Monday Musings – Adventures

Be prepared for picture overload! I think it’s high time I share some of my latest adventures!

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My adjustment to the city has been improving as I’ve gotten into a routine, made a few more friends, found a church that I really like, and time helps all!

I crossed something off my bucket list this recently!!

 

Saw John Mayer in concert!

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John Mayer is one of my favorite (secular) artists. One of my dear friends (and college roommates), Lauren found lawn tickets for fairly cheap, so we purchased them and eagerly awaited the concert! Lauren lives about an hour from me, so I metroed out as far as the line would take me, she picked me up and our adventure began!

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We arrived with plenty of time to get settled in with our blanket on the lawn!

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Phillip Phillips opened up the evening with American Idol winning voice! While I enjoy his music, he is still developing a stage presence! After Phillip Phillips was finished, there was an intermission, and then it was time for John Mayer!! He took the stage as the sun was just beginning to slip away, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while he serenaded us!

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John’s concert was hands down the best one I’ve ever been to! Not only is his voice gorgeous, he is such a talented musician! Half of the time he was playing with his eyes closed, and you could tell that he was feeling the music and that it was his passion! He sang all of my favorite songs, but my all-time favorite of his is “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”.

While I enjoyed every moment of his concert, my heart did break for John. At one point during the concert, he started just rambling and he is so lost! I pray for him, that the Lord will open his eyes to Himself, and that life with God is so much better than the life he is currently living!

Here is a small taste of his music for you to enjoy!

These are two of my current favorites!

** I’m currently looking for a Christian version of John Mayer, so if anyone knows of one, send him my way! **

This past weekend, Lauren and I had another adventure! In between sleeping in late, a little shopping and girl talk, we escaped to visit the great outdoors!

Virginia is home to some of the prettiest places, and I got to visit one!

My dear friends, I introduce you to Great Falls…

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This stunningly beautiful park is right outside DC!

I feel like I could live in the area for years and never run out of things to do.

During the summer, the National Harbor shows outdoor movies. Recently they wrapped up the summer by showing my all-time favorite movie, “Remember the Titans”. A group of friends and I arrived early, set up our things and took a stroll around the area!

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Oh, did I mention that I leave my boat there! (Obviously kidding!)

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We were in for a treat! The original Titan football team was on location doing a meet and greet! I was giddy as I stood in line waiting to meet them!

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Some of the players…

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But my favorite moment of the evening was getting to meet the original coaches!!! It was an honor to get to meet men who faced opposition and still stood strong for the convictions they held that all men are created equal!

Pardon the horrible picture quality!

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Such a fun evening!!

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Please understand that these are just the highlights of the past few weeks! My life is by no means this glamorous every day! I thought it would just be fun to share some of the fun things that have been happening!!

Happy Monday!

Monday Musings – DC adventures

Happy Monday!!

 

Today was definitely a Monday from the fact that I rolled out of bed 45 minutes late, to the fact that I ran the half mile to the metro, and finished getting ready at the metro stop! Picture me pinning back my hair, putting on the rest of my jewelry, and changing into my work shoes (aka heels that I can’t easily prance around in). When I got to work (by way of Starbucks), the first thing I did was spill my coffee all over my desk! Instead of sitting down to cry like I felt like doing, I ran and grabbed a towel, cleaned up my mess and decided that…

Today was going to be a great day!

 

And aside from the fact that I didn’t have my favorite drink pumping through my veins, it was a good day!

 

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Okay, enough about that! How about some pictures about my current adventures in DC?

Last weekend, my roommate and some of her friends decided to take me around the city! As much as I love this place, I haven’t really seen that much of it, so we headed down to the Library of Congress!

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Unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there!

But don’t worry, we still had fun…

Isn’t this what everyone does at the Library of Congress?!

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After having a little fun at the Library of Congress, we descended the steps and came upon a beautiful fountain! Of course we had to make wishes while there…

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My wish was to be the First Lady one day!

