Monday, August 29, 2011

Grace and Gratitude

I have to stop and say something to the world: what an amazing God I have!

He has given me everything and beyond what I could have expected.

He has kept me and preserved me from things that I can't even imagine.

He has been my provider, teacher, healer, and best friend; filling my loneliness with Himself.

He has taught me joy, one of the best lessons in life!

He has arranged opportunities for me that there just aren't other explanations for, honoring me in front of my enemies.

He has given me grace, and taught me how to give it to others.

Most importantly though, He has shaped me into who I am, and shown me how to let His life shine in my own. I am merely a sort of moon that reflects the Son, and that is just as it should be.

He gets all of the credit for that, and also for my astounding successes. No question there! It's not me folks, I can tell you that with certainty.

I just wanted to share. I want everyone to know about Him; He is good, and how in the world could I selfishly keep that to myself?!

There is Someone who cares for you most tenderly, and desperately wants to know you personally. He gave Himself for you to make that possible. Won't your heart respond to that?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Proposal

This has just been an incredible summer. First Colorado and whitewater rafting, then an amazing internship in England, and then last week a trip to California!

Scot, me and two other friends spent Thursday morning driving to California. We left after 6 in the morning, and stopped at Hadley's place for their famous date shakes on the way. We also got a picture with Elvis there.

We drove to Huntington beach, and spent the day playing in the waves, swimming, making a sand castle (my very FIRST one, too), and laughing at the birds that run away from the waves. I think they do it just for fun. I would if I were a bird.

Well, towards the end of the day we made a fire on the beach, and roasted marshmallows. Then, at sunset, Scot took me on a little walk.

We walked along for a while, not saying very much, when he says, "I have something for you." I smiled. He pulled out this gorgeous handmade heart- shaped box from Morocco, a box he had gotten on a mission trip there. I'm not entirely positive of everything that was said, because I was kind of in shock, but he said something along the lines of, "I bought this box in Morocco because I knew that someday God would bring a woman into my life that I could give my heart to," and he got down on one knee and proposed!!!

Also, that was the day of our 8 month anniversary from our first official date. CUTE.

The next day, we spent at La Jolla beach. We rented a tandem kayak, and went and looked at the Leopard sharks, sea caves, Garibaldi fish (which I loved, they really stand out in the water! They look like giant goldfish), and a rock close to shore full of sea lions. There was a male barking at all the females on the rock, and they were lazing around mostly sleeping. I'm pretty sure I saw one smile. It was awesome to get that close!

After that, we enjoyed the beach there until dinner, when we ate at Jeff's Place and had burgers and then got frozen yogurt afterward. Scot and I shared a combination of mint, chocolate, and rootbeer covered in all sorts of yummy stuff, and then we all drove home.

So, there's the story of our engagement! We are both SO excited, and planning the wedding for next summer. Also, I love my ring. He let me help him pick it out, and we actually designed it together.

Ah!!! I am a bit overwhelmed with all the details of what this means, but I'm very excited and proud to have him as my fiance. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Sorry it has been a while, but I have had a whirlwind of things happening since I got home... some EXCITING stuff, but I have to tell you about London first!

I rode "the Tube" in London when we arrived, after taking a train with my boss and co- worker from Plymouth. We left at a quarter to 8 in the morning and arrived at about 11. Here's the famous Mind the Gap picture!! In England, they say "mind" instead of watch like us Americans.

Here we are, leaving from the famous Paddington station!

On our way to see Buckingham palace, we cut across through St. James' park, and this is the cottage that the Bird Keeper lives in. Isn't it adorable? I am in love with it!

Here is the statue outside of Buckingham Palace. The queen wasn't in that day, so the flag wasn't flying, but it was still cool to see! And there were the famous British soldiers there, too. They were marching back and forth like little toy soldiers! They were impressive, I wanted to wind them up and make them do it again.

Here is Buckingham Palace.

After seeing the palace and watching the soldiers march, we made our way towards Big Ben. There were the famous red telephone booths everywhere! Really, everywhere. I think they have them just for the tourists.

Well, here he is! I have always wanted to see Big Ben in person, and now I can say I have!

Big Ben is huge. Even with all of our skyscrapers and tall buildings, I am still impressed by it.

Here is the London Eye, no I didn't ride it but we walked by it! It is very cool.

For lunch, we went to this place called Le Pain Quotideon, and I probably spelled that incorrectly. But they had the BEST food. Spreadable Belgian chocolate on freshly baked bread, and I had a roast beef something or other for lunch.

It was heaven. I love bread, I love chocolate, and lunch was to die for.

After lunch, we walked back across the Thames and walked through China town and Soho.

Here's me on the bridge! Ah!!!

And walking across it. It was a perfect day, cloudy but not hot or cold.

Probably the BEST part of the day though, or the highlight, was visiting the BRITISH MUSEUM!!!!

One of my life goals, now I have done it. I was especially pleased to see the Parthenon marbles; I was a Classics major for a while. They are just stunning.

LOVE the horses!!

And this vase? It's in one of my textbooks!! I have seen the REAL THING!!

And this? Oh. My. Gosh.

Isn't that incredibly well- preserved? I have many more cool pictures from the museum, but too many to post them all.

After the museum, we went through Covent Gardens!

It was beautiful, and there were a lot of street performers. And shops, with big designer names from all over the world.

After that, we went to Browns and recovered a little from our whirlwind trip, and then ate at a noddle bar called Wagamama. I had the teriyaki chicken, and it was delicious. Then we went back to our hotel and crashed in our rooms.

I cannot believe I finally made it to London! It was a dream come true, and I really hope I get to go back someday.