Archive | December, 2010

2010 looking back…

28 Dec

January 2010-

  • moved back to Vancouver after 15 years of separation only to find out it’s not nearly as bad as I remembered!
  • Spent the first day of the new year with new friends at Drew & Annie’s
  • Picked a fight with a grumpy old man at the BINGO hall with the girls
  • moved into new offices at work
  • celebrated Jameson, Erin and Uncle Jim’s birthday’s
  • Joined the gym and became addicted to spin class
  • re-connected with long-lost friends


  • Cheered Livi on in soccer, along with other 18 Lovelace’s in the stands!
  • spent Monday nights watching “The Bachelor” with the girls
  • Got sweet little valentines from all the “littles”
  • joined a bible study
  • explored downtown Portland with the parents
  • celebrated Tiff’s 23rd!


  • Got to be apart of The Trautman Families miracle by raising funds at PM’s!
  • spent the weekend at Cannon Beach with all the girls and was introduced to my Aunt’s “gangsta” side.
  • celebrated Jack’s 3rd birthday
  • went to a few Blazer games
  • Threw a baby shower for Brittany
  • spent some fun nights watching the “littles”
  • Celebrated the birth of Bennett Graham Bradford!


  • stared greeting at Grace
  • had the ultimate egg hunt for Easter
  • surprised my mom with a party on her birthday
  • celebrated the twin’s 4th birthday in mill creek
  • experienced the farmer’s market and $3 theatre with Er and the kids
  • sat through the final Blazer game of the 09-10 season


  • celebrated my Dad’s birthday
  • spent a week with the fam in Palm Desert, CA
  • started getting my butt kicked at the gym by Brandon
  • went on some fun Portland adventures
  • celebrated Bradford’s birthday


  • experienced the ER with my Grandma
  • had a work retreat in Seattle
  • started playing volleyball with Melissa at Liberty
  • gushed about my Dad at Grace for their Father’s Day service
  • went to a Cubs game at Safeco
  • entered “event season” at work


  • spent a little over a week with the WHOLE family in San Diego
  • had fun bonfires with great friends
  • skipped a work day and spent it at the beach with the girls and kids
  • celebrated my Gma’s birthday
  • went to a family reunion
  • met a pretty great guy
  • spent some hot days at the pool with the girls


  • celebrated 1 year on my blog
  • did a fun lil’ photo shoot for Bennett in Portland
  • celebrated Jonesy’s 8th birthday
  • went on some fun lil’ dates with the littles
  • was thrown my first surprise party by my favorite family
  • had some help from my girls on checking off some things on my “list”
  • starting helping out at G2!


  • took the little’s on fun little adventures
  • spent a week at the beach with the whole family
  • celebrated my favorite brother’s birthday
  • stepped foot in Autzen stadium for the first time!
  • got to be apart of raising funds for Team Jensen!
  • experienced some “interesting” places in clark county


  • watched my brother propose in the pouring rain on a “beach” in Canada
  • saw Jack Johnson at the fair grounds
  • had a fun road trip with Brandon
  • finally got to see all my favorite Lynden people
  • fun Bunco night with the girls
  • went on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin with The Wallers
  • helped out at Grace for Fall Family Fest
  • celebrated Brandon and Brittany’s Birthday’s!


  • spent a week in Disneyland with the Arnolds
  • took an unplanned break from blogging…oops!
  • celebrated Livi’s 5th birthday
  • went to a few Blazer games
  • experienced TSO
  • had our first thanksgiving at home with all of the family
  • played the worlds longest game of balderdash 😉


  • watched all the Beaver fans cry over their expected loss to the Ducks
  • wore the worlds ugliest sweater at the Paull’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
  • went to a few more Blazer games
  • celebrated Mollie’s 5th birthday
  • had some fun nights at G2 with some great students
  • enjoyed a few work Christmas parties
  • spent Christmas with everyone I love

Not too sure how 2011 can beat 2010, but with a few weddings and a couple of babies on their way from friends and family, I’m pretty sure it has the potential to!


