March 30, 2010


Tonight we had two reasons to head up to Blush.....1. Jeffrey is moving (another one, I know!!) and 2. Cheryl was celebrating her birthday! Was so nice that they were both at the same place so we could pop in briefly to say hello to both of them!

Jeff is taking off and going to be a bit of a traveling nomad for a while, but call his parent's place up north home in the meantime. We're also sad to see him go, but guess what....he'll be back! Just like everyone else. You can't really stay away from paradise for too long!! Best wishes Jeffy!! We'll miss you!!

Miss Cheryl and her gang were hanging outside....with their jackets on....because it really gets so chilly here at night! One of her friends made her a delicious looking birthday cake, but we couldn't stay to see if it was as yummy as it looked! Happy happy day, Cheryl!!! :)

March 28, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggitity jig!

This morning wrapped up another wonderful day with the women at the retreat. We had a yummy breakfast, and our final sermon, preached by Britt's wife, Kate. She was so great, and I was definitely humbled.

Maegan and I were by ourselves on the road trip home, and because I took a really bad path, it took us a little more than 4 hours to get back.

But, we made it. After dropping off Maegan, I called Brett to let him know that I was almost back. He said that he'd be over soon.

When I walked in the door to my house, I was greeted by the most beautiful sight! Brett had stopped by and gotten me some wonderful Alstromeria and put them in a nice vase with a note for me to see when I returned. I am so blessed by this wonderful man. He makes me smile.

We caught each other up on our weekends and then hung out with Molly for a bit too.

Yeah, she loves it when we love on her. Even more so when we're nice and close up. :)

I then decided to see what I could make for us, without even leaving the house. Turns out that the chicken, after I cut it to finish cooking, looked like a heart when it was done. Of course, I gave that one to Brett. :)

It was a nice relaxing evening and an early night to bed! I had a wonderful time at the retreat, but it was good to be home again.

March 27, 2010

Retreating and Sonic!

I set my alarm for 630 this morning because I had no idea how long it was going to take all 6 of us to get ready with just one shower. Turns out that it wasn't an issue in the slightest, so I ended up taking my time getting ready.

We met up with everyone for our breakfast in the line outside the main dining area. There was several women who brought their nursing infants...and Christina was one of them. We were happy to see Layla in the line as she just brings smiles to all of our faces!

At breakfast, I thought that I'd try something that I hadn't ever done before....and that was to peel an orange. I am not really sure how I've managed to make it this long without doing it either, but it's true. But, not anymore!! I didn't know how to start, and didn't get any help, as my fellow table mates were having too much fun watching me try to figure it out.

I did get some of the fruit out, and I actually ate half of it too!! Yeah, go me!

The morning worship service, was again, awesome, and then we got to choose 2 workshop sessions. I attended one on Purity and the other on The Heart of a Busy Woman. They were both great, but I especially liked April. She was a really great teacher and loved her message. I think I found my favorite Bible verse from her talk.....well, favorite for now. I'm not known to just have one favorite.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

After our sessions, we had about 5 hours of free time before dinner. Caitlin, Elizabeth and I walked over to the bookstore, and then sat out on the lawn for a bit to read. It was actually so hot that after a bit, we had to move into the shade.

Christina and Layla stopped to say hi to us before they headed home. So glad that we get to hang out with Christina and her little girl every Wednesday!

Oh, did I mention that when we were driving into the campus last night, one of the girls in the car spotted a SONIC? Hooray!!! I got so excited!! I couldn't stop talking about it, and so we decided to take a walk and go over to check it out. It was Elizabeth and Caitlin's first time.

We ran into Juliann there, and I was a super happy girl after getting my Route 44 Cherry Limeade! Woohoo!!

We had a little bit more time to kill, and so 3 of us headed into Temecula to check it out. We found the Old Towne area and strolled around a bit. It was a super cute area, but oh boy, was it warm!!

I was very thankful to live where I did because the 80 degree weather was just a little bit too much for me! Ha!

I loved all the different soda bottles in this Old Town Root Beer store.

We took a rest on some hand made glider chairs. The wood was so fresh that there was still growths on them! Surprisingly, they were pretty comfy!

We got back to campus for dinner, and the evening service. Carol from Reality Ventura delivered a wonderful 2nd part of our Prodigal Son series. The worship was phenomenal! I wish that I could go to a worship service like that every night.

