December 4, 2011

Harding Place Update

I realized this weekend that I have not ever written out any of the things that I have experienced while living at Harding Place this semester! I've been holding out on you. I'm so sorry! Here are some highlights:
  • Each morning when I walk down the stairs to leave for school, the sweet ladies are lined up outside the dining room with their walkers waiting to go in for breakfast. I have to leave a few minutes early so that I can chat with them before I go. They sure do love to chat with us!
  • Obviously, I love everyone that lives here, but I've gotten to know some of the ladies better than others. My friends are Nellie, Jean, Betty, Becha, Katherine, another Betty, Nancy, and Annette. They are SO FUNNY! Every time I walk in the door, Jean looks at me and says something along the lines of, "well, look who's here!". They get so excited to see me every time. It is so precious.
  • Last Wednesday was the November birthday party. I went, of course, because it was Betty and Nellie's birthday month. We had cake and chatted with them for a while. I got pictures with the birthday girls :) Jean and Nellie told us that in one of their resident's meetings, they told them that boys weren't allowed to come upstairs to our rooms. We explained that boys aren't allowed up in the dorms either. Sometimes, Jean just says the absolute funniest things. She started talking about how "we don't want no hanky panky goin on up there! I don't want to hear no bed springs creakin when I walk down the hall!!" I was ROLLING. She's hilarious!!!
  • I try to eat lunch with them every Sunday. One Sunday, I was sitting at a table with some of the ladies and another resident came up to sit with them. I offered to move so that she could sit in my seat because it would be easier for her to get to. After we all got situated, she thanked me for giving her that seat back. Apparently she sits in it every day and has for a lot of years. Bahaha I apologized, of course, but you just never know what they're going to say.
  • I've ridden the Harding Place Shuttle to school several times. They get the biggest kick out of it when I ride the shuttle with them!
  • Last Thursday night, I spent several hours working on puzzles with them and playing Skip Bo. They take their card games very seriously and they don't really have a whole lot of patience for people who don't know how to play (you know, like me). I picked it up pretty quickly and everyone was happy, but they really are so intense about their cards!
  • This afternoon, I stopped by the cake and conversation social in the dining room. I told Ms. Betty that I was in Memphis yesterday for a half marathon. She said, "Oh my! Half a mile?" Uhhh no, Ms. Betty. 13, actually. And I'm feeling every one of them today!
  • Before I left for Memphis, two of them told me several times that they hoped "that you win your race!" Thanks, Ms. Nellie and Ms. Jean, but that is definitely not going to happen.
I am so obsessed with living here. Unfortunately, I won't be for much longer. In January when i come back to student teach, I'll be living in an apartment off campus. I'm excited to live off campus, but I literally want to cry when I think about not seeing all my friends every day. This has been such an incredible opportunity and I am so blessed to know all of these precious ladies!

August 24, 2011

Holden's First Birthday and the Run For Water

Saturday, August 28 marks one year from the day that Holden Newell Erwin met Jesus face to face. I get chills just writing that because this perfect, precious boy has spent all of his days in Glory. Holden's mama, Sarah, was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant when sweet baby's heart stopped beating. Such a blessing for Holden to go straight from his mother's womb to Jesus' arms. So much pain for a mommy and daddy left on earth with empty arms and broken hearts.

In December 2010, Sarah and Chet founded Holden Uganda, a non-profit organization to spread the love of Christ through the gift of clean water. The original goal of HUF was to build 9 wells, one for each month that Holden's heart beat on this earth. By January 8 of this year, the Lord provided funds for the 9 wells, and many more have been funded since then.

This Saturday, on the one year birthday of sweet Holden and the anniversary of his one year in Heaven, there will be several 5K's around the country. One of the 5K's will be run in Searcy. In honor of Holden's first birthday, Sarah and Chet wanted to fund as many more wells as possible.

Will you consider joining us for the Holden Uganda 5K Fun Run for Water? We will meet at Spring Park at 7:00 Saturday morning (cry about it all you want. that's when it's happening. it's a saturday. you can take a nap). Official registration for the race is $25, but I know that that can be a lot of money for a college student. Rather than having everyone officially register, I'm asking that everyone who decides to run makes a donation of however much money they are comfortable with giving. We will send a check to HUF, and our total will be added to the totals of all of the other runs. I'll be sure to post the final amount of money raised after the run :) If you can't run or don't want to run and would be willing to help out with the run anyway (I mainly just need someone to sit at the finish line with a cooler of water bottles), PLEASE let me know. You will be such a blessing to us! Also, several of us will be getting together on Friday afternoon to decorate t-shirts to run in on Saturday morning. If that is something that you would be interested in doing/helping with, let me know. I am looking forward to the run on Saturday morning.

