Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30th

Creative title for today. But I can't think of a more appropriate title. 

Today was the very last day of classes OF THE DECADE! Woooooow. I tweeted that the last time I said that I was in 4th grade. (Actually I'm pretty sure I've never said that before...) Even though it was super great that I had my last four classes of the semester today, it was such a yucky day. It poured all.day.long. And it's been cold. Gross to the x-treme.

In my last western civ class of the year ever today someone decided to embrace it and bring a DOG to class. A boxer. It just sat in the seat and looked forward, right at our professor. It was crazy. And no one, specifically our professor, acknowledged it out loud. Ohhhh UT. Whatta place.

You gotta look kinda close, but you can see it's really learning!

Today also is my momma's birthday. Her 25th. That's right, she was four when she had me. We went to Casa don Gallo to celebrate. Yummmm.

Here she is passed out (with her shoes on) on Thanksgiving. Food coma. Bahaha
But really, happy birthday Mom! Love you soooo muuch!

p.s. Shout out to Becca. Loving hanging out with you and the roomies!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am...

 This is how I am feeling.

I am disliking finals.
I am disliking that now all my freetime is devoted to studying.
I am disliking writing a paper for Western Civ 241.
I am disliking that I am eating cereal for dinner when I've been having yummy homemade food(or at least food other than whatever is cheapest on the menu) for the past couple of nights.
I am disliking that I am having to drink my second Diet Coke of the day. *See fist of dislike list for reason why.

I am liking that tomorrow is the last day of classes.
I am liking that my paper is mostly done.
I am liking that we have dead day on Wendesday and Thursday (aka two days off!)
I am liking that I still have clean clothes from being at home.
I am liking that I haven't bit off all my fingernails yet.
I am liking that caffine still effects me.
I am liking that we still have a bubble gum in our jar (even if only the worst colors are left).
I am liking that Crossroad is tonight-excuse to escape studying.
I am liking that me and Jamie took a reward for hard work journey to Menchie's today.
I am liking that this weekend will be oh so fun.
I am liking that tomorrow is my momma's b-day.
I am liking that in ten days I will be free for over a month.

Wow. I almost just stopped after the "I am disliking" list. Glad I continued on with "I am liking"! Looks like the good still outweights the bad!

Study break.
And now, time to hit the books again. Lehhh go. Fall 2010. In da books. Almost.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I believe in happy endings

I love love. I realize this as I sit here avoiding writing my paper by reading wedding blogs, watching "Say Yes to the Dress", facebook stalking my recently engaged friends, and dreaming about my perfect wedding one day (okay, the last one was a joke). But really, what girl doesn't dream about that day when her very own prince charming will come in and sweep her off her feet?
I am cheesy.
And a hopeless romantic.
And I do believe in a happily ever after. (what's the saying? something about being able to thank Disney for that...?)
Don't judge me. I'm a girl.
At the same time though, I feel like we, as girls, get so caught up in the whole "this is the way life has to be" idea that we lose sight of what is really important. Yet, I feel like it is almost equally as easy to fall into the trap of "God has someone special picked out for everyone but me" idea too. He will bring someone totally perfect at the perfect time. What is really important though, is God getting glory. No matter the circumstances. And that is what He will do. He will use our lives to bring Him glory, with or without a husband now or in the future.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a totally disillusioned college girl. I know love and marriage are work. And it's hard. I've seen it. I've seen broken relationships and families. I never said it anything about it would be easy, however, I know that there comes a time when it is worth it. That is what I'm waiting for. A time when, with God at the center, it is worth it.

