Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIWW: My First Week!

     I've been following "The Pleated Poppy" for several months now, but somehow I put off WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) until now.  We're on vacation this week, so I'm definitely in my "casual" clothes.  Not the best week to start taking pictures of my outfits.  I figure everybody's got to start somewhere.  :]  Maybe things will improve once I go back to work next week.

Friday/Christmas Eve
Shirt- Target (one of my favorites)
Jeans- Target 
Shoes (not pictured)- Shoe Depot

Saturday/Christmas Day:
Purple Sweater- Old Navy
Jeans- Target (yep, I'm a jeans repeater)
Jacket- Kohl's (several years ago)
Shoes- Target
Fingerless Gloves- Christmas gift from "Santa" (i.e. my Mom bought them from Claire's)

Travel day, so I don't have any pictures of that.  

Sat in the condo all day in sweats and a t-shirt.  Believe me, you don't want to see pictures of that either.

Tuesday: Walking on the Beach
Hat- college bookstore
Sunglasses- JCPenny's
T-shirt- self-made tye dye :]
Sweatshirt- Target
Jacket- No idea...I've owned that jacket for at least 6 years
Sweats- WalMart
Sneakers- New Balance

Wednesday: Shopping with the fam
Sunglasses- same ones from Penny's
T-shirt- Clemson t-shirt a friend gave me...go Tigers!
Jacket- same one from yesterday
Jeans- brand new jeans from Old Navy!
Shoes- Target

Obviously I'm missing a few days, but hopefully next week I'll have more.  So excited to be linking up with everyone over at The Pleated Poppy!  Read this week's WIWW here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Psalm 148:7-10

     Hello from sunny Florida!  My dad, sisters, and I went on a walk this afternoon and it was freezing.  Seriously.  Still, it was a beautiful day to be on the beach.

Praise the Lord from the earth, 
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
your mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds...
-Psalm 148:7-10 

-Abby :]

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vacation and Thoughts on Blogging

     You'll probably see more posts from me this week because I am on vacation with my family.  Typically we'd be hanging out on the beach all day, but it is strangely cold down here.  My dad and I went on a walk and I found myself wishing I wore my super cool winter hat.
See, super cool winter hat...and my cat.

   I know what you're thinking: "Abby, you're on vacation with your family!  Why are you on the computer?"  That would be because it is too cold on the beach.  And there's only so much reading/watching tv/playing games we can do.  It's so hard to keep up with blogging after work every day, so I figured I would try to catch up a bit while I have the free time.  In fact, I was very inspired by a guest blogger on my of my favorite blogs: Gussy Sews.  Jess of Allora Handmade talked about fostering community through blogging.  Check it out here.

     The idea of fostering community through blogging isn't a new thought to me.  I've been thinking on it a lot and struggling with the "how."  How do I foster community through my blog?  One conclusion I've come to: it isn't easy!  You have to make an effort to interact with other bloggers or else you won't get any traffic on your own page.  It's been kind of weird to me to put myself out there and talk to people I've never met before, but that's what you have to do to achieve community online! 

     So tell me, what do you think about finding community through blogging?  Any tips you want to share?

-Abby :]

And just for fun, here are the books I'm reading this week:
I'm halfway through "East of Eden."  So good!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

What I'm Baking Today: Christmas Eve Edition

     I found this recipe in a Betty Crocker ad in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping.  Yes, I am 22 and I read Good Housekeeping.  Last weekend I made them for a party and they were a big hit, so I decided to take them to Christmas Eve dinner tonight.  The green color just adds to the fun-ness of the cookies.  :]  Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

  •  1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 6 to 8 drops green food color
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  1. Mix cookie mix, butter, extract, food color, and egg in bowl, until soft dough forms.  Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chips.
  2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Serve warm or cool completely.  Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I'm Making for Dinner: Potato Soup

     My Dad showed up from his weekly grocery trip with chicken broth and cream cheese...a not-so-subtle hint that he wanted me to make potato soup again.  Hence, tonight I am making two batches of potato soup for my family.  Because I am so benevolent, I decided to share the recipe with you all.  Credit goes to Sarah Wigal for introducing me to this recipe and thinking to add the corn.


