Monday, September 28, 2009

my story

So for the Young Life banquet, we (leaders) were asked to share our story to be printed on some bookmarks to give out as a party favor. Ha. As I was thinking about it, I wanted to share here as well.

I went through high school thinking that God was a far off being who needed me to be perfect. I tried my best at being a good person yet relentlessly failed. I knew God didn't want any part in that. I ended high school with several broken relationships with guys, my father, and myself. As college began, I once again had found another guy to put all my value in. This guy, who also searched for life in all the wrong things, invited me to Young Life at ASU. I hadn't heard much about YL but was excited that this must be a "good" guy, so I went. It turned out that he was just another guy who had no idea what to do with my heart and I was left alone. Again. Something, however, kept pulling me back to Young Life. One night we were directed to confess all our junk to God. I sat there thinking through all my brokenness and telling God about my darkest places. He was still there? He still wanted me? This made no sense. All I knew was that leading life alone lead to nothing but hurt. He had to have some idea how to do it, so even though I had no idea what it meant, I asked Him to lead my life. I didn't know then that this would lead to healing I thought was never possible and the transformation of my heart that I thought was endlessly broken. Three years later, I am still very much a work in progress, but I have gotten the chance to share the hurt and struggles of life along with God's grace and healing with high school students who are much in need of grace. What better example of the broken than a high school campus. God has a heart to reach, touch, and heal the broken. He is at work in doing just that on the Arcadia High School campus.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Places to consume food:

Lately I've really wanted to begin a list of restaurants I want to go to. Some I have been to before that I love and some are new ones to try. Any suggestions?

- Bamboo Club
- Oreganos
- North
- Olive & Ivy
- Los Olivos
- Islands
- Macaroni Grill
- Texas Roadhouse
- Chicago Hamburger Company
- Bloom

I'm now drawing a blank of the places I've wanted to go.

And no, this is not a hint to my wonderful boyfriend. I promise. I think I just happen to be really hungry while sitting in Noble Library and my PB & J just isn't cutting it today. I'll have to move on to my baby carrots.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This was my day:

- Running late for school
- Sweating from biking so quickly
- Dropping highlighter on my white shirt
- Dripping apple juice on my white shirt
- Sitting through a useless stats lesson
- Getting bike dirt/grease on my white shirt
- Getting cupcake batter/frosting on my white shirt
- Trying to teach a spoiled boy to share

- Delicious In & Out Burger
- Short nap on the most comfortable chest
- Good history movie (Valkyrie)
- Finally feeling at rest and that things are going to not just be okay, but amazing

School is picking up, but I made a promise that the stress was not going to run my life or ruin my relationships. Progress so far = better than last spring! I'm getting there! God is good and He's working on some much needed healing.

Can't wait for my full body massage and day at the Biltmore pool with the girls this weekend!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I've been a Young Life leader for about 28 months now. I started off with my current group of girls at the end of their freshman year (end of my freshman year of college). We've shared so many memories together. We've prayed, cried, laughed endlessly, grieved, vented, sang. I cherish those girls so much. I'm so committed to showing them Christ and showing them how much He loves them just for who they are and how He is fully capable and filly willing to heal their brokenness.

After almost 2.5 years, I've come to a point where I feel like I don't know what else I have to give them. I sat with a girl tonight and we chatted about life. I love that my girls now feel comfortable telling me absolutely anything. That is a good place to be. But I feel at such a loss for what direction to take them. A handful of my close girls know Jesus and believe, but I don't know how to teach them to follow Jesus and walk in His light.

I felt at such a loss for words tonight and that has been a common occurrence lately. Maybe that is a good thing because sometimes I have too much opinion to spout off to them. I just see them thinking and feeling all the same crappy things I did in high school and I want them to see the light. To see that they are made for more than that crap. There is so much more than the junk girls tell themselves/believe about themselves in high school.

There has to be learning in here for me somewhere. I want to learn to be a leader.

