Saturday, December 5, 2009

I need patience but I don't want to pray for it...

Ever have that problem? :)
You know what happens when you pray for patience... More trials right? Well ok, not always but enough to where my first thought after "I need more patience" is: "Well you BETTER not PRAY for it buddy. Remember what happened last time??!?"
I have started rehab for my ankle. Slow theraband excercises, limited barre combinations, stationary bike, etc. Seemed like it was doing great yesterday. No pain whatsoever. Then today I got to the third combination of my barre and my ankle yelled at me.
Ok, not literally but you know what I mean right?
It yelled in the form of pain, not too terribly much but right in the area I know I injured it. So I finished out the excercise and went on to the non-stressful-form-of-rehab-for-my-ankle, my pilates video. I'm now sitting and icing.
Big sigh. I know rehabbing (is that a word??) injuries are up and down as far as pain and progress go. I guess I was just hoping my ankle would be a gold-medalist Olympic type of ankle and say "WHATEVA, you call that EXCERCISE?!?" and subsequently ask for more.
I guess I am in for more contemplation today and meditating on acceptance of God's plan over mine... I have been encouraged lately by my friend's comments about my situation, that there IS a great purpose behind God allowing this crappy thing to happen. That's where the waiting comes in. Yeah. Not too great at that part. I would love to hear about any of your stories about difficult situations and how God worked through them, feel free to leave a comment and/or story.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Forgetting that God cares

I sprained my ankle in rehearsal last week. We open on Dec 17th for Nutcracker, and I sprain my ankle??? Come on.
Sometimes things happen that just make you ask, "Why."
In the last week I've found that I've had to dig deeper into my conversations with God, asking Him that question and trying to be ready for the answer. I haven't heard anything specific yet. One thing I know is, that because I am listening harder and more often, I am hearing His voice more. I went to Starbucks last night (when I would originally have been in Gilette, Wyoming getting ready for a tour show with the company), ordered a peppermint mocha and thought, "...and now for something completely different."
I opened up my bible and thought about what to read.
Haven't done that in a while. I was on 2 Corinthians a while ago and enjoyed it, but it just didn't seem right to flip to a random verse this particular night. Remembering that it is now officially Advent time, I thought "I'd like to have some excitement for the fact Jesus (many many years ago) was born in a human body here." Maybe not exactly on December 25th, but the important part is that He was BORN. He became a little baby whose diapers needed to be changed. He needed Mary to spoon feed Him. He went from King of the Universe and Creator and sitting above it all, to living in the grunge here with us. It's such a huge concept I can't even come close to understanding the WHY or HOW or HUH? of it all. And yes, that's the journey.
Last night I read the first chapter of Luke and was (as I always am when I choose to put the rest of my life aside and listen to God) blown away. He sent a huge, shiny, impressive angel Gabriel to a man and woman who had been trying to have a baby for years and years. They were OLD. He announced that they would have a son. Elizabeth (the wife) said, "The Lord has done this for me."
The Lord did it for her.
For her.
Sometimes I forget God cares about my heart and my desires. He isn't all about "refining my character" ONLY by putting me through, or allowing, crap in my life. He listens to prayers. He does things for people to show them He cares.
I am praying my ankle heals so I can dance. But I am also praying for Him to give me a clue into His perspective on my life and situation if He doesn't heal it in the timing I prefer. I can pray this because He reminded me He cares, and He does stuff (amazing stuff) for people in His timing. I want to wait for His answers and patiently at that.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A beautiful crisp fall breeze, and what it brought with it.

It's snowing for the first time this season! Tiny little flakes falling gently from the sky, a beautiful contrast to the red and orange leaves on the trees around our apartment complex. It feels like autumn just got here, could it be we only get a week of it? I hope not. I like the snow and all, but I would like to take at least a couple walks in the crisp (not freezing) air and admire the deep fiery hues appearing on the trees everywhere. Plus, isn't it nice to be able to go out and wear a sweater and scarf without adding on the down coat, gloves, and hat? It's just kind of a magical feeling.

Reminds me of each fall from when I was five to eighteen years old, when school would start up again. When I was that age (how old do I sound saying that??? Most likely much older than 31) the new school year always started in September, not mid-August like all the crazy schools do now. It just ruins things if you have to wear your worn out, faded summer clothes to the first week of school, doesn't it? It just doesn't feel right carrying a stiff new backpack filled with new trapper keepers (do they still sell those?), newly sharpened pencils (oh yeah, they have those automatic clicker pencils now), and clear zip-up pencil pouches inside your My Little Pony binder if you don't have new clothes to match them.

Ok, now that I've TOTALLY dated myself reminiscing, I am getting all nostalgic for the days of old, when it was exciting to walk into a new class with a new teacher, expecting to learn all kinds of exciting things and expecting it to be fun. I still get that jittery yet excited feeling in my stomach when the first crisp breeze appears out of nowhere, kissing my face and blowing my hair around. I am transported back to fourth grade. I think of fall and new classmates, inside recesses when we pulled out the Connect Four and played Heads Up, Seven Up. I think of my first crush, Michael, and how sad it was when I found out he had a crush on Lisa from Alaska. I think of playing on the bars so much that I had callouses on the inside of my palms, and I remember wishing I could do the "death drop" without hands off the high bar. I think of my best friend and how we'd go to each others houses after school and eat junk food (usually when our moms weren't looking). I remember how dating was a cloud of mystery in my head-- what was it exactly? Leslie and Dan dated but all I knew about that was they talked on the phone. It didn't match up to what I thought dating should look like... Which was... umm... I actually don't know. I had no idea.

