February 17, 2014

{February 15 & 16}

Saturday: "The One Where I Asked Mike Seaver For Dating Advice" (also, something I never thought I would say)

Saturday morning I woke up before 8:30. Did I mention it was a SATURDAY?!?! I never even do that during the week. I thought it might have just been nerves with school, because I've had a lot on my mind or just the excitement of meeting Kirk Cameron later on in the day. I wasn't totally sure, but decided to just stay awake and finish reading the book I had started a couple nights before.

I took my time being lazy and getting ready, especially since it was cloudy outside and felt like one of those cozy "stay-at-home" days. I read a little more and then I decided to give my "Beautifully Outspoken" blog some work, which was good for me. Lately, I've been feeling like the more writing I do, the more I am able to really express myself freely and more directly. It's a wonderful feeling and something I have been trying to work on a bit more. I also broke out my Bible, which is something I haven't done in awhile, and took a look at a couple verses and highlighted them. I didn't spend much time with God, but it was just enough to feel His peace wash over me.

I was pretty excited and feeling SO good about life! :)

I finally started to get ready, putting on my makeup, and then my dad came home. Once we were all ready to go, we went to one of our favorite BBQ restaurants in town for lunch. It was tasty, as always. We still had a little time before I had to get to the VIP event for the Kirk Cameron speaking engagement, so we stayed there a little longer, just wondering what to expect and throwing around ideas of what we could do.

We just drove around town, up near one of the community colleges, old neighborhoods where some of my dad's family friends used to live, the "bluffs," which overlooks the city and the oil fields and finally made it to the church. It's actually my grandparents' church, where the event was being held, but we go up there quite often. I used to wonder if I knew more people over there than at my own church. HA! My parents dropped me off, and I stood in line with my ticket in hand. A few minutes later, the team came around swapping out tickets for special wristbands, and it was all becoming more real. My uncle and cousin had come up to the matinee, so I happened to see my uncle and talked to him for a few minutes, and told him I would try to get his book signed. A few minutes later, he said it was no biggie that he could just take it…And then a few minutes later, my cousin came over and said my uncle did want it signed, and we talked for a few minutes, then they started letting our group in, so we said goodbye.

They led us inside the main sanctuary and nerves were starting to hit. Anyone who knows me, just about, knows how much I'm still obsessed with old shows (i.e.-Full House, Boy Meets World, Facts of Life, GROWING PAINS, etc.) and that I am and have always been a big Kirk Cameron fan. Growing Pains has been one of my favorite shows for as long as I can remember. In all honesty, it's one of the first shows I probably "fan girled" over as a kid. At the time, I watched it every evening on Disney Channel with my grandma. So, when I heard Kirk Cameron was coming here, I HAD to go. Yes, it was for a marriage conference, but I had still always wanted to hear him speak and thought it might be good reference for later on. My parents bought me the VIP package for my birthday, and I was so excited! But, it didn't fully hit that I would be meeting THE Mike Seaver and THE Kirk Cameron until it actually arrived. I had been trying to brainstorm what to ask and was a little nervous about what to expect from the event.

I found an aisle seat, that actually had the perfect view and settled in, trying to calm the nerves down. Then, I said hi to a family friend that I ran into and looked at my phone, as the VIP section waited for Kirk to come out for the Q and A session. Finally, Kirk walked in with (who turned out to be) his pastors, and looked like he was showing them around the campus. Our "tour guide" introduced Kirk a few minutes later, and he came on stage. It was very laid back, as anyone could just ask a question, whether it was about Growing Pains, marriage, or theology (though, they tried to warn against that, because it can lead to some pretty lengthy discussions).

Crappy iPhone picture!
I was trying to muster up the courage to ask a question about dating, but being one of the only "20 something's" in the room, I didn't think my question really applied to too many people, so I didn't ask. After the Q and A, they lined us up in the hallway just outside of the sanctuary, while Kirk sat at a table to sign autographs and talk for a few minutes. I could have sworn they said no posed pictures, so I didn't even attempt. With not knowing anyone else around, I felt weird asking if they would take pictures of me chatting with him. Plus, I had a couple items for him to sign and wanted to be able to ask a question, so I didn't want to make things complicated! HAHA. But, I was a bit bummed, because it was kind of a life goal to meet him and I love taking pictures with everyone and everything I do…But, if it didn't work out, then it would be enough just to say I met him.

