September 29, 2010

curse canceled

This is farewell for a few days.

I'm headed out in the morning.

Headed back to my college stompin' grounds. Haven't been there in...7 years, maybe? Gotta say, I'm pretty excited. Get to see the old campus and my old apartment (or the outside anyway). Walk down memory lane.

Plus, I get to see some dear friends and wear a bridesmaid's dress again.

The 6th time.

I say that six times cancels out the "3 times a bridesmaid, never a bride" curse, right?

I'll be back on soon with photos and stories. Until then I'll try and do some phone posting just so it won't be so lonely here.

All photos by Our Labor of Love found on Once Wed. Probably one of my favorite weddings ever featured there. I can't stop thinking about those bridesmaid's dresses.

September 28, 2010

friends and vintage

A few weekends ago, I fled camp and went to hang out with one of my oldest friends in the world. She's the bestest. See...

We went to a festival in the city. It's full of yummy food....

Oh, yeah.

And it's full of vintage goodness everywhere. I don't think I realized how many amazing vintage shops there were here. Plus, there were lots of tents set up with even more delights....

It's a small scale version of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Hipsters galore. I was loving it. Big time.

I found a fantastic vintage purse half off at this store.....

They had tulle petticoats hanging all over the ceiling. It was packed to the brim with all sorts of vintagey goodness. I'm already dying to go back.

A day with a sweet friend and vintage shopping. Who could ask for more?!

September 27, 2010

endurance and patience with joy

Last was a rough week. Most of it I was sick. Most of it I was exhausted. ALL of it I was busy. It was one of those weeks that I was just praying that I would live through it to get to this week (which isn't much better, but it does involve a road trip for a friend's wedding - aka: light at the end of the tunnel).

On Monday, I decided that I was going to read the book of Colossians. It had been in the back of my mind for while, and I just had a feeling that this was the week God wanted me to read it. I've also been listening to this podcast series by Matt Chandler on my Zune.

Anyway, it was the turning point for me. This particular verse in chapter one was the phrase I was breathing. I whispered it when I felt like I couldn't do one more thing and yet there were still 15 things to do. It was my saving grace.

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy." Colossians 1:11

My week didn't get any easier. Nothing on the outside changed. But peace flooded my heart and I could breathe amidst the craziness/sickness. It was one of those times that the Word seemed more dear than anything else in the world. And nothing compares to that.

September 26, 2010

nerd alert


In other news...

I went to the Renaissance Festival this weekend. Best part of the Fall.

I also got a migraine and spent the hours of 6pm - 7:30am in bed begging for mercy and my mommy. Thankfully, my skull didn't rip asunder, and I'm here to live another day.

I'm so ready to begin a new week.

September 24, 2010

Spur of the moment gift

Who could turn down an evening with this cutie? Not me. And her big sister is just as adorable.

Bedtime stories and goodnight kisses and snuggles. Best way to end a stressful week.

I adore those two peanuts and their mommy and daddy too. Thanks for asking, guys! And yes I take photos of your kids with my cell phone when I babysit. Sorrryyyy. They're just so darn cute!

September 23, 2010

6 years

I ♥ you, sweet little blog of mine.

Six years ago, I created you to be an outlet for my thoughts and creative side. I've always wanted to be a writer, and you were going to be my own, personal writing experiment. Oh, how you have exceeded my expectations. I love you more today than I did 6 years and almost 1,500 posts ago.

Thanks to all of you that read my ramblings here. I so greatly appreciate each and every one of you. I know many of you don't comment and secretly lurk, but I still thank you. I hope that one day, you feel brave enough to come out of hiding and say hi.

Randomness....I have hives. Tonight I made PW's meatloaf wrapped in bacon. I really hope the two aren't related 'cause I want some more for lunch tomorrow.
The end.

September 22, 2010

hyperventilating inducing

I have claustrophobia. Have since I was little.
I hate tube slides at playgrounds, water parks and amusement parks.
I hate caves like the Injun Joe caves on Tom Sawyer's Island in Disney World.
Spelunking sound like absolute torture. Nothing could be worse.
I don't like being pinned down or held down so I can move.
Even typing about it makes me a little freaked out.

Cue Buried...

