Monday, April 25, 2011

Date night

Good Morning to all! I haven't been able to update recently due to school being so crazy... However, I have a few things to catch you up on. About two months ago a young man who goes to my church asked my college minister to let him get to know me. I was very apprehensive at first... but after hanging out with him and the college group several times I found that he was a nice guy, and if nothing else... it didn't hurt to be friends. So I stopped completely avoiding this guy and three weeks ago he asked for my phone number. Starting that Monday we have texted and talked on the phone non-stop.

Friday night he took me on the best date I have ever been on. Wednesday night he asked if he could take me on a date on Friday. I told him yes and that was that. He worked all the details and told me everything would be a surprise. :)

He picked me up and we started driving. Me, not being from Tuscaloosa.. had no idea where we were going. As we turned on the road he asked if I could guess where we were going. Unfortunately, with my poor sense of direction, I didn't have a clue until we pulled into the parking lot. He took me to Cypress Inn, a beautiful riverfront restaurant with a great atmosphere and beautiful views and landscapes. He had reserved a table overlooking the river, and the view was spectacular.
This is a picture of the restaurant I found online... if you look at it, coming from the left of the picture, we sat at the third window from the end... near the corner. :) What a view. I had blackened tilapia that was just amazing! I can't wait to try my hand at a few tilapia recipes.

After dinner we again started driving... me, without a clue. He took me then to All Fired Up. A place where you can create, paint and fire your own pottery. it was fun picking a piece of ceramic and painting it just how I wanted it. I can't wait to get them back this week!!  It was so fun just creating whatever you wanted.. they even allow you to print out pictures so you can stencil them onto your ceramic. WHOA. I definitely started off with something simple... I just painted a cross.. and of course I painted it blue and green.

After this the night's surprises were over, and he asked me if I wanted to go watch a movie. It was having so much fun I didn't want the night to end. Saturday, after I went home to be with my family for Easter, he called and asked me to be his girlfriend. At first I was hesitant, but we discussed many things and I am at peace with the decision to say yes. He will be leaving for basic training in two weeks, but after that he will be here for good. He has promised to write me letters, and I can't wait. Honestly, how cool would it be to have letters to show your grand kids? People hardly ever write anymore... and I am excited for this opportunity to do so.

This week I am preparing for finals... I have a final Monday, May 2nd and Thursday, May 5th. I am starting to study this week... and hope and pray that I do well on each of them. I am stressed, but I know that I am blessed. Mary Allison's wedding is just around the corner!! Oh how much fun we will have. So.. here's to the next two weeks of non-stop craziness. I pray each of you have a blessed week!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Check this out!

My best friend Mary-Anne Gillis and I are combining our professional lives with a little bit of flair. Check out our daily style adventures plus so much more at her blog 'Dream a Little Daydream'.

I love Mary-Anne and can't believe how spectacular our friendship is. Keep in mind, she is my fashion coach. The outfit featured in this post however, I was able to put together myself!! Aren't you proud?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend my friends Jackie, Lori and I celebrated Mary Allison's upcoming wedding with a Bachelorette Party. Each of us traveled down to Gulf Shores and spent the weekend in a family beach house!! OH SO MUCH FUN! Haha! Jackie and I had the worst of luck getting to Gulf Shores....

Friday the weather in Tuscaloosa was terrible. Many peoples homes were destroyed or damaged from the Tornadoes. Rather than leaving at 3pm like originally planned I camped out at my apartment and waited for the storms to subside. I finally got on my way around 6pm... and I set my GPS and continued on. It was still storming and at times I couldn't even see the road in front of me.. What a trip, I know. So, I put my faith in my GPS to get me there... boy... was I in for a surprise.

Eventually... I ended up where this red X is... at Dauphin Island... However, I needed to be at the red dot... in Gulf shores. My GPS wanted me to take the ferry across.. however, the ferry isn't open at 10pm. To my dismay I realized what was happening and turned around.. reset my GPS and carefully inspected the route. I was finally headed in the right direction. I traveled back up Mobile county and down Baldwin until I finally arrived at the beach house. This weekend was an adventure already.

Saturday was a fun filled day as well... Jackie leaped tremendous hurdles to get there while Lori, Mary Allison and I cooked brunch. We ate and went out to the beach. Due to the recent storms the wind was blowing like CRAZY! The sand stung as it hit your skin... so we retreated to the pool. We had a great time relaxing and chatting by the pool. After our fun in the sun we went to dinner, played a round of putt putt golf and went to Cold Stone for ice cream. It was so great hanging out with girls that I don't get to see anymore. I truly miss these girls.. and I can't wait for the wedding so that we can spend three more days together.

