Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mean Girls Ten-Year Anniversary

April 30th, 2014 is the ten-year anniversary of Mean Girls.
I remember going to see the movie in theatres in 9th grade - 2004.
(HOW HAS IT BEEN TEN YEARS OH MY GOSH)
Alex, Katie and I dragged Garrett along on a Friday night to the theatre at Friendly.
Alex's dad took us to and from the movie in his sweet Ford Taurus (my dad had one too - all the cool dads did.)
 
 
From that day forward, Mean Girls was the talk of our lives.
Albeit, it's not the most appropriate movie, but it's so darn funny - we couldn't stop quoting the movie, and still can't! Ten years later, Chanelle is sending Mean Girls quotes to my phone from Los Angeles and Alex and I are reminiscing on all of our Mean Girls-related antics throughout high school and planning a Mean Girls 10-year anniversary viewing party for Saturday night.
"WE'RE SO OLD!!" we decided this morning.
It's so fun to look back though :)
 
 
Shortly after the movie came out, my friends and I decided that it would be a wonderful idea to wear skirts on Fridays and whoever didn't wear a skirt COULDN'T SIT WITH US!!!!!
I remember getting ON MY AOL EMAIL ACCOUNT and sending out emails on Thursday nights, reminding my friends to wear a skirt on Friday.
One Friday poor Chanelle wore shorts instead and I told her she couldn't sit with us. Thankfully I wasn't completely serious, and she sat with us anyway.
WAS THAT REALLY ME BACK THEN?!?
I've come a long way, I think hahahah...
 
On the first day of tenth grade, Chanelle went up to some poor, scared freshman boy and said "You're really pretty." He said thank you and she replied, "So you agree? You think you're really pretty??"
POOR BOY PROBABLY WANTED TO CRY OR RUN OUT OF THE SCHOOL.
 
Alex and I were talking this morning about how in tenth grade for Spirit Week, we all dressed as Mean Girls characters. I was Gretchen Wieners. Alex was Karen. Holly was Cady Heron. Katie was Regina George (?? I think ??). We also kind of started a band called "The Plastics."
(forreal.)
 
A couple years ago Chanelle and I watched Mean Girls 2... But nothing's the same as the original.

 
 
 
 
Yes, today, Chanelle is sending out Mean Girls quotes every hour in celebration of the day.




 
 
My pink for today:
 

 
Okay so Mean Girls isn't my favorite movie in the world, but it is kind of a big deal. It's hilariously funny, but girls really ARE mean! Especially in high school. At the end it teaches a good lesson, and by that time you've laughed and sympathized and have so much material to quote for the rest of your life. Case in point, me and my friends.
 
 
 
 
Happy Mean Girls Day.
Happy half birthday to me!
 
 
 
 
 
eBa


Monday, April 28, 2014

Remembering My Uncle

Last week at this time, we were preparing for the memorial service of my uncle, who had been battling cancer since August. I was so nervous to share at the service, but I knew I would regret it forever if I didn't. I'm posting what I shared so that y'all can get a little peek at how Kenneth affected me and just to share about what a great guy he was. Being the humble man he was, he would've downplayed his strengths, but his life definitely made an impact that I'll never forget.
 
............................................................................................



“From the beginning of creation
I think our Maker had a plan
For us to leave these shores
And sail beyond the sand
And let the good light guide us
To the waves and the wind
To the beaches in a world
Where we've have never been
And we'll climb upon the mountain, y'all
We'll let our voices ring
And those who've never tried it
They'll be the first to sing”

-George Strait


I write about a lot of things, but this is something I never imagined I’d have to write. Not right now anyway.

Over the past 8 months, I watched a typically very strong man gradually lose his physical strength until finally it was all gone. This is something you can’t really prepare yourself for.

Kenneth walked from Earth into eternity on Friday morning – Good Friday, to be exact. He left behind so many people who care about him deeply and have such fond memories of him and have been praying for him for months.

On Thursday night, when I went to visit him, some song lyrics kept going through my head. The first line of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas:

“I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone.”

Thursday night will remain in my mind because I literally did close my eyes to pray for Kenneth, and I knew the moment was fleeting. We all knew that our time with Kenneth was running out and it became painfully clear that, like the Bible says, life is a vapor, and Kenneth’s time on Earth was being cut short by our standards, but God’s plan for him was being fulfilled just the way He ordained it. My mother made sure he heard the 23rd Psalm and was not afraid of what was happening.