My friend Becca posted this on her blog and I l.o.v.e. it.
"when christ overtakes a woman’s life and transforms her from the inside out, she becomes truly feminine - a picture of elegance, grace, and loveliness blended with sacrificial selfless devotion to her king. she becomes a true lady, carrying herself with poise and confidence, yet deflecting all attention away from herself and toward jesus christ. she is enchantingly mysterious, holding her inner life sacred and guarding her heart with quiet tenacity. noble, breathtaking, captivating, christ-centered femininity is truly a sight to behold. it’s a beauty that does not draw attention to the woman, but to jesus christ. it’s a radiance that is not dependent upon age, circumstances, or physical enhancements. it’s a loveliness that flows from deep within-the refreshing beauty of heaven, of a life transformed from the inside out by jesus christ." -leslie ludy

So let's be optimistic and happy. Knowing that nothing and no one will satisfy like Jesus, but remembering, we all have a story to tell; it began with "Once upon a time" and will end with "happily ever after." Because life is busy and unpredictable and crazy and confusing and chaotic and fun. Because life is good. Never forget it. Life is so good.


And I looooove this blog. So much love!

One more. Maybe my fav pic of all time.

Love love!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home sweet home to me-eeee

Tennessee is going to a bowl game!!!! That's what we call persistence. So much for a "rebuilding year."
The Vols beat Kentucky for the 26th time in a row making us bowl eligible.

Also, I love Tyler Bray. Almost as much as Nick Reviez. If I ever see either one of them on campus I will probably jump up and down and sing "Rocky Top" at the top of my lungs and run up and hug their necks so tight I'll probably hurt them. So it's probably best I never see either one of them.

It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!!

Change of tone:
I loveeeee this quote.
"Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you."
Keep A Quiet Heart by E. Elliot

What a wonderful reminder. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Best day ever!

Today was the best day. Here's why:

1. I got accepted into the teaching program at UT!!
2. So did my friend Delaney.
3. It's thanks to everyone's prayers.
4. Double volunteer day- Angel tree and Salvation Army. The good things about this is getting to do Black Friday without having to actually do all the mess. (As I write this I realize this really doesn't make sense...)
5. I have the most wonderful friends in the world. Not sure if I've said this before or not :)
6. Auburn won! WDE.
7. Bama lost. Always makes a great day.
8. Tennessee basketball won too. Beat Villanova. I love Skylar McTHREE. It's gonna be a good year, although we will miss Bruce for a little while...
9. Mom's making a congratulations dinner.
10. We have celebratory Diet Cokes.
11. I'm sitting next to my little brother who lives a hour and half away.
12. There's a fire in the fireplace. Mmmm....
13. The rain stopped and it became a typical November day. So long record high temps.
14. My sis is writing a book. She's on chapter 2. I'm figuring out how to become a central character in this story. So far, so good.
15. I got to wash my clothes so now they are so clean.
16. Addie and I bonded while we were ringing bells.
17. I laughed so hard playing the "guess that person's name" game with her.
18. I got to see my high school friends working hard at Petro's.
19. I ate my weight in chocolate covered pretzels.
20. I'm gonna be a teacher!!!!!

I actually can't think of anything bad that happened today.
Really, does life get any better?

And now, a preview of our Christmas card taking experience...

Hope everyone else had an equally fantastic day. Happy day after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Crawford kids!

Hope your day was filled with as much turkey, laughs, games, food, smiles, love, memories, and unbuttoned pants as ours.

So thankful for these sibs. Love the Fab Four more than Grandmom's mashed potatoes, record tying temperatures on Thanksgiving Day, family games at the kitchen table, and football on TV.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Loving Others