Sweet Holden, you are cherished and loved. We will never forget that you were here, that you had weight in this world. You are so loved, precious boy! I would give anything to know you on this side of Heaven, but I know that eternity will be so much sweeter because I get to snuggle you there :)

July 24, 2011


I would like to introduce you to two of the biggest blessings in my life. I have never met them in person. We have only corresponded through letters. But these two precious children of God are incredible blessings to me. Every day that I'm not home when the mail comes, I text my mom to ask if I've gotten a letter. And if I have, I drop everything to go get it. I look forward to those letters so much!

Over the past year, I have learned to pick out the off-white color of the envelope immediately when the mailbox is opened. I tear the envelopes open and read the letters as quickly as I can. Laeticia always draws me pictures of a flower. She draws beautiful flowers :) And Taweesak always draws a scene on the back of his letters. I press the paper to my face and cry, just knowing that their precious hands have touched it. Before I send my responses off, I kiss the letter and the envelope. They are such treasures, these letters that I receive.

My two Compassion kids live on the opposite side of the world. I really cannot even tell you how much I love them. I want to share their faces with you :)
Meet Taweesak. He is 8 years old. He live in Ban Sobme-roum, Thailand. He lives with his mother and father, who are both sometimes employed as farmers. Taweesak likes to draw. He likes to play cars and group games. I love him.

Meet Laeticia. She is 6 years old. She lives in Burkina Faso, Africa with her mother, who is sometimes employed selling sand. Laeticia loves to play jump rope, play with dolls and play group games. I love her.

I've given up Starbucks. It requires sacrifice to be able to pay for these sponsorships every month. $38 each month is not a huge amount for me. It definitely feels like it sometimes, but I can afford to sacrifice that money for these kids. But for them, my sponsorship means everything. It means that they are loved and treasured by someone who lives on the opposite side of the globe. It means that they are prayed for every day. They go to Bible classes and learn about Jesus and know that I know the same Jesus that they do.

Sometimes, I have to give up things that I want in order to pay the sponsorship fees for my kids, but I know how much it means to them. And because of that, I would give up just about anything for those two.

If it is an option for you financially, would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International? If you would like me to help you choose a child to sponsor, I would be more than happy to. I am so blessed to be involved with this organization!!

finding my feet

well, i'm running again. i hesitate to even start this post because every time i say that i'm doing something, i generally stop. but i've already registered and paid for the st. jude half marathon, so i think i'm really going to do it this time. let's make it official...

I, Katie Vick, will be running in the St. Jude Half Marathon on December 3, 2011.

and what the heck am i thinking?! i struggled through my four-mile run last week (the longest run to date). what makes me think that i can run 13.1 miles?!?!?!

i keep accidentally taking days off from yesterday. i think i should be running 5-6 days a week. but i don't. and after i take a day off, my run is much more difficult. you would think that i would have learned by now. but i have not.

running is killing me. most days after my run, i ice my knees, put heat on my calves, slather my poor chaffed legs in vasoline and peel the (unfortunate, poorly working) bandaids off my aching feet. and hobble around for the rest of the day. but i feel SO GOOD. seriously. i didn't believe it could be true until i experienced it myself. running makes me feel great! and in the 3 (or maybe 4) weeks that i've been running, my calves have transformed from flabby annoyances at the bottom of my leg to muscular powerhouses. it's amazing.

i have been hungrier since i started running than i have ever been in my life. it's pathetic, really, because i'm not even running very far/fast/long/well, but i want to eat every second.

and i really feel like a real runner, too. i have a basket in the hall closet with my shoes, headphones, arm band, water bottle, body glide and various tapes/moleskins for my feet. i bought compression shorts and new shoes. i'm buying running socks. WHO AM I TURNING INTO?!?!

i decided to run this half after a blogger that I have followed for a while, Raechel, blogged about her decision to participate. she even invited readers to join her! so i thought to myself, self, you've been wanting to run. you've even been wanting to run a half marathon. if you're ever going to do it, you may as well do it now. you have friends that participate in this race. it will be fun. just do it. and so i did. i did it. i registered. and i've been running. and i'm about to go for a run right now. i have lots of really fun pictures for you, but those will have to wait....

because i have a half marathon to train for.

