Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas rush is through...

I always enter a blasé period of time right after Christmas.  Don't get me wrong.  The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year.  What's not to like?  The smells, the lights, the decor, the food - everything about the season is wonderful, except for one thing - the hustle and bustle.  The rushing from here and there and everywhere to complete the daunting and numerous tasks of the season.  Buying tons of gifts, wrapping all those gifts up (ok, I admit, I love wrapping presents), keeping the house immaculately clean, cooking food, and don't forget -  shopping, shopping, shopping.  When I was younger, I used to thrive off of this hustle and bustle.  As my life gets even busier with school, church, singing, acting, etc. I have come to value the importance of friends and family.  I appreciate the times that we just sit and chat more often these days.  Sometimes it is just nice to sit, relax, and enjoy the company.

Last Friday night, a small group of Advanced Chorus alumni from GHS assembled for our annual Christmas carolling outing.  We spent the evening carolling to some of our favorite teachers.  It was great catching up with some great friends.  Here is a photo taken at Mrs. Clanton's house.


Christmas was still a little bit sad around our house as our family lost Granny right around this time last year.  We still managed to have a wonderful day relaxing, eating entirely too much, and unwrapping tons of presents.  In years past, it seems that the presents made me most happy on Christmas day.  This year especially, I noticed that I felt differently.  I certainly appreciate and enjoy the gifts, but as I received more and more text messages and emails from friends and family containing kind words and holiday greetings, I came to realize that these things mean much more than anything bought from a store.  We managed to get a few "good" family photos in our annual Christmas day photo shoot.


 Yes, this is really my family...

There is just so much excitement and build up for one day that after the Christmas rush is through we say, now what?  Do we simply return to our hectic daily lives with no thought about it?  I think this is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.  We should take this time to refocus on the important aspects of life.  Don't get me wrong - careers, goals, and aspirations are important aspects of life and success, but these ideas must be balanced with other aspects of life.  Don't forget the importance of family and friends.  Take/make time to visit and maintain relationships.  Don't forget to take time for yourself either.  Go get a massage.  Take care of your body, mind, and soul.  Remember these things as you enter the New Year.

peace.

Friday, December 14, 2012

MIA

Ok people.  I survived two of the craziest weeks in my educational career, thus far.  I realize that I have been missing in action.  The whole point of blogging is being able to share moments from the crazy ride we call life.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to breathe the last two weeks - but that's ok!  Now to enjoy a month long break from school!  Before I begin a series of "catch up" posts, I have to tell you about the strangest thing that happened the other night at Choir practice.

We all gathered in the Choir room for what we thought would be a routine Wednesday night rehearsal.  Little did we know that this rehearsal would be far from routine and ordinary.  As the rehearsal came to order, I noticed that Pastor was making his way around the church, locking all of the doors.  This didn't strike me odd since he had to leave early.  As we began to sing, I heard a knock at the door.  Just a few Choir members running late for rehearsal.  No big deal.  As we continued rehearsing, I heard the door open and close.  But wait!  The door was locked.  I looked back and caught the glimpse of a red sleeve trimmed in white.  Nah, it couldn't be.  The jolly man in red?  Without even noticing it, out loud I said, "Santa?!"  "I saw him too!" exclaimed Carly.  Well, at least I wasn't the only crazy one there.  But the door was locked.  How could this alleged Santa get in?  Our Choir director explained that Santa doesn't need a key to get through locked doors.

Come to find out, a fellow Choir member had been all over town, dressed as Santa, delivering gifts to those less fortunate.  He has a key to the church and decided to just let himself in, aiming to not disrupt Choir rehearsal. 

During the chaos of the Holiday season, remember to enjoy the little things.  We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and tending to the millions of things to do before the big day that we forget exactly why we are celebrating.  

More to come...

peace.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Looking ahead...

Well, here it is 10:15, the night before I start a long 2 1/2 week haul.  That's right.  The storm is about to hit.  Today I've tried to work ahead and rest up before the hectic push to the end of the semester.  I had planned on publishing the big "Seussical" post this weekend, but it looks like that probably won't happen until break.  Sorry.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  My break consisted of eating entirely too much turkey, decorating, volunteering, and of course, homework.  On Saturday, I traveled with my cousin's and their church group to Boone to volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child processing center.  This is fourth year packing/processing shoe boxes.  We always have such a great time!  It also serves as a reminder of God's many blessings!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of yet another crazy rehearsal week.  I have dress rehearsals every night this week with a concerts Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  We finish up classes next week, then I have three days of finals and that's it - I'll be free at last!  I don't see much time for blogging until break, but I look forward to catching you up.  Thanks for checking in!


If you're in the area this weekend, come see "A Chorale Christmas" - Friday, Nov. 30, 7:00 pm and Saturday, Dec. 1, 3:00 pm.  


