Saturday, October 31, 2009

In honor of Halloween

We purchased the final season of our very favorite show ever. (I am so sad that CBS has made this drastic decision).
I decided to be a bit domestic and make some banana bread.
And we put our candy out in hopes of trick-or-treaters!
Headed to church and then to greet the cute children in their costumes.

Happy last day of October!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is here!

This morning, I wore gloves on my walk with Emma.

Flip flops and gloves.
But gloves.
Give me a break. I'm from California.

I love to be cold. Well, I love it when it's cold outside. I love to bundle up in gloves and scarfs and hats and jackets and sweats and uggs... I love it!

So when I felt the air outside this morning, saw the temperature had reached 45 degrees last night, I knew it was time to pull out the gloves.

I love this time of year. A few months of cool weather to look forward to. Almost November, and it is finally beginning!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hope in this moment

Recently, my prayer has been that God's light would truly shine through me in a very real way. Funny how God answers prayer. The more I see the light of the Lord, the more darkness I see in the world. People "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5). And others who are just truly lost, and without hope.

And it makes me sad. Sad for the people, and sad for the Almighty who is all-powerful and forever-loving. All-knowing and ever-faithful. The One who cares the most. And who was and is overlooked, and often, rejected. Day after day.

And then I am overwhelmed by urgency. The time is now. People need to hear. And see. That God is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. His love needs to be shared. With all of His people.

And I desire to be used as a vessel for His purpose. I am hopeful. Because my God is in control. And He reminds me of His love and faithfulness every day.

Sometimes Hope looks like the one bright flower. Or the single butterfly that found a place to rest.

I am reminded that the more we surrender, the closer we get to His plan and purpose, and our path aligns closer and closer with His.

And so, I pray for hope. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And I thank Him for His faithfulness. In each moment. The small and the big. He hears every time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Motherly thoughts

I love being a parent. Even though I'm not, technically. I am. Dogs are seriously the best prep for a child. As close as you can get I think. Granted, I don't have a little person running around yet. But I know how much I love Emma. And how much J loves Emma. How we coordinate our schedules for her. How I let her outside at 4 in the morning. Her morning licks as she jumps up on the bed. Her crazy bull run in circles to welcome us home in the afternoon. Her carrying her own leash on our morning and evening walks. Cocking her head when we talk to her. Driving us crazy. Making us laugh. Constantly.

We have about a zillion pee circles all over our carpet. We've cleaned it many times but they come back. She destroyed our kitchen cabinets. And our dishwasher. And six pairs of my sandals. And the sheets. And my grey sweater. She's so hyper. She jumps all over the place. She steps on me and sometimes it hurts. Never intentionally. Just accidentally.

But I love her with all of my heart. I wouldn't trade her for the world. I am so thankful we have her. And it makes me excited to be a mom. (the excitement was never really lacking, since I had an amazing mom that led me to want to be a mom.... but still). And it makes me excited to see J be a dad. We are going to have so much fun with our little one. (not now... in 5 years... or something like that). I know we'll be tired. The house will be messy. We'll be frustrated, and maybe discouraged. But we'll smile. And laugh. Constantly. And isn't that what it's about. The joy of a little life that we made together, with God's beautiful design.

For now, I will treasure the moments with our puppy. She will be one year old soon. And we will celebrate. She is our playful Bigs. Our little Emmsey. Our sleepy Bear. And when our little one comes, many years from now, we will love him or her with a love from the Lord. And we will also love our precious Emma.

The beginning of the future of my windows

I have always wanted really cute curtains on all of my windows. I like so many different looks and types... the more time I think, the more options I consider. I tossed around the idea of making them myself for a bit... up until the point I started looking through the fabric books and didn't understand the jargon. This week, as the sun beat through the blinds in our office bedroom where I study onto half of my body, I thought, it's time for curtains. I nonchalantly mentioned the idea to J Saturday morning...

So, it gets pretty hot in the 2nd bedroom...the sun beats through the blinds.
Oh really.
Yeah, so I think we should get some curtains. Just basic. Something simple. But to block out that sun because it's so hot honey!
Are you sure? I could get curtains?
Yeah sure!
Like, today?
Sure hun.