Monday, August 24, 2009


School starts tomorrow. I always knew I liked school but am beginning to realize actually how much. Kevin told me I could no longer make fun of him for being a nerd. I was so excited about my new student planned that I started filling it out at 9 pm on a Saturday night. I like school. I like to get new pens, pack my backpack, find my classroom, take some notes. I love all of it, deal with it.

I even got excited when the hairdresser next to me was talking about how she was going to take one class a semester at the community college. Just find something she is interested in and take a class. I never thought of that, but thought it was an excellent plan. I can always go to school even after I get a degree and a job!

Beware: excitement only lasts until first assignment is due.

OH! Best part of my day. I was working with one of my boys today. I came out of the bathroom to find him crawling on the ground, meowing, and playfully pawing a ball of yarn. He proceeded to lay under the coffee table and curl up next to his yarn. When I asked him to get up to go onto our next job, he handed me the yarn and said "Lauren's cat yarn!" Not only is he continually making my day, but he is also learning to do imaginary play!!

I'm so excited to use my new trunk bike rack tomorrow. I'm pretty nervous that I'll drop my bike on my head. Kevin and I did a test run wasn't too terrible. Wish me luck. Okay I'm totally rambling. I'll admit it. I'm excited for school!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

please please please don't pass me by

Songs always inspire blog posts....which I now realize is extremely cliche', but whatever.

This semester coming up is going to probably be the toughest of my life academically. I'm usually a huge stressball, but am deciding to take a stand (against myself?). I'm a proponent of list making, okay almost obsessive about list making and planning. I've decided to take one day at a time and not let any day pass me by without enjoying all the small blessings.

The blessing of today = rolling on the ground laughing with one of my kiddos. There's nothing like rolling around, giggling with a little kid. He loves when I poke different parts of his face and make a specific noise with each facial feature (ie; "meep" is his nose). Heaven forbid I forget the sound of one part--he keeps poking it until I come up with the correct sound. Then we both proceed to laugh endlessly. It's the best part of my day every time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I took a trip up to Vancouver to visit my best friend. She got this amazing opportunity to do research at the University of British Columbia. She's one of those people that gets real cool opportunities often just because of who she is and her daring heart to follow her dreams. It's inspiring. I loved Vancouver and welcomed the clouds and rain, (got to wear my new rain jacket) but the best part was spending time with my best. We talked nonstop for nearly 48 hours. Parents, school, friends, love, high school memories, past relationships, future goals, God, and then repeat. We talked about things in circles.

It's unbelievable the conclusions you come to when you finally speak thoughts out loud. Things either sound ludicrous as soon as they leave your lips or emotions cement in your mind as you realize that is how you truly feel. It's nice to have someone who you can debate things with and disagree but move on to talk to the next thing. Good conversation is a freeing feeling.

It was interesting to talk about the fact that this time last year I was beginning school in Australia. We talked a lot about all we've learned and gone through within this past year. I realized that a wall has been let down in the past few months that I never let anyone access before.

I love that God set me up in the right place and time to be able to trust and show who I really am so that He can start healing and transforming me. I've been vulnerable, hurt, confused, angry, and impatient. But God works through all of that. I pushed and pulled and kept rebuilding the walls. But when I was finally with someone who was safe, God didn't allow me much time to rebuild because it was all out on the table and I knew that I was going to be okay.

Over the weekend with my best, I realized this year has been a year of change. Many changes. Most of them weren't welcomed. I put up a fight. But now that I've come full circle and a year has passed. I happily welcome the person I've become today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Small things

One of the greatest lessons I've learned through working with kids with special needs is taking full joy in all the small things. This lesson has now fed into other aspects of my life and I'm learning to be much more thankful and happy with the little things people say or do. I realize I never share the really special moments I have with my kiddos. Here are a few that have made my summer very special:

- I received the first genuine, arms-wrapped-around-you, hug one of my kiddos had ever given.
- Endless giggles from playing peek-a-boo with an aggressive, virtually non-verbal boy
- After Sunday school with one kiddo, he threw a penny into the fountain and wished that Jesus would love him. It was so sweet.
- Hearing that one kid saw the letter G on TV (that I had been trying to get him to identify for weeks) and he said "That's a G! Like Lauren's G!"
- Having one of my kiddos stand at the window of my car smiling at me until I got out or turning over from a nap and hopping right out of bed because he was so excited to play with me.

