Who we are

Morgan: Short. Freckles. Sarcastic. Clumsy. Realist. Reader. Student. Pastels. Soda addict (Dr. Pepper specifically). Dog Lover
Courtney: Shorter. Curls. Sassy. Independent. Romantic. Puppy Travel Agent. Weird. Neons and Earth Tones. Cat Lover. Future Soccer Mom.
Our Blog: Letters. Love. Long Distance. Besties. Videos. Quotes. Humor. Giggles. Adventures. Boyfriends. Mavericks. Work. School. God. Food. Everyday. Chaos. Peace. Family. Futures. Pasts. Accidents. Achievements. Opinions. Lessons Learned.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: Stuff That Was Done


Dearest MorganFaceofaFreckledAngel,

In March of 2012, I started a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days with my sister, her list is different of course. 1001 days is about 3 years and 9 months. With 2014 starting in mere hours, I thought I would review the items I was able to accomplish in 2013. I would not say I’m super far along in my list, actually I’m not even half way done. So, that December 1st deadline in 2014 is going to come pretty quick. There were some things I did not accomplish in 2013 that I can no longer attempt. For instance, I wanted to graduate Cum Laude. I was one A from doing so. But I think the true intention behind that goal was more of a challenge to exert effort than anything else. I didn’t really try my last year of college, so I put this on the list to push myself to try a little harder. I think I did, although, I wouldn’t say I gave that final semester science class my best. So, there’s that. But anyway, here are a few of the things I finished with a brief explanation.

1.    #55: In 2013, I went to a Country Music Concert. This is quite a big deal, because I really do not like country music. I find it to be annoying. Which is annoying to everyone in my life because it seems I have surrounded myself with country-loving weirdos. I guess I like weird thought, so it comes together. Back to the point, I went to this concert. I put it on my list for a number of reasons. First, I want to be the kind of person that goes out of her way to try stuff that is not already my favorite. Second, I want to be the kind of person that does stuff with her friends. Third, I want to be the kind of person that says yes to stuff. Trust me, I know I just used the word ‘stuff’ where others would fit, but I just think it’s basic. I want to try stuff, does stuff and says yes to stuff, whatever that stuff might be. So when my friends decided they wanted to see an up-and-coming country artist play at a local theater, I said yes. Additionally, I love live music and I had never been to this venue, it was the perfect thing to say yes to. So I did! And guess what, I liked it. I danced and sang to the songs I knew, it was super fun. I think there are pictures of this evening, but they disappeared. Instead, this is my fav countrysong, but who doesn’t love it really

2.    #61: Just recently, I stopped drinking pop (also known as soda and coke). After consuming massive amounts of the fizzy substance this summer, I figured it was time to lay it to rest. Upon returning to South Carolina, I quit cold turkey. At one point in life, I had a caffeine-induced cyst. Since then, I’ve tried, unsuccessfully of course, to consume less caffeine and specifically less sugary pop. It’s just not a healthy habit for me. While Diet Coke has to be one of the beverages certainly to be featured in Heaven, I didn’t think 32 ounces a day was a good maneuver, especially if I want to be cyst-free. Many of the items on the list are related to living a healthier life, because, while I don’t struggle with the size of my pants or the amount of chocolate I consume, I want to lead this life for a while and I’d like to have the energy to  accomplish all the things on my list(s). So bye-bye pop, see you in Heaven.

3.    #10: In 2013, I was the maid of honor at my sister’s wedding. This is important, because I think it was the first and last time I will serve in this role. And you know what, I’m totally fine with that. While I loved planning the parties and showering my sister with affection and compliments, it was really hard. I would love to be the MOH for any of the beautiful women in my life, but I’m just happy to be a part of their day. I’d like to be the kind of friend that is more concerned about the longevity of the marriage than my place in the bridal party. I’ve gotten to witness some truly beautiful love stories in my life and if I can continue to witness them, it doesn’t matter to me if I ever get to be a MOH again. But, just in case it’s in your mind, I am a terrific speech-giver.


4.    #83, #5, #25 (1 of 10), #80, #88, #89, #91: These are all of the items on my list I accomplished with CIY. It’s unbelievable how many more I think we could have done, but man am I proud of the 7 I achieved with MoCrank5.

