Wednesday, December 30, 2009


So this morning I was having some much needed time with my friend, Jesus, and I happened to randomly (haha) open to a poem by a man named Jim Branch. It basically made me cry, but good tears. I have read it before but as of late it holds new and deeper meaning in my life each day. The first part is referring to the passage in the Bible John 6: 1-14 where Jesus feeds five thousand with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. So here it is:

gathering by: Jim Branch

scattered pieces littering the hillside
scraps from what once fed multitudes
casualties of the train wreck of provision and need
or so it seems

a death; a loss; a heartbreak
a wound; a brokenness; a darkness
loneliness; despair; isolation
the scattered pieces of this life
littering the ground of my being
unwanted; unwelcome; uninvited
fit only to be mourned and thrown away
or so it seems

until touched by the hand of one
who brings beauty from ashes
who utters the words of life and hope
weaving the fragments of my brokenness
into the me that was planned from the beginning
"let nothing be wasted"
and suddenly that which seemed to have no value
becomes meaningful and beautiful in your care
these parts make a whole
they serve a divine purpose

"I will rescue the lame and gather together what has been
and make it into a vital part of you;
the object of my great delight and affection

so sing and shout
brighten up and spin around
for I am gathering your pieces
and restoring you
into a fearful and wonderful creation
and nothing is wasted

Legitimately I feel like my life has been shattered and scattered all over the place but amidst all of this mess, I have seen many glimpses of hope and faithfulness and have also seen in my past how God has used the literal garbage in my life to bring glory to his name and to show me that he is still God, even when I feel like he isn't. The amount of love I and my family have received from people is incredible and continues to surprise and amaze me in new ways everyday.

This Christmas and holiday season was by far one of the hardest times for our family. We all wrote letters to John on Christmas morning talking about things that we missed or memories that we had of him. Even amidst the tears streaming down our faces and the snot bubbling out of our noses, we couldn't help but laugh. John was so unique and different, but I think for the thing that stood out the most was his big smile and laugh. It was loud and when he would really laugh his blue eyes would get all squinty and he would almost choke on the laughter. He loved to prank people as well. The other day my older brother, two younger sisters and I had went through his room and picked out things that we wanted to keep for ourselves. I opened up his desk drawer where he kept his random pens and pencils and picked up a shiny pen that looked like it might write well. When I clicked the top I received a massive jolt that shot up my entire arm. It was John's prized shock pen that I had bought with him on one of our many family vacations. We all just busted out laughing. Everyone except myself that is. I might have called him a bad word or two, but only out of pure love for the kid :)

People always say that life is certainly not like a movie. But if you think about it, it kind of is. During the course of one's life there are "actors" (different people who play different roles in your life) and lots and lots of editing and when you look back upon it there is drama and hard times and good times and they all come together to make something hopefully worth viewing over and over again. You can say I'm crazy but it makes sense in my head.

Well, my arms are cramping, my sisters are yelling, and the dogs are barking obnoxiously wanting to come in from the "frigid" south Texas winter air.

Please continue to keep my family and I in your prayers. The road ahead is long and as the monotony of life sets in after the holidays I can only feel the days getting longer and harder.
Thanks again for your support and love of my family and I. It is much needed.

"gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted"
-John 6: 12b

Friday, December 18, 2009

Much Needed Laughs

So these last few weeks have been pretty tough but through all of the really hard spots there have been some much needed fun and laughter. Like that time we went to Fun Depot and I felt like I was 10 years old again playing laser tag, many video games, and racing go-carts. Not that laser tag is only for 10 year olds, cause it most certainly is not!!

Anyways, that being said, I just wanted to post a video that I have probably watched 20 times in the past week. It is a Saturday Night Live skit from this past weekend about Doorbells. It was the very last skit of the night. I hardly ever watch the show until the end but I'm so so glad that I hung in until the bitter end of this episode. Hopefully it will make you laugh, or at least giggle. It made me laugh so loud and so hard that I was thrown into continuous fits of coughing over and over. If you are thinking how can doorbells possibly be funny, they are. So just watch it.

