My 22nd Birthday

29 January 2015

So if you read my post on Monday you probably saw my brief mention that my birthday was this past Saturday. It was my 22nd birthday. However, it didn't really feel like it was that big of a deal to me but my friends thought differently.

My mom called in to my favorite local bakery, Nana's Cakery, and my roommate picked them up. The container was filled with some of my favorite cupcakes from Nana's and some that I haven't had before. They are delicious! My favorite are the Reese's cupcakes!

My friend, Wes, also dropped some brownies off while I was gone to volleyball and they were good!

I spent the majority of the day doing some cleaning around the apartment, getting laundry done, and working through some homework. It was a fairly typical Saturday. I also spent some time whipping up some late Christmas gifts and some just because gifts.

I look forward to sharing more pictures of what I made and the completed gifts for my roommates, but I don't want to post until after we do Roomie Christmas this weekend! I did try one of these delicious items myself and it was so good!!

I ended out the day by playing volleyball with my church family and then grabbing pizza. We stopped by our favorite pizza place, Aurelio's Pizza || Bourbonnais, and we got some Chicken Bacon Alfredo. SO good!!! If you're ever in the area you should stop by! Great pizza, Great people.

So overall it was a pretty good day! I'm definitely blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!


Monday Musings

26 January 2015

Hey everyone! I know this is a late post but bear with me. I totally just didn't get around to doing this post last week and today was crazy and I almost didn't do it again. But I decided to take a few minutes before heading to bed to share a little bit about my weekend.

For those who don't know, Saturday was my birthday. I turned 22 on Saturday. Yay! I'll be sharing some pictures tomorrow or Wednesday! I spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, baking, working on some homework and playing volleyball. It was a fairly average Saturday with a few fun things thrown in!

Sunday was pretty average but we had a pretty good discussion at youth group. I'm learning some new things, some new techniques, that I think I might like to try with the teenagers just to see if it might help them to engage with the stories from the Bible better. It's a work in progress!!

Anyways, today was a long and slightly frustrating start to the week. However, I got to spend a couple of hours this evening hanging out with and worshiping with some awesome kids. I helped out with the Children's service during Revival tonight. Oh how I love to work with kids! I was exhausted and tired before going and I came home with a new sense of energy that helped me to get some things I needed to get done done. It just reinforced my desire to really jump in full time working with kids in ministry and other settings once I am done with school. I just love them!

Well that's all for now, folks! :) I'm headed off to bed so I can start my day early tomorrow. 


2015 Reading Challenge Book List

15 January 2015

Hey y'all! It's been a little while since I have been able to post. Getting into the swing of classes has kinda caught me off guard this week if I'm being honest. Extra things came up that I hadn't planned on and they cut into my blogging time, so I ended up just not writing any posts for this week. But hopefully my schedule will be a little bit more normal starting on Saturday and I can get into a regular posting schedule!

Anyways, here is the list of books that I am going to be reading for the Reading Challenge I am doing this year. I'm going to type it up real quick, but it you want to check out any more information on any of them you can check them out over on my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge List. So here it goes...

1. A Book with More Than 500 Pages // The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. A Classic Romance // Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. A Book That Became a Movie // Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

4. A Book Published This Year // A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God’s Design for Life Together by Scot McKnight

5. A Book with a Number in the Title // A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

6. A Book Written by Someone Under 30 // Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes

7. A Book with Nonhuman Characters // Animal Farm by Orwell

8. A Funny Book // Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome by Robby Novak

9. A Book by a Female Author // Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kahling

10. A Mystery or Thriller // The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker

11. A Book with a One-Word Title // Divergent by Veronica Roth

12. A Book of Short Stories // Separate Journeys by Contemporary Indian Women

13. A Book Set in a Different Country // And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

14. A Nonfiction Book // Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian

15. A Popular Author’s First Book // Carrie by Stephen King

16. A Book from an Author You Love That You Haven’t Read Yet // Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist

17. A Book a Friend Recommended // Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers by Kara Powell

18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning Book // The Color Purple by Alice Walker

