I’d like to start this blog off wishing myself a happy birthday, as it was on Tuesday.And then I’ll wish my birthday twin Will a happy birthday, too.
…And then the same for my bestie Konner whose birthday is today!!
And next but no less important than those above, I’d like to wish my roommate Ashley a happy birthday, because anytime any of her friends have a birthday, she claims it for herself and accepts gifts.
…aaaaaaaaand Finally, I’d like to thank Katy Perry for writing the song “Birthday” which trumps 22 by T-Swift. (go listen)
So I turned 22 this week, and it happened to be the first day back to school. This is the first year I’ve been in school for my birthday, to which most would think, that’s a bummer. I’d venture to say quite the opposite. Sure classes started, but the work load isn’t too heavy the first week of school. Everyone is around and hanging out. It has been a week-long party!
This is how it’s gone.
Tuesday morning, I woke up to this sign with a box of donuts and a birthday cup from my roommate Kassidy. She’s so clever! Also, she is officially a high school English teacher in the Independence school district! I’m so proud of her- she got the job and she’s barely started student teaching! When you see her on campus, congratulate her! Also know that she is Miss January in the Athletes of MNU calendar. LOVE HER.
Then I went to classes and was pleasantly greeted by my friends and professors wishing me a happy birthday! Then after my last first day of class, Konner and I got our nails done at Lovely Nails in Olathe! They are seriously the nicest ever and do such a great job! Highly recommended. Then, we spent the afternoon together until we went to Korma Sutra, which is my favorite restaurant EVER! Also HIGHLY recommended- Thanks to my roommate amazing roommate Rachel for organizing it!
Then me and 389 of my closest friends went to a bowling/laser tag/put put place where I successfully scored a 43 in bowling with my bestfriend Emily- yes. that score is between the two of us. yayyy
This ended around Midnight when we all came back to the dorms and ate ice cream cake from Kon-Kon! She got it Dora and Diego for a double birthday party!
Since then I’ve gone out to lunch with my friend Lauren at Spin Pizza, had Indian food twice more with my sister and parents, and pretty much have been living the birthday diva dream!
I do have to say, the best gift I’ve gotten has to be my new roommate! Kara transferred from Point Loma and was randomly placed in our room. Is it too soon to say that it’s love? Maybe. Does it feel like she’s been here since the beginning? Definitely. This is a picture which I’m sure she appreciates…taken as Konner and I hazed her and her boyfriend Bugs (also transferred- he’s a QB on the football team.)
Then last night began the celebration of Konner’s 21st Birthday! We started at Holy Land Cafe for a ladies night dinner, then came back to my pad to her presents and candy!
This morning we went to an amazing church service at Mission this morning, out to lunch at Salty Iguana, and tonight… who knows?! Sky is the limit with these amazing friends.
Ok just an extra quick post to show you guys my new room! I am rooming with my good friend Mckenna this semester and we are both very excited! We pretty much redecorated everything, so I thought I would share!
Here is an overview from the door! We have Christmas lights all the way around our room for some extra light.
This is my bed! Above it are bulletin boards with my favorite pictures of my friends and family! And the one in the middle is of Venice, Italy which is my dream place to go… so that is why I have a big framed picture… yup.
This is my desk! We keep the TV across from the couch! And yes… I am definitely watching that KU game! Rock Chalk!
This is Mckenna’s bed and our couch underneath! The flower lights is probably my favorite thing about our room! (they are from Target!)
I hope you all had a wonderful winter break! Right now life is all about getting back into the swing of things… New classes, new transfer friends, and for me a new roommate!
Now for me when life starts to get kind of crazy (going to classes, working, trying to get homework done, keeping a semi-clean dorm room, and attempting to maintain a social life) I get a bit overwhelmed. But there are a few things I can always rely on!
1. Spend time with the Lord! This is by far the most important and helpful thing you can do! Just taking a break from life for 15 minutes to read God’s word and to cast worries onto Him is a big relief!
2. Listen to some music! You can really listen to any kind of music (I am in love with Frank Sinatra and a lot of classical music lately) but anything works! Especially some good worship music! (I love All Sons and Daughters) Listen to it while you are cleaning, doing homework, or whatever!
3. Try to keep your room clean throughout the week! Instead of waiting until it gets unbearable… make sure each day you clean up a little so you don’t get overwhelmed with stuff! Now it may not bother you as much as it bothers me, but if you are like me it helps! I can’t sit and do homework in a room that just looks like a mess!