Enjoy this 3 or so minutes of pure entertainment. It is definitely worth every second. Make sure you not only listen to every word but you watch closely to her body movements. Absolutely fantastic. Worth starting everyday out with.

You are welcome

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It has obviously been awhile since I last posted. So much has happened in the last 2 weeks of my life that one blog post would never be able to do it justice. Life was cruising along when all of the sudden the brakes came on and I literally felt like I was thrown from a moving vehicle.
On Thursday November 19 I was at Chuck E. Cheese attending Lucy Sloan's 3 year old birthday party. It was a normal night. I was playing with small children and eating cupcakes and hanging out with friends. The night wound down and everyone left except the Sloan's and myself. Typical. It was upon walking out of the door of Chuck E. Cheese that my world was shattered. I received word that my younger brother John, had ended his own life. He was 16 a junior in high school, and absolutely in love with life and Jesus. The next weeks events all become blurred together as one could expect in a crappy situation like this. That night I stayed with the Sloan's and was surrounded by many friends trying to understand. I kept repeating over and over to myself that it wasn't real.

The next morning Leslie and I caught the first flight out of Asheville headed for Texas. To be quite honest I'm not sure if I would have made it home in one piece without her. The next few days involved lots of tears and absolute crappy events with lots of nights where I cried myself to sleep in Leslie's arms. The weight of the darkness was great.

I am still trying to grasp the situation. While home I hugged my family and cried alot, trying to understand some part of it all. I will never have most of my questions answered and that has been one of the hardest parts about the whole situation.

My entire family came into town. For a week we had people streaming through our house offering their condolences and bringing mountains of food. Everyday there was a stack of cards in the mail at least 6 inches thick from people all over the United States. The entirety of Boerne Champion High School came to a grinding halt on Friday. The immensity of the effect of my brother's death on the community and with people all across the US was astounding. At his memorial service there were almost 1600 people. We are talking about a 16 year old teenage boy not some old man who lived a long life and had lots of time to touch hundreds and thousands of people. But you can be sure that he was no ordinary teenage boy. Everybody loved John Noll. He didn't have a mean hair on his body. He was an avid outdoorsman, and the hardest worker I have ever known. He loved living his life for the One who created him. He loved to love people. There were no favorites with John.
This is why there will never truly answers to the questions of Why?

I am leaving so much out but I am still trying to figure out where to begin myself. One minute I'm fine and the next I'm in a puddle of tears.
But in the few days that I have had since returning to Asheville I have been convinced of a few things. One is that my brother was taken from me by powerful a powerful evil force.
The other is that even though that evil force was victorious here on earth, it has not power over John now. He is free.
One very important thing is that Satan saw my crazy awesome brother, John Noll, as a threat to his plan to smother this planet in darkness. So much of a threat that he felt as though he had to take John out of the picture by convincing to go and be with Jesus early. As crazy as that sentence sounds it is the only explanation I can even piece together right now. Even though he succeeded in removing John's physical body, no one will forget his big heart and crazy attitude for serving and loving people. I don't know about anyone else but I do not know many 16 year old boys quite like John Noll.

The journey has only begun and grieving his loss will take a very long time. Please be in prayer for me and my family as we try to navigate this new path. We are not alone and through all of this crap there is hope. Hope because I knew my brother and his heart and that one night, although horrible, was not the definition of John Noll. There is hope because I am surrounded by people who love me, care about me, and are pushing and shoving to lift me up toward Christ. There is Hope because I now nothing can separate me from the love of Christ.

Thank you to everyone who has been walking along side my family during this time. We can not get through this without you pointing the way to Christ for us. I am so thankful for the Sloan Family for taking me in and never leaving my side. I'm not quite sure what I would be doing right now if not for them.
I am blessed.

One thing I had to do while I was in Texas was pick a verse to go on the back of the memorial service bulletin. I had the hardest time even thinking straight to pick one meaningful but somehow in my desperation I stumbled upon this:

"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
~Romans 8:36-39

I also want to leave you with a song. My sister, Mary, sent it out in an email tonight to several people and it pretty much spells out John Noll. It is called Requiem by M. Ward and it was written about a much older man, but at heart, John Noll was an old man, strong, sweet, and full of life.

I'm going to miss you little brother.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Just Happened?

