Monday, May 26, 2014

This year's birthday goals

I had a pretty interesting conversation with a student recently, he was questioning me about my path to how I got my job and if I had any goals I was still hoping to accomplish. I had to think about it for a few minutes and I realized this year I have things I want to accomplish but no specific goal as how to accomplish them. So this year, my birthday list is looking a bit different. 

1. I want to love without fear of consequence, to love without judgment and without discrimination. To love freely, and freely give it to everyone. To love regardless of the recipient, and to love without strings. To love without asking for anything in return. To be consumed with love until it overflows and can't help but to touch each individual I interact with. 

2. I want to work on my relationship with The Lord. Sometimes I forget that our relationship with our Savior is no different then our relationships with friends and family here on earth. Spending time learning about one another, enjoying one another's company and deliberately choosing each other time and time again to strengthen our earthly relationships is exactly the same thing we need to strive for with God. Any relationship can atrophy from lack of use, so I want to daily choose to better than relationship with my personal Savior. My father. Your father. 

3. I want to learn to be more selfless, which coincidently will probably become easier with the first two choices for this year.  My easy ability to love an item, a lifestyle and have that become self consuming is not a way I want to live. I do not want to sub-conscientiously allow items to create happiness, and a selfless person is able to recognize that people matter more than items and more then our own selfish desires.                                                   

So there you have it. My list for this year. 

This weekend has been a great start. Time with friends and family, time in nature and one day to just spend with God learning more about his vast love for me. There was a time statements like that I would find gag worthy or slipping into the "Christian nerd" category, but having experienced this healthy love that is true, that is free of judgment or discrimination, that is all consuming I don't care how it sounds. I'll let my nerd flag fly high. I wish every weekend was three days so I could fit everything in without feeling rushed. This is bliss. 

Short and sweet this time around. 

Friday, April 4, 2014


We are wandering out of the cold of winter and stepping into the new growth of spring. I know for myself personally, that is both figuratively and literally. I thought after my mid 20’s I wouldn't be wondering  who I am and what I want, but here I find myself.  I sit here, 44 days until my 28th birthday with new buds of growth that match the trees outside my window.

I want to share a dream that I had last week. No, I’m not claiming prophetic visions or anything of the sorts, but I feel like I dreamed emotions more than I did the actual actions. I envisioned feelings that were made into colors and sounds, thoughts that had a voice and a taste. It was like watching a movie with my eyes closed, the other senses were more pronounced and prominent, yet I could still see the scenes before my eyes because their vibrancy could not be paled.

I dreamed that I sat in a chair on a stormy beach front. I sat amidst what could only be described as an audience, everyone facing the ocean as we watched waves crash down. Thundery clouds circled above the waters as we watched a storm roll in. The sky was an entire palette of colors, ranging from black to silvery light blue. As I sat there a light appeared before me, above the roaring waves. I stood as the light continued to draw near, because I wanted to get a closer look at what it was. I was drawn to it, and it felt drawn to me. As it neared I found myself running towards the warmest and brightest light, bright like the sun but inviting and not blinding. As I sprinted towards it (which we all know I’m the slowest runner, so we definitely know this was a dream, because I was fast) a man appeared in the heart of the light. It was Jesus. In awe I yelled out “Jesus!” and as I continued running I was lifted into the air. I was embraced and welcomed by my Lord with open arms. The feelings of love, peace, awe, and comfort I felt cannot be captured by those simplistic words. One word is not enough. One color not enough. One song not enough, to truly capture the emotion I felt as I was held in His arms.

Every pain, worry, and anxious, confused thought was gone. Completely absorbed by the light, leaving me free from every burden I had carried with me into the light.

I was home.

That was the whole dream.  It was intense. I have never in my life had a dream like that one, and just thought I would share it. How do you not share something that made you feel so loved? I have also had a reoccurring nightmare since I was in middle school that my best friend Kendra’s cat was plotting to kill me and was consequently a ninja, so you can see the vivid distinction of this most recent dream in comparison to most of my others.

It’s been awhile since I've written anything, in part it has been because of lack of time, but mostly it’s been because of lack of words. I really only write something when there is a specific thought on my heart or something I need to process through writing. I will be the first to admit that while I have adequately and probably too well, continued to feed my body, I have not done well at feeding my soul this winter, which has left my words famished and thirsty for sustenance; something I am attempting to repair.

Recently I made a decision. I am all in. Something I struggle with is independence, wanting to organize and plan and know for sure what is happening and going on, and while those are great qualities in an employee they have not served me well as a follower of Christ.  But I am all in. No more dragging my feet, no more control. Much like the version of myself in my dream, I’m free. My burdens have been lifted because I am no longer the one in control of them. A friend recently said something that has stuck with me this week; she said “a couple either walks towards God together, or walks away from God together.” And while I am not in “a couple” I am all in for walking towards God, with the belief that my path will diverge with someone also walking towards the same end line and then that statement will truly be applicable to my life.

My journey of loving people is still continuing. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult, sometimes it is easier than breathing, and then sometimes the difficult person to love is myself. My heart is still growing, my propensity for forgiveness is increasing and while I stumble I am still moving forward…..just sometimes flat on my face, but it counts. It totally counts. So love to you all, you know you've got a place in my heart.

