Friday, January 30, 2009

George is HOME!

George is HOME! :)  He went home yesterday...

If you would like to send him flowers or cards, please email me for the home address - 
carriemarieallen@yahoo.com

Please be praying for his recovery. He is sleeping in the living room on a hospital bed, and it will take months for him to get fully better. 

Thanks for ALL your prayers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life will never be the same...

I got an Iphone!!!


SO excited!

So lovely.

I am just showing her around the house...

She helped me make dinner...

She lounged on the couch...

Hung out in our "coffee" room...

Woo Hoo!!

Wish I Lived In San Francisco...

Okay, what is going on? I thought Los Angeles was THE place to be, not San Francisco!

Apparently, a little place called "Fillmore" is going to be having 3 (maybe 4) amazing bands playing in their presence during the month of April. 

April 14th - Fleet Foxes

April 16th - Dr. Dog

April 28th - Cold War Kids (who has been rumored to be playing this show with Death Cab!)

What. the. heck...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

George Update - WEDNESDAY II

Hi! So the past couple of days have been somewhat hectic for the Sabolick's, but George is now at the Kaiser hospital in Irvine, and things are beginning to calm down.
View Larger Map 

I went and saw him today and he is waaay better than the last time I saw him. He fully remembered me and we had a long and coherent conversation. Everything is looking good as far as his memory, but now it is going to be a long process for him to physically heal. He has to do physical therapy, and it looks like it is going to be months until he is fully better again. They have no idea how long they will be in the hospital for.  

George and Dona are now open to visitors, but it would probably be good to call Dona before you visit just because, all times, are not good times. I would dare to say that for the rest of the week, it would be good to have family and close friends visiting only. But they are in a BIG beautiful room at Irvine that is very comfortable, and I am sure that they would start to appreciate flowers. Flowers would really bring some cheer in that room! If you send flowers, you can send them to George Sabolick, and he is on the third floor. 

Thank you for all your prayers, and I know that they would still appreciate your prayers. If you have a chance today (whenever you are reading this), please pray for George, Dona, Adam, and Jordan individually. God knows what they each need specifically, so please, pray for them. 

Thanks! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

George Update - WEDNESDAY

George is doing much better! Sunday was the first time he picked up his guitar again and he remembered how to play! 

Today George is starting extensive physical therapy, so please be praying for him as he begins. He has been transferred to Kaiser in Irvine and Dona is asking for NO VISITORS at this time. I will let you know when they would like visitors again.

Thank you again to everyone who so graciously volunteered to cook meals. We put the meals on hold for a bit because no one is ever home! :) We thought the Sabolick's would benefit more by having meals made for them when George gets to go home. 

The boys and I had a great time in Vegas (see post below). It was funny because the boys are not 21 so they had to stay hidden in the hotel room until they played, and then had to go right back upstairs when they were done. :) But they just had a great show, and a great time. They said it was sooo good to see their bandmates again (who have become like family now). They are playing a show in Costa Mesa tonight, and a few in LA in the next few weeks. They plan to go on tour again in April (...a west coast tour). 

Thanks again for all your prayers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vegas in 19 hours.

You can accomplish a lot with only 19 hours in Vegas. We stayed in a hotel, rode in a taxi, ate amazing food, watched an awesome concert in a great lounge, got spilled on 3 times, walked the strip, took pictures like famous people etc...

All in all, we had a great time with this quick little trip, and I hope to go back soon!















Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Only Live Once...

...Might as well have a good time!

Vegas, here we come!

Jono, Simone, Jordan, Megan and I are hitting the road towards Vegas to see these guys:




The Union Line, Local Natives, and Voxhaul Broadcast tour. 


Oh ya, did I mention that I booked a hotel room for $35 here?...

We are about to have so much fun...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inauguration 1-20-2009

I was inspired by Blythe's post of the inauguration to do my own little musing. Since things are starting to calm down a bit with George, I figured it is time to get some awesome pictures up on this little bloggy of mine (see my last George update below).

