23 August 2013

Europe for 2 Months

I will be headed to Europe August 26th, which is in 3 days. The plan is to visit 16 countries in 2 months time! My travel partner, Amy and I started a blog about this trip so we will be posting on that for the time we are away. 

For those that are interested in coming along with us on this adventure, please visit  Alaska 2 Europe .

03 July 2013

Awe Moment

I just had an "Awe Moment" on my drive home tonight. Seeing the amazing mountains of Alaska, the green trees, the sun peaking out of the rain clouds. Getting off work from a job I absolutely love. Getting to share a coffee with my best friend and then going to dinner with some amazing friends.
I'm going to Europe for 2 months with my dear friend Amy. ...Just because we can!!!

I don't know how I have both the most amazing family and all of the most amazing friends in the world. I literally might be the most blessed person I know. I do not know why I am not continually aware of this.

I get so wrapped up in my "problems" -But this happened in Israel, this happened in Africa,  I got my heart broken and people aren't always what they seem.

I have been freaking out for years now. "why does this and that have to happen? Why couldn't I have done this better or dealt with this a certain way?" I have let things stack up so much that it's not just one issue I need to deal with, it's all my tiny questions and worries rolled into one ginormous pile. So much to the point where I can't even be alone with myself. I either have to have music on or some other form of distraction for fear of thinking about things and actually have to process and deal with them. Its so much easier to stuff them away.

Anyway, it got to the point where my best friend basically made me go to counseling. Talk about feeling like a crazy!  I was sitting in the office thing to myself -is this where I have let my life get to? I'm so out of control that I actually need professional help?

I told my counselor all the points in my life that have had an affect on my. Because I know exactly what they are. I cried and cried and cried. I had it stuffed for a reason. Because I don't like talking about it.

And when I left, I realized that that was the first time I had really been able to categorize the pain in my life in an orderly and non-confusing way. This happened, then that and next this. By themselves they don't seem to be that major. But when you heap them all into one huge pile and just stair at it, it feels like a bigger issue than you are capable of dealing with.

I was waiting on my counselor to give me some earth shattering advice. Something that would turn my world upside down and change my life forever. But she didn't say anything I didn't already know or anything that Amanda hadn't told me already. And it dawned on me that I and I alone am the only one that can decide when wallowing in my past is enough. That at some point I have to except that I may never understand things fully and that thats okay. That I have the power to decide my future, to decide my outlook and to decide what I am going to carry around as baggage and what I am going to leave behind and learn something from.

Every time I turn around I'm shocked by what this world thinks is okay. How people hurt others without even a care in the world it seems. And I just can't help but think, where did these people grow up?!! I feel like people look out for themselves and themselves alone. And not to say that I haven't hurt anyone, because I know I have, but I feel like I'm at least always trying to look out for others. "How would I feel if I were in this situation? And how would I want to be treated?" Anyways, something happened recently where I was once again found myself disappointed by someone. And it was to the point where I was so pissed that I decided I was sick of looking out for everyone's best interest. Because clearly no one was looking out for me. I have to continually watch my back while at the same time trying to watch out for everyone else in the process.

I was telling Amanda how I was sick of trying, sick of always trying to make the right choices, sick of trying to take the high road, sick of trying to be a good example and sick of trying to be a strong person. NO ONE else seems to be trying! I look around and all I see are people going with the flow! Doing whatever the heck they want! And that is what I want to do, because trying to be a "good person" all the time is too hard! It's so hard in this crazy would.
And Amanda looks at me and says something along the lines of, "that's what the world does!!! They don't know any better! You do!"  ....Oh.

I get so busy with life that before I know it I haven't sat down and prayed in months! And reading the bible? Forget it. I'm too busy listening to songs like Bump & Grind and Popping Tags that I don't even think about it. I'm just killing one day at a time.  And that is not what I want for my life.

So my "Awe Moment" as I was driving home tonight was this -My life is what I make it. Period. I can decide for myself how happy I want to be. I get to choose what I stress about and let drag me down. I have more blessings in my life that I can even count! And I am loved!!!!! I don't have to carry around anything I don't want. I get to decide how I deal with everything. If I want to walk around with all my baggage, then I can walk around hurt and pissed off at the world. But if I want to walk around with a genuine smile on my face, truly happy, I can leave my problems at the cross. Its my choice! Cry a little about it, and move on.

