At the end of every year, I like to research 2010 in review. I like to find top phrases used, top headlines, top photos, etc. This year instead of printing them all out, I thought I would post my favorites on my blog to share with all of my favorite readers! So here is what I found (from Yahoo News):

2010 Year in Review "Survivor Stories"
1. Deepwater Horizon Crew 
2. Chilean Miners
3. Iraq War Soldiers
4. Jaycee Dugard
5. Abby Sunderland

2010 Year in Review "Natural Disasters"
1. Haiti Earthquake 
2. Iceland Volcano
3. Chile Earthquake
4. Pakistan Flooding
5. Guatemala Sinkhole

2010 Year in Review "Obsessions"
1. iPhone 
2. iPad
3. TV show Glee
4. Facebook
5. Bedbugs
6. Silly Bandz

2010 Year in Review "Inspiring Acts of Kindness"
1. Abby's Lemonade
2. Daily Ocean
3. KidSwing
4. Operation Beautiful
5. Wonder Capes

According to some of the most used words of 2010 were:
1. Spillcam
2. Vuvuzela
3. Deficit
4. 3-D
5. Simplexity

What hit your list of tops for 2010? Here are some of my top moments of 2010 (in no particular order)!

1. Passing OB Nursing Class
2. Going to California and walking on Malibu Beach
3. Thanksgiving Family Pics
4. Getting my first apartment
5. Attempting to watch fireworks on the 4th of July in Colorado
6. Starting my final year of college
7. Traveling all over during the summer
8. Running my first 5-K
9. Living with best friend
10. Sitting by the fireplace at home with my family & Tucker

2011 is going to be a great year! It will be a year full of changes, excitement, tears, laughter, and lots of joy. Hang on to the beautiful moments that bring joy to your life. Not everyday will be perfect, but how you choose to handle each day will be what matters!

Today's Thursdays This n That is in honor of the wonderful Christmas blessings that were given this past week. For Christmas, my mom made me the most wonderful gift. She printed out each of my blogs from the past year and made them into one complete book. She printed my personal words on linen paper and finished it off with a beautiful ribbon. It truly was the best gift! Seriously! The handmade gifts are always the best... especially when much thought goes into every part of it!

Along with my beautiful blog journal, I received lovely Nelle's Notes notebook and notepad, a wonderful wonderful 50mm Nikon lens, lovely little surprises that I gently pulled out of my long red knitted stocking, and a few other extreme blessings.

Thank you Mom & Dad for a wonderful Christmas! Thank you Colb for the fleece and Vera purse! Thank you Ben for letting me take lots of pics of your 1lb Reeses peanut butter cup! Thank you Tuck for chasing after your little stuffless fox! Thank you Jena for a beautiful wallet, ribbon, and socks!

My family seriously rocks! I love them.

Guess whose birthday it is today?!
This day has been marked in history as the day my MOM was born!
I call her Madre.
I call her Momingo.
and best of all... I call her MY mom.
Love her so much and I am so thankful each and every day that she is my mom and one of my BESTEST friends.
Love you Madre!
You. Are. The. Best!

Mom's Advice:
1. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all your way acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
2. Men always change the subject when they don't want to talk about it anymore
3. Laughter is good medicine
4. Be a joy giver
5. Live life with no regrets

Today, is a very special day.
It is someone's birthday.
Someone very very special.
His name is Jesus.
Merry CHRISTmas 2010 to all.
May you continue to believe in the true meaning of CHRISTmas and enjoy every good and perfect gift.
May the Lord bless you over abundantly and show love to all around you.
Today, has been a great day and will continue to be great.

I have a great family and was blessed richly! Thank you Jesus for all You have done in my life.

to be continued...

Hello friends!
Merry CHRISTmas eve! I hope you all have a beautiful time with family and friends and that you enjoy every moment. May it be full of the richness of togetherness while being mindful of the reason we celebrate this beautiful season of life... Jesus Christ.

