Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lady Gaga

"Happy in the club with a bottle of red wine. Stars in our eyes cause we're having a good time. Eh-eh eh-eh so happy I could die. Be your best friend yeah I'll love you forever. Up in the clouds we'll be higher than ever. Eh-eh Eh-eh so happy I could die and it's alright."

Janelle. Jesse. Dan. Me.

Mother Monster X.

Monster Ball. Denver July 28th 2010.

"Find your freedom in the music. Find your Jesus. Find your cupid."

Just four friends, going to see one of our favorite artists.

A few things I learned about Lady Gaga:

She's a freak and I love it. I relate all too well.
She completely and genuinely LOVES her fans.
She is loving and compassionate.
She's a normal woman living an extraordinary life.
It's all about the love.
Theatrics. Theatrics. Costumes. Costumes. Theatrics.
Playing piano in underwear and stilettos be aggressive yet sexy.
That girl can SING!!
Equality.
Compassion.
She's just being herself.




Monday, July 26, 2010

Coffee Time

Some of the best things in life are indescribable little things.

Had the "normal" Sunday coffee with Britt this weekend in Denver at The Market, a really cool little coffee/deli shop on Larimer Square. Then we window shopped for a little bit!

I cherish my times with my bestie....one of the few people who has been there through the years no matter what, who loves and accepts me for me, and whose friendship is irreplacable.

Here's to wonderful coffee times with Britt-Britt.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's the Little Blessings

HOWDY PARTNER!

This week has already been a crazy busy week to the start of a CRAZY busy month that lays ahead.

But I sit here reflecting on quite a few things and my mind is just swimming with so many blessings and joyous things that I HAVE to get them out or I might literally spontaneously combust with enthusiasm and optimism. And heaven forbid someone get hurt from positivity ;-)

Where to start?!

First I'm going to be 23 in a two weeks. Um when did this happen?! Like literally, I didn't even think I'd make it to 21 and I'm almost 23. Where has the last almost quarter century of life gone?! It's a good thing I guess. I'm so excited to be 23 and to have a great year. My 22nd year came in a weird and not-so-wonderful time of my life. At the time I was having huge family issues and the whole Eric situation was out of control. 22 was marked by those huge problems. But I'm welcoming in 23 with rejuvenation. My loving family is surrounding me, my dating life is very blessed currently, and my drive for my future is back with a ridiculous vengeance. I can't wait to see what blessings God has in store, as well as what lessons and transitions in my life come forward.

God worked another little blessing today in my life. He literally has been dropping these really small blessings and confidence-builders in my lap not to mention new things to do. I live paycheck to paycheck, quite literally, but I am able to pay all my bills. I do this all by working tons of little odd jobs. Recently he's been dropping all these things that involve technology, PR, and talking to people in my life. Things of which I would never label myself as great at but rather proficient. However, I have all these opportunities popping up left and right.

Well today my mom asked me to come to a meeting with her. My parents own an apparel shop that specializes in custom apparel in both embroidery and silk screening. I've worked for them from the time they started the business in our garage. For a year I was assistant production manager, whereas now I just sort of do oddball jobs as well as digitizing for letter jackets. They are trying to get a website up and running so my mom dragged me to a meeting with a guy who designs and builds websites. At first I didn't think I'd be of any value but turns out my familiarity with the internet really came into play. Somehow, the conversation turned towards our mutual faith in God. And at the end of the meeting, we all prayed together!! Ok INCREDIBLE!! Seriously how often does that happen?!

I will be babysitting another little girl with CP in the next couple weeks quite a bit and I can't wait! I love knowing that because God made me able-bodied I can help others :-) It's one of those things I really enjoy in life. I'm a bit nervous as any new person you meet with special needs you need to get to know but I'm really excited to use my abilities to help someone else out, as well as Ethan's family. These kids really need love and care, just like everyone else. I've realized that so many people shy away from anyone with special needs or disabilities. They are scared of them. I can understand why, to a point....because they are different and fragile. But really they also aren't...and they are ALL characters!! And now I get the opportunity to get to know this amazing little girl who faces challenges every day that are so much greater than me yet she keeps going.

