Monday, December 30, 2013

This One Time, I Did a 5k!

If you would have asked me this time last year if I'd EVER do a 5k (or any kind of "race") I would have probably laughed in your face. I couldn't imagine ever paying to run (or walk or whatever). And, this time last year I couldn't imagine walking for any significant amount of time. If I only knew!

A few months back, when I was searching for the number to my USC doctor, I came across a banner for the 5k/10k Quench the Fire Walk/Run/Roll on the USC Pain Center website. WHAT?!? A 5k for my syndrome?! Sweet! I was in. I gathered up some friends, registered, and got my walk on.

On December 7th, we tried (though there was a NASTY storm) to head down south to Van Nuys. Much to our dismay, the Grapevine was closed, so we had to drive ALL. THE. WAY. AROUND. It took FOREVER (and by forever I mean about 6 and 1/2 hours!). At least we got to see the ocean…

Sunday, the day of the race, was FREEZING! Well, just about freezing… I believe it was 34 degrees that morning as we headed out to the race. We bundled all up and wandered around the booths before the race began. 

Here we are with some LA Kings dudes!

Here's our team: CRPS Crushers!

Can you guess which one is me? Yes, I had to walk the 5k in flip-flops. The fire feet would certainly not tolerate being covered for 3.1 miles. They warmed up quite well quite quickly!

Check out the race route! It was BEAUTIFUL! 

Manda and me finishing the race! We walked 3.1 miles in under 43 minutes (barely). Not bad. Aaaand, we didn't even come in last! :)

After the race, we wandered around a bit and waited for some raffle drawings. Here is the CRPS quilt that has been all over the country!

MacGyver was the MC of the race! We went to get his autograph afterward and I learned that we have the same doctor! We had a nice little chat about our doc and pain issues. Poor dude couldn't even walk the mile this year. He was impressed that I did the 5k in flip flops. Haha. I told him I'd walk the 5k with him next year. We had a moment. ;)

After wrapping things up at the race and packing things up back at the hotel, we headed home. It was quite a SHORT trip compared to our journey down, AND we had this amazing view for much of the way. No wonder the Grapevine has closed the day before!

I certainly had a blast at the race (and the entire weekend). I can't wait until next year. Perhaps I'll even be able to wear shoes!

Who's in?!?

If you're curious about RSD/CRPS, click here!

Christmas Craftiness

Each Christmas I like to make a special present for my cousins' kids. I pretty much adore them, so I enjoy showing them love in this way. This year, I went for the canvas/name craft. It's similar to this canvas I made for my cousin for her birthday, but I added my own background this time.

How to:

Take an 8x10 canvas (or any size you'd like).
Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge.
Place sheet music or Bible pages (or whatever other page you'd like) onto the canvas and smooth it out (it won't get completely smooth).
Apply another layer of Mod Podge onto the top of the page.
Let it dry COMPLETELY.
Once it's dry, take adhesive letters and set them onto the canvas to figure out correct placement (for the shorter names, I used 3" letters, but for the longer names I had to use 1" letters, and I did their first and middle names).
Apply the letters to the canvas.
Paint over the entire thing with whatever color you'd like.
Let it dry (but don't keep the letters on longer than necessary).
Carefully peel the letters off.
Apply yet another layer of Mod Podge to the entire canvas.

I made nine of them, but here are a few close-ups:

Here they all are!

And here are a couple of pictures of the kiddos opening them on Christmas Eve Eve.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mary's Magnificent God

My uncle asked me to read Mary's Magnificat and share a few thoughts at his house church's Christmas Eve service this year. Since this service is one of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas, I gladly agreed. I couldn't quite form my thoughts into a cohesive paragraph or two, so as I sat with my pencil and notebook, a poem sort of just popped out. Here is what I shared:

Mary, most ordinary in name
Desiring only and always God's fame
Her nature so lowly and meek
Identity only in God did she seek
A servant so humble and mild
Yet herself just older than a child
When news of a son was brought
Trust and obedience Mary sought
Through the Spirit she'd conceive a baby boy
"Let it be to me," she said with joy
To ensure God's praises would always ring
The Magnificat to our Lord did she sing:

Luke 1:46-55

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; 
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

In the words of John Piper...

"The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord are people like...Mary--people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Craftiness Strikes Again!

I've seen this idea on Pinterest a time or two, but I decided to take it and run with it. I absolutely love giving gifts, and I wanted to make something special for my cousin for her birthday, so I was quite excited to tackle this particular project.

