Friday, November 15, 2013

Confessional Friday

Time to resuscitate this here blog of mine! It was a packed and wonderful summer and has been a simply delicious fall. God is still good. So much has happened I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll get straight to the bullet points.
  • Cardigans are my favorite article of clothing. If I could own all styles in all colors I could die happy.
  • If you've been reading here for a while you may have heard of a local restaurant called Buon Cibo. Well, I am their #1 Customer. Don't believe me? My mother went in to buy me a shirt and gift card for my birthday and said, "You should know that I am getting this for your biggest fan!" The cashier replied, "Do you mean Anna Kate?" In other news I really need to get a life.
  • One of the best feelings is when your checkbook finally balances. I kind of feel like a ninja when it happens.
  • I recently discovered chocolate peanut butter. Watch out Nutella, peanut butter is still the classic!
  • This Monday I am taking my last credit-bearing psychology exam, and in December I will finish my last college course ever and apply for graduation through Thomas Edison State College (receiving my diploma in March). I'm finishing more than an academic achievement - I'm finishing a phase of my life. There are no words. Just thankfulness.
  • I dislike poetry for the most part, but I could listen to this kid all day long. I want one just like him!
  • Some of the happiest current news in my life is that I am going to be an aunt! That's right, end of April 2014 my brother and sister-in-law, Mitchell and Tiffany, will be welcoming a baby into the family. Aunthood here I come!
  • Here's a recent favorite Tweet for you: "Probably the worst thing about being a penguin is after you're in an argument you'll try to waddle away angrily but still look adorably cute."
  • One of the best decisions I have ever made was to take my last two college courses at the community college rather than study on my own and take the credit-bearing exam. For one, they were both maths (algebra and statistics) which would have been difficult for me without an instructor, but for another, I have never taken a class at an actual college. It was a little intimidating at first (took algebra in the summer and am taking statistics now), but it has turned out to be one of my absolute favorite things. It has been stretching, academically interesting, and just plain fun honestly. Yep. Good times.
  • Some friends and I had a Harry Potter movie marathon last month and we made these cupcakes for a themed snack. They are actually some of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever made. Thumbs up.
  • While this year has been the best of my life so far for numerous reasons, my favorite reason by far is that I started dating my favorite person in the world (it works out 'cause I think I'm his favorite too). His name is Kenny and we met headed to a mission trip in Mexico last summer (don't worry - he lives half an hour away). All I can say is that a lot can happen in a year. God is good and He loves His children, and loves to bless them just because He can. I am so full of joy and just thankful for all of the time Kenny and I are able to spend together, getting to know each other and making memories along the way. Hashtag blessed. :)
Pictures (of course!)
In September my parents, Kenny and I road tripped to Auburn (where he graduated) for the MS State vs. Auburn game.
I, of course, wore Auburn orange. :) However, I couldn't forget my roots, so I wore a maroon ribbon in my hair!
Here's a little summer action! Dad, Mark and I went to a Memphis Redbirds game in August.

This is Mitchell, Tiffany, and Baby Minyard!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Confessional Friday

10 minutes 'til midnight! Cuttin' it close. Life has been good. In the past month I have been to Colorado for a wedding, finally seen a Grizzlies game, spent the weekend in Virginia for a friend's farewell party, attended my cousin's baby shower down south in Greenwood, and helped my best friend of 14 years move into her new apartment in Memphis. Pressing on in school, living the local life and still loving it, and learning what true love and friendship is.

Hallelujah, all I have is Christ.
Hallelujah, Jesus is my life.
  • Today I registered for a class at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Literally never thought I'd see the day. I saw a lot of Nike shorts. And Chacos. (The backstory is that I decided that I need a schedule, deadlines and teacher in order to conquer math, and Intermediate Algebra at Northwest would transfer, so, boom. Kind of nervous and an itsy bit excited. It'll be good for me.)
  • I'm really into fresh raw tomatoes with salt right now.
  • If we're watching a movie together and you turn it off before the credits finish, I will be upset with you. You always wait until the credits finish. Always.
  • If you and I talk on a regular basis, you know the term "Buon Cibo." It's my favorite restaurant in the history of my life. It's fresh, local, and delicious. Since my discovery of this little gem last fall I have been keeping a log of every time I go and what I ordered. (I know, overkill.) According to my log, I have been 42 times so far. That number seems small to me.
  • By the way, that's BWON-CHEEBO, not BWON-SEEBO. Italian for "good food."
  • The other night I left When Can I See You Again? by Owl City on repeat all night by accident. 273 plays and counting.
  • I prefer cow's milk (fresh and whole), but my favorite alternative is rice milk.
  • Last night I bought a navy + coral + fuchsia maxi dress at Walmart (WALMART k) and it's just about the most beautiful dress I've ever owned. I'm wearing it now. (Couldn't find a picture on the Internet, and I'm a non-Smartphone granny so I can't upload a picture of me in it unless I drag out our massive camera, take an awkward selfie, plug the camera up, yaddee yaddee yadda.)
  • My favorite number is 11, and it's for the most embarrassing reason ever: it was the baseball jersey number of my first real crush. His name was Kyle. I was 10 years old.
  • I'm sitting on my best friend's bed in her apartment in Memphis and she just said: "I'm so excited about so many things my little heart just can't stand it." <3

