I'd have to say this was one of my favorite Thanksgivings! It did not have fireworks, tons of tropical warm weather, or even pumpkin pie (yes, there was no pumpkin pie). It was a simple family thanksgiving that was simply wonderful.
 My mom woke up early (as she always does on Thanksgiving morning) and placed the turkey in the oven to begin its slow cook. Everyone else (except for my Grandpa who wakes up at 4am every morning) woke up throughout the morning. Hot crispy edge pancakes were ready along with a nice hot cup of mocha mocha (ok, creme brulee coffee with a little splenda and creme, but whose complaining!).
 I went downstairs and watched the annual Macy's Thanksgiving parade. I came up every once and a while to chat with everyone. Half way through the parade, I came back upstairs to stay and made the veggie trays (this is my responsibility every single year! I love it!).
 By noon, Thanksgiving meal was all ready! We had hot turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry jello, strawberry fluff (family recipe), warm rolls, stuffing, yams, green bean casserole, corn, gravy, angel eggs (we call deviled eggs angel... we don't want to give him any credit), and last but not least the veggie trays. I am sure I am missing something, but there was so much yummy food... I was stuffed before I even tried everything!
This year, I actually dressed cute and we took lots of fun family photos! They are treasures that we will love on for a real long time. We played games later with everyone (including Ben's, my bro, girlfriend). We drank hot tea and had wonderful strawberry pie. Yum yum!

Yes, in deed, this was one of my favorites! It was my family and I loved every part of it!

Now, I'm on to decorate the Christmas tree... ok, maybe I will just be putting the tree up this evening and then finishing it up with my mom tomorrow, but still... Christmas decorations are starting... WOOHOO! And Christmas music too (That's already started).

I hope all you lovely readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
I thought I would place a few of my favorite thankfuls from the past year below...

1. my continuing growing relationship with the Lord
2. momingo, padre, ben, little big bro Colb, grandpa, and Tuck
3. to my loyal chi... you are one of a kind!
4. to traveling to places i've dreamed up, and places i continue to go to
5. for those who provide encouraging words when you least expect it
6. to the unexpected moments in life that grant blessings of joy
7. for perseverance to push through and run a complete 5-k
8. those conversations that leave you feeling so complete and challenged
9. for night where you can be goofy with your best friend and no one else sees
10. for parents who push, encourage, and are always there in the down and up moments of life

Seems like this phrase comes up a lot...

The end of the semester... it'll be here before you know it
Thanksgiving & Christmas... it'll be here before you know it
Graduation from nursing school... it'll be here before you know it

The question is, are you ready for TODAY? Because before you blink... tomorrow will be here before you know it


Yes! Within 40 minutes... I accomplished the run! Praise the run for all the strength! It was AMAZING!

Today I run my 5-k! I will be starting my run at 8:00am this morning and I WILL run the whole thing. I will give all the details later.

As Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

I am so thankful that my mom and my best friend will be there to support and encourage me along the way.

I'm excited.
Prepared after 8 weeks.
I can and WILL do this!!!

Thank you Jesus!

Whose with me?!

We all go through phases in our lives. Some are really exciting and some are in the valleys. Recently, I was discussing percentages... It turned into the conversation of what percentage are we living our lives? It made me stop and think... what percentage am I living? Am I living life to 110%? Do I give give and give until it is satisfying, or do I only give 50%? I mean, 50% is an F.

The Lord did not have us to live at only 50%. He wants us out doing our very best and living our lives to the fullest. So how do we change our 50% to 100%?

For me, I have dreams and goals that I have written down on paper. I can sit and look at those dreams and goals all I want, but if I just let them sit on the paper, they are doing no one any good. So... I pull that piece of paper out (or my sticky note on my macbook), and see what I want to accomplish today. One of the things that I have had on my list for a long time is to run a 5-k. I started doing research and found that there is a 5-K on November 21st. Well, eight weeks ago, I felt as if I was not living my life 100% so I decided to do something about that. I started training for the 5-k. Through the strength that the Lord has provided, I am getting ready to run that 5-k... live a dream that I wrote out to be set and lived! I am not sure what I will do after the run, but I know that I will set out on a new adventure trying to conquer another one of those dreams.

It is really important that we try to live our lives at 100% or more :). Whether that is exercising, taking a vitamin, reading your Bible more, singing a song in the shower everyday, or going out of your way to serve someone else. There is no point on only going at 50%. Find a mentor, let someone encourage you if you are down, and do something about your percentage! You never know... that change in your attitude (about your percentage) may very well change your life!

