my life in my words



I still can’t believe I agreed to this! What have I done?!?!?!?

Mark your calendars, boys and squirrels!

On November 15th, I will be embarking on a new ADVENTURE!


Yes, my friends, for the first time in 30 wonderful years, I will be having all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed! :O

Here’s a glimpse into how I’m feeling about it all:
(taken from my discussion with the dentist yesterday)


Dentist: Okay so with your coverage, you can choose from any of the anesthetic options. We can do a basic Valium and laughing gas combination or I can give you an IV of sedatives that will keep you from feeling anything and will make you forget that you were even here. There are also many options in between, depending on how strong you are.

Me: Y’know, doc. The offer for the less intense anesthesia sounds really tempting, but in this situation I’m gonna go with, “LET’S JUST FORGET THE WHOLE THING HAPPENED.”


Look guys, I’m not generally one to condone heavy drugs, but for crying out loud, my pain tolerance is ZERO. In fact, I always say that if it’s possible, I’d like to take the epidural BEFORE I get pregnant. 😉

That said, November 15th is gonna be a crazy day. I will be One Wild Amo! The doc said I’ll need someone to drop me off and pick me up and stay with me for a few hours after the procedure. Therefore, I’ve put together a short application for those interested in being my Wisdom Chomper Nanny that day.


Qualifications for my WCN Applicant to consider:


  • You’ll need a car and possibly a dolly to roll my ridiculous self outta that office.
  • You’ll need to be able to handle random outbursts of laughter/tears/gas
  • You’ll need to be able to drive your car while having your eyes shut for that odd moment where I randomly panic and reach over while shouting about the Decepticons coming to blast us all to pieces!
  • You’ll need to be able to spoon feed me soup while I stare into your eyes, professing my deepest love and affection for you. Be prepared for me to call you things like Shia LaBeouf or James McAvoy, and for repeated compliments of your role in Eagle Eye or X-Men: First Class.

  • You’ll need to be able to smack some sense into me when I start parading around my room in my Super Mario Pajamas making monkey noises and pretending to fly like Superman.
  • You’ll need to be able to stick around for a few hours to make sure that I’m not dead and that I’m not trying to eat paper  . . . or my sheets. 
  • You’ll need to have a high level of grace for the moment I bat my doe-eyed lashes and say, “Mandy made wetty in beddy.”


Sooooo, if you think you’re up for the task and you can be at my house to take me to my appointment at 8am on the 15th, please fill out the application by leaving a comment with your answers!
And stay tuned because you better believe it’s gonna be a crazy few days as I recover from getting my wisdom teeth removed. :O


Application for Amo’s Wisdom Chomper Nanny Position:


Please answer every question honestly. Snarky submissions much appreciated. Also appreciated: Cashew Butter dipped Apples


  • Would you be willing to take said Amo to the appointment in the morning and pick her up at the appropriate time, and continue to stay near her in her room for a few hours just to make sure she doesn’t start hallucinating to the point of defecation or self-harm?
  • If Amo does happen to defecate on herself and follows it up with an, “Ooops… I crapped my pants!” do you promise to courtesy laugh?
  • Do you like sci-fi/action flicks like Transformers/X-Men/The Avengers?
  • Do you like TV shows such as: One Tree Hill, LOST, CSI:NY?
  • Do you promise to still love and not judge Amo after she says something snarky under the influence of heavy drugs?
  • Do you think there should be a limit to the amount of Pumpkin Soup and or Pumpkin Pudding that Amo will be eating after the procedure?
  • Would you be willing to keep Amo’s tummy happy with healthy foods and not feel threatened when she slaps you and demands that you feed her an entire Marionberry Pie?
  • Would you be comfortable having cashew butter smeared on your face to resemble a mustache and beard?
  • Would you be willing to pray for Amo as she’s recovering and read her passages of scripture to help her cope with the pain and drugs?
  • Would you be willing to update the blog/FB/Twitter for Amo with pictures and anecdotes of the experience?
  • Would you be willing to agree with Amo that something is worth “pinning” even if it’s not?
  • What is your best advice for prepping to get your wisdom teeth removed and recovery from the procedure?
  • Would you be willing to sing SOFT KITTY to Amo on request regardless of the frequency?


