I'm back from middle school camp and it was such a blast! We went to Student Life camp in Talladega, AL and I thought it was perfect for our middle school students. I LOVED my girls, they're awesome! Three people in our church group became Christ followers, how could you not love a week when that happens?

Naturally after getting back from camp you have tons of stories to tell, but the one story that always occurs in any camp setting for girls, are the boys from other churches. That remains true after Student Life.

The setting: the pool.
The boy: Joey (thanks to Kyndal, we found out his name after a couple of hours).

We spotted little Joey doing flips off the diving board and it was love. So much so that after we had seen him I heard: "Whenever I look at him, everything else just goes away". Joey had captured our hearts.

I could give a lot of details to the story, but I really think what captures our love for Joey is this video:


Cath.. There's No Sunlight

Sunday night I went to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Ryman with my favorite person in the world, Ericka. To get to the bottom line: they were AMAZING. The name might sound a little daunting to some, no they are not heavy metal (there was a little skepticism from my Dad about the name.. rest assured, Paha). They're an Alternative/Indie band from Seattle, WA and one of my favorite bands. I won't pretend to be some underground artsy kid that finds these bands because I left home and live in coffee shops, I found this band watching The O.C. Musically they're incredible, and they do not disappoint live. If you haven't heard of them already, give them a try (itunes or pandora either will give you a taste) OR just go to a concert.. it was the best concert I've been to.
Now that I've pimped Death Cab, I've got to come back to show some incredible pictures that my sister took. Check out: Ericka's Flickr. I might be biased, but I think they're pretty awesome.


you won't be seventeen forever..

I won't be seventeen forever as the one hit wonder (in my opinion), Metro Station, reminds me. In fact as of tomorrow, seventeen will be another year down.
Reflecting on this past year, I've had a lot of new and great experiences, at one point I was stressed more than I've ever been, but I feel like as cliche as it is to say, I have learned a lot.
However, I'm ready for the next step: 18.
Just a few reasons as to why:

1. I can register to vote.
2. I can get a tattoo (though I probably won't willingly pay for a needle that's not going to vaccinate me).
3. I can buy, rent, or see rated R movies on my own (which is not as cool and foreign as it once was having seen them).
4. I can order almost anything Billy Mayes is selling; the eight tubs of oxi-clean is tempting for all my clothes with grease, coffee, grass, and red wine stains on them.
5. Legally, I'm an adult.

Kind of crazy, but it's welcomed.

Knowing today represents the day my Savior died for me to live, makes me eager to share and show His love and message and not waste any time that I have.

I'm really blessed to have a family that have always been open and supportive, to have a relationship with Christ for thirteen years (fourteen years tomorrow), and to have amazing people in my life that are continually shaping me.
I'm thankful for those relationships.



I've come to the conclusion at this point in my life:
growing up is hard.
With college in the fall it seems like there is a pressure to have my life figured out. The thing is, my future is a big question mark to me right now, and sometimes it's hard to trust that God knows my question mark. It makes it easy to seek the option of moving to Colorado to "find myself" and shred mountains - the Neverland of America, if you will (without Michael Jackson).
Consequently enough, we started a series at REMIX called PAUSE. It sounded simple enough, it's a button on your remote. But the first week alone has hit me hard. The bottom line of the night was pausing to be present.
I can be so consumed with what my future is supposed to look like, that I'm always feeling inadequate to my unknown. Taking time just to clear my head and focus on my Savior has been the most simple way to let everything go.
Are there still questions when it's time to get up and go again? Yes. Is it still important to plan towards the future? Absolutely. But choosing what's important and trying to eliminate the trivial things I worry about not only has decluttered my thoughts, but given me more space to focus on what's important in my life right now.

*A cool side note (or at least I thought it was cool), I started this blog last Monday just to get my thoughts out there and try to make sense of it all. It was written in a stressed out state of mind in turn making it pretty stressful to read. But we started this series Wednesday and finally I've been able to piece everything together, just to find that it's not important that I do. :) I'm always amazed how many times God has to remind me of things like that, yet He always does.


walking on water, with a touch of weird

A few thoughts that have stuck with me this week:

