Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Ahhhhhhhhh, the beach. There is not a whole lot of night life here in Tavernes, so Adriana and I wandered into an internet cafe. I just think blogging from another country is pretty fun. :) We took a train today from Barcelona to Tavernes, where Adriana´s family has a beach house. We went down to the beach as soon as we got here, went for a swim in the Med Sea, which is warm and glorious, and then took a nap on the sand. :) Don´t worry, I´m careful about sunscreen! Tomorrow will be another day of the same, and it´s too fabulous for words. My half an hour of internet time is almost up, but I wanted to share my good fortune once again. The salt water is great for my mood, my soul, and my rash! It´s gone now. :) Love to my devoted readers! Buenas noches.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Hi again! This will be a very quick update because I have to pay for the internet at the hostel. Barcelona is GORGEOUS. The architecture, the palm trees, the ocean, wow. Adriana and I paid to ride one of those double decker bus things for the last two days so that we could get around easily, since she doesn't know this city as well as Madrid. It has been so much fun to see everything from up high, and then to hop on and off the bus to see the sights. I can't really even describe the beauty here, so you will have to get a better understanding when I post pictures. My feet are doing better, thanks for asking, although when we got to Barcelona they swelled up and were HUGE. But the rash is fading, and I've only worn heels twice (at night), despite my desire to wear my beautiful shoes. It's also VERY hot, and we are starting to lose steam, after going going going, but I am not letting that stop me. Tomorrow we leave for Adriana's family beach house, so we can get out R&R there. (And swim in the Med. Sea woo hoo!) I hope all is well in the states! Hasta luego.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm in Madrid!!

Hello from Spain!! I wanted to send out a quick update, because tomorrow we go to Barcelona and I probably won't have internet access while we're there. Spain has been amazing so far! The flights were long of course, but not too bad, and I slept almost 6 hours, so that was good. Customs was easy, I was a bit nervous about going through it alone for the first time, but it was no big deal. I found Adriana, and we headed back to her apartment, which is very cute, on the 17th floor of an apartment building in Madrid. We have been exploring Madrid, which is a great city. We went inside the Royal Palace, saw the Opera house and numerous other amazing buildings that probably have more history than our entire country. We went to see Flamenco dancers, which was a lot of fun, and have explored Madrid's crazy night life. The first night I managed to stay awake until 10, which I was very proud of, and woke up at about 7:30, which is impressive, I think, for a jet-lagged person. So since then I have been fine and felt great. My Spanish is terrible, but luckily I have Adriana, and I think it's starting to come back to me a bit. :) My feet have had a multitude of problems - blisters, and some kind of red, itchy rash, which might be from the heat, I'm not sure? - but I'm choosing to ignore it. Mind over matter. The food has been great so far, and the people accomodating. Yesterday we went to Toledo, which is an incredibly beautiful city, with an amazing cathedral, fortress, moat, and a ton of little cobblestone streets and beautiful homes and buildings. It was about 112 degrees (literally), so we had to stop, sit down and drink water often, but it was amazing anyway and so worth it. We have one more night here in Madrid, and as I said, we are off to Barcelona tomorrow! I will write again when I can! Pictures of the wedding and the trip will have to wait until I return. Hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The State Of My Heart

Wow. It has officially been over two months since I posted. And no, I did not forget that my blog existed, it was just a very crazy couple of months, and didn't really feel capable of penning my thoughts and feelings. But here I am! So prepare for a long entry. I have officially moved from Portland to California, although I am staying with my parents for now and don't have any details about where I will be living this year. The move back was hard in many ways, because I ADORED Portland. It's a bit hard to explain, because California is and will always be my home. Not to mention the fact that my family is HUGELY important to me, and they, along with the majority of my best friends, are here in CA. But let me try and tell you a bit about my journey to Portland...

