Archive for June, 2011

Went to the Windy City last week to visit Ashley and Mrs. Molly. It was perfect timing because it turned out to be just us girls at the house. It was a very quick trip but I am extremely grateful for the few days I got to spend with them. Monday was the day I flew in and got settled in. Tuesday we went to Swedish Days in Geneva and I got to see my buddies Tiffany and Ashley in St. Charles. Wednesday was our downtown Chicago day topped off with a baseball game between Crosstown Rivals. Thursday came before I knew it and I was back on a plane to Greenville. Some of the major highlights are below in pics (as if I would do it any other way)!

Mrs. Molly made me my own Ice Cream cake that Ashley always talks about. Cookies and Cream…

Walking around Swedish Days in Geneva with Ashley…

And the finished product – HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO ME! :)

Me and the bestie at Myles’ hockey game against the old people. PS – It was FREEZING in there!

How you doin’ @12???

My buddy Tonka hanging out in Ashley’s room! He would come in and get in bed with me every morning.

We met up with Kayla in the city and walked around all day long. This was all of us at the BEAN in Millennium Park.

The City Skyline in the reflection of the BEAN. Such a cool picture!

We walked so many blocks to get down to Navy Pier. We ended up walking through there and eating at Margaritaville. Then we headed to find the Redline to get down to the Whitesox Stadium.

Saying goodbye was not my favorite by any mean!

Hanging with Ashley by Fox River in St. Charles.

These are just a few highlights from that trip. I enjoyed every minute of it.

 

I realized today that my wish list does not have to be limited to items that I can just buy in the store or online. I have a wish list of things to do, things to buy, things to learn, things to give.

I think when you can actually get past yourself then you’re able to DESIRE or WISH for others to receive. I think the next thing on this Wish List Wednesday should be that I  would love to sponsor another one of the Compassion International children. I am currently sponsoring my little boy, Jhonatan, from Peru. He will be 11 years old in September. I’ve had him since August 2003 so I’ve had the chance to give towards his Christian education and write letters with him about his faith and family. I know right now they are in need of sponsors for some of the older children. The younger ones are so cute and innocent that most people want to sponsor them first so the older ones get over looked. Working in a collegiate environment I see the importance of influencing kids while they are young.

I would challenge you to take some effort to spare $38/month to help sponsor a child this year. I am thankful for the words of love and hope that I receive from Jhonatan and I would love to be able to give to that godly opportunity to another child.

So why is this on the WISH LIST if I have already sponsored a child? Well, I want to sponsor another one. Why is it on the WISH LIST? I hope to get to a place financially to be able to pay for this exciting opportunity. And you wonder what you can do to help? Click on www.compassion.com to learn more about becoming a sponsor.

So after I got back from Phoenix for the SBC I did a quick turnaround and drove out of town to Greenville to see Carley.

She was an excellent host and took me downtown Greenville to walk around, to Furman to see my friend, and up to the mountaintop. It was quite humorous because as we sat at lunch talking about what we could do when we left everything she suggested was “down by the bridge.” Now if you’ve been downtown then you know about “the bridge” because everything good to do is down there. :)

Looking down from the bridge.

 

Carley and Tam at the bridge!

The TREE that everyone likes to photograph in the park by the bridge!

From the mountaintop.

Highly recommend getting some ice cream from Spill the Beans ice cream shop “down by the bridge.”

 

Chocolate ice cream with almonds, marshmallow and brownie – yummmmm!

As I walked around downtown Chicago with Ashley and Kayla on Wednesday we walked quite a few blocks and enjoyed some sites along the way. I think I have decided that the more I am able to financially afford it the more I am going to take advantage of visiting places around the USA. Being in a college I have a huge advantage of meeting people from all over the USA and therefore have a built-in personal tour guide where ever I decide I would like to travel.  Some of the places I shall place on my wish list for this Wednesday’s post would be New York/Manhattan area, California, New Orleans, and New Mexico. So who is up for doing some traveling?

