Saturday, December 17, 2011

Colorful Surprises

 Out the blue a friend of a friend asked me to watch his puppy for the weekend and being the puppy lover I happily agreed. I'd never met the dog nor did I know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by an adorable puppy and a little kitten AND they were well behaved. I only had to take go over to his house and let the dog out of the kennel twice a day for two days to feed it and let it go to the bathroom but I thought that many hours in a kennel was pretty cruel. So I brought the puppy over to my house as I had just planned on hanging out all day and he seemed to enjoy it even though he napped most of the time (it's gotta beat a 2X3X2 kennel). Well I got a few pictures of the little guy and thought I'd share but his fascination with the flash meant I could only get close ups.

I was in an artsy kind of mood this afternoon but didn't have the motivation to do anything that took a lot of clean up (like painting) and didn't want to face the weather for photography either. I remembered this art project I saw someone on another blog and thought I'd give it a shot. I bought some canvas, a hot glue gun, and  lots of crayons (144 to be exact) at Walmart and got to work. Surprisingly it took forever to organize the crayons so that they transitioned from color to color smoothly but after that it was super easy and fast. I glued them to the canvas, propped it up at a slight angle and then aimed the my hair dryer at the middle of the crayons and within 30 seconds they were melting (I had read online that it could take 10-20 min and wasn't sure I'd have the patience). And after only 3 minutes or so, I had a wonderful collage of dripping colors. If you're looking for a quick and easy project it takes less than 30 min all together and there isn't any clean up (unless you melt them too much and the drips run off the canvas... I put some newspaper down just in case).


Friday, December 9, 2011

What an End to a Semester

Though I wish I could say I finished this semester strong, I can at least say I finished it (which was definitely questionable for a while). I wrote my last paper on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and though it was not as enjoyable as watching the movie, I still found some joy in writing it.

It reminded of the times my dad would take my brother and I to work with him and set us up in the HUGE conference room. We would pick a movie and then he'd press a bunch of meaningless buttons and it would magically project on the wall. Often times we were treated with free candy from the concessions room and cuddle time with dad if he finished work early... I miss a lot of things about home when I'm away at college but I miss my dad more than anything else. I can't wait until I can see him even if it's only for a few days.

The original movie is a million times better than the new one. (and the book is great too)
*the next paragraph may gross some people out... proceed with caution*
So everyone's heard of the 24 hour flu (or some other kind of sickness) right? Well I got to experience all 24 hours of it on the day my last final was due UGH! Around 9:00pm my stomach started to feel odd but I chalked it up to the finals week diet that mostly included junk food and soda (two things that I try to avoid and usually do). But around 11:00pm I knew something other than cheetohs, pizza, and soda were upsetting my stomach. From 11:00pm until noon the following day I had to drag myself to the bathroom every 30min to throw up. The vomiting finally ended around 12:30pm but then came the "everything hurts,  I don't have enough energy to open my eyes, nothing sounds good, and I just want my daddy" feeling. My roommates brought me saltine crackers and ginger ale before heading home for the holidays (I'm staying in Wyoming for most of my break). I didn't leave my room, eat (except 5 saltine crackers), or do anything that required movement (even sleeping hurt at times) all day. Then, EXACTLY 24 hours later at 9:00pm, I felt 90% better (clear headed but a bit weak and tired). I felt even better this morning and was able to write two papers to finish off my semester. I slept for nearly 19 hours of the last 24 but I definitely don't feel like I did considering I'm still tired. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow so hopefully I'm all better by then and can love on some old people in a way that shows them God's beautiful love.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Almost Done

Finals week has officially begun and mother nature decided to kick it off with some extreme weather. It went from being in mid 40s F yesterday to −30 F today. Can you say COLD! Well I haven't actually been outside yet but I'm not looking forward to it. But I'm just going to be thankful that my house has heat, I have warm clothes for when I do have to face the weather, and I have hot chocolate when I need it.

I worked most of the weekend and I think my feet are getting used to being on tile for 8+ hours at a time too. I felt like when I wasn't working I was sleeping or eating which (in all seriousness) makes me feel FAT. I'm not fat and I've never really struggled with my weight but occasionally I have weeks where I'm more self conscious about it than others and this is definitely one of those weeks. Oh well, I will do my best to rest in truth and not get too wrapped up in self image.