I really wish that every person got the opportunity to work with someone different from them. Because we all learn how blessed we are in our own lives. And that's important to keep in mind all that we have and to not take any of it for granted, especially that of being "normal" and healthy.

So I have a couple little kiddos I'm teaching how to swim. I used to teach swim lessons out the wazoo in high school. We had a boat growing up and my mom started me at lessons at the age of 6 months. She said as long as we had a boat we had to be in swimming lessons. She even kept me in level seven (the top level) and had me repeat it time after time, even after passing it, because of her rule. I was ONLY allowed to stop repeating the stupid level when I joined a local swimming team in middle school. Of course I didn't compete (I was shy and hated competition and any focus being put my way in any sort) but my mom paid for me to practice with the team every day for six days a week. Then I joined the high school varsity swim team as a freshman and literally it was just natural to get my lifeguarding license and work at the local rec. In turn, I started teaching swimming lessons, both group and private and did it for years. I still teach swimming lessons to families if they need be. So I have this set of siblings I'm teaching how to swim. One is five and fearless and pretty natural in the water. One is seven, a genius, overthinks things, and is deathly afraid of things that aren't comfortable or natural.

My philosophy for swimming is that if a kid can learn to be comfortable and confidant in the water, they can do anything. So I put an emphasis on teaching them how to be comfortable in the water via emphasizing survival techniques (technical techniques are secondary to increase endurance) and then I boost their confidence by tons and tons of positive reinforcement and showing them that THEY were the ones who are swimming and doing things on their own!!

The first day starting out the seven year old couldn't float and just sank like a rock. He hated the water, had no confidence, didn't want me to let go of him at all. Tuesday they were both swimming lengths on their own doing backstroke across the pool!! Then this morning their mom was telling me how she took them and a few other classmates to another local rec and her kids were confidant in the water and were the only ones of the group able to be in the deep end (mom was a little hesitant at first but got used to it after watching them)!! Amazing!! It's nice to hear that two more kids are able to enjoy time in the water because I basically taught them how to be comfortable in the water and gave them confidence to know they can be on their own in the water!! They do not have perfect strokes and may never be on swim teams but it's two more kids not afraid of the water :-)

And lastly, my little Ethan is doing just spectacular. He is starting to say "nnnnn" for my name :-) How precious is that?! Despite his odds, he's a little ball of sunshine all the time and has the stamina of a freaking Olympian. If ONLY we could all be that way!!

Ok so I'm going to stop letting the sun shine out of my butt for now ;-)

I really do hope that whoever is reading this is having a wonderful day and that you can look at your life and see those amazing little blessings. Believe me, there's a fair amount of strife and worry in my life, some hard things and thoughts, and some really confusing/troublesome times. But all in all, I love my life and am so thankful to God for all that He has provided me with....including but not limited to my health and my positive attitude.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

GLOBAL 2010

This weekend was epic. A little dose of exactly what I needed.

Global was this weekend at Red Rocks. It was split into a two-night event this year and a group of us went on friday.

Exactly what the doctor ordered. The most gorgeous amphitheatre, the world's sickest sound system, and the illest beats and bass you could ever want.

A night dedicated to dance music and letting it take over your soul.

The music allowed my soul to pound with excitement and to fly as it doesn't get a chance to do, all bars none, and energy of unmeasurable levels.

We saw three dj's on the main stage:
Savoy
Infected Mushroom
Deadmau5

FROTHY!!!





video

Friday, July 16, 2010

Airplanes

Last night Britton and I went out and watched airplanes take off at the airport.

It was pretty awesome....I'm thinking a repeat of that needs to happen soon.

Driving past a No Trespassing sign onto airport property, standing at the gate by a runway, watching giant machines take off into the air, and looking up at the stars with B was priceless.

"Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars...I could really use a wish right now...."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A First

Britton and I's start to our relationship has been very slow. He has been working so very much and trying to get some parts of his life figured out, like trying to get a place to live and get his feet under him, so we haven't really seen each other in quite awhile. A minute here or there, usually when I was giving him a ride or he stopped by to use the shower, etc.

Finally yesterday we made a plan to just hang out.

And he "swallowed his pride" once my mom asked him face-to-face, why he hasn't just decided to stay with us until he can get his feet under him.

