Wednesday, November 10, 2010

you know that feeling when you have absolutely no control over anything at all? its kind of freeing. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


i feel really good right now. i mean, i usually feel really happy, but right now i feel really good about life. and not because good things are necessarily happening, quite the opposite actually. its just that bad things dont shake me the way they would have a year ago.
ive been reading about shawn mcdonald. he sings all those catchy worship songs that sound like this "i da wada wada wada waiii need you!" look him up if you want to, hes good stuff. ive always liked his music, mostly because omar is really good at emulating him and i like omar.
but heres the thing, most people (myself absolutely one hundred percent totally included) like to pretend that they are figments. they (we) live imaginary lives and sugarcoat everything and pretend like everything is candy dandy. some people (me) only share the bad when it is happening to someone else, and only share all of the peachy things happening to themselves (myself). this gives everyone else a false sense of what life is like and they start doubting their own lives and thinking that they are the only ones with issues and they start pretending too, and pretty soon weve got a world FULL of figments.
so, back to shawn mcdonald. he is a pretty bomb musician and i wanted to read about his life so i looked him up on wikipedia and saw that he got a divorce in april of this year. i have never, in all of my 7 years of being a christian, ever heard of a divorced worship artist. so, i started investigating and i found his blog and i found his former wife's blog and they laid out the entire event. as it was happening. and still honored eachother and god. it is so refreshing to read. and i was so stoked- not at all because of their crappy situation but because someone finally came out in the christian worship community as a sinner. a broken sinner, (like me) who is in desperate need of grace and knows it and wants other people to know it. so people (like me) who need hope and need to know that im not alone in working through things that are far beyond my realm of understanding can look at a real life, all laid out, a person who messes up- reeeally messes up--- and knows how desperately they need jesus without turning away from him.
i say this all because alot of people think my life is perfect- and its not. when they say that to me, i smile and think "if you only knew." most people i know would say that i have my stuff together and im a good person and i am good at life- and its not fair to think that because then people get false perceptions about their own lives and that sucks. it sucks to think your life sucks when everyone elses life sucks too, but nobody wants anyone to know. its obvious that im not very articulate lately, which is why i dont blog. and also, i want to be real and im not sure how to do that without hurting other people, but i recognize it and thats a start.

here are the blogs i was referring to---GOOD stuff:
Shawn McDonald
Kate McDonald

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

i wonder what people did before the world needed saving. im assuming that the only instance of this took place in a garden, where a man sat around
naming things
wandering around
doesnt exactly seem like "fullness of life" to me. i wonder if he wondered what he was waiting for.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

why sending your 18 year old daughter to europe by herself for 2 months is a great idea

evidently im not very good at commitment. i am not used to blogging. ive "blogged" for 8 years, but theyve always been on my own conditions because the only people who actually read what i wrote were ex-boyfriends and stalkers. no excuses. i really want to write a life update. like, about my 25th birthday indian party. and living my DREAM job. and how being married is so incredibly difficult and omar is still my bff. how i have the most loyal, incredible, supportive friends on earth. or how grad school is the most fun thing on earth.

i think i accidentally wrote an incredibly vague life update just now.

but that is not it. there is more. there is so much more.

once upon a time i went to europe. for two months. alone. with little money. and no plans. it was the best experience of my life. so much of what i know about being a strong, independent woman with a complete and total reliance on my creator comes from that experience. i am constantly drawing back to that time when i need to be brave. when i wonder if i have what it takes to do things. when i wonder if my god will come through. those months were when i got to experience the most pure, raw, version of myself. i am really good at getting off track and venturing far away from myself, and those are the places i draw back to. so, my 18 year old self has been equipping me lately to take on things wayyyyy beyond my scope of understanding and bringing me to a place where i have to just make it happen. make it work. press on. be brave enough to run half naked into the warm ocean water at one in the morning with absolute strangers and splash around and flop down on the sand and not give a damn what my hair looks like or if im saying or doing things that arent ladylike, and hold my pants and my sandals under my arm as i wander barefoot through a city that only days before scared me to death and feel completely at home and safe in the arms of my savior. thats whats up.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

all i have to say right now.

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Sunday, August 22, 2010

do you love it?

one of my earliest, most vivid, memories is from first grade. i dont remember who my friends were or the specifics of what i learned, but i vividly remember a very special person who spoke truth into my life at a very early age. she was a janitor (or maybe a campus monitor or teachers aide of some kind?) at my elementary school. i remember very little about her, other than the fact that she was a middle aged african american woman (i only remember this because i was at a time in my life where i desperately wished i was black. not kidding.) who smiled alot. i was five years old, and younger than many of my peers. i remember a shirt she wore that had comic book writing all over it. while she was overseeing the kids on the playground, i walked over to her and told her that i liked her shirt. she laughed and asked why. i told her that i thought it was funny. she laughed again and asked how i knew it was funny, because no one had read it to me. i explained to her that i liked (LOVED, more than anything) reading, and i already knew how to read. from that day on she called me "little miss i can read everything i see."
each day after that she would greet me in the morning with my nickname and would bring something for me to read out loud to her. i looked forward to seeing her everyday.
one day, she and i were standing out by the busses and the kids with special needs arrived. i had a friend who was in a wheelchair (who probably also had some mental disabilities, but i didnt notice that at the time). i remember interacting with my friend, and after she rolled away i vividly remember the janitor lady looking me in the eyes and saying, "Honey, looks like you've got a gift. You will be a fabulous special ed teacher someday."
i firmly believe that a seed was planted in my heart that day, twenty years ago.

