Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving over in America. For everyone else in the world, I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday.
I was thinking about Thanksgiving and how much I really have been missing America. It seems the closer we are to moving back the more homesick I become. I think its this holiday time of year from Halloween to New Years, it's just not the same here. Here are a few reasons why I think I feel this way.
1. I miss Autumn being in the holiday season. Here its spring and that sounds cool and all, but its not. It kind of sucks really. I love that feeling as you are heading into winter where everyday is a little colder than the day before, the nights are a little longer, more leaves are off the tree, its great. Getting a new sweater or that first time you need to wear a hat and gloves because its a little too chilly without it. Man, that time of year is supposed to be now, not in May and June.
2. FOOTBALL!!! And I ain't talking soccer. I miss football so bad it hurts a little. College, pro, high school, arena, whatever. I love the sounds, The TV commentary, Monday Night Football, College games on Saturday. Football is a blessing to the world and I want to take hold of it and cheer and eat Freakin' Bill's chicken wings.
3. Chili. "Hey Chris, its 90 degrees outside, wanna bowl of steamy chilly with melted cheddar on top?" Of course not, idiot, I might melt from the inside out.
4. Real Celebration. South Africa is a nice place. I think so, Ray thinks so, Oprah thinks so, but these people can't celebrate a holiday to save their lives. Halloween..nothin'. Christmas....The Mall of Georgia decorates more than the whole of SA. New Years....Don't get me started, lame. Americans know how to celebrate a holiday. FYI, Prescott, AZ is titled Christmas City in AZ. Thats cool.
So Ray and I will have to wait a while to experience the holiday season in the States, but it will be well worth the wait.
Since it is Thanksgiving I will let you guys know of some things I am thankful for. (I will list them as they come to my head, no particular order of importance, I don't want to get hate mail about my thankfulness order, ok CHRISJAKE?)
-Rachel- Man, she is amazing. I can't even truly let you know how much she means to me, I love her to pieces. Literally, she is chopped up in the trunk of my Corolla. I need to go dump her in a river, but I remembered it was Thanksgiving and needed to post a blog or I would get hate mail. Sorry, just kidding, inappropriate, I know, sorry, sorry, she's whole, in the bed with the dogs, sorry, its a holiday, in america, sorry.
-My dogs- They have taught me so much about life and love, it sounds crazy, they are just 2 huge dogs, but seriously I have learned a ton from these beasts. I really am thankful for my dogs, they are so cool.
-Coffee- Not the rapper from Christian Hip Hop group GRITS, but the little roasted beans I grind coarsely and steep in hot water for 4 minutes each day. I think good coffee can change the world. Its one of those luxuries that almost everyone on this planet can enjoy, thats awesome. Who needs bling? I have coffee.
-My family- especially my family in Florida. They have been through a lot the past few years with my aunt dying and they are still moving on, thats good.
-My new job- Ray and I have dreamed of living in AZ ever since we worked there a few years ago and in life those dreams rarely come true. but within the next 2 months we will be there. I am stoked about my new job. I must admit I don't know exactly what I will be doing. However, I do know I will be a part of a team of great people creatively discovering ways to bring the gospel to kids, teenagers and adults throughout the year in a beautiful environment. Thats awesome. And lots of mountain biking, my love handles will hate it, but I don't care.
-13thFLOOR- I have learned so much through this whole process of moving here and working and touring and leading and and and. Its been a wonderful experience that will stay with me my whole life. I am so thankful for the people of 13thFLOOR and I pray the ministry continues to grow on to do great and amazing things for God.
-Our Sponsors- The idea that people believe so much in God and what Ray and I are doing that they would allow us to follow God's calling in our lives by supporting us financially is so wonderful. Because of our sponsors we truly have had the freedom to follow what God called us to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
-God- The older a get and the further from Bible college I get the more I am amazed by God. I used to think I had God figured out. I knew lists and facts and outlines about Grace and arguments about the end of the world. However, the older I get the more I realize that I was an arrogant child to think I had God pegged. The fact that God loves me blows me away sometimes. I mean, the creator of the world loves me, its so wonderful and amazing.
