Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm Married!

Here I am, a married woman.

Just a little over two weeks into married life. It seems almost everyday someone else is asking me how the wedding was, how the honeymoon was, how much do I love married life?

I love it, in case you were wondering.

Even in the frustrating moments - because they don't last long, and his hugs make up for it and then some. (I'm a hugger.)

We're learning, as all newlyweds do. Learning each other, learning habits, learning how to communicate. Though, I must say, that almost two years of almost nothing but communicating, we have the upperhand in that court. Not perfect, but doing pretty well.

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Sunday morning I was simultaneously getting ready for church, eating breakfast, folding laundry, cleaning up dishes... and I felt so wife-y.

I keep bouncing back and forth between feeling like this is so normal, and feeling like this is so new and what I need to work on. And then I'm reminded that I can't do very much at all compared to the work that He can do within me. Which leads me to praying that He would help make me do better at this, and be better about doing that, etc.

I don't feel like we are in the "honeymoon" stage of married life still (yes, I know it's only been two weeks), but life just started happening when we got back. Nothing too horrible or unbearable, but it hasn't been just rainbows and giggles (well, except there has been a lot of giggles) in the Freeman residence. But, we're real. We're here. We're married. We're doing life, trying to figure out all the curveballs.

That same Sunday, our church did more of an acoustic-like worship service... the last song they played: 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. This song was played on the piano at our wedding while we poured our unity sand and took communion together. I've heard the song on the radio countless times since our wedding. But, not just the piano version. Radio version and piano version are different. I started crying. The tears I expected on our wedding day (that didn't show up) came out during that song. My entire wedding day was flashing through my mind as the song played and I tried to sing along.

Happy, thankful tears. Because in spite of the frustrations or small arguments, I was standing next to the man I loved; my best friend, worshipping our wonderful Heavenly Father, and it hit me again... I'm married.


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We are starting a new blog. I probably won't be updating much on here, if ever. Follow us and our shenanigans at freemanfollies.wordpress.com :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Skewed Perfection.

I have been reminded many times this week about how broken of a world we live in today. Affairs and divorce – by Christians and Christian leaders both, skewed views of submission and control in relationships, shooting rampages, on and on.

The first few instances that I heard were saddening, but the more the week went on, and the more horrible things I heard happening, the more I wanted to ask God about what is going on in our world. Bad things happen all the time, some I don't hear about, some I do and they don't even phase me. But, it seemed this week that I caught news of things that shocked and deeply saddened me.

I couldn't help but wonder if God was trying to tell me something. Not that He had these things happen to try and tell me something, but I think He made sure I saw/heard about these situations. I'm not entirely sure what He's trying to tell me, but one thing crossed my mind as I was reading this morning.

We live in an unperfect world where perfection is often expected.

We're expected or want to have perfect relationships, be perfect at our job, have the perfect body, the perfect family. We don't like messiness or mistakes. A large part of this is a skewed expectation or perception from society, but often we place this on ourselves too.

I am guilty of doing this - in many area's of my life, but especially in looks. I do not want a perfect body, the one's plastered in magazine's and such. But, to be honest, I'm not happy with my body right now. I want in the middle somewhere.

I read Psalm 139 earlier, where it talks about His workmanship, and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made - in His image. What really caught my attention after reading that, was the footnotes at the bottom of the page, "We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us."

At first, I thought, I'm respectful - I don't wear skanky clothes, I eat healthy and exercise fairly often, etc. But, then I thought, if someone else came up and told me the things I tell myself – I would consider them rude and disrespectful, and probably run off crying. What a change of perspective.

I read this blog earlier this week, and am grateful that I'm not the only one alone in this struggle. When Katie wrote, "We spend our lives pretending this isn’t something that consumes our minds!" I thought of 2 Cor. 10:5, that says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I feel so convicted with that verse, knowing that my thoughts are not parallel to His thoughts about me, nor is God probably pleased with those thoughts. Satan's arguments and claims are against what God says and knows about us – that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I have to daily take Satan's lies captive, and replace them with the Truth.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ready or Not.

Yesterday, I was asked if I was ready.

"For the wedding? or marriage?"

Both.

Am I ready?

Are all the wedding preparations ready? Not quite.
Am I ready to have my wedding? YES.

I know sometimes women are more interested in planning a wedding than actually being married. Not the case with me. Don't get me wrong, I want a wedding. I'm excited about my wedding. I've enjoyed all this wedding planning (or most of it). But, that's not what I was longing for, before I got engaged. I want the marriage. I want to "do life" with my best friend.

Am I ready for marriage?

I don't know, I've never been married...
I heard it's similar to "are you ready to have kids?" No one is ever ready for that, apparently.

I would like to think that I'm ready. That I'm mentally and emotionally prepared for what I've heard is the most sanctifying and challenging things someone can go through in life.

Yeah. That sentence just intimidated me a little. How am I supposed to be "ready" for that?

But, this is the next chapter, season, step, etc. that God has called us too. And He doesn't send you into something without equipping you.

I'm not sure how well I will do at fulfilling wife-y duties like cleaning and cooking dinner. I don't know how good of a mom I will be whenever that happens.

But, I'm ready to see Aaron on a daily basis, through the good and bad. I'm ready to be frustrated at times, laugh uncontrollably at others, make big decisions, make memories.

I'm ready to be a wife and a best friend, day in and day out.  Nervous, but ready.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Whirlwind.

I've been meaning to sit and write for awhile now, but as will be evidenced by this blog post... life has been a whirlwind lately.

I feel like two weeks ago I was sitting in my apartment, crying, being impatient and full of worry about my future. This past spring was rough. I was away from my fiancé, didn't think I was ever going to find a job, stressed about school and my future, etc.

Fast forward to the present.

Here I am, sitting in a (mostly) wonderful apartment. I'm an intern at a contemporary and completely awesome church in Atlanta. I'm getting married in 44 days. I have a full-time job starting August 1st - and not just any job, a dream job.

In late April, I felt convicted about my prayer life. I wrote about this before, but I felt like God was telling me that I needed to start praying more specifically. Not just the, "God, you know what's going on... please help" kind of prayers. Specific prayers that ask big things of our big God, that require being backed by a lot of belief.

I just want to show you a little timeline. Because, this is not the timeline I really wanted or had in mind, but God knew it was going to happen this way the entire time.

On April 21st, I started praying specifically (and asking for others to pray) that I would find/get a job on my birthday. My birthday is April 24th. I knew He could make it happen, if it was supposed to happen.

April 23rd - I had a phone interview (of sorts) with a church in Atlanta. Very promising talk, about a job that was perfect for me.

Few weeks pass, no second interview, no solidified word from the church.

On May 9th, I was offered a paid design internship at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, where Andy Stanley preaches. Having no other job offers, and realizing that this was an awesome opportunity, I took it.

I left my home of four years in Texas and drove across the U.S. on May 16th, arriving in my new home the next day. 640 days of being apart from Aaron, and I was finally here. Luckily, I had awhile before my internship started, so I could find a place to live and move in.

