Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho ho ho!

Who's got a beard that's long and white?
Santa's got a beard that's long and white.
The most epic Christmas song of my childhood.  Anyone else have the Raffi Christmas album?

Now, I may not have a beard that's long and white, but like Santa, I love gift-giving!  There's nothing better than finding the perfect gifts for your loved-ones.  I was more than excited to give my sisters their gifts this excited that I'm going to share them with you!


First I gave Hannah some Lemon of her faves!
And then I gave her this super cute calendar.  Probably the cutest calendar I've ever seen.

The theme of Kelley's gift was "Asian."  If you don't know, Kelley loves all things Asian--K Dramas, a Korean boy named "Lo Mein," and doing peace signs by her eyes in pictures. 
First I gave her a little snow globe with a geisha picture, so you'll have to imagine it.
Then I gave her some Hello Kitty treats...Pocky and two different types of candy in decorative tins.

A great Christmas so far, and there's still a bit more to go!  I loved being able to surprise my sisters with these gifts.  I got some lovely gifts as well, including the first season of Community (watching it right now!), homemade gifts from my sisters (an infinity scarf and a hat), and some funds for activities with Mr. Biz.  I hope your Christmas was merry and bright!  :]

Bright and early Christmas morning.  Merry Christmas from Abby, Kelley, and Hannah!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

Hello all, and happy Christmas eve-eve-eve!  :]

Tacky Christmas sweater party, circa 2009.

Someone recently asked me if I was going to blog again, which made me realize that it's been almost two weeks since I last wrote on here.  Oops, my little corner of cyberspace must be feeling neglected.  To remedy the situation, I figured I'd jot down some Christmas-y thoughts.  Unfortunately, my brain has been in "shut down" mode the past several days because I am on VACATION.  So, enjoy my not-so-deep Christmas thoughts. 

1. I'm loving the holiday cups at Starbucks this year.  I mean, seriously--I think they have managed to capture the essence of every human relationship on their cups and in store decoration this year.  Here are a few favorites:
"When we're together I know I'll never fall."
"When we're together snowmen come to life."

"Let's remember why we go together so well."
Great stuff, right?  Do you have a favorite Starbucks quote from this season?

2. You know how Christmas time in Georgia is dreary, rainy, and sometimes hot/sometimes cold?  Be jealous, because today I rode a bike around a beautiful island in 80 degree weather.  I love living in the great PEACH STATE, but riding bikes on roads that are never hilly is quite spectacular.  The palm trees and such aren't too bad, either.  ;]

3. Christmas is so much better when you can spend it with someone special, am I right?  This is gearing up to be the best Christmas ever. 

4.  Speaking of the best Christmas ever, no one tells the tale of the first Christmas quite like Linus.  The simplicity of it is magical.  I don't know anyone who can watch this clip without tearing up a bit.

5. I have really enjoyed getting Christmas gifts for my loved ones this year.  Obviously I can't spill the beans about what I've gotten for them, but I can tell you that I'm excited about it.  My job hasn't kept me too busy this year (as opposed to other years), so I was able to spend a bit more time shopping around and getting creative.  What is the best gift you've ever given someone?

I hope you guys are enjoying all aspects of the Christmas season, and in case I don't get on here in the next few days, MERRY CHRISTMAS!  :]  Anyone have their own random Christmas thoughts? 

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Friday, December 9, 2011


Well guys, once again, I have another big change in my life.  I counted last night, and this change marks my fourth *new* adventure for 2011.  That's a pretty big number for a 23 year old who is supposed (by the world's standards) to be settled in a job. 

Abby's Career Adventures of 2011
1. teaching art for 15 weeks at RS (January-May)
2. 3rd grade camp counselor in Tennessee (May-July)
3. SpEd parapro at RS
4. ??? Read to find out!

I had no idea that I could be embarking on a new adventure until the Friday before Thanksgiving.  On that day, Jamie and I were informed that there was a chance that I might be displaced and moved to another school.  The next three weeks passed, and it seemed like I would be staying.  

Then this Wednesday morning they did an all-call for Jamie, and I knew what was coming.  About ten minutes later when I went to talk to Jamie, my fears were confirmed: I was being displaced. 

Man.  What a bummer. 

