7QTs: I have a blog???

Oh hey... it's me.  The girl who only seems to write for her own series and Jen's 7 Quick Takes.  I don't know what has been happening lately... oh, that's right.  Traveling/vacationing/working.  That last one isn't very fun.  I am seriously going to try and be better.  Try... being the important word there.  Anywho... you are here for some Quick Takes.  By all means....

~ 1 ~
You guys.  Did you read my little post about the Borobia Fam... or most likely this one from Clan Donaldson????  Ok, well... click here and scroll down...
So many people... all over the world have donated.
It is so amazing and inspiring and really restores my hope in humanity.
It really, really does.  I mean, how many of the donators has Dwija or her family even met in real life? One... two... maybe more.  But, you get my point.  Mostly strangers, brought together through this amazing bloggy world by the Holy Spirit (there is no doubt in my mind, even if you don't believe in such things) to help our extended Christian family.
My heart wants to just burst with absolute excitement.

So, I can't wait to see the reno of the laundry room!!  That money will also be able to help out in so many other ways once Dwij has to be on bedrest... most likely in the hospital.
Continued prayers for the fam, please!

~ 2 ~
On a more sad/tragic note... we had a weird night at the hospital.  We didn't get these patients, and without giving too much detail, please pray for 2 separate families that lost their children.
I never met them, but my heart broke for them.
Death is so hard when it's SO sudden and with children.
Please keep them in your prayers.

~ 3 ~
I am so thankful for the littles that I have in my life and seriously cherish the time that I have with them.  I am so blessed to have Zuzu right down the street so I can hug and get snuggles from practically any time I want. :)

Or have a little chat!

~ 4 ~
And of course spend time with my caaaautie patootie niece, Charlotte!!
When I heard her say "Aunt Den" for the first time... I think I almost died from my heart bursting with joy!  It is just adorable.
Some pool time!
Some PlayPlace time!
Annnnd the only pic we have together.
She still sizes me up. :)
~ 5 ~
I didn't feel like running yesterday... so I did Jillian's cardio kickbox again.
Let me tell you... I sweat like crazy with that workout.  Holy moly!
It felt good, though.
AND, I ran 2.91 miles this morning!!!  SO CLOSE TO THREE!
It's the longest I have run so far.  Amazing.
Thank you for those who happened to say a few prayers for all that.  I seriously think it's what is keeping me going.  B/c in my head this really isn't happening... but my body just goes.
It just runs. #socrazy

~ 6 ~
So, then somehow I have let Mart convince me to run a 5k on July 4th.
Yes... in 5 days.  I will be running a 5k.
An official 5k that you run and have to get "packet" for.
Holy crap.  Seriously.  What is happening?
I am kind of excited... a little nervous.
I almost ran that today... I know that I can do it.
But, the whole running-in-an-official-race-for-the-first-time-EVER thing is juuuuust a wee bit intimidating.  
Ok, deep breath.
I can do it.

~ 7 ~
And maybe another few prayers?
It's kinda werid... um, b/c it's about my acne.
I have been trying the Oil Cleansing Method (found via Stephanie), and while I know any new skin care routine takes time to work, I really haven't seen much improvement at all.  I am not giving up, I will keep plugging along for a while.

But, b/c my acne is hormonal, it has to be something within that changes.  I have heard/read many a thing about changing your diet.  Namely, removing all things dairy.
... I love cheese.  And ice cream.  And NUTELLA.  And anything else that is awesome and yummy.
So, I ask for prayers to give me the courage to really try this out.  I am slowly taking away some dairy things in my house (by which I mean eat all the things) and then just NOT buy anything else.  

So... here goes nothing. :)

(BTW, I mention the 5K and changing my diet on this here blog b/c it will hold me accountable   So if in a few weeks you happen to think, oh hey Jen mentioned something on her blog about that 5k or diet change, I wonder how it's going.  And then you ask me... I will have to tell you.  I can't lie.  Ok, well, I guess I could.  Ohmygosh... hush, Jen.  You are tired and need to SLEEP!)

Thanks, Jen, as always for allowing me to link up late in the game!! :)
Have a joyous and fun weekend!