That one time Mark, Christina, Melika and I took PhotoBooth pictures in the back of the 2010 TeenPact Illinois class.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Confessional Friday

It's rainy in Hernando today. It's also cold, so I've been wearing my pea coat. At the moment I'm curled up in a booth at my favorite restaurant Buon Cibo with a slice of the best coconut cream pie in town and a mug of coffee. Other than wondering if I was somehow the cause of the restaurant's sudden power outage, since it occurred just as I crossed the threshold, this is perfect. (Don't worry. After a few moments of sharing this unexpected turn of events and funny commentary, the power came back.)

Shooting for actual "confessions" today...
  • This is my new favorite dress. I've loved ModCloth for a long time but this was my first purchase from them. I'm in love.
  • As crazy and even sometimes stressful as Bonnaroo was last year, I still wish I was going again this year. I'm going to miss all the hippies, hipsters and wanna-be-hipsters. The music and blankets and colors and fun. Just not the smell of marijuana.
  • fun. actually played Bonnaroo last year so there's ^ that.
  • For loving vibrant colors and generally being a colorful person myself I'm actually very drawn towards neutral colors. Navy, gray, brown, tan... 'cept when it comes to marigold yellow. Then I'm really gone.
  • "I'd rather waltz than just walk through the forrest."
  • No srsly. I know they're Owl City song lyrics but I'd rather waltz than just walk. I'm just saying. If I were in the forrest.
  • But I can't read it without singing the melody in my head.
  • Speaking of Melody, she's my favorite. We had a photo shoot Monday (below).
  • I once said that if my soul were a song it'd be Can't Take It In by Imogen Heap. I still hold to that.
  • Last week we had the wonderful Mask family over for dinner. We ate food, played CatchPhrase, talked a lot and laughed possibly even more.
  • This is what happens when I try to write actual confessions. Or maybe it's just my mood. Either way, I'd love to keep writing, but I've got a homeschool graduation to catch! My brother is the MC and he's going to knock it out of the park.
Melody & Me
{fyi, Melody is my sister by unofficial adoption, the sister of my other adopted siblings Austin and Audrey}

possibly one of her first encounters with PhotoBooth?

ahh, favorite.

"Seriously, what is this?"

her current favorite toy: empty water bottle

buuut pulling hair is more fun than even the water bottle

oh, sisters.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Confessional Friday

It's been a packed and unforgettable couple of months (my last Confessional Friday was in January - oops!). Olivia and I are headed to a play, so I'll leave ya to it!

  • Think I have decided that I want gray somewhere in the color scheme of my wedding.
  • My friend Laura recently got me into pear with brie. The salty but creamy cheese pairs nicely (pun intended) with the light sweetness of the fruit.
  • A few weeks ago one of my best friends surprised me with tickets to see Ben Rector in concert in Oxford on April 3rd. Ladies and Gentlemen, you simply must see that man someday. It was probably the best concert I've ever been to and an all around incredible night of happy, tasteful music, fun friends and boatloads of laughter.
  • I love soft-boiled eggs (boiled 5 minutes; the white is cooked and the yolk is hot and runny). I have them for breakfast, lunch sometimes, and snacks.
  • In May I am headed to Colorado for a friend's wedding. There are so many levels of awesome in that statement. Favorite state. Beautiful time of year. Amazing friends. Wedding. Love.
  • I recently made this cake. It was quite the ordeal finding the pistachios and figs, but it was worth it! A unique dessert for sure.
  • For the first time ever I followed the NCAA March Madness tournament (didn't know what it was before this year). I even made a bracket! It was so fun dialoguing and "competing" with friends, and being even slightly educated on this topic has provided so many conversation opportunities with people with whom I typically have very little in common (in other words, I can hold a legitimate conversation with a grown man about basketball; it's fun and a total blessing). My champion pick, Syracuse, made it so close to the end! I'll never forget this tournament, and I encourage any girl who has never experienced March Madness to jump in next year. It's fun for everyone. :)
  • Currently I am obsessed with fresh clementines.
  • Several weeks ago I finished my Liberal Arts Capstone course at Thomas Edison (a 100 on my final project and an A in the class. Praise. God.), and this week I passed another test, gaining 3 more credits. Literally I have two Excelsior tests and two ALEKS courses before I finish college.  Excelsiors are tests similar to CLEPs, and ALEKS are self-paced courses, which means? I should finish this summer. Let's not talk just yet about how I will FREAK OUT when that day comes.
  • I. cried.
  • In June my mom, Mark and I are headed to Richmond, Virginia for the Farewell Extravaganza of the one-and-only Lydia Shanks. Lydia will be moving on from TeenPact after so many years of service, and we're sending her off right with a massive cocktail party. I just ordered what will hopefully be my dress for the event. It will be unspeakably wonderful to see so many good friends from my TeenPact years.
Olivia and me at the play Medea at University of Memphis; it was frightening but good!