There's nothing like a kid realizing that he's safe with you. When he reaches for your hand before crossing the street (something you've tried to teach him for months) or has a huge grin on his face while reciting his address (that he has finally memorized). I have some really hard days working with this population of kids. There are times when it shook my entire faith because I didn't understand why kids are allowed to go through struggles like they are in. I never expected to learn more about myself than I am actually teaching my kiddos. When I stop and think about the smile each kid has on his face when he completes a task that has been slow going, all the frustrating days become more than worth it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Standing outside the fire

I've been listening to a lot of Garth Brooks lately--hence the title. Garth Brooks makes me reminisce about siting next to my dad as he drove our '89 Silverado. He'd always sing along to the country music as we bumped along and I always found a way to fall asleep on his shoulder no matter how long the trip was. It's something I haven't thought about in a very long time. That is a very special memory that I'm glad I get to have with my dad. I hope he remembers those times too.

Apart from the childhood sentiment, Garth Brooks has also brought some inspiration lately. I'm very big about song lyrics. That's why I'm not in love with rap or the popular hip/hop stuff. I love to listen to lyrics that inspire me. These are the lyrics that got me thinking: Life is not tried, it's nearly survived. If you're standing outside the fire.

I would never call myself a big risk taker. But I'm beginning to think that I am in certain aspects of my life. I mean, I went to Australia for 5 months and didn't know anyone. While I was there I went skydiving, scuba diving, and explored the country via bus and plane completely alone. I'd like to consider that risky. I'm also an emotional risk taker....which sounds stupid. I'm usually the one willing to forgive or try things again or give more of my heart or put myself out there to friends. My mom has always told me I don't put up enough of a guard, which may or may not be true sometimes. It is definitely something I've learned over the past year or so. But I've always believed that there's no reason to hold yourself back in any sort of friendship or relationship. There's no use in that. I know that leaves me much more vulnerable to getting hurt (and that definitely happens quite a bit), but the positive outcomes are also much more worth it. Anyway, the Garth Brooks song got me thinking about taking more risks with goals I have for myself. Like graduate school or other personal adventures I've had for myself--like selling my handmade cards or learning to play guitar.

I don't want to just survive life. I'm definitely going to start pursuing more of my dreams that I typically toss aside because I've been too scared of failure. One exciting part about all of this is that I don't need to be scared of not achieving God's plans for me because Proverbs 19:21 tells me:
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. I can pursue my goals and dreams with full force because my steps are being guided and planned by a God who knows me best. So as Garth says it, I can't abide standing outside the fire.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the future

So I was talking to one of my young life girl's parents last night. They are such a fun couple to interact with. We began talking about my current job and what I want to do with my future. A few months back I was confident in what I wanted to do and had my future all lined up for what I thought seemed best. I like what Jesus decides to do with that. He has brought me new thoughts, new conversations and new inspirations. Now I have absolutely no idea what my future is going to look like and I couldn't feel more excited about it.

People would always tell me that it must be nice to know what I want to do, but part of me was kind of bored with that idea. Now I'm back to only having a very small idea of where my heart is going to lead me. I love it. I want to take each day as it comes and only have small goals for the future, trusting that God will give me the best He has in store for me. God's plans are much more exciting than my own. I'm glad I am finally back to realizing that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I can't get over that today is July 1st. I think I've mentioned it to everyone I've talked to for the past few days or so. June was a good month. I feel like I haven't been very productive with anything and the weeks just continue to begin and end very quickly. Every Saturday night I find myself thinking the weekend isn't long enough.

