January 31, 2012

love notes, flowers, and rendez-vous

travis lane has been wooing me with starbucks and flowers lately, and i'm totally ok with it. if you didn't know, those 2 simple things are the way to my heart...and cards & love notes. 

on this day a year ago, i was asked on my first date ever, but you'll hear more about that tomorrow! 

you know what i also love? that i get to see T on campus at least twice a week; it makes a day magical, you know what i mean? i'm so thankful that our schedules worked out this semester and that the Lord always provides moments for us to spend together...that time is always so precious to me.

p.s. excuse all the sappy reminiscing lately...he's just kind of a big deal ;]

January 30, 2012

just two best friends adventuring...

last friday, T and i headed up to ontario to spend a whole day with his wonderful wonderful grandparents. it may sound weird to you, two twenty-something's choosing to spend their day off with 'elderly' people, but really, it turned into such a fun and wonderful day!

i love old people. i love their stories, their experiences, and their wisdom. papa and grandma beth have been married for 65 years, love the Lord with a fiery passion, and are a ball of fun. the most beautiful thing about love is that it opens your world...how could i not have known these two a year ago? they are so precious, and there's no other way travis and i would have wanted to spend our day...well, plus a little adventuring - that made it perfect!

after a delicious, creamy lunch of chalupas, lots of laughing about the 'brethren and the sisteren,' stories of love and the old days, and catching up about school and future plans, the 2 of us headed out to explore a little because 'deb, i don't know if you've looked at a map, but ontario is right next to the mountains' [wink, wink, hint, hint]

so off we went, with no idea where we were actually going, just mountain-direction...and we stumbled upon some awesome stuff.

our driving conversation went a little bit like this:

t: 'i guess we could go east, right? i mean, it might take a few extra minutes but it would be an adventure!'
d: 'sure...it wouldn't hurt to check it out!'
t: 'i mean, that's what we're doing right? exploring a little.'
d: 'let's do it.'
t: 'i love you.'

and that's how we make decisions. it's extremely effective.

on a cheesier note, over the last few days, just one thought has been running through my mind - 'i'm dating my very best friend, and i'm wildly in love with him.' does it really get any better than that? no. definitely not. he makes me laugh every day, he takes me out of my comfort zone, he buys me flowers just because the ones on my table are dying, he lets me drive his car (i LOVE driving the big car), and i know i'm loved every single day. even after a year, i still feel like we just started dating...cue big cheesy smile and happy sigh.

here are a few snapshots of our wonderful day. off-road trails, creeks, and muddy puddles make us smile. he has his car, i have my camera, and we are one happy pair...f'reals.

January 28, 2012

a God-scripted story / part two: the beginning of forever

i shared part one of my story a few weeks ago, my journey from boy-crazy to contentedly single. the process i went through before i finally understood that God already had a man for me, and as long as i trusted Him first, my heart's desires would be filled...when? i wasn't sure yet, but i didn't mind waiting. i was looking forward to using my singleness for a divine purpose. and i knew that when, or even if, God placed my future person in my life, i'd know it without a doubt.

i was not at all ready for the story He had in mind.

just over a year ago, i moved back to Long Beach after spending christmas at home. i moved in with one of my best friends and spent january in what we all liked to call the 'josie house.' as the only house in the college group without parents, the josie house became a beloved hang out spot for most of my friends...but in the 3 weeks i was there, there was one friend who started spending a lot of time over there. i had known him for a little over a year...he was the funny goofball - that's how i had always known and considered him.

as we spent more time together though, i realized that he was more than just the 'funny guy.' he was thoughtful and kind. he loved the Lord with all his heart and sought to please Him in everything he did. he slowly became a great friend, and we spent many nights talking about God's will for our [individual, single] lives and things we hoped for in our future someones. without knowing it yet, God was already starting to weave our stories together...

there was a moment, one night, when i suddenly saw more in this guy. he took care of others, took care of me, and was thoughtful in everything he did. but still, he was just my friend...(right?)