So here I am.

I literally have 3 weeks of classes left before the semester is over. I still feel like I'm waiting for it to start. No joke, I feel trapped in some sick and twisted time freeze. A lot has happened since my last post including my Spanish professor taking the rest of the semester off leaving us with Señor Justin. I will give him credit for trying but let's be honest, it is not the same. Love ya Justin! Because of this we missed a whole week of what is called "Fast Track" Spanish. This means I really missed two weeks or. And these two weeks of work still have to somehow be magically made up. I have also not has real Sociology class for two weeks. You might be asking yourself what I have been doing to keep me so busy. Well, we watched movies and listened to interesting Sociology lectures that will never be discussed again. I'm not complaining about the lack of real class but I am going to complain about having to still make up all the work. I just don't see how this can possibly be fair. But what really ever is fair?

Back to my real point.

I seriously feel like I spend all day doing everything and nothing at the same time. Days just seem to fly by. How can tomorrow be Friday? I just woke up hating Monday.

In my "free" time I watch way too much online TV for my own good. Shows that I follow include but are not limited to:
-Community (new NBC show about community college, please go watch it!!!)
-Parks and Recreation (NBC)
-The Office (classic)
-30 Rock
-Friday Night Lights (another awesome show)
-Saturday Night Live
- and the occasional episode of Grey's Anatomy

i'm sure there are a few more that are slipping my mind. These TV shows keep me sane. People keep suggesting new shows to me but I'm having a hard enough time as it is. Community is definitely my new favorite. The cast is absolutely fantastic and includes Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. HILARIOUS!

the Community stars

Friday, October 23, 2009


This past weekend I went to a Young Life camp in Virginia called Rockbridge with high school kids. It was an awesome weekend. The weather was definitely on the chilly side and it felt more like a Polar Bear weekend than a Fall camp. Non the less, it was super fun. The Asheville High girls that I hang out with are so much fun! Never a dull moment and always looking to do something. Everyday I feel more and more blessed to be here in Asheville loving on these high school girls. Here are few pictures from this weekend. Unfortunately the lake was drained for maintenance (darn) so no one got in the water. Bummer.

We had to make a pyramid with our whole cabin. eh, it could be one.

You might not be able to tell but the camp is gorgeous. There are mountains all around and the camp is still really green. All the leaves were changing colors. It was fantastic.

Three Junior girls :)

Back Tracking

Obviously I have been slacking on my blog posts, but do not worry it was been for a good reason. Today is the first time in almost 2 weeks that I have gotten to sit down and just do nothing. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. Life has been a bit nuts but I've been loving pretty much every minute of it. These past few weeks have included some fantastic stories most of which involve me not getting arrested, always a good thing. Now this statement is actually not what you think it sounds like. "Trespassing" twice (hanging out with high school kids for Young Life before and after school), and once at the Asheville Mall after a game called "find your leader" at which 5 cop cars showed up to and told us to pick up all the trash in the parking lot and leave. In all 3 cases we were not doing anything threatening. It was quite the scene. One of these days they might just arrest me just on the basis that they are tired of seeing me. The game we were playing at the Mall involved Young Life leaders dressing up as a character or in clothes that they don't normally wear. So I died my hair black. Only temporarily of course. It was a spray in and it came out very easily. No one recognized me. It was fantastic. I was dressed as a business woman with Starbucks cup and high heels. At one point I walked right through a group of high school kids and no one realized it was me. So awesome! The interesting part was how many comments I got on my dark hair. Maybe one day I will dye it darker but right now the thought of not being blond is kind of frightening. Maybe one day. Anyway, here is a picture of a few of us leaders :)

Some other things that I have been up to: school, school, and more school. I feel like my professors dumped a whole lot of work on me and then decided it would be fun to make it due in 2 days. This would have been fine except they are stuck on repeat mode and I feel like all I get to do is write papers and attempt to complete some Spanish homework. Speaking of Spanish, I don't know if I've mentioned this but I finally got around to declaring my major: SPANISH!!! Yep. Might be a big shocker but I've decided that it is the safest bet for me. Plus, ever since 8th grade I've wanted to eventually become fluent in Spanish. I will have to at some point study abroad. Probably not Mexico because I would be closer to my house in Texas than I am while at school here. I would still go to Mexico, but preferably not.