[NAS] What I L-O-V-E About Being Single

Hey hey errrrrybody! :)

Ok, yes.  We don't always like being single.  A lot of times we just want to be married/in our communities/etc and be done with this season of our lives.  Right???

Duh.  BUT!  (There's always a but...)

There are SO many things that are great about being single!!  Really!!

Here is what I like best:

I have been so incredibly blessed with all of the traveling that I have done.
The big trips I took in high school in college/right after college somehow don't count here.
Since I have been working, and a somewhat grownup, I have been all over the country (a lot of it was for work).  I have a pretty flexible work schedule so it makes having long weekends easy to hop on a plane or in my car to visit my friends and family!

I have also been out of the country quite a few times...
Dominican Republic for a service trip

Guam to see Morgan and Chris

Honduras, as we all know by now (and if you don't check my tab above or here for my recent posts about it),


Annnnnd most recently, Italia!! :)

I think it's easy to say, if I was married and had the babes... it wouldn't be impossible but I can't say for certain that I would have been able to go to ALL THE PLACES! :)

Time for myself, time for others.
Whatever I want, really.
If I want to take time to work more hours, I can.
If I want to sleep in, I can.
If I want to read, relax, go on a run, spend time at the beach, I can just do it.
I don't have to worry about planning around someone else's schedule (of course this is all related to my work schedule and such... I hope that's implied!).

I like my space... I am a product of being an only child and with that comes with having a hard time sharing my space.  Now, I don't think I am horrible at it, I do hear horror stories about people not being able to do it at all, BUT I really enjoy having my own space.
To put things where I want them.
To do the dishes how I like.
To clean the bathroom the way I feel it should be cleaned.
To leave my clothes on the floor if I want.
To walk around in a towel if I so desire ( I suppose that won't have to change when I am married... ;)).
I don't have to worry about the house looking a mess when it's just me and my stuff.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most spontaneous person, but I can just get up and go if I need to do something.
Realize I forgot something at the grocery store? Go!
Someone calls and invites me over right now? Go!
Kind of with the time thing... I want to go to the beach, on a run, go shopping, etc, I don't have to check in with my hubby (or mother superior! ha) or get the baby ready... I can just go!

What do (did) you love about being single?!  Same things... something different?  Share it!

Next Week:
What can you work on NOW to prepare you for your marriage/life in community?
(prayer? giving of your time more? hanging around kids to see if you can envision your life with them? It will be different for all of us. Pray and really reflect what things you need to work on so you can serve your hubby/community the best way you can.)

***Help!  Morgan and I would like some feedback!  How do you think things are going?! Are the topics good?  Too surface or need to go deeper?  Is the frequency ok (meaning, is the every week posting cool, or should it change to every other, etc)?  Please be honest with us.  This isn't about us, and we want to be sure we are reaching out to all of you so we are ALL benefiting from this awesome series.  Please comment or email us!  Thank you soooooo much!!!***

Can you help??

Listen... I love helping people.  I really do... partly why I am nurse.

I have been following Dwija over at House Unseen for quite sometime... and I feel like I know her (I mean, isn't that what happens when you read blogs about people's lives?!).  She is hilarious, faithful and so incredibly positive.  It's truly inspiring.

I know many of you who read my blog may not follow her or even know who the heck she is, but please consider reading about what has been going on with her 6th babe in utero.  It's scary and intense and the doctors are offering her very little hope.  But, because Dwija is who she is... she has found hope!  She has found hope in Him and by so many others sharing their stories.  She is doing all she can to help keep her baby alive, all the while still being the best mom she can to her other kiddos, wife to her hubby and run their house!  It's a lot.  And she is just doing it.  Totally rocking it.

You know what would be super helpful?  If she didn't have to deal with her crazy laundry room.  I mean with a large family there has GOT to be a TON of flipping laundry.  Amiright?  It's hard to keep up with it in general, I am sure, but when you don't have a dryer or when water is leaking everywhere... things are that much more difficult.

So, the wonderful bloggy community is at it again thanks to Cari at Clan Donaldson.  Just a little fundraiser to help Dwij and her family in a small way with the laundry room.  Who knows what they will be able to do, but I know that anything will be helpful.

