Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Grand Finale Post

2015 you've been good to me. The glittering moments that fade into memories, the sunsets filled with laughter and love, and the joy I've lived everyday. That is how I'll remember you. I checked off a large chunk of my resolutions that I made in January, and am quite proud. I travelled to new places, made new friendships, and let go of some things that I can't change. As the year comes to an end, I reflected on the people that I lost this year, the ones I haven't seen in a while, and the ones that are still by my side that I want to cherish and keep near. The ups always outweigh the downs, regardless of any situation, this statement always holds true. With Jesus by my side I know that I WILL conquer all! There is no need for doubt, fear, or apprehension. Knowing this makes me feel as if I have wings and the sky is the limit. 


Monday, November 30, 2015

Season of Thanks

November: the season of giving thanks, gratitude, and a little extra love to those that put up with you.

Dear everyone I know,

I hope you've enjoyed the start of this wonderful season. I hope you've spent time with loved ones, enjoyed each others laughter and made unforgettable memories. I hope you've danced in the kitchen while you cook, hugged your cousins, and relaxed on the couch with your siblings. 

Thank you for putting up with me, my moody self, and my stress induced meltdowns. Thats why I love you. Let's enjoy the season of giving, and give a little more time to the things that really matter. Give more time to those you love, and give more time to yourself for what you want to pursue. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015


 You are brilliant. Wonderfully made with the moonbeams in your cheeks. The sun dances in your smile and the rain kisses your skin.

You are strong. Effervescently fierce and you carry your loads like the wind does a sail.

 You are intelligent. Wit sparks your eye and your sharp mind captures the unnoticed.

 You are abnormal. Normalcy shouldn't be an aim, because you are far beyond that. You thrive in your uniqueness and embrace everything that makes you you.

 You are beauty. For beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you have a beautiful eye. So you notice the beauty wherever you go, no matter the path, scenery, or change of view.

 You are charming. Your laugh fills the twilight evening with warmth like that of midsummer's night with fireflies in a backyard. Your sweet words and ready smiles only make us love you the more. 

You are going places. This town can't hold you down. You're too full of adventure and life to stay here for too long. Your soul longs for the dusty trail and the stories to be written. You know it won't be easy, but you are willing to work hard to get there. You dream of lands and seas you've yet to see.

  You are more than enoughYou are loved beyond comprehension by the only One that matters. He bled and died so that you could grow and thrive. All of your struggles, issues, and flaws added up and rolled together still don't come close to making you worth any less. 

You are worth it all.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Like the sparrow on the branch. I was reminded that life today is yours. Today you woke up and already your day has been filled with all sorts of choices. Do I sleep the extra 10 minutes? To breakfast or not? What to wear? Do I really need to stop for a coffee? Am I grumpy this morning? What kind of day am I going to have today? That's the initial process of my morning routine. The questions above usually set the tone for my day early on. 

There's a thrill in knowing that there is no set way you have to go about your life. You can do anything. Be what you most desire to be! Just because everyone is going to college does not mean you have to in order to be successful. You have the power to decide against it, and backpack across Europe instead if you wish it. Visit the Bahamas on a whim. Go skydiving and take the jump! Be fearless. 

Don't allow things to tie you down and keep you from using your wings to their maximum potential. Resist the urge to settle, to raise a white flag, or to stop fighting against the current. Your strength comes from above, and nothing can stop you. If God is for me, who can be against me?

When you can't seem to remember your reasons for existing, remember you have reasons to live. Don't live to survive, but live to thrive. Live with a radiant smile, contagious joy, and the ultimate peace that it will all be okay. Live it like it's your last because you only get one shot. Forget your yesterdays and focus on your todays. Tomorrows will come soon enough.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hanging Rock Adventure

I've been meaning to mention this one, but time and school and excuses, ya know? Ok. So real life hiking took place over labor day weekend. Like the sweating kind, with a lot of tangly hair. The way up was treacherous, with ragged paths and every step could almost send you over the edge. In my minds eye anyways. Did I mention I'm scared of heights? Yeah well, usually I get this sinking feeling in my stomach that says "just sit down and crawl away from the edge...." well this time I didn't. Below is my original "Give me a second to gather my courage" face. It doesn't help when your cousin is about to tumble off the side of the rock and he's so confident that it could never happen.

I will also add that right before we made it to the main rock there was a smaller rock people were taking pictures on. A guy was climbing off of the rock to return to the trail and he fell. Slid in between two rocks and was obviously terrified for a few seconds. That was enough to make anyone uneasy.

Did I mention I have cute cousins? I do, so girls beware. They also take the best selfies usually. I think know I'm their favorite. 

