Sunday, December 19

Book lists

I seem to always have a reading list that never diminishes... In fact, I think it just gets longer... Too many books, too little time.

Here is my current reading list:
- The Bible, especially Mark
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
     - This is my third time to read it, and I am still catching things I missed before.  I think that is because for the first time, I have read all seven in the span of a few weeks, so I am able to mesh together the big picture.  I have said it once, I will say it again. J.K. Rowling is a genius.
- Sacred Marriage- Gary Thomas
     - Recommended to anyone currently married, or who wants to get married sometime in the future.

Here is my "started, but still need to finish" list:
- The Cost of Discipleship - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Life Together- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Men are Like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti- Bill and Pam Ferrel
     - I stopped reading this because I liked "For Women Only" much better... It's almost like they are trying to be funny, but are just super cheesy.  But it has some interesting ideas and I still need to finish it.
- I Believe- Grant Teaff

The "I own but haven't started yet" list:
- The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

And finally, my "don't have, but want to read" list:
- The Connected Child- Karyn Purvis
- Adopted for Life- Dr. Russell Moore
- Letters to Children- CS Lewis
- The Summer Kitchen- Lisa Wingate
- The Divine Conspiracy- Dallas Willard
- Radical- David Platt
- The Prodigal God- Timothy Keller
- Transform a City- Eric Swanson
- Tale of Three Kings- Gene Edwards
- Mere Christianity- CS Lewis
- The Great Divorce- CS Lewis

And here is a little list of I think you should read in the near future:
- Life of Pi- Yann Martel
- On Fairy Stories- JR Tolkien, along with his own fairy story, Leaf by Niggle
- Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World- Leah Hager Cohen

Sunday, December 5

Child Abuse Prevention

I don't generally let the silly things on facebook or twitter make me upset.  I think that social media is a brilliant way to communicate with large groups of people, but sometimes, things just go wrong.

This new "Change your profile picture to a cartoon" business actually made me angry.  We have gotten so used to using Facebook as a form of identity that we think that changing your profile picture in order to fight child abuse and bring back warm fuzzy memories is the way to protect the hundreds of thousands of children in the US alone who suffer from abuse each year.  "Well, I changed my profile pic for a couple days, done my good deed for the week."  Hiding behind Facebook makes us feel like we have actually accomplished something.  Like we are making a change.

If you want to change your profile picture to a cartoon, go ahead. But don't pretend like you are saving a child's life.  How about raising awareness by introducing advocacy centers and shelters?  How about educating people on the symptoms of abuse so anyone who comes into contact with children will know what to look for? And if they notice something, letting them know who they need to call and why it is important to actually do something.

So, in case you hadn't gathered, I am not changing my profile picture to a fun childhood cartoon. Because child abuse isn't fun. It isn't nostalgic.  It kills thousands of children every year.  Instead, here is some information on how you can get involved. 

In Central Texas:
- Family Abuse Center- I spent 2 semesters volunteering at this center.  We led group play therapy sessions for the kids while their moms were in their own group therapy.  It was hard. The kids were in desperate need of healthy attention. But it was an incredible learning opportunity for me. The FAC does a great job at providing a clean, safe, and free place for families running away from abusive homes.  They provide education for the moms, and stability for the kids.  The FAC is always in need of donations.  If you live in Central Texas and are interested in volunteering, they love that too. Just check out the VOLUNTEER section on the website.

- Talitha Koum- While TK is not specifically for child abuse victims, they do work with many children who suffer from neglect and abuse.  These kids come from the poorest of poor neighborhoods in Waco.   Talitha Koum provides a nurturing, healthy environment for the children to grow up in.  They not only provide for the kids while they are in the nursery and preschool, but they continue to work with the schools as the children grow out of the programs, providing food, clothing, school supplies, and toys.  They also hold weekly parenting meetings.  Every child is part of play therapy and is under the watch of a child psychologist.  Like the FAC, TK can also benefit from donations and volunteers.  I worked here as a part of a research lab my senior year, and my life was seriously changed.

- Children's Advocacy Center

I do not have experience with the centers in the DFW area, so I am just going to post some links, and if you are interested, you can check them out!

- Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County- Plano
- Alliance for Children- Tarrant County
- Child Abuse Prevention Center- Dallas
- Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
- Dallas CASA

Finally, know the signs.  This is something you can do with little time or sacrifice on your part. You think that children aren't abused where you are?  You're wrong.  I know it is easy to assume that my neighborhood and my city are "too nice" to be a place for something like this.  But it just isn't true.  HERE is a great website with information on how to spot child abuse.

