Everytime this year we gives thanks for what we have. Well for me this year I must say, I have a lot to be thankful for.
First off my family. I thankful that I have a a grandmother that is healthy and still kicking. That I can go and see her whenever I want to. That she loves me and still will put up with me no matter what crap I bring her way. I’m thankful for my mom that keeps reminding me everyday that even though we have problems and see things sometimes very differently, we are not perfect but can still push through whatever comes our way. Then there is my Aunt Kelly, who has been there through everything! From elementary school plays, JROTC competitions, high school graduations, first cars, new jobs, and everything in between. She is one of the kindest, caring, loving, honest, and big hearted people that I am honored to know and privileged to call family. Then there is my cousin Taylor, who even though we didn’t become really close until I would say about high school, she is one of those people I can call (or text) about anything and she will listen. I’m also really glad that the past is still alive only in memory :) Then of course I am thankful for my Uncle Brian and Aunt Kara who without I would not have as many great family memories or be living in my house right now! Of course then there is my cousin Nate, Cousin Sammi, Cousin James, Cousin Daniel, Cousin Steve, Uncle Steve and Aunt Joyce, and Uncle Mark.
Then there is the extended family. Who I don’t really know all that well but I am very thankful that we still have time to get to know one another.
But unlike some, I am thankful to have another family as well, my church family! In one month I will have been going to The Rock for “officially” one year! Yayy!!! It’s weird to look back and think about that…going to the same church for a year when before then I never attended a church at all. But now I can’t imagine not knowing these incredible people. First there is of course Pastor Chris. I am thankful that he challenges me in ways I didn’t know I could be challenged. I’m thankful that he has a joyful and godly spirit that brings light to me life. Then there is Vicki Lynn and I can’t express how thankful I am to know her. She has guided and keeps guiding me through my walk with God. I watch her live her day to day and I am so thankful that she is a great example of how to live a God filled life. I can’t of course forget Christine, who has been a great friend though out this whole past year. I’m thankful that she is not afraid to show weakness or share it with others. She to is another example of what it is to live a God filled life. I know that if I am ever in trouble she will do what she can to be there for me :) And then there Is Joe A. He has shown me what it means to live by the phrase, “Are you willing to give everything to follow God?” Him and his amazing family welcomed me with open arms when they didn’t have to at all and I am honored to be called an honorary Ancheta. The list could go on and on: Dana, Sarah A., Anna, Cheryl, Amie, Theresa, Jennifer, Sara F., Katelyn, Debbie, Anita, Crystal, Joe F., David, Steve, Jaron, Rob, Eric, Keith, Rodney, Derek,…see I could go on and on.
I guess you could say I have a third family as well. A family that comes and goes but that doesn’t matter because I am so thankful to have great friends who chose to love me because Lord knows they don’t have to. I’m thankful for my roommate Julia because she is here living a dream she wanted to. Even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it sometimes she is a blessing to have around. Then there is my girl Ciera who I’ve known for gosh almost 5 years now! Wow lol I am thankful that she shows me what it means to be willing to gives everything you have for your family. I am also thankful she has one of the cutest kids I know, Jayden is a blessing! Janie and Janice I am thankful that they are always there for my Aunt Kelly. Life is hard but with those two I know that my Aunt is gonna be ok. There are so many friends to be thankful for: Heather K., Malinna, Jalyne, Jessica W., Trinity, Christa M., Christa R., Amanda, Laura, Allen, Stephanie, Kendall, Toni, Crystol, Jess M., Megan, Liz, Danette, Dominique, Shanna, and all the friends through out the years! I’m thankful for all the incredible friends past and present that I work with: Sherry, Krystal, Vera, Andy, Thedra, Laura, Laurie, Jennell, Hunter, Melinda, Sara, Jessica, Tine, Kelly, Kellie, and everyone else at Albertsons and Smith’s! If some might be reading this some would say that I forgot to mention someone in my work list of people lol. Last but not least I am thankful for a new friendship with my girl Meilani. It’s strange to think that I have known her for about a month now but it seems like I have known her for years. I am so thankful that she puts up with my bantering and jokes and yet still calls me a friend(I think lol). She may not want to admit it but I will, I am glad to call her a friend and happy that I have a friend who encourages me to go after dreams and who also, as strange as this may sound, keeps reminding me to stay young. She also welcomed me into her family (well her mom a.k.a Momma Rapp did) and for that I am also thankful.
With all these amazing and truly incredible people in my life, what is there is worry about? I am breathing, have a roof over my head, food on the table, I’m able to buy things that I want, great friends and family, and I have a God that loves me no matter what and who takes care of everything! He watches over everyone that I love and everyone that I don’t know yet. I sometimes forget that I am loved by so many people and I am truly thankful that He is always reminding me that I am loved. What else could I want and what else could I be thankful for :)
So I haven’t written a blog in awhile and I felt like I had to write about this last photo shoot that I did. I must say that it was probably one of the most fun shoots I have done with a couple. They were so willing to do pretty much anything I asked, from silly string to sword fighting even to the more serious photos. I think it really shows in the pictures though.
Now from what I know Meilani and Jett have only been together for a couple of months but to me you would never know that because they literally are so cute/good together. I met Meilani first, only about two weeks ago, but for some strange reason, and I don’t know why, we kinda instantly connected. Although if you ask her, she probably still doesn’t like me (inside joke lol). She is very easy to talk to and get to know. So when I mentioned I needed models for a homework assignment, she was more than willing to offer herself and her boyfriend up as models. Now meeting Jett was a little different because he was a little more quiet at first but then he warmed after a couple pictures.
Back to these two…a couple that you would never know has only been together for a couple of months. Maybe it is because I have been around a lot of couples but I believe it is in the ways you act when you think no one is looking that really says a lot. With these two you can see how much they care pretty much every second you turn around. In the way they would look at each other, the way they would always hold hands or try and tackle each other, or in the way they would steal a kiss even when they thought the camera wasn’t on them :) Laughing is also a big part of any relationship and there was no shortage of smiles and laughter from them. Jett knew what to say or what face to give to make Meilani bust out into the biggest laugh I have ever seen! Getting them to be “serious” was the trickiest part of this shoot, which can be good because taking things too seriously can be tiring.