I love love love the school I've been working at.  Honestly, it is my dream school.  I've wanted to work there for a very long time--the long term art position was a step in the door and getting the parapro position was awesome.  The people I work with are great, which is important when you're in sped because so much of it is collaboration and communication.  And the kids?  They make me laugh, smile, and I've learned so much from them.  I will miss their little faces so much. 

So yeah, the past few days have been difficult.  Many tears have been shed by myself and some of the other teachers.  I know that next week at the new school and then the following weeks after Christmas break will be incredibly challenging.  I'll still be in sped, but it is a different level, so the kids are completely different.  I'm guessing that I will have a steep learning curve!

I say that many tears have been shed, and that is entirely true.  But those tears were not shed out of a spirit of despair.  I am sad to leave, yes, but I am so glad to know that God has a bigger plan than I.  Already I've seen the ways He's been working in the past 17 weeks--reasons why I was at this school for this long.  He had me there as long as He needed me, and now I'm moving on to something different.  His plans are unknown to me, but I have hope because I know He's got it all figured out.  The sadness has been tempered by the understanding of knowing how God works.  Mr. Biz pointed this verse out to me after I found out the news and I think it speaks to how I should enter this next season of my life in particular:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight.
-Proverbs 3:5-6

I'm trusting in the Lord with the joy of knowing that He has ordained my path.  How can I go wrong when I am following the Lord?

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P.S.- If you are so inclined, please keep my in your prayers this next week as I make this transition into a brand new school (to me) with people and students I don't know.  Pray specifically that I would be a humble and quick learner, and also that I would be given a super fantastic memory to remember everything!  :]

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas! Song of the Week

In honor of an "epic" weekend, here is my next Christmas-themed song of the week.  This song is a newer favorite--I've been listening to the album non-stop since Thanksgiving!

Dave Barnes
Holiday Made for Two

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas! Song of the Week

Now that is is officially Christmas-time, I am happy to share my first Christmas themed song of the week.

If you know me, you know that I love atypical Christmas songs.  So when Coldplay released this song last December, it was love at first listen.  I love how it starts off with a melancholy feel and then slowly transforms into somewhat of an anthem.  "Anthem" is my favorite word to describe any song that makes me feel happy but also a bit like crying when I turn it up all the way and sing along. 

Without any further ado, enjoy Christmas Lights by Coldplay.  :]  And Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Praise the Lord--I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

-My new car, Tonks, that is going to take me down to Atlanta tomorrow to pick up my dad from the airport.
-The fact that my hair is beginning to get wavy.  I've been fighting off frizzy but straight hair for my entire life, so this is a major milestone!  
-Spending time with family over our week off.  We've already spent time bonding over bad TV, cleaning, and "fancy" new dance moves. 
-My job!  Times are hard and there are so many people who are worse off than me.  This is a good time of year to remember how blessed I am to have a job even if it's not ideal.  Plus, I work with awesome kids and awesome adults.
-All of the people that I'm blessed to call "friend."  Over the past two weeks I've been able to see three of my best friends and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have them in my life.  So to all of my friends, near and far, thank you for being you.  :]
-Starbucks.  This company has no idea how instrumental they have been in my life these past four months.  I strongly believe that there is almost no better place for long conversations.
-A rock in the middle of the woods.  :]  No words needed.
-And, although it sounds cliche, the amazing God I serve.  He has been teaching me so much this year, from patience to self-discipline and everything in between.  And obviously, from this list, it is easy to see how richly He has blessed my life. 

I'm very excited to spend this Thanksgiving with my very large extended family.  Every year we all meet up at my Nanny's house for "dinner" (Southern speak for lunch) and have a lazy hang-out all afternoon.  My mother, sisters, and I will hang around till supper time for round #2 and then to clean up.  What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? 

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Picture Dump #4

It's that time again!  Time to purge my phone of pictures.

New candle!  It makes everything smell like AWESOME (if awesome had a smell, that is).

6:30AM: My dad dressed as Severus Snape.  Happy Halloween!

Kelley's in a food coma at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

My mom's new perfume.  I find it hilarious that she loves this stuff.

Boo is the best heater.

Brand-aid vs. Mexican food.

I don't think Hannah liked our favorite waiter.

Halloween goodies for a local scoundrel.

My journaling buddy.