Do you ever feel like just closing your eyes, stretching out your arms and just letting everything fall away?  Those are the moments when I realize that nothing else in the world matters but God. To just be able to breath.

So,  no more stupid Pop'n Tag songs just to distract myself from life. I want to get back on track and listen to what God has for me. Even if it is the more difficult way. I don't want to look like the rest of the world. Because my excuse of "everyone else is doing it or acting this or that way" is not going to cut it. I am solely responsible for my actions and no one else is going to answer for me.

10 May 2013

Life, Alaska and Europe

It wont come as a shock to most, but i am back in Alaska for the 8th time! Its only been four months since i was last here, but it seems as though it has been much too longer.

The day I arrived I found a sweet car for $700. Yes, it looks like it may fall apart at any second, but it drives like a dream. :) It only took me a week and a half to find a place to live and get moved in. One of my dear friends was gracious enough to let me stay with her until I could find a place (Thank you K!).  I have been working nonstop at the salon and loving it! It's been so great to be back and see my Alaskan friends!  I smile at the mountains and I'm convinced they smile back. Maybe I sound crazy, but there is something about this place that makes me feel a little more relaxed. The air is lighter and it just smells crisp and clean. I can't wait to get out and do some hiking and fishing!

And in other news, sometimes I cannot believe this is my life! Life really is what you make it. Backpacking Europe has been at the top of my bucket list for about 6 years. And i knew if i didn't make it happen now while I'm still young it was never going to happen. Amy and I have just purchased one way tickets to Europe!!! WE ARE REALLY GOING TO EUROPE!!!!!

We will be leaving Anchorage, Alaska August 26th and have a a ten hour layover in Iceland! We are very excited to check out Reykjavik for a couple of hours! Then onto Barcelona, Spain where we will officially kick off this two month adventure!!! (All my dear European friends I met in Hawaii, I want to see you all!!!!)

I dreamt last night we had just landed in Europe and it was mad chaos, we had brought so much stuff with us that mascara, eyeliner and curling iron cords were just falling out of our backpacks. We looked like a hot mess! So in reality, very minimal of that stuff is going to make it into my backpack! I've been making a list of things I'm willing to haul around with me everyday for 2 months. I think I will even amaze myself at how little a person can get away with. I want to take the very least that I can. :) Though I've already changed my mind from NO flat iron to my MINI flat iron. I can't look like a hobo the whole time I am there. :)

08 April 2013

5K Color Run!!!

Super Awesome Unicorn!
Can Someone Say fun?!!!! I don't know when the last time is I had this much fun! I just ran my first 5K and I think I will forever be spoiled! What a blast!! I recommend that everyone that has the chance to do this run do it!!! They are all over the US so there is no excuse!!! The Color Run!

Happiest 5K on the Planet!!!

Springfield Missouri! Love me some Color!

Color Me Rad!!!

04 April 2013

5 Years Later

I feel like I had a revelation last night...

Well, let me start at the beginning. My life has not been the same since my trip to Africa in 2008. I know I've kind of written about this in the past, but I never really had an answers to my questions. And now I do!!!

So, just a quick recap. In Africa, seeing all the hurt, all the pain, all the innocent children dieing. Starving. I was torn apart. And since then I have struggled with how God could be a God of love and let this happen. Yes, I know all the answers and it's not Gods "fault" there is hurt. We live in a fallen and sin filled world.

While in Africa, I was determined to find in my bible how much God loves us. Well, for some reason I decided to start in the old testament and try to figure out what the heck went wrong. I ended up reading about Noah and the flood. And in Genesis 6:7 is says "So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, FOR I AM SORRY THAT I HAVE MADE THEM."

I was SO mad!!!! I basically felt like He already knew we weren't going to be perfect in the first place so why did He even bother if He was going to be so sorry!  I guess since then I have kept tabs of every single thing I've done wrong and am consistently reminded of how I have fallen short and continue to make mistakes.

