Monday, December 31, 2012

8 years ago...

My baby sister was born!

At 11:54PM, she was the last baby born in all of San Diego in 2004. Pretty cool, huh? 


Happy Birthday Milissa!

I am so blessed to be your big sister, and am so proud of the big girl that you have grown up to be. 

I love you so so so so so much. 

You're the best little sister in the whole wide world. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 - A Year in Review

2012.

You were a truly amazing year. I am amazed when I think back to where I stood a year ago from today, how much I have changed. 

How much God has changed me. 

And I am so thankful and blown away by the work that He has done and is doing in my life. 

I can't wait to see what He does with 2013. I know it's going to be amazing. 

But for now, 2012 - A Year in Review:


<< January: Kicked off the year with some Fit Club goals and resolutions (most of which were kept!) and went to San Francisco! Also wrote my first honest post about the break up that lead into the new year >>


<< February: Spent plenty of time enjoying beautiful Santa Barbara. Celebrated Valentine's Day with my amazing roommates >>


<< March: Had a reunion with the college roomies, and some more visitors for a birthday! Had the best time celebrating St. Patrick's Day! >>


<< April: Celebrated Easter twice! Once with the roommates and once with the fam. Hosted a Murder Mystery party for one of our own's birthday, and had an amazing time at Stagecoach (to be repeated this year!) >>


<< May: Had the most incredible trip of my life to Boston, and ended the month with a trip to Vegas with the girls >>


<< June: Visited Sacramento to see some of my favorites and to meet a new babe! Watched my not-so-baby bro graduate high school, and turned 23! (See my 22 recap here) >>


<< July: Had a blast celebrating the 4th of July and road tripped up to surprise one of my very best friends in San Francisco! Kicked off the Olympics in style (and yes I did repeat my 4th of July outfit, how could I not?) >>


<< August: Wrote one of my personal favorite posts on faith. Went to a Toby Keith concert (who I'll be seeing again at 2013 Stagecoach, woo!!) and had a blast at two baseball games! >>


<< September: Had a blast on Labor Day with a best friend in town! Watched my brother kick butt (game winning goal in overtime, nbd) in his college soccer game! And ventured across the country back to Boston with a stress fractured foot. >>


<< October: Officially changed jobs. Had a blast at another round of Beerfest. Said goodbye to a good friend who moved all the way to Wyoming! And celebrated Halloween in true Santa Barbara style (6th SB Halloween! See Memory Lane here) >>


<< November: Finally signed up for Pinterest. Got to bring out the kid in me for an epic game of Capture the Flag. Celebrated Thanksgiving with the fam, and got to reunite with some friends while back home in San Diego >>


<< December: Went back up to Sacramento to celebrate a special little one's first birthday! Went to my first NFL Football game and got to see my little Jr. Charger Girl cheer at half time. Got into Christmas spirit by visiting the Living Nativity. Got the best gift of all which was time off to spend at home with the fam! >>

Whew. And that ends the recap. 

It truly was a wonderful year, and I feel oh-so blessed. 

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Doubt

I'm reading this book right now:


and only about half way through, so no where near close to finishing it. But I've come across a few quotes that I felt deserved to be highlighted. 

And dog tabbed. 

And one in particular that deserved it's own blog post. 

If Christ played with doubt, so must we. 
If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, 
if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
then surely we are also permitted doubt
But we must move on. 
To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility
as a means of transportation. 

Bam. 

So, so good. 

I feel like I have tried to portray this so many times, and this quote just sums it up perfectly. 

It's okay to doubt. 

It's okay to be confused. To have questions. 

And it's okay to not have answers. 

It's called faith because we don't have all of the answers, and honestly, we never will no matter how strong our faith is. 

I will be honest, recently I've had a few intense confrontations with God. 

I've gotten mad at Him. 

I've wondered why I don't see response to my prayers. 

Why can't I run to Him when I need a hug? (literally speaking here)

Why can't He yell loud enough for me to clearly hear? 

Why can't He fix this broken, broken world? 

And specifically, why can't He fix the broken people around me?

