I'm going to COLMBIA!!!!!
apologies...i'm just so ecstatic.
you have no idea.

i know what you're thinking...colombia? uh, druglord captial of the world and i'm going to get myself shot.
first, not too long ago, London was considered the "cocaine capital of the world" and how many people travel THERE? plenty. now it's afghanistan that's the most highly infested with drug activity.
but sadly, in this world we live in, really what country doesn't have those problems in their streets?
and now...the "murder capital of the world" is Mexico.
very comforting knowing my grandparents still live down there and refuse to leave. it has my mom losing sleep.
anyway, point being, Colombia has actually become a very safe place for travel. given you don't go out alone or at night in sketchy parts of town...but that's obvious for even here in the ATL!
i'm not nervous at all. i feel really good about it. ok, i AM nervous, but just about what kevin's family is going to think of me...i don't want to come across as a "spoiled american". yah know?
anyway...i've been saving up my paychecks and FINALLY purchased my flight...
so soon!
this is me getting pumped...
i like to google info about the place and town kevin lives in...where i will be staying for 10 days.
He lives in Pereira, Colombia...which is HERE:

it's in a more mountainous region of the country which is apparently beautiful. a little chilly. and rains often. he says they don't have seasons there...it's about the same year round. one week can be sunny and the next cold. i find it interesting that it gets cold considering it's part of the equitorial region of the world. altitude i guess.

thanks to google...some fotos of the place...i'm excited to go and take my OWN.

my dad asks me what i'm going to be doing while i'm down there.
well...it will be general conference when i first get there. so i'll see my 4th in spanish.
kevin's family tell me i'm going to eat and eat and eat and i'll probably come home FAT there's so much they want me to try. i'm ok with that.
not the fat part. the food part :)
and kevin tells me i'm going to dance and dance and dance.
salsa, merengue, bachata
seeing as kevin is a "futbol" fanatic, he says we'll go to a soccer game while i'm there.
and that i'll get to see his whole city.

it's going to be well worth my saved up pennies.
i love getting to know new cultures...meeting new people...seeing/trying new things...
and all the while being with the person who makes my heart go pitter-patter. :)

so there you have it.
12 days and counting.


 my definition of best friend = London Ashley Fairclough
there are very few people who you can tell everything to
who don't judge you
who understand you
who stay by your side through it all
sunshine or rain.
it doesn't matter if it's been days or months or a year, we just pick up where we left off.
now we like to laugh at things we did during the awkward growing up stages.
the good. the bad. the ridiculous.
high school. boys. church dances. laughter. tears. slumber parties. hair dying.
endless heart to hearts over chips and salsa. 
everyone needs SOMEONE who relates to you. God has given me London as one of those.
i don't know what i would have done without her.
we've been distanced through choices in life: college. my mish. marriage.
we fit reunions in as often as we can.
but...best friends MEANS...
just that.
today is her birthday. 
love you...miss you...
happy birthday!


 i got letters from these two lovely ladies this week!...
Vasquez and Mijangos.
Two EXCELLENT excuses to visit Guatemala.

i'm craving this view again...
"el yunque" in puerto rico...not to mention my colombian man sitting to the left. :)...

 other news:
Mom left today for her first ever cruise! cozumel, mexico. a girl trip.
though i wonder if she'll enjoy it, she can't seem to get over feeling like she's being selfish in going.
it amazes me how that woman never does anything for just herself.
i hope she can get over her guilt feelings and live it up for the week...after all...she will be there on her birthday. sept 19th...the big 6-0!!
so this leaves me home with dad for another week. 
i'm not saying that in a bad way, just saying.

i get LDS thoughts emailed to me on M-W-F.
i enjoy a little spiritual uplift mid-workday hustle and bustle.
and i particularly liked today's:
"As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for men and women who will stand for principles against the growing pressures to compromise those very principles. Men and women are required who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right, not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to enduring good."



institute class last night was SO good.
we studied/analyzed/discussed Gordon B Hinckley's life and teachings. 
howie is the man.
i felt inspired in many ways. the gospel always does that.
i love it so much.
i've also been itching for a new book to read. a worthwhile one.
and you know what is sitting in my father's library?
Go Forward With Faith: Biography of Gordon B Hinckley...PERFECT.
done and done.


 3.5 months have flown by.
i'll quit counting the time one day, but until then, get over it, ok?
i miss my islands like cuh-ray-zee!
there are a few simple pleasures i enjoy now that i couldn't on the mish:
  • painting my nails something other than pale pink
  • perusing Borders books by myself
  • friday = payday
  • i don't have to wait for a designated day once a week to do laundry!
  • hugs
  • i can go out in public as a bum in sweats and a tee whenever i want
  • stay up late and watch a movie
  • family
obviously, there are others. i'm not listing them all.
but i'm sure if i made a list of things i miss about the mish, that would be much longer.

august came and went. the happenings:
- My sister, Dacy, turned 31.
- Sonia Rodriguez (aibonito, puerto rico) passed away from her cancer. More than a few tears were shed on my part. I pray for the young family she left behind. They were one of my favorites. I admire Natasha, at 18 she now plays the role of "mom" at home, and she's being so strong.
- I had my identity stolen along with my whole bank account.
- I got a new bank account...and my money back, thank heavens.
- I had a near death experience rafting down a river. Lost the raft, my shoes, rings, bracelets, headband, and rad shades. I came out with my life. and bruises. scraped up and sore body. and a lump on the back of my head. Thank you Tim Baron. it was memorable.
- I rekindled the flame between me and chik-fil-a chicken biscuits.
- Mom went up to Virginia for a week and i realized how many dishes Dad dirties on the daily.
-i continue to be a hermit and "anti-social", though they say i'm getting better. 
- i've accepted that it's not that i haven't adapted to being home, i've just changed.
- Got work off for Sept 30-Oct 11 for my trip to COLOMBIA!