Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Calico Joe

This is my first book review.  This is pretty exciting - so I hope you are excited as well.

Calico Joe is about a man named Paul Tracey, who is the son of Warren Tracey (a hypothetically famous baseball player).  I know that you are probably thinking... oh baseball! goodness. of course Abby would pick a baseball book.

Yes I admit, I chose the book because it was a baseball fiction, but on the other hand - it was a great read!

I actually didn't read it.  I bought it on audiobook for my drive to Little Rock last weekend.

The book is about how his father was not only a terrible man and father, but a ruthless baseball player.    He ended up doing something to end his career ( I can't spoil it) and as a father, Warren was upset when his son was infatuated and enamored with Joe Castle from Calico Creek, Arkansas.

The way that John Grisham depicted the drive from West Memphis up to Izard County and to Calico Creek and the way that small town people interact with each other was on point.  It was really cool to read/hear about an Arkansas town and especially about Baseball.

Grisham paints a picture of a distraught boy that has a hero in the sport who happens to not be his dad.  The portrayal of his dilemma and his love for the sport and the people involved in the sport.  I am not a son and I don't have this relationship with my dad, but I can feel for Paul.  I feel for the relationship that he WANTS with his dad and the heroism that he WANTS his dad to exhibit and isn't.

In the final chapters when Paul figures out the dilemma and makes a critical change of course in his life - he is able to see the reason for all of it.  The reason in life and the importance the relationships that he made.

This is a terrible run down of the book and very vague - but it's such a good book!! Go read it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Fire!

What are you on fire for?

I can tell you first and foremost I am on fire for what my God is doing in lives here on Baylor's campus.  My job allows me to get to know some pretty incredible athletes.  Most people see them on the court, but I get to know them more everyday.  It's unbelievable the type of people they are.  They don't just have talent on the court and field, they have hearts so big and so full.  Each and everyday when they come in my office, appointment or just dropping by, they make me smile!  Some days are tough - I sit in my office just waiting for the clock to strike 5... but when these players come in, and there is no exception - they all do it, they brighten my day.  Every single athlete.  God is moving in these athlete's hearts.  And that is special to me.  This morning I listened to our Sports Chaplain speak about Baylor Athletics and in a couple of weeks a large number (I thin something like 50) athletes are headed to Kenya.  WOW!  Most athletes get the stereotype of arrogant, selfish, and tuned out.  But not these bears.  Wes talked about the humility that is on our campus and how these guys are just here to play and play hard - and they don't play hard without loving and appreciating the support staff and coaches that surround them on a daily basis.  There is not a single day where I don't feel appreciated or loved for the minuscule part I play in the Baylor Athletic Department.  So Sic Em Bears!  The year isn't over yet.  And if you aren't a Baylor Fan - become one.  Bleed the Green and Gold!

Keep checking my site and I am getting ready to have a Baylor Give Away for some Baylor Gear!  So you too can be a Green and Gold Fan!  

I am reminded daily that I am so small and my God is so Big!  This is my computer screen and it really helps me remember I am NOT the Savior - I am just here to tell people about God's mercy and grace.  I am reminded about setting the WORLD on fire for God in this song... And it has really encouraged me today.  So I hope it encourages you:

Set the World On Fire:
Britt Nicole
I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
Nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father's hands

Take my dreams
Come and give them wings

Lord with You
Nothing I cannot do
Nothing I cannot do

My hands my feet
My everything
My life, my love
Lord, use me

I wanna set the world on fire
I wanna set the world on fire, yeah

Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
Nothing I cannot do
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
There's nothing I can't do
Nothing I can't do

I'm gonna set the world on fire
Set the world on fire

 This is sweet Baylor and the Great Dane that lives next door Zeus.  We were playing the other day and they are adorable playing together, but we wanted to show you the size difference in 2 dogs!!  How crazy is that!  But even thought Zeus could demolish Baylor... He doesn't - because I know that he secretly loves the little guy!

This picture just makes me happy!  Also if you have or know where I can get these shoes... i need them (like yesterday) hahaHave a charmed day full of bliss from the LORD!!! He is our Risen Savior! - Abby

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


it has been so long! i can't believe it has been almost a month since the last time i blogged to you.  so much has happened, and i know i promised lots of stories, so guess what..

i have them!
first i wanted to tell you about my trip to washington dc to advocate and create awareness for my program be a buddy.  it was amazing.  my mom and sister met me in dc as well as my aunt and precious princess jessica.  jessica is the reason i am so passionate about my program because without her i would not have the passion and the motivation and love for these children.  there was a time where this was not in my comfort zone either and let me tell you, jess has changed my life for the better!!! i met so many cool people.  this guy in the first picture is about 30 years old, he lives in his own house (which happens to be in the back yard of his parents), but he pays own bills, pays taxes, medical bills, and even has a job as a janitor at a bank.  it inspires me how motivated they are to be the best and work as hard as they can.  they don't take excuses, they don't cut corners, and they don't rely on other people.. they do their work and they succeed.  what an inspiration they are and can be to so many people.  yah, it might not be your comfort zone, but that doesn't mean you don't conquer that comfort zone and spend some time with these people.  it means you reach out and you get to know them, you talk to them, you don't have to spend everyday or help them do anything - they just want your friendship.  the one thing i have learned about myself lately is that i do not like walking into a room that i don't know the dynamic let alone the people in the room.  i like being in control of my surroundings, but does that keep me from walking into the room.  no!  i walk in, hold my breath, and count to 20 and hope that i can smile at someone and break the barrier.  that is what these guys want you to do.  let them tell you about their life. reach out and get to know someone!  it's not hard.  and that is what my platform and my program be a buddy is all about.
the next picture shows just how much a simple conversation can mean to these guys.  they absolutely love being talked to and answering questions.  they really do just want to be treated normal and i love that, because i can do that.  god doesn't call us to treat people differently, he asks us to treat people how you want to be treated.  and thats what they want.  so take a chance - and get out of your comfort zone.
the conference was amazing.  i didn't know exactly what to expect, but the whole point was the talk to these guys and get to know them.  advocate for them.  and tell your representatives of the different opportunities that your state has for children with disabilities!  i was able to meet with one of our representatives from arkansas and it was so neat to talk about something i am so passionate about.  but that was not before i missed my flight and had to change my departure flight from austin to dallas at 6 am.  oversleeping has become a regular occurrence in my life and i need to stop it.  so i am trying to change.  i guess blogging at 2 am is not helping the whole don't oversleep thing.  but i did sleep all day today!  so i think i'm okay for now.