i have met countless "janitor ladies" in my life. the girl that used to manage the rubios down the street who treated every single customer with such kindness that it was apparent that the light of christ shined through her, my 6th grade bus driver who played worship music and told me about god and how much he loved me, my mother in law who cleans houses for the elderly, all people who have embraced their profession and chosen to use it to glorify god.

anytime i meet a new person and they tell me what they do for a living, i always ask the same question: DO YOU LOVE IT? the answers are shocking. ive met multimillionaire CEOs who say that they hate what they do, and girls who work the night shift for the drive thru at jack in the box who say that they love their job and wouldnt trade it for anything. people are clearly capable of loving almost anything. as i look at the upcoming school year and the apprehension i have about teaching at a new school to a new population of kids, i want to choose to have the attitude of love. i want to wake up every morning and decide to love what i do, the people that god has placed in front of me, the trials that will grow me, and the time ive been given to do exactly what god is calling me to this year. because next year, he could be calling me to scrub toilets or meet with the leaders of the united nations or make french fries, and the only thing that will matter at the end of my life is what i did with the time he gave me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

a shark bit her arm off!

so, yesterday i was an extra on the set of CSI las vegas.
i know, i know, please no autographs.
it was so much fun! mostly because we got free food and got to stand around in bathing suits all day.  and i got to go down a slide through a shark tank. seriously. i also got paid to go swimming and drink water out of martini glasses. so, there was that. and that was great.
i think celebrities are funny. i hope i never have to be one. i would not not not want to ever do that for a serious living. the networking and superficiality is just too much for me. i can stand behind caution tape pretending to gawk at a girl who "had her arm bitten off my a shark" and try not to laugh, but thats definitely as far as i want to go in show biz. besides, i know pat sajak, and he is about as star struck as i get.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


so, we've officially been married for three years! which is, woah, i've never committed to anything for that long, so i'm pretty stoked about it. marriage is hard and imperfect and has grown us both leaps and bounds and we have overcome so much and we still have so much to overcome and the longer we are anchored in our love, the deeper the anchor gets. our roots are reaching deeper and deeper as we continue to build our foundation, and we also still really like eachother.
 for our anniversary, as with all july 29ths for the past four years, we went to california to spend sunset on the beach. and here is a recap, because i'll forget and i really, really dont want to forget:
we woke up, and drove to get anniversary gas, ate anniversary mcdonalds, drove to california with no music, just eachother. we bought alcoholic lemonade and cigars. we never used the cigars, but i accidentally got drunk. we peed in the ocean. we laid in the sun. we ate really fancy pizza with artichokes on it. we watched the sunset from a lifeguard tower. we got free cookies from our awesome priceline hotel! we went in the crowded pool at the hotel, and froze a little bit. we ordered room service ice cream, but fell asleep halfway through eating it. we woke up the next morning and relived our waterpark glory days at wild rivers waterpark. i almost died on rides several times. omar is very brave and went on every single ride and never almost died or yelled that he wanted to get off. my favorite ride was watoobie! i just liked saying it, i think. we shared dippin dots by a gumball machine. then, we went to a very fun mall and read books at urban outfitters and ate fries and drove home. and lived happily ever after.

samuel stoddard wrote this in a book, and i think it is very very very very very accurate:
You know how to be silly
That's why I like you
Boy are you ever silly
I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you
I like you because you know when it's time to stop being silly
Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never
Too late, it's a quarter past silly

Sometimes we don't say a word
We snurkle under fences
We spy secret places
If I am a goofus on the roofus hollering my head off
You are one too
If I pretend I am drowning, you pretend you are saving me
If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,
then you are getting ready to jump

That's because you really like me
You really like me, don't you
And I really like you back
And you like me back and I like you back
And that's the way we keep on going every day

And I like you because if we go away together
And if we are in Grand Central Station
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me
"Where are you?"
"Here I am"

I like you because I don't know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can't remember when I didn't like you
It must have been lonesome then

I like you because because because
I forget why I like you but I do
So many reasons
I don't know why
I guess I don't know why I really like you
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I love you

Saturday, July 24, 2010


my mind flashed back, simultaneously taking in every moment in front of me, yet, remembering a similar incident, four years before. my heart, still with wonder, and in awe of the parallels. had four years really gone by? four years ago, in this same place, my heart was transformed as i watched a man my age help his friend with down syndrome prayerfully battle his fears, inhibitions, and insecurities, so that he would somehow get from the top of the zipline, to the bottom, and learn to trust God along the way. one of the single most defining moments of my life.
fast forward almost exactly four years: she couldnt speak. she had almost no voluntary muscle movement. she had already stretched me far beyond my comfort zone in only 3 short days. we couldnt get her to smile all week. a little smirk here and there, but no real smiles. she was capable, but refused. this broke me to the core. i had never done this before; taken kids with special needs to a younglife camp for a whole week. all i wanted to do was love her, to serve her well. i didnt expect much, because a smile was literally all she could offer, but it was all i needed to keep going.
the interns brought out the forklift with a handmade basket. we got in. first her, in her wheelchair, then me, then the two interns. as we were lifted up into the sky, my heart raced. "are we really going to put a non-verbal quadriplegic girl barreling through the sky on a zipline that lands in water?" we stood at the top, looking down. i was shaking as i fastened her helmet. they clipped her into the device that was made for situations like this, you know, situations when God calls people to stop at nothing to make sure that every kid has the opportunity to experience all that life has to offer, even if they physically "can't." we began to open the gate on the forklift. we called down to the bottom to let them know that she was on her way down. then, as we began to release her, her neck had a spasm, which caused her entire upper body to shift out of the device. we pulled her back. "we can't do this. i can't do this. it isn't safe," one of the interns said. we prayed. we asked God to show us what to do as as we began to unfasten her gear. "a chest harness!" one of the interns yelled suddenly. "throw up a chest harness!" so, one of the property staff from below threw a chest harness high up in the air. the intern caught it! they began to fasten her in again. we prayed. my mama bear instincts kicked in. she was strapped in safely, and ready to go. i turned to the more hesitant intern, "is the risk worth it? i feel like she is going to love it, but is it worth it? are you one hundred percent sure she will be okay?" we prayed. he replied, "i feel one hundred percent sure that she'll be fine." we prayed again, this time with her. she had been sitting so patiently, loving all of the attention, but probably entirely unsure of what was about to take place. my heart was beating out of my chest as they radioed down to our friends in the water letting them know that we were sending her down and to be ready to catch her the second she hits the water. tears filled my eyes as i pleaded with God to protect her. we opened the gate and began to let go again. this time, we completely let go. she started to sail through the sky, and from three feet away from us, an enormous smile spread across her face. she began to squeal with delight. she was joyful! and beaming! and i looked at the interns next to me who were wiping tears from their eyes. totally worth it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

