Friday, May 29, 2015

Casual Fridays

Well, by the time you read this, we will be in North Carolina! Which is good because NC is one of my favorite places on earth, and this is how I've been feeling about life lately:
Adoption is really hard. I mean, like, excruciatingly hard. And believe me when I say that I know people mean well when they ask me if there are any updates. I know they love me, and are anxious to love on my kid(s). And I'm so blessed to have so many people supporting Cody and me through this, praying for us, and looking forward to meeting our child or children. 

I also know that God is in control. I know that all the hard stuff on this side of the adoption will be worth it when we finally bring our babies home. I know that I can trust God with all of it.

I really do.  If I didn't, we'd have pulled out of this a long time ago and moved on with our lives. 

So when someone else tritely responds to my shake of the head that, no, there is still no news with, "Well, God is in control, it will all be worth it"--I want to scream.

Do you want to know the best thing you could say to me right now if you must bring up the adoption? Honestly? You could just put your arm around me and acknowledge that, yes, this is really hard. This totally sucks. That you love me and you're praying for me. Just be prepared for me to turn into a blubbering mess all over you.

Or if you have a lot of willpower, you could not mention it at all. Believe me, when we get a referral, when we get to travel to meet him or her or them, when we finally are able to bring them home, I will be singing it from the rooftops. You will not be in the dark on that. If I'm not dancing up to you with some big life-changing, adoption-related news, I kid you not, there is none. And asking me about it is just a painful reminder that nothing is happening.

If you're reading this and you have asked me about it, please, PLEASE, don't think I'm upset with you. Go back up and re-read the part where I'm so, so thankful for all the prayers, love, and support. I've just learned that until you're going through something difficult, you don't understand what may or may not be hurtful. Hopefully this post will be helpful, an education, if you will. I love you, and I'm thankful that you care about me.

Well, that got heavy. I really wasn't planning to go into all that. Let's switch to a different topic.

Colonel's Corner
I love this puppy, y'all. Love him. But this week, we were not on speaking terms. 

He ate my Cake Batter ChapStick.

That is a cardinal sin in this household, and I was furious.

I mean, you know that I'm addicted to ChapStick, and my Cake Batter one was my favorite. The one I keep by my bed at all times. Don't tell me to stop being dramatic about this. It's not funny, ok? I was seriously ready to put him up for sale.

But we made up. He really is the sweetest.

If he eats my Sweet Peach ChapStick though, we're done. 

Have a wonderful weekend! I know I will because I'll be in the great state of North Carolina. Don't hate me if I miss a couple posts next week, and in the meantime, send ChapStick.

Verse of the Week
"Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" Job 2:10

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Well, y'all, I have finished watching Season 20 of Dancing With The Stars. You don't have to be afraid to talk to me about it anymore. 

First of all, I have to say, this may have been the best season ever. Seriously. When it finally got down to the finale, I could not have been happier about who the final three were, and I wanted all of them to win. Really. I may have cried a little about the fact that they couldn't just make it a 3-way tie and give them all golden mirror ball trophies. 

And the freestyle dances?! Holy cow. By far the three best freestyles in one finals episode I have ever seen. 

But I just have to share this one:
This guy. Oh man. He is a true American hero, and I am so happy that America got behind him and supported him throughout this entire show. When he and the other two guys lifted Sharna during the dance and then the two other guys stepped away, it was like someone released the floodgates. I started bawling. For real. Like, ugly-crying, and I could not get it together. I had to pause the show for a while. And then when I watched it again just now, I started crying AGAIN

Way to go, Noah Galloway. You truly are amazing. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


So I've seen this survey/questionnaire/(poll?) floating around on other people's blogs lately and did you catch Monday's post? May is crazy. And I mean, what's the fun of having a blog anyway if you can't do stupid stuff like this? Here we go.

