February 4, 2012

We Are Family!

I've told you guys about my friends (and I hang out with them the most so I have a lot of stories to tell), but I haven't necessarily gone into great detail about my family (at least that I remember)! We are quite an interesting bunch, let me tell you. I don't think I laugh harder than the times that the entire gang is all together. I feel bad for the people that wait on us at restaurants...HAHA JK!! I have a great relationship with each family member and some better than others...but I love them just the same! No matter what happens or how much we get on each others nerves, we go through it all together.


Well, it all starts with my parents, of course! They're two of the most amazing people I know; they've been with me from the very beginning obviously. They've given me more love than I know what to do with and have always tried to give me the best life they possibly could. They've taught me so many life lessons and have raised me to be the woman that I am today, and I don't know where I'd be without them. They've had more patience with me than I think I'll ever understand, because I'm not always the most easy going and don't always have the best attitude. My dad has always encouraged me to dream big, live life to the fullest, to not be afraid to ask questions, and to just have fun in life. My mom has taught me how to be strong, to not worry so much, to believe in myself, and how you can be friends with your daughter, without losing the "mom" role. They raised me in church, taught me about God and would pray with me and have always taught me to set my eyes on the Lord and His plans for my life. Some of the best times in my life have been with them, and I know that no matter what happens in my life, they are always there to fall back on! :)

My uncle's-David, Bobby, and Paul (My dad is the one on the far left)

These are some of the funniest guys I've ever known, and most of the time they're not even trying...which makes me laugh that much harder. Over the past couple years, I've been able to have a little bit more of a relationship with them on my own and have gotten to know them a little bit more individually. My uncle David is the one we all go to for all things computer/astronomy. My uncle Bob is the one we'd go to for a little humor and anything fishing related. And my uncle Paul is the one we go to for all things history/ancestry like. When they're together it's so funny to see the relationships they have; it would've been great to see them as kids. Now, they're all grown up and are still just as close, which is great. They're all in church and serve the Lord, and have passed that mentality down to their children :) 

My aunt Debbie is amazing! Not only is she hilarious, she's incredibly loving, and always makes sure that everyone feels right at home, and is comfortable :) And let's just say I've written a lot of things that she has said down in my quote book ;) Haha. 

My Aunt Cara is another amazing woman! She is always available anytime you need her and will help out with anything! She has helped me lots of times with math, especially! She has the heart of a servant, and is a lot of fun to be around. 

My cousin, Carissa! We've always had an interesting relationship I guess you would say. We've always been close, but because we're so different we've butted heads at times and gotten on each others nerves. Through it all we always have each others backs and love each other; that's what family does. She's been there for me so many times to cheer me on to sing the national anthem or to just hang out with and make random videos. She's also the one I brought with me to the Evening with One Tree Hill...if that's not love, I don't know what love is ;) LOL. She's spunky, lives life to the fullest, and isn't afraid to be herself. She has a lot of energy and reminds me to have fun and relax, when I get a little uptight . She loves to travel and serve God at church through various outreaches, etc. She's definitely the life of any party. 

My Aunt Tami! I've always been really close with her. When I was younger, I used to call her all the time and I'd go to her house during the week. Now, my mom and I go to lunch and shopping with her 1-2 times a month or so.  She's really strong, kind hearted, and just an all around fun/amazing person to be around. She's always there for me and has always supported me, and that means the world to me. I'd say we're probably the most alike too :) 

This is Brooke and Brittany(cousins)! I don't get to see them as often as I'd like to, but whenever we're together we have a blast and make the most of the time we do have together! They have such big hearts and love to have a great time. Brooke is so creative and talented with makeup and just about anything artsy. Brittany is the mom of two beautiful and fun little girls. She knows what she wants and she goes for it! They're both incredibly smart and have so much to offer the world! :)
I don't have a picture of my uncle David and Aunt Tracey, but that would be Brooke and Brittany's parents. I don't see them as much as I'd like to either. 

This is DJ and Nicholas (also cousins)! And yes, I realize this is not the most attractive picture of us, but what are you going to do? They like to have fun. These guys are hilarious! They make me laugh and though I don't always get to hang out with them or talk to them much, they've always made me feel safe...like they've got my back. They both have extremely big hearts and would do anything for the family! They're great guys and they have their heads on straight.

