Giving to Guatemala

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"It's the little things"

A few nights ago the girls and I decided to bake a cake for dessert. We had a little fun with food coloring and make a pink cake with blue and purple frosting. The girls had so much fun helping and frosting the cake. They are getting so big and independent. They are a blast to be around and I'm always trying to think of new and fun things to do with them. While we were digging through the pantry trying to find the food coloring, Makenna found some sprinkles. I sat her up on the counter and we each took a second to eat a handful of sprinkles. After she finished her mouthful, she smiled and said, "It's the little things that are so much fun!" She is too precious!

And she is right. It really is the little things in life that are so much fun. It's extra bath time so your Barbie's can swim longer. It's handfuls of sprinkles and dessert before supper. It's big blankets and movies on the couch. It's popcorn for supper. It's the little things that make memories. And I'm so happy I can make the little things fun for these sweet girls!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Best Friends Wedding...Chapter 3: The Bach Party

Rheanne's wedding is getting closer. A few weekends ago I headed to Nashville and we had her bachelorette party. It was fun hanging out with the old group of girls that I grew up with.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

8 years later...

I don't think I will ever forget the events after 9/11. It changed America. It changed my town. It changed my life. It will forever be something that is important for me to remember. For me to reflect on, for me to honor, and for me to appreciate. Thank you to those that serve our country proudly. Thank you to those that served it even before 9/11. Thank you to those that continue to leave America, and fight for our freedom. To fight for those lost on this tragic day.

And thank you to my Daddy. For being the hero that lives in me, that still leaves our family week after week to prepare his guys for another deployment. For being the hero that misses birthdays, holidays, and special occasions so that I can sleep safely at night. So that I can live freely. You have been, and always will be, my number one Hero.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Family Weekend

Last weekend my sweet, sweet cousin Emily and her boyfriend Shannon came to Knoxville to see me. We had such a great weekend catching up, spending time together and going out! I have missed being around her all the time and I'm so glad they decided to come up and visit Ryan and I. Hopefully they will come up more in the future now that they know how much fun we are!

Month Recap

  • School is great. Only a few more months and I'm done! I've been thinking about places to work once I get finished and I'm so excited!
  • Work at Chili's is good and it is starting to pick back up again.
  • Church is great! Our new building is coming along great and we are hoping to be in by Christmas! God has blessed Northstar greatly and I'm so thankful for such a great church family.
  • Life in general is great. Things are going well and I'm staying busy working and schoolin'.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Best Friends Wedding...Chapter 2: The Shower

Saturday I had the honor of throwing my best friend her first wedding shower. It turned out to be perfect and I was super pleased with how the decorations, the food, and everything turned out. The cake came from Magpies Cakes and I HIGHLY recommend them if you are in the Knoxville area. Yes, that cake traveled from Knoxville to Greenbrier in the car and still looked perfect!

I can't believe it is almost time for Rheanne's wedding. I'm so excited for her. It seems like yesterday we were riding the bus home getting ready for a weekend full of slumber parties!

Fun Friday

Friday we loaded up and headed to Pigeon Forge for some dinner at Calhoun's and putt-putt golf! Putt-putt always makes for some fun family time and a little competition. Tanner swears that Sam and I lost, but we like to think different!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Falling Behind

It seems as though I'm falling behind in every direction lately....and I mean every direction!
School is wearing on me and I'm just really ready to be DONE! Since I took the month of June off, it pushed my finish date back even further. If all goes as planned I should be done mid January. I've already begun praying that I can stay well and not be sick during the winter months.
My laundry is piling up! I don't ever have time to do it, because I'm always running around like crazy! Hopefully today I can get it caught up.
My Bible study area/life has slacked greatly. I have found it harder and harder to just set aside time to really focus on it. I've been praying that God will motivate me and really stir my heart again.

