Ash(craft) Wednesday

I’m not Catholic, but my Dad was raised Catholic.

Even after he was no longer a practicing Catholic, he still participated in Lent. One of my fondest memories from my childhood was my Dad giving up Pepsi every. single. year. for Lent. You’re probably thinking, “So what? It’s just Pepsi.” But let me tell you a little something about my Dad: he lived off Pepsi. He drank one cup of coffee in the morning and Pepsi the rest of the day (even late at night).

So each year he would give up Pepsi and each year his doctor would be astonished by the dramatic drop in his cholesterol level. His co-workers would tease him by putting ice cold cans on his desk while he was eating lunch. But, like a good man, he never gave in.

Lent was always a weird concept for me and I’m not exactly sure why. I grew up in the church so I knew about Easter and Ash Wednesday but we didn’t really talk about Lent.

It wasn’t until my first year of college that I learned exactly what Lent was all about:
dirt on your forehead.
(kidding, but this is how I found out)

I attended the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio for my undergraduate career. UD is a Catholic Marianist university. UD has a beautiful chapel on campus, crosses in every classroom, and you are expected to uphold the standards they set forth.
The Catholic faith is the root of what UD is all about.

Welllll during my first year, on Ash Wednesday, I woke up and went to class. I had an early class and was very tired so I didn’t pay much attention to the people I was passing on my way to class. However, when I reached my classroom, something was off.

Everyone had dirt on their foreheads. I was confused.

No one said anything about it. They all acted like nothing was different or out of place. Not even the professor said anything. So I sat in class wondering if there was a patch of ice somewhere that everyone slipped in and hit their heads in a pile of dirt.

When I got out of class, I headed back to my dorm, but noticed that so many more people walking around also had dirt on their foreheads. IΒ started wondering if I was imagining it because I was so tired…

As I was relaxing in my dorm room, my roommate comes back with (you guessed it) dirt on her forehead.

I gave her a weird look and she stopped, “What?”

“Why do you have dirt on your forehead? Did you and everyone else on this campus fall down somewhere?”

The look on her face was priceless. Her facial expression went from being confused to finding the situation very amusing.

“It’s Ash Wednesday!”


“So? These are ashes! We all went to Mass!”

It was a definitely face palm moment.

So she explained to me how the whole process worked and I felt really ridiculous for the rest of the day.

Lent is a period of religious observance starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on the Thursday before Easter.

Many Christians observe Lent by giving up some sort of luxury (which is why a lot of my friends give up candy or chocolate). Many Christians also have some sort of Lenten spiritual discipline that they follow to become closer to God.

While in college, I had several roommates who are very rooted in their Catholic faith. They all gave up some sort of luxury, followed some sort of religious discipline, and did something each week to give back to the community.

Learning more about Lent and seeing how my roommates observed it changed my perspective completely.

While I may not be Catholic, or part of the other religious groups that observe Lent, I still observe Lent because of my Dad.

Each year, I plan out how I am going to spend my time during Lent. And each year, no matter how well I go about planning it, I still end up faltering in some way. But I’ve learned over the years that it’s okay.

How I plan on spending my time during Lent this year

Similar to my Dad, I plan on giving up a food/drink item that seems to be my life.

Anyone who knows me could probably guess what it is….

Hot Cheetos.

I know these things are not the greatest thing to eat, but they are so delicious! Even now that I’m pregnant, I find myself still wanting to eat them (but not as often as I used to).

So this year I plan on giving up Hot Cheetos and commit myself to eating more healthier foods. It’s hard for me to eliminate a food group or something I eat often because I’m pregnant so only certain foods sound good, haha.

As for my spiritual observance of Lent, I started following She Reads Truth‘s Lent study. This is a daily study, and I subscribe to SRT anyways, so it’s sent to my email each morning and it’s available on their app.
If you’ve never heard of SRT, I encourage you to check it out!

I also plan on watching more of my churches sermons online. Since I haven’t been driving down to my Mom’s house that often, I haven’t been physically going to church. I’m hoping Lent will help me get back into the swing of things.
If you’re looking for some great sermons, check out North Coast Church!

