Thursday, March 30, 2006


Today at work I have been trying to find a replacement sneezeguard panel for our salad bar. We've done it before and it's been easy, but it appears the part we need may be discontinued. I decided to google the manufacturer of the salad bar, Carlisle FoodService Products, and this is the desciption I got:

"Business to business marketer and manufacturer offering products for the foodservice industry, serving restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and even prisons."

That's the angle your marketing team decided would be the best? Really? I love it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I am getting ready to kick things up a notch at my apartment, so if you or anyone else you know in the central Florida area needs a loveseat and chair let me know. They have been in my family since I was in 3rd grade and they are still in good condition. I'll be replacing them in early April.

Monday, March 20, 2006


This is Travis, one of the 8th graders in the LIFE Group I lead. I challenge you to find another middle schooler, guy or girl, who thinks they dress as well as Travis thinks he does. Not surprisingly, it took very little to convince him that it was a good idea for him to squeeze into this shopping cart. I would be lying, though, if I said I didn't become slightly concerned when he had trouble getting out of the seat. What would I have told his parents? "Well, Mrs. Crowley, I'm glad you asked why Travis now has a limp."

His willingness to pose for a picture like the one here is one of the reasons I love middle schoolers.

NC trek

I love pictures. Photographs to be more specific. I do not have a great appreciation for paintings, but photos are another story. The screensaver on my computer often captivates my attention. It’s nothing fancy: just the screensaver that displays a different picture every couple of seconds, but I am so content watching those shots go by. I don’t yet have a digital camera, so the last time I was at my dad’s car lot, I scanned a bunch of pictures I only have hard copies of just so that I could have them on my computer and be able to watch them on my screensaver.

My appreciation of photos has expanded to include a greater appreciation of picture frames. I went through a phase around a year ago when I bought frames that I liked even though I didn’t have a particular picture to put in them. I would even walk around in Target or Bed Bath and Beyond (wow, I’m starting to sound like a girl) just to see if they had any cool picture frames I wanted to buy. I also have some photo coasters that are stored away in my closet patiently waiting for the day I get a coffee table.

I’d not thought much lately about the pleasure photos bring me until last week when I took a trip to North Carolina to visit friends from college. I drove there and decided it would be cool to get my picture taken with the welcome sign of each state I drove through. I knew it would only be 4 pictures, but I still thought it would be a fun way to document my excursion.

At first I wanted to take a picture with the welcome sign that was at each state border. My first (and only) attempt failed miserably. The “Welcome to North Carolina” sign is on a small bridge and is not an ideal spot for picture taking. I should have known when I stepped onto the bridge and felt it shaking that this idea was not one of my best. Besides the fact that cars were flying past me, each time I propped my camera on the roof of my car a gust of wind would take hold of the camera, turn it around and ruin my photo opp.

So I settled on taking pictures at each state’s welcome center. What I loved was the response I received whenever I asked a stranger to help me out. Each encounter went something like this:

Me: “Excuse me. Could you help me out?”

Stranger: look of panic

Me: “I was wondering if you could take a picture of me with the welcome sign.”

Stranger: The look of panic diminished, he smiled and gave a resounding, “Sure!”

I know they were initially just happy I wasn’t asking for money, but it also reminded me how much almost everyone likes pictures. Plenty of people turn down invitations to be in pictures (I have some painful memories of those pictures you took every year at school), but I can’t think of a time when someone has refused to take a picture.

In North Carolina the gentleman who took my picture was named Ferd. After he took the first shot, he totally got into it and when I said thank you and started walking away from the sign, he exclaimed, “Wait! Let’s try it from another angle. You never know how it’s going to turn out.” This is the 2nd shot, which did turn out better. Turns out Ferd's got a good eye.

In Georgia, I saw a lady smile as she walked past the guy who was headed to Fort Myers take this picture of me.

The guy who took my picture when I made it back home to Florida was on his way to Pensacola with his family. The picture he took came out blurry, but that's alright.

My portrait with the "Welcome to South Carolina" sign didn't happen because I was on a state highway and I didn't realize I was in South Carolina until I drove past the small sign. I did, however, get to drive past the world's largest strawberry and grab this shot as I drove out of SC.

It is amazing to me how a camera can capture a moment. How can that little tiny thing suck in that second of life and freeze frame it? Even after taking a photography class in high school I still don’t get it. I don’t think I ever will. I'm just thankful someone did get it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


This week has been pretty good and here are some of the things that have made me smile, laugh or just plain happy.

1.) Travis wearing a pink shirt with tie

2.) the word "bee-otch"

3.) my dad channeling his inner Stevie Wonder and leaving me a voicemail saying, "I just called to say I love you."

4.) the staff at Firehouse Subs shouting, "Thank you!" whenever a customer left

5.) the ladies who work in the office across from mine coming over to talk about 24

6.) thinking about seeing my friends Ru, Kim and James this weekend in NC

7.) getting $11 knocked off of rent

8.) watching Scrubs

9.) awesome worship on Wednesday night

10.) getting HP & the Goblet of Fire on DVD

11.) riding my bike to Matt and Anna's and Evie being shy

Thursday, March 02, 2006

when in gainesville

The past 24 hours have been a lot of fun. I went up to UF in Gainesville with Diana, the director at camp, for a summer camp job fair. We go every year to recruit students to be counselors with us during the summer. I've gone on this trip four times and this was by far my favorite visit.

While we were in Gatortown, we stayed at a Holiday Inn and upon our arrival we were served cookies warm from the oven. Our hotel also had free wireless internet, and as someone who recently received his first laptop, I was pretty excited. We also met up with seven of our old counselors for dinner. I'd not seen some of them since the last time we were at UF so it was good to catch up with them. The other perk was that I got a free dinner at Chili's thanks to Circle F.

The highlight of the trip was spending time with my friend Grace. Last Christmas my friend Andy had his annual party for all of us who went to high school together and I found out that Grace & another friend of mine, Julia, live together and go to grad school at UF. I told them I would give them a call when I was in Gainesville for this job fair. I procrastinated calling them until I was on my way to our dinner at Chili's to see if they wanted to meet up when I finished my Chicken Crispers. Part of me wasn't sure if I should call because I thought maybe it would be awkward since we only usually see each other once a year, but I could not have been more wrong.

Julia was not able to make it, but Grace was and I was so happy to visit with her. We reminisced about my spring break trip to visit her and our other friend Martha when they were attending Boston University. On my first night there, they decided I would enjoy an authentic Boston clubbing experience. Being the clubbing fiend that I am, they were surprised to learn that all of my best clubbing gear was left in Orlando. This excuse did not deter them, though, as they called all of their guy friends until they found an outfit they deemed appropriate.

Grace also gave me an update on a guy we went to high school with named Bryan Edwards. I catch up with Bryan at Andy's parties, but don't keep in touch with him otherwise. I knew he'd been pursuing a country music career and that he was this close to being on "Nashville Star," but Grace had exciting news to tell. She informed me that not only is he now selling his cds on his website (I just ordered them!), but he opened for Keith Urban at a concert in St. Pete this past week. I'm not an avid country music fan, but I do know who this guy is because he's been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly and he's a big deal in that world right now.

I love hearing these stories about the different paths people end up on. It makes me wonder if there are other people I went to high school with sitting around asking each other, "Do you know whatever happened to that Jason Vargas kid? Remember when we had to sit through that lame senior class video he made? I wonder what he's up to now."

It also reminds me that God often puts us on paths that we never expected to be on. The tricky part is trusting that He knows what He's doing when He puts us on those paths.