thought I'd show you my yellow tights; I'm rather fond of them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday: March 2012 Edition

This is why I could never blog full time. I just don't get around to it if other areas of life take precedence. My readers would abandon me for sure! However, I do get around to it eventually, so here is the next installment of Throwback Thursdays, two Thursdays late. March 2012 was a good month. Imperfect. Funny. Challenging. Productive. Stretching. Encouraging.

Friday, March 2, 2012
"I read Genesis 3-4 today. I had forgotten that Adam and Eve had another son besides Cain and Abel, Seth. After he entered the picture and started his family, scripture says, “Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:26) Seth and Enosh (his son) literally went down in history as the first men to actively pursue God! What a place."

Friday, March 9, 2012
"I suppose I hate sin. Bah. I can't fix the world!! My mind knows the truth: that I know the One who can and is fixing the world (well, saving a people out of a sinful world). But my heart doesn't always grasp this life-altering concept. What comes with it? Peace. And my heart stills."

Thursday, March 15, 2012
[speaking about my church choir] "I just love that group, and I love how Mr. Kenny is leading us. He is creating more than a singing group - he is creating a close-nit family of believers who can share needs and praises that happen to sing together, too. I love it. I think we all need it."
(still feel this way)

Saturday, March 17, 2012
"I read through one of my old calendars today and discovered that Sunday, March 18, 2007 was our first visit at Grace Bible. Tomorrow is Sunday, March 18, 2012. Exactly five years. I can't believe it. I may or may not cry tomorrow at church, just realizing how I've grown over that time, all the people I've come to know and genuinely love, and how God has changed my heart. Faithful."

Sunday, March 18, 2012
"For the first time ever, I feel fully connected to my church and community. I walk around church as if I'm home, completely comfortable. I love it. Not only have I never been used to local life and the majority of my life taking place in one town, I've also never been accustomed to ongoing conversation with people I see every few days. It's so subtle, yet makes a massive difference in my life. I'm more used to doing broad, overall life catch ups with people from across the country or family I don't see often. Now when I see people around town or at church we just pick up where we left off, like we never went our separate ways."
(This concept still thrills my soul. A year later, I'm still basking in the rich, wonderful local life God has given me at this time in my life.)

Monday, March 19, 2012
"Laura and I made our tiny dinner and it was absolutely hilarious. Everything from a tiny grater, boiler, and wooden spoon, to baking dish, whisk, and ice cream maker! We had fun."
(One year anniversary of Tiny Things!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012
"Bad morning, awesome afternoon and evening. I was stressed this morning for a number of stupid reasons, and then almost cried in choir because they're so understanding and I'm so stupid. I love them. So much."
(HAHAHA. I remember that morning. It was just as bad as I make it sound. And my choir was just like I said they were.)

[speaking about October Baby] "I've never cried that hard in a movie (besides maybe Flipper, but that's another story)."

Monday, March 26, 2012
"While at U of M I actually had a frustrating conversation with my test administrator while Austin was finishing his test. I can tell that she is convinced that I have missed out on a vital phase of life - the college phase - and feels genuinely sorry for me. It's SO frustrating because there is no way for me to convey my life to her. She has no idea all that I've experienced. She can't see me leading hundreds of young people at TeenPact National Convention, or me strolling around Paris, or sleeping in a car with three others guys outside Melbourne, Australia. One specific experience that she mentioned was "eating ramen noodles every day!" I didn't think of it at the time, but now my thought is, "what about cooking ramen noodles in the middle of the night over an open fire in the Australian outback with foreigners you've met only once before in your life??" But then I realize that the reason that it bothers me so much is because I care too much about what people think. Of course she can't understand my life - it's pretty radically different in a few ways. It's okay."
(Yeahh, remember that. You can ask Austin (who was there taking a CLEP test as well) to verify that I ranted about it all the way back to the car, heh. I still struggle with whether people understand me or judge the way I have lived my life, but I still wouldn't change anything. It also helps me remember that you just don't know everything about a person - the reasons they've made decisions and chosen various paths - and that it's only a waste of time to judge them. I'd much rather be encouraging and loving.)

a few March 2012 photos...

