Ten days of Whirlwind, D.C.

Confession: I’ve been really busy, and I’ve often thought about blogging but haven’t actually followed through with that thought.

Thus, a catch-up post that, well, catches up with my adventures since I last posted. In no particular order, in the time since I last posted a blog, I have:

– Cleaned another refrigerator and wrestled with my own pride and privileged mindset in the process.

– Volunteered with Capitol Hill Village at their gala fundraiser, spending a splendid Saturday night dancing to 60s music with D.C.’s finest senior citizens.

Before the 300 guests arrived at Capitol Hill Village's Motown Gala at Atlas Theater. Best service experience of my life!

– Gotten mail from two dear friends (shout out Martina Dehner and Jordan Otero) and started (key word – started) writing replies. But I’d love to get more mail…hint hint…Melissa Steffan // 327 8th Street NE // Apartment 5 // Washington, D.C. 20002

– Baked three loaves of bread, a pan of peanut butter cream cheese brownies, three pots of soup, and peanut butter pretzel truffles – all from scratch.

Developed a serious baking/cooking addiction.

– Visited the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. [For the record, it is just as powerful the second time as it was the first time. It’s the doorway from a ransacked Jewish tabernacle, defaced but still inscribed, “Know in Whose presence you stand.” It’s standing alone in the railcar that once carried hundreds of people to their deaths.  It’s the room with the shoes. “One shoe, two shoes, a dozen shoes, yes. But how can you describe several thousand shoes?” – Edward Murrow]

– Met N.T. Wright, one of the most prolific Christian thinkers and writers in the church today.

– Eaten multiple cupcakes (Crumbs is still my favorite by far).

Annalisa's chai cupcake, my triple chocolate "oh-my-gosh-this-was-amazing" cupcake (yes, that's the official name) from Hello Cupcake.

– Turned in my first, 20-page ASP assignment. Realized (16 hours past the deadline) that I hadn’t actually submitted it. Wanted to curl up and die a terrible, perfectionist’s-worst-nightmare death. Received tremendous grace from my professor. Did not die.

– Gotten lost on a run in the SW quadrant and been humbled by my smallness in the midst of the city I thought I knew.

– Ate a delicious breakfast with my roommates.

All ready to eat roommate (complete with my "dark" pancakes) in Apt 5! In other news, Annalisa is adorable.

– Visited Arlington National Cemetery on a somber, gray day and watched the changing of the guard and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

– Fought my way to Virginia on the Metro and discovered the most delicious German bakery, where I wolfed my way through a sandwich on fresh-baked bread, a still-warm, authentic German “brezel” and then some cookies [No guilt. None. …Maybe a little…]

Still amazed Ellie was able to get this picture before the most deicious Brezel in the world disappeared into my mouth.

Ellie, Tom, and "the Cornucopia" of wonderful baked goods.

– Developed community and new friendships here in the Dellenback. I thought it would be strange welcoming new people into this place I’ve come to call my home. Instead, it just feels…right.

So much has happened, and I guess it’s a good thing I haven’t been posting here too regularly. I’ve been volunteering, learning, and laughing with friends instead.

Last night, after a particularly rough afternoon, I just wanted to be alone. I just wanted people to leave. It could have been a terrible night, but you know why it was actually great? Because I didn’t get to be isolated and grumpy. Instead, my roommate, Ellie, insisted that I eat dinner with her and some of our friends. She put a smile on my face. Then, my apartment baked a pie together — yes, a homemade apple pie — and we basically died laughing. I have never laughed as hard and as often as I do with Ellie, Sarah, and Annalisa. I’m so grateful for Apartment 5, the Swanky-Jank Hotel, and the semester is barely under way!

I have a lot to think about right now. I am just so grateful for the way God is at work in me right now. I can’t really describe everything that’s on my mind, but it’s not happy or sad; it’s just…weighty. Maybe I’m trying to wrestle through my post-graduation plans and starting my internship and everything personal all at once. But I keep seeing God show up where I least expect Him, so I keep trekking. I know I’m in the right place.

So…now that I’ve spent TWO HOURS of my life uploading pictures into this post, I’mma go watch some foo’ball, eat some good food, and enjoy good company.

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