My motto for the coming weeks: "Keep Calm and Carry On"

Stay cool and enjoy the holiday season, people.  Talk to you soon!

peace.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Welp...

Welp folks, we had a great run of "Seussical!"  I only have a chance to briefly check in.  I have tons of work to do before Wednesday.  Thankfully (no pun intended), Thanksgiving is this week.  I'm in much need of a break.  I will catch you, my faithful readers, up this weekend on all of the crazy fun from "Seussical."  Thank you for hanging in there and checking back often during my absence.  Until then, a quote very fitting to the days emotions:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
- Dr. Seuss

peace.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Long time no see.  I hope y'all are doing well!  What about this weather we're having?  Crazy, huh!?  I hope you had a wonderful Halloween.  I wish I could've posted earlier, but alas, not enough hours in the day.

I had quite a fun day myself!  We all decided to dress up for Chorale rehearsal today.  Problem was, I had class from 8:15 right until time for Chorale at 11:30, so I trudged myself through the blistering air and snow flurries dressed in costume - people staring the whole way.  And my costume was quite subtle.  See...


I can only imagine how they might have looked at me if I went all out.  Makayla and I dressed as The Black Eyed Peas!
Side note: 
I realize that most of the photos I post, you can see in my Instagram feed as well.  I only do this to my absolute favorite photos so you can see them in all their glory.

I got back in town just in time to help promote "Seussical" downtown at Halloween happenings.  Once again, I bundled up in my winter gear and headed out to brave the conditions.  Well, maybe I'm a bit dramatic.  It wasn't that bad.  We handed out flyers and candy while singing songs from the show.  While I'm on the "Seussical" front, WE OPEN NEXT WEEK!!!  I can't believe how time just keeps slipping away.  It seems like we just started the show.  We have great deal of work to do before next Friday night, but the show is really coming together.  I always freak out during the weeks the precede the show, but I remind myself of a quote from Leonard Bernstein:  "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time."  Be sure to get your tickets before they are gone!


After I got home from Halloween happenings, we had a few special trick-or-treaters and then I had to hit the books.  Instead of watching Hocus Pocus for the 23980234958th time this season, I took a Music History quiz - the joys of being a college student.  Oh well.  Luckily I have tomorrow "off" if that's what you can call it.  I don't have to go to campus, but I will be catching up on homework, and continuing some classroom observations.

I finally made it to Knoxville for a much needed weekend with my boys!  The stress of school was really getting to me so I'm thankful that I took time to go.  The problem is - I miss them more than ever now.  I've come to realize that we never forget our friends.  We simply learn and adapt to live without seeing them on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.  After spending the weekend catching up, I realized how much I really miss them.  I guess that's just more of an excuse to go visit more.

I guess that's all for now.

peace.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Break

My dear faithful readers,

I give you my greatest apologies for not blogging lately.  I can tell you have been checking in frequently and I am sorry I have not posted anything for you to read.  There is no need to provide a million excuses because if I got started, we would be here all night.  Anyway, on to catching you up on my crazy but wonderful life!

Well, yet another Fall Break is coming to a close.  I plan on sleeping in tomorrow in hopes of storing up enough energy to help me survive the coming weeks.  All of you know that I am involved in everything under the sun.  A few weeks ago I finally came to the realization that I am going to be extremely busy for the rest of my life, so why not embrace it?  I am constantly on the go, but I wouldn't have it any other.  After reading through the last few posts, I realized that many of them hardly any direction and nearly no flow.  Sorry.  I guess that's what I get for blogging late at night when my brain has turned to mush.  


A few weeks ago, my precious little cousin, Hannah, turned 4!  We had a small party for her.  Nothing extravagant but I think she really enjoyed it.





My rehearsal schedule has been insane lately preparing for our first Chorale concert of the season, which took place last Sunday.  The concert went very well and was enjoyed by all!  Now on to Christmas music - my favorite!


A few of my Chorale friends!

This past Saturday night, we celebrated our friend Artie's 30th Birthday party.  We all dressed up as movie characters.



I went as Harry Potter and Tyler went as Indiana Jones.  Sadly, a lot of people didn't know who I was.  What is wrong with society these days?  Haha!  We had a wonderful time sitting around the fire pit and catching up.  Heather and Artie dressed as characters from 80's film Revenge of the Nerds.  Grayson dressed up as well.



Even though this photo speaks for itself, I will say that this is the most awesome kid ever!  Don't you just want to mush him!   He brings a great deal of joy into my life every time I keep him.

Last night was our annual Church hayride - always one of my favorite events of the year!  It was originally scheduled during my Concert last week, but due to the rain, the Church was forced to postpone, which was great for me!  My best friend Morgan was home for break as well, so we had a wonderful time catching up on the last few months.



