Saturday, December 26, 2009

Redneck or Not?

I can't figure it out.

Am I a red-neck or not?

I sure hope not, but sometimes it crosses my mind in circumstances such as:

1. Sitting in the living room and clearly, loudly hearing a rooster crow. This isn't just any rooster. It is the one who calls home the chicken pen which is directly below our living room in our basement.

2. When explaining my favorite Christmas gift of my life last week at Passion to strangers, I said, "When I was six I got a four-wheeler. It was definitely the most exciting gift of my life."

3. When explaining the weirdest/craziest gift of my life to the same strangers at Passion, I said, "When I was 13 I got a fallow deer. I really wanted a baby goat for Christmas but my dad surprised me with a tame deer with huge antlers." ...Wonder what those strangers were thinking... Possibly, This girl is so backwards, her parents are probably siblings.

So those were just a few instances that made me wonder. What do you think?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day...

Waking up early.

Laying around.

Opening presents.

Blog reading.


Lots of text messaging.

Scrambling eggs.

Country ham cooking in Coca-Cola.

Drinking Coca-Cola before breakfast.

Eating chocolate before breakfast.

Playing with little cousins.

Orange juicing.


Wearing clothes with tags on it.

Being uncomfortable because of too much tag-wearing.

Setting the table.

Trying out clothes.

Smelling Mom's feast.

Interesting discussions.

Enjoying Padre's fire.

Relishing in oranges.




Watching home videos.


Shooting pictures.

Driving tractors.

Sharing stories.


A long list of things we did.

Ultimately, we did nothing. That's what Christmas Day is about.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Happy To Be Down

Have I ever mentioned that the majority of things that I do somehow go wrong?

Well, this is a relatively new phenomenon-- mostly just during the year 2009. So far this year we've had the eyebrow catastrophe, the devastating haircut, everlasting mono, random aches and pains, blue fingers, a traumatizing ending to my summer job, and the list could go on.

This trip to New York City was just so much fun. I want to tell you about it another time, but for now, while it's fresh on my mind, I will focus on the transportation that I encountered this past week.

The fun began at 5:45am Tuesday morning. We woke up early for our 10:16am flight in Atlanta. We're just driving along, making good timing when suddenly we hear on the radio that a wreck shut the interstate down, and that our best bet would be to get off. So we got off and asked a kind policeman who gave us directions another way, the same way that every other car went! Long story short, we were pulling in the airport at 10:16 and I'm pretty sure we saw our plane fly over us.

The next flight available was at 5:45pm. Bottom line: we had to wait to even check our luggage 3 more hours, then wait 4 hours. We had a good ole' time though.

We people watched and this was my conclusion: most of the time it's more interesting to watch people people watching. Do you get what I'm saying? For example, we watched a soldier and a woman who was most likely homeless and on some kind of drug. She was talking to herself and doing some odd things, but Mars and I really got a kick from watching this soldier who was sitting next to her, trying to figure out what she was saying, with a terrified, confused, humored look on his face.

We proceeded to the terminal where we sat on the ground in the huge hallway next to an outlet. A blind man came up to Mars with his stick and started feeling all over her legs with the stick. Mars sat SILENTLY and just stared at him like a deer in redlights. She said she didn't want to make him feel bad for doing that to a person so she wanted him to think she was a wall.... Really, Mars, Really? He wasn't young. He was experienced. I think he knows the difference between the softness of someone's leg and a wall.

So after much waiting, we got on that Tuesday night 5:45 flight out of the ATL and headed to NYC. We had a smooth flight and arrived at 9:00 and were promptly picked up by Aunt Marian.

Our stay in New York was so fun and I'm telling you about it later when I get my pictures up.

Saturday meant that it was time to go back South. Our flight was originally at 5:00pm, but a snow storm was coming in and so Madre got it moved to 8:35am. We woke at 5:30am and headed to La Guardia airport. We got in traffic at the luggage check, the security point, and then made it to the plane right before take-off.

I was sitting between two strangers, Mars was about 5 rows back. We took off and heard a loud boom and a jolt. Hmmm, wide-eyed, I looked to the guy next to me, "What was that?!" He shrugged. I closed my eyes, heart beating fast. Another jolt. "Oh my gosh." I started breathing hard. We were still pretty low in the air. The stewardess walked quickly down the aisle.

