Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She's getting married in 3 days?!...eeeek!

Tomorrow at approximately 4:00 am, I will be northbound to the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Except only this time, I'll be traveling by car. Yes, 17 hours in a car with my family. This should be interesting. I am looking forward to it, honestly. It's SO hard for me to believe that my beautiful cousin (who's more like a sister), Sonya is getting married this Saturday. Very surreal. I am so unbelievably happy for her and her fiance, Thomas. They are both truly amazing and perfect together. I love them both, oh so much! Both of my sisters and I are bridesmaids. :)

Lots to do before I get going. Packing, running errands, getting gifts together, cleaning, and just preparing myself for that awful long drive and a big fun weekend! I'm also in charge of organizing the playlist for the reception which is a very important task, if you ask me! Being the music lover that I am, I am having lots of fun with it! She couldn't have given me a better job, in my opinion.

I am getting really excited and emotional. I also haven't seen my sister in almost a month either as she flew up a little early to help my cousin with wedding stuff. It will be good for all of us girls to be together.

Today is my last day of work until next tuesday. That in itself is so great to me. I am so thankful that I have a wonderful job and a gracious boss. I'm very blessed.

I assure you that I shall come back bearing lots and lots of pictures that I will undoubtedly share with you on here. Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of Sonya and I, as well as a few of their engagement pictures that I had the privilege of taking while I was up there this past May.


She is bound to make a most gorgeous bride, am I right? I can't wait to be apart of their special day! I probably won't post until I get back seeng as things are going to be CRAZY! Have a wonderful week and weekend, sweet friends.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Farewell caffeine and hello sweet weekend!

I've challenged myself and I'm currently on day 3 and wow, this is not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

No caffeine.

Gosh. My head hurts, my body is begging me to pour some coffee, coke etc into it and I'm fighting to stay awake throughout the day. I guess I was somewhat addicted. How terrible.

I know it will be worth it in the long run but right now, it's about to kill me. I'm reminded of the little engine that could... "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

Wish me luck in this endeavor.

In addition to this caffeine break I'm also trying to limit my intake of sugar (yet again). For those of you who don't already know, I have a major sweet tooth, heck ALL of my teeth are sweet! So, instead of reaching for that brownie, cookie, piece of candy etc. I'm going to grab a pineapple, orange, grapes or any other sweet, delicious fruit instead that may satisfy my sweet craving.

This is not easy folks, but entirely necessary. I really hate the way I'm feeling lately, about my looks (I know, I know...silly. ) and just how I feel in general. I'm always so tired and my energy is so easily depleted. I am young and I should feel GREAT! So, I'm taking baby steps toward improvement. Yes, I am. Wittle baby steps.

In other (more exciting) news, one of my really good friends, Andy is turning 21 tomorrow and to celebrate all of my best friends and I are packing into the Gills' 15 passenger van and driving to Wakulla Springs for the day! Wakulla Springs is located about 14 miles south of Tallahassee and is one of the deepest and clearest springs in the south. There are literally caves underwater that measure 28 feet in depth. Kind of freaky! But they have jungle boats in which you see lots of gators pretty up close and personal and glass bottom boats that allow you to see the depth and beauty of the spring. It's so clear and beautiful. There are also swimming areas with ropes and docks and such and the water is ALWAYS freezing cold because it flows from a massive cave system that emerges from the georgia mountains. Also, beginning in 1938 several of the early Tarzan movies were filmed on location at Wakulla Springs! How cool is that!?

Wakulla County is where my Dad grew up and that is also where all of my family on his side resides. It should be a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to it!

So, upon special request I will be making my mom's special homemade chicken salad to pack in our fantastic picnic and it shall be a day filled with adventure, amazing people, fun, laughing and lots of swimming! I'm STOKED! Yay for the weekend!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

God Speaks?

"In the silence, you are speaking."

In my vast attempt to hear God's voice and receive God's direction in my life, I have become increasingly frustrated when I hear or feel nothing. It can be discouraging at times especially when "Follow God's voice and direction in your life" is a quote that I have heard an innumerable amount of times in my life. What exactly does that mean?

