Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is So True!

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.

- Frederick Buechner, Telling The Truth

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It's getting cold here and by cold, I mean, it's still above freezing!

Friday night I went with one of my friends to a middle school ministry 'mystery' outing. We were in charge of taking middle schoolers around town to pray for certain places - for example, the first place stopped was the police station so we could pray for safety, justice, etc. Next on the list was one of the middle schools, the pastor's house, and then back to the church to pray for their ministry program and then to eat pizza! Each place we stopped, we had to stand outside and I didn't know this beforehand - so I was freezing my little tush off for 2 hours.

And just for the record, I decided that I do not want a junior high-aged boy when I grow up :)

Saturday I got a little bit of shopping done and then headed down to Elk Grove with one of my friends to a cookie exchange. I love attending to those little get togethers! We had a few drinks, some appetizers (yay, little weenies!), and a ton of cookies! I think I had at least 10 cookies just sitting there visiting ...they were SO good, though.

This morning some of my friends and I headed out to cheer on one of our coworkers as he ran a marathon around Sacramento. It was so cold, foggy, and misty - I had on double layers of everything! We almost missed him running by, but luckily saw him when he was right in front of us! Good job, Chester!

Elizabeth & Marcie waiting for Chester to run by

He's so nice that he stops running to give hugs!

It's been a great weekend with friends and being able to get out and have some fun! But I'm more looking forward to getting home in 12 days to see my'll be here before we know it!

I can't wait :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving. It’s that time of year to look back, give thanks, and offer gratitude… what a great time to reminisce.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m thankful for this year and I have come up with a few things to share.

I’m thankful for my mom, dad, brother, sister in law, nephew, and niece – I honestly don’t know what I would do without their support, love, encouragement, pictures, email, cards, gift packages, and phone calls week after week. It all brightens my day knowing that you’re thinking of me and only wanting what’s best in my life. I love you so much....Thank you!

I’m thankful for God’s endless blessings that He continues to pour out on me day after day. I usually see a beautiful sunrise and/or sunset and finally experience the changing season!

I’m thankful to have a job, the air in my lungs, and a roof over my head.

I’m thankful for the friends that I have back home who have supported me and my move out West 100% and those friends that continue to have my six. Not to mention the friends that I have made out here who have blessed me in countless ways by getting to the root of who they are, what we mean to one another, being my support system, learning about each other on an intimate level, growing in our friendships, trusting, and loving. I can’t imagine my life without any of you in it….thank you….

I’m thankful for God’s emotional healing. When things were at such a low, painful point and I didn’t know how to cope, He came in to my heart, comforted me and raised me up to show me that better things lie ahead in my future. We formed a much needed relationship with one another – one that I had sought for years. Broken hearts can be mended and later healed with time and nurturing. Our lives intersect with one another for certain reasons and sometimes it’s hard for us to figure them out in the here and now, but they become more revealed with each passing day. I’m thankful for the heartache and experiences that I’ve had because it’s making me a stronger woman.

I’m thankful for my church ladies (insert your visual of Dana Carvey here). They are a group of wonderful women that I’ve gotten to know over the past year that act as my mother(s), friend, counselor, and sisters. They have been beside me as I have walked through a spiritual journey that I have never been on before. They are loving, supportive, knowledgeable, generous, and hilarious! I look forward to seeing them every week because they are safe and comfortable….my home away from home.

And last, but not least – I’m thankful for the Steelers.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends – share with one another (and me) what YOU are thankful for this year.

Everybody has something to share – take the time to listen and open your hearts…

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day Trip

Old Faithful geyser (not THE Old Faithful though)

Me by the geyser

Redwoods at Leggett

Drive Thru tree

Me inside a stump

Ring tailed lemur...I like to move it, move it

Pregnant giraffes

He was curious and wanted to check things out

White Rhino named Eesha (meaning Princess)

Watusi cow named Eileen (she had a syndrome where she has both male and female horns) and she was all by herself...I felt sorry for her


Safari West from the hill

African Cheetah - she ate a bird in front of some 2nd graders the other day! The other cheetahs were raised on a reserve, so they were mellow, but this one never stopped pacing

Flamingos and giraffe

I had an opportunity to head up north to check out the Avenue of the Giants, Old Faithful geyser, and an African Safari over the weekend and it was so much fun! I love scenery and country side gawking around, so this was right up my alley. The weather was perfect and the trees were changing colors - absolutely beautiful! Going through the redwoods in the early morning light with the fog was amazing, too....I love how God always speaks to me through his 'artwork'!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


After ten years of making monthly payments to the U.S. Department of Education, I can finally say that my college student loans are officially paid off! WEE FREAKING HOO!!

