Dec 27, 2009

Flapjack

Last week Tim and I ventured out to Broken Bow to hear his dad preach. The whole morning was an experience in itself. This tiny little church had thrown together a make-shift Christmas pageant filled with a sleepy Mary, awkward angels, and a snotty nosed, wandering lamb. It was adorable.

But this best part of the day came later, after we realized that Tim's dad was stranded at the building without keys to the van. Tim and I drove back out to the church and upon our arrival we met this little guy...



Meet Flapjack. And no, I didn't take him home. Although, I seriously considered it. Tim and his Dad had to convince me that the collar around his neck was a certain sign that he had a home. Goodness, I loved him. If you know me at all, you know that there are two things that I have a hard time saying no to- babies and puppies.



We went back today. Sadly, there was no sign of Flapjack. I like to think he's curled up with his owner, celebrating the holidays with a new bone.

Hoping your Christmas was merry and bright,
Cara Linn

Dec 16, 2009

University House

Monday night, a photographer from Harding Magazine came over to get some pictures of me and my fellow housemates for an upcoming article about our unique living arrangements.

For those of you who don't know, I currently live in the President of HU's old house (the "University House") with ten other ladies. It has been an amazing experience and I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity.

Here are some of the pictures from the shoot. Hopefully I can get additional pictures of the house on here soon. Enjoy!










Dec 14, 2009

Heartache

I can't stop thinking about Wendi tonight. She's young, beautiful, passionate- the kind of mom I'd love to be. Her precious Cecilia is three and one the most delightful little girls I've ever met. The last time I saw either of them was this summer when I went back to visit Crosstown. And now it's hard for me to comprehend that Wendi is lying helpless in a hospital bed away from her baby girl. I can't wrap my brain around it.

Pray. I don't care that you don't know them or have finals to study for or don't do "that sort of thing." She needs it. They both do.



http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/wendimurrell

brought to my knees by the reminder of how fragile life is,
Cara Linn

Dec 13, 2009

All I Want For Christmas...

I've been asked recently about what I want for Christmas. Here are a few suggestions for curious minds...

1. The following Donald Miller books. I have read a few of them, but would love to own them!





2. Any Eric Carle book- They are perfect for pre-schoolers and I adore them!






3. I have lots of things coming up that require me to look good in a dress or costume. This would really help that cause!




4. Any type of gift card (Target, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, etc.)


Hope this helps.

I also love hugs, flowers, and food. All three will gladly be accepted as gifts.


hoping I don't sound greedy or