April 28, 2014

passport: check!

Well folks, it's official.  I have applied for a new U.S. Passport!

A couple of months ago I woke up with a strong desire to renew my passport.  I got the itch for international travel and still have it.  I have seen my friends traveling to beautiful tropical destinations and backpacking through Europe and definitely felt a little envious.  I have caught a bad case of travel chicken pox-- well, hopefully not the real chicken pox, but you know what I mean...I'm itchin' badly to go somewhere.  I really have no idea where I am going or what I will be doing, but I want to go. I am ready to go somewhere.

After recovering from Christmas spending, I decided that it was finally time to start the process of applying for  a new passport.  My previous passport was from when I was 14 years old. Apparently, if you have a passport prior to 16, it expires when you turn 16 and you have to apply as a first time adult.  So, off to the post office I went.  I have gotten to know the ladies there...and just love catching up with them!

Anyways, back to applying for the passport.  I felt so prepared to apply for my passport.  I had my social security card and birth certificate, my old passport, and my application neatly filled out and placed in a folder.  My plan was to get my picture taken there, write my checks and be done with it.  I watched the gentleman in front of me fumble with his paperwork and make his walk of shame to the 15 cent copy machine and thought to myself, "Look at you Kara...you made copies of everything! This will go so smoothly..."

Until I stepped up to the counter and she asked for a copy of my driver's license.  Well, dang. The one darn thing I didn't make a copy of. So, over to the 15 cent copier I went, just like the gentleman in front of me.  I dropped my head, did my walk of shame, and felt that feeling of preparation slowly washing away.

After making my copy, she took my picture and started looking over my application. "Ma'am, I need you to change the last name for your mother. We need her maiden name...not her married name."  

I look down at the paper, "Miller...hmmmm. Oh, that is her maiden name.  It's Miller!"  

(said in typical southern lady fashion)"Ohhhh Lord honey...that's an interesting story right there."

"Yes ma'am. Yes. It. Is."

So, as always, there is a story behind everything that I do.  I need some recommendations...where do you think I should travel next?!?

Another item checked off my 101 in 1001 Challenge list!

14. Get a Passport DONE! (4/25/14)

April 25, 2014

high five for friday.

Y'all, it's Friday. Hallelujah!  Or maybe I should be saying Alleluia now that the Lord has risen...who knows. I've always wondered which one is appropriate to use when and where...

Anyways. As I was saying, it's Friday and it's time for my top five. Get ready.

1. Peyton and I were extended the invitation to attend his friend's senior voice recital at Campbell University.  Kendra served as a SkillsUSA state officer under Peyton, so we wanted to make sure she felt supported at her concert. She had to sing several ensembles to be able to graduate with her undergraduate degree.  I thought it would be sweet to pick her up some flowers.  In the process, I picked some up for me too. She had a beautiful voice!  

2. Sometimes you just gotta take a selfie and send it to cheer someone up.

3. The sunsets have been exceptionally beautiful here lately, so beautiful that I have just sat out on the front porch and enjoyed every second of them.

4. I was able to have lunch with my wonderful friend Ashley at one of our favorite restaurants called Mitch's Tavern. It was so nice to be back on campus and  catch up with an old friend! 

5. University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill gear on clearance at Dick's Sporting Goods. Right. Where. It. Belongs.  #enoughsaid

April 24, 2014

sunsets and the |year of grace|

The feelings I got last night when I stood in front of this sunset were feelings that I don't know how to explain but are feelings that I so badly want to remember. 


I don't think grace is a feeling, but it's the word I chose for 2014 and it's the feeling I have been wanting to so desperately find.  When I chose grace as my word for 2014 I wanted to live it, but I also wanted to feel it.  I didn't really know what it felt like; I had never taken the time to focus on what grace was...how it made me feel, how it would change my life.

Last night I felt grace. 

I felt undeserving kindness overwhelm my heart and soul.  I saw the simple elegance of life and felt His blessings just fall upon me.  I am so blessed, simply just overflowing with happiness in my life right now. I have spent my whole life looking for grace, trying to feel it, trying to share it.

And last night...He reminded me of it in a sunset. 

April 18, 2014

meet Peyton.

Life on the blog front has been quiet here lately...and for good reasons too. I have been busy living life and enjoying the beautiful spring weather (wait...are you wondering where that is too?) Anyways, let's not get me started on the weather, that is another topic, for another day...and ain't nobody got time for that. I've got something a little more important to talk about today.  