As I mentioned before it's finals week and I have mixed feelings about how this semester went. I definitely did poorly in one class (as in I'll probably have to retake it if I want to get into nursing school) and didn't do great in the others but I have this odd peace about my grades. Someone jokingly told me "Grades don't determine salvation... and don't forget that Jesus still loves you even if you fail." I guess God works in mysterious ways because just hearing that made me feel a million times better. I don't really get to go home much this Christmas but now that I only have one test and one paper left, it seems like next week is going to be here sooner than I know it (even if I'll only be home a few days).

I have a bunch of errands to run when I get home and one of which is getting glasses :( I'm not thrilled about it but I'm kind of excited that reading and looking at my computer will no longer lead to headaches.

Hope everyone is getting excited about the holiday season and (if you're not in Wyoming) is enjoying the weather :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Thankful Days: Wow I've Missed a Ton

So for the last time I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife for 30 Thankful Days and I must say I'm sad it's over but I might do thankful posts occasionally anyway because praises aren't praises unless you share them :) AND even though I missed the last week or so of posts I was thankful for a lot this past week.

1) My roommates! They've been gone a lot recently for volleyball and Thanksgiving break and now they're back. I no longer live in this huge place by myself AND since we're all studying for finals (or trying to at least) we have lot's of study sessions together. I enjoy the company and entertainment especially when writing final papers and laughter never fails to make the time go by a whole lot faster.

2) Cinnamon rolls! Today one of my roommates and I made lunch (which was delicious by the way) and then I made cinnamon rolls YUM! I believe cinnamon rolls and ice cream are God's personal gifts to me.

3) Walmart! When there aren't many stores in the town you live in the one that has the most variety is like a mall. It's close to my house (well what isn't in this town?) and I go there often. When I lived in the dorms my friends and I would go to Walmart and only bring in a dollar or two and then just walk around. The longest we spent was almost two hours and we walked out with a bag of skittles, post it notes, and a cheap movie.

4)Music! I think being thankful for music is an understatement. It can make the worst days a million times better and good days fantastic. It can calm me when I'm anxious, pump me up when I need some extra energy, speak God's truth into my life, or just provide some background noise to any activity. I LOVE music and few things can touch my heart like beautiful lyrics and a great rhythm.

5) Random factual knowledge. I notorious amongst my team and roommates for knowing the most ridiculous facts about completely random things. I don't have a subject of interest or a reason to know them I just like to learn new things. I've occasionally been known to search random facts on the internet during homework breaks (where most people go to Facebook or eat lol). There have been a few times where I've been able to use the knowledge but mostly it just for entertainment. Here are some favorites:

-Jellyfish evaporate in the sun because they're 98% water
-When a person is tickled is actually a form of panic because the brain associates the sensation with creepy crawlies on your skin. Laughing can also be a response to panic.
-It cost 7 million dollars to build the titanic and 200 million to make a movie about it
-You actually can't see the Great Wall of China from outer space but you can see the Pyramids of Giza and a few other man made buildings.

6)Sock! I shouldn't have to say too much more but I will. I'm one of those crazy person's that has to have socks on to sleep at night (I'll wake up if one falls off). It's cold in Wyoming and my feet are not a fan of the chilly temperatures

I have more but I've got to get back to studying! :(

Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't Quit

I've missed a lot of Thankful Days but that doesn't mean I wasn't thankful. I have so much to be thankful for but I've definitely had a long break (if you could even call it a break). I had a day off of school and then worked 40 hours in 4 days but I DID get to have a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to some church friends (since I couldn't go home to Colorado Springs). AND I got my schedule for December and I work 16 hours every weekend plus 48 hours from December 22-27. I love my job but I don't love my feet hurting from being on them for so long and I don't love having to wake up a 4:30am. I also need study time since my grades could definitely use some improvement and work isn't helping that. So my goal for the next two weeks of school is to not give up and just keep pushing through even if it doesn't always seem worth it.

This is called the Don't Quit Poem by an unknown author and it's been a HUGE encouragement to me this week.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

P.S. If you're the praying type I could really use some extra strength and motivation this week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Thankful Days #17-#20

Here is a short and sweet post to catch up with the 30 Thankful Days I've missed. It's been a crazy week but I've been blessed by the peace that I've had during it.

