Category Archives: holiday



Happy Valentine’s Day! (or Singles Awareness Day, whichever you prefer to celebrate.) 

I’ve never been a huge lover of this holiday, but it definitely has grown on me in the past few years. It doesn’t have to be all about couples, ya know? You can celebrate this day by simply showing others you care… coworkers, your favorite barista, family, a student, friends.

This year I stepped up my non-existant game and sent out some cards to friends, and baked cookies to share at work with students and staff! It feels good having people thank you for something as simple as a card or cookie. (And I’m a sucker for snail mail.)

I put together a playlist this morning with some of my favorite love songs, and it’s been playing all day. It all started with listening to my Frank Sinatra soundtrack while baking last night- that man’s voice is like no other!

Recognize that first song? It’s from Casablanca. My one and only Valentine’s Day tradition (since 2008) has been watching that film. I plan on doing so tonight, while munching on some chocolates (thanks Padre!). My Valentine’s Days have always been super low key, and I really don’t mind it.



What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?


Top 12 in 2012


There is no way I could possibly end this year without a round-up or list of some kind. It’s no surprise that I love lists. With my forgetful nature it’s imperative that I have some sort of ongoing list on the back of an envelope with my enclosed bank statement (true story) whether it be a grocery list, my infamous mile-long to-do lists, or a list of blogging ideas. I am a list maker.

So without further adieu, I give you my top 12 from 2012: a random concoction of top memories, moments, images that stick out in my mind as being associated with this year.

12. Living in Durham

To the outsider, Durham may seem “ghetto” or “sketchy” or whatever other adjectives you might attribute to my city. But, to the insider and a Durham native her whole life, it’s a pretty great place to live. This year living back in Durham after college has been adventurous & interesting, to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about my hometown and explored new places, even started a new job in Durham. I wouldn’t trade this city for anything. 2012 has been fun, Durham, let’s see what 2013 has in store!

11. Turner Classic Movies

It sounds silly, but this year has been a great year because I’ve been able to watch TCM! I didn’t get the channel in college, and I had missed out on so many good old movies. This year, I’ve definitely upped my old movie watching and even started tweeting during some films, using the hashtag #TCMParty. It’s been so fun talking with other classic film lovers and learning all sorts of new facts about actors, directors, & films!

10. The Durham Bulls

I would be terribly remiss to post about my year and not include the Durham Bulls in some way or another. So many of my spring & summer memories involve a baseball game, or being around the ballpark. I’ve lost track of how many “girl’s nights” were had at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park with dinner before at Tobacco Road, Tyler’s, or Mellow Mushroom… how many bags of peanuts I purchased and devoured… how many tweets I tweeted to @DurhamBulls… how many parking passes I had in my car from parking before games. 2012 will be remembered as the year I learned to love the Durham Bulls all over again.


9. Summit Church

After years of hearing great things about this body of believers, I finally visited one Sunday back in April. That church is huge, and despite my introvertedness, I have enjoyed going back and blending in amidst everyone. Each time I go, I learn so much. I can’t really describe it or put into words how thankful I am for a church like that and strong leader JD Greear. His messages challenge me, make me want to be a better follower of Christ, and make me long to serve overseas. All in all, The Summit has made a huge impact on my life in 2012.

8. Volunteering as a literacy tutor

This has definitely been one of the highlights of my year, possibly even my life. Giving someone the gift of literacy, who has gone their whole life without being able to read something as simple as a menu, is so rewarding and fun! Sure, it’s been challenging on both ends, but I think my student would agree that this year has been a huge blessing and learning experience! After all, he did read his first book ever just a few months ago!

I highly urge you to volunteer somewhere and make a difference in someone’s life! If you’re in the Durham area, let me know- I have a great place for you to volunteer! 😉  (shameless plug)

7. Live Music

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing more magical to me than live music. Ok, Disney ranks up there with magical, but I simply love live music. This year I got to see a few artists/groups in concert, and it was great! Jessie Baylin, The Fray, Lucius, and Milo Greene. Plus, every Sunday at church is like a mini-concert with the awesome worship music! 🙂




Isaac on the keys



6. The NC Cow Parade

No, I’m not crazy. If you live in the Triangle area, you should have heard of the Cow Parade by now. If not, read about it here. I got to “meet” a few of these incredibly creative cows in and around the Durham area while they were in town. I think it’s so cool that something so big can be associated with my city this year!


the Burt’s Bees cow!

