Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Around the South in 60 days--deer on campus, midnight running, sleepovers, farmer's paradise, movie tours, and living with purpose

Yep, it's been well over a month since I have blogged last as I look at the calendar. And 57 days until Christmas. This year...no words.            AHHHHH! I feel like Simba...
So I'm guessing things have been as busy for you as for me, and blogging, as much as I love it, has taken a backseat to other things going on. I want to get caught up. Over the past two months, I've covered North Georgia, South Georgia, Chattanooga, Birmingham, and Mississippi, and a few other random adventures with friends and family. Fun adventures--wouldn't have it any other way!

So, random trips are the best, right? Mom and I decided to embark on a truly cultural experience one weekend with 3 plays in 3 days. Starting with the Whole Backstage's "Barefoot in the Park." Wickedly funny--I think I laughed more during the play than the classic movie!
Then after doing a 5K at Snead State one Saturday morning, we took off to Rome...Georgia!

I really love that city--a lot of character and always things to do! Berry College was a highlight, being as the campus has been repeatedly voted one of the prettiest college campuses in the US, for a good reason.

Look at the buildings...and deer 'roam freely in Rome' on campus.

We saw "The Miracle Worker" on Saturday night at Shorter College and split a late night dinner at Honeymoon Bakery--gelato, s'more brownie, salted caramel macaroon. When in Rome...

On Sunday, after church at Cornerstone, we did some shopping and saw the matinee at Berry College theatre department's production of "The Fantastiks." It really was a fantastic play--it had everything element you can imagine. Mystery, Romance, Comedy, Drama, etc. Loved it!

The next weekend, I did a midnight run--yes, 11:59 PM start, through the streets of Boaz.
My buddy Danny and I are super pumped!

We all ended up placing in our age categories! Whoo!

The next morning, I went to see my sister in Birmingham for a sleepover! We had a lot of fun shopping, eating, and hiking. We went to Red Mountain Park and somehow, after running 3.1 miles at midnight, I managed to hike 5.3 miles.

The view was spectacular and that narrow bridge was scary, but we did it!
We watched "Frozen" and went to church the next day. Lauren is my favorite sister! :)
My friends and I decided to take a random trip to Chattanooga back in early October.
We don't get to see each other near enough and how awesome it was that it worked out that our schedules were clear for us to make it work. We had the best time going out on the town, walking around downtown, going antique hunting, playing rook, and of course..you can't have a sleepover without facial masks!
GOOD TIMES! Love these girls!

With my job, I was asked to work and attend the largest Agriculture expo in the U.S.--held in Moultrie, GA, it's called the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Large doesn't even begin to cover it! With over 1200 vendors alone, you can only imagine how many attendees were there in the three days, even being held on a Tuesday through Thursday!
Mom went with me and we promoted Marshall County and specifically Boaz's Farm & Poultry Expo, held in April. We were surprised to see random people from Marshall County come by the booth that we knew!
 Hey, it's an alpaca!

 Got milk? Look at modern day technology! 

 The daily traffic jam of hundreds of cars going in for the day!

We were able to meet up with family that live near Valdosta, which is the city where we stayed.  We ate at Cheddar's. I love Cheddar's. BRING ONE TO MARSHALL COUNTY!

Moultrie is small, and all the hotels book fast, so Valdosta is about a 30 minute drive from Moultrie.

My friend Sheena got married in mid October! She was a beautiful bride and it was a lovely wedding!

And finally, another road trip this week to Greenwood, MS for the Alabama Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference. I traveled with a friend in the industry, Helen, who works for the City of Columbiana. We had a good trip and enjoyed getting to see the history of the city.

We took a "Help" tour, which the movie was filmed in Greenwood, not Jackson, MS, since Greenwood looks more like the 1960's south than present day Jackson. We saw Skeeter's house, Hilly's house, sampled some chocolate pie--without the main ingredient, ha, got to hear the actual food stylist in the movie, Lea Ann Fleming, tell about her experience working with the movie production crew and actors, and many other highlights in the movie.

We stayed at The Alluvian Hotel downtown Greenwood. It was so plush and fancy, all the details you would expect in a big city hotel!!! My luggage matched the decor in the room--had to take a picture!

 We had church, y'all! It was Monday afternoon and we enter the Little Zion Church from the movie and gospel singing fills the tiny church! We worshipped, clapped, and were in awe at the awesome sight and sound of this choir!!!

 Here's my roomie for the week and friend, Helen, on left, from Columbiana, and sweet Carol from Sylacagua in the middle.

 After dinner on Tuesday, I couldn't resist taking an elevator selfie as we were piled in like sardines! Love the AL/MS tourism family!
 This past weekend was the Pink Pumpkin Run--over 1,000 people running through Guntersville in all kinds of pink costumes and spirit!

LIVING OUT THE PLANS: It's been a wild and crazy fall so far, but lots of good things going on! We are in revival this week at my church. Sunday we heard from pastor and author Don Piper, who wrote "90 Minutes in Heaven." Have you read it? It's incredibly powerful about his story of his death, account of his brief experience in heaven, and purpose here on earth. There is also a movie in the works about it. It really gets you to thinking about how brief our time is here and how things can change in an instant. There's a 100% chance of death here on Earth. Are you ready? Are you looking forward to Heaven? I know I am! The worship, the joy, and never ending peace and love...count me in! However, since we are all still living and breathing here, there is a purpose for each of us--to tell the world about Christ and carry out God's call for our lives. As Steve Taylor said last night during revival, "No one is better at being you than you...don't try to be someone else. Know who you are in Christ and be it!" If there is still breath in us, we have purpose.
All the adventures, memories, family, friends, our jobs, hobbies, are all good and wonderful things to enjoy here on earth, but we must remember that they are but a breath. Live life to the fullest and keep focused on eternity.
I know I need to be more outspoken about my faith and I also know I need to be growing more in my personal relationship with God. I don't want to be satisfied with just getting Heaven stamped on my passport. I want to know my Savior, who died the most cruel death for me so that I would have freedom in this life and a forever in eternity. May we keep our eyes on the SON!
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

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