Friday, May 28, 2010

Headed West!

5 AM in the Asheville airport.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am catching the 5:45AM flight out of Asheville this morning headed to Denver, CO. Eventually I will wind up at Frontier Ranch, A Young Life camp outside of Buena Vista, CO. It was an insane early morning. In preparation for waking up at 4AM local time (2AM Colorado time) I went to sleep at 8pm. It was glorious. I awoke at 4AM super disoriented as to why I was rolling out of bed at such an offensive hour. Thankfully my friend Ben Johnson was kind enough to wake up and drive me to the airport at 4:30 in the morning. Cannot thank him enough.

As much as I have walked around griping and complaining about this early flight I like flying early. Something about knowing everyone else is asleep (or in my case just going to bed) while you are going places and doing things is so fun.

But anyways. I will be spending the next 3 weeks working in the store. I am very excited. I have been to Frontier many many times and it still never ceases to lose it's incredible beauty and excitement.

Many people have been asking for my address while I am there. Well here it is!

for letters:
Amy Noll SS-Session 1
Frontier Ranch
P.O Box 2025
Buena Vista, CO 81211

for packages through UPS/FedEx
Amy Noll SS-Session 1
22150 County Road 322
Buena Vista, CO 81211

This is where I get to spend the next three weeks:

Love you all!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today I had to break into my own apartment.

I was on my way out the door to go for a run. at Beaver Lake. I turned the bottom lock and walked outside slamming the door behind me. As soon as it clicked shut I realized that I had grabbed my phone, wallet, hair band, and iPod but somehow I failed to grab my keys, the only thing I actually needed. Immediately I remembered that I had left the door to the small patio porch we have wide open. I thought if there was some way I could climb up to the second story I could just hop over the railing and walk inside.

I tried calling my room mate, Katie, but her phone kept sending me to voicemail. I then proceeded to go downstairs and enlist the help of the lovely lady that lives below us. She immediately started brainstorming with me ways to get me up to my porch. She told me to try and use a gift card to pop open the door. So I did. Thanks City of Boerne Library Card for being completely unsuccessful.
Then She offered me her small step ladder, a thin long rope, a broom, and a gardening claw. I attached the claw to the broom with rubber bands and masking tape and used it to help tie the rope around the railing up above. It was at once apparent that I would be unable to use the rope. At this point one of my other neighbors had come home and came over to see what was going on. She offered the use of her Jeep. So we backed it up right under the porch. Unfortunately, I didn't get to snap a picture of the complete set up but I did get the Jeep and the porch:

As you can see it is a pretty high climb. No idea how i managed it.

We placed a rug on top of the Jeep and then positioned the step ladder up on the top. I climbed up to the top of the step ladder and some how managed to jump/grap/twist/pull/claw my way up to the top of the porch. I threw myself over the side of the rail in victory. It felt like a movie moment and I was the stunt man. Definitely suffered a few bruises and cuts from the climb. Worth it.

The whole process only took about 20 minutes from beginning to end but it felt like forever. I went inside and found my keys; in my closet, on the floor under some clothes. How they ended up there I have no idea.

All in all this afternoon turned out to be quite eventful. I got to use my crazy weird improv skills and learned to always check for my keys before leaving (like that's gonna happen)

Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors and rainless afternoons.

Friday, May 21, 2010


It has definitely been awhile since I last posted and I have several posts floating around in my head that I will happen between now and next friday when I leave for Young Life's Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado. So excited...

Unfortunately, I found out late last Sunday night that my dog, Winnie, died. She was 12 years old and deteriorating fast and my dad says she died peacefully. We all knew she was on the downward swing but we just kept hoping she would hang in there a little while longer.

I can still remember the day we got her. We were all at my Uncle Mark and Aunt Cindy's house outside of Comfort, TX. We were having a typical family gathering. Can't remember why but we ended up going to a bedroom closet to "look at something." When the door opened
there was Winnie, a tiny black Scottish terrier puppy with a gigantic red ribbon tied around her neck looking so cute and scared. We all freaked out with excitement of course. My siblings and I thought there would be no way we were getting a dog. But we got her.

That was January of 1998. In the 12 years as part of our family Winnie did more things and traveled to more places than most dog that I know. Our family owned a travel trailer and we used to spend the summers hauling it around the country, Winnie in tow. Those trips were
so fun. We used to argue about where she would sit in the car and who would get to cuddle with her in their sleeping back on frigid summer Colorado nights. She loved traveling and being outdoors. She even climbed with us to the top of the Continental Divide one summer in Colorado. I was 12:

She was also super feisty and very protective. There were not many people outside of our family that she really liked. Although she never really hurt people too bad, her bark scared scared so many people. I do remember one time when we were on our way to go skiing at Crested Butte, CO and she bit a chunk out of my brother, Ryan's lip. He had squeezed her a little too tight and she turned around and popped him good. We all laughed at him but Ryan wouldn't go near her for awhile.

Her favorite game to play was to pretend like she was going to rip your feet to shreds. Fun sounding I know. But seriously, if you walked up to her and shuffled your feet in her face she would start snarling and fake biting your feet. I played that game with her so many times and never once did she try to actually bite me. It was to coolest game to play with her and other people always thought we were crazy.

