Saturday, December 26, 2009

.christmas treats.

i shot some Christmas cards this year. it was really fun because i'm related to or really like all the people i worked with and at that point, it doesn't feel like work :)

here's some day after Christmas treats for you:

my cousin jeanna, her husband steven & the world's most lovable kid - gerrit

one of my best friends, sarah - her husband justin & their kiddos anna & john. i'm missin' them in california these days, but they're loving calling texas home.

my aunt & uncle, peter & dana in bakersfield and their awesome kids - grant, isabella & gwyneth. i think this was the most fun to shoot because they live in such a cool spot and their kids are bigger. i think big kids are easier and plus, i just like their kids :)

and a new friend - carrie and her husband john & really fun kids - jacob, justin, carson & katherine - i LOVED her style and their rad shoes.

THANKS YOU GUYS for letting me be part of your Christmas :) I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

.the break up.

this is how i feel today. i need you to just work with me as i figure this out.

- there's a sense of freedom
- there's also a sense of loss
- you like it at first, but when you really try to live with it it's harder than you think
- you keep thinking about how things were "back when you had it in your life"
- you are really frustrated for the first while and just wish for it back
- you don't feel like yourself without it, you've gotten so used to having it in your life
- you're a little insecure and sometimes don't feel like going out of the house for a while
- it takes people who love you saying, "no, it's totally fine. you just have to get used to it. i like you better without it."

you're gonna laugh and i'm secure in that. laugh away. i've decided that:

the first week or two with a new haircut is really similar to the first few weeks after a break up.

why am i blogging about this on Christmas you may ask? well, this happens to be the first day i've tried to do my new do since the haircut. and that's when i realize it. so if you see any pictures of me on Christmas day, don't judge my hair, have some grace and tell me i'll get used to it. i just hate that i can never do it like the person who cuts my hair (my cousin or Sarah). that's the worst part.

i know i'll be fine just like the last time and in about 10 days, my new do will be embraced. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you. may we remember today that it's about Jesus and the life he came to offer and our haircuts are pretty much irrelevant ;)

Monday, December 21, 2009

.music mondays - follow you.

i first heard this song yesterday and i knew it was the one for music mondays. it's called "follow you" by leeland - who happens to be a pretty great band :)

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.
Follow you into the World.

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she'd
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.
Follow you into the World.

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all myself... to you.

as i start my new job in january with an organization called IMPACT out of santa barbara (ish), this song speaks volumes about what we've been called to do. we are sending people to the "homes of the broken and meet the needs of the poor and needy." i love what the organization does and i love that i get to set people up to play a part in his bigger kingdom! man, i'm excited about this job and i can't stinkin' wait to have the opportunity to point people to Jesus and give them an opportunity to get off the bench and in the game. i love this song because it motivates me. it reminds me what really fuels me in my life and it renews my passion for Jesus and for expanding his kingdom. it reminds me of who our Jesus is and what he's about and dang it - he's about the homes of the broken and the needs of the poor and why should i not give it away?

so, Lord - i give all myself... everything i am to you to see your kingdom come. let's do this thing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

.#7 - the getty.

i'm first going to apologize to those of you who wanted to go to the getty with me... i'm sorry it didn't happen. it was one of those late night conversations that turned into a "hey, we should go to the getty tomorrow" things and so we did. and it was worth it. it's a place i've always seen up on the hill and thought that i needed to someday get there. i have a cousin who lives in the LA vicinity with her husband who's an artist and she's recommended it to me numerous times and that's how it ended up on the list.

it was really one of those days where you sit back and say, "now that day couldn't have been more perfect."

9:30 - kirsten got to my house to pick me up

9:45 - we stopped at trader joe's (a.k.a. heaven) and picked up a little picnic lunch

10:00 -we got our starbucks on - because every good day begins with coffee
11:00 - we arrived at the getty and did the little tram ride i'd dreamed of for so long up to the museum
11:30 - we unpacked our picnic lunch, wine and all and ate in the gorgeous getty gardens (those 3 "g" words would be 3 points in scattergories for those of you who are word geeks like me)

12:15 - we headed into the photography exhibit that was really amazing - this man named Irving Penn took photographs in his studio in the 50's and 60's of everyday people wearing/carrying what they used for their everyday jobs, for example if you were a butcher, you wore your bloody apron and held your butcher knife in your hand for the picture. he calls it "Small Trades." and it was truly amazing. go here - to check it out. i heart photography so it was pretty awesome to see. reminded me a bit of an amazing thing some quasi-friends are doing right now called Help Portrait - go here to see that - okay so i'm on a tangent now. back to the getty.
1:15 - we walked outside to this view of the ocean... honestly, even if you go to the getty and look at no art all day, it's worth it just for the gardens and the sheer beauty of where they chose to build the thing. LA skyline + ocean = a bit of gloriousness (is that a word?)