Unfortunately, I was bitten by some terrible creature over ten times last night!  There must have been some bug in the hay because Tyler and Mom were bitten as well.  While observing today (more below) I began to itch.  One by one, small spots began popping up.  Oh no, I thought.  I've been in Elementary school one day and I already have the chicken pox.  I never had them as a child.  I did receive the vaccine and the booster, but you never know.  Turns out that I'm simply covered with bug bites.  Nothing a few Benadryl won' fix tonight.

I also have some EXTREMELY exciting news!  I will be spending my Spring Break in London!  I have been given the opportunity to take this trip with small women's vocal ensemble called "Ten Times a Lady!"  My voice professor directs this women's ensemble and asked if I would like to go.  Well, certainly.  Of course I won't be singing on this trip since it's the Ladies tour, but I'm sure we will have a wonderful time!  More about that to come!

I spent today observing in an Elementary school.  Although this was not my ideal way of spending my break, I learned a great deal.  It simply confirmed my passion to teach children.  I'm excited to see what the future has in store.

This weekend, I'm heading to Knoxville to spend time with my best friends, Brock and Jonathon.  As you probably read in a previous post, my plans to visit a few weeks ago were nixed.  Fingers crossed for no scheduling conflicts this time!

Friday night, I put my "mad awesome" Photoshop skills to use.  Actually, I'm terrible with Photoshop, but somehow I managed to create a Facebook coverphoto to promote the show.  All of the white space (to the left) is where the profile picture conveniently sits next to the Cat.  Anyway, I was pretty proud of it.  Tickets went on sale TODAY!  Call now before they are gone!  This is a show you will not want to miss!



Once again, I've successfully completed a blog post that hardly flows.  I guess that's just the way my brain works.  I always have a million things on my mind and I guess that's the way it will always be.  Mind as well embrace it.

peace and blessings y'all.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rainy Day

Today was a wonderful rainy day.  This morning, I was awake bright and early for a concert dress rehearsal.  Trust me, as hard as I ran all week long, I would have greatly enjoyed sleeping in this morning, but alas, rehearsal beckoned.  Tomorrow is my first Chorale concert of the season and I'm quite excited about it!  For this concert, we will be performing a wide variety of genres including, Siberian, Jamaican, and some good ole folk music.  If I've already told you about this, I apologize.  I have so many things running through my mind during every second of the day that I barely remember my own name.

After rehearsal, I headed over to Heather's to hang out with my favorite little guy, Grayson.  We had a wonderful afternoon full of both play and rest.  It was the perfect day to be inside.  I fixed dinner and then we curled up on the couch to watch Monsters Inc.  After such a crazy week, I couldn't have asked for a better way to end it.

More to come this next week!

peace.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wonderful Feeling/Feeling Wonderful

Happy Monday y'all!  Is that an oxymoron?  A Monday - that is happy?  I think not!  Despite the crummy weather, today was an exceptional Monday.  Why such a wonderful Monday, you may ask?  Well, I'm not quite sure.  After finally overcoming the zombie stage from waking up so early,  I entered a slight stage of panic.  This morning, I officially hit my mid-semester freak out period.  I woke up overwhelmed from thinking about all I have to do in such a short amount of time.  When are my next assignments due?  I have a million tests to study for - a million papers to write - a million songs to memorize and sing...the list goes on and on.  Those of you who know me quite well realize that I'm a worrier.  I constantly worry and stress.  Then it happened.  I experienced this sort of peace come over me.  It's hard to explain.  All I knew at that moment was everything will be ok.  All I needed to do was take a moment to sit back and listen.  It was like a smack in the face.  God doesn't speak to us in the chaos.  He speaks to us in the still, quiet moments.  As for today, He had to say STOP!  LISTEN!  If not, I would still be running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Remember, when you start feeling this way, simply stop, take a deep breath, and listen.  It is a fantastic feeling knowing that no matter what, everything will work out.

Thanks to this experience, I completed an extreme amount of work this afternoon and evening.  What a wonderful feeling!

Have a blessed October.  Talk to you soon!

peace.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catch up - WARNING: This post may get lengthy!

 After a day like today, my brain is fried.  I cannot force one more ounce of knowledge into my brain tonight, so instead of studying into the wee hours of the morning, I thought I would catch you, my faithful readers, up on what has been happening in my life.  After class today, I headed over to Heather's for a fall Family photo shoot.  First off, let me say, taking wonderful photos is a lot more challenging than one might think - especially with a two year old.  But this child, whom you've seen in previous posts, is just so stinkin' cute!  I just love him!  I really hope I at least got a few good shots.  We'll see!

