Saturday, December 14, 2013

The End of The Tunnel

Wow, that was a longer than expected three month break from blogging for the sake of passing this semester. But alas, the end has come. Semester 3 of 5 is complete and I’m exactly one year away from G R A D U A T I O N. But today wasn’t about me, today was about my mom. For the past two years she has been working away on bridging her diploma {RN} to a BSN, and she did it! YAY! Congratulations to the best nurse I know. Mom, you deserve this honor and so much more. Now, is it my turn yet?

 Let me just go ahead and apologize for the massive amount of crappy iPhone pics…And the total scatter-brained thoughts. Life these days.

My poor parents were in Chicago Thursday night for a work Christmas party and their flight into Memphis Friday night was canceled. They had to fly into Nashville, rent a car and drive the three hours in a thunderstorm to make it back at 2:30AM, left for the one hour drive to Jackson for graduation at 8:30 - sleep deprived parents equals dad having a staring contest with a fish while we wait 45 minutes to eat. Strange times, I tell you.

Maybe after three months we are in need of a little updating? Baby M is 9 months, on her way to 10! Ya’ll her personality is beginning to bubble to the surface and it is just adorable. Sister is home from school and we are ready to officially begin celebrating Christmas. 

Oh, my best friend got ENGAGED!!!!!! I am so very honored to be her maid of honor and I cannot wait for May. She is going to be the most stunning bride! Eeeekk! 

Between studying and trying not to lose my mind, I was able to help with the PackednLove program that our church participated in this year. My parents have been in the process of advocating on behalf of orphans in our community and bringing awareness to our church - wow, what a blessing it was to be able to shop and see people {in MY church} moved for foster children in Shelby County. 

On a total side note, if you have netflix and you have not watched the documentary "STUCK", do it now. Oh my stars, my heart was bursting.

The south has been through some crazy weather, or at least weather warnings. If you happen to read this and you live somewhere other than the mid-south, you just can’t understand how people all of a sudden forget anything they knew about driving (not that Memphis drivers were that talented to begin with) the minute there is a news forecast about ice/sleet/snow/rain/wind/yougetthepicture. And I will never understand the need to go and empty the local grocery stores of every egg, gallon of milk and slice of bread. We aren’t even to the coldest part of winter people. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Uncomfortable Love

These pictures make me think of comfort. The south, my family, the fall weather and Jesus' sweet love make me so comfortable. I am blessed to have comfort, to want for little and to experience few moments of pain or sorrow. Comfort draws me in and invites me to stay a while.

Everyone needs a day of comfort every now and then. A day that is stress-free, when you can forget the world around you and drift off in to that place of sincere comfort.

But not everyday should be comfortable. God did not put me on this earth to live a life completely comfortable and totally satisfied. In the world we find ourselves submerged in day after day, there is sorrow beyond belief, persecution, racism, hate, neglect, abuse, hunger, pain and suffering. Sin is dark and it is deep. But God's love is deeper. God's love flows into the darkest of pits and the smallest streams that have deviated far from the river. Never forget that

“God's definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” ― Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Dear friends, take today and ask God to make you uncomfortable. Ask that He would let you see people through His eyes. People who are hurting, people who need you to go the extra mile to love them. It's not always easy and it's not always convenient. Very few things about this Christian walk are comfortable. God is calling you to step out of you comfortable place and love

"This is how we know that we live in Him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4: 13-19

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oh Baby, An Adoption Fundraiser!

Do you blog? Do you have a passion for orphan care? 

This giveaway is for YOU!

Katie is hosting a massive giveaway to support her family's adoption. I think her adoption profile video is the cutest thing ever and I know you will love it too! And all that ad can you turn that down?! 

Five bucks. It's one starby's PSL, to help one baby make it home! " The statement to be Pro life means you are willing to do something to assist with the plight of those who choose life. It's not an easy choice for people." cred given to my wise mother We need to step up and help, even if that means giving your money, your prayers and kind words to this family! 