Panera's Cream Cheese Potato Soup

1 hour | 15 min prep

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks
  1. Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.
  2. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  3. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening.
  4. Reduce to low heat.
  5. Add cream cheese and corn.
  6. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


     IT'S CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!  Finally, haha!  I love teaching, but MAN am I glad for a break.  Since I'm in "break" mode (and I'm about to bake some cookies), I'm not going to write a lengthy post.  But I will leave you with some pictures from my recent escapades.  Enjoy.  :]

Snow in NY over Thanksgiving break.

Small group Christmas party at Starbucks (of course).

Getting into the Christmas spirit.

Ready for our class parties!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's really Christmas!

     The Christmas season officially started eleven days ago, but I have not been able to get into the spirit.  Something didn't feel right, and I finally discovered was wrong: we didn't have our decorations up yet!  Normally we decorate right after Thanksgiving, but this year we didn't because we were in NY.  We finally got one earlier this week.  Today Mom and I spent a couple hours putting on Christmas lights and some classy ornaments (all while I wore a festive Santa hat).  As I sit here typing the glow of little twinkling lights is filling me with the Christmas spirit.  It finally feels like Christmas!  Now I just need a peppermint mocha and some friends to laugh with for this to be a perfect evening.  :]

     And yes, I did dress up as Santa prior to decorating the tree.  A fantastic way to celebrate the season of giving, in my opinion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nice to Meet You :]

     I love writing, but lately I haven't had a plethora of writing material.  Yeah, kids are funny, but more than that they are handfulls.  When I come home from work I just like to stop thinking about work.  It's been difficult to "turn-off" work Abby at 4:00 everyday, but practice makes perfect.  :]

     Anyways, about the writing material--I am doing a 30 Day Challenge on my tumblr, but I think it's applicable for Blogger, too.  It's all about details, details, details!  We'll see how long it will take me to get through this "30 day" challenge.  Likely at least two months.  Any bets?  Haha.  Alrighty, enough chit-chat.  Time to get busy...

Introduce yourself!

     Hello.  :]  My name is Abby.  I’m 22 years old and I live in the southeastern United States.  My profession is teaching and my job is loving people.  I am a strong believer in the power of a smile and a kind word.  You can never go wrong with a positive attitude.  I am a stumbling, fumbling, growing Christian.  Everyday God is drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him.  I love to sit down with a good friend and have a long conversation with a cup of coffee in hand.  I’m a bit of an internet addict, especially when it comes to reading my favorite blogs (recently I've been loving Our Marriage Project and Young House Love).  Reading is my favorite hobby, but I don't do it nearly enough.  These days I am reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Experiencing God by Dr. Henry Blackaby, my Bible (NIV is my translation of choice), Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Henry Townsend, and The First Days of School by Harry Wong (unfortunate name).  I love music.  This past month I've been listening to Mumford and Sons, fun., The Beatles, and Ben Kweller.  The Beatles are my all-time favorite band.  I have two favorite movies: "Across the Universe" and "Little Women."  The shows I watch every week are The Office, 30 Rock, Outsourced, Community, Raising Hope, Glee, Modern Family, and The Middle.  Yeah.  I watch a lot of shows.  I love stories…so please tell me yours.  And I drive a super old car (18 years old) named Mabel.  She’s a beast.


If you want to join me in this 30 day challenge, check out this post here on my tumblr.  Let me know if you decide to join! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Plight of the Realistic Dream

     I had a crazy dream last night.  I dreamed that an old friend of mine and one of my ex-boyfriends just decided to get married.  Next month.  After dating for a few weeks.  And they wanted me to help them plan the wedding.  I just remember thinking, "What the heck?  You two?  Getting married?  It'll never work."  I woke up feeling super confused and kind of grossed out. 

