Hot Pink Puppy Farm

i have finally made it out into the world of mississippi! i was starting to go stir crazy a bit! the place where i was assigned is just as the name describes: the house is PINK, there are about 7 pit bulls, 2 pit puppies, and two taco is so small it's like a little bigger then a mouse! i LOVE it! i love all the puppies...AND the family has a BABY and two little kids! what a perfect place for me to be assigned! i keep smiling to myself thinking, "God had this place in mind for me..." i have been painting, priming, and playing with the little girl. her name is alexis.

yesterday, as we were leaving, we all said good-bye to her. i turned around to get into the van to leave and she yelled, "WAIT!" i turned around and she came running towards me, arms wide open...i leaned down to hug her and picked her right up. she hung there for a bit and i just sqeezed her! oh how precious! i don't thin i will forget that as long as i live.

i hope we go back there after lunch. i am getting to know the family a little bit, and the kids will be home from school then. i just can't help but love them all!

to answer a commonly asked question: YES! all the boys are treating me exceptionally well! i couldn't be down here without them...and it would not be the same without them. they are all being quite sweet, observant, protective, helpful, and loving! there is, of course, the typical "gaming" going on...but most of the time i end up cracking up laughing! there is definately a lot of laughter that takes place!

we went into new orleans last night i just LOVED LOVED it! i keep thinking about it today...the sights, the sounds, the's just a different world and i thought it was so so cool! i particularly enjoyed the beads, feather boa's, and masks...i think chuck is going to post some pictures of all ROCKED!!

alright...don't wanna make peggy cranky and be late for lunch!!

later y'all!!

p.s. i find myself picking up a southern accent....HAHA!

Rats, Mice, and Cock Roaches...

hey y'all (again!)!

we have to have a "devotional" in a couple minutes, so this has gotta be quick.

there's obviously too much to write and not enough words to say it all. i am deffinately getting into the groove of things here, and i like it better each day. i keep thinking to myself, "this is not a glamorous job..." there is ZERO glamour here. not that i was expecting that, or wanting it, but there is none. for me, i am designated to stay back at "camp"...this means i help prepare all the meals, and clean up after each meal as well. in between meals, i clean all the bathrooms (hairy shower drains and all!), dinning room, hallways, and vaccum both the guys and girls "dorm". after all that is done, there are odd jobs that i am in charge of. one of the main jobs has been for me to clean out this big 'ol RV that has not been lived in since october. there are absolutelyl rats, mice, and some remnents of cock roaches out there...i have cleaned A LOT of poop. i look disgusting all day long- i feel disgusting all day long! BUT...i am happy. some thing that has stuck out to me is "don't have any expectations, because we will disappoint you." i am clinging to that. it's weird, because i don't really feel like i am helping people re-build their homes and lives, but i understand that whole pyramid affect that happends. i have had this amazing "partner in crime"- katherine through it all! that has been wonderful! we laugh A LOT! we are continually amazed at the poop that appears in every project that we do! it's so gross and ironic that now we just howl with laughter any time we come across it!
alright, my buddy "rico" is tellin' me it's time for "devo's"...rico is cool! he's from jersey.
check out chuck's blog- he says he's posted pictures...
love to my homies!!! :)

