Monday, January 31, 2011


I keep telling people that I went shredding on Friday night and their response is the same every time. Shredding what...? Now I do realize the lingo is tricky for some inexperience people (insert irony and sarcasm here), but what in the world do they think I shredded? Paper?! ...Probably. But no, to clear this up, we shredded snow. And it was gnarly. 
That's about the extent of me trying to sound like a hardcore boarder, so I'll surrender to the fact that I'm still my not-so-extreme-self. Anyway, me and four of my alltimefavoritepeoleintheworld aka my roommates, went to Sugar Mountain on Friday night.
Red Saile take on Sugar Mountain
This is one of the 15million reasons I love my roommates

We all five attempted boarding. Since I was the only one who had ever been before, I was directed the teacher. Poor roomies, I failed. It's hard to teach when you don't even know what you're doing yourself.
Just takin' a break from shreddin'

She's up! Look at her go!
Andddd she's down
We did have a blast though. And looked good doing it (and by good I mean absolutely ridiculous). I laughed so hard. We decided the key is just to pretend you know what you're doing (even if you knock over a domino effect of boards in the lodge, or can't figure out which foot to take out while you're waiting in line, or fall every single time you get off the lift). Embrace it. By the end of the night we actually got pretty okay at it. We could actually get down the mountain without falling- always a plus.
Abby and Laura ditched the boards for a more enjoyable night

Pre getting picked up on the side of the road

Some other highlights: hitch-hiking down the moutain from our cabin to the base. Shout out to the sweet Brazilian couple who picked us up. Thanks for the ride. Hope y'all had an awesome time skiing. Oh, and thanks for not kidnapping us. (Don't worry, Mom, this was totally safe.) Eating dinner at midnight. A full meal- why not? 

And my injury. Stupid ice. But it makes me feel totally extreme :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday

Can I get a whoop, whoop for the weekend?! Hope y'all all have a fantastic time livin' life these next two days of freedom. Enjoy it, you earned it. 
As for me? This weekend I'll be with
I am unbelievably pumped to get a little exclusive roomie time in the gorgeous snow covered mountains of NC. If we're lucky maybe we'll get snowed in and stuck up in a cabin. The five of us stranded in the mountains? I can't imagine anything much better. We're becoming boarders tonight. Most of us have grown up skiing, but we are making the trasition. Ay bay bay. Wish us luck!


A thought for the weeekend (or for life):
Be so happy that when other people look at you they become happy too

Life is gooooood.

Happy Freakin' Weekend Bloggies!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

While I'm on the theme of Awesome-ness...


In case you aren't one of the 19million people who have already seen this.
People. Are. Awesome.

Monday, January 24, 2011


You know what is awesome? Today was awesome. Here's some reasons why.

1. 60 degree weather in January
2. Pull through parking spots (driving in reverse is my kryptonite, I've backed into other cars twice within the last year)
3. Running outside- mmm fresh air
4. Days when Lakeshore doesn't smell like poo
5. Preparing for the worst and hearing the best
6. Getting out of class early- just when you don't think you can make it ten more minutes, you don't have to! The professor lets ya out early. Freedom is even sweeter when it's unexpected.
7. Books on Amazon getting reduced while sitting in my shopping cart waiting for me to gather enough money to "Checkout Now."
8. A professor who says, "bless you" to every student that sneezes- a bit distracting, but thoughtful
9. Waking up BEFORE the alarm goes off
10. When blisters turn into calluses- just what you wanted to picture, I'm sure.
11. YoungLife starting again the day after tomorrow the day after tomorrow.
12. And the Steelers going to the Super Bowl. Call me a bandwagon fan... 'cause that's exactly what I am :)

Fist pumps for awesome days!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My hometown

I love this place. Knoxville, Tennessee. I am SO lucky to call this home. There really is no place like this. This is where my family is. All of my immediate family (minus my brother, but he's just temporarily in Chattanooga- I hope), half of my grandparents, three aunts, three uncles, and five cousins all call Knoxville "home" too. This is where my friends are. I went to high school here in Knoxville and have yet to make many better friends then I did there in those four years. This is where my school is. I've grown up cheering for the Vols, and continue to do so here in this town- along with 100,000 other people in the stadium. This is where my life is. And I love it.

