Sunday, June 30, 2013

a sabbatical.

So, I'm taking a blogging break.
Actually it's a social media break.
No blogging, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Pinterest, no email, no cell phoning
for a month.
It's crazy, I know. But it's something that I have to do for my health.
I am more than my online presence.
I am more than these relationships.
So, if you know me and want to get a hold of me, sorry.
July will end soon enough and I will be back to the real world.

I'm approaching this time as a sabbatical of sorts.
I'm taking a rest from work.
I'm going to take this time to work on some personal issues that keep popping up in my life.
I'm going to take this time to read my bible
and allow myself to become fully immersed in the Word
Without any kind of outside distractions.
I'm excited. I'm nervous.
But, I'm totally at peace with this decision.
It's something I have to do to get my priorities back in order.
It's something that I have to do to get my brain back.
It's something I have to do for my well being.
I hope you understand.

I just didn't want anyone to worry if they didn't hear from me.
That's the problem with disappearing off the face of the planet for a few weeks.
Going off the grid.
Going back to the basics- the important things. Faith. Family. Myself.

This isn't goodbye forever. 
I will be back.
I will return stronger than I've ever been.
I will return in a better place.
I will return with so many stories to share of God's faithfulness .
I know that God can and will do great things over these next 30 days.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting to Know You Linkup!

If you know me, you know that I don't normally do linkups or blog parties. The thought of answering a billion questions just doesn't appeal to me. But, I decided that it was time for my sisters over at Alabama Women Bloggers to be able to get to know me a little better! So, if it's your first time or your fifteen hundredth time- WELCOME! I'm super excited to have you and get to know you! Let's get started.

Alabama Women Bloggers

1. What part of the state do you call home?
Right now, I reside in the central part of the state, near Montgomery. But, I'm moving to Tuscaloosa this fall for grad school, so if you're in that area, let me know so we can meet up!

2. How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging on this blog since my Freshman year of college (2008). I dabbled in other blogging areas (Xanga, Myspace, LiveJournal, etc) many years before that. But, I've been a "blogger" for a little more than five years.

3. Why did you start blogging?
It sounded fun. I read lots of Mommy bloggers, but I didn't know any "college girl" bloggers. But, I've met more people my own age! :)

4. What is your favorite part of being a member of the Alabama Women Bloggers community?
I'm a new part of the community and not super involved yet, but I love the idea of getting to know other bloggers in the state and making friends. :)

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself done with grad school, practicing as a social worker- hopefully as a therapist at an eating disorders treatment center! That would be my dream- to be able to recover and inspire others. :)

6. If you could choose an actress to play you in your life, who would you choose and why?
Emma Watson. She played Hermione Granger (who is my ultimate hero)- need I say more?!

7. Name 5 things on your Bucket List that you hope you’ll check off before you die?
Get married, Have kids, Get a cat named Kitty, Adopt, Ride a camel in the Middle East while dressed as Jasmine. :)

8. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?
My faith. I want to have a faith that points to God and that is so evident that people can't ignore it.

9. Describe the best moment in your life.
I honestly don't know. Probably when I saw the last Harry Potter movie. It was kind of a "completion" moment. Harry was a great part of my childhood. So, seeing the movie definitely made me tear up- not that it was a perfect movie or anything- just the fact that that chapter of my life was ending. It was pretty amazing. Wow. That sounded incredibly nerdy. 

10. If you could “be” anything (no consequences, no fear), what would you “be”?
A Disney Princess. :)

11. What or who inspires you to blog?
I'm a huge believer in the idea of "story". Every one of us has a story to tell. We all have something special to share with the world. I think that we are made for story. We're created to share our story- and blogging is how I choose to engage in storytelling.

12. We’re headed to your neck of the woods… what restaurant would you recommend?
I'm so not the person to ask- I'm pretty much always going to recommend Chickfila! Haha!

13. What’s a southern tradition you and your family have?
We're not a really good "southern" family. I think that the best tradition we have is going around the tri-county area to look at Christmas lights in our pajamas, but I don't necessarily think that it's a "southern thing". Um...we eat grits?