And here at last, we sat and enjoyed the view, ate some granola bars, took some pictures and just enjoyed all of this togetherness. The day was clouded over which resulted to be the best weather for hiking because we avoided the added heat and the glares and squinty eyes. 

 I also jumped off of a diving board for the first time in my life. Terrifying and thrilling all in one! My inner mermaid was exposed and I was queen of the sea pond? 

My 12 year old self would be appalled at my outdoorsy adventures, considering I hated anything that required going outside. How things change, and for that I am grateful. These views give you perspective. We are but a tiny part of this big wide world and yet Jesus loves us enough to reach for us and create all these wonders for us. “And she was terribly aware that she was alive. Not just living and breathing, but ...alive.” 

Summit 2015 and Friends

Summit 2015, where the people are friendly, the food is delicious and there's the ever present perfect mountain and tree backdrop wherever you look. This first solo road trip was a success, with new friends and acquaintances that I look forward to seeing again soon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Romping in the Deep Woods

Late Recap:

Date: August 22nd, 2015
Location: Cascade Falls, Pembroke, VA
Weather: Slightly Overcast / Sunny 86°F
Mission: Reach Destination Waterfall in Time for a Swim
Distance: 2 miles in, 2 miles out
Mission Status: Complete

One of the most strenuous trails I've hiked (in my limited hiking experiences). The views were stunning and the lower trail was worth every step. Granola bars and trail mix kept us alive. Safe drinking water was scarce after the mission was underway. No restrooms anywhere to be found. Beware. Bandaids recommended. Encountered wild insects and twisted my ankle on the rocky trail more times than I would like to admit. 

Upon reaching the waterfall, be prepared to have your breath taken away. 66 feet of gushing frigid water. Ice cold water WILL leave you numb. Slippery rocks WILL make you fall. If you are a grown human the water will probably NOT drag you down the sliding rock, so be prepared to scoot yourself and pretend it works. Worth the car ride and sleep deprivation.

Number of steps climbed: 3,857,094,859,469 (probably)
Number of times tripped: more than 6
Number of bridges crossed: about 5....million
Number of times Evelin complained: 3 times per second
Number of times we said "Wow": maybe 1,000
Number of times we encouraged each other with thoughts of food:328
Number of pictures we took: a lot



Monday, August 17, 2015

The Uncanny Business of Fear

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

We have all been there, standing at a fork in the road facing a decision. The sweaty palms, dry mouth, and nervous unsettling of your stomach. The worry, the headaches, and the doubt that clouds all of your moves. Trying to convince yourself to breathe and relax, that it will all be fine.
 A million times yes.

This past month has had me in constant internal turmoil. My mind swirls with ideas, positive thoughts, and the determination that I need, only to be undermined with self doubt and just plain fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being enough, fear of coming up short, fear of what I'll learn about my abilities, fear of what I'll learn about myself. I've had people mention things to me that have confirmed my prayers and thoughts and I know that I cannot fail when God is at the center of it all. So there is only one thing to be done: Let go, and Let God. Let go of my doubts, fear, and apprehension, and let God do his work in me, through me, and all around. 

 Ezra 10:4(KJV)  Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.

Today I will be fearless. Cheers to new beginnings, to fresh starts, and to creating myself.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

and it's my birthday!

Ever since forever, birthday's have always been my thing. I memorized every extended family's birthday, cousin, uncle, aunt, grandmother, cousin-i've-never-met, friends from middle school, etc. And the first thing I want to write in my fresh monthly calendar are birthdays. I mean what better way to fill up your monthly view than with cake and ice cream on the horizon? I'm glad you see my reasoning. 

