Monthly Archives: March 2010

FCA Blessings

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Not too long ago (ok, ok…it was almost five years ago!), I moved to Los Angeles from good ol’ Denton, Texas not really sure what to expect. I was quickly thrown into a whirlwind of activities between Teach For America, my first year teaching, expectations at the job, the meeting of new people, church hunting, and trying to heal. Needless to say, it was one crazy year. Grew a lot, learned a lot. But was so relieved when it was over!

That summer (2006), I had the opportunity to work at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Sports Camp up in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. For whatever reason, I arrived a little bit late – games were already underway and I felt that everyone was already well acquainted. I walked in right as two other girls did and remember feeling immediately intimidated. Seriously, what was I doing there?! Sure, I was 6’3’’, but I am by no means the most agile or athletic creature out there – especially compared to everyone else I encountered! I think the thought even crossed my mind to just leave before I embarrassed myself. Thankfully, the Lord calmed my heart and gave me confidence and I stuck it out. The Lord MIGHTILY used that camp, those campers, and those Huddle Leaders to begin a work of restoration. I felt loved, challenged, encouraged, edified, and uplifted. I knew life as I knew it would never quite be the same. I had found a group of friends again.

As soon as camp was over, the LA and OC FCA crew headed home and joined a Women’s Rec Basketball league. This led to us getting together every Thursday night to play basketball (I use the term ‘play’ here lightly as really we were just getting together to enjoy fellowship, Chipotle, game nights, and creating memories!). I think it was through that team, the Water Buffalos, that the Lord really solidified those friendships. We could laugh together, cry together, encourage each other, challenge each other. It was a pretty incredible dynamic. The friendships were sustained throughout the school year with little ‘FCA Reunions’ – we’d get together in Orange County, San Diego, or Santa Barbara. And it was always right back to a camp experience. It was glorious! Experiencing Jesus’ love through people is an incredible thing.

The summers would come again and it was off to Santa Barbara to work the camps. New people were added, new challenges encountered, new staff welcomed, etc. Changes were happening, but friendships were growing. The Water Buffalo continued on. More memories were created. People started dating, people got married, people graduated, people got new jobs, people moved. But I could always count on that group of girls to lift my spirits!

This weekend, I was just as blessed as I was that first year at camp. Stephanie, Bekah, and Kristen drove down to San Diego to enjoy some QT. They arrived Saturday evening after my mom and I had an eventful day and my mom greeted us all with wine and smiles! We enjoyed the first few hours on the couch catching up on each other’s lives and commenting on our story telling and summarizing abilities (or lack thereof!). My mom headed out and the four of us headed to dinner in Little Italy. We enjoyed a delicious meal with an entire dinner conversation revolving around the game ‘Highs and Lows’  Afterwards, it was back to Casa Camden to catch up on scores, play cards, let Bekah nap, enjoy a group phone conversation with Josiah, and hang out with Jen, Sam and Rachel. We headed over to Yogurtland and stayed up until 1 in the morning carrying on.

Sunday morning, we woke up and leisurely got ready. We walked down to Seaport Village where we enjoyed breakfast (more for the company than the quality of food) and then wandered around taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful day. On the walk home, Stephanie noticed a cute little café where we stopped for some coffee and conversation. An 89 year old man even approached us asking if there was a Beauty Contest that weekend and to make us aware of the fact that he was the judge and there was a FOUR WAY TIE (he was incredibly animated and interesting…) Sitting outside, we reminisced, laughed, talked, and discussed. I was and am truly blessed by these girls. Even though times have changed and not all of us work the camps anymore, the friendships are solid. There are ebbs and flows as with anything in life, but I am so grateful for the foundation to return to.

Thank you, my little FCA crew! Near and far – I am incredibly blessed by you!
To all the FCA-ers out there: please leave a comment about your favorite FCA memory!!

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General Clutter

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So a few days ago we received a second notice from our apartment building regarding our porch. Apparently, some people are not fans of our ‘surfboards, dead blants, lawn chairs, and general clutter’ that takes up the space. Who knew that our ample porch space was not supposed to be used as storage?! And we were told that plants were allowed, encouraged even…just not dead plants. Haha!! This had us all laughing around here at Casa Camden.

We’re now all on a kick regarding ‘general clutter’. If anything happens, we’ll question if it’s considered ‘general clutter’. If we need to clean, we’ll refer to our ‘general clutter’. If the dogs are annoying, we’ll refer to them as ‘general clutter’ and emphasize the need to purge of it.

This has started a running list on our bathroom mirror that contains the following:

What is general clutter?
1. Pugs on balconies
2. USD
3. Chewed articles of clothing (namely our underwear around these parts, thanks to the darn dogs)
4. Ruth and her debilitated body (between her allergies and ankle sprains…)
5. Rotten pre-chewed blueberries
6. Chaco’s bottom row and duclaw
7. Ruth’s gas
8. Stray hair that grow out of moles

Any general clutter in your life?!

