So today I bought a house.. I’m officially a homeowner. 

Buying the house has been more than easy. I saw the house go on the market and I knew, that’s the one. The seller’s realtor set up a walk through and that confirmed it. I took a leap of faith going with our maintenance man’s wife not ever meeting her, and she has been more than wonderful. She’s laughed with me, calmed my anxieties, fought for me, and been honest. My Lender, same thing, has fought and manipulated numbers to get me the best possible situation he could. In early GA years, I met the man who first owned this house, and his wife and I have talked and been a source of friendship and therapy for each other as we transition.. and she doesn’t even realize how much of a blessing that has been to me. Closing was a great treat, literately. We demolished a whole bowl of candy and it was full of laughter. I couldn’t have asked for a better process. 

We start moving crap in on Monday when I get back. ❤️
We want to thank our parents for love and support. You guys have been more than we could have asked. To our realtor amanda, I will always be thankful for your friendship and ability to put up with me for 45 days and all my panicking. My “grown up friend’s” Susanna and Austin for lots but  getting me to the lake Sunday to take a step back and enjoy it all.. and I personally want to thank my man and my adopted 12 year old for continually pushing me to grow. 

The biggest thank you goes to someone that isn’t physically here anymore.. Before you left, you thought about me. You left money to me.. I didn’t know what would become of what you left me.. Growing up it sat there, and I didn’t think much of it.. I pulled it out in November because then I knew it was to help me “build” a home and I thought I wouldn’t survive that day.. My heart hurt because it felt like I was moving on.. and today that same feeling overwhelmed me when I paid my downpayment..You will forever be in my heart, and forever be apart of the foundation of my first home and for that I thank you. I love you so much Wessy! 
Stay tuned for the final product! But below is a painting that our realtors had done for us! 

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I was on the Tall Ship Windy; sun glasses on, feet propped up and a drink in my hand. The wind and temperature were completely perfect. Other than being on the Great Lakes instead of the ocean, it was perfect. 

It had been a hard realization this week, I was not as young as I wanted to be any more. Being at management academy has been great and I’m really getting grounded in what I want in my career. And for a girl right outta college, that’s scary. Currently, I’m also planning a wedding and planning on purchasing my first house on top of it all. 

Pretty grown up right? You’d think. But here I am, still asking my momma permission, hiding how I live when people come to visit (you know like we actually fold our laundry and our kitchen bar table isn’t a dumping ground), and getting upset because I literately find out our family/friend’s life changes or what they are going through via Facebook. And it literately has been exhausting caring. 

As I’m sitting on the ship I realize that independently sitting there, I’m happy with the life that I have and worrying about those other things absorbs that happiness. I will continue to aim high and achieve my goals, but I will remain happy. 

So, I will take advantage of asking my mom and grandparents for advice, but not permission because that’s a privilege to have. But ultimately I make the decisions for my life and I deal with the rewards and repercussions that come with it. Me. 

I will put off that load of laundry another day to love on my fur baby or put of deep cleaning the house to enjoy a day outside or with friends. I won’t hide the things I purchase or activities I engage in when company comes to visit because I don’t want to listen to how they disagree. And before anyone gets too excited, 98% of it’s nautical related or for my fur baby or the current battle: wedding. 

The last one will forever be hard to handle, but I will learn to understand that people (family or not) have the right to decide if I’m worthy to know when life changes prior to it being public knowledge. But, I hold that power too. Here’s what you can guarantee: my mother, my grandparents, my sister (wether she cares or not) and Tyler’s mom will absolutely know as changes come. I will never forget my cousin calling me to tell he he proposed to his now wife. He and I were close growing up, but-since moving and getting our own lives, we hadn’t talked as much. But I still got that phone call and it meant the world. I also remember every time I found out something via Facebook that I deserved to know prior to finding out that way. 
Moral of the story: don’t let other people do that your happiness. Let those that support your happiness in on your full life and don’t discount their love. Don’t push away those that are willing to love and support you. Build your boat, build your sails from your support, and those that jump ship or completely miss the boat, just miss out watching you sail away. 

Its hard to believe that in less than 2 months, I will be 24. At Christmas, we were talking about my sister driving (HOLY COW) as she’s turning 15 and she has the countdown to the keys to her(mine) PT cruiser. She claims she wants my father to teach her to drive, I told her that the one time Dad took me to drive I came back in tears.. Then I do the math, THAT WAS 8 YEARS AGO. HOLY CRAP.