Why can't He fix the broken areas of my life?

And if I'm being truly honest, sometimes I get frustrated when I feel like I don't get "rewarded" for obeying Him. 

Because sometimes, obeying Him and living His way in this world is just plain hard for me. 

How twisted is that? 

I get frustrated when I don't get a pat on the back when He came and died/suffered/was humiliated for me

But that's what I love about Him. God doesn't ask me to be perfect. And He loves me through these little temper tantrums of mine. 

Jesus warns us that living a Godly life will be hard at times. 

But it also will be worth it.

He doesn't expect me to not have doubts. He simply wants me to bring those doubts to Him. 

To bring my questions, concerns, fears, anything to Him. 

So don't let doubt keep you from the Lord. 

Let it bring you closer to Him. 

Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have,
for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Hebrews 10:23

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Living Nativity

Merry 2 Days after Christmas!

I hope you had a wonderful one!

One thing I forgot to mention in my Holiday Tradition vlog was going to my church in San Diego's Living Nativity.

I probably didn't mention this because I hadn't gone since high school, but after visiting this year, I don't think I'll be missing another any time soon. 

It's such a special way to get in the holiday spirit, and a great way to really convey the message of our Savior to kids of all ages. 

Not to mention there are camel rides, a petting zoo, an ice skating rink, and they actually manage to make it snow in San Diego. 

Pretty magical, right?





The holiday magic was followed by a delicious food truck dinner. 

(No pictures taken because it was demolished in point 5 seconds)

It really was the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit, and I can't wait to make a yearly tradition out of this. 

XO

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!


I would have posted a picture from last night's Christmas Eve service. 

But due to some time crunches (or I guess you could say poor planning), I attended in what would have been running clothes had my Mom not saved the day with one winter coat and boots. 

I don't even have "I was getting the kids ready" as an excuse. Go me. 

Needless to say it was the perfect reminder to take the focus off my lovely (& sweaty) self and to put it on our wonderful Savior, Jesus. 

After all, that is the reason for the season, right?


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Girl Behind the Blog - Vlog!

Holiday edition!!

Linking up with 5ohWifey and Kerrie for today's Girl Behind the Blog!

I'll go ahead and let the vlog do the talking, so without further adieu:


A few of my favorite things about this video:

1. The YouTube selected freeze frame. 

Such a beaut. 

2. The fact that I chose to record this video on my best hair day of all time. 

Keepin' it real, folks.

3. The point where I can't think of what the green plant above my sliding back door is called. 

And the fact that I still can't. 

Any ideas?

4. The lovely awkward ending where I don't know how to end the vlog so I end it like any other conversation. 

Except instead of saying "Have a great day" I say "Have a great night"

As if you're going to be spending your Friday night watching my vlog. 

Of course you are. 

Happy Friday!!

5ohwifey

Thursday, December 20, 2012

California Girl

I'm a born and bred California girl.

Southern California girl, to be exact.

That means the word hella came out of my mouth unintentionally exactly one time before I washed my mouth out with soap.

No offense to any hella say-ers out there.

This also means that I was raised to be a water lover.


Love the beach, and all things with water.

Swimming pools? Lakes? My kind of places.


Living so close to the beach is definitely something I want to take advantage of more often next year.

I don't get there nearly enough for someone who's loved the beach for her entire life.


Can't you just see the look of excitement and joy on my face?

Total beach lover. Born and bred.

Today's my Friday, and won't be back to work until the 2nd (insert leaping for joy here).

Best part of the new job was the incredible holiday schedule.

I'll be linking up for the Girl Behind the Blog vlog link up tomorrow, and you should too! Would love to see all your lovely faces :)

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Running

So, if you're new around here, here's a little history run down of my relationship with running.

I have never been a runner.

I repeat: never.

This past year, I started getting really into going to the gym. I had weekly classes I would take, my favorite being Lower Body Blast.

But when I went home to visit the fam, I didn't have a gym to go to. So when facing the issue of how to get a workout in without the gym, I resorted to running.

