Saturday, December 04, 2010


My heart is broken.

But God is faithful.

God doesn't promise we won't go through trials, only that He will be there with us WHEN we do. (Isaiah 42:2-3)

Right now I'm working on healing my heart, and I'm praying most fervently for B.

I'm not shutting any doors....but I am focusing on healing my wounds.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Down Day in Subbing

Last friday I substitute taught in a 6th grade Special Education classroom.

My heart was so disheartened by what I encountered during that time.

I had four class periods....two of those are basically one math class, split into two periods of the day, for these special education students who are pretty low at math. I get that these kids all have IEP's (Individual Learning Plans) and why they qualify for special education is not something I'm allowed to know.

This I do know: they are all individuals who deserve a shot to excel as much as they are capable of. They are not to be told what they can and cannot achieve, and they deserve to be respected as the individuals they are.

They were a little bit difficult....that's what happens when you have a mix of 6th graders, who are special education, who have had a sub for the second day in a row, who respond to things a little bit differently.

But what's sad is what's sad is what I witnessed.

I don't claim to be great but I claim to be pretty darn good at working with kids. I relate to them, I know how to interact with them, and I understand how to get down to their level. I feel for them, I have empathy towards their disadvantages, and I find joy in them.

But these are the things I witnessed that made my heart break:

1. One of the first things the other special education teacher who taught the math class with me said to me was "Mrs. F is obviously not going to be writing any letters to Harvard for this group." How sad that he, as a special education teacher, has the nerve to put limits on any child let alone these kids. They need their teachers to push them to keep reaching beyond what others think their limits are, not define them! You don't tell a kid what they are and are not capable of, that they will dare you!

2. The same said teacher had the nerve to playing push a kids head. Excuse me. You don't touch children.

3. The way he was talking to them made me so mad. You don't talk to children like they are dumb! They aren't dumb. You don't call them names to their face. You don't talk about the kid in front of them. No! You just don't do that.

4. It really made me sad that I was in there for one day, and able to explain pre-algebra math in a way that they could understand that they hadn't been able to before. Not even that...these kids don't know how to do multiplication or division...and I was able to start successfully teaching it to them in ONE DAY!! I'm not good at math. But how sad is it that I can teach these kids and reach them in a manner that their normal teachers can't.

5. One kid, named Jacob, has behavior problems. The teacher had warned me via sub plans that he might be troublesome. Yes he was, he wanted to push limits. But by working with him just a little bit one-on-one, and by giving him a couple positive comments, I was able to control that behavior. What the heck does that say about the teacher who is normally there?!?! Not very much that's for sure.

You just have to treat kids with respect, like they are human. You have to be positive towards them, establish limits and boundaries and stick to them. You have to push them to excel, not tell them how they will fail.

It just broke my heart :-(

Monday, November 08, 2010

Perfectness of His Plan

It would be a huge understatement to say that I know how to make myself messy in so many ways. Every time I think I finally have a little bit of it figured out and cleaned up, well somehow I get myself in an even bigger tight spot. How uncanny is my ability to do that!!

Without going into the specifics, God's perfect plan is slowly being revealed to me. He is giving me ALL the tools to get out of the mess that I have put myself in.

But as I was looking at the weave of this mess and all the tools/opportunities He has given me, I started to realize the power of God's planning in my life for the entirety of my life.

See this is what I realized: God knows me better than I know myself. He made me. And with that, He knew the mistakes I would make before I even made them. Before He even lovingly planted me in my mother's womb, He knew my heart, He knew ME! He knew what I would be like. He knew at the age of 23 I would be where I'm at thanks to my own doing. And since the day I was born, he has weaved this very intricate plan into my life, a plan to take care of me and get me through my tough times.

I can look back on people in my life, in events in my life, that have specifically led to this point. The perfect web that He has created is remarkable!! I can look at events that I was so confused about happening or not happening these past two years and I now understand the multitude of reasons why.

I was looking back at my life, and I can recognize God's hands in all areas of my life. Of how He led me perfectly to my blessings and to my trials. How He has always been there and has had his Hand on me. I can see specifically when He knew I would take the wrong path and the events that guided me back to right paths. And I understand that when I willingly chose those wrong paths, I can recognize huge spiritual lessons that He taught me during those times....although I will admit it's been from reflection over the past few years that I have come to recognize and name those lessons and learn from them.

In thinking over all of this, I started letting the tears flow in the shower and found myself crying out of joy that my Lord knows me SO much better than even I know myself and has taken care of me so well. I have so much to be thankful for, despite the trials I am going through now as I know I am taken care of, even when it doesn't feel like it.

It's so relieving to know that if I just keep faith in Christ, He is going to lead me down some amazing roads in life and is going to use me in ways I can't even begin to imagine! I just hope that I can keep my eyes on the prize, which is my relationship with the Lord and the glory being lifted up to Him in all facets of my life.

With that being said, there is this really good song that I came across last night that is such a huge part of my testimony right now in life. This song has been touching my heart for the past day and I love the raw truth of this song :-)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fuckin Perfect

This is a song by Pink that speaks to the heart of so many women. I love it :-) Follow the link to listen to the song....and pasted below are the lyrics.

Made a wrong turn, once or twice, dug my way out, blood and fire, bad decisions, that's alright, welcome to my, silly life. Mistreated misplaced, misunderstood, Miss 'Knowing its all good', it didn't slow me down, mistaken, always second guessing, underestimating look, I'm still around.

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're f*cking perfect to me!

You're so mean, when you talk, about yourself, you were wrong.
Change the voices in you're head, make them like you instead.
So complicated, look how we big you'll make it, feeling so much hatred, such a tired game. Its enough of don;t know I can think of, chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're f*cking perfect to me!

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear, the only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer, so cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and its a waste of my time, done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere, they dont like my jeans they don't get my hair, exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time, why do we do that? why do I do that? why do I do that?

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than f*cken perfect, pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me. You're Perfect, Your perfect! pretty pretty please, if you ever feel like you're nothing, you're fucking perfect to me!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

One Blog, Two Blogs

As if I didn't have enough going in my life, I started a little project for myself that will hopefully help me in getting a positive and uplifted attitude back, and something that I am secretly hoping can become a benefit for others.

Call me crazy but I need SOME part of my life to have a positive impact on others, so if I push myself in growing and learning and getting back to my attitude, and give myself an outlet to help motivate that and help me in that process....well I figured I would give it a try.

So I started another blog!

I'm not quite sure exactly how I want it to look yet. But I do know that it has every week I will change the "Whisper of Encouragement" and the "Weekly Verse" along with writing what God is teaching and laying on my heart. I am by no means a writer and an evangelist like Diana Hummell was but I am hoping that maybe this blog can reach others, not by showing that I have an amazing faith (like Diana did) but by showing that I too am like many other Christians struggling to figure out what purpose and plan God has for their life. I want to show that like many others out there I am struggling constantly with the notion of self-worth and how it pertains to our earthly life and also to our relationship with our Father. I want to show that like many others in this world, some of us face struggles and have a hard time figuring out up from down, left from right, and dark from light.

I am hoping that this blog will challenge it will push me to keep reading my bible to find a weekly verse, one that speaks to me. It will push me to really dig deep and try to understand what lesson God is putting me through and to find out if I'm learning that lesson or if I'm failing yet again at trying to understand what it is God is trying to tell me.