This is my grandpa! He's the one I did an interview with a couple months ago. He's a retired pastor and has a passion for spreading the word of God. He loves being with his family more than anything, and still likes getting together with his friends from church here and there as well. He likes taking pictures, traveling, and reading His Bible/praying daily. We talk here and there through the occasional email, and we get together quite a bit with the rest of the family for dinners and special occasions! 
I don't have a picture with my grandma, but she is an incredible woman! She's the hostess of most of our gatherings; loves to cook, loves decorating her house and keeping it cozy and welcome for company. She'll help anyone out with anything and has a really big heart. 

This is my cousin Tiffany. She has the heart of a missionary and a passion for serving God. I don't know if I've ever known a more giving and loving person than this girl right here. In everything she does, she does it for the Lord and doesn't expect any praise in return. She's fun and beautiful inside and out, and I've always really admired her for not only her faith, but just for being who she is. We don't get to talk as much as I'd like, but I know she's always got my back and we have a blast when we're together. Vegas will always stand out in my mind for sure...long story! ;) I'm also convinced that one day she'll marry Tim Tebow and he will become my cousin-in-law. I'd be okay with that too! 
I don't have a picture with my cousin Stephanie, but I'll tell you a little bit about her as well. She's a lot of fun and is a lot like Carissa! She's married and has two kids and spends most of her time doing the  "mommy" and "wife" thing. She travels around a lot with her husband who is in the air force; they're very adventurous and love trying all kinds of new things. She's incredibly strong 

Going through each of my family members reminds me of how different we are from one another, but how we all somehow blend together. It's funny how each of us have a different relationship with the other, and how it just all somehow works out. All families are dysfunctional and have their problems, and ours is no different..but I wouldn't have it any other way. It keeps life interesting and entertaining. There used to be a time where I wished we were this way or that, but instead of trying to change everyone else, I've started changing me and I'm content with who they are now. I love all of them to death and each of them has been part of making me into the person I am today; in some way or another they have inspired me, encouraged me, prayed for me, helped me grow in my relationship with God, taught me valuable life lessons with the typical everyday things, or has just been there for me during a tough time when I needed someone to talk to. Rain or shine, I know they'll always be there. They've seen me at my worst and at my best and they've still stuck around. I thank God for placing me in the family that He did, because He could have put me with anyone...But, there's a reason I'm with these guys. They all want to help others and are all some of the most selfless people I know. I love that we're all able to serve the Lord as a family and use our talents for His glory.
Even though we're all spread out throughout the country, or just don't get to see each other a lot due to schedules, I know they're never too far away. In time of need they always come back! Families are for life. With the passing of several of my grandparents, it reminded me to treasure time with each of them more, because no matter how much time you had with them...you don't want to look back on time of regret. I want to get to know each of my family members as much as possible if I don't know them so much now. I want to forget about our differences and just have a good time; life's too short! 

That's all for now,

February 3, 2012

Inspiration For The Day-Garden Tea Party Ideas

Alright, so while my mom and I were out about enjoying our nice day at an outdoor shopping mall...all of a sudden, this idea hit me that I wanted to have a garden party! I want to get all dressed up, drink tea, eat finger sandwiches, and just have leisure talk like you see on all those reality shows (think Housewives of Beverly Hills). I immediately text Hillary about it, and she was all for it, since she's the party planner of the group and I'm into it as well. The two of us brainstormed a little and are extremely excited for spring now!
I decided to look up a few ideas on trusty old Google just to look at color schemes and all that! :) I'm so ready for warmer weather. Everything is so much more cheerful!

Dress ideas :)

This Week In Review

Definitely finding this out...
I had such a great week, spent with so many incredible people and God continuing to show me who He is and just how amazing He is, when I have patience with Him.

I helped my friend, Mandy out in her classroom again! It is becoming a normal routine now, which I love. I really kept busy this time: graded math tests, read with a few groups, read with a some other kids individually, organized some books, etc. I have so much respect for teachers and all that they do! It's definitely not easy running a classroom all by yourself! It can pretty tiring if you don't have help. I might not have the official teaching bug, but I'm definitely more open to the idea than I would have been a few months ago. I still think I'll stick to being the "helper." I don't like the idea of being in control of 32 8-9 year olds ;) LOL.
After school, we ran a few errands (I got to play the assistant, which I love doing-we went to Lexus and a bookstore), then Mandy dropped me off. Before I knew it, it was time for Bible study!

The classroom! 
Lexus! Free food and TV ;)

Ceci's note! ;)
Geography....SO boring!

I had a couple of classes! Geography is such a drag, not gonna lie. I feel like it easily could've been an online class, but oh well. I ended up talking to the girl I sit next to, Michelle, more than usual and it turns out we have a lot of the same beliefs! She told me about how she was wanting to start a Bible study type group on campus, where we would just be able to worship and pray, etc. She asked if I would be interested, which I totally am. The days might not actually work out, because I might not be on campus...but we'll see. If it's meant to happen, it will. It's so exciting to see what God is doing. 

