December 31, 2012

toodaloo twentytwelve

This has been a pretty great year, perhaps one of the best years of my life. I traveled to Vietnam, moved home from Korea, moved back to Idaho, got accepted into a Master's program, made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and I feel like I really lived a lot this year. 

It's amazing to look back at old journal entries or old blog posts and see specific examples of how faithful God has been. My goal for 2013 is to be reminded of this daily. I have little goals for this next year, some silly and some more important, but really, I want my life to be a testament to God's faithfulness. Wouldn't that just be the best year ever?

In addition to the big things that happened this year, there were some very silly things that happened. Let's be reminded of them, shall we?
I am fairly positive that I was poisoned by my school nurse in Korea.
I had to have a very, um, awkward medical procedure done in a foreign hospital. 
I was assaulted by an astronaut toilet.

Perhaps the most important post I wrote this year, and the one that is dearest to my heart, is this one.

See you next year friends. 


December 27, 2012

les mis aka les sob fest

I just got home from the theater. I have to write at this very moment because I have so many feelings. 


I can't even handle how great the movie was. I wept every time Anne Hathaway opened her mouth. The acting was phenomenal. I was completely swept away for the duration of the movie. I was brought to another world where I laughed, cried, and felt every emotion in between the two. Any praises I sing this movie (literally sing, I can't stop singing), are not accurate of how incredible it was. 

Every member of the cast is deserving of the Academy Award for Best Actor/Actress. I kid you not, the film was impeccably acted down to the extras. They deserve Oscars. 

I can't speak highly enough of this cinematic masterpiece. It will blow you away. You must see it. I'm already thinking of when I can see it again, and I never see movies twice in the theaters. 

Can you tell that I really loved the movie?


보고 싶어요

Sometimes I miss Korea so much that my heart just aches. It's so difficult having a huge portion of your heart in another country. Those eleven months that I spent living in Korea changed me. There's no way to go through an experience like that and come out unaffected. 

I think of my sweet first graders faces, their eagerness to learn and their pride when showing off their work. My heart breaks when I think of my beautiful sixth graders, they had so much pressure on them but I like to think that our time together was a break for them, a time where they could just be themselves. 

I miss walking around Korea, I miss the shop owners who knew me because I frequented their stores so often, I miss the unexplainable excitement in the grocery store when a new "western" item was placed on the shelves. I miss so much about that country. I miss everything about it. I know that living there isn't in the cards for me again, and don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to be home. I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be, but there are days that my heart hurts because I'm not there. 

Korea, 보고 싶어요. 
(I miss you)


December 19, 2012

in an aeroplane over the sea

I don't want to toot my own horn, but I like to think I'm a pretty great traveler. I've been on twelve different flights this year and I never bring liquids in my carry on, I have easy to remove shoes, and keep to myself. Basically, if you are flying, you want me next to you. I will either be reading or listening to music, so don't worry, I won't try to talk to you (not in a rude way, but in a "I got stuff to be reading" way). You do you and I'll do me. 

That all changed with this last flight. I should have known that something would be different when I went to check my bag and it weighed a whopping 54 pounds. 
You guys. 54 pounds. That's an Olsen twin. 
(Just joking MK&A, I love you guys more than is socially acceptable for a 24 year old)
I tried to shake it off and told the lady at the Alaska counter that I could re-appropriate things and get under that weight limit. I took my Bible and my Beth Moore Esther study book out (Love Beth!) and my bag immediately weighed like six pounds less. Then the unthinkable happened. The precious Alaska Airlines Angel told me that she thought it was great that I traveled with my Bible and then said to go ahead. What a blessing. 

After I checked my Behemoth of a bag, I made my way to the terminal, boarded the plane and realized I had an entire row to myself. That never happens, especially around the holidays! 
I feel like I was being built up to be smashed down.
Twenty minutes into the flight from Boise to Portland we had horrible turbulence. Turbulence doesn't usually bother me. I'm usually fine with it. This time it was so bad that I hit my head on the window because I was being moved around so violently and so quickly. Before I knew what I was doing, I said, "Sh*t!" I was seriously afraid. After my sinner words (joking), I literally said, "FATHER! INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT!"

