December 22, 2011

i'm having a moment

dear friends,

i'm having a little freak out moment today!

an old family friend of ours just got engaged about a week ago, and i was so happy to see a message from her on FB, but i did not expect what she asked of me - to photograph her wedding next summer! can you believe it?! to be completely honest with you, i feel totally inept to do that. for both of our benefit, i suggested she still hire a professional, but allow me to be the second photographer. that takes a little pressure of me, and also ensures that she'll have quality photos. still though - me?! really? i can hardly believe it. and the feedback and encouragement i've received from friends has been so kind and supportive. hopefully timing will allow everything to work out, but honestly, the thought itself is more than flattering!

when i told T my exciting news, he was so excited for me. his constant support for little pipe dreams of mine, and his belief in my ability is so reassuring. what a blessing to have such a great man by my side and standing behind everything i do.

other than that, i can't decide which i'm spending more time thinking about - christmas day (which is only 3 sleeps away!) or my best friend's bridal shower which i'm planning and hosting. pinspiration is my lifesaver and the help of the bridal party too.

 obviously, i'm going for a rustic theme - mason jars, lace, cans, simple flowers, etc. les wants a coffee & tea bar and a few other things that i'm so very excited about! here's to hoping it's a success!!!

good night tomorrow, the best day of the year will only be 2 days away!

a D.A.M.E. good christmastime

meet my girlfriends - emily, mel, & amanda. throw me in the mix and you have the d.a.m.e. girls.

our story is hilarious...God works in the most interesting ways. in 2008, while mel & i were still in high school, amanda & em roomed together at CSULB. a year later, mel & i met by chance on our first night in the dorm. at the time, she and amanda were rooming together. mel & i were both enrolled in the 49er choir, and it was there that we met emily (who, in case you forgot, was amanda's first roommate). the three of us became great friends in choir. at the same time, i started attending bethany church, where i met amanda for the first time. in march 2010, i started working at jamba juice, where amanda worked as well, and our friendship slowly grew. it wasn't until then that we put all the pieces together...that all 4 of us had met through different paths, but were all connected to each other somehow. in the winter of 2011, i roomed with amanda for a month, so that by the end of the story, amanda had roomed with each of one of us. and now, mel & i are case you were totally confused by that, the point of the story is that somehow, the Lord had stitched our paths together long ago...and now 2 1/2 years later, i can call all of these girls some of my best girlfriends.

God is a great provider, especially in friendship. i remember feeling so alone when my family dropped me off at CSULB. i didn't know a soul. but that night, i saw mel sitting on a step outside the dining hall, and something prompted me to introduce myself. now, we're not only roomies, but also true friends.

our gift exchange was so full of laughs and memories, and i'm so excited to see where the Lord will take each of us this next year. next christmas will look very different, but i know i'll still be surrounded by their warm and wonderful friendship!

and p.s. look at all the colorful bowls i scored! yay for new dishes!!!

December 21, 2011

lights lights lights!

in just about an hour, i'm heading to the airport (with a quick starbs detour with a dear friend), so before i leave, i'm trying to wrap up a few things - picture editing included!

this holiday season has been so wonderful, and one of my favorite traditions is looking at all the lights. the sleepy hollow neighborhood in torrance has some fantastic displays, and as T and i were strolling around, we heard carolers, watched neighbors gather together for parties, and saw a million happy kids gawking at all the lights. it was magical.

this is the first christmas i've ever shared with a boyfriend, and that just makes this season even better! there's something about the season that's just so romantic you know? whether it's snuggling in for a holiday movie, steaming mugs of tea or hot chocolate in hand, or walking around outside arm in arm all bundled up, it has just been so lovely. i can't wait for travis to come up north on christmas day and then we'll celebrate even the freezing freezing cold amongst friends and family. i'm so ecstatic.

here are a few more snapshots from torrance - merry christmas friends! i hope you're enjoying this holiday season as much as i am :]


how cute are we?!

this house...i die!

fun fact: it costs an extra $200 in electrical to pay for this - but it's beautiful!