We always kept her hair very short unlike most Scottish Terriers because she would get too dirty. And by short I mean real short, she looked like this a lot:

I don't have any pics of it but she went through a "fat phase." My grandpa, Pappy, used to call her a hog all the time. It was super funny to listen to my mom get mad at him for it.
One house we lived at about 8 miles out of town didn't have any fenced in area so we always had to watch her when she went outside. Well, occasionally we would forget about her and she would run off. Usually not very far but one time she was gone for a whole day before she somehow ended back up at our house.

This picture was taken 6 months ago when I was home in November or at Christmas. Don't remember exactly:

You might be wondering who the white dog is. Well, that is Izzy, our West Highland Terrier. We got her when I turned 16. Nope, not a birthday present, just happened to be the weekend of my birthday. She is super fun and very hyper. Winnie absolutely hated her when we got her because she was so full of energy and wanted to play all day long. But they warmed up to each other. This was a typical pose for these two. Anytime my mom was in the kitchen they would sit and stare at her trying to use their mind powers to make her drop food. My mother was the only one who was ever allowed to "officially" feed them special treats. But we used to sneak them food under table, especially John.

My dad says Izzy is really confused as to why Winnie is not around anymore. It is really hard to believe she is actually gone. I knew that she would be going soon, but I did not expect it to happen 1 week after I went to Texas.
She was an awesome dog and I'm real happy she was part of our family.
My dad buried her under a tree at our ranch outside of Boerne, TX under a gigantic tree that he says looks like it has outstretched arms.

So many stories with her.

I will miss hearing her paws scrambling across the wood floors to greet me when I come home
I will miss shoving her in the bottom of my sleeping bag.
I will miss giving her baths
I will miss picking up her poop on vacations
I will miss her horrible breath
I will miss her sleeping next to me on long car rides
I will miss sleeping with her on the couch

So here's a goodbye for now. Thanks for all the good times Winnie!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Before I Forget

I think I totally forgot to mention that I am officially a North Carolinian. Yep, that is right. I cashed in my Texas plates and license for North Carolina ones. It was one of the weirdest feelings but also super exciting. For all of you Texas lovers out there don't start disowning me yet. You can't spend 18 years growing up in Texas and then completely forget about it. Although it has been a full two years since I have lived there, I still get excited when I see a Texas license plate or flag or even the words "Texas Toast."

And don't worry, all of my college friends, at least all of the ones that I lived near last year, still refer to me as their "Texas friend." I feel as though I have done my part in letting people know how great some parts of Texas are and that there are just some things that can't be replaced. Like H-E-B, Taco Cabana, Blue Bonnets, Texas thunderstorms, or the Alamo (just kidding about this last one). But I have come to realize that other places are just as special too. And it is not that any place is better than another, it is just different. I do still spend my fair share of time complaining about the severe lack of Mexican food and no H-E-Bs but being here has been amazing.

So there you go. Texas will always be there. H-E-B will still carry my favorite foods and the blue bonnets will keep right on blooming and Taco Cabana will keep on making bean and cheese tacos. And I will be here, enjoying the mountains and a place that I have been brought to by no accident.

Here's to ya Texas. Stay Classy

Home Stretch

So here I am at the end of my sophomore year of college. Finals are next week and I am doing everything I can to procrastinate and keep from studying, including updating my blog. It has been a crazy semester and somehow I made it through. So excited to be finished with semester and to have summer waiting around the corner for me.

What have I been up to recently? Honestly I have no idea. I guess a few of my activities have included getting a pre-summer tan (the first one in a long time), hanging out with high school kids, spending lots of nights at the Sloan house, and trying to watch all six seasons of the ABC TV show LOST. Oh and I guess going to school (don't worry Mom and Dad, I didn't miss too many classes). There has been alot more going on than that but those are the things that actually stick out in my mind.

Next week I head back to Boerne, TX for the first time since Christmas break. Super excited to see my family, our new house, and eat far too much greasy and delicious Mexican Food. But going to Texas means walking back into memories. It will be the beginning of me going home and never giving my brother John anymore awkward hugs or begging him to borrow the truck. Hopefully it will be good to go back and have some real closure with moving to a new house and all but that also means closing the door on the old. It has been almost six months and I am no closer to understanding as to why my brother would want to take his own life. The pain is still fresh but I am learning to take hold of Christ and let his love smother me more and more each day and letting his love be enough, something I've always known in my head but now must take hold of in every fiber of my being.

This semester was one gigantic whirlwind of activity. I feel like I blinked and it passed me right by. This summer should be an interesting one. The first part of it will spent in my favorite place in the world, Colorado. I will be spending 3 weeks volunteering at Young Life camp called Frontier Ranch outside of Buena Vista, Colorado. It is nestled right at the base of a 14,000 foot peak, Mt. Princeton. I am so excited to be able to go this summer. After a short trip to northern Colorado to visit my mother at another Young Life camp, I will be returning to Asheville for the most of the rest of the summer. It is the first summer that I can remember that I have not been going and doing everything all summer long. I'm planning on getting a job and hanging out around the area. I am so excited to be in one place. Hopefully I can go into the next school year well rested and ready to jump back into things.

Next year I will be a Junior at UNC Asheville. It is so crazy how fast these last two years have gone by. I know it will only get faster from here. So thankful for where I am and the relationships that I have and will continue to grow here in Asheville, NC. Cannot think of anywhere else I'd rather be at the moment.