Thursday, September 15, 2011


i wish i was better at following through. i used to be great at it; i used to value it above much else. but lately a symptom of this mid-twenties "what on earth am i doing with my life? what is my calling and passion?" has been inconsistency and lack of motivation. i make goals and promises to myself that i am going to "do this" (insert my pervious blog post that promised to blog more) and "be that", but somewhere along the lines i lost the motivation for follow through. this is new for me, and i really don't like the way that it fits.

i had a long spa date the other day with a very good friend, and one of the wisest people i know. i left that date with a renewed sense of purpose and new set of goals, and it feels oh so good. action is always the best medicine. who knew growing into adulthood and into yourself would be such a task and would require so much strength and energy?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

unplanned hiatus, over.

after an absolutely insanely busy and exhausting, yet wonderful summer, i'm back in business. my hiatus from the blogging wasn't really planned, but i definitely was a slacker the past few months. and you know what? i missed it. i really did. i missed sharing with you and i missed you sharing with me. we've got some catching up to do.

there is so much to say and so much to tell. here's a little preview via instagram.
details to come.

1. a summer filled with lots of beautiful beach days.
2. a crazy dog that dominated much of our time (and love, of course.)
3. a spur of the moment mini trip to portland.
4. lots of travel time.
5. hours and hours and hours on this airplane.
6. all to see the cutest children in the world.
7. hello kitty came to yogurtland this summer, making my happy place even happier.
8. welcoming in my 25th year with...
9. VEGAS! and the beautiful bellagio ceiling.

Monday, August 1, 2011

goodbye america.

tomorrow we're off to swaziland. it's been so busy trying to pull this trip together and there is a very long journey ahead of us (21 hour flight and 6 hour bus ride) but i know the second that i step onto the carepoint all of the crazy will be worth it. chad and i have never traveled internationally together, my passport has been untouched for far too long and i've missed these faces so much the past two years. i'm ready.

please remember us in prayer. we'll be back august 16th and don't be surprised if shortly after i write about having smuggled back a swazi child (or two) to raise as my own.

Friday, July 29, 2011


although made up of miles of to-do lists, far too many functions, and an all around busyness, july proved to be a fairly introspective month for me. i took an unintentional break from the internet and blogging and it proved to be a really good thing. i was able to reevaluate my purpose in a lot of areas (something i try to do often), and discovered much about myself and what i think my next steps in life are going to be.
stay tuned... life could (will) get (even more) interesting.

and on tuesday i get to travel back to one of my favorite places on the earth, swaziland. a country full of the most beautiful people i've ever known. while i've somewhat gotten caught up in the monotony and paperwork that comes with planning a trip like this for 31 people, my heart is still so full and ready to be poured out and my empty arms are ready to hold some swazi babies and never set them down.
a few little polies from my last trip.

Friday, July 8, 2011

heat and houseboats.

home from lake mohave, 12 shades darker and still recovering. but the trip (while exhausting) was just too good. sometimes i can't believe i do this for a living.

1. parasail adventures.
2. my little baby.
3. 85 insane students whom i love.
4. the risks we take for a good camera shot.
5. record breaking.
6. beautiful camp.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the crazy month of june.

june was a crazy time.
we had so much going on, and the rest of the month is going to fly even faster.
here's a little recap of the whirlwind that it was.

1. chad took up the ukulele in the beginning of the month,
2. we had a sangria party to kick off the summer,
3. and i attended a beautiful malibu wedding.
4. we got a puppy! and he bonded with neighbors,
5. and is the cutest thing i've ever seen,
6. and everyone loves and fawns over him (he's totally spoiled.)
7. some of my littles graduated
8. and i played mommy at their prom (kids these days wear the best shoes to dances,)
7. and little brother jared returned home from ethiopia and was bearing gifts.

tomorrow morning i'm off on houseboats. i'll return on friday, hopefully sun kissed and full of love and good stories.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

summer busy summer.

right now i'm savoring sitting on my couch and sipping on coffee in the still, quiet, june-gloomy morning. life is about to get real crazy, summer is my busy time, and i just want to hold on to this moment of serenity. starting next week it's back to back graduations to attend, women's retreat, houseboats, weddings, bbqs and beach days and other various events with my students, camping, AFRICA, south carolina, and about a million things in between. my iCal is starting to look like a box of crayons (one of those big boxes with the obscure colors.)