All in all they are the cutest couple and it was an absolute honor and a blast to be a part of their photo shoot. I hope these photos show just a little glimpse of the amazing 2 hours that we all spent together, cuz they flew by!
Pick her up and pretend you're going to throw her in the pool. She'll scream and fight you, but secretly, she'll love it. Hold her hand while you talk. Hold her hand when you drive. Just hold her hand. Tell her she looks pretty. Look her in the eyes when you talk to her. Protect her. Tell her stupid jokes. Tickle her, even when she says stop. When she starts swearing at you, tell her you love her. Let her fall asleep in your arms. Get her mad, then kiss her. Tease her and let her tease you back. Kiss her on the cheek. Kiss her on the forehead. Just kiss her. Let her wear your clothes. Go slow. Don't push anything. When you fall in love with her, tell her.
So I was gonna tweet this when it happened but I decided to blog about it instead because honestly it was a great conversation. It took place with one of my favorite customers, at work, and on my 10 minute break. Even though it was only 10 minutes it felt like at least an hour, in a good way :)
I was headed out the door for my break when I saw Ms. Lisa putting her groceries in her car and she just happened to park right next to me. When I got to my car I said hello like I always do and she gave me a hug, I don’t remember the last time I saw her before this afternoon. We did the usual conversation starters and she told me she was good but had been sick a lot lately. She asked what I had been up to and for some reason I mentioned the concert I went to Sunday night. Now usually people have no idea who BarlowGirl is but to my surprise she knew exactly who they were and that actually made me smile, I wont lie.
She said she had been a fan for a couple years now and really respected them as artists and she admired their passion for Christ. She asked my favorite song and of course I was happy to tell her. But after I gave my answer, which was “Never Alone” (but it now might be “Hope will lead us on”), she asked me this question: “What does faith mean to you and why do you believe in someone who you can’t see or touch or even hear?” To be honest the question kind of set me back for a second. I have never really thought about that answer so when she asked I didn’t know my answer. I was always around people growing up that believed, “if you can’t see it or touch it then it isn’t real”.
My answer went something like this:
Faith is trusting the unseen. I can’t see Him or touch Him but I can feel Him. I’ve been to that dark place that everyone finds themselves at one point in their lives and somehow I’ve managed to come back. I didn’t do that by myself, He was with me even though I couldn’t see Him. I hear Him in my thoughts, in music, and in the words that people say. I can’t really explain the feeling but it’s almost like your walking through the woods. It’s darker, lots of noises, and no matter where you turn you see obstacles in your way. You can see rays of sunlight sneaking through the trees but nothing to take the scariness away. But then you step out of the woods and into the full sunlight. You feel the warmth of the sun covering your whole body, it’s almost like a giant hug. Then all of the sudden the woods don’t seem so scary.
THAT’S the feeling I feel inside when I think of how amazing He is. That’s my faith. The woods are right now, our everyday lives. Trees and branches getting in our way and distracting us from looking for the rays of sunlight. When you trust the unseen and you believe in the fact the the best is yet to come, that’s when you step out of the woods and into the sunlight.
When I told Ms. Lisa this she looked at me and smiled. She gave me a huge, grabbed my hands, looked me square in the eyes, and said, “you will do great things.” I have NEVER had anyone say that to me before. It almost made me burst into tears. She hugged me again and told me to have a great day and then got in her car and drove way. I went back into work and worked the rest of my shift with the biggest smile on my face!
"The best is yet to come."…..something I’ve heard Alyssa Barlow say at every BarlowGirl concert that I have been to but until today I don’t think I really understood it, now I do! This last concert, was by far the most special. I only took 3 pictures because I spent almost the entire concert with my eyes close! I felt Him there that night, more then ever before. If you have never heard of BarlowGirl I tell you this right now, you have to check them out! They are more than just a Christian Rock band, they are AMAZING women of God! Let me give you an example:
"Rise up again, shake off the shadows. Unlock the doors and let hope live once more. Cause up from the ashes a fire is woken. CAUSE THOSE WHO ARE BROKEN ARE BECOMING THE CHOSEN.
So lift up your eyes, cause we’re not forgotten. And hope will lead us on. Oh we pray for the dawn, and we reach for the morning. And hope will lead us on.”
It has been a long time since I wrote a blog and I think it was good for me. Since my last blog there has been many changes. Nothing physical or anything but a lot of emotional changes.
Recently I had a hard slap in the face. I was at a store and I ran into my father. Not literally, but I heard his name, looked up, and there he was. Nothing special or anything he was just seeing a friend. They started talking and this guy walks up, come to find out that it was his son. Now I have always known that my father has had many kids. He was never faithful to one girl his whole life. Which is really sucky to think about because what kind of roll model is that setting? Anyways…I stood there listening to him talk about his son and how great of a man he was. Once the employee left, my father turned around, looked my right in the eyes, and walked away. My whole life I was told that I am the spitting image of my father and here he was looking right at me and he didn’t know who I was. Needless to say I left the store and cried the whole way home, it was the longest drive of my life.
After that day I felt myself start to slow slip into my old ways and listening to everything negative. I felt like I was nothing. I felt not good enough to do anything. I found myself second guessing everything.
Then I had a little conversation with myself. One night I laid on the floor in my room in the dark with nothing but the darkness around me. It was a little scary but I knew it was something I had to do. I heard every creak my room made and I could literally feel the darkness coming down on me. I knew then that I had to stand up and fight. So I got up off the floor and decided to lay in my bed.
The next day I woke up and felt a sense of calm. I didn’t feel “better” per-say but I did feel different. The whole day at work, every free moment I got I was thinking. There was so much stuff running through my mind I am surprised that I didn’t mess up. After work I went and picked up my roommate from work and I took her somewhere that holds a lot of good and bad memories. Once there I stood in the exact same spot that I stood 6 years earlier where I wanted to end it all and decided to stand up and change things.
