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June 2010

South Dakota is just like you would think it is. Open meadows, empty roads, and fireflies to light the night sky. It's coming back to a time stood still. A time where there is no traffic and there's nothing better to do than play a game of Pitch at night and watch the stars light up the sky. Andy's grandparents own 1,120 acres of this land. A land populated by a couple hundred cows, a flock of wild turkeys, two horses and then two little grandparents who open their home up to anyone passing by. We were able to stay with them for just three days but in those three days we managed to ride horses in the fields, go fishing, float down the Niobrara River, stand at the base of Smith Falls, play card games, get eaten by Mosquitos, catch fireflies, and eat tons of food! Grandma's home cooking is the best especially her pot roast, gravy, and chocolate chip cookies! And you get three full meals: breakfast, dinner, and supper. Dinner is the best. It's the biggest meal of the day. It's what you Californians call lunch but bigger and better. I spend more time connected to my phone than

We made it to Kansas after a 20 hour drive through the flatlands of America. Everywhere you looked, it was flat. No hills. No towns. No anything. We were all quite happy to be out of the car and in our hotel. That first night was spent napping while Everyone else was at the rehearsal. I woke up at 8 to the sun shining thinking I had slept all night but it was only 8 pm! So Andy and I walked around the hotel and then ended up on the front curb looking for anything to do! We decided to go get ice cream from Dairy Cream but since Andy always listens to my best ideas we walked there! In that 3/4 of a mile we were devoured by the local bugs. I got 4 pretty bad bites but Andy got over 10 all over! Even his face! Needless to say, while the bugs kept us hostage at DQ, we had to call reinforcements to come pick us up! The next day was the wedding! It was a sunny and very warm day in Kansas. We sent the as much time as possible in the air conditioned hotel and then went

Fathers are just the best right? The ones you can always run to, whose arms are always wide open. My dad is the perfect dad for me. He loves me no matter what. He even laughs at my jokes. He likes to roll his eyes at my mom with me. He plays a bagpipe and has the full kilt attire with Piper shoes and everything. He even has a tartan tie. I want him to get tartan pants, but no such luck there. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The color green doesn't belong on his plate. He hates the sand but loves the mountains. He redefines the meaning of a road trip, i.e. do not leave the road, no matter how bad you have to go to the bathroom. He has never left my side, no matter how mean I was to him growing up. I have learned a lot about a Father's love in these past few years. I have learned that our Father in heaven will never leave our side, no matter what we have done to screw up. He loves us unconditionally and he never changes. No matter what. He gives and he gives,

I loooooove birthdays! I love celebrating a person's life! I just love love love it! I love showering people with presents, but you need money for that. And with the incredibley large circle of friends that Andy and I have been blessed beyond belief with, showering people with presents has come to a halt. I just stopped giving presents. Shame on me. I finally figured out what to do though, thanks to my very very very good friend Jessica! She makes these wonderfully creative pieces of decor for all her friends. She even makes handmade cards with handmade envelopes. So yes, she is wonderful. Anyway, she inspired me to start using my own skills and a little bit of time to create gifts for others. I have been dabbling in digital illustration lately (project will be posted soon) and for more practice I have been making little individual illustrations for the front of birthday cards. Not nearly as thoughout and creative as Jessica, but I am trying! So here's the June birthday cards: 1. Amie Belle Strawberry Pals Card 2. Lauren "Yoyo" Card 3. Grandpa's Pope Hat in honor of Bucca Di Beppo's Pope Room Card 4. Josh's Nitty Gritty Nacho Card 5. Mr. Harry

Even though my all time favorite color is green, I do no have a green thumb. I have been a killer of plants for a few years now, but my mother-in-law inspired me to embrace the dirt and turn it into something beautiful. I actually enjoy pulling weeds. Really, I do. I have even bartered with my mother. She is going to clean my bathrooms (all 3 of them!) in exchange for me doing her yard work. I looooove this deal! So thanks mom-in-law and mom! In March, I began my quest. The first task at hand was conquering the weeds. These weeds were taller than most plants! Shovels had to be used to get down to the roots. It was bad but a wonderful fresh start! In the following weeks, I purchased a bag of star-gazer lilies from Costco. This seemed like the simplest route to take. Dig a hole. Stick the bulb in. Cover it. Water it. Love it. Done. And it truly was this simple! I planted these bulbs first thing in the morning about mid-March. Within two months, I had this little beauty

