Monday, August 25, 2014

L I F E lately

So...sorry I've been busy being type A and updating my blog with edited pics and posting them on social media-not! So life since January? Fuller and fuller but I'd don't think I'd have it any other way! God is so good always, in every season and as my bff Erinn says "I am so taken care of!" So life since January?!

`Kicked some serious A in college and made a 3.8 G.P.A. in my spring semester(GOD DID THAT) 
`Leaned to ENJOY and actually be good at learning/school and give Him the glory for it (#GOD IS STILL IN THE BUSINESS OF MIRACLES)
`Joined the Student Volunteer Club at school and had so much fun with it and making my crazy city-home a better place 
`Turned 19! Celebrated with my parents and cavitelli. Because Italian. And flour less chocolate cake. 
`Went on a raw food lifestyle change after feeling fatigued for too long on my clock and then changed it up a bit while not 100% raw vegan but some grace and eating the healthiest I've ever been! And really learned what true health is! 
`The salon closed so not there anymore, but my retirement home job and babysitting. 
`Had lots of beloved Skype dates with my favorite people in the entire world who taught me how to LOVE-my little Jo'burg South Africans!! You have no idea they make my heart swell and I get such a natural high after our 3/4 AM Skype dates-and they're probably the only people I ever wake up a that ungodly hour for! 
`Because of my full summer class schedule until the end of July and internship I'd didn't get to go to South Africa or Malawi #IDENTITY CRISIS but sent my main girl Courtney who was going to South Africa with a QUALITY missions team and was going to the children's home/school that I interned/fell in love at with pictures of all my loves with encouraging letters on the back and American candy or a necklace- they loved them but man, did I want to hand deliver it! 
`Served a long side people that guided me while I was a student in youth ministry. 
`Read lots of textbooks, scripture and novels!
`Just loved people that encourage me and that I get to do LIFE with. 
`Crafting? What's that?
`Stressed ate a lot of Chipotle. They'll cater my wedding someday too. 
`Getting mentored my pastor from SA for the plan God is building me up for. Mhmm. 
`Got a new nephew, Luca Vincent via my cuz's Dina and Mike. He sure is an ovary explosion. 
`Grateful fun farmers's markets and fresh produce.
`These are most of the highlights, I'll leave some of the not so fun out for now. 

(cats, my people, the daily, drives to the country)

Summer has been wild from a full summer school ached (with a human bio class that nearly drove me over the edge), working 2 jobs, church life, planning for His plan, and a hectic but fulfilling internship. I've been interning since June at a non-profit shelter for homeless, runaway, and sexually exploited teens-20 year olds that provides shelter, counseling, referrals, adocavcy, meals, and life skills training olds. I mostly help the clients apply for jobs, search for stable housing, assist with their clinical intakes, encourage them to keep going, and do some recreational activities. I know as a mentor to them I should be teaching them things by their mostly teaching me things. I'm slapped in the face daily by the amount of privilege I've been born and blessed with, knowing I'd be a horror story and a half if I'd have to walk the road some of them have been through. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 in review

2013 was one of my greatest years! fo' sho. so much joy, memories adventures and even its fair share of downs. 
here's my annual play-by-play:

- I was half way done with my senior year, begging the Lord to do big things with the next chapter/season of my life, and working a lot and had a few coffee dates. 
(some real classy filters)
-February consisted of a lot of celebrating the little things, working, some rest, gratitude for amazing friends, watching my older sister fulfill her life long goal of moving to New York City, and an AWESOME youth retreat that helped me check off a few of my "Before I Graduate High School Bucket List" items. 

- I failed my road tests, which sucked so much at the time. 
- Did a lot of baking and reading and enjoying of snow days.
-Had an AMAZING (i use that word a lot) and memorable birthday on Easter, with my besties which indluded a lot of laughs, encouragment, and Thai food. 
(i'm such a dork, but i dig a social life with my co-workers)

(birthday love) 

-Mother Hen's 50th birthday, crafternoons, reading the Hunger Games Trilogy, and PASSING MY DRIVERS TEST!!!!

(mom and her favorite hobby)

-Much busyness, last month of school, some ugly cries with the unknown of my future, so so so much rejoicing with clarity, did a spoken word at my youth group create night, finished high school. 

