Friday, April 29, 2011

Week in Review

Ah, it's been too long since I've posted!  I've just had too many other things to do and sleep is becoming more and more valued.  But I wanted to catch you up on my week because some crazy, interesting things have happened.  And this post probably will have typos and not flow well, because I'm tired.  And me typing when I'm tired always turns out interesting, but like I said,  I needed to post something.
On Wednesday Jillian hung out at the office for a while.  We played with the caterpillars and then put them on our feet so I could take a picture for the blog.  Random, I know, but that pretty much sums us up.

Wednesday night was our last Well gathering of the semester.  We were also under a tornado warning.  So, it was the very last song and the band is playing and singing like crazy, the students are singing super loud, and the lights are awesome.  I was taking a few pictures when I noticed a few flashes out of the corner of my eye.  I thought that since it was the last service and everything was awesome that maybe a few people were taking pictures.  So I put my camera down and look up and realized that the flashing was coming from the fire alarm/emergency lights!  I walked toward the back hallway and as soon as I opened the doors I heard the loud, slow wamp...wamp...wamp of the alarm.  Drew saw me poking my head out of the door and motioned for me to get back inside, so I'm thinking "The church just got hit by a tornado!"  I go back inside the auditorium and the band and the students are still playing and singing like crazy, the emergency lights are still flashing and now I can hear the echo of the alarm in my head.  For a moment I thought "Oh my goodness, Jesus is coming back!" But obviously He didn't.  I was disappointed.  After we wrapped everything up James basically had to tell the students to grab a donut and go home.  And when I walked back into the hallway I noticed the red flashing lights of the fire engine that had come and the firemen walking around.  They had showed up to figure out why the alarm had gone off.  It was nuts.  When it was finally time for us to go, it was like deja vu.  As I'm walking to my car the rain picks up and by the time I get inside, it's pouring again.  I sat there for a little while and came really close to going back in and telling Drew or Samantha that I was going home with them, because I did not want to drive in that rain.  But I did and made it home ok, even though it took a while because I was going like 20 miles per hour.  And I ended up sleeping on the floor that night.  They were calling for more storms in the night and my bed is right under my window, which shakes enough in light wind, I didn't want to think about what would happen in a tornado.  So I slept on the floor as far away from the window as I could, that way if it did bust I wouldn't get covered in glass or sucked out the window.  And thankfully none of those things happened!

Ok, so crazy thing about Thursday, there was a possum at The Well House!  In the middle of the day.  That's odd.  I saw it in the flower beds at first and thought it was a cat and then when I saw it's long, nasty tail I knew it was a possum.  It climbed the tree really quickly and then sat there for a while so I could get some pictures.  Then it climbed even further up the tree so I went inside to James' office because you can see straight into the tree from there.  I saw it sitting there with its back towards me so I took a few more, but I wanted another of its face.  I rattled the windows and did other things to try to get its attention, but nothing was working.  Finally I yelled out the window "Turn around you ugly possum!"  and guess what?  It did!

And random thing about today...As I was driving down West Walnut on my way to the bank I passed a woman walking on the sidewalk, eating a hamburger, and wearing a sombrero!  True story.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday Continued: Chocolate Mint Cookies

All of the following pictures were taken yesterday and were intended to be on yesterday's post, but it got to be too late and I needed to go to bed.  So I did.  And so you're getting them today...
Every other week or so I make some sort of dessert for The Well band when they practice on Tuesday nights.  Earlier in the semester I made my Chocolate Mint Cookies and they were a huge hit.  Huge!  When I made them a second time, Henry even took some for himself and hid them from everyone else.  Two weeks ago I figured I'd let them request the last dessert of the semester and my "conversation" with Henry went something like this...

Me: Since there are only two weeks of The Well left, which desser...
Henry: MINT COOKIES! We want the Mint Cookies!