One week later, on May 24th, we found our first place. Technically, it's mine this summer, since Aaron is not staying here, but it will be OURS in 44 days.

The next few weeks involved lots of changes. Adjusting to my new home, unpacking, finding doctors, storage units, banks, etc. Lots of to-do lists, but lots of fun as well.

On June 21st, I had an interview with the same church that talked to me in April (and really, our conversation began way back in February). Two hours after my interview, they called and offered me the job. (Notice both 21st's?)

It has been crazy, as you can see. And, my apartment is not even fully "complete"... all that really needs done is hanging of some frames and such, just small things. And here I was thinking I would have all this ample free time to be bored this summer... but every night, I wonder how it gets to be 11.

Moral of the story: God is faithful beyond belief. I am still amazed today at how everything has fallen into place so perfectly. I keep telling myself to remember this, because I know sometime again I will be stressed or worried about the future... but my life in the past two months is a prime example of God's provision. I have no reason (and never have) to doubt Him.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tuttle Angel.

A week ago today, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that my grandmother had just passed away. This was a lot harder to do from 1200 miles away, with no friends around (and Aaron an hour away).

So thankful that God worked it out with flights (cost and schedule), and being able to take off work. My bosses were so kind to let me have off as much time as I needed. I know I would have regretted not going, nor would have I gotten the closure.

I saw some family that I hadn't seen in a few years, which was also nice - even though I wish it had been under different circumstances. It hit me as we drove up to my grandma's house for the first time, to see my parents, and realize that my grandma was not going to be inside.

I heard a story last week about a family that had prayed and prayed for the mom to be healed of cancer, and when she died, the son realized that she had been healed. She went to be with her Heavenly Father, free of pain and sickness. Just like my grandma. My grandma did not die from cancer, it was kind of a sudden death. She had been dealing with heart problems, thyroid problems, diabetes, among numerous other health issues. She was always a fighter.

Over the course of the last few days, I heard nothing but good things about my grandma. She raised her kids right, instilled good values, loved the Lord and her huge family - 9 kids (and spouses), 23 grandchildren (with some spouses), and 19 great-grandchildren.

Throughout college, at Bible studies and such, I heard about and studied about a Proverbs 31 woman. That passage was read during the service on Thursday, and it brought tears to my eyes because I realized how incredibly true it was in my grandma's life. She embodied that passage.

This is going to sound cliché, but it is entirely true. I hope that I am as good of a wife, mother, grandmother and friend as my grandma was in her life. Everyone knew she loved the Lord, without her ever pushing it on you. Just the way she acted and loved on everyone showed God's character.

What was more upsetting was seeing her kids having to deal with so much, and trying to imagine losing my own mother. Yes, I am/was sad about my grandma's death, but it brings me joy (and makes me a liiiiittle jealous) that she is in the arms of Jesus right now. I'm not sure if I believe if she can see or hear us, because I think all she is doing is praising her Heavenly Father. I know she is free of pain and disease, and her life has just begun.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Overcoming.

At the end of April, I realized I had rarely prayed specifically for things. I was getting closer to moving and needing to find a job, so what better circumstance to ask God for specific things. As I was telling some friends in my life about the specific prayer request (that needed to happen in three days), one told, "Belief is a big part of that."

It sounds so obvious, but I was so convicted upon realization of how I may not have been believing. It wasn't that I was praying with the mindset of, "I don't know if God will really do this..." or questioning God, but it wasn't full belief. I wasn't praying with the mindset of, "God, You are sovereign. I know that you can do this. I believe that you will do this if it's in Your will."

But, now I am.

God has answered so many requests and desires over these past few weeks. I am continually in awe of His provision, even in the smallest of things that aren't even that important - like having a laundry room.

So, to make all of this come full circle, last night I stumbled upon Mark 9:23, "What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes.

The next verse goes on to say, The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

At first, I thought, I don't have unbelief. I believe in Christ, I believe in the gospel. But, how many times have I doubted God? I can't even imagine trying to count the number of times in my life, but just over the last few months? I'm thankful for the people in my life that were encouraging me to keep praying, keep hoping, not to give up. But, I would be lying if I said there were not several moments of doubt in my mind as I got closer to moving, and still didn't have a job or a place to live.

My hope is that I daily see God's hand at work in my life, or around me... that I become more aware of Him, to overcome every shred of doubt.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The In-Between.

Well, here I sit, amongst piles of my belongings and unpacked boxes. In front of me sits a bicycle in two parts, my baby book, and a new pack of knives. On one side of me is fingernail polish, the other side, my huge wall canvas protected by a large black trash bag.

I am in the in-between.

I am halfway unpacked, waiting for my fiancé to appear again so we can decide how to decorate and arrange our future home. I have a home, but I'm not settled in.... I'm in between.

My last day of work was 25 days ago. I start my new job tomorrow. I thought these few weeks in Georgia between arrival and when I started my job would be boring. Wrong. I feel like I got here last week. I can't even remember everything I've done since arriving here in Georgia. Thankful that this "in between" piece ends tomorrow.

I had a lot of plans and ideas in my head as to how life was going to look these past few weeks. A few months ago, I thought I would find a full-time job, move into a two-bedroom apartment or small house, find a new home church and join a community group to make friends. That's not exactly what's happening... and when I say not exactly, I mean pretty much none of that happened. I did find a part-time job, and am searching for a second. I did find a pretty great one-bedroom apartment, that has awesome things like a fitness center on campus. I think we have decided North Point will be our new home church, the preaching and worship are both great.

But, I can't join a community group yet. They have a special time twice a year for creating groups, and the next one isn't until August. Which will work great, because then Aaron and I can join a group together. But, that leaves me... in-between. No friends. No community. I will come home at three everyday to my empty apartment, and no one to hang out with. Yes, I have Aaron, that I will see (hopefully) a few times a week, but he cannot and should not be my only friend.

Not a lot of luck yet on finding a second part-time job either. Part of me wants the job to help pay the bills. The other part of me wants the job so I have something to do besides sit alone at home, and maybe I can make a friend or two. I realize I have only been in this town for about a week, and these things take some time. But, if nothing changes, it's looking to be a lonely summer.

It's still setting in that this is home. This is now my permanent address. For the past four years, I had my school address and my permanent address. Home. It feels temporary right now. I think I have been waiting and longing for this so long, that now it's here and it feels surreal still. A small, small part of me wants to go back to Texas. Not because it's Texas, but because it was comfortable, familiar, easy. I had friends. I had a place that felt like home.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Georgia so far. I love living in the city. But, I hate being in the in-between. It's a lot like having plans in limbo. I like to have things planned out, not waiting for things to happen. I am in-between jobs, in-between friends... in-between single and married. God has already provided so much - a job, a place to live, my fiancé. Clinging to Hebrews 10:23 in this in-between time, "...for He who promised is faithful."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Home!

I have a place to live. Today, we signed the lease for our future home. For the next 80-some odd days, I will live there alone, preparing our home for August. After August 18th, Aaron will move in. We are one step closer to being together.

