Keeping Up with the Koncepcions

I can't even hide it anymore. I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

and. I. love. it.

But I mean that's the great thing about summer, right? You can feel less guilty about catching up with junk reality TV. I think my sisters & I love KUWTK so much because we love watching the family dynamics (I mean, let's be real, anything to affirm me that there are families CRAZIER than mine is always refreshing). Especially the sisterhood. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing (I'll vote for the former), but I see a lot of me & my sisters in Khloe, Kim, and Kourt. What do I mean? Take a look...

I mean, I was going through old photos, and I couldn't believe I found our original cover for the book we were going to write! and weirdly, it looks similar to the K's novel. No but really, Sparkles comes from our band name growing up... (our hit---I'm Playing My Guitar....what ever happened to that song?) and funny enough, Nina & I were the singers and Christina was backup voice...which was ironic since it's only Christina who can actually sing now. But we could TOTALLY write a novel on how to fight over clothes, how to fight over the car (remember when I *quickly* stepped on the brake and water ice went flying in the passenger seat and Nina got so mad at me?), how to make fun of eachother's hairstyles (remember the one time Christina told Nina she had star-war inspired hair?)....but also how to pile into a bed and make eachother hysterically laugh, encourage Nina to sing at the top of her lungs until her head hurts for our entertainment, how to race to the bathroom after a long car ride, how to pile into a public bathroom (all three of us) and it gets realllll awkward when we walk out, and so forth.

After watching a few epsiodes of the K's, I couldn't help but relate some of their experiences to ours. Remember when Kim takes Kendall to NYC for modeling and becomes a complete show mom? Forces her to do runway modeling and meet with the agent? Yep. A few weeks ago Christina & I flew down to South Carolina so she could audition for American Idol. I was that sister. I called the taxi three times to make sure it was coming at 2:00 AM for us to camp out (and we did). I made sure we ate l ike rabbits so we wouldn't feel disgusting over fried food. I made sure we had plenty of water and Christina was practicing enough. HAH it was definitely an experience.

Or how about when Kim has a MAJOR freak out over her psoriasis, storms around her house, and tells her mom “you just don’t understand. Get Out!” yea. Sadly I can say all three of us have had those moments. Totes misunderstood. We’ve had those moments where my mom, and the other two say “Stop overreacting,” and ALL that does is get you more and more pissy.

My favorite has to be Khloe & Lamar’s wedding. (OMG so what if I cried). I mean, none of us are dating, but some day, I will be BEYOND honored to be Christina & Nina’s Maid of Honor, throw them a bangin’ bachelorette party, help them do their make up on their big day, and pray with them before meeting the man of their dreams down the aisle. Oh, and giving the speech at the reception…Kim & Kourt’s? No worries, I’ll be way more prepared than them. However, I did love when they said “when you marry one of us, it’s like marrying all of us.”

So to all the fellas out there, really, no worries—you won’t have to marry all three of us. But there definitely is an element of that in the Koncepcions. I absolutely pray we will raise our families in the same town, (NOT RIDLEY!), pick each other’s kids up from school, compete for the best Aunt award, and go on family vacations together.

Even though the K’s are so extremely glamorous, have little morality, talk to their parents like…, I still can’t hide the fact that I love the closeness of their family. Their ability to fight and love so quickly. Being a sister is the absolute joy of my life. Sure, I don’t have kids and maybe parenthood will be better (I’m sure it is). But being a sister is an honor that I absolutely love. I wake up in the mornings and either wanna immediately shout at my sister for wearing my shirt or run into bed and cuddle and talk.

But I don’t feel like the sisterhood just ends with me, Christina, & Nina. We also have a soontobe step-sister we are trying to welcome into the family, we each have two best friends who are family to us in so many ways… and so I feel extremely blessed to not only have Neen & Teenie, but so many more women influencing the Koncepcion’s lives and bringing sisterhood to a deep, rich meaning.

The K’s are crazy, loud, emotional. So are we. And I love it. TRULY would not change it for the world.


Fish on your Feet

Last summer I spent a month in the magnificent country of Cambodia. I know what you're thinking... South East Asia? are you SURE it's the place to be? and really...I think I loved it so much because I had NO idea what to expect. I definitely didn't expect a country filled with (a sinful amount of humidity), mostly tasty food (there's even a mexican restaurant!), the-most friendliest faces (i know every traveler says this--but this country exceeds south africa, spain, & peru!), DELICIOUS iced coffee, vibrant markets, and so on.