I had to listen to the inauguration on the radio, and I was very thankful for NPR's broadcoast. They were so specific, even describing Michelle Obama's outfit! Rick Warren's prayer brought me to tears, as he used different languages to say the name of Jesus. After getting home from a very long day, I turned on the Tivo and watched the huge event. Oh how wonderful it was! This view alone makes me tear up:


Isn't it beautiful how we can all come together in peace and inaugurate our president. I think that we can become so wrapped up in the fact that "our guy didn't win", or any other complaints, that we can't even stop to think that many other countries are not able to have inauguration celebrations like this. We are lucky to live in America.. among democracy. And though many people think that this nation is going downhill (as far as Christian values), I am pretty sure that Jesus' name was never spoken of in any other inauguration prayers as long as I have been alive, and the oath is still taken over the Bible. 


I love that the Obama's have two young daughters. Though this will be a very different life for them now, it will be really exciting to watch them grow up. I hope that their life can be as normal as possible, and I hope that they will grow to be godly women. 


I love the Obama's relationship. Michelle seems like an incredibly strong woman, and she will need to be to have the responsibility of being the first lady. I also love how she just adores her husband. I can see it in her eyes how proud of him that she is. I try to imagine the way she must feel - to watch someone that you love SO much, become the first African American president (or just president at all!), must be the best feeling in the whole world. 



Some of my other favorite president's - Reagan of course...


Dancing with Nancy at the inauguration ball... 


John F. Kennedy's inauguration (not one African American in that picture...)


On the way to the inauguration ball...


What a difference 40 years makes! Thank you President Obama for the hard work you have begun, and will do, for the next 8 years. I look forward to great change coming our way!



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday George Update

Talked to Adam and Jordan this morning; they seem tired, so please pray for them. 

George seems to be doing better. Currently he is having a lot of pain in his back and in his throat/mouth (I am assuming from the tube). Please pray for God's healing. 

Please continue to pray for the situation with transferring hospitals... I didn't really get the whole story, and Jordan seemed very confused by the whole thing. Pray that they get transferred to Irvine... 

Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update on George - Prayer Requests

I went and saw George tonight at the hospital and I only have good news to report!

First off, George's eyesight is 100% okay because he when he first saw me, he called me "beautiful"... so just in case you were worried about that... ;)

Secondly, he was ABLE to call me beautiful! That means he is able to talk! Yay! He couldn't quite remember my name, but he remembered what I did - "good ministry". He is definitely going through some memory loss, as he is having trouble remembering names (except for Dona, Jordan, and Adam), and when people come to visit, he forgets that they visited. The doctors say that this should fade within the next few days.

We were able to visit for a long time and that was nice. One thing that you can really pray for is the fact that George gets a little confused about whether he is okay or not. Since he is in a hospital bed, and so many people are coming to visit, he thinks that he is dying. We try to keep telling him that he is getting better, but he has a hard time believing us. So pray that the Lord would give him peace.

Also, please please please be praying that George would get transferred to the Kaiser hospital in Irvine. Unfortunately with Kaiser, you cannot choose which hospital you want to go too. It would be horrible if they transferred him somewhere far away (which they could). Please pray for God's favor with this as they get that all figured out on Thursday.

Thanks so much to everyone who has signed up to bring meals! We still have a few dates open so please contact me if you would like to bring one to the family.

Jordan came to youth group tonight with us so he could be surrounded by all his friends and lots of love. It was a good night, and a good break for him.

I grabbed coffee with Adam before I left the hospital earlier and it was good to catch up with him as well. He is going to Vegas Thursday night-ish, so please be praying for his safe travels.

I will keep you updated...

Email about George

I have been blessed to have received some emails through my blog from people who were at the NAMM show with George when he had a heart attack (so thank you!). I wanted to post this one on my blog because I was so encouraged by it!

Carrie,

Thank you so much for the wonderful updates on George’s condition. We have all been waiting and praying for his recovery, but details have been difficult to come by.

I can’t tell you how glad we are that we were able to respond so quickly with the proper medical aid. An off-duty Ventura County Fireman/Paramedic was right there when George went down and began CPR almost immediately. The NAMM EMS team was there to assist within one minute, and the Anaheim Fire Department was involved within 3 minutes. All-in-all there were 8 paramedics working on him within moments of his cardiac event.

I’m very glad that everything went right and that someone is alive today due to the quick and professional work of combined agencies.

Please keep us informed. When he recovers we’d like to see him and do something special for him.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with him for a rapid and full recovery.

(He wrote his name here, but I don't know if he wants it posted on my blog, but he works for the NAMM show...how awesome is that!)


