Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I love my crazy, weird, hilarious, challenging, peaceful, beautiful life.

Sorry, folks, for the very long pause. Here is a much needed update.

Here are some of the facts of my current life:

I am a whimp. Well, mostly just when it comes to the cold weather. I am most definitely still not adjusted to this cold Colorado winter weather. Tonight we are supposed to have a low of 5 degrees. Oh man. I crave fresh air, so I don't like being stuck inside at all.

I am moving downtown! A sweet new friend from Scum, Jenny Holmes, offered to rent her guest room out to me. Her house is so cute, and I'm so, so excited about being closer to church and friends. I will not miss the 45 minute to an hour drive downtown.

I am so thankful for Brittany's and my new tradition of a weekly lunchdate. I love my Britt and I love quality time, so it is a beautiful combination.

(If you are reading this, and you are my friend, and you live in Denver, and you like quality time, too, I think it would probably be a good idea for us to do something about that...let's get coffee or something. That would make me smile.)

I have discovered a very yummy new meal...a delicious, healthy alternative to burgers and fries. Last night I made a bruschetta tomato basil parmesan veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with sweet potato fries and sea salt. Oh yes, YUMM!

I have some really wonderful new friends here. I'm really, really thankful for them. And the memories that are being made. Like Thanksgiving dinner with some Scum girls at Kimberly Claire and Christina Lynch's apartment. And the apple pie that Katie Daniel made that was one of the best ever. Seriously...melt in your mouth apple pie.

I have lots to look forward to, both in the distant future and the not to distant future! Check it out...

This weekend, aside from 2 full days of work, I have lots of fun things to do. Friday is the debut of the new art exhibit at the 11th Ave Gallery. The art has been done by some guys from the Denver Rescue Mission, and what I've seen so far is amazing. Also, Saturday night is the Scum Family Christmas Party. Sunday nights are super casual and nobody really dresses up, so the party will be formal. Aw, it will be so fun. And of course the best part of my week...Sunday night Scum.

I will be home in 20 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, I can't even describe how excited I will be to see my family and my Alicia! My family and best friends are so incredibly important to me, and I'm a little obsessed with how amazing they are. If you've been around me for long at all, I'm sure you've noticed. Also, I'm thinking about getting my nephew Jones Sodas with his picture on them for Christmas :)

If you haven't heard, next summer I'm going on a cross-country bike tour AGAIN! This time I'll be leading a tour from Washington State to Long Island to raise funds and awareness for the fight against human trafficking.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful life. It may have some scraggly edges, but I love it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bike Trails, Christmas Gift Ideas, and Good TV?

Yesterday I finally got to check out the Denver bike trails. Good job, Denver...they were excellent. And I didn't even get to go that far, so I have lots of miles left to explore. In the middle of my ride, I got a call from a coworker to work her evening shift, so I turned around early and rushed home. Turned out she wasn't feeling well, so I'm glad I could help. I think I'll be able to go on a longer ride tomorrow. Oh yeah, one more thing. In the middle, I really needed to use the restroom but there were no businesses anywhere. Finally, I saw this huge building, and even though I had no idea what it was, I just hoped they were nice people. Turns out it's this company called Teletech...I still have no idea what they are, but they are very nice, and said to come anytime. So, attention fellow riders...if you find yourself needing to use the restroom while on the C-470 trail, visit the nice people at Teletech :o)

Tonight on TV, I saw a very different sort of special: Top 20 Celebrities Gone Good. How cool is that? It showed 20 different stars who have been especially involved with various charities. You know, like Lance Artmstrong, Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Alicia Keys. Personally, I just thought it was pretty great to be showing something so much more positive than the crap that typically dominates our television sets. And by the way, one great thing was that they didn't spend much time on how many thousands or millions of dollars each person had given, but did focus on their character and what kind of person they are. It was refreshing.

Need ideas for interesting Christmas gifts? Oh, you do? Well, I have some good ideas for you! I recently found out about these really cool gift cards you can find at,, or You can choose any amount, and the person you give the gift certificate to gets to choose which charity to give to! (The three websites each have a huge list of charities, some more than others. You should check out the options to see which has the most charities that you support.) I just thought that was pretty cool. Here's another idea...cute personalized magnets...check out the great styles available at Another...this super practicle coffee cup sleeve with a handle for $5 from (I got these ideas from the new Real Simple magazine, and there are lots more!)

Random Thought Time!

Thought #1: Tonight the pineapple I bought was finally ripe enough to cut, and it was amazing! Fresh pineapple is always better than canned pineapple...and cheaper!