In no particular order here are the things I've been blessed by and am thankful for these past few days:

-I'm thankful for my spacious, stocked, clean, and WONDERFUL kitchen. Living in the dorms was a challenge mostly because I was used to home cooked meals and fresh food but it made me realize how amazing it is to have a kitchen. I cook as frequently or infrequently as I want and am also thankful for my roommates when they make "family dinners" on the days I don't want to cook. In the last few weeks I've made brownies, pesto cavatappi, enchiladas and my roommates have made ribs, various soups, chicken wraps. My mouth is watering :)

-I'm for my warm home and heated blanket. As winter is approaching it's been getting windier and colder (neither of which I particularly like) and I'm just thankful I have a warm house and bed to come home to.

-I'm thankful for the The Help by Kathyrn Stockett. A friend loaned me this book after we had a heart to heart on a soccer trip. I can't put it down! It's beautifully written with amazing insight into the lives of the African American women who's job was to raise children, clean the house, and wait on one family's every want. I can't wait to go watch the movie after I finish.

the movie
-I'm also thankful that I passed my CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) state exam and am now officially a CNA (though I'd already been hired as one). I knew I'd pass the written exam but was particularly nervous about the skills exam where we have to take care of a volunteer patient. I had to be able to perform any of the 29 skills as five would be selected at random for me to test on. I PASSED!!! I was nervous and forgot a few steps to some skills but they're were apparently not too important. YAY! I'm so thankful that the studying and practice payed off!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Thankful Days #15 and #16: Work and Laughter

Day 15:
Yesterday I realized just how blessed I am!!! I got a job at the local nursing home as a CNA. thousands of people these days would do anything to get paid minimum wage for something they hate just to support their family but not only did I get a job I got a good one AND I love it. Okay, love it my be an overstatement since geriatrics is not my favorite field but regardless, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to get to work in health care. I'm getting paid REALLY well and because they're desperate for CNA's they're working around my schedule. Being around the residents at the nursing home truly makes me happy. I enjoy serving them and I've felt, for maybe the first time, I know what it's like to be God's hands and feet and it feels SOOO GOOD!!!!! I'm just so thankful for this job and the way God is going to use me and teach me through it.

Day 16:
Laughter!!!! Simple enough. My old roommate and I hung out together for a while and we watched youtube videos and laughed, ate ice cream and laughed, and watched documentaries while doing homework and laughed. We laughed until tears were streaming down our faces and our abs hurt from constantly giggling. Laughter is therapeutic, it's a key part of any relationship, it's the easiest way to break cultural and social boundaries, and it was the BEST part of my day today.

Here's some of the goofy things we do :)

Our version of pole dancing

This and the next one was our way of lightening the mood of preseason... we covered everything, and us, in trash bags and then broke glow sticks and called it "project decoration".  Don't worry we cleaned

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Thankful Days #14: My God Box

Ah Ha!!!! I've kept up, even if it's only for one day, on 30 Thankful Days! As thanksgiving approaches I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and celebrating the little things each day that I am thankful for. I encourage you to join in because you'll realize that the little things you are thankful for are the things that make life enjoyable and worth living!

Day 14:
I'm thankful for my new "God Box" (thanks Molly for the idea) and sorry ahead of time for the poor picture quality. I had to use my computers camera!... Like I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had a ton on my mind lately and can't seem to escape the whirlwind of thoughts. I'm a visual kind of person and I needed a visual representation of me casting my anxieties on him (1 Peter 5:7). I wanted to just see what it was like to just "give it to God and then be done worrying about it" because there is nothing Godly about worry and fear... My friend was telling me that when she had a lot on her mind she would write it out on a small piece of paper and then put it in a jar that she had painted black. Once the thought was in the jar, all the anxiety and concerns that accompanied the thought were gone too. It was her way of letting go of her fears and choosing to trust God. So I bought a a small storage type box, covered the inside with black felt, and cut a hole in the top. I like to call it my God Box. It sits on the shelf next to my bed and I put a sharpie and some sticky notes next to it so not even laziness can keep me from turning my thoughts over to God.

top (my attempt at showing the hole for the paper thoughts)

Where it sits on my shelf with the sticky notes and sharpie :)
It's actually quite big and more cube like, though neither
picture shows it that way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Thankful Days #12 and #13:

I'm going short and sweet today as I link up with 30 Thankful Days.

