First off, lemme just say MY BAD for not posting in like 5 months. SO much has been happening. I left off around summer time so let's do a quick catch up!!!
All throughout summer I was taking summer classes and working. Literally that's it. Class. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I will say, I absolutely LOVE my job, so it really didn't feel like work :) I did get to go on a short trip to South Carolina with my boyfriend, Zach, to visit our friend who's based in the military there. (Side note: More mosquitos live there than humans I'm sure of it.) And that's really about it. Very productive summer I'd say. Almost 2 months ago, I started my junior year of college WHOOP WHOOP!!! - And it's a great feeling, it really is. It's crazy to think that I am almost finished with my college career. But lately, I haven't had that "whoop whoop" feeling.
For awhile I had no inspiration to write. That's partially why it has taken me almost half a year to post an update I guess. I was in funk. Still kinda am, if I am being honest. I feel like a lot of us (especially us in college) are. It's October. For us that are in college, it's midterm season. We are smack dab in the middle of the semester, and I will say, this is BY FAR the hardest semester I have dealt with in college so far. I don't know about y'all, but this is the time of year where I have so much that I need to get done and so many things to do that I don't do ANY of it.... And then I feel even worse because I didn't get anything accomplished. That's the funk I'm talking about.
This post is gonna be pretty raw. I feel like a lot of people can relate to what I've felt recently and I just wanna let it be known that it gets better. I can't tell you how many breakdowns I've had in the past couple months that have rooted from there being too much on my plate. I've always been one to keep busy. I like being busy. But I've realized recently that I can't take on everything, even though I may want to. Let me just give you a rundown of what I have going on:
If you are anything like me and want to conquer everything at once, the simple fact is you can't. I've finally come to terms with this, as crazy as that may sound. Before I was literally having anxiety attacks thinking about everything. From things I needed to get done, to my major and future career, to grades, to relationships. Think of anything and I've probably cried about it (lol literally). And that's what leads me to this.....
I have to remind myself of who is really in control. Even though I feel like I've taken some steps backwards lately, I know it's all for me to spring a million steps forward. Sometimes Jesus tells us to go a certain way so we can figure things out on our own, when really the whole point of us doing that was so He could lead us right back to Him. He is the focal point. And I definitely feel like I forget that sometimes, especially when things get chaotic. Not saying all of this to preach or to make you make Jesus apart of your lives, but He is apart of mine and it's a really great feeling having Him to fall back on.
Hey y'all!!! This post may be a little lengthy but so much happened that I can't help but share :D
So recently, I just got back from Georgia where I attended work week for SharpTop Cove, which is one of many Young Life camps across the nation. Prior to leaving for this trip, I was actually kinda nervous. I don't know whether it was because our group was driving across 5 states to get there (I get SUPER car sick) or the fact that I just didn't know what to expect from this camp or the people I was going with. Maybe it was a little a bit of everything. 18 hours later, we finally made it to SharpTop and y'all.... it was SO worth it. (I'll attach pictures below!!)
Some of y'all might be wondering what the heck does work week consists of?? So for every Young Life camp, no matter where its held, they have a couple different crews come in before kids actually come to camp to get everything ready for them. Our team was in charge of landscaping mostly. Some of us were in charge of mulch and the majority of us moved rocks. About 15,000 give or take. THOSE WHO KNOW, KNOW LOL. I will say, during those 4 days, that is the most I have ever sweated in my life AND I have never seen that many snakes either (I have a deathly fear of them) but still... It was worth it.
At first, I didn't really understand why we were doing this. I mean it's moving rocks, what kid is going to be evaluating our work? But by the end of the week, I realized the real reason why we were doing this. A man we met here told us that a couple years back, a boy he knew came to camp here. One night, this boy had gone into the bathroom, knelt down, and asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. That is what this camp does, it makes kids fall in love with Jesus. Everything about it. As soon as you step foot on the property, you can feel His presence. It was already created beautifully, we were just there to enhance it a little.
Now we didn't just work all week, we got to have some fun. There was a rope swing, sand volleyball court, and a whole bunch of other fun activities on top of going to club every night. Club is basically singing a bunch of songs, playing games, being with all your friends, and then listening to a great message. After club we would have "cabin time" which was time to reflect with your friends about the message you heard for the night. That alone was probably my favorite part of the week.