Since today is my last day as a 21 year old, I have decided to post 21 wonderful new experiences that I experienced this year. In no particular order.
  1. ECU student - Heeeey Pirates! I also have no social life. Did I mention I am doing this online thing full time? I don't want to waste my time with part time school, but I also work full time sooooo...yep.
  2. Met New Friends - probably one of the best feelings. I love meeting new people and sharing small snippets of life with them.
  3. Started Blogging - after the initial "wait, what even is html code?" and a lot of MySpace reminiscing here it is. The goal? To document my life and share it.
  4. Sang a Solo - my face gets terribly hot when embarrassed. I have survived.
  5. Sunday School Van Route - we have had new kids, some got the holy ghost, and one is now in the youth group <3.
  6. Beach Bums - random beach days are the best way to relax. Good friends, food, and gelato. 
  7. Girls on the West Coast - we visited California this spring and met some pretty nice people along the way.
  8. Early Morning Hikes - a hobby that I definitely need to make more time for.
  9. Summit Conference - mini road trip with my favorite. The sights, the people, the atmosphere. Adventures to treasure.
  10. Bible Quizzing Coach - "wait, are you sure I'm old enough to do this?"
  11. PEAK - first long road trip. Too many laughs, and way too much sass in one car.
  12. Climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - in 5th grade I made my very own model of Cape Hatteras. It was the coolest lighthouse for sure. And then I forgot that it existed, until this summer that is. Best leg workout yet.
  13. Visited Santa Monica - the crowds, the walking, the uphill trek, the promenade. A little bitter I didn't ride the ferris wheel. Is that too touristy?
  14. Grown-Up Car Alice - I don't mean to say that I don't miss Kirby the Saturn, because I do. But Alice the Acura doesn't let me dwell on Kirby for long. She just holds me in her leather seat and lets me play with the sunroof.  
  15. Learning to Let It Go - I'm still not a pro, but I'm working on it. Some things are gone, and I am learning to cope, adjust, and carry on.
  16. Sold Something Online - It's definitely not as hard as I always told myself it would be. I constantly shop online, but selling seemed too weird.
  17. J Crew Seasonal Employee - yeah those discounts were fun while they lasted. Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years were hectic. Plus preparing for the spring semester. I did get tons of cute sweaters though, so that makes up for it. And dressing up everyday was fun. Part time here + full time job + full time church = insane human trying to function.
  18. Think About my Purchases Thoroughly - ok, not always, but definitely more than I used to. My spontaneous shopping has significantly diminished. I now consider the actual reasons why I want something before snatching it off the rack.
  19. Mastered the Art of Making Tortillas - the regular corn tortillas are perfectly round and I will say delicious. I haven't attempted the flour ones yet, but I still have 4 months to work on it. Give me a break. 
  20. Give More - more time, more money, and more effort. Whether it's helping in the nursery, or giving a small gift for no reason. 
  21. Being Grateful - acknowledging that I am surrounded by people who love me and want me to succeed. Being thankful for each new chance that comes my way to do something, to change myself, better myself, learn, and grow.

Here's to a new wonderful year. Celebrating a decade of me being 12. Because inside I still think I am. And it's the inside that counts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PEAK 2015 Youth Conference

PEAK youth conference has always been the highlight of the year for my youth group. Fundraising, planning and packing with anticipation for July to roll around. This year instead of riding up with my youth group or flying, I decided to drive to Tulsa, OK for the event. Best road trip yet! We left NC at 5 am Tuesday morning and 1,091 miles later arrived in Tulsa, OK at 11:25 pm. A 16 hour drive completed in 18 hours, with stops and a quick visit to our friends in Memphis included! Let me include: Arkansas is notorious for bugs (Poor Alice needs a car wash ASAP)

Wednesday  we did the only sensible thing that girls know how to do best when left to their own devices. Shop of course! The first service began Wednesday night at 7:30 and the excitement could be felt around the entire arena. Old friends greeting each other exuberantly and new friendships being delicately initiated. Homer Looper kicked off the first night with an awesome message about "A Great Inheritance Worth Fighting For".

Thursday morning consisted of  "Wilderness Babies" by Gary Robinson followed by a cohesive message of "That my Soul Knoweth Right Well" by Cody Marks. God is amazing in the way that these preachers all came together with their messages that just seemed to build upon one another. There were countless lives that were touched and many weary souls revived. Also, about 5,000+ people in the ORU Mabee Center. Can I just mention that the Burlington, NC youth were on the front and center rows every. single. service. Like it has been since 2009. They make me proud. :) There was a lock-in after service Thursday and sleep was nowhere to be found.

And finally Friday came around with a phenomenal message from Joel Booker "Lengthen & Strengthen". Did I mention my Bishop killed it with his singing? He did. But really, I am so blessed to have such an amazing example for a leader; I appreciate all he does and what he stands for steadfastly.


Friday evening we heard Nathaniel Urshan, current missionary to Roatan, Honduras pour his heart out with "The Other Side". There was an incredible atmosphere as everyone poured out their hearts to God and reached for more. Everyone was challenged to GO. 

"...Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." 

A gentle awakening to keep striving, that this is not where it ends. You have so much more to do and achieve and time is of the essence. It's services like that, that remind you how privileged you are to be included in the greatest thing going on. To have an undeniable love source that reaches out to you time and time again, no matter your failures or shortcomings. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I also got to see some beautiful friends that live afar off, fellow Hope Corps alumni, and met some interesting people from cities I've never heard of. Hey guys, can we just stay here forever?


Saturday, we headed back home. With a few detours of course. We visited our friends the May's in Memphis, TN (p.s. the home cooked meal was delicious) and visited with the Kennesaw, GA youth group while we were there.  Sunday we grabbed lunch at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and reluctantly decided it was probably time to go home. Maybe. 


 Until next year friends!