-4x4 vehicles- Ray and I want a 4x4 for AZ and I am a research junkie, so I have been researching what 4x4 we should get and its so much fun. I had an F-150 4x4 in college and loved it. I literally loved every second of driving it, I hope our new vehicle brings me that much joy. Isn't driving just great? I love it.
-Playing Guitar- This is such a part of me is like saying I am thankful for my endocrine system.
There are many other things I am thankful for like spell check and .avi video files and Jarad from Subway and exit row seating in air planes and Chick-fil-a and quarters with states on them and peroxide and Haley Joel Osment and thunderstorms and Pass The Pigs and "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi and online banking and the Lincoln Memorial and Oregon and the list goes on and on.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving over in America. For everyone else in the world, I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday.
Monday, November 19, 2007
We still haven't sold our home yet and we are getting a bit anxious. Once we do get a buyer it can take another 3 months for paperwork to go through to finalize the sale. Please be praying that we get an offer soon because we won't be able to afford it in AZ. We had a couple of people come last week so I will check with our agent today and see how it looks.
On a brighter home note, we are getting so pumped about getting to AZ. Heres a picture of where we will be living at the camp. Its a cute little 2 bedroom with wood floors.
A few things I find cool about this house.
1-There is a fire place, thats nice.
2-It has 3 mail boxes.
3-It comes with a plastic chair in the front yard.
As I said earlier we are stoked about getting to our new home. I hope they have a huge party for us with punch and pony rides and fireworks and clowns and face painting and inflatable sumo wrestler suits and a pinada and back massages and Italian food. It's always fun getting to a new home. Cheers.
I went so college with a guy named Jake (part of the infamous CHRISJAKE) and he will comment from time to time on my blog about how cool I am or how sexy I look, you know the normal stuff. Well, I asked him weeks ago to email me (not a blog comment a real old fashion email) and he refuses. I would like to correspond with my estranged friend, but without his email address I can't respond to him and 3rd world internet works better over email than blog comments.
So yesterday he leaves a comment whining how I didn't get back to him and how I won't email him, blah blah blah.
JAKE! GIVE ME YOUR EMAIL AND I WILL RESPOND!
No hard feelings buddy, well, maybe a little, but at least not a lot of hard feelings, perhaps a few, but not that many, not many at all, just a few that could be erased easily with $10,000 or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 7:14 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This weekend Ray and I were driving around and we were talking about the move back to America, how much there is to do before we get "home" to Arizona. Packing, selling, shipping, kenneling, car buying (mmm FJ Cruiser), dog fetching, family visiting, friend visiting, trailer renting, country crossing.....There's a lot. And while we were talking about all of this I really started missing my aunt Pat (she raised me and died a few years ago) so badly.
Pat and I had a great relationship, especially when I moved out of the house in '97 to go to college. We would talk on the phone all the time. Any time I had a question or a problem I knew I could just call her up and she would listen to me talk out an issue. She wouldn't tell me what to do or be pushy, she'd just listen. Then I got out of college and she talked with me through my engagement to Ray and then with going full time with our drama ministry, Traveling Mercies. She was always there, from renting my first apartment to getting my first truck (how redneck does that sound).
I think the thing that got me down was the fact that I knew she would love us being here in SA. She would miss us, but she would know how important it was to us and she would have thought the "adventure" was wonderful. I also know she would love the fact that we were moving back. She would be there for us, always listening and helping as we make decisions about selling the house, shipping the dogs, buying a new car etc. I guess I just feel kind of like its just me and Ray making huge life decisions without the advice I always trusted the most. We have people that we can bounce stuff off of, but it's just different, you know.
Oh well, its been a few years now and while I miss her I know life must go on and death is just a part of life. But, man I would love to have her around for times like these. Plus, she would think its cool I am doing this triathlon and I think she would be all about us getting an FJ Cruiser, thats how cool she was.