So happy birthday Jesus! May you always be remembered and never forgotten.

Enjoy the moments shared together.
May they be everlasting and always remembered.

The mountains were definitely missed! I am so glad that my family was able to enjoy a cozy few days up north where the mountain air was crisp! It sure was an adventure from the beginning. From driving up steep slopes where my brothers could barely handle the drive up... to the friendly creature we found in the bathroom of our cabin (no animals were harmed during the duration of this trip).
 The cabin we stayed out (kindly provided by church friends) had the most adorable vintage items. This was definitely my favorite item. You wrote little notes or grocery lists on it. If anyone finds one out there, let me know! I would love to put one in my kitchen someday!
We found a great little restaurant that our friends told us about that have pancakes that take up the entire grill in the kitchen to cook. My older brother was going to "attempt" one, but they were too busy that morning to cook any (due to the fact that it takes the whole grill to cook).  
Overall, it was a great trip! We got Christmas shopping complete (or at least almost complete), ate good food, enjoy each others presence, and laughed lots. I always love my time in those Colorado mountains, and I look forward to the next time we meet again!

I'm headed to the mountains today with my family, and I am so pumped!
It's been 6 whole months since I have seen the beauty of those magnificent rocks!
I can not wait!
So pumped.
We are evening staying in a cozy cabin up in the mountains.
It will be a blast.
See you wonderful people on the other side!

This weeks This N That is featuring a lovely shop that I just adore from Here are a few of my favorites...

One day I will have an inspiration space and I have been trying to build my inspiration with a few pieces I already have, but these would be lovely with my wooden color pencils from Colorado.
I love the thought of classic snail mail. It truly is one of the best gifts a person can receive!
Wouldn't it be fun to write little love notes on these?
After Christmas, I am ordering this bag so that I can travel with it back to school.
Soft leather has such a great texture to it. This would be a great durable travel bag.
Finally, I saw this on a blog today, and just fell in love with this idea. Maybe someday I can have one of these bouquets and use it for a rehearsal or something. :)
Check out her blog!

Tonight my roommate and I got to explore the wonderful world of Hockey. We went and watched the local hockey team compete against their rivals. While at the game, we ran into some of our friends. It was fun running into familiar faces and getting to chat with them. I was able to share my good news about getting my externship with them.

...and if you were wondering, the home team won! 5-1 Go Oilers!

Later that evening... we went to this great coffee shop (I have only been twice, but still...). The coffee shop is called Shades of Brown. We walked in and there was a musician playing his guitar and strumming a few tunes. It was the perfect atmosphere to wrap up a great evening!

Along with enjoying a warm white mocha and a few tunes, we were able to enjoy the art that surrounded us. I love the coffee mugs they use. They are all hand made with the Shades of Brown logo embedded into each mug. The coffee mugs may be purchased at the coffee shop as well as a little treasure to take home to a friend or for you to enjoy by a nice warm fireplace.

Overall, it was a great night! We drove through the streets of old town and enjoyed beautiful CHRISTmas lights strung so perfectly on each of the houses. We even saw some lights that were set to perfection (of course these yards were professionally decorated!).

What did you all do on your Friday evening?! Hope you were able to enjoy some time with family or a night out with a someone special. Know that you are each prayed for and appreciated. Blessings! Have a great weekend!

Guess what!?
I GOT THE JOB! Next semester, I have the blessed opportunity to be an extern on a CV ICU (CardioVascular Intensive Care Unit) and my brother got ALL-STATE in football for his senior year of high school!
I am so proud of my lil "big" bro and am looking forward to my externship. I know the externship is going to be really intense but I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me... Phil. 4:13
I mean look where the Lord has taken me so far. He has gotten me through every battle and blessed beyond measures! Thank you Jesus!

Remember... if you have a dream... if you have a goal... go for it! Don't let negativity, the "I can'ts" pull you down and defeat you. You can do this! Live those moments and passions and let nothing stop you!

