Wednesday, March 23, 2011


God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward

I don't think I express enough how thankful I am. I know I, like most people, take daily things for granted. The other night I was laying in my small dorm room bed thinking about how HOT I was. They will not turn the air on in our dorms and in some buildings until after Spring Break. It is so miserable. I can't ever sleep. But as I was laying there one particular night I thought to myself, "Riley, stop complaining. There are a lot of people out there who don't even have a bed to lay in. There are a lot of people who don't know what air conditioning is. This heat is normal for some people. There are people who can't ever sleep because they fear for their lives constantly." I got mad at myself for complaining about the lack of air. Also on Monday I had a flat tire on my car. I got irritated about if for a few minutes because I didn't know how to fix it. "Why did my tire have to go flat? I don't have time to deal with this this week, I have 4 tests to study for." That was going through my head. Then I took a minute and stopped thinking negative things. My mom isn't required to provide a vehicle for me, but she does. I am so thankful that she is able to and wants to. There are many people who have to buy there own car at 16 and I respect them, a lot. There are also many people who use walking or public transportation for getting around, I respect them too. A lot of people deal with flat tires and no air conditioning, I can too.

I continued to think about all the things I am lucky enough to have that some people don't. The things I take for granted.

air conditioning
clean water
a bed
a vehicle
clean clothes
a toothbrush

I realize for most people these things are normal. However today I was driving through downtown and I stopped at a red light. There was a man in an automatic wheelchair on the sidewalk. He looked a little dirty, thin, like he might not have a home. It broke my heart. My light turned green and I continued to drive thinking about how blessed I am- for the little things and the big.

God has really been opening my eyes lately to lots of things I tend to take for granted. I love where He is leading me in life. I want to live in a way that people look at me and say, "Wow, she is a Godly lady and God's love radiates though her." Some songs that have been playing in my head and on my Ipod are by Sanctus Real. I love that group!! Here's a few lyrics...

Change Me

So would you speak to me and show me what I need. Is it patience, kindness, all that's in between? Loving others the way you love me? So won't you change me from who I've been lately? Cause I know I'm nothing without you And won't you break me from the way I've been lately? Cause I can't see living without you.

Whatever You’re Doing

Whatever You're doing inside of me, It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace. It's hard to surrender to what I can't see but I'm giving in to something Heavenly. Time for a milestone, time to begin again; re-evaluate who I really am. Am I doing everything to follow Your will or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?


What will they say when I'm Gone, in words that are written in stone?

Under my name, what will they claim about me? Oh, I want to leave a legacy to be remembered. More than just a memory that fades away because we only, we only get one life. Free me, my hands are tied I'm so tired of wasting time.

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
-Charles Dickens

"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live." ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

"Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship - a different kind of "sacrifice" - that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets."

Hebrews 13:16

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Music

Just a few songs rockin my ipod this week

Written In The Stars- Tinie Tempah

Remember When- Avril Lavigne.. and all of her new songs!

Till I get There- Lupe Fiasco

Bleed Red- Ronnie Dunn

Sunday, March 20, 2011

To Be Continued

Unfortunately I learned how unfair and tough life is at an early age. I had a harsh reality happen that changed my life forever. I was in sixth grade- a time in life where everyone is going through changes and trying to be "cool" and fit in. It was about this time of year (8 years ago) and my dad had been very sick. They thought he had mono.. I remember taking soup and water to him upstairs because he was so drained of energy to come down. A few doctor visits and days later it was determined that it, in fact, wasn't mono. I was in my kitchen with my mom and Mrs. Lori and mom said she had some news to share. The rest is pretty much a blur. I remember crying and going to my room, confused. I was 13 years old. What 12 year old is supposed to understand what Leukemia is? I couldn't even spell it. To be completely honest, a whole lot of the next few years are a blur. I know he started treatment and was very very sick. I no longer could see him every day because he spent much of his time in the hospital in Huntsville. My mom was with him a lot but me and my brother were kept busy and taken care of. People were so extremely kind and brought us meals. I tried to stay strong because I didn't want any more stress added to ANYONE! I'm sure I cried a lot, but I specifically remember that Easter. We went to visit him after church and it was still early on in the illness and may even been the first time I had gone to visit. I clearly remember I was wearing a new outfit from Limited Too! As we were getting ready to leave I remember crying in my daddy's arms. I was so scared and I completely hated seeing him so sick. He had lost a ton of weight and hardly looked like himself. I didn't want him to see me upset but I just cried and cried in his arms. What I would give to be able to do that right now.....

