Tuesday, September 2, 2014

AMT Sports Photography

With another school year officially underway, I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of my favorite sports photographs from the previous seasons.  Here's to many more action-filled shots, minus the whole having balls hurled at my head thing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

#one21 takes on #forward2014

From my last gushing post, I'm sure you can tell I absolutely loved  #forward2014!  Well, I've finally had a bit of downtime this week and was able to put together a little video, highlighting a few of CCD's favorite memories.  

It's definitely not one you'll want to miss, especially since I completely embarrass myself around the 1:20 mark.   

All for His glory though, right?

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Just about everything I've posted or been tagged in this weekend has included #forward2014.  So, if you're wondering what it's all about, keep reading…
 The vision of Pastor Jentezen Franklin and Free Chapel Church, it was basically a giant three day worship service.  Never in my life have I seen so many Christians together in one place worshiping God.  And, let me tell you; it was FANFREAKINGTASTIC!  

Artists like Matt Redman, Isral Houghton, Planetshakers and Hilsong Young and Free got each service started.  Then, some of the top pastors in the country would deliver the message.  Even though they were speaking to more than 13,000 other people, quite a few times, I felt like the words pouring from their lips were directed just at me.  It was like God wanted me to know I matter.  I'm more than just a face in the crowd.  He has amazing plans for my life.  There's things that only I can do; I just need to listen and let Him be in control.

Listening to each speaker, I wrote down page after page of notes, quotes, and tidbits that God wanted me to remember and share.  So, here's a few of my favorites:

1) Jeremiah 29:11
2) If God has a hope for your future, you should have a hope for your future.
3) Promotion comes not from the East or from the West but from the Lord.  Remember, we serve a God who's in the life changing business.
4) Read 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, and you'll see that God WANTS to answer our prayers.
5) Give Him your weakness, and He'll give you His strength.
6) He's looking for something and someone out of the ordinary.
7) You are not just a human being.  You are a word that God has spoken.
8) You are the intention of heaven for the attention of the earth!
9) I should not show more praise for a sports team that doesn't know me than to a God who does.
10) Worship is the one thing God cannot give himself.
11) Our homes are to be places of prayer.
12) If you'll give God a vessel He'll pour into you.  You just have to be clean and empty.  Then, God can use you to make miracles.
13) God searched for 42 generations to find the box for His product.  Indeed, the product gives value to the box.
14) Because, you're either a container of trash or treasure.
15) The enemy of our souls knows who we are long before we do.
16) Dissecting James 1:2-8 is a bit hard to muster  But read it.  It'll give you something to think about.
17) The attacks on your faith have much more to do with who you might be then who you've been in the past.
18) Don't pray safe prayers.
19) By dying on the cross, Jesus didn't just take your place.  He gave you His.
20) Yes, the Cross=Love, but it's also a weapon.
21) When there's a but God everything changes.
22) Your past is your history, but your future is your destiny.
23) Turn the page.
24) If you listen too long to what people say about you you'll begin to believe it.
25) When we open His word it's a chance for an encounter.
26) There's unsaved people that are more passionate about their sin than Christian are about their Savior.  Seriously, sometimes Christians are the worst advertisements for church.
27) Churches make mistakes because churches are made up of people and people make mistakes.
28) Galatians 5:22
29) The greatest books have not been written.  He's just searching for a vessel.
30) I believe in Jesus Christ.

But really?  What good is The Word if I forget it the second the cover closes? What good are these encounters if it's just a moment I experienced at some conference?

When I went to pick Roo up, of course, my mom and I started talking about my trip.  All I could do was gush and read from my notebook.  Then, as I was getting up to leave with my puppy and overly tired eyes, she asked if I was coming down from my weekend high.

 I turned to her and said, "No, and I'm not going to."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Roo Thublin Is Turning Four!

Call me crazy, but this post is all about Roo Thublin.  Overall, I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping my puppy pictures and updates to a minimum.  But, today my fabulous dachshund is turning four.  Blame it on the fact that it's just the two of us (and it's my first June 18th as puppy momma), but today we're going to celebrate. 