Thought #2: The fact that I get my clothes drycleaned makes me feel like a grown up. I just won't tell the people at the cleaners that I actually work in a restaurant. I will just pretend I am CPA or an attorney...Erin Morris, Ph.D. ...yeah, like I could ever actually pull that off...haha. If I am ever a professional, my outfit will not be a suit, but spandex :o) Yep, that's my kind of professional!

Thought #3: I love doing laundry. But it has to be all at once. I even always make sure I put on perfectly clean clothes right before I do the laundry. Because I love how it feels for all of my clothes to be clean :o) It's just one of the little things that makes me happy.

That's all. Sweet Dreams.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Very exciting news and Hardihood

First thing's first...I'm riding my bike across the country again! I so, so can't wait because I know what can happen on these trips. At the same time, though, in many ways it will be a whole new trip. I will be with a whole new team, in new places, with a new role, and with a new purpose. This time I'll be taking a northern route across the US, going from Seattle to Long Island, going through lots of big cities including Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philly, Pittsburg, NYC, and more. I'm really excited about that part! Also, this year I'll be going as a leader. I'm even more excited about that! This time, I get to be there for the rest of the team, to help them discover their story and to encourage them along the way on this journey of a lifetime. I can't wait to serve them and to stand beside them as they see new places and think new thoughts. To greet them as they meet each other for the first time, and to cheer them on as they leave. And lastly, the other big thing that makes this trip different is that it will not be a Ride:Well Tour, but a Just+Hope Tour, benefitting anti-human trafficking efforts. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. It is so amazing and humbling that God has let me be a part of such an incredible and beautiful movement.

Next thing...I am so grateful for the friendships that are beginning with people in my church family. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it lots and lots more times, but I absolutely love my church. Anyway, Wednesday and Thursday I got to go check out some small groups. I loved them both, but I especially loved Thursday night. The group is called "Making Space" and discusses spiritual disciplines. We talked for at least 2 hours, so I definitely could not share all that we talked about in one blog. But I'll at least chare something small. The topic this week was examination and contemplation as spiritual disciplines. Actually taking time to intentionally think about the ways God is involved in our lives. There are so many small things you can do, but one thing is to try asking yourself a certain kind of question at the end of the day. There were lots of examples, but one of the ones I like the best was: "Which part of my day was the most life-giving and which was the most life-thwarting." The others were good, too, and if you want to know them, just let me know, and I'll share more. Anyway, the moral of this story is that I so enjoyed that opportunity I had this week, and am also so grateful for all the amazing women (and guys, too) that I'm meeting. I really do look forward to finding out what friendships God has in store and what other awesome things he has up his sleeve.

Oh, and I'm also thankful for friendships at work. I'm (thankfully!!!) starting to feel more and more comfortable there, and really am thankful for the girls I work with.

Random thought time :o) .......

Thought #1: Did you know that hardihood means boldness? I like that word. Also, logorrhea means talkativeness. Think about's pretty funny. Have you ever been to If not, you should. It's great, and I think you should go to it right now.

Thought #2: I am constantly reminded that I need God all the time. This one might be a repeat, but it doesn't matter, because that's the point. This very important fact is just as true today as yesterday, and will be just as true tomorrow.

Thought #3: Tonight there is a meteor shower! I've only seen one once before, and it didn't even compare to this one. Apparently, they even get much better...I think during the summer, and also later at night if I would stay up. Anyway, I did go out for just a few minutes (it's still very, very frigid outside), and I saw a beautiful shooting star right away! I love nature. I especially love the sky. All kinds. But my most favorite is a starry sky. I love the feeling of being in awe and at the same time humbled at the thought of how tiny I am and how big God is.

Thought #4: A few days ago, my Mom happened to randomly talk to my old High School Headmaster. She shared with him about my Ride:Well Tour, and he could not believe it! Haha...and understandably so. I was a choir and drama kid. Not even in the running for "most athletic." Anyway, he said he wants me to write an article and feature it as the main story of the next Alumni magazine. I'm pretty excited about getting to share the story with past graduating classes.

That's all for tonight. Maybe, if I can get myself to do it (what I'm saying is, no promises!), I should blog more often. That way, the blogs would be a little shorter, which I'm sure you would all like.

Good night.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exciting News, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and other delights of life

Making chocolate covered strawberries for people is one of my favorite things. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to make some to take in to work with me. I'm super excited. Also, I just have to say I make some of the best chocolate covered strawberries ever. Honestly, though, it's really not that hard at all. There are just a couple tricks most people don't realize. First of all, you have to dry off the strawberries after you wash them. If you don't, the chocolate will slip off. Second, the chocolate should be a mix of semi-sweet chocolate chips as well as those chocolate baking brick things, equal parts. Also, don't refrigerate them too much...the chocolate will separate and fall off easily. Other than that, just get yummy strawberries with pretty leaves. And if you want them to be extra special, melt some white chocolate, too, and drizzle it over the milk chocolate after it's dry.