Even with falling behind I have much to be thankful for. God has blessed my life in so many ways lately. I have been able to fully let go of things that had been cutting at my heart, I have been able to rejoice in the salvation of a person I thought I would never see have anything to do with God, and I have tightened the bonds within my church family.

God has truly blessed my life. I have such great family, such great friends, and so much to just be thankful for. There have been so many times in my life that have been filled with hurt and anger that I often asked, "Why me? Why am I going through this? Why do I have to hurt?" It's all taught me something. I know that I will never be given more than I can handle. I will never be left to stand in the storm alone. My God has never left my side, He's been there through it all. And even when it feels like I'm falling behind in the small areas of life....God never let's me fall too far before He reminds me that I'm not falling...just merely being taught to lean on Him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This is my sweet boy in Guatemala. I miss him so much today. It's been a month since I've seen him. I loved on him so much for 5 days straight. I wish so much that I could have just brought him home with me. He was the most loving, sweetest little thing ever. Every day he would find me, and it would take everything I had just to get him to go back to class when it was time for us to change groups. We were both attached to each other. Diana and I had a chance to get some pictures copied so I copied a few of Edgar and I to give to him. When I gave them to him he grabbed them out of my hands and pulled them close to his heart. I told him to put them in his "mochilla" (backpack) in really broken Spanish and his eyes lit up and he took off running full speed through the play ground and clutched the pictures so tight to his little chest. Of course by that time, tears were streaming down my face.

This little boy, who only knew me as a 'gringo' loved me so much. He told me every day he loved me and that we would be best friends always. He hugged on me, kissed on my cheeks, and sat in my lap. On the last day, the kids knew we were leaving and wouldn't be back. Before we left, we literally climbed up my legs for me to hold him and buried his little face in my neck and I could tell he was crying. I was trying so hard not to let him see me cry but my heart was breaking for this little boy.

I knew and still know, nothing of his family. I don't know if he is loved in all the ways I'm loved. I only know that I got to love him and tell him about Jesus' love for 5 days. I got to give him three pictures that hopefully will remind him that I love him so much and that I'm praying for him constantly. But most importantly, I pray that they remind him of a God who is always there, always forgiving, and always loving.

Beach Trip 2009

At the end of June, Samantha and I packed up and headed to the beach for a few days with mom and dad and Caiti. We went to Navarre Beach, right outside of Pensacola in Florida. We got to spend a few days with Tiffany and Stephen since we were close to their house and we had a blast. I'm glad I had a few more days off of school so I could get a few days in at the beach! The weather was nice the entire time we were there. It only rained the last night we there and that was after we had already come in off the beach. The ocean was really cold, and there was a lot of seaweed coming in, so we spent a lot of time at the pool. We had a really great trip and I'm so blessed to have such an amazing family!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A month! Seriously?!?

It has been almost a month since I have posted here. Time has absolutely FLOWN by!

Guatemala was amazing and my heart is longing to go back. As long as the Lord provides, I think I'll be flying back in October. I can't wait. The children there, the people there, and God's amazing presence was overwhelming. I truly feel like God is really going to use me there. You can read and see pictures {here}. But, bare with me. I'm still updating, and since I've been slammed with things, it's a slow process. I'm trying to get it all updated though!

After I got back from Guatemala I repacked and headed for the beach for some family time. Samantha and I met my parents and little sister in Florida for a few days on the beach. It was a blast and the weather was awesome the entire time we were there.

I was able to set up a Thirty-One Gifts booth at the hairshow here in Knoxville this past weekend. I had a few sales and a few new contacts so God blessed me there.

I started back to school yesterday after a month off. It felt good to be back doing what I love. I didn't think I missed it as much as I thought until I got back.

Life in general is going great. God is moving and working in ways that I never thought He would. Everyday is a constant reminder of just how big and just how great He truly is. He has held me in the palm of His hand through some crazy storms and is now showing me the rainbow at the other end of it all. I have truly been blessed and I know that it is only going to get better from here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Counting Down!