July 22, 2011

my newest home

if i gave you a TRILLION guesses, you still probably would not guess where i am going to be living this coming school year. before i share, let me remind you of a few things...

1) I am 21 years old.
2) I am in college.
3) I attend a university that requires students to live on campus until they are 23 years old or have completed approximately 19,000 credit hours (that might be a slight exaggeration).

this coming year, there will be more students enrolled than they have room for in the on campus living options. so they sent us an e-mail stating that for a limited time only, you could apply/request/beg/bribe to live off campus if you were at least 21 years old. HELLO?! so the entire student body was in a frenzy. it was a frantic day and a half (or so) before they send another e-mail. the offer is no longer on the table. no one was surprised.


they had another option. they needed approximately 24 girls to be willing to move into....

wait for it..........

wait for it..........


now, for those of you not familiar with the harding community, you may be slightly confused. allow me to explain. just off of harding's campus sits a lovely assisted living community. like...retirement home. like...for the elderly.

I LOVE OLD PEOPLE! when i was little and my mom would lose track of me somewhere (before losing sight of a child for .3 seconds warranted a 911 call), she would always find me chatting up an old man (always called Poppy).

listen, you may be judging me right now, and i probably don't blame you for that, but i am SO EXCITED about this. i seriously cannot wait. i'll be living in a one bedroom apartment with one of my sweet friends. and right next door to harding place sits harding village (apartments). many of my married friends LIVE RIGHT THERE! so close to me. so great!!

so there you have it. one month from now, i will be settling into my new home at the assisted living community.

(my mom is getting tired of this already. every time we see an older person ANYWHERE i tell her that they are going to be my neighbor. she loves it...or at least she did the first 500 times it happened. now? not so much)

(p.s. this is not a joke. i really am going to live in an assisted living community. forreal. i promise)

July 9, 2011

my car

my car got broken into on thursday night. they took most of the money that i have made this summer (it was meant to go to the bank but i didn't get a chance that day), my gps and my phone charger. i keep thinking about all of the things that i could have done differently so that there would have been a different outcome. but i didn't. and those things are gone. i feel violated and sad and frustrated. that money was supposed to pay for my two precious compassion kids for this year. and it was supposed to be the beginning of my savings for africa. and now i have to start over. since it happened, every time i sit in my car i feel nauseous. someone else has been in there. someone that i don't know. and they touched my things. and they took them. i work hard for my money. and yeah, i should not have waited that long to deposit the money in the bank. and yeah, i should not have left it in the center console overnight. but i am so anal about locking my car. and i was feeling so sick when i got home that night. i never even thought about it. it really really sucks. and i hope that whoever did it really needed that money.

June 16, 2011

i just want to go

i suddenly feel a sense of urgency about africa. and something tells me that i will not be content with my life here until i have done something about it. my eyes ache tonight from the tears that cannot fall for those around the world who do not have a home. and more importantly than even that, my heart hurts for those who do not know our Savior.

i am hurting because i know that it is not yet my time to go. and it is so hard for me to live in a place of waiting. i'm impatient. i know that there is a need and i want to do something about it. i'm frustrated. and i'm sad. because i want to be there. not here.

at this time in my life, i am having to focus a lot on myself and my future and, as often comes with that kind of internal focus, my past. it's exhausting. and i think that because of this intense, exhausting focus on myself, i feel like i NEED to be a part of something bigger than myself. and i wonder how that need fits in with this desire to be in africa.

i talk with my mom about it sometimes. she tells me that i've wanted to go to africa since i was 5. a few years ago, i was terrified that God might be preparing me to live abroad in a place of need. i wanted to graduate from college and teach sweet american children in an american school in my safe american home. not anymore. what i want more than anything is to get on an airplane with as few belongings as possible and get off in a place like uganda or ethiopia or burkina faso (where one of my precious, adored, wonderful compassion children lives) and figure it out when i get there. find a school. teach the children. visit their homes. go to church with them. and i know that this change of heart has had nothing to do with me.

so here i am. i know that i will go. i do not yet know how. or when. but i know that i will. and yesterday, i read in three places about how beautiful and difficult the waiting can be. that was from Him. i have no doubt. one post from holley, one post from ann, and one post from sweet chelsea.

i think that i'm doing all that i can from where i am. i'm having to change the way that i spend my money because each month, $76 are taken from my bank account in an attempt to change the lives of my two compassion children. i think about laeticia and taweesak in their homes in burkina faso and thailand and want to cry. my heart aches for them. they will never know how much i love them. and if i had more money, i would sponsor more in a heartbeat.

i think that the waiting will prove to be harder than the going. and that's okay. i know that there will be beauty in the waiting and that love will grow in the longing so that by the time it is time for me to go, i will be even more ready than i am tonight.

