Monthly Archives: June 2012

Vacation & the Ocean

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I leave for vacation today. Well, it’s a mini-vacation. 

Like summer, the word vacation brings so many happy memories to mind, and a smile to my face. I consider weekends a vacation from work, and oh I love weekends. Vacation, simply put, makes me high on life. Whether it’s a weekend, a spontaneous beach trip, hours spent reading in a hammock, or a drive into the mountains. I love it!

In just a few hours, I’ll be heading to the beach!

I’m not a beach bum like some people. Sure, I love to go and relax on the beach and soak up some rays… maybe even toss a frisbee around, but I hate spending hours lying in the sand. It’s just not my thing. I’d much rather be out riding the waves and losing my contacts in the salty ocean water. (has happened more times than I dare to remember!) But after the past few weeks of working, volunteering, working, errand-running, working, etc., I could definitely use a few hours spent in the hot sand & sun. In 24 hours from now, that’s exactly what I plan on doing!!!

There’s just something about the ocean that gets me. I don’t know if it’s the rhythmic slapping of the waves on the shore, the salty breeze the waves bring that makes my hair all a wreck, or if it’s the water itself. Or it could be the whole concept… the coming and going, the washing away, the newness each day, the tides caused by the gravitational forces of the Sun, Moon & Earth. There’s something so… calming, comforting, peaceful, romantic about the ocean. Every time I see it, a feeling rises up in me… I don’t really know how to explain it. But I only feel it when I’m on a beach looking at the ocean. It’s probably a mixed feeling of awe, love, and fascination.

The ocean also constantly provides a reminder of our Creator. How can you look at the beauty of the ocean and not believe that God created it all?! It baffles me. But the ocean always reminds me of how He remains constant although the wind, waves, water may not.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

To help me get through this workday (and get in the beach mood!) I thought I would share some pictures of previous beach trips.

I’m pretttttty excited about the beach now… are you?! 

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Tweet Tweet

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It’s no surprise that I love social media. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to my friends/followers that I am a big Twitter fan. I try not to tweet too much about my boring day-to-day, but some days, I’ll admit, I get a little crazy with the tweeting.

I think I’m going to start doing a Twitter recap, or highlights from the week, because each week I have multiple favorites, re-tweets, or conversations on Twitter that make me smile/laugh/happy.  So, here goes… week #1 of my Twitter recap!

My favorite favorites:

Retweets or other Notables:

This morning I went to the Durham Farmer’s Market with Brittany and tried an adorable new cafe downtown! I splurged on some fresh flowers for myself (zinnias) and some blackberries! (and kale, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe…) I’d call that a successful trip! 😉

For breakfast, we headed to Daisy Cakes where we enjoyed Greek yogurt parfaits and iced coffees. It was so cute! I seriously loved the atmosphere and the food. And I even saw someone I know! It amazes me how I can try a new place in Durham and see someone I know… but it kind of makes me mad that they never told me about the place before! Every time I discover a great new restaurant/shop, I always share it with friends. Do you share new places, or do you keep them a secret??? 

How did you spend your Saturday morning???

Friday Favorites

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It’s Friday, Friday gotta get … ok I’ll stop there because I’m sure no one wants those dreaded Rebecca Black lyrics stuck in their head all morning.

Newsflash: it’s Friday. And because it’s Friday I thought I would use a little alliteration and share some of my favorites from this week. Thus, dubbing them my Friday Favorites. You should be excited!

 

Peaches :: last weekend in SC I splurged on a huge $12 basket of peaches. It was worth it! I got about 35 peaches in the basket and I’ve been going through them like crazy this week. Giving them away, packing them as an afternoon snack, even topping them with homemade granola for a late night snack. YUM. Do you like peaches?

 

The Tye :: Created by Vanessa, the Tye is an adorable brand of dyed hair ties! I discovered them a few months ago and ordered immediately. Let me just say that not only do they look cute wearing them on my wrist, but they make GREAT hair ties for working out/running. My hair usually falls right out with elastic hair pieces, but the Tye holds my hair up for my entire 20-mile run. (divided by ten 😉 Do yourselves a favor, ladies, and order some today!

 

The Monday Life :: This is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps hospitalized children feel better and heal faster. (taken straight from their homepage) By donating $1 every Monday, you can help change the environment within the hospital, thus helping kids heal. They are based in Chapel Hill, NC (right up the road from me!) but they don’t just support Duke & UNC Children’s Hospitals, now they also support others.

I’ve been keeping up with and supporting The Monday Life for over a year, and in that short time, their impact has been amazing. They’ve been able to donate iPads, DVDs, stuffed animals, and more to children in hospitals. Last year, some of the Duke men’s basketball players even delivered those things to the patients. How cool?! Donating $1 every Monday can go SO far! You can donate here or check them out on Facebook.