Like I said before, I didn't know what I expecting coming into this trip, but what I came back with... My relationship with God grew IMMENSELY and that's really what I wanted out of this trip. I made so many new friendships that I know will stick. I gained a new perspective and even gained a little muscle moving those rocks ;) I would not have gained any of these things though if I didn't go out of my comfort zone. I went out of state (to somewhere I had never been before). I went with people for the most part, I didn't know. I didn't know what Young Life camp consisted of. I lifted the heaviest rocks I will never lift again LOL. Those are just to name a few. Get out of your comfort zone. I promise you, it will have you feeling refreshed, no matter what it may be. Talk to someone new, try new food (I also did that over the week), attempt a new workout, maybe even dig deeper in your relationship with God. You name it. The happiness I feel from this experience, I want everyone to feel that for themselves... The best part is you don't even have to travel far to feel it :)
Our project the first day = Picking up all the rocks, removing old sod & raking, then placing the rocks back in place
If you know me, you know I would never in my life pick up a snake (Even one this small)
Work Week 2018
My frandddsss Jaci & Sydney :)
First off, hi!!!!!!
Secondly, I feel SO guilty for not writing a post for March... BUT I have a lot to catch y'all up on :)
In my last post, I was talking about training to become a Young Life leader and all that jazz. Well.....IT HAPPENED. The week after spring break, I got placed at Hays High School to be one of their new leaders :) I am so unbelievably excited to start this journey and I cannot wait to see all the good things my God will instill in me.
As far as spring break goes, I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my mom. It was such a cool experience to see the different culture, eat some yummy food, and soak up some sun (I may have soaked up a little TOO much). It was nice to get away for a week and just relax because I most definitely needed it. This semester has been extremely busy, especially this past month. My photography has been getting TONS of recognition!!!! Thanks to all of you :) At times, it almost feels like it is part time job.. BUT I love it and I know I will continue to grow in photography, as well as my passion for it.
The semester may be coming to an end, but I feel as if this is only the beginning to some amazing things happening right now in my life. The past month has been a huge turning point in my life in many different ways, them ALL being good.
That being said, I have a strong feeling, no matter the place you are in right now, your turning point is coming. It is a new month, a new season, and the perfect time to start a new beginning.
P.S. I know this was a short post compared to all of my others, but like I said, this was a quick catch up. Be ready for another new post soon!!!
Placement night for Young Life - This is my Hays team :) Colin & Kaylee (on both sides of me) got placed too!!
My momma & I in Mexico
Cute road in Mexico, so different but I LOVE it!!!
Inside of the "Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe" Catholic church
Locals selling goodies on the Malecon
Handmade puppets at a local farmer's market in town
Recently, a bunch of y'all have asked me what my relationship with Jesus is like, how it came to be, and how I continue to grow with the Lord. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explain that part of my life with y'all, especially because I am in the process of becoming a Young Life leader!!! :)
To start off, I haven't always been this close with Jesus. My life before knowing Him was a whole lot different than it is now. Growing up, I went to a childcare (Pre-K) center my great-grandparents had started. It was right next to our Methodist church back home and every Wednesday we would have chapel for about an hour. I’m sure you can imagine little 5 and 6 year olds in chapel, not exactly knowing what was going on. Along with chapel, every other day we would have Bible lessons in class. I remember vividly watching “Beginner’s Bible” on VHS and reading their version of the Bible. At that age, I didn’t quite know who Jesus was, but I had an idea. My immediate family wasn’t super religious so they didn’t force me to go to church every Sunday. We were that family that just went on Christmas and Easter.
After graduating from Pre-K, I didn’t really have much guidance to continue my vague relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t a priority to me. In 8th grade, I met now one of my closest friends, Stephanie. Right off the bat, you could tell she knew Jesus and had a very strong relationship with Him. I wanted that. She was a part of her church’s worship team and tried multiple times throughout high school to get me to go to R.U.S.H (Rise Up Share Hope) which was their youth group. I attended a couple times, but I felt like the atmosphere just wasn't for me. Right before our senior year started, Stephanie moved back to her hometown in North Carolina. Great, now what? I have no friends that go to youth group or have any interest in knowing Jesus… Or so I thought.
At the beginning of my senior year, I started dating Jake. Same situation as Stephanie, you could tell he knew Jesus, as did his family. I wanted that. Now being somewhat older, I really wanted to commit and see what Jesus was all about. His family invited me to attend church with them one Sunday about 3 years ago and really ever since then, I have been in love with Jesus. About 2 and a half years into Jake and I’s relationship, we broke up. It was a mutual decision and we are still great friends today. I’ve always been one to try and find the reasons behind things and why they happen the way they do. I can say without a doubt in my mind that Jesus put me in that relationship to bring me closer to Him. As far as being friends with Jake now, I believe that’s also Jesus’s doing. We both knew it would be better going our separate ways yet, we still love one another, just not in that way. To me, this is us living life like Jesus did. He loved no matter what.