One of my friends in class today showed me this wonderful book! It has simple life quotes that are so encouraging on a cold rainy day (like today). What makes it even better is its yellow... I mean, who doesn't love yellow?! The book is written by Monique Duval. She is a beautiful writer and artist. One thing that I love is the artwork within the book. The illustrator is Joanna Abbott Moss. Simply beautiful. In the back of the book it reads... "While drawing, Joanna never lifts her hand from the paper, allowing a continuous connection between heart, mind, hand, pen and paper until each illustration is complete."
Here are some lovely quotes from this beautiful book...

"Once upon a time, a girl prayed for true love. Her prayer was answered. She learned to love herself. #30"

"And what does it feel like?" we asked. "Well," she said, leaning over to us like a secret, "it feels like a gust of wind blowing inside your heart. It feels like bright yellow paint #81."

"That's when the rain came down and we ran - laughing hard, sides hurting - and there was no shelter for miles. So we just sat down in the sand and watched the ocean swallow the sky #122."

"We all have needs and desires," Juanita said to Anna as they painted their houses purple. "In that case," Anna said, "can we paint the trim lime-green with pink flowers along the edges?" "Just what I was thinking," she said #135."  

"They are inseparable. Yesterday, the three of them decided to have a hot peppermint tea party in the middle of the lake while sitting in a canoe and worried that their lives were becoming predictable #141."

"Once a day she tells the spin to sit still, the twirl to behave, the laugh to whisper, the dream to sleep. And for a moment she was untwirled, whispered and dreamless... #333"
"There's a place inside her heart she reserves for him. It has good eastern light, sea breeze and if you stand on your toes, you can see a thousand miles away #67."

"Everything melted, rained, unraveled, became, grew wings, attempted flight, flopped, tried again, succeeded. Just another day #317."
"Once you get over the fear, then it's a cinch," she said. And then she leaped into a mountainous and unexplored region of her heart #115."


What would be on my inspiration wall?


Here is what I will have in what I have decided to call my inspiration space...

  • 3 mason jars (1 with scrabble pieces, 1 with vintage material scraps, and 1 with buttons)
  • lots and lots of polaroid images (still waiting to get that polaroid film)
  • the number "5" (it just has lots of wonderful memories that little number)
  • a cork board with a gold frame around it
  • a seafoam green vintage fan (ok it doesn't have to be seafoam, but that's my plan; oh, and it has to work too!)
  • my 5k bib (i will have this november 21st)
  • a beautiful black and white photo (maybe sepia) of my family
  • my bestie memory book (a mirage of items that Jena has given me over the years)
  • a beautiful wire basket
  • and finally will be completed with my patchwork chair (that i will eventually get from urban outfitters) and my kitschy table (which is at a wonderful antique mall in wichita, kansas)

A few weeks ago I went to the Christian Book Store to look around and see what it was like. I had never been to this store, so I thought, "Ok, let's check it out." While doing some browsing, I came across the book, Good Morning, Lord: I don't know where you're going today, but I'm going with you. I decided to purchase it...

The book has been a wonderful devotional that is really encouraging to read in the morning. Here's a quote from it:
A basic truth: Christianity is not an employer-employee contract... So be warned! We may run ourselves ragged doing things for God - being a member of every committee at church, attending every prayer meeting, doing whatever job needs to be done - and lose the Lord in the midst of it all. Ultimately, only our loyalty to God as our Friend will hold us when life is tough...

She goes on to share with us John 15:14-15, "You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a place to call your "church family" when you are away from home (ex. college). It is like you can go anywhere you would like, but nothing seems to fit the standards or beliefs that you have held so strongly to. One place you go to may have really great worship and then another may have really good preaching. So where do you find the balance? Often times, one or the other have to be sacrificed to find a place that you may be content with. Many times I have been in this exact place throughout college. I have gone to one place and then hopped to another and to another. So why is this such a problem. Why is it so easy for people to not commit to one church family? For me, it's a church's beliefs, the way I connect with the church, and how willing is the church family willing to reach out. I am right in the middle of the Bible belt, and often that is the hardest place to be... so many choices, yet not on place that sticks out. I have grown up in the church and have set my beliefs, but often times these "standards" that I have set make me judgmental towards every church that I walk into. It is as if I am going in to the church to grade it or give a critique. Is that really the way it should be? Should one ever be content with just the ok standards? No. The Lord sets beliefs and convictions within each one of us. It is our responsibility to walk in obedience and follow His leading. This does not mean we have the right to go and judge every single place we walk into. Rather, be open (but stay strong to who we are). Why not reach out to those in the church? I mean, just because we are the new person does not mean we have to be the shy person in the back row who never says anything. Just because one church has a rock concert worship team and then another has an acoustic does not mean we should never visit that church again. We are called to go and make disciples of all nations... to bring others closer to the Lord. Church should never just be a comfy place where you go and just chill weekly to have a social gathering... Sure, it is great to see people/friends that you have not seen all week, but more importantly we should be reaching out to the lost and serving in a way that is right in the Lord's eyes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

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