Sweet Home Santa Barbara

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sometimes you just get lucky in life

And you find a friend like this one:

Kristi gave that to me for my 19th birthday. 5 years ago, I met this girl. We've lived under the same roof for almost 4 of those years. 

I could not even begin to explain the things that we've gone through together. Between the two of us, we had quite the introduction to the real world during our 4 years of college. 

But when you go through all of the things that we went through together, you end up forming a pretty solid friendship. 

And besides all of the tough stuff that we experienced, you know what else we did together? 

Had the time of our lives.

And yes, the giant photo dump was entirely necessary. 

Because this girl is officially leaving Santa Barbara today. And that means that this could very well be the last night that we ever spend as roommates. 

So she better know that these past 5 years have been amazing because of her. And that I wouldn't be the person that I am without knowing her. 

And even though I have a life here in Santa Barbara, and have met so many amazing people in the last year, 

It won't be the same without her. 

Just know that, k? 

I love you, Kristi. Go raise some hell in Calabasas. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Deets on the Job

Hi guys!

I believe I have me some news to elaborate on, right? Here we go: 

I have a new job!

And I could not be more excited. God must have a thing for lining up jobs for me, because this isn't the first time that he meticulously set something up. 

The honest-to-God truth is that I did not go looking for this job. I did not feel ready to leave my current company, and even when the idea was first brought up to me, I was so against it.

It all started when I was out to lunch with this gal and her hubby after church one Sunday. They were mentioning their 9/80 schedule (work 9 hours a day and get every other Friday off) and the fact that they get every day between Christmas and New Years off as paid Holiday. 

Sounds awful, I know.

I casually joked that I gotta get me in there with the company having a schedule like that, and low and behold they took me seriously. After mentioning my degree in math/economics, Joe was convinced that I'd be a great fit for a finance position. 

Two problems with that, or so I thought. 1) Not ready to leave my job. 2) I'm a people person. 

Thankfully, Tabitha and Joe urged my hesitant self to update my resume and send it in. 

As I did, I prayed. I told God that if He wanted me to switch jobs, I would. Even if I didn't feel ready to leave. Even if I didn't want to. If it was in His plan, I would do it. 

So the resume was sent in, and the interview was scheduled. And as time passed, my thoughts changed. 

Yes, I'm a people person. But I spent 4 years earning a degree in math and economics, why would I not try a job that would actually let me use it? 

I started realizing how much a career in finance scares the crap out of me. How it's going to be a lot more stressful than my current job, and how it's gonna challenge the heck out of me. 

And you know what? 

I started getting excited!

I realized that I'm ready for this. I went from thinking there was no chance in heck that I would accept a job offer, to actually wanting one.

And so I made God a deal. I told Him that if I got a job offer, I would take that as His sign that it was time to move on. 

I told Him that if I got an offer, I would accept it. 

And guess what? 

That's exactly what I did.

You know what I love about the whole thing? God knew this was going to happen. And when I said that initial prayer, that I would follow Him even if I didn't want to? Well, He could have let me do just that. He could have said "Amy, I know you don't want to do this, but it's best for you."

And I would have. 

But instead, He changed my heart. He helped me go from completely against the idea, to actually hoping for it. 

And that, my friends, is a very good God. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

So about that news...

So my big news? Well, I didn't see it coming at all. Wasn't even looking for it, but I officially have 

a new job!!

I'll post on all the juicy deets sometime soon, but pretty much this is a finance position that is much more in line with what I studied in school. 

I had no idea I would be leaving my current job, but God made it pretty clear that this is the right move for me. 

Change, bring it on. I'm ready!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Big News!

Sooo I have big news. 

It's no I'm engaged! or I'm pregnant!, but it's news none the less. 

There will be changes going on in my life in the near future, and I can't wait to fill you in on it. 

Buttt you're gonna have to wait a bit. 

(Unless you already know, and in that case, you're super special)

So come back on Monday for the big announcement, k? 

Happy Friday loves!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be Still - Part 2

**Had to split this one up. To read part 1, check it here.**

So there I was, en route to Boston. Boot on my foot, crutches in my hands. Right when I found out that I had a stress fracture, I knew this trip across the country would be quite the adventure. I was really looking forward to the flights and the layovers, mainly because it would give me time to catch up on some reading. 

What I was not excited for? Conquering the public transportation system once I got to Boston. My friend that I was visiting doesn't have a car, so I was left with either forking up the money for a taxi, or navigating my way through the bus system. The taxi option wasn't a bad one, but I figured I'd rather spend the money on other things. So I knew I was going to be making my way through the bus lines after a red eye, with boot/crutches/bags. 

I wasn't super stoked on that idea. 

