Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hiking Sticks & Campfires

Spring Break 2011

This spring break, my friends and I went on a little camping adventure. My family owns a camper, so I talked my dad into taking it to the campground for a few days for us to stay in. It was a great time for some fun and relaxation away from school!!

Wednesday: Dad and I pulled the camper down on Wednesday and Jessica followed us there. I was amazed at how crowded the resort actually was. After helping set everything up, dad went home and it was just me and Jessica. Well we were really ready for Jena and Ash to get down with the FOOD. She and I ate a yummy cheeseburger at the cafe and decided to go ahead and build a fire while we wait on them to get there....well, we had no lighter to start the fire! We decide to drive to the gas station to go ahead and get a lighter and we pull up just a few minutes after closing time! We head back to the camper where we take a million self-timer pics to pass the time. And FINALLY the Bright girls arrive with some groceries and my sweet dad brought us a lighter to get a fire going.

Thursday: Thursday was our hiking day. We slept in, played some ping pong, packed our things, and headed on our adventure.

We drove over to the state park and chose which trail we wanted to hike on. There were many different paths, but we chose to take the Waterfall trail. Each trail was marked by a different colored arrow to help you stay on the bath. Lord knows we would've gotten lost if we didn't have something to follow, haha.
We're ready to go!!

Jessica and I before we headed back down.

I love my goofy friends.

Ashley is an expert rock climber!

Jessica and I traveled across this shabby tree.

After hiking, we drove back to the resort, put on our bathing suits, and got our tan on. It was so relaxing to sit outside in the sun reading a good book and looking at the water. For supper we grilled out, hamburgers and hotdogs. That night Molly got to come stay with us and she brought things for SMORES!! We were all so very excited about roasting the marshmellows until we realized we had nothing to roast them on. Jessica, Ashley, and I set out to find some sticks. A family at a nearby camper felt sorry for us and let us borrow their nice marshmellow roasters!! After we ate wayy too many smores, we made them some to thank them for letting us borrow their roaster. Later that night we ventured over to Town Creek and had a campfire with Kyle and some of his friends. This night/morning ended with a 3 AM trip to Waffle House haha, what great times!

After waking up Friday Jena, Ashley, Molly and I play an intense game of Phase Ten and then decide to go eat lunch at Applebees! After that they went to Crossville's baseball game and I went back to the camper.
Saturday afternoon, the Greesons and Bowers came down and we all grilled out for Anthony and my mom's birthdays. We had some wonderful food and some great laughs.

Overall, this was a wonderful spring break!! Spending time at the river with friends made me even more excited for SUMMER to get here!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Roomates

*Jena    Amanda   Ashley*
I could not have asked for two better girls to live with and share my college experiences with. I believe it was November 2007 that I met Jena and Ashley Bright and we have been friends ever since. I know for a fact that God places these two in my life for a reason. He knew that we would get along with each other perfectly! They attended JSU for a year and then asked me to move in with them Fall of 2010. Jena and Ashley get along better than any two sisters I have ever seen and I tell them that all the time.

It's amazing how well we get along. I promise you, us three can just sit in the living room with the tv off and have the time of our lives. We can just talk talk talk (even when we're supposed to be studying). We were all three raised up in good Christian homes and we share the same beliefs and morals. We hardly ever eat out while at school. Most of the time we cook meals and sit down at the table and eat together. We share all of our food and don't have to worry about who eats what. Having people like this to live with makes college so much more enjoyable. I had a friend come over and tell me, "y'all three just get along so well!" Now I will tell you a little bit about my two best friends.

Jena is 22 and she is majoring in Social Work. She has such a compassionate heart for the elderly and enjoys working with them. While I'm about to pass out when I see a needle, Jena can walk up to someone and just give em a shot. She really enjoys watching movies, I believe she could watch movies all night long and be content. Jena and I are alike in a lot of ways. We tend to tell our honest opinions on what we think. When I want to know an honest answer, I can just ask Jena. We can sit and chat about absolutely anything. We catch ourselves saying the most random things at the same time and then we just sit and laugh about it. Jena and I are both very anal about having everything organized. Let me tell you what, while it takes me and hr and a half to get ready Jena can wake up, take a shower, and be ready in about 30 min...blows my mind. I know that Jena will always be there for me and I can always go to her if I ever needed her and she would go out of her way to help me out. I love you Jena!!!

Looking for a brilliant Elementary teacher?? You got her right here. This girl is going to make a great teacher some day. Ashley is about to turn 21 and she is working on her student teaching right now and will graduate in April with her degree in Elementary Education. Ashley and I are also alike in so many ways. We share a lot of the same experiences in life and know how each other feels. Ashley is our cook. She cooks some of the best meals while Jena and I may make the mac n cheese or biscuits (the easy stuff) haha. Sometimes me and Ashley just get in the craziest moods and we act so goofy. Ashley is a very determined person, if she sets her mind to it...she will do it. I admire Ashley so much!! I love you Ash!!

Words cannot describe how much I love these two girls and cherish our friendship. I can tell these two absolutely anything and trust them with everything. I don't know what I'd do without them!!

