on the way there . . .

I enjoyed today thoroughly. Ok, maybe not thoroughly because that implies that there weren’t any parts I didn’t particularly enjoy. I didn’t enjoy the sick feeling on the ride to Atlanta. Nor did I enjoy going through my suitcases trying to get rid of that extra 5 pounds so I don’t have to pay more money to ride a plane.

But . . . I had tons of fun with my extended family, met some new people that I’ve seen around at Grace Baptist on extension, and actually played a pretty good game of football – something I haven’t done since last summer. We lost, but I scored once and laughed my way through most of the game. I think I’m going to end up with a pretty wicked bruise on the left side of my face from getting nailed in the first play, though. It’s amazing what a little fellowship will do to jump start friendships.


Hannah (my cousin) is way more tan than me. No fair. She wanted to try my glasses on, so we switched. I think they look pretty good on her. And her glasses are almost like my old ones.


Now here is an interesting game. It’s called Pit and it’s like Spoons, but with tons of yelling. They played for a couple hours at the graduation party. It’s a wonder any of them still have voices.

I’m leaving for camp in 36 hours.

Last nite, I got to hang out with my youth leaders and their kids – Autumn, Ethan & Colton. My sister and another friend, Brett, came with us, too. We got to discussing games we used to play when I was but a wee lass of a teen. Ok, so I don’t know . . . maybe you’ve seen these interesting toothbrushes they have now that are suction cups on the bottom. I guess this is so you can stick it to the mirror when you’re done? Who knows. Autumn & Ethan both have these and Paul & Beth came up with a great idea for a game. Stick the toothbrush to your forehead and brush your partner’s teeth. Lovely. Paul demonstrated for us.



This is my little friend, Colton. We have laughing fits together.


He wanted to touch the lens.

No guarantees about the blog once I get to Ironwood. I’m hoping to get something worked out, but I have a feeling it probably won’t happen.

trip it

I made the 4-hour trek to Greenville this past Monday. I went under the guise of a job interview with Greenville Magazine (which I will say more about later). My real reason for going was to hang out with friends.


While in Greenville, I was able to hang out with most of my friends who are still around. We threw a birthday party for my friend, PJ. Our celebration included driving all over creation to find a park to play volleyball at, and then a 3-hour set of games. [This is not because we’re good. It’s because we’re not. And we only played to 21.] My team won because we were the lesser of the two evils. And maybe because we only had 1 guy – the amazing Michael Collins.

A few of us went down to Falls Park the first night. I got a couple fun pictures.


My interview went well, but it was pretty short. The position is for an ad designer. I’d probably get to do some layout design on the side, which would be excellent. The editor asked me to call back in a week with an idea of what I’d expect for salary, etc. So right now I’m working on figuring all that out. From looking at my other options, this is still the one I have the most interest in. I’m hoping things will work out. The one problem is finding an apartment in the event that I do get the job. I’ll be in California through August 19. They would probably want me at work August 20 because the job actually opens up August 1. The editor told me it shouldn’t be a problem to work around that, but she’s also going to interview a few other people. Pray for wisdom on my part. If it’s not right, I’d rather just have God close the door.

After getting back from Greenville yesterday, I have 2 days at home before I leave again on Saturday. We’re headed to my cousin’s graduation party near Atlanta. I’m going to be staying with them through Monday morning when I fly out to Vegas to start the trip to camp. I’m insanely excited about going back to camp this summer and getting to see old friends. But I’ve decided packing is no good. I’ve attacked all the non-clothes items tonite and will hopefully get to the clothing dilemma tomorrow. [Well, I guess I have to do it tomorrow . . . ]

I don’t know if I’ve really mentioned what I’m doing at camp this year. I’m working at Camp Ironwood for the 3rd year in a row. For those of you who don’t know much about Ironwood, it’s this great Christian camp located in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California. They’re in the growing stage and are opening their 3rd camp this year. Ike’s Roost is the newest camp and will consist of several weeks of junior-high camp as well as being the home of the horsemanship camp in the weeks when it’s not entertaining junior-highers. Broken-I Ranch is the junior camp at Ironwood. I think they’re in their 5th year of camp. I’m not completely sure. Rivertown is where I’ve worked the past 2 years as a counselor. You can probably guess that Rivertown is where the high schoolers go. I worked with girls anywhere from 14 – 19.