I took myself to the American History museum this week (all by my onsies), and saw all of the gorgeous gowns that the First Ladies get to wear! So, I decided that I want to be a First Lady! I can never be president, because I wasn’t born in the United States, so I decided that First Lady will have to do!

 

Then, I paid a visit to my favorite building in DC….

 

The Capitol

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Everytime I see this building, I get chills and suddenly loose all words! It is spectacular!!

Also, I’m secretly hoping that one day the government decides to allow me to use it for my own personal house! Guess I’d better go back to my wishing fountain!

Speaking of homes…I found a little piece of my home around DC! I’m sure I looked like an idiot as I ran across the street to snap a picture, but my heart was so happy to see the words, “North Carolina”dc3

Something amazing happened this week…

I saw DC at night!!!

 

Before I came here, everyone told me that I had to see the memorials at night, but I hadn’t had a chance to see them yet. Last week, I strolled around the sights at night while drinking in all of their beauty!

 

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Oh, and I found North Carolina again!!

 

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I could practically hear President Lincoln calling my name, so I had to go visit him!

 

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If you ever come to visit DC, take my advice and go see these incredible sights at night! You won’t be sorry!

 

This next picture made me chuckle! There are two guys in the office building across the street that came outside today and tossed a football back and forth!! I was a creeper and took a picture!!

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Also, while I was on hold today, I snapped a picture of myself so you will all know what I look like at work (cuz clearly that is important! :p)

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I hope ya’ll enjoy my weekly “updates” on my life! Have a fantastic day!

 

 

Monday Musings – Facelift for my “baby”

As you might have noticed, this blog recently got a facelift!

I decided that it was high time to redesign my baby. To be honest, I’d never really given too much thought into the appearance of the blog, I’d more or less just written. But I thought that I should spice up the aesthetics a little bit too!

Enjoy!

As you know, there are a lot of changes happening in my life right now, and I’d like to use this blog to keep up on my life. I love to write, and this is the perfect way to continue to use a passion, while allowing you a peek inside the next chapter of my life!

Monday Musings are something I started a few months ago for several reasons:

1) To brighten up Mondays.

Let’s face it, not too many of us like Mondays, so I thought I would do a weekly blog post specifically on Mondays in order to hopefully brighten your day!

2) To be used as an “update” on me

A lot of what I tend to write on here is spiritual in nature, and what the Lord is teaching me, so on “Monday Musings” I take some time to update you on my life and what’s been going on!

3) House my a random collection of thoughts

Sometimes my life just isn’t “news worthy” so some Monday’s will just be for fun – pictures, music I’ve been enjoying, an occasional cheesy joke or two!

I promise to try my hardest to keep “Monday Musings” a weekly occurrence!

So, buckle up for this week’s installment of Monday Musings…

1) First things first

Princess Kate had a baby boy today!!

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It’s a bit pathetic how excited I got when I heard the news! I feel like I’m a part of their fairy tale because I watched Princess Kate and Prince William’s wedding and now I get to celebrate the birth of their baby from across the pond!

2) I HATE packing!

…but really, it’s the worst!

Packing according to Pinterest…

 

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Packing in reality… ( at least Chelsea style!)

 

 

 

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Don’t judge!

If I could just snap my fingers and be completely packed, believe me, I would! But alias, I’m busy dealing with a room that looks like a bomb went off! Usually I am an organized person, but not of late. Don’t worry future roommates, I will be tidy for you!

3) Saying “See you later” is hard!

Another one of my lovely traits, I hate to say goodbye.

I would rather just leave without saying goodbye because it hurts my heart so much to bid my friends and family goodbye. But I know that’s not the way I should go about things, so these past few days and the days leading up to my departure have been filled with many “see you laters”.

I refuse to say the words “goodbye”, because I’m not leaving people’s lives, I am merely relocating. Distance doesn’t determine the quality of a relationship!

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Well…that’s all for today!

I hope you’ve all throughly enjoyed today and will have a fantastic week!

 

Monday Musings – The road from my head to my heart

Happy Monday all!

