Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beautiful Dreamer

Random Fact: "Beautiful Dreamer" was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano. Now while my selection is still VERY limited... I can hold my own on that one.. I think

Dreams are weird. Some dreams I wake up scared and in a cold sweat. Others I wake up laughing. Some dreams I love, some I hate, some I can't remember, others I wish I could forget. But then there are dreams that are so real and so relevant that I just can't shake. And sometimes, I don't necessarily want to. Do you ever get that feeling? A dream so real you have to think hard for a second weather it was a dream or yesterday? Or maybe one that you want to be true so much it hurts. Or here's the weird one, dream deja vu. I have had events happen in real life that I remember clear as day... from a dream.

I have learned that you have to be careful with dreams however. They play with your emotions and confuse the heck out of you and half the time scare me to death but I still think there is a part of me that wants so bad to listen to my dreams and a part of me saying I should.

I have heard so many different theories behind dreams but I think that's because we can't fully explain them or understand where they came from. It is said all over the Old Testament that God used dreams to speak to different people in the scriptures. Who says He doesn't still do that? Some say that dreams are a combination of things that happened that day and your mind is continuing to process them. Most of the dreams I have had nothing to do with the day before. Some say dreams have deep underlying meaning however these meanings usually are along the lines of "you were in a field of wildflowers... that means you are going to have soup for dinner." Nonsense really. Others say dreams is your unconscious coming to life and finally getting a chance to talk telling you what it is you really desire deep down. That would make a lot of sense. And that also kind of goes with the theory presented by one of my icons to this day: Walt Disney <3
A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartache
Whatever you wish for you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
You're rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish 
Will come true
-Cinderella - Walt Disney- 

I don't really know what to make of the dream I had last night but I will say that I'm not complaining about it.  And I think from what I know, I am going to stick with what I believe. In prayer, faith, and Cinderella :)
Til the next new day ♥ ,

Home in the Morning

Well in the morning I will be jumping on a plane back home to Arkansas. I was able to spend the Christmas weekend in Seattle with my family and it was much needed but has been making me think a lot too.
I like where I am and I am all about spreading your wings and trying something new but I miss being around the people who know me the best and the streets and towns that made me who I am now. Sometimes it worries me of how much curiosity I have because there are so many things that I want to do but I know that I also hold the desire to become a wife and mother and what I want to do with my house and family. Most girls day dream about this by the way. But I like going to movies by myself, I like going to dinner by myself. I know I am young and I know I have time but who knows what God has for me right now. It's hard to plan out the next couple years knowing commitments you already have, dreams you've had forever, things you just want to do, things you can only do when you're single, things you can only do when your married, as well as knowing that at any moment God could throw a curve ball at you and say "oh btw do this too."
Everyone keeps asking, "how long are you down there?" "when are you coming back?" "what exactly are you  doing down there?" "why did you move to Arkansas?" I feel like there are so many different answers to these questions but the truth is, I honestly don't know. This is where God told me to go and I'm going to stay here until He tells me to do something else.
I am not one for living in regret and knowing now that God is always on my side and that I need to abide in Him and also somewhat being brainwashed from an early age with the Disney juice, I get curious, I have a wild imagination and dreams and I know that I am strong enough with the Lord to pursue my dreams.
I have determined that if I could just clone myself my problems will be solved but since I can't I guess prayer, courage to ask and go and listening to where He decides to take me next is the next best thing.
But for now, I have had an awesome couple days spending time with my family, hanging out with my brothers, becoming better friends with my mom, dancing with my friends, and being back where I came from.
Tomorrow morning I head back to the airport for another trip across the country back home to central Arkansas. And no matter what anyone says, I like Arkansas and before you call me a redneck and knock it down again, come visit me! ... then we'll talk.

Til the next new day....

.... for kicks, here are things I want to do in the near distant future....
- go bungee jumping
- work for disney
- go on a disney adventure
- take another trip by myself
- do another single internship at a YL camp
- explore all of TN (road trip across the state)
- go to a rockin new years party in the city
- do the married internship at the Canyon (WFR)
- road trip to Dallas/ FW and go dancing
- drive across the country again
- compete in dance
- coach high school cheer
- be on staff with YL
- work for disney/ disney imagination/ disney adventures
- visit uncle Keith in Austin
- I want to be single
- I want to be in a relationship
- I want to be married
- I want to be single Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Tis the season I guess!

My roommate told me today that she thinks there is something in the water around the NW because it seems like everyday I turn on my computer or get another phone call where all she hears is "seriously?!!" and she knows... Another one got engaged. And it's true! And I love them all so here's to you! All of you! And congratulations to my wonderful friends. I am so excited for all your lives together!

Katia & Josh
Kari & Chris
Bryan & Geneva
Rachel & Stephen (aka Nizz & Steeze)
Adriana & Ryan
Laura & Brett
Brett & Autum (technically not in the NW but.. Still engaged!)
Kelsey & Darrick
Annalise & Thanh
Bucca & Lindsay
Kelsey & Carter

Congratulations y'all!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

why you don't blog while sleeping


Never. Forever.