Thank you for taking the time to apply! I look forward to reviewing your answers and selecting the best candidate(s) for the job!

(Also, please let me know if you’d like spectator tickets to the Amo’s Doped-Up show!)


Shaking Paper

I’ll rise, but I ain’t shinin’ . . . errr . . . I mean . . .


ah yes, that’s more like it!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . 

Yesterday was our big Back-To-School day at Westside! 

It feels SO great to have my students back!! I’ve missed them so much during our summer hiatus. ♥ Nothing like a fun Back-To-School party to kick off another amazing semester with these awesome sauce teens!


That means that every age is officially represented in our Children’s Ministry and we’re headed into a new semester of fun and frenzy! I know that I should probably be fretting it all and hitting panic mode like a boss, but I’m not. Well, not as much as I probably could, anyway. However, knowing that there is a space that I can retreat to and hunker down to focus and get stuff done away from the frenzy is a big comfort to me. I don’t know about you, but my office environment is a huge factor when it comes to my workflow, focus, and overall workplace sanity. The office is my happy place. There, I said it 😉 I actually have always thought it was a bit quirky, but I love offices in general . . . and Office Max/Depot . . . and office supplies . . . and, well you get the point. Anyway . . .

On Friday, I was finally able to get the majority of my new office space & desk at the church in ship-shape, ready for the journey ahead. And now, I can rest a little easier knowing that I’m going into this season with a stronger sense of structure, fun, and community! Since many of you are reading this in different countries, states, and cities, I would like to invite you to kick off your shoes, loosen those suit buttons and ties, and join me in a fun little tour of my new workspace!


Well c’mon in!!


Okay so there’s not REALLY a baby sleeping in my office. 😉 It’s just a sign I found when I was cleaning it out of old storage items and I decided it would be funny to post it up. Little did I know that people would actually think there was a baby sleeping in there, so I took it down earlier today. Now, what to fill the space with??


TA-DA!!! It’s my happy place!!

Now you’ll probably first notice that giant banner in the background there. It says:

“Don’t be fooled by the pounds that I’ve lost, I’m just Amo from the block!”


Let me assure you that I don’t have it hanging up to remind me to focus on being skinny or losing weight or even emulating J.Lo though I wouldn’t mind having her tush . . . uh . . . I mean, what???. No, my friends, it is the banner that was being held up by my friends when they all met up at Hogwarts for my Biggest Loser Homecoming Celebration and it serves as a giant reminder to me just how powerful COMMUNITY is. It reminds me that I need to let people into my life. It reminds me that I need to value people more than things. It reminds me that I am not alone on this journey AND that others don’t need to be alone through their journeys either! The posters surrounding it were made by people who came together to make signs JUST for that celebration and helps me to remember not just the fun references on each of them, but how much more vibrant and fun life can be when you spend quality time with people. ♥


My desk has a removable plastic cover on it, so I decided to decorate underneath it with postcards from trips, family + friend photos, encouraging cards that people have given me, memorabilia from fun events I’ve been able to participate in, and quotes/references to quirky things I just enjoy. It’s basically my life . . . on display. And it reminds me every time I sit down that in this position, my life is on display, and that those kids and parents are watching, so I need to be sure that I am making my life shine in an honest and transparent way that I hope will encourage them to know that not everyone who does ministry is perfect or fits into a nice neat little box.

(L to R) Curious George, BFF Boyd’s Bear from my bestie, My K.Rowe Build-A-Bear, Fun Notes from my ATX going away party, squwaker, squishy brain toy, Green Lantern mask, Lego ring

My office is located downstairs in a far corner and no one else works down there with me, so I figured I would need some great friends (I guess we can just call them my co-workers) to keep me company for those moments when I start to take myself too seriously. And EVERYONE needs toys at their desk to help them when they get in that creative rut! Don’t believe me? Just ask Josh Baskin! 😉

(L to R) Jolly Mountain Soap Co. Lemon Lotion, Bejeweled/Plants vs Aliens coasters, Sandlewood Candle, Jar of tea bags—this USED to be filled with Reese’s Pieces, but after a binge session on those during a previous emotional season, I opted to replace them with tea bags 😉

I’m the type of person who needs constant stimulation to do work well. For instance, I get TONS of work done at coffee shops because there’s so much ambient movement plus music on the loud speakers and art on the walls. Therefore, it was a no-brainer that my office would need a fair amount of knick-knacks and toys to both stimulate my mind and to serve as a reminder to not lose sight of the kid inside of all of us.