I had planned on spending this past weekend with my best friends, Brock and Jonathon, in Knoxville.  I looked forward to catching up with them all last week.  After all, I haven't seen them for almost 2 months.  I had all the logistics planned out - what time I needed to leave, what we were going to do - it was going to be a wonderful weekend full of much needed stress relief (yes I'm stressed, and it' only week 4).  My plans quickly backfired as I realized my weekend had become one scheduling disaster.  Somehow, my fool-proof method of date keeping had failed me.  Everything went wrong on Wednesday.  A professor at school first notified me of a mandatory event taking place on Friday night.  No problem, I thought.  I will just head to Knoxville early Saturday, spend the day catching up, go to the game, spend the night and come home Sunday evening.  Then, I went to church where a small child informed me that I had rehearsal Sunday afternoon.  Say what?  Rehearsal?  On Sunday?  There flew my plans, out the window.  I still went to the game on Saturday, which was fun.  Brock's Mom, Amy, came down to set with us for the second half of the game.  She took this wonderful family.



 
While at the game, we were looking through photos from the Florida game, and realized that my brother got (by accident) a wonderful shot of Brock!  Now just to get an action shot of Jonathon.  Anyway, this weekend is a big one for the Vols!  Wish I could be in GA this weekend!

The weekend before last was quite sad.  Heaven gained a wonderful angel Thursday, Sept. 13.  Dear family friend, Sue Brown is no longer in pain, after battling cancer for the past year.  Always caring and loving, Sue loved the children she taught and touched the lives of many!  I wish I could say more, but at the moment, I simply can't!  Thank you, Sue, for everything!

On a happier note, next Sunday, Oct. 7, is our first Chorale concert of the season!  All of you living in the area should come enjoy a "Choral Collage."  Director, Dr. Alan Stevens, will be showcasing the versatility of the ETSU Chorale by leading us in performing a wide and unique variety of musics including Siberian, Jamaican, and Folk.  A fun time is guaranteed!

On the "Seussical" front - I'm having a blast!  I have rehearsal tomorrow evening and we run through Act 1 Sunday afternoon!  Super exciting stuff.

I'm sure I've left out a million things - all of which I will remember as soon as I hit the publish button.  Oh well.  That's all for now.  Thanks for reading!

peace.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Blasé Monday

It was brought to my attention this evening, by my best friend Brock, that I haven't been the best blogger lately.  "Y U NO BLOG?!" he asks.  Let me catch you up on today's shenanigans. 

I've settled back into the school routine quite seamlessly and painlessly.  As painless as possible considering parking is atrocious on campus.  I feel that I have been going nonstop since 2 weeks before school even started.  Well, let me tell you.  Today was the day that it caught up with me.  We all know that Monday's are typically blasé.  Today started out fairly routinely.  I certainly was not ready to get out of bed when the alarm went off at 6:15.  I forced myself out of bed, got ready, grabbed my oh-so-wonderful Throat Coat tea and hit the road.  My first class was fine.  Boring.  Whatever.  Then I reported to my voice teacher for APS work.  He instructed me to make some copies down in the teacher work room.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Well, at least that's what I thought.  I proceeded to the workroom where I discover that the copier was experiencing some technical difficulties - difficulties that took 3 people (including myself) over 20 minutes to solve.  Darn xerox machines!  We got everything taken care of and I began copying.

Then I hear a terrible screeching sound coming from the hallway.  Great.  The fire alarm.  At this point, I was contemplating ignoring it, but as soon as I would, the building would really be on fire and it would collapse on me.  I left the copy machine running and headed out only to realize once outside that I no longer had a key to get into the teacher work room.  Great.  Luckily the sounding alarm was only a routine drill.  I tracked down a key, finished my work, and went on my daily business.  

The day had significantly shaped up until the time for Chemistry rolled around.  I proceeded to class only to be told that out of 125 students in the classroom, only 7 people were still enrolled - the rest purged from ETSU!  Say what?!  Purged?!  You heard right!  Today, thousands of students across campus were purged from records for no apparent reason.  The school worked all day to restore these issues and are just now being fixed.  It proves problematic when the majority of your homework is to be completed online.  Anyway, we are back up and running now!  My day significantly shaped up after a wonderful performance in Vocal Studio.  It was my first time singing solo French repertoire and it went surprisingly well.

Busy week ahead:  Babysit tomorrow night.  Church Wednesday.  Seuss Thursday.  And off to Knoxville for a fun weekend with my best friends on Friday!  I promise I will catch you up on my life as of late soon!

peace.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The BIG Two Zero!

Well, folks.  It's official.  I survived the dreaded teenage years - braces, acne, and all.  Last night, I was expecting to wake up this morning feeling differently, but to no avail.  I fell exactly the same.  No surprise.

Anyway, I spent my day cheering on the greatest football team in the south, the Tennessee Volunteers!  There's nothing like sitting out in the rain with thousands of other die-hard fans dressed in bright orange, doing the wave and singing Rocky Top at the tops of our lungs.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my Birthday.

