Sunday, December 26, 2010

I can't believe that Christmas was yesterday! It was so wonderful. Every year, I think that Christmas can't get any better, and every year, it does. haha God is cool like that. :)

We have so many family traditions that help to make Christmas so special. Besides spending all day in my pjs, we have our extended family over for a delicious dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, etc. Soooo yummy! Afterwards, there are ginger bread cookies, chocolate cream pie, and tea. Oh, and candy canes! The house always looks so pretty too, especially with the giant tree, garlands on the banisters, and the fancy dinner table, which is decorated with a ruby red tablecloth, snowflakes, and candles.

Another tradition, that my friend and I started this year, is a pj run. Since we both have colds right now, and it was pretty warm outside yesterday, it was a short run. Of course, we managed to laugh the whole way though, just like we always do when we're together. It was another bright spot in my day, and I'm looking forward to our Christmas pj runs in the future!

I think that my favorite part of the day, though, every year, is when everyone is sitting at the table, halfway through the delicious food, and the stories are in full swing. I learn so much, and laugh so hard! Everyone is so eager to share and have a good time. I know, without a doubt, that we're all loved.

Praise God for Christmas time, and for incredible family members and friends!

Friday, December 10, 2010

So close!

I finished my 4th final this morning. 4 finals, 4 As. So far, so good. I have 2 more coming up: one on Monday, one on Tuesday, and then I'm home free for a month! :D I'm working every day next week though, and then going out of town, so my "free days" won't really start until after Christmas. Wow.

Last night, after a long day of test taking, studying, volleyball, and craziness, I made myself some peppermint tea and toast, and walked into the living room to sit next to our Christmas tree. It's 12 ft tall, and completely covered in twinkling lights that look like stars. They shine so brightly that it's almost like a little piece of Heaven landed in our house. It's so beautiful.

There's just something about Christmas time that transforms the world. Even though it's stressful, (shopping, finals, extra hours at work) I can't help but be joyful. There's so much hope and promise! Every year, I'm amazed at how Christmas can transform everything that's going on in my life. Hopefully it does the same for you!

This Christmas, I pray that God gives you an extra dose of happiness and peace. Rest in the knowledge that Jesus came into the world to save you, and that everything is in His hands. Your past, present, and future belong to Him, and He will never disappoint you. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the magic begin!

I had such a wonderful weekend!
It all started with a super fun 5 mile run with one of my best friends. We laughed, and joked, and talked, and had a blast.
On Thursday, my family had our first ever badminton tournament. Talk about a cool game! I'd never really tried badminton before, but I learned the rules, and really enjoyed trying to whack that shuttlecock over the net. A few hours later, we met again; this time for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at a beautiful resort. I got to hear words of wisdom from my grandpa, as well as laughing really hard at all of my brothers' jokes. I was also very pleased that I got to have some lobster.
Friday morning, I had breakfast and a milkshake with another best friend. We spent the morning filling each other in on our lives, laughing at our randomness, and smiling at our awesomeness. It was so wonderful to be able to relax for a few hours, and be completely carefree. After another run that afternoon, I headed over to my grandparents house, listening to some blaring music with my brother. (we were singing at the top of our lungs!) I got to visit with even more family, and had even more laughs. It was fantastic.
Saturday, my cousin got married. The ceremony was lovely, and she looked absolutely amazing in her wedding gown. Our entire family was all dressed up, which made it even better. The flowers and tables at the reception were incredible! I've never seen a wedding party look so pretty. We spent several hours on the dance floor, busting some moves to a lot of good music. Yahoo!!
Sunday, after Mass, I played ultimate frisbee with a couple friends. I love that game! I got to show off my ninja skills by interrupting a few plays, and making some neat catches. :)

Like I said, I had a great weekend. I really enjoyed being able to spend time with the people that I love, and getting laugh hard and long with them. One of my absolute favorite memories from this weekend, though, was at the wedding. A slow song came on, and my grandpa and grandma made their way to the dance floor. Watching them, and then watching the newly married couple, reminded me of the beauty of marriage. The tenderness and love that I saw made my heart skip a beat or two. Thank you, God, for bringing such incredible people into my life! And thank you for helping me to see the absolute beauty of love.

Monday, November 1, 2010

There's a Fall-ish feeling in the air. I simply can't wait for school to end! I'm looking forward to the days when I'll get to sleep in, and relax. In case you're wondering what my ideal Fall/winter day would look like, I'll fill you in:
I'd sleep in until 9, and take my time getting ready for the day. I'd put on some sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt(or hoodie), and some fuzzy/soft purple or green socks. I'd curl up with a book by Dickens, and a cup of tea, and I'd read the day away.

