Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: good while it lasted...

2009 Recap.
I don’t know where to begin. 2009 has come and gone before I blinked. Some days were awful, but the good definitely outweighed the bad. The beginning of January could not have been any better.

January 4, 2009, will forever be one of the best days of my life. My amazing mother had bought me tickets to see ‘the Jonas Brothers &FRIENDS.’ Not even knowing who friends were, we thought maybe 2 people would be with them. Mom read on the internet that maybe Miley Cyrus and Keith Urban were going to be there. Nope- even better; TEN special guests. To announce the Jonas Brothers are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. They announced them and then went in the audience with their children, and they sang and danced until the end of the last song. Next person is Michael W. Smith. I thought my mom was going to have a come-apart when they announced him. Next was Stephen Curtis Chapman. I cried during his song Cinderella, the song about his 2 girls he adopted. Followed by Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Phil Vassar, Vince Gill, Honor Society, Jordin Sparks, and BRAD PAISLEY!!!! The night mostly consisted of the Jonas Brothers singing with each artist one of the artists’ song or a cover.
Michael W. Smith- My Place in This World
Martina McBride-Independence Day and When You Look Me in the Eyes
Amy Grant- Baby Baby
Steven Curtis Chapman- Cinderella
Jordin Sparks- No Air and Superstition
Honor Society- Don’t Close the Book
Brad Paisley- Waitin’ on a Woman and Easy Money (which Kevin sang a verse all by himself!!)
Phil Vassar, Vince Gill, Steven Curtis Chapman- American Pie and The Weight
Covers: Free Fallin and Gravity by John Mayer
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
And, while we were walking back to the hotel, I see Steven Curtis Chapman just walking and talking on his cell phone. I politely waited and got my picture made with him! He is a great guy.

Then at the end of January, I got to go with my school to Washington D.C. and see the Inauguration of Obama while standing in the 9 degrees weather. Not too fun but so worth it. I saw something that I will probably never be able to do again in my life. The first night I saw the Vietnam Wall, the WWI and WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington, the changing of the guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, JFK’s gravesite, Mt Vernon where Thomas Jefferson lived, the Iwa Jima Memorial, went inside the Capital Building, stood in the very center of D.C., saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, some of Jimmy Carter’s note cards for his speech about the Iran Hostage Crisis, and the swearing in of President Barack Obama.

Back in January I took on online test for DECA to see if I made it to state, and I passed. In February, 4 girls including me and Mrs. Mabrey went to Birmingham for 2 days. We each had been studying since our test in January for our section; mine was food marketing. I learned everything about how to manage grocery stores I could need to know. Our judging at state consisted of a 50 question test and a role play with a judge. Before the role play, you are given a sheet of paper tell you what you are to do. You have 10 minutes to prepare and take notes. Mine was my manager (judge) wanted me to come up with a plan because employees were having to take off work last minute because no one was able to watch their children. My manager wanted me to create a plan of how to resolve this issue. I said we should have an on-site childcare center so parents can still come to work and know their child will be taken care of. The judge responded with questions that I answered. She was a beautiful, big black woman who actually owned a grocery store and I guess loved my idea. She reminded me of the lady in The Shack; maybe me placing at state was a sign from God :] It finally came time for our category at awards. They wanted everyone in the category to stand up before they announced the top 3 that would compete in California. I didn’t even stand up because I didn’t want to have to sit back down and feel embarrassed. They call out the names out of order then after you line up on stage, they announce first, second, and third. The second name they called was Emily Miller. I don’t even remember them saying anything; all I remember is Mrs. Mabrey turning to me yelling, ‘OH MY GOSH!!’ and the other 3 girls cheering for me. I don’t remember walking to the stage, but I did. I ended up placing second and would be on my way to Cali in April!!! I was the only one out of us 4 that placed so it would be me and Mabes in Cali. I couldn’t wait.
I also turned 17 this February.

Nothing much happened this month. Thomas turned 5.