     I came across this picture today by route of an old friend of mine and I must say, regardless of how I found it, I like it. This is me at Young Life's Washington Family Ranch in March of 2009. I was a completely different person then and while it seems like ancient days far away, it really wasn't that long ago. I was with different people, in a different state, I had an entirely different view for my life then.... I mean, I didn't even know how to line dance then! Even where I was is different. That sign that says "Wildhorse Canyon" no longer exists, and neither does that name. There is a whole second camp on that property now and new attractions have been added to this one. 
     It's crazy really, how much you change and how much God changes you and the world around you in such a short amount of time. If you were to tell me the day that picture was taken that in exactly 2 years to the month that I was going to be taking everything I knew and moving it two time zones away, there's no way I would believe you. Never. 
     But the reality is I wouldn't change anything that has happened. There are some people that if I saw now, I don't know if they would even recognize me. I'm more confident in my self, I love how I feel, I like how I look, I love what I'm doing, my hair is longer, my smiles wider and yes y'all.... I may have even developed a little bit of a drawl. :) 
     Even with how things change over time and the development that happens there are somethings that just don't change. That picture is over two years old but I can tell you what I was feeling and thinking that very moment. It's hard to put it into words when I stand right where I am standing there. On that property, under that sign. It's been forever since I've been in that spot but I can tell you there is nothing like it. We all have those places, songs, smells, something that will transport you back to a place you never want to leave and never will. No matter what changes around you, no matter if God takes you to the other side of the country there is still that place, that feeling, that will always be the same. Forever.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Do you know how to...

two step 
pretzel reverse
pretzel cuddle reverse
endless pretzel
death drop
dance in the dark
log roll
tush push
watermelon crawl
lace up
double spin
butt spin
pull through

Alright, let's talk :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lady pAinting...

...ok I know it was really cheesy but. I love painting. Recently it's been a lot of bible versus or song lyrics but either way when I feel the need to paint, I do!
My latest two are are lady Antebellum inspired and here they are!!!
The first song is off their new album (Own the Night) and it's called "Singing Me Home." My roommate and I are planning to try and see them when they come to Missouri. Drive up early, hang out in Branson, so to the show in Springfield and drive home! Totally do able right?! Anyway, the second one is one of my all time favorite Lady A songs, "American Honey." I have one more Lady A painting that I did to "Hello World" which gives me chills every time but I don't have a picture of it.
I could (and frequently do) listen to them on repeat all day. From the itunes session to Own the Night and even hidden songs I've found like "Emily," "I Was Here," and of course their "alter ego" Lady Haze! Anyway, that's my rant of my obsession for Lady A and hopefully I'll be able to see them soon!!!!!

 and for your listening pleasure.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm starting to get use to this place...

you know when (pt 2)

... you are confused beyond belief
... you can't stop smiling
... all you can do is laugh
... slight shaking and giggling come as a package
... you start to think beyond what you thought yesterday
... you can't wait til next time
... you start to realize you're worth it
... nothing starts turning into something
... all you want to do is dance
... you wonder where this even came from
... singing becomes part of your daily routine
... you are scared out of your mind but you just don't care

It's a good place to be. But go slow. Guard your heart. And be so lost in God that whatever is causing all the smiling, laughing and dancing has to seek Him full heatedly to find the rest of what they are looking for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

you know when...

.... you try your hardest to keep things under control and you can't. 
.... you smile all day and act like you got it all together but you really want to scream.
... your friends are bolder than you are and try to "help" by doing things you are to chicken to follow through with
... it would just be easier if he was just another tool bag
... you're making up excuses for things that you can't even justify any more. 
... you secretly are excited about where things can go but are too proud to admit it's really what you want.
... a simple smile makes you weak at the knees
.... things have gone wrong for so long so the minute something starts to go right you just wish it would keep going wrong because the possibility of something working out in your favor is scares the living @*^$^ out of you
... you want it so bad but you don't think you deserve it
... you want it so bad but you don't think they would ever want you
... you're afraid.

That's when God takes your life and shakes it like a snow globe with you trapped inside a whirlwind of water, glitter and fake snow and he's shaking it so hard that you keep hitting your head on the sides of the glass and the little castle trapped inside with you and then all of a sudden.... it stops shaking and every piece of fake snowfalls perfectly and the water is like an early morning on the lake and somehow things are just perfect. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am my biggest fear

Literally, I think I scare myself more than anything else in this world. Even snakes. Which I will say spending the summer in the north hills of lovely Georgia where the humid heat of the deep south brought out a good plethora of rattlers, copperheads and water moccasin's helped me a little in getting use to God's worse idea ever but they still make me want to cry. But even after all that, I think I take the cake of my own biggest fear.
The way my mind races sometimes and causes me to do things before actually thinking about anything that is going on freaks me out. Sometimes I can catch myself but most of the time it's sitting there thinking after the fact "not your best move Jill."
Why can't I think of that BEFORE I want to dig a whole of embarrassment and bury myself alive in it?
I think of the worse and always focus on the future...the not anywhere near future... rather than being concerned with where I am now. Today. This minute in time.
Last night was fun. It was a much needed night out with two of my best girl friends at a concert on the wonderful River Market in Little Rock. We jammed out to some Hunter Hayes and watched at our beloved Razorbacks got moved to the #3 seat in country (not to mention watching the Ducks loose is always a good time in my book) and had a great time. But something else happened last night that threw me for a loop. I won't go into detail as to really what it was because well, personally it doesn't need to be broadcasted over the internet but the lesson behind that I am ok with I think.
I am fairly confident in who I am, how I look and who God made me to be in my heart and my appearance. Especially being a girl, feeling confident in how you look and going as far as to say "I think I am pretty" is flat out hard to do. Let's face it, most of us are insecure about our bodies and when we admit that we like how we look there are some people that take it as being conceded and full of ourselves. But just when you think you are ok and you are worth something and worth someone .... something else happens that makes you second guess everything you just gained. You doubt yourself and second guess who you are and forget that who you are the princess you were made to be is determined by God and nothing else. And no ONE else for that matter.
I forgot this last night. I wish I didn't but I did. I couldn't even focus on enjoying the concert to the fullest because I was so distracted and forgetting that I am worth it. That is why I scare myself.
Girls please do not loose focus on who you are and what you are made to be.

"There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." 1 John 4:7-21

Here's some Hunter Hayes since y'all couldn't be at the concert with me :) 

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My first dance!!!!

