Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear 2013

Dear 2013,

What a year you have been.  There have been highs and lows, triumphs and tears, and in a few hours you will be over.  I ran the Krispy Kreme Challenge and my first 5k.  I had two life long friends get married and my grandmother passed away.  I made great memories with friends both in Raleigh and in Charlotte.  I made the decision to follow God's calling and apply to move to France and in 3 weeks I will fulfill that calling.  I challenged myself this year to get healthy and I reached the 50 lbs lost mark back in September.  I may say this every year for the rest of my life but I feel like I learned more about myself & grew as a person in this past year than any other year.  I am looking forward to 2014 and all the memories & challenges that will come with it.  Bring it on 2014, I'm ready for you.


Annual family vacation to the beach
I saw John Mayer in concert with some of my housewives
Transformation after 50 lbs lost
I met the Jonas Brothers with my bff Linsey

Wilson's wedding where she became Mrs. Tanner

First official picture of the Princesses of OPA

Beautiful sunrise in Raleigh. Man I'll miss this view

Bridesmaids with the bride night before the MB's wedding!


I love Charlotte friends 

My roommates my first 3 years of college

Hunnicutt kids at Thanksgiving


This little nugget turned 2 this year!


Thanks for a great 4 1/2 years NC State!

My housewives. I have no words to describe the love I have for these ladies

Krispy Kreme Challenge completed!

We welcomed a baby to our group of friends this year!


After State beat Duke in basketball with Ryne and Emma

My sweet 6 & unders from swim team

That one time we all decided to wear coral.



I am off to Charlotte to ring in the New Year with my sister, brother-in-law, and friends.  What are you doing to finish 2013?  Whatever you do I hope you go into the new year with a fresh mind and spirit.

See you on the other side!

-MB

Friday, December 27, 2013

Peaks and Pits!

Happy Friday Yall!

I cannot believe that Christmas has come and gone and that 2014 is just around the corner!  Here are my peaks & pits for the past 2 weeks since I didn't post last friday.

Peaks:

1) I graduated!  On December 18 I graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Human Biology.





2) An obvious peak would be that Christmas was on Wednesday! I had a great Christmas with my family.  On Christmas day itself I got to stay in my pajamas all day which is exactly what I wanted to do.

3) Today is my sister's 25th birthday! I am so thankful to have a big sister who is driven and kind and has such a big heart for others, not to mention my best friend.  Happy Birthday Jenny! I love you!



Pits:

  • This was the first Christmas without my grandmother, Mama Rose.  Mama Rose loved everything about Christmas, the lights, decorations and most importantly celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  While we missed her at our family gatherings we all knew that she was celebrating Christmas in heaven for the first time and we wouldn't trade that for anything.
  • I'm less than a month out from leaving for France and I am starting to realize that I am hanging out with some of my friends for the last time until June when I get home.  I am very excited to go but I will miss everyone at home.

I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas!  What do you have planned to ring in the New Year?

-Mary Beth




Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Jamie!

Today is my sweet sweet nephew's 2nd birthday!  If you follow me on any social media you know that I am a teeny bit obsessed with him, but can you blame me?   Look how adorable he is.

 
 
This past weekend I was in Wilmington to celebrate this cute guy's birthday and he had an airplane themed party at the park!  We were worried about the rain but luckily it only rained for a few minutes and the party could continue as planned.  Pretty much all Jamie wanted was to be pushed on the swing but hey, it's his birthday and he could do what he wanted to.  I sure am going to miss this little guy when I'm in France.
 
 
 
 







 
 
How cute are those decorations that Shauna, my sister-in-law, made? My parents got Jamie a tool bench and he was loving the yellow hat that came with it.  I love this kid so much!
 
I hope you had a great Monday!
 
-MB

 
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Peaks and Pits

Hi friends!

This week's peaks and pits is going to be mainly peaks and I am perfectly okay with that!

Peaks:

1) I am now officially done with my undergraduate degree! I took all my finals this week and I am now just awaiting my grades and graduation! I am definitely ending college on a high note because I haven't had a semester this good since my first semester of college!