Is that overly dramatic? Sorry I'm not sorry about it. I was entirely prepared to die in that plane. Luckily I did not die, but I was definitely freaked out for the next couple minutes as my frail, dainty body (don't you dare laugh) was thrust around the cabin. I disembarked in Portland, kissed the ground, and made the most of my layover. By making the most of my layover, I mean I had dried mangos, tic tacs, and a coke zero for dinner. Traveling is so glam, ya'll. 

My next flight was from Portland to San Diego. I was anticipating an easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl flight, but that's not what I got. I got seated right in front of the baby. The ONE baby no the plane was right behind me. I love babies, but there are few worse things when traveling than being seated near a baby. More often than not, they are whiny. I know that they are just babies, but I also just know that no headphones can drown out a baby screech. I decided to read and ignore the baby sounds, so I cracked open The Hobbit which put me to sleep in .2 seconds. I know that it's a good book, but I also fall asleep every time I try to read it.

Please try to ignore the monstrosity that is my thumb. 

I was thoroughly enjoying my Hobbit induced plane nap when I was woken up not only by Whiny Baby, but by round two of horrid turbulence. This time I didn't bat an eyelash, turbulence aint no thang when you've already been through it on the previous flight. I'm basically a flight attendant you guys, I didn't even bat an eyelash in the face of turbulence. 

At the end of the two flights, two turbulence scares, one whiny babies, and one horribly unsatisfactory supper was a beautiful city of lights welcoming me home. I am so excited to spend the next twenty days in lovely San Diego. No matter where I go, no matter what cities I fall in love with, or where I choose to set up camp, I will always call San Diego home. 


December 16, 2012

nordies wishlist

Once upon a time I decided to buy some Frye boots. They were lovely, except they were slightly large so I decided to return them. When I saw how much money they cost again, I realized, "Holy heck Jess, that's a ton of money and spending that all on ONE pair of boots might not be the wisest use of your income right now." 
(I have pretty lengthy internal dialogues, if you didn't catch that.)
When I made my return, they issued me store credit so I decided that I would then buy a TON of different things that were cheaper instead of one big purchase.
More bang for my buck, as I like to say.
Let's look at some of the lovelies that are catching my eye right now.

If I bought all of these items, I'd still have a lot more to spend because those blasted boots were probably the most foolish decision I've ever made in my entire life. Happy Birthday (in two months) to me? 


December 15, 2012

prince of peace

There is nothing more difficult for me to comprehend or process than crimes against children. Those sweet cherub faces, those wide eyes so excited about the world, and those innocent hearts were the hope of humanity. I can't begin to fathom the darkness it takes to harm another person, let alone a group of children. 
I will never comprehend it.
This will never make sense.

I think the more we try to understand, the further we investigate, the more people we talk to about it, the more we become confused and broken. There are no answers in this. There is no why. There is nothing that we could ever learn that would begin to heal this gaping wound. 
The only hope in this situation is that Jesus Christ is capable of incomprehensible redemption. He takes horrible situations and can bring good out of them. He is the Prince of Peace. 

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying
I do not believe there is a divine or cosmic reason that this happened. I do not think that it will ever be a good thing. I am not saying that and I do not believe it.
But I do believe that Jesus Christ can work even in the darkest and most barren of situations, which this is. 
In these moments of anger and brokenness, I just pray that everyone turn to the Lord. I pray that we cling to him because He is the Great Comforter. He is a Father and His heart has been broken by this. 

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

There is a long, long road ahead of us filled with more confusion, more heartbreak, but have hope my friends, there will be healing. I pray that we remember Sandy Hook Elementary school and we don't allow this to become another tragedy that bothers us for a short period of time but we move on from quickly. We must be bathing this situation in prayer.

Oh Father, make your presence known.  


