Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Catch up, or Ketchup? :)

I think I've officially been kicked out of blogging world. It's been about 3 years since my last blog. Shoot, sorry! Life has been great, so I guess I have a lot to catch you all up on...
-I went home for Christmas. Home being in Humboldt County (Arcata to be exact). Usually this is an all too familiar experience which usually leaves me in tears on my birthday, and aching to leave a day early. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised by my Christmas visit. I enjoyed playing a few different board games with the fam (Apples to Apples and Scategories) and got to spend a few extra hours with my very best friend (since Kindergarten).
-On the 24th of December I turned 24 (my golden birthday!!) and spent the day with the best friend and the family.
-On Saturday I drove back over the mountains to Redding. For the record, this was the first time EVER that I was actually scared while driving home. The entire drive was slushy, and the road was totally iced over in some spots. Driving over Buckhorn was the worst. There were a good two inches of slush on the top of the summit, and my poor little Nissan was sliding all over the place. Lucky for me I've driven the road a time or two, and knew that I would be okay if I waited for the snow plow to pass me :)
-Sunday we had one gathering for the Stirring. So weird. I left the church at noon, and honestly didn't know what to do with myself. I kept watching the clock, waiting to head back for the 5:00 service... it was strange. I've got to admit, as much as I enjoyed having the afternoon/evening to myself, I really kind of hated it. I'm such a creature of habit!
-I've been off of work and out of school for over a week, and I'm really getting used to it.
-I'm half way done with book 4 of the Twilight saga. As Meghan once said I'm "addicted to vampires!"

That's about life for me right now. My New Year resolution is to TRY and train for a half marathon. I know it will probably never happen, what with the back surgery four months ago, but I need a goal, and this sounded like a good one. I'd also like to FINALLY get my tattoo that I've been dreaming about for over a year... does that count as a new years resolution?? I'll leave you with the picture I sent out with my Christmas cards. I hope it brings you much joy :) :) :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

isn't it lovely?!

Top Ten Reasons Why Life Is Good:
1. Finals are over
2. Finals are OVER!
3. I'm off work for two weeks
4. I'm going home (to Arcata) for Christmas
5. I turn 24 on Wednesday
6. The pressure's off
7. I get to see my best friend in two days
8. It's finally Winter weather out!!
9. I have THE MOST amazing team of helpers for the Stirring Kids
10. I got a french press for my Birthday... hellooo amazing coffee!!

So check out the Nativity scene the 1st-3rd grade class from the AM Stirring service made. Ava and Elizabeth are showing off their hard work. Great idea Erica. Seriously, so creative! I'm so lucky to get to work with such smart and inventive group of kids (and adults too!!). It's funny because they aren't even my kids, but I love bragging on them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

YIKES! I apologize for the lack of blogging lately. This is going to be a quick one because I promised myself I'd be in bed by 11:00 on the DOT. I have exactly 16 minutes to get you all up to speed on my life... ready, GO

-I started my new job. LOVE IT! Working with kids is WAY better than servin' burgers-n-fries at the Bird.
-I'm almost done with my first semester at Chico. It was a bit crazy, with a rocky start (I had JUST had back surgery when school started) but it was a pretty good semester overall.
-I'm almost 24. (Exactly 14 days from today!) What the heck? Where did the last year of my life go? I guess some pretty monumental things have happened... but still, WHAT THE HECK?
-I am now officially a morning person... not by choice. I wake up at 6:30 each morning. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes, laughing out loud at me for thinking that 6:30 is actually early enough to be considered MORNING, but to me, it's the crack of dawn, okay?!
-Life Groups are winding up. I love my Life Group. We've all become great friends... I've learned a lot from the girls who show up at my house on Wednesday nights.
-As of today, I am CPR certified... and I have a bruise on my hand to prove it. Careful, I don't mess around with chest compressions!!! Nobody's dying on MY watch!!!

That's really all I've got. Life is good. A bit stressful at the moment, but good nonetheless. Now I'm off to bed, to dream of Christmas trees and carolers with spiced cider.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My top 10

I realize that Thanksgiving has passed, but I have decided to continue giving thanks. I don't think I can put into words how thankful I am this year. My life has radically changed in many ways. In honor of the holiday, and because Meg, Sarah, Jenna, Hannah, and many more did it, I've decided to as well.

The Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For:
(In no particular order)

1. My cat Rocky. He's cute, he's fluffy, and he gives me a reason to vacuum. HA (If you are confused, reference Confession #3)

2. Family Dinner/ Mafia. Every Sunday night, people pile into my house for dinner and a few cut throat games of Mafia. I love the family that has begun to develop through these evenings together. I love the pile of shoes at the door. I love how people are now as hooked on Mafia as I am!

3. My roommates. They are amazing women, and are just genuine people. I have had a LOT of roommates, and these two are by far the best yet. And they both love my cat.... well, maybe LOVE is a bit of a stretch. They tolerate him at least!

4. My Life Group. These women are amazing. They share life with me, and I continue to grow and learn from them. There is a very unique dynamic and rhythm to our group, and I love every minute I get to spend with them.

5. Windchimes. I love how soothing they are. I love really windy nights, when I can hear them even with my window is closed. That's my favorite.

6. Peppermint hot chocolate. By far my favorite hot drink. I get instant comfort from drinking it.

7. The beach. Any beach. I grew up about 2 minutes away from the ocean, and the beach is my ultimate place of comfort.

8. New friends. This past year I have made a TON of new friends. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the old friends too, but there is something special about meeting a new person, and beginning a new journey with them. Hearing their stories, and learning their unique quirks.

9. The deep passion for children that God's given me. God has brought so much purpose to my life just through this passion. I know exactly why I am here, and that is to teach His children. I love being around kids. God has given me His dream for the children of this world, and I couldn't be more excited to live out this dream. I'm not sure where it will take me... Africa perhaps? Maybe China? Wherever I end up, I know the calling on my life, and that is something I am truly thankful for!!

10. Back surgery. I know, you are all probably wondering "why in the WORLD is she thankful for having to undergo back surgery?!" Well the answer is simple- it forced me to slow down. I was moving so fast ALL the time, that I never slowed down, ever. By having surgery, I was forced to slow down, and God really blessed me in ways that I can't even begin to explain. New friends, new home, new roommates, new job, new opportunities.

It was a crazy year. A good year, but a crazy year. I could continue to list things I'm thankful for until the sun comes up, but I must stop.

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008

... and wait I will

Tonight was such a good night. I felt more joy tonight then I can ever remember feeling. I got to hear some amazing testimonies tonight, and pray with some amazing women. I got to reflect on my life tonight, and really, truly, fully thank the Lord for what he's brought me through. Tonight was a night of celebration and thanks giving. I have a lot to be thankful for. At the Stirring tonight, we had some time to share testimonies. I wanted, so badly, to share mine with everybody. To grab that microphone and let everybody hear what it is EXACTLY that God's been doing in my life for the past two years. I wanted to, and I almost did... but He told me to wait. He told me to be still. To wait. So I did. It's funny to me because so many people know a sliver of my story, but very few know the whole thing. I remember a couple of times Nate asking me "What's your story? And if there was anything I ever wanted to share... anything going on in my life that I wanted to talk about on a Sunday night... My answer was always "I don't really have a story..."

Well, that's a lie!

I have a story. A seven year story. A seven year battle. I have a story.

But God's telling me to wait. And I will. A HUGE chapter of my story is finally finished, and I am ready to share, but not yet. When the time is right, I will know and my story will be heard.