Oh yes. Winter's calling my name. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reflections at school 4

Walking around ASU, practically everyone is listening to their iPod or texting....or both. Most people avoid eye contact, and tend to look down or look away when someone walks by. This kinda makes me sad. I know that people are social beings, and that we need other humans to help us feel alive, valued, accepted, worth-while, etc. I think that my fellow students and I are craving attention, craving a human connection, but are afraid that we'll appear desperate if we're not occupied every single minute. The lesson to carry away from this, I guess, is this: Put down your phone! Take out your head phones! Smile at someone when you see them. Acknowledge the people around you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reflections at school 3

It's interesting how much I allow my happiness to depend on small things. If a little thing goes wrong, I often let that affect the rest of my day. In this way, though, my happiness can change in an instant. I need to hold onto the true Source of joy, and remember that I should not just respond to my environment.

Reflections at school 2

I've been rushing around all the time. I have every single minute planned out, in order to maximize my time during the day; I'm so aware of the way I spend it. I'm always so busy! There's no quiet time; no time to be still. I need to try to set aside a few minutes every day to have silence, because in the silence, I can hear God's voice.

Reflections at school 1

I'll be walking around campus, and suddenly an idea will hit me to describe an emotion I'm experiencing, or something will happen to remind me of an important lesson that I should learn. Anyway, that's what these "reflections at school" will be. They're very short, because I have to put them on my phone, but anyway.

I had planned out my entire day, but nothing went the way it was supposed to. I kept either missing buses or just barely making them, and so my study time decreased significantly. I'm reminded that my plans don't always work. I need to trust in God, because only He has a perfect plan.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One of my professors read us a poem during class yesterday, and I absolutely love it! It's about a race, which is very relavent to me as a runner, and it's main point is this: "All of life is like a race, with ups and downs and all, And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall."

Here's the link to the full poem. I encourage you to check it out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming off one crazy week, and headed into another, I'm trying to get into a rhythm, and regain my focus for the semester. A lot happened over the weekend, and, for some reason, this quote describes my feelings perfectly right now:

"In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life--it goes on."-Robert Frost

Just food for thought. It's actually a very encouraging statement, as well as a profound, yet simple one. Remember, life goes on. Thank God for that!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My first two days at ASU went well. I have a basic understanding of where all of my classrooms are, and how long it's gonna take me to get from one end of campus to the other. Thus far, all of my classes look like they'll be good. The professors seem interesting and fun, which is a good thing. I'm really excited to get started again! Summer's taken its toll on me. haha :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm so happy! This morning, I woke up to an email from the scholarship office, letting me know that I've been awarded much needed money for school! The amazing thing is that the rest of the awards were handed out in July, but, thanks to some help from a very nice man, I was reconsidered! This scholarship was a surprise blessing, and I'm soooo thankful! ASU starts a week from today, so God has perfect timing. Yay! :D

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm so excited!! My birthday is tomorrow, and I get to go visit my best friend in Denver!! Thus, on my birthday, I will get to play soccer, fly, and see my best friend! (Three of my very favorite things.) It's going to be my best birthday yet! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

I spent my morning walking around ASU. I'm registered for all of my classes, and I'm starting to gather my books and supplies. I can't believe my summer is almost over! This summer was far different than any other one thus far; it marked a lot of transitions for me.

When I was little, I used to think about how things would be when I was in college. The funny thing is, a lot of the things I only had imagined have actually come true. Of course, many of my fancies have changed over the years, and some dreams have faded, while others have come to the forefront. Still, I've come to realize over the past couple of weeks, that I am where I belong. My future is far from set in stone, and that gives me the freedom to build my way, where ever I choose to go.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On Thursday, I stayed up until 3:30am with my brother, talking about life in general. It was so wonderful to be able to understand him a little better, and learn about his perspective on life. The most amazing thing, though, was that I found out just how much we have in common. Even though we have almost completely opposite personalities, many of our thoughts and feelings are the same. This revealation helped me to remember that we, as humans, aren't alone in our emotions. Many times, we isolate ourselves, and think that we are the only person who feels a certain way. Next time you're feeling sad or alone then, remember that other people could be feeling the same way, and that they could use a smile too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I watched Invictus tonight, with Morgan Freeman. It was really inspiring! The title of the movie comes from a poem by William Ernest Henle. I thought I'd share it here.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm sitting in my hotel room in San Diego, soaking up the moment. My friend and I spent several hours in the car, and the first thing we did when we arrived was run out onto the beach! It's so beautiful! After that, we drove to downtown, and then spent several hours at Sea World! The dolphins are so cool, and I love the seal and otter show. Oh yeah! We got free food too, which was delicious. My favorite part of the day, though, was the firework show just before the park closed. Wow. What a day! The big race is so close!!!!!!! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wow! It's been a crazy day. I got up at 5:45, went to my 2 hour communications class, and just now got off work! This is gonna be my schedule for the entire month of June, too! I already like my com class though, because the professor is really passionate and all-around awesome. :) Plus, I love my job! Anyway. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this up, and choose happiness and joy everyday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm done with finals!!!! My summer break starts now! Wow. Now I can have the weekend to celebrate.....before I start my online class on Monday..... :)