Please prayerfully consider helping the Borobia family with a wee bit of dinero (by clicking that link or the above links you will be taken to the Clan Donaldson blog where you will find the PayPal button to donate).  If you are unable, then pleasepleasepleaseplease say some prays for the babe.  And all of the Borobias.  It's completely affecting everyone. :)

And, thank you for listening and praying.
The End.

Quick Takes: Finally Home...

... in DC, that is. :)  I am so happy to be back... to see my dad, to be in a place that I am really familiar with, to see friends... and to see my bro/SIL/niece SO soon. :)

~ 1 ~
Yes, I miss this girl...
I mean, who wouldn't?!
 ~ 2 ~
BUT... I am home.
The weather is gorg.
My family is here.
This is home.

~ 3 ~
I just love the lake at my dad's...
It makes for a beautiful run.
I am really going to miss his house.  So crazy.

~ 4 ~
Ok... did you catch that I WENT ON A RUN... on VACATION!
Seriously... my mind is still blown that I am running.  I don't know if I can say that I am totally loving it, but I don't hate it.  And, I look forward to it.  So, there's that! :)

~ 5 ~
I think I have mentioned the National Harbor a few times before, but I just love it.
It's one of my favorite places.  I have watched it grow and grow over the years.  It's pretty bustling nowadays.  Yay!
 I met up with my sweet friend, Christine, for lunch at our normal spot... Rosa Mexicano!
Yummy food? Check. Amazing Sangria?? YES!

~ 6 ~
There is a Peeps store there!!  One of my fave stores, although I am not realllly a fan of Peeps.
These pens are awesome.  And, as a nurse... that is veryveryvery important.

~ 7 ~
 Annnnnd... a little Starbucks with my daddy.
Always... always there.
Phew!  I have been home for just over 24 hours and I've done a lot already!  I can't wait for the rest!! :)  Thanks Jen for hosting!!!  Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!!

NAS: Prayer!!

If you are new around these parts and have no idea what NAS (or Not Alone Series) is, please check out the tab above or click here.  And, welcome!!  I hope you stay awhile. :)

Also... I am still soooo amazed and humbled by the AMAZING posts you all have been writing.  I am just loving this series.  Remember, let us (Morgan and I) know if there is anything specific you want to discuss, or a topic that we may have touched on but you want to explore more.  Email/comment/tweet... whatevs)

Prayer, prayer, prayer. (this is in the tune of da da da... from the VW commercial back in the day.  I may be dating myself here... check this out if you have NO idea what I'm talking about.  And then you can feel free to laugh at me all you want.  I insist.)

Oooook... where were we??  Ah, yes.  Prayer.

A little chat time with the Lord.  A little reflection time.  A little time to put things back in perspective.  Provides you with a little more strength, grace and even courage.  You get a little closer and even fall more in love with the Lord.  You can sit quietly or sing loudly.  Say whatever is on your mind or a beautiful Hail Mary.


Sounds awesome, right??  Well, because it is.  There is nothing like having some really great prayer time.  We need it... God desires it.

Yet, I find that I fall short.  Almost.... all.of.the.time.

I am currently writing this at the spur of the moment, when I should be getting ready to sleep (I just got off work and work again tonight), with no clear goal in mind.  I have been putting this off, actually.  A few days ago I was thinking "I have NOTHING to say about this topic."  I am not an example of a strong woman of prayer.  I don't have much to add to this part of our conversation.  I've got nothing to bring to the table.  So, what did I do??

I went to adoration.  And it was perfect.

We have perpetual adoration ay my church.  So awesome!

I didn't last long.  I was distracted.  I was almost falling asleep.

But the Lord was there, truly present just letting me be me.  I was just chatting with Him (out loud... I was the only person there!) going in a million directions.  And He let me.  He wasn't trying to tell me anything profound (I mean, how could He?!  I hardly let Him get in a word!), He was glad I was there.  Just crazy, random, babble-mouth me.  We hadn't had this time together in a while, and He was just happy to have me.

And you know what I realized?  I don't have to be the perfect prayer warrior for you guys either.  I am just me.  That's what I have to bring to the table.  And, it's ok.  It's true.  I struggle with being consistent.  I struggle with bringing all of my worries, doubts, fears and even joys, thanksgivings and praises to Him.

That's just me.

