They're putting Christmas lights on the palm trees.

Christmas in California feels like an identity crisis.

Here I am on the tail-end of a relaxing, but short-lived weekend. Sigh.

Today I did nothing but stay in, do laundry and watch almost the entire first season of "Heroes." Man, that show is intense! Crazy. My favorite characters are Claire and Hiro. In case you were wondering...:)

Also, I've been thinking about getting a new car. We're shipping my parents van, that they've been wonderful enough to let me use for the time being, back to Oklahoma sometime after Thanksgiving. I've been doing some research and really like this car. Case and I went to test drive it yesterday. Isn't it cute? I love it. It drives pretty well too.

More later this week.

Feeling wayyyyy frazzled.

Planning a wedding while working full time is maximum stressful.


I need a nap.

Feeling very satisfied right now. :)

Finished my first day at my new job this afternoon. It's going to be really great. I really like all of the people I'm working with.

Jo and Dashiell just finished trick or treating. Jo is Hermione from Harry Potter and Dash is Venom (from Spiderman.) Imagine everything cute. Now multiply it times ten. Welcome to my house. :)

Have a freelance job that I'm really excited about this weekend as well. Pics from that to come.

God is good.

Also, if anyone wants to come out here for Thanksgiving, I'll be around. Call meh.


A thought entered my mind just now:

I am very glad to be out of college. I don't miss the papers and lack of sleep and teachers that have it out for you at all.

Insightful, I know. I'll be here all week. :)

Good things about today:

*) I rode four miles on my bike today, without feeling like I might pass out/die.

*) I struck up a conversation with a total stranger that was meaningful and very insightful.

*) I am still excited about finding out about my new job! I got it!

*) Orange juice from Trader Joe's.

*) Feeling blessed beyond belief. God is good and all I need in this life.

Bad things:

*) The San Diego fires

*) Expensive vespas that I want but can't afford.

*) Missing my Kentucky/Tulsa friends.

*) Driving a van that costs 75 dollars to fill up. (I am not joking.)

That is all.

I'm such a parent right now.

I just tucked the kids into bed. I babysat them for the evening while Gretchen went out. We played board games and watched spongebob. I love that kids are so easily entertained.

I told them that after we did their homework, we would go get ice cream cones from McDonald's. They freaked out.

These kids go crazy for sugar. I was a little scared.

Who would've thought that a 99 cent ice cream would solicit so much insanity? I wish I had known. I'm a hero.

Not much going on here, as I'm sure you can tell. :) Also, I just started watching "Entourage" because I have HBO in my room now, which is sweeeet. It's a really well written show and I really enjoy Adrian Grenier's (sp?) acting.

Also, Case's opening night is Friday!!!! WHOOOO! If you would like to go and be my date, since my boyfriend will be onstage in a monk robe, please call.



I'm finally live! I've spent all morning tweaking my new site, and it still needs work, but Im eager to have people see it, so here goes!

Let me know if you see anything I should fix!

I'll be blogging over there as well, so check in for updates.


Hello all! Hope everyone is well. Man, I'm so excited it's Friday. It's been a good week, but...let's just say I need some R&R baaad. Also, I feel like none of my jeans fit me. Don't laugh. It seems like my perfectly fitting express laboratory denim has shrunk overnight! Maybe I'm just getting fatter. But it's not around the waist - it's like all the sudden all of my pants are highwaters...Hmm. My ankles are on display for the world to see. Something isn't right here...

*And then you look over and I'm as tall as Nan. I mean. What? Nan, you're a supermodel.

Case and I are going on a date tonight. I think we'll go see "Elizabeth" and then head over to the James Joyce for drinks. If anyone is in the 805 and wants to join us, holla! Hah. I'm excited about seeing Cate Blanchett. She is def one of my all time favs. And Geoffrey Rush! AND CLIVE OWEN! I mean, seriously. The costumes look amazing too.

Also, two things I wanted to say. MY NEW SITE WILL BE UP BY MONDAY NIGHT! AS WELL AS A NEW AND IMPROVED CORRESPONDING BLOG! Woo. Be assured, loyal readers, you will have the first link. Also, I think I had a story and a photo published in the Goleta paper today, because the person I interviewed earlier this week called me so excited to see it. I totally forgot about it, but I'm glad she loved it. I need to go grab a copy. It would be nice to see my name in print again. :)

Love to everyone!

Went to the beach yesterday with Gretchen's puppies, Cyrus and Betty Lou. They freaked out when we started playing fetch with them. So much fun. I've never really been a dog person, but these guys are pretty wonderful. Except when they poop on the carpet. Which has happened this weekend. Twice.