It's kind of surreal. A week ago today, I left Texas. I left my "home" of four years. The place I knew, that I loved. A place of familiarity and comfort, now behind me. Soon, I will be zipping around Atlanta, doing this and that - it will be my new familiar.

Two weeks ago, I was worrying about finals and grades, anticipating graduation. Now here I am, getting renter's insurance, finding new doctors, trying to find furniture. Crazy whirlwind, and although it's had it's frustrating points - it's been exciting.

The best part has been having my best friend/fiancée beside me, not 1200 miles away. Part of me wanted to already have a place set when I came here, to have something set in stone. But, I loved going through the process together... sitting at the table, signing papers, making one of our first big decisions together.

Even better than that, is seeing how greatly God has provided - in even the smallest of ways. (See my last post for how that happened with the job search.) When looking for a place to stay, we wanted first and foremost - something that was not a dump, and in our price range. We wanted to be wise with our incomes and honor God with how we manage our money. Next was washer and dryer connections IN the unit, I didn't want to deal with hauling laundry somewhere like I have for the past four years. Where we're staying, we have a BIG laundry room, plus a sunroom, and a fireplace. This is not just an apartment, like what I lived in the past two years... it's going to be a home.

A home with my husband.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finally.

I'm here.

I'm finally in Georgia.


It hit me last night, as I was laying in bed, that I don't have to leave in a few days. I'm here for good. I don't have to tell Aaron good-bye. I was overwhelmed with joy, and gratitude. I cried tears of joy.

I have been waiting to be here for so long. I'm here, and it seems surreal.

Next week begins the long search of finding a place to live. Unfortunately, I don't think I (or, we) will be able to afford what I really want right away. And I don't mean a big ol' house. I am hoping for a small rent house or a townhome, but it doesn't look like that will happen. I am not completely opposed to apartment life, but I've done it - and I'm over it.

Wherever we live, it'll be good, because we'll be together (after we're married, that is). After 640 days of long-distance dating, I am here. And in 92 days, we'll be roommates. Where we live doesn't change that.

I am living the dream. I'm 22, engaged to be married, and employed by an awesome church.

God is so good.

Monday, May 14, 2012

One Step Closer.

Well, I got a job!

I am not an unemployed college graduate.


Oh yeah, and I graduated. Yesterday.
I am "in the real world," so to speak.

I'm going to be NorthPoint's new graphic design intern this summer. NorthPoint Ministries is located in Alpharetta, GA, and it's where Andy Stanley is the head pastor.

Although I wanted a full-time job more than just an internship, I am beyond thankful for this opportunity. The most amazing part (and I shouldn't be surprised) is that two of my dreams that formed themselves over the last year have come true. During one of my visits to Georgia, I was drawn to Alpharetta. I never really knew why, especially since I hadn't ever spent that much time there - almost none. But, every time we drove past a sign for Alpharetta, my heart would skip a beat and I would just think of how much I wanted to work or live there. Secondly, for a long time I didn't know where I wanted to work. People asked if I had a certain type of place I wanted to work at, eventually I "narrowed" it down to a church, a publication, or an agency - in that order.

Did you remember that I am now going to be working in a church, in Alpharetta? I wasn't even pursuing any church in Alpharetta that much, even though it was something I really wanted. I saw this internship, thought it seemed like a great opportunity, and sent in my resume. Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't reach out to more churches in Alpharetta... I just kept desperately searching, and sent out resumes to open jobs. God is so good to know the desires of my heart, even when I lose sight of them sometimes.

The next hurdle is finding a place for me to live. Apartments are always an option, but I really want a rent house. I've done apartment life, and not to say that I can't keep doing it, but I love the idea of our own little place. A place where I can't hear the neighbors talking through the walls. A place where I can paint the walls. A place where I don't have to worry about what I use to hang things on the walls. I will live alone this summer, until after August 18th, and then Aaron will move in. We will be husband and wife, and start our life together.

The Lord is never late. I may have felt like He was cutting things close, but He knew exactly what He was doing. I know He didn't want to just give me an ol' job, but the job. It's only a summer internship, so in July I will start having to look for another job to start in August. But, who knows where this internship will take me...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Next Chapter.

I live in a cardboard world, or at least that's what it feels like lately.

I would say about half my apartment is already packed up in boxes right now. I've gotten rid of (either thrown away or donated) a bunch of random junk/crap that I've accumulated, and it's very refreshing.

Packing has made this "next chapter" in my life all the more real. I need to downsize because it won't be just my place, but it will be our place in a few months. Things I crafted over the years (that I'm not even sure why I kept) seem to be the most common discarded item the last few days.

I think the scariest part of packing has been the uncertainty.

I can't tell myself to pack because I'm moving to Georgia to become a designer at .....

I tell myself to pack because I'm moving to Georgia without a place to live or a job, quite possibly the scariest and most ambitious thing I've done. And, when I say quite possibly, I mean definitely.

I feel like I'm living in two different worlds right now, as I'm studying frantically for finals  and worrying about moving companies and finding a career.

I am not a last-minute person. I once turned in a project three weeks early. I started job searching in September, and with more intensity this semester. In my heart, I know that my God always comes through, at just the right time - and He's never late. But, my head does not like this uncertainty.

I am waiting expectantly for things to fall in place as only the way God would have it. But, my patience is wearing thin, and it's a daily struggle to fight against frustration and anxiety.

I know there are several people praying that I find a job soon (and a place to live after that...), to which I am incredibly grateful. It seems everyday someone else has found a job, and I know soon I will be able to say God answered more prayers. 

I just read an article that said 50% of graduates are unemployed after graduation, and live in their parents basement.

So, what am I doing after graduation?
Trusting God.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dream Campaign.

Via Twitter a few months ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with my new friend, Morgan. We are sisters in Christ who have many, many things in common. It is so comforting to know that I already have one friend (and sister) waiting for me in Atlanta. I am so encouraged by the work she does and her walk with Christ.

It would mean so much to her, and me, if you checked out her Dream Campaign. But more than that, it would mean a LOT to these kids. Think of how attainable these goals are, things that we may take for granted.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Birthday and Friends.

I am normally jinxed with birthdays - I have been for years.

Friends bail on me, plans fall through, things happen.

This year, besides the usual work and school going on, I'm trying to find a job, a place to live, pack, planning for our wedding, etc. So, my birthday went on the back burner.

My best friend Taylor told me the week before that her and another friend were going to take me out to dinner, and hang out after. I happily obliged.

I chose Joe Taco, as chips and queso are one of my favorite foods. Earlier in the day, I bought us some mini cupcakes to eat after dinner. You know, because I'm turning 22 and wanted cake on my birthday, and cupcakes were close enough.

As I opened the door to my apartment, I saw a streamer flutter in front of me. I thought, "oh, they hung streamers! ...wait, but we were at Joe Taco?" I peeked around my door, and saw two shadowy figures standing in the kitchen, and just as I was about to say, "whaaat..."

SURPRISE!

About 10 of my friends jumped out at me, scaring me half to death.