Do I want to be better?  Yes.  I am going to try.  Well, obviously.  I have access to 24/7 adoration, and I am going to have some more dates with Him.  I am going to be more intentional with my morning prayers.  Will they always be long, drawn out and super awesome?  No.  But, will I put my whole heart into the prayers I do say?  You betcha.

I may even begpleadforce Mart and her hubby, Tom, to have some praise worship adoration, too. Because, you guys, that's my absolute fave.  I feel the Lord's presence sooooo much when I am singing and worshipping Him.  So, here's hoping they agree!

Please forgive me for not having something profound (do I ever reallllly have something profound?) to say about prayer.  I will keep praying for each of you.  I will... I promise. :)

Hey... all of you married or already-in-the-religious-life people out there... you can chime in, too! :)  What do you have to say about prayer?!  Please don't be afraid. ;) (hint hint... you can link up, too if you so desire.)

Next week's topic:
What I Love About Being Single!
(this is more light-hearted, so have fun with it!  Whatever you want, as always!)

Link-up this week is being hosted by the loverly Morgan.  Head on over to see her and see what everyone else is up to!  See ya next week!

7QTs: Daddy Edition

In honor of Father's Day this Sunday (and the fact that I don't really talk about my pops too often on here AND I won't actually be with him this year...), I thought I would dedicate this edition to all things Dad.  Funny memories and pictures. :) This is just a snippet of what's in my head.  I could go on and on, but that's not really fun for a lot of people.  Just me.  So, skip if you want, but you'll miss some cute baby pics of me! *see below right there*

1. One of my fave pics:
This just makes me smile.
2. Just hanging out in the snow...
Oh, dad... that hat.
3. Halloween one year...
Um, my dad thought it would be HILARIOUS to act like he was stabbed.
He went all out: waited until my mom was walking back to the house... cracked the door open, laid down, ripped a shirt, stuck a knife in there and smeared ketchup all.over.the.place.
Um, being 4 or 5... it was TERRIFYING.  Oh.my.gosh.
My mom was angry, my dad thought his planned worked brilliantly.
Thanks, Dad... 

4. Best cheerleader
I was on swim team growing up... from about 4ish all the way to college.
I looooooved it.  Maybe not all of the time, but it kept me busy, out of trouble and active.
And tan.  And my hair really, really blonde.  It was fab.
Anyway, I digress.
My dad was ALWAYS at my meets.  After I was 7 and he lived in VA, we would come every.single.Saturday.  He would lose out on Friday nights with me on his weekends, so he could come to my meets and cheer me on.  Sometimes he was pretty hard on me and I would get really annoyed with him, but it was all for my best interest.  He knew I could do it, I just needed an extra push.

5. Another fave pic:
I seriously think this pic sums up our relationship beautifully.
It makes me chuckle every time I look at it. :)
6. He rode on a bus for 8 hours in Honduras so he could see where I would be living.
This was the moment when I saw him for the first time after a month
in language school. We had a little vacay on Roatan before
heading to NPH.
One of THE best feelings of seeing family again.
After our vacay, we traveled to NPH where he just hung out and went with the flow as I was thrown into all things volunteering and learning about my new life.  He also hugged, listened, let me cry and offered advice as I was freaking out about this hugecrazymaybewrong decision I made about moving to Honduras for a year.

I know he was totally freaked out during my time in Honduras b/c I was getting sick all of the time and was struggling with quite a few things... he wanted me to come home, but never once projected his feelings onto me.  For a parent, that has got to be so hard: when you see your adult kid struggle, all you want to do is fix it, but can't do anything about it.

7. I love my dad.
He may drive me crazy sometimes...
But, he is my dad and I am so, so SO grateful for his unlimited love and support of all my ventures in life.  He is so silly and weird, makes me laugh, challenges me, encourages me and just wants the absolute best for his daughter.  I am seriously so blessed.

Daddy-o, I hope that you have such a wonderful, wonderful Father's Day!!  I wish we could hang out together, but darn life and jobs get in the way.  I will see you in LESS than a week, and I am just so flipping excited!  HUGS to you!!  I LOVE YOU!!!