Doing some writing today and getting dinner tonight with Case and some friends. It's been a really relaxing weekend because no one's been home. Meh. I'm ready for the week to start up again.

Good morning!

Sitting at Starbucks, tweaking images for my website. I'm so excited! I've never had a real site before...You'll all have to visit and let me know what you think. I haven't launched it yet, but my goal is to go live before Monday. :)

Sorry for the radio silence! I moved into a new place this weekend across town. Moving was so much easier this time now that I've gotten rid of all my stuff! Each time I move, I deem less and less essential and throw out more of what I used to need. It's liberating. I feel like I little caterpillar emerging from a little cocoon of stuff that I don't need anymore. WOOT.

So I'm settling in just fine. I love the family I'm living with - they are amazing! So much fun. In case some of you are out of the loop, I am so incredibly blessed. I managed to finagle a job nannying for two kids 20 hours a week in exchange for a private room and food. I love it! We went to the park the other night and made up games , one of which I invented where we play rock, paper scissors and the loser has to run around across the park and back. Now this isn't exactly the most inventive game, I'll admit. But they loved it! It was so much fun.

Case and I are taking their two yellow labs, Cyrus and Betty Lou to the beach Saturday while they're out of town. Fun times. We're also going to the Carpinteria Avocado festival Sunday (yes, you heard me right, AVOCADOES!) with the lovely Michael Conrad, so I hope to post pictures from that as well.

ALSO...As if I haven't posted enough dramatic information in this post already, you may be talking to the newest reporter/photographer of the Goleta Valley Voice! I'm definitely getting way ahead of myself. I have a story to write this weekend and a portrait to shoot as my trial, and if I do a good job on those, I think I have a solid chance of being a staff writer there. I'm so pumped! BENEFITS! A SALARY! Okay. I'm stopping now. Pray that I do a good job!

Okay, I'm off to grab lunch with Case. Kisses!

PS. I just downloaded the newest albums from Robert Frncis and William Fitzsimmons and they are AMAZING! I'm so glad folk music is back.

birthday update!

So my birthday was absolutely fabulous. We didn't end up going to the winery due to some logistic problems, but ended up going to a wine tasting room downtown, Intermezzo, for some amazing drinks. Then Case took me to a morroccan restaurant for dinner, which was awesome. I've never had morroccan food but it was amazing. Yum.

I also got an amazing surprise from Trish and Norm! Trish made me a gigantic, heart shaped cookie cake, which was on the counter when I woke up. They also bought me a really nice bike helmet, which I've been needing really bad. They are amazing! I am so blessed to be surrounded by such godly, amazing people.

Alot of work today. I need to followe up with some magazine jobs today and some other free lance jobs I booked yesterday. The work is slowly but surely coming in! Praise the Lord. Also, I have an update on my living situation soon!

Grace and peace!

Today is low key. Spending time in the word and also reading some business books I found on OSP. So helpful! I love those guys.

Also, Monday is my birthday and Case is taking me out to dinner tonight and to a vineyard at an undisclosed location. Hmm. Pics later.

And. Yesterday it began to rain, so I took the bus home, making my 20 mile ride only a ten mile ride. But that is okay. I still feel accomplished.

Case, Michael and I went to see "Across the Universe" last night, which was PHENOMENAL! It was a really beautiful and inspired picture. Go see it.

Athletic...a state of mind I am not familiar with

So today has been an awesome day! I had some errands to run downtown and I decided I didn't want to use my car at all today. Gas is sooo astronomical here (2.85 a gallon in Goleta) so I bought a bike on craig's list yesterday for 65 dollars. As you know, I'm trying to get in shape and save some money, so this seems like the best way to do it. I'm also starting to be more Green in the way I consume and yada yada. Mainly, I'm poor and insurance is expensive here.

The point is I biked 9.54 miles to get to the coffee shop in which I am sitting now. And I will bike 9.54 on the way back. And that is AWESOME.

I feel like such a champ. Nan and Hales, when you guy see me at Christmas, I will be super athletic girl.

Also, sad news. My friend Hailey is not coming to visit this weekend. :(

SIGH! It's okay. I still love you.

Also, pictage user group meeting last night. Had fun and did some networking there. I'm getting pretty good at passing out my business card. Heh. Don't know if I'm going to join pictage, but I learned some awesome info if I do decide to jump on the bandwagon.

Alright. I'm going to go wait out the rain so I can get back to Goleta soon. Love to everyone and Happy Friday!

