Thursday, December 31, 2009
That's a fact, folks. I lost my job, moved 3 times, Mom had cancer, and had a myriad of other things happen this year. But, I cannot complain because God is so good and faithful and usually when you're put through the fire, you come out refined. I am DONE with you, 2009 and it feels incredible! Here's to a happy, healthy NEW YEAR!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It was a bit strange to wake up on Christmas morning, put on your bathing suit and head out to the deck to a happening crowd where activities included the hairy chest contest (ew), dance parties and other non-traditional Christmas day festivities. We had a fun time, though.
Favorite cruise moments: snorkeling with beautiful fish in Cozumel, the ocean playground (complete w a trampoline where you jump into turquoise water), catamaran, margarita by the ocean, spending time with family, yummy food, and not being able to check email, phone, etc.
I didn't take many pictures as Lucy was the designated photographer, but here's one of us in Mexico.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I came home to 5 Christmas cards, and if you know me, you know this made my day! I finally decided that I'm not sending out my usual handwritten card (esp since my address list is around 140) this year. Hopefully I'll get to sending out a picture card when we get back. Sometimes you just can't do it all.
I'm listening to Handel's Messiah and I just can't get enough of it.
I'm jealous of those who got pounded with snow. Friday after work I was determined to leave the boring rain of Charlotte and drive home, even though my Dad told me the roads were bad. I was stubborn and tried to go anyways, but ended up making it halfway until I was sliding going 40 mph with my hazards on along with dozens of other cars on a snowy I-85, all the while passing multiple accidents. So I turned around and you know what I thought to myself: Dads know best.
I've been so encouraged lately by Matt Chandler, his sermons and his story.
Big dogs > little dogs.
Today is the shortest day of the year.
Every time I see a box of Cheerios, I think of this (very drunk) man on the subway who talked to me for 20 minutes about how Cheerios lowers your cholesterol. 20 minutes. (just saw a Cherrios commercial, sorry... stream of conciousness)
I have Gossip Girl on silent in the background because it's been months since I've seen an episode so I don't know what's going on, but I LOVE the UES shots. Wish I was watching with Katie & Kath on the couch at 1125!
Life is good. It's just one of those nights where my thoughts run all over the place (clearly), the tree is lit, the house is quiet, the to-do list is oh so long, but you just have to be still because Christmas comes only once a year and you don't want to miss taking it all in.
The last thought will be part of what my dear friend Ginny wrote in her Christmas card to me (hope you don't mind, Gin). I thought it was true and beautiful:
"What a ride you and I have been on this past year, but the Lord has been faithful and ever-present. Praise God for your mother's health! Our life is so precious here."
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Here is our cute little home. We love it! Of course, don't look too closely at the yard... it's a muddy mess with leaves still around from fall. I keep hoping the landscaping guys who drive by will feel an overwhelming sense of pity for us and one day we'll come home to a beautifully landscaped yard. A girl can dream. I mean, come spring I'll plant flowers and a garden, but I've never been too fond of the rake (ask my Dad).
Saturday, December 12, 2009
On a completely different note, App State lost tonight. I am sooo bummed! And let's face it, while I'm not that into football, if your college team makes it to the semifinals, you gotta tune in. Oh well... I probably wouldn't have caught the ball either if it was 7 degrees in the middle of a blizzard. I will leave you with this: Be true to Yosef.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
So here are just a few of my 2010 (and 2009 leftover, or rounded up) dreams:
1. Visit Meg in LA. It's been almost 4 years since I was out there for her wedding and it's about time I visit my middle school best friend in sunny Cali!
2. Go yachting. Oh how I regret that I missed those yachting classes on the Long Island Sound during Summer 2006.
3. Visit NYC, duh.
4. Run a race/marathon. While I ran cross country in high school, I'm not a Lucy Clement or anything! But I might be running a 10k this Spring with my roomie. Give me the Goo.