Such innocent days! It feels like a million years ago. Yet, as I sit here inside my apartment, cozy and warm , watching the whiteness fall down, I feel a much younger version of me, right here, sitting cross-legged inside my soul. To her, the world is safe, and the worst hurt she feels is not being liked back by her crush, or being grounded, or not getting a good part in Nutcracker. Yes, bad things happen (like her parents divorcing shortly thereafter) but even through that her ten year old mind filters everything through innocent glasses. I want to tell her something. I want to tell her to never get jaded, to not rush through the wonderful feeling of a crisp breeze, to not give up on the goal of doing something daring on the bars. I want to tell her that no matter what life throws her, it's ok to cry but don't let the tears build up into a calloused heart. Don't lose heart, little Gina. Don't allow pain to dictate what you will and will not reach for. There is Someone watching out for you and pulling for you, wanting you to fly free in the direction of your joy. Let go of doubt and fly. This is what you were created for.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why do we do what we do??

I have my pointe shoes on again. Just for barre right now, but I am hoping to eventually wear them for the whole class. Today I wondered who in the world would think up such a strange (and truthfully, barbaric) contraption to wear on one's foot. My conclusion? It must have been a man, because no woman would willingly put herself through this torture. Let's talk about the downside of pointe shoes: Blisters. Bruises. Foot exhaustion. Difficulty doing anything in a graceful manner. Sound fun?
Ballet has never been an activity for wimps. Many a teacher has said to me, "If it doesn't hurt, then you aren't doing it right." Yes, that is true for many things in ballet. As a ballet instructor myself, I have had so many beginning adult ballet students say to me, "I never knew it was this hard!" One reason this is true is because ballet dancers, unlike weight lifters, are not allowed to show any sign of strain or stress as we do our thing. We must always look cool, calm and collected, and elegant. When you watch a professional dancer perform thirty two fuettes in pointe shoes, it often looks like she could do it in her sleep. But it is a trick! She's just a good actress.
So why do we do what we do? For me, it is something that came alive in me at a very young age. I saw Suzanne Farrell on Sesame Street and instantly wanted to be a ballerina. Something in my soul was set on fire and I haven't been able to shake it since (though sometimes I'd like to). It is my outlet and my way of expressing the artistic part of myself. I can't get away from it. I took a break from dancing for a couple years while I was overseas and I am quite sure some of my emotional struggles during that time were due to the fact my soul was being stifled.
I find it fascinating that many people have the same passion for other things like skiing, crafts, running, animals, nature. It's beautiful how we were created with that specific spark inside, just waiting to be lit, at the first sight or experience of our own special thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prom, everyone's favorite high school memory.... Right?... Right?

Last night I had a dream that Casey and I went to prom together. It was far and away better than my actual prom experience. In my dream I had those fun butterflies in my stomach and we actually liked each other! I was wearing this awesome off white strapless dress and a green wrap.
My actual prom? Let's just say I have some nice pictures from that night, but in these photos I look far happier than I actually was, due to my immature date ignoring me and hanging out with his sophomore friends at their own table. Then, he ditched me right afterward because he had a "curfew." HA! That's what I get for panicking, and asking someone for fear I wouldn't get to go at all, and not waiting to be asked (girls, you know what I mean, right?). Casey apparently had his own not-so-nice prom experience: "My prom was waiting in the picture line for two hours." At least I got to dance with my friends a little bit! (Janet, if you're out there, thanks for making the night fun for me. You rock.)
Here's what propose-- we all share about our prom experiences. C'mon. It'll be fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today is the eight year anniversary of the tragedy. I am praying for those people who lost friends and family, and all those affected personally by what happened. Even years later my heart is heavy for what they must still be going through because of our fallen world and how badly sin screws us all up.

Also, I am thankful that sin will not have the last word. We have a Savior who will come and rescue His kids from living in such a broken place where such tragic things happen, and also save us from ourselves: "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-- through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25)

In the meantime we have Him to hold us and comfort us in times of sorrow, and to catch our every tear in His hands.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day, Doing Nothing, and Miracles

Today Casey and I looked up Labor Day on our modern-day online dictionary/encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The beginnings of this holiday seem to be rooted in a workers union. Something about a nine hour work day... And parades. Lots of parades. With people giving speeches at these afore-mentioned parades.

These days, seems like the title Labor Day brings to mind other words: Camping. Hiking. Barbeque. Well at least that's what it brings to my mind. How about you?

I didn't do any of those things today. What did I do, you ask? Well, I would be glad to enlighten you.