Whether you religious or not, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. It’s a little different than what I was usually write about but I was feeling inspired (and was missing my Dad).

[I called this post “Ash(craft) Wednesday” because my Dad used to call it that; he just thought it was so funny. Now that he’s gone, I find that that’s the only way I refer to it too. I am a little jealous that he gets to spend Lent and Easter (and every day, really) with Jesus. And while I miss him terribly, I know he is right where he belongs.]

As an added bonus: here’s my Dad and I on the last day of Move-In Weekend!


One Very Special Announcement!

I have taken a lot of time away from my blog, but for a good reason! Well, actually, several reasons, but one reason in particular.

In November when my Dad died, I took time away because, honestly, I didn’t want to do anything. I was very happy not thinking about what my next post would be or getting dressed up for pictures. Let’s be real, I’ve worn makeup 3 times since he passed…

In December and January, I took time away because I am busy with school (one semester left!!) and because…drum roll please….

I’m pregnant!!

Yes, yes! You read that correctly!


How I found out

Mother Nature visits me each month like clockwork and I use an app (Pink Pad) to help me remember when it is. I’m usually within a day of the projected start date. I was supposed to start on Dec. 10, which also happened to be the day of my Dad’s funeral. When it didn’t come that day, I didn’t mind because I was really stressed that day and that was the last thing I wanted to worry about. However, it didn’t come the next day or the next.

I decided to take a test on Dec. 12 at 1:30pm when I was home alone. Bret was at work so I figured it would be the perfect time just in case it’s negative. Well, it was positive.

I immediately freaked out a little…or rather, a lot! I texted my sister and my best friend, and my sister was the first one to respond. I freaked out for two reasons: (1) I have to take the Bar Exam in July and according to my calculations, I’d be 9 months preggo; and (2) my Dad wasn’t here and he would’ve been one of my main supporters during this time.

My sister helped calm me down and helped keep my spirits up. I wasn’t freaked out about actually being pregnant because I’ve always wanted to be a mom, it was just more about timing, lol.

How I told Bret

How I told Bret wasn’t anything too special to write home about. He walked in the door after work and I was standing in the living room waiting. He could tell I had been crying, but figured it was about my Dad.

I blurted out, “I’m pregnant” kind of loudly. He just looked at me and said, “What?”

The look on his face was priceless.

The first five minutes were of him not believing I was actually pregnant. Then he got over it and was super excited. (Since then, he talks to my stomach every night because he wants that baby coming out knowing he’s Dad).


How I told my family

I’ll slip this in here because I think it’s the cutest story.

My niece Layla has been wanting a little sibling for years. So we figured having a baby cousin would be the next best thing and decided to tell her (and the rest of the family) at our annual Christmas Eve dinner/presents gathering.

Each year my Dad gave us cards that said, “Ho Ho Ho, Shop Shop Shop.” When I was cleaning his house I found his stash (he had lots of them). So I wrote inside “for baby clothes” under the “Shop shop shop” and added “I can’t wait to meet you in August cousin! Love, Baby Taitingfong.” I made these cards for all my siblings and it was the last present anyone opened.

Layla sat on the floor of my Grandpa’s house for almost five minute trying to figure out what it meant. Finally we had to help her out by process of elimination because only one person in the room had the last name Taitingfong. Once she realized we are having a baby, she freaked out and immediately asked if she could babysit. It was the cutest thing!

Where we are now

I am 13 weeks and 4 days! It literally feels like time is crawling by!!!

Up until this point we’ve told our families and a select group of friends. We didn’t want to tell too many people, because I’m a worry wart and think every tiny pain is the start of something bad happening.

Everything is going along as planned. We’ve already had some friends and family give us some adorable baby things. My best friend sent a huge package full of clothes, wipes, blankets, and art. I am so incredibly happy knowing this baby is going to have so many people around it that love it and support it.

I have a box full of stuff we’ve gotten already, but the few things I am most excited about are Pua and my old baby clothes. If you haven’t seen the new Disney movie, Moana, go see it! One of her sidekicks is a little pig named Pua. We found a stuffed animal at the Disney store and about fell in love!!! I still have my baby blankets and Barney, so I’m hoping this little Pua becomes the baby’s version of that.