     Most of you know that I love line dancing. and if you didn't, well you do now! But i am proud to say that I just finished choreographing my own! I'm pretty proud of it too. It's fun, flirty and room for variations! It's to Luke Bryan's "Country Girl" and I will hopefully post a video soon so y'all can learn it and teach it to others because Eagles can always use another dance and Bushwackers needs to do something other than The Wobble when that song comes on. I love the Wobble but it does NOT belong in my country bar!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unexpected day off

   I called yesterday to see when I was suppose to go into work this morning and they told me that I was off today. 3 days off in a row? Worries me a little really but all I can do is find the joy in having another day off to relax and not drive to Little Rock again this week. I'll do that tomorrow.
     So what should I do with this unexpected day off?
     I have pancakes with my YL girls this morning.
     I will be at the high school later today during their lunch to pick up their Polar Bear Wknd deposits and forms.
     I am meeting with Heather later tonight.
     But what can I do with today?
     I can go puddle jumping. Antique shopping. Homework awaits (that's probably what I should do). Listen to a podcast. I could get a headlight for my car. I could write a book. I could read a book. I could finish my painting. I could start a new one. I could send a painting to a friend. I could read my bible all day. I could watch a movie. I could go to a movie (Footloose is out btw!). I could clean our club room. I could line dance in the club room. I could do Zumba in the club room. I could change the light bulb in our living room. I could run errands. I could learn to sing. I could watch CMT all day. I could learn to play the piano. I could get a piano.
     The point is this day was unexpected but I can either choose to worry about not getting my work hours today or trust with all I have in the Lord and find what He wants me to do with it. There is something I am suppose to do today. Someone I'm suppose to meet. But if I sit here and worry about why I have another day off I am never going find out.
     Good Morning God
     This is Your day
     I am Your child
     Show me Your way

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning

     This is probably one of the best mornings I have had in a long time. I woke up naturally pretty early to the sound of the fountain, birds and my homemade wind chime outside my window while the sun rose across the Arkansas sky and started to reflect off the trees that have slowly started to change color. Even though it's the middle of October, here in the Ozarks it's still pretty hot. I was talking to my step mom this morning and she was saying that when she lived in this part of the country they would have thanksgivings and even some Christmas's that were still pretty warm. I am not sure how I feel about that for all I want to do is wear my boots, jeans and a big sweater with cider boiling on the stove.
     See, I am use to being cold. All the time. And while I miss it, I know that I can't live in what I use to be. I have fears and doubts about being here sometimes but I do love it. I love the south and my girls and my friends and my job and why God brought me here but for now all I know I can do is love what is outside my window. This morning was so peaceful. It was one of those mornings where all I wanted to do was run outside with a cup of coffee and sit on a rocking chair on the front porch. Problem being is that I don't have a rocking chair and am debating using my piggy bank as a rocking chair fund. I want the ones from Cracker Barrel. The old southern home style chairs that you can sit in for hours with a cup of coffee or a jar of sweet tea. There is just something about those chairs that draw you in and make ya wanna stay for a while.
     In a little bit I will be heading to church and then crafting all day til I go to FAD with one of my YL girls and YL leadership after that. This is the first real "day off" I feel like I have had in a long time. Monday's are a day off from brewin' the good stuff at Sbux but they are our Young Life day. Nothing about that is bad, it's just a lot and not a "day off." Last Sunday I covered a shift at the Maumelle Sbux and while I was so thankful for another shift to make some extra money. I am so thankful for today and easy mornings like this.
     This Sunday is a day of rest. This Sunday is easy and relaxing and a day to worship and enjoy God in all His glory. I wish every morning could be an easy Sunday morning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


     So this post may or may not be inspired by a best friend of mine that is currently on the other side of the country because well... that's where she lives. I love her dearly and I wish I could be dancing with her right now at a country bar.  But regardless here is it.
I am... 22 years old and have lived in 4 states, 10 different "houses," and gone to 7 different schools.
I dream of traveling the world .....but long to become rooted in a community.
I day dream about falling in love .....but am scared out of my mind for relationship.
I crave attention .....but wish the same people would leave me alone.
I work 35+ hours a week .....but have always had a problem with keeping enough money to just survive.
I appear spontaneous and fun..... but need routine and structure and get thrown off when I don't have the same thing for breakfast everyday
I appear loud, silly and outspoken..... but have been watching the TV on mute all day.
I flirt and want my own prince .....but I don't trust men
I cry to my Father in heaven and rejoice in His love, grace, mercy and peace .....but sometimes choose the world over Jesus
I love being the center of attention..... but don't want people watching me.
Everytime I pass a mirror, or a reflective surface, I look at my self, fix my hair, pose and sometimes put on makeup just for sitting alone at home...... but criticize others for "trying to hard" and wearing too much makeup
I want people to notice me..... but I can't take a compliment
I want to be recognized..... but I'll never ask for a promotion
I wish sometimes someone would just do it for me..... but I never ask for help.
I love smiling..... but I hate my smile
I watch every video til I can quote it perfectly words, voice and body language.... I don't know what my real voice sounds like anymore
I secretly force myself to have a Southern twang..... but I protest every time someone tells me I do
I want a permanent dance partner..... but I never let the guy lead
I blog like I am the only one reading this and sometimes I wish it were true.... but I secretly wish everyone was reading it.
Learn to be vulnerable
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed."- Psalm 37:18