Well, not exactly nothing... I woke up and did nothing for awhile. Have you ever been depressed by doing nothing on a pretty day? I was, today. So I got dressed (not well, however, but that's beside the point) and I went to Target. That place is amazing. I found some treasures and came home. But I still felt a little bit down, unsatisfied, for some reason. Then, I did something else. I listened to a lecture on the miracles of Jesus for a bible study that day. A few friends and I listen to one lecture a week separately, and then get together at a coffee shop once a week to talk about what we liked/didn't like/thought about it. Yeah, it pretty much rocks.

So, that's what I did. I went to meet my friends at the coffee shop and talked about Jesus and His miracles. It's funny, Jesus has a way of slipping into any of my bored/depressed moods and splicing it up with delight and wonder. Reminding me again that He is pretty amazing and that He is part of my life, part of me. I may be feeling a little/a lot blue-- but He has a way of wrapping His arm around my shoulder and squeezing it, and somehow I feel lifted, inspired. And yet, also smooshed against His side, secure. That's a good feeling.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Nutella is good. On anything. This morning we put it on buttered toast and it was heaven!! If you haven't tried it, PLEASE. Do yourself a favor and go buy some.

It is a chocolatey-hazelnutty spread that I discovered in Florence. After difficult days, us girls would sit in the kitchen and scoop it out with cookies. That, together with being able to unload my day with my lovely girls, would make everything better.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Breakfast Triumph!

For a while now I've been eating peanut butter on toast, with honey, for breakfast. I need protein if I am going to go take class or go to the gym, and anything except peanut butter tends to be too heavy on my stomach. I had resigned myself almost totally to an eternity of toast and peanut butter (the other option is falling over in exhaustion halfway through ballet class-- not pretty). UNTIL...
My friends on facebook have shared with me many other options for breakfast involving the energy-giving peanut butter. Today I tried a waffle with peanut butter and applesauce on top and it was delicious. Not to mention it got me totally through my workout. I know this is a silly thing to blog about, but if I can help just one other person out of breakfast boredom, it is worth it!
Tomorrow I am going to try another version of today's breakfast: toast with peanut butter, applesauce and cinnamon on top microwaved for about 30 seconds. Yes, it's true-- I lead QUITE an exciting life :).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Left Out

And it is Jehovah who has today declared you to be a people for His personal treasure. (Deuteronomy 26:18)

Yesterday I felt left out. It was over something that should not, in truth, get to "decide" how much I am worth. Unfortunately, I have operated much of my life under the impression it does. Anyway, I felt left out (not, by the way, by any of you reading this-- it had to do with work). To quote Zoolander, "And it HURT!!"

My reaction as usual: anger, sadness, bitterness, defensiveness. All the good things in life right? Not really. Something in me knew this reaction was not something I should wallow in, but I did anyway. I felt sorry for myself, I moaned and complained to Casey and another friend over facebook chat, and decided to be generally in a bad mood.

Then I decided (GENIUS) to think about what God would say to me right then. I thought, "I need to feel wanted and appreciated, even treasured and chosen." I looked up Deuteronomy because I remembered something about treasure in that book. And I found the verse above.

I am God's treasure. He thinks I am unique and beautiful and precious. Precious in the way you would treat an expensive necklace by placing it in a special velvet lined box, and putting it on a special place on your dresser so it never gets lost or damaged. Even more than that, I am HIS treasure, not just some general treasure in a museum people pay five bucks to come look at on Sundays. I am in His personal collection of treasures that He looks after and cares for in a very personal and emotional way.

That's the cool thing about being His kid, I can always know that no matter how many times in life I will feel left out or "not good enough" I am always in God's personal treasure collection, which never changes. And God is the trump card of placing value on something. That is amazing. That makes me feel beautiful.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I want to be a Carnie

So, Casey and I got to see Cirque du Soleil this past weekend in Denver as part of our second anniversary festivities. I was amazed, moved, and scared spitless during the course of the two hour show. Most of all though, I was SO IMPRESSED by the showmanship most all the performers had in their own area of expertise. Even when they messed up, ie fell off the tightrope (which they rarely did) they presented themselves as if they were the best in the world at what they do. And they are. Then, they got up and tried the trick again and most times succeeded with flying colors (literally). I told Casey, "If I had just one tenth of their showmanship, I think I would be a 100% better performer than I am now." I was changed as a performer by just seeing this amazing show.
Even better, I discovered they are auditioning for dancers in... drum roll... Sydney, Australia next month. Boo. But I also found out, with some poking around, that they have prospective performers apply online first and if they can't make it to the actual audition, they can audition by having a talent scout check their skills out near their city. This is exciting-- just the idea of auditioning for such an amazing company sounds so fun. I know it's a long shot. A really long shot. However-- so was getting into an actual ballet company for me about two years ago. And look what happened!
Ok, ok, I know. It's CIRQUE DU SOLEIL. But there's something about what they tell us as kids, "You can do whatever you want when you grow up." How often do we hear THAT as adults? The reality of this is saddening. We can use a little of that optimism in our lives and hearts. Maybe (whatever it is we'd like to do) is not in God's plan for us-- or our bodies (have you seen how FEW vertabrae these acrobats have???) but I am thinking it is good to dream. If I'd never dreamed of dancing profesionally I would not be in beautiful Denver right now.
Whoever it is telling you it is too late to go for your dreams, tell them to shut up. Then, start dreaming and planning and preparing. If you don't go for it, you never know if you couldn't have done it. And that's my dose of optimism for the day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stella and her cave

So today was Stella's (our tiger-tabby cat) second try on a leash. Yesterday we put the harness and leash on her and took her outside to see if she would "walk." Sure, sure, a cat that has been inside for most of her life will take RIGHT to being confined in a pink corset-like contraption and walk willingly by our side, in a world full of new sounds, sights, and especially smells... Hey, it was worth a try!