So that's what my phone and I have been up to lately.  Does anyone else have an unhealthy love of cheap WalMart candles?  Or is it just me? 

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I have this quote laminated and taped on the wall by my desk:
Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

These past few days at work have been a little bit less than stellar, for some pretty minor, not-so-important reasons.  Nothing that should really bother me, but you know how it goes--a bunch of little frustrations can gang up on you to become a big frustration.  That's where this quote comes into play.  I could be sitting there thinking "woe is me" and then I glance over there to that little yellow sticky note.  "Duh," I think.  And then I think through my day and decide on the one good thing.

Someone listening to a direction the first time. 

Running and playing in the sensory room.

A child using their talker in a new and novel way.  

Sharing a smile with a student or friend. 

All of these are "good things."  Remembering these small moments can take a day from "bad" to "better" or even "great."  I challenge you to remember to take a few seconds during your day to focus your own small moments.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Picture Dump #3

Hey, ya'll!  Time for me to delete a bunch more pictures off of my phone.  :]  So enjoy a brief glimpse into the past couple of weeks in my life. 

New car presets.  Thanks to Mr. Business Partner for reintroducing me to DaveFM.

Enjoying Moe's with Brand-aid!

Sisters having fun while Hannah and Brandie were on fall break.

Felt super dorky while reading this article, but even more dorky when I really liked it.

New favorite drink at Starbucks: salted caramel mocha (grande, of course).
SO EXCITED TO FINALLY OWN THIS ALBUM!  I've been listening to it non-stop since Monday.

Remains of the carnage.

Kelley is quite the creeper.

Pretending to be a child model.

Bought this nerdy movie at Goodwill for less than $3.  I appreciate my friends who have good taste in movies (Mr. Strange!).

Probably tomorrow (maybe) I'll post about my trip to NY.  Not really because it's super exciting, but so that I remember it.  This weekend I get to do two fun with the Strange couple (hahahaha) and cheer on Mr. Business Partner during his marathon (yes, he's a nutcase marathon runner).  Hopefully I'll record those memories with some pictures, but no promises.  If you're a really great friend, you can help remind me to use my camera.  :]  Thanks!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Ode to the Beast

Two weeks ago I said goodbye to one my most trusted companions and travel partners.  We'd traveled together to Birmingham, Chattanooga, South Carolina, South GA, North GA, and everywhere in between.  Through many bumps and bruises, we always stuck together.  This wonderful companion of mine was named Mabel.
Hanging out with "the Beast."
Oh yes, Mabel and I had a lot of fun over our seven years together.

Circa '05 or '06 on the way to church.  And we thought we were cool.
Mabel was always great for dance parties with the BFF.

We went on a Secret Mission to buy a TV for our RD.

Trips to the river for rafting...and I got to be chauffeur.
Another dance party, this time on Thanksgiving.  We were probably already listening to Christmas music.
Mabel took Kelley on a driving tour of my college town.
On my 21st birthday, I serenaded Hannah and Mabel with one of my favorite country songs.
Mabel saw plenty of goodbyes, including this goodbye dinner during my last time living in Toccoa.
Mabel even enjoyed some Christmas lights, hot cocoa, and lots of laughs with small group friends.

Mabel has survived a lot in her 19 years, including...

...being packed to the brim on many trips back and forth from college.

...the removal of her tires by one of my friends.
...somehow fitting in the last/smallest parking spot in the lot before the TFC Hayride.  I'm pretty proud of this parking job.
...and a nasty flat tire last fall.

Yes, Mabel was a good car to me.  I'm sad to see her go, but I'm glad to know that now Kelley gets to enjoy her company.  Kelley has already told me, very plainly, that she loves Mabel.  Even old lady cars need love.  :]

So, as I bid farewell to Mabel, I'm happy to announce the newest addition to my life: Nymphadora Tonks.  Tonks for short.

Yay, Tonks!  This was at a random rest area in Pennsylvania.

More about how Tonks came to be another day.  For now, feel free to share your favorite Mabel memory.  Some readers may remember the bridge incidents from 2006-2007 (involving screaming and laughing).  Others may remember the many snow storms Mabel owned.  I for one will always remember her luxurious red velvet seats and "starry night" ceiling (due to the push pins holding up the headliner).

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