Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Smiles


And going a little farther, He fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I well, that she will."
- Matthew 26:39

Thursday, September 21, 2017

All. The. Things.

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. And most of it has been running. Ha!

I signed up with some friends for the Road Race Series. I've done the Off-Road series for a few years now, but have never wanted to commit to the RRS because the races are long and they early. Okay, maybe I'm just lazy. But some friends were signing up and so... peer pressure. Also, I thought it would actually force me to train for the St Jude Half.

There are 2 races at each distance. The 5Ks were in July. I only ran the first one because the second was the day after my birthday and that just wasn't going to happen! There were 2 5-milers in August and the 10Ks are this month. We ran the first one on the 10th and the next one is this Sunday. Again with the laziness... I can tell you that I definitely wouldn't be doing these without friends to encourage me. But I do feel so much better after running! After the first 10K, we decided that we needed to get serious about training. I'm in shape enough to run a 5K, or even 5 miles, without much forethought, but the 10-milers are in October and that may need a little more preparation. So Katie and I decided to run. We met up to run after work one day and it was hot and muggy and hilly and not fun, but I'm glad we did it. Last Friday night was the Cooper Young 4-miler. It's always a lot of fun and this year was no exception. And I actually felt pretty good running it. Although, it also would have been fun to just walk the whole thing and take drinks from people. I'm pretty sure I would have been wasted by the end of the 4 miles. They were people handing out beer and jello shots and vodka-soaked gummy bears and fireball shots and so. much. more. Sheesh! Memphis Made did make a cream ale for after the race called Mile 5 which was pretty light and tasty. Katie and I stayed around after the race to drink some beer and eat some pizza. Then we ended up watching the awards. Man, I feel so slow and out of shape after that! We don't have a chance of getting an award until we're like 60!

The next day was Cooper Young Fest! It's one of my favorites! I woke up and did some things around the house before my mom came over and then we got ready to head down for round 1. Now that Jamie moved back to Michigan, I don't have guaranteed free parking. Womp, womp! But we found a spot pretty close. The festival was fun, as always, but So. Hot! We stayed down for about 2 hours and grabbed some lunch at the Beauty Shop because their guac is my favorite! So, so good. After the first go round, I went back home to cool off and take a nap. Katie picked me up around 3pm for round 2. Still super hot! We headed to Mempops first for a refreshing popsicle- that melted all over my shirt and legs and shoes. I felt like a little kid on a summer day! We ran into a few friends and grabbed a beer to continue cooling off. Then Jennifer met up with us. We walked around some more and drank some more beer before heading to dinner. I stuck with water at dinner and downed quite a few glasses.

Sunday morning, Katie and I had talked about getting a run in. I woke up at my usual time, but kind of hoped that she had forgotten. She hadn't. So I picked her up and headed to the greenline for 6 miles. It was... okay. I don't think we spoke to each other at all other than her saying that we were at 3 miles and it was time to turn around. Otherwise, we were in the zone! I started having some muscle twitching at about mile 4.5. By mile 5, I was hurting around my left knee. Katie started to slow her pace some, but I knew that if I slowed down, I might not make it the last mile so I picked up the pace and just tried to finish. I tried to stretch really well so we'll see how things feel. I ran Tuesday morning and everything felt okay. It wasn't as long though, but hopefully it was just a twinge.

Afterwards, we ran home and showered before church. I made it through church, but then I was struggling to keep my eyes opened. I'm pretty sure I just lied around on the couch napping off and on all afternoon. My whole body was just worn out from going all weekend in the heat! I also realized that I was super dehydrated this weekend! I only went to the bathroom every 12 hours or so from Friday night through Monday morning and I usually go every 2-3 hours. So I should really watch my water-to-beer intake when I'm going to be running and walking around in the heat all weekend. Oops! It was a fun weekend though!

And tonight, we are going to see The King and I. Katie, Brittany, and I got season tickets to the Orpheum this year and the first show is tonight. Should be fun!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Belated 901

First of all, apparently Memphis is the only place that celebrates it's area code. Other cities are really missing out on an excuse to celebrate!