And because I'm obsessed with this-
“You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find you in the mystery. In oceans deep, my faith will stand.
And I will call upon your name. And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, my soul will rest in our embrace. For I am yours, and you are mine.
Your grace abounds in deepest waters. Your sovereign hand, will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me. You’ve never failed, and you won’t start now.
So I will call upon your name. And keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise. My soul will rest in your embrace. For I am yours, and you are mine.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters. Wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger. In the presence of my Savior.
I will call upon your name. Keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in your embrace.
For I am yours. And you are mine. “
Oceans, Hillsong United

HIMYM cat crew. Snow Days. Carhartt Nephew. Family. NYC Skyline. Citizens Banquet. Brooklyn Bridge. Leather Chain Gang. Mini Cooper.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why God Was In Control When A Car Drove Through My House. Literally.

While floating the river this past weekend a few friends and I got on to the topic of journaling. They were much surprised that I don’t journal, in fact, I’m even surprised that I don’t journal…until it dawned on me that my blog is my journal, I sort through this mess we call life on this thing. I process emotions, events, etc. though writing. So, just thought you’d want to know that you’re basically reading my journal, therefore you are also probably creepy, because you read people’s journals unbeknownst to the writer, and you’re probably currently sitting in a room alone or hiding in a corner alone on your lunch break pretending to text but really reading blogs and playing Candy Crush.  

Just kidding. You most likely aren't creepy. Unless you have a mustache (under the age of 50) then your chances have significantly increased and you should probably do a quick Google search on “Am I creepy?” to see if you display any other characteristics.

These past couple weeks have reminded me of when the car crashed through my house a couple years ago. I’m not sure how many of you were around for that, but here’s a recap. Around 4am a Ford Expedition came barreling down our street, went through our yard, crashed through our covered front porch and landed in our living room. One would think that you would realize “oh, a car is my living room” but the loud noise waking us up in the middle of the night literally made us feel the horror that someone had broken into our home, had no intent to be quiet about it, and therefore was after us and not our cheap IKEA decorations. I literally thought I was about to be murdered, it’s the most terrifying thing that has ever happened in my life. The repercussions of the car left glass dropping which sounded much like footsteps walking on broken glass. A lamp fell over a minute or two after the initial impact. My roommate and I yelled through the walls, realizing neither of us were the cause of the commotion, we attempted to lock ourselves in our separate rooms... which incidentally had no locks to speak of. As I crammed my body against my door, pepper spray in hand, pants on inside out and backwards, foot wedged against the closet wall to brace myself should someone try to open the door, I had two thoughts. 1- Call 911 (which I did, and they came so quickly) and 2- God is in control.

In the midst of the most terrifying experience of my life, while I used my own physical body to keep my door closed from the horrors awaiting me on the other side (horrors that I’m sure were compounded by my past love of Criminal Minds), I knew that God is in control and I felt a peace surround me. In my head I sang it over and over and over. I don’t know how a Twila Paris song was the only thing being processed in my brain, or how I even knew a Twila Paris song to begin with, but really what better words of comfort could I have had. “This is not a time for fear but a time for thing we can always be sure of is that God is in control.”

I look at my life right now and I feel overwhelmed. I am mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically exhausted by the insanity that is my present and the vast magnitude that is my future. I sometimes feel like these huge decisions loom before me, how if I choose wrong will my life go completely haywire, or if I stubbornly sit and make the choice not to make any decisions (which ironically is a decision), if I stand with my back against the door and refuse to budge, would the consequences of inaction be better than the consequences of choosing wrong. But then I remember that our God is in control. He was there when I was blinded by fear. He was there when I was blinded by grief. And He is here, while I have been blinded by choices.

I am a blessed girl, because I serve a God that is in control.

Also because of: Family. Friends. Coffee. Living in the NW. An adorable apartment. A future Godly roommate in PDX in what will definitely be another adorable apartment. Sunshine.  A job. The flexibility to have choices to even make. Being exhausted from too many good things. Prayer warriors. Science nerd stuff. 90’s TV shows. Photography.  An abundance of delicious food and amazing cooks in my life. The fact that I’m now old enough that I don’t have to wear the new “mullet” style of shirts just to stay in fashion.

I leave you with a few things:

                   1. Our God is in control. He will not forsake you.  He has been waiting for you to ask Him for help.
                  2.  The Twila Paris music video, below, may be the 2nd or 3rd most horrifying thing I've come across.               But the words and the message remain the same; it’s just delivered in an absolutely disturbing way.

                   3.  If you would like to hear the most recent news about that scary house, let me know and I can tell you           one of the most disturbing “ghost” stories. One of which Andrea and I both personally experienced               (separately) while living at that house, and the news we recently heard about that house….which made           us feel so much better about our very odd experiences there, and so grateful we moved out of it as              quickly as we did. 

The Twila Paris God is in control video. As promised. Horrifying, but great message. Now you can also see my questioning of how this song was the only thing in my head. 