I went with my old school, Azusa Pacific, with 9 other friends to serve alongside YWAM. We taught English at their base but also in a village, served women who were rescued from sex trafficking, and spent tons of time absorbing everything Cambo has to offer. I was under incredible leadership, suppp Corinne & Steven, and God worked so much in my own heart. It was far from easy, but by far one of the best experiences I've EVER had.

For a period of time, maybe long term, I would love to go back and really live there. I am dying to go back and ride my bike around Siem Reap in the tropical thunderstorm on my way to Lucky Mall to the only air conditioned place and eat ice cream and watch the cashiers count out riel (Cambo currency) extremely fast.

Today I wanted to talk about the Dr. Fish Massage. Why? Because why not. and I doubt most of y'all have ever heard of it. And for anyone whose considering going to Cambo (come with me!) you'll want to make sure you check this out.

For leisure, our leaders wanted us to experience a dr. fish. Ok, first things first. It feels SOOOO weird! If you are ticklish--beware!! I mean, most people are, especially their feet, but do this anyway.

The point of it is---a thousand (hundreds? millions? i'm a horrible judge) fish swim in a pool. You drink a coke. You stick your feet in the pool. the fish SWIM so so fast and bite your dead skin off your feet! HAA. it's the most unusual feeling. Normally I wouldn't think to blog about something so random and not relevant to most, but a Dr. Fish is literally every three stores in Cambodia! Just preparing you guys, duh!

Brooke, Hols, Em, & Mike's reaction to the fish
Paige & I. sorry for the awkward expression. it's an awkward experience.

I mean, who wouldn't want their dead skin being bitten off, have cambodians hysterically laugh at the uncomfortable group of americans, all while sippin coke and listening to music?

Thoughts for all (my sister) my readers: would you ever get a Dr. Fish massage?


Featured: Erick Ortiz

Mornin! It's 9:00 AM and i've already had some delishlish french toast with PB & coffee.

Also, don't you love my title Featured? It's as if my blog's important enough for people to be dying to be featured! haha

I figured today's post can be short & to the point. Back in 2009, right after I graduated, I went to Peru with my sister (Nina), Lindsay, & our young life leader, Jess. We were given the opportunity to go down, try & help support the missionaries there, but more importantly, just observe how true followers of Christ live. it was BEYOND life changing. Not only was it my first time out of the country, but honestly...to this day, I don't know any other Christian organization that functions and serves the way Word Made Flesh does. ANNNYway, I'll probably write another whole blog on my experience in Peru...

but this is about Erick. We met Erick the first day we were in Peru. Not only is he in LOVE with God, but absolutely hilarious, too. He stayed up one night playing cards with us girls, told us his testimony (which gave so much glory to the lord), and told us he used to be "sooo re-bellious." We just loved Erick's company a ton. My favorite memory with him has to be when he made me, Nina, & Lindsay INDIVIDUALLY sing a worship song while he played guitar. SING?! ON MY OWN, IN FRONT OF PEOPLE? That's literally the worst scenario anyone could give to me. I'm NOT exaggerating, kidding, or whatever, I sound like dying cats being thrown around in a dryer. I actually have no idea what that sounds like but it looks funny. But he insisted and since he treated us with utmost respect, I couldn't say no. or maybe it was because Lindsay & Nina pressured me to. hahaha. well let's just say THAT'll never happen again.

OK, so. what my point is that I hope you can go onto Itunes here & buy his song for $1. It would mean the world to him, and also to the organization since he is so giving and is trying to not only support him & his wife, but the people he lives alongside with in his ministry. The song is instrumental and has a very zen, acoustic, alone-in-the-wild sound, but we all need some tranquility in our lives, right?

I figure even if I got one person to buy it, it would make all the difference. It's only $1 and I think it's time for me (and hopefully others) to start spending where it actually matters. even in the little ways. (OMG i should be a Christian motivational speaker, right?). Thanks so much.

some of the WMF Staff!

Him & his beautiful wife :]

PS I just started following my own blog by accident but I don't know how to undo it?! Help?


Home of the Snakes & Barracudas

I've been a lifeguard for five years. Four of those years have been spent at Prospect Park Swim Club. and while this blog will give off the impression that it's a lovely place that i never want to leave.... do not be fooled--I am THRILLED my last day is next week, and, if God keeps lovin' me, it'll be my last day there--EVER!

However, since i've spent an embarrassingly amount of time there in the summers of my youth, and still now, I couldn't help but reflect on this job today (while i was at work. confusing, right? it's almost like a double dream).

today I was sitting on stand. at my pool, we sit on stand for intervals of 20 minutes, so every other 20 min, i'm sittinnnn.
pic of the stand: (mind you--these pictures are from 2008...they are old!)

being a lifeguard isn't glamorous. you can expect the following everyday: purple-faced guards from yelling at children, trash juice being poured down your legs while throwing the trash bag into the dumpster, hosing off *disgusting* substances, burning your feet with chlorine because you're supposed to be scrubbing the pavement...etc.

