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