So tonight, I got to thank God for ending this chapter of my life... for rescuing me. And tonight I got to see just how FREE I am from the bondage I was under. Just how FREE I am from the ties that used to be upon me. I got to see just how much joy I have now. God is so so good. I am so so thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So, this morning at about 8:15 I got a phone call from the Enterprise School District telling me that I GOT THE JOB! I'm pretty stoked. I'll be a one-on-one aide for a student with special needs at Boulder Creek school. SWEET! I get up to go celebrate with my roommates, and THIS IS WHAT I FIND!
My car, COVERED in sticky notes. Pretty clever if you ask me. Somebody went to an awful lot of trouble to do this, so I've got to give them credit. I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm crazy... but Meghan will be happy... she won't have to spend money on sticky notes for months! So great... Happy Wednesday everybody! I'm off to bet my TB test.. yey for jobs and cars covered in sticky notes. Ha

Monday, November 17, 2008

Family Dinner

Evey Sunday night, around 9:30, my house is full of delicious aromas, and a ton of laughter. You walk in the door to a pile of shoes, and a warm "hello!". Each week, the menu is different. Two weeks ago it was a huge pot of spaghetti, and an oven full of garlic bread. Last week we enjoyed tacos and Sarah's AMAZING salsa. This week, Danielle made us some seriously delicious taco soup, and cornbread. Regardless of the dish, it's always so tasty! After we're all stuffed, the REAL fun begins. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the game Mafia, but it's become a tradition at Family Dinner. When we've all finished eating, it's Mafia time. Last night, we played until midnight, and if we could have kept our eyes open any longer, I'm sure we would have continued! People let their true colors shine when playing Mafia. You see who's a good liar (SARAH!) and who's a horrible liar (ME!!). Alliances form, and alliances are broken. Family Dinner is probably the highlight of my week. I seriously look forward to it, and find myself sad when all the shoes by the door are gone. I love the friendships that are forming from this weekly tradition. Everybody is invited, so please, stop by for some tuna casserole (next week's main dish). Bring some salad, or a plate of homemade cookies and get ready for a few intense games of Mafia! See you Sunday!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Funday!

So, today is Monday. I am always super tired on Mondays. My legs are always super sore too... probably from being on them ALL day Sunday... hmmm. Well, I feel quite accomplished today. I got some homework done, I scrubbed my bathroom, I did 3 loads of laundry, I cleaned Rocky's kittybox (yuck, I know), I vacuumed, and I even got a phone call for an interview with the Enterprise School District for an Instructional Assistant job. So exciting!! It's on Wednesday at 10:20, so be praying for me! Family dinner last night was out of control. We played about 7 games of Mafia... so much fun. Danielle made some amazing tacos, and Sarah blessed us with her delicious salsa. Good night. Good friends.

So, thanks to Hannah, I made this fun little picture.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Confession #6

I feel like I'm either confessing my many crazy secrets, or ranting about win-co.... hmm...well, with my last confession ya'll learned about my fear of feet. It's true, I hate feet. They are clammy, smelly, dirty, and just all around NASTY. Well, this next confession is even stranger (if you can imagine) than my fear of feet. It is something that absolutely drives me crazy to no end. Confession #6: I have an outright hatred for wreaths/bows on vehicles. AHHHHH, even thinking about it drives me crazy. The season is upon us where people find it necessary to decorate their cars with ANNOYING wreaths and bows. I can't really explain to you why I have such a dislike for these particular items. It's not like stickers on cars bother me, or wreaths on doors... It's just the combination of wreaths and cars... it makes me angry. Like the I-want-to-rip-them-off-of-cars-and-burn-them kind of angry. I am NOT a violent person, but seeing a big red fluffy bow on a car can drive me to think some pretty violent thoughts. Sometimes I imagine walking through a parking lot in mid December and collecting all of the wreaths and bows I can find on the cars (usually they are on SUVs.... can't imagine why...) and throwing them in the river! Of all the things I dislike (feet, trains, windshield wipers, people who talk during movies) this one takes the cake. If you are reading this blog, and are the owner of a car-wreath or car-bow, please do not take offense. I understand that people have the right to decorate their car in ridiculously festive Holiday ornamentation. So embrace this right, but please understand that I cannot be held responsible for what I do when I see these JOLLY trimmings on your JOLLY car... you must remember: THE WREATH MADE ME DO IT!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The highlight of my day...

All I have to say is today's the first of the month. I sure wish somebody would have told ME that before I headed to Win-Co for some light shopping. Seriously. Pandemonium. People everywhere. Babies wearing ONLY diapers, screaming and chewing on shopping carts. People pushing 3 shopping carts and not noticing (or caring) who they take out as they round the corner (yeah, that would be me). I think I have a broken toe from the experience. No joke, some lady, talking on her Blue Tooth (I HATE those things) pushed all three of her carts into me on the cereal isle. I almost strangled her. Then I knocked over a display of canned peaches trying to dodge this half naked little boy who was weaving in and out of shoppers. By the time I had everything on my shopping list, I was so stressed and on edge that I wanted to ditch the cart on a random isle and leave.... but I really REALLY needed diet pepsi, so I quickly came to my senses. The whole thing was surreal, I'm just glad I made it out in once piece! I can't believe I went shopping at Win-Co on the first of the month....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Confession #5

Of all my irrational fears, this one takes the cake. In one of my last confessions, I admitted to my freaky fear of trains. I hate them, but not as much as I hate feet. Confession # 5, I hate hate hate feet. Not my own feet. They are okay- I hate other people's feet. I hate touching them, I hate with they touch me, I hate having them near me. I hate feet. I know what you're thinking... why feet? Well, let me explain- they smell bad, they are always either super HOT and nasty, or cold and dead-like. They are almost always dirty... even with socks on, I hate 'em. Now, to some of you, this confession may pose as a potential way to torture me, but if you even THINK about putting your smelly, sweaty, dirty, nasty feet on me, I'll kick you in the shin and never speak to you again... don't test me people.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the good, the bad, and the ugly...

the good: just finished my online test, and submitted my crazy essay about Diversity in Special Education and the Disproportionate Representation of Ethnically Diverse Children in Special Education... PHEW!! let me tell you, that was one FUN essay to write... ha, right.

the bad: i'm currently sicker than a DOG (are dogs sick or something? i never really understood that funny little saying...) but seriously, sick, feeling like roadkill, wanting to curl up and sleep for a month. that's the current mood... i sure hope i didn't FLUNK my health test.

the ugly: i can't even muster up the strength to vacuum my house. you know i'm sick when i can't vacuum, and don't want diet pepsi... so my house is a mess, and i'm in serious need of some caffeine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the brain is blank....

I'm having a crazy case of "bloggers-block". Ever happen to anybody else? I have so much to share about Sunday, the Church Plant, the Stirring Kids, my Life Group... but I can't seem to spit it out in a fashion that makes any sense! Maybe someday in the near future I'll be able to fill you all in on the crazy stuff that's going on in the life of Emily... but for now, the brain is blank...

Friday, October 10, 2008

my rant.

Why do they make online classes

Hopefully I pass.
Can't afford to retake this silly


I drank
Diet Pepsi's today.
Yup- six.
Lecture me later.
Bad day.
Long day.
Off to bed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Confession #4

So I think it's time I come clean about my addiction. It's been going on for a very long time, you see. I've tried to kick it more than once, but it always seems to return to me... I find the cravings too much to handle... Hi, my name's Emily, and I'm a diet-pepsi-aholic. It's true, and I'm slightly ashamed to come clean. I drink about 3 cans a day. I can polish off a 24 pack in less than two weeks. I have a serious problem. I love hearing people scold me for drinking diet soda. I just kind of laugh because I know there's seriously NO WAY I could go without. Yep, I know it's bad for me. Yep, I know it's going to shorten my life. Yep, I know I really should not drink it. Do I care? Not so much. I love the taste, the feel of an ice cold can, the first big gulp I take, and how it makes my eyes water every time. The way I see it, I could have WAY worse addictions, right?? Mmmmm, all this talk has made me thirsty...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Today I...

woke up at 5:54 am
couldn't get back to sleep
made the strongest pot of coffee ever
finished a ton of homework
went to physical therapy
had a great conversation with my physical therapist
went out to lunch
helped out a friend
did more homework
made about 45 phone calls for the Stirring Kids
did MORE homework
took a nap
vacuumed my house (love it!)
prepped for life group tonight
sent out a million e-mails
wrote a blog...
and all before 2:00 pm
What a day!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

are you KIDDING ME?