Day #12
I'm thankful that I have a car... I know it's kind of a lame thing to be thankful for but yesterday I really needed to get out of the house and because I have a car I grabbed my keys and drove off. I headed down to the river and just sat (in my car because it was freezing) and tried to clear my head. I was all bundled up and had the heater on as I just watched the river flow by. Because of my car, I'm able to just pick up and go and I LOVE it. I don't need to ask permission or have a destination in mind (which is how I ended up at the river) I just need to be able to find the keys :)

The view from my car... I took this pic a few weeks back at the same river (it's less colorful now)
Day #13
Today I'm thankful for church. I haven't been to a whole service in a while because of soccer and today I was blessed to be back. With my newly covered journal and Bible in my lap and a few friends at my side I felt at home. I'm so thankful for my church family both here in Wyoming and back in Colorado. I know it's cliche to say this but I'm going to anyway... I don't know what I'd do without them :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Thankful Days #10 and #11: Naps and Heroes

I couldn't be more excited to link up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and join her in 30 Thankful Days. It's simple! Everyday (or every other day if you're me) you think of something you're thankful for and write about it so that other people can give thanks too.

Day 8: Naps
Yesterday was one of those days where there were definitely things to get done and places to go but I just couldn't work myself up to care about them. If you know me this is actually a good thing because for the last few weeks I've been overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and worry most of which comes from freaking out about simple day-to-day activities. But yesterday, it was like my brain took a day off and decided to stop worrying and just go. Go to class, go to physical therapy for my foot, NAP, go to lab, and finish the day off with some great friends. Though I am so thankful for the slower pace my mind functioned at yesterday, the thing I am the most thankful for was my nap. TWO HOURS of sleepy time in the middle of the day. I felt rested and revived! (And I bet I would have been exhausted by the time lab and friend time came around had I not caught some Z's earlier in the day)

Day 9: My Dad
Today I am thankful for all the men and women that serve our country. I know first hand the sacrifices that the service men and women, as well as their families, have to make and it's not easy. Their lives dedicated to others will never go unnoticed by me and I pray today especially for the ones serving overseas and that they may return safely to their families.

But today I want to recognize one veteran in particular... My dad.

At his retirement ceremony
He joined the Air Force at 18yo and served for twenty years before retiring. He soared through the ranks, while attending college and providing for a family. Though he and our family had to put up with moves, TDY's (where he'd leave for days or even months and we never got to see him), and the rest of military life, he never complained. He never took a day off (not one... he had over 3 months of PTO saved up when he retired) and he was alway home in time for dinner and soccer practice if he was in town. I can't even explain how much I love this man and how proud I am to be his daughter. 

What's not to love about a man in uniform!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Thankful Days #8 and #9: Art and Flexibility

So I've realized that I've been doing 30 Thankful Days every other day and just doing two days in one post. Maybe I should call it 15 Thankful Days...Just a thought... If you didn't catch any of that let me fill you in. I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and making an effort to post one thing I'm thankful for each day of the month. It's incredible because I find myself thinking throughout the day, "hey, this could be what I'm thankful for today." and it happens so regularly that by the time I sit down to write, I don't know which to choose for that day (not wanting to imply that I'm not thankful about the other things I didn't choose). Anyways...

I used some old scrap booking paper, magazine cutouts, stickers, ribbon, and then covered it all with contact paper for a smooth finish.

For day 8 I'm thankful for being blessed with a creative and artistic mind. You see, I hadn't been journalling lately but I was trying to get back into a routine with it. I had this new journal type book that my dad gave me from work and though I liked how the pages on the inside were set up (amazing how something little like having the spot for the date made me like the journal) the outside was this plain navy blue with NO words or decorations. I guess I should've expected that since my dad is a military businessman kind of guy. So I decided it would be fun to decorate the cover and hopefully the personalization of the journal would tempt me to write more... it was worth a shot. I finally got around to decorating it. YAY!!!! I now love my journal and can't wait to keep writing in it but I'm just so thankful that I can transfer the creative ideas in my head to paper. It's weird for me to think that some people can't do this so I'm just really thankful that I can and that I can get joy out of some simple arts and craft projects.