3 coasters on the top deck, and one specially reserved for my MINE mug that the Stubberts gave me, plus one of the knit mug koozie that my BFF made for me, and a sweet traditional Mexican doll I got as a gift at one of my students’ Quinceaneras

Autobots, ROLL OUT! (L to R) Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Toy soldiers that my youth boys gave me after our Gameworks event, Super Mario!!!

So much fun and color makes me One Happy Amo!

I’ve yet to find that missing drawer . . . :-/


Another huge relief is that I was able to get my bookshelf organized and ready for MORE BOOOOOOKS!!! ♥

On the shelf: Ministry books, Dancing Chihuahua & Singing Snoopy stuffed animals from my pops, A handmade puppet from my friend Teresa, Scrapbook from my H.S. Church Choir trip to New York City (and up the east coast)!

Like I said, we’re headed into a new semester of fun and frenzy, but knowing that I have things visually plotted means that my brain can focus more on seeing the bigger picture and flowing more creatively as I approach each week + event. And that, my friends, allows me to express a huge sigh of relief!

Welp, thanks for joining me! Don’t worry, I made sure to leave PLENTY of extra room for additions—like this AWESOME SAUCE comic that my wonderful friend Jeana sent me!

Thanks so much for the sweet note and great laugh, Jeana!!

Now, let’s tackle this week and show it Who’s The Boss!!


Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Caption Contest Giveaway)

Earlier today, my dad sent me this photo in a text message and said:

And I was like,

“Hahaha! I do remember it
but I don’t know why I was so upset.”

But seriously. I don’t know why I was upset.
Maybe it was because:
– I saw someone else with my same bathing suit

– My brother/sister did something to get on my nerves again

– It was part of being a little girl who throws fits

– I crapped myself in public again

– I was born with a pre-packaged amount of attitude and it JUST now decided to show itself
Really who knows. I sat for a few minutes trying to think of a fun little caption for this photo, but I couldn’t think of a good one. I mean, I know it’s out there, I just don’t know what it is.
Maybe you could help me?

Maybe if you help me I’ll give you a nice reward?
Okay here’s the deal. You caption the photo by leaving a comment on this post only, and at the end of the month, I will pick my favorite and send the winner a $10 Starbucks gift card, a little love note from me via snail mail, and a special cool gift that reminds me of you from my trip to LA. Sound like a plan Stan?
Really what do you have to loose? You have the rest of the month to put your thinking cap on. Your caption won’t offend me—seeing myself in that bathing suit has already accomplished that. So caption away!

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After my last post about being on the Westside softball team, I am pleased to say that I was able to walk away from the tournament on Saturday with a FULL heart, happy and excited that I got to be part of such an awesome team!

I went in with a positive attitude and walked away with an even more positive outcome. All season I’d been overwhelmed with the fact that I could never seem to hit the ball past the infield, which increased my odds of an out at first base. But on Saturday, I got some pretty awesome hits—including two past the infield! So I actually got a chance to run around the bases!

AND as a bonus plus, I even got to cross HOME PLATE! And THAT was such a winning feeling! We played our hearts out and made it to the championship game! And even though we came in 2nd in the tournament, I walked away with a 1st place smile! It was seriously such a great day! The fact that I got a nice tan during the games and got to go to a pizza party afterward wasn’t too bad either. And I KNOW I got a really good workout too because even as I type this, my leg and arm muscles are still feeling the burn. I got to rest up yesterday and I’m ready for another great week!

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Steady As She Goes

Some things you should know:

1. I LOVE my job—the workplace, the co-workers, the atmosphere—i just LOVE it all! I seriously wish people could spend a day with me and get to experience all the greatness of my workplace!