the next story i want to share with you is a story about a new addition to my family.  Dean Otis was born on 2/17/2012 at 10:01 in the morning and weight 8 lbs and 12 oz. the best part... my cousin matt was able to come home from the air force base he is stationed at in order to see him born.  that makes my heart so happy.  my little sister is in love with babies, so i knew that if she got to dean first i would never get to hold him.  so what did i do.... i went to see dean first and got to hold him all by myself.  I was so happy.  he is now about 8 weeks but in these pictures he was only 2 weeks.  how precious is this little baby?  between working in the nursery, my friends having babies of their own, and dean being born - i am definitely wanting one of my own :)  but baylor would not really allow that right now... my kids at work are enough for me right now.  but just look at how cute he is!

Laura Leigh was in Grease!
Laura Leigh (middle in the funny clothes) was recently in the play Grease at her high school and did so well!  She even had 5 seconds of fame in a dance off at the 'prom' in the musical.  I drove in from Waco to see her in the play and was literally so proud.  I am proud of her that she has gotten involved in differenta ctivities at school.  As you know, she is a competitve dancer and dances with the girls on her cheer squad and the girls that she spends most of her time with.  But with this play she was able to get to know other girls and guys that are her age and that are at her school.  Because of knowing these people through the play, she has gotten involved in playing in a little band!  She has such a good time.  I am just so proud of how mature a young lady she is!  I could not ask for a better little little sister.  On another note - check out how beautiful Molly Anne looks.  She is really growing up and I can't believe she is so old!  We are becoming quite the trio!

                                                                      BE A BUDDY WEEK!
March 10-17 was a state proclaimed, by Governor Beebe, Be a Buddy Week!  So I went to different schools and promoted Being a Buddy!  All of the kids were able to sign a poster promising they would be the best buddy ever!  It is now hanging in my room and it makes me smile everytime I see it!  I love looking up at all of the little kids signatures and pictures and seeing how much love they are willing to give out!  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and just don't think i can make a difference.. but these kids don't care - they are willing to give and love so much!  I started reading a book called Kisses from Katie and it's about a girl Katie, who goes overseas to Africa to love on little orphans.  She writes about how they don't have anything materialistic but yet they are so full emotionally and spiritually.  i have written before how i long to be full of joy and this blog is about being full of bliss and these kids have it.  i hope you love these pictures!

a couple of weeks ago i ran my first half marathon.  and i hate to tell you my time because it is really bad!  i ran the marathon in 2 hours and 46 minutes.  i was hoping to run it in 2.5 hours but that didn't really happen.  my good friends kellie (blonde) and rachael (brunette) were there at the finish line to watch me and congratulate me!  i was so happy. GOD has blessed me with two incredible friends at baylor and they will be my roommates next year.  i am so excited!  we went to austin and shopped a couple of weeks ago and completely demolished jcrew.  i bought literally everything in the store.  we had such a fun time together.  i am glad i finished this half marathon!  i did it!  wooo

this is brittney griner, our forward here at baylor that just helped lead the baylor bears to the national championship in denver.  this is such an exciting time for baylor.  i am so excited that i was able to be apart of this year at baylor!  woo.  i was supposed to go to the game and instead i was stuck in dallas because of the tornadoes.  so i drove 2 hours to dallas only to leave and drive 2 hours back home and barely make it home in time for the game on television!  i am so happy for coach mulkey, our point guard odyssey sims and of course our entire team!  if you didn't know we won... you do now!  go baylor and sic em bears!  (oh and of course i have bought every championship shirt in the bookstore :) haha

Over Easter weekend I went to the Miss Sweetheart pageant in Little Rock and got to see all of my pageant friends!  As you can see in this picture we really do love being around each other.  I cannot wait until this summer.  And I can't wait to make more memories like I did 12 months ago.  it will be such a fun week and an incredible summer as my sister and i both try and win miss arkansas outstanding teen and miss arkansas 2012.  can you imagine sisters winning the crowns?  we would have such a great time and it would be such a special experience we would get to share.  we are working hard and preparing so that we can give it our best shot! 
So I just learned some great insight to life...
It is our job to daily seek after the Lord! In every aspect of life! We should want to tell God what is on our mind. It doesn't have To be vocal because that is what The Holy Spirit is for! He is the go between! Today's blessing comes from Isaiah 41:10
"when something throws you off course respond calmly and confidently... When something grabs your attention talk with God about it! This is how you live in peace and how God works through you!!"
Be Charmed and full of bliss!