Finally, it was my turn to go up. This was our conversation. (some of it might not be verbatim, but it'll give you an idea from what I remember)

Kirk Cameron: Hi there!
Me: Hi!
(He starts to sign the items I set on the table)
Me: So, I didn't get a chance to ask a question in there (pointing to the sanctuary), but I was wondering if you had any advice when it comes to 20 something's, like myself, who are just starting to really get into the dating scene and want to settle down?
Girl behind me: I had that question too, actually!
Kirk: Like what? Anything specific?
Me: (since I have no experience when it comes to dating) Not really, just in general.
Kirk: Like what qualities to look for in a guy?
Me: Yeah, something like that.
Kirk: Well, first off, just the fact that you're here…I'll go over a lot of what to look for in detail when it comes to marriage, later on in there.
Me: Right..Okay.
Kirk: My daughters are also reading a couple of books right now…(thinks about it for a minute). I can't remember their names…(thinks a little more) Yeah, I have no idea what they are, so I'm really not helping you at all right now, am I? (laughs a little).
Me: (I laugh) That's totally fine!
Kirk: Well, have you read the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris?
Me: (totally remember it from my Jr. Hi days) I have heard of it, but I've never gotten around to reading it.
Kirk: Yeah, I would definitely check into that. (I think he might have said a little more about the book, but I don't totally remember it).
Me: Alright, thanks! I'll have to look into it.
Kirk: Thanks so much for coming!
Me: Thank you! (grabbed the books from him and headed back inside)

WOW! I just couldn't believe I had actually had a conversation with him. Obviously, there was plenty more I was dying to ask, but until I'm cool enough to actually have a press pass to events, one question here and there will have to do. I wanted to ask about his relationship with his sister Candace and/or what it was like to work with Leonardo DiCaprio before he took off with his career? How often does he talk to the cast of Growing Pains, etc. But, I was glad I was able to ask this one, as well.

I went back to my seat and had awhile to wait before the conference actually started. I glanced at the autographs I'd gotten and realized Kirk had written John 12: 31-32. I glanced at the girls next to me, who'd had several things signed and I didn't notice a verse on theirs, but it definitely could have been there. For the moment I felt special with it! HA! I looked up the verse and it said:
Jesus said, "The Voice didn't come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. 
Now Satan, the ruler of the world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.

Already hanging on my bulletin board! :)

I kind of sat there thinking about it for a minute, thinking it might be something prophetic over my life, maybe, or what we had talked about…But, it wasn't. It's a great verse. And now, I'm starting to wonder whether it's going to be something that hits me later on…Or maybe it's just a verse he likes and writes down on autographs every once in awhile. I have no idea. But, it has been on my mind. 
A few minutes later, I called my mom to let her know I was done and was curious to find out where they were, since it was closer to "showtime" now. They were still in line and a few minutes after hanging up with her, the doors opened and people came rushing in, filling in the center sections wherever they could find seats. I talked to the girls next to me, who had also been behind me in line, and we talked about our love for Growing Pains. That was a cool moment. My parents weren't too far behind everyone else who had just come in, and sat just a row behind me on the opposite side. I walked over to talk to them, told them about the meet and greet, what we talked about, and that I still hadn't gotten a picture with him. Which became my next goal for the evening.

I eventually went back to my seat and the event got started. First up was Warren Barfield, who is a Christian singer that had a song in Kirk's movie, Fireproof. He was SO good and hilarious. His humor reminded me a lot of Harry Conick Jr., with his dry jokes and sarcasm. He had everyone laughing all night, but his songwriting was also unbelievable. I had only listened to a couple of songs of his the night before, but I will definitely be listening to more, after seeing him live. He dedicated a song to his wife that he had written for her about being her "red bird," which had beautiful symbolism of never leaving and always being there when his family needs him, even when it gets tough. He dedicated a song to his mom, to those who love 70s music (a James Taylor cover mixed with "You've Got A Friend In Me") and finally, he dedicated a song to Kirk Cameron. He said, "I don't care if you don't like it. It's not for you. It's for Kirk Cameron," then turned his microphone to directly where Kirk was standing, which was right next to my parents. Pretty cool! I think he had been there the entire time.