Its crazy how much has changed in 8 years. Its crazy how much has changed in the 5+ years that I’ve lived in Georgia. More Specifically, I found myself overwhelmed with how much has changed in 6 months. At the end of camp this summer, I was in complete panic. I was jobless and “officially” graduating. Tyler was jobless. Like Hello. I was 23, about to move back home, and had nothing to do and nothing to be passionate about. THAT SCARED THE LIVING YOU KNOW WHAT OUT OF ME. Not living at home, because I paid bills to know, that’s not a horrible thing. Not having nothing to do, because my loved ones will tell you, I can binge watch Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, The Flash, Arrow, Vanilla Ice Project.. etc. over and over again. Its the latter, nothing to be passionate about. I *despise* living in Kentucky. I’ve come to love visiting, but I know that its not for me.  There’s no where for me to be as engaged with dance and children, dance and myself and to quote Inside Out, thats a core memory, it makes who I am.

Long story short: I told my mother I was moving back to Athens, I would do anything and everything to thrive. I moved in with a friend of a friend in a 2BR condo. Within a month I had two job offers: one doing what I love and what I’ve dreamed of: event planning, the other one giving me me valuable lifetime experience in the event planning world: catering/banquets. You know me, I need adventure. So I chose the more challenging path. Tyler moved here, got himself a job. And as of yesterday, I now have my own place.

Again, HOLY COW.

This weekend was exhausting. Being sick, moving ALOT of things, wrapping up purchases, and all the feels that go with moving to your first HOME. We were extremely lucky… My family helped purchase the couch, recliner, provided me with a bed and dresser and paid for the Uhal that drug my crap from one side of town to the other. Tyler’s Mom brought down our kitchen table, end tables, and a dresser. After purchasing the couch, washer and dryer, and a recliner– not gonna lie, was COMPLETELY overwhelmed… Like Timeout… when did I grow up?

Last night, as I laid on my on my couch, I got overwhelmed with emotion. So much change in 6 months. So much accomplished. I’ve become a working girl. I am balancing a full-time job that at times, can be demanding. I’m balancing paying bills, being the best fiancé I can be, dancing for myself and my dance kids, and overall maintaining a good quality of life. But, in this moment, I couldn’t be happier. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I can not wait to see life’s next step!

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So I did it. I survived 25 credit hours in college and finally walked in graduation. A week later, I found myself in my last dance recital with DanceFX completely proud and completely distraught. I somehow moved all of (most of) my junk back up to the Bluegrass with the only thing I could see in my future was camp.

For those that don’t know, I rejoined CentriKid Camps as a production leader. Essentially that means I oversee the set-up/tear-down of all production elements. Specifically, I have to lay, patch, douse, and strike lights as well as design all the looks for the summer, create all the media and layouts for the production in a program called ProPresenter (which is my new favorite thing EVER), and essentially be whatever I need to be to carry out the vision for camp. I run sound checks, and conduct the whole programming. While this is going on, I am also taking 2 online summer classes. Although so far they’ve proven to be easy, they are time consuming and as we used to call it “busy work.”

So PRAYER WARRIORS!! Here’s what I need from you!

  1. Share this post! Prayer is a powerful tool and there are bound to be situations and problems arise and constant pray for me, my team and this whole ministry are GREATLY appreciated.
  2. Pray for ME.
    1.  My endurance of energy as I tackle this job and a class. I’ve balanced well so far and your encouragement and prayers will help!
    2. My health! I ended up with a stomach bug 2 times last year and this year, that’s not an option!
    3. My element. Production is where the vision of camp comes to life and continues to create this atmosphere of this vision as things progress.
    4. My job search. I’m currently in the hunt for a “big girl” job. I would prefer to remain near the Athens area as leaving Georgia was probe the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done. Essentially leaving the dance babies.
  3. Pray for my TEAM. 
    1. We’re all together starting tomorrow!! Pray that we just open our arms and being welcoming to each other.
    2. That we are a group that meshes well and loves one another.
    3. Most of us haven’t worked together. I’ve had the privilege of working with a few of them and know them well and can’t wait to see them tomorrow and work with them this summer.
    4. SAFETY. Y’all, we are traveling from Tennessee to Southern Cal to “Northern(basically central apparently)” California to Texas (30 min outside of Houston) back to Tennessee then closing it up in Arkansas. HOLY COW! But I’m so excited to drive across the country.
  4. Pray for my FAMILY.
    1. For whatever reason, they are having a rough time with me here. I think there’s some uneasiness about me traveling so much and way out of arms reach.. But I’m in God’s hands and His will be done.
  5. Pray for Tyler
    1. God love it. We’ve been stupid lucky about how much time we’ve been around each other since February. We were used to not seeing each other for 2-3 months and since February we’ve been with each other at least a week every month and pretty constantly since Mid-April. To be separated another 2 months isn’t a huge deal, but we got spoiled! 🙂
    2. As he looks for jobs and places to move!

