Domestic Fall Trips

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November 25th 2006
Published: December 25th 2006
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Meg has become a dear friend. I've never met a more selfless, sensitive, encouraging woman. I've learned so much from her!
Although domestic trips may not seem as exciting as international travel, I have to tell you, I'm discovering beautiful places a little closer to home. Travelling to different states, coasts & timezones, I might as well be travelling abroad. I am realizing how dramatically unique each state is. I feel like I've taken for granted all these years of living in the states & not seeing it's beauty. While I was abroad I always wondered why so many people wanted to come to the states, to live or just to visit. I thought the states seemed so ordinary & boring. But the truth is, the US is an extraordinary country! It's got everything! So many things we take for granted by living here. I feel like now after being gone, I can begin to appreciate it more.

I jump-started my fall travels by taking a trip up to Minnesota for a fall work meeting. We spent the time reflecting on a life changing summer in Belize & looked forward into the upcoming year. We set goals & did some sales & leadership training. Our organization has an amazing Christ-centered vision of expanding in to other countries & impacting the world.
Laura & Janell....angels!Laura & Janell....angels!Laura & Janell....angels!

They were interns in Belize, they are such amazing Godly women, well beyond their years!
We also had a staff reunion went to a Twins baseball game. It was wonderful seeing everyone who has become like family to me, Laura, Jon, Jason P., Matt, Jason S, Megan, Mike, Janell, Tatianna, Kevin & Stacy. I feel so blessed to be part of this Christ-centered organization.

With my job, I spend the fall going to National Youth Workers Conventions promoting my organization, Praying Pelican Missions. This is an incredible convention put together by Youth Specialities in which thousands of youth pastors from all over the world come together to learn, worship, fellowship, teach, & have an awesome time together in 4 different states. There are some amazing speakers such as Matthew Barnett, Tony Campolo, Phillip Yancy, etc. We are one of the hundreds of organizations that has a booth set up & we get to promote our mission trips to Belize. It's great exposure for our organization (and a lot of fun & a lot of work!). Plus we get to explore the city & state in which the convention is held!

Before our first convention I took a trip to visit my good friend, Adrian, in San Antonio. I've only been there twice & Adrian is from there so he
Hillary's WeddingHillary's WeddingHillary's Wedding

My mom, Stacy, me & people from Enid & Texas went to my dear friend Hillary's wedding in Dallas.
showed me around a bit. After San Antonio I joined my family in Houston. My aunt & uncle just moved back from Dubai so it was wonderful seeing them! My brother & dad came for my dad's birthday so that was great being around my dad's side of the fam.

Then I headed off for the first convetion which took place in good ol' Austin, Texas. Jason P (my boss) & Jason S. (Swartz) joined me. They are both from Minnesota & they had never been to Austin. So I became their tour guide & showed them all around. They couldn't get over the fact that it was October & we were sweating as we walked to the UT campus & capital from downtown. The two J's are a hoot! Always cracking jokes, but also amazing Godly men. There's never a dull moment when they are around.

One of my dear highschool & college friends, Hillary Melady, got married in October. I lived with her 1 year in Austin, she's hilarious! Get this, she married a guy I grew up with in Enid, Oklahoma, Jon Washburn. The wedding was crazy, I had 2 of my pasts crossing. I'd
Go Twins!Go Twins!Go Twins!

Twins game in Minneapolis.
see someone & I'd have to remember if I knew them from my childhood in Enid, or from highschool in Garland, Texas. It was a gorgeous Catholic wedding in Dallas.

