Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Inner Thoughts Lately

I took this from the VOICE translation and it has really been on my heart lately; so I wanted to share this with you:

ROMANS 9:20-22

20Here’s my answer: Who are you, a mere human, to argue with God? If God takes the time to shape us from the dust, is it right to point a finger at Him and ask, “Why have You made me this way?”21Doesn’t the potter have the right to shape the clay in any way he chooses? Can’t he make one lump into an elegant vase, and another into a common jug? Absolutely.22Even though God desires to demonstrate His anger and to reveal His power, He has shown tremendous restraint toward those vessels of wrath that are doomed to be cracked and shattered. 

I have been struggling with comparisons lately.  Just comparing myself to my sisters, other Miss Arkansas Contestants, even olympians like Natalie Coughlin.  I came across this verse the other day in my NIV bible and decided to take a look at it in my new the Voice bible.  I love this translation because it sounds like my dad talking to me.  Not Tab Turner, my dad, but My Heavenly Dad and with this translation I can almost hear Him audibly speaking this to me.

       

I know that we have all heard the Potter's Hand song and we have seen this before - but really let it sink it - think about it again... just one more time.  Let your mind soak it up.  You can look like work in progress (where I am most of the time), you can be a pot that might not sell for millions of dollars and look messed up - but was made and crafted with love and purpose (middle), or you can be working on the ornate designs that take years to craft... God is still working on me - and one day I hope to get to the point where I can have ornate designs - but I fear right now I have begun a work in progress and am being crafted with love and purpose - because my days, my steps, are created for the glory of God.  





What a clear picture of who God is and what he can do for us and has done.

It just really puts everything in perspective for me.  I can only imagine how selfish my mind is and how God is so disappointed in me.  These verses allow me to gain a perspective and come back to the reality that my life is worth something only to glorify my creator.  If I don't do that - then I have not succeeded and I have not done what Christ put me here to do.

As I prepare for life - I must keep that in mind.  It is NOT ALL ABOUT ME - and sometimes I might not understand certain outcomes, but I do know that God created me and knows what HE IS DOING.  And that is where I find solace.  In His Arms.

and IN HIS ARMS.... and find

CHARMED BLISS

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

I am so ready to see my little sister shine and succeed this week at teen!  Let me tell you!  Last year Laura Leigh placed fifth in the competition and boy she is coming back fired up and ready to be Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen, and as her sister queen and biggest fan, I am more than ready to cheer her on.  This picture was taken when Laura Leigh and I attended the National Buddy Walk in Washington D.C. in March!  I was so proud to see her learn how to advocate for the kids that she is passionate about.  I was also excited that I was able to participate in this experience with her.  Having a cousin that has Down Syndrome allows me to have a first hand look at the people, children, and family dynamic that comes with having a child with disabilities.  Needless to say I love it! 

The rumors are true - we have puppies... FIVE of them.  And as cute as they are - they are a handful.  I can't believe Baylor was that tiny at one point.  I do have to say, yes they are cute, but they are not Baylor.  At 6 weeks I had Baylor potty trained and doing tricks.  (just kidding - but it was soon thereafter).  Baylor is so smart - I am such a proud mommy.  So I guess I will show you a picture of the puppies.  My sisters and I named them Rosie, Teddy, Bear, Rolo, and I forgot the other one - but I named Rolo because he was the chubbiest and was adorable to cuddle with - he loved to tuck his nose into any crevice he could find!  Still... Baylor is cuter. :)




I started a mini-internship this summer while I am home preparing for Miss Arkansas.  Number one it gives me something to do three days of the week when I am not working out or preparing for the pageant.  And Number Two it keeps me up to date and current with all of the news that is happening.  When we aren't on location reporting, writing stories, or on air; the news room is all about reading and finding stories - keeping me current with all of my news around the state and nation.  One of these pictures was on location at the Balloon Race at War Memorial Park last week.  I was able to tag along with the Meteorologist and watch how he does things.  Our Meteorologist is such a funny personality on air and very informational.  Poor thing, if you know anything about me - I can talk to a brick wall and questions are my forte - so Keith was such a good sport with all of my very novice questions.  The next picture is of the wild fire in Mount Vernon Arkansas last week.  I was able to get up close and personal and even assist - NOT REPORT - but assist in asking some of the questions and figuring out information to send back to the newsroom.  I had a blast and even posted some pictures on Instagram and video on Social Cam - so follow me for a more up close look.







