"What are you thankful for, Thomas?" "For the leaves!...because they're so fuzzy!"

Happy [very late] Thanksgiving, y'all!

Thanksgiving break was a whirlwind of friends, family, thankfulness, traveling, hiking, laughing, eating, and even a little reading. My family and I spent Thanksgiving day enjoying endless delicious food and sharing reasons for being thankful (and watching tv) with some very dear friends. Then on Friday morning, we headed up to Kentucky to have some Thanksgiving with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. We stuffed ourselves again with turkey, greenbeans, pies, and all of that goodness. And then once more the next day.

Besides eating, the most exciting thing was an intense hiking adventure up in the woods on my grandfather's property. My parents, siblings, an aunt, some cousins, and I made our way up the almost-completely-vertical mountain, using trees and branches to pull ourselves up. When we finally reached the top, we stopped for a while at "Chimney Rock," the tall rock formation that (you guessed it) looks kind of like a chimney from a distance. It was a pretty warm day, but my dad couldn't help but make a fire underneath the rock. Too bad we didn't have marshmallows...

But the journey back down was the real adventure. My dad took us down a different side of the mountain because he thought it was "easier"... which meant that we ended up sliding the whole steep, muddy, tree-less way down. And we landed in a creek in the valley at the bottom. The stuff of memories? Yeah, I'd say so.

{Here's where I get to ramble about thankfulness}
Thanksgiving came and went in a fleeting, happy moment-- just like it does every year. But I'm more determined than ever to keep a thankful attitude on the other 364 days a year, not just on the one day that we are expected to be thankful. In our fast-paced society, it's so easy to focus on all the things that seem wrong or imperfect with our lives, and take for granted all of our many, many blessings. I'm ashamed to say it, but I find myself way too often thinking "I'll thank God later. But right now, there are too many things I need to ask God to help, fix, and get for me." Maybe you hear this all the time, or maybe you need to be reminded of it, but every single thing that is good is a gift from God, and we need to thank him for it! 

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." -James 1:17

If you have a couple minutes, please watch this video. It's really amazing. 
(If you don't understand it the first time, you might need to watch it again)

Thanksgiving Chair from Shift Worship on Vimeo.

There is so, infinitely much to be thankful for.


P.S. I planned to take pictures of all the amazing, beautiful Thanksgiving food, but I was too busy eating it... Sorry. ;)


a pleasant week and another birthday

Hey there, friends!

This past week has been uneventful for the most part. Friday was honoring our Veterans and enjoying a fun movie night. Saturday was a day trip to visit my grandpa in Tennessee. Sunday was church and a relaxing afternoon with some dear friends. Monday was Physics, Pre-Cal, cramming to complete all my work for class the next day, the new Hunger Games trailer (Ahhh!), and getting only five hours of sleep because of studying for an American literature test. Yesterday was three cups of coffee, my government, literature, English, and composition classes, and my whole class's dressing up in our Sunday-best to eat at Chick-fil-A. 

And today, is my sweet baby brother's fourth birthday. I know this sounds like what a mom would say, but he's growing up so fast!

I just love that little guy so, so much. :) 



a sister and her birthday

For the first eight years of my life, I had only brothers. I dreamt of how wonderful it would be to have a little sister. I could do her hair, and dress her up in girly dresses, and play with her, and share secrets with her, and teach her everything I know. And then, exactly eight years ago today, my wish came true. I can still perfectly remember waking up one morning to find that both my parents were gone. In their place was a babysitter who announced that they had gone to the hospital in the middle of the night and that I now had a tiny, adorable baby sister. Words could not express my excitement!

I could not have asked for a sweeter, funnier, smarter, more creative, more talented, more loving, more beautiful sister to call mine. Not to mention that she has curly golden hair like no other. :) Every day I can see how God is working in her life and fashioning her into the strong, beautiful, Godly young lady he wants her to be. 

I love you so very much, dearest Chloe! 

"She is far more precious than jewels...
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
~Proverbs 31:10b and 25-26

Many blessings!



weekend ramblings

Good to see you, my favorite people! 