Well, I've been reading this book called Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince (Thank you Dad) and things finally made sense!

He basically said that those of us who believe God is sometimes angry with us are still living under the old covenant of the law and not under the new covenant of grace. That under law, God demanded righteousness from man. And that under grace God provided righteousness for man. That under law, everything depended on man and his obedience. But under grace, everything depends on Jesus and what He did on the cross.

I guess that even though I know all this stuff in my head, it just finally clicked. I still don't understand why Jesus couldn't have just been there from the beginning and we could have just scratched the old law from the get go. But maybe we would have never fully understood Grace?

01 April 2013

One Way Ticket

My best friend Amanda! (8 months Pregnant)
So excited I could jump for joy! I just bought my ticket to Alaska for the 24th of April! Besides the amazing part of getting to be in Alaska soon, I also only spent $18 on this ticket! Granted, I did have air miles, but usually I have to buy 2 separate tickets to be able to use my miles. So, thank you Alaska Air for partnering with American Airlines! You just made my life so much better!

I've been living with my little sister here in Missouri, I imagined lots of hanging out time, but between her and I both working crazy hours we NEVER have a day off that is the same. Unfortunitely there hasn't been a lot of sister time. =[

I know a lot of people have 2 jobs and work all the time, but I feel like I am slowly killing myself. Turns out I do actually like to have a life out side of work. =]

My goal while I was here was to save a good percent of the money I will need for my travels to Europe this fall, and I am very pleased with my accomplishment. I think my one job at the salon in Alaska with suffice for the summer.

Definitely looking forward another amazing summer! To see all my Alaskan friends and to hopefully make new ones!

21 January 2013

The Things I Will do to Save for My Trip to Europe

I have acquired 2 jobs since moving to Missouri. My first being at a salon and second at a bar and grill. I say bar and grill, but as the sun goes down it seems more like a club. Security, loud music, dancing and alcohol. All combined and you get the results of people being crazy.

When I applied for this job I simply picked this place because it's individually owned (which means there are not all the stupid corporate rules) and the dress code is jeans and a sports shirt, which I can totally dig. I didn't however realize how crazy it could get on the weekends.

I don't get off work until 2am some nights. Which makes for a long day, as I start at the salon at 9 am. Anyways, I wanted to quit the first couple of days, I got home reeking of cigarette smoke and ears ringing because the music was deafening. But I always tell myself that I have to give it at least 2 weeks, because everything, no matter what it may be is always terrible in the beginning. A person can't possible know what they've gotten themselves into until until they have given it a fair shot.

I personally don't have anything against drinking (responsible and in moderation) but I'm wondering where the line is. I like to go out with friends for a drink. Or even the last bar and grill I worked at, I enjoyed serving alcohol. But it was to people that were just going out to socialize and a grab a drink. And I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The place I am now working at, I was actually walking around with a tray of shots trying to get people to buy them. Which was surprisingly fun, music was playing, people were dancing, giving me complements and having a great time. But it's not like you're just walking around asking people if they want shots, you are trying to get them to buy them from you. They say "no thanks" and I then find myself saying something along the lines of, "awe come on, you should have one!!"
What?!!! That is not me at all!!!! I never in my life thought I would being trying to get people to drink alcohol! And just so I could make a few bucks? I keep repeating in my head "Europe, Europe, Europe." But I don't know how I feel about all this.

*A little disclaimer. I just want to be clear that this post is in no way meant to be judgmental of anyone, whether you go out partying every night or don't go out at all. And further more, I am in no way claim I don't go out myself on occasions.  =]

08 January 2013


I don't even know where to begin. I have wanted to backpack through Europe for years now. Somehow something always ended up falling through and I push it off to another year. But my only goal this spring/summer is to save enough money for this dream to became a reality. My dear friend Amy and I are planning on going this fall for 2 months. We are going to get a Eurail pass and see as many countries as possible, make new friends and see old ones! I am so excited for this adventure!
We are only young once, and I know if I don't make this happen now it might never be possible.

So, as Mark Twain has said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

I know it's not all going to be a cake walk, I'm preparing myself mentally to be lost, tired, cold and hungry and I hope that I can always see the bright side and remember how blessed I am to take this journey. 