Best Days of Our Lives

Ohhhhh College...

I absolutely have had some of the best times at Jacksonville State. Here are a few of my favorite pictures I've taken. Each picture has sooooo many wonderful memories attached to it!!

This picture makes me laugh because we all have on each others clothes :)

Kyle tried to teach me how to play the drums, I think I did a pretty good job!!

Hanging out at Kyle's across the street

My first JSU football game, right before a massive storm came!

This night we cooked a huge Thanksgiving meal and all ate together

I absolutely LOVE this picture. "Eyebrows down and smile"

Jessica Shea & I going out one night

JSU Homecoming

Kyle and I out playing in the snow

We took off running outside as soon as the ground was white

We all walked to campus to go sledding on whatever we had: plastic lids, pizza pans, skateboards, clothes baskets, and air mattresses

Celebrating Jessica's 22nd Birthday

On Valentine's Day Jena and I decided to bake some cookies. By the end of the night our faces were covered in flour. We had a blast and made some interesting cookies :)

We enjoy the self-timer

This night was hilarious, our toilet seat fell off!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Get to Know my Family

The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. 
~Erma Bombeck

I hope to marry a man just like my dad one day. He is one of the hardest working people there is. Just about every day after he comes in from work, he goes outside and does more work around the house. Also, he is a "fix-it-all dad"...he can fix just about anything. My dad is the quiet one in the family. He thinks and analyzes before he says something. My dad is a man of God and I only hope to know as much about the Bible as he does. He gives me such great advice and has such a compassionate heart. He has a vast amount of patience, something I really need to work on. I love my dad so much and I definitely want my future husband to have characteristics of my dad.

Look at how much my mom and I look alike! We were going to church one night and I got into the car to discover that me and mom were dressed exactly alike. Zak, my sisters boyfriend, thought it was hilarious. Me and my mom have our ups and downs, just like any mother and daughter relationship, but I know she is always there for me and wanting whats best for my life. While dad is the quiet one, my mom is the talkative loud one of the family. We have the best time going shopping together because we both like to shop! I take after my mom by having a tender heart about things. She has always been the crier and as I've gotten older, I tend to cry about everything. We both are very stubborn about things. My mom is one of the best moms I could ask for and I love her!! 

My Sister

If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. 
~Linda Sunshine
My younger sister is Anna Marie. Our names are so close that I get called Anna all the time. She is about to graduate from High School and I cannot believe it. Looking at us, everyone thinks she is older. She is a lot taller than I am and she is definitely prettier!! Anna is a very stubborn person, she'll stand up for herself (and even me when I need it) and will not let someone run over her unfairly. I admire this characteristic in her. As of now she is unsure what she wants her major to be, but I know she'll figure it out. She is VERY patient with elderly people. She works so well with my grandad who has Parkinsons. I think this will some how fit in to her future career. Anna has a very kind heart and feels bad for people. If she sees you picking on someone, she's probably going to go over there and kick your tail. If I ever get mad at Anna and hit her I immediately say "sorry" or take off running because I'm scared of her. We don't have the perfect sister relationship, but we get along most of the time. Our learning styles are completely different. I know that Anna is going to succeed in whatever she chooses to do in life. Oh and I can't forget to mention the boyfriend, Zak! They've been together for over a year now and I think they're a great couple. He is so laid back and I've never seen him get mad at her in front of our family. He's always up for something she wants to do. I'm glad she found someone like Zak to spend time with.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Transformation Through Trajedy

I started reading Chapter 13 in my book last night and it was AMAZING, so I wanted to share some of it with you all. ( I know this is a lot to read and take in, but trust me it's good!) Oh, and a picture of the book this is coming from is on my previous blog.

Pete Wilson, author, begins by saying that the greatest fear he has for you and even for himself is not that we'll abandon the gospel or lose complete faith in our Savior. It's not that we'll go crazy and abandon or morals. His greatest fear for our lives is that we'll just get busy and distracted and settle for mediocre, unexamined life. It's that we'll just settle into life as usual and never become the persons God intended for us to be.

He says, "And here's something I've been wondering as I studied and prayed about
this book. Could it be that we need our Plan B situations (trials and storms in our lives) to rescue us from that kind of life? Do we need our tragedies in order for God to transform us? It's true that God tends to get our attention through our Plan B crises. In fact, many of us started our journey with God during such a difficult time. And I know that when I'm struggling with a Plan B situation, I tend to pray more, read more scriptures, and lean into community a lot harder."

Henri Nouwen observes:

One of the most obvious characteristics of our daily lives is that we are busy. We experience our days as filled with things to do, people to meet, projects to finish, letters to write, calls to make, and appointments to keep. Our lives often seem like over-packed suitcases bursting at the seams. In fact, we are almost always aware of being behind schedule. There is a nagging sense that there are unfinished tasks, unfulfilled promises, and unrealized proposals. There is always something else that we should have remembered, done, or said. There are always people we did not speak to, write to, or visit. Thus, although we are very busy, we have lingering feelings of never really fulfilling our obligations...Beneath our worrying lives, however, something else is going on. While our minds and hearts are filled with many things, and we wonder how we can live up to the expectations imposed upon us by ourselves and others, we have a deep sense of unfulfillment. While busy with and worried about many things, we seldom feel truly satisfied, at peace, at home. A gnawing sense of being unfilled underlies our filled lives... The great paradox of our time is that many of us are busy and bored at the same time.
While running from one event to the next, we wonder in our innermost selves if anything is really happening. While we can hardly keep up with our many tasks and obligations, we are not so sure that it would make any difference if we did nothing at all. While people keep pushing us in all directions, we doubt if anyone really cares. In short, while our lives are full, we are unfulfilled.