It's better to act and be wrong, than to think everything is fine and be wrong.  If you believe a child is being neglected or abused, you are breaking the law if you don't report it. (The same is true for someone over 65 and for those with disabilities).  CLICK HERE for some Texas hotline numbers for Child Protective Services.  You can also call 1-800-4-A-CHILD.  Please call 911 if you believe the child is in immediate danger.

Tuesday, November 30

a poem.

From my diary when I was 7:

By Haley Purdy,

Red yollow brown
white blake black
and Pink They
are very Prettey

The End

Thursday, November 11


"He made their hearts, so He understands everything they do..." - Psalm 33:15

I don't have a problem forgetting that God created me. But I think that I fail to fully comprehend what that means.  When I read Psalm 33:15 this morning, I was reminded of something I often forget.

God made my heart.  He understands me better than anyone, because He made me that way.  There are times when I do something or struggle with something and I don't understand why.  An example of this is fear.  Sometimes there are fears I just can't get over.  It doesn't matter how irrational I know they are, I am still afraid. 

When I was younger, I was a competitive gymnast.  During my last season, I missed my hands doing a back walkover on the beam during my routine.  I was able to pull my legs around fast enough to land on the ground instead of the beam, so I was not physically hurt. But emotionally, everything had changed.  I still did the skill by myself for competitions, but during practice, I had a total mental block.  I was absolutely terrified, and I could not help it.  I could barely do it with my coach spotting, even though she had been there for me since I was seven years old, and had saved me from many falls.  I had no reason not to trust her, I just couldn't get over my fear.

This was so frustrating for everyone involved.  I didn't understand why I couldn't just get over it like I had gotten over so many other fears during my gymnastics career.  It wasn't my first time to fall, and it definitely wasn't my worst fall.  I had been hurt many times before doing other skills... fallen on my face or neck... slammed into the beam or vault... whacked my legs against the high bar while dismounting... but I had been able to talk myself out of the fear and keep working.

This is just one example.  Of course, there are many other, more serious instances where I don't understand why I feel and think the way I do.

But even when I do not understand myself, my Creator does.  How comforting is that? I don't know why I can't just trust Him... But He does.  And because He understands, I know He knows how to help me.  Sometimes I don't know what to do about the problem because I don't know why I feel that way.  But He can fix the problem, because He understands my heart.

Humans have this need to feel understood... Think about how many times have you heard someone say about their significant other, "He just gets me..." While it is important for me to feel understood by Nick, I need to remember that the Creator of the universe already understands me better than anyone else ever will.

Wednesday, November 10


This semester, I am taking American Sign Language at the local community college.  This has definitely not been the blow off course you would think it would be considering where I am taking it.  I have already learned so much in the past 3 months.  In order to complete the course, each student is required to go into the Deaf community five different times for at least 1.5 hours each time.  I have been to two different Deaf churches and then a community/living center for Deaf senior citizens.  I went to the community center twice, because there, you actually sit and have conversations with the residents.  It is very interactive.  They are so kind and are sure to sign slow enough so I can understand, and they ask over and over again if I get what they are saying.  Most of the time it takes two or three tries, but I am definitely learning! I wish that my other foreign language courses had required something like this, because there is nothing like entering into a community where you are forced to communicate using the language you are learning.  And there is nothing like signing something wrong and having someone laugh at your efforts.
We are also required to spend at least 20 hours in lab.  This lab is run by Deaf instructors, and there is a strict no voice policy.  I definitely learn more in lab than I do in class, and it is supposed to be that way.

Now, you might be wondering to yourself, "Self, why is she taking ASL?"  Well, that is a great question!  I want to be a clinical psychologist for children, especially those who have experienced trauma or neglect.  Many Deaf children face a form of trauma because they are unable to communicate and participate fully in the world around them.  Many hearing parents refuse to learn sign language and are not able to talk to their Deaf children.  If a Deaf child goes to a public school, they may have some friends and teachers who can talk to them, but for the most part, they go through the day without communicating with many people.  Just imagine having to go through every single day without being able communicate efficiently with those around you.  And not only can you not communicate, but so many pieces of life slip through without notice because you can't hear.

Because of this, many Deaf children suffer from depression and anger issues.  They are trapped inside their heads with hardly anyone who is able to help.  They need counselors and psychologists just like regular children do.  But most of the time, they have to bring an interpreter with them.  It's hard enough to tell your struggles, worries, and problems to a health care professional without a stranger standing in the room listening.  But many Deaf clients are required to tell their problems to an interpreter who is hired for the job.  Even the highest assurance of confidentiality does not make this easy or comfortable.  I want to be able to eliminate the middle man. Deaf children can feel safer talking directly to me.  Deaf parents with hearing children can feel more comfortable because I can talk to them directly instead of using an interpreter or their children to communicate.