Last week I went out to Phoenix, Arizona for the annual Southern Baptist Convention with Clark and Skip. 
The cool thing is that one of my senior volleyball girls from CSU is from Phoenix so I had a native tour guide 
while out there. The flight went from Charleston to Houston to Phoenix. As you know I love taking pictures so 
I tried to document as many of the sights as I could. You might recall seeing some on facebook or twitter and 
in the last post I shared some of the pictures from Chase Baseball Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In flight...
(Flight over Arizona.)
(First time I've flown Southwest Airlines - It worked out well!)
(Looking over Arizona)
Sights to see...

(Lookout from the top of South Mountain)
(The mountains of Phoeniz)
(Me standing beside the Cactus on the side of South Mountain)
(Drove through ASU - Arizona State University)
(Me and Tricia at the top of South Mountain)
(Decided to see one of my favorite shows ever, ANNIE, at the local theater.)

(Arizona Diamondbacks game with Clark against the Giants)
(Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) and US Airways Center (Phoenix Suns) arenas from my hotel)

CSU Business at the SBC 2011...



(I opened about 1000 of these individually packaged yo-yos)
(These cute kids who came by the booth to get a yo-yo)

Random pictures that don't belong...
(Rev. Billy Combover)
(Diggin' the hair-do dude!)
(Where can I get me one of those outfits?)
(How many people can you pack on the light rail train?)
(Mladin - The hotel security officer! My new crush!)

This week’s wish list is something that was inspired tonight while me and Clark were sitting in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium in Phoenix. I was kind of shocked that he had never been to a Major League Baseball field before or football or anything. I guess I was a little surprised because I have been to quite a few stadiums in the last 8 years. I’ve been to the Indianapolis Colts arena against the Baltimore Ravens and their practice facilities. I have been to Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves and now the Arizona Diamondbacks stadiums for MLB. I think I would like to add to the wish list to visit as many MLB stadiums as I can while traveling across the US of A.  I don’t have an expiration on attaining this wish list item, but will prioritizes this into any travel plans I might have. I know one of my top will be Wrigley Field in Chicago  – Home of the Cubs!

Until those times come… Here are a few pics from the Arizona Diamonbacks game tonight!

Well over the last 5 days I have been traveling out to Phoenix, Arizona and around the city. I’ve got three suggestions for places to go eat if in the Phoenix area! Two of these places are local to Phoenix and the third one is a place you can always check out around the US.

1. Networks Bar and Grill (located in the Hyatt Regency Phoenix Hotel) has the best salad called the Network’s Salad. I had grilled chicken added to the top of fresh greens along with crumbled bleu cheese, craisins and glazed pecans topped off with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Not only were all of the ingredients superb to the taste buds, but the portion size was unreal. I also ordered some Sweet Potato Fries with this dipping sauce. You know me, I am a sucker for sweet potato fries! :) I am still not sure what the dipping sauce was but it was absolutely tastey on the buds too! (see photo below)

2. Paradise Bakery (located one block from Phoenix Convention Center on 2nd St) is “known for their cookies.” I had a half and half combo with a sandwich and salad. It is a  lot like Atlanta Bread Company. I guess I am stuck on some blue cheese crumbles, but I got the Crumbly Blue Cheese salad with a Tuscon Chicken sandwich. I was not a HUGE fan of the sandwich because it was a cold-cut and I guess I was expecting a warm sandwich with the chicken on it. The salad was unbelievable. I think it was probably comparable to Outback’s bleu cheese salad. Ohhhh and their chocolate cookies were pretty good – I would go back just for a snack!

3. The Cheesecake Factory would be the final suggestion thus  far in Phoenix. I went twice while I have been here. The first time I went with Tricia Rodl (CSU Alumni Volleyball Player) and I got my usual for Cheesecake Factory which was the Chicken Salad Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries. The second time I went with Clark and Ralph & Sherry Jett from SC. This time I branched out and ordered Pasta Carbonara. It was good but I am partial to the Chicken Salad Sandwich. I tend to get my taste buds wrapped around certain things at certain restaurants and I don’t like to change my order. The second time I ordered some famous cheesecake too…the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. #1 recommendation for me! A must try!