This week's "This n That" is coming one day early this week.
Here are a few items from around the web...

I recently purchased my weekly planner for 2011. I really tried to find an updated version of my old planner, but I found out they no longer make them. So, I decided to go with a lovely MOLESKINE planner. I love it. You should check them out.
All you ever need to know about Guerilla Gardening you can find in this book. If you do not know what Guerilla Gardening is check out this book or you could always google it.                

Great Christmas Card Selections Here
We get them every year.
They usually come in the mail anywhere from Thanksgiving time to New Years and beyond.
They come in personalized letters, photo cards, and generic Christmas greetings.
Christmas cards have always been something that I have enjoyed every year. Personally, I love written cards that are sent by good ole snail mail. What makes Christmas cards so fun is that they give you a summary of what exactly has been going on in the lives of your great great aunt second removed. :)

Shutterfly has a really great offer this year! You can order photos right from their website! Along with cards, you can make calendars, memory books, apparel, and so much more! This year, my best friend and I decided we wanted to send out fun Christmas cards to our family and friends! We decided that we are going to use Shutterfly!

If you haven't made your Christmas card yet, you still have time. You can order them through Shutterfly and have beautiful cards! If you check out this link, you can also have the opportunity to get 50 free Christmas cards. That's a pretty sweet deal! And you do not want to miss out!!!

Praise the Lord! I passed both of my ATIs for nursing for this semester (Pharmacology & Community Health). I am so thankful for the Lord's faithfulness and perseverance.

It is hard to believe that I only have one more semester of college left, but I am very thankful and ready to see where the Lord takes me next!

 I'd have to say this was one of my favorite Thanksgivings! It did not have fireworks, tons of tropical warm weather, or even pumpkin pie (yes, there was no pumpkin pie). It was a simple family thanksgiving that was simply wonderful.
 My mom woke up early (as she always does on Thanksgiving morning) and placed the turkey in the oven to begin its slow cook. Everyone else (except for my Grandpa who wakes up at 4am every morning) woke up throughout the morning. Hot crispy edge pancakes were ready along with a nice hot cup of mocha mocha (ok, creme brulee coffee with a little splenda and creme, but whose complaining!).
 I went downstairs and watched the annual Macy's Thanksgiving parade. I came up every once and a while to chat with everyone. Half way through the parade, I came back upstairs to stay and made the veggie trays (this is my responsibility every single year! I love it!).
 By noon, Thanksgiving meal was all ready! We had hot turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry jello, strawberry fluff (family recipe), warm rolls, stuffing, yams, green bean casserole, corn, gravy, angel eggs (we call deviled eggs angel... we don't want to give him any credit), and last but not least the veggie trays. I am sure I am missing something, but there was so much yummy food... I was stuffed before I even tried everything!
This year, I actually dressed cute and we took lots of fun family photos! They are treasures that we will love on for a real long time. We played games later with everyone (including Ben's, my bro, girlfriend). We drank hot tea and had wonderful strawberry pie. Yum yum!

Yes, in deed, this was one of my favorites! It was my family and I loved every part of it!

Now, I'm on to decorate the Christmas tree... ok, maybe I will just be putting the tree up this evening and then finishing it up with my mom tomorrow, but still... Christmas decorations are starting... WOOHOO! And Christmas music too (That's already started).

I hope all you lovely readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
I thought I would place a few of my favorite thankfuls from the past year below...

1. my continuing growing relationship with the Lord
2. momingo, padre, ben, little big bro Colb, grandpa, and Tuck
3. to my loyal chi... you are one of a kind!
4. to traveling to places i've dreamed up, and places i continue to go to
5. for those who provide encouraging words when you least expect it
6. to the unexpected moments in life that grant blessings of joy
7. for perseverance to push through and run a complete 5-k
8. those conversations that leave you feeling so complete and challenged
9. for night where you can be goofy with your best friend and no one else sees
10. for parents who push, encourage, and are always there in the down and up moments of life

Seems like this phrase comes up a lot...

