Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

25 Things I am thankful for this year:
1. Chocolate
2. Naps
3. My Cat - Oreo Rastiss.
4. Having Red Hair
5. Free Time
6. My Brain/Cognitive Ability
7. Liberty
8. Apple Gadgets
9. Music
10. Coffee and Espresso
11. My Good Health
11. Nebula
12. Bethany Church
13. My Car, in good condition.
14. The Post's and their hospitality.
15. College Group Friends, both new and old.
16. Tommy Truong - my gbf for over 7 years.
17. Oanh Nguyen - my sanity.
18. Debbie and Melissa - my girls.
19. Katie and her teaching me the Bible in a new way.
20. Cal State Long Beach and my education.
21. A job that pays the bills.
22. The Bible
23. My Family
24. James Doskocil, my best friend and love of my life.
25. Jesus Christ

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Things I've Been Up To

Sometimes I don't blog because I just don't have the time.  Other times I don't blog because I don't have anything interesting to say.  One thing I know is that people like pictures, so here are some pictures of what I've been doing lately.

With my sister getting married in January I have been coming home for a lot of family weekends.  I have been missing my church family in LB on Sundays, but I absolutely love the time with these people in this picture.  Sometimes being away for so long makes me forget how blessed I am to have the family that I have.  This specific picture was last month (October) on my Dad's 61st birthday.

As 6 months together came and went, this silly guy has kept me laughing and loving life.  I'm so glad we are still able to date and pursue each other regardless of how long it's been--it makes everything more fun  :}  This particular picture is us on the pier at Seal Beach after a Ruby's dinner, just

(My new "Hipster" App turns my pictures into Hip Postcards! LOL)
This is Carmelitos where I do my Community Service Learning.  I work with children from the Carmelitos neighborhood (low-income housing projects) to mentor them, tutor them, play with them, and provide any other after-school help that they need.  I have also received a specific "mentee"that I mentor primarily..

This is my baby Nebula.
She has melted my heart.
I see her every Thursday and it is always one of the highlights of my week.  Working at Carmelitos has opened my eyes and softened my heart to these innocent children that have so much to give but so little opportunity.  I love to love on her, and the way that she squeals when I have barely walked through the door plasters a huge smile on my face that is hard to get rid of.

Instead of buying overpriced Christmas gifts for everyone this year I began a painting project so that I can paint things that I know my family and friends would like, and have them "mean" so much more than a petty gift.  The only difficulty is finding time to get out all the paints and make a mess.  On Veteran's day we had the day off from school, so I spent the whole day painting.  These are the beginnings of a few of the paintings I did for my little sister's future house (she loves Sanctus Real).

James never drank much Starbucks before we met, but now he's a loyal customer (can I say that?)!  Starbucks gets us through school and work, and those have been two very demanding things lately.  Before-school coffee visits make my day!  On the bright side, today I took my last midterm/submitted my last paper and I am free for the week for Thanksgiving break!  I will be spending the Holiday in Bakersfield with James' mom's side of the family, which should be fun.  I love bonding.  :]

Working Hard or Hardly Working?  Sometimes I'm not sure.  Yesterday I spent 16 straight hours in bed, doing a combination of napping/studying/writing/sleeping/home-working and preparing for this last day of school.  Some days I feel like I have conquered the world, but more often than not I'm just exhausted.  I will be sooo glad when December 15th rolls around and I can wash this semester off of me.  This is my last intensive school semester (5 classes/lab) and after this I think it's safe to say it's all down hill from here. 