Sooo there was a little confusion between me and Mrs. Mabrey. This was the first year the school had told her they wouldn’t pay for the trip out there because of how bad the economy had gotten and how much money was cut from that year’s budget and blah blah blah. So when Dale told Mabes that, she told the DECA people that I wasn’t going. I and Mom were still trying to figure a way for me to go. We went and talked to Dale together. When I told Mabes mom was coming to the school, she looked weird and asked why; she thought I didn’t want to go. So anyways, the school did no pay for it, but we did and I did go to Cali. The bad thing is that I didn’t get to compete. I did a leadership conference, well half a leadership conference. I went the first day but didn’t go back. My time consisted of rooming with three girls from Bob Jones; 2 that I still talk with every now and then. I got to go to Universal Studios! We saw where Desperate Housewives, the Grinch, and other major movies were filmed. It was so neat. One of my friends saw Kobe Bryant in Disneyland! I wasn’t with her at that time :[ We went to Disneyland three days. We took a tour of Hollywood. We saw the Staples Center, the Grammy Museum, the Nokia Theatre, Capital Records, The Hollywood sign, the wax museum, Jimmy Kimmel’s studio, Disney’s El Capitan, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the handprints in front, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Avenue, Rodeo Drive, Kodak Theatre, Beverly Hills, and went to the Grove. I saw ADAM SANDLER eating at a steakhouse! It was insane. Ate at some amazing restaurants and met some great people. It was definitely worth going. April was awesome.

Went by crazy fast. Mostly got all my stuff ready for Capstone.

The weekend school got out I moved down to the University of Alabama to participate in the Capstone Summer Honors Program. It was such an awesome experience. I lived in the honors dorm with 3 other girls; Hailey Mackinnon was one of my roommates :] I took a computer and business class. Computer was at 8 and the other was at 10. I was done with class everyday by 11 so we just all hung out together and mostly went to the pool. Julio Jones was in our business class; along with BJ Scott and AJ McCarron. Me and Hailey were amazed. I’m not sure how much he learned since he was always sleeping. Halfway through the class we took a survey about the course and our teacher. It was like how did you feel about this course? Was it good, bad, or whatever? We hear Julio asking his friend what answers he was marking and that he didn’t know we were having a test! I was like, I know he can play football but that must be it. Haha. Later, we learned that these 2 guys that were our computer partners played on the basketball team!! That month was an experience I will always remember. I met some great people and had an awesome time living on campus for the month.

You know those crazy family vacations you take that seem to last forever? That’s what I thought we were going on this past summer, with my grandmother, but it was way better. Mom didn’t want to go to the beach and dad didn’t want to go to the mountains. So we ended up heading towards St. Louis, Missouri. I had no clue as to what was there except for the Arch. It was amazing the things we saw. We went to route 66 and ate Ted Drewes Historic Ice Cream. My dad and I even went to a Cardinals-Dodgers baseball game at an unbelievable stadium with awesome tickets right behind home plate. There was so many different things to do. And to make the vacation even better for me was the Jonas Brothers were on their world tour and were in town when we were; bad thing was I didn’t have tickets and no way was mom going to buy them when we were going to see them next month in Birmingham. Well their opening band, Honor Society had a meet and greet at a Verizon store so we went over there. Mom and I stood in line for about an hour. During this time they announced they were giving away 2 tickets to the concert. I was so ready to win them, but you had to have entered a contest online only one girl did so I didn’t get them. But about 20 minutes later, they said they had 2 more. The first person to download this specific Jonas Brothers ringtone the fastest would win. These 12 year old girls started pulling out cell phones faster than anything. Mom said what are you waiting for? Get them!! I don’t know how I did it but I did and I won us 2 tickets to the concert!! On 7/28/09, I met Honor Society and went to the best concert ever. Jordin Sparks was there and was unbelievable too. When dad came to pick us up, he said the bus the Jonas Brothers left on came 5 feet from him and Kevin was on the front and saluted my dad. I thought this was hilarious. Needless to say, this vacation turned out to be better than any trip to the beach.

Summer was over before it even began and before I knew it, it was my first day of senior year! And Thomas’ first day of kindergarten!! Woo!! Ever since Capstone, I didn’t want to come back to high school; as much fun as I knew the year was going to be, I knew what is ahead of me at college. I tried not to rush it too much because one day I’ll look back and wonder why I wanted to grow up. The first 2 weeks of school were crazy busy. We were writing essays every night for English 101 and Calculus was not easy. We had one review week of trig and homework every night. Between that and working 3 days, I knew something had to give. I started only working 2 days a week which I’m glad Buddy let me because I was going crazy, but he’s cool like that :] Then, August 16, I got to see the Jonas Brothers again in Birmingham! We also met Abby for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory for her birthday! Jordin Sparks was sick so she didn’t perform but it was great. My mom and I snuck into the Verizon seats right before the concert started and had the best seats in the house. I think she loves them as much as I do! After we get back home that week, I’m real sad because since Kevin is getting married I thought this would be their last tour ever. Well one Sunday night, mom calls me and asks if I want to see them one more time in Nashville. Uh yeah-duh! So the Tuesday after, we drove to Nashville for the last concert this year and watched them. I don’t care what anyone says, those three guys have something special about them. They care for their fans so much and continue to stay grounded despite all the fame. Something about Nashville feels so warm and inviting to me. Everyone seems so nice. We met Andrea Hylen and talked to her for a while before the show. She’s great. Senior year was off to a great start.