901 Day is a big deal around here though! I was supposed to go to a 901 Day party on September 1, but it got postponed because of rain. (Coincidentally, it stormed hard Thursday night, but the weather was actually pretty nice on Friday). But we Memphians don't just miss an opportunity to celebrate so the 901 Day party was moved to the 8th. So last Friday, my friends and I went out for the celebration, which included a popup tent of all things 901, fun drinks and games, and a ball drop at 9:01 to kick off a glow-in-the dark dance party! Yes, you read that right.

It was a lot of fun. We were all pretty tired after work, so we initially planned on it being an early night. Spoiler alert: plans changed. We went out to Railgarten around 6 and immediately ran into some other friends.

We got something to drink and did a little shopping and got an "Embrace your Inner Memphis" shirt that I think will look really good in Brooklyn... ;)

We eventually decided that we were hungry and grabbed some dinner, another drink, and a table. We sat and listened to some music and did some prime people watching! And of course, ran into many other people that we knew!

At 9, we made our way into the Ping-Pong bar to get decked out with our glow sticks before the dance party started. Once the music started and we started dancing, we knew there was no way we were leaving early. Oops! I also ran into some more people. And 10 days later, I'm still working through my feelings on it, so I'm just going to leave it alone for now. Or just privately journal about it. Blah!

Other than that minor hiccup that had my mind racing more than usual, it was a great day. We danced the night away, which is always a good time and celebrated a glorious 901 day!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Smiles

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
- Hosea 6:6

Thursday, September 14, 2017

First Friday and Other Weekend Shenanigans

This was supposed to be a post about dinner, but September is a busy month so I'm combining some things. I'll just talk about the weekend in general...

Last Thursday, we got heavy rains and winds from Harvey leftovers. The power flashed at my house, but came back within a few minutes. My friend, Katie, wasn't as lucky. The power went off at her house from a neighbor's tree that hit the power line so she and her puppy came and crashed at my house for the night. Molly really like having a playmate! If I didn't want to move into a 400 sq.ft. studio apartment, I might think about getting another dog...

Friday morning, I have been meeting with 3 friends to go through Bonhoeffer's book Life Together. It's about Christian community and it's so good and so challenging! It is causing us to reevaluate our ideas about what community looks like and how we interact and engage with each other. It was a beneficial time, as usual.

Then I went to work... it was rough! I just struggled to make it through the day. After work, I ran home and took a quick nap because I was so emotionally exhausted before meeting some friends at Alchemy for happy hour. I don't remember what I got to drink, but it was pretty tasty. They stayed and hung out, but I peaced to go pick up Molly from daycare and go home and get ready for the evening festivities.

I was talking to some friends a little while ago about all the delicious places that we haven't been to eat. I decided to start monthly dinners so that we could cross some of those places of the list. This month, we went to Bounty on Broad. I told them that since I don't go on dates, I was dressing up for girls night. It is amazing!

The food is incredible and it's all family style so it's not a good date place anyway. We just ordered a bunch of things and passed everything around. Everything I ate was amazing and we left stuffed!

While Bounty was great and a lot of fun, it wasn't very conducive to deep, meaningful conversations. I had a hard week, but it seemed like a lot of friends were struggling this week too so Saturday we decided to have a girls night in. I threw on yoga pants and an oversized shirt before running to Kroger for wine and ice cream. If you're going to have girls night, you might as well do it right! We made dinner and talked about the struggles of the week. We were able to commiserate with and encourage each other. It was a much needed night! We tried to watch a movie that night too, but technology was not on our side so we decided to reschedule...

For the next day! After church we decided to try again for movie night. This time Redbox saved us from technology mishaps and we rented Table 19. It was a cute chick flick- the perfect movie to sit back and laugh and not have to think. We watched the movie, drank fruity beer, and watched the puppies play before heading off to bed.

Monday was Labor Day! A glorious day off of work. Molly and I had a lazy morning around the house before I motivated myself to go for a run. The weather has been great so it was actually a nice run. I even did some speed work! After a cool down walk with Molly, I decided to go ahead and buckle down and do some yardwork. Between the storm and just general foliage, my yard needed it! I think I may have to start using the leaf blower weekly if I want to stay on top of this for fall! After all that, I did a little cleaning inside before getting in the shower, while Molly crashed on the couch! Eventually, I got up and went to the grocery store and ran some other errands to get ready for the (shortened) work week.