See, there are many firsts about this relationship. One would be dating someone who is has my same faith and actually practices it. Second would be my family actually likes Britton. All of them.

In fact, they all love him. And he loves them. Let's just say it was a first to have my dad bugging me to text Britton to ask him to come hang out. I literally didn't know how to respond to that and gave my dad the "deer in headlights" look...so stunned it took me several minutes to process, repeat it back and attempt to find my phone at the moment. And it was a first to have Britton look me square in the eye and say " I LOVE your family".

And because of this, my family has been actively trying to help him out. They want to help him out. They want to see him be successful. Despite the fact that he's a bit rowdy and rough around the edges, he's the kind of guy you can't help but love and respect. He's passionate, respectful, loving, driven, hardworking, dedicated. He loves his family and despite his life being a "hot mess", he really has the best intentions and works hard to do the best and be his best. My parents respect that. And have hated seeing him not have a home for the last month.

So after my parents talking to him, he agreed to crash here until he can get his feet under him and save up a little bit of money.

We spent yesterday evening talking over some tough stuff but laughing and enjoying each other as we haven't seen each other in awhile. Then we met up with his older brother, Cam. Cam's sons birthday is today and Cam/Diana got Zach a go-kart for his birthday. We helped to take it up and Cam presented it to Zach, and then Zach and Dawson (his other little boy) rode the go-kart for about an hour....which was so fun and amusing to watch. It didn't help that uncle Britton was encouraging speed and craziness, almost giving poor Diana a heart attack at times. And then Britton and I hung out at Cam & Diana's house....just spending time for me to get to know them and relax. It was very encouraging and very calming.

The mountains were beautiful, it was a calm wonderful Colorado evening, Cam and Diana are so encouraging despite all of Diana's health stuff going on, and Zach/Dawson sang to us and recited some impressive bible verses!! We talked about some hopes and dreams and laughed.

And then when we got home, Britton and I laid down on my bed and cuddled for a few minutes...which is exactly what I crave at the end of the day so it was nice to actually have that for a few minutes last night. And then before we got ready for bed Britton looked at me and said "Let's pray babe."

W-O-W

And we did. We prayed very imperfect, stumbly, heartfelt prayers full of petition for forgiveness, thankfulness for blessings, and asking for God to guide our relationship and to lead us.

I've never prayed with a significant other before.

And I can say that I was frazzled by it at first but so immensely did I enjoy having a man who not only wanted to do it with me, but just decided "lets do it" and lead me through it. That's what I've wanted. A man to lead me.

And then he tucked me in and went to the room he's staying in and crashed.

Amazing firsts. Very humbling and exciting firsts.

Thank you Lord for answering one of my many small prayers. Wow. Amen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Lord Hath Made This Day

You know how there are just some days where God gives you some sort of very quiet strength that makes you want to scream to the world "I LOVE MY LIFE!" at at the same time keeps your heart invitingly content, even if it's just for a few hours?!

Well today is one of those days.

I taught swimming lessons in a cold pool, worked for a little bit getting cobwebs all over me (ick I'm not a fan of cobwebs...for whatever reason they gross me out), and then mother nature decided to have aunt flow visit for the second time in three weeks.

And while I was working all I could do was to continue thanking God for blessing me!

Honestly, it's a beautiful Colorado day, my family and friends are healthy and in good spirits, I'm provided for, I told my close ones I loved them and they told me they love me too, and well, I don't know....today is just amazing!!

There's nothing special about it in the slightest, nothing interesting nor exciting. But I thoroughly am enjoying this contented happiness I am getting to enjoy currently :-)

I know it's usually my nature to be happy but sometimes I just gotta share it with others!

I hope the Lord is blessing your day as thoroughly as He is mine and I hope that you are seeing the many blessings in your life....even if life has handed you some sour lemons lately.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Missing Krista

Throughout the past 7 1/2 years of my life, my faith has played a huge role in defining me, both in good and bad ways. Sometimes with my faith defining me, I have rebeled against the good girl image and have tried to be stubborn and thick-headed, like I normally am. But no matter what, God has kept a stronghold on my life and my heart.