So that settled it, I'd be making Chocolate Mint Cookies Monday night.  I figured I'd get right to work on them and started making the dough as soon as I got home from work.  I looked down at one point and realized that the combination of Chaco's and a pink, plaid apron was slightly odd, but at the same time, completely me.

And I've never posted a recipe, let alone taken pictures of me cooking something, but figured it would be a good time to start!

Chocolate Mint Cookies:
3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbl. water
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 packages of Andes mints, broken in half

Step 1) In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter, brown sugar, and water.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips until melted.  
Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

This smells so good!  It's hard not to eat it alone!

Step 2) Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl and beat in eggs one at a time. 

Step 3) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or use parchment paper, which I recommend.  Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  The dough can be really thick when it comes out of the fridge, almost like fudge.  I usually use an ice-cream scoop to get it out, and then roll it into balls.  Bake for 8-10 mintues.

Step 5) When cookies come out of the oven, place half of an Andes mint on top of each cookie.  Let them sit for about 1 minute and then use the back of a spoon or a knife to spread the melted mint on top of the cookie.  Let the chocolate cool and set before serving.

The finished product! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mug Monday

In 2008 I was a bridesmaid for the first time, in my friends' Ryan and Mackenzie's wedding.  Mackenzie and I were roommates during my freshman and sophomore years at Milligan, and during that time I got to become pretty good friends with her boyfriend/fiance Ryan.  The day before the wedding all of us girls went to one of those paint your pottery places and this is what I made!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Goodbyes and Endings

Perfect driving weather!
I made a quick trip home for Easter this weekend.  And when I say quick, I mean quick.  About 30 hours.  I hadn't been home for Easter in three years, so I definitely wanted to since I could, and it would be the only chance I had to see my parents before I leave for East Asia in two weeks (agh!).  Amanda wasn't able to make it home, so today I stopped by Tech on my way back to Johnson City to drop off her Easter basket and some other stuff from home.  As I took Exit 118B off of 81 and onto 460 a thought hit me.  This would be the last time I visited the OMG.  Two years ago Amanda, Brittany, Melanie, Emily, and Amanda Mae moved into a townhouse in a development named Oak Manor.  They had known the girls who had lived in the townhouse before them, and they had named themselves the Oak Manor Girls and the townhouse got the name OMG for short.  When Amanda and her crew moved in they became OMG Phase 2, but we mostly still call it the OMG.  Anyways, over the past two years I've spent quite a bit of time at the OMG.  For football games, quick visits on my way to or from Lynchburg, and more recently, things revolving around Amanda and Jonathan.  What I have loved is that during all this time at the OMG I've gotten to know all of Amanda's roommates really well.  And I know I've talked about this before, so I'll try not to get too repetitive.  But I love that I don't go to Blacksburg just to see and spend time with Amanda, but with her whole house.  You know how it is when you hang out with a friend who brings one of their friends that you don't know and it usually ends up being kind of awkward?  It isn't like that when I visit Amanda.  It doesn't matter if she's around or not, I can still be with her friends and we have a fabulous time.  But since they are all graduating in three weeks and moving away, today was my last visit to the OMG.  Thankfully, I knew this wasn't going to be my last trip to Blacksburg.  Sherri lives there and I'm sure I'll be visiting her.  So this wouldn't be my last time driving down 460 craning my neck to see Lane Stadium and Cassell Colesium.  And I am oh-so-thankful that this wouldn't be my last time seeing the girls.  They're all bridesmaids, so we'll be together again this summer.  Knowing those things made it easier, otherwise I probably would have cried.  After I had hugged them, told them to enjoy the last few weeks of school, and said goodbye until this summer, I got in my car, admired the beautiful view of the mountains across the street, and turned right out of Oak Manor for the last time.  It was sad.  I thought about change and endings for a while after that, and how even though they are sad, they are necessary and often good.  Life is meant to change and be lived in seasons.  You're supposed to graduate from high school and go off to college.  You're supposed to graduate from college and go do your own thing.  You're supposed to get married and start your own family.  Granted, everyone's life doesn't look like this, and I know that.  But the fact is, endings are good because it means you're moving forward in your life.  Ending old things, yet starting new ones.  Yes, it was sad that today was my last visit to the OMG, but there would be a problem if I was still visiting all five of those girls there, five years from now.  This has been a great season in their life, but that season is over.  And that's ok. It's good.  It means bigger and better things are yet to come!

