Tuesday, December 31, 2013


i haven't been the best blogger lately, so forgive me for that.
christmas break has been slightly busy-slightly lazy, and both of those have kept me from writing.

on my way home for the holidays i told myself that i would write more, read more, eat at such-and-such restaurant, explore such-and-such place, go to the library as much as possible, bake for an entire day {yeah right}...

i told myself i'd do a lot of things that i really didn't get around to,
and that's okay.
instead, i cannot say how i really passed the time.
i saw people, and went places, and ate lots and lots of food.
but still, this break was missing something--at least that's what it feels like.
and it isn't a bad thing, it's simply just a weird thing.

currently, i should be up and getting ready.
i set my alarm for 6:15 and it is just now 8:00.
this break i have learned to be slow.
i have done everything at a slow pace,
and i have loved it.

my life in southern california is great because it's fast,
but fast eventually slows me down by tremendous amounts--
so here i am, still in bed.

i am taking in these rare, precious moments leading up to seeing boyfriend.
i don't know when i will see him again after tomorrow,
so anticipating him now is wonderful compared to the goodbye's that will come with tomorrow.
i am pleased to say that i got more time with him this break than i had originally anticipated--
all of it was wonderful time spent.

tonight we'll bring in the new year together.
i've never been kissed on new years, nor have i ever traveled
any small or large distance to celebrate.
it'll be a really simple new years, spent with my best friend.
i couldn't be happier about it.

and then tomorrow is 2 0 1 4 .
a whole new year.
i don't know if it's just me, but didn't 2013 seem to just slip away out of our hands
as if it was water?

in 2013 i...

-freaked out in january and decided to uproot myself from oregon and move to southern california, the place i said you couldn't pay me to live in.
-so i found a place to move to. 
-i became a teenager for the last time. 
-i became a sophomore in college! yikes! 
-i went to ROMANIA and MOLDOVA 
-i met boyfriend. {how did i get so lucky?!?!}.
-i moved to southern california and began my semester, and eventually became a nanny {what?!?}
-...and then THIS happened! 

since these things, i've been living my little life as a student/nanny.
i love my days in college,
and i love my major & minor.

life is teaching me so much about myself and people.
and it's teaching me about adapting.
2013 was a year all about adaptation, and surprising myself.

i'm excited for this upcoming year.
there are so many things to anticipate! 
i wish everyone the happiest last day of the year,
and a blessed new year.



p.s. you can see last years post {similar to this one} here

Sunday, December 22, 2013

boyfriend showed up on my doorstep the other day {#3} and it was one of my favorite "i love you's" of his.

8 Ways To Say I Love You
1. Spit it into her voicemail, a little slurred and sounding like the shot whiskey you downed for courage. Feel as ashamed as you do walking into work in last night’s clothes. Wake up cringing for days, waiting for her to mention it.
2. Sigh it into her mouth, wedged in between teeth and tongues. Don’t even let your lips move when you say it, ever so lightly, into the air. Maybe it was just an exhalation of ecstasy.
3. Buy her flowers. Buy her chocolate. Buy her a teddy bear, because that’s what every romantic comedy has taught you. Take her out to a nice restaurant where neither of you feel comfortable and spend the whole night clearing your throat and tugging at your tie. Feel like your actions are more suited to a proposal than the simple confession of something you’ve always known.
4. Whisper it into her hair in the middle of the night, after you’ve counted the space between her breaths and are certain she’s asleep. Shut your eyes quickly when she shifts toward you in askance. Maybe you were just sleep whispering.
5. Blurt it out in the middle of an impromptu dance party in the kitchen, as clumsy as your two left feet. When time seems to freeze, hastily tack on “in that shirt” or “when you make your award-winning meatballs” or, if you are feeling particularly brave, “when we do this.” Resume dancing and pretend you don’t feel her eyes on you the rest of the night.
6. Write her a letter in which the amount of circumnavigating and angst could rival Mr. Darcy’s. Debate where to leave it all day – on her pillow? In her coat pocket? Throw it away in frustration, conveniently leaving it face up in the trashcan, her name scrawled on the front in your sloppy handwriting. Let her wonder if you meant it.
7. Wait until something terrible has happened and you can’t not tell her anymore. Wait until she almost gets hit by a car crossing Wabash against the light and after you are done cursing at the shit-for-brains cab drivers in this city, realize you are actually just terrified of living without her. Tell her with your hands shaking.
8. Say it deliberately, your tongue a springboard for every syllable. Over coffee, brushing your teeth side-by-side, as you turn off the light to go to sleep – it doesn’t matter where. Do not adorn it with extra words like “I think” or “I might.” Do not sigh heavily as if admitting it were a burden instead of the most joyous thing you’ve ever done. Look her in the eyes and pray, heart thumping wildly, that she will turn to you and say, “I love you too.”
R. MCKINLEY, DEC. 1, 2012

