Friday, December 30, 2011


What I learned in 2011 and hope to remember in 2012.
1.  Never give up on something you think is a passion of yours. 
2.  Never let one person define your self-worth in your career.
3.  You’re stronger than you think. 
4.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel; it may just be a very long tunnel at times.
5.  Relationships aren’t easy and sometimes the unexpected happens. But whatever is meant to be, will be.
6.  You can’t plan out your life and expect it to work perfectly.  God does that for you.  Timing is everything.  Trust in him always.
7.  Chocolate can be considered medicine or therapy.
8.  You can do what seems impossible if you work hard enough for it.  Set a goal and be determined.
9.  Your family will always be there for you and tell you the honest truth (like it or not).
10.  Good friends are what make life worthwhile.  Make your friends a priority.
11.  Be grateful for every opportunity and try to learn something from it.  No matter if it was a good or bad one...  there’s a reason you experienced it.
12.  Don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture.  Take everything one day at a time and appreciate that you have each day. 

Here's to a new year FULL of wonderful possibilities... hoping there are more ups than downs.  Wishing each of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


New Years Resolutions... a do or a don't?  I think as long as they are practical - then why not?

Here's my list for the upcoming year:

1.  Find a church home in Charlotte.
2.  Volunteer more.
3.  Get toned arms/strength train more.
4.  Be more spontaneous.
5.  Tithe 10% of every paycheck.
6.  Beat my half-marathon PR (maybe under 1:50?)
7.  Make more time for friends.

7 is a lucky number.... so maybe that is a perfect list that will create success with my goals.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do What You Want

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway."  - Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my biggest flaws is caring too much about what others think.  I have to concentrate on what makes me happy and what I want... not what others tell me I should think, do, or want.  Life is not perfect, but when something comes up that you really want and believe to be right - you should go for it.  That's my philosophy, event when it comes to forgiveness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

He Listens

Let me tell you soomething about the big man upstairs... you talk, you do what he asks of you, then he listens and he helps/provides you with what you need.  I am so glad the big guy and I are friends.  This year he has proven to me that he wants to listen, he wants to help, and he wants to show me his love.  He got me out of a bad situation and into a great one.  I am so excited that I am able to stay at the school I currently work at for the remainder of the year.  As of Monday, I have a NEW part-time job since the other teacher will be returning - yeah, I freaked about the part-time thing too.  Part-time means PART of the pay... but it seems as though things are falling into place.  I have had more babysitting, tutoring, and other job requests/offers all in the past TWO days than in the past TWO months.  Thank you Lord for listening, helping, providing, and loving me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Things That Make Me ME

So as I was reading one of those "20 Things You Don't Know About Me" articles in People the other day... it got me thinking.  What would I put on there if I actually became famous one day? ha.  What are weird things that make me strange or unique?  The list began... (most of you will probably know these).

1. I hate coffee, red wine, and beer.
2. I eat some form of chocolate almost every day.  And graham crackers after dinner.  Weird, I know.
3. I only lost 4 baby teeth by myself and the others had to be pulled so I could get braces (6th to 11th grade).  Yes, that's FIVE years people. So yes, I still wear my retainer.
4. I woke up paralyzed from the waist down in 2nd grade and had lots of tests done/spent time at the hospital- doctors still can't determine what happened.
5. I am legally blind and would love to have laser surgery.
6. I had an imaginary friend named Samantha when I was younger.  She was real.  I swear it.
7. I exercise five to six times a week and plan out my daily schedule every Sunday.  Not because I am crazy about looking good, but because I love how it makes me feel mentally and physically.  I love to unwind with a nice, sweaty workout. (If I plan it out and write it down I am less likely to skip.)
8. My favorite vacation spot is Charleston, but I would LOVE to go to Europe one day.
9. I am not an animal person.  Just never liked having a pet and don't care to ever have one again.
10. My parents gave me a promise ring when I was 14 and I am able to still wear it today.  Let's just say, I will be able to wear white at my wedding with no guilt and I am proud of my decision.
11. I may be a teacher, but I do not enjoy reading.
12. I have never tried a cigarette or any type of drug.
13. I have never broken a bone.
14. It takes me 45 minutes to do my hair but only 2 to do my makeup.  Makeup is usually done in the car on the way to work.  oops.
15. I have had 5 speeding tickets.  I am bad about road rage. oops again.
16. I am obsessed with Law & Order: SVU.  I could watch the marathons all day, every day.
17. I sing out loud when I am getting ready, running, and in the car.  It is not pretty.
18. I have a huge bump on my finger from where I use my pencil and need bunion surgery on my feet.  They are so ugly.
19. I love every holiday.  I am like a little kid about them and always get really excited.
20. I am probably the most sentimental person ever.  I have kept every card, note, invitation, award, or momento that I have ever received.  I also love hugs.  I will hug you and you will like it. ha.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today will be my last thankful post since tomorrow is THANKSGIVING.  I am thankful for the ability to have somewhere to call home.  No matter how old I get, starting to see the Morganton signs, getting off the interstate and finally pulling into my driveway will always make me smile.  It's nice to come home and immediately feel the stress melt, the love of my family, and the relaxation mode start to set in.  I am so glad to be home today and I can't wait for the festivities to begin tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Loving Support

