living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

a christmas poem, as such

Twas a couple days post Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not MD, nor a mouse.
The mini fake trees were plopped on the counter with care
In hopes that the spirit of Christmas would still reside there.

The Young Life kids were all on Facebook in their beds,
While visions of status updates danced in their heads.
And the new beau James in his beanie, and I in my Uggs,
Had just settled our minds for a long winter’s nap.

When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway I flew like a flash,
Stepped into the room and nearly took out a lash.

Betty Crocker had been in this kitchen, for sure,
For Cara was cooking, and this we'd have to endure.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an itty bitty Crock Pot, which we were eating for dinner, my dear!


So that is a bit of an update: Christmas came and went - and it was good. James is still great - and all is good. I've actually been cooking - and it's been edible so far (beet salsa for dinner, among other delights). My computer desperately needs a bigger hard drive, so I haven't been able to upload any pics - and therefore haven't been super motivated to write on the blog. So that is it.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


James and Cara at a lovely beach restaurant in Half Moon Bay for a friend's birthday.

Hiking a couple months back with MD! (James took the pic)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

the holiday season is where?

It's here.

So weird.

I just returned about 45 minutes ago after a day's worth of shotgunning and driving from San Diego this morning to good-byes with 75 precious new high school friends to a flat tire (of course...) soon thereafter. This high school youth group in walnut creek, CA takes a mission trip down to a place called Rancho de sus Ninos every Thanksgiving break, and I was honored to speak on the trip again this year (as I spoke on it in '04 as well). It was a beautiful week with these friends. My mind is swimming with the immediate of GO TO BED, but I'm also in that quasi-delirious, reflective stage. By far one of my favorite parts was that one of our local YL leaders, and a favorite of mine [okay, I have a lot of favorites - I'll be honest], Juvy, was able to go with me. though i think it was a little harder defining her role, I was blessed to have that #1 companion and friend beside me, as the job of speaker can be rather lonely at times otherwise. But then, truth be told, it's pretty stinkin' awesome to be able to just let go of life back home for a week and just BE ... especially when that "being" involves getting to know teenagers, playing with little mexican orphan and daycare kids, building schtuff, and seeing god in action.

But my thoughts swim as to short-term missions...

does enablement take place within the local culture every time we "rich" americans cross the border, bringing gifts and good tidings of great joy?

where is the long-term investment of relationship in these short-term missions when thousands of people pass through the lives of (these orphans in particular) every year?

what does it mean then to truly serve?


I am back to claiming the aforementioned state of delirium - hope ya'll had a happy Thanksgiving - we instead ate steak tacos!

he's kind of my new favorite...

...and I call him James. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the risk of love...

A spiritual director of mine sent this poem my way, and I stopped dead in my tracks:

The Risk of Love: I John 4:18 (NEB)
by Luci Shaw, from Polishing the Petoskey Stone

The risk of love
is that of being unreturned.

For if I love too deep,
too hard, too long
and you love little
or you love
me not at all
then is my treasure given,
flown away lonely.

But if you give me back
passion for passion,
return my burning,
add your own
dark fire to flame my heart
then is love perfect

hot, round, augmented,
whole, endless, infinite,
and it is fear
that flies.


this poem is beautiful to me. i think of the risk of love with god, and the risk of love with man - both of which i've kept at arm's length because it's safe...because it puts me in control...because I know what to expect. So I find myself at a crossroads in the aforementioned risky business(es) - and am left with realizing that it's just that: a risk without knowing what to expect.

How do I need to risk love?

To whom do I need to risk love with?

and this fear - this fear that so easily entangles me even when I don't even realize it - where does it fly to when it flies away? be gone, fear!