Four Names People Call You
1- Auntie Hannah
2- Hannah Belle
3- Banana
4- Babe

Four Jobs You've Had
1- Nanny
2- Boston Market Server/Cashier/Drive-Thru
3- GEICO Claims Rep
4- Housewife (it's a job, ok?!)

Four Movies You've Watched More Than Once
1- You've Got Mail
2- Return to Me
3- Mary Poppins
4- Singin' In The Rain

Four Books You Would Recommend
1- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (it's hysterical)
2- the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery (ok, so this is technically 8 books--sue me)
3- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
4- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Four Places You've Lived
1- Hollisterville, PA
2- Winter Haven, FL
3- Clearwater, FL
4- Johannesburg, South Africa

Four Places You've Been
1- Joao Pessoa, Brasil
2- Paris, France
3- Cape Town, South Africa
4- London, England

Four Places You'd Like To Go
1- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2- Santorini, Greece
3- The Great Wall of China
4- Hawaii

Four of Your Favorite Foods
1- Pizza
2- Homemade Tacos
3- Olive Garden's Breadsticks dipped in their Alfredo Sauce (don't judge me)
4- Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Four TV Shows You Watch
1- Dancing With The Stars
2- Bones
3- Wheel of Fortune
4- Jeopardy

Four Things You're Looking Forward To This Year
1- A Referral and Traveling to Ethiopia (please God?)
2- Living Proof Live with Beth Moore
3- Family Vacation
4- Seeing the Rockettes in NYC (right Mom?)

Four Things You're Always Saying
1- Don't judge me.
2- You're just the cutest puppy.
3- Y'all.
4- I love you.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Anniversaries, Open Houses & Birthdays - OH MY!

In case you hadn't picked up on it, May has been an insane month. Can I just give you a quick recap? 

May 2nd : My best-friend-turned-sister-in-law's 5th wedding anniversary and my niece's last soccer game.

May 5th : My mom's birthday.

May 7th : My brother-in-law's and my Gracie's high school/college graduation. (Yes, they graduated from high school AND with their two-year degrees from college at the same time. Smarties.)

May 10th : Mother's Day.

May 16th : Meggy's Graduation Open House.

May 17th : Caleb's AND Katie's Graduation Open Houses. (And Caleb's was at our house.)

May 19th : MY anniversary.

May 23rd : A Graduation Open House for Jana, Jessica, and Jacob. (They're cousins so they had a joint one, hallelujah.)

And today, TWO anniversaries for two of my favorite couples.

First of all, my little brother and his wife Caroline are celebrating their 2nd anniversary today. Congratulations, you two! I love you forever!

Siblings, amiright?
And second of all, my brother-from-another-mother and his sweet wife are celebrating their 1st anniversary. Way to go, you guys! I love you both and can't wait to meet Baby Brock!

So as you can see, between all these anniversaries, birthdays, open houses, and everything in between, there hasn't been much time for reading lately. I mean, we are single-handedly keeping Hallmark in business this month. (You're welcome, Hallmark. Not only are we keeping you in business, I'm handing out free endorsements, apparently.) 

Which is why I'm taking my sweet time enjoying Little Women when I have a few minutes to breathe. 

Did I mention we're going to North Carolina this weekend? Because everything I listed above just wasn't enough for us.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Casual Fridays

Let's jump right into it today with some Link Love.

Dear Mom of an Adopted Child : Um, hi. Somebody just pass the kleenex and don't mind this mess of a human being over here right now.

What Should You Do When You Fail? : Because I do. All.The.Time.

The Art of Resetting : Because it's just too relevant.

12 Things In 12 Months of Marriage : Because I just discovered her blog this week and she's hilarious and this is just so true. Especially the countertop thing, amiright?!

Four : Because I just found her blog yesterday and I'm totally doing this next week. (Stop judging me for not writing about books all the time like I promised.)

Tips for Pursuing Your Dream When You Can't Yet : This one's a few weeks old so don't get all excited when you see the amazing deal on the ultimate homemaking bundle (because it's not happening anymore) but read the post. It's good.

