My Future’s So Bright…

…I need to wear shades. (Just kidding. Today was meh on the sunniness.)

My last post was in February. I can’t even pretend to be sorry for the hiatuses I take anymore. Because really, I never quite seem to get the hang of writing on a regular basis. But oh well.

Previously, on “Rachel’s Life”, I finished my curriculum classes at SPU on March 15th. I officially have completed my B.A. in Communications with a minor in Business Administration. I will walk graduation in June. The wedding is slotted for July, with planning plodding right along our 1.5 year engagement period. I am still working part-time, though I have recently accepted a new role within my store, hopefully to promote more personal and professional growth. I also hope to go full time as soon as possible, but until then I will continue to pick up hours as I need to. Colton is still working full time graveyard shifts at a warehouse, and while it has been taxing on our time together, as well as his sleep schedule, we will continue to be faithful until something better comes down the pipeline. So far not too many calls back, but there’s an opportunity coming soon that we hope pans out. In other news, my brother is home from Australia. He is currently employed part time, though looking for more opportunities for work.

The activity that prompted me to write today is something that I have never had to do before now. Apartment hunting. Like many pairs of “soon-to-be” newlyweds, Colton and I are in the market for a place to live. We have a few things that we want in our apartment, the biggest being commute time and price, as well as in-unit laundry and a few other smaller aspects. We have looked at a couple of locations so far in person, and I have spent countless hours poring over my computer screen looking for numbers that won’t cause our budget to explode and for features we need. But tonight, in the midst of feeling a little hopeless in being able to afford living near Seattle, I remembered a few verses. Usually, these are used in conjunction with taking an offering at church, the “my God will provide all my needs” verse and “God cares for even the birds, how much more must He care for you?” verse first came to mind.

I will be honest, I am not the most consistent tither. I tend to harbor a distrust for things I cannot see, hear, feel, etc, and often that includes God. I do know that money is something that is needed for survival on this planet, and really, in this country, and I am aware that I am easily swayed by it in that respect. I know that God is powerful and loving,  and that I should trust in Him, but as a person who tends to keep her eggs in her own basket, sometimes it is really hard to give away something so necessary to life and trust that God will provide me with more. I tried to tithe for a while, and the Bible does not lie. It makes your life fuller. But truthfully, it’s something I forget to do, or more realistically, I conveniently forget to do. And I think that that needs to stop.

I was raised to believe that the giving of one’s finances is a form of worship, whether in tithes or in offerings outside of that tenth. I know that God does not hate those who do not tithe, but He does bless those that do, more abundantly than we as humans ever thought possible. Colt and I  are moving into a season where we will need all the blessing and help we can get, so I figure, why not give it another try and see what God does?

I realize as I am wrapping this up that I don’t make a lot of sense in how I present my ideas, so I apologize for the stream of consciousness style of my writing. But this is where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. Thanks for reading, and if you’re the praying type, prayers are much appreciated. For the apartment, for job situations, and for wisdom all around. Also for sunshine. Because I like sunshine.


Pursuit of Happy-ness


It’s been a hot minute. I officially suck at blogging. Though I have a feeling that once certain aspects of my life calm the heck down, I might spend more time doing this. But hey, better sometime than never.

To catch you up with my life, I am currently at the end of week 5…*checks notebook and calendar* …yes, 5…of my last quarter of my undergraduate career at SPU. That means I’ve taken 2 out of my 4 midterm exams, I have 2 on the same day next week, back to back (blessed?) and still have half the quarter to go. But once I set my pencil down at the end of my last final exam in March, that’s it. Sure, to walk in the graduation ceremony I’ll be back in June, but in essence, I’m done. And this is a reality that I have been activelytrying to grapple with. I am a creature of routine. I like having structure. School has provided me that for the last 18 years or so, and now for the first time in my life really, I won’t have that. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it means I must enter into yet another period of transition. If you know me personally, you know that this is an area I don’t always do particularly well with. I remember when I started college, when I was no longer under my parents’ roof for the majority of my time, and I remember not knowing what to do with myself. This is largely how I feel now, especially given that my degree is in a field so broad it’s hard not to call it an ocean of possibility. The only thing is, this is no longer a tutorial. My free trial of life is over. So as a person who unfortunately functions naturally from a state of fear for the future, having a lot of choices is not always a comfort, especially now that my choices are in the real world.