While on my flight to Boston, I had a moment of prayer. I prayed that God would change my attitude. The entire week I had been bouncing between keeping positive and crying with frustration/stress, and I knew that that's not how God wants me to live. God wants me to experience His peace and joy, regardless of my circumstances. 

So I told Him. God, I have a really negative attitude about the public transportation adventure I'm about to go on. I admit it, and I ask you to please help me change my attitude. 

I fell asleep. 

I had a dream. 

I dreamt that I was on the silver line (task 1) and I was riding with two men. One, I think, was my Dad. The other, wasn't too sure. But I remember him explaining that I would be taking the silver line to the red line (task 2). And I remember him taking me through every step of the way. 

When we transferred to the red line, he was with me. I thanked him, and said that he really didn't have to come with me the entire way. 

But he did.

And when we got off the red line, we had to walk. And he put me on his shoulders, and carried me. There were other people below me, and I was much higher than I would have been on a normal person's shoulders. 

I remember the conversation that was going on below me was negative. But I wasn't participating, being up so high. 

Finally, my Dad turned around and said to put me down. That I was ready to walk. And so the man did. 

And then I woke up. And I'll be real, my first response? 

Dang it! I'm still on the plane! Making it through the bus system was all a dream!

And then I processed what had just happened. And I realized that God had just communicated with me through that dream. I realized that that man who took me through the public transportation system, and carried me on his shoulders? That was God!

I realized that God was showing me how he carries me through the negative times in my life. And I don't need to fear, because He's always here.

I will always remember this flight to Boston as the first time I felt a clear message from God. 

It was amazing. 

He is amazing. 

And guess what? 

He loves you a whole lot, too.

Have yourself a wonderful Thursday. You guys are amazing, and I really love you. Kind of a lot.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Be Still - Part 1

I have a confession to make. 

You know last week, when I was sounding all positive about the boot situation? 

I wasn't 100% there yet as I was writing those words. Heck, I'm not even sure I was 50% there yet. 

To be honest, last week threw me for a loop. The last nine months, working out has been a huge part of my life. When I went through my break up in December, I ran to two places: church, and the gym. I found something in the gym that I hadn't found there before: confidence. 

And I don't mean confidence in the daaang, I look goood sort of way. I started finding myself jumping out of my comfort zone. I found myself feeling in such a great mood whenever I walked through those doors, that I couldn't help but say hi to people. And that might not sound like much. But those hi's starting turning into conversations. Conversations with the front desk employees, with the class instructors, with people in the locker room. And those conversations started turning into friendships. And those friendships made me happy. They would pull me out of any off day. 

So last week, when I found out that I couldn't work out for 6 weeks, I panicked a little. I felt like my safe zone was being taken away from me.

Add in finding out that one of my best friends is moving across the country in a few months, and I was a bit of an emotional wreck. 

But you know what I realized? A gym should not be my safe zone. I love that the gym has become so important to me in the last 9 months, but it should not define me. 

God should be my safe zone. Period. 

And I'd go on to tell you about my amazing encounter with God on my flight to Boston, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow's post. Can only ramble on for so long, right? 

Point is: I was lost last week. 

But God found me

He's just kind of awesome like that. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


And exhaustedddd.

But exhausted in a I just had one of those much-needed amazing weekends kind of ways, so I'll take it!

I plan to write a post with, at the very least, my favorite story from the weekend (possibly my most incredible God encounter yet!), but for now my body is begging for sleep

I will say, though, that my boot did fabulously, and the crutches were barely used as a result. Plus atleast 15 points for the boot. 

Oh, and I did update my Books page, since I was able to have an extremely necessary catch up sesh in that department during all of the traveling. 

I finished both The Hiding Place and Perks of Being a Wallflower, and got to start my Book Club book for this month, Little Bee

{I'll be starting The Fault in our Stars for Blogger Book Club next. With the Boot's required rest, I may just be able to finish all these books this month. Plus another 5 points, Boot.}

If you haven't read The Hiding Place, I highly, highly recommend it! It's a true story written by Corrie ten Boom of her experience hiding Jews during the Holocaust. Such a good book, and if you're looking to grow in your faith, this book will definitely help you out there. 

I'll be honest, I was a little surprised with Perks of Being a Wallflower. I definitely liked it, but I will say that it wasn't what I expected in some ways. I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who hasn't read it, but e-mail me if you've read the book and want to chat about it! Maybe I shouldn't have watched the preview first? Ha. 

Regardless, the book has hands down some of the best quotes. 

And of course:

Aaand now I can officially go see the movie! {I may or may not have watched the trailer 50+ times}

Has anyone read Little Bee? Just started that one, and I've heard mixed results!

