Giving to Guatemala

Monday, June 30, 2008

A day on the lake...literally

Saturday was another fun day on the lake. Our journey started at noon and didn't end until 7am Sunday morning. We had a blast...and it was interesting to say the very least. We had to make several stops at other docks to pick up more of our crew so it took us all day to get to Sequoyah Marina for Fire on the Water to watch the fireworks. We also ended up stopping to wait out a storm too. The firework show was awesome. After partying with friends we started the journey back to our dock at around 2 or 3am. It was dark, cold, and everyone was so tired! We didn't even make it back to our dock. We found an empty slip at another dock close by, tied up, sent someone to get the trucks, and headed home! Needless to say, no one got to bed before 7am Sunday morning, but it was a blast! Famous quote from this trip: "It's not about the time or the destination, it's about the journey!" The picture above is Margaret and I, the two classiest ones there! Looking forward to next weekend already!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My favorite little boy

This is Davy, my sweet little cousin. He is absolutely precious and I found these pictures taken a few weeks ago when I was home for the weekend. Davy is a miracle baby to our family and such a blessing. He came to us through adoption.
For years my aunt and uncle tried to have a baby of their own. After a lot of prayer and doctor visits, they decided to adopt. The process for them and the rest of our family was long and heartbreaking at times. We wanted a new baby in our family and were ready to welcome it in our lives with open arms.

There was a time when a birth mother chose my aunt and uncle to be the parents of her child. We met her, had lunches with her, and welcomed her into our lives. We were at the hospital with her during the birth of her baby. And stayed with her the remainder of her stay. She told us over and over again that she was happy with her decision and she wanted the best life for her baby. The morning that my aunt and uncle went to bring him home from the hospital, she broke their hearts and ours and said she had changed her mind and she wanted to take the baby home with her. We were devestated.
The next few weeks were awful. My aunt had a baby room ready for a new baby and lots of little baby things that filled the drawers, closets, and shelves. She didn't know if she would ever want to be put back on the list for adoption. She changed her mind a few weeks later and they decided to try again.
Exactly two months to the day after the birth of the first baby, they got a call. A woman wanted to meet them. She was due a month later and wanted my aunt and uncle to adopt her baby. We were excited, but very distant to the idea since we had already had our hearts broken once. They met and hit it off great. A few weeks later we were able to meet the birthmother and she is amazing. She has such a wonderful heart, but things were keeping her from being able to give her baby the best life he deserved.
After Davy was born, his birthmom kept her promise and allowed him to come home with our family. She has since kept in some contact with my aunt and uncle, and has met her son once. My heart goes out to her because I know she has to miss him. She carried him for nine months, only to give him away.
My prayer to her is that she know he is loved well beyond the stars. He is an answer to prayer and has been loved so wonderfully loved since the day he was born. Thank you for giving our family the gift of Davy, birthmom. Your gift will never be taken for granted, nor will you ever be forgotten. You have touched our lives with Davy and we couldn't thank you enough.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Babies having babies?

I recently read a story on a news site ( ) about a town in Massachusetts where 17 teenage girls at a local high school are pregnant. Apparently they had made a pact to get pregnant. Most of the girls are under the age of 16. Teen pregnancy is becoming more and more rampant in society today and to me, it's sad. Don't get me wrong, I've got friends and some family that are young parents, unwed, and/or single parents. It doesn't make them bad people, because for the most part, they didn't get pregnant on purpose. I've watched friends struggle because they are young parents whose lives were turned upside down by a baby. A baby is a huge responsibility and for anyone, single, married, old, young.

For years I watched my aunt and uncle try to have a baby. They are good people, with so much love to give. My aunt is unable to bear children of her own and when I was in high school it would make me so mad to hear about the latest girl that was expecting a baby. Why is that someone in high school can get pregnant, but not my aunt, who is married and has a stable life and home to give?? It wasn't fair to me. I graduated in 2006, and of my graduating class of 160 people, I think I can honestly say that I would need both hands plus a few more fingers to count the number of girls that were either pregnant at graduation or had already had a baby before we graduated. Most of those girls are good parents to my knowledge. Some are not.

I'm not really sure where I'm trying to go with this post. It's just something I've been thinking about since reading this story. Join me in praying for these girls, their families, and the unborn babies. The unborn children did not ask to be born under such circumstances, and I can only pray that they will receive the care and love they need to succeed in the world. What do you think of this issue? Will you join in praying for these girls and babies?