For 10 weeks out of the summer, high schoolers help staff the kitchen, hospitality [they clean EVERYTHING] and grounds crews. These kids make up the Leadership Institute. This is the exciting part: I get to live with half of these girls this summer. Counseling the past 2 years was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the girls I was able to meet and become friends with. One thing that always bugged me was that I only had one week to build a relationship with the girls. I still keep in touch with a few of my campers, but only getting one week to build a relationship that those campers will consider worth keeping is difficult. And you do it for 9 weeks out of the summer. Constantly changing; constantly meeting. The great thing about LI is that I have anywhere from 3 – 9 weeks to get to know these girls. I’m excited about the friendships I’m about to make. I’ll also be helping out as a designer during the days.

Camp is FUN! Starts with an F, ends with an N and U are in the middle.





Change has always bothered me. I guess I’m a true fundamentalist.

Today marks maybe the biggest change yet. College graduation. I don’t enjoy the mix of emotions that goes with the day. It frustrates me to no end to be so excited about being finished with my formal school training (I hope to never stop learning), but be so sad about leaving everyone I love so much.

The exciting thing is that when people ask me what I’m doing, I’m able to tell them something. “I have a couple options I’m looking at . . . ”

for the summer, I’ll be working at Camp Ironwood as a designer. That will take me through August.

After that I’m hoping to move back to Greenville. I’m actually in contact with 3 companies located in the area right now. Gibbons|Peck is the small marketing company where I had my internship. They have interest in me and will be able to let me know something by July.

VantagePoint is another company I’ve talked to. I sent in my resume and portfolio and had an interview with the Creative Director who wants to keep in touch over the summer and then re-evaluate options in August.

Lastly, I dropped my portfolio off at Greenville Magazine after receiving information that they were looking for a graphic designer to fill an open position starting in August. This is the job I’m really praying I get. It’s all about layout which is what I love to do.

That’s the basic gist of what . . . well, actually that’s pretty much exactly what I say.

The last week of my college career was filled with fun. A job interview, a freakish scramble to collect money from very elusive graphic designers, a 20-minute packing session of most of my junk from 4 years of college, one last run to Starbucks with the Vintage family, a quick overview of the last 100 days of my life, memories shared from the last year, laughter with roommates, stressfulness of last-minute change of plans, bob-hugs, a poetry reading, falling out of a chair in front of lots of strangers and a few friends, my 3rd date while in college, presenting a years’ worth of work in 5 minutes, being proud of friends receiving [much deserved] awards, meeting new people, my last attempt at finals ever, a 4.0 for the semester . . . which included several loud screams of joy after receiving the email, the last demerit received in a lifetime, walking through the doors of the Vintage office for the last time as a staffer, tears. Love.

All that was felt and done this week was in some way developing me.


Life would pretty much stink without it.

A Christmas Story

So . . . I actually thought about labeling this one “Brokeback” but that would just be too much.

Last nite (this morning) I went to bed around 1:30.  I set my alarms for 9:00 and 9:15. Around 7:30 I heard a scream and a large crash. From my mother. As soon as I heard it, I knew what had happened. She fell down the stairs. I debated about getting up and decided to go check on her.

There she was, laying on her back, moaning in pain. I was glad that I’m a certified lifeguard. I felt helpful. My dad was standing there trying to decide what to do, and I wouldn’t let him move her. You just don’t play around when it’s a back problem. She begged us for like 10 minutes not to call an ambulance. “It’ll wear off. I think I’m just stunned.” But after a little while, I talked dad into the ambulance and we convinced her that she needed to get x-rays.

The ambulance came, took her to the nearest hospital, and within an hour, we were told she had broken a vertebra in her back. Thankfully, the break is in a spot where paralysis isn’t going to occur. So basically she’s just dealing with a LOT of soreness and pain for the next week+. She walked into the house when she got back and was walking slowly, but she’s able to still get around.

She refused a morphine shot because she wanted to be coherent enough to enjoy the day and open presents. Honestly, it was one of the best Christmases I remember.

We were a family.

Christmas Memories – T5

You guessed it. It’s about time for another Top 5. Yeah, right. But I’m here to hand out my favorite Christmas memories.