We can give thumbs-up with our toes.  A weird sister thing I guess.

In front of 105 Nottingham Ct.

Dumbledore and Clover, house mascots.

Brittany and Amanda in front of the OMG

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So this morning I was just about to leave my room and head out the door when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something moving in front of my dresser.  I told myself it had just been the way I had glanced over at the cords of my straightener and blow dryer, but then I saw something moving again, and there was no denying it, there was a long, gross, unwelcomed bug in my bedroom!  It was quickly crawling across my rug, so I had to act fast.  I didn't want to step on it and kill it, because that would have been a lot of bug guts in my carpet, so I was going to have to capture it.  Luckily there was an empty cup on my dresser so I grabbed that and put it down on top of the bug, and then stepped on the cup, to push it down into the carpet and ensure it wouldn't slide underneath.  The bug quickly shimmied up the sides of the cup and was crawling around in the top of it.  I figured I could lay some plastic wrap down on the ground and then quickly put the cup on the plastic wrap, and then seal it up with a rubber band.  I didn't want the bug to escape while I was downstairs, so I piled some heavy books on top of the cup.  When I came back, the bug was back down at the rim of the cup, and I couldn't get it to move.  It took lots of shifting and sliding, but I finally got the cup with the bug onto the middle of the  plastic.  Then I wrapped it with the plastic and rubberbanded it.  I was grossed out and also kind of proud of myself so I took him to the office to show Drew.  And he didn't help much because he was telling me there were a bunch more in my room hiding and it laid eggs in my hair and a bunch of other nasty, gross stuff, and I will say, I'm still a little paranoid.  I am a clean person, I should not have bugs like that in my bedroom!  When I got home from The Well tonight it was still alive, so I gave it a proper funeral...down the toilet!  Good riddance!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bare Foot Bible Study

Today the weather was perfect.  Perfect!  It was warm but not humid, breezy but not enough to make you cold, and sunny but not too bright.  I knew I wanted to be outside as much as possible, but since my meetings were in The Cave, that would mean sitting in the hard, metal chairs on the patio, which doesn't even get any sun.  So I grabbed the blanket I keep in my desk drawer and headed toward The Cave.  I felt a little silly walking through campus holding a blanket, but not enough to make me stop.  When I met up with the girls I asked them if they'd be up for sitting outside, and they all were, because they're awesome.  We gathered our stuff and the blanket and went to the amphitheater and found a nice patch of grass to settle down on.  Besides the ants and bees, it was quite nice.  Definitely something I want to do more of, especially since I can use all the sun I can get!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mug Monday and Milk Runs

