Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am DONE!!!

I finally finished school as of yesterday - I have officially graduated! I have been at the University of Oregon for just over 5 years, and I am so happy to finally be done. I must say, the Family and Human Services program at the U of O is an amazing program, and I have really grown and learned a lot. The faculty and staff are amazing and so supportive, I couldn't have asked to be a part of a better program.I am really excited and nervous about what is next to come. I have been job searching over the last couple of months, and unfortunately the economy isn't so great, especially in Oregon. I have been applying to some bigger cities in a few other states, and so far I've gotten some requests for interviews in Chicago. I will be heading there next week to do some interviews and see how it goes. It's always hard thinking of moving away from everything I know, but I feel that it is much better to move away now when I have no obligations than it would be later. I would like to get my Masters of Social Work, but currently there is no way I can afford that. I am hoping I will find a place to help me pay for it if I work for them for a period of time. I'm not sure what will happen but I am looking forward to finding out. I am incredibly impatient when it comes to finding a job, as most people are I'm sure, so I hope this process goes smoothly!
I just want to thank all of my friends and family, no matter how often or little we may see each other, for being so supportive and encouraging of my education, and now my career path. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without all of the people in my life, and I am very blessed and thankful for that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween in Reno!

My good friend Rachael is getting married this summer to her boyfriend of almost 7 years. She lives in Reno and my friends and I thought we should pay a visit and talk about wedding stuff with her. We all decided on Halloween weekend because Rachael had a 3 day weekend because Nevada Day falls on Halloween. I'm not sure why Oregon doesn't have an Oregon Day but I'm quite jealous! Anyway, Shauna, Erica and I headed off to Reno Thursday late afternoon. Here is a picture of us in California at a gas station where we had to pump our own gas.

We're from Orygun! Wutz this crap?!

We didn't get into Reno until about 1:30 in the morning but we had lots of fun planned for Friday. We all went and saw Rachael's wedding dress and she decided to buy it. It is very beautiful! We also tried on bridesmaid dresses and picked some very nice ones out! I didn't get any pictures of them unfortunately, but I'll wait for the wedding. For Halloween night, we decided to go downtown to a club that had a costume contest and hang out there for the night, though we didn't stay late enough to participate in the actual contest.

Here we are at Rachael's place ready to go out.

Wade and Rachael, the cute couple!

Little Red Riding Hood, Cow, 50's Girl, and Butterfly.

My utter was the evening's attraction.

We had lots of fun! My cow costume was quite the hit surprisingly. I was asked to pose with several people, which was new and weird to me but whatever! Today we just hung around Reno and saw some attractions. We saw where Rachael and Wade will be getting married, and Rachael showed us her small school where she teaches. We also tried to locate some different chapels because I wanted to find where my parents got married. Unfortunately we couldn't find the chapel that my mom had mentioned it possibly being, but seeing as it has been over 27 years, it may be gone or changed or who knows. Here are a couple I found:

Chapel of Bells

The Heart of Reno

One of these just might be the same palace my parents wed in with Elvis as their witness! I hate to have to go home already, but unfortunately these fun trips never last long enough. It was really great seeing where Rachael has been the last couple years though, as well as being able to see her dress and pick out our dresses. I'm really looking forward to her wedding!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Belknap Hot Springs

My friend Liz and I went to Belknap Hot Springs last week. She had never been there, but had heard it was pretty so we took a day trip. It was a very pretty day and we both got a lot of great pictures. She was looking for somewhere she could take her boyfriend, and after she saw it she was excited to show him. I have always thought it would be a really pretty place to have a wedding, and who knows, maybe some day it will be for me! Anyway, we took lots of pictures and here are some of them:

This is the heart garden.

There were lots of beautiful flowers, even though it was late in the summer. I told Liz she should come back in the spring when there are usually even more flowers in bloom.

Asian garden

Secret Garden

I had forgotten all about the secret garden until I saw the big brick wall hidden behind plants. Then I could hear water flowing and I remembered it being back there. We found it and it was so pretty! It is such a nice place to go on a sunny day. It seems so peaceful out there. We had a nice time, then had to come back and go to work! :( Sometimes reality bites!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summa time!