Praying for a mama out there that will make this brave and bold decision and the mama that will step in and step up to give that baby a home. Praise Jesus! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekend Recap - Pumpkin Run 5k

My wagon may be draggin' today but Saturday I DID IT! 

5K complete.

Saturday was pretty humid (totally normal for Memphis) but I was dressed ready to run. My dad and Baby M were there to cheer me on to the finish!  I as so thankful that the rain held off until the later afternoon, what a blessing. I have run this particular trail before and I knew it was a strenuous course with multiple hills! Honestly, I wasn't ready to run three miles quite yet but I needed this for a "service project" for one of my classes and I figured why not give it my best (and work the interval plan)! I will continue to train for five MORE weeks and then try this race thing again. 

It was a great day supporting a great cause and I even came in under my goal time!
I then spent the rest of the day being completely lazy and wanting to eat everything in sight, typical. 

Sunday, we visited my grandparents. It's pretty much one of favorite past times, catching up with family. Mamaw always has the fixins for the most delicious chicken n' dumplings in the entire world. I feel sorry for my future grandkids, I will never be able to cook like that.

And now to enjoy my two days of fall break with reading textbooks and completing pointless assignments, all in the name of nursing school! 

Happy Monday! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We've Got Each Other, You Can Count On Me

Yesterday, I had lunch with a long lost friend. Do you have those friends that you can be away from for a substantial amount of time but when you see each other you just pick up where things were left years ago? After my freshman year of college, I made the heart wrenching decision to transfer schools. Why was it so hard you ask? Because of this girl. Yes, we were together almost twenty-four-seven for an entire year and leaving that school meant leaving her. 

Fast forward four years and here we are, seniors in college. We haven't done the best job at keeping up but things are going to change in that department. God placed this friendship in my life for a reason. After I left lunch yesterday, I couldn't quit thinking of how divine God is with his timing and how our lunch date was such the answer to prayer. Friends, never take for granted a godly influence that can speak wisdom into your life. Laughter is good for the soul and sweet shelbs can bring out the laugh in me like no other. We are opposites but we thirst for Jesus. It's the thread that binds our hearts and gives us a reason to send up praises even in sight of misadventure and our greatest trials. 

Thank you Lord for allowing wounds to be healed, stories to be shared and glory to be brought to your name through a friendship. I am so thankful to have a best friend like you, Shelby. Keep investing in the lives of others, all for the kingdom! See you soon.

Love always, 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let's Train.

Alright people, I'm about to take the plunge and let you in on my biggest goal for the months of October and November. Putting things out here in the blog world can be intimidating but I need the accountability. And since today I laid down the money, what better time than to let you in on what I have been working on lately!

Slowly but surely, I am training for a 5k. I know, I know for all you fitness crazies out there, it's not that far but this is a big goal for me! I have been training for 4 weeks now. I plan to attempt my first race next weekend with two to follow in November. Not my first 5k, but my first in a while. 

I am loving my interval training and being back out there! Running and I have a love, hate relationship. I hate bad days but I love feeling the results of training.

Next endeavor, new running shoes. My current shoes aren't giving me all the support that I need and I am looking to buy some new kicks! What's your favorite brand of running shoe?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Weekend Recap 10.1.13

Every week, Monday sneaks up before I even know it! With Mondays and Fridays off this semester, I can't keep track of where I am or what day it is. So I skipped Monday and went straight to Tuesday for a weekend recap. 

This weekend, we made a little visit to Knoxville to visit the little sister. I haven't seen her in SIX weeks and I have definitely decided that we will never let that amount of time go by again without seeing one another (at least while we live in the same state!) 

It's always good to spend time with my family. I may be slightly obsessed with each one of them! 

And of course, HAPPY OCTOBER! Tomorrow, do something pumpkin related and pretend that it's not still shorts weather. I could only dream that I could wake up for this test tomorrow and put on a sweater or something warm of any kind without dying of humid heat exhaustion. Yoga pants it will have to be, darn. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby M 6 Months {Update}

Six whole months. It is hard for me to fathom that we have had sweet baby M in our home since she was six days old and now, now six months have passed and she is still here. Like any healthy six month old, she is growing and flourishing in her environment. An environment of love, affection and care. My parents do an incredible job of giving their time, their resources and themselves to better love those that are vulnerable and need someone to believe that they are worth it. 

