Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

T'was a good year, a really good year. Lots of memories, lots of things the good Lord has shown and taught me. In fact Im starting another new tradish, write down all the good and fun memories and things the Lord has shown me in in old candle jar with bits of scrapbook paper. I'm now writing everything down at once for 2012 but for 2013 write them down on a slip of paper with the date as they come and then look back at everything I wrote on New Year's Eve... cute right?
 Here we go!

  • Honestly, it started out as a real dry season, lots of trials and some down right sadness and not enough choosing joy. 
  • Went to a sad funeral :(
  • Fell in love with Thai food  
  • A fox chased me on my way home from work. You can read about that here.
  • Started planning a youth mission trip in our own city, deets to follow
  • Turned 17!! Celebrated with my eternal fam at my church youth group, ate the cake below :)
  • Applied for my second missions trip to South Africa and Malawi unaware of how changed I would be from this trip in just a few short months
(picture from my trip in 2011, note the boss photobomb)

  • Finished planning and went on the local youth mission trip! We did a 30 hour famine in the freezing cold (20-30 degrees) and modeled a Ugandan village everyday happenings (carried potato babies in slings, boilied dirty water over a fire for rice and beans at the end of the fast, built a church meeting place out of sticks and a tarp, etc. and then served in our local government housing community and built a community garden with them, saw teens hearts changed... the usual spring break) 

  • Doubted if God could really use me in Africa (because I'm weak, and useless without him but in Him I can do much), and contemplated not going the day my travel expenses were due (funny, how that works) and after a long talk and prayer  with my friend Imani I was back and ready-er then ever for God to use me mightily and he sure did! 

  • My Mom turned 49!
  • Started to bud a friendship with these girls!

  • I got my braces off!! praise the Lord!!!!!! And wahh-lahh I became a fairly good looking person just like that well... 7 years of torchere and nasty orthodontists!!   
*First picture without braces! (the pics above were taken a few months after)*
  • Volunteered at Beautiful Weekend a service project my church does every year with two local inner-city public elementary schools 
my girls tina & vikk (who I sorta cut out) at BW

  • Went to a dear friend (that lives in South Africa), Chelsea's AWESOME wedding. They got married outside under an umbrella tree, in the country, and had a music theme reception and a buffet dinner, and make your own sundaes and a fab dance floor, everything about it was stunning and perfect! The best time ever!

the cute bride and I at her shower picnic
perfect right!?
my rapper friend Faith and I 
my friend Precious and I carpooled out there and got lost several times
seriously!? how cute is this music theme?!
  • My BFF Korie, youth leader Mahadi and I went supply shopping for this youth group event called create night with a Mexican food theme. hungry teens + a strict budget = stressss

korkor and I selfie-ing it up. 

  • CreateNight was rad-er than ever before. We laughed, cried, worshiped our King, it was ahhhhmazing. 

the DreamTeam serving it up!
these girls are so so so talented. 
my girl erinn and I 
praying for our seniors <3
  • Went to my friend Mikela's Graduation [dance] party (cause that what we did the whole time)
mik & I (she so gorg!)
  • Finished my junior year (PTL) which was a feat in itself!
  • Watched my other BFF's Erinn and Kristen graduate together 

It was hot that day so they ripped their polyester cap and gowns right off!
  • As my girls graduation gift I treated them to a fun night of getting our pictures taken in this cute, old, historical neighborhood downtown, it was such a special night 

and my personal fave :)

  • Had a talent show fundraiser with my Malawi 2012 team which was a huge success!


  • Put the final touches on my ministry plans for my Africa trip. 
  • Went out to lunch with my grandparents and sister  

    • And drumroll please... my favorite event for this past year and possibly ever- AFRICA 2012

    my family 
    let's play find the white girl
    my lovies
    • Got back from Africa on the 9th after 3 weeks there and I miss it everysingleday.

    in the airport to go "home" 
    but I think Africa will really be home soon ;)
    • Watched my other BFF KorieGirl graduate!!

    • Got to go to an ACTUAL beach for the first time in forever with my youth group!! 
    • And hung out with them before they headed off to college. 

    • Started SENIOR YEAR!!!! YAYYYYYY!!!