Catching up on some reading was definitely in the Dr.'s prescription for me, and it felt good. Just like this amazing night's worth of sleep will. 

Aaaamen. Goodnight loves!

Friday, September 14, 2012

HAPPY Friday!

**Getting to sleep in every.single.morning this week made me happy. No morning work outs = +1 for the boot**
**Having a 3 day work week this week made me happy.**
**Having amazing friends offer to drive me places, hold things for me or just help in any way possible made me happy.**
**Having some awesome alone time with the Lord made me happy.**
**Knowing that I would be flying to Boston to spend an extended weekend with one of my best friends from college made me happy.**
**Having a trip down memory lane to find pics of Julie and I made me happy.**
Can't wait to see this girl!
Hope everyone has a very HAPPY Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're Leavinggg!

Boot, crutches and I that is!

We're off on an adventure. An adventure that includes 5 flights, three layovers and plentyy of public transportation. 

And where might this all be taking place? 

That's right, I'm going back to Boston!

To visit this girl:

And to be a part of the Reality Boston opening. 

I could not be feeling more blessed right now. 

Boot, crutches and all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's call it a bump in the road, shall we?

Yupp, that's right. This girl's a bit crippled, and will be for the next 6 weeks. 

What does that mean, exactly? 

It means that I have a stress fracture. No fun.

It also means that I can't run in either the Mud Run or the Half Marathon. Also no fun. 

Am I disappointed? That's an understatement. But here's the time where I have to practice what I preach. The whole focus on the good bit? This is where that becomes a challenge. 

And I like me a good challenge. 

So what else does this stress fracture mean? 

It means that I'll be focusing on my diet for the next 6 weeks, something that I've been trying to do for the last 9 months. But with working out so much, I became wayy lax with my diet. So it's time to switch things up, and pay a lot more attention to what I'm putting in my body. 

It means that I'll be focusing on my faith for the next few 6 weeks. I have complete faith that God is in full control at this point. I recognize that my identity lies in Him, and I think over the past few months, I've been letting things get in the way of our relationship. I definitely feel like this fracture is a blessing in disguise, a reason to devote more time to my relationship with God. 

It means that when the time is right, I'll start hitting up the gym again by focusing on weight training. Especially the abs region, stomach flab: you are no longer welcome. 

Basically, there is definitely a lot to be disappointed about. But, I have 6 weeks to focus on other things, and I fully intend to make the most of them. 

Also, to all of you who sent tweets/texts/instagram comments my way yesterday? Thank you. It meant more than you know. 

**Also, Happy Birthday!! to the most amazing Dad that I ever could have asked for. I love you so, so much!!**

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekend Rundown!

Did everyone survive their Monday?

Mine included 4 hours in Urgent Care to find out that I possibly have a stress fractured foot :( I'm definitely concerned about how that's going to play into my half marathon training, but I got some good reading done while waiting at the Dr.'s, so I'm still a happy camper. 

I'll have an appointment with an Orthopedic this week to get the final verdict, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Back to the wonderful weekend recap. It started with a fun night out at this adorable tapas/wine bar in Camarillo:

And the fun continued with a stop at this Irish pub:

Saturday, headed down to La Verne to watch the stud baby bro play some soccer. I am so proud of him, and he definitely gave us a crazy exciting performance when he scored the game winning goal in double overtime!

That a boy, Mike. That a boy!

Sunday, got to hang out at the Zoo for a company picnic and was stoked with a Patriots win! Family, friends and football? Even with a damaged foot, this girl's feeling pretty good!

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 7, 2012

HAPPY Friday!

Starting something new this week, it's called HAPPY Friday! and I'm going to list things that made me happy this week. Because in my opinion, you gotta choose whether to focus on the good or the bad. And I'm gonna focus on the good, ya dig?

**Knowing that I'm going to be seeing my fam this weekend made me happy.**

**Watching this preview over and over and over again made me happy. I'm about to start the book, and if it's even half as good as the preview (which I've heard it's better) then I'm sure I'll be obsessed.**

**Getting excited for a Friday night with these 2 made me happy.**

**Getting happy hour with my amazing roommates made me happy.**

**Getting a great discount and amazing service at Elephant Bar made me happy.**

**Finding this song, and making it my new obsession made me happy.**

**All of you amazing Blog friends made me happy. I love you all!**

Happy Friday, loves!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ask Amy's Gym Buddies

Back in February, I had officially gotten a consistent workout routine down, and decided to share my tips. When I first started linking up with the Inspire Me Healthy series (which I've failed at the last few weeks), I knew I wanted to do another post on workout tips. 

You know, since that's the only part I have down. Tips on eating healthy would be greatly appreciated, please and thank you.