 

Safelite Auto Glass :: My car has had all sorts of windshield issues the past 6 months. From a tiny hole, to a broken windshield, then the rubber coming off at the top of the windshield. (My car sounds totally ghetto, right?) Well, Safelite has always been my go-to when my car needs repairs. Yesterday I hastily called at 10:30am, and they quickly scheduled an appointment for 4:00pm. And I was out the door by 4:45… thank goodness! I trust their employees with my car, and that says a lot. I don’t let just anyone work on (or drive) my beloved ghetto ’99 Toyota. 😉

 

Outside dinners alone :: I looooove being outside, and now that it’s officially summer I want to soak up every ounce of sunshine and fresh air that I can. After a busy day of work, appointments, and car fixings yesterday, I headed over to Foster’s Market for una cena en el aire fresco. It definitely gave me an energy boost, and a productivity boost! (and I may have done some people watching…)

My handsome dinner date 😉

Deeeelicious Mozzarella sandwich!

 

Yellow Thunder :: Cool name, huh?! The Yellow Thunder is Charity: Water’s drilling rig that is drilling wells in Ethiopia! I just found out about it yesterday, and when I saw a location update on twitter this morning, it made me smile. We take water for granted every day! How cool would it be to be a part of giving the gift of water?

 

Sunset on the first day of summer. Thanks I-85 N for allowing me to partake in the view!

What are some of your favorites this Friday??? Any BIG weekend plans?

Summer, Day 1

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Every year, the anticipation of summer is almost palpable.

It’s seen in children’s faces, heard in excited voices talking of grand vacations, and felt in the warm touch from the sun.

Summer.

Gosh, I smile just typing the word.

Summer is my favorite season for a few reasons: it means sunshine and warm weather, summer thunderstorms, my birthday, possibilities of vacation, wearing shorts every day, and doing everything possible outside. I love it!

And every summer it’s the same, I hope for the same things… lots of Durham Bulls games, trying out new restaurants, camping trips, days spent at the Eno River, a tan, going on dates, spur-of-the-moment road trips, grilling out, traveling, new friends, swimming. It seems like, before I know it, summer is gone, there’s no extra spending money, and hardly any of those things have been accomplished. Why does it always happen like that? Summer should be a fun time of year when you get to do things you love to do! (all year round should be like that, but especially summer 😉 But in the busy world we live in, it’s easy to watch days slip by without having done anything special to remember them by.

Today is the first day of summer (although it feels like North Carolina summers start in April!) , and the longest day of the year. Once again, I’ve always had grand plans for this day too… going on a spontaneous trip to a city for the day, spending the day hiking up a mountain, going rock climbing, taking a beach trip to see the sunrise and sunset, braving a river in a kayak, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Instead, I’m spending my first day of summer at work and at a meeting until late. I’ll be lucky if I make it home by 10:00pm! So I’m going to have to squeeze something special into today somewhere. I feel like today the start of summer should be marked by something unique, besides waking up at 5:15 and working all day.

What should I do today to celebrate the first day of Summer 2012?

What are you doing today to celebrate the arrival of my favorite season???

My outfit for the first day of summer: navy & hot pink dress. It’s flowy and bright (and a little short…oops) and I’m hoping the boldness of it helps me stay in a good mood today! 😉

On Orphans & Adoption

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Where to begin?

 

Oh, here is perfect:

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Orphans. A word that break my heart yet give me hope.

There are so many orphans in the world. Millions.

I have a dear friend who is waiting to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia. Their family has been waiting for a little over a year now. I realize that is nothing in comparison to other families who have waited multiple years. But this “case” is closer to home as I’ve been one of the ones in waiting and in prayer for a precious orphan.

Adoption is expensive. And with two kids and a busy lifestyle, sometimes it’s hard to save money and depend on God to provide. But sometimes, your church friends & family help out a little 🙂

Almost two months ago now, my friends had a fundraiser for their adoption. I offered to help in anyway possible. I love to decorate, set things up, and serve. It’s one of my gifts. I prefer to be behind the scenes serving rather than up front speaking any day!

So one Saturday morning, I headed up to help my friends. And when we had down time, I played frisbee and t-ball with their girls. When the food got there- grilled barbecue chicken, green beans, potatoes  (props to my dad for cooking it all!) we all got ready to serve. I was in charge of ice and drinks. And although it sounds like a lame job, I was happy doing it! I liked making smalltalk with everyone and scooping the ice and getting the drinks ready. Any small way I can help, I’ll do it! Because I was busy during the dinner & music, I didn’t have an opportunity to snap pictures of all the supportive friends who came out to donate to the adoption.

But here are some pictures I took before the adoption fundraiser:

Do you know anyone who is waiting to adopt?  Have you ever gone through the adoption process?

 

Wedding Weekend

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If I could re-live this past weekend, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was the weekend that two dear college friends got married.

Although the past four days went by in a blur, I can tell you just about everything that happened. I don’t know where the time went but I know that special memories were formed and will be cherished forever.  And I took 548927 pictures so of course I will remember!) [Ok, so I didn’t take that many pictures, but it was pretty darn close! Expect to see lots of pictures on the blog in the next few weeks!]

 

 

I took a little road trip South with my mom.

I played a ton of cornhole. So much fun!

I drank lots of sweet tea, and Cheerwine out of glass bottles.

I reunited with friends from college whom I hadn’t seen in months.

I helped decorate with dozens and dozens of mason jars. There’s just something about them that says “country wedding.”