Take a look!

Step 1: Find an awesome picture at Goodwill or another thrift store (preferably one with a neat frame). This one is a canvas.

Step 2: Tape off the frame to prevent paint from bleeding onto it.

Step 3: Get some good adhesive letters of the appropriate size to match your picture and saying.

Step 4: Cut closely around the letters and set them (don't stick them yet!) on the picture to get an idea of correct placement.

Step 5: Peel the back off of the letters and attach them (well!) to the picture.

Step 6: Paint over the entire picture with your desired color (sorry, I didn't take a picture of that step!).

Step 7: Let it dry (just enough!) to the touch (you don't want your letters on there longer than necessary).

Step 8: Peel off the letters!

I LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


There is such truth in this picture. I had to share....

This kid is adorable. That face is perfect. Spot on.

Spot on.

Friday, November 15, 2013

This is Why I Teach...

Walking up to the Stockdale theater tonight, my heart was already filled with nostalgia and joy...

Mirror Mirror (Sophomore year, I think)

I love any chance I get to return to the place that captured so much of my heart over ten years ago--the place where I spent my high school days, afternoons, and evenings learning, growing, trying, exploring, laughing, and crying.

You Can't Take it With You (Senior Year)

As I approached the theater, I was excited to see Pope and a fun show. I thought I might see another familiar person or two, but I had no idea what was about to happen.

"Ms. Erickson! Ms. Erickson!"--a sound I love more than I'd like to admit--filled my ears. The calls were followed by giggles and hugs.

Not one, not two, but around fifteen former students were at Mirror Mirror tonight--running up to me, hugging me, asking me about my classes, sharing their high school stories, and more than warming my heart.

This is why I teach. 

I didn't really understand the full circle of events until I got home after the show and thought back over the evening.

After entering the theater (and saying hi to my gaggle of kiddos), my first stop was the top right corner of the building--Pope. I ran up to her with my arms open and a huge smile on my face. I couldn't wait to say hi and catch up for a few minutes.

Wasn't that just what my kids had done with me?

This is why I teach.

After saying hi to Pope, I ran up to see Ms. Winston, my freshman year math teacher. We spoke about our jobs and my brother (her favorite ever!). We were both quite surprised that this is my fifth year of teaching (it still blows my mind!) and she asked if I still loved it. My response: Yes! Probably this year more than ever! I am more comfortable and confident. I feel at home in my classroom. I can now start to see that I'm making a bit of a difference.

This is why I teach. 

I honestly can't tell you much of anything I learned about algebra in Ms. Winston's class, but I remember laughing and joking around. I remember trusting her. I remember feeling comfortable and capable.

I remember bits and pieces of what I learned in drama class, but I could probably write a novel about how I felt during the four years I spent in that theater. I felt included and challenged. I felt vulnerable and encouraged. I felt able and valued. I felt important. I felt loved.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou

This is why I teach. 

Teachers like Pope taught me more than curriculum--they taught me how to value and love people. Yes, English and reading are important. Yes, I need to teach my kids to the best of my ability. But, above all, I need to make them feel important, valued, and loved.

I cannot adequately express how my heart burst tonight as I heard the chorus of "Ms. Ericksons" around the theater. As my former students ran up to me, I got to experience a bit of the joy Pope feels as students run up the steps to see her. And, they do it year after year... even more than ten years later...

(And, how cool is it that some of my kids are now in drama with Pope?!? Full circle, I tell you.)

If I can make my students feel half as important and valued and loved as Pope did with me, then I know I'll be a successful teacher. It's not all about data and test scores, it's about changing kids' lives.

Pope changed mine, and I pray I'll be able to do the same with the kiddos God has entrusted to me.

Teaching isn't easy. Some days I want to throw in the towel. But, nights like tonight remind me that...


Marcy, Lauren, me, Lindsey, Pope, and Lorie at the Mirror Mirror 20 Year Reunion Show

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mama's Birthday Adventures

Yesterday marked a big day (or decade) in our house--it was Mama's birthday! To celebrate her, we had a weekend of surprise adventures planned down in (and around) Hermosa Beach. She knew nothing going in to the weekend, and I'm pretty sure she loved the result.

We began with a little wandering around Hermosa where we ran into Polly's friend, Pixie, at a farmer's market!