What a great weekend... yes, obstacles had to be overcome to get there.. but in the end we each had a great time. I can't wait to do it again! Jackie... that means it's baby time! HAHA!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My 100th Post

Wow. I can't believe how time has flown... It has been almost a year since I moved to Tuscaloosa and changed my life forever. Many things are different, many people have changed and most of all... I am changed. Praise the Lord for leading me through so much.. Carrying me... holding me... and growing me.

I have been super busy, as always, with school and work.. especially as the semester is coming to a close. I am very excited for things to come in my life and I can't wait to share them with you.

Some lessons I have learned over this year:
  1. Sometimes, you need to be taken out of your comfort zone so that the blessings of God can be poured upon you.
  2. Most friends aren't true friends... there are very few that will stick through it all with you.. and not blame you for being you. It is that true acceptance, and true friendship.. that is worth it all
  3. Coping with loss is tough, things will come your way and things happen every day that reminds you of 'what could have been' However... we each much realize that we are so blessed. God doesn't bless everyone the same... but He blesses everyone equally.
  4. Family, no matter how frustrating... is the greatest gift in the world.
  5. A church home makes even the toughest move bearable. I don't know what I would do without my church.. they make this place home.
  6. Not everything is all you cracked it up to be... and not everything is a small as you write it off to be...
  7. Be still and know, that He is God
  8. God knows just what you need, when you need it.
  9. Answered prayers are so abundant... wow how the Lord has worked.
  10. People aren't always what they seem... but if you take the time to learn to deal with them... you can show them the love of Christ through you.
  11. When you feel hopeless and alone, God is there. And when you take the time to know that He is there... He will heal you.
  12. The Lord will grant you the desires of your heart... it just may not come in a way that you expected it to.
  13. The peace of the Lord comes when it is a God thing.. He will never lead you to disobey his word.
  14. Everything falls into place when you are seeking the Lord and His will first.
  15. Wait patiently, the Lord hears your (and my) cry. WOW! what a message... I love learning to wait on the Lord!
I couldn't imagine being so blessed. God has put my dreams into place.. worked through His plan... is healing me and working in me. I am so thankful for Tuscaloosa, Rodgecrest Baptist and the Univeristy of Alabama. My job, my friends, my church.. everything up here is great. It was defintely hard coming here, uprooting life.. but in the end God knows what He is doing... and I praise Him for it every day!

Pictures of my Office Renovation

Sorry I am finally getting around to posting these. I absolutely love my office renovation!! I wish I would have taken pictures during the process of building, but I was too awestruck with what was happening before my eyes. It is just a small renovation and was finished before lunch. :)

My new student work station: Isn't it beautiful!?! Now I can have both students in my office at the same time!

After I put all the stuff from the student desk on the new counter.

View from my desk.

Another look. :)

Finally, a picture of my desk area!!!

I love working here... and I love my office space. The renovation has been amazing and I am so happy. Working here each and every day is a blessing! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Garage Giveaway

What a weekend filled with God's blessings!!! Friday night the college group got together to watch a movie and have pizza. It was a great opportunity for us to hang out before a day of service. Saturday was the church's second 'Garage Giveaway'. It is just like a garage sale, except we invite needy families to come and take, yes TAKE, whatever they need. The garage giveaway in the fall was a huge success with over 600 people coming to get what they needed.

Saturday morning we opened the doors at 7am and wow. It was amazing.  I wish I had taken a picture of all the stuff. Krista, the organizer of the giveaway said we had three times the stuff from last time. I was especially excited to work this giveaway because I missed working the first one due to being home for the weekend. I got there at 6am as we started to set things up and get ready for the day.

We registered each guest and took their information and asked them about their knowledge of Christ and salvation. We started off the morning bright and early with a woman coming to know Christ! Praise the Lord!! I was a great opportunity to serve and I thoroughly enjoyed helping ladies find clothes in their size. I had so much fun holding something up and having ladies say yes or no to whether they liked it or not. Wow... what an experience.

We had around 500 people come to the giveaway this Saturday... and so many seeds were planted. I am so blessed to be a part of a church that works so diligently for Christ and His kingdom. To God be the glory!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Church League Softball

Yesterday at work Clint and I were talking about his church league softball game... and he invited me to come. I have a special place in my heart for church league softball. It takes me back to the good old days with Mt. Pleasant... when friends were close and times were different. Boy, do I miss the Mt. Pleasant years.

Hannah, a girl from my church, went with me to the game. Lucky for us Ridgecrest had a game right after! Clint played amazingly and was his usual crazy self on the field. It was great to see that he acts just as crazy outside of work as he does at work. Clint came and talked to me after the game and it was great. Ridgecrest won their game also!