Ultimately, I hope that learning ASL expands the pool of clients I am able to help.  So many psychologists are able to help hearing children.  I want to be able help both the hearing and the Deaf.

Tuesday, November 9

Google Calendar

I just wanted to take a moment to blog about a little gadget I have recently come to love.

 Now, I have loved Gmail, Google Documents, and Google Reader for years now, but I have only recently tried Google Calendars.
It is very similar to iCal on my mac, which I LOVE. But there are some key differences/additions that have gotten me hooked.
1. I can pull this up on any computer as long as I have internet. My iCal is great because I don't need internet, but I have to have my computer.  If I am at work or on a campus computer, I am out of luck. But Google Calendars is accessible anywhere, even on slow old PCs.
2. It has an awesome Tasks List. 

 I am a list maker. I love lists. Sticky notes with lists. Everywhere. The best part of a list is that you get to cross something off when you are done.  Yes, I am one of those people who will just write something down so I can cross it off.  In the summer of 2009, when I was working in the main office at camp, Jason had a huge list written on the board in his office.  Above it said, "Haley's List."  I worked very hard to get things done on this list.  But Jason never let me cross anything off! He would always do it himself.  He said that it was his list, so he got to get the joy of a job completed.  I don't really know what is fair about this, but lets just say it forced me to work with the intrinsic motivation I already had instead of for the extrinsic reward of crossing things off a list. Or maybe I am just being a little dramatic.  He still rewarded me with Sonic.
Anyway, this list maker is awesome and super easy to use! When you check something off, it is checked AND the words get crossed out! Amazing! Your tasks also show up on the calendar if you give them a due date.
3. I can share my calendars with anyone. 
Nick and I can both have our calendars in the same place.  This is definitely one thing we can't really do with iCal.  I like it because we can see what we have going on, and it helps avoid conflicting schedules.  

That is all. If you don't already use Google Reader, you should look into that now. And I would suggest checking out the Calendar feature while you are at it.

Thursday, November 4

they're here!

 Well, we got our 2 other portraits in the mail from Walgreens today!!! I love these!!

 This one is the same size as the one we got before... 12X12

This one is a little bigger... I want to say 16X20

An angled one so you can get an idea of the size...

What do you think? I love them!

Tuesday, November 2

Modern Bird Studios

So recently, I have become obsessed with Modern Bird Studios

They make awesome art like the portrait above.  I would love to have one of me and Nick done.

Anyway, Inspire Me Baby is currently having a Modern Bird Studios giveaway right now.  You should go check it out!

Thursday, October 28

Walgreens Canvas

So, if you know me, you know that I love pictures. They are all over my room.

Well, Nick and I had talked about getting a couple of our engagement pictures put on canvas, but it is pretty expensive.

The other day, Walgreens had a special where you could get $10 off  a photo purchase greater than $20.  I stumbled upon their canvas options and decided to try it out.  I ordered the 12X12, because that is the smallest that we wanted them, and I chose a picture that we love but weren't planning on using for the wedding.  I didn't want it to end up being really crappy quality but still feel like I needed to use it since I had paid for it. 

First of all, their canvases are already much cheaper than what I could find before.  For the size we ordered, a typical price is around $60.  The original price for the Walgreens version was $35, plus I had the coupon!

Well, I must say, I am pretty pleased with the quality! And for half the price, I think it was worth it!

I hope to order the other two pretty soon!

Tuesday, October 26

Love Is

Well, I have added 2 canvases to my Love Is collection.

I chose this translation because it is more of a literal reminder for me, personally. I can more easily catch myself demanding my own way than being self-seeking. Also, being irritable covers more than being easily angered. It's easy to say, "Oh, I'm not getting angry... I'm just upset." But getting irritated is the same as getting upset.

Anyone have any suggestions for the next few?

Thursday, October 21

2 months. 2 weeks. 2 days.

In 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days, I am moving to a town with an estimated population of 18,438 people. There is no Target, no Starbucks, no Chick-fil-a. The only sit-down major chain restaurants are Denny's and Applebees.

Now, this might not seem like a big deal. But let me paint a picture for you. I grew up in a "town" with an estimated population of 273,611 people. This town has around 20 Starbucks, 2 Targets, and 4 Chick-Fil-As. It is part of a metroplex with an estimated population of 6,447,615 people. When I went to college, I moved to a town of 126,217 people. This place was considered small and lame to most of its college inhabitants. I spent my summers in outside a town of 83,650 people. So basically, this is a big deal, people.

While it kind of freaks me out that a Target will now be a special event place instead of where I go when I get homesick or bored, I am still really excited about starting my new life such a new way.

Reason #1:

I mean, look at him. He's adorable. As much as I love skype, I can't wait to get to hang out with my best friend every day in real life.