    On my last "first day of school"
    • Got invited to a last minute (but such the Lord's timing) youth rally in New Hampshire with my youth leader and his wife and a small group of the core students. It was beautiful and life changing and filled with the Holy Spirit and prophecy. I think I'll write more about that later...

    <--the only pic I have of the memorable weekend
    • My church celebrated it 90th Anniversary!

    From the big 90th partayyy
    • Started this blog! Whoop whoop!
    • My big sis turned 21!

    • My girls, well two of them, came home on back-to-back weekends 


    • My two sisters graduated!!

    • CHRISTMAS!! Read all about that here
    Happiest New Year to you!!
    My other fave 2012 "Reviews"

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    Before I Graduate High School Bucklist

    Before I Graduate High School Bucket List!!!!
    Countdown Meter:
    Last day of school: 5 months from today!!
    Graduation: 5 months and fifteen days!!

    Before I graduate high school
    1. Rely on Him like never before!
    2. Desire him life never before
    3. Need him like never before!
    4. Acknowledge He is speaking loudly, so LISTEN!
    5. Daily do devotions, Jackie you need this time.
    6. Volunteer in activities at work and city mission. 
    7. Become a prayer warrior
    8. Practice photography, not just your iPhone
    9. Run/ exercise more... possibly a 5k?
    10. Purge and organize craft room
    11. Make a scrapbook.
    12. Sell and make more jewelry
    13. Write thank you notes just because.
    14. Become more patient and gentle.
    15. Educate myself on as many social justice issues at possible
    16. Leave the country!!!!!!!
    17. Get my license.
    18. Read more!!
    19. Keep up on journal projects.
    20. Pray for the next season. And the people in this season.
    21. Keep up on this blog
    22. Start a creative blog. Yes please!
    23. Practice writing pretty.
    24. Look at the stars, realize the God that loves me, made them
    25. Stop in the moment.
    26. Cook a few meals
    27. Pay for someone's drink... At Starbucks
    28. Go to Boston and visit Kor
    29. Go to hartwick abd visit erinn
    30. Visit Kristen at New Paltz
    31. Go to the city
    32. Go to the today show
    33. Fast (food and anything else that kills contentment)
    34. Start a compost
    35. Go sledding
    36. Make crepes with friends
    37. Pray for my nation, community, and church daily
    38. Start writing bits of my memoir
    39. Make homemade pasta
    40. Do something for someone else everyday.

    thank you, my jesus!

    My Dearest Jesus, my abba father, the Savior of my soul...
                 thank you. thank you for endless grace. the victory on the cross at calvary. the daily blessings. the gift of your precious Word. GRACEEEE, the most amazing gift of all. oh and your abundant love, when i have nothing to offer, when i am needy and desperate.
                                      Jesus you leave me breathless.
    thank you for strength. thank you for getting me through the great days and the not-so-great-days. thank you for your sacrifice. thank you that i didn't have to do the amazing sacrifice. thank you for fulfilled needs and fulfilled wants. thank you for friends. thank you for the peaks and the valleys the highs and the lows the dry seasons the the fruitful seasons. and this season, the preparation season.
    thank you for making me fearfully and wonderfully. thank you for my future husband wherever he may be. thank you for loving me when you see my sinful heart. thank you for giving me a purpose and a plan to honor you... all of my days. thank you for giving me an assignment, i don't know all of it, but so far just to give you lots of glory along the way. thank you for freedom, i don't deserve. thank you for hope and everlasting peace. thank you for adopting me as you. thank you fro everything i don't deserve. thank you for my love and addiction to Africa. thank you for being a God of second and third and... chances. thank you my savior for forgiveness. thank you for joy, unending joy.
                              i could go on and on...
    thank you my Jesus. the lover of my soul. I deeply love you and promise to do that all of my days. Send me where you need want me in 2013, i'll go. ;)
           truly and deeply,
           your daughter