3 days until…

22 Dec

I get to give all these presents away!!! Can’t wait!

Merry Christmas everyone!


20 Dec

This morning my Pastor spoke about mangers and while I am sure the take away that he was hoping for was much more than just “mangers”….mangers is what I left with. After he posed the thought that if God hadn’t used a manger to place his son in that night…would any of us today even know what one was? Knowing the grandeur of God and the limitless availability he holds in his hands to conjour up or vividly create a top of the line bed for his son to rest his head…one must scratch their head that, that same God chose an ordinary manger.

A manger – an ordinary thing, doing the extraordinary.

I walked out of church this morning thinking about mangers. Pastor encouraged us to look for “mangers” in our lives and in the lives of those around us. He encouraged us to stop focusing on the things WE pray about seeing in others lives (while not discounting those prayers) and to look for the “mangers”. While I continue to hold steadfast to those words, I also challenge them. Why not start building a “manger” for someone. (yes, I realize that in just a few short paragraphs, the word manger has now become annoying…in fact, it doesn’t even look like a word to me anymore) What if we saw a need in someone and took action? What if our prayers became more than words, but movement? What if by the smallest and most ORDINARY of gestures, God could use us to start a ripple effect and create something extraordinary out of it all?

What if? To be completely honest, I hate that game. It’s a waste of time spent thinking without any actions or risks. It’s a game where people assess their worries and fears in a single sentence. It’s a game of stagnant procrastination and many of us live our dreams, resources and potential that way…and I am the guiltiest one at that. One of my hero’s is one of my youngest friends, Janae Nielsen. She may not even know that, but her passion for the street people of Spokane is utterly inspiring. In fact, it is evident by her blogs and social updates that my title of “street people” is entirely wrong because to her, they are much more than people but friends with real names and stories and needs that she lives and breathes to meet. Janae REFUSES to be ordinary. She refuses to ask the “what if’s”, such as, What if I fed these people who are hungry, what if I clothed these people who are cold, what if I sat down and spent time with these people who are starving for relationships. There are no “what if’s” with Janae, but more like “who’s next?” Who next can she serve, who next can she clothe? Who next can she start to build a”manger” for?

Janae could do anything with her life…and I do mean ANYTHING. The girl is in her early twenties with an endless belt of talents and the world at her fingertips, but I’m sure if you asked her…there’s no place else she’d rather be. Everyday she is apart of building a “manger” for her new and soon to be friends by taking something so ordinary like sitting down with a cup of Starbucks and all the time in the world to hear somebody who just wants to talk.

While I may not feel the same passion to do what Janae does in the streets of Spokane, she does inspire me to do something more than just pass by those on the street that I pray find a “Janae” in their life. Recently I put together small bags full of warm socks, gloves, a beanie, toothbrush & toothpaste, a McDonald’s GC and a simple card. I’ve wanted to do this for years now and every time I pass by someone in need on the street, I kick myself for not having a bag in my car or purse. While I am fully aware that this small gesture will not get somebody off the streets and is unavoidably temporary…I can’t help but dream that this small gesture would be the building of a “manger” in a person’s life.

I share my example to only give one example and hopefully to inspire others to turn their words into movement. God calls us to be imitators of Christ, which by definition would require much more than knowledge of Him, but movement. Action. I don’t just want to be somebody who prays for other people’s needs to be met, but helps meet them. I am becoming more and more aware of God’s timing and networking and divinely given resources that he gives to provide extraordinary experiences and miracles out of everyday, ordinary things.

Mangers…who would’ve thought?!

top ten #841

17 Dec

The top ten(ish) local people/shops/businesses you should all look into:

#1. The Merry Way -I saw Brittany play in a coffee shop a few years back and remember thinking, how is this girl not in a bigger venue?! She is way too good and then throw in the talents of her husband and you have pure talent! Just bought their CD and after playing it on repeat, I’m stuck between Bulletwound and Stay God as my favorite. Download this people, every song is unique and worth the money!

#2. Bellamaine- available on itunes- love these guys, each of them talented and together have such great energy. Find them on itunes and become their friends on facebook for updates on their upcoming shows!