I love the Sunsphere- the World's Fair was in Knoxville, a lot people don't even know there is a World's Fair but it was here!-, spending summers on the lake, going hiking in the mountains (I didn't realize lots of other places didn't have lakes or mountains literally in their backyards until I was in college...), high school games, seeing people we know wherever we go...

Two of my classes have mentioned how Knoxville is not a "city." Something else I never knew. One professor described it as a "town with a big university in it." At first I thought no way, but now, I'm kinda embracing it. Life is totally different between living in Knoxville growing up and not going to college here. In Knoxville, so much centers around UT, but there is still so much more. It embraces that small town feel so well. It's impossible to go out to eat, or to the grocery store, or the mall without running into someone you know. Whenever I have people come in town from other places, they are amazed at the community. Knoxville is still the place where drivers let other drivers out in front of them, businesses close to go to high school football games, strangers wave to each other, everyone leaves their doors unlocked (in fact, I don't ever remember knocking at any of my friend's doors in high school), our area code got changed to 865 standing for VOL, we drink sweet tea by the gallon (preferably from Mason jars),
everything is fried (something else I didn't know, most places don't fry okra- how the heck do they eat it then?!), ride around in trucks, I spend almost all of the days in summer barefoot, Sunday mornings the town heads to church, we've got an amusement part practically in our backyards- Dollywood, we make bonfires and spend hours sitting outside talking by them and in general people are just, nice.

I feel like I'm quoting some country music song.

Knoxville is definitely not perfect, but I'm hitting on the good points :) I really do feel like Knoxville is kind of stuck "back in the day," where life is still just... simple. Some people went away for college, they couldn't wait to get out of this place. I used to think that way, but when it really came down to it, I'd much rather stay right here.

 No matter where life takes me, this will always be home.

Thanks Google image for helping me find these rockin' Knoxville pics

Monday, January 17, 2011

I used to be a runner...

... then I graduated high school. Then I went to college. Then I started living college life. Then I stopped running all together. And now it's been three years. I used to run FIVE miles (at least) How? I have no idea. I've decided it's time to start running agian. Fortunately for good genes- thanks mom and dad- I have not become obese in these past three years, but I probably should have. So that is why it is time to start running agian. So yesterday my sister (whose motto is, "the faster you run, the faster you're done") and I ran four miles. Owww. Today, I'm scared I'll never be able to move again. My legs hate me right now.
See, the problem for me is not if I'll be able to finish, it's if I can start. Once I get in my mind how far I'm going to run (for example- the crazy idea of four miles yesterday), I can do it. I usually just can't start. But, I am not a wimp. And I can always give more. And I like running. I really do. It feels good to run. ...Right up until the time I stop. Then my legs shake and want to collapse and my stomach is turning. Ugh. But then, the runner's high. Oh boy, is that worth it. Whenever I ran in high shool, my dad would always tell us to think about the people who didn't even get out of bed. It didn't matter if we didn't do as well in a race as we should have, he would remind us of all those people who were still sleeping on those Saturday mornings. And so, I think I can. I can still be one of those people who gets out of bed and runs. Like I used to be.

Originally this post was gonna be about how I much I regretted running four yesterday, but turns out, I actually miss running. So, although this is quite the risk, especially putting it out here on the www, here's to becoming a runner again!

"Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right."
-Henry Ford 

"Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It's the easiest sport."
-Bill Rodgers

Inspiration quotes for running. We used to be all about quotes like these in high school. I'm gonna need 'em now. The first one makes me think of Drew. The second one, just makes me think I really can do it. Let's go.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Goin' to the chapel!

MY ROOMMATE IS GETTING MARRIED!!!! Abby Troutman FENNELL. I could NOT be more excited. I am seriously so incredibly pumped! Not only is she my roommate, but she is one of my very best friends. And Andy, I'm crazy about him too. We bicker all the time, but it's all out of love.

Here they are:


Andy and Abby have been dating since we were in the eighth grade. That's EIGHT years bloggies! Crazy! Abby and I became great friends when we were in high school. Andy and his friends were "our guys." We ran around town and had some of the best times ever. I really believe that these people made my high school years the best ever. And it definitely would not have been the same without Abby and Andy. I cannot tell you how many nights we spent over at Abby's parent's house playing games and eating cookies. After the boys left all the girls would pile into the room over the garage and spend the night. There are so many memories from nights just like that, I couldn't stop if I got started naming specifics.

