i am a big fan of voting. a week before my 18th birthday i couldn’t wait any longer, and i went down to the post office on day after school and registered to vote. it was exciting to sign my name on my voter registration form. on my way out of the post office that day, i grabbed a stack of voter registration forms and handed them out to all my friends.

just in case you have been living in a cave for the past year, we have an election coming up. for the first time in a while i am torn about who i am going to vote for and most likely i really won’t make my decision until i step up to the voting booth to cast my ballot. there is a little i like about each candidate, and a lot about each candidate that i don’t like. so for me, right now, it’s 50/50.

but i am still a van of voting. and i firmly believe that it is not only our duty to our country and forefathers, but anyone who calls themselves a Christian (which by most studies is about half of our country) has a duty to vote. this isn’t a choice people… not voting is not an option. and if you think it is… then move to canada! (yep, i said move on up north!) i don’t really want to share my country with people who don’t want to vote or who think it’s an inconvenience. there are people on this plant who have given their life for the right to vote, something you or i will never know. ok, enough about that.

i came across this video. it was made by a catholic group encouraging catholics to vote. it’s powerful. it moved me. it reminded me of my passion for voting. in a lot of ways, you can take out the word catholic and replace it with Christian. watch it… pray about… think about it… and go vote!


here’s the skinny

when i first arrived, i was a tad bit worried about my blog posting abilities. because i am being frugal with my monetary resources (i.e. i am cheap), i tend to search for free wifi where ever i go. most times i am successful. but i was a little worried due to the fact that the closest signs of wifi i was finding was at Starbucks. in the land of California state workers, most of the Starbucks close at an unreasonable early time.

so this morning when i headed up to the club lounge for our complementary continental breakfast, i noticed a sign that said we had complimentary wifi in the lounge. guess what, i am on it like a youth worker goes after the freebies at convention!

so, instead of penning blog entries through out the day and then posting them at night or when i can find some wifi… i will be able to post them when they are written! yea for me… and you… if there are any you’s out there.

i have arrived

i impressed myself today… i was more ready than i normally am when leaving for a stay away from home. i was late for my morning breakfast, but that was about it. went to work, got a lot accomplished for the short amount of time i was there, jumped in the car and headed north.

on my way up today i was thinking about expectations, and it occurred to me that i was bringing my own set of expectations on this trip. i realized that as i had my packed bags in the trunk of my car, i had me packed expectations in my head and my heart. here’s a little of what i packed today…

i expect to meet God this week

i expect to meet brothers and sisters this week

i expect to do some heart exploration this week

i expect to laugh a lot this week

i expect a lot of this to feel very natural

those are just some of my expectations… my list of hopes and dreams for the week is much more exhaustive, intimate and detailed.

no matter which way you cut it, my expectations are running deep for the national youth workers convention this week. i do promise a full report at the end of the week… but also keeping up-to-the-day reporting of the shenanigans i will find myself in the middle of. ok, really it will be the shenanigans that i will be instigator of.


spencer tracy, colin powell, booker t washington, gregory peck and bette davis…

we all share the same birthday.

who do you share your birthday with?


i love the stuff. it’s versatility in the kitchen lends itself to having many uses from flavoring to grease to breakfast meat… bottom line… it rules! or, in the words of Emeril Lagasse, “pork fat rules.”

it’s even multicultural… panchetta (Italy), peameal bacon (Canada), samgyeopsal (Korea), collop (France) are all types of bacon!

my devotion for this versatile breakfast food runs deep, but i must also say that it is something that is saved as a treat and not something that is eaten at ever possible chance. with all that said, and my devotion clearly proclaimed… i dare say that i will never, ever make any attempt at trying the following…

yes, ladies and gentelman… it’s canned bacon. it was one thing when they put already cooked bacon on the shelf in the refridgerator section next to the uncooked bacon. and yet another thing when they placed in on a normal shelf without refridgeration (which is something i am still puzzled by). but now this… what has the culinary world come to for someone to consider canning bacon and thinking that it would be a good idea in any shape or form?


i will blogging through my week at the convention… at least as much as i can!

i will also be twittering through… that will be less complicated.

for anyone interested in following…

there’s this page…

turn your eyes up… to the top of this page. go ahead, it’ll be ok. it won’t bite.

you see it? you the tabs?

