This weekend, I headed up to Clemson to visit some of the greatest friends in the world! :) Many of them were bridesmaids in my wedding, and all of them are near and dear to my heart, even though we only get to see each other a few times a year now that I'm living back in Chalreston. It was so great to have a whole weekend of catching up and hanging out! My friend Tiffany, who was my next-door neighbor my freshman year of college, when I attended CU, turned 20 last week, and so I had to go visit! Friday night, one of the girls (Holly) made dinner, and then we had a birthday party for Tiff.

On Saturday, we all slept in, and then spent the day picking out and carving an awesome pumpkin named Jacques (as in Jack-O-Lantern :) aren't we clever?) That night, we went to the step show put on by some of the fraternities and sororities, and it was AMAZING! Just like Stomp The Yard :) I attempted some of the moves afterward, but somehow, it just wasn't as cool looking :) The Clemson-Miami game was being projected on the big screen in the auditorium before the show started, and throughout the show, they were making announcements on the score. When the hostess announced that Clemson had won in overtime, everyone started doing the cadence chant (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, c-l-e-m-s-o-n, t-i-g-e-rrr-s. Fight tigers! Fight tigers! Fight! Fight! Fight!), and it was the first time since football games freshman year that I got to do the cheer with other Clemson fans! (sometimes I do it alone when Mikey and I watch a game because I still love Clemson, but it just isn't the same). Basically, it was awesome! Then on Sunday, everyone woke up early (like 7 am early) so we could go to Cracker Barrel before I got on the road at nine...what great friends!

I'm not having much luck uploading one of the videos I took from the step show, but I'll try to post it separately soon!


Goodness Gracious!

Wow! Genesis was so great last night, and one thing really stuck out to me from the message...God is amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably FULL of GRACE!!! The talk was about the truth that only perfect people make it to heaven, and we discussed how that is possible since NOBODY is perfect...but the bare, naked truth is that we are all messed up, and on our own there is NO HOPE of heaven. BUT Jesus was absolutely, perfectly perfect, and He died so we wouldn't have to. He suffered and took on our punishment and our pain to make a way for us...He MADE me perfect! Nothing I do will get me into heaven, but His gift of grace gives me the choice to pick eternity with God over the punishment I deserve! And here's the shocking part...God's grace is for everyone. It isn't for those of us who follow enough rules and go to church and never did anything too bad. THERE IS NO TOO BAD. God's grace got rid of that. So Hitler and serial killers and rapists and prostitutes and everyone in the world I like to think I'm better than...they get just as much grace for their sins as I do for mine. And they get the same offer of grace. Because none of us deserve it. But all of us receive the offer. So what will we CHOOSE?


Mr. and Mrs. Rogers

Oh my goodness gracious! Billy and Sarah are officially married :) This wedding weekend has been so much fun and oddly emotional too. I knew I would be super excited and happy for Billy and Sarah, but I'd forgotten how crazy all of this wedding stuff is. Even as a bridesmaid, it is so easy to get blown away by all of the little ins-and-outs of the Big Day! But it was so FUN!!! I loved being a bridesmaid, getting to help organize little things and support Sarah during this wonderful time! She has been a gorgeous and gracious bride, going out of her way to help others and make sure everyone is having a good time. And she is so in love with Billy (and him with her, of course!). It was so awesome to see them take this next and very big step in their relationship. I know God is going to bless them like crazy and that they are going to be an awesome example to future newly weds :)

The Rehearsal went beautifully! And the dinner afterwards was beautiful and delicious!

The Bridesmaids' Luncheon was at the restaurant at the top of the round Holiday Inn downtown. The food was delicious, and the view was absolutely gorgeous!
After lunch, the bride, all of the bridesmaids, and some family went to get their nails done!