I’ve been trying to do some research on ways to reduce stress, to be successful, to be happy, to lose weight…etc. You know, all the things that apparently the whole world struggles with. And honestly, the solutions that people post about and write and rave about vary on a case to case basis. Some people preach “self-care” above all else, and if that works for them, that’s great. For me, if I do nothing but care for myself, I feel like I am not considering others, like I am being selfish, or like it has become something beyond what I deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that we as people (and really, as human beings) require some standard of self care: taking physical care of your body, keeping mental health issues in perspective, and being cognizant of emotional health are all important things. But when my day becomes more about “how can I make myself feel better?” and less about “how can I be more positive toward myself?”, there’s a problem. I want to be the kind of person that is positive toward myself and others. I want to be happy with where I am at as a person, but still have the drive to continue onward.

I had a conversation with a loved one the other day, where they said “I remember how happy you were as a little kid. You were always ecstatic to do things, excited about life. Sometimes I wonder what happened to change that. I wonder whatmade you become so serious, what made you stop being smiley.” As much as it hurt to hear that from this particular person, I realized they were right. Somewhere in my growing up, I forgot how to be happy. I stopped laughing at jokes and started taking offense to everything. I stopped celebrating other people’s accomplishments and started comparing myself to other people instead. I stopped caring about what I thought of what I looked like, and started trying to change my looks to accommodate what I thought other people wanted to see. The only thing is, I don’t know why I did any of that. Perhaps I will never really know why. Blame it on puberty, peer pressure, social media, whatever. But it’s been a long time since I have really been happy. And I’d like to get back to that.

So this is what I am doing about it.

  1. I have allotted myself one “nice thing” a day. This is not to say I am limited in treating myself, but more of a gracious gesture than a treat that I have earned. No matter what happens in a day, I still get one thing to look forward to. Keeps my brain on a positive.
  2. I set my filter on a better level. By verbalizing negative thoughts, I create a reality that is no fun to exist in. So, by filtering better, I do not exist in that world any more.
  3. I will continue to try my best not to compare myself to other people. Simply on the principle that we are all different people, functioning from different perspectives and backgrounds, there is really no comparison to be drawn. Rachel needs to focus on what Rachel is doing so that Rachel can be her best self. I do not need to be the best, just my best.

These are just 3 ideas that I am hoping will help me to get back to something resembling childhood happiness, but in all reality, I know the biggest thing that needs to happen is a refocus on God. There is no convenient time for this to happen, as we learn reading through any part of the Bible, but then again God is not a God of convenience. I know that I will not learn anything worth learning if I tune in to Him only when I have time. If I do that, He becomes a sidenote to my life instead of my thesis. I’ve spent so long trying to write my life thesis, my purpose for existing, that I forget that He is my thesis. So maybe, if I lean into that, let Him take what I’ve been working on and write a good story, maybe I can just be happy to be part. Especially for this next chapter.

That’s all I have for today. Happy Friday, friends.



Registration Day

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Today is Registration Day. This is the day when all my anxieties culminate into the process of trying to get into classes I need to take next quarter. I have my browser window ready to click the “register” button as soon as the clock flips to 2:00 pm.

Why do I have an anxiety about this? Shouldn’t I be taking my time to get through college, and really, I’ve always got Spring quarter to finish out whatever I need. I suppose that that is true, ultimately, but as any person who went straight from high school to college knows, at some point, you reach a level of “doneness”. Because I have been in school every year since the age of 3 (not kidding…I was in a toddlers class, pre-school, and pre-kindergarten), I am now in what my youngest brother would quantify as 16th grade. I have been in school for 9 months out of about 18 of my 22 years, which calculates out to about 13.5 years actually in school (factoring in summer/winter breaks as non-school time). My point here is, my life up until this point has really revolved around school. And for the first time probably ever, I am looking at life without school in it, and I can smell the cookies baking from all the way upstairs. I want so badly to start my next chapter in life, especially as I am typing with a ring on my finger that becomes more and more natural every day. I realize that “real life” has its challenges too, but in my mind, at least these challenges are something new for me.