May 29, 2011

Hinds Feet on High Places

A long time ago, Erin let me borrow a book. It was about God and, at the time, I wanted nothing to do with the church at all. I read a few pages of the book and gave it back.

Over spring break, I visited Erin and Blair at Camp Eagle. While I was there, I started reading the book again. I really liked it a lot. It took me several pages to catch on to the writing, but once I did, I fell in love. I didn't get to finish it. When I got home, I went to Borders (which is going out of business and having MAJOR sales) to buy the book. I'm still reading it. I keep getting kind of discouraged. But let me tell you, this book is changing my life.

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"'Much Afraid,' he said very gently in answer to that look, 'don't you know by now that I never think of you as you are now but as you will be when I have brought you to the Kingdom of Love and washed you from all the stains and defilements from this journey? If I come along behind you and notice that you are finding the way especially difficult, and are suffering from slips and falls, it only makes me think of what you will be like when you are with me, leaping and skipping on the High Places.'" -Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places (page 151)

Is that really how God looks at me? It seems so incredible, but I want to believe it! He is so awesome and mighty and loving. Whenever I get discouraged or make a mistake or slip up in my journey, I look back at this passage to remind myself how He sees me.

ETA: I finally finished the book and I can't wait to start it over. It's one of those, you know? The first time, I didn't annotate. This time I will. And I want to write down all of the beautiful things that the Shepherd says to Much Afraid throughout the book in my journal. Because it is so amazing. And that is all :)

May 2, 2011


You fill my days
with laughter
and sunshine
and so I love
I love the
of you,
the sunscreen and
chlorine and
coconut that fills the
air from late
May until August.
Our days
begin early. My
goes off too
soon. But
looking forward to a day full
of sun and the kids
and pool
makes getting up
much more manageable.
And summer?
You are bittersweet this
This is the last time
we’ll meet
before I have to find a real
job. I don’t want to
be a grown up, Summer.
I want to enjoy
you like this
But maybe I’ll find
that I like
you better
next year.

April 17, 2011


i used to dance. did you know that? i danced from the time i was in third grade until i graduated from high school, with several breaks for various reasons. i was never good. and i'm not just saying that. i really was not ever good. i'm not light enough on my feet for the leaps and pirouettes, but my mind works in a way that's conducive to remembering combinations and the way my feet should move. still now, years after i've stopped dancing, my mind repeats the rhythms and combinations whenever i'm listening to music. it's not a conscious thing. but as i listen to music, i notice my toes moving. and then i hear it in my head. tombe, pas de bourree, glissade, jete, glissade, jete, sous sous, sote, tombe, pas de bourree. and i can remember the rhythm for every dance we ever learned. and they fit with every song i ever listen to. i see dances in my head when i listen to music. and i really really miss dancing. when i go home, i try to go see my old dance teachers. over christmas, i did a private lesson with one of them. and for 45 minutes, we laughed and danced and there was joy. i guess i still kind of dance.

March 4, 2011

my take

I'm not very good with words, but I have a definite opinion about what's happening on campus this week. I'm also not a very loud person, so this is the only place that my opinion is going to be heard. So I'm going to do my best to explain how I feel about all of this. Just stick with me :)

I have to say that I really have no problem with people wanting to share their stories. I think there is incredible power in being able to be open and honest with the things that we've experienced. I know that there are homosexual people that attend Harding University, just like I know that there are people who have sex with their heterosexual partners, those who choose to drink and do drugs, and those who struggle with gossip. Not one of these things is any worse than the other. I love it when people share their stories about their struggles. It brings people together. So the thought behind the zine sharing the stories of those at Harding who do struggle with homosexuality is completely legit. In fact, I think it's brilliant.