Whaddya know? It was the Growing Pains theme song (which has been in my head since about Friday afternoon)! Warren and his "box player" also did the "oooh oooh's" part, which was pretty fantastic and had everyone laughing. Kirk walked up on stage and joked for a few minutes, introduced himself, then came one of the highlights of my night. To deal with the women from 35-? who had "Seaver Fever" growing up, Kirk did a "60 Seconds of the life of Mike Seaver" and it was one of the greatest things EVER. He wanted to get it out of the way, so we would be able to move onto more important things…You know, like marriage. He ran backstage and told all the ladies to sing the theme song, which totally flopped. So, he said, "Why don't we try that again?" from backstage. Through the speakers, the ACTUAL theme song rang out, and Kirk took that as his cue to run back out. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up, along with his pants (circa 1980s), he turned around to the audience with his striking "Mike Seaver" pose and smile, then launched into delivering some of the lines from the show. I was trying to get it all on video, but then my camera died…Boo! I was laughing so hard, remembering all of the episodes throughout the years, reminiscing on special times with my grandparents, and remembering what a cool thing it was when I was about five years old to hear that Kirk Cameron was a Christian, too. I think that was one of the earliest memories I have of someone who had the same beliefs as I did that was on TV and was in the media, but loved Jesus. How awesome is that?

After he finished, he dove right into the message.

It really was directed more at married couples specifically, but you better believe I was writing notes, just in the event that I will actually be married and need them someday ;) LOL.

Here are a few points I got out of it:

  • "The heart of the problem is a problem of the heart." 
  • Jeremiah 9:17
  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Dwell, means actually spending time together, just the two of you. It's when other things get in the way that you lose that touch and spark.
  • He also covered a few roles that Christian men ought to have in the relationship. Yes, a relationship is both putting in the effort. But, there are things that the man has to lead and be an example of, for his wife and family. They are responsible for the condition of the marriage.
  • When it comes down to it, the relationship that a man has with God, reflects in his marriage. God answers a man's prayers based on the way he is treating his wife. This one really caught my attention! 
Scenes from Fireproof were also used throughout as examples for what he was talking about, and I had forgotten just how powerful that movie is. 

After about two hours, Warren came back to talk/play a little more, and that's when I decided to walk out a little earlier. I had heard Kirk might be in the foyer, just hanging out, so I thought that might be the perfect shot to get a picture with him. I walked around, glancing at the tables, and trying to focus on faces to see if he was around, but I didn't see him. I decided to use the restroom, then sat on one of the couches in front of a TV screen to keep up with what was going on. There was a lot of action going on, with the team still setting things up and walking back and forth. There had been so much information in the first half, I was starting to go a little dizzy like I do at school after a long day. I was also starting to get hungry. And then my phone kept dying. So, I was really hoping I didn't see Kirk walking around at that point. 

After Warren finished speaking, they released everybody for a 25-minute break. I talked with my parents for a few minutes, then I took my mom's phone to take a picture with in case I saw him. I wandered out in the lobby again for a bit, talked with my dad, then it was time for everyone else to go back inside. I had debated on just going back in, but decided to wait on the couch. I thought he might be in one of the rooms I was close to. Sure enough, as soon as everyone was back inside the sanctuary, I saw Kirk walk out of the "dressing room" and he had his hand on the sanctuary door, when he happened to glance my way. I started walking towards him and put my finger up, saying, "wait!" quietly. He let go of the door and stopped, then I asked him for a picture. He said sure, and I tried to adjust my camera, when he said, "We're going to do a selfie?" I just chuckled and said, "yeah," then thanked him and let him go, because I knew he had to get back on stage soon. For some reason, I always feel weird about taking a picture with a "celebrity" in church. I mean, is there some sort of protocol for those types of things? If so, I need to learn them, because I always feel so awkward, like maybe I shouldn't. 

Anyway, I ducked into the sanctuary again and found my seat, as Kirk was getting ready to take the stage again. He got a little more personal in the second half, really diving into issues that affect marriages the most. We also watched the trailer for his new movie, Mercy Rules, which he actually filmed some of the baseball scenes here in Bakersfield…WHO KNEW?! I would have gladly been an extra! haha. 