So, here it is, the top 10 reasons why I love my spoiled pup:

1) Forget that slab of meat, Roo's favorite food is tomatoes. 

2) She looks fabulous in bows. 

3) Even though we have a queen size bed, she cuddles up right beside me.  

4) She's always the big spoon. 

5) She's a protector puppy that isn't afraid to bark when wandering pups or people come within a few feet of our front door. 

6) Her ears crinkle when she gets out of the bath. 

7) She willingly  lets tons of kiddos take her picture and walks around Dublin Middle School like she owns the place. 

8) Her "hiding spot" never changes.  We've lived in the same house for almost nine months, and each morning she's always under the ottoman when its time to put her up for work. 

9) She loves taking long walks, even if one of my steps equals 10 of hers. 

10) Regardless of whether I'm having an awesome or horrible day, she's always there to greet me when I get home. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Dad's Pretty Awesome, and Here's Why

I know everyone thinks their dad's pretty awesome, especially this time of year.  But, you know what? Mine really is.

Here's 25 reasons why I'm proud to call Stephen Thublin Daddy.

1) He introduced me to coffee before I got speak in full sentences. Granted, it was half coffee-half cream, but how can you not form a caffeine habit as an adult when your dad's pushing java from your sippy cup? 

2) He made sure there was an Alabama cheerleading outfit in the deliver room.

3) He introduced me to the joy that is TCM and always tapes old movies he thinks I'll enjoy.

4) He puts up with my crazy dog.

5) I love Momma, but Daddy's WAY better at telling us stories from our childhood.

6) He cried during my final ballet recital. Who knew Sweet Child of Mine could make a grown man ball like a baby? 

7)He always picks up the tab when it comes to dinner.

8) And makes sure the door's open for both me and my sister.

9) He REALLY tries when it comes to scrounging up something for his picky vegetarian...even if it is a bag of corn.

10) He introduced us to The Lord of the Rings

11) He has a Kirklands Credit Card.

12) He plays old Bill Cosby Comedy albums. 

13) He's always checking to see what's playing at the $2.50 theater.

14) For a Dad, he's pretty adventurous...if it wasn't for him, I would have never been spelunking or white water rafting.

15) He moved me in and out of NYU more times than I can count. Daddy, you gotta admit driving that 15 foot moving van was pretty cool, right?

16) He understands my love of country veggies and S+S Cafeteria.

17) He always makes sure his freezer's stocked with ice cream.

18) He proudly wears his Scottish kilt out in public.

19) And, he's  rocked a mustache for a long as I can remember.

20) Daddy'a got a pretty great singing voice.

22) He introduced me to The Beatles.

23) And helped me plant tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

24) He's an accountant, so between him and my Momma, I'll never have to do my own taxes.

25) But, most importantly, He loves his three kiddos. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

19 Reasons Why My Little Brother's the Best

It's June 12th, and that can only mean one thing...it's Joseph Thomas' Birthday!  My wonderful baby brother is turning 19, so of course, we're going to celebrate tonight with his favorite dinner and dessert. But, I can't wait until 6:00 PM to contain my big sister excitement, so here's a list of 19 reason why he's my favorite guy.  

1) He genuinely loves the Lord and isn't afraid to share his faith. 

2) He puts up with his crazy two older sisters.

3)And, along with Momma, calls us his best girls.

4) He's literally the kindest person I know.  My mom, sister, and I try to be nice, but caring for others just comes naturally for Joseph. 

5) When we're all snuggly in our jammies, he's willing to put on a pair of jeans and go to the store to buy us that half gallon of  ice cream.

6) He owns more than 50 Alabama t-shirts.

7) He says Roll Tide at the end of each prayer.

8) His favorite color was clear until quite recently.

9) Forget cake or ice cream. Joseph's favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie.

10) He willingly teaches drumming to 48 elementary kiddos.

11) He prefers bow ties over regular ones and has been rocking them for quite a while.

12) He always goes with the flow when it comes to deciding what to eat for dinner.

13) He loves the movie Frozen.

14) And, he knows "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" is better than "Let It Go."

15) He looks forward to his nightly Once Upon A Time TV with Momma.