And of course, a little insta-love...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thank You

I felt it should be public knowledge that as I write this today, I’m dressed more like a camp counselor than a college counselor.  Sometimes even I’m astounded by my own resistance into attire better suited for an adult in the workforce. Granted, I have a boot on my foot and the sun is blazing into Oregon like a bug and a magnifying glass which forces me into shorts; but my clothing choices are making me want to suddenly break into a rendition of Kumbaya around a campfire while eating confiscated treats from the Snack Shack.

Which thus in turn makes me want to float the river and then devour BLT’s with an obscene amount of B from Lardo’s. My mind is currently reeling a slide show of the summer I lived in the Idaho mountains and played outside everyday with the most amazing team a girl could ask for.

But back to the present.

As I was driving to the doctor’s office yesterday to pick up my boot I couldn't help but smile. I am so happy. I am the type of happy that comes from within, that joyous feeling that external situations can’t change.  Not to downplay any memories from the past, because some of the best moments of my life live only through memories now; but this has been the best year yet. I can’t help but feel excited for what is to come. Hope is bubbling up, reemerging. The last few years have been a slew of questions asking “Why? Where? When? Who?”  This year is a slew of thank you’s.

A thank you to a God Almighty who has answered every question I could ever dream of asking, a thank you for the unveiling of those answers in His time, a thank you to each of my friends and family who are so supportive, wise and freakin’ funny.  A thank you to those who have pushed me. A thank you to those who have helped me understand the importance of a Savior. A thank you to those who have unknowingly changed my heart through my prayer time over their hearts.  A thank you to a Christ who allows me to be not what I've been but what I am meant to be.

I do not have to be broken.  
And hear me when I say this, YOU do not have to be broken.

The only thing broken in my life are the chains that tethered me to a life of unfulfilled questions and uncertainty, because I am quite certain that the God of all things, the Shepherd, the Healer, the Redeemer of my life has chosen to love me, heal me and precede me at all times and in all things.

I was lying in bed a couple of nights ago, unable to fall asleep. The caffeinated homemade coffee ice cream I consumed (which tasted like the Tony Awards…a little classy. A little sassy. A lot awesome.) and the eternal flame that apparently heats my house like an oven, combined with my stubborn ignorance of not turning on the AC resulted in me lying in bed for hours just thinking. I was thinking about how if I am wrong that there is a God, if my life’s devotion has been in vain, I can still die happy knowing that I lived a great life and that the lie I chose to lead my life down resulted in happiness, hope and love.  And that if I am right, I am so thankful that the only eternal flame I will ever know is that which heats my apartment when the rarity known as sunshine strikes Oregon. 

This weekend I was also reminded that we serve a God that is specific. I spent time with an amazing friend recently, a friend who had some very specific troubles come to light and hit her heart hard. But we serve a God who is specific, who listens to our troubles and knows our individual needs. My pastor, unknowing of any visitor at his church that weekend, spoke on the very subject that was on her heart. Not close to it. Not just applicable to it. But the VERY subject.  Our God is specific and our God answers.

A recipe I'm making tonight, Paleo style, for a shindig this week- Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes

A little Instagram LOVE

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paleo & The Bachelorette(recipes included)

The want ad basically writes itself. Who doesn't love Paleo and the Bachelorette?

I’ve ventured into the land of dino’s and decided to try the Paleo diet. I’ve been curious about it; my normal eating habits are not particularly different from it, but now I’m actually doing it. The only reason I tell you is I wanted to leave two new recipes I tried this week, one I made and one I modified (gluten free, dairy free & processed sugar free). I am a huge believer in modifying. So for some delicious healthy recipes, skim right to the bottom and there you have it, photos included.

Over a year ago when my Nana called me and left me a voice mail telling me she had concluded I should submit my name for the Bachelor, I was like “you’re crazy, no way.” An actual year ago when I blogged about Bachelor Woe’s and why I would be the worst contestant to ever exist on the face of the planet, I was like “I would have to be crazy.” Today, I’m like “A nice car, nice house overlooking the ocean, house full of eligible bachelors, a personal trainer and free trips across the world...” Maybe not so crazy.  Maybe my Nana had it right from the start.

Watching the Bachelorette this season has gotten this Madonna classic stuck in my head- Material Girl.  I wouldn't consider myself a material girl, there are the perks of some material objects, but for the most part I’m content with what I have and in need of nothing. I mean, I willingly shop at Goodwill, not because I need to but because I want to. I like the challenge of finding an ordinary object and making it something extraordinary.  I think the same can be said of people, we don’t always see the extraordinary within people or ourselves.
I kind of feel like this is what this season of the Bachelorette will be like with Desiree Hartsock. The Cinderella of Bachelorettes.

 Yes, a full post dedicated to food and the Bachelorette, throw in a glass of wine and some emotional women and it’s a full-fledged girls night.  Which as a side note, I told a good friend this past weekend that I've been way more emotional than I have ever been in my whole life these past few months (which has made me feel a bit crazy) and she looks at me and goes “ah, you’re finally a woman.” Ha, I guess so. It just took 27 years.