Growing up and doing real stuff is boring so far. I'm trying to find ways to feel more accomplished. I'm thinking about selling my homemade cards somehow. I think it's partly just to feel like my card designing is profitable. That would be a fun ego boost. My mom said some lady sold them in little bundles at her work. I've also found ways to sell them online. I've been looking at this site called Etsy that has a smorgasbord of adorable homemade things. I'm very inspired. It's something I've always wanted to do. I've also started reading a lot more than ever before. When I find a good book, nothing around me gets accomplished. My washed clothes sat in stacks in my room for about two weeks after camp until I finished 2 books.

I'm ready for a vacation. In August I'm going to visit Angie up in Vancouver and could not be more excited for it. I cannot wait for her to show me around the city. I absolutely cannot wait to wake up Saturday morning in Vancouver and go to whichever coffee shop Angela has deemed her favorite. A coffee shop, with my best friend, in Vancouver--sounds almost like perfection right now. After Vancouver I'm going to head down to Seattle and hang out for a week! I'm also very very excited about that. I love it up there. It's a mix between the weather, the people, and the lack of any responsibility. Those 3 things together make a phenomenal vacation. Only 5.5 weeks and then I'm there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm not gonna rest

That line just played in a song I'm listening to and reminded me of how I live my life. This past week I have just been passing out in the middle of the day. Other than being sick, I think it's my body telling me to take a chill pill and slow down. I fill my time with people. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm beginning to enjoy my own personal down time. I like to have time to wind-down and spend useless time exploring random stuff on the internet (that's my way of not admitting to too much facebook).

It's been awhile since I sat down to write/type this thing. I took my YL kids to summer camp at Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado! It was one of the most fun weeks of my life! We got to rappel, do a ropes course, go on an amazing swing, ride horses! I got to spend some much needed time away from my daily schedule. It's amazing the things you think about when you aren't continuously running on your mind-numbing schedule. I had some great time with Jesus and getting to know my girls even deeper and just learning a lot. I see Jesus in a much more realistic, almost tangible way now. He's so real. It's awesome. I feel like I gained some independence and confidence with being alone, which I also love. It's nice to get to just talk about your crap and hear about other people's and realize we're all in this together. It's a cheesy, yet uniting feeling.

Work has been interesting. Along with my 2 boys, I now am doing the summer camp at S.E.E.K. on Mon and Wed. It's pretty chaotic to say the least. It's challenging to get to know a whole classroom of kids while also trying to get to know a new kiddo more in depth in a very noisy, constantly moving environment. I'm definitely learning a lot at least. I'm no longer positive that my career will be in this area. I've been pretty disheartened lately by some kiddos and I just don't know if this is the place for me. Luckily I don't need to make that decision too soon. Only by the end of next Fall when I send out grad school applications. GAH.

That is the next big thing. The GRE. Ew. It's nearly impossible to get into study mode in the summer. However, when I was studying yesterday, I actually did find the material semi-interesting....which is kind of sad, but whateve. I'm comfortable in my nerdiness. Anyway, I'll put up some pictures from camp when I get the energy/time/will power to upload my pictures. Until then, I'm going to finish reading the 4th Twilight book: Breaking Dawn. I hate that I ever even read the 1st one...but they are just so dang good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I love that there have been brief storms (if you can call them that) the past day or so. I love when the news talks about the "crazy storm last night." Arizona is wussy. I did enjoy the slightly pouring rain that only existed for about a square mile of Arcadia. I'll take what I can get.