Kid Snippets: Pest Control : Maybe don't click on this one unless you are prepared to get sucked into a black hole of Kid Snippets videos. Because that's what happens to me. I'm just sayin'. You've been warned.

Colonel's Corner
Yesterday, we almost went back to being a no-dog family. I'm kidding! (Kindof.) Let me just give you a little sample of some of the texts my husband was getting at work:

"The dog regurgitated and its the grossest thing i've ever seen and i dont know if i can even clean it up because every time i look at it i think i might puke."

"#notexaggerating #notbeingdramatic"

"Ok i did it. Please be proud of me because i really almost did throw up. Also, we might not have a dog when you get home tonight because he's driving me insane."

First of all, don't judge my disregard for grammar, capitalization, or punctuation when I'm texting. Ain't nobody got time for that when I'm still (proudly) rocking a Dumb Phone (as opposed to a Smart Phone, in case you didn't catch that) from the Stone Age.

Second of all, I really do love my puppy. (See the picture?? That's love.) And he's still around, no worries. Sometimes I just forget that he's not even 6 months old so I can't expect him to be perfect all the time. But seriously. I expect him to be perfect all the time.

I have been listening to Josh Groban's new album Stages non-stop. And he's touring this fall. And he's going to be doing a show in Atlanta in September. 

Yes, that's a major hint.

Tell my husband. 

Speaking of my husband (and by all means, feel free to skip over this part if you are so over me talking about how awesome he is), we celebrated three blissful years of marriage this week. He gave me roses. We got dressed up. He took me to Barnes & Noble and bought me new books. Then he swept me off to The Melting Pot where we gorged on fondue.

Roses, fondue and new books. He speaks my crackalackin' language.

In case you can't see in the photo, he got some books about nursing. He's real career-oriented that way. I got some classics to add to our library: The Last of the Mohicans, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, and The Secret Garden. I might add The Last of the Mohicans to my reading list for the year because I've never read it, and I looove the movie. I'm sure the book is phenomenal. Any thoughts on that?

Well, I think that about wraps it up for the week. I mean, if you don't have enough reading material with all those links up at the top, I don't know what to do with you. Have all the fun this Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wonderstruck Wednesdays

Have you ever heard of a king called Manasseh? He was really wicked. I'm talking, you cannot imagine how bad he was: wicked. You can read about him in 2 Kings 21 and also in 2 Chronicles 33. His story truly amazes me. Let me share a little about him from the 2 Chronicles account of his reign over Judah.

"Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel." (verses 1-2)

The next several verses go on to detail several of his wicked, abominable actions, and then we read:

"Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel." (verse 9)

Did you catch that? More evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel. That's really evil. That's the kind of evil that deserves big-time consequences. God had warned Israel that if they turned away from Him to whore after other gods, He would remove His favor from them. And He was true to His word. Next we read:

"The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon." (verses 10-11)

Good. He had it coming, right? But here comes the part that strikes me with wonder:

"When [Manasseh] was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, [God] was moved by [Manasseh's] entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God." (verses 12-13)

What?! God forgave him and even brought him back to his kingdom?? That kind of forgiveness is powerful. The rest of the account goes on to talk about how Manasseh truly changed and served God with his life and commanded the people of Judah to serve God as well. 

I cannot fathom that kind of deep love. I can't understand why God forgave Manasseh, why God has forgiven me. But I know the power of it. And it fills me with wonder. 

The everlasting kindness of God. 
His unrelenting forgiveness. 
The depth of His love.

I am wonderstruck.

What aspects of God's character strike you with wonder?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Three Years

Happy Anniversary, my darling! My heart is yours forever.
Augustine Grace Photography

Monday, May 18, 2015

Read All About It!

If you caught Friday's post (and weren't too wrapped up in my embarrassing story), you may have seen that my mom got me the cutest new book last Sunday. It's called Read All About It! and it was written by Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager. I had not even heard of this book, but my mom actually went to a reading of it by Jenna herself and got a copy signed for me. Thanks, Mom!