19. A Book Based on a True Story // Spilled Milk: Based on a True Story by K. L. Randis

20. A Book at the Bottom of Your To-Read List // The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living by Lacey Sturm

21. A Book Your Mom Loves // Message from Nam by Danielle Steel

22. A Book That Scares You // Dolly by Susan Hill

23. A Book More Than 100 Years Old // Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

24. A Book Based Entirely on Its Cover // Make It Happen by Lara Casey

25. A Book You Were Supposed to Read in School But Didn’t // Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

26. A Memoir // Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor by Katarina Rosenblatt

27. A Book You Can Finish in a Day // Hit and Run by Lurlene McDaniel

28. A Book with Two Antonyms in the Title // War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

29. A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Visit // The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy

30. A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born // Along Came A Spider by James Patterson
31. A Book with Bad Reviews // The Shadow God by Aaron Rayburn

32. A Trilogy // The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

33. A Book from Your Childhood // Nothing But Drama by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

34. A Book with a Love Triangle // Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

35. A Book Set in the Future // The Giver by Lois Lowry

36. A Book Set in High School // My Name is Chloe by Melody Carlson

37. A Book with a Color in the Title // The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land, #1) by Jill Eileen Smith

38. A Book that Made You Cry // Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
39. A Book with Magic // The Spirit Well by Stephen R. Lawhead

40. A Graphic Novel // Chosen (The Lost Books #1) by Ted Dekker

41. A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before // The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlin

42. A Book You Own But Have Never Read // All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland

43. A Book That Takes Place in Your Hometown // Spring Came On Forever by Bess Aldrich

44. A Book That Was Originally Written in a Different Language // The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

45. A Book Set During Christmas // A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

46. A Book Written by an Author with Your Same Initials // Austenland by Shannon Hale

47. A Play // The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

48. A Banned Book // The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley

49. A Book Based on or Turned Into a TV Show // The 100 by Kass Morgan

50. A Book You Started But Never Finished // The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Yay! You made it to the end! This feels like such a long post but there really isn't any deep content or anything. If you can't tell from this list...I have a wide variety of genres that I like to read. It is an odd assortment of books but I am excited to read them all! I actually have about 8 more books from classes that I will be reading as well and a few on my shelves that didn't fit any of these categories that I will be trying to read as well!!

Have you read any of these books? Are you going to read them or are they on your 2015 reading list?

Have a wonderful evening!


Monday Musings // V. 2

12 January 2015

Monday has arrived once again! Another weekend has come and gone. The start of another semester of college is upon me. A new job is about to start at one of the local child care centers. Changes are happening now with even more on the way. The weekend was filled with some prep for this upcoming semester, although I didn't get everything done that I had hoped to.

I used my last weekend of Christmas Break to spend time with my church family. Church League volleyball started on Saturday and much to our surprise...We won our first game of the season!!! WOO!! Winning generally isn't our strong suit, but we played well. We joked that since we are 'batting 1000' we should just quit now before it changes! Lol! I forgot how much I enjoy getting out there and playing volleyball on Saturdays. It's so much fun. We ended the evening by grabbing dinner at Beef O' Brady's and it was delicious.

Yesterday we started up Journey Live (youth group) for the new year and since I was the only leader in town I was in charge of leading lesson. We covered the Birth of John the Baptist. As a church plant our youth group is generally fairly small in size, but I really tried to encourage them to reach out to their friends and invite them. They were really talkative tonight about school and such and it was fun to listen to them. Next week I really want to ask them some pointed questions about this semester and some things they would like to do or are looking forward to.

I also found this awesome looking app for children & youth ministry called Lead Small and I am excited to start using it with JourneyLive and the preschool small group I lead. I'm excited to see what all it can do. If you lead a small group any range from preschool through high school you should check it out! It looks like a great tool!

Now I am off to visit the Financial Aid and Registrar office and to get one last medical test before starting my new job. Here's to another week!