Here are my dates and Addresses if you (or your children) want to mail me! Be careful if you are going to send me mail in a location that I’m only there for a week, send it out the week before or on that Monday. We are so short for time we leave immediately and move on.

Week One and Two: June 8-19

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

1 Cumberland Square

Lebanon, TN 37807

Week Three: June 23-27

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

8432 Magnolia Avenue

Riverside, CA 92504

Week Four: June 29-July 3

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

29005 HWY 108

Cold Springs, CA 95335

Week Five: July 6-10

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

4341 FM 356

Trinity, Texas 75862

Week Six: July 12-16

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

1225 Baptist Camp Road

Linden, TN 37096

Week Seven and Eight: July 20-31

ATTN: CentriKid Camps

Chelsea Johnson

410 Ouachita Street

Arkadelphia, AR 71998

As always, you can text me and email me (chelsea.johnson56@gmail.com) and encourage as well. Love you all and thanks for always taking the time to read my thoughts! I will try to post once a week!

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This year/semester has been rough.. Trying to confirm graduation things, figuring out post graduation, even figuring out what I WANT as far as a career.. I was in a huge rut as far as my confidence, as well as whole bunch of other things.. There was so much I felt that I needed to accomplish and due before I left Athens. There were several opportunities I was begging for and felt so betrayed and left out regarding each of these situations. These were in every aspect of my life, from work to personal and even from how I wanted to serve the Main Man himself with the talent he gave me… and honestly, I was not handling it well at all and some of the things I went through this past year, I’m not entirely over. But I’m not here to talk about what negatives I’ve gone through, because I can’t change them. I’m here to tell you Frozen had several things right.

Yes, bees will buzz in summer and reindeers are in fact better than people, all you need is a Fixer Upper and the past is in forever in the past. BUT what I’m getting at is LOVE IS AN OPEN DOOR and what I mean is that GOD loves you and will only open those doors that he wants for you out of love. For those that are confused God is Love and Love will open doors in your life.

I had this completely different plan for my “senior” year and summer.. Obviously, Gods plans were different and reign supreme. I fought through the hurt, tried to keep hope in what I wanted to do, and kept getting hurt.. Having 2-3 weeks off for Christmas and experiencing some of the things that I did during that time, my patience for being hurt and walked over was wearing thin. So by February, I raised the white flag. I stepped away from the situations that absolutely were draining me and almost immediately I saw God’s Love opening doors.

3 days later, the man that I love. The man that supports me no matter what. The man that loves me even though I have my flaws, asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Well, not so much asked.. More like trapped me in a confined space with the ring and asked, “is this a yes?” Within two weeks I increased the grades in the classes I was passing, but struggling. Stupid Physiology! Three weeks later, is the opportunity I want to focus on.

After Centrikid last summer, I thought it would be my only summer. I hoped that I would have a “big girl” job and wouldn’t be returning, however God had other plans.. I received a phone call from the gentleman who is in charge of the Production Leaders asking me if I would take a hold of this opportunity. After discussing it with my family and the fiancé, I decided to take this opportunity.. Since I am on the more newer side, I expected to be somewhere that was stationary like Mississippi like I was last year or Campbellsville or to be stationed somewhere that relocates once or twice. HAHA NOPE. Those that know me know I have a restless soul and ADORE traveling. We’ll God’s Love placed me on a team that has me in Tennessee, Southern and Northern California, Texas, and Arkansas. Although challenging job it will be, God definitely is opening so many doors through this.

So no, I don’t know what I’m doing post grad.. I don’t have a “big girl job” or any inclining of what I want to do. I don’t know what this semester will throw at me.. But.. Love is an open door, and I will gracefully walk away from closed doors, and take the love.