Thanks so much to everyone who has been praying! And thank you to all the EMS personnel who was there helping George! I have sat through many classes on CPR, and know the statistics for surviving a cardiac arrest, and the statistics sky rocket when the response time with CPR and defibrillation are immediately in contact with the patient. There is NO doubt in my mind that the quick response from the off duty fire fighter, NAMM show EMS, and Anaheim fire department, saved the life of George, so thank you!

Going to Vegas!

Adam and Jordan Sabolick are heading out to Vegas this weekend for one of the last shows on their tour and I am going with them!!!

Jordan and I are going to leave on Sunday after church. I am sooo excited to go to Vegas because I haven't been in forever! They are playing at an awesome venue in the Mirage hotel called the Beatle's Revolution Lounge, and apparently it is a very cool lounge. I am so excited #1 - for a roadtrip... #2 - to see the Union Line play!... #3 - to be IN Vegas... and #4 - Ah! I am just so excited!

Ps - The Knepper's might go too!!! Yay!

Great News! George Update!

Just got a phone call from Jordan - George is AWAKE, BREATHING ON HIS OWN, and TALKING! It looks like there is NO SIGN of brain damage! Praise the Lord! 

This is truly a miracle, and we are all already seeing SO many ways that God is using this event in the lives of so many. 

Thank you Lord. Thank you for letting us all have George for longer on this earth. Sometimes it's hard to understand Your ways, and why You do certain things, but I am not even trying to understand right now, I am just so thankful that You have chosen George to stay here longer. 

Couple of things:

1 - I will keep you updated on the situation with accepting visitors...

2 - I am trying to set up meals for Dona and the boys to be delivered to her house for as long as possible - please let me know if you can help at all by emailing me at carriemarieallen@yahoo.com. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on George

George is doing much better today! He is breathing on his own (though the intubation tube is still in place until Wednesday morning, hopefully), and he is responding to Dona and the boys. They have told him to blink, squeeze hands, and other signals so that they know he understands them. He responds every time! This is great news! 

Please be praying that tomorrow the doctor will be able to take out the intubation tube once and for all. 

Dona and the boys seemed to be doing much better today, and the boys are even going to head out to Vegas this weekend for one of their final shows of their tour on Sunday night (and i'm probably going to go too!...) 

And apparently since there seems to be many people looking at my blog for updates, I was asked to please remind everyone not to call the hospital for information. It seems that the hospital has been getting bombarded with phone calls. I hope that my updates are adequate and helpful for you :)  And just so you know - the Sabolick's are open to, and love visitors. 

As I was sitting in the waiting room today with everyone, I got a phone call from my family that my sister had been hit by a car! I ran out of there and headed over to a different hospital, and found her just fine. It was a hit and run as she was walking across the street. Someone called 911, and they took her to the hospital. Luckily, she only had torn some ligaments in her knee, and sprained her knee as well. So crazy. 

Then, unfortunately, in the midst of seeing so many doctors and nurses I hadn't seen for a long time, I was told that one of the nurses I worked with for many, many years had passed away of a heart attack only 2 hours prior to my sister's visit, in Saddleback ER. It was just so crazy to hear about that. Gosh, so crazy. 

On top of it all, I was trying to make time to listen to the radio about the inauguration. How about Rick Warren's prayer? Awesome. Today was truly a great day to be an American (hopefully I will have time to write more on this later). 

As I was thinking about my day today - George... my sister... President Obama... the nurse I worked with who passed away... the person who hit my sister with their car... all the people who were sick today at the ER when I worked tonight... I started to become overwhelmed with all the life situations that were surrounding me. And I also just became more in awe of God because He is there with everyone, through ever situation... kind of amazing...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Latest on George Sabolick...

Talked with Dona tonight (and cried). I just love their family. 

George's body has not been responding well to coming off of the sedation. I think this is fairly normal (we have to remember that his body has been through some major trauma...). After 4 tries, and no luck, the doctors have decided to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) to try and take him off sedation again. 

Last night, Dona, Jordan, and Adam slept at the hospital. Small side note - I just so happened to have a quilt my mom handmade for me in my car. This quilt is amazing. It's purple, and soft, and I love it because it's from my mom and so whenever I touch it, I just think - "love". Well I gave it to the boys for their mom to sleep with in the waiting room (because really, those hospital blankets are horrible). Dona said she loved it, but how could you not? Thanks mom, your love is being spread all around!