I never thought this day would come - or at least I didn't think it would when I received my first bill in the mail. Talk about a cloud of doom hanging over a fresh graduates head...

In looking back, I sure borrowed a lot of money for beer, good times, and great memories :)

But it was so worth it.

Bye-bye loans.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To Accuse

Have you ever been falsely accused of something? How does that make you feel? I know for me, it feels pretty numbing.

I have been accused of many things - from personal attacks on my character to the 'what he said/she said' sorted comments that can be misconstrued through communication.

Yesterday couldn't have ended any sooner. Work was mind boggling to begin with, but knowing that I got to go vote afterwards gave me something to look forward to in order to top my day off. I was excited, I knew I was making a difference with my vote, and I was going to be a part of history one way or the other. After I got out of the polls, I came home to a note on the door - "Now what?", I thought.

I started shaking my head as soon as I opened it - it was a 3 Day Past Due Notice that the apartment gods didn't receive my rent check. Are you kidding me!? I am so OCD when it comes to paying my bills on time that I actually write my rent check out for the following month two weeks in advance. That's right... just to make sure all is in good order. Now, let me remind you that two months ago, they admittedly 'threw' my last rent check away 'on accident' - because, 'you know, it happens'... not only did I have to put a stop pay on the last check, I had to immediately take them a new one to cover for the 'late' payment. Even though it wasn't late. It was freaking lost.

Livid. That would pretty much sum up my feelings looking at this stupid piece of paper.

Naturally, I call to explain what is happening - and by 'explain', I mean yell at the poor girl who happened to answer the phone about how inept and irresponsible they were for not double checking the envelope that rent came in ... and then get transfered to one of the managers.

After waiting on hold for eternity, I get some chipper sounding woman who needs me to explain everything to her. People, I'm trying my hardest to stay calm and keep a pleasant tone, but get this - after I told her what had happened two months ago she says, 'Well, don't you think it's pretty ironic that it's always YOUR check that gets lost? Why is it always YOU who has this problem? I'm thinking YOU didn't pay your rent and you're trying to get out of the late fee that I'm going to charge you anyway for not having it in on time.'

My retort, "MY CHECK ISN'T LATE - YOU LOOOOST IT!!" So much for calm. Then it hit me - I can continue on arguing with this woman and not get anywhere or try a different approach. (Punching her in the neck was my actual approach, but she was out of arm shot.) I decided to be nice. To take it down a notch. Maybe she was having a bad day? But dang it, I had a bad day, too.

So I told her that I was sorry for raising my voice and that I wanted to resolve this - what did I need to do? Obviously, she still wanted to yell at me for being a dead beat and continue to accuse me of getting out of rent, not being responsible, blah blah blah... Calm... breathe... pray - God let this woman calm down so we can talk... God let me hold my tongue... deep breath...and wouldn't you know... the conversation changed.

I ended up having to go get a cashier's check, put ANOTHER stop pay on this check, and go to the rental office. It was like going in to see the principal - I felt like I was in trouble, but I know in my heart of hearts that I was being honest - I really did pay my rent. But how do you convince somebody that your words are true? I had the proof with my duplicate checks. It wouldn't help.

The lady I had spokent to was gone, but the other woman working gave me that condescending look and accompanying sneer and said, "Oh, I know what this is about. I'll take that." I smiled, said thank you and walked away.

But before I left, I stopped at the desk where the girl answering the phone was sitting - I told her who I was and apologized for being rude and raising my voice when I called. Her eyes lit up and she said, "Wow - thank you... you're so sweet for going out of your way... but these things happen and I'm sorry they happened to you." Yeah, me too.

You want to know what my bible study sermon was about last night at church? Persecution and how we handle it. Ironic? I didn't think so either.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick Or Treat

I'm not a huge Halloween person, but I do enjoy seeing the little kids all dressed up in their costumes every year.

