Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year In Review

My mom once told me to be prepared for every year of my life to go by faster than the one before it. After this year, I can absolutely say that she was right. I blinked, and I went from worrying about the transition of leaving Campbell to sitting here preparing for my second semester of grad school.

I don't even know how to begin to review this year. There have been difficulties that I never expected to have to deal with. People have left without explanation. Relationships changed without either of us intending. Bonds have broken and distance has spread and that's been really hard for me to accept without being consumed by anger or sadness over the love lost. I hate losing people. I always have.

But God never lets something dark come without bringing light, too, and there have been a few relationships that have grown beautifully. Clayton and I go to school 850 miles apart now, but thanks to the beauty of FaceTime, he has become one of my truest, best friends. Holly and I were both nervous about living together, but for the most part, we have learned to treat each other like adults and friends beyond our sibling relationship. I found an amazing church family right off the bat who became my family without hesitation. And other relationships from my Campbell years have continued to hold despite the distance and time apart; Austin, my soccer boys...I am certainly not short on love. It never ceases to baffle me how blessed I am by the people in my life.

The process of leaving Campbell and heading to New York was a very interesting combination of terrifying, crazy, and amazing. God proved just how faithful He is by working out every detail down to the minutiae to set me up in the city and get me started in my grad school career. My life in New York is nothing like I imagined it would be. It's so much better. Even with the injury and surgery that held me back this fall, I am so at home there and I know that it's only going to get better in the new year. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to remember that this isn't a dream. I was really nervous and a bit homesick in the beginning, but I feel like I've adjusted to the culture shock and now, I'm just really ready to be back and get back to my life there.

My One Word for the year was rest. In some ways, I think this was a success, but there were a lot of things I could have done better. I definitely noticed an improvement when handling the stress of paying for NYU, both this summer and this fall, but I've still got a long way to go in letting go of my instinctive panic. I hope to grow in this next year, as I already know what my One Word for 2015 is going to be...

By moving 600 miles away from home, I hoped to find out who I am on my own, away from the ties to and constant drama of my family. That got a little sidetracked when Holly decided she was moving with me, but really, what I've learned is that the question I sought to answer is not one that can be explained in a year. I'm going to keep growing and changing as the circumstances of my life evolve. I sincerely hope things never become stagnant.

So my prayer for this new year is that I would grow more and more aware of God's will for me and my life, and that my eyes and ears would open even wider to where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do. I pray that my self-awareness grows a stronger foundation in the ultimate truth upon which my entire being rests: I am a daughter of the Living God, and I will fail in all my other roles if I lose sight of that primary fact.

I say this every year, but I mean it. Whatever God has for me in the next 365 days, I want it. I am in. I am all in. Because it's going to be way better than what I could ever dream up.

Happy New Year, friends. Peace, love, and grace be with you and yours.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Still Here

Well, still in the hospital.

The doc just didn't feel comfortable sending me home yet with how my lungs still are.

I'm okay with it. I'd rather get back to (my version of) 100% by staying here longer instead of going home early and then end up back here in a few days.

I'm getting there. Hopefully tomorrow.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Bad News then Good News

I'm in the hospital for IV steroids. Should be out tomorrow.

Good news is I have Wifi. House of Cards binging is underway.

And oh yeah, I have funding for NYU for the spring semester. God is good.

Post #2000. Wow.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014


I have been sent to my grandma's house for the rest of my vacation because my breathing got so bad we thought if I spent one more day at our house I'd end up in the hospital. She's out of town for the next week which is good because she can kind of drive me insane. I have no Wifi which is going to make paper writing much more complicated.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Day After

Considering my mom spent the better part of the past three days in the kitchen - because oh yeah, before the game last night, she made a huge meal of fresh seafood per Holly's and my request - she rightfully declared today a day of leftovers and no work.

Which became only even more fitting when we watched another movie after the game (The Other Woman is awesome) and then stayed up until 6 am reading Mom's old high school yearbook. (So many stories. I'd be dead if I divulged even a detail. Let's just say it seems like every guy my mom ever spoke to in high school was in love with her.)

After that I took two back-to-back breathing treatments and thus had so much Albuterol coursing through my system that I didn't fall asleep until after 8 this morning.

And somehow I'm the only one who didn't sleep the entire day away. Ha! But to be fair, Holly was incredibly hungover and Mom is about to leave (yes, at midnight) to take Holly to the airport in Raleigh because her flight leaves at 7 am and leaving at 3 am and getting back after 9 is a bad idea even for my serious night owl of a mother.

But I had a peaceful day. I watched the Duke bowl game (which they barely lost, boo), unpacked all of my stuff because I finally have a dresser in my room to store stuff for the next couple weeks, and just relaxed. I really hope I start feeling better soon because breathing is not supposed to be this painful only from an allergy attack.

