Dog Tease Video

I LOVE this. It has made me laugh very very hard!


July 25th

July 25th. It's the last day of the trifecta of days that are difficult. It is my dad's birthday. He would be 55 today. Even after 5 years it's difficult. 5 years is a long time right? Should it be easier now than say, 3 years ago? I am not sure that while we are here, on earth that is, we ever really stop missing those who come in and out of our lives. I think that is part of the fall. We were not made for death, but now that death is a part of this life it leads a void in us when we find it on our front doorstep. Goodbye was never supposed to be in our vocabulary, but that is the world we find ourselves in. So today, instead of celebrating year 55 of my dad's life, I mourn his death and look towards the future where death is no more.


Top 10 reasons I am ready for Fall

1. Summer in Georgia is WAY TOO HOT!
2. Football season
3. Pretty leaves
4. Pumpkin things....lattes, pies, coffee creamer, pancakes etc.
5. Hiking
6. Amazing temperatures
7. Apple picking and pumpkin patches
8. Fleeces and light jackets
9. The beginning of the holiday season
10. Did I mention pretty leaves and hiking and outdoor things?

Oh Fall cannot get here fast enough!


Why my sister is awesome.

A) She is exceptionally gracious, kind and loving. People adore her.
3) She is extremely smart, but doesn't think so. She will be starting a PHD program in the fall for special ed. She was approached by her Master's professors about applying.
T) She is a great teacher. Her student's love her. She is great at what she does and she loves those kids well even when they are hard to love.
Y) She has always looked out for the underdog. She has always had a heart for the kid or the person on the fringes and she has never cared what anyone thought about her reaching out to those people.
2) She has Bassett Hounds.....3 of them...she had 8 (5 puppies) and now she has 3....and they are funny.
8) She is about to do a 100 mile bike ride with JDRF on July 30th in Vermont. She did a 70 mile bike ride in Tahoe last year to raise money for JDRF and fight back against Diabetes.
hh) She is very creative and very thoughtful. Growing up, she gave me some of the most creative presents I have ever gotten!
X0) She is super funny and very fun to be around. She can always make you laugh.
U) She loves me well and sometimes (especially as a sister) I can be very hard to love.

Thank you sister for being you! For being awesome! For loving me the way that you do!
I love you and I am very thankful for you!


Chick-fil-A First 100 Event!

The Chick-fil-a opening was SOOO much fun. I had been eating at Chick-fil-a a few weeks before with my sister and my friend Heather Lacy (who is a Chick-fil-a addict) and she started talking about how she had gone to one of these grand opening events a few weeks before. As she was telling us about it we all agreed that it sounded like so much fun and that we should go the next one in Georgia, which just happened to be my birthday week. Here is how it works. You arrive at the Chickfila by 6am the morning before the grand opening. They give everyone a raffle ticket and draw 100 names. Those 100 people win the grand prize of free Chickfila for a year....52 free meals. They then draw 10 alternates who move up if any of the 100 leave and then from those alternates left they draw 1 name to win 52 free meals. The trick is, to claim your prize you must stay in the parking lot for 24 hours (until the store opens the next morning). There were 5 of us, which increased our chances of winning. I was the first one called at #63 and I was inside nervous and lonely as they got up into the 90's and nobody else from our group had been called. Finally, Heather (with last minute flare) was called at 97 and then Lauren was called as alternate 108. Lauren ended up being 1 out of only 4 alternates left by the next morning and won the raffle for the free 52, giving us 3 winners and 30ish free meals each. So, for 24 hours we stayed in the parking lot, played games, ate lots of free chicken, sweated to death, played more games, read some books, played more games, sweated some more and slept on the concrete in tents until 4:30ish the next morning.

Here is a picture of our set-up.

Some people are apparently Chick-fil-a Grand Opening pros and have very elaborate set-ups with generators, projectors, video games and even cots, but I think we did pretty good for our first time. The pop-up tent was a life saver! That and we got the money spot in the lot that was behind a high wall with tall trees on the other side and we had a good bit of shade the first half of the day. Some people were in spots with full sun all day and no hope of shade.

A picture of one of the many silly games they had us play. Many of them yielded prizes non of us were interested in (like cheesecake....who wants cheesecake when you have been eating fried chicken all day and sitting in the 100 degree heat?) but were still fun anyway. We were supposed to slide an oreo off our forehead and into our mouths. Lauren was successful, but the only place I slid it too was on the ground.