It’s interesting to me, not just because of the magical filming of a hoard of men fighting over one seemingly ordinary girl, but more because I bet she wasn't walking around her hometown last year having men fight to their reality tv deaths over her. There has been a value placed on her head, so now there is a value worth fighting for. That is what amazes me. We as a society are told a value, a beauty, a price that must be paid; and we pay it. The price might be our self-respect, an abhorrent amount of money, food, etc. but depending on the value we place or society places on the prize we will do it or not. Desiree has the value of what America’s Bachelorette this year comes with- beauty, material items, competition, romance, fame, excitement, etc. But if she wasn't the Bachelorette, she’d just be another of the thousands of cute & sweet girls working hard and living life. What a difference giving someone a value can make.

I think we, myself included, easily forget to see the value in the broken.  The beaten. The weary. Shopping the Goodwill aisles, sometimes all I see is something that looks broken, has obviously been used and might even have a weird smell to it; but then I see the value it could have. I see the ordinary in front of me and the extraordinary it’s destined to become.  I think we deserve to apply the same logic to ourselves and those around us.

Thankgoodness we serve a God who not only already see’s the extraordinary in us, but created us to be extraordinary.  A value has been placed on our heads, a price was paid in blood, so that we could be extraordinary. 

Spaghetti Squash Goulash: Modified from The PaleoMama
For my Spaghetti Squash, I preheat the oven to about 400, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bitter pieces and place directly on the oven rack (open side up) for approximately 20-30 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow to cool, then take a fork and run it over the “meat” of the squash, scraping out everything within the shell.
Goulash: This part you can make while you squash is baking away. I used ground turkey as a slightly healthier option, plus I just enjoy the taste better. As often when I’m cooking, I run to the store with my well organized list, get home and start cooking and realize I really don’t have most of the things I need and have no idea what I bought or why I bought it, so I just follow my gut and put random things in hoping to create something edible. So here you have it:

1 small can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes (roasted would be good too)
Diced basil leaves (I threw in about 4 stalks worth of fresh leaves)
3 spoonfuls of diced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste, and any other seasoning to up the ante (spicy, sweet)
Garlic powder
2 TBS soy sauce
Caramelized diced onions would be great as well (caramelized with water and the natural milky sugar of the onion)

Paleo Chicken Salad (with a controversial paleo addition of kefir):
1 whole roasted chicken, deboned and diced
2 strips bacon diced..because really, bacon makes everything better.
½ onion finely diced

1 whole avocado
Plain, nondairy kefir
Garlic powder, Mustard powder, Salt and pepper to taste

 Blend all “mayo” items in the blender until a smooth, yet not runny, consistency and mix in with your diced salad. Voila! Chicken Paleo Salad with the questionable kefir.

Below: the Shirt my mom got me for my birthday. Chicken paleo salad. Goulash.                

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Big changes, Big Girls.

My birthday is very quickly approaching. It always makes me excited for what a new year will hold, sad to say good bye to another year gone by, and anxious about getting older. I always felt that at this point in my life I would be in a much different place, it seems to me that more and more people can relate to this feeling than I would have imagined. Whether it’s due to lack of creativity as teenagers with unrealistic future expectations or not being aware of the full potential of our lives; many of us find ourselves sitting in a seat we never thought we’d be in.

This awkward in-between, the grey foggy time frame wedged between the indecisive imagination of childhood and the absolutes of adulthood, really boggles my brain. It’s an itch I can’t reach. A problem I can’t solve. A Facebook user I can’t thoroughly...investigate (which is a less creepy way to say stalk; I like to know who I’m workin’ with, that probably means you by the way). For whatever reason, I feel like this in-between is a deep pool not many of us ever learned to swim in. We thrash around, hastily trying to reclaim the ability to postpone responsibilities, or we sit stagnant and drown just waiting for “destiny” to miraculously appear before us. I am totally guilty of this.  There have been a multitude of times I've sat down on my incredibly and surprisingly stubborn bum and just waited. Waiting for what I wasn't quite sure.  For whatever reason I at times have believed that life would change, I would change, without ever actually doing something to make change.

It seems pretty silly, right.

As I grapple with the fact that I’m going to be 27, I’m unmarried, I have no children that I’m aware of and I’m pretty set on a Master’s program in Health Administration which means my life is drastically going to be changing in the very near future; I’m ready for the change. I’m ready to be the change, and not just to be it, but be the one steering it. I still have my days where I think “seriously, God brought those two together, they are waaaaay weirder than me…” (I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth), but I am not abandoned, I am simply being shown to move. Basically, I’m being told to get off my lazy A and do something.

In my pursuit to “chase love” I can only hope that it changes me from the inside out. I know that my fragmented but beating heart has grown exponentially in the last few years and I can only hope that as I change, my ability to show God’s love changes for the better.  As I have journeyed this path of trying to love and accept everyone I come across, I think God has had a little laugh at my expense by throwing some real tough ones in there and has tested my patience with people who don’t want to accept being cared about, or being loved. That and I've come across some real asses. I can call someone an ass and still show them love right? I might have a lot left to learn….

