Monday, October 31, 2011

My 23rd Birthday

Well today (I'm still considering it to be Sunday because I haven't gone to bed yet) was my 23rd birthday, and it was amazing! It was cool because I was actually born on a Sunday too.  I got to go to church this morning, then out to lunch with my family and Zach.  Daddy asked me where I wanted to go eat and I said "Cracker Barrel or J&S" haha. I decided on Cracker Barrel, and it was so good.  While we were there, we found a bumble bee costume for Honeygirl to wear for Halloween! It was actually a little girls' costume, but it ended up fitting her!

After lunch, we came home to have cake and open my presents.  My cake from my parents was so cute! And the gifts they gave me were great. My sister had picked out some really adorable stuff for me, and even bought some if it with her own money! She got me this bracelet that I've really been wanting.  And she wrote something really sweet in my card, and that's what really matters.  Gifts are great, but to really know that you're loved and that there's someone who looks up to you and that you'll have forever as a best's the greatest.  Everyone was just wonderful today.  I really feel loved and cared about, and I have a wonderful family and amazing friends.  I got lots of thoughtful texts and facebook posts and phone calls.  For it to be my first birthday without Grandma, it was still good.  I feel so blessed by God.

My costume party was at Zach's house again this year, and it was so fun! Ashley and I dressed as Pippa and Kate Middleton and Zach wore a crown to be Prince William haha.  Alex got me a sweet cake and Zach's mom had a bunch of food.  The royal theme was carried out with crown napkins and plates (and my mother had gotten me "princess" balloons earlier).  We had a hayride and a fire.  I loved getting to spend my birthday with such fantastic people!! And hayrides are the best I think I'll always celebrate my birthday like a little kid.  No shame in that!! :)

Oh, and me and Zach carved this cool pumpkin Saturday night.  Reppin' Port Southern!!

And my song of the day is "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley because nine years ago, on my 14th birthday, I received my very first Elvis cd.  I had heard "Burning Love" on the radio a couple months earlier and on the Lilo and Stitch trailer, so my mom bought me the cd because I wanted that one song, but I didn't even know the name of it.  I just figured that an album called "Elvis Number Ones" would have that song on there.  I sat in my room that night and went through all 31 tracks on the cd until I found my song - number 29.  It's been my absolute favorite song ever since :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

There's Still Hope for the Music Business

The Saturday before last, my friend Ashley and I went to Raleigh for 'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery's "homecoming birthday bash/album release." There were SO many people there! It was mind-blowing that so many people would show up to see someone who is so humble about his fame.  In fact, Scotty is back in high school in his small hometown of Garner.  But seeing Scotty glorify God and give Him the credit for all of his success was awesome.  And as we drove, we had listened to Ashley's Scotty album, and in most of his songs he mentions his faith.  I just think that with all of the corruption in society today, and especially in the music and entertainment industry, seeing someone like Scotty (and Lauren Alaina, Carrie Underwood, etc) is so refreshing, and it gives me hope for America.  It's hard to find a mainstream artist who will stick up for his or her faith in God and profess so openly Christianity.  What do you think?

This is probably my favorite song on the album, for many reasons.  I've been raised to believe that the King James version of the Bible is the closest to the way God wanted us to read it, and whether that's true or not, I am partial to the King James version because my grandma always used that version, and when she passed away a few weeks ago, her King James Bible was handed down to me.  So I guess that's why this song has a special meaning in my heart. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's a Beautiful Morning

I love Fridays.  I love having 8 a.m. English class most semesters on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  This is because that's usually my only class on Fridays, which means I can get a lot done and enjoy my Friday until it's time to go to work. 

Up until the past few days, I had been really depressed about summer ending and fall coming.  Although fall had been my favorite season since I was a little kid, the past few summers have been so amazing that I've fallen more and more in love with summer and everything about it.  So when September came this year, I got pretty sad.  September is always a fairly dull and uneventful month anyway, and it's there for that awkward transition from summer to fall.  This September was the worst I've known, probably.  But usually the day that October comes, everything turns right back around.  This year has been no exception. 

