Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Think I Can...Tomatoes

In my last post I told you that day 1 of my 7 journey brought the making of what I deem the secret to the best chili and spaghetti you'll ever have eat...or inhale, if you use this ingredient.

(Side note: there are a lot of numbers going on here. I'm sorry about that. I really am, because I understand. There is a reason I majored in public relations.)

My mom has been a canning machine all summer long, let me tell you. Pickles, squash pickles (she gets to enjoy those by herself), green beans, blackberry jam...our pantry is stocked full. And I love it. I love it because I think that canning has become a lost art, something that people don't want to mess with anymore because it takes time. Imagine that...having to wait on something and be patient. Yes, it's 2012 and I believe that those are lost arts as well.

But not for Britt! So on day 1, she conquered tomatoes:

This was a continuation of her summer canning projects, yes, but it was also a way to help preserve produce for our first month of 7. (If you are still completely lost as to why I keep dropping the number 7, read my last post.)
I give my mom 100% of the credit for all of the cans we ended up with, but I DID peel the skins off of some of the tomatoes after they had been submerged in scalding hot water. And then I ate them. I ate hot, limp tomato skins. I must have been starving?...But I swear they were good.




I know it looks like a weird process--and it is--but listen to me. These canned tomatoes are magical. Put them in your chili this winter (or this summer, if you're insane); put them in your pot of spaghetti and you might even decide that you don't need noodles. 
That's a lie. Spaghetti must have heaping piles of noodles.
It must also have a spoonful of grape jelly in the meat and tomato sauce. Know that I LOVE YOU because that is a secret family ingredient.
Not a secret anymore. 

I promise I can keep secrets!

So we continue our 7 journey loving vegetables and loving the time we get to spend together canning them. Because that's part of the journey, simplifying life and enjoying more of Jesus in the simplicity. 
For me, it's also discovering new foods that God gave us that I haven't made time to cook and love. One of my principles is to find seven healthy foods that I have never cooked and...well, cook them. Take advantage of the options that God has so generously provided. 
Because he could have just given us iceberg lettuce and called it a day. But He didn't, because He loves us and wants us to have things like...rainbow chard! 


I have had it before but never bought and fixed it for myself, so here was an opportunity. Rainbow chard (stems included--there the vitamins lay), mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes...
YUM. Thank you Jesus for rainbow chard!





7

If you are a woman (of any age, really) from or living in Habersham County, then you probably knew what this post was going to be about the minute you saw the title.

7. It's a book. It's a journey. It's a semi-temporary lifestyle--one that I hope to continue even after the journey officially ends.

About a month ago God spoke to a woman named Heather Cody--really, truly, so seriously a woman of God--through "7" and inspired her to create Group 7. The book, written by a rockstar of a woman named Jen Hatmaker, follows the author's family's journey in identifying seven areas of excess in their lives and the seven choices made to fight back against them.

Food.
Clothes.
Spending.
Media.
Possessions.
Waste.
Stress.

Thirty days are spent on each topic--thus, the seven-month journey. Each month follows a rule of seven: only seven foods are eaten, seven articles of clothing worn, spend money in seven places...you get where this goes.
Honestly, I can't possibly explain the enormity and depth of this journey on my own; any effort to do so would be inadequate. See for yourself: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/12/26/an-experimental-mutiny-against-excess.

So after Heather's prompting on Facebook to become a part of this revolution, responses poured in. I think people are weighed down by the excess our culture encourages, suffocated by lifestyles that make life increasingly complicated and competitive; I know I am. So onto the bandwagon I hop! I do this alongside women in my community that I so respect and admire, alongside my sister and best friend, and alongside my mom and dad--praise JESUS for a family that is making this journey together!

NOW...I am doing a modified version of 7. When I say modified, I mean that I am not choosing seven single foods to eat for a month but will base my eating choices around seven principles that were made to make less of me and more of the sweet Jesus that I'm counting on to get me through this month. Seriously, He has to show up, because I can.not. do this alone. I could literally feel my jaw clenching as my mom and I wrote down our seven principles the other night.

