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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Be Happy

Well, it's been a while since I have "blogged" and a lot has happened in my life since August. However, I will not bore you with those details.  As most of you know life never seems to go quite like you planned and in fact, it usually goes way off the course you set for yourself. However, we know the Lord is in control and we know His ways are best. Over the past few weeks I have started keeping a journal. I have tried doing journals many times and have gone out and bought cute books to write in and nice pens. Well, that lasted about three days and then I got tired of it. Well, for my birthday, my granny got me a journal that is super cute and on the front it says, "Be Happy". I was looking through old cards and letters and found one she had written me right after Grant and I broke up, that just offered encouragement.  Right after my birthday I decided to use the journal for good. I started writing letters to my future husband. The front of the journal reminds me to be happy and when I think of that, I think of how my "prince charming" should be exactly what I've always wanted and nothing less. 
I've tried to write in the journal once a day and some days I don't have much to write. A lot of the entries are prayers for my future husband. I've been hurt more than I ever thought possible. However, through the hurt I have seen the importance of fervently praying for my future spouse, whoever that is. I want to be the friend, the girlfriend, the fiance, the wife, the mother, and the woman that God called me and made me to be. I also want to have the friend, the boyfriend, the fiance, the husband, the father, and the man that God called men to be. I know what I want and I now know I won't settle for anything less. While I wait patiently for the Lord, I will patiently and continually pray for the man who is to lead my life. I choose to be happy.

"That he might seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, growing in his dependence on Him." Psalm 119:1-2

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Behind the Scenes


Well, I love Pinterest!! Ever since I accepted this job I have literally stayed on Pinterest, looking for ideas for my room. I have found so many cute ideas and I have used a lot of them, plus adding some of my own pizazz! The first idea I found that I HAD to try was the idea of making benches out of milk crates! There were tons of pictures on Pinterest and different ways to structure the benches. With the help of my mom and her creative mind we came up with a cheap way to make the benches. They are ADORABLE and my favorite part of my classroom.

I am going to try and give a short "recipe" for how I made these. They were cheap and super easy! It took me about an hour to make two benches. You can also do individual seats, but I liked the benches better. 





Materials:
2 plastic crates (Big Lots $2.5)
 1 eight foot boar, 12 inches wide (Lowes)
Foam (I used an old bed egg crate)
Vinyl table cloth (Big Lots $1.00)
2 cloth bins
 Zip Ties

Once you have all your materials, take two zip ties and connect the two crates together. Have Lowes cut the board in half so that you have two 4ft boards. I drilled 6 holes in the board, in order to put the zip ties through to attached it to the crates. I went on a attached the zip ties to the board before I put the table cloth on. Before attaching the board to the crates I cut the foam and the table cloth to fit around the board. I stapled the table cloth and foam to the  board and then placed on top of the crates and locked the zip ties. Then you're done! It was SUPER easy and it was a fun little project for my mom and I. I used a table cloth because you can just wipe it down, without having to worry about fabric. You can use whatever you want. They turned out so cute and look great in the room. They would work for anything! Go try it!

Okay, this is my favorite part of my room! It's so sunny and happy and makes me want to take a seat and read! Besides my benches, I LOVE the rug and the lamp. Both of these items were purchased from Big Lots. Once I had the rug, I knew I just wanted lots of color. All my bins are from Dollar Tree and they are filled with books and then the right bookcase is filled with reading games and small group activities. In the basket by the bookcases are cushions my mom made! :) She had old cushions from our porch swing and she just covered them with pillow cases. There are 6 cushions and they will be used by the students to sit and read comfortably. My next favorite thing in the room are my hand made chalk boards! :) LOVE THEM! I bought four frames from Good Will for $.25 each. I painted the edges and then got chalk paint and painted the glass. SUPER easy. I plan on writing quotes and little inspirational sayings on them to inspire the students. Right now the quotes are all Dr. Suess quotes. I think that's about it in this corner. :)









 AH! The sancuary :) This is my little space. I'm sure I won't spend a lot of time back here, but I still wanted it cute. The rug is from Big Lots, again and so is the black ottoman in the corner. LOVE! The colorful picture frame hanging on the wall is a collage of letters from my students from Wasena. My last day of student teaching, the students all gave me cards saying how much they would miss me. I took some and put them in this shadow box to help me remember why I do what I do. They are too sweet :) Above that is a letter from a little boy that was in my class. This little boy had Aspergers and was the sweetest thing! After I left and after Christmas break they started working on friendly letters. Mrs. Gibson told the students to choose a person within the school to write and send a letter to. This student asked if he could write and send his letter to me, even though I was no longer there. She said yes and there is my letter. It was so cute and sweet and just another reminder that students do pay attention to what you do and what you say. I will cherish these forever. My bulletin board is bare because those were the only two pictures I had in my car. I will be adding more soon. 
This huge box thing is where my students will keep their backpacks. When I first saw this monster I was not happy. It was huge and DISGUSTING!!! I did some major scrubbing and now it looks as good as new! On my bulletin board you can see my calendar and class jobs. On the other side are "buckets" and the title says "We Are Bucket Fillers". While I was at Wasena, Mrs. Stiles read the book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today". I LOVED the idea and I am going to incorporate it into my class. If you haven't read the book, the premise is that everyone carries around with them an invisible bucket. As individuals we are "bucket fillers" or "bucket dippers". A bucket filler is someone is does nice things for others and builds others up, therefore they are filler our bucket. A bucket dipper is someone who "dips" in our bucket by being negative, bullying, and treating other without respect. We all want to be bucket fillers. I have little pom-pom balls that students will use to fill their buckets. If I see or hear someone being a bucket filler I will put a pom pom in that persons bucket. Students can put pom poms in each other buckets if they feel a friend is being a bucket filler to them or to others. It is a great way to make sure students are aware of feelings and treating everyone with kindness. I'm excited to start! This is not my behavior plan, but ties into my bahavior plan well. I will talk about my behavior plan in another post :) On my table are dry erase boards for the students, the bucket of pom poms and then two more buckets that say "broken" on one and "sharp" on the other. While working with Mrs. Stiles she had a BRILLIANT idea of not sharpening pencils during class! Students were allowed to sharpen pencils during morning work and then that was it! If, during class, your pencil broke, you were allowed to "barter" with me or Mrs. Stiles for a sharpened pencil. You were not allowed to trade us for a nice pencil if you had a pencil that had bite marks or no eraser or that was just not kept in good condition. That would be an unfair trade. This concept was WONDERFUL! Students never got out of their seat to sharpen pencils and we were incorporating a Social Studies skill :)

 To the left you can see my guided reading/small group area. I am still waiting on a kidney table and that will go in front of the posters. The posters will eventually be taken down and a bulletin board will be put up. This will be my word wall for reading and focus wall for math.
The bookcases on the left house all my math manipulatives and the bookcase on the right is all Science and Social Studies materials.