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At Centrikid, on Wednesday’s or in our case Day 3, we did word Wednesdays. It allowed us to focus on a word and incorporate it into our daily routine. Since Wednesday’s are arguably my busiest and most exhausting days, I’ve decided to bring it into my life to keep me anchored through out the day.

So this week it is:

Forgiveness

This word is huge to have in anyone’s life, ESPECIALLY mine. The problem with being a passionate person in everything you do, there is someone that is there to make you doubt yourself, your abilities, and in some cases I’ve learned people will try to destroy everything you’ve worked for. I’ve had my fair share of wrong done to me and when you have anxiety like I do, you its easier to bottle things in than it is to deal with them.  There are situations that I still struggle with daily. Here’s somethings to remember for today.

1- Forgive your loved ones.

This might be the easiest one of all. The people you can’t get away from.. I’ve caught myself holding grudges and piling on things that have accumulated over the years. I do not discuss certain things because I know that these things I’ve held on to, will resurface. I’ve found myself especially with this group of people avoiding certain topics because I know that it will set them off and I’ve learned it only hurts my end of the relationship. Talk through these things, learn to communicate effectively with these people in a way that allows you to hear their side and move forward. Forgive them if they’ve caused you harm. In the word’s of America’s favorite song right now, “LET IT GO!” You would want the same thing, to be forgiven and for them to let it go.These are the people that will love and support you. These are the people that surround you in the good and the bad. Do not let the burden of anger stand in your way.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV)

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

2- Forgive your enemies.

This one is rough.. Something I’ve recently taught myself to do with a few and working on it with some others. The thing about enemies is that they never go away and 9/10 they are not going to work things out with you. Here’s a situation I found myself in. With my enemies, I go through stages. 1- I’m mad they exist (not physically because God made and loves everyone but that there is an enemy) 2- where I try to compensate for the doubt they leave in my head 3- Avoidance 4- I pull a T-Swift and Shake them Off and its just another thing.. Now, the situation. Someone in my life that I was (still probably am but eh) compared to constantly. Step One: was angry I had to be involved in the situation at all. Step two: over compensating, submersing myself in things to build me up. Step Three: I avoided the snot out of them. Outta sight, outta mind right? yeah no. At this point 2-3 times we did converse and try to figure out the root of the problem and move forward, and it just didn’t work because there was so much history and hurt there. So each time, we repeat steps 1-3. Until finally over a period of time, I realized the stupidity allowing myself to be effected by this. I let it go, I forgave, and often laugh that I let it bother me as long as I did. You have to make sure your heart is in the right place, you can not let others impact your work for the Lord. Like Nehemiah, it was building the wall of Jerusalem and his enemies kept trying to lure him down. He looked at them and said, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”  (Nehemiah 6:3) Do not let your enemies pull you down, and that means forgiving them for all the wrong they’ve done you.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV)

So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says , ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4 NIV)

3- Forgive yourself.

This is where it gets rough. I am a planner, an organizer, and a scheduler. When you have anxiety, these two do not mix. I had life planned out. Leave Kentucky, go to UGA, finish by 2014, get married the following fall, have a great job, travel to the places I wanted to see by 25 to have my first child by 26. Yeah, a little much I know, but to say we don’t have a rough estimate of when we want our milestones in life to occur would be a lie, but yeah, that’s what I dreamed of. Things happened, I wasn’t prepared for college, my major got discontinued, distance took a toll on my relationships with my man and my family. I felt like a complete failure, somedays still do. It wasn’t until November I was able to realize that I basically hated myself and where I was in life. Not in a “I’m gonna commit suicide way,” but that I was miserable with where I was. I went to class and worked. I had little to no social life and stayed at home when I had the time to be active. I realized that giving up everything to chase what I thought I wanted had put me here. I sat and evaluated everything, realized that I needed to let myself off the hook and enjoy where I was and figure out where I needed to go next. I have crammed 25 hours into one semester (I’m crazy, yes.) and will graduate n May. I will start looking for jobs near the people that fill my life with joy, even though they would rather me explore other venues in life. I will enjoy my time left here, stop punishing myself, forgive myself, and spread as much love here while I can. If the Lord can forgive you, you can forgive yourself. If you need some motivation to start forgiving yourself start here. 

Let go. Forgive. Move on. You were made for a greater purpose.