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Green Apron

     Yep that's right, about a month ago I got a job at Starbucks wearing that famous green apron. The funny thing is that I got the job in Arkansas after growing up in Seattle.... how's that for a switch!
     I have worked coffee before but I was still nervous in the beginning but slowly I must say, I love everything about it. I actually work in Little Rock, which everyone down here is so obsessed with the amount of driving that I do to get to work but think about it, I am use to a Seattle/Portland commute and getting to work in the morning is shorter than working at IKEA in Tukwila when I was in high school. For my Oregon friends... it would be like going to school at OSU and working in Albany, or dancing in Albany on a Thursday night :) yeah it's a drive but not really that bad.
     I love my store, the people I work with and my customers. I laugh everyday, it's so fun and time goes by so fast because we are so busy! I know my regulars already and seeing them everyday is so fun. Most of the time in the morning I work with all guys which is fun and keeps it interesting. They are all like my big brothers really. They help me, look out for me, and even fight off creepy customers who want to "know my story" if you know what I am saying. And with all that, turns out I am actually pretty good at what I do. I am usually on the drive through window but even during training I had people tell me that I was really impressive. I guess I'm a fast learner. I am not trying to brag but I'll admit it feels good to know that you are doing a really good job. You know what though, in all of that I only have one person to thank for it all, and if you know me at all you can probably guess what I am about to go into. God.
     "In everything you do do it for the glory of God." I typically need to be at work anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 Tuesday thru Saturday. Sunday's I've been covering other stores, even though it's my day off and Monday's I have off for Young Life. But I leave the house 45min before I need to be there so I don't have to rush and I sit in my car and listen to music and continue to wake up before I clock in. Before that I get up usually an hour before I have to leave to make sure I have time to get ready, eat something and most importantly sit, read my bible and be with God even if it happens to be dark-thirty in the morning. It is so strange waking up at 4am but having time to be with God in the morning is so crucial and so worth it. There have been times where I was too tired and just got up with enough time to change and run out the door and I am telling you it makes so much of a difference! I'm awake and smiling in the morning and people notice it. My co workers have asked me how I am so happy in the morning and I just smile. I don't know a lot of them really well but most know I am a Christian and I am so excited to be able to share my faith and the glory of God while working in that green apron of ours. I mean it was Him that provided the job in the first place as soon as I got home from SharpTop Cove, why not use it as a ministry. Now that doesn't mean I go around shouting verses at them all day long. But they know there is something different about me that they haven't really seen before. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, people should be able to tell. Not because you tell them so but because of how you act, what you say, how you work, your smile and the fruit that comes from being pruned by the vine dresser.
     They are great people and it's a great job and we have a great God!

A Tale of Two Weddings

Courtyard Reunion! We were missing some at this point but yep... at one time, we all lived together
      So I know I have been slacking but here is what I really went home for. Two of my greatest friends from college got married and I was honored to be there on their special day!

     The first one was Chris Zauner. He was the house director when I lived in the Courtyard and also my team leader for Crescent Valley Young Life in Corvallis. He has been like the greatest big brother I have ever had and I was so excited to be able to celebrate with him. Now he met Bri online and she is from Iowa so they actually got married there about 2 weeks before the Corvallis Reception but it was so much fun! It was like a big Courtyard reunion and I even got my friend to dance with me! A two step AND a swing! He hated it but that's ok :) If there is anyone I know that deserves to be this happy it's Chris and Bri is awesome! She actually has a little girl who had the cutest blonde hair I have ever seen and for a while all she wanted to do was dance with me. We tried to get Lily, one of my other friends little girl, to dance with us too but I don't think she remembered me. That's ok though I still love her :)
I have never seen Chris this happy.... and rightfully so! It was at the Benton County Fairgrounds and so fun and laid back. I got to see a ton of people that I use to live with at the Courtyard and a bunch of old faces from Grace City. That made me so happy. There is nothing like coming home.

I didn't get a lot of pictures from the wedding (I kinda forgot)... but I got some! Some are from Aubree Swalko
Rach, Aubree, Myself and Rene at the Zauner wedding

The girls and Steven at the Zauner wedding
Tallman, Butta and Bean

Bri and Z!

     The second one I had the privilege of standing next to one of my best friends as she devoted her life to her sweetheart! They are so in love it's disgusting but I love it! That was one of the best weekends ever. So many friends and we had a lot of time as a bridal party to just hang out with each other. The cool thing was too that the whole bridal party (well most) has been friends for a while now so again it was like another giant reunion that lasted all weekend in the beautiful Hood River, Oregon. Again I got to see one of the mountains that I miss so much. Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. Watching Hannah and Peter get married was so much fun and I am so happy for them. Hannah (or Banana as I call her) and I were roommates last year and spent a LOT of time together. Weather it was 9th and Circle Sunday After Church Adventures or snuggling together in each others bed as the other cried her eyes out because of a crappy day or a stupid boy, I will forever hold her friendship in my heart. Myself and Jill, another bridesmaid and dear friend, may or may not have cried a little on our way back to Corvallis from the wedding the next day. Jill and Hannah have been friends forever and she is another one who's friendship I love having. They are all so special to me.
The wedding was perfect. Small and homey with the mountain in the background and we had so much fun helping set up and make it perfect for our friends. You could see it in both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids that we were so excited for our friends and would do anything for them especially on this day of theirs. Now she's old and grown up and married and left me forever but I'm ok with that because she is in love and found a man who loves Jesus like nothing else in this world.  :)

These pictures from the Elliott wedding are a sneak peak of what happened and are from our friends and photographers Neil Abrew, Nick Anderson and Josh Miranda

Groomsmen and Peter

Hannah, Peter and Mt Hood

My beautiful friend!

Bridesmaids and Hannah

Rachel, Sarah and Me

Till the next new day

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Now or Later: A Seattle Family

     Most people think that I am originally from Oregon, and while I do love that state with everything that I have, I am a pure blood Washingtonian. (and just for clarification, because I get this question a lot.... it's Washington STATE, not D.C.) When I was home I was able to head back to the greater Seattle area in order to see my family. This is where I feel like I can really claim being able to say that I'm "from Seattle" because a lot all of my dad's side of the family technically lives in the Seattle city limits. Some right out side but around Lake Washington is good enough for me! Needlesstosay, when I am home I am in the city more than one may think. This side of the family is where I get my loudness and sass from too... well that and my mom's youngest sister... if you knew her you would understand (I love you Aunt Heidi! :) )