I Love M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I

HEY Y'ALL!! (did i mention i love it here?!)
i just wrote my family an email...and thought i'd post it. it gives a bit of an update about things so's a bit personal, but i wanted to share about things...and i'm getting tired and don't feel like writing some thing new! :) by the way....they have sweet tea galore here...yet another reason why it rocks here!
hello father, mother, brother, sista, and johnny cakes!! :) just wanted to let ya know that we made is safely to MS!! it's an AMAZING mid to high 60's here, humid and muggy and i could NOT be happier!! oh my word. we went to the beach, took off our shoes, and walked straight into the ocean...BLISS.
i am soooooooooooooooooooo happy to be here, i can't even tell you. we made it to our "dorm" tonight. the building is used for: church, dorms (upstairs), kitchen (super nice, and i see LOTS of coffee and syrups so that makes me so happy!! i also see eggo syrup so that makes me happy as well!), and there's the "thrift store" out back. this building is just super nice!! we found out there's another small group coming, too. as of yet...i am still going to be the ONLY girl! haha! i feel a bit weird, but hopefully i can be a benefit in some way that only a women could be! i have this huge room full of bunk beds all to myself....the up-side is i get my own shower!! :) i found this little door at the back of the huge room and it's got a single bed in it, a shelf, and the roof is slanted so i hit my head if i'm not decided to "move in" there, as you know how i am! plus, the door to the little closet/room locks, so i'll feel safe.
as for the state of mississippi...the only way i can describe it right now is eerie. i can not imagine how it was a couple years ago!! it's just really eerie!! it makes me so sad that it almost takes my breath away- just the shock of it all. they are just STARVING for volunteers!! how BLESSED beyond BLESSED i am that God chose to bring ME here! why am i so honored??
a couple of the volunteers are here from vineland, nj. i guess the guy that used to lead this thing was from there and he donated a bunch of trucks and stuff....typical NJ landscapers!! cracks me up. i am curious to find out the original NJ pastor's name...
i have been laughing an awful lot, and having so much fun!! so far, so good...i am nervous about the work though...seems like a lot of labor, and hours....i've never done any thing like this before. 2 of us have to be down in the kitchen at 6am tomorrow morning to help with breakfast, and then orientation is at 7:30am. jamie and i are gonna get's later then i usually get to sleep i guess! it's just me and all i could care less about showering and stuff. they have signs on the door that say "lights out at 10pm, lights ON at 7am"...ISH. i've never heard of lights ON.
haha! oh! i looked up the nearest sbux before i left....33 miles away. we found it tonight and i was able to load up with a double tall soy, no whip, mocha!! :) YUMMMMM!!
my heart already aches for the people here...we met one native MS guy...the accent is nothing like i've ever heard! almost sounds like a speech impediment. i couldn't help but love him! his mom died, just last night! so sad.
i do have GREAT cell phone reception in my room! don't be afraid to call- i won't be "too spiritual to talk" like i was in utah!! HAHAHA!!
i want you to know that you are all heavy on my heart as well...with grammy and's constantly on my mind, and i am's deffinately some thing that is at the forefront of my heart and mind. i am sordof grieving...and just thinking so much about grampy. it's hard not to cry a lot! as i'm sure you're all experiencing!
i should go...i love you all! i'm so thankful to be here! THANK YOU ALL for your huge help in getting me down here. i am blessed beyond blessed!!! we are at the chrisitan life center in waveland, ms. if you do a google search, i think you can find their site.
love, love, LOVE to you each and every one.... ~daughter, sista, shish :)

Oh Waveland!

i am stealing this from research that jamie did...but it's just struck a cord in my heart...making me ache tonight. i am extremely thankful that i get to go help in just a few days. makes any thing else i could possibly blog about seem quite trite. these pictures alone just make me sick...

The city of Waveland, Mississippi was almost totally destroyed by HurricaneKatrina on August 29, 2005, and is now in the slow process of recovering and rebuilding. In a news report, state officials said Waveland took a harder hit from the wind and water than any other town along the Gulf Coast, and that the town was obliterated. Thirty-six years earlier, in 1969, Wavelandhad been severely damaged by Hurricane Camille. Official reports stated that approximately 50 people died when Waveland washit directly by the eyewall of Katrina and the 32-foot storm surge. Hurricane Katrina came ashore during the high tide of 8:01AM, +2.2 feetmore. Hurricane Katrina damaged over 40 Mississippi libraries, gutting theWaveland Public Library, as a total loss, requiring a complete rebuild.
did i mention how blessed i am to be able to go and help? i am so, so thankful...
pray, pray, PRAY!

The New Color of Love

happy valentines day!

i adore valentines day. really, i love any excuse to celebrate- let alone celebrating the people in my life who i love and love me!

amongst the many gifts i received today, i got a big, massive bag of m 'm m's from my mama. they are valentine-specific, but they are all green! apparently green is the new color of love. m 'n m's have come a long way since my jr. high years. is any body with me on this point?! since we're on the topic, i have quite a traumatizing story about yellow m 'n m's as well relating back to jr. high. i'll leave that alone for now!

today is a day to celebrate LOVE! my day was just packed full of sweet things :) but i am going to narrow it down to one of God's gifts to me.

you see, for the past couple of days, i have been a bit of a wreck inside. i haven't slept well. my mind is wrestling around with a lot of issues. i go to bed stinkin' late, and wake up stinkin' early because my mind is just mulling over STUFF. i have woken up for the past two mornings with a stomach ache- the kind where i think i might throw up. it's all because of me being anxious and worried about "things". it's strange because i used to live in a constant state of worry, but really thought i had overcome all of that. seems to have reared it's ugly head again for a spell. one of those "things" has been money stuff. ugh. the dreaded money stuff. i went to get my mail, and in the midst of several valentines that i got also came a surprise from God!