5. Speaking of... go to a Goo Goo Dolls concert. Ok, laugh all you want, but really, I LOVE them.
6. Volunteer more.
7. Go to ballets, concerts, art exhibits, plays & performances in Charlotte.
8. Get to know my neighbors and have a summer block party.
9. Pray more, which sounds cheesy, but I'm currently reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller and it's such a powerful book!
10. Go to see MLR graduate and become Dr. Roy!!!
11. Plant a herb garden and make it through the Silver Palate cookbook.
12. Write more snail mail letters and be better at keeping in touch with old friends.
13. Watch all of the Oscar nominated films before the Academy Awards.
14. Take a hip hop dance class.
15. Go to Maine with Tam.
16. Send more care packages to friends overseas.
17. Read all the books on my 100 Classic Book List
18. MAKE/BAKE: sushi, a cake with fondant, creme brulee, and perfect my pancakes (I cannot make a fluffy, perfectly circular pancake to save my life!!!)
19. Go home more often.
20. Learn how to change a tire.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A blast from the past....
We look so young!
My first turkey attempt, ever.
Second year making the turkey. I never had a bite of it, either year actually.
The whole gang! Oh how I love them so!
Girls just wanna have fun.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I was at J. Crew a few weeks ago folding clothes with a girl I work with. She mentioned that she used to live in NYC and of course I asked her a million questions about her experience, where she lived, etc. She told me she was only there for a year's internship until she had to move back South because her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She took care of her mom right before she passed away. I listened, empathetically, to this girl, who I didn't even know, just because our stories sound so similar. The only difference is the outcome... and I felt like I was going to be sick as I listened to the pain she expressed of losing her mother. And then I was overcome with emotion and thanksgiving that my mom is almost done with radiation, her hair is growing (and feels just like cashmere!) and we are all going to be at the dinner table this Thanksgiving, holding hands, laughing, eating and looking forward to a brand new year and new beginnings.
Things could've been different. But they're not. We're so thankful. We're not promised tomorrow so we've learned to appreciate and live fully in what we have today. Love deeply and be thankful.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I'm going through a '100 classic must-read book list'. What are your favorite classics?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Or perhaps I was also drawn to this picture because it has the sun shinning in it. For the past three days it has rained and rained. I get so tired of people complaining about the weather. Or maybe it's only ok to complain in NYC about the weather since you spend a large portion of your day walking outside. (btw, almost two months out and my heart still misses the City terribly.) But I've enjoyed the past rainy days and think the trees have looked especially grand against the gray skies. Oh how I love the fall.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The most exciting event coming up is a visit from my favorite Allison Parker! It really is a new thing for me since we've had to plan trips far in advance and even then it's only been 3 or 4 times a year. We have lofty plans to do Christmas shopping, take a long walk in my picturesque neighborhood, talk, explore Charlotte and just "visit". Al, we are turning into our mothers, aren't we?! :)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
It's been a wonderful weekend... working, Halloween party (meow), working some more, hanging with the girls, making homemade soup and Halloween cookies, job possibilities, football watching and cheering on NYC marathoners from the Queen City because we all know that is one of my most favorite events in the fall.
November is here which means it's a brand new month and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, yippee! I also better start seriously running since my sisters thought it would be fun to sign ALL of us up for a 5K on Tgiving morning. Awesome. I would say that running 3 miles on the biggest eating holiday of the year wouldn't be a bad thing... except that I don't especially like Thanksgiving food. Does anyone else??
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Congratulations, Seth & Katie and welcome to the world, Alden!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
One thing I really appreciate about Brian is how good he is to Al. I was telling Michelle yesterday how sweet it is to visit your best friend and see that she has a wonderful husband who loves her tremendously. That's the best thing you can hope for your friends.
Brian, I hope you enjoy your quiche, homemade bday cake, get to play enough video games to your hearts content and enjoy the cabin with Al this weekend (Beam's Chinese food, haha!). Happy Birthday!
photo taken by me a very long time ago
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1. An awesome Bible study tonight with 7 new friends
2. Driving by the amazing Charlotte skyline all lit up
3. I saw a yellow taxicab
4. Peach Snapple
5. Hearing that Pam got the pr job we've been praying for all year!! Yay!!
6. Trader Joes
it's just the little things in life...