The end of the semester... it'll be here before you know it
Thanksgiving & Christmas... it'll be here before you know it
Graduation from nursing school... it'll be here before you know it

The question is, are you ready for TODAY? Because before you blink... tomorrow will be here before you know it


Yes! Within 40 minutes... I accomplished the run! Praise the run for all the strength! It was AMAZING!

Today I run my 5-k! I will be starting my run at 8:00am this morning and I WILL run the whole thing. I will give all the details later.

As Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

I am so thankful that my mom and my best friend will be there to support and encourage me along the way.

I'm excited.
Prepared after 8 weeks.
I can and WILL do this!!!

Thank you Jesus!

Whose with me?!

We all go through phases in our lives. Some are really exciting and some are in the valleys. Recently, I was discussing percentages... It turned into the conversation of what percentage are we living our lives? It made me stop and think... what percentage am I living? Am I living life to 110%? Do I give give and give until it is satisfying, or do I only give 50%? I mean, 50% is an F.

The Lord did not have us to live at only 50%. He wants us out doing our very best and living our lives to the fullest. So how do we change our 50% to 100%?

For me, I have dreams and goals that I have written down on paper. I can sit and look at those dreams and goals all I want, but if I just let them sit on the paper, they are doing no one any good. So... I pull that piece of paper out (or my sticky note on my macbook), and see what I want to accomplish today. One of the things that I have had on my list for a long time is to run a 5-k. I started doing research and found that there is a 5-K on November 21st. Well, eight weeks ago, I felt as if I was not living my life 100% so I decided to do something about that. I started training for the 5-k. Through the strength that the Lord has provided, I am getting ready to run that 5-k... live a dream that I wrote out to be set and lived! I am not sure what I will do after the run, but I know that I will set out on a new adventure trying to conquer another one of those dreams.

It is really important that we try to live our lives at 100% or more :). Whether that is exercising, taking a vitamin, reading your Bible more, singing a song in the shower everyday, or going out of your way to serve someone else. There is no point on only going at 50%. Find a mentor, let someone encourage you if you are down, and do something about your percentage! You never know... that change in your attitude (about your percentage) may very well change your life!

One of my friends in class today showed me this wonderful book! It has simple life quotes that are so encouraging on a cold rainy day (like today). What makes it even better is its yellow... I mean, who doesn't love yellow?! The book is written by Monique Duval. She is a beautiful writer and artist. One thing that I love is the artwork within the book. The illustrator is Joanna Abbott Moss. Simply beautiful. In the back of the book it reads... "While drawing, Joanna never lifts her hand from the paper, allowing a continuous connection between heart, mind, hand, pen and paper until each illustration is complete."
Here are some lovely quotes from this beautiful book...

"Once upon a time, a girl prayed for true love. Her prayer was answered. She learned to love herself. #30"

"And what does it feel like?" we asked. "Well," she said, leaning over to us like a secret, "it feels like a gust of wind blowing inside your heart. It feels like bright yellow paint #81."

"That's when the rain came down and we ran - laughing hard, sides hurting - and there was no shelter for miles. So we just sat down in the sand and watched the ocean swallow the sky #122."

"We all have needs and desires," Juanita said to Anna as they painted their houses purple. "In that case," Anna said, "can we paint the trim lime-green with pink flowers along the edges?" "Just what I was thinking," she said #135."  

"They are inseparable. Yesterday, the three of them decided to have a hot peppermint tea party in the middle of the lake while sitting in a canoe and worried that their lives were becoming predictable #141."

"Once a day she tells the spin to sit still, the twirl to behave, the laugh to whisper, the dream to sleep. And for a moment she was untwirled, whispered and dreamless... #333"
"There's a place inside her heart she reserves for him. It has good eastern light, sea breeze and if you stand on your toes, you can see a thousand miles away #67."