I woke up just feeling a little unsettled/fearful/anxious about some things. So, I decided to pray and read my Bible instead of focusing on those thoughts or feelings like I usually do. I'm learning to direct all my problems to God, which has been a real issue for me in the past. Instead of bearing them all on my own and let them eat away at me, I'm giving them to God...and for the first time in my life I really understand what that means. I also have the most amazing friends that will pray when it comes to a hard time, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. The rest of the day turned out really great; I ran some errands with my mom, hung out, and went to our Young Adults service at church, where me and a few friends helped lead worship! It was so much fun. It was such an intimate time of coming together to worship, hang out, and focus on the message of love, which is perfect with Valentine's Day coming up. I honestly don't know what I would do without this group...or remember what I did when we didn't have it.

Verse Viviyan text me when I asked for prayer! :)

I don't know what I'd do without them!

Hillary was talking about a certain situation and I said Taylor had a song about that...They laughed at me ;)


Bible verse encouragement board I decided to make!

Today was amazing! My mom and I had a few errands to run and did a little shopping. We're really close, but I think this was one of the first times we haven't argued at all during the day! The Lord is answering my prayers, let me tell you! We were laughing and joking most of the time, and it was so much fun. I'm seeing how attitude and your way of thinking changes everything. It affects everything you do. Today I made each second count! :) 


We picked up a CD my mom won from our radio station!

From my wonderful pen pal :)

This is going to be an amazing weekend :D I'm so excited! My friends and I are going stargazing! It's my first official time of going out to just look at the stars. Words will probably not be able to describe tomorrow night!

Have a blessed and fabulous weekend,

February 2, 2012

'I Love You'

Sounds simple enough, right? I. Love. You. Only three words, yet they have THE most powerful affect on people in good or bad ways. I had been planning on writing something about love, but now as I sit here trying to put it into words, I'm not sure that I can. Love isn't necessarily something you can explain; it's something you experience. And lately, I've been wondering...Do I honestly know how to love? I say I love you all the time to family and friends, but sometimes I wonder if I've had the actions to back up those words. Do I show them just how much I love them? Did I really feel anything in my heart when I uttered those three words out or was I just saying it to fill the silence?

What is love? Well, 1 Corinthians 13 is the definition of that. When I really meditate on the chapter, I think of how wrong I've been about not only loving others but also when it comes to falling in love. Last night, at our Young Adults group gathering at church we talked about this very thing. So many times in our world today we get confused about what love is because of the way it's portrayed in music and movies. We think it's all about buying the material things to express how we feel, and that couldn't be further from the truth. It is in the way we treat people! We have to know how God loves and learn how to love ourselves, before we can fully love others. If we don't love ourselves or see ourselves as something special, that's exactly the way we'll treat others. I know that's how I've been for a really long time!

Love is not a feeling, it is a choice. If we based love on feelings, the divorce rate would be even higher than it already is. There are always days when we don't "feel" like doing something or loving someone...our emotions run so hot and cold, so when you base love on that it's pretty fickle. You have to choose to love them despite whatever annoying thing they might be doing to you or the arguments you might have had. That comes into practice even more when it comes to dealing with difficult people. You know those family members that you usually just see on special occasions or that you just don't get along with. It's not an easy thing to do, and it takes time. 

The highest form of love we will ever know, though, is the love that God has shown us. Human love only goes so deep, but there's a place in our heart that only God can fill. People will disappoint us, no matter how close we are or how much they love us. We're human; we're not perfect and we make mistakes. We break promises, we fall short of who people want us to be, and we get angry over stupid things. But, no matter what we go through in life, or the people we fight with...Love conquers all. I truly believe that!

Another thought, that I had posted of a friends comment on Facebook last night was something like, "If you can't live without that person (significant other), leave them in the dust. If you CAN live without them, marry them..." At first I was wondering how in the world that made sense, and then it clicked as I read it through a couple more times. Christ is the only one we need or desire, technically, we can live without people. When you're married, Christ should still always be your number one; the second you let your spouse on the throne where God should be is when we run into problems. And now it has put things into perspective for me in future relationships :)

That's all for now,

Inspiration For The Day

Love is louder than the pressure to be perfect!!!!!!

Ideas of things I want to make for Superbowl party this weekend:

Great books for aspiring journalists/fashionistas/girls who just want to rule the business world :)
Great reminder!