So for the list dedicated to this next year of my life, I present: 

     1.  I think this is probably something I will strive for, for the rest of my life, but lately I have been so aware of the utter ignorance and lack of understanding of God’s plan that I have. So putting pride and stupidity aside, I would like to serve my God this year, knowing that He is in control, He is omnipotent, and He has not abandoned me.

2.    I would like to reach Gold Star status with Starbucks.

3.    Hot air balloon ride is still on here. Come on gentlemen, I’m hand feeding you a perfect, albeit, expensive date idea. J

4. Figure out why I smell like vanilla. Seriously people, I finally asked my co-worker today if she uses vanilla because when I move I get a whiff of vanilla. I do NOT use anything vanilla.
  And….I can go ahead and cross this one off as I just discovered what it is. My lip gloss.  I can also cross off “detective” from any future job searches.

5.  Set aside as much money as possible for the Master’s program I want to start next school year.  $3000 a term is not cheap.  And/or find a sugar daddy who wants a well-educated arm candy….just kidding... But seriously, call me.

    6. Rent a cabin with friends and play outside and in the water like kids.

  7.    Learn more than just the Boot Scootin’ Boogie line dance, to at least have two in my repertoire.

      8. Go to a state I’ve never been to before…and the list is dwindling. Anyone feel like Hawaii, Alaska, Maine or Colorado?

    9. I watch what I put into my body, but sometimes I forget to watch what I put into my head. I want to be acutely aware of what I’m watching, listening to and reading.

 10.   I want to stretch, grow, change and be the type of woman that would attract the type of man I want.

  11.  I don’t publicly discuss this…well, ever- but I will commit to saying yes to more guys that ask me out. My first reaction is always no….I’m working on that and attempting to not be so shy.

 12.   Did I mention this before, I think, but here it is again- I want to get back into photography. I realized how much I miss it and how much I love love love capturing a moment or an object.

   13. I kind of want to be an extra again, but we’ll see. My work might not like that one so much, but it was so fun! May 14th people, my Grimm episode supposedly airs. Look for the nurse with umpteen layers on.

   14. Spend a little more time on others, and less time on myself.

   15. Come up with my very own cupcake recipe from scratch. I wonder if I could somehow use basil. Mm…

16.  Learn to accept a compliment without feeling grossly overestimated. 
    17. Learn how to actually use blogger so I can have numbers that match....
    18. Try a type of food I've never tried before.

  19. Try a sport I've never tried before, or have been fearful of.

  20. To remember to be content in where I am in life and where I'm headed. To live in the moment, and to be the change. 

But also, look how long my hair has gotten! This should have been on my last years list because nothing is better than crossing something off a list. I will make lists just to cross things off of them. 

 My hair is so long! The angle makes it look even longer though. 

Those who know me know dark water is my BIGGEST fear, and I paddle boarded in the ocean! And publicly displayed myself in a swimsuit, that's a big deal too. 
Me as a nurse on Grimm!

 I love you all. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Awkward and The Likes.

It’s that time of year again…time to take a look at what I’ve done over the last year and what I want to accomplish in this next year. I managed to cross off almost everything from my birthday to do list I made last year. Almost. I still need to-
  •         Go on a hot air balloon ride, so if anyone wants to take me, I’m there.
  •         Hatch praying mantis eggs (although, I don’t have a garden this year so that will have to wait)
  •        Get swept off my feet
  •        Go to a country concert in the prime of summer. Last summer I did manage to spend outside, and I did put on two drama productions (a ballet dance and a black light dance, ironically, since I’ve only got white girl dance moves to speak of)… to music, but not an outdoor concert
My new list will come up closer to my birthday; I need to really think on it.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. I like to play with numbers. Did you know that I feel like significant things happen on the 16th in my life? My mom’s birthday is Oct. 16th, my first boyfriend (not counting you Jake, sorry, 5th grade just doesn’t cut it) was Dec. 16th. Kendra passed away March 16th. My birthday is May 16th.  There are plenty other significant events, but those are the BIG ones. So pretty much I expect to get married someday on a 16th, have my first child on a 16th, I wish I could add retire when I’m 16 but no such luck there. are some things I learned this year…

  1. -          Much like that time I turned into ebony & ivory with a spray tan mishap, I once again bared my soul (also known as my bottom). As I’m from Oregon and rarely see the sun I wanted to go tanning to avoid getting burnt by being within the vicinity of the equator next week. So I went, a piece of my heart dying just a little bit (and probably a piece of my life) as I’m adamantly against going tanning. Who ever heard of a stand up tanning bed! I felt like a hot pocket tucked into that white fold out wrapper as it spins around in the microwave. In my vain attempt to not get burned in Florida, I got burned in Oregon. You know, just the tender spots though, like behind my knees….the backs of my arms…my chest… hips. Wearing pants today just feels really terrific. 
  1. -          Don’t do jumping squats two days in a row. I could barely walk up the stairs last week at the PSU campus. I have been, and highly recommend, the Brazilian Butt work out, it gives you that amazing sore feeling the next day. I love that muscle ache, it feels so bad it feels good. Another great one, wall sits. I <3 wall sits. I should get a work out shirt that says that…although I really want the one that says “train like a beast to look like a beauty” totally combining my fascination with healthy living and Beauty & the Beast. 
  1. -          That I am absurdly addicted to green tea. I think I’ve been going through 3 tea bags a day at work. Green tea with mint. Yum… my mouth is literally salivating right now. 
  1. -          That I am irrevocably awkward and am totally okay with it now. Being awkward is super trendy right now, which is ironic and amusing. Oh little trendy ones, I wear those oversized glasses because I can’t stand being able to see the lens not because they look cool. My choice of wording is so natural to me I don’t think twice about saying “succumb” instead of “give in to”. I have a blog, that’s like number one rule of being awkward- the ability to explain oneself best in any form other than actually talking out loud. My closet is color coordinated, that’s just good sense though. And I unabashedly enjoy shows like Eureka, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Grimm and Chopped. 

