Monday, June 24, 2013

MM / Don't Worry; Be Happy!

This quote seemed fitting to me for this week because my heart and mind have been so heavy the past few days and weeks.
There's so much going on that I catch myself thinking and worrying all the time.
Instead of worrying, PRAY! Pray, pray, pray.
God even tells us NOT to worry!
HE will take care of our needs. He will take care of it all.
"So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34
In addition to other things, I was really worried and bummed about missing most of VBS at church this week. VBS has always been one of my favorite parts of the summer, ever since I was tiny.
God knew my disappointment, and I found a church to help with VBS at in Boone - right beside my apartment complex! I'm so excited to see what God does this week :)
Hope everyone has a wonderful week.
Remember: DON'T WORRY!

Friday, June 21, 2013

First Day of Summer!

June 21st - the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, and national "Wear Your Lilly Day!"
Summer has become my favorite season, so today is super exciting for me!
I've been listening to the song "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Crofts all day, because it's perfect for two reasons:
1) It's about summer (duh).
2) And the first line is "See the curtains hangin' in the window in the evening on a Friday night"
And today is Friday!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and a fantastic summer!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It Built Me - Grandma's House

In two days, one of the houses that "built me" will be a mere memory to me.
When my dad was 7 years old, his parents moved the family down to High Point from Galax, Virginia. They moved into a ranch-style brick home that would be filled with years and years of love and happiness.
My dad grew up in this house, and from what I've seen in pictures, and from what I know from my experiences, if the walls could talk, they'd have so much to say.
I go to the house almost every day. Not because I'm a crazy person, and not because I have emotional issues, but because I like to have peace and quiet to read, it's a comforting place, it's a wonderful place to talk to God for hours without any distractions, and yes, because I know that it won't be long before I can't go there at all, and I want to go while I can. I want to savor it while it's there for me to enjoy.
I know it's just a house. Walls and floors and carpet and brick. But like I said, if walls could talk, you would hear so much. It's hard to believe that that empty house was once filled with life, hosted countless parties, was decorated to the nines, smelled like brownies on most days, and on holidays was the happiest place on Earth for me.
I think about these things when I go over there to read, think, and pray.
I look around the empty rooms and I think about what was once there, the things I saw them taking out on that emotional day in October.
Things are things, and material things fade. Only memories last forever.
My memories take me back every time I look around that empty home. That shell, that house that was once a home.
Sometimes knowing I won't have it forever seems unbearable to me, and other times, I know that this is a part of life, and we must all keep moving forward.
Sometimes I think I won't feel close to Grandma anymore if I can't go to her house and read, think, and pray. And smell that distinct smell anymore.
You, reading this, might think I'm crazy by now. But I know everyone has felt emotionally attached to a house, right?
I mean, this is the only house I've been able to go to my entire life, since I was born.
In 2000, we moved out of the house my family lived in when I was born, and in 2001, we moved Granny out of the house that she'd lived in since my mom was little.
So to me, this house has been the ONLY constant in my life, materially speaking.
And in two days, I won't be able to say that anymore.
Because it will belong to someone else.
I just hope they know how lucky they are, but how can they?
They will have no idea about all the love and memories of that house.
They will have no idea that I lost my first tooth in that house in December when I was six.
They will have no idea that I used to have tea parties with my grandma in that living room.
They will have no idea that we used to make brownies in the kitchen and lick the spoons and bowls.

They will have no idea that my brother and I spent so much time there with Grandma when we were little, watching Bonanza and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
They will have no idea that their house is the reason why I wish I was born in another time period.
They will have no idea that my grandparents celebrated 50 wonderful years of marriage in that house, with family and friends.
They will have no idea that we had sleepovers with Grandma in that house, and ate homemade popcorn.
They will have no idea about all of the Thursday evenings I spent there with Grandma in middle school, watching Jeopardy and eating Arby's after she picked me up from piano lessons.
Most importantly, they will have no idea about the amazing woman that lived there, who has a home in Heaven now.

But I'll remember.
And the walls will remain silent, and the house will become a haven for a new family, who will make new memories in it.
And I hope I can have peace in knowing this.