Friday, December 20, 2013

i cannot, for the life of me, get anything onto paper.

and it is the most damning feeling because everything continues to go unsaid,
and, for a writer, unspoken words taunt and deprive. 

i sat on the couch this afternoon while boyfriend slept, and for several minutes
i tried my best to write what i was feeling.
but i failed to do so.

tonight has been particularly frustrating and i am riding a series of emotions
but failing to write anything else besides this.

sometimes words are simultaneously the best and worst things to happen in my small moments of life.

sometimes old memories are too blatant to push away.

sometimes where you are and where you want to be span so far apart that the in-between feels meaningless.

sometimes i have so much to say, and no one to say it to, that i feel like asking everyone to leave
because i can't stand the thought of another tedious conversation, and i refuse to tell secrets to those who only act as if they can listen. 

and sometimes one just has to say, i'm going to be a big girl and take the damn train or car because tomorrow will be just as beautiful as yesterday and as some parts of today.

it's all of the small pent up things that add up into reflections of larger, underlying feelings.
and that is the difference between then and now and me and you. 

the end. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

tis the season.

there is something beautiful about saying i remember when that used to matter, but now it hardly crosses my mind.

there is something delicious about an entire tub of rocky road ice cream waiting in my freezer.
just. for. me.

there is something freeing in saying, okay, god, this one is all you.

there is something wonderful in realizing that my world extends past the borders i am within.

there is something endearing about hearing the words i love you.

there is also something frightening in saying them back.

there is a feeling of blessedness in the truth to this christmas season.

as the year comes to a close i am reminded of how much love surrounds me.
often times i find myself feeling stuck.
for some reason i always feel like people just won't stay.
my parents have never understood this mentality of mine, since they are an excellent example of how two people do stay together and work life out.

i am at a loss for such an honest and somewhat morbid thought.
as i'm getting older i find that i want answers to things about myself.
sure, i've still got plenty of time to wait-and-see...
...to wait and see who and how i turn out, and stuff like that.
but i am eager to know.
i can recall being twelve and feeling so terrified to be where i am right now.

but here i am.
this stage came so quickly.
it's a difficult time, figuring stuff out and all,
however, i absolutely love it, even if i am sometime scared.

i can honestly say that i am content with the small things that make my life feel so full.
it has been a year of big blessings that make the smaller blessings feel even more valuable.

so i'm home now, and i'm different and it's honest to god a wondrous thing.

yes, my father went out and bought me a tub of rocky road ice cream at my request and it is delicious.

i am learning more and more to let go and to let god. it's tough but he is so very good to me.

i've recently had contact with a few members of my romania team and they make me feel grounded again. it's a feeling that is so hard to come by, and, therefore, so needed in my life.

i'm learning to listen and to say "i love you," and some days i want to say it a million times and other days it makes me curl within myself because i know that i have so much to lose, but thinking of love and loss in the same thought is way too unfair, don't you think?

and yes, christmas time is all about feeling blessed. i was listening to a segment today all about how christmas is becoming more and more rejected or secular. and the whole idea of rejecting christmas made me sad. yet, at the same time i felt fortunate enough to know the true reason for the season, and in that i feel humbled by this entire year.

2013 is looking good so far.
and i wish you all the happiest christmas season.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

a good laugh {for those who get the humor}

i saw this on facebook, and, well, it's SO TRUE.
most times i cringe when i say that i attend a bible college...
...no, not because it has the word bible in it but because those
who don't attend bible schools tend to have preconceived ideas about them.

perhaps the above link is just ammo for their assumptions
but bible-school-going people will definitely get a laugh out of them.

i did, which was nice because this bible school and its classes are currently
wearing me down with finals.
i think that going to a bible college is like a little club
{all universities are, though}
it's like a club of quirky individuals who are not only trying to survive
college but they're attempting to do so with a lifestyle that completely challenges
the stereotypes of what being in college is.

anyhoo, enough about college.
when is it christmas?!?!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Came onto my Pandora account and had me in tears.
I love this song--I've held it close to my heart for so long.
It always seems to come on when I need it most.