HE provided me with a nice chunk of change that i will be able to use for my bills this month! oh how my heart just exploded with gratefulness! i feel so relieved and so blessed and so thankful! you see, i had written an article months ago. an author (ha! that's me! so cool!) doesn't get paid until the article is actually published. well, it came out in the spring issue, so i finally got my check! holy cow- is my God super sweet, or what?! and just tonight i was reading and studying and was lead to see how sweet Jesus was...and is.

so, even though i still have issues on my mind- today was living proof, that indeed, my God will supply all OUR needs...

Bowling with Bux

tonight rocked. my whole store got to go out for a "party" which meant we went bowling and had food all on sbux. i am going to bed, but i just wanted to say that i love these people. so much. oh, and i WON!!!! :)

here is about half of them...

some of us girls...ALWAYS tons of laughing!!


it's technically monday, but i am holdin' strong to sunday still. i never want to let sundays go. i'm not ready to start the week. this was a particularly phenominal sunday. i actually got to relax this afternoon for the first sunday afternoon in months! i fell asleep to the sounds of some sort of sporting event on tv that swz was watching. i think they were bouncing a ball of some sort? maybe trying to make a goal? and what better way to put me to sleep then to be bored into my blissful, dreamy state? there were many other factors into my super sunday, but i'm too tired to continue.

as a follow up to my last entry, i did call grampy. and i will continue to call.

Why I Do What I Do

yesterday i was running hungry.
last night i was running tired.
this morning i am "it's hard to get out of bed" running sore.

this, this is why i run.

there is a truck load of stuff on my mind. some of it is really deep, some of it is just lingering. for instance, i've been thinking a lot about my Grampy. he has cancer, has no voice (as a result of the previous), and it just breaks my heart when i call him. i keep telling myself i "should" call more often, or i "should" do this or that. well, to be quite honest, it's hard. it's hard to face reality, and really live in the reality of this situation.

i'm also thinking about Holly, my cousin. her death weighs on me, in a sense, and will for the rest of my life. a woman asked me yesterday what the "green ribbon on my apron" was for. i have this answer that flies out of my mouth any time some one asks me that. "my cousin was killed in a car accident, and she was an organ donor. the green ribbon is the national symbol for organ donation." the asker's face is always the same. a bit shocked, a bit embarrassed, a bit awkard, and a lot of "i have no idea what to say right now." i don't mind, for some reason. i guess it's because i want to shout out about holly's life, and even until her death she was giving to other's. her life wasn't about her.

and dear, sweet tricia is waiting for lungs. she can't see her new baby. her own flesh and blood, she is not allowed to see. (check out the amazing 1 month slide show of gwyneth!) i hurt for her. it's pretty strange, actually, because holly's lungs were donated for CF research, and now my childhood best friend is waiting for lungs...

it's for these precious loves in my life that i give blood. i'm terrified every time i go. even down to the finger prick. oh i hate the finger prick. my hands are shaking, even as i type, just thinking about it all. i tried to go last week, and was denied because my iron was too low. it made me feel really bad. i kept apologizing to them, because here i was, willing to give, and was not able to! then i felt guilty, because part of me was relieved that i didn't have to go through with all of that! they told me what to eat, do, etc. to get my iron up and be able to go back to give. i have been faithfully eating my flinstone vitamins with organge juice (still have no idea why the orange juice), actually eating hamburger, and green, leafy vegtables. my goal is to try to go back some time next week.

Jesus tells us to give to the poor and needy. i have seen people in need of blood, people very close to me. and so i give.

it's been good to have this time of reflection, though. it's essential to know why i do what i do.

What Am I Thinking?

i finally joined the gym again. it's been a long time coming. and as i get ready for my loooooong day tomorrow, i ask myself "what am i thinking?" running again? blah. i guess it's because i've turned into a bit of a blob. the time has come. i need to be healthy. it's very important to me to take care of my body. it's just that i have really enjoyed not exercising these past few months. all my life, i've been obsessed with working out, and it's been nice to just come home and not worry about it. i need to make a list of why i run (or work out in some other way) to help keep my attitude upbeat. it seems as if the downside of the list is way bigger.

why run?

it's important for my heart
it lowers stress
a good stress reliever
helps me to vent when i'm angry
i feel good about myself
allows me to eat more
burns calories
lose some of the blob

ok. i still don't feel better. it's taking all my restraint not to write all the bad things about running again...but alas. i will prevail. i will be disciplined.

i will run.


i can never resist these things. these questions have been "haunting" me all day...