This time tomorrow I will be on a plane to Guatemala! I can't wait! You can read all about the trip {here} I can't wait to see what God is going to do in the lives of the people there! I know it is going to be an amazing experience! Please continue to pray for me and the others that will be going from Northstar!

I have been feeling much, much better. The medicine I'm taking for this nasty infection makes me a little nauseous if I don't take it with food, so I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do if I have to take it in Guatemala between meals. I just don't want to be nauseous while I'm there. I just have faith that God will keep me well!

I'm such a procrastinator... so far I've only packed shorts and a pair of jeans! Oh, and my hair stuff. I guess I need more than that to live for a week. I have all day to pack though so I'll get it done!

I was thinking today that I'm really gonna miss Paisley while I'm gone! I have only been away from her for one night since I got her. I've slept with her every night since then...she's a little on the spoiled side and loves sleeping on the pillow. I know Aunt Sam and Uncle Tanner will take good care of her though!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Please pray

As many of you know, I'm leaving on Saturday for a trip to Guatemala where I'll be there for 7 days. I need your prayers!

Monday night I spent several hours in the emergency room and after some tests was diagnosed with a kidney infection. After a shot in the hip and some antibiotics I was released. I'm taking the medicines now, but they are making me sick to my stomach. Please pray that God will heal me before I leave on Saturday. I will have to continue the medications while I'm there, but it would be awesome if God will make the nausea go away before then!

And since I've got you praying....will you pray for the rest of the team going? I'm sure they are having their fair share of attacks from the devil this week as well. And, would you pray that God's grace and glory shine through all of us when we step off the plane...and that the people of Guatemala will come to know Him?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Busy, Busy Week Ahead

This week is going to be very, very busy as I prepare and pack for my trip to Guatemala. I'm so excited to be serving alongside the rest of the team from Northstar and the Parker family. Next week, we will be hosting a VBS for 500 Guatemalan children. I'm so excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of the people there! Please pray for me as I prepare my mind, body and soul for what I'm about to encounter and witness.

For more information on Mike Parker, and Clubhouse Guatemala, click the picture at the top of this post! You won't want to miss an awesome prayer opportunity for this family!

Trip to the Zoo

Last weekend was so nice and warm and breezy that we decided to venture to the zoo after church. The girls all had a blast and loved seeing the animals! The double stroller proved to be a good investment and made the trip much easier for when little legs got tired. Hopefully, there will be more zoo days this summer for us!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's been awhile

I haven't updated in awhile...I've been so busy! A lot has happened and my life is crazy it seems like. For those that are keeping up, here are a few updates...

  • school is going great...hopefully I'll be finished in November!
  • my trip to Guatemala is quickly approaching! If you don't know about my trip yet, you can read all about it here
  • my Thirty-One business is picking up. I have 2 parties scheduled within two days of each other, so I'll be worn out...but hopefully will get off to a great start for the month of June. If you don't know about Thirty-One, check it out here and here and if you would like to place an order, you can email me at:
  • I've been keeping a friend of mine's three little girls during the week when I'm not working at Chili's and they are super precious. I love them so much and we have been having so much fun going to church, having girl time, and going on fun adventures
  • laundry is overflowing...when is it not? Sorry, that was random, but I just looked over at it and thought that I probably need to tackle that at some point this week
  • Caiti graduated from high school last can read about that in a previous post
  • Raylon graduated from kindergarten last week too. I can't believe she is going to be in the 1st grade and is turning 7 in a few months!
All in all, life is really going great right now :)

Memorial Day

Yesterday was Memorial Day. I meant to do a post yesterday, but didn't have the chance. Nonetheless, here it is :)

Memorial Day is a special day. It's a time set aside to remember those that fought for our chance to have the freedom that we do today. Many lives have been lost throughout the years so that we may live in a country free to do almost anything we choose. Many have friends and family that have served in some branch of military at some point. I'm no different. My dad is the Command Sergeant Major for 2nd Squadron of the 278th regiment. He served in Iraq for 18 months and is currently preparing his soldiers for a second tour. I'm proud of my daddy and all that he has done for our country. His service will never go unnoticed. I'm thankful for those that came before us to fight and defend our country, and I'm thankful for those that continue to do so today.