Over the last couple of months I’ve been wrestling with the Lord over finding a peace about leaving CSU (or staying). I went through a time when I was asking for the answer, but I really didn’t want to slow down and stop what I was doing to actually hear the answer. The Lord began to speak LOUDER and slowed me down to hear it CLEARER. He was speaking to me through praise and worship songs like Forever Reign when it says, “you are peace, you are peace, when my fear is crippling.” Then I would get to a point when I was discouraged because I did not feel like my relationships were worthwhile and then all of a sudden I would have a conversation with someone that I was investing in and they would say something to me about how much I’ve influenced their lives and encouraged them. And the thing that finally put icing on the cake was when I was at church and Jon was preaching. He was teaching out of o Ephesians 2 and he said “peace overrides logic.” I jotted it down in my Bible and then leaned over to Drea and said, “this right here is why I am staying at CSU next year!”

The story does not stop there. Then I was asked to meet with a church about a job which they offered me a position. I did not tell many people but I did seek wise counsel and even in that the Lord stripped me of having them to run to for THE answer. Instead, I had no one around me and I knew I had to make a decision so I had no one but the Lord to depend on for the answer and the PEACE that surpasses all understanding. All of the points of the job offered to me was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY… but I could not seem to get a peace. I could not pinpoint why but I think the timing of it was the only explanation I could come up with. I didn’t feel like the Lord was done with what I could do at CSU next year.

I’ve often wondered what it really mean to have a peace from the Lord felt like, sounded like, looked like. And I have had people ask me how I knew I had a peace about staying. I think in the pit of your gut you will know what is the right thing. Being a logical reasoner and relying on that so often was tough when Jon said that peace overrides logic. So I had to almost “retrain” my heart and mind to know what to look for and what the voice of God sounds like. As you saw above His voice sounded like a praise song, His voice sounded like a conversation with a friend, His voice sounded like the truth straight from His truth in the scriptures.

I am thankful to have finally been obedient to slow down long enough to hear what the Lord was speaking to me through so many ways. How do you hear the voice of God? Do you have big decisions coming your way and you’re looking for a peace about it? Don’t overlook the answer…God will use people, things, circumstance, His word and other ways!

Tourist Thursday

Posted: June 9, 2011 in General

Last Saturday turned out to be one of the best days I’ve had in quite some time. I am sure with just one sentence in you’re wondering what in the world does that have to do with Tourist Thursday. Well…I decided to be a tourist in my own town and went downtown Charleston with LO! We had a blast between silly comments and food and being spontaneous.

We started out going downtown Charleston to Market Street. We decided to start at one end and work our way down to the other end.

I did have an agenda which was to locate some more pirate finger puppets, but that was unsuccessful. What was successful was…

 

and of course, many snapshots along the way…

Definitely recommend trying the praline from downtown and if you’re real adventurous then I’d recommend the Carriage Ride.

Then when I got back I decided to head out to the apartment complex pool.

Over all the best day of just living one day at a time.

Last night I decided to cook something that would be semi-healthy since I am trying to get inspired to lose some weight over the next couple of months. It turned out pretty tasty and satisfying.

Ingredients:

Lean Chicken Breasts (cut up)

Garlic Salt

Ground Pepper

Canola oil

Soy Sauce

Whole grain spaghetti pasta

Light Alfredo Sauce

Sliced carrots

How to make:

Cook pasta to preferred texture. Sautee carrots in soy sauce for a couple of minutes. Sautee chicken in canola oil, garlic salt, ground pepper until done. Use a little bit of Soy sauce for some flavor at the end before taking the chicken out. Mix in  2 tablespoons of Light Alfredo sauce into the desired amount of pasta. Add chicken and carrots to the top. Serve immediately!

Photo of the finished dish!