And just a few more random pics...
We went swimming with dolphins when we were on Roatan!
Christmas 2012
We decided to bake cookies... it was incredibly random, but SO fun.
And, SO delicious. :)
Christmas 2012
Us, looking all cute and stuff. :)
Happy Father's day to all the dads out there!!  Have such a wonderful day with your kiddos doing what you love! :)

And, thanks to Jen for hosting these 7 Quick Takes, as always. :)

NAS: Discernment

Hey everyone!! :)  We are back for our second week... and it's all about discernment!  Anything you would like to chat about... let's do it.

Have you discerned your vocation?
How do you know?
What did you do?
How are you really sure that you are called to marriage, religious life or even staying single?

Gosh... we hear about this discernment thing all.of.the.time. in our Catholic bubbles, don't we??  We want to make sure that we are doing the Lord's will in all we do... so, we must discern it.  Go on a long term mission trip?  Discern it.  Change jobs?  Discern it.  Maybe move to a new place?  Discern it.  Your vocation?  Discern it.  I think you catch my drift.

The thing is... there is not ONE right way to discern.  It's so individual and so personal.

The most important and common denominator is that of prayer and having a close relationship with the Lord.

We cannot discern anything if we are not actively talking to the One that knows what we are supposed to be doing, right?  If you are not chatting with your BFF frequently, how are you supposed to know that you are meeting her for drinks on Friday?  You wouldn't.  The more you talk to her, the more the plans are revealed.  (is that a weird analogy?  Does it make sense?!  I hope so! haha)

So, first.  Solidify your prayer life.  Go to Mass on the regular... maybe even during the week.  Go to confession to help fill your heart and soul with more Grace so you will be able to see clearly.  Pray the Rosary (or start, if this isn't a habit for you yet).  Mary knows what is up with vocations... I mean... hello?!  She birthed Our Lord.  I think she understands where we are coming from more than anyone.

Wow, Jen... you seem to have your act together with this whole discernment thing.

HA! Pahhh-lease.  I talk a good game, but I don't always follow my own advice.  I fall short with my prayer all of the time... I always have time to go to Mass during the week and I choose not to.  I just went to confession over the weekend after quite a long stretch from the last time.  And, the Rosary... WHY can't I just pray it?  It really doesn't take that much of your time, Jen.

So, please don't think I am Ms. Perfect Catholic over here... I mean, there actually aren't any of those, unless you happen to be a reincarnation of Mary.  But, we don't believe in reincarnation... so there's that.

Ok, I digress.

So, how do I know that I am supposed to be married?  Well, for the sake of honesty... I am still not 100%.  I mean, I am like 99% sure.  I have prayed and chatted and prayed and chatted with the Lord about this, and I am pretty sure this is where He is leading me.

I went on a discernment retreat right after college with Carmelites in Los Angeles... and it was awesome.  But, I didn't feel any nudge towards the religious life.

In recent years I have really tried to put it all out there with God and really be open to the religious life.  Again with the honesty... I don't want to be a religious.  Part of me is still a wee bit scared that God wants that for me.  It's so countercultural.  It's such a radical life change.  My mom won't get her grandchildren.  And it scares the heck out me.  But, it's not about what I want.  It's about what the Lord's plan is for my life.

So, while I believe deep down that I am called to be a mom and a wife, it hasn't happened yet.  There is a chance that God is working on my heart so that His plan is fully revealed to me.  I have said to Him multiple times, though, "Listen, Buddy, you will need to be OBVIOUS about this.  Like, hit me upside the head if you want me to enter the religious life.  I don't do well will subtle hints.  Please, you gotta help a girl out, Lord."

I haven't gotten anything yet where I am like... "ohhhh!  there it is! :)  I am supposed to be in the religious life."  But, it could happen.  And right now, I think being open to it and keeping the communication going with God is what I am called to do right now.

As far as other practical things to help with discernment??  Hm, prayer. Yes.  Spiritual advisor, if you don't have one.  Don't know how to get one?  Talk with your parish priest or any priest that you are close with.  Your advisor doesn't have to be a priest, btw, it could be a religious, too.  Go on discernment retreats!  Read some books?  I don't have any good recs for that, however.  Do you?!  I could use some.