Caiti's Graduation

My crazy, sweet, fun, beautiful little sister graduated from high school on Thursday night. I can't believe she is going to be going away to college in the fall! She is going to be successful in anything and everything she chooses to do. I just hope she will always stay on the right path and do what she knows in her heart is right. Congratulations, Caiti! I'm super proud of you!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My 21st Birthday!

I had a 3-day birthday celebration last week and had an absolute blast! I'm so thankful for my amazing friends and family that helped me celebrate. We started on Friday night at midnight and went down to the strip for a little while. That was eventful!
Saturday I had dinner with some amazing friends at Calhouns on the River. My amazing big sister Sam went all out and got me a yummy cake too!
Sunday I went back to Greenbrier and spent Mother's Day with my mommy and the rest of the family. We had a delicious Sweet~n~Sassy cake, some homemade ribs and bar-b-que and more..compliments of my daddy, the wonderful cook!
The first 21 years of my life have been amazing, eventful, and full of great here's to 21 more!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Everything Thirty-One

Head on over to my newest blog : Everything Thirty-One and take a look at my new Thirty-One Gifts business! I just posted the May Customer Specials and I'll just say, you don't want to miss out these awesome deals this month! You can order online and have it shipped directly to you! Let me know if you have any questions about ordering!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Breaking Ground at Northstar

Last weekend we had a ground breaking and prayer walk at our new property at Northstar. God has provided us with an amazing piece of land and building has started on our new building. With God's help, we should be in it by October! Our building now is beautiful, however, we must have
two services on Sunday to hold everyone. It will be awesome to worship all together again!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Oh to be a kid again...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Giving to Guatemala

You can read all about my preparations, my thoughts, my prayers, and my trip to Guatemala here

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Answer to an Unasked Prayer

For the past few weeks I have had my heart and eyes set on a trip. A trip that I never thought possible, and never thought would come my way. My finances were making this trip unattainable to me and since I knew this, I didn't really think anything else about it.

How amazing is my God? Pretty amazing if you ask me. Of course, I already knew this...He just sees it fit to show me again every now and then :)

My wonderful church is going on a mission trip in little less than 6 weeks. God answered my prayer, even if it was unspoken. I had no means of paying for the trip, but He made a way and saw fit for me to go. And I'm ecstatic! I can't wait to dive in to the Lord's work even deeper than I already am. I'm humbled that someone saw fit to send me on this trip. Humbled that God chose me.

Please pray for me during the next few weeks. Pray that the Lord prepares my heart and mind, emotionally and spiritually. Pray for the people in Guatemala, that they be receiving of His word. I'm so excited to share Him with those that don't know how awesome my God is.

I'm in the process of setting up another blog as a journal for my trip and as soon as I have it set up I'll post the link.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thirty-One Gifts

Here's the exciting news you've all been waiting for :)

I'm now a Consultant for Thirty-One Gifts! If you have never heard of Thirty-One Gifts, I want to encourage you to check out the amazing products they have and they are at great prices! And please, if you would like to order something, want to host a party in your home or online, or want more information, please let me know! Click {here} to go directly to my website!