On Friday evening, we took Mama out to an unconventional birthday dinner--a fish market on the Redondo pier where you get to pick your fish out and have them prepare it right then. Delicious!

After dinner we surprised Mama with a trip to the arcade right next to the fish market. It's been there for a long time, and it has some carnival type games along with the regular arcade games. We gave Mama a handful of quarters (quite the change--pun intended), and we all had a ton of fun!

On Saturday, we loaded up into the car and took Mama to the CA Science Center to see the Endeavor. She was like a little kid in a candy store. We were also able to watch a 3D IMAX movie about the International Space Station. So neat!

After some Peruvian food and a bit of rest, we again headed out and took Mama to Paint and Pour--a place that serves drinks and teaches you how to paint! We all began with a blank 16x20 canvas and ended up with an awesome picture of a wave. I had a BLAST!

Saturday evening ended at Ruby's for some milkshakes and fries (painting makes one hungry, you know!). We enjoyed lots of laughs trying to keep the paint off of the car and ourselves. I must say, I'd do this again in a heartbeat. It. Was. So. Fun.

And, as if the weekend was not enough, we also got to celebrate Mama's actual birthday with some close friends at Izumo for some teppanyaki. Great food. Good memories. Lots of laughs! Thanks everyone for coming out to celebrate with us!

As you can see, we are big fans of birthdays around here. We love them!!!  I'm not quite sure how we'll top it next year, but I guess we have some time to plan. :) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gettin' My Walk On!

Did you catch what I threw in at the end of the last post?? I'm doing a 5k!! ....and by "doing" I, of course, mean walking, but hey! you have to start somewhere, right??

Last week sometime I looked up the USC Pain Center, (because I had to call my doctor) and I noticed an advertisement for the Quench the Fire Run 5K/10K Run--Walk--Roll. Never before that moment had I even CONSIDERED participating in any sort of "run," but I clicked on the ad and checked it out.

The more I read about it, the more excited I got.  A 5k to support CRPS/RSD?!? Who would have thought!? I read more about it. I looked at pictures. I thought back through my journey and forward to what may come.

As I looked through the pictures, I was reminded that I CAN walk a 5k. God has brought me to a place where I am able to do that--unlike so many others. It may not be as easy as it was a year and a half ago, but I CAN do it. So, I'll walk for those who can't. I'll walk for those who are so crippled by CRPS that they aren't able to function day to day. I'll walk to CRUSH CRPS. 

Speaking of crushing CRPS, that's our team name--CRPS CRUSHERS! Want to join?!?!

The race is December 8th down in Van Nuys. You can be a "virtual runnner" (like Mama), or walk/run/roll in a mile fun run, 5K, or 10K. 

Read more about CRPS/RSD and The Quench the Fire Run HERE! If you're interested in joining us, let me know or simply sign up on the website and select CRPS CRUSHERS as your team! 

I can't WAIT! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Recent Ramblings...

I haven't posted in quite some time. Apparently not a lot has been going on. Wait, scratch that. I'm thinking it's a bit of the opposite--too much has been going on--and I haven't taken to time to sit down and...well...ramble write about it.

So, here we are today, with a few moments to spare, and I shall leave you with a few of my recent ramblings in a la carte style:

Angela & The CTL Banquet: 

Angela, the girl who was interning with CTL while we were in Romania this summer (but who's originally from the East Coast) stayed with us for about a week and a half at the end of September/ beginning of October. We had a BLAST. We went apple picking (sort of), showed her around town, had some awesome food, went to Dewars, watched A TON of Downton Abbey (be still my heart), and spent some fantastic time with some Romanians and some local CTL folks. The banquet was simply an awesome night of connecting with friends, hearing about what God is doing around the world, and getting excited about the future of CTL and our part in it. I'm seriously missing Angela and Bogdan and his family!


Ok, I LOVE LOVE LOVE winning things. Last year I won circus tickets and Disneyland tickets, but this year I've been completely out of luck. I can't even tell you how many times I've called the TV and radio stations trying to win stuff (even if I don't care about the prize), but alas, my winning streak seemed to be over. UNTIL, my dear friend Erin Moffitt posted a giveaway on her blog and I WON! I was super duper excited. I love to win!!!

Jury Trial: 

The defendant from my human trafficking trial (where I served as a juror) was sentenced to 32 years 8 months in prison--the maximin sentence he could have received. He is required to serve at least 85% of that sentence. I feel so humbled to have been part of such a trial, and I am so grateful to Judge Lua for setting such an important precedence for future human trafficking cases. You can read about the trial here. 