As you know, I’m all about concerts, so when Taylor Swift came to town on September 11, 2009, I just had to go. My mom decided that since she had been to all the Jonas concerts with me, it was Dad’s turn to go with me. My dad isn’t a big music person and he had no clue as to who Taylor Swift was. I had her music playing on the way to Birmingham and dad says, “Is this the girl we are going to see tonight?” I was like yea dad. When we got there, he was amazed by all the people. I don’t think he understood how huge she was. Our seats were on the floor, row 13=Awesome!! She came out in a band uniform singing You Belong With Me. Throughout the concert, she changed 8 times; once on stage during Love Story. Unbelievable performance. I even said as much that it might be better than the Jonas Brothers…
When we got back into the car, my dad was like SHE IS AWESOME! I love her! Now, he has her cd in his truck and listens to it all the time. Every award show she is on, dad watches with me. We saw her on a Friday and the vmas were on the next Sunday. Dad was watching with me when Kanye got on stage and stole the mic. I wish you could have seen dad. He was up yelling at the TV like it was gonna help something. Then, he watched when Beyonce generously gave back her moment. He watched the CMAs when she won Entertainer of the Year, and he even teared up for her. Needless to say, Dad loves Taylor Swift now.

October=perfect football weather. I love football. High school or college, not NFL. Our Guntersville team did pretty good this year. I was proud of the guys. And Alabama football did even better! Nothing is better than going to Tuscaloosa on a Saturday and joining the crowd in cheering the Tide on for another win. The whole team was phenomenal.
The other thing about October is it is the last time to take the ACT. I ended up making a 27 after all the long hours I put in at a class in Huntsville every Wednesday night and 4 Saturdays. Oh well.

Umm I found out my cousin is going to have a little baby girl in March! Ahh, I’m so excited. I can’t wait.
During Thanksgiving was the first time all the girls from college had come home since school started so we all got together and hung out. New Moon, the sequel to Twilight came out!! Amber, Taylor, and I went to see it opening night at midnight. It was so much better than the first one. They should just do the first one all over again cause it cannot compare to the second. I have always been team Jacob since I read the books, but now since Taylor Lautner plays Jacob, I have a whole different reason for team Jacob. Alabama beat Auburn!

Nick Jonas and the Administration tickets went on sale at the Ryman. Mom and I bought tickets for us in January. I’m excited!
December 5th, Alabama played Florida at the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship Title. Florida was ranked 1 and Alabama was 2. Everyone thought it was going to be a close game. But Alabama ran away in the first half and Florida never caught back up. They showed Tim Tebow crying at the end and it was really sad. He is a great guy but Greg McElroy ended up playing better that night. It secured Alabama a spot in the BCS Championship game in Pasadena, California. Awesome!! The next Saturday, they announced the Heisman winner. Mark Ingram won!!! He is the first guy in Alabama history to win.
Another thing that is good but makes me sad is that Kevin Jonas is getting married today, the 19th, in New York at the Oheka Castle. It’s a beautiful place, but I wish I was going to marry him :]
I’m also had 2 fun Christmas parties. One involved a scavenger hunt!!! My team one. 700 club!
Christmas was amazing! I’m going to Poland to see my cousin’s wedding in June! I also got new clothes.
Strength to Stand in Sevierville was awesome. The music and speakers were great. It was the first time I heard 3 of the speakers and loved all of them; especially Mark Cahill. I could listen to him all day. Now it’s time for us to Stir the World.

Goodbye 2009. It was a great year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

thankful in december

A couple weeks ago I went to a church service where I was asked to think of 5 things I was grateful for on the spot, but then I decided to take it further and think of something I’m grateful for each day in December:

