Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sneak peak

As most of you know, I was gone for the past 9 days on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. I just got back late last night and have so much to process from the trip but wanted to give you guys just a little sneak peak. I don't have many photos because some girls on the team were designated as our photographers, so I will be getting those later this week to share. So until then, here are just a few snapshots I took. And all I can say for now about the trip... is that it was life-changing. Our God is so great and so big, and I can't wait to share more with you guys when I have had time to process everything I saw and did. I love you guys.

"Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works. All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God." Psalm 86: 8-10

Part of the group after church service

Team bonding

Nightly devotionals on the roof

Yuleisi, Miguelina, and Sylvia

God is good

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Girls Camping Trip

Lately I have had an itch to just take a long drive out of the city,pitch a tent,(or sleep in the back of the car), and "rough it" for the weekend. There is something about being outdoors and away from everyday life that is so relaxing to me, so I decided to plan a camping trip to Colorado Bend State Park and invite whoever wanted to join me on the excursion...turns out I'm not the only one crazy enough to go camping in the middle of June in Texas!

The girls and I headed out Friday after work, and were able to make it to the campsite right before the sun went down, so we were able to check out our surroundings, which meant we had to set up our stuff in the dark. Had it not been for Jessi's excitement in camping and testing out her new gear she got for her birthday (yes, we did set it up in the living room awhile back), we were able to set up both tents with no problems. The whole process went so smoothly that we were unloaded and sitting on blankets watching the Texas night sky within 45 min of getting there. Not bad for a big group of girls camping together for the first time (we got a few comments about how odd it was to see such a thing). After a few hours of story-telling and bonding, we headed to our tents to attempt sleep. Some of us laid awake trying to cool ourselves off in the 80+ degree heat, while others were having a "stare-down" contest with the raccoons (Maddie may have won only because the racoon discovered our loaf of bread we so graciously left out for him). Eventually we all got to sleep and woke up bright and early for a delicious egg and pancake breakfast, served with starbucks coffee. (Okay...not really my idea of "roughing" it, but I can't turn down a good cup of coffee).

Once we had breakfast, we all loaded up and headed down to the swimming hole. We had to park and walk the trail about 1/2 mile to get there and it was so worth it! Not only did it save us from the 100 degree heat, but it was so beautiful and provided great people watching! We hung out/goofed around for a few hours and headed back to change and go find some local winery's. We heard about a winery 3 miles outside of camp and decided it was too close not to go, plus it would make for a fun little trip, and it sure did! We got to Fiesta Winery and found that it was run by a couple out of their home, which made it that much more unique. We sat outside because we felt guilty we were supposed to be "camping" and didn't want to spoil ourselves too much, plus the view from outside was worth braving the heat. It overlooked the couples ranch and vineyard. Coming from someone who wishes I was raised in the country, I would say it was picture perfect. We all enjoyed some of the best wine we have ever had, as well as hearing good ol' stories from the owners. We will definitely be making a trip back there!

After a few hours @ the winery, we headed back to grill hamburgers and hot dogs (compliments of "Bad Bob's" local country store) and after some frustrations playing Phase10, game-master Maddie took it upon herself to create a little camping olympics. To explain the games would be tough without Maddie (since she is the only one that really knew and understood the rules), but to name a few, "P-O-O-P-Y", a twisted version of "3-flys up", and a group favorite, jumping competitions (to see who can jump less than Sharit). Clearly it doesn't take much to entertain us girls and we sure know how to get a good laugh from everyone..inlcuding our camping neighbors.

Rookie mistake #2 (#1 was involuntarily feeding our furry friends), keep the marshmallows in the cooler w/ the chocolate! When it came time to make 'smores, we found a bag of 1 big melted marshmallow. It worked out for those of us who just like the marshmallows to be soft, since all we had to do was just spread it on the graham crackers, but the girls that liked it charred were out of luck. Sorry girls!

The last day we woke up, packed up our stuff and headed to the springs once again. Some of us were feeling adventurous and kept hiking up the trail to see if there was anything else, and sure enough, we found an even better swimming hole! The water was much cooler, clearer, and no one around to occupy it. We swam and enjoyed our own little spot for awhile before hiking back, taking some last minute group photos and loaded up cars to head home.

Although the temperatures were high, we didn't let that stop us from having fun. It really was a perfect weekend get-away that couldn't have gone any better!

Thanks girls for a great weekend!

Life is good!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Life in Austin

Moving to Austin has been such a blessing to me. For those of you who know me, you already know that my heart has been in Texas since before I graduated high school and I am constantly raving about all the amazing things Austin has to offer (scenery, weather, live music scene, southern hospitality, amazing food..the list goes on), but these things come second to why I really love this place. Truth is, I have met some of the most amazing women that anyone would be so lucky to know. Fortunately for me, I get to call them my best of friends and family. I never got to live the "college life", meaning I didn't go away to college and meet a bunch of girl friends that I got to hang out with every weekend, so I'm a little late to that party, but moving here and being forced to reach out has given me the opportunity to experience that chapter in life. That being said, I love my life and praise the Lord for the frienships/relationships He has blessed me with!

Saturday picnic in the park.

Some of the girls (missing a few faces (Kira & Beth))