off we go into the wild blue yonder

so, heres

about one of the very best days of our life. 

wheel of fortune!
so amazing. i cant tell you every little detail, but it may or may not involve every prayer answered and feeling overwhelmed with love, support, upcoming adventures, and, well, ive said too much. you can watch the video above, or watch us on february 11, 2011. 

our life is so fun! and i got a side hug from pat! and free candy all day long! and we got some little light up wheel of fortune buttons too. could life get any better?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

bugs love me

bugs are addicted to me. they are my number one fan. exhibit a, b, c and d:

I havent had a true bug attack since our honeymoon. until today, when i woke up and noticed that there are at least 11 bug bites on my body from being out by the pool yesterday. why do bugs think im so delicious?

Monday, June 21, 2010

eel, at, and anna.

so, six or so months ago i was just living my life and trying to watch wheel of fortune on tv. did you know that eel (for wheel of fortune) was one of my first words? im quite fond of the show. my mom attributes my almost perfect spelling skills and love for reading to my childhood evenings of wheel of fortune. pat and vanna are like family. okay, thats a lie, but i really like wheel of fortune. anyway, omar doesnt. or actually, didnt. i was trying to watch it and hes a tv hog so he begged me to turn it off so we could watch The Rocker for the 86th time and so, just to spite him, i went on the WoF website and signed up to be on their email list where they let us know when they are in our area.

fast forward a few months, and the email comes that wheel of fortune will be in vegas and that we could sign up to be on sweetheart's week. so we did. and totally forgot about it.

then, a few weeks later, we get an email saying that weve been selected to come to the final audition. so we do. and we make it to the final round of the final audition!
soooo, the very best and most exciting part comes next. THEY CALLED US BACK! WE ARE GOING TO BE ON WHEEL OF FORTUNE! and the best part is- i get to meet pat sajack!!!!!!!! oh, and also win money. i guess that is a really good perk too. we film July 16th. we dont know yet when the show airs, but we do know that I GET TO MEET PAT! all of my wildest dreams are coming true.

Monday, June 7, 2010


i am a disaster of a daughter. i mean, my parents seem pretty fond of me, but as far as being a child of God? im such a mess. im the kind of daughter that (literally and figuratively) eats blackberries and  sugar in a new white dress. the kind that runs the other direction when there are obstacles. the flight, not fight. but not now. even though we are fighting for our lives, its so good right now. whoever thought up the idea of marriage is brilliant. you fall in love with somebody for their strengths, but its their weaknesses that grow you both. nobody told me that. nobody told me any of this, and im so glad for that because i wouldnt have signed up for it. we are in our bubble, fighting for our lives, standing at the crossroad at the exact point where we have to choose. being around other people is weird right now, because nobody really knows anything. nobody would know anything even if they knew everything. but we are blessed to count on two hands the people who are playing for our team. our pastor talked about obstacles being an opportunity, and that is true. i cant wait for resolution, but i think, for right now, the opportunity is the obstacle.

omar: man! its so weird!
me: whats weird?
omar: just god. hes just funny, mostly.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the plan v.s. The Plan

we have a plan for our lives. its ridiculously foolish, but its a plan. actually, to be honest, its more my plan than omar's. hes much more go with the flow. im much more panic and organized chaos. hence, the plan. im scared to death of our perfect little plan because it has little detours and those detours have plans and sometimes i share part of the plan with people and they say things that make me readjust the plan. ive always tried to order the steps of my own life, because i think im god. well, i dont actually, but my "plans" make it seem like i do. anyway, i think about the plan constantly and ive realized that its much more stressful than counting on The Plan. The Created Plan. the One that i have no control over, and therefore, doesnt have any deadlines or goals it has to meet. and i married a guy who finds a new interest every three days and makes all of my day to day and month to month plans go awry.