2. My office building is an old church renovated into offices.

3. My personal office has 2 huge round portal windows with beautiful views.

4. One of those windows is removable plexi-glass so that I can get a fresh breeze when it warms up in the summertime.

5. There are no elevators in my office building.

6. I work on the 3rd floor

7. There are still more offices higher up than mine.

8. When you gotta get things from one place to another, you get inventive.

9. When you sit and work at a desk all day, it’s nice to get interrupted with these inventive ways

10. When these inventive things happen, I will most likely take pictures of it!

One day last week, we had to get a whiteboard into my boss’s office, but there was no way to get it through the stairwell up to his office. So, my co-workers got inventive . . .

They tied rope around the whiteboard so that we could
hoist it up from my window directly into my boss’s office

It wasn’t holding right the first time, so they kept trying different knots

Finally found one and made sure it could handle being hoisted

We lifted it up out of my office and began to hoist it up!
(i promise i helped!)

Then they hoisted it up

Up . . .

Up . . .

And away!!!

It’s a good thing my boss’s office is directly above mine 😉

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More updates from my trip back home!

Okay so here are more beach pictures and a fun story to go with them. 😀

To begin, I must confess, I am known by my family as the aunt who spoils my niece, Vanessa, rotten. I do. Ever since she was a baby she had me wrapped around her little fingers. I bought her so much stuff and every time I babysat her, we went shopping together. We’ve made about 4 Build-A-Bear bears together. She says, “I want that.” and I say, “Here, have TWO!” I am the bad aunt. I always give her fun toys and sweet treats . . . when you’re ‘love language’ is gifts . . . it can be a scary battlefield to trot. I am slowly learning to draw lines in right places. I kind of picked up on my treacherous training when I was last at home. I went to go see her and she says, “Are you going to take me shopping and get me a lot of cool new toys? Are we going to get new clothes? Let’s go!!”

Oy Vey—the monster I’ve created. So now I’m moving toward teaching her limits and choices when it comes to gifts. After she said that, I took her shopping, but I told her she could only get 2 things. She kept begging for like 8 different things, but I only let her have 2 and I told her she had to choose, that way when all was said and done, it was her choice. I, too, am learning.

So one of my favorite things is that she now knows that when I come home, I’m going to bring her books . . . and she LOVES to read! And that makes me way happy! In fact, I was on the phone the other day with my mom and she was telling me how much like me Vanessa is. She told me how Vanessa likes to read and draw and will just spend lots of time sitting by herself with a nose in a book, consumed. She loves stories and she loves being adventurous. And that also makes me happy 😀 Last time I visited, I bought her Where The Wild Things Are, which was one of my favorite books as a kid. My mom says that she requests to read that book the most! So this time I brought her home another one of my favorites, Knots On A Counting Rope. She was really excited to get new books 😀

On Saturday night at the hotel, I had one of the best conversations with Vanessa. I talked with her about giving to others and about loving people no matter what they look/sound/act like. I also told her an important secret: “You don’t always have to do what adults tell you to do.” I explained to her that one day there will be something she will really love to do and there will be people who tell her she shouldn’t do it, and I reiterated—“You don’t always have to do what adults tell you to do.” Most would think this is a terrible thing to tell a kid. But she’s got a good head on her shoulders. She has a good heart and I am trusting and believing that as she grows, she will learn to test and set limits based on her own judgement and not define her life solely based on what others say or do. I never want her to lose sight of her dreams that she will want to chase as she grows into an amazing little lady.

Shortly after that, she and I had a FUN pillow fight and we were both jumping on the hotel beds and hitting each other with pillows and tackling one another. It was the BEST EVER!! 😀 I love spending time with her and I know that the things I teach her, she will pass on to her baby sister, who she and I absolutely adore! 😀

With that, here are more fun pictures from the beach:

Vanessa was trying to wash the dirt off of the jellyfish
(dont’ worry, we made sure she didn’t touch the jellyfish)

The family all gathered around chillaxin’ at the beach

A cute pic of my sister and my niece, Annabelle

My sister doing a jello shot . . . i don’t think she has decided whether she likes it or not. This is going in my weird family face collection . . . the fact that I even have such a collection says something about my family 😉 PS: most of the pics in that collection are of me. :O

Vanessa’s cousin Sable after Vanessa & Major buried her in the sand

Vanessa & her cousin Major playing in the sand

Vanessa was so intrigued by the fish. She loves their bright colors and she kept pointing to the clownfish, automatically naming him Nemo. 😉