Tomorrow, I have to get down to business on the papers I have to make up. I have 30 days to write 55-60 pages. I wrote 40 in six this spring, and twenty of that was in French. I'll be just fine. Just gotta suck it up and do it.

Tonight, I'm watching another episode of House of Cards, doing laundry, and taking a long hot shower.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

The strength of the wolf is the PACK!

First, it was Christmas Eve. Then, it was Christmas Day. Finally, it was BOWL DAY!

My beloved Wolfpack went from a 3-9 record in the 2013 football season to 7-5 in 2014, earning them a place at the Bitcoin Bowl against University of Central Florida. UCF had a 9-3 record, and they beat some major teams. They were predicted to win by every analyst I could find by up to two touchdowns.

Well, since when has the Wolfpack ever done what people thought they would? WE WON. We were up on them by as much as two touchdowns, ultimately winning 34-27 in a close finish when UCF came roaring back in the second half. Mom's boyfriend was over here all night to watch the game with us. There was much screaming involved.

For those of you who don't know a lot about football (like was the case for me for many, many years), having a 3-9 record one year and then improving by 5 games including a bowl win the next is a HUGE improvement.

Below is a video of a chant that the team has done in the locker room after several victories this season. I couldn't understand most of it, but Googled the last line and found that it's actually from "The Second Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling. Talking about wolves plus it's literary? Mom said it made her entire day. It makes me smile no matter how many times I watch or listen to it. There's an even longer version on Youtube, but I figured I wouldn't subject you to that since it's just them repeating the same thing.

Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky.
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back.
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

A video posted by NC State Wolfpack Football (@packfootball) on

Wolfpack football is back, baby!

Now to turn from our very young football team, to our very young basketball team, who is also doing way better than expected by just about anyone.

I love college sports. Is it obvious? ;)

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

Four cold meds, an antibiotic, and round the clock breathing treatments. Merry Christmas to me!

All kidding aside, today was pretty great. Minimal drama from Chelsea, lots of good food, the uncle and aunt and cousins were loads of fun, Blake was here, more money than I expected to get, all good things. So I may have felt absolutely awful, but at least I had fun.

I was really glad to get to see my cousin Dusty because he leaves for boot camp in early March and I definitely won't be back before then. Plus he brought his girlfriend along and I got to meet her and she seems awesome. And he and I get along so well now. I know I say that every time I see him, but it's still kind of weird for me because we really did not get along at all for so many years. I couldn't have imagined the relationship we have now.

After all the cleanup, Mom, Holly, Mommom, and I sat down to watch a movie, which we do after most holiday meals. Small tip? If someone suggests renting the movie "Hit By Lightning" SAY NO. It was bad. Really bad. Like, so bad it was funny just how awful it was. Holly fell asleep halfway through it, Mommom couldn't stop complaining, and Mom couldn't stop laughing about how bad it was.

I, on the other hand, just focused on breathing.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. This holiday comes to a close.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Let the feasting begin!

Well, I may be sick, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the food that comes with holidays in this family.

Just like last year, my mom made two giant lasagna, one for tonight, one for New Year's Eve. So tonight, the house was alive.....with the smell of roasted garlic. Mmm mmm good.

Tonight wasn't great in family terms because, well, Chelsea is Chelsea and Chelsea doesn't change, but everyone besides her largely kept their cool, so it could have been a lot worse. And I was way too sick to get fired up.

And once she left, the whole night was lovely. I slept, Holly painted the bathroom, and Mom got most of her cooking done.

I woke up around 11:30 and we watched television and ate and they wrapped presents. Christmas Eve prepping is fun when you're expecting a 4-year-old in the morning.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My mom sure is being good to me today.

Aside from helping her scrub doors and baseboards in the room Chelsea and Blake used to live in (which was a completely disgusting disaster), I haven't had to do anything.

She's brought me all the medicine I need, food, drink, gotten me more paper towels every time I ran through a new bunch, reminded me when I need to take a new breathing treatment, everything I could need.

I think I'll keep her.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

My new record, ladies and gentlemen.

10 minutes. That's how long it took for my sinuses to completely fill up and me to start sneezing my head off when I walked in the door last night. 10 minutes.

Today, it moved into my chest. Also remarkably fast, even for me.

This is gonna be a long vacation...

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cruella de Lambert

My first experience on a flight out of LaGuardia was...interesting.

Well, first of all, security took like 15 minutes to get through. I didn't have to take my shoes off, or my laptop out of my bag, or go through one of those body scanner things.

And here's the kicker. I completely forgot that the pepper spray gun that Jim gave me before I left in August (the one that shoots 90 MILES PER HOUR) was still in the bottom of my purse until Mom, Holly, and I were halfway home and it came up in somehow I unintentionally got through airport security and the carry-on bag x-ray screen thing with that in my bag, but Holly got her conditioner taken away. I'll definitely be bringing it back to New York in my checked bag, though!