     Don't you hate those realistic dreams?  What's the last dream you remember?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mmm, mmm, good!

     Hello, everyone!  I hope you're staying warm on this unnaturally cold November weekend.  I guess Georgia decided to skip fall (although the forecast is saying that it will be 80 degrees next Thursday).  I've pulled out all of my sweatshirts, which has made me miss the college life and the fact that I could wear a sweatshirt almost every day.  Sadly they are not quite "work appropriate;" I'm sure many of you feel my pain in this.

     I can't say that the winter months are a favorite season for me.  I'm a naturally cold person, so living at home where my parents refuse to put the thermostat above 65 can be uncomfortable.  Hence the reason my Snuggie is permanently attached to my body.  With all of that, however, there is still one thing I enjoy about cold weather: soups!  I've been waiting and waiting for a cold day so I could make chicken tortilla soup.  That stuff kicks some major butt.  Wigal introduced me to it last fall/winter, and we ate it all the time.  It is seriously soooo good.  And check out how nice I am: I'll even share the recipe with you.  ;]  Super easy and super delish...try it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 cloves garlic, minced (I just toss in some garlic powder)
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I put a little less than it calls for b/c it's so spicy)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I tend to put a bit more b/c I like it so much, but I warn you that it is strong)
2/3 onion, chopped
2/3 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use Rotell)
4 cups chicken broth
3-1/4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped (or shredded)
1 can of corn (optional)
1 can of black beans (optional)

Combine chicken broth and spices in large pot over low heat.  Throw in cilantro, onion, tomatoes, black beans, and chicken.  Simmer over heat for a while (from 1 hour to all day in a crock pot).  Add corn 10 minutes before serving time.  Garnish with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips.  Enjoy!  

Note: I choose to make my own chicken broth, so the amount is normally a little more than what the recipe calls for.  If you feel like the soup is too "soupy," you can add more tomatoes, chicken, corn, etc.  Essentially this is one of those "throw it together" recipes.  :]

     Let me know what you think if you make it.  Wigal and I tweaked the recipe a lot, so feel free to do the same.  What have you been waiting to make this fall/winter?  Wanna share the recipe?  ;]

     Oh, and I'll share my other favorite soup recipe soon, as well as one I found online that I want to try.  Stay tuned!

-Abby :]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hooked on Books, Not Drugs!

     Next week is red ribbon week at most schools in the southeast (the whole US maybe?), so every day at school has a theme.  Friday is “Hooked on books, not drugs,” and we’re encouraged to dress up like one of our favorite book characters.  I have had some ideas, but I’m still not sure who/what I want to be.  I’m teaching 3rd grade, so I want it to be something they would know.  Do you have any thoughts about who I should be?  Or maybe you know who you would dress up as?  Leave your answer in a comment!

     Here are the options I've thought of so far:

Ms. Frizzle

Fancy Nancy

Skippyjon Jones


Amelia Bedelia

So what do you think?

-Abby :]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Been Goin' Down

     Hi hello, I'm Abby (shout-out to Mitchell Davis).  You haven't heard from me lately because I've been super busy (story of my life).  We'll do a list because it helps me concentrate better.
  1. My car has been in the shop THREE times in the past 10 days.  Flat tire/oil change, getting the engine block replaced, and today it is getting a new alternator.  It went bonkers in the church parking lot last night.  Luckily our church is close to home and my parents were able to come get me.  Yep, poor old Mabel is on her last leg.
  2. I got a long-term subbing position!  It's a maternity leave and I start on Monday.  Third grade, which is the grade I student taught in.  Suh-weet!
  3. Today I got to talk to my two best friends!  I hadn't talked to Nicole in forever, so it was great to catch up with her.  Even better?  She's coming into town this weekend and we're going to hang out!
  4. I was home sick on Monday.  Wanna know what makes me feel nauseated every day, though?  Political commercials.  Honestly.  I want to vomit.  They're all awful.  No party is going about this in the right way.
Ok, that's about it.  Do you ever have to make outlines of your life?  Or am I the only crazy one?