BUT, besides the less-than-great moments at the pool, the ONE place I'm left to my own thoughts is on stand.

20 minutes dedicated to INTENSE people watching? yes please.

and with people watching, comes thoughts, and thoughts, and tons more thoughts. today i realized how fascinating my time on "the stand" has been. i've spent time sitting there laughing, alone, either at a kid who belly flopped off the dive who thinks they finally got their one and a half (when they actually didn't at all), or simply at a funny memory i was thinking about.

i've spent time there, silently thinking about my dreams, exciting myself into the possibilities of my future. i've added more and more to my bucket list, patiently waiting for when i can get down to journal these dreams. i've also reflected on how proud i am at what i've already experienced.

i've even spent time there, alone, crying. yes, i am admitting that i've CRIED on stand! hiding behind my sunglasses, i've even been able to reflect on the extremely painful memories... and while it's embarrassing, today i've realized that each summer, i have been able to come back to the pool (unfortunately), and climb up on to the stand, and grow more and more into the woman i am becoming.

this stand has symbolized so much growth in my life. i've been to four different continents and lived 3,000 miles away. but every summer, i come back to the same old town, on the same old stand, to think about the not-so same things, but the new, painful, beautiful, lovely, horrible, things that are occurring in my life. and no, i'm not saying i'm this put-together woman who figured out why certain things have happened to me. but what i am saying is that i'm grateful. i'm grateful that i have the opportunity to reflect and sit in pain. to make the ordinary days at the pool, boring times on stand, into times of prayer, questioning, and thinking. and normally these times for Christians happen while we have quiet times... (just intentional time with the Lord). and i have that. but what makes my time on the stand so interesting? Because i feel immersed in humanity--surrounded by hundreds of people who are either trying to interact with me or avoid me. i just feel ALIVE, i feel human. especially when i'm feeling a whirl-wind of emotions... laughing, crying, contentment, frustration

i'm just grateful to realize that, although PPSC nearly makes me want to poke my eyes out, those 20 minutes on stand, i am left with my thoughts and reflections on the different seasons of my life. i hurt and sin everyday, (pretty sure more than the normal person), but with that comes so much joy and growth. so for today, all three of you blog readers, i want to let you know i am grateful.


it all started HERE

here's my remodeled blog! I've been planning to make a new one for a while now, but haven't gotten around to it until tonight. so this is my....third? attempt at blogging, but instead of having the pressure of it being profound, spiritual, or whatevs, I decided I wanted to keep a blog of ANYTHING I want to talk about!

Yep. that includes cute dresses I find online, books I am currently reading, my girls the Kardashians ;), other blogs I love, places/trips I've been on, my process of transferring colleges, and anything else.

my twitter name is whereisbex, and my original idea was to create a blog that focused on traveling...whether that meant unique experiences i've had abroad or interesting cities i've visited in the States. with thaaaaat, there will (hopefully) be a lot on traveling!

Speaking of places to travel to, this week my mom & sisters took a trip down to Stone Harbor, NJ for the night. Yep, i know what all my outofstater friends are thinking..... ewwww, new joisey??? jersey shore??? well to put a pie in your mouthtrap, Stone harbor is one of the nicer, MUCH nicer areas along the jersey coast... i mean, no, it is NOT the Pacific coast. far from any beach in California... BUT the town of SH really is gorgeous with adorable stores, pancake houses, and delicious ice cream shops. one word to describe this place?? lovely. :)

I leave for virginia in eight days and I'm already missing these three so much.... So what if I'm obsessed over my fam?! we're not perfect, bAaaaaa! by any means. we fight like no onez biz, but with fights comes a WHOLE lot more lovin. wouldn't trade these four for ANYTHING.



big news :0

i've been pushing off this blog post for weeks now. really. it's so hard for me to even know where to start, but i have felt compelled to write this because i think a blog is probably the easiest way to tell numerous people at once.
this past year has been absolutely crazy for me. i spent a month in cambodia, a month at summer staff, was an alpha leader, studied abroad and spent four months in south africa. and now i'm here. home. in ridley. and to cut to the chase, i have made one of the biggest decisions of my life so far, and this is something i'm still processing.

a part of me doesn't want it to become a reality and the other just absolutely cannot wait for it to become a reality. i know some people already know but for those who don't, i have officially decided to transfer from azusa pacific to james madison university. JMU is in virginia. yep. not california aaand not pennsylvania. but va. i could spend five hours and explain in detail what made me decide this, how i decided it, and why, but i don't feel compelled to explain everything yet. maybe ever.