And then the flight came. We didn't board on time because the airline oversold the plane and everyone actually showed up (I hate it when they do that, the airlines, not the people). And then, I was supposed to be in the last row of the plane but then a party asked to be moved together so they moved me up six rows. I was sitting waiting for boarding in a chair right next to the gate desk, across from these parents and their teenager girls. We're just waiting for board when all of a sudden, this guy struts up and he's dressed like Adam Lambert (the singer from American Idol) with a Cruella de Vil fur coat and gloves. The dad across from me and I looked at each other and just laughed.

We finally board, and who is my new seat partner? Cruella de Lambert. (I called him that when relaying the story to Mom and she almost cried from laughing.) And he insisted on sprawling out his fur coat all over the place so I had to dig and dig for my seatbelt.

Normally, when Mom and I are in the car together, we plug in my phone and sing together, but my phone battery was very low by the time she picked me up because I had to block out several things on the flight. First, there was the expected screaming children. Plus, Cruella talked to himself the entire flight. And to top it off, there was this mom sitting right in front of me and her two pre-teen/young teenage daughters across the aisle from her and from the second they sat down, she was leaning across the aisle talking to them and asking them questions and handing them things. Except she didn't talk to them like they were 13 (or around that age, however old they were). She talked to them like they were 4. "Here's a sandwich, sweetie. Do you want Mommy to unwrap that for you? Here, hand it back to Mommy." The ENTIRE flight. Mom's response when I told her about this lady? "You would have BITCH-slapped me if I talked to you like that."

So yeah, that was certainly the most interesting flight I can remember. We'll see if I have any stories to tell on the way back home to NYC.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

I didn't know I had that much to recover from.

It took me a long time to fall asleep last night, but I just laid there because by the time I got back to the apartment, my calves and feet felt like they were going to break in half they were so sore.

But once I did sleep, I slept HARD.

As in, I didn't get out of bed until 6 pm.

After that, I ate, watched Gilmore Girls, and packed.

First time I can remember packing dirty clothes to bring home, but hey, laundry in Swansboro is free.

And then, a combination of being super excited to see Mom and, you know, the fact that I slept all day meant I was up very late. The vicious cycle, I tell ya.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Insert heart emoticon here. :D


Tonight was the night I've been waiting for for two months. The night I got to go to Long Island to meet Maks, Val, Tony and some of the other Dancing with the Stars dancers that I have loved watching for so long.

Everyone got to take a group shot before the dancers spread through the room where you could talk to them individually.

Artem, Tony, Sharna, Peta, me, Henry, Jenna, Serge, Val...and Maks kneeling because staffers taking pictures kept telling him he was too tall. After this, I got to hug both Maks and Val (which is what I really wanted) and Maks grabbed my hand and stepped me out towards the exit. I was so happy that I forgot one of the staffers had my phone, so Val grabbed it and told me he was going to keep it. ;)

Peta, Maks, and Jenna split before I could get a selfie with them (which was lame because this thing was not that long and everyone else stayed, not to mention we paid good money for this opportunity). I was especially sad about Maks because I was going to get him to say hi to Mom on video because he's her favorite and would have flipped, but oh well.

Henry is the sweetest!

These are only some of the selfies Val took when I handed him my phone. But I don't mind. ;)

The world is Sharna's catwalk. LOOK AT HER. 

Artem is just as gentle and quiet as he seemed on TV this season. :)

Serge was one of the only two (Jenna was the other) that I wasn't familiar with before tonight, but I absolutely adore him! He is precious and so, so sweet.

I caught Tony in the hallway as I'm pretty sure he was leaving, and he still stopped and took a picture with me and signed my autograph book. Too kind.

I thought Val was selfie happy...then I met Alexander. He's kind of Twitter famous among DWTS lovers, particularly Maks and Val fans as he's grown up with them, so I immediately knew who he was. He took a lot more pictures than this, I just figured you didn't need to see them all. He was so much fun. 

All in all, an amazing experience. I'm so thrilled I got to meet this group. They're so gracious and kind. Not to mention even more beautiful in person, though I didn't know that was possible.

And now I am off to stare at my autograph book for a while, and then I'll crash. ;)

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thank you, Lord.

First things first, Gabe is going to be okay. He's STABLE. He's got at least a few more surgeries ahead of him to fix some broken bones, but all in all, he is doing better than expected. This could have been a lot worse for him, even worse than it already is, and I am just so thankful that my friend is alive. I was talking to my friend, Summer, and she said it perfectly, "Of course he would be doing better than the doctors expect, he's just a little stubborn." Ha! That is Gabe. ;) Thank you for your prayers. Please don't stop. He has a long recovery ahead of him, and his family still has a hard road of grief ahead with the loss of Gabe's sister. I still can't even begin to comprehend what they're facing right now. But he's alive, and that is a miracle.

