November 26, 2012


This past week I got the opportunity to head to Seattle for Thanksgiving and a dear friends wedding. Although I was just on vacation in Mexico a month ago, I have really been itching to go somewhere else. It's been a weird couple of weeks and the time away in Seattle with some great friends was just what the doctor ordered. Robby, Cody, Autumn and I drove up early (like 5 am early- no me gusta!) on Wednesday morning but the benefit of leaving that early meant we arrived early in Seattle with a full day ahead of us! Oh, woops, by full day, I mean Cody and I parked in on Autumn's couch, ate candy, and watched Pushing Daisies. 

I have been incredibly excited for Thanksgiving this year. I knew that I wouldn't be able to make it home, but I was excited for a good, 'ol fashioned American celebration. Last year was great, don't get me wrong. There was something really special about celebrating with my surrogate family in South Korea, but this year, I was beyond excited about celebrating the holiday here. Autumn's family was so wonderful in welcoming us and hosting us. We had the most delicious dinner and then spent the rest of the day snuggling, napping, snacking, and watching "Mixed Nuts." 

Another little fun fact about Seattle is that the company that my dad runs is based there, so that means that my friends and I were treated to a delicious seafood dinner. Oh my gosh, it was to die for. I love seafood. After our delicious crab dinner, we were given a couple of tickets to ride the ferris wheel that was put in this summer. I have a love/hate relationships with ferris wheels. They look so cool and I know that they are "fun," but I am afraid of heights and being extended out over the cold, cold water is semi terrifying. 

One of the things I knew I needed/wanted to do while in Seattle was see my older brother Nicolas. I haven't had the opportunity to see Nicolas too often, so I wanted to get together with him. He is the chef at an incredible restaurant called "Local 360" so he invited me down and I got to eat a delicious meal, catch up with my brother, and meet his girlfriend. The next day I was meeting two friends for brunch and decided the best place to do that would be his restaurant, mostly because I needed more of their delicious macaroni and cheese.

The wedding was a lot of fun, tons of silly dancing and fun moments with friends. I'm a total gooftroop and didn't get a picture of the bride and I, but rest assured, Cutie Cutie Carole Ann looked like a barbie doll. No joke. She was perfect. 

The drive home was so picturesque. The Pacific Northwest is absolutely beautiful. I could live here forever. The colors, the trees, oh my. It's ideal. I can't wait to get back to Seattle, but I'm definitely glad to be back in my own bed in Idaho. 

Only 21 days until home for twenty days. Me oh my! That's quite a long time, but I'm so excited to spend an extended amount of time at home! Happy Monday everyone, hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and that you've returned home safely. 

November 19, 2012

give thanks with a grateful heart

It is so strange to think that this time last year, I was living in South Korea and feeling quite depressed about being so far away from my family and all things familiar. I remember being in that funk. I remember how ominous it felt. I remember thinking that I would feel that way the entire time I was in Korea. I remember hating that I didn't feel thankful during this season. I remember pulling myself out of it too. I remember verbally reminding myself of every single blessing I had in my life, whether it be large or small. 
That is definitely something I want to continue practicing, hence the reason for this post. Here is a list of things I'm thankful for, in no specific order. 
1. My family
I know this is a pretty generic one, but I really do have a great family. I am blessed with two parents who love each other very much, four sisters who encourage me, a brother who makes me laugh so hard, and a brother I'm getting to know again. 
2. My Job

I get to live on a college campus, throw events for students, eat meals with them, and learn from some of the most creative, encouraging, and loving individuals I'll ever encounter. That's my job. How is that even a real? I assure you that it's real and it's just as lovely as it sounds. 
3. My Friends

I am surrounded by the funniest, most caring, and loving individuals. I am positively SPOILED when it comes to the friends department. I am so undeserving of all this love, but I'll soak it in anyways! I wish I could post a picture of every single lovebug that's close to my heart, but if I did, this post would be DAYS long. 
4. Glasses

I am thankful for my glasses. They've gone through many different stages: coke bottle, wire rimed, thought-they-were-cool-but-boy-was-I-wrong, colored frames, to the pair I'm currently rocking. I haven't always loved my glasses, and sometimes I wish that I would wake up with perfect vision, but my glasses enable me to see, so for that, I'm thankful. 
5. Korea

Korea was the wildest, most difficult, and loveliest thing I've ever done. I can't believe it's over. I am so thankful for the time I spent in that country living, learning, loving, and losing. I didn't intend those words to all start with L's. Sorry for the cheesiness. I miss you Korea, oh so much. 
I realize I have so much to be thankful for, and this list doesn't begin to make a dent in the blessings that have been bestowed on me, but it's a start. I won't be with my family on Thanksgiving this year, I'll be in Seattle for a friend's wedding, but I'm thankful for the little surrogate family I'll be celebrating with! 
I hope that you are able to realize the abundant blessings that you have, not only this week, but throughout the year. Happy Thanksgiving friends!

