Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 ... Year in Review. CRAZY!

Another year has come to an's been a busy one! Some reflections on what I've been up to and where I've been this past year:

January: Brought in the new year celebrating my Dad's 50th birthday with friends and family. Returned to Charleston, South Carolina for another 6 months of AmeriCorps! :) We journeyed to Fort Myers, Florida to work with Habitat for Humanity. I celebrated my 24th birthday there...spending time at the beach and an Italian restaurant where there was 9 other people celebrating their birthday's too!

Dad's Birthday Present...a Harley. :)

February: I was in Biloxi, Mississippi working with the Lutheran Episcopal Disaster Response. I worked as a case worker helping people who had lost so much because of Hurricane Katrina (there was a 30 ft storm surge that completely wiped out everything about a mile inland). I lived in a big circus tent with 35 bunk beds and pallet flooring. Also, I shared a bathroom (10 port-a-johns and 10 portable showers) with about 300 people). I visited New Orleans for the first time, celebrating Mardi Gras with my teammates and other NCCC corps members. Bourbon Street can be fun. I also lost my very amazing and wonderful Grandmother, Rosemary Ann Stock. She lives on in all our hearts.

My Grandma kicked butt! How many grandmothers do you know that will shoot hand guns with their grandkids off her sons porch? So much fun! She was amazing.

March: Off to Louisiana. Construction work with the United Way. I never thought I would come to love a group of people so much, but Cajuns rock! Food, music, Cook-Offs, small towns...they are AWESOME!!! Lived on an "experimental" farm with cows on three out of four sides. I don't think I've read that many books in that short a time since college. Awesome.

April: A visit to Grandpa on our way back to Charleston via Gulf Breeze. Good times. Spring Break in Charleston...the worst sunburn of my life (all Theresa's fault). A Week long project as a trail crew working on the Palmetto Trail. 8 days. No showers. Abandoned warehouse. sleeping bags. SWAMP! Stuck in the clay mud!

Hacking a dead tree that was in the path of our hand rails...about 30 feet from the swamp floor.

May: Easter Seals, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. An amazing project working with incredible people. The stories from this project are seriously endless. A major highlight was going to the Grand Ole Opry. I'm such a country fan and this was a huge event for me. I saw two of my favorite singers live: Travis Tritt (It's a Great Day to be Alive) and Martina McBride. The show was a tribute to Ray Charles. Ah-mazing. :)Living conditions? A camp on a peninsula in the middle of God's beautiful creation.

The team at Chili's...our last night out at Easter Seals.

June: The end of our project in Mt. Juliet and the end of AmeriCorps. Saying goodbye to my team and other corps members that I met was difficult--emotionally and physically. Physically? Oh yeah, that's because my knee got caught between two vans when we were parallel parking the 15P in downtown Chucktown for Trivia night. Major bummer! My amazing mother and brother flew out for graduation and to help me get my "booty" back to Cali. Fun times!

In case you're wondering, the moose head has come to be our clue why.

July: I began my new job with YOUNG LIFE! I moved back to Riverside and I live with an incredible woman named Ardie. She rocks! I have a pretty cool boss and an incredible job. A week after I started, I went to camp with 5 high schoolers from Riverside. Not too shabby. July also afforded (during my two week transition) a road trip up to Nor Cal to visit my good friend Joe and to see my family. Along for the ride, the infamous Punk, Brandon. :) In case anyone's wondering, I drive like the old woman I'm about to become (yikes).

August: My best friend's wedding. Doesn't get much better than that! :) Plus, my Mom celebrated her 50th birthday with a beach bash and dinner at Duanne's (with our favorite waiter Bogart. love him!) and my parent's celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. Still going strong. Can you believe they only knew each other 8 months the day they wed? Crazy times. What's even crazier is that the same is true of my Dad's parents...anyone else see a pattern here? YIKES!

September: The first big "banquet" for Young Life that I was officially involved with...I ended up wearing a blond wig with a beach towel stuffed into my shorts to become part of the incredible du-o "Flo and Marge." Somehow I ended up in the pool, but I suppose it was worth the $300. The other BIG event first for me: being present for the birth of Jonah Bradford McClain, my little friend. I had the privilege of being in the room for the whole she-bang.

My little friend is here!

October: Wow. This month seems like ages ago. I did a little bit of this, a little bit of that. We started our leadership training and went to the YL Fall Leadership Retreat down at Oakbridge. I started doing Contact Work at King high school, working with the Drama program. Fun!