This summer, a wild cat had some kittens and both my mom and I have made attempts to pet the kittens and, at least I have, attempted to try to kidnap them. Unfortunately they don't want anything to do with us but they are SOOO adorable!! I caught them lounging one afternoon on my way to work, so I took some pictures.

Here they are in mom's herb garden.

This is after one of them heard me sneaking around, he had his eye on me.

Then I tried to go capture one of them and they both ran off. I wish we could get one to tame down, but I don't believe they even come up to the house anymore. It makes me REALLY want a kitten again though.

I have been able to capture some cool sunsets this summer, mostly because of the fires unfortunately, but they are still really pretty. Here are a few...

This is a sunset outside my parents' house recently, so many colors!

This one was on my way home from work one night,
I happened to have my camera so I pulled over and caught it.

And this one was on my way back from the coast along I5.

Aside from that, my summer has been going by way too fast. I finished summer school, except a few hours I have at my internship. I went to camp as a counselor for a week for Courageous Kids, and that was such an amazing experience for me. It is a camp specifically for kids that have lost a loved one, and most of the counselors there have also lost loved ones. Throughout the school year, I co-facilitate weekly support groups where the kids do art projects to help them understand their feelings of grief. I really enjoy doing that, but I'd have to say this camp was so much more powerful because the kids are with each other for 5 days straight and their stories and feelings really come out. During the weekly support groups the kids don't really get that comfortable with each other because they only see each other once a week for an hour.

Something that I really like about being an intern at Courageous Kids is that it helps me sort out my own past feelings of grief, from the time my grandfather died when I was 5. I have learned a lot about myself and what I was going through, though I never knew what was going on. It is so great to be able to share these realizations with the kids at CK so that they feel like they can relate more to me. I am really interested in grief therapy, especially using methods of art therapy, and I'm hoping to be able to get into this field as a profession in the next few years.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Second Year at Lincoln City

It has been another few months since I've posted, but I finally did something fun so I have something to talk about! Last year some friends from high school and I started an annual trip to Lincoln City. So this past weekend we went on our second trip there, and it was a lot of fun! We did lots of sun bathing, eating, talking and laughing! There was also lots of shopping done, but I got sun burned pretty bad so I had to skip out on that. That's actually probably a good thing, because I don't have the money to spend I things I really don't need, like outlet malls! So here we all are on our first night there...

The Outlook Hotel In Lincoln City rocks!

Rachael and Erica on the beach.

Shauna and I almost jumping.

Day 2: Bury Erica in the sand. And make her a mermaid! (Though you can't really see her fin...)

Our little whale friend is out there!

And this is the sunset the night before we left!

The trip was a lot of fun, and a much needed vacation for me to get away from work, school and my internship. Ahhh... now I am about to go on a week long camp for Courageous Kids, where I intern. Hopefully I'll come back with some good stories :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I've been tagged...

Well I think I did something like this not too long ago, but I will do it again!

Four Things You Might/Might Not Want To Know About Me!
  • *I have recently become addicted to Scrabble online (scrabulous) and I've managed to get a few friends hooked as well. It all started when Brian started a game with me on Facebook, but he was incredibly slow at his turn so I searched for online scrabble. It's my one true love at the moment and it helps me procrastinate!
  • *I have a really high gag reflex and a texture issue when it comes to particular foods. I don't like foods like marshmallows, whipped cream, and rice because they have a weird texture to me and it makes me gag.
  • *My eyes are green and blue. They are green around my pupil and then blue around that.
  • *I have really thick wavy hair, but it drives me nuts and it doesn't straighten very well. Most people say they'd like hair like mine, but I would actually rather have straight hair that I don't have to spend so much time on.
Four jobs I've held:
  • *Painter for UO Housing in the summers. I got to paint smelly dorm rooms.
  • *Delivery driver for Papa John's Pizza.
  • *Office Assistant for two companies.
  • *Direct Support Professional (Mentor) for RISE, Inc.
Four movies I could watch over and over:
  • *Superstar
  • *Napoleon Dynamite
  • *Hope Floats
  • *A Christmas Story
Places I've lived (in order):
  • *Baker City, OR
  • *Springfield, OR
  • *Eugene, OR
  • *Again, Springfield, OR... but it's way out near Marcola so it's like another city!
Four TV shows I like:
  • *The Office!!!!
  • *Days of Our Lives (Its mom's fault)
  • *Gilmore Girls re-runs
  • *Full House re-runs
Four favorite foods:
  • *Spaghetti
  • *Lasagna
  • *Chicken Bisque
  • *Seafood Fettuccine
Where I would rather be:
  • *At the coast!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Treasure Hunting