One of the strongest influences on my faith was my best friend Krista May in high school. Ironically she was 20 years older than me. And she passed from brain cancer my sophomore year. The strength of my faith is due in part to two key conversations with Krista, the love she showed me, and the love her mother poured upon me after she had passed.

I have struggled with my faith at times, just like every other Christian has. I have never claimed to and never will claim to be perfect. Nor will I ever go so far as to say that I'm what some call a "strong Christian". I will never start churches nor lead many people directly to Christ. I might play a part in that path of them coming to eventually find the Lord, but God did not make me to be that woman. He has given me a servant's heart, one that's passionate and will jump at any opportunity to help others. But I'm not made to be a missionary. Just to simply serve and help others.

One question, however, that I have always had on my heart is "Would who I am today make Krista proud?" She was the first person other than my parents to love me unconditionally and be proud of who I was, when in fact, most of the time I still felt insignificant and a failure. She was a loving and genuine person, a woman of strong conviction and an amazingly strong faith. She's the type of woman I could only HOPE to become.

I have only one picture of Krista....and it happens to be the only one that exists of me and her.



But in my high school graduation card, a few years after Krista had passed, her mother Cindy marked these bible verses in my card, and said "God bless you always". I find comfort in these because for whatever reason I feel a bit closer to Krista when I read these verses.

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statues, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word."
Psalm 119:30-37

Krista's birthday was June 17th.

I miss her so much.

Philippians 2

Many times I read my bible and it's hard for me to accurately put into words how it replenishes, refocuses, and teaches me. Yes, as a sinning human I struggle with grasping the meaning of a lot of things, but there's a lot of joy that I get out of reading my bible and communing with God....albeit I'm constantly feeling like I have yet again failed when I read a command that I have been clearly away of yet choose to continue to not follow.

But today I picked up my bible and reverted to the book that is the most read, and by far has the most amount of lessons that I struggle day in and day out. It's my favorite book of the bible however, so I find a lot of solace in it when I find that my soul just needs a little bit of gentle loving from God.

The following is most of the second chapter, but it was the part the struck the biggest chord in my heart today. I will not explain any further after the chapter, I just hope you derive your own solace and thoughts from the passage:

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of other. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tonge confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lake Mac 4th of July

This past weekend we took a very long weekend and went to Lake McConaughy in Nebraska for some family time!

We haven't had our boat out in eight years due to my brothers' involvements in summer baseball and basically the busy-ness of life that occurs. But we used to have a trailer at Lake Mac that we would go up to boating all the time. I grew up on the boat, boating at lakes like Lake Mac, Boyd Lake, North Sterling Reservoir. I have my mom to thanks in a round-a-bout way for me being on the swim team. Since we've always had a boat my mom enrolled all of us kids in swim lessons at a young age, starting me at 6 months old. By the time I was 10 or 11 I had passed all levels and had already spent several years repeating level 7 over and over. My mom's motto was that as long as we had a boat, we would be in swimming lessons, even if that meant repeating the top level again over and over. The only reason I FINALLY got out of repeating swim lessons was by joining the swim team. Water was just in my blood.

So after such a long reprieve from one of my favorite childhood memories, we cleaned the boat, cleaned off our tubes, skiis and kneeboard...and made a family weekend trip out of it!!

It was so refreshing to be back in the water....and unlike when I was a scaredy-cat 12-year-old....I actually got out on the water quite frequently on tubes, skiied again several times (I got up my first and only time skiing the last year we were in the water...despite how shy and scared I was and despite my father heckling me and my brothers making fun of me), and I bravely attempted kneeboarding!!

Next trip I will attempt slalom-skiing and hopefully in the future I can try wakeboarding :-)

It was so wonderful to get away from it all, specifically to a place that holds such a good nostalgic place in my heart, to have all the family together in for longer than a few hours and to spend time doing something we all enjoy and grew up doing. Not to mention it was so refreshing to not worry about my hair or makeup or what I looked like, to simply just be on a boat enjoying life and having some fun!

I didn't get to really see any fireworks...a massive storm came up and honestly I had no desire to watch them this year due to several reasons. But what a great way to celebrate the independence of our nation!!

Mom and Dad on the boat



day 1 on the boat - the kids



rockin the ol school life vest



tubing with Jenni...CHEESE!



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