Today I am thankful for the loving support I get from my family and friends as well as my coworkers, students, and random people.  Sometimes encouraging words are the best medicine of all.  Sometimes you need an opinion, sometimes you need advice, and other times you need someone to just sit down, shut up, and listen to you vent.  I am thankful for people that will give me all three more than anything, especially those that know me well.  Thank you (for those people who actually read this) for your loving support through the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It's nice to have the feeling that you're not alone on any path you take.


Today I am thankful that when I leave work I will officially be on break. It will be time to relax, see family and friends, and basically have a mental break.  I will have 3 days to do absolutely NOTHING and I couldn't be more excited.  Let the countdown begin...

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Today I am thankful for places like The Ronald McDonald House (aka ROHO).  I volunteer there once a month and have been very involved with the organization since I joined ADPi (freshman year of college).  As I did my monthly duty this morning, I saw just how many people won't be having a "normal" Thanksgiving and how much we all have to be thankful for.  The guests of the house are so appreciative for all the help that the volunteers give each day - from the cleaning, to the cooking, to the small talk - it is all helpful.  I am glad that people have ROHO to go to when someone in their family is sick, especially as the holidays approach.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today I am thankful for my camera and the pictures it has captured.  I am so blessed to have taken so many trips, made so many memories, and have wonderful people in my life to pose with me.  I spent the afternoon going through old pictures and they definitely brought a smile to my face.  There were those occasional "what was I thinking?" moments but mostly they made me appreciate all the wonderful times I have had throughout my life. It is true... a picture is worth a thousand words.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Today I am thankful for my apartment.  I am glad I have a place to come home to each night and call home.  I am lucky to live in a great area of a wonderful city with everything I need.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today I am thankful for my sister, Keri, Keri Jo, KJ, Sissy, Little Brat, ha... just kidding about the last one.  But I am very fortunate to have a sister for so many reasons.  We have a unique relationship because we are very different.  She is way more artsy and creative with a wonderful personality.  My sister is truly her own person with her own style but beautiful inside and out.  We continue to grow closer as the years pass and I am so glad that she is a part of my life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Generation

Today I am thankful to have grown up in this generation.  Which I know sounds totally stupid and crazy but let me explain... today in class we got into this intense convo about how each generation is different and why it is important to share history with future generations.  I have noticed the following before but it really hit hard today as my students and I talked...  kids today don't know life without technology, without any conflict with other countries, and definitely without things to keep them entertained.  I told them how I remember my parents getting their first cell phones, computers, CDs, and when video games came out.  I explained how I grew up without electronic games, ipods, and other things... they said, "Uhhhh, what did you do for fun then?"  When I told them I went outside and played and just used my imagination - they looked at me like I was an alien.  This is all very interesting to me... I am thankful I know a life without technology and I am able to appreciate how it has helped communication.  I am thankful I knew what it was like to experience an attack from another country and the support America showed one another.  I am thankful that I have been a part of this huge revolution. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Today I am thankful for the power of prayer.  I truly believe that prayer works.  We may not get the answer we wanted, or even at the time we want, but eventually God does answer prayers.  Today one of my prayers has been answered (details coming soon)... but I am so thankful for the people who have been praying for me and that God loves me enough to listen. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today I am thankful for chocolate.  It makes a Monday so much better sometimes.  That little "pick me up" to forget how long the day seems is nice.  Yeah, today I loved some chocolate (like that ever changes).

