Saturday, October 31, 2009

I know why I married him...

This week has been a particularly hard week. I worked 8 hour shifts 6 days straight. That might not sound hard for some people, but I haven't worked in well over a year because of school, so I am not used to the hours or standing on my feet for 8 hours straight. The hours have taken a toll on my body, my emotions, and my sleep (I have to get up at 5:30 am). Well my poor husband has had to listen to my rants about customers and others, my cries, and my complaints about my feet hurting for the past week. I feel bad. But being the wonderful man that he is, he listens, talks to me, and takes care of me in so many ways. My birthday is Monday and I came home today to a gift bag full of goodies. He couldn't wait until Monday for me to open it, so he asked me to open it tonight. I have to say that this present was probably one of my most favorites, if not my most favorite I have ever gotten. Not because it cost a lot of money, or was extravagant, but because it was so deeply thoughtful. Ok so first I unwrapped the last season of Gilmore Girls that he picked up for me at the library today.Yay! Also included in the bag was a to-go mug for my coffee in the morning, a Guam key chain because I have a Harley Davidson key chain on my house keys because that's how the landlord gave them to us, a CD with a bunch of Christian artists on it, a bottle of Victoria's Secret lotion that I used to wear every day when I was a freshman in high school (the year we met), my favorite shortbread cookies, and a book by the same author that wrote The Five Love Languages. My husband knows me well and that was illustrated by all the thoughtful gifts he had picked out for me. My day was brightened immediately and I was reminded exactly why I married my husband. He loves me through and through, listens to my dramatic rants, makes me coffee and draws me a bath before I get home, and he knows me like no one else knows me (except for God of course). So in the midst of one crazy, difficult, conflicting week, I am so thankful I have my husband by my side to help me through it all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Education has always been a major priority in my life. I worked ridiculously hard in high school, took a number of AP and honors courses, and got a tutor for the SATs so that I could get into a good college and receive a quality college education. I went to all these lengths mainly for myself and because I knew I was capable of doing well, but also because I'm extremely competitive. Well to put it lightly, my college experience has turned out slightly different than expected. It started at Cal Poly and that lasted for one year. Jarrett and I got married at the beginning of what would have been my sophomore year and so I left Cal Poly and moved up north. I took a quarter (or semester) off and then started classes at the local community college that January. This was a very humbling experience for me. I was used to all of the things that the university level offers and I already knew I was capable of succeeding at a university level, so I felt that the community college was a set back for me. In the end, the year I spent at the local community college turned out to be a very rewarding educational experience. After a year at the community college, I finally had enough credits to transfer to UC Davis. I started classes there in January and as you know, that only lasted until June. I think leaving UC Davis has been probably one of the hardest parts of moving to Guam. I was so excited to receive my degree at Davis, I loved all of the professors that I had in those short 6 months, and I loved being surrounded by people that were passionate about school and excited to learn. For months I have researched what the next step in my education will be. I have about a year and a half left until I receive my bachelors. Unfortunately, my major is not offered anywhere on the island or online, so due to a change in major, it might take me an extra semester to receive my degree. Once we arrived here, I visited the university on the island and was sadly disappointed. I was passed around like a hacky sack from person to person because no one knew what to do with me and all my transfer units. They greatly encouraged me to be a home-economics major and when I strongly refused, they were insulted. So I moved on to plan B. Online schools. I have been very picky when it comes to online schools and slightly hesitant, once again due to my competitive nature and the fact that I feel like going to school online is just not at the same level as sitting in a class at UC Davis. Well after much research I stumbled upon a program at Penn State. They have a world campus which offers enough courses online to complete a degree. Students receive the same quality education that they would if they were sitting in the classroom. Graduates walk at the ceremony to receive their diploma with everyone else, and the diploma is the same as those who went to class in person. I am so excited about this opportunity because every aspect of it meets my standards. I am just awaiting word about whether or not I have been accepted, so I am writing this to ask for prayer. And if this doesn't work out, I pray that the Lord would shine light onto other opportunities.

Oh and to add a picture to this boring blog, here is a picture of Jarrett's first day back at school. He is taking an economics class right now and working towards his bachelor's through the University of Maryland. I'm so proud of him.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Random Facts About Guam

