Tuesday, November 29, 2011

probably more pictures than you care to view

Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania was wonderful.
 Kevin & I had an incredible trip, and got to spend tons of time with our friends & family.
I pretty much want to be back there right now, but pictures will have to do.
Here's a whole slew of 'em for ya :)

This is my parents dog, Freddy. He & Kevin have a special bond. 
(Kevin is actually a dog-whisperer)

After arriving in PA, Kevin wanted to surprise his mom & sister at work the next morning. We got into town earlier than we had expected and they didn't know we were there yet!
Kevin bought some flowers to take then & got all dressed up.
He's cute :)

I told you he's a dog-whisperer!! 

We had a bonfire on Wednesday night.

 My un-biased opinion is that PA has the most beautiful sunsets ever.
(ok, I might be a little biased)

Mario Brothers on my parents old school nintendo?! Yes please!

Dinner with my lovely home-friends!
Check out my friend Megan's Blog HERE

Aww, aren't my parents the cutest?

Shopping with my sister-we tend to get a little goofy :)

Thanksgiving day; we go to Kevin's Grandparents house in Baltimore MD. They have lived in the same house for over 50 years! It is beautiful with a ton of cool old stuff.

We then went to my Aunt & Uncles house, also in MD.
Maryland is quite beautiful. 

 This photo was taken from the tippy top point of their
A-frame house.

Thanksgiving pool game in the basement.
Kevin beat me quite badly :( 

Funny pictures with my cute cousin, Sage :)

Friday, this was our THIRD Thanksgiving!
Me & my cute Mom :)

Saturday, right before Kevin & I left, my whole family in front of my parents house.

Missin' their sweet faces already.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm normally more of a dog person.

Meet Spider:

This is the adorable little kitten my younger sister recently found & rescued.
Isn't he the cutest?!
My family went back and forth on a name for this little guy for awhile, and they couldn't agree on a good one.
My first morning at home, I look oustide the kitchen door to see the little guy climbing up the screen door & hanging on for dear life!
I think he was just curious as to what was going on inside :)

After a little while our pup, Chesapeake, took notice to the little climbing kitty.

These 2 then continued to watch & chase eachother on both sides of the door.
This is when I decided to begin calling the little guy Spider, for his skill of climbing up & down the screen doors.
Spider, or Spider baby, as I like to call him-has really grown on me since we've been here.
I even let him sleep with me one night :)
He is so adorable, and I am actually sad to think of leaving him when Kevin & I head back home.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.
Pictures from our holiday will be posted soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am blank

I am weird because...
I make up goofy songs about what I'm doing in that moment.
I have glasses but never wear them.
I quite frequently talk in a British accent.
Peanut butter is one of my main food groups. (crunchy, please)
I enjoy the smell of gasoline quite nicely.
I don't like Harry Potter.
I love the antiques road show.

I am a bad friend because...
I will read a text, think of how I want to respond, and then forget to text back.
I am horrible at remembering birthdays, even with facebook reminders.
I get people mixed up.
I'm the worst person ever at remembering names, even if you just said it 12 seconds ago.

*side note*--it sounds like I have all the common symptoms of alzheimer's?!

I am a good friend because...
I remember details and stories.
I love to give gifts.
I'm goofy looking, so you'll most likely always look good standing next to me ;)
I have a sarcastic comment for most situations.
I love road trips- you can come along!

I am sad because...
I miss our dog, Oscar (who is being boarded right now)
I miss Kevin (who is in DC while I am in Gettysburg)
I miss Africa (which is in Africa while I am in Gettysburg)
I have only 4 days left at home.

I am happy because...
Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever, and it is 2 days away :)
I love Kevin.
I love our Mississippi Family.
I will go back to Africa one day.
I have 4 whole days left at home.

I am excited for...
Returning to my new job, which I am completely loving.
Seeing old friends from home today & tomorrow.
Giving Kevin a sweet gift I got him last night.
The peppermint patties that are sitting in a dish in my parents living room.

the end.

Monday, November 21, 2011

sister love

Meet my lovely sister, Morgan. We are one year apart in age & most people think we're twins.
We had a mini photo session today.
Isn't she lovely?!
She's my best friend :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


We are leaving to visit Pennsylvania TOMORROW!!!!
Excitement is seeping out my pores!!
Can't promise I'll be on here much next week, although neither should any of you!
Go spend time with your families this turkey week :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

weekend in photos

Last day at old job!