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Today I am thankful for my girlfriends... the ones who have been with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Without good friends I don't know how anyone exists.  There are just some things that no one else can relate to.  I am so glad I have been blessed with a great group of friends. I can't thank them enough for EVERYTHING.  Each of my best friends are unique in their own way and I love that.  It is nice to have a ton of friends but even better to have quality friends.  Quality over quantity - all the way.


Today I am thankful for the ability to be able to run.  I forgot to post yesterday so this is more of a reflection from yesterday's events.  I completed my second half marathon yesterday and it felt great.  Today I am kinda feeling like my legs are about to fall off but it was definitely worth it.  I am so glad I developed a love for running, because it helps me to de-stress after a long day or just simply feel great.  Through running I have learned to love my body so much more.  Not because of the way it changes my body but because I appreciate how my body will support my love for running (purely that I am strong enough).  As I crossed the finish line yesterday I was so grateful that through these weeks of training my body has allowed me to continue, my mind has stayed determined, and my heart has remained true to my goal.  So today I cn say...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today I am thankful for my grandfather who I called Papaw.  It is appropriate because not only does this post follow the one about my grandmother but also since today is Veteran's Day.  He is who I think of when I think of a veteran.  My grandfather passed away when I was in college, but I am thankful for the years I got to spend with him.  He was the most sarcastic, funny, yet humble person I have ever known.  I still miss him and think about him each and every day.  He was the only grandfather I ever knew, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Today I am thankful for my grandmother, who I call Mamaw.  Hearing her sweet voice or receiving a card from her is always the highlight of my day.  She is such a wonderful grandmother - always giving, there to listen, and spoiling her grandchildren.  She was more like my second mother growing up.  I have only ever known one of my grandmothers so she definitely made up for that.  After losing my grandfather, she had a rough time.  She showed me the impact that people have when they lose their true love.  However, she is a strong woman and has overcome so much.  My grandmother is kind, but ver fiesty when she wants to be.  I think I get that from her?  Also, I used to HATE my round face/cheeks (still kinda do) but I know I got that trait from her and I wouldn't want to take that away.  I am do thankful for such a wonderful grandmother who I continue to grow closer to each day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today I am thankful for my relationship with God.  I am grateful that I know Him, I feel like I can talk to Him, and that he loves me unconditionally.  I have been through some rough times this year and without my faith I don't think I would have been where I am today.  I was blessed with Christain parents who taught be the importance of knowing God and relying on Him.  As I have grown older, I have seen the power behind this and I am contantly amazed by his goodness and grace.  God is always listening, always caring, and always there.  He is the BEST best friend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Today I am thankful for hot yoga.  I love going to class - not as much as running, but still sweating it out in a room over 100 degrees is good sometimes.  Some days the thought of lacing up my shoes for a run sounds dreadful and it is nice to have another option.  I used to get injured from running because I would do it too much and not stretch after.  Going to yoga forces me to stretch out and take a rest break from running.  Hot yoga is great because it not only stretches, detoxes, and cleanses but you also get a mini life lesson from the teacher each time.  I am eager to see what tonight's class will be like...  If you haven't tried hot yoga... DO IT, NOW!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today I am thankful for music.  Whether it's a bad day or a good day, a happy time or an emotional one... there is always a song that you can relate to.  Songs bring back memories and they help you cope.  Today is a day I felt the need to turn it up and sing my heart out in the car. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today I am thankful for my dad.  He literally makes me smile with a simple comment or message.  He is always my go to person with any problem or when I have something good happen to me.  He is patient, understanding, caring, and always there for me.  I look up to my dad so much and want to marry someone with the same values and thoughts about how to be a husband and father.  My dad is what keeps my mom, sister, and I from killing each other too so he is very important to our family for numerous reasons.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beautiful Scenery