  #5. Visit states I’ve never been to: New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I want to be the kind of person that goes places in the US and appreciates this beautiful country. I especially want to be that kind of parent, one who takes their kids to Montana, just so they can see how different life is there. Visiting new states will be a continued goal of mine, until I hit all the states, and then I’ll probably start with the major cities in the US.

  #25. Read 10 inspiring Christian books: We started the summer by reading “Love Does” from which I continue to learn. I’m not the greatest reader. I actually dislike reading. (See the above point regarding doing things that I don’t already love) But I know reading is good for my brain and the best way to learn, which I happen to be found of. So every once in a while, I turn off the tube and read a little. I loved everything about this book, from the style of story-telling Bob Goff uses, to the chapter about saying yes, to the way he describes being engage with life. I think I learned how to be a better person from that book, which is why #25 is on my list. I want to be able to learn from people that I don’t know, but have written why they know.
"Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It's about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers, hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That's what I want my life to be all about-full of abandon, whimsy and in love. I want to be engaged to life and with life." -Bob Goff

  #80. Go to a Christian Conference: Like, duh, I went to 7. I want to be the kind of person that experiences ‘church’, as in the body of believers, outside of my own ‘church’, the meeting I attend each week. Conferences take place everywhere and for every kind of reason, I’d like to see as many of them as I can.

  #83. Use a disposable camera to capture an awesome day: Everyone hated it at the time, but it was amazeballs. I like being random and doing weird things to break down those cool walls we put up. Nothing says I’m a little bit loser like using a disposable camera at the Grand Canyon.


  #88. Road trip to St. Louis: On my way to Jomo, from SC, I stopped in St. Louis to visit a dear friend of mine. I’d like to make it a habit to visit my friends when I get the opportunity. (Yes, Oklahoma is on my list.)

  #89. Explore a random city on a road trip: Umm, yeah. Courtesy of Chase Allcott, I got to go on a Triple D adventure of random cities. Amazeballs.

  #91. Teach someone one of my favorite skills: Please refer to the birthday video in which I perform a masterful self-five. Consider that my gift to the entire team.  

In 2014, I’d like to focus on completing the following items on the list:       
3. Be a better blogger
25. Read 10 inspiring Christian books
44. Give a really generous tip
94. Watch a sunrise
33. Stop biting my fingers
53. Learn how to skateboard
69. Go to the zoo

It's amazing to me how many of the items on my list I won't finish. What's funny, is that I have every intention and desire to do so! But sometimes, sticking to a list is limiting to the moment at hand and other times, the list keeps you on track. Getting caught up in life is both glorious and distracting. I constantly have to remember that every moment has potential, some planned and others completely spontaneous. For instance, things not on the list that I consider big accomplishments in 2013: 12 weeks of Improv class, two National Monuments visited, a new state to call home and I learned how to make a Latte at home. So, while I want to complete my list, there are new things I would like to accomplish in 2014: Get another tattoo, learn to play the bass guitar, find a passion in the workplace and be like Olan Rogers.

Yours most Truly, 
Court

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Christmas Playlist

Court,

It's funny, but I kind of recall that one of our first real conversations was based upon family, and how a person's family affects holidays. I say "real", because we have had a lot of dumb conversation that lacked substance (and gosh, did I love them!) and then we had "real" ones in which I walked away with something to reflect upon. Now, I don't think the conversation in question was completely based on holiday/families, but the point was made that I love holidays and you were a little iffy about them. Maybe this was the "I am going to Paris for Thanksgiving" conversation. I don't know. That's not the point. The point it - you are a little off kilter when it comes to Holidays (this may be due to the small side of you that does tend to over think) and I am the girl that celebrates Arbor Day. Ya know, to each their own. Or whatever that phrase is.

I'm glad, then, that you are headed in my direction of the world these days. I love your new outlook, as well. In my teaching classes we spent a lot of time discussing how best to teach students to read, and how to best assist them in connecting with the text. One of the best and easiest methods is to help them make connections to their own, personal lives. If you are reading something and you can connect the moments, emotions, and reactions to something that you already understand to some degree you will not only remember it better later on, you will connect with it on a more intimate basis. This is the same in almost all areas of life. Make connections. Build on past memories and past knowledge. Understanding is so much deeper when the emotions become personalized. I love it.