This is my door :) My mom came up with "Soar into 3rd Grade with Miss Vaughan". Our mascot is the Eagles and our behavior approach is S.O.A.R. (I'll discuss that in a later post). Anyway, the girls will have their names on the hot air balloons and the boys will have their names on the rockets. I thought it was a cute idea :)

Well, there ya have it. The how and the why of my room. Hope you enjoyed it and I hope you can take something from it! Happy decorating fellow teachers!!!

My First REAL Classroom

Excited, tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, happy, sad, frustrated, pumped, unprepared, and ecstatic are just SOME of the emotions I have experienced over the past week and a half. The first time I walked into my classroom, about three weeks ago, was with my friend Jasmine. We both walked in and I literally had tears form in my eyes because of the amount of "stuff" in my room. All this "stuff" was pushed into the middle of the room and included desks, bookshelves, thousands of books (literally), chairs, a forest from all the paper, and just junk! We stayed long enough to move the furniture around to how I thought I wanted things set up and then we left. I was BEYOND overwhelmed. I definitely had my work cut out for me! Everything was FILTHY, and when I say filthy, I mean black goop EVERYWHERE you looked and dust inches thick. It was disgusting to say the least. I had no idea where to begin. 

These two pictures capture just a fraction of what the classroom looked like after I moved everything. These pictures do not come close to showing how nasty it was. 

Since I work at a charter school, the state provides us funding. However, the funding is based on the amount of students we have enrolled. Most of our furniture is "hand-me-downs" and not in the best of conditions. However, my principal is AMAZING and she goes over and beyond to make sure we have everything we need and anything we want. I have been very impressed! Anyway, on to the demolition. :)
Last Thursday I went to the school for a few hours and I went to town cleaning. I purchased Goof Off, a scraper, sponges, rags, and 409 from Lowes and went to town. I literally spent 5 hours JUST cleaning and the only pieces of furniture I cleaned were the bookshelves. I have 5 bookshelves in my classroom and they are not big. You can imagine how dirty they were if it took me five hours to get them presentable. Goof Off works wonders!!!!! Friday my mom came to school and helped. If you know my mother, you know she's AMAZING and so creative. We finished cleaning everything and then began sorting through things and trying to organized. By the end of the day I had about 60 BUG boxes, FULL of books, curriculm books from the 50s and all kinds of stuff, packed up to be taken away! My room was nother but boxes. After the boxes were removed the real work began, organizing, sorting, and arranging. We got a lot accomplished, but it was still no where close to being ready! 
This week we started our teacher work days. Our principal allotted two work weeks before students come and I am thankful for the two weeks. Monday and Tuesday we spent the day in meetings and I became even more overwhelmed. North Carolina has adopted the Common Core Standards and this year we are implementing them at our school. This is VERY different for me, especially coming from Virginia where we just had SOL's. The Common Core is intense and you have to change the entire way you present material and how you teach in order to be effective. I have SO much material running through my brain it's hard to keep things straight and it's hard to focus on one particular thing. Because our principal could sense the fact we were all overwhelmed, especially us newbies, she decided to allow Wednesday and today days focused on finishing up our rooms. Today I finished mine! There are a few little things missing and things that need to be tweaked, but overall it's finished and I am very proud and excited about the finished product. 
My goal as a teacher was to make my room warm and inviting for my students. I want my students to be excited to come to class and excited for what the day holds. I know that is what most teachers want and I also know that is a goal that is hard to attain, because a lot of students would rather be anywhere but school. However, I am going to do my best to make my students feel comfortable in their learning environment. I feel like I have done that with my room and I am very excited to see their reactions. I LOVE LOVE LOVE 3rd grade and I am so excited to start! My mentor and inspiration for a lot of my ideas comes from my cooperating teacher for student teaching, Mrs. Stiles. I could not have asked for a better student teaching experience. My teaching style is very much like Mrs. Stiles and we got along so well. I have taken many of her ideas and incorporated them into my classroom. I can't wait to share them with you! 
I am going to end this post because it is pretty long and you may be bored. HA! However, I am going to post another post tonight giving more detail about how I did some of my decorating and why, and of course there will be pictures! I know you aren't supposed to write two blog posts in one day, but I am just so excited about the school year and I want to share it all with you. My goal is to be one of those people that make it on Pinterest and have all these followers. HAHA! A girl can dream :) Check out my next post and try out the fun ideas!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

So long Virginia, Hello North Carolina!

Today was an end of a wonderful era! For five years, I had the privilege of living with my best friend, Heather. We have lived with some crazies and some not so crazies and then finally spent this last year with just the two of us. I have loved living with my best friend. Many people live with their best friends because they think it will be so fun and no drama. However, they quickly realize that's not the case and usually the friendship changes, or even ends. Heather and I have never had that problem. The longer we lived together, the closer we became! I am just so thankful for her and for all the fun memories we have made!!! I am so excited to see where the Lord takes us on this next journey! Love you best!
Now, I always have said, "The next person I live with after Heather will be my husband." Well, guess what?? SURPRISE! I'm not married... so I'm not living with my husband. So, the next best thing... Keith and Edna Vaughan! I lived with them for 18 years and I handled it well. I think I can do it for a few months :) All kidding aside, living with my mom and dad again is going to take some getting used to, but I think it's going to be great! AND I won't stay here forever; just a couple of months until I find a cute place to call my own :)

So, today, July 30, 2012, starts a "New Beginning" in my life. I'm starting my job tomorrow and my prescious little third graders arrive in 2 weeks! SO fun! As God would have it, Lynchburg decided to post three open elementary positions this week, two for third grade and one for first. While the selfish side of me really wanted to apply, and try one more time to stay in the Burg, I know leaving is the best choice. I was talking to Heather and then Erin about my decision. I know staying in Lynchburg would be more of a selfish choice. I am comfortable in Lynchburg and stagnant. Moving to NC will force me to do new things and get out of that comfort zone. Today was a very sad day for me. Lynchburg became my home and is where my best friends are. However, Lynchburg also holds a lot of memories that are hard to let go. While I will always remember my time in Lynchburg, it will be nice to not see reminders of things daily. I'm sad, but excited to start this new chapter and I am so excited to be a real teacher!! The Lord has a good and perfect plan for me and no matter where I am, I know who will be here through it all and that's all that matters. Now my blogs can be about teaching and how cute my classroom is!! Get excited!! :)
So long Virginia
HELLO North Carolina!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Big New Beginning!