Last year at work we decorated the whole office and my coworkers (or their spouses) brought in their kids to walk up and down the aisles and get candy from us. It was so much fun and I'm totally looking forward to it again tomorrow. Of course I bought MY favorite candy in case we had some leftovers (Jr. Mints....mmmmmm)!

I haven't been to a costume party in years and doubt I'll go to the one I was invited to this year. I get too freaked out about drunk drivers. When did I get all 'old'? Plus, I didn't want to spend the money on something I'll wear for one night.

I think my favorite 'adult' costume was an angel and my boyfriend at the time was the devil - I had light up wings and a halo and oddly enough after a long night of drinking, my halo burned out. Go figure. It was so cute though... do you have a favorite costume?

Send me pictures of your kids so I can see them all dressed up, too!

Have fun and "Trick or Treat!!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have such a bad case of writer's block... I have no idea what to talk about... this is so frustrating. Any ideas, thoughts, opinions? :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Countdown is On

In almost 2 weeks we will be able to use our voices to elect a new president to run our country - how exciting is this?! No matter what the outcome, this election is going to be a history making event and I cannot wait to be a part of it.

I'm not here to share my political views, but I do want to make sure everybody is going to let their ballot be counted because we all know that EVERY vote matters.

This will be the fifth election that I have been able to vote in and I'm sort of proud of myself for being able to say so. I had only been 18 for three months in my first election back in '92 and my mom even came to the high school to pick me up at lunch so we could go together. (Please stop doing the math in your head!).

I felt SO good about myself when I walked out of the library after voting that day, but I'm not sure how to explain it - do you know what I'm talking about? We can breath a huge sigh of relief for being able to live in a democracy where our voices are heard and our freedom is so important not only to ourselves, but the people who come in to our country and worked hard to get here - all for a better life.

In '96 while attending college, I was so proud of my 'I Voted Today' sticker and I kept it on my favorite notebook so I could look at it every day. However, I didn't know that you could ONLY vote for the president on your ballot - I thought you had to vote for everything on there. I didn't know any of the other names for judges, sheriffs, and whoever else was on there, so I made a cute little pattern with my bubbles. Probably not the best approach, but it seemed logical as a 20 something...

I drove through an icy/rain mixture in 2000 to find a little elementary school for my next voting stint - and it was the first time that my roommate and I had watched every debate and I knew without a doubt who I was voting for - I nearly body checked a little lady into the wall trying to get in to my booth because I was so excited. I wondered if being that excited was 'normal'?

'04 seemed uneventful because I walked across the street to the fire station and the volunteers in there were rude...I didn't feel quite as upbeat when I left, but it didn't seem to matter, either.

This year will mark a point in history where we will be able to tell our kids and grandkids what this was like to experience in the near future and all I can encourage you to do is VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

If Only...

I had some extra money - I would buy this bad boy and drive it proudly with my matching window flags blowing into the black and gold sunset....maybe put some sweet hub caps on it, too.

Friday, October 3, 2008


The first rain of the season came this afternoon and what a welcome change!

When I left for work this morning, I took a few pictures of the sunrise coming up over the hill - it was brilliant and of course, pictures don't justify the colors.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the radar anticipating the big blob of green heading our way.... everybody was so excited and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't too! I mean, it's the first rain we've had since February - that's right, seven months.

Day after day it's nothing but blue skies and sun - it's dry, dusty, and up until last weekend, it's been 100F - hello, I'm ready for fall already!

As I'm sitting here with the patio door open taking in deep breaths of fresh air and feeling the cool breeze, it makes me want to curl up in a blanket, drink hot chocolate, and watch football. Ahhh....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I have the BEST Friends in the Whole Wide World!

I'm absolutely, positively, 100% in utter shock right now... and that seems to be an understatement!

For the last two months, I have been under a cloud of worry and fear that I would miss spending time with my family at Christmas... I have struggled with the thought of putting a flight on my credit card, but decided to buck up last week and just DO IT... no matter how long it would take for me to pay it off, the time spent in Iowa would be well worth the monthly payments (right?).