"Everything melted, rained, unraveled, became, grew wings, attempted flight, flopped, tried again, succeeded. Just another day #317."
"Once you get over the fear, then it's a cinch," she said. And then she leaped into a mountainous and unexplored region of her heart #115."


What would be on my inspiration wall?


Here is what I will have in what I have decided to call my inspiration space...

  • 3 mason jars (1 with scrabble pieces, 1 with vintage material scraps, and 1 with buttons)
  • lots and lots of polaroid images (still waiting to get that polaroid film)
  • the number "5" (it just has lots of wonderful memories that little number)
  • a cork board with a gold frame around it
  • a seafoam green vintage fan (ok it doesn't have to be seafoam, but that's my plan; oh, and it has to work too!)
  • my 5k bib (i will have this november 21st)
  • a beautiful black and white photo (maybe sepia) of my family
  • my bestie memory book (a mirage of items that Jena has given me over the years)
  • a beautiful wire basket
  • and finally will be completed with my patchwork chair (that i will eventually get from urban outfitters) and my kitschy table (which is at a wonderful antique mall in wichita, kansas)

A few weeks ago I went to the Christian Book Store to look around and see what it was like. I had never been to this store, so I thought, "Ok, let's check it out." While doing some browsing, I came across the book, Good Morning, Lord: I don't know where you're going today, but I'm going with you. I decided to purchase it...

The book has been a wonderful devotional that is really encouraging to read in the morning. Here's a quote from it:
A basic truth: Christianity is not an employer-employee contract... So be warned! We may run ourselves ragged doing things for God - being a member of every committee at church, attending every prayer meeting, doing whatever job needs to be done - and lose the Lord in the midst of it all. Ultimately, only our loyalty to God as our Friend will hold us when life is tough...

She goes on to share with us John 15:14-15, "You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a place to call your "church family" when you are away from home (ex. college). It is like you can go anywhere you would like, but nothing seems to fit the standards or beliefs that you have held so strongly to. One place you go to may have really great worship and then another may have really good preaching. So where do you find the balance? Often times, one or the other have to be sacrificed to find a place that you may be content with. Many times I have been in this exact place throughout college. I have gone to one place and then hopped to another and to another. So why is this such a problem. Why is it so easy for people to not commit to one church family? For me, it's a church's beliefs, the way I connect with the church, and how willing is the church family willing to reach out. I am right in the middle of the Bible belt, and often that is the hardest place to be... so many choices, yet not on place that sticks out. I have grown up in the church and have set my beliefs, but often times these "standards" that I have set make me judgmental towards every church that I walk into. It is as if I am going in to the church to grade it or give a critique. Is that really the way it should be? Should one ever be content with just the ok standards? No. The Lord sets beliefs and convictions within each one of us. It is our responsibility to walk in obedience and follow His leading. This does not mean we have the right to go and judge every single place we walk into. Rather, be open (but stay strong to who we are). Why not reach out to those in the church? I mean, just because we are the new person does not mean we have to be the shy person in the back row who never says anything. Just because one church has a rock concert worship team and then another has an acoustic does not mean we should never visit that church again. We are called to go and make disciples of all nations... to bring others closer to the Lord. Church should never just be a comfy place where you go and just chill weekly to have a social gathering... Sure, it is great to see people/friends that you have not seen all week, but more importantly we should be reaching out to the lost and serving in a way that is right in the Lord's eyes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Voting is more than a right. It is a privilege.

For coverage, go here
Or here

Do you ever have those weekend where you are just not quite sure you are going to get anything done and then all of a sudden... BAM! So much gets accomplished! I had one of those weekends. The weekend started off with my school's first home basketball game of the season! I can hardly believe it is already basketball season. I was ready for it though. We played a school that was in a division higher than us and we WON! It was a very exciting game, long, but exciting. On Saturday, I was able to get caught up on some much needed ZzZz's and run errands. Sunday, (Malloween) I went to church, ate lunch with a lovely family, played a card game with friends, cleaned the apartment, decorated, did homework, did more homework, worked out (still working on my 5-k), more homework, and now to blogging...