One year ago today I had just gotten home from a wonderful week at the beach with my family and Grant. All was right with the world and we had had a wonderful week together. Grant went back to Alabama and we had planned our next time to see each other, which was in August. At the beach we had discussed our future plans and were excited for the next chapter in our lives. I would do my student teaching that fall, he would propose in December, and we would be married now, and I would be living in Alabama.
Crazy how much changes in a year! I will start my first teaching job in the Fall, Christmas will come in December, and I have no clue what's in store after that. Fast forward one year and the Lord has taken me on the craziest ride I have ever been on. Today, instead of thinking about a wonderful week at the beach, I am sitting at home, thinking about the next chapter in my life. All those promises made a year ago are just words now and after eight months of sadness, loneliness, and feelings of betrayal and hurt, I can honestly say, all is right with my world today. In a month I will be moving home with my family, where I will embark on a "New Beginning". I am Ms. Vaughan now to 28 third graders and I couldn't be more excited. I still cry when I think about moving, but I know this is what is best for me. For so long I have made my decisions for other people and it is time to make a decision for myself. While staying in Lynchburg with all my friends would be ideal, this opportunity is going to offer so much for my life. For 5 years Lynchburg has been my home and I have made memories here that will last a lifetime. My friends live here and it is hard to imagine my life without my best friend across the hall. However, for the first time in 8 months I can truly say I am happy. Am I where I thought I would be? NO. Do I wish some things in my life were different? YES. However, the Lord has a wonderful and good plan for my life and I'm excited to see what it is. He is going to provide me the man of my dreams and the desires of my heart. He is going to give me children to love on and teach and he is going to provide peace that only comes from him. I'm excited! Here's to another year!
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18-19 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Today my blog is back on track with my 100 people and my goal is to catch up! I am REALLY going to do at least one person a day from now on!
 Today was Father's Day. I have already bragged a lot about my dad and I could continue. He is an amazing father and I am so thankful to be his daughter. I was lucky enough to go home this weekend and I was able to be at church this morning, with him. His sermon was wonderful. The text was from Luke 15:11- 32, which is the story of the Prodigal Son. We looked at it from the side of the father, which represents God the father. Obviously, Christ has made a significant influence in my life and I am eternally grateful. His impact on my life has been the single most life changing impact over anyone else. By his grace I have been forgiven and saved. Today I am thankful that my earthly father models daily the love and grace my heavenly father demonstrates. My dad is not perfect, and neither am I, but he strives everyday to be the best father and role model possible. He made three points today in his message. 
A father should be:
1. Approachable
2. Spiritual
3. Compassionate
These three qualities in a father are directly from God and how he relates to us. There have been many times I have fallen short but I know that God is approachable and ready to listen when I talk and ready to speak when I am willing to listen. God is spiritual. He is the pure essence of being spiritual. He is compassionate and loves me unconditionally, no matter how many times I fail him. Without Christ, my life would be pointless. He has changed who I am and what I stand for. This Father's Day I am thankful for an earthly father who loves the Lord and his family and strives daily to put him first and our family second. I am also thankful for my Heavenly father, for his perfect love and grace and for saving me from myself.

Click the link below to listen to my dad's message from today. It is a wonderful message on how to be a father and what it takes to be a father in today's society. Every man should listen!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Randomness

I'm getting side tracked from the 100 people challenge thing. I'm sorry about that, but my brain is running overload and I need to clear it out. I always say, "I would hate to be in my brain". It's true, half the time I don't know what's going on up there and I feel like my head is going to explode with questions, worries, answers, and who knows what else. LIFE IS HARD AND NOT FAIR! I'm sure if you haven't figured that out by now, you will soon. I am a 26, half decent looking, single, unemployed adult. That sounds pathetic! I know I know, 26 isn't that old and I know I'm so good looking (HAHA JUST KIDDING), and I know being single isn't a bad thing, and I know that I will find the perfect job at the perfect time. However, right now, I do not feel that way. Now, about being single... I am TOTALLY fine with that. I can honestly say I am content being by myself at the moment and figuring out my life without having to consider someone else in the decisions.  I've done that before and look where that got me, seven years of wasted time on someone who could've cared less. Oh well.... water under the bridge. Can anyone tell what stage of grief I am in??? You guessed it, anger :) Am I sad about that? NOPE! I'm actually thrilled, because it's nice to feel something other than total disappointment and sadness. Anyway, back to being single. Yes, I would love to meet that special person and live happily ever after, but I am in no hurry to do so. I do miss having "a person" like Meridith and Yang, on Grey's Anatomy... except different. HAHA. I know the Lord is going to bring an amazing man into my life one day, who loves me, cherishes me, and wants the world for me. After having someone who didn't do those or want those things... I think I can wait for that amazing man. Now, onto the job front... SO FRUSTRATING!!!! I have had two interviews for teaching positions. For one of those positions I am one our of 89 applicants. GREAT! I'm sure my chances are wonderful! NOT! Oh well, maybe the principal saw something special in me. The other job is in Fayetteville, NC. I am will to move whereever I have too, but it's a little scary. My aunt and uncle live in Fayetteville, so that would be nice, but I would literally have to start my life all the way over. That's probably not a bad thing at all. In fact, it would probably be good for me to branch out and get of this little bubble called "lynchburg". I love living in Lynchburg but this city has a warped sense of how life is supposed to be and I think it's getting to me too. Oh well. I know the Lord will direct me where He knows I should be, and I know that I will be happy eventually with whatever path He choses. Lets see, anything else?? Oh, yes, friendships... I have the best friends in the world and they mean so much to me. I like to think that I am a good friend back and I like to think that I am that friend that sticks by you and will make every effort to let you know how important you are in my life. However, sometimes I don't get that vibe. HAHA. Oh well... what can you do? Not a thing. Okay, I'm done with this pointless post. I feel a little better, but not really. The next post I do will be a little more exciting and a lot more upbeat. Have a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee." Psalm 56:3

This post has nothing to do with the 100 people challenge. I just have a lot on my mind at the moment, so I figured I'd share it with you. I am blessed to have all my grandparents still living and healthy. I have never had to experience a close death before and I am grateful for that. I know it will happen, but I don't like thinking about it. A year ago my popple had open heart surgery and things were bad for a while. He did not do well with the surgery and the recovery time was hard and strenuous. We thought we had lost him a couple of times, but God had other plans! He is doing better now, but not a day goes by that I do not thank the Lord for keeping my popple alive. A year later, my family is being faced with another scare. Last Friday, my granny was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. The doctors are confident that they have caught it early and that they can remove the cancer with one surgery. They are also confident that she will not have to go through Chemo or radiation. When I hear the words "breast cancer" it scares me. My best friend, Rebecca's mom, is a breast cancer survivor and I saw what the disease did to her and those of us around her. Today Mrs. Beverley is healthy and doing great, but at the time it was one of the scariest things her family had been through. I know the Lord is in control and is going to take care of my granny. I believe he is going to heal her and make her faith and our family's faith even stronger through this journey. Please keep her and my family in your prayers and keep the doctor's in your prayers as they do what is best for her. She is my light and one of the strongest women I know. "Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee." (Psalm 56:3)
Four of the most important women in my life. Only one missing is my Grandma Sonnie.