We have hit the two month mark as Guam residents. Over the past couple months I have composed a list of things about Guam that make it unique. Some are cool, some are not so cool, and some are just plain strange.
1. Everyone runs on "Chamorro time" or island time. This means everything is done at a much slower pace whether it be driving, preparing your food, or trying to fix a problem such as a busted dishwasher that is flooding your kitchen.
2. The highest speed limit is 45 although most non-locals drive at least 50. If you get pulled over, you are required to pay something like 5 dollars for every mph over the speed limit you went and that is it.
3. A Guamanian is someone who immigrated to the island. A Chamorro is someone who was born and raised here. Or something along those lines.
4. There are a ton of stray dogs here and they are called "boonie dogs." Some look stray and some look like perfectly cute puppies. They sometimes rome in packs and most are scared of humans. There is no rabies on Guam. As a dog lover this is particularly hard for me. I saw a boonie dog get hit by a car and it traumatized me for life. Jarrett thinks he is going to come home to a house full of boonie dogs.
5. The majority of tourists are from Japan. Hence why mostly everything is written in Japanese and English, at least down in Tumon which is the tourist area.
6. Everyone says "Hafa Adai!" Which is I guess the equivalent to people saying "Aloha" in Hawaii.
7. People like to hike around here, and if you go hiking at a place without a trail it is called "boonie stomping."
8. A crappy, rusted, beat up car is called a "boonie car." We own one!
9. Locals chew some strange tobaccos here. One called betelnut which turns your mouth red.
10. Most locals welcome outsiders but others are very territorial over their land, girls, beaches, certain hang out spots, etc.
11. The south end of the island is where a lot of the old locals live.
12. People complain about driving distances even though the island is only 30 miles long. For instance, someone came into the restaurant that I work at when we had just closed and they complained that they had driven all the way from Navy. A total of about 15 miles.
13. Spam is very popular.
14. Some locals tell me I look like Lindsay Lohan. I'm not sure whether or not to take that as a compliment considering well...many reasons.
16. The AC in most buildings is set at a chilly 65 or below. Making it this cold inside is not necessary regardless of the temperature outside. This causes me to bring a sweatshirt with me wherever I go even if it is 90 outside.
17. Guam is like the melting pot of Pacific Islanders. People come all over from Palau, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Samoa, Saipan, Rota, Tinian just to name a few.
18. Guam thinks the beer of America is Budweiser or Bud Light. They don't even ship Coors to the island.
19. Everything is a day later here even though we are a day ahead in time. TV programs shown on Monday nights in the states come on Tuesday nights here. This can get confusing and I often forget what day it is.
20. The motto is "Where America's day begins."
21. The roads are made of coral and they have a lot of potholes and frogs on them that get squished.
22. The guys I work with like to point out that I am often the only white person in the whole restaurant. And if a white person walks in, they announce that I am no longer the only white person.
23. People don't tip here. In fact, a 10% gratuity is charged to each bill at most restaurants because of this. At first I thought I was a bad waitress but then I figured this out. I had a $67 bill the other day and guess what my tip was? $0.00
24. Nobody uses street names here. All directions are given by landmarks. To illustrate this for you, when we were signing up for our utilities, each place made us draw a map of where our house is located so that they could find our house. When asking for directions the reply often sounds like this "turn right at the Mobil station, go through three stop lights, and then turn left at the dog tied to the tree."
25. The people of Guam live the island life. Reggae is blasted, flip flops are the shoe of choice, fruity drinks are sipped, bars on the beach are popular places to be, and the outdoors are enjoyed.
26. First birthdays are HUGE celebrations. Deaths are honored with rosaries and week long festivities. Cook outs on the beach are very popular. And fiestas are going on every weekend.

Well there you are. I could list more but I will save you. I could write a book. I am falling more in love with Guam, its people, and culture every day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

...and everything nice.

So I got a job!!! Ok so let me start by telling you how AMAZING our God is! I have been searching for a job ever since we arrived on this island. It is a little difficult for non-locals to find jobs but for understandable reasons such as the fact that military don't live here permanently. I submitted application after application, resume after resume with no such luck. Anyways, I found this cafe the week we arrived called Sugar and Spice and I LOVE it. I fell in love with this cafe for a number of reasons such as the atmosphere (nice and cozy), the coffee, and the fact that the owner is from San Francisco and all the food has a California flair to it. I started going to this cafe at least once a week, more when we were living in the hotel nearby. A couple weeks after we arrived, I asked the owner if they were hiring and he said to bring my resume in. For some reason, I never dropped my resume off. Well last week I had an interview for a retail store and to put it lightly, it didn't go well. I was feeling really down when I left. As I was driving home, I felt the Lord strongly urge me to turn around and go back to Sugar and Spice. I just so happened to have an extra resume in my car, so I walked in and lo and behold, the cafe was completely empty and the owner was there hanging out. He pretty much interviewed me on the spot, said he remembered me, and that he really liked my resume. He recognized that I had gone to Cal Poly and UC Davis and was impressed. The next day he hired me! To make this story even more amazing is the same day I got hired, we got a call that my car had arrived on island and was ready to be picked up. That wouldn't sound too exciting if it wasn't for the fact that my car wasn't supposed to arrive for another 3 weeks! So I am now a full time server at Sugar and Spice and I'm being trained to do inventory and calculate employee cost. The manager knows that my husband is military so he gave me morning shifts so that I can be with Jarrett at night. I have felt so overwhelmed by the Lord this week and how GOOD He is to us. The Lord truly did answer my prayers, and even though it felt like forever, it was in His perfect timing. He knew that I wasn't ready to start working right away, He knew that I would need my car, and He knew that working at my favorite place on the island would make me feel comfortable and happy. I feel so blessed and taken care of by my Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 14, 2007