Here is us the next morning, a little worse for the wear, but lots of free Chicken richer. (not pictured due to no desire to be seen in her condition- Heather Lacy)

This is my I'm in an oversized t-shirt and silly hat, but I just won free chicken face!

Here is us with our spoils!
It really was a lot of fun! We have already looked to see if there are any more close by in the near future. Some of these people are chick-fil-a opening junkies and seem to follow these events all over the country. A couple beside us had attended over 10 of these events. We were even asked by someone if we were going to the one in Texas. I don't think driving to Texas for free Chick-fil-a is very cost efficient, but maybe.....Birmingham?


Birthday Week

I had a fantastic Birthday week. I could not have asked for a more fun-filled, friend-filled week of events. I have great friends and family (both here and elsewhere) that made me feel so special and loved! Here is a breakdown of the weeks events by day.

Monday, July 11th- Stone Mountain Laser Show and Picnic.
This was an event that I haven't attended since I have lived here and have been wanting to go to. They do it every night during the summer and apparently this is the first summer they have "updated" the show since they started it in the 80's. It was really fun. We tried to play frisbee before it started, but it was crowded and I hit an old lady in the arm and she was non too happy about it, so we just sat and talked.

Tuesday, July 12th- Six Flags over Georgia.
I have also not been to Six Flags since I moved to Atlanta. It had been a few years since I had been to a theme park. Amy surprised me and took me on Tuesday. The only downside was that it happened to be the hottest day of the year to date and they were warning people to stay inside, but we thought we would to the opposite and ride roller coasters in the heat.
We were drenched (I was drenched) about an hour in and we were both a little nauseous probably due to the heat and roller coaster motion combo. 3 rides in they shut all the rides down due to thunder, lighting and drizzling rain. I do appreciate their caution because I don't really want to die on a coaster, but I found the bad weather a little unfortunate. We left the park for about an hour and rode around and then came back to see if the rides were back on. They were and so we lined up for the first coaster and after the sent one cart they shut it down again.....more "inclement weather." We stood there for about an hour until they finally decided there was no more thunder (which we never heard anyway, but oh well). All-in-all the bad weather worked in our favor because it cleared out the park and cooled things down. We road everything we wanted to ride and some things twice and then realized we had had enough and didn't want to push the nausea feeling any further. SO FUN!

Taking a break from the extreme heat.
Bumper cars.
Wednesday, July 13th and Thursday, July 14th - Chick-fil-a Grand Opening First 100 Event.
This was SOOO much fun. We (5 of us) arrived at Chick-fil-a in Dallas, Ga by 6am (which means we got up in the 3 o'clock hour) and stayed there, camping in the parking lot until 6am the following morning. Two of us won the raffle and Lauren got an alternate spot and ended up winning the drawing for 52 free meals. After 24 hours of eating free chicken, games, sweating buckets (this day beat the previous day out for hottest day of the year), and camping in a parking lot we each walked home utterly exhausted, but with 30ish free Chick-fil-a meals in hand. It was such a fun and different thing to do....if only it had been cooler. More details to come about this event in my next post.

The gang waiting to get raffle tickets.
Excited faces.
Thursday, July 14th- Chick-fil-a, naps, nerts, La Madeleine and The Lincoln Lawyer
We woke up way too early on the concrete on Thursday morning to get in line and collect our prize. The original plan for Thursday was to leave from the Chick-fil-a event and go camping up at Jack's river in North Georgia. But it was so early and we were so tried that we came home and took a nap. The weather was rainy and non-cooperative for much outdoor activity so lunch and nerts it was for some of the afternoon. For dinner Amy took me to La Madeleine, which is one of my favorite places that I haven't been too since I moved from Texas. It is an amazing little french inspired cafe that I first discovered in Texas. I found out a while back that they have 2 in Atlanta, but neither are very close to my house. She knew I have been wanting to go so she took me and she fell in love with it too. It is so yummy!!!!! We then got The Lincoln Lawyer (a movie I have been wanting to see) from the Redbox and watched it at home. It was very good.