I’m catching alot of grief from those trying to find me things for Christmas. Its not that I have a whole bucket list of things that I want and am hiding it, its that the things I want for Christmas can’t be bought. This Christmas more so than others feels dull. Let’s start at Black “Friday.” Now, I am a Black Friday junkie. I haven’t spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky with all of my family in years so tradition has been Mom, Dad, and Brooklyn come, I cook the food they all love for me to cook: chicken, we watch my Lions at 1, and then dad sits at home and watches the other game while we either sleep or map out where we are going. I love the rush of getting something that there are few of, I love meeting people in line and finding out what they are trying to get and who they are getting it for, but most importantly I love their faces when parents get things for their kids and they are beaming happiness that they got the one thing their child asked for. I know that most find it crazy to go buy more after a day you’re supposed to be thankful, but I see more. Black Friday this year however started on Thursday, people were so rude to other people and the poor employees, and there was more violence than ever. There’s this crazy weather in Georgia where its 20 in the morning then 60 in the afternoon and in Kentucky, I haven’t wore a “winter coat” once. It spat snow the other day in KY and I was so ecstatic to see some snow and that’s coming from the girl who particularly would rather NOT see snow. Then, there’s how late colleges let out this year and if you go to UGA, you have the torture of seeing your grades the day before Christmas. My favorite scrooge of the Christmas holidays however, has been my loved ones attitudes towards Christmas, the atmosphere of the season, and their attitudes of my indecisiveness over presents. So lets talk about what I REALLY want for Christmas..

My Unrealistic Christmas List

  • To Graduate – you know.. a gift that can’t be given.
  • Student Loans paid off – #outtastateproblems
  • A house and furniture to go in that house- * see graduation.
  • World Peace – channeling my inner Miss Congeniality but seriously, North Korea and Sony? The War? Let’s just all be friends!
  • Peace between people of all races, occupations, and socioeconomic statuses in the US- seriously don’t all lives matter?
  • To live on a Beach: See Graduation

To say I haven’t asked for extravagant and useless gifts would be a lie. I have gotten an Apple product for the last 3 years. But Christmas to me is more than the gifts I receive or the food I may eat (seriously, we eat more at Christmas than we do at Thanksgiving). Here is what defines Christmas to me.

LIGHTS: Silly. I know.. But its a tradition that I keep and will keep every year. There is something about lights of the town decorated to give it the gift of warmth that you won’t be given by the weather. Seeing little kids react to light spectacles that might be in shapes of the 12 days of Christmas, Princesses of Disney, or my favorite: Horses. It lights up their eyes in a way that is irreplaceable and isn’t achieved by anything else. There is magic in those lights.

MUSIC: I LOVE LOVE LOVE christmas music. Now, it does have to be sung by my preferred Artists.. I feel like if I love Christmas music this much, everyone should be able to tolerate it for 2 weeks atleast. I am a dance teacher. I start picking the Christmas music for my dance kids no later than July. I then start choreographing between August and September and come October, I’m listening to Christmas music (the same ones might I add) for 10 hours a week (1 class= 1 hour). This season however I’ve had more and more people get in my car and request NOT to have Christmas music played.. I simply do not understand. I get so much joy from singing Baby, Its Cold Outside. Especially with new versions like Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé where there’s funny commentary. I love singing Rudolph and Jingle Bells with kids and asking them if they know how it feels to ride in a one horse open sleigh and watching them be very confused. I enjoy singing Let It Snow and rewriting the words to it to fit funky holiday situations. I enjoy being surrounded by those that know the “reason for the season” and singing Silent Night and Away in a Manger aside brothers and sisters in Christ smiling at the thought of that baby’s head under that star. Music makes my soul smile. Period.

Giving to Others: 

I love giving presents. Let’s rephrase that. I love making presents to be given. 3 years ago, I made canvas paintings to match the personalities of my loved ones. 2 years it was plates and mugs with sayings and fight songs and names drawn and baked in an oven by me. Last year, it was painted wine bottles for center pieces painted to fit personalities and kitchens. This year, well.. since I spoiled it to most of my family, its wreaths. Most burlap. It means more to me to sit there, think about the person, what THEY LIKE, what way i can make something for them that will make THEM smile. I love thinking of presents and finding little things for all. I hate when people get left out.