Your thoughts on this risky business ... called ... love?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm afraid I'm not always one for originality. As I sat in a meeting today, I just started giggling as I spewed out facts and thoughts and aphorisms and bits of wisdom and realized that NONE of it was my own. So I confess, I'm an unoriginal, plagiarizing, stealer of a, well, creative genius if I do say so myself...which leads us to the main point of this short post: "roommate." The word in itself connotes what two posts ago sought to run far far away from: the 28 previous housemates over the past 12 years of my life. And here my attempts at originality fail me, as I post this picture of a favorite roommate off and on of the past two years, Jeannie Reed. There's a point at which someone moves from a first name to the endearing "roommate" as their name, and Jeannie wears the hat along with other women of glorying fame. But alas, she's roommate of the hour tonite, so this post goes to her. In this pic we celebrated our last night as roomies together by heading to a posh little wine bar in Palo Alto - though I'll miss the everyday interaction with her, we've ironically had better, more intentional and FUN time together as friends-in-separate-houses in the past week. Love you, rooomate!

Monday, October 26, 2009

one of those nights...

tonite was one of those nights in ministry that just made sense....and I LOVED it. One of my favorite nights of the year has got to be when we (young life) buy out the menu at Taco Bell and just go for it. Thanks to a generous donor who swiped his credit card for $163.74 at the local TB, bags upon bags of greasy, nasty, processed "Mexican" food were consumed - so that ultimately kids could hear about Jesus. I love that kids showed up who hadn't been to YL before, and even though some sat on the sidelines, ultimately laughed and felt like they belonged. I love the leader who gargled hot sauce for 32 seconds just to be "in" with kids (this was after they gargled "Jingle Bells" with the aforementioned hot sauce for 32 seconds, of course). I love the kids CHOWING down on all the food that was left after being broken up into teams to see who could finish the food first. I love the strangers who walked into this restaurant on the corner of El Camino and 20th and just watched what was going on. I love that Juvy, one of our leaders, talked about the fact that Jesus cares about the heart...that it's the most important part - and that most of those strangers seemed to walk in at 8.47 pm when she was giving the talk. Would the paralyzed man have eaten Taco Bell with Jesus? I think so! I love that two friends of Young Life, Annie and Gilbert, refused to leave before the last kid did, and were determined to leave Taco Bell cleaner than they found it. I love that the Taco Bell employees, though sweaty at the end of the evening, waved good-bye to us and thanked us for being there.

It was a GREAT evening.

yo quero taco bell.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

all by myself

Right before I moved up to Washington in '05 I'd just finished watching every episode of Sex & the City starring my favorite shoe-hoarding Carrie Bradshaw (otherwise known as Sarah Jessica Parker). With her three best friends, they individually conquered the Big Apple in a unique way: through career, through love, through fame, through money, through family ... and the list goes on. They'd leave their quirky little apartments and meet up for a cosmo or a Saturday morning breakfast, and for the most part, were portrayed as successful, confident women who together could do anything.

Fast forward: I always wondered how they lived alone - all by themselves in the big city. I, on the other hand, have always been surrounded by roommates; granted, there have been two stints of living in separate family units, one up in Washington, and one down here in California, but for the most part, I realize that I have always - always, always, always - been surrounded by housemates. And to tell you the truth, college summers excluded (because with Frontier Ranch or Young Life in the midst, that'd just be over the top), my rough estimate is in the range of 28...or 33. [what do we do with the Gordon House conundrum? To say there was a steady stream of five or six is an understatement.]

In the midst of the usual this week (working, kid hang out dates - don't you love that that's not work to me? :) - reading and writing a paper for class, going on a million walks a day with MD, working out...), I also find myself packing up and getting ready to move three miles south on Saturday. And this place, or "the cute little cottage," as I've deemed it, is PERFECT. How excited I am to have a little place to call my own, in addition to having a great yard and another playmate named Chase (in the front house) for Mr. Darcy. And I don't know if hitting 30 just gave me the magical push of confidence to go out and live on my own, or if the above 28 co-habitants just made me desirous of some down time, but I'm doing it! And I'm excited! I think part of it is that ministry here on the Peninsula feels like it's finally taking off, so it's busy. And at the end of the day, having been a professional hanger-outer, I desire some down time. I want to read that stack of books. I want to sip that vino and watch netflix. And sometimes I just want to turn off.