Me and Jessie on New Year's Eve
This mug was a gift from my dear, curly-headed friend Jessie.  Jessie and I became friends four years ago while working the Bristol races believe it or not.  I think my most memorable moments with Jessie were on Thursday nights during my senior year in college.  Thursday nights were my on-duty nights for being an RA, so I couldn't leave the building.  Thursday nights were also when Grey's Anatomy came on.  So almost every Thursday without fail, Jessie showed up at my dorm room to watch Grey's.  Something I loved was that she often showed up wearing her pajama pants.  It always cracked me up that she had no problem coming to a school she didn't attend and just moseying through the parking lot and lobby and up the stairs to my room, sometimes saying hello to random strangers, while wearing striped pajama pants.  Somewhere along our Thursday night journey we started eating those Betty Crocker Warm Delights Microwavable Cakes.  Not every week mind you, but if one of us had had a bad week or if we know that's nights episode was going to be really good.  One night, about 8 minutes til Grey's started I realized I was out of milk, and you just have to have milk when you eat that cake, so we went on a milk run.  We went flying down the stairs, through the lobby and out into the parking lot, and I think one of us might have been yelling, "We need milk!!!!"  So flew down the road to the closest gas station, ran inside like a couple crazy people, grabbed the milk, ran to the cashier, paid as quickly as we could, jumped in the car, raced back to Milligan, ran through the parking lot, took the steps two at a time, and piled through the door.  I think we only missed the first two minutes of the show and we were quite pleased with ourselves, even though it probably took us the next 15 minutes to catch our breath after our crazy milk run.  Even still we talk about "the night of the milk run."  But back to the mug, this was one of the gifts she gave me when I graduated and I love it!  Not only do I love it because it's a photographer mug, but because all of the pictures on it are things from film cameras and printing pictures, not digital photography, which is oh-so-rare these days.  You hardly ever see photographer things with anything other than a camera, so this mug is extra special.

I love the little camera inside, it's like a surprise after you drink enough!

These Boots

  One of the many perks of working on a college campus is that it's pretty easy for me to get free tickets to the concerts, and this year's spring concert was Little Big Town and Eric Church.  I do like country music, and even though these two aren't my favorites, a free concert is a free concert, so I went.  And it's only appropriate to wear cowboy boots to a country concert.  Little Big Town played first, but I didn't really hear that much of it.  Why?  Because they were being drowned out by the group of people sitting behind us.  I know you have to talk loudly at concerts, but these people were ridiculous, it was almost hurting my ears they were talking so loudly.  And besides that, they were cussing and talking about how much they couldn't wait to go drink.  Two from the group were actually sitting next to me, and when this guy stood up later to sing along wich Eric Church, he kept swaying back and forth, and each time his hip or his elbow would get a little bit closer to my face (cause I was sitting down).  I really thought I might get a black eye.  And random moment of the night: I yawned at one point and my gum just kind of fell out of my mouth and landed on my lap.  I just stared at it for a second trying to figure out what had happened, and then I casually picked it up and tried to play it off, hoping no one had seen.  I was wrong though, Trevor who was sitting next to me speaks up and says "Umm, did your gum just fall out of your mouth?"  It was embarrassing and hilarious too.

Little Big Town

Eric Church

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Squeaky Clean

Today we had Service Saturday again, where we have different service projects around the community that the students can volunteer for.  Today one of the projects was at The Well house, doing landscaping and cleaning.  I spent the day inside with two other girls and we cleaned the entire office (minus the basement) from top to bottom and wall to wall, and it needed it badly.  With so many people in and out all week, it gets dirty quickly and we don't have time to clean it every week, so today was a huge blessing.  After we finished cleaning inside I went outside where the guys had been working all day and did a little bit of work out there.  By the time I left I was tired and dirty and thought that a bubble bath would be wonderful, and when I checked my mail I was super excited that my next copy of Real Simple had come.  Perfect!  I could read it in the tub.  I've come to learn that reading in the tub is one of those things that sounds fabulous in theory, but is quite difficult in real life.  You have to hold it up high enough that none of it will get in the water and turning the pages is an ordeal too.  And even though every time I do it I'm reminded that it's difficult, I continue to do it.  Today's reading in the tub session was quite disastrous, but humorous too.  I got a text, so I reached up to grab my phone that was sitting on the back of the toilet and managed to knock off this glass apothecary jar that has q-tips in it.  As it crashed and clanked and sent q-tips flying, I forgot that I was holding a magazine and dropped the corner of it into the tub.  Even after that episode, I kept reading and was able to finish the whole magazine!  Well, I didn't read the whole magazine, but I looked at every page.  After I cleaned my room up some I was ready to blog and wanted to have a movie on in the background, and You've Got Mail seemed like the perfect one.  I'd already packed it up, but it was on the top of the box, so thankfully I didn't have to unpack much.  You've Got Mail is my all time favorite movie.  I could watch it every day and never get tired of it.  If I could be any character from a movie, I would want to be Kathleen Kelly.  She is cute and quirky, lives in an adorable New York City apartment, and owns a children's book store.  The movie also has some amazing lines, and these are some of my favorites:

Kathleen: What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you. 