If for nothing else, it can be a little project to help distract me from the negative emotions that are consuming my life as of late. It will distract me from the feelings of worthlessness and of depression (which yes I am fighting right now). It can help me to focus on what's important.

More than anything I think we all need to leave a legacy. I don't expect to leave a legacy with this blog but I hope for once maybe I can make a small impact.

So here is the blog's simple.

It's nothing fantastic, just a little project that I hope can help others. Check back later as I am just trying to get the ball rolling....and of course, my life is crazy busy. But we'll see what happens with it!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brother's Wedding Weekend

This weekend my closest brother in age got married to his sweetheart Jennifer.

It was a bittersweet weekend for me.

From the time he was born, Marshall was my little buddy in crime. He knows parts of my life and childhood that no one else will know. Collectively, him and Kevan understand me on a level no one else will ever get or understand. We share memories that no one else will ever know, we share pains, laughs, secrets, and inside jokes.

None of us would have ever imagined that Marshall would be the first one to get married, even a year ago. But that day came and went yesterday. He took Jennifer Clark to be his wife, companion, friend, and lover for the rest of his life.

Being the only girl, it has been really hard for me to adjust to another female being in the family. And even harder as I have always been quite protective of my brothers in terms of their girlfriends. Yesterday, I had to permanently give up my spot in Marshall's life to Jenni. I was the girl in his life for so long and on some levels, it has been very hard for me to give that up.

I was the first bridesmaid to walk down the aisle. My brother stood waiting for the processional and his bride-to-be to join him and my father stood just above him, waiting to welcome everyone to the wedding and give his blessing for the marriage to continue. It made me start bawling about halfway down the aisle, as I couldn't keep my tears back. It was reality. My little brother is all grown up, getting married, and Jenni will be the first girl in his life for the rest of his life.

I am very happy that he has found that. I thank the Lord for that blessing, especially given his past relationships. But on the other hand, I wasn't quite ready for what all was coming with that.

This weekend was a weekend to celebrate and I wish my brother all the blessings in the world, all the joys and love and grace that the Lord can pour out upon their marriage. And I hope that the Lord keeps them firmly under His wing as a couple through all the trials and all the blessings that life brings them.

Wedding Weekend

This weekend was Marshall's wedding weekend....a couple photos for a small taste :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Blessing that is my Job

Documenting just how fun my job is :)

Isaiah 43:2-3

My heart is heavy and has been for quite some time.

Perhaps it's because I'm nieve and stupid, perhaps it's because I'm too trusting, perhaps just because of my desire to be loved by those around me. All I know is that my willingness to trust has left my heart shattered again. It has put punctured a hole so big in my heart that I'm left not sure how willing I will be to trust again.

It has left me asking questions like:
"Am I really not good enough to be loved the right way?"
"What is so wrong with me?"
"What is it about me that makes people think it's ok to take advantage of me?"
"Is this God teaching me lessons or is this Satan feeding me lies?"
"Why does everyone else get to feel what pure love feels like but not myself?"

This is the last week I will spend with Michele and the kiddos. I'm freaking out. The kids, their personalities, and the humor between Michele and I is what has kept me going. What am I going to do when I don't have that safehaven/distraction every day? How will I cope with not being at the one place that feels most like home for me? Am I going to completely fall to pieces, keep feeling the way I do, or will God allow some small blessing of hope to become available?

I do know that I need to hit the pavement hard trying to get a that pays really well.

I can't stand being broke. I don't care how I got here at this exact moment....although most the time it sends me in panic attacks....but I do care that I can't afford to do anything. For two weeks I have been living off the kindness of other people and my family.

It has been so wonderful to me that my co-workers are amazing enough to buy me a lunch or bring me a meal. But how embarrassing is it when you have to raid the snack cabinet every morning for breakfast/lunch? Yes I live rent-free, in my parents house, and most people think "how do you not have food?" My parents don't keep foods in the house that are easy to take. The little amount of food that my parents keep stocked in the house is food that has to be prepared. And I have little time to do that it seems. My parents don't keep much food in the house other than the necessities anymore. And I won't ask my parents to buy me special foods or ask them to go buy groceries specifically for me as I do live rent free. There in itself lies the reason I am lift to pilfer the snack cabinet almost daily. How low have I sunk when I'm living off a cup of coffee and whatever else food that someone throws my way because I'm that broke?!?!

I've never felt so low about myself in my life. Between the insecurities, not having a "stable" job, and having to pilfer for food.

But I am blessed. I have a roof over my head. I have a family in good health, albeit one that seems to not really be that close anymore. I have a closet full of clothes. I have the blessings that are my kiddos for another remaining week. And I have a God who promises that He will carry me through this storm in my life. The storm seems as though it has no end in sight....but I have to believe that God is going to get me through it....because heavens knows, I can't get myself out of this mess that I've somehow gotten my life into.

"When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

[Isaiah 43:2-3]

I just pray that God shows His glory in all of this. Because it is only by God that I will weather this emotional battle that is going on in my heart and mind right now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All in a Days Work

I never thought I'd turn into that person whose work becomes their life.

But when there's something worth making your life about...I guess that's just what happens.

Yes I use it as a coping mechanism for all the tough stuff in my life. But my work is about something beautiful and wonderful and so worthwhile. It's for something greater than myself.

These past two days were conferences. Which meant we didn't have kids. We are starting a new unit which meant that I had to switch out a lot of our toys, redo our bulletin boards, prep for all of our activities as well as for planning our regular weekly activities.

I found myself working a couple hours over what I'm supposed to work both yesterday and today. This is quite normal. I'm almost always a half hour early to work and it's not uncommon to find me working an hour later than what I get paid for.

But it's where I find solace. It's what I enjoy doing. And I want to revel in it while I can. In two short weeks I will not be an active part of this little preschool family that I've become a member of :-(

I wish I could stay.

I know that if money wasn't an issue, if I could do whatever I wanted without worrying about money or bills, if I could work for free...that is one of the things I would do. Work in the preschool classroom a couple days a week.

I'm going to miss it all. I'm going to miss my kiddos, my co-worker family, and yes I'm going to miss listening to the Tarzan soundtrack every day :-(

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Through the smoke...

There's so much to talk about, so much I need to say, and so little much I want to pour out and not much that I will.

There is a fierce, intense battle that is going on in my heart right now. That goes down DEEP into my soul, to the very bottoms of all the cobwebbed doors I have kept hidden, all the wounds whose scars are terrible looking, and all of the things that I am normally very good at ignoring/denying/not dealing with.

But I guess I should start from what has been most prevalent in my life this past week. Diana was finally called home early this morning. And this is where I am conflicted. I don't like death, I'm not sure I know anyone who really likes it. However, I deal with death in a completely different way than some others do. Diana was one of my sisters in God, whose faith was remarkable. For that reason alone, I rejoice!! She is in heaven!! She was called Home, to be with our Savior and to rejoice with the angels for eternity. She is free from pain and suffering, from trials and sorrow. But let me reiterate this....she is HOME!! Maybe to those who feel comfortable on this earth, that might not make sense. But I can honestly say that while I can make anywhere comfortable and make anywhere my home, I have never really ever felt like anywhere on this earth is where I belong, is really completely my true home. Every place has always had a sense of being temporary. (Which by the way reminds me of Carrie Underwood's song "Temporary Home" and I would encourage anyone to listen to it.) So I rejoice for Diana. In some ways I'm a tad jealous. She is now in heaven, in perfection, in serenity and bliss. How awesome is that!!