Abby and Andy and Ben (Andy's twin) and I went to prom together our junior year. Prom is such a special time, I am SO lucky I got to share so much of it with the three of them. Here we are back in 2007.
Good thing we've come a long way since then :)
It's just so exciting to think that the four of us will get to get all dresssed up like this again, but for a completely different reason!

Abby is hands down one of the most incredible people I know. She is always thinking of others. I mean always. She is so humble and thoughtful and caring. She is happy and fun and hilarious. Andy has a dry sense of humor. He is super athletic and plays baseball in colllege (AND won "Most Athletic" in high school).

One summer Abby, Andy, our friend Becca, and I went to Nicaragua on a mission trip. What a trip. Incredible. Here we are there:

Sweet Abby "facepainting"

One of the things I'll always remember from that trip is Andy and his "ball in a cup"

Just to prove Becca really was there

Andy- He's a luck guy!

So weird that I don't have a picture of all four of us together from that trip, but these will work! I feel like I could so easily get side tracked by putting up those pictures, but this post is all about these two people being ENGAGED!

They really are the best engaged couple I know. I can't imagine being more excited about my own wedding :)
Here are some pics from the night Andy popped the question!!!
Anxiously waiting their arrival. Screaming as every car passed.


Let the screams, hugs, ooohs and ahhhs begin

The happy groom telling his friends

Red Saile's first finace

Telling the story. What a couple.

Our life now!!
Now June 18th better hurry up!
We've got a wedding to plan and I am so pumped!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First day of schoooooool

First day of school, first day of school! Ready to learn and get some knowledge!

First day of the new semester and ohmygoodness winter is still here. It was so snowy this morning. Our road and driveways and cars were completely covered. Then again, I was up kinda early, I had class at 9:05. But still. I slipped all over the place both in the driveway and on campus. People were slidding everywhere. It's so funny, watching people slip, until the ice turns and you. Then it's just embarrassing. And I mean big time embarrassing. But at least it was happening to all of us. Drew and Knox County are still out of school, and have been for three days. No fair, I wish we were too. For the sake of my pride, UT, PLEASE close next time! And if the ice isn't bad enough, for the sake of my risk of hypothermia and/or frostbite, when the high is 26 degrees, feel free to close then too. 

Now, back to The Bachelor. I caught up yesterday. Michelle, anyone know if it was her birthday last episode or not?! (If you've watched it, you know it was. I think she said it 15thousand times. If you haven't, be prepared to be extremely annoyed.) Anyway, Ashley S. and Emily are my two favs. BUT I don't think Brad will pick them because I'm just not so sure he's that smart. Poor Brad, he's got some psychos. Best of luck to him (and Ashley S. and Emily).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blizzard 2011

I use the term "blizzard" lightly, but for us, it really was. We got like 3-4 inches of snow overnight. How crazy is that?! Now I wasn't super surprised because this is how Jamie and I went to bed the night before...
Pajamas- inside out. It works.
So, Knoxville, you can thank us for the fantastic snowfall. 

Monday morning the four of us woke up and joyfully ran to all of our windows checking out all the snow. We dug out our snow clothes and took forever to put them on. Then, after acquiring a four-wheeled driver, we hit the slopes aka the hills. We only got a few pictures, probably because we were too busy playing. I wish I'd gotten some of our huge snowball fight or sled ramp riding, but you can just use your imagination. I'm not sure how, but there ended up being a huge crowd of friends gathered together. I guess people just kept calling and showing up. Despite having major bruises (including many in the place where the sun don't shine- maybe we shoulda cleared the hills of hidden rocks before we sledded...), a fun time was had by all. I am sore today, but is sure was worth it! I so wish there were more pictures.

Please love Abby's hat

Surprise out my window this morning!
Going downnnnn... If only walking back up was as fun
My favorites. And my roommates. Love.

Four people and sleds in the trunk, five in the middle, three in the front. Just another snow day.

Our mini snowman
And we made snow cream aka straight sugar

Also, we went to watch the national championship game with a bunch of people. And Auburn won. War Eagle!
Then we played murder in the dark. Again. Always a blast. 2011, I'm keeping your resolutions.
Happy 1/11/11 :)
Now off to go live the very last day of the break. SO sad.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some cute kiddies

Look at these precious kids I get to babysit. 

Meet Timmy...

and Micah.

Seriously, how adorable are they?!

