Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas time with the Larrivees

This is what we do when we get together and i am somewhat ashamed.

do not judge us.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

To all my fellow dancers

This was just too good not to share....oh the days of pink tights and black leotards, but I must say none of Mrs. Emmon's dances were this cool.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the Bronco invasion

Life is funny. The Denver Rescue Mission is something like the third largest non profit or homeless shelter in the nation or something like that. So I shouldn't be so surprised that the broncos are so stinkin involved... it's always fun when they come because the kids (and the parents) get all dressed up and get autographs and absolutely come alive. Here are some pictures from tonight's Bronco's Christmas Party at the Crossing (technically this all happened in my dining room)

Life is funny. i love it.

...and if you feel like'll be worth it.

It is interesting how you sometimes have to leave home before you can ask difficult questions, how the questions never come up in the bedroom you grew up in, in the town in which you were born. It’s funny how you can’t ask difficult questions in a familiar place, how you have to stand back a few feet and see things in a new way before you realize nothing that is happening to you is normal
The trouble with you and me is we are used to what is happening to us.

~Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller.

Ah Denver. I am learning, but sometimes I doubt whether or not I am growing up or just thinking about growing up. It has been a very weird transition for me. At times it feels temporary and other times it sinks in that this is now home. I have moved from home. I finished school. I am a grown up.

I have been looking at graduate school programs in between my two jobs at the mission and Ann Taylor Loft, and it kind of hit me. If I leave here, I have to start all over again on the east coast. Starting over takes a lot of energy, now granted it wouldn’t be exactly like “starting over” out east, I would hopefully get to live with Haley and Kendra, and be close to home and have friends near by that I can call to come over and hang out with me on a bad day. But hopefully when the time comes for me to leave here, I will have established friends like that here in Denver. The problem is they’re not here yet. Where are they anyway? How do you make friends in such a large city? Real friends..not call you on a Saturday night because you told them to friends. But friends who can tell when you’re in a bad mood, or know what kind of ice cream to buy you because you hang out all the time friends. When does that happen? When does that magic moment occur when calling them is no longer tense because you know you’re not bothering them? Is there a special formula I missed out on because I was always so busy doing other things that I happened to glance over it? I used to think I was okay at making friends, it came easy to me, and I appreciated that. But I think something happened on the flight out to Colorado that took away all of my social skills all together and now I am an insecure stuttering young girl.

I do believe that moving here, leaving home, has forced me to ask hard questions. But it has also helped me evaluate friendships and the value that people have in our lives. I talk to many lonely people on a daily basis who do not have friends, some of them do not even have families. I have both, and I don’t think I will ever take them for granted again. Being here has caused me to reevaluate silly arguments or disagreements I had with people who I care about. The arguments happened because we’re all human, and guess what that means? We’re flawed…we’re not perfect, that’s what makes life interesting, among many other things...

I had two clients recently who came to me to fill out an application for our program. Both of them sat in my office and wept. Grown women, with children. They wept and said to me "how did I let it get this far?" They also expressed that they hadn't stopped long enough to really think about their situation and they both have not talked to anyone else about it. They are holding it all in. And it all came out. I prayed for both of them in the office, and it was beautiful, not because they were my words, but because I honestly felt God in our presence. healing these women, taking burdens away, letting them know it was okay and I was here to listen to them and not judge them.

I think this holiday season everyone should take a minute and listen. I know it;s changed my life because I actually listen now. And I actually pray for others and I honestly care that God hears their cries and heals them. Life is not easy. It's especially not easy when you're alone or just simply lonely. Listen. Care. Love. You'll change someone's life.

So for now I leave you with another beautiful quote from Donald Miller.....

We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you.

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just so ya know.

Just some fun facts from an organization in Denver called The Family Tree found here:
I thought it would be interesting for some of you to read

  • Where do homeless people stay at night?
    They often stay with friends, extended family, in cars, under bridges, shelters, on the street, or in 24-hour restaurants or grocery stores.

  • Why can't they just get a job?
    They can get a job. But can they get a job that pays enough to cover housing costs, utilities and everything associated with that? Many homeless people, some with families, do not have much education or work experience. They may not have a car providing them access to sufficient job opportunities. Domestic violence victims are in a quandary. They usually have a home, but cannot return to it for fear of abuse. Alcoholics and drug addicted people often need extra support, therapy or group homes to maintain some stability.

