Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can you feel the love tonight?

Okay, did anybody else really and truly love that song? Not just in a "Disney songs are catchy and cute" way, but in a "Yes, yes I can feel the love tonight! Simba and Nala are so meant for each other!" way.

No? Just me? Moving on, then...

Right now I'm waiting for the peach cobbler I made (read: bought frozen at the store and popped in the oven) to finish baking, so I decided to do a shout-out blog entry to the amazing women who comprise my blogosphere.

First of all, I have to give a shout-out to the original blog shouter-outer: Miss Christy. She is ever so fantabulous, and here are just a few of the many reasons why: She is wise and mature beyond her years and loves her God with a fully individualized faith. Her faith is one that has been questioned, nurtured, struggled with, lovingly tended to and driven by a sincere personal desire to know God better. Alongside this is Christy's love for people, especially those who are "out of the norm." Her love, joy and inner beauty spill over into all aspects of her life and onto those lucky enough to be around her, and she is someone whom I can look to as an example. Plus, she knits some truly amazing creations. Jealous!!

Bethany is my sister and my ever-brave pathfinder. She has lead my younger sister and I by example and unerring courage throughout our lives, and has always been an example of the kind of responsible, loving, hardworking, hardplaying, quirky woman and avid sports fan I aspire to be. Perhaps the biggest way she has set the example for me is in her choice of husband, so Danny's going to get an honorary mention on here even though he isn't a lady. D-Fitty is so freaking cool, and has helped me to feel loved and accepted into my sister's new life. I love having a brother, and someday I hope I can be part of a ministry team much like Fitels.

Evie-Baby! The fourth Hall sister! Eve is awesome because she is so intrinsically motivated to do great things with her life. She's run a marathon, biked 100 miles to benefit charity, and is doing it all over again in November! She bakes, she hosts Bible studies, she climbs Half Dome, she puts up with my attempts to freak her out -- is there anything this mega-babe DOESN'T do? Eve is such a special part of my family and didn't even get mad when my Study Abroad session this summer meant that our longer Ireland '08 trip would have to become a shorter Oxford '08 trip. When I think of Eve, I think of giggles, and that's ALWAYS a good thing.

Pat is my second mom, and has been such a source of beauty and love in my life. When I wear her jewelry I don't just feel pretty, I feel loved and cared for. She and her husband have undertaken a huge project to turn a run-down house with masses of potential into a beautiful Victorian dream home in San Antonio. It helps me so much to know that you are so close and so willing to be there for me when I'm so far from my family. That sentence used the word "so" a lot, but that's how Pat is! She's not sweet, she's SO sweet. She's not thoughtful, she's SO thoughtful. Pat is just so so so so so!

Adelle is just too cool. I actually haven't been able to spend that much time with Adelle in person, but our mutual blog-checking keeps us up to speed on each other's lives, and I could not be more excited about the addition of little Scrappy-Doo to the Gabe clan. You are a wonderful encourager, a fantastic mom, a strong lady, and a beautiful soul. May God protect and bless your growing family of Gabes!

Katie is one of my good friends out here in Abilene and I joke with her that she's just like me, only better. She bakes (instead of fake-baking), she reads even more than I do, she drinks tea all the time, is a published author and is just too freaking cute. Katie is an encouragement to me in that I'm not the only one who thinks books are as essential to living as bread and water, and people love her for it. Currently she's over in Oxford working on her Master's (see -- me, only a little further ahead) and having a grand old time, and Abilene just isn't the same without her. Katie, my dear, your fiancé and I miss you terribly and want you to come back to Abilene soon. No, nix that -- I wish I could go be with you in Oxford and out of this dry, flat little town for a bit!

Honorable mention goes to my Mom and Dad. Mom doesn't have a blog and Dad isn't a lady, but they're just too fabulous not to mention. Thanks for all your support and love -- I always know who my number one fans are. Here's to (almost) 24 years of keeping me grounded and loving me for being the weird little kid I am.

Yaaaaaaaaaay! Love fest! I feel like we should all be hippies and live in an eco-friendly commune and grow our own food and wear shoes made of hemp and not bathe for days at a time!

Okay, maybe not that last one, but you know what I mean.

Much love to all...

P.S. The cobbler was so good I just may have a crush on it. Mrs. Smith's Classic Peach Cobbler. Go. Buy. Eat. Die of happiness.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Wow, it's been waaaaay too long since I've posted. Sorry about that! Life has been crazy lately. It's actually been a pretty rough and stressful start to the semester, but things are getting more settled now.

This'll have to be quick (sorry, B!!), but I PROMISE a more worthy update soon.

I just wanted to let everybody know for real about my trip to India that's coming up in December. I'm going through Highland Church of Christ to work with Sanctuary Home, an orphanage in Tenali, India that was started by Ray and Amanda Pettit, a couple at Highland. One reason I've been so busy is because we put on a big Night in India dinner to raise funds for the trip and it was spectacular. Normally when you do a big event like that your ideas start out big and slowly have to get cut down to a reasonable size. With this event, though, all our big ideas just kept getting bigger and bigger. That's NEVER happened to me before, so I know it's gotta be God blessing this trip and the team that's been put together.

I'm going to be focusing on getting to know six orphans while I'm out there. I'm already learning their names and praying for them, and would love it if those of you who feel compelled would join me in that. The kids are Babblu (Koti), Elizabeth, Solmon, Harshanihanth (the Bible group that sponsors him nicknamed him Harry, so you can, too), Malathi and Anusha.

Elizabeth, Solmon, Harshanihanth and Anusha don't have their own pages yet, so you'll have to look through the page of new kids to see their pictures and learn their stories. Unfortunately, Anusha isn't sponsored yet so I'm actually not sure if I'll get to work with her -- kids can't be taken into the home until they're sponsored, so she's still living on her own. This is a background I made for my computer with all of their pictures and names if that's easier for you:

If you're interested in sponsoring one of the 6 kids who don't have a sponsor yet, or just want more information about Sanctuary Home, check out their website. I'm so excited about this and can't wait to get over there and get my hands dirty. If you're of the praying type, please be praying for our trip, our team, and especially these kids. They've all dealt with some truly tough stuff, but hopefully this trip will be part of the healing process for these kids.

And now for something completely different:

My 24th birthday is rapidly approaching, and I have decided that this year I will be throwing an "Over The Hill" bash in honor of my decrepitude. Everyone has to come dressed in all black and the place will be decked out with Halloween decorations. Hey, if I have to be officially mid-20s, I'm going to do it in style.

Bedtime, kids! More soon!