Day 5:  Today I am thankful for the beautiful scenery of fall in the mountains.  On my drive home I saw how gorgeous the leaves looked and the mountains in the background made it even more amazing.  I am so thankful that I am fortunate enough to have this place to come "home" to.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Day 4:  Today I am thankful for Fridays.  What?  I never said these have to be all meaningful. ha.  I am not neccesarily thankful for the day but I appreciate the fact that the workweek ends on Fridays.  I love the feeling of Fridays and the way everyones attitude changes.  People are in such a good mood on Fridays and have the same mindset that day.  It's like a mini-holiday with everyone celebrating.  It seems as if people everywhere are just thankful for Fridays in general - doesn't have to be a specific one.  So yeah, today I am thankful too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Day 3:  I am thankful for my mom.  Not because of all the obvious reasons that most people love their mom for... but because I truly think of my mom as a wonderful role model.  She puts my sister and I first at all times.  My mom showed me what it is like to be a christian woman and I aspire to be just like her in that way.  She dealt with the hardships of not so wonderful childhood spent living in an orphange with no real parents.  However, she did not let that stand her way of becoming a truly amazing person and mother.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Day 2:  I am thankful for my job.  I am so blessed to be working somewhere that I enjoy going each day.  I know the difference in not loving your workplace and trust me, it is NOT fun.  The past few months have made me love teaching again and really opened my eyes to how important it is to love what you do.  As bad as it may sound... your work DOES affect your overall life.  You spend the majority of your time there and it has an impact on your mood, your stress level, and your well-being. Heck, I am thankful to even HAVE a job in today's crazy economy.  But having a job that affects the lives of children makes it even better.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's Been Awhile... (Day 1)

I have been a little absent.  Life gets in the way I guess... But I have decided I will post one thing I am thankful for for each day in November until Thanksgiving arrives.  There are so many little things that I have been blessed with that I often don't take the time to appreciate how wonderful they are... so I am challenging myself to start.  Plus this will be fun to look back on.  I have 23 days to count my blessings... here it goes (in no order).

Day 1:  I am thankful for my health.  I am so glad that I do not have any serious disease or sickness.  I am thankful I do not have to rely on medicine for anything (which is totally fine if you do).  However, I am glad I have been very healthy and able to live a normal life thus far.  I haven't even been really sick with the flu or strep in several years (knock on wood!).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Words of Wisdom

I heard something very interesting the other day (it's a little corny so prepare yourself but still very true)... "Everyone is a candle, but not everyone is lit.  Find what makes your light shine so that you may share the light with others."  In many ways, that's a great statement.  When you are inspired by something and live everyday "lit" then the people around you tend to want to share in that happiness as well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

little things are big things

Pinned Image
SO TRUE!  As a teacher, I ask my students, "What's your favorite memory from this year?"  It's not the time they took the greatest field trip or won an award or got to stay home from school.  Usually they list something they did at recess or a day we had a treat in class.  I think back to my school days and it is the same.  I remember the LITTLE things about elementary, middle, and high school... and college?  It's not the tests, classes, professors, etc.  It's all the times I did the little things with my amazing friends that make me realize how "big" they really were.  Appreciating moments as they are happening knowing you will be thankful for them in the future is something we all need to remember to do.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who's got talent?

These girls are incredible!  The little brunette is too precious and I can't help but smile when I watch this video.  Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Small Town Girl

Sometimes going home makes me want to get back to Charlotte almost as quickly as I arrived and other times it is just what I needed.  This weekend was all about family time - relaxing, shopping, good food & conversation, and just enjoying being together.  The weather was perfect and I was a happy girl.  I usually am so thankful that I now live somewhere other than Morganton where there is more to do than go to Wal-Mart.  However, this weekend I realized how much I take for granted the little things about living in a small town.  Here are some things that make me grateful I grew up in Morganton rather than a bigger city.  I feel sorry for the people who may never get to experience these:

1.  Football Friday Night taking over your entire town.  Literally EVERYONE went to the game.  If you didn't you were out of town or really sick.

2.  Small town folks.  People being so nice and willing to help.  Everyone knows everyone.  Sometimes this was the worst thing and sometimes it gives you a sense of comfort.  Friday as we sat at a restaurant and literally every person who walked in the door my family and their friends spoke to them.  Yeah, that doesn't happen in Charlotte.

3.  The thing to do on a Friday was to meet in the parking lot of K-Mart (after the game, of course) and figure out whose house or field we were going to.  This may sound crazy, but it's just a small town thing. 

4.  The river.  I never realized how much I miss running by the river or just being able to sit and watch the it when the wheels are on.  It's so peaceful.

5. The weather.  Living in Morganton is perfect.  The weather in the winter is ideal.  SO much snow!!  I miss it when all we get is ice in Charlotte.

6.  Not having 830991 choices of where to eat or shop.  I love being surrounded by things to do in Charlotte, but sometimes its nice to only have a few options.  Most of the restaurants in Morganton are little gems - few chain restaurants, mostly local people with great food.  Also, there is NO mall within 20 miles.  Going to the mall is a BIG deal.

7. The mountains.  I miss seeing the mountains more than anything.  There is no scenery in Charlotte.  I never realized how special it was to be able to see them everyday when I lived in Motown.  Also, being a quick 35-40 min away from Boone was so great.

