Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today's a Big day

It's the 90th day of the year! Time flies when you're havin' fun, huh?

This is my 100th blog post. I never thought I'd have enough thoughts to publish 100 entries about them, but the time has come, bloggies. Thanks for stickin' around to read these crazy thoughts that make zero sense a lot of the time.

We get new leaders tonight. Can't wait to do some fist pumps and leg kicks and welcome our questies into this crazy family I call my team. I hope they are ready for a -- finger slapping, red painting, thread chatting, 'tudes having, unimaginably hard laughing, black eye and bruised table-topping, "World's Greatest" singing, Steak 'n Shake eating, eye rolling, carpooling, joke telling, character dressing, heart sharing, lots of loving -- Halls having (it) good time! We are so excited to have our "missing pieces" join us in just a few short hours.
They're getting placed at Halls, so of course they are totally legit. They've got it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If scattered thoughts stress you out, skip this post

It's official, I'm a slacker. Instead of making some more excuses and empty promises, I'll just own up to it. So there it is folks. I still haven't blogged about Spring Break. So why not keep this random post train rolling?

I've been feeling a lot lately. I don't even know how to put it. Words fail me right now- and kinda have been the past 24ish hours. I know all y'all are shocked.
It's not for any reason in particular, I've just been thinking a lot. I guess I'm usually too busy talking to think. Oops. 

You know those times when God says the same thing to you over and over again in one day? I had one of those days yesterday. Which was great. 
But there was also a lot of hard parts about yesterday. Not hard like, bad. It was good!... just not easy. Clearly, I'm confused. (Not so shocking:) )

So many times yesterday I just had to say wow. As in wow, I'm in awe.

Sometimes God take you on a path that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But the wonderful thing about it is that no matter what, if you keep your eyes on Him, it is guaranteed to be absolutely perfect. 
What a reminder.
I'm not even sure why I put that in here. It doesn't have a whole lot to do with yesterday. Or maybe it does. Either way, I like what it say and what it reminds me of. So there.

I am so thankful for stories of redemption. And for friends who share theirs with me. What an honor. And who let me talk as long as I want. And don't think I'm crazy when I can't figure out what I'm thinking, not to mention actually verbalize it. I'm thankful for friends who look out for one another. I'm thankful for loooong talks and late nights in the Red Saile driveway. (And I'm thankful that the Lord is faithful and still lets me get an A on my test that I didn't study for while I talked about Him-it's the little things, people). I'm thankful that we don't have to have it all figured out. But I'm also thankful that God gives us people to help us along the way. I am thankful that I have friends that we can pray together and for each other. And that I have friends who tell me they are praying for me. Just 'cause.

One of my friends retweeted this today, and I liked it a lot:
"I want to desperately want Christ. I want to recklessly love those He's given me. I want to live in love & outside of fear." 

I'm a teeny bit scatter-brained today. If you can't tell. So this probably isn't making a whole lot of sense. But those are just some thoughts. I'm sure my brain will start working again soon and I'll be able to clear this all up. At least I hope so. There's a lot of good stuff to come. I know lookin' at me you can't tell it, but there's a lot going on up there :) (meaning in my brain- and meaning at least for today).

 Well, all that being said (don't even ask me what was said, I'm not sure anything was really), I want to remember this: 
Do what you are called to do. Do it right. And do it well. Live quietly. Today is the day. Now is the time.

On another note: wE gEt NeW lEaDeRs ToMoRrOw!!!! 
Fancy writing and three cheers for that!
This time tomorrow we'll be hangin' with our n00bs. Can't wait to bring 'em in to our little family!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh blogggg

Duke looooost!
Carolina won! (not that I'm shocked by that- they're gonna win it all. GO HEELS!)
...My bracket still sucks.

Econ test is over. (If I ever am going to need to know econ in real life some p-l-e-a-s-e tell me. Because I'm going to need to find a lifetime tutor.)

I've been to Chattanooga and back.
Laura and Megan turned 21.

The half marathon is one week from tomorrow. Eek!

And I have laughed SO much this week. ...Especially Thursday. Every time I turned around I had tears running down my face from laughter. Gosh, don't you just love those days?!

Currently I am babysitting the most precious babies (or not so babies at all). And listening to the thunderstorm outside. We are curled up on the couch watching "Wall-E." So crazy I get PAID to do this!

We get new leaders on Wednesday. Wednesday. Good gravy that is soon! Remember my team? They are still totally awesome. And we are about to get even awesomer! I am so incredible thankful that YoungLife is so established in Knoxville and we get so many great, new leaders every year. A lot of teams are really desperate for new leaders who want to love high school kids. And this Quest class is huge and ready to fill those shoes. I am excited to see where the kids I know from high school end up. Wednesday is gonna be a fun night. My team has some big plans for our n00bs :)

Oh yeah, I'm still slackin' on SBXI. Oops.