Lately when I've had the what are you studying/what do you want to do with your life conversation, I've felt like my "I want to work with kids with Autism and special needs" response seems very Miss America-ish and I need to end my explanation with "and world peace" or something. It's not really a saves-the-day type of job though. It's all about the little battles and the little achievements and definitely never leaves me feeling very Miss America glamorous at the end of the day. It's not something I really chose so I could feel great about myself or have others think I'm a saint. It's kind of just where my life lead me and I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

Also lately I have been very introspective, trying to figure out what I'm about and who I am and all that jazz. I've gotten stuck on the crap I exhibit in my life. It's been extremely hard to look it in the face and recognize that it's part of me. It's hard to take a step out of it and see the bigger picture. When I start to think about all the other crap Christ has already healed me from over the past few years, I realize this is just the next step in Christ changing me and my heart into who He created me to be. I don't care how cheesy and cliche that sounds. It's the truth. When I keep my mind on that, it's kind of an exciting challenge that I know will continue to change me over time.

Yay for summer. It's nice to finally slow down a bit (emphasis on "a bit").

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Open up your plans, and damn you're free!

Well, this semester has come to an end. I've never been more thankful for that. I feel so relaxed that i don't have to shove everything into limited amounts of time.

I got to hear Obama speak at commencement last night! The heat was the worst, but we survived. It was really inspirational to hear Obama speak. He is a phenomenal speaker and definitely made me want to go out and save the world within my boundaries and abilities. I've never been able to hear a sitting president speak, so that was quite a treat. It's pretty crazy that my boyfriend and a few of my close friends graduated. I feel like I should be 16 or something...not having friends who are graduating, getting married, getting real jobs. I'm glad I have another year of undergrad (well, sort of glad).

There's a lot to look forward to this summer even though I have absolutely nothing planned besides work (which I don't even have scheduled yet). I just look forwad to spending time with people again without strict time restraints. Yay for that.

Something I'm really excited about: This Friday I get to take part in an IEP (individualized education plan) assessment for one of my kiddos. A group of us are meeting to dicuss his development and decide what looks best for him for kindergarten next year. I'm really really excited to take part in something like this. A main reason I want to be in this field is to prepare kids for school and set them up to have a successful career in a mainstream school with little extra help.

I'm over these triple digit temperatures. I've lived in AZ for 21.5 years and it still makes me crazy every summer. Hopefully only one more year of this.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The end is in sight.

11 more days of school. I can't imagine what life will be like without the weight of articles that need reading, a thesis prospectus that needs revising, and statistics homework that needs to be finished. I think I will feel fresh and my eyes will not feel heavy everyday. This summer looks very uneventful thus far, but I'm actually looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to not having to fight to stay awake anymore. Woo!!

I thought I had insightful things to say right now, but I'm too tired.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

much needed.

My weekend could not have come at a better time. On Friday after work I headed down to Tucson for Sarah's bridal shower (which wasn't until Saturday). Some of Angela's roommates and I went to a bluegrass festival in Benson, AZ. Benson was so podunk and we were the youngest people at the festival by at least 20 years, so everyone stared when we walked in. The girls had some girl friends playing (who were phenomenal) and it was so fun doing something different!

That night Ang and I went to hang out with some of the guys who are my friends from high school. We played "would you rather?" all night and I haven't laughed so much in such a long time. Saturday we set up for the bridal shower all morning and then the shower was actually such a blast. I know the summary of my weekend isn't nearly as fun-sounding as it actually was. It was so great to get to hang out with girls again, especially those girls. It was great to have a fun weekend away right before the crunch time of finals. I may or may not be spending a lot of time in Tucson over the next year and I now could not be more excited about it because I'd get to be around those girls much more often!

Now after all this excitement...I really have to get going on endless reading, writing, and studying. 15 days left until I'm finished with it all!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

a new week.

For the first time in awhile, I feel like I'm starting fresh with my week. That may be due to the fact that I did little to no homework this weekend...or just a new perspective on things. I'm feeling very optimistic and choosing to stay that way.

Today I made a play-doh skateboard and a paper cut-and-paste castle with one of my kiddos. This one is particularly frustrating and non-compliant, but today was our BEST day yet! I designed this choice schedule where he picks his activity and then picks his reinforcer and it works out SO SO well. Even with him being sick today, we went form task to task with very little anger or freak out. It was SO encouraging.