Baby M is a  little chunk of love (75% percentile to be exact) and an incredible blessing. No teeth yet, but a full head of very curly hair catches the eye of many passer-by-ers. I am amazed at how perceptive she has become to people and things around her. She has found her feet, the best toy of all! 

I fall deeper in love every. single. day. 

We have had few updates that I am able to share, but things are progressing slowly with her birth parents. Progression and regression, it's the name of the game. We are in this for the long run people.

This baby is exposing me to so many things that have been unexpected and unprecedented in my life. Unlike our other placements, people assume that this baby is mine. When we are out I get so many glances, stares, looks of disgust and the occasional question or the infrequent compliment. Maybe I am judging people for judging me but it is obvious what people think by the look in their eyes. In my city, ethnic tensions run high. There is a definite line between white and black. The suburbs are unforgiving. 

More on that to come...

As we approach fall (WOO FALL), we also approach the two year mark of our foster care experiences and trials. This weekend, I have traveled with my parents to an Annual DCS conference for the state of TN. I will not be attending the sessions because I am keeping the baby and studying the mounds of work I have to catch up on from the past week. Even so, this environment is intoxicating. I have never been around so many people with the same passion as ours. It does a heart good to be here. 

Hopefully, more to come on life in general. Welcome to the -ber months, ya'll and happy football watching!  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Textbook Buying Secrets. Let Me Save You Money.

August?! Where did the summer go? Beating the heat with a few hundred rugrats this summer was no joke and the end of July snuck up on me! 

August brings shiny red apples and back to school thrills (for those of us still young enough to be in it or old enough to be sending little ones). I have a few textbook buying secrets for all of you college gals out there. So many people spend thousands (yes, thousands) on textbooks during their time in college! Once you find what textbooks you will need this semester, head on over to . This website is a marketplace type venture that lets you see where you can purchase/rent your books the cheapest! You can also see who will buy your books back for the most mula! Believe me, this site is amazing!

If you have not tried renting and you know that you will not need a certain book after this semester, RENT IT! It saves so much money and it is completely worth the effort to send the book back. All companies I have used will prepay for shipping, all you have to do is print out a label and drop the package. Simple as that.

This post is not sponsored, I just felt the need to save you from those scheming campus bookstores that insist you need the brand new copy of your book - lies people, it's all lies.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Southern Summer

This summer, I got what some would consider my first "real job". I have worked before but this 5 day a week thing (six counting my Sunday job) took my life by storm. I feel like I hardly have the words to say to describe some of the things this summer has taught me about myself and about my relationship with Jesus.
looking back at some posts, i think maybe i complained too much. the flesh crying out for more comfort. 
some weeks I wished away my summer, instead of being thankful for a place to work.
when kids did things that were completely inappropriate, I had a very hard time not losing my mind (or my temper). Seriously, all you parents out there, I commend you for the things you do every single day. And teachers, you're pretty much saints in my book, too!
It wasn't perfect, but summer was good.

Patience is always something I struggle with and I feel like God worked with me on that one.
I took a step back, slowed down, and Watched kids become enthralled at the sight of a bunny, a goat or a beautiful one eyed horse. 

But in the chaos...
I met new co-workers that became good friends. It's crazy how bad management will bring together a group of employees that have a job to do and 40 kids expecting entertainment for the next 8 hours.
I got to spend the majority of each  day outdoors, in God's beautiful creation. What a blessing. Last summer, there were days when I missed a hot, humid, southern summer and this year I certainly got it. 

As August begins and July fades away, reflect on the things God allowed you to experience this summer. This moments of chaos, beauty, insane sweat and pure love. 

yes, that is a horse.