She did not like it yesterday. At all. While on the grass, we had two little girls come up to us and want to pet her (which would have been fine if they had walked slowly up to her and not run, creating a full blown panic inside her I'm sure). I think this is what freaked her out the most. However, she did seem very interested in the scents being carried by the wind into her nostrils and looked around curiously (although still nervously) the whole time. Today, she seemed a tad bit more comfortable being in the fresh Colorado air. I think it helped that I just let her sit on our porch with some treats (she left them uneaten-- very uncharacteristic of her).

What I want to share, and what hit me hardest, is this: Immediately after coming back inside, she slinked into her "room" (the spare bathroom) and jumped up onto her scratching post/contraption and disappeared into the "cave" part of it. The kitty-mama part of my heart sank-- what did I just do to my babycat? Why did she feel she needed to hide away when all I wanted to do was to show her the wonderous outside world, which she had lived in quite happily the first two months of her kitten life?

It kinda reminds me of myself and God. He often brings me "outside", out of the "cave" of my everyday life, where I aptly ignore Him as I attend to all the things that don't involve Him. In my cave the air is stale and everything is "safe" and predictable. He wants to show me how wonderous it is to walk beside Him (without the pink leash, of course) in world full of inconcievably bright sunshine and new adventures, fresh air and fresh words from Him, to walk and talk with Him about everything going on inside my heart, even the things I've locked Him out of. Maybe I let Him take me out for a couple minutes, but soon I meow to get back into my comfortable and dark cave where I can get back to MY stuff, stuff that I don't always involve Him in.

It's a cycle. A little while outside walking with God in the fresh air, and then a lot more time doing MY thing all by myself, with the air growing stale and I not even noticing. Writing it down like this, it sounds quite silly of me.

I hope he comes knocking again soon, waiting for me to come for a walk with Him, inviting me to invite HIM into every part of my life.

The cool thing is-- He never stops asking. All I have to do is look up. He's always there. See you all later- I am going to go get my sneakers on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie & Julia- Mastering the Art of Commitment

I saw Julie & Julia today with a friend. It is one of those movies that is unusually long, but you don't even notice until it is almost over. This movie is based on two true stories-- Julie Powell (who actually DID cook her way though Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child) and the "french chef" herself, Julia Child. For me, it was a great time to see this movie. It is all about committing yourself to something you love to do, even when commitment is a hard thing to muster up. She is feeling a little lost in her life, but loves to cook, and so decides to cook her way through Julia Child's book in a year. She figures it will help with her tendency to "quit" things halfway through. Amy Anderson is a great actress, very vulnerable, and seems like someone you'd want to hang out with. Meryl Streep as Julia Child is of course, amazing. I don't know if there is a role she couldn't handle without spellbinding her audience in the process.

This movie inspired me today. And I'll tell you why. I am five months into my seven month break from the dance company, and feeling pretty detached from the day to day grind I was part of up until March. I try to make it into class as much as I can, and go to the gym here and there, but I often wonder how in the world I am going to just jump back into the daily exhaustion once the end of October rolls around. I am more practiced in changing diapers at the daycare these days than the endless tendus that make up the life of a professional dancer. What is more, I feel tired already. And I haven't even set foot into the studio yet.

Watching this movie, I am reminded of that one little word that makes any career possible. Commitment. Why did God bring me here to Colorado? To dance. More than that, I honestly believe I am supposed to be in THIS company for the time being. He has given me the instrument-- my body-- to dance with, and it is my job to continue in it. Commitment (at least for me) does not come easy with any job, even when I love it and can't imagine what else I would be doing at this particular moment. Possessing a love for something, to DO a particular something, is a gift. I've found that each day it is my choice to open that gift once again. To leave the ribbon untouched and the paper taped to the box is an option. But is it a good one?