I love the sense of family that I get from my coworkers. My car battery died Monday, and my coworkers took care of me. Whether is was coming to my apartment to jump me off for work, checking out my car at work, working on my car that afternoon and then getting me where I had to go so that my car could be fixed at the end of the day... WOW. I truly work with the best guys in the world.

A lot of times I feel terribly alone up here. And I really am, I left all my friends and family behind to pursue my dreams of graduate school at Alabama. However, God has so richly blessed me with a wonderful job and AMAZING coworkers. The 80 Building Maintenance guys are my family, and my College group at church are my friends. Tuscaloosa is God's country, and I love it here. I couldn't be more thankful for my coworkers and church friends. Without them... I wouldn't be able to make it here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Law School Formal

WOW. Friday night, for lack of a better word was... interesting. Here we go.. from the beginning. After class I went to Starbucks to finish working on a problem with Anne. I was super motivated and determined to study all night Friday before leaving for Mary Allison's shower Saturday.

As Anne and I were sitting in Starbucks a guy we have met through studying at Starbucks walked in. This is not unusual as the three of us see each other in Starbucks and chat all the time. He has even been to visit my church a few times. This time, a new motive popped into his head. He came and sat down beside us and rather than getting out his books, continued to just wait on us. After a while Anne decided to give him our attention... much to my dismay as I really wanted to finish what we were doing and get home. He then presented his request to us. Friday night was the Law School Formal, and his date had to cancel due to her work schedule being changed. So.. he wanted me to go with him.. Mind you, it is around 5pm and he wants me to be ready at 7pm! He apologized for the late notice and said if nothing else, I would get a nice dinner out of it. He said he would take me to Chuck's and that it was a bribe if he needed it to be. Unfortunately for the two of them (Anne for all for this from the start) I had no idea what Chuck's was... so the bribe was not effective. After much begging, questioning and me continually saying that I needed to study... I finally gave in. What would it hurt to go to a short dance with the Law school.. after all... I had NO IDEA what I would be getting myself into.

So, with that Anne and I finished our problem and rushed to her house.. I tried on dress after dress and nothing fit... I was going to be embarassed by being improperly dressed in front of a bunch of Law students.. however, if I couldn't find anything I could back out! Unfortunately we finally found a dress. It was too skimpy and not my taste... but I figured I could wear a cardigan or coat over it. So, we rushed to my apartment.. I needed shoes, my hair fixed and make-up. When we got to the apartment, Gabby completely disapproved of my outfit and offered for me to wear one of her dresses. This dress, to me, is gorgeous.. and it fit me way better. With Gabby and Anne trading off doing my hair and make-up I was finally ready and made it to his house at 7pm, exactly!

Poor quality.. but it gives you an idea of what I looked like....
So... we went to dinner (which took forever) and finally arrived at the Formal at 10:30pm. For those of you who know me... I don't drink or party... and I was greatly mislead... because this is exactly what I had just been brought too. Everyone there was completely drunk... and as most times that I have seen people drinking.. looked as if there weren't having any fun. I tried my best to act normal, but I think that the fact that I was not drinking along with all the other people really bothered him, and others around us. I was so thankful when he was ready to go home. I prayed all night that no one I knew would walk up to us.. Lord, it would have ruined my witness. And I was so thankful to get out of there. The law student, who I am trying my hardest not to name, and Anne thought that they had really done me a favor by 'broadening my horizons'. However, I must say that my horizon through Christ does not need broadening.. my convictions are my own, and I do not try to force them on anyone; and I do appreciate those who respect my convictions. While the night wasn't horrible, it is definitely something I will NEVER do again. And the next time someone asks me to help them out, I will learn to just say no. Part of this is due to my naivety in certain situations.

However, I do wish to think that everyone would be like me... until otherwise noted. I am proud to say that I live my life differently from others. And I praise my Lord for giving me the convictions and desire to do so. I so hope that each of you, when feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit in your life will slow down, listen to what He has to say...and follow His commands. This life, is the only life that is completely fulfilling and rewarding. A life of Christ is the only life I choose to live!

In the end, this was a good learning experience for me. I now know more about two people that I see very often, and I know that when they suggest something, I am immediately to say no. Also, the two of them now know that I am not going to budge on my convictions and that my stand for Christ will not be moved. The experience made me miss my friends in Troy and Sean... for they would have never put me in such a situation. But, that is what life in the 'real world' is for... Learning, living, and being on your own. Making decisions and making the most out of life and what it throws at you.

....When I don't fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ....
~Forgiven by Sanctus Real~