December 12, 2012


I used to be one of those girls that had much better guy friends than girl friends. I chalked it up to boys being less drama, but it was simply that I was insecure and compared myself to other girls. I did have a handful of strong female friendships, but I wasn't a girl who was part what I like to call "a girl crew." I don't want to discount male friendships, I am beyond grateful for the awesome guys in my life. I firmly believe that one of the reasons I've been able to avoid bad boyfriends and heartbreak is because I receive so much validation, encouragement, and affirmation from wonderful, God fearing men, that I haven't had to seek it out elsewhere. Guy friends are great. They are. They are fun, they are wonderful and lovely relationships.
Recently (like the past couple years), I have realized just how beautiful, unique, and loving female friendships are. I have found myself a wonderful group of women that I have allowed myself to bond with and fully immerse myself in those loving relationships. There is something so nurturing, encouraging, and maternal about female relationships. I feel so cared for by my bosom buddies. I no longer feel the need to compare myself to the females in my life, they are not me and I am not them, but we are all incredible daughters of the Lord. 
I have been involved in a Bible study the past couple months with some great women that I go to church with. I have been blown away by the blessings that these women have been to me. We laugh together, cry together, encourage and challenge one another. Sometimes I get to be the one giving advice and strengthening my sisters, and other times I get advice and get to be strengthened by them. It's a beautiful give and take relationship. 
We may not share pants, but we share so, so much more. I am absolutely loving sisterhood and am perpetually blessed by soul/biological sisters. 

December 2, 2012

a little thing called the lottery

I have always played the lottery, mentally. That means that whenever I see the signs advertising how much money could potentially be won, I imaginarily spend it all. That's my idea of playing the lottery- sure, I'll never win, but thinking about what I'd do with the money is a great way to pass the time while commuting to and from work. Here are a couple ways I would spend 40+ million dollars:
1. Pay off student loans.
I don't owe that much anymore. I'm super grateful for that, but it does suck being so young and having a pretty penny to pay back to the government. I'd pay off my student loans, my sisters student loans, and then provide a college allowance for my youngest sisters. Never having to take out a dime for an education would be perfect. 
2. New car.
Don't get me wrong, the truck is great. She gets me where I need to go every day without trouble but she's a real doozy on gas mileage. I guess if I had millions upon millions of dollars, gas wouldn't even be an issue, but I'd still want a new car. In theory, I'd want this beauty-

Sure, she wouldn't be any better with gas mileage, but I'm a millionaire! Honey badger don't care!

3. Home
This is where I'm torn. Obviously I'd want to invest in real estate, especially with buying a home being so cheap right now, but where? I know I'll be in Idaho for the next couple years, I love the idea of living in/around Seattle, but so much of my heart is in California. Could I buy more than one house? Is that foolish? I could rent one out and occupy the other. You guys, I obviously take this game very seriously because I'm literally thinking about where I would buy a house and if buying more than one would be a wise way of spending my lottery winnings.

4. Vacation
A vacation would be a must. I think it'd be so fun to do two vacations- the first would be a family one, I'm thinking I'd rent a villa in Italy for a couple weeks and invite my family members to stay with me. We'd laugh, enjoy the local cuisine, and spend our days exploring the beauty of Italy. 

The second vacation would be a gal pal trip. How great would it be to go to a tropical location with your besties for a week or two and soak up the sun Sheryl Crow style? 

5. Poppa Bear

I would buy Poppa Bear a restaurant of his own, a cozy little place with brick walls and perfect lighting just like that darling place in "Return to Me." It would be the perfect family style restaurant filled with family pictures and it would be run by the most jovial Italian man ever, Poppa Bear.

6. Donate/Mission Trips

You guys thought I wouldn't give any of the money away, didn't ya? I saved the best for last! I would definitely give a significant chunk of the money away to different causes/organizations. One thing I would love to do with it would be to go on a mission trip with my family. I think there's something so special about serving right alongside your loved ones. I would give some moola to my university, they deserve it, it's quite a lovely place. 

I seriously could go on and on about other things I'd love to do with it. I'd buy my favorite candle from Anthropology and not freak out over the $28.00 price tag. In fact, I'd buy it for you too, because it smells that nice and because I'm a millionaire, or, I would be if I actually won the lottery. What are some of the things you'd buy with lottery winnings?
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