As the lights were turned on, I see my apartment is fully decorated, and there are tons of cookies and sweets in my kitchen..

Remember - I am jinxed with birthdays. Never had a real, decent party. Never been surprised (but always secretly wanted a surprise party)... and it was the one birthday that I was just going to not even make an effort towards!

We ate, talked and laughed. Some of my favorite people were all in the same place at once. I was actually having the birthday I've always wanted.

Taylor told me she just threw the party because she wanted my last birthday here to be extra special. I realized I'm going to miss these moments, but moreso these people.


I cannot even fully explain how much of a blessing my friends have been these last few years. To be honest, I think college was one of the first times I experienced real friendships. Friends that I can be transparent with, that I can be silly with, that I can cry with.

I wish I could take all my favorite people with me to Georgia.

To be honest, that's one of my fears... not having friends, not having community. Everyone tells me that I will have my fianceé to hang out with, which is all good and dandy - but I need other friends too. I'm a friend person. I need some girlfriends in my life.

It will happen, soon I will be having girl's nights and such. I know He will bring the people I need into my life, just as He has in the past.

Friday, April 13, 2012

You are enough.

I was the weird one growing up. The outsider. I've never been a size two. I've never followed the crowd.

If we're being honest, I struggle daily with self-esteem. My entire life, I was called ugly and fat. I was never good enough for boys, and my girl friends sometimes made me feel like I was too weird. Maybe I don't feel as much of that nowadays, as I used to in junior high and high school... but the struggle is still there.

One day, I just sat and tried to comprehend how Jesus loves me as I am, even with all my mistakes and flaws. It's so comforting, yet so hard to embrace that truth.

I love this article.

If I have a daughter, I don't want her to go through the same struggles I have... and I don't mean that I'm going to make her exercise until she's skinny. Regardless of her looks or talents, I want her to know that she is loved by the Creator of the universe. There is a beauty on the inside that is so much more important.

Whether she is good at sports or is a nerd, I want her to be grounded in the love and freedom in Christ - not to feel like she has to measure up to something for the rest of her life. My identity is found in Christ. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean Satan will stop trying to throw society's skewed views at us to try and tear us down.

As the author of the article said, we are so broken, we never will be enough... but Jesus loved us enough to give His life for us - regardless of our looks or talents.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Happening.

I think it's setting in.

I'm moving. across the country.
essentially, by myself.
even though I will have someone permanently with me in a few months.

oh yeah, that's setting in too.

I'm getting married.

I'm moving, and I'm getting married.


wait, there's a few pieces missing.

a job.
a place to live.

....... sorry, no details yet.
still waiting and praying.


Six saturday's.
That's all I have left here.
Four of which are already busy.

The week after my birthday is my last full week of class.

And then, I graduate.

Find a job, and a place to live, and get married.


I don't mean this to sound like I'm dreading it. Because I'm not in the slightest. I wish I was moving tomorrow. Even though, there is one part I'm dreading - being away from some of my favorite people. But it's worth it to be with my favorite person. My soon-to-be husband.

All of this is surreal right now. Things I have dreamt about for months and years is about to come true. I know it won't be perfect, it won't be easy, but what in life is?

I've begun packing too. Along with that equals extra trips to the dumpster. Part of me is reluctant in throwing things away, because I'm a hoarder and everything has a memory with it. Not that I'm getting rid of that many things, but I realize not everything really needs to go to Georgia.

It may be too late, but I think I am finally intentionally trying to soak up my time here. I've been told to do it all year, I've seen others posting about it online, and while I have thoroughly enjoyed this year, a part of me has been longing for the next step as well. But, part of me is not ready to leave yet... to leave the people. The things and the places can be replaced, it's the familiar faces I will miss.

I think part of me doesn't want to graduate yet because I don't have a plan. I always need a plan. I thrive on plans. I don't have a plan. I don't know what I will be driving towards as I travel cross country next month. I don't know if I will know even as I'm driving. Part of me wonders if God is holding out until the last week or so, to keep me motivated and here, while I'm here. God knows me well (obviously), and I think if I accepted a job tomorrow that I may lost all focus for the next few weeks. But, it would also help lower my stress level. :)

Until then, I continue to trust in His timing, because it sure isn't the same as my timing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Helvetica Project.


I don't think I'm more perfect than Helvetica, promise.
Just participating in an art project... check it out here!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

101 in 1001 - done!

Well, today is the end of my 101 in 1001 list! Crazy to think it's been 1001 days since I started this. Unfortunately, there were several things that didn't get checked off my list. 

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Run a 5k, roadtrip somewhere out of state to run another 5k, complete p90x -- well, due to knee surgery and foot problems at various times over the last three years, this did not get accomplished. But, I tried many times! 

Wear a dress to class five times -- well, I had written it down once, but I think it maybe happened twice. No real good reason for this except laziness :)

Go to Washington, D.C. and Austin -- I really wanted to go and see Ellie, and I've always wanted to see D.C. and Austin, but schedule and money got in the way :(

Study abroad, again -- again with the money and schedule.  

Have an A1C under 7%, keep a food log for two weeks, lose 15 pounds -- I got close on the first two, but no cigar. This will be an ongoing effort though!

Watch a live Texas Tech game -- had a few chances, but never happened. Oh well!


Go camping -- Texas isn't very ideal for camping, but I feel like this may happen after I get married :) 

For five months, take one day a month to do absolutely nothing -- I am way too busy to do this. But, for awhile I took one day off a week to relax... that only lasted awhile though.

Watch a scary movie -- I was never brave enough to try this one :)

Buy the Grey's Anatomy seasons -- who needs to buy them when you have Netflix? I still want the seasons though.

Call my sister once a month for six months -- schedule problems again.

Road-trip to at least three football games, fully paint my face at a football game -- I was way more into football when this list was made! I made it to one away game! Money and schedule, again. 

Don't wear a t-shirt (minus working out) for one week, wear my glasses (minus working out) for a week. -- I am such a t-shirt girl :) and love my contacts too much!

Only go to Wal-Mart once a week (unless for school supplies) for two months -- close, but no cigar. Living five minutes away for Wal-Mart is so convenient!

Ride my bike in PDC -- this was problematic since I don't have a truck to take it down there/no one to ride with!

Participate in at least one dorm "program" a month for a semester, participate in five new on-campus activities. -- my dorm didn't have good programs the year after I made this, and then I moved off campus. woops. college schedules are crazy, if you hadn't noticed.

Write Ellie a letter every other week for three months -- I got close, but failed as a pen pal :(

Join an intramural team -- I did this before I made the list, but never joined a team again.

Get a pedicure -- that'll happen right before I get married! ;)

Go one week without passing judgement aloud -- I'm sure this happened at some point, but I never kept track. Should have made a more asserted effort towards this :( 

Be able to bench press more than the bar -- I wanna say I did this at some point.

Do the 365 Day Project on Flickr, name a star after something/someone important, become certified in CPR, buy and be comfortable in a bikini -- one day these will happen....