Now knowing Jesus, I live my life in a different perspective. I constantly want to share His word and I want people to see Jesus through me. I think the turning point when I realized I was actually making a difference and seeing the impact I had on others was about a year and a half ago. One of my friends from high school had messaged me to ask if I truly live my life based on the idea that God would take care of me. I responded with a short story of how I came to know God and told him if he ever needed to talk that I would be there (this was on Christmas day by the way). About 2 weeks had passed, when one night he messaged me again and had said he went to church for the first time and I may or may not have changed his life…. I cannot begin to explain in words what that felt like hearing that. That is when I knew Jesus was working through me.
Today, my love for Him is growing every day and I want to continue my relationship with him. I constantly have conversations with Him, whether it be in my room while I'm getting ready for class or driving in my car. I have yet to be baptized, but I would love for that to happen in the near future.
As far as Young Life goes, it is an organization that focuses on building relationships with kids in middle school, high school, and even college. As a leader, once we build a strong relationship with these kids, we are able to introduce them to Jesus and help them grow in their faith. I am so excited to see what Young Life has in store for me because I truly believe that Jesus put me in the right place, with the right people, and believes I can truly do wonders being a leader.
First post of 2018 and ohhhh it's a good one!!!!
So last week I went to Disneyland and those of you that know me, know I could live there lol. This was my 7th trip there just to prove that point. But this trip was unlike any other. For starters, I captured some really amazing pictures that I'll post below and on my portfolio page. The highlight of this trip though was the fact that I got to enter Club 33!!!! I'm assuming most of you haven't a clue what this place is or the importance of it. This club was originally designed as a place for Walt Disney himself to entertain guests and business associates, but unfortunately he died before it was opened. Nowadays, the club is somewhat hidden near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the only way to enter the club is to be a member which has a waitlist that takes years to get to the top of. Once you become a member, you have to pay an initiation fee anywhere from $25,000-$100,000 and depending on the level of membership you get, you must pay annual fees that are between $12,500-$30,000. CRAZY RIGHT???!!! SO HOW DID WE GET IN? My mom's friend that was with us at the park surprised us with a reservation one night (the company she works for has a membership). I was almost in tears because I was so overwhelmed. For those that don't know me as well, I love anything Disney. I know lots of Disney "secrets" that I may include in another post some other time, but the whole park and idea of Disneyland intrigues me. The dinner was absolutely amazing which included a 5-course meal (HEAVEN!!!). It was an experience like no other.
As I'm starting my spring semester tomorrow, (classes actually got cancelled due to snow *fist pumps*) I plan to have a different perspective. Find happiness in the smallest of things. This kinda goes along with some of my other posts, but it's something I'm serious about. Being happy in Disneyland is a given, I mean how could you NOT be happy in the "Happiest Place on Earth"??? The problem is, being there isn't apart of my everyday life. Most days reality hits me like a huge train. I'm so overwhelmed with school, finding a job, thinking about my future, you name it. I said in my previous post I wanted to remember my priorities, goals, and the bigger picture.... Which is correct, but I don't want to be so caught up wondering and worrying so much about my future that I'm not enjoying my time in life right now. I have to find a good balance, which brings me back to finding happiness in the small things. I know a lot of you are in the same boat as I am right now, STRESSIN, whether you are attending college or not... But I encourage you to do the same. Find the happy. Whether that's eating yummy food (like churros at Disneyland *mouth waters*), playing in the snow with your friends (me tomorrow), or something as simple as waking up every morning. Find that happy and I promise everything else will fall into place :)
Prepare for a ton of pics below!!!
Old entrance to Club 33, there's a new, more secretive one since a lot of people found this one
Fun fact: California Screamin' (rollercoaster) is being re-done right now to be the new Incredibles ride!!!
Think I may just drop out of school and become a Disney princess
Classic "riding the teacups" reaction :)
I SAY THIS EVERY YEAR, BUT I SWEAR THIS YEAR WENT BY THE FASTEST...
This post is gonna be short, sweet, and to the point. RESOLUTIONS!!! I strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommend each and every person do this. I know what most of y'all are already thinking... "No one follows through with those." And for the most part, you would be right. Be the exception though. Try and take it seriously because in the end, you will feel SO much better. I came up with my list yesterday and knowing me, there will be more where this came from and I'm going to keep adding to my list as they come to mind :)
ADDIE'S 2018 PLANS: (I literally just read 2018 in my head and about burst into tears because I realized I've almost been out of high school for 2 years. Wowwie)
If I have learned anything this past year, it is that I won't ever be ready for what life throws at me. And that's perfectly fine. What I do know is that I have another year ahead of me - Another shot at "trying to make it right this time around." More time to grow and become the kind of person I wanna be. I'm honestly so excited to see what this new year has to offer me and I can't wait to share it with all of you. Here's to a fresh start!!!! PEACE OUT 2017 *Mic drop*
Ok my apologies because it has been WAY too long since my last post, a lot has been going on to say the least!!! Now it's about to get even crazier with finals coming up within the next 2 weeks. My first final is next Friday, RIP to me :')
With my first semester as a sophomore coming to an end, I'm truly realizing that time moves way too fast. I have had time to reflect on myself as far as personal growth goes and lemme just say... College changes you.
