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The one with the rooster crow

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April 13, 2014. I remember the day well. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning; spring had finally come to our city. 

I was wearing a navy and coral colored dress with sandals. My hair was done, my makeup on point, and church was being held at the 9:30 club for the first time. Church in a club. What!
I walked in, found a seat on the right side of the room, about four rows back from the platform. 
There were some special events taking place that morning. A photographer was there as well as people with balloons and donuts. 
KP was leading worship, Susan Manchester was singing alongside him wearing the cutest skirt and top. 
And I was completely unaware that I would be changed that day. 
I'll come back to this portion of the story in a bit. But keep reading if you'd like.
Three years have passed and today I was reminded of this particular day when an image showed up in my Facebook feed. Facebook has a way of reminding us of some not so great moments, right? 
This photo appeared and my…

Not so Goody. Not so ouchless.

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Hello, old friend.

It's been a while.

And unfortunately, the reason I'm back today is not for reasons I'm thrilled about.

I have a complaint. A large one. And I try not to publicly complain about things or companies online unless it's a big deal to me. That whole "pick your battles' thing usually rings true. But friends, this is a battle I'm willing to pick.

What is it, you ask? What is SO important that it would bring me out of my six month blog  hiatus?

A ponytail. Yup. You read that right.

For more than 7 years, I've been using the Goody's brand of ponytail holders. I've RAVED about them. I've bought them for other people. I've sung their praises. I've been a huge fan of these. Most people see them and think, "There's no way that will work." But people.  You've seen my hair. I have a lot of it. And it's really long. These have worked MAGIC. These elastic bands have stood the test of time through 5 half marath…

The one where she called out the good

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At 2pm yesterday, I had an unexpected surprise. A dear friend of mine from Texas let me know her schedule had shifted a little and she was in DC, free for the evening, and wanted to see if I was free.

Was. I. Ever.

I made a quick reservation at Founding Farmers (always proof God loves you when you get a last minute reservation at this place) and finished up my work day.

I met Rachel at the restaurant, got the best Texas-sized hug, and sat down at our table. I looked across at her and said "We are talking about ALL THE THINGS. So much to catch up on. Are you ready for this?"

Five years prior- almost to the very day- Rachel had come to my apartment in Texas, coffee in hand at 9pm, and helped me pack up before I left the next day for my new job in Florida. Since then, we've talked a few times, we've met up a few times when I've been in Texas, but for the most part- we had a LOT to catch up on.

After dinner, we did a nighttime stroll through the memorials (my favorit…

The one about a pastor's role

When you grow up as a pastor's kid, the idea of a 'pastor' looks a little different to you.

When you grow up as a pastor's kid in the middle of East Texas, it looks a lot different to you.

Growing up, I attended a church where everyone knew everyone. We knew all the people, knew their families, knew their jobs, knew their lives. When life was hard, we rallied. When life was good, we celebrated. No one was excluded from this circle. There was no one in our congregation that didn't have full access to my family. And I loved that. We were a community of about 150 people. And it was good.

For my first church experience in college, I hoped to find and recreate something similar.  I didn't mind a big church. That only meant I got to know more people. I babysat for pastor's and their kids. I found myself in their homes for family dinners. I easily found my way into the lives of my pastors and their families. But then again, when your dad is a pastor- the pastor…

The one with the closed chapter

Today will close one of the most exciting and rewarding chapters in my life.

Five years ago I came to the Foundation bright-eyed and very green.

I didn’t know much about ‪#‎EdReform‬ but I knew social media. Jaryn saw that as an asset and gave me a chance to make it in the big leagues.

I left my home and all the people I loved in Texas and moved to Tallahassee Florida to take a chance on a social media gig with an education reform organization I didn’t know much about.

The Tallahassee team made me feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated. They didn’t just make sure I knew EdReform, they made sure I had things to do, people to see, and places to visit. Mary Laura took me out one weekend with her daughter to the ‘Tallahassee Zoo’…. Jaryn invited me to watch the World Series (Go Rangers!) with her family, Alexis became my running partner, Erin Price hosted an Oscars party, Clare Crowson helped me find the best diet Dr Pepper close the office. You get the point. The ExcelinEd team invited me…

The one about Phase 10

I played Phase 10 with friends this weekend. If you are not familiar with the game, here's a little insight.

It is a card game and there are 10 phases. For every round, each person individually has an opportunity to advance to the next phase. You play until one person reaches phase 10 and conquers it.

While playing, some people might be on phase 1 while others are on advanced phases. There are additional cards to be used… A wild, and a skip card. When using the skip card, the person playing the card can choose who they want to skip. Typically the skip card is used on the person who is on the highest level, or the person who is about to win the round. Other times, it is used out of spite.

While playing this weekend, I used the skip card on a person who was on phase 1, while others were more advanced. It did not make sense to anyone. But once I explained, I think they understood a little more. One person had just been skipped, one person I had previously used the card on earlier, an…

The one with the cheer squad

Five years ago I ran my first half marathon in San Diego. My uncle had called me in January of 2012 and told me he was planing to run the full marathon and if I wanted to run the half, he would pay for my airfare out to Cali. That seemed like a pretty sweet deal, although it was a VERY tough decision. I don't make decisions lightly and I don't go back on my word. So if I was going to say yes, there would be no backing out. I really WOULD be running 13.1 miles. California seemed great, but the running part was going to be tricky. I found a training plan that seemed doable, talked myself into it, and said "yes!"

I will never forget that moment, crossing the finish line. Actually, I will never forget each mile of that race. Remembering how I felt, how nervous I was to see if I would actually be able to do it. I had only trained up to 10 miles and that race would be the first time my body had ever gone 13.1 miles.

This weekend, almost to the exact day, I ran my 5th half …