- Abby  :]

My prayer partner and me at a festival for Autism Awareness.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"You have girl fingernails!"

Funny Subbing Story of the Week:

     Last Saturday I went out to get my nails done with two of my girlfriends (I feel old saying "girlfriends"; my Grandma calls her friends that).  Being the lover of pink that I am, I decided to go for the brightest day-glo pink they had (Pink Voltage by China Glaze).  This is an important backstory for my funny subbing story.

Woo hoo, bright nails!
     Fast forward to Tuesday around 11 AM.  I walk into a Kindergarten classroom and am greeted by an interesting young boy whom we'll call "Kevin."  The teacher tells me that Kevin is a special friend, meaning he's a bit behind the other kids.  As I walk by him he calls out (rather loudly), "Why do you have girl fingernails?"  I reply that I am a girl, so I'm allowed to have pink fingernails.  After looking at me for a couple seconds he bursts out in the loudest guffaw I'd ever heard from a five year old.

     Apparently my fingernails are hilarious.  I should have known.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Love Is All You Need

     Hey, everyone.  It's been a while, huh?  Well, at least I feel like it has been.

     A lot has been going on lately.  Let me (quickly) catch you up on my life.  I've been subbing almost every day.  Through experiences subbing in every grade level, I have learned that my favorite grades are 2nd and 1st, with 3rd and K behind those.  I honestly don't like 5th grade at all, and 4th is ok.  It's easier for me to deal with the pants wetting and tears than the B.O., bad attitudes, and respect issues. 

     Second, my small group is amazing.  I am so happy with everyone in my group, and I have had such a fun time getting to know them.  Today I spent all day with my prayer partner standing on a street corner and waving at cars (trying to get them to come to a festival for autism awareness).  We're both super sunburned, but it was a great day.  Totally worth it.  :] 

     Speaking of autism awareness, I've had some really great experiences with autistic kids recently.  I've subbed in a 3rd-5th mildly autistic class and a K-2nd severely autistic class.  Honestly, I was super nervous to work in the severe class.  I had no idea what the day was going to be like.  I'd heard some horror stories about kicking, biting, and pinching, but less than an hour in I was hooked.  The kids were so sweet, and once you knew what to expect, their behavior problems were easier to deal with than a typical student's behavior issues.  I feel in love with the students so quickly; I really hope I get to sub in that class again.  I even loved the student who threw a major temper tantrum. 

     I think the point of all of this is that God has been teaching me how to love.  Autistic kids can be hard to love, but God reminded me that even though they act "different," they are still His precious children.  When I deal with those frustrating 5th graders, God is teaching me how to love people that are hard for me to love.  In my small group God is teaching me how to love Him, myself, and the beautiful girls I am sharing life with for these few months and beyond.  After all, in the words of my favorite philosophers, "all you need is love."

I saw this on the sidewalk by the playground last week.  Precious.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

God Who Strengthens My Heart

Surely God is good to Israel,
       to those who are pure in heart.
 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
       I had nearly lost my foothold.
 For I envied the arrogant
       when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
 They have no struggles;
       their bodies are healthy and strong. 
 They are free from the burdens common to man;
       they are not plagued by human ills.
 Therefore pride is their necklace;
       they clothe themselves with violence.
 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
       the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
 They scoff, and speak with malice;
       in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
       and their tongues take possession of the earth.
 Therefore their people turn to them
       and drink up waters in abundance. 
 They say, "How can God know?
       Does the Most High have knowledge?"
 This is what the wicked are like—
       always carefree, they increase in wealth.
 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;
       in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
 All day long I have been plagued;
       I have been punished every morning.
 If I had said, "I will speak thus,"
       I would have betrayed your children.

 When I tried to understand all this,
       it was oppressive to me
 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
       then I understood their final destiny.
 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
       you cast them down to ruin.
 How suddenly are they destroyed,
       completely swept away by terrors!
 As a dream when one awakes,
       so when you arise, O Lord,
      you will despise them as fantasies.