Had a good workout today. I am trying to do different things that mix up my workouts so I don't get bored and since my running has been horrendous, I figured I should put some extra focus on my legs today.
The gym is a little over 3 miles from my house (notice I wrote a "little over" rather than "around" or "approximately" because those words give the impression that it may be shorter that 3 miles, but my ego wants you to know, without a doubt, that its indeed a little further than 3 miles). So what I did was load up Ray's super cool lightweight adventure race pack with my swim gear, 500ml of water in the Camel Back and ran to the gym. At the gym I had a good workout in the pool then put my sweaty running gear back on (it was as gross as you imagine) and ran home. It was tough. The route between my home and the gym is home to a monster hill that sucks when you are running (I use this term very loosely). So before lunch I had a good swim and about 6.25 miles of running. Good workout.
We had lunch with my friend/boss Flaps and his wife Amanda at Tony's today. Tony's is one of those places you walk by a million times and never eat at, but then when you do finally stop there you will never want anything else as long as you live, a little over dramatic, so what.
We all had the Portuguese Chicken, its a whole chicken that is flattened and cooked in a peri-peri sauce. Its spicy, a little greasy and fantastic. Rachel adds a little adventure to hers by dipping every bite in melted butter. I am convinced I am Shallow Hal. I will miss this meal.
Hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful week. Please pray our house sells, there is one couple that is in talks with the bank so its promising. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 10:37 PM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I am home alone with the dogs tonight. Rachel is at a video shoot for a new show for next year. She plays a mom of a 5 year old girl, or something like that, I am not too sure.
So here's whats going on in our life right now.
Our open house on Sunday didn't go well. We only had one couple come look, they are a little interested, but not too promising. We got another agent to help us, she says she knows some people looking in our price range, so hopefully we will hear from them this week.
I have gotten several emails and comments regarding Damar's birthday picture. I think that we have a little optical illusion thing going on here. Sure, she is a huge dog, but I think the picture makes her look bigger than she really is. In the picture she looks like a monster, like bigger than Ray. You can judge for yourself, if you get the privilege of meeting her, of how big she is.
Ray and I are starting to seriously look for the kind of car we want when we get back to the States. I think we will only get one car because we have lived years with 1 and make it work, plus my office will be super close to our home so I won't need one for work. Plus we would save on insurance. Whatever.
I am still dreaming of a Toyota FJ Cruiser. It has to be the coolest thing out there now. I love it so much it makes me smile to think about driving one. Its out of our price range though. I will be taking donations for the FJ fund if anyone is interested. If I raise about 10,000 bucks then I can get one. Help a nice boy live his driving dream. Did that sound dramatic enough? Its a tax deductible donation. thats nice.
Other cars we are thinking about: Jeep Grand Cherokee. You can get a used one for a decent price. I have liked these ever since high school. The dad of one of my girlfriends had one and would let me drive it when we went out. Memories...Memories. I remember those times every time I hear Wonderwall by Oasis.
We found on the net the other night the Dodge Nitro and it looked ok. We went and test drove one and its nice. The front end looks a bit too hip hop for us, but the inside is comfy and great. I really was surprised how much I liked it. I have read mixed reviews online about it though so I don't know.
If you have any info regarding the vehicles we are looking at let me know. I want as much knowledge as possible going into such a big purchase.
Training is going well, however I run like an elephant, only slower.
I am borrowing my friend/boss Flaps' bike. Its old and the shoes are in an awful state. But, its free and I don't have a bike, so I am pleased to ride it.
Yesterday was my first real bike ride in over 2 years. I did 18k's. It felt great to be back on a bike, I love bikes.
Today I did a 21k ride followed immediately by a 3k run. I think my legs were a little tired from the ride yesterday and my run SUCKED. I was planning to do a 6k run, but only managed the 3k's. Tiring, but fun, I guess, if you like pain and exhaustion, which I do.