but in the midst of it all i want to remember to enjoy my life, so i'm starting a list:
  • finally get patio furniture and turn our backyard space into something magical.
  • detox and keep my fridge stocked with fresh fruit.
  • master making the perfect sangria.
  • write letters and send packages to far away friends.
  • take puppy to the beach often.
  • try new recipes and get better at this cooking thing.
  • finally visit this little lady and see her new place.
  • read east of eden for the third time (as well as the 200 other books on my list.)
  • save my monies and finally get that bike.
  • make time to do nothing.
and it goes on and on and on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

rock star puppy.

yesterday i chased puppy around for a good 20 mins trying to get the perfect polaroid of him. no luck and lots of wasted film. he doesn't like to sit still. (right now i'm watching him run around in circles in the corner for no apparent reason. he's such a little weirdie.)

we're still searching for the perfect name for him as well. we really did like the name mr. feeny (and the man, of course. who didn't love feeny?) but the more we get to know our little guy, the more "mr. feeny" just doesn't seem to fit him. at all. so... here we are with a puppy called puppy. (or pups mcgumps as i like to refer to him.)

so with that in mind, here's some of the names we've thrown around:
cash, inspired by johnny cash (and as i lay dying.)
bennie, inspired by bennie and the jets.
we've also talked about bowie and hendrix...

(and please, enjoy all of the incredible music to start your wednesday..)

if it's this hard to name a puppy, i can't even imagine naming my child!
any suggestions or votes?

Friday, June 10, 2011

our new little family member.

let me just start by saying i'm not a dog person. i'm really not an animal person of any kind. i've always secretly (and sometimes not-so-secretly) mocked those people who are obsessed with their pets. you know, the ones who make photos of their dogs their facebook profile pictures and put their animals in human-like clothing... i've never understood it.
(does this make me heartless? maybe.)

but husband has recently talked me into getting a puppy, something i've always put my foot down about with a firm "no". how he sweet talked me into getting one now i'll never know, but let me tell you this... in 3 short days i've become that person i've never wanted to be! i've become a dog person! (or at least, a "my dog" person... let's not get too crazy here.) i really love our new little guy, so much so i'm about one step away from dressing him up in a matching outfit and making an entire photo album of him.

dog lovers, i'm sorry i ever judged you. i'm one of you now.

so, without further ado, let me introduce you to our newest little family member, our tiny maltipoo, mr. feeny (a la "boy meets world.)

chad grew up with/wanted a big dog, i didn't want a dog at all, so he represents the perfect compromise. and he could keep us entertained all day! he's he the cutest!?

Monday, May 16, 2011

little thanks.

dear airlines,
i hate you for delaying her, but thank you for bringing my sister home to me today.

dear "community",
thank you for having the most hilarious and creative season finale. i died laughing.

dear southern california,
thank you for deciding this past week that it was time for summer. now what's with the rain and clouds today?

dear new lamp,
thank you for being so pretty. i love you.

dear netflix,
thank you for having the best documentaries on instant view. i've been learning quite a bit from you, all from the comfort of my living room.

dear coffee,
just, thanks. you know what for.

dear unknown future,
thank you for getting me excited about you again.

dear week of may 16th-22nd,
thank you in advance for being a good one. however you are far too jam-packed, but bring it.

1. my lifeline.
2. the prettiest thing i now own.
3. summa summa summa time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


so many late nights. i feel like i'm in college again.
this weekend was too good. full of food and drink and so many good conversations. like, the kind of conversations that leave you a richer person. i've had them in abundance over the past four days.

- cinco de mayo with margaritas and flamenco.
- sitting around in the sunny backyard all day with my two favorite boys.
- little brother's 21st birthday bbq and the various festivities that go along with becoming of age, like dive bars and jute boxes and pool.
- paul is dead conspiracies.
- recovery day with the mister on the couch. making pizza and watching 2 entire discs of friends.
- "rolling in the deep" on repeat in my head.
- slumber party with tobin.
- celebrating my wonderful mama.

it was one of the more refreshing weekends i've had in awhile, and because i'm feeling refreshed, i'm going to go ahead and leave you with a little nugget that will hopefully leave you feeling refreshed as well. this song/gillian welch get me every time. enjoy.
happy tuesday everyone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


some friends and i often talk about what a weird/ambiguous stage in life being a "twenty-something" really is. that, and the fact that no one seriously prepares you for it.

it's about to be the three year anniversary of when we graduated college. three years! and in these three years i've floated back and forth between feelings of complete aimlessness and loss of passion, to feeling on top of the world and excited for what is to come.

