Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leaving for Moldova

After months of preparing and praying, Moldova is finally here! I am leaving in a few hours to go to help build beds for and ministering to the orphaned children in Straeseni, Moldova. The month of May has been very hectic and crazy so I have felt a little stressed trying to prepare this week for our trip. My class ended today, so now I am free to go and serve in Moldova with my whole heart and all my attention. Please pray for our safety as we travel a long way, our hearts to be open and willing to serve, and for our teams health on the trip. I can not wait to be there! I am SO excited! When I get back next week... I will have LOTS of pictures and stories to fill the blog about!

Proverbs 3:24
"When you lie down you will not be afraid; When you lie down your sleep will be sweet."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It Was The Best Day!

Today was seriously such a joy! I woke up this morning and got ready for the day and then headed over to Lauren's house for breakfast. Since I am missing our prayer/send off meeting for Moldova tomorrow night, Lauren and I decided to meet to go over what I would be missing. I show up at Lauren's with no makeup and my hair straightener in hand. I walk into the kitchen to get coffee and breakfast and three of the most precious Young Lifers are standing in her kitchen! What a sweet surprise! Lauren had organized a surprise prayer/send off just for me! These girls came bright and early to pray for me and our trip to Moldova. I am tearing up just writing about this! There were lots of tears this morning as well. Here is a picture of my precious girls... Madison, Katie, and Chandler. And I would just like to point out that there is NO makeup on any of these beauties! I think it makes the picture even better! I just love them! Tonight was also a great Nashville summer evening. Tonight was the first movie for Movies in the Park. Everyone comes to Centennial Park to watch a movie they have projected on a big screen. Tonight's movie was "Mamma Mia." Although the weather was not the best, it was a great time with some of my favorite people! Here we are with our blankets ready to watch/sing along to Mamma Mia!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Girls Guide to Grilling

Summer holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day usually centers around some sort of cookout. I beleive the cookout is so popular because 1- you get to be outside and 2- you can drink while preparing the meal because it takes some time. I would also like to add a very important number 3 to my list: the men do it! I am all about being equal or whatever.... but I would like to leave the men to the grilling.

Tonight I had my very first lesson in grilling. I have never cared about it before, nor did I need to know. Tonight two of my friends and I decided to "grill out" because it is Memorial Day! Gracie, Maribeth, and I planned a small cookout for the three of us. Hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, corn, salad, dessert, and yummy beverages. Sounds like a great plan! As I am making my way over to Maribeth's house, I get a call from them asking if I knew anything about coal for the grill. None of us knew really anything about it. So I call one of my favorite guys and ask him about coal. Thomas explained to me about the 2 different kinds of coal.

Lesson 1: There are 2 different kinds of coal. One kind is ready to light and the other kind needs lighter fluid added.

After we realized that we have the kind of coal that is not ready to light.... I venture to the gas station to get lighter fluid. First stop: Exxon. Exxon gas station does not have lighter fluid. I was surprised so I kindly asked where I could find some. The two attendants there said they were not sure since they were not familiar with the area. What? Really? So onto stop number 2: Mapco. Mapco was dead. There was no one in the store which was lucky for me because I got great customer service. I asked Jeremy, the gas station associate, if he had any lighter fluid. Jeremy got a tiny little bottle of lighter fluid from behind the counter and gave it to me. I paid him the $1.08 for the lighter fluid and was getting ready to walk out the door when my friendly personality got me talking. Never having used lighter fluid, I wanted to ask my new friend for extra help. I asked him exactly what to do with this lighter fluid for the grill....

Lesson 2: Lighter fluid is not the same as charcoal lighter.

Once Jeremy knew that I did not need lighter fluid to fill up my lighter, he helped me get a bottle of charcole lighter. Yes.... much better. Side note - have you ever retured anything in a gas station.... it was weird.

Back at Maribeth's house... we finally put the charcoal lighter stuff on the coals and get the grill fired up. Then we put the hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill.

Lesson 3: Don't put the food on the grill till the coal turns white.

This would have been a great lesson for us to know BEFORE we started grilling. We thought the fire was what cooked out food. I guess that is more of a campfire, not a grill. When the fire went out.... I called my dad to ask for help. Thanks to my great dad for this lesson! He explained it very well.... but sadly we had already placed our food on the fire.

Lesson 4: The fire should go out on its own..... we are still waiting on this to happen.

Lesson 5: Leave the grilling to someone who knows what they are doing.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Celebrity Sightings

Another reason I love Nashville: Celebrity Sightings! For a while I was having them all the time, but have not seen anyone lately! Today after church, some girls went to Five Guys Burgers in Brentwood and we ran into Jeff Fisher. Although he is not a country music singer or famous actor, we still consider him a big celebrity here in Nashville. Especially after the great season the Titans had last year! We had a lot of fun eating lunch with Coach Fisher and had some great football conversations as well!