 When my heart was grieved
       and my spirit embittered,
 I was senseless and ignorant;
       I was a brute beast before you.
 Yet I am always with you;
       you hold me by my right hand.

 You guide me with your counsel,
       and afterward you will take me into glory.

 Whom have I in heaven but you?
       And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

 My flesh and my heart may fail,
       but God is the strength of my heart
       and my portion forever. 

 Those who are far from you will perish;
       you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
       I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
       I will tell of all your deeds.
-Psalm 73

     My Bible study today was all about the names of God.  The one that stuck out to me the most was "the strength of my heart."  In this season of life that is what God is to me.  God is strengthening my heart to stand up for Him in my life and in this world.  My heart will not fail to fear of rejection for God is my strength.

Who is God to you right now?

-Abby :]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getting to Know Me, One Random Question at a Time

A friend wrote these questions, and now I'm answering them.  Just in case you were confused, I did not interview myself.  ;]  (Thanks, Jen!)

1.I have difficulty pronouncing the word 'ominous." I always say, "Omnimous." What word/s do you consistently mispronounce?
     I constantly mispronounce the name "Fabian."  I pronounce it the way you would in a Hispanic country (Fah-bian), but I subbed in a class where the little boy insisted you said it "Fay-bian."  It took me four days to get it right.

2. Favorite TV show & why? Least favorite TV show & why?
     I would have to say that my favorite TV show is 30 Rock.  The quirky, sarcastic humor is exactly the type stuff that makes me liz (100 cool points if you know what "lizzing" is).  I have several "least favorite" TV shows: judge shows.  My mom watches Judge Judy and Judge Alex every day and it drives me nuts.  I hate watching idiots. 

3. What is one song you'd love to be able to sing in front of millions of people?
     Umm, none?  I can't really sing.  If I could sing along with tons of people, though, I'd like to sing "Ridin' Solo."  That song is my new anthem.  Sing with me!  S-O-L-O, livin' my life- ain't got stress no mo'!

4. Most unfortunate outfit you wore thinking it looked really good? Mine were overalls & overall shorts.
     Probably anything with high socks, a big t-shirt, and flowered shorts.  I.E., 1995-1999.


5. Most embarrassing moment?
     I get embarrassed all the time.  I can't handle failure, so any time I do something wrong I feel embarrassed.  Or if you do something, I'll feel embarrassed for you...especially if you are rude to someone.

6. Something you'd do for a $1,000,000?

7. Least favorite food?
     Whipped cream...the texture is so gross to me.  It's also kind of famous among my family that I don't like pork chops, but I'll eat them anyways.

     Thanks for the questions, Andrew!  Here's one question for you: do people still call you Nelms?  Did you ever even like being called that?  Because I feel weird calling you Andrew, haha.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Join me on the dark side...

Wanna see who I met on Sunday?  Of course you do.

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun...
Does anyone else have the Imperial March stuck in their head?  Just me?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Beautiful Antique Ring :]

     This was my great-great grandmother's engagement ring.  She passed it down to my great-Grandma Quinn, who passed it down to my Aunt Ellen.  Just this summer Ellen gave it to me as a graduation gift (one of the most special gifts I've ever received, btw).  Today I finally took it to the jeweler's to get it fixed (there was a crack in the band) and resized (plus they cleaned it and it looks so shiny!).  I love it so much.  I'm incredibly honored to be the fourth owner of this ring.  :] 

-Abby :]  (can you tell I'm full of smiles today?)