Frank: What about you? Is there someone else?   
Kathleen: No. No, but... but there's the dream of someone else

Joe: Kevin, this is possibly the most adorable creature I've ever been in contact with, and if she turns out to be as good looking as a mailbox... I would be crazy enough to turn my life upside down and marry her. 

Kathleen: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

Kathleen: Why did you stop by again? I forget.
Joe: I wanted to be your friend.
Kathleen: Oh. 
Joe: I knew it wasn't... possible. What can I say, sometimes a guy just wants the impossible.
Joe: [about "NY152"] Maybe he's fat. He's fat. He's a fatty.
Kathleen: I don't care about that.
Joe: You don't care that he's so fat, he's one of these guys that has to be removed from his house by a crane? You don't care?
Kathleen: [snickering] That is very unlikely. That is completely ridiculous.

Kathleen: Wow, I keep on bumping into you.
Joe: Yeah.
Kathleen: I hope your mango's ripe.
Joe: I think it is. Hey, you want to bump into me on, say, Saturday around lunchtime? Over there? 

Joe: You know, sometimes I wonder...
Kathleen: What?
Joe: Well... if I hadn't been Fox Books and you hadn't been The Shop Around the Corner, and you and I had just, well... met...
Kathleen: I know.
Joe: Yeah. I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn't have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, "Hey, how about... oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie... for as long as we both shall live?"
Kathleen: Joe...
Joe: And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we'd fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night.
Kathleen: Well, who fights about that?
Joe: Well, some people. Not us.
Kathleen: We would never.
Joe: If only.


Friday, April 15th - Last night we had a Concert of Worship on campus at ETSU.  It was supposed to be outside in the amphitheater, but we had to move it inside because of bad weather.  Regardless, it was so neat to be in the middle of a secular campus, boldly, fearlessly and carelessly praising the Lord.  There were a lot of people there that I didn't recognize, which is always encouraging.  Not that I know everyone who attends The Well, but honestly, I do recognize a lot of them.  I'll see people around campus and even though I've never talked with them or know their name, I know they go to The Well.  Standing at the same door until 9:30 every week has it's advantages.  After the concert we had pizza and milled around.  Since I was wearing my ministry team shirt, I also wore my red shoes, and then I noticed that Jordan and Chelsea had on red shoes too, so it would be the perfect foot picture!  I was getting ready to take it when Josh stepped in, even though his shoes didn't match.  Josh likes pictures of himself, so we couldn't convince him to leave...

Jordan, Chelsea, Josh, and I
After the concert Jillian and Ashley were going to tag along while I went back to the church to help Drew unload stuff, and then we were going to make a last night trip to Walmart.  We left before Drew and on the way came up with a fun little plan.  Jillian and Ashley got inside the trailer that we store our stuff in, and I closed it up just like Drew had left it.  When ho got to the church he asked where the girls were and I told them someone had asked them to go get ice-cream, and I had told them just to go.  I stood back as he unlatched the trailer door and pulled it down, and sitting right there, in two chairs they had pulled up, were Jillian and Ashley.  It was quite funny.  From there we went to Walmart where we bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and a box of cookies.  Random, but all necessary.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts, Feelings, and Observations

You need to sit back and get comfortable, because this is going to be a long post.  I have lots of random thoughts and stories to share...