"Mom. After I write this, it's done. It's done. This thing might as well have been written in blood! I can't go back after it's written. (Dramatic wail follows)"

So please ignore me when I come complaining about how I haven't gotten to eat Yoforia "oneeeeeee singleeeeeeeee stinking time" in two weeks; I'm just being dramatic, and Jesus is not amused.

I feel like I'm leaving this blog unfinished somehow, because there is SO much more to all of this than I have made known. But that's what I'm dedicating this blog to sharing over the next few weeks--shoot, the next seven months!--as I experience a journey that will simplify life and amplify Christ.

The journey technically started yesterday, so I'll share a bit of what day 1 held in a later blog post (hint: it makes for the best crock pot of chili or bowl of spaghetti you'll ever have, promise. Cross my heart, hope to DIE in a pot of said spaghetti!).

Soooooo here we go! Jesus be near and please, for the love of all things sweet, keep Grit cake away! Satan would have a field day with that one...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

summer update: via instagram (and a few captions, too)

This post is more to pacify my OCD tendencies than anything else. Because how can I carry on with my blog when I haven't even written about what I'm doing this summer?? For all the blogger world knows, I could have been hiding in a cave for the past two months.

I haven't, by the way.

I've been in Atlanta, interning at a public relations firm called The Reynolds Group. I always knew that PR was a fast-paced industry, but now I know it..you know? I've loved it though, finally getting to experience PR first-hand and see the side of it that you don't ever learn about in the classroom (there are moments I wonder if they don't do that for a reason). I've already been sending prayers up about the process I will begin this fall in applying for an opportunity to do this full-time. 
Where will I live?
At what agency will I work? Big? Small? 
Who will my clients be? Will I get perks? (okay...the second question is a selfish one.)
Will I have friends??
Who knows...we'll see what God has in mind in a few months.

I'm living in a beautiful house in Buckhead with three other girls who love Jesus and who love the city--what more could I ask for? It really has been a beautiful summer, amidst the unknowns that still linger. 
You can see for yourself:

Yoga on the terrace at Loews Hotel (one of The Reynolds Group's clients)

Well I can't go a WHOLE summer without being at Lake Burton....

...because then I would miss out on late nights on the porch like these

Camping out in a vineyard in Chattanooga with an old friend and some new ones

oh, did I forget to mention that one of my very best friends got MARRIED? Grace was the most beautiful bride--such a great wedding weekend! Love that one so much..


typical monday night in our house. awesome, right? (side note: this is my photographer roommate who is SO talented and you should check out her work! Or add her on facebook, because a lot of it is there, too. okay, that's all.)
and this is what I am coming home from, which was MUCH needed on my part.  chair in the sand, book in hand, life was...grand...)
And it's only halfway over. To be continued...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will win this battle

You want to know something? My fingers are fighting this right now. Fighting so hard. Fighting with every fiber of their being.

Let me tell you how I won the battle against my fingers. 

But let me preface with my current situation. Right now I'm on vacation with my family; this year, for the very first time, that includes my mom and dad. This is my first summer vacation without my sister, Morgan, since...ever. 

Yes, I have let myself have a few pity parties. I'm sorry about it. But not really, because I just miss her. 

Well, Hurricane Debby decided to make an appearance at the start of our vacation; torrential rain, winds that had palm trees on the x-axis, rain, small bodies of water, rain, 200% humidity, and rain ensued. I'm not kidding.
But you know what my sweetest dad did? He scheduled massages for all three of us to make up for days lost on the beach. He's the best, I tell you.