1:25 - we headed into an exhibit called "Rembrandt and his Pupils" - i of course, being the crazy dutch girl that i am so appreciated the dutch names, dutch towns, dutch everything about beloved Rembrandt. but as a whole we were impressed with how much of what he'd chosen to draw was from scripture. it was pretty awesome the way he portrays many of the stories we'd heard our whole lives. for me at least, it amplified the way i saw things like "the prodigal son" and "the angel telling mary of her pregnancy." it was awesome.
2:00 - back on the blessed tram and into the parking garage to head back to the oc.
3:00 - home sweet grandma's house.

here's some "extras for you from the day. the fall leaves were gorgeous, the water fountains were pretty rad and it was just one of those days when you get to just be with someone you think is really great and do nothing but exist and enjoy. so that's what we did. we existed and we enjoyed. and then the day continued with a great coffee chat/hang out with some old young life kids who are now college sophomores - NUTS! and then sushi with a friend and a conversation with my cousin who's in the ukraine with her husband, getting their little girl (read about them here - day was perfect. off to texas tomorrow.

oh getty, you are just glorious. thanks for an awesome day. mission #7 - accomplished.

p.s. - i also got a yosemite date on the calendar - progress people... progress

Monday, December 14, 2009

.music mondays.

i’ve decided to try something new for this next season of my life. a little ditty i’d like to call “music mondays.” it resembles something we used to do from time to time when i was working with youth. we’d take some song lyrics and dive into them and chat about why those lyrics spoke to where we were at in our lives. so i thought i’d revisit that the next month or two with “music mondays” and see if we like it. and plus, it gives me a reason to blog on mondays instead of just when i feel like it, which turns out to be not all that often. :)

This hot jam is called, "Ordinary Day" by a guy named Griffin House. It's brilliant.

All of my life

I’ve been a fool

Breaking myself 

To follow your rules

And I beat myself up

When I can’t find the strength

When I can’t seem to change

The harder I think

Let me get this straight

Let me feel the weight of an ordinary day

‘Cause I’ve tried to heal this thing

But you let me slip away

When I run away

You just let me run

And I take it too far

By the time I am done

And I understand
I’m thick in the skull

But I’m learning to love
The sound of your call

Let me get this straight

Let me feel the weight of an ordinary day

‘Cause I’ve tried to heal this thing

But you let me slip away

I fear rejection and I up my defenses

I look for healing in the human touch

When will I learn to face the consequences?

Of trying to love you and failing so much

I’m trying to love you but I’m failing so much

Let me get this straight

Let me feel the weight of an ordinary day
Cause I’ve tried to heal this thing

But you let me slip away
Let me slip away

Over and over and over again

I’m biting the hand that’s pulling me in

Over and over and over again

Believe in the hand that’s pulling me in

to me this song speaks volumes of my relationship with God. there's this push and pull - this internal struggle, this way that I try to do things my way but yet i know it's never gonna work. ever. i resonate with the part where he says, "when i run away, you just let me run. and i take it too far by the time i am done. i understand i'm thick in the skull, but i'm learning to love the sound of your call." that is just so much of how my life operates and i want so badly to break those habits of running from God when i don't know what to do. i want so badly to not be that "thick in the skull" person and i am learning to need Him and i am learning to love the sound of His call but not as much as i'd like to be.

this is my typical reaction - "i look for healing in the human touch" and as a result "i'm biting the hand that's pulling me in." the truth that's tangled up in these lyrics is a bit close to home at this point. i do try to go to my tangible "human" friends before i let God handle what needs to be handled. i don't often go to him first because for some reason He seems so distant and unable to help in the immediacy. i want to change this, so badly. i want to as griffin says, "BELIEVE in the hand that's pulling me in" instead of constantly being stubborn and putting up a fight.

and even now, i find myself more frustrated with how i do this than ever before. it's like writing about it gave me a renewed sense of being mad at myself. perfect. not quite what i was going for today. is it only me? am i the only crazy one whose tendency is to run and because God is good he just lets us and doesn't force us to do what we've known all along is best? food for thought...

Friday, December 11, 2009

.best news i've heard in months.