Looking back, the dreaded teenage years weren't so bad in my book.  Of course they are full of changes, zits, voice cracks, and embarrassing moments, but when you have supportive friends and family, non of it is so bad.  I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.  I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for being there for me over the past 20 years.  Here's to 20 more!

peace.

Monday, September 3, 2012

#LOVE3030

As you may have already guessed, Passion City Church's #Love3030 Challenge came to a close a few weeks ago on August 22.  I've been meaning to comment on this challenge since the end date, but times has been slipping away lately.

This 30 day journey helped me stop and reflect on God's unconditional love each and every day.  I feel that His love is something we often take for granted.  Additionally, over time, we assume that our friends, family, and loved ones know that we love them.  This statement is true, but we need to remind those in our lives that we love them on a daily basis.  I promise you - they will never tire of hearing it.

For those of you that we unable to participate in this challenge, I challenge you to stop and reflect on this list of 30 Bible verses, that share God's love, for the next 30 days.  One verse a day - not too much to ask.  And if you really want to take it to the next level, remind someone each day that you love them.  You can do this through a text message, phone call, or even in person.  You will get more out of this than you would ever imagine!


Spread God's love today and always!  Have a blessed week!

peace.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labels

The society we live in focuses entirely too much on labels.  Labels are not always bad, but for the most part, the ways in which we use labels have negative connotations.  I encourage you to watch this video, created by East Tennessee State University.  It is certainly well worth your time.

 

Think about how others classify or label you.  Think about how you label others.  Do you do this in a positive or negative manner?  Think about these types of questions next time you find yourself labeling or judging others.

peace.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to the Grind

I survived my first week back! (well, almost - one more day, but I finish at lunch!)  The early mornings have been brutal, and parking has been horrendous, but other than those types of things, it has been an all-around wonderful first week.  Catching up with all of my friends, especially Chorale family has been wonderful.

Tonight was our first full rehearsal for "Seussical" and boy am I pooped.  They say that is a sign of a wonderful rehearsal - means that we worked hard.  The music in this show is absolutely wonderful, but challenging all the same.  The tenor part is extremely high, but certainly a good work out for the vocal chords - like I don't get enough of that at school, haha!  These notes do come out a bit more easily since we are performing at a half-belt.  Like I said though, I came home physically and vocally exhausted.  My friend Jodie, brought to my attention the wonders of Organic Throat Coat tea.  I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this product, as I have not been much of a hot tea drinker in the past.  Boy was I wrong.  This stuff is amazing!  Totally soothes the voice and helps me relax after a long rehearsal.

Once again, I've written another short and random post.  Try this tea though!  It really does work.  More about my first week later.  Time for bed.

peace.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What a day...

Forward:  This post may not technically be submitted until Sunday, but it is written in the mindset of Saturday night.  Keep that in mind.

Today I suffered from a bit of a blow to the ego.  A local theater is in the process of producing what you might call a "reunion show" of Broadway hit show, Seussical the Musical.  I had the opportunity to perform in this show 8 years ago, and played the part of a wee little who down in Whoville.  I was thrilled when I heard about auditions about a month ago.  I contemplated not even auditioning with school and all, but decided that I would regret not being a part of this show yet once again.

Auditions were held Monday night and they went well.  Nothing particularly out of the ordinary happened.  I saw a lot of faces that I knew from past shows, but many knew faces were also auditioning.  It's funny how roles change as you get older.  As a child, we always made fun of the old "has-was" actors and actresses that came back as adults to be in these shows, and my-oh-my how the tables have turned.  I soon realized I am now the old "has-was" that I always made fun of!  The director even referred to us as the "old veterans" throughout auditions!  After auditions were finished Monday evening, the director asked us if we could come back for a second night of auditions so they could hear each of us once again.  Ok, everyone, thought.  We'll see you tomorrow!

The next night, we returned to the theater and went about our routine auditions, but they were taken to the next level.  We sang higher songs, read longer passages, and danced faster jigs.  I don't want to toot my own horn, but I rocked the vocals.  I successfully sang two octaves worth of notes (low F - high F) - which is a larger range than many professionals have.  The judges were very impressed.  Oh, my - I'm getting a bit long winded.  I'll start getting to the point...

Anyway, the cast list was posted today, and I was quite disappointed that I did not get a lead.......but I should be grateful and blessed to even be in this show - surrounded by such talent!  It took me a while to realize that.  I talked to my dear friend, Jodie, who will be starring as Mayzie la Bird, over the phone today, and she really provided me with great advice, wisdom, and insight.  For that I am truly grateful!

My point for sharing this with you, is that sometimes we have a ho-hum, very bad day.  That's part of life.  But, it makes us even more thankful for the wonderful days.  We often take the good days for granted.  I spent a wonderful evening surrounded by friends and family, which very much helped turn my bad day around.  Even though I very much wanted a lead in this show, I finally realized that maybe this is a sign.  A sign that I truly do not have time to be a lead.  After all, I am a full time student, which is a major job within itself.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Be thankful for your friends and family, and count your blessings each day - good or bad.

peace.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lots to do...