1. HEAT! I never knew how much I loved the fireplace.
2. Regan. Since we don’t see each other a lot, I always love spending time with her. I wish we lived closer.
3. New songs in my iTunes. Nick Jonas and the Administration!!!
4. High School Athletics. Best basketball game I’ve seen in a while.
6. My aunts. I’m so grateful I was blessed with a wonderful family!
7. God. He is always there.
8. Friends. Love Love Love my friends. I would be no where without them.
9. Twitter. my new favorite love :]
10. My job. I’m so thankful I have a job with a great boss and wonderful friends.
11. Mrs. Claudette DeMuth and Mrs. Susan Richter. I love Thursday morning bible studies. I always have great days on Thursdays. These two ladies are amazing women of faith.
12. Music. It speaks to me when your words don’t.
13. My college friends. I love when they come home. We’re so close, it’s like they never even left.
14. Christmastime. I love just sitting at home watching good Christmas movies with hot chocolate and driving around the neighborhood looking at the lights.
15. Hand-written letters. There is something special about getting hand-written letters in the mail that make me appreciate the person a lot more. You know they took time out of their day when they could have just called or emailed. Old-fashioned? Maybe :]
16. My church family. Through this last year I have learned so much and I owe it all to my church leaders. They are awesome.
17. Babies. I went to see a little baby girl that was one day old today and it reminded me of how beautiful life is yet sometime we forget to take the time and look.
18. A Small Town. I never thought I would say that I liked living in such a small town where everyone knows you, but now I’m starting to really enjoy it. This is so weird for me to say.
19. My Cousins. Even though I don’t see them that much, I love spending time with them.
20. T.V. I rarely watch it, but if I do, it must be good. I’m watching Secrets of the Secret Service right now. It’s crazy the things I have learned.
21. Scavenger Hunts. I loved loved loved the one I did last night with my best friends!!
22. Molly. Even though sometimes she makes me so aggravated, she always means well. I love her!!
23. Sunday School. We all met and ate lunch at the Rock House and just fellowshipped together before Christmas.
24. Christmas Movies. Slept half the day and spend the other half enjoying Christmas movies and hot chocolate.
25. Family! Love my parents so so so much! Awesome. I’m so blessed I was born into this family.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the bus...

So it’s a Friday night and we are going to Memom’s house in for Christmas. We are riding in Mac Mac’s big bus… what fun. It is freezing, noisy, loud, and straight dumb. There is no reason for us to be driving this thing. Thomas is watching his DVD player while Mom and Molly are asleep. I don’t know how they are because every time I get comfortable, this huge thing hits a bump and sounds like it’s going to fall over. So I’m just sitting her writing listening to my iPod while everyone else is doing whatever. Dad is in a horrible mood. IDK what is wrong with everyone. It’s Christmastime. We need to be happy.

Before we left, we got the mail and I got 2 letters from Samford. The first one was just another letter with different information. The second was about the Beeson. I thought it would be saying when my interview in January would be. Nope, it was this “I’m sorry to inform you but you have not been selected to the next selection process in the running for the Beeson.” Bull...

I had gotten an earlier letter that said all nominees will have an interview in January; well I guess not.

It’s the first day of Christmas Break but it’s already been horrible. Hopefully it will get better.

I really can’t wait until college. Where ever I may go…. Still gotta figure that out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

higher education

I am so confused about where I will be going to college next year. I have thought for about the past year, I want to be a pharmacist. The 2 pharmacy schools in Alabama are Auburn and Samford. I went to a War Eagle Day at Auburn and I just don't think I would be happy there. It's a horrible drive from Guntersville to there and idk, I guess growing up a Bama fan, I will always feel a little resentment if I went. After the War Eagle Day, I went to a Preview Day at Samford. I was blown away. The first thing they did was gather everyone in a room and talk about what we were going to do that day. At the end, the campus preacher spoke. Before finishing, he told us he wanted us to find out what Samford is, and what Samford isn't. That was so interesting I thought for him to say. Most schools just want you to see everything it had,but not here. Then after he said that, he prayed over us. I have never been to a school where a teacher can pray. It was neat. Samford is a private, Christian school which mean no wild parties and much drinking. I toured both pharmacy schools and I know for a fact that Auburn has the better program, but it takes 3 undergrad years with Samford's 2 undergrad years. That makes the cost about the same.
I went to these days in September and it's now December so I've had some time to think. This is what I have concluded:
1. I'm not going to Auburn-it's just not for me.
2. I don't know if I even want to be a pharmacist.

Going to work and seeing all the stuff Buddy has to put up with makes me re-think this decision. And I also have to ask why I want to be a pharmacist because if it's for the money, I'm going to hate it. I don't know how to pick a career that I will have to do for the rest of my life.

Then, there is Alabama, which I love, spent the whole month of June taking classes and loving it. But, I think it might be too big for me. I find having 100-200 people in a class kinda intimidating.

I love kids and have always thought about being a teacher. I would get all weekends off, have 2 months in the summer with my family, I just don't think I could find something better.

I was nominated by the school for the Beeson Scholarship at Samford which will pay for 4 years of tuition, but they only give out 10 and there are about 200 applying.

I just really don't know what I need to do. I've been praying that God will show me an answer, and maybe he has, but I just don't want to accept it.

I'm gonna head to sleep now. Going to school tomorrow then the Albertville/Guntersville basketball game. And Saturday is the Florida-Alabama SEC Championship Football Game!