Church plant countdown is in the single digits as of today... 9 days and counting... just had a heart attack. That means there are only 216 hours to get everything finished.... is this really happening??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We talked on Sunday night at the Stirring about the least. Dan seriously threw down. No joke, that man has a heart for the least. I'm not sure about all of you out there in blog world, but the least can look very different for every person. When hearing that phrase, "the least" I think some see a homeless man, some see battered and bruised women, some see the addicts, and some see themselves. When I hear that phrase, I see children. Most of you know of my heart for children. I'm working my tail off right now to get my teaching credential so that I can make a difference in the lives of children for years to come (hopefully!). On any given Sunday night, you can find me hanging out with the kids, and I couldn't be happier. So I guess it makes sense that when I think of the least, I think of children. That's why I think it touches me so much to hear about Dan and Alyssa's story of the adoption of their two beautiful children Zeke and Sofia. I cry every time I hear this story. It touches my heart so much, and I am overwhelmed by the passion God has given me for these over looked and voiceless children. Monday night, some women at the Stirring put on an amazing night of worship geared toward the women serving at the Stirring. The entire time I'm on my knees worshiping God, and the faces of these children are burning in my mind. I find myself thinking about them all day. I lose myself in the dreams that I have for them. But where do I start? How do I go about changing the lives of these neglected children? I am continuously asking God this question, and tonight He told me to speak. That was it, that's all He gave me. Speak. So, against my better judgment, this blog is my first lame attempt at speaking. I'm not sure where it will get me, and I'm not sure if this is even what God wants, but I've got to start somewhere, right?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Confession #3

I know it's been a while since my last confession... #1 was my obsession with brushing my teeth. I know, weird right? #2 was my unrealistic fear of trains.... makes me shudder just thinking about it. And drum roll please... confession #3 is my freaky fascination with vacuuming. Ask my roommates, it's true. I could vacuum every single day for the rest of my life. I find it rather therapeutic to be totally honest. I know what you're thinking... what could be so appealing about vacuuming? To most it's just another chore to check off the list, but to me it's a hobby (okay, maybe that's a bit much... an obsession? A source of enjoyment? I dunno...). I love the feeling of clean carpet under my toes. I love the enjoyment I get when I clean out the filter. I love the look of the perfectly straight lines the vacuum leaves in the carpet. I love the smell in the house after vacuuming. I could go on and on... I guess for me it's just such an easy way to make any room look better. In my book, clean = happy! So, if I have clean floors, I'm HAPPY! Ahh, I think I'll go re-vacuum my living room. Until next time...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rediscovering my Best Friend

Annette has been my best friend since Kindergarten. We bonded over finger paints and story time on the carpet. Her house was the first house I ever spent the night at. She would never let me play with her Polly Pockets... so when she left the room, I would sneak them out from their not-so-safe hiding spot under the bed and get my fix. We used to fight like sisters. Sometimes, we still do. Annette has been through some hard times with me. Jr. High was no cake walk for either of us, but we had each other, so not much else mattered.

When we got into high school, we kind of went our own ways. I was on the soccer and basketball team for all four years, and found a new circle of friends there. It was never like we had some huge fight, and never talked to each other after that, it was just one of those things that just kind of happen. No hard feelings. We went through all four years of high school without really talking to one another, but on the day I was leaving Arcata for Redding, I randomly called her to say good-bye. I guess God knew we needed each other in this new chapter of life, because from that day on, we rediscovered our friendship and it was like we had never skipped a beat. We picked up right where we left off. I remember it so clearly, it seemed like nothing had changed at all. Four years of our lives had gone by, but we were still able to fall into place in the others life. We knew each other so well. I was the only person who could really calm her down, and she was the only person who could really push my buttons.

Annette is the best friend I'll ever have. I find myself speechless when I try to describe her, because she is just Annette. We are so much alike, yet so opposite at the same time. I love her, and don't tell her nearly enough. How many people can say they've had a best friend since Kindergarten? Our friendship grows stronger with each year that passes. We're more like sister in all honesty. Here are a few pictures of us from the years we've spent together. I'm trying to talk her into moving to Redding... that would be the best day of my life.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A bit about Emily-2-years-ago.

It's crazy, sometimes, to look back and realize just how far you've come. Many of you didn't know me two years ago, but if you did, you can attest to just how different I've become. It was only two years ago that I came to know Jesus. I was a 21 year old just living the day-to-day, not really sure why I was put on this out of control planet. I had been in a series of unsuccessful and semi-abusive relationships, lived with a number of discouraging and bitter roommates, and lived a rather self-destructive lifestyle. That all changed the day I went to my first Life Group. I still remember so many details... it was a Tuesday night, and I had just gotten out of my math class out at the college. Kristena Hayes literally dragged me to Meghan Edwardson's women's group, where I encountered God for the first time in my entire life. That night, I revealed secrets to complete strangers that I had never even admitted to my closest friends. I was blown away by the amount of love and support these women gave me, especially because I had JUST MET THEM! That night I struggled to forgive myself for the all of the bad decisions I had made, and began to find freedom from the bondage that had once tied me down. The Tuesday nights to follow were full of tears, laughter, some more tears, forgiveness, even MORE tears, and lots of love. The change wasn't overnight, but it wasn't until last night at the Stirring that I really saw for the first time just how far I've come. We talked about loving each other, and about how important forgiveness really is. Being able to love your enemies, and pray for the ones who have hurt you the most. Now, you see, the Emily-2-years-ago would have been weeping through the entire service. That Emily would have been struggling to forgive herself still, trying to come face-to-face with the consequences of her various poor decisions. The Emily-2-years-ago would have been finally stepping out of a very dark place, into the light... she would have been totally rocked by the idea of forgiveness. But last night, I realized that I've finally forgiven myself. God has always forgiven me, but I have finally forgiven MYSELF. There is really no better feeling in the world. I was able to pray for other women last night, who were dealing with the same things Emily-2-years-ago was dealing with. I was able to speak words of truth into them, and encourage them to break free of those lies. Last night, I was able to look back, and really appreciate how for God's taken me in the last two years. Some days I still struggle with the lies I once whole heatedly believed, but Emily-2-years-ago is gone. In her place stands a confident, loving, encouraging, free Emily. I don't even recognize that old Emily... she really has no place in this New life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Love...!

We love. from the Stirring on Vimeo.

This video will seriously change your life. It is part of the latest conversation we're having on Sunday nights at the Stirring. Awesome work Nate.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What the heck??

First of all, last night at the Stirring was INSANE. No joke, wall-to-wall seating. There was hardly any walking room... Secondly, I'm blown away by the amount of young men and women in this town who want to show love to the Stirring Kids. The Stirring Kids sign-up sheet was full. People were seriously lined up to add their name to the list. I wanted to hug each and every one of the people who came to the table... that might have gotten a little weird tho. Maybe next week. But seriously, this has got to be some sort of a record... I'm baffled, speechless, and SO EXCITED!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Alive again!!

Yikes, 3 days with no internet... who ever knew I would become so dependent upon the internet. I guess I have an excuse: 3 online classes at Chico... but still, I felt like I was a kid on Christmas morning today when the Charter guy showed up at my door step. I nearly threw my arms around him in appreciation! HA. Well, it's nearly midnight, and I still have 4 chapters to read for my English class tomorrow. Better get to it! Isn't school just lovely?? I'm going to leave you all with a recycled picture of my dearly loved cat Rocky. I've posted it before, but it deserves some more attention because he's just too darn cute!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What would YOU take??

What do you pack when you're being told that there is an emergency evacuation of your apartment complex? The first thing I turn for is my baby blanket. No joke. Before I even think about saving the life of my beloved cat Rocky, I choose to rescue my 23 years-and-8-month-old ratty old baby blanket. Seriously, it is my prized possession. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my cat, but there's just something about that dang baby blanket...

Ok, but seriously, I was trying to quickly get ready for my 12:00 staff meeting, anticipating Jenna's arrival any minute, when I get a text asking if my house is on fire. To which I quickly reply "no...." but run to the door and fling it open to find that the entire hillside across the street from my apartment is engulfed in flames. Fire trucks line my street, and screeching police cars are everywhere. My heart begins to beat uncontrollably... I soon find out that all of Hilltop Drive has been ordered to evacuate immediately. I'm not sure of where the fire is exactly, how it started, or why we're being evacuated, but I am sure of one thing: I'm not supposed to drive for another 3 weeks... So, I begin throwing random things into the first bag I can find, starting with my baby blanket of course! Then I start thinking of somebody, anybody who can bring me, rocky, and my blanket to safety...

