Monday, October 31, 2011

waiting on God knows what

Hey there, reality.

After a weekend getaway at my beloved St. Simons Island for Georgia/Florida weekend, I return to real life. It was good while it lasted...even up until the morning we left, which brought a run on the beach and a breakfast at Sandcastle that was to die for. 

Seriously...can I go back already?
So I once again face everything I decided to leave behind for a few days when I began the trip to south Georgia. See, I have this tendency to need to be in control of everything. Definitely one of my bigger flaws. And so I have a hard time being okay with a future that isn't perfectly planned out. I want to know exactly what it is that God wants me to do, where I will be, who I will be with...do you get where I'm going with this? I'm a control freak. I even stack my pillows in a certain way when I go to sleep at night. I'm telling you, serious flaw. 

But for the past couple of weeks, I've been repeatedly getting this message--through scripture, through books, through conversations with people--that stresses the idea that being in a period of waiting can be a good thing if we allow it to be. Not knowing exactly what lies ahead of us shouldn't cause us to lose trust in a God who has literally planned out every step of our lives; it should do the opposite, allowing our faith to grow in the knowledge that only He is in control of any and all parts of our future. As my mom told me last week, "we just have to be willing to be willing." So true.

"Waiting may seem a time of inactivity, as far as the outer world is concerned, but it can, and should, be a time of great activity in the inner life, and the surrounding material plane."

We should be excited, not scared, of what lies ahead: "Bow as a child bows, in anticipation of a glad surprise being prepared for it by one who loves it. Bow in such a way, just waiting to hear the loving word to raise your head, and see the glory and joy and wonder of your surprise."

So use that precious time to cement a friendship with the God who will give you those surprises. And be excited about the unknown! I think I'm starting to be...


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sugar Coma

Here we are, a week after my last post, and now I have so much to catch this blog up on that I don't know where to start. For starters, here are some birthday celebration pictures that I promised: 
On Friday night, Amberleia, Phan, Lindsey and Miranda celebrated my birthday with me with a grill out! Yes, a grill out, and we did it all by ourselves. Lindsey put together the beautiful shish kabobs, and Amberleia manned the charcoal grill (isn't everything better on a charcoal grill?) I basically sat by and taste tested. Perks of being the birthday girl!

I love family birthday celebrations for a lot of reasons: I get to pick the menu and and the cake flavor,  and I get to enjoy all of it with everyone I love most. What more could a girl want in a birthday?
Compliments of Morgan Cody. Vegan Chocolate Death cake (recipe from The Grit--yum!) with homemade strawberry cream cheese icing. Even the flowers were made from scratch. I've said it before and I'll say it again: my sister will own a bakery some day. 
Being led to my birthday surprise that my mom has talked about incessantly for the past three months...
Isn't she beautiful?? I can't wait to put her in my house...you know you're getting older when you get furniture for you birthday. 





So the birthday weekend definitely put me in a sugar coma--but oh how sweet it was while it lasted!...literally. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

here's to 22

Today continues my string of special occasions...today is my birthday! I love birthdays. I love my birthday, I love family and friends' birthdays, I even love birthdays of people that I don't know, because birthdays are great no matter whose they are.  
So here's to being 22. Woah....? Yes, 22. For some reason, that number sounds infinitely larger than 21. 21 is like, "Yeah I'm 21, I'm young and fun and I can finally order a glass of wine at dinner and not potentially get arrested."
22 says, "I'm 22, so that means I'm almost done with college and that much closer to full adulthood." 
And I still feel like I'm 16. 
But...I have decided that, even though 22 is somehow this dreaded age for college students, I am going to embrace 22 with wide, open arms...and then I'm going to squeeze it and never let it go. 

My roommate Amberleia and I were trying to come up with a "theme," if you will, for my birthday last night. It was sort of a joke, but in reality it's sort of not. She came up with wisdom, and even though we were being sarcastic about being older and wiser, I really do want that to be true. I want to appreciate God giving me yet another year of life, learning and experiencing and becoming increasingly wise as I make my way through it. So here's to wisdom: may it become abundantly more present in my life with each passing year. 