But since I had already shared my workout tips with you, I decided to interview my gym buddies for you guys. I met these two gorgeous ladies at the gym, and coincidentally work with one of them. Believe it or not, the gym has served as a great place to meet new friends!

Without further adieu, I give you my gym crew:

How often do you work out?

Renee: I try to get to the gym or take a run 4-5 times a week. On the weekends, I like to stay active and have fun by taking part in beach volleyball, softball or going on a hike. 

Emma: It has really varied over the past 5 years (college produces strange habits). Totally agree with you there, Emma! My freshmen year of college I NEVER worked out... after having unlimited dining commons meals and drinking my body weight in alcohol every weekend, I started working out every day, often twice a day during that summer. Now, I think I have found more of a balance. It feels GREAT to work out as often as I have time to. It really depends week to week, but I would guess that I make it to the gym 4 - 7 times a week currently.

What do your typical workouts consist of? Do you have a standard routine, or do you mix it up?

Renee: I try to mix it up with the majority of my workouts involving cardio and adding some weight training. I love going to lifting classes for a nice all around muscle improvement. For cardio, I switch off between running and indoor cycling. I don't really have a standard routine, I try to add new movements so I don't get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. 

Emma: I really like doing low heart rate cardio. It is meditative for me, and burns fat. If I have had a rough week or something has been bothering me, climbing the stair master feels AWESOME. I feel powerful, which is a great feeling for a woman. Weights are important, and toning up is a great feeling. My normal routine usually starts off with an hour of cardio and then a half hour of weights if I have the time, and am not taking a class with the gym. 

What is your favorite thing about working out?

Renee: I am the WORST person when it comes to stress. When I went for my first run senior year of high school after an incredibly stressful event in my life, my whole world changed. Working out is now my therapy, I cannot live without it. I run for all emotions I'm feeling: happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, regret, bliss, etc. It's a time that I can just hang out with myself and mull over anything that's on my mind. I always find my head much clearer when I finish a run, and that is a feeling I wouldn't trade for the world!

Emma: The meditation! I sleep better, feel better about myself, and it definitely influences my eating habits to be much better. I like working out with friends, listening to my music, SWEATING! There is a lot that I like about working out, but I would say the meditative aspect of it is my favorite - you can really get in the zone.

Have you always worked out the same amount that you do now? And if not, what changed for you?

Renee: I've always been big into running since high school, but lately I've been upping my weight training. It all started when my friends and I signed up for a Tough Mudder (completed Feb 2012, highly recommended if you want to push yourself to the extreme and come out laughing!). Before I would only run, but when I started growing muscle strength thanks to Tough Mudder training, I realized how awesome it was to see myself look and feel stronger. Ever since then, I've been working to get more definition on my body, and am happy to see results appear slowly but steadily. Tough Mudder 2013, here I come! I might be coming too, Renee!

Emma: No, I definitely have not. In high school I played tennis, which was only during the fall and that would pretty much sum up my exercise for the year. After gaining the freshmen 15, I started working out with a personal trainer. Now reflecting on what he taught me, I think he made me a little too obsessed with working out and eating healthy. I became very hard on myself. Now, I think I have found more of a balance and workout out for my personal enjoyment, while having a lot of other life engagements that are priorities to working out. 

What are 3 pieces of advice or tips that you would give someone who is trying to change up their workout routine?

Renee: 1. My mother burned her advice into my brain, so I'll pass it on: "Everything in moderation." Don't overdo it! I tend to get burned out and lose interest if I try to work out too much. So if I want to take a day off and be lazy, I do! There's nothing wrong with that, it's O.K. to take a day or two off.

2. I really like reading inspirational quotes. I pick a few and save them to read whenever I'm feeling discouraged. So here's one I'd like to share: "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it." I couldn't agree more with this quote, and it reminds me that the last pushup will burn, 30 more seconds in a squat will hurt, and that last quarter of a mile may make my legs collapse, but it's all WORTH IT.

3. Lastly, having fun is the best way to keep motivation for working out! Friends make exercise so much better. If you don't know anyone at your gym... meet them! After all, that's how I met Amy! :)

Emma: 1. Find something you enjoy! Switch it up and do things outdoors, I love going for walks up in the Santa Barbara mountains. 

2. Find friends to work out with.

3. And no matter what, don't be too hard on yourself. You should workout for you!

Thank you, thank you to my amazing gym buddies!

I really love these girls, not to mention knowing they will be at the gym drags me out of bed most mornings! These past few months, my workout routine has only gotten more consistent, and a lot of that is thanks to meeting these two. 

I hope you enjoyed their workout tips as much as I did!

And like I said, any advice on how to stop those late night munchies or sugar cravings, would be greatly appreciated!

All In My Twenties