The fastest way to contact me:

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

For Such a Time Is This

This weekend I was given the opportunity to attend "The Esther Experience" with over 600 other women. All I can say is WOW. I don't think I have ever felt the presence of God surrounding me more than I have this weekend. To know that I am called to be free from all the hurt, all the pain, all the sin of my past is overwhelming to me. I am undeserving of His love. Undeserving of the freedom He has given me. And yet, I'm free. Free to live a life of love, peace, and to be filled with God's unending blessings.
I have been struggling with some things the past few weeks and for the first time since they came about, I feel free. I don't have to carry the burden of them anymore. I never had to carry them in the first place. As a child of God, I have the freedom to lay my burdens at the foot of the cross and to be free from the weight of them.
This weekend was an experience for me. I was moved in ways I've never been moved before. My heart has been burdened with desires I've never had before. I'm excited what God is doing in my life. I'm excited for the things that are in store for me. But most of all, I'm free and ready... For Such a Time Is This.

Easter 2009

Easter was filled with a wonderful time spent in precious Greenbrier with my even more precious family. As always, it didn't last long enough for me. Davy was so sweet hunting Easter eggs this year. He's such a doll. I know I talk about it all the time, but I absolutely love loving on this precious baby. He's such a blessing to our family and will never truly know how much he is loved. And it's only by God's choosing that he is a part of our family.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keep an Eye Out...

...because I have some exciting news to share in the next few days!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Where has the time gone??

It's been weeks since I last posted. I've been SO busy! Life has been a whirlwind of things and I'm finally getting back in the old groove and settled into my never-ending-oh-so-busy life! God has truly blessed me with such awesome family, friends, and an even more awesome life!

Samantha and I are pretty much settled into our new apartment...and it looks amazing, if I do say so myself :) Hopefully I'll have some pictures posted in the next few days so you can see for yourself.

Church is great. Pastor Scott has had some really awesome messages the last few weeks. You can listen to them here. Northstar has really been a blessing to me. The people there are amazing and have such hearts for the Lord. I really feel like I'm at home when I'm at Northstar. I'm being used in the Children's Ministry on a weekly basis and am honored to have such a sacred job within the church. Those kids are the future of God's kingdom and I feel so blessed to be a part of their lives. To hear and see their love for Jesus is amazing. If you live in the Knoxville area and are looking for a church home I want to encourage you to seek Jesus in your journey and visit us at Northstar. We would love to see you!

Please be in prayer for the Smith family as yesterday was the year anniversary of the death of their sweet girl, Audrey. Also, be in prayer for Baby Stellan. A surgery may be in his near future, however God is a performer of miracles and anything can happen between now and tomorrow. Pray for rest for MckMama and her family, pray for Stellan's doctors, and pray for Stellan.

As for me, I'm great. I'm planning a trip to my hometown for this weekend and can't wait to have easter egg hunts with the baby, home cooked meals, and family time. School is going great and I'm really loving my decision to be a hairstylist. I love it! Paisley is great as well and is excited about showing off her new Easter dress this weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quick updates

I know I have seemingly disappeared from the Blog world, and I have, but not intentionally. Life has just been a whirlwind of events for me and I'm trying to get caught up. I do have some great blog posts that have been swirling in my head, and as soon as I have internet on a regular basis, believe me, they will all come flying out!

  • Samantha and I are moving in less than two weeks. We've been packing like crazy and cleaning things out. I'll be glad to be in our new place and settled! All the clutter and mess of packing is getting on my nerves!
  • School is going great! I love it! I'm excited to be working on as many as two to three clients a day and I'm learning so much!
  • God has really been doing such a work in my life. I'm doing new things and He has placed new callings on my heart. Some of these things will be revealed in a later post!
  • Life is still not the same without Steven. I miss him so much. Tomorrow is his birthday. We're planting a tree in front of Chili's in his memory. I wish he was here. He's not supposed to be gone :(
  • I'm making a quick trip to Greenbrier on Sunday to see the family and have a little roadtrip with Samantha. It should be fun. And it will be even more fun since hopefully little Mary will make her way into the world either tonight or tomorrow night :) Pray for Celeste that her delivery go fast and smoothly!
And I think that is about it. Since I'm not home much and when I'm home I'm packing, I went ahead and cut the cable and internet off at my house so I'm having to rely on time at Panera to update things. But don't worry! I'll be back full swing as soon as I'm settled into my new house!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Losing A Friend