8. I don't miss this neccessarily but seeing animals in field like cows and horses was no big deal.  I have cows in my neighborhood.  Being held up on the main roads by a tractor was nothing either.  It was a daily occurance.

9.  The festival.  Everyone in the entire town goes to the festival.  It's another event that  you just do not miss out on.  We had country singers come every year.

10. My family.  When pretty much everyone on your mom and dad's side lives in one city - you kinda can't go anywhere without knowing someone.  I loved being so close to them and having my cousins near me in school.

  Downtown Morganton :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Be Thankful

I am guilty of NOT doing all of these things.  Unfortunately, I catch myself seeking God and asking for help more than thanking Him for all of the blessings I have been given.  Even if things do go right, I rarely take the time to give thanks... I am all too often on to asking for the next thing.  I plan to work on this problem.  I need to take the time to realize how fortunate I am even when it seems like my prayer request list looks more like my grocery list.

A good quote I heard the other day... "What if we woke up today and the only things we had left were what we thanked God for yesterday?"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October To Do

With this being a new month... I usually think of that as a new start. A brand new month = new possibilities. So I have put together a little list of 10 things to accomplish or try to work on for the 10th month, October.

1.  Enjoy lots of pumpkin things. It's only here for a small amount of time.

2.  Visit my sister in Raleigh... possibly for the State Fair?

3.  Get serious about doing weights classes. I need to get stronger to support me while I run - stronger muscles means less injuries and who doesn't wanna be toned?

4.  Take a trip to the mountains to enjoy the weather, scenery, and shopping!

5.  Start training for my next half marathon on Nov. 12th.

6.  Find a cute Halloween costume that doesn't scream "look at me because I'm practically naked" like most costumes.

7.  Try to save as much money as possible and only buy what I really need or things that are on sale (and I mean REALLY on sale).

8.  Get more sleep.  Make a bedtime and stick with it.

9.  Cook more/try new recipes and eat out less. Try to eat healthier in general.

10. Find something good in everyday and thank God for it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To Be A Runner

Today was definitely a Monday... I wanted it to be over before it even began.  However, nothing is better than going for a run.  It puts me in a much better mood.

"It's just that moment on a run when you realize it's just you and the pavement. Your stresses go away, your thoughts become clearer, and you have no one to please but yourself. No matter the distance, you end with a feeling of accomplishment. That's when you know why you keep coming back. That's what it means to be a runner."

My thoughts exactly.  Running isn't just about exercising for me... it's my time to reflect, plan, think, and talk to God.  Running on a treadmill in a crowded gym is VERY different than running outside.  I look forward to my runs - it's my "me" time.  I know others have different ways to do the same thing.  Whatever works...

Friday, September 23, 2011


Sometimes she annoys me, sometimes I love her.  Either way, I really like this song.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Wish List

With tomorrow being the first official day of FALL, I was thinking I need to make my wish list.  (You know, of all the things I can not afford on my teacher paycheck but can hope they go on sale one day.)  Here's to wishful thinking...

casual everyday sweater from Anthropologie

Towne & Reese necklace

Hunter Regent Savoy rainboots

   Seven 'trouser fit' jeans

CYPRESS WARMER - chunky infinity circle scarf (grape) chunky circle scarf in plum

Essie N/P #735 Hot Cocoessie 'hot choc' current nail color (obsessed!)

 lululemon 'wunder under crop' pants (for yoga/run)

 Kate Spade 'Licorice' but I think I'd actually need a reason to wear those. So this falls in the "a girl can dream" category.

Jennifer Aniston Hairstyle and last but not least, this hair color.  No, I'm not kidding.  It's happening.  TOMORROW actually.  new season = new hair.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Give Up

Plan was to be super productive today... get lots of work done, workout, run errands, you know the drill.  But I'm starving and tired,  it's rainy, and it's Wednesday.  Dinner date w/ an old friend instead?  MUCH better plan. This made me laugh...


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rooms!!

Tonight some of my bfs and I are celebrating the birth of two of my favorite people...

