Friday, May 22, 2009


Four years ago, I was seventeen years old; I was about to graduate high school. I remember that it was a warm day, but I was cuddled on the couch with my first love, Bryan. I have absolutely no recollection of what we were watching, because (usually) I have a really bad memory. But I remember this day because this was an important moment in my life. Around this day, the twenty-second of May, I asked Bryan to be my boyfriend. I told him that I was ready to give our relationship another shot. I wanted one more chance to give the relationship all that I had to give and to see where it went. Bryan accepted. He wanted another shot at us, too.

Roughly a month later, I was having a really hard time with life. I was living solely with my Dad, who was having major issues at the time. I didn't have a license, I was working full time at Mervyns to make ends meet, I had no relationship with my Mom. One sister was on the east coast, one sister was in southern California and my best friend had moved to Fresno. Oh, and my boyfriend lived three hours away. Most importantly, I had almost no relationship with God.

I was totally and completely alone. When I was younger, I had an ongoing fight with depression. Sometimes it consumed me. After graduation, I had no one, no hope and no faith. I was just a being. I fought hard to keep my head above water.

During this time, instead of going out and partying with the people that stayed in Hanford, I stayed home. I awoke every day that summer at 11:30. I had three Oreos and a glass of milk that I ate while watching the first 15 minutes of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' in whatever room that had a TV that my Dad was not passed out in. I took 15 minutes to shower, watched All My Children for an hour as I did my make-up and got dressed. At one, I did my hair. At one-fifteen, I would try to wake my Dad up. On the days that I succeeded, I drove him and myself to Mervyn's and told him to pick me up at eleven that night. If he didn't wake up, I took the truck and drove myself.

I would work from 2:00 to 11:00 every day. On the nights that I drove, I would cautiously drive myself home. On the nights that I told my dad to pick me up, 25% of the time he wouldn't show. One time, I walked home. Other times, I got a ride from a friend that would mercifully climb out of bed to come get me. Sometimes, I would get a ride from a friend at work. Once, I called my Mom. She dropped me off in tears. When he would be there, he would have already climbed out of the drivers’ seat into the passenger side; because he knew that I would not let him drive me.

I would go home, log on to the computer, surf the internet, listen to music and would be asleep by 2:00 every morning.

Amazing. To even type this. To even have lived that life. Fast forward four years and I am sitting in the cutest house ever, with my cat, Danny, curled up on my right side. I am sitting on my bed with a brand-new laptop that I am working as many hours as I can to pay off. I look up and I see my tiny flat screen TV that I bought with Christmas money. I see all the clothes that I have paid for. The furniture I have acquired. I know that outside the wall that I'm leaning against, my car, that I pay for every single month is sitting there, shining in the sun. I can bask in the fact that I don't have to return to my awesome accounting job for three days because of the Holiday on Monday. I know that I can walk into my backyard, play with my dog, and soak up the sun. I know that in 18 minutes, my best friend is going to be off work and on her way home so that we can hang out.

Not everything that I have done over the past four years has worked out. But just taking the time to remember what I've gone through, where I was, who I was and to appreciate where I am, who I have, what I have and who I am is like breathing fresh air. It’s like stepping out of your car after a long drive in the mountains and smelling the pine trees. Hearing the kids splashing in the lake. It’s like being transported into one of your favorite memories.

The past year of my life has passed so quickly, with so many changes. And now that it's starting to slow, God is pulling my heart to look back, to reflect, to remember. Even though some of it hurts, He is showing me that He delivered me. He answered all the prayers that I prayed. Maybe not in the way that I wanted or when I wanted but in the way that I needed and on His precious time.

God has created such a beautiful moment for me today.

I was dreading today. I was dreading it because both Bryan and I, a few months after we renewed our relationship, could NOT remember what day we did it on. So four years ago, I picked May 22. I picked the 22nd because 22 has always been my favorite number. And here it is. The 22 is today. Like I said, I was dreading it. I didn't want to remember all the 'good times' with Bryan. I didn't want to wonder what it would be like if we were still together today. I've prayed and asked God all week to be with me. To help it be a nice day to remember, not one that throws me off. I prayed and again, He was most faithful. He used today to remind me of His unending love. He reminded me that four years ago, I didn't have God in my life but I do now. He showed me the difference of living in this world without Him and living in this world in Him.

It is inspiring. His grace and His mercy astound me. Four years ago I was angry with God. Angry enough to turn away from him. Angry enough to scream and cry and doubt him. I was angry that my life had been such a train wreck. Everyone would say, "God knows the deepest desires of your heart and He is faithful." Then at the time, He knew that my deepest desire was to have my family back. To rewind and have a happy childhood filled with awesome memories and regular family problems. He knew how pained I was that I had missed out on my Mom and Dads best days, because once I arrived there were hardly any. He knew how I coveted my sisters’ memories of my Mom and Dad, happy and in love. I rarely got to see that. Both He and I remember how I would curse his name, how much I sinned, and still sin. And yet he cradles me and loves me like no one this earth ever can. He blesses me each and every day even though I don't deserve it.

What an awesome God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday!

It's really nice to have a low key week this week since last week was pretty busy. And the weekend was busy too.

Alison and family came to visit, which is always bittersweet. It's sweet while they are here, bitter when they leave. I wish they just lived here already so that we could hang out whenever we wanted. I'm keeping it in my prayers, but ultimately I want God's will to be done in their lives. If the best place for them to be is Chula Vista/San Diego then that is where they should be.

Anyway, we celebrated Brody's first birthday on May 2, which was really fun. Then my entire family (Dad and Delia, Mom and Larry) all managed to sit in the same church (IN THE SAME ROW) without too difficulty. It's always kind of awkward. I pray that that phase will end by the time I'm ready to be married, because right now, I'm leaning towards running away and eloping rather than having some weird awkward ceremony...Yuck.

Anyways, today isn't going to be a very long post, but I wanted to update you on a few things.

My boss is on vacation - pray for me. Every time she leaves people go crazy.
I've started writing a book...and so far I'm really happy with it. I blame Ryan....more on that later though.

I finally bought a memory card for my phone so I wanted to post a few pictures that I have been meaning to post for like... ever. So enjoy!

Today is Danny Boy's 4th Birthday... I couldn't resist posting a picture of him. :)

This is one of my favorite pictures of Brody that I had on my old Samsung phone.. Look at those eyes and that tongue! Sooo adorable.

Duey in a swing at a newer park in town... he was freakin out!

Sandi in a swing... Just chillin.

My Mom and I eating filhose (sp./ Portuguese Doughnuts) on fat Tuesday... we sent this picture to make Alison jealous. :)

My friend Scott wearing a bag on his head. We worked at Blue Sky Aviation together and sometimes he'd entertain me. He does things like that. (Obviously, this is an oldie, but goody. Scott lives in Texas and works in Louisiana now and I miss his dorky self. hehe)