I know that there is a Bible verse that says that “God works everything in His own timing”, and while I understand the point of the passage taken figuratively, I think this is kind of a funny statement to make. God transcends time, so this verse seems (taken literally) like yet another human attempt at quantifying God into the box of things we can understand, one of those things being the concept of time. I guess it just makes me think about my present situation, and wonder “is this God’s timing, or my timing?” Could it be possible that it is both? I have a tendency to constantly look forward; when I was a child, I wanted to be a teenager, and when I finally reached that stage, all I wanted was to be an adult. Evennow, I see what is in front of me and I want nothing more than to be at that stage instead of where I am today. So I guess it follows logically that I may be confusing God’s timing with mine concerning the future, though I can clearly see where it was in the past. This also taps into my need to trust Him, because I know that He has been faithful in the past, so I can count on Him in the future, even if it means my plan is not the best.

So here I sit, crossing my fingers that my classes don’t fill up in the next hour, so that I can get in, and (hopefully) be done with this chapter in March, to be finalized in June. God-willing, of course.

Today is a “Day”.

It is Monday, it is the fourth week of classes, and let’s just say that I am counting the next six very carefully.

Today has been a little bit of “a day”, and it’s not even 11 in the morning yet. I woke up at 7 this morning, which on Mondays and Wednesdays, is when I need to be walking out the door to get to my 8am class on time. Then I got caught in traffic, resulting in me being about 10 minutes late to class. It also didn’t help that this traffic was caused by road work and construction in no less than three different places (believe me, I counted). I finally parked my car and walked as quickly as I could to the front door of the building my classroom is in. Only to discover that I don’t have my SPU ID with me. This little piece of plastic is what lets me into doors, ever since the security team here has cracked down on locking doors after not only the shooting on June 5 2014, but also after the numerous lockdowns we have in the years following the shooting. No one was inside the front of the building when I was trying to enter, so I decided to stop freezing my butt off to no end and to go into the Student Union Building (that is, the central spot for food besides the cafeteria). After dealing with a pretty upset stomach (for which I cannot ascertain the reason) I decided to try and get some extra homework done while sitting here, but quickly realized that I left my computer charger at home too. So I currently am here, reading what I can and finishing what work I can on an ever dwindling battery (which is currently at 13%).

I know that my day has the potential to get better. I could choose to focus on the positive. At least I get to go to school as an adult person. At least I have access to a car. At least there is food here, and I can afford to pay for it. But today is not just an effect of my late awakening, or just of my forgetfulness in the materials I need to sustain battery life and class time. Today, I am feeling a culmination of stress. My job (while totally amazing and a blessing) is very taxing. My classes require me to spend time that I feel like I don’t have for them, and being mentally prepared to overcome my anxiety and actually participate in conversation takes a lot. While I am excited to announce that Colton and I have officially booked our honeymoon, it took a lot of deliberation and a financial commitment I have never made before. Today is a day that I really would like to just sit still, do nothing, get a second to breathe. But life keeps moving no matter what I do.

I was looking at my Bible app today, and the verse of the day today is Deuteronomy 30:16, which in my NASB translation reads (with the addition of verse 15 for context):

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; (16) in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and  that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.”

While this verse seems simple (and I may be taking it out of context a little bit), it is a big encouragement to me in this moment. Life will keep moving, for sure, but today I choose to follow God’s command and just trust that in due time, God will bless.



The No Pants Nightmare

Well, hello. It is I, the writer of this blog. Yes, I do still exist. And I do apologize for my long absence. Three weeks of it was spent abroad, and the last few have been spent working and attempting to maintain a social life. I thought about giving a low down on what my trip abroad was for, but for the purposes of this entry, I shall keep it short and sweet, and relevant to my topic tonight.

I spent the first week of my vacation in Hawaii with my family, celebrating my paternal grandparents’ 50th anniversary at their favorite resort on the island of Kauai. I had been to Hawaii before, but this time my whole family was present, and for the first time, Colton was able to travel with us. We had a fun time, and it was nice to have him there with us as well. The last two weeks of the trip, my parents,  my little brother Jack, and I traveled to Australia. My other little brother Zac (okay, not so little…he’s 20) lives there, and is currently taking part in the college/internship experience offered by Hillsong College just outside Sydney. We also were there to attend the 2017 Hillsong Conference, which was absolutely amazing on all fronts. I will allude to this experience a little later in this entry as well. We also spent some time in Gold Coast, AU, which is further north and functions much like a Californian beach town might in the USA. In all, I counted about 8 flights that I was on for the whole trip, including two 10-hour flights, two 6-hour flights, and four flights that each averaged around 1-2 hours each. Let’s just say that I think I’d be okay to not be in an airport or on a plane for a while.