From the time I was a little girl, I remember praying and pleading with God to hear His voice like everyone else had claimed that they had and would easily get discouraged when a thundering sound from the sky would not startle to me and tell me what He wanted me to do. I didn't get it.

I used to think maybe something was wrong with me or maybe God didn't want to speak to me like he did to others.

I even remember times when I would open my Bible desperate for God to make a certain scripture glow or stand out to me in an effort to "speak" to me and still, nothing. Perhaps it was my overanyalyzation of the entire idea that kept me from hearing or knowing? Nonetheless, it bothered me. I bothered me for years. I would cry and pray and beg God to show me something or speak to me and He wouldn't, or so I thought. My crisis of belief began when I was about 15. I really started questioning why I believed what I did and wanted hard evidence, as if my faith wasn't enough.

It wasn't until quite recently that I came to a very liberating realization that God speaks differently to different people. Who woulda guessed?

In my silence, He speaks to me. I don't necessarily feel that I need to lift my head upward and scream, shout, rant and rave for God to "speak" to me, nor do I feel that there is something wrong with me because I don't hear God's voice maybe as much as others claim to. I am content in knowing that a tug on my heartstrings or even an encouraging note or word from a friend or, even, a stranger could be God's way of either encouraging me or putting me in my place. I don't believe that I have to be in a trance or do what may look like to others, a tribal dance to feel God's presence. I believe God's presence surrounds me in the most surprising ways. For instance, when I am near an ocean or when I pray and worship Him on my own in whatever I may be doing.

I'm by no means discrediting those who may feel and hear differently, these are simply my thoughts on this oh so interesting topic.

God indefinitely speaks.

What are some ways God speaks to you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Is this real?

My heart has remained undoubtedly heavy for the Billings Family during this very dark time in our communty. I still am in disbelief that this happened to such wonderful people and in MY town. It's frightening, heartbreaking and absolutely sickening that anyone has the audacity to commit such a viscious and hateful crime. Now there are 8 suspects in custody. What in the world? I am just so broken for these children and the family of this dear couple. I have so many unanswered questions. I'm thankful that they have caught these evil people and I pray that light will be shed on this case and the truth be brought forth. Its quite interesting to see my hometown town on every single national news network, unfortunate but interesting that the world is watching Pensacola. I will say that authorities have done an excellent job with the investigation of this case and continue to do so. I just hope and pray that this is resolved sooner than later so that the family can grieve and go forward with their lives as best they can. Their lives have been completely turned upside down and I can't even imagine what it would feel like, nor do I want to.

I came across Mrs. Billings' myspace and sat and cried along with my mom as we watched slideshow after slideshow of pictures of their family and read this mother's heart. Though I never met these people, they do only live miles away from me and this tragedy has affected our entire community greatly. I just don't understand, nor will I ever. May God bless and comfort them.

I really don't have much else to write about. It has been an absolutely insane week for various reasons and in many aspects. Life has been crazy, scary, sad, heartwrenching, confusing, and disrupted. One thing I know though, is that I am so very blessed beyond belief in so many ways.

Some very good friends of mine are also enduring hardships and heartache and it has been very hard to sit back and observe. I know that God will ultmately be the ONLY one to bring them peace and consistency and all I can really do is pray and do my best to be there for them as best as I can.

That's all for now. Thank you all for your sweet comments of concern and encouragement on my previous post.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Oh thank God it's Friday...

This week has got the best of me. I'm very much looking forward to this two day break! Yay!

My little sister (by only 16 months) will be 21 as of midnight! I am planning a party for her tonight at Mcguires, an Irish Pub and really cool restaurant. I didn't do the typical 21st birthday as I don't prefer drinking for the sake of getting drunk and I'm hoping that is not the case tonight. Ashton and I are entirely different though and I know she is stoked about actually being able to order her first drink. Ehh, big sister will be supervising though ;)

Nothing else planned for the weekend as far as I know which is wonderful, in my opinion. I just want to rest, relax and do things on my own time. I would love to squueze in some time at the beach but I am going to steer clear of the beach this weekend due to the annual Blue Angel's Air Show, which I would love to attend but the traffic and crowd out at Pensacola beach is just too much for my taste this weekend. It gets absolutely crazy!