And as I was laying on the table, curls going in 17 directions and with a thin layer of sand still on my body from the beach that morning, I fell into this trance. From the first minute of that massage (which was the best I've ever had, by the way), I could literally feel endorphins releasing. Or maybe those were all the toxins running, screaming as they were pushed forcefully out of my muscles. But I'm pretty sure they were endorphins. Because all of a sudden I couldn't stop thinking about this darn blog. I've been fighting it for so long, mostly because it's been too long since I last wrote. I hate starting and not finishing things, or just not following through with them the way I think I should. I'm a perfectionist. It's a blessing and a curse--a blessing for obvious reasons and a curse because I get frustrated when I don't do things the "right" way and end up just avoiding them. Well that fixes the problem...not.

So I'm laying on the table, soaked in oils and the most relaxed I've been since never and this. stupid. blog. won't get out of my head. 
Fight it, Sarah Beth. Write. Who cares that you haven't written in 167 weeks? Who cares that you couldn't possibly cram the past two months (okay...so maybe it's only been 8 weeks) into one post? Or even 10? Just write. 
Write.
Write.
Write.
SHUT UP. I get it...

And then there's today. I was sitting on the beach, reading a solid classic novel with the sun beating down on my body--oh, there is nothing better--when I got this whiff of cinnamon. Maybe a hint of brown sugar, too. Whatever it was, it took me back to my childhood and all of the mornings my mom would fix cinnamon toast for breakfast. I have this thing with smells--I remember them and connect them to moments for the rest of my life. So, naturally, the cinnamon (which was, in reality, probably some 4-year-old opening a pack of teddy grahams five feet left of me) made me a little nostalgic. And I started going back in time a little and thinking of old, good memories. So the blog came back to me. Because it's an old, good memory to me right now. (ha! I laughed as I wrote that, and I don't know why. probably because that's a little sad)

And that's when I won the battle against my fingers. Because those two moments brought about in me a resolve--a resolve to write. My life is confusing and sporadic and spread out and exciting (and, consequently, a little stressful) at this point, but that doesn't mean I can't write about it. Or about anything. That means I should write, because maybe it would keep me sane. 

So here it is. I win. I win. And I'm not making any promises, so don't create any expectations. But I will write. I will write even if I go nine days without writing. I will write even when I feel like I have nothing to say. Because who always has something to say? (well...some people do. and it's not always a good thing) I will fight my fingers every day if I have to, because I know that my thoughts are much, much bigger. And they will win.



Friday, May 4, 2012

end of an era

Today my dad will make his way to Athens in one of those beloved (and by that I mean obnoxious) Uhaul trucks and finish the process that my mom and I painstakingly began on Monday. 
moving out.
so bittersweet, is it not? 
I've been in the sweetest little house with Amberleia (roommate and friend of 8 wonderful years) for the past two years, and it's been so good to me. It's walking distance to campus (although some would argue with me on that), in the midst of a neighborhood whose mornings find women working in their yards and babies in their strollers, and--more importantly--a hop, skip and a jump away from Yoforia.
love you, Southview.
I also said my goodbyes to "the Hampton House" a few nights ago. It's the house I moved into when I first transferred from Presbyterian College to UGA 2 1/2 years ago. Through a friend of a friend of a friend...etc. I found out about a girl who was studying abroad and needed someone to sublet her room. 
Did I know her? you ask.
No, I didn't. 
Did I know her roommates that would still be there?
Negative.
Quite seriously one of the scariest things I've ever done. 
But Jesus is so good, and those girls quickly became my best friends. It's still so crazy to me how one phone call to a random girl asking her if I could live in her bedroom for four months changed my college years forever. 
(so just a side reminder: if you're ever wondering what in the world God is doing with you, know that He has a purpose and a plan. and you might just end up with four new best friends because of it.)
I say all of that to acknowledge that I have come to the end of an era--one that has been full of, well, everything. Up's and down's, big changes, growth, classes that make you hate your life for a little bit, and lots of nights spent at Jittery Joe's (although that's not quite over for me yet). 
So I leave Southview and Hampton with little pieces of my heart and move on to the next era--one that is full of unknowns--in the hope that it will capture my heart in just the same way.