You'll have to excuse my lack of blogging for the next few weeks.  As the start of school is rapidly approaching, I have a million things to do this week.  My first full day of classes this semester begins next Monday morning, bright and early at 8:15.  This may just kill me.  Anyway, I have fun things planned for the future, so I will keep you posted.

For now, here's some food for thought:

"Great minds discuss ideas.  
Average minds discuss events.  
Small minds discuss people."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

peace.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wonderful Weekend

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this past weekend, we got the heck out of dodge for one last weekend getaway before we head our separate ways for the semester.  My best friend, Morgan, and her Mom, Karen, headed out Friday evening to visit long-time friends - The Menz family.  What a wonderful time we had!

The weekend was totally relaxing.  The accommodations were incredible!  We enjoyed 5 star cuisine at every meal prepared by Master Chef, Melinda.  The crowd humored me as we braved the torrential downpour/thunderstorm to go shopping at my favorite clothing outlet, Vineyard Vines.  I walked away with with an orange polo to wear to football games, a new pair of swim trunks, and a free belt to top it all off!  Totally worth braving the weather.

It was absolutely wonderful just sitting around and catching up.  I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!  Here are a few pictures to entertain you.




Thank you, Menz family, for having us once again!  See you soon!

peace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kickin' Chicken

Today has been an odd day to say the least.

My morning started out fairly routinely with my morning bowl of Special K.  I was a bit sluggish, but to no surprise as I'm by no means your typical "morning person."  Things began to change quickly after I headed off to work with my father for the day.

As we were working, I noticed a little girl playing next door.  Her actions seemed, well, a little odd.  Then I realized she was playing with a chicken.  Yes, a chicken.  She would chase this ugly bird all over the yard.  She would continue to scoop up the chicken and put it on her head.  Yes, her head.  I have to admit that this served as my entertainment for a solid ten minutes.

I thought the actions of the child to be a bit strange, but after thinking about the region in which we live, I came to the conclusion that it was not so odd after all.  Dad and I continued to work.  Next thing I know, the child was standing beside me with.....BAHHHH....the chicken in my face!!!  Talk about jumping out of your skin - the combination of being startled and having a chicken shoved in your face.  The small girl continued to ask me if I would like to hold her pet chicken.  "Uh, no thank you!" I replied, "Not really my cup of tea."

Then I got a call from a local elementary school asking if I could "babysit" during their parent night this evening.  Sure, I think - this would be good experience for the future.  All I can say is 33 children crammed in one tiny Art room.

Moral of the story:  It's amazing what you will let children do to you simply so they will be entertained.

At one point, I was trying to feed one child his dinner, while comforting three screaming children, one of which is on top of my head, another biting my ankles, and one begging for a piggy-back ride.  Some may call me crazy, but I still long to be an elementary teacher.  I will be going back for parent night round 2 on Thursday.  Wish me luck!

That's all for now...
peace.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Batten Down the Hatches!

The media and community are currently buzzing about a possible storm we may or may not endure tomorrow in our region.  All I can say is, we will see. 

Tomorrow, I'm high-tailing it out of this small town for one last weekend getaway of the summer!  I will be traveling with my best friend, Morgan, and her mom Karen to visit the wonderful Menz family.  I can't wait to catch up, especially on all of the things that have happened during our first year of college.  I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Remember yesterday, when I said I was going to meet someone new?  Well, we had a wonderful lunch and I am so very thankful and blessed to have a new friend!  I can't wait to get to know him even better.

Sorry for such a random post.  I'm a bit scatter-brained tonight.

peace.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

The title says it all. 

Not much to say today, so here is a photo to entertain you.  As you may have noticed by my Instagram feed, ---->         I upload many photos of my "nephew".  Allow me to introduce you to Grayson, my wonderful friend/"sister's" baby boy.  I watch and take care of this awesome kid often!

Grayson and I (aka "Awkin") at his 2nd Birthday party!

Check out Heather's blog!

Happy Wednesday!

peace.

PS: I'm going to meet a new friend today.  I'm excited, but a little nervous as well.  Wish me luck!  
 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Best Friends Day! (maybe?)


So, I keep seeing photos of best friends plastered all over Facebook and Instagram this evening.  After completing a bit of research, I have come to the conclusion the today is in fact, not National Best Friend Day.  But, that doesn't really matter.  Seeing all of these photos made me stop and think of how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends!  I decided to post a few photos myself!