So tonight, the Sabolick's decided it would be best to sleep at home (most definitely the best choice!). 

How can you pray?
  • Pray for George - That God would give him peace so that he could come off the sedation without major anxiety. And of course, pray that he would have no brain damage. 
  • Pray for Dona - That God would give her rest tonight so that she would be energized in the morning. 
  • Pray for Adam, Jordan, and Richard (the eldest brother) - That God would give them comfort and wisdom as they have to deal with the stresses of their dad's illness, and take care of their mom. 
  • Pray for all family members - That God would give them strength and endurance to put their lives on hold for a bit. 
The doxology just came to my mind... so sweet...

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


I will give you updates as soon as I get them. I am speaking in chapel tomorrow morning at Biola, and then after that I will be heading over to the hospital. 

Please pray for Georgie

Pastor George Sabolick suffered a massive heart attack on Sunday around 2pm, and went into full arrest at the NAMM conference. Georgie is sponsored by Martin guitars, and he was about to perform when he passed out. Thank God he was at NAMM because someone administered CPR right away, and the paramedics came and used the defibrillator on George (which totally saved his life). He was transferred to a local hospital and was put on life support. 

I heard the news and rushed over to the hospital to be with his wife, Dona. Two of George's sons - Adam and Jordan - were on tour in Chicago with their band, "The Union Line", and I knew they would not be happy about not being with their mom. 

I got there in time to see Georgie all hooked up to the monitors and respirators, and got all the updates. After hours of being there (to give you the latest), George made it out of his angioplasty with bittersweet news. Bitter because two of his arteries were completely blocked, but sweet because the surgery was a success, and the stents were placed properly and functioning well (we all thanked the doctor profusely). 

Now we are in a bit of a waiting game. They are going to take George off of sedation tomorrow morning and see how he is able to respond. They was no bleeding in the brain, and no significant brain damage shown, so we just have to see how George is once he wakes up. 

PLEASE, join me in prayer as we pray that God would do another miracle and wake up George with no brain damage. 

Adam and Jordan made is safely home at around 10:20 tonight, and we met up with them at the hospital and heard all their funny tour stories. They were definitely blessed with the support of their bandmates, and one of the band members families generously paid for their (very expensive) one way tickets home (praise God!). 

God is so good, all the time. He is in control. He is in control. He is in control of everything.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dark Was The Night

Super stoked about this album. Super STOKED. 

Hear a sneak peak of Feist and Gibbard's song here. Once again, Feist needs to get outta my brain! ;)

Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National produced the album, and John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot Organization was the executive producer. A total of 32 exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Red Hot was founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease – and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it. This is the 20th year of Red Hot, and this is the 20th release!

And the AMAZING Track Listings:

THIS DISC (DISC ONE):
"Knotty Pine" - Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
"Cello Song" - The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
"Train Song" - Feist and Ben Gibbard
"Brackett, WI" - Bon Iver
"Deep Blue Sea" - Grizzly Bear
"So Far Around The Bend" - The National
"Tightrope" - Yeasayer
"Feeling Good" - My Brightest Diamond
"Dark Was The Night" - Kronos Quartet
"I Was Young When I Left Home" - Antony with Bryce Dessner
"Big Red Machine" - Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
"Sleepless" - The Decemberists
"Stolen Houses (Die)" - Iron & Wine
"Service Bell" - Grizzly Bear + Feist
"You Are The Blood" - Sufjan Stevens

THAT DISC (DISC TWO):
"Well-Alright" - Spoon
"Lenin" - Arcade Fire
"Mimizan" - Beirut
"El Caporal" - My Morning Jacket
"Inspiration Information" - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
"With A Girl Like You" - Dave Sitek
"Blood Pt. 2" - Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
"Hey, Snow White" - The New Pornographers
"Gentle Hour" - Yo La Tengo
"Amazing Grace" - Cat Power
"Happiness" - Riceboy Sleeps
"Another Saturday" - Stuart Murdoch
"The Giant Of Illinois" - Andrew Bird
"Lua" - Conor Oberst with Gillian Welch
"When The Road Runs Out" - Blonde Redhead & Devastations