Instead of the hot springs, tonight we tried out the large Roman style bath jacuzzi and played Uno. Elizabeth had Uno H2O cards and so that was pretty fun.

I enjoyed my special treat cookie back at the room before turning in after a long day. I'm so happy that I came to this retreat!!

March 26, 2010

Taking the long way there...

I decided at the last minute that I wanted to go on the Women's Retreat at my church. So, last Sunday, I signed up online, put all my info in and got super excited!!

During the week, I was asking everyone if they were going, and learned that quite a few of the girls from my homegroup were attending. Knowing that, I arranged for some of us to ride together. I took a half day at work on Friday, and we were off at 2.

Elizabeth met me at my place, we stopped to get Juliann, and then Maegan too in Carp. The roads were going fine traffic-wise until they weren't anymore. Ugh. The traffic was pretty terrible...BUT....the silver lining is that it gave us 5 hours to get to know each other better.

We finally made it to Murrietta a little after 7, and met up with the 700 women that were there for their retreats. There was only about 250 from Reality, but two other churches were at the same spot.

Dinner was decent....and then we went to meet up with everyone for the evening activity and session. The worship was it always is. It's only of my favorite parts of Reality. Britt was our guest speaker, and he recounted that it was his first time to speak to a room full of ALL women. The weekend's theme was Father Heart of God, and we were reading from the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I loved the message, and the way that Britt so passionately told us.

Afterwards, Elizabeth and I found our room, met our other 4 roomies, and then proceeded down to the Hot Springs. We stayed at the Murrietta Calvary Chapel Bible College, and the campus was so beautiful. I'd never seen, or been in a hot spring before, so I was excited about the chance. It was so unreal how wonderfully hot the water was, and that it was all natural.

I could only be in it for about 15 minutes before I called it quits. I settled into my twin bed and looked forward to resting up for tomorrow's day!

March 25, 2010

Where are all the girls going?

Ugh...all the girls are leaving!!! Well, not ALL of them....but enough to warrant an "Ugh". Amy is moving to Idaho, Suzy is taking off to Portland and Tara is headed North. I'm so sad to see all of these girls go, but I know they'll all be back, and this won't be our last times to be together! Woohoo!

We had a girl's night in on Thursday to celebrate each of these women. I made up some pasta, Janey whipped up guac, and Summer brought over veggies and dip! It was all topped off with the brownies and ice cream with strawberries!! All so good, but not as great as our time spent together.

Going to miss all of you!!! xoxo

March 20, 2010

Showering LB with Love

My lovely Laura is getting married......and she's leaving us - boo!! Leslie and Jen hosted a wonderful shower before she and her mom, Ruth, took off for their East Coast road trip.

The girls cooked up a delightful tart, some super tasty cookies, and oh....the brownies....they were SO good!!

Leslie and Jen decided that it was to be "cocktail attire", which was so much fun! I hardly ever get dressed up...and so it was a nice change to have to pull out and dust off a dress for the evening. :)

We had a wonderful night of fun times, good conversations, and some other girly activities! Let's just say that we set Laura up for her honeymoon and then some. :)

I had such a great time with Laura's friends. I've been so lucky to call some of these women my friends too by knowing Laura. I'm so sad that she's leaving Santa Barbara, but am so, SO, excited about her future with Benny.

Of course we had to get all of the girls in a group self portrait!

I can't wait to be there when Laura becomes Mrs. Sears!! That Benny, he's a lucky, lucky guy!!

Cupcake Hangover

Brett and I went for our cupcake tasting this morning at Whodidily. We decided that we are going to have cupcakes at the wedding, instead of a traditional cake, and so we got to try out all the different flavors to know which ones we liked the best.

The owner, Wendy, goes to our church, and so we thought we'd like to try out her business.

We were greeted, and Wendy wanted to learn a little bit about our story. :) Then we were treated with 14 different cupcakes to taste. Oh my!!!

Brett's favorites were the ones with the peanut butter candies. I really liked the vanilla ones. We decided that we'll probably just go ahead and get a couple of each kind so our guests can then decide which one they want to eat. :)

We brought home a LOT of leftover cupcake....which I'm sure won't happen at the wedding!! Fun morning, full of sugar and pink! :)

March 18, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

At home group last night, Juliann invited anyone that wanted, to join us for breakfast at 7 am at Jeannine's this morning. It was a great way for some of us girls to get to know each other a little better. I couldn't imagine a more perfect reason for getting up earlier than I would have to for work.