Before I get to the meat of this post, I thought I would share one of my favorite photos of the super moon with you! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I absolutely adore the moon! I regularly get texts from friends that read something along the lines of, “Chelsea, I saw the moon outside and thought of you!” or “Go outside and look at the moon!”

Whew! God’s creation is breathtaking!

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This week hasn’t been nearly as busy or as “exciting” as the past few weeks have been! I haven’t met any former presidential candidates, I haven’t spoken at any conferences, and I haven’t traveled anywhere! Even though circumstantially, things haven’t been quite as glamorous, the Lord has been teaching me much this week and that is what I would like to share with you!

I’ve been wrestling a lot with the Lord this past week.

Lord, I know how I should respond when pain creeps into my heart.
Lord, I know how I should respond when I don’t know the next step in life.
Lord, I know how I should respond when my heart starts to long for things.
Lord, I know how I should respond when anxiety floods my mind.
Lord, I know how I should respond when a person captures my attention.

….even though I have the head knowledge, so often my heart is running in the exact opposite direction. Whoever said to “Follow your heart” must not have a head because that is the worst possible advice!
Scripture tells us that,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.”

Oh how true those words are!

Often times, I struggle to submit my heart to the Lord. If I’m incredibly honest, it is because I don’t fully trust Him. Pridefully, I think that I can do a better job at managing my heart than He can.

Yet…

He’s the one that created my heart.
He’s the one that knows me more deeply than any human ever could.
He’s the one that chooses to love me regardless of my sins or shortcomings.
He’s the one who numbers the hairs on my head.
He’s the one who collects my tears in a bottle.
He’s the one who adopted me as His own daughter.

He’s the one in whom I can place my trust!

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Beloved, I will be the first one to stand up and say that I struggle connecting my head and my heart and then laying both before the throne of God! The first part of Romans 8 has been capturing my attention, and it is discussing life in the Spirit vs. life in the flesh. Oh how despertly I long to be a woman living in the Spirit! I pray that you will join me as we seek to become people who learn how to trust the Lord with everything…including our hearts!

This song, Head to My Heart is beautiful and is a sweet reminder that I’m not the only one struggling!

Monday Musings – DC Adventures

About a month ago, I was invited to speak at the “Road to Majority” conference put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition which was started by Ralph Reed as a conservative organization promoting conservative values and morals.

This past weekend, I packed my bags and headed up to Washington DC!

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Thankfully, my hotel was covered, so I brought along my mom and 2 of my sisters so they could explore the city while I was attending the conference! 3:00 am on Thursday came way too quickly, but I pulled myself out of bed, made a pot of coffee, and finished getting ready. We left home around 5:00 am and enjoyed a beautiful drive!

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We arrived to the stunning JW Marriott…

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After checking in, I quickly headed over to the Ronald Reagan building to attend a luncheon!

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Several senators addressed us at lunch!

Rand Paul sat at my table for about 5 minutes while waiting to speak…

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Marco Rubio spoke as well…

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After lunch, we all hopped on a bus and headed over to Capital Hill to speak with our respective congressmen and senators. When I was riding the elevator up to lunch, I heard a lady beside me talking about North Carolina, so I asked her what part of NC she was from, and we hit it off. We ended up sitting together at lunch and then we pranced around Capital Hill together! She knew several of the congressmen personally, unfortunately, they weren’t in the office, but we dropped by and left messages!

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After vising several offices, we headed down to a reception with several more congressmen and senators!

I couldn’t help snapping a few more pictures of this beautiful building!

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Oh, I also ran into the back of John McCain…

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At the reception, Senator Ted Cruz spoke

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I also had the incredible privilege of meeting and chatting with Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona. He is championing pro-life bills and writing pro-life legislation. While chatting with him, I told him about some of the pro-life work I had done at Liberty while I was there. He gave me his business card and said to contact him!! One of the highlights of my weekend!

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After the reception, I ate dinner with a few friends and then we headed to an after hours social with some more incredible speakers!! While there, I got to meet Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and others!