Reason #2:
The weather.

This is partially true, and partially a fear. I am going to be there in the dead of winter. It snows there. A lot. Like, it's normal. I am excited because it is a change. Maybe I will like the cold weather! And I also love the clothes that go along with cold weather.

Reason #3:
New adventures.

As much as I am going to miss Common Grounds and IKEA and Target, I am excited to create new adventures with my soon-to-be husband! Everything will be new for me so I will just have to drop my expectations and get ready to learn.

Reason #4:
New friends.

Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I do not make friends quickly. But once I make them, I keep them. Being in Rolla will be a challenge for me, because I will only there for about the same time that it takes me to make friends. Ha. So, if I want to have any friends besides Nick and the 3 other guys I know, I am going to have to be vulnerable. Obviously, I want to have community with some of the girls who go to Nick's school. I know this is going to be difficult and painful for me but I am excited to jump in.

So, with that said, please keep in contact with me when I move. Skype is great. So is the phone. I am also a fan of written letters. :)

2 months, 2 weeks, 2 days...

Monday, October 18

He is jealous for me

I had a little fun last night making some simple art with some supplies I already had laying around the house. It's inspired by the song, "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan. Another pretty popular version is by David Crowder* Band. Check out their awesome music video for the song HERE.

Anyway, I just took a few minutes to put this together... You can't tell from the picture that the music pages are more of an ivory color rather than the same color as the sketch paper... I loved it when I put it in the red frame... it's hanging on the wall outside my room now.

Thursday, October 14

just a great picture...

I mean come on, this is totally a framer.

Wednesday, October 13

*Phone rings*
I answer.

Me: "Halllooo Pooh!"
Nick: "Hallllooo Piglet!"

He gets me.

Tuesday, October 12

1330 miles from my lobster. aka Blair. dumb.

Monday, October 11

Wait... what!?

I am so confused... what is "BOBS" even supposed to stand for? hahah what the heck. I can't wait to see how this goes.

Thursday, September 30

New recipes

Last week, I tried out some new recipes! They are both Pioneer Woman recipes, and I would have to say they tasted pretty good. I love her recipes because I can see step by step pictures. They are really easy to follow and I can tell if I am on the right track.

The first was this tiramisu recipe. Let me tell you. This recipe just about killed me. So many things went wrong... First, I couldn't find the cooking wine or the ladyfingers at the store. Then, I over whipped the heavy whipping cream so it was chunky. Then, my sister over stirred the cheese, causing it to become liquid and chunks... lovely. Fortunately, it still tasted delicious!

The second was this bread recipe. Oh-my-gosh. This is the best bread ever. I followed the instructions and cut it into small slices, and it was perfect. I used Italian bread instead of French bread, and there was no way I could fit all of the butter on it. But I still made sure it was covered. And it was amazing.

Do you have any recipes you have tried out lately? Nick loves to cook so hopefully when we are married we will be trying out a ton of new recipes together!

Sunday, September 26

"Live. And Live Well.

BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now.

On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.

If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE.

Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.

If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.

Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.

If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own.

If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well.

At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift."

Kyle Lake

Thursday, September 16

Family Tree

I had to do a presentation in sign language on my "family tree" the other day. This is the slide I brought. We could only do 4 people, so I chose the siblings! The presentation went pretty well... It's fun getting better at sign language, because I am starting to be able to have small conversations... sweet!

Look at what I found!

Everyone loves Etsy... I love finding super cute stuff there... Here is the latest etsy shop I found.

Volume Twenty Five

They have the cutest art! Here are some of my favorites:

Wednesday, September 15

Waco Arts Initiative

One of my favorite programs in Waco:

Learn more about Waco Arts Initiative HERE and HERE.

Monday, September 13

(Photo by Bakerella)

I reaaaallly want to try out this recipe I found on Bakerella. They look DELISH.

My last 10 iTunes purchases

1. God of This City-- Chris Tomlin
2. Mystery-- Charlie Hall
3. Like a Lion-- David Crowder
4. Revelation Song-- Kari Jobe
5. Come Thou Fount, The Dress Looks Nice On You, Chicago, and Enchanting Ghost-- Sufjan Stevens
6. Eternal Flame-- The Bangles
7. Show Me, Restless, and For Love of You-- Audrey Assad
8. Anything for You and The Lucky Ones-- Brendan James
9. Try, Nonfiction Love Song, July & June, and Songbird-- Jillian Edwards
10. Our Kind of Love and American Honey-- Lady Antebellum

More about some of these artists to come at a different time.

Have a stellar week! And go check some of these out!

