Thursday, September 20, 2012

Show us your singles: Andrea

Almost eight months ago, I let my sister write about me for Kelly's Show Us Your Singles. I was not expecting anything to come of it, but a week after the post went up I went on a date for the first time in at least two years. J and I have been seeing each other ever since. Even though it was through a blog, it felt more like my sister recommending me and his cousin's wife recommending him and us going on a blind date. I also know there's no other way J and I would have met even though we have so much in common and live in the same town. Since it worked out so well for me, I wanted to do it for someone else. So, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Andrea.

Andrea, 30, Virginia

Andrea and I met when I moved to Charlottesville. I was new to a summer Bible study, and she made a point of introducing herself to me as I stood there awkwardly in a group of people I didn't know. We crossed paths a few more times, and then that fall I joined a women's Bible study that she was also in. One night, she asked me for my email address, and the next thing I knew I was at a dinner party at her house meeting lots more people.

I used to call her my social coordinator because after that I was always being invited to do things, and she even sought me out to get to know me one-on-one. And at some point Andrea and our friend Katherine became some of the best friends I've ever had. They were the friends that encouraged me in my faith and held me accountable. We had a lot of fun together, but we also dealt with tough stuff together. They were the reason leaving Charlottesville was so hard.

Andrea and Katherine, my best friends in Charlottesville

Andrea is one of those people that goes out of her way to care for others. She was worried I wouldn't celebrate my birthday after I moved last year, so she sent a cookie cake to my office to share with coworkers. And I couldn't even begin to list all the things she did as Katherine battled cancer last year, but Andrea made sure Katherine was cared for in every way imaginable.

Andrea calls herself a shy extrovert. She loves being in a group of people she knows but isn't a big fan of small talk in a new group of people (hence, the shy). She enjoys meeting new people, but she wants to really get to know people, not just talk about the weather. She is funny and has one of the best laughs I've ever heard.

Andrea and her best friend Sarah

She has lived in Charlottesville since grad school. She grew up and attended college in North Carolina. Even though they don't live in the same town, she is a wonderful aunt to her two nephews and loves her family. She works at the university and is an expert event planner, grant writer and keep-things-together administrator.

She loves to travel and has a goal of seeing all 50 states. She's not afraid to plan big trips on her own or with others. She traveled to Kenya to see a friend and went on a trip out west just to see North Dakota for herself. And, it's because of her that I went to Ireland this summer.

Andrea and I in Ireland

When she's not traveling or socializing, she is reading, crafting or watching a documentary (or all three, she's an excellent multitasker). 

The bottom line: Andrea is a woman who loves the Lord and wants to serve Him. She is a blessing to everyone who meets her and is an honest, reliable and encouraging friend. 

If you or someone you know would be interested in getting to know her, leave a comment!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's starting

The blur that will be September has already started. With three weekends out of town and one working weekend, it is going to be a crazy month.

J and I started it off by traveling to Tennessee over Labor Day weekend. I don't think I've ever made that drive to spend only two non-driving days there, but it was all we could manage and only driving half of it made it easier.

I had a great time showing off my hometown to J. For the last seven months, he has shown me everything he can think of around our area in Missouri, so I finally got my turn. We saw the tourist things (Chattanooga Choo Choo, Rock City, the Incline, the art museum, downtown, etc.), and I also showed him all of the schools I went to, the church I grew up in, and the great views just down the street from my parents' house. I did forget to take him down the W road, so that will have to be on another trip.

Seeing seven states at Rock City

J also got to meet one sister, my best friend, grandparents and extended family. And J really enjoyed spending time with my family. My extended family is smaller than his, but he still did better than me about keeping people and names straight. There are still more people for him to meet, but by the end of the month, we'll have most of them covered. I am looking forward to those two trips later this month, it's just going to be hectic.

The semester is off to a decent start. I'm adjusting to my new schedule and figuring out how to be a student again. I still can't believe it when I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m., but I might just turn into a morning person by the end of this.