November 18, 2012

the battle for satisfied singleness

This post has been on my heart for quite a while. In the last couple days, my desire to write all of these thoughts down has been amplified, specifically due to reading this article and conversations with friends. 
I am single. I am 24 years old and rapidly approaching my 25th birthday. There are no "prospects" nor is their anyone that I'm interested in being pursued by.
Most of my friends are married or in relationships. 
That is okay too.
We are different. They are not better, nor am I better. Our situations are different.
I think it is especially difficult to be single and "satisfied" in Christian communities. I wouldn't say I feel pressured, but I get asked about boys, relationships, and timelines quite a bit. My family, God bless their hearts, seem perplexed as to why I am not in a relationship. I feel like any time there is an extended family get together, the questions begin to pour in and I start to feel self conscious of the fact that I'm single. 
I love the fact that I am so loved by my family and friends that they seem perplexed as to why no one has "snatched me up." That's very sweet of them to think so highly of me, but maybe I am not ready to be "snatched up." Don't get me wrong, I love the institution of marriage. I believe in it, oh boy do I believe in it! I have had great examples shown to me of marriage, love, and sacrifice. I want to get married. It is one of the deepest desires of my heart, but I do not, in any way shape or form, feel ready to date let alone be married. 
I think back to the last couple years and the things I've done, and how they wouldn't have been possible or would have been incredibly difficult to manage in a relationship or as a married woman. I was able to choose whatever college I wanted to attend, so I chose a college in Idaho. I fell in love with Idaho. After graduation I was able to move abroad for a year and teach English in Korea. When my time was up there, I was able to decide to move back to Idaho and begin pursuing a Master's. These are decisions I was able to make for myself without taking anyone else into consideration. 
I don't want to seem like I am painting a picture of being this single woman who never, ever wants to be part of a partnership. That's not my intention and it's definitely not reflective of my heart. I can't wait to be a wife and a mother. I love taking care of people, I have known my entire life that ultimately, I want to be a wife and a mother. I know that about myself, but I just don't know the timeline. I could write this entry, hit publish, and meet the man of my dreams today or I could still be single years from now. Both of these are okay.
I'm okay.
I'm okay not being in a relationship. I am so satisfied where life is right now and I am tired of feeling like I'm not allowed to be satisfied with being single or that my life would be more complete if I were in a relationship. I love my friends that are married, I love them individually and I love them as part of a union. Do I want that eventually? You bet your bottom dollar! Do I want that right now? No gracias.

I whole heartedly believe that there is a season for everything and that our seasons do not always occur simultaneously. This is my season of singleness. This is my season to travel the world, cultivate friendships, go to school, and invest in the wonderful community I am part of. There will come an end to specific things in this season, but their end will make it possible for a new season full of new adventures to enter. 
I am so glad I got that off my chest. 

November 14, 2012

a sad goobye

I mentioned in a past blog post that I had to fill you guys in on a sad goodbye. Remember Piper? Unfortunately Piper had to find a new home. I know, I know. Piper was, how do I say this politely? THE DEVIL. She looks so cute. Trust me, I know she appeared to be a sweet little kitten angel sent from heaven. She fooled us you guys, she fooled us all. Piper started to refuse to use her litter box and was leaving me nice not-so-little surprises all over my floor every day when I got home from work. 
I came home from work one day and she had pooped NINE times on my bath mat. NINE TIMES. YOU GUYS HER LITTER BOX WAS CLEAN AND LESS THAN TWO FEET AWAY. After some research on "the google," it was determined that there was no reason she was doing this, other than the fact that she was a more territorial cat or she just hated me. I think it was the latter.
The final straw was when I was playing with her and she crawled into my bookshelf. I looked at her and thought she looked oh so cute snuggling on my books. That's when she started to pee all over my Bible. MY BIBE! Is there nothing sacred? I swear she even smiled at me when she did it. 
After that, I knew that it was time for Piper Devil Pussycat to find a new home. I tolerated the "accidents" for quite a while and tried to figure out if I had done anything to bring them on. To borrow the wise words of Shaggy, "It wasn't me." It was Piper. It was all her. Of course it was difficult to say goodbye and I never expected anything like this to happen, but living in a community house means I share my space and it's not fair for animal accidents to be all over the house just awaiting discovery. So there you have it, it was quite a sad goodbye, but I haven't missed the accidents or urine soaked Bible pages. 

November 13, 2012


My dear friend Jared is currently battling cancer. I remember when he was diagnosed (Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphona) during the fall of my senior year (2010). I couldn't believe it. I was beyond shocked. How can someone I know, someone so young, someone so lovely, be diagnosed with something so horrible? It seemed like cancer was something that old people or strangers were diagnosed with, not friends that I interacted with on a regular basis.
We were told Jared was good to go in the summer of 2011, everyone was beyond excited. I saw Jared in that summer and it was just so great getting to see him. He looked so great. He seemed to feel so great. He was beginning to return to that same Jared I had met almost two years earlier.
Unfortunately, in the fall of 2011, Jared went in for a routine scan and was told that not only had the cancer returned, but it was much worse. He was classified as having Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. Jared started more treatments and new types of chemotherapy but it was decided that he would have a stem cell transplant. He had that stem cell transplant today. I am not well versed in all of this crazy doctor talk, but all I know is that today was a very big day and there's a long road of recovery ahead of Jared, but things are looking bright. 
Please keep dear Jared and his amazing fiancee Stephanie in your prayers. They have had a long couple of years and dealt with more than they should have had to, but not only have they remained faithful to each other, they've remained faithful to God through this entire ordeal. They have trusted in God and continued to speak of God's goodness though they have endured some incredibly trying times. It would mean the world to me if you could pray for Jared the next time you think of it. 