Laura Leigh had a dance recital last weekend and boy can she dance - I was not blessed with these talents... but she was and I am so proud.  If you have not hear Vitamin String Quartet's Version of Man in the Mirror - you need to hop yourself over to iTunes and download it!  Laura Leigh's Dance was so amazing!  So proud of her and all she has accomplished by the age of 15.  By the age of 15 - I was chowing down on some major calories - and trying my hardest to succeed in Basketball and FAILING MISERABLY... boy am I glad I gave that up! 










Get Ready for a Great week at Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen!!

Abby












- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cravings...


About this time every year I get an inredible craving for anything and everything blueberry and lemon!  It is really ridiculous because they are the two most random foods - but together they are delicious!  Especially if you put them in a cupcake.  Head over the MissCupcakeQueen.blogspot.com to see my posts about cupcakes.  I am doing an explosion of lemon blueberry cupcakes this week -- needless to say I am super excited about it. 


My new favorite app on my phone is called FoodGawker.  It is pinterest except it is all food!  And when you click on something - it gives you the recipe and the blog or website that it comes from!  It is amazing for food junkies like myself who are obsessed with a certain type of food, especially right now.  I am able to look at all of the wonderful lemon blueberry desserts - it is certainly my angel from God. haha

















 
Please tell me that you are as hungry as I am right now for these desserts.  Do they not look amazing! 
 
Now for my shoutout from a blog that I follow. 
 
Her name is Ashley and she is a blogger over at the High Heeled Hostess
 
Today she blogged about her Lemonade Cake. 
Here is her recipe:::  It just looks delicious - I will definitely make this for my husband (or just me) one day.
 
Cake:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar 
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • large eggs 
  • large egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • Cooking spray 
  • Frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
    3. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
    4. To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
    5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.




      I hope you have nejoyed lemon and blueberry as much as I have today!!  Enjoy my post of food!




      Charmed Bliss
      Abby

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    It's the Little Things


    I don't know why I haven't blogged in so long - I really need to get back on top of things.  Oh I remember what it was... I am failing a statistics class, not really, but it is super hard.  Mom and I went down to Baylor last week and got the remainder of my clothes and stuff that I would need this summer.. and I have been slowly trying to move back into my mom's house.  Mom even cleaned my whole room!!!  Too bad I will not be in there for 2 months - but she is the best mom ever.  Really made me appreciate and miss my time at home.  



    Needlesstosay I have been cleaning out, throwing away, and reorganizing all of my drawers and closet space.  But that is officially over!  Woo too!

    I am interning a couple of days a week at KARK News Station and yesterday happened to be my first.  It was so interesting and very fun, however, working in an athletic department and working in a news room are two very different places to work.  The culture is different, the dress is different, and the hours are extremely different.  I am/will be working from 2-11 pm.  Which is insane given that most days I am up by 8 getting ready for the Miss Arkansas Pageant!  









    Last weekend was me dear friend Molly's Wedding.  It was so much fun!  Molly's maid of honor was Casey Happell and we just became great friends over the course of her wedding festivities!  She was so much fun to be around and we literally hung out together the whole weekend!!  (one of the best things that happened this weekend).  We got to get our hair done by the fabulous Dennis Harris (also does Pageant hair) and I LOVED how mine turned out!  My inspiration:  Miley Cyrus!  Who knew you could be inspired by her of all people :)  just kidding.  What do you think of the no part thing?  Laura Leigh was a fan while Molly Anne prefers my side part.  I liked having it a little different.  Can honestly say - my hair is parted today :)  I am not brave enough to try it on my own, but I loved the messy curls in the back.

           




    Next are some fun pictures from the wedding (some I also posted on instagram and twitter - so excuse the multiples).  Molly was such a beautiful bride!  I spoke briefly to her the next morning and she was so blissful!  I hope that the morning after my wedding, I am as blissful!