Also, when my family was cleaning out my Dad’s house and storage unit, my Mom found a plastic bag full of some of my baby clothes. The two most notable pieces were the sailor suit I worn for a ton of family pictures when I was a baby, and a Concordia Cobbers shirt my grandparents got for all the kids (we have some great pictures of the five of us all matching, haha). I seriously cannot wait to put my little one in these two outfits!


When are you due?

I am due mid-August, which is kind of crazy timing. The Bar Exam is in the last week of July so I’ll have about three weeks after that to relax before baby comes.

Cravings & Aversions?

Yes….I have those. My biggest cravings are Taco Bell, Buffalo Wild Wings, and pizza! The pizza one is weird for me because I hate pizza. I do not like tomato sauce at all, but when that craving comes, I’m basically like “Give me all the pepperoni and sausage pizzas you can find!”

The only thing I’ve had an aversion to is breakfast foods, specifically eggs. I want to go hide in another room when eggs are around, which is odd because that was my go-to breakfast before I got pregnant. Go figure.

Final Thoughts!

I plan on posting some bumpdates throughout the pregnancy to keep everyone informed. Now I’m really glad I started this blog because it seems to be the easiest way to communicate everything with my friends and family that don’t live nearby.

Everyone we’ve told so far are really excited! I am thankful to God every day for this baby because I honestly thought that 2017 was going to be a really crappy year after my Dad dying and having to go through probate. I feel like this was God’s way of looking out for me and my family and letting us know that everything is going to be alright.

2016 in Review

2016 changed my life in more ways than I can probably comprehend.

I’ve taken some time away from social media, including my blog, to focus on family and myself. But it’s 2017 and I’m back. While I still have a lot going on in my life, it’s time to get back to blogging. After all, the whole reason I started this was to give myself an outlet.



In January, I started the second semester of my second year in law school. But more importantly, my Grandma Mary passed away.

I got a call at work saying she had been rushed to the hospital and I should hurry home (an hour away from where I work). I stayed the whole night with my mom and grandpa until she finally passed around 5am the next morning.

I thought this would be the worst pain I would feel this year…clearly I was wrong.



In March my sister got married!! It was a long time coming, let me tell you. Her and my brother-in-law have been together for over 14 years and have my adorable niece together. My sister planned the wedding by herself and it was held at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in Escondido, CA. It had an animal/pirate/adventure/Indiana Jones vibe to it. It was truly a beautiful wedding!



In May, I started dating the love of my life, Bret. We’ve known each other for 12 years and have had a crush on each other since we met in middle school. It took him 12 years to ask me out on a date. I knew from the moment I stepped inside his house and watched him make me dinner that he was the one for me. When you know, you know.



In June I said goodbye to my internship. From August 2015 to June 2016, I worked as a legal intern for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was, by far, the greatest job I’ve ever had. Not because I got to work at the stadium and go to games, but because of the experience I gained. I learned more in this job than I have in law school. It made me realize that school only teaches so much and a job teaches you the rest.



From about the end of April to the end of July, I spent every spare moment making a costume for the San Diego Comic Con. My groups theme was Star Wars! We had Rey, older Luke, Maz, BB-8, three Queen Amidalas, and three assassins who tried to kill her. We were a band and our costumes were re-imagined versions of Queen Amidala and the assassins. We performed at Masquerade in front of thousands of people.

It was also during this time that I realized you really need to be careful when using a heat gun…it burns…




In August I started my final year of law school. It’s crazy to think that this journey is almost over. It seems like the first two years of law school flew by. Now I have to actually think about taking the bar and looking for jobs (insert the Home Alone face here).



I seems like just yesterday that my sister called to tell me my dad died. I figured my life would have adjusted to my new normal after his funeral, but it hasn’t. There are still days I wake up in the morning and have to remind myself my dad is gone.

Grey’s Anatomy is one of my favorite shows and I started to rewatch it again from the beginning hoping it would cheer me up. I recently watched the episode where George O’Malley’s dad passes away. George and Christina have a conversation where she tells him her dad had died when she was a kid. He tells her, “I don’t know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn’t.” Christina responds with, “Yeah, that never really goes away.”

