June 2011

So I’ve got some pretty big news to share. Rather than beat around the bush, I’ll just come right out with it. I’m moving back to Sacramento. Next week. And I’ll be working at my home church. I know, crazy, right?! I’m still a bit shocked myself, since it’s been a fairly sudden thing that’s come about. The Lord has provided this job and opportunity for me to move home, so … here I go! My life is currently full of packing, wrapping things up, planning for my move and the transition, and trying to sqeeze in everything I will miss: time with dear friends, eating Golden Spoon (what will life be like without it??), Aroma (so thankful there’s Karen’s up there … otherwise I might die), using giftcards to Glen Ivy Day Spa, saying good-byes, cooking Italian food with friends, hanging out with my roomies (whom I will miss so very much!!!), the beautiful Huntington Library and Gardens and Pasadena, spin class (I hope I don’t gain 500 pounds now), my precious little Sunday School class.

BUT … here are a few of the wonderful things I have in store for me … MY FAMILY, friends, my home church, awesome ministry opportunities, my cousins, homemade popcorn with my mom (i just can’t seem to make it for myself), my sweet Allie who’s moving back too, bike rides along the river, my family, BBQ (yum), dinner parties, Karen’s Bakery, midtown, game nights, cheaper tax (I’m real excited for this), 1 mile commute (I can’t begin to exclaim my excitement), Lucca’s, the piano, and did I mention my family? 🙂

My last day at Children’s Hunger Fund will be next Friday. It’s definitely a bittersweet thing to say good-bye to these sweet people I’ve come to know and love over the last 15 months. I will miss it here. I had the opportunity over the last week or so to be involved in a really fun and awesome project – our new Back to School video. Please watch it, because it’s so great and you’ll love it! (And I may or may not be starting a new career in teaching, haha)


I’ve wanted to blog. Really, I have. But time has recently been slipping through my fingers … explanation to come (next week at the latest). But for now, I’d like to introduce you to my latest and greatest and most favorite-est purchase! Gap GFast Leggings … the greatest invention ever.

Did you know there’s totally a reason that athletes [usually] wear clothes that aren’t bulky and heavy? I mean … I knew that, but now … I KNOW it. Let’s just say, these little guys have allowed me to spin faster, climb harder, and whoop everyone around me in spin class! OK, that might be a bit extreme. But in all seriousness, these are the most amazing workout pants ever AND comfortable beyond belief! I could {literally} live in these things. Oh and cool factoid not seen in this pic … yeah, there are mesh vents beings your knees. Pretty genius. Suffice to say, these pants are one part nylon and two parts awesome! Oh and another cool factoid about this picture is I have those shoes! Except mine are way more cute – they’re gray and pink. Holla!

Polly, I thank you for the introduction to this wonderful creation. You are my hero {for many reasons}.

I was recently introduced to this beautiful song – “Blessings” by Laura Story. It may be my new favorite song, as I could listen to its truth over and over and over again. There are a myriad of emotions that arise when I hear it or read the lyrics: I cry. I smile. I rejoice. I am convicted. I am encouraged. I am motivated to persevere. I am reminded of the point of trials. I am reminded that earth is not my home. I am reminded that the uncomfortable and painful trials of life are just as much blessings as the comfortable and happy moments. I hope you are as blessed by this song as I have been. You can hear it here and/or read the lyrics below. I put some of the phrases that I love most in bold.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

*SIGH* I love being home. There’s just something about the people, the places, the familiarity, the routine, the food … it just makes me happy. And yes, Sacramento is still “home.” A co-worker told me yesterday morning – “You’re home!” I just looked at him and stated, “No, I’m back.” Don’t get me wrong – I love everyone and my life in Southern CA! But try as I might … it’s just not “home.” So what makes “home” so wonderful? Well, here’s my weekend recap … and one of the two pictures I took, haha.

Friday night, I got cousin/auntie time. I haven’t had a whole lot of cousin time lately, so this was a blessing! Such a fun night of nothingness, really! We (my mom and I, 2 of my aunts, and 4 of my cousins) ended up sitting in a random coffee shop I love in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. We didn’t even order anything, haha. We tried – but they were out of decaf coffee. The sweet guy said he didn’t care that we were {noisily} taking up an entire corner of the shop. We laughed so hard reminiscing about family camping trips, Groveland, peeing our pants, pooping our pants, falling out of trailers, fires. Good times and great oldies. The evening was proceeded by a slumber party. Yay for late night talks on mom’s/auntie’s bed. 🙂 And is there any better way to start a Saturday morning than time reading your Bible at Starbucks? Well, OK … a non-Starbucks coffee shop would be better, I confess. But that’s jumping ahead to Monday morning! Saturday was relaxing with a bit of a cousin-dance-workout thrown in the mix. “Sweep the sand” … “Ride the wave” … “International Samba” … who knew working out could be so entertaining and so hard and so fun and so full of laughter?! Saturday night … what else, but dinner at the Price’s?! I should still be full from the delicious meal of crab (San Francisco was brought to me!), artichokes, grilled chicken, bread, and strawberry shortcake (with a mound of whipped cream – homemade, of course!). But I’m not. In fact, I’d like to eat it all again for dinner tonight … with the same wonderful company … and then hit “repeat!” 🙂 Oh, and let us not forget The Marble Game. So what if I lost, watching someone else lose even worse was a blast, hehe. And what night with family friends would be complete without YouTube videos, hahaha.

Sunday morning at church was awesome. It makes me smile to be writing this after my last post. While I appreciate Kevin DeYoung’s stand and think that Memorial Services are probably better left for Monday rather than Sunday morning church, the guest speaker – a Chaplain with the United States Air Force – was such a blessing. A man dedicated to his God and to his country, he shared about a crisis of faith he had several years ago while deployed in Iraq (or was it Afghanistan?) and how meditating on John 3 and Acts 17:22-34 brought him through that. It felt like I was reading Acts 17 for the first time; what a powerful sermon Paul preached that day! God is the awesome Creator of this universe … yet He is near. And we are His children. What an amazing privilege to be identified as children of God … co-heirs with Christ! OK, this is turning into it’s own blog post. Rabbit trail over. In between church and Sunday School – Peet’s Coffee! YAY!

And the tradition carries on ... so what if we were stared down as we walked into our parents' Sunday School class carrying {7} coffee beverages!

 I must point out Sunday lunch – both for our delightful company and this cake of deliciousness. You must go make this cake, today. And do whatever you can to eat it fresh-out-of-the-oven (yes, mother knows best. you should always listen to her. even when it makes your kitchen/lunch party a bit hectic). Oh, and make homemade whipped cream to go with it. And know this … when you devour a little piece as you’re running out the door to meet up with family at Starbucks and you’re wishing you could sit down and enjoy just a smidgen more – or take the whole pan with you – and you’re hoping for little taste left upon your return … please don’t get your hopes up. There will be no leftovers. Oh and also, since I think the best strawberries might possibly come from Fair Oaks, CA on Kenneth Avenue … your cake might not be quite as good as ours if you use other ones. 😉

Remember what I said about a non-Starbucks coffee shop on Monday morning? Well, the tradition of Karen’s Bakery carries on, too. And I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize this, but my mom and I are such creatures of habit. Whether it’s Aroma in Studio City or Karen’s in Folsom, we order the same thing. Mom – blueberry scone. Hannah – apple walnut muffin. Why do I even look in the pastry case or at the menu?? Lingering in the sunshine for several hours felt wonderful … and even though I enjoyed my 3 cups of coffee, I was still so sleepy! Then came the good-byes. I’m not much of a fan of those.

There … now do you have a little understanding of why Sacramento is still my home?