I will leave you with one last story. I have sleep problems. Actually, I guess it's not that I have problems sleeping, I have problems doing random things in my sleep. I am an avid sleep talker, and I love to order people around in my sleep as well as scream at random points during the night. Especially if I have not been getting enough sleep. Some of my favorite moments though, are ones like yesterday morning when I wake up and find candy wrappers in my bed. Yep, I'm a sleep eater. Usually it is candy pumpkins around Halloween but this year it was 2 fun packs of M&M's. I don't understand it but it is a great incentive to not have candy in my room (rarely happens). It's always interesting to go to sleep and then hear stories about myself later. So there you go. One random fact about me.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

¿Donde está la bibloteca?

Everybody watches TV, right? Well I didn't from about 4th grade til I graduated high school. It just kind of happened in our house and is probably the reason I actually got good grades in HS. When I got to college, neither my room mate nor I had a TV so once again, I really didn't watch much. That is until one Thursday night last fall.

Thursday nights are my favorite TV show nights. I watch, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock (when it is actually on), Grey's Anatomy and an occasional Millionaire Matchmaker episode (if forced to). This year, I have a new edition to the list that is quickly becoming my favorite. It is a show called Community and it comes on at 8/7 central Thursday nights on NBC. Its about misfits at a Greendale Community College. There have only been 3 episodes but it has captured my attention and my laughter. The real reason for this blog post is so that I could post this awesome video.

This scene came during the credits of Episode 2. I think another reason why it is so hilarious to me is because I just declared Spanish as my major last week and the words don't make any sense. They just took simple Spanish words that rhymed and made a rap. This is why it is so amazing.

So if you haven't watched Community, do it. And do it now. You can watch it online on NBC's website here. Totally worth half an hour (22 minutes really) of your day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Typical Day in the Life of Me

So at some point you might have asked yourself "What exactly does Amy do in college?" Well, I will tell you; I throw rocks in the mud. Yes, you heard me right. Sunday afternoon my friend Chloe and I went to Beaver Dam Lake on Merrimon Ave in North Asheville.(aka Beaver pond, it is a small body of water) and went for a amazing walk in the beautiful sunlight that I have so deary missed. After walking past the remote control Sailboating club and their fans (twice) we ended up at a bridge. Beneath this bridge was a mud pit. You might be thinking to yourself "what's so cool about a mud pit?" Well that's what I thought until we started hurling rocks into this mud. No joke, someone could probably have died in this mud. We started out throwing pebbles in the mud. These pebbles were seriously going feet below the surface. This was so exciting that we immediately set out to find bigger and better rocks. At this point, people are walking by and staring at us. I guess its not everyday that you see college age girls throwing rocks into the mud. After our not so successful search for big boulders, Chloe had the brilliant idea to run across the busy street to steal rocks from the beautifully manicured golf course. So we did.

After slipping and sliding our way through the mud on the other side of the road, we found the perfect rock. Chloe and I then ran back across the road with a large boulder of a rock. The final moments of suspense sent adrenaline pumping through my body. I mean, we had no idea what was going to happen. This rock could have sent mud splashing up on my freshly laundered work out clothes. After several confused people walked by it was go time. Chloe hurled the rock down into the mud vat and yep, mud splashed all over the place and was accompanied by a delightful squishing sound. It was definitely epic. At this point normal people would have been on their merry way. But not us, we waited around at solid 15 minutes to watch this rock sink below the surface. It was definitely time well spent on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

The only regret I have is that I did not have my camera tucked away in the small pocket that running short makers so conveniently supply for things as big as a small key.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Killer Bees?