  1. -          There’s nothing that a good friend can’t fix. Mostly because whatever you’re going through, they make it so that you don’t go through it alone. 
  1. -          I look better without make up than I do waking up the next morning in my “yesterdays” make up. Gross. Never again.
  1. -          And last but not least, I want to move to Portland. There, I said it publically. I WANT to move to Portland. So maybe I’ll add that my new things to do before my next birthday list. 
Oh, and I'm still chasing love. Trying desperately to love everyone I come into contact with, its not been easy, its actually been really hard, but I feel myself changing and my heart softening. 

And a quick look at my life this year via Instagram.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We accept the love we think we deserve

I have a hard time turning a movie off or closing a book, even when it might be the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. Something deep within me almost needs to believe that no matter how horrible it is, there must be some redeeming quality that catapulted such a mess into creation.  This was the case with a movie I watched Friday evening while packing my life into mismatched cardboard boxes.

I got this little gem- “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

I was surprised at the depth of this statement thrown out as almost a second thought.  We accept the love we think we deserve. With each year that I tick off on some invisible calendar the necessity and desire for relationship increases. Relationship with my family. My friends. Romantically. And with God.

 I crave connection, I crave love.

It is in my opinion that I have been incredibly blessed with a family and solid friends who give me love and connection even when I don’t deserve it. When it comes to friends few of us short sale ourselves; the friendships that last and we keep around are generally relationships that have been nurtured, respected and provide a mutual gain and sense of connection. So then, why do we sell ourselves short when it comes to romantic relationships and communion with God? Why do we accept less? Why do we think we deserve less? Why do we give less? On a spectrum of “1 to fan-freakin’tasic” why do we not only accept less but expect it?

Girls will talk. The mantra is all to true, some of us do talk….a lot (or in my case, write). As my friends and I sift through these mixed stages in life we find ourselves in, we talk about relationships, dating, marriages and the whole gamete of romantic adventures presenting themselves to us. One common thread I hear over and over again “I know I deserved better,” when that little voice inside your head is screaming “Run, they are about to bring you down and treat you bad.” Then run. You deserve the best. You are beautiful and handsome. You are smart. You deserve respect. You deserve to be loved right. Accept the love you actually deserve, because you are worth it. You are worth more than every single dollar on this planet, so don't accept someone who treats you like a $50 dollar bill.

I think every relationship will have its pitfalls and difficulties. We are an imperfect people, we are selfish and needy and have a lot of growing to still do. We are wired to crave that connection with others, which can create its own set of problems; but we are also wired to crave connection with God, which fixes most of those problems.

If we deserve the very best, the love that actually is perfect, why do we push it away, or turn away from it? I think some of us have a hard time accepting God’s love because we don’t feel we deserve it. We are sinners. We live sinful lives. Why would a God that is all powerful and all-knowing want to love such a horrible mess such as ourselves…or maybe we don’t want to accept God’s love because that means we would have to expect more of ourselves. We could be nothing less but transformed and changed, and changing can be a scary thing, especially when we kind of life some aspects of our lives. But if the love from an imperfect person has the power to captivate and change us, what more could the love of someone perfect do.

We were made to accept the love that redeemed us. We were made to deserve so much more than brokenness. We were made to be fulfilled and changed. So what love is it that we accept? 

My current view....until Saturday when I move!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I love to read. And I’ll read just about anything and everything I can get my hands on. I’m pretty sure years ago when I started this blog to stay connected to friends and family while I was traveling for months at a time, I wrote about my love of books and learning. There is only one part of a great book that I really don’t enjoy, and that’s the ending. I hate turning that last page, frantically trying to read ahead to make sure there is more when in reality I've come to the last word. Luckily for us, there is always another great book just waiting to be read.

I feel a bit like that today as I say good bye to old chapters of my life, and hello to the new. It’s been a great book, and it’s bittersweet to reach the ending. But it is time to delve into a new one.

In a few weeks I’m moving into an adorable house near the Saturday Market in Salem, closing a 9 year connection to Corban’s campus. What will it be like to not answer my door and be faced with empty bags needing to be filled with toilet paper or some issue that needs to be resolved immediately or the world might end. I kind of can’t wait to find out! Gone will be the days of using my vacation time to check students in and out of town homes- this year vacation time is being spent in Florida (for real, I already bought my ticket).