14. If you could pick your favorite blog post from your blog this year, what would it be?
This one on being brave and finding free. It explains the meaning behind my blog and how secrets keep us trapped inside a cage of lies. It was a hard one to post (because it meant opening up and being honest), but it was totally worth it.

15. We all love social media, tell us your links so we can follow you!
Twitter: @laurenadam
Instagram: @laurenadam

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bucket List

I've added some things to my bucket list! Here's just a sampling of the things that I have on it.
  1. Learn Greek and Hebrew so that I can study the Bible from the original text.
  2. Visit a foreign country.
  3. Get married.
  4. Have kids.
  5. Adopt.
  6. Do something completely stupid, reckless, and crazy- but not immoral. :)
  7. Write Bible curriculum for kids.
  8. Recover.
  9. Share my story with others.
  10. Become a yoga master.
  11. Clean my room.
  12. Have a cat named Kitty.
  13. Read Augustine.
  14. Swim in the ocean without fear.
  15. Spend a day aimlessly meandering through the streets of NYC.
  16. Buy a meal for a homeless person.
  17. Find a place of ministry- whether it be vocational or volunteer.
  18. Ride an elephant.
  19. Pictures with all the Disney princesses.
  20. Get CPR certified.
  21. Read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books again.
  22. Send a message in a bottle.
  23. Build toy ships with cute kids and bring them to the beach to sail.
  24. Do a silent retreat.
  25. Hike the Appalachian Trail.
  26. Elope?
  27. Learn Spanish.
  28. Teach English.
  29. Learn to knit/crochet. I have all the stuff.
  30. Pet a giraffe.
  31. Memorize a Dr. Seuss book and tell it to my poor future children every single night.
  32. Plant a garden.
  33. Learn to like green things.
  34. Prove that mustard and pickles are related.
  35. Prove that Jagulars live in Alabama.
Do you have a bucket list? What things do you have on yours?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

23 in 23

Since I'm turning 23 in 23 days, I thought I'd do something fun and exciting on the blog. And since my dear mother still has trouble figuring out what she should get me, I thought that it'd be fun to do a wishlist. Not that I'm getting everything (I'm totally not). And some are silly things that make me smile that aren't really serious. But, I thought that it would be fun nonetheless. :)

Birthday Outfit

20. Cat Measuring Bowls (don't ask me how I find this stuff)
19. Ninja Salt and Pepper Shakers (totally serious. I need these)
18. Cupcakes.
17. Pots (not "pot" as in the drug or as in things you plant things in. "pots" as in things to cook with)
16. A frying pan (for self defense, as well as cooking)
15. A toaster (totally forgot about that useful little tool)
14. A cupcake/muffin pan. 

This list is turning into "what I still need for apartment living"....oops.

13. Everyone could use a Mike Wazowski mug. Right?
12. This shirt from Downeast Basics
11. A trip to DISNEY WORLD!!!
10. Lunch with the princesses on that aforementioned Disney World trip.
9. A monogramming machine. I forget what they're called. But that would be totally awesome, because then I could monogram EVERYTHING! 
8. This is getting really hard. Um, I'd like this bag.
7. Or this one.
6. Or one of these. (Monogrammed of course)

5. A monogrammed necklace is always handy (just in case you forget your monogram?)
4. Pretty much anything from Lululemon. It's my favorite for looking like you yoga even if you don't.
3. An iTunes card is always nice. :)
2. This Chevron fabric is really cute. But, I don't know what I'd do with it.
1. A magic fairy princess wand that could make all my dreams come true. It'd be really cool if it came with a magic fairy godmother, too. Bippity Boppity Boo! :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Playlist: 2013 Edition

  1. This Little Light of Mine- Addison Road
  2. Hello My Name Is- Matthew West
  3. We Won't Be Shaken- Building 429
  4. Strangely Dim- Francesca Battistelli
  5. God of Brilliant Lights- Aaron Shust
  6. Hurricane- Natalie Grant
  7. Brave- Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