"The Beach Gang"
front: Charlsie, Morgan, Jillian, Rhianna
back: Hyder, Jonathon, Brock, Austin

 Jordan, Austin, Sarah

top left: Austin, Margaret, Claire
top right: Morgan, Austin
bottom left: Austin, Heather
bottom right: Staci, Austin, Emily, Sophie

Although I am not able to upload photos with all of my friends (you would be looking at pictures for days!), know that you are in my heart today and always!

peace.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Who am I?

Finally, the wait is over!  I know you have all been waiting anxiously for the post about me haha!  Anyway, this post was inspired by a former Choir director that retired in the Spring.  On our last day of class, he came in and handed us each a small sheet of paper numbered one to three.  He went on to ask the simple question, "Who are you?"  He proceeded to explain that we were to privately answer this question on the sheet of paper, with one being the most important.  As I said, this exercise probably should be left private, but why hide characteristics that you are proud of - characteristics that help define you?

These three points help define who I am:
  1. Child of God
  2. Loving family member
  3. Trusted and supportive friend
Additionally, I'm a sophomore college student studying elementary education while minoring in music.  Teaching and singing are my passions, along with serving our Lord.  I am very involved with my church serving on the Christian Education committee, singing in the choir, and simply being present as often as I can.  My church family means the world to me.

For the longest time, I tried to hide my southern roots.  But I finally realized that I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  Just because the media portrays us as hillbilly's does not mean that we live that way.  I cannot deny that some live that way, but the majority of southern people are charming and kind.  I am proud to call the South my home.

My "crazy" dream is to sing on Broadway.  Now, I'm not necessarily talking star of the show, but I would love to sub-lease a little apartment in Manhattan and sing in the chorus of a Broadway show for a summer.  Even though this dream may be "bat-poop crazy," I read somewhere that if you write you dreams down on paper (or blog in this instance), they are more likely to become a reality.  I love traveling and hope to have a house near the beach someday.  I will admit that I quite enjoy shopping!  Family and friends take priority in my life.  I love spending time with them!

Well, enough about me.  I won't lie - I could go on and on talking about myself, but I won't put you through that torture.  Here's a small taste of who I am.  More to come.  Thanks for reading!

peace.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Love One Another

Through actively participating in Passion City Church's Love 30/30 Challenge, I have become more aware of how I treat others, and how members of society treat each other.  I can honestly say this is not a post about recent Chick-fil-a statements but I would not only be naive, but I would be lying to say that recent events have not influenced this post.

As people started bashing each other publicly (especially on Facebook) on each others own personal beliefs, values, and opinions, I was deeply saddened.  These statements made evident the hatred that our world is filled with.

I had almost given up hope, to the point of contemplating the deletion of my Facebook account...until I read a status update made by friend Jodie Carter-Copeland. 

"I've remained quiet, but I'm going to say this: I love my friends and family, and each of you are a blessing in my life. I love you if you always agree with me on everything, and if you can never agree with me on anything. I love you if you're liberal, conservative, libertarian, a tea partier, or even if you don't give a hoot about politics. I love you if you're Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist or really unsure right now. I love you if you're straight and I love you if you're gay. I love you if you're type A, type B, or type LMNOP. I love you if you're OCD or ADHD, if you're perfectly reasonable or if you're bat-poop crazy. The point is, I love you. All of you. And I am going to do my dead-level best to show more of that love to you and everyone else I meet."

I hope that you are inspired by these wonderful words!  I couldn't have said it any better myself!  I know I probably won't be able to change the views and opinions of those that feel strongly about these issues, but as a future teacher, we must work together to teach our children the importance of love.  Love for their family and friends.  Love for their classmates and teachers and future co-workers.  We must instill these values of love so that one day, they may live in a more peaceful world.  The concept is very simple - Love your neighbor as yourself.

Have a blessed day!
peace.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love 30/30 Challenge

Last weekend, I made the trek to Atlanta, Ga. with some friends and family for a short weekend getaway.  While there, we had a chance to do some shopping, eat wonderfully, visit the World of Coke, and spend some time with family.

Sunday evening, I went with my family to Passion City Church.  Louie Giglio, Pastor of PCC, started a new series entitled "Wide Awake" - which may or may not have been inspired by hit song.  Through this series in finding out how to be "Wide Awake" in our faith journey, he started the Love 30/30 challenge (Twitter #love3030).  He challenged each of us to Receive God's word each day, then reflect on it by spreading His unconditional love with others.

It's interesting to see how people respond when you send them a text message of this sort, out of the blue.  Most people respond in a very thankful way, saying that they really needed to hear that, while others are very skeptical.  Some wonder if something is wrong.  I feel that in our society, we often expect the worst.  Just from hearing kind and loving words of encouragement, some respond with the attitude or "what do you know that I don't?"  I feel like these people need to be loved the most.

I challenge you to spread God's love today whether it be to a friend, family member, or co-worker.  Remind those important people in your life that you love them.  They will never tire of hearing it - I promise.