Tonight I didn't have to work, so I got to go to a Scum small group. That was super exciting, because the people are pretty awesome, plus the conversation is pretty great. I'm so glad I got to go!

I have pretty exciting news! I've joined a racing team. My coach said being a part of a team is really important in racing. So I found out about an awesome new team. IC3 is the International Christian Cycling Club, and they have a Colorado club. Yesterday, I got an e-mail newsletter from IC3 Colorado that talked about a women's team, and I was super excited about the possibility of joining. I told my coach, Michael, and he said that would be an excellent team to join since it's for women and also because they have a great reputation and have produced some very successful cyclists. So I talked to the lady in charge, who is semi-pro, and found out that she lives in my town and is willing to ride with me! She is so sweet and very excited about me joining. There will be 2 groups: a cat 1/2 group of 3 semi-pro women, and a developmental cat 3/4 group. I'm so thankful for this awesome opportunity and can't wait to start riding and racing with this great group of women!

Now for my random thoughts:

Thought #1: Today I got the best fuzzy slippers ever. From Wal-Mart...who knew? I feel like I am walking on, fuzzy clouds. :o) I have figured out that these are non-negotiable in Denver.

Thought #2: One of my most favorite drinks of all time is Odwalla Mango Tango, but it's so expensive! Today I found out that they are on sale at Vitamin Cottage, our local natural grocery store. That was a pretty wonderful surprise. I also got sweet potato fries, which I had for dinner, and thought of Alicia :o) I really hope she sees this.

Thought #3: There is a meteor shower coming!!!!!! November 16th @ 11pm - November 17th @ 4am. I so can't wait! Apparently, from here the meteor showers are so clear and you see so many shooting stars. Just have to hope the skies are very clear that night!

Thought #4: As of yesterday, I think, I have lived in Denver for a month! That seems so crazy to me. I still feel like I just got here. After living in Nashville basically my whole life until a month ago, knowing lots of people and places and being incredibly familiar with the area, it's pretty tough to move to a place where absolutely nothing is familiar. But I'm realizing that if everything's easy, we're probably missing out on something. God has held my hand all the way. And things are finally feeling a little more familiar. Most importantly, my church home really does feel like home. Having a local church family is so important, I think. If you ever make plans to come visit me, please make sure you will be here on a Sunday night, so I can take you with me! :o)

Thought #5: I feel like this blog might be a little lame, because I'm too tired to expand on some things and take time to articulate thoughts really well. I just wanted to go ahead and say some stuff while it's on my mind. I'll try to do better next time :o) But for now, I'm off to bed to get up early and make some yummy chocolate covered strawberries.

That's all. Sweet Dreams.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sundays are my most favorite days.

Whoa...that was one long weekend! Seriously, I feel like I haven't stopped since Friday morning. But, despite all the chaos, it was a pretty good weekend. It's just that it really flew by.

First of all, the past week's weather was absolutely stunning! I'm not kidding. And it's so bizarre because, even though we've had warm, summer-like days, there are still brown mounds of snow in places left over from the big snow we had about a week ago. I found out today that here in Colorado, they call it Indian Summer. Apparently, each year after the first big snow, they have much warmer than average days, and they call it Indian Summer. Well, I like it. The weather in CO is great because you get a little taste of everything. Well, everything except much rain. So it's great.

On Friday, I got to have lunch with Britt on her lunch break downtown, which was a wonderful treat, and I hope to continue each week. :o) Love you, Britt!

One of the things I'm really, really, super thankful for right now is that work is getting much better. If I've talked to you anytime in the last couple of weeks, you probably heard me vent a little about how stressful my job can be. I work at a great restaurant, but unfortunately it just happens to get pretty stressful and draining sometimes because of the fact that everything has to be perfect. Everything. I so much enjoy hospitality and treating guests well, but sometimes I can't enjoy it as much because there is an endless list of things I have to do just right. Anyway, lately I've just been constantly reminded of how much I need God. I am so aware that I need Jesus' strength all the time. So before I get to work, I have some prayer time, and I just ask God to give me strength, and love, and patience, and joy, and life, and humility. And I pray that he would help me be a good picture of him. And that I wouldn't be so anxious to be recognized for the times I go out of my way, but that I would find joy in serving others and offering kindness to every person I work with. I know that he has answered my prayers, so I also continue to pray that he would keep me from ever forgetting my desperate need for him and thinking I can do it on my own. He is absolutely, unquestionably the only source of true, abundant life, and of joy and peace. I crave that I would bring his grace to the workplace he has provided for me.