Happiest of Sundays to you all.
It's December. There is so much beauty & so much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Therefore, do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2

I can remember exactly what I was doing this time four years ago.
Time is funny like that.
One moment you're fifteen, a sophomore in high school, and ignorant to the things life throws.

But you blink.
Just once--sometimes several times.
The number hardly matters--
by the time your eyes are opened, the world has altered.
Time has progressed.
Miracles and heartaches have happened.

I blinked once.
I was wearing blue,
and it was the first day of rain that December.
The morning was cold and dreary, but our Christmas tree
{picked out the night prior} shone bright in our living room.

My life had gone uninterrupted by pain for quite some time,
but the kind of pain that was just moments away was unfathomable.
In one moment I existed within a life that would become the before,
while the rest of my life--the after--waited before me, coming full force in my naive direction.

It was one single phone call for me, and a whole lot of shock and questions regarding this thing called life.
Though there is a whole other story to it.
Different versions of the same story, just depending on who's doing the talking.
It's a story I cannot comprehend, nor can I rightfully attempt to understand or talk about.
Yet it's here--here in my heart where I keep a drawer.

That's the funny thing about pain--
It overstays its welcome and then one day it fades away as everyone says it will.
It tucks itself within a drawer and that drawer remains stagnant within you.

My drawer is solid. It will never move.
I couldn't move it if I had to, and I wouldn't move it even if I thought I wanted to.
Because there's something so intimate about seeing someone in pain, and remembering it.

I knew a woman who used to say something like this:

I sit there and cut myself open and my blood and guts are on the table with my heart and the person across from me is just staring as if to say, Whoa this is too much. So I try to clean up the mess and put it all back but it's there, on the table. 

I remember the first time I heard her say this.
It was just a few months after that cold day in December.
As she spoke, tears would often cup in her eyes.
Other times there would be passion behind her words, as she encouraged people on.
Her story was and is nothing short of remarkable.
It's a story of tremendous pain.
I knew I didn't want to be the one across the table, startled and uncomfortable.
I wanted to be the person helping with the mess--but more than that, I wanted to know how to allow myself the same ability of admitting to pain like that. I wanted to be God-honest, bleeding with her at that table.

Her story had pain.
And our story had a different, much smaller type of pain--but pain nonetheless--
the type that stings on days like today because I can no longer tell her
Hey, I remember. I never forgot. I will never forget.

Because I remember. I never forgot. I'll never forget.

So all week I've been counting again.
I calculate the days in my head and align them with the past.
I too easily recall my fifteen year old self.
And I remember how my heart went out to her early that Saturday--
my heart still reaches out, just as much...if not more.

It was just after nine o'clock in the morning.
The phone rang--it was my aunt.
Something had happened to someone I knew who was with someone who had been a close friend.
I was confused, But God, people my age don't--

So the earth tilted, and heaven received a beautiful addition.
Much too soon of an addition, I might add but I cannot speak on behalf of God.

Something huge happened. Something tragic.
It was never meant to be my pain, and it still isn't and I won't claim anything from it.
All I know is that the life of one forever changed the course of mine.

I have to acknowledge the day because I can't sit through it and go about my life without
noting the drawer in my heart that opens itself up as if to say I'm still here.

My drawer is old and heavy, and its contents do not all belong to me.
Instead there are pieces of lives that were given to me in confidence,
in pure moments of blissful reminiscing,
and in raw moments of heavy grieving.

There are faces smeared in my memory,
and voices that I can hear loud as ever.
There are words of kindness and of hate that resonate in my mind,
and there are moments--specific, clear as day moments--where I swear I can live them over precisely.

They're the kind of moments that take you back--that take your breath away.
I gasp as I remember, Ah, that was me? That was us?
I recently heard myself say to someone, You don't even know...
No one does.

I'll close the drawer after tomorrow passes and I'll forget things once more.
The memories don't dissipate within the mind,
but rather they know when to present themselves and when to keep away.

I'll keep my drawer locked and tucked far away in an unforgettable place.
And I will do my best to never forget to entertain strangers.

In the midst of everything I saw, I still believe that God is good.
All the time.
And I wonder of the lives I once knew--hoping that goodness abounds in the face of today.

It's been four years.
I am nineteen years old.
A sophomore in college,
Ignorant to what nearly everything means,
and yet I've learned of God's grace in the midst of extraordinary trials.

And He is good, and life is still in the palms of His hands.