Friday, May 28, 2010

future baby name list on the eve of my (other) best friend's wedding.

i have two best friends. they are incredible. everyone says they love their friends (duh.), but when people meet either one of these girls they say that they wish they could be best friends with them. like, this has happened on numerous occasions in both cases. im generally really bad at social skills, and these phenomenal girls have put up with me and shared life with me for extended periods of time. they love like its going out of style. as of tomorrow, i will probably have cried my weight in tears because of their weddings. i literally thought that i had run out of tears at whitneys wedding last month, until tonight's rehearsal where i thought i was going to throw up because my tear ducts werent able to express the intense wave of emotion. weddings are insane, man. 
 (jessica crying her eyes out at my wedding. its entirely possible that i will beat her in the most hysterical bridesmaid contest that neither one of us chose to enter)

but, what i really want to blog about right now is names of future babies. (no, not in 9 months, future, like down the road, future). im really good at distracting myself from stressful things by thinking of things of absolutely no present relevance. like baby names. so, here are the potential names of our future children, unless we change our minds (which happens every other day. except for the first one, that will never change):
Grace Amara (meaning grace; without limits) ((the only drawback to this is that her initials will be GAG)
Anna or Hannah (i just really like palindromes and anna means grace, and were totally into that) 
Ava(like aww-vuh, again with the palindromes. meaning: life)
Lucy Skye (we like the beatles and girls with kaleidoscope eyes)
Kaiah (a little hawaii-ish, means rare beauty or start of a season, both are cool if you ask me)
Ciella (Ella for short, omar says he made it up and it means heaven. whatev.)

there are exactly zero boys names that i love that sound good with our last name and are not taken by someone we know. i cant name my kid after a living person, living people have so many opportunities to mess up ya know?

Gabriel Cole (god is my might)
omar tried for Gibson for a while. haha.

and just for kicks, here are some that i love love love but that we could never name our kids because, really? mia garcia? (or above mentioned reason.)
Tyler (for a girl, side rant: i love love love love love the name Grace Tyler. not going to happen though.)

i think baby names are so funny. i mean, you think you know a person and then bam! they tell you what baby names they like and youre like, "huh?"

p.s. (ive never used more parenthesis in my life.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010


when i was in 12th grade geometry (yes, 12th. not a misprint. certified genius, couldnt figure out how to not fail algebra until 11th grade.) i used to ask my teacher the same question every day. the lovely question that every teacher dreads, but every teacher should be equipped to answer. "when am i ever going to use this?" and he would give me a wishy washy reply about figuring out how much tile ill someday need for my bathroom. to which i would reply, "i wont need to know that. im going to be a famous actress. ill pay somebody to do that." and then he would roll his eyes and i would go back to reading "Lolita," which i would have placed just right so that it looked like i was reading my geometry book, but really wasnt. anyway, that is not at all what im trying to say. what im trying to say is that i had another favorite question for when i really wanted to throw off my teachers. "did adam and eve have bellybuttons?" i know. i know. so lame and overdone. at the time, i didnt know anything about adam and eve and only knew that they wore leaves and i really couldnt figure out the belly button thing. i still dont have the belly button thing down, but ive figured out the leaves.

ive never been a huge fan of clothes. i like fashion and whatnot just fine, but ive just never had an overwhelming sense of modesty or a natural human desire to cover up. i spent the first 9 years of my life in my underwear, then my mom married my dad and i became a teenager and walking around in my underwear got me alot more lectures about propriety than what it was worth. since ive been married ive learned a whole lot about modesty and about how to love people by covering up (except omar, who feels alot more loved when i dont cover anything up. just kidding but not at all). weird, right? so weird. i had no idea about this concept. here it is: being modest in the way we dress is a way to love the men in our lives by not letting them stumble or be tempted or whatev, however i am starting to think it is also a very good way to love the ladies in our lives. for reals. this isnt even the point of this blog, but i was reading something about mormons and modesty and i really like what this guy said:

"Does the outfit make members of the same sex more conscious of their physical inadequacies?  If your dress causes feelings of inadequacy in others, then you know you are being immodest.  It is not Christian conduct to make other people feel bad because they were not blessed with your physical bounties." -John Welsh (some big time mormon guy who makes a really valid point)

cut, right to the heart. i think this applies to all people. it got me thinking about humans, and the way we try to look our best and that is commendable. but the guy has a point. i think there is a much deeper issue than clothes here though. there is a spiritual modesty that happens, and i think its entirely possible that im totally missing the boat on that one.  i think that its possible that we are created to be naked. actually, from what ive read, i know it is. we were never supposed to cover up, and yet, if you knew the stuff that goes on in my heart or home, you would call me a hypocrite, and possibly never speak to me again. and the same might happen for you. i love facebook and all of its glory, and im not so fond of debbie downers, but wouldnt it be interesting if we posted what was actually happening in our lives? like, "allie garcia is... hungover at church this morning and also just got in an argument with her husband because she overdrafted their bank account" or "just got back from the store where i saw a girl that was way prettier than me and spent the last hour trying to look up pictures of rachel bilson so i can dress cuter and feel better about myself" or, you get the idea. im going to work on that because i think that being naked is a really good idea. also, dressing modestly is good too. and adam and eve probably did not, in fact, have belly buttons. just kidding, how would i even know that?

donald miller, who also happens to me my favorite author, wrote a blog about nakedness too. read it. its good for your soul.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

can i just share some thoughts about life?

im really bad at doing laundry. i know at some point i should have given omar some kind of disclaimer, like "doesnt understand the concept of laundry and will trick you into cooking dinner every night but also love you alot forever" that would have been much more fair. i dont really get why its assumed that wives do the laundry. youre literally carrying huge loads of clothing down the stairs and loading them into giant spinning machines. that sounds more like guy stuff to me. like lumberjacking.

why are cheese and chocolate so delicious? im trying so hard to live without them and its not working. especially cheese. cheese is the bane of my existence and the cause of my squishy little love handles. if cheese was removed from the world, i would be invincible. and really really sad. peanutbutter too.