November: Took a trip up to Portland. So nice up there and the people aren't bad either! :) Spent Thanksgiving down in San Clemente with the parents and the brother. My Dad, Mom and I ran in the Dana Point Turkey Trot. My first 10K and definitely not my last! It was awesome! My friend Susan came out from Texas and we saw her brother in APU's production of Pride and Prejudice. Good times hanging out with the old APU crew.

December: Ah, the end of the year...last month was CRAZY!!!! Lots going on with work and getting ready to celebrate Christmas! Jesus, oh, what a wonderful child! My Grandfather came out from Florida to stay with us for a couple of weeks. It's always awesome seeing him--he's quite the character (explains my father and me a bit more). Also, Mike and Becca and their two cutie pie girls came down for a visit and we had a blast with them, as always.

Overall, it was quite a year. I've never felt so blessed. God truly is amazing. He is everywhere.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

love it!

I always hated not knowing what words meant when I was a kid. It was inevitable that you asked someone and they didn't know so you would have to look it up and then I would start to look up the word, but get fixated on another word and usually never end up looking up the word that I originally wanted to learn.

...or maybe it's just me. :)


I had an amazing Thanksgiving. So much fun! I went down to San Clemente on Tuesday and stayed through Sunday. It was a much needed break and time with my family. Here are a couple of fun pictures from my extra long weekend!

My brother all dolled up for his 80's night club. He goes everyweek. Him and a friend started dressing up and this past week they had a costume contest because of it. Of course my brother was in the bathroom when they did it, but his buddy got first place! :)

Going for a ride with my number one guy--my Dad! :) We went up to Laguna and back. So much fun!

The morning of the race--The Turkey Trot 10k. My brother took this picture when he was waiting for the race to start. He couldn't run because he injured his back, so he was our official photographer!

Starting strong and trying not to get run over by people or strollers. Lots of people ran with their kids in those fun active strollers. CRAZY!

Half way done and still having fun! :) How awesome is this picture? Way to go Miky.

All done! Now we are ready for some TURKEY! :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Trip to Portland

Portland was a BLAST!!! I had such a great time hanging out with Cassi and Sean and all the other homies up there. Good times, good times. AND it's actually cold up there...albeit a little TOO cold for me, but better than 90 degrees. I think that Southern California missed the "winter" memo. Oh well.

This picture is for Scott and Susan, the lime people as they are affectionately called by the waitresses at our taco night location.

Jinx and Mr. Boo being friendly. Aren't they so cute? This trip they didn't spend as much time jumping near my head while I was trying to sleep. However, Jinx started playing with what I can only guess was a bouncy ball or something similar at 3 am Sunday morning. So much for sleep.

We spent a lot of time in the car. No need to go into an explanation why. We still had lots of fun--taking pictures and video. For those of you on myspace, you can check out the video. For those of you not on myspace...sorry!

Cassi asked me what I wanted to do while I was up there. The only thing I really wanted to do was go to Powell's. An AMAZING bookstore. I got three books for 15 dollars: A collection of Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor, A Passage to India by E.M. Forrester and Running in Heels by Anna Maxted. :) Good times!
Have to give a shout out Don Miller because he is the reason why I know about Powells from his book Blue Like Jazz. An incredible book.

We had to get a little girl time in, so we went and got pedi's. Unfortunately, we were both wearing boots and rather than sit there at the nail place forever waiting for the polish to dry, we walked out to her car BAREFOOT. CRAZY! And then we walked around in flip flops for the rest of the day. Oh the things we do for beauty. Silly girls (however, the nails do look fabulous, if I do say so myself).

Other than the above mentioned adventures, we played a lot of games, drank some coffee (gingerbread latte's--so yummy) and went to our favorite restaurant, OLIVE GARDEN, for dinner. Overall, it was just a fantastic time, even though it was a bit on the short side. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fun Times

This past weekend, Susan was in town! Yea! We had fun at her brother's play and hit up BJ's after so that we could have ringing ears for the rest of the night. Seriously. Why is it so noisy in that restaurant? It makes me feel real old to say that, but I just gotta be honest, that's how I roll...

In JONAH news...I saw him this morning and we were just standing--well I was standing, holding him, in his room after Sue had finished feeding him. They have KSGN on 24/7 in his room, so I was singing along to whatever song was on and he was just smiling and smiling. Probably the best feeling in the world. He is officially the cutest kid ever.