I went into the weekend pretty excited about the thought of being home for the holiday, but then I started to wrangle with questions again - how much overtime will I need to put in to pay this off? Should I have really done that right now? What if prices would have dropped? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Well, let me tell you something about the friends and family that I have - they've all heard my sob story and patiently listened while I've talked, emailed, and cried about the thought of being alone on Christmas. And these same friends have lifted me up today in a small UPS envelope containing the money I would need to fly home to be with my family!! (I'm still in shock!)
Missy has had me fooled this whole time thinking that she was sending me pictures of her little one, asking that I 'document' my reaction - so, I humored her as you'll see below.

The arrival
See, I got the card!

I see the check, and am thinking, "What the??"

Let the tears begin...

The card and check

I love you guys :)

So I'm on the phone with Missy this entire time and am having a hard time comprehending what is happening (meaning that I'm more concerned that I didn't get the picture!). She begins to tell me how April and Kerry really helped spear head this task and how much people really wanted to help me out, the outpouring of love that has been shown, and seriously, how I have the BEST friends in the whole wide world! God answered my prayers far beyond what I thought (even though I sort of jumped the gun - it's so hard when the answer is to 'wait'!)

I'm truly amazed and so blessed by you - friends and family that have helped me and loved me unconditionally. Thank you for your generosity, love, and heartfelt caring of a friend... I don't even know how to begin to thank those of you who donated, but from the bottom of my heart and to the depths of the ocean.... thank you, thank you, thank you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This week marked 18 months of living in sunny California. Time feels like it flies one minute, but the next it seems like it's crawling at a snail's pace.

With this year and a half 'anniversary' comes that bitter taste of homesickness....again. I think I'm figuring it out that it happens about every quarter. It's been three months since my last visit home and three more to go until Christmas, so at least I've hit the downward slide of my next vacation back to Iowa.

And the good news is - I WILL be able to head home for the holidays! I have been consumed with the fear of not being able to travel due to the high prices of plane tickets, but just for fun, I went online to do some more checking yesterday and the same flight that I was looking into a couple months ago has went down $200!! I grabbed my credit card and made my flight arrangements then and there - I'm sooo happy! It's obviously still more than I'd like to pay for a plane ticket, but I don't see anything changing in the near future that will give us back the luxury of being able to fly when and where we want for a cheap price tag anymore. Yay for me!

My bible group started up again Tuesday night at church and I was so excited to get back into the swing of things. This last study I did called 'Experiencing God' really kicked it in gear for me and I couldn't have been more excited with the things that were happening while taking the class. We're back in the church auditorium studying the Beatitudes, however I spent too much time gawking around the room to see who all was there, who came back, and who was a new attendee to really listen to what was going on with the first lecture. And I thought my brother had attention problems.

While I was scanning the room, I realized that I had a lot of friends there. People I had gotten to know over the last year and friends that I enjoy seeing. I thought about how hard it would be to leave them if I ever decided to move away from here. Never as hard as my peeps back home though.

Speaking of which, last night my friend, Michelle invited me to her sons' school for a family movie night. We watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, had free popcorn and $1 nachos. I loved it! It was outside under the stars and it was cool enough that we needed a blanket and sweatshirts... she has such a great family and I love hanging out with her and her husband and kids! I think it's the Midwest factor that binds us so closely since she's from Illinois :)

Yesterday at work a committee organized some activities to celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day (that's for real). I thought it was a lot of fun! And since my brother has teased me the last three weeks about having a scar on my face that looks like I got into a 'hook fight', I felt like I really fit in by saying, 'AAARRRR'! We got to take a swing at a treasure chest pinata, get pirate tattoos, do a ring toss, bean bag toss, and then stop at the bar for some Pirate's Booty (puffed corn), drinks, and a prize - the guys I went with both won gift certificates and lottery tickets, but I had the mentality of a little kid and picked up the heavier gift bags thinking that those were the better prizes. I won a small pirate beach ball and a rubber/bendy pirate.

The scar on my face is healing a little more, but of course I still think it looks hideous. I have to remind myself that it's only been 3 weeks and I still have ten stitches underneath of the scar that are still trying to heal themselves. I had to stop using the ointment because I had an allergic reaction to it and broke out in hives all around the incision - not only was it red, bumpy, and swollen, but it was greased up and itchy! Totally hot. Now I'm just using lotion on it to keep it from drying out - which was happening because being the doctoral genius that I am, I was putting peroxide on it to keep it clean. Little did I know how much I was making things worse. At least I'm on the mend from what I can see!