If any of you have any great knowledge or helpful hints on backpacking for 2 months, I am all ears. This will be my first backpacking trip. =]

18 December 2012

Merry Christmas From Alaska!

How has yet another year passed us by? It doesn’t even seem I’ve had time to accomplish anything and already it is gone.

The beginning of this year started off for me in Arkansas. I was working at a salon during the day and Sassy’s bar and grill at night. It felt I went from sleeping to work and then back to sleeping again with nothing in between, but I actually very much enjoyed being at work and getting to make some more amazing friends.

In June, I moved back again to Alaska, making this my 7th trip up here. It seems no matter what I do, I can’t stay away. There is definitely something special about this place that I love dearly. It was another summer of commercial fishing and fun. I’m not sure whether to say “fortunately” or “unfortunately”, but there was certainly more fun than fishing happening. Great memories, but no profit.

I started back at the same salon I worked in last year and was happy to see some of my clients from the prior year. I am so blessed to get to work with 4 of the greatest ladies; it feels more like a party than work. =]

In September, I flew down to Missouri where I had the privilege of being maid of honor in my best friend Jessica’s wedding. It was absolutely perfect!

In November, I decided to get dental work done in Mexico. I felt like I was taking a bit of a gamble, but thankfully it was a smart decision and I would definitely do it again. I stopped in Arizona to see my grandparents and my uncle Norman, and then my friend Matt and I took a quick trip to San Diego to get some surfing in. The water was freezing but it was totally worth it!

I turned 27 this year! That may not sound very old to most, but I feel I should still be 18. Last year for my birthday I was surfing my heart out in Hawaii, this year I was stoked to be able to take a trip up to Alyeska and give snowboarding a shot! Best day of the year! 

I have no idea what this next year will bring, but I’m really hoping it involves a backpack, a passport and a euro rail pass!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and that this next year brings you all the joy and peace in the world! I love each of you and continue to be overwhelmed by the incredible people I have in my life! How does one girl get to be so blessed!

Love always,


29 March 2012

Decisions Decisions

How is it the end of March already? I feel like I should be headed on some crazy adventure by now. I guess sometimes staying put can be just as big of an adventure. It definitely has it's challenges.

I've been living in Arkansas since January. My brother Luke was so amazing and moved out of his one bedroom apartment into a two bedroom just for me. Turns out we make amazing roommates. We're both a little OCD. =]

As I'm sure everyone knows, I have a little bit of a commitment issue. I like to keep my options open, just in case, you know. I didn't want to sign a year lease, because who could possible know what I would want to do in a couple months. And Luke only had six months left on his so I was basically just signing under his lease. We sat down to sign everything and were in a major hurry because Luke had to be to work in like 10 minutes. We were literally throwing papers across the table signing whatever. And the lady asked if we had any questions. Luke said no, and I just wanted to double check that I was only signing a six month lease. She informed me that we were signing a year lease... Ha ha! Wow, NO! I was seriously panicking just a little. A YEAR! That is so long to be in one spot. We did get it straightened out and I can leave in July if I want.

All of that to say, I still don't know what I'm doing with my life. =] I'm working at a salon here in Arkansas at the moment. We just opened about a month ago so it's been really slow going. I have started getting repeat clients so I know it could be really good. We're in a great spot and the salon is so beautiful! But it could be a year before I am booked with clients all day everyday. That is such a long time to invest if I'm not even sure I want to live in Arkansas... Oh the decisions.

It's so weird, I worked for Smart Style Salon in both Missouri and Alaska. And I made great money. But I hated that the salon was located inside Wal Mart. It drove me crazy. I wanted to be in a "real salon"... But now that I am, I also have to wait tables as night. So even though I'm at the salon 7 hours a day and at the restaurant 6 hours day, I spend more time at tables than I do behind my chair doing hair. =[

What should a person do? I want to go to Europe for two weeks in June. Also, I want to fish in Alaska this summer. But I also want to have roots somewhere.... And I can't keep bouncing around (for more than two weeks at a time) and have roots. How am I supposed to decide which is more important? And I want to live in California... But I don't want to miss Joey growing up. I feel like I can't make up my mind.