AND today I am extremely thankful for flexible professors. I asked for an extension on a paper because I was gone all last week for soccer and my english professors was more than happy to help me out. She didn't give me a specific date and just said that I could turn it in whenever I finished it. However, even with the extension I was struggling to get through the assignment due to how complicated (and uninteresting) the prompt was. Now that I'm about two weeks past the due date I decided to meet with the teacher and hopefully get some suggestions. BUT instead of suggestions my professor just told me to write about something completely different and unrelated to the previous assignment because 1) she was tired of grading the assignment and 2) the students didn't grasp the assignment's purpose anyways. On top of getting a new prompt she also gave the entire class an extension on the next papers and gave me freedom to make up my own extra credit assignments. Gotta love cool professors that work with people and I am so THANKFUL!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Thankful Days #6 and #7: Mom and Fellowship

Don't have too much time tonight but still wanted to link up with Dawn over at theGoodlife with 30 Thankful Days.

Thankful day #6:
I spent most of the day playing soccer (we lost in the finals but definitely had an INCREDIBLE season) and ended the day traveling back to good ole Laradise (aka Laramie, WY). Though I had so many things to be thankful for like my team, my coaches, my Kay Arthur study, the one thing that just made my day 1000 times better was talking on the phone with my mom. We didn't talk that long but, man, do I love that women! It was great to hear some encouraging words from someone who has made it very clear that she cares more about my well-being than my grades, athletic success, or flaws. Mom, I can't even explain how much I love you and how much you mean to me.

My mom and little B (one of the kids she watches during the school week)

Thankful #7
Today I just want to simply say I am thankful for fellowship! I spent my afternoon taking a Statistics exam (yuck) but I got through it by thinking about the people I'd get to see when I finished the test. I went straight to an FCA outreach dinner --families in the community host a dinner and all varsity athletes are invited— where a good friend shared about her walk with God. Then I went to a Bible Study where we were studying 2 Peter but had to leave early to go to a prayer date :) where a small group of friends spent devoted their time to pray for me. I definitely felt the love in the room.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Thankful Days #4 and #5: Blessings

It has been such a blessing to be a part of 30 Thankful Days, as I know first hand how hard life is when I fail to find things to praise Him for. Go check out theGoodlife for more information on how to get involved. I promise you won't regret it.

So I missed yesterday but I feel that I have a good reason. Wyoming Women's soccer beat SDSU to advance to the finals and our day here in New Mexico was full of excitement and energy. Needless to say I  had a hard time slowing down even to write a few lines though I definitely was thankful for many things yesterday.

So on my fourth day of thankful days, though soccer was definitely the highlight, I was/am thankful for my phone :) Well actually I'm thankful for all the friends that I can dial up on a moment's notice just to hear them say "you're going to be ok." Yesterday, despite all the excitement that winning brought me, I had a mental breakdown about school and where my grades are at. It's humbling to admit how poorly I'm doing in school but I think that is a part of God's plan in this... to humble myself so that I see Him as my everything. In the midst of my tears and regret I had plenty of friends to remind me that no matter if I drop out of school or if I'm the top of my class I have people (and a God) who love me just the same. I'm so thankful that I have people to remind me that I am "justified by faith" alone like I mentioned in day 3.

Day 5 I'm thankful for something that happened yesterday but I didn't realize it until today (I don't know if that counts but I'm doing it). I'm thankful for the song "Times" by Tenth Avenue North. It was such a blessing to me yesterday in calming my nerves about soccer and in reminding me where my value is when I was stressing out about school. Through these lyrics I've felt God's love and mercies wash over me. He knows all of my sins and loves me the same. His love never ends
Times by Tenth Avenue North

Her are some of the lyrics from the song Times (I've bolded a few of the lines that have been a blessing to me)
Well my love is over
It's underneath
It's inside
It's in between

The times that you're healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you've fallen from grace 

The times you're hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal

In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame 

I'm there through your heart-ache
I'm there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone 

I don't care where you've fallen or where you have been
I'll never forsake you
My love never ends

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Thankful Days #3: Beloved

Once again, I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and sharing what I'm thankful for today!