4. Take a nap, or commit to going to bed early every once and awhile! Making time for sleep is important so make it a priority to take a little nap or go to bed an hour earlier than normal for a night! A good nights sleep can make a big difference in your day!
5. Give yourself a break and hangout with some good friends! Studying and working is important… But don’t work yourself too hard! Hangout with some good friends! At MNU we have tons of movie nights, play ping pong, and go to Applebee’s for half-priced apps! No matter what you do… make sure you give yourself a break to have fun!
We also went bowling for an ASG event!
My friend Dan Wright playing pingpong with his one of a kind paddle.
Start the semester off right! Don’t overwork yourself too early on! There is no need for stress! You need to work hard, but don’t do it to the point of wearing yourself out and then not be able to finish!
Hope this helps all you students! Even if you’re in high school!
Texas, a pretty girl, and an intense Jesus filled retreat; just to name the highlights.One of the most consistent adventures I embarked on was to a local coffee shop that warms my soul.Mead’s Corner. Click on this ^^^^This place is the epitome of serenity. It offers a peace that just has the Holy Spirit as the composition of the atmosphere.Alongside the fair trade coffee they have gelato, beautiful art/photography, an amazing staged area used for artists, and a quality view into the city.This place is my inspiration, my hangout, and *spoiler, my number one date spot.To me, it’s more than a place with fulfilling aromas, it’s passion.I want to open a coffee shop. It will be called Grounded: It’s more than just beans™
It’s a place to feel grounded when the world feels like it keeps knocking you down. It’s a place where your faith can be explored no matter the record you hold. It’s a place where the heart is addressed by the compassion it is built on. It’s a place we all need at times.
I have had this idea for about two years. In high school I actually developed a detailed, preliminary plan that would kick start the process. Other facets that have been added are a meeting space for businesses, a restaurant portion, and a fair trade, human trafficking, addressing shop.
I want this.
Not for me, for others, for opportunity.
Dreams come and dreams can go. Or they can give you purpose and passion I take this time to say, don’t give up on your dreams or aspirations.Don’t give up.
If it’s to come to MidAmerica, make it happen
If it’s to walk on the moon, take the leaps necessary
If it’s to open a coffee shop, call me
Whilst I was away during winter break, I had a lot of time to myself…like a lot of time.
You know, that’s never a bad thing, but with this spare time I found myself thinking about how much I missed MNU’s campus and how life would be strangely different without it. After all, they do say: You never know what you have until it’s gone.
Welp, now that that’s out of the way, I have compiled a list of, what I like to call, The Perks of Staying on campus.
Once you’ve been on campus, there’s no turning back.
MNU is basically your home now–and even home doesn’t compare to campus life. Being pampered from mom and dad just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.
The first day back at my parent’s house was the toughest. I literally thought I was going to die of boredom. Here, on campus, there’s always something to do–not to mention, there’s unlimited food.
It took awhile before I could tune back into a slow-pace lifestyle. There was a point where Netflix and Tumblr wasn’t cutting it for me anymore.
Remember how I mentioned the unlimited food thing?….Well, I’m not kidding.
Even when Campus Center is closed–It’s open from 7am-7pm–there’s always an alternate option.
We have a coffee shop named Dewy’s, located inside of the campus library; open from 7am to 9pm. Dewy’s is basically a Starbucks on crack, and they are quite famous for their frozen drinks, muffins, and donuts!
Then, there’s Land Cafe, located inside of Land Gym.
Land Cafe would compare to the average Buffalo Wild Wings (Er, well, not really…) But they’re open from 9pm-11pm.
At Land you can find warm foods like: pizza, wings, bosco stix, pretzels…and much more.
Literally, the possibilities are endless….and very delicious!
Lastly, there’s the good old Applebee’s.
Yup, I said it, Applebee’s.
Applebee’s isn’t exactly on campus, but it’s three minutes away. My friends and I call it, “The campus away from campus” because, for the most part, there probably won’t be a day that you don’t see a familiar face from MNU there.
I choose to add Applebee’s to the list because of the good deals. Although it cost money, it’s worth it.
After nine, all of the appetizer’s on the Applebee’s menu are half-price.
AND, there’s a promo that anyone can sign up for called PERKS. Basically, with one of these codes, you’re getting five dollars off any menu price.
If you play your cards right, you’ll never have to pay for a full meal at all.
If not all, most of your friends are on campus.
I mean, Skype doesn’t even cut it.
And forget about texting.
Nothing compares to that face to face interaction you have with all your besties.