So that, my friends, is what I'm doing. And I can't wait! With it comes more intentionality on my part, but with it also comes an eventual dose of knowing thyself - and for that, I can't wait.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

another hard but good

Sometimes I covet sitting in the hard stuff, as icky and sucky as it is. Sometimes I automatically roll my eyes when there's always a positive spin on the end of a hard tale of woe - though I do it myself much of the, as our mantra here with young life in the mid-peninsula has been to be ENCOURAGED by what we do see instead of DISCOURAGED by what we don't see, I choose both...

Hard: learning that the statute of limitations was up on my accident from 2.5 years ago, and that they never received my signed documents this summer, so the case is closed. I'm out $3500 owed to me. Grrr. Jesus, will you grow a tree of 3500 other blessings?

Good: I spoke about Young Life in the ministry spotlight at a church on Sunday, and we had almost 30 responses from folks wanting to get involved on various levels!

Hard: the girl who was going to move into my spot in the house had to back out on Tuesday...when will I get to move into the cute little cottage with Mr. Darcy?

Good: I'll still be moving into this cute little cottage with Mr. Darcy. I'm SO excited to live by myself, to live in this backyard place with Mr. Darcy who will have a HUGE yard and another pup named Scout to play with!

Hard: I'm tired and ready for vacay.

Good: I just had an EXCELLENT vacay last month in St. Simons, Georgia - oh to relax on the beach, to read, to sleep, to laugh, to converse, to eat buttery, greasy southern food...

With my friend Claudia from here in SM who took me to her southern homeland!

With college roommate Mandy who happened to be staying 10 minutes away that same weekend I was there!

Okay. Now I'm done....hard but good: that's life. that's life.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

just a few pics

Some of life in a nutshell:

My younger sister Aleah got married in August! With sister-in-law and brother, Melissa and Brandon...

And, is he NOT the cutest nephew in America? Balloon-play with Jared Christopher...

Congrats Aleah and Mikey (who are, as we speak, enroute from Dublin!)

My friend Claudia joined me for a little Oregon-California road trip heading back down south; on the way we decided to take a little detour in Brownsville (OR), and stumbled upon the 2nd annual Stand By Me festival! Who knew? And though most of you know, autographs are being given out for our dunce-like appearance in the Oregonian.

Fall, here we come!

writing. period.

I've started writing again - apparently facebook status updates just aren't cutting it. Rewind to last November: hailed by friends and family as pure insanity, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). 3 days and 4000 words into it, I quickly realized that this dream wasn't going to be accomplished. So here the dream book comprised of a little bit of story time, wit, intelligence, Jesus, nature, love, laughter (Anne Lamott, Annie Dillard and Frederick Buechner all rolled into one) saw its sad demise onto the back burner of my desktop.

But along came Monday. And Monday evening I found myself on a plane, situated next to Carlos the wine distributer and BB the mysterious Silicon Valley clone and author of "Boys Are Stupid."

"Why is that the title of your book?"

"Well, because I have a philosophy: boys are stupid and girls are crazy." BB decided to write a book for his beloved goddaughter upon her coming of age into teenage-dome.

"But how did you ever get it published?"

" It's a self-publisher."

So there you go, friends and family, inspired by BB, last night's vision of this year's Christmas presents (watch out, Martha - I've got my own handy craft!), I am back on the bandwagon writing again.

Current wordcount: 4,344.

Any bets on how long this current excitement will last?