IGP~Intense Glistening Power


Sunday I spent the day on the lake with wonderful friends. We had a blast hanging out, having fun, and "glistening" in the sun! There was definitely some IGP going on, as you can see from some of the pics! I'm so thankful for friends who pick me up when I'm down. Things with Josh have left me heartbroken, but I'm determined not to let it get me too far down. I'm too full of life for heartbreak to keep down for long. Not to mention, Tosha and I have rekindled our friendship and I'll admit, I've missed her! Now I'm counting down the days until this Saturday, when we take the boat out to Fire on the Water, a spectacular firework show on Norris Lake! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Raylon the Softball Star

A few weekends ago I made the journey home to visit with family and watch my sweet little cousin play in her softball tournament. For 5 year old little girls, they did an awesome job! They ended up winning the entire tournament with no losses! Raylon did awesome and I'm so happy that I got to watch her play this year. She's going to be quite the little star if she keeps it up. I was amazed at how hard she hit the ball and how quickly she could run the bases. She's such a doll and does such a good job! Can you tell her "Mimi" is proud of her???

WoW Week~ Day 4

WoW Week Day 4 was spent at the Knoxville Zoo.


The kids had a blast and Taylor and I enjoyed our last day together before she went back to her mom's house. While we were there, the kids got to hear some pretty interesting stories about the elephants from one of the zoo keepers. Apparently the night before one of them got a little excited and broke one of the gates of their enclosure! The elephants didn't get out, but they had to spend the majority of the morning inside while they were fixing the gates.
I'm so thankful to have been able to go to all the weekly activities with the kids from church. They are all such wonderful little kids, with such sweet hearts.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Please excuse my brief absence. I have been extremely busy, but I do have lots to share! I have the last day of WOW Week to post and also some news. Hopefully things will be calm tomorrow and I can get caught up!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WOW Week..Day 3

Today was Day 3 of WOW Week and we spent the day at Cade's Cove...

We drove the scenic loop around the park and enjoyed the views of the mountains, looking for deer and bears, and hopped out of the van a couple of times to explore an old church, mill, and house that is part of the area. The church was simple, just one room with hard wooden pews. Churches have really changed these days! The mill was beautiful and I probably could have stood and looked at it all day. The water was nice and cool and the kids had fun splashing in it. They had fun exploring the old house, and we even saw a sparrows nest with three baby birds peeking out of it! We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch under a shade tree and then it was back in the van to finish the rest of the loop and head home! { I had a picture of the mill, but for some reason photobucket won't load it the right way, so it's sideways!}
God's creation is so beautiful, yet unappreciated by some. The waterfalls, trees, streams, and mountains are too magnificent in beauty. God had to have had us on his mind when creating such beauty for us to enjoy.

WOW Week...Day 2 (a day late)

WOW Week Day 2...


Wednesday we spent the day at The Deer Farm, in Sevierville and had a blast! They had a ton of animals that we were able to pet and feed. Along with the deer, they had goats, camels, reindeer, elk, miniture ponies, a zonkey, donkey, a zebra, kangaroos, wallabies, emus, cattle, and a few peacocks roaming around. The kids had so much fun feeding the goats, camels, deer, horses, and zebra. They also got to feed the reindeer apple pieces. My favorite were the goats, especially the little babies! Josh thought I was crazy when I was telling him about them. If he doesn't watch it he's going to come home one day to a couple of them!

It's the simple things that sometimes make us go WOW. God created each animal with a specific purpose and thought in mind. It's amazing to think about all the other animals that exist, some that we as humans will never come into contact with.

Have you ever been to the Deer Farm? If not, and you're ever in Sevierville, I highly recommend going! It's not too expensive, and it's a good two or three hours of fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -
Three things in life that are most valuable -
Three things in life that are never certain -
Three things that make a man/woman -
Hard work
Three things in life that can destroy a man/woman -
Three things in life that, once lost, hard to build-up -
I received this list of three's in an email. Think about them...they seem to ring true to me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

WOW Week...Day 1

It's WOW Week at my wonderful church, Strawberry Plains Presbyterian, and today kicked off day 1. We had a blast at the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. Here are just a few pictures so you can see how much fun we had!


We had a really good time seeing all the fish, sharks, and other neat things. There were so many different and weird looking fish. Each one different from the other, and WOW is really the only good way to explain it.