Sunday, September 12

3 Children's Books

I love children's books. I love reading them and collecting them. One of my life goals is to write a children's book. My favorite kind is one that is considered a book for a child, but is so well written that it appeals to adults, too. Not only does it appeal to adults, but it draws them in to the worlds that they haven't visited since "growing up."

There is no way that this is a top 3 list. I couldn't do it, I love too many too much. However, this is a list of 3 books that I can't wait to read to my children. I think everyone should read them, regardless of how old. They are brilliant, regardless of whether a person reads them to himself, or out loud to others. I think every library should contain these three books.

1. You Are Special by Max Lucado.

This has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. It is a great story that shows how great the Creator's love is for us, His creation. Every child needs to know that he or she is special. My favorite line is, "Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes." It's so simple, but so powerful. It is also a great book to read to groups of girls to discuss self-image issues. It can be used as a powerful tool to show the importance of seeing yourself how God sees you, instead of how others see you.
When I was a counselor at Pine Cove, I read this book to my girls every Sunday night before lights out. Sometimes I wouldn't have time to finish, and they would be so anxious to get into bed on Monday night so we could continue reading. They loved both the story and discussing the meaning afterward.

2. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I could probably talk about this book for hours. Of course, most are familiar with the story. But that doesn't make it any less amazing. We read this book in my "Classics in Children's Literature" class my last semester at Baylor, and the discussions made me love it even more than I already did. The symbolism and literary style is so beautiful, and this is such a great book to read out loud. The themes of growing up and the imagination are portrayed in ways that most people never consider. If you haven't read this book in the past year, I really think you should go do that soon. And then lay it somewhere accessible and read it to anyone who will listen.

3. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

If you have never read this book, I need you to stop what you are doing right now and go read it. Milne was a genius on so many levels. First, this book is great to read out loud. Since he originally came up with these bedtime stories by telling them to his son, Christopher Robin, they are captivating and creative when heard. Second, these stories are written creatively, utilizing methods that a child would use if he or she were writing a story. Because they are so simple, they can be read by beginners. But they are also intelligent, which enables them to entertain more advanced readers at any age. Third, the pictures are so cute, and add to the stories so well. I want to just frame different pictures from this book and hang them on my walls.
When we read this for our Children's Lit class, my roommates and I spent two nights reading the stories out loud to each other. We each had different characters with different voices, and it got pretty hilarious. It is definitely one of my favorite memories from my senior year.

I hope that you have had the opportunity to read these books. If you haven't, then go find them from the library or Half Price Books and get started! And don't rely on the Disney movies to provide proper entertainment. They definitely do not suffice when compared to the books.

Have a great day!!

Saturday, September 11

Waco, Texas: Food Edition

I miss Waco a lot. If you had asked me three years ago if I would miss Waco when I left, I would have said absolutely not. I loved Baylor, and I loved parts of Waco, but I was never attached to the town. But as I spent 4 years there, it grew on me. Working at Talitha Koum sealed the deal: I love Waco. In case you are ever there, here is a list of places you need to go:

1. Common Grounds-- Great coffee, great atmosphere, need I say more? When you go, I would suggest getting Cowboy Coffee, a 254, or a Summer Sparkler. The Arnold Palmers and frozen flavored coffee drinks are amazing too.

2. Health Camp-- This was my first favorite place in Waco. My family would always go there during trips to Waco when I was younger. It's a super old burger place, and it is DELICIOUS. Get whatever you want, just make sure you try the tator tots... Best tots ever.

3. Bush's Chicken-- Bush's has the best chicken strips for the best price. It's better than Chicken Express, and I will stand by that statement. The tea is better, too, and a lot cheaper.

4. Mr. Snow-- Mr. Snow's sno cones are amazing, and so much cheaper than the ones from Bahama Bucks... Wedding cake with cream is my personal favorite.

5. George's Bar and Grill-- George's is another place we would go to as a family after games when I was little. It's famous for its chicken fried steak, and has been known to occasionally feed President George W. Bush. It was also immortalized in the country song, "College," by Pat Green, who, although did not go to Baylor, did grow up in Waco.

6. Kitok's Restaurant-- Who knew Asian food and hamburgers went so well together?! This place is so random and so hilarious. I would recommend getting a cheeseburger and oriental fries. You have to get the oriental fries, that is not even an option.

7. Katie's Custard-- Katie's is a great place used by Baylor students for many different occasions. I must admit that I like Andy's better, but this isn't a blog about Tyler... Katie's still has great custard with a ton of options.

While there are a ton of other great local places to eat in Waco, these are definitely some great choices. I hope you get to visit Waco soon and try out some of these places.

Friday, September 10

Prayer Requests

Hello friends!

I was wondering if you could join me in praying for a couple of things.

