DIY Mugs

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When I first decided to look into long-term service programs, I knew that I would want little projects to work on for my relationship with Chris. One of the things that I found through my beloved pinterest was DIY sharpie mugs. So, I went to the dollar store and bought two identical mugs. My dollar store only had green, but I like green so I went for it. I used this tutorial from pinterest, and I found it very helpful.

This particular tutorial called for outlining the design in eyeliner and then going over it in oil-based sharpies. Now, I didn’t have oil based sharpies at the time and I have a pretty steady hand. So I decided to forego the outlining procedure. I did the whole design free-hand with regular sharpies. Then I let the mugs dry out for 24 hours. The next day, I put the mugs in our oven, and then set the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. I put the mugs in while the oven was cold, let the oven be on for an hour, and then turned the oven off at one hour. I didn’t take the mugs out right away, instead I let them cool in the oven, so that there were no drastic temperature changes.

I decided to do the process again since parts of my design faded. So I went over the parts that I wanted to be darker, and re-baked the mugs in the same fashion. All in all, I was pleased with how they turned out. : )

I decided to use a quote from Mumford & Sons, because I thought that it fit with my and Chris’s semi-distanced relationship.

Your eyes they tie me down so hard
I’ll never learn to put up a guard
So keep my love, my candle bright
Learn me hard, oh learn me right

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am

Though I may speak some tongue of old
Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength from which to speak
When you sit me down, and see I’m weak

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
They’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

And we will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

So as we walked through fields of green
Was the fairest sun I’d ever seen
And I was broke, I was on my knees
And you said yes as I said please

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am
I leave no time
For a cynic’s mind

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
Fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

We will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste
As it keeps my heart and soul in its place
And I will love with urgency but not with haste



Originally posted on Cap Corps Volunteers The Calling of St. Matthew // Caravaggio

About a week ago, the CCVs and staff had the chance to go on our own retreat. Now, as most of you know, our ministry is based around running retreats. So, you can imagine that this was a really nice way for us to bond and get away for a few days.

A major part of our staff retreat was the sharing of our faith stories with one another.

Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine

Together we can see what we will find 

You know that song by Mumford & Sons? It’s called Roll Away Your Stone and our community is obsessed with it. It has these wonderful themes that fit so nicely with our faith and with our new found journey with one another.

The Christ Candle

During each session we would light the Christ candle, and pray for one another. Then, one person had 45 minutes to share his or her faith journey.

It seems that all my bridges have been burnt
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.

Each of us shared how we came to the faith, the hardships that we have endured, and how Christ changed our lives. I think that it takes a lot to share the most intimate parts of your life with people that you’ve known for only a month. Sure, we’ve been living and working together for that month. So we spend the majority of our time with one another, but there’s always a little hesitation in any new situation to share those most intimate moments with one another. 

Lake Cayuga, New York

I can remember feeling very anxious before my story. In my heart I knew that my new community would accept me and love me for who I am and how I got to be where I am today, but my head thought otherwise. I was very anxious. I knew my story. After all, I have lived it, but I still wanted to plan it out. That way I would be able to refocus if I became upset or nervous.

Our dinner table with a view of Lake Cayuga

Each of us shared the most intimate parts of our stories. These are the parts that Christ used in each of us, to touch our hearts, and lead us to a new life with Him. At the top of this post I chose to put The Calling of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio. This was partially because today is Saint Matthew’s feast day, and partially because I realized how perfectly it fit with this post. Saint Matthew, a tax collector, was called by Jesus to follow and live a new life. Each of us, in some way or another, experienced this very same thing. We encountered Christ, and were given an invitation.

It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start

We each decided to accept that invitation. We each accepted in our own way. We each have a different mission, but at this point in time we are called to serve together. 

The CYFM team at Taughannock Falls State Park, New York

I’m sure St. Matthew was very grateful for his encounter, and I am too.