The other thing that I am thanking God for today is that I was able to meet Keith, one of the deacons from church for coffee this afternoon (well, hot chocolate for me, but that's sort of just a generic activity that people say, "meet for coffee," you know what I mean? anyway.) I was able to share my story with him, which is always something I enjoy. And I was glad for him to get to know me better, since he is one of the church leaders. But one of the most interesting things out of the hour we spent together was that he told me that the impact I've had on City Grace in just the few months that I've been there was amazing. Sometimes I forget that God is using me even when I don't feel like I'm being used. It's sort of like how after the Christmas service on Sunday, when I thanked Ashley for bringing me a chair so I could sit while I sang, she instead thanked me for volunteering to be in the choir even though I needed a little modification. In my view, they were doing me a favor, but in her view, I was doing them one. Perspective is everything.

Today was a good day.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What to do when you can't do anything.

There are so many things that happen in this world that I don't understand.

I don't understand why people think it's okay to viciously beat a man after a prayer service just because he was gay and truly believe it's in the name of God.

I don't understand why militants can charge into a school and kill more than 100 children in the name of their agenda.

And I don't understand why a man can decide driving drunk is worth the risks.

This is my friend Gabe. I was in bed most of the day with a migraine, but this afternoon, I got on Twitter to see messages of prayers pouring out for him. I quickly found out that he was in a serious car accident last night while driving back from Texas to visit his brother. A drunk driver crossed the center lane and crashed into Gabe's car head-on as he drove with his sister Lydia back from Texas where they visited their brother. Lydia was killed instantly, Gabe was in critical condition, and a five-year-old in the drunk driver's truck had serious injuries.

I immediately felt like I was going to throw up. I was honestly surprised at first at how scared and sick the news made me feel, but then I began to think of memories that involved Gabe. How he almost cried when I told him about my dad. The dinner we had at Chick-Fil-A where he just sat and listened to me and gave me some advice and we got to know each other better. How he helped me move out at the end of a semester. How we were so quickly able to restore our friendship once we were on the other side of the drama. And I felt like a complete ass for all the times we had fought over stupid club drama and politics and all of these things that mean nothing anymore. All I could was pray that he would make it, so I could have the chance to make sure he knew how much I truly do respect and care about him. Praise the Lord that his longtime girlfriend posted on Facebook a few hours ago and said that he's going to make it.

Everyone knows the phrase "peace that passes all understanding," but tonight, I realized that you need that kind of peace the most when you're facing a situation that is beyond understanding. I don't understand one speck of this, how Gabe and his family could be facing such a scary and difficult journey when he did nothing wrong driving that car, how a man could put so many innocent people in danger, especially the child in the truck with him, why Gabe and his sister were right there at that exact second and so it was them that man hit instead of someone else. How Gabe's family could have to balance being with Gabe in a hospital so far from home while simultaneously planning their daughter and sister's funeral. There are no words for this.

Even now, now that I know it looks like he's going to be okay (eventually), all I can think is that I so desperately wish I could go visit him and tell him in person just how much I really do treasure him. But obviously, that's not an option, so what is left?

I will pray.

I will pray for his full healing, so those around him can experience all that is Gabe and the way that he can light up people's lives with his goofy sense of humor.

I will pray for his heart and mind, that he will not be wrecked by guilt when his sister's death fully hits him when he is conscious, that he will still be able to one day go back to law school.

I will pray for his parents and family, as they balance their grief over losing Lydia and their need to support and care for Gabe, and as they plan a funeral hundreds of miles from home.

I will pray for his girlfriend, that she will also have peace and rest knowing that he will make it through.

I will pray for the child in the other vehicle, that she will also make a full recovery, and her family as they walk through this time.

But also, I will pray for James, the man who made an awful decision that has irrevocably changed numerous lives. As much anger as those who know Gabe and his family may feel right now, no matter how justified that anger is, we must remember that James is no less deserving of a Savior than we are. I will pray for him, that he will learn from this tragic mistake and seek forgiveness for the damage he has caused. It's really been on my heart lately in many situations that I need to pray for people even when I don't want to, and this situation definitely fits that. I am just as broken as James, and I must extend the same grace that I seek for myself.

The one good thing I've seen today is how the Campbell family has rallied around one of our own. I've repeatedly looked at Gabe's Facebook checking for updates, and it is flooded with messages of support and love. Even when this world seems to be at its darkest, there is still so much good out there. We can't do anything to change what has happened, but we can pray, and sometimes that is the best tool we have.

It would really mean a lot to me, as I know it would to all who know and love Gabe and his family, if you would join me in praying for those grieving in the aftermath of this awful incident.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Healing will come.

