Friday, December 31, 2010


...I hope to happen upon a social situation in which I will be able to nonchalantly wear a top hat.
Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: The Year in Review

The end-of-the-year survey tradition continues for a third year (for last year's go here).

1) What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I went on a road trip with my best friend, had breakfast at Tiffany’s, hung out in a tattoo parlor in Haight Ashbury, enjoyed some fine dining at Club 33, finally visited Catalina, and got my first ticket ever (for running a red light).

2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'm not really into making resolutions anymore. Generally speaking, I strive to live a life that reflects the character of Jesus to people, contribute to the lives of others in a positive and meaningful way, be a productive person and constant learner, always have a grateful heart, and continually cultivate my interests.

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Steve and Nicole!

4) Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year.

5) What countries did you visit?
Travels were kept domestic this year. I took some fun trips to Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York.

6) What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A couple of stamps in my fresh new passport. It’s going to happen!!

7) What date(s) from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Halloween in San Francisco was a great memory. And June 13th was the start of something new (cue the High School Musical song...).

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I finally weaned myself off of my daily soda-drinking habit this year, which I’m glad about.

9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. It sucked.

10) What was the best thing you bought?
Books…always books. (At two of the best bookstores in the country, I might add…)

11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who sacrificed something of themselves for the benefit of someone else and without asking for reward or recognition merits celebration in my book. (Specifically, I'd like to celebrate teachers this year, and encourage you to watch the documentary Waiting for Superman.)

12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most of the fame-mongering, greedy, and just plain obnoxious people on reality TV.

13) Where did most of your money go?
Probably to Starbucks...a true vice. Next year I'll be better. (Oh, who am I kidding? I said that last year…)

14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Starry Night at MoMA in NYC. I wanted to touch it so bad, and stared at it forever and tried walking away, but kept turning back to it. It took about four or five attempts to finally walk away from it…

15) What song will always remind you of 2010?
Dear John by Taylor Swift. I feel like he broke my heart, too.

16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
Wiser? Yes. Healthier? No. Richer? In many ways.

17) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Read, studied, traveled, and blogged...the things I can never do 'enough' of.

18) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worried and over-analyzed, per usual.

19) How did you spend Christmas?
Church, Claim Jumper, and gifts with my family on Christmas Eve. Sleeping, reading, and hanging out on Christmas Day. Hanging out with Nathan on Christmas night.

20) Did you fall in love in 2010?
You know…I think I did…

21) What was your favorite TV program?
LOST, Gossip Girl, and 30 Rock.

22) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone.

23) What was the best book you read?
Water for Elephants and Zeitoun.

24) What was your greatest musical discovery?
I pretty much listen to the same stuff I did last noteworthy discoveries.

25) What did you want and get?
My trip to NYC to visit a dear friend finally happened after years of planning and anticipation.

26) What did you want and not get?
I am content.

27) What was your favorite film of this year?
Tangled, 127 Hours, Harry Potter, and Eclipse.

28) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 and did a lot of celebrating with cherished friends. On my actual birthday I took a final exam, then went out to lunch and Disneyland (to eat pink ice cream).

29) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
Bruce Jenner, my favorite 'Kardashian.' He just makes me laugh.

30) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I wear what I feel like wearing, which I am aware allows for some major hits and misses.

31) What kept you sane?
Family, friends, Nate, co-workers, and God.

32) Who did you miss?
I miss my faraway friends so, so much.

33) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Romans 12 and Hebrews 12 are full of lessons I learned in 2010, and am still learning…

34) What did you gain this year?
Confidence in Christ.

35) What did you lose this year?
A little more insecurity.

36) Who was the best new person you met?
Kylie and Nathers.

37) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Just listen to the song...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Danke Schön

As the holidays slip by and I reflect on the challenges, trials, victories and blessings that the year has brought, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm grateful for my incredible family that loves, supports, and encourages me. I'm grateful for the kindest and most generous friends a girl could ever hope for. I'm grateful for the most incredible and fulfilling job in the world and that I get to serve with my best friends—really, my second family. I'm grateful for God's love, and that it's only by his grace that I am able to have a relationship with him. There is so much to be thankful for.