i graduated very much an idealist and have slowly felt myself becoming more of a realist (whether that's a good thing or not i'm still deciding.) i also graduated determined to not stay in orange county (or any place, for that matter) for more than a year and yet three years later, here i am. i never thought i'd get married at 24 and here i am. i thought of my job as a temporary situation when i took it, and i'm still there.

however, i'm okay with it all. i've come to terms with the fact that maybe this is where i am supposed to be right now. that "changing the world" and all of the things that i was determined to do three years ago might look a lot like loving on some orange county high school students for some more time than i planned. and, that the community we've built here isn't something that i want to take lightly.

what's next is still so undetermined and yes, that scares me. a lot. however what i do know is that i'm not okay with being stagnant. i want to keep learning, keep pushing, and keep questioning my purpose in the world. i also know that this stage might last quite awhile longer, and that i need to learn how to embrace it and love it in all of it's ambiguity and uncertainty.

i'm curious if anyone else feels this way? how do you or have you dealt with your twenties?

"Have patience with everything unresolved and try to love the questions themselves."
- Rilke

Friday, April 22, 2011

real men.

who knew sean penn, j. timberlake and ashton kutcher could get any sexier?
if you haven't already, check out demi & ashton's fight against human trafficking here.

or you can read up on the issue here, here and here.

education is so important. may it lead us to action.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

let the lover be.

a little while back i had a few students present me with this quote:
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absent-minded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly.
Let the lover be.” -Rumi

"it's so you!" they told me. and i loved it.

but somewhere in the past year i've gotten away from this little mantra. i worry too much. i've become self-indulgent. my life is filled with too much clutter and stress about things that really just don't matter. my free spirit isn't a part of me the way that it used to be.

and i know that a part of this is merely just growing up. adulthood creeping in on me and it's normal that i'm not as carefree as i was when i was 18 or 19 and that's okay. plus with the addition of a husband, i can't be as selfish as i once was. i'm a part of an "us" now and i am responsible to another human being.

however i am drawing a line. i've become a slave to clutter, baggage and excess. and i've become too comfortable. it's time to simplify. get back to my roots.

how? what does that really look like? i'm not sure. i'm trying to decide if it needs to be something as dramatic as a tangible getting rid of "stuff" that keeps me from being me, or if it can be merely an attitude shift (i say that as if changing your attitude is an easy thing..) but something needs to be done because i'm finding that my over indulgent and cluttered self isn't as good as loving as i once was, and that is unacceptable. i was created to love. i'm a lover, and beyond that nothing else really matters.

san fran with my wombies
circa 2007

Thursday, April 14, 2011


a few pictures from last week's trip.
(thanks to my beautiful and talented student sabrina)
the amazing people who make my job so. much. fun.

i've been so sick this past week, mexico put me on my death bed. but i'm ready to rejoin the human race, so here's hoping this nasty cough goes away soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

home, never to be the same again.

my favorite work trip to date.

it's good to be home (and clean) but so much of me is still in mexico.
transitioning back into "normal" life is never easy for me, and neither is explaining the ways that i've changed on trips to those who weren't there transforming along with me. every trip i take really does change me and this time around was no exception. i'm so in love with the life i've been given and the people who have been placed in my path.

students that make me laugh harder than ever. the cutest little ninos in the world. witnessing miracles. lots of prayer. lots of fish tacos. a beautiful house built in four days. mexican ice cream. no showers. off-roading in the back of pickup trucks on sand dunes. whales off the shore. bonfires and fireworks. sleeping on the beach. the encouragement that i needed. karaoke and a dance party. the countryside of baja. not taking enough pictures. tears for my seniors. my students and our volunteers feeling so much like family, and so much love.

1. border crossing.
2. my diet for the past six days.
3. best shopping place.
4. the sweetest girl in the world.
5. the amazing sand dunes.
6. my students cracking me up.

Friday, April 1, 2011

south of the border.

rolling sand dunes and beautiful mexican children and the worlds best fish tacos and seeing my students work hard to build up another house.
i remember upon arrival last year i felt like i was coming home.
see you in the morning, san quintin.

and see you all again friday, friends.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

i want the desert, a tan, and some bikes.

today i'm running around like a crazy woman trying to get things done, but my head is in the clouds. and by "the clouds" i mean my head is in palm springs, wishing i could go back and recreate this day at my pretty friend marina's bachelorette party.
dear summer, be here now, and please bring some bikes along with you.
these photos were taken by the ever gorgeous promise tangeman, and you can see the rest of the bunch here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

stayin' afloat.

i've always fought against living my life in such a way where my sole purpose is trying to just get by, to survive. however this week i'm in survival mode big time. i've got so much going on i feel like i'm drowning in to-do lists and just fighting to make it to saturday morning when i leave for mexico. it's time to channel the inner scrappy erin. that, and drink a lot of coffee.

this week:
1. my fuel for the week.
2. soaking up every little bit of simplicity and beauty i can find to keep from going crazy.
3. on top of everything we got a new car yesterday (!) and i love it.
any ideas for good car names?