We had a nice time chatting, sharing stories, sharing testimonies, and enjoying each other first thing in the morning. I took off on my way to work a little after 8, feeling so much more refreshed than just driving straight there. I look forward to more morning meetings with some great girls.

Right after work I went to grab Brett so we could go visit the newest girl in the SB gang - Piper Jane! She was born on March 3rd and was ready for some visitors. She was so tiny and cute!! It was great to see Janey and Mark - they are super naturals at parenting. Janey has the swing down pat - I still need some practice!!

After that, I met up with Amy so we could hang out on one of her last nights in SB. Everyone is moving!!! She came to get me, and we ended up at Edomasa for sushi. She had been there the night before, but it was my first time.

We found a spot at the sushi bar where we got to see the chef roll our sushi. I had a few tuna rolls and they were super tasty. I learned that this place is open late, so I'm sure that Brett and I will be back sometime soon. So good, and a great time hanging out with Amy!

March 15, 2010

Oh, Santa Barbara

I grabbed Brett on the way home from work and told him that it would be great if we were to catch the sunset by the beach. It was a beautiful day.....a few of us from work even ate outside on a grassy lawn to enjoy the sun.

We ran into Laura at her favorite beach. She was relaxing and watching one of her last Santa Barbara sunsets on a neat little wooden formation. I sat down next to her for a bit, and when I stood up, Brett pointed out to me that I just had sat in tar. Oh, boo!!

The three of us watched until the sun left us for the night, and then headed back on our ways. Laura was brought to tears thinking that this would be one of her last ones in SB....and if I think about it too much more myself, I'll be in the same way. It's just not going to be the same without her here.

March 14, 2010

It's a Day Date!

I've really been enjoying getting to know Juliann over the last few months. We've had some really great conversations over a few dinners, and I always leave feeling more joyful after spending time with her. When she texted me yesterday to see if I wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens after church, I thought it'd be good to have a picnic while we were there too! So, our day date was planned!

I met her after the 10 service this morning and we stopped to get our sandwiches at The Daily Grind. We found our way up Mission Canyon Road to the spot, and Dana gladly accepted our passes and gave us the quick lowdown on the park. We found a nice sunny spot, put out the festival blankets and enjoyed our lunch.

After we had enjoyed our lunch and the sun for a bit, we took off for the mile hike around the park. I loved that we stumbled across this hollowed out stump that was in the shape of a heart.

The flowers here were in full bloom, and we both claimed that this was a spot that both of our Moms would love!

Before we got to the Redwood part of the park, there were these interesting statue-ish figures of parts of tree trunks stacked together. People had written on them, and we agreed that whoever wrote to thank God for all the beauty had it spot on!

I was floored to find a stone that looked to have my birthday carved into it....11-7. How funny!

The Redwood part of the park was pretty cool! The trees weren't as big as they are up near Yosemite, but they were still pretty hefty!

We stumbled across a few turtles that had their necks turned towards the sun...of course (Lora!). A few ducks, and some rather large acorns too! It was a lovely, sunny, stroll around the Botanical Gardens! So glad to have done that in SB!

On the way back towards my house, I mentioned the stairs at Mesa Lane, and Juliann hadn't seen them before. So, we took a quick detour and went down and then slowly made it back up. The waves were crashing and the beach was filled with people out enjoying the lovely weather.

I had a super great day date with Juliann and then came back to the casa to relax in the living room with Laura and enjoy the sun shining through the open windows! A wonderful Sunday!

Say it ain't so!!!

Taylor, my youngest, little, baby, sister turned 30 today!! I can't believe that she is now in her 30s! It really blows my mind that she is now 30, but I'm so glad that she's finally joined "The Club".

Thinking that my little sister is now 30 makes me wonder if I should start feeling like I'm old. You know, because if she's my younger sister, that means that I am older than just 30, and I don't feel like all. :)

I love you, Taylor! Hope you had a wonderful birthday!!