summer is here summer is here summer is here and i want to eat it up and drink it til i feel it tingle all the way in my toesy toes. delicious summer, how i love your freedom.

another thought, anytime i get annoyed with omar, there is one thing that always comforts me. I DIDNT MARRY SPENCER PRATT. thank you jesus. 

i cant wait to blog about disneyland. another day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

delightful, darling weekend

we graduated college and celebrated mothers day and it was the best ever. sitting between my best friend and my husband next to the girls that have held me up and pushed me through the last 2 years was perfect and totally made up for the most boring ceremony ever. we felt blessed and supported and anxious and walked towards the stage together. i really like life events where you enter a room one way and leave the room as something else; ex- weddings and graduations and births. pivotal. life is so fun and exciting!!!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

a letter to my husband on the eve of our graduation

we sat in an overpriced coffee shop in a fancy hotel with your spanish-speaking venezuelan aunt, your brother, and your plate of crab legs. i still wasnt sure what to think of you- you spoke spanish! and your cracked your crab legs with your hands! i didnt know then that you stick your gum on the counter when you think you are going to use it again. you reset your odometer everytime you get gas. you brush your teeth for much longer than the average person, and you have a beautiful singing voice that sounds most akin to the lovechild of mark hoppus and david crowder. before i knew any of that, there, in that cafe, we picked significant numbers and played a mean game of keno, the only money i have ever won gambling. four dollars. those four dollars shaped our future together more than almost any other tangible item. we made a decision for our small spark of love that night- that we would use the money wisely. and only one dollar every ten years. you folded up all four, and stuck them safely in the credit card section of your wallet. then, you found a piece of paper napkin and a stubby keno pencil and began to create our first list. that night, we decided that we would get married, but not yet. we had to do alot of things first. we made plans to visit venezuela together, and to finish school, and on that not-quite-proverbial piece of napkin we wrote that we would get married, only after we graduated college. we both had 1 and a half years left. were backwards people, you and i, we make alot of plans and forget all about them. im going to go ahead and attribute 100% of the reasoning behind that to our Creator. in any case, we forgot to graduate college first and got married instead. which prolonged our graduation and had me wondering if either one of us would ever walk across that stage, diploma in hand. and now, here we are, the eve of our graduation, our caps placed neatly side by side on the table, our robes hanging in the hallway, and that elated smile on your face everytime i mention anything about tomorrow morning- because it hasnt been easy for either one of us. we have both fought off our demons, worked our butts off to pay for this, stayed up late late late into the night studying and finishing projects, fought to the death to finally, finally, get to this point. we did it! we did what only 28% of americans have done! im the first female in my family to do what we are going to do tomorrow morning! you moved here from another country, learned a whole new language, and are now graduating with a degree that requires a vocabulary i could only hope to understand! i am so proud of you and i am so excited to walk with you across the stage tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. i love you, pal.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

from summer to summer

ive always lived from one summer to the next. im a big fan of freedom and not having a schedule, so summer works really well. i have alot of thoughts and ideas about this summer, the summer after college graduation, before i start my career and masters degree, one of the last few that doesnt involve the pitter-patter of little feet, where my love has an entire year before he has any real obligations. this is our summer to be young and alive and i feel it all the way down to my toes. as time has caught up to the present, ive had an overwhelming feeling to remember what it is to be alive. to say yes to every invitation. to make decisions based on the flip of a coin. this is the last summer where its still okay for us to be a little bit reckless. i feel healing moving in and the winds of change blowing through our home, sweeping us up and taking us to a new place. anticipating that, by august, we will not be the same people we were in may. 

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."-dm


Monday, April 26, 2010

i like

pretty wedding dresses and best friends wearing them.

on being married

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion... But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in both body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (1 Cor 7: 8-9; 32-34)

 i do not have self control. it was better that i married. that, and i fell madly in love with a man i wanted to spend my whole life with. my interests are divided. as much as i hate to admit it, i am more concerned about the things of this world and how i can please my husband. i desperately need to feel loved by him, to feel like he is pleased with me. i am very independent. this is a hard realization. i am not entirely sure what to do with it. can we be honest for a second here? i fall prey to the beauty of pagan love. of mutual worship. and i know how easily it fails, but it looks so appealing from the outside. there were a few months before i met omar where i kind of wanted to be a nun, but i had already messed up and also did not completely understand catholicism. i have a naturally wayward heart. i cant get that thing to stay in one place to save my life. jesus can, but i forget to let him. i make it stay in the wrong place. the worship of a man. the balance of putting him before myself without putting him before jesus. this is impossibly hard for me to do. im trying.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

growing pains

God has been speaking to me alot about criticism lately; the way i criticize and judge others and the way i am controlled by criticism from the people closest to me. i think both parts are making up the whole of this draining feeling ive had for the last few months.  this is more true than what i could say:

It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worth cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the busiest month ever/not yet

 we are in the midst of the busiest month ever, which actually is much busier in theory than in action. we are officially 3 weeks away from graduation, 2 weeks away from being done with school, and 1 week from my best friend's wedding. ah! 