8 Things I’m Passionate About:

1. people in my life believing God loves them
2. holding to my personal convictions
3. the ocean, the beach (the only true beach)
4. my home
5. starbucks
6. babies
7. jeeps
8. drums (even though i never practice...)

8 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

1. drum in a worship band
2. finish my book/get it published
3. take care of babies that have no mothers
4. attend a ball
5. drive with no destination for weeks
6. establish residency in the south
7. be a prayer warrior
8. be used by God to bring some one to Him

8 Things I Say Often:

1. i'm so hungry, i am going to throw up
2. ish/gross
3. what size would you like? 12, 16, or 20 ounces. would you like dark or light roast? do you want room for cream?
4. and i'm done
5. whatever
6. i can't have dairy
7. what a ween
8. love you

8 artists I never tire of listening to:

1. colbie
2. hillsong
3. mat kearney
4. landon pigg
5. john mayer
6. mozella
7. josh groban
8. i have a bunch of new stuff that i am kinda getting attached to...but not ready to claim it

8 TV Shows I’ve Recently Watched:

1. gilmore girls (does a few weeks ago count as "recent?")
2. guitar hero
3. guitar hero
4. guitar hero
5. guitar hero
6. guitar hero
7. guitar hero
8. guitar hero

8 Things That Attract Me To My Friends:

1. they laugh at silly things/laugh easily/make me laugh
2. embrace the way other people express themselves
3. look for good in others
4. asks me questions
5. loves coffee/loves to eat
6. vulnerable/shares their heart
7. trusts me
8. faithful/loyal/trustworthy

8 Things I Learned in 2007:

1. how to buy a car by myself
2. age doesn't matter
3. God doesn't see democrats or republicans
4. vegtables can be good
5. i can (and do) trust God
6. say what i need to say
7. obeying God's voice
8. i am able to run for over 2 hours

Who Am I Gonna Tag?


Life is so Rad

it really is. gathering my thoughts at this late (early) hour is proving difficult for some reason right now. usually i am alive at night, but it's been such a day that i haven't had a chance to process it all. i am going to bed soon, and i will lay my head down on my pillow, snuggle into my comfy, soft, flannel sheets, with my 7 layers of blankets anchoring me to my cushy matress and i'm pretty sure i will drift into my sleepy, dreamy state with a faint smile tugging on my lips.

today started out like any other opening shift day starts out as. early, cold, so tired i feel sick, wanting to stay in bed, and groaning at the thought of working all day. but, alas, i got up, energized by thoughts of double shots of espresso that i love so much. the work day was a bit crazy from the start (we got a new, hideously UGLY purple chair in, which created a bit of distraction that me, and my non-talking self, had to deal with). i don't remember exactly what time this happened, but a customer came in and ordered a Decaf Tall Nonfat Latte. i went to put an "X" in the decaf box- since i ALWAYS use the "X" as my choice of marking, but as i slashed the line from top right to bottom left, i realized i did not want to complete the "X". i just wanted to leave a slash line. i've tried this before, and it has always bothered me not to complete the full "X". i know, i KNOW! that's weird. it's very OC. it's so perfect. it's annoying. i know this. i left the slanted line...and made a decision in that moment that has changed me. yeah, you think i'm crazy! but in that moment i said, "today, i am going to do things that i normally do not do..." i was instantly excited, elated actually! i was literally bouncing at one point i got so excited! and from all began! the most fun day i have ever had by my own choice!

all day long i did things i would normally not do! it was freeing! it was elating! it was elevating! it was FUN! my friend and i ordered "ruby mini's" (baby hamburgers!) for lunch with amazing seasoned fries. i drove around with my sun roof open. (it's freezing here!) i spit out my side window. that made me laugh out loud at myself! i listened to music all day that i had never listened to before, and i loved it! i skipped the chiropractor! (i normally go 2-3 times a week!) i won a bet that the person betting me never in a million years would have expected me to follow through on! i did many other little things, and also some huge things. my day was literally packed with "un-abby-normals" and i loved it! it was such a blast.

probably the biggest shock of it all...well, let's just say, if you haven't seen me yet i don't want to spoil it for you. picture soon to come...this change is probaby the most shocking, and the most FUN of all. i love it. i'm proud of me. i'm happy to be alive. i'm happy to be LIVING. i'm in awe that God made me this way. He's super cool.

"Life is so rad..."