Today my mom said she's never been more proud of me. Her words, "not even when you graduated from high school." While this, of course, is a huge compliment (not that "graduating from high school" was necessarily difficult or all that unusual), and I am so glad to make her proud, what I did was not that special. In fact, I'm almost ashamed I haven't done it more. More than almost, I am ashamed. We stopped by Wal-greens after dinner to grab a Red Box movie for a little family movie night. And there was a homeless man sitting on a bench. We pulled up right in front of him, looked right at him. My sister jumped out, ran over to pick out a movie, not even seeing the man. My mom and I couldn't avoid it. Yet after sitting in the car for a minute with her saying, "what should I do?" a few times, we walked right past. We helped Add pick out a movie, and got back in the car. I couldn't believe I was doing this. Ignoring a human. A living, breathing, feeling, created and loved by God, just-like-me, man. I was walking right on by. I couldn't help by think of Under the Overpass, as a I often do. And I couldn't do it. My mom said she'd pay for a sub for him if I got out and asked if he wanted one. I couldn't let us drive away. Really, it wasn't even a decision I had to make. I hopped out, asked the man if he would like a sandwhich, and told him we'd be right back. I went to Firehouse next door, ordered a #1 and took it back to him. There were tears in his eyes when I gave it to him. He thanked me and told me to have a happy Thanksgiving. I told him I'd be praying for him, in fact, I already had. And it was done.
I'm not even sure I would think about it ever again if the conversation that followed hadn't of happened. Not that it was really all that significant, deep, or important, but it did make me realize I am not living daily as I should.
My mom questioned if the man was faking the tears. She wasn't at all saying I shouldn't have done it, but just curious statement. But I wonder, does it even matter? So maybe he mustered up a few fake tears? Does it really matter? No. Not to me. Are we not called to love others anyway? To reach out to the least of these? To help those who need help? To be an example of Christ in everyday life? We are. I am. So I did. And I will.
I'm not posting this to brag on myself or say look what I did, but to really ask why don't we, why don't I, do things like this more? It's easy to talk about it. And say what I would hypothetically do. And in many situations the "right thing to do" IS confusing. The issue of to give or not to give cash to homeless men and women. The issue of safety. There are things, along with others, that are to be questioned. Yet, I think more often than not, rather than answering these questions and moving past them, we let them stand in our way. We use them as excuses. I believe that if we move in the direction Christ would, He will come through. We'll be given answers and protection. As John Ortberg says, "if you want walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat." God can't do anything extraordinary with us if we refuse to take that first step of faith, no matter how small it might be.

"You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
- Unknown

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice
Romans 12:9-13 The Message

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So thankful

Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow, WHAT?! This semester has flownnnn by. I honestly cannot believe it's the end of November. It probably doesn't help this "there's-no-way-it-is-Thanksgiving-time-already feeling" that I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts yesterday. It's been crazy warm. But I've been really embracing thankfulness the past week or so.
When I look around at my life, I cannot help but think, I am a lucky girl. More than lucky, I'm blessed. So blessed. I don't say this to brag or boast, but truly out of a humble heart of gratitude. I may or may not be a bit biased, but I have the absolute best family in the world. My parents love each other and us and others and Jesus. My brothers and sister are playful and happy and my best friends. My core four. And my non-blood-related friends? Second to none. The Red Saile roommates are the best in the world. Honestly, life is good. So good. While it is easy to praise God in the good times, it is almost equally as easy to forget Him. To feel like I don't need Him because life is so sweet. Oh but I do. And I am thankful for that. I love that I can see God in seemingly insignificant moments. In a conversation, in laughter, in friendships, in ordinary everyday life. He is here. Really, there's nothing super special of significant about me or my life, but a God who is and a heart of thankfulness. Jesus in this life of mine is what make it more than ordinary. And I am living for so much more than all the wonderful things of this life. So I will praise Him with a grateful heart.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe
Hebrews 12:28

Pictures I'm thankful for:
Being on the lake with my best friend
Knoxville sunsets
Awesome teammates

College friends

More college friends

My family

Sweet high school friends

And so much more.

Something else I'm thankful for? Going to Needtobreathe tonight! Here's a little preview of what I'll be experiencing in a few short hours:


Eeeek! Can't wait!

Monday, November 22, 2010

You like rasins? Well how 'bout a date?

Once upon a time I went on an Octodate. I can't believe I haven't blogged about this before. Such an experience. You may be asking yourself, "What the heck is an octodate?" Well, allow me to enlighten you. An octodate is an eight couple date. A total of 16 people.
And here we all are:
A good looking crew.

And here's my date, Grant. He's a surfer/skater/boarder/total bro. He's been livin' the life in Hawaii for the last little while before making his way back to good ole Tennessee.

These eight guys live together. They made us dinner which was delicious. They treated us oh so great. We just had a blast laughing, eating, talking, and playing games together for the night.