Me, my cousin and her brother
at her graduation
      It started with an awesome surprise for my cousin and grandma, and a fun game for me and my aunt. My cousin is getting married in June and I came with her mom to surprise her at one of her wedding dress shopping appointments! It was so fun and I got to see her and my aunt and uncle. I get to be a bridesmaid in her wedding too! We are the only two girls on that side of the family, and we are the oldest in front of 6 other boy cousins so it was really special to get to see her and I am so looking forward to spending that day with her and her fiance! It's about time they did this anyway! jk.... but seriously. It was so good to be able to see them and spend time with her and my aunt and my grandma. I got to spend the night at my grandma's house (Mimi) that night which was a great treat. I haven't seen her since I left and she has always helped me out in a lot of ways in my adventures in growing up. When we were little it was "Mimi's Day Care" for all the grand kids while our parents were at work. Special times :) 

     My dad and brothers came up a little while ago to finish her kitchen. This was a project that was started before my grandpa (Papa) died. It looks so good now! We even made tater tot casserole in her new kitchen! That btw is one of my favorite dishes in the winter time. It's cheap, easy, fills you up, keeps you warm and always reminds me of home. :) 

Jonas' Soccer Game
     The next day I was lucky enough to meet up with more family and watched my cousins soccer game in Seattle. My other aunt cracks me up. My dad has 4 brothers and sisters and all of them are pretty much something else. But I love them all. It was fun watching my cousin play though. Both him and his brother are getting so big! I mean granted they are 14 (i think) and 11 but for some reason I will always picture both of them like they were when they were 7. In my mind they are my LITTLE cousins but trust me... they are not so little any more! Somewhere in the mix of that I got my Mimi and my aunt hooked on White Mocha Americano's from Starbucks as well. They call me to tell me when they get one :)

     I love my family. Growing up everyone is annoyed with their family and get really embarrassed and at one point in time I did to. It was kind of funny watching my cousin who is a freshman in high school this year because he is totally at that stage. Everything is embarrassing and  he is too cool for school. But getting older I have learned and appreciated embracing the fact that my family is a huge factor in who I am and why. When my Papa died it killed me because it was in April and only a couple weeks before that I had just gotten back from a 11 day trip to the United Kingdom with Girl Scouts. He and my Mimi wanted to see pictures and hear about it and I kept putting off going to their house and always said, "I'll tell you later." Later never came. Now I have to wait til I see him in heaven before I can tell Papa about London. I don't want to wait that long gain. Your family loves you. Take time for them. Even if you're in high school and everything is embarrassing because I guarantee that when you are sitting in class with 400 other kids who are just as lost as you are and you are no longer anything to your professor than a 9 digit number..... you're going to wish "later" was now.
My Papa <3 

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Mountain

     I grew up with Mt Rainier in my back yard. One of my favorite things about walking to high school was seeing the mountain in the background coming around the corner. For a couple days I spent time with my mom in Sumner, WA, which is about 30 minutes from where I grew up. I spent the morning down the street at Starbucks with an americano (with white chocolate of course) in hand, sitting outside in my sweater and boots, sitting by the fire, listening to a Solid Rock Podcast all underneath the shadow of the great Mt Rainier.
     Like I said before, I grew up with the mountain out my window but I can honestly say that this is the first time I have really NOTICED the mountain. I was completely taken back and amazed by the magnificent piece of God's work that overpowers the western Washington skyline. I couldn't stop looking at it, and I've seen it all my life! 
    If there is one thing that I defiantly miss in the South it's the mountains. The "mountains" that I have seen around here have well... been more ....hilly. Not saying that they are not beautiful, the South defiantly has it's own beauty and wonder and mountains and hills, but there is nothing like the cascades. There is nothing like letting Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Mt Adams, Mt St Helens, or Mt Hood wake you up in the morning. A mountain isn't a mountain unless it's got snow on it all year round. 
     That morning sitting at Starbucks was one of the most peaceful mornings I have had in a long time. The sermon from John Mark was so encouraging and I loved being able to take my time and wake up! I love getting ready in the morning but now that I also work at Starbucks in Little Rock I always work the morning shift. As hard as it is to get up in the morning (especially when the morning becomes 4am) it is so worth getting up even earlier than needed, because it's more than needed! No matter what time of the day it is the only time that is really "your" time is the morning. Before your day starts. Before you look at your planner or to-do list. Before you walk out the door, take some time to spend some time with the God of the universe. I guarantee it will change everything for the good. 
     Also, I have decided that I am going to create my own "windows to the Northwest" in my room in Arkansas. One said will have Mt Rainier, the other Mt Hood. That way I can wake up everyday, even 3,000 miles away, to the wonder and majesty that is the MOUNTAIN.
Mt Rainier over Tacoma

Mt Rainier behind Kentwood High School.
Home of the Conquerors

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Ready for a Recap?

     Ok so the rest of the time I was home I didn't have a chance to continue with my blogging so I'm going to catch ya'll up now! So just FYI The next couple posts are all going to be on the same day but they will recap the rest of my adventures home! From going up to the Seattle area to standing by one of my best friends as she marries the man of her dreams and being back on the OSU campus for the first day of school. ... so if anyone wants to know... well, here ya go!
 Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet Conversation and Great Coffee