    Rachel was a bridesmaid with me! We had such a fun time.  It is so good to see old friends and party with them all weekend!  I truly enjoyed my time and friendships at ouachita and am blessed when I can rekindle a little of that from time to time.



























    Wanted to make a shout out to my Baylor Bears!  I am so proud of everything they (baseball) have accomplished this year!  They could not have made me more proud to be a Baylor Bear this year.  

    Yes I know that Arkansas made it to the CWS and that is starts today at 4.  For all of you Razorback fans that did not and have not and will not (Laura Leigh) attend the University... you are not a razorback - and just because I live in the state does not make me a razorback - even though I will support them in Omaha - Baylor should have pulled those 2 games out.  However, we did not.  

    But....

    The University is a SCHOOL not a STATE!  therefore our state animal is the white-tailed deer... 
    not the RAZORBACK.



    but Go Hogs.

    And I same that with charmed bliss ;)









    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Central Arkansas Buddy Walk



    Yesterday was the first Buddy Walk in Central Arkansas!  Back in March you might remember me going to Washington D.C. for the National Down Syndrome Society's National Buddy Walk.  It was so much fun and I learned a lot about the National Down Syndrome Society as well as different ways that they advocate for themselves.  One of those ways is participating in Buddy Walks!  


    When I got back to Little Rock... I realized that Central Arkansas did not have a Buddy Walk and what a better way to hang out and give back to my community and love on these precious children.  So about 4 months ago I started planning, with my aunt and mom, the first ever central arkansas Buddy Walk!  
    Needless to say - it was last weekend at the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock.  It was so much fun!
    We had over 300 walkers and made over 3,000 dollars for the NDSS, Community Connections, Miracle League, and Special Olympics.  The kids walked across the bridge and then volunteers made hot dogs and the children played with bubbles, in a bouncy hat, and danced with the NLR Cheerleaders.  It was amazing how the community really showed up.  

    Our major Sponsors were Crews and Associates, Turner and Associates, Lamar Advertising, Creations - Jodi Collins,   ACH - Genetics Dept, Jelly Bean Jump, and Community Connections.  
    It was so great to see how much fun these children had and to see the families interact and support one another.  Two families that connected were newlyweds in their late 20's with their first child having DS.  They were both 9 month old babies!  The best part about this was that these families started a connection and will most likely continue to hang out support each other.  What a wonderful networking tool the Buddy Walk was.  This little girl playing the guitar is Emma Grace.  She was so adorable and if you follow me on SocialCam I put up a couple of videos of her singing Karaoke.  Man this girl could sing Adele!  She loved singing and entertaining.  The next picture is of the walk.  The NLR cheerleaders cheered people on as the completed the one mile walk across the bridge and back!  It was neat to see everyone come out and support.  





    I cannot say thank you enough to the "GOSSER MAFIA" (as they are commonly known).  It is so neat to have a family that really steps up and supports each other in our endeavors and passions.  Dr. Bob and Marianne Gosser (Papa and GranMary) even came out and sat with some of the families and talked with them.  It is so wonderful to have grandparents that are so active in our lives and are always around!  My cousin McKenzie (the cheerleader on the right) came out and did a wonderful job managing the Karaoke station!  She has some great music and is always the first to lend a helping hand.  Aunt April (purple shirt) and her twins (girls in front of McKenzie) came out and walked the bridge.  Even though they are not effected by DS - they supported the cause and supported Laura Leigh and I.  And of course I could not have done this walk without my Aunt Leigh Anna (middle next to Grandmary) and her husband Jonathon and son JJ (left) They helped out tremendously and Aunt Leigh Anna was literally the Hands and Feet of the operation here in Little Rock.  My sister Molly Anne was wonderful in taking so many pictures (over 200) of the event and my mom and sister Laura Leigh were so encouraging and loved playing with the kids the whole time.  Again, i can't thank my family enough especially my mom who always believes in me and my crazy sometimes outrageous ideas - but this one stuck and was a good one :)




    I hope you come out and join us next year for the Buddy Walk Bridging Central Arkansas!  It was so much fun and a great way to give back to your community while volunteering and supporting the people that have down syndrome in Central Arkansas!  


    Have a great day!
    Abby