Our next convention took place in Anaheim, California. Megan & I had the opportunity to do this one. My friend, Julie, lives in Laguna so she joined us for the convention, as we needed more than 2 people at the booth. She volunteered to help out. It was GREAT seeing her & catching up! Oh my goodness, if you've never been to Laguna, you must go! I want to move there! I'm sure you've heard of the MTV series Laguna Beach, but it doesn't do justice. The landscape is gorgeous, with small moutains (maybe hills), beautiful houses, the beach, amazing! The conference was a blast. The booth next to ours was Phil & Joel, 2 British guys promoting their organization. We all got to hang out. It almost didn't feel like we were working. My dad was in cali for work so I got to meet up with him for a quick bite. I'm hoping to go & stay in Laguna for a couple of months at some point.
Lake Superior in MinnesotaLake Superior in MinnesotaLake Superior in Minnesota

On the other side of the bridge is Wisconsin.
You see, with my job I have the flexibility to live almost anywhere in the states. Julie said I could stay with her & her roommates if I wanted to...yeah! Work in Cali, go the beach, learn to serf...I could do that for a couple problem! Will let you know if & when that works out.

My family spent Thanksgiving at my cousin Jason & his wife, Pammy's house. It was my first Thanksgiving in the states in 2 years.

After Thanksgiving my mom & I headed to Houston where we met my bro for a couple of days. Good times. My mom & I spent one of the days in Spring, which is the cutest quaint town right outside of Houston.

Then I headed to Cincinnati, Ohio for my 3rd convention with Jason Swartz & Kevin Meyer, both from Minnesota. Honestly, I think I started to pick up an accent, "Oh yeah, sure, you betcha....oofta." I wasn't expecting too much in Cincinnati, but I loved it! The rolling hills, the downtown of Cincinnati & Kentucky are divided by a river, the houses & buildings are old but nice, so much character! Who knew?
We were there the weekend of the Ohio State vs. Michigan college game, the biggest game of the century! Talk about rivalry! Swartz, Kevin & I did this conference. Swartz & I spent a good amount of time getting lost between Cincinnati & Kentucky, but we got to see some beautiful sights because of it! Some of the bands that play at the conferene include The David Crowder Band, Jars of Clay, Kutless, Shane & Shane, Starfield, Family Force Five, Building 429, & many more.

I came home for a short while & then headed off to North Carolina with my boss, Jason Pfingsten. The conference was in Charlotte. It was sad being our last conference. I made some good friends with fellow exhibitors of the conference. We then spent some time in Salem-Durhaim & Ashville. Ashville is lovely. We did some hiking at Grandfather Mountain & drove along Blue Ridge Parkway (one of the most beautiful drives) & did some more hiking.

I flew up to Minnesota for a couple of days for work. Minnesota in December??!! A little chilly. It snowed on the last day I was there. Was good, covered a lot of information, planned for the upcoming year, set
My Bday!My Bday!My Bday!

My friend Christina (Tiner). Yep...the big 2-5. I'm getting old!
trips in Belize, met a new girl, Jenny, who joined PPM, very sweet girl from Iowa. We had our Christmas party & went bowling & just goofed off.

The day I got back I headed to good ol' Enid, Oklahoma...for those of you that don't know, I was raised there, thank goodness I got out at a young age! My brother & I drove up there for a couple of days to spend time with my dad & his family. It was actually fun, running into old friends, whom I haven't seen since middle school! Crazy. Short but sweet.

In between my trips I have spent time in Dallas. It's been great, hanging out with friends & family. I've been on a huge sushi kick lately. I've been on a mission to convert people who say, "I don't eat raw fish," & then come to love sushi! I've also seen an insane amount of movies. You name, I've seen it! I've also been able to spend time with one of my dear friends, Sandi. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet. She has an adorable son, Gavin, or little D with her amazing husband, Drue who
Adry & me at the AlamoAdry & me at the AlamoAdry & me at the Alamo

First time there...a bit over-rated I think...but still cool & significant.
is the worship leader at the church I have recently joined, Providence Community. It is so amazing, I feel my life has changed! Pastor Mark Moore probably the wisest most gifted speakers I have ever met. Every Sunday I leave church I feel challenged, convicted, liberated, overwhelmed with so many things! He teaches us that we are all wicked sinful people, & that the reason we sin is because we are sinners...not that we are sinners because we sin. But that even in our wickedness, the gospel is our only hope. Even in our sinfulness, we are completely forgiven & accepted & God sees us as perfect. So simple, yet complexing truth. It's been such a blessing to meet other real people here in Dallas. And a bit unexpected....which scares me to be honest. I had a plan to only stay in Dallas for a short while & then move off somewhere...keep things going, on the move....ready for my next adventure. However, I feel more & more called to stay & be a part of this life-changing, gospel transforming church. Pastor Mark is teaching things that I never realized before, from a different angle & it's amazing. I feel I'm learning
Our booth in CincinnatiOur booth in CincinnatiOur booth in Cincinnati