I love that this movie is based on a true story. It can't have been easy sticking to that year deadline of making her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But it proves to me that it is possible to committ to something you love over and over. What else would I rather be doing right now? What else could I possibly choose that would be right for my life at this very moment? I believe I am right where I need to be. The gift sits in front of me each day waiting to be opened, and I am praying God will give me the gumption and commitment to open it up, over and over, until God switches it out for another box-- another gift.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The other night I dreamed I was back in Italy, walking around "il mercato" (the market) downtown Florence. In this dream I found myself back at "Il Duomo," which is pictured above, and is nearby the apartment I lived in for almost two years. In my dream, I started crying because I had missed it so much.
It has been about seven years since I left Florence. Unfortunately I have never had the money to go back and visit all the dear friends I made there, who are still lodged permanently in my heart. Today I am feeling really nostalgic for this beautiful city, for it's unique and warm people, and the excitement each day held there as a person waiting on God to move in the hearts of the people we met. Looking back at the person I was back then, I can clearly see all that God has brought me through and how that has made me who I am today. I am different now, in so many ways, because of Florence. I wouldn't change a thing, although it was one of the hardest and most trying times emotionally I have ever had in my life. Florence will always have a special place in my soul, because it is the place God broke my heart wide open and then began His process of (after I left, and is still now), slowly yet gently healing me.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I don't know what it is, but not having a regular schedule, Monday through Friday, really throws me off. I get lazy and tired, which is funny, because shouldn't it be the other way around? I spent most of this last year dancing my butt off, and yes, I WAS tired then too. But at least I was tiredly organized with my time.
Now, I've still got at least three months until I go back to full time dancing with the company. My main issue is getting into ballet class, to keep myself in shape for the next season. But I just can't seem to get out of bed a lot of the mornings to go.
Do any of you struggle with this when you don't have a regular schedule to keep you in line? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Sun and I: A Love Story.

I think somehow Denver got jealous of Portland. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and that is definitely the case here. The sky is gray, it is windy, and here and there is actual WATER is falling from the sky, landing on the ground that I have gotten used to seeing dry and warm. Right now it is misting, which admittedly is kind of cool-looking, but still. It is funny that it bothers me so much (because I had to deal with it constantly, for months at a time, back in Oregon). Yes, yes, yes... Even from a few states away, I can hear you Oregonians groaning and trying to fling various rotten vegetables at me right now, so YES I will openly admit I have gotten spoiled rotten by the beautiful weather and climate here.
During the winter here in Denver, there are many weeks we deal with very cold temperatures and snow. It is necessary then that we wear our heaviest, puffiest coats along with warm gloves, hats, and scarves. But having lived in Utah, I think I got used to that fairly quickly. And ironically, when we lived in Portland, the rain didn't bother me SO much that it was a huge problem. Maybe because I only lived there about four years. And as most people say, "You get used to it... The summers are wonderful... It makes everything so beautiful and GREEN!!!" Yes. It is true.
Therefore I was, after living a while here in Colorado, unprepared for the way I fell for the sun. And I mean "fell" in the way people talk about falling for a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse-- and not in the love-at-first-sight way (which incidentally I have issues with, but that is another blog for another day), but in the slow-burn-I-can't-believe-you-were-in-front-of-my-face-all-the-time-and-I-didn't-even-notice-how-amazing-you-are kind of way. At first I was fascinated by it: "Wow, it sure is warm here. What in the heck is that bright shiny thing in the sky?" But I liked it, and I got used to it being around. It brightened my day (literally) and lifted my spirits. Then, one day it wasn't there. And I noticed. I would look (much like today) longingly out the window and wish it was there instead of the crappy grayness and wet. It was at was at that point I realized how much I had started depending on the sun to warm me and put a smile on my face. I realized something profound-- I was in love.
And so I will end this post by allowing everyone to hear a piece of my heart-- my open love letter to the sun, begging it to come back.
"Dear Sun,
Wherefore art thou? (*yes I know that's not what "wherefore" means but it sounds cool so I'm going to leave it in*). I miss you terribly, my heart yearns for your warming rays. I remember the days we would hang out for hours together, you shining and I happy. For whatever I did that drove you away in anger, I am sorry. I take full responsibility for our separation. Just please come back. Please, please come back. I want to start wearing my cute sundresses that have been packed away since last summer. Please, please, I miss you. Come back." ~Gina

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bangs and Glasses

I have bangs now. And new reading glasses (the best part is the sparkly butterflies on the sides). Exciting times!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Food poisoning

So, has anyone out there gotten food poisoning from eating at Taco Bell? The other day I did, and without divulging too many details, let's just say I had to go to the ER to replenish my fluids and get some anti-naseau medicine. I have spent three days on the couch as a headache-y, weak limbed blob, and I am mad! Grrr.
My question is this: Has anyone out there gotten sick from restaurant food (I am talking violently sick for more than a couple hours) and actually DONE something about it? I am considering calling them and/or reporting them to the BBB. Not that I know if they could do anything about anything. But something in me wants to let them know that they are poisoning innocent people with their so-called "food." Any wisdom/experiences you'd like to share??

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oregon Trip Pictures...

My first stop in Oregon was to see my dad for a couple days. It was fun to hang out and celebrate our birthdays together, which meant going out to an italian restaurant. But of course, it just wouldn't be the same unless we at one point, eat gourmet food at home and watch a movie.

At last, my dad has found the perfect woman for him!!! Let's keep our fingers crossed that it sticks!

During this trip, I also got to spend time with my friend Katrina and her 2 1/2 month old baby girl. It was a good preview for me, for someone who hopes to be a mother someday. Above picture: Anyone else like shopping for cheap cute stuff? Katrina and I bought the same jacket totally separately (different states even!) in different colors at Forever 21, so of course we had to take a picture.