I'm off tomorrow for a short visit to Portland. SO EXCITED and I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT! yea for friends. I seriously need a little break and I think the best way to achieve that is by going out of state. I probably can't make a habit of it though...that would be way to expensive! :)

Grace and Peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I got this as an email from my Aunt and had to post it...It just makes me laugh.

In this life I'm a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.
When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you're a mama hear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

You, gonna be a bear!

something to think about... he he he

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mercury and the Sun

A previous transit of Mercury in front of the disc of the Sun (image: NASA)

I forgot to post about this earlier today...
Yesterday at the plaza the Riverside Astrological Society was camped out in front of Borders with about 10 telescopes pointing up at the sun. I was kinda curious and I wondered what was going on. So after my fabulous lunch at Panera (it's becoming a home away form home) I made a pit stop there on the way to my car.
So, I casually walked up to the first guy and the first telescope and asked what was going on. :) He explained that Mercury was passing in front of the sun and they brought out all their telescopes so that everyone would be able to see it as it only happens a couple of times a century. So, I got to sit in this cool chair and check out the planet Mercury passing in front of the sun. PRETTY COOL.

Here's a short article about it from the Discovery Channel Website:

Watch Mercury pass in front of the Sun LIVE
Updated Thu. Nov. 2 2006 2:32 PM ET

Amy Bonin ,

On Wednesday the world will be able to view Mercury as the planet passes in front of the Sun for the last time this decade.

The transit of a planet across the face of the Sun is relatively uncommon: we can only see Mercury and Venus' transits from Earth because we're further out in the solar system looking in.

Most people in Canada will be able to see the event more or less in its entirety. The transit begins at 2:12 pm ET. The Sun sets just before the whole event finishes in Eastern, Central, and most of Western Canada, though viewers in B.C. will be able to see the whole thing.

Watching in your backyard

Since Mercury appears to be only 1/194th the size of the Sun, astronomy enthusiasts will need a telescope with a magnification of 50x or 100x and a special filter made for solar viewing to watch this rare wonder.
There are only about 13 transits of Mercury each century - even fewer for transits of Venus, which occur in pairs about once a century.

The next time Mercury will pass in front of the Sun is 2016.


So, yesterday afternoon I was at Panera checking email and trying to get some work done (our internet is out at the house and we have yet to get a new office...woe to me).
As I was sitting there enjoying my salad and doing lots of important things, I noticed an elderly couple sitting two tables over that kept looking in my direction and talking. I didn't want to think the worst, so I just tried to ignore it.
Well, finally the lady said, "We're talking about you."
"Oh," was my quick reply.
"We were looking at your computer. We don't have one and we were thinking about getting a laptop."

Whew. I thought it was going to be totally something else... I told them what I knew about my computer, which is VERY little and then they asked how much it cost. I told them that I didn't know because I had gotten it from work.

A couple of minutes later, the man asked if I used it for personal and work stuff. I told them that the line separating the two were very blurry.

"She's either a spy or a hooker," said the woman.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! :) I was trying to hard not to laugh it was ridiculous. A spy or a hooker?

Had to pass that one on. It was just too funny to keep to myself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh yeah....
LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

However, there are 26, 997 people in the US with the first name Marisa. It is statistically the 1108th most popular first name (probably right behind Mary, ha!).
There are 10, 589 people in the US with the last name Stock--who knew? Where are all these long lost relatives hiding I wonder. he he

Something to Think About

I choose love…no occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy…I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything les than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace…I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience…I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is to long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness…I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness…I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness…Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My family and friends will not question my love. I choose faithfulness.
I choose gentleness…Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist may it only be in prayer. I f I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control…I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I chose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

by Max Lucado

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Calvin and Hobbes... now that's good stuff.

(P.S. if you click on the image, it will make it bigger so you can read it...:) )

Friday, November 03, 2006

simple things that make me happy...

...when I am having a bad week:

10. Monk-e-email. If you haven't heard of it, check it out. It is the best email ever. (
9. Having lunch with a good friend who is generous with advice. :)
8. Knowing the weekend is coming!
7. Finding a new book to read.
6. Hanging out with Jonah (and Scott and Sue, of course)
5. Homemade soup for lunch. Yum.
4. Long walks with my IPOD.
3. Non-work emails.
2. Playing my guitar and singing.
1. Taking off Friday afternoon, driving down to San Clemente and having some quality time with my Mom and Brother (Daddy-O was out of town). The air smells so much better by the ocean--it's invigorating.