If anything, besides the food, the one thing I missed were my buddies. It’s crazy, but the people at MNU become your sidekicks. You’ll do anything and everything with them, and that time that you spend together creates a bond that will transfer past your college years.
I don’t know where I’d be without my friends. That’s why I always say: If you’re going to come to MNU, get INVOLVED.
So spent almost a week with these beautiful people that are my family for Christmas time:D
Then most of us went sledding.
Mariah having a blast!
Melanie also enjoying her first time sledding.
Then went back to Cali–on the way to Mex, and spent time with more family. Here is my saintly Abuelita. Now I may look tall, but that’s only cause she’s literally about 4’9″. But don’t matter cause it’s a sure thing that Satan is afraid of this petite statured, giant sized heart and faith woman.
This is my cousin Karina and Little Richard. (Little Richard as opposed to Richard Jr.)
with my beautiful cousins from south of the border. From left to right: Deborah/Debbie, Rebecca, and Leah-pronounced Star Wars style.
To my right are my aunt and uncle who pastor in Mexicali, Mexico. If nothing else, the opportunity to gain wisdom from a 20-30 minute conversation with my uncle, that was worth the entire trip of coming down from AZ. They let me serve at their living and growing church over the weekend, by preaching to their Jr. Highers, teaching to their Jr. Highers, and being a part of the Praise and Worship team playing the guitar and singing. Also, we were eating at undoubtedly the greatest Taco place on the face of the earth–according to my biased opinion.
So after Mexico, crossing back over, I had the chance to reunite with some friends from high school. Which included this bestie: Brett Bird.
This was when we visited Point Loma Nazarene University….
Here we are enjoying wardrobe at Burlington Coat Factory shopping for Homecoming attire. (We wore neither of those vests.)
Here was us on Decades Day.
Junior Year we even coached PowderPuff Football together. Yes we beat the then Seniors, and then we played our cross town rivals and also beat them!
But it wasn’t just the two of us…. Sean Arviso, the coolest and manliest of the 3 of Bromigos. (And Brett photoshopped me into this pic since I had already moved away by summer time… Wolverine was my Halloween costume)
So here’s Brett and I at Denny’s swapping glasses and sitting across from the couple.
Here’s the engaged couple. Almost ready for a nice pic.
There we are And I was asked and I accepted to be a groomsmen!!
Here’s Diego Lopez. Basically a better, more mature version of me. Can sing higher, play drums better, rock his hair better, live as a Christ-like example better. He’s just great. I am honored to be his older brother. While spending the night at his house, we spoke from 1230ish to 530ish!!! Great catching up and sharing was done:D
Alas my mom and I drove back to Arizona. Check out all the cacti!! Saguaros I think they are called.
Lastly, the toughest part of this break, believe it or not-however cheesy it may sound- has been being away from my special lady Jamie Furnas!
Thankfully, inventions such as the telephone, Skype, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook helped us be able to stay connected in one sense at least. Totally stoked am I to see her beautiful face tomorrow night!!
Hope these pics and vids were able to bring a smile or two to y’all faces!
Oh and here’s a video of my new favorite song to play and sing. Called Gracious Tempest. Originally done by Hillsong from their Young and Free Album, but this guy does a good job playing it as well:)
Christmas break: No school Family time Friends galore Getting swole’ Coffee shop visits on coffee shop visits
I guess this time of year isn’t that bad. Despite the wretched cold….
From a Christian perspective, it is the time of waiting, preparation, and anticipation. It’s the season of Advent. Now, I am nowhere near an expert on this idea and what it fully looks like, yet, I know how the initial idea affects me. In my mind there is a consistent fight of the concept of Christmas by the mass media. I see all these wants and a ton of receiving. What I desire to see are needs and unfathomable amounts of giving. Correlating advent, we are all given hope that redemption, in its fullest form, is on its way: Christ.
We are filled with this hope and to be filled is an opportunity to pour out.
I have read/ am reading a few books lately that are challenging me beyond myself. Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton, Wrecked by Jeff Goins, and Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown. The concepts found range from enabling versus empowering, how to invest in life in a fulfilling way, and what it means to be satisfied in a world of “not enough”. What I am seeing consistently throughout all readings is that life is not about me. My life is purposed beyond myself and my capabilities. As it is the holiday season, it hits home that my mind shouldn’t be focused selfishly. It can be hard with so many cool things that attract my attention. There are people in need all around us, in every concept, from physiologically to spiritually. Yet, in Wrecked I am seeing that true compassion doesn’t always make us feel good; (DUH) it’s not for us. Often we make people objects and just do things for them which ultimately hurts them, but it makes us feel good. Don’t focus on how you feel afterward, it’s not about us. We see people who need more than we can give and they open our eyes to revelations that we cannot unsee and may, and hopefully will, change the course of our lives and thought processes.