There isn’t a whole lot that REALLY bothers me when it comes to pet peeves or annoyances. There are several little things that bug me, but not really much that I get really irritated with. But if there is one thing that I absolutely can’t stand, it would have to be when anyone - child, adult, teenager, etc- picks their nose. Now don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of gold digging as a kid, but it seriously makes me sick when I see people picking their nose. I don’t mean just a little flick or nose rub, I mean when people are doing some serious treasure hunting.
For anyone that doesn’t know what my job is, I am a mentor for youth in therapeutic foster care that have behavior problems and developmental delays. For the most part, my job consists of me taking them out in the community and doing different activities with them to work on their individual goals and behavior issues. Now I love this job- it is very challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. Knowing that these kids have behavior problems, I should expect to see pretty much everything, and for the most part I do. But there is this one kid that has this "treasure hunting" problem and it’s driving me INSANE!!!! I continuously offer her kleenex and napkins, but she continues to pick and dig and pick and dig. It seriously is making me gag thinking about it. Yuck!
So today was the last straw. I don’t know what I’m going to do now, maybe make her wear nose plugs or something. But here is what happened: We went to the amazing and incredibly skate world and then we decided to go to the park for awhile. It was a little chilly outside, but not too bad. Well when we got back in the car, apparently her nose must have been running or something. She was really going at it, hoping to find some gold and I reached over and got some napkins and told her to use that for her nose. She said "okay thank you". So I thought, problem solved, I’ll just make sure to sanitize the door handle so no booger germs remain. Well problem NOT solved! I took her home and dropped her off, and just as I was getting ready to pull out of the driveway, I looked down at the passanger side seat and there IT was! A nastly slimey snot-ball!! YUCK! SICK! DISGUSTING! GAG! HURL! Oh man I was about to flip a lid! I got out some more napkins and cleaned it all up but I was nauseated and gagging the entire time, as well as many minutes later. This was so gross. It wasn’t a little kid’s booger, which still makes me gag, it was a 15 year old girl’s snot ball!
I don’t know what to do about this, I have tried so many times to tell her she should use kleenex or napkins or something of that nature to wipe her nose because that spreads germs. She never really says anything in response though, I think she just likes it and doesn’t want to stop. Well it really grosses me out big time and I don’t want to see anymore nasty slimey snot-balls in my car or anywhere near me! If anyone has any suggestions to get this kid to stop, please, oh please, be kind enough to share with me!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Last, but certainly not least, Brian and I went to New York for two days. Originally we weren't going to stay the night in New York because it is SO expensive, but we decided it would be worth it. The cheapest hotel I found was just under $200 with taxes and it was really small and not the most pleasant, but we were only there to sleep so it was ok. We rode a "Chinese bus" there and back, and it was pretty much just a large bus driven by Chinese guys. It was cheap though and it got us there. We were dropped off in Chinatown in New York though and we had no idea where we were, so the first thing we did is hailed a cab to our Hotel to get a map. I would say probably 75% of the vehicles I saw were cabs, go figure! They are some crazy drivers too! Anyway, our hotel was only about 3 blocks from Central Park, so we grabbed a map and started walking.
This is a picture of a skating rink in Central Park.

It wasn't really that exciting, there was a cool path called "Strawberry Fields" that is dedicated to John Lennon and it had some memorabilia. Other than that there wasn't much going on in Central Park. Next we went to see Rockefeller Center.

Here it is... Again not very exciting. It's just a big ice skating rink with flags all around the top.