the end.
(before I get too sappy and reality sets in)






Wednesday, May 2, 2012

here and now

I come to you reporting from UGA's exam week, Spring 2012. The forecast is sunny with high levels of stress and procrastination. 
...and clearly exams are taking top priority in my life right now. 
Honesty, I can't remember ever being so ready to be done with a semester (I think I say this at the end of every semester), and so my mind has already fast forwarded to summer--which, by the way, I will be spending in Atlanta, praise to God above!
But...
as I find myself being so removed from the present and ready for the next adventure, I find myself missing out on what God is doing here and now. This semester has been a long one--good in so many ways, hard in a lot of ways. I've spent a significant amount of time looking back on the past four months and wondering if I didn't make the wrong move at times, if I didn't mess up God's plan because of my impulsive, emotion-based decisions. 
The cool thing is, nothing--absolutely nothing--I do can ever mess up God's bigger plan. He is God, King of the Universe. He is Infinite and All-Powerful and All-Knowing. 
And I really think that I, a simple, sinful human, could mess Him up? 
Well, I have cut myself a hefty slice of humble pie and realized that the answer to that question is never
So I cannot dwell on the past, nor on the future--because that's God's plan, too--but I can live in the present, soaking up the last part of this chapter and preparing myself for the next. 
Hold true to the hope that God will work through even the messiest past, is right beside you--inside of you--in the present, and already knows your future, promising to love you the whole way.
Sweet relief.

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! 
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning."
Lamentations 3:21-23

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

and it's all the happier

It's mid-morning but my room is still dark, only lit by the lamp that sits atop my nightstand. The rain is coming steadily--no pitter patter here. To my right I hear what sounds like a stream rushing by; to my left, the drip of raindrops falling from the edge of the rooftop. 
My coffee is hot. My Bible is near. 
oh...what a Wednesday.
And while rainy days tend to seem dreary and absent of things happy, they are so full of life. Literally, the rain is what gives life to everything we enjoy on those sunnier days, no?
So I should be no less thankful for rainy days--yes, even when I have to run through them for dear life to get to my classes. 
This morning I was reminded of that in the happiest way. The opening to my quiet time could not have been any more fitting:

"Love and laugh. Make your world the happier for your being in it. Love and rejoice on the gray days."

I love this. And though I mess up daily, hourly, on the minute, I tell you, I pray that God is able to make himself at home in my heart and mold me into a person that makes the world happier for my being in it. 
Love and laugh. 
That means love everyone--especially the people who are hard to love. 
Laugh always--it's our way of showing God that we enjoy Him and everything He has given us.
Which is everything, by the way. 

love, love, love. it is the secret to everything.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

my life [in color]

At this moment I really just want to write, but I am making myself wait until I have time to actually put thought into the words I often just let loose on here. 
So until then...
my past week in color:
The woods at the Cody house have finally blossomed into that luscious spring green I eagerly anticipate every year. It makes home feel like a fairy land...or just a house in the woods, I guess. 


Meet Gracie. She's 16 and talks almost more than any human I know. My mom always says that I don't give her enough love, so here


Stringing green beans with dad for Easter. Of course this venture started out with, "When I was younger..."

loved getting to spend Easter with this little one! I'm dying to get one of my own so that she can have a friend (also so I'll have something to cuddle with). But I'm going to wait until I'm older and have a real house and someone to share the responsibility with. And money. I think. 

much needed girls' night at Aromas...



real words to come soon, i promise

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a rainy respite

Hellloooo April! Wait. What. What?? April? How is it already April
Then again, this weather lately has felt like a flash forward to July, so I guess it all balances out.

I had intended on continuing my work mode after supper, but this thunderstorm had other plans. How was I to bury my head in a book (one that is no Jane Eyre, let me tell you) when all I could hear was the patter of raindrops dripping off the roof of Jittery Joes, the never ending roll of thunder in the background? 