5. Maximus Decimus Meridius AKA the puppy we call Max.

Gifted to Mom for Mother’s Day, this little fella has brought so much love, so many smiles, and lots of memories to our family. I love coming downstairs in the mornings to his sleepy self, and coming home in the evenings to a hyperactive puppy… it’s hilarious how excited he gets to see his family!


November 2012


July 2012

4. Cancer

This year, I was reminded just how much I want to kick cancer in the rear. I lost two dear souls to that horrible disease, and it breaks my heart thinking of how many other lives were lost to cancer this year. I know both of my loved ones are now with their Savior, but I wonder how many others are assured that their loved one with Him?

In honor and memory of my loved ones who lost their lives to cancer, I donate platelets as often as I can. It’s something so simple and easy, yet it can save someone’s life!

3. Disney World

I think everyone can agree that Disney is just so magical that it makes them feel like a kid. Disney truly was magical this past March as my crazy family paraded the streets of the theme parks, rode rides, and took too many pictures.


2. My California Trip!

Clearly I have been way too eager and excited to visit the West Coast for the past few months, but this was the year that dream became a reality! I have SO many pictures and stories to share about the trip, and if you can’t wait for my dozens of recap posts, feel free to follow me on twitter and read my tweets from the trip!


1. Blogging!

Typical answer for a blogger, yes, but I have loved keeping track of my life with this blog, and finding other bloggers in my area! It’s been fun “meeting” other bloggers and I enjoy reading blogs as much as I enjoy blogging. Let’s see what the next year holds in store for me & this blog! 🙂

Sovereign God


Words cannot express my feelings today. My heart is so full of thanksgiving, love, worship, and joy.

“The only sovereign God revealed Himself to us. What mystery, that He would speak into the dark, into our hearts.”


I do have a little something to share with you: The Summit Church’s Christmas at DPAC.


I highly encourage you to watch and worship and celebrate the true reason for the holiday. I have been watching, re-watching and singing to that first song all day long. What better way to celebrate the meaning of Christmas than with worship? That’s what it’s all about, after all!



Matthew 2 : 1 -11

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.



How can we not fall down and worship the King who humbled Himself to come live as a man, and die for mankind?

“Praise the Lord. His name is holy. The earth is the Lord’s, and all He has made will sing.”



Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 11.21.58 PM



Finding Your Way


I started this blog post on Monday and have yet to finish or post it, so here goes:

Monday marked a year since I started this blog. My first post was simple and straightforward.

Entitled Finding My Way, I hoped to entice fellow bloggers and friends to keep up with my life post-college. I kept things personal at first… talking about family… birthdays… plans for the new year, etc. And then they morphed into “let me show you this part of Durham” or “here’s what I made for lunch”  and “look at pictures from my trips” posts. Then it got to the point where I wanted to reach out to a bigger audience, yet didn’t have blog content that was alluring enough. Now it’s at the “I blog for me” stage.

I can’t say that I’m proud about what the past year has held for my blog, but I’m content. Sure, my blog will never have 100+ views daily, nor will any of my posts be featured on the Freshly Pressed page, and I’ve come to accept that. My blog design isn’t as appealing as I want it to be, but it does the trick. My posts aren’t as regular as I want them to be, but that’s ok.

Let’s just pretend like this is a “Year in Review” type post, ok? A few of my personal favorite posts from the past year:

December 12: Nana’s Point of View


Spinach Pancakes

Homeschool Dance Off <yeah, I went there>

Life in the Peruvian Mountains <I miss those mountains>

Ten Reasons I’m Excited about DISNEY WORLD

Animal Kingdom                           Epcot                                 Disney’s Hollywood Studios                          Magic Kingdom

American Tobacco Campus <one of my most-viewed posts!>

What Would You Do? <in these awkward situations>

Wannabe Runner

The Art of Bus Riding in Lima

Things I Can’t Put on my Resume  <but oh, if I could…>

Durham Dates (part 1) (part 2)  <I have still yet to go on any of these dates… come on dudes!>

I Fell in Love with Swimming

How I Learned Spanish

Summer, Day 1

Wedding Weekend <SUCH a fun weekend!>


On Donating

One of Durham’s Best Kept Secrets <I dare you to read it!>

Fireworks <they’re magical!>

My Favorite Things about the Durham Bulls

On Alcohol

Dad and Sam <my student read his first book!!!!>

The Wreck

The Visitation

NC State Fair 2012

Month of Thanks

Children’s Hospitals

A Year Ago Today <graduation!>

A year has passed and I’m still trying to find my way in this world. It’s hard being a 20-something in a world that tells you to “do this” and “be that” when all I want to do is listen to God and follow His plans for my life.