Donate $5 to JDRF for every task not completed -- that's a lot of money... we'll see! haha!

Go go-cart racing -- maybe after I'm married, Aaron and I can find time to do this :)

Document pictures for each, finish this list and make another -- pictures for most, but making another... I think I'll make a bucket list instead :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Home Stretch.

Well, here I am... the home stretch. 55 days until I graduate from college.

The scary part is, I don't have anything "lined up" for my life in 56 days. As of this moment, I have no job and no where to live.

In 70 days, I will move to Georgia. 70 days. I will more than likely be there before that date, but that is the day all my schtuff will come in a moving truck.

This past week I made lots of cold calls, looked at apartments, took engagement pictures, planned some more of my wedding, spent time with my fiancé.  All things that I (mostly) enjoyed, and things that made this whole "growing up" thing a little more realistic.

The hardest part of it all is having to say, "I don't know" after people ask what I'm doing after graduation, or what I'm doing in Georgia. The best part is that God does. I heard on the radio tonight, a very cliché thought - in life sometimes we feel lost and want a GPS, and sometimes that translates to God's Provision Stands.

I am expecting and asking big things of a big God, who has always provided and who is sovereign. As my cousin said tonight on Facebook, God is not limited to our economy. He has promised to supply our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. [Phil. 4:19]


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pushing Through.

In high school, you couldn't pay me to run the 100 yard dash. Now, I love running and wish I had time to do it everyday. It clears my mind, and relaxes me.

I'm building back up my running time/distance. I hurt my foot last semester, and had knee surgery two years ago, so I have to ease myself into these things.

But, today I was on the treadmill and decided to run for five minutes. (Hey, I told you I have to start off slow...) and sadly, the last two minutes were torture. I wanted to stop so badly, my legs were starting to burn. Of course, I started pep talkin' myself, because there's always a point where the run starts becoming mental. I told myself to push through.

And while I'm thinking over a million different things in my head, I kind of smiled to myself at the thought of pushing through. High school was rough. College had it's rough points – and no matter the duration, they were rough.

But, I kept pushing through. I'm almost done. I'm about to graduate college, and get married.

Not that graduating and getting married will solve all of my world's problems, in fact it will probably bring on more. But, I know how to push through.

I came to college and had my fair share of bad roommates.
I dealt with a broken heart,
losing close friends,
fighting with people I love,
dealing with injuries,
on and on.

At times, it felt like I couldn't catch a break. But, I don't give up easily.

I can honestly think of one time that I've ever wanted to quit something – high school cheerleading.

I've found myself in some problematic or frustrating situations over the years, but I never wanted to quit – I wanted to fix it. I wanted to change things. I wanted to make things right, or go back in time.

By the time this thought process was over, I had ten seconds left in my run. Pushing through things usually requires concentrating on something else – like God. Putting my focus on Him got me through some of the toughest things over the past few years, even running.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wait and See.

The next six months of my life are going to be anything but boring.

Graduating from college.
Moving to Georgia.
Getting married.

Not to mention that before I move to Georgia, I really need to find a job. And, before getting married, we will have to have a place to live.

Finding a place to live is not as scary to me as finding a job. There are plenty of apartment complexes – and if I have to live in a less than ideal place for a few months... at least I'll have a roof over my head, right?

In my dream world, I will find a job next week. From there, find a place for me to live a few months until Aaron moves in after we're married.

If I'm being honest, a part of me is nervous. I told someone today about all my "big life changes" that will soon happen. I finished with, "the fun part is - I don't have a job or a place to live as of right now." I move in 86 days, if not sooner.

The other part of me is confident and excited. I keep recalling Ephesians 3:20 - "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Things may not be perfect, or happen in the timing I want, but I have a feeling that when I look back eight months from now... I will see how God orchestrated everything to work together.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February Trip.

Dear Fiancé,

Well, you sure started the trip off quite well. You surprised me (even when I said it would be hard to do so!), and now we're engaged! We're getting married!!


Could it get any better after that? Hardly. Haha, but it did. We always have a good time. Remember getting me a DDP before my interview so I would calm down? Then, afterwards, I had to change into less formal clothes in a gas station bathroom. We took the MARTA (it's probably weird how much I enjoy doing that) to Midtown to meet up with new friends.


Now I can say I've been jay-walking in Atlanta! And, we tried a new restaurant, so we got an early start on our to-do list. Maybe next time I'll try something more adventurous than a Turkey BLT, because I hardly consider that to be New Orleans-type cuisine.

It took me 21 years, but I finally went to the circus! Sorry that little girl threw up on you :) But, we have to go back next year when there's dragons and whatever else they said would be there!


If we continue to make impromptu breakfast trips to Waffle House, we are never going to get into shape. Maybe if we limit it to once a month, because I find it fun in it's own little way. Maybe it's just because you're there.

I'm so proud of how productive we were, we got a lot of wedding planning (or brainstorming, I should say) done. Remember that time we were so in the zone of planning that we rode the MARTA an extra 20 minutes on the wrong train? Yeah, let's not do that again.

Even though I am not a fan of Valentine's Day, I do enjoy your family's tradition of the Valentine's Day dinner. If we start our own though, the dish must be something without ham... please. :) And, seeing The Vow was fun, that's only the second or third movie I've seen in three years. You are such a bad influence on me, sir.

I really hate those early morning flights. Being at the airport before 5 a.m. makes for an extremely long day. It should be illegal to say good-bye that early. But, it won't be happening again... hopefully, ever. Because, we're getting married. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Proposal!

I woke up at 6:15, more awake than any other day - only because I knew I was going to Georgia that day. Got ready, triple checked my packing and headed off to the airport.

There were no delays, and I got a good window seat on each flight. Flying into Denver was a beautiful sight of clouds and mountain tops. I met a couple in the airport from Portland, that has a daughter who is a graphic designer there, and a son in Georgia. On the flight to Atlanta, I had a conversation with the lady next to me during the whole flight - we talked about everything and anything. And once again, the sky was stunning flying into Atlanta. It could not have been a more perfect day of travel, and much better than my last experience in the airport.


I came up the escalator, to see Aaron standing in the crowd of people, holding a Diet Dr. Pepper :) We hopped on the Marta train to get back to his car, just glad to be reunited. Of course, one of the first things we talked about - where are we eating dinner? (He knows me so well.) And, as always, we chose Panda Express. To our luck, there was a Menchie's ice cream place riiiight next door.


We drove home, listening to our favorite songs. He had told me a few days before, to bring a dress - but wouldn't tell me why. So, we got home, and he told me to change before coming downstairs. I changed, grabbed his valentine's day gift, and headed down.


When I opened the door, I stood there with my mouth open. I looked down the stairwell to see purple string strung from corner to corner, with pictures of Aaron and I, letters I've written, things I've sent him... all hung every few inches. Not to mention, there were lights placed along the edge of the stairs. The string continued around the corner, and led into the living room.