so, a week ago i started feeling nauseous at weird times throughout the day. and then it went on for three days. and then i realized that i miscalculated my ovulation days and we may have conceived our first child in a tent on the beach in california. we, especially omar and our bank account and signed teaching contract, are not at all in a place where this is the best timing. i decided to wait it out. then i started feeling absolutely exhausted and napping everyday. and my boobs felt more sore than they ever have ever. and i waited longer. then i couldnt wait anymore, and it was a week later and i was still feeling queasy for the majority of the day everyday. i may or may not have taken 2 pregnancy tests at this point, and was due for my period. and then i spotted slightly. and that was it. nothing else for an entire day. but then, then the glory day of stomach flu 2010 happened. and i spent saturday morning on the toilet, and the rest of the day whining and aching and whining and watching 7 consecutive movies while my abdomen squished into my knees and my husband watched in pity. it was the greatest stomach flu ever, because i suddenly realized that my queasy, tired, self was a direct result of my troop of an immune system and not, as omar would say, a little somethin-somethin hatching inside me. and then i bled my guts out (t.m.i.-sorry) and thanked god for knowing the best timing for us, and knowing that we are not quite emotionally, spiritually, or financially ready to be responsible for another life, and even though i had mapped out the next 18 years and would have been totally and completely okay with being a mama, the not yet is such a relieving feeling. someday soon, but not yet. 

on a completely unrelated note: its taken us 7 years to graduate college (due to 3.5 years taken off for marriage and ministry) and we are finally graduating!!!!!!!! and this time next year ill be finishing my masters degree!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

ramble bamble

you know that feeling when you desperately want to stop the clocks and live in the moment and simultaneously are pleading with time to speed up, to let you get past the hard and tiresome and straight into the rest, relaxation, and sense of accomplishment and then you realize that you are, once again, missing the beautiful moments happening right in front of you and you detail the whole ordeal in the worlds longest run-on sentence?
i used to be really good at being present. im not exactly sure what happened, but now it seems as though my mind and my heart are a million other places and im missing the goodness that is right in front of me. we are at such a  crossroad in our life right now, and so many things are about to change. we are graduating in a month, which means i have to start my teacher applications asap. both of my best friends are getting married in the next two months, and i dont want to miss this special time in their lives before their weddings. we looked at the law school that we feel like omar is supposed to go to, its beautiful:

i dont want to live in fear or excitement- but i feel both of those things so deeply. waiting fearfully and joyfully in expectation of whats to come and living directly and completely in the moment. conundrum.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

to sum things up

i told this to omar on facebook today. it is a pretty good summary of our life right now:

"hi i love you you should take me out for sushi today because im a nice wife and were best friends forever and ever oh and i write really long run on sentences and last night i back spooned you for like 5 hours you little teddy bear. oh and i was going to work out today but then i realized that today is my cheat day. just like yesterday. and the day before. and the last 24 years."


{and then he actually did but he forgot his wallet so i had to pay but were married so whatever. and that earned him 3 more years of nonstop back spooning in which i use him as a heated teddy bear/body pillow and he gets the comfort of wearing me like a backpack for 6 or so hours a night. }

Friday, February 26, 2010

fight or flight

im really really really ridiculously good at falling in love. like, an expert. i have hurt many a people because of this ability to fall deeply in love, and complete lack of skill in staying there. i used to call it the four month rut. i would date someone for 4 to 5 months before i was overwhelmed with boredom and the desire to have constant butterflies in my stomach would take over and i would begin the cycle of falling in love all over again.

luckily for omar, he proposed at 5 months. and married me 7 months after that. i never had a chance to end the cycle because it was just too exciting. almost 3 years into this and he still has me wrapped around his finger. he is so unpredictable and passionate and comfortable and wild and it makes it so easy to stay on my toes while still keeping my feet firmly planted on the solid ground that he has provided. 

i dont really think that being skilled in falling in love is a good trait anymore. it doesnt take much to see someone at their best and love them. this commitment thing though? this is intense. this is the real "cant eat, cant sleep, reach for the stars, world series kind of stuff." we get to dream big dreams together, and then actually live them out. we bought a camera. it belongs to us. we have alot of things that belong to us. both of us. this is still new to me. im independent and wayward and im not very good at sharing. oh and im a runner. in special education we learn about kids like this; kids that cant handle stress or pressure so they (literally) run from situations that are too much for them. thats me. i get that. 
i guess this is kind of all over the place. and i guess i dont really care. i never want to forget the journey. i never want to forget what it feels like to grow up. or how i felt in the early years of our love, knowing that we chose to grow up together and watch our itty bitty dreams turn into big realities. 

{oh, weve got a long, long way to go to get there,
yeah, we'll get there}

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentines day birthday hunk of love

Omar does alot of things right. Holidays dont always fit in that category. I guess its probably a guy thing, but while I spend months and months thinking and praying and creating and saving for his gifts, he generally goes out the day of and buys the first thing he sees. We have talked about this, and he is definitely getting better. Yesterday, he showed up at our front door pretending ot be a delivery man and delivered the BIGGEST, most BEAUTIFUL, bouquet of flowers that I have ever ever ever seen in my whole entire existence. My cell phone picture of them does not do them justice. I have seen alot of flowers in my life, and these are by far the most amazing. 

Omar and my dad generally celebrate their birthdays together. This year we went to Joe's Crab Shack, and laughed our faces off when they made them both put on wings and wear crowns and "parade" around the restaurant. It was amazing. Im not easily impressed by these kinds of shenanigans, but it was incredible:
My wonderful, delicious, husband turned 26 today. He is the best thing in the whole world times infinity, and I can't believe what an adventure we are on together. He combines the passion of a Shakespearean lover with the obnoxiousness of an annoying little brother in such an exact match for my heart. He still gives me that "WTF? Were married?!?!?!" feeling almost daily. Love it. y
p.s. on a side note, we are having the most economically friendly weekend ever. on friday, we went to sushi where we used a $25 dollar off coupon. on valentines day we had a picnic at the park with the two little girls i nanny for while their parents celebrated v-day on their own, and they bought us panera in addition to us getting paid. then, last night we used an amazing gift card to go to the delicious and normally way out of our price range, Mon Ami Gabi restaurant in the Paris hotel. today we are using a gift card i got for my birthday to get pedicures and then using a free birthday burger coupon from Red Robin to eat lunch. so legit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my funny valentine