16) He knows how to iron a collared shirt.

17) And, he understands opening the door for girls is just something you do.

18) He's an awesome barista for Nehemiah's Coffee House.  Seriously, Starbucks' got nothing on his vanilla lattes. 

19) And most importantly...he may be over six feet, but he still lets us call him our baby brother. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

18 Ways You Know You Were a Camp Counselor

Keens tan lines. S'mores. Two minute showers.  Oh, the joy of being a camp counselor.  Think back to the bittersweet nostalgia, and enjoy the memories of that one sweaty summer. 

1) You have a real understanding of writing letters.   Living the camp bubble life kept you from the outside world.  So, mail time was literally everything!  Sure, it was great when your mom sent pictures of her new dachshund puppy.  But really, all you could think was why didn't she give me a blow by blow of this week's episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashains?

2) Forget $7.25 an hour.  You chose to work for way less than minimum wage.   

3) You have a lot of random skills that are basically useless in the real world. The ability to tie a billion knots? Check.  The ability to turn a toilet paper role into a sought after spirit stick? Check.  The ability to add hand motions to any song? Double check. 

4) Really, just camp songs in general.  Why don't people randomly break out into renditions of bad '90s music on a daily basis?  

5) You were always hungry. 

6) …And your daily calories probably consisted of just two things:  tater tots and s'mores. 

7) Whether it be the counselors or the campers, you know summer love is the most special kind of love. 

8) You know true exhaustion is a lot like being really, really drunk. 

9) You know the greatest fashion accessories are handmade friendship bracelets and tie dyed bandannas.  Along with your staff t-shirts, you still can't get rid of the ones your campers made.  

10) For an entire summer, dressing fancy meant applying tinted Chapstick and pairing your neon socks with a clean t-shirt. 

11) You've been on a BLOB and know it's awesome. 

12) You know working in the camp store or snack shack was the greatest assignment. 

13) You've overdosed on Benadryl.  Thanks a lot ant bites on top of ant bites. 

14) You own way to many one pieces.  

15) Someone, besides your mom or significant other, has folded your underwear. Privacy was not an option. If you left your delicates in the drier for too long, chances are your co or campers were going to touch them. 

16) Your funniest stories usually involve something funny a kid said or did. 

17) You know Post Camp Depression is a real thing.  Grief is leaving the camp bubble behind and being forced to function in the real world again. 

18) You've still got your camp's sticker plastered to your Nalgene water bottle. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

20 Reasons Why My Mom's The Best

I know everyone thinks their mom's the best, especially on days like today.  But, mine really is.

Here's 20 reasons why I love her!

1) She's the most selfless person I know. Whether it be her time or money, she does whatever it takes to provide for her three kiddos.  She's the kind of Momma who'd literally cut off her own arm if we needed it.  
Whether it be Christmas circa 1996 or 2013, she's always been there for us!  
2) Whenever we go out for Mexican, she lets me decide whether we get cheese dip or guacamole. 

3) She believes in our talents. From the time I brought her my first bit of writing in 2nd Grade to now, she's always encouraged me to make a career out of what I love.  Unlike my brother and sister, I've never been one to master math.  She understands my analytical weaknesses and embraces my creative nature, buying me a stack of glue sticks when most kids would need a calculator during back to school shopping.

4) She knows our favorite cookies.  Taking a page from June Cleaver, whenever one of us comes home from college, she makes sure our favorite sweet treats are just coming out of the oven as we walk in the door.

5) She introduced me to Days of Our Lives.

6) She indulges our weird habits.  The three of us have this weird habit of randomly breaking out into song.  I think it has something to do with watching too many musicals at any early age, but anyways.  We'll be sitting at the table, someone will say a phrase which will in turn trigger our rendition of "Do You Want to Build A Snowman."  And the worst part about it…we all have horrible singing voices!

7) She prioritizes family dinners.

8) She taught me good morals. From the day I was born, she brought me up in a Christ-centered home and worked long hours to put me through the best schools around.

9) She understands how much I love my dog.  We're looking for places to spend our vacation, and she knows I'd be sad to leave Roo behind.  So, if they're not pet friendly, they've been marked off our list of possibilities.