Have a wonderful Monday!
God Bless!


Currently Loving

10 January 2015

Hey y'all! I hope you are having a fantastic weekend so far! Nothing to exciting in my neck of the woods this weekend except for the fact that today is our first Saturday of Church League Volleyball! Yay! I've been waiting for this all year. 
Anyways, while I am off playing volleyball today I want to share with you some of the things that I have been loving on the internet recently!

1. "Slap Her!" 
I absolutely love this video!! I have watched it multiple times and can't get over it! It just shows how much people change as they get older. These boys can't even fathom the idea of hitting the girl. It's an act of violence and they refuse. Their responses are great!!
2. Song from Pi
This is just awesome! Props to the musically inclined people who are able to do this.
3. Mama & Little // Teething Jewelry for the Hip Mama & Her Little
Screenshot of the website
I know it might seem strange that I would share something like this since I am clearly not a mom yet, but hear me out! I work with little ones on a regular basis and they LOVE to chew on anything I'm wearing on my wrist or around my neck. Sometimes that is okay, but sometimes that isn't the best. SO when I came across this site today I was thrilled! What better way to be able to wear the outfits you love with fashionable jewelry that you don't have to be worried about a little one chewing on? The jewelry is wonderful and the fact that it is made from food grade silicon makes it so much better! I am hoping to invest in some since I am working with infants & toddlers on the regular!

4. Jimmy Fallon & Nicole Kidman

This video made me laugh so much! Love it!

The Happy Type

So those are some of the things that I have been loving lately!I'm glad I got the chance to share them with you today! I hope you enjoy some of them! I've linked this post up with the Currently Loving Linkup at The Happy Type. If you have a minute head on over to link up and check out some of the other posts that are linked up! Maybe link up a post yourself!

Have a lovely Saturday!
God Bless!


2015 Reading Challenge

08 January 2015

I can't believe we are already a week into the new year! I feel like it is already flying by. I have been trying to really be intentional about making the most of this year and so I have been doing some planning for the next few months. One of the things that I want to do this year is to read books that I wouldn't normally pick up for myself because it doesn't fit my typical genres or I'm not a fan of the author. Not knowing where to start putting together a list on my own, I came across a reading challenge that I like.

So for 2015 I will be working to complete Popsugar's 2015 Reading Challenge. It looks like a great list and I am excited to get started on it!

I'm working on putting together the complete list of books that I will be challenging myself to read over these next twelve months! Hopefully I will be sharing it with all of you next week! I'm hoping to get started with one of the books today since classes haven't started and i'm staying inside due to the lovely cold temps outside. Besides, what's better than curling up with a blanket, a good book, and a cup of hot cocoa/coffee??

Have a wonderful day and stay warm!


Monday Musings

05 January 2015

Hey y'all!! It's the first Monday of the New Year. Crazy! I feel like I should have some crazy, awesome story or adventure to share with you from this weekend since it is Christmas Break and all, but I don't. It was a fairly average weekend around here. Lots of cleaning and organizing, plenty of movies being watched, a ton of episodes of NCIS and Law & Order: SVU were seen. Throw in some planning for the coming semester and the coming year. Nothing super exciting around these parts.

I did take a new step in my blogging journey this weekend and I joined some blogging networks/communities. This is the first time that I have done this so I am looking forward to this experience! I am excited to get to know fellow bloggers and broaden my current blogging community. If you are looking for a blogging community to check out, take a look at The Peony Project and the Blog Buddies Network. Or you can check them out by clicking through the buttons towards the bottom of the sidebar to the right!

Oh, one of my roommates came back today! It's been nice to have the place to myself but it's also nice to have someone to talk to. It's the start of another semester and the last time that I will be in one place with so many wonderful friends. It's going to be a bittersweet semester but I am so excited for it!


2015 // Words & Goals

03 January 2015

Like many other bloggers have been doing, I am once again choosing a word (actually two) for my year. These are the words that I will really focus on this year in my life. I will work on incorporating the ideas and concepts of these words into my life. 

