Thursday, December 1, 2011

A procrastination post...

I'm NOT gone forever... I pinky promise!!!  But I am in the midst of several HUGE writing projects... and that is keeping me a little occupied these days (hence the procrastination right now.  What else would I be doing with 24 hours left to write a paper that needs to be at least 10 pages???)  I have so much news to share, and even more pictures... so expect to hear from me soon!  Until then, Darcy wanted me to tell all her blog friends hello and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! (I just love saying that!)  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

For the first Halloween in my life, I've been on the "giving" side of the candy.... and I love it!  Despite living in a city for 2 years, I've always been busy on Halloween night and haven't been able to participate in the trick-or-treating festivities.... and despite the 3 papers that are due tomorrow, Darcy and I couldn't resist passing out a little bit of candy!

Of course, Darcy had to wear my FAVORITE doggy costume... 
Who wouldn't love a pink unicorn with a princess in the saddle?!
She has to inspect the candy first...
Watching for trick-or-treaters = Darcy's mission for the night

Happy Halloween!!!
This picture is actually from last Halloween... but I just love it so much I had to post it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall adventures... so far

I'm very grateful for the blessing of time with friends and family in the midst of my super busy semester.  Here are some photos (and semi-brief captions) of my Fall adventures so far.  
Enjoy! :)

A pumpkin carving night with sweet friends...

Can you guess which is mine?  

My first trip apple picking!  (Sadly, all the Honey Crisps were gone... and they are my favorite)

A brief trip home during my fall break to throw a lingerie shower for my Best Friend... I didn't have much time with my family, but on the way to the shower, my mom and sister stopped by the pumpkin patch with me.  We took a couple of photos with the sunflowers before I had to be on my way...
I missed going with the whole Rutherford clan, though!

 The lingerie shower!  
I made a sparkly bra for Best Friend to wear as the guest of honor.  :)

Precious high school friends were able to come to the shower, and it was SO fun to see them!

Oh, you know... just being a mechanic since my mom's car wouldn't start the morning after I spent the night with the bride-to-be... Us girls totally handled the situation, though... don't let the green and polka dotted pj's fool ya.  

A more traditional shower for the bride-to-be... and more special friend time!

My future brother... :)

A very, VERY quick trip to Birmingham with my sister... during which I was able to see a few of my most precious friends (the Beaty girls and "bffae" Amy!), along with another of my dearest friends Rachel. What a huge blessing to see her AND meet her less than 2 weeks old baby boy, Bear.  Such a treasured time!  And thank goodness I got to see the growing and beautiful big sister AnnaBelle, too!
(and I'm so glad my sister was on hand with her camera to capture these sweet moments)

All in all, Fall is turning out to be a special time with the ones I love most, near and far.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Country girl in the big city

For two years, I've lived in what I consider "the city."  This suburb of Chicago certainly feels that way to me after spending most of my life on a farm several miles from any semblance of "city life".... and I would hardly call my sweet little Mississippi town a city.  

For the first time in my two years here, I traveled to downtown Chicago and walked down its streets.... all. by. myself.   I know, I know... this shouldn't be such a big deal, especially since I have gone downtown many times.... But this time, I was alone.  (and I drove in the big city traffic... that really IS a big deal, right?)

 But as I stood feeling all alone and small, all the while surrounded by hundreds of people and larger than life buildings, I couldn't help but think about back to the little girl on the farm who always had big dreams to see the world, wanting to live grand adventures in big cities.

What would that little girl think if she saw me now?  Did she know back then that she would one day live far from the people and places she held most dear?  I know she had immense faith that her adventures would come sooner or later, and I hope to retain the faith of that long ago Miranda-child.  I think I felt like a child even more as I wandered through Millennium Park up to Michigan Avenue and hailed a cab.... the 24-year-old Miranda seeming far away as I tried to look confident and not so wide-eyed and giddy.

I will always dream of more adventures and travels to distant places, and I hope to live out those dreams.  Yet, here I am in the big city... and in my two years here, I realize that, while I love the adventure and I'm so grateful to be living it, I long for the quiet farm life.  And when people ask me where I will go after I'm a "doctor," I always get that dreamy look in my eyes... similar to when I was a little girl dreaming of big places... and I say something like, "Wherever God leads me... but I'm hoping to one day have a farm in the South with lots of trees, animals, and gardens." 
 *insert sigh of longing here*    

All that being said, I had such a blessed day downtown, where I met up with my "Little sister" from my fabulous sorority, Phi Mu.  Here we are the night that she found out that I was her "Big."  
(One of my favorite Phi Mu memories)


It was such a joy to see sweet Meghan after so many years... she transferred not long after becoming my "Little,"  and although we have not talked consistently over the years, seeing her again was just like picking up where we left off.  She is one of the most precious people in the world, and her family was just as wonderful!  I was greeted by hugs from everyone, and I felt even more like Meghan's "sister" than ever before.

And can I just say that I loved hearing her sweet mom tell Meg's fiance that we looked like real sisters.  I think so too... :)

Meghan and her fiance looking at "The Bean"...