It’s funny because that is exactly how I feel. I’m still struggling to find a way to exist without him being just a phone call away.

Growing up, I saw my dad as the guy who talked a lot, told stories nonstop, taught me how to throw a baseball and ride a bike, and took me golfing every weekend so I wouldn’t lose my swing. But, I had never realized how much of an impact my dad had on others until his funeral.

There were people there I had not seen since I was a kid: grown-up kids that my dad had coached in little league, old friends who were integral in my dad’s life when he moved to Vista, neighbors who are like extended family, and the people from church my dad would talk to after the church service.

I was overwhelmed.

I have never been so grateful to see these people in my life.

If you are reading this and you were there: thank you. Because of you, your love, and your support, I was able to make it through that day. You made it a celebration of his life, not a funeral. You told me stories about what my dad meant to you. You helped, and in this time where life seems a little more fragile, I am eternally grateful.



There is one thing I have to say to 2016, and it’s this:

You were my challenge year. 2016 challenged me and made me grow in so many different ways. I don’t feel like the anxiety-ridden, constantly depressed young girl I had started 2016 as. I am confident, I am strong, and I am resilient. I don’t cower in a corner afraid to talk to people I deem to be out of my league (whether in the workplace or socially). I feel like part of me has been renewed, and I blame my dad. Part of me thinks he left me a part of him when he died, the social butterfly part.

2016 sucked. It’s something everyone keeps saying and I agree. This has been one of the worst years of my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.

2016 is that friend that you dislike but are secretly thankful for because it reminds you of all the life lessons your parents tried to teach you (and finding out they were right).

Goodbye, 2016. We won’t meet again and I am very happy about that.


Be Thankful + Rejoice


“Are you sitting down?”

The words that follow this question do not usually deliver good news.

I’ve never heard this phrase before. That is, until November 17 at 12:30 pm.

My dad had been sick with the flu for a week. His sister had been worried about him all week because he wasn’t responding to texts and calls, and wasn’t calling off work.

November 17 was the day she went to his house and found him.

No one dies from the flu. I didn’t believe it, my sister didn’t believe, and my aunt didn’t believe it. But he had gone to the doctor and had been treated for the flu so we just figured he was malnourished and dehydrated.

The next day we went to the medical examiners office andΒ his work to pick up his personal items. At his work, we were greeted by his coworkers who had known us since we were toddlers. Tears flowed and hugs were given.

When we finally got to his house, we were overwhelmed.

My dad had just bought a condo so he had barely unpacked. However, he was planning on hosting my siblings and I for Thanksgiving, so it was obvious he had started cleaning and unpacking. He had even ordered a turkey and bought the fixings.

I stood in the living room in disbelief and shock as tears flowed down my face.

The mantle was full of pictures of my siblings and I as babies and toddlers. He even had pictures of us in the pantry.

My dad was the best dad I could have asked for. He loved his kids more than life itself, and looking around his house showed that.

But no one dies from the flu.


It is extremely difficult to believe he is no longer here on Earth. It still feels like I’m asleep and about to wake up from my worst nightmare.

We were already bracing ourselves for the holidays because my mom’s mom (my grandma) had passed away in January. Now, the holidays are a wash. Part of me wants to skip them.

However, as I sit here on Thanksgiving Day thinking about my dad, I remember the reasons why we celebrate this day.

To give thanks.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
His love endures forever.
Psalms 106:1

In years past, I have given thanks for various reasons: being healthy; having a family who loves and supports me; having the opportunity to go to college, and now law school; the list goes on.

This year is different.

Today I give thanks because God blessed me with a dad who loved me more than I could have ever imagined.

Today I give thanks because I knew my dad, not as a dad, but as the great human being his friends and family knew him as.

Today I give thanks because my dad is in Heaven and is no longer with me. He is surrounded by his parents, his stepparents, his brother, my mom’s mom & brother, and his family and friends who had passed before him.


Over the past week I have struggled with weeding through so many emotions: grief, anger, loss, regret, and joyfulness.