As the conference came to a close, Kirk asked the men in the room to be bold enough to make a change, and to come to the front, where there was no music playing, everyone was watching and the lights were still on. It was so touching to see couples walking down together, starting fresh and really trying to change, while many were in tears. It was heartbreaking at the same time. 

After the event ended, we walked to our car and stopped at Subway to get dinner on the way home. We came back to our house, watched the Olympics, and I tried to work on my article about the Lucy Hale show. Finally around 12:30 or so, I really started pooping out and decided to call it a night. I finished reading my book and fell asleep.


Yesterday was pretty low-key and I loved every second of it. Normally, I have to jump from one place to the other, and this time around, I didn't have to.  I woke up much later than I should have, but it doesn't take me long to get ready, so I'm never too concerned anymore. I put on my makeup, quickly grabbed a purple sweater, scarf and jeans, slid on my boots, straightened my hair…And I was good to go. 

We made it to church and found seats just in time for worship. The message was also about marriage, seeing as it was Valentine's Day weekend. It was good to hear my pastors give the message, as they never hold back when it comes to honesty and I appreciate that so much. They tell it like it is, but also how God helped them work through it and has made them stronger because of it.

When church ended, we talked to one of our family friends, and I talked with one of my friends, Alex, for a little while. When we finished talking, we had lunch at Outback. It was just one of those afternoons that I was starting to stress about every little thing, like a mini meltdown. I still had some homework to do and was just starting to stress about so many details about next quarter already. I was also not feeling very well. I decided to call into the paper, which is the first time I've missed an editing session since I've been an assistant editor. I was kind of bummed about it, but I just felt like I needed a break, if I want to keep my energy up for the rest of the quarter. 

After we got home, the rest of the afternoon was perfect. I read some, I enjoyed my family's witty banter on Skype, and I was able to enjoy the nice weather, while talking with my dad about life and opportunities on our front porch. 

Around dinner time, we decided to go out, but none of us could think of somewhere to go, so we just kept driving around. We ended up right down the street from our house, picking up pizza and taking it home. We ate, watched the Olympics, I read a little, and I turned in for the night a bit earlier than I usually do. It was nice, I must say, but I'm not sure how much of a habit I can start making it. I did finally pull out my Bible and devotional book and spent probably close to an hour, reading and praying. It felt so good to release all the toxic garbage that has been eating away at me again. I don't have to do this thing alone, and that's comforting.

It was such a wonderful weekend of rest. I felt like I was able to take some time out from school and get my priorities in line again of spending time with God and to think about the direction I'm heading in. Good week, good weekend, and here's to hoping that this week is even better than the last. Now, it's time to start on that homework. YUCK! 

{February 14}


Today was not half bad! Fridays are always sort of weird, since I only have one class, but I still just dread it. At that point, I'm ready for the week to be over,. But, once I get there, it's not usually as bad as I imagine and always makes me wonder why I dread it so much in the first place.

After staying up until 4 from watching the Valentine's Day episodes of Glee and reading one of my favorite books, I woke up really late and had to hurry to get ready, but still made it in time for class . Luckily, we also don't start right at 10, especially on Fridays, because some people straggle in a few minutes late. I talked with one of my friends who sits next to me, then class started.

We spent the next hour and 25 minutes pitching our story ideas based on the query letters we were turning in that day. I didn't realize we would actually be doing this assignment and turning it into our in-depth feature story, which is due next Friday. YIKES! Other than that, it was really interesting to hear the stories that everyone is going to be working. You can tell so much about a person based on the topics they picked. 
After class ended, my mom picked me up and we had lunch at El Pollo Loco. We hadn't been there in awhile, and since they've been showing the commercials on TV lately, the food has looked really tasty! I had a chicken bowl, which was pretty good, but I always tend to remember why I don't eat there very often… The flavors are a little different; too strong.

We still had some time before I had to go back to class, so we looked at the Hallmark store just around the corner. Normally, I love to look in the cards section, but because it was Valentine's Day, it was packed and you could hardly move. I have a very big thing about needing space and not liking people to get too close to me, so I tried to avoid that area after a few minutes. They have so many other cool trinkets, though, I must say. I really loved Sarah Jessica Parker's line of stationary! So many adorable cards and notebooks! If I ever have an office, because I'm of some importance or high status at a corporation, I definitely want to go all out with the stationary like that.