So, no news on the front here. That's all I've got folks! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Feeling really icky.

Yes, those would all be words used to describe this day that I can't wait to be over with.

5:00, where are you?

Thank you Lord for the hope of tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Hello! Here I am.

I've decided to come out of blog hibernation for a bit and update. I wish I were as good about it as I used to be but quite honestly, I have really been preoccupied by many different things; some work related, some not. Lots of things happening in the life of Amber. Some exciting, some not so exciting. I guess that is just the way life is though, huh?

I hope you all will accept me back as you most always do.

How are you, sweet friends? I am going to catch up on your lives shortly as I need my fix and I miss reading all the wonderful things you share!

Today is a sad day as it is/was the Memorial Service of Michael Jackson. I'm pretty sure we've all determined that this man obviously suffered from confusion and did have some major issues but that is no reason to not pay him respect as he was in fact; human, posseses a soul and made a very significant difference and impact on the music and entertainment industry. It is known that he had a tough childhood, was raised in an abusive environment and struggled with insecurity about his self image. In all actuality, it breaks my heart to see how lost and hurting he was. Do I think that dangling a baby from a window is crazy? Of course! Do I believe that he committed lewd acts upon children? I am not one to say, as this was never actually determined. For one, if MY child or a child I knew and loved were molested, I would CARE LESS about a million dollar settlement, as my objective would be to seek justice. In this case, the family opted out and gladly took the million dollar settlement. To me, that is a bit absurd. Again, I'm not aware of every detail regarding the case but do remember a good majority of the details. And God forbid that he did commit such an act. However, this was never actually proven.

Perhaps the media has taken their vast coverage and idolization much too far? I am not one to determine that, honestly. Sadly, we do live in a world driven by entertainment and highly influenced by pop culture. I still believe that we should give honor where honor is due and despite the controversy over MJ in the last few years, he did do a lot of good for a lot of people. And goodness gracious, the man could sing and perform like NO OTHER. You simply can't disagree with me there. So, put aside your crude and nasty remarks and think about his suffering children, family, friends and fans for just a minute.

Some might say and have said "Our military is fighting overseas and dying every single day and they rarely get back page coverage, yet Michael Jackson's death has completely overshadowed everything in the news" You know, I do have to say that I agree and it is sad but then again, Michael Jackson has grown up in the lime light. From the time he was a little boy, he has been an icon, a legend, a prodigy and just as many mourned the death of Elvis Presley, so they will mourn the death of Michael Jackson. Like it or not, right or wrong; it's the world we live in.

I missed the coverage of the memorial service but I did record it via DVR and I plan to watch from start to finish. It is a historical moment and even when I disagreed and voted against President Obama, I still took part and watched the Inauguration as it was a day that will go down in history forever. I can also say with peace of mind that I pray for our President and hope that he makes the right decisions for this country. Yes, I highly disagree with many of his policies and ideas but he is who God has in headship over our country right now. (This is another blog in itself though, I'll stop there.)

I hope that this post does not cause an uproar of controversy and we can show some respect for each other. (If you are my facebook friend, you know what I may be talking about).

If I've learned anything, I've learned that sometimes being quick to judge is very, very dangerous. Trust me. I have learned that lesson many a times and I am thankful for each and every reminder. There is an obvious balance and again, this calls for an entirely seperate post in itself but what I'm trying to get at here is, Michael Jackson is not my savior, I have honestly never idolized a pop star or singer and I would never ever demean our military who fight and so sacrificially give up their lives to fight for our country and freedoms. It's absurd to even coorelate the two in my opinion. We have two completely different scenarios here.

By me stating that I simply want to watch the coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial service does not mean that I am demeaning our military, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon or Billy Mays. God rest all of their souls and may their families be carried by grace and peace during these very trying times. I just don't think it's right to compare situations as we have no idea what one may be going through. Hurt is hurt and pain is pain. Let's have some respect and show a little more love.

Don't compare your life to others for you have no idea what their journey is all about.

And to quote the pastor who officiated Michael Jackson's memorial service...

"Even the King of Pop has to bow his knee to the King of Kings"

:Steps down from soapbox:

Much love to all of you, my friends.