I decided that I wasn’t going to settle in the darkness. I’m not gonna settle for anything less then the best. I’m going to stand up for what I believe and I am going to stand up for myself. I will embrace who I am and love the people around me. I choose to love people and show them that they are not alone. I am not at the level in my faith that my roommate is but I am growing and I will get there. That night I spoke from my heart and I felt the words.
The next day I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and happiness. I woke up and decided to put on make-up again. I felt like I was free in a sense I guess. At work I got so many compliments I felt so pretty. It’s nice to get noticed and feel special every once in awhile. The best thing about that day was one of my friends said, “I love your make-up and you look so pretty but I think you look beautiful everyday.” That seriously tugged at my heart strings!
So never the less I am standing today because I know there is something more. Not just for me but for so many others. I know that this road will not be easy but I will walk down it anyway. Look out….
The past four days have not been easy. They have been a test of who I am without question! It all started Thursday…
You see on Thursday I was a topic of a conversation at work for about a good 30 minutes. The topic was sex! Now I am a virgin and proud of it but some people I guess don’t understand. When I say I am innocent I really mean it. I mean my face still blushes when I or someone else says certain words and there are words that I will not say. That is not a bad thing by any means. I am proud of who I am and even though yes sometimes it hurts when people laugh at my expense, I know there is something better out there for me. When I left work that day I admit I was a little shaken but I still held strong to my beliefs. Then Friday rolled around….
Friday was probably one of the hardest days I have had in awhile. You see on Wednesday, I had a home inspection which didn’t turn out every good. Even though the air conditioning, the pool, and the patio cover where on the list of worries I still went to the next step which was finding out what was wrong with the ac unit. Well, the unit needed to be replaced which is a nice total of $5,400. I know my jaw dropped to. So when my realtor told the bank that if they didn’t fix it we were gonna walk they said they wouldn’t and I walked away. The rest of day was filled with tears and doubt.
It felt as though I was being pulled in two. Just like the classic cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other…well that’s where I was. I started to doubt even getting a house. There were thoughts of throwing in the towel and just forgetting the whole thing. Then there were thoughts of getting an apartment which to be honest is still in the back of my mind. With all these thoughts running through my mind I received a very strong headache and decided to turn off my phone.
Sitting in silence with the lights off I came to realize that I was letting the dark and evil spill through the cracks. There is so much good and love that will come from this move. I can’t let one little set back make me doubt the bigger picture. So I laid in my bed repeating the worlds “you will not win, LOVE is greater” over and over, first in my mind and then before I knew it I was yelling the words in my room. I felt my headache slowly starting to go away.
There is so much darkness in the world that sometimes its hard to find the light. I choose to fight the darkness. I choose to stand when the pressure becomes so great. I choose to walk through the storm. I choose to love when the heart is broken. I choose to have faith when there is nothing left.
Nothing will stop this move because I know there is something great and amazing coming. No one will push me down because of what I believe in. I am who I am and I am still learning to love that person. It is a constant struggle but I have some great co-pilots to help me fly.
This weekend has been a roller coaster of emotions. Where to start….
This was the weekend that Julia was in town. She brought along a friend named Jaylne who I had never met before, but we became instead friends. Jaylne is literally my music soul mate haha. That’s kinda funny to say but is a totally true statement.
Saturday was probably one of the most remarkable days I have ever witnessed. We started the day with breakfast which was pretty delish. Then we traveled to five different Walmarts all over the Las Vegas valley. It was fun and a little adventure. Some of the Walmarts I didn’t even know were there. Once we were done with the “fun” work it was time for the whole reason why Julia and Jaylne came to Vegas in the first place.
My friend Julia had a vision. A vision of showing those who feel lost, forgotten, or unloved that they aren’t lost, forgotten, or unloved! So we went to the Las Vegas strip and fed the homeless. We passed out bologna sandwiches, bananas, chips, and cookies to those who needed it. With Julia, Jaylne, Dominique, and I that night 12 people did not go to sleep hungry and that is an amazing feeling. I got to see first hand Gods love reaching out to those who needed it the most. Seeing those who most of society would just walk on by be touched by God was breath taking. To reach out to someone and say you are loved was amazing. It was such a blessing to be apart of something so moving.
Sunday was a very internally emotional day. You see for some reason lately I have been feeling that maybe photography isn’t my calling. If it’s not what I was called to do then what is? Well God revealed it to me through my amazing friends. It’s crazy how He does that sometimes :) You see I found myself sitting in a circle with some great people just listening. Listening to them talk about ways God has touched their lives, how He has spoken to them, and what love really is. I found myself not talking, just listening. In the middle of everything I realized what I should have known all along.
I’m not meant to stand in the spot light. I wasn’t called to be the one that stands up on stage and speaks to the masses. I wasn’t called to be the leader in a massive army.
I was called to be the person behind the curtain. To be the person that picks the hero up when they fall. To be the constant word of positive advise. The one that reminds people to never give up!
It’s not the most glamorous or easiest thing out there but I have learned that that is me. A few years ago I would have thought you were crazy if you had told me all these. Why would someone ever want to be the shadow to the great one? But now I look at all the great people in history i.e. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Joan of Arc and I see the people that stood at their side.
To many this idea might sound stupid but once again I don’t care. Look at your life and I’m sure you will find someone exactly like what I am talking about. If you don’t, then look up because there is one person who will never leave your side and He has been there from the start.
I haven’t written anything in awhile, so I thought today might be a good day to write something that has been on my mind for awhile now.
You see, I am in the process of looking and buying a house. I know weird/scary right! But it is true. When I first started to look, I was a total mess. I didn’t know if this was a good idea or bad. Most of my family thinks it is a bad idea because I don’t know what I am doing. I have never been on my own before and to be honest I only learned how to do my own laundry about a year ago.