The pilot came on, "We are experiencing engine difficulty and will have to make an emergency landing. They are clearing the runway for us. Fire trucks will be there to meet us, but stay calm."

Ok, so when they tell you to stay calm, obviously there is a problem. Our plane turned sharply and was going downward, which is not normal by the way. It was a horrible feeling as I looked out to see the river and buildings so close to us. I was trying to take deep breaths as the woman next to me was trying to calm me. Thank goodness for that woman!

We landed pretty smoothly for the circumstances, and the pilot came on and said, "Normal landing." That made me more nervous... there was a chance we wouldn't have had a normal landing. Fire trucks drove in with us, which also made me even more nervous.

We had to sit on the runway for quite a while as I sat there terrified that they were going to tell us that they "fixed" the plane and we were going to go back into the air. I'm going to be honest. I was pouring sweat. The thought of going back to the air, plus the thought of riding two more hours with sweat was not even slightly appealing to me, even if staying on the ground meant a later flight.

The stewardess came on and told us to write our name, address, and phone number on an envelope. I had no idea why, and I pretty much thought that we would write our information down so that in case we crashed again, they could call our families. Yeah.... I think I was a little crazy frazzled... who would think they really would do that.

So anyways, we did get to get off of the plane and the envelope was to send us a voucher for another free flight. We had to wait in line for an hour or two in order to find out that we would not be able to fly out that day because a snow storm was coming in, and they weren’t scheduling flights for the next day either, so we would be spending an extra two nights in the NYC.

Our flight was scheduled for Monday morning at 10am. I had two days to fret the upcoming flight that I had to get on in order to be home.

The two days were spent well, and Monday morning came quickly. I was really wanting some Valium, just anything to calm the nerves.

I got onto the plane, and once again I was not sitting next to my sister. My dad called and I couldn’t even talk to him because it was that feeling that I knew if I talked, I would cry. I stuck with the Uhh Huh’s and the Mmm Hmm’s. I got off the phone to read a text from my mother when I almost cried again. But I knew, if I cry, I will make an awkward mess for myself for the rest of the 2 hours. So I held it together.

As soon as we took off, I asked the stewardess for earphones because every single noise was freaking me out. I turned the music on "The Message" XM station up to the max, sat back, and prayed that the plane wouldn’t go down.

I was so scared of landing but as we were circling around, one of my favorite songs came on.

He is jealous for me,

Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree

Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,

And I realize just how beautiful You are,

And how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us, Oh how He loves us all...

(David Crowder Band)

Anyhow, that song was perfect for me at that moment. It's perfect for any moment, but even more perfect for then

The Almighty God LOVES me. Why would He let anything happen to me that is not good? If this plane was to crash, it would be best, and if this plane was to land safely, that would be best too... Because Jesus loves me. I can't even imagine how great His affections are for me.

He loves me, and He loves you too!

So Merry Christmas! We have received the greatest gift we could ever imagine! Freedom from fear of anything and everything, because the King loves us, and He always takes care of us. He was born in that manger so that he could destroy the devil's work (1 John 3:8), all that could harm us, and we are now free because of His great love for us.

So remember, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3:8). Rejoice that we can be free of fear, even the fear of airplanes crashing, flights being delayed, cookies burning, house fires, hit and run drivers, or armed robbers at the mall. (I'm watching the news.) But none of that can hinder the love God has for us... His Son came to destroy all of this!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Busy, Joyful, Peaceful, and Merry Christmas Season

It's officially Christmas break, as of last Friday. That means relaxing, being calm, having nothing to do... You know, just being home!

But, this year my break isn't like that at all.

It begun Friday when I came home and went straight to a retreat on Waiting on God's Best at Steph's house.

It was incredible! I had Sunday and today (Monday) to lay low and unpack from school and repack for New York and Florida. I am leaving tomorrow to go to NYC until Saturday, when I will return and go straight from the airport to Florida. I will be home on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and then will go to Auburn to visit my grandmother there. I'll be home the 28th, having a New Years celebration, and then going to the Passion conference January 2nd-5th. I will hopefully be home to relax for a while, then celebrate my 21st birthday on the 11th, and classes will begin the 13th.