The first is for discipline. I am really struggling with remaining disciplined and having the urge to get things done. From Scripture reading to GRE studying to just keeping my room clean, I definitely need some work. Please pray that God teaches me to be disciplined in my tasks so that I can give all glory to God and do everything with excellence. It's hard to perform excellently when you just don't care.

The second is for a beautiful girl named Ellia. Ellia is the three-year-old daughter of Brett and Chris, the chaplains who lived in my dorm freshman year. She is absolutely hysterical and so cute, and her parents are pretty awesome too. Last year, a virus attacked her muscles, causing her to be in severe pain and remain in the hospital for special care. Today, she started experiencing similar symptoms again, and has been admitted into the ICU. Please pray for her and her family!

Thanks, guys! Yall are awesome!

Thursday, September 9

blogs of the day

As I sit in my 3 hour class and listen to my professor go off on completely random tangents in an effort to make himself sound awesome, I am going to write about three recent blogs I have enjoyed. The first is a singular blog post and the final two are blogs as a whole.

1. The Pioneer Woman-- Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging.
- I have been challenged by this blog, for sure! She gives different ways to help develop your blogging skills, and I can't wait to apply them to mine.

2. Young House Love
- I stumbled upon this blog yesterday, and I am IN LOVE. I have tagged so many ideas for our wedding and for art projects. Some of my favorite sections are Projects, House Tour, Art We Heart, and DIY Decor. I love it all, really... This couple is uber creative and uber cute.

3. Kevin East
- Kevin, better known as "Opee" to those Pine Covers, is a relatively new blogger. I encourage anyone who reads this blog to check his out. He has chosen some great things to write about. Some of my favorite posts are, "Tough Conversations: With Your Child," "What Every Child Should Hear From His Parents," "What Does Excellence Look Like?" and, "Fostering: When The Music Fades."

I hope you check out these blogs and maybe learn something in the process.

Thanks for reading!

To do for the weekend:
- Write a paper for Sign Language
- Go to Sign Language lab
- Go to the zoo (hope it doesn't storm)
- Go to Taste of Downtown Plano (hope it doesn't storm)
- Study for a Sign Language quiz
- Run

Friday, August 27

He's the King

Recently, I made this:

It was inspired by my favorite quote from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
I love this because it is such a great reminder that God is omnipotent, completely and fully powerful and just. He is also Love, and fully good.

Wednesday, August 11

Love is not proud

The next part of the verse is "Love is not proud." I wanted to do a male peacock because they seem like proud creatures to me... and I just thought it would look cool. :)
This is definitely not my favorite... I still like my owl one the best. I am trying to decide if I should outline each feather with black like I did the body. Any thoughts?

Love is not proud: We all know the sting of someone else's prideful words, but we often don't notice when we ourselves are being prideful. After reading Matthew Henry's Commentary and Henry Drummond's The Greatest Thing in the World, I came to an interesting conclusion. Love forgets itself. Drummond describes humility as, "To put a seal upon your lips and forget what you have done." I cannot truly love when I love myself and my accomplishments more than others.

I will be joyful in God my Savior!

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
-Habakkuk 3:17-18-

Saturday, August 7

short update

Hello! We got our final addition of engagement pictures back! Check them out HERE.

Summer is finally coming to a close and I cannot believe how fast it went. Now, to find a job!

I get to hang out with some kids at a local baseball camp this week and I am super pumped.

More to come later!

Friday, July 30

Wedding blog

Hello. You should follow our wedding blog.
Click here to check it out!
You can find ramblings, ideas, wedding party info, and registry info.

Monday, July 26

Texas on my mind

So, I have been in Missouri for the past week, and will be here for another week and a half, but here are some things we have done:

- Ate at Lambert's, home of the throwed roll. It makes me cringe to write out "throwed," but that's how they spell it, so I will stay true.

- Made cake balls and ranch pretzels

- Explored downtown Columbia, Mizzou, and saw Inception!

- Visited Nick's family in Kansas City and wandered around the Plaza with one of his close friends.

- Played in the grass in front of the capitol building as the sun set.

- Had a campfire complete with mosquitoes and s'mores.

- Covered a canvas with paint swatches.

- Tried to learn how to skate board. I must say, I improved greatly in the short time I tried.

- Completed Crazy Birds on our iPhones.

Tomorrow, we are going to go on a mullet search. Wednesday, we are going to the lake! I have been reading Jane Eyre during quiet moments, thanks to the free BookReader app!

Friday, July 9

Shake it like a polaroid picture

I love polaroid pictures. Too bad the film is so expensive.

Tuesday, June 29

1 Corinthians 13

So, I started a new project. I am painting 1 Corinthians 13 phrase by phrase on different canvases... This will take me a while since I don't have money just to spend on canvases all at once. But these are the ones I got done today:

The cloud in the first and bird in the last are made out of fabric. The owl one is my favorite.