Honeygirl's Birthday Party!!

I finally did it!!
I had a birthday party for Honeygirl!
I've wanted to for a while, and she's like 13 now, so that's a lot to celebrate!
[[I saw on Kathie Lee and Hoda the other day where some people had sent in pictures of their dogs' birthday parties. SO cute.]]
So two Sundays ago, I made a sign, went and got balloons and party hats, frozen yogurt with doggie treats inside from Feeney's, a little cake, put Honeygirl's sassy summer dress on her, and we had a party!
Honeygirl loved the frozen yogurt with the doggie treats inside. She ate some cake too!
Granny brought her a gift and when she opened it she found MORE doggie treats! She stuck her whole head inside the bag trying to get them out. It was adorable.
Honeygirl was a regular party animal and thoroughly enjoyed her birthday bash.
I love her so much.
The whole party was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weekly Motivation

Yesterday was so busy that I totally forgot about Monday Motivation (although I needed some!). I moved up to Boone for a five week summer class, and with yesterday being the first day of class, everything was crazy.

So here's this week's motivation! I know everyone at some point has had a task before them that was so daunting it seemed like they couldn't do it. I've kinda felt that way about summer school in Boone! 

So this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt is perfect for this week for me, and hopefully for you too! 

God will help us, and if we do the things we think we can't do, we will feel so accomplished when it's all said and done. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"The Party of the Month? No, the Party of the YEAR!"

A week ago today, Ashley and I went to Aaron's Party!
For some reason, Ashley is obsessed with Aaron Carter, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears - the people of "my generation." 
So when I found out that Aaron Carter was coming to Greensboro, I had to get us tickets...and meet and greet passes. Because I, myself, used to be a little too obsessed with Aaron Carter not to.
And I can't imagine the guilt I would've felt if we'd gone without meet and greet passes. I knew it would make Ashley's life.
So on Wednesday night, we found ourselves at Aaron's Party - "The Afterparty Tour."
The concert was cool, and we had fun!
[[My mind kept flashing back to Chanelle making fun of my Aaron Carter obsession in 6th grade. She even wrote an article in her NEWSPAPER she sent out to us over the summer. The article was to make me mad, and it was titled "Aaron Carter Marries a Mouse."]]
Afterward, we found our neighbor Katherine, and after waiting in line for what seemed like forever, we got to meet Aaron Carter, and this is how it went:
Me: "When I was twelve, I had a dream that you moved to my neighborhood!"
Aaron: [smiling] "Really? Where do you live??"
Me: Hahaha
Aaron: "Of course! Put it on up here!"
At this point I pulled out the Port Southern shirt and croakies I'd taken to give him and he was about to sign the shirt, and I said "No this is for you! Do you take gifts?"
"Of course! This is nice, let's get a picture with this shirt!"
He thought the croakies were a bracelet, but one of his band members was like, "Nah man, this is for your sunglasses!" And Aaron said he would put them on his Ray Bans.
We then attempted an Alpha Chi Omega picture, but he couldn't get the sign right, which resulted in me making a terrible face.
He signed one of my boots (the right boot - Taylor Swift signed the left in 2007!).
He was so very nice and kept saying thank you over and over. I bet a lot of celebrities aren't like that.
I was SO glad I got meet and greet passes.
It only took 13 years to meet Aaron Carter, but it was well worth the wait!!

And Ashley's life was made.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation, a la Kathie Lee and Hoda!
(I love these little things they're doing now with the quotes.)
Hope everyone has a great week! More soon!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Time Flies" - A Re-Post From Memory Lane

This is actually from a Facebook note that I came across while going through my FB timeline for a trip down memory lane. With all the graduations that happened yesterday, and the fact that my high school graduation was six years ago today, and the fact that I'm just feeling nostalgic and emotional as usual, I decided to re-post some old gems - the ones that deserve another read.
This one is from June 18, 2010 at 3:55am.
Some things never, ever change.
My baby brother graduated high school almost two weeks ago. Why is this so hard for me to grasp and deal with? I always knew I was an emotional (to put it lightly) person. I've always had nostalgic tendencies, to say the least. But ever since Michael graduated, I've been a nut case. I just feel so old now, and I know that we've officially finished a chapter in our lives and are beginning a new one. I'm just adjusting, that's all. Adjusting to change.

