High Five for Friday 3.30.12

What. A. Crazy. Week! I know I say that every week, but I’m convinced that they’re getting more and more busy as they fly by (literally fly– I can’t believe I’m almost done with a YEAR OF COLLEGE… WHAT?!?).

1. I had the honor of taking Jason to formal last weekend, and I had SO MUCH FUN! I got to be with my sisters and with one of my best friends as my date, so I’d chalk that up as AWESOME.


2. I am beyond glad that God has brought me to the INCREDIBLE people with the reDefine Campaign. They’re some of the coolest people I know, and I’m loving what I’m working on with them. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for not only the campaign but for the friendships I’ve established by being on their team. If you’re at UGA and you have any questions about reDefine, definitely let me know! Check out what they stand for; I was blown away by their platform and you might be too!

3. FUN STORY TIME! On Wednesday night, I was sitting in the floor of my room with my econ book and notes in my lap, ready to be studied intensely. I remember glancing at the clock and noticing that it was 11:36 PM, and literally the next thing I remember is waking up to my phone ringing at 9:22 the next morning. I’m not sure how I got from floor to bed, how I managed to turn out the light, or how I managed to sleep through the phone alarm I had previously set, but at any rate, Rachel and I got a pretty good laugh out of the ordeal.

4. I had dinner with my mommy this week, and she brought Rachel and I these little friends. They’re furry, they’re tiny bunny rabbits, and they bounce across a surface when you pull their tails. It doesn’t take much to excite me, honestly, and these guys are just too darn cute not to smile at.

5. The Chapel Bell is publishing Monday!!! I can’t wait! I had way too much fun distributing on our last publishing day, so this will be an awesome adventure, yet again! 🙂

Happy Friday!

This post is linked with Lauren’s blog, From My Grey Desk.

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High Five for Friday 3.23.12

What a week! It’s been a crazy but really incredible week! Here are some of the highlights so you can share in my excitement!

1. I took an intense history test to meet a Georgia and U.S. History requirement, and I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d do. I studied my entire spring break for it, and after I took it on Wednesday I wasn’t feeling at all confident about it. However, this morning I called the testing center to get my results and I PASSED ALL OF THE SECTIONS!!!!!! This girl is done with history classes FOREVER!

2. This week I’ve really learned the incredible value of being a part of something bigger than myself. It sounds cliché, but I’ve just become involved in some things here at school that I’m crazy about. I’m happy that I’m finally finding where I belong and where my talents fit, and it’s even better that I’m getting to use my passions. I’m writing, planning, talking to people… and even though I may never sleep again, I am absolutely loving it all.

3. I just love Athens. I love UGA. This week I had a really strange (but good!) moment where I just looked at the Arch and it hit me that I made it here. I made it to college, I made it to my second semester without any major fiascos, I made it to living a life I’ve dreamed about. And I intend to make as much of a good impact as I possibly can during my time here, because I can only be in this stage of life once. Why not use it to its fullest potential and make the world a better place while I have the time and the platform? Score one for awesome realizations this week!

4. Yesterday I made it through an entire day without consuming a drop of coffee. That is extremely rare! I doubt I’ll be kicking that habit any time soon, but I was proud of myself for going over 24 hours without it during a school week. Normally I can’t do that. But no worries, I was back to my usual 2 cups this morning. What’s a college student without a coffee addiction?? 🙂

5. This morning as I was leaving, I had a pretty hilarious surprise in the lobby. My friend Jason is here for the weekend, but I had no idea when he’d get here. I left my room at 8:45 this morning (in a hurry to get to class I might add), and was walking outside in my pre-coffee, little-sleep stupor, when who should I see sitting in the lobby but Jason himself! I was COMPLETELY not expecting that, and I let out this huge gasp, and it was the most ridiculous reaction ever. I was laughing at myself for a good thirty seconds after I ran out the door. But all that to say, that pretty much made my morning. BAM.

This post is linked with Lauren’s blog, From My Grey Desk.

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What if.

What if they say no?

What if I’m too young? Too inexperienced, too naïve, too new.

What if I’m too old? What if it’s too late? What if I missed my chance?

What if I’m too quiet? What if I don’t feel confident? What if they think I’m timid? What if they don’t think I can speak for what I believe in?

What if I’m too loud? What if they don’t want to hear my ideas? What if they don’t care what I have to say? What if they tell me to be quiet?

What if they don’t like me? What if I’m not what they were looking for?

What if I cry? What if I feel defeated? What if I have to experience disappointment again?

But… what if they can see past my flaws? What if they can see my passion? What if they believe in my future?

What if they say yes?

High Five for Friday 3.16.12

Well, it’s been a whirlwind of a spring break week! I’ve worked the entire week… between school stuff, planning some other things, and just running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I feel like it’s been more of a catch-up-on-my-to-do-list-time than a vacation, but hey at least I’ve been super productive! Here are my highlights of the week:

1. I got to see some high school friends when I went to their LGPE last Friday. We went to Waffle House afterward just like old times, and it made me remember that some things never change… in a good way!