Atmosphere of Love:

Love all. I watched as the love of my life tipped a obviously struggling waitress $10 on a $19 check at steak and shake because he had the money and he wanted to reach out. I fell a little harder for him that night as I watched him show love to a complete stranger. I love playing the left right game with my family and watching my male cousin squirm every time he gets the present with glitter. I love reenacting Rudolph and whatever other Christmas songs we can dance to. I love holding my loved ones hand when his nephews open up the presents we got him. It used to be watching my puppy be so excited during presents she couldn’t lay there and had to be involve in the unwrapping of presents. Its eating and listening to ones bless the meal and pray over our family. Its the joy that we feel and express when we are together.

Atmosphere of Christ:

Most importantly, all these put together we see and feel Christ’s love. Christmas ultimately isn’t about the presents, the lights, the music but its about celebrating his birth and his life that he exhibited for all of us. Its seeing Christ through everything I mentioned previously. Christmas is about Christ and showing and giving LOVE much much more than it ever will be about presents.

My Challenge for You:

Sit down and define what Christmas means to you. Figure out what its become in your house and if you are happy and content with what Christmas has become in your house. If you are Christians, is it Christ centered? For those that may not and even those that are, is it centered around love? Is it more than giving gifts?

To Quote a favorite song of mine:

You got to remember the Love. Love is a gift from up above. Share love. Give Love. Spread Love. Measure your life in Love.

Find a little bit of Heaven this holiday season. Enjoy it. Its not about the presents. Enjoy the love that surrounds you.

The song of my heart this holiday season is Francesca Batistelli’s Heaven Everywhere. The lyrics make me tear up every time and I shared it with an audience full of parents as they watched 2 year olds dance with joy in their hears. “Somehow there’s a little more of love And maybe there’s a little less of us” “It’s the Joy that we feel and the Love that we share. There’s a little bit of Heaven Everywhere.” Here are the lyrics. 

May your family be blessed with love and joy this Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

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I went from nurse in Kindergarten, to teacher, to not knowing, to a forensic toxicologist, to a sports agent, to a Athletic Director, to an event planner, to a children’s ministry director, to not having a clue. Careers. Why should planning out a life be so difficult? It wasn’t until the end of the summer when God gave me clear directions to go into event management.

Surviving the Stumbling Blocks:
Does my major have anything to do with what I want to do? HA, no. It used to. I used to be getting the degree I wanted. Recreation and Leisure studies with a focus in Youth Ministry and Event Planning. Then the University got rid of my major, leaving me in a major that I do not care for or planned to ever use, Health and Physical Education. Do not get me wrong, I’ve loved what I’ve learned (for the most part) but this is not what I want to do with my life. I also have faced four rejections from the University accepting me as a resident of this state and continuing to charge me $36,000 a year even though I’ve been summoned for jury duty in Athens twice and denied in state tuition to take an online class at the University of Kentucky and at Eastern Kentucky University. This is a HUGE chunk of money that I am facing.

The Journey to this decision:
my first day in the RLST program I immediately fell in love with the event and diversity classes. When I had to switch to Health and Pe, the ones that focus on the kids (not teaching) were my favorite. I am constantly around kids. I teach 10 youth dance classes a week at a studio that has given me more than I could ever give back. I have been actively involved in the Children’s Ministry in my church. I have worked many youth camps including one that has a HUGE impact on kids across the USA, centrikid. At centrikid I met kids with many disorders and conditions and learning more about them and how to adapt camp so that they could have the highest possible level of the experience at camp like any other child. I immediately was drawn to the children with special needs. When I got back and started to see what careers and what positions could I hold. I found many in the hospital event management and many in the children’s departments. Thats when I fell in love with this dream.

The plan:
Not sure where I want to be and honestly do not care where I end up, although somewhere closer to my family would be lovely. So many children are facing chronic conditions, cancer, and other lifelong medical battles that requires them to come into the hospital routinely for treatment or to spend weeks or months in a row in a hospital bed. I want to make a difference in those children’s lives. I want to be an event planner for a children’s hospital. I want to be the person that gives these children something to look for as they face something that is completely out of their control. I want to put on fundraising events to raise money for parents who can’t afford the treatment that’s keeping their child alive. I want to contact athletes and famous rolemodels to meet these kids. I want to put on proms, fairs, anything imaginable to have these kids enjoy something that normally can be their nightmare. Being able to bring joy, laughter, enjoyment to kids that spend majority of their time, fighting for their life.