They are total boys. I'm so sore everytime I leave their house, but we have so much fun playing. I hung out with these two yesterday, and they are completely awesome. I could just eat 'em up, but since I probably wouldn't get paid for that, I just make them say "cheeeeese" a couple times instead.

Also, there is BIG snow in the forecast for tonight/tomorrow/tomorrow night. I'm trying this new idea where I don't get too optimistic about things (here's my shot at being a "realist"). Judging the Doppler, it appears to me the snow is going to miss us and hit just the mountains (and Chattanooga- hope Drew is ready!). ...But I'm not fully believing it. I guess I'm still not very good at this realism thing, so I'm sure first thing I'll do tomorrow morning is roll over, look out the window, then do a joyful snow dance right here in my little yellow room.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thoughts on Prayer

I had a thought the other day. Hang with me because this is probably going to be a little random...
Every time we pray we get to enter into the presence of God. How amazingly unreal is that?! The Holy God of the universe takes time to listen to me personally (or you personally). Incredible. I am truly in awe and just so so thankful for this fact. Wow. Really, wow. Another very large part of the beauty of prayer comes from us being able to pray literally anywhere and anytime. This is where my thoughts might become rambling so get ready. A part of me has this thought, this question, about how casually I take this divine communication sometimes. How often I shoot off a little prayer as I am drifting to sleep in my bed. I think, what better way to spend your last conscious seconds before dreamland, talking to God? Yes, this is a truly great and blessed way to end the day. It is. But then I think of those in the Bible who went to the corners to pray, kneeling before God... What a way to practice humility! Then I think about how body position affects everything really. If you're laying your head down in class, or sitting up straight, looking ahead; either way affects your attention. That's just one example, but even so, would I not be foolish to think that my body position when I talk to God affects my soul?? I think I would be mistaken to believe the same concept doesn't apply here. Anyway, just a thought for the day. There's some more, I'm just not sure how to say them yet. So in the mean time, pray for snow :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Life these days

I'm coming down off an addiction. Day 6 with out my love, Diet Coke. I drank SIX on New Year's Eve preparing to spend the next 365 days without them. Me and two of my wonderful Red Saile roomies decided on NYE to give up soft drinks for the year. It's been hard. So hard. Day one and two were no good. But really, I think it's getting easier. Okay, so maybe easier was the wrong word. As I type it out I feel like a liar. Because it's been no where close to easy. So let's say "less hard" day by day. Caffine headaches, I will defeat you!! So if my bloggin seems a little off, I blame it on the withdrawls I'm experiencing. That being said, all you doubters keep it up, we love proving you wrong :) Only 359 days to go!
Slight change of pace, it snowed AGAIN! And last night's snow was a total surprise. I think this winter I've seen more snow than I have in ever in my whole life. Living here in the South, we really don't get much snow, but when we do, the world shuts down. To say the least, we don't handle it very well. This little Southern snow has been oh so delightful and I hope so much that it keeps it up!

Marley loves the snow, almost as much as we do.

These next ones are from a couple of snows ago

SamSam did a faceplant

Nothin' better than snowangels on a golf course

Sam provided us with a sledding snack of gummy worms he stored in his pockets

So wintery

Addie's portrait of me on a girls only Olive Garden outing (no snow here)

Addie is working on a collage. Funny 'cause Drew and I did this too when we were about her age.

Surprise snow!

All over the backyard. Beautiful.

Sweet Sam. But more importantly, look at the size of those flakes!

Stratego. Drew and I used to play this a lot. Add doesn't quite have the strategy down to say the least.

A nighttime game of Horse. (Once again, HUGE snowflakes falling!)

Dad playing Horse too. I defeated them all!

Sam is cold. And mad he didn't win.

It's so beautiful

My sister. She's hilarious.

Wow. Sometimes (not as often as I should by any means) I look around and am speechless at the thought that this is my life. How incredible blessed am I?! Yes, the giving up Diet Coke thing is a set back, but all the snow, plus my wonderfully loving and funny family, not to mention my terrific friends, I truly have a fantastic life. This, the ordinary day by day, is MY life. This is what I'll look back on years from now and recap all in my mind. What a privilege this life is. I am just so so grateful.

It's supposed to snow again tomorrow! Oh boy! More nighttime sledding and snowball fights are on the agenda. Now, off to get ready for game night!