I vividly remember gearing up for that first run. It had been a while since I ran, so I was fully prepared to struggle.

I'll walk when I get to that stop sign, I'd think to myself.

And then I'd get to the stop sign, and lo and behold, I could keep going.

I didn't realize it, but all of those gym classes were building up my endurance. So suddenly I could run much farther and for much longer than I ever had been able to before. That first day I think I ran about the distance of a 5K without stopping.

Something I had certainly never done before. 


So I decided to sign up for a few races. A 5K mud run, and a half marathon.

I was so excited to start training for something. It felt amazing.

Until it started to feel not so amazing, and I noticed pain in my foot. I kept running on it, thinking it was probably nothing.

Insert lesson learned here: Do not run on pain. Get it checked out, especially if it persists/gets worse!

Cue stress fracture. (Fun times)


But now everything's all healed, so it's time to get back on the training horse.

I've officially signed up for a 10K!

This one, to be exact:


And in case you haven't noticed from the pics, I've got me some new running shoes:


I'm gonna be real though, if I can do this, anyone can.

I went for 2 runs this past weekend, and I am literally in horrible shape.

I'm talking can't even run a mile straight without stopping to walk.

Total speed with all of the walking is about an 11 minute mile.

Looks like the break from the stress fracture took a toll, huh?

So here goes nothing! Back in training mode, hoping these apps will help kick me back into shape:


Ignore the Turtles, Huh? game on my phone. I'd like to say I downloaded it for my sister to play with.

I didn't.

So anywho, there you have it folks. Got 2 months to get myself back into running shape.

Ready, set, run!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Rundown

According to Instagram:


Got me some new running shoes. And signed up for a 10K. 

More on this coming in a separate post!


Went home to San Diego. 

Yes, that is the lovely wall paper collage from my freshman year of high school on my bedroom walls. I should be an interior designer, I know.

Played some Pretty Pretty Princess. 

And lost three times in a row. 

Sad face. 


Got in some good time with the family and friends. 


Went to my first NFL game! 

And left after half time because the Chargers suck, but that's okay.

Got to see my sister perform at halftime with the Jr. Charger Girls! Too cute! slash I'm jealous she got to be that close to real life NFL players

And that's about it!

I realize this is extremely boring if you follow me on Instagram (@sweethomesb), but hey, that's what happens when I get home at 11PM on a Sunday night. 

How was your weekend?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Liebster!

Anna from My Semi Charmed Life awarded me the Leibster Award! I've given this award once before, and I just love getting to answer the fun questions.

Also, find my answers to Mosby here.

1. If you could listen to one CD for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Hmm, this is tough. Probably a T Swift CD, I think I listened to the one with Forever & Always on it for like a year straight.

But I'm also kind of obsessed with worship music, so any sort of worship CD would work too.

2. What's the first website that you go to when you open your browser?

Gmail. Definitely gmail. If you sign onto gmail, there's a good chance I'm on too. So feel free to chat and say hello if you'd like :)

3. What's the background on your phone?

The shoreline on the beach. An iPhone default pic, kind of like this:


4. What are you currently listening to? Music? TV?

Building 429 Pandora station. "One Thing Remains" by Soul Survivor to be exact.

5. What is one thing you would love to have in your dream house?

Hmm, I'm gonna cheat and say 2 things. Any sort of island in the kitchen, or a lazy susan on my dining table.

Preferrably, ones that look like this:




With the wine included, please.

Any one feeling like getting me a Christmas present?

6. Biggest pet peeve?

I had to answer this question in my first vlog, and at the time I didn't really have too great of an answer. To be honest, I still don't. I feel like anything I say, there's a good chance I've done before, sooo there's that.

7. What's something crazy/exciting that you'd love to do but are too scared to do?

Sky diving. I'd love to go sky diving, but the idea of jumping out of a plane kind of scares the crap out of me.

But never say never.

8. Are there any songs that you know 100% of the lyrics to by heart? 

Too many to count. I'm notorious for singing along to songs regardless of who's around me. I usually don't even notice I'm doing it.

Sorry if that's your pet peeve...