I never believed that killer bees existed...That is until last night. I arrived at my friend Meredith Silver's house last night to find the house infested with "killer" bees. I was greeted by a bee that was, no joking, about an inch long and half an inch wide. I just about ran back out the door, until I saw it was dead. Ten minutes later when I ran upstairs I found 3 more just laying on the ground. I seriously felt like I was in a creepy sci-fi movie. The stingers looked like small daggers and the eyes on these things pop out so far you can see yourself in them. I am not scared of much but I have to say, I got a little concerned. All I could think about was waking up in the middle of the night to a loud buzzing sound followed by a highly painful jab in the face by one or more of these daggers.  Meredith actually experienced all of these things minus being stabbed in the face, thankfully. The whole night we really thought we were being filmed and kept running around the house looking for video cameras of some sort. Another thing about these killer bees, they are almost impossible to kill. Once you are successful in knocking it to the ground, the next step is to pounce on the creature and try to beat it to death. Since sounds like a fairly simple procedure but it is not. These bees are made of steel and titanium. You must swat and stomp, swat and stomp, and yell until they die. And that is just for one. Try trying to kill 20 of them. I tell no lies. 

Here is a not so great picture of the "killer bee." Even though it is not such a great shot, I risked my life to get a quick picture of it.

This is the ring leader, we are quite sure. 

Tonight we locked ourselves in the house hoping the bees wouldn't know we are here. While cruising the web tonight we happened to find out that these "bees" were actually hornets. I don't care. They are still bee like bugs and they look like they could straight up murder me. So far we have been successful. Who knows, maybe the "bees" are regrouping and forming a late night surprise attack. We shall take turns dutifully sitting watch with our killer bee swatter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something You Should Know About Me If You Already Don't

So it has pretty much been what I have deemed "Birthday Week" this week for me. Even though my actual birthday is not until Saturday the 19th (also the same day as Talk Like a Pirate day this year) I have been receiving cards/money/gifts in the mail everyday this week. It has been fantastic!! But the reason for this post is to talk about a special item that I purchased with a Target gift card from my amazing parents. I had mentioned to my mom that I would love to buy a toaster oven and one week later I got my birthday card and a Target gift card with a note saying "For a toaster oven" on it. And here it is....

The foil inside was from a Bagel Bite lunch that I had just finished

Yes. I bought a toaster oven for myself for my birthday. I LOVE to toast things. I toast:
-english muffins
-actual toast
-eggo waffles
-bagel bites
-pretty much anything i want

It is the first of what will most certainly be many kitchen appliances that I will purchase in my lifetime. As I went into Target to buy it, I realized that a sign of growing up is when appliances actually look appealing and things like toaster ovens, washing machines, Kitchen-Aid mixers, and blenders are actually exciting to purchase. I'm only turning 20 this year but for some reason I feel much older than that. So yes, now you know that I have an obsession with toasted items. I love, love getting my sandwiches at Subway. Pretty much anytime there is a toastable option for an item, I get it. Pretty ridiculous I know. Its kind of funny to me because I feel as though I am easy going, and thanks to my parents I can eat just about anything cooked anyway (to be polite of course) but if there is a toaster available, I'm going to use it. Growing up, I was that kid who waited in line at a continental breakfast during vacation just so I could toast my bagel even when the entire family had finished breakfast by the time I had toasted it.

I am in love with my toaster oven.
The End

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can we say "Obsessive?"

I want to first off apologize for being so slack on my blog posts. It has been a crazy first few weeks starting back to school. During these weeks I have had to answer, once again, how the heck I ended up here in gorgeous Asheville, NC from Boerne, TX. Well the simple answer is Jesus, but the much longer answer includes Young Life and the Sloan Family who have loved on me way too much in my transition from Texas Culture to Western North Carolina.

Because of having to tell my story so many times these past few weeks I have thought about all the things that I miss from Texas. After compiling a list, I realized that the one single thing that has been the hardest is not eating Tex-Mex every single day of my life. Yes, this is a sad fact. While I do miss all the other important aspects (such as landscape, people, big blue skies, afternoon thunderstorms, scorching heat, and of course my family) the food keeps popping into my mind. I'm not going to even try to explain the deliciousness but for all of you who have not had a chance eat good Tex-Mex, think about the best Mexican food you've ever had and triple the deliciousness. Yes, it is that incredible. One place in particular comes to mind when I think of eating Mexican food. It's this fast-food type place called Taco Cabana. I used to live and breathe this place. I went there for lunch at least twice a week during High School. Three dollar lunch= awesomeness.

Here is me and my sister Mary in front of a Taco Cabana during one of my visits home last year.