I'll make more time for this little bloggy soon. Over and out peeps!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still no SBXI

...But I promise it'll be soon(ish). Turns out I had slightly more school work this week than I had anticipated. It's okay though, it always gets done. (Someone needs to teach me how to stress.)
Homework/studying/class has been taking up my time. I still haven't even put pictures on my computer. I'm a Spring Break super slacker.
Also, because I wanna be honest to my faithful readers- all two of them (hi mom)- all other Spring break pictures on Facebook, major blog reading to catch up on, and Pinterest has taken up my relaxing time. Another side note: Pinterest, I am pretty much o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with you. I could literally spend hours on it. So many wonderfully delicious things to look at (sorry Delaney- we shoulda been English majors). But really, wow. I love it.
Well off to go study Econ (gag) or "rest my eyes" for a second on my bed (yay). I have a feeling option number two is gonna win tonight.

A quote that made me smile today:
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. 

Something wonderful it going to happen. In the midst of crazy-busy day. It will. Keep an eye out. Don't miss it. 

Hope your Tuesday(night)!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not a Spring Break Post

SB '11 was simply fantastic. As I knew it would be. And memorable. As I know it would be. And relaxing. And fun. And hilarious. And crazy. And awesome. I think you get the point. Basically, it was a absolute blast. Really. Unfortunately, I'm a slacker and haven't uploaded pictures to my computer yet (although I've spent hours looking at everyone else's). So more about SBXI will have to come later.

In semi-related/ completely unrelated news:
I am now tan. Not burned. TAN. (Side note: this morning the girls at Halls asked if I had been going to the tanning bed- I hope some of y'all can find humor in this). Yippee skippy summer most be close.
Thanks to Pitt, Louisville, Vandy, etc, I am now out ten dollhairs in the bracket tournament challenge I entered with some people. I had a chance of winning over SIX HUNDRED BUCKS! ...But those chances are now gone. Pity. The good thing about having a majorly screwed up bracket is getting to cheer for the underdog every time. Makes all the madness of March a little more exciting. As always, go Heels.
This is the oldest picture of SamSam I could find
My baby brother is the big oh-nine! I cannot believe this little curly tow-headed kid will be double digits next year. C-r-a-z-y. (I gotta dedicate a post to this dude soon).
 My daddy cleaned my car, as well as got everything on it fixed (it was a long list, I tell ya), filled it up, AND left me gas money while I was gone. Add that to the list of why Tom Crawford is setting my standards high.
The weather in KnoxVegas is forecast to be b-e-a-u-tiful allllll week. Hello days spent at the boulevard!
Those gorgeous pear trees? Worth the fish smell times a thousand.
They fired Bruce Pearl today. I am sad. He mighta lied, but he was a great coach for us. I grew up never watching UT basketball because they never won, but Bruce turned it around. Bummer he's gone. I'm still going to say Bruuuuuuuuuce before each game. Nothing personal to the new coach, it's just a tradition I love. Like the kiss cam. (If they ever take that away I'll never go back to a game). 
I ran ten miles today. Is it April 3 yet?  I just wanna curl up and go to sleep.

Welp, that about sums it up. Other than that big week of Spri Bre Ele. Promise to get around to that soon. Thanks for not giving up on me during my week long absence from the blogging world. Over and out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Procrastination meets SBXI

This, my friends, is what procrastination looks like. I thought once I had a little break from classes my procrastinating would stop. But no.  This is a gift. I am STILL procrastinating on spring break. Goodness. Let's back up for just a second and celebrate that... IT'S SPRING BREAK!!!!!! Congrats on making it through the week! Now we get a lovely nine days off to do n.o.t.h.i.n.g. You better believe I am not even thinking about school until next, next Monday. Definitely doing a fist pump and leg kick for that as I sit here on my floor. (If you happen to read this blog and aren't on spring break, congrats on making it to the weekend. Two days of freedom. Hollar!)
We leave for PCB (don't judge me) in t-minus 7 hours and forty-ish minutes and I am sitting in a room full-and I mean full of clothes. It's like suitcase explosion and I haven't even pulled out my suitcase yet. See?

I just can't decide what I need. And I always, always over pack. Tragic. So I figure why not just sit on the floor hopelessly and wait for all my stuff to magically packs itself?
But we all know that's not gonna happen. So I might as well get back to work.