There's no negative connotation behind the word change. It's not all groundbreaking changes either. For example, I like brussels sprouts now, even though I swore I hated them my entire life lol. I've learned that some people aren't as nice as you wish they would be or how you would be in certain situations, but you get over it. A good cry does not make you weak or weird. At least you're strong enough to realize when it's time to unload all the weight you've been carrying around. I might cry a little more than the average person, but I don't mind. It's okay to feel a little lost sometimes. If you think about it, everyone is still trying to figure out who they are and what their purpose is. One big thing I've realized is you are NOT selfish for putting yourself first in anyway shape or form. You will always be too much of something for someone; too big, too small, too loud, too clingy, too emotional, too edgy, you get the point. But that doesn't mean you aren't enough. If you round out your edges, you will lose your edge, you will lose yourself... Always apologize for your mistakes. Apologize for hurting someone, whether it was intentional or not... But do not apologize for being who you are. This has taken me too long to realize. Along with that, do not lower your standards. For anyone. Period. Be patient. Just because you feel alone does not give you the excuse to settle. Sometimes seasons of loneliness are God's way of speaking something into your heart that needs complete silence to hear. Take that time to listen. Don't put your happiness in other people's hands. They will drop it. Every. Single. Time. And all that will leave you with is disappointment. This is my biggest struggle right now. You need to learn to be happy all on your own. Of course people are going to influence your mood, but they shouldn't bring you so far down that you are struggling so hard to get back up. Don't chase people. "Put effort in everything you do and when you do find someone who loves as hard as you do, it will never fail or fade." Take a leap of faith here and there. You never know where you might land.
It may seem like I'm just rambling on and throwing all of this cliche advice your way, saying "do this, don't do that" but take it as you see fit. This is stuff I have realized and things I need to take into consideration myself. In the midst of all of this realization, life happens the way it's supposed to. My goal at the end of the day is to be happy about who I am, what I have done, and what I will do. My goal for you is to find your happy in every day moments. Trust me, they are there, we just have a tendency to overlook them.
Y'ALL IT'S FINALLY FALL!!!!!!!!
On a serious note, this post is gonna be a little different than some of my past entries. A lot of things are weighing heavy on my heart and I feel like sharing it might help others going through similar situations realize that they are not alone. This post isn't me asking for sympathy, it's for others to relate to me and for them to feel comfortable reaching out to me for advice if they need it.
It's inevitable, we all go through heartbreaks. I wouldn't wish them on anyone. Whether the relationship lasted 2 months or 2 years, it's rough. It's hard going from talking to someone everyday about everything, to hardly speaking at all. It's hard to scroll through your camera roll at 2 A.M. and not cry because you realize all of those pictures are now memories you won't get back. It's hard knowing you did everything you could and realizing the spark just faded...
2. Losing friends
This all pretty much relates and goes with #1. If you have ever lost a close friend, you know it feels almost as bad, if not worse, than an actual breakup. Life changes completely. The number one person you used to call probably won't answer anymore and if they do, you both know the conversations just won't be the same. The once comfortable silences turn into awkward ones. You feel completely lost when something important or traumatic happens and you want to tell them about it right away.... But you can't. Sometimes friendships fade too. Life gets in the way and people change, I get it. But it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. And that, I think, is what makes it so much harder to move on. Friends are there for you during your highest highs and your lowest of lows. Losing a friend, someone who has been there through thick and thin, it's like losing a part of yourself.
3. Moving on
This part goes for #1 and #2. As time goes on, it gets easier living life without someone as your "go-to". It gives you time to really focus on yourself and put all that energy you were giving to others for so long, on yourself. Sometimes it's OK to just focus on yourself. Spoil yourself for a change. You move on eventually and you think you're doing good until someone or something reminds you of them. All it takes is one restaurant, one song, or one funny video on social media that you automatically want to send to them. And when you can't get them off your mind, you can't help but wonder if they're missing you like you're missing them. You wonder if they've been doing okay with the situation or if they've been struggling just as much as you have.
