Blog, Favorites, Lifestyle, Travel

Summer Favorites

Currently I am sitting curled up under a blanket with my dog and daydreaming of a warmer place. This summer has been so fun and I wanted to share some of my favorite things I experienced with you. I learned a few lessons and had a birthday (19, yay me!) I read some good books and saw some new (and familiar) places. Summer has always been my favorite time of year so as I share some of my favorite things that I experienced/read/listened to with you, I hope you can daydream back to those warmer days with me.

First thing at the start of my summer I took off to Arkansas for my cousin’s graduation. (You can read more about that and my advice to everyone heading off to college by clicking here.) I had such a good time with all of my family, but my favorite part was our little trip to Fayettville, Arkansas for Drew’s state championship baseball game. They won, and I can’t think of a better way for my cousin to have finished high school. It was so fun getting to cheer them on, but the real reason I’m telling you about this trip was because I picked up one of my new favorite books on the way. We stopped at the most magical book store I have ever been to. It was covered floor to ceiling in used books as far as you could see. I kept thinking I was going to find the end of the store and then it just kept going. I bought a few too many books (I lie, you can never have too many,) but my favorite has to be “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. I really do recommend this to anyone who has never read it. Lewis breaks down core concepts of our faith in a way that makes it so easy for anyone to understand. We need to always know why we believe the things we believe, and be able to defend our faith. That being said, we cannot defend what we have not taken the time to understand. This book allowed me to think about things in a way I never have before so I’d say it is definitely a must-read for all Christians.

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Later in the summer I got a visit from my amazing bff, Emily. I spent some time in Georgia with her and then brought her home with me. It was her first time on an airplane and her first time in Ohio. I wanted to take her everywhere! It was so fun getting to show her around my new home. I took her to David Grohl Alley because I feel like that’s our little hometown secret treasure. We visited Cedar Point which was a first time for both of us and we visited different art museums three separate times because we are hipster wannabes. (lol) We also got to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; best memory is us standing in this one exhibit singing and dancing to oldies songs so loud because we couldn’t hear ourselves over our own headphones.

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A few weeks later I got to go to Kenya for the third time. While I was there I was reading the book of James and feeling so blessed to be a part of our team. In James 2 it talks about how our faith and our works are both so necessary. Faith without works is dead, but good works without faith is useless. While I was in Kenya I got to live out my faith and love on people that I did and did not know before then. Our team did a large amount of work but we also got to just love on the people at the Hope Center and each other while we were there. I love World Hope and I love Kenya. I also love Java House’s lattes, so perhaps next summer I’ll get to experience it all again.

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As I mentioned earlier, I had a birthday a few months ago. I turned 19 in my favorite place on earth, New Smyrna Beach. My family all got together for a little vacation and time together right around then, and my niece and nephew were the life of the party the whole vacation. I have never seen anyone so excited to see the beach as my little niece, Juliette was. My favorite moment of the whole vacation was playing in the rain with her. I wish you could hear her little giggles while she tried to catch the raindrops and we jumped all through the puddles. I know you can’t, so I attached a picture of the event below.

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I read another great book (or 3) while I was there. My favorite was called “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple. My mom had picked up this gem a while back ago and passed it down to me. This summer was the first chance I got at reading it, and I could not put it down! I spent a whole day glued to it and laughing hysterically. The story line is so silly and fun that I was sad for it to be over. I passed it on to my older sister a few days later and she loved it almost as much as I did.

My birthday was so fun. I turned 19 on July 17th, and I basically had a dance party the whole day. I wore a pink tiara to dinner and ate a huge piece of cookie cake. A few days later I decided that for my 19th year of life I wanted to make the song “More Heart, Less Attack” by NeedToBreathe like an anthem for myself. If you haven’t heard it, I’d encourage you to do so. {Click here to listen.}

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After all that traveling around I got to finally come home. I slept in my own bed, went back to work, and saw all of the lovely people that make this place home to me. This summer was wonderful, but I’m happy to be headed toward fall! The past few weeks I have been back in school and trying to remember how to do math(lol at my constant struggle.) Life is returning back to being somewhat normal. My friend, Emma, and I also got to go to Detroit last weekend to see all that World Hope is doing there. It was a short little spontaneous trip that was such a blessing to both of us. I am thankful to have made so many friends who live close by and far away.

This change of season is fitting to go with all the change happening in life right now. I have officially started a new job and also welcomed my new niece into the world just a few days ago. I will leave you with some sweet baby pictures. I can’t wait to share more posts here with you very soon!

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