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Amongst our friends, what joy there was when someone found a job but also a continued support for those of us who were still looking. A few of us even joked about forming the "Bored Group" for those unemployed souls who were tired of coffee shops, resume workshops and endless, unfruitful job searches.
Alan posted this website on his twitter this morning and the minute I saw it, all of those initial feelings came rushing back and I felt sick looking at the statistics. Please check it out. While watching, I was focused on the Northeast area and realized that I lived to see both sides of green and red while living in NYC. Perhaps I am still overwhelmed by the map and realize that these huge red circles aren't just shapes but represent so many people who are struggling. I just hope that those without jobs have the support of family and friends. How thankful I am for community during those first few months!
What did this mean growing up? My Dad's passion for weather made for some fun experiences for three little girls. I remember a few times when we would go to sleep on a school night and he would then wake us up at 1am because we got 6 inches of snow and definitely weren't going to school the next day. I have this incredible memory of being young and playing with my dad in the snow... at 1am. He would also sit out on his car or the porch playing his guitar while watching a thunderstorm roll in. And, please, let's not forget his lifelong dream to go to to the beach during a Cat. 4 hurricane. He was disappointed in the relatively quiet hurricane season (for the sake of weather, not destruction, of course). And just recently have him and Jeff decided they're going to chase tornadoes. Oh my word.
I got an email from him this morning saying that all the weather guru's ("including the best forecaster Joe Bastardi from Accuweather") say it's going to be a snowier and colder winter than usual! Awesome! :)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This past weekend my sister Ginna was in her first half marathon. Both of my younger sisters are setting the bar pretty high. We already know that Lucy is the triathalon/biking/racing/get up at 4:30am to workout champ of life. I feel like a lazy bum most of the time (even though I enjoy casually running) but love that their passions include running crazy long distances.
The sweetest thing is that Jeffiepooh talked to my parents, who had been planning to visit Gin for the race, and asked if he could come along to surprise her. I called Jeff on Friday when they were in the car to see how it was going. While Jeff feels like part of the family now, spending 6 hours in the car is a long time with your girlfriend's parents... especially when my Dad can say yaspy things. :)
I talked with Gin yesterday and she was definitely surprised and she finished the 13 miles in style. Good job, Ginna! I'm so proud of you!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Lately I have been so overwhelmed by love: by God's unconditional love for me, the love my family has shown me in the past few weeks, and especially the love from friends. It hasn't really hit me that I left NYC for good until recently. I was so busy getting 4 years of stuff from one place to the next and arranging car/house/furniture, etc. that I didn't quite grasp what I was really doing. I woke up one morning last week and got an email from a friend in NYC telling me how much she missed me and in the end she said, "love you so much". I was overwhelmed. It was one of those moments where loved triumphed over my fears. I felt the comfort of knowing that my friendships in NYC will last and that I will make new friends here in Charlotte.
Today my heart has also been filled with love. My dear friends Maggie and Neal are got married and I wasn't able to make it. Oh how special weddings are to me and how incredible it is to witness two friends who will commit the rest of their lives together. M&N, I have thought about you all day today. I went to a USC game with Alan (thanks, Alan!) and he was a trooper for listening to me every 30 minutes say (or think), "I bet Maggie is in her dress", "She's probably walking down the aisle", or "They're married!!". Congrats to you both; I wish I could've been there to celebrate with you. I'm sure yall are dancing away right now!
When I moved from NC to Long Island almost 4 years ago, I got there and was handed two babies, an almost 60 hr/week job, new town, life and everything. I quickly asked myself, in tears, when the next flight was to NC. But after getting in my groove, I found it to be home. I feel the same way now... and while I know a few people in Charlotte, it feels somewhat overwhelming to start all over.