Today I had my first 'bad' experience at the salon. I thought I would get some low lights put in my super blond hair to tone things down a little bit for the autumn months, but I came out of the salon as a brunette. Now mind you, last year I did dye my hair brown for winter, but I wasn't a big fan of the au naturale and back to blond I went a few months later. Last year I was expecting to be brunette, but today I wasn't. It was the first time (ever) that I didn't tell the stylist that I liked what she did - and though I tried to be polite, I wanted to cry. I hate it. She was going to charge me extra for the few highlights that she did put in and I said, 'Really? Because I'm not too happy with how things turned out." So she didn't. Then she sent me a text on my way home letting me know how bad she felt and that she would give me $10 off of my next service. Bless her heart... but now I'm wrestling with the whole thought of how I don't even want to go back, but this girl is SOOOO nice and sweet. And pregnant. I think I'd be kind of a jerk if I didn't go back again for one mistake? Who knows. I just hope this color fades quickly.

Time to see if I can catch the Cyclones in action as they take on UNLV - I wanted to go to Vegas SO bad to see my friends and hang out for the game this weekend, but taking the time off and money didn't allow for it - maybe next year?! ISU, ISU, ISU..

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I was so excited to get up and watch ISU v. Iowa this morning at 9am. I even planned my morning around it. And guess who couldn't watch it because of the network? That's right...yours truly.

I was incredibly bummed out and I think my roommate wanted to make fun of me, but the look on my face spoke volumes. So nothing was said other than, 'Good luck.'

And now that the better team couldn't pull through, I'm glad I went about my Saturday routine as usual. There's always next year.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Dictionary results for: sift

1. to separate and retain the coarse parts with a sieve.
2. to examine
3. to question closely

I had an interesting email chat with a dear friend of mine the other day. It was one of those conversations that continuously replays in my mind on a subject that I began to pray for a couple months back, but then it came to a head at the right moment with her loving and reaffirming words.

I'm a girl. I talk to other girl-friends about my emotions, how i'm feeling during a particular time, my life's happenings, my relationships, my struggles, dreams, thoughts, etc. and it's SO easy because they can all relate. We're women - we're wired differently than men. Period.

However, when I get into relationships with men, I feel like I'm incapable of expressing these emotions because I'm afraid I'm going to get rejected, put down, or laughed at (which have all three happened at one point or another in my years of dating experiences!). Plus, I think I've taken "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23) to a whole new level when I do get into a relationship!

Anyway, she brought up a fabulous point about 'sifting'. I began to think of my past relationships as a panning for gold (the future Mr. of my life being the piece of gold). And granted, I know it's referred to as 'panning' for gold, but humor me for a minute while I 'sift'...

When you sift for gold, a person would place the ore in a large metal or plastic pan, with water, and agitate it so that the gold particles would settle to the bottom. The sand, mud and gravel would be washed over the side of the pan, leaving the gold behind.

I have my own version of God putting me in this nice, big pan called life and helping me sift out the sand, mud or muck that is going on around me in order to find that one piece of gold. And right now, I'm so cool with letting Him do all of the work.

Ironically, I ran over this passage in Judges 7:4 :

But the LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."

Granted, this is an excerpt taken out of context (Gideon was to take over the Midianites and God was sifting out the men who feared the Lord), but I still thought it was ironic...

In the past, my friends have always teased me about my dating processes - it has always been Feast or Famine. When there is one who is asking me out, there are three more on his heels... but when there are none - seriously, I hear crickets...

THAT has been my prayer the last few months; for God to continue to sift through the people that I meet (though that sounds a bit impersonal). I don't want to get tangled up in a web of dating that leads to another tear-jerker of a break up. I don't want to meet families and friends if 'he' isn't the one that God has specifically picked out for me. I don't want to take anything away from the future Mr. by giving away pieces of my heart for 'free' because I'm too stubborn to wait for His best.

I want to be with somebody who honors and respects me, somebody who also has positive people in their lives that raise them up as a person and a friend, somebody who can accept my vices and virtues... and for me to be able to do the same for him...
I want God's best for me. And I will wait for His best because I am worth His best.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The 'k' is silent.

Last night my uncle, Kim, and his coworker, K.C. were able to meet up with me at BJ's for some good food, great conversation, and da-da-daaaaaa - a pizookie!!