 I just picked my Spring classes about 30 minutes ago and here is a look at my schedule:
In case this just looks like gibberish to you non-college people, it just means I have 3 classes and a lab, and from the reviews I've read online, my 8am class is a piece-of-cake elective (attendance is not even mandatory!).  Graduation is, so close.....!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Perfect Weekend

This past Friday was James' birthday and since we haven't been doing much celebrating of anything for a while now, I suppose you could say that we did this one up.  I didn't mind though--it came at the perfect time and gave me the adventure and relaxation that I was needing :]

On Friday we woke up early and hit the road with our snacks--we like to be frugal, ok?
We even got matching water bottles, which were extremely useful!  :P

We started up PCH towards our destination -- San Luis Obispo -- and along the way we were blessed with great weather and no traffic!  We passed through Malibu, saw the Getty Villa, and lots and lots of coastline.  Once we got a little more inland there was pretty countryside, but about that time I was a little distracted because I was busy doing car know me.

When we finally arrived in SLO we met up with James' friend Steve and before we knew it we were whisked away on a hike up to the top of Bishop Peak.  Problem 1) I was in flats (OLD flats), Problem 2) I had no hair tie.  Did that stop us? Nope!  It was great, and though it was a rigorous hike we made it to the top just as it was getting dark.  We felt extremely accomplished.... and hungry.  We hiked down in the dark by way of headlamp and then indulged in large Mexican feast and explored the little downtown area of SLO (I had never been there) before calling it a night, since we all had to get up early the next day.
(On top of Bishop's)

(the peak reminds me of the Grizzly ride at CA Adventures)

On Saturday we got up at dawn and headed back up the 1.  I pride myself in taking maybe ten minutes to get ready on this day--getting closer and closer to being a  low maintenance girl every day :]

(Breakfast in Morro Bay)

Our first stop, just outside of SLO, was to Morro Bay where we had breakfast and saw the big rock.  I had been told about this rock but I didn't really know what all the hype was about.. it's huge! And the beach there is gorgeous!  We took a bunch of pictures (James' favorite thing to do..) and then kept on our journey...

I love this guy.

We stayed on PCH and so our trip was full of lots of pretty coastal stops.  We stopped at Ragged Point and then for gas in Big Sur, San Mateo, and later in Monterey.  Then I fell asleep, so I don't really know what San Jose was like... (James tells me I didn't miss much)

One of the coolest stops we made was in San Mateo at the Elephant Seal Vista Point.  Because of the large amounts of kelp and rocks at this particular beach, sharks are deterred and seals abound.  These aren't like the cute seals you see at Pier 39 or Sea World though... these are weird-looking Elephant seals...

Nevertheless, it was a fun little stop.

(Ragged Point)

We arrived in San Francisco around 3.. I've been to SF before, but never with the one I love the most :]  It was a great evening on the town.

We had sourdough bread bowls from Boudin and then walked around Fisherman's Wharf up to Ghiradelli Square.

He loves me a lot, and knows my love language...

We were both exhausted so we called it a night pretty early on.

Can I just say, for all of the people who wonder and are trying to draw conclusions, we are responsible adults.  We didn't sleep together, figuratively or literally.  We both are committed to staying pure and we wouldn't dabble in that in the slightest, so please don't worry or speculate...

When we got up in the morning we ate and read through 1st Peter before heading back into the city.  We cruised down Lombard street (the crookedest street!) back to Fisherman's Warf, had lunch at Boudin's (we couldn't get enough) and then saw the sites for a bit before carrying on.

We travelled up and over the famous Golden Gate Bridge, and then headed for home, passing through Berkley, Oakland, and a bunch of other random little towns...  The quick road home is very straight and boring.  I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in a town that smelled like a Porta Potty.  We stopped at the most IL-legit Burger King ever, and we both took years off of our lives together, nom-noming away...

We got back to LB on Sunday evening, both happily exhausted but fulfilled.  I would've assumed after 3 days together we would get sick of each other, but this was hardly the case--spending time together never gets old.  We don't usually run out of things to talk about, but if we did we'd just be silent, cuz we also like to do that together--just sit and "process" side by side.

Oh my best friend, how I love you so!  I am so glad you were born, and even more glad that we got to spend this truly wonderful weekend bonding and growing together.  My heart is full, I am so incredibly blessed :]