We ARE Anne of Green Gables

Sorry it's been a few days with the blog postings. I'm so bad at it! Today my goal is two posts, recognizing two different people. Number 9 in my list of 100 (wow, I have a lot to get done) is none other than my best friend, roommate, and partner in crime, Heather Truax! (She just got back from being in Europe  for 14 days and it was the longest 14 days of my life!)
 Heather and I met 7 years ago when we were both on Living Proof/Primary Focus. We hit it off quickly and became good friends. When I came to Lynchburg, she stayed with the ministry one more year, but we talked often. My first year at Liberty was a little rocky, but Heather was just a phone call away and we talked all the time. We both were having a crappy time, so we needed each other. That Christmas she even had Christmas with my family because her flight back to Colorado was Canceled. It was a wonderful time! Anyway, in 2007 Heather came to Liberty and we were roommates and the rest is history. Heather and I are so different yet so much alike, as impossible as that sounds. We are Anne Shirley and Diana Barry from Anne of Green Gables, kindred spirits. She's the crazy, out of the box, dare devil friend and I am the oh my gosh are we going to get in trouble, freak out friend! HA. We compliment each other well! Heather is my other half and I can't even begin to tell you how much she means to me. 
 If you know Heather at all, and you are trying to describe her to someone else, this is usually how the conversation goes:
You: "She's the one with the blond hair, high voice, talks a lot, and is super nice."
Other person: " oh yeah!!! I know Heather!! She is so sweet!!"
Yep, that about sums it up. However, I know the "behind closed door Heather" and sweet is not a word I would use to describe us sometimes. :) Just kidding. Heather really is the most genuine, real, and honest person I know. She is that friend who has my back no matter what and would honestly go to battle for me. She is loyal and dependable and my rock. We rarely argue, and when we do, we yell at each other, slam doors, and then are fine the next day. We don't hold back from each other and we know everything there is to know about one another. We've been through some CRAZY stuff over the past 7 years and it has only made our friendship stronger. We've seen each other at our worst and at our best. We've helped each other through some of the darkest days in both of our lives. She's the first person I call when I have something to say and she is usually the last person I talk to before I go to bed. (We sound like an old married couple. HA!) This year brought a big change for us! We got our own rooms for the first time in 5 years. It was such a horrible day! HAHA! The conversations we have late at night are random and crazy. We have fun together, we cry together, we laugh together, we yell together, and we share the most important parts of our lives with one another. Heather makes me want to be a better person and she inspires me to do my best at everything and she supports me no matter what. Our friendship has been tested over the past 7 months, because of "the breakup". Out of everyone, Heather has been the one to see EVERYTHING. She has been so amazing and honest with me. I know she truly loves me and cares about me because she wants the best for me and she's willing to tell me the brutal truth, even when it kills me. She has no reservations about telling me when I am being stupid and she hurts when I hurt. That's a true friend. The Lord knew what I needed when He brought Heather into my life. She is my best friend and I know we will be best friends forever. And look at us, we are beautiful and can't be stopped! :) I love you Heather and I am so incredibly thankful for you best!





Friday, June 1, 2012

Friends till the end

Do you have people in your life that you tell everything to and who know some of your deepest darkest secrets? Are there people who you can go a while without talking to and then talk and pick right back up where you left off? Are there people who have seen you at your best and also at your worst and loved you through both? I have a handful of those people and one of them is number 8 on my 100 people challenge. Today's blog is dedicated to Rebecca Skeen Wilson.
Rebecca and I talk often and when we do, we talk about everything and our conversations go to the most random spots and they cover every emotion. Last night we talked for an hour and when I got off the phone I just thanked God for her and her friendship. She knows everything there is to know about me, the good and the bad and she loves and supports me through it all. 
When my family moved to Knoxville in 2000, I knew no one. Rebecca's dad was the children's pastor at my dad's church and Rebecca was one of the first people I met. We hit off instantly. We quickly became best friends and did everything together. My brother and her brother, Zach are best friends and our parents are best friends. We are all just one big happy family. Two people could not be any more alike than the two of us. We are both blunt, sarcastic, loud, and truly think we are amazing :) Back in the day I was at Rebecca's or she was at my house every weekend. We sat out of my bedroom window and watched random people make out in their car and we listened to the sound of the Wippoorwill. The first time I ever went to a "club" was with Rebecca and it was an experience I will never forget :) We got in trouble together, we laughed together, we cried together and we are the reason side hugs at Arlington Baptist Church exist. :) After 12 years, with a lot of good times, sad times, bad times, and crazy times, we are still best friends. Rebecca was there for me through my first love and I was there for her through her first love. We shared EVERYTHING with each other and still do. I experienced a lot of firsts with Rebecca. Coming from Hertford, NC to Knoxville, TN was total culture shock for me! I knew nothing about anything! haha. So, Rebecca and I learned a lot together. Things have not always been roses and sunshine in our lives. In fact, there have been multiple times when life flat out stunk for both of us, but we still seemed to have each other and pulled through it all. Rebecca has impacted my life in more ways than she will ever know. I learned how to be a true friend, by our friendship. I have seen the Lord work in and through Rebecca's life. She is such an inspiration to me and I truly look up to her. Life has thrown Rebecca some curve balls and she, like me, struggled to find meaning and purpose in life. During this time I have never prayed so much for a person, as I did Rebecca. I saw my prayers answered and I praise God he worked in both of our lives and made us stronger and better women. 
Today Rebecca is married to a wonderful man who loves her and cherishes her for who she is. They have two of the most adorable kids in the world, Addyson and Corbin. Rebecca is a wonderful mother and I pray I can one day be half the mother she is to those kids. I have watched her mature so much over the past few years. Her family is her world and she is raising them to love the Lord and love people. Matt is one lucky man to have such an amazing wife! 
Rebecca is one of those friends that will be there till the end. We may not ever live in the same place again, but we will talk all the time and we will always be actively involved in each others lives and for that I am truly thankful and grateful.
I love you Rebecca!