Just like that! Sure! No problem! I jumped on the opportunity and headed to Target to do some window shopping after a lovely lunch date with Ali. I ended up with some really simple, white curtains. I was going for red to bring out the accent, but no such luck. But I love them! I have yet to experience a hot day with them, since I'm gone during the days usually. And one day I may have the cute patterns and maybe even make them myself. But for now, I am really happy! We even hung them ourselves! So domestic of me, I know. My very own curtains.

Little laughs, courtesy of my Bigs

Emma likes fruit. And when I say likes, I mean, she devours the microscopic little fruity pieces that we slip her. And comes back for more. She helps us eat strawberries, oranges, bananas, and her personal favorite, watermelon. (That's her and her dad's thing, the watermelon. They share). We really haven't found her to be too picky. Recently I decided to give her something from the veggie family - celery with peanut butter. I thought, I love it, and she loves what I love, so this will be great.

Five minutes later, I saw Emma out of the corner of my eye sitting and watching me, and I glanced over to find her leftovers.

I guess she doesn't like vegetables so much after all. Peanut butter, on the other hand, is another story. And I thought, aw Emmsey, like mother like daughter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkins, carvings, friends... oh my!

Friday night, John and I went pumpkin picking with our good friends Mark and Katie. Now I don't remember the last time I went and picked a pumpkin, not to mention carved a pumpkin. So when J came home from lunch last Sunday with Mark and asked if I would be up for a pumpkin date, I about jumped out of my socks.

Seriously??? You would go pick pumpkins and carve them??!!
Yep!! Do you want to?!

Needless to say, we don't do this kind of thing that often. :) This was our first time picking and carving pumpkins together. I just had never thought of it. I thought, We'll do it with kids. And I was never disappointed by that. But now that we did it together, I don't think we'll be able to go back to not doing it. What a fun night! This is definitely an up-and-coming tradition.
Katie was so cute asking Mark for the biggest pumpkin.
I feel I made a good selection!
My amazing husband who took me.
J was pretty proud of himself. And the last to find his :)
Our love pumpkins.
We have the best friends.
Back at home, Emma and Frankie welcomed us.
And we dove right in! (well, Katie and J did. Mark planned his face and I took pictures :)
The guts :)
Mark, Katie and Frankie :)
The finished outsides... (top L to R: Mark and Katie... bottom L to R: John and Jordanna)
And the insides...
Thanks for such a special night, honey. I love you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amy and Brandon

One of my very favorite people, Amy, is in town from Hawaii with her awesome husband and beautiful three kids. Amy was my bible study leader in high school. We called them D-teams. Amy is such a role model. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She had a super fun boyfriend, went to a Christian school, was super cute and fun, and loved me. And I loved her. And still do. Two years ago, John and I went through premarital counseling with Brandon and Amy, and Brandon married us January 26, 2009. It was so special to go from Amy mentoring me, to Brandon and Amy mentoring both of us. They moved to Hawaii with their little boy and girl last year, and Amy had their third baby, Braden, earlier this year. I haven't seen them since they moved, but we catch up from time to time by phone. So when Amy called to tell me she was coming, I was ecstatic.

Tonight we got to chat over dessert and coffee, just like how we used to. And it was great. I miss them. But I am so thankful for someone like Amy. I think about how I wanted to be like her, and I can't help but think I got lucky, like her, and found my best friend and life partner in college, just like her. I got to marry J after college, just like her. And move into the same little condo complex she lived in (that was definitely not planned).

I am excited to one day be sipping coffee and laughing about the good ole days. Amy and Brandon are truly the best.

Our humble home

I sorta blew it. We had our one-year anniversary with our condo on October 15th and I forgot to celebrate via blog. I thought about post-dating this. Or back-dating, or however you say it. But then I thought, well that's not very ethical. So I am being honest. I forgot. Oh well.

Our home is one of our big blessings. I am so thankful for our little condo. Two parking spaces and laundry. Those were the requirements. And everything else has been an added bonus.

Here are a few memories from the beginning.

