Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An Eventful Week/Weekend

So last week, Kacie, Michael and I had our first week in Boone together.
We are currently living in a hotel because our apartment complex isn't done being built yet.
Hotel life really isn't that bad! I love hotels.
It was a rough week as far as adjusting to new classes and getting everything squared away for the semester during the days, but at night we all had lots of fun eating and watching movies and such.
We ate at a yummy BBQ place in Blowing Rock called The Woodlands.  They had live bluegrass music. They even played "Wagon Wheel."
It was awesome.

(Our hotel room)

My last first day of classes as a student! I was one of the first ones in there (for once)!

So excited for football!!

On Tuesday night, Kacie, Michael, Stephanie, and I went to Menchie's for frozen yogurt! I'd never had Menchie's before, and I think it's the best fro-yo I've ever had (I usually don't even like frozen yogurt).

I've eaten a lot of Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers here. And had lots of .99 medium sweet teas.

I went home for the weekend, and on Thursday night I went with Heather and Hayley to visit our friend Angie in the hospital (pray for her!) and then we went and had pizza.
On Friday, I met Rebecca for lunch and then we went shopping! I had been craving our usual chopped sirloin, salad, and bread at our favorite spot in Archdale.
We went shopping at PB&J and got some super cute things, including these adorable braided Rainbow sandals (in the pile with my other ones - can you say obsessed?).
On Friday afternoon, I ran into Brooke, Lexie, and their mom at Red Mango and we had a wonderful time talking :) Love when that happens!
That night, my family went to eat with Rebecca and her parents. It was so nice to just eat and talk and relax! It was good to share both meals with Rebecca on Friday!
On Saturday, my family went to the funeral of a dear family friend. It was more of a celebration of a long, very fulfilled life.  This woman was truly a Proverbs 31 woman.  She was a good friend to my grandmother, and she was an asset to the whole community.
It's probably weird, but afterward, we took a picture because it's not often that we all look that decent ;)

Saturday night was girls' night!
Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley concert.  Sarah, Ashley, and I rode to Raleigh for it.  I've always wanted to see Miranda Lambert in concert. It was so much fun!!

On Sunday morning at church, we heard a wonderful message from our pastor (as usual), and after the service, we had lunch and a meeting for the youth leaders. At the meeting, the youth pastor showed us a quote that I really loved - one that I really needed to see right now. It affirmed everything I've been thinking lately:

Love it!!
What's weird though, is it was a pretty wonderful and eventful weekend...
But I was thinking about it yesterday - I heard the best news and the worst news all in the same weekend.
But I'll get more into that later.
Sorry if none of this made any sense. I'm trying to watch Gatsby and write at the same time :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19

I think one of the reasons I like to keep up with dates is because I like to see how far I've come from year to year. What things are different and what things are the same. Both are cool; I've always preferred constants though. Changes scare me. Terrify me, even.
But I'm getting better with handling change, and that's good because right now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Boone (because our apartment isn't finished) anticipating my last semester of graduate school. Hard to believe I'm almost done. I really just started a year ago. 
And my brother is here, starting his journey as an Appalachian student.
I'll be living in Boone for most of the next school year, and most people know what a change this will be for me, considering I never lived on campus when I went to HPU. With that being said, I wouldn't change anything.
Anyway, I noticed today was August 19, and with my impeccable memory, took note of the fact that on Monday, August 19, 2002, I started eighth grade. My last year of middle school. It was one of the best years of my life! Eleven years later, on Monday, August 19, 2013, I am about to start my last year of school (FINALLY).
Maybe this will be one of the best years of my life as well?
Yesterday, I thought back to the day before I started eighth grade. I thought about being SO nervous and dreading it SO much.  Coincidentally, I even took Ashley to the middle school parking lot to give her her first driving lesson yesterday! It wasn't til we were there that I realized the significance of the time and location, and the fact that Ashley will be an eighth-grader herself in a week or so.
I enjoy trying to make parallels. I enjoy looking back (not always the best thing). I enjoy consistency and tradition.
That being said, I'm gonna post something that I wrote three years ago today.

August 19, 2010

So tonight was Chanelle's last night in High Point, and I've been pretty depressed (to say the least) that summer is almost over. I get this way this time each year. Interestingly enough, though, pretty substantial things tend to happen around this time of year.
So after a fun night of taking pictures and driving around with Alex, getting "Bajjjjja Blast" at Taco Bell, me and Chanelle had a great conversation. It started with my realization that it was August 19th.

"Oh my gosh, I flooded my Jeep four years ago today! That means tomorrow is Garrett's birthday!"