     One of the things that I realized that I missed the most from back home was conversation. Good conversation. Sweet conversation. Conversation that lasts for hours and hours around the dinner table and goes from side splitting laughter to serious world topics to God's grace and beauty. And that is an example of God's beauty I think. A great conversation between friends willing to be vulnerable with each other and share life together. Being home this week has blessed me with a number of opportunities with friends to have sweet precious moments like this. I am not saying anything against my friends in AR but I'm still new there and no one knows me like my friends up here do. Their willingness to talk and share life for hours even if it means putting our selves on the line, being humbled and letting people pour into us with everyday issues. We sat and talked for hours and I loved how the conversation just flowed from one topic to the next without missing a beat over a great cup of the NW's best coffee.
     I think that is why people love coffee so much. At least up here. Weather it's a Starbucks or not there is a coffee shop on every street corner and inside you can find tables and comfy chairs full of friends, mentors, first dates, interviews, families and study partners filling their entire morning and afternoon. It's an entire culture up here that I grew up to love. I mean Corvallis even has a coffee shop called Coffee Culture (they do have the BEST white chocolate americanos btw)... One day we woke up, all had a cup of coffee with our quite time, talked some, then decided to "go get coffee" which always means another hour at the minimum of drinking unthinkable amounts of caffeine and talking some more.
     These are the times I miss the most. These are some of my greatest memories with friends. I love listening to people and I love sharing my life with people I love, trust and want to grow a relationship with. So weather you have amazing news, a gut wrenching confession, something funny happened on the way to class that is really only funny if you were there, or just want to talk about the weather.... let's go get some coffee :) Til the next new day ♥ ,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adjusting to Home

     First couple days back home have been amazing to say the least. Just being back in Corvallis is a sweet spot in my heart. I have been able to see a couple familiar faces and for now am staying with two of my best friends who I have missed dearly since I have moved and I still have a whole bunch of people to see this weekend! Everyone I know is going to be at the Ranch later this weekend and a couple people have been trying to convince me to go out there but with the wedding on Friday night I have no idea how I would get there unless I can borrow a car or something just for Saturday. It's the OR/SW Washington Regional Leadership weekend and one of my favorite weekends out of the entire year. I am trying to not let my self get super worked up about it because chances are, even if I tried to just go visit people for the day it proabaly isn't super realistic.
     Being back on the west coast has stirred up some new thoughts in me though. Part of me wished I was a clone becuase I do love Arkansas and the south but I LOVE the PNW. It's something about coming home. "Mama said home is where the heart is".... right?
     It does something to you.
     I went for a run along the river this morning and the early morning in Oregon when the sun hasn't broken through yet is something wonderful. An outsider would say it's just gray and gloomy but the cold pacific breaze and the sound of the Willamette flowing by watching the Blue Herons swoop down to the river shore is something else. The gray isn't sad right now. It's calming really. It's refreshing. It's home.
     Part of me thinks that I will end up back here someday after the work that God is doing through me in Conway is done but if that move ever happens I feel like a couple years down the road I will want to move back. Am I just going to be a wandering nomad of a soul forever? I want to be everywhere and know everyone and do everything but I can't. I'm different now too. I seeing old friends have made me realize that there is still a great place in my heart for who I was and having them in my life but people change over time and it's not really good or bad it just happens.
     I like traveling and living somewhere wierd gives me the chance to do that for occasions like this. Seriously though airports are probably the greatest people watching area ever! I like being able to COME HOME.
     I get to see more friends today and tomorrow... I get to go dancing again for the first time since March! (ok I went once in Nashville over the summer but I was by myself and didn't get to swing or two step so it didn't count). I am so excited to see people that know me. Know my heart and being here the last couple days with Kel and Shan has been such a blessing.

Monday, September 12, 2011


       I didit. I'm here. I'm back. I'm HOME. And get how cool this is, I'm still on the freeway! The HUT shuttle that will take me straight from PDX to the Oregon State Campus has wifi now so that's awesome right? I'm not going to lie I am a little nervous about being back. Things have changed. I've changed. It's been a big year and a big summer but as I am sitting on the shuttle driving down the road seeing signs for "205 N to Seattle" and things like "Fred Meyer" and "Interstate 5" again ;) it's a good feeling.
     I am excited to be back for a bit and to get to celebrate with some friends but I was kind of sad to leave Arkansas this morning. Conway has it's first club tonight and I am sad that I am missing it, especially after knowing some awesome high school friends and a couple potential new leaders :)
     This is good though, I needed this I think.
     Oh and another thing, I can feel it, smell it almost really. What is that? oh wait... NO HUMIDITY!!!
Doesn't look like a ton now but it's

This is on the back of my car right now.
Represent PNW in the ARK!
    Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Flying West

     Welp, ya'll. I must say I am kind of nervous but tomorrow I will be dropped off at the Little Rock airport by a dear friend to jump on a plane at 8:00 in the morning to arrive hours later in Portland Oregon! I have no idea how I am going to react about being back in OR/WA for a couple weeks but I promise to keep ya'll updated. Some of my friends this summer at STC said I developed an accent from being in the South so we will see if it holds true.
     I'm excited to go home but I am shaking in my boots as well. I'm a different person now from when I left and I am excited to come back to Corvallis but I left a lot of things there that I am not sure I am ready to face again but I know I am coming back for a bigger picture. Two of my great friends are getting married and I will be there to support them. The first is on Friday (technically they are already married but they are having a Corvallis reception and I am honored to celebrate with them) and the other a week and a day from then and then I will be able to stand next to one of my best friends on the planet as she marries the man of her dreams. They two of them are perfect for each other and I could not have been more honored to be apart of their day.
     I will see familiar friends and a familiar town in a new light with a new me and I could not be bouncing off the walls more. Who knows if I will be able to sleep tonight. It's like going to Disneyland in the morning! ... oh yeah. better start packing huh?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tim Riggins & my Roommate

     If you haven't been hooked into the phenomenon that is/was Friday Night Lights (the TV show not the movie) well you should jump on the band wagon real quick like! It combines the drama side of a "i need to see the next episode now" sitcom and my personal obsession with the feel of a friday night high school football game.   Contrary to what some might think I was introduced to this from the guys at SharpTop Cove this summer in Georgia. So guys and girls... get ready to be hooked! The show follows the life of a small town Texas high school football team and it's players, coaches and their friends and families. You have to get it on netflicks or something now though. Anyway point being me and my roommate (and many of both of our friends) are completely hooked and obsessed. Here is the opening of season  1 just to get you started. Coach Taylor. Jason Street. Smash. Matt. Julie. and Tim Riggins. oh yeah. you'll like it.