Yipes! It look so hyperventilating inducing that I just can't wait. Sweet.

ps...The Bro saw the premiere of Buried at Sundance in January. He also got to see the yummy Ryan Reynolds. Both were delightful in his opinion.

September 21, 2010

tucked in bed

And now...

I have a cold. Yes, a lovely stuffy nose, scratchy throat, bubble head.


I just can't win.

So, I went home and got a hug from my mommy and daddy.

Now I just need someone to come and sing "soft kitty" to me, and let me stay tucked in bed all day instead of going to work.

Being sick when you are an adult is no fun.

September 19, 2010

(source and I totally love this outfit)

My mental capacities are not at a place where I can write a proper post at this time.

You see, if I were to tell you what was actually on my mind at this time you would either:

a. run away and never come back here again

b. think I was a lunatic

c. feel instantly tired from the overload of information

d. shake your head in disbelief while laughing

So, I shall return when I:

Step 1: finally sleep at night. All the way through the night.

Step 2: stop feeling sick about 20 minutes after I eat. Every time I eat.

Step 3: end the crazy over abundance of thoughts running through my head

Step 4: get rid of the chest pains that inevitably come when I'm stressed. Stupid MVP.

Not to worry. It shall pass as it always does. And the extra time spent with the Lord in prayer and in the Word (the only medicine that helps) is always a good thing. I honestly think the evil one is having a grand old time right now. He's messing with me, but he won't win. Heck no, he won't win. Cause my God is bigger! pastor came back from his 3 month sabbatical today and said exactly (Is. 30:15) what I needed to hear. My small group study, "get ready in the morning" podcast and quiet time scripture all "just so happened" to go together this week. "Just so happened...."

September 18, 2010

Good morning, sunrise. We meet again on my walk to work.

September 17, 2010

I could go on and on with how busy I've been lately. I could drivel on about how things haven't been slow here since....I don't know.... February, maybe? But I won't. I could cry and whine and stomp my feet (which I have done in private), but I won't here where you can all judge me.

Instead, I'll share some links to things that have been encouraging to me lately....

1. Stefanie at Ni Hao Y'all is adopting again. That is nothing but exciting! She is how I found out about An Orphan's Wish. Her blog is soooo good.

2. God answered a big prayer over at A Place Called Simplicity. I just love, love, love this blog and this family.

3. Jesus Without Sin from Mark Driscoll. This went hand in hand with what I'm studying in my small group this semester.

4. This tweet from a TV boyfriend fave. Kuddos to him for sharing his faith on such an open forum.

5. And finally...something to make me smile and turn into a puddle of mush. Charlie on Pioneer Woman. I never ever get tired of posts about him.

September 15, 2010

no words...just music

Sometimes a well told story doesn't even need words. It just needs the perfect music.

Oh, how I love instrumental soundtracks.

September 14, 2010

one month left

(sweet Shannan, the little one I sponsor)

There is only about 1 month left in the 100 sponsors in 100 days event at An Orphan's Wish. I'm so excited that 5, yes five, of you have stepped out to help these dear little ones. Thank you from the very bottom of my orphan loving heart. I know each and every one of your precious kiddos are saying thank you too.

If you still want to get in on the fun and sponsor a cutie of your own, click here. If you sign up before the 100 event is over, you can get a free AOW shirt to share the love with everyone around you. Plus, you'll get those heart melting reports about your sponsored kiddo full of photos that make you melt into a puddle and wish to high heavens you could reach through the screen and kiss that face. What precious treasures they are...

What are you waiting for?

September 13, 2010

Queue is you

Here's the top 20 on my Netflix queue at the moment.

8 television
4 dramas
4 documentaries
1 foreign film
3 comedies

I always find it interesting to see lists in other people's lives. I think they say so much about the person. I appears I like TV way above any movie (duh). I also like serious films more than comedies.

What's on your queue right now? And does anyone want to come over and watch one of these with me?

September 12, 2010

I was listening to this today as I was getting ready for church and then in the car to Target. It was full of things I need to hear at this moment in life.

Here are a few quotes I wrote down:

"The vision for your life doesn't begin with you. It begins with God."

"God doesn't exist to read the lines that you and I write for our life."

"Accept the life that God has given you and do your best."

It is so easy to become depressed and frustrated with where I am in life when I compare myself with others.