I also didn't really have a choice, because the storm caused Jittery Joes' internet to shut down.
So here I am, still listening to that rain and so thankful that God sent it our way. There is just nothing quite like listening to a thunderstorm as you go to sleep...nothing like waking up in the middle of the night and nestling just a little further under the covers as you remember how warm and dry you are...nothing like getting up the next morning to the smell of fresh rain. And nothing like the rain being over before you have to make that 30 minute walk to campus.
Nothing like it, no there is not.

So let's take note that it is April again. That means that I have all but one month left of my senior year of college (let's not take note that I have one more semester in the fall).
My friends and I have all realized, much to our dismay, that our time left in Athens is short. And we have resolved to soak it all in, whether that be with Yoforia or a glass of wine downtown or skipping a class to be at the pool. 



 
Here's to April! And all of its showers that will bring May flowers...and a transition to Atlanta for the summer! More details about that to come later--I'm soaking in today, for now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

amazing grace

It was around 10:00 last night before I had finally gotten around to eating supper, taking a much needed shower and smothering myself with aloe (pool day on Wednesday took quite the toll on the entire front half of my body). As I settled into the couch, ready to sink myself into homework mode for the rest of the night, I stumbled across something on my phone. I never go into my notes on my phone--I don't even remember putting anything there--but before I knew it, my fingers had tapped their way into my notes. And there I found one sentence:

When the grace of God ceases to be amazing, it ceases to be grace.

I don't even have to elaborate. It's as simple as that. Grace is amazing. When it ceases to be, it ceases. Period. But how often do I cease to be truly amazed at the grace God shows me every day?..every second of every day, because I am one sinful human being. 
This was God ending my day with a reminder of his grace. And He put it in bold, and then italicized it, and then underlined it, and then sprinkled it with fairy dust that made it look beautiful.
"Sleep on that, Sarah Beth..." 

So I'm glad I ended up in my notes tonight. And no, I don't think it's just a coincidence. I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in Jesus.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

it's a long one..

Well this is weird. I don't even know how to start this blog.
Since when do I not know how to start a blog?
...
I guess that's what happens when you neglect something for over a month (sigh...I'm sorry, blog). The beauty of a blog is this: I look at it like a good friend--no, a best friend--you know, the kind that you can go a year without seeing and somehow still pick back up with right where you left off when you finally do. 
So this blog is not over. No, even though I was a very, very bad friend for a month it's not over.
(echo..."It's not over! It was never over!"...my blog version of The Notebook)

I don't know if I could even begin to skim the surface of the last month of my life, but I can pretty well sum it up when I say that God has shown me some very profound things in very big ways. And yes, leading me back to this blog was one of them.
As a senior in college, my thoughts are more often than not directed towards my future: what is my internship going to be like? will they see me as competent? what if I get them the wrong kind of coffee? (not so important) where am I going to live when I graduate? am I going to get a job??
The problem with being so consumed with my future is that I often get lost in the present, forgetting that life is happening now, and I am missing it by planning for the life that I am not even promised. 
I was talking to my mom a couple of weeks ago about this very thing--about how it's so easy to feel so out of place because my life is in such a mode of transition right now.
"Mom, I haven't even written a blog in three weeks! I don't have anything to write about because I don't even know what's going on right now. What's wrong with me??" I said, half laughing and half crying at the same time. But seriously...what is wrong with me?
"Sarah Beth, yes you do. Write about this. Write about what everyone else out there has felt at some point." oh...how do moms always have the most obvious answers?

How true it is that during those times in life when we feel so lost, overwhelmed, unsure, excited but nervous but mostly like we might throw up at the thought of being completely, 100% independent (I could go on...), God shows himself in the biggest ways. He can do that because when all else seems so uncertain, He is the only thing that we can be certain about. That and Yoforia. okay just kidding..but really. 
As I was hanging out with Jesus yesterday morning I read a few very profound things. Let me rephrase: God told me a few very profound things through these words in a book I was reading.