This verse has always been a favorite. I want to use it in our wedding, and at first, I was against this idea because it seemed cliche... but then I realized, "Since when did God's Word become cliche?" This words are so practical and so beautiful at the same time. It has become an important verse to me and Nick as we have been learning what it means to not only love each other but love others too.
My first friend at Coram Deo Academy, the lovely Mollie, used to always quote a phrase that applied to the situation when we were in 7th and 8th grade. While Mollie had a huge influence on my life in many ways, this is definitely something I will never forget about her. We would be sitting at lunch, dealing with silly middle school drama, and she would say, "Oh, he is so aggravating... but love is not easily angered..." And we would move on. Or she would be telling me a story of her siblings (she has a lot), and instead of staying upset she would say, "But love is patient and kind..." Her example really encouraged me to do the same.

Love is patient: Another word for patient here is long suffering. It's so easy to be patient with someone when they aren't doing anything wrong. It's when they are hurtful, mean, or annoying that it gets hard. I think that word "long suffering" is perfect because it is a reminder that love is not always easy.

Love is kind: Matthew Henry says that this is another word for bountiful. Love is not only being patient with someone but actually actively overflowing with kindness. Someone who is kind is not just polite. He or she is eager to do good.

Love does not envy: I like the way Matthew Henry puts it in his commentary, so I will just quote him: "It is not grieved at the good of others; neither at their gifts nor at their good qualities, their honours not their estates. If we love our neighbour we shall be so far from envying his welfare... that we shall share in it and rejoice at it."

Love does not boast: When we love others, we lift them up, not ourselves. It is so easy to make life all about me, but if I am truly going to love like Jesus loves, then I will spend more time and more words building others up than making myself look good.

Well, that is all I have for now. I will post more when I finish them.

Today, I attended Watermark's Young Adult service. First, there were more people there than go to UBC. Second, I am in love with that church building. I don't think that's a very good reason to go to a church, if by itself, but oh my goodness. They also gave me a cookie and it was delicious.

To do list for tomorrow:
- Get my ring cleaned (still)
- Check my mail 300 times
- Clean out my closet
- Finish moving into my room


Monday, June 28

I decided to pull out the old Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible today. Let me tell ya, that thing is huge. It was a gift from Coram Deo when I graduated from high school, and I haven't used it much.
Recently, I decided to study Proverbs 31:10-31, verse by verse. Honestly, it is difficult for me to understand all of the commentary... there are so many words. But if I find something interesting, I will write about it here.

Today's verse:
Proverbs 31:10-- Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. (New Living Translation)
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (King James Version)

First of all, did you know that the 22 verses about being a virtuous woman are in alphabetical order according to the Hebrew alphabet? How cool is that?! I really wish I knew Hebrew instead of Latin or Greek... Or I guess maybe as well as Latin and Greek.

Anyway, I find the translation of virtuous so cool here. Henry says that this word also means "a woman of strength." Also, "it is the same word that is used in the character of good judges..."

As a growing, Godly woman and a future wife, I should be living in strength, not fear. I should stand firm upon my principles because "a virtuous woman is a woman of resolution" (according to the commentary).

This is all for tonight. I addressed half of the save the dates tonight! Now waiting for the other half to be delivered...

Tomorrow's to do list:
- Deposit a check
- Get my ring cleaned
- Paint
- Check the mail 300 times to see if I got any checks or letters from Nick
- See Toy Story 3 again with Clay, Etienne, Callie, and the grandparents
- Attend Watermark's young adult group with Hannah
- Wear my AWESOME hat that I got in Austin

be still

"At the beginning of the day, let all distractions and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to him whom our whole life belongs." -- Life Together, Dietrich Bonnhoeffer

Ode to Rachel

Every now and then, I like to write about specific people in my life. I have featured my Pappa and my Caleb.
As a side note, I just read through a bunch of different entries trying to find those... I love rereading old blog posts. I read the one describing my experience with the flu and laughed out loud... I was so miserable...Anyway, back to Rachel. Just as a fyi, this is long.

Let's go back four years and 1.5 months ago. I am sitting at my friend Josh's house, checking my email, and FINALLY get the one I have been waiting for: my housing assignment. I see that my roommate now has a name, so naturally I look her up on facebook to put a face with the name. We talk on facebook and aim, figure out rooming necessities and discuss life. Honestly, we didn't have much in common at the time. She loved band and ballet, I loved softball and gymnastics. She loved classical music, I didn't just listen to classical music often. She had a boyfriend, I didn't. She was spending her summer taking classes and in marching band, I was going to be at Pine Cove. However, we did both love Grey's Anatomy. And we had the same Baylor orientation week in June.