School is going well. I'm really enjoying my classes (knock on wood). This year has been quite different seeing as I didn't even get to start the year, but things are coming together. At times it feels quite hectic, what with DII training, and common core, and creating new things to match new standards, and Safe School Ambassadors starting and blah blah blah, BUT, I know I must keep swimming, do as much as I can without going overboard, and keep a smile on my face. Complaining never gets anyone anywhere except into a bad mood.

I assigned my students a heritage project to complete last week. They had to create a medicine bag with three items from different categories such as heritage, family heirloom, family tradition, what your family is known for, and future traditions. I brought my items (my great-grandma's purse, sheet music for Christmas carols, and a small Bible) in a childhood pillowcase, and it was so neat to share a part of my life with my kiddos. I absolutely ADORED hearing about their heritage and families. I had everything from an EMMY (yes, you read that correctly--one kid brought in his grandpa's EMMY), to pizza for the entire class, to Chinese moon cakes, to flags that had been draped over veterans' coffins, to different country flags, to a J's Place t-shirt (yes, the owner's daughter is in my class). It was a blast! That, my friends, is what my job is all about...

Oh, and the entertaining things my students say never cease to amaze me. I'm sure I could write an entire book, but I'll leave you with my favorite quote as of late: Ms. Erickson, you're like the white Beyonce! I may or may not have been singing prior to that comment.

Quench the Fire Run 5k: 

Yes, you read that correctly. I just signed up for a 5k. I honestly never thought I'd type those words. I'd tell you all about it, but this post is getting a bit long, so I'll leave you in suspense for a day or two or seven.

I hope you've enjoyed my recent random ramblings (I love alliteration!). What's been going on in your life as of late?? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall, Fall Faster!

Dear Fall,

Hurry up, please! Can't you fall a little faster? I'm getting quite weary of sunshades, parking under trees, flies, shorts and t-shirts, the air conditioner, and sweating.

And once you get here, will you please stick around for a while?

I'm not a fan of you falling too quickly into winter (because then I'm tempted to whine about how cold I am--and whining is never pretty).

What am I looking forward to the most, you ask?

All things PUMPKIN and spice



Fuzzy blankets

The fireplace

Thunder storms (although we don't get many--or any)

Thanksgiving (I LOVE tradition) 

The changing colors

Children to Love Banquet (where I get to celebrate RO and hang out with these amazing ladies!)

I'd love for you to join me at the Children to Love banquet where we'll celebrate all God is doing in India, Uganda, and ROMANIA! For more information, or to purchase a ticket, please visit the CHILDREN TO LOVE website!

What are you looking forward to the most this fall??? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Who Needs a Good Book??

I love getting good book recommends, so I thought I'd share a few of my recent favorites with you all.

Ready? Let's go.... (in no particular order).

Secular Fiction: 

THE STORYTELLER by, Jodi Picoult

Click here for the link on Amazon

I have really enjoyed Picoult's recent books. She is well researched and able to formulate a thought provoking, unpredictable novel. This story has a few plots interwoven, but one of the main plots is the story of a girl who survived Auschwitz--simply fascinating.

Fiction/ Historical Non-Fiction

THE 19th WIFE by, David Ebershoff

Click here for the link on Amazon

This book is unlike anything I have ever read. It is a present day murder mystery within the Fundamentalist Mormon community (fiction portion) intertwined with an original work set in 1875 when Ann Eliza Young (one of Brigham Young's wives) tried to rid the nation of polygamy (non-fiction). Mixed in with both of these stories are historical documents from the Latter Day Saints' archives. The way this "novel" comes together is nothing short of a work of art. And, as always, I was incredibly interested in reading about the Fundamentalist Mormon community.

Christian Fiction

SWIMMING TO THE SURFACE by, Kristin Billerbeck

Click here for the link on Amazon

WHAT A GIRL WANTS by, Kristin Billerbeck

Click here for the link on Amazon

I came across this author from a recommendation from a friend. They are lighthearted, easy reads. I'm currently reading What a Girl Wants and I find myself laughing out loud. Billerbeck does a good job of keeping her novels light, entertaining, and not at all cheesy.