Monday, July 27, 2009

no more camping!, this does not refer to the pitch-age of tent - you KNOW i'm going to continue doing that....but as of today, cara's young life summer camping season is OVER! it's easy for a YL summer to last 6-7 weeks away from the area (ie: where I live), but with only a two week assignment and one week at woodleaf, high school camp, I am DONE! That is huge! Here then is the plan for the rest of the summer:

this week: REST. big time. i can't even get off the couch right now and I LOVE it.

saturday: scotty and annie's wedding in tahoe
sunday: drive north
monday: drive north
sunday, august 9th: aleah's wedding in WA
august 15th-ish....make my way south.

august 27th: take a REAL five-day vacation to a little island off the coast of GEORGIA (yes, america) with my friend Claudia! Put Mr. Darcy up in a doggie-hotel! Turn off the cell phone, leave the laptop at home, lay on the beach, read five books, eat well, drink well, rest well, laugh hard and have a merry old time! in the meantime, here are some pics:

this was from a fundraising event we did for young life in june called CAMPNAPPING where adults in the community got "kidnapped," and had to raise bail. fabulous friends Raven and Kiara helped kidnapped Cathy, one of the adults with me, and were SO scared that we ourselves were going to get arrested. No way man.

my assignment this summer was speaking to middle school kids for three-five day sessions at camp maymac in santa cruz. As usual, it was a growing time, but I LOVED it. for more stories, just ask. :)

this was the "door" illustration i used for all of the, the work crew and summer staff (high school and college volunteers) had placed "before Christ" words that they thought of themselves as on the door to signify NEED. Oftentimes, in trying NOT to then feel that way about ourselves, we try and solve the problem on our own...we slam the door shut, and we put a big "keep out" sign on the door towards Jesus.

here's billy and reylon, two friends from maymac, whom I took for the day, touring north of SF. i don't think taking pictures in front of golden gate will EVER get old.

and here we are at woodleaf last week: here's megan, one of the girls, and I on SQUARE DANCE night! and yes, I broke my toe: first broken bone!

Here's Hailey, one of my favorite freshmen friends: we were obviously looking hardcore for sports uni night.

And here's Li, another favorite (okay, let's just admit it: everyone's my favorite!). But there were some pretty cool things that happened with Li this last week, and I was blessed to share life with her at Woodleaf.

Finally, here's a very special part of last week: Aisea. Aisea, who's originally from the Bay Area, was at Woodleaf as the camp musician for the month. Besides getting to connect with him personally, it was beautiful to see him take our four Tongan girls under his wings and give them a little VIP time. There's no doubt in my mind that he was to be up in Challenge, CA at our exact time partially for this very reason. I love it when that happens....

finally, just last night we celebrated the 30th birthday of an old teaching buddy and dear friend, Jenn, out on a sailboat on the bay! how I love Erika and Jenn!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

just a couple of little pics.

The annual sickness has come upon miss mac....ahh, for resting, whether I feel like it or not! (And while I'm at it, does anyone have any fool-proof remedies for this cold/flu-like thing that's not going away? I yearn NOT to go to the doctor. Bleh).

First, we had our last YL a couple weeks ago, beach bonfire style! Here's a shot with Annie and Li - Annie's a leader and Li's a kid. Both are rockstars and convey the excitement of the evening.

Davarian has soon become one of our favorite friends at Young Life - the other week he tried to convince a poor new leader that Lil' Wayne was his dad and that he had a pet panda bear. And that, Davarian, is why I like you! Here he is in some girl's Uggs...

Then, two weeks ago I traveled up to WA for a "south end" trip, as I like to call it, making stops in Auburn, Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Old roommate Gracie was getting married, so it was an absolute delight to be there for the festivities; Gracie's then the younger sister of Gaylynn, whom I was on work crew with waaaaay back in '96 - here's Grace, and then work crew buds Heidi, Gaylynn and me.

Congrats Gracie and Buddy (best names for a couple, EVER).

I also got to meet n greet the newest Nelson, little Henry James! congrats Amanda and Jess! He IS a little quite stare-able.
Finally, I did make a quick stop in Auburn, and got to hang out with one of my favorite YL girls, Nikole. There's nothing like a walk n talk with Starby's in hand.

