Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights: Part 1 {In Words}

Here are some highlights from 2012! It has been a wonderful year, and a year with many blessings from the Lord.

I will try to do this in chronological order... :) And just a warning, this is going to be long... :)

~The Makos. I cannot imagine the past six years of my life without the Makos! I am so thankful to be a part of such a great group of people. We have so much fun! I have the best coaches!
~Regional swim meet! It has always been a goal of mine to make regionals each year. Junior year I made it in the 100 breaststroke! Regionals is a very fun meet. It is always an all-day event on the last Friday of January.
~RBCN Women's Retreat in Monteagle. This was such a blessing to me! It was so much to fun to get to spend a weekend with some of my very favorite ladies (and role models). It was great to get to know them better playing games, having devos, small group time, and of course hikes and adventures! My mom spoke to us about prayer. I am really looking forward to the 2013 Retreat!
~State swim meet! This was my first time to go - and my main take away was, "Why have I missed out on this until now?!" It was SO MUCH FUN! It was a fast meet and the Makos did great! It was so cool to see one of my old Wildwood coaches break a national high school record for the 100 fly! I especially loved finals. It was like a mini-Olympics, complete with the top heat walking out to music. Julia and I made friends with the door guards :) and got to be on the pool deck the whole time since we were photographers! Julia got some AMAZING pictures - look for the 2012 in Pictures post soon :) I am looking forward to state this year in Knoxville!
~Going to see our dear Texas friends (the Hughes) in Knoxville!
~Annual Cheesecake Factory dinner with my Mako HS girls!
~College visits to Union (with Mom and Julia), Belmont (with Mom), and Lipscomb (with Mom, Dad, and Christina)
~Dual enrolling at Lipscomb!! (part 1) This has definitely been a highlight. During the fall of 2011, I took Intermediate Spanish 1. In the spring of 2012, I took Intermediate Spanish 2. I had a wonderful professor and really enjoyed my classmates. I am thankful for these friendships! My Spanish improved and I learned a lot. As part of my class, we had to have a hispanic community service credit, which leads me to one of my other highlights...
~Teaching ESL at Grandview!! This has been such a blessing to me. In the fall of 2011, I knew we had to have several service hours, and when I saw one of the options was something my dear swim coach and her dear daughter were involved in, I wanted to go there! Because I like coordinating, :) I volunteered to organize LU Spanish students to go to Grandview! It was such a treat to get to know those fabulous LU students! Starting in 2012, I knew Grandview was something I wanted to do every week! Grandview offers free ESL and computer classes to the hispanic community. They also have free childcare and this semester, started offering tutoring for school-age kids! It is such a joy and privilege to get to use my Spanish to help students learn English! Whenever there is a language roadblock, I help translate. In the spring of 2012, I jumped around different classes- 0, 1, and 2. In the fall of 2012, I mainly helped in the computer classes! In the fall of 2012, I organized Intermediate Spanish students to go! It is so much fun. I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing ministry and community! Thank you Ms. Lezlae and Celeste for telling me about it!!
~Going to Winter Jam for the first time! So much fun! This was my first time to hear so many of my favorite Christian artists live!
~Going to the ONE DIRECTION and Big Time Rush concert!! Our super fun friend Julia invited Julia and me to go with her! What a treat! It was so fun to see our favorite British boys perform live!
~Our adopted big sister, Ariane, coming to visit us for Easter and Thanksgiving! Oh we love this girl! She is super fun, cheerful, cool, helpful, and great to have around. We love you!! Come back soon!
~MTHEA Teen Banquet! Whoo hoo so much fun! I look forward to this every year :) Crazy to think in 2013 it'll be ME up there as a senior! It is great getting to dress up and eat dinner with lots of fun friends :)
~Putting on the senior toast with my junior class! This event took lots of hard work but was so worth it! I am so glad we got to honor the seniors in such a special way! The theme was masquerade! I can't believe ours is in 2013!
~For SB'12, I got to go to the BEACH with some of my very dearest friends! Lily, Julia, Cara, Mom, Ms. Gigi, Mimi, Jenny, Elaina Joy, and Anna went to Hilton Head! We stayed in a fabulous house down the street from the beach. It was so lovely! We had walks on the beach, reading in the sun, watching movies, going shopping- so much fun! What a treat to get to hang out with them! Over spring break, I read The Hunger Games, finishing the trilogy just in time to see the midnight premier (my first!) of the first movie. I am afraid to say that The Hunger Games have done me in for any violence in movies whatsoever... So I will just stick with my Disney and Jane Austen :)
~Finished junior year! This was my most challenging year yet. I took precal, American lit and writing lab, physics, US History, dual enrolled Spanish both semesters, and of course piano and swimming. It was also one of my favorite years!!
~Going to Disney and Universal with my family and the Todds right after school got out!! So much fun! Disney is one of my favorites places on earth. It makes me so incredibly happy! This was our first time going to Universal and we really enjoyed it! Harry Potter World was awesome!