The last few months, and possibly closer to years, that I was there, I became somewhat discontented in San Luis. I love the town of SLO, I love the area, I adore my friends, and SLO was a comfortable distance from ALL my family members. So I tried as best I could to remedy my situation, and find contentment. It didn't happen. Now don't be concerned, I wasn't depressed or anything, I just knew that I needed to be getting more out of my life. I loved the kids that I worked with, but was getting more and more frustrated with other aspects of my job. I was becoming acutely aware of the fact that I couldn't get anywhere with my Bachelor's degree. The town seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, and younger and younger. (With the exception of families, who were sort of just a painful reminder that I don't have one of my own yet.) There is precious little to do in SLO if you are young and single, but out of college and uninterested in the bar scene. And my church life was... not flourishing (my fault, not theirs.)

So... in the spring of last year, I went to a worship conference at Kevin's church in So. Cal. with my friend Jenn. I opened the lines of communication with God (which had been, for the most part, closed for awhile.) I knew that God was telling me to move to Portland. Some of you readers may not understand what I mean by this, but communication with God, at least in my life, is not a one-way street. He has things to say too. And I finally turned off my selective hearing, and clearly heard what He had to say. And cried. I was not very interested in moving to Portland. It's far, and I'd never even been there. This kind of a huge change is very out of character for me, and was a bit daunting. But an overwhelming sense of peace followed, and I knew it was the right decision. You may remember that Kelly and Rob were considering moving to Portland at that time, and I firmly believe that this was God's way of a) bringing Portland to my attention, and b) making me more comfortable with the decision, because I at least had the possibility of family coming to join me. In the end, that was not what He had for them, but it made for a much easier transition for me, and by the time they settled on Castro Valley, I was comfortably situated in Portland.

Here is why Portland was amazing. I have a MAJOR tendency to define myself by the people in my life, and my relationship with them. This is fine, except that sometimes I lose sight of who I am, aside from a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc. Moving to Portland separated me from everyone, and while that was extremely hard at times, it was exceptionally good for my soul. (Don't take this the wrong way; think of it as a compliment that I love you guys so much that I don't know who I am without you. ;) Just needed to figure that out.) I purposely chose a school in Portland that had a campus in California, so that if I needed/wanted to come back, I could. (Plus I knew that state licensing differences were likely to become an issue.) So, I relocated to a new city (the biggest I've lived in yet), a new state, started a new school, a new church, a new job, met new people, and made new friends. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but I am a fairly neophobic person (fear of new things.) I would be perfectly content to always eat my favorite foods instead of trying new ones, spend time with my favorite people instead of meeting new ones, and do activities that I am used to, rather than seeking out new ones. (The only exception is that I LOVE to travel; this is a strange contradiction in myself that I've never understood.) So all this newness at once should have been a huge shock to the system. Strangely it wasn't; I transitioned quite smoothly. Another sign to me that it was meant to be. And just the fact that I did it, and lived in a new city on my own, far from everyone I know (well, it's not Europe or anything but it's far for me), just made me feel very satisfied with myself. (Although I have not forgotten God's huge role in the situation.)

The people that I met and the experiences I had in Portland were priceless. Plus, being mostly on my own did wonders for my relationship with Jesus. I won't go on and on about all of this (well, I guess I already have...) suffice it to say that it was an important year for me. When I prayed about whether to stay in Portland or return home, I got a clear answer: "Wherever you go, I will be with you." It was not the answer I was looking for, but it was a good one nonetheless. I wholeheartedly believe that moving to Portland was one of the best decisions I ever made, and that the decision to move back was just as prudent. I am SO excited to be closer to my loved ones, to the beach, to In & Out, etc. ;) I know that I won't fall into the same discontent that I experienced before, because I am a changed person. This year, I am confident, will be just as amazing as the last.

I just wanted to explain a bit of what I've been processing in the last two months. And even though I'm closer to everyone now, the blog does not stop here. Blogging has been a lot of fun for me, a great way to process, and to communicate. I will update more often now that I have less on my hands. Kate's wedding is this weekend (woo hoo!!) and I leave for Spain in a week (yes!!!!!) so I will undoubtedly have some fun things to share soon.

(Also, I hope you enjoyed the play on words: The "State" of my heart. In the end, my friends, California wins.)