Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Library

This is one of those posts I've been meaning to sit down and write for a while.

It's one of those that as an author you feel kind of obligated to do.

So many people ask me, What's your favorite book? or What are you reading? 

Well! I'm here to answer that question.

If you were to ask me what my favorite book is, I would automatically say Little Women. It's a classic and I absolutely love everything about it. It's also the book that made me fall in love with reading in the first place.

Others include Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë...

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones (she writes Christian fiction and they are absolutely fantastic)...

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry...

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (this one is absolutely amazing. It's a book that will change you forever.)...

And I think Divergent by Veronica Roth would also make the list.

What am I reading right now?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I'm only about 75 pages in but I'm loving it. I also look forward to watching the movie (it has Emma Stone in it and she's one of my favorite actresses) after I finish the book!

I have SO many books I'm wanting to read and are sitting on my shelf waiting for me but my schedule has been jam packed lately so we'll see when I get to those!

From now on, I'll make sure to keep you updated on what I'm reading as I'm always reading SOMETHING!

If you haven't read any of these, I strongly suggest them to you.

Joanne Harris says it best, "Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up heart and soul."

These are the books that have "swallowed me up heart and soul" and I hope they do the same to you as well!


P.S. Aren't all of these covers SO lovely?!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

And We're Off!

Wow! It's the 20th of January and I've spent more days this year in a hotel than in my own house!

But I'm not complaining!

First up was a trip to Disney World celebrating my upcoming High School graduation. We got to meet so many fun characters AND spend an entire week as a family. Not to mention we got to go with my best friend and her family. It was an unforgettable week!

{Again: picture overload! If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen most of these pictures already.}

It was still decorated for Christmas and I couldn't have been happier.

Yes. I was the 17 year old waiting in line to meet all of the princesses.

Mandatory "It's a Small World" selfie.

Sonia and me in front of Rapunzel's tower.

We ate lunch at the Be Our Guest restaurant inside the Beast's castle. It was so beautiful I almost cried. *no lie*

The boys were almost as excited to meet Rapunzel as Sonia and I were!

Magic Kingdom is the most magical place of all.

Hollywood Studios!

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen!

Another group picture!

Mary Poppins! We met her, Alice, The Mad Hatter, Tigger and Pooh at 1900 Park Fare for a character breakfast.

Proof that, yes, we saw Anna and Elsa. But no! We didn't wait in the two+ hour line to meet them.

Snow White...

And Belle!

Epcot in the evening!

Animal Kingdom.

Nemo the Musical!

Then less than a week after we returned from Disney I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Atlanta, GA with a group from my church for Passion 2015! If you don't know what that is, here's a brief explanation: it's a conference for 18-25 year olds(and high school seniors) who want to worship Jesus and grow closer to Him. Musicians include people like Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redman and David Crowder. The speakers for this year were Louie Giglio, Christine Caine, and Lecrae. I've watched the live stream of this conference for five years now and it was worth every second of the wait. Needless to say it was three of the best days of my whole entire life.

Courtney and I extremely excited for our first Passion.

Megan, Kristen and me!

The cross and Jesus were the center of our whole weekend.

Community/family groups were fantastic! 

I got the chance to meet up with my lovely cousin, Mary-Gwen and her husband.

This was my family group- seven girls I had never met before and will never forget! They were SO sweet and even though we've all been through incredibly different things we were united through our relationship with Jesus.

Matchy-matchy with the girls.

Seriously- I've never experienced God's Presence like I did this past weekend. He spoke so clearly to me (and the 12,000 other students in attendance) and I will never forget all that the Lord did. We were able to worship Him with nothing else in the way. It was so very beautiful. 

Obviously it's been an incredible beginning to 2015. I can tell that God has amazing things in store for this year and I can't wait to see what else He has planned!


"Like a bride waiting for her groom, we'll be a church ready for you, every heart longing for the King. We sing. Even so come, Lord Jesus come."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 12 of 2014

Wow. It's always so crazy how every year seems to go by so much faster than the one before. It absolutely blows my mind that it's January 1st of 2015. 

This year I graduate high school. This year I'll go to college. This year we're going to Disney World (in 3 days, but who's counting?). This year I go to Passion. 

But as I got ready for bed last night, all I could think about was how incredibly thankful I am for all that 2014 held. 

Yes, it was hard. Believe me, mono was NOT fun. 

But my Jesus held me and He took care of me and showed me that I always, always, always need Him and His never ending, unstoppable, always reaching out for me love. 

Last year I did a top ten of 2013 post and I figured I'd do it again. Except this year I couldn't narrow it down to just ten. 

So here's the top 12 of 2014. {Warning: picture overload.}

12. Braces came off!

11. Trent and Sydney
Throughout 2014 my entire family grew so close to Trent and Syd and it was amazing. Now they're in Brazil and I miss them like crazy. 

10. Praise band has been such a gift this year. We've had multiple youth Sundays and they are my favorite. I love leading alongside these talented musicians. 

 This was at our night of worship in December. It was magical.

9. 17th birthday and Summer With the Arts. 

Shortly after being diagnosed with mono we had our yearly music and arts camp. It was also the week of my birthday. I spent about half of the week sleeping, BUT God continued to heal me and I had a great birthday celebration. 

8. Hilton Head!

We try to take a yearly trip as a family to Hilton Head. We got to go for almost two weeks this year. GLORIOUS.

7. Student Life at Myrtle Beach.

What a week. Got to room with three of my best friends, got to worship with the majority of my youth group. God was there. (And I had mono but I didn't know it yet. That was fun. NOT.)


Ah. This Christmas was like a breath of beautiful, fresh air. I don't think I've ever been so Christ focused around Christmas and it was probably my favorite Christmas yet. 

And a trip to Disney was included so that was amazing. 

 We had a little craft day with some of the girls from church!

At the Christmas Eve service.

5. Kari Jobe in Atlanta. 

I don't even have words. It was one of my all time favorite weekends. So thankful. 


Selfies for days. 

4. Amanda and Nick

Back in October my favorite big sister and brother-in-law came in town from CA and spent a couple of days with us. We made some amazing memories and I got to spend so much time with both of my nieces. 

They're the cutest. But I'm only a little biased.

3. Kids at Church. 

This year the Lord has given me so many opportunities to pour into the lives of the children at church and I have never been happier to do anything (except maybe to write).

2. I got so much closer to my friends this year. They're the ones that I know I will share the rest of my life with. We've rejoiced together and been sad together. I'm so incredibly thankful to have such an amazing group of godly women to share life with.

1. And then I wrote a book. 

And it got published. 

And aside from my relationship with Jesus Christ, and my family and friends, I've never been more thankful for anything in my entire life.

He has redeemed me and given me this gift.

It has been the most rewarding journey.

 Book signing a couple of weeks ago.

Newspaper article!

My book wall.

Thank you to each of you who have been such a big part of my life in the last year.

You've encouraged me in this journey of publishing a book and writing another. I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for you and your support, prayers, and love.

But most of all, at the end of every day, I'm so thankful for my Jesus. I'm so grateful that He's given me today and that He made 2014 such a beautiful year.

He is faithful. He keeps His promises.

And I cannot wait to see what He has planned for 2015.