 Puppy snuggles

Dinner/goofy friend time
 Lazy Saturday night, including football & board games.

 Mini cherry pies!

Yum :)

Steelers win!

 Happy pup :)


Friday, November 11, 2011

hug Liam Neeson is on my bucket list

I have to tell you guys about this movie I am completely obsessed with.
It came on tv last night and I was overwhelmed with excitement. (not sure why I don't own it on dvd, but that's beside the point.)
It's Taken with Liam Neeson.

It is inrrrreeedible.
& let me tell ya, I am not an action movie kinda gal. But I seriously love this movie.
First of all-Liam Neeson is a total beast.
I mean, each time a new bad guy is coming at him, I'm just so excited for Liam to karate chop his neck!
(is this normal?..probably not)
For those of you who have never watched the movie; its about a Dad (Liam Neeson) who used to work for the government. His teenage daughter is kidnapped in Europe and sold into sex trafficking.  He then, using his skills from past jobs, goes on the man hunt to find & rescue his daughter.
It really gives me chills.
And I think the reason I love it so much is because this guy is on a mission. He's not just some big, kick-butt guy who likes to fight people. He is going to save his daughters life, and kill (or seriously hurt) anyone who might get in his way. 
Because his daughter is his whole life.

& not to get super spiritual or anything, but last night as I was watching, I got goosebumps because I thought  that's how God must feel about us, as His children.
It says in Exodus 14:14- 
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
How many times do I screw up in a day? Far too many to count.
I am low and I am dirty. I am the furthest thing from perfect.
But God, in all of His love, comes and lifts me out of the messy pit of my life.
 He fights off anything that stands in His way! 
Because I am his child.
I am so overwhelmed with this thought & the power of His love.
& I think it's kind of cool to think of God in a Liam Neeson/karate chopping/take on anything kind of way :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

southern livin'

People always ask me  what the biggest differences are between living in the North and the South. Honestly, there are too many to name. I often feel like I need a passport to go back & forth between the 2! I'd like to say it wasn't a culture shock or an adjustment for me when we first moved here (almost a year ago!) but that would be a lie. There were a lot of things that caught be off-guard & I'm still learning & hearing new things all the time! It really is such a different environment. Since a lot of my readers are Northern folk-I thought it would be cool to do a little lesson in Southern living.
So open your notebooks, friends, you have a lot to learn!

We will start with word translation.
In the South, someone might say, "Oh yeah, Andrew & them are my Kin-folk!" The Yankee translation of this seemingly simple sentence is, "Yes, we're related to Andrew!"

I've heard people use this sentence before; "She's fixin' to take a tee-tee." I know what you're thinking Yankees, no, the girl in this sentence isn't about to repair a tee-pee. Northern Translation; "She's about to use the bathroom."

A 'Happy' is another new phrase I've heard a lot in the South. Someone might give a happy to a friend who's had a bad day. It's like a small gift or treat, just to be nice. How sweet!

Ok, here's a bad one that I've caught myself using.
"I might could do that." instead of "I might be able to" or "I could probably do that"
Yikes. Grammar police are after me, huh?

Oh, lets do food!
food down here is so crazy. They have these little cake things called Petite Fours, and they are just as adorable and scrumptious as the name makes them out to be.
Cheese straws, every heard of these, Northerners? Me either..
They are kind of like crackery thingys? jeesh.. I dont know. Have a look for yourself-

     Don't ask me where they come from or how you make them. All I know is they are yummy and most likely packed full of calories.

It is truly incredible how much fried chicken these people can put away.
Really, it's inspiring. There are fried chicken places absolutely everywhere. It is a Southern food staple.

Never had it or heard of it before we moved here.
I'm still not 100% positive what exactly it is, but I do know people like it fried.

Lets move on to wardrobe/clothing
Ok, first off, if you are going to church in the south you pretty much need to dress like you are going to meet the Queen of England, and have tea afterwards in her castle. 
Got it?
I mean, I know I have about 756 fancy dresses in my closet with the  matching shoes, purses, & hair accessories for each one.
No big deal.

Moving right along,
Guys, you know those thing you can put on your glasses so they hang around your neck so you don't loose them? Like Erkel had?

Yup. I see tons of guys here wearing these things!
they use them on their sunglasses & they're more like this;

But the same general idea. So funny!

Ok, last thing is Chacos. Have you heard of these things?