This morning I left class around 9.  It was such a gorgeous morning.  I was instantly reminded of how much and why I've always loved fall.  Everything about this morning was perfect.  I read my Bible and did my devotional and then headed to Barnes & Noble to look around.  I decided that I would spend a couple hours by myself, just doing some random things that I usually don't have time to do.  It may sound weird, but I really enjoy doing certain things by myself.  It gives me time to think and fully take in my surroundings.  So at Barnes & Noble, I leafed through some interesting books (I've always especially enjoyed biographies of classic Hollywood actresses, so I found some of those).  I looked over the clearance section and found a really cool book by Kathie Lee Gifford (love her!) and it was only $5 so I bought it.

I had to go to my grandma's house to check on it since it's empty now, and I thought of the countless Fridays I had driven there after class to pick her up to go shopping or to go eat or to the Farmer's Market.  Fridays were our days.  It was just so peculiar and sad to be at her house on a Friday morning all alone.  The beauty of the sun's rays and her lush green yard provided an extremely ironic contrast to the heaviness  and confusion I felt.  I sat in the driveway for a few minutes and journaled a bit.  I think it's really important to write down thoughts and emotions while they're fresh, so that's what I'm trying to do more recently.  I think it really helps.  Never underestimate the power of good ol' pen and paper. 

Sitting there in the driveway, seeing her car in the carport, I half expected her to come to the door like she always did.  I thought to myself, "I'd give anything to be able to hang out with her today."  I saw her roses growing in the yard.  She loved roses the most, and maybe they were there for me to see that her work will live on on this Earth, and represent the eternal life that she's been experiencing for the past two weeks.

I left there before I got into a really sad mood, and headed to Hobby Lobby to get some ribbon.  My friend Ale couldn't be more right when she refers to Hobby Lobby as the "crackhouse" haha.  I love crafting so much, and I've always been a sucker for all things seasonal.  Hobby Lobby is so overwhelming to me.  I enjoy making my own jewelry and other things because I think that makes it a whole lot more meaningful, and it's also really cool to learn how to make things and have fun in the process.  So I bought some pink and orange and blue ribbon, and I wanted to look around some more, but I knew I'd be there for too long if I did!

I went to Kohl's as well, and being the bargain hunter that I am, I found some adorable starfish earrings that had been pretty expensive but were now pretty cheap, and a couple other pieces that were on major clearance, and with my $10 gift card, I got three things that would've otherwise added up to like $60.  How exciting!

I went home and took Honeygirl for a walk.  The weather was just too perfect not to.  I also finished the anchor earrings that I've been working on (pictures will be up later).  All this, plus eating lunch and going to take care of Zach's dogs (since he and his family are at Disney World) before I had to be at work at 3.  And after I got off tonight, I went back to hang out with the dogs some more.  So adorable.
So obviously I had a great morning.  Friday mornings are great anyway, but a Friday morning in October is simply magical.  I'm excited for fall now, and I'm so thankful that the littlest things in life can be so enjoyable!

Song of the day...perfect!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Highlights of My Week

OCTOBER is in full swing.  While October is an extremely overwhelming month, it is also one of the absolute most exciting and fabulous months, and one of my favorite.  And not just because my birthday is the 30th (hint hint).  So here we are, done with the first week of this crazy month.  This week has really flown by! I've been pretty busy...Monday night, my sister, Zach, and I went to the Dixie Classic Fair.  The fair is a must every year, and most people that I know go.  It's just a tradition.  It makes everyone feel like a kid again (which isn't hard for me haha).  I was worried that it was raining on the way there, but shortly after we arrived, it stopped, to our relief.  We had a great time :)

Also on Monday, I went to the dentist and found out that I'll have to have my wisdom teeth out over Christmas break :/ Oh well, can't say I didn't see that one coming! haha my mouth hurts so bad :( They took a bunch of x-rays, and that really irritated my gums where the wisdom teeth are underneath.