December 17, 2011

'for love is as strong as death, its jealousy as unyielding as the grave. it burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.'

song of solomon 8:6-7

December 15, 2011

a morning of lovin

a morning of lovin is what T called this morning, and it was! i cannot tell you how thrilled i was to fall asleep last night knowing that i didn't have to do anything til noon today...can you say 'sleeping in'?! T snuck in early this morning and we spent an hour doing absolutely nothing. and it was glorious. eventually our stomachs started growling and our mutual coffee addiction got the best of us, so we headed over to einstein's. i cannot even express to you how wonderful it was sitting there, drinking coffee, munching on our bagels, both of us buried in the Word for some quiet time. my heart was so full.

i've been spending a lot of time in psalms over the last few days...picture this:

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

- psalm 33

can you picture how BIG and how awesome our God is? i think i now understand why David was called 'a man after God's own heart.' he understood the love of the Lord like no one else before Him. despite his failures, he understood how deep, how unfailing, and how redeeming God's love is. spend some time in the psalms - i highly suggest it!

December 14, 2011

ending fall 2011

i just submitted my 12 page take-home final to my history professor.
my harry potter paper is all wrapped up.
i knocked out two finals yesterday.
as of this moment, i have washed my hands of fall 2011 - until grades are posted in a few weeks...

i've been sitting in front of the computer for at least 5 hours today and i'm on the verge of going cross-eyed, but still i need to/want to reflect and here i am!

can you believe another semester/year is already over?! it truly doesn't feel like it. the first day of the semester seems like yesterday. i remember going in with lifted spirits, ready to turn things around after i had absolutely drained myself the semester before. i started the semester with a few goals, after learning some hard lessons over the summer:

say NO to things and balance my time.
give 100% to my commitments - church, leadership, school, work, my relationship with T, my friendships.
allow for some "me" time, especially me & God time.

i remember sitting outside by the pool with T during our first few weeks of school amazed at how relaxed  i felt. i worked as much as i needed to. no, i'm not living glamorously or excessively, but the Lord constantly provides. i planned coffee dates with my girlfriends and reclaimed those friendships i had slacked on earlier this year. the Lord allowed me to start regular get-togethers for the college group ladies, along with Erin's help - and i have seen His blessing and faithfulness in that. i made time to do little mundane things, like laundry and grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking, budgeting and organizing, and because i made time for them, those chores were so much more enjoyable!

and through it all, the Lord is constantly teaching me to lean on Him and live out of His strength, not mine. if i had to name two spiritual lessons for this past semester that would be one of them. the other would be making time for a sabbath. even Jesus escaped from the crowds to rest and refresh as He spent time with His father. in the past few weeks, it's been easy to let that habit slip away again. fellowship with others and enjoying some time doing the things i love are my forms of refreshment, and as soon as i let that slip away, i can feel the edge. sabbath sabbath sabbath - it is SO important!

i always love going back through my photos and reflecting on all the fun adventures i've had - i guess you could say my photography is a journal of sorts for me. here are some of my favorite snapshots & memories!

fall briefing @ forest home / sep 2011

surprise visit for Kim  / sep 2011

girl's night / sep 2011

leadership retreat / signal hill, sep 2011

sunday dates / malibu, nov 2011

birthday celebrating with the bestie / norcal, nov 2011

happy halloween! / oct 2011

my first hockey game - go ducks! / anaheim, nov 2011

women's retreat / murietta springs, oct 2011

home / apple hill, nov 2011

thanksgiving with the gilley's / nov 2011

snowboarding @ big bear / nov 2011
sprinkle in weekly tuesdates, regular coffee dates, roomie dates with melmel, decorating & furnishing our new apt, and a million other fun things, i'd say this was a pretty fabulous past few months - and i am SO thankful!

now i'm all ready to enjoy 5 school-free weeks...can i get an amen?!

December 13, 2011

oh happy day

best snail mail day ever!

i FINALLY received my starbucks gold card, officially making me an addict (like we didn't know that already) and my comfy new red sweater arrived! on top of knocking out 2 finals today and one of my papers, i'm one very happy accomplished girl. the end.

December 12, 2011


a while ago, T and i received free tickets to the aquarium (hello free date), and so yesterday we seized the day and ventured downtown for a little adventure! can you believe we only have two sundays left in the year?! and one of them is christmas! i can't believe how quickly this year has gone by...what a fabulous year it's been!

how creative & awesome is our God?!

'just keep swimming, just keep swimming'

nemo's & dory's!


what a beautiful peaceful end to the day

December 9, 2011

christmas lights!

last night T & i got to hang out with one of our dear couple friends to look at the lights in torrance.

the creativity of these people is absolutely amazing! we saw some of the most outrageous things, and some of the most beautiful houses too - could you afford to spend $200 extra on your electric bill? goodness gracious. there's nothing better than strolling around in the brisk quiet, so cold you can see your breath, holding hands with your love, and silently admiring every house.

playing around with manual focus

we can't wait to go back and see the rest of the lights!