To make this SUPER long story a bit shorter, Kristena saved the day, however I never had to actually evacuate my apartment. They lifted the evacuation before they got to my side of the street. They contained the fire, and no homes were harmed in the process. It was a pretty exciting day, that's for sure... HUGE planes flying right over my head, full of water... it was intense. I found this picture on the Record Searchlight web page... it was taken just down the street from my front door... crazy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh the joy...

... of medical bills. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?!

Monday, August 18, 2008

scattered thoughts

I realize I have so much to blog about, but can't quite figure out how to mold all of it together. There's lots going on right now... we dropped off backpacks to Cypress Elementary School today. I was just overwhelmed by all of the smiles. The teachers were blown away by our generosity. God is so good. I can't wait to see where God takes our relationship with this school. Some of the kids there literally have nothing... I think this is so exciting for me because this is truly my passion in life. I adore children, and I love building relationships with them. Their minds are so simple and pure... I think this day makes my top ten best ever.... just seeing all of those smiles... it was great!

Another thing that is on my "blogging to-do" list is my big move... I'm moving from my one bedroom shoe-box-of-an-apartment to Emily and Brett Faulknor's lovely and amazing house. Two other girls and I will be renting the Faulknor's house while they are living in San Diego. God totally hooked us up with this house. It's perfect, and it totally just fell in my lap. THANK YOU FAULKNOR'S!!! So, obviously I'm stoked to move, but it's just super hard for me to get anything done because I'm only allowed to lift/carry 5 pounds due to my back surgery two weeks ago. I know I have people ready, willing and able to help me move, I'm still struggling with the whole asking for help bit. I want the help, and need the help, but I just don't want to be an inconvenience to anybody. So, at this point, about half of my house is packed up (thank you Danielle and Sarah!) but it's totally stressing me out because my house is in a complete state of disarray.

On a lighter note, I have to give a huge shout out to Cassie Cable. She's amazing. Seriously. Last night, she sat at a table covered in glitter, glue sticks, construction paper, stickers, foam letters, fancy shape puncher things, markers, colored pencils, and craft supplies galore and helped the Stirring Kids and the J.R. High team decorate 250 beautiful cards to put in each backpack for Cypress Elementary School. Cassie came up with this idea, and she totally made it happen. We were able to deliver a bundle of amazing cards to each teacher to give to each student. This was such a creative way for the kids at the Stirring to show Gods love to these other children. We were all wishing somebody had brought a camera to capture this crazy event. Also, a huge thanks to the Stirring Kids team who cleaned up all of the aftermath of this creative disaster. I think more glitter ended up on the floor than on the actual cards... go figure!

One last thing... I realize this blog is quickly becoming too long... sorry. Today I've decided to take a much needed break from television and music... after hearing Sean Gafner speak last night about really getting face to face with God, and getting in the silence to hear His voice, I realized I am constantly surrounded by noise. Whether it's from the television, my iPod, the radio, my friend, my phone... it's all around me all of the time. I need some silence to hear His voice.... and to really get close to Him. Sometimes silence is difficult because you aren't sure what God will reveal to you in those quiet moments, but taking the time and listening to his voice is something I know I really need to do.

Ok, that's all for now. I'll leave you with a picture of my disaster of an apartment... ugg, maybe I'll just walk around with my eyes closed for the next two weeks... could get dangerous!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prison Break Season 3

Best. Show. Ever. I got the series in the mail yesterday, and stayed up until 3 a.m. watching it. Not only was I SO tired all day long, but I was also dying to know if Michael Scofield would break out safely, and if Lincoln would rescue LJ in time. I'm telling you, this series is beyond suspenseful.... it's borderline addicting. I love how Michael is always one step ahead of everyone. He is possibly one of the smartest tv show characters ever. On a different note, my back is feeling great. I helped out with prep-ing the Cypress School backpacks today. Recovery is treating me well... and it's providing me plenty of time to watch Prison Break!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Battle wounds

Here it is ladies and gentleman. I officially got to take my bandage off of my wound today. I must say, it's a bit larger than I thought it would be, but the doc did a great job of stitching that puppy up nice and neat! I go in on Monday to get the stitches removed... I hear that hurts. I'm feeling good today. I keep over-doing it, and really paying for it later in the day. Today I went shopping with my mom, and thought I was Super Woman or something... I just don't know my limitations yet. This whole thing is frustrating and new to me. I can't even lift up my water bottle. Ridiculous. I even broke the rules to take this picture. Shhhh, don't tell anybody! Ug, this whole surgery thing sure gives me a headache! I hope I at least have a sweet scar to show off to my kids one day... Ahh the joys in life :) I'll post another pic once I get the stitches out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


So my surgery was a success. I'm so glad to have it behind me. I've been in the hospital for two days, and have had countless visitors. I feel so spoiled, it's unbelievable. My back is feeling great. It's still pretty hard getting into and out of bed, but for the most part I'm back to my old self. Thank you to everybody who's been praying for me. I can totally feel the Lord with me right now. And thanks to everyone who's stopped by to say hello. I really appreciate all of the company and familiar faces. I love you all and can't tell you how blessed I am to have such an amazing community behind me in such a scary time. I hope that the recovery process continues to go smoothly, and that people keep on stopping by! Thanks again!! Love you all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

is this really happening?!

I can't believe this is actually going to happen... I got a phone call from the surgeon today telling me that my surgery is officially scheduled for Friday August 1, at 8:15 in the morning. I'm not ready for this. My brain hasn't really begun to comprehend this whole process, and I'm just not ready to have my back cut open! I'm freaked out and dreading Friday so much. I think the worst thing is that I have to miss the baptism on friday. What a bummer. I'll be in the hospital for two nights after the surgery. The hospital I'm staying in is called the Patience Hospital (I think). It's Dr. Tate's own personal hospital over off of Eureka Way. If anybody's over in that neighborhood, you should stop by and say hello! Thanks to all of the support everybody's been giving me. I couldn't do any of this alone. You guys are so amazing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

avoiding the inevitable

So, to get right to the point, I have to have surgery on my back. On Friday I went to see a different neurosurgeon who gave me some rather blunt news. He said that if I continue to leave my back untreated, I will eventually drag my right foot with I walk. This got my attention rather quickly. I have severe nerve damage in my right foot, caused by the pinch in my upper back, caused by the herniated disk. Dr. Tate (my super funny neurosurgeon) told me on Friday morning that if I hadn't ate breakfast, he would have operated on me that afternoon. Yeah, it's that serious. I guess I'm a little bummed that physical therapy didn't help, but I suppose I was just avoiding the inevitable. The surgery is going to be next week some time, but I'm not sure when. I hate the fact that I was seriously looking forward to next Saturday (baptism) and now I can't go. Bummer. The operation I'm having is called a lumbar diskectomy. It's not super invasive, so that's good, and the recovery time is only 4 weeks. (I say "only" like it isn't much, but in my life, 4 weeks is an insane amount of time to be recovering!!) I'll have to stay in the hospital for 2 days, 1 night. I honestly don't think any of this has sunk in yet. I feel like I'm on the brink of tears every time I talk about it. The thing I'm the most worried about is being alone for 4 weeks. I'm such a social and active person, I'm scared I'll get super depressed alone for that long period of time. I'm also really bad at asking people for their help, so I'm worried I'll be doing everything by myself. I guess at this point I just need prayer for my nervousness and anxiety about the whole thing. I've heard amazing things about Dr. Tate, so that's always reassuring!

Okay, I'm off to bed. I need to process some of this...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

and so it begins...