November 10, 2012

a mexican vacation

Every year since I was about 11 years old, my family has taken an extended weekend and gone camping on the beach in Mexico. A lot of people have made comments like "Oooh Mexico, that's so dangerous!" It's really not. Sure, there are some incredibly dangerous areas, but we're not camping in or even driving through Tijuana. We stay at a sleepy little beach town in Baja about five hours from our house. It's one of my favorite vacations because there's not much to do but read, relax, swim, lay out, nap, eat delicious food, and converse with friends. We make the trip with several other families, in the past there have been as many as 40+ but this year there were 22 of us. I haven't been on the trip since 2007 because of school, work, and then living abroad. This was the year. I knew I wanted to go on this trip. It's one of my favorite vacations because it's so relaxing.
I asked my friend Jordan to join me. I knew he'd love it. He lived in Mexico for a couple months this summer and I knew he was itching to get back. My family loves him and he's super great so having him join us was just incredibly natural. 
I didn't really take any pictures, other than a couple instagrams, but here are some pictures that my sister Gabby took. 
A big floppy hat is necessary for a beach vacation.
 Luckily my mom is a champ and let me steal hers. Thanks Marmee. 

Jordan got his hair braided. It was the greatest. 

We camped with the cutest kids ever.
Miss waking up to these snuggle bugs!

The tide goes out forever so you wake up to this beautiful picture every morning.
 Not a bad way to greet the day...

So, like I said, the vacation was incredible. Absolutely wonderful. Very needed. A time of rejuvenation, family moments, and many, many laughs. Something happened the last night: two of the people we were camping with got sick. We wondered if it was the food, which was not well received by my father, Aunt Tina, and cousin Vito (yes, that's real) who prepared incredible food for us that weekend. Can I just tell you we had prime rib, lamb, seafood spaghetti, salmon, tri tip, and other insanely delicious meals while we were CAMPING? I guess that's just what happens when you camp with people in the restaurant business.
I digress. The sickness. My sister started feeling sick the next afternoon, the afternoon where everyone but my family was packing up to leave. She threw up. Later that afternoon I started to feel sick. That's when it hit. I started to feel like I was going to throw up so I went over to the dumpster and just died, basically. Then Jordan got sick. Then my other two sisters. Then we got word that a bunch of people who we had been camping with that left had gotten sick. You guys, it was like Contagion. We know it wasn't from food but we have a hunch it was something similar to the Norovirus. Let me just tell you that there is nothing worse than heaving your guts out in the sand next to your friend who is also doing the same thing but his is tinted red because of the licorice he ate earlier that day. It was like Bridesmaids. I'm not going to fill you in on all the nasty, gross details because I want you to continue to be my friend, but just trust me. It was horrific yet simultaneously hilarious because of how dramatic it was. 
Oh goodness, my family has a way of encountering the wildest things. Better just change our name to the Wildboyz, minus the boyz plus mostly girlz. 

November 4, 2012

la famiglia

Thank you Brooke for these incredible pictures! 

November 2, 2012

it's good to have options

Last night I got to see David Bazan perform. 

It was incredible.

I started listening to David Bazan after a boy put him on a mix CD for me when we were sixteen. That makes me laugh now because he put "Options" on the CD and let's be real, "Options" is NOT a song you want to try and woo someone with. It's heartbreaking. I didn't care though. I was smitten with the boy and Bazan. 

David's touring right now singing songs from Pedro the Lion's album "Control." That's the album I fell in love with when I started listening. I enjoy all of his music, but I think that "Control" holds a special place in my heart because it's the first album I really listened to. 

The show. Oh gosh, the show! It was SO good! The songs are still as incredible as they were when I first heard them. David isn't this big entertainer, but he truly is a humble artist that engages with his audience. After the show, he hung out by the stage talking to everyone. Who does that? He's not super famous, but he definitely has a pretty substantial fan base. He was just so kind and grateful that people had come out to his show. What a guy. What a show. 

Sam & I are basically best friends with him. I told him the story about the boy and the mix CD and he laughed. He laughed. I made David Bazan laugh.

Here's his song "Options" for you if you're interested to hear the song that not only sparked my love of David but the other boy as well. Hear for yourself how it's definitely not a "wooing" song but still an incredible piece of music. 

 More updates and stories to come your way later this week like family pictures, a Mexican vacation, and a sad goodbye. Hold onto your butts. 

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