I will most definitely be praying for your discernment and that you will be able to hear and recognize the Lord's will in your life.  It's such a HUGE and important thing, we could use all of the prayers we can get!

And speaking of so many prayers... next week's topic is:
(What do you do?  How do you stay committed?  Fave way to pray? ANYTHING!)

Quick Takes (27)

I am so happy Jen allows for late submissions for these precious 7QTs.  It really does help this night shifter from having to plan wayyyyy ahead, ya know?  So, without further ado, let's get started!

I guess my blogging these days mostly consists of lists?
I hope you don't mind.
Oh, well with the exception of the Not Alone Series, but that's still a linkup!
Huh... I will try to work on that, promise.

Speaking of Not Alone Series (sorry I keeeeeep talkingggg abouttttt it.... but, it's new and still exciting, so I am allowed!), I am still so flippin' amazed at the incredible response we (Morgan and I) have been getting.  The ladies that have linked up, left comments, tweeted and retweeted or even gave us awesome shoutouts has been inspiring and encouraging.  I just can't help but get giddy about it. :)
God truly is at work here, and I pray that He continues to guide me in my writing, along with every other chick that participates.

I am running...
Sorry if you have seen this on Twitter already, but be warned that the world might be ending.
Or pigs are flying.
Or worms have ears.
I'm serious.
I am running... as in going on a run.
On a MILE (maybe longer?) run.
Annnnnd... I kind of like it.
It's weird. My mind is blown.

You see, my friend Colleen loves to run. Always has, and if it weren't for her darn knee, she would still BE running (btw, would you say a quick prayer that her knee does get better!!).
Martha discovered a love for running when she was in law school.  She tells me all the time how it's just amazing and it's more of a mental game vs a physical thing.
I would always nod and agree... yes, yes of course, and think, 'ha, not for me! I would die.'
My friend Morgan (not from NAS-Not Alone Series, by IRL friend who I actually haven't seen in real life in foreverrrrr) just loves to be active and work out.  The gym is her friend.

And then there is me.  I was never one to enjoy running (despised it, avoided it at all costs) or really going to the gym.  Ugh.  I was an avid swimmer growing up and a bit in college... and then just kind of left all of that.  I would have my moments of going to the gym frequently but then stopped.  I had a trainer for a while and stopped that.

And now... now I have no idea.
I guess it has a lot of something to do with losing weight with WW and having energy.  And, wanting to really succeed at losing weight for the first time in my life.  And wanting to be OUTSIDE SO IT GIVES ME HOPE THAT THE SUN WILL COME BACK TO SWFL!

Whatever it is... I am going to ride this wave as long as I can.
Please pray for me!  I really just want to stay active and get my butt back in shape.
Thank you!!
[end longest take ever... now.]

I have no pics to share for this edition of 7QTs b/c I used all of them for my Five Faves.
Then I worked the last 2 nights.... so, I can't go around taking pics of things/patients b/c that would be both boring and illegal.

So, I keep forgetting and then remembering
I am so excited to see my family!!
My brother, Em and my niece, Charlie are will be coming, too!!!!!
And my new niece, in utero, as well (obvio)!!
I can't wait, I can't wait.

Baby in a halo AND saying hi!! :)
Hahaha.... video chatting with these two!! :)
Yes, I know that we live thisclose, but it's still fun.

Well, that's about it in these parts.  Thanks to Jen for being the most gracious host.  Visit her for more fun!!!  Have such a happy weekend!


1. Babies in hampers.
I will never (eva eva) get sick of this kid. Ever.

2. A clean room.
Such a breath of fresh air ya know?!
Yes, that is a Nemo blanket you see there.
It was made for me by a friend my freshman year in college for Christmas.
Sweet, right?
 3. NEW KICKS!!!
My old ones were... just bad.  B/c I have been getting a bit more active lately, I needed better, more comfy shoes.  And these are SO PRETTY to boot!

4. New cut and color!!!!!
There is just something so magical about getting your hair done and then LOVING IT.
A little more confidence.  A little more bounce in your step.
I really need to work on not waiting EIGHT MONTHS to get my hair highlighted.
It ends with 3.5 hours at the flippin' salon. Oy.
4. Not Alone Series.
EEEEK!!! I cannot not express how excited I (and Morgan, too!) am about the response we have been getting.  It's so reaffirming to know that there are more ladies out there feeling like I am.  I am so happy that Morgan and I decided to just do this.
God has great things in store, I can just feel it.