More than just my physical address has changed though. Via this blog I know I've touched on Kendra, her death and the unavoidable impact it’s had in many of our lives and in my life specifically. The best way I know to describe how I've felt is through an anatomical analogy, fitting for me and her. I would equate my heart and emotions to a blister. Through her illness, it was like a wound rubbed raw, exposed, red, painful. After her death it was that initial covering, a thin shield against a horrible pain, transparent but effective. And then there was the calloused blister protecting a slow healing wound. What I've realized more lately is that while my wound was protected and shielded from further pain, that shield also acted as a barrier from letting good things in. And I’m ready to let good things in. As I walk away from the physical home I've known for awhile, I think I’m also ready to walk away from the shield I've unknowingly clung to for the last few years.

I think this chapter started ending long before I was even aware of it, which thank goodness, it kept me from frantically trying to read ahead. How unbelievable is it to have faith in a God who literally prepares a way for you before you even know you’re turning down that road. It’s a rather freeing feeling. I have no idea how anything in the next year will play out, what hurts and hopes lie ahead, and it feels fantastic. Free. Exciting.

 I guess I don’t hate every ending. 

Be free... simple, a child. But be a sturdy child, who fears nothing, who speaks out frankly, who lets himself be led, who is carried in the arms; in a word, one who knows nothing, can do nothing, can anticipate and change nothing, but who has a freedom and a strength forbidden to the great. This childhood baffles the wise, and God Himself speaks by the mouth of such children.”
Francis Fenelon

A little walk down memory lane- Kendra and I- 2007, Emmigrant Lake

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fill That Car Up

Have you ever been sitting watching someone, or driving somewhere- coming or going, or maybe sitting in nature communing with the silence of the Fall, and you are just overwhelmed with the peaceful presence of love. It’s tangible. Palpable.   It’s present. I don’t even remember this weekend where I was driving or where I had just come from but I felt the presence of God and overpowering love. Love that conquers all hate and all pain- it’s the love that conquered death. And I felt it. It was real. It was in my little blue car.
While we are chasing earthly love, God is chasing us with His love.
Zephaniah 3:17-The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

That is a love that is tangible. Palpable. Present.  It makes me think of those peaceful car rides that I am fulfilled beyond comprehension with happiness and silence, or the times this summer singing Call Me Maybe at the top of my lungs with 60 international students woke up a part of me that had been quiet for too long, or this weekend when an experiment of sorts landed my mom, sister, aunt and myself on the living room floor laughing hysterically. Or the times when comfort found me and I didn’t even realize I was hurting yet.  How amazing is that love.
We were made to love and care for one another, so I definitely am not saying seeking love from one another is wrong. It’s when we forget that we have already been cared for, fulfilled and loved more than comprehension can even fathom; if we would just accept it and allow ourselves to experience it. For those who are single, such as me, I think one of the biggest difficulties is for wanting companionship in a spouse that isn’t yet present. When you are already a wife or a husband and your cake topper partner needed to take a pit stop before arriving to where you are; that is when I need this reminder.
Just my random thought of the day, wasn’t really what I intended to write about. Couple of updates- I am now officially teaching a college level class, just twice a week. It’s been a lot of fun so far and I can’t wait for my class and myself to grow together this term. I am still in my position with TRiO as a College Advisor and my position with Corban as the Town House RD, so don’t worry, you’re not that far behind, I think I just forgot to tell people I was teaching now and have had a ton questions from people confused…and by a ton of questions, that pretty much just means my mom asked. J
Garden update- I think I brought in one of the last batches from my garden. It got hit hard by heat and slugs while I was gone this summer, but I did have a huge batch of deformed carrots that tasted like nutritious dirt, I have a bunch of kale and swiss chard in my fridge, have had tons and tons of yellow pear tomatoes, a couple of yellow stout squashes, the world’s smallest red cabbage, and lots of beautiful wild flowers. Throw in a plastic corvette and a Ken doll and it’s pretty much a feast for barbies.
I’ll be in Seattle for the Seahawks vs. Jets game with my amazing cousin who is flying up for a girls Seattle weekend. Wasn’t planned to overlap, but what a bonus to be the same time as a great game and what will definitely be an explosively lively weekend. The following week I get to spend some time at the Holloman Air force Base in New Mexico to visit one of my absolutely favorite little families.  So even without my cake topper hubby I’m certainly enjoying the love, support and hilariousness of those in my life, the depth and experience my jobs are providing me, the humbleness and skillset it takes to grow things with a black thumb, and the peace that my God who loves me so provides me in my little blue car.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pinterest Food Success Finds

This will be a quick post and mostly just about some delicious recipes I recently tried out. As many of you know I try to watch what I eat, and more than just "watch" what I eat as in eat healthy I take it a step further and try to pay attention to the specific amounts of protein, carb, sugar, vitamins, and fat I intake and in what forms. Is it good fat like avocado and nuts, or bad fat like the bacon maple cupcake recipe I'm also going to talk about today. 

The two recipes on the docket today are: baked oatmeal muffins and bacon maple cupcakes. Both made in my trusty muffin tin but extremely different, its the good and evil of the food world. 