10) She's honest.

11) She understands sometimes you just need to stay in your pajamas all day.  By no means am I insinuating that she's lazy; she just knows that after a busy week of work, spending a Saturday at home with fuzzy socks and an oversized t-shirt is the best medicine.

12) She loves her holidays.  Whether it be Christmas or Arbor Day, she has decorations for every occasion.  Even if it means creating holidays (like Spooky March), she loves when the whole family gets together for celebrations.

13) Using the clever phrase "Beauty is Pain," she fixed my hair for the first 11 years of my life…despite my morning screams. 

14) She is one tough cookie.  She's been put through the ringer, and all it seems to do is make her that much stronger.  She's a whiz at  keeping her cool, even when a tree falls on the house.

15) She's my best editor.  She's been forced to read every term paper I've ever turned in.  Kudos to her, especially, for proofing my 20 page piece on Female Genital Mutilation in African Housewives.

16) Except for my whole wearing leggings as pants thing, she never judges my outfit choices too sternly. 

17) She loves Disney.  Most kids have to beg their parents to take them to Disney World.  Not me.  We've been to the Most Magical Place on Earth more times than I can count, and I've got the pictures with Mickey to prove it.

18) She's the first person I call.  She's always there when I need her. Even if it is three o'clock in the morning, I know she'll be there to discuss the good, the bad, or the ugly.

19) She makes meatless chili.  Especially living in the South, I understand it's got to be difficult cooking for a vegetarian, yet she's very considerate in making sure I don't go hungry…even if that does mean I'm eating a plate of fries when we go to Five Guys.

20) She's the epitome of a fabulous Southern Woman.  She understands the importance of family and  isn't afraid to cook with butter.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Top TV Mommas (And The Life Lessons They've Taught Us)

Lorelai, Clair, June..who's your favorite? 
With Mother's Day just around the corner, it's the perfect time to salute the best TV mommas.  Just like in life, they've got the most thankless role. But there's more to them than just carting around their kiddos and reacting to their dopey husband's shenanigans.

1) Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls:  If you're a girl who grew up in the '00s chances are you've wished your mother-daughter relationship was more like that between Rory and her quirky, coffee-drinking mom.  After sitting through seven seasons, Lorelai taught us diner food is delicious and anything can be achieved through hard work (and a little bit of sass).

2) Catelyn Stark, Game of Thrones:  Sure, she plays favorites (like solely focusing on Rob's protection when Arya and Sansa were stuck in King's Landing following their dad's beheading), but you gotta admit she's a devoted mom.  From Cat, it’s apparent when your counterpart is Cersei, it doesn’t take much to win the maternal match.

3) Carol Brady, The Brady Brunch:  The typical story of a blended family, TBB is all about what happens after mom and dad get together to form their one big happy family.  Stay at home mom is her official job title, but Carol does so much more.  From freelance writer and sculptor to lunch packer and PTA president, she's the '70s mom to be, all while carting around her six kiddos in that brown station wagon.

4) Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show:  Long before Michelle Obama moved to Pennsylvania Avenue, Clair  introduced America to a fabulous black woman who shattered racial stereotypes.  No other TV momma has lived up to her iconic beauty and brains.  From her court room, shoulder-padded suits to her silky, jewel-toned pjs, she always looked like a well put together lady.  If I was guaranteed a mom like Clair, I'd want to be one of five too!

5) Cora Crawley, Downton Abbey:  It takes a special person to deal with a mother-in-law like Violet.  But, Cora's defining mom moment came in Season One, when she helped Mary move a dead body from her bed.  Talk about doing whatever it takes to keep your daughter's public appearance up.

6) June Cleaver, Leave It To Beaver:  Yes, June wore pearls around the house. And high heels.  But her real trademark was her loving, no-nonsense approach to raising two boys.  These days, people love to poke fun at June, but you gotta admit there's something sweet to making sure your family's dinner is ready and on the table at 5:00 PM, even if it is unrealistic.

7) Laura Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show:  Laura's who Betty Drapper wishes she could be.  This strong woman knows how to keep a home, manage a family, and remain true to her own self, all while rocking capri pants.  Certainly not the normal '60s TV Mom, she's not afraid to voice her own opinions, and if her husband disagrees, then oh well.

8) Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights:  As if raising a teenage daughter couldn't earn you a spot by itself, Mrs. Coach is the go-to Momma for all Dillion football players.  She miraculously says the right thing at the right time to every wandering teen to come her way.  Plus, Tami know that sometimes the best therapy is a date night with the television and a glass of Chardonnay.

9) Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls:  The eldest Golden Girl sure is one tough cookie, but those wise cracks don't hide this Italian Ma's love for Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose.

10) Jill Taylor, Home Improvement:  She's a mother to three boys and married to Tim "The Toolman" Taylor…nuff said.

11) Reba McEntire, Reba:  Like the theme song says, Reba's a survivor.  Though a cheating husband and pregnant 17-year-old are thrown her way, this feisty red head's got it under control.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

11 Reasons Why Being a Grown-Up is Sorta Overrated

As a prepubescent teen, the adults in our lives made being a real grown-up look really fun.  But you know what? It's not as glamorous as it looks.  Coffee gets old, and bras are boob jail. 

Here's 11 reasons why being a grown up is sorta overrated. 

1) Eating Whatever You Want:  As a kiddo, I can't tell you the number of times we'd go to a gas station. And, all I'd want is to grab as many Reese’s Cups as my chubby hands could carry.  But like most parents, my mom and dad fed me real meals instead of candy confections.  Fast forward to 2014, and, sure, there's days my dinner is a big bowl of ice cream.  But, that's the exception to "the rule" not the norm my preteen self would have predicted.

2) Driving:  Cars are expensive.  Monthly payments, insurance, and gas add up quick.  Plus, I'd much rather spend the five hour drive to Florida watching House of Cards over watching the road.

3) Having a Credit Card:  In just about every Disney Channel Original Movie from the '90s, the main character would magically have a credit card accidentally be mailed to him.  From which, said character would spend gobs of money on the sickest jelly shoes and Lisa Frank binders money can by.  But now, if we go on a crazy shopping spree, there's a monthly bill that rolls in, and we're expected to pay for it.

4) No Bedtime:  Minus college finals, is there really too many times when we should be pulling off a week's worth of all nighters?

5) Work Wear:  Unless you work for a super laid-back employer, jeans are only permitted in the office come Friday.  Sure, when you were five and sporting a neon green blazer to kindergarten, work wear seemed like no big deal.  But, now that you actually have to put together real outfits on a  daily basis, the days of t-shirts and shorts seem magical.  Plus, heels hurt!

6) Being a Puppy Parent:  Every time I walk into a pet store, I'm constantly fighting the urge to adopt a new furry friend.  Their sweet little faces are looking up at me, and I've got no one but myself to blame for not taking them all home.

7) Holidays:  These days, if you want candy you've got to be the one to buy it.

8) Carrying a Handbag:  My first purse was this red velvet number with a clowns head on its center complete with yarn hair.  It contained spare Barbie shoes, a Hello Kitty hairbrush, and Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers.  Nowadays, my bag looks more like a bulging suitcase then a trendy accessory.  And yes, the saying's true…once you go big, there's no going back.

9) Living the Roommateless Life:  Rodents exist, and you're the only one to catch the scurrying critter.

10) Drinking Coffee:  Remember the good old days when your  idea of drinking coffee was sitting in a Starbucks for hours on end sipping from your Double Chocolate Frappuccino and gossiping with your 13 year old friends about that cute, new foreign exchange student?  Now, it's more along the lines of how quick can I get this caffeine coursing through my veins?  Take it from a girl who constantly smells like a cup of joe; we're in an endless losing cycle thanks to our coffee addiction.  And, if we try to give it up?  Terrible headaches ensue.

11) Dating:  Rom-coms have ruined my idea of relationships.  I keep waiting for my future soul mate to magically reach for my cup of coffee because we've both ordered a Venti Vanilla Latte.  We'll brush hands, feel "the spark," and spend the rest of our days living happily ever after.  In reality, today's dating game is less about lasting and more about who you're going home come last call.    