The next day, I was up early to grab some coffee and gather my thoughts before the day began! Then I settled in for the morning to hear from an all-star line up of speakers including…

Michele Bachmann

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Jeb Bush

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Paul Ryan

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I managed to snag a picture with Paul Ryan!

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After lunch, it was time to meet up with Johnnie Moore (from Liberty University) and the other panelists. Our topic was “Winning the next generation”. We briefly discussed the flow of the panel. There were four of us on the panel, and once we got situated in the room, Johnnie began the discussion. He lead the panel in such a way that I felt like I was having a conversation with friends, instead of addressing strangers. I was very pleased with how the panel turned out and am honored to have been a part of it.

Then, I quickly headed up to my room to change for a gala where Donald Trump was our guest speaker!

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It was Donald’s birthday, so he addressed the dinner guests, and then headed out, but Sandi Patti was there and serenaded us with the voice of an angel. Pat Robertson was there and received a lifetime achievement award!

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Some of my new friends

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We headed out to explore DC by the glow of the lights

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I don’t think the architecture could be any more lovely!

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A great time was had by all!

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The next morning was yet another all-star line up of speakers!

Governor Rick Perry

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Herman Cain

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Sarah Palin

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Wow! What an absolutely fabulous weekend!

I want to make one quick point! Even though I had the opportunity to meet and interact with some political leaders of the world, they are just people. One of the things I always tell myself is – “How do they put their pants on in the morning? One leg at a time – just like me!” The point being, even though they have big titles, big bank accounts, and big jobs, at the end of the day, they are just people. The ground is level at the foot of the cross!!

Monday Musings – Life Lately!

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Monday Musing” post, and I find that these are the easiest ways to give updates on my life. So, here we go!

June has turned out to be a pretty crazy!

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This past Friday, one of my friends called me up and said that she was going to be in Charlotte, and would I like to get together and chat for a little bit. A few weeks ago, I had emailed this friend, asking for some career advice, and she was in town, so instead of talking on the phone, she suggested that we just meet up. The reason she was in town was because she works for the Faith & Freedom Coalition, and they were a part of the North Carolina GOP convention. When she called, she mentioned that she could get me in to the State Dinner and the prayer breakfast the next morning. Immediately, I said that I would love to attend!

Saturday afternoon, I made a pit stop to grab a Venti iced coffee. (Ask for an iced coffee with a shot of vanilla and a little bit of cream! So tasty!)

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With my coffee in hand, I put on some tunes, and headed off to Charlotte. I love road trips and throughly enjoyed the drive! When I arrived in Charlotte, I parked, made my way inside and headed straight for the bathroom to fix myself up a little bit – my car’s air condition isn’t working very well, and it was about 80 outside.

This was my outfit of choice for the evening, nothing too crazy, but I much prefer to look classy!

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After making sure that I looked presentable, I headed to the lobby to wait for my friend. There was a comic book hero conference going on (don’t ask, I have no idea what they do!), but I was provided with plenty of entertainment while waiting. Once my friend showed up, we chatted for about half an hour, then she looked at her phone and declared that it was time to go to a reception. I followed her to a small room where there were about 10 people mulling around. There was a man with a camera, and it was obvious that we were all waiting on someone to show up. Low and behold, we were waiting on Karl Rove, the keynote speaker for dinner to arrive.

Karl Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush. Being heavily interested in politics, I was thrilled to have the privilege of being a part of this small reception for him. When he walked in, he immediately began shaking people’s hands, asking for their names, and carrying on a brief conversation.

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We chatted for a few moments before he turned his attention to the next person. But then it was time for pictures, and he graciously took as many pictures as everyone wanted. His autobiography was passed around, and I had my copy signed for my dad, because he’s a huge admirer.

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Mr. Rove could not have been more gracious or kind. He made me feel like I was catching up with an old friend instead of meeting a celebrity! After chatting with everyone for a little while, it was time for all of us to head to dinner.

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Mr. Rove gave the keynote speech, and discussed a wide span of issues, from conservative morals to taxes. I was engrossed in his talk, and throughly enjoyed every minute of the evening.