Hope you got as much out of that as I did! Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Obsessions...We All Have Them

I got this Vera Bradley planner for my 20th birthday from Jessica and I absolutely LOVE it. I carry it with me wherever I go, and I'm always jotting things down in it so I do not forget them. If it goes in the planner, it better happen. Also, I highlight things when I finish them. This planner is large, but I will be getting another just like it whenever it falls apart!

Mmmmmm I love me some coffee in the mornings. My parents have always drank coffee and I always thought it was gross. Now, I drink it almost every day and I love it!! I have to have my creamer though...Irish Cream or French Vanilla :)

This is the book that I am currently reading. I try to read as much as I can, but I stay so busy with school work that I rarely have time. I enjoy reading this book right before I go to sleep at night. The subtitle says, "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?". We have all been in situations where we wonder where God is and question the things that are happening in our lives. This book is wonderful and helps you see that God is there NO MATTER WHAT and when we are in those plan b situations we should have faith that he is working out everything for the good. Courtney Neill recommended this book to me and I'm so glad she did!!

Mac is my new favorite lipstick. My mom and I were shopping one day and she talked me into trying it. I love it so much and cannot wait to go pick me out a pretty pink for Spring!!

I don't know what I'd do without my Droid. I have the very first one that came out, but I still love it. I've dropped it numerous times yet it still works. I have not had many problems at all with this phone.Hopefully it'll last me a lot longer. I enjoy texting, browsing the internet, checking facebook, listening to my music, and playing Angry Birds on this phone.

I am in desperate need of a new camera. Mine that I have now started off as a wonderful camera and now majority of the pics turn out blurry. My friend AnnMarie has this camera and she loves it. I'm hoping to get a new one soon!!

I am a chapstick fanatic. I have so many tubes because I have to have one with me at all times! Strawberry Carmex is my favorite, you should definitely try it :)

My new favorite candy!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Amanda Shea

     Ok, so I've been sitting here debating on what picture of myself that I should post on my new blog. I was thinking gosh I don't have a good recent picture. Well, I decided to post a picture that absolutely describes me. According to my friend Reggie, my face tells it all. I didn't realize it, but this picture tells a lot about me. As you can tell by my facial expression, I am a goofy person if your around me long enough. I do enjoy dressing up and going out; however, sometimes a tshirt and jeans (well most of the time pajama pants) will do just fine. I am sitting outside with my hand stuck down in a pumpkin haha I do NOT care to get a little dirt on me. I am just your average down-to-earth girl. I don't mind being my goofy self because hey, that's me!
     I don't know why I decided to randomly start a blog. I just think I am a "blog person" haha. My friend, Jessica Pope, has a wonderful blog so hopefully I can learn some things from her! It's raining outside and I'm sitting on the couch in my pjs, what a wonderful time to create my own blog!! Well to begin with I guess I should tell you a little about myself, although there is a lot more to me than I can type.

* I am a Christian and I LOVE Jesus Christ with everything in me! He came into my heart when I was 8 yrs old. I am a member of Kelly's Chapel Baptist Church in Grove Oak. I have the best church family ever, I love them so much!!
* I attend Jacksonville State University where I am majoring in Elementary/Early Childhood Education.
* I am a very Concrete Sequential person. Lists are my thing...I make a list for just about everything and yes, I cross it off when I'm finished haha. I have gigantic planner where I write EVERYTHING down. I know some people probably think that is crazy but that is just the way I am! Part of being concrete sequential is analyzing things, I like to know what I am doing before I do it.
* Ummm I have a huge huge huge sweet tooth. I am trying very hard to work on that. The little debbie aisle at Walmart is Heaven, but I just look and go on :(. Why can't I like celery and broccoli as much as chocolate??
* I have two absolutely wonderful roomates, Jena & Ashley Bright...oh gosh I will have to do a separate blog on those two and the crazy times we have together. I  LOVE THEM!!
* I have big eyes, and I am starting to like them.
* I enjoy spending time on the river during the summer.
* Since I  moved to college I have became the biggest coffee drinker.
* Reading is one of my favorite things to do!! (When I can find time)
* I need to develop more patience, I know God is working in my life and has everything planned to work out in his timing.
* I tend to laugh at some of the dumbest things.
* I want a puppy, but my mom wont let me have one until I have my own place.
* I HATE driving!! My car is sooo long which makes it extremely hard to park. Yes, I've hit a parked car before.
Ok there is so much more about me, but that is enough for today. I'm excited about starting this blog. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with some ideas to blog about!! :)