They are these crazy sandal looking things, but people wear them hiking and stuff.
Maybe these have become popular up north too, I just feel like I'm seeing them everywhere recently! Kevin even tried to talk me into getting a pair. Ha! Then the grammar and the fashion police would be after me!
(totally kidding to my chaco-wearing friends!)
I hope you all enjoyed this journey and maybe learned a thing or two about our sweet southern neighbors. & people from the south- I hope I at least got a few things right!
Can you relate? or was I way off?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I've been skirting around this topic..

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile-but was not quite sure how to word it.
I know future employers might search my name on the internet and come across this blog-so I want to be respectful and mature about this sensitive subject.
But, to be honest, I'm not feeling respectful or mature at all.
I'm feeling pretty stinkin' excited-
Because I QUIT MY JOB.
Yes, yes, hold the applause, folks..
It is true.
After months and months as using this blog as an outlet to whine and gripe, I finally took matters into my own hands & handed in my 2 week notice.
For those of you who frequently read this ole blog, you know that my job has been a constant struggle for me, pretty much since I start back in February.
I was blessed with a full-time, stable, & well paying job that I just so happened to absolutely hate.
I struggled between quitting because of how much I dread it, or staying because of the money and stability, which in the current job market, are both hard to come by.
How could I complain and be miserable when there are people who are unemployed and just barely making it?
I felt selfish and childish most days, when it was so difficult to drag myself out of bed to go to a job where I knew I would get a great paycheck at the end of the week.
But here is what I soon realized.
The money, the stability, the safety net; none of it is worth it if I am genuinely unhappy and displeased in my work and daily routine.
Which I was.
Big Time.
Yesterday at church our Pastor preached about what the relationship should look like between employers and employees. Do you think that was a coincidence? I don't.
And the exact thing he said (which I hurriedly scribble down) was this;
"If your job or work environment makes you compromise your beliefs or convictions you need to find new work."
I almost jumped out of my seat and yelled "Hallelujah!"
That was exactly what I needed to hear, and after I did, I felt so good & confident in the decision I made. 
I never want to work in a place (or even be in a place) that brings me down, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. And unfortunately-this job did all of those things.
So this week will be my last here, and honestly it feels like Friday is light-years away! I know it will come quickly though, and in all truth, it will be a bittersweet day.
I have learned so much here, and grown in many areas.
But I know I have made the right decision for me and Kevin and our future together, and new opportunities are already on the horizon :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the DL on Mexico

alas- I have secure internet access & my pictures are uploaded!
We left for Mexico Saturday morning & arrived in Cancun by mid-afternoon. 
Our first night consisted of getting settled & eating some amazing food.
(life-changing tacos)

The next day was Sunday, and we went to 2 seperate services in Cancun;
1 in the morning and 1 at night.
This is a photo of some of the members of the 2nd church we went to that day.
This is also the church & the community we worked with the next few days.
They were beautiful.

Monday & Tuesday I got to play with plenty of adorable children.
It was pretty awesome.
Even with the language barrier, we were able to communicate & get to know each other.

We were able to give away some clothes to these lovely ladies.

Monday & Tuesday Kevin and some of the other guys were hard at work updating the building on the church grounds. The church hopes to use it for a feeding program for the community.

Wednesday afternoon is when we found out we would have to leave Cancun because Hurricane Rina was heading right towards us.
We were able to take a quick trip to the beach before it started raining- and then we took a bus to Merida, Mexico. Merida is further inland on the Yucatan Peninsula so we were safer there away from the storm. 

(more good food!)

This was dinner once we arrived in Merida-very tired, but happy to be there.

On Thursday we got to take a bus a short distance to see Mayan ruins!
This is something I've always wanted to do (history dork) and I didn't think I'd be given the chance on this trip.
It was amazing!

By the ruins, there was a natural sink hole/spring with crystal clear water that we were able to swim in.
Needless to say, it was also-amazing!

This photo was taken Thursday night back in Merida.
By this point we knew we'd be catching a flight home Friday morning, so we were trying to soak in our last bit  of Mexican culture.
Merida is an absolutely beautiful city with loads of culture & history.
& anywhere this is culture+history in the same places equals love for this travel bug/history dork :)

All in all, our trip was incredible. There were a few road bumps, what with the hurricane & all! Kevin & I both wish we could have stayed in Cancun longer and had more time to work on the church & help in the community. But God had His hand over everything and the trip worked out exactly the way is was supposed to.
We were able to see a 2nd Mexican city and experience other pretty cool things.
Now- off to plan our next adventure..