*And side note: ever since I studied about the rapture, I have this vision of when Jesus comes back, He will bring His army....and those who have passed before will be made up in this army. And let's just say since that sermon I've had this really torn urge. I so want Jesus to come back while I'm on earth. But then again, I wish that I die before He does so that I can be a part of that army. I have no idea why but I think that would be the coolest thing ever to come back in Jesus "army". Ok side note over.

On the other hand I mourn. I never knew Diana but apparently she was this phenomenal woman....amazing, smart, beautiful, a heart no one else can possibly have, etc. So why did God call her home so early if she was so amazing and doing such great works on this earth?! Again though, I turn to the fact that she fulfilled her purpose...and well God is a selfish God, he desperately needed her as an angel in heaven to fulfill an even greater purpose. But still, experiencing death as a human is hard. The emotions are hard, and I think that even as much as people like to think I don't have a heart, my heart is bigger than I can express and the pain of losing such a dear woman goes even to the core of my heart. I mourn for her family. I love Cam, and I have already developed a soft spot for Zach and Dawson. I love the whole Hummell family. I love Drue. To see this whole family in pain grieves my heart. To know that those boys won't have their mom their for their first loves, their first dance, their first car, to introduce the love of their life to their mom, to have her kiss them on the cheek when they walk down the aisle, to have their mom pray with them every night and caress their cheek in those small simple moments....well let's just say that breaks my heart.

In short, Diana was called Home this morning...and for that I am choosing to celebrate in my own small way.

In other news, I threw myself whole-heartedly into my job today. I spent ten hours at work today. Participating in conferences, getting the room ready for our next unit, talking with parents, chit-chatting with my co-workers, getting ideas for new things for the children to learn. And it dawned on me that I will only be there for two weeks.

And I'm going to miss it. My work feels like home to me now. Work is the place where my insecurities go away....where I know I mean something to others, where I know that I'm good at what I do. Ok let's correct that. I'm pretty damn great at my job, especially considering I'm willing to learn and go above & beyond all the time, and I'm there for the kids. Work is where I feel comfortable. It's the place where I find I don't doubt myself all day and if I do, I find I do it in a way in which I can build myself and learn from where that doubt stems from. It's a place where I'm needed and wanted. A place where I can actually laugh whole-heartedly and cry in the same day with those around me. A place where I'm supported and encouraged, constructively criticized, and a place where I can pray with other women going through their own struggles. I don't know what I'll do when I don't have this place to go to five days a week. It's my safe-haven. It's where God blesses me and uses me. It's a place in which God teaches me and hugs me all in one day. It's the one place in my life where I feel God is actually showing me that I'm good enough to be used in some sort of manner to glorify Him and be blessed by the small blessings I get to experience every day.

The group of women I work with are nothing short of amazing. And I think that in all of the preschools in our school district, we are the best. And I get to be a part of that team. Me. Nicole Ann Carr. I get to be a part of something bigger than myself and be a part of this amazing thing. Which no one else but us in preschool realize the significance of being a part of what we are. We get to interact with and watch these amazing little personalities blossom. We can provide them a place where they are really cared for and our focus is getting them a great start in the world of education. We are all there for the kids, and nothing more. We laugh and we joke, we cry and we grieve, we play and we learn. Who else gets a work environment (no matter how much money we DON'T make) where they can say they love their jobs and their co-workers?!?! Genuinely. And who else gets to have such intimate conversations surrounding our faith as I get to with all of my co-workers?!?! Not many.

One trouble on my heart why is the Lord roadblocking my passion?! He put this intense, yearning desire to be a nurse in my heart. It's been there for years. I can taste it, I can see it, I can smell it, I can almost touch it. It's so close and yet so far. Just right out of my grasp. What am I doing wrong that God won't allow me a path to get into the career He out a passion in my heart for?! What am I not listening about?! What is it that I'm doing wrong?!

There are so many more intimate troubles on my heart....ones that consume me in so many ways....ways that make me doubt that I'm really made for greatness and for a great purpose. Things that make me doubt that my life is even important. Things that make me constantly fighting off this little demon called depression currently.

Yet I can say this....despite all these trials, and all these demons called insecurities haunting my mind, I can see just HOW MUCH the Lord has blessed my life. And I can also say without a shadow of a doubt that God answers prayers and He keeps His promises. It is only because of God that I am able to keep going day-by-day. I prayed asking Him for strength and He has given it. I can honestly say it is not me getting myself through everything I'm going through right now. I AM NOT that strong of a person. Yet God has been so faithful in being my support and strength and small sense of calm right now. That in itself shows me that God is blessing me.

Thank you Lord for being my rock, my stronghold, my Father Forever.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Time to Weep, A Time to Mourn, A Time to Celebrate

Perspective is something that can be gained in so many different ways, but none so more refreshing nor more humble than the perspective one gains from death and dying.

We will all die. That is no hidden secret nor recent development.

However God uses death as a way of making us look at our own lives, look at how we are using our life, look at those around us, look at the choices we make in life, look at the faith that is within our soul....all of this to help us gain perspective.

Isn't it funny how when you are sitting in a room full of beloved family members all gathered around a courageous, faithful daughter of God who is lying on her deathbed, nothing else matters. Most of what people obsess over seems petty. Not that it didn't before all of this. But really the magnitude of how dumb some things in life really are gets magnified under the weight and microscope that is the death of a loved one.

Yesterday Britton and I raced up to Morrison to be with the Hummell's as Diana lays dying. We surely thought that yesterday was the day...however Diana is still fighting. But the entire length of the afternoon and evening was spent with the family gathered at Cam's.

This is where I admit that I feel like an I do not feel like a total part of the family. Yes I am Britton's girlfriend who loves him whole-heartedly. But I didn't really know Diana that well, only a few brief times of meeting her, hearing about her from Britton and his family, and her blog. However, I can say that it felt remarkable for them to welcome me into the home at such an intense time. I only hope that I'm able to offer at least a morsel of comfort and support and love during such a hard time, and that me being there is not useless.

Driving up to Morrison I found my heart again facing my own demons. These demons coming in the form of insecurities that have been built up from years of tumultuous family history and years of being put down by people in my life. Before Britton and I walked out the door, I came across something that left my heart heavy. I then found myself silently crying in the truck....for Diana, for Britton, for Cam & the boys, for his family, for me, for failing to be good enough for my family and for being such a huge problem in their life, for the insecurities in my heart and head, for the longings that have been left unattended to in my heart, for Satan attacking me so so SO many things.

And then I started praying with something Drue (Diana's mom) laid on my heart just a few night's ward off Satan's attacks by facing them with prayer. Britton and I prayed in the truck on the way up there. And when we got to the house, I took a quick little walk, prayed to God to cast away ALL of my problems, all of my heart's grievances, to cast away all the thoughts in my head, to simply help me to put it all aside so that I could be there for the Hummell's. I prayed fervently for strength, for emotional stability, to work in my heart and use this as a time to help others and not myself.

There was a verse that Diana shared back in April, that alongside the bible study I just started called "Breaking Free" that was resonating in my heart while I prayed and I reminded God of His scriptures that He had given me and to hold true to these promises. She shared Isaiah 43: 2-3 which I realize she had her own set of trials she was going through in which she was brought to this. But it's a promise God makes to us that WHEN we face trials, not if, that God will guide us through them.