2) I got my visa back today! All that stands between me and France is 5 weeks and some strategic packing!

3) My parents and I finally decorated our Christmas tree. I love our tree because it is full of ornaments that my siblings and I made as kids and other ornaments that were gifts. It is fun to relive the memories every year as we put them on the tree. 


4) My sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, had our last meeting of the year and we did a secret sister gift exchange. My sweet friend Virginia had my name and she got me this adorable elephant ornament, some Christmas goodies and a bar of soap called the south of France!



Pits:

1) the only pit this week was that I got in a wreck on Wednesday. A lady rear ended me on the way home from school. Luckily no one was hurt but it was not exactly how I imagined spending my afternoon!


I hope that everyone had a good week as well! I am excited for this weekend because as I write this I am on my way to Wilmington with my parents to celebrate my nephew's 2nd birthday!

-MB

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I love the holiday season.  I love seeing Christmas decorations, listening to Christmas music, eating delicious treats and spending extra time with my family.  Oh, and I really love Christmas break because it means having time off from school.  I just realized that this is going to be my last Christmas break!  Of course the main reason I love the holiday season is because I am reminded of the birth of my savior, Jesus Christ.

In my family we always decorate for Christmas the weekend following Thanksgiving.  I love the Christmas decorations my mom has for our house and while putting up Christmas decorations isn't my favorite thing in the world, I love looking at them when we are done.

 
That snowman on my door? Love it. Mom saw it on pinterest
What are you favorite things about the Christmas season? I'm ready to start baking!

-MB

Friday, December 6, 2013

Peaks & Pits

I have called this blog post peaks & pits because I have decided that I am going to try and update every Friday with my peaks & pits for the past week. 

Peaks:

1) Atlanta! I went to Atlanta to apply for my visa for France with my friend Jennifer.  It was a quick 48 hours but it was nice to relax some before finals and spend some quality time with a dear friend.  Plus applying for my visa was one of the last hurdles I had left in preparation for France paperwork wise.

This was in the mall next to my hotel. Obviously I had to take a picture. 
2) I had my last class of my undergraduate career on Thursday!

3)  Getting this tweet from Noel.  I love babysitting for Ashley & Noel and their boys are absolutely precious.



4) Celebrating my wonderful friend Kourtney's birthday! 


Pits:

1) Atlanta - yes this is a pit as well.  First off I realized Monday night getting ready for bed that I forgot my black pants that I was going to wear for my visa appointment in Garner, which meant all I had were the grey yoga pants I wore that day.  Needless to say I had to go shopping before my appointment.  Oh, and I also almost had a breakdown in the consulate because I thought my appointment was at 330 and it was 230.  Luckily the very very nice man working there saw me start to cry and panic and told me that they would see me anyways.

2) Realizing all the work/studying I have to accomplish between now and next Wednesday.  4 finals & a paper in less than 72 hours is no joke.

3) My TA didn't show up for the oral part of my French final on Monday.  My partner & I had an assigned time to come in and she wasn't there - I still have no idea what happened to her.  Thank goodness my professor was actually on campus and let us have our final with her.


I hope that you had a great week! And if you're in NC enjoyed the absolutely beautiful weather we had today.  I would be okay if it was 70 degrees in December all the time.

-MB

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving yall! 

Yesterday when I was at the gym I was thinking about what I wanted to write for a thanksgiving blog post while listening to one of my favorite Mumford & Sons songs "hopeless wanderer". I wasn't really paying attention to the song until the lyrics seemed to jump out at me. 


I will learn to love the skies I'm under - very profound if you ask me.  I think that as humans we are constantly waiting for the next big thing in our lives. I know for me I am so ready to graduate & go to France that I'm almost wishing away the next month and a half of my life. While there is nothing wrong with being ready to start the next chapter God has in store for me, I need to take the time to appreciate what I'm doing in my life right now.  In a little over 2 weeks I will no longer be a student at NC State University.  I will no longer be in "college world" but in the real world. Right now I'm living with my parents and I get to see my friends everyday but in just a short while I am going to go almost 6 months without seeing any of them. I need to learn to love the skies I'm under.  Good things are coming my way but that doesn't mean my life isn't great as it is right now.