** edit: we have a name, folks. the car's official name is justin bieber. (it seriously says justin bieber on the screen when i turn it on. it cracks me up.) but it will be more commonly referred to as "the biebs" or (wait for it...) the "the mo-bieble." (thanks e.p.)

and everything will be worth it when i get to see these little faces again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

little babies.

lately we've been reminiscing about the beginning of our relationship quite a bit, and then last night i found this picture hiding on my computer. we were eighteen and nineteen years old without a clue (and yet i still give him that where on earth did you come from? look.)

we met at a show, the format. i remember coming home and calling my mom to tell her about this cute boy who drove us and how much he reminded me of seth cohen. she says she knew then that he was going to be someone special (i never talked about boys, i've always been pretty private.) at first it was a bunch of "24" and mixed cds and a lot of christian college cliches, but by the time we were heading into our sophomore year it had become apparent that we had something very real. fast forward six years, one nine month break up, one long distance segment, much growth and a whole lotta livin'... and here we are. and it feels oh so good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


st. patty's day fun.
laying low in front of the t.v. friday morning.
some real good tobin time.
lots of justin bieber (don't hate.)
yard house and the queen mary jazz bar to celebrate three of my favorite people, including this girl. and finally getting to spend some time with this girl.
so much good food.
even more coffee.
crazy thunderstorms.
anniversary celebrating (kind of.)
early morning hospital waiting (everyone is okay though.)
grad-school researching.
finding chad's wedding ring that's been lost since thanksgiving.
a little bradley cooper, yum (but we kind of hated limitless.)
bubble bath.
broken phone.
finally getting a good night's sleep.

and not taking pictures of any of it. i'm so lame sometimes.

however, this little lady is coming home to la soon, and that is something to celebrate.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

it's been six months.

and i honestly love marriage more every single day. happy six month anniversary, to my husband whom i love and adore and can't imagine a life without.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

little victories.

lately i've been thinking a lot about honesty and transparency and what that should look like on this little blog of mine. i've been finding it so easy to hide the dark and only show the pretty.
(as if my life is solely date nights and colorful pictures and happy stories.)
and while i think there is nothing wrong with sharing in our joys and the nice and simple things of life (and don't think that all of my dirty laundry necessarily needs to be aired out on the internet) i do want to be real and genuine and a little more stimulating.

with that said, dear readers, you must know that i am totally and completely devastated by what is happening in japan (as i know most of you are as well.) i've been finding myself having little breakdowns throughout the day, not wanting to do much of anything besides watch the news and cry. in the moments that i'm able to escape that feeling (like watching brad give out the final rose, or enjoying an americano and cake pop at starbucks) i am shortly after flooded with guilt. it's affecting my relationships and my daily activities and i have no idea how to mourn all of this.

in college i took a class called the african american experience (my favorite class ever), and the professor brought to light something that comes back to me often. he taught us that joy and pain can coexist, and i've had to relearn that lesson over and over again. God wants us to mourn, but he also wants us to dance. what does that looks like right now? i have no idea. but does wallowing in my guilt do anything to help anybody? nope. so i press on. i pray. i choose to let my pain turn to action (somehow, someway) and rejoice in the little victories.

little victories like:

1. finally putting wedding pictures up in our home. 2. getting this text from chad proving that he actually loves the bachelor. 3. coming to work to find that my five year old friend left me love notes. 4. helping that five year old with her homework.
5. the above mentioned cake pop (delicious). 6. staying in the heart of la to celebrate this pretty lady's 25th. 7. skyping with my sister. 8. heaven in ice-cream form.

Monday, March 14, 2011

kids around the world.

yesterday our church body came together and packed 120,000 meals for children in haiti (approximately enough meals to feed 370 kids for a year) and it was just the best day. i saw sixty year olds in an assembly line with three year olds, entire families working together, surfers in-between heats at a contest an hour away, jr. high students working incredibly hard. there was a strong sense of togetherness and family, especially in the wake of what is happening in japan.

if you are looking to get involved in a really great organization, check out kids around the world. they are doing some really important things.