But there are those few that believe I can do it. My aunt tells me that I am not going to do it only because she will miss me too much :) But deep down she is proud and I know that because she tells me. My good and true friends tell me all the time that they are excited for me. But I still have those days where I doubt myself.
A couple of days ago I had a breakdown! I totally lost it and spent 15 hours locked in my room, most of the time crying because I didn’t know what to do. During those 15 hours I prayed, I prayed a lot! I would write in my journal and then talk to the darkness and then go back to writing. That night God eased my weary heart with a dream. I dreamt of sitting next to my dear friends, in my living, just talking. The tv wasn’t on and there was the slightest sound of music playing in the background. We were sitting on the couch eating snacks and drinking soda, but most of all we were all laughing. Listening to stories of each other and laughing about the stupid things we had done in the past. There was a sense of peace that I had forgotten about. I woke up from the dream calm and finally at ease with my decision.
There are many things that you have to look into when taking such a big step, but I am ready for them. This isn’t going to be an easy journey and honestly I’m not expecting it to be anymore. I know there will be hard times and I am sure there will be loads of tears but what really matters is what lays beyond the hard times. I look forward to this new season because I know the season after it will be amazing.
My only concern now is where am I going to get all my furniture?
Today I spent most of the day thinking and doing nothing. I woke up at around 8 thanks in large part to my dogs who decided it would be fun to bark at each other and run around my living room. Anyways…I didn’t really have any plans until noon when I was having lunch with my aunt.
So for a good 4 hours I stayed in bed, listened to music, and thought about a lot of things. I thought about life, the future, money, buying a house, and most of all I thought about friendship.
Friendship has been on my mind a lot lately. You see by all accounts I don’t have a “best” friend. Someone that I can tell everything too and someone that I completely trust. Trust has always been a big tissue with me. I pride myself on being very trustworthy and keeping my mouth shout when I’m asked to. But I have the hardest time telling people that I trust them. Does that make me a oxymoron?
I am learning to trust people more but still no one knows the whole truth. The closest thing I have to a best friend would be my friend, Julia. We met in December when we both attended the same concert in Arizona. That concert has changed me in so many ways that I can’t even describe them all. Anyways…we kept in touch via twitter and texts. She visited Vegas in January and I actually stayed with her in the hotel. For me that was the biggest step ever because here I was staying with someone I didn’t know and for all I knew she was gonna kill me in my sleep.
Thankfully I am still here, duh. After her visit I felt different. It’s strange but I had this feeling that she was a different kinda person. Someone who puts others before themselves and someone who loves people before they even meet them. I was right on all accounts :) In a lot of ways Julia is like me, the sister I never had. We have the same musical choices, we believe in the same things, we treat others the way we want to be treated, but most importantly we believe that love is the ultimate power. Wither it is love for family, love for people, or love that comes from God. Love is the ultimate power and most times it is ignored.
In other news I am buying a house. Yes I said buying a house at the young age of 24. To be completely honest I am scared to death about it. At times I feel like this is a stupid and rash decision and at other times I believe that I am doing the best thing for myself and the future. Julia is going to be one of my roommates and I am 100% ready for her to be within knocking distance.
People enter our lives, sometimes for only just a moment but, it’s those moments that we should stop and appreciate. Stop and thinking about who we just met and why. If we do that then maybe the world wouldn’t be such a lonely place sometimes. This world is so big and yet it is so small because everyone we meet knows someone else, and they know someone, and those people know other people, and so on and so on. It is a never ending cycle of people and love. I think that is just an amazing thing to realize!
If you are my friend and would like to know a little bit more about me then I think you should read this WARNING it is rather long and wordy:
So for the past 30 days I have been on a fast from social networks i.e. Facebook and Twitter. Now most people who knew this either laughed about it or asked the common question: why? Well I’m here to tell you a little about what happened on this journey and maybe answer that question.
The first 3 to 4 days were the worst! All I wanted to do was update my status. A dear friend of mine told me that when we fast we find out how dependent we are on what we are giving up, and boy was she ever right! It was hard not to turn my computer on and go right to Facebook or turn on my twitter app. So I opened a book and started to read. That was a step in the right direction to begin with because if you know me AT ALL you know I don’t read. Anyways, I read this book “Heaven is For Real” and if you haven’t read it, DO! It’s about this little boy who dies and comes back saying that he was in heaven and saw God. Now everyone outside his immediate family thinks he is just making it up but then he starts to talk about everything he saw and heard and people start to slowly believe. It is a true story and like I said if you haven’t read it please run to the nearest bookstore and buy it! Coming from me that says something because it usually takes me more than 30 days to read 1 book and I read 3 in something like 20 days. I also started praying and talking to the abyss. To anyone walking by my room they probably thought I was talking to myself or going crazy. But really I was talking to a Higher Power.
The second week was even harder but a little easier to at the same time. You see that was the week I discovered what my actual “problem” was. I realized that it wasn’t the actual “update” that I was craving it was the response that I got from that update. I would find myself on Facebook and Twitter waiting for someone to respond. It made me feel special, wanted, and I guess liked. But I don’t want to be one of those people that cares about “how popular they are” or “how many friends they have” Sadly that was the person I was and I really didn’t like that. So I found myself sitting on my floor writing in my journal and crying my eyes out. Sometimes it is good to have a good cry.