Here is where I have a problem. The stories were, in my opinion, unnecessarily profane. The images in the zine were of things that Harding makes a point to block from our internet access. Writers were taking the Lord's name in vain and, in fact, going so far as to essentially cuss Jesus out. I was uncomfortable reading several of the stories and was incredibly uncomfortable with the majority of the images within the zine. And so when I heard that Harding had blocked the website, I was not surprised...not because the content was unacceptable (as I said, I think the idea behind it was great), but because the way that they went about presenting the information was absolutely inappropriate. The language was vulgar and offensive. The images were unbelievably graphic. Anyone who thinks that the blocking of the website was strictly because of the fact that it was homosexual in nature is delusional. If a group of heterosexual people published something containing stories and images of the same magnitude, it would be blocked just as quickly.

Personally, I do not struggle with homosexuality, but I DO struggle with an incredible amount of things that are just as much of a sin, like lying, lust, gossip and judgement. I would NEVER claim that I was better than someone struggling with homosexuality. A sin is a sin is a sin is a sin. None is better or worse than another. Further, I am absolutely certain that Harding does not discriminate against homosexual acts. Students can not be kicked out of Harding for struggling with homosexuality. They CAN be kicked out for acting upon it. Page 11 in the handbook states that sexual immorality of ANY KIND is means for suspension. Homosexuality is one of those kinds. So is premarital sex, among many other things. If any student is caught engaged in an act of sexual immorality, they will be required to leave. So this thought that Harding is discriminating against homosexuals is absolutely false.

I can honestly say that I am proud of the way that Harding is handling this. It's disheartening to hear all of the backlash that the University is getting as a result. And that's all I have to say.

February 20, 2011

He's so good

"well, this is the address that i put into the gps. so assuming that i typed it in right, this is the house. but i'm not really sure."
"kevin. this is the right address! stop sitting here like a creep." i was. the silver car was taking up most of the road. it was angled towards the house, stopped so that i could see through the window.
"i see two girls in there. are there two girls?"
"like erin and her mom? i don't think there should be another girl here..."
"kevin, really. this is so weird. just park the car." and then she was there. stepping out the front door. walking towards my car. and i could have cried right then. i pulled the car into the driveway and opened the door. and then i was hugging her. it was so unreal.

it's amazing, the way that God works. earlier this week, i decided that i wanted to go to flower mound, texas this weekend to visit my aunt and my cousin. it was an open weekend and i haven't seen them in a few months. on friday, i was getting packed and ready to leave. i can't remember if i found it on facebook or on her blog. i saw somewhere that she was in dallas. or maybe she said denton. i can't remember now. but i knew she was close. so i sent her a message. and several hours later, i pulled up in front of her parents' house and got to hug her and talk with her and hear her voice and it was so great. it was so unexpected. we talked about gwen and her weekend with the hope mommies and school and stuff. and then the rest of her family got to the house and it was time for us to leave. we walked outside. she had my hope mommies shirt in her car, so we got it. and we hugged again for a long time and i told her some things and we both almost cried (okay fine. i forreal cried). it was so sweet to get to see my friend this weekend. God is so good to me.

February 10, 2011

the house

Remember the auction?
Remember how they were going to Michigan?
Well they did.
And now they're back.
It's a complicated story that I won't get into.
The bottom line is that they're back in the house.
And so a few weekends ago, I spent a night there with them.

We did laundry (everyone helped fold), ate chicken and rice and watched lots of really old tv shows that I only love when my Poppy is laughing in the chair next to me.

There were 2 envelopes in the mailbox. One for each to open. And there they were, on their porch in the beautiful January sun. They savored the unseasonably warm day and I got to watch. She loves that man, my Memaw does.
And there's such beauty in the quiet with them.
I took advantage of the quiet.
I took pictures of them.

Some wonderful neighbors stopped by.
Poppy got to hold little Autumn.
We all smiled, watching the two of them.
And then I left, promising to return soon.

Tuesday was my Poppy's birthday.
Autumn's mommy made him a homemade chocolate pie (his favorite).
He talks about her pies every day.
My grandparents are so precious.

February 6, 2011

it's not supposed to happen to the people i love

I jolted awake at 4:12 that morning. Before checking my phone, I prayed that there wouldn't be a text from her. There was. I hesitated for a moment before reading it, knowing that there would be no more rest after I knew. There were few words, but the message they held changed me. As the hot tears rolled down my cheeks, I lay my head on my pillow and closed my eyes. I could think of nothing to do but cry and pray.

8 months before that night, I had opened my facebook inbox to find this message from Erin.

Every conversation that E and I had started with "the question". Is there a baby yet? And so many times the answer had been no. But this time, it wasn't. This child was already so loved and wanted. I couldn't wait to meet the baby, hold the baby, spoil the baby.