1. Christmas 2002 – the last Christmas spent in Illinois with my dad’s side of the family. There were lots of us running around in one house. And mostly females. It was when I really started to get along with my uncle. He got this plastic tie hanger that could hold like 40 ties and everytime someone else opened a present, he came up with a new use for his tie-holder. For instance, it doubled as a rotisserie, a rack to cool cookies, a tv antennae, or seriously about 20 other things, each equally as funny. Lots of laughing was involved.
2. The yearly tradition of going to get the tree. A few years back, we started making a day of it and going to a tree farm to pick one out. Good family time and we always manage to get the perfect tree.
3. The Vintage Christmas party this year. We had lots of fun singing carols (and we sounded good), decorating, and eating tons of good food. And the gift exchange was interesting, too. I love those people.
4. Watching A Christmas Story for the first time with my family about 3 years ago. Another time full of laughs.
5. I’m not sure this was Christmas, but there was snow, so it should count. Especially in Tennessee. I got run over by a runner sled while crossing the street (without looking both ways, obviously). I was knocked unconscious and woke up inside wondering what happened. My neighbors swore the sled aimed for me. It was funny.

Right now I’m watching It’s a Wonderful Life with my family and just enjoying the evening. And tomorrow . . . CHRISTMAS!


As a designer, I’ve constantly been encouraged by teachers to be more observant. To observe is to be inspired. Lately, I’ve been feeling a lack of inspiration in my work. I’ve struggled more than once this year trying to make beautiful things happen in my design. I’m losing the feel of freshness that I had last year.

Today, my family and I went to see White Christmas at the Cumberland County Playhouse. (It was good, but nothing compared to the movie, of course. You just can’t beat Bing singing the title song.) Anyways, the playhouse is about a 1.5-hour drive from our place. The entire time, no lie, I was looking out the window with thoughts racing through my head. Most of the drive is open fields and pastures with the Tennessee hills (“mountains”) in the background. Today was especially gorgeous with the rainy fog covering the mountaintops. I kept seeing pictures.

At one point, I thought to myself, “Just keep looking to the right. On the way back you can look at the other side.” And that’s what I did. The drive was probably just as enjoyable as the play itself, if not moreso.

I have ideas.

Goodbyes . . . again

Last night, or rather, this morning around 2:00, I had to say goodbye to someone who has been an amazing friend for the past 1.5 years. I know I’ve written this before, but I HATE GOODBYES. I know I’ll see him again, but it’s still no fun.

As a Vintage family, we all chipped in and got a pretty sweet leather journal and each wrote something in it for him. It was pretty hott.

I feel like an old person. I don’t like all this change.

Christmas Shopping . . . Already

I do not enjoy Christmas shopping. I don’t even enjoy regular shopping. But today we went shopping and I actually look forward to this shopping trip every year.

We drive out to Calhoun, TN (about an hour away) and pick out our Christmas tree from Cook’s tree farm. The sad news is that we didn’t get one there this year. No. This is their last year, and they’re trying to clear out their supply of trees. They cut down all the 8-9′ ones last year and none of them were much over 6′ today. It was sad. We always get a Fraser Fir and we even checked out a couple different types of trees. They were all too small.

So we drove back home and decided to check out this little Mom-n-Pop produce store that had trees out. All of them were Fraser Firs and we found one within 10 minutes. (It never takes us very long to pick one.) So we now have our Christmas tree.

I’m actually not sure how I feel about Cook’s closing. The one bad thing about driving to Calhoun is the Bowater paper plant. It stinks up the entire town. And the smell is disgusting. So maybe we’ll find another tree farm in a not-so-stinky area.

I plan on putting up some pics later, but my camera cord was left behind at school.


Yesterday was the first holiday I’ve spent with extended family in over 3 years, I think. The best we could come up with was that we spent Christmas together 4 years ago.

It was fun. I’m glad my aunt, uncle & four cousins are in the Atlanta area now. That gives the g-parents more reason to come down and visit. We had fun laughing, reminiscing, goofing around, napping & eating tons of delicious food! If there’s one thing my family can do, it’s cook.

Shannon & I even sat down and played a piano duet (The Hallelujah Chorus). That was a fun one to sight-read through. We were cracking up the entire time.

I love family.