-Was encouraged greatly, took a few mini road trips, reunited with a friend that moved away, oh AND GRADUATED and BROKE THE NEWS to my besties and family that im moving to AFRICA FOR 3 AND A HALF MONTHS to work/volunteer/have no idea what ill get myself into. and took family pictures (which won't upload :() 
good ol' lake george

Country Living Fair- super cool vendors but it poured buckets which sorta put a damper on it 

i babysit for a newbie photog so we did a service trade and gave my parents  family pictures (which we still have to print, maybe their next anniversary gift) for their silver anniversary that i would be out of the country for
gosh, i'm photogenic
pretty sure im grabbing my boob here, some of my nervous ticks
what im talking abouttttt
blood, sweat and tearssss-mostly sweat and tears

clearly, i was really devastated about graduating
also i look like an oompa loompa next to the kid next to me 

the reason i survived my senior year, and jesus a lottaaa jesus

my cheerleaders

Where do i even begin with July?!!?
-here is independence day:
i lied i don't have any pics that are flattering. 
-my besties LIED TO ME FOR WEEKS and I went along with it in order to throw me a FABULOUS, umm undeserved, going away/wedoubtyou'llcomeback PARTAYYY. blahhhed about it.  

     -and boarded some planes. started out my african adventure in M A L A W I.   
ohhhhh snap, forgot to say i went to the kruger national park in south africa too, legit times had by all. 
malawi buddies
-the start of my time in south africa working/loving/learning/pouring my self out/err so much at a children's home there. 
-in the beginning it was sorta a whole new set of a routine a lot of cleaning, a lot of working around the language barrier, a lot of prayer, a lot of a lot honestly, "africa" is not new to me but the "stuff" i encountered at the beginning of this felt alot like katie davis' story in her book kisses from katie, "like emptying the ocean with an eyedropper."
-i journaled lots of this and did a "sweet bits" of the day re cap my whole time there i just never got to blog it.
-i found my self in a new church family that is a sister church of my one back "home"
-near the end of the month i was asked my the manager (who do to maybe some of her own reservations never got to really enjoy me) of the children's home asked me to help teach at the montessori type school that they children's home had started for the kids with learning delays or some behavioral problems, it was a start to another unexpected, thrilling journey within a journey
-i was in a HABITUAL closeness with jesus that i've learned to still make happen or jesus made happen
-skypeing was always a delight

-Watched from a far my friends or old class mates settle into their opaque dorms in college town, america making new friends, studying, and doing college etc. while i was over on the other side of the world doing something quite contrary. I had no reservations about doing what i did, i knew the whole time i was in the epicenter of God's outrageous plan. 
-(crying right now as a write this i miss everything about it so so much)
-The pastors from my church back "home" (who are from south africa) were coming to the church i was attending at the time for a conference so we got to have lunch and catch up, felt pretty good
-i got to make memories for the kids i was serving which was simply the best the boys liked pizza and the girls loved taco night

-My last month in Africa 
-Thrived on times with the Lord in the morning, the hearty laughs from the babies, and texts and voxers from friends and family (well i do year round) 
-served my tail off!!
-i left johannesburg, south africa on october 28 (I was a HOT MESS walking all over that airport), owing the embassy 1000 rand for over staying my visit #YOLO and arriving at jfk international airport at 6:15 AM on october 29 and had a very decadent breakfast at max brenners chocolate restaurant and knocked out on the bus ride back to my town, my mom had the pictures i would email back all around the house and it felt okay, i knew in every season god is always god and he is good and this plan for whatever is next is always always better that what i could ever imagine or dream. im blessed to be his daughter. 

- i had a two day rest and i was back to work
-i was like a celebrity my first sunday back at church, i guess i was missed for something  
-starting to give back to the ministry that makes me who i am today- youth ministry, i co-lead an 11th and 12th grade girls small group with one of my besties
-thanksgiving was spent with family friends and gaining back my pre-africa weight ;))
-took a short road trip to visit my friend erinn away at college 
-applied to community college

-so busy between working two jobs full time, youth ministry, and all the other things life brings.
-my church's youth ministry puts on their talent show called create night which is incredible, i was just a spectator this time 
-started my college career taking the winter break classes at a community college
-christmas was simple and nice. jesus, family food. 
-new years was rung in my my crew of besties laughing and chatting. 