Friday, July 15th- The day of my birth!- Blueberry picking, blueberry pancakes, more nerts, birthday dinner and a dessert party.
Since we were supposed to be waking up on the 15th in the woods somewhere and weren't we had to come up with a plan B. We decided to go pick blueberries at a farm about 30 minutes away. It takes a long time to pick a gallon of blueberries....they are tiny...and a gallon is a lot....and we are very selective. They are delicious and we can officially make blueberry pancakes for the next year without running low. So, if push comes to shove and I can't find a job I will be living off of blueberry pancakes and Chick-fil-a.....and by 29 I will be as big as a house. The pancake breakfast (at lunch time) was awesome. We played some more nerts. Late that day Lauren cooked me a meal of my request, which was chicken poppyseed, "dirty" mac and cheese and green beans. It did not disappoint. We then drove over to my house where Amy had set-up a surprise dessert party with some of my favorite people. There was a Coke Cake (YUMMY) also made by my sister, an ice cream sundae bar, some glass bottled Cheerwine, games and presents. It was a FANTASTIC birthday (week)! I felt very loved!

My yummy birthday dinner.
Thank you Amy and Lauren for everything you did this week! I love both of you very, very much! Thank you friends and family that I didn't get to see who sent presents and cards and texts and phone calls. Thank you acquaintances and those I barely know for seeing it was my birthday on Facebook and taking a second to post on my wall....you flooded my inbox with emails....and also made me feel special....all 100 of you.... ;-)

To another year....here we go 29.


Writing for My Mission Fulfilled.

A few months ago an old student of mine emailed me and asked me if I was interested in writing articles for a website run by the WMU. She was not the editor of an initiative called My Mission Fulfilled and they were looking for more writers. I thought it sounded like a fun opportunity so I said yes. The website features articles in 4 main categories related to missional living and targets women in their 20's. Their goal is to help equip women to fulfill their call in Christ. My first two articles have been published there and I am currently working on the third one.
The website can be found by clicking here.
The first one is entitled Community: Exhortation and Impact.
The second one is entitled Poverty and Abuse Among Children: The Facts and The Call.

This has been a really fun thing for me. I enjoy writing and it is an opportunity that just fell in my lap. Check out the website. It has got some neat stuff on it.


A Recap of June and Dreams for July

I find it very hard to believe that it already July. It seems like yesterday that July 2010 was rolling in and I was asking the time to slow down. It really is crazy how time flies by.
In the month of June I was supposed to be in Peru for 3 weeks, but due to my being let go from Grace I was not able to lead that trip and instead spent my time doing other random things.
When I first found out I wasn't going to be going on that trip I really wanted to go somewhere fun. I wanted to get in my car and head out west or up north and see so many of the things that I have yet to see....Niagra Falls, camp in Glacier National Park (dream), hike in Wyoming, etc. Instead I spent it here. I went to North and South Carolina, which is not near as "exciting," but in some weird way it was perfect.
1) In the first part of June Amy's mom came. I got a new ceiling fan in my room (See previous post), and we got a new kitchen faucet and a grill. The grill has been really fun....the 3 times we have used it.
B) We went to the mountains after that, to one of my favorite hikes and slid down Turtleback falls...super fun. There is video footage somewhere....maybe I will work on posting that. But for now here is a picture from the internet.
8) After that it was beach time with the family. My mom and her husband rent a house in Ocean Isle, NC, so we headed there for almost a week and it was a very fun and relaxing time. I managed to not get burned, which is a miracle.
C) After that, came home for a day and it was time to head out to Camp Sunshine in Greenville, SC. This will in the future be referred to as "Little Kid camp" mostly because I was unaware that this camp was only for little kids this week. It was a very fun, very tiring week that did, indeed, remind me why I prefer working with high schoolers. And one of those little "Carrier Monkeys" as Rachel McMichael would call them, gave me their sick germs and I have now been sick for several days.
Lastly) The last Hoorah of June was a whitewater rafting trip down the Ocoee on Thursday. Several of my friends and I bought Groupons for half off rafting in June and went on Thursday. It was very fun and hilarious because of the people who went. A photo can be viewed here.

What did not happen in June?
Well, other than Peru....me finding a job. Yep, still jobless and not sure what the future holds. I am finding it more and more difficult to hold onto the "there is something better out there" mindset, when there is no movement. I also did not win the lottery, but then again I didn't play....so can't complain much about that.

What Dreams are there for July? Well, so far not many. I would love for Fall to set in and stay until November. It is so dang hot here. At the top of the list would be finding a job...preferably, one that I would like to have, not just one that brings in money. There is talk of visiting a Chickfila opening somewhere close to here....maybe this would yield 52 free Chickfila meals...that would be fun. Oh, and it is my birth month. Yep, the big 28. Hard to believe. Not sure where the last few years have gone....doesn't feel like I have done much with them, but maybe that is just the unemployment talking. As always, I am curious about what 28 will hold that the previous 27 did not. I guess we will see.