(That is a condensed-probably-confusing version of what my mind has been trying to grasp lately)
“You don’t have behave complexly to show love, extravagant love can be seen in the simplest of forms.”
Here are a few ways to make a lasting impact on someone during this season:
1) Food, food, food.
People don’t always have family, money, or whatever else to have an extravagant holiday dinner. Bring people together for fun and fellowship. Even if they do have the means necessary, come together in a way beyond your own little bubble.
2) Get out of your comfort zone.
This can look like a variety of things. In the end it’s about having perspective amidst the surrounding world. Have a conversation with the guy ringing the bell for the salvation army or talk to the person sitting next to you alone in a coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be big, keep it simple and love immensely.
3) MORE FOOD.
Partake in a pay-it-forward type venture. Whether this is at a restaurant or, you guessed it, a coffee shop, give without expectation. This can also look like buying food (or whatever need) for the person holding the cardboard sign, make a personal investment instead of throwing money at them. This can create conversation that allows them to leave with more than a few less dollars and a sense of good-doing.
4) Give more than you get.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fascination with new things during this time of year, but those things will become “old” soon enough. Invest your time in money in worthy causes and organizations. This can look like asking for less with another idea in mind of where the money can go or maybe it is going to a shelter and making community with people on Christmas.
In short, go beyond yourself this season. I’m not saying give everything up and focus solely on others; it’s okay to get gifts and new stuff and have fun. I am saying however, be willing to give in time and investment whatever that looks like. After all, we are to be hopeful as we await the coming of Christ. Take that hope and spread it; with your family, friends, people at the gym, and people at your frequently visited coffee shop.
*Perspective should be had all year long. In the simplest acts, like helping carry groceries, love extravagantly. Don’t assume someone else will make the potential difference you’ve been presented with; you are that SOMEONE.
So I spent last weekend in Juarez. Crazy, I know, but it was pretty tranquil and the people were wonderful.
I went with my gorgeous friend Taylor. Her grandparents have a branch of Compassionate Ministries, which gives relief to areas in the world through supplies. Normally, they make a trip to Mexico before Christmas to give Nazarene pastors and their families gifts and clothing and other various things in time for the cold, winter season. They have a banquet and there are like 20 pastors from the area with their whole families in a restaurant. Taylor and I went in place of her grandparents this year. She speaks English and French, so my pseudo-Spanish skills came in handy. We flew to El Paso Friday night, met up with the other 6 people on our team, went into Juarez for most of the day Saturday, and flew home Sunday. It was quick! Don’t worry, I documented our weekend.
This is how we remembered where we parked at the airport.
Successfully across the border! I love this city.
This is Juanita. She is a pastor’s wife with a killer sense of humor. She many times offered her school aged boys to me when I commented on how cute they are. Hilarious!
Taylor, Ana, and baby Santiago! Ana is a pastor in Mexico and this is her nephew! Her brother (Santiago’s dad) is also a pastor, and they look just the same.
Me with my new friends! They are wonderful women of God and like to laugh!
Me and Taylor at the airport. Isn’t she adorbs??
Okay so I’m also kind of a jerk friend. Because Taylor doesn’t speak Spanish and would mostly smile and nod along with whatever I said, I may or may not have misrepresented her multiple times. For one, I asked the pastors if they had any single young men in their congregations because my friend wants to get married to a Mexican man. Then told them it was a practical joke. Juanita heard what I said, and responded with, “Tell her if she marries a Mexican man he’ll want her to have 8 kids!” (this captures her sense of humor tremendously.) People also asked if she was the Doctor’s granddaughter, and then asked what her name was. Taylor isn’t exactly a name in Spanish, so after a couple people struggled through her name I came up with a solution. Her name sounds very close to the Spanish word for “trailer,” so I told them just to call her “Tráiler.” Problem solved!
Here are some obligatory pics from Thanksgiving. I got inspired by my hours of Pinterest endeavors.
We even spray painted the sticks navy blue.
Yeah my family never decorates for Thanksgiving.
yeah we never set the table either.
We do this a lot.
I know. My nephew Lennox is the cutest.
Also the Today Show stopped by campus this afternoon to shoot a story about Granny Franny. I made the B-Roll, but Joelle Garguilo is the best! She seriously has a heart of gold and loves life. Thanks for hanging out with us, Joelle!