Happy birthday to one of my best friends, Jordan!  Her birthday is Wednesday.  Jordan and I met freshman year of college and instantly became best friends.  She's the one who is mistaken as my sister by people all the time - the person who can throw together an outfit and look like she stepped out of a magazine - the one who shares my love for pb & chocolate & all other sweets - the girl that always gives the most thoughtful gifts - my Polished date partner - and who has helped me through many good and many bad times.  Jordan was my roomie for 3 years in college and trust me, when you live with someone that long you develop a friendship like no other.  Jordan, I hope you have a wonderful day, because you deserve it!  Love you.
Also, my other ex-roomie, Danielle, will be having a birthday on Thursday.  Danielle, Jordan, and I made that little apartment our home away from home for 3 years... we called it KDJ's.  I am grateful to have had such great roommates for that long.  Danielle and I also became friends freshman year and developed a bond very quickly.  She is the one who will always tell me the truth, no matter what.  Danielle is someone who will always be a true friend and look out for you.  She's the one who can tell you anything you want to know about college football, the latest hit song (esp. if its Rascal Flatts), and red wine.  We've been through so much together and I am thankful to have her.  Danielle, even though you don't have a blog, I know you will probably read this... SO I hope your birthday is fantastic!  Love you.
So what if I just put 22397439 pics up?  We took alot over the years! ha.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pumpkin Please

After a sweet co-worker brought pumpkin muffins to my team on Monday, I knew I had to try to make them myself.  I have pumpkin fever right now!  I got the recipe from her and she swore it is super easy.  All I know is that the muffin I had left me craving more!  I will try to make these asap, but for now I'll share the recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins
1 (18 oz) package yellow or butter pecan cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fill muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Mix the cake mix, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until smooth.
  3. Spoon equal amounts of muffin batter into the muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Check to make sure the toothpick is clean!
Easy and delicious?  Sign me up!  Best thing?  Only 97 calories per muffin!  (Fact provided by teacher friend.) However, if you have a sweet tooth like me, these would be ideal with some cream cheese frosting on top or chocolate chips baked in.  (Just forget about the calories then. haha)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'll Never Forget

10 years ago I was sitting in my 8th grade Algebra class.  It started just like any other day, but when a teacher rushed in to tell us to turn on the news... everything changed.  I remember seeing the burnings buildings, listening to the news reporters, but wondering what was really going on.  I hadn't been to NYC by that time and wasn't really sure of the importance of those buildings.  Everyone was in shock.  We all sat in silence.  No one knew really what was going on or what to say.  I went home that evening to my family and my mom explained everything a little more.  I remember going to church that night for a special prayer service.  So many people came to just pray for our country, for those who lost lives, and for the upcoming events that would follow this tragedy.  I think about everything our country has been through since that terrible day and how far we've come.   I may not have lost family members that day, I may not have been there to experience everything with my own eyes, but I have a connection to 9/11 because I have lived through the aftermath of it.  Today is a day of rememberance... to remind us to be grateful for our loves ones, to remind us we aren't guaranteed tomorrow, and to be thankful we live in such a wonderful country.  Most of my students have never heard of 9/11 and they all were not even alive then.  However, it is something that I will never forget.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sing it, Girl

Loving this song right now when I jam out in my car in this beautiful Fall weather.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Maggie!!

Happy 24th Birthday to my BIG sis, Maggie Baker!!  A friend who knows me better than I know myself sometimes… The one who is always there for me even though she lives far away… The one I have more inside jokes with than should be possible, The one who I honestly feel like could be my older sister (from a different mother).  We’ve been through it all - college fun, sorority life, break-ups and new relationships, marriages, graduations, deaths, fights, bad jobs and good jobs, roadtrips and visits, and so much more.  Maggie, I love you more than words on this blog can express.  I don’t know what I would do without you and your advice sometimes and I truly mean that.  I know I can always count on you to tell me the truth, to keep me in your prayers, to make me laugh, and to tell me to stop smacking my gum.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday.  Enjoy your special day!!  I am looking forward to our next get together!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This month's theme at the yoga studio is kindness.  Wise words from one of the instructors:  Stop and THINK before you speak. 

Will your words be...
T - true
H - healthy
I - inspiring
N - necessary
K - kind

Something to "think" about ;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Perfect Weather

I can't believe it's already September & Labor Day!!  That means one thing(well, other than no more white pants/shoes)... COOLER weather.  I love the nicer weather for many reasons but one of the BIGGEST is that is so much easier to run in.  Going for a run in the fall is so much more calming that running in the summer.  I noticed that this morning when I was out for a run.  In the summer, the heat is unbearable unless you go early and you have to chug water the whole way.  However, in the fall I can wake up and go at any time of the day and usually for further distances.  This is why fall is perfect for training and races.  I am running in the Hog Jog 10K this Saturday but my next race that I must start training for asap will be October 22nd.  I am going to do another half marathon.  I completed my first one back in April and it was probably one of the happiest days of my life.  It is one of my biggest accomplishments and something I will never forget. 

