Hello all! Thank you for your patience during my gap between posts! Things in Austin have been extremely busy but so so so good. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as I have been continuing my journey here in Texas as a YAV.
So, what the heck have I been up to!?! Well, for starters, I finally feel like there is a place for me in Austin. It may not be home, but it feels good to be here right now. I have grown closer to my community, feel a sense of purpose at work, still explore new things, and let’s be real the weather isn’t too shabby either!
To begin, Justice For Our Neighbors (where I work) always keeps me on my toes! Although much of my work right now is helping the place keep organized, triple checking our work, and figuring out new and better systems for our current procedures, this is the type of work that needs to be done with a still very new agency of less than two years. When I am not scanning, organizing, and other regular duties I sometimes get to go to court! This is an exciting (and also nerve racking) part of what JFON does with our clients. It was great for me to be able to get to experience this. We have had a lot of recent successes at court and now we are anxiously awaiting a lot of approvals for paperwork and officially accepting more new clients.
Also, we successfully had our first big fundraiser for Austin Region Justice For Our Neighbors. I had a major role in organizing the guest list and tables as purchases and RSVPs came through. I also helped the board stay on top of their duties and be the communicator between parties. This took up a lot of my time in the month of October and until mid November when the fundraiser was. Last I heard our tallies were in the $30,000 range. WOW! This is incredible for our organization. There were over 200 people there at the dinner with client stories, staff and board introductions, and speeches from a few special guests along with an amazing choir for entertainment from one of the local Methodist churches. And, there was a special announcement that enough funds were raised to begin a quarterly clinic in Smithville. What a night! ARJFON felt very special and loved that evening.
ARJFON Fundraiser set up ^^^
Another huge part of my life happened just this past weekend. I completed a HALF MARATHON. Wow! All of my training served me well, however, it was still one of the most physically challenging things I have ever done. I am so proud of myself for finishing—I did it! Also, it was so great to have my sister Brooke and Austen, a fellow YAV, with me in San Antonio for the race. It was a fun and exciting weekend. I am glad I can look back at my past two months of training and say that I accomplished my goal.
Before the race:
After the race!
(More pictures are on my Facebook page)
Work and training have taken over big parts of my life but here are some pictures to see where else I have been out and about during the past weeks. I also got to take a trip home for Thanksgiving, which provided me with familiar faces whom I missed so much, and fun times with family. It was such a busy trip but I was glad I got to be home in Indy. I know this is a lot in a short post, but as always I appreciate you reading and your involvement in my journey.
Life here in Austin is pretty sweet—check it out!
UT Football game!
Out and about: