Monday, February 28, 2011

los angeles, i'm yours.

a very large part of my heart is found in skid row in downtown la.
it's a heavy place, full of some heart-wrenching stories.
and sometimes it's really hard to be there, but more often than not it's much harder to leave.
i've met some of the kindest, most open and transparent people on those streets.
i've met people with more faith and joy than i've ever known.
they know God's grace in a totally different way than i do. it's a beautiful thing.

i haven't been up to visit since november, but this weekend we'll be taking our students up there once again while they are participating in the 30 hour famine.
i'm so excited, it's been way too long since i've seen my friends.
so, for anticipation's sake...


1. the city of angels in all of it's glory.
2. jake and his favorite friend a few years ago.
3. the cutest resident of the union rescue mission and what happened when he got ahold of my phone.
4. the roof at night time, the view right before we fell asleep.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the week via instagram.




1. the tuesday after a 3 day weekend called for some sparkle on my feet to get me going.
2. a reminder on my office wall from my jamie.
3. what i do for a living.
4. an obsession.
5. the only vintage shop in town.
6. pretty marissa at small group.
7. my wednesday night reward.
8. the fuel for the week.
9. goodnight.

happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

back in 'nam.

one of my favorite things about being a woman is that throughout a single day i probably feel every (or close to every) emotion there is. for reals. and i love it.

well tonight the reigning emotion is nostalgia, with my summer spent in vietnam taking over most of my thoughts. so i went on a little trip back to asia via my journal and the hundreds of photos i have from that summer (thankfully i traveled with a talented photographer).
i've been laughing. i've been sobbing. i'm a mess,
but my heart is so full right now.



1. the sweetest littles at the orphanage for disabled children in saigon.
2. the lanterns of hoi an.
3. our sunrise swims in da nang.
4. lychee everywhere.
5. some of my polaroids from the trip.
(little mowgli, playing frogger on my way to work, the best slide i've ever seen, and my favorite english class.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

la jolla love.

our two day one night mini-vacation in la jolla was, well, heaven.
i can't begin to tell you how much i needed to travel somewhere. anywhere.
(even if it was only an hour away)
and to get away with chad, just me and him... perfection.

we explored caves and watched the harbor seals (the funniest little creatures.)
chad spotted a whale right when it started to rain on us.
and then it rained harder and then it poured.
so we went back to the hotel and took a loooooong nap .

we ate. and ate. and ate.
burgers and parmesan-garlic fries and fancy filets and lava cake and one big ol' breakfast.

then this evening we snuck home, still in vacation mentality (and totally sleepy).
we changed into our comfs and cooked a little meal
and cuddled up to watch angelina jolie kick some butt.

i love vacations, even if they're small ones.

Friday, February 18, 2011

rain on my parade.

dear rain,
maybe you could stay away until sunday? the husband and i have a little mini vaca to go on and it'd be nice if we could play in the sunshine in this little beach town. however, if you do decide to fall (despite my plea) then we'll still cuddle and be cozy and have a good time.
you're not winning this one, rain. we need this vacation too much.


in other news, my obsession with "words with friends" is back. let's play!
also, who else is beside themselves excited about this?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

late night valentines.

the mister and i have been together for about 6 years now... and we have never really celebrated valentines day. one of us has always had to work.
this year was no exception. chad had to work all night bringing food and drink to all of the happy couples.
however this year, as opposed to others, we live together! so i was able to have a few valentines surprises waiting for him after his long night's work.


i made fettuccine alfredo a la the pioneer woman. chad wasn't home until around 11 so it was perfect. simple and quick, but delicious.
(i'm still working on making good on my new years resolution. last night was a start.)


after our late night dinner we sipped wine and listened to records in the little valentines fort that i built inspired by the ever amazing design sponge.

it was wonderful.

Monday, February 14, 2011

lonely hearts club.

currently: home alone on valentines day waiting for my mister to get home from work
(it could be a looooong night for him in the restaurant business.)
i've got a semi-prepared meal just waiting to be cooked.
a bottle of red waiting to be opened
and candles waiting to be lit.

so, while i wait, i'm playing around with photobooth in yet another valentines surprise that i've got waiting... the things we do when we're bored.


happy valentines day to you, wherever you my find yourself tonight.
i hope you know that you are loved.

Friday, February 11, 2011

missing these girls.

my best friends, my soul mates, my wombies.
i miss these girls in my everyday life more than i can say.

tobin, amy, jamie and allie at my bridal shower. my babies.

Monday, February 7, 2011

one year ago (yesterday).

one year ago yesterday chad and i were engaged.
i had been planning a surprise birthday party for the boy on february 6th, 2010... little did i know he was going to be the most difficult person ever. after a day full of white lies (on both our parts) i had finally gotten him in the car to go "meet his family for dinner" when he decided to be even more difficult and take a detour to the los rios district in san juan capistrano.
"we're going to be early! let's just go kill time and walk around for a bit." he said.
i was not happy. we were going to be late to his big party.

as we walked up to my favorite yellow house in the district, i realized that the tables had turned, and i was the one that was about to get the surprise.

the (then uninhabited) house was lit up with candles everywhere.
on a table on the porch was a wooden box, filled with pictures and letters from our families.
i read through each sweet and beautiful letter in disbelief, and when i was done chad got down on his knee just as bon iver's skinny love came on the record player. (good timing, eh?)

he said a bunch of wonderful things that neither of us remember (cliche, but true) and apparently at some point i asked "can i say yes already?!"
then our siblings came out of the woodwork and we all celebrated.
it was so surreal.
oh, and that surprise birthday party? all chad's idea. it was a surprise engagement party, and he'd brought in friends from all over the place to come and celebrate with us! clever boy, getting me to plan my own engagement party.
it was the best.


p.s. if you are ever in san juan capistrano go to the los rios district (the oldest neighborhood in california) and go and visit hidden house coffee. our little yellow engagement house has been turned into the most charming cafe.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

quarter-life never looked so good.

mister's 25th birthday was a complete success, which means i get to give myself a "win" in the new-wife category.

the morning started off with a breakfast burrito in bed for chad and a text message for me from my boss saying that i could have the day off. i can't imagine a better way to start the day, really.
we spent the morning laying around on the couch and watching those crazy kardashians, tosh.o and boy meets world. then we got motivated around noon and went out to lunch, followed by some shopping and an afternoon movie, "the fighter." loved it.

we headed home, jamming to the new kanye, and got fancy for dinner. then the most delicious meal at the chart house over looking the harbor. gluttony galore. we rolled out of the restaurant so full we could barely move, back to our place for some funfetti and moscato. more gluttony. a little old school super mario brothers until we then passed out on the couch to "cruel intentions."
days don't get much better than this.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

happy birthday to this handsome man.

happy birthday chad mcneely! who knew that six years ago, on your nineteenth birthday (when we met for the first time) that we'd end up like this? i love you always and forever. today we shall celebrate your quarter life, and the anniversary of our meeting! thank you for bringing so much light into my, and this, world.
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