I remember at 11.8 miles, I thought "Okay, I really don't know if I can run anymore... what if I just walk the rest?" Then that voice inside my head told me to shut up and keep going.  I am so glad I listened because I beat my goal of finishing in under 2 hours.  I don't race for the competition against others.  I race to show myself I can do it.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other. 

I will keep you posted on how the training goes... praying for NO injuries this time! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Right On Time

I needed this today.  It is important to remember every "set-back" is really just to keep us grounded.  Sometimes it seems like more things go wrong than right.  BUT when we have something good happen at least we really appreciate it. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Best Medicine

Wine + Best Friends + Good Food + Good Conversation = better than any medicine a doctor could give you...  AND I am lucky enough to do it two nights in a row.  I have seen some of my friends through the best times and the worst times and I am thankful they are there for me too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A friend showed me this video and it's so powerful.  You never think it could happen to you or anyone you know but this song proves that cancer is a part of life.  However, the support that you get from others can make or break you during that emotional time.  Get some tissues... this one is definitely a tear-jerker.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old School Messages

I definitely inherited my love for sending/giving cards to others from my grandmother.  She still sends me cards with handwritten messages at least once a week.  They usually talk about what is happening in her life, my families' lives, and her saying something to make me realize how much she cares.  Now these are in normal handwritting either.  She writes in calligraphy on every one of them.  If there is a holiday, she sends one for sure and I don't mean Christmas and Easter...  I am talking everything from The 4th of July to St. Patrick's Day.  My grandmother, "Mamaw", has been sending me cards for as long as I can remember.  When I was younger, I used to read them then they eventually ended up in the trash.  However, once I got to college, I realized just how special they were.  I began keeping them and now I have a whole box.  It's nice to be able to look back on them.  Some are addressed to me from my Mamaw and Papaw.  My grandfather passed away my sophomore year, so these are nice to have as memories.  One day when my grandmother passes away I will have all of these cards to remember her by.  Anytime I check the mail, I am always eager to see if she has sent me one.  I look forward to getting them and they never fail to leave me with a smile.  I also hope to keep the tradition going by sending cards to people I care about.  Emails, Facebook, text messages... they just don't do the same thing as a nice card.

Two cards I received from her recently.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School's IN

Tonight it finally clicked.  I was out to dinner with my new team of teachers and I realized I start working TOMORROW.  Where in the world did summer go?  I have been so busy trying to find a job, I didn't actually think about having to go to it. ha.  Tomorrow I will begin my first day at OP.  It's only a workday, but I am excited to meet everyone and have a fresh start to the year.  It's so nice to be at a new school with a new room, new grade, new team, new coworkers, new everything.  When I saw that class roster of 24 new students, I was so thrilled.  There's something out that list of names that just makes you smile if you are a teacher.  Even though I know nothing about any of those students I wonder about them - what they are like, if I will have an impact on them, if they will learn a lot from me.  I am looking forward to the year.  Time to get back in Ms. Carswell mode.  Wish me luck!!  Pictures to come!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The College Days

Tomorrow I am moving my little sister into college.  I still remember walking into Holshouser at UNCC 5 years ago with so many emotions.  I was SO excited yet very nervous and scared to be on my own.  I remember being with Courtney (who I felt like I had known forever) that day while we tried to make that little dorm room our home full of black and hot pink everything.  I also remember the emotional goodbye to my family and watching my dad cry for probably the 2nd time in my whole life.  Courtney and I met up with new and old friends that night, including one of my current best friends - Jordan. 

Tonight I am going to visit Maggie.  She was one of the people who helped me transition into college the most.  It's also kind of ironic that I will be helping Keri move then heading to Courtney's engagement party tomorrow afternoon.  Where does the time go?  When did I get old enough to be attending this stuff?

I am thrilled for my sister, yet scared out of my mind thinking about some of the stupid things I did when I a freshman.  Oh well, she has to learn somehow. haha.  Freshman year was by far the best... meeting new people, joining my sorority, frat parties, being independent; I wouldn't change a thing.  So here's a little trip down memory lane:  freshman year of college style.  Some of these are quite funny (especially the fact that I loved some kissy face).