I guess to conclude, I am humbled by love. I am reminded, especially looking back over the rollercoaster year of 2009, that I'm not promised, as much as I wish I was, that life will be easy or consistent. Even in my deep anxiety over different things, God is faithful to provide His own love to quiet my fears and also the love of family and friends to listen and care. To be shown this love is incredible and makes you want to be a better friend.
And that's what I have to say about that.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It's of my sweet little Alec (affectionately called "Alecie"). For me, this picture is fall. Even though this picture was taken 3 years ago, it captures Alec's personality perfectly. I just had to share it with you because it's one of my favorites.
*Haha, one of my favorite LA moments was recently when we were walking through Central Park and having a somewhat intense conversation when she abruptly stopped and gasped while looking at the lone tree whose leaves were changing colors. I love that you share the same passion for fall, LeeAnne! Miss you!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It feels so great to have my stuff in one place, to have a car (I haven't had a car in 4 years!), a neighborhood and the amazing feeling of being settled in one place. I still have to find a church and job. I also have to find friends!!! While I am so sad to leave my dear NYC friends, I am excited to be in a city with a few people I know. If you live in Charlotte, I'd LOVE to hang out with you!
So that's the update on my life. There's so much more to tell, but maybe I'll get to that later this week. Along with changing my drivers license, re-routing my mail, and every other change that comes with a move, I have to change my blog title. Hmm... CCC in Charlotte? CCC in NC? Any other ideas?
Monday, September 28, 2009
Oh how this picture captures my life right now. I, too, am leaping and looking out ahead of me as I fall. Risks are being taken, decisions made and while I'm not quite certain of any of them, there is one difference between my life and this picture. I am not falling into the void. I am falling into the everlasting arms of God. Oh what comfort that is to me now, what reassurance.
I have decided to end my time in New York City. I gave myself the month of September to find a job and while I had a couple of job opportunities to come up, I quickly felt that I couldn't fully commit to them, nor did I want to. I feel like my heart is being pulled down South and I want to be closer to my family. I will be moving to Charlotte to live in a house (a house!) with two other great girls and this is such an answer to prayer. I will look for a job once I get there and already have an appointment to start volunteering with a children's hospital in Charlotte. I've also had thoughts of joining the Junior League and excitement for what is to come in a new town, with old and new friends.
While I rather quickly made this decision, and while I have had second thoughts, I feel like this is where I should be. It's the next step in my life. I'm not sure who it was, perhaps Elisabeth Elliot or even TK, who said, "Just do the next thing." Simple as it is, in my chaos of moving and uncertainty, I find myself trying not to think too much but to do the next thing that has to get done. But oh how I will miss my friends here. What community, acceptance and fun I have had in New York. Some of the best times of my life.
So, here's to what's to come. But at least I know that I am falling, ever so blindly, into the arms of God. And that's the only place I ever want to be.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Yesterday I had a LeeAnne day! I hit up the NJ Transit after the wedding weekend and arrived to a beautiful September day in the City. LA and I ran a few errands and then met up with Pamela in Central Park where we enjoyed, along with everyone else in Manhattan, cool weather, blue skies and a relaxing Sunday afternoon. When LA and I got back on the subway, I looked over and saw that someone had a ton of cotton candy at the end of the train!! I'm not especially fond of cotton candy but this made my day! What a happy subway ride.
I just found this video of the boys, and since we were talking about cotton candy already, and since they're just plain adorable and sweet themselves, I thought I would share.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It is that Ginna girl's birthday today! I am just thrilled that I have been able to share in her 24 years of life, being the older, wiser sister that I am ;). Gin, I hope you had a wonderful day today. I have compiled a lot of very random pictures for your viewing. I love you!
If you've ever wanted to know what a birthday cake looks like when you have two young children running around, a trip to pack for and basically life is crazy, here's exhibit a. I made this for Gin in 2006 to trick her into thinking I was celebrating her bday with the boys and neighbors when really I surprised her by flying to Boone for a birthday/girls weekend celebration!
Life is certainly never boring with Ginna. Here she is in 2007 in NYC!
Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters
Oh my gosh. This is CLASSIC Ginna. Classic.
We are so silly.
But at least we love each other!