The cutest baby bear I've ever seen-- little Josie!

Fun at Cannon Beach... Yet another cold and beautiful day, but what else can one expect on the Oregon Coast?

Me in front of Haystack Rock.

Katrina takes advantage of the humor in the situation, which involved a crying baby bear.

I also got to spend time with friends I've missed very much, including my good friend Toni. Miss you all! Thanks for hanging out, see ya next time!

More California trip pictures!

Casey and I were so excited to be at and involved with our godson's baptism. Here we are with him at a local park. What a special day and event for us.

Proud parents and great friends/relatives. Casey and I are spoiled to be so involved in their lives.

Out at a beautiful local state park. My mom and Freddie are ruthless when it comes to making us do mushy pictures! Not that we minded much :).

My mama, myself, and my brother's girlfriend making lasagna from scratch. It was gooooood.

Casey and I at Bodega Bay-- I loved seeing the ocean again. It just feeds my heart in a strange beautiful way. We went on this mini-trip with my mom and Freddie, feeding the seagulls, and eating some a-mazing smoked salmon. It is my new favorite food.

It looks sunny but don't be fooled. It was COLD!

We got to see my best friend (who is about to have another baby in a couple months!! Congrats my friend!) and her two year old daughter. I haven't seen her little girl in a while and it is amazing how smart and beautiful she is even at two. Watch out boys, she's gonna be a heartbreaker!

I love shared mommy-daughter giggles!

Father and son, waiting for dinner. We got to see so many people! Fun fun fun!

Friday, April 3, 2009

California dreamin, on such a winters day.

We got to visit my family and friends in SUNNY Nor Cal this last week. Here in Colorado it is chilly and about to snow (BOOOO), so I am looking longingly into my memory to lock the sunshine in! Here is a couple teaser photo to leave you with-- first is us at a state park. Second is our godson and nephew, who was holding Casey's hand through one whole car trip! More pictures to come later.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How Casey almost asked me out.

Some of you know this story already. But I had to share because I just ordered us matching t-shirts (cue gagging noises) that were custom made, printed with the words Casey spoke to ALMOST ask me out the first time. Keep reading if you want to know what those words were.
The night was Halloween a few years ago. He had attended our costume party out in Hillsboro, Oregon (which I dressed up as a princess for, and he dressed up as his own twin....Nope. He didn't dress up at all). The large party had gotten smaller by around 10 pm. We all had eaten some good food, had some good Napolean Dynamite quoting time, sat around a fire and made s'mores, and even talked a bit about God. I was impressed by his obvious love of the Bible. Also, he was pretty dang hilarious. Those of you that were there, may remember his (and Katrina's) ingenius creation of the jingle for their fictitious product "Urine-all." I had only talked with this mysterious, tall, blonde curly-headed, Converse-wearing guy a couple other times (the latest time being a "chance" meeting at Starbucks with our ONE mutual friend Katrina), and very briefly. I was pretty convinced he was probably a jerk because he was so funny and entertaining. However, I couldn't help but notice him more and more throughout the night.
So, after mostly everyone called it a night and walked away from the fire back to their cars, he just "happened" to be leaving the same time as I was (lucky me!) We talked for a couple minutes about something I can't remember. I was thinking, "This is going well. Maybe he's not a jerk." Then, came the question I had a feeling was coming:
"So... what are you doing tomorrow?"
My 'about-to-be-asked-out' radar went crazy, and I said, very carefully, "Well, probably sleeping" (it was about 3 am at the time). The subtext of my statement, which I only was saying in my mind silently, was: "NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL. I AM COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY FREE FOR ANY DATE-LIKE ACTIVITY YOU MAY HAVE IN MIND."
A pause.
"Oh," he answered.
Another pause. I try again.
"Um, what are YOU doing?"
"Well, helping out at church in the morning, but after that not much."
Again, awkward pause.
Seriously? Is my radar so off that I cannot tell anymore if I am about to be asked out?
We are walking still, now very slowly, toward his large truck. I give him a little more time by not saying anything.
Yet another awkward pause. I think he got his keys out at this time. He starts saying something. And it is...
"Well.... See you later I guess!"
"Ok... Maybe I'll see ya at Starbucks sometime" (my lame attempt to keep things open).
He gets in his car, says goodbye, and drives off.
You would think at this point that my radar was very, very broken-- if you didn't know the end of the story. Late I found out that when I said I would be "sleeping," he thought it meant I was busy (maybe a modern day version of "I need to wash my hair"). So much for being sly about keeping my day open. He didn't want it to seem like he was forcing things. So, he kept coming over to hang out for our parties, and didn't end up asking me out officially until New Years eve. Slow mover? Yes, and that was probably exactly what I needed at the time. And God knew that.
So-- end of story. Our t-shirts will say, "So what are you doing tomorrow?" --to immortalize the great moment where Casey ALMOST asked me out, and to commemorate the fact my radar was indeed NOT off (yes, I am still proud of this fact).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Scariest Bug You Have EVER Seen.