to my valentine birthday,
my beanie baba babushkie,
my darlingest of all darlings and silliest of all sillies,
before i met you i was a little confused
(okay, alot confused)
about marriage and the way marriage looks in real life-
i had disney dreams and i read alot of books
ALOT of books
and love looked like passionate longing and intense amounts of insecurity
 and white horses
 and girls with long names
and in all the stories they lived happily ever after the day they said
"i do"
and i always wondered if marriage was the end, the finale, the way to say that they made it.
the pictures they painted were perfectly balanced and wonderfully tragic and
i expected you to ride in on a chariot of gold and climb up my hair
and i didnt realize that happily ever after was only the beginning.
everyone else has taught me to be frantic and urgent
and to live live live live until you cant take it anymore, and i try to wrap you up in that,
but you,
in all of your flawed brilliance and masculine beauty,
you taught me how to really live happily ever after
you make me so calm when the world screams crazy,
and you showed me how to like pepper
and you fixed the tailpipe on my car
you tell me the most boring bedtime stories ever
and you criticize the way i mop
you look at me like you know me
like you know what happens to me on the inside
you hate it when i get my way,
but you (almost) always let me
you are so good at cooking meat so that its not too chewy or lemony or spicy
just right
and you clean the chocolate syrup off my chin at baskin robbins
and you never let your finger nails get too long, but you always have to be reminded about your toes
and you  forget to set your alarm clock almost every day
but never forget to excitedly scream my name when i walk in the front door
you push me and push me and push me until i lose my patience and i cant take it anymore
but you open your arms and i envelop me in kisses and
you always always always say you are sorry first
and i know that im a mess and im unpredictable and all over the place
but you are my rock, and my anchor and my home
 my happily ever after.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

a severe mercy

once upon a time, there was a young man that taught me how to live, to love, and to be loved. he taught me how to be whole, how to treat others, how to treat myself. he reminded me of what it was like to twirl in circles and have someone be amazed at my beauty and innocence. and through his absolute understanding of all of those things, he guided me directly to the foot of the cross, drew me into the presence of my savior and into the whirlwind of unconditonal love that has come with having a relationship with Jesus.

when we were 17, i convinced him to skip class one day and he sat me down in the back of our high school theatre and read the bible to me. on valentines day, he took me to a fancy restaurant and gave me dessert before dinner. he called me every night and played "i'll be" by edwin mccain on his guitar until i fell asleep. once, he blindfolded me and when i opened my eyes we were at disney on ice, where he spent his entire paycheck on overpriced snow cones and buzz lightyear t-shirts. reading over my old journals, it seems so weird to be writing these things as memoirs to a man who has been dead for the last two years. it seems almost impossible that this is my little way of keeping him alive. there is a book called "a severe mercy" and it talks about the gift of mercy in the presence of death, and how god sometimes allows very dark things to keep us from even darker things and when i think about what my life would have looked like if i had never met him, or what it would have looked like had i never given into the sin that separated me from him, it gives me chills. what a severe mercy. God, whose own hand ordained cole in my life, and yet allowed me to stumble far enough away from Him to keep me from being the widowed woman picking up the pieces. 

mourning is a funny thing. in a way, i feel guilty for being sad. i lost him before he was gone through the breaking of his heart because of my own selfishness and missed him before i knew just how long the longing for his presence in my life would be void. sometimes i think that it isnt my place to mourn,but  it isnt a romantic kind of longing, or a physical longing, or even an emotional one, just a deep, deep, hole in the earth where his presence brought so much joy to so many. 

and while i am deeply and fully in love with Omar, i attribute all that i know of love to the faithfulness of another man. Cole Stafford, thank you for teaching me to love my Savior and guiding me into understanding what love is. all that i know of goodness can be traced back to your faithfulness to God. thank you for sharing part of your short life with me.  i will never be the same.
4/11/85 to 2/5/08

Saturday, January 30, 2010

verb: its what you do.

so, once upon a time i worked at a restaurant and it was awful. after that i made a rule for my entire life about jobs: the only job i will ever have is one i would do even if i wasnt being paid to do it.
i realize that this is not feasible for most people. it is not feasible for me either. it is partially about attitude and partially about choice.  

attitude comes from here:

{It is not what we do, but how much love we put into the doing. If I belong to Christ and at that moment He wants me to be cleaning the toilets, or taking care of the sufferers from leprosy, or talking to the President of the United States, it is all the same; because I am being what God wants me to be, and doing what He wants me to do.
I belong to Him.}
mother theresa

choice comes from the decision to choose to work for less money or a less than perfect schedule to be in an environment that i dont dread going to.

my job now? i look forward to it. i get excited about it. and who wouldnt? i get paid to dance and sing and play with playdough and have picnics in thomas the tank engine tents and throw colorful scarves up in the air and see if who can catch them first and tickle fests and rasberries and be with the sweetest girls in the world. and then im like, how the heck am i getting paid to do this? and last year when i was teaching students with disabilities and taking them on adventures and laughing and crying and growing, i felt the exact same way.

one thing that changed my life was a book i read in Australia about being a twentysomething, and a question was asked: if you could get paid 10 million dollars a year to have any job, what would it be?
and the more i think about it, the more i want to pursue what god created me to do. because money dies with you. and fame only lasts a couple hundred years if youre lucky. 

i just think its really really really important to do what you love at (almost) any cost. and if that isnt possible (or even if it is) i think its just as important to love what you do, regardless. 