It says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

And then He brought me to these verses in my bible study: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

In these verses they prophesy the suffering of Christ. They talk about Jesus boring our sin, our transgressions, being rejected and ridiculed, being beaten and scourged. And we are reminded....Jesus suffered as we suffer. There is no suffering and pain that our God, our Savior in the flesh, did not know and experience before we ourselves did. He KNOWS the pain and the suffering we go through....whether it be mental, emotional, physical, spiritual....because OUR GOD has felt that same suffering.

It's easy for me to forget that we have a God who can relate to our pain and trials. He is perfect, and most times I pray to Him as someone who is Almighty and Perfect and Holy. But most times I forget that my perfect God is also a God who, in the flesh on this earth, went through the same transgressions we did. I forget this, and I feel ashamed and ugly and unworthy. When I forget this, I often forget to go to Him with everything as I don't remember that my God is relatable and he can relate to what I'm feeling. He isn't just perfect, He's personable and relates to us, He understands and He knows.

Isaiah 9:1 "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress."

Isaiah 6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

What I have to remember is that our loving Father is perfect, is Holy, but he understands our pain and suffering as He himself once went through it. He is our Father forever, He is Mighty and He is a Wonder of Counselor. I can take everything to Him, everything, and He will guide me through it.

I held true to these promises yesterday in praying to God and wouldn't you know, my Wonderful Counselor gave me all the strength and all the peace I needed for Him to use me as whatever instrument He needed me for yesterday at the Hummell's. My Mighty God temporarily calmed and strengthened my heart and mind. He held true to His promises, guiding me through the trials that He promised we would all go through. Not if, when. And He's there.

It was an intense and hard afternoon/evening that is carrying over to today.

I have prayed and continue to pray for comfort for the entire Hummell family. This is not an easy thing to go through, and all of them need to be kept under Jesus' loving arms and held firmly there in a spiritual hug that only God himself can give. I have prayed that God would call His angel home, and ease her suffering in that tiny little body that has fought such a ridiculously intense and strong battle. I have prayed that God will help them all to find solace in grieving with each other and strength in knowing that they are not alone. I pray that God will continue to give me strength and a calm in my heart to be there for those who need it right now. I have prayed that through this all that God's glory will shine through it all and resonate with those lives who Diana has touched, including mine.

Once again, God has shown me the power of my favorite verse in the bible and it will ever reign true.

"Be still and know that I am God." Proverbs 46:10

With all of that being said, this week has been a time to weep, a time to mourn, and a time to celebrate. To celebrate God. But also to celebrate Diana's life and the impact she has made, the light she has been to the world for God, the glory she has given God, and the amazing ways she has touched so many people.

Even the small ways she has touched this less-than-ordinary woman's heart of mine.

I only hope that maybe one day I can do that too, in my own way that God has planned.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Soon Ending a Chapter?

Ronda at work looked at me earlier this week and said "You only have about four weeks left here...I'm gonna miss you."

Ok, reality check that I didn't particularly need or want!!

I want my life to move forward, but on one hand, I'm not ready to let go of one of the only areas of my life that brings me joy and a sense of purpose.

I know I'm working a long-term sub position the beginning of this year. I know it's going to come to an end. However, I just wasn't expecting it to come so soon.

I love my kiddos, sincerely I do. I love each and every one of them. I find enjoyment in getting to know each of them, getting to know their personalities, to watch their growth and to watch them blossom over time!! Even though I have a different group in many senses of the term this year, going from sped to "typical kiddos" where we are considered an ELL classroom (having quite a few kiddos whose first language is not english...turkish, hmong, vietnamese and another language), being with a different teacher, etc, I absolutely love my kiddos. And of course I enjoy seeing some of my returnees go to Mrs. Kendall's bench and getting to give them hugs and say hi. And I just know some of the other kiddos in other grades.

I love my co-workers. During this crazy time they have served as an outlet. I enjoy my time at work because I enjoy getting to laugh with them, to joke and know that we are all there to support and help each other out. We are a family, who are involved in each other's personal lives but professionally are there to support and encourage each other while at work. We work as a team, a pretty damn good team I might add, and there are no cliques in our little preschool setting. We have a world of our own. And I will not be a part of that environment here shortly. I've been there for a year and have found a comfort in this work environment....and I've found a rock of strength in my "family" there. It's going to be hard for me to not roll out of bed, exhausted but excited to go into work where we exchange "Good mornings", give each other words of encouragement, ask each other how we are, comment on each other's outfits, and exchange jokes and then start our days. It's going to be hard not greeting all of my 16 kiddos in the morning and my 14 kiddos in the afternoon. It's going to be hard not being told by co-workers that they are mad at me for not eating lunch with them the previous day's lunch while I ran errands. It's going to be hard to have to leave the lives of the women who have become part of my foundation. It's going to be hard to not be doing something that is bigger than myself, yet something that goes unnoticed by everyone else.

I don't want this chapter of my life to end. Yes I live month-to-month on a slim pay but it's worth it for me right now.

I don't know how to prepare my mindset for not having that. My work defines a large part of my mental well-being and who I am right now because it's worthy of defining me. I love being a part of a community, a family, where I know others and they know me and we love each other and work together so well.

I mean really, who else hangs out having margaritas with their co-workers and dog/house/babysits consistently for co-workers and families?! Who else has a work environment where they can shape the future generation without the kids remembering me and at the same time get to listen to disney soundtracks, get quality entertainment from the ones they are teaching and at the same time can joke and be so open with their co-workers?!

Oi vai, I'm not sure I'm ready for this....four weeks and my world will be rocked again...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Edwards, Colorado

Looking at the past

Last night I read some of my blogs from September to December of 2008.

And wow! I LIKED reading those blogs, I LIKED the strong growing woman that I was in those posts. I LIKED the positive, opinionated, educated, outspoken, faithful, energetic, adventurous woman that I saw coming through in those blogs.

I want to get back to that. I feel like for the past year or so I haven't been as positive and adventurous and spontaneous as I was back in those posts.

I think my environment, my responsibilities, the people surrounding me, the lack of a learning environment have all lead that.

Oh how I desire to be the same strong woman I was, to have that underlying peace and contentment, to have that strong will back in my life. I desire to be SO damn opinionated again.

Life needs to be enjoyed and I haven't been enjoying it lately. I've been hiding from it and avoiding it. I've been letting it get me down. I've been suppressing important parts of myself. That needs to stop.

Because even if no one else sees it or hears it, I haven't been ok for awhile now, and I don't exactly like who I am and how I've felt for awhile now.

I need to work on that.

Sometimes looking at the past is important in looking towards the future.

Hopefully this is an example of that....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beaver Lake Trail

Today I drove just up the road to Beaver Creek Resort to hike up to Beaver Lake. I parked in Beaver Creek Village, took 5 Senses Trail which connected to Beaver Lake Trail which lead all the way up to Beaver Lake. The hike itself proved to be very difficult for me. I have come to figure out that there is probably something wrong with the tendons and ligaments on the inside of my right thigh as every time I've hiked this summer, that is an area that throbs from almost the get-go and then when I get home it is SO sore. The climb up was quite steep and more strenuous than I expected. I found I really had to dig deep to keep pushing myself along the's easy when you're with someone else to just keep going. The other person motivates you. But when you are by yourself, well it has to come from within.

And this was what motivated me: if I don't finish this hike, no one else will care. But if I don't do make myself keep going then I've allowed myself to give up on me and fail knowingly. Well this just wasn't an option once I stopped bitching to myself about how bad my right leg was killing me and how bad my lungs were burning. I HAD to keep going and I HAD to get pictures of that lake as proof that I made myself do the whole hike!