Off to to the oh so wonderful state of Florida! Can't wait to fry in the Sun, look at the Palm trees, smell the ocean, Boogie board until my tummy is red, read for FUN, have sand in my bed, run on the beach, avoid sharks in the water, and share one bathroom with seven girls. See ya in a weekish bloggies! A million fist pumps and leg kicks for SPRING BREAK twenty eleven. YIPPEEEE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This moment

I'm sitting here in Panera waiting for my next class to start. I have a megabreak today because one of my classes is canceled all this week. AND my night class is canceled today- three cheers for that! My professors must know how much we are d-y-i-n-g for spring break.
As I am sitting here, attempting to study for my test Thursday, but really more people watching and blog reading, my mind is wandering to next week. Gosh, I can't wait for Spring Break. I can't wait to be on the beach. And with my friends. And getting tan. And laughing. And making memories that we'll talk about forever. And having the time of our lives. Every Spring Break I've been on with these girls has outdone the ones without them. by. far. There haven't been all that many without them, but the past two years we all ventured off to attempt to break the high school friends bond and do our own thing. But now, we are back! (Actually, not gonna lie, last year, Cancun, rocked. Big time.) But I am so so glad to be back going on vacay with my favs. Not all of us went to high school together, but everyone going rocks. It's going to be awesome.
Clearly, I'm pumped. But that's not why I started to blog today. I got off topic. Shocking.
What I was really thinking about, while I am sitting here, wishing this week was over, is I am literally wishing my life away. Dreaming of tomorrow's tomorrow's tomorrow. Just doing what I can to lazily make it through this week.

Life passes too quickly without me wishing it away.

It's so hard to be present in this moment. To be thankful for this moment.
But that is how we should live. So now, I am in this moment. Fully present, fully aware. I don't want to miss a thing.

Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life.
- Omar Khayyam

Ain't that the truth! Enjoy today.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Secret Millionaire

In case you've forgotten, I LOVE this place. Knoxville is such a great city. And the whole wide world got to get a little taste of this last night. It was so crazy seeing MY town on ABC. That's big time. I recognized almost every place that came on the screen. It was weird. But awesome. And every time the announcer said, "blah blah... in Knoxville, TN..." I freaked out a little bit. If you didn't watch Secret Millionaire, go to Hulu or ABC and watch it. Now. I bawled my eyes out for an entire hour.
Knoxville is so incredible. It is. To quote the show, "Knoxville, Tennessee is the postcard perfect town..." But how we've neglected the parts we want to forget. Dani Johnson (THE secret millionaire) lived on "that side of town." The bad side. But I know this side now. It's where my mom's kids are. She lived in the worst of the worst for a week. Western Heights. One of my mom's kids used to spend every weekend at our house last year. That's where he lives now. And they believe they are so lucky, blessed, because they are out of the hotel room they were living in and into the projects. They are grateful for it. But it's b.a.d. And that's where Dani stayed.
Helen and Ellen and the Love Kitchen. Wow. I know so many people who have helped out down there. But I never have. And then the other two places too. The Joy of Music School and Special Spaces. And there are so many more great ways already to set up to help here. Yet I have so rarely helped at all. 
Why? I don't know. 
But the wonderful thing is, where I have majorly slacked acting out the love I have for "the least of these" here in Knoxville, others haven't.
And Dani, she's from Texas for cryin' out loud. She has zero ties to this city. BUT she is a Christian. That was made clear through her commitment to spending time in the Word, especially when making her decision of who to give to, asking specifically for wisdom. She is a millionaire, but she does not idolize her money. She is about helping others. Loving others. Even people she does not And she gave thousands of dollars to us here in Knoxville. I love how all of the people who started and volunteer in these organizations are so grateful just for her help, but I also adore their faces when they find out she's also going to give to them financially. What an unsuspected blessing. A gift of love.

I want to be about love.

I can't give tens of thousands of dollars to these people. But I can give other things. Dani says, "give a smile, give a hug, give whatchya got." I've got plenty to give.

I adore this place, although so commonly I feel called elsewhere. But I'm not somewhere else, I am here.
So while I'm here, I need to make a difference.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lazy Sundays

Lazy Sundays are good for the soul. I'm pretty sure it's a proven fact.

Last night was a good night for our family. Today? Not so much. Today UT lost to Kentucky. BUT last night, the heels beat Puke (aka Duke)!!!! Yippee! ACC champs baybay!
Poor guy. Lucky we even associate with him :)

We yelled "Heels" to finish "Tar" chant across Wild Wings with the Knoxvegas UNC alum. Who knew there was such a community of them here?! Love it.
People, this is where I come from. The parents.


Despite Tennessee's loss, it has been a perfectly lazy Sunday afternoon. Since I don't have anything due until Thursday this week, I decided to live it up.

I made my sister entertain me but testing out a hairstyle I'd been thinking about for awhile. She was a good sport. And even pretended to be a model for me. Whatta champ.

Add rockin' my new fav hairdo. Presh. 
(Please note the UNC blanket folded on the couch behind her head. We are no bandwagon fans.)

SamSam. He wouldn't let me do his hair. But he does have a killer smile, don't chya think? 