I still remember standing in the lobby by the door into Waco Hall, looking at the girl I was about share a room with for 9 months. We hugged (ha!) and talked and everything seemed great. Our parents became instant bffs. While we were in special student sessions and taking entrance exams, they were talking about our accomplishments. I got to hear all about Rachel's study skills from my dad. I was glad that my roommate would at least like to study so I could study too.

Then, our parents had us take a picture. After visiting our dorm room, they made us stand outside the door and take a picture. It was uber awkward. I really love this picture now because it is so funny. The other day, Rachel's mom mentioned it to me after Rach's wedding. She said, "I still remember you guys standing for that picture with unsure faces thinking, 'Is this going to work out?'"
August came around and we both moved in. My 18th birthday was the 2nd day of welcome week. I cried. But Rachel gave me an awesome Grey's Anatomy poster. I had a few very close high school friends who were also at Baylor, so I spent most of those first few weeks with them. I was trying to find a balance between living life as a college student, staying friends with my high school bffs, and keeping in touch with my baby ruth sisters. Rachel and I did not spend a lot of time outside the dorm together at first, but it was a good speed, for me, at least. We walked to classes together, and talked about homework and boys (hah let's be honest, HER boy) and home. I still remember her face and the pang of regret in my heart when I told her I dropped chemistry (8:00 class of terror) and she replied with, "NOO! YOU CAN'T ABANDON ME!"

By the time November came around, I was starting to feel more comfortable in the dorm. This may seem like a long time for others, but for me, it was right on time. And then, our home flooded. That was some definite bonding. This picture is disgusting but just imagine both of us getting little sleep and having to clean out our rooms due to standing water everywhere. Also, notice Rachel's nerd shirt.

In December, we took our first classic picture. I don't even remember what we were driving back from, but oh my gosh this picture is so funny. For years we have tried to replicate it, but nothing can beat the original.

Second semester solidified the friendship, with NY Times collecting and decorating, Grey's Anatomy watching, late night laughing, music sharing, midnight ice cream eating, and Cove toilet paper stealing. And of course taking care of our pets. There was Jack the Bean, from my salad, Rasputin the Roach, from Rachel's drawer, and Puff the Dragon from the pipes above us. Rachel sat there beside me as I murdered my computer, Bobby, and stared in horror as I freaked out about it. I was there when her computer stopped working, and I stared in horror at her as she completely melted down. Here are just a few other pics from freshman year:Taken in February, an effort to replicate our original

Our collection of New York TimesCleaning our bathroom during finals week

Sophomore year came along and she lived in the same dorm and I moved to an apartment. But I still spent many many nights sitting on her bed or laying on her floor doing homework and laughing when delirium hit. We both had different struggles and pain, but the bond remained. We sat together during Dr. Null's Social World first semester or groaned together during large group Social World second semester. And my camera broke so there weren't very many pictures...

Sophomore year efforts to replicate our 2 originals

Late night studying at 7th and James

Junior year came and weird housing situations put us back in the same room once again, but this time, off campus. I really believe that God used my failed efforts of other things to put us back in the same place.

This year involved a lot of StuFu for me and APO for her. It was full of hard classes and bed bugs and crying and Friends and doctors appointments and the flu. We played dress up and made some awesome music videos.

We retook our door picture on Rachel's 21st birthday
We were both up super early to be in the largest collegiate parade in the nation for homecoming!

And then my roomie got engaged. And I screamed. And we had a party.
And replicated our original picture, of course.

And then senior year came along, even though we never thought it would. We lived together again in the same room. I think having an actual roommate creates an unique type of vulnerability. Over the 3 years we shared a room, I had spent more time with her than anyone else. I had trouble sleeping when I came home because I wasn't used to being in a room by myself. I always had someone to talk to and laugh with and share stories with. If something happened with Nick, she knew, even if I didn't tell her. If something happened with anyone else, she knew. I trusted her more than anyone else at Baylor, because she had proven her trustworthiness time and time again for years.

Senior year was full of bearobics and Glee and sociology and children's literature and Harry Potter. She planned a wedding, and I got engaged. We enjoyed new things but also reminisced about old times. We played in the snow and watched Baylor win basketball games.

First day of classes for senior year, second semester
Last day of college

And then we graduated. And moved out. And our time as roommates came to an end after four years.
So we went back to our door and took a picture.

And then, my roommate got married. It was beautiful and perfect. And now she has a new roomie.

I have been so blessed by Rachel and her willingness to put up with me for 4 years! :) I love you SO much, roomie! I can't wait to go back to that door and take a picture by it at homecomings in future years. You are a rockstar, and my life would suck without you.