It was so awesome getting to see a familiar face and more importantly, being with family.
We had a lot of catching up to do since the last time we have seen each other was Christmas of last year. I always enjoy hearing stories about my cousins who are still in school and what's going on back home, too.

Quite a few years ago, maybe around '94 or '95, Kim and Lesli, were back visiting from Ohio and came to my dorm at ISU to pick me up, hang out, eat, and do some shopping at the mall.

Remember the time frame - I'm in stylish bib overalls and a jean jacket - my cousin, Kyle (who is now just shy of 18) was probably 5 or so and while I'm walking ahead of him, he asked, 'Who is that Blue Girl?' hee hee...that story still makes me giggle...

The nickname has stuck and I will forever be known as Blue Girl to both Kyle and Kaley!

Kim - thanks for spending the evening with me, for supper, the laughs, and sincere hugs ~ it was much appreciated!

Uncle and Blue Girl

Personality Test

Dipna gave me a personality test to take the other day and I think this is pretty true of me - what do you think??

I'm a Guardian.

Guardians are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services--from supervision to maintenance and supply -- and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.

Guardians can have a lot of fun with their friends, but they are quite serious about their duties and responsibilities. Guardians take pride in being dependable and trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel. Guardians also believe in law and order, and sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right and wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians honor customs and traditions so strongly -- they are familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced world.

Practical and down-to-earth, Guardians believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way, for in the long run loyalty, discipline, and teamwork get the job done right. Guardians are meticulous about schedules and have a sharp eye for proper procedures. They are cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.

Guardians make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population, and a good thing, because they usually end up doing all the indispensable but thankless jobs everyone else takes for granted.

As a Guardian, you enjoy working as a valued member of a team, whether you are leading it or following a credible leader. You like to work with people who carry their weight. You appreciate having clear-cut responsibilities and being recognized for your dedication and achievements. Your natural traits are those that employers have traditionally valued - and that successful companies still respect. You are responsible and loyal to an organization once you've signed on.

In any environment, including your work place, you are usually focused on making people happy and facilitating harmonious relationships. You often lend "aid and comfort" by drawing on a combination of tradition, past experience, and the direction of established authority. In your ideal job, people would give of themselves and work toward the good of the group.

Here's the link if you want to see your own personality results:

Monday, September 8, 2008



Best word I could have heard all morning! The dermatologist just called to let me know that my patch of freckles were benign, but had some atypical cells under the microscope... his words, "It's a good thing you watched it and caught it this early - we might not have had as good of results if you waited much longer."

What a relief!

Thank you for all of your prayers and concern the last 10 days I've been anxsiously awaiting the results.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I'm a dreamer.

I think I have always been a dreamer with a great imagination to go along with it. I love dreaming about the 'what ifs' in life, where I'm going to be in the future, and what the next chapter of my life will hold.

My actual dreams when I'm sleeping are usually very vivid, full of color, they contain story lines, conversations with people, and meaning. I've had the opportunity to pass a few of my dreams along one of my friends who will, in turn, analyze them and let me know what God may be trying to reveal to me. She has been attending a dream seminar for the past few years with another friend and I wish I could join them because I am fascinated by what tales I can come up with in my sleep!

The dreams meanings that I have received from her are usually right on the head of what is going on in my life at this particular time or stage and I'm so intrigued. By no means and I'm relying on my dreams to give me any 'answers' or let me 'see' in to the future, but I just think it's cool that God does work in our dreams as much as He does.

Before I moved away, my mom gave me a cool wooden plaque that I usually look at every day before I walk out the door.

It says: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. - Henry David Thoreau

How true and meaningful that has become for me in the last year and a half! I am living the life that I had imagined and dreamed about, but with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way! God gave me the confidence to step out in the directions of my dreams and I am so glad that I did...

For about the last six months I've been obsessed with a singing artist named Duffy... I love her voice and the meaning behind her lyrics. I've attached her song called Distant Dreamer and it always reminds me of myself and how I continue to dream about the distant (and near) future! Who knows what's around the corner, but it's always fun to dream about...

Monday, September 1, 2008


Unremembered and afar,

I watched you as I watched a star,

Through darkness struggling into view,

And loved you

better than you knew.