My swimming has progressed like mad. I did 2000 meters (~1.25 miles) yesterday after my 18k bike ride. I am feeling really comfortable in the pool and my endurance is skyrocketing. I really enjoy the motion and feel of working out in the pool. its soothing. I think I will defiantly have to join the YMCA in Prescott and keep with the swimming, its awesome.
I also met an Ironman Triathlete yesterday at the gym. Ironman is rediculous, mad respect for that guy. 2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike + 26.2 mile run= one tough dude.
Funny side note; i will wear my spandex swim shorts for the whole race in Dec. They make shorts for triathlons, but with the move we don't have money for race specific shorts. So today I practiced the bike and run in my blue spandex shorts to see what they feel like out of the pool. In life there are moments where you feel sexy, like playing guitar or making a room full of people laugh. However, this was not one of them. If you ever have a desire to feel self conscious and insecure, go for a jog in a snug Under Armor shirt and spandex swim shorts, then dork it up a bit with a visor and sunglasses. Not sexy, not sexy at all.
Well Ray just came home from her video shoot, it ended earlier than I thought. Have a great day. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 7:55 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Today we had an open house with our real estate guy. Its kinda sucked. Only one couple came to check out the house. However, they were really interested he said. He also said the woman kept talking about the space and how she liked it and the guy only talked about price and the garage. I suppose thats how it always goes. We'll see what happens.
Ray and I were not supposed to be here during the showing, neither were the dogs. So we took the ladies to the training facility to run around a bit and swim if they wanted. They had a ball. They ran everywhere and played with the other dog that lives there, Nicky. Then I went swimming and Guinness ended up coming in the water too. It took a lot of coaching and gentle speaking, but we had a blast. She is the only dog I know that can walk in the middle of the pool. It was hilarious, she would be walking on her back legs whiler doggy paddling with the front legs to keep her head above water. Fun.
So we'll see what happens with the house. I hope things get moving quickly. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 5:48 PM
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Today is Damar(day-mar)'s birthday. She is one year old and has out grown Guinness by a little bit, she is really big and still growing.
She recieved a nice new rubber bone because her other one got too gross.
Damar is a great dog; well behaved, very friendly, hates getting in trouble. Shes great, I look forward to introducing her to you guys in America. Happy Birthday Damar. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 10:13 PM
Friday, November 02, 2007
Best and Worst
This week was our last week as a team and the other day we had 2 sessions titled "The Best of Times and the Worst of times". Its where everyone gets a chance to stand up and say what was great from them about the year and then later get up and say what was awful for them.
Its great to reminisce about events that people loved that I forgot about. Its also cool to hear what was upsetting to people. Some felt really lonely, some felt betrayed by friends at times, others were growing personally and that causes a lot hurt when you figure out you don't know everything. I love the focus this ministry has on being open and honest. I come from a family where you don't really talk about serious issues or things that bother us. And I think its cool to have a system where people can be honest even when its hard. It was cool.
I my name is Chris Holohan, I am 28 years old, I am 6 foot 1 inches tall, I weigh 225 pounds, I like music, outdoor activities, movies and Thai food, I am fair skin and I am a complete idiot.
We went to Sun City yesterday. Its a holiday resort/casino/water park place. We had an awesome day swimming and riding water slides. It was great.
However, I didn't wear sunscreen, because I am a moron. I know that I will burn if I don't, but for some stupid reason I didn't wear any yesterday and today I am dying. I may be worse that the TanCan incident a little while back.
Tonight is our banquet (here they say "dine" for banquet, I though it sounded funny at first, but it sounds normal now. Like saying "petrol station", if felt like a tool 2 years ago saying that, but now its everyday vocabulary). We get all dressed up and have a nice party. Its gonna be fun.
I guess its our prom, minus the corsages and teen drunkenness (we have a 2 units policy here). Gotta go get dressed. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 5:56 PM