  • Aren't most homeless people alcoholics, drug abusers or mentally ill?
    No. Actually, most homeless people have no history of alcohol or drug problems or mental illness. Homelessness is an economic problem.

  • Aren't there plenty of shelters?
    There are many fine shelters, but not enough. It's expensive to run a certified facility. It may take days or weeks for a homeless person to find a room, especially during the winter months.

  • Should I give money to people who are panhandling? Why don't they get a job?
    They are actually "working" when they panhandle, but not legitimately. They play on others' guilt and usually are using the money to buy liquor or drugs. Panhandlers often shun main-stream society considering themselves as having a more free lifestyle. While some can earn hundreds of dollars a week, their signs are usually shams. Most have a place to live. This is organized panhandling. It is best not to give directly to panhandlers, rather to donate to legitimate programs that offer help such as Salvation Army, Samaritan House, Family Tree and many others in our community.

  • Why doesn't social services take their children if they can't adequately care for them?
    If a child attends school, is not abused or neglected, social services usually does not take the children. They prefer to keep families together and give supportive assistance to stabilize their lives. Most often, if a family is in a shelter, social services will not remove a child unless there are extenuating circumstances. However, if the parent cannot provide a stable home or if he or she is on drugs, alcohol, prostitutes or cannot provide proper care, the child may removed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Beginnings

So I know I told many of you to check my blog for the details of the awful week I had, however, to add to the week, this blogspot thing wouldn't work and therefore I could not post.
But I will now enlighten you of the MANY things that have happened in my life over the past two weeks. I think the most exciting thing is I bought a car. My first car. I paid for it in full and let me tell's ghetto, but I love it as much as anyone would love their first ghetto car. It came complete with no radio and it smelled as bad as it looked, covered in dust. Every time I get in the dust bothers me, but I never think to rbing out a rag or something....but that car is chalked full o love. Here is it on the day I bought it....I know not the greatest picture of the actualy car, but I hope you get the idea...His name is Thumper and he is a well loved 95 Ford Taurus. And I am a proud mama.
So because of my new car purchase, I had to get a new job. One that actually pays money so I can put gas in my Thumper. So that same night I went out and applied for jobs, and what do you know, I got a job that night at Ann Taylor LOFT. Love. It is true love.

I have been doing many things to keep me busy, like for example on Halloween, Jessica, Ben, and Jessica's mom and I all went to the Bronco's stadium to go trick or treating with the Somalian family we know. Here are a couple pictures from that.
Somalia meets Ronald McDonald..It was great.

Now the reason that my week was so hard (not bad just hard) last week was because of my work at the Denver Rescue Mission. I had to take a lot of hard phone calls and left thinking, why do these awful things happen to people? Really, God? Why would You ever let one of your children go through this despair and heartache. And there is nothing I can do about it. I called my Mom and she told me I couldn't solve the world's problems, and shes right and that was comforting, but I really want to. I want to love every neglected child and give rent to every desperate family. But i can't I can do small things with great love though. And here is where it all takes place. This is my office.

and this is the green chair that angie thinks she owns, but one day it will magically appear on my side of the office because i love it oh so much. and this is our quote board. I don't know that you can actually read anything on it, but there are some good things on it. Including the last one...Jesus..BUST EM OUT.
and this is the very first family that I helped move into housing. So great and so worth all the awful phone calls I had to take to get there and help at least one family.

And now that I have a car I am able to take the Somalian girls out. Here we are at the Colorado History Museum..They loved this and all the crafts they got to do here!
So life is good and I am solid. I actually met quite a few people this week through random connections and had a really solid end to my week. I did mentor training with a church, went snowboarding on Friday just because I could (it was awesome) and I went to a BBQ in Evergreen with fun people. I have felt really blessed this week amongst all the crap, and I feel like that is a true sign that I will go through this hard times but I will be guided and comforted through them as well.

I went to church at a new church again this morning, its called Pathways and Heather and I have heard all about it from numerous people so we decided to go. And the sermon was basically speaking to me and in a lot of things that I have been wrestling with and I think if you are interested you should call me and we can talk about it. is sweet here and I am enjoying it more and more the more I see and meet people. Tonight a couple of us are going to the Grizzly Rose to go Line dancing...ha, weird, I know. But great. I love it here, but I have been throwing the idea around about coming back east and going to Eastern for grad fact I already applied! We'll see where life leads me. But for now I am going to leave you with this amazing video. Also taken at the Broncos stadium

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

so about those pictures.

