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.

Oh my, how God provides!

Isn't it amazing how looking back you can always see how God has provided for you in EXACTLY the way you needed Him too, even when you thought you needed something a little bit different?!

My relationship with Britton is new and fresh and wonderful and is God-driven and I couldn't ask for more. We are learning each other and learning to be in a relationship. It's a healthy, supportive relationship in which we communicate very well. It isn't perfect in the slightest and neither are we. But it's real and loving.

My past relationships haven't been that way. I'm learning so much about how to be in a healthier relationship than I ever thought possible. I'm learning how to be open and vulnerable, and communicate my wants and needs. I'm having to learn how to be supportive and stand my ground all at the same time, and when it is necessary to do either. My latest lesson was learning how to be disappointed by something but learning to have grace and forgiveness when I was apologized to and asked for it.

I just finished up a journal in which I started in the beginning of January, around the time I asked Britton to step out of my life after getting to know each other because I needed to get some of my own stuff straight. I was struggling with a ton of stuff and was dating Eric. I couldn't consciously let myself keep developing feelings for Britton while dating Eric. But reading back through the entries, I found myself searching.

I need to be loved, as does anyone, but I was looking for a physical love. I thought that I needed love in the form of a relationship...and of course isn't it funny how I just wasn't finding that at all in Eric?! Yes I loved him....but he didn't love me. And it wasn't sufficient. But I was trying to make it work because I was trying to fill a need within myself.

Rather than letting God do His own handiwork, God who knows what I need even before I do, I tried to make something happen for myself. And honestly, I thought God was withholding the love I needed from me.

But rather God was filling the love I needed and craved and needed in a completely different area of my life; he was placing a physical love in my life that was more fulfilling and more rewarding than I ever could have hoped or dreamt it would be. And oh my goodness, how amazing it is that God knows me better than I know myself and was taking care of myself when I wasn't even asking Him to.

The love he placed in my life is a love deeper than the ocean and more pure than any love I have ever felt. It's so unconditional and natural, so pure and soothing, so vast and wide, and so infinitely rewarding. It's the love from a child; several children in fact.

I can look back and honestly say that while I've been ready for nursing school, God needed to build me up emotionally and mentally a little bit more. It was more imperative that He work on my heart so he has withheld that blessing from me so He could work methodically in me to give me exactly what I needed. He kept that door closed so that He could open the door of me working with my special needs kiddos. It is from working in the classroom as I did that I formed the bonds that I have formed with Ethan and Patrick, that has opened doorways for me to babysit other kids with special needs and form interwoven relationships with several families.

It is because he closed the doors for the time being on nursing school and romantic relationships that I was able to experience the amazing love and relationships with my kids.

Nothing can touch my heart as the smile and kisses from Ethan that are unasked for but so lovingly bestowed upon me. Nothing can make me feel so happy and blessed as to see Patrick and for him to instantly get a smile on his face and flap (his way of showing excitement) and for him to give me hug after hug and be my little shadow. To hear parents tell me that their kids love me and that I am good at what I do is the most rewarding part. For them to call me time after time to babysit and take of their precious little bundles that need a little move TLC, and to be able to go out on dates and have time for themselves because they entrust the well-being of these kids is must amazing.

God has so filled my heart with the love I needed when I was looking for it in all the wrong places but my goodness, looking back I can see EXACTLY what God was doing, when I wasn't even asking for help and was instead being obstinate and hard-headed, thinking I knew what was best when in fact we all know I didn't!

God keeps teaching me these lessons over and over and how dumb am I to not just learn that it's God who can do amazing things in my life?! And if I just have enough faith to trust Him, He will provide more than I could ever think I want and need and do it in exactly the way that is needed in my life.

Silly little girl.

And it's because of me learning these lessons and just letting God fill me up that I think he decided to place Britton back in my life. God has a timing for everything and boy do I need to just learn that lesson once and for all. He will provide and give me what I need, when I need it. No sooner and no later. And if I just have a little faith and a little patience, God will bless me more than I could ever ask for!

Thank you Ethan, Patrick and Kaitlyn for showing me a love more pure and rewarding than I could have ever imagined! Thank you to your families for making me a part of your family and getting to experience your beautiful, wonderful, amazing children! They have taught me so much about love and life :-) and thank you for letting me make a small difference. It's been so rewarding and life-saving....for my heart more than anything!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Birthday Blessings

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday and it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had.

There was nothing very special about it but I've never had a birthday where I've felt as blessed and had such a soothing undercurrent of contentment despite all the craziness that is life. And I attribute it to God.

I ask Him every day to continue to keep control of my life and to keep my heart at peace with all the chaos and unknowns that are in it right now.

I spent most of the day with Ethan's family and it was probably the most rewarding day to spend my day. Not off celebrating myself or sitting around doing miscellaneous things. Just helping out one of my favorite families and playing with one of my all-time favorite guys in the world!! At of course at the end of the day, he blew me a big ol kiss when I told him that I would see him next week and to have a great weekend!! Who could ask for a better present?!?!

Afterwards I came home to spend time with my family. I got a ton of birthday wishes upon which I individually thanked every person. My Grams called to wish me a happy birthday as well as my two eldest brothers since they couldn't join us for dinner.

And here is where my day was really really blessed!!

We had a family dinner, which consisted of my parents, my mini grams, my youngest brother Reece and Britton love.

My dad grilled steaks and corn on the cob, made my favorite potatoes and we had the most delicious homemade cupcakes from a girl who owns a local sweets business! Britton waited on my, making my plate for me and serving me....which was a bit of a battle because I'm not used to that at all and couldn't help but fight my independence. We had a great dinner full of chit-chat between us all.

Then of course afterwards we had the cupcakes and I got to open my gifts. My parents honored my birthday requests. I asked for TOMS shoes or a Guatemala FEED bag. My thinking was if I'm going to be a typical greedy American and celebrate my birthday with monetary-valued gifts being given to me that I would find a way to help out other people around the world. True to word, my parents got me the pair of TOMS shoes I wanted the most. Which means a lot to me. Alyssa, my friend in the peacecorps in Guatemala, said the women and children of all the host families wear TOMS shoes that were given to them thanks to the One-to-One exchange!! So I KNOW that my birthday gift was going to help someone else. And I got to help the local businesswoman by ordering cupcakes from her rather than buying a cake from a corporation of some sort. I'm all about buying/helping local!

But the most touching gift of all came from my boyfriend. I opened the most humongous bag, of which also contained gerb daisies :) to pull out an empty scrapbook, scrapbooking paper, and some stickers. While dad was taking pics of me and the cupcakes Britton snuck into one putting his arms around me. And when I opened the scrapbook it was to start documenting us!!

How amazing to have a guy give you the materials to start documenting us as a couple :-)

On top of that, Britton has been looking to buy a "new" used truck as he's been needing a new vehicle and we have been talking through a lot of things. He's really starting to make strides to get all of his life back on track. He brought home a used truck on Monday that a dealership had miraculously approved him for and were allowing him to take to drive for a day or two, while he made a decision to buy or not. But yesterday, he sat me down and we talked through the financial end of it together. In the end, he decided to buy it and today he put down a down payment for it. But it's really nice to know that he included me in the decision and talked over it with me like a couple. We talk about anything and everything, but essentially that was one of our first decisions as a couple. It is his truck and he is paying for it, but we discussed it together!!

All-in-all my birthday was so absolutely blessed!! I got to spend it with the ones I love, I got to help out others, and God has been taking care of my life. I couldn't ask for any more.

And of course it was wonderful to be given a good morning kiss from Britton and just as wonderful to cuddle up next to him and fall asleep by him at the end of the day :D