I remember that beautiful day like it was yesterday. Going to church with my family that sunny and crisp Sunday morning; knowing that in just a few short hours, my life would be forever changed. Arriving at the salon, via my newly licensed brother, proudly sporting a simple tank top with the word "Bride" bedazzled across my chest in blue rhinestones. Yes, I was a bride. Sitting in that chair, my hands nervously clenched together, while my cheeks were brightened with soft pink blush and my lips painted red. I was a blushing bride. I can remember like it was yesterday, my mom delicately fastening my shoes and buttoning each button on the white silk dress I had dreamed about wearing since I was a child.I can remember the look in my dad's eyes when he saw his only daughter get ready to walk down the aisle. A look of pride, sadness, love, and hope all in one gaze. I remember seeing my utterly handsome future husband, and knowing that despite the uncertainty of the future that engulfed us, one thing was certain. We were certain that we were soulmates, best friends, a team, and about to be linked until death do us part. In that moment, I didn't care about anything else. Only YOU. Your smile, your heart, your being. I felt like the luckiest girl on the planet and still feel that way today. Two amazing, happy, crazy, and indescribable at times years later.

As you sleep next to me, the sound of your gentle breathing softly fills the quiet room. I fight to stay awake just to hear the whispered "I love you"s that you always say when you are awakened for just a moment, and then you sweetly close your eyes and drift back to sleep. I live for those simple moments. God blessed me more than I can say when he chose me to be your bride. I love you my honey, my slice of heaven, my gift, my book worm, my forever, my husband. Happy Anniversary.

~Your wife

Monday, October 12, 2009

Missing the Seasons

I slowly scan the pages of Anthropologie's amazing and inspiring catalogue; the assortment of ruffly scarves and cozy sweaters make my heart melt. I never thought I would yearn for the changing of seasons like I do now. As most people back home are enjoying the fall season and the cool weather, we spent the day at the beach boiling like peanuts. I push the fact that this is what it feels like year round into the back of my mind; maybe then it won't be true. Many would argue that California has no idea what different seasons feel like but I beg to differ. Move to Guam and it will feel like anywhere but here experiences seasons. Warm weather is nice, and I really do enjoy wearing shorts, sundresses, and flip flops on a daily basis, but I find my heart longing for a chilly rainstorm, a snugly blanket, a peppermint mocha, and a fire in the fireplace. It's funny to realize what I miss the most about home. I never thought I would wish for the blistering winds and soggy pant legs that become a common accessory during winter. In the meantime, I'm just going to turn the air conditioning down real low so I am forced to snuggle in a blanket, drink a cup of hot coffee with cinnamon creamer, and listen to songs that remind me of cold weather. That will do for now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I received an e-mail the other day that broke my heart. I have been sponsoring Augustine since I was 17. Augustine lives in Ghana and is 7 now. The e-mail I received said that Augustine is no longer available for sponsorship and that I would receive a letter in the mail with more details. Well I'm impatient and it takes two weeks for mail to get here, so I called up WorldVision and asked for more details. Fortunately, the reason Augustine is no longer in the program is because he has moved in with relatives that can now provide for him. I am so happy that Augustine is being provided for, but I am sad that I will no longer be able to communicate with him. Even though I have never met Augustine, he was close to my heart. I have sent him birthday cards, Christmas cards, first day of school cards. I have received updates here and there with little pictures he drew for me. My favorite was a picture of a 3d box he drew. So cute. I love Augustine, and though I might not have been the best sponsor, I hope he just might miss me like I am going to miss him. I can't wait to finally meet him one day in heaven. I am in the process of praying for a new child to sponsor. I am leaning towards sponsoring a child from Asia this time around but we will see. I wish I could afford to sponsor more than one, as there are so many children in desperate need of support. This is Augustine. Isn't he so adorable!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I inhale the salty, refreshing, and pure air; the wind gently tousles my hair. I crinkle my toes up and feel the sand seep into the cracks between my toes. The water gently moving towards and then away from the shore like a calm heartbeat. Life seems so simple standing at the edge of the warm, clear ocean water. Home feels like I could almost touch it across the horizon. The thousands of miles in between this shore and the shores of the Central Coast seem to dissolve. Peace and joy rush over me just like the ocean water rushes over the sand beneath my toes. I love how the Lord can renew my spirit with one glance and touch of His magnificent creation.

I asked Jarrett if we could drive down to the beach last night. Thankfully, living on an island means that the beach is never too far away. I wasn't feeling particularly homesick yesterday, yet at the same time, I wanted to feel close to home. I wanted to feel like it was within reach; separate from the reality that I'm so far from home for a few precious moments. The beach does that. (Thank you Robbin for your encouragement and sweet reminder of the power of the ocean).

So last night we went home in our imaginations. Let go of the stresses of work, moving, unusual weather patterns, and such. We felt the water on our fingertips, documented our emotions, and got back into the car feeling renewed.