You guys, it is the cutest book, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to all you teachers and parents of young children who might not be too interested in reading yet.

The story is about a young boy named Tyrone who can't be bothered with reading and thinks the library is a total snore zone. But because of his awesome teacher's dedication to reading aloud in the classroom, he comes to love books and decides the library is the place to be.

Not only are the illustrations hilariously adorable, the story itself is so witty and fun. I found myself laughing out loud as I turned the pages and found that the list of classroom rules on the chalkboard was growing with each book that the class read aloud. (For example, after Benjamin Franklin showed up in class while they were reading about him, "Fly Kites on Playground Only" was added to the list.)

Having dedicated teachers who care about their students is so important and this book shows how those teachers can foster a true love for learning in the young minds they get to mold each day. I had so many wonderful teachers growing up, and I am so thankful for all that I learned from them. 

While artfully highlighting how important good teachers are to our society, the book is all about how fun it is to read and how reading can take you on all kinds of adventures where you'll meet loads of new friends. And that's exactly what this little blog is all about! I love reading and hope to encourage others to love it as well. 

As Miss Libro (yes, the teacher's name is Miss Libro. how clever is that?) tells Tyrone in this book, "You never know who you're going to meet in a good book!"

Who was your favorite teacher in school? Who are some of your favorite literary friends?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Casual Fridays

Y'all, this has been a week. I don't even know where to start. I think I'm just going to give you a little play-by-play of the goings-on around here lately. 

Let's start with last Saturday because that was a great day. In the morning, Cody and I headed over to this girl's open house. She graduated from high school AND college last week, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I've watched her grow up from the time she was a baby, and she's got my heart. I love you, Grace!

After the open house, I headed out to the beach with these two beauties. We had quite the time trying to find a place to park since we got there after lunch (read: peak beach hours), but after we finally got a spot, the rest of the day was paradise. Understand something, I am a beach baby to my core. I'm pretty sure saltwater runs through my veins. I cannot think of anything better than laying out under the sun on beautiful white sand, listening to the ocean and taking in the scent of sunscreen. It. Is. My. Happy. Place. And the Lord knew I was gonna need a good weekend before the week I've had. But let's not get ahead of the story.

When we left the beach, we hit up a Ross, and I found some fun new dresses, then we went to a Moe's for dinner. Yum! I came home to this beautiful bouquet of flowers from my husband. 

I mean really, this was like, the perfect day. 

So that was my Saturday.

Sunday was also a great day.  I wore one of my pretty new dresses to church. The service was excellent, per usual. We picked up some Boston Market for lunch and took it over to my parents' house where we celebrated my mother who is the loveliest and the best, in case you haven't heard. Seriously. She gave me the sweetest card and a fun new book which I will be talking about on the blog next week so keep an eye out for that.

When everyone there was ready to go down for the count, we trekked out to my mommy-in-law's house to celebrate her and spent the rest of the day by the pool, grilling for dinner, and having a wonderful time together like we always do. 

I have the best moms.

Then Monday came. Monday really wasn't that bad. Cody and I planned to chill at home, and I was excited to spend the day doing laundry. I'm not even kidding. My washing machine had been in pieces for an entire week, and the laundry was taking over my house. I was dying to tackle it, and my awesome husband had gotten the parts and fixed the washer over the weekend. So I threw the first huge load in, it washed like a dream, I got it all in the dryer, adjusted the dryer settings and turned the dial to start it up. Nothing. I fiddled with all the knobs, made sure the dryer door was closed all the way, turned the starter again and....nada. Imagine my frustration. I'm sitting here with a massive load of wet clothes already in the dryer and at least three more enormous loads I wanted to do, and IT'S NOT WORKING. So I go in, tell Cody, and he, like the amazing man he is, stops everything he's doing to go check it out. A trip to Lowe's and a couple hours later, he's got it working again, and my sanity is back. Have I mentioned that he is the best?

