Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cool People I Know: February Birthdays

It's time to praise the cool people I know who were born in February! I have such amazing friends, I have to give a shoutout to them every so often.

Me, Jessica, Dusty, and John performing, I believe, "Superhero" at someone's house.
Dusty. Dusty and I traveled together on what was probably my favorite tour of my whole time in NLDC. It was his very first tour and my fourth, Dusty was incredibly easy to travel with. He's one of the most laidback, let-it-roll-off-him people I've ever met. Nothing seemed to phase him, even when things went crazy on tour (as most tours did at one time or another). He just laughed, shrugged, and went on doing what he needed to do. He's a great guy.

Isaac. I actually just saw Isaac like a week ago in a local show. He and I were Huntington theater buddies, and we worked on more than a few shows together, including our very first, Beauty and the Beast, and then The Cherry Orchard, where we spent an entire scene dancing the same incredibly simple dance in the background for like 20 minutes. Isaac is such a friendly guy, always enthusiastically ready to chat and catch up with friends. If I was at some social event that I didn't really feel up to and needed a friend to just tag along with in, Isaac was always a good choice because he never minded the company but also didn't demand me to be any more than the quiet lurker I often wanted to be.

Ebenezer. Oh, Ebenezer. He was one of the few NDLC guys I never got to travel with, but I really enjoyed hanging out with him at our Tennessee homebase. He was extremely friendly and went out of his way to chat with all the people around him, especially the new people, which always made me feel comfortable and liked. He was very open, freely sharing stories of all the things he did wrong his first few tours. It's been a very, very long time since I got to see him, but his Facebook is full of hope and faith, and it's always encouraging to read.

One of the very few photos with me & Ashley, at a wedding surrounded by other NLDCers! She's right behind me to my left with the dark hair.
Ashley. This list is really NLDC-heavy! But it's OK, because my NLDC peers were pretty amazing. Ashley joined the drama company like right before I left, so I didn't get to know her super well there, but whenever I did get to spend a little time with her, there were two things I noticed. 1) She was hilarious, and 2) she loved God. Whether I was more in the mood to laugh or talk about deep things, she was great at both of them, and I wish I had gotten to know her better.

Me and Sara back in... a long time ago. Like 2000. Maybe earlier.
Sara. As a kid in North Dakota, Sara was my best friend. Our moms were good friends, and so we spent a lot of time together. Even after I moved to Illinois, I didn't really have friends there for a while, so Sara was still my best friend. One Christmas, her family came to visit us for the holiday. One February, I flew out to visit her for her birthday. My senior year of high school, I joined her church for a youth conference. I think our last visit was shortly before she headed off to Bible school and I headed off to NLDC, so probably seven or eight years ago. Every time we got together, we always managed to pick up where we left off, even if it had been a couple years since we'd seen each other. She's now married with three kids and a fourth on the way, so I think maybe someday I'll have to finagle a visit on down to see her.

Travis. Travis and I have been buddies for awhile now. He is four or five years younger than me, so for a long time it'd be things like I was the leader of his VBS group or I was the director of the church drama team he was in. As he got older, he ended up following some of the same paths I did; he joined NLDC for a year and worked with the drama team at church when he got home. Travis has always been friendly, enthusiastic, welcoming, and, above all, energetic -- sometimes too energetic for my introverted self :-) But watching him channel that energy into ministry is very exciting, and wherever life takes him, I'm sure he'll jump into it feet first and do just fine.

Caitlin, Annie, and me all hanging out in Chicago.
Caitlin. I didn't make a lot of close friends during my time taking community college classes, but Caitlin was one that stuck. We joined Campus Crusade together, we took creative writing together, we traded mix CDs back and forth. One semester we had an hour-long class break at the same time on Mondays, so we scheduled "Monday Morning Chats," where we'd regularly spend that hour chatting, sharing, laughing, and encouraging each other. Caitlin's love and desire to pour into others never ceases to amaze me. She got married shortly after I did, and my heart just burst for her -- she's one of those people for whom good news just makes me ecstatic, because she's so full of love and so caring and open and delightful, and it makes me happy to see when things go well for her. The past year she's been dealing with several health issues for her and her family, and watching her honest but faith-filled response to it has been truly inspirational. I only hope I can learn to conduct myself with such grace.

Dom and me as the Thenardiers, singing "Master of the House."
Dom. As you can probably tell from the above picture, Dom and I did theater together at Huntington. There were some people at college that I didn't spend all that much time with, but I felt like if I had, we could have been pretty good friends. Dom is one of them. He's great to work with -- very professional, with a great combination of hard-working and easygoing. But he's also interesting to talk to: articulate, intelligent, and equipped with well-thought-out opinions and a dry sense of humor. We've both graduated now, but I follow along with his life on Facebook and always enjoy reading his posts.

Lori, Brittany, Brittany, and me at our friend Lisa's wedding
Brittany. There are two Brittanys in the above picture, and I'm sure I'll be writing something about the other Brittany during her birth month, because I love her too, but the one I'll be talking about today is Brittany G., standing right next to me. Britt G. (who is now engaged and soon I won't be able to call her that anymore!) joined NLDC at the same time I did, but stayed longer. We don't necessarily have a lot of likes or traits in common, but she's one of those people who is extremely easy to talk to, both about silly fluffy things and about deeper issues. If I don't have anything to say at that moment, she's quite comfortable carrying the conversation for a bit. Even when I lived in South Carolina in the same town as her, I didn't get all that many opportunities to spend time with her, which is sad, because I would've loved to hang out with her more.

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