So pretty much I will have 12 days at home during my 33 day break. This will be interesting. Will I get any rest? Possibly. Will I have fun? Definitely.

I'm leaving early in the morning for the NYC. Don't worry--I'll post again to let you know how it's going.

Let me tell you about the conference this past weekend. It was just so good that I want to share with you a few points that I learned in general.

1. If God gave his only Son to die for us, will he not give us blessings here on Earth, too? There will be hard times, everything won't be easy, but He does want to bless us. He loves when we have good times. But he also wants us to grow and learn to depend on Him.

2. Is it worth it? Is it worth suffering? Is it worth the emotions? Confusion? Sacrifice? YES, Jesus Christ is worth it! He is so worth every little thing I could suffer through because He suffered sooo much more than I ever will and He loves me so much.

3. Straight from Steph: Don't you dare follow your hearts, girls. Follow God's Word. Our hearts can get us in BIG trouble. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

4. Jesus Christ has the power to, at the perfect time, cause the wind and waves of our lives to be still. These seasons of life are so precious as God teaches us and gives us so many riches during the storms. It is so hard but we need not take these opportunities for granted and ask God to use them to produce lasting fruit. We have to be more concerned with God's glory than our relief.

These are amazing truths that I had the opportunity to learn and experience this past weekend. I learned a lot of other things, but I will save those for a later date.

For now, I'm off to finish packing! Any suggestions for New York?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Those Preconceived Notions of High School

Crazy story:

On MTV last night, a guy from my high school, Ryan, was on there! First off, he was on the 16 and Pregnant show. He was the father of this adorable baby, Bentley, I think his name was. Second off, it was a sweet story. He and Maci (I'm beginning to feel stalkerish that I know this story and am blogging about it) are getting married, so it showed them kind of thinking about the wedding, but Ryan has to go out of town to Kansas(maybe) for an entire month, so Maci is sad. And it made me sad too. There is a follow-up show coming next week I think maybe, because they left us hangin'.

But this brought back memories from high school.

Ryan, well he was that guy in high school. That guy, who was a year older than me, and that as a freshman and sophomore, I'm pretty sure I never uttered a word to his face. But, if I was lucky enough to see him that day, I always remembered what he was wearing, where I saw him, and who he was talking to.

He was absolutely beautiful, I remember that clearly. My memory is failing me, but I'm pretty sure he drove a huge, lifted truck. He played football. He was friends with the 'popular' people. Maybe he was the popular one. (I'll have to ask Merd to confirm those details because she remembers everything.)

I got myself together enough my junior year to talk to him, because somehow, I became a lot more confident, and I finally realized that it was more weird how I was completely silent around him than if I just said something stupid. I'm pretty sure he assumed I was mute before this.

But whenever something came out of my mouth, I remember it never being very profound.

To this day, I'm not sure if I could speak a normal word to him, especially nothing witty. Something would probably come out of my mouth like, "Hey I saw you on MTV. You didn't see that blog post I dedicated to you on December 9th, did you?"

And immediately thinking,"Oh dear, WHY did I say that."

I'm sure he would respond perplexed, "No, what are you talking about?"

And I'd quickly reply something along the lines of, "Oh, I don't know. What are you talking about?"

And then the awkward tension would come and I'd say, "Well it was so good to see you Edward. I mean, Ryan." Giggle. "Ryan Edwards. I always used to get confused as to which was your first and which was your last name, because they both seem like first names. But, I mean, I like your name. Just confusing. Dear goodness, I have a terrible memory. Okay, I better go now because... uhhh.... my arm is hurting from pushing this shopping cart."

Turn around and leave, chuckling to myself because I just made something normal be awkward, once again.

Then I would most definitely run into him again, pushing my shopping cart, which was "making my arm hurt". I would feel the need to either a.) explain that my arm suddenly got better through a miraculous miracle, or more likely, b.) make awkward/avoidance eye-contact with him as we are walking toward each other on the same aisle, realize it's going to be awkward, and immediately cause a small buggy jam on the toilet paper aisle as I try to turn my cart around and run into a shelf, causing some toilet paper to fall onto the ground and have stop to pick it up, my face now radiating red.

It's funny how high school insecurity was so prevalent in my life. Now, I would talk to anyone, hot or not, without a thought about it.

