Sunday, April 3, 2011

How did I get here?

    Wow so a blogger I am not from the sporadic entries I write. I have to say it is interesting to look back and see where I was in my life in October and now in April. So many things are changing in my life for the better!
     For starters the Peace Corps is a no go. After being nominated I had to figure out how I was going to pay for all the dental work I needed done and the medical expenses of getting medically cleared. As I stressed over how I was going to do this I called to ask Peace Corps representatives for advice and help. Well the answers I got were nothing less than rude! Everyone I spoke to had an attitude and acted like I was a moron for asking how other people went about getting all of there medical/dental services taken care of. So needless to say that did not make me want to join the Peace Corps. How would you like to be in a third world country and have to rely on some who treated you like a moron and practically yelled at you. No thank you!
     I finally made the decision that I was not going into the Peace Corps after a long, painful dentist appointment. I realized that my teeth were a problem now and could also be in the future. I broke down in the office with a friend who worked there and told her I don't think I can go. She looked at me and said " Then it just wasn't meant to be." It stunk but I knew she was right. Whether it was timing or just not the right thing for me doesn't matter. I just knew in my gut I didn't need to go into the Peace Corps.

    I realized a few things through ending the Peace Corps process:

~ I don't think I went into this process with a serving heart, I think I went in with a selfish heart, wanting to run away and have an adventure. Why would I want to leave behind a wonderful city, filled with amazing friends, family, and a loving church? I do not know. Its strange but I still can't shake the urge to get away. A friend pointed out to me that of my long list of why I wanted to go into the PC, helping people or serving was one of the last things I said. In my book that was a wake up call to how my life was definitely unbalanced. What happened to my drive to help others?

~ I was running away from having to make decisions or deal with responsibilies. I am comfortable in my life right now. I love my job, my church, and this city yet I wish I lived more simply, with less material things, and made more money and had benefits. Honestly the appeal of the PC was the medical/dental benefits, living abroad, and being able to give away most of my material things. I've realized that I have to look a little farther into the future and start making decisions for my future. Then I can plan for travel.

     I found comfort in knowing that God knows the desires of my heart and that I needed to be patient and wait to see what God had in store for me. In March I received an email from my minister of missions at my church he simpled asked How would you like to go to Kenya to work with orphans? He gave me a description of what they were looking for and said it would be for two weeks in April/May. My immediate response was "YES! OMG YES!!!" The the responsibilities of my life flooded in- Can I afford to go to Kenya? Can I take off work?

     So I simply responded I would love to but do not know if I can financially. He said he would look into aid and get back to me. I couldn't believe the next email- he said "I've come up with $2400 for financial aid and the trip is $3000 you think you can come up with the rest?" HOLY COW! WHAT? Did he really just say that 80% of my trip would be paid for. I was jumping for joy. Then I remembered my job, my students. Could I really leave them? So I said that was amazing and that I would have to talk to my boss.

      Just so happens I have not taken but two sick days this year so I had paid personal days to take and I have an amazingly supportive boss who said I would be crazy to pass this up!! So I'm going to Kenya!! To top it all off my minister one Sunday afternoon emailed me to tell me that some people in the church had heard about my trip and wanted to anonymously donate to my trip. Bringing my total to $250 that I would be paying. I cried and cried. I am so blessed to have such amazing people around me.

Speaking of amazing put the icing on the cake of life, my roommate got engaged and I am her maid of honor AND my cousin got engaged and I am a bridesmaid. So how in the world would I have been able to have these two honors if I was half way around the world?

Life is sweet and God is so good. So that is where I am in life. I leave to go to Kenya the day after Easter and I could not be more excited to really be going to serve with an amazing organization.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life is still sweet

Ok so life is still sweet but a little more hectic. I have a very "full" life at the moment. With work, school, mentoring at church, volunteering, and trying to squeeze in a beer and kickball game a week it gets to be a little much. BUT I LOVE IT!

The biggest and sweetest part of life is the adventure that I have been starting applying to the Peace Corps. I have gotten nominated which is basically means I'm in. I now have to get medically cleared and they have to find me the best job to fit my experience. I requested South America so here's crossed fingers for that one. Don't get me wrong I would love to go anywhere around the world, but it would be lovely to speak some of the language or be able to read it, the letters that it.