I reached the final stair, and my jaw just continued to drop. The string was going in every direction around the room, latched in door knobs, hooks, etc. still covered in pictures and letters. There was a cut-out of the state of New Mexico, Texas and Georgia hanging on the wall. Each with a picture near it that was taken in the state.... and the string ended in Georgia. :) [blurry, because I was shaking with excitement afterwards.]


Below the states, was the table filled with candles, among other things. For his birthday last May, I sent him 80-some fortunes, one to read each day until he saw me next. Over the course of this last summer, I sent him a few puzzle pieces with every letter - all the pieces were scattered on the table. All the pieces together formed the lyrics to "Forget Me Not" by the Civil Wars, that I had printed out and cut up. The journal that tells our entire story was in the middle, plus books we've read over the course of our relationship.


I finally managed to walk over to him, handed him his gift (which he just set aside, haha!). He pointed out a few special things around the room, turned on the TV, which said "Forget Me Not" :) And asked me to dance, "I even found the video for the song." which turned out to be just pictures of us. So, we danced to the song...

...and then, it ended. He told me he loved me, some other sweet words, and said, "I'm tired of living life without a helper." [Genesis 2:18] to which I agreed. :) Then, he reached into his pocket - at which, I thought, he is not doing this... - and got down on one knee, asking me to marry him.

Through all our conversations about our future, he had always told me that nothing was happening until graduation. In the very beginning of our friendship, I had made a comment about how guys are not usually creative - oh, how he has proved me wrong so many times. And, one time over the last several months, I made the comment about how I'm hard to surprise - oh, how he proved me so wrong that night!

The ring is perfect - which is what every bride-to-be says - but really, it is perfect for us. We have a lot of 8's in our relationship (dates on the 8, or is a factor of 8, has an eight in - we've been dating for 18 months!) which, is also the infinity sign. When I had seen this ring online, I loved it, because it has the infinity in it. I looked at and liked so many rings, but this one is perfect.


I just stared at him, and asked if he was kidding. It felt like a dream, I was almost sure that I was imagining it all, or it was a (very cruel) joke. It was in fact, not a joke. So, we ran upstairs and told his mom. We called (and called, and called...) people, texted people, finally made it "Facebook official" and just tried to soak it all in for the rest of the night. It took me forever to fall asleep.

We don't have anything 100% decided yet, but many ideas :) I won't post anything until it's official, and it'll be on our wedding website whenever that finally gets made. Thank you all for your encouragement and support!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do you believe in "the one"?

I don't know how many people read this, or if any of you will actually comment... but after a discussion last night, this has been on my mind all day.

Do you think there is ONE person for you in the world? Or, are you of the belief that there are a few/several people out there for you, but because of life's path... you end up with this or that person?

I do not fully side with either belief, mostly because I'm human, and my mind can't comprehend all of God's works. God, on the other hand, is outside of time.

With all of the people in the world, is it really possible for there to be only one person? Some say it seems impossible. But, is God not powerful and sovereign enough to arrange a divine encounter of you and a specific person?

There's also the issue of free will.

But, the way I see it - if there is more than just "the one" for you, that makes it seem like God has Plan A, B, C... etc. He already knows the day I will die, so He already knows the person I will spend the rest of my life with. I don't think God gave free will and made out different plans for if I take this path or that path.

Granted, if there is more than one person, God can still use your marriage for His glory. Maybe there is one person for each of us, and we find them only when we are actively seeking His will. God still works in the lives of those who don't believe or follow Him... is there marriage by choice of free will, or do they end up with "the one" that God has planned?

Maybe God doesn't intend for us to be with one person, even though He knows who we'll spend our life with?

Too many questions. What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One of Those Days.

Today was a good day. A day that I have needed for awhile.

Even though, I don't have class or work on Tuesday/Thursday's (awesome, right?) I still am busy going here, doing that, etc. They are my check-off-my-list days.

Want to know what I checked off my list today? Nothing. Okay, sure, I applied for a few jobs, wrote a few bad sentences on some homework, tried studying for a quiz tomorrow. Nothing productive.

But, like I said, I needed today. It was a day full of rest, ending with some kickboxing and a Skype date. There were some other things that made it a good day.

I am trying to get my foot in the door in Atlanta more and more. Not just jobs, but people, places, things. I want to know a few things when I get there. I didn't know anything about Texas when I came, and it was very obvious!

Long story short, because of a harmless click of a "follow" on Twitter, I now have a new friend, who feels like a sister. Don't you love technology? Not only technology, but I love how God doesn't care about geography or any of that business - He brings people together, even if it's only electronically.

I don't know who is reading this, but if you have not experienced a big transition yet - don't be alarmed at what I'm about to write. But, it is frustrating, overwhelming at times, lonely (especially when your boyfriend lives 1200 miles away), and is one of those things that when you try to vent to people, they just nod their head because they have no idea what to say.

I believe that today, the Lord answered two prayers. I believe this is another start to something good. I know it is, because I would not both cry and have so much joy over a few emails - that is one of those things that could only be of God.


It gets better - that wasn't even the first good thing of the day. I set up a job interview for next week, in Atlanta. I'm not as excited about this one as I was the last two. Partially because of the let down, and partially because I've learned I really shouldn't get my hopes up about every interview. And, if we're being honest, a smidgen of me thinks this isn't the place for me. Why go to the interview? Practice. And, maybe it is where I'm supposed to be... maybe I'm really trying to not get my hopes up. We'll see.

I also got an email about setting up a phone interview with another place in Georgia, it's an internship. I don't know if it's paid though. Phone interviews are weird to me, because I don't feel like I convey myself very well via phone. And, I get distracted easy.. I start walking around, looking at things, etc.

This start of transitioning is scary. I'm afraid I will move, and be jobless, which will lead to being homeless, and alone. I know, it sounds ridiculous - I laugh a little inside whenever I write or say that. I don't like failing - I've never totally failed before though, so it's hard to say. But, I like a plan. That's the hardest part of it all. Not having a plan kills me.

Earlier, I said I felt like God answered two prayers today - but it was actually three. I've needed some encouragement. And because of a few emails, and a few phone calls... that's what happened. I feel like every small "yes" that comes from Georgia is affirmation and pulling me closer.

Our Plans, His plans.

(this is not mine, I stole it from Facebook.)

Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure.

Me: Promise You won't get mad...
God: I promise.

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do you mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late.
God: Yes.

Me: My car took forever to start.
God: Okay.

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait.
God: Huummm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call.
God: All right.

Me: And on top of it all, when I got home - I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.
Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they had, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.
Me (embarrassed): Okay.

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Me (softly): I see, God.

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short fuse that was going to electrocute you, So I stopped it from coming on.
Me: I'm sorry, God.

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in all things, the good & the bad.
Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is always better than your plan.
Me: I won't, God. And let me just tell you thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome, child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after My Children...

Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, January 27, 2012

Believing.

So, here's my fun fact of the day.

I was rejected.

I was rejected by a company that, for the last three and a half months, I thought I had a strong possibility of working for after graduation. Alas, they do not a designer. And, if we're being honest - it was very discouraging.