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today's blog and number 7 on the countdown is dedicated to my uncle David and all the men and women who have fought and who continue to fight for my freedom, and for those who have lost their lives paying the ultimate price. My uncle David is in the US Army and he is stationed in Ft. Bragg, in Fayetteville, NC. Growing up David was deployed a lot and I didn't see him very much. He was always very quiet when he was around. He and my aunt Brenda (who will make the countdown) have lived everywhere, including Germany. It wasn't until a few years ago that they moved to Fayetteville and have been close to home! I am proud to have an uncle who fights for his country with passion and desire and who truly wants the best for our country. David just got back in December from a deployment to Afghanistan. Besides being a soldier, David is my uncle and a fun uncle at that. If you know anything about my relationship with my uncle David, it is that we have a very sarcastic and fun relationship. We are hardly ever serious with each other and he is constantly making fun or picking on me! I don't mind though. I believe moving to Fayetteville was the best thing that could have happened to David and Brenda's family. First, they are closer to us and we get to see them more often and Fayetteville is where they have placed their roots and really gotten involved. David isn't as quiet anymore and I love it. In fact, I'm sure he will have something to say about this post. :) (Don't let this blow your ego David). He truly has impacted my life. First, he has been a wonderful uncle and puts up with my craziness. Second, he is a soldier in the United States Army and he fights for my freedom, and yours. He is selfless and has followed the Lord's calling on his life wholeheartedly. I am thankful for the sacrifice David and others like him give every day. I love you David and I am proud to be your niece. Happy Memorial Day everyone!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two Peas in a Pod :)

Sorry I have been away for two days. Friday night Linds and I freaked ourselves out by telling crazy dreams and I ended up staying the night at her house. Last night I was at my grandparents and didn't have Internet access. So, tonight I am combining numbers 5 and 6 in one post. Today's post is dedicated to Stanley and Peggy Vaughan-- my Popple and Granny.
Granny and Popple's 50th Wedding Anniversary

My college Graduation

I am blessed to have two sets of grandparents who  think the world of their grandchildren. Many people see their grandparents as just "old" people they have to visit on holidays or as people who just sit around and talk about boring things and aren't fun to be around. My grandparents are VERY different than that. I am very close to both sets of my grandparents, but this post is going to be about my dad's parents. I was the first of 5 grandchildren on my dad's side and until 5 years ago, I was the only girl. I can remember every year going to the mountains with granny and popple and my brother and going to Tweetsie Railroad, Santa Land, and Ghost Town in the Sky. I also remember going to Mudcat baseball games and packing a picnic to have before the game. The picnics would consist of my granny's homemade pimento cheese and fried chicken. To this day, every time I visit we have that meal. We visited them whenever we could and stayed at their house so many weekends. In the Fall we would rake all the leaves and dump them in a very deep ditch in front of their house. Dustin an I would jump in the leaves and do this over and over for hours! I would put on fashions shows for granny and we would sing and dance in the living room. We would walk on the railroad tracks and tell stories. My fondest childhood memories were spent with my granny and popple. 

Danielle: "Popple, guess what?"
Popple: "What punkin Doodle?"
Danielle: "You're bald headed."
Popple: "No way! Who told you that mess?"
Danielle: "I just see it."

I can clearly remember this conversation like it were yesterday. Every time I saw my popple, when I was younger, this would be usually how I greeted him. My popple is a cute little bald headed man, who is sarcastic as can be, and I love it! From the time I was born he called me punkin doodle and to this day, I rarely ever hear him call me Danielle. One thing I always have admired about my popple is his dedication to the Word of God. Every evening before he goes to bed, he kneels by his bedside and prays. Every morning he starts his day reading the bible and praying. He is such an encouragement to me.

My granny is very special to me. We have a special bond, that only the two of us share. We talk on the phone as much as we can and I tell her and my popple everything. There are secrets no one else knows, but my granny and popple. My granny and I would sing together whenever we could and she never hesitated to play with me. To this day I know I can call her whenever and she will be there for me. When Grant and I broke up my granny and popple were the first people I told. My parents were in Hatti, so called them and cried and they just listened on the other end.

I know that everyone has a time to leave this world, but I can't imagine my life without my granny and popple. They are the rock of our family and the glue that keeps us all together. They have shown me what true love is and they live a life that is truly pleasing to the Lord. Their love for one another is contagious and they love each other more today than they ever have.

My granny and popple are two of the most precious people in my life and I am so thankful and blessed to have them. I love you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Then there were 4

Well, 3 down and 97 to go!100 people is a lot!!! I like that I decided to do this because it has made me go back through my life and really think about the people I have crossed paths with and how they have shaped my life. As many of you know, one of biggest, if not my biggest, passions in life are children. I love babysitting, I love teaching, and I love just being around children. The 4th person in my list of 100 is Amanda Nixon, now, Amanda Nixon Winslow. I'm sure Amanda has no clue that she had an impact on my life but she did in a very profound way. Amanda was our main babysitter when my family lived in Hertford. My parents did not leave us with babysitters often, but when they did, we loved it and we loved Amanda. I can remember wanting to be a babysitter, just like Amanda. My fondest memory of Amanda was her making my brother and I Mac and Cheese with hot dogs. We both loved it but my parents thought it was the weirdest thing. To this day, it is my all time favorite thing to eat and I legit have it like 3 times a week, if not more. Each time I make it, I think of Amanda. Its been like 12 or so years since I have seen Amanda, but we are friends on Facebook and I love keeping up with her and her family. She was a girl that I looked up to and wanted to be like when I grew up. I just thought she was so cool! She was always fun and I can remember always having something to do when she came over. Now, babysitting is a huge part of my life. It basically got me through college. I always wanted to be the fun babysitter that all the kids liked and I have achieved my goal! HAHA. Now I am the girl young girls look up to and want to be like. One of the girls I watch, Annie, is 9 years old and I have been watching her since she was 4. She calls me her fake sister and tells her friends that she has a "fake" sister and its just like having a real sister. I love it! So, Amanda had no clue she made such an impact on my life but she made me want to be a babysitter, and a great one at that! Thanks Amanda! :)
This is Amanda, now, pregnant with her 2nd child!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unexpected lessons

Today's blog is going to be kind of short and sweet. When I decided to do the 100 people challenge, I didn't really think about the fact that I had to know 100 people who have influenced my life in one way or another. HA! Fail! I know you're saying, "WOW Danielle! You're only on person 3." You're right, I am only on person 3 and I can assure you there are many people who have shaped who I am today and even I am excited about the 100 people. However, today's person is a hard one for me to write about. As many of you know, I dated a guy named Grant for 7 years. We met when we were 18 years old, on Living Proof and we hit it off right away. Number 3 is Grant Gibson. I know what your thoughts are and you don't have to share them, but if you think about it, 7 years of my 26 year life span is a pretty big deal. Grant an I traveled together, went to college together, and experienced many big milestones together in those 7 years. Naturally, he has influenced my life. I have no intentions of talking negatively about Grant because Grant is a good person. Am I hurt? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Am I scared? Yes. Do I still love him? Yes. Will I be okay? YES! I loved Grant with all of my heart and I truly believe Grant loved me with all of his heart, in the best way he knew how. If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE Disney princesses and wish I could be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Growing up I had the fairytale outlook on love, and I still do. I believed in the prince charming, who would sweep me off my feet and love me forever and we would live happily ever after. I quickly learned that life is not a fairytale. Through my time with Grant, I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about relationships. During our relationship, I learned to truly love another person and to truly put their needs before my own. Grant was my prince and lived my life for him. BIG MISTAKE! Lesson 1: Never live your life for another person! Over the past 7 months I have had to readjust my plan for my life and my future. After losing Grant, it felt as if a part of me was missing. I still feel that way sometimes. However, I would not trade the last 7 years of my life with Grant. Yes, there are things I would have done differently, but I don't regret being with him. I could literally write about Grant and the lessons he and our relationship taught me, for hours. However, I will not bore you with that. The most exciting thing, that I am finally starting to grasp, is that God had and has another plan for my life, way bigger than I could ever hope for or dream. I don't really understand it and I get frustrated daily, but being with Grant has prepared me to except something even greater in the future. It also showed me what I need to change in my life in order to be the kind of wife a man deserves. Grant will always have a part of my heart but, because of him, I can love better and harder next time. Grant had a tremendous impact on my life and I am thankful for that! 