Every time I make a phone call telling one of my dad’s friends he had passed, I struggle to get the words out. Every time I make a phone call to make service arrangements, I am in disbelief that I am doing this so young. Every time I walk around my house and see pictures of my dad, I feel every emotion I am even capable of feeling.

My heart now has an emptiness that cannot be filled.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalms 34:18

I know, as well as my siblings, that there is only one way to make this all better:
to bring him back.

It’s hard to wish he could be back here on Earth, because I know the second he got to Heaven, he would never want to come back to Earth again.

So in the midst of my grief, I try to rejoice.

I rejoice that I knew him.
I rejoice that I loved him and he loved me.
I rejoice that he tried to be the best father he could ever be.
I rejoice that he is now in Heaven with our Heavenly Father and Jesus.


The ME did a full autopsy since no one was with him when he died: bilateral pneumonia.

Pneumonia in both lungs where, if left untreated, it would become fatal.

In some ways, I feel better knowing exactly what caused my dads death. It wasn’t the flu, it wasn’t a heart attack, he was just sick.

But then it dawned on me that knowing his cause of death is not as satisfying as I thought. He had seen the doctor. It was treatable. He could have been saved.

These thoughts have flooded my mind for the last week. He could have been saved. He was too young, only 66 years old; he could have been saved.

But dwelling in the “what ifs” is no way to grieve, no way to remember him, no way to live.

Every day I have prayed that Jesus lift this heartbreak and grief from my shoulders, that he cradle me in his ever-loving arms as I mourn, and that he blesses my dad in Heaven.


This past week has been the most difficult thing I have ever been through.

To lose my dad at 66, and then turn around and have to plan a service and figure out the details of his estate, is overwhelming.

This is something I didn’t think I would have to go through for another 30 years.

So instead of focusing on the fact that we had so much unfinished business, like my law school graduation, the bar exam, my wedding, and my children being born, I will focus on Jesus, giving thanks, and rejoicing.

I will give thanks in knowing & loving my dad, and I will rejoice that he is now with his Heavenly Father!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24

I love you, Dad, and I miss you a lot. I’ll be sad for a long time that you’re gone and I can’t call you anymore when my car breaks down. But I know you will always be with me wherever I go, Β I’m just so sorry you have to watch from afar.





Mary’s Christmas Playlist

In the midst of all the negativity surrounding the election and my Facebook feed, my hope is that this post brings you a little joy.

It’s November! This means we are even closer to it being Christmas and I’m allowed to play Christmas music in my apartment when Bret is home! (Even though I started playing it when he wasn’t home in mid-October).

As I mentioned before, the time period between October to December is my favorite time of year. I think it’s partly because the music is the BEST!

However, Christmas music has meant a lot more to me lately than it has in years past. Every day I log onto my computer and see the latest news surrounding the protests. As I stated in my previous post, this saddens me. Therefore, I have relied on Christmas music to cheer me up. All day, every day.

I am serious when I say I listen to Christmas music all the time. I listen in the car, at work, when studying, while cleaning, and when I’m just trying to relax. I can do this because I have several different Pandora stations that help put me in the Christmas mood.

Need to study? Listen to instrumental Christmas music. Need to clean? Listen to classic Christmas music. Need to relax? Listen to Christmas music centered around Jesus.


So without further ado….

Here are my top ten favorite songs for the Christmas season that I constantly have on repeat:

10. “A Soldier’s Silent Night” by Mannheim Steamroller & Father Ted Berndt
The first time I heard this on the radio, my Mom and I fell silent and were crying by the end of it. A beautiful poem by Lance Corporal James Schmidt depicts Santa finding a solider sleeping in an apartment with nothing, not even a bed. I can’t begin to describe how much I love this poem and song.

9. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra
Oh, Frank. Who doesn’t love Frank Sinatra?! His voice just fits this song so wonderfully; it’s a Christmas classic. This song always makes me want to grab a mug of peppermint hot chocolate, curl up on the couch with the Christmas tree lit, and read a book. When this song is on, I know it’s Christmas!

8. “The Christmas Canon” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
I love instrumental musical, especially Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller. But this version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D is just beautiful and has me doing my best impersonation of a conductor.

7. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Michael Buble
I love Mariah’s version but there is something so pure and real about Michael’s version. This is one song I always love singing along to when it comes on my Pandora station. When I hear Mariah’s version, I think of the movie Love Actually and it makes me want to dance around the room. But hearing Michael’s version make me feel the realness of what someone with a broken heart is feeling around the holidays.

6.Β “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Casting Crowns
I never really cared for this song until I heard Casting Crowns version. The piano in the beginning and background choir really elevate it to a beautiful rendition. I also just love Mark Hall’s voice. Casting Crowns’ entire Christmas album, Peace on Earth, is a season favorite and constantly on repeat.

5. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Josh Groban
I love every rendition of this song but especially Josh’s rendition. I love when Josh Groban sings anything because his voice is perfect. But this song has always had a special place in my heart. When I was in high school, I sang this song as a solo in a Christmas musical. Then, in my first year of college, I sent my mom a video of snowing falling while I sang this. I could not wait to be home for Christmas that year. This song always reminds me that no matter where I am or what stage of life I am in, I will always be home for Christmas.

4. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
Ah, the quintessential Christmas song! I grew up watching White Christmas and it will always be my favorite Christmas movie. I just love the ending when Bing, Rosemary, Danny, and Vera-Ellen come out in Santa suits and dresses singing this song. This song always puts me in a joyous mood.

3. “Joseph’s Lullaby” by MercyMe
Most Christmas songs are about Jesus or Mary, but rarely do you find one about Joseph. Growing up, I never really thought about Joseph or his role in Jesus’ life. But when I heard this song my first year of college, it made me look at Joseph in a different light. This song is beautiful and is a reminder of the impact Jesus had on Joseph, not just Mary.

2. “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)” by Amy Grant
I cannot imagine how scared Mary must have been when she was told she would give birth to Jesus. I love this song because it’s not a traditional Christmas song. It really makes you think about Mary as a scared young woman who is pleading for the Lord to help her, to guide her, and give her strength. It’s a song I can definitely relate to, as I constantly find myself praying for similar things.

1. “O Holy Night” by Celine Dion
This song is by far my favorite no matter who sings it. However, Celine sings it with a certain je ne sais quoi. Her rendition is beautiful and has, on occasion, caused dust to find its way into my eyes…

As an added bonus, here are my three favorite Pandora Christmas stations to listen to:

Christmas Radio
This station is full of the classic Christmas songs sung by the original artists to more contemporary artists.
Good for cleaning because most of the songs are upbeat and easy to sing along to!

MercyMe (Holiday) Radio
I love this station because it’s more centered on songs about Christ and Mary, usually sung by Christian artists and bands.
Good for relaxing and remembering why Jesus is the reason for the season!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Holiday) Radio
This station is primarily instrumental holiday music. I love to play this station when I’m cleaning because the music is more upbeat and fast paced.
Good for studying or quiet time! (Also can be good for cleaning because there are some upbeat instrumental songs)

Hopefully you like my top ten and if you haven’t heard a song or two, give them a listen!

Let me know what your favorite Christmas songs are in the comments below!

The Great Divide

I sat in Wills & Trusts on the night of Nov. 8, half paying attention to the professor and half paying attention to the three internet tabs I had open to Fox, CNN, and Yahoo.

I watched in disbelief as Trump’s electoral number rose. My professor had started the class by saying he wanted to get through the material quickly because the world was changing while we sat in our bubble learning the law.

When class finished 15 minutes early, my professor immediately asked what the count was. Three people, including myself, chimed in saying that Trump was leading the polls. He asked the status of several states, Florida, Ohio, the Carolinas, Michigan, all of which were headed towards Trump but had not been called.

The look on his face was that of shock, but there was wisdom in his eyes. He came over to where we sat and looked at our computer screens while telling us, “I knew this would happen.” But his tone was not that of a Trump supporter who knew Trump would win. He spoke as a once Bernie-turned-Hillary supporter who knew the DNC had done wrong in picking her.

We all sat and watched the popular votes climb for both candidates. My professor bid us goodnight and I raced home to continue watching this historic night.