After Hallmark, we decided to go to Target to look for some of the Sweethearts candy, which to me, is what Valentine's Day is really all about…Hellloooo? We made our way to the holiday section and there was basically nothing on the shelves. Normally, the back of the store is a complete wonderland of whatever holiday, whether it's Christmas, Halloween or like now, Valentine's Day, but this was one aisle. Everything else had been picked over. We looked for the Sweethearts candy, but there was none. I was heartbroken! WAHHHH! However, I did find some other goodies that my mom said would be my gift for later on that night. Woo!

Finally, it was time for me to go back to school for my editor's meeting. I actually like Fridays in the paper for this reason…It's so laid back for the editor's to really have a chance to meet and talk about the direction of the paper, discuss story ideas for the next week and so on. This time around, it certainly opened my eyes up about getting even more serious about what we're at the paper to do, which is to be editors. That means showing up to the meetings, editing papers, handing out good stories, and writing the best stories that we possibly can. It's not about winning the awards, but it is about putting in actual time and effort to the best of our ability. I also filled them in on my experience with Lucy Hale and how I was going to still try to write my review for the paper.

When my meeting was finished, my mom picked me up again and we stopped by Starbucks, because it gives me something to look forward to after school! Ha. I tried an iced green tea latte, since my best friend told me about it and said it was really good. To my surprise, it actually was! It was very refreshing, especially since we're having warmish/summery weather out here in California.

We came home and I decided to watch a few "love" themed episodes of Growing Pains in honor of going to the "Love Worth Fighting For" event tomorrow, while also keeping with Valentine's Day. Our DVD player stopped working, otherwise I was going to watch the movie, Valentine's Day. After all, there's no better occasion, right? I read InStyle, sipped my latte and just surfed the web and wrote a bit. Creativity was flowing through me, and I was loving every second of it. It was a good afternoon. I was also able to watch a lot of the recorded shows of Ellen DeGeneres' show I haven't been able to watch, since school has been in session again. A little later on, I took a shower and got cozy. It kept getting later and later, and my dad still hadn't gotten home yet, because he'd had a busy day at work. My parents didn't really have any plans, and I obviously didn't, so I thought we would just grab something quick to eat and stay home. That sounded like the perfect night to me.
Cupcakes my mom picked up!
My gift :)
I know so many people don't like Valentine's Day, because you're supposed to tell people all year that you love them or they're just bitter that they're alone on Valentine's Day, and I just think all of that is silly. I'll admit, when I was a teen, I was bitter about a few of them, because I just thought that's how you were supposed to act towards it after you hit a certain age. I was very wrong. I just really love the cheesy factor, the idea of getting sweet cards and just dressing up or having a special evening. I like the idea of getting together with friends or possibly just telling someone you really like them with a card or rose, or the idea that cupid might have a mind all of his own. But, then again, this is all during the day when nothing special is really happening.

The end of the night! 
Well, my dad gets home and my parents decided they were going to go out. By that time, I was starving  and figured I would just let them have a night out, and was starting to get a little of that bitterness of going out with my parents, while most couples would be out all lovey dovey. Ain't nobody got time for that. I mean, c'mon. Ultimately, I just decided to just tag along…What's another Valentine's Day of crashing the party, right?

We had dinner at Mexicali, which is always dressed for whatever occasion with a table display of decorations. They even had red and "white" chips and placed a heart shaped chip on our food, which was so festive, and of course, I had to take a picture. We had some interesting conversation, especially as my dad tried to make up his own lyrics for a song. Entertaining, to say the least. After we were incredibly full and finished with our meals, we took a drive out to my dad's job, so he could check on something, then came home.

I read a little bit, watched the Olympics, enjoyed my pretty cupcake (after dropping it twice) and turned in for the night around 3 a.m. Just another night for me!

In the end, I really do love Valentine's Day. It's just another fun themed holiday to remind you of those you're closest to or to be creative and just enjoy some treats. I've never had a Valentine, and I have really come to terms with being okay with not having a "special someone." One of these days I will, but right now, there's no need to rush it. Heck, there's not even anybody I'd go out with right now if I could…So, it's all good.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! And if not, well, there's always next year.

That's all for now,