9. If you could invent something, what would it be?

Free travel.

Free and quick travel.

Now that's not shooting for the stars or anything.

10. You win a contest to create a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor. What would be in it, and what would you name it?

Vanilla ice cream, with fudge swirls and almond butter.

And cheesecake bites.

And it'd be Non fat. Bam.

11. What is your current ringtone?

The standard iPhone ringtone.

Super original, I know.

Can you tell by the 2 references in this post that I'm still borderline obsessed with my phone? The novelty probably should have worn off by now... but it hasn't.

Thanks, Anna! for awarding me the Liesbter Award! Loved your questions!! ((Be sure to go check out her blog and leave her some love))

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Faith in Jesus (part 2)

To find part 1, go here.

I mention January 1st a lot when I talk about my faith. It truly was the single most defining moment in my relationship with Jesus, even more so than when I first invited Him into my heart. 

Exactly 11 months ago, I wrote what I referred to as my first honest post. I wrote about the events that led me to the state that I was in that day. I won't delve too far into that right now, but since the original post is a fairly long one, I'll summarize to say that I was feeling broken. 

January 1st was the first day that I went to my now church, Reality. In the post mentioned above, I talked about what happened that day. But I want to go a little deeper right now. I never want to forget the things that I felt on that Sunday.

I never want to forget that initial worship set, reaching my arms out as far as they could extend, simply trying to get as close as I possibly could to God. 

I never want to forget the words "I'm desperate for you, Lord" playing over and over again through my mind. They weren't the lyrics to any songs that we sang that day, they were simply the words of my heart. 

I never want to forget the realization that I couldn't continue living the way that I had been living. Realizing that if I ever wanted to be happy the way that I so desperately wanted to be, I would need to live the Lord's way. 

I never want to forget the comfort that flooded my heart as I finally told God that I surrendered my entire life to Him. My relationships, friendships, Friday and Saturday nights. I begged Him to take them. To take them all, and do what He wanted with them. 

I felt comfort in finally relinquishing control over my life to the Lord, because I knew that He would make something beautiful of it. 

And no, it was not an overnight change. Changing my life to live according to the Bible has been and will continue to be an ongoing process. 

But what did change in a single instant was my heart. There was no denying that this heart was transformed. Although I may fall short each and every day, this heart no longer lives for itself. This heart lives for Jesus. And I know this by the convictions that I feel when I do fall short. The beautiful convictions that tell me that I no longer belong in this world, but in His. 

And so, where does community come into this? 

Through out all of college, I made one strong friendship with another Christian, Kristen. 


Just one, out of the many incredible friendships that I formed. 

That one friend is who led me to Reality that day. In my broken state, I sought comfort from the Lord worshipping Him with Kristen and her roommate, my now great friend, Corinne. 


Two people I knew in that room full of hundreds. 

If there is one thing that I've learned, it's that as a Christian, it is so important to have strong Christian friendships. 

As Christians, we are so privileged to be able to share God's love with one another. Any time we are brought together, it's an opportunity to feel Jesus' presence and His love. It's an opportunity to grow in our faith by just a short conversation on His word. 

We show His love by loving one another. We hold each other accountable to help us grow closer to Christ. We truly are brothers and sisters, and it's a beautiful, beautiful thing. 

I spent the majority of high school lacking in community. I spent all of college lacking in community. 

And I could have spent the rest of my life lacking in community. 

But God said No. 

And this year, He has blessed me with the gift of the second best thing, compared to His love. 

The love of my brothers and sisters. 

Who build me up when I fall. See me for the person that I want to be and can be, not the person that I am today. 

And I am in no way saying that these friendships exceed my friendships with Non-Christians.

I am simply thankful for the gift of having friendships where I can share my love of Christ with someone who gets it, you know?  

And the best part is, I didn't find these people. 

God found them for me. 



When I can't understand or fathom how incredible His love is, I look to these people. And I think I have an inkling of understanding. 