My breakfasts have been a bit lackluster lately and I was hoping to spruce things up and cut out some protein but still get a full stomach and a jump start to my energy level. I think this pinterest find managed to give me both and has been delicious, filling and about 100 calories a muffin. I made 30 of them with this recipe. Best if you freeze the ones for future use and thaw out in the fridge over night. 

Recipe from Sugar Free Mom (tweaked just a smidgen by me):

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder or use 1/2 cup honey (I used stevia concentrated liquid drops)
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats { I used Bob’s Red Mill}
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1%) (I used coconut milk)
Here are some pictures from my muffins and a preview of the Bacon Maple Cupcakes.

Dark mini chocolate chips with organic PB blob                                                  Blueberry

The Bacon Maple Cupcakes I decided to make for my office (I take them in tomorrow so I'll see what my non biased reviews are), however, I tried one and it is DELICIOUS and in no way nutritious. Voodoo Donuts would be proud though, these babies are like sweet manna meant to solve most every life problem.

The recipe I used was from BT Bacon for Life:
Bacon Maple Cupcakes
* 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
* 1 egg
* 5 tablespoons brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 1/4 cups self rising flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* tiny tiny pinch kosher salt
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained
Maple Syrup Frosting
* 4 tablespoons of butter.
* 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
* 1 cup of powdered sugar.

"What you’ll do–
* 1) Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4 a cup of the bacon. The chef should eat whatever is left to assure that the bacon is tasty.
* 2) Beat the crud out of the butter and solidified bacon fat ’till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined.
* 3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
* 4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
* 5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
* 6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking." (From BT Bacon for Life)

So far Pinterest has proven very SUCCESSFUL with supplying me with great new recipes! If you want the cooking instructions on the cupcakes just click on the link above (BT Bacon for Life) and it's all right now. Personally, when I made the frosting I used 7 TBS butter, 3 TBS maple syrup and 1 1/4 C powdered sugar. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

East Coast kind of Summer

Did summer happen already? It’s been such a whirlwind couple of months; scratch that, couple of years. 

As many of you know I spent the summer in Boston, plus about 8 days in New York City. What might have I been doing on the East Coast? You might ask, I’m not 100%, but if you are curious I was working for a group called International College of English (ICE) with some phenomenal individuals from around the world teaching English to kids from all over the world on an education vacation in America. You may have seen pictures floating around facebook if you are also a stalker, I’m not judging, I do it too. This incredible experience allowed me the chance to tour Harvard, do the Freedom trail, scream at Six Flags and Canobie Lake Park, walk the plank on the Mayflower and experience the Plymouth Plantations, I gazed at the bright lights of Times Square, walked 5th Ave, stared in awe at the Statue of Liberty, got sick on the ferry that took us to said statue, I ate a hot dog in Central Park, jumped through fountains at Battery Park, I felt the sadness of Ground Zero, sat through three open top bus rides with the rain in my face and wind in my hair, stood face to face with a Van Gogh and other famous paintings, walked on a high rise garden, “heellllooooo’d” at the Seinfeld restaurant, took a stroll along the Hudson River, rode the NYC subway alone, ate massive amounts of icecream and didn’t even feel an ounce of shame, ate New York cheesecake in Brooklyn overlooking the NYC night skyline on a park bench, sweated it out at Bunker Hill, let my nerdy side out at the Boston Science Museum, went to a New Hampshire jersey shore wannabe beach, “pretended” to jersey chase at a private Boston Red Sox tour, I rock climbed for the first time, I played house mom to 13 Chinese middle school boys, and taught some high school boys the joy of American Football. 

That is what I did this summer. Oh, and I taught English for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I stayed up way too late, and I woke up way too early. I sat on the miranda (AKA- the veranda) and talked openly with friends about life, I grew close to people who live oceans away from me (literally), I stole diet coke, ate horrendously horrible disgusting boarding school food that constantly made me sick, I fell asleep sitting straight up mid conversation, I got really strong butt and leg muscles, I found out I can push myself a lot harder than I knew was possible, I learned a square dance in five minutes and danced it for 80+ people(I’m sure it’s floating around youtube somewhere by now), I actively listened to kids, I gave hugs out freely, and I learned a lot about who I am. And a lot about Justin Beiber.

It was truly a wonderful experience.

That I would do again in a heartbeat.

            I’m still not sure why the Lord opened this opportunity up for me but I am so thankful that He did. It was truly God’s timing and His will because for me to get over a month off from both of my jobs, to have passed my certification with a 94% and to get my stubborn self to do something out of the norm could only have been orchestrated by one who is much wiser than I. I know a mission of being a Christ follower is planting seeds where ever we go, and I hope I was able to embody the love of Christ to all I came across and show that Christianity can, should and does equal love; but today, I eagerly await to see what blossoms from the seeds that I know were sown into my very being while I was there. 

 David & I are Seinfeld Restaurant
Elena (Italy), Valentina (Columbia) and Esther (France) at Plymouth Planations. 
 NYC view from the double decker bus.
 Boston Red Sox Tour
NYC Public Library.

And to the right, David and I at Grand Central Station