I would not classify the job search as boring, but definitely emotional, and has definitely been testing my faith.  I get my hopes up, I get excited, and then disappointed, and scared. It can make you feel inadequate, unwanted, confused, and frustrated.


"He has placed the land in front of you. Don't be afraid! Don't be discouraged! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. You saw how the Lord your God cared for you ALL along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now He has brought you to this place. He goes before you, looking for the best place to camp, guiding you..." - (pieces of) Deut. 1:21-33

This passage (or bits of a passage) is a reminder that I have all I need right now, and I will have all that I need. My God chose me, and loves me - and though I don't understand a lot of things right now... He is in complete control. Searching for a job can be frustrating to the point that it lowers your confidence, so even though I may be struggling with that - I have to be confident in His sovereignty. 

My hope can only be in Him - all other ground is sinking sand.
I have to believe that He has a plan, and I know He does.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Processing.

It has been an interesting, rough few weeks.

Maybe I was in denial, or being naive, or... something. But, when I came back from Christmas break, reality hit me pretty hard.

First and foremost, it is really hard to be away from the one you love. It's no lie that LDR's are not for the faint of heart. Luckily, Aaron is a huge encouragement and supporter... and listens to me whine :)

Secondly, I feel like I should write a book after all this job searching is done. And, I think the hardest part is knowing that I have barely begun the process. And I'm not exactly referring to just the job search - because I started that way back in September. But I've only had preliminary interviews, so I know more in-depth interviews in my future, not to mention apartment looking and applications, thinking about insurance, moving trucks, and changing my license plates, on and on...

I have my good days and my bad days. The good days, I wake up and am ready to take on the day, enjoying my last semester of college, even with all the homework and stress. I am confident that God will lead me to the next step of life, that in 6 or 8 months I will be settled in, working, etc. The bad days, I'm plagued with fear and doubt (no thanks to Satan for that one), wondering if I'm going to homeless, and never be able to put these four years of knowledge to work.

I may have to take a leap of faith in a few months. Which scares me, incredibly. I'm a planner, I like to be prepared. That's not how God works all the time, and that can be hard to embrace.  

But, I have learned some things through this process, which I have decided is called "growing up" - maybe you've heard of it. I know God does what is best, even if we don't think it's fair. I know God doesn't need our permission to mess up our little plans (which He has been doing a lot of lately.). His timing is not always my timing - He will reveal things when it's right. Life creates more questions than answers, but that's when I have turn to Him.

Our greatest test may be that we must trust God's goodness even though we don't understand why our lives are going a certain way. That simply requires a change in perspective, because right NOW is right on time.

And as hard as it may be, understanding everything is not required to follow His path.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Last Semester.

Christmas break is officially over. (It was yesterday, if we're being technical.)
My last big break before I join the real world. Even teachers got about two weeks, but not the rest of us! Which is okay, I guess, but it's just weird to think that that was it.

It was a good break for the most part, and weirdly, wasn't short. Usually you hear college students talking about how the break flew by and whatnot. And not that my break was long either... it was a much-needed and well-appreciated break.

I went home right after finals to clean out and pack up my room before we started traveling. I've taken with me or sold a large majority of my belongings, but there was stuff I hadn't touched or thought about in a long time. Of course, a large majority of it went to be sold or thrown away, but there were a few things I kept. It was funny to re-read old notes, old journal entries, see pictures that never got put in an album. So many memories packed into boxes (or simply thrown away). If having a job interview didn't make my graduating more realistic, packing up boxes to move sure did.

I then went to spend time with my sister - also probably the last time we'll spend that much time together for awhile. We got massages, drank Starbucks, ate Chipotle, watched movies... and I helped her at work. She teaches junior high math, so rather than sitting at home all day, I went to her classroom. I didn't do a whole lot of "helping" but it was still fun and interesting nonetheless.

Did the Christmas thing. This family, that family, these gifts, those gifts. Same routine every year. It's always good to see family, and it's interesting watching my younger cousins grow up. I only see them once or twice a year, and now that I'm getting old enough to start "feeling old" - I notice how much they're growing. It was weird to think my aunts and uncles, and older cousins, did the same to me!

Then, I went to Georgia. A great start to my semester, and great ending to my break. I attended Passion with two of my best friends. One thing I took away from those few days was being reminded how much I need to be diligent about being in the Word, and what it means to really follow God's will.

As a soon-to-be graduate, I want nothing more than to do God's will. As Louie Giglio said, it doesn't matter where we're at or what we're doing, His will for our lives is to glorify Him. And, it's not a "yes-I-know-that-but-what's-His-REAL-will-for-my-life" deal, there's no secondary part. Yes, He has a plan for our lives and whatnot... but that's it. I think rather than praying about knowing His will, we should pray about how/where He wants us to proclaim Him.

So, one last semester before me. Lots of lasts, more memories, and hopefully some answers for what's to come after graduation.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January Trip.

[a little late]

Dear Boyfriend,

This made two NYE's together, and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come. After two long days of driving, it was nice just to hang out with you and Taylor... and be silly.


 I can't believe you a) took this notebook to Passion, and b) made me carry it. And yes, I really am posting this picture of you on here.


Remember that time we got off on the wrong Marta stop and had to walk halfway across Atlanta with our luggage? Ohhh yeah, that time... yeah. Okay, maybe we didn't walk that far, but still. I'm sure people thought those four people carrying luggage were crazy!

I still laugh when I picture your face during all the crazy light shows at Passion. (You know what else makes me laugh? Lucky 101. Can't say I didn't warn ya'll... but at least the food was good!)




Even though it's rare (for now), I love going to church with you. Passion = four straight days of church = one of my favorite things we've done together so far.


It is slightly ridiculous how addicted to Foursquare you, Taylor, and I are now. So glad I took a screen shot of the "BFF Bonus"... haha! Does it know we really are best friends?



You can tell how tired I am in this picture... but can you blame me after all the walking we did? Not to mention those few runs down the HOV lane on the sidewalk. I still can't believe we did that. How we went shopping after this, I'm not sure - but seeing you try on a cardigan was worth it.


Last year after Passion we took a picture in your driveway, and that was a favorite... and I have to say, this is becoming a new favorite as well :)


Can we maybe make the Atlanta Botanical Gardens a yearly occurrence, say... in December or January? It was so relaxing to walk through all the lights (and people).


Most girls love flowers, but most girls would be surprised if those flowers came accompanied with a Diet Dr. Pepper. I love all the little ways that you love me. 


I'm not only thankful that Taylor let us stay an entire extra day, but that she made/let us go on a date by ourselves. We may not have done anything super exciting, but the slightly mundane and simple things I love just as much, if not more than the extra special dates.


My 12 days spent in Georgia made up the best mini-vacation I could have asked for to start off the new year and my last semester. I can't believe that was our longest time spent together since August 2010... sure doesn't feel like it :) see you in a few weeks...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution.

For whatever reason, I've always been one of those make-a-resolution people. Sometimes I couldn't decide, and made a list. And, I have to toot my own horn and say... I'm actually pretty good at keeping resolutions. I'm full of stick-to-itveness. 