Well, those of you who are following me through this struggle with my back, I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. The Neurosurgeon I went to see on Monday told me that basically the only thing that could fix my back is surgery. Bummer. However, I opted for physical therapy for a week, to see if there were any improvements. He also got me a prescription for a high dose of some anti-inflammatory medication to help with the pain. Okay, so at this point in the day I'm feeling pretty discouraged and bummed. BUT WAIT, the good news?? When I went to my first round of PT, my therapist told me that he's seen patients with my same injury, on the brink of surgery, who have totally healed without surgery! YAY! Finally some good news. He gave me some stretches and exercises to do that will help strengthen my back, and get rid of some of the pain. Talk about encouragement! I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. My attitude is much better, and I'm going to work hard in PT. Anything to save me from surgery! Thanks to everybody who's praying for my back. I'm going to see another Neurosurgeon on Friday b/c the first one I saw wouldn't take my insurance, so we'll see what this guy has to say.... I'll be sure to keep ya posted. THANKS!

Friday, July 18, 2008


So, some of you may know that my back has been hurting me for the past few weeks. I went and got an M.R.I. on Thursday which was pretty freaky. Definitely not something I'd like to do again! Well, I went to my chiropractor this morning to review the M.R.I. and he told me that I have a major problem. I have a bulging disk which is pinching my sciatic nerve. I guess in chiropractic talk this is not good! So he then recommended that I consult a neurosurgeon to see what my options are. He pulled a few strings, and got me the first available appointment (Monday 9 a.m.) with the best neurosurgeon in Redding. Basically, my chiropractor said that things don't look good, and he's thinking surgery. He told me that I am absolutely, under no condition to work until we've figure everything out. So I am officially on disability/ unemployment effective immediately. All of this happened before 10 a.m. today. Needless to say I've had a long, emotional, draining day. I'm exhausted, and tired of talking about my dang back. I'm in a TON of pain still, so if ya'll would be praying for my back, and for a slight miracle, that would be outstanding. Also, seeing as I'm without much of anything to do, feel free to come on over and keep me company! I know it's not the end of the world, and I know that God's totally going to take care of me, but I can't help but get a little freaked out about the whole situation. I just want the pain to go away, and to be back to my normal life.

I'll be sure to keep everybody up to date with the plan of action for my back.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My precious Rocky!

So I know that I complain about my cat a TON, but he's just too cute. This first picture is how he often falls asleep. Flat on his back, spread eagle, no shame. He's ridiculous. This next picture is of Rocky in one of his famous hiding spots. If there is an empty box or bag ANYWHERE in the house, you can bet Rocky is hiding out in it. He's usually rather conspicuous in these "hiding spots" but you have to give him some credit, right?!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My life, in a song!

Have you ever found a song that seems to sum up your entire life? A song that can bring you to tears, no matter how many times you listen to it? A song that seems like it was written just for you? I recently found my song, and can't explain just how much the lyrics move me. A friend of mine introduced me to the Barlowgirls, and told me I MUST listen to their song "I need you to love me". If you aren't familiar with this song, I highly recommend it. This song seriously sums up my life, my struggles, my fears... it's unreal. And the voices of these women are insanely BEAUTIFUL. I'm not sure what made me tear up first, the lyrics or their voices!

Anyway, check out these lyrics.


"I Need You To Love Me"

Why, why are You still here with me
Didn't You see what I've done?
In my shame I want to run and hide myself
But it's here I see the truth
I don't deserve You

But I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need You to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me
I just never saw how You could cherish me
'Cause You're a God who has all things
And still You want me

Your love makes me forget what I have been
Your love makes me see who I really am
Your love makes me forget what I have been

What do ya think? Anybody else have a song that sums up their life? I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

let's change the world!

Faith Hope Love

That's what I live by.
Hebrew's says "... faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

I live to be the HOPE for our future- the main reason I'm going to school to become a teacher. I want to be the face of hope for the generation to come. I want to show them LOVE like they've never experienced it before. Unconditional love.

BUT IS THIS ENOUGH? Is it enough to go to school, get a credential, start teaching and pray to make an impression in at least one child's life? Is that enough? Lately I've been feeling like I'm not enough- not a good enough friend, not a smart enough student, not a nice enough teacher, not a wise enough person. Just simply NOT ENOUGH. Where does it come from? I mean, I seem to get pretty good grades, I would do just about anything for my friends... I just want to know what "enough" really looks like... am I enough, but I just don't really know it? I have big dreams folks. Big, huge, life-changing dreams for myself, and for this generation. How do I put it all into the works? And IS IT ENOUGH....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More to come...

Why do we judge other people? Why do we sum up people by the way they look, the car they drive, the town they grew up in, the church they go to, the neighbor hood they live in? Why? Judgment is such a contagious thing, isn't it? I mean, you're around people who are pretty judgmental, and you find yourself judging others in the exact same way. I'm guilty of this. I think most of us are. After listening to Dan's message on Sunday night, I have decided to ask God for fresh eyes. I need to see people they way that Jesus sees them. Ephesians lays it down pretty simply for us, we were dead in our sin, but by the grace of God we were saved. ALL OF US. God saved all of us. Not just the ones who have blue eyes. Not just the ones who went to Foothill High School. Not just the ones who go to Little Country Church. God saved all of us. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- and by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.
It is more important to remember that we were all created in God's image, so we should see that in each other first, before anything else.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lately, Rocky likes to lick my forehead in my sleep. It's really annoying! Then he meows for EVER when I make him stop. I don't know what this new little phase he's in is all about, but I'm ready for it to end. You can tell by the picture that he really loves me... HA!

And Ashley Beaver, if you're reading this, HELLO! We miss you!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

necessary venting... good ol' red robin!

red robin has been my place of work for five years now. five years of bottomless fries and freckled lemonades. five years of birthday songs and smiling burgers. five years of kerry and melisa. i've been working at red robin for five years now, and tonight i need to vent. i apologize if i offend anybody with the things i am about to say, but i've officially decided that every single person should work in food service before they die. you just don't understand the things that servers go through until you've walked a shift in their non-slip shoes. tonight was a record breaking night in my book. i've never been treated as horribly as i was treated tonight. this is the reason i'm in dire need of some vent-age. (the "you" that i'm directing this vent at is no one in particular, so please don't feel attacked!!)

okay, so just for the record, i'm FORCED to say that stupid little greeting when i first walk up to your table. TRUST ME, it's even more annoying for me than for you. try saying it 30+ times a night! so when i'm in the middle of it, please please PLEASE don't look at me like i'm a total idot and blurt out "DIET COKE". not only is it rude, but you might actually learn something from what i'm trying to say (like say, for example, my name!!) i promise that if you were to wait for two seconds, i'd give you your opportunity to speak without cutting me off.
now, if you are nice enough to let me get through my AEA greet (yeah, that's what it's called... red robin likes acronyms) there's nothing worse than having the entire table IGNORE me, like i'm nothing more than background noise. HELP ME HELP YOU PEOPLE! if you aren't ready, just TELL ME THAT. ugg. now, another thing that is really REALLY frustrating to servers across the country is the common misconception that the servers are in control of everything going on in the restaurant. NEWS FLASH! i can't really help it if the cooks lose your ticket, or if there aren't any fries cooked and ready RIGHT when you want them, or if the Expo (the person who trays up your food) forgets that side of ranch you asked for, or if the cooks decide to put tomatoes on your burger even though you told me explicitly NO TOMATOES. i'm sincerely sorry, and i'll do everything i can to fix the problem, but it isn't always my fault! so please don't yell at me, or throw things at me (it's seriously happened!!), or freak out on me because something out of my control just happened. when i say i'm sorry, i'm seriously sorry!
okay, now the last thing that really gets under my skin- when i come back over to your table to check on things, and ask "how's everything tasting" or "everybody doing okay" i really get get frazzled when every single person at the table ignores me. all i ask for is a simple nod, or even just a thumbs up! i'm just trying to help you folks. that's it. plain and simple. if you don't tell me that your burger tastes like crap, i'll never know. they don't teach us to read minds during our training. sorry about that.
Now i know that some of your reading this might be guilty of one or more of the previous things, but not to worry. i know that you have good intentions! please don't be offended by my venting. i know that i've been guilty of giving less than satisfactory service more than once. at times i deserve the attitudes and tips that i've been given, but more often than not i do not deserve to be treated the way that 75% of my tables treat me. just smile at me, and acknowledge me when i'm asking you questions. that's all i ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

with all of that said, i do love my job. some days are better than others. i know that i choose to work in food service, so some of the repercussions are my own fault, but just because i'm serving tables does not give you permission to treat me like garbage.