Thank you Lord, that you did not design us to ever be alone. You designed us to embrace in the wonderful gift of community, and that in doing so, we can show the world Your love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Faith in Jesus (part 1)

Today, I want to share a little bit about my faith. What God has done in my life in the past year. Because it's been a lot. And it's been a beautiful process. 

I've written about this process a decent amount on the blog here. It's been a huge part of my life in the last year, so understandably so, it's a huge part of my inspiration to write. 

You can find some other posts on what God has been doing in my life herehere and here.

Today, I want to talk about community

I've mentioned that I was saved in High School. On a summer church retreat to Catalina, to be exact. 

I will never forget that weekend that I was first introduced to the Lord. To His love for me. 

I will never forget the hikes into the Catalina mountains where for the first time, I would sit alone with the Lord. And let His word guide my thoughts. Marvel on how wonderful He is.

I will never forget that for the first time, I felt a sense of confidence in who I was. I went on the trip with one friend, and ended up forming an entirely new group of friends instead of hanging out with her and hers. For the first time in my life, I could feel the Holy Spirit inside of me attracting others to become my friend. 

My freshman year had been a whirlwind. My closest friends were a group of girls where drama was a regular on our daily agenda (Bless their souls, those of us who are still friends laugh about it today). My house burned down in January of that year (I was home alone at the time, and very directly related to the cause of the accidental fire). While living in a temporary house, my mom found out she was pregnant with my much younger, beautiful blessing of a sister (But let's talk about adding stress to an already stressful household situation). I got in trouble at school (for the first and last time). I had my heart broken (for the first and not last time). And I developed an eating disorder (that I have struggled with ever since). 

Whirlwind, right? 

Jesus gave purpose to every part of that insanely stressful year. Jesus redeemed me, removed the shame from my life, and simply loved me. 

My sophomore year was spent completely consumed in Christ. I was involved with the High School youth group, going to events on around 5 days a week on the reg. 

It was wonderful

I will never forget what it felt to learn about Jesus, and to really learn and be interested, for the first time in my life. 

I will never forget what it felt like to have friendships based on Christ for the first time. 

To have role models to look up to, Godly role models. 

However, after getting a job at 16 that often conflicted with church on Sundays, my relationship with God started taking a back seat. 

When I was at church, my heart belonged to Christ. But Christ certainly did not lead all other areas of my life. When I transitioned from High School youth group to normal adult service, I began going to church alone. 

And to be honest, I think I liked it that way. When I would sit in service, I would see others my age in groups, and I could tell that I wanted a sense of community. But I did not actively seek it out. 

I think I was just comfortable with my relationship with Jesus being a personal thing for me. Sundays were my time to be alone with the Lord (even while surrounded by so many other Christians). And I grew content with that. 

So through college, that continued. Although my church attendance drastically dropped. 

I went to church on my schedule. And to be honest, I only sought out the Lord while going through difficult times. Funny how that happens, huh?

Again, I would see groups of college students going to church together, and I felt a longing for that. But I didn't know how to find it. I wasn't ready to change my lifestyle, I was afraid of what that would entail. 

So I went to church on the occasional Sunday, and I returned to my normal routine immediately after. My friends were not believers, so that was that. 

To be honest, there are of course times that I wish I clung to the Lord through out college. Because I realize now how incredible it is to live for Him. I recognize how there is absolutely a fine line between living in the world, and living for Jesus. And I never want to go back, not after tasting His goodness. So of course, a part of me wishes that I hadn't wasted my first 7 years of being a Christian. 

But, I would not change a thing. 

I love my friends from college. And who knows if we would be friends had I been walking in faith in every aspect of my life. 

I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't walked the walk that I did. I maybe would not appreciate the incredible gift of community that I have been blessed with. 

And now that I see how long this post is going to be, I'm going to split it into 2 parts. 

This is where I was. This is the life I lived until January 1st, 2012. I was a lover of Jesus, who had no idea what it looked like to walk with Him. 

I knew what I wanted out of life, but I thought it was unattainable. I thought there was no way that someone like me could be as Spirit-filled as the leaders that I saw in church. 

Well thank you Lord, for proving me very, very wrong.