Andddd now there's a Sadie Hawkin's Formal. Girls ask the guys. And man oh man it is c-r-a-z-y. This just proves guys should always have to ask the girls, 'cause I'm telling you, it's been killer. No joke, there were white boards out with names on them crosses off and matched up, texts being sent, drive-bys being made, doughnuts being bought, notes being written, nerves being wracked, and maybe a few tears being shed. Unbelievable. Fortunately, I snagged a GREAT date! More about that once it comes, but I got a stud. Best looking couple Formal 2010 here we come.

Another random post. Ahh the life of being a college student.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I've got a crush on you

Sometimes I feel like this blog has turned into a list of embarrassing things for me. So I figure, why not just keep it going? Last year, as sophomores in college, we were real special kids. We did some crazy stuff. For example... A Crush Book. That's right, a list of all the boys that we have crushes on. It originated as the "Gateway Crush Book" but has since been changed to the "Red Said Crush Book." (Creative titles, huh?) Now, we kinda stared it as a joke, but it has kept going... as a joke. Kinda. Maybe. Maybe we kinda love it. Maybe more than just kinda. Maybe we really love it. Maybe that's why it is still continuing. Going on two years. Maybe it makes us laugh out loud. And maybe we don't want it to end for a long time. Maybe until we write about our husbands in it. Then maybe we'll burn it once we're all married. Or maybe not. Maybe we'll look back and still laugh years from now. I'm not sure if this post is funny or humiliating. Maybe both. Anyway, we'll never reveal who is in it. Sorry boys. That would definitely push it to humiliating. Patrick Swayze is in it though. Other than that, the rest is a secret. Confidentiality to the max.

We can't and don't actually write backwards, PhotoBooth took care of that for us.

Here is the GCB aka RSCB on a journey to the airport while we were waiting for our friend.

Ooh, I got a crush on you, I hope you feel the way that I do, I get a rush when I'm with you, Ooh, I've got a crush on you, a crush on you
-Mandy Moore

Thank you Mandy Moore for giving us the words.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RIP Retainer

Something very sad just happened to me. Just now. I broke my retainer in two pieces. Yes, this is real life. I am a 21 year old blogging about my retainer. Before you laugh, let me tell you just how I broke it. It all started after I brushed my teeth. Reached for my retainer case. And my psycho toothpaste tube jumped off the shelf and knocked my top retainer on the ground, and my bottom retainer INTO THE TOILET! Now, I tried to rinse it with water once I fished it out, but I was still too grossed out. So I decided to boil it. To kill the germs, right? Well all went as planned aka it did not melt, as I was afraid it would. So I am not even sure how it happened exactly, but I fished it out, and next thing I know I'm holding two broken pieces in my hands. Instant distress. Laugh all you want, but I wear it every single night. And any nights I forget it are just not as restful, my bed isn't as warm, my sheets aren't as soft, my pillow isn't as fluffy, my dreams aren't as sweet. This little pink and purple (gag- I hate purple. Why would I ever choose that??) glow-in-the-dark wire and plastic device has been holding my teeth (and my apparently my entire life) in perfect straight harmony for seven years now. I just hope I can get through the night. I put it back in the case and put the case back in the cabinet. I think I'm thinking it will magically be repaired overnight. I haven't been to the orthodontist in so long I'm actually worried that he is going to say I don't even need to wear it anymore so I don't need a new one. But I want it so bad. I'm so sorry retainer!

Ignore the boy who I'm sharing a seat with. I promise he's not too important, just a friend. This is just the first picture that came up of my teeth. That were once so straight. All thanks to my sweet retainer.
Stupid placement of the toilet...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The One With THE Interview