~And now for one of the biggest highlights of 2012... Coaching for the WW swim team!! Ahhhh so so wonderful. This totally made my year! I work with the best people ever- Brenda, Jenny, and Zach. They are so much fun. This summer was amazing and our kids rocked the pool! We got our mojo back this summer :) We had 180 Gators this summer. Some of my favorite memories of 2012 involve the swim team! We had a flash mob dance- ohmygoodness!! We danced to Attack Attack's "The Interlude Dance." We did this at every meet (inviting the other team to join in) and all of the kids loved doing it. We did it every Friday, and sometimes before and after various practices :) Whenever that song would come in everyone would start doing the moves! This summer we had Gator Buddies, pairing an older swimmer with a younger swimmer! This was a smashing success! They brought each other presents, made each other precious cards and posters, cheered for each other, helped out in practice, etc. This summer our goals were to HAVE FUN and not get DQed! Both of these were accomplished. We hardly had any DQs and there was so much fun! Our motto was No Gator Left Behind and #winning! Not only did we have lots of fun, we were the 2A City Meet and Dual Meet CHAMPS!! Our kids needed that :) And some of our 9-10 girls broke city meet records! Other favorite memories: getting "fired" on a daily basis, the time Jenny and I did city meet entries while Zach was gone (but kind of there since I called/texted him like every 5 minutes with questions- oops), the time I was a bad navigator and got 8 cars of people lost on the way to Hendersonville, Zach, Jenny, Brenda, "our" kids, Gator beads, my little brothers and sisters, finding the wrench and getting so excited my fellow coaches joked about getting me a fanny pack to put it in, winning all of our meets, lots and lots of awesome cheers, playing games in the pool, "are you trying to stir it up?!", ron the computer, the lifeguards, John David Sullivan, Sonic, the time we dressed up for City Meet- y'all I could clearly go on and on :) It was a FABULOUS summer (probably one of the best yet :).
~Turning 18! Yup officially an adult :) I had a wonderful birthday! Brenda had all of the kids make me cards and bring flowers! Can you say PRECIOUS?! It was a rainy day but a bunch of them still came to celebrate! I felt so loved! One day in practice we made a long list of everything I can do as an 18 year old :) Including voting, going to Chuck E Cheese's by myself, using the nice Y bathrooms... :)
~This summer I got my wisdom teeth. Not exactly a highlight but just the same...
~The Olympics!! One of my favorite things! It was so fun- we knew several people that went to the swimming Olympic Trials! We pulled our kids out of the pool to watch it on a laptop :) During the Olympics our family was on vacation... California!! My first time to go to CA! We went to San Francisco and Yosemite. What a great trip! We walked all over San Fran, went to an amazing church, went to Muir Woods, saw a bear in Yosemite, did some hiking, and had lots of fun! On the flight to CA, Dad was sitting by two guys who got in a fight... That was exciting... hah. I love my dear fam :)
~Taking senior pictures for my dear friends Jenny, Rachel, and Zach! Also, photographing the Sommers' wedding!
~Getting a car!! Prince Charming, oh how we love you!! You are the best car ever!!
~Starting senior year! At Whitver I am taking advanced biology, personal finance (one semester), government and economics.
~This past semester I dual enrolled Spanish in Healthcare and College Algebra. I have enjoyed all of my classes! I am really glad that SeƱora was right in her prediction that Camille and I would be friends! I love that girl! It was so fun getting to do projects with her and study together :) As part of my Spanish in Healthcare class, we had to shadow a Spanish medical interpreter... which leads me to...
~Siloam! I had the amazing privilege of shadowing a very talented and gifted translator. Siloam is such a fabulous ministry and blessing to our community!
~My Senior Year Bucket List. Go to a full-time school setting during school hours - CHECK! Jenny and I had lunch with Zach on his birthday. Go to a high school football game, because I have never been to one - CHECK! I went to the Brentwood vs. Centennial game. Go to Sanctuary - need to complete. Watch Star Wars - CHECK! Watched Phantom Menace :) Take a picture with the random Brentwood Bruin Bear in the field - CHECK! With Jenny, go to Waffle House in the middle of the night wearing pjs - need to complete.
~Applying to colleges- Lipscomb, Union, Belmont.
~Senior lunches!! So far: Chipotle, Which Wich, my house, and Lipscomb!
~Getting to play every week in the "worship band" at church! It is such a privilege for me to get to play with these very talented musicians as we worship the King! I also loved getting to play for a choir for the Christmas Spectacular :)
~Being the Makos team captain!!
~Makos Christmas party- our first team event in a year! What fun!
~Going to the Hits Deep Tour! Whoo hoo! My favorite Christian artists live - including TobyMac, Britt Nicole, and Group 1 Crew!
~Game nights with three dear families! So much fun!
~Getting closer to the amazing people God has placed in my life! The many chats, Starbucks dates, Chickfila dates, mall dates, hang outs, parties, events - I am so blessed to know each of you!
~My Whitver, Lipscomb, Makos, Wildwood, and church families!!
~My dear family!! They have loved me, encouraged me, supported me, prayed for me- you guys are the best.

