Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chamorro Village

I finally made it to Guam's version of farmer's market the other night. Chamorro Village consists of an array of local cuisine, vendors, and its fair share of characters. There were a couple locals showing off some of Guam's popular animals and it made for some cool photo opportunities. All in all, I had a great time although I did find myself feeling slightly claustrophobic from all the people in a tiny area along with my ever present friend named Humidity. But it's those things that add to the fun and memories, right?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking a leap of faith

I have never been one to take many chances. I like to stick to what I know and what I'm comfortable with. I think the most outrageous and shocking thing I've probably done was marry Jarrett at the ripe ol' age of 19. I don't like taking many chances because I have this incredibly deep fear of failure. The majority of people would say they fear failure too; who wouldn't? But to me, fears of failure often keep me from trying anything at all. Case in point:

I have had this deep love and passion for photography for 5 or 6 years now. Up until now, I have kept this passion hidden for the most part. See in my mind, if I don't even admit that I love photography, then no one will have expectations for my photographs and therefore I will avoid all criticism. But over the past couple years, the Lord has placed photography on my heart and in some not so subtle ways. I have avoided this topic for the most part, hoping maybe the Lord would somehow forget and point me towards something else; something not so personal and open to criticism. But alas, the Lord is a stubborn God too. On top of failure, I'm concerned how I can even support such an expensive passion. But I guess that's where faith comes into play.

Today a friend asked me if I took photographs because she needed a photographer. I politely said, "No, I just enjoy taking pictures for fun." Inside, my heart was screaming something entirely different. Later on at Bible study, I was given the opportunity to finally share my heart and my struggles regarding this issue, and to my surprise it was received with open arms. After less than 24 hours of deciding to open my heart to the idea of taking pictures of others, I managed to set up three different photography gigs. I'm scared/ nervous/ anxious out of my mind. So much so, my blood pressure has been sky high and I even managed to break out in hives. Lovely. Even though I have about a bajillion fears and questions, I'm really excited about this opportunity and hopeful future opportunities to come.

I'll keep you updated... :-)

I will leave you with a few of my recent photographs. Notice most of them are nature or architectural photographs because in my mind it is easier to take pictures of things that don't talk because then they can't judge the photo. I have a weird thought process.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


What is there not to like about a day filled with chocolate, love, and lots and lots of pink? As a kid, I loved celebrating Valentines Day for many reasons. I loved creating little gifties for all my classmates and excitedly placing those gifties in everyone's personal "mailboxes" at their desks. I loved that I could draw extra hearts on the card that I would place in the "mailbox" of my interest of the moment, and he would never know I drew more hearts on his card than the other boys. And I loved opening a box of candy hearts and giggling as I read each and every message; eating all the girly colored ones first because "duh" the green ones taste totally gross compared to the delicious pink ones. As I grow older, Valentines Day seems less necessary and slightly silly. Do I really need to be reminded to tell my husband I love him? Or even worse, does he need to be reminded to tell me he loves me? Eek I sure hope not! Regardless, I still tend to have high expectations for Valentines Day. And I also think specifically on this day, the Lord gently, or maybe not so gently, finds ways to bring me back to reality. I will illustrate this belief for you with a few stories of past Valentines Days. And yes, I do laugh when I think about these memories now.

Valentines Day of eighth grade was one for the books. How about a break up to say I like you? Yes, I was dumped on Valentines Day by my first "love." Eighth grade and love probably shouldn't be said in the same sentence but it totally felt like it was love in that hormonal 13 year old brain of mine.

First year of college, my Valentines Day was spent wallowing in my sorrows. Jarrett had left for basic training only a week earlier. Walking back from my classes, I grew angrier and angrier with every sight of a kiss or bouquet of flowers being delivered to lucky girls. I walked with a mission back to my room with a frown so nasty I could hear my mom saying, "You better turn that frown upside down otherwise it may stick like that forever!" Tears were welling up in my eyes as I opened the door to my lonely jail cell of a dorm room. There sitting on my desk was a single pink rose. A sweet gift courtesy of my wonderful roommate. "You are loved," she wrote. I immediately felt so loved despite the absence of my sweetheart. I also felt like a complete imbecile and drama queen...but that I was not foreign to.

My first Valentines Day as a wife; boy did I have high expectations. I spent most of the morning spinning the wheels in my brain. I hope Jarrett does this and this and oh goodness I will be so heartbroken if Jarrett doesn't do...Oh how I despise the drama queen in me. I hopped into my Taurus aka Rosie and headed towards the local community college where I was taking a few classes. My radio was blaring and so were the thoughts in my head when I suddenly heard another not so lovely sound blaring. "Is that? No it can't be coming from my car...wait, why does it sound like I'm driving a race car when I step on the gas pedal?" Hmmm...interesting. Why is my speedometer slowing going down 70...60...50..40...? Oh ya and did I mention I'm in the far left lane of a FIVE LANE FREEWAY!! To make a long story short, I managed to coast across five lanes of freeway, coast off an offramp, and park safely on the side of the road in a not so good area of town. I called a tow truck and eventually learned that my transmission had taken its last breath. In the end, I got a ride home from the sweet owner of the transmission shop and I walked my disappointed self to the local Walgreens where I managed to spend $40 on ridiculous Valentines Day crap for Jarrett. I think I even managed to buy him a little teddy bear inside a blown up plastic ball...? I had so many expectations but in the end, I was just so happy to get a hug from my husband after such a horrible day. God's not so stealth way of reminding me what was important.