Another celebrity sighting I had this morning was in church when we remembered those who have served our country in honor of Memorial Day. Our paster invited those men and women who have served to stand and be recognized. It was a really special moment to remember and thank those who serve our country. These men and women are also celebrities in my eyes. I did not stop crying till long after the worship service ended. Then started crying again when Jeff Fisher was so nice to a boy at Five Guys.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Lindsey!!!

Today, May 14th, is Lindsey's Birthday! I have always loved birthdays and I am SO excited to be able to BLOG about Lindsey!! Lindsey and I met our Freshmen year at UT when we both pledged AOPi and have been friends ever since! Almost every memory from college includes Linsdsey, and I am SO THANKFUL for her! She has been such a loyal friend and is the most sincere and encouraging person I know. We share a love for UT, FRIENDS, pedicures,weddings, and Twilight just to name a few. Since she is turning the big 2-5 today, I thought about making 25 reasons why I am thankful for her... but decided that was a little obsessive and weird. So instead, I am going to put up some pictures of us and wish we still lived next door to each other in Massey..... sigh.

Lindsey is going to kill me when she sees that I put this up.... but I had to! One reason I love Lindsey is because she makes me laugh like here when we went to the Memphis Zoo! I think if you look closely, you can see the antelope in the background that she is trying to imitate!

Happy Birthday Lindsey Gail! Hope you have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Home: Good for the heart, bad for the diet

I have the best Mom in the whole world!!!

I am so glad I got to spend Mothers Day with my mom in Knoxville. I think everyday is special with my mom, but we had a lot of fun this weekend. Some of my favorite memories with my mom include: singing along to musicals or oldies on the way to school everyday, and going on admissions trips to Baltimore and Charleston. My mom makes the best EVERYTHING and is the most hospitable person I have ever met. I love that we talk at least once a day everyday, she now has a love for facebook and I love that she has become one of my best friends! I love you mom!!

Also wanted to wish a Happy Mothers Day to my sister Amy! It is her first mothers day which is so exciting! She is a great mom... Happy Mothers Day!

I loved being home so much this weekend, but now I must get back to the real world. When I am home I feel like I am on vacation! I did not worry about where my phone was and I ate WAY too much! Now I must get back to exercise, eating healthy (yuck), and homework (YUCK). We had a lot of fun, and I wish I more pictures from the weekend to share. But I don't want to leave Dad out so here is a picture of me and my Dad because he is so cute!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de mayo!

There are lots of exciting things happening today...

1- It is Cinco De Mayo! Today in history the Mexican army won some really big battle against the French so we celebrate! Now, in the history of Rachel de Mayo, there are two foods that I can not resist.... queso dip and peanut butter M&M's. And since today is Cinco de mayo I get an excuse to celebrate and eat cheese dip!! Ole!
2- Today is also Whitney's birthday! Happy Birthday Whitney! Ole!
3- Today also marks the final day of my semester! I just finished my last final exam! OLE!!

Hope you had a wonderful Cinco De Mayo!

Friday, May 1, 2009

yoga and cookies

It has been too long since my last post! Seriously, I have been missing this! And it is not because I have lots of profound and important things to say. And it is not because I think my life is important or because I am obsessed with myself. I just think it is fun! It is a fun way for me to scrapbook the fun times in my life.

So what has been going on since my last post? Well, it has not been too exciting because I have been doing lots of school work! For one of my class assignments we were assigned to do a self-exploration project. All semester we were required to do things like personal counseling, diversity training, volunteer work, attend group meetings like AA or weight watchers, and something personal like yoga. I have been doing most of these things all semester, but last week one of my friends from class and I went to yoga. This was my first time to go to yoga class and I was pretty nervous. I really planned well for my first yoga class. I knew to wear yoga capri pants because shorts are awkward in yoga. And I also knew you do it barefoot so I put on my sandals instead of tennis shoes to look like I knew what I was doing. I paired my outfit with my favorite t-shirt from the Christie Cookie 5K that I did last year. ( I had to look my best because I was going to the place where Nicole Kidman does yoga)! We get to this fabulous facility and are working on our paperwork while talking to the owner. Our conversation went a little like this:

Me: Wow this is a really nice studio you have here!
Yoga guy: Yes, Thank you. But next time you come, remember we like to stay quiet to help with the tone of yoga.
Me: Oh I'm sorry. I will do better not to be so loud.
Yoga guy: Is this your first time?
Me: Yes it is! How did you know? (still talking too loud)
Yoga guy: Well for one you are wearing a t-shirt with your yoga pants. And two, you are being loud.
Me: Oh. Well I hate to tell you but I do not have a yoga mat. Do you have any I could rent or buy?
Yoga guy: You are in trouble.
Me: What? why?
Yoga guy: You don't have a yoga mat, and you have a picture of a running cookie on your t-shirt.

Guess the yoga guy did not appreciate the cute cookie on my t-shirt. Oh well! I still had a fabulous time at yoga! It is a great workout! Now I am just hoping my cookie t-shirt and I run into Nicole at the yoga place!