It was a great weekend. The perfect mix of fun, relaxing, and productive! I could use more 3-day weekends in my life!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11

It seems weird to post a happy post about food and friends on September 11, so I'm putting that off yet again. It's coming though, I promise!

I've been reflecting on things today. The World Trade Center was hit in 2001. That's 16 years ago. It seems so long ago and so recent all at the same time. I was a sophomore in high school. Sitting in Spanish class when it happened. I was about to go to Art when they made an announcement overhead. All my classrooms had the news on all day. I saw all the devastation and the tragedy, but there was still a part of it that seemed far away.

A few months later, I started dating a guy that told me pretty early on that he was planning to join the Marines Corp. Things started to hit a little closer to home. Then March 2003, I went to New York for the first time. We went to ground zero. There were still barricades and construction tape up. There was scaffolding lining the sidewalks that were covered in photos of loved ones lost. It was heartbreaking. The city was bustling around it, but there was a heaviness surrounding this. Seeing it in person definitely brought things even closer. When I went back to New York last September, there was the memorial and the museum. There were plenty of tourists just walking around, but there was also family members searching for specific names. One step closer.

As I get older, I get more reflective. I have friends and family that have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have friends from the Middle East and friends that are living in the Middle East. And now as I contemplate moving to New York, things are even closer to home. Quite literally. It's a solemn day. But also what a reminder that God is bigger than this world! I hope you will use this day as a reminder to pray. Pray for the families that lost loved ones in the tower. Pray for police and fireman and everyone in the Armed Forces that are serving and defending us. Pray for those overseas that are spreading the love of Jesus even for fear of repercussions. Pray for the Christians in the Middle East that they may have an influence on those around them. Pray for the hearts of those that don't know Jesus- that there hearts may be softened and their ears tuned to hear His voice. Pray for your friends and family. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for your enemies. Pray that God's kingdom will indeed come, on Earth as it is in Heaven!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
- Matthew 5:3-6

Thursday, September 7, 2017


I was going to talk about my relaxing Labor Day weekend, but then this came up and I decided to address it first. I had really bad anxiety last week. I've never really dealt with anxiety before. Depression- that's another story. Depression I understand. I know the feeling of the dark cloud hanging over you. A heavy weight pressing down on your shoulders- that I know. Depression is like a distant relative that comes to visit periodically and always overstays its welcome.  But anxiety- I've never really dealt with that. Until last week.

And it sucks! I felt slightly nauseated all week. And a little shaky. It got worse as the week went on. I started to feel as if I were claustrophobic. Like the walls were closing in on me and there was nothing I could do about it.

Friday was the worst. I wanted to listen to music at work, hoping that it would take my mind off things. But I was also worried that the music was going to make me cry. I felt like I was always one step away from the tears flowing. One small thing would push me over the edge. I rounded on patients as fast as I could so that I could hide in my office in case I started to cry or have a panic attack or something. While working, I had to get up from my desk and pace around the office and look out the window multiple times so that it didn't feel like things were so tight! It was like this constant feeling that the other shoe was about to drop. Like the bottom was going to drop out. I didn't even realize that I was holding my breath as I was leaving work until I got to my car and was finally able to exhale.

Driving home from work on Friday, my arms felt heavy. It's a hard thing to describe. It was like they were made of lead and too heavy to lift. But they also felt like jello. It was like I had no control over them. It was pretty scary driving home and not knowing what was going to happen or how long the feeling would last.

But then I got home and took a nap because I was emotionally spent! When I woke up, I felt great! I was relaxed and the weekend was wonderful! Which is great, but that also means that I know what was causing all the anxiety and the triggers aren't going away anytime soon. Ugh! Deep breaths!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! This weekend has been super relaxing and friend-filled, which was exactly what I needed after last week. I'll write more about that later, but for now I'm enjoying the day off and snuggling on the couch with Molly!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and glory of the Lord rises upon you.
- Isaiah 60:1

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Relax. Refresh. Retreat.

Last weekend I went to the women's retreat at church. I was really excited about it and had been super emotional leading up to it, so I was ready for some much needed time away. It was at The Country Place in Moscow, TN- about an hour away and the views were amazing! The location was incredible and so peaceful!

The cottage that we stayed in was great! We got there on Friday night and hung out and ate dinner before having some time of praise and worship in the chapel. It was so good! The theme of the weekend was Arise, based on Isaiah 60:1-3. The speaker spoke about being broken, but being able to rise with God through our brokenness. I definitely teared up on Friday night and it made me excited about what was to come the following day.