After that the next 2 weeks were a breeze. I have never been more productive, I think, in my entire life. I cleaned my whole house (carpets and all), I washed my car, organized my movies, organized my room, and I even fell in love with myself! For those that don’t know I cut and colored my hair. It looks pretty hot if I do say so myself :) But you wanna know the best thing that came from me cutting my hair. I look on the outside what I feel on the inside. My hair is cute and spunky and free…and I feel just like that inside :) It is nice to finally feel that way about myself, it only took me 24 years right :)
Additional side notes to my 30 day fast includes: I had an amazing photography internship! I learned so much I don’t think my brain can remember it all, but that are what notes are for. I ate at the Claim Jumper for the first time ever and it was delish! I played checkers with my grandma and she kicked my butt, but we wont talk about that. My fabulous aunt when to the movies with me and she never I mean NEVER does that! We saw “Beastly” and it was a really good movie. Did I mention how much I absolutely love my aunt? :) I made 2 really great friends! Now yes they are my internship teacher and her roommate and yes it started because I paid for the internship BUUUTTT…. I believe that they will still be my friends even after the internship, which ends in like 2 weeks. They are honestly some of the funniest and realest people I have ever met and I have had some great times on this internship. I fell in love with Starbucks new little cake on a stick treat thing thanks to Jessica, I don’t like you for that by the way! Oh and my dog bit the groomer yesterday morning. So now according to Petsmart groomers I have an aggressive dog! Have you met my dog? She is the sweetest thing ever!
Needless to say I have had an amazing journey on this 30 day fast. It was a hard season but I learned so much about myself that I wouldn’t change 1 single moment of it for the world. I can’t wait to see what happens next on this path that I finally see I am on. If you’d like to see it too then stay tuned and if not……
So today has been a productive and learning kinda day. First off, 30 years ago my good good friend Julia was born! But unfortunately she lives in AZ, for now :), and I couldn’t spend it with her in person, all though I did try!!
I was gonna surprise her by making a day trip to AZ, had my bag packed and everything. But circumstances (car), like always, kept me in Vegas. So then I decided to clean my living room. By cleaning I mean “deep” cleaning which means shampooing the carpet. Although it needed it halfway through it I wondered why am I doing this? Is it because I live at this house and don’t pay any rent? Is it because I want to have friends over and the carpet was just bad? Well kinda all the above. But really it’s because I love my aunt and everything she does for me in a day. Without my aunt I don’t know where I would be, honestly! She has been my shoulder to cry on every time I needed her, she has been my words of advice when I didn’t want it, and she has been the kick in the butt I deserved when I got outta line. But most of fall when I have been in my dark places and thought there was no way out she has been the hand to pull me back into the light.
So with that said, I cleaned the carpet today for about 7 hours and I am still not done. I only have about an hour or two left and then I will be completely done. I will push on and wipe away the sweat because I love the person that will be watching me and laughing. I’m am so glad that I decided to do this on my day off! Oh and if there is anyone out there who needs their carpets cleaned, I’m cheap and obviously very entertaining to watch!
So this morning I woke with this feeling I just couldn’t hide. It started in my throat and then made its way to my head. I could feel it building , and building, and building until finally it just came out……I’M SICK!!
You see for the past month, maybe longer, everyone I hang out with has been getting sick. The people I work with have been passing it to one another. Not to mention I work on the front end so I come in contact with all the infected customers. And then I visit friends houses with sick people there. I knew it would find me one of these days.
I had been taking precautions to try and block the sickness but alas it is my turn. Right now I just have a stuffy/runny nose and a sore throat. I am hoping that’s all I will get but we will see.
I love my friends and this is just one more reason why :)
“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered……
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives……
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies…….
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow…….
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable……..
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind…….
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight……
People really need help but may attack if you help them………
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth………
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”—
This is a quote that I found in an old journal of mine. It was on my heart this morning so I think today is a good day to start something. Why not? :)
"What if there’s a bigger picture. What if I’m missing out. What if there’s a greater purpose that I could be living right now. I don’t wanna miss what matters. I wanna be reaching out, show me the greater purpose so I can start living right now. Outside my own little world."
"My Own Little World" Matthew West
Today and for the past couple of days the one thing that has been on my mind is, friends. I remembering when I was in elementary school talking to my best friend about the future. We would talk about being roommates and then having kids and then them being friends. Well I am 24 now and I barely even talk to that friend anymore. Which makes me sad but it is what it is. Which got me thinking about all my friends I have had over my life….
My first friend was a girl named Patrice. We went to preschool together and then we even graduated together. I didn’t really talk to her towards the end of high school, she ran with the cheerleaders and I ran with the band and JROTC groups, but I was still clapping for her when they called her name. Then in Elementary school I met my best friend, Heather. I remember meeting her for the first time….it was during second grade in art time and I asked to borrow a marker from her. We were from that moment on. We went through a lot of stuff together and then again in high school we drifted apart. I literally grew up with most of the people I had the honor to graduate with.
Then there are the friends I got to know in high school. Some I still talk to and others I have let fall through the cracks. I do miss high school for the people and every once in awhile they cross my mind. I wonder how they are and what they are doing with their life. And now I look at my life and the friends I have now and sometimes wonder how I got here.
Like I’ve mentioned before in this blog. I still talk to some friends from high school but most of my friends now I work with. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade my friends for the world but it makes me wonder, are these the people I will still know in 10 years? What happens if one of them gets transferred or if i get transferred? Are these the people my future children are going to know? Stupid things that my mind thinks about….
Then there are a few friends I have now that I have only known for a couple of months now but I can’t imagine not knowing them. Is it possible to make a “life” friend over the internet or through a social network? I believe so because I have at least 4 four.
Maybe that is what my mind is yelling at me. To open my mind and heart to the possibilities of new friends. To let down my guards and welcome in this idea of being friends with the world. If you know me at all you know that I will do anything for my friends and help them in every way I possibly can. So maybe I should take that notion and apply it to everyone I meet. What is wrong with that? How else are you going to make a new friend or rekindle an old friendship?
"This is the stuff that drives me crazy. This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately. In the middle of my little mess I forget how big I’m blessed. This is the stuff that gets under my skin. But I’ve gotta trust You know excatly what You’re doing. Might not be what I would choice but this is the stuff You use."
"This is the stuff" Francesca Battistelli
This song has been in my head since I heard it for the first time last night. I even had a little dream about it. I was driving down the road and it was like a cartoon. Flowers and trees were dancing and had faces and huge smiles. It was kinda creepy at first but then it all became cute and whimsical. Let me tell you about my day….