Here's to summer time!!!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's been so busy! I got up at 5:30 this morning to finish up some parts of projects due today. I had speeches in both my Spanish and Literature classes. I've written a total of 3 papers today too. Wow. How crazy! From here on out, though, all the major assignments are out of the way. Now all I have to do is study for finals! All I can say is, Summer, here I come!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I ran 8 miles with my friend this morning, and have been enjoying this absolutely gorgeous day! I absolutely love the wind and the clouds. They make my heart soar!

I'm trying to stay positive as I finish out the semester. There are so many projects to finish up this weekend, job and scholarship applications to fill out, etc. As long as I can remember how beautiful it is outside, hopefully I'll be able to complete everything with a smile in my heart.

Now I'm off to finish some more homework!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This is something I just wrote, kinda reflecting on my day. I went to a baptism and a funeral, and starting thinking about how amazing it is that both can somehow be a new birth. Anyway, here it is:

The light of the moon brightens the night.
It gives clarity to my thoughts, as I sit here and write.

The truths of life are simple, yet strong.
They exist in the world to help us along.

Death and life dance back and forth,
setting and rising on this earth.
When one chapter ends, a new one begins.
Who's to say which is better, the beginning or the end?
Friendships, too, do bloom and fade.
I often wonder who will remain,
but I trust that the One who made the stars shine,
brings people into my life at the proper time.

Circumstances may come, and try to make us change,
but grounded in faith, we will never give in.
The Lord writes our story, and we but respond
to the grace which He gives us, to help us along.

Turning with faith and trust to our God
brings us strength, and carries us one.
Love all with undying fire,
so the light of the world can burn brighter and brighter.
And when we've finished, come to the end,
we'll be ready to start all over again.
In His presence, forever and ever,
praising and thanking Him. Amen.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This week was special, because I did an absurd activity every day! It all started with a fortune cookie which said, "Only one who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible." My friend and I decided to do something absurd every day for a week. Here are mine!

Day 1: Eating off the kids menu at a fancy cafe
Day 2: I carried over from when my friend and I got kicked out of a restaurant, and ate our pizza while sitting behind a bench
Day 3: Rollerblading with knee-high striped socks while wearing plaid shorts
Day 4: In my neighborhood, driving in the bike lane and using my turn signal when the road curved
Day 5: Riding a stationary bike in the street, and using cycling turn signals
Day 6: Having a picnic lunch on a median

I also wanted to wash my car in the rain, but it never rained! haha All I can say is that coming up with something absurd to do requires a whole new way of thinking, and helps you find the humor in life! I strongly recommend trying it sometime. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Here are some of my thoughts on the past.

Sometimes, a trip down memory lane only serves to bring my spirit down. All the horrible things that have happened, the mistakes I've made, and the mountain of regrets, all cast a depressing shadow on my present and future.
That's not why the past exists, though. In fact, it shouldn't bring me down, but, instead, propel me forward. You know why? When you follow the timeline of your past, you can trace the hand of God! In every event, He was present, guiding you through the trouble and pain, towards a future filled with promise.
See? That's encouraging, not discouraging. It's another reminder that He sends, to tell me of His plan, and to assure me of His faithfulness.
Plus, then, the struggles that I'm going through now will serve as landmarks when I look back, powerfully demonstrating the ways that God is guiding me home.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In class today, we discussed some of Robert Frost's poetry. I love his descriptions! His use of words is powerful, and readily brings an image to mind.

The poem that struck me today is "The Road Not Taken," especially the final stanza, which reads "I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

It deals with the time of life that I'm in right now. I'm getting ready to follow a career path, and am having to chose between different "roads" that my life could take. Looking back on my decision, I'll probably engage in some longing for knowledge of what "the other road" would have brought me, but, hopefully, I'll mostly sigh with contentment, knowing that the road I chose was the best.
This should be interesting. Who knows what I'll end up posting on here, but hey, it'll be something different. There probably won't be a theme or anything like that. It'll be my thoughts on thoughts, and stuff like that.

Here's to newness!