This week has finally come. The first leg of our many trips of this year. On Thursday we are leaving for Dodge City, Kansas to see two of our very good friends, Cody and Kelsey, get married. But we aren't going alone. Our other wonderful friends, BJ and Melissa Rice are driving with us to share the drive and explore the western states! The night of the wedding we are then trekking north to stay at Andy's grandparent's ranch in Winner, South Dakota. We will be riding horses, floating down the Niobrara River, hiding from wild turkeys, and relaxing. Then we'll go a little west to Rapid City and see Mt. Rushmore and stay in a cabin. Yes, a cabin! I am so glad I got camping in tents off the table! I love nature, but that's a little too close for me. I like walls. And last, but not least, we are heading back south to go to Castle Rock, Colorado to stay with Melissa's college roomate and her husband, Danielle and Jason, who just recently moved there. And we are doing all this in a span of 10 days. Roadtrips are so fun! I love all the little stops along

I found this image a few weeks ago and planned on posting it here, but I didn't have anything to write to accompany it. I still don't. However, these past few days I have been thinking about forgiveness. What it means to forgive and to be forgiven. I hold grudges. Extreme grudges. Grudges that have lasted years. I struggle with this on a daily basis. What if God held grudges? Jesus taught us to forgive no matter what, 70 times 7. How can I ask for Christ's forgiveness for my lifetime of sins when I can't turn around and forgive others for individual actions. Then I also think about things I have done in my life that I have been forgiven for by my friends and family. I am so grateful to have earned their forgiveness. God by his grace forgave us for our sins when He sent His very own Son to die for us. For you. For me. By his grace, we are going to one day be able to be fully immersed in all His glory and be with Him in His holiness. I truly can't wrap my head around that, but without His forgiveness that wouldn't be

I met Amie Machelle Thompson more than 15 years ago. Where we actually met for the first time is unknown but we spent many years together in elementary school together involved in girl scouts. We shared a hatred of camping and the outdoors. We even 'got' poison oak at camp once and got to spend the rest of the camp in our tent. It wasn't always good times in girl scouts though. She was the spoiled brat and I was the cry baby. Some things never change. Middle school came and went but in our eigth grade year we took a class trip to Washington D.C. A trip I will never forget. That trip was 10 years ago. That's the trip Amie and I claim is when we became best friends. Since April 10, 2000 we have been inseparable. We shared many sleepovers, many tears, many drives, many trips to Disneyland, many tubs of ice cream, many many laughs, many summers, many beach days, many snow days, many boyfriends, many trips to the mall and swap meet, a few trips to D.C., and many movie nights. When Andy asked me to be his wife, Amie was the first person I called after

This week I just finished up reading the book of Jeremiah. Overall I liked it but it was so depressing! But I kept on knowing that as in each book, God has given this book to us to learn from it and to reveal Himself to us through it. This is the first time I have ever read the prophets so it is very new to me but it deepens the rest of history so much. It adds another layer to the historical books of the bible like first and second Kings. I first started realizing this when I read the book of Ezra and Nehemiah last year. To learn that Cyrus was named years before he was ever to proclaim the rebuilding of the temple and that Jeremiah declares Nebuchadnezzar by name and even dares to count the years of the captivity. The overwhelming proof that Jeremiah was a true prophet of the Lord is astonishing yet because of the bad news he brought to the Israelites, because of their own iniquities, they sought to kill him! Mostly I have loved to place the verses that I have always treasured into context. Many people love Jeremiah 29, but to learn why

A very wonderful and generous friend of mine gave Andy and me tickets to see a special preview of the new show coming to Disney California Adventure, World of Color. And let me tell you, I am beyond excited. When I seriously think about going I just want to cry. With the crazy amount of crowds that descend the parks over summer I didn't think I would be able to see the show until the fall but now I can beat the crowds and feel special all in the same night! And then even better, I get to go back to Disneyland with my fellow princesses the following Sunday. Excited is an understatement right now. Here's some interesting facts on this new show from the Disneyland Twitter feed