At this point, you may be wondering about the title of this entry. I always thought it was funny when someone would describe their nightmare as something to the tune of “I was at school with no pants!” or “I dreamt I was making a speech and all of a sudden I looked down and I was naked!” Often times, people attribute these kinds of dreams to nervousness, anxiety, and being worried for the day to follow. It makes sense; we as humans (and especially as Americans it seems) like to fill our schedules to the max. We are creatures bound by time, slaves to it really, and when we feel unprepared for something that is coming up, it can trigger reactions akin to being nervous for entire days, or feeling so anxious that sleep is an afterthought. Even beyond unpreparedness, we as humans often get this bottoming out feeling of inadequacy. We often feel like we aren’t good enough to do something, like we do not have what it takes to achieve our personal (and professional) goals. The scenes that play out in our mind’s eye overnight are often collections of thoughts we have throughout the day, so it only makes sense that what we anticipate to go wrong in real life often does in our dreams.

Last night, I had what I would consider a nightmare. Granted, it did not involve pants or nakedness specifically, but it left me quite shaken when I woke. Since it has been an entire day since I woke up this morning, the details are waning in my memory, but the feeling I was left with was some cross between uncertainty and anxiety, to the point where I seriously felt like calling in sick to work. I’ve been thinking about it all day long, and as I was driving home, I thought of something. I was listening to Hillsong United’s newest album “Wonder” (really great album, definitely recommend), just thinking about the lyrics in the songs I was singing along to, and reflecting on my time in Australia. As a writer/poet, I tend to really key into the lyrics in songs and how they build the structure of a song and influence the listener with the swells of the music and the chords used behind key parts. The song I was listening to as I pulled into the garage was “Shadow Step”. It has a chorus that says

“Light up the way of your heart
Move me like you do the mountains
Move me like you do the wind
And I’ll chase your voice through the dark
Fix my eyes on the unexpected
In the wonder of your shadow step
So take another step”

And I thought about where my life is at this moment. As many of you know, I juggle school, work, home life, social life, planning my wedding, and other miscellaneous things on a daily basis. Sounds like a lot to the average person, but in reality, we all have our things we worry about. Today, I just started thinking about where God is in all of this craziness. I have a bad (but very human) habit of wanting to control everything. I like knowing when things happen. I like being an insider to every plan that concerns me. I like getting answers to questions right away, so that I have time to act, react, or counteract. But as I am starting to realize more and more lately, God does not function within the constraints of time. He does not work at our convenience. He does things when he does things. He says and does things because he is God. We as humans want to control everything around us, and we want to contain God to the little box of things we can understand. We work hard as scientists and logicians and artists to try to quantify God in a way we can comprehend. But God is beyond us and our realm. He is incomprehensible to our tiny minds. And yet He cares for us. He cares about every little tiny thing that happens with us, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, even ambivalent. He cares when I am stressed out over the stupidest reasons. He cares when I feel like I’m at my wit’s end. He cares when I come home from work too tired to think straight but I put a face on for friends anyway. He cares when I tell him he doesn’t, when I’m angry and hurt because I don’t understand what’s happening. He continually chases me, because he loves me, and for the longest time I thought that I needed to chase him down too. But I don’t. He has never left my side, and for me, all I need to do is just trust him and let go of my need to control. Only then can he move me like the mountains and wind, and only then can I be successful where he sends me. I can willingly chase his voice through the darkness that encapsulates the pitifully small scope of the world I have compared to his. I can be ready for him to move at any moment. And that is where I want to be. As one of the speakers said at Hillsong Conference 2017, we should be on our “tip-toes” in anticipation for what God will do. Because God will do great things through those whom he makes great. Really they are average people, but they relinquish control to God, trust him, and through them he does wonders.

So,  I take another step forward. I fix my eyes on God. And in that the anxiety fades, because he comforts. The nervousness fades, because he assures. The unpreparedness fades, because he equips. The inadequacy fades, because he fills. So he directs another step.