That night, we had some free time and took some pictures in the photo booth. There was also plenty of candy and chocolate around so I was running on a sugar high that night. I may have also sung Little Mermaid with hand motions and props! I also crashed hard that night!

The next morning, I woke up and enjoyed some coffee on the front porch while it was still quiet before all the festivities started.

There were 2 more large group worship sessions that day and some small group sessions. I'll be honest. These were slightly disappointing. Maybe it was just my group and no one really being willing to open up, but I felt like the small group times were not very fruitful. And I felt like I had been so empty that I was really needing some emotional fulfillment and restoration. So that was disappointing. We finished off with some worship and communion before heading back to reality.

Overall, the weekend was good. Not great, but good. I had a good time with friends and it was nice to get away. I had some downtime with God away from the busyness of everyday life which was very needed! I think I'm glad I went. If I had to do it over again, I honestly probably would have skipped the small group time and just gone on a prayer walk or had some time alone, but maybe next time...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Smiles

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together.
- Psalm 34:1-3

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Total Eclipse...

Of the heart...

But not in Memphis. Sadly, we were not in the path of totality. We got 94% coverage, I think. But it was enough that I made sure to run out and get some glasses. I had to work, obvi. But we did manage to sneak outside and watch the eclipse a little while before all shit hit the fan!

Memphis is supposed to be 98% coverage in 2024, so I guess I'll store my glasses until the next one!

What did you do for the eclipse? Travel anywhere to get a better viewing?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tidbits of Truth

* I struggle with the desire to document everything so that I have to memories and my desire to just be in the moment and enjoy things. So pictures of the kind of been lacking.

* I went on a date recently. (It doesn't deserve its own post). He was nice, but super bro! He's an attorney – and everything that goes along with that… Dinner was good, but we didn't really click. All that to say, I give them another can't to be asking out again. We'll see...

* I went to The Science of Wine with some friends at the Pink Palace. Science. And wine. My kind of event. It was a lot of fun!

* I thought this whole missing him thing would get easier. I guess it has a little bit. But I still miss him. A lot. Every single day. Things happen all the time but I want to tell him about. Or laugh with him about. Or just vent to him. And so many other reasons. I miss him like whoa!

* I booked my next trip to New York. In October. I'm super excited about it, but I'm also a little nervous that the charm would have worn off. I want to do some things that are off the beaten path. But I'm going with a friend who has never been, so we will have to do some classic New York things too. I'm trying to find a good balance. Any suggestions?

* I'm a 5w4. The iconoclast. The nonconformist and rebel.  When stressed, I disintegrate to a 7. The enthusiast. He's a 3w2. The Charmer. Bad combination!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Smiles

There is none holy like the lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.
- 1 Samuel 2:2

Monday, August 14, 2017


It was time for a change. In lots of ways, but this one was the easiest. Ha! Maybe this will be the impetus to change other things too. It hasn't happened so far... but every day's a new day. I've been reading Tim Keller's book Counterfeit Gods and it's forcing me to come face-to-face with many of my idols. But that's a whole different post for a different day. Today is much more lighthearted... I got a haircut!

Now let's hope this leads to many more changes...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Smiles

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
- Ephesians 6:12

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Just Some Questions

Because I've been super far behind on blogging and I'm trying to get caught up, I thought I would take a break from my more recent emo tweets and do something a little more fun and much lighter. One of the blogs I read posted these questions on her blog last week and I thought I would steal them and answer them too...

(If you're OCD like me and want to know what you're getting into before you start, there are 23 questions.)

1. Pool, lake, or ocean?
That's actually a hard one. Can I say a beachside pool? I love hearing the waves crashing and having a nice ocean breeze, but I could do without the sand. And the jellyfish.

2. Camping, cottage, hotel?
Ooh... any of the above! It depends on where I am and how long I'm going to be there. All of these have their advantages for specific occasions!

3. Favorite ice cream flavor?
It has always been mint chocolate chip, but I honestly don't eat ice cream that much...

4. PJs, nightgown, or t-shirt and shorts?
T-shirt and underwear. If I get twisted up in clothes (or the sheets), it wakes me up and I have readjust everything before I can fall back asleep.