Ever time I get off a plane in San Antonio, TX the first place I go is Taco Cabana. If I was given one last meal before I die it would 3 bean and cheese tacos with a personal chips and queso with a Dr. Pepper from Taco Cabana. A little obsessive I know but so worth it. This being said, the bottom line is I love Mexican food.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Where The Sidewalk Ends...

When I was in 6th and 7th grade I participated in UIL, which was this competition where kids who really like to do school work would compete in all types of school-y (yes this is a word..err) events and earn medals for doing amazing and basically being nerds. In 6th grade everyone did it because you got to spend a whole Saturday with all of your friends sitting at round tables playing cards, doing Mad Libs and eating junk food while waiting nervously for your event to be called. Basically, it was a big deal and you better believe that I had a blast. A list of some of the events you could participate in included:

Creative Writing
Maps, Graphs, and Charts
Math something or another
and a few other nerdy sounding things

My specialty was listening and Prose/Poetry with the occasional Maps, Graphs, and Charts thrown in. Then there was that one time they tried to get me to do Math and that did not go so well. For Prose and Poetry a person had to memorize an excerpt from a story or a poem. I was all about the poems. My absolute favorite poet in 6th grade was Shel Silverstein. He had the wackiest, funniest, and craziest poems. They also had catchy rhymes so it was fairly easy to memorize them. I thought I would share with you a poem from his book Where the Sidewalk Ends that I memorized for one of the UIL competitions in 6th grade.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too By: Shel Silverstein

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
"What fun!"
"It's time we flew!"
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
As higher
And higher
And higher they flew,

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.

"Hold on!"
"Stay in!"
"I hope we do!"
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle too
Never returned to the world they knew,
And nobody
Knows what's
Happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

So there you go. I spent weeks on end memorizing poems like this so that I could go to a nerdy competition and win medals so I could parade them around showing off how good I was at really liking school. And yes, I can still recite many of these poems by heart today 8 years later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back To School

So it has been about a week since I last posted and I have very good reason for this. Last Saturday I drove the 8 or so hour drive back to Asheville. I moved into my dorm Sunday afternoon. I am staying in the same building and floor as last year but I have a different room number. My address here at school this year is:

Amy Noll
Southridge 317A
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804

Classes started this past Monday the 17th. I had little time to get settled in before the waves of homework hit. This semester I am taking Spanish 210/220, Humanities, Physics, and Sociology. Spanish is every morning for an hour and a half so by the end of the semester I should be dreaming in Spanish. So far my classes seem like they will be relatively enjoyable.
This week I have pretty much only been in my room to sleep. I have been busily hanging out with old friends and making new ones. It has definitely been a strange feeling to be back here at school. I feel like summer completely flew by. But I am excited to see what this new year brings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blast From The Past

I went to Boerne, TX for a quick family visit last week. While I was there, my Dad pulled out a picture from when I was 6 years old and we went rafting down the Arkansas River outside of Buena Vista, CO. It was during one of the two summers that we were at Trail West a Young Life Family Camp. I remember everything from that rafting trip. From having to squeeze into a wet suit to the famous rock with the perfect hole right through the center of it that the rafting guides always point out. The picture was just too good so I thought that I would post it:

Yep. Right there in the front row is my older brother Ryan (now 22), my dad, and me at age 6. I had not seen this picture in 14 years. I LOVED this trip.
So there you have it. A little blast from the past that I thought I'd share.

Monday, August 10, 2009

If You Can't Stand the Heat....

This clip is from the BBC World News. My aunt Lisa showed it to me and I thought it was absolutely hilarious so I thought I would pass it on.
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the sauna!