We all know what happened next. Trump won.

If you are reading this with the thought that I will reveal who I voted for, you are mistaken. While I have my very strong opinions, I do not plan on adding to the fire of the Trump and Clinton supporters. This platform will not be used to gloat, it will not be used to mourn.

What prompts this post is not who won, but rather how the world is handling the news.

I love politics. I come from a family who was involved in politics and who loves to research and talk about it. My grandfather was an Assemblyman for California, and my dad was heavily involved in our community. My brother, the genius of the family, loves to research candidates and read about past presidents. He may not talk a lot, but when he does, I listen.

My family is also historically conservative and Republican. However, the rising generation (i.e. my cousins and siblings) have not all followed this rhetoric. This hasn’t created a divide in our family. At dinner, my dad can still sit in peace with my siblings without getting into a heated argument over candidates.

However, my family does not vote a red ticket. My dad once asked my grandfather (the Assemblyman) if he only voted for the Republican. To my dad’s disbelief, my grandfather responded that he votes for the candidate best suited for the position. Since then, my dad has done the same, and has taught me to do the same.

As I said before, I love politics. But by that, I mean I love our country and our history. I love learning about presidents and what they accomplished during their term. I like knowing what is going on in the world, with our foreign relations, and, in general, the political history of some of the greatest nations in the world.

I do not enjoy how politics changes people.

During the summer between my second and third year of college, I interned for a Congressman and State Senator. During my time with the Congressman, there was a protest; one of the protesters happened to be my fourth grade teacher. While hugging me, she asked me why I was working for him and how I should be ashamed.

I do not understand how people can preach tolerance, when they themselves are not tolerant.

I attend one of the most diverse law schools in the country. I love my school and am very happy I chose to go here. While here, I have come to know so many people from all different backgrounds and cultures. I have learned things that I could never read in a book.

However, this election has changed that. I was afraid to go to school on Wednesday after the election. Not because of who won, but because of how people had been handling it.

As I watched Trump’s victory speech and my Facebook feed, I became nervous.

My Facebook friends were outraged. People who don’t normally post political posts, were coming out and exclaiming their anger. Friends, my friends, were saying such hurtful things, things I didn’t think they were capable of.

Before the election, there were a select few outspoken Clinton supporters. One, in particular, posted memes about Christians, because clearly all Republicans are the same. While the memes bothered me, and I could have corrected him several times, I chose not to get involved.

But I sat in bed staring at my computer while Bret slept and thought, “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.”

There was one open Trump supporter at my school. She was ridiculed to filth. So if that’s how my friends treated someone different before the election, how would they treat some one after the election?

I arrived at my 11:15 am class and there was a select number of people talking about the election. One of those was the person I previously mentioned (the Christian meme guy). This group of people said they hoped they didn’t see the Trump supporter today, because if they did, there is no telling what they’d do or say to her.

I sat at my desk and looked down at my phone. I wasn’t even looking at anything. I wanted to cry. Not because I’m a Trump or Clinton supporter, but because people were so hateful.

I don’t understand, and may never understand, why this election has turned to hate. I understand the view that Trump “started it” because of things he has said and done, but that does not give anyone else the right to act similarly.

I’m mostly confused because the people who are preaching tolerance and love are projecting hate and fear.

So in this time of need, I do what I always do. I turn to Jesus.

On Election Day, I found myself praying constantly. I prayed for the winner, I prayed for the loser. I prayed for my friends and family. I prayed for people I didn’t even know. I prayed for the health and safety of our nation.

But after the election, I find myself praying for Jesus to find himself in the hearts of those who do not know him.

As I watch these riots on Facebook and Snapchat, I shake my head and a little piece of my heart gets chipped away. This is Satan’s work. Satan is driving a wedge between Trump supporters and the rest of the nation. He is causing a fraction so deep that the amount of good and love that would be needed to fix it is insurmountable.

After Trump won, people said “How am I going to wake my child up in the morning and tell them he won?” or “How am I supposed to raise my child in a country he runs?”

I don’t have a child, but I have a niece. She is my best friend and is basically the little sister I never had. She’s the one I think about in situations when parents think about their children.