Birthday celebration pictures are coming soon! Believe me...you won't want to miss the frittata I woke up to this morning. 
Happy Thursday!



Monday, October 17, 2011

a special occasion

The past few days have been full--full of love, full of sweet friends (both old and new), full of desserts..lots of desserts, and full of celebrating some very special occasions.
(Side note: "special occasions" are the name my mom, sister and I give to moments when we need an excuse for eating an excess of sweet things. I don't know how many times we've said, "But dad, it's a special occasion...")
It all began on Friday, which was my mom's birthday. My mother is absolutely the most Godly, kind, generous, wise, loving woman I know--so I was beyond excited for a day to celebrate her life! We ate supper at one of our favorite restaurants in Clarkesville, The Attic, and then headed home for presents and spending almost two hours in the kitchen just talking and...cake. My sister was blessed with this ability to whip up dishes that could rival Paula Deen's, so of course she made mom a beautiful red velvet cake. It was...there are no words...but I guess delicious will do.


Yes...she really made that. I'm convinced she'll own a bakery one day. Actually I 'm just hoping she will.

Mom opening her card from Ellie (Morgan's dog)--Ellie is so thoughtful!
Then Saturday brought a linen shower for my sister, Morgan, and it was truly one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced (and it wasn't even for me!). It was overwhelming to see so many women who love Morgan so much and wanted to make that morning incredible for her. The view, the decorations, the food, the people...it was all perfect!
I mean...can I be engaged so I can get my favorite new bedspread from Pottery Barn and have people make homemade truffles for me? Seriously, y'all.









This week brings even more celebrations! Cheers to more special occasions and reasons to enjoy the sweeter things in life...lots of them.

xoxo!

Monday, October 10, 2011

10,000

Less than nine months ago I made my second attempt at this blog. (The first came about a year ago...we see where that went) Never did I imagine that I would ever reach 10,000 page views. But here we are, at 10,000 and counting! So thank you to all of you who are reading, who are responding, who are encouraging me to continue pursuing this passion God has given me--even if it is very premature.

So as a tribute to this numerical landmark, I am going to give you 10 things I'm grateful for today:
1. YOU, for reading my blog!
2. Getting to have my sister and best friend in one person. Seriously...how lucky am I?
3. The pumpkin spice flavor that Yoforia just introduced...to die for. I will be in a yogurt coma by the end of this week, mark my words.
4. The Bible--I'm thankful for this always, but I am discovering the complexity and beauty of it as a whole. If someone were to make a movie perfectly depicting the sequence of events throughout the entire Bible, I don't doubt for a second that it would be the biggest box hit of eternity. (Harry Potter who?)
5. The red leaves that are splashed around my yard. Apparently Mother Nature is a Dawg fan, too.
6. My bed. It's like a cloud, a cloud from Anthropologie. It makes waking up in the mornings even more difficult than waking up already is...if that's possible.
7.  The Internet--without it, I would have no way to share my words with other people. Or to shop without having to get out of my sweats. Really, what did we do before the Internet?
8. A body that works and is healthy. I was able to walk to class today, go for a run, eat a meal without having to check my blood sugar. I take my health for granted every day, and that's something I want to change.
9. My family--I realize that I talk about them a lot, but I am beyond thankful for them every minute of every day. If I had to make a list of 10 things I was thankful for every day, they would make the list every. day.
10. My Jittery Joe's card. Right now I have 10 stamps, which means a free drink of my choice and size.  YES!! You better believe I'll be ordering a LARGE spiced chai tomorrow. It's going to be a good, good day.

This blog post is dedicated to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart

xoxo

Friday, October 7, 2011

T.G.I.T

Didn't you know? Thursday is the new Friday. 
Anyone who's not in college doesn't understand it; professors hate it; and I'm loving it.
Allow me the pleasure of showing you why...