5. Favorite summer beverage?
This summer it has definitely been La Croix. My favorite flavor has changed. Maybe mango, or apricot, or passionfruit, or lemon. If I really want a splurge- cherry lime!

6. Would you rather be hot or cold?
I feel like everyone always says cold, but I think I'm going with hot. I hate being cold! It's miserable! And I went without air conditioning in my house for about a month- because I was too busy/lazy to take care of it. It really wasn't that bad...

7. Sandals with heels or flats?
I hardly ever wear them anymore because I basically live in flats or running shoes, but I love wearing heels!

8. Shorts or skirts?
Skirts 100%! I hate shorts!

9. Sit in the sun or the shade?
Shade, but on a hot, sunny day where I can still feel the warmth of the sun.

10. Water, tea, of Coke?
Water. I don't like tea and don't remember the last time I had a coke...

11. Favorite summer fruit/vegetable?
So many options... watermelon and pineapple have probably been on the top of my summer fruit list. I've been eating a lot of clementines too. Veggies: broccoli and sweet potatoes are my current go-to.

12. Sunrise or sunset?
I love both. Like a lot. But I'm going to go with sunrise, because fewer people get to see the sunrise on a daily basis.

13. Bike ride or walk?
Both. Either.

14. Winery or brewery?
Also both. But I'm going to go with winery.

15. Garden or no garden?
For other people, I love a garden. I love eating fresh grown food. But for me, I will never have a garden. I have some flowers in my yard, but God is in charge of those, because I take no responsibility for keeping them alive!

16. Big summer concert or music in the park?
Music in the park

17. Favorite cookout food?
Burgers... Maybe hotdogs, because the only time I ever eat hot dogs is from the grill...

18. Dine indoors or patio?
What's the weather like? I love a good patio if the weather's right.

19. Favorite summer destination?
Seaside (ignore my answer to #1) or New York, obvi.

20. Big theme park or local carnival?
Neither. But if I had to choose- local carnival.

21. Drinks blended or on the rocks?
Depends on the drink, but in general blended.

22. Popsicle or freeze flavor of choice?
I don't know. Popsicle, I guess. La Michocana or MemPops

23. Hamburger or hot dog?

Alright. That's it. Link up if you want!

Monday, August 7, 2017


Yesterday at church, I thanked God for loneliness. I thanked Him for taking away my comforts and securities. Don't get me wrong. I am not always grateful. Actually, most of the time I am not thankful at all. Most of the time, I am discouraged and frustrated. And sometimes I'm angry about it. And that's okay. God is okay with all my emotions and feelings. He created every single one of them!

He calls us to be thankful in all circumstances- in the good times and bad. But yesterday, sitting in the pew, I could see a small glimpse at the future. Not the entire future, of course, but maybe just a tiny sliver of the next step, and it was okay. Over the past few months, God has been refining me. He has been stripping away all my comforts and continuing to remind me to rely on Him. But guys, the refining process sucks! I hate it and I have been fighting God every step of the way. I have been holding tight to control and comfort and things are a lot easier when you willing give them to God than when you wait for Him to strip you of them. Believe me! Ugh!

But I have said before, and I firmly believe that God requires total dependance on Him and He will do whatever it takes to get us to that point. I know that this is what it takes. I know that I need to be stripped of these things, but knowing it doesn't make it any easier! Sheesh!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Smiles

For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people, because the Lord was pleased to make you His own.
- 1 Samuel 12:22

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ruled by Emotions

That's how I feel sometimes. And it drives me crazy!

I'm pretty sure I've talked about the enneagram before, but I love it! It is a personality assessment of sorts and I pretty much love all things that allow me to explore myself more deeply and try to understand why I am wired the way I am. I read somewhere that the Meyers-Briggs in based on your behavior and the enneagram is the "why" behind your behavior and I think that is so accurate.

There are 9 basic types on the enneagram which can seem simple enough, but then it gets much more complex. In addition to your basic type, there are wings (on either side of your type) that you may gravitate towards. For example, I am a 5 with a 4 wing. I share traits with other 5s, but am also different from 5s with a 6 wing or 5s with no wing at all.