- Elizabeth Akers Allen

Sunday, August 31, 2008

If I would have known then....

Being a life long sun worshipper, I've begun to notice a lot of changes taking place on my body - in a not so good sort of way...

In the last 14 years, I've had several moles removed and imperfections looked at by the dermatologist at my annual 'skin exams' and this year was no different. However, my new doctor decided he didn't like the look of this cluster of freckles I've always had on my right cheek. They were wispy, different colors, and different shapes. If you know your ABC's of moles, (Assymetrical, Border, Color) I knew that this needed to go - which is what I had done Friday morning.


I thought it was going to be scraped off, but since I've had it for so long, he had to cut it out. He made a diamond shape on my cheek and gave me two layers of stitches - 10 on the bottom and 10 on the top. All will dissolve on their own, but the bottom (inside) layer will take 3 months and I'll have a bump under my skin until then. I should find out by the end of this week if it's benign or malignant melanoma....hopefully it's nothing though...

Seeing my incision for the first time at the office, I burst into tears - literally. It was standing straight up like the stitching in your jeans and it was a funky color. My cheek was swollen all day like a little melon and I had a hard time smiling or laughing. My roommate was nice enough to go get me some extra strength Tylenol and antibiotic ointment once I got home and then Dipna stopped by with ice cream after work - everything is cured with mint chocolate chip :)

As of today, the swelling has gone down and there is just a little bit of bruising, but nothing too major. I have to keep telling myself that I'd rather have this little cut and scar on my face rather than going through chemo in the future because I wasn't proactive now.

Two days later

And another little interesting sun fact, I now have a thing in the corner of my eye that looks like yellow chicken fat that is caused by UV rays - I guess it's very common, but just another reason that I feel like a fool for laying out and using tanning beds as often as I did.

I think I've learned my lesson.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Santa Monica

I love the ocean and I especially love Santa Monica... I was able to fly down on Friday for the weekend to spend time with my cousin, hang out, do some sight seeing, and eat out way too much!

My plane landed around 3 and I finally got to our hotel around 4 with traffic. I should have known it was going to be an 'interesting' long weekend when I stepped into the first taxi. The driver was nice enough and had some classical music playing and asked if I liked this or if I would rather listen to some 'hard rock music'. I was like, 'Uh, this is fine - it's your car, listen to what YOU want and I'll be ok!' (Secretly hoping he would put in some Coldplay.) Let me just tell you, he cranked up the classical so loud that my eardrum was literally crackling and I kept having to plug my right ear because I swore it was bleeding and my eyeball was watering...seriously...

While we're stuck in traffic, he decides to switch cd's and put in some very, very sappy love music - and he was singing. It was like a compilation cd with Mariah Carey, Mark Anthony, Celine, and whoever else that could belt out a melody with such emotion and longing to be in somebody's then I just wanted HIM to hold me! ha ha...

$77 later, I arrived at the hotel - yeah, no kidding. I was told that Burbank would have been a good place to fly in if I were staying in Marina del Rey - well, if I should do this again, I will know that isn't the case and shame on me for not checking out Mapquest first. Oh well. On my way out of the car, I hit my thigh on something - no idea what it was, but it swelled up bigger than a half dollar and I ended up laying on the bed with an ice pack on my thigh trying to get the swelling down. Is this what happens to your body when you turn 34??

I got freshened up and headed to Santa Monica to meet Tristan and her coworker Jeff at his hotel. This time, I got the Coked Out Cabbie. All he did was sniff, sniff, sniff, wipe his nose in a very quick fashion and take the palm of his hand and hit the tip of his nose - like it was going to 'honk' or something. I'm just wondering if we were going to make it there safely or at all! Somebody cut in front of us and ended up getting hit in the opposite lane of traffic, but we kept on going - didn't see it, but heard it and knew it had to have been that guy who was in such a big toot. He dropped me off at the hotel and I forgot that there was a step in the mini van for me to get out of my chair and in one fluid motion, I opened the door and fall out of the cab - for real. People are staring at me and I jump up like nothing happened and threw him my wad of cash. He was all concerned and asking if I was ok, but I was gone... pride and all...

Finally - I'm so excited to see Tristan! She came down to pick me up in the lobby and to head back up to their room. Talk about a genuine person... she is so sweet and I have missed being around her this past year and a half. She had lived with me in my one bedroom apt. three years ago and I just loved having her there, camping out on my couch, going out with me, and spending time together laying out, watching tv, or whatever...