Things I Actually Learned This Year: Junior Year (2016-17)

Yesterday, June 7, 2017, I finished my last final of my third year at SPU. Today, I am sitting at the kitchen table at my parents house, still in my pajamas and drinking a cup of English Breakfast tea, and I have chosen today to keep up my tradition of listing things that I have learned in the last year. The reality is, a lot can change in a year, and I hope to be able to look back on my year and come out with something that I can take with me into the future. What follows is something that I hope will inspire me to learn from my experiences and I hope my readers can get something out of it as well! 

Be a goal-setter. 

This was something I started to do this year in a few different aspects of my life. Early on, for example, I set the goal of finding a new job. Things just weren’t going anywhere with my job at the bookstore , and I just felt like I needed to do something different. So I set a goal in August that I would find a new job by Christmas 2016. Through connections with amazing people and great companies, I successfully landed a job at Apple, where I have been ever since. And I was hired on my 21st birthday, in November, so needless to say I was excited to be there. There are a lot more goals I set for myself, and while I did not always achieve every part of every goal, it made me feel like I was working toward something worthwhile, and that made my time feel like it was being used to its full potential.


Living with other people is….interesting.

Sometimes, when you meet someone, you think “I really like this person, I want to be friends.” And most of the time, that’s not a bad decision. But when you are trying to have a group to live in an on-campus space together, be aware of who you are choosing to live with. Sometimes, you become friends with the person you never thought you would, and you find that you will miss that person when the time in that space is up. Other times, you will have someone who you seriously just can’t stand to be around. There will be the roommate who never cleans, the one who uses your stuff without asking, and sometimes the one who causes drama. Sometimes, you end up losing a friendship you thought was solid because of misunderstandings, manipulation, and other factors. In the end, you come out knowing yourself better than you probably thought you would, and you have a better set of standards for how you like to live.


You really don’t need 10 coffee mugs all to yourself.

Less really is more when you have a small amount of space for storage. Also, having more cups to use means you will go longer between washing things, hence piling things up in the sink for days on end. I have quite the collection of mugs from various things, but really I only use about 3-4 of them frequently.


Procrastination is the bane of any successful person’s existence.

In all honesty, this is what killed me every quarter this year. The problem is, I didn’t always feel like what I was doing was procrastinating. I had work, and school, and as of December 25th 2016, a wedding to plan. I had family responsibilities, and friends that I wanted to spend time with. The key thing here is balance, with doing what you need to do to get things in on time, but also keeping in mind your own sanity. Whoever first said that any free time you have in college is really just you procrastinating whatever is next on your to-do list, knew exactly what they were talking about.


Eating healthy on a tight budget is difficult at times, but not impossible.

Sometimes, it is as simple as doing some research on healthy options you can find in local stores. Cooking things yourself helps with this too. It also can take some re-prioritization to get yourself in the habit of shopping healthy and then actually eating the food you bought instead of just buying dinner out or getting takeout all the time. Also, having a water filter and a reusable water bottle is not only healthier for you to consume, but cuts back on your spending on other, less healthy beverage options.


There are some classes you just have to “get through”.

Not every class you take will be the best experience you have ever had. It might be due to lack of interest in the subject, you might not click with the professor very well, or perhaps the material is challenging to the point of causing you to struggle to keep up. Sometimes, all you can give is your best, and as long as you make it through that class (or other circumstance) you don’t ever have to do it again. Just do your best and keep moving forward.


Don’t be afraid to speak for what you believe is right.

If this last election taught us anything, it is that there really is no way to determine which choice is the ultimately correct decision. People all have their own viewpoints, opinions, and reasons for believing these, and as fellow human beings, we should all have a basic level of respect for each other’s thought processes. However, in the times that you get into a discussion with someone over a topic like this, I would say that the more edifying experiences come from those that include the ability to openly communicate whatever your thought process is, the ability to ask questions, and a level of respect for the other person that keeps the conversation going. If we are ever going to pick ourselves back up as a country overall, we need everyone to not necessarily agree on everything, but to at least be willing to talk about all aspects of whatever issues arise.


Find little ways to tell someone you appreciate them.