With all the busyness, frivolity, and fun that the season brings, it’s important to me to note the sacrifice, sharing, and service of the amazingly generous and thoughtful people I know. I love writing thank-you notes and love-notes, and my goal is to write 365 of them in 2011. What a simple note has the capacity to mean to someone—who feels unappreciated, undervalued, unloved, forgotten—is ridiculous in comparison to the time and effort it takes to write one. (And, I get to use all my pretty stationary, stamps, and stickers...bonus!)

Plus, writing a note every day will also foster a heart of gratitude in me and keep my eyes open and my mind aware of the people I am thankful for. I have learned that gratitude is the antidote to many things—greed, jealously, cynicism, selfishness, thoughtlessness, entitlement, discouragement. The enemy so easily gets a foothold into our hearts through these often subtle shifts in our attitudes.

My challenge to you is to express your gratitude to others in 2011. Have you ever thought about how much someone meant to you, but didn't bless that person by letting them know? I know I have let opportunities slip away. Maybe notes aren't your thing...what is? A phone call? A random text? A facebook wall post? Maybe you really want to mess with someone and buy them a coffee or a gift card or flowers...
"...let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24
"Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29
There shall be Eternal summer in the grateful heart. --Celia Thaxter

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas

In the last two months, I have gotten six shots in my face. I have taken four different antibiotics. I have gone to doctors at least once a week since Halloween. I have spent hundreds of dollars on doctor visits, medication, and replacing every hair product, soap, lotion, and makeup product I use. My face has felt like it's been badly sunburned and covered in bee stings. It's been swollen like a tomato, covered in bumps, big and small, and so painful that I could barely wash it, touch it, or put makeup on it.

The first diagnosis was shingles. The second was rosacea. The third idea was a product allergy (hence the replacing of everything I used). The fourth was cystic acne.

I just refer to it as a whole lot of unwelcomed dermatological drama.

I have felt the need to apologize to people for looking so terrible, to offer an explanation for looking and feeling hideous. "This isn't normal, just so you know," I found myself saying as I pointed to my face when meeting new people. Some women wear makeup as a mask, but my skin itself has felt like a mask to me that I haven't been able to take off. I haven't felt like myself. I have felt ugly and embarrassed and helpless to do anything to make this better. It really has been a nightmare, challenging my beauty, worth, energy, psyche. Some days I combatted the feelings of defeat with hope and humor; other days were just tearful ones, thinking "Is this ever going to get better?"

But luckily--and, gosh, I don't want to speak too soon--I think this week I finally turned the corner. After weeks of only worsening as I kept seeking help, the antibiotic I am now taking seems to be working. Some extra time off, mega amounts sleep, praying praying praying, and a bit of reclusiveness surely helped, too.

How did this happen? What triggered it? It's still a mystery.

Continuing to hope for clarity (in every sense of the word) very soon...

She's So Heavy

Boyfriend got me a typewriter for Christmas. I died.
When I saw the giant box, I had no idea what it was. When I felt how heavy it was, I really had no idea. "So...not jewelry?" I thought to myself.
On one of our earliest dates at the Orange Circle, we got gelato and walked around the antique shops. There was a typewriter in one of the stores and I told him how much I would love to have one someday. I completely forgot I told him this.
But he didn't. He went to a bunch of different antique stores, looked for the best one (not an electric one, obvs, and preferably one that worked), and found this treasure. A few of the keys didn't work...he fixed them...he bought a new ribbon for it...he cleaned it up.
It's so beautiful. It's from the 30's or 40's. It works great. Its keys clack clack clack away and it has that sweet ping when I type to the end of the line. It even smells good.
It might be the best present I've ever gotten.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Books just make the nicest presents, don't you think?

Day at the Museum

On Saturday I went to the Getty with Nathan. Southern California had been a couple of days into a wintry rainstorm, but the formidable weather was more of a reason than a deterrent for us to head up to Los Angeles. As the museum's tram ascended the hill on which the center sits, we forgot about the world as it disappeared and we were swallowed into the clouds. The place was hauntingly empty. The rain did not let up and the misty clouds that nestled around the museum and dark sky gave such a familiar place a strange, foreign atmosphere. We saw some incredible exhibits (this one was stunning), enjoyed a delicious late lunch, and finished the day driving through a festively decorated Beverly Hills and up Sunset to Guitar Center, capping the cold day off with hot pizzas at Cheebo.

I'm not selfish enough to keep this a secret...the Getty Center is best experienced on a rainy day. So come the next rainy Saturday...take my advice and do what you need to do... You'll have the best day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010