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june goals // why i’ve been MIA

Hey there, June. (Oh hey, WordPress. Sorry it’s been a month…)

It’s been quite a month, though! I spent two wonderful weeks in Ireland making fast friends & great music. I didn’t want to leave! But here we are, back in the balmy North State for a beautiful Carolina summer time. Ahhh.

My June Goals aren’t quite as black and white as the usual. But here we go!

-Develop and carry out a successful work-out routine that involves both yoga and running with a little strength-training thrown in for kicks.

-Generally just spend less time on social media. Only check Facebook and Instagram a couple of times per week. 

-Organize my space in the South Carolina house and start planning for apartment decorating (we move in the beginning of August! needless to say I am ECSTATIC).


As a side note, I am currently working on a very exciting new blog upgrade! If everything is successful and I decide to upgrade, I will post the link within the next week. Hopefully that explains why I have been a little MIA! Exciting stuff, y’all!



New River Half Marathon 2014


Time to cross one off the list! One of my major 2014 goals was to run my very first half marathon. As a former I-can’t-run-a-mile-without-cramping girl, this was a pretty rewarding accomplishment. Honestly, when I texted Emily asking if she’d run a half with me back in January, I didn’t believe I would actually be able to do it. I hesitantly put it on my goals list and hoped to God I wouldn’t let myself down. Also, training through the ever-loving Boone winter wasn’t exactly a piece of cake (although I consoled myself with cake). However I am here to tell you that if you’ve dismissed yourself as “not a runner ever,” like I had a few years ago, you can TOTALLY change that. If I can do it, you can do it. I mean, seriously– I am honest in telling you that I could barely run a lap around the track in high school, and dry-land swim practice was actually my worst nightmare (I hung out in the bathroom). I had always admired my runner friends but I had sworn off “running for fun” after many attempts at a pleasant “morning run” that quickly turned into…holy crap i can’t actually breathe i’m definitely going to throw up are you kidding me it’s only been a quarter of a mile…you get the gist. I wasn’t a runner. 

Enter: baby steps. And I mean little. baby. infant. steps. Two years ago I started with a mile. My goal was to get through a mile. And then that turned into 1.5…and 2…and 3…and 4…and one miraculous 5. At the beginning of 2014, I knew I was ready for something big. (Also, I’m one of those people that really needs a goal. Those of you who know me are telling me to shut up already — i’m sorry okay i just love goals) So I signed up for the New River Half. And the training began.

…and it SUCKED. It was terrible. I threw up every time I ran a long distance and cried every night.

… just kidding :)

It was actually great. Yes, some parts were pretty grueling, but the great parts made up for that. The first time I ran eight miles, I felt invincible. Runner’s high, y’all. It’s a thing. A very legal, awesome thing.

And the food. Guys. I became Queen of Carb City. Pasta every night. And I had an excuse! Did you know that running burns 606-1,286 calories per hour (depending on your weight and speed, thanks Mayo Clinic)? I didn’t until I did, and then the Cookout charges on my debit card became more frequent. 

Training certainly wasn’t a breeze. (Sometimes it was a full on 30 mph gale, because thanks, Boone) — but the treadmill was my friend a few times, and eventually the distances became easier and I thought– you know, I think I’m actually going to be able to do this thing.

Fast-forward to two weeks before the race. Enter: serious doubt. I had only made it to 10 miles during my training and that run wasn’t easy–my knees were sort of screaming at me. I began to doubt everything I’d done to train and I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. That’s when support from the besties and the fam was absolutely necessary, or I think I would’ve chickened out. The night before, I was a wreck. Panick-y stomach, waking up every hour, imagining every scenario that could go wrong…all of that and more.

It lasted until I got to the race with Emily and we saw all the runners gathering. People of all different shapes and sizes and AGES — I think I was the youngest runner there! It was amazing seeing some marathon runners in their fifties and sixties! I know it’s incredibly cheesy, but I just got this “we’re all in this together” feeling (total HSM generation kid). There were so many runners! Everyone was so happy to be there and the atmosphere was HYPE (in a nice, healthy way).

The run itself was incredible. I couldn’t have done it without Em, though. Love her. (you’ll forever be my first running buddy). The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. The water stations were super. The photographers always caught me at my worst. (Honestly they picked the crest of every hill) But the best part was all the people who had gathered from the community to cheer us on! Little kids in their PJ’s outside their mountain cottages at 8 in the morning giving high-fives–it was precious.

The last three miles did get real, but it wasn’t unbearable. I started to get a little jittery when we neared the finish line and I probably sounded like a broken record to Emily (I can’t believe we did this. We’re actually doing this! HOW ARE WE DOING THIS. Did we seriously just do this? Yay we did this!).

And our super-sweet guys were there at the finish line because they rock. 

And then I ate my weight in bagels (because remember, Queen of Carb City).

It was awesome. I’m ready for the next one!



May 2014 Goals

But He said to me:

‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for My power is made PERFECT

through weakness.'”

2 Corinthians Chapter 12, Verse 19


Sign me up for a heavy dose of that grace, please. Getting my Geology lab grade back last night probably the wins Most Humbling Experience Of The Week. Sometimes there’s this false notion floating about my head that tells me I need to be good at everything I attempt. Well, good thing His grace is made perfect (not better, but PERFECT) through my weaknesses. Vessel of grace. I’ll take it.