{If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lives a great street sweeper who did his job well.}
Martin Luther King Jr.

something from nothing

so, i made this: 
and this:

 (this flower is more lime than celery in real life, and dont mind no-makeup saturday)

so, i found some old hand me downs that never quite fit right. they were either a color i loved or a fabric i loved so i couldnt part with them, and so they sat in my closet for way too long until this morning. 
i roughly used this tutorial:
(by roughly, i mean that i cant really handle step by step instructions and im really impatient so i layered the fabric and free hand cut all four at once for each part. also, i didnt feel like trying to buy matching thread so i ripped a piece of thread out of the article of clothing that i was cutting up and that worked perfectly. oh and i used 10 cent felt for the back. so, total cost: 10 cents.  actually like .01 cents because i only used a little tiny piece of the felt. anyway, my point is that its really easy and cheap and kind of fun.)

by the third one it takes ten minutes a pop. score!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

to prosper you and not to harm you

we've got some big plans in the making. and some small ones. and some medium sized ones that could potentially be either big or small ones. just a bunch of ideas and thoughts and dreams jumbled all up in our hearts, pleading with our Maker to guide us in the right direction. the direction that leads us closer to His will and plan for our life, and farther from our own desires. i think about that song by Jon Foreman {your love is strong- its on my new sidebar playlist } that goes "why do i worry? why do i freak out? your love is strong...." and i totally totally get that. worries and trying to figure out our lives, when we have never known whats best for us. He has led us in every which way except for the ones that we planned, and here we are completely provided for and purposeful and in a place of growth and strength stemming form following His will, and we dont want to lose that. we want to be free in Him, and trust him enough to GO when he says GO.
anyway, here is my heart:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

haiti part 2

"Church groups are singing throughout the city all through the night in prayer. It is a beautiful sound in the middle of a horrible tragedy." -- From Twitter user troylivesay in Port-au-Prince at 03:09 a.m. Wednesday

if you want to cry,
if you want to help,

(we just spent $20 on 117 meals through Feed My Starving Children,
World Vision is awesome too.)


today i stared at a wall for an hour and a half.
and somewhere between 30,000 - 100,000 people died.
that really sucks.
can we pray for them?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

a morning letter

 One of my classmates from UNLV sent me this. And I cried.

I was sitting at the hockey game tonight and a family brought a little girl maybe 7 years old with cerebral palsy. They carefully walked her down the steps and sat her down in the seat. Her hands were twisted but she had the most pure and innocent smile on her face. I couldn't help myself and I burst into tears. I thought about my own disability and wondered if God saw us as broken and disabled. I remembered the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept. It shows me that God has compassion on us and Jesus did not come to make us feel bad about ourselves but that He loves us. He weeps for us like I wept for that little girl, so innocent and tragically disabled for life. I just feel so bad that we don't have the power to heal people like Jesus and the disciples did. And I always go back to the same thing everybody does: If God is all loving and all knowing, why did he allow for all this suffering and disability to hurt so many people? Why is there so much awfulness and ugliness in the world? And the only answer I get is that God wants to show how much He love us. And that we can show His love to them through the work that we do. Maybe that little girl will be one of our students one day. Maybe she'll grow up and do something great for the world. Or maybe she'll draw one broken man closer to God.

God Bless,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

like a werewolf, only not at all.

i am the happiest girl in the world. most people would say that. most people would say that i am obnoxiously joyful all the time. and i am, its whats in my guts.
but those same people dont see me 1-2 hours before i go to sleep. because i morph into a grumpy, hopeless, crazy person. im not really sure what happens in my brain, and i think its because im tired, and it used to not affect anyone but me.
then i married this guy who has to hang out with me. specifically during the 2 hours before bed. and i take it all out on him. almost nightly.
how can you love someone more than life itself and completely hate their freaking guts twenty minutes later???
okay, thats an exaggeration. but still. its really annoying to be married to me when im tired because im a heartless grump.
and then i wake up the next morning singing and giggling at butterflies, and hes like wtf? you wanted to die last night.
which makes no sense to me when im happy. like, sounds like hes crazy because how could i be SO happy, but so miserable 14 hours later?
anyway, that is my weakness. and there is a certain enemy who attacks right at that time. this nagging feeling of misery that isnt even real and why do i keep listening, when i KNOW whats true?
end rant.

husbands and wives and healthy eating

omar: mmm i want some ice cream.
me: ughhh, i cant have any ice cream.
omar: yes you can. this ice cream is all natural.
me: oh. well. the whole idea is not to eat crap. ice cream is cra.....
 omar: me, on the other hand, im a man. my body was built to eat poison. and survive.

it all started when omar and i decided to do a 40 day fast, which involves not eating junk food. which turned into an all natural fast. which turned into me only eating fish and nuts and vegetables, and him eating ice cream, apparently.
i've been a junk food fiend since childhood. im pretty sure it started when my mom told me that sliced apples were cookies for the first four years of my life. i was deprived, and so i made up for it by being addicted to chocolate and doritos and anything made of sugar or with more than 10 grams of fat. once i ate a jar of nutella in 3 hours. dont act like youre not impressed.
anyway, i started wondering what it would be like to be healthy. like, if my body wasnt filled with chemicals and reeses pieces. so, we got ourselves a copy of P90X and some salmon and brown rice. then, suddenly, i realized i married a freakshow.

here is how we eat our food. guess which one is his.