But I think that there was a preconceived notion that ruled my brain telling me that these other people were so cool. It caused me not to be myself for about a year and a half in high school. That preconceived notion was so hammered into my thoughts by my own self, that I would still not be able to act normal around him 4 years later.

But if I hadn't known him in high school, I would probably be able to have a complete conversation, and I might even be able to cause him to think that I'm almost normal. Maybe.

Anyways, I thought I'd share with you a few picture from high school. None of these include Ryan because I wasn't that cool, but this is me.

I'm on the far right above.
I'm in the pink.

And I'm over on the far right again.

So my conclusion is, why do we think that other people are too cool for us to talk to? This is completely ridiculous and I'm taking a stand against it. Facebook group, anyone?

Any ideas for the title of the group?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wedding Excitement

My excitement for the month so far:

Elle, my best friend-sister-cousin, asked me to be her bridesmaid!

So, last Friday we went dress shopping and she picked her dress out IN ONE DAY and ordered it! It was record time and stunning. We also picked out our dresses that same day, which are so cute too!

I actually think I'm just about as excited about this big day as Elle is, so I thought I'd share!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Life During Exam Weeks.

Hey guys!

Who knew it is December? December 7th, at that!

The last time I checked it was October, then suddenly I woke up to this:

Winter hit me flat in the face, in a good way.

It's not normally my favorite season. But the snow did make it better. It was just gorgeous; I couldn't help but love it.

So anyways, I woke up to my roommates Nat and Gav running in and telling me there is snow and opening my blinds. Then we got dressed and went to play in it a little. Our neighbors didn't wake up when we banged on the door, so we went to find Will, our other friend and chilled out in the parking lot for a little while,
because you know, the parking lot is the ideal place to be in the snow.

Then I headed to Paulette's, for brunch with my small group. I was thirty minutes late, for the sake of the beauty of the drive.

We had amazing gingerbread waffles with cinnamon ice cream, blueberries, and strawberries topping them.

Her house looked, felt, sounded, smelt, and tasted like Christmas. And that made me happy.

So all of this together made me excited about the frigid weather, well for now!

Last week we had Christmas dinner with the neighbors.

Geoffrey made a massive 22-pound turkey, Toms made some tasty dressing, and we made sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and brownies. It was the best dinner I've had in a long time (since Thanksgiving). Those boys' cooking skills impressed me.

And then, today: Monday. The day of my hardest exam.

It consisted of: waking up at 8 o'clock. Snoozing my alarm until 9 o'clock. Getting up, drinking coffee. Turning music on to help me stay awake. Playing scrabble on my keyboard with the new Scrabble Cheez-Its as I studied. Watching the dumpster truck come pick up the dumpster. Texting numerous people. Getting myself dressed and ready in only 3 minutes. Driving to my exam and getting stuck by a long train literally going about 3 mph. Doing a U-turn in the middle of the road to go a different way around the train. Turning my exam in 6th out of about 200 (because I just knew all the answers off the top of my heard, of course). Being gone from home for only an hour and a half total for my exam. And now, blogging when I should probably be studying for my Portuguese exam tomorrow.

Oh, life of the exams.

One really good thing about my day: after my exam, I got into my car and "I Am Bound" was on.

No chilling winds or poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
Oh who will come and go with me?
I am bound for the promised land.

When I shall reach that happy place,
I'll be forever blessed,
For I shall see my Father's face,
And in His bosom rest.

That is so right. But for my case and for my procrastination, I'm going to change it a little to say:

No chilling winds or stressful exams
Can reach that healthful shore
Procrastination, pain and traffic jams
Are felt and feared no more.

How great will that be?

I'm excited! (And I am so dang cool too for writing my own words.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

He's Just Fun!

As Thanksgiving break is draws to an end, I would like to tell you that I am thankful for my Granddaddy. I'm at his house right now, and let me tell you--he makes me laugh.

Today he reminded me that, whether he is telling me that I better get busy or I'll be an old maid, or if he is cluelessly about to sit on Darby the dog and Mal barely saves the dog's life, he is just always funny.

I stayed with him for a few months this summer to keep him organized and keep him company, and I had many great moments.