Are you going to stick around for another year of me trying to find my way? 

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my one year blogiversary was 12-10-12

Children’s Hospitals


Every year the North Carolina Children’s Hospital does a big radiothon/telethon to raise money for the hospital. This year was the 11th annual fundraiser and a charity concert was added to the mix, called “Country for Kids” to be hosted by country radio station 94.7 QDR and to take place at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Ticket sales went quickly, as country fans from all over the Triangle snatched them up. I was lucky enough to get two free tickets from my mom’s office, and although I’m not a huge country fan, I couldn’t turn up a free (for me) concert!

There were 6 artists who performed in the concert last Tuesday night: Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Thompson, Kix Brooks, Gloriana, Scotty McCreery & Lee Brice. And I think you should know that they offered their music and their time for free, absolutely free. The only thing these artists gained from the concert was the adoration of their fans and possibly a few t-shirt sales. I think it’s admirable that they gave of their time and talents to support the NC Children’s Hospital.

I would show you some of my horrible quality cell phone pictures, but instead I’ll show you a few from 94.7’s facebook page!


Lee Brice


For some reason or another, I love his mohawk

Read the rest of this entry

Thoughts on Thanksgiving


It’s a little before 8pm and here I am, in sweatpants on the couch blogging.

Today went a lot like I expected. Tears, prayers, too much food. There was also a lot of laughter and reminiscing, so it was a good balance.

Riding home from my grandparent’s house stuffed like a stuffed panda pillow pet, I got to thinking. And that’s never good 😉

I just kept thinking about how blessed we were… are. How much we take for granted daily and how silly it is for us to recognize those things on one specific day each year. Why not be thankful all year long? Why does it have to be one November day? 

All month, I’ve been keeping a running list of things I’m thankful for each day. I’ll be sharing it next Friday, as the month is almost over! (CRAZY!) It’s definitely an exercise that has made me realize the little itty bitty simple things that I am thankful for.

Last night, one of my cousins spent the night with me. This morning as I was still trying to fully wake up (at 7:15, after going to bed at 11:30, mind you!!!) I told her “Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?” Without a second for thought, her immediate response was “family.”

Kids say the darndest things because honestly, her family has been such a big part of her life lately after the loss of her mother. Read the rest of this entry



Hi! How’s it going?

I am OFF work today! It’s a miracle. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but an unexpected day off is super nice! (As an AmeriCorps member, I only get a handful of days off work!) And actually I’ll be checking our volunteer inquiry emails over the next few days so I guess that’s considered work…

I slept late this morning… until 7:45… and ahh it felt so good. I made a few Cinnamon & Spice Pumpkin pancakes and a fried egg, along with a cup of coffee. Great start to my morning, right? Now I’m sitting on the couch and a sleepy puppy is curled up next to me. (He just did a random kick in his sleep, and he changed the channel! hah)

My to-do list is crazy today. I’ve got phone calls to make, mail to stick in the mailbox, studying for the GRE, going to the Verizon store and getting my phone fixed, haircut, studying for the GRE, grocery shopping (because my family procrastinates), possibly buying a plane ticket to California, using a Groupon for frozen yogurt, cleaning the kitchen, studying for the GRE, watching To Kill a Mockingbird. Ok, so it’s not so crazy, but on a day off from work I can think of many other things I would like to do instead of the above.

What are your plans for today? Read the rest of this entry



I’m not a big fan of Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love candy. I love being hospitable to people, even if it is just opening a door and handing out candy that I didn’t snarf down. And I sure do love pumpkins, although they are synonymous with Halloween AND Thanksgiving 😉

I guess I just don’t enjoy the holiday like I did as a child.

The last time I actually participated in Halloween (dressing up and getting candy) was as a 13-year old in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. I was Dorothy Gale (because duh, it’s my favorite movie) and I had made the entire costume down to the sparkly red heels. It was a magical night and although I passed quite a few other Dorothy’s, people kept commenting on my dress saying it was “perfect!” and “great!” and that they loved my shoes. I felt super special, not going to lie.

In the nine years since then, I haven’t really done much to acknowledge the holiday other than eat copious amounts of candy and admire/mock/judge people’s costumes from afar.

In high school I would stay at home and hand out candy and watch old scary movies on Turner Classic Movies. Read the rest of this entry