OH I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. And seriously, people have been pretty rotten to me just because of some goof up with their food. people are kinda crazy (like KOO KOO crazy) about their food. it's so strange!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Confession #2

I hate trains. I don't know why, I can't explain this unreasonable fear of trains that I have. Every time I hear a train approaching, I freeze up. I panic a little. My body temperature rises, my hands get clammy, my toes curl. I have this unrealistic fear that I'll be stuck on the train tracks, and as the train gets closer, it can't stop in time. Some of my friends think it's funny to mess with me, and they will stop their car on the rail road tracks... this sends me in freak-out mode. I yell, I hit, I kick, I throw things. Don't mess with me around trains. Ever! There is no explanation for my fear of trains, but its real. I will even go out of my way to avoid the railroad tracks, and if a train is crossing in front of me, I close my eyes, and plug my ears... it's a bit childish, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures!!

Friday, May 23, 2008


So I've decided to get honest with my fellow bloggers.
I'm going to post a series of "confession blogs" confessing my deepest darkest secrets to all of my faithful blog readers.
First confession: I am slightly obsessed with brushing my teeth.
No joke, I brush my teeth after every meal. Sometimes it's up to 5 times a day. I know, I know, it's not good for your teeth to brush this much, yadda yadda yadda. I don't care. They don't call it an OBSESSION for nothing! So, aside from the fact that I love brushing my teeth, I have a little routine that I go through every time I brush. First, I have to use ICE COLD water. I let the tap run for a bit to ensure the correct temperature. Once the water is set, I run my tooth brush under the water for at least 30 seconds. I need my brush to be very wet before I apply the tooth paste. After I put the perfect amount of tooth paste on my brush (not too much, YUCK!) I have to run the brush under the water again for another 30 seconds minimum. After I've prepared my tooth brush with the tooth paste, I begin the brushing. I usually start on the right side of my mouth. Moving from top to bottom to top to bottom, and so on. After about a minute, I switch sides and continue my routine. After both sides are done, I work on the front teeth. Sometimes I have to put more tooth paste on the brush to ensure that I give all teeth equal attention... I usually brush for a good 3 minutes. Then I rinse my mouth out two times, rinse my tooth brush out, and that concludes my favorite daily activity. If I could, I would brush my teeth countless times in a day. I love it. I also love getting new tooth brushes, and new tooth paste. I have to be sure to buy the right brands and styles... I've basically got it down to a science. I know it's a bit ridiculous, but this is a confession people. I'm bearing my soul to you. My deepest darkest secrets. Remember that! Stay posted for the next confession.... I promise, it will be good!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life is good!

I'm officially done with finals. It has got to be the greatest feeling on earth! I passed all of my classes this semester, and now I'm officially a CSU Chico student. Nice. I'll buy everybody a Chico State license plate holder, sweatshirt, or some other lovely souvenir! I now have piles of dirty dishes in my sink, and a floor that is in desperate need of sweeping due to my die hard, week long study session. I can now lay out by my pool, clean my house, watch t.v., sleep in, go running and enjoy my life stress-free. It's an amazing feeling. I'm on vacation. Who's coming over to celebrate with me?!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oh yeah!

One down
Two to go!
I'm so almost done with finals. 
Ug.. school... so lame

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today is Saturday

I hate school. It's as simple as that. Next week marks the beginning of Finals Week for me, and saying I'm unprepared is the understatement of the year. I have a HUGE Biology test covering seven (yes SEVEN!) chapters, and I have not even begun to study. Why do I procrastinate? Why why why? Is it because going to the pool seems like a better idea, or because sleeping in is so much more appealing? Uggg. I regret those choices in times like these, when I'm to my maximum capacity of stress and anger. Even the thought of studying gets me anxious and sweaty, thinking about taking the stupid test that I'm totally not ready for. On top of my massive Bio test, I have to give a "small" presentation to my class on a classroom lesson. Like the real deal. And when I say "small" I mean it has to be at LEAST five minutes, with a ton of criteria that is basically absurd. And to make matters worse, I have to give two of these "small"presentations. One for math and one for language arts. I guess the reality of becoming a teacher is taking place as we speak. I also have an Anthropology test that I have to study for... I love my Anthropology teacher, but I hate the way he teaches some things. We just covered a chapter on religion. It was a pretty heavy chapter. It's totally obvious to me that my instructor is pretty jaded and callused toward religion. I'm not sure why, but he makes it totally clear by the way he teaches this chapter. He makes all Christians look really  naive and simple. I get pretty heated in conversations like this, so I had to literally bite my tongue while he was lecturing. I think my face said it all, because he would occasionally look at me and ask if anybody had any comments or questions. Oh boy did I ever have a comment or two I could give him, but I chose to keep my big mouth closed. 

Stress if overwhelming, and I'm beginning to freak out a bit over school. One more week. I can make it through one more week, right? Here's what the week looks like
Monday- 10:30 am massive Biology test
Tuesday- Recover from test/ study for Anthro/ prepare "small" presentations/ take online History test
Wednesday- Finish cramming for Anthro
            - 5:00 "small" presentations
    - 7:00 Anthropology Test

I can do it! (I hope!)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Random thoughts on a Tuesday night

I don't really know how I feel about spilling my guts on the internet, where anybody can read it. People I know and those I don't. People who know my heart, and people who are judging me. I just don't know how I feel about it. I find myself intending to be totally honest, but end up holding back a lot. 

Today was a strange day. I woke up around 8 and headed to Erika's house to keep some crazy kids entertained while their mom's chatted over an uninterrupted cup of coffee. The kids were rambunctious but we had a blast together. There is never a dull moment with them, but I always feel guilty leaving the Edwardson's home looking like a tornado just ripped through the place. Erika insists that "this is clean" but I know better! 

After hanging out with the kids, I headed to run some errands around town, but found myself driving aimlessly through parking lots and down random streets. I've been feeling like I've got too much going on in my head lately. I'm always thinking about something, and I don't seem to have any peace. I finally parked my car in the PetSmart parking lot, and made a few phone calls, trying to ease up some of the "stuff" i've got going on. By the time I was done, the clock told me I was about to be late for my lunch date. Carnegies never fails to help my mood. This time, however, I had to stuff my face at lightning speed, and jet to my staff meeting. Poor Meghan and Bethany were feeling sick (and Josiah too!!) so we kind of cut the meeting short. I was a bit bummed because most of the stuff swimming around in my head has to to with either the Stirring, the Stirring Kids, or just God in general. I'm feeling better though because I have a meeting set up with Nate and Bethany on Friday. Hopefully we can sort through some of this stuff. 

I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. I constantly get the feeling that I'm not doing a good enough job. Where do these feelings come from? It's like I go through waves of it. Sometimes it seems like everything is going smooth, then I get an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy for the position I'm filling. I continuously try to lean on God through all of this, but I'm afraid I'll end up flat on my face! I bottle it all up, and now things are about to really blow up. My stress level is through the roof. Ug, is school over yet? Thanks for listening to me vent about my day. Tomorrow will bring new things. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Michael Buble'

Last night was the time of my life. It was possibly one of the greatest moments thus far in my 23 years, 4 months, and 12 days of existence. Last night, at 8:30-ish p.m I was falling in love with a man known as Michael Buble'. If you aren't familiar with him, go! Right now! And look at his page. He is an amazingly talented musician. And he's oh-so-dreamy too! I bought tickets for his concert about 4 months ago, with the words of my best friend Annette ringing in my ears... "Em, if you EVER have a chance to see Michael Buble' DON'T PASS IT UP!...." So, I bought the tickets, anticipating greatness. Oh boy, did Michael deliver. His concert was by far the greatest concert I've ever been to. Now, granted, I haven't been to THAT many concerts, but Michael will always set the bar for perfection in my book. He is charming, funny, BEAUTIFUL, and his voice is out of this world. I'm beyond ecstatic that I bought the tickets, and I'm wishing I could go again, and again, and again....  