I was the purple people eater... the kids that came to the door thought that my hair was cool and "shiny". :) It's all about the kids.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Trip to Disneyland

This Sunday, I went with my Uncle, Aunt and Cousins to Disneyland--the Happiest Place on Earth. So much fun was had by all. Good times.

The trip into the park...classic tram shot.

Having fun in line for the rocket ride...what a boring line! Good thing we all know how to have a good time.

Waiting for the parade to pass times.

Christopher and I--what you can't tell from the photo is that I am holding him up and taking the picture myself. Multi-tasking's a real talent! :)

Someone's tired...I guess we had a good day!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Car Dancing

So, I like to rock out in the car when I'm driving...and lately it's been getting me some odd reactions. :)
Like today, these two guys in a bright yellow truck started waving and blowing me kisses. I didn't even realize they were next to me at the stop light.
I'm not really sure what to do about this. I can't stop dancing! I'm a car dancing queen! :)

any thoughts?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm an Adult--America's Next Top Model Style

I have my own business card? How is this possible. Yikes. Does this mean I'm a responsible adult with a real job? AHHH! Oh Dang...

This means, I'm super cool now. Watch out!

BAM!!! Where did all these come from? OOOooohhhh!

I could eat these if I needed some extra fiber...

Is it just me...or do these make me look good? :)

Look at me, all grown up. :) Yeah, I know I'm kinda a dork. But I accept that.

Maybe, just maybe, I was a little bored today! But this was my 200th post. Gotta make it memorable! ;)
Peace out and lots of love to all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some Recent Pictures...

Hello to all. I've been having major internet issues lately. NO FUN! So, I thought while it was working, I would post some pictures from the past couple weeks that I really love and want to share! :)

These are from Aunt Teresa's 55th birthday party:

Dylan decided to attack my camera, silly boy...but a very cute silly boy! :)

Kacey, my protege. :) Just look at those piano fingers!

Karl and Jacob. How cute are the father and son? :)

My new favorite Ameri-picture. Deanne gave this to me when we had dinner together before she left for was taken the morning of our last team breakfast/beach day before the end of AmeriCorps. Gotta love it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Angles Game and More BBQ pics

So, a couple of weeks ago, I went to an Angels game with Brandon, Eric and Lisa. It was a lot of fun. I was going to post about it earlier, but I've been waiting on pictures from know who you are.

Here we are: Having fun. Way to go Eric taking a good pciture! :)

Brandon also gave me a couple of shots from the BBQ in September. Good times, I thought you might like to see a couple more shots of Flo and Marge because we were hot!

Roxanne Skit in full effect and my backside view. No padding folks. :) Yeah right!

More to come soon... lots going on and lots to talk about! :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Love as Kids See It

Ardie passed this on to me and I thought others should be able to see it. :)

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."

Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."

Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."

Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing,you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"

Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."

Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."

Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."

Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."

Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image)

Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."

Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."

Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


And the award for biggest goober, starring in his own life, goes to:

Sean Potter

Cas-sometimes, you just have to wonder about this one.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baby Jonah

This past Wednesday, September 27, I witnessed a miracle...the miracle of life. Sue and Scott McClain (my bosses) had their baby boy-Jonah Bradford McClain. I had the priviledge of being in the room for the delivery and it is something that I will never forget. Here are some pictures of the cutest baby!!! I know everyone always says that about babies, but I seriously think that Jonah is ADORABLE!!!

Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility. -Kate Douglas Wiggin

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Young Life BBQ

Well, I promised that I would post some pictures from the BBQ and here they are! :)

Jamie and I were "Flo and Marge" two southern ladies bringing a glimpse, a touch, a look, a window, if y'all will to the area where Scott (my boss) was reared.

Here we are, doing our thing!

All of our lovely volunteers doing a YL skit called "Roxanne" where the women put a marshmellow in the guys mouth every time Sting says the name Roxanne. It's hilarious.

After that skit was over, they auctioned me off to jump in the pool. Yeah, my DAD payed $300 ... the bidding started at $10. :)

Me in the pool. IT WAS COLD!!!! And I lost my wig!

My Mom spoke at the event. She is awesome!

Overall, it was an incredible event and we raised a lot of money for Young Life. It was great.