I thought back to the memorable night of 8/19/06. I was seventeen and had as much freedom and adventure running through my veins as I did blood. With some friends from Garrett's 18th birthday party, I took my Jeep out in the woods, listening to my favorite Keith Urban cd, romping around and sank her in a gigantic mud puddle. That night, I tossed and turned and couldn't get to sleep for hours. I prayed for rest and for a miracle. I finally cried myself to sleep, thinking I would never get to drive my poor Jeep again. It was one of the most fun, incredible, crazy, depressing nights of my life. That's the night she earned the name the "Mud Bullet." The next day, I listened to my favorite Elvis songs to try and feel better. It was great.
ANYWAY, Chanelle and I proceeded to start a pretty deep conversation about our big futures and lives, and scary things like death and fears, etc...in the Harris Teeter parking lot haha. (That's where all the good stuff happens)
The cd that was playing had made its way to track #6, which was Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" or however she spells it. I told Chanelle I remembered the first time I had heard that song, which was the first day of 8th grade, on the school's weekly TV show. The thing is, I'm crazy when it comes to numbers and remembering dates, and always have been, and after a second I recalled that the first day of 8th grade was August 19th, 2002. That was the year that I started to love Southwest and make friends there, after being a loner in 7th grade (my first year at SW)
THEN I remembered that 8/19/02 was also the day that I first heard my all-time favorite song, "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley, while I was getting ready for school, nervous about starting 8th grade. I happened to turn my radio on in time to hear that song and loved it, thus eventually leading to my now 8-year Elvis obsession. Who knew I would be hanging out with Elvis' step-brother eight summers later at a church camp in Georgia?
I also heard one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs for the first time on August 19, 2002.  At the time, I barely knew who Stevie Wonder was, but the minute I heard the song "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," I knew I loved him. Now he is one of my favorite artists.
Chanelle and I mused about how high school doesn't seem that far away, but in reality, we were seniors four years ago. The night I sank my Jeep in the mud was halfway between my first day of 8th grade and now. On that night, 8th grade seemed like light years away, but tonight, 8/19/06 seems like just yesterday. And maybe to anyone else this seems stupid, but to me it's amazing. Amazing how much can change in four years and in eight years, but ironically stay the same and how time flies by so fast in general. And how certain dates hold certain values, and others just exist. Like what if I knew on 8/19/02 that I would have a "muddin" adventure four years later on that exact date, and then four years after that be listening to the same exact songs, while talking about life and the past 8 years with my best friend? It's just crazy and wonderful to me.
Things are changing. My little brother started college a few days ago. It blows my mind. Yesterday we were both little kids in elementary school and now we're both in college.
Me and my friends are at all different places in our college careers right now, even though we're all basically the same age. Some are graduating soon, some have already graduated, some are getting married, and me and Alex still have a few more years of school haha.

In any case, I'm excited to see what's going to happen next August 19th and the one after that and the one four years from now. And I hope that I'm sharing it with the same exact people. God has blessed me with the most wonderful family and friends, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
In case you think I'm weird, I'm gonna add that if I am, Chanelle is too (hahaha)... She wrote a similar blog that same night.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Started High School Ten Years Ago.

I haven't blogged in forever.
And I promised myself that when I finally did blog, I would catch up on the summer - post highlights. Write about Boone. Finally pour my heart out about Libby Hill's closing in April.
Of course, that hasn't happened yet, and Chanelle brought it to my attention the other night that we started high school TEN years and two days ago.  August 11, 2003.
Let that sink in.
I've been thinking about that a lot over the past two days.
See, there are three times of the year where I get really emotional and my head becomes filled and overwhelmed with thoughts and goodbyes and nostalgia and I just want to get it all out through written word.
It happens in May, August, and right after Christmas.
August is always really hard because I hate to see summer go, I'm anxious about the coming school year (it'll be that way forever, haha), and I just start to think about everything. Everything there is to think about comes into my head and I can't get it out.
[So expect a lot of writing from me over the next couple weeks.]
But back to the high school thing.
Since I remember literally everything, I remember being scared to pieces for high school.
I will always consider 8th grade to be one of the very best years of my life, and I had a sneaky feeling 9th could never live up to that amazing year. So I was already mentally prepared.
I wasn't being negative, just realistic.
High school was going to be SO different.
I wasn't ready to leave my comfort zone. I wasn't ready for a block schedule or scantron tests or carrying all my books around on my tiny back all day with no locker break.
I wasn't ready to be around the big kids.
I wasn't ready to leave the comfortable nest that was middle school. 
And nothing could've prepared me for what was coming.
So I did what I'm doing now (some things never change).
But on the first day of school, I put on my orange tunic, my denim skirt, and my good luck straw wedges and decided I was ready for whatever was coming. Because ready or not, it WAS coming.
And let me tell you, I learned and grew so much in those four years. I found a love for literature, football, the French language, getting my Jeep dirty, people outside my "social circle," and deepened my love for art.  My faith was tested over and over again, but every minute of it made me who I am.
It was in 11th grade that I decided I wanted to become a teacher.  I had the most wonderful American Lit. teacher, and I was so inspired by her and by the books that we read. My mind was blown.
I want to be just like her as a teacher.
I had the absolute hardest time leaving the place. How hard was it going to be to not be around all of my friends every single day? College scared me more than anything else had ever scared me.
I cried and cried all the weeks leading up to graduation. 
The school that had scared me so much when I was 14 had become a safe haven for me. A place where I met friends, laughed til I cried, got bad grades, got great grades, cheered at football games, played the class clown, played pranks, got my heart broken by boys only to come out stronger and better, shared my faith, had my faith tested, decided to become a teacher, learned important things, and fostered friendship bonds that would last me for the rest of my life.

I wouldn't trade those four years for ANYTHING.
So when Chanelle posted a status about us starting high school ten years ago this week, it kind of all just came back to me like a flood of memories.
All of that started ten years ago?
By now, I could've been teaching high school for two years already. But I spent five years in undergrad, and decided to do grad school before teaching.
But people always shudder when I say I want to teach high school. I look sixteen for Pete's sake.
Yes, I know, it's a huge risk. Teaching high school, for me, will be a huge risk. It might even seem dumb to some people.
"How are you gonna do that? You look so young."
I'm going to let God work through me, because I feel like teaching high school is what He has called me to do, at least for a little while. Not forever maybe.
And if that is what He is truly calling me to do, He won't let me fail.
He will walk and talk through me, and I'll be okay.
I have a special spot in my heart for high schoolers.  They need molding just as much as the little ones do.  I am who I am partly because of teachers who took the time to care for me in high school.
So that's what I'm gonna do. I started high school ten years ago, and hopefully I'll be starting again in January, Lord willing.
Back to high school I will go!