Is this a plug? Maybe.. but it's my blog, so I can do what I want, yo.
Don't know what I am talking about... read my intro here.
Haven't decided if you want to link up, there is still time!
It's open for the next few days, so DO IT!!
Head on over to Morgan's to get it done. :)

Thanks to Hallie for hosting, as always!  Please visit her for more fun!

Not Alone Series: Intro!

Oh my gosh.  It's starting!!!  All this talk Morgan and I have had about doing a series together is actually happening.  Eeeeeeeee!!!  YAY!!!  [Ok ok, Jen, calm down with the exclamation points.]

I would like to say, first, please pray for the words I, Morgan and any other lady that participates in this series writes.  Please pray that they support, encourage, challenge, inspire, love, remind us of God's love and even make us laugh.  I pray they may touch the heart of at least one other lady who is single, feeling lonely and remind her that she is most definitely: not alone.

Alrighty... so, hello!  Welcome.  Especially those that may be visiting for the first time!  You will soon realize that I am not the best writer, have the most amazing things to say or am even a really great blogger.  But, I'm completely me.  I have said this before; I started my blog to keep my family and friends abreast of my travels... then it became my journal... and now it's just... everything.  I write about anything in my life: faith, friends, the cute kids I know, frustrations, excitements, worries and prayers.  Nothing is really off limits, and I love it.  I have "met" so many awesome people, and learned so many incredible things.  It has been a really great experience.

Ok, great, Jen... so, why do you want to start this Not Alone Series???  

Welp... I am 28, prettttttttty darn sure that I am called to marriage and I am still single.

Over the last few years, I have felt like I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT IS NOT MARRIED YET!  With 75% (literally. I just did the math.) of my closest friends married... I think it's clear to see where I am coming from.

It's easy (sooooo easy) to go down the road of Am I weird? I must be doing something wrong. Am I really called to marriage? Will I EVER get married? 

Have you been there??  It's not very fun, right?  It's the perfect environment for the freaking devil to get all up in our heads and make us feel like we are crazy, to make us doubt, to believe that there is something wrong with us, that we are unworthy and that we are all alone.  And it's simply not true.

I have already met so many people through this crazyawesome blogging world.  So many other sweet, fantastic single ladies.  And you know what?  THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY!!!

Whoa.  I am not really alone.  And neither are you.  

THAT is why I want to do this series.  I want there to be a bigger, badder, awesomer community of strong, independent, beautiful, God-fearing women who desire to grow in holiness until the day they walk down the aisle or make vows into a religious community.  We are in this together.  Let's tell each other that.  The stories.  The hurt.  The heartache.  The joy.  The adventures.  Everything.

No matter if you are 21 or 33... we are in this weird state in life that no one really understands but us (ok, yes, those who were single previously).  So, let's talk about it!  How do we discern our vocation?  How do we enjoy our life right now, in this moment, even if you know you are supposed to be married?  How do we meet guys?  Are there ways to keep our minds from always wandering to the future?  How can we get better at prayer?  Keeping the Lord close during this time?

See where I am going??  I don't have the answers to all of these.  Shoot!  I still struggle with confidence.  Plus, I don't really have a track record for dating (um, maybe 2 boyfriends in my life so far...).  But, I am pretty confident that the Lord's will for my life is to be a wife and mom.  I trust Him.  Some days that is wayyyyyyyy harder to do than others.  I am not perfect.  But, I want to know what works for YOU, so that I can be inspired and encouraged.

I am sure that I will reveal a whole lot more about myself throughout this series.  But, if you really want to know a little something extra, check out my about section or take a gander through other parts of this here bloggity blog.

I can't wait to "meet" you all!  Please, email me (jennifercox.rn at gmail.com) or comment below if you have questions OR have an idea of a topic to write about!

Next Week:
(How? Why? What is your vocation? How do you know? Anything!!!)

See you next week!

Please head on over to Morgan's to link up!!  We will be sharing the hosting, and she's up first! Plus, don't you want to read her intro?  I thought so.  Now, go!!
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