Enter Tuesday. Y'all. If you are already looking at that picture thinking, "What the heck?!" you don't even know. It started out like any other day. Cody left for work a little after six. I got up an hour or two later and resumed the war on laundry. Got the kitchen clean, worked on finishing all my Bible study homework in preparation for Bible study that evening, watched an episode of Dancing With The Stars, wrote Wednesday's blog post, and was having a pretty productive day. Around 4:30 I started working on dinner and finally pulled the last load of laundry out of the dryer, hallelujah! I got dinner into the oven and went back into the bedroom to get that last load put away. Colonel followed me into the room and was looking a little restless. I knew he needed to go outside, but I really wanted to get that last load put away before I took him out. Mistake. He popped a squat and started peeing right there on the carpet. The one room in the house that has carpet. I yelled, shoved my feet into my boots, and immediately herded him outside. We briskly walked our front circle, he finished his business, and I headed back for the door. It was locked. Did I mention that I hadn't changed out of my pajamas all day?! Is the photo starting to make sense? Of course I wasn't wearing one of Cody's big tees with some baggy pajama pants. I was wearing my cute little, paper thin, married-lady pj's with BOOTS! I quickly ran around to the back door: locked. Our bedroom sliding doors: locked. Windows: locked down. Even the laundry room door which wouldn't accomplish anything because I can't even get into the house that way anyway: LOCKED. Um...I was mortified. Cell phone still inside. No hide-a-key anywhere. Dinner is in the oven, and there is dog pee drying permanently into my bedroom carpet, y'all. What am I supposed to do?! No way was I traipsing down to the church or to my parents' house in my sweet little getup. No. Way. But I was slightly concerned that while I was sitting outside, my dinner would catch fire and the whole house would burn down. Oy. So I'm sitting out in one of our camp chairs in my sexy pj's and boots like the Polk County redneck that I am, praying for a miracle. To my horror, my neighbor comes outside and starts rooting around in his little shed that is jutted right up to our fence a few feet away from where I'm sitting. At that moment, I was wishing on every holy thing that I could just disappear. And of course, Colonel, friendly little lover that he is, runs right up to him and starts barking and jumping excitedly. Have I mentioned that I've never met this neighbor? Still concerned about my burning dinner inside, I work up the nerve to approach said neighbor and brilliantly say, "Oh Colonel, did you make a new friend?" That's right. I couldn't even bring myself to address him like a normal human being. I had to talk to my dog like the crazy weirdo that I am. The neighbor (who is a huge animal-lover as I quickly learned) had already gotten acquainted with my little mutt on a previous occasion, and I finally got the courage to ask, "I am so embarrassed, but I am locked out of my house and do you have a phone I could use?" My accommodating neighbor immediately agreed to go inside and get his cell phone for me to use. I call my mother, praying with everything in me that she will pick up her cotton-pickin' phone which she finally did on the last ring. I urge her to please drop everything and come get me into my house before it burns down, for the love, and then hand my neighbor back his cell phone. He then proceeds to chat it up with me like nothing in the world could possibly be out of the ordinary while I stood there red-faced with my arms tightly folded across my chest, apologizing profusely. Bless his heart. He really was so nice about it all. I don't know if I can ever face him again. My parents both showed up, shaking their heads in disbelief when they got a load of my outfit. My mom gets out of the car and walks up to me saying, "Well, look at you in your--" "Mom. I can't do this with you right now. Please unlock the door."

I can't even.

Fortunately, my dinner was salvageable.

Why even share this humiliating story with you, my little blog-followers? Because if I don't, my family will. I will never, NEVER live this one down. Later that night after I had shared my shame with my husband and we were getting into bed, he looks at me and says, "Baby, will you put your cute little jammies on for me? You wear them for the neighbors."

Low blow, babe. Low blow.