Woo hoo!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nurturing while Nursing

I started my new job at the emergency room this week and it has already been quite eventful. If you didn't read my last post, then you won't know that I am seriously and prayerfully considering going back into nursing. I said the following:

...I went over to the human resources to get my badge before I left, and I overheard a conversation about how the hospital gives grants to nursing students if they promise to work for them for 2 years. A lot of hospitals do that, but it definitely got me thinking. When I quit nursing the first time around, I was just so burned out with hospitals, and grumpy nurses. I had no sympathy or patience towards the patients, and I just didn't value human life like I should have been. So when I walked across that stage at Biola to receive my degree in Biblical Studies, I felt like God was telling me, "You are ready to be a nurse now..." I have kind of been ignoring that ever since, but God just keeps putting it on my heart. Sooooo - I am seriously going to pray about going back into nursing, and I would appreciate your prayers as well.

Some Pro's for me going back into nursing:
  • I could have a stable, good paying job, for the rest of my life. I would only have to work 3 days a week, and would have 4 days off to volunteer in ministry or in the community.
  • I would be able to help people in their biggest time of need! If I was a nurse, I would definitely stay in the ER world for a bit, and I would just be able to really have an impact on people's lives, when they need it the most. This really excites me.
  • I would be able to travel ANYWHERE and find a job. I can also BE a "traveling nurse". Taking 13 week assignments all over the country. I could work in Chicago, NYC, DC, Seattle...all the big cities I would love to live in (for a short time) one day.
  • I would have the ability to do medical missions overseas. This is the one pro that really motivates me. Over the past two years, I have become so passionate about valuing every single human life - fighting for voices that can't be heard, trying to get food in hungry stomach's, and clean water into bodies. Being able to bring the healing of medicine to people in need all over the world would open up so many doors for me to glorify God.
Please be praying for me as I try to discern if this is where God is leading, and if this is why he brought me back to Orange County, and if this is why I had to get a second job (to become passionate about nursing again). Also be praying as I decide which school I should be gearing my pre-req classes towards. My top choice right now is John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (Is it not totally beautiful there!?).

JHU

Baltimore, Maryland
But they have an awesome accelerated nursing program (because I already have my degree) which would enable me to graduate in 14 months! What do YOU think?!

So my prayer is that in these next few months, God will really show me what He wants from my life. I don't feel at total peace with a future nursing career, but I also don't feel at peace with ANYTHING. This is a strange feeling for me because usually I know exactly what God wants me to do next. I'm in such a weird place in life right now...

Anyway, work has been interesting because I just feel like a completely different person. Some of the girls I work with were asking me about my life and at one point, one of the ladies said to me, "Theology and Nursing?...I just don't see how those fit together..." And I immediately came back and said, "Are you kidding me?! They are a perfect fit! I finally understand how valuable every single life is to God." After I said it I felt kind of silly because the girls were looking at me like I had totally lost my mind (which I guess is a good thing). Then one of the ladies continued to tell me how she has become totally hardened to death, or caring for the patients because she has just seen it over and over again. I can totally relate to her; this is how I used to be, and I hated it! 

At one point, it got so bad in my life that other people started to notice it. Some of my friends thought my hospital stories were funny and amusing, but a good friend of mine started noticing that something was just not right. That friend actually encouraged me to think about leaving the hospital industry because of my attitude, and so I did. I think this was the best decision I have ever made. 

Now that I am back, I feel like I have a different set of eyes, mind, and heart. When I walk into a room with a patient to get the millions of signatures for their hospital stay, I pull up a chair, and I tell them my name. Yesterday there was a very grouchy woman in the ER and everyone was complaining about her. She was 93 and I was just thinking about her. Here is this woman, coming from a nursing home who is completely alone. No one was there with her, and it seemed like no one had visited her in a long time (I am crying just writing about it). I was thinking about her life and how at one point she was just a young woman like me. Now here she is on the brink of death, and no one wants to give her the time of day. So I made sure that I got her chart to go talk with her. I pulled up my chair and sat down to talk with her. She was definitely grouchy, but I just let her tell me how she was feeling. The nurse looked kind of confused as he watched me, but I think he felt motivated to do the same with her... so it was all worth it. 