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Hill"

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with "The Hill" (or at least that's what I like to call it). It's th
e part of the Sacramento River Trail that leads up to Hilltop. It's a GNARLY hill. Half a mile of steep uphill, but a gorgeous view at the top. Well, for the last two days I am proud to say that I've included "The Hill" in my exercise routine.
I run:
  • from my house to the hill (.7 miles)
  • down the hill (.5 miles)
  • up the hill (.5 miles)
  • back to my house (.7 miles)
  • That's a total of 2.4 miles.
I'm not going to sugar coat this for you guys, it's a pretty grueling workout for me. I know there are some of you out there who are laughing at me because you could run this twice, and not break a sweat. Not me. By the end of my lovely workout, I am drenched in sweat, and feeling quite proud of myself! I ran the entire hill for the past two days. This is kind of a big deal for me because normally I walk the hill... but lately I've been pretty inspired to turn up my workout.... although I'm legs are on FIRE by the time I'm at the top, I feel accomplished and powerful. Maybe next week I'll run "The Hill" twice... we'll see. If anybody ever wants to join me on "the hill" I would love the company. Running is always better with a partner. 

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today I colored. I spent at least 20 minutes with Caleb Caldwell coloring lovely pictures of dogs, flowers, army men, scary clowns, even a crazy looking bug! I can't remember the last time I just colored to color. I had forgotten just how much fun it is! We pulled out the crayons, and colored! Caleb likes to chat while he colors, which is amazing because what's better than good conversation and the smell of crayons? I think everybody should take a little time to color a picture. Childhood is a priceless thing. So carefree, so fresh and limitless. So today I colored, and I got a bit of my childhood back. Thanks Caleb, for coloring with me!!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just one of those days...

Uggg. I had a bad day today. Not horrible, or awful, or terrible, or horrendous. Just bad. It was one of those days that you just want to end. You want it to be over so that, in the morning, you can start over. Fresh. Forgetting yesterday, and all the drama and baggage that went along with it. I really feel Christ shaking some things up in my life right now, and I don't know if I like it. I like being stable. I like being happy and consistent. I like keeping my past behind me, and not having to deal with the hard times that I'm finally starting to forget. I'm not that girl anymore... It seems like with this little talk of family we've begun at the Stirring, some of my past is being drug back into sight. It's hard to deal with. It's hard to face again. I really don't like it. 

"No guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me." 

I've been listening to this song on repeat for hours. I love it. It's helping my bad day. You know what else would help my bad day? A good joke. Does anybody know any good jokes?? I love a good joke...

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Tomorrow the new week begins. I can't wait. I get to ACTUALLY meet with my Life Group this week. I love my Life Group... I get to have coffee/eat lunch with three of my greatest friends who I never really get to spend time with. My parents are coming into town. WOOOOOOT! My TV fast is over... but in all honesty, I loved the silence. I got 9 sign-ups for the Stirring Kids, and I get to call each and every one of them to tell them how excited I am that they want to be part of the Stirring Kids. This is going to be an amazing week. I can't wait. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Erase The Dark

If you are reading this, you should be excited. Erase The Dark is going to be amazing. Remember that crazy picture of me with that awesome backpack? Well, this is the real deal folks. Erase the Dark is a music, art, and film festival held by the Stirring and it's going on THIS FRIDAY NIGHT! (April 11th at 7:00 p.m.). All proceeds are going DIRECTLY to Cypress Elementary School to help meet kids basic needs. These are kids who go without basic school supplies all year long, and we as a community want to help. I'm so excited. Check out the Stirring's web site for more information. It's only ten bucks at the door, and there's free food. How much better could it get?! Everybody should call in sick to work on Friday night, and come check out the first annual Erase The Dark. I hope to see you there.

Monday, April 7, 2008


The women's retreat was indescribable. I try to tell people about it, but I don't really seem to capture the amazing moments we all shared together, and the countless new friendships that were formed while tucked away in a rather HUGE cabin in the middle of nowhere. I'm amazed by God on a daily basis, but this retreat really took it to an entirely different level. I had never been on a retreat before last weekend. Truth be told, I was really hesitant to go. I was anxious and nervous and scared to be in such a new situation. While driving to the church to meet up with all the women, I stopped twice to convince myself to go. Needless to say, I'm really glad I mustered up the courage to go. It honestly changed me. I've decided I'm Martha. I've decided I am going on a "semi-media fast." What this means, is I'm fasting from television for a week. I'm too distracted by my t.v. It should NOT be a priority in my life, and sadly, it has become one. I'm giving up t.v. for a week. A friend of mine that I told this to told me "Oh please Emily, you'll never be able to do it!" I've decided she's an "atter" friend. She's definitely not a latter friend! I'll prove her wrong though, rest assured. I'm almost done with day one, and already half way through a book I've been dying to read! God is good. You know something, I honestly would not recognize the woman I was a year ago. I've changed beyond measure. For those of you who knew me a year ago, wouldn't you agree? God is so good to me! So so good.  So the women's retreat was amazingly wonderful, and I'm fasting from t.v. and I love the life that I've been given (to sum up this all-over-the-place blog) and now I'm off to bed. Much love!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The many faces of Rocky

So, this is my cat. He's a nut. I wrote about him in a much earlier post, but felt the need to post a few more pictures of his cute face. Erica, I hope your girls get a good laugh out of these pictures. My personal favorite is the one with him in the sink. He'll sleep in there for hours... crazy guy. Enjoy the pictures. I'm off to take a nap!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Women's Retreat. WOOT!!

So, today begins the most work-free weekend I've had in, well, possibly years! I'm beyond excited. It almost feels wrong that I won't be running around Red Robin this weekend, refilling people's Diet Cokes, and asking if they want ranch with their fries. Yippie! Basically, I'm free. I love it. This Women's Retreat is going to be exactly what I need. Well, when I get back, I'll have a long, detailed blog about just how wonderful the retreat was. I'm so excited.... NO RED ROBIN!!!!! YAY!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

FAMILY-it just "clicked"

So I've decided I'm not very good at this "blogging" thing. I'm just not very graceful with my words, thats all. I always start a blog, get half way through it, then get totally frustrated, and erase the entire thing. This is my fifth attempt at this particular blog, so bare with me. 

Last night at the Stirring we began a new conversation about family. Nathan did such an fabulous job of addressing the eye opening topic of the family God has intended us to become part of. How, although our biological family may not provide us with the love and support we desire, there is an entirely different type of family out there, waiting for us to join. (How am I doing so far? Still making sense??)

Okay, so toward the end of the night, Nate began to pray for the different members of this family of God.... He began with the Fathers- talking about how they need to call out their sons and daughters, and provide for them with support. Then he began to pray for the Mothers, and something really went a bit crazy in me. I have no children, I don't even have any younger siblings. I am not an auntie to any little boys or girls, but when Nate started praying for the Mothers, I began to think about who I am. You know, my personality, my role at work, my role at the Stirring, my role to my friends, my role in this family of Christ... and it clicked. It totally clicked. I am a Mother. I am a nurturer. I love to bake cookies and treats for my friends. I love to sit with a friend (or a total stranger!) who is going through a horrible time, and provide advice, a shoulder to cry on, a place to come and find safety. I love being around children (HELLO!! I spend hours with tons of them on Sunday nights!!). Do you even know how many times in my life I've been told "Emily, you are such a MOTHER!!" At work, I'm the one telling people to be nice to each other, and constantly (yes, CONSTANTLY) picking up after people, and not even thinking twice about it. I'm always bring treats for the people I work with, and just making sure everybody is doing okay in general. I befriend the newest person, and try to make sure they feel at ease and welcome at work. At my last Life Group, one of the guys in it told me that I just gave off this motherly energy, like you could come to me, and just be yourself and be accepted. All of this is suddenly making sense to me. It's like God's been dropping me these subtle hints, and He finally got kind of annoyed that I wasn't getting it, and helped me figure it out! HA! I like to think that God has a sense of humor :) 
But seriously, I'm only 23, and I realize that I have a lot of living left to do, but I'm such a motherly figure in this family. Maybe not as motherly as some (those who are ACTUALLY mothers perhaps!) but I've got some of it figured out, ya know? I know how to love. I have such unconditional love for so many people. Some of them that I've only just met. For so long I couldn't figure out why I was able to love people so easily, and so wholeheartedly, without even thinking twice. I've always loved to nurture people, and now I can begin to understand why God's given me this amazing gift. But now, how do I put it into action? How do I seek people out, and offer this love and support and advice and comfort without looking like a CRAZY?  This is the point I'm at right now, and some of the questions I'm struggling with. I appreciate those of you who've provided me bits of enCouragement in the past. I love knowing people are actually reading this silly blog (that I'm not so great at). 
I'm so excited about the place God's given me in His family. It really just gives me this sense of ease and joy. And seriously, I really do enjoy baking cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats (no real baking involved, but still delish!) so any special requests? Let me know! 
Thanks all, much love! OH, and I'm feeling LOADS better! My head is clear, my nose is clear, my chest is clear, my throat doesn't hurt.... just this gnarly sounding cough... I can live with that!! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Current mood: sicker than a dog!