Finally, last weekend was my dear friend Dirk's jorts and ports party - for those of you, like me, who don't use "jorts" in your regular everyday vocabulary, it's a nice little combo for JEAN SHORTS. There you go. Anyways, first we have a pick with my long-lost friend Claudia - she's that friend that you've known for less than a year, but you feel like it's been for-evah.
And last, but certainly not least, I just want you to get an idea of my outfit for the evening: joveralls! Here I am with Erin, a friend on the Peninsula who actually hails from AUBURN of all places; we both showed up with the one-strap down joveralls. And, mind you, the beer I'm holding - it wasn't mine. I'm much more of a ports girl! :)

And to the store for some flu drugs-of-choice!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

does life....

get more precious than this? I love my little weasel of a dog.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

oh to have a funny day!

Some days are just funny. Today I couldn't decide between these three moments which was the funniest:

(In order of appearance)

3.03 pm: I drop off some carwash tickets to one of our Wyldlife girls; intending the conversation to last 1.5 seconds at the door, I'm welcomed into the family home with all the Greek "hopa's!" one can muster. "Come in, come in!" Sure! I beep the alarm on Raul the Jetta. I come in, and am made to sit down, to see the house, to drink OJ, and then (and this is my favorite part), to take home a bag of food. "Do you like wine? We need to give you wine. Have you tried this kind?" She points to a Trader Joe's fave, Now and Zen - I laugh, and she takes that as a yes. 3 bottles of wine, 5 protein bars, a cranberry juice and box of crackers later, I made my way to the car. Now that's funny.

5.24 pm: Again, dropping off more carwash tickets, but this time, by walking MD, we're on our way back from Meghan's house. As we're walking by a school playground where Little League practice is going on, I hear a 'beep beep!' behind me. I turn around to see Mr. Grown Man in his business suit, with sneakers on, racing by on a RAZOR SCOOTER. The other dads throwing pitches and telling their sons to put on the "angry face!" (no joke), are saying howdy to Mr. Razor Scooter, welcoming him to practice. I just laughed. Just laughed.

Oh, 8:35ish: I go to community group every Tuesday night to be with friends who are, well, just community. I love them. A series of events ensued: first, hosts Ryan and Rachell just got a Muppets' puppet - a real, live one from New York with the little talking hand stick and everything. I want one! - so I was playing around with the Muppet. Steve, one of the other guys was looking at me saying, "shut up, shut up," because you see, I was making the Muppet talk, with both his mouth and hand. "Oh, you want to see the Muppet say shut up?" The Muppet looks at me. I look at the Muppet: "shut up! shut up!" Muppet says, bowing to Steve and the rest of the group. "No, Cara, shut up." "Shut up!! shut up!!!" (Muppet Man is getting more and more excited at this point). Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You want ME to shut up. Oops. So Muppet goes back onto the shelf, but upon putting it back up there, I overcompensate a bit on the stool I'm sitting on, and then it's just this slow-mo, falling, falling, falling .... and we're down. We've definitely fallen off our chair and we can't get up. Priceless.

I think I like jolly old funny days like today. I think I do. I think I do.

But which one was the funniest?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2 convos

Favorite conversation with a kid today:

[Preface: L., a friend originally from the Ukraine, is a sophomore at Aragon. We've known each other through the tutoring program for the past year or so, and a couple months ago she made me a CD of her favorite Russian songs. Pretty rad.]

"So L., are you going to go to camp this summer with me or what?!"

"Well, I don't know."

"Well, why not?"

"Well," [there are apparently a lot of "wells" in this conversation], "I'm just a bit of would you say it? ...a home girl."


"You know, I'm like a cat that stays close to the house. A house cat. That's what I am: a home girl."

ohhhhhhhhh. I was laughing so hard at this point, though trying to laugh "with" her, and not at her. :) I always thought homegirl was more, you know, of the ghetto. And homeBODY was the type that stays at home. But hey, to each second language English learner, her own.

Next best conversation with V., a senior Chinese student:

"Life is just really hard right now."

"Why is it hard?"