There was another woman who was younger, and I took the same time to sit down next to her. I think that sitting makes it seem like I am not rushing to get out of the room. After I was done getting everything finished, she exclaimed, "This is the best hospital." I told her I was happy she was having a good experience, and felt really happy that the patient felt that way about her care. 

Finally, I was helping a family who had come in because their husband/father/grandfather was sick. He was dying, and he barely even knew where he was. He couldn't talk, and he was in a tremendous amount of pain. His wife, son, and grandson were all there, and all I could think about was how that woman loved her husband SO much, and she was watching him die. Then I looked at him and all I wanted to do was go to him and touch him on his face so that he knew that someone...a stranger...valued his life enough to do so (because he was entirely yellow and that can gross people out sometimes). 

After all of these events (and more), I realized a really important key to caring for people - nurture. I talked about nurture a few blog posts ago in relation to parents nurturing their children, and how important that is (and I will write a blog about that soon), but nurture is also so important for nurses and doctors (and anyone coming in contact) with their patients. The dictionary defines nurture as to "feed and protect". I think that "feed" comes into play as we give medicine, and build up a person's energy to live as a healthy person again. And "protect" comes into play as we put their interest's above our self interest's in everything we do, WITH a good attitude. Nurses must be the patient's advocate. Just as my mother nurtured (and still nurtures) me by always being there for me, taking my side, and telling me the honest truth when I am in the wrong, nurses must show that same love towards their patient. 

Last night one of the girls I work with said to me, "I think it's funny when the newbies rush to get a nurse because someone comes in with chest pain. They don't realize that people just say that to get in faster." I started thinking about that statement, and how I truly DO look like a newbie because of how nice I was being to all the patients. Mostly everyone seems pretty burned out in that ER, and I got a little nervous about standing out so much amongst all of my coworkers. But the more I have been thinking about it, the more I am like, heck, let me be the one to stand out! Hello Carrie, you are supposed to look different than everyone else in this world! 

I love being able to glorify God in this way. 

It's a lot of work, and I know it will be challenging, but it is so awesome.    

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First amAzing weekend of 2009!

God is so good to me. GREAT is His faithfulness.

My weekend started out on Friday night with a BEAUTIFUL wedding between two dear friends of mine - Kyle and Sarah Fox. I was so glad that I made it on time to a wedding in Burbank, on a Friday at 5pm. I cut it close, but I was there to see Sarah walk down the aisle, and what a sight that was! She was beautiful, and glowing. Sarah walked down the aisle and the first thing she and Kyle decided to do was to have everyone sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness". I had been singing this song a lot in my head lately, and so it just touched my heart. It touched my heart especially at this wedding because of Sarah's testimony involving the church we were all in.

The boys

Loved this.

I stole this picture from facebook


Sarah was still in her mother's womb when her father died of cancer at a very young age. I knew this already, but her pastor told us the story of how there were 4 women in that room when Sarah was born, and a whole church surrounding their family during that time. They all surrounded the Bibelheimer's (Sarah's family), promising to pray for them, and help Sarah's mom bring her daughters up. Sarah's pastor brought me to tears as we all realized what God had done in protecting Sarah over the years, and bringing her into this amazing relationship with Kyle. Great is His faithfulness! So I was just bawling because of God's goodness, and then Kyle's dad got up there to say a few things, and that's when I started taking notes because he had a lot of good things to say. My favorite thing Mr. Fox said - "The key to a good marriage is to have low expectations of your spouse, and high expectations of yourself." Genius.

The reception followed the ceremony, and was held at an amazing restaurant - The Castaway - that overlooked the entirety of Los Angeles (and in which I would like to go on a date one day...). It was seriously breath taking. I had a BLAST hanging out with my friends that I hadn't seen in a long time, and it was such a blessing to be a part of that day.

Amazing banquet room.

Their speeches were awesome.