I spent the walk talking to God about a lot of things. About all the battles that I have had in my heart and in my head recently. And wouldn't you know, God just listens. And then He responds!

I hiked all the way up to Beaver Lake, and decided to keep going on the trail to get to the other side of the lake. Well unbeknownst to me it just keeps going up and so after awhile I went a little off the path and sat on a fallen tree trunk covered by Colorado's version of moss to journal and think. Once I decided to head back down the path to the lake again, I started praying fervently to God: "God PLEASE just take my problems, please I can't handle them. Yes I know I'm being too damn independent again but Lord, really, I need and WANT you to take them. This weekend has shown me that I just don't know how to handle them..."

And voila, up popped the path to go down to the lake. (Ok God, I know you heard what I was saying and am responding to my're helping me find my way to the part of the lake I want to go to.)

As soon as I got down there I saw two fisherman that I didn't want to bug. I knew going down there I was going to dip my feet in the lake and as soon as I saw the shallow areas of water at the mouth of the lake with a little waterfall I just KNEW I had to go down there. So I took great lengths to not go near any water that the fisherman were next to. Instead I put down my pack about 100yds away, quietly took off my socks and shoes and rolled up my pants, picked up my camera and started traversing in the freezing cold water. WOOOOO how cold was that water!! When I say cold I mean COLD! Well after a little while of them probably finding it amusing of me hopping around in the water and getting my feet stuck in the mud, one of them asked me to take a picture of them. HA! Of course I had to pipe up and say that I was a Canon fan as he had this REALLY fancy Nikon camera on him. And then somehow we got to talking. Turns out Andrew Slowenski manages the Beaver Creek area of a company called SharpShooter Imaging. After a half hour of talking about everything under the sun, he told me that if I was interested, in the middle of October to call him and I would have a job for the ski/snowboard season as a photographer with them. He told me "consider this your interview, you are hired, if you call me you have a job. you have the mindset, you have the drive, you seem hardworking and obviously you have no problem talking to anyone, and you want to learn. you're hired if you come to me."

So I might have a job in a couple months depending on whether I get into nursing school or not!

So there it is, God took my problems, led me, opened up opportunities, and He allowed me to enjoy the beauty of this small majestic lake and all the serenity that it can offer for the afternoon.

It proved to be a tiring but peaceful and rejuvenating day for me.

And of course, I got to take some really cool pics :-)

(pics coming soon whenever i can get them to upload to!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Last night my heart was troubled so I do what so often comforts and distracts me....I took my camera and drove out to the country to play with my camera, to clear my head, and to be away from the problems of my life for a brief while. Here are some of the pictures that I took....made possible by a tripod and the beauty of nature...

The wonderful thing about the country is it brings you so close to God, it makes it so easy to talk to God, it is so easy to breathe, and it's one of those places that brings me back to center....just by being there. Adding to the wonderfulness of it all, I got to watch airplanes fly right over my head as I was out by DIA and I got to watch the brilliant lights of the planes as they took off down the runways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little getaway to Avon, Colorado coming up here in a few days....I honestly can't wait!

I need to get away and think and rejuvenate....

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Nitty Gritty

This is the nitty gritty: relationships are hard work.

All relationships. They are so complicated and yet so easy all at the same time. And what makes them even more complicated is how much you care about the other person and how much you care about the status of keeping your relationship healthy and happy. What makes them complicated is how much you care about your own well-being but also the well-being of the other person and how that will affect the dynamics between yourselves.

If you care about your relationships, it means you care enough to say and listen to the hard things, the things you wouldn't normally vocalize toward, say, an acquaintance. These conversations are never easy. They are never not emotional. They are intense.

What makes these difficult conversations worth it is the love you have towards the other person, how much you care about them and how much you want your relationship to succeed.

I've found for some people maintaining relationships is easy because their relationship is never faced by tough stuff. And other relationships I admire their strength for all the storms they have weathered and yet the relationship is stronger than ever. This can be a family relationship, a friendship or a romantic relationship.

It applies to all three.

One thing I've learned about myself: I care. Therefore my relationships can be intense. I care that my relationships stay strong.

And I've also found that when I combine that with my passionate personality, my caretaker personality, and my bull-headed independent side, relationships can require a lot of energy on my part. Especially when I really love the other person.

There are a lot of relationships that I have let go by the wayside, obviously most of these friendships. A couple have been romantic for obvious reasons, and a couple are familial relationships because, well, there's a good portion of my family that just hasn't cared enough to try and stay together. Rather, they'd like to all look at each other as strangers and trying to be the one to constantly keep everyone together just gets too damn tiring.

But here's the truth: there's not a single relationship with any of the people that I'm close to in my life right now that I look at it and regret or resent the amount of energy and emotion I've put into it. Everyone in my life right now is someone worth me fighting even my own internal battles to keep around. Which I do more than anyone else ever realizes.

I've learned in life that sometimes you have to fake it til you make it. And this means most times, even when I feel as though my world is sinking in, as though my heart is going to just tear right down the seams, as though my insides are going to bust out of themselves from the anxiety attack taking hold, as though I can't breathe because every thought and feeling is physically restricting my breathing.....well even during these times everyone around me doesn't notice anything different as my smile is plastered on my face, I'm laughing and joking, and I keep pressing on.

I thought surely the other day that one of my co-workers might pull me aside and tell me to pick up the wreck that I was....however, instead I was told I was one of the most chipper people they knew and that I was always so pleasant and happy! So apparently I can fake it til I make it like a pro. (*note: I also attribute that to the fact that I get to work with amazing little kids who are so innocent and show you that life is all about enjoying the little things....and their incredible personalities just bring heart smiles....)

Life has been tough for me I've blogged about before, for so many reasons. I have so much transition and unknown in my life....and on top of that I have the pressure to be strong for everyone around me all over the place. My parents have dumped all their burdens and problems on me, leaving me to bear a lot of their stress. A lot of people seem to be dying around me so I'm having to be emotionally strong for family members, co-workers and the man I'm in love with. At work I am wonder woman, helping out in every area possible and doing as much as possible to make sure my kids succeed to the best that I can help them and to also alleviate the stress of all my co-workers. I'm losing a brother and gaining a sister-in-law which leaves me with a lose-gain thing going on. And then there's the man of who I am so desperately in love with. I'm trying my hardest to be strong for him in so many ways. Trying to help him get things on track, to encourage him in all the ways I possible can, to love him through it all, to express that love, learning to navigate this new relationship, and now to be a rock for which he can lean on as his family faces a huge loss.

Emotionally I have been zapped.

I have felt like I'm being taken advantage of. I'm fully aware that most people around me don't realize they are taking advantage of me. I'm caretaker and I'm compassionate, which means I always take care of the needs of others, I rarely say no to anything that anyone asks of me, and people come to just expect it. It takes a lot out of me emotionally and most times these people don't do much to give back to me and I never ask them to. Therefore they wind up taking advantage of me without knowing it, but still do it. And I leave being emotionally drained without anyone really giving back to me. Granted most people don't understand just how much I do worry and care about everyone all the time so they don't understand how emotionally taxing everything they ask me to do is.

And I keep giving and doing. It's just how I am.