"Well ... I just think there must be something more out there. Like for instance, my family doesn't practice a religion, and I don't necessarily think that there's an afterlife, that I'm going to go somewhere after I die, but what if there is? What if there is a higher being, or another place?"

My eyes were BULGING out of my head at this point. I'd never talked to this girl before today, and here she was just pouring out her heart. We talked about the end of childhood soon encroaching upon her, and how she doesn't want to have to act grown-up, even though she's supposed to, according to societal norms and her own cultural standards. We talked about not worrying about the future, and about the plans that her family has laid out for her. We talked about exploring whether there is a God or not.

It was an incredible conversation in the middle of the high school library.

I love what I do for a living.

Thank you for supporting me in this journey, friends and family, near and far.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I love...

walking. everywhere. "Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking." - Julia Cameron, Walking in this World. Though I just paid off RAUL THE JETTA yesterday (woohoo!), if I could I wouldn't have a car, and Mr. Darcy and I would just walk everywhere.

I do not love...

needing to stock up on quarters to do the laundry since we don't have a washer/dryer. That and parking (!) are my two "bleh's" about living here. So, guess who's WALKING to the laundromat in a few minutes?

I have recently started loving...

GARDENING. in my auntie's yard, that is. There is something about getting your hands dirty with the good of the earth that just feels RIGHT. And weeding (though they seem to pop up as soon as you pick 'em) brings about instant gratification!

And also...SETTLERS OF CATAN! Apparently this means I might be a closet Dungeons and Dragon freak too, but it is SUCH a fun, fun game!

Need something good to support? My friend Angel is heading to Uganda this summer to study the human trafficking, sex slavery, and child soldier situations that currently exist there. Check out her website and help her raise the funds to get there!

Favorite music this week: the Ditty Bops, Dave Barnes and Ben Harper!

that's it. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

post numero 259 - with almost as many pictures!

The life in April. A recap. By Cara.

The donut olympics at Young Life: we encourage close relationships.

Our banquet was march 30th...which I suppose actually doesn't constitute an April post, but we'll let that one slide. It was rad having musician and friend Mark Wagner down for the weekend, and then my fabulous friend of a high school Young Life leader, Jeramy Williams, down to speak.

Jeannie, Mark and I at the farmer's market in SF one Saturday AM...

Jeramy bringing down the house while speaking on Monday night...SO proud of him!

And then soon thereafter a group of LOVELY LADIES went to Boulder Creek (hippie mountain town - it's fabulously eco-savvy and good to the heart) for R and R.

2 of my dear friends, Jenn and Erika decided to kidnap me for a special post-birthday belated 30th celebration (and hey, if somebody says milk it, bring on the utters!). First we went out to a fun meal in the city, New Orleans style, and ate and drank well. I forgot how much I LOVE banana's fosters! Who knew the goodness that exists in that recipe?!

Then they took me to the surprise part of the evening: GREASE, live in the theater! Of course, much to their regret perhaps, they didn't realize that I'd been in that show my freshman year of high school, so I merrily sang along to, well, everything. I swear I contained myself:

One of the coolest experiences I had this last month was being with dear friends Ryan and Rachell as they got confirmed and baptized into the Catholic church the night before easter. It is so easy to get caught up in my own "version" of Christianity (ie: the one I most identify with) that I forget that there exists another side to the picture. Holiness. Reverence. Awe. Tradition.

Then, on Easter we celebrated in the afternoon with a small group of friends:

(And indeed, I wish I could stake claim to the tart, but it was ALL Jackie. Amazing).

Then, the day after Easter I flew to YL's Lost Canyon (camping property) in northern Arizona for speaker training, in preparation for speaking this summer. It was a super positive experience, but one of the highlights was getting to see the Grand Canyon again! I'd seen it when I was 14, so when I flew into Flagstaff and got to camp 3 hours and 15 minutes before we were starting training, I was stoked to find out that the park was only an hour away. God bless those rental cars: drive an hour out there, see its beauty for an hour, drive an hour back.