I've been to China and loved it, but on vacation. I was completely lost as a tourist but it was ok I'd just show the taxi driver my hotel address on the matches I grabbed on the way out. Living in another country, continent, with another phonetic lettering system and culture is quite intimidating and frightening.

Hey I'm up for the challenge. I've read a lot of blogs of people that have been in the Peace Corps so I thought I'd write a post just for the heck of it since I haven't since May ha. That is actually when I started to try to apply and it took me until September to actually get myself together and do it. I'm glad I did and that I am going through this process. Who knows what is going to happen from now until I leave but I am determined to see this through. My dad keeps telling me " Sweetheart you know you're going to be miserable right?" All I can say is "Yes, I know," and that is ok with me. I have visions of horrible living conditions and crazy people but I can see myself laughing and praying to get through it ha.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I just love an excuse to sit around eat, drink, and do nothing looking cute. The Kentucky Derby is the perfect occasion to do so. You dress up, drink mint juleps, and eat tasty treats while waiting for a minute of racing. Its great! 

This past weekend I traveled to Raleigh to attend a lovely Derby Party hosted by my roommate from college and her fabulous gay friend. His home was beautiful; the flower arrangements were so elegant; and the food was to die for. He is by far Paula Deen's biggest fan and I think he is her secret child because man can he cook. We had everything a Southern brunch should have homemade pimento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs, fresh fruits and veggies, chicken strips, mini quiches, waffles ala mode, and to top it off shrimp and grits. YUM-O! On the beverage menu we had mimosas, bloody marys, sangria, and of course mint juleps in real mint julep cups. 

There is nothing like sitting on the front porch with great people who make you laugh with the sun shining and the wind blowing. It was a perfect day! I think the party was enjoyed by all and will be an ongoing tradition from now on. Look forward to next year!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Garden Oasis

My Sunday was filled with peace and love today. I got to spend the afternoon with 5 women from a small group at a women's retreat. Our host has the most beautiful oasis in her backyard. I walked through the front door and could automatically see the bright colors of green, orange, red, and pinks! It really is heaven on Earth walking into her backyard. Then I get to see all the kind sweet faces. We are women of course so the hugging and talking begins!

We got a tour of the garden and all the beautiful sights and smells. I just stood and took deep breaths. I went to the farmers market yesterday with friends and got to walk through seeing vegetables, fruits, breads, plants flowers and even pottery. There is something about natural items that God has created. Walking through the plants and garden areas I had a longing for a garden. Just a small plot to plant herbs and flowers. I think about my aunt's garden. She knew so much about plants and herbs. She was always trying something new. God's creation is so calming.

We finally sat down to eat and began the "catching up" convos. As I sat listening to what struggles and joys everyone was going through, I thought, it is amazing how different we all are. We are from completely different walks of life. I loved it! Being the youngest and single you would think I would feel disconnected from the lives my fellow group members, but no, we have the most important bond and that is God. We all rely and have faith in God in our lives and we seek out the fellowship and support of our sisters in Christ.

As I was leaving I couldn't help but get overwhelmed. I got in my car and immediately called my mother. I told her I can't believe I know and have so many wonderful women in my life, loving, praying, and supporting me. They are all so supportive of me going into the Peace Corps yet I will be leaving them when I go. I feel like I am building so many bonds through this small group and another group. I have 15 to 20 women praying for me. What an overwhelming feeling!

The saying "To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known" keeps resonating with me. I am known by these women and God and I feel the love that comes from the fellowship rooted in God. How sweet it is to be loved by you!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And now its Spring!

Oops Its been awhile since I've blogged. Life has been up and running and now I sit in the heart of Spring surrounded by flowers, birds chirping, beautiful weather, and of course pollen everywhere. As for my life it is still going pretty well friends, family, job, etc.. are all good. However I have had a lot on my mind: the future. 

I am just coming off of Spring Break which I spent at home in SC with my mom. It was a nice trip to just relax but a little depressing finding out that I no longer have any friends from high school that live in the area. My sister and some old family friends are what 's left.

I am in the process of applying to the Peace Corps. Its a long application with hard questions and a lot of blanks to fill in. The questions really make you think and I haven't felt like I've had time to sit and reflect and think in awhile. 