This blog wouldn't be complete without random thoughts, of course:

Thought #1: My Mom has always told me, "Bloom where you're planted." I think that's really good advice, and I still think of it often. You're a smart cookie, Mom, and I look up to you tons. :o)

Thought #2: Since I'm getting more settled in (In a couple of days, it'll be a month since I moved to Denver! Crazy!), I'm now working a little harder on my bike training. I'm so excited, because I'm seeing big results, and getting pretty fast. It's fun :o)

Thought #3: Church tonight was fantastic! (That's why Sundays are my favorite days. I freaking love my church home!) We had a special guest who is a singer/songwriter. I think his name was either Justin McRoberts or Jason McRoberts. Anyway, he was really great. So he sang some songs and he said some really good stuff. He also spoke about Compassion International. I'm not writing to put in a plug for Compassion, though I do think they're a great organization. I'm writing because he made a really great point I've never heard before. He talked about how we might have questions about how the money that's donated is used, and he said those are good questions, and he'd be happy to answer them. But, he asked, could we be that way with our other expenses, too? Do we act the same way with our clothes or food? Are we financially consistent? It's a fantastic question, I think. He also challenged us to be purposeful and ask ourselves how we are spending our lives. The services are always great, and if you want to hear them, you can go to the website and listen to the podcasts. They're at www.
Oh, and after church, I went out for coffee with some friends from church. Having friends is fun. know, after moving to a new place. Doing normal things and having a life are good.

Thought #4: Yesterday my iPhone case broke. It was a plain, white case. Today I replaced it, and pretty much have the cutest case ever now. It is winter-ish colored light blue, and has the Paul Frank monkey wearing red earmuffs and with white snowflakes. I love it. :o)

Thought #5: Hmmm....I'm not sure I've got anything else tonight. Oh wait! Yes, I do! And it's very random. This is a shout out to my fellow Ride:Well-ers. There is a teeny tiny little log cabin near my house that you can drive up to. The sign says: "Coffee Cabin: Burritos and Smoothies." Everytime I see it I think of my team. We had lots and lots of breakfast burritos and lots and lots of smoothies on our tour. Plus, I just think it's a hilarious combination.

The end.

Sweet Dreams.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

hi! I confess I sort of felt this pressure to have a really cool, perfect first blog entry. Then I decided that was dumb. So now, instead of waiting [and waiting] to have this perfect first blog entry, I'm just going to go ahead and say the random things I want to say...which, to be honest, is much more fitting for me.

And now, for today's random thoughts from me...

Thought #1 First of all, I
finally decided to start a blog. I always have random things to say. But, also, I sometimes have things I just really want to say. Important things. But I just don't always write them. Because sometimes I think what I have to say isn't quite as eloquent as something you could read somewhere else. But I need to remember that what I have to say is important and someone just might want to hear it. So here's my blog of both incredibly random as well as sincere thoughts. I always mean what I say, and if you imagine that I'm smiling as I'm typing, you'll usually be right. :) Oh yeah, and plus, I finally thought of a name for my blog, so that helped. :) I pretty much feel like my life is a joy ride...the REAL thing! Because I love to ride my bike. And I even believe that I can worship God when I ride my bike. And I have joy. Lots of it. All the time. Especially when I ride my bike. Because it's something God gave me, and I believe when we're more fully being the person God created us to be, it glorifies him. Make sense?

Thought #2 One of the things I really like about where I live right now is that at night I can see both city lights and tons of *stars*. I really love both of those, but most of the time you can't see both at the same time. But when I walk outside at night here, I can.

Thought #3 I have a new favorite food thing...peanut butter and honey on a blueberry bagel. If that sounds weird, try it before you judge me!

Thought #4 I'm starting to consider going on another
Venture Expeditions trip next summer. (This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity of being on the Ride:Well Tour '09 Team. It's a bike ride accross the country to raise funds and awareness for Blood:Water Mission, an organization that empowers communities in the fight against the HIV/AIDS and clean water crises in Africa. Venture is the organization that partnered with Blood:Water to make the tour happen.) They've got many trips planned for next summer, and this time many of them will benefit anti-human trafficking efforts, which is one of my greatest passions. So I'm praying about if I should be a part of it again, and which tour to do. If you want to join with me in prayer about it, that would be pretty great. Plus, you should consider going on one of the many incredible tours!

Thought #5 Another food thing...haha. Yesterday I discovered cocoa roasted almonds 100 calorie packs...yumm. nuff said.

The end.
Sweet dreams.