I'm not married (and I want to be).
I haven't adopted any children (and I want to so badly).
I don't do anything exceptionally well, just lots of things mediocre.
I can't write or draw or sew or take photos or speak well.

All these things can drive me insane. I think of myself as very small and insignificant and just silly. My life here at camp seems very quaint and almost a waste. I get frustrated and bored and burnt out. Life turns very inward focused and oh, so dangerous.

I need that reminder that life isn't about me. It's about living a life that is pleasing to God. It's about honoring Him with the things He places before me and loving the life He has given. It's about comparing myself to a broke, homeless, betrayed, single guy who was murdered. Jesus.

And when I look at it that way, my life is full of joy. It is full of wonderful friends who love me. It is full of a warm home with a nice soft bed. It is full of the view of the river at sunset each night. It is full of a family that I adore. It is full of immense opportunities to share the love of Christ with 100's of children and dozens of college kids. It's full of chances to disciple people and love people and be outward focused.

I am blessed beyond measure in this life I live.

A great reminder lesson. Download the podcast (or read it). It's a great reminder of where our focus needs to be...

September 11, 2010


I will never forget.

September 10, 2010

bright side

I've had a horrid headache all evening.

I went to a funeral today.

No green smoothie two days in a row.

My to-do list (that needs to be completed before the end of the month) seems to grow longer and longer.


But, I get to hang out with one of my dearest friends tomorrow (long over-due).

We are going to one of the coolest parts of a nearby city for a crafty/indie/vintagey/outside festival.

There is a bright side to everything.

Plus, I was introduced to this song today via a favorite blog.

September 09, 2010


I've been longing for an adventure lately.

Wake up somewhere new, knowing that the entire day was devoted to exploring.

Eat new foods.

See new places.

Make new friends.

Learn new things.

Just a chance to break away from the monotony of every day life.

sigh....adventure is calling....

September 08, 2010


Random thoughts to go with this photo:

1. I miss my brother just as much as I did when he moved away 17 months ago. It doesn't get any easier.

2. Gossip Girl starts next week. Bring on the ridiculous story lines and Chuck Bass!

3. I really love tourist double decker bus tours. I've done this in so many cities that it's embarrassing...

4. I made Pioneer Woman Mocha Brownies. Oh. My. Dear. Goodness.

5. Sometimes I still can't believe I met PW.

6. I've had writer's block for a week now. It's driving me insane.

September 07, 2010

books that have changed my life

  1. The Bible
  2. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
  3. Quest for Love by Elisabeth Eliott
  4. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
  5. The Love Languages of God by Gary Chapman
  6. Joseph by Charles Swindoll
Each had a severe impact at a significant point in my life. The thoughts and lessons learned from them still pop up in my mind on an almost daily basis. God used each one to teach me a deep truth.

A few honorable mentions that aren't necessarily books...
  1. Just about any song written by Steven Curtis Chapman or one of the dozen concerts of his that I have attended.
  2. Katie's Amazima blog

I'm sure I've forgotten a few, but these are the ones that come to mind constantly.

What are yours?

September 06, 2010

i ♥

I heart Anthony Bourdain. No Reservations is one of those shows that I can watch in marathon style. Hour after hour. Never get bored. I think I've seen just about every episode. At least once.

He seriously has the best job in the world. new Dream job. Even he thinks so.

One of my biggest moments of jealousy with my brother working at Sundance (other than that time he saw Zach Braff....but we won't go into that....) was when he got to have lunch with Anthony Bourdain. I was literally gripping my phone and screaming at the text he sent informing me of this jealousy inducing information.

I just think he is so fascinating. Opinionated, well spoken and hilarious. I wish so desperately that I loved food as much as he does. Not to mention travel to the places that he gets to.

If you have never been introduced to the wonder of No Reservations, you can catch it on the Travel Channel. There are also some episodes available on DVD.

Anyone else love Tony? What are you favorite episodes?

September 05, 2010

end the summer

(fabulous backstage MM images by RS)

I've been away from the online world for most of the weekend. It's been good. Need that every once in a while 'cause it is so highly addicting for me.

