A friend of mine (who is a great writer – check out his blog here!) asked me the other day when was the last time I blogged. I was shocked to discover how long it’s been. It’s been over a year since my last blog post. I’m going to go ahead and blame grad school for that (more on that in a bit).
I started a blog post on October 22, 2014 (which would’ve been 6 months after the previous post and 9 months before this one), but never published it. That entry was to be about a new hero of mine – Sir Nicholas Winton. Apt timing, I suppose, for me to find this draft, as he just passed away on July 1 at the age of 106. Winton organized the rescue of 669 children during World War II, most of them Jewish, and he never told anyone of his involvement. He didn’t even tell his wife, so she (and the world) only learned of his actions when she stumbled across an old scrapbook of his in 1988 – over 40 years after the end of the war. For a brief video of an incredible reunion with Winton and some of the children he rescued, check out this video from the BBC.
The last non-Instragram entry on my blog was written on April 30, 2014. It was about birds, and how I see God’s faithfulness and care in birds. It’s one of my favorite posts (that feels weird to write), mostly because I need that reminder every day. If God cares that much for birds, to provide for their every want and need, how much more does he care and provide for me?
So what have I been up to since April 30th, 2014? A lot, as my many Instagram posts have illustrated. But here are some highlights:
- Grad school. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I’m on track to graduate in December, with only a summer course and my thesis left to complete. It has been an incredible experience for me and I am so blessed to have met the people I have through this program. There are the ones who have moved away (I’m looking at you, Dr. Visser!), the ones who have graduated, the ones who have partnered with me in many classes… Every book, paper, project, presentation, discussion, and field trip has been worth every dollar, tear, and minute. What I’m going to do after graduation, I have no idea. But I’m excited!
- My home. In July 2013 I moved from a condo in Glendale, CA to a house in Temple City, CA. My house mate/landlord was a good friend of mine I knew from church and the two of us lived with 3 other women in a 5-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house. After a year living at the Jaylee house, my introvert soul decided it was time to find a quieter place to live. And so, in April this year I moved into a condo in Monrovia, CA. I’ve noticed a trend in my abodes since I first moved to Los Angeles back in 2007(!). I keep moving further and further east. It makes sense, I guess, especially since I work for Azusa Pacific University in an office in San Dimas – of course I’d be moving closer to work. I’m getting a little too close to the San Bernardino County border though…
- New car. In November I finally said goodbye to my 20-year-old Honda Accord and got a new Buick Encore with the help of some friends at Thorson Buick. I’ve never had a new car before and I’m still kinda overwhelmed with all the bells and whistles. I mean, it has air conditioning, speakers that work, all its mirrors, and a sunroof! Most importantly, I feel safe in my car.
- New job. In March of last year I transitioned from my program representative role to a position in the Registrar’s office doing transfer evaluations at University College at Azusa Pacific University (yes, it’s a mouthful). In November 2014, an opportunity came up and I was encouraged by many to apply for the position of Enrollment Supervisor at University College. I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave the position I was in, especially after only having been there for 8 months, but one of my co-workers reminded me that I was studying for a master of arts in leadership and here I was being given an opportunity to lead. I had to do it. It’s been 8 months and I’m still standing. Lots of life lessons learned, and I’ve even learned a little bit more about enrollment. So, anyone interested in starting classes in the fall? I know a place…
- Adventures! Last summer I took my first vacation in years and spent 5 days in Seattle visiting old friends from college and my cousins. I’d been to the city once before, but over 15 years ago, so it felt like I was visiting for the very first time. I loved it. So much, in fact, that I can see myself living there someday. And it was so great to reconnect with the Achesons and their boys, and to spend time with my cousins. I also have had the opportunity to go to Mexico with my church twice this past year. The last time I’d gone to Mexico was before 9/11, when my friends and I would park at the border, walk across, and spend the day there with nothing more on us than $20 and our drivers licenses. I’d nearly forgotten how much I love Mexico and speaking Spanish. My Andalusian accent came back quickly, and we laughed at the different idioms and slang.
What’s coming up for me in the next year?
- Japan! I leave for Japan on Thursday and will be gone for two weeks on a mission trip with my church. I am excited to cross off a bucket list item (to visit every continent; this trip brings my number to 3) and to see where the missionaries from my church live and work.
- Homecoming! This year is my 10-year reunion at PLNU. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already since I graduated. I am really looking forward to being back on campus and seeing old friends again.
- Graduation! I’ll be graduating in December from Azusa Pacific University with a Master of Arts in Leadership. I’m gonna be a leader!
- Free time! Once I graduate, I’ll have time to read for fun again! I cheated along the way, mostly to read Game of Thrones, but always in the back of my head there is this thought of “You should really be doing homework instead…”
- More blogs! Going along with the previous, once I graduate I’ll have more time (and motivation) to write for fun.
- Maybe I’ll get a cat.
That’s it! That’s the news from the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in my little town of Monrovia. I’m excited for what this next year holds in store for me and I’m ready for the adventure.
Sorry it took so long.