2. I found this website because a friend tweeted about it, and after only a week, I can say that it’s probably the best thing that’s happened to my productivity in a long time. Being the OCD planning person that I am, it’s wonderful to be able to lay out every little task I have to do. This is what my major to-do lists looked like this week. Awesome, huh?

3. I got to see both of my grandmothers as well as almost all of my cousins, aunts and uncles this week. I love my family, and I don’t get nearly enough time to just BE with them, so it was nice to see them all more than once this week– the ones in the same house as me and the ones who are everywhere else, too.

4. The weather is AMAZING! I just want to sit outside in the sun and do nothing. It’s just beautiful 🙂

5. I went to lunch today with my friend Ashley, and we got our nails done afterward. I get my nails done once a year, and that’s it. I have formal coming up, so I thought it’d be a nice touch to actually have pretty nails for once. It was quite a treat!

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This post is linked up with Lauren’s blog, From My Grey Desk. Check it out!

Encourage Those Around You

This may seem a little cheesy or cliché, but I’m beginning to wonder if the encouragement of others is a dying art, so I’m going to share a few of my own simple ideas for encouraging those around you. There’s nothing more fulfilling and humbling than putting aside your own worries and seeking out ways to help others make it through theirs. You can use words and actions to either wallow in your own daily problems, or you can use them to help others see the light through their discouraging times. Which will you choose?

1. Write a kind note on a Post-it (or more than one!), and stick it to their car, their front door, or their notebook for them to find later.

2. If you see someone doing a good deed– no matter how large or small– let them know you appreciate their kindness, even if it wasn’t directed toward you. Sometimes we all need to know that our efforts aren’t wasted.

3. Send them a song that you think will be uplifting, motivational, or encouraging. Music can be a powerful thing.

4. Early one morning, send a text message to or call someone who you may not encounter on a regular basis simply to let them know you hope they have a wonderful day. Hearing from you could make their day start off with a happy moment, especially if you share a positive message.

5. Tell someone that you’re simply grateful to have them in your life. To someone who’s feeling alone or unappreciated, you’ll make a world of difference.

6. Point out the positive aspects of every day, not only when there’s a negative situation happening. If you can learn and teach others how to see the good things in everyday life, then it will become easier to see them even in adversity. Make it a point to call attention to the perfect temperature outside, the exceptionally wonderful taste of your sweet tea at lunch, or the fact that you had eight hours of sleep last night. In a world of pessimistic self-centeredness, celebrating the little things can truly make a difference in your perspective, and hopefully your optimistic demeanor will begin to influence those around you to focus on the positives as well.

7. Write a letter or a short note to someone, and send it in the mail. Call me old-fashioned, but I for one love the feeling I get when I receive a note in the mail. The fact that someone would take time out of their life to let me know I was on their mind for some reason or another is very encouraging.

8. Make a conscious effort to remember the specific ways and situations in which your friends overcome difficulty. If they run into disappointment again in the future, remind them of how they successfully came through their hardship in the past. Let it serve as a reminder that they were strong enough to make it through difficulty in the past, and they’re strong enough to do it again. For example, if they aced a test in a class three weeks ago, but failed the most recent one, remind them of their excellent performance in the past, and let them know you believe they can do that again. Don’t let them become overwhelmed by one small setback to the extent that they lose sight of their own larger successes.

9. Unexpectedly share something with a friend that you like or admire about them. If you think their hair is great, they always know the right thing to say, or they have cool buttons on their backpack, tell them without even being provoked to say so!

10. Smile! That seems so simple, but in a fast-paced world like the one we live in, sometimes it’s nice to know that people still make time to be happy. So let someone know that happiness is not dead by simply smiling at them. They could be a stranger or a long-time friend; it doesn’t matter– they’ll still appreciate the reminder that happiness is never dead.

How do you encourage those around you? I want to know! 🙂

High Five for Friday 3.9.12

WOO HOO! It’s FINALLY Friday!!! And this Friday is especially awesome, because it begins my spring break!

1. I got to experience my first distribution day with The Chapel Bell on Monday! I told people “Happy Monday” all around campus and handed them a paper. The looks on their faces were entertaining for various reasons, and it was definitely an exciting way to start of my week.

2. I got to have coffee with Alyssa, Michelle, and Leah on Wednesday. It’s good to be able to catch up with people even after your lives have been out of sync for a while.