There's a story in the Bible about Jesus walking on water; not surprising since Jesus can just do those kind of things.
To recap the story: Jesus had insisted his guys, (the disciples), get in a boat and go to the other side of a body of water while Jesus went on a mountain to pray. The disciples take off and it says they were far off from land when a storm came up. It was only a few hours into the morning and Jesus started walking to them in the midst of the storm. Of course, only being human, they freaked out. My Bible says "they were scared out of their wits".. I'm sure it was a good thing they had some big waves around because that deck would have been wet one way or another.
Anyway, Jesus tells them not to be afraid, that it really is him. This guy named Peter has a sudden wave of courage and says, "if it's really you, call me to come out to you". Jesus tells him to come ahead, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water to Jesus BUT he had a moment of doubt, looked down, and started sinking. As any person would, he ask for Jesus to save him and it says Jesus didn't hesitate grabbing his hand. Jesus then asked why Peter doubted and they got back into the boat.
With all the questions and awe that can be brought out in this story, here's mine:
How did they get back to the boat?
It says Peter walked out to Jesus so he at least had to be a few steps away from the boat. I want to know if Peter swam (given the storm, not too plausible), Jesus carried him, he walked on water again back to the boat, or Jesus did some kind of teleport thing (probably not, but if he wanted to, I fully believe he could).
I was just thinking, if it were me, I would want to be able to walk on water again to show my trust for the One who called me out. I don't know that it would be easier the second time around given all the doubts that we as humans are prone to have. I wonder when Jesus INSISTED the disciples go without him, did they have enough faith to believe he could get to them again? Or did they think he was sending them off, not to rejoin them? I probably won't know that until I get to talk to Peter myself, and then I'm sure I won't care since there will be a lot better things going on.

My second thought is more of an English question. The word weird. The majority of people hear "I before E, except after C" which I honestly don't understand the C part, I think it was only added because it rhymed. However, with the word weird, it's not I before E because then it's just that: weird.. and incorrect. I'm sure there's more of an explanation for that one, probably that it's not always I before E. Still, people shouldn't teach those things if it can't apply for everything. That leaves people with all kinds of spelling errors.

Any suggestions or thoughts on these questions are welcome!


the x games, the mute, the concert

Last weekend* was the most epic weekend of sports. That's right, it was the X Games. In one line: I love the X Games more than any other. Maybe I'll elaborate on it more another time. Though for the record, Kevin Pearce, I think you were robbed. I love Shaun, but it didn't seem right.

*not to be confused with THIS weekend. I'm not really into football anyway, but I'm really not into this Superbowl. I didn't even know Arizona had a team.

My past week has been spent with my mute mom. She apparently stripped her vocal chords which left her talking in nothing but a whisper all week. However I developed ears like a panther and could hear what she whispered to someone from another room when they couldn't hear her being in the same room; I've been her translator all week.

On a more serious note, Relevant Students had the first ever VIVA CATIE concert on Thursday. I never met Catie, but she has still made an impact on my life. She was a girl my age that battled with cancer until 2007 but remained to be an incredible reflection of Christ even in the midst of something as dark as cancer. Her story is not one you can hear and not be moved. The concert was free but donations were being taken to go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to find a cure. Over 250 people, over $1,000 raised! It shows what a difference people can make when they have the same vision.

Just a random look into my week and another attempt to get back into blogging. Also my first usage of pictures, exciting times!


the 44th

Yesterday history was written. No matter how you voted, or what you've been taught to believe, the optimism of our country yesterday was undeniable. If somehow you weren't connected to any humans or technology yesterday, it was our 44th President's, Barack Obama, inauguration.

To put it out up front, I love politics. This year it hurt that I couldn't vote (my 18th is in April). However, that didn't stop me from gaining as much knowledge as I could about the candidates. This year I have also taken a vow that through my lifetime, who I want to win won't always, but I will ALWAYS stand behind, support, and most importantly, pray for our President. What's an united country divided?

Living in a red state, (and sometimes around ignorant people), there is a lot of "I'll vote Republican til the day I die". My Grandmother, however, is a blue dog democrat. Why? Because her Great-Great Grandaddy was, and what the Democrats stood for then MUST stand for the same now, right? These two kinds of people have made me come up with some options; either I'll vote Green Party and let Ralph Nader FINALLY get his day, or, I'll vote for the CANIDATES instead of party lines.

I already love our first family because they are just that, a family. The Kids Inauguration Concert already made Michelle Obama one of my favorite first ladies. She is a real life Claire Huxtable. An Ivy League graduate, lawyer, servant to her community, but most importantly: a Mom and wife. She is a natural leader who follows her husband in an admirable way. And Malia and Sasha, oh man. They're cuties. It's so exciting to finally see young life back in the White House.
(Obama has also gotten a lot of points from me having Andy Stanley be apart of a prayer service this morning - pretty awesome).

Yesterday if you had the time on your hands to pick apart Obama's speech that you were ticked he quoted George Washington (who apparently had slaves), or you're angry because of color, I have a few words of advice: Get behind a real cause. It's our responsibility as citizens of this country to stand behind him (or her when that day comes) and PRAY for them. He's not Superman. He can't bring all this change himself. But if we take up our call as citizens, and Christ followers, and DO SOMETHING for other people, our country can make a turn for the positive.