     Now as I said before me and my roommate love this show. And we are also pretty crafty. Most of our house  consists of things we saw on Pintrest and we both blog and could spend hours in Hobby Lobby and Michaels. We have a wall dedicated to our canvas paintings, my bed is made out of pallets and we have a great surprise idea for our living room. Well out latest craft project was inspired by a favorite friend of ours and we are in love with them! well. just take a look for yourself :)

Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose
    It was pretty easy to create these mugs. We found some cheap ones we liked and preped them with an All Purpose Sealer. Let that dry for 30 minutes (we used the time to watch another episode of course!). Then we used regular acrylic paint to make what we wanted. (I have the QB1 and CYFHCL ones). After that dried we painted a satin varnish over it to protect the paint and after that dried we baked them at 250 for about an hour to set it. I personally can't wait to get well into season 3,4 and 5 (we are in the middle of 2 right now) and curl up with some home made cider and my FNL mug! So easy! Paint whatever you want!

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back on the Water

     Last weekend was our Conway Young Life leadership overnight. We loaded the cars and headed out to our friends family's lake house on Greers Ferry in Arkansas. We talked and planned and dreamed for the year ahead of us and just spent time with each other. At night my self and Leslie jumped in the lake with our clothes on.... twice. I was thankful I decided to change out of my jeans before we came back the second time. 
     Being on the lake the next morning made me miss home. Growing up I never had a house ON the water but one of my best friends did and we spent every chance we could 5 minutes away at the Foss's on Lake Meridian. I am pretty sure her mom ended up missing having us over more than her own daughter being at home when we all went off to college. She told me so ;) 
Also, growing up in the Pacific NW being so close to the sound, having  a dad who absolutely loves to fish and would give anything to have his boat back and then moving to an hour from the Oregon coastline with the Willamette River running through town... the PNW just says "water" and until now I think I have always taken it for granted. 
     My mom use to call me her "water baby" and I still do love being in the water but I think I appreciate it even more now. I know Arkansas is known for all it's great water ways and rivers but.. it just doesn't smell like fish. I miss the coast, even though I would say I am more a lake girl than anything. 
     The silence, the reflection, the sound the water makes as it hits the side of an anchored boat, watching fish jump and hearing sea life. Even the sound of the neighbors fishing reel and bobber hitting the water makes me miss my dad. I even want to go fishing now, can you believe that dad? A kid other than Jordan fishing? Everything the water brings I am absolutely in love with.  
     Last night as Leslie and I were swimming around, we grabbed a couple life jackets and laid on our backs and were amazed at what was above us. I haven't seen that many stars since I left Oregon. It was amazing. Words could not describe. Our other friend even said he saw a shooting star. We missed that one. 
     Days like this make me want to be to give anything to be back on the water again. It's so alive! Isn't that how we are suppose to live? That is how God wants us to live. To LIVE. not just survive. As I was sitting on the boat parked int he dock slip, the mornings reading was Ezekiel 18.  It explains that even if a father commits evil things and sins against himself and his Father that the son is not responsible and that he shall surely live. It says that if a wicked person turns from their ways, repents and follows the Lord and what he says he will no longer die but he shall live. The Lord is saying to Turn & Live. Just like the water is alive, He wants us to be alive as well. I think there is something else to water. It's magnificent really. Everything in this world needs it to live and we use it for times of pleasure as well. We are made up of water and we can take a boat out to the middle and stay there for days. Water is talked about in the bible a lot. Jesus talked about being living water and was able to walk on water. But you can drown in water too. It's all very fascinating really. 
     I don't know where to go from there so I will just leave that for you to think about for a while. But I do know that I will continue to be alive in the water. 

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eden's Edge

     I love this name for their band. Meet Edens Edge and their new song that has become my new obsession lately! I am sure you will love and they are from ARKANSAS!!!

If you want to just listen to the song here is the official music video to "Amen"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Love a New Life

     Part of me wants to apologize to anyone who actually reads this thing. It was started as a way for my family to be kept up to date on the life of their "JillBean" as she packed her car, took a leap of faith into the Lords hands and drove 2,526 miles across the country to start a new life in Central Arkansas.
     The last couple posts I feel like haven't been all that happy and I only know of 1 friend for sure who reads this and I in turn read hers (we are kind of blog obsessed) but as the things that I have previously talked about weren't all that joyful, that was how I was feeling. However I decided that I am moving forward. In talking to my friend yesterday I started to realize what really matters and how happy I am where my life is now. The things I have learned in the past year have been incredible and the last couple days being back off my internship at SharpTop Cove and back in Conway with my friends and YoungLife College at UCA, I finally feel HOME.

     We had our first College Life event the other night and while it may have been a little rocky, I am excited. I met a lot of kids yesterday and the potential on this campus is unreal. God is truly at work in Conway. I am excited to start college groups and create an atmosphere where college kids can feel like they are coming home. I loved going to girls group last year at the Khulman's house and walking into a warm home with desserts and cider on the stove. Needlesstosay I am going to be stealing ideas and modeling a lot of things off of what I saw happen in Corvallis last year because I know that it works and believe it can touch a lot more people than producing just another "club" at the college level that looks a lot like what the other ministries do already. I can not wait to live out what God has put me here to do with the help of my friends and "family"

     I had a talk with a friend today about how sometimes God strips us of everything we know and everything we thought we knew to start us over and have his way with us. Sometimes we scream out as loud as we can "please! just show me a glimpse of what you are doing! why am I here?!" But remember.... he put his own son up on a cross. The most horrific way for someone to die. Jesus pleaded with his Father and yet there was no way out, but the result was the most beautiful gift anyone has ever seen. One of my good friends had a chance the other night while we were talking on the front porch swing to brag about his family and the inspiration his sister and her family is to him and hearing the excitement in his voice of what his sister was doing with her husband and small child was unbelievable. Dirt poor missionaries who are out not only helping people  but have created a Life and a Home for themselves and their little boy with what they have and who love Jesus like nothing I have ever heard of. You could see it in the way her brother was talking.   