I think much of the next few years are a blur because some of the memories would be too painful to remember. No wants someone they love(or someone they don't) to go through that pain. I know if I saw pictures I would remember that summer but right now I just don't. That fall I started Jr. High, and when dad was feeling well enough he would take me to school and pick me up. I loved that. Those 10 minutes in the morning and afternoon were special times. He would tell me my hair looked perfect and we would listen to talk shows or the radio. Sometimes now I'll flip the radio to a station that plays older music and songs will play that remind me of him. It always makes me smile, and cry sometimes too.

Time kept moving, he would go through treatment and radiation again and again. In and out of the hospital. Mom kept a CaringBridge journal so that we could look back at one day for the specifics, but it's at home and I really needed to blog this now and I'm not home. Obviously if you know me then you know how this story ends up. Spring is a hard time of year for me. For many reasons, but all relate to my dad. People are outside mowing, golfing, working in the yard planting flowers. All of that is my dad- springtime is my dad to me. I smell fresh cut grass and I smell him. I see pretty flowers and I picture him. I see a golf course and I remember many hours on a golf course with him. I try to remember the good times over the bad. But springtime is also when we lost him. So there are those memories too. I think I'm going to make this a continued post over the next few weeks. I was just having a rough day and missing him more than usual- if that's possible. When you lose someone you love you have to find a way to continue life without them. It's hard and here we are almost six years later and I still struggle. But I don't hold it inside because that is not healthy. Maybe someone will read this that's going through a similar journey. And I'll tell ya what, you'll be okay. We're all okay. Jesus Christ is the only thing that got me though and continues to get me though this heartache. I honestly don't want to imagine what those years would have been like if I didn't have faith and have our Lord and Savior consuming my heart. I don't want to know. It would be ugly. I wouldn't be where I am today without Him and I just want everyone to feel His love in their times of struggle and their times of praise. Like I said I'm going to continue this story, more as a therapy for myself. You don't have to read, I'm just sharing for me to have documented.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. (Psalm 119:50)

Love you all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthday Weekend!

I had the best birthday weekend! I was sick but it still turned out good! It was the first time I had been in Scottsboro for a whole since I moved! Much needed! Friday I went to lunch at Sweet Peppers and to get Wagon Wheel ice cream in Muscle Shoals with Chelsey and Laura! They were so sweet to get me tons of little gifts!! It was perf! I went home that afternoon because I was really feeling bad. I stopped and got me a Gigi's cupcake and it didn't dissapoint. I got halfway between home and Florence and one of my friends text me asking why I went home because her and another friend had made me a ladybug cake. I felt SOOO bad!! I almost turned around. How sweet was that tho! It made me smile (they saved it for when I got back and it was adorable and delish!) I had a birthday dinner of left over pizza. I should add that I usually make a HUGE deal out of my birthday and celebrate atleast the whole week of. Since I was sick all week I didn't feel like doing anything and I was not a birthday brat! I was sung to for the first time all day at about 11:00 that night with a candle in an oreo! I'm not complaining!

my bday oreo (pardon my goofy smile and roughness, remember I didn't feel good!)
So excited for my new Yurman!

I got the greatest gifts!! 2 new bathing suits from Jcrew and T.J. Maxx, Jcrew dress and sweater, and Yurman earrings!! EEEEEK!!! I didn't think I would get the earrings and I was SOO happy! Pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard me squeel!