In regards to your request, I must decline. I hate to appear un-festive but I must admit to something that has long annoyed my friends and that has brought my mother great sadness - I think I only wear grey. My closet looks very grey, at least. No matter what, at least, I do know that I do not have anything that is that red or green. I actually might have one red dress and one green dress. I have really dropped the ball in this department, and hope that next year I will do better. New Year's Resolution, perhaps?

Since I cannot join you in that manner of celebration, I will do something else. I listen to Christmas music all year long. All. Year. I know, I know. I am one of those people. However, essentially, I create a play list on Thanksgiving and listen more openly at that point. Among the numerous songs that I listen to during the holiday season, I have quite a diverse mix. Personally, I love them all dearly. That being said, there are five specific ones that I get a lot of teasing over. I am now going to make a case for these specific songs, and hopefully spread the love. Or, you know, ramble about some Christmas songs.

1. Last Christmas
Last Christmas is a little '80s jingle by a British band called Wham!. The version I have linked for you is from the television show Glee because it is the version I like the most. However, everyone and their mom has recorded this song at some point, so it can probably be found in whatever genre fits your taste. This song is romantic/Hallmark/lifetime gold. It gets stuck in your head, and if you are single (or, suffering from a recent break up) you will think it is about you. Even if the lyrics do not apply at all, you will still think that. Don't let the sophisticated song listener tell you that this song is stupid, because it is not. It's beautiful. Heartbreak, redemption, and Christmas. Does it get better? Also, watch the video. I don't watch Glee anymore, but this clip rocks anyway. Rachel just loves Finn, okay?

2.  Baby, it's cold outside.
This song is a little mischievous, and maybe a little questionable. Every year I play it, and someone gets on a soapbox about how creepy this song is. I get it - he's all "baby, stay here and I'll keep you warm, *wink* *wink*" and she's all "no, like seriously I have to go, creepy mccreeperson. Okay, fine, I will stay for one more drink (of cocoa) but you keep your filthy paws off of me." It's a little awkward, but props to the guy soloist for actively pursuing the girl he likes. Right? Right?! Okay, that might be a stretch, but regardless this song has always sounded more flirty than stalky to me and thus I still love it. Who doesn't sort of dream of singing this song in a weird "I Love Lucy" inspired moment in your living room with the man you love? Well, I have. And apparently a number of artist have as well, seeing as this song has been recorded by a handful. The version I have linked for you is Natalie Cole and James Taylor, and has been my jam since I was five. No kidding. The video shows pictures of creepy couples. Best to be avoided.

3.  All I Want for Christmas is Youoooouuu, bay-bay.
Despite many denials, there is not a person on this planet that has not sang this song in their underwear with a fake microphone. Not. A. Single. Person. I did it as a child when I was convinced that I could sing like Mariah, and I do it now and cross it off as the day's workout. And don't get me started on some people. Replace "you" with "baby Jesus" if it makes you feel better. That was sassy, but merry x-mas, ya know? Honestly, anytime you are down during the holidays you should sing this. It's like eating cotton candy before hitting up the tilt-o-whirl. Perfection.

4. Santa Baby (Santa, My Sugar Daddy)
This is a weird one, and I get that. Totally. What's funny about it, to me, is that it was first recorded in the 1950s by a woman named Eartha Kitt. This is funny for two reasons - 1. This questionable song was written in the 1950s? What? I thought every woman during that time lived in a stove and only ever wore hoopskirts with aprons. Who knew that they were so very demanding. 2. I always read this lady's name as Earth Kitty. It makes me laugh. Otherwise, it's a super awkward song. But, like almost every song on this list, you have sang it before and you have liked it. You have even mocked her voice. The only question I have is - what the heck is a sable?

5. Breath of Heaven
It's dramatic and beautiful and perfect. I usually make bird hand motions with my hands when the chorus comes on, but it does not mean I love it any less. People tease it despite it's perfection, but I consider those people to be major dummies. Watch this video from the film The Nativity Story, cry your eyes out, and then go and sing All I Want for Christmas is You. All better.