Anyhow, I think I'm gonna post the speech that I gave at the senior banquet at church, with a few things I will add in as I feel the need.


On April 23, 1991, I got a little brother. I was two and a half years old. To me and the cat, he was just a noisy little baby. Over the years, he has become so much more. Little did I know, that noisy little baby would grow up fast, and I didn't get just a little brother on that day in April - I got a best friend.

At first, though, we were just playmates. Our mother dressed us alike and we played together because we had to. We would constantly fight and tattle on each other. But we always managed to get along long enough to do mischievous things together. At Granny's house, we ate peanut butter crackers and chugged Coke and had burping contests. Then we'd see how many pillows we could pile on top of each other without suffocating. We drew on the faces in Granny's newspapers and got free Real Estate books just to "decorate" the realtors' faces. We got the number for Crumley and Associates law firm from the TV commercial and called the office and hung up. They called my grandmother back out of confusion. We also dialed random numbers and asked for "Mary" or "Bob."
At Grandma's house, we took walks to the farm down the street, rode our bikes, ate popsicles, and played a game we made up called "hide the shoe." We watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Bonanza. After watching Walker, Michael would practice the Chuck Norris moves on me, and things turned ugly real fast. It was an all-out brawl that Grandma would have the hardest time breaking up. In fact, we beat each other up a whole lot. Sometimes we even clocked each other with brooms, skillets, whatever was at our disposal.

At home, we made tents and played Candyland. After Christmas, if we had a big cardboard box that a toy had come in, we would tape each other up inside the box and roll it violently around the living room, with the other person inside screaming. We were obsessed with Backstreet Boys for a certain amount of time, and bonded over that.

Michael always had trouble pulling teeth, so the Tooth Fairy brought him extra money, which made me mad. He kept his money in a little lock box and used to count it in front of the neighbors. He was the richest kid I knew. (He's still a hundred times better than me at saving money)

Michael has always been one of the few people that can make me laugh until I cry, guaranteed. He's always liked to come up with crazy, hilarious, and sometimes offensive nicknames for people. He's always had a vivid and ridiculous imagination (that I envy lol).

When we were pretty young, we went to a birthday party and some little boy pulled my hair. Michael hauled off and punched him, and if I remember correctly, bloodied his nose. Since then, Michael has been protective of me, even though I'm older. He still checks up on me if it's late at night and he gets home before me to make sure I'm okay. It's always been understood that no matter how much we argued, we'd always have each other's back when it came down to it.
I used to make Michael play with baby dolls and Barbies with me. He had no choice. We had matching teddy bears that had names and life stories. I dressed Michael up in my clothes once and took him to the neighbors' house, claiming he was his obscure twin, "Michelle." I painted his nails sometimes, too. Somehow, despite all of this, he turned out just fine. In my opinion, he's turned out perfect.

We obviously argue and fight sometimes. We've called each other ugly and stupid. I was enraged when he got a Jeep just like mine (except a newer one with a sunroof) for his first car. But after awhile, I was proud that we had the same car, and always proud to call him my brother.

He's always been different from the norm and a leader. Our dad always emphasized that we should be leaders and not followers, and it paid off. Michael has always loved nature and the outdoors. He's always appreciated simplicity and the little things in life. His love of fishing is his trademark. And he's the reason why we have the best beagle ever (Honeygirl). He begged for years and years for a dog, saying, "Mama, every boy should have a dog!"

Michael isn't just a younger brother. He's been such a great big brother to Ashley. He wanted to help with whatever he could when she was a baby. And while many teenage guys would ignore their little sister, he actually takes her places with him and his friends. He taught her how to fish (and cut up worms for bait) and enjoy the outdoors. I love watching the two of them interact.