Above- Kendall Below- Holley

I share a birthday with my cousin who is 6 years older and we celebrated with family on Saturday and a yummy bbq place called Mud Creek. It was so good. I love being with my family! Saturday after that I hung out with 2 of my bestest friends. A few of my other bests came by my house earlier with gifts! They were so generous! I love them!! It was all around a great weekend. Being 20 makes me feel like it's time to grow up even more and get a steady job (I've usually only worked here and there). I'm hoping Hobby Lobby can hook me up ;)

Me and Maggie and our moms!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!

"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate 'you' to the world!"

twenty years ago

"Oh dear, I'm going to be 20 one day."
Me and my cousin who shares her birthday with me!
just being a Diva
"Twenty isn't so bad! "
My 18th Birthday
sweet friends decorated my car!
Surprise breakfast!

My 19th birthday!

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

Today has been FABULOUS! Despite my horrible allergies(I've felt yucky). I will post all about my weekend when it's over :) Can't believe I'm 20!! WOW!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bucket List

Since I'm turning 20 in 2 days(OMG!!) I have been thinking about the things I have done and yet to do with my life. I have done so good things, seen some amazing places and experienced many great things, but there is A LOT I still want to do. I'm not gonna lie, I googled "bucket list ideas". I found hundreds but narrowed it down to 92. I added some of my own also. I think it is important to have goals and dreams and these are many of mine!

1.Run a half marathon.-I realize I have done this before, however I want to RUN the WHOLE thing

2.Run a marathon.- after I run the half of course
3.Take horseback riding lessons.
4.Go fly fishing.
5.Learn to water ski.- I have tried but never succeeded, this summer it’s ON!
6.Learn to sail.
7.Tae Kwon Do.
8.Learn to play the piano.-one of those things I gave up on as a child
9.Learn to play the guitar.
10.take a dance lesson-Hip hop and the classics

11.Ride in a hot air balloon.-dear PH, propose in a hot air balloon and I’ll say yes! ha!

12.Go paragliding.
13.Go sky diving.- maybe on my 21st bday
14.Go on a helicopter ride.
15.Go scuba diving.
16.Swim with sharks.
17.Ride a mechanical bull.
18.Zip line through a forrest.
19.Jump from a cliff into deep water.-I’d be facing some 20.huge fears here.
Places I want to Visit:

21.The Grand Canyon
22.The Great Barrier Reef
23.The Amazon Rainforest
24.The Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, London, England
25.The Parthenon in Greece-I learned about a lot of these places in Art History and I would love to go see them in person
26.The Coliseum in Rome
27.The Louvre, Paris, France

28.The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, DC
29.Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand
30.Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
31.Mardi Gras, New Orleans- I was supposed to go this year!
Go to the Pike Place Market in Seattle- one of my FAVORITE places ever!!
33.Visit Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Learn to do:
34.Take up photography.-I want to takea photography class
35.Learn to make pottery.
36.Learn astrology.
37.Make stained glass windows.
38.Learn to make candles.
39.Building doll houses.- hopefull I will have a daughter and I want to build her a doll house!
40.Restore antiques.
41.Release negative emotions and limiting beliefs.
42.Allow yourself to make mistakes.
43.Discover your life’s purpose.
44.Learn not to take what others do or say personally.
45.Figure out your priorities.
46.Learn to act within your sphere of influence and stop worrying about things which are not within your control.
46.Become an early riser.
48.Kick negative habits (smoking, overeating, watching too much television, and so on.)
49.Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty.

50.Get a college degree
51.Meet your favorite Hollywood star.
52.Have a street named after you.
53.Make a difference in at least one person’s life.
54.Build a Habitat for Humanity Home.
55.Join a Big Brother, Big Sister Program.
56.Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter.
57.Donate blood.- need to do this more
58.Go Green.
59.Own a beach house.
60.Spend a week at a 5-star spa
61.Shop in Rodeo Drive-I’ve only driven down it!!
62.Become a life coach.
63.Become a teacher.
Start a blog.
65.Become financially literate.
66.Create a financial strategy.
67.Create a trust fund for your child.
68.Find the love of your life.
69.Get married.
70.Have a child/children.
71.Raise a happy and healthy child.
72.Have a large family.
73.Adopt a child.- this is going to take lots of praying, but I am not opposed.
74.Create a home with an inviting, joyous, comfortable, loving atmosphere.
75.Write a letter to each of your children telling them what you want them to know about your life and the lessons you’ve learned.