I hope that you too can love whatever skies you're under. Life is short so let's stop wishing it away. Enjoy this day with your family & have a great Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

-MB

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear 18 Year Old Me

Hi, my name is Mary Beth and I am really not good at keeping up a blog.  School has been crazy busy and I will have thoughts about blog posts I should write and then they never happen.  I really am going to try to be better about writing posts because I want to get into the habit before I leave for France! (which, btw, is in less than 2 months!)

I graduate in less than one month (24 days to be exact) and the other day I was reflecting on how much I have learned over the past 4 1/2 years.  Of course I have learned a lot academically, but I have learned a lot about myself and life during college as well.  I have decided to write this post as a list of advice to 18 year old me who is about to graduate from high school based on experiences/lessons that either I've gone through or seen my friends go through.

Can't believe this was 4 1/2 years ago. Honors graduate ceremony spring 2009

  • Cherish these moments you have with your high school friends before you go off to school.  Yes, you will stay friends with some but it will never be the same with most. 
  • On that note, branch out and make friends with people who aren't from your home town.  The point of college is to make new friends.
  • It's really scary going into a class for the first time and knowing no one but you will make friends. You might only be friends for that one semester (I call these temporary class acquaintances) but these people might be the key to you understanding the material and passing the class
  • Pick a good seat the first day of class.  Don't sit on the very back row, go ahead and be the nerd who sits on the front row.   You will pay more attention that way, trust me.
  • Pay attention in that intro to college class when your professor tells you how to drop a class and how course repeat works.  Stop thinking that "that will never apply to me" because it will.  High school might have been easy for you but college is a whole other ball park. 
  • It's okay to drop or repeat a class.  People may not talk about it often but you are not the only one to get overwhelmed by a class or your schedule. 
  • Go to your professors office hours, even if you understand all the material.  Making relationships with professors is crucial, especially when it comes to getting letters of recommendation.
  • It's okay to change your major.  You might even change it more than once.
  • Stop judging people because they are in greek life.  You never know, you might be in a sorority yourself some day.
  • It's okay to order pizza with your roommate at 2 am, just don't order pizza at 2 am every day.
  • Start taking care of your body, it's the only one you have.  Plus, gym sessions are great stress relievers and study breaks.
  •  It's okay to be by yourself.  Spend a Friday night alone in your bed with Netflix, eat lunch by yourself, if you can't be comfortable alone you'll never be comfortable with someone else.
  • Never dumb yourself down for a guy.  Ever.
  • Don't let a guy get in between you and a friend.  It can take best friends to enemies quickly and it can take a long time to get over.
  • It's okay to say no to things but don't be afraid of trying something new, even if it scares you a little.
  • Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
  • Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, including politics.  You don't want to be that person in class who has no idea what everyone else is referring to.  It is a skill to be able to share your opinion without coming across as ignorant/ill informed. 
  • Get involved in a bible study immediately.  These girls will become some wonderful friends who will always be there with Godly advice & support
  • You will make all sorts of friendships in college.  Some will be temporary semester friends, some will be friends you only know because of your same major, some will be roommates.  Some will fade after one year and some will still be going strong 4 years later.  Friendships take work and are a 2 way street.  There are some people who will be your best friend one year and you won't talk to one year later except for the occasional run in. It's a sad reality but it's life, and it's okay. 
  • All-nighters aren't worth it - it's much better for you to get at least 4 hours of sleep. 
  • Don't subtweet about people. Also, twitter/fb/social media are not your diary. never treat them as such
  • Be kind to people - a little bit of kindness goes a long way
  • It's perfectly fine not to graduate in 4 years
  • It's also okay to have no idea what you want to do once you graduate.  Don't worry, you aren't alone
  • You don't have to put your GPA on your resume so don't let it stress you out too much. 
  • You are beautiful no matter your size - stop letting other people's judgments bring you down.
  • There are going to be times when you feel completely lost & alone but never forget that God & your parents are always on your side.
  • College is its own reality, it is not the real world.  Appreciate it for what it is.  If you want to skip class and sleep/watch Netflix all day, that's perfectly acceptable.  Your boss won't feel the same way about skipping work.
  • As you're getting older, so is everyone else.  Call your parents & family regularly. 
  • College is a time when you have the ability to learn about any subject you want to.  Take advantage of that.  Learn about other religions, cultures, science and philosophy.  While general ed classes seem ridiculous and pointless they will make you a more well rounded person.