He contacted me again. It had been a month since the last time, so I thought it was over since he'd quit his every-two-weeks-like-clockwork ritual. The last time had been right before my surgery, so I figured I'd forgotten to block him in the midst of all that craziness plus the stress of finding out the news about my loan situation the day before my surgery, as well. I'd thought about him less and less, I guess because I was so tired from recovery. Since I'd never responded to any of the messages, I thought he was finally getting the point.

And then he popped up again. Originally, I wasn't going to respond, but then decided to send him one message to tell him to leave me alone and let me finally move on with my life. I thought that if things got to a scary level by some chance, at least I would have proof that I did ask him to stop, since clearly the ignoring him didn't work. I did good and didn't respond to any of the numerous text messages he replied back with that he said was his "goodbye". When he stopped, I just let it go.

But by that point, he was all in my head. Again. And I returned to that all-too-familiar feeling that somebody was sitting on my chest. I thought damn him for still having this grip on me.

Clayton to the rescue! ;) We had already scheduled a FaceTime date for tonight, so the timing was just coincidentally fantastic. After all this time, Clayton knows me well enough that he knew I just needed him to listen. But then he gave me advice, too. The funny part was he was all "You can take this advice or leave it," and I basically just said, "Shut up. You know how much I respect your wisdom." And then he told me that I needed to block him, and now, and completely pegged that I hadn't yet because it feels like I'm the one walking out on him. "I know it feels like you're abandoning him by blocking him, but he already left."

Boom. I didn't even know that was the reason behind it until he said that. It reminded me of this article, which isn't totally relevant since he and I never dated but pretty close because that article explains exactly why I do anything to try to avoid people leaving, even people like him who aren't worth the investment I've put in. I spent so long pleading to try to convince him that I wasn't like everyone else in his past and that I wasn't going to give up on him, that I stuck around through all of this crap so that I could stick to my word, so that I wasn't causing him pain. Because I know what it's like to be left behind. And it's terrifying and heartbreaking.  But Clayton's right. He left a long time ago. And as Summer said, he was in it for the emotional booty call. "I don't think he ever had any intention of loving you." Which hurt like hell to hear but was probably very accurate.

So yeah, I blocked him. Finally. For once. But I wasn't blocking him because I wanted to leave him. I blocked him because if I'm ever going to move on, I need to not be able to see his name or his number or his picture. I blocked him because the part of me that loves him so much it hurts needs to die. I blocked him because I need to not constantly think I wish I didn't love him so much, and the day when that happens isn't going to come without this step.

The past 5+ years aren't going to be healed in a day or a week or even a month. I just pray that I remember to give myself enough grace to ache and move on, no matter how long it takes.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

No more sling!

After more than three months of having my arm in a sling, and just shy of four weeks of having it totally strapped to my stomach, I finally got permission to take it off today! Hooray!

The doctor (well, technically the PA, meh) said that my progress is just about exactly where it should be. I go back at the end of January, and he wants my range of motion to be back at 100%. We will see.

Mostly, I'm just really happy I can use my arm again. There are a few restrictions, but it feels like free reign because I don't have to use that sling anymore. This means I can sleep in my real bed again, too!

That's a good Monday, if you ask me.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm quite proud of myself today.

Not only did I sing and help lead a church service for the first time in years, I did alto and I did it a cappella! I didn't know I could do that. In fact, I was really nervous about doing harmony OR doing a cappella, let alone both, but I managed to do it, and I think do it well.

Holly took me to lunch afterwards as a treat. I was super surprised that she came, but turns out she will come to anything if it means supporting me. Who knew. ;)

The service was beautiful, and I'm a little sad it's over, but so, so thankful to have been a part of it alongside such amazing people at my church.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

A step in the right direction.

Today I washed a whole sink full of dishes, and my shoulder didn't hurt any more than it did when I started! It's the little things.

The rest of the day was choir practice (which was even more fun that last weekend) and lots of laziness.

I've been on a Ramen kick lately. Holly even showed me the easy way to cook it that bypasses a stove and only requires getting one bowl dirty. So yay for that.

I spent almost two hours texting Clayton tonight and we decided he's going to come down to the coast and visit me while we're both in NC for the holiday! I am SO excited. That's like, the best thing to happen for me this Christmas. He's pretty much the only person from Campbell I really miss that won't still be at Campbell when I visit next month.

It's an early morning tomorrow for the service because we have to practice beforehand. I hate early, but I like church and I like singing, so it all evens out I suppose.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

These Friends

The Anima Series strikes again with another gold-level video.

