Some random facts about me; I hate to write. I can't spell. I never journal. So, why blog? Well, as many of you know or will soon come to know, my life has taken quite the turn in the past months. My heart is on the mends, although, will never be completely whole again. Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to comfort this ache. Over these past months, reading other blogs exclaiming stories about life, death, random facts, daily encounters and simple pleasures, have somehow tended to my aching heart and have allowed me to experience small moments of joy. Blogging has allowed our world to capture a small (although sometimes quite large) glimpse into another ones life, creating a thrill that is addictive and slightly contagious! My blog will hopefully nurture that thrill in hopes to offer you a 'front row seat' into my journey through this crazy experience called, life. Life, in the essence of what gives, breaths and sustains. Maybe my blogging will one day attribute to caring for another ones aching heart.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Her Shoes


SHOE: noun \ˈshü\ : an outer covering for the human foot typically having a thick or stiff sole with an attached heel and an upper part of lighter material (as leather)

In my mind, a shoe is much more then a simple 'outer covering' as Webster likes to define.  Our shoes, in unique ways, make us who we are.  Shoes take us, protect us, warm us, guide us, fit us, forgive us, love and often hate us.   

My sister, Katelynn, LOVED her shoes.  In fact, she was known for her shoes... she was the only girl I knew that could sport blue jeans, a hoodie and a hot pair of heels!  Katelynn's shoes tell her story in so many ways. 



 I snapped this picture of her collection of shoes, still neatly displayed in her closet where she last left them.  I often sit on her closet floor and just stare at her shoes... knowing that her little, size 6.5 feet, last filled each one of them.  I smile looking at her shoes, because I know where each one took Katelynn.  They tell her story in so many ways.  

Her heels... often worn at any and most every event.  
Her sneakers... traveled too and from ESU's Gym on several occasions as well as taking Katelynn to the other side of the World, China.
Her Hiking Columbia sneakers... hiked up and down the Pocono Mt trails
Her puma flats...often stolen from myself, her older sister!
Her sequined flats... worn at the wedding celebration of Sara and Bryan Wise.
Her fire engine red tennis sneakers... bought and worn on China soil.
Her furry boots... worn on snowy days, providing warmth and comfort, last seen on Katelynn in Jan 2009, when she and I had a sisters sleepover on a cold wintery night.
Her yellow Mary Janes... a favorite of mine, a twin to Kelvie's pair, last pair of shoes to be worn by Katelynn on this earth....  I treasure these shoes.  Katelynn's friend, Gina, found me a pair (randomly) so that I can treasure them forever knowing how much Katelynn loved them.





Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in Philly with the Procaccino family

So much is involved in becoming a 'Mrs.'  Simply the name change itself is quite the ordeal.  I must say, a favorite of mine, since becoming, 'Mrs. Bender', is the fact that I have been warmly welcomed into the Bender/Procaccino family.  This family is incredible.  What I love is that they are no ordinary family, they are an ITALIAN family.  You see, ever since the first time meeting Eric's family members, I was taught quickly there are two types of people, 'Italian' and 'those that wish they were Italian'. :)

  
Clearly, I have no trace of Italian blood running through my veins.  I am as German/English as can be, hence my fair skin, freckles and blonde hair.  Yet, my hair color and family heritage did not keep this family from welcoming me in and accepting me as one of their own.  I am so thankful for them. 
This year, for the first time ever, I spent Thanksgiving in Philadelphia with the Bender/Procaccino family.  Uncle Virgil and Aunt Neesa live in an amazing home located in the beautiful, Olde City, section of Philadelphia.  Although, I missed my immediate family, I felt so blessed to have married into such an amazing family. 


The day was spent cooking/eating incredible food (this family can cook!), drinking wine, watching the game and just being thankful for one another.



  

Much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 14, 2010

60 GV kids + 4 leaders + 2 nights = FALL WEEKEND

What a weekend! Eric, myself as well as our fellow Young Life Great Valley leaders lead a trip of 60 kids to Lake Champion for their Fall Weekend.  Needless to say, we had a blast!  It never ceases to amaze me the enjoyment had in hanging with high school kids, staying up late, eating junk food, playing pranks and simply just living life together...

Watching kids unplug from the technological world we live in, become exposed to leaders and staff that love them unconditionally, and hear the message of God's love is an unbelievable opportunity given to us each Fall as we continue leading Young Life.


This year, we brought 50 Great Valley girls as well as 10 guys (great ratio for the guys :))  Lauren and I decided to make each girl a puffy painted white t-shirt with their last names written on their back... simply to keep track of them all and to know who was who :).  The t-shirts were a hit, as our girls proudly wore them to breakfast Saturday morning and sported them during the morning Field games.... which included a shaving cream war where most of those t-shirts saw the last of their days.



There is beauty beyond words found in a Young Life camp.  Not only the immaculate landscape and excellent execusion of program, but there is unique beauty found within the hearts of each camper.




Saturday afternoon and evening was spent climbing 50 feet up in the trees through Lake Champions high ropes course, screaming on the Screamer Swing, playing game after game of beach volleyball, relaxing in the hot tub, and of course, singing at the top of our lungs during club!


As we left camp Sunday, the buzz amongst our kids was unanamous... it was the best weekend of their life.  I am sure the high ropes course, game rooms, amazing food, hot tubes, screamer swing and never ending beach volleyball attributed to it, but mostly, it was the buzz around the message that was shared.  A message that told of a love story that involved each one of them.   A love story that spoke of redemption, life and joy. A love story that most had never heard. THAT is what made this weekend what it was for each one of these 60 great valley kids. 


Saturday, November 13, 2010

I hate to write. I can't spell. I never Journal. So, why blog?

If I could click 'save' on this day in a computerized calendar stored in my memory I would, because today marks the day in which I entered the blogging world. Some random facts about me; I hate to write.  I can't spell. I never journal.  So, why blog?  Well, as many of you know or will soon come to know, my life has taken quite the turn in the past months.  My heart is on the mends, although, will never be completely whole again.  Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to comfort this ache.  Over these past months, reading other blogs exclaiming stories about life, death,  random facts, daily encounters and simple pleasures, have somehow tended to my aching heart and have allowed me to experience small moments of joy. 


 Blogging has allowed our world to capture a small (although sometimes quite large) glimpse into another ones life, creating a thrill that is addictive and slightly contagious!  My blog will hopefully nurture that thrill in hopes to offer you a 'front row seat' into my journey through this crazy experience called, life.  Life, in the essence of what gives, breaths and sustains.


Maybe my blogging will one day attribute to caring for another ones aching heart.