Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Graduation - Class of 2013

This past Saturday I spent more or less the whole day in the mini dome for ETSU's December graduation.  I knew several students in both the 10:00 and 2:00 graduations so I just made a day of it.  I've attended lots of graduations over the years and I've gotten being able to handle them down to a science.  Here are some of my tips:
  • Get there early and have adequate things to save seats with.
  • Bring snacks.
  • Bring something entertaining or sit with really entertaining people.
  • Even though it might mean lots of standing/letting people pass by you at the beginning, sit at the end of the row.  This is important for the next step.
  • At ETSU, the only entrance down to the floor where all the grads are is on the opposite side of the dome where the stage is, which is where we like to sit.  So when they're about 30 names from the end, get up, go out and walk down to where that entrance is.  That way as soon as the ceremony is over you're one of the first ones down there to meet your grad!
  • Between ceremonies go eat at the Arby's on S. Roan street.  It's close, but out of the way enough that it's not very busy and you can get back in time to save seats again.
  • Optional: Be festive and wear school colors.  
So Saturday was a long day, but it was a great day.  The best part of college ministry is being able to share life with students, and I love being able to cheer for them as they walk across stage.  Congratulations Class of 2013!

Carly graduated at 10:00 and then sat through the 2:00 ceremony with me.  Also, notice someone getting proposed to in the background?!?

Blake bought a special blue and yellow bow tie, but you can hardly see it because of his beard!

Ivy!  We first got to know each other three years ago on the spring break mission trip to New York.  Been doing life together ever since.

Preston co-wrote a song about me and toilets and likes to sing it for me.
I loaned my old film camera to Megan for one of her first photography classes and she graduated with a fine arts major!

Jillian!  We met when she was an incoming freshman and it was my first year on staff with The Well.  We journeyed both of those from start to finish, pretty much side by side.

Josh graduated on Saturday and started his new job as a manager on Monday!

And I've gotten really bad at forgetting to take pictures of my feet.  So here's a picture of the boots I wore, exactly where there were when I took them off Saturday night.

Welcome Home Ashley!

My friend Ashley has been in Birmingham all semester, serving with the ministry that I am getting ready to go serve with.  She got in last night and a whole group of us went to the airport to meet her.  She was only expecting a few people so it was fun to surprise her with more faces than she expected, as well as signs and costumes!

Yes, Jeremiah's sign says "Will You Marry Me?"  No, it wasn't real.  They're just crazy and fun like that.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Unexpected Blessing

Goodness, it's been a while!  And this isn't even a normal post for this blog, it's just to let you know there's also a new post up over on the England Edition, and it explains the picture below!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Pink and Purple Package

I've written a few times about putting together packages for friends that have a theme to them, sometimes a color or a season.  I recently put together another package, and everything in it was pink or purple.  The best part about putting this one together?  It's a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child.  Hopefully the little girl that gets this one is girly, because it's full of pink, purple, and sparkles.  I tried to have a balance of fun and practical items and think I managed to do just that, all while keeping with the color scheme.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

England Updates

Earlier in the week I made two new posts on my England Edition blog that I forgot to put links to.  One is about a recent trip to Georgia Tech and the other is about a fundraiser I had.  Head over to the England Edition to check them out!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Free Fro Yo

Last night Jillian and I went out to eat and ended up staying at the restaurant for over two hours, right until they closed.  We weren't quite ready to call it a night and then we noticed our friend Jeremiah was over working at Menchies.  It didn't close for another hour and was empty, so we went over there to hang out.  We weren't planning on getting anything to eat, but then I remembered, or at least thought, that I was supposed to get a free cup of fro yo for my birthday, which was Monday.  He looked it up and sure enough I had a free $5 value!  Surprise free dessert is the best!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sister Weekend

This weekend my sister got to come visit!  It was a weekend filled with eating, shopping (mostly of the window variety), and laughing.  She got in Friday afternoon and that evening we went and ate at The Firehouse.  She got to meet a lot of my co-workers and we split a piece of home made pumpkin pecan cheesecake that was amazing!  Well, we ate normal food too, but the dessert was the highlight.

Saturday morning we hit up a few shops in town and then headed to Asheville, North Carolina.  This would be her first trip to Asheville, so not only was I excited for her to experience it, but I was super excited about the drive there.  The leaves are absolutely gorgeous right now and I couldn't wait to see the mountains covered in them!