Except the difference between this one and the other Anima videos I've posted about here is that the others really taught me something, but this one stuck out for me because it really hit home just how blessed I am to have so many people with whom I have a long-lasting, Biblical friendship. Friends who uphold and support me. Friends who love me when I'm crazy, and needy, and intense, and weird, and stupid, and really just hard to put up with. Friends who not only make me want to be a better friend but also to love God better every day and every time we get the chance to talk.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I would still have the desire to love God and know God if it weren't for these friends. I'm not sure I would have been strong enough to continue to believe in God's promises if it weren't for the people who refused to let me retreat and hide and crumble in fear. With everything that has happened just since last September when the seizures came back, I've had plenty of reasons to wonder what exactly God is doing and why He's been allowing me to walk this path. If I didn't have the friendships that I do, friendships that surpass time and distance, that doubt probably would have easily taken over my life, but because of these friends pointing me back to God when I'm at my lowest and angriest, I'm still here. And I'm still focused on my King.

These aren't just the kind of friends I longed for growing up. They're so much better. These are the friends I don't have to worry about being real friends, or worry about leaving, or worry about not being good enough for. They are the friends who don't just love me, they show me the Love that is so much greater. They are the friends who see me the way God sees me when I can't see it myself. They are such a sweet picture of Jesus for me, but humble enough to reiterate that any good I see in them only comes from Him.

I suck at being a friend sometimes. I know I do. But these friends, they know that I love them even when I mess everything up. That's when I see God the most clearly in them. I remember the first time Ryann forgave me for doing something stupid; I was absolutely baffled that she didn't just leave. And my intensity, the same intensity that I've been told way too many times is the reason people leave me? These people see past it and count it as a blessing that I love them that much. They know me. Past my nervousness and people-pleasing nature, they know me. Beneath the intensity and lack of a filter, they know me. And they still love me. I know I'm safe with them.

And all of that, that can only point me back to God. Because gosh knows, I kind of suck at loving Him way more than I suck at being a friend.

Truth is, I don't really know how you "create" long-lasting, Biblical friendships. I'm still not sure how these friendships happened. They just did. And I don't know where I'd be without these friends whom I know have my back no matter what.

Soli Gloria Deo.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Forgive me for being vague.

I'm at a loss for words tonight. Which is weird. Nothing in particular happened that would be a decent cause for speechlessness. I'm not super exhausted or anything like that. So I'm not really sure why I don't know what to say.

I had a lot of weird dreams last night, I remember that much. Dreams that are making me question a lot of things, things I didn't know I was still hanging on to...until now, at least.

I have to wonder how much of it is just that I'm homesick and lonely and how much of it is truly unresolved feelings and issues. Feelings and issues on things that I'm not sure that I will ever really get closure on. Which anyone who knows me knows that is a really hard pill for me to swallow and a battle that I am working on every day.

After 4 solid months on my own in New York and 7 months since graduation, there are things I thought I'd be over by now, and I have to accept the fact that I'm just not. Which makes me feel all sorts of pathetic and stupid, but as a friend has to so often remind me, I'm human and feeling things is not wrong or pathetic or stupid. It's just part of being human. As not fun as it can be sometimes.

I know feeling things like what I'm feeling is normal, but I'd really like to not feel these particular things anymore.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My wish is Mother Nature's command.

Isn't that nifty?

It was snowing most of the day today. The ground wasn't cold enough for it to stick, but I still got to walk outside with snowflakes falling hard all around me, which was pretty spectacular. There's something magical about snow. It'll only be even better when it sticks. 

I didn't have to go to class today, but I'm trying to do at least one thing a day that will help build my stamina back up, so randomly, I decided to ask Holly if she wanted to go out to dinner. We call it our "sister dates," which is cute if you ask me. After some searching, I found this Italian restaurant a couple subway stops away that was incredible. I scarfed down the lasagna and the raspberry crumb cheesecake I got for dessert was on another level. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert, so I eat a lot of it, so it's hard for one to blow my mind, but this one made me say "Oh my God!" as soon as I put it in my mouth.

It was a good evening.

And to boot, I got a picture of me that I actually really like. Minus the eyebrows that needed to be shaved back down clean, but I don't think you can tell that too much here. So yes, I like this picture. And I like sister dates. :)

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oops I did it again.

Maybe this is a sign I should try sleeping without the sling? It's not like I can really do any damage because I've been sleeping in the recliner, especially with the pinched nerve problem. But it makes me nervous. I really don't want to mess up my shoulder again, but I also can't take the pain of not letting it out of the sling. I tell ya, if I didn't have this ice pack, I would be doomed. I've been having the ice pack on my shoulder and the heating pad on my elbow and lower arm to help with that cramping. The simultaneous ice and heat is an interesting combination.

Today it poured rain most of the day. When it pours rain, you just kind of want to sleep the day away, you know? At least I do. But the roommate and I did manage to get to the grocery store during a break in the rain. So that's good.