This week is set aside to take a group of kids and show them just how great our God is and let them see with their own eyes just what sort of things He's capable of creating. We have a full schedule this week of different sort of adventures to look at all the WOW things God created for us to enjoy here on earth. Tomorrow we head to the Deer Farm in Sevierville to take a look at land creatures. Look for pictures of another fun day tomorrow!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A little more about me

So I decided that each day {or at least every other day} I'll tell you a little bit more about me. So for today, I'll enlighten you on my family...or at least a little bit of them.
My parents are still married to each other, and I have a little sister that is a model. They live in Greenbrier with the rest of my family. They have been very supportive in my recent journeys here in Knoxville, but that doesn't mean they don't miss me! I'm reminded all the time that I can always come home, although I don't see that happening anytime soon!
Like I said, my little sister is a model, and will graduate high school next May. I can't believe she's growing up. She's beautiful, about 5'9, maybe 5'10, and lovely! Hopefully soon I'll have some of her pictures to share with you all!

Google AdSense

Just curious....has anyone else tried out the Google AdSense? Everytime I post a new post the pop up comes up, and while I'm content with my cash flow at this time, a few extra bucks to toss in my cosmetology school stash would be nice. Just curious if anyone else is doing this on their blog??? Let me know!

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - te lling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: 'Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups .

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly... And enjoy your hot chocolate.

I received this in an email, and thought it was too good not to share. How true the words are. I'm guilty of going through life wanting more at times. Wanting more dinners out instead of mac-n-cheese from home, more clothes {even though my closet is overflowing with plenty of nice things}, more trips, more, more, more. None of those things that I constantly want more of are going to change me. My friends are still going to love me, no matter what I wear or where I go on vacation. Josh is still going to love me, whether we go out to eat or I cook a not-so-decent- meal sometimes. No matter what I have or what I do, I'm still me. Just a simple girl, with simple dreams. I have been truly blessed by all the things I have been given and have. There are some people my age who are a lot less fortunate than I am. I have a wonderful life, a great apartment, a nice car, good job, and a wonderful future with the man of my dreams ahead of me. I'm truly thankful and can honestly say, I'm going to start enjoying my hot chocolate in my simple little cup.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Little About Me

I realize since starting this blog I have yet to really introduce myself to those that don't know me! So I decided that I would take a minute and share a little of my story :-)

I came from Greenbrier, TN and loved every minute of being raised in a small town! One red light, a Sonic, and a few local owned gas stations and restaurants are what I grew up around. I loved every aspect of small town life. Friday nights were spent at either high school football games, basketball games or just hanging out in the parking lot of the high school. The friends I made and still have today are some of the greatest that I've ever had, and the memories we have shared and made together will always be held close to my heart.

After I graduated high school in 2006, I moved to Knoxville to attend The Univeristy of Tennesse. After a year of attending college, I decided it was not my cup of tea. I already had an apartment lined up for the summer, so I stayed in Knoxville and had a blast with my friends. I worked some odd jobs and had a blast just hanging out with my girls all day everyday.

I began a "big girl job" at a property management company and loved working there. However, I was quickly getting burnt out, and decided it was time for a change. I now work for my boyfriend's amazing parents at their Real Estate office and LOVE it!

I'm hoping to start Cosmetology School in the fall, and I'm super excited about that. Josh has been so very supportive of the whole idea. With his help, encouragement, support, and love, hopefully we'll have a new salon open within the next 2 to 3 years! I'm excited to see where God takes me on this journey!

So, there you have it, me in a small nutshell....but don't think I'll stop there. I'll be posting more of the "details" of my life for all of you that are curious!

Reminder to Me

I have been slowly regrouping and reorganizing my plans and goals for the future. There are a lot of things I want to do in the next couple of years so I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make them happen.
1. Pay off all my credit cards and stop using them!
2. Boost my savings account by at least 50% by the end of summer {this is going to be hard, since a lot of my extra money will have to go to paying off said credit cards}
3. Enroll in cosmetology school by at least September {preferrably August, but I'm not holding my breath}
4. Finish cosmetology school as early as possible {this means after a certain number of hours, going day and night!}

So those are just a few things that I've been working on the past couple of days. What are your goals? Any suggestions for me?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Check out the new link...

I came across a new blog over the weekend. I love the story of this woman and her family and their journey to adopting their two children from Haiti. Take a look at Dreaming Big Dreams over in my Blogs I Read section. I'm telling you, if you have any feelings for adoption, you will love her story!