76.Swim with dolphins- I want to do this SO SO bad!!
Go whale-watching- did this in Seattle.
78.See penguins in their natural habitat.
79.Go on an African safari.
80.Own a house by the lake.
Learn to forgive
82.Own a bakery.- *dream*
83.Take up yoga.

84.Have a star named after me.

85.Visit children at St. Jude.

86.Do a mission trip in America and out of the states.
A concert by your favorite entertainer-obviously I’ve been to many concerts and hope to go to many more

88.The Kentucky Derby
89.Go To All Four Major Golf Tournaments: Masters, US Open, British Open, and PGA Championship-I want to do this because my dad LOVED him some golf and I know that would make him super happy :)

90.See the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
92.Go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve

So 7 out of 92.... I have a long way to go! Im printing this list off and going to hang it where I can see it daily! I gotta get busy checking things off this list!! What would be on YOUR bucket list?!?

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible and fight for your dreams.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Give up Giving up

Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. All day people have said, "I'm giving up facebook, or I'm giving up sweets, or I'm giving up fried food." It's 40 days- we can ALL do without something for 40 days. So much of my communication is done over facebook, I just don't see if practical for me to give it up completely. I am going to limit myself to 30 minutes. Fried foods= bye bye. And I'm going to give up giving up. Not these things of course, but giving up giving up on myself, love, my friends, my expectations. I'm not going to do it anymore. I know the Lord will bless me with all that I need and there i no reason for me to give up on those things. I want to practice the confidence that I know I have. I challenge you to do the same!

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

1 Peter 3:15

As my twentieth birthday approaches, I have been thinking about the things I have done and yet to do with my life. I am working on a MAJOR bucket list. Stay tuned!

Love y'all!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When you learn to accept instead of expect, you’ll have fewer disappointments.
-Robert Fisher

The past two days have been much better!!! I went to the circus last night in Huntsville with one of my best friends and it was a BLAST!! We stayed the night at her house in Athens and drove back this morning. I woke up at 6:45!!! Can't remember the last time that happened but I drove back and have been going non-stop since!! I took a ton of pictures at the circus I can't wait to post them!! Have a great day lovelies!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Could Anyone Ever Tell You

For some reason I have been not myself the past two days. I'm really not sure why. I've just been sad. I HATE IT!!!! I don't like feeling this way. Today it was a beautiful day when I woke up, so I put some clothes on and went to Target. I figured that would help! Target makes everything better! While there I was talking to Ashley, and she helped make it better to. After Target I went to Chick-fil-a and got a kids meal and went to the park to eat it! By my self. I dislike going places like that alone but I did and I just sat on the grass, until I got attacked by some geese. Then I walked around the park because I've heard that exercise makes you happy. So I was good for several hours, but then I got in a yucky mood again. Went to my evening class, then to walk again with 2 friends, then my Phi meeting, then I stayed on the Phi Mu floor for a few hours. I was still not completely happy though. I am angry at myself because even as I was sitting there I was thinking to myself, YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! And I am!! I guess I just need to face the fact that I am upset and turn all my fears and sorrows over to God. The devil is trying to pry into my life and bring me down and I'm not allowing it! While Laura, Chelsey, Shelby, and Mary Katherine were sitting there being random, Laura started singing some old choir song from like elementary school church trips. We even remembered the one that had sign language to go with it. I was so proud!! I know I'm just rambling but I guess I'm sharing this so you can pray for me a little prayer :) Love y'all.

Here's two videos I found on You Tube of the song I was talking about me and Laura remembered. The first one was just so sweet I cried while watching. And the second shows the sign language so I wanted to include it!! Sweet memories. As I sit here and watch them it makes me smile. "Your loving is a miracle, how deeply you're connected to my soul". Thank you God for loving me.

"Everybody likes a compliment"