Bag explosion. No joke. Note the places where the egg and box were.
We also became bakers. Brownies from a box. That's how I roll. One brownie-bag-opening-explosion-on-the-counter and egg-tumble-and-crack-to-the-floor and batter on fingers and face and hair covering later, we got to enjoy. They are d-e-l-icious.

Hope we don't die from eating raw eggs


I got a new pair of jeans yesterday for FOUR DOLLHAIRS! Holla! 
And my Momma got groceries for me. Three cheers for being able to eat food again! Hip hip hooray!
This time next week I'll be lounging on da beach!
Happy Sunday, y'all!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

127. That's a lot of hours.

Last night a few of my friends and I went to see 127 Hours for free in the U.C. A FREE movie?! Yes please. I had heard a little bit about it. I knew the gist of the story. And I vaguely remember hearing about when it actually happened in 2003. I was in the eighth grade. So I don't remember a whole lot. Just some guy cut off his arm. But this movie was awesome. Obviously it was real intense. But it was also funny. And sad. And happy. And just so good!
Without ruining too much (I hope), it's base on a true story about this guy Aron Ralston who was rock climbing, fell, and got his arm crushed by a giant bolder between it and the canyon wall. He was stuck there for, you guessed it, 127 hours. That's FIVE days. With so so little food and water. Not to mention stuck by the arm in a canyon in the middle of nowhere! Aron had a camera and a video camera and documented what he assumed to be the end of his life. However, he escaped on the fifth day by cutting of his own arm. You can see in the movie, it's kinda VERY intense. And realistic. And eww wow. I had to peak through my fingers the whole time.
But the thing is, he survived. How incredible! He's alive! And he definitely shouldn't be, by any standards. But he is.
Want to know something weird, I've found myself praying for him. In the movie they make it seem like, more than likely, he probably doesn't know Jesus. But after surviving something like that, how can you not believe there is a God. Anyway, I'm hoping he meets Him soon, if he hasn't already. What a story he already has, but how much greater God could make it.
I honestly teared up in the movie. Not that I'm much of a crier (catch my sarcasm) but I was so incredibly happy when he found other hikers. And they were so willing to do everything they could to help him. To keep him alive. I love people's selflessness and ability to come together in times of need.
Anyway, this movie was wayyyyy better than I was expecting. I really do recommend it. It IS intense. And there is some bad language. But it's incredible what the human body can endure.  And the tragedy that happened to Aron seems so random. As if there is like one in a billion chances of that happening. But it did. So enjoy the moments. The seemingly insignificant phone calls from Mom. The laughs with friends. Because really, life is so short. But we at least have today.
So, if you get a chance, go see it! ...But be prepared to cover your eyes....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gas Stop

I think I got played yesterday.
On my way to Halls I had to stop in Powell for gas. Side note: I am ALWAYS out of gas. Always. As I was scrounging around for some money to put about half a gallon of gas in my car a man appeared outside my window. He went on about being "so embarrassed and out of gas and his mom in the hospital and blah blah can I have some money for gas, I only need like a five?" I looked at the $15 I was holding in my hand and handed him a five. He ran in and I followed him. It was suspicious. I really don't even know if he bought gas or not. Either way, does it matter? Gosh, I don't know. I don't think so. I don't like to assume that people are lying or using others or whatever.
But I just keep coming back to how we are called to "love the least of these..." (Matthew 25:40). And whatever we do for them, we do for Christ. And by entertaining strangers we may entertain angels and not even know (Hebrews 13:2). Now, I'm not saying necessarily that this guy was someone I'd consider one of the "least", he looked, based on his car, clothes, features, as if he was doing okay. But, you know stuff happens. Heck, I know ALL about running out of gas :) I'm also not saying he's an angel. But I guess I'm not saying he's not either. How am I supposed to know?
I guess what I AM saying is how many times do we pass up the opportunity to show others Christ's love by being too busy in our own lives? Too caught up in our own worlds? Too worried about what others will think? Too selfish with our money? Time? I don't know about y'all, but for me it is way more often than not. Everyday I ask God to set up divine appointments for me. Maybe this was one of them. So I just want to slow down. Take time. Love others. Isn't that what we are here to do?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


March is a GREAT month! So much to look forward to. Spring break is so soon. March madness makes everyday more exciting. So many birthdays (including my half birthday- what, what!). Fun weekends. And SPRING! So glad to finally be out of those winter months.
We survived monsoon of 2011 yesterday. So. Much. Flooding. I kinda thought we needed to start building an ark. Good thing God promised to not flood the earth again! 'Cause yesterday got pretty close.
Another thought for today: Why the heck do Girl Scout cookies come in right before spring break?! I ate them for breakfast today. It helped me dominate a test I'm pretty sure. So it's all good.
March. So many good things happening. Glad to have ya here, third month of the year!