It's hard to keep a good thing to yourself, and this good thing I've shared with lots of students here, and now I'm sharing it with all of you, whoever you may be.  Last year when I was at Passion the Leaders community group was led by Ben Stuart.  Ben is the director and speaker for Breakaway Ministries, a campus ministry at Texas A & M.  It's kind of like The Well, but quite a bit larger.  I really liked Ben's teaching and at some point last spring, I started subscribing to his podcasts.  I started out just listening to the one new podcast each week, but over the summer I went through and listened to basically every message from the past two years.  And I just couldn't get enough of them.  First of all, Ben is hilarious.  It doesn't really matter what he says, he's just funny.  Second, he uses great illustrations and analogies.  I hate it when I hear a speaker tell a funny story, and I'm waiting for how it ties everything together, and then it never really does.  It's like they wanted an excuse to talk about their kids or make themselves sound funny; ugh, it bugs me so much!  But his stories make such good points.  It just clicks and I've often replayed a part several times in a row just to let it sink in.  And third, and most important, everything is straight from Scripture.  He doesn't pick a topic and then add a few verses.  He speaks straight from an entire passage and I have learned a lot about the Bible just from listening to him preach.  I would highly recommend that you check out the podcast!  And I said all of that to say that this morning I went back and listened to this one message I love,  for probably the fourth time!  It was such a challenging and encouraging way to start the day!

At work today I got to meet with three different girls, and it made for an amazing day.  After meetings like the ones I had today, I can get really overwhelmed - with good things.  I never ceased to be humbled by the fact that I get to do this kind of work at all, much less full time.  I am just so lucky and so blessed!  Today I was also very aware and moved by what I see the Lord doing in the lives of students.  I don't think I really started taking my faith seriously and pursuing the Lord until my junior year of college.  And it is amazing to walk alongside these freshmen and sophomores who are feasting on the Scriptures and fighting for their faith.  I get so excited thinking about where they're going to be and what they're going to be doing in five or six years.  The things that I'm witnessing in the lives of these students are completely the Lord and his power in people's lives.  I feel like I used to hear the phrase "The Lord is drawing students to Himself," but I never really knew what that meant or looked like.  And now I do.  I'm seeing the Lord draw students to Himself and I'm seeing them respond.  I see this lived out in front of me everyday!

Switching gears a little bit...I realized recently that I like shadows, or I like looking at them, especially on walls.  And I really like taking pictures of them.  It's almost like you get two pictures in one.  I had this awesome view of the porch this evening where the sun was streaming in behind the Adirondack chairs on the porch and making these sharp shadows on the porch with really drastic dark and light shades.  I loved looking at it and realized that a picture like that would be a royal pain to print in the darkroom; burning and dodging such contrasting shades can be a time consuming nightmare!  I think what we can do now with digital photography and photoshop is amazing, but if you've never rolled your own film in the pitch black, developed your own film, and printed in a darkroom, then you just can't appreciate it.  You can't.  And last year Jessica and I went shopping together to buy supplies to ship to Haiti, these shoes were on super discount for like $2 so we each bought a pair.  We call them our Moses sandals.  Well when I got home tonight her engagement pictures were up and guess what she was wearing in some of them?  Yep, her Moses sandals!

After my wonderfully overwhelming, full-of-shadows  day at work I headed out to run a bunch of errands.  I needed to go to the mall to pick up my shoes for Jessica's wedding and the closest entrance to Payless is through Dick's.  I walked in and right in front of me were the women's raincoats, so I headed over to take a look and there was a green one I liked.  And it was on sale.  Score!  Remember how I wanted a green raincoat so it would match my umbrella?  And this one matches perfectly.  Yay!  After I got the raincoat I went on to Payless to get the shoes.  This was actually the third time I'd gone to get them.  They never had the shoe I needed in a 6 1/2, and always told me to come back the next week and they would.  But of course tonight they still didn't have it.  That's when the girl actually got on the computer and realized that none of the stores in this area even carry it in a 6 1/2, I'd have to order it.  All that going back and forth for nothing.  Well, not completely nothing, I did get the raincoat while going to get the shoes, but still, it's frustrating.