So in honor of Valentines Day, may your day be filled with lots of love with little expectations. It's always more fun that way anyways.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Jarrett began the long trip back to Guam around 6am PST. He is expected to arrive in Guam sometime tonight. I don't really count on the time stated on the itinerary because delays are quite common. But I am so excited. Can I just say this has been one of the longest weeks of my life? I know Jarrett wasn't gone for long, we've been separated for longer periods of time, but this time of separation has dragged and dragged. Maybe it's because I stopped working this week, and so most of my time has been spent at home. Maybe it's because this house is about two times bigger than our last house, and therefore feels so much emptier when it's just me. Maybe it's because I still feel like a small fish in a big pond on this island, and it's a lot easier swimming with another fish by my side. Either way, I'm so looking forward to picking up my honey from the airport.

As horrible as it is being separated, I try and look on the upside and think of the things I almost look forward to leading up to a separation. One thing I do look forward to, and of course I would look forward to this, is being able to eat whatever my heart desires, whenever my heart desires. I LOVE that I can eat grilled cheese and soup for every meal. I LOVE that I can start cooking dinner whenever I want to, even if that means 9pm. And I also LOVE buying whatever the heck I want at the grocery store (usually this involves a lot of pastas and other non-balanced diet items). Notice how a lot of the things I look forward to revolve around food...

Aside from all things food oriented, the main thing that I look forward to is the butterflies that always swirl around in my stomach leading up to his arrival back home. Honestly, I still feel this way with my husband almost on a daily basis, other than the days when he's being a total dweeb. But the butterflies are always intensified tremendously when I haven't seen my husband for any extended length of time. I love how I still feel like I am dating my husband after over 7 years together. Is it weird to say that I look forward to the butterflies that will fill my tummy when he gets home from his deployment? All though they might just be the death of me...

Anyways, being separated is never a fun experience, but at least there are some things to look forward to to help me make it through the day with the glass half full rather than empty.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trying to understand.

I'm having a hard time writing this update; I didn't want to do it. Maybe I'm too scared to face reality. The reality is, the transplant didn't go through. For whatever reasons, the doctors decided an hour before the surgery was to take place that the kidney was not functioning the way that they wanted it to. I spoke with Katie earlier and she was feeling pretty down and rightfully so. I'm trying to understand the Lord's plan in all of this. Why would He put something so precious within reach only to take it away? Maybe I'm not meant to understand and might never understand. All I know is that I'm holding on to the hope that He has something even greater in store for my dear Katie. Please continue to pray for her and thank you for your prayers thus far.

Molding me in His image

So first I have to admit that I have been majorly lagging on the blogging but for good reason. January has most definitely been a trying month for me but one filled with many blessings as well. I feel like I have been learning a lot spiritually and for that I am thankful. No matter what the Lord throws in my direction, I can never complain when I end up growing from it. January started off with a health scare that almost sent me to the emergency room. I probably should have gone rather than endure what I did, but there goes that stubbornness in me again. In the end, everything turned out ok. A few days later, I began school. Unfortunately, I underestimated the difficulty of online classes, and since then, I have been dedicating hours upon hours with my nose stuck in my textbooks. I don't think I have been in school long enough to critique online learning, but as of right now, I have mixed feelings. While taking 16 units, I have also been working full time. Which in the end has turned out to be a disaster. My last day at work will be Wednesday and I am very at peace with my decision. I was very unhappy at my job, and was forced to deal with difficult co-workers which was draining me emotionally. Last week, Jarrett finally put his foot down and requested I leave my job. He was tired of seeing me unhappy over something that was not necessary. I am so thankful that I have a husband that supports me and feels like I am contributing even when I am not bringing a paycheck home. Also on Saturday, Jarrett left for a conference in the States. Being alone here in Guam is definitely a new experience, and one I'm not so sure I'm fond of. I don't feel particularly safe in my house without my husband. But I guess that is what music and the tv is for because that way I can't hear all the creepy noises.

But even though this month has had its fair share of lows, they were all erased last night when I received a phone call that I have waited for for 3 years now. When I saw her cell phone number pop up on mine late last night, my heart skipped a beat and I knew deep in my gut. The time had finally arrived; God has answered our prayers! Tonight at 7 pm eastern time, Katie K went in for her liver and kidney transplants, and I am so overjoyed that her life is dramatically changing for the better. My heart has felt broken today though because I can't be by her side. But after talking to her, I know she knows that I love her and would love more than anything to be with her during this life altering moment. Please continue to keep her in your prayers as she will need them through this long recovery.

So all in all, I feel like I have been tried and tested but also blessed in ways I can't describe. It has been a painful, emotional month but also one I probably won't ever forget. For the good reasons, rather than the bad.