Young Adult


Click here for the link on Amazon

I LOVE reading young adult books--probably because I teach "young adults" (if you can call them that). This book was recommended to me by Erin Moffitt and I LOVED the trilogy. It's a mix of futuristic science fiction (which I normally don't love) with a bit of reality (which I do love). I can handle (and actually really enjoy) science fiction when the characters are realistic and believable, and when I can actually believe that the circumstances could possibly happen, although highly unlikely. This novel did just that.

(Christian) Non-Fiction 

GOD LOVES UGLY by, Christa Black

Click here for the link on Amazon

From the book description: In this raw testimony, Christa Black takes women on a step-by-step journey of faith and positive belief to reveal that if God loves ugly, then we can too. 

From a review on Amazon: "If ever there was a book worth reading and a journey worth taking, it is this one. Christa has a remarkable way of putting her heart on paper. GOD LOVES UGLY will encourage you to search your own and rediscover truth, beauty and how love changes everything. Whether you're nine or 109, the words in these pages will teach you to see with new eyes." (--Kari Jobe, Worship Leader, Songwriter)

I just started reading this book, and man, it'll hit you straight to the heart--no matter what you're going through (even if you think you aren't "going through" anything!). It is a quick, easy read, but the end of each chapter gives you an opportunity to stop, reflect, and journal. I'd encourage all of you to check out this book and take this journey with Christa.

I hope I gave you a wide range of book recommendations. Now what do you have for me?!? 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

...In My Weakness

As those of you who know me can attest to, I'm not a huge fan of change or transition...

...with the rare exception of the change being brought on by myself (like moving classrooms this last summer).

School ending and school starting are no exception. I get so attached to my kids (for the most part) and so comfortable in my routine, that I don't know how to "snap out of it" when summer arrives. It takes some time for me to relearn how to manage my days away from the classroom.

Then as school approaches, I am always a bit anxious to meet my new kids--always wishing (at first) to have my old kids back. What can I say? ...I like what I know. It takes some time for me to get to know my new kids, get used to my school routine, and adjust to a new year. 

Last year I went through this crazy transition with a cast on my leg, on a scooter, with a CRPS diagnosis following shortly thereafter. No big deal, right? Wrong. I was kind of a wreck for a while, but I got through it and LOVED the year I had with my kids. 

This year, I didn't even get to start the school year because I was serving on a jury for a human trafficking case. (If you'd like to read about the case, click here for the article in the Bakersfield Californian.) It was so strange not starting the school year. I didn't get to meet our new staff members, I didn't get to be at school when the students got their schedules and walked around, and I missed the entire first week (plus one day) of the year. Talk about strange. 

When the trial ended on Monday, and I was finally able to talk about the case, I was basically sick all night. My stomach was a wreck, my CRPS was flaring up like it hadn't in a long time, and my brain was reeling. I had suppressed the details on the case for so long, that it all came tumbling down at once. My brain hurt. My heart hurt. Not to mention the fact that I had to go "teach" the next day. 

I couldn't sleep much Monday night. I couldn't get the trial or school or Back to School Night out of my head. 

When Tuesday rolled around and I was "back to school," I felt like a substitute all day. I was in a new classroom. I didn't know the kids. And, I certainly didn't have a grasp on what I was doing. ....and I thought starting the school year in a cast was strange. 

As of this weekend, I have taught four full days and survived Back to School Night. Each day gets a little easier. I'm sleeping better. The images I have while trying to fall asleep and the dreams I've had are diminishing. I know soon I will fall into a routine. I'll start getting to know my kids and becoming attached to them (as I always do).

The transition period will soon slip into normal (I am seriously looking forward to normal), and I'll once again be able to say that God carried me through another difficult transition period--another tough change. 


Because, you see, that is what this is all about. I'm human. I'm a sinner. I hate change. With God's help, I'm working on being present each day. I'm working on rejoicing in each day that He blesses me with, no matter the challenge before me. 

He has ALWAYS carried me through in the past, and He will ALWAYS carry me through in the future.

It's not easy to end a school year or start a new one, especially in a cast or on a jury, but I know that God's strength is made perfect in my weakness, and He has showed me that once again this last week. And, I know, being human and a sinner, I will forget. Yet, in His mercy, God will continue to show me His faithfulness as He promises to walk beside me, guide me, and never leave me. 

This is good news, folks, because I certainly wouldn't be able to do this alone! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Five Things

After our San Diego vacation and getting my classroom together, I was beckoned to jury duty.

I've been there ever since.

Since I haven't yet started the school year, and since I certainly can't talk about the jury I'm on, I really have lacked in the blogging world.

