Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hello UCI, Nice to Meet You.

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind. But through everything
 God has been moving in Amazing ways!

So now, lets rewind a little bit....

Almost two weeks ago I got to spend the weekend with the staff team I will be working 
with this coming September as well as about
50 students from the UCI Campus Crusade movement.
I have one thing to say, I am in Love.

I will be honest, I was terrified going into it all.
I was traveling to San Diego to spend the weekend with people I have never met before.
 (I don't recall ever sweating that much).

Were the students going to like me? 
Was it going to be uncomfortable? 
Would I be good enough?
What was the staff going to think of me?
I had TONS of thoughts racing through my head, it was slightly distracting.

I was praying that God would give me courage and boy did He deliver!
By Friday night, those thoughts were gone. I was still nervous,
 but no longer scared. 
Saturday morning I woke up early and was ready for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday was wonderful,
beginning with a much needed quiet time.
God's word, my journal, coffee and green favorite things.
Reading through the end of Matthew chapter 6 about being anxious and worrying, turned out to be a great pep talk from the Lord about the weekend.

"Just trust ME Rachel, that's all you need to do. This is all in MY hands."

Later in the afternoon I got to be a part of of a break out session for students who are going to be leading target areas on campus this coming year. It was so encouraging to see how many of the younger students were stepping up to be leaders in the movement!

One thing I loved the most was sitting back and watching the students interact with each other.
They are like one big family. 
It was so sweet to see them loving on one another and encouraging each other. 
I just loved getting to chat and hang out with them.

Enjoying an afternoon at Coronado Island.

So, I pretty much can't wait until September. 
When I get to be with these people...

Erin, Ashleigh, Leo, Jon-This coming years UCI Staff Team.
I'm so excited to serve with such wonderful women!

Oh goodness and the students, I can't wait to be with the students. 
Even the ones I haven't met yet.
What an amazing group of young people!

They know how to have fun!

Ok fast forward to the next week.
You still with me?...

I was going to be heading down to Orange County for my nieces dedication.
So last minute I decided it would be fun to head down early and go to a UCI CRU weekly meeting.
My brother in law would be speaking that night, it would be perfect!

So I pulled some strings, wiggled my way out of going to my ONE class for the week, hopped in my car and headed down south....again. 
A five and a half hour car ride and an In N Out burger later, I was a happy camper.

Best. Decsion. Ever.

Tim did an awesome job and I had so much fun visiting with the students.

It was definitely different from what I'm used to, a little smaller than Cal Poly's weekly meeting.
 But, that's why I loved it so much. No one was lost in the crowd, everyone knew everyone.
It is truly a beautiful and special thing.

Ok, moving on...
The next morning I got a tour of UCI from a current student and a truly awesome girl.
Erin will be interning with me this coming September.

She took me on a trip to Middle Earth!
I love the campus, it is beautiful.
It's built around a park, full of plants.
Poor Erin had to put up with my plant nerdiness...sorry girl.

The rest of my weekend was quite full:
-Helped one of the girls on staff move.
-Went to a fun CRU get together....
...which turned into an awesome dance party!
-Spent time with my family.
-Visited with some dear family friends.
-Celebrated Adelyn Grace's dedication.
Mommy and Daddy.
Auntie love.

-Went running.

-"Worked" on my senior project.
-Hopped back in my car and headed back on up to SLO.

I'm exhausted from all of the adventures I've been on these past couple of weeks.
But, I'm seriously so excited about what the Lord has in store for this next year and even the coming weeks and days!
My life is rapidly changing and right now all I can do is trust in the Lord, let Him lead, and take everything one step at a time.

BIG things are happening at UCI.
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of God's plan for this Campus.
I'm pretty bummed I have no more excuses to go down there and hang out.
I'm just itching to get back there.
I guess this is where I need to practice patience.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Beginning of Year 23

 22 came and went quickly...very quickly.
22 was a year of  some ups and quite a few downs, lots of laughs and a good amount of cries.
It wasn't a bad year, but I was excited to move on.

I am so thankful for the 23 years that the Lord has given me. 
23 years full of undeserved love and grace.

   I'm not big on birthday's (well my birthday), but this particular one was very encouraging. I couldn't get enough of the people I was surrounded by. I looked around at my friends and it really hit me how precious they are to me, how deep my love runs for them, and how much I don't deserve them. What a blessing they are!

And oh how they spoiled me!

There was some wine tasting.

Lisa, Susannah, Whitney, and me.
Ginnie, Casey, Jodi.

There was definitely tons of sweets!

Homemade red velvet cupcakes by Ginnie.

And some pretty sweet gifts.

A build your own "terranium" kit from
my roommate Stephanie, clearly she knows me well.

There was a run to Starbucks for Frappy Hour with two of my roommates...(also to celebrate my business presentation being over).

Rachel, me, Bre.

There was a delicious dinner at Mamma's Meatballs with lots of dear friends, delicious italian food, and fantastic wine.

My favorite flowers!

 I'm so excited for what the Lord has in store for year 23, I know He has some amazing things ahead. I can't wait to see what they are!

Thank you God for giving me life and for being in it, 
for allowing me to be your adopted daughter....which is by far the BEST gift ever!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dear Mom

My mom is fantastic. 
Hands down, fan-flippin-tastic. 
She has taught me so much in these 22 (almost 23) years I have had with her.
Here are just a few of the things that make my mom wonderful (in no particular order).

Cutie Patootie.
My oh my can she cook! I never went hungry growing up, I still don't and probably never will :)
She would do anything for her children.
She adores her husband.
She works hard, and I mean hard.
She has a love for the outdoors.
She is fun to talk to.
She put up with me during the hormonal, awkward, emotional roller coaster that were my teen years...yikes, I don't know how you did it.
I have freezer full of frozen casseroles for busy days....I know I'm spoiled.
She raised four children.
She has an incredible eye for designing and decorating.
She has such a tender heart.
She is nurturing.
She is absolutely adorable.
She is a great listener.
She is always there for me, and always will be.
Every night growing up she would tuck me into bed, pray with me and kiss me goodnight.
She shared Jesus with me.

Mother's Day 2009

Mom, I love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for being a wonderful, loving, God fearing mom to us kids. For wiping the snot of my face when I was sick, for kissing my owie's, for teaching me how to never pay full price for something, for disciplining me, and for teaching me about God and how much He loves me. Thank you for setting such a great example of a Godly woman.

Ringing in 2011.

Happy Mother's Day!    

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What a Steal!

Snagged this beauty for only $12.

hmmmm, what to do with it.

I think I may have an idea.....