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With the 12th anniversary of September 11th this week, it has been a time of reflection and remembrance.  Even though more than a decade has passed, I clearly remember the shock and chills that wracked my body as I watched the horror unfold on my television screen in my dorm room, as an 18 year old.  Though I did not know anyone involved in the tragedy, I was still deeply affected by that day, just as every other American.  Our “bubble” and sense of safety and righteousness in our world exploded before our very eyes.  The world changed that day.  Despite the destruction and pure evil we faced, neighbors who wouldn’t typically gather banded together to comfort one another; provided aid to the rescue efforts; donated blood and resources to the survivors; stood hand-in-hand and prayed at vigils throughout the country; flew American flags from cars, and proudly displayed them in the windows of both our homes and businesses.

In the last 12 years, a lot has changed.  Neighbors no longer stand side by side, now half the time they do not even offer a greeting while passing along the street.  Our nation’s leaders have thrown us into a mess with proposed healthcare bills and “rhetorical” talks of war.  We fear for our safety, not only from other nations and their weapons of mass destruction, but the crazies down the street.  Our children are growing up in times where principles that this nation was founded upon are strictly forbidden in public places such as schools.  We lock our doors and our windows, keeping the world out, instead of inviting neighbors in.  The world changed that day and it appears, not for the better, but I still hold out hope for our nation and can’t help but think of the words from Rend Collective’s song, Build Your Kingdom Here, “Win this nation back!”


A dear friend of mine introduced me to the “Jesus Calling” devotional on my birthday this year and I was so excited to be able to download an app full of captivating messages to my phone.  There’s days that I feel like I’m barely scraping by and so instead of logging into Facebook for the millionth time that day to read more dramatic sagas of my 500+ “friends”, I force myself to log into this app to read a message that often times seems to have been written especially for me.

With the reflections faced on Wednesday of this week, I needed every ounce of uplifting power I could get, so I logged into Jesus Calling and came across some words that spoke directly to my heart…

REJOICE IN ME ALWAYS! No matter what is going on, you can rejoice in your Love-relationship with Me.  This is the secret of being content in all circumstances.  So many people dream of the day when they will finally be happy: when they are out of debt, when their children are out of trouble, when they have more leisure time, and so on.  While they daydream, their moments are trickling into the ground like precious balm spilling wastefully from overturned bottles. 

Fantasizing about future happiness will never bring fulfillment, because fantasy is unreality.  Even though I am invisible, I am far more Real that the world you see around you.  My reality is eternal and unchanging.  Bring your moments to Me, and I will fill them with Joy.  Now is the time to rejoice in My Presence!

– Philippians 4:4,12 & Psalm 102:27


[row-start] [half]
You might remember her from the fifth season of American Idol, Mandisa.  Her strong voice and message to be real, no matter who you are, where you come from and what you look like, has been such an inspiration to many around the world. Despite being in the public eye, she is down to earth and does not claim the glory of fame as so many others do. Heck she even takes time to tweet real people (including myself) and encourage others in the business (she introduced herself to my brother while he ran sound for one of her former backup singers, Myshel, in Nashville).  Her latest album, Overcomer is just another way that she has been lead to inspire those around her.  The lyrics of the title song say…
[/half] [half]Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer[/half] [row-end]



All things pumpkin are making their comeback.  I know you have already heard this (Stop…it’s Pumpkin Time), but honestly it is my favorite time of year when everywhere you turn you can try some scrumptious pumpkin goodies.  My Ah-mazing co-worker brought me my first Pumpkin Spice Late (PSL) from the new Starbucks in Barnes & Noble and it was incredible. So worth the calories!

A friend of mine pinned an image that gives 3, count em THREE, recipes for Pumpkin drinks (late, mocha and hot cocoa).  I’m so trying these out ASAP!

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?



It’s less than a month away from Pittsburgh’s Color Run and I can’t wait! Some great girlfriends and I are walking the race as Team Coloring Outside the Lines, because afterall, staying within the lines is just plain boring!

Oh and if you want to join us, there’s still time!  Shoot me a message and I’ll send you details on how to sign up for our team!  Registration goes up to $50 on the 15th, so don’t wait!

Check out these awesome, colorific pictures from the festivities! 



Ok, so I’ve told you time and time again about my weight loss journey since May, but I haven’t provided many updates in photos (much to the dismay of friends that don’t live in the Wheeling area), so I thought hey, what the heck, let’s do it.  I originally planned to use my BEFORE picture from graduation from WVNCC (which was just days before I started Zumba classes), but I thought since I’m sporting one of my favorite tops (one that you now know that I’ve had for at least 2 years) that I’d share a before and after today.

For the past two years my weight had pretty much fluctuated up and down 5 lbs, but pretty much stayed at a constant, so even though this picture is a difference of two years, it’s pretty accurate as to what I looked like in May, just with longer hair.  Pretty remarkable, if I might say so myself.

I think this needs to be printed and hung on the fridge…with the caption… “Do you really need that piece of chocolate?”

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