My program adviser informed me that one of the classes I originally signed up for was being cancelled for not enough enrollment, so I had to go back and pick a new class. Well that worked out very well for me because when I did, I found all three of the original classes I wanted to sign up for but could find on my original attempt at registration. So now I have a schedule that I am really excited about (and no morning classes and only two days a week!). I just need God to work out this funding. Seven weeks left to get it. Sigh. Mom and I are going to see Aunt Dinah while I'm home. I'm so scared she's going to say no or even worse, get mad about it, but I can't not ask her at this point.

Two more days of classes.

I'm super tired. Good night.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Apparently I can take my sling off in my sleep now.

Because I woke up and it was unhooked from me. I think I remember thinking that my elbow was hurting but don't remember taking it off. But who can blame me for that? My elbow has been at a right angle for three solid months now. It was bound to get cramped. So I went to get a glass of wine next door tonight because the roommates are bugging me majorly and decided to go without my sling since it is just next door and wasn't any major physical activity and my arm seriously hurts being straightened out and not strapped to my stomach. So that'll be fun to deal with.

I know I'm a whiner. But my body is weird and annoying.

My new coat and gloves came in today! Mom got them for me for Christmas since I don't have anything appropriate for a New York winter. The timing was perfect since it didn't get above 30 degrees today which is only a foreshadowing of things to come.

I'm going to have to figure out how to get to and from the grocery with one arm tomorrow. I've been asking Holly to do it for a week now and now it seems like she's just ignoring me to be mean and I'm tired of having to spend so much money because we have no food or drink in the house. So that will be interesting. Especially if it's as cold tomorrow as it was today. Eh, even if I can't wear the coat because of my sling, at least I can wear my gloves.

Truth be told, the cold may be rough, but I much prefer it over the heat, and I really can't wait for my first NYC snow! :)

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Because I don't have enough going on at the moment.

So you know what I learned today?

A pinched nerve on your spine can make someone with epilepsy have a seizure.

I learned that when I had a seizure (for the first time in two months) at church (surprise surprise) and woke up barely able to move my legs and feeling like my legs were on fire.

That led to another ER trip I can't afford only to be examined by an ER doctor who told me it sounds like I pinched a nerve on my spine (while sitting in a church service, hold your applause) which freaked out my brain and caused the seizure. Or something like that. They gave me a big shot of something for the inflammation and sent me home.

I spent the vast majority of the day in the recliner barely able to move, but by nighttime I was able to take a shower and the burning eased up. Needless to say, it'll take a few days for the pain to be back to normal.

My life is so much fun.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Any idea what "lully lullay" means?

Because I don't have a clue.

And no one at choir practice had a clue.

It's from Coventry Carol, which I had to learn for the Christmas choir at church that I joined. We have a special Christmas service on the 14th and they needed singers.

Choir practice was so much fun. I didn't know there could be that much laughing while learning songs, but today there definitely was.

I feel like I belong with them, and that is so nice.

And then I came home and my migraine got bad again so I slept.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

I want to go to Stars Hollow.

I was not in the mood for anything or anyone besides Netflix and the Gilmore girls today.

I don't know what was wrong with me today. I was just not in a good mood.

Sleep can help that. Yep, Netflix and sleep. That was my day.

Also, Jess is mine. There's your warning. ;)

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Thursday, December 4, 2014


My Civil War class is so much fun!  There are only seven students in there so we have a tight knit feel every week. Today I think we spent more time laughing and talking about random things than we did actually talking about material. I'm going to miss that class, which I would not have expected going in.

My whole evening was spent on a three-way call with my mother and Verizon because she has the flu and is technologically naive and thus was not in a position to talk to Verizon and figure out what was going on with her phone or how to fix it, but I'm 600 miles away so a conference call was the best I could do. It took four hours. That was fun.

Also a guest post I wrote about my trip to Liverpool can be found here.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Today was Holly's birthday!

After I got out of class, I went to a tattoo parlor and sat with her while she got her very first tattoo. She got a surprisingly large sparrow on the back of her left shoulder. It is rather beautiful. If I ever lose my mind and decide to get a tattoo, I'm going to her artist because he was awesome, talented, and cute to boot. ;)

The afternoon was lazy.

In the evening, we ate dinner, the roommate made a cake, and we had a few drinks while singing 90s music at the top of our lungs. It was heavenly. I haven't listened to most of those songs in ages and now want to go buy them all on iTunes.

They went out late that night and I went to bed. I'm not much fun with my stupid arm still in this sling.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Glimmer of Peace

I think that we all need that one person who, when we talk to them, the world seems at least a little bit brighter afterwards. For me, that person is Clayton. Without fail, that kid will do anything it takes to get me to smile when I am in a bad mood. And we're so much alike, too, that we're able to listen to each other's problems and be a voice of reason when the other is caught up in stress or sadness or any other negative feelings. We frequently have to remind each other that we are human and that it's okay to feel things.