Once they got ready, we headed over to the 3rd Street Promenade, which is an outdoor shopping area with live entertainment along the strip and places to eat. We were starving and decided to stop in and eat at Johnny Rockets then headed out for some quick shopping, people watching, and a Jamba Juice! We were pooped out by the time we got done and headed back to the hotel around 10, hung out with Jeff for a while, then we left for our beds... so nice to lay down!

Saturday morning we got up early and headed over to Hollywood to see the big hillside sign, geek at the Walk of the Stars, look at the Kodak Theatre and Chinese Theatre. And guess what? We had the Coked Out Cabbie again!! Fun times...Anyway, we had some brunch at Mel's Diner and then started our 'tour'. It's so dirty down there - old gum stuck to the sidewalks, litter, wrappers, and just's pretty gross if you ask me. We took a lot of pictures, shopped a little, and did more walking... I had been there before, so it was fun to see her reaction and how she interpreted the scenery. We bounced back to the hotel so she could get some afternoon sun and decided we would walk over to the ocean. Bad choice - we got about 3 blocks with our map and turned around and went back to the hotel pool. We would have had quite the haul if we decided to stick to our route! I sat in the shade most of the time and enjoyed watching the kids playing in the pool.

Once we were done at the pool, we went up to Santa Monica to watch the sun set over the ocean, take some pictures and eat at Sushi Roku. It was her first time eating 'real' sushi and we both loved what we ordered! We headed down to the pier to walk along the beach, step in the water and take some more pictures... it was so funny because we were just walking along with our pants rolled up and all of a sudden, we hear this roar of a wave and the water came so fast and drenched our legs and jeans - I was wet up to my knees and walked around pretty chilly the rest of the night! It was worth it though...the smell, the sound, the view - you can't beat it.
Next on the agenda was to hit the Santa Monica Pier. We were really hungry for something sweet, so Tristan was on the hunt down for a funnel cake and guess what I wanted? Dippin' Dots! Low and behold, there was a Dippin' Dots stand right next to the funnel cakes! We were in heaven... I tried the S'Mores ice cream, but decided that nothing beats the mint chocolate. It was still good though. We did a lot of walking around and just hanging out at the pier and then headed back to the hotel around 9 - it was a long day. Sunday we got up and had breakfast in the hotel dining area and then got all packed up and ready for our flights to leave. I took off around noon and you know who took me to the airport - that's right, the COC - he said that he actually 'recognized' me from hauling us around L.A. three different times. I mean seriously, there is a SLEW of taxis parked outside of the hotel and what are the chances that I would end up with him?? Guess it was fate. Or something like that.

My flight was delayed an hour, so I bought a magazine and a bag of Skittles. Once the previous flight had boarded, I put my magazine and candy on my chair and walked over to the window to look outside - I wasn't even gone for 2 minutes - I turned around and my stuff was gone. Hello, this isn't like home when women would leave their purses with me while they ran into the restroom one last time before boarding. There I sat with nothing to do but people watch.
Once on the plane, I sat next to a minor who stared at me the entire time. She told me she was in 6th grade, lived in Folsom, and her mom had a surprise for her at the airport. She liked my shirt, told me that her mom was born in Little Rock and proceeded to eat everything in sight. She even had pretzels in her bag from previous flights that she had been stock piling! I was kind of jealous.

She pulls her carry on bag from under the seat and starts digging around, but something caught me out of the corner of my eye and I glanced over at her right as she shoved something back into her bag. Then she stared at me some more. She pulled out a dark t-shirt that had hot pink silly putty (that looked like gum) allllll over - inside the bag, on her clothes, in her pencils, erasers, etc. You name it, it was pink. The stuff had melted, so it was not only oily, but stringy. I helped her try to clean it up as best as I could and she said, "Wow, I'm glad this isn't my bag. It's my mom's." I laughed thinking of what a nice surprise mom was going to have when she saw this mess!! She ended up throwing it away when the flight attendant walked by and I told her it was probably a good idea :)

All in all, it was a GREAT trip and I'm so glad that I got to spend time in SoCal again - I love it down there... and especially my time with Trist.... but I was glad to be back home!