APU offered me a ton. grew me in really incredible and hard ways. definitely offered me some of the most unique opportunities i'll ever have in my life. but i know the lord has brought me to a different place in my life. and i have so much peace about it and that is the only thing that has been ringing in my heart telling me that this decision is okay. because i know this peace comes from the lord. i know, believe, and follow a god who is never changing--and it is especially comforting when i am all over the country and world.

so my plan is to live with my best friend and 7 other girls i haven't met yet but have already heard incredible things about. my other plan is to lead Young Life....and i've tried to act like i'm not passionate about this ministry. (but how far did that take me?) and sure, it seems like i have a well-thought out plan for JMU. but really i don't. i feel nervous that i have to start over. scared of not knowing the campus. confused over the fact i'm not returning to apu. but in this season of healing, i know some things for sure.... i know god wants me at a place where i can be challenged, stretched, and molded. i am so ready to do those things not only at jmu, but here at home.

i wish i could talk about everything going on in my heart and mind, but if i save it as a draft, i'll never post it, and i really need to....i already have like 3 drafts saved haaa.


right now i'm listening to lady antebellum. and you know what? i love it. i can't help it. i even took a picture of my cowboy boot when i was messing with my camera.

so what i know like 4 country songs. i'm working on it.

but really...i love country

but really...today was a good day. not perfect. weird actually. (the morning). but in the afternoon kate took me and allie to lunch...allie and i? and it was the most spectacular restaurant ever. it was so close to our service site and i would have never known it was there... there were llamas, talking parrots, rabbits...very random animals...well anyways we just talked about life and spent about two and a half hours there...and wow, kate is such a beautiful woman. the best way i can describe her. i just feel safe with her, and that is by far probably one of the best feelings. she spoke a lot of honesty, some hard to hear, most of it hard to hear, but so needed. i think allie and i both really appreciated our time with kate.

oh and also...i heard some people talk today just about how they doubt that God exists. it was so refreshing to hear that someone cares enough to ask the questions "does god exist? why do i feel abandoned by him? where is the proof?" i loved every second of it and i saw so much christ in her it was ridiculous. i could care less (lies) if you actually believe in god or not, lets just TALK about it. i want to talk talk talk talk about it.

we played with the children today and it was my first (and last) time with the kids. tomorrow is our last day at Walk in the Light. i'll process that later. but being with the kids was awesome and sooo enjoyed it. i'm wrestling with a ton of questions though. for example: does it do more harm or good that we get to be with kids one day a week for four weeks and then they never see us again? why do we feel the need to impact their lives when we aren't willing to live life alongside them? and more.

and lastly just for tonight. i talked with my friend matt for a long time tonight and boy oh boy do i appreciate him also. i can't name a better listener. speaks truth. it is by far such a helping hand in this extremely painful season of life. i could go on for days but if you have the opportunity, get to know him!!!! except i will not post his last name for you stalkers.
"christianity is shallow enough for children to wade in but deep enough for scholars to drown in"


so this is my first blog on blogspot. decided i didn't really like tumblr. or maybe it was just too hard to blog!

i do not have much to say....hm... how to walk this weary land is from a jj heller song called your hands. it depicts what i am experiencing in this season of my life. confusion, hurt, yet hope in the lord that he will be bigger than my human attempts to have my heart aligned to His.

i just bought Tim Keller's generous justice. i've heard about it and it so
happens i am passionate about justice. and that the book was half off.:) it is pretty good so far!

i am at the moment eating nik naks. they are equivalent to cheetos. but
african version. mmmm.

last night i went to NCF church. they had an event called "feel the beat" and it was possibly one of the most fascinating events i've ever attended. it was a christian rave/dance/celebration of Jesus' power and love. people were dancing and parents were throwing their kids into the air (it was hilarious to watch actually). i cannot wait to do that with my kids someday. just dance and worship with them. i felt so free to just worship and express my love for Christ without being judged. this church is just incredible. i never have felt judged there, and the people are beyond welcoming and loving. they are so on fire for the lord and really understand how crucial the gospel is and how transforming it is. being there really does remind me that our God is a living God and he is so worthy to be praised. last night i kept thinking, "i really hope heaven is like this." and god kept telling, it is going to be so much more. and that was maybe the first time i was truly and genuinely happy here in africa. i duno. i guess i fell a little more in love with jesus.
however, i have to say, i'm not sure if this event would pass in the states...this was a "wow. i really am in africa" moment. i think south africans are just so brave in their worship. even at walk in the light, the Zulu women and the South African christians i've met are so freeing and excited to celebrate such a passionate and real love.