This post is going to be almost entirely pictures of my last two weeks here since my pictures didn't work on my last post. ENJOY.

Jessica and Heather at Buca de Beppos...our favorite friday night hangout..lovee

The girls and I schooled this massive chocolate cake.

Heather and I decided IHOP was a great idea for a Sunday morning brunch on a rainy Sunday...little did we know that we would leave with wonderful balloon animals. Heathers is a giraffe and mine is a weird bear thing with a daisy...who know i was uncreative under pressure

Heather surprised me with this AWESOME glove thing....please read the middle finger.

And more decorations have gone up! This was my bed sheet the first week i was it is a decorative hangy thing in our room. love it.

HAIR CUT! Thats may not be able to tell since its straight but i cut SO much hair off...i kind of hate it when its curly though....

This is directly outside of my building. If you look past the flowers and past the train you can see the mountains! :)

Jessica , Heather, Jessica's mom and I took our Somali family to the zoo...please notice the short sleeves and 80 degree weather and note that this was Saturday.

And this is my gord on my window sill on SUNDAY. The next day with SNOW! Absolutely crazy.

Jenna, Angie (my boss who i loveeee), me and Heather at the Denver Rescue Mission food i;ve had all month. And an amazingly moving night. awesome time..however.....

....there was chaos that ensued beforehand. Heather and I had rushed from the zoo to get ready, and ran into some "mishaps" and our bathroom looked like this when we got back home. insanity.

So thats my world. One day I will post a picture of my office on here. until are the churchs i have check out and loved out here.
next level church

check 'em out....and let me know what you think.
I hope everyone is enjoying the random posts...I would say more meaningful things, but I want you to call me :) Miss everyone a lot.

ps....i am so going downtown during the world series craziness and its going to rock.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

cha cha cha changes

So Denver is a little different from the East coast. Yesterday was full of fun activities. In the morning Heather and I volunteered at the emergency over night shelter downtown, so great and then in the afternoon, I was at the zoo with the Somali family we adopted. It was beautiful outside! I was wearing short sleeves and was semi was like 85 degrees and I loved it. We had this really great banquet, I watched Babel...and called it a night.
This morning at 8:30, I woke up for church, opened the blinds and discovered 30 degree weather and get this...........FLIPPIN SNOW. I mean...I guess this is normal for Denver and yes, people have been telling me this is what happens since I arrived here...but seriously. Snow.

This week was great though. Lots of fun things. I met a Bronco's player...Champ Bailey, he came and played with the kids, they had an "October birthday party". I went to this thing called the White Fence Farm with the family from Burma...they have animals that youo can pet after you eat some of their relatives inside. A sheep attacked me.

Overall, a pretty great week. I got a great haircut and stayed up way too late every night. Of course, I have pictures of everything...but this website is not working, so I will add them later.

God is good and I am hungry. Send me mail.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Wind

Watch and enjoy. Thank you Elizabeth Leaver.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A peace that surpasses all understanding

The other day in work my boss was praying for one of my co workers health and he said "may we have peace that surpasses all understanding" and I feel like if nothing else, I hope that is was I learn in this year of service. If nothing else...a peace that I don't understand.

Everything at the mission is going really well, I love my job and my gets a little draining calling people, but I take frequent breaks that I don't really have time for :) But Angie (awesome case manager I share an office with) and I have the best talks and it makes my day seem a lot easier than it would if I didn't have anyone to talk to. Yesterday Dave Hong and Jay Ford came to visit Denver and Dave asked me how I deal with my job and all the heartbreaking stories I constantly hear...and it definitely helps being able to talk to someone else about whats going on and be affirmed in my sadness or frustration...depending on the client. I have a had a lot of tough cases lately...but I have been able to deal with them especially with so many familiar faces around Denver this past week :)
(Jay and heather and I stuffed in Dave's tiny car with all his stuff)

Friday...My Aunt Barbara came to town to "Spoil me" and holy crap did she ever. We went to an arts festival and an awesome Ethiopian Restaurant on Friday night and met some crazy people. Bust fun.