As for my goal 25 birthday goal setting, I'm not doing so hot! I think I have gained weight, I've only read 3 books, and I haven't worked out in awhile. I can make excuses but I think I freak myself out by making goals like that. I set myself up for failure on purpose. I was running and reading, totally focused and then I got a crick in my neck, work got crazy, and I got completely off track! I guess goals are something to work toward not completely conquer all the time, especially the high ones I set. I am going to hop back on my 25  band wagon just to see what happens not necessarily to conquer. 

There is something about Spring that rejuvenates me. It is my favorite time of year. It feels like everyone can start over. Easter I guess is a little reminder that it is a new life. Jesus gives us freedom, forgiveness, and complete support and love. I need to trust in this more and rely on him. 

My mom and I always talk about faith and God so when I was home this past week of course we had some great convos and I had a strange epiphany and that I wasn't too happy with : I talk about God more than I talk to him. 

I don't know why this is. I sometimes view God as that best best friend that you don't have to talk to everyday but when you do talk it takes about a minute to catch up on life and they completely understand and know what to say. I know God's will is to be in every part of my life yet I forget to squeeze him in, even though I see him in so much that passes through my life every day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Zumba and the Peace Corps

These two things are not related however in my life they are new things i've tried or thinking about.
I haven't posted in awhile because its been hectic! Frankly my goals are going ok and when I say ok some better rather than others. I lost 4 pounds but then gained it back. My running adventure and then ambitious efforts to push my body to the limit last week did not help my ankles or hips. I have been feeling the pain of my efforts.

 I have been having too much fun socializing. Why does socializing always revolve around food? Why am I such a socialite and why do I LOVE food so much? Anyways I'm still happy even though the scale tempts me to be depressed. Oh well each day is a new day.

So back to Zumba and Peace Corps. Last Wednesday I ditched Girls Night to go to a Zumba class. I had been wanting to take it for a long time and this was the night. Ha I got to the Y and looked into the gym and saw this complicated routine being done and I thought "Crap what have I gotten myself into." Thankfully it was the hip hop class before mine. I went in and there was a short Latino man there to lead Zumba. I thought this is going to be interesting.. Yeah it was and soooo much fun. I smiled and laughed so much! It was a great workout and so fun to do. I loved salsa dancing and shakin it! The teacher kept telling us to move and shake it! I felt so good afterwards but my hips were feeling it a bit.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Great Music, Great Friends, Great Run, Great Food

This past weekend has been great! I am constantly surrounded by awesome people and fun opportunities. 

Friday I went to a Pat Green concert with a lot of people, some that I am not the best of friends with, but I think we are now!  The concert was at a great country western bar which was sooo fun!  Saturday I woke up to the smell of bacon and came downstairs to find my roommate's parents had made french toast, turkey bacon and sausage, and fresh fruit! Yum-o! I am such a lucky lady.  

This weekend was my roommate's birthday so I had to make the cake, of course! I made a chocolate cake with buttercream icing, pink and white decorations! Its fun creating a cake for someone you love. It was especially yummy too. 

After baking and decorating I embarked on a lil running adventure. A friend of mine, we'll call her Red, is my motivator in my running/exercise goals. She is doing her first half marathon in April. She wanted to run so I thought I'd warm up and run before she got to my house. So I ran just under 2 miles. Ha she got here and said ok let go on a long run so I went for another run. It ended up totaling over 6 miles! Ahh I've never run that much before but it felt AWESOME!!! I loved it! I have told Red I will do a 10k the same day she is doing her half marathon. I think I will be good after that run.  

We had a Fiesta for my roommate's birthday Saturday night. Yummy Mexican lasagna and enchiladas, chips and salsa, daquiris, and beer. Yea everything I don't need to lose my 25 lbs haha BUT you know what? I didn't care because I just ran 6 miles. What the heck I indulged....a lot! haha  

Its funny how endorphins from working out and alcohol can make you feel pretty good! We all went out after dinner and I felt great! I even got some courage and went into a group of guys and struck up a convo ha I may have turned a lil rosy in the cheeks and was a lil shaky with nerves but hey it was fun! 

Let the running continue and the sweet times roll!