These are my top five most questioned songs. They might be my most questioned because they are also my most played. Whatever, haters. That's what I say.

All in all, listen to music or wear colored pants. Do you, you know? And love Christmas, everyday of it. Everything about it. Love the cheesy music and the sugar filled food. Love your family (even the difficult ones) and love your friends. Most of all, love Jesus. Most of all.

I love you.
May your days be merry and bright.

Morgan

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wow, It's Christmas!!

Morgs,

I’m so proud of you for trucking through. You made it and you are better for it. That video is easily one of the best wedding videos you have shared with me. You will make such a video when you wed the one true Jordan Stancil, correct? I want to revel in the perfection of your covenant day after day.

Today is day four of my Red/Green wardrobe challenge. I’m going to tell you something and you may not love it. I was not excited about Christmas. As of Monday, I was not looking forward to this holiday. I think it might have to do with the 6 days instead of 24 days I have for a break this year. #Worklife I did not feel right about this, so I had a few conversations about my general apathy for the coming Christmas. Then, one of my friends told me that I could probably relate to the anticipation of Christ’s birth better now than ever before. You see, I’ve been really antsy about getting married. Have we talked about this…oh I think we have. By her thoughts, I should be able to understand the deep anticipation that accompanied Jesus’ birth because I am anticipating the creation of my marriage. She’s smart right? So I decided, I’m going to stop being a butthead about this beautiful holiday and really give it all I’ve got right now.


And, today is day four of my Red/Green wardrobe challenge. I’ve worn something in the holiday color hue every day and I feel like I’m actually joining in the cheer. Last night we celebrated at my college ministry and it was just so stinking fun. I don’t have any pictures to share at this current moment, although we took a really great one of the host team. I’ll add it when it appears via the book of faces. Anyway, I think it was the spark I needed to get excited about Christmas. In coordination with the fourth day of the Red/Green WC, I’m listening to some Christmas tunes and planning what Red/Green items I will take with me to Ohio tomorrow. I will be continuing this until Christmas Day. Would you care to join me?

In the spirit of Christmas, I give you this video: Dear Sweet Jesus, let me have a family like this. 

Here is said Holiday photo with my team!


Many a Holiday Cheer to you!

Court

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Murder of Romance

Kotowski.

Muchness. I like it. I like you for sending some of your contagious muchness to me. I needed it.

It's been a long semester. Ten years long, maybe, and suddenly it's over and I feel as though I might have just ran a marathon in which the finish line sent you right over the edge of a cliff. I am free falling, but I can't seem to make myself mind. I have accomplished a lot this semester, and maybe (just maybe) I might just give myself a few days to be proud. You can be proud of yourself, right?

I miss you today. Sometimes it would just be so nice to just be silly with you. The best part of being silly with you is that you are so very intentional about it. It is hard to pull off intentional silliness, but I enjoy it.

I spent some time today discussing the idea of "talking" with a few friends. I also read an article about it and was intrigued. If you haven't - read the article. You will appreciate it, no matter what your opinion is. Here is the link - http://cbmw.org/men/manhood/were-just-talking/.

I can't help but wonder if our generation has officially murdered romance. With "talking", social media, and the "I can do it myself" mentality of women (AND men) has our generation managed to raise adults who don't know how to talk, care, and appreciate the community of a loving relationship? I fear that it is too late, and the worst is upon us.

But, then...then... this.

This video is my favorite wedding video. But, look past the wedding and the cute song (though, I love it and you will too) and get to his face. His face says it all. Romance, not a wedding, at it's very finest. It kills me every time.

The Cutest Wedding Video Ever That May or May Not Involve Strangers.

So much love to you, sweet friend.

Morgs.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Feeling Muchier

Morgs McGorgs, 

I don’t know if it’s the coffee or TGIF, but today I’m full of energy. It could be the Spirit, reminding me of the things and qualities about life that I am in love with. It could be rejuvenation, after months of up and down confusion – including this summer – I’m feeling confident in the future again. It could be the delicious salad I just ate for lunch. It could be the 3 seasons of Parks and Recreation that I've watched this week, with the crucial Ben/Leslie love story being played out in the episodes I watched last night. It could be overwhelming love pouring out after the time I spent with Jesus this morning. I don’t know what it is, but today is a great and beautiful day. I even asked my co-workers if they would want to have a dance party with me. (They declined) Days like today, when I feel my fullest and most me, I’m reminded of my muchness.