And then I emotionally have to be strong for others. I've always been the go-to person in others lives. The one that others bring their problems to, that I help solve. I'm the one that provides support and encouragement...and right now I feel like EVERYONE in my life is needing that. Which means when I need it, there's no one I feel I can turn to when I'm having to be strong for them.

This is where I know I make mistakes. But I can't ask others to be strong for me when they are coming to me for that exact reason.

But I'm learning how to navigate this predicament. For the past year I have learned to ask things of's still rare and usually very small things. I don't usually ask for emotional support at all...but at least I've started asking for help. And recently I've started trying to learn to say no. It's really hard for me to do but I'm trying to learn how to say no to others when I know I'm about out of emotional charge. I've also started to give myself mental health days and times. Times when I can recharge myself, when I can take care of myself. This was a very recent development but so far I've implemented it a few times.

Lately where I've really struggled has been with trying to navigate a new romantic relationship.

This time it's been different. For starters I am in love with Britton. That's a huge thing for me. That in itself has determined how much I care about everything, how much I care about him, how deep everything touches me, how I approach all situations, how much I dwell on issues, how vulnerable I make myself, etc.

On top of that, I'm not lying when I say I'm independent. I'm not used to actively inviting someone else into my daily routine, my hobbies and interests, my thoughts, my feelings, and relying on each other. I struggle with this. I'm so used to being by myself and doing for myself that today in talking with him, I realized how much I DON'T text Britton letting him know I want to hang out. I love being with him. So much so that I just wait until HE has time and then jump at the opportunity. But I am not used to asking people to do things with me or spend time with me that though I think I want to be with him, I never actually express it out loud to him. I don't express my desire. In that way I'm not vocal. I've also realized in general I'm not vocal. For instance, I'm SO incredibly attracted to Britton. I adore his smile, he is ridiculously handsome when he dresses to the nines, he looks hot as hell in anything he puts on, I think he's sexy in his jeans, I adore his smile, and love the way his lights almost always crinkle and light up when he's looking at me. I think he's a very handsome and attractive man....everyone agrees. And I adore looking at him. Both in a sexual and non-sexual way. There are times that I look at him and just drink in how good he looks. And then there are the times that I am visually undressing him with my eyes because there is something about the way he looks in that moment that is just so physically irresistable to me. I know I think all this. But he doesn't. I don't hardly express how good I think he looks....and yet he tells me all the time that I look cute in what I'm wearing. I need to work on this. I understand that. And I have realized that I love him. Deeply and passionately. Yet he's usually the one telling me he loves me first. My problem is in transferring my emotions from thoughts into words. I can transfer thoughts into words....and do so all the time. My mouth gets me into more than enough trouble. But transferring my emotions into words is harder for me, I just don't do it all that often. Therefore I need to work on that. But that comes with being independent. I'm used to just thinking and doing on my own. Not always including someone else into all of that. Which means I need to be aware of that and make more of an effort for that.

And lastly, Britton and I are a lot alike but we are so different. And it's not so much difference as it is periods in our life. I'm trying to learn to be with someone who is at a different part in his life. He has had quite a few girlfriends. He has learned all these things in a relationship that I'm learning. He's gone through all of this. Not to mention I haven't been myself all the way recently. I haven't been as easy-going and happy and crazy as usual. Hard to do when you have to be all responsible for your job around kids and none of your comrades live within a 30-mile radius. I used to be going all the time and now I'm a homebody stuck on a tight budget in a town that neither has anything to do, anywhere to go, nor bike lanes for relaxful transportation. So Britton doesn't know the full side of me that exists.

And I have come into his life at a very stressful time. With his sister-in-law dying, his brother who is one of his rocks in life is falling apart. As is the rest of the family. On top of that let's add in other complications in his life in other facets and, well, new relationships tend to be pushed by the wayside sometimes in light of other things needing to be taken care of. Not to mention his stress and emotional level has been through the roof. And when you're getting to know each other and crazy emotions are involved that's not necessarily a good or easy thing.

Hence the roundabout to hard conversations and complications.

Britton and I have been hitting rough edges around each other lately. Learning how to love each other and knowing that neither one of us is being our normal self due to all the stresses and emotions and complications in life.

But they need to be had. Because that's what keeps us learning and moving forward and ultimately leads to us being happy and successful in our relationship (please keep in mind the definition of happy and successful varies from person to person but I'm not going to explain what that means to me right now).

But the nitty gritty is also this when it comes to Britton: I love him. He is my future. And while these conversations are hard, they are only the first of a thousands of steps that we will take together for the rest of our time together.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nothing Can Separate Me From the Love of God

It's the tough stuff in life that we learn from the most. And it seems that God brings me to my knees quite often just to remind me that HE IS THERE for me and He WANTS me to rely on Him....especially through the hard times. But also in the good/easy times.

God has been showing me just how powerful He is and how mighty He is to work in my life and in my heart, almost instantaneously.

This past month has been one of the most emotional months of my life. I'm still in this really weird and uncomfortable transition phase of life between graduation and figuring out life's next step. I have struggled with knowing that my friends are spread out all over the place and are not anywhere near by, making physical friendships hard to maintain. I make very little money and live paycheck to paycheck, like most people my age, but I barely make enough to pay all my bills and I really don't have all that many bills! It has been really hard for me to be comfortable knowing that unlike other 23-year-olds my age I can't afford a place of my own, nor a new car, and I rarely pay for any groceries. It's hard for me reconciling knowing that others my age are able to afford to really live their lives while I pay my bills (student loans, car insurance, phone, etc) and rarely have extra money to do much else than pay for gas and maybe $100 spending money for the month. That has really been weighing huge on my heart.

On top of that, the devil has been attacking my heart. It seems whenever God blesses my life immensely, that's when the devil really starts to attack. And why not?! He doesn't need to worry about those who don't believe in God nor turn to Him....Satan has already won battles in pulling those people away from God. Rather Satan worries about those close to God, he wants to cause rifts. So when God blesses my life, that's when Satan finds little cracks in my heart to plant false seeds in the form of thoughts, doubts, fears, insecurities, and play on those already in my heart.

And this time around, I can admit that Satan has had a little advantage. I have been made vulnerable by this weird transition in my life and I have started to make my heart more vulnerable in general. For years, I have been the strong one, the caretaker, the happy one who solves all others problems and does all within my power to serve those around me in every way possible or asked of me. I have started to be more open about my own needs. And I have fallen deeply in love with someone who protects me and loves me. In order to keep our relationship healthy, I have had to learn to be vulnerable and open...something I'm not used to at all. And Satan has played on that. He has taken advantage of that part of my life I'm not used to and is not the most comfortable to bring a whole ton of insecurities to the forefront of my heart and mind.

And so a very emotional and hard month has ensued for me. A very emotional battle, one that has encompassed parts of my spiritual life.

I found myself again trying to take care of myself and my heart on my own....again to no angst and have been brought to my knees asking God to help me through it and to calm my heart and give me strength. Which is exactly what He wants to do for me anyway. But I don't learn this lesson very well, so I am constantly being taught to just really give everything over to God.

Yesterday was such a shining example of that. Yesterday morning was one of the toughest mornings for me that I've had in a long time emotionally. I have been beaten down and my heart has been in agony over a few issues, all of it coming to a head in my heart, making me question my worth and value. On the way to work, it all came crashing down and the tears came pouring out. I had to pull over and was crying out to God, literally. After going home to redo my mascara (you can't go to work with mascara going down your cheeks) I went to work and decided I needed to "fake it til I make it". I did an hour of work and hopped in my car to head to Fort Collins to get my hair done. I spent the whole way up praying, and letting country music comfort my soul. I prayed to God to take over all my emotional states, to comfort my heart, to give me a peace so that I could logically think through everything and work through problems. And I asked that God would take care of my issues. And sure enough He did!! I had some good conversations with friends that looking back was God speaking through them to me. And I prayed all day, having dinner by myself and talking with God all day long.