However, my thoughts are not those that are shared by my fellow Americans. I do not fear the idea of my niece being raised in a country Trump runs.

No, my first thought is, “How do we (my family) raise a child in a country so full of hate and intolerance?”

My niece is a beautiful, creative individual. She is different from all her friends because of her kind heart, modern 80’s clothing choices, and love of cats. Her heart is so pure. I cry knowing she has to witness this much hate in the world.

In elementary school, she was bullied by other students and girls she thought were her friends were constantly mean to her. She would come to me and ask why. Why the hate? Back then, it was hard for me to witness her go through that. But now?

All that comes to mind is: hurt people hurt people.

People who have been hurt continue the cycle by hurting others. As someone who has been bullied and sexually assaulted, I try to break the cycle every day of my life.

I was raised as a Christian, but didn’t truly find God until two years ago when I sat on my bed covered in my blood. I found Jesus by climbing out of the deep, dark pit Satan had thrown me into. My world was full of hate and fear, not for others, but for myself.

I have overcome so much to be where I am today, and I don’t want the reactions and riots of this election to reverse that progress. It truly breaks my heart to see my friends being ridiculed for their presidential choice by my other friends who oppose their views.

I love this country and I love its people. But I love Jesus more.

As we all watch the country get overrun by turmoil and hate by our fellow Americans, I pray Jesus finds his way into their hearts. I pray they realize what is more important in life. I pray their hearts change to become more inclusive and tolerant of opposing opinions. I pray we can come together and move forward during this time, because it’s hard on everyone, not just one group of people.

I may not know you or your story or your views, but I love you. I have never hated anyone (you can ask my mom). There has always been love in my heart for all. So if you feel like you have no one because the president-elect is going to change everything, you have me. You have Jesus. Trump may be president, come January. But always remember who is King.

Love always,

October in Review

Hey y’all!

What a first week of November it has been! I spent most of it sick and unable to get out of bed (sleep, tea, and Gilmore Girls are the best remedy). But I am back, and I have a lot of fun posts planned.

At the beginning of each month I plan on reviewing the activities of the previous month. Starting with this one!

Oct 1: I got to spend some time with my sister’s cats! Jack (the black cat) and Oliver, aka Ollie (the orange cat). Ollie is basically my best friend.



Oct 8: My dad and I took a day trip to Arizona for a funeral. We left San Diego at 3:30 AM to make it to the church by 10 AM (we arrived at 9:10 AM). Although we were going to say goodbye to a family member, we got to see my cousin, Clark, in the afternoon. He took us to Topgolf! Let me tell you, that is one cool place!


Oct 11: If you read my post from this day, you’ll remember that Oct 11 would have been my Grandma’s 100th birthday. That morning, Bret and I went to the beach with coffee and donuts to celebrate her life. It was the perfect way to start the day.


Oct 17: I love painting my nails! And, on this day, I finally learned how to paint cheetah nails!!!! I was so excited! I literally did not want to wash them off. They were so cute! I have a subscription to Julep, where I get nail polish every month. Find out more here!



Oct 23: BATES NUT FARM!! I did a whole post on this day (here). This really was one fun day!! I loved spending time with my family picking out pumpkins!



Oct 29: For Bret’s birthday (back in July), I bought us tickets to see two of our favorite bands: Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch….yes, I like hard rock and heavy metal. It was, by far, the best concert I have been! Shinedown used pyrotechnics and 5FDP had a really light show and the drummer had an amazing solo.



Oct 31: Our Halloween plans consisted of dressing up and passing out candy to the kids who came to our door. We dressed as our vision of human Jack and Sally from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Bret even asked for make-up! Our costumes were a hit with the kids and their parents, especially since our pumpkins matched us. For dinner we went to Panda Express in costume…everyone stared at us. Oh well!


Well, that is it for October! I cannot believe it is already over and we are in November. It won’t be too long until Thanksgiving arrives. If you didn’t already know, I get a little excited for Christmas, so we’ve already pulled out our tree. (Don’t judge!)

When do you and your family decorate for Christmas? Before or after Thanksgiving?