My mom said this to me last night, "Chelc, no matter what you think, you are not big enough to mess up God's plan." Oh, how thankful I am for that truth today.
I have my teaching interview today at 5:30. It pretty much determines my future. This panel of five will decide whether or not I will be accepted into the College of Education here at UT. Honestly, I am very worried about it. This is a clear thing I have known all my life. Literally, for as long as I can remember. I know, without a doubt, that God wants me to be a teacher. It is His way of getting me there that is unclear. Therefore, I am stressed out and scared. I just don't want to get rejected. My mom is a very well-know and hugely respected teacher here in Knoxville, and frankly, I'd be so embarrassed. Yet, I keep coming back to how incredibly huge our God is. And His plan is just absolutely perfect. It is scary that it might be different than what I think, or want, it to be, but it is perfect. And it is His.
Looking ahead right now all I see is a mountain. I have this interview, which is huge and is all I can see really. But I also have a paper. And my mom's event, Reach Them to Teach Them. Which I haven't been as present in as I should. (She is such an incredible example of following God's will. And I am so thankful for her.) Plus my YoungLife girls need me. One in particular. I just feel so strung out. In too many directions. All these things just pile up in this mountain. I feel like I can't do it. But God? He can. Of course He can. I have my bucket and my shovel and my God. And little by little, I will make it. Sometime soon, I will look up, and this mountain will be moved. But if I can be real, right now my bucket and shovel seems just so small. My God, though, I know He is big. And I know He is good. He is even kinder and more loving than I could ever know. And He is right. Always right. He never messes up. How thankful I am that I can rest in that fact.

Life is defined by the God who loves you. In other words, you are not the central character- not even in your own life's story. This is not mean to demean you; it is meant to set you free."

Sacred Thirst by M. Craig Barnes

I love this. I am so thankful that this life is not my own. And this life is not about me. I am free.

So, between 5 and 6 p.m. today, if you think about it, say a little prayer for me and my friend Delaney. She has her interview today too. Sorry to ramble a little on this post. I just needed to be honest. Well, here we go...

This picture makes me happy.
And reminds me how much I love and miss these kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

THE Max Patch

While I was getting ready for a very long day of classes on Tuesday morning, I got a text from my friend saying that he was taking some of his high school friends to Max Patch and "who all is in?" Well I've never been to this fantastic place, so of course I agreed. That's right, I skipped three of my four classes. Who needs, 'em? But really, I figured these are the things I'll remember, right? So we loaded up for a spur of the moment trip to beautiful Max Patch. And good gracious, it was stunning. Better wasn't so far away and such a hike to the top. Really it's quite a short hike, I'm just outta shape/bad at walking up hills.?? But really, it's ideal.

We spent a few hours at the top laughing and playing.
The high schoolers from West and Bearden were so fun and such kids. I so loved spending the day just playing. Just being kids. Such fun.

I am always absolutely stunned by the beauty of God's creation when I'm in the mountains. His majesty and power just so apparent when I look over these breath-taking views.

"Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy"
Psalm 98:8

Mmmm... Our God is so good.

I'm so glad I went. This is really how I want to live my life. All out. Doing everything I can. Living it to the fullest. I don't wanna ever miss a thing. I don't want to look back and wish I had done things I didn't, or wish I'd said "yes" when I said "no." I don't want regrets. And I figure I'll regret more things I don't do, rather than those I do. So here it is. This is my life. One chance. Make the best of it all. Be spontaneous.
Do things. Live it up. Be happy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Day, Election Day!!

BIG congrats to the new governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam! The Haslam's are such a big part of Knoxville and absolutely loved by everyone who knows them, which is pretty much everyone I know, come to think of it. I am so thankful that we get to have a governor who loves Jesus so much and truly wants to make the great state of Tennessee a better place. Side note: I went to Max Patch yesterday (b-e-a-utiful!... and another post for another day) but we got home around 7:40 and I sped like crazy to make it to A.L. Lotts to vote. I calmly cruised into the school at 7:53 (polls closed at 8), cast my vote, and began the celebration. I think I literally may have been the very last person in Knoxville to vote, but it counted. I just love voting. I actually think it is important and I really am thankful we have the right to do it, but mental note to self: early vote from now on. I am proud to support him and just SO excited he won. Good thing the election is over though because my "Bill Haslam for Governor" bumper sticker may have just about seen its last days. It's so fun that someone we (as a family) real-life know is in this position of power. Governor Haslam is a fantastic man and will lead Tennesse wonderfully. Knoxville is for sure sad to have the Haslam's have to move, but good gracious we sure are a lucky state!

Congratulations Bill Haslam!!!