Monday, May 21, 2012

2 Down...98 more to go!

YAY! I jumped from 4 followers to 7 followers in a day!!! HAHA it's the little things. Be sure to read some of the previous posts to see where life has taken me in the last 4 months. It's a lot about life, love, and lessons. Today was a good Monday. I had Fisher today and we spent the morning with Erin and the boys. Tonight I started a bible study with a group of ladies and I am so so excited about it! There are about 10 of us and the only other girl I know is Lindsey, which is great because I'm excited to meet new friends! I have been searching for a time like this and a way to get involved with other women and share what the Lord is doing in our lives! The study is by Priscilla Shier and it is on Discerning the Voice of God. So exciting!!! Life is so crazy and I know I often feel like God has nothing to say to me. However, God is always talking, I am just not always listening. If I listened and obeyed more I think my life would be a lot less crazy! Yay for this "New Beginning" and I'm glad I get to go through it with Linds! :) 
We both need it! 
Now onto what you've all been dying to know... who's number 2??????? Well, wait no longer, the 2nd person on my list of 100 people is none other than my beautiful, smart, and creative mother, Edna Vaughan! 
I don't even know where to begin when trying to describe my mom. She is the most incredible woman I know! Our relationship has not always been the greatest and believe it or not there was a time when we argued all the time and our relationship was strained. When I moved out of my parents house and joined Living Proof, our relationship improved drastically. While I am the spitting image of my dad, I am very much so my mother's child. We are both very blunt and honest and often times that seemed to get in the way of our relationship. Now, my mom is my best friend. I tell her everything and I truly value her wisdom and opinions. She is such a wonderful mom and has always put my needs ahead of her own. She is the most selfless woman I know and she always puts others first. One thing that really encourages me is knowing that my mom prays for me daily, over and over again. Her desire is to see me happy, at whatever cost. My brother and I are the most important people in her life, and that is comforting. During the past few months, my mom has been a constant reminder of God's love. My breakup with Grant was not only hard on me, but it was hard on those around me and who knew Grant and I. It was especially difficult and hard for my family because Grant was part of our family. However, while I knew my mom was upset, she made a conscious effort in making sure she was encouraging and loving, even when she didn't understand my feelings. She will never know how much that has meant to me! I can only pray that I can be half the mother and wife she is to me. As far as being a wife, can you imagine being married to my dad? haha. That's a full time job in and of itself and she handles it well! :) My mom is patient, kind, and always respectful towards my dad and she admires him. Their love is truly one of a kind and it is one that I hope to have one day! It makes me smile to see how much I am like my mom. My mom is the Proverbs 31 woman. Anyone who knows her, would say the same thing and there is not a mean thing that could ever be said about her. She loves the Lord and she loves people and she loves investing her time in others lives. She is a true example of God's plan for a mother, wife, friend, and career woman. She will never know the impact she has had and continues to have on me and my life.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

100 People Challenge

I have decided that I am not that good at this whole blog thing, so, I am going to make it a priority to write every day. In order to do that I am going to do a blog challenge on the top 100 people who have influenced my life. These people will be in no particular order and I plan on writing about one person each day. I may even add a few things here and there that are kinda random about my life. In fact, we are going to start with 5 random things going on in my life at the moment.
1. I can't wait to have butterflies again over someone special.
2. I'm going to Uganda in February,
 to work in an orphanage and I can't even wait! 
3. I have been filling out teaching applications 
like it's a full time job.
4. I started selling ThirtyOne and
think all two of you who read this should buy something.
5. I have the house to myself 
for a whole month and I don't love it!

Now, the first person on my list of 100 people who have influenced my life is none other than the one and only S. Keith Vaughan... my father!

I am by far the biggest daddy's girl in the world. I know many people say, "I have the best dad in the whole world". Well, they may think they do but I can assure you my dad is the best! He is my biggest fan and advocate. My dad is not only my father, but he is my mentor, my pastor, my friend, and my hero. He is strong in his faith and he is passionate about His work. He loves the Lord and he has a true desire to influence this world for Christ. My life verse is Matthew 5:16, which states "Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven." My dad lives out this verse daily. He is a light to the world and many people would love to put that light out. However, that will not be possible. :) I have seen my dad hurt by the very people who profess love to him and I have seen him betrayed by some of his best friends. I have watched as the church has beat him down and cared more about "politics" than about the word of God. However, each time, my dad has stood firm and never backed down from what he knew to be right and what he knew to be God's will. As a father, my dad did everything he could to make sure my brother and I had everything we could ever want or need. He raised us to be independent and confident people and to hold our heads high and rely on God's love, support, and will to guide us. The past seven months have been the hardest I have been through so far in my life. My dad has been constant and loving through it all. He, as well as, my mom and other close friends, have seen me at my lowest of lows and yet he carried me through it and never faltered. As a husband, he has shown me how a man should treat his wife and how love never ever grows old and NEVER fails. He loves my mom with a love that I can only pray that I show half of when I find that special someone. He adores my mom and she is the light of his life. He is the true example of a Godly  husband, father, and friend.
 Well, there ya have it! One down, 99 left to go!  Wonder who's next???