MY FIRST VISITOR! of my bff's from KY is coming in to town FRIDAY!!!!!!

Yay Hailey! And in your honor, here's a picture for your enjoyment. (Also, what is wrong with me?!) The only one missing is Nan. Nan! Get here! I can't wait until Christmas.

Here visit is going to be a welcome distraction from my exhausting job search.

Also, I have a birthday coming up, Monday to be exact. The big 22. Any ideas how I should celebrate?

Argh. Today I'm going to look at an apartment, even though I can't afford it. I'm so stressed out guys. I feel so helpless, like I will never have a job or a place to live that makes sense financially.

Prayers please.

Hi guys. I just finished reading this book and I'm so excited! I think the Lord wanted me to read this to be more at peace with the car situation. I was praying that somehow a car would come out of nowhere, but instead I found this at the library yesterday. It's really fascinating! It talks about how the average american SUV driver could save 10,000 DOLLARS a year if they just rode their bike places and used public transit! I mean seriously. That's awesome. I'm going to try it. This whole time I was praying God would take care of the transportation problem. The Lord answers prayers sometimes in funny ways.:)
Argh! I'm so mad at myself. ALready I'm slacking on posting. Meh.

Today, I'm trying to wrap up some housing stuff for myself. Things are still kindof floating around and nothing has really lined up, although the possibilities have presented themselves. Which is more than I had before.

The Lord is really, REALLY testing my faith. But it's good. I'm growing through all of this in ways that I never would have dreamed. God is good, in spite of my tumultuous life.

AND it's almost the weekend! Call me I wanna hang out


I just want to say thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. Your prayers are more effective than you know, and I can tell even now, that the Lord hears and will continue to be moved by the words of his people.

SO thanks. :)

So many things are going haywire in my life right now. Still no permanent place to live, and no stable work outlet to depend on. And then last night I got the word last night that my parents are asking for their car back. I knew they would need it back eventually, because they can't afford to shoulder California insurance. It took me by surprise because I thought by now I would've found work. And now I have to continue that search car-less. They offered me (again) the chance to move home and continue the job search in Tulsa, rent free and with no expense.

After I saved up, prayed for months, and drove all the way across America to get here.

After a minor crisis in whether I would go or stay, I spent some time in the word and rediscovered the story of Ruth. I read about how she chose to leave her home, everything she knew, and retain her loyalty to her mother-in-law, in spite of the "secure" thing to do, which would be stay and look for a new husband. Even though the two of them were destitute they had each other. And life was kindof tough. Ruth picked up grain to eat OFF THE GROUND that servants left behind for her. That's just barely squeaking by, folks. I mean I don't think I've gotten to that point yet. I can still afford my latenight tacobell. But. That is neither here nor there. I am running out of money and I might be picking up grain off the ground soon.

So. Back to my analysis. Ruth did what she could to provide for Naomi, they were getting by okay, and then WHAM! This sugar daddy Boaz swoops in and gives her everything she needs, praising her faithfulness to Naomi and calls her a "woman of excellence" (3:11) God knew what she needed all along, she proved herself faithful, and everything turned out fine.

You may be wonder why I am writing this. I'm not really sure. But I do know that the Lord gave me a moment of clarity today:

"Focus on relationships first and everything you need I will provide."

Seriously. I heard it. And I know that I am supposed to be here in California, nurturing some VERY important relationships (ahem my future husband and also some very new but amazing friends the Lord has brought into my life.)

I really feel like the Lord told me that relationships, and people, should be the most important things in our lives, second only to our relationships to Him. People are important. More important than jobs, and security, and wealth.

And that is something I learned today. :D

hiding away

Seeking the Lord all day today over some big things in my life right now.

Your prayers, dear ones, are coveted.

'Call me "Lizard King"...No, really, I insist...'

SO Case bought me this desk last night off of Craig's List for my birthday. I know, I know, it looks like a big piece of trash...NOW. But we are going to strip, sand, stain, and refinish our way to a new desk! I'm so excited. It's gigantic (6 feet long to be exact) and I'm going to use it as my first piece for my home office. :D

I'm very excited. And we got it for 20$! I'm such a trash-to-treasure person.

Nothing much to report. I'm at the Goleta Starbucks trying to get some work done. Yesterday I spent almost the whole day with Case, which was so much fun. We just hung out and watched the office and then went to Urban and bought him some new jeans. Fun times. We also watched half of the Good Shepherd with Matt Damon last night. We didn't get to finish it because I needed to get Case home because he had to open at SBucks (AGAIN) this morning, but I'm excited to see what happens. Matt Damon is pretty phenomenal.