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I was back at the hotel bright and early the next morning for the prayer breakfast. When I arrived, I was informed that I would be sitting at the same table as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – the keynote speakers for the prayer breakfast. I was lead to my seat and able to snag a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar before the breakfast began!

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For most of the breakfast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar! They were two of the sweetest and most authentic people I’ve ever met. I felt like I was just chatting with my parents because they asked me questions, and had a genuine interest. I told Mrs. Duggar that there are 6 children in my family, and that we were all homeschooled growing up. I ended up sharing a lot of my story with them (being born in Romania, adopted siblings, etc.) Then, it was their turn to address everyone at the breakfast! They shared part of their story and encouraged everyone to trust the Lord, even when life circumstances aren’t easy!

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After the breakfast, I chatted with them for a little while longer about our shared passion of being pro-life. Mr. Duggar asked for my business card and said that he would contact me with more information about the Heartbeat Bill he’s crafted.

The entire weekend was absolutely incredible! I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet some of the people that I did. I am very grateful and humbled to have attended the events and had the conversations I did with people!

Next up on my agenda is putting the finishing touches on VBS at my church, and then I’m headed to speak at a conference in DC this weekend!!

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, all I had with me was my iphone!

Monday Musings – My perfect day!

Today began my last full week of classes as an undergrad. It is very bittersweet! Truth be told, it’s a lot more bitter than sweet right now. Seeing as my heart is extremely full of different emotions, I decided I would share what my perfect day looks like!

First, I would have a pile of books surrounding me

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While I am immersed in a book, naturally a giant cup of coffee at my side…

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I would sneak off to a private place like this…

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This little guy would be my companion for the day…
(Because I’m really an introvert)

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A stroll through the wildflowers is a must…

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Then I would walk to the beach (because in my perfect day, I would be near the beach) and watch God paint the sky…

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To end my day, I would soak myself in a bath…

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This guy would provide the soundtrack for my “perfect” day…
Damien Rice…

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Monday Musings…Things that are making me smile!!

It is (almost) finished!!

I’m finished with all of my residential finals!! Praise the Lord!! However, I’m taking a philosophy class online and that doesn’t finish until next Monday. You better believe I will be finishing up all of that work before I go home on Friday!! Last night was pretty brutal, I was up super late, and back up at 5:30 am…all in the name of studying for my hardest exam. American Foreign Policy! I suppose you know you’ve studied well when you dreamt that you are a diplomat on your way to Russian and China to talk them out of communism!

I wanted to share a lighter post today, mainly because my brain is exhausted and anything deeper I tried to write wouldn’t come out how I want.

So…here are some things that are making me smile this week!!

1) If you haven’t heard of this website, you are going to fall in love with it. I get on every now and then, and spend an hour or so just listening to, and downloading music!

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NoiseTrade is a completely free and legal website where artists upload their music for our listening pleasure!! There is some incredibly good stuff. If you need recommendations, feel free to comment and I can give you lots!!

2) I was recently on NoiseTrade and discovered that Ben Rector has a Christmas album!!!

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Yes, the Christmas season just got 10 times happier thanks to the wonderful tunes from Mr. Rector. You can go download this album here!

If you’ve never heard of Ben Rector, stop reading this and go look him up…your ears will thank you! I had the pleasure of hearing him in concert with Need To Breathe last year! Here’s a link to his website, and here’s one of my favorites by him!

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3) One of my favorite things about finals week is that no body judges the amount of coffee that I drink, because suddenly it becomes socially acceptable for everyone to drink 5-6 cups of it! Little does the world know, that is my normal daily intake!

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4) This Friday, precisely at noon, my little ole self will be in a car, headed to my favorite place in the world…home!

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Since I don’t have a car at school, my Daddy always comes to pick me up! We’ve had a tradition ever since Freshmen year. Whenever he comes to get me, we always stop and get a cup of coffee for the drive home.

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Then, I’ll either yap the entire way home or sleep because I am so exhausted!

