Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Break on the Boat

Last week was my spring break from student teaching. Since I am feeling the grad school financial pinch, I took advantage of having a dad who will hire his kids any time and worked on the boat for four days tending him and his crew. While the 35 miles an hour winds did not make the best conditions for working or traveling across the Santa Barbara Channel, it was still fun to be with my dad for a few days, and humbling and inspiring to be out in a part of God's creation that is so desolate and unreachable, and seen by few humans.

We were working off of San Miguel Island, and the highlight of the trip was spending an afternoon hiking around the island. Getting on the island was an adventure in itself! We swam ashore wearing survival suits, which was challenging due to the low mobility of the suits and the wind blowing against us. We finally made it to the beach, were the hundreds of sea lions were most likely wondering who the three lumbering, oddly-shaped, bright orange figures emerging from the surf were. Hiking around the island was amazing, as the coreopsis flowers were in full bloom, lining both sides of the trail and reaching above my head. The park ranger took as all the way to the other side of the island to see the Caliche Forest. It is an unuusal formation on the island where calcium deposits form small stalactites coming out of the sand, looking like something from Middle Earth. I also played "junior ranger" by assisting the ranger monitor her radio for the foxes that are endemic to the island. I spent the rest of the trip huddled up and hanging onto the mast in between throwing out the air hose to the guys and pulling them back in. While I am thankful for the time spent with my dad and the extra cash is provided me, I was even more thankful to make it safely back to the harbor Friday night!

Seals guarding our survival suits

Juan Cabrillo's monument - he is buried somewhere on the island

The Caliche Forest

How Harry and my dad kill time between jumps

Monday, March 24, 2008

I have a new Sister!

My big brother got married on March 15 and I am THRILLED to say that God blessed me with a new sister, Debra! Watching my brother get married was one of the sweetest moments in my life yet! There are few things in life that seem more important than knowing that your sibling has found an amazing partner for life. Debra is genuine, fun, surprising, gentle, kind, a good friend, and most importantly a woman of genuine faith. I can tell that God is at the center of Tim & Debra's relationship and I can think of nothing more valuable. My favorite part of their wedding day was a precious moment in the midst of their ceremony--they were praying together with a song in the background that reminisced of all the ways God is faithful. As I listened to the song and watched Tim & Debra, I was overjoyed at this beautiful picture of God's faithfulness before me... to bring Tim & Debra together...but more importantly, I was just overwhelmed at the thought of how faithful God is in the entirely of our lives. That is my God!--awesome, amazing, faithful to so many generations. I'm humbled that my family is part of the generations God has been faithful to. What a sweet moment to savor!

Other than that, the weekend was a whilrwind! From a zany and fun rehearsal dinner at AJ's in Templeton, to my unfiltered pillow talk with the bridesmaids that night, to enjoying all of Tim & Debra's friends in the wedding party, to seeing so many of our family members, to dancing the night away at the reception! I had a BLAST! A few of us from the wedding party had an "after party" at Bubba's after the reception and as the night came to a close, I was kind of sad for us all to go home! I love the celebration so much, I was ready to do it all over again the next weekend!

There are a lot of great shots from the wedding, but I'm sure you'll see more on Tim & Debra's site in the near future! In the mean time, there's a really cool one on the photographer's blog that's worth checking out:

Sunday, March 2, 2008


We have absolutely no pictures to show for it...but let's just say, we had a fabulous time!

This weekend, the Shell Shack girls finally went to Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez. What a place! Just an old school saloon with wooden floors, pool tables, dollar bills hangin from the ceiling and authentic cowboys along with plenty of other interesting "characters". Country dancing to a live band--until about 11:30, when a DJ starts making dance remixes to Johnny Cash and ultimately transitions into a hip hop set that kept us going til about 1:30am. So not only did we get to enjoy plenty of fun country dancing...but we got to top off the night with Hip Hop!

Of course, the real fun was in the company! April, Charity & Heather (current shell shackers) met up with Devon in Santa Barbara. Debra came along for one of her last "wild" nights before she gets hitched. Plus we brought Paul, Heather's man, who finally decided to brave the shell shackers at our best---DANCING! Meanwhile, Devon brought her crew from Santa Barabara: Tim, Seth, Will & Becky. It was a perfect group: good people + good dancing + good talk = great time!

HIGHLIGHTS....if I had pictures, here's what I would show:
*Heather bustin' moves we've never seen before!

*Devon getting that excited look on her face whenever a new hip hop song started. Every song was her "favorite song".
*Will skillfully learning and mastering the 2-step AND adding his own salsa flavor!
*Paul's unexpected, but totally impressive, "worm" dance performance in the break-dance circle toward the end of the night!

Other highlights will go unmentioned, since it takes too long to type and there aren't any pictures either way!

*sigh* another fabulous weekend...makes me really thank God for the amazing friends and simple little pleasures (like country dancing) that He blesses me with. :)