A few years back, I would let Michael hang out with me and my friends like a good big sister should. Now, he lets me hang out with him and his friends. What a blessing. Now we don't just spend time together because we have to, or because we don't have anyone else. We spend time together now because we want to.

Michael has gone through some unbelievably difficult times this year, and sometimes it just seems like life isn't fair. In January, he lost one of his very best friends. I can't express how much it hurt to see him cry. I know he'd have given anything to have Matt right there with him on graduation day, just two seats over. As if that wasn't enough, he lost another friend in May. But he has grown into one of the strongest people I've ever known, and has taught his big sister a lot without even knowing it. I just hope I have been a good example to him as he has been to me. I'm so very proud that he calls me "Sister."
If I could say something to him in the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd, I would say:

"Take your time,
Don't live too fast.
Troubles will come,
But they will pass."

In the words of Rascal Flatts, I would say:

"My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big; your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold.
And while you're out there getting where you're gettin' to,
I hope you know somebody loves you,
And wants the same things too."

But by far, the most important words I could quote to Michael would be from Proverbs 3:5-6:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths."

I love you Michael, more than you know <3


Friday, June 7, 2013

Flashback Friday - Full of Fun Stuff

Flashin' back to some events that have occurred in early Junes past today!
#1: My brother graduated high school on June 5, 2010. I was so proud of him, and wrote a whole big thing that I'll post later.
(That was the last big event that Grandma was able to attend. :( I'm SO glad she got to see him graduate.)

#2: Went to Carowinds with some friends in June 2010 and rode The Intimidator for the first time. It changed my life. I remember riding on it, thinking I would die at first, and then all of a sudden everything became clear and life seemed to make so much sense.
I guess a headrush will do that to ya.
Anyway, it was one of the best days of my life, and that's how I remember that it was June 8, 2010.
That's the day I became interested in Zach, thanks to Justin Hite.

#3: Chanelle and I attended the SW High 2009 graduation, and watched Boots and other friends graduate. Yay!

#4: MY high school graduation - June 9, 2007. This is with my art teacher, Mrs. Coggins.  I took art all four years and even did a full year of AP art my senior year. It is because of her that I'm still in love with art ad creating things to this day. She pushed me to work with materials that I wasn't comfortable with (didn't wanna get messy HAHA), and now I'm completely fine with getting paint all over my clothes and skin and in my hair.
 High school was a wonderful experience for me, so this was one of the saddest days of my life. But I sure do have some great memories to look back on!

#5: Movie nights with Brooke! This is from June 2010 as well. We watched Bride Wars. Love that movie!
I'm also pretty sure I graduated from 8th grade ten years ago yesterday. I'm looking for pictures from that, but haven't found them yet.  That was literally one of the saddest days of my life (I'm so dramatic) because 8th grade was one of the best years of my life and I didn't ever want it to end ever. I wanted to be 80 years old and still in 8th grade because I loved it so much.
I remember crying with my friends as they played the 8th grade slideshow to "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly and thinking my world was ending.
It was just beginning.
I love going down memory lane. :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

California Love (Part 4): DODGERS GAME

Three weeks ago today I went to my first Major League Baseball game!
After seeing Mariah Carey tape her medley for the American Idol finale, we checked to see what inning the Dodgers were in, and decided to hurry over to the game from downtown.
When we got there, it was like the 6th inning.
So we got in for free!
I love going to baseball games, so this was awesome for me!!
We had a great time. We got to try the famous Dodger Dogs (foot-long hot dogs on regular length buns haha) and watch the remainder of the game from club seats.
We didn't find out til after the fact that Scotty McCreery had been there with his dad, since they were in town for the American Idol finale the next night.
After the game, we went into the Dodgers shop and got souvenirs.  I got a super cute shirt. :)
Dodgers Stadium is gorgeous with all the palm trees around it giving it that California feel. 
It was just a really exciting night already, so the game was the cherry on top!
Definitely something I won't forget.
I feel like I have to be a Dodgers fan for life now, since that was my first MLB game ;)

So excited to get club seats for FREE :)

Dodger Dog & souvenir cup
action shot