Free Spirits... Best Friends... Bridesmaids

My senior year of high school I received the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholarship. Because of this honor I got the opportunity to spend a week in Washington D.C. as the female representative for West Virginia. 

During this short week I met a few people that honestly changed my life forever. 
Here they are... :) 
Mary Ryu (MD), Ryan Lee (NC), Holly Carter (LA), Ashley Brown (SC), and Jonny Alvarez (NY).

After this week ended I flew back to West Virginia and the entire way home from the airport to my house I told my mom how, although it sounded crazy, in one short week these people had become some of my best friends and cried as I contemplated the thought that I may never see them again. 

It was something I had never experienced before. I never knew how quickly you could grow to love people and how quickly they could mean the world to you. 

I told Mom that March afternoon in 2009 that two of those girls would be in my wedding one day. 

I feel the need to write this post because one day, believe it or not, they will be in my wedding and I want people to know our story and recognize them. 

So, here we go...
Right before this convention I decided to get on Facebook and creep on the names of my fellow scholars... the first name I pick out from this list of 102 is Ashley Brown. 

Ashley seemed pretty normal... peppy and sweet. So, we became friends on Facebook and I will never forget the day I met her in the airport. We ran and jumped in each other's arms like we had known each other forever. Some of our other scholars even asked if we had met before coming to D.C. Nope, that's just how it has always been. 

Then came sweet little Holly, another name that stood out on the list of many! I'm telling you it sounds crazy, but God had a hand in picking out these ladies from that list. 

Holly was on a different bus than us and we had to wait to meet her until we got to the hotel. But as soon as we saw her we ran and gave her a big hug -- she fit right under my chin! 

We've all kind of dubbed roles for one another along our little journey... Holly is the super successful business woman, I am the traditional wife/mother/school teacher, and Ash is the true definition of a free spirit, and I can promise you there is NO ONE like her. 

So, after that initial week in March 2009 we decided to start making plans. 

In June 2010 Ashley brown came scootin' up the road in her Volvo from Greenville, SC and overshot the driveway, landing in my neighbors yard, but I pushed her out and she ended up arriving safely in West Virginia.  

While she was here we did everything I could think of to do in West Virginia... 


Go out to eat.

Go up on the ridge...

and meet the fam! 

Having her here was nothing short of amazing and she sure impressed these country boys with her sock/glove tricks and life threatening four wheelin' skills. 

Four months later I received a phone call from Holly asking how close "LOUIS"ville, KY was from me. That was all she had to say and I was planning a Saturday trip down the road to see my Louisiana girl! 

It turns out that Holly had a journalism conference in Louisville and had free time all day Saturday! 

Just a little excited! 

Neither one of us were familiar with Louisville so we just drove around doing random things like making Build-A-Bear teddies together and crying as we put our little hearts in them. 

It had almost been two years since I'd seen miss Holly when we got to talking about a reunion. She had some time to take off of work, (Yes, she finished her degree in 2 and a half years and is already a news reporter/adult.) and I had a couple free weekends coming up. 

Her time off was approved and tickets were booked so last Friday I got to the airport and picked up one of my best friends! 
After a tearful reunion I took her in to Huntington to our one and only Fat Patty's! 

After a tour of the campus and surroundings we headed OUT WAYNE! 

She loved the "mountains". Haha! 
We spent the night on the hill with good friends around a camp fire. 

Saturday we had a shopping day with Momma! 

We had Ash here in clothing! I wore her jeans she left when she was in WV and Holly wore a t-shirt she left behind! 

Sunday was family day after church! 
She just seems to fit! 

We had such a great few days together, although it was much too short. 

I thank God he gave us this time together and cannot wait until our next reunion. 

If you've read this long, drawn-out post and are keeping track... you've read it right.. I've only seen Ashley twice my entire life and Holly three times. Who knows when, but maybe the next time will be on my wedding day. 

Whenever it may be I know one thing is for certain, it will be the most precious time I could ask for and certainly a gift from God. 

I love you girls so much.

See you soon! 



I will be the first to tell you that I am a sucker for weddings. 

I mean, I cry... and cry... and cry. Even when I don't know the people getting married.

I think it is such a beautiful celebration. 

The usual times I cry:

- Father giving the bride away
- The exchange of vows
- The father daughter dance
-The mother son dance
- Sometimes a sappy toast

I'm a sucker.

Anyway, this weekend I got to see one of my oldest friends get married to the love of his life and I was just bracing myself for the tears because I actually KNOW this person -- VERY WELL, like, well enough that I've been on multiple vacations with him, been at SEVERAL family events, went to church with him, spent the night at his house throughout my entire childhood (with his sister)... so, yeah, I was bracing myself. 