Another characteristic of the enneagram, that is different from other assessments I have seen, is that the enneagram takes into account how one reacts to different situations.  For each type, there are both positive and negative traits.  But the enneagram also shows that when a person is stressed, they disintegrate to the negative traits of another type and when they are healthy, they integrate to the positive traits of a different type. I, for example, as a 5, integrate to an 8 and disintegrate to a 7. It helps me to understand myself better and how I react to stress- for better or worse.

I just ordered a book off Amazon called The Road Back to You about better understanding the enneagram.  I'm still waiting wanted to come in, and pretty excited to get started. I totally think everyone should do some enneagram reading to learn more about yourself and why you react to certain situations. And if you want to read through The Road Back to You with me, let me know and we can nerd out together!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Birthday Recap

I didn't plan anything for my birthday until like 2 days before. There are multiple reasons why, I think. I'm crazy and emotional and don't always know what I want (or know exactly what I want...) But at the 11th hour, I decided I wanted at least a  little fanfare so I rallied the girls and we went out to celebrate. I couldn't choose where I wanted to go, so I decided to go to all. the. places.

We started out at Alchemy with drinks and a cheese tray, as well as lots of laughter. I also opened up my gifts at the first stop. So sweet and thoughtful and I definitely felt loved!

After the cheese tray, we moved on to Beauty Shop for round 2 of drinks and the guac, because it's my favorite! The guac was delicious- as always- and I got a drink called "I'll take Manhattan." It was great, but let's be honest, I got it for the name. :)

For round 3, we decided we might need some real food. One of the girls decided on Thai so we went to Jasmine for dinner. All I got was an eggroll, but we did take a break to drink some water...

Round 4 was dessert and we went to Sweet Grass for that. We talked about dessert, but didn't actually end up getting anything. So- we really just had another round of drinks!

Then we finished up the night at Railgarten.

By the time we got there, the live music was finishing up, but we had fun chilling and chatting and got some time on the tire swing. We also tried out the hammock for a second and it was very challenging! I'm pretty sure we should have signed a release or something before we got on the equipment!

It was a really fun night and we stayed up way past our bedtimes! We said our goodbyes and I came home and went straight to bed. Great night with wonderful friends! Cheers to 31!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Smiles

I stretch out my hands to you. My soul longs for you as a parched land.
- Psalm 143:6

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Capping off Thirty

Another year is coming to an end. Time is seriously flying by! It's hard to believe that 30 is almost over.

I wanted to write a post recapping 30 and what I have learned this year, but I don't even really know where to start. If I had to sum it up, I would say that 30 was the year of not giving a damn. I felt like I was more easily able to do what I wanted and not care about what other people thought. Not in a selfish way, just that I didn't have to live up to anyone's expectations or fit into someone's idea about who I should be and what I should do. It was pretty freeing in some ways.

So what happened this year... I was at the beach for my birthday and initially had mixed feelings about it, but ended up having a really good time. I went to New York with my best friend from college in September. It was a great time to just catch up with her, but I also decided (almost immediately) that I want to move to New York. That is still in the works. I'll post more about it soon.
I hit a mountain-sized bump in the road, but recovered more healthily than I have in the past and then got a tattoo to remember it and remember what God has done in my life. Then I nervously graduated from therapy...

I hosted Thanksgiving at my new house and then brought Molly home! I started running again more regularly and then took a much needed beach break. I continued to want to move to Manhattan, but talked about some of my concerns.

We celebrated my mom's birthday and then I started Whole 30. I built relationships with new friends and said goodbye to others. And then the year ended just like it started... with a trip to the beach!

Overall it was a good year. It was a year of change and growth. It was a year of continuing to learn about how I am and who God has called me to be. And I still have a long way to go! But I'm looking forward to the next year and what it has in store for me!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Beach Recap

I'm a little lot behind on blogging, so I'm going to try to catch up and just backdate some things. The tenses may be off too, because I have started some posts and then left them hanging. Just pretend like I'm doing this on time, k?

I just got back from the beach and it was a glorious trip! It was short- just a long weekend- but also the perfect amount of time for an introvert like me to be in a house with 9 other people. Ha! Thursday morning, I dropped Molly off at camp and did some last minute packing before Katie picked me up to get on the road. Then we went and picked up Christy. The 3 of us were in the first car. We had a fairly uneventful car ride. Stopped a few times for gas/bathroom/snacks and made it to the condo right about 4pm. We quickly unloaded the car, looked around the condo and headed directly to the beach. We sat out for a little bit and then dove into the ocean for a while.