Look at who came into town! Sister week continued as Morgan made the trip to Athens to spend (yet another) night with me. The night began at East West Bistro downtown, which was a serious treat for me; my college budget doesn't usually allow me to dine there often...or ever. 
We ate outside, because the weather just could not have been any more perfect.  This picture makes me love Athens a little bit more than I did already.
Obviously, we made ourselves comfortable and didn't leave until well after the street lights came alive.

And then we picked up a few of my girlfriends and headed for The Melting Point to watch my dear, dear friend Emily Hearn and The Less put on one incredible show. Seriously, if you don't already have both of their albums, get them.
This made me all the more antsy for Em's full length album to come out. I need my girl power anthems on a CD already!

Now you know why I T.G.I.T. You should try it someone--treat yourself to a little weekend-eve fun! You won't regret it...until your alarm goes off Friday morning.
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

mid-week treat

Wednesdays...they bring mixed feelings, right? They're great because they signal the halfway point of the week, but they're a tease because...well, they're only the halfway point. I guess it all depends on whether you're a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person.
I try to be the former, but with my Wednesday schedule I don't even have to be--I have no classes! It's like the perfect treat right in the middle of every week, and this week's Wednesday was exceptionally wonderful.
Luckily, I had an appointment this morning so I headed home Tuesday night to squeeze in some family time....and maybe some baking time.
Morgan and I didn't leave the kitchen until close to midnight, but it was so worth it. I was able to try out this new pumpkin cookie recipe--which is to die for, by the way--and have sister time at home, which I treasure now more than ever. Even Ellie enjoyed my baking excursion!

My Wednesday at home ended with an incredible sister lunch at Sweet Breads, this quaint bakery/cafe in Clarkesville that can whip up the most unique, delectable dishes. Tell me this isn't the coziest little nook you've ever seen:
From the decor to the dining, no detail in this place is left untouched. 
I'm already anticipating my next visit...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

and on the seventh day...

...God rested. He rested. He worked all week long, creating the heavens and the earth and the waters and all living things...you know, your typical week. And then He took a day off to revel in all that He had done.
So why have I never treated Sunday like this before? God did, and He invites us to--so why have I always left Sunday as a day to finish incredible loads of homework and finish things I put off doing all week? I honestly couldn't tell you, but I have recently discovered the beauty of Sundays.
My Sunday mornings have evolved into early runs and church and spending afternoons with people I love and community group. It's the most refreshing end to my weekend and start to my week. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? I think that's the way God wants it to be, and I am perfectly happy to obey.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

words are words

I started flipping through a particular magazine yesterday--Garden & Gun--which I had never even heard of until then. My friends Kaiti and Grace exposed me to it, and I predict an obsession to soon follow. 

As I was skimming the silky pages, my mouth watering at every glimpse of southern soul food, I couldn't help but get hooked. Every story had such depth, such character and experience behind it that just cannot be made up. The styles of those writers are all so captivating...I can only imagine what it would be like to be able to use words in such a way. 

And, of course, I started over-analyzing and thinking more deeply on the worth of words. Words, when put together with care and knowledge, can create incredible meaning. They can suck you in and inspire you and create a passion within you about something you couldn't have cared less about two minutes earlier. We speak them every day--it's how we all get through each day, how we communicate and express ourselves (both in good and bad ways). 

But what are words really worth? They can be beautiful and meaningful, but if they're not acted upon they're seemingly worthless. I love to write--both about my everyday life and about things I'm thinking about or learning--but if I don't put into practice what I'm writing about, what good are those words? They're empty. They lose all meaning, because words I don't believe in and live out are just...words. Nouns and verbs and adjectives, nothing more.

I hope and pray that I live out my words, both the ones I speak and the ones I write. I don't want people to have to "take me with a grain of salt," but to take me for what I am (although I admit, I can tell a pretty dramatic story or two). Bottom line: let your words not just be words, but truths. They will mean so much more, both to you and to everyone who hears them.