Part 2 coming soon :) And if you read all of that, you deserve a prize :)



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas :: Part 1

Hello friends!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior!

John 1:14
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Isaiah 9:6
"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year! It is so nice to be able to spend time with family and friends.

Here are some pictures from the season!

Team Santa!
Take 2
Our beautiful Candyland house
Take 2
Admire my skillful placing of M&Ms ;)
Cara reading by the tree
Some families watch Elf or A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. Our family? We watch Duck Dynasty. So much quality. Si: "Once I reached down to pat a little dog and when I did it was a five pound squirrel."
After-Christmas shopping with my girls Mimi and Jenny (our photographer). We found some really great sales, including 50% off Vera Bradley!! Very thankful for those girls! They were just what I needed :)
Yummm- egg nog poundcake, chocolate sauce (both made by Mom), and ice cream!
My December 26th! (see how I changed a foot in between pictures 3 and 4? It was unfortunately not a Christmas miracle... just a bench... 1: Cara! 2. Mimi! 3 and 4. Julia and Rach wearing skates! 5. Cute girls! 6. Chickfila's chocolate chip peppermint milkshake!
Annual Christmas picture!
Going through old pictures and found this little um gem... This was the year I decided to stick my tongue out the full duration of the preschool Thanksgiving performance. Why? Who knows. Poor deranged little Lily... Poor mortified mother... 
Mimi and Jenny treated me to Starbucks and sour gummy worms to cheer me up. True friends right there!
This grammatical error was a little painful. The girl's what? #nerd
Awww cute baby Lil cheesin'. To make up for the terrible preschool picture... :)
Coming soon: more Christmas, MY SENIOR PICTURES!, anddd... a review of 2012!

Meanwhile on the homefront, Julia programmed Siri to call me Princess...



Monday, December 17, 2012

Life in Pictures

We joined the "festive neighbor club" :)
Jenny is 18!!
Love these people!
First time hanging out in months! Love this girl! 
Julia and Haven-lou :) 
Dad's office gettin' in the Christmas spirit :)
Artsy :)

I CAN'T SEE. Sit down people...
DIY Family Project:: Christmas Tree!
Abby's recital! Love these gals!
On his FB page!!
Julia and Rach got to see TobyMac up close!!
Union acceptance!!
More concert
This girl had her birthday! Love you! 
Now we are over 5000 :)
Goodbye college algebra!
Selfie at the concert!
Jenny's 18th!! Love you!!
My coach is better than yours :) Our Christmas present and a gift card for finishing a hard practice!!
I was clearly an artistically gifted first grader. #rightttt 
Love this girl!! #hackingjulia'sitouch
My screensaver :) They make me happy!
Umm pet photos with Santa? 
That great moment when your prof writes that he doesn't know what you were saying... uhhh...
and more concert :)

One Thousand Gifts:: Take Thirty-Nine


1330. Christmas break!
1331. that finals went well
1332. that after a week of not having my voice, it is finally coming back!
1333. this amazing weather

1334. that God is still in control after such a horrible tragedy in Connecticut.
1335. comfort and peace amidst grief
1336. Albert Mohler's response
1337. heroic teachers that sacrificed their lives to protect students

1338. Makos Christmas party
1339. my Makos!
1340. lots of laughter and fun
1341. two swim meets in one week

1342. my awesome coaches
1343. getting to go to the fabulous TobyMac Hits Deep Tour!
1344. worshipping with a packed out Bridgestone Arena
1345. praying with concertgoers for the families affected by the Connecticut shooting

1346. a decorated Christmas tree
1347. Dad and Cara putting up our outside lights
1348. Christmas festivities
1349. 5000+ views on our video!!

1350. getting to see friends I've really missed
1351. dear church family
1352. Christmas Spectacular!
1353. Starbucks with the sisters

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Makos Christmas Party!

These people make me happy :)

So much fun!
Gettin' crazy :) Just take a moment to appreciate this picture... Soak it all in...
Love these girlies!!