Remind yourself of this statement each and every day...

You are:
God-designed, purpose-intended, significant, lavishly-loved, prince/princess, son/daughter of the King of the Universe.

God is love.
peace.


Monday, July 16, 2012

I made it through the wilderness!

I SURVIVED!  Between you and me, I quite enjoyed my first camping experience.  I worried all that time for nothing.  Our campsite was beautifully located on the lake making it convenient for kayaking, canoeing, and plenty of swimming.  Luckily, we didn't experience any rain that amounted to anything - just a few sprinkles here and there.


After setting up camp, (not as easy as one may think), we headed out on the water.  I immediately chose the kayak as I have had experience various times in the past.  Kayaking on the lake is much more relaxing than ocean kayaking, but I'll save that story for another day.  We spent a good amount of time out on the water while stopping to swim along the way.  The best part of it was spending time with my best friend and "sister" Morgan!  We ended up simply floating around with our feet in the water for quite some time just catching up and chatting. 


After returning to camp, we had a slight scare from nearby thunder and lightning.  We dramatically and hurriedly crammed everything we brought, including ourselves, into the largest tent, which happened to be the tent I would sleep in.  The rain passed within a few short minutes.

 

 Waiting out the rain in the tent...luckily it only sprinkled for a few minutes.

 The view from my bed



  Calm after the storm...

 Our Illustrious and Fearless Leader

Our youth leader and one of my very best friends, Mackenzie, did an absolutely wonderful job planning and preparing for this trip.  Of course she had to deal with all of my pre-camping drama and worry, but we both survived, and for that I am eternally grateful!


Tyler, along with others worked tirelessly to keep the camp fire going.  We had plenty of s'mores - always a delicious treat!  To our surprise and delight, we spotted a friend up in the tree...

 "Hooty-hoo"

To my surprise, I slept through the night.  Granted, I was sleeping on an air-mattress.  Some may consider this a cop-out, but this is the way I look at it - why be miserable when you don't have to be?  The sound of the crickets chirping and the water lapping against the beach was quite relaxing.
 Beautiful morning...

The gang!

I can truthfully say that a fun time was had by all!  Next time, we will stay more than one night.  Baby steps though.  I believe it is in these moments that God speaks to us.  Experiencing the beauty of His creation does something for the soul.  These types of trips, filled with nature, always seem to "recharge my batteries."  I can't wait for our next camping adventure!

peace.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Over the river and through the woods...

I had hoped to create a post that told you a little more about me before I posted anything else, but I guess that will have to wait.

This time tomorrow, I will be sleeping under the stars, by the lake with people I love.  Sounds wonderful, right?  Wrong.  What I meant to say was, this time tomorrow night, I will be sleeping in a tent, on the hard ground, in 90 degree heat, with gnats and mosquitoes buzzing around my face, and no accessible bathrooms.  Well, maybe I am being a tad bit over dramatic.  At least I will be with people I love!  We plan on hiking, kayaking/canoeing, eating s'mores and catching up.  Honestly, it will probably be loads of fun.  I always preach: "At least try it once.  If you don't like it, you don't have to do it again."  I sure do not aim to be hypocritical in life.  I will tell you all about it when I get back.

Wish me luck.

peace.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Under Construction


Currently, I'm working on the design and layout of the blog....this might take a while, but check back early and often.  I can be very picky in deciding what I really want.  The look of the blog may change drastically over the next few days as I learn more.  I hope to have it up and running soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hello.

After being an avid blog reader for quite some time now, I have decided to give the whole blog writing thing a whirl.  Just last night, I created a Tumblr account.  I decided that I would probably learn more and be more apt to keep a more - I guess, "professional" blog, up to date.  This being said, I may not be religious about posting, especially in the beginning.  I'm certain that it will take me a while to get the blog looking exactly like I want it...

I knew this would be the trouble.  I had everything I wanted to say in my opening spill planned out, but as soon as I sat down to my MacBook, the words left me.  How do you know what to write?  Everyone makes it look so easy.  I guess this is a learning process just like everything else.  First of all, I certainly welcome feedback.  If I’m posting too much, tell me.  If I don’t post enough, I want to know.

My goal in beginning this blog is not having a particular theme.  Why should we restrict ourselves to one thing when we are complex human beings?  Of course, I will mainly be posting things that interest me - what inspires me, but I hope to inspire others through this blog.  I plan on using this blog write about what’s on my mind whether it be social, political, or religious issues, etc.,…the list goes on and on.  I aim to offend no one.  If you are offended by a topic that I discuss, feel free to move on to the next blog, but I encourage your comments.

Like the title says, I live on the corner of 3010 and nowhere…I’m just a good ole southern boy trying to figure out the meaning of life and simply survive living in this crazy but wonderful world.  More about me later.

peace.