     On an unrelated note, I just realized that the word "jewelery" reminds me of the word "celery."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Perks of Being a Substitute

     Holla'!  It's my favorite day: DAY OFF!  Don't get me wrong, now- I'm super happy to have a job, and I really do love what I do.  BUT there is something great about having a day off in the middle of the week.  Before my "full-time job" friends get jealous, just remember that ya'll have benefits and make a ton more money than me, so don't be too jealous.  Although a little jealousy is cool.  ;]

     Orders of business for my day off:
1. take a nap because I got up at 5:15AM in case a school called
2. catch up on all my blogs
3. buy cookie mix at Publix for small group
4. return library books (yeah, now that I'm working I don't really have time for that whole "reading" thing)
5. find an AWESOME parking place at the mall (I love the mall at 11AM on a Tuesday)
6. eat Chick-fil-A and people watch
7. Skype with Amburrr all the way from Peru! :]

     I would venture to say that I've had a pretty productive day so far.  Numbers 6 and 7 were especially wonderful.  I'll go ahead and bid you all adieu because I need to bake cookies, do laundry, and clean my room before Water's Edge tonight.  Riddle me this: what do you like to do on your day off?  Are you a "sleep all day" type person or a "gotta get stuff done" person? 


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and everyday have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.

                 -Psalm 13

Have a blessed Sunday.

-Abby :]

Saturday, September 11, 2010

True Life: I Am a Hoarder

me: Hi, I'm Abby, and I'm a hoarder.
everyone: Hi, Abby.

     Yes, I have a confession: I am on the road to becoming one of those crazy people on TLC.

Not me...yet.
     I moved home from school in May, and since then all of my college stuff has been piled in the family room.  I would show you a "before" picture, but I'm pretty sure my mom would kill me if I showed you our mess.  A few weeks ago I did a major overhaul on my bedroom and moved more stuff into the family room.  Can you say "disaster"?

     Our goal for today was to get rid of stuff I don't need.  Easier said than done.  I hear myself saying the same thing the hoarders say on TV: But I might need it one day!  Uh-oh...Abby's going crazy about stuff!  Anyways, my mom has been a huge help in my quest to donate/throw away.  I'm constantly amazed at how many things I have accumulated over 22 years of life.  This isn't just a one weekend overhaul...I'm guessing it will take at least a three weekends.  But hopefully soon I will have a wonderful, organized picture of my room and the family room to show you.  Until then, I think I'm going to keep the door closed.  :]

P.S.- This is the blog that got me started thinking about all my stuff.  Check it out here on the blog Thrifty Decor Chick.

Picture from CBS News.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Super Sub

     Hello, friends!  I feel like it's been so long since I really wrote on here.  Yesterday I alluded to the fact that life has gotten busy very quickly.  Long story (kind-of) short:
1. I interviewed to be a substitute teacher on Friday, August 27th.  We were told that our fingerprints would take a week to process, but after that we would be ready to sub.  Meaning we have one more week of not working before we would start getting calls.  Or so I thought...
2.  Cue Tuesday morning (8-31) at 6:30AM.  Phone starts ringing.  Wakes me up from a pleasant night's sleep.  Surprise, it's a phone call to sub at a school that is 30 minutes (plus traffic) away.  I race to get ready and show up at 8AM.
3.  The school likes me!!!  Which is code for "I've worked every day except this past Tuesday and they almost have me booked solid."  Can we have a short "Praise the Lord"?  Because this is seriously awesome.  Yes, the school is about as far from my house as any school in our county, but I'm getting paid.  Also...
     I CAN AFFORD TO GET A NEW CELL PHONE WITH UNLIMITED TEXTING AND A DATA PLAN!!!  *cue cheers and applause*  Yes folks, I am finally going to join everyone else in the year 2010.  I'll make sure to let you know when this happens, although I'm sure you'll figure it out because I'll start spamming you with text messages.
     Another reason why I didn't post: I spent Labor Day weekend in Birmingham with some of my lovelies!  I wrote a super sappy post about it here, and I won't blame you if you don't read it, but you should because it is about some awesome people (run-on sentence, anyone?).  It was a wonderful weekend and I was sad to leave.  But I know that it won't be too long before the "charm" of Alabama draws me back again.  ;]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hello, my name is Abby and I'm a worrier.