Once we got into Asheville we stopped by Mast General Store and French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  French Broad is a very well known chocolate shop, especially in the south.  There was a whole wall of framed magazine articles that they had been featured in, including Martha Stewart Living and several from Southern Living.  The wait was only 12 minutes or so, which wasn't bad.  I've waited close to 25 minutes before!  Amanda got a French macaroon and I got a piece of shortbread dipped in chocolate and sprinkled in pistachios.  It was very good, as I expected.

After that we stopped in Malaprop's and Bookends, both book stores.  Then Tops for Shoes, a shoe store where I petted all the Toms, and L.O.F.T.  L.O.F.T is a funky little shop with all sorts of cute and odd knick knacks.  I've gotten lots of gifts there over the years but didn't find anything this time.  By this time we were getting really hungry and went to put our name in at Tupelo Honey Cafe, because I knew there would be a wait.  The hostess told us it would be about 30-40 minutes, but it ended up only being about 20.  And in that time we were able to look around in the store next door, so it went by pretty quickly.

Amanda and I ended up ordering the same thing - their massive grilled cheese and tomato soup.  It had havarti cheese, goat cheese, ham, bacon, a fried green tomato, and basil on sourdough wheat bread.  Delicious!  The original sandwich actually had pimento cheese on it, but I subbed goat and Amanda subbed cheddar.   When we left we were stuffed and moaning about wanting to put our stretchy pants on.

We headed home after that, and encountered the weirdest weather along the way.  It started out fine, then out of nowhere it started pouring, and then it started sleeting!  A few minutes later everything stopped and there was a huge rainbow.  It was quite bizaire!  I had wanted to stop at the scenic overlook on the way home, so I was glad that all the bad weather stopped a few miles before the overlook.  These views never cease to amaze me!

We were having some issues with the self-timer...

...and then a cute little old man offered to take our picture.

After we got home we wasted no time changing into comfy clothes, watched tv, ate popcorn and went to bed early, even though we knew we were getting an extra hour of sleep.  Sunday morning we stopped by Panera for bagels before church, then went to church, and after that Amanda headed back to Blacksburg.  I'm so thankful for a great weekend during my favorite season, with my favorite sister - ok, my only sister - before I move away!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - Then and Now

We got to dress up at work today and I went as a modern day Snow White.  The idea just came to me a week ago as I was driving home from Atlanta, the only problem was that I didn't have most of what I would need.   I also wouldn't have a lot of time to put into getting it all together once I got home so I told myself if I couldn't find yellow pants on the way home, I'd just do something easier.   I made two detours to Goodwills and found these at the second one.  They're from Old Navy and still had the tags on them!  The rest was easy too, with a trip to Wal Mart and Claire's for the blue shirt and polka dotted headband.  I wore a white scarf with it too, but took it off for most of work so it wouldn't get covered in bbq sauce.

Just ignore the busted up broom and dustpan, they were the closest props.

Not everyone figured out what I was - I had one guess as Minnie Mouse and several clueless people - but I didn't really mind.  Snow White was always my favorite princess and I dressed up as her on a few occasions when I was younger, so it was fun to take a more grown-up approach to it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Puzzles and Legos

I watched the kiddos most of Friday but only had the youngest two for morning.  The baby was sleeping which meant I had some time with just Bram.  In the few months I've been here he has learned a lot and is talking so much more, it was fun to see all of that come together in some uninterrupted time together.

"Help me Aaa-meee."  I hear this about 20 times a day.  I don't mind.

Doing puzzles is serious business.

"K is for Kalala!"

Ever step on one of these in the middle of the night?  It'll wake you up!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Photo Shoots

Jillian called me last week to see if I could take some senior pictures for her since she's graduating in December and of course I agreed.  We met at The Well House last Thursday and she looked at me with this look she has when she wants to do something a little crazy and said "Sooo....I kind of wanted to take some pictures up on the roof by The Well sign."

There's a huge sign on the front of The Well House, and if you crawl through either James' or Samantha's office window you'll be out on the porch roof, right next to the sign.  I've climbed out on the roof a bunch of times over the years so I said, "Sure!  They're your pictures."  So we got on the roof and had a little photo shoot and received lots of strange looks from people walking down the sidewalk.

After that we took pictures by some ETSU signs which are right next to the street.  We received some honks and a loud "Hey baby!" yelled out the window which was just funny because she wearing her scrubs or cap and gown for most of those pictures, not exactly a sexy outfit.   We also took pictures in front of the nursing building, and we were walking around for a while with Jillian in her cap and gown and I was wearing her stethoscope around my neck.  We looked strange I'm sure, but it only seems appropriate for the two of us.

The next time she's in her cap and gown it will be graduation day - I can't wait!
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