"Trust me one day at a time. Come to me for understanding, since I know you far better than you know yourself. I comprehend you in all your complexity; no detail of your life is hidden from Me."

No detail. Literally, God knows everything from the number of hairs on our head to the thought that just passed through our head 17 seconds ago to the way we really feel about something that we keep blowing off as "fine."
Thank goodness He understands me, because I don't even understand myself. And thank Him that I can trust Him fully, one day at a time. He says one day at a time because that keeps us close to Him. And that means trusting, waiting on Him in the way He designed us to live: all day, every day.
(did you read what you just wrote, Sarah Beth?)

there it is. there's where my heart has been for the past month. 
but my blog is my medium, so I return to it ready to continue putting my "heart on a page," as my mom calls it. so this one is for you, mom, for encouraging me to write even when I feel like it would be easier to read Chinese than to make sense of my thoughts. i'm back!



Sunday, February 26, 2012

there's no place like...

Home.
That word holds such meaning, doesn't it? The connotation it brings with it is somehow so much more than any number of words could describe. It's more than a house--much, much more than a house. It's even more than that place you grew up or the place you go to on weekends in college when you just need to get away. 
It's...well, it's home.
And this weekend I went home. I went home to mom and dad, to ears that listen and arms that love to hold.  I went home to a cozy fire and a refrigerator stocked with fresh fruit (my mom knows me well :)) and my bedroom with those beautiful red walls that hold pictures from a time that seems so long ago.
So after long conversations over delicious meals, a massage that nearly brought me to tears because I had so many knots in my shoulders, and a Sunday family lunch that brought everyone I love to our home, I feel like I can take on the world again.
In addition to a Pioneer Woman macaroni dish and dessert, Morgan volunteered  to bring her homemade sweet potato biscuits. And let me tell you. These were not just any sweet potato biscuits...
Morgan brought homemade lard that she rendered last night to use in her biscuits. This is the real deal, y'all. For a second--if only for a second--it made me want to go back in time, live on a farm and milk a cow or something.
...I told you lasted for a second.

Of course I had to show Ellie some love since I wouldn't give her any of my food under the table. I'm only being a responsible aunt. And no one eats my sweet potato biscuits but me.

And this is what I saw as I made my way down my driveway and returned to "real life," as I like to call it. It made me want to turn around and go back to my spot in front of the fireplace a little bit, but I drove on. I drove on because I know that whenever I need a little bit of home I can just call, because that's what really makes that house a home anyways.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

loud and clear

There are days when I can feel God speaking to me through what I'm reading, and then there are days when I feel Him yelling as loudly as He can--in the most gentle way, of course. 
Lately I've been reading the same things over and over again, and not because I'm seeking out books or scripture on these topics but because they always just end up in front of me. 

Topics:
waiting 
resting
trusting
praying

...coincidence? I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.

This morning the title of my devotional was "You Must Trust." (Okay God...I HEAR YOU)
And it didn't just say to trust; it said to trust wholly, absolutely, and continuously. 
"All doubts arrest God's work."
As in, not trusting in God's perfect timing for His perfect plan literally halts His work. God can only work when we surrender all doubts and worries. So when we wonder why something hasn't happened or why we haven't received an answer, maybe it's because we're praying without expectation. Expect. Trust. 
I'm a control freak, a worrier, a human--so I'm preaching to myself right now. But I'm also asking you to expect, because I think that when we all learn to expect things of God, big things will begin to happen. And I'm ready for that.




Friday, February 17, 2012

let's catch up

One of these days I'm going to figure out how to not let myself feel guilty for blogging when there are ten other things I should probably be doing. (Key word: probably. Not definitely. This is what makes it okay to blog when my planner is telling me to do everything but)
So let's catch up. The past week has been full of good, good things:

Going to see Morgan and Trey for the first time since their wedding! Lucky for me, Morgan had set aside last Saturday to try out her new apple fritter bread recipe that she had linked up to the day before on her blog. Um...yes, I'll stick around for that. 
I felt like I was five years old again, hovering over the goodie-in-making--as if that would make the process go by any faster.
But when it finally did...
Oh. my. apple fritter. 
Literally one of the most delicious things I've tasted. This bread is meant to be pulled apart, but you better believe I went in with a fork. 