Today I'm thankful for the Kay Arthur study that a friend and I are going through. We're only on week two but it's INCREDIBLE. Every word and verse mentioned in this week's study spoke right to my heart... Have you ever felt like you can feel God changing your heart the very moment your read or hear something?... All I have time to say about it now is that being called "My beloved" by the Creator of the Heavens and Earth is quite possibly the best feeling in the world and knowing that I am simply "justified in faith" has made me feel of worth for the first time in a while. God is so good!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Thankful Days #1 and #2

Today I'm linking up with Dawn over at theGoodlife and couldn't be more excited about the idea of thirty days of being thankful. What a fantastic idea!

It reminds me of a time when I was having a hard time finding joy (which is a total understatement) and a friend and I came up with a way to change my focus from the negatives to the positives of life. Everyday she'd ask me to name five things I was thankful for and though it was a struggle at first, it became a natural part of my day and I looked forward to sharing them with her. I found myself thinking throughout the day, "this could be one of the things I'm thankful for today." And it was amazing to look back at what i was thankful for that week. The list went from food items like toaster strudels (a definite weakness of mine) all the way to being thankful for having free laundry (a blessing after paying for laundry in the dorms). After only a few days I had 25 little things I was thankful for and I realized that those little things were actually the things that make my life worth living.

So for day #1 (yesterday) I'm thankful for my team and the growing relationships that I with some of the girls. We spent the day traveling to the Mountain West Conference Tournament in New Mexico and I was blessed by all the conversations and laughter! LET'S GO POKES!!!... We beat TCU today and are advancing to the semifinals (first time ever in Wyoming history). wish us luck as we play San Diego Friday so we can advance to the finals.

And for day #2 I'm thankful for hotel pillows!!! Every time I'm in a hotel I consider stealing the super soft ones to take home with me. I just love having a ton of pillows on an oversized bed just for me :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hustle and Bustle of Fall

I've been pretty busy lately with school, soccer, and a variety of other things I commit to before realizing I'm already spread thin. Since I don't have a ton of time for an update I thought I'd just post some pictures that I've taken in the last few weeks... enjoy

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Love Story.... (someday)

I’m not thinking about the sweet comfort your arm provides
wrapped around me reaching down to lace your fingers through mine

I’m not thinking about my head on your beating chest
moving up and down as I feel your breath on my neck

I’m not thinking about your deep love for me
smiling ear to ear as I said “yes” with you down on one knee

I’m not thinking about the ring hugging my finger
as we made a promise to hold each other forever

I’m not thinking about our lazy honeymoon
staying up late and waking up early doing what new lovers do

I’m not thinking about what our kids will be like
popsicle smiles and laughter fingerprinting every corner of our house

I’m not thinking about growing old together
falling more and more in love with each wrinkle and gray hair

I’m not thinking about spoiling our children’s kids.
Too many curly haired blue eyed blondes to count

I’m not thinking about the words spoken with your last breath.
Our hands locked together with tears soaking the hospital bed

I can’t think about our life as if I know how it’ll turn out
Until I can put a name and a face to this man that I love
but still know nothing about.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

With two weeks of school down I can only hope that the next few go by just as fast. This week was supposed to be the one where I figure out my daily routine. You know the, "how long does it take to get to this class?" and "where will meal time fit into this schedule?" and "how much studying and homework will I need to do per week to get an A?" PLUS I had some non school related tasks on my to-do list that I would have loved to have done before Thursday's trip.

School started up last monday and after just three days of class soccer already had me out of school and out of state. After two days in Utah and two days in Colorado the team pulled back into Laramie, WY with two wins (apparently good things come in twos). Getting back into a routine on Monday was difficult knowing I would once again miss Thursday and Friday class to play soccer, this time in Washington. I felt as if I was just going through the motions to get to Thursday so I could just push school out of sight and mind... classes, lunch, soccer, dinner, homework, bed, repeat.

On top of school, I REALLY needed to go to Wal-Mart and restock my kitchen, I REALLY needed to mail off my brother's birthday present, I REALLY needed to have some "me" time, and I REALLY wanted to get organized but at the end of the day I always concluded that these things could wait leaving me scrambling to pack, finish the homework due at midnight, pick up some needed items at Wal-Mart, catch up with a friend, and find time to sleep before I had to report to the bus bright and early. Procrastination definitely got the better of me this week.... I did managed to cross off most of the things on my to-do list but my brother will have to wait another week to for his gift and my "me" time will also be postponed until next week.