Joel and Rachel :)

Conga Line

The view of LA from the banquet room

Justin, Matt, and Jay (I promised them I would put them on my blog) :)


I got home late Friday night with a key in my hand to my new place and I was stoked. I frantically finished packing and cleaning until 2am, and awoke around 8am to get up and start moving. Special thanks to my cousins Mike and Teresa for helping me SO much. They let me live in their home for many months, and they helped me move; they are incredible people. Thanks to my mom and dad for coming out after I frantically called them on Friday night at midnight telling them I needed their help, after I had been telling them I didn't for weeks before. Thank you to Jono and Simone for coming and helping me get rid of the couches that the boys left in the garage (though they were not supposed too...). Thank you to Holli's (my new roomie) friends who came and helped move all the heavy stuff back into the house, and set up the cable and internet! And finally, thank you to Chris, Matt, and John, for leaving the entertainment center, tv, dining room table, fridge, washer and dryer, bookcases, a desk, and the beautiful picture of you boys. We wouldn't be comfortable here without all of that stuff. Great is His faithfulness!

The Knepper's loading up the truck full of junk

Almost clean garage

Jono is so IE in this truck...

Living room view #1

Living room view #2

Simone (The Kneppers always seem to be helping people move...they are amazing)


I got to my new house on Saturday, unloaded all my stuff, and looked at my watch - it was noon. I had to leave at 3:30pm for another wedding that day, and I was in a panic. But somehow, God just multiplied my time because I finished everything I needed too in those few hours. Now, I couldn't find anything at all because everything was packed away, but it at least it was all in my room. I got ready for the wedding, and ran out the door. I made it just in time to see Josh and Kaitlin Saenz start a new life together. They were married at Sea Shores Church which is in Monarch Beach. It was beautiful. It was just a beautiful day too! The middle of January, and it was gorgeous outside! Josh and Kaitlin met because their little brother and sister were dating (how cute is that!). The bro and sis broke up, and Josh and Kaitlin became inseparable.

Walking down the aisle

Love this picture by Devon Earl

Lighting the candles

Another shot by Devon - the moon

It was a gorgeous, January, California day

The sun was a blazing

Steve and Mark


The reception was at El Adobe in San Juan Capistrano, and it was spectacular! The roof opens up! It was just a great place, I highly recommend going there. I had a great time dancing the night away with other friends I hadn't seen in a while - Devon, Steve, Rich, Kristen, and Mark. I also met some new friends, so that was great. All in all, I was SO blessed by the weddings I went too this weekend. I was a crying mess at both of them, but God just really showed up in my life during those weddings; it was awesome.

Entering Mr. and Mrs. Saenz

The roof opened up for their first dance! So amazing!

Josh wanted this one on my blog ;)

We had a great time

The boys

SHOUT!


Sunday morning came around and I was exhausted. I woke up and dragged myself out of bed (slowly), but in my new home! I pulled up to work and I saw a police car in the front of my church. I ran inside the side door, to the front of the building to see what was happening, and I was not expecting to see this:



Three of our windows had been shot out sometime over the weekend! I couldn't believe it! Chris Norman, Jono, and Simone were all standing there with the cop, and we were all just like, "Oh great." But, life goes on... We regrouped, and the men in our church swung into action. I called the insurance company, and we were good to go to get it fixed. The men boarded the holes up, and well - church happened. In Junior High, we prayed for the people who vandalized our building. I reminded the kids that we are to pray for, and love our enemies. Luckily, nothing was stolen. And we know for sure that they didn't come into the building, so praise God because it could have been A LOT worse.

I stayed late into the day to prepare for Chris Reinhardt's going away party that I was co-hosting along with his family. This turned out to be one of the best events I have ever had anything to do with. There were over 100 people there, and it was just AWESOME to be able to see so many people who currently go to our church, and others who have left us over the years. Chris had such an IMPACT on so many lives over the (almost) 4 years that he was out here at Kingsfield Church, and he will truly be missed.



Chris has been such a great friend to me over those (almost) 4 years. We worked in youth ministry together as interns, and then we ran the youth ministry together until Jono and Simone came, and then I had the pleasure of working with him again for these past few months after I came back in May. We have had so many great memories over the years...


Blast

Summer Camp (7 hour bus ride)

Houseboat trip

Broom Hockey

Travis Concert

Geek Golf

Arcade Fire Concert

80's Night


Chris and I were able to be a part of each other's lives during a crucial time of our growth process into adulthood, and I think we both learned a lot from our friendship. I have never worked at this church without him, and it is going to be SO weird not having him in his office anymore. He has already been GREATLY missed by all of us, as we are trying to figure out all the things that he did. Chris is going to be going to Belize for a few months this Spring, and he will be helping to build and set up an outreach coffee house in the middle of town. This is PERFECT for him because he can definitely help with hard labor, and he used to work at Starbucks for many years (so he knows a thing or two about coffee shops). He is also brilliant when it comes to anything with the internet, so he will be the perfect fit for helping set up the internet there, and he is also going to build the ministry's website (they have none). Chris will also be blogging! You can check up on him at ReinhardtInBelize.blogspot.com. He hasn't written anything yet, but he says he will.