But then it was back to real life. Back to school, back to..Valentine's Day? Yes! I always wonder what would happen if people celebrated love the way that they did on this one day. I know that I would be one happy girl for sure, because I always end up with a surprise on my doorstep from my sweet parents on Valentine's Day :)
This year it was a beautiful arrangement of flowers, which is honestly better than anything sweet because the latter doesn't ever last very long with me.

And before I knew it, it was time for sister slumber party! Trey had to be in Atlanta for work Thursday night, so of course we had to have girls night (Ellie included). 

We indulged in froyo,
made a 10:30 trip to RedBox to get Bridesmaids,
watched Live with Kelly in bed (miss you, Regis!),
and I had black coffee for the first time ever. It was real.
And now it's time to go begin my weekend--my best friend is coming to Athens tonight, which means I'll definitely have blog material soon. 
Until then! xoxo



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

today

I woke up this morning feeling especially thankful for a few things in particular:

Grapefruit. I love a good grapefruit. Even though it takes me nearly twenty minutes to peel the skin off of each slice. Grapefruit also reminds me of my Poppie, which makes it that much sweeter to eat.

A college schedule. I don't have class until 12:20 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which I once felt almost guilty about but am now learning to be so, so thankful for. It's a time to wake up and make coffee and have a quiet time and do laundry...wait, maybe I should figure out a way to stay in college a little longer...kidding, dad!

The women in my life. Morgan is finally back from her honeymoon--praise Jesus!--so now I can blow up her phone whenever I want to again. Seriously, it was a rough week. And, of course, my sweet mom..precious, right? I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand times more: I hope and pray to the good Lord above that I can be the wife and mother she is one day (hopefully with her level of patience, but that would be asking for miracles, so I'll keep it at this). 
Just ignore the tears that are fixing to spill over my eyes
Okay, I can't forget the man in my life. I'm in love with this picture! (and, obviously, the two people in it)

That doesn't even skim the surface. Those are really just the things I happened to be thinking about when I first woke up. Since starting this post I've thought about being thankful for the Yoforia that is walking distance from my house, the heat that warms my house (and my heart--because I really hate the cold), and the fact that I get to go to class and learn new things today.
That last one might not necessarily be true, because my comm. law professor doesn't quite possess the gift of teaching, but nevertheless...I'm thankful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

flowers in february

Last Saturday, as my sister and new husband Trey's reception came to a close, it came time for her to throw the bouquet. The band called all the girls forward with a Motown version of "Single Ladies," and suddenly every guy had evacuated the dance floor. Quickly. 
I moved around the crowd of girls, trying to figure out where I should stand to catch the bouquet. (Actually, I was trying to think about Morgan's throwing range and how close I really needed to be :))
But Morgan is the sweetest bride ever, and I didn't even have to catch the bouquet--she called me up and gave it to me! When I walked up she said, "You know what this means, right?"
....sorry, I will not be getting married next.
But I'm still so glad I have her bouquet to keep forever! 
I'm drying it out now and have thought about carrying it at my wedding rehearsal one day. In the meantime, I'm crossing my fingers that the flowers won't have crumbled to nothing by then. 

Those aren't the only flowers I'm enjoying right now--look at these guys!

As I was walking through North Campus to Starbucks for a little mid-morning tea, these daffodils caught my eye. I love warm weather and I love flowers, so the fact that both have arrived in February has made me one happy girl. How I love Georgia winters...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

wedding whirlwind

Well...we're just going to pretend like those last 28 days didn't happen. 
Or maybe we'll just forget that I made my way through them without blogging one. single. time.
I'm sorry...I'm sorry! I resolved in my New Year post that I would be a better blogger, and look at me. (I told you resolutions don't work)
School started, life got crazy, my sister got MARRIED--you know, just everyday things. 