I woke up at 7am and had to be to work at 8am! So needless to say I was running very far behind since it takes me 45 minutes to get to work. So once I got to work I slammed my head getting out of my car then I ran into the door heading into work. I slammed my finger in my locker, dropped my iPod on the ground, and then I dropped my phone putting it in my pocket. Do you see the pattern that is forming??
Then on break I found a dollar in my pocket (which I know I didn’t put it in there) that allowed me to get my usual at starbucks! Then when break was over I sliced my hand on an endcap, printed signs on the wrong kind of paper, and then finally I spent an extra half hour at work once I was off because I kept forgetting stuff and I had to keep going back inside. Driving home I thought I better not blow a tire or get pulled over. Thank God that didn’t happen but I did get an extra burrito with my Taco Bell order which was sweeet!
Got home and took about a 20 minute nap before my phone rang. It was this realtor that I have been talking to about getting a house. She was very nice and so helpful I think I might actual get to buy a house! I am defiantly keeping my hopes up, I have a good feeling about this. Then I got dressed to go out to dinner with my family for my mom’s birthday. We went to Claim Jumper which was delicious :) It’s not the same since they did away with half the menu but it is still pretty delish! We had a birthday cupcake and a brownie….I am still full! Then I played checkers with my grandma and lets just say that I suck at it because when we finished I had 3 pieces and she had something like 10……(yes she kicked my butt)
It was a day of ups and downs but isn’t that what life is about? Dealing with the bad but also rejoicing in the simple and beautiful things in life. Loving the people in your life and loving what happens in a day. How many people can say that they had their butt kicked in checkers by their grandmother? Hahaha I can :) and now it’s time to spend some quality time with my doggie and maybe a movie….what shall it be tonight?
I can’t not believe that this day is finally done. I am sad to see it come to an end but at the same time my feet and car welcome the much needed rest. A lot has happened in these past couple of days so let me tell you a little bit about it….
Well it has already been a week into my fast and I got to say that so far I am loving it. Only a week into it and I feel more in tune to myself then I have for a long time. I know it is hard not just for me but also for a lot of my friends. But my true friends are starting to show through the cracks and for that I love them even more. I have even made a couple of new friends a long the journey so far and can I just say that I hope this isn’t just a fad because they are amazing people!
I got asked if I wouldn’t mind a little promotion at work and then within 24 hours it was taken away from me. That hurt but you know what that is ok. If you had asked me before all this started I would have been crushed. I would of ran to the bathroom and cried thinking to myself that I wasn’t good enough but honestly I am ok with it. I wish Tonya the best of luck and can’t wait to meet the new manager we have joining our little family.
Then there was today. A little break though for me if you will. I woke up at 7am after getting about 5 maybe 6 hours of sleep. Which I am not complaining about because my computer is now healthy and working great! (Different story entirely) I went to the dentist at 10 which is at one end of town and then drove to my work which is on the opposite end of town. Got there about 11:20 to meet up with my friend Heather F. (I know about 4 Heathers so last initial is a must!) We then went to her house and waited for the tv repair man. Had a little photo shoot whether she liked it or not haha, had a little pizza, and watched “Pretty Little Liars”. After that we went to the mall and found her a rockin outfit to wear to the epic photo shoot I am doing at the end of March! Which we found the outfit we meet up with Trinity and Brandon for a photo shoot out at Lake Las Vegas. It was the redo photo shoot I promised Trinity I would do for her since the first one was a totally wreck! I felt this time it was much more easier. We walked around a bit and I got to use my new diffuser which I must say is awesome :) They brought their dog Rider and we took some family pictures! It was a great little shoot which was topped off with Rider running/falling into the water, we aren’t exactly sure what happened.
All in all this day was a great, busy, and fantastic day! I put about 100 miles on my car but hey at least now no one can say I never drive my car haha. My tummy hurts from all the laughing I did through out the day and my teeth are so fresh and clean! It was a good day and I didn’t think about posting or tweeting once today….I call that progress!
Today I was gonna write about how hard this fast is but I decided to write about something different. I always write about how hard or difficult things are but I think it is time to write about all the positive and blessings in my life.
I went to play bingo this morning with my aunt and our good friend Janice. If you know my aunt you know that she loves bingo. But I think she actually likes the company rather than the game itself. My aunt is honestly the best person that I know. She has the purest heart of anyone and she also listens and guides me when I think I know everything. I good probably write an entire book on how much I love her and how much she means to me. Hey idea…..
During bingo I won $100 bucks which is nice but I to love the company more. I think spending time with Janice is one of the best things to do in a day. She is one of the most realist people I know. She never sugar coats anything and she will tell you the truth no matter what. I love that about her and about people in general. I truly believe that honesty is the best thing. Just imagine if everyone told the truth, yes we would be hurt at first but just think about how strong relationships would be after.
After bingo we were driving home and I noticed how beautiful today was. The weather was perfect for being outside. I love this time of year! That time where it is nice enough to be outside but you still need a light sweater. Once we got home I decided to take my dogs outside and play a little. I really should take them outside more but my big baby, Bailey, loves to eat rocks and sticks and my little monster, Bella, loves to eat Bailey. But today I took them outside and we played with a Frisbee! Bella looked at it like it was a UFO or something where as Bailey thought it was the greatest thing since peanut butter and celery! I watched as my beautiful dogs played and rolled in the dirt. At one point Bella jumped on Bailey and took them both to the ground. It was one of those moments I wish I had my camera but at the same time I was happy to just be in the moment with them. Then we went inside so they could relax, cool down, and get some much needed water (I run my babies hard hahaha).
Now I am sitting in my room listening to some new music that I just downloaded and writing in my journal and here on this blog. I even started reading my bible today. A good friend told me to start with Psalms. So that is where I am starting :) I have to admit that I am excited for the change that I know is coming. But right now I am going to watch a little Anjelah Johnson with my aunt. If you don’t know who that is then you are missing out because she is an amazing comedian! I’m telling you download, rent, or get it on netflix, “That’s how we do it” you will not be disappointed!