After a few hours, we decided to walk up to the market and pick up a few things before the other cars arrived. Car #2 was scheduled to arrive around 8 so a little before, we started cooking some dinner. Christy brought tacos for that night so we made some guac to go with it. Then we opened some wine and sat on the balcony while we waited on everyone else to arrive. This was my first drink in 50 days! So I took it pretty slow. But then the second car got caught in traffic and was running late so we just kept drinking. We were a few glasses in and quite slap-happy by the time they finally arrived. But they made it, unloaded their car and we ate some dinner and hung out while waiting on the third and final car to make it.

Friday morning, I woke up about 6 (which is technically later than I usually sleep). Everyone started waking up not too long after me. Adults, right?! There were 4 or 5 of us that decided to head down to the beach for some early morning yoga. I'm not 100% on board with yoga. It was a nice morning stretch, but I just never really feel like I'm getting a great workout... Doing it on the beach was nice though. The ocean looked so calm and peaceful, and we saw a bunch of dolphins. After yoga, we went back up for coffee and breakfast. Around 8, it got really dark and looked like a storm was brewing. We all sat on the balcony watching and waiting for the downpour, but it never came. It sprinkled off and on and the wind got pretty strong. It also cooled down quite a bit, but then after about an hour, it was over. The sun came back out and everything was nice again. We changed clothes and headed out to the beach! We alternated between beach and pool all morning depending on our sand tolerance then went in for lunch.

We did quick and easy for lunch- sandwiches and fruit and veggies. Then we spent some time doing some encouragement for the group before heading back down to the water. More alternating between beach and pool. A couple people decided that they wanted to go see Dunkirk that night. I was decidedly not going to see a movie. I don't really know why. I'm not a huge movie-goer. They are expensive. And long. And I get bored. Anyway, at some point, the first group headed up to shower and eat dinner and go to the movie. There were 6 of them that ended up going. The other 4 of us hung out at the pool for longer than eventually made our way back up to the condo. We ate dinner and drank wine on the balcony while we chatted about life and then we ate some ice cream and played Code Names until the rest of the group came back. Once everyone got back, we played The Voting Game which is alway great for getting to know you (or getting to know what people really think about you...)

Saturday morning was another early morning for me, while other people were a little slower to arouse. I wasn't feeling great when I woke up. I was cramping pretty bad and I decided that I needed some routine, so I laced up my shoes and went for a run. It always helps to ground me. It gives me some alone time and a sense of routine when I'm away from home so I'm glad that I went, but it was hot! I got back to the condo and chugged water, ate a little breakfast, and got ready to go to the beach.


We spent the morning at the beach/pool again and then did the same encouragement exercise with the other half of the group during our lunch break. After lunch, it was back to the beach/pool for more relaxation and fun in the sun. That night, we were going out for seafood, so we slowly trickled in to shower and look more presentable than just swimsuits. Then we headed out to dinner. It was a good time all around! After dinner, we headed back to the condo for more games and hangout time.

We woke up Sunday and did a little bit of packing and then decided to go down to the beach for some worship time. We all grabbed coffee and watched the sunrise beachside while singing and praying together. Such a great way to end the weekend!

After our worship time, we finished packing up and cleaning out the fridge before hitting the road. My car listened to a book on tape to make the time go by quickly! I got home, threw some clothes in the laundry, and went to pick up Molly. I missed her! I took the next day off work so I had some time to get things together and run some errands before going back to reality...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper that my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stonger in the presence of my Savior. 
- Oceans, Hillsong

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I'm off for a long weekend at the beach! I packed up, dropped Molly off at camp, and hit the road with a few friends this morning. The rest of the crew is leaving Memphis later this afternoon to head down. There are 10 of us in all so it should be a crazy time.

I'm excited about having some down time and being away from Memphis for a few days. I was ready for a break from work and ready for some relaxation. I'll be back on Sunday, hopefully rested and ready to dive back in to real life!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye, Jamie

Last week, my friend and old roommate is moved out of Memphis. She and her husband are both from Michigan and both of their families are there, so they are packed up and moved back home. Jamie and I met in 2009 and lived together for 3 years. I haven't seen her as much since marriage (per usual) but I knew that I would be sad when she left. Last weekend, they had a going away party at Railgarten (and I failed to take any pictures) but when I got there, I gave her a hug and immediately started tearing up. Sheesh! It was a good night and before I left we made plans to hang out again so that we wouldn't have to actually say goodbye.