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Allergies Ruin Spring

They say Spring is in the air, but it's actually just pollen.  There's no frolicking in the fields for allergy sufferers.  Nope, wearing pastels is the closest we get to embracing Springs.

1) Everyone's always like "look at those pretty flowers."  You're like "get those pollen bombs away from me."

2) The cute guy at the pharmacy thinks you're a mouth breather.

3) People mistake you for an aging athlete, since you've been lathering on the VapoRub like it's your job.

4) Claritin, Cold and Sinus Pills, Mucinex, Nasal Spray, Cough Drops…your medicine cabinet can rival any drug store. 

5) All you want to do is lounge in bed, far away from high pollen and mold spores.

From April-August, this is what I need!
6) But, you aren't contagious, so your boss still expects you to come in.

7) You've got blood shot eyes, but it's not from doing anything fun.

8) From sun up to sun down, your constantly sniffling.

9) . . . Meaning, you leave a trail that could rival any fairy tale breadcrumbs.

10) And, will inevitably end up up passing out in a pile of used tissues.

Oh the joys of Spring!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trading in Main Street for Dirt Roads

The epitome of country charm, Swainsboro's Flat Creek Lodge is the perfect spot for Southerners looking to escape the daily drools.  From the minute you trade in Main Street for dirt roads, it's all about enjoying the scenic serenity.

I'm no outdoorsy sportsman, but even I could appreciate the fabulous water fowl (including baby ducklings and black swans) and beautiful grounds.  Being a vegetarian, I'm probably not the best judge of the lodge's cuisine, but I will have you know that their homemade jelly had me going back for multiple biscuits! 

The lodge describes itself as a "hunting and fishing adventure," but I'd say as long as you enjoy rustic rooms, lilly padded ponds and cute baby cows, the Flat Creek Lodge should be your next weekend getaway destination.  But, be prepared; stuffed animals are everywhere.  So, don't be surprised when a giant black boar watches over your bed. 

Me being me, of course I had to take my camera and snag a few photos.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

14 Reasons Why Everyone Should Spend Spring Break With the 55+ Crowd

Did you ever see that episode of The O.C. where Seth and Ryan travel to Florida to visit Nana Cohen?  Before its teen soap turn of the pair taking center stage on an MTV-esque Spring Break Special, it starts with the duo playing shuffleboard alongside retirees.  Donning Tommy Bahama tees and sandals with socks, they're simply enjoying life, sipping on fruity mixed beverages with tiny umbrellas.  It's those first five minutes that made me want to spend my own recent week away from school in a 55+ community.

Ponce de Leon putzed around Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth more than 500 years ago.  His search for the eternal sprout spring may have been in vain, but for the AARP crowd, it's still the greatest sanctuary.  Retirement communities are practically on every corner.  And, I'm lucky enough to have a grandma that calls one in Ocala home.  

Here's what I learned from my stay:

1) The 55+ crowd having been driving "eco friendly" cars for years…they're called golf carts, and they're awesome! 

2) Bingo Mondays=Free Money

3) Spending a day tuned in to Turner Classic Movies feels way more productive than a Netflix binge.  At least here, you're watching the best in vintage cinema as opposed to marathoning through all 13 episodes of Orange Is the New Black for the fourth time.

4) No one judges you for going to bed before 10:00 pm.

5) You get to float around on pool noodles.

6) And, there's no stick thin biddies critiquing your bathing suit choice.

7) Even if you're not the most tech savvy person, everyone will just assume your an IT Genius if you whip out an iPhone.

8) There's tons of second hand stores around for you to furnish your new place.

9) Retired folks love their Happy Hour.  Wine and cheese for all!

10) There's no reason to set the alarm.  Everyone's retired, so sleep as late as you want.

11) They've got clubs for practically every kind of crafting a girl could ask for:  Quilting?  Check.  Watercolors?  Check.  Sewing?  Check.

12) And, for the athletes there's boochie ball, shuffleboard, and rounds of golf.

13) Just like single twenty somethings, they've got an empty nest.

14) Which means they won't judge you for having loads of pet pictures on your phone.

Originally Published On Thought Catalog