Sunday, May 25, 2014

graduation party

so, i had the most magical graduation party ever. 

it was everything i could have ever wanted + i was surrounded by all of my favorite people. 

the theme was "oh, the places you'll go!" and it was just that. 

it was so perfect that i felt i had to share some of it on my little space of web. i leave for uganda in just 12 days so my party was also a little "send off" too! 

the cards table was also a pillowcase that we asked people to sign with "sweet dreams" or well wishes for me while i'm in africa. it was one of my favorite things. the palate was also awesome. we just nailed string and used it to clip photos from birth-now on. 

 my precious daddy + i. so thankful that he will be visiting me in Uganda and seeing the land i love! 

the photo booth was a huge hit + one of my "take away" gifts was a chinese takeout box (monogrammed, of course) with a little fortune cookie in it.  

 my guest book was themed with the party. one page had a senior photo the other had a map with a b/w baby photo of me where the guests could sign. i made it and am quite obsessed with it. 

 small cups of kettle corn, chocolate dipped pretzels, + amazing cupcakes (thanks erica!) made up the best parts of the dessert table. 

 the smores bar ended up being quite the hit with our smaller guests who loved making them right there.

 fun fact; the ashton on the A is actually my signature. i'm quite in love with my monogram and signature, so we hid it everywhere in the party. 
and no party is complete without Ashton Water, right? 

my precious and amazing friend, jennifer. 
jen-ta-fa, thank you so for creating the party of my dreams + for going above and beyond anything i could have imagined. i owe you big time + will be forever thankful for you + your sweet self. you're crazy talented and pulled off the party of the year. this constitutes you being late for the rest of forever in my book :) 

thank you to those who helped make it possible + to those who joined in on the fun. so thankful for all of you who love me so well + celebrate me even more. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

three weeks.

three weeks from today i will board an airplane to the land that has been in my heart for so long.

three weeks from today i will have graduated high school, said goodbye to everything i've known, and miraculously gotten everything done.

three weeks.

soon and very soon.

and i'm thankful.

so, so thankful.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

when oceans rise

if i've learned anything from this journey i'm on it's that i am so not capable.

i am obsessed with organization. i love a clean house, i love color coordination, i adore clean cars, and clean cut things. so much. yet, when it comes to my room, car, + life it is so not like the things i love.

during this crazy whirlwind of a year since i accepted my move to uganda, it has been insane. i feel like i have accomplished nothing and everything at the same time.

right now between graduating from high school and still having not taken senior photos, sent out invitations/announcements, gotten a white dress, gotten any other outfits, shoes, or anything else PLUS still needing 10123823984 things for Uganda, to raise a little more money, to enjoy my time here in the states, to prepare, etc i am quite run down, unprepared and on my knees.

and in this chaos and mess i realize that He is still so present and real and with me. even when i feel like i'm drowning, i'm brought back to the earth-shattering knowledge that He walks on water.

i'm obsessed with Hillsong. their music makes me happy + i could listen to it all the live long day. one of my favorites (along with half of the worlds population) is the song Oceans. it speaks so true to my heart in this season.

when oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace. 

do i truly believe those lyrics? of course. but when oceans are rising all around me, my perfectionist self finds it so hard to rest in His embrace. because i want to fix it and be able to handle it all myself. but that's the thing. i'm not capable. i am one person and maybe if i had better planning skills, i could do it. but the truth is, i don't. and so i'm thrown to my knees in a whirlwind of His grace and mercy.

please pray for me in the coming days as i experience some of the biggest days of my life. and some of the hardest goodbyes and sweetest hellos. i will be graduating from high school in only four weeks. i will be saying goodbye to everything i've loved and known for the last four years of my life and i will be closing a very sweet chapter which is such a bittersweet feeling for me. i spent a lot of days hating the building i walked into everyday and the people i encountered, but i spent a lot of days and nights loving it fiercely and loving every human being that crossed my path.

pray for my goodbyes. i will be leaving a four year old sister who is my very best friend. and i will be leaving four other sweet siblings who i love fiercely and that own my heart. i will be saying goodbye to my precious parents that are such a huge part of my life. i will be saying goodbye to all of my friends. the ones i have grown with for 12 long years. i will say goodbye to my life as i knew it.

pray for my hellos. i will be entering a country that owns my heart and runs it. i will be going to the place that is the heartbeat of my world. i will be saying hello to many broken and beautiful souls and telling them about the beautiful love that Jesus has for them. i will be loving them and doing exactly what God has called me to.

pray for my "loss" i will not be going to college with all of my other friends or enjoying a summer at the beach and lake with my family. i will be in a foreign country by myself. learning how to live on my own, while learning a whole new culture and a new normal. it will be very hard, but so rewarding. i don't count it as loss, in any way! trust me, but i do know that it may be a struggle the first few days/weeks regardless of the excitement and joy i hold in my heart.

this is what God has called me to. He has called me to a land that is far from all i've ever known. He has called me to dirt beneath my finger nails and to loving hard and good-even when it's not easy and my own heart feels mangled. He has called me to fingerprinting in the messy of grace and to change. and i'm so thankful.