I'd say it was one well worth weekend that was needed! Now I am ready for the week.

This is how I view halloween... as just another weekend. I don't like it. Period. So I do other things I enjoy... running errands, being productive on homework, training for my 5K, and maybe squeezing in some shopping (maybe).

My roommate and I celebrated October Slam (we do awesome monthly "Slams"). This month, we went to the pumpkin patch and out to eat at Cheddars! The sunset that evening was beautiful!

It was so cute how the pumpkin patch (mind you it was smack dab in the middle of the city) set up the pricing for their pumpkins.

Awesome green pumpkins.

We were going to do the pumpkin launch, but it was only opened on the weekends. Wouldn't it be fun to try to throw your pumpkin and hit the bulls eye?

Fall is a beautiful time.

From the great movie The Sound of Music, "Here are a few of my favorite things..." from this week of course:

These are two GREAT resources if you are ever interested in designing and photography. These will be investments for me!

Wouldn't it be lovely to fancy this ring on your finger to beautify your look?!
The notorious "Mustache" prop. These are so perfect for a fun family photo shoot or even a couple!
I know, I know... I love bright prints that take the vintage feel and make them clean & modern. You know how much I love the patchwork chair from Urban Outfitters, but here is yet another beautiful sitting area that would be ideal for lots of friends to come over and play games and drink smoothies!

Don't you just love the characteristics that make up a small town...

While on a walk at home, I grabbed my camera and took a few snapshots from around my hometown. I love these photos... especially since I just arrived back at school. It is so nice to have these pictures to look at and remember that home is not very far away.

Well this semester is almost done. I can not believe how fast it is going... So for now, I will take it one day at a time and one task at a time.

Back to the school today.
7.5 hours in the car.
Long drive, but hey I have lots of podcasts to listen to.

It was PINK OUT for the football game, and what I did not know was that it was PINK out for all high school sports this Friday night. I was thankful to be a part and thankful to be PASSIONATELY PINK for those who have Breast Cancer and the Survivors too!

That's right. Don't be jealous. This is my brother. So proud.

Friday Night Lights? Anyone? Thought so...
Well Fall Break is wrapping up. Sure wish it was just a little longer, but none-the-less I thoroughly have enjoyed the time at home relaxing, being slightly productive, and soaking up this beautiful weather (going on a walk right after this). I have taken our dog, Tucker, on mini walks and trips in little green bean and have made two trips to Garden (one was NOT planned). With the soft sounds of the radio playing in the background and lawn mowers chugging along one last time before winter, I say it has been one great break.

Tomorrow I head back to school where I will catch up on my endless list of nursing homework (that I barely put a dent in this weekend) and finish this semester strong. There might even be room for a few good laughs with my bestie and moments that will be remembered.

It's a game day here in the heart of the Broncs. See that #54? That's my brother. He's getting ready to pump up that field one more time. So as they say in Broncs World... Purple purple purple... Gold gold gold! GO BRONCS!

Well the game was really fun to go to, but sadly the Broncs did take this one as a win. Proud of my brother for playing well!

Today is the first ever "Thursdays This n That" where I will showcase lovelies from across the web. Simple items that define beauty, fun, and creativity.

Impressed with "Plein de Bonnes Choses" these little jars would be great for spices, trinkets, or secret little notes.      
This recipe box just screams character. Wouldn't it be fun to gather all of your mom's secret recipes and store them in a special box so that on cold rainy days you can pull one of her famous soups out and cook for your family? 
I love LOVE this chair. These were not being manufactured for a few years and when I saw them come back in stock I thought oh man... how fun would it be to snuggle up in this beautifully designed chair and sip a cup of creme brulee coffee?