Seriously guys.
Please someone tell me what in the frick this is.
Have you ever seen ANYTHING so creepy???
Love the last few seconds of video and what the lady says to whoever else is there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tap and All That Jazz!

I (Gina) am learning how to tap! Growing up, I was pretty obsessed with ballet (not to mention dance classes are expensive, so I had to choose my favorite genre) and therefore never did much with jazz or tap dancing. Lately I have wanted to branch out a bit-- mostly because I have always thought it would be fun, and also because many dance companies in the area require their dancers be adept at many disciplines. So, I actually bought my very own pair of tap shoes and ventured into the world of very-not-ballet.
It was interesting to feel like a "beginner" again in a dance studio. I have been dancing, ballet that is, since I was seven (you do the math). So to feel as if I have no idea what is going on is not a normal thing for me. But it was fun! It uses a different part of my brain than ballet. Instead of using the positions I know and drawing on the knowledge I have accrued over many years I had to relax my ankles and concentrate on the rhythm of the several steps we practiced (the time step, the Shirley Temple, etc). The teacher and other students were very patient with me and helped me along with some of the basics. I walked out of there humbled, yet also with new knowledge! I am excited to continue my improvement in this very fun and DIFFERENT type of dance.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Today I am inspired to ramble a bit about lent-- inspired by my friend Krissi who also mentioned this season in her blog recently. I (Gina) grew up (partly) Catholic. Growing up Catholic can mean a lot of different things to different people depending on their experiences. For me, it meant 45 minutes of church every Sunday and going to catechism (catholic sunday school, which oddly met in the afternoons during the week instead) to learn how to recieve my first communion. Because we stopped going to church when I was about 12, I never got past the first communion thing to be confirmed and all that. As far as Lent goes, I can't remember doing much with it except getting a gray dusty cross on my forehead on a certain sunday.
The years went by and I hadn't thought much about it until I came to the realization Jesus is the King and Creator of the Universe and deserves my very heart and life (when I was about 20 years old). That is the time I remember as becoming a daughter of God. It was then also that I found out other people besides Catholic people gave things up during Lent. As a new believer in Jesus, I gave things up such as chocolate, coffee, etc. I will admit I have ignored this very cool practice in the last several years. But this year, my friend mentioned he was giving up soda for Lent. "Geez," I thought, "Maybe I should do something too."
Not because it was something I am SUPPOSED to do-- I am pretty sure God isn't taking down names and things people are giving up for Lent. But I realized at that moment that I have been pretty self centered lately. When I gave my life to God ten years ago everything changed, and my heart was suddenly focused on what He had for me in this life-- relating and talking with Him, and seeing the miracles and changes He brought about. I have gotten away from that focus and I will admit my heart has felt more empty than when I was in constant communication with Him, recieving His love and encouragement and being molded into the person I was born to be.
So, Lent. Remembering what Jesus gave up (His very breath) for me has reminded me that every relationship is a two way street. He sacrificed for me. And as I remembered that, I wanted to give something back to Him. Not to earn brownie points with Him (I am totally accepted and loved by Him as I am thanks to Jesus), but to bless His heart. I want to contribute to His happiness and joy, to let Him know I love what He did for me.
It has been cool for me to remember my Catholic roots in the last week or so, and to think about how God used that time in my life to make me who I am today. So, I have decided that because I spend so much time on Facebook (can anyone relate??), I will only spend a few minutes a day checking that account during the time of Lent. I am doing this because it is something that takes up too much my time and energy-- time that I often could be spending with Him. My heart misses God. So I am hoping this season of Lent will bring my heart closer to His and bring me back to the awesome close relationship I have shared in the past with Him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Long Awaited Piercing...

For anyone that has known me more than a couple hours, you know that I am slow to decide and slow to act. Some people call it being indecisive, some call it being cautious, some call it annoying. Anyway, my desire to have an little earring/stud in my upper ear (cartilage) has been with me since junior college (eighteen or so years old). I just have always thought it looked super cute and delicate.

Being as I am super cautious, especially when it involves inflicting voluntary pain on myself (funny since I dance on pointe for a job), you can see, can't you, why it took me so long to pierce my ear way up there? Most sources/people recommend going to a body piercing studio where they used a hollow needle to create the hole, then insert the earring. It's just safer for the cartilage that way, and easier to heal. I also, incidentaly, hate shots with a passion (I can never look), so the thought of a needle piercing my upper ear was a little scary.

I just finished my first season with DTDT, and I felt I needed some kind of mile-marker, to remember how I made it through, with God's carrying me through most of the hardest moments of course. I decided that this piercing was it, especially since I'd wanted to do it for so long.

After a lot of internet research (during which I learned there are ALOT of piercings stranger than the one I was considering), asking around, and hemming and hawing, I finally decided Bound by Design in downtown Denver was the place due to the good reviews and recommendations. With Casey and Sarah at my side, I walked into the brightly painted shop and the adventure began.