2013 has been so beautiful its taken me like a week and some to write this post. I would live it again but the best is yet to come. lets DO this 2014!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 declaration

2014 declaration... (a few days-ish late ;)

here's to more joy, more adventures, and being brave
here's to praying more and worrying less.
here's to caring more about my neighbor, the poor in spirit and being a hopeless encourager. 
here's to arriving on time, being less of a scatterbrain, and working hard and hoping it pays off.  
here's to writing a book proposal, getting grades i deserve, and learning more.
here's to loving and giving more. 
here's to drinking an insane amount of hot, caffiniated beverages and relying on more of his promises. 
here's to doing small things with great love. 

declaration inspired by the shine project blog. 

goals, catchup, and 2013 review to come! :))

Thursday, December 19, 2013

listography- favorite things you own

I've always been a list-making aficionado. To-do lists, favorite name lists, books i want to read lists, etc. I just love the sensation of having a fully crossed of to-do list- almost too much!! I think I was 13 or 14 and on vacation in Lake Placid an amazing vacation hot spot in Upstate New York about 2 hours from me and i got My Listography, a super cute list making biography at one of my favorite mom and pop book stores. It has super cool and creative writing/listing prompts. I re-did my book shelf a week ago and rediscovered some things I wrote as a beyond quirky 13 year old. I though I would use some of the prompts from the book as blog posts. 

List your favorite things things you own:
- My passport
- childhood pictures, pictures from africa, pictures with my parents and girlfriends
- my africa pendant (I think its from here or at least looks the exact same)
- my bibles with notes and markings 
- my journals
- my feel good/ memory box- probably for another post but i have an old train case with all sorts of cards and notes from friends and fam, silly pics, and mementos 
- a journal my mom gave to me last christmas with all sorts of details about her life in it
- my iPhone, of course
- my laptop
- my camera- a nikon d60

any of the Listography books would make great Christmas gifts you can find them on Amazon for super cheap but its aways best to support your local book store. toodles!! 

a full plate.

i don't know what the purpose of this post is- sorta just a ramble-y journal, i suppose. i'm about to have a massive plate next week for quite a bit. i have a 2 1/2 week intersession thats 3 credits, yum. and the new year and working 2 jobs, and going full time to college ( i have da besst schedule ever though i crammed everything into pretty much 2 days and one night class holla), writing a children's book (thats a slooow process though), speaking to local churches about adoption and orphan care, home work and studying (my FAVORITE), serving in youth ministry, learning new trades, and starting my dream job that helps others. oy! it might be just a bit hectic but i can do all things through christ who gives me strength. hallelujah! i'm pretty motivated and going to have to learn to manage my time like a boss like neva before. as i always say God's got my back. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

tis' the season for EXCESS

it been a bit of a wild ride this year. i've seen and feeling big things, beautiful things and life changing things. ive traveled pretty far and and hauled my booty in school. i was all sorts of poverty, the poor in spirit, the field of the fatherless, the born into poverty, the cyclical poverty, inner city poverty and homelessness. i know there is a bible with that i choose to live my life by that has 20,000 verses in in about the poor, the orphan, the widow and the sojourner and there is something i have to do to aid them in their distress. ive been a follower of jesus for about 6 or 7 years now last year, believe it or not was nearly the first year i finally understood it, A THRILL OF HOPE A WEARY WORLD REJOICES, it brought utmost joy to people who needed a savior, a king simply born just to die, it was an unusual birth and a humble beginning. americans spend on average 700 billion dollars on christmas shopping. we are exchanging legal tender for things that will rust and ruin. where is the actual birthday boy's gift?! how to you get the savior of the world a birthday gift? you buy something that defends the cause that breaks his heart. i don't know if ill make this a tradition or something but all gifts this year will be a cause i strongly believe in and will help defend and support the 153 million orphans, a financial donation to the children's home i worked at a few months ago. this year give him a gift, a fragrant offering. this christmas is all about small blessings and giving to charities that need the support no excess of here. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

fall photography

seeing i got back from africa october 29 after my 5 month summer i didn't get to take in as much of the fall season which i don't really mind, i just drink my body weight in pumpkin spice lattes since i got back ;) and its pretty much been winter since october here in Upstate New York, with that said i thought i would reminisce of the last autumn i had. just a mini photo shoot with a little chickie i babysit for, the colors are STUNNING if i do say so myself ;)

happy fall!!