Then we raced home to get ready for Sarah's Bachelorette Party :) We did a scavenger hunt type thing, where we got into groups and waited with a cute present (mine was a journal signed with sweet notes from friends) at different locations around Charleston that mean something for her and Billy. She had such a great time, and we entertained ourselves by acting silly and taking pictures while we waited for Sarah to arrive! After the scavenger hunt, we all went to dinner at Fleet Landing (where they went the night Billy proposed), and then we headed to the Embassy Suites so Sarah could open some last-minute presents while we had some good girl talk :)
Saturday morning, we met Sarah at the Embassy Suites (where the reception would be) and all got ready together :) We had a great time hanging out and talking about all of the excitement to come later in the day! We even got to watch as some friends and family started decorating the tables and stuff downstairs :) It was really cool to get to see it all coming together!

And finally, it was time to head to the church so Sarah could get married!!!! She was a beautiful bride, and it was the smoothest wedding and reception I've ever attended! Everything went so well, and at the end of the night, Billy surprised Sarah by having a horse and carriage waiting for them to leave the Reception! :)


Fall Break, I think I love you!

This year's fall break has been AWESOME! Maybe because it has actually been a BREAK! I have gotten to rest more over this long weekend than I have in the past month! :) Mikey and I got to go on a long-overdue date, just us for dinner and a movie :) It was so fun!!

And I got to finish an amazing book by Tracy Kidder, the author of Mountains Beyond Mountains (one of my favorite books about Paul Farmer....who is basically my hero). The book is Strength in What Remains, an incredible and true story about a man named Deo who survived and escaped the genocide in Burundi, his home country, and Rwanda. He lived homeless in New York for a while before being taken in by a couple, who helped to house, feed, and clothe him while he attended Columbia University and, later, Dartmouth Medical School. After becoming a US Citizen, he returned to Burundi to start a free medical clinic in his parents' town. Within the first year, the clinic was ministering to patients from other towns, and even other countries, including the Congo. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone...especially if you are interested in health care and aid to poor countries! There is so much suffering in the world, sometimes it seems insurmountable, but there is also so much that can be done...so much good that can be created...so much life and love that can be shared if we are willing to reach a little farther and try a little harder. What I'm trying to say is...read this book!

AND (beyond reading and going on dates this weekend) I got to experience many new and wonderful "Firsts":

1. I got my first reusable shopping bag! I got it free with a coupon at Publix, my new shopping/saving center haha! I was pleasantly surprised at how BIG those bags are...with just Mikey and I to feed, I could probably fit most, if not all, of our weekly groceries in there!

2. I attended my first baby shower! My friend Michelle is due in November with her second boy Ryker, and I was lucky enough to attend her lovely diapers and wipes shower. (Sorry, I didn't take any pictures at this event)

3. I attended my first official 21st birthday party (although there was no drinking, so I guess it was different than most 21st bday parties :D)! My last post was to say happy birthday to my sister-in-law Melissa, and here's another shout-out for her birthday celebration!

4. My friend Jennifer, who moved to Charleston a few months ago and then got engaged to her boyfriend (now fiance) Eryc, was in town for the first weekend since she moved here, practically, and Mikey and I went on our first double date with them! :) We had some Mexican food, which was delicious, and then watched the Florida game, where Mikey, of course, proceeded to root against Tim Tebow because he is too loved or something haha (no picture of this night either...but here's one with her at Melissa's party :D)

5. (This is not so much a "first" as a revelation...which is technically a first realization, right?!) I realized that it is possible, and sometimes the only option, to get a bookshelf CHEAPER than a single set of bookends at Target! I snapped it up on sale for only $16!! It is so cute, and it holds my books in place even better than those silly bookends would have :)

6. I am preparing for my first wedding as a BRIDESMAID! Sarah and Billy are getting married October 17th, and the wedding festivities begin this Thursday! I am so pumped to get to go to my first wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids luncheon, and bachelorette party as a bridesmaid!! :) Congrats, Sarah and Billy! I can't wait to post the pictures from all of the fun to come with their wedding! Here's one of their engagement pictures, since the bridesmaid-ing is still ahead of me :)

Wow! What a great Fall Break...and such an awesome week ahead, too! :) Looking forward to whatever is in store :) Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Happy 21st, Melissa!