What is "real"?
What does that word really mean?
Merriam Webster's defines "real" as being "not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory", but that doesn't really help us much. We live in a society where so much of what we do is fake. We pretend that we're being "real" and "open" and "honest" and fifty billion other buzzwords, but we're really still hiding behind the mask of perfection. We try and hide our imperfections- but this just makes us less and less real. Eventually, we begin to forget who we really are.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my absolute favorite books, and this passage is one of my favorite parts. Real isn't about "pretty". It isn't about "smart". It isn't about being all put together in a nice little box with a pretty pink bow on top. Real is about what's on the inside, more than what we put forth on the outside. It's easy to fake the outside. We can go on with life pretending that everything is prefect- but that's not really "real". It's not free. Part of finding free is letting go of the false ideas of perfection. Chances are, you will never be completely perfect. You'll always be able to find some flaw, some imperfection if you try hard enough. Being "real" means recognizing your strengths, accepting your imperfections, and knowing that all people (even you!) have equal value.

Those pictures in the magazines? They aren't real. In reality, most of them are Photoshopped. Even if they aren't edited, they still aren't "real". Models are posed, placed in special clothing, made up in a certain way- all to accentuate the positive and hide the "negative". I think we can even take this same concept into the world of social media. Your friend that looks like she has the "perfect life", that looks like she's got it all together? She might be falling apart. We tend to post the good things in our lives, and leave it at that. We don't want to tell everyone about our "messy things". Rather than sharing that we're struggling, we want to look "put together". You can't judge a book  by it's cover, and you can't really judge a person by their Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Mommy bloggers? They might look like they have the perfect life. They might just show you their super cute kids and all the fun arts and crafts they do and all of the fun veggies that they eat. But in reality? Their two year old probably screams just as much as yours. She's probably just as frazzled.

So, let's give fake a break. Let's stop hiding behind all of our masks and start trying to figure out who we really are again.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt
Even if we fail, even if we fall- at least we fell while daring greatly (thanks Brene Brown for that one- if you haven't read Daring Greatly- I'm going to highly recommend that one). Vulnerability takes courage. It is hard stuff to be open and honest and share our downs along with our ups. But, I have to believe that by being "real", we are showing the world the grace and power of Jesus. I have to believe that God can use our bad times, along with our good. I have to believe that God can turn the "tattered fabric of my life into a perfect tapestry". 

You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
And you love me just as I am
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Plans for the Fall

I feel like I owe you guys an update on my life...

I know that I talked about going to grad school a little bit ago, but I haven't actually posted a whole lot on the process of getting to this point.

A few months back (back when it was cold outside and you had to wear a coat), Mom and I went on a little visit to a special little town.
I know that these chimes are important, but I'm not exactly sure why.
I'm moving to Tuscaloosa in the Fall!
This is kind of a hard thing for me. After spending a year at Auburn, I kind of became an Auburn fan. I hated Alabama. But now? I'm going to be getting my Masters from there (it's the only place in the state to get an MSW).
For the longest time, I've said that I wouldn't get tickets this fall. I love college football, but I hate the crowds. Plus, I have this huge fear that I'll have nobody to go with and it will be lonely and boring. But, the other day when I checked, they STILL had one ticket package. It was for four games (2 SEC, 2 smaller ones), and I decided to go for it. I know that some of you probably think I'm crazy right now for not getting online the day that they went on sale. But- I did it. I got my tickets (So if you know anyone or have any tips for gameday- let me know). 

I'm still undecided on this guy. I think I called him "Satan" too long.
Another thing that I you can't see in the pictures is that I have an AU sweatshirt on underneath my Mom's jacket. Kind of forgot about it until I was talking with an apartment salesperson.Oops. I need to work on being a better Alabama fan.
So, I'm headed to Tuscaloosa in the fall. I'm really going. :)
This is where I'm living. It's a really cute complex...that's totally not built yet. Not that I'm freaking out or anything. :)

And that is "what I'm up to" and what I'm planning to do with my life! Yay!