Anyway, I did get EXTREMELY teary eyed ONLY ONCE!

When I saw these handsome fellas all standing at the front of the church. 
(These guys are all like my brothers. Very overwhelming knowing we're all grown up.)

The rest of the wedding... I didn't shed a tear and I've come to realize that I was just HAPPY.

Like, bursting with happy, happy. 

I was surrounded all evening with the people who I've come to consider family down here in Wayne, WV. There wasn't one second I wasn't laughing and smiling. 

But, between the square dancing, Dixie land delight karaoke, and great company... who wouldn't be! 

The beautiful bride!

Main reason I was laughing all night.
(Dress: Forever 21)

Sister of the Groom.

The GROOM -- Dane! 

And just for laughs... My desperate attempt to catch the bouquet. :( I dropped it. 


Fall Crafting!

This weekend was a blast! 

One of my oldest friends got married Saturday and my entire family had such a blast hanging out and dancing like fools with all the people we've come to adopt as family over the past 20 years. 

(Dad took my camera this morning for work, so I'll have to upload pictures in a separate post!)

Yesterday, however, my best friend called me up and decided she wanted to get crafty! 

Although not on our fall "to-do" list (which has been revamped and extended) we made fall wreaths.

After a few stops at some craft stores and quick bite to eat we were crafting up a storm on her back porch. The weather was picture perfect and we just had a blast drinking our fancy coffees (to-do list!) and chit chatting! 

Here's the aftermath! 

Isn't she cute!?

I'm not showing her wreath because I'm SURE she'll want to share it with you on her blog it's adorable! 

Happy Monday everyone! 


High Five for Friday!

This week has been a tough one for a lot of people I love, so I consider myself blessed to be able to have 5 things to be happy about this week.


I found this on Pinterest and fell IN LOVE. My best friend and I will make sure we get this checked list completed before winter gets here! 

2. Happy 22nd Birthday! 

My twin brother and I celebrated 22 years of life this week! 

3. Grandma's Care Packages

I love getting care packages from my grandma. This one came with handmade pencils with mine and my girlfriends' teacher names on them along with cross bookmarks and a prayer cloth! All hand crocheted by her! Priceless.

4. Wedding Bells are Ringing!

L to R: Dana (married man), his sister Alyssa, Me, and Dustin OBX 2004

Can't believe one of my oldest friends is getting married tomorrow! 

Here's to you, Dane!!! :)

5. 10,000 views! 

I couldn't believe my eyes when I reached 10,000 views this week! Thank you, to every single person who viewed it! 

Remeber to link up with Lauren for High Five For Friday! 


Happy Birthday to...us! :)

 Today is my 22nd birthday! 

However, I'm not celebrating alone because I get to share this special day with my TWIN and BEST FRIEND! 

I spent the morning sleeping in/lounging and had a lunch date with the other birthday girl! 

Then this evening the family celebrated! We all went to Hibachi and carbed it up! 

Mom and Dad were also celebrating their 30th anniversary! 

 Thank you, everyone, for all the birthday wishes! 

Blessed with another year of life. 



It is already September! Where has this year gone?!

September is, hands down, my favorite month of the year for a few reasons:

1. The WVU/Marshall game is always the first weekend in September, which means I go up to Morgantown and hang out with my boy! 

2. Labor Day weekend is always our first day off of school! 

3. My BIRTHDAY is September 5th! I'll be the big 2-2!  (which is kind of boring)

(Last year on our birthday)

And I also share a birthday with my best friend! Double the celebration! 
(Celebrating in Vegas last year for my 21st)

4. My Mom and Dad's anniversary is the 4th! They'll be celebrating 30 years! 

5. My boyfriend's birthday is the 19th! 

And this year there are some special events happening in September!

This weekend one of my oldest friends is getting married! 
Next weekend my brother, boyfriend and I are going to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes play!
The last weekend in September I'm helping throw a baby shower for my nephew to be!!!

But, the most recently added, and most significant September event happening this month is that one of my BEST FRIEND's who I haven't seen in 2 years is coming to West Virginia from Louisiana to visit!!! 

The first time I met this sweet gal in May 2009 at the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Conference.

A year a half later in October 30, 2010, in Louisville.

I can't wait to post another on September 23, 2012 -- almost 2 years later! 

Now that I've shared my favorite month with you, I hope you make the most out of YOUR September! I don't think mine could be anymore booked! 

Oh, and at the top of my birthday wish list -- 10,000 views! I'm less than 50 views away!