It paid off. One issue I was able to work through and resolve in my heart, I decided that I need spiritual counsel for a past incident in my life that Satan really uses to make me think that I am not a person of worth, and God placed a small calm upon my heart. I was able to give forgiveness for a few issues and able to ask forgiveness from someone for my own mistake.

But what struck me the most is when I asked God yesterday to take my heart and take care of me, HE SPOKE BACK!!

When I pulled over and broke down crying in my car, I picked up my bible, asking God to just give me a passage to cling to. I asked Him why I wasn't worthy of love and respect and asked Him that if I really was someone to be loved, that He would tell me in a passage in my bible. I opened my bible....and out fell a small piece of paper. A girl in my youth group my freshman year of college had given this to me and apparently I stuck it in my bible and forgot that it was there. Smashed between the pages, it hasn't ever fallen out until now. On one side she had written me a quick note and on the other side was this verse.

" The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17

My God loves me! He told me right out when I asked Him, He told me through that piece of paper. He loves me and I am worthy of that love. And he will quiet me with that love. And He rejoices in me, He takes delight in me, and he does so by singing over me! That is God talking to you, if not physically, that is God giving me a verse to hold in my hand to answer my question. And that in itself brought me to tears again.

Later on in talking with my sister-in-law as she did my hair, I was pouring out my troubled heart to her. And she gave me this verse, and it couldn't be more fitting for how I was feeling.

"No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us form the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

And in this God showed me that nothing can separate me from His love. And nothing can make me any less than the amazing woman that He meant me to be. While Satan might pry on the weaknesses in my heart, my insecurities, it will never separate me from God and His love and He will ALWAYS be there. He will always keep his hand on me, and He will never falter when I ask Him to take my problems and my issues and to work in my heart.

Thank you Lord, for never letting me from your grasp and for being a loving God who is always by my side, always loving me and taking delight in me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Russ Carr Field Dedication

Saturday was a very special day that we got to recognize one of the many accomplishments of the biggest role models in my life, my father.

Saturday a field was dedicated to my father, Russ Carr, for his accomplishments in building up the youth football program and over a decade of servitude as it's president was able to get fields specifically for youth football.

Our family got to be there for the dedication of the field and my brothers Marshall, Kevan and I all got to give little speeches to/about my father and recognize him for all that he's done.

It was one of the few times in my life that I've ever seen my dad cry and the first time I've ever really seen my dad speechless. But it was a very special and joyous day for our family.

Russ Carr Field.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spoon Full of Sugar


Talk about a busy weekend...and a fun one to boot!!

Friday night found me hanging out at Cam & Diana's house with my babylove and playing with the kiddos there.

Saturday brought work and then fun!

We had a girls night out and it couldn't have been any better had I tried!! We started off having a drink at the Giggling Grizzly downtown and chowing down on some fries and quesadillas, watching the game, and bullshitting with each other. Then we headed over to The Front Porch, which proved to be a good choice for the time being. Then my babylove texted me and let me know he was out with his friends at this place called The Tavern. We were wanting to find a place with a dancefloor and this happened to be one of those places. It turned out to not let us down!! I got to see my babylove a little bit and give him a hug but true to girls night out form, it mainly consisted of us four out on the dance floor shaking our butts until last call and enjoying a few drinks!! It was chill, laid-back, filled with lots of laughs and great times! A little alcohol to keep the mood light but not crazy or over the top. Not to mention dancing for several hours is ALWAYS a good time in my book :-)

before the night even started my butt got wet in the car....

singing and dancing to Bon Jovi "Livin on a Prayer"

modeling American Apparel style....well attempting

at The Tavern with my girls!

mmmmm.....kisses from my guy

After finally getting home around 3-3:30am, Britton and I hit the sack for a couple hours of sleep before we got up bright and early at 6am. Getting showers and hopping in the car around 7:20am, we hit the road. Destination: Ordway, Colorado. Diana was speaking at the church that Britton's parents and sister Havi attend. Listening to Diana speak was absolutely amazing!! She really is an amazing woman of God and such a powerful speaker. Tears were flowing from everyone and blessings were remembered and poured. Emotions were strong and passionate and raw. God is good, God is faithful. And Diana is such a wonderful reminder of that!!

Afterwards, we all went for a family lunch which was was the first time I got to be with all of Britton's family all at once. I could tell that not only was I enjoying it but Britton was as well. He doesn't get to see his family often and he doesn't get to see them all together very often. You could tell that he was reveling in it and loving getting to spend time with them. And they all really enjoyed getting to see him :-) How could you not, he's so lovable!

Then it was time for some FUN! We all headed to Pueblo Reservoir for some boating action. Boy oh boy, who doesn't love that?! I got to keep getting to know his family, play with the kiddos, and have a little tubing fun on the boat. Britton enjoyed time out on the lake for the first time this summer, tubing and wakeboarding and taking it all in. I loved seeing him with his family and being relaxed and I started to fall in love with all of his family. All of them! They are all so kind and mostly accepting of me thus far. We stayed until it got dark and finally headed back as we both worked bright and shiney this morning.

The sunsets over the lake were amazing, and awe-inspiring. At one point I was taking in the view over a cove and Britton came up to me and said "what you doin little muffin?" in his normal way and my response was "enjoying the amazing view baby". He commented on how amazing it was and then said "you know why God made this? (waited as I looked at him in anticipation for his answer) because God just wanted to look at it" which he put his arm around me and we stood taking it in. Because I was too busy taking in the breathtaking beauty, I didn't go grab my camera. But I did when it got dark and the brilliant moon was shining down upon the calm waters of the dark lake. It's not the best photo I've ever taken and DOES NOT capture any part of how amazing this really was to see in person but it's still a photo to reminisce on.

brilliant moon in the sky

Overall this weekend was just the perscription I needed....full of love, laughter, God, prayer, and relaxation. It was a weekend that rejuvenated parts of my soul.

I got to fall even more in love with Britton, enjoy some time with friends, and fall in love with Britton's family. I got to spend quality time with quality people, making new memories and being myself.

I think we all need those weekends....and it couldn't have come at a better time!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This past month has been incredibly emotional for several reasons. And emotional is being meant both good and bad. When someone is passionate, the highs are really high and the lows are really low. Likewise, good emotions are amazingly excellent and bad emotions are excruciatingly terrible.

I have had both ends of the spectrum in terms of emotions this month.

Through it all however, God has kept me incredibly blessed and continues to teach me each and every day.

Life is as busy as ever and though my to-do list is getting more and more things crossed off of it every day, there seems to be bigger and better things awaiting to put themselves on the list as soon as I cross one off!! Life is jampacked full of events and people and memories right now that at the end of the day it feels so good to put my head down, yet I feel guilty for indulging in the pleasure of sleeping!