After the craziness that one could hardly call a week, I made it to the bus with everything I needed for the next five days of soccer and could breathe a sigh of relief that life didn't pass me by this week. Though I had planned on catching up on sleep during our two hour drive to the Denver airport, when I realized the coaches were going to watch Good Will Hunting I couldn't resist staying up for those two hours to watch. After a long day of traveling and training my hotel bed never felt so good.

I guess getting back in the swing of things is going to have to wait until next week but I'm going to do my best to enjoy this little vacation even if I'm forced to spend it playing soccer....

BUT I did finish a photo project for a friend where I took some of my photos and added verses that she had chosen.  I think they turned out great!!!

Check out some other people who linked up with Company Girls today!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

God Answers in BIG Ways

Like I said in my previous post it's hard to see God's plan for the "bad" situations we find ourselves in but it's truly amazing to look back and see how He had a plan for it all along. I had been praying for quite some time for God to put something in my life that forced me to rely on other people so that I may learn that independent doesn't always mean strong. I am one of those people that never asks for help even when I'm in desperate need of it but if I ever want to experience God's healing I have to let His people help me. My heart was growing harder every day I refused to accept love from others and I knew that no matter how hard it would be I needed to change. This was my prayer one night after I a long day of trying to be strong...

"I've hit emotional rock bottoms where I needed to rely on the strength and faith of other's to pull me through but Father I chose not to because I thought being strong meant doing it alone. I don't know if I'll ever choose to get help when I'm emotionally broken so I ask that You put something physical in my life and make it obvious to me that I can't overcome it alone. I just pray that somehow I learn to open myself up to the love You have to offer me..."

I didn't realize until I looked in my journal after getting out of the hospital that God answered my prayer in a HUGE way. What I had in mind when I prayed was that something like a fender bender would leave me without a car and I'd have to rely on others to get around or I'd lose my phone and have to use other people's phones if I needed to get ahold of someone. I never imagined I would find myself needing help to get out of bed and walk the few feet to the bathroom or having to press the call button to have the nurse get my phone when I dropped it on the floor. I had been in pain for a few days before I passed out but I refused to tell people or recognize it as a big deal becuse I didn't want to burden anyone with my problems. Though my mind refused to let others help me when the pain was unbearable, my body knew it couldn't keep up the fight and I passed out. God knew I wouldn't stop resisting until I physically couldn't do it anymore and He made it obvious that I had hit that physical rock bottom I had prayed for.

*On the days I forget how AMAZING God is all I have to do is look at the beauty of His creation. The vast and colorful skies remind me of how great His love is for me!*

I was forced to rely on others for nearly everything and though I hated asking people to do me favors it it  did get easier. I struggled with guilt after the hospital stay because I felt that I was the reason these people were missing out on bigger and more important things. I apologized to a few people for making them take time away from their lives to help me and all of them simply said something along the lines of, "You are worth every minute I spent helping you and I would do it all over again just to see that you're okay." This is what it took for me to realized that my friends, coaches, and mentors weren't staying at my bedside out of some obligation but they were doing it out of love for me and wanted to help me in whatever way they could. Now I just pray that I never forget the lessons God has taught me through this tough time and to always remember that I'm blessed to have so many people willing to drop everything and be there for me when I needed them the most.

1. Being independent doesn't mean I'm strong
2. Being strong doesn't mean I never need help 
3. Asking for help doesn't mean I'm weak.
4. I have LOTS of people who love and care about me
5. God answers prayers in BIG ways

5. and be careful what you pray for...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Home Stretch

After waiting four days to see a doctor about what caused my trip to the ER I finally had an answer. I did have a dermoid cyst that needed to be removed if I was going to get any better and the only way to remove it was surgery. I was scheduled for surgery the following morning and was planning for at least one night in the hospital recovering plus a week of no activity which isn't really my kind of week.

still smiling
They weren't sure if they would be able to do it laparoscopically, 3 or 4 small incisions, because the cyst was fairly large but they wanted to try because the other option, 5 inch incision cutting through my abdominal muscles, would require a much longer recovery. During pre-surgery I was poked four times including twice for blood and twice trying to get an IV. Thankfully they use lidocaine to do IVs so they're not that bad. According to my nurse my veins are some of the most difficult she's ever worked with and made a joke about how I would have a hard time if I tried being an IV drug user (which I don't plan on being EVER)! After all that was over, my friends were allowed back into the room and we watched shark week until I was drugged up and wheeled off to surgery.The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room FREEZING with a dull ache in my stomach that seemed to get sharper. Getting up for the first few times felt like I was getting stabbed in the gut by a knife and it was excruciating plus I was annoyed that I had to get help to unplug from from all the monitors before I could get up but it got easier.