I don’t agree with the lyrics of the “Dust in the Wind” song as a whole. We are far more than dust in the wind, and the Earth and sky are not the only things that last. My uncle’s life proves that. No, his life on Earth didn’t last as long as we wanted it to. But he has left a lasting impact on many people, and what I share today is just the tip of the iceberg.

I think I can speak for us all when I say that my uncle Kenneth was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. Some people just have the ability to make anything that comes out of their mouth sound hilarious, and he was definitely one of them. He kept the whole family laughing and in good spirits. They say laughter is the best medicine, and there was plenty of that with him. I personally very much enjoy being around people that make me laugh, and that was one of the things I loved most about Kenneth.

Another aspect of Kenneth that I’ve always loved was his generosity. He’d give you the shirt off of his back – he was always making sure that everyone had what they needed. I remember right before I started graduate school at Appalachian, he gave me a huge wad of five and ten-dollar bills and told me to keep it in case I needed gas money. He enjoyed paying for everyone’s food when we would all go eat and there was no arguing with him about it. He just wanted to be around us – that’s what mattered to him.

One of the biggest things I admired about Kenneth was his love for animals. There’s something to be said about someone that values God’s furry creations. They totally depend on us to take care of their needs. Kenneth rescued dogs and cats and went to great lengths to make sure that they were happy and given the best life possible. We all shared a love of Beagles, and the way he cared for his sweet critters has been a wonderful example for me in caring for my own pets. God gave man dominion over animals for us to treat them exactly the way Kenneth treated his.

Kenneth was with my mother when she and Ashley discovered that our dog Honeygirl had passed away back in January. It broke his heart. I can just picture him up in Heaven, running around with little Honeygirl, both of them cancer–free and carefree, basking in the eternal sunshine that they’ve gained in place of life on Earth.

When I graduated from High Point University two years ago, Kenneth made a point to be there. It meant so much to me that he came to share the special day with us. Since my brother and I have been living in Boone, Kenneth would always want us to call him when we drove back so he would know we made it back to Boone safely.

We all wish we could have many more years with Kenneth here on this Earth. He was such a fun and sweet guy. And honestly, I think I’d be struggling with this a lot more if I didn’t keep reminding myself of what Paul said in Philippians – “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Paul wanted desperately to just be with Jesus, but Jesus would take him when He was ready for him, just as Jesus took Kenneth when he was satisfied in the fact that Kenneth’s time for Earthly living was done. To leave this Earth is to gain a Heavenly home with the One who created you. We think this world has a lot to offer us, but the splendor of Heaven is so wonderful that there’s nothing on this Earth that could even remotely compare. If we could hear from Kenneth now, he would tell us things about Heaven that would completely blow our minds. He would be able to attest to the fact that “to die is gain.”

Kenneth was raised by a wonderful Christian mother. Granny made sure that her kids got to church on Sundays and Wednesdays even when they didn’t have a car and it meant that they had to walk. Her devotion as a woman of God gave him the solid start that he needed in life. There’s no doubt that the love he poured out on others was in part a reflection on the love he was given from the start of his life. Granny has to be the absolute strongest person I know. She gave birth to two little boys and, like Hannah in the Bible, has had to give them both back to the Lord. But her faith never wanes – she trusts God and His plan even though she cannot understand it. She counts her many blessings and cherishes the memories she has.

My mother constantly sought after the knowledge that Kenneth was truly saved by Jesus. This past December, Kenneth came to the Christmas Eve service at Oak View with us. My mother saved the candle he used when we sang “Go Light Your World” in hopes that Kenneth would allow Jesus to re-light his life one day soon. Two months ago to this day, our hope came true. Kenneth re-dedicated his life to Jesus sitting in the kitchen with our mother. Because of that, I quote Romans 5:2 – “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” That hope for us is seeing Kenneth again one day. Because of the holiday we celebrated yesterday, death has no sting and we will be reunited.

I’ll really miss being able to call Kenneth up and ask if he wants to meet up at Ham’s or Buffalo Wild Wings with me and my friends.

I’ll really miss laughing at his jokes.

I’ll miss asking him about his dogs and hearing how they’re doing.

I’ll miss his dry sense of humor and the way he kinda snorted when he laughed.

I’ll miss getting hugs from him and him telling us how much he loves us.

I’ll miss calling him throughout the week to see how he’s doing, and the hope that he would get better and beat the cancer.

But although it looks like the cancer won, it did not. There’s victory in Jesus and Kenneth has won the ultimate fight.

 

“It is finished, the battle is over

It is finished, there will be no war

It is finished, the end of the conflict is finished

And Jesus is Lord”

……………………………………………………..

“Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on Earth is done
Go to Heaven shouting
Love for the Father and the Son.”

 

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
 
With hope in Him, it's not goodbye - it's "See ya later."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Recently.

I wanna share more of the fun and happy things I do, and so much awesome stuff has happened recently, but I will start with this past weekend.
 
This past weekend was pretty wonderful. On Saturday morning, I got to enjoy my first AXO Theta Rho Theta (alumnae chapter) event. We had brunch at Cracker Barrel. I got to meet some lovely ladies I hadn't met before and reunite with some I hadn't seen in too long! It was really nice.
 
 
 
I also got to see Brooke and her family and Lovelyn again, and got LC to go from crying to sleeping so sweetly. What an accomplishment! I love that baby.
LOOK HOW CUDDLY AND PRECIOUS SHE IS!!
 
 
 
 
On Saturday afternoon, I met some friends at the UNC spring game in Chapel Hill. The game did a good job of satisfying my craving for football. Football in the spring = :)
It was a super nice day. The weather was fabulous. It was a really fun day -- much needed. It was good to get away to somewhere besides HP or Boone. Not that I've been unhappy either place, by any means, but it's just nice to visit somewhere you don't get to go a whole lot! Especially somewhere as beautiful as Chapel Hill. I've always loved CH in the Spring. My middle school Latin class used to go there for convention in April! I've missed it. 
 
 
 
 
I got to spend a lot of time with my precious Huskador baby. I love her to pieces, and she just basks in the spring weather.
She currently really enjoys riding in my lap while I drive as we listen to Hillsong (she loves "Hosanna") and I pet her soft and sweet fur.



 
 
 
 
On Sunday, we had a really nice time eating our usual family lunch. We went to one of my favorite places (Rainbow - my grandma is part of the reason we all love it so much).
Later that afternoon, I got to meet the new baby of my friends Zak and Cursty. Baby Zaylen is precious. I didn't get a picture! But I can't wait to see him again soon.
 
 

On Monday evening, I got to go back to HPU to lead a little ceremony for the graduating girls of Alpha Chi Omega. Most of these were girls we started the chapter with, and so it was very special and hard to believe that they are already graduating! I had a lot of fun seeing everyone and it was neat to be able to be there for the first time as the alumnae chapter president. I love wearing my badge and pearls and getting dressed up :)
 





Sorority sisters, babies, a football game, good food...
It was a fab weekend spent with family and great friends!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
eBa


Friday, April 11, 2014

"Dating Won't Cure a Lonely Heart"

I'm reading the BEST dating book (although I said I'd never read one - but it's a Christian dating book). It's called Boundaries in Dating and it's by Drs Henry Cloud and John Townsend. The chapter I just read is called "Dating Won't Cure a Lonely Heart." This chapter was the shortest, yet most packed with punch so far. It perfectly describes the reasons why I used to date and why they were wrong. I'm gonna write more on this book but I just wanted to share these few things that I highlighted today:

Don't settle and give in to a bad relationship rather than have no relationship at all. -- Don't put up with behavior that is disrespectful. 
Don't give into things that aren't in accord with your own values. 
Don't settle for less than you desire or need. 
Don't stay in a relationship that you know has passed its deadline. 
Don't go back to a relationship you know should be over. 
Don't get into a relationship you know isn't going anywhere. 
Don't smother the person you are dating with excessive needs or control. 

^^These are all things people do when they date to cure loneliness. They always want a relationship and desire it so much that they lose focus of what's really important. 

"Your dating is ruled by your internal isolation, rather than by your God, your goals, values, and spiritual commitments."

You should be "alone long enough to grow into a person who does not have to have a relationship to be happy."

!!!!! "To be happy in a relationship, and to pick the kind of relationship that is going to be the kind you desire, you MUST be able to be happy WITHOUT one." !!!!!!!!!!!

"Cure that fear (of aloneness) first, and then find a relationship."

How? 

Strengthen your relationship with God. 

Strengthen relationships with "safe, healthy Christians." You need God but you also need people. 
"If you try to have a romantic relationship to meet your needs for healing, it is not going to work. You need a support system."

"Be vulnerable" with these people! And with God.

"Many people have a lot of friends but those friendships are not meeting their deepest needs."

"Make sure that in some of these relationships (FRIENDSHIPS) you are allowing yourself to be dependent, have needs, express pain and hurts."

Be ACTIVE!!!!!!!!

The active growing life does not have the time or inclination to be dependent on a date. The more you have a full life of relationship with God, service to others, and interesting stimulating activities, the less you will feel like you need a relationship in order to be whole." !!!!!!!!!