"Maybe Corn Flakes, Rice Flakes, Frosted Flakes….It’s a surprise!" Anjelah Johnson
So I leave with these last thought. If you just worry about the bad, everything going wrong, or the dark then you will miss the small and precious moments of life. Say good bye to the darkest and hello to the beautiful sun shine. It’s waiting to show you the beauty of the world.
Today was a hard day. For the soul reason that today I learned that I think too much about things I shouldn’t. Literally everything that I did today I wanted to tweet about it or post it on Facebook. What is wrong with me?? Have I fallen that far that I care about stupid stuff like that? I actually found myself feeling ashamed for what I was doing. Some people asked me why I was doing this fast and all I told them was, “it’s a long story” or “I just needed a break”. Instead of telling them why I just put my head down and changed the subject to something different….who is that person?
"fasting for days is a way to show you how much you’ve become dependent on something"
That is a text I received from a friend of mine, Julia. It helped me realize that I am dependent on what others think. You see what I came to realize tonight while I read my book is that it’s not the social networking that I have a problem with it’s the response I get from them. It’s how many people “like” a status update, how many comments I get, or how many replies I get to my tweets. That’s the true problem here not the sites themselves.
I have found myself dependent on the thoughts of others. Worrying about how liked I am or how popular I am. I also found out that I really don’t like that person. There is only one person that I should worry about and that is God. And to be perfectly honest He loves me for me and everything that I am. Why is it so easy to say but so hard to believe. God made me in His image and I am perfect in that image. I should be striving and reaching for Him because at the end of the day He loves me no matter what I have done or what I have thought.
It’s only been two days and I have already learned a fair amount. I’m interested and scared at the same time to see what else he has to teach me. Even if I am the only one on this journey….more one on one time :)
For the past week or so I have been feeling pretty depressed. Thinking about the past and all the dreams I just gave up on. Thinking about how dark and sad my life was at one point. Slowly slipping back into the person I once was. Hearing friends struggle with the same kind of thing and all I have to say is, I’m done with it all!
I’m tired of feeling sad or depressed or lonely! I’m tired of letting what others think about me get into my head and break me down! I’m done with thinking that I’m not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough to make a difference! I’m so done with thinking that I’m not special because I don’t have a lot of followers on twitter or have a lot of friends on Facebook. So basically I am going to do something drastic and life changing….
For one month I am giving up social networks! That’s right you heard correct! No Facebook, no twitter, no Myspace nothing like that! Giving my brain and heart a chance to rest and relax. I am going to spend the extra time finding my way back to what is really important, my relationship with God!
Now for most of you who might read this you might be shocked to hear me say that but it’s true! When I was a senior in high school I was depressed, angry, and I felt like nothing. It got so bad that I thought many times about doing the unspeakable! But then, He saved me. Pulled me out of the darkness and showed me the way. Since then I have struggled with God and everything I thought about Him. Should I talk about Him, should I change my life and do everything completely different, should I just be myself but a better version of myself? Well the answer is all the above! It’s time I stopped trying to hide who I am and stop feeling ashamed for believing in what I believe and start living the way I feel in my heart to be true!
So starting February 21 I will go on a social networking fast and reconnect with who I am and who I was meant to be! I know it will NOT be easy but I know it will be for the best. I know a lot of people will think I’m stupid or childish or whatever but the truth is, I’ve lost my way. Once again I have found myself struggling all because I can’t just let go and say, “Let it Be”. I will not be defined by how many friends/followers I have and I will not let what others say effect me anymore! This is my time to shine, these are my dreams to make come true, and this is my life and I will live it the way I see fit!!
"This is not your legacy, this is not your destiny, yesterday does not define you. This is not your legacy, this is not your meant to be, I can break the chains that bind you." ~"Family Tree" Matthew West
For the past week I have been looking at this screen and trying to word the words right so as not to sound stupid. There has been so many thoughts running around my head that I actually was starting to get a headache from all the pressure. I would lay on my bed in complete silence just thinking…..the hours pasted and still I was laying on my bed staring at my ceiling. But now, I think I have the words….
That is the one word that has been the topic of every conversation I had with myself and the dark. What is love? Where is love? Do we choose who we love? Why do we love some people and not others?
Do you see my meaning and hence the headache.
But then today when I got back from an early morning shoot with my dear friend Laura, I sat on my bed yet again but this time I prayed. I prayed for the headache to go away, I prayed for answers, and I prayed for love. It took about 3 hours but I finally got answers and the headache started to go away. Funny how simple the answers are sometimes if we just sit and listen…..
"Love is patient, Love is kind and is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
What this simple verse means to me is that Love is love. Love is something we should give everybody not just the ones that we think deserve it or the ones that we all deem worthy of it. If you think about it right now…why don’t you love someone? Is it because of the clothes that they wear, their social status, how many friends they have on Facebook, myspace, or twitter, or is it because they don’t act or feel the same way you do? These are all reasons we as a race have come to say, “No, I don’t love you so stay away from me.” Believe me I have done it before and yes, I still find myself doing it. I am not perfect and I know that but I am trying.
When was the last time you did something nice, kind, and from the heart for someone who didn’t know? When was the last time you helped out a homeless person with something to eat or helped a little old person reach something on the top shelf at a grocery store? Little things like this and many more are small things we can all do to Love each other. Small things that we can do to change the world and to change the way this world thinks about us. Nothing is going to change unless we make it happen!
So my challenge for you and for myself is…..
Go out and help someone tomorrow. Extend a hand to the helpless, lend an ear to lonely, or simple give a smile to hopeless. It doesn’t have to be big because even the smallest of things can change a person. It’s amazing what a smile can do to a sad and dreary face.
Let me just let you about today and why my legs (thighs) are kinda throbbing tonight.
Well as some of you may know I have started an internship with an amazing photographer. Seriously if you have no idea who Danette Chappell is and are a photographer, for shame!! But anyways……..