Jason Swartz, me & Kevin Meyer. Working with these guys was a blast...they're crazy!
so much! So, I'm just taking things as they come, if God wants me to stay in D-town longer, so be it. It's in his hands. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

A guy from my higschool & church, Ford James, could really use your prayers. I'm sure you've heard about the missing climbers on Mt. Hood, Oregon. Well, one of the missing men is Ford's father, Kelly James. By the time I publish this, hopefully, Kelly James & the others will have been found, although it seems 1 body was found. It has been all over the news.

About 1 week after writing the above paragraph, Kelly James' body was found. Very sad, but God is soverign & I know Kelly was a christian so....Here's an amazing article about how he is remembered as a committed believer.

A verse God gave me this fall:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

I am spending Christmas in Dallas with my family. The day after I head off to New York for New Year's to see my best friend in the world, Stacy. I can't wait! Then I'm flying from New York to El Salvador, yep, Central America! I"m going to study in Honduras for a
Old Spring, TXOld Spring, TXOld Spring, TX

We did some shopping & ate at a Tea House.
few weeks & then we have some trips in Belize so I'll be there for a few weeks as well. I"ll be spending about 2 months in keep an eye out for my updates! Please pray for my safe travel (as I'm traveling alone & my spanish is VERY rusty!)

Merry Christmas! I love you all! Blessings!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


My sweet MomMy sweet Mom
My sweet Mom

My mom loves the town of Spring! Lots of old antique shops & tea houses. It was really pretty with Christmas decorations I must admit.
My British LadsMy British Lads
My British Lads

Joel & Phil. They were great & brought their British humour with them. Cheerio!
Road Trip,...stopped in VARoad Trip,...stopped in VA
Road Trip,...stopped in VA

We started our road trip in Virginia & took the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Ashville, NC. Gorgeous!

North Carolina is beautiful! The mountains & trees (eventhough it's the winter & lots of the trees had already lost their lives).
Groundfather Mountain, NCGroundfather Mountain, NC
Groundfather Mountain, NC

This was an amazing hike! The highest peak is 5,964 ft.
Swinging BridgeSwinging Bridge
Swinging Bridge

Crossed the bridge at Grandfather Mountain. It was almost closing time when we were there, so no one was around, so peaceful!
Cruising down Blue Ridge PkwayCruising down Blue Ridge Pkway
Cruising down Blue Ridge Pkway

We spent many hours in the car, but it was worth it!

One of our Belize posters
Tacky xmas lightsTacky xmas lights
Tacky xmas lights

Went to Oklahoma with my bro to visit my dad right before xmas. This yard was unbelievable! Sooo tacky!
Christmas in Enid, OKChristmas in Enid, OK
Christmas in Enid, OK

My daddy bear & bro after our xmas dinner.
Little DLittle D
Little D

This is Sandy & Drue's adorable baby, Gavin. He is the sweetest little boy, almost 9 months now.

25th December 2006

Domestic Fall Trips
Britt...I certainly enjoy your blogs and the beauty and meaningfulness of your words and your work. Your are blessed and a blessing to those who know and love you. Keep your beautiful spirit. Today is Christmas and at this time, I always think of my Chad, more than everyday. My motto is "to live in the hearts of those we leave behind, is not to die" and he will forever be a blessing to me. You inspire me. Thank you and Merry Christmas. Judy
2nd January 2007

Hey Beej, Thanks for your sweet words, love to hear about your journeys, though sad too that I won't be joining you for more. Miss you lots these days. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have an enormously happy New Year.

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