My childhood home,
Taylorsville, KY

I've always had a dream to buy back the small farm my family owned in Kentucky when I was young. Behind the house is (or I hope still), a smokehouse, silo, large barn, and icehouse. So many memories in that home, lessons learned, and such a fun childhood. I hope one day my dream will come true.

I grabbed these images off of google, and they represent Kentucky so well! I'm feeling a bit reminiscent today, so please enjoy a trip down memory lane with me.

Sonic Tuesdays

I'm adventurous. I miss my adventurous friends (ahem, JULIE!) from Nashville, who would drop everything just to do something random and crazy. We used to have what we called "Sonic Tuesdays" when we all worked at the church. Every few weeks, we would silently give one another "the look" which meant "meet outside at Jon's jeep in 5 minutes! Tell no one!" Julie, Christy, Jon and I would totally bail on work, jump in his Jeep, and go for a random crazy adventure that always ended at Sonic. You see, Sonic has these amazingly refreshing blend of beverages that cannot be topped. AND, between 3-5pm, they are half price. Not bad for penny pinchers as ourselves! So there we were, every few Tuesdays, drinks in hand, windows down, music playing, bopping along as Jon took us on a quick off-road adventure. I miss those days. OH, how we all have changed! Jon is married, Christy is married and just had her first baby, Julie lives in Denver, and I'm in California. Who woulda thunk?

There are so many new and interesting things in California that I can't wait to do! I've begun compiling a list in my head...and I need to write them down. Since I'm not one for keeping handwritten notes too long...(I may or may not lose them. I plead the 5th).

Kayaking on Catalina Island
San Francisco
San Diego Chargers game
Hike a mountain
4Wheel in the desert
Shoot a gun in the desert
Sail on a sailboat
See a show in Hollywood
Santa Monica
Run the Camp Pendleton Mud Run
Lakers Game
Anaheim Ducks game (preferably when the Nashville Preds are here...)
Wine Country
Horseback Riding
Drive to Mexico
a date on the beach :)

That's what is in my head for now...I'm sure there are more to come! Please leave your suggestion as well!!

Vanilla Twilight

Weekend Recap

Tonight, as I sit listening to the (somewhat) amazing talents of American Idol, I'm reminded of how life can take you a million different ways. I know I've talked a lot about how moving to California, and how transformational that was for me; but I'm going to say it again...You.Just.Never.Know.

Case in point?

My favorite beach, Huntington.

I had the pleasure of having a four day weekend this week, and I took full advantage of it! This photo was taken yesterday (Monday). I was able to go run down on the boardwalk, and was it so rewarding! I got a nice little tan, ocean on my right, snow capped mountains to my left. Could it be any better?

I also had Friday off, so I went to the park and played umpteen games of volleyball with some friends. I haven't played that much, so they were so very sweet to teach me the rules, technique, etc. We played for hours and hours! Thankfully, Nicole had planned a great dinner at her place. We played old school Nintendo 64 (Mortal Kombat, to be exact), ate yummy food, and had a great time. I took off a little early, just to relish in the fact that there was no one in my home!

Saturday morning we had a great breakfast at church for the 20-somethings. A couple that used to go to Southlands (my church) shared their hearts and story of the their life. I was so inspired by what they had to say! I can't wait to see what the Lord has for them in the future.

Heather, Manny and Melissa

Saturday afternoon I ran around like crazy getting things prepared for the dinner party I was having that evening. Thankfully, Melissa came over early and helped me out on the final details. I'm such a people-person, and if cooking and baking was a love language, I've got it. I absolutely love hosting people, serving people, and making sure they have a good time. So, Saturday was my first chance to have my friends over to my house! We enjoyed steak with a whiskey cream sauce, artichokes, asparagus, sweet potato fries....YUM.

Heather, Manny, Myself and Melissa

We played an endless amount of the game murder, over and over and over again! I love these people so much, and I'm so glad they are in my life!

Matt, Phill, Jarrod, Brent and Heather

So, that's the basic rundown of my crazy weekend! I had a blast, lost a LOT of sleep, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. :)

Snail Mail

I received the sweetest card from my best friend Katie today. A real card! In the mail! It totally blessed me and I'm not gonna lie, I teared up just a bit. Because I'm an over sharer, I'm going to type out the card. It's just too sweet.

"You know me so well, you can just tell when something's up by the sound of my voice. Or how I've been acting. Sometimes I don't even have to explain or go into details.

You just get it.
You just get me.

I can't tell you how much that means.
You're a great friend."

How sweet is that?! I am SO very glad to have Katie in my life-she's the bestest friend a girl could have! Wanna know something crazy? We have the same birthday! The very same! It was crazy when we realized it, and we've had joint birthday dinners ever since. :)

I went running in a new park this week, and as I started my run-I didn't turn on my music. I don't know why, but I was enjoying the silence. Listening to the wind through the trees, my feet crunching the twigs and leaves, (not to mention hearing my out-of-breathness), and the ducks quacking in the lake. I took those moments and just thanked God for such an amazing creation; Nature. When I'm amidst the trees, the grass, the LIFE-I feel whole. I feel like I was made for moments like these.

I know, just call me tree-girl.

It's moments like these that make me miss the space of Tennessee. It makes me miss the vastness of my family's farm; where you could drive up the way and look out, and all you saw was Hilton land. Something so powerful and old-fashioned about that feeling. Your heart swells, and you just feel....home.

As I drive down the streets of Southern California, I feel trapped. I feel frustrated. My left calf muscle hurts from clutching all the time. But when I make it through the traffic, the smog, the cut-offs and road ragers and reach the beach with the mountains in the distance, I feel that so-good feeling again. I hear the waves crashing, feel the squish of sand between my toes, and I know I am where I'm supposed to be for now. Nothing can replace the smell of a green spring in Kentucky, or the cinnamon-y spice of Tennessee in the fall; but I'm loving California, all year long.

And I feel home.

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