Sunday, January 31, 2010


I recently aquired a Contigo travel mug at a Christmas gift exchange. I love a good travel mug . . . but I am beginning to realize how truly great this mug is! I absolutely love it! It keeps things hot for hours (I'm usually still drinking my morning cup of coffee all the way to lunch, and it's still warm). And the best part about it is . . . is that is has a great seal. See that blue button? You have to hold down the button to even drink, but once you let go, the mug is prefectly sealed. I can turn it upside down, throw it around . . . and nothing comes out. It's actually quite amazing.
The other day at work I was walking somehwere carrying a box full of important papers. I wanted to take my coffee with me, so I dropped my mug in the box with the papers . . . and it was totally fine. I don't even think the mug was standing up.
Needless to say, I'm quite impressed with this mug. So if you're looking for a good travel mug . . . this is by far the best that I've seen!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Wonderland

The weather has not disappointed this week. It snowed almost constantly from Monday through Friday night. We have multiple feet of new snow. It's stunning. Even people who have lived here for 20+ years are saying that we've never had this much snow in one week.

While the rest of California was dealing with the rain and thunder . . . we've been looking a little more like a peaceful winter in Narnia. Although, We did get lightning with snow on Monday which I guess is pretty rare.

It is so spectacularly beautiful (especially today, the first clear day) . . . but it does have it's dangers too. We've had huge tree branches fall and cause damage to buildings and cars. We've had multiple trees completely break under the pressure of the snow (and we had to cut down a large potentially dangerous one as well). The roads are narrower now, and a large portion of the mountain road into camp was made a one way street. We weren't even allowed to drive around camp for awhile. The roofs are completely piled with snow . . . and it feels like earthquakes when it slides off. The snow on the roof of the Ark completely ripped off a large vent and left a whole in the roof when it came down. We even have avalanche warnings here in Kings Canyon. I think we're pretty safe here though.

But here's a few pictures from the last week:

Sunday: Just beginning to snow

Wednesday: Probably a foot or so of new snow

Friday: More than 3 feet of snow by now. The trees are beginning to be weighted down.

Saturday: Clear blue skies!

This one's kinda blurry, but I still like it.

So beautiful!

This is the hole and the vent that was ripped off the roof.

A winter wonderland!

It was pretty hard to walk through this snow here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's About Time!

I must say, I'm quite thrilled with this week's weather forecast . . .

Jan 17 Heavy Snow Heavy Snow

Jan 18 Heavy Snow / Wind Heavy Snow/Wind

Jan 19 Snow Shower Snow Shower

Jan 20 Heavy Snow Heavy Snow

Jan 21 Snow Snow

Jan 22 Snow Snow

Yesterday's Project

Yesterday I hung my new piece of art. And while I was at it . . . I finally put stuff on the shelf above my bed which has been empty since I moved in last June. I didn't have much to work with . . . but this is how it all turned out. I would like to add more old books, maybe a black umbrella like the ones in the picture, and I think I may put this great piece of red vintage luggage I have up there too.

The funny thing . . . after I spent all this time measuring to get the picture just right. . . I realized I had forgotten to take into account the fact that the pillows stand up on my bed. So the picture's a little too low now. Oops. I'll move it up a few inches.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Singing Butler

Have I ever told you about my favorite painting?

I had admired it for years . . . never even knowing the name or the artist until several years ago. It's called "The Singing Butler" by Jack Vettriano. I love this painting not because of the style or the artist (I don't especially love either) . . . but I love the content.

It's a man in a tuxedo and a woman in an evening gown dancing barefoot at the beach. And what I love about it . . . is that you can tell the weather is stormy and windy, but it never seems to phase the dancers. The butler and the maid on the other hand . . . they are holding umbrellas over the couple and turning away from the wind. But the couple is still dancing.

It's like this beautiful, peaceful moment in the middle of a storm. I absolutely love it. And the other day . . . I came home to find a 32 x 44 inch, beautifully framed copy sitting in my living room. It's so big there's only one space it will fit in my house. Thank you Sarah. It's beautiful.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I am making my New Year's Resolution today. I know it's late . . . but it's something I've done every day since December anyway . . . so why not make it official?

I am going to floss my teeth every day in 2010.

My dentist would be proud.

Looking Back

I feel a little late doing this now . . . But this really is the first time I've gotten to look back over this past year and reflect.

This has been a great year for me. I wanted to, you know, cater to all of our short attention spans with some little witty blog that highlighted the best part of each month. But as I look through all my pictures from this past year . . . I realize that would be near to impossible. I have been to 4 other countries in 2009, ridden an elephant, discovered I'm good at baking, developed my skills for writing and editing, had a bad haircut in Thailand, said goodbye to many friends as they've left our home here, tried new activities, learned to live in the snow, and traveled more than ever . . .

It's hard to sum up . . . or even relay everything I did or learned this year.

But here are a few of the highlights from my 2009:

Dating Nathan beginning last January!

Traveling with work for "Vision Dinners" in February.

Taking up snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Celebrating my birthday in March with great friends at a "cabin weekend!"

Developing a great working relationship with Tyler.

Getting my own house (and painting it myself) in June. I absolutely love it.

Going back to Biola for the first time since my graduation . . . and seeing so many wonderful friends.

I got to see both my siblings graduate in June. Bryce from high school and Kirs from fashion school.

After a year and a half of being a vegetarian, I broke down and starting eating seafood while in San Diego. I am now a pescatarian.

I got to spend 2 weeks working as a lead counselor at our camp in San Diego!

This year my family came to me for some family + Micah vacation.

I got to celebrate Nathan's 30th b-day with both our families. We're a crazy bunch.

It was great to join Cassie and Kiel at their wedding in Los Gatos.

Then I got to join Allison and Joey at their wedding too!

Nathan and I spent a week in Canada! It was an awesome time . . . and so beautiful!

While in Canada we went to my cousin Melissa's wedding.

In October I spent 2 weeks in Thailand helping run a camp we do there. It was awesome. I love Thailand.

This was the most breathtaking and beautiful moment of my year. "Loi Krathang," a Buddhist lantern lighting ceremony in Thailand.

I got to explore Singapore for an evening. I honestly don't know why I don't live in Asia.

I made it home in November to enjoy the annual Harris and Rogalski family dinner! Nathan came too.

I finished out the year with Amber and my family when they came for a New Year's in the mountains.

It's been a great year. God is so good. I am blessed with great family, amazing friends, a wonderful boyfriend, exciting opportunities and adventures, my own house, and a full-time job. Not everyone can say the same.

I hope your year was just as good as mine!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Forgotten God

This is the book "Forgotten God - Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit" by Francis Chan. My boss gave it to me for Christmas. So far I've really been enjoying it. I've always loved hearing Francis Chan speak at Torrey Conferences at Biola, and in the summers here at camp. I always appreciate his solid, Biblically centered teaching that encourages us to live and approach life according the the Bible, and not just how our culture understands church and spirituality today. I'll give you my review of the book once I'm done.

The Orange County Sunset