Story time with Amy.
As I sit here, waiting and waiting for baby to come, with not much happening to write about in our day to day life… and from recent comments, I am remembering all these stories I meant to write down but never have. So why not just dive right in!!
I was home schooled from grades 1-12
This was my “graduating class” in 2005, basically some friends from our area who finished homeschooling the same year. We planned a dinner and dance for ourselves and our families and friends. I’m in the celery dress. My good friend Mary who was my maid of honor is in the black dress and white bolero.
Very early the morning after our graduation party my family left for a vacation in Mexico where some family friends had moved. Not a critical detail, but remember the drinking age is 18 here, and almost all of us we 18 when we graduated. So, not the most fun flight 😉
This was what we looked like at the time. I love looking at old pictures of my siblings all so little and adorable! My older sister is missing, and I took that picture, there are 8 kids in total, two boys and 6 girls.
Anyway after that trip, I made a hasty decision to leave home and volunteer for a year as a full time Missionary. My family had been involved in the Regnum Christi Movement, (associated with the Legionaries of Christ) and they offered a program that many of my friends were considering. I really waited til the last minute, but had no inclination to go to college or university right away, and so jumped on the bandwagon and left for training July 1 of that year.
I think the above picture is our whole group, from across the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who trained together in Rhode Island for the summer in taking courses in prayer, scripture, apologetics, youth ministry, morality and Church teaching… Intense and awesome. And at the end of the summer we found out where we would be going to spend the rest of the year.
This was the 4 of us who lived and worked together in Atlanta that year sitting in front of the Coca-Cola museum in down town Atlanta. L-R Catherine from New Zealand, myself (gosh I loved that hideous coat!) Jacinta from Michigan, and Megan who also was from my hometown. We were also working with a community of Consecrated women.
I worked organizing and supporting dozens of Challenge clubs for girls in the Atlanta area, planning and running retreats, offering training to the peer leaders that the clubs depend on, and working with Pure Fashion, which runs modest fashion shows.
As part of the year we had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. Such a powerful pilgrimage and I really pray that everyone has the opportunity to see the actual places where Christ lived and walked. It really opens your eyes to scripture and makes Our Lord so present and “real” in a way that can be hard to realize any other way.
After the first year, which I loved so much and a huge opportunity for spiritual growth, I decided to do a discernment program for the summer, to see if I perhaps had a calling to life long consecrated life, like so many of the women I was working with.
That was a pretty intense summer of prayer and learning about vocations within the Church and learning about myself and what God’s plan was for me. I ended certain that I did not have THAT calling in the Church, but had enjoyed my time serving in mission so much, I decided to stay on in the volunteer role for another year. Since I had waited pretty much til the last second to make my decision known, again, my spot in Atlanta had been filled by someone else, so I was moved to Washington DC.
My team in DC that year. Allie from Louisiana, Jackie from Michigan, Marie-Eve from Quebec, and Paola from Monterray Mexico and myself in the front on the National Mall in DC.
I did similar roles in the DC area, but covered a LOT of ground. We had clubs across Northern Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, West Virginia, and the actual District. There were so many incredible opportunities in that year, I can’t even begin to describe it all.
Again the pilgrimage opportunity came around in the spring, and a total miracle I was able to go again. I am realizing now that I made a point of NOT taking any pictures of that whole trip (this was before I had ever had a cell phone of my own) and I wanted to be actually present and not seeing everything through a screen. Something I had been reminded of again after seeing Pope Francis surrounded by phones and cameras, does he miss eye contact when he looks into the crowd?
I loved year 2 so much, I stuck around for a third year (the maximum for the program – and not the usual…at all) this was my 3rd year team, (2nd in DC) L-R Ashley from Atlanta, Maria from Mexico DF, Dominique who was also from my hometown, and myself.
We did do a lot of serious work, just apparently didn’t take pictures of those kind of activities. 99% of the pictures I can find of us totally goofing off and being ridiculous on our days “off”. But there I am coordinating models at the Pure Fashion Show in DC.
That final spring had to be my last, so I was working hard to figure out what my next steps would be. I still wasn’t “Sold” on returning home and going to college or university immediately, and was open to other opportunities, but had no idea the kind of possibilities that would quickly fall into my lap.
Since that chapter of the story turns into Brian and I’s “how we met” story, it deserves a post of its own. So I will end here for now.
Thanks for following a long.