I got some really good deals this week! I don't usually buy something if it's not on sale, and when I went to Target this week to buy stuff for two of my favorite little girls, I was excited to see all of the cute stuff they had for really cheap.  Some of the stuff I even got for a dollar, like these really adorable 2-pack gift bag sets.  That's always a day brightener haha.
On Tuesday, I got to eat lunch with Brooke.  We went to Panera, and I love love love Panera.  Spending time with Brooke is always good because we just have so much to talk about, and the best way for me to feel better about any situation is talking things out.  I went to dinner with Angie, one of my coworkers who has become a good friend, and her sweet daughter Kokie, for her tenth birthday.  I just love birthdays. It was nice to have dinner with them, and enjoy meaningful and encouraging conversation.

Also this week, I got to spend some time with my three month old cousin, Ellie! My granny was keeping her, and I had bought her a little outfit, so we put it on her and took some pictures.  Babies are so much fun!! It's so sweet to interact with such a young person, who has a whole, full life ahead and doesn't even know it! Life just blows my mind sometimes. 

Yesterday (Wednesday), I found out some of my grades aren't so hot right now.  The past few weeks have been really rough, and I'm sure that's why.  I just haven't been motivated to do school work at all.  But boy, seeing that midterm grade was enough to motivate me! I went to my grandma's empty house, where I knew there would be no distractions, sat in the sunny living room on her old antique couch, and opened my Mark Twain "Tales, Speeches, Essays, and Sketches" book.  The assigned story was interesting, and I got really into it.  And as sad as it was to sit in my grandma's house alone, I let my mind drift to the happy times we've all had there, and that provided a bit of comfort.  I don't know how to describe it, but it's both painful and comforting at the same time. 

Wednesday night, our youth group's small groups split up and went to different places to hang out and get to know each other.  My group went to Cookout and Putt-Putt.  I was once again reminded of how the simple things in life can be so satisfying.  Nothin' like a grilled chicken sandwich, some greasy onion rings, ranch dressing, fruit punch, and a good round of mini golf!!  Later, Zach and I drove to the airport to watch a plane land.  That's one of our favorite things to do.  It's the most awesome thing to watch! It seemed like the plane was going to land on me.  I guess I really am a little kid.  After all, my high school class did vote me "Most Likely to Stay a Kid" senior year. Geeze haha

Today was good.  $1 subs at Jimmy John's was definitely a win.  Zach and I went to look at costumes at Party City.  I don't necessarily celebrate Halloween, but I do love dressing up, and it's a good excuse to.  I've always loved dressing up and taking on a temporary persona.  It's intriguing. 

So there's some highlights from my week.  If you've read this far, thank you! My life may not be the most interesting, but hopefully some part of my blog helps, or at least entertains, someone hahah.

And my song of the day...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday Adventure

Today (Sunday), my friend Katie and I headed to Mt. Airy to watch a Civil War reenactment.  The drive to Mt. Airy is so beautiful.  I love the beach the most, but you just can't beat the mountains in the fall.  It was nice and cool, but not cold, so that was good.  It's gonna take me a while to get used to cooler weather, though. 

Anyway, we made it to Mt. Airy, but couldn't find the reenactment, and the lady at the visitor's center was super rude to us about it, so we just decided to go shopping.  After calling my dad and getting directions, we drove to the Virginia state line (second Sunday in a row we've gone to VA haha) because it turns out the reenactment is actually a few miles out of Mt. Airy, right on the VA border.  Well, we still couldn't find it, so we just went to this cute restaurant called the Mayflower and had some delicious seafood (as if I don't eat enough of that already). 

Our day didn't go completely as planned, but it was still nice.  It was good to get away from HP for a few hours.  A nice Sunday getaway.  I really love the old-time feel of Mt. Airy and how quaint and adorable it is.  Oh! And I FINALLY learned how to parallel was kind of a "I have to learn how to do this right now because cars are coming and we're gonna get hit if I don't" situation, and Katie taught me how REAL FAST.  It was like an epiphany hahah.  You learn something new every day. 

I thought about my grandma a lot while we were up there.  She loved the mountains and small towns and fall, and when we drove into Virginia, I thought about last Sunday and how we had come there to lay her earthly body to rest.  I took a picture of Pilot Mountain, and if she was still here, I'd show it to her, but I know that even the beauty that surrounded me today could never surpass the beauty that she is surrounded by in Heaven right now.

And here's my song of the day:
I've been reallllly into my Elvis country cd lately...perfect for fall driving :)