It's been a pretty average week. Every week has its unpleasant parts, such as Drivers Ed. (even though I'm 16 and already had my permit for a year in SC... it's a long and upsetting story) and the stress and deadlines that accompany schoolwork. But it's the small, special, happy things that make a week memorable.

Like when I sip hot chocolate or hot tea while I work on school assignments. 

Like when I absentmindedly wander around outside. Embracing the last few leaves on the trees and contemplating the change from lovely Fall to icy but equally delightful Winter (while wearing my Toms, of course).

Like when I can't hold back a smile as I watch my little brother cry out in pure ecstasy while he flies back and forth on the rope swing.

How could you deny the joy in that little face [in the left corner]?
Like when I walk alongside my adorable baby cousin in a grassy field. He runs until he falls down, laughing, only to get up and keep running without a care in the world.

And like when my family spends a relaxing Sunday afternoon at Lake Lure, enjoying the perfect blue sky, clear, reflective water, picturesque mountains and trees, and colorful, lively little ducks. It's definitely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. 

Life is good. In a wonderful, sometimes strange, God-shows-his-beauty-through-even-the-smallest-things sort of way.




Hey there!

I've been thinking a lot about time lately.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." - Benjamin Franklin

"Time is of your own making; 
Its clock ticks in your head. 
The moment you stop thought
Time too stops dead."
-Angelus Silesius

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:15-16

Like a petal in the wind 
Flows softly by 
As old lives are taken 
New ones begin 
A continual chain 
Which lasts throughout eternity 
Every life but a minute in time 
But each of equal importance" 
-Cindy Cheney 

"Time is a dream ... a destroying dream;
It lays great cities in dust, it fills the seas;
It covers the face of beauty, and tumbles walls."
-Conrad Aiken

"O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!" -Psalm 39:4-5

Time is a precious gift from God. It is my prayer that I not waste it by complaining, always being in a hurry, over-complicating things, and living for myself. Instead, I want to glorify God and proclaim the Gospel every day, in all that I do.

So long, lovely friends!



these are a few of my favorite (and not so favorite) things

Hello dear friends!

I have many favorite things. Here are a few of them (thirty-one to be exact):

*Note, the pictures in the post were not taken by me.

1. Coffee. Perfect for pulling all-nighters, staying awake in class, or just drinking to enjoy. :)
2. Watching scary movies late at night with my dad and Benjamin.
3. Hot tea. A typical day for me includes at least one cup of coffee and one or two cups of hot tea.

4. Capturing special moments via camera.
5. Infinitely quotable movies. (Napolean Dynamite or Toy Story anyone?)
6. Popcorn. I eat it every night without fail. Even with braces.
7. Fall. If you read my second post you'll know why. :)
8. Christmas music.
9. Sweaters.

10. British accents.
11. Snow. Enough said.
12. Hugging my three year old brother and asking him about his day.
13. Letters. As in the legit kind that come in the mail. :)

14. Friends I've had for forever.
15. Making new friends!
16. Stress-free days that include pajamas, hot tea, and a really good book.

17. Jumping in leaves.
18. Playing board games on a rainy day.

19. Feeling victorious and accomplished after conquering a nearly impossible math problem. Success!
20. Wrapping Christmas presents.
21. Taking long hikes.
22. Warm gloves.
23. Sleeping in late.
24. Laughing...a lot.
25. Apple pie.

26. Hugging a stuffed animal when I feel like crying.
27. Being encouraged.
28. Listing my favorite things.
29. Chocolate.
30. Burt's Bees chapstick.
31. The Hunger Games. 

Of course, there are also a handful of things that are not my favorite. Here's a list I've compiled of things worth disliking:

1. Physics.
2. Cockroaches. *shiver*
3. Sharks.
4. Failing tests.
5. Very early mornings.
6. Clowns.
7. Being depressed.
8. Pop quizzes. 
9. Mushrooms.
10. Screamo music.
11. My whole family getting the flu the week of Christmas.
12. Drivers Ed.

I hope your week is full of smiling, loving, and answered prayers!