     It's going to hurt and sometimes it just straight up sucks but ya know what? It's our choice day to day of how we can make where we are, what we are doing, not only a life of survival of what we think we need to be doing but a life where we live and thrive in a family with our eternal Father. Life becomes a Home.Surviving becomes Living.

     And I say this to my self but wake up in the morning with the sun and natural light, have a cup of coffee, some good breakfast and spend some time with God. Make your bed, take a shower, put on some clothes you feel good in and a smile. Take Him with you and take on whatever He is giving you that day.


Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Forgotten or Desired

     Pictures were posted the other day. And if you've known me for a while now you might know what pictures I am talking about. He's blocked and so is she but that doesn't stop mutual friends (or even their photographer) from posting them all over facebook. It happened not even a year later. I would like to say that I'm fine. I would like to say that I'm ok but that would be lying. Part of me is happy for them. Part of me started crying. Part of me is glad that they found each other but another part of me just feels forgotten. It's not anything really against them, and everyone (including their photographer) has every right to post evidence of their friends celebration. I know it's nothing but the enemy but I just didn't know I was that easily forgotten.

   I live in central Arkansas now. I left everything I have ever known and put it in my car and moved it across the country. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and it was the first time that it actually hit me that I live 3,000 miles away and I have no idea what is happening in the PNW. I thought I have tried to keep in contact with people but apparently not that well. I miss a lot of people and as Conway hasn't really started to fill with college students yet it can get a little lonely at times especially after realizing that I am once again starting over. I do this to myself ya know. And I do have a great community surrounding me and is excited about life and getting Young Life rolling in central Arkansas both in Conway and North Little Rock and I must say, I am excited as well. College Life is getting started and Wednesday we have our first College Life outing I guess you can call it. We already know a handful of students and I am so excited to get the ball rolling with UCA, Hendrix and the Conway High Wampus Cats! (I am still trying to figure out what a Wampus cat is btw).

     I guess it just didn't hit me until now that life moves on. Even when I am gone, every time I move, life moves on. I think I am here to stay for though. At least for a while. My friends at camp use to joke about why it took me this long to move to the south and honestly I don't know. I do love it here - minus the humidity. And it makes it that much more exciting to go visit! I will be back in OR in less than a month for a couple weddings which despite who I know who I am going to run into I cannot be more excited for my friends. I know I am going to run into my old life. My old group of friends. The ones I don't really talk to anymore but for a good portion of my time in Corvallis, my life revolved around them. We had a reason we hung out and after that reason was gone ... it was gone. They are still all great people but you know how it is, awkward.
     It was drilled into me in high school that the greatest need of the human heart is to be understood. I would argue that the second greatest need is to be desired. We all want someone to want us. Make us feel important. Special. Beautiful. Needed. We want someone to be thinking about us when they are out of town. Call us. Remember us. Say our name. It is said that the greatest sound the ear can hear is it's own name. Having someone say your name is special. They know you. They acknowledge you. They remember who you are. Every time I meet someone for the second time I always reintroduce myself not because I forgot that we already met but because I assume that they don't remember meeting me. More often than not however I stand corrected and looking a little embarrassed. But I can't help but error on the side of "what if they don't remember me?"

    Anyway, new realizations come with a new life and I know there are pleanty of people who I love and cherish deeply who are desiring a relationship with me. The most important being God. My Lord. My Savior. My Truth. My Light. My Strength. My Everything. I have my cardboard testimony up on my wall still reminding me that I am:
 "Desired and Pursued by God. Innocent Again."
and that is how I will forever be. Not forgotten. Not lost. But forever desired.
Til the next new day ♥ ,

It Is Finished

Creation resounds the victorious words:
It is finished'
It is done
To the world salvation comes
We're alive!
Hell was silenced when you cried..
It is finished
It is done
Now completed the work of Love
He's alive!
Join the song of the ransomed bride
It is finished
It is finished
And it is finished!

     When Jesus was dying on the cross, hanging there as the sin of the world began to overtake the only perfect human to ever walk the earth, the last words that He said before He gave up His final breath were "it is finished." Over. Done. What he came here to do was complete and it was time to move on to the next stage of His mission. "Completed the work of Love." It's a beautiful picture really and yet throughout my life I continue to make it more complicated than it is when really the problem has already been solved. Nothing is bigger than God and what Jesus did for us and it's already been done. He already took care of the issue and solved the problem weather we accept it or not it's truth. Our sins have already been forgiven and put on that cross with our savior. "While we were still sinners Christ died for us" [romans 5:8]. It's the most beautiful dreadful picture in the whole world. You and me did that to a perfectly innocent man. And he volunteered. 

     My summer as the SharpTop Cove Administration Intern is also finished. I am back in Conway, AR now ready for new things and to start a new life. I left my life in Oregon on an interesting note and I'm not sure how closed that book was but it definitely time for a new book, or at least a new chapter. I said goodbye to all my friends the Lord placed in my life for the last 4 months and re packed my little car (again) and headed north, turned left at Tennessee and ended up in my new home. Whenever someone asks about my time at STC I think I always tell them what they weren't expecting to hear. I say it was good but hard and different than I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong I loved it and will forever cherish the memories, the people, the Georgia hills, the fireflies, the lessons, the work, and the excitement that is getting to experience what Young Life is really good at doing. Young Life camping, and Young Life camping in the South, is an unbelievable phenomenon that I thank God and men like Jim Rayburn, Herb Taylor and Sid Smith for fully understanding and figuring out the importance of what we do and why we do it. But for now all across the country it is finished. Everyone is going back to their home towns to start a new life. Weather it be a new life with Christ and their YL leader, or a new life just after camp. It is finished. But it's also just getting started. 
Til the next new day ♥ ,