Tuesday, after work, I went over to the house and helped load up the car before the movers came the next day. Then Wednesday, I headed back over and we ate pizza and sat on the floor in her empty bedroom reminiscing about the past and laughing at all the memories. Then we took some pictures and said goodbye. I held it together pretty well, but then cried on the way home. I thought that was the end of it, but then Thursday I got a text that they couldn't fit their plants in the car, so I went over one last time to get the plants and flower pots. I got to say goodbye one last time, take their final picture in front of the house, and watch them drive away for the last time...

Goodbyes are hard, guys! Friendships in general are hard, but there are certain friendships that just stick. Jamie and I are super different, but she knew me better than a lot of people. Living together for a few years helped with that too. It's hard to hide things when you live with someone- even if you want to sometimes!

But Jamie is the kind of friend that I could literally do anything with. We spent many a day curled up on the couch eating ice cream and watching hours upon hours of Netflix. We went through the entire Prison Break series in a ridiculously short amount of time! I'm pretty that I got drunk with her for the first time. (I was approximately 25...)

We had a few fun trips together- a spontaneous trip to Hot Springs for a spa weekend, that got cut a little short when my cousin went into labor, and a fun trip down to Miami cruising around in a bright blue convertible for the JT-JayZ concert.

We were part of the original Peter, James, and John. You know, other than the original, original Peter, James, and John. We set aside time for intentional conversation and book discussions and prayer together.

We spent multiple weekends getting all gussied up and going to bars for "husband hunting." We met some interesting people and got a lot of numbers, but there were no potential husbands. Until Jamie decided to try online dating AKA I entered in all the profile information and started all the initial conversations and questionnaires. Then once I had narrowed down some men, I passed them over to her for approval and actual dating. And that is how she met her husband!

Jamie- I'm glad that you are going to be closer to family. And get to be around your nieces and nephews. But I'll miss you. So thankful for your friendship all these years. Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next!

Monday, July 10, 2017

MTown Series

Through the past few months, some friends and I ran 4 races as part of the M-Town series. It was an interesting set of races. First of all, they were all at night which is not my favorite. I am much more of a fan of morning runs. I never know exactly what to eat before races. Or when. And then I don't feel like I run my best. Oh well.

The first race was Zoom through the Zoo. It was a 4-miler, not a 5K so that was a fun challenge. And it was on a Thursday night, so I knew that I would still have to work the next day. The race was hot, but we got to run by the elephants and giraffes which made everything better! But there were some hills at the end. No bueno! Dear people designing race courses, please don't put a hill in the last mile. Kthanks. After the race, there was barbecue and beer and live music so we hung out for a little while. The barbecue was delicious. The beer was light and tasted like bad water, so I decided that it wasn't worth the calories. Ha! Performance grade: C

After that was the Harbortown 5K. The weather was nicer. It wasn't scorching hot which was nice and I love running through the neighborhoods. It kind of reminds me of Seaside, minus the beach (the Mississippi River isn't quite the same as the ocean...). I felt okay while running, not super great, but it ended up being my fastest time so I'll take it! There was more live music after the race and some post-race food that I didn't eat because I was already doing Whole 30 by then. Performance grade: B+

Race 3 was the Gibson Guitar 5K. It was miserable! It was definitely the hottest race of the series. I hadn't been eating well so I didn't feel like it was a strong run. And the hill on Beale is a killer! Another race that ends with an uphill! This was seriously one of the worst races that I've run in a while. And I felt like I could throw up when I crossed the finish line. Blah! I held it in though, chugged some water, and started feeling better. Performance grade: D

The final race was the Stars and Stripes 5K. Races in July are always kind of a crapshoot, even at 7pm, but thankfully this one wasn't as hot as it could have been. It had rained off and on that day which cooled things off a little bit, but left things super humid! I'm pretty sure I was dripping sweat before I even started running. My only complaint was that the finish line was on gravel and it was really hard to give a final kick when I was having to concentrate on each step. But overall, it was a pretty good race! Performance grade: B