On Wednesday, an even more embarrassing, completely unrelated event happened to me in an entirely different county. I can't even talk about it yet. It's too soon. And that's about enough for today anyway. I hope you got a good laugh at my expense. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself. I hope your weekend is filled with lots more laughs, but not because you got caught outside in your unmentionables.

Anyone else care to share an embarrassing story in the comments? Please?  

Happy Birthday to My Awesome Sister-In-Law!

Happy Birthday, Dakota Tina! I love you forever!

Graduating with her AA ~ May 2011
Graduating from High School ~ June 2011
(yeah, she graduated from college before she graduated from high school. she's wicked smart.)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My DWTS Obsession

Ok, I'm a little hesitant to even mention this, but I am a big-time fan of Dancing With The Stars. Why the hesitation, you ask? Well, here's the deal: we don't do cable or hulu+ or anything like that so I watch the episodes on regular hulu eight days after they air. Eight days. Which is totally fine with me, but DWTS is a pretty huge show so if I'm listening to the radio or surfing the web and anything DWTS-related comes up, you will find me covering my ears and "la-la-la, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" as loud as I can, as quick as I can. I do not want to know what's going to happen before I see it. I do not want to know who got eliminated or who got the first perfect score of the season or ANYTHING before I get to watch it. Capiche? So having said all that, I cannot help but share one of the cutest dances ever this week on the blog.

But I swear, if you give anything away: I will cut you.
On this particular episode, all the remaining couples had to do what they call a trio dance and this is probably the best concept for a trio dance that I have seen on the show. I mean, Derek and Nastia aren't even my favorite couple this season (Go Riker & Allison! Go Rumer & Val!), but this dance is just too freakin' adorable. Way to go, Derek. Way to go.

But seriously though....
                                                                                                   not tell me anything.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wonderstruck Wednesdays

I posted several weeks ago about a new Bible study I was working through called Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. For anyone wondering, I am still loving it, and I would definitely recommend it for anyone out there looking for a study to do. In the study, Margaret highlights six areas of wonder in our lives: the wonder of divine expectation, the wonder of God's presence, the wonder of rest, the wonder of prayer, the wonder of friendship, and the wonder of forgiveness. This past week I completed the homework portion on the wonder of friendship. God has blessed me with so many beautiful friendships throughout my life, and I wanted to take today to talk about just a few of these sweet women. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of all my friends, but these five women have stuck around and been my friends for a very long time, and I can't thank God enough for them. 

First, there's Amy. If I remember correctly, Amy was the first girl my age I met when I moved to Florida at the fresh age of seven years old. From the moment we met, we were bosom buddies and if you ask any of the members who attended Faith Baptist Church when we were children, they'd tell you they rarely saw one of us without the other. We've been friends for over 20 years now, and Amy is one of the most loyal women I know. When I spent six months in Johannesburg, South Africa, Amy wrote me letters every week without fail. Amy, I love you with all my heart and I look forward to the next 20 years of friendship we'll share.

Next is Erin. I also met Erin when I was seven years old right after moving to Florida. Erin is probably one of the most steady people I know. I have said on different occasions that Erin has probably been the most consistent friend I have ever had, and that remains true today. Even though she has been living in Arizona for the last several years (which is killing me, Erin. get your butt back to Florida!), I never feel as if our friendship has stopped or even lagged. Whether it's a phone call or a visit, I enjoy spending time with her, and I know I can trust her with anything. I love you, Erin, and your friendship is a treasure to me. 

Lyndsey is another one of my lifers who is now my sister-in-law. That's right. I married her brother. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through times where we haven't seen each other as much as other times. In those times, we never missed each other's birthday parties, talked on the phone for hours, and wrote each other real, send-it-in-the-mail-with-a-stamp letters. Lyndsey and I can't tell each other a story without one of us stopping to ask, "Wait, what were you wearing? What time was it? Was it before or after such-and-such?" We have to know every single detail about each others' lives, and I wouldn't change that for anything. Now we have been sisters for three years and she'll never be able to get rid of me even if she wanted to! Lynds, I love you to the stars, and I'm so glad you've always been my sister....even before I married Cody.