3. I went to a Career Center seminar on Careers in Social Media on Wednesday night, and I won’t even pretend like I wasn’t freaking out. The possibilities of making a career out of blogging or tweeting for a larger purpose is just EXCITING! I knew I was in the right place when I found out there was a specific hashtag just for the meeting, and we were going to follow the Twitter feed of the hashtag on a big screen the entire time… 🙂 #confessionsofasocialmediaaddict

4. Throughout this week, so many HUGE ideas for the future have surfaced in my mind. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m sleep-deprived or because my mind is truly working in hyperdrive this week, but I just keep thinking of ways I can use my talents and abilities to DO SOMETHING. I’m not sure yet where I’m going to pour my efforts into, but I feel like maybe all of these ideas are just God calling me to trust him to do something bigger than I can even imagine in my life. After multiple failed attempts to carry out my own plans, I think I’m finally waking up and realizing that I have to be willing to yield to God’s plans for my life if I truly want to live. It’s a simple realization that has taken me quite a long time to clearly see.

5. I am so inexplicably happy to be going home for spring break. I’m looking forward to having the week to spend time with my family, reduce the size of my to-do list, and hopefully get back onto some sort of regular sleeping schedule. I don’t think I’ve slowed down in at least two weeks, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to breathe and recover.

TGIF!!!

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Optimism is a choice.

Optimism is not a personality trait. It is a choice. And disappointment is not a crippling injury. It is a stepping-stone.

For a long time, I believed that pessimism was something uncontrollable that is ingrained into a person. I thought it could not be reversed because it was simply a part of their being. But in reality, one’s reaction to everyday situations is a direct indication of their character.

In the event of disappointment, the things that run through your head and flow out of your mouth are not a result of your genes, your upbringing, or the situation. Your reaction to disappointment depends solely upon YOU.

Although we may not admit it to ourselves, our hearts most often want to choose negativity. We desire attention, and often that desire fuels a self-piteous reaction when we’re faced with something that doesn’t go our way. We want others to see how miserable we are because we have the ridiculous notion that spreading our misery to others will somehow make us feel better. But in fact, in our complaining, we only make ourselves more miserable and place burdens on those around us as well. When we allow negativity to overtake our thoughts, actions, and speech, we are essentially encouraging those around us to do the same.

If our hearts choose to hope, however, the ideas flowing through our minds and out of our mouths will inspire others to have hope as well. By being optimistic, we can prove to ourselves and to others that it is entirely possible to experience disappointment and heartbreak without allowing it to crush our spirit and hinder our motivations.

Does that mean we can’t be upset? No. Being optimistic doesn’t necessarily mean never shedding a tear. It does mean, however, that we must control every thought we have and force it to be bent toward hope, not toward despair.

Does that mean we can never let on if we’re upset? Do we have to hold it all inside ourselves? No. Friends exist to lend a listening ear, but we must be careful to be listeners as well, and not always speakers. Instead of wallowing endlessly in our current sorrows, we must learn to focus on how we will change our situation in the future. Instead of constantly bombarding friends with complaints disguised with claims such as, “I need your advice” or “I just need to vent,” we must learn to tell our dear friends about our disappointments while never losing sight of hope for a better situation in the future. If we wallow endlessly in our current sorrows instead of trying to discern how we will change our situation and choose to constantly bombard friends with our struggles, we’re giving in to the very mindset that will be our own demise. We’re giving in to pessimism.

Is it easy to remain optimistic through every situation that comes our way? No, it’s not. But does anything worth accomplishing ever get done without an enormous amount of work and unshakeable determination?

I am determined to make a positive impact upon those around me, and in doing so, I know that I must remain optimistic through whatever may come.

Until I reach my goals and dreams, I will be patient and not let disappointment take hold of me.I will not let failure define my outlook. I will not let heartbreak crush me.

I will not be ruined.

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

High Five for Friday 3.2.12

Let me just say that this week has been CRAZY. Three tests and an interview later, I am still alive and (somewhat) still sane. Here are my top 5 for this week!

1. TODAY. IS. FRIDAY. The mere fact that I’ve gotten through this week is a MIRACLE!!!

2. Victoria knew I was stressed, so she brought me a wonderful cupcake from Silver Lining last night. I will ALWAYS accept love in the form of dessert, especially when it looks this pretty.

3. This week I tangibly felt the power of prayer. I prayed for myself and for others in my life, but I also asked my friends and family to pray on my behalf. As a result, I felt peace this entire week, even in the midst of chaos and pressure. I think God is currently trying to teach me the value of TRULY staying connected to him. It’s wonderful.

4. I can’t say much about it, but there’s a fun little event I’ve been working on planning for several weeks now, and it’s starting to take shape. Let’s be real: my love for planning is taking off now more than ever. Also, as another planning reference, I’ve almost finished reading “The Everything Guide to Being an Event Planner.” Shannon has agreed to let me skim through a book that she has when I finish this one, and guess what her book is? “The Everything Wedding Book.” I can’t wait!

5. I’m seeing them in concert– TOMORROW! I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, and the day is finally here. Love me some Lady A!

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