Moral of the story: I'm excited about life. I have so many ideas of fun things I can begin and work on and everything. For example: cake decorating class this summer with my sister, finally working on (and eventually finishing) my senior year of HS scrapbook, running more often, ect. I'm going to set up an awesome schedule for myself. I cannot wait. But for now, back to work!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This morning on my way to school, I was listening to Taylor Swift's extremely cliche song Fifteen. As cheesy as this song is, it entirely reminds me of 8-10th grade and how I felt about life then. For instance the lyrics:
Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
Thank goodness I had a father who always reminded me there was more to life than boys. It's something I really wish I could help my Young Life girls understand--there is a much bigger, better world outside of high school. Thank goodness for that. Freakin' Mountain View. (that was my high school).

It's interesting thinking about the next year of my life because I most likely won't be in Arizona after next year (at least for a few years). I'm feeling the need to fit all of these things in and really focus on building myself as a person and in my faith and all of that. It's a fun idea, actually. I'm not 100% sure of what that looks like yet, but I have a lot of little and big decisions to make in the next little while to make it all work out.

Easter was fun. I did children's ministry at Praxis for the morning service and basically held two chunkers in my arms all morning (I volunteer in the nursery) and my arms are still sore. Moms must get great arms and upper body strength. Good grief. It was fun though. I actually love the chaos kids bring.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pandora Radio

For those of you who do not use Pandora Radio, you should. It constructs such perfect study playlists for me and you can make it play whatever you want. It's so great.

Lately I've been having those "God set all this up" moments. I just see such a linear connection between my early intervention class last spring to my internship in Australia to my current job to my future career ideas. This definitely isn't just a coincidence or something I carefully put together myself at all. It is one of those things that have seemingly "fallen into place" which is where my "God set this up" moments come in. I know that God uses everything for His grandeur plans for our life, but it is amazing to see it in action. I've been reminded lately of the unbelievable sacrifice God made for us by giving us Jesus. It sounds so simply stated there, but lately I haven't been the person I want to be and God is still present--which shows the grace He gave us through Jesus. Through my endless busy schedule of work, school, yl, and life, it is such a comfort to see God in the middle of it all.

35 days and counting until I'm finished for the semester. It's already too hot in Arizona. Gah. On a positive note, I absolutely adore my 2 boys I work with. However frustrating the day is with them, I always leave with a smile on my face because no matter how frustrated they are with me they still manage to give me the sweetest hugs. It's all about the little things.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Things I would rather be doing...

I stole this from Angie, but I can't help but think about what I'd rather be doing than being at school (or writing my thesis):

- Still sleeping in bed (with the a/c parents' house is always so hot)
- Reading the rest of the 3rd twilight book
- Sitting on the beach (or anywhere) with Ang talking about useless things
- Watching the new One Tree Hill
- Spending the entire day, guilt free, creating scrapbook cards
- Hanging out with my cute 9 month old niece
- Sitting on the couch watching SoapNet for the rest of the week.

I missed the memo that my 9 o'clock class was cancelled so I woke up 1.5 hours earlier than I needed to. Good morning world! Give me a break today, please.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A week in the life...

So in one of my classes today I was complaining to a classmate about how I hate Thursdays. This is my weekly Thursday schedule:

GPH210 9-10:15
GPH381 10:30-11:45
PSY497 12-1:15
PSY330 1:30-3:30
Lab meeting 4:30-5:30
Thesis meeting 5:30-6:30
Campaigners 7ish-9:30ish
Hang out at guys house 9:30ish - too late at night (I recognize that this isn't a necessary part of my day, but it is still my weekly schedule)

There's virtually no free time in all of that because I'm probably walking/driving from location to location. Anyway, point of this story, my classmate was saying how Thursdays do suck but then you have a "4-day weekend." Technically I don't have class until next Tuesday again, but I don't remember the last time I actually felt like I had a weekend (apart from my time in washington). It may seem like I'm feeling sorry for myself, but this is just how my life is...which may or may not be a good or bad thing, who knows. I enjoy it enough, probably more than enough. Today I already caught myself saying "I can't wait until summer." I just made a countdown widget...46 days and 13 hours until I'm done for the semester!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I think this semester and next will prove to be the most difficult of my college career. I'm currently making a study guide for probably my hardest test in college thus far and it's for a geography course. Ridiculous.