I had the opportunity to meet up for lunch with an old friend that I met five years ago. To make a long story short, a customer came into my parents feed store May 9, 2009, to pick up some hanging baskets for his mom for Mother's Day (*cue* the awwwws and sighs). I know, so sweet! Well, this customer happened to be a very handsome man somewhere around my age. Mind you, my mother had called me out of bed early that morning to work at our feed store since it was shaping up to be a busy day.  So, I dragged myself out of my dorm room, threw on a ball cap, a yellow FFA t-shirt, pair of holey blue jeans, and headed out the door, no make-up and all. Hot mess party of one was on it's way to Pittsboro to stay in my mother's good graces. 

As soon as this man walked into the store, my mother was poking my side and whispering in my ear how handsome he was (to which I thought...yes mom, I KNOW, but I am not my finest looking self today) and encouraged me to help him out.  At some point in this conversation, this handsome man came up and asked me if I was in the FFA (he saw the emblem on my shirt).  I explained that I was a state FFA officer and we immediately connected in conversation.  We picked out a couple of hanging baskets over some conversation about FFA and his involvement in SkillsUSA (the organization for trade and industrial education). It was a great conversation, but all I could think was,  "Awesome...we connected over career and technical education, he paid for his flowers, and now will never be seen again."
Now this was the time in life when facebook was hot stuff.  We started stalking him on facebook at the store to only realize that he had sent me a friend request.  Ummm... say what?! Let's just say that this girl was one happy lady. To speed things up, here is the short version of what happened that summer. We went on a couple dates, went geocaching with his friend Bobby all over Chatham County, spent lots of time riding the golf cart around his family's property.  Needless to say, I was completely smitten and spent more time in the doctor's office that summer due to countless encounters with poison ivy.  At the end of the summer, he moved to France for 6 months to finish his master's degree program.  Whatever we had going was done.

Throughout the next five years we saw each other here and there at career and technical education events, in town, or spoke over an occasional text.  Nothing serious, both of us were in relationships with other people at some point during that time.  

Speed things back up to now. I was nervous to meet up with him and had no idea how things were going to go.  What would I wear? What would we talk about?  We hadn't spend a considerable amount of time together in five years...so who knows what could happen. Anyways, a simple lunch turned into a two hour catch-up on life.  Neither of us were finished talking (go figure), but we both were on lunch from work, so we promised to catch up again sometime soon.

Since that day, our friendship has done nothing but blossom and flourish into what we have today.  We have spent a considerable amount of time working on his log home, something that I have enjoyed so much. I have been a mason and carpenter, a designer and consultant. The four years I missed out on trade and industrial education have been made up in the past month helping him build his home.  
So folks, I'd like you to meet Peyton.

He is the man of my dreams and a good ol' Chatham County boy with a heart of gold. He loves the Lord as well as his family.  He is the state director for SkillsUSA North Carolina and a motivational speaker. We spend countless hours trying to solve the world's problems and discussing new entrepreneurial adventures.  We work hard during the day just so we can have fun exploring life together in the evenings and on the weekends. Even though our travel schedules can be a bit crazy, we both make time for each other because we want to.  Life is just easy with him.  It's natural and I am happiest I have ever been in my life.  I promise you will be hearing a lot more about him in the near future and I can only hope that you will get to meet him at some point in your life!

April 1, 2014

the southern doughnut.

I know...I know. The picture below is not a box of doughnuts, but here in the south, biscuits are definitely more popular, especially a BoBerry biscuit from Bojangles.

Now for my northern folks...you are probably wondering what the heck a BoBerry Biscuit is...let me explain.  It is a southern style biscuit filled with little pieces of berries, then drizzled with icing.  So, in other words, this could very easily be the southern doughnut. Bojangles is a fried chicken and biscuit fast food joint...due to the fact that you live in the frozen tundra of the north, it's a shame you can't experience this southern goodness. Guess what? That just means you need to make a visit to the great state of North Carolina.   

One of my favorite traditions every year is the heart- shaped biscuit that Bojangles does on Valentine's Day. We happened to have a snowy morning that day, so on my way to work, I decided that everyone in the office could use a little BoBerry love to warm their heart!

Let's just say I was the most popular girl in the office that day.

Another item checked off my 101 in 1001 list.
98. Take in doughnuts for my colleagues DONE! (02/14/14)