Sunday, September 7, 2014

God Made Us Friends...

Dear Best Friend, 

Please stay in my life forever because you're one of the best things that has happened to me. 


God Made Us Friends Because Nobody Could Handle Us As Sisters

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Warby Parker: Fall Line

*Disclaimer: "The opinions expressed on this post are completely my own."

Warby Parker, Y'all

Warby Parker has just released their Fall 2014 line! This company was built on the idea of creating affordable eyewear for you, the consumer, and to help others around the country with limited access to vision! What does that mean? Limited access to vision? I mean that many people have lack of good vision simply because they can't afford ridiculously high priced corrective wear! Warby Parker's nonprofits train people around the word how to give eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices. Why not just donate glasses? This is where I think Warby Parker is incredibly brilliant. 

"It’s a sticky fact of life that kind-hearted gestures can have unintended consequences. Donating is often a temporary solution, not a lasting one. It can contribute to a culture of dependency. It is rarely sustainable. Instead of donating, our partners train men and women to sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices, which allows them to earn a living. More important, it forces our partners to offer glasses that people actually want to buy: glasses that fit with local styles, look good, work well, and make the wearer feel incredible.
Because everyone wants to feel incredible."     -via

Warby Parker's vision is to create a situation where other's around the world can become sustained through learning how to be part of the Warby Parker team.

I was only asked to do a style post however, when I read up and heard testimonies on this company I couldn't help but be inclined to tell the vision behind the company. I would encourage you to check them out and get your next pair of spectacles from their amazing company!

This is my favorite frame and goes perfectly with this Fall outfit!

Here are some more of my favorite styles!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Firsts in Fifth

School has begun again. Fresh new planner, nice sharp crayons, and no crinkles on the folder corners yet.... Would you guess I'm a student or a teacher? I'm a total geek about fresh school supplies. I lived for the new planner every.single.year. Seriously? What 5th grader looked forward to a nice new planner? Yup. Me. Well now I get to pass out planners to my 5th graders! Where did time go I feel like I was just in 5th grade :)

The first week of school got off to a great start. I am beyond excited to be teaching 5th instead of 6th this year. I am working with a talented bunch of kiddos who make each day bright so far. My group of students this year are impressing me like crazy so far. They are great at pretty much everything I ask them to be great at. Granted, its only the second week of school... hopefully I won't regret these words! Just kidding, I won't. I know it is going to be a great year in room 511.

There is a noticeable difference between the 5th and 6th graders from day 1. This year, so far, I haven't been asked if I'm dating or married or accused of being 35. So far, so good.  Plus, setting up my classroom was not a nightmare like last year. I literally cried last year. I was so frustrated because the hopes in dreams I had in my mind of how cute it would look totally failed. This year my Mom helped me get my life together and decorate my classroom the right way. Yay for moms... and dads! My dad was the muscle behind the projects involving saws and other scary tools. Thanks Dad :)

Okay now don't scroll down thinking you're going to see one of those super matchy fancy pinterest classrooms you see a lot. Because lets face it... my children are great but super messy when they learn so I don't like to go overboard with the $$ on decorations. But its my own little corner of 5th grade heaven.  

Along with being back at teaching I started up grad school again last week. I was once so excited about being in grad school. I felt like I was once again working toward a goal. Now I've lost that feeling and it has been replaced with an overwhelming feeling of! I feel like its a lot to take on grad school and full time teaching among other things. But I will prevail because God will be my strength! Thanks for stopping by to catch an update. Stay tuned for more Firsts in Fifth!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Albanian Wedding: Renis & Alba

As you may have read in the past posts about Albania, I had the opportunity to capture a wedding while in Albania. My new dear friends Renis and Alba who are full time missionaries were married during the time we were there. Words can't really describe a lot of the time I spent in Albania because it was incredibly life changing. However, this couple is a very inspiring Christ centered couple. They've completely dedicated their lives to the work of God. I'm proud to call them my friends :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Albania Part 2

After the first week in Albania, actually when I first set foot in Albania, I felt like I belonged there. It felt so welcoming and like home away from home. The people are very friendly and loving. The country is a developing country but I think they have something that is so important in their culture. They want to invest in your life and have you invest in theirs. I'm talking face to face real conversation over coffee without cellphones. SAY WHAAAA??? That doesn't happen often here anymore. Unless you demand it.

During the weekend after the VBS camp and before English camp we were able to experience an Albanian wedding. {The man} has been going to Albania for the past few years on this same trip. He has connected with many new friends but this couple in particular has become very close to him and now me as well. Renis and Alba are an inspiring Christ-like couple that were married this summer. Matt was in the wedding and through their friendship with Matt they asked me to be their photographer! An ALBANIAN WEDDING?? I mean really...Who gets to capture an Albanian wedding??  God opened that opportunity and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it all.  {More to come on this event in future posts...stay tuned}

After the weekend we headed to another town outside of the capital. We were met with 20+ college students from the city of Tirana at a resort. We spent 5 days in the resort teaching them about English and about Jesus. Everyday we taught English class from 9am-12noon. There were three levels; beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Being the English teacher that I am, I taught the advanced class with two other lovely ladies from my church. The afternoons were for beach/pool and building relationships with our new friends. We met up as a group each night for an hour and a half to teach parables from the Bible. Matt and I taught a small group together. This was followed by a night activity of some sort. Dancing, movies, games, food, you name it... we did it.

A main purpose for our trip, to teach about the Gospel. It was also the scariest part of the trip for me. That probably sounds ridiculous since I knew thats exactly why I had signed up to go. I feared that I wouldn't have the right words to say or that I wouldn't have all the answers to speak about Jesus to students that haven't heard much about Him, this was also the area that I grew the most. I found myself in many conversations with student about Jesus and my faith. I also found that when I spoke, God was clearly leading the conversation. My goal was to speak truth in a loving way to the students. I shared my testimony and told how God has changed my life and heart. I learned that although I don't have all the answers or even close to all of them I can still impact the lives of others through trusting God and allowing Him to use me to greater His kingdom. Many great friendships were made and I had the opportunity to pray with two girls who accepted Christ.

The camp was life changing in one way or another for each of us. New friendships were built, people were saved, and a good time was shared by all.

There are so many more words I could write to tell you of this experience but as always I prefer my photos tell a bigger portion of my story.

Not related to camp, but just to give you an idea of how beautiful the country is! 

Also not related to the camp. Just loved that these two men were playing a game. :)