Six days late, Happy August!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baseball Equals Happy Heart

So maybe it's already Tuesday (a little late for a weekend recap?) but who cares. There is always an exception for late posts when my weekend consists of fun adventures! I have been horrible at balancing work with fun activities this summer but last weekend was a blast and I had to share some of the pictures. Spending time doing things in downtown Memphis makes me remember why I love this city and all that it has to offer. Saturday night it was a AAA baseball game with my sister, her boyfriend and his sister.

Baseball and summer are two things that just go hand in hand. The sport is slow enough that I can socialize. However, those baseball pants keep my attention on the actual plays and my eye on the game. The Memphis Redbirds got killed (8-1) but the game was still great. There was a fireworks show afterwards, complete with a country summer soundtrack that would make any southern girl swoon! And yes, the only pictures that I have of myself are selfies from my phone...working on finding my way in front of the fancy camera one of these days! 

Nights like these. Love those times when my heart gets to take a deep, relaxing breath and just enjoy life!  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thank Goodness for Twitter News

Today was just one of those weird days. I guess weird is the right word...maybe off day would better suite. Really, it has just been an off week. and it's only Tuesday..sigh.

First, the group of kids that we have this week is super rowdy. When you are six or seven, it may be hilarious to act like you were raised in a barn but to me, not funny. I'm responsible for your well-being. Quite honestly, we have a few bullies on our hands. My patience level with kids that bully is around zero. 

If that wasn't enough...

Around 11 this morning, the people that own the farm came out and told us to get all of the kids into the barn. now.
I was totally oblivious to whatever was going on, but I knew it couldn't be good. We hurried the kids into the barn without trying to seem panicked. We stayed in there for an hour, doors locked and enjoyed a little dance party and some rock wall climbing. (all while trying to stalk twitter out in the boonies and get a news update)
Come to find out, someone at mall in our town had been robbed. It is super close to work and, after a police chase, the burglars crashed their getaway car one street over from us. Then, they jumped out on foot with guns loaded and tried to escape the cops. Memphis police were on it, with the help of a helicopter, and caught both of the men.

Thankfully, there was no dramatic end to my story. All of our babies were safe and sound and never knew a single thing was wrong.  

I think this all the time but, you never know what a day will hold. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Where The Blacktop Ends

This week was filled with outdoor adventure, my favorite! We drove up to Pigeon Forge on Sunday afternoon (after I got off work) and came home Saturday. The time in between was mixed with getting our cabin ready to rent and tons of outdoor fun. I'm turning into a mountain lover and dreaming of hiking the Appalachian Trail...maybe one day! The weather was rainy almost every day and the fog kept us from some incredible views, but I plan to go back, no worries. 

The trails this week included: 
Alum Cave Bluffs (4.6)
Max Patch Mountain, NC (1.0) 360ยบ views *AH-MAZING!*
Clingmans Dome (1.0) limited views, too much fog

If you have never hiked, you should give it a try. I just love being able to climb to places that a vehicle just can't take you. Plus, if you are a weirdo like me, you may get overly excited when you get to break out the day pack and haul 20 pounds of "picnic" lunch up a cliff. One of the highlights of my trip, no lie.

Wednesday, we white water rafted on the Mighty Pigeon River. It was a blast--during a monsoon with freezing class 3 rapids. I would highly recommend 'Rafting in the Smokies' to anyone who finds their way up to the Great Smokey Mountains. It was adventurous but not too over the top for the not-so-adventurous family member. 

Of course, on the fourth we enjoyed a good home-grilled steak, beautiful fireworks and time with the best family around. I loved this week and my time off work. However, the lack of wifi seriously cramped my blogging inspiration due to incredible I ditched the laptop and settled for the view from the porch (picture above). And the lightening bugs, oh my word they were incredible! It was like our own little light show, I think there were thousands just on our little hillside. One of those things that comes to mind when I think of a perfect southern summer! 

It was that breath of fresh air that I needed to get me through these last three weeks of work. I can do this, I can do this...yep, it's all a lie. 

And now, back to reality. Setting my alarm for 6:30. Nope, take me back! 

Max Patch Mountain
Walking on the AT
Cade's Cove horsies
Have a great Monday! See you back here soon, very soon. 
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