Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Left My Heart in Texas

It's been a big year, friends. I have been stretched, challenged, molded, and blessed throughout the course of these past ten months. When I moved to Tennessee to take a First Grade teaching job at a  Title 1 school, I was taking a big jump. I didn't know people here and had no connection to the area other than this is where I felt the Lord wanted me to be. And from where I stand now, I still see it the same way. This is exactly where I needed to be for how long I needed to be. This first year out of college has been a breakout year, a year to be independent and jump into teaching feet first with no reservations. He was faithful in his provision of solid community, good friends, and a school that has refined and encouraged me.

Aside from all the ways this year has been great, it has also been challenging. Parts of this year have been a struggle and have felt rather defeating. It has been a very full year with never a boring moment. And it is because of this very busy and challenging year that I've come to realize I need to be closer to my family. Essentially, I don't want to waste any more time not being near them. My dad has always emphasized the importance of people and I've been lucky enough to see that importance manifest itself in my life in the past couple of years. People are important and I want to be as close as I can to those who are important to me.  So over this summer, after the close of this school year I'll be moving back to Texas. And as far as I can see, this is a permanent step: I have no future plans to move out of that great state's borders. It was a long, drawn out decision, but I am very content with it, and what's more I am very excited! The concept of being near family again is positively perfect! It's been five years since I've lived in the same city as my siblings and my parents and the thought of getting to see them on a regular basis is awesome. They'll be around, I'll be around, and I can see them whenever I want without having to sit on a stuffy plane for three hours. Woot woot! So here's to investing more into the people that we love.

So that's my news friends! Come July, I'll be returning to the promised land of the south. After five years of living life outside of Texas' borders, I am so looking forward to coming home.


And psssssssst...I'm currently hunting for a K-2 teaching job in the Dallas area, so if you have any connections or hear of anything, please don't hesitate to let me know! Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sweet Caroline

As it happens every year, my sister Caroline's birthday comes one day after my Mom's birthday! While Caroline's birthday is not a landmark like Mom's 60th, it's a birthday all the same which is ALWAYS a landmark! Caroline is the oldest sister in our family, and today she turns 25. Woohoo - halfway through the 20's!

Caroline has always been a source of inspiration - she is goal oriented, focused, and tenacious. She is without a doubt one of the most uniquely passionate people I have ever met. She's taught me much about determination, self-confidence, and independence. I have loved watching her navigate her passions, working hard to find her niche and rocking it once she did. Caroline has undoubtedly the coolest job of anyone I know - she is a stage manager for various theater shows and spends her years traveling the country on tour. She's worked with several shows over the years and been to just about every city in the U.S. She's been touring for about four years now, and I still can't get over how cool her life is. She's getting paid to travel. That's the dream, y'all.

So Caroline, I am so proud of you pursuing your dream and leading the wonderful life that you do! The very happiest of birthdays to you and thanks for all the love and advice over our years of sisterhood and friendship. Cheers to you and all the fun that's still to come!


Monday, February 16, 2015


I tried to come up with a clever, catchy, inside joke title, something that would provoke tenderness, familiarity, and that "awwww" factor. Something that would give you some insight to how much I love my Mom, all that she's done for me, and how much I think she should be celebrated. But really, there's nothing that does that better than just that singular name. We all have that soft spot in our hearts for the word Mom. We all know the tenderness, the devotion, the love that is linked with a Mom.

My mom turns 60 today and I know that this is going to be her best decade yet. So I wanted to take a little time to celebrate her tonight. I can't be in Dallas for the actual party, so I'm going to celebrate her from where I am now, sitting on my couch, apartment-bound thanks to the sheets of ice building up outside. Now I'm not complaining: I celebrated her all day today since school was cancelled, and I'll celebrate her all day tomorrow since school's cancelled then too!

So, let's take a minute to talk about my Mama. That sweet, soft-spoken, kind-eyed, lovely lady who I've had the pleasure of knowing for 22 years. She is most certainly a woman of the South: loving, respectful, hospitable. But she is also a woman of the Lord: pursuing Him and pursuing her family so that we might pursue Him as well. She is intentional with her time, serving and loving others. She pours into so many lives, so richly. I am so proud of how she guides and loves those around her. She raised us in a home that I wouldn't trade for the world. I can only hope my home might be a sliver of what it was. My mom is my friend, my supporter, and my enabler (in the best way of course). She encourages me, she speaks reason into my life, and she helps me believe that I really can do great things. Quite frankly she's just awesome.

Mom, I so look forward to all of the wonderful things that you have waiting for you in this decade and all the fantastic adventures we have left together. So cheers to that, Mama.

Way to go Mom. Thanks for loving us all so well. We love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014: A Year Unexpected

This past year has brought a lot of surprises, both good and bad. At the risk of sounding cheesy, there have been a lot of tears and a lot of laughter. I don't think it could have been more true for any other year up to this point in my life, this year has been crazay.

If 2014's slogan was "A Year Unexpected" its subtitle would be "Emotions are Close to the Surface."

Thankfully, the Christmas holiday has given me a good cap on a weird year. Two solid weeks home with the family was medicine for my worn-out heart. And the massive dose of football didn't hurt either. (Sidenote: seriously considering taking the plunge and buying a TV....just for the football.)

When I last talked to y'all Fall was in full swing and I was loving my job. If you're looking for the succinct update, here it is: Winter is in full swing and I am loving my job. Pretty simple. Unfortunately there's a lot more going on in my life than just that, and if you'd like to hear about it, stick around.

I was lucky enough to get to go home for Thanksgiving break, I've learned not to take those trips home for granted, they are warm and welcoming and far to rare. The big news on in November was not the moist Thanksgiving turkey, or the great Black Friday deals, but it was that one very sweet sister of mine GOT ENGAGED! She and her long time (3 years!) boyfriend are finally engaged and have set the date for May 30. Let me just tell y'all, it cannot come soon enough! We are all so stoked for Mary Catherine and Austin and it is a joy to see the joy they bring each other. Basically it's all just a joy. And we all need some joy, so I'm very thankful for it.

And thanks to this glorious news, we are full steam ahead in wedding planning. And friends, it is such a joy to plan with your best friend for such a wonderful thing. It is a blast getting to dream and talk and strategize for that big day which will kickstart their Christ-centered marriage. Everything is now infused with a little extra sparkle, a little extra excitement, all in anticipation of this new season of life. Being young is a blast, y'all. I wouldn't trade this season of life for anything, not anything.

Admittedly, I find that writing about these great joys and reflecting on the positives is making me smile even now, as I sit and wait for my delayed flight, glancing expectantly between paragraphs, looking for the time to get pushed back even more. But with such sweet people and such fun on the horizon, I can't help but smile like an idiot at the rest of the disgruntled travelers around me. Funny, huh?

The rest of 2014 chugged along like a persistent train, about to reach the crest of the hill and go barreling down at breakneck speeds in to the glorious blank page of a fresh year. It was not a continuously smooth climb, and there were definitely some obstacles that I'll explain sooner or later, but the point is it's gone. 2014: the year of graduating college and getting a job is gone. I'm now fully immersed with the masses in the working world.

And now friends, after a 2 hour delay, they are calling for me to board my flight. So I've got to run. Happy 2015 to you and yours.