After I left the mall I was all over the place running errands and then ended up at Panera Bread.  While I was out I noticed several people doing gross things.  The girl in line behind me at Walmart knew the cashier and was talking with her the whole time I was there.  Talking with her mouth open with large amounts of food inside.  Ugh.  Then after I left Walmart I was looking in my rear view mirror while at a stop light and saw the girl in the car behind me popping her pimples.  Eww.  Then at Panera Bread there was a girl in line who was probably 8 or 9 years old and she was picking her nose and eating it and then later I saw another guy in line picking a wedgie!  Come on people, that's ridiculous!
I feel odd leaving off on that note, but that's the end of my ramblings!  Congrats on finishing possibly my longest and definitely the most random of all my posts thus far!

Ok, to leave it on a slightly more upbeat note, new tires on the car!  The car is still scratched and dented and the hubcap is still busted, but the tire is new!  Now I don't have to drive around like an old person anymore, scared it would blow out if I hit a speed bump or pothole to fast.

Triple Threat

                                    Wednesday, April 13th 

A beautiful day for a cookout!
I'm getting to a point in the blog where I'm afraid my shoes and locations of pictures are starting to get a little repetitive, so I'm always thinking of ways to change things up (feel free to give me suggestions!).  Even though I was at The Well again last night, I had the chance to take a slightly different picture because we were having a cookout before The Well and I could take the picture outside.  But soon I was busy running back and forth from the tent to the kitchen making gallons of lemonade and Gatorade, and then before I knew it, it was 9:00 and we were back inside for The Well.  After the service was over I was standing with Jillian and Chelsea when I remembered out loud "Aw man, I haven't taken my picture for today," and one of them said "Well take a picture of our feet."  So I did.  These two goobers are enough trouble on their own, but when I join the picture, well, we have a lot of fun; pranks, jokes, weird accents, funny faces etc.  And Jillian and I have a way of saying the most random, out of the blue comments, at the exact same time.  It's scary.  
They're a mess, and I love them :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, and today was cold and wet and just gross!  One good thing about it though was that I finally got to wear my new yellow rain boots!  And while I was walking to the Culp Center I realized that now my rain boots match my cute umbrella too.  It makes me very happy that my rain gear is cute and matches.  I'm looking into buying a legit rain coat.  It seems crazy that I've lived here this long and haven't gotten one yet, but anyways, I'm really hoping I can find a yellow, green, teal, or pink one, that way it will match both my umbrella and rain boots.

And this afternoon I learned something interesting, and also disappointing.  Regis and Kelly did some research and discovered that if you work somewhere that has a candy jar, and you eat two pieces of candy every day, by the end of the year you could have gained approximately 7 pounds!  That's bad news, because I have definitely been known to eat more than two pieces a day!  I actually have two candy "jars" on my desk.  An actual jar that usually has Laffy Taffy in it, and the gumball machine that usually has M&M's in it, but there are  jelly beans in it right  now.  They are both pretty noisy if you're trying to get something out of them.  The lid on the glass jar clanks when you take it on and off, and the gumball machine is just plain noisy.  You can hear the money clanking as you twist the knob, and the candy as it falls to the bottom.  Because of this, everyone upstairs can always tell how much candy I'm munching on :/  Maybe this new candy knowledge will help prevent some of that.  We'll see... 


Monday, April 11, 2011

Mug Monday and Newness

Not the greatest picture, my good camera was in the car.
This mug was a gift from my friend Sherri for my 21st birthday.  It came in a package with other fun things like a mixed CD she put together and a VT shot glass, both of which I still have.  She did a great job picking it out because it is very "me" with all the purple and polka dots.  This mug has come to be my hot chocolate mug.  Even though I do love coffee, and drink it almost every morning, I usually only drink one standard sized mug of coffee.  When I drink hot chocolate however, I want a lot of it!  Since this mug is bigger than most, I've always used this mug and this mug alone to drink hot chocolate.  Which means this mug has spent a fair amount of wintery, weekend nights cuddled up with me in a blanket watching movies, or late, late nights giving me my sweet fix as I struggled to stay awake while writing a paper or something.