The months that followed were exciting. We talked about baby names (I'm all about the baby names). They didn't find out what they were having, which was frustrating but fun. We talked about when I would visit and how she was about to be a mom. And then...

I was sitting on the couch at Danielle's house checking facebook for the thousandth time that day, hoping for news of the baby. I saw something about labor. I drafted a text, "is there a baby?!?!?!" And while I waited to hear, I noticed something on another friend's status about prayers and complications and my heart dropped. I read blogs...lots of them...about women who lose their babies. But it isn't supposed to happen to the women that I love.

I found Mandi in my phonebook quickly and called. She didn't answer. I went back to facebook, looking at everyones profile that I thought might have information. A few minutes later, Mandi called back. I couldn't possibly have been prepared for what I heard. Girl. No name. Heart stopped. Hospital. Emergency. Lots and lots of complications. As soon as I hung up with Mandi, I had a text from Erin. "Baby is here. Lots of complications. Please pray." And we did.

The next few days were so hard. I was so shaken by this turn of events, and it was so hard to think about what Erin was feeling and thinking. Baby didn't have a name until a day after she was born. Gwendolyn Hope. She was so beautiful. I cried and prayed and petitioned prayer from everyone I could think of. I asked Mandi to update me when she knew more.

And so on that night, I woke shortly after 4 in the morning to the text message that I had been praying would not come. At that moment, I could think of nothing but sweet Erin. This woman that has forever changed my life, who has loved be even (and especially) when I didn't deserve it and shown me God's love. I knew that she was broken. And I could do nothing.

Years earlier, I had woken to a call from Erin. I had asked (begged) to be the VERY FIRST PERSON that she called after Blair proposed. When my phone rang at 6 in the morning, I saw who it was and rolled back over. Whatever it was could wait. There was no way Blair had proposed since the last time I had talked to her the night before. She left a message. "Katie. You might want to call me back!" I could hear the smile in her voice. And sleep was no longer important. I called back immediately and we shrieked and celebrated and, on that morning, I could sleep no more from the excitement. My friend was getting married!

And at her wedding. It was so beautiful. And sweet little Brynn was so sick. She made it down the aisle, dropping flower petals as she walked. Soon after, she ran back and started throwing up. Poor thing. And when she threw up at the reception, I helped clean it up. And Erin knew how big of a deal that was because I HATE vomit. But I did it for her.

One night over Christmas break, my friend and I stayed up late talking and crying. I told her that I doodle her girl's name on my notes in class because she was here and she is so loved. We talked about how much it sucks. I couldn't wait to meet and hold her daughter. It feels like I've been waiting forever to hold her baby (I've wanted her to have a baby since she and Blair started dating). I love babies, you know (she does). We talked about her name and how perfect it is (I definitely approve). Whenever we talk about her daughter, we use present tense. Because Gwenny is still Erin's daughter. And Erin is still Gwen's mom.

I can't wait to get to Heaven. I would give anything to hold Gwenny on this Earth, but that wasn't God's plan. I don't understand. It doesn't make it hurt any less. But I know that Heaven will be that much sweeter because Erin will get to be with Gwen. And Gwen will get to introduce her mommy to Jesus.

In the days that followed Gwendolyn's death, my precious friend started a blog. It will make you cry. Really...don't read it without a box of kleenex. She's so real, you guys. I love her soooo much. And I can't wait to hug her neck in March.

January 17, 2011


Last night, I had 14 girls over for dinner. I cooked chicken tacos and made a taco buffet and there was eating and laughter and Golden Globe watching. And after the show ended, I headed to Walmart with two of my sweet friends. And we laughed a lot. I got home and put my things away. I got ready for bed at my new sink. And then I came into my own room, locked the door, and crawled into my bed. I looked around this room and thanked God for the new. This semester is a new start. I love that. My room is new. And I love it. I have a kitchen. It's so perfect. And the girls I live with are so laid back. I'm usually so intimidated by new. And really I was this time, too. Until last night when I snuggled under my covers and listened to the sounds of this new home. And this morning, I woke to the laughter of the rest of my suite. My immediate reaction was annoyance...until I realized how much of a blessing it was. And I am so thankful for the new.

Tomorrow I get to start my classes. I love school. I love classes. And I get to buy my new books. I love that, too. I'm starting this semester so happy and at peace and I am so thankful for that, too.

Here's a sneak peak at my new digs. I'm not quite finished decorating, but you get the idea :) LOVE IT!