You may be asking why I chose two words instead of one this year. It's simple. While I have been thinking about what my word would be for this year, which I did most of December, these two words kept coming to mind. They didn't come individually, but together. They were always linked. So I decided that I would use both of them this year.

My word for 2014 was FOCUS. You can check out that post here. This word ended really being the encompassing theme for my year. I really learned how to focus my time and energy both towards myself and others. I was more intentional about my time with those I love, whether that be friends or family. I really put more focus into my school work. I put energy into focusing on ministry and outreach when I was at church or an event. I really learned to be intentional about how I orient my time.

My words for 2015 are COURAGE & TRUST. They are fitting as I am heading into my second semester of my senior year of college. I am at a place in life where I am trying to figure out what is next, where I am going. I am looking at making some decisions, some choices that will affect the rest of my life or at least the near future. I want to focus on building these two traits. I want to be trust others more. I want to trust myself more. This leads into wanting to be more courageous with the decisions that I make and I why I make them.

I want the courage to go where I feel God leading me.
I want the courage to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.
I want the courage to do things that others don't agree with.
I want the courage to make changes to better myself and my life.

I want to trust the will of God even more than I do now.
I want to trust my own feelings about people and situations.
I want to trust that I am where I am supposed to be even if it doesn't feel like it.
I want to trust that my future will be better than my past.

The lists go on and I hope that this year will be a time for me to really learn how to fully trust and how to be courageous in all that I do. Most importantly I look forward to how the focus on these words will impact my faith. This year is guaranteed to be full of changes and I can't wait to see how it will come to look like in a year.

As I end this post I want to share my top three goals for this year. They aren't highly detailed, but instead are broad and they will have little goals that I have marked for each one.

1. An increased and ever growing knowledge of His Word.

2. Live life with open arms and an open heart.

3. More time disconnected from technology.

As I mentioned before this is just a brief overview of some things that I am focusing on and working on as we head into this year. I look forward to all that will come due to focusing on these words and goals. So here's to a new year full of new people, new opportunities, new memories, and new challenges.

 Here's to 2015.

By the way...Have you heard this song by JJ Heller & her husband? If not, take a couple minutes and listen. It's called This Year and I love it!!

2015 // Happy New Year

01 January 2015

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin'....The posts about New Years Eve celebrations and New Years resolutions are everywhere. It is always fun to see how friends and family brought in the new year. Most years I am celebrating with family and some years I have been with friends. This year I spent the evening curled up in a blanket watching movies in my apartment. I didn't watch the ball drop. I didn't blow into a noise maker or clap like crazy with twenty other people. I didn't have someone special curled up next to me. 

This year I brought in the new year by thinking about what's to come. I pondered what the rest of my college experience looks like. I searched all over for possible ideas for a job to pick up this summer. I looked at various missions and ministry opportunities both domestic and international. 

I spent New Years Eve questioning whether I am supposed to be somewhere else or if I am supposed to be here but in a different capacity. I brought in the new year feeling lost, feeling like I don't belong here at this university anymore. Feeling like I don't belong in this place anymore. I don't know if this is a God thing or simply me not feeling content with where my life is at the moment.

I don't know why my thoughts were in this area, but I do know that I need to really spend some time in the next week or so before classes start determining where I am supposed to be next. Maybe I need to open a new chapter. I have no idea. I just know that I am blessed to be where I am.

2014 was full of new people, new adventures, new memories...It was a full year. It was a year full of blessings I would have never imagined. It was a year that opened doors and a year that closed doors. It was a year of discovery, of myself, others, the world, and God. It has put me in all kinds of situations, some of which I am still working through as we start this new year. This past year was full of hellos and goodbyes, laughter and tears, successes and failures. This past year was a blessing. 

Here is to a new year that will be full of all those things and so much more.
May 2015 bring you many adventures and blessings!!

Happy New Year!

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