I'm stealing these pictures from my Mom because she already put them together. :)

March 13, 2010

Blessings all around SB

I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better than I had yesterday. Going to bed at 930 probably helped in the whole "not getting more sick" thing. After almost 12 hours of sleep, I woke up to no plans for the weekend. Brett is gone again, off to Palm Springs for the Indian Wells tennis tourney with Kyle....yes, I wanted to go, but it was a boy's weekend. Boo.

Laura had grand plans of starting to pack for her upcoming move.....but it was too pretty of a day outside, so we decided to head to the Farmer's Market. I didn't have anything that I needed to get, but I just enjoy walking around and seeing all the fresh goodies.

We ran into several friends while we were there, and all of them had plans to head to the Valley for wine tastings. We met up with Leslie, Jeremy and Molly, and decided to join them for brunch.

Instead of my normal order of pancakes and eggs with bacon....I saw "The Liz Taylor" and thought to try it! Laura almost fell out of her seat when she heard me order the fruit instead of the potatoes for the side. :) I even ate most of it...everything except the bananas.

It was a great morning hanging with the Hui family at Beachbreak.

While we were walking around the market and on the way to breakfast, we thought that we should join everyone else and go out to the Valley for the afternoon too! So, LB and I came home, got all cleaned up, and drove out the beautiful drive on 154 to Los Olivos.

Right at the intersection of 154 and 246, the flowers were crazy beautiful!!! Of course we had to stop and take some pictures. It reminded me of all the people in TX that did the same to get some snapshots with the bluebonnets.

We had a group of folks there grab a shot of us, and we did the same in turn. The patch was so fun, and man, oh man, the sky was so blue!! Such a beautiful day!

We arrived at Sunstone and ran into Vanessa and some friends. We did the quick wine tasting, courtesy of the Axxess card....2 for free....score!! On our way out, I saw this kitchen, and knew that I'd see LB in one like this one day. Start saving up, Benny. :)

When we were stopping for a quick restroom break, we noticed Bob and Brenda. Laura and I were in a homegroup together that met at their house, and we hadn't seen them in quite some time. They mentioned that they were heading up to Figueroa Mountain to see the wildflowers, and thought that we should definitely do the same as it's one of Laura's last weekends in SB.

So, we bid goodbye to B&B and decided to follow their lead. We stopped at the local grocery, grabbed some crackers, cheese and chocolate, and found our way to Figueroa Mountain road. The drive out there was gorgeous. The fields were so green!

Also, along the way, there was a huge field of the yellow flowers that I love so much. I guess I should find out what they are called...but regardless, I do love them so!

We finally got the winding part of the road, and kept going. We kept going, up, up and up, and passed a few signs that let us know that we were in the right spot.....although, we weren't finding this field of flowers that Bob went on and on about. So, we kept driving.

At one point, I had to stop so I could get out and take a photo of what we WERE seeing. It was absolutely gorgeous....even though there were still no flowers. When I opened the door to my car at this spot, it was so windy, that my car door flew open and I honestly thought it was going to break and blow right off the hinges. I popped out to take a few shots, and it was SOOOO cold. When I got back in the car, I realized that it had dropped....or we had driven UP where it was only 45 degrees now. It had been 65 at the bottom of the mountain before we starting climbing.

At one point, we did drive by a small bit of flowers....but it was hardly what we thought would have been worth the drive, so we kept going further. After about another 10 minutes, we thought that we must have missed it, so we started back down. On our way down, we drove past Bob & Brenda. He said that we were so close, that we had to go back.

So, we turned around and followed them. When they pulled off to the spot that we had passed earlier, he got out and was shocked. Bob ran up the hill to see if there was more on the other side, and came back down to us where he said "I am so embarrassed!! I promise you that there have been flowers here before!".

We all had a good laugh about it, and decided that it was a good idea for all of us to go into Los Olivos for a little bit of dinner.

We stopped at one more spot before we made it to the bottom of the mountain. The sun was setting and it was a gorgeous sight!

Look at the view behind us....AMAZING!!!

We found one of the only spots in Los Olivos that was open still, and decided to sit down, get a nice bottle of wine, and have some appetizers. It ended up being a really wonderful evening full of friendship, conversations and wonderful fellowship.

Today was a day that Laura and I didn't expect. We woke up with no plans. We had a wonderful day, full of many blessings, and even if we had tried, we wouldn't have been able to plan it any better.