We then went on toward 5th Avenue and Times Square. That was where it was really happenin'! There were tons of people all over the place, and the majority of them did not speak English! It is definitely the tourist spot.

Here's Times Square. There are tons of expensive clothing stores and lots of cool little shops.

This is the Empire State Building. We did go inside but decided not to stand in line for hours and go up to the top, there were more things to see!

That pretty much took up our day. It was dark by the time we saw all of Times Square so we went back to the hotel and Brian got a hold of his friend that lives there and we went out to a Mexican place to meet up with her for a few hours. The next day, we planned out what we wanted to see, and then we had to get a cab back to Chinatown. First we looked up the World Trade Center Site.

This is all that you can see of the World Trade Center Site.

They have this Path Station that shows what the World Trade Center looked like before 911, and what it will look like in the future. They didn't show much at all though, mainly because they are working on building the new towers. It is expected to be done in 2012. We did go across the street to the Trinity Church, which was where many of the firefighters slept and ate between working long shifts.

Here is the Trinity Church. It is the oldest church in Manhatten that is still in use today. This church was protected from the debris of 911 by a tree that had fallen against it.

There is only this stump of that tree left now, and it is what is said to have saved the church.

This is a picture of a picture that was taken just after 911. Many people came in and posted pictures of their missing loved ones. They also came here for prayer and support.

After touring the church, we found the ferry to Staten Island, which also passed by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We couldn't find a ferry to Ellis Island, but we thought this would be nice also.

This is Ellis Island, where many people arrived to the US by ship.

And here is the Statue of Liberty. She wasn't nearly as big as I thought though!

It was a really great trip, and I loved New York way more than I expected actually. I didn't think I'd like the atmosphere all that much, but it turns out that really the only incredibly busy areas were around Times Square. There were always people walking around everywhere else also, but it gave me a very safe feeling. There is also always different things to do at all times of the day and night and the city is so easy to navigate. The subway system made transportation very easy and the whole experience was really great. I would love to go back again when I have more time to really spend there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


On Wednesday Brian and I went to Philadelphia, along with one of his friends. There were lots of historical things to see. We went to the visitor center and got a map, and then we went on our way. The first place we saw was Independence Hall.

Brian and I in front of Independence Hall. This is right after he said in his pervert voice "I love you Kells." He isn't really that sweet, trust me!

Then we wanted to take a tour of Independence Hall but we had to wait a few hours so we decided to walk around and look at shops. Then we thought we better get something to eat so we stopped at the first place we saw advertising Philly cheesesteaks.

This is directly after Brian put a napkin basket down on our table and a cockroach crawled out. Mmmm, that made us more hungry.

Next we toured Independence Hall. THis is where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Here is the court room. Back then the defendant had to stand in that metal cage throughout the trial.

When we were leaving, Brian tried to step over this fence here and about three guards, like the one above, blew their whistles and made him exit through the proper exit. They're vicious!

Then we went to see the Liberty Bell. It was MUCH smaller than we thought, but it was still really neat to see.And finally we decided to go to the National Art Museum. It ended up being near closing time so we didn't go through it, but it was cool to see.

And of course Brian had to be Rocky and run up all those stairs while I video taped it. Unfortunately he has that on his camera. Here is Rocky though.

And here is a great view of Philadelphia from the Museum. It was a cloudy and rainy day, but it was still great to be there.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Brian's Amazing Studio

Mom wanted me to take some pictures of Brian's amazing studio apartment, and by amazing, I mean amazingly tiny. It is actually quite cute, but so very small!

Here is the very small kitchen area. Hopefully he doesn't want counterspace.

And this is the bathroom. It's not too small, but again not much counter space.

This is the view of his studio standing in the kitchen as far back as possible.

And this view is from the above corner between windows. It really is incredibly small!

This place is small for one person to live in, but with me staying here, there is absolutely no walking room. He bought an inflatable twin mattress and an egg crate mattress cover, which is very comfortable, but it leaves no room for anything else. Honestly, I'm impressed this small place doesn't reek to high heaven, as his bedrooms always did at home, but it actually doesn't have a strong stench. Thank goodness! I will post more on our trips soon!