Birthday Festivities!

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Well, well, well!!! It has been quite awhile since I have consistently blogged and I just KNOW this is a season in my life that I am going to want to look back upon and reminisce! It has been a whirlwind past couple of months. My roommates continually remind me how much things have changed – who knew the difference a few weeks could make (I tell you what; the power of prayer and fasting!!).

Things at work are well underway. We have created another Learning Center to address the needs of many struggling students and it’s been a relatively smooth transition. We’re still a long way from where we want to be, but we are very much moving forward and everyone seems to be on the same page. It’s been a very exciting place to be!

A few weeks ago, I was able to head up to Orange County to help Stephanie celebrate her birthday! What a fun – and not often enough – time enjoyed by all! We had a delicious meal at BJ’s with fabulous company and then headed to her parents’ house to play games, laugh, talk, and catch up. I spent the night there before heading back to San Diego in the morning. Jamie was out of town for a week with USD’s swim conference. She got to hang out in San Antonio with Jojo and crew in amidst coaching her team to a decent performance. What a season it has been! She came home on Sunday and spent the week recuperating and getting her voice back! So, last weekend we were finally able to get together to celebrate her birthday! We made a meal at the house and then headed out to play Laser Tag (original intention was miniature golf, but these incredible adverse weather conditions here in San Diego – aka some rain – prevented us from doing so)…it was an absolute blast!! We then completed the evening with a few Chinese Fire Drills for old times’ sake. Gotta keep acting young to stay young, right?!

My weeks have basically been filled with lots of work and preparation, youth group, Bible Study, reading, working out, hanging out, and spending hours on the phone/facebook/skype with my fabulous boyfriend, Josiah! We’re in the throes of enjoying a whirlwind romance and it’s hard to even fully express all that’s gone on since that now famous Marshall’s encounter!! Supposedly, Josiah was unable to get off of work for my birthday, so we weren’t sure when we were going to see each other next – but thanks to my keen discernment skills and history of nosiness, I was onto something! I just didn’t want to ask too many questions, because I really did want to be surprised!!

So, Tuesday at work I’m just minding my own business and hanging out in my co-worker’s office before lunch. We hear a knock a few doors down and she tells me, ‘ I think I just saw someone walk by with flowers!’. So I open the door and look towards my office and see Josiah standing there with flowers, his mom, and my co-workers!! SOOOO FUN!! (His mom states that I was jumping up and down and screaming and she was attempting to capture it all on camera…it might cause motion sickness at this old age, so I haven’t watched it yet!) Oh my goodness, it was so AWESOME to have him here! He hung out at school for a little bit and we headed out afterwards. We spent the afternoon (after chowing down on some pizza) walking around San Diego – laughing, talking, listening, sharing, window shopping, playing life-size checkers, etc. It was great just to have him here and in person!! We went up to a friend’s that night to hang out with her and jam out a little bit. Then, we headed back home to pick up Jen and go see a movie. So nice to do just normal everyday things with him that don’t happen that much seeing as he lives on an island for the time being!

Wednesday, I headed to work and he came from his mom’s to pick me up around noon. Part of getting to leave early on my birthday involved a commitment to go meet my boss  We had a good time talking shop and catching up with her and then it was off to birthday celebrations! We swung by Submarina and headed to Balboa park for a picnic…barely missing the rain! Then it was off to the grocery store and back home to prep for our dinner party that night. We made a delicious spread (baked brie, guacamole, mini pizzas, fruit, veggies, hummus, etc. completed with salmon, chicken, and salad…then finished with a DELICIOUS carrot cake his mom made!) and entertained many people at Casa Camden! I felt so incredibly loved and blessed and it was SO much fun to have everyone hanging out – I just might celebrate my birthday every week!! The party wound down and everyone headed out by about 12:30 (on a school night!! I’m such a rebel!)
Thursday, it was up early and back to work. My last students of the day were on a field trip so Josiah picked me up around 2 and we headed down to Tijuana together for him to get some dental work done. I just love creating memories together!! We headed back to San Diego to get his In ‘N Out fix and then to hang out with the roommates. We played games, laughed, danced, and just hung out. It even worked out that my best friend Lyndsey and her husband Kevin drove into town on Thursday night (before catching their Friday cruise) and the four of us were able to hang out for a few hours! SO FUN! Unfortunately, it was our last night together and I drove him back up to his mom and step-dad’s around midnight then made the trek back home. So sad. Or so I thought…

Turns out the boat he needed to catch was sold out and I was able to leave after work on Friday to go pick him up and head up to San Pedro for him to catch the later boat! It even worked out that my mom and Jim met us with dinner at the port beforehand. Then, it really was sad as he jumped on the boat back to Catalina. Thankfully, Spring Break is in a few weeks and I’ll be able to head out there for a few days.
So, there you have it! I’ve hit the ground running in this 29th year and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down! The Lord is so good to me I can hardly even handle it!! May you experience His blessings today!!