him last week what flavor cake he wanted and he had said that he would prefer either vanilla or funfetti. So, of course, I had to get the funfetti! 🙂 When I was picking out a frosting, my initial idea was to just get a vanilla; however, they had a new thing at the grocery where you pick up a container of vanilla (or “white”) frosting and can add a flavor pack of your choice. They had a blue one (BOY COLOR!) with a cotton candy flavor, so I picked that one. I also got multi-colored non-pareils and some birthday candles.

Here are some pictures of how the baking process went:

Funfetti mix:
DSCN2811

I chose to use only egg whites, instead of the whole egg, so that the funfetti colors might “pop” more. I thought that if I used the yolks, the cake might be more of a yellow color. I don’t bake, but this was my thought. 🙂

Frosting, just after adding the cotton candy flavoring:
DSCN2819

Frosting after mixing:
DSCN2821

Baked cakes! I made two cakes, so that we could drop one off at UHS — where Justin was deployed — and still be able to have some back at the office.
DSCN2824DSCN2825

Frosted cakes:
DSCN2826DSCN2827

Cakes with frosting and colored candies:
DSCN2829DSCN2830

Finished cake, complete with candles.
DSCN2832

Carolyn got him a huge tub of Dubble Bubble, and changed the number on the tub so that it reads 380 376 pieces!
Dubble Bubble

The delivery of his cake to the UHS Command Center:
Cake!

We got him two balloons (Happy Face and Spiderman), a pen with his name on it, and a sign saying Justin Pl.
Spiderman BalloonHappy Face Balloon

And, finally, video coverage of our surprising him with his birthday goodies!

Retreat Morning

I’m at the Marysville Retreat Center near Holly, MI. This is to introduce us to the project of discipling within our parishes. Last night, John and I arrived late for general introductions, but in time for the opening prayer and praise. We had a short talk by Fr. Sean and then Marian gave us some ideas for how to tell our story and let us work on that a bit. We broke into small groups and shared a portion of our story. It was the eve of Fr. Sean’s birthday, so we ended the day with some birthday cake. 🙂

Our rooms are really nice here! There are two twin beds, a large bathroom with a tub and even a walk-in closet! Plus, I have a huge window overlooking the lake. 🙂

I didn’t want to miss any of my time here, so I got up early at 4:30 am. Right now, it’s about 5:30 am and I am watching on the balcony watching the world get lighter as dawn comes. It’s so peaceful and lovely here in the stillness by the water. Such a nice place to pray Morning Prayer. 🙂

DSCN2680