Cake

There are monkey's in Belize

Catered by Maureen..mmmm

:)

Chris saying his final goodbye's

Frank in a mullet. Standard.

So many people! So much fun!


After the church party, us crazy kids had an after party at Camyron's beach palace. This turned out to be a fantastic party! We had a great time taking funny pictures, chatting, and playing catch phrase (my team won by the way...). At one point in the night, we all looked at each other and said, "Well, this is kind of it huh?" We all just kind of knew that things would be changing from here on out. With Chris leaving, and John and Sarah getting married etc., we just knew that this was kind of an end to an era, and the start of something new. Kinda sad.


Holla atcha red cups!

"Everybody grab an item!"

A better one...

Chris and his reeeally good friends, Chris and Tori Fik


I got home at midnight, and awoke at 6am on Monday for my first day of work at my second job. By this time, I was seriously exhausted. I wanted to make sure I got there on time so I left an entire HOUR early, though my job is only 20 miles away (in Fountain Valley). As soon as I got on the 405, it was dead stop traffic. I mean, it was so stopped I knew there had to be an accident. I literally went MAYBE 5 miles in 30 minutes. I was mortified. Eventually the traffic let up, and there were 4 wrecked cars on the side of the highway.

Awesome.


I only got there 15 minutes late, but I was THE last person to walk in (so embarassed). Orientation was tedious because I had heard it all before. Being stuck in a room for 8 hours listening to someone talk is not fun. But I made new friends fast, and the lady next to me even hit me up to babysit her twelve year old daughter. How awesome is that! A junior higher! Maybe I could get her to come to camp... then this second job would be totally worth it already! Great is His faithfulness! I finished up orientation, and went to talk to my boss about my schedule. I am going to work Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week from 6pm - 11pm (later on Friday) to train. It is going to be a looong week but I am super pumped about it.

I went over to the human resources to get my badge before I left, and I overheard a conversation about how the hospital gives grants to nursing students if they promise to work for them for 2 years. A lot of hospitals do that, but it definitely got me thinking. When I quit nursing the first time around, I was just so burned out with hospitals, and grumpy nurses. I had no sympathy or patience towards the patients, and I just didn't value human life like I should have been. So when I walked across that stage at Biola to receive my degree in Biblical Studies, I felt like God was telling me, "You are ready to be a nurse now..." I have kind of been ignoring that ever since, but God just keeps putting it on my heart. Sooooo - I am seriously going to pray about going back into nursing, and I would appreciate your prayers as well.

Some Pro's for me going back into nursing:
  • I could have a stable, good paying job, for the rest of my life. I would only have to work 3 days a week, and would have 4 days off to volunteer in ministry or in the community.
  • I would be able to help people in their biggest time of need! If I was a nurse, I would definitely stay in the ER world for a bit, and I would just be able to really have an impact on people's lives, when they need it the most. This really excites me.
  • I would be able to travel ANYWHERE and find a job. I can also BE a "traveling nurse". Taking 13 week assignments all over the country. I could work in Chicago, NYC, DC, Seattle...all the big cities I would love to live in (for a short time) one day.
  • I would have the ability to do medical missions overseas. This is the one pro that really motivates me. Over the past two years, I have become so passionate about valuing every single human life - fighting for voices that can't be heard, trying to get food in hungry stomach's, and clean water into bodies. Being able to bring the healing of medicine to people in need all over the world would open up so many doors for me to glorify God.
Please be praying for me as I try to discern if this is where God is leading, and if this is why he brought me back to Orange County, and if this is why I had to get a second job (to become passionate about nursing again). Also be praying as I decide which school I should be gearing my pre-req classes towards. My top choice right now is John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (Is it not totally beautiful there!?).

JHU

Baltimore, Maryland
But they have an awesome accelerated nursing program (because I already have my degree) which would enable me to graduate in 14 months! What do YOU think?!

Great is His Faithfulness, Lord unto me.