5) These ladies!!

I have the incredible privilege of working and serving with the most incredible ladies at Liberty University! They bless me more than they will ever know!

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What is making you smile this week??

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Monday Musings….last “official” monday of the semester!!

Whew…the past week has been absolutely insane!!! Today is the last “official” Monday of the semester!! This time next week, I’ll be completely done with finals!!! Hallelujah!!!!!

Life has been so busy with Senior Class President stuff recently, but I truly count it a privilege to serve as president! I have so much fun and I’ve had some really neat experiences!! This past Saturday, I helped plan and put on an event called, “The Ladies of Liberty”. It was specifically for the ladies at Liberty (as the name clearly states!) We had invited some of the prominent ladies, like Mrs. Becki Falwell (our chancellor’s wife), Mrs. Ruth Towns (the wife of the co-founder) and about 4 or 5 others! The admission to the event was an article of gently used clothing to go the the Liberty Godparent Home, which is a place where girls can go if they get pregnant and need somewhere to take care of them. One of our BIG draws was a drawing where girls could meet and get a picture with the one and only…Tim Tebow!!! He’s coming to speak in convocation in March!! We ended up raising approximately $700 to go towards “Restore Rwanda”, which is a project that Liberty is doing in the country of Rwanda!!!

The event was held in the beautiful new welcome center…

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The event featured free hair and nails, along with loads and loads of candy and food….

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An estimated of 800 plus girls attended the event…

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Here are a few more pictures of the evening…

The beautiful Christmas tree inside…

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All dressed up in my pj’s for the event….

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Our “security” team for the evening…

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Some of us with Mrs. Towns…

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The ladies panel…

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Mrs. Becki Falwell with our security team…

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Becki Falwell speaking…she was such a sweetheart!!

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I was extremely pleased with how the entire thing turned out!! It took a ton of planning, and I was completely exhausted when it was finished!!!

On another note…here are some things that are making me happy!!!

1) The fact that the high in Lynchburg today was 72!!!

Absolutely no complaints here!!! I adore warm weather and sunshine, and it felt like a kiss from heaven!!

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2) Advent began yesterday!!!

I will write in more detail about this later, but I started going through a John Piper devotion called, “Good News of Great Joy”. The scripture readings and devotional content are specifically geared towards the advent season!! It’s free on Piper’s website “Desiring God”. Here’s the link, I highly encourage you to download it!

Good News of Great Joy

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3) I will be going home 11 days to this crazy crew….

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4) Also in 11 days, I will get to see my brother and best friend who’s been at school in Texas since August!!

Praise the Lord for skype!! (Also, our monkies like to skype too!!)

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That is all for now!! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! I’ll leave you with this song that has been making me smile this past week!! It’s by Steve Moakler, if you haven’t heard his music, I highly encourage you to check it out!!

Hesitate

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Monday Musings…Reasons I love home!

This comes to you from good ‘old North Carolina! One of my favorite states (but I’m a little bias!)

I’m on Thanksgiving break and I must admit, it’s been absolutely delicious to sneak in a few extra hours of sleep, spend time with my family, relax and refresh!! I would like to dedicate the rest of this post to the reasons why I love home!!

Seeing this guy…

….my little man. (Brother) He’s really grown up and we’ve gotten quite close, can’t you tell :p

Picking this guy up from the shop!

…I share a car with my two brothers, but love any time I get to spend driving it!

Being welcomed home by this…

….love my little sisters!!!

Breakfast’s like these….

…from my mama!

Playing with this little monster….

…her name is Abby!!

Seeing these beautiful things on my run at Tanglewood….

Trader Joes…

….enough said!!!

Browsing around my favorite used bookstore….

…I bought 4 books!!!

Being greeted with this view as I drive into my neighborhood…

…God is so incredibly beautiful!!!

On another note…Philip Phillips released a full length album today!! I highly suggest that you bounce on over to Itunes or Spotify and take a listen! Your ears will not be disappointed! For now, here’s a little taste with his hit home! Enjoy!