Wait, no. As in, Morgan got married. My oldest sister and very best friend married her very best friend this past Saturday, and the weekend truly could not have been more perfect. Despite being somewhat of an emotional basket case at times, I held up pretty well for the important parts. And no, that doesn't count Morgan walking down the aisle. Who do you think I am?

Last week I was so distracted--all I ever wanted was to be at home with Morgan to prepare for the big day. And by prepare I mean mentally and emotionally. 
I wasn't able to come home until Thursday evening, but when I finally did I found mom, dad, Meme, Nana and Papa having a ribbon tying party! With less than two days to get ribbons tied onto over 500 programs, it was a family effort.
Friday brought the bridal luncheon--perfect in every way--and the rehearsal dinner. I was planning on throwing in a funny story or a joke during my improv toast...but tears came instead. Despite my cliche speech, the night was incredible! Look at that beautiful bride-to-be.
And getting ready for the wedding was an event in itself. Mimosas, food for days (I'm so glad I wasn't the one trying to fit into a wedding dress, because I'm not sure it would have happened), and monogrammed oxford shirts for all the bridesmaids to get ready in! Is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Of course Morgan's was a different color :) 
The ceremony was beautiful--God was such a part of it, and seeing my sister married to Trey under such a foundation of faith was incredible and inspiring. My heart was overflowing...so were my eyes.
Hello, Kate Middleton.
The reception was, well, a party! My friends from Athens initially made jokes about crashing the wedding, but they didn't have to--Morgan absolutely insisted that they come, and we occupied the dance floor until the Motown band played their last beat. 

What a weekend! Now back to normal life, which means back to blogging. It's good to be home, blogger world.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I resolve...

Hey there 2012!
The year that Morgan will become Mrs. Trey Wood..
...in other words, the first year I will have to sleep alone in my bed on Christmas Eve...
...in other words, the first year I will sleep on my parents' bedroom floor on Christmas Eve...
The year that I will graduate college..(deep breaths)
The year that I will spend a summer in Atlanta, foreign to big-city ways and the traffic that ensues..
The year that I will turn 23. There's nothing special about that, but it does sound like a pretty big number.
That's only the tip of the 2012 iceberg, but what a year already!

I have always found that the arrival of another year is always so refreshing, so brand new, so eager to offer another 365 days of memories. Some may be ordinary, some may be particularly life-changing. But they all make life better in some way; even if they don't seem to at first, know that they probably will later down the road. 
So with the new year comes the tradition of making resolutions, goals, promises to ourselves to do (or retry) everything we didn't the year before. 

Did you know that only 8% of people are always successful in reaching their new year's resolutions? 
(Don't ask me to cite my source--it's one of probably 5,000 out there and may or may not be the findings of a pessimistic researcher.)

My point is that new year's goals tend to stay just that: goals, not achievements. I applaud the efforts--mine included--but why do we have to wait for January 1st to set goals every year? So I'm setting new year's resolutions on January 3rd, thank you very much. 

I resolve to enjoy 2012 with more passion and more love and more drive and more hope than I did last year. 
I resolve to be a better daughter, sister, friend, and student.
I don't resolve to finish reading the Bible all the way through; I'm letting God decide how quickly I get through that.
I don't resolve to set any goals regarding fitness or diet or any of the above, because I just want to be healthy. And I don't give up cookies. I can't enjoy 2012 without cookies. Or Grit cake. 
Do you see why I'm not making resolutions regarding food?
I resolve to think less of myself and more of others. So...I resolve to be more like Jesus. But that should be a daily, hourly, by-minute resolution. So take the timing of that resolution with a grain of salt.

I am hopeful for 2012, and I hope that you are too--it's going to be a good year, y'all!