if you click on one of the tabs, you will find different information… some of it is about me, some of it is about stuff i am hopeful to write/blog about in the future and some it is words. but these, just are not any words… they are words of wisdom. or at least there is some type of wisdom that i gleaned from them when i read them.

so, i wanted a reminder of them… the words. i wanted a place for myself, but also for others, to continue to glean wisdom from them. and hopefully put a smile on your face and maybe get a chuckle out of ya!

we rehearsed

this is truly one of my favorite pictures of the happy couple. this was after the final practice resession… they walked right out of their shoes and into the fountain. it was beautiful.


there was this wedding last friday night. i was in it. no i was not the bride… but i was the maid of honor. i had many duties for the event, but the one i think that i was most excited about was the speech that i was to deliver during the reception.

anyone who knows me well, knows that i have this odd like (actually love) of public speaking, and it’s something that i am good at… at least that’s what i am told.

having never been in a position to give a speech as a maid of honor, i put my handy-dandy journalistic investigative skills to work (you know, the ones i paid a lot of money to gain… yep, the same ones that i am not using on a regular basis!) and began google-ing etiquette, speeches, maid of honor… you get the picture.

well, i didn’t like anything i found. i know… shocking. combined that with my deep, burning desire to add a little abby-uniqueness to the picture… the only thing i could do was to be an individual and strike out on my own for this speech.

katie, best friend and bride, is in love with her Irish heritage. no joke… you know katie, you know her love for baking irish soda bread and Guinness brownies and her quizzes… my goodness the quizzes! but i digress…

so here is what i came up with… offering the happy couple some handy-dandy marriage advice and then an irish blessing. sounds good… one problem… having never been married, i am was in no place to offer them advice about being married… so i did the next best thing and found quotes for some famous peeps on the subject and offered them to the happy couple.

here is the “speech” (and if you truly know me, you know i have never ever delivered a speech from a script)…

Quotes on Marriage:

  • Oscar Wilde: Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
  • Rita Rudner: I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
  • Bill Cosby: Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge.
  • Bill Cosby: For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.
  • Rocky Balboa: I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each other’s gaps.
  • Gloria Steinem, 2000, upon marrying for the first time at age 66: Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner, it feels limitless, not limited.
  • Joanne Woodward, married to Paul Newman for 50 years: Sexiness wears thin after a while, and beauty fades. But to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.
  • William Butler Yeats: I think a man and a woman should choose each other for life, for the simple reason that a long life with all its accidents is barely enough time for a man and a woman to understand each other … and to understand – is to love.”
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing to a young bride and groom from his prison cell in Nazi Germany in 1943: It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.
  • Billy Graham: When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, “Ruth and I are happily incompatible.”
  • Ruth Bell Graham: A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.

Irish Wedding Blessing:
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.

all this coupled with some witty words of delivery and getting chocked up at the appropriate moment… and we had success!

(I think the Rocky quote is my favorite!)


i believe that i am getting one this weekend… excited and nurvous all at the same time.

you see, i have this aversion to needles. i know, but tattoos are done with needles… this is where the nurvousness thing comes into play. the excitment comes into play because of my reason for doing this.

a while ago… so, we’ll say roughly 10 or so months ago, i embarked on a relationship that i thought was going to change my life. and in a lot of ways it did, not in the ways that i expected it to. i truly thought the outcome would something involving bells, a white dress, friends, family, good food, good pictures, wishes of happiness bestowed on us by our loving friends and family, and later down the line the pitter-patter of little feet. but alas… that’s not reality!

after crying my eyes out, feeling like my heart was ripped out and then run over by an 18-wheeler, experiencing the depth of pain that i had experienced only once before while grieving over another loss, waves of bitterness, questioning, being honest with myself, beginning to be honest with friends, turning to God and being honest with Him, taking responsability and owning my stuff… it struck me while driving around town the other day… i want the mark of Jesus Christ on me. I want it etched* into my living flesh. I want it there forever. i want people to see it and ask why i would do such a thing. i want to be able to tell people that i am a sinner and this reminds me of it everyday!

but most of all, i want that daily reminder that…

i belong to God.
i am His beautiful creation.
i am wonderfully made.
He is all i need.
He will sustain me.
He will provide for me.
He will never forsake me.
i am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
all my sins are forgiven.
and by His blood, i am saved.

*(ok, not really etched… i will stick to tattooing thank you very much)