The first week I was there, he took us to J. Alexander's. As he was ordering, he said that he'd like the Fresh Fish and Seafood. That was not an option, it was like saying I'd like Entrees or Appetizers, like the heading of the menu. The waitress kept trying to ask him which kind of fresh fish or seafood he wanted, and he just said, 'I'd like all of it.' So, flustered, I just chose shrimp for him as I was trying not to either a.) be embarrassed or b.) bust out laughing. I learned to ask him what he wants before the waitress gets there so we would have it settled from then on.

And what about when we sat through the entire three hours of AUSTRALIA and when it was done, he said, "Boy, I never knew there was so much racism in Hawaii!" And I said smile/laughing, "In Hawaii?" And he said, "Haha, yeah, you didn't know it either, did you?"

We had another movie night one night at his house and had friends up and he watched the movie with us. About halfway through the movie, he got up to get a drink and came back and stood right in front of the tv, about 6 inches away from the screen. No one could see the tv. And I couldn't stop laughing. He had no idea that he was hindering anyone's vision.

I love that Granddaddy comes to our new church sometimes with my family. My old church, where he still goes, is Presbyterian, old, beautiful, stain-glass windows, and very traditional. Our new church, well it's a little more contemporary-- loud music, raising of the hands, a dark sanctuary. So a while back, he came with my family and during the singing time, people started raising their hands. So Granddaddy raised his hands too for a while, which he has never done. Then he looked around and saw that we weren't raising our hands so he took his down. You might have to know my Granddad, but I can't stop laughing when I think about this.

At Thanksgiving lunch, he got his plate and then walked into my aunt's bedroom because he told us that Ang told him that was where the table was.

But anyways, today, I was staying up here at his house again. It brought back mostly sweet memories from this summer. I spent hours going through their stuff, going through Nanny's closets and computer room, writing thank you notes, hanging pictures of Nanny, making dinners, cooking for other people, taking Granddaddy to lunch, having 'cousin nights' just about every night at Granddad's, just plenty of fun memories.

We had some funny moments of course. But really I just enjoyed being up there at that house and hanging out with Granddad.

So even though Granddaddy is sick, I love to still laugh (instead of cry), keep him company (even though he might not remember), and listen to stories from a lonnng time ago (because he does remember). He's just fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Favorite Day of the Year

Thanksgiving day: My favorite day of the year.

And that's pretty big, because I absolutely adore summer days and I love Christmas.

But, I like Thanksgiving because a.) it's not too hyped up b.) my entire family is here including the Nashville cousins c.) foooood d.) our annual Thanksgiving walk to the brow, and lastly e.) the weather always seems to be perfect November weather.

We also always have step-by-step photographs of what we do for this holiday.

Mother Dear cooked in the morning...

Bry and LA came down while Aunt Ang was getting ready to have everyone to her house for lunch. They juiced some oranges that Padre brought back from Florida.

Bry is adorable.

LA is a cutie.

Thanksgiving is usually at my grandmother's but this year it was at Aunt Ang's lovely new house.

Trey and Jack got into it on the kitchen floor. But they looked happy for the picture.

Mars and Lars.

The kids table...

Mal and Lars

We loved having Laurel and Caroline with us this year.

The adults table. We're allowed to go in there after we've eaten.

We can talk... A lot.

Elle got ENGAGED on Thanksgiving Eve so it was our first time to see her. We were so excited!

Elle and me with her ring. She's my "same-age" cousin (we all have a pair in my family)... It's so crazy she's getting MARRIED.

LeeLee and Bry on our "walk" to the brow.

It's Aunt Lori, Bry and Leelee.


Well, we actually failed at the walk this year. Time got away from us and it would have gotten dark by the time we got to the brow. Our solution?

We drove on our "walk."

We still got pictures... Even though we broke the walk tradition.

My cousins except the two oldest and one youngest. And Jack, who was taking the picture for us.

Look at that adorable couple!

Sweet Mego and Bry. She's holding him so he wouldn't run off the side of the mountain.

Loving my cousins.

We left Jack there accidently but we came back to pick him up. He was our photographer for the walk. Nice effect, right?

Anyways, it was a good day as we shared memories, broke a few traditions, and didn't even burn any of the calories that we consumed with a walk.

I am so thankful for this family that I have. We might be a little odd at times, as we pointed out yesterday, but that's okay. They make me laugh. And I have fun with them every single time we're together.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as good as mine!