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Forever Love

I know all four of you who read my blog have been very sad and depressed that you haven't heard from me in like three months. Have no fear, I'm back!! A lot has happened since the wonderful "snow day". Well, not really, but I like to think that a lot has happened. One thing that has happened and that is very different for me, is I like to shop. I have never really been a shopper and I have never really bought things for myself. However, that has changed. Now, I can't stop. I have a problem and my friend Lindsey is no help because she just encourages my crazy spending. (Love you Linds) Anyway, so tonight Lindsey an I went to see The Lucky One. It was so good. Our plan was to go to dinner at our staple, La Ca, and then see the movie at 8:00. However, the 8:00 movie was sold out so we had a little retail therapy. BAD IDEA!!!! I spent too much money on super cute dresses, bathing suits, and shoes. (Notice all plural) ooopppsss! Anyway, The Lucky One was so good. I read the book and it is by far my favorite Nicolas Sparks book. Like always, the book was better, but the movie was great also. The only bad part, it's a movie and its fantasy and guys like that do not exist. Therefore, girls like me have expectations that clearly will never be met and we feel like we have to settle. Well, I'm not settling! I will find a man who loves me and cherishes me and thinks I hung the moon (even though he clearly knows God did). I also just finished reading Karen Kingsburys, Bailey Flannigan series. It was great! I love her books but this series was my favorite because I closely related to the story. One quote that stood out to me was when the mom in the story was talking to her daughter, Bailey, about knowing when the right guy comes along. She said, "The next time a boy pursues you, he better do it like a dying man looking for water in a desert. When it's the right guy, you'll know, because he'll cherish you." That's what I want!!! I want a guy to pursue me and cherish me. While it may not seem like there are guys out there who will do this, I know there are and I will wait for my time. I spent 7 years waiting to be pursued and cherished. While my "ex" (weird) is a wonderful man and I truly did love him, he never pursued me and think we both took each other for granted. There are many things I would have changed in our relationship but one sticks out in my mind and that is, I want the man I am with to know I cherish and adore him and never take him for granted. Yes, there will be problems and hard times, but I never want those to overshadow our love for each other. Cherishing is something that every woman wants and desires, and is different for every woman. We want special attention and we want to be recognized. We want to know that we are special to you. The love between a man and a woman should be like that of Christ love for the church. Christ cherishes us and loves us with no ending. I want a man who loves me like that. Girls, we got this! God created us to want that and he created man to be that. We will find them! :)
This song is great! Listen and reflect on Christ's love for us and the love we one day will share with that special someone :)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

SNOW DAY!


Today was a great day! I woke up to snow falling and I headed to church. After church I went to lunch with Lucas, Erin, the boys, and Lindsey. Us girls then went to the mall and did a little shopping! YAY! I spent the rest of the day watching the snow fall. It was beautiful!!!! We have about 9 inches and it's still falling and I'm still loving it! I was kind of stupid and went outside in a bathing suit in the snow. I was feeling adventurous. Lucas did it... so I did it :) SO FUN!!! This is a lame post but it was a fun relaxing day!

I also decided to buy two new bathing suits!!!!


My body does not look like these girls but I can rock the bathing suits!! I'm so excited to get them!
The snow is wonderful and I'm so excited to see it and play in it tomorrow but I"m ready for the beach and a tan!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Small Things

There is no telling where this blog post will lead. I am literally just writing how I feel and what I am thinking at this moment in time. The last post I wrote about was Valentine's Day. While I made myself push through the day and while I promised myself I would not let the day bother me, the next day I was a complete wreck...go figure! My problem is simple...trust. I have lost a lot of hope and trust. The one person I shared the most intimate parts of my life with, hurt me and betrayed me. While he may not have meant to do those things and while he probably doesn't see the effect he has had on me, I have been devastated. Yes, I am getting better everyday, but I'm ready to be completely better everyday. I know that will not happen over night and I know that it will take time, but it's just hard. I understand ending something that you feel has died, but having no remorse or not checking on the person you said you were going to spend the rest of your life with, is difficult to process. I truly believed the Lord bought us together to learn from each other and grow together. We did that but we also took each other for granted and I refuse to ever do that again. I lost a piece of my heart and my life and it is the hardest thing to get back.
I was talking to my friend Lucas last night about this whole situation. He and Erin, and all my friends have been so great through this difficult time and they have supported me and loved me through the hardest of times. He said something to me last night that I really appreciated and that I want to start doing. If you knew Lucas, you would know that he is a very sarcastic and honest person. He is also one of the most genuine and loving guys I have ever met. I trust Lucas and I know he would do absolutely anything for me and anything to make me happy! Anyway, we were talking and he told me I need to start looking forward to the small events or things in my life. All too often we look forward to the big things in life and fail to get excited about the little things. For example, really looking forward to 8:00pm on Wednesdays, to watch One Tree Hill. While this is super small, it can help me get through my day with something to look forward too. Right now I am looking forward to spending next weekend in DC with Erin, Lucas, and the boys. While this may seem simple, I think we all can admit we look at the big picture and big future and not really the here and now. He said, "I look forward to the little things and I pray." That's exactly what I need to do more of. Look and pray. The Lord has a plan for me and I know it is more than I could ever hope for or dream! Until then, I look forward to the small things, in order to build up to the big things.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Day of Love

Well, today is Valentine's Day. I refuse to be bitter! I have always been a fan of the day of love because I am the textbook romantic. I love the flowers, cards, sappy sayings, and all that lovey dovey stuff. While most single girls sulked around all day feeling sorry for themselves, I told myself I would NOT be like that and for the most part I did a good job if I do say so myself! I took the time to remember all the wonderful Valentine's Days I have had and I took the time to really be thankful that I have been in love. Love is a wonderful feeling. Having someone love you back is even better. For seven years I spent my life with someone who did love me and I know that love was real. I am so thankful for that time I spent with him. Yes, today was hard and I missed him more today, but I also refused to let it get the best of me.

My little man!
I had a great day and spent it with wonderful people! I nanny for a little boy named Fisher, who is 8 weeks old. He is precious and wanted to snuggle all day. There's just something about a child's love that makes me smile and so happy. They love you no matter what! Reminds me of Christ love for us. I also recieved phone calls today from friends I haven't talked to in a while, who just wanted to check on me. It meant the world that they would think of me and want to tell me they love me. I also got a Valentine from my daddy.... I'm going to see WICKED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so incredibly excited and so surprised! I spent the evening with the Kelly family and Ryder was the PERFECT valentine!!! He puts grown men to shame. He ran up to me in his little suspenders and bow tie, with a hand full of balloons and a puppy dog, and said, "Happy Valentine's Day Danielle! I got you a whole whole big bunch of balloons!" I will admit, I teared up just a little. It was just so adorable. His daddy (Lucas) also got me a pack of cokes and oreos. :)

On another note, I went to see The Vow with Lindsey, Heather, and Erin on Sunday night and it was really good. I want a man to pursue me and fight for me no matter what. A man should love a woman with an undying love that beats all and never fails! This was from my devotion this morning: 
"I sense God wants you to know that He delights greatly in you. And with His love, He is there today to quiet your fears, insecurities and doubts. I have a feeling the joy-filled songs He sings over you are written just for you, describing the beautiful woman He’s created you to be, while gently leading your heart to know and rely on His love more and more each day." Such a great reminder! I do not need a guy to fulfill my need of being loved. Christ pursues me daily and loves me with a love that will never fail. That is amazing! It may sound cliche, but it's true and it's all I need. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I do know I deserve to be treated with a love that bears all things and will never fail. Happy Valentine's Day!!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday!!