Saturday was long but so great. We explored Denver until there was nothing left to see, breakfast, pumpkin picking, shopping and went "hiking" in Boulder great. And then the Phillies lost :(

Sunday was an unexpected amazing day. Church, nap, and two random visitors from Maryland. Two amazing guys who I never realized were as amazing as they are until this weekend. We went to the Botanical Gardens and took tons of was all Mike's idea. Mike who spells his last name wrong. And Reid, whos last name is actually Richards...His real name is actually Reid Paul William Richards Klopp and we have a cooler high five than you.

All in all Denver is challenging me. In such good ways and I have time and opportunity to really think about things and struggle with them and question them. Isaiah 40 has become a passage that I constantly look and and think oh my goodness I just want more. And then today when I was calling churches back...I stumbled across a website of this awesome church. They had their congregation sleep out. They invited members to come with only a pair of tennis shoes, pants, t shirt and a long sleeve shirt. then people from the community brought some blankets and food supplies, but not everyone had something...they only had what the community brought. And to top it off, the church had two cops come in the middle of the night, turn on their sirens and "rough them up" a little.....just to show them how it feels. They used this as a fundraiser and raised over $1300 to give to our program and donated all the blankets and supplies to our downtown shelter. Now that is visible love. On their website I found this....

Ignoring the problem won't fix it.

-------------Saturday, October 6, 2007-----------------

Love reveals itself in works of mercy. Among such works are to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to visit and help the sick and the imprisoned, to give refuge to the homeless, and to be concerned about orphans. All this should be done with sincere and unselfish love, without any boasting or expectations of gratitude.

beautiful. You have read a lot now, I'm going to leave you with some more pictures of my week :)

This is Boulder with weird box headed people playing music and dancing.

Three generations of social, my aunt and Alice. We went to see a play and Alice is awesome...she was my grandmothers best friend and travel buddy back in the day
The Amount of awesomeness from my Aunt's care package
This is one of the refugee families that DRM adopted and the girl interns are working with. We took them to the Circus and it was awesome...I was just as excited for them.
This is my lovely roommate....right before we dyed her hair...she trusts me so much :)

okay and my computer is being weird and i am on a time constraint so more pictures will be coming next time...

ps anyone can leave comments :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Worth a thousand words.........

This week I don't have much time to write because its dark and Heather and I have to walk back to The Crossing...where I was cooped up all day, I had to get out (heather got to go to the zoo with the kids..her job is so much better than mine). So I will give you my first week in Denver via pictures....

My roommate, pictured above has this weird disease where shes thirsty all the time. We didn't add any water bottles for this photo shoot.
Thursday night my good friend Nick cam to visit me!!! We went to this really cool restaurant called The Old Spaghetti Factory. Awesome food, awesome company. So good to hang out with someone familiar!
MY BOXES CAME!!! All six of them. My loving parents shipped all the rest of my crap to me. This is the total amount of stuff I brought to Denver. I keep telling myself...its okay, I'm here for a year.....yea well I think I went overboard again. At least I'll have a lot to wear.
Jenna....enough said.
Friday night...random group of us went to Jenna's restaurant she works at on the weekends. AMAZING CHEESECAKE!!! seriously. This is Jenna, Bruce, me and Heather (L to R).
This is me in my room being sad because my one and only wall decorations won't stay up because of our textured wall..its weird and I was sad.

So then I went to a very contradicting BBQ at the me, I'll tell you about it. But at least the food was free. Tomorrow is church day again and then the start to another long week. One last thing to share with you before I go...this verse has helped me get through the week more than anything else. Enjoy. Shalom.
Luke 4:18-19
18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm scum of the Earth

So I live in I guess I shouldn't be surprised when I drive down the road to Panera and see about 100 of these guys by the side of the road...

Meet my friend..Mr. Prairie Dog. He is going to be my new mascot for Colorado. I love him. They seriously look like statues and they stand like this for a long time and its hilarious.

The other thing I have discovered in Colorado is mystery meat. I realize that this is not a colorado thing - but a you live in a homeless shelter thing. On Sunday, I visited Scum of the Earth Church ( . At this church they share a meal with everyone and then have the service at night. My nice new friends served me what I thought was lasagna...took one bite. TACO. It was a taco mix with mystery substances all throughout...I am still not sure what it was. But I was grateful. This same night Heather and I were craving burgers...but DRM never serves burgers, so we figured Scum would serve something better. We get back to DRM and find out they had burgers for dinner. And on Monday, we had spaghetti and mystery meatballs....someone said they were deer, Jenna was sick from them all night.
Church was good, it was interesting and different. There were homeless and tattooed, mostly young in their 20's but diverse in ethnic backgrounds. It wasn't very formal, which is kind of hard for me but it was so communal and different that I'm definitely going to give it another chance.