"As you grow spiritually, you are going to naturally be closer to others and get a fuller life. The whole person is not a dating addict. He or she is happy and fulfilled."

Psalm 1:3 --
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

"The whole life is a full life. And the by-product of fullness is that the fulfilled person is also a very attractive one."

Follow these guidelines and "you will not be subject to saying yes when you should be saying no."



Wow. Good wake-up call. 

Happy Friday! 





eBa

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two Different Worlds






Just thinking about how literally crazy my life is right now, and how wonderful it is.
I went to a really fun square dancing / contra class with Grace in Boone Friday night and then headed home at like 10:30. On Saturday, I woke up and went to work furniture market. For those of you that don't know, the furniture market is High Point's claim to fame (well, along with HPU now). People from all over the world come to little ol HP to buy furniture from top designers in the hundreds and hundreds of showrooms that our downtown houses. Twice a year, the market brings life to downtown. Glamorous people from all over are there with their blingy jewelry and designer clothes, looking for furniture to buy for their homes or companies.
 
I worked in a showroom called Howard Elliott this year - a very posh showroom with exquisite furniture, accent pieces, and mirrors - bold colors, geometric shapes, blends of retro and classical designs, yummy food, & LOUD cardio/club remixes of popular songs and Broadway tunes blasting all over the whole showroom
I had to write orders for the wealthy people that came in to buy furniture - sometimes thousands of dollars worth of stuff. The whole thing was just glamorous, if I could describe it in one word. I thought, "I could do this every day. I can dress the part, at least." hahaha
So I did that for four days. The music and lights made me feel like I was at a never-ending dance recital. Being in so many of those over the years, I feel like a part of that will always be in my veins. I had a blast working market and was sad when I left yesterday :/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But I was also really glad to get back to Boone! As much as I love glitz and glamour and loud dance music, I've also always had a deep love for the rural life and all the beauty that comes with it - listening to hymns or praise songs driving down country roads, or lately, just being in Boone and taking all the gorgeousness in.
Ironically, as glamorous as my day was yesterday, I spent today very differently - like night and day. I got up this morning and went to a rural school to do some testing with my professors from Appalachian and then my brother and I took Emery to Valle Crucis, NC, about ten minutes (if that) from Boone. I had never been before and always heard about it. It is a small mountain community that has remained "untouched for over two hundred years." So beautiful and pure.
 
We took Em to the community park by the Watauga River and walked her on the mini greenway. Then we went into the old, original (I think) Mast General Store - a store full of old-fashioned candy and toys, outdoor clothing, and other odds and ends. We decided we liked it better than the one in Boone - so authentic and homey.
It was so peaceful and relaxing after the crazy past four days I've had. The NC mountains are unrivaled in beauty (I'm not biased or anything) - truly God's Country.
 
Now, back at the apartment thinking about how much different my life can be from one day to the next, while Emery sleeps beside me and we listen to "Hosanna" by Hillsong and old Kansas songs on repeat. Life is such an adventure right now and I'm loving every minute of it! I don't know what the next day will bring sometimes. I'm just enjoying the ride and thanking God.
 
I hope somehow it can always be this way.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
eBa

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cherishing Today

It's Friday and I've been off work for three hours and it's only 1:00.
I worked with some professors this morning and yesterday morning at a school on the Tennessee border from about 8:30-10. Normally, I substitute teach or work full days with the professors, but this was a really small school, so we didn't have to work full days. I caught myself feeling guilty for having so much time not working and just being here in Boone when there were jobs at home that needed to be filled. I could've told my professors I couldn't help them today and I could've gone home where I would make more money. Goodness knows I need the money!
 
I needed something more than money though. I needed that drive that I took to Mtn City, Tennessee yesterday. I needed to drive and clear my head and listen to Elvis Presley and Alan Jackson hymns. I needed to stop in a random parking lot and pull out Grandma's giant print King James Bible from the backseat and read Job right then and there. I needed to think as I drove back to Boone.
 
Today after working I came straight back to Boone. When I woke up this morning, the sun was out and it was a gorgeous day. "Ha! Rain was in the forecast but there's no way today is gonna be rainy," I thought. And I was kinda disappointed because I LOVE rainy / cloudy Fridays.
But on my drive back, it got cloudy and I was so happy. I came back to the apartment and said goodbye to my brother and Taylor on their way out to go back to HP. I sat and watched some Kathie Lee and Hoda and got my Kardashians fix (don't judge meee!). I caught up with some friends over text. I just looked around the apartment and it just looks so sweet with the dim light coming in the window from the cloudy sky. Things like that get me! I don't know why, but I appreciate environment and atmosphere and surroundings so much.
 