Sometimes it just takes a bouquet of flowers for your mom or grandmother. Or maybe cookies left on the counter for all your roommates to enjoy. Or sending a care package to friends that you love and miss. Sometimes something small means a lot to someone. You never know how much you might brighten their day.


Wedding planning more than a year from your desired date is hard, but has benefits.

Wedding planning in general can be difficult, but when you’re as indecisive as I am about these things, having an extra year to think things over sometimes makes every decision even harder. I’ve wanted to jump the gun and just get everything done in one day some days, and others I can hardly look at Pinterest without wanting to throw something. Overall though, I know that I will be so glad I decided to finish my bachelor’s degree first. I get to plan every little detail since I have so much time, and I just know my wedding will be everything I ever wanted.


Stay positive and lean on God.

Life happens. Plans get changed. People move away. Fallings-out happen. But ultimately, your happiness does not depend on other people. It all depends on your attitude in your response. There will be days when you feel like you want to just stop and give up. The amazing thing about God, though, is that he doesn’t ever feel that way about us. He is there to talk to and to help us work things through. He gives us the strength to get through days that we would otherwise skip class and call out of work on. This is the thing I have really come to grasp this year, and I can only hope that continue to grow in this area.

Well, that’s all I have for this year! Thanks for reading! See you again with the final college installment next year!



Things I Actually Learned This Year: Sophomore Year (2015-16)

(Note: This installment has also been moved over from my old blog posts. Enjoy!)

It has been exactly 365 days since I posted last year’s installment of “Things I Actually Learned”, and here we are at the end of my second year at SPU. Some of these things are more serious than others, and still more are things that will stay with me forever. So, without further ado, here are some things I learned this year as a second year college student.

Commuting costs much more than just gas.

Not only have I paid for roughly 1.5 tanks of gas a week for the last 30 weeks or so, but I have also spent hundreds of hours in between home and campus. Because I go to class and work on campus, I typically drive about an hour to and from campus each day, which only gets worse when you add in Seattle’s notoriously bad traffic and constant construction projects. I also have learned how to get things done in very short periods of time due to so much of my time being taken up by travel.

Living at home is not always the best solution.

It may be cheaper than paying for a dorm, but some substantial freedom is lost as well. Enter curfews, babysitting, and other obligations that honestly just make life as a student hard sometimes.

Be kind to everyone. No matter what.

Sometimes, it’s not obvious to see what people are going through. You may think that a situation is easy to solve or that they should just “suck it up” or whatever. The truth is, sometimes you just need to be kind, especially when it is most difficult. People will surprise you with their responses if they know that you care. All that said, this also means that you won’t let people walk all over you. There’s something to be said for standing your ground.

Your best is always enough.

I like knowing that I have done well in whatever endeavor may be at hand. However, I have had times where I am simply struggling to keep up, and in those times, I’ve been reminded many times by many people who I am close to, that as long as I am doing my best, I am doing enough. Sometimes, there are some situations where you may still struggle, but if you’re giving your all, there is nothing more you can do. That may seem disappointing to some people, but I rest in the fact that I can honestly say I worked hard and gave my best effort, even if it ended up unsuccessful.

Saving money is hard.

I am by no means a shopaholic. But when your pay is already small and hours keep getting cut, it keeps shrinking and shrinking, and all of a sudden you find yourself with a car payment and future apartment bills…it can be difficult to let yourself spend money on things that you momentarily need. Learning how to budget is a good way to combat this, but I’ll be honest…I’m still learning.

Always drink water whilst pulling an all-nighter involving energy drinks.

Your body will be at least slightly less angry with you in the morning.

There are certain bathrooms on campus that should be avoided at all costs.

Since I’m not privileged enough to have a dorm bathroom to go back to, I have had to make use of the public restrooms. Definitely avoid the one in upper Otto Miller, the one in Gwinn, and the one on the first floor in Weter. If you go to SPU, you know what I’m talking about.

Never stop looking for better opportunities.

Even if you love your part time job on campus, there are always better things you could be doing to further your career. Don’t be afraid to try and do new things.

Be intentional.

Whether it is in applying for a job, planning your class schedule or even just in your relationships with people, be intentional. Make time for people because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Make choices based on what is good for you or your career and not always what seems like will be the most fun. Fun is important too, but life is not always an inter-tube ride down a mountain in Hawaii (yes, I ‘ve done it).