In all reality, I suppose I did this to myself. All cold/flu season long, I've been bragging about how healthy I've been, and how I haven't even had so much as a stuffy nose. I figured the flu bug was long gone by now, and it was smooth sailing from here on out.... WRONG! I woke up this morning with the back of my throat on fire, and my nose so stuffed up, I sound like Kermit the Frog! I have been downing vitamins and Air Born for the last few hours, praying that it will work. This is my Spring Break! I do not want to spend it curled up on the couch, surrounded by a mountain of kleenex! So here I sit, staring at my "DO TO" list, not wanting to move an inch off of my couch. Like I said, I guess I did it to myself... I spoke too soon. Bummer!! At least I have the next two days totally free (no work, no school, yessss!) so I can rest and drown myself in DayQuil :) The only thing that really, REALLY stinks about this, is that I was supposed to head home (over to Humboldt) for the next two days to visit my parents. My mom was so excited, and I'm afraid I've broken her heart by telling her I wasn't coming. She understands, but is still pretty bummed. I was really looking forward to the ocean, my mom's cooking, the lovely fog over on the coast, and of course Los Bagels. (They are only the greatest bagels in the WORLD! And they are only located in Arcata/Eureka). Here's a picture of the Arcata Los Bagels. I will be dreaming of their bagels... and waking up to my Kermit voice... Ugg!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Have you ever had one of those moments when God really blows you away? Like, He totally just pin-points something in your life that you've been really struggling with? It's a feeling like no other... God blew me away tonight. For the last couple of months I've been praying for God to really change the way I see myself. I've been praying for God to help me see the beauty HE sees in me, and to forget the lies I've been told in the past, and believed for so long. I've been praying that these lies be something I believe no more. Well, tonight something remarkable happened. Tonight at the Stirring Nathan was wrapping up the seven o'clock service, and he asked everyone to stand. He had been talking about encouragement tonight, and while we were praying, he asked that God reveal to us in what ways He wants to encourage us. So Nathan asked the question, and then we were all silent, listening for God's voice, awaiting an answer. So I began to ask God how He wants to encourage ME specifically, and what word He wants to reveal to me, as a way of encouragement. Then I let the silence really surround me. I erased everything else from my mind, focusing on my question. And then the strangest thing happened... suddenly the word BEAUTY came into my brain. It was like God finally got His chance to shed some light on my self-image. I mean, I've been struggling with my self-image for a VERY long time now (over 10 years) and now God is beginning to change me... it's so crazy! It was amazing, and I don't really think I'm doing this moment in my life much justice with my blog, but I wanted to share with all of my fellow bloggers  :)  God sees beauty in me that I don't see, so perhaps I should keep on looking....

Friday, February 29, 2008


So, here I am with my lovely backpack for Erase the Dark. I'm so very excited to fill it with lots and lots of amazing school supplies for a great little 1st grader (Hello Kitty's still cool in 1st grade, right??!) If you are reading this, and have NO idea what Erase the Dark is, go check out the Stirring's web site PRONTO! So yeah, thumbs up for Erase the Dark, and my killer backpack! I'll be wearing it on Sunday night, with a smile  :) Now I'm off to work :(  

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.... forever" -Psalm 73:26

Monday, February 25, 2008


School's overwhelming. My online class is a NIGHTMARE. I study so hard for it, and do so horribly in it. Has anybody ever taken an online class? What's the trick? Ug, well I stink at school this semester. I'm usually a really good student, but this time around, I'm just not cutting it. I don't sleep enough because I'm up late doing homework, but it just seems never ending!! 

OKAY, the Stirring Kids, they're amazing. We had such a good turn out tonight! We had 9 kids in the 1st-3rd grade classroom (4 of which were girls!!! That never happens!!!) I was a bit worried going into it because each class had about 9 kids and two of the teachers were out for the night sick, but everything worked out just fine! Another volunteer showed up, and was able to step into the classroom to help. These kids are so awesome.  My favorite part of the night is our time or worship with the kids. Just watching them dance and sing, praising the Lord is so great. 
So tonight, I was holding down the fort, trying to keep kids and parents out of the rain while keeping order at the sign-in table, when a woman I'd never seen before walked up with her son and daughter. She began asking me questions about our lesson tonight, wondering what we did, when we did it, did we have snack, what class were they in. I mean, lots of questions! I answered each one, with a warm, welcoming smile (of course!) I started to explain the sign-in process to her, when she asked me to give her and her kids a second to talk. I wasn't sure what they were talking about, but by the body language of her daughter, I could tell this wasn't going to be pretty. Once both kids had joined the other children playing some fun board games (boo for the rain!) the mom pulled me aside to explain: The mother told me that she hadn't been to church in about 3 months because her children just never felt safe or had fun at any of the child watch programs. I let her know that we tend to have a LOT of fun in our classroom, and not to worry about anything. Now, to make a long story short, that same mother came to pick up her son and daughter at the end of the service, and to her shock, neither one of them wanted to leave! The mother turned to me, about in tears, and said that she gets to come back next week because her kids will want to come back. It was one of those nights that makes me LOVE doing what I do. I can't wait to see those two next week. I'm stoked at what God's doing with these kids, and in my life alike!
Ug, I'm tired and going to sleep. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meet my Mamma!

Everybody, meet my mother. I don't know how to put into words just how much I love her. She's my best friend, my favorite phone call, my strength and inspiration. I only get to see her every once in a while because she lives over in my home town (Arcata) and doesn't get much time off from work to come visit. However, today was one of the rare occasions she DID get to come visit! She showed up at around 10 a.m. and we chatted over coffee for about an hour, then went to lunch, then headed off to shop. I just have so much fun with her whenever I get to see her. I love her company so much, and always find her advice the most useful! I'm so blessed to have a mother who has provided me with so much love throughout my life. Unfortunately she had to head to the Bay Area, and left about an hour ago (3:00) but it was such a refreshing visit! She loves me so much, and I know how lucky I am to actually KNOW how loved I am by her. If you ever get the chance to meet her, you will feel her love immediately! I love her! I guess ya'll get that point by now  :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


YEP! This is me with my Anthropology midterm THAT I GOT A 98% on! HECK YES! My professor, he's hilarious. I have my anthropology class from 7-10 p.m. It's basically torture, but Dr. Tate (he insists we call him James) is such an awesome professor, the time seriously flies by. I actually look forward to going to his class! So we got our tests back today in class, and when he hands mine to me, he folds it in half so that nobody near me can see my score, and tells me "Um, Miss Branca, I need to see you after class... I'm really disappointed with your score!"
When I open it up?? Oh yeah, I got an A. He was cracking up at the expression on my face. I mean, this guy is just great. I wish ALL of my professors had the attitude he does... maybe I can invite my Geography professor to one of my Anthro classes to give her a taste of what GOOD teaching is....

Okay, well I have to go get some homework done. Praise the Lord for my good score! He's been so good to me this past week. 
Images by Freepik