It has slowly been warming up and feeling like spring, but now it's finally starting to look like spring.  Everything is greener and many of the trees and bushes have colorful little buds on them.  The flowers are blooming and the sky is bright blue.  It is spring and everything is new.  The newness of spring has never struck me or impacted me before, but it sure has this year.  March was a hard month for me, and it was my own fault.  I got so wrapped up in the busyness of it that I let my personal time with the Lord slip away.  I was continuing to "pour out" even though I had nothing to pour.  I was soon running on empty and found myself burnt out and in a constant bad mood, at least internally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   As soon as April 1st hit, it was as if I could just sign in relief.  I knew the rest of the semester would be full, but the constant "go, go, go" of March was behind us.  I could return to my schedules and routines, and my mornings with the Lord were so much easier to carry out.  This new season was just the boost I needed to get back on track and finish out well.  As I was thinking about "new" things today, different verses kept popping into my heard, and this one really stuck with me:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:22-23

Regardless of how the day or night before went, God's mercy and love and compassion are new every morning.  Not just left over from the day before, but new!  I am so thankful for this truth!

Shorts and flip flops and ultimate frisbee!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The sheet of metal that hit my car.
This was fully in tact about 10 minutes before...
 Last night I left Johnson City and headed to Blacksburg because we were having Amanda's lingerie shower today.  The drive was going great, the wasn't much traffic on 81 and it was bright and sunny.  A little after 7:00 I was getting a little sleepy, so I got off at the next exit to get a snack at a gas station.  I pulled into this lone, little BP station, ran in and grabbed a water and pack of gummy bears.  As I was walking to my car it started raining, and by the time I reached the car, it was pouring!  I decided to wait for a bit, and it just kept raining harder and harder.  Then I started noticing things blowing across the parking lot, the porter potty, trashcans etc. and I started getting a little concerned.  Then the wind got so strong that I felt my car shaking back and forth and I was worried.  Then I looked up and saw a huge sheet of metal rip off the roof of the gas station and come crashing down behind my car, and I was scared!  Next the canopy of the gas station started crashing down and I was terrified and started praying and at some point I started saying out loud "Help me, help me, help me!" or "Save me, save me, save me!"  Then I looked over and I saw a huge sheet of metal  flying toward my car and I started screaming "God, GOD, GOD, GOD!!!!!! It hit my car and fell to the ground, and then the next thing I know the wind and the rain just stopped.  Like that.  Me and the two other people that were in our cars got out and I asked "Was that a tornado?" and this old man said (in a very slow,  southern accent) "I think it was..."  And then to summarize the next four hours...I hung out with a lot of rednecks that were very friendly.  The cops kept coming and telling us not to leave until the state troopers came and wrote up stuff for our insurance.  The gas station had lost its power so the owner let us eat as much ice cream as we wanted.  The news came and interviewed me and I was on TV.  Did I mention the rednecks?  Lots of camo, Skoal rings, mullets etc.  Finally, I got to leave and finally made it to Amanda's around 11:40.  That's kind of a brief summary of the whole event, but I've told it so many times that it's getting kind of exhausting.  But I am very thankful for the nice people that stayed with us at the gas station until we could leave and give all the glory to God for keeping me safe!

It knocked out the BP sign.

Knocked these over like dominoes.

Some of the scratches on my car.

My feet by some of the metal I pulled out from under my car.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Swing Batter, Batter...

Today was a fabulous day, but it had an even more fabulous ending!  I finally bought a pair of Toms, watched an intramural softball game with wonderful, crazy people, had dinner at Sonic with Jillian, and then got into a little bit of mischief...

Jordan, Chelsea, Jillian, me, and Megan

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