This is just a little blog shout-out to my sister-in-law and one of my best friends, Melissa Baur! Today, she is turning the big 2-1, and I can't wait to celebrate her birthday with dinner and games tonight!! She is a great person, with a big smile and a big heart. In a year, she'll be teaching middle schoolers, a task I could NEVER take on! Haha Here are a few pics to commemorate some of our awesome times together :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MELISSA!


go ahead...make my day

What a crazy weekend this has been! Not only do I have two midterms next week, but I've also had TWO birthday celebrations...my sister's 22nd birthday dinner in Columbia, and Mikey's youngest bro Luke's birthday party with the whole family the next day! Both were so fun...I am so blessed with great family! Then today, I headed to ATL with my parents to attend the last braves game of the season. Sadly, Mikey couldn't come because of the whole music minister thing mixed with the whole sunday morning services thing. But we updated him and definitely missed him being there with us. Altogether, it was a very fun, very wonderful, and VERY busy weekend. Here are some pics:On the car ride home from GA, I had a really good conversation with my parents. I am extremely lucky to have two very smart, very loving parents, and we have a lot of great discussions about life and faith and everything really. One of the main things I got out of our conversation tonight was the importance of opposing opinions. Springing out of discussion on humanity, religion, and culture, I realized how vital it is to a healthy intellectual and faithful life to engage in conversation with people who have views different from my own. It is so easy to surround ourselves with people who think and act and value things just like we do. But that is unhealthy and unhelpful. Because our thoughts and reasonings stem from our personal experiences, our history, and our culture, none of us knows everything perfectly, and sometimes what we really need to discover the truth is to simply open our ears to what other people have to say. Of course, all that we hear should be taken with a grain of salt and not accepted unquestioningly. We should also pray and see what the Bible has to say, but we should also keep an open mind to advice from other people we respect, acknowledging their character and integrity. As human beings, we tend to want to do things our own way, so we also tend to ask questions of people we think will give us the answer we want to hear. But how much better must it be to learn and grow as a result of discussion and questioning! I truly believe that having a counsel of people with similar and opposing views is the best way to find the truth. We all have so much we could learn from one another! So let's stop shying away from healthy debate and discussion...if you have a question, shoot. Go ahead, make my day!


Gun Skit

This past Tuesday, Genesis hosted the second annual Genesis' Got Talent, and it was awesome!! Everyone did such a great job. The three hosts were Rodney (the pastor of Genesis), Maria (one of my best friends and the behind-the-scenes Genesis person), and Matt Gilbert (a super funny good friend of Chad and Melissa's). They all did such a great job, especially Gilbert with his wise-cracks :) There were bands, solo singers, skits, and jokes. It was amazing! Mikey and I did the "gun skit" with two of our friends, Mike and Baillie Bordner. The skit is one of the many we saw a sketch comedy group (Harvard Sailing Team) do at a Spoleto performance that Mike and Baillie took us to as a wedding gift over a year ago. We had such a blast putting it together and pulling everything off! Here's a recording of the final product:


I'm Baaaaaaack!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my old-become-new blog :) I would like to thank Melissa Baur, my amazing sister-in-law, and Lindsey Perrin, my softball watching buddy, for filling me in on the wonders of shabbyblog.com. If you have not checked it out, DO SO! It is an absolutely amazing website with tons of cool things. I have spent over an hour pouring through templates, special pictures and headers, and finding new applications to edit things especially for me :) I hope you guys enjoy this blog...as it has been, this blog will be a mishmash of all of the craziness that is my life. Sometimes that means things I've been reading in my Quiet Time, or a recent outing, or an update on the lives of the people I care about most...but all in all, this blog is an outlet for my overloaded brain :) So thanks for reading and supporting. I'm sure a new post will be here soon...I'm leaving tomorrow to head to Columbia to celebrate my sis's 22nd Birthday!!!