What you can do to help:
I have applied for the Dr. Pepper tuition giveaway. Now that I’m growing up, large dollar amounts scare me. It could be the tuition due, it can be the credit card bill, or a big pay check when you know you’re gonna have to spend most of it on groceries, rent, and gas. This gives me an opportunity to win some cash to pay off some student loans! If I get 50 likes, I can enter the video contest for 100,000 which would cover almost 80% of my student loans if I won. So vote for me! 🙂 (http://www.drpeppertuition.com/profile/100000265692829)

To the one I will marry,
I hope as I write this your head is soft on a pillow asleep. I fell in a pothole wandering my way to you tonight. These holes in this road to you are God’s way of making our timing perfect.
I hope that you’ve been praying for me as much as I’ve been praying for you. Even though I’ve may have had mistaken you for someone else along this road, I pray for the life we will have together. I pray that you will have a heart for God as much as I do. I pray for our children. May they be healthy and beautiful and well loved. That you one day will my daughter’s superhero in a way that shows just how much our FATHER in heaven loves her. That you be a role model to our son. Support him in all of his endeavors no matter if he chooses to be like his momma and dance or chooses to be like his momma and chase after aspirations of being athletic. I pray that you are an understanding man, one that accepts me as I am, faults and all, and loves me through it. I pray that our marriage is one of communication. Being able to open up with all concerns, decisions, and praise to me is key for two people to remain together. I pray that our families love and accept one another and lean on each other in times of happiness, sadness, and in life’s precious moments. I pray not that you will be good at dancing, but love to dance and twirl me around on days that I need a laugh, we are goofing off, or on the day we say “I Do” that you will savor these moments with me. I pray that I be the kind of Godly woman I need to be for you. I pray I know when to hold my tongue in anger, use it for praise and to let you know how thankful that God blessed this road to you. I pray that the decisions I make everyday are decisions that lead not to regret, but lead to honor us as a whole. However, I do pray that the remainder of this road is full of experiences that will bring you laughter when I tell you all about my journey, because let’s be honest. The first thing you’ll ever learn about me is I am very easy to laugh at, but its okay 90% of the time I laugh at myself. I pray that you love sports as much as I do, but especially football. Silly to pray for I know, but it would be nice to have someone yelling at the TV with me instead of yelling at me for yelling at the TV (I PROMISE- it works!).

Most importantly I pray for you as a whole. I pray that you are following God’s path, that you are listening to his voice. I pray that your prayers are answered regardless of his answer and no matter what his answers are, you praise him for regardless. I pray that he’s molding you into the man you are supposed to be for me.
As I continue to walk this road on days that never seems to end, I pray that God will continue molding me into the woman I’m supposed to be for you. I pray when I meet you the walls I will have built up will crumble like Jericho. That he will completely heal the cuts, scraps, and bruises on my heart so it is whole again when I give it to you to protect.To Quote some famous men, “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, don’t care what you did, as long as you love me” (I quote BSB all the time.. Its a quirk you’ll hopefully come to love). If God made you, you are beautifully and wonderfully made and I can not wait to meet you.

Goodnight Love. Meet you in perfect timing.

Twas the night before Christmas

and all through TC

every staffer was stirring

fixing SE gifts you see.

I guess I should stick to rewriting “Let It Go.” 5 cycles down 5 to go! So much has changed over the past cycles. There’s been growth, maturity, and increase in confidence in some areas where I lacked. Let’s go into detail…

CHILDREN

I’ve seen it all. The good, the bad, the ugly, the helpless, the struggling, the broken, etc. I have had several children break me as they’ve told me their stories and some of the things they are going through. I’ve had kids that I’ve fallen in love with as they made my job so easy and just REALLY made me love what I’m doing. I’ve had a child hit me 4 times in the face with a bandana-that was a rather interesting situation.. I love and prefer the kids being here. They are quite challenging at some points, especially having 6th graders who OFTEN do not find excitement in recreation. I’m very real and honest with my rec kids. I speak often about I have a sister their age and I’ll treat them like I treat her; with love, sarcasm, and their age. This helps me bond with them greatly because they do not see me falsifying anything and they know that they can be real with me. 🙂