I am getting the hang of this blog thing I think. My posts are probably boring and I'm pretty sure Lindsey and my dad are the only ones who read it, so they already know half the stuff I say. Oh well, it's therapeutic. So, I had a great Saturday! I spent it with my mom and dad and we did a little shopping and I bought a bed set!! I am so excited about it! I bought a duvet cover and a down comforter and it's beautiful. I post a picture when I get it set up. My granny and popple also came to visit today!

 I just love my granny and popple. I mean, look at them... are they not the cutest two love birds in the world!? My popple is just an adorable bald headed man and my granny is the sweetest person alive. I am very blessed to be super close to both of them and I talk to them often. Many of my childhood memories involve them. They have been married 53 years and love each other more than you could ever imagine loving someone. They brought me some yummy Valentine treats and I was so excited! My granny makes the best rice krispy treats in the world!!!!!! Anyway, they came and stayed for a while and granny scratched my arm for a very long time! (Told you I love it). We talked and laughed and had a great time. 
Tonight I went bowling with my parents and Andrew and Jasmine and Greg and Angie. Today was Andrew's birthday (he is the children's pastor at my dad's church), so we celebrated with bowling and then went to the sellmans for desert. The Sellmans have two little girls who are ADORABLE and have the best playroom I have ever seen in my life! Mia's dad built her a princess castle into the wall of her play room. It is literally every little girls dream room. Shoot, I'd have it for my room now. It's beautiful!
 In other news, Whitney Houston died!!!! I think I was in disbelief for a good 30 minutes and I still am not sure if I really believe it. It makes me sad! She was such a talented woman and singer and had such an impact on the world of music. With that, I will leave with this goody! Happy Saturday!!






Friday, February 10, 2012

Out with the old...

Well, my day started off super early (5:00) with a very happy 2 year old jumping on my bed telling me to "wake up". It was cute, but too early. The morning continued with getting the munchkins dressed and ready for school. My friend Jacob texted me told me I should go to Chick-fil-a for breakfast. I quickly took his advice and made a trip before I drove home to visit with my mom and dad. Stopping at Chick-fil-a was a fantastic choice! I had my big fatty coke and rocked out to Adele all the way home....WONDERFUL! When I got home I received a magnificent 90 minute massage and it was a little piece of heaven. I always say this, but, when I grow up and become rich, I am going to pay someone to either play with my hair for an hour each day or just scratch my back. My massage was beyond amazing and so needed! I ended the evening by going to a birthday party. It was a fun Friday. When I got home I proceeded to pack up a bin of memories. I spent 7 wonderful years with someone I love deeply and tonight I put those memories in box and put them away. I cried... a lot, but it needed to happen. One step closer to "moving on" as people say. However, not sure moving on is an option any time soon, but we shall see! You never know what the Lord has planned. It was very sad to put away things that have meant everything to me, but it's also unfair for me to just keep them out, hurting myself even more. So I end by saying, "Out with the old... but not sure about the new yet." :) Looking forward to a great weekend at home! This song is off Mandisa's album "What if We Were Real". The song is called, "Just Cry". It is a great reminder that there is nothing wrong with our tears and the Lord sees our tears and knows our pain. My favorite line in the song says, "Life is hard, and days get long- you gotta know God can handle honesty, so feel the things you're feeling, name your fears and doubts. Don't stuff your shame and sadness, loneliness and anger. Let it out, let it out, let it out. It doesn't mean you don't trust him." All too often crying is a sign of weakness. From someone who cries... a lot... crying is a place where we are vulnerable and in need for healing. Sometimes you just have to cry!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My VIP List

In order to make this blog amazing you are going to have to meet some amazing, or should I say, Very Important People, in my life. I will talk about these people often and it's only fair that you know who they are.

My Amazing Family

First and foremost I would like you to meet my family! My momma and my "diddy" live in Cary, NC, where my dad is a pastor and my mom is a nurse. My bother is 23 years old and lives in Knoxville, TN. I am pretty sure I have the best parents ever. I know a lot of people say that about their own parents, but mine ROCK!
My BEST Friend and I sporting our Nathan Scott One Tree Hill shirts  
Next, I would like to meet my best friend and roommate, Heather. Heather and I have known each other for six years and lived together for five. She is amazing and the best best friend anyone could ever ask for. We have been through a lot together and have stuck by each other through thick and thin. She is the most loving, compassionate, and honest person I know. I am blessed to have her in my life and to have her as my best friend! She would do absolutely anything for me and to make me happy. I just love her!!!! She knows everything there is to know about me!
Ryder and Max              
These two cuties are Ryder and Maxwell. You will meet their mommy and daddy next. Ryder is two years old and is the cutest two year old in the world. He makes me heart happy and says the sweetest things! I just love him and he loves his Danielle! Max is five months old and is a ray of sunshine.His smile will melt your heart. They are such a blessing to me!

Lucas and Erin are two of my best friends. I don't take pictures with Lucas, so that's the best I have. We have known each other for almost eight years and we lived together for a year on a traveling team we were a part of. Lucas and Erin were married five years ago and they are Ryder and Max's parents. I spend a lot of my time with these two and they are wonderful. You will hear lots about them!
Me, Lindsey, and Christy at graduation  

These two lovely ladies are two of my good friends and they make me so happy! We met each other my sophomore year at Liberty and have been close ever since! Lindsey lives here in Lynchburg with me and we spend a lot of our time together. She's the one who got me to start my blog. She's amazing and she has been such a wonderful friend through the past few months. Christy lives in RI with her husband, Chris. We miss her so much, but we are still super close!
Tanya, Candace, and I  
These ladies are very special to me. I worked with them for a year at a group home and we became very close. They are know just what to say to make me laugh and we have the best time together!! 
Me, Addyson, and Rebecca at Rebecca's brother's wedding.
Finally, I would like you to meet my best friend from Knoxville, Rebecca. I met Rebecca 12 years ago when my family moved to Knoxville and we have been best friends ever since. I do not get to see her nearly as much as I would like but we talk often and she knows everything going on in my life. We have been through the best of times and the worst of times and have supported and loved each other through it all. She is an amazing woman and friend and I am so thankful for her. The beautiful little girl in the picture is Rebecca's 5 year old daughter, Addyson and she is the spitting image of her momma. Rebecca also has a 3 year old named Corbin and she is married to an amazing man named. Matt. Her family is adorable and I miss them every day!

I think that's about it. Clearly I can't put every person that is important in my life, but these are the ones I will probably talk about most. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and amazing friends!!!