However, in catching up on my dear friend Erin's blog, I came across this little gem and decided to fill it out for you all!


.....and then do it yourself! Seriously! :)

(Sorry, not sure why there is a weird background on the text--it's probably because I copy and pasted the original. Ooops!)

\\ Five Things I Have A Passion For \\

 + Romania. As many of you know, Romania is a HUGE part of my heart. God called me to go for the first time in 2002, and I've been blessed to go seven times since then. I am so excited about where the ministry of Children to Love is heading, and I'm blessed to be able to be a small part of it!
 + Music. I love everything about it. I'd probably really enjoy it if I lived in a real life musical. I'm pretty much singing some random song that's stuck in my head throughout the entire day. 
 + My People. I kept the qualifier "my" in there from Erin. As I've grown older, I haven't liked crowds of people as much, but I certainly like my people. I'm a big fan of my family and friends. 
 + My Kids. And by "my kids" I mean "my students." I'm never too sure about them at the beginning of the year (especially this year when I haven't even met them), but I usually end up loving them like crazy by the end of the year. I miss my kiddos from last year so much! 
 + Traveling. This last one was honestly really difficult to come up with (is that sad?). It came down to writing and traveling, but traveling won out. I'm only passionate about writing when my little brain starts moving and my hands start going....and that doesn't happen too often. I certainly can't force it. Thus, traveling won out. I LOVE seeing new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. God created a seriously AMAZING world out there, and I'd love to see as much of it as possible! 

\\ Five Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die \\

Visit all 50 States. I'm not even close. Guess I have some work to do before I die. 
Get married and have babies. Of course. 
Adopt a baby girl from China. Adoption, even locally, was never even a thought until recently. But, out of the blue, God placed adoption and China heavily on my heart. We'll see how He works that out someday. 
Skydive. Someone will seriously have to push me out of the plane, but I really want to do it!
Go to the Olympics. Ok, we all know that I'll never participate in the Olympics (unless they make kneely scooting a sport), but I'd LOVE to go be a spectator some day. 

\\ Five Books and/or Magazines I've Read Lately \\ 

 + HGTV Magazine. Love it. 
 + The 19th Wife. Fascinating. Check it out here! 
 + Getting Naked Later by Kate Hurley. Loved this book! All you single (and not) ladies out there need to read it! Here it is on Amazon. 
 + Swimming to the Surface by Kristin Billerbeck. Good novel. Easy read. I really enjoyed it! Here's the link!
 + God Loves Ugly by Christa Black. I just ordered this after it came highly recommended by a dear friend. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Check it out!

\\ Five Favorites Movies \\

(Not sure these are the top five of all time, but they are five that I love!) 

 + Little Women. Perfect. Sweet. Nostalgic. Packed with memories and perfect one liners. 
 + Stick It. Talk about one liners! And, it's about gymnastics. Of course I love it. 
 + The Help. Just an incredible story. 
 + Nadia. Again, gymnastics...and it's about a Romanian. Love it! 
 + Soul Surfer. I just love the story and the faith of Bethany Hamilton. I love that I can show it to my kiddos after they learn about Bethany's shark attack in Gateways. 

\\ Five Places I'd Love To Travel To \\ 

 + Ireland. I tried to go there once. It didn't work out. You can read about that here
 + Australia/New Zealand. I want to hug a koala. 
 + Africa. I'd love to go on a real safari! 
 + Germany/Holland. The mother land. 
 + Italy. Cannoli. 'nough said. 

Hope you enjoyed the "high five" for the day! Fill one out yourself and let me know in the comments below so I can check it out! 

Enjoy the rest of your week! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

San Diego. (The Rest.)

You've read about SeaWorld, the zoo, and the Safari park, but what about the rest of our time in San Diego?

Well, we went on a trolly tour beginning in Old Town and traveling all around San Diego and Coronado, and we ate. And we ate. And we ate. Did I mention that we ate?

Here are some highlights from the rest of our trip!

 This was our view from lunch on Coronado!! What the what??

 Here we are on the trolly tour. 

 It was SO WINDY in the back!!

Here's the fam at dinner in Little Italy! Yum!

 Cannoli is my FAVORITE!! (Mouth is watering.)

I must say, Point Loma Seafoods is probably my new favorite place to eat. AMAZING!!

As you can probably tell, we had a wonderful time in San Diego! Thanks again, Grandma and Grandpa! Now we're looking forward to Yosemite next year with the whole fam!