I decided I wanted the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit I'd been craving since this morning when I put my yellow shirt on (I'm so weird; bear with me), so I turned the TV off and put my shoes on and got in my car and rode to Waffle House. I got a biscuit to go and brought it back and ate it in the sweet little apartment we have. Now I'm currently listening to Hillsong United and still looking out the window at the clouds and the mountains.
 
Yeah, I could be in a classroom with some kids right now, making more money than I made this morning if I hadn't agreed to help my professors out for two hours. But this is the here and now. Boone is where I need to be right now. These mountains are therapeutic. I won't get to do this forever. I won't be here forever.
 Listening to "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong and truly believing that God can move the figurative mountains in my life and that He did conquer the grave and that He IS the hope we need and that He does show us so much mercy, and that He is mighty to save anyone from destruction, I know this is what I need right now. This is a lot more valuable than any amount of money I could've made today.
I love this day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
eBa

An Angel Sent From Heaven

On the morning of November 22, 2013, I got up early and participated in a volunteer project in Boone. That evening, I sat in the ER at the hospital with Kacie as she waited to see what was going on with her (she's fine now :)). I ate dinner with Grace in Central Dining Hall. Grace and I went to see Catching Fire and it blew me away. I came back to the apartment and hung out with my brother, Taylor, and Tyler.
 
Little did I know that while I was going about my day, a precious litter of husky/lab mix babies was being born, and one of them was being sent just for me to find and love.
 
...................................
 
Three months ago today, Zach, Sarum, Jolina, and I went to look at those puppies. Our friend Litsa had told us about them - that they needed homes. A lady she worked with had them.
After being handed one of the puppies and holding her shivering body in the cold air and having her precious brown eyes look up at me and melt my heart, there was no way on Earth I could leave empty-handed. I knew I didn't have a place for her to live, but I knew I had to get her somewhere warm. I wanted to take all of her brothers and sisters too! :(
 
It killed me to see the mama husky watch us take her baby away, but as I rode in the back seat with Jolina and the puppy, I was ecstatic. This furry baby wrapped in a towel was in for a lifetime of being photographed, fed, walked, dressed up, and loved. She had no idea where she was going, but she trusted us and fell asleep in my arms.
I named her Emery.
Emerald Anastasia.
Coincidentally (or not?), we have the same monogram :)
 
We spent that day buying things for her at Petsmart, bathing her, sending pictures of her to our friends, and introducing her to Honeygirl and my family.
 







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Needless to say, I was hooked from the start. I fell totally in love with this sweet puppy. Zach gave her a great place to live for the time being and she is well taken care of by both of us.
 
 
 
 
At first, not all the puppies found homes, and we got really worried, so Zach took another one, and shortly after, the rest got adopted, thankfully! My friend and sorority sister Sarah got one!
Two was a bit much to handle, so my friend Holly took one because she had really wanted one and they all got adopted. But while they lived together, Emery and Cammie slept together at night :)
 

^ Cammie
 
 
 
Very shortly after Emery came into my life, Honeygirl passed away.
(( If you didn't read about that, you can read about it here:
 
Obviously, that was very devastating for my whole family. Honeygirl was a part of our family. She had been with us for 13 years.
Honestly, I would not have been able to get another dog after that happened, so it was really good that we got Emery before. She had a chance to meet that sweet angel before she got her wings.
To tell the truth, I probably would've gone crazy if it weren't for Emery. She's been a great distraction. I miss Honeygirl SO MUCH, but I'm determined to give Emery the best life she can possibly have, just like we did Honeygirl.
 
 




 


 


 

 
Emery and Cammie get to see each other often. :)
I'm so glad Holly got Cammie!
 
 
 
 
I dress Emery up and take way too many pictures of her. I treat her like a kid! I'm definitely one of "those people," whether anyone likes it or not. I believe that God gave us pets to make life that much more enjoyable and sweeter. Emery is SO much fun!


 

 
 






 
 
 




 
 
 Emery is a pure bundle of joy. Like I said, I don't know how I would've made it through these past few months without her. She has provided so much happiness in a soft, furry package. I love that girl with all my heart. I love watching her grow, and I'm just so excited to continue to do so, and to see what's in store for us.


 
God knows what we need, when we need it. His timing is always right. I thank Him for sending me the two cutest dogs I've ever seen -- one that I can look forward to seeing again one day, and one I can enjoy for as long as He lets me. :)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
eBa