Christina and I met during our turbulent middle school years and instantly became BFFs. Nearly 15 years later, we can't go for a week without at least texting each other, and I can't imagine my life without her in it. From countless sleepovers where absolutely no sleeping occurred, to our shared love of music and singing together (come on, Shania), to our Ben & Jerry's chic flic therapy, to our appreciation for and strict enforcement of correct grammar, to our blogging endeavors, to our love for Christ and our desire to walk closer with Him; she is my girl and she's always got my back. Christina, I love you forever.

Danette has been my friend for almost a decade now, and I can't even begin to talk about how much joy and fun she has brought into my life. Even over this past weekend when I was deep in a pit, she brought me out of it just by being available to spend time with me talking, laughing, and shopping. And then following all of that up with a trip to the beach! Whether it's wearing green wigs to a wedding, lathering each other up with sunscreen, broadening our horizons by sharing books and movies together, exaggerating merely for the sake of exaggerating, or frequenting one of the many fine eateries in the greater Winter Haven area, I would pick Danette every time. Danette, I love you, buddy, and count on me frequenting all of the fine eateries in the greater Talla-assee area with you in the future!

Henry Ford said, "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." You five women bring out the best in me, and I thank God for each and every one of you. 

I am wonderstruck by my friends.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Liberty and Justice For All

Well, I just got done writing letters to our nine Supreme Court justices. For those of you living in caves, our justices are currently facing the decision of whether or not to redefine marriage to include the recognition of same-sex couples as married. They will make this decision in the next month or so. I'm considering writing a post on my feelings about this, but I'll be honest, I'm a little hesitant to put my thoughts on this subject out on the interwebs for all the haters to see. I've mentioned before how ugly comments tear me up or my belief that the internet is full of narcissistic jerks.

Anyway, back to the task at hand: I don't know about you, but marriage is something I feel very strongly about which is why I took the time to write a letter to our justices expressing my opinions and concerns about their upcoming decision on this matter. As an educated adult living in a country where I have the right to vote and have exercised that right since I was of legal voting age, I think it's important that I take the time to make sure that the people entrusted to make decisions for this country know where I stand on monumental issues such as this one. Earlier this year, I wrote to all my state representatives expressing my extreme displeasure in the events leading to the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in my state. 

From what I have observed, my generation and younger have become increasingly apathetic about our right to vote and the legal system in this nation. This is very disheartening to me, and I wanted to take the time today to advocate for being informed about current issues and exercising your rights as a citizen in this country. It is not difficult with the technology we have to figure out who your representatives are and how to get in touch with them. 

If you didn't know, our nine Supreme Court justices are:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
Justice John Paul Stevens
Justice Antonin Scalia
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor

To mail them a letter, you would address it like this:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
Supreme Court of the United States
One First Street N.E.
Washington, DC 20543

When writing a justice of the Supreme Court, it is appropriate to address them like this:

Dear Justice (or Chief Justice) [last name]:

For example:

Dear Justice Kennedy:

When you write a letter to any of our politicians, be sure you include your own name and mailing address. In my letters, I include my phone number as well. Be respectful in your tone and concise. Make your position clear. Check for spelling and grammar errors. Type it up so they will be able to read it. It's not rocket science, people, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to write a letter to one (or all) of our justices.

If you are interested in writing letters to your state representatives or senators, this is a really helpful website for figuring out who they are and how to do that. If you are interested in reading the letters I have sent or have more questions about how to write to a politician, feel free to email me at hannah(dot)hancock87(at)gmail(dot)com, and I would be more than happy to show you my letters, answer your questions, or help you in any way I can. 

We really do live in a great country, and I, for one, want it to stay that way.
Have you ever written to your senator? Your representatives? Our Supreme Court justices? Or the President? What did you write about? Did you receive a response?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Word for Wednesday

"Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."
-P.J. O'Rourke-