I started work FINALLY with a client! He's 4 and has autism and is fascinating and such a blast to hang out with! This week I get to meet with our behavioral director and my kiddo and plan goals for him that I get to start working on with him! Thus far, my job has been excellent. I start with another client soon too! Another 4 year old with multiple delays. I'm glad I am loving this job as much as I thought I would. It is an absolute perfect fit for me.

I got to go to Washington with Kevin over spring break, which was a much needed break. I miss the cooler weather so much. Stupid Arizona sun.

I'm busy busy busy and beginning to freak out with how much time I don't have...which leads to wasting time being stressed. Life is really really good. I can't remember ever being this consistently happy before in my life. Yay for that! Back to studying.

I want to be here....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

blah blah blah...

That's all I hear in my stats class. You know class is rough when everyone is rushing to the vending machine or closest coffee shop to get caffeine before class. It's rough. However, I do feel intelligent when I teach myself how to do everything for the homework (...with plenty of help from Kevin. I can't take all the credit.) I get really stressed when I do math-ish homework because you enter all these figures into a formula and expect to come out with a certain number and when I don't I freak out. That is where Kevin comes in to save the day. It's nice to have someone who can simplify things into my range of math terminology/knowledge. I knew I was dating him for a reason.

Life has been full of school and a lot of sleep because I'm getting over the cold/sinus crap that seems to be going around. T-minus 3.5 days until Washington. It's going to be super super difficult to want to come back, but it'll still be a much needed break.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The past few days have finally been productive. Today alone I have already figured out some stuff for some scholarship applications, read 2 articles and worked on some stats homework. AND I've only been awake for about 1.5 hours. Go me. I'm not close to being done. I have to learn to be okay with not being finished with everything since I'm working on my honors thesis and there is always more to do. I got an email last night about registering for Fall 09 classes--begins next Monday! How weird that it will be my last fall semester at ASU. I think I get too sentimental about crap like that, but maybe it is a good thing that I'm reflecting on it all while it's happening. I feel like that is part of living my life to the fullest.

This past week I got to start actually working with SEEK AZ. I was in the classroom 2 different days and got to interview with a family who I'm going to start working in-home with soon! As frustrated/disheartened/tired I was after working, I absolutely loved being with the children again. Children with special needs are usually even more unpredictable than typical children, so it's extra tiring but equally fun/challenging. You have to laugh at the fact that one kid discovered the girl scout cookie room and continually escapes into there despite all the reprimands. Children with special needs are just particularly clever because they have to figure things out in a way that suits them personally--it's fascinating to say the least.

I feel like I've finally settled into being home. Between talking to people, reflecting on myself, and forcing myself to do school...things have fallen into place. I think God is teaching me to find joy in everyday life again since I'd gotten so used to finding enjoyment in the daily adventures of Australia. It's been a battle because I've definitely wanted everything my way since I've been home, but He's put me in a place where that's just not an option. It's nice to be reminded that He has a plan that stretches way beyond my meager "5-year plan."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coffee Shop Dynamics

So I've been sitting here in Starbucks at Osborne and Hayden for about 1.5 hours now. There are 2 men who have been here wince I got here working away on their computers. Multiple people have walked in and been recognized by the barristas--typical coffee shop demeanor. However, one of the men working on his computer here has also known a handful of people who have walked in and proceeds to chat it up with them and he honestly just seems so happy about life and one of those guys that everyone loves. The point of all this observation is just to say I love the idea of being a known customer, neighbor, whatever. That small-town ideal has always really appealed to me. I know it has its downfalls, but I just love the romantic ideal of everyone passing by and asking about so-and-so and really caring and all harmonious stuff. I know it sounds like Pleasantville and I should just move to the creepy Agritopia in Gilbert if I really want this "everyone hold hands and sing together" feeling.