#3. Between the Lines – also, check out Cassie’s blog for occasional giveaways and great decorating ideas.. – This girl makes me want to read more just so I can buy her bookmarks! Such a great gift idea…high quality, unique and so adorable!

#4. Stephanie D Photography –– a fantastic, local photographer with great experience. Although she takes a wide range of photography (from family sessions, weddings, etc.), her pictures of kids and babies are some of my favorite. I’ve had the opportunity to see her work at a shoot and she is such a great photographer to work with. She makes her clients feel comfortable and at ease and is great at listening to what they really want out of their time with her!

#5. Kaylee Eylander Photography and check out Kaylee’s blog at -Kaylee’s portfolio speaks for itself. She makes me want to get better and better at photography becuase of the amazing photographs she takes. Whether your a senior, recently engaged or planning your big day…book Kaylee, she’s worth every penny!

#6. Simply Olive Photography – Brienne is a fablous photographer with such a big heart. Simply Olive is purely donation, which is absoluetling incredible since the pictures she takes are such high quality!

#7. Jessica Stuart Designs -I used Jessica for my (soon to be) sister in-law’s bridal shower invites. Amazing attention to detail, fast turn around and extremely affordable. I HIGHLY reccomend her for any of your future wedding invites, christmas cards, party invitations, etc.

#8. Emilie McCormack – – Check out Emilie on itunes! This girl is amazing, inside and out. If you ever get a chance to see her live, take the opportunity! Her presence on stage, speaks volumes! This is a girl who was truly born to worship and her personality is infectious.

#9. Design by Tanya– Tanya is an EXCELLENT graphic designer. Whether you prefer pretty little invites or an edgy logo, it appears Tanya’s talents are limitless. All of her designs are cutting edge, top of the line and stand out amongst the rest. Once I hit the jackpot and my clothing line becomes attainable (a girl can dream, right?) I would defiently use Tanya!

#10- Stefan Elmer– Stefan is a great photographer in Whatcom County. Check out his website! He has a great eye for nature shots and all things beautiful! From senior portraits to weddings and family photos, Stefan is excellent!

#11- Lyndsay Lamb Real Estate –– If you are looking for a home in WA state, check out Lyndsay’s website. If you are looking for an agent to actually hear and cater to finding the home of your dreams, while keeping in mind your budget, give Lyndsay a call! Not only will you find a great real estate agent, but a life long friend. Also, make sure to click the link to her blog from her website, she has an amazing ability to turn ordinary pieces into unique treasures!

#12- Sweet Bliss Photograhpy-!/pages/Sweet-Bliss-Photography/149568618388968 Jenn is absolutely amazing. I love the color of her pictures. She is a natural at photography and seems to be getting better and better with each click of the camera. Check out her facebook page and look at her work, it simply speaks for itself!

….this list could really exceed 10…20…and even more, but that’s another post for another time! If you have some local favorites, please share!

*Also, don’t forget to check out Rockstar Diaries and Cupcakes & Cashmere on my blog roll. From fashion advice, decorating tips, giveaways and more….you’ll be an addicted reader in no time!

“The Gift” Sneak Peak…

10 Dec

Come see “The Gift” this weekend at Grace Foursquare in Camas! Here are a few pictures from lastnights dress rehearsal. Log on to for directions or come visit one of the four services; Friday (tonight) at 7pm, Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 9am and 11am! Our coffee cart will be open at all services too!

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pay it forward; christmas edition

7 Dec

Edward Everett Hale once said I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday because I LOVE giving gifts and it is the one day I don’t have to have an excuse to give. I realize that this year, more than ever, others might feel overwhelmed and/or stressed for whatever reason because they don’t have the means to give to their kids this year. And although I can’t fix that feeling for the world like I wish I could, I CAN do something. So…if you could use some help this year or maybe know someone who does, I’d love to buy some gifts for a family in need of it. Send me an e-mail at and let me know. Although I hate to limit it, I will have to pick only one family. I’d love to help you out this Christmas!