The bleached blonde, extremely tattooed and pierced girl at the glass counter greeted me. I glanced to my left and there was a room on the side of the shop where a guy was getting tattooed. I glanced into the glass counter which displayed lots and lots of earrings-- there were some crazy looking spirally looking things, plugs the size of racquetballs (the rings people use to stretch out their earlobes), and after that I stopped looking in order to stop my fast-mounting panic. She answered some last minute questions about the safety of this particular cartilage piercing and helped me pick out a small diamond stud that would soon be IN MY EAR (panic still mounting)... I then signed a paper that said I wouldn't sue them and paid for the earring and piercing. I made a quick visit to the bathroom so that if I happened to faint, I wouldn't pee in my pants without knowing it. While back there I looked in the mirror and asked myself, "What are you DOING." But then I thought about how terrified I was to perform a certain contemporary ballet piece earlier in the season, and I told myself, "If you can do that, you can definitely do this."
After waiting a couple minutes for the piercer to get everything sterilized in the piercing room, she called me back. Casey and Sarah went back with me, and I quickly noticed that she had lots of piercings-- cheek, lots in her ears, and lip. After cleaning and marking my ear, she had me check to see if I liked the placing. Then she had me lay down on this hospital-bed-looking thing. At this point I was getting really nervous and was trying really hard not to show it. I had Casey come hold my hand (I know... baby...) which helped immensely. She told me to take a few deep breaths (could she see how scared I was???). She came up really close and then told me to take another deep breath, that she was going to go ahead and get the first step done.

I felt a quick pierce of pain with the needle, almost like a shot, then it stopped. She said "Ok, now I am going to put the earring in, so another deep breath and you'll be done..." One more deep breath, and I felt one more pierce of pain and then that one stopped as well. I asked if that was all, because I had expected something far worse! She said it was done, and gave me a mirror to look at it.

I loved it! It was exactly what I wanted and perfectly placed. My ear was starting to feel very warm, but not painful. She then took me through the cleaning steps I would do at home for the next ten billion years (ok, maybe just the next few months, but it sounded like a lot). Care for a cartilage piercing is a little more involved than an ear lobe because this area of the ear gets less circulation and cartilage heals a lot more slowly. She then told me to take as long as I needed to continue laying down and as long as I needed before I left as well (apparently people have felt fine after a piercing, then drove off only to crash a couple minutes later due to fainting!). She was very professional and soothing, and took great care of me through the whole experience. After taking a couple pictures we walked out, me with a new (long awaited) earring! It is still feeling great after several days hours (it does hurt a bit when I clean it or bump it however), and hopefully this trend will continue.

The moral of the story? If Gina, the slow-as-a-turtle-cautious one, can do it (with many prayers uttered beforehand) you can. And if you decide to do it, I highly recommend Bound by Design if you live in the Denver area.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Nutcracker, Christmas, and beyond!

Why is it that I always blog when I am sick? Maybe because it cheers me up :). Once again, I am home due to my body rebelling against my wishes, but happily I can update everyone on the last month. It was a busy one. Today, I am opting to tell the story with pictures (it's shorter and more interesting that way). First off... My mom came to visit us! She came with the intention of maintaining her spot as "Gina's #1 Fan," as I was about to embark once again on Nutcracker. She and I (and Casey) hung out, visited downtown Denver, and she accompanied me to the theater most days I was there for performance week. Staying true to her time-honored role, she saw me perform five (yes, 5) times. Plus, she watched most of my warm up classes. You just can't knock her out of that spot (she's maintained it since I started ballet at age 7)! Here are some pictures of our adventures.

At Panera Bread Company, one of my favorite breakfast spots.

Trying on hats and other various winter accessories downtown.

A VERY expensive coat and hat ($7000 plus)- but very warm. It better be.

Mom getting sassy!
Next came Nutcracker....

Fuzzy picture of us backstage between acts-- smiles camoflauging our exhaustion! We did ten shows in six days and while it was fun, I was happy to get some rest when it was done.

Casey and I at home after a show-- before I took my stage "eyes" off.

Me in my angel costume.

Me backstage in my chinese costume.
Then, we got to go to Oregon for Christmas. On the way, we randomly saw one of my best friends in the airport with her husband! We had the exact same flight schedule through Denver!

Jess and I SHOCKED at seeing each other at Denver International Airport!

In Oregon, the record snowfall got us stuck on the way to Casey's parents' house, and I got sick several days later (not because of the snow :) ), but other than that it was really fun to see family and relax a bit.

Casey and his cute grandma Jackie.

Casey imparting some wisdom on whoever is sitting next to us. I am more interested in the present. :)

Here is where we got stuck in the snow. We are waiting in the car for a shovel to arrive with Casey's dad.

"Mom" Shari and I wearing our traditional Eslinger Christmas accessories. WHAT did I marry into??? :) Just kidding.

My brother about to open his "gift" from us. The airline lost the bag that had all our presents in it, and we didn't get it back until a couple days after Christmas. So we wrote little cards describing the gift so they could open SOMETHING.
After we got back to Colorado, we had a belated "Christmas" with our friends here. Below are some pictures of us and our friends frosting, decorating, and eating sugar cookies. Some of us went nutso on the frosting and I am sure paid for it later :).

Tummyache in the making? Oh but it was fun. :)