Also, yesterday I applied for a photo position back at good old Time Inc. I was daydreaming all day yesterday about how fun it would be to move back to NYC and work for them. Memories.

Alright peeps. I'm out. Hope everyone is doing well today.

Coney Island, Summer '06

I miss you, Nana. Come visit soon.



Things are starting to open up a little bit here in SB, as far as the job front goes. I'm meeting with a photographer tonight to talk about an assistant position, and one tommorrow for a photoshop help thingie. Things here and there, but it's making me feel not as demoralized. I'm just praying that the Lord will open up whatever he wants me to have.

I'm cleaning off my hard drive today, and organizing yet another portfolio and found lots of pictures that make my head spin and my heart hurt. Sigh.

Anyway, I hope all of my friends are doing well at home. Hugs.

"she made us drinks...we drunk 'em"

So I have a new favorite place. I'm at Coffee Cat, a coffee shop on Anacapa Street, which is one of my favorite places to work, because they aren't super corporate, they have good drinks, the service is really good, and they have free wireless. For some reason it seems that fewer establishments offer free internet than at home. Anyway, I think the workers are getting used to seeing me here. Awkward.

Also, I may or may not be listening to T-Pain's "Bartender" song. It's true. I mean, it's hilarious. I just keep thinking about Hannah saying if they do that elctronic voice thing that they must sing really bad. I love the silly rap music. No one understands me.

East Beach Saturday

originally uploaded by mshannahjane.
So yesterday was alot of fun. Went to East Beach with Case and laid out while he read some homework on globalization. Man, am I sooo glad to be done with homework. Sorry Case. I envy you not. :)

Also, been poking around trying to mess with pictures on here. Since blogspot is free, I guess there's no image hosting. SO I went through flickr, which is free. That's cool but it's kindof a pain in the butt to use. t's not very intuitive. Nan! I need your help! You know about all this blog stuff.

Church tonight which I am EXCITED ABOUT!!! Worship. Yay.

Also, we have a new visitor in our house. We are watching Lolly, a little tiny poodle, for nineteen days. Yay! No one is ever home so she doesn't get a lot of love. I'm going to take her for a walk in a sec. I think we're going to be fast friends.

Okay. I'm out. Flickr ticks me off, so I'm going to take a break. :(

Still trying to figure out image hosting. Hmm. Taking a break to go to East Beach with Case. Pictures soon. :)

It's time to end the silence!

Sooo. I'm trying out this new blog thing and it's really really hard for me to get back in the swing of things! I used to update all the time in high school and then stopped a little while back because I just didn't have time for it. But now, I've decided that I wanted to keep friends and family posted on the move.

I've been in the Santa Barbara area for 15 days now. I think I'm settling okay - still on the lookout for a cheap place to live. I've been staying with Case's aunt and uncle who are AMAZING and so hospitable. They have been soo gracious to let me stay with them and it's been such a great time hanging out with them. I'm pretty ready to be out of their hair though and be in my own apartment. If anyone knows of anyone that needs a roommate in the SB/Montecito/Sorta close to Westmont area, drop me a line. :)

I'm also excited because I made a new friend this week. Her name is Sarah and she showed me the joy of CostCo. I was despairing because groceries are sorta high here and then I discovered Costco, which is kinda like Sam's except way better because they have lots of stuff that Sam's doesn't. It was great fun.

I think the biggest adjustment for me besides missing my KY friends and feeling a little bit like a drifter was, on a less serious note, noticing how healthy the people I live with are. I don't know if it's a California thing or if it's just the Popp family. They kept telling me to eat their food but they eat like wheat grass and mixed nuts and stuff. It's just what they like. And that's amazing. I would probably be way healthier and more productive if I ate like that. I'm just not used to it. SO I went to K-Mart and bought "junk food" - and by junk food I mean what most people in the south eat normally. I bought poptarts and cheezits and condensed soup and shells and cheese. I returned home, satisfied with my purchases, excited to begin eating again. I asked aunt Trish if I could have a space where I put my food in her pantry. She politely agreed and then began to crack up when I unloaded my wares and the whole evening she and Uncle Norm prodded fun at my poptarts. Meh. I need to eat more whole grains. :/

Anyway, besides being awkward while driving downtown and consuming way too much grease for the average local, I really love it here. I'm excited that Miss Hailey is coming to visit later this month as well. :)

Okay so I'm way behind...I'm going to try to post some of our roadtrip photos. Does anyone know if you can post albums?