Right now, being in love is kind of intense. Not the being in love part itself. Well, actually that is incredibly intense but in a great way that doesn't seem to worry me other than the fact that I'm so darn vulnerable, which is a new thing for me. But learning to navigate a relationship has been more work. Work in a good way but work in a good way. Britton and I are still very much trying to figure each other out and learn how to "dance" in this relationship together. We communicate very well but we are still learning so much that communication is kind of intense sometimes. It's easy but intense. But there's no other way I'd rather have it. I love that man, I am in love with that man, and I have made a choice to love him, through everything we may be put through.

We have several rules in our relationship but one is this. We never leave a room or conversation without telling each other we love each other and a kiss. Nothing drastic has happened but we practice it very well. We laugh so easy together yet conversations are usually pretty deep. Yet supportive and encouraging. It's a crazy journey I wasn't really expecting but I love being on this journey.

Also adding to my emotions has been the ever-ongoing transitional phase that is my life. Most days I handle it well but some days leave me with millions of unanswered questions that for whatever reason at that moment I can't push from the back of my mind. Some of my insecurities and doubts and fears have been coming out due to the lack of stability in my life. I have noticed my OCD has gotten incredibly more profound and anxious to me this past month. I know I'm searching for some sort of control on my life....that's how I compulse. I organize and clean in order to feel like I have some sense of control over my life and my emotions when I have no other way of doing that. And I've noticed that my hands just have to stay busy most of the time anymore.

But let's throw in a little blessing, shall we?! There's SO many to choose from, despite all the crazy emotions that are going through me all the time.

Well there's this really amazing woman that just so happens to be Britton's sister-in-law. She has terminal cancer but she is just absolutely amazing to me, in ways I can't explain, yet I am just now getting to know her.

Things have been a little rough around their home and Britton has invited me to come with him to visit them a couple times this past week. Cam is an amazing man himself, and they have two wonderful little boys. Home life is chaotic and intense for them. How can it not be with all the medical stuff going on with Diana?! Yet Diana's faith in God and their dedication to the Lord keeps a semblence of peace and order.

It's no secret to me that I get attached to kids very easy. I work with them, I love them, and they are just such wonderful characteristic individuals. So it doesn't surprise me that I've taken partiality not only to being a part of Britton's family right now but also to Cam and Diana's boys. Amazing and tough little guys they are. Between Dawson's laugh and Zach's hugs they've had me from the start. So to get to see them twice in one week has been SO uplifting to me!

Tonight we went up to their home and spent some time with them and the boys, and the boys were all out hiking. I finally have busted out my camera again (thank goodness, it's about time!) and so OF COURSE I had to snap some photos. Here is one of my's four special boys that have special places in my heart already.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Real-Life Purchases

Today I was thrown into the world of adulthood in a manner of which I wasn't quite prepared for.

Britton and I bought a truck together.

Well Britton bought a truck, I co-signed because I have really good credit, and now we own a truck together. That is jointly in our name. An maroon F150 Dodge truck with a hemi.

On one hand I'm totally a wreck. I knew these sort of purchases were coming sometime in my future. You day I'll need to buy a house, a new car, have credit cards to pay for things, etc. But I wasn't planning on these things anytime soon. My car is paid off, I live rent-free with my parents, I don't have any huge things that I've bought. And what scares me most is that this first big purchase is not in my control. Britton is making the payments and that's sorta scary to me to not be in total control of all of my financial stuff.

On the other hand I'm totally excited. Britton gets to build up his credit. If this goes according to my financial plan (which it will), my credit will go from really good to excellent. I'm getting over the nervousness of making big purchases and taking another leap into adulthood. And Britton and I own something together.

That is such a weird thing to think of. My boyfriend of three months and I are in love with each other, live in the same house, and own a truck together.

If you would have told me that's what would be happening four months ago I would have laughed at you and said "hahaha....knee-slapper". But here I am, co-owning a truck with the man I love.

That's exciting. And scary all at the same time in itself. I'm more vulnerable to him than anyone I've ever dated. We are closer. This relationship is more real and more concrete than any other one I've been in. It's healthier. This relationship is a step towards my future I didn't think God had planned. I'm having to really learn what it's like to really be in a relationship with someone else. To be open and honest and speak my mind (oh lordy lord still HARDCORE working on that one). And we are officially tied together for the next year because of this.

First real-life big purchase other than student loans. Whoda thunk it?!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jenni Wedding Dress Fitting

Today I got to experience a first...I went wedding dress shopping with my new sister-in-law Jenni.

Her mother, two of her sisters and two of her nieces, my mother, mini grams and myself went wedding dress shopping at David's Bridal.

For starters, I've never looked at wedding dresses, nor have I gone with others to look at wedding dresses so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into.

It turned out to be pretty amazing!! She looked beautiful in each dress she tried on but she ended up settling on one that she looked stunning in and completely suits her personality!! Absolutely precious :-)

But I can't post pics of THE DRESS. However, I can post some pictures of some really amazing pics I got of the day :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lessons Lessons, Continually Lessons

Another lesson God has been trying to teaching me and a desire He has placed on my heart is the importance of prayer.

I haven't always prayed....and I've never prayed consistently. But since April prayer has played a huge role in my life.

One of my biggest things to overcome was thinking I could take all my own burdens.

I felt that God has enough on His plate. He doesn't need to deal with my tiny, insignificant problems. My life isn't important enough nor big enough in any aspect that He need worry about me nor take the time to work on/in my life. I felt that God had more important fish to fry so I needed to find a way to make things work on my own.

So I never gave my problems over to Him, hardly ever asked for help, nor bothered to even talk to Him once in awhile.

It's funny that our God is a God of relationship. And so are us humans. We ARE made in His image after all. We thrive and become close when we are able to talk to our friends, even if it is a long-distance relationship. Communication is important and if we sit still long enough, we can actually hear what each other is saying. The same with God.

It started to sink in that if I just entrusted my life to God and sucked up my pride and handed over all parts of my life, well prayers are answered (and some prayers are thankfully left unanswered) and my life is taken care of.

God knows what's best. But more importantly all He wants is for us to ask Him for help. That's what He's there for. To be our heavenly Father. To take care of us and provide for us. To teach us lessons but then to bless us with the rewards of following his word and learning our individual lessons at hand.

So prayer and communicating to God has become a constant in my life these past few months. Most days my prayers are mainly centered around asking for forgiveness and thanksgiving, for working in my heart, and then also asking for small miracles in regards to important people around me and for God to keep them under His wing and especially close to His heart through this time.

But I find that there is so much comfort in talking to God. Talking to someone who knows me deeper than anyone else. Who knows me in a way no one else does. As that's how all of our friends know different ways. We open different parts of our hearts to different people and God knows the deepest darkest parts of my heart....and loves me all the more despite them.

What a really cool thing that is.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Picture blog

I figured that it's time to add a few updated pictures of a couple little things in my life.

Me with my birthday cupcakes!!

Britton love and myself :-)

sitting at the Platte River

my feet in the Platte River

my bestie Britt....she's SO amazing!!


Britt and I have been best friends for going on nine years now....she's my oldest friend who knows me inside and out and has been there through it all. There was a period where we didn't talk for 2 1/2 years but when we did come back, it was as though we hadn't missed a day in our friendship. That is true friendship. She's one of the few people who accepts me for who I am no matter what. It doesn't matter what's going on, I know she'll be there for me and she's only a phone call or text away. And vice versa. Such genuine friends are few and far in between.

I cherish our coffee dates and chit-chat. I adore that we can sit next to each other and not say a word and be each other's comfort. I thank God for the friendship the He gave me through her. We're lifers. Plain and simple. She will always be my bestest.