So, since the new year starts in three days (already?) I've been trying to think of what my resolution should be this year, or if I should even do one.

Although I'm kind of stealing it from another blogger, it was convicting and although it's not the usual resolution, I know it's something I need to really focus on.

"Wherever you are, be all there." - Jim Elliot

As you've probably read in previous blog posts, I'm a little anxious and/or impatient in general, but especially about moving to Georgia and joining the adult world. Discontent is an accurate description.


So, I'm making a more valid effort to be here. To enjoy this last semester, to fully be here or... wherever I am, doing whatever I may be doing at that time.

If you're reading this, and you read anything in the future that sounds like I'm discontent, kick me and remind me of my resolution.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Try, try again.

Over the last few weeks, people have asked how I'm doing, how my semester went, etc. I hate fake responses, and so I told the truth... doing okay, the semester was a little rough. I always find it a little funny when I say that to people because they're not expecting it, they were expecting the vague, monotonous "good...." reply that everyone else says.

I've had worse semesters for sure, but between homework always kicking my butt, hardly seeing friends, not to mention that it continues to be harder and harder to be away from Aaron. Oh, and the endless and frustrating job search.

I am in the exact same place I was at the beginning of the semester. Square one. I still have nothing waiting for me after graduation. Yes, it's still a little soon to already have a job, but after sending 75 job emails with little to no response... it's hard to stay positive.

I'm a planner.

I have to be ahead of the game, be organized, be on top of things, know the when and where. I don't enjoy just "wingin' it" or waiting until the last minute. So, to sit here without answers is difficult, to say the least.

This semester will be very interesting, and probably more trying than the last. More emails, sending resumes, hopefully some interviews. Not to mention all that school and work business, plus a few trips :)

I have to daily give all my worries and dreams over to God, otherwise Satan starts to use it against me, and I become very discouraged and stressed.

My hope is that five months from right now I will be in some stage of the moving process, or maybe sitting at my new job. The only way I'm going to get there is with Him, because it's all His plans. It's a daily struggle reminding myself it's never my plans.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"If home is where the heart is, then I'm out of place."

Who knows how many times I've blogged on this topic before... it's something I've been trying to learn for the past 21 years.

Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering, without getting angry or upset.

Y'all. I lack this more than anyone I know. Whether it be waiting on a friend to pick me up, or waiting to graduate. I'm ahead of schedule, ready for the next thing, excited for what's to come.

My customized background on my computer says, "you feel like running, but life is on a stroll."
I made it a few months ago because I liked the quote, and then all the design-y parts of the rest of the background were nice too. Now, when I see it, I think, "yessssss... I know... slow down..."

I received a text from a person today, that I haven't received a text from in probably three years. But, it was something I needed to hear. Very cool how God works that way. "When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss the fun of getting there. Slow down and enjoy the song."

I love Texas, I love college, I love my friends here. I love where I'm at, and have loved my time here... yet, something inside of me is discontent.

Perhaps, even a little homesick.

I can't deny it. My heart is in Georgia.

But, I'm torn between preparing (literally) to move to Georgia and dealing with all that excitement, and enjoying the last sweet few months I have here in college. Both are exciting, both are begging for my attention.

I have no idea how to handle the situation.
All I can do is pray, which at times makes me feel helpless - but I know He's strong enough to handle all this.

And I know God answers prayers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You are Peace, when my fear is crippling.

It's been a rough and crazy last week or two.

I feel like I've hit a wall. I'm in some sort of funk. Everyone blames it on "being ready for break" - which is true, but I'm just exhausted, emotional, and unmotivated.

There are several things I could write about in this blog, but the heaviest on my heart is life six months from now. Actually, it's less than six months. I have nothing, right now. Nowhere to go. I have possibilities, but that's where it stops.

Which is the most frustrating part.

Although I don't really forsee myself working the local drive-thru after graduation, that's what is on the list right now (joking... sorta).

Forgive me for being human, but I want to know answers. I want the future to be solidified. Want, want, want, me, me, me. My prayer for the next few weeks (though this should be more of an all-the-time prayer) is that God would rid me of myself and my desires. Wanting anything other than what He wants causes heartbreak.


I looked back through my November blogs over the last two years. Two years ago, I was growing and learning, and it was painful. Last year, I was happy and thankful.

Not to say I'm unhappy or ungrateful now, because that's not true. I'm in a state of restlessness. Discontent is a frustrating emotion, because no matter how many times you tell yourself to enjoy the season you're in... your heart and your mind don't always agree.

In the words of Kari Jobe, He is faithful, constant, loving and true, and He will never forsake me in my weakness. He is patient (thankful He is, even if I'm not), gracious, merciful and true, and so wonderful in all He does.

I know when I look back a year from now, I will laugh at myself for doubting, for wasting my time worrying about all this when God knows everything, and is in control. Last year, I had no fear of the future. Somewhere along the way, I picked it up... and I wish I hadn't.

Remember earlier when I said I read through some old blogs? Sometimes I think He uses my blogs to write future notes to myself. I saw a post about Psalm 81:6, "Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks."

He's willing to take our burdens, when we're willing to give them up.

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." - Psalm 56:3

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Food Blog!

As part of my senior project, I have started a food blog... we (me, and a few friends) will be posting the recipes we're trying out, as well as health and fitness tips here and there. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cookbooks for sale!

Hey!
Help me out, buy a cookbook (or two!)

You can find more info at my art blog, or on my Facebook page.

They are only $7 each, or $10 if you buy two - includes shipping - and make great Christmas presents! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad.

I don't know what's come over me, as I'm starting to enjoy cooking finally. I have this sudden desire to want to know how to cook yummy things and cook big meals for every meal. When my family learns of my new hobby, they will probably say, "it's about time..."

So, here is my latest cooking endeavor - one that I can already see will be repeated many times as it is healthy and incredibly easy to make - and not to mention, delicious. I got the recipe from Budget Bytes - a new favorite website of mine.

Total Recipe cost: $7.59
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $0.95
Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 10 min. Total: 30 min.

Ingredients
12 oz. bow tie pasta (I ended up having to use a different pasta)
2 medium roma tomatoes
1 medium summer squash
1 medium zucchini
1 medium broccoli crown
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 bunch parsley

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano (used cilantro instead)
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
to taste: fresh cracked black pepper




[I'm at the point right now where if it's too expensive or if I'm not crazy about it, I just leave it out. Yes, I know, not the best technique but it's worked so far. What's italicized in the ingredients, I left out. Yes, I realize that's not really a "vinaigrette" with it being just oil... but it still tasted great!]

STEP 1: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander.

STEP 2: While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil and the pasta to cook, prepare the vegetables (squash, zucchini, broccoli, tomato, onion, parsley, red pepper). Give the vegetables a good wash and then cut into bite sized pieces (onions and red pepper thinly sliced; parsley removed from stems and chopped).

STEP 3: While the pasta is cooling, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

STEP 4: Combine the cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, and vinaigrette. Stir until everything is well mixed and coated with vinaigrette. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.