With Love and Prayers,


Interlaken and Bonticou Crag

GUYS! We’ve had such a crazy week. We’ve been all over this great state of New York. We started by going up to Interlaken, New York, which is in the Fingerlakes. We stayed right on Lake Cayuga. Above are a few photos from our four days in Interlaken. I’ll be writing more about our retreat on the Cap Corp Blog within a few days 🙂

On Sunday we were able to go on a community hike with Tom and his wife, Julie. We hiked Bonticou Crag, outside of New Paltz, New York.  Most of the hike was pleasant. A brief period included a rock scramble. It was more like free-climbing boulders that were at almost a 90 degree angle. It was slightly terrifying, but we worked together and got through it. The view was amazing. To one side we had the Catskill Mountains and to the other side we had the Hudson Valley. Absolutely beautiful.

More to come in a bit 🙂

The First Two Weeks

thumb_IMG_2410_1024 thumb_IMG_2399_1024We’ve worked really hard in the past few weeks. But it has been wonderful. We’ve been enjoying the beauty of the Hudson Valley, and have been learning how to cook. It’s been an adventure. But Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure 😉

Our adventures with Food have been interesting. We’ve been improvising with leftovers a lot. The retreat center lets us take leftovers whenever they have them. But, we’ve made vegetables, banana bread, banana muffins, and chicken parmesan. We also took advantage of 2$ tacos at a local place. They were wonderful.

The little town that we live in is so cute. I LOVE IT. We’re between the Hudson river and the mountains (i’m not sure which ones…it’s either the adirondacks or the catskills). So far, we’ve been to a coffee house, an ice cream place, and a taco place. All are great.

Our community prayer life is really starting to take hold. As a community we’re required to pray evening prayer together 4-5 times a week, and go to mass together at least once a week other than Sunday. We’ve decided to go to mass together whenever the five of us are together. We have an itty-bitty chapel in our house, but we’re also blessed to be in an area where there are many Catholic Churches. So far, we have been to two parishes.

Tomorrow we head up to Interlaken, NY for our staff retreat. Please keep us in prayer as we refresh ourselves so we can better serve the CYFM community.

Love and Prayers,

Leadership 2015

Originally posted on the Cap Corp Volunteer Blog

Silly Leadership

When we arrived on Sunday, August 23rd the Leadership retreat felt like years away. Of course it was only next weekend, but we had so much time to prepare during the week.

It was a whirlwind.

We had our first retreat planning on Monday afternoon. I don’t think any of expected to have everything happen so fast. But we planned. And we prayed. And we hoped everything would work out.

I’m pretty sure we all felt worried about the retreat. But I was very worried. I was worried that I didn’t know my part well enough, that I would stumble and fall. I was worried that God wouldn’t use my story or me in the way we had talked during planning. I was worried that I couldn’t be used in this community.

I became so worried right before the retreat but was able to become calm as the team ate dinner together, and teens began to arrive.

My piece on how communication is important to being a leader was on the first night. As I walked up with my partner for the module, I said a quick prayer that I would be at ease, that I would be able to carry out his will.

And He was faithful. Tim and I were able to run through our module and explain why communication can be difficult and what we can do to be better communicators. Then came my witness talk. I felt confident. So I began confidently. Half way through I was overcome with emotion. I guess it had hit me. That moment when you realize how powerful God’s grace has been in your life. I was choked up and I knew if I tried to speak I would begin balling in front of this group of 35 people. So I took a moment, collected myself, and let the tears come, calmly. I finished my witness and felt as though I had shared a deep part of myself with the group. And I did do that. But I didn’t expect to receive affirmation and encouragement from my peers and the teens afterwards. They were grateful, and through that I began to see how He could use me in this community. Coming to CYFM on August 23rd, I didn’t expect to share a part of my story in such an intimate way so soon. But, it was His will and He was faithful.

Although the first night of the retreat was most powerful for me, I felt his grace throughout the weekend. I felt his grace through the mass, our Saturday night prayer service, and through a few teens that He used to touch my heart.

CCVs One

This is an incredible ministry that I feel so blessed to be a part of. Thank you, CYFM for welcoming the CCVs into your community so lovingly. See you all on Friday!

With Love,