Tonight did me more good than I realized it would going in. I haven't been in the best headspace the past few weeks, it's probably been pretty obvious, and he always makes me smile. We were on FaceTime for more than two hours tonight (yet again) and it was just so lovely. We got to talk about a lot of "shallow" stuff, complete with Clayton's vast array of impressions and strange voices, but then we also talked about deeper stuff, too.

The best part was something that has never happened before tonight. I was telling him about how hard it's been to feel God in the midst of all this worry about paying for next semester and whatnot, and so he went and got his guitar and sang and played me "Be Thou My Vision." I've never heard him sing before! And THEN, it turned into this worship session and we went through several different contemporary Christian songs and another hymn or two and I even sang along. His microphone wasn't that great so it kept cutting out and there was a delay in the video, but it doesn't even matter because the period where he was playing was the first real sense of peace I've had in what feels like ages. I felt God connecting us, Clayton and I, hundreds of miles apart, and I also felt a connection to Him again that frankly, I've really missed.

I love how that whole "where two or more are gathered thing" even works on FaceTime, don't you? ;)

I really can't wait to be reunited with this kid again. I never would have imagined 15 months ago that we would such close friends as we are now, but I'm really glad this happened. He's a gem, and I'm better for knowing him. Friendships like this are one of the greatest blessings from God I can imagine.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

I'd forgotten how long two hours can feel.

Well, after two weeks off (including the holiday), I made it back to class today. Very exciting.

It was exhausting, though. I took cabs to the bank (near my Monday class building) and then back from the health center (after class) so I did do some walking but I didn't push myself too hard since this is way more activity than I've had in two weeks.

Class was good. It was nice to be back. But it was also very long. (See post title.)

After that I had a psychiatry appointment to get a new prescription for my anxiety/depression med, which basically turned into another therapy session because the doc and his med student assistant girl needed to get to know me. Fine with me. I'm so stressed out I'll talk to anyone who will listen and let me vent.

Then, I came home and my amazing super came by and fixed my recliner! He screwed the arm/side back to the frame and the rest of the chair and now I can sit in it and it doesn't fall over! And you can hardly tell. There's just one black square at the bottom of the chair where he screwed it all into place but it's black on dark wood plus it's at the very bottom by the ground so no one is going to look down there to notice it. He asked me beforehand if I cared what it looked like from the outside and I just said no, but what I was thinking was "considering my other option was duct tape? I'm gonna go with no." :p And he wouldn't let me pay him for him, but it only took him like 15 minutes. He really is awesome. I love living here.

After that, I was a bad girl and spent the rest of the day watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

I fell asleep around 10:00. I haven't been sleeping well lately, despite being super exhausted. Gee, I wonder why.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014


Oh boy.

Church made me cry today.

It was all about Naomi and Ruth and how dedicated Ruth was to Naomi and how that resembles Jesus's dedication to us, but that wasn't what made me cry.

What made me cry was how Naomi became so bitter when she felt like her life was falling apart. And all I could think was I'm Naomi right now.

I don't want to be Naomi.

I don't like being bitter.

I know that God is good and God provides and God loves me more than I can ever comprehend, but I am sad and frustrated and a little bit mad and I can't pretend I'm not. Because pretending takes energy that I don't have.

Jesus, help me.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Not what I need right now.

Safe to say, my depression is kicking into high gear over the anxiety that though numerous people are sharing my fundraiser, pretty much no one seems to be donating to it.

I couldn't muster the energy to get out of bed today.

I really don't have time for this. But it is what it is.

Thanking God that I have a psychiatry medicine appointment on Monday.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Nothing day.




More sleep.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Sister Thanksgiving. And I need your help.

Today was really really great.

Holly and I slept until 3 in the afternoon. Mostly because we stayed up half the night watching stuff on TV that really could have waited but didn't. But then she started cooking and I laid here but helped her when she needed me and when I could with one arm. We watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Gilmore Girls while that went on.

It was all done by 6:30. We had chicken, asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes and stuffed mushrooms. And it was very delicious and reminiscent of meals by Mom.

We watched more Gilmore Girls until the Seahawks/49ers game and then proceeded to watch the Seahawks kick 49er tail.

After that, I took a shower while Holly did the dishes.

And then, she introduced me to Frozen. That was certainly...interesting, to say the least. All I can think right now is "Do you want to build a snowmaaaaaaan?!" But so fitting to have a sisterly love movie when it's just the two of us here. I was feeling kind of down and homesick yesterday being here for the holiday, but today turned out really great, and I'm super thankful for Holly's effort into the meal.

But here's how I need your help. After talking it over with my mom, I have decided to set up an online fundraiser to raise money to go towards next semester's tuition. The internet can be a powerful source, and I really feel out of options here. Please read my story, donate as much as you can, and spread the word, and if you can't donate, just pray that God will get this to the people who can help me. Thank you in advance. Here's the link:

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