Thursday, September 25, 2014

Over 2 years

I was recently reading a friends blog... ...who is awesome by the way!

KH's unite!

I noticed the link to my blog... 

People still view this... Not sure I have as many exciting things to say these days. My life is no longer the traveling wonders of a professional athlete in foreign countries. I'm retired for now I guess. Weirdest thing to say at the ripe age of 27. I am now teaching the little minds of southern Californian preschoolers, but boy do I love it. They keep me on my toes, are so full of raw innocence and say the most hilarious things on the daily. 

I've been blessed to the max with a new place, new roommate and all in the gorgeous place of usually sunny Huntington Beach, CA. Please come visit! 

New backyard ain't so bad. 

Old cousin friend = New roomie! 

In the last year, a couple babies were born: Tinley Faith Tucker and Matthew Hollingshead
A marriage was formed: Jordan Smith became Mrs. Jordan Proper 
My lil bro bro turned 21, wowzer Chansy Pants! 
Friendships grew, lessons learned and memories made... here is to the rest of the gems that 2014 holds. Let the treasure hunt begin! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

15 days until departure...

If ever there were a bitter-sweet phrase, this title is one!

Cossonay Volleyball Club has accepted the promotion to LNA (League A) which will begin in September 2012. My future and the exact details of the team have yet to be determined. Meetings are scheduled for the 24th of this month and I am hoping this is when I will get some answers to your many questions about the fate of my future. It goes without saying to most of you that volleyball will always be a passion of mine, it runs in my blood, so I am open to the idea of another year of play in this land of wonder! Only time and God will tell...

Of course I am excited to fly home to amazing America and get long over due hugs from those I love most! It goes without saying that I am having serious Tex-Mex withdrawals and in serious need of a Coffee Haagen Dazs & Smore's fix a.s.a.p.! But I am also going to miss this gorgeous city and it's lovely people! I have been blessed these last 4 months to be able to grow previous friendships from 2 years ago and form fantabulous new ones.

The scenery will be missed as well and although I have plenty of photos, they never do the beauty of this place true justice. I have social media and internet to keep in touch with the lovely people I have met, but it is never the same as seeing them in person. It is better than nothing I guess. Whatever did they do before the World Wide Web?

The next 15 days will be as packed as I can make them with quality time with my "Lausanne Lovelies," staring at the views, enjoying the 3 C's: coffee, croissants, cheese, and hopefully a few spontaneous adventures! Then comes the daunting task of trying to pack... who knows of a Swiss version of the "Salvation Army?"

Needless to say, I am looking forward to what my last 15 days here holds for me and to touch down in Texas where eavesdropping on conversations doesn't require so much effort.

Thanks for reading & God Bless


5 short chapters...

Chapter 1: 
I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I don't know where I am. It is not my fault and it takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 2: 
I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I know where I am, but it is still not my fault and it still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3: 
I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. My eyes are opened. I know where I am. It is a habit. It is my fault and I get out immediately.

Chapter 4: 
I walk down the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. And I walk around it.

Chapter 5: 
I walk down another street.

This is from a sermon series I have been listening to from Mariners Church back home in California. I really do recommend it! If you have any curiosity for the Lord or know what it is to struggle through life, I know somewhere in this series you will find answers.

I believe it is human nature to make "not so great" decisions and what some classify as mistakes or regrets.


I don't believe in the word "regret," I believe in the phrase, "you messed up and now you learned from it!"

Thanks for reading & God Bless! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

To one of the greatest people in my life...

Happy Birthday Grandma! 
or as they say here "Joyeux Anniversaire!" 

90 years ago today a wonderful life joined this world in the form of one spectacular Julia. Little did she know then that she would marry a stubborn but hilarious Iowan, give birth to 3 crazy boys, move from her home state of Nebraska to California and become the greatest grandma to her only granddaughter. Yes, I have been spoiled rotten because of my lack of a Y chromosome, but through all those moments of spoiling I have been blessed to learn about life from one of the most wonderful people I have ever come across.

I have learned what unconditional love looks like. How to truly listen and express that you care. I have learned that I prefer most things the old fashion way. I have realized so much about myself through this woman and how I want to live life to it's absolute fullest daily. 

Dear Grandma, 

Words will never do you justice, but I'll try...

My love for books and reading is thanks to you! 
My addiction to graham crackers is thanks to you! 
My love for stationary and hand written notes is thanks to you!
My never ending faith in God and marriage is thanks to you! 