Yesterday was spent at parties with family and friends. Then we had our annual Labor Day weekend fireworks show on our river. The guy/organization that puts them on likes doing them later in the year instead of on the 4th because the crowds are so horrid on our tiny peninsula when everyone tries to watch the same fireworks show. Traffic = nightmare on the 2 lane road that is the only way in and out.

I'm fine with that. 30 minutes of colors and explosions on a nice cool evening. Sitting on the pier. Chatting with friends. A ton of boat lights twinkling on the river.

Could there be a better way to end the summer?

September 04, 2010

Opinion #247

The Patriot is a fantastic movie.

I cry every freakin' time.

Plus, John Williams is the composer.

The end.

September 03, 2010

heart wrenching thing

Can I tell you one of the heart wrenching things in the world? I experienced it for the first time right before I left for vacation. It may seem so simple, but I promise you I teared up about 10 times and gulped back a sob or two.

The little girl I sponsor through An Orphan's Wish turned one last month. I wanted to send her a card, so I went searching for one in Target. Now, you wouldn't think that buying a birthday card for a one year old would induce tears, but, dear goodness, it did.

Imagine with me, if you will, what the inside of a birthday card says. Something like this....

"hope your year is full of happiness and love"
"may you be surrounded by the love of your family"
"grow big and strong and always know you are loved"
"since the very first day we met you, we knew you were special"
" you are loved. you are unique. you are beautiful."
"happy birthday from your family who loves you very much"

See? Every single one of those things may never be heard by a child in an orphanage. They may never have the love of a family. They may never be told they are beautiful, special, created by a loving God. Their year may not be filled with love and happiness and laughter.

I'm so very thankful that Shannan is the clubfoot unit at AOW because I know that she is being told those things. I know that she is surrounded by people who genuinely love her even though they are not her forever family. She is being told that she is beautiful and special and loved.

But what if she wasn't? What if she was somewhere else? Tears are welling up now just thinking about her never experiencing love from someone. Her birthday would go by and no one would care that she was another year older. There would be no hugs or kisses or extra special bedtime stories and snuggles.

I thought about my niece and nephew (above). They are showered with love from the second they wake up. And if they happened to be around Nana or Pop Pop or Autie, look out! They will be smothered in hugs and kisses even more so. They know, more than anything in their lives at this point, that they are loved. It's the reason so many of the photos I have of them are full of smiles. They are hope-filled, loved, happy kids.

So, when I finally found a card that would work for the special little one that I was celebrating, I was very precise in my note to her inside. "You are loved. Your are special. You are important." All things that I hope and pray that she might have felt on her special day. All things that I pray she hears whispered to her by a forever family one day.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through An Orphan's Wish, click here. It could change the life of a little orphan in China forever.

September 02, 2010

hold on, Surf City

Here was the cute beach house we stayed in during our relaxing vacation a few weeks ago. There's nothing quite as lovely as a house on the beach, is there?

It had sliding glass doors in every bedroom. Mine was the bottom right. I could lay on my bed and watch the ocean. It was heaven...

The area where our house is, is nothing but beach houses lined up down the sand. Long wooden decks creeping down the sides of the sand dunes. We could set our umbrellas out and just leave them all day.

We'd go down every morning for an hour or two. Play in the water, ride the waves, look for sharks teeth, build sand castles. Then we'd get hungry. Walk back to the house. Eat. The kids would nap. We would read or play games. Then the kids would wake up and we'd go back out and play in the water for a little longer until dinner.

The water was 89 degrees. Warm and wonderful. The waves were light and super fun to bob up and down on.

Just look how close we were to the water. And this was low, low tide.

We would drink ice tea on the decks and read. The kids could play and the dog could run because there was a latched gate at the bottom.

And it even had an out door shower (behind the door on the far right). Perfect for rinsing off and getting all that sand out of hard to reach spaces, especially with little ones who liked to roll in the sand....

Its was lovely little house. And right now it is ground zero for Hurricane Earl. Our beach vacation spot is now evacuated and boarded up.
While we were down there we were noting the hurricane shutters on many of the houses and discussing how it had been a while since a big one had hit that area. Little did we know that it would only be 2 weeks later.

Hold on Surf City....we'd love to come back again one day....

September 01, 2010

little munkins

Flickr problem....solved. Evidence above. Just look at those two little munchkins. Living far away from them is torture. Torture, I tell you...