     Well folks, these days have been cuh-razy.  I have at least three posts on the chopping block at the moment, but I haven't had a chance to finish them.  Just to give you a glimpse of the insanity, I started working rather unexpectedly last week, and I haven't had much time to catch my breath.  But more about that later.
     Today I just wanted to share some verses with you.  I'm pretty sure these are going to become my new life verses.  Just for curiosity's sake, my old life verse was 2 Timothy 1:7.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline.
That verse was very fitting for the past several years of my life, but now I feel that I've mostly moved past my timidity and onto different issues (hooray! haha).  Ok, without further ado, my new, improved, and longer life verses:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
 -Matthew 6:25-34 (emphasis added)
AMEN TO THAT!  These verses are like a welcome kick in the rear-end for me.  Comment with your life verse, if you have one.  Did anyone's change like mine?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Road Trippin'!

     Short(er) post today...I'm hoping to spend some quality time in the three books I'm reading (in case you're wondering, the books are Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, The First Days of School by Harry Wong, and Quilting for Dummies).  Today I wanted to write about something very important to me: road trips!  I've only taken one road trip with friends (holla', Michaela and Jon!); most of my road trips are solo drives to visit friends who live far from me.
     Why do I want to write about road trips today, you ask?  Easy!  Because I'm taking one on Friday to visit some wonderful friends of mine in Birmingham, Alabama!  :]  Brynn and Clint, this one's for you.

     My epic friendship with Clint and Brynn started four years ago, when Clint and I were freshman at TFC.  I remember meeting him during a game of Ultimate Frisbee and thinking that he had weird hair.  He didn't remember meeting me at all, haha!  It took a while (like 6 months), but we eventually met again and became fast friends.  We ended our freshman year and kept in contact throughout the whole summer.  Towards the end of the summer, he started dating a girl from Alabama that he'd never told me about.  Shock abounded!  Yes, I was miffed at Clint, but then I met Brynn (said girl he never told me about).  She and I had an awkward first meeting (she was staying with me while she visited Clint at school), but by our second or third hour together, we knew we were on to something special.
     Brynn and I are now super close friends.  We always tease Clint that the only reason God made Clint and me friends was so Brynn and I could meet one day.  This past summer I was honored to be one of the bridesmaids in their wedding.  It was a wonderful day and I was so happy to see dear friends of mine making this beautiful commitment to each other.
     Hence, the road trip.  Birmingham is starting to be like a second home to me.  I know if Brynn had her way, it would be my first home (for now we'll settle for a visit every few months).  I've gotten to be close with many people in Birmingham, and they are all important to me.  On my good things list, this trip to Birmingham ranks very close to #1.

-Abby :]

 This post is dedicated to these two lovely friends.  :]