Take pictures.

I always forget to take pictures when I do things with people. I get so caught up in whatever we are doing that I forget to document it. I suppose it’s not a bad thing to live in the moment, but as I get further and further into my 20s and thinking about potentially getting married one day, I can’t honestly say that I know what pictures will be in my wedding presentation. That thought bothers me. So I suppose I am still learning to remember to take pictures. But hopefully I will be better at this next year.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little window into my life. If you would like to read the 2014-15 installment, click here.

Things I Actually Learned This Year: Freshman Year (2014-15)

(Note: I am moving this here from a previous post on my old blog so you can see my older installments as well as this year’s! Enjoy!)

I was not the first to post something like this (shoutout to Colton​ for the idea), but I am wrapping up my first year of college here in the next week or so. So, here are some things I have learned on this adventure called COLLEGE.

Being social is a choice. And sometimes, it’s the right one.

I thought that living in a dorm would automatically raise my level of social interaction. Turns out I can tune out the world just as well as before in my dorm room. And while I haven’t exactly been a social butterfly this year, I can see where my conscious choice to be social has helped in the area of making friends. And hey, you never know who you might meet.

Having immediate family nearby is both a blessing and a curse.

Perks: free food, better showers, free laundry, company all the time, and a TV that actually works. Less exciting things: no personal space, being relatively out of the loop, getting in arguments, being the driver for trips to the airport, and no excuse to “miss” less desirable family get-togethers (no offense if any of you see this).

Making macaroni and cheese at 10:30pm is perfectly acceptable.

Especially after a long, stressful day. Or if that one chick just WOULD NOT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN.

Don’t be afraid to blast your music. Everyone else does it.

While everyone else might think your music is strange, annoying or whatever, you think theirs is just as annoying. Therefore, you have no reason not to follow suit with your awesome tunes.

Don’t jump to conclusions if something goes missing.

Chances are, you just misplaced it. But if it is larger than a pair of spandex shorts and/or more expensive, or if multiple things go missing at once, definitely say something.

Make sure you know where your classrooms are located before the first day of class.

This will make it much less awkward to find later and you have less of a chance of accidentally ending up in the wrong class.

Try not to slack on your reading homework.

Yes, it’s tedious. Yes, part of it may not be entirely necessary. But better be safe than sorry and prepared for exams than unprepared.

Don’t forget to find time to relax and unwind amid a busy schedule.

Headaches will be avoided, and you might discover a new hobby.

Don’t take everything at face value. Ask questions.

Not everything your profs say is the golden truth by any stretch. Ask questions if you don’t understand, and don’t be afraid to say that you don’t agree. You never know what kind of conversation is to follow.

Be sure to keep up with friends, old and new.

Don’t forget to text and call, and when it comes to a long distance relationship, don’t lose hope, and don’t let the inevitable frustration get to you. If you truly love who you’re with, distance won’t matter.


Hot Soup

Long time no update. My bad.

I am currently sitting at the kitchen counter of my on-campus apartment, eating a bowl of hot soup. Chicken corn chowder to be exact, so not a light broth by any means. It also is about 76 degrees outside and sunny. So why am I eating hot soup on a hot day, you may be wondering. Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you except that I’m feeling a little upside down.

For anyone out there that doesn’t know, I am engaged to the love of my life, Colton. He asked me to marry him on Christmas morning, and ever since then the questions and planning haven’t stopped. I am also a third year student at Seattle Pacific University, with senior standing according to my credits. This means that if I push myself hard enough, I can be finished with my bachelor’s degree in communications and minor in business by the end of winter quarter this coming year. I also work as a product specialist at Apple, which means that I work with many different people, having to be flexible to accommodate their needs. I need patience and humility in order to function in my job, as well as technical knowledge and social skills. I also have the opportunity to grow at Apple, which I am excited to take advantage of soon. I am also in the process of moving back home, which because my brother Zac is in Australia, Colton is in eastern Washington, and my dad will be out of town on my official “move out” day, I have decided to move myself home bit by bit. So far I have brought home my clothes, my shoes, and my bathroom items. The rest of my belongings are still here at my apartment.