Regardless, being here has been a bit refreshing just watching people go about their daily routines. Somehow, it has made my life slow down a bit....which is currently much needed. Thanks Starbucks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day

I've never cared less about Valentine's Day. Maybe it's because I'm totally comfortable right now, which is a good thing. People keep asking what we're doing for Valentine's Day and we kinda just look at each other and make up some sarcastic response. People get annoyed because they want some cutesy plan, sorry everyone...we're apparently boring.

I'm finally feeling in place again in Arizona...tomorrow I'll have been home for 2 months. It's about time. I'm ready to travel again. 3.5 weeks till Washington for a week!

I've been thinking a lot about birthdays lately....particularly in the celebration of birthdays. Some people love them, others hate to draw attention to themselves, some people get depressed and feel old/awkward. I feel like everyone should love them. People should have pride in who they are and want to celebrate their life. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

busy busy bee

I'm finally starting to focus on school. It's hard when this is the background of your computer and you've actually BEEN there...
This is a picture I took from the resort I was at on Amunuca Island for a day in Fiji. The island in this picture is actually Castaway Island - yes actually from the movie. While I was in Fiji it actually rained the entire day that I was on Amunuca so that was really stinky. Maybe just means I must go back!

I have 100 some odd pages to read of a radical global warming/climate change book. Sound fun? Not at all. I have the whole day to myself though, which I absolutely love.

I'm going through a "I wish I lived in Tucson" phase. I know that sounds a little crazy, but my best friend is down there and I'd have such an amazing group of girls if I were there. I'm still not 100% sure why I never transferred....

This is a rambling blog because I'm procrastinating. Those are the best.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

stats again...

I'm in my stats class again. I'm kind of nervous about school this semester because I'm still in my laid-back Australian school mode. aka...I don't care enough. I have my first paper due tonight. I think I found an honors adviser. Aaaand I spend way too much time playing my blackberry. I now understand why people call it a's SO addicting that I have access to everything on my little handheld device.

Lately I've been having a lot of thoughts and talks about priorities. What are supposed to be your priorities? Can you put values on certain things (ie: school, YL girls, boyfriend) or is it just important to balance it all out? This came about because I told my boyfriend that my YoungLife girls were more important to me than him. Whoops. I realized that that wasn't entirely true and began to think about how people can all have equal importance that you just have to find different time for them? I've been bouncing these ideas all around my head. I haven't gotten very far because I just go in circles.

I'm over school. Ugh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We've been miles away...

but now I'm home!

So I've been home for awhile now. Nearly 7 weeks actually. I got to meet my nephew, Luke Arthur Duxbury and my niece is absolutely beautiful and growing so quickly. It's a lot of fun. I turned 21 and started dating one of my best friends--who is hands down one of the greatest guys I know. Since I live at home now, I get to see my parents all the time which is fabulous. I've been able to spend time with high school friends and catch up with some friends from ASU as well. I've jumped back into YL and have slowly gotten back into my girls' lives - my favorite part of my life. I got to take some kids up to Lost Canyon this past weekend so they could do work crew--serve food for over 400 campers! Pretty stressful, but always so much fun. It's great to be able to serve kids food during their weekend of possibly hearing about Christ for the first time. It's great to be able to be involved in His work in that way.

I got a new job at a place called S.E.E.K. AZ I am going to be a habilitation provider...which means I will work in the home/community of a child with special needs and help them with certain developmental goals and tasks. It's what I want to do with the rest of my life, so I'm super super excited about it.

So far, it's rough being back in school. I really really want to be back in Australia where I didn't have to do much school....ever. I do love being home though - only because of the people...I no longer love Arizona. Well I better get back to paying attention in stats...ugh.