Was it worth it? YES. Upon leaving, I took a wrong turn (big surprise!), and ended up coming across these wild donkey-horse-moose-deer mammals. I'm still perplexed as to what they were:

Finally, just two more pics; here's one of Annie and me. annie's one of our YL leaders, and has become a dear friend. We showed up to club both in our black work out pants and magenta tops. Great minds think alike:

Then, last weekend a group of us headed down the 1 to Butano State Park, which is right outside of the little hippie farming town of Pescadero. (I seem to have a thing for these hippie communes....hmmm). On Saturday Doug and I went on a fantastic hike up to a much proclaimed but somewhat lame abandoned air strip at the top of the mountain. I expected to see overgrown wildflowers and perhaps an Edward Cullen vampire or two hiding in the shadows, but instead the bumpy ground just prided itself in gravel and a limited view. Anyways, at first I was giving MD a drink of water via my camelbak, but that seemed to be working intermittently, so Doug invented taking his own gulp of water and then feeding it to the dog. It may look easy, but getting a steady stream is hard work. I'll give you a dollar if you succeed.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

the "justs..."

*just finished reading TWILIGHT. Oh Edward Cullen and Bella.

*just finished banquet a week ago :: a night in venice, you were good to the heart!

*just gave Mr. Darcy a bath today, after being told that he smells - like a dog. Bad sign.

*just gave Nordstrom Rack a little visit.

*just (finally) rolled over all of my previous 401K/retirement plans from previous employers to my current employer.

*just found out that I only have one more car payment and RAUL THE JETTA will be paid in full! My first car deed! (title...what's it called?)

*just drove down the 1 to Butano State park with MD today, at peace with jesus and the heart.

*just became addicted to Settlers of Catan - really, i think I just want to beat my friend Doug. That's about it.

*just got a Hep B finishing shot for life (wincing like a little schoolgirl), following original Thailand shots - but now I'm immune!

*just REALLY started dreaming about upcoming vacations...which is generally a sign that I need a vacation.

There you go. the "justs." And yours?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

the big 3-0...

Hitting the power decade (so my older, wiser friends like to say...) is officially here - and I thought turning 21 was a big deal! This weekend roommate jeannie and I did a power WEEKEND of birthday festivities, as her 29th also coincided with St. Patty's day. We started Tuesday night off going to a little dinner over in Half Moon Bay at the lovely Cafe Gibraltar:

Wednesday: dancing in the city. FABULOUS.

So then, we move onto Thursday: chicken enchilada dinner with auntie, uncle-y, friend Annie and cousin Kaitlin in Hayward. Mmm!

But Friday it really starts with the birthday-campout-pajama-party sleepover! Granted, jeannie and I were some of the only ones who wore our PJ's, but we donned them with pride:

We roasted smores, drank sangria, played the whip cream game (ie: stick a glob of whip cream on your hand, then hit your arm with the other hand, make it fly into the air and catch it with your this:

A bunch of favorite friends came from all over the place, including the santa cruz peeps, my community group and other fabulous folks:

Some (...) of us stayed up until 6 that morning, and then it was celebration #2 of the official weekend with the pancake breakfast! (Of course, is there a classic breakfast shot?'s instead of Lily and I on a walk with MD when the poor buddy couldn't find a spot of grass. Poo on the pavement it is! Also, I definitely support walking around the neighborhood in your onesie).

Finally, last night we went out to Pie Ranch near Pescadero for the community HOE-DOWN! I feel like Mr. Chapin's "Elvira" linedancing in elementary school prepared me for this night, as did the annual staff event with Johnny Barber at Mission Springs (which, by the way, I must ask: is the man still kickin' the square dance groove?). This has got to be one of those moments of wholesome goodness in which it's impossible NOT to have a smile on your face. In that way, I am a big fan of all that comes with a night like this.

So, friends, one and all, thank you for welcoming me into the power decade - it's been a great 2 days so far! :)