Finally, after a long night of compression boots and a blood pressure cuff waking me up every 15 minutes, the doctor retold me how everything went (he told me when I was in the recovery room and I don't recall any of it) and said I would probably be able to go home so long as my pulse and temperature went down (my pulse never went below 130 which kind of freaked the doctors out considering my resting is normally around 60). Around noon my pulse had gone down some and they thought letting me go may relieve some stress and in turn lower it further. So I was discharged in time for lunch and went straight from the hospital to Qdoba (all I had for a day and a half was 3 crackers and some strawberries).

I'm now on the home stretch a week out from surgery and can start running again tomorrow. Sometimes it's hard to see how all of this could be for my own good (other than getting out of preseason running and 3 a days) but I know God has a plan through all of this and He is reveling it to me slowly (which I'll save for another post). For now I'm just grateful that all of this is resolved and hopefully I won't have to deal with it again.

*and just to keep the tally going I had been poked a total of 9 times before leaving the hospital*

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trip to the ER...

There will be no pictures today but I do have quite the story to tell.

For the past few days I've had some severe stomach pain and two nights ago I finally had enough and let (not without a fight) my roommates take me to the hospital. Actually, I had passed out and it freaked everyone out enough to call my coach and ask him what to do and of course he said head to the ER. The doctors thought I had appendicitis so they shipped me off to get a CT scan, which thankfully showed that I didn't have appendicitis but they found something else that was just as alarming. They found a large dermoid cyst on my right ovary and they were concerned that it may be causing torsion (or twisting) of my ovary.

A friend who got off work at midnight came to relieve my roommate who had stayed with me until 1am, despite having workouts at 6am. Shortly after the trade off, the doctors came back wanting to do an ultrasound to see if they could get a better view of the cyst and determine if I needed emergency surgery to remove it. For unknown reasons (just unlucky anatomy I guess) they could barely see my ovaries but they did see some blood flow which was an encouraging sign. Because they saw some blood flow they didn't think two days would cause any more harm such as death to the ovary and/or infection but it meant the pain might not go away anytime soon and I'd just have to get an appointment with a specialist and have them run more tests to determine the urgency of the situation and the treatment.

So after being in the ER for almost seven hours, one screwed up IV, one good IV, three doses of morphine, three friends willing to spend their night with me, a couple of extremely awkward moments, many hilarious quotes fueled by drugs, and finally a diagnoses, I'm free for a few days and am just playing the waiting game. Hopefully, the waiting doesn't go into preseason because that could definitely cause some issues with 3-a-day soccer practices.

Thanks everyone for being there for me especially the three friends who spent some of their night sitting in an uncomfortable chair next to a hospital bed. You guys are the best!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Click it Up a Notch Photography Contest

Don't Cry Over Spilt... Water

I've been waiting for it to rain for the last few days so I could photograph the individual droplets hitting the ground. But since it hadn't rained and it didn't seem like it was going to, I decided to make my own rain! I filled a cake pan with water and stood a piece of paper up in it as the backdrop. Then I filled a ziplock bag with water, poked a hole in it and taped it to the wall above the cake pan so that it would drip in the same spot repeatedly at regular intervals. I set up my camera (one of the few times I wish I had a tripod) so that it focused on the spot the drop of water always hit and began snapping photos like crazy. After messing with the lighting, ISO, and shutter speed, I was able to snap a few good pictures BUT I also managed to spill about a gallon of water on the floor and my dripping contraption turned out not to be very stable. I hope that next time I try this I will have a tripod, a better dripping device, and a lot less spilt water. My roommates will be thankful that we don't pay for our own water after this little project.

Of course, it started to rain after I finished setting up all of this and instead of being mad I just went and took pictures of the real rain too!

They didn't turn out great but it was fun to play in the rain