I GOT THE JOB I REALLY WANTED. well, to be more honest - God hooked me up with a job He really wanted me to have :) as of january 4th, i'll be the director of an organization called IMPACT out of Santa Barbara County. go here
to check it out.

this girl is real excited y'all. real excited. now the race is on to find a place to live... should be an interesting roller coaster of a week. man, did i say i'm excited?!?!?!?!

i really think that's all i've got for today. i have no other words. so glad this season's soon-to-be over. i'm sure they'll be a teary-eyed post about leaving orange county soon enough, but for now soak in the joy of job-ness with me because it's darn good and i can't wait to tell stories :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

.#6 - Jesus convo.

this is one of my 30 that i honestly was a bit concerned about because clearly i could choose to be "crazy Jesus girl" and force a conversation about my faith and my Jesus on somebody, but that's just not how i roll, nor do i believe it's the best way. leave it to Jesus to have the person i was talking to go ahead and bring him up in conversation - he would... he's cool like that.

so one of my dearest friends got married last night (yay emily & ed - beyond stoked for you guys!!!)

and what happens after the wedding and dinner? a dance party, of course. i was out on the dance floor, busting my amazing white girl moves with some other young life peeps with amazing white people moves (along with the de la llave family that actually has moves) and started hangin' in a group of cousins visiting from new zealand. now that's a good time.

so... on the dance floor, corona lime in hand at one of my best friends' weddings, one of the kiwi cousins, james asks me point blank,

kiwi cousin: "so what's with you guys and your religious deal?"
me: "what do you mean by "you guys" and "religious deal?"
kiwi cousin: "well, you're drinking a beer, but aren't you guys all religious and work for some organization about Jesus and aren't religious people not supposed to drink?"

at this point i begin to explain to him the difference between a religion and a relationship and that for us it's much more than just subscribing to the "laws" of a religious code so that we can be part of the club. (some of you may disagree with this and that's fine. let's chit chat about it. please.)

it's here that he suggests we move off the dance floor so we can stop yelling and we actually have this 15 minute conversation about Jesus. about how Jesus didn't come to condemn people or not let them be part of a "club" he was starting. he came to include not exclude. he came so that we don't have to live by laws and so we don't. we choose to live a certain way and make certain choices because that's how we feel is the best way to live based on scripture and our individual relationship with Jesus, but you're not "excluded from the cool kid Jesus club" if you don't agree - God didn't create puppets, he created people.

he asked some questions about the difference between what new zealand deems "religion" and what us crazy young life people see as a "relationship" and then explained to me that where they live it's a you're-in-or-you're-out religious society. if you go to church and subscribe to a certain set of rules, you're in. if not, you're out. and i got to tell him that with Jesus you're never uninvited or "left out," you just have to choose to be in. i got to tell him that we are also church people and that those people probably aren't bad people and they probably really do care, but many of them are just scared to go outside of what they know and have these conversations with people who don't.

and i got to tell him that a life with Jesus brings so much freedom - the freedom to choose whether to have a beer or not and celebrate at a wedding with Jesus-lovin' people, the freedom to have these conversations and walk away with neither of us feeling condemned by the other, the freedom to love people where they're at and respect them for that and the freedom to choose a life that is truly life because we believe there's just a better way to live.

something had made james curious about the way we live. our lives demanded explanation and that's just how it should be if we're livin' for Jesus. maybe it was the golf game earlier that weekend with scott, the YL regional director who he said was one of the most interesting and kind people he'd ever met or maybe it was the way we lived life and celebrated ed and emily with such joy and reckless abandon without needing to drink too much (or not drink at all) to have fun, but he saw something different. i don't know what God's going to do in james' life but i'm grateful for our dance floor chat and i'm grateful that my having a beer with him while being a Christian was what allowed to feel comfortable enough to bring up the conversation. and mostly, i'm grateful that i got to share the Thing that means the most to me with a perfect stranger.

mission 6 accomplished. thanks for that one, Jesus.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


i just had an epiphany. i have had more time than i know what to do with lately (mostly consisting of the hours i spend choosing to not work on editing photography stuff because i get "over it" quickly). don't misunderstand me, it's not that i have nothing to do - not that at all. it's that i'm choosing to do nothing over doing the things i should be doing? ya, that's it...

anyhow - i had realized today that i have always LOVED to bake and i never do it anymore. maybe because the house i live in is not mine and i don't feel like i can just take over the kitchen for hours at a time with my messiness (because i'm far from a neat cook). but one of my best friends is getting married this weekend and asked me if i could grab something for "wedding day breakfast" for the all of us girls while we get ready. i thought about all the things i could pick up and then i thought - "Bree, why are you being do dumb?!?!?!?! You love to bake." so here are the reasons i will bake some award-winning scones instead of picking up breakfast.

good reasons to bake:
1) it's cheaper
2) it will be a good use of my time this week while i sit on pins and needles waiting to hear about a job
3) i miss baking
4) it will taste better -it always does
5) my kitchenaid mixer is needing a little tlc these days
6) i love to bake

good reasons not to bake:
1) i eat while i'm baking, always

6 perfectly good reasons to take matters into my own hands and 1 good reason not to. so here i go... now to find the perfect scone recipe since the one i want "can't be shared." wish me luck!

and here's the final product - chocolate chip, cranberry orange and apple cinnamon scones (and an extra long run - see my good reason not to bake) either way, mission accomplished!