Danette is an amazing photographer and today I found out it is a pretty awesome person too. I meet up with her and about 6 of her coworkers/friends for what she called a shoot off. Basically it was all of them taking pictures of each other at varies parts of Vegas. The cool thing was that everyone was so laid back and nice that I kinda felt like one of the group. Even though I don’t work with them, haven’t known them since forever, and I am not a professional photographer I STILL felt like one of the group and that was real nice.
We started the day off with a quick introduction between Danette and I because really I have never talked to Danette in person only over the computer. Anyways after the intro she basically took my camera and changed EVERYTHING!! Not just one button or a little tweak, NO the whole thing! BUT I don’t mind because she is the teacher and I am the student so I am willing to change and learn the way of the great one! According to her friends that last statement is very true!
After that she literally threw me to the wolves and told me just to shoot. I must admit I was a little scared but once again they all made it pretty easy to jump right in. My first couple shots were bad! HAHAHA I mean they were blurry and WHHHYY to over exposed but Danette was right there to help me. Once I got into the groove of things and kinda stood back and watched a little bit it was much much easier.
After the first location it was time for lunch (one of my favorite times of the day). Danette was kind enough to drive with and talk about the day so far. I actually think she didn’t want me driving alone which is still very nice of her. Once we got to lunch the laughter and picking on each other started! It was literally like sitting at a family dinner rather than a table of strangers lol. Listening to them nark on each other was probably the best part of lunch. After lunch came location number 2.
This location was in the desert, it was a little rainy, and it was COLD! Now this part of day was the most challenging for me. I wasn’t really sure what to do or where to stand. We were also rushing around trying to get in shots before the sun went down. I got to use a lens that I had never used before and I will someday now own. For the kind of photography I want to do that lens would be perfect! Danette was totally right on that! Let’s see…I got to shot a little with Danette’s “professional” camera, which was way more camera then I am use to but it was really fun! :) I got to mess around with lighting which was awesome, I had never done that before. But what was really cool was I got to feel what it might be like on a real photo shoot. Seeing all the flashes, diffusers, people holding up things, people running around and snapping pictures, and mostly learning as I went. I think Danette could kinda tell I was struggling a little which is good because I was. But it was a great day and I had a lot of fun.
All in all today was very productive and fun. I learned that my camera is like a face, always shot in RAW, focus on my subject, and move around A LOT! I’d like to say thank you to Shanna, Alyssa, Mike, Becca, and Emo for letting me join their group for a little bit. AND a big, huge thank you to Danette! I am so glad I decided to go with this internship…..this is going to be epic I just know it!
So this last weekend a friend of mine stopped in town just to say hi. Haha not really…She was here visiting a city which she loves and that I love it too :)
To be perfectly honest I haven’t known Julia that long. Only a month really but I feel like I have known her for much longer. She is one of those people that grab your attention and say “HEY, let’s be friends!” and that’s just one of the awesome things about her.
She stayed at the Stratosphere hotel and was kind enough to let me stay the weekend with her (hence the awesome above photo). Now there was nothing too special about this trip. We didn’t drive to Mt. Charleston, we didn’t visit Red Rock, we didn’t hit all the fantasy clubs, and we didn’t stray that far from the strip. But I had a lot of fun! I had fun because between walking down the same side of the strip and driving to the same parking spot (hahaha) we talked. We talked about people who inspire us, our feelings and beliefs on things, and mainly were just ourselves. It’s nice to just be yourself sometimes. I usually don’t around a lot of people, BUT I am working on it and I am getting better.
I also got a chance to hear her talk about the book she wrote. YES she wrote a book and yes you will be able to read it when it gets published! But listening to her talk about her book and how much care and time she took with the different stories inside the book and the people really was truly inspiring.
So today while I was writing in my journal a story idea came to me. Now I don’t write like Julia but I feel she inspired a story to come out of me that I thought would never. I use to love writing short stories and cute little stories about a monster and a sock (don’t ask I think I was like 12 when I wrote that story). But I just kinda stopped right after high school. I think because I wanted to start building up to that future that everyone was telling me about so I just kinda forgot about writing. Then I found photography and thought I should dedicate myself to photography and nothing else. But now I am learning through Julia and some others that I have meet along the way that you can have more than one passion in this life! You can love different things as long as you don’t let those things get in the way of what really matters, You.
So I end this blog with just one thing left to say…….
"Keep your friends close and keep your friends who are like family closer." -Me ;)
Before I begin this blog let me first start off by saying I don’t drink. I don’t like the taste and I don’t really like what it does to people but that is my OWN opinion.
With that said let me tell you about the great night I had last night. So my friend Ciera (one of my besties!) turned 21 last weekend so we when to Stoney’s to celebrate! Now i love Stoney’s not for the drinking (yes it’s a country bar) but for the fun and the dancing! So when Ciera told me that’s where she wanted to go I was all for it. From the moment we walked in we were dancing and having a great time. I think I went on the dance floor a total of 3 times but the entire time we were all dancing our own dance to the music. We rode the bull, played pool, and sang so loud to every song I think my voice is gone :) LOL
During the night I did have time to sit back and people watch. I noticed that some people were there for the dancing, some were there for the “pretty ladies” (mostly men), and some were there just for the drinking. Now my question I am posing is…
Do you have to drink to have a good time?
My thought is….NO! I didn’t have 1 drink last night and I had an amazing time. So why am I looked down on for not drinking? Why do people that drink feel the need to have everyone else around them drink too? If I don’t want to drink then leave it alone people!!
Sorry… but I am a little passionate about this subject because I feel like sometimesI am looked down upon because I don’t drink and I really don’t think I should be. There are other ways to have a great time :)
With all that said if you are still reading this I have to say that I LOVE all my friends! And I really don’t care if you drink because that is your choice and I love hanging out with you because HONESTLY you make my nights very entertaining :) Just please don’t try to pressure me into drinking because it wont work and you’ll just be wasting your breathe! :)