    The Birthday of all Birthdays

    Merry {Belated} Christmas!! Blessed Incarnation Day!!
    Christmas was wonderful in my neck of the woods, like really wonderful. I had a white Christmas which was super... obviouslyyyy.
    Also enjoy my bratty dog Capri. You're Welcome. 
    (Also I'm a liar, these picture were the snowfall on 2 days after Christmas, I forgot to take pics that day)
    The whole Christmas/Advent season was packed yet beautiful. So I've been alive for 17 Christmas', saved for 5, and truly, beautifully, understood the meaning of this wondrous miracle until this year. Its like of a multifold meaning. I guess it really hit me through a song lyric in O Holy Night. Twas...
     "A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices." 
    That's exactly it. The thrill of our Saviour being born (and of a virgin, absinence is only 99.999% effective these days... kidding), and man we humans really need a savior, hope is really and understatement. And the world is certainly weary, lethargic, deprived, I can only imagine the rejoicing and the hallelujahs that were being sung/shouted. This shop on Etsy had a beautiful print with the lyric. No materialistic gift compares to the gift that God gave his sons and daughters. No gift card, laptop, clothing book, craft, phone even touches the gift of Christ. I consider myself an expert gift giver, I'd say it's my love language for others take a look for yourself... 

    but my God, my Abba Father takes the cake. Gave me and you my Jesus that was born to die and conquer the grave. Hallelujah!
    Also I had a conviction... I had bought a gift, a simple gift for everyone on my list but the Man we are celbrating. Know one might be confused how to give Jesus a birthday gift in heaven... I'm not talking about a present tied up with strings and bows but a gift that he has a heart for. I texted my friend and asked if she would want to tag along to my local city mission and volunteer wherever we are needed. But at some point I'd like to do something like Ashley and Jami do. Buy a gift from the Samaritan's Purse or Compassion catalog, just focus on Jesus, its all about Him, duhhh. I wrote Jesus a "thank you" note too, just thanking him for another year and everything he has taught me, he loves thanksgiving, I think I'll make it a tradition too. :)  

    On a lighter note, and possibly sounding like a bi-polar blogger here's were I write/type about what I actually did on this Christmas. So two days before I basically had the hiz-houseeee to myself as I baked the day away and listened to my new faves which was ideal for this chick. I gave this array of treats away to my dearest friends and coworkers.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a muffin top!! 
    Pretzel Reese's and M&M 
    Peanut Butter Cookie Cups with Reese's adapted from Joy's Hope
    Oreos dipped in baking chocolate then dipped in crushed candy canes inspired by Trader Joe's Peppermint JoeJoe's

    Also I had my LifeGroups Christmas Partayyy. We ate nachos, played HeadBanz (Hilarious, Stop reading and play it NOWWW), and had a white elephant gift exchange (take something from home, pick numbers and and open up surprise gifts, like onions in a gift bag or a dollar store puzzle, and trade). 

    When Christmas Eve rolled around my favorite of the two days my sister and I had a coffee date inside Barnes & Noble, I'm much more of in indie book store girl but it sufficed, we read magazines and sipped gingerbread lattes like the cute little hipsters we are. I wrapped some gifts, all small sentiments, trying to focus on the reason for the season, but seriously call me Lil Wayne because I should be a profesh wrapper, bro. There was a boss service at my church, and my whole (immediate) fam came, that's huge, folks! After that we headed to my aunt's house and feasted on our Sicilian Christmas fish dinner!! Kidding. It was her turn to host and cooking isn't her thing so she fed us weenies.
    Not. Kidding.

    And below is my sister and I being completly normal.

    And below a picture with a toilet behind us.  

    Then Christmas Day was upon us! I had to work 6:30-2:30 to be exact but it was all good, I love my job, I really do, it feels so good to be able to say that, and I like being with the residents there that have no family, or no where to be, just being a fill-in grandchild. 
    My coworker and I just taking a selfie on the job.                                                                                                                     

    Once the job was done I ran on home (literally, I run to work) and opened small gifts with my mom. The only thing I asked her was a journal of things about her and her childhood and stories she wanted me to was perfect.
    I think its so important to remember your story and legacy I guess thats one of the reasons I blog. 

    After that we were off to my other aunts, i know i have like 15 #italiankidprobz
    My cousins, sister and I, not of us are ready. whatsoever.

    And the last stop...the Grandparents!
    The most ideal time to visit them is at night, when they are less high strung and hyper. 
    Or so I thought...
    He cannot talk without his hands sooooo Italian. 
    My sister and I got them a photo calendar from Shutterfly-they loved it!

    My hair is a mess and a half and I look exhausted. Enjoy the above eye candy. 

    That's all for now! My "thank you note"to God is coming soon too! Adios Muchachos!