Karah, Katheryne and Laura at the March Movie Night; out at good ol' Dan's
I was studying World Religions.

and I got to see one of my favorites for an afternoon, my TeenPact Intern Sister Bryn Goode

It was the perfect catch up.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: February 2012 Edition

Throwback Thursday a week late! (Read HERE about the purpose behind Throwback Thursdays.) February 2012 entries were full of tedious details (mostly about my church's formal Valentine's dinner for which I trained the youth as servers) and long monologues about various topics, so I don't have as many snippets this month. Still, some fun memories and thoughts. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012
"Then I came home, ate lunch, studied at the library, and then went to the Strouds to get ready for Sara Jane's Tangled-themed 4th birthday party this Saturday! Guess who's special guest Rapunzel? Yep. They bought a wig and everything."
(Yesss. I played Rapunzel.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012
"Tangled party was a hoot. Slightly awkward during some parts (what are you supposed to do when 7 little girls and their parents are staring at you after you've finished reading your story and have nothing else to say?), but mostly a blast. Morgan Elizabeth did my makeup and flowers in my hair, which she loved. Sara Jane just had a fit over everything about me and declared that "I will always have a Tangled party so you can come and wear your Tangled dress!'"
(That was a fun experience. One of the little girls in attendance whom I had babysat before had been told that "Anna Kate was coming." About halfway through the party, after I'd made my appearance and was interacting with the girls, she asked her mom, "When is Anna Kate coming?")

Thursday, February 9, 2012
"And as my fingers type, the worries of my soul ease, and the cares of my spirit rest in His sovereign grace. I refuse to quote the saying, "God wants me to be happy." Because more than ever I am convinced that He is in the business of making His saints holy, not happy. Happiness? Maybe. Holiness? That's the aim. And therein lies true joy. That my heart could grasp that better."

Friday, February 10, 2012
"Honestly, sometimes I want to give up this journal thing altogether. Even a day later, I see my immaturity. Or maybe haste is a better word. I always try to figure out the world, instead of seeking after God. It's a meaningless endeavor. I need so much grace. Thankfully He showers me with it. :)"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
"I still don't have all the answers. But that's the problem in the first place - wasting energy on trying to find those answers. He is the answer. I run after his heart. Not silly answers to silly questions. Only He can satisfy. Funny how the greatest Mystery is also the greatest Satisfier."
(Why do I still do this?? I'll never know, but He IS still the Satisfier.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012
"I just love my people. That's all there is to it."
(I had spent the evening with church family. 'Nuff said.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012
"My job is to serve the Lord and pursue holiness. What a beautifully simple job description. Now, simple and easy are not synonymous, but there is good news (I mean REALLY good news): He gives strength to the weary, and uses the weak to shame the wise. Praise God."

a few February 2012 photos...

that time The Drop Bears played the Grace Bible Church Valentine's Banquet the first time.

my other role that night: Head Server

Friday, February 22, 2013

What happened to last Friday?

Would you like to know why I did not post last Friday?

Because I was rehearsing for a killer show with The Drop Bears (and Company), of course. We're all... like, a band... you know. Here's the setup:

Sam: vocals, piano, harmonica
Mark: guitar, acoustic & electric
Katheryne: vocals, tambourine
Anna Kate: vocals, kick drum (in this case, my boots)

Last year The Drop Bears (Mark and Sam) performed a show for our church's Valentine's banquet, and I joined them for two songs (and Company). This year, we were back, with the fabulous addition of Katheryne. Friday night was spent determining the set list, staging the show, and of course, practicing the songs. It was a late night, but that's how musicians role. At least that's how we roll, since we require an empty building in the dead of night for a proper rehearsal. :)

The show was the following Saturday night, and it was a good one. We had a nice arrangement of classics (Pretty Woman), indie hits (Emmylou by First Aid Kit), tragedies (Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan) and a high energy soulful hit (Home by Edward Sharpe).

Emmylou with Katheryne

yes, my boots really were the kick drum...

"Alabama, Arkansaaawwwww!"

For a little country church in Mississippi, I'd say we threw down! :)