In that spirit, May’s Goals:

– Cross the finish line of the NEW RIVER HALF MARATHON on SATURDAY MAY 3! Can’t believe it’s here!

-Continue reading Isaiah

-Start summer planning (list of apartment projects, schedule trips, job paperwork, etc.)

-Organize well and pack strategically for Ireland! I will be gone May 13-27. Can’t wait!

-Finish the semester strong, but more importantly — hold myself to a standard of grace throughout this last week and finals. Done is better than perfect in some circumstances.


a river home

An extended Easter weekend called for a trip to the river.

Where the grass is green like it’s supposed to be and the water carries the breeze that kisses your face in the morning.Image

I’ve been going to the river for my whole life. It’s where Grandmother’s house sits — where I used to catch lightning bugs in jars and pick blueberries for pancakes. It’s where I fell in love with mornings as a ten year old watching the fish jumping after sunrise. 

I’m also pretty sure the clocks run just a little bit slower there than they do in the city. When my Dad moved to the river our trips there became more frequent. It’s funny how growing up I never thought of the river as home. But now that we’ve long since moved from my childhood home and I’ve gone off to college, I’m seeing how the river has been part of home this whole time. 

But what makes a place home isn’t the place itself. It’s the people. Out of six houses on the river row, my family inhabits four. When we’re all visiting, dinner looks like grilling out during a very happy hour that merges into sunset. Twilight means it’s time to light the candles and gather around the table together. Stories are shared and dishes are passed. Dinner is followed by a pool tournament in the man cave over Dad’s garage.

But the best part of it all isn’t the food and the drinks. And that’s saying a lot, because Grandmother’s ranch dressing is somehow perfectly creamy and tossable at the same time. And Dad really know how to grill. 

The best part is the joy written all over their faces and planted deep into their brown eyes. Grandmother and Dad live quietly and simply, but when the family is gathered around our table, they radiate happiness. Even when Ansel refuses to put on a shirt and Addison only eats the bread and I have to light all the candles in the house because ambiance.

The river isn’t home because it’s beautiful. It isn’t even home because I keep coming back.

It is home because of what’s deep inside the windows of the eyes of the people who gather there. Some of those eyes are soft brown and knowing and some are dark and sparkling. A few are brilliant blue oceans. But the souls behind all of those eyes are home.


April Goals



We’ve made it to iced coffee season! I couldn’t be happier. As we speak, I’m taking a quick blog-break from packing boxes. I’ve spent all morning going through every nook and cranny of my bedroom —  tossing, packing, and making huge Good Will piles. As I prepare to make the transition from Raleigh-home to Myrtle Beach-home, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. I’ve happened upon my old journals and notes from middle school, which have been pretty ridiculous and humbling, but also dear to my heart. I’m so thankful for all the memories I have had in this place, but I am more than ready to experience the new opportunities that will come with this move.

But here we are in April and my sophomore year of college is almost over. Knowing that I am halfway through my college years is intimidating yet empowering. Now is the time to seize the day! With that said, GOALS.

April 2014

-Begin the practice of setting an intention for the day each morning. I can’t wait to share more on this.

-Read the book of Isaiah.

-Work to stay up-to-date on school work and responsibilities in order to truly rest over Easter holiday.

-Finish two 12-mile runs. (New River Half Marathon on May 3!)

-Read Daring Greatly.



13 weird things I can’t stop doing

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”” ― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

Isn’t it the greatest when you find out that weird thing you do that you thought only you did turns out to be somebody else’s weird thing they do to? (That sentence is proof that it’s  definitely late and I shouldn’t be writing, but regardless…)

You know what I’m talking about? I love that moment! I think C.S. Lewis hits it right on the head. Isn’t it so cool that we actually find other people in this world that share even one tiny thing with us?

In the spirit of weird things, I have listed below thirteen weird things I can’t stop doing. If you do them to, bless you. Let’s be friends. If you don’t, that’s probably good and we can still be friends.

1. It’s not uncommon for my iPod to shuffle from Hillsong United to the Yin Yang Twins. 

2, The slightest ache or pain or bodily abnormality is always googled. Always. My mom has become really good at assuring me that no, I don’t have cancer.

3. I bring toilet paper on my runs. 

4. I will never not find it absolutely hilarious to ask for “water on the rocks” at a party.

5. Throwing up is a life-altering experience. Like, I’d rather stay in the hospital overnight than throw up. It’s traumatic. It hasn’t happened to me since freshman year (of high school) and I fully plan on it never happening again. Ever.

6. Rap music makes me laugh but I love it. I honestly don’t know why. The more ridiculous the lyrics, the funnier. 

7. I have a special voice for when I imitate my mom. She doesn’t know about it. 

8. My spirit animal is probably my pastor. Or Jessica Day.

9. Sometimes I fantasize about being a worship leader and/or a dub step artist in order to get through my workouts.

10. I run 50% because I love how it makes me feel and 50% because I’m obsessed with calf muscles.

11. I feel most at home inside Christian book stores. 

12. I talk to myself in the shower. Or rehearse future conversations.

13. I always smell a new book before reading. You can tell whether or not to trust a book by it’s smell.

(I made that last part up. I do smell my books though.)