almost exactly a year ago, a friend of mine confirmed what my heart already knew...something more was happening between this guy and me. i remember distinctly thinking, 'well, this isn't the worst news ever!' but still, my heart wasn't still. in knowing that there was something more, i was suddenly aware that our interaction could be hurtful to him, especially if i wasn't feeling the way he was. i knew he liked me, but i didn't know if i liked him. and i knew that if i continued acting the way i had been, i might lead him on...and the last thing i wanted to do was hurt him.

that weekend before the spring semester started was one of the most tumultous weekends of my life. emotionally, i was all over the place, and i spent hours seeking counsel in my mom, my best friend, and other friends of mine. all of them told me the same thing - talk to him.

talk to him?! the idea scared the heck out of me. i had to be honest, and honest might hurt him, and hurt our friendship as well, i thought. the thought of losing that scared me even more. i avoided the situation, i avoided him, and i did everything possible to weasel my way out of the conversation i knew had to take place. i lost.

and so just about a year ago, i experienced one of the most awkward, and best, lunches of my life. we met up at the student union, ate lunch, and then stalled and stalled, before i knew i didn't have a single minute left to waste. i would have to break the news.

'dear you,' the letter started. 'i know things have changed between us, and i just want you to know, i don't like you.'

well, that's not exactly how it went...it was much more loving than that, i promise. but i was terrified. terrified of losing one my newest and greatest friends, terrified that i'd forever bruise an incredible guy.

but despite all the fear and nervous-ness, i knew one thing for sure - he loved the Lord, and so did i, and if we were both seeking His will, then we were doing the right thing. God held our future, his and mine, in his hands, and if things were to become something between us, then God would guide us in that too.

and so we promised each other we'd pray, and patiently wait on God's timing...and a week later we went on our first date.

all that to say, communication is the most important thing i can think of between people, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and crushes. it's uncomfortable and awkward, and yet it brings so much blessing. looking back on that lunch now, i can't help but smile. because it was on that day, that i realized what a great man this guy was...

he heard everything i had to say, looked up at me and said, 'i'll wait for you.'

girls, listen to me - find a man who doens't work on his own terms, but is wholeheartedly seeking God's plan. a man who will selflessly love you, even before he tells you so.

watch his character. become his friend. talk to him. and pray with him.

guys, when you start pursuing a girl, examine why you're pursuing her. is it because you want something out of it? or because you honestly believe she is God's will for your life. someone who will challenge you and someone you can grow with. someone worth waiting for.

that lunch, on an ordinary wednesday in the university student union, was the start of the best adventure of my life. it hasn't always been easy. but from that moment, it has always been worth it.

pistols, rifles, & shotguns

last week, our friend michael took hilary, T, & i out to the shooting range, and boy did we have fun!

i had shot a little 22-rifle when i was younger, but a handgun? never. secretly, i was so glad hil came along too, because being the only girl on a manly date like that might have been a little intimidating. but you know what? by the end of the day i was the intimidating one! on my first round, i blew everyone away (mentally, not physically ;]) and letmetellyou...i am quite the sharpshooter.

i'll let the pictures speak for themselves...these are some of the best images i've ever created (well, at least i think so), and i loved processing them and recollecting such a fun, adventurous day.

here you go:

January 26, 2012

'shop my closet' party

just about two weeks ago, andrea of he calls me wifey asked me to take photos for her 'shop my closet' event. i met andrea about 4 months ago at our church women's retreat and consequentially started following her on instagram and following her fabulous blog. let me tell you, that woman is full of style, so when she proposed hosting a little party for her friends after cleaning out her closet, i was so game.

when she asked me to photograph the event, i was even more excited - & so flattered! the evening was such a success, and i walked away with 2 cardigans, 2 sweaters, a fancy top, 2 pairs of shoes, and earrings for only $40!

amongst lots of laughing and picking out fun clothes and accessories for us we munched on some delicious hors d'ouevres (best hors d'ouevres table i've ever enjoyed), and shopped the night away.

thank you so much to andrea for asking me to photograph her event and for hosting such a spectacular evening! i can't wait for the next one ;]



check out her take on the event over HERE & see a few more snapshots!