Elvis Week 2009

Yes, I am in the land of Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll. I have been here in Memphis, TN a month and have not visited Graceland and probably never will but I have the great pleasure to be here during Elvis week. People are really crazy about keeping his memory alive. Just for kicks you should check out the schedule of events at

It is absolutely insane. I am sorry if I am offending any Elvis fanatics out there but this stuff is crazy. A Candlelight Vigil, meditation walks, many celebration concerts, and even events for the kids! It amazes me how many people attend these events.
The "Elvis obsession" is so crazy that there is a man in Holly Springs, Mississippi (which is about 30 minutes south of Memphis) who left his wife and son and dedicated his entire house to honoring Elvis. No joke, his house is called Graceland Too and no, I am not making this up. Google it. I did have the honor of going to Holly Springs this past Saturday. Apparently this guy opens his house to the public 24 hours a day and loves giving tours. The outside of his house is surrounded by a high security fence covered in razor wire and decorated with fake Christmas trees with tube lights. The front even slightly resembles the front of the actual Graceland though not nearly as pristine looking. The amount of craziness on the outside only foreshadows the chaos on the inside, this I am certain. Unfortunately Paul McLeod, the owner, was not home when we tried to go. No amount of door banging and hollering could get us in. I guess this means that I will most certainly be making another trip to Holly Springs in my lifetime. Here are some pictures that I found online. Notice the many similarities. The picture of Graceland Too is not up to date but you get the idea.


Graceland Too

Its amazing what people will devote their entire lives to.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Swirly, Whirly, Tornado of a Summer

This summer has been the busiest summer of my short 19 years. I am used to traveling here and there during the summers with my family but I most definitely broke the record for most places visited in 8 weeks or so. I kicked summer off by running a 15K (9.3 miles) race with my good friend Leslie Sloan at the Biltmore House in Asheville. It was incredible. We finished in about 78 minutes. Here is us being very serious runners in front of the Biltmore House:

I went back to Boerne, TX for a few days before I continued on with my summer adventure. Here is a family pic outside of Fredericksburg, TX. We visited the Bat Cave there.

all but one...

After visiting home, I volunteered at a Young Life camp outside of Fraser, CO called Crooked Creek Ranch. I was a baker in the kitchen for 3 weeks making desserts and breads for 600 people plus! I must have eaten enough chocolate chip cookie dough for a hundred people while I was there. It was so amazing! God used that time to help me to dig deeper and to show me that He is ultimately in control of my life. Here are a few pictures from this awesome time:

me and my baker friends :)

a view of the camp. gorgeous!

After Crooked Creek I came back to Asheville and then traveled to Memphis, TN to help Lisa and Mitchell Moore (my aunt and uncle) get settled in their new house. I spent a week there helping unpack and playing with my four adorable cousins, Lauren (8), Cora (6), Tucker (4), and Ben (almost 2). It was a great week but only one stop in the rest of my summer.

I then returned to Asheville where I boarded a bus with about 65 or so High School kids and traveled to Saranac Village, a Young Life camp in upper state New York. It was an amazing week and was my first experience at summer camp as a Young Life leader. My girls were wonderful
and Saranac was even more beautiful than I had imagined. Once again, here are few pictures:

on the parasail boat

classic jumping shot in front of the lake

the whole group!

After Saranac I was back to Memphis where I currently am right now. I will have spent a total of a month here in Memphis hanging out with some of my favorite family exploring the city and hanging out.

me with the Moore kids after they gave me a lovely makeover

I head back to Asheville on Saturday the 15th of August. I will move into my dorm on the 16th and then start classes the 17th of August. I can not believe that I will be a Sophomore in college. This summer has been crazy but I would not have had it any other way.

So there you go. Keep reading in the future for updates on what is happening to me at school this fall and beyond!

And So It Begins...

Well, I've been tossing around the idea of starting a blog for awhile. I actually never thought I would do it. Then I realized that it is the perfect way for me to keep in touch with family and friends, which is something that I like to do. I know it's not super personal but I really enjoy reading other people's blogs and figured that maybe somebody would read mine and maybe slightly enjoy it or at least know what is going on in my fantastic life! I'm not the most creative thinker in this world but I love to write things down even if they are long and pointless and seem to bear no meaning at all. Things could get crazy. Also, I am an awful speller and horrible at grammar so my punctuation is probably going to be a little off. Thankfully, I was never going to be an English major. Well that's about it for tonight because it has taken me forever to create this blog. Seriously, 2 days to even think of a darn name for the thing (may I add it still wasn't as spectacular as I would have liked for it to be) and another day to figure out the background. But you can count on a horribly long post about my summer activities very soon.