There’s something about Alice in Wonderland that I have always loved. When Tim Burton made the newest version, I fell even more in love. He challenges my imagination, which is pretty hard because that sucker is constantly surprising to me, and it’s in my own head. Sometimes, we lose sight of our muchness, like Alice does before she falls back to Underland. We all have a Hatter who reminds us to be muchier when this happens. The Holy Spirit is pretty good at this in general, I try to start with a shout out to Him if this happens, but I have the privilege of sharing life with women like you. Morgs, when I think about our summer, you let me have my muchness and be my most full self. That is a true blessing.


To-Do lists for Maverick will come, but today, I want to live in the presence of this happiness. Today I want to fall in love with romance again, laugh my butt off with people I have nothing in common with, rock my crazy frizzy hair and give praise to the One who brings me joy. 


- Court

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Story of Kotowski and Crank via Phone Vomit.


Dearest Courtney,

That was wonderful. Humorously enough, it did seem to resemble one of our bits. You know, they start out pretty well maintain before becoming much more frantic as time goes one. However, the faces that that “Morgan” made were all yours.

Since you decided to use visual documentation, I will do so as well. However, instead of doing a representation of us – I’m going with the real us. So, for your enjoyment, here is a walk down memory lane according to my sweet love, my iPhone.  Just so we are aware, these are the actual photos in chronological order found on my phone of the very first month (and a few extras) of our friendship. We are gems.

Let us start from the beginning. In early May 2013, I was just a little country girl -



But, then I met this kid. Courtney Kotowski. Who put on this costume and posed for my phone two days after I met her because that is just the girl she is. My life was changed. 



This video was born of our first real discussion. Three things happened that night. 1. I told Courtney that I may have a crush on someone in the group, and she told me that she already knew. (duh). Ya know, “Because everybody’s talking about it”. 2. This video is obviously planned. It was a reenactment from five seconds before when she did the exact same thing unaided.  3. We became friends. 

video


This photo doesn’t really deserve a caption, but I am giving it one anyway. This picture was taken during the hours worth of packing that we had to do before shipping off for the first time to Tennessee. We had been living in this dorm for three weeks at this point, and felt very at home. So at home, that a troll that looked like Courtney crawled out of the mayhem of her closet and tried to eat us. Before Kotowski could kill the monster, I snapped this one photo. I treasure it.



This video and picture were taken on the same day – Courtney’s 22nd Birthday! The first one is taken in a parking lot at Johnson University in Tennessee. It’s midnight, we’ve been working all day, and we just counted down the minutes until Midnight. It’s a happy occasion, and the video happens to capture one of the best self high-fives of all time. The second picture is later that day. Sometimes you have to work on your birthday – but gosh dangit you will wear a hat. This is also one of the only good shots of my team that I have and if you don't find it sort of awkward you are wrong. 


video




After our first two weeks on the road everything starting going a lot faster. But, the crazy part was that we had,  at the end of the summer, only known of each other's existence for three months. But, we lived a lifetime that summer. 

We took selfies:



We fought over the same man:


We made team videos for a team blog that we never started. This video features Austin's (Also known as Pastor Austin, or Paus) love language - eating. 

video


We annoyed each other:

video



We annoyed others:


video



We did yoga/ I laid in bed and she did yoga: 



We pretended to be Destiny's Child with sweet Kris. On multiple occasions: 





We wore these hats:



And occasionally we worked: 

video

And in the end, we found way too many reasons to relate to the following song. Overall, if you can't tell, this summer was a funny one. I am finally moving these pictures off of my phone because I am sure that I can now make it through the night without looking through these pictures and crying. Who knows though, honestly. In the end, I am still holding onto some of the best ones for later. Get excited.


video



Next week, I will focus more on the now. Hopefully. Maybe. I don't know. The "now" is a whole lotta school work, and I am just so not into that. Write back - and let's make a Maverick to-do list. 

- Morgs.