We got the keys!
J installing our new doorknob. Safety first :)
My little magic machines.
Stripping the wood in the bathroom... our first remodel project.
My red and yellow room after we put stuff in it, minus wall decorations. I think it is happy. Our first Christmas in our new home. We got to have an 8 foot tree. We probably won't do that again. But it was fun to try :)

We are so blessed to have our own place. Thank you Lord for working out all the cracks last year. Thank you for our home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just what I needed

Today at school, I clicked on my Bible gateway link on my internet browser to see the verse of the day. This is what came up.

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a
willing spirit to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:12

This is my prayer.
Thank you Lord for meeting me in this moment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A bigger cause

Today I had the opportunity to walk in the breast cancer walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society. My RD from college (also my boss when I was an RA) had breast cancer before I knew her that was in remission. Last December, it returned and had metastasized to her bones, liver, and lungs. She has been fighting it for the past ten months with chemotherapy and radiation, and has had the best attitude.

When I think of her and her struggle, I am reminded how fortunate I am. And how I have a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. Which is the first reason I ever wanted to be a nurse. Knowing what I know now about cancer and the body, and how it can be attacked by disease, I have such a better understanding of what people go through when they fight disease.

So, this year, a couple friends from my class and I walked in the walk for Breast Cancer. There were thousands of people all walking together for a common cause. I love being a part of something bigger than me.

This is me with Nancy, Mahea, her fiance Jade, and their dog Chloe. She was such a trooper!
And we're off! Headed through Balboa ParkYou have to give us some credit. This was taken while walking with Chloe between all of our legs.This was my first time walking on the freeway. We walked for two exits down the 163 south. People were honking on the north side - so cool!We made it!My fellow nursing stars. We raised $545 between the two of us. Thank you to those who supported us and the cause.

I really recommend picking a cause and doing something for it. There are walks for pretty much anything you can think of - suicide prevention, all cancers, MS, animal adoptions... I was humbled today as I realized that although I am small, every person can make a difference. Be a part of something big.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Simple thoughts on this lazy Saturday

Some would say my life is boring. I go to school, and I come home. John goes to work, and comes home. We eat. We hang out. We take Emma for a walk. And we go to bed. And I mean, I get tired early, like, by 9pm. I usually can hold out until 11 (J's such a late nighter ;). And I feel like I'm living. Some people are just getting started at 11pm.

But I love our simple life. I love our modest home and our psychotic puppy and my sweet, mellow husband. I don't mind going to school (I mean, J and I would definitely prefer just not to work or go to school at all, but this works). I don't mind that my excitement for the day may be getting Starbucks with J, taking Emma for a walk, and giving her a bath. That's how today started. J and I leashed our little Bigs up and took her to the park. But first, J ran into the little coffee shop down the street and got us a couple frappuccinos. (ps...they raised their prices. ahhhh). And Emma waited for him patiently.
Then we went to the park. And Emma actually played with the other dogs. We were so proud. She's usually more interested in the ball she found within the first 10 seconds of us being there.
It didn't last long though. She took her ball and staked out a tree and she was happy.
When we got home, we filled the bath, plopped her in, and scrubbed her up. She's definitely getting better at that. She stands still in the tub. And she is so happy when she's clean.
We went to dinner. Olive Garden salad and appetizer. Some might say Olive Garden is boring. Not me. I am always content with Olive Garden. I am thankful we are able to do things like go out to dinner. Yah yah, it's not the "healthiest" thing in the world. It's so good though.
And then we went to Guitar Center. This is common for us, to go walk around a store after Olive Garden. I have become quite the Grossmont Center We usually go to Target and walk around and come up with something we need, like shaving cream or highlighters. Today we went to Guitar Center and J played the pianos. And found his favorite set-up. One day we will have a keyboard by our iMac between our two big yellow speakers, and J will record some beautiful music. Because truly, he is one of the most gifted people. He taught himself how to play piano. That is amazing to me. For now, we have the guitars and that is great. But one day we will have a piano again. For now, we will visit Guitar Center. :)
I really love my family and my home and my life. I am so blessed. We end most evenings with House episodes. And Emma on my or J's lap. And then we get ready for bed. Some say it is boring. I say, it is the best.