I watched two of my best college friends vow to love each other for “richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” in front of so many people who love them.

I cried and laughed all weekend long.

I watched people as they celebrated the love of and congratulated the newlyweds.

I smiled, laughed, and goofed off for what felt like hundreds of pictures pre and post-wedding!

I learned that small talk with strangers over breakfast can lead to some interesting conversations!

I left South Carolina with a full heart.

 

Some snapshots from my weekend:

 

 

Weddings are such joyous occasions and I feel so blessed to have been a part of Brittany & Daniel’s special day. I don’t think they could have asked for more perfect weather, or a more beautiful ceremony & reception. It was perfect. I can only hope that someday my wedding is as wonderful!

Brittany & Daniel- I love you both dearly and can’t wait to come crash at your apartment 🙂 after a few weeks of your newly-wedded bliss, of course! 😉

In Five Years

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A few weeks ago I sat down and wrote out a few goals for the next five years. The “writing your goals down” is no stranger to me… I used to do it every school year. Of course, those were just academic goals, nothing too important 😉 In college, my goals and dreams went something like this:

Pick a major. Find my dream man and fall in love. Get good grades. Get engaged. Graduate. Get married.

Can you tell that I (and my family) had always thought I would meet my husband in college and get married after graduating? It’s a Southern thing. Now that I am out of college and only three of the above goals have been achieved, I figured it was time to write out my next set of goals (in lime green and light blue, of course!), however silly or unreachable they might be.

You see, the thing with me is I have no idea where I want to be in the future. I’ve always just gone with the flow, let God lead. And that’s still the case in my life because I have no big plans. My future is completely uncharted, and in a way, I like knowing that. But in a way, it is kind of unnerving and scary. So when writing down my goals I made sure to include all areas, not just profession or education. I have lots of little things I want to do…

~ Take the GRE

~ Apply for and get accepted into the Speech Therapy Graduate school program at UNC

~ Volunteer within the Spanish-speaking community

~ Move out and get a place of my own

~ Sponsor a child through Compassion International or World Vision

~ Travel more within the United States

~ Learn more foreign languages and improve my conversational Hindi & Chinese

~ Visit every state park in North Carolina

~ Run a 5K

~ Become a friend and mentor to a young girl

~ Teach English abroad for at least 3 months

~ Fall in love?

~ Read classic literature for fun

~ Backpack (part of) the Appalachian Trail

~ Visit major US cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco.

~ Memorize a book of the Bible

~ Learn a new sport

~ Pursue a new hobby or craft

~ Go on more overseas mission trips [Peru, India, Africa, Haiti?]

Although I have put the lime green and blue pens away, this list isn’t complete. It could go on and on. There are so many things I want to do in my lifetime, and despite the fact that five years doesn’t seem like a very long time in the scheme of things, to me it is and I feel like there’s so much I could accomplish. Sure, some of the things on my list are silly and pointless… I mean, how often would I ever use conversational Hindi, and what sport could I actually play?! And some things are subject to change. I mean, I could end up getting a great job within the next few months and I wouldn’t need to go to graduate school. Or I could end up going overseas to teach English for a few years. I don’t know. But I think that’s the whole point of writing out goals… you don’t know where you’ll be, but you know what you want to have done with that time.

What are some of your five-year goals???

 

Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

James 4:13-14 ‘Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Ziplining

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Back in April, my parents treated my brother and I with yet another memorable experience. Ziplining!

In the olden days when I went to youth camps, I would always choose rock climbing as my afternoon activity. After climbing the wall you had the option to zipline the whopping 75yards down, or belay down. Of course I chose to zipline. And I thought it was the greatest thing. Until I saw the lines at the place we went. SO.MUCH.BETTER.

It started out really awkward… having the men put harnesses on and make sure it was tight enough…. awkward.

Then we went for a little hike to get to the first test lines. The two guides taught us how to brake using our heavy duty gloves. That was interesting and sometimes hard to manage because if you braked too soon you wouldn’t make it to the end! And too late and you might hit the guide. I may or may not have done that a few times…oops.

The best ziplines were the ones when we didn’t need to brake. Gravity would take care of it for us. I think the maximum speed we got up to was 40mph at least. The entire tour consisted  of about 8-12 ziplines and took a few hours once you added in all the instruction and walking and talking. Since Mom didn’t do it with us, she was our photographer from the ground. And although I had my camera I didn’t get many great action shots. I was too interested in all the green 🙂

Oh and did I mention it was a brisk 50-some degrees that day??? Yeah, so not cool. It was so cold up in the trees and despite the layers and gloves, I was a shakin’ the whole time. But it was so much fun that I tried to ignore the cold!

I even recorded the “ride” down on one of the lines over the big green field. It was so fast! But sadly, I cannot upload the video. Either I’m just not technically savvy or it’s too big to add. Oh well.

Fun fact- my grandpa is 73. And just last year he went ziplining in Costa Rica after he and my grandma had taken a cruise there. He LOVED it. And it is shocking that at his age he didn’t get hurt and that he had fun! Hopefully when I get that old I can still enjoy doing adventurous stuff like that 😉

 

Have you ever been ziplining??? Where at???