I am so thankful that...
you took the time not just to teach me to read, but how to love to read! 
you enjoy Ruby's chocolate shakes as much as I do! 
you made me wear itchy dresses and introduced me to the beauty that is live music! 
you taught me to make cinnamon bread so I can share it with others! 
you have always been there through all the highs, lows, smiles, tears, laughs and tons of delicious food! 

Grandma you truly are a saint if I ever met one and I am the luckiest girl to have spent so many wonderful moments in your care. I am counting down the days until our next hug... literally I am counting and it will be 40 days... 

I am sorry I cannot be there to celebrate this glorious milestone with you, but I would think 90 years is worthy of an entire year of celebrations, don't you? 

Love you lots and see you this afternoon on Skype! 
Kiley Anne 

I think a summer batch of cinnamon bread is a must this year!! 

Thanks for reading & God Bless! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome to the blog world Jo

My great, beautiful, thoughtful, sweet, genuine friend Jordan has started her own blog. 

Check it out:

It is all things truly lovely... literally the cutest pictures, sayings, other blog posts she finds and beauty tricks. All things girly if I may say so myself...

Sneek Peek: 

**My recent Favorite is the "Keep Me"post in March**

Keep Me Sweet, Lord

Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. 

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details- give me wings to come to the point. 

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others' pains. Seal my lips on my own aches and pains- they are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. Help me to endure them with patience. 

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken. 

Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint- some of them are so hard to live with- but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil. 

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. 
              -Written by an anonymous seventeenth-century nun 

Enjoy! Thanks for reading & God Bless! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cossonay... becoming Swiss Champions!?!

For those of you that have no clue what or who Cossonay is, it is the name of the village my volleyball team plays in. Therefore the club name being VBC Cossonay, check it out: 

Cossonay is located just outside of Lausanne and my teammates come from various places located in the area. I have been thoroughly enjoying the last 2.5 months with these girls and am proud to say they are really good! So good in fact that we are undefeated in playoffs thus far . We are currently in 1st place and ahead of the second place team by 7 points. 

Check it out and follow us through our last 3 matches:

I am sporting #15 these days and it has been treating me well!

We have our next match tomorrow, Saturday, against the second place VBC Glaronia and hope to claim another victory! This game is a big step towards becoming LNB (league B) champions and having the opportunity to move up to LNA (league A).

Thanks for your support and for reading! God Bless! 

Milano... Crema... Hein's...

Follow up blog to the one 2 blog's ago titled "Crazy fun in Crema..."

On my 3rd day in Italy (after saying bye to Pao as she ventured off to kick some volley butt), I got a great treat! Andy and Kate came to explore with me! I met them in Milano on Saturday mid-day and we started our adventure. We went walking towards the center and of course in search of a lunch spot. 

Mission accomplished below when we found a cute little pizza place with all sorts of dishes to enjoy!

This church is so detailed and one of my favorite in all of Europe! 

We had to climb this monster of a church and with thighs burning we finally made it to the top with smiles. 

This guy was impressive! He was making art from vegetables... flowers and birds... oh my!

Went to see the Santa Maria church, which my dad recommended for the "Last Supper" viewing... 

Too bad this is all we got to see because this is a tourist attraction... who'da thunk it?... must not have been sold out 2 weeks in advanced when my dad lived here 30 years ago... or he just left that part out maybe...

Dad's old stomping grounds that he stayed at with his friend PJ... They were hanging out together in California while I was on my trip and had to go step where they stepped so many years ago. 

'Spin on the bulls balls'... I didn't make this up. This is a tourist attraction and it is hilarious to watch all the people participate. Google it if you want to know more... I think it's for good luck. 

Night back in Crema... for Carnival. We had the pleasure of witnessing some fun outfits and singing. 

'Kill Shot!' ... For those of you watching the show "The Bachelor" you might appreciate Kate and I in this picture. 

Gelato time! 

The next morning, day 4, I decided to head back to Lausanne with Kate & Andy. We made a recommended stop for breakfast in Milan below.
 A little taste of home... Thanks for the recommendation Pao! It was truly scrumptious!

Above I learned that cinnamon in my coffee makes it so much more tasty! 

Best Breakfast I have had in 2 months!

The cool kids sit in the back of the bus!! So the story behind the above picture is that our "direct" train from Milan to Lausanne, turned out to be anything but direct. We had no idea the adventure we were to face when we woke up that morning. We all (all means everyone on the multi-car train) had to exit the train and hop on buses to take us to the next train station due to train track issues.

This is the lovely station of Varzo, can't you tell by Kate's face? We waited here patiently for our new train to take us to Brig, where we would again have to change trains before finally heading to Lausanne. Long day but the company made it bearable. 

A successful little vacation if I may say so! 

Thanks for reading! God Bless!