For anyone wondering about the wedding planning, it’s well…going. We are currently trying to nail down our venue, but so far have had no luck with the places we like having our date open, and in all honesty, I’ve  been so busy that I’ve only been to see a couple places in person. We also still need to decide on an officiant and on a few other things, as well as ask our wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) to participate in our ceremony. I would specifically like to ask for prayers for God’s grace in finding a good venue that has our date open as well as good amenities and such. So far we’ve been striking out the most in this area, and as time is ticking down, I am getting more and more frustrated with the process.

School is going good, and if all goes according to plan, I will be finished here by the end of winter quarter 2018. That being said, I am about to take on the most strenuous credit count I’ve had my entire college career. I honestly don’t know how other people take more than 15 credits in one quarter and work and have a social life. Maybe they have magic powers I can’t see. But that is the reality I am facing as I am trying to finish my senior year early, so prayers are much appreciated there as well.

I am excited to move home, but again, it has been a process. Living with roommates in an on-campus apartment has been an…experience. I certainly believe that I have grown through this experience, and while commuting for my last quarters of school will be fairly time consuming and gas-money consuming, I am excited to be home with my family for one last year before Colton and I get married. I am excited to actually have him home from school while I finish, which is something we haven’t had since high school. I am excited to move forward and grow even more.

To sum my life up at this moment, I am engaged and wedding planning, working, in school, and moving. And yes, I am also procrastinating. I have a paper due by the end of this week that sorely needs my attention, but as the weather gets warmer and my days get busier, I forget what the word attention even means. So I feel a little upside down, and every time I sit down to map out my schedule, I only end up rotating myself in circles, ending up upside down again and again. I suppose one of these days a venue will call me back with good news, or maybe I’ll have another day off in the near future where I can relax, but until then, this is where I’m at. I’m eating hot soup on a hot day, and hoping for things to cool down a little.



It’s All Good.

Hey. Long time no write.

So in the last three weeks, I have had a cold, the flu, sprained my ribcage coughing my lungs out, and am now currently dealing with what seems to be an allergic reaction to an unknown allergen. Probably pollen, but not quite sure. To be fair, I did wear my contacts yesterday after having not worn them for a while, but they were a fresh set and I had no trouble taking them out last night, so I honestly don’t know if that was part of what is causing the allergic reaction in my eye. If you’re interested in that part, I’ll keep you posted on how things progress, but this post isn’t just about what’s happening to me. It’s about how I am choosing to respond.

Most people go through a time like this, with stress from work, school, life, whatever, and think to themselves, “Wow. This sucks. How will I get through this?” And honestly, I get it. To interrupt your routine with illness, injury, unforeseen costs of both money and time, hours lost at work, and to continue to try to run your life smoothly, is not easy. It is not easy to be a full time student with high personal expectations for yourself, along with a pretty demanding part-time job and a wedding to plan. But as I am discovering, it doesn’t have to be all that hard either.

Today I was texting my mom. I was experiencing symptoms of what seemed to be an allergic reaction that I was not familiar with, and to be honest, I was freaking out a little bit. She responded with her sage advice of antihistamines, a warm compressant and essential oils to diffuse, as well as letting me know she was praying for me. That’s when it hit me. All my life, I have been told that God has a plan for my life, that I would do great things for God. I also was told that Satan doesn’t want that to happen, that he will do anything in his power to stop people from doing God’s will. Basic Sunday school, right? Well, what I realized today, and hopefully I don’t sound too “religious” saying this, but God must be getting ready to use me for something, because these things that I have been dealing with have popped up out of nowhere. Of course, I do not say this lightly; there are a million precautions I could have taken to not get sick (ie not being near the person who passed it to me), and had I not gotten sick, I would not have coughed so hard I sprained my rib cage. I also could have chosen not to wear the contacts, but even then there is no guarantee that I would not somehow get something in my eye. The point is, God must have something good for me up ahead if Satan is doing his darnedest to keep me inside, out of class, away from work, and (quite literally) unable to see clearly what’s going on.

From this standpoint, I am choosing to do my best to take care of myself physically, but I also am choosing to have faith that something good is coming.  God has always had His hand on my life, and for the first time in a while I can almost feel it. And with that feeling, it’s all good.

Well, thanks for reading. Hopefully I won’t go so long without writing again!