I'm anticipating even more downtown adventures in my future, but I'm especially excited for my next reunion with my sweet little Meghan!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome back & Welcome Fall

With the beginning of fall, I am back to my blog…. Saddened about the time elapsed where I didn’t come to this space and meet with my friends here.  Yet, I think the timing is appropriate as I find myself dying in many ways to my old self just as the leaves are changing and falling.  This death to self has been happening gradually, yet for a long time... but in recent months, the death has been swift and I find my leaves changing color and slipping away. 

Yet with the death to my old self is a beautiful promise of new life.  My heart screams joy and thanks for the Spring that is in my spirit (despite the creeping cold outside my door).  It’s funny how death has to happen before new life can begin and multiply in blessings... and how on this journey of life, dying must happen often to keep up the growth and deepen the roots next to the stream of Living Water. 

So as I welcome myself back to my blog, I welcome Fall and the death it brings…. Because with that death comes the hope of Spring and new life beyond my wildest imaginings. 

And who knows?  Maybe my blog needed to die for a little while to reap a greater harvest. :)  I have missed you, dear old friends and family and my newer blog friends!  I’m thrilled yet humbled to share my journey with each of you again.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Guess who??

Well, hello there dear friends!  In case you don't remember me, my name is Miranda, and I used to write on this blog every once in a while.  :)  I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I'm thrilled to share some of my recent adventures over the next few days.  I have had several blessed weeks with my family, and you know what that means... TONS of pictures!
So get ready, because I'm back! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Southern Summer Adventures... week one.

Although I'm almost finished with an adventurous "week two,"  I really wanted to update everyone on all the fabulous happenings of week one... because my sweet family definitely knows how to keep me busy and entertained while I'm home, and I have tons of pictures.  
So here we go.... 

Fireworks and friends
On July 3rd, Mom took Lee Ann and me to the church she has been visiting lately for their big 4th of July celebration.  We met up with our friends the Tolberts, and we spent the whole evening drinking REAL lemonade, eating food, listening to live music (the band "Cardiac Jack and the Arrests" was a personal favorite), and watching hair frizz.  Yes, my dear northern/midwestern friends.... it is humid here.  And I love it.  (Well, up until the point that it is hard to breathe.... but other than that, it's fabulous.)  At the end of the evening, we watched a wonderful fireworks show.

Lee Ann and her friend Emily
My first day back was a wonderful reintroduction into the South.  My heat tolerance is redeveloping, and I'm fairly positive that by the end of the summer, I will be back to my old self... and by that, I mean that I won't sweat, I'll glisten.  A Southern woman to the core. 

Baby Bird
Meet Berty (short for Albert/Alberta, whichever is the case).

I found sweet Berty on the 4th of July while Darcy and I were going on our morning walk, 
and in true Miranda fashion, I ran inside with Darcy on my heels, dragging my mom outside while exclaiming about a helpless baby bird on the road in need of my love.  Poor Mom... I'm pretty sure she rolled her eyes a few times... and she may have had the fleeting (or not so fleeting) thought that we did NOT need another animal to add to our menagerie.... and maybe some thoughts about this sort of thing happening whenever I'm around.  (I've always been a hopeless animal lover/rescuer/caretaker...)  However, she kindly came to see the bird with me... and when we finally decided that it was near death, she let me take it under my wing (pun intended) to see if we could help it at all.

Somehow, some way.... little Berty has not only survived, but thrived as she has become a part of our family.  This week, she is looking a little more "grown up," and before you know it, she will be ready to leave her cage for good.....

But this "mama bird" hopes to have a few more days with her little baby bird.
(I'm sure I'll write more on this later!)

4th of July Sparklers
Baby sister's big birthday present was a camera that we bought from my dear friend Elizabeth.  Since the camera's arrival, Lee Ann has been experimenting and learning all about it.  The 4th presented a perfect opportunity for lessons in shutter speed and pictures of fireworks/sparklers (a skill that will come in handy next time we are in Disney World.  Disney fireworks = awesome)....

How I write the "M" when I sign my name

We plan to have another sparkler shoot because she realized she could change the shutter speed more and take even better pictures.  Stay tuned! :)

Photo Shoot: numero uno
A random photo shoot occurred the next day, just for more camera/lighting learning.  Of course, Darcy and I love to model.  And thanks to the handy camera remote, we were able to take some sister pictures, too.
Popping bubbles!

A water park, picnic, and Rutherfords... OH MY!
On Thursday, a bunch of the Rutherford gang (my mom's side of the family) headed over to Geyser Falls for some family fun.  Not all of the family could go, and those who weren't there were definitely missed... but we managed to have some fun on our wet outing!

Coley's Chuck E. Cheesy Birthday
My little cousin Coley celebrated his birthday at Chuck E. Cheese... which meant more family fun AND the opportunity to pretend to be a little kid again.  And being a little kid is one of my favorite pastimes. 

Lee Ann thought we would get in trouble for being in this thing.... 
So we kept hiding.... If you zoom into this picture, you see the face below......


Girls will be girls... and try on hats when the opportunity presents itself.



I fully intend to bring hats back "in" style.  It's a new goal. 

Sunday family fun
Sunday was a special treat because I got to hear my cousin Bill preach and then have more family time after church.

Oh, and did I mention that I got to cuddle the Blair's precious dog?? 
Because I definitely did that, too. 

And that about wraps up the first edition of "Southern Summer Adventures."  Stay tuned for the week two update... which will happen sooner rather than later!!! 

I hope everyone is having a blessed weekend!