Speaking of scum....this is my roommate haha...actually I loooove her. If we look flustered in this picture, its because we were. I really enjoy that we match.
I started my job and I'm working with clients and I'm going to start setting up appointments by the end of this week possibly. It is so exciting to love where you work and be excited to get up in the morning walk downstairs and start your job. I love meeting new people and pray with people who appreciate the fact that you care. I love it. This is definitely where God wants me to be right now. I'm just trying to take it all in. Because I feel like for the first time in my life I am here, I am present. I am not thinking about "the next thing" or what I'm going to be doing next..looking forward to my next big adventure but enjoying the one I am in now.
Life is good.
God is good.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Carolyn the Coloradianator

I figured an update was fitting since I have much to update you on. I am now in Denver..currently sitting in Panera because the DRM (Denver Rescue Mission) blocks this blog website and I can't post when I'm there :( So I'm going to try to post whenever I get the chance!

I arrived on Thursday night really anxious and upset to leave Delaware but totally excited about Denver, Josh, my intern coordinator, picked me up from the airport and showed me my new home. We walked in and we saw a girl coming down the stairs and Josh yells, "HEATHER! I'm so glad you're here! I totally forgot to tell you that you're getting a new the way her flight got in an hour ago and shes right here." So not much time to prepare...but its okay. I took some pictures of Heather and my SWEET room...I want you to pay close attention to my head board....yes those are horses and tassels. And yes those sheets are for real. I cannot wait for my mom to send me my comforter. Here are the sweet room pictures....

please notice in this picture the wall that ends right before it gets to the ceiling....thats where our bathroom is,.....yes there is no ceiling above our bathroom. Luckily the toilet is farther in..fully enclosed...
also notice the lack of color and decoration on our walls...PLEASE SEND FUN THINGS TO HANG UP! :) Its depressing.

So yesterday I did a bunch of hanging out, Josh took Kayla and I to Chipotle on the company's money and called it an intern orientation...fine by me :) Then came Friday night...........................

Kayla told Heather and I that there is this sweet band playing downtown, little did we know the kind of night we would have once we said yes. First we went to Sonic and had some mediocre chicken popcorn but some FABULOUS cherry favorite.

Then we ventured to JC's Grounds...which is apparently a Christian coffee shop that is only open on Friday night from 5:00-midnight and Saturday night 5:00-midnight....interesting hours..and an even more interesting band played. This band called Moon Baybees was a hardcore christian screamo band. Which every time someone else walked up I expected it to be my brother and all his friends...but then my favorite band played. Tokyo Unicorns...a one man band with a microphone and a mac. Techno meets imogen heap meets christian meets drugs. It was the greatest thing i have ever seen. He sung about his love for Mario and then about his dancing shoes. I want to be his new best friend.

We left (against my will...I could have listened to him forever) and went to The Tattered Cover bookstore...SO CUTE! I loved it. On a friday night, we stayed there for about an hour and a half. Fantastic.

Saturday morning.
I was (am) still jet lagged. So Heather and I decided sleeping in was in order for our non busy Saturday.
7:30am...cue worship service directly outside my window...for an hour....with a FULL band, complete with full drum set.
Back to bed...
8:45am...cue vacuum directly outside our room in the hallway for what seemed like an eternity.
Back to bed....
8:55am...cue screaming child banging on the door directly across the hall for about 10 minutes.
Back to bed...
9:10am..cue cell phone text message from Jman....2 hour time difference is really gonna start to suck.
No use going back to bed this time...

All in all, my time here in Denver has been great. I've met great people..I absolutely adore my roommate, Heather. She is from Ohio but goes to college in Canada...just because. We laugh a lot and I feel truly blessed to have such an awesome roomie. We are going to venture to Wal-Mart tonight with Mike..another intern with a full spider web tattoo on his bald noggin...about a mile walk from our building, which is nothing when you don't have a car.

Tomorrow are going to try out Scum of the Earth Church.

So I'm in my new home. I'm in friggin Denver, Colorado. This is my life. And I love it.