Friday night I received some of the worst news of my life so far. One of my greatest friends, Steven, or Thor as he was better known by us, died at age 27 of a heart attack. A heart attack. At 27 years old. This is crazy to me. I know that God is in control and is the holder of our lives. But Thor was such a good friend and such a good person. And so young. He had his whole life ahead of him. We worked together at Chili's so I spent a lot of time with him. Especially when we closed together. If we weren't busy we would always sit at table 71 and split dinner and talk about life. We shared our dreams with each other. I knew everything he wanted to do and have in life and he was on his way to getting it all. I never thought that when I saw him on Thursday that it would be the last time. I never thought that I was leaving work Thursday night and he said, "Emmy, ya work tomorrow night? Good, see ya then. Love ya too!" would be the last time I would ever hear those words. I can't sleep because I know sleep will bring another morning that I have to wake up and remember that he's gone. Work and life will not ever be the same without him. I still can't grasp that he's gone. I'm still waiting to get a text saying, "Guys I got ya'll good." But that text will never come. And in the next few days ahead, we will say goodbye to our friend and be left with only the memories that he left on our hearts.

Thor, I miss you so much man. You were always there when anyone needed you. We had so much fun together. I will never forget the fun and goofy times we had together. Just Thursday night we were laughing until our sides hurt over all kinds of things. Have fun up there in Heaven. And I'll see you again when my time comes. I know you're watching down on us and trying to get us to stop crying. You would want us to laugh. But it's hard because it hurts. It hurts knowing that I won't see you at work tomorrow. We won't share 71 together anymore. And you won't talk me into doing some of your closing work anymore. I miss you Thor. And I love ya.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fresh and New

"It's such comfort to drop the tangles of life in God's hands and leave them there"
Tonight I went before God and gave it all to Him. My struggles, my desires, my purpose, my life. I asked for a new, deeper faith than I had before. I want to be used, really used, by Him. I want my life to shine of all He has done for me. I share this, because I struggle. We all struggle. As a Christian, I fail, I slip, and I get brought down. But God is there to forgive, to hold, and to help me back up. And I'm so thankful. Thankful He has never left me. I've made some mistakes along my way to the here and now, but God has freed me from them. And never again do I have to carry the weight of them. They are swept away like the wind, gone and forgotten.

I'm reading "Experience a Fresh Explosion of Faith: A Taste of Believing God" by Beth Moore. It's amazing. In the introduction she lists the 5-Step Pledge of Faith. I love how easy it's laid out. 5 simple things to remember daily.

I'm having faith that things in my life will be provided for and taken care of. Not by me but by Him. The struggles I have are known by Him and it's in God alone will I get by. I have a Father in Heaven that loves me, teaches me daily, and provides even when I entertain thoughts that it's never going to happen. All because He loves me. He works miracles everyday and because I'm a child of Him, I am a receiver of miracles and blessings daily.

Beth Moore pointed out three things that really stood out to me:
The God I serve is able. -Daniel 3:17
Everything is possible.-Mark 9:23
Nothing is impossible.-Luke 1:37

I was freed of some things tonight that I have struggled with recently. They are gone and forgotten. And the weight of their hurt has been lifted. The faith alone I have in my God is what allows me to be free. And you, too, can be free. All you have to do, is ask.

5-Step Pledge of Faith:
1.God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Him.
5. God's word is alive and active through me.

So far I've read through 1-3. I'm going to finish 4 and 5 tomorrow. So be looking for my thoughts on those tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Day with Baby

Before I left my sweet small town I spent some quality time with the handsome, sweet, little man that stole my heart the moment I looked into his big brown eyes. I can't believe how big he is getting. He is always talking and always moving. I had so much fun "flying" around the house with him, playing farm, and being doggies with him yesterday. I miss him so much already and can't wait until Easter when I get to see him again!