I'm pretty sure I could list 100000 more pieces of advice but 30 seems like a good place to stop.  I can't believe finals start in 2 weeks and I'll be done with my undergraduate career in 17 days!  As ready as I am to move on to the next chapter in my life, I must say this has been a pretty great chapter.

-MB

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God's reminders

Okay so one of my goals for October was to update my blog 3x a week... and it has been a week since I wrote last!  But in my defense, the past 7 days have been absolutely crazy! (but wonderful at the same time because my best friend got married, blog post on that in a few days)
perspective
I saw this quote on pinterest a few weeks ago and immediately loved it.  I have had the privilege of hearing John Piper preach twice now and I recommend that if anyone has the chance to hear him to take it!  One of the reasons I love this quote is because it is a nice reminder that I am not in control of my life - God is.  He is constantly doing things for my good and benefit, fighting for me, supporting me, loving me, even when I feel like He is silent and has forgotten me.

 I think God wanted to remind me that He is in control & knows what is best for me yesterday. In the many adventures coming my way with moving to France in January, the one that was at the top of my list was getting my visa.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, in order to get a visa I have to apply in person at the French consulate in Atlanta.  The thing is, there are very few appointments available.  One of my contacts helping me with France told me that there was one appointment available December 10 at 330 and that if I could manage it I needed to go ahead and sign up. If not I should pray that another date opened up.  Not wanting to take a chance I started applying for that day but before I could finish it was gone!  Panic immediately set in, and that added to the stress of my week already, I had a break down.  Thank goodness for my mom who is my number 1 supporter (along with my dad) and she immediately calmed me down and prayed for me and put things into perspective.  I sent out an email to my prayer circle explaining the situation asking them for their prayers as well.  I knew that God has done crazier more miraculous things than open up an appointment and that he would be on my side to help me do everything I needed in order to go to France.  Later that afternoon I checked back on the website just to see if anything opened up.  There were at least 15 appointments available.  If this wasn't a God thing I don't know what is.  You see, December 10 would have worked but it would have been very difficult with my final exam schedule, because I have two on the 11th.  Without praying about it I just jumped on the first date because I was afraid of not having another opportunity!  God knew that this date would have been awful for me so he made me stop and trust him to let a better opportunity present itself.   How quick are we (as humans) to just do something because we don't trust that God has another better solution for us?  I know that I do it all the time.  I am a type A person and I like to be in charge (shocking, I know) and sometimes it is hard to let go & let God.  I now have an appointment with the consulate on December 3rd which is perfect because it is during dead week and I will only have to miss one class!  I will be road tripping to hotlanta with my good friend Jennifer :)

Thank you Lord for knowing me better than I know myself and showing yourself to me once again. 

Wedding details on my next post!

-Mary Beth

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall-filled Saturday!

This past weekend my sister and her husband came home for a few days to visit.  After some mother/daughters bonding time at the gym Saturday morning we all went to the farmer's market, which is one of my favorite places in Raleigh.  It is always so bright & colorful and I love all the varieties of produce available. 


 






One of my goals this October was to paint a pumpkin so my sister & I decided to paint some together!  The pumpkins turned out great and they weren't hard to make at all!  I've actually decided to sell monogramed pumpkins as a fundraiser for my internship in France.  $25 for a large or $10 for a small - if you would like one please let me know! 

 
 

We finished off our Saturday with a great family dinner with grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes and a chocolate chest pie from the angus barn (absolutely delicious).  The only thing that would have made this Saturday better would have been a Wolfpack win & for the weather to actually feel like October instead of being 85 degrees!

I hope that you had a great weekend!