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Creative Dance

Dancing. Something the Lord has called me to do. The song that they chose for this year is INTENSE. Its real and in your face about sinful nature. Its a hip hop dance that I’ve grown to love. I get to perform it with these kids weekly and I FLIPPIN LOVE IT. I get to play about 2 games a week with them, teach them the dance, and then stage the dance. We’ve also got Frozen dance parties. If they get the dance learned and staged by day 3- they get a Frozen dance party which usually entails Let It Go and Love Is An Open Door interpretive dancing. For once I had someone record me because y’all, I’ve got no shame and I’m hysterical. I run around and sing to the kids. I Open doors, I slam doors, and point to doors. During the building Elsa’s ice castle part of the music, I often try to make ice come up from the ground myself and obviously fail and tell the kids my hands aren’t working today. Because everything is rooted in scripture at CK- I debrief this with Ecc. 3:4 and Psalm 30. Two of my FAV dancing verses. 🙂

No Boys Allowed

This track though. I love teaching it. We play with playdough, make bracelets, have tooth paste relay, band-aid ninja, and Roman Balloons. 2 major funny stories here. 1- The first day we ask the kids to draw their version of a perfect girl, in other words, what is perfect on other girls to them. We then read Proverbs 31:17,25,30 and ask them to draw that, and most realize the inner qualities. I had one little girl bring up a drawing and said, I drew you. It melted my heart that these kids truly look up to us. 2- Toothpaste relay. This is SOOOO entertaining and I encourage people to play this ESPECIALLY with teenage girls. Kids rush down squeeze the toothpaste once and run back and this repeats until the first team empties their tube. Then you have a round 2 where they are trying to put it back in the tube. Impossible right? Well- it is supposed to be that we can show that words and actions can not be taken back. Once its out, its out. Well… last cycle, a little girl picked up a handful, put it in her mouth, and proceeded to spit it back in the tube. I quickly drew the line right there and ended the game.. Funny but GROSS.Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.25.41 AM

Life at an Actual Camp Ground

Our location is special because its an actual camp ground and not a college campus. This allows us to provide rock climbing, gaga ball AND canoeing. With this location also comes with creepy crawly critters. Horseflys are BAD. I got bit by one 2 days ago and it drew blood AND left a bruise. Apparently there’ve been alot of snakes but the good lord has blessed my eyes, heart, and sanity by not revealing them to me. There apparently been a couple copperheads and black king snakes. They kill the copperheads (once with a machette) but leave the King snakes b/c they eat poisonous snakes. We’ve have had 5 cycles and 3/5 opening days there’s been a gator in the pond/lake. They captured it the first time, and there’s another one that’s been back twice but leaves through the dam once kids arrive. Don’t worry- game warden comes and checks the lake frequently to ensure camper safety. There are literately frogs and toads everywhere and I LOVE CATCHING THEM. ❤

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Christmas and SEs

So at CK in order to have a personal cheerleader- we do secret encouragers and they are supposed to be secret. We reveal at the end of the summer who and do a huge christmas week and party. Its pretty much awesome. We had to do it early because 2 of us are leaving to special team at Chocco Springs in Alabama for a week. That’s tomorrow 🙂

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(YES I made that!!)

Misc items

Oh! So I’m special teaming starting Sunday!! I’m heading out to Alabama. No clue what grade, track(s), or color I will be teaching. It’s a crazy thought. I have HUGE anxiety about not knowing but I know that God is in Control and he’ll provide.

I’ve developed a bad habit of ordering things online – oops.

My computer broke and I completely thought- crap, no more computer. This isn’t ok.BUT the Lord is great. It was under warranty, not damaged by me, and they pretty much replaced the computer. 🙂 yay. I also hair-lined fractured my phone… oops.

I’ve joined the chaco family. 🙂 Best shoes ever.

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I as always, am overdoing anchors ALL THE TIME. Buying them, wearing them, drawing them. Its practically me. A child actually asked me if she could call me anchor girl. I’ve also been known to tell people “I’m just a nautical girl.”

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Some of the ways you can be in prayer for me is continue praying for health. I’ve caught a stomach bug once and currently battling sinuses or a cold.. Pray for health and strength for me and the rest of the team. Also, because of the distance that is already in place with my family, I’m having a hard time coping with not being able to be with this this week as they head to the beach that I consider my second home. I know God’s using me for a greater purpose here, but knowing the likely fate that I wont see my family until November is not the easiest to deal with. Also, just other requests that do not need to be mentioned. I know we used to call them “silent” request. I have two in particular if you would be praying for that would be awesome.

ALSO: KEEP SENDING MAIL

Until Next Time,

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