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Importance of Community

     Community is a major buzzword in the Christian world these days.  The 2008-2009 school year at TFC was the year of community; students were pressed to join Barnabas groups, get to know people in their dorms, and attend prayer meetings.  After a couple months everyone got a little sick of hearing the word "community" sprinkled liberally throughout every chapel.  It was easy to get perturbed with the college's preoccupation with it, but now that I'm back home, I realize why they made such a big deal of the issue.
     At TFC, community is inherent in your day-to-day life, especially if you live on campus.  For four years I lived among girls who believed in the same God as me.  If someone on the hall was struggling, there were plenty of people around to lift them up in prayer and keep them accountable.  I have to give a shout-out to Bell 2A and the ladies I lived with there: SJ (my roomie), WILD Wigal, Amburr Dee, Mer, and Mikoko.  And yes, those are our awesome rock band nicknames from our kickin' band, The Southern Bells (only on Guitar Hero, but we say it counts...and I was Abster).  These five ladies were such an encouragement during my senior year.  They are people that I will love and treasure always.
     Barnabas groups, TFC's mandatory small groups, were a huge blessing, as well.  Sometimes students (me included!) lose sight of the importance of Barney groups (as they are affectionately called).  My junior and senior years I belonged to Mrs. Debby's group, and at the end of every meeting I left encouraged and uplifted.  The simple act of smiling, laughing, crying, and praying with four or five like-minded women never failed to put my struggles in perspective. 
     The bottom line is, at TFC it was easy to live in community with believers.
     Now I am living back home and I don't have that "automatic" community any longer.  The summer was a bad time for me community-wise.  I saw many friends and family members during trips for weddings, etc., but when I would get home I wouldn't do anything.  My daily activities included getting up too late, watching movies and TV, laying around, eating, and staying up too late.  One or two days of that type of living is a great break, but day after day it becomes unhealthy.  I wasn't spending time with God enough and my problems were getting way out of proportion since I didn't have anyone around to bounce thoughts off of.  Towards the end of the summer I realized something important: I need community!
     Yes, I need community, and so do you.  So does everyone!  I can't take the credit for this revolutionizing idea- right now my church is pushing the idea of community.  I attend a very large church in metro-Atlanta, so you can't necessarily get that sense of community on a Sunday morning.  They have always been intentional about encouraging people to join small groups.  On Tuesday night I went to the college program because they sent an e-mail saying that they were going to do small group sign-ups.  If you know me well at all, you know that I hate stepping out of my comfort zone and going places alone, especially places where everyone else is with people.  I was truly dreading going to church that night because I knew I would be sitting by myself, and that makes me feel very uncomfortable.  That should tell you how important community is, though.  Even though I was totally freaked out to go to the service, I still went because I knew that I needed to be in a small group.
     Well, I survived the uncomfortableness (hooray!), and now I belong to a small group.  I'm very hopeful about it; we meet for the first time this Thursday, so I'll let you know how it goes.  :]  It takes a while to build the type of community I enjoyed in Bell 2A, but I am excited to make new friends.  This verse is one that kind of kicked me in the rear and made me realize I need to be in a small group.  Maybe it will encourage you, too.  :]
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.      -Acts 4:44-47, describing the believers after Pentecost
-Abby :]

 Bell 2A, represent!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Endless Summer

     A year ago, I was certain that I would have a job after I graduated.  I was one of those students who began applying for a teaching job two months before graduation.  I assumed that by being proactive, I was assuring myself a teaching position for the fall of '10.  Well, you know what they say about people who assume.  Long story short, many of my friends found teaching jobs, while I became the eternal apply-er.  The girl who applied to every job out there, but couldn't seem to land one.
     This might seem like I'm complaining, and maybe a couple of weeks ago that would have been the case.  But lately I've been learning to "be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11).  My circumstances are not quite as dire as Paul's when he wrote this letter to the church of Philippi, but I understand what it is to be in want.  There are many things that I have wanted these past months and do not currently have.  It is easy to look at the lives of my peers and to feel jealous of their situation in life, whether it's because they achieved the TFC dream (ring by spring, of course), because they got a job, or because they are seemingly "living it up."  I'm not saying that I never struggle with jealously about those issues, but God has truly shown me how to be happy where I am.  Earlier in the summer I sat around every day thinking about how awful my life was compared to Jane Doe's.  I would stay up too late, get up too late, eat junk food, and sit in my room all day.  Let me tell you from experience, that is no way to live.  No wonder I was jealous of other people's lives; I wasn't doing anything to make my life better!
     I've learned from my mistake, though.  I want to live a life that is memorable.  I don't want to wait to begin living until I have a job or a husband.  There is so much living I can do now!  I might not have a ton of money to work with, but money isn't everything.  Today I met an old friend at the park and we had a blast just walking the trail and talking.  Total cost?  Zero dollars.
     A couple of weeks ago I made that decision to keep living my life.  And guess what?  God reminded me that He's got my back.  You're talking to one of Gwinnett County's newest substitute teachers.  :]  It might not be the most prestigious job in the world, but I'm learning to love the little bit of extra freedom I still get to enjoy through a part-time job. 
     If you're going through some of the same jealousy issues that I was (and still am some days), or if you just need some encouragement, take these verses to heart:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
-Philippians 4:6-7
 -Abby :]