But what I've learned is this, yet again, everything happens for a reason. God places people in your life for certain reasons, even though we may have no idea what His reasonings are. And as hard as it is right now to admit it, breakups in any nature, are okay. I'm not saying ditch them or burn bridges with them just because you can, but if it's time for the relationship to end, then end it. Be mature about it and appreciate the fact that you once cared for these friends and give them closure as well. Hold on to the memories that you made together, because even though you will all continue to change, the memories never will.
Here I am, back at it again with a new post (if you read that in the "Damn Daniel" voice I love you lol - Vine reference). So first off, you're probably thinking "Uh why is THAT her title???"... For those of you who don't know, I have an ampersand tattoo in the inside of my right ankle (seen below). No it didn't hurt, it literally took like 6 minutes to complete. WHOOP.
Again, you're probably thinking "Why does she have a random symbol like that tattooed on herself for the rest of her life???" This is what goes through my mind when someone questions me about my tattoo. In Latin, the word ampersand is made up of 2 words, "Per se" & "and". "Per se" essentially means "by itself". This is a reminder to me that I am who I am throughout the journey of my life. But there's always an "and" to keep me balanced, whether that is God, my family, or friends. Secondly, the ampersand represents a broken infinity symbol, reminding me that nothing lasts forever, but there's an expectation of something more to occur (even though I might not know it yet).
My tattoo is a constant reminder of self growth and to keep chiseling myself into the kind of person I want to be. It's an indication for the future. My whole life right now is one huge &. I just celebrated my 20th birthday this past Thursday (9/7 -Virgos where you at) and it was a huge milestone. 20. I am 2 freaking decades old. *cries* That right there is a reminder that I have accomplished a lot in my 2o years AND I am no where near finished.
In my last post, I said I was about to be bombarded with sorority recruitment.... I went through the process, had an absolute BLAST, and met a ton of amazing girls. But I decided that I wanted to focus solely on my grades this first semester and get them up to my standard before making that time commitment to a chapter. My plan is to go through spring recruitment in 2018 and I could not be more excited!!! The reason I brought this up is 1.) to update y'all because I have had a lot of my friends wonder why I hadn't posted a bid day picture lol and 2.) to prove this point - there's always more to what you see, even though you might not know it at the time. At first when I decided to withdraw from recruitment, I was upset. I didn't think I was making the right decision... I was SO excited to find my "home" and meet a solid group of girls I could call my sisters. Now I realized, I did make the right call. I can focus this semester on settling into this new town and campus, along with studying extra hard to keep those grades up. This alone makes me even more confident and ready for what I can bring to my future sorority.
My point this week is simple. You're not finished. Even when you think you've hit a dead end or can't pick yourself up when you fall, you can. AND once you're up, don't look back.. Because you're not going that way :)
My "&" :)
My best friend Brylie and I at my 20th birthday party
So sorry I haven't posted in a minute, things have been very hectic these past 2 weeks getting everything situated for move in. I can't believe my sophomore year of college is almost here!!! I feel old :(
Now sitting in my new apartment (yes I will attach pictures so you all can see how adorable it is), getting used to my new home, I feel very overwhelmed. I'm super excited to be at a new school, in a new town, making more friends.. But I can't help but feel a little nervous due to all the change going on in my life.
I have a love/hate relationship with change, as most people do, but it is something we all have to go through in order to grow. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels as if their life is a little chaotic right now. School is in session again, I am about to go through sorority recruitment (SUPER FREAKIN NERVOUS BUT ALSO SUPER DUPER EXCITED), my move in experience these past 2 days has been chaos in itself (ask my mom lol). But you know what... Chaos can be a good thing.
I'm sure you all are thinking "How in the world can confusion, disorganization, and turmoil be a POSITIVE thing???" Well lemme tell you this.
Chaos is also where things fall apart and new creations arise. When a situation seems really bad, there is usually a big opportunity for something good to take place as well. It is only through looking at what is going wrong, that we find out how to do things the right way.
This is a good reminder for myself after having a crazy couple weeks and I'm sure it is relatable for some of y'all. Life has its moments where it just sucks sometimes. It's inevitable. It's gonna happen. Your plans will fall through. Things won't go your way. You will be unhappy. But guess what? It is for a reason. This chaotic moment in your life, won't be that way for much longer. It is preparing you for something better and you will be happier because of it. I cannot stress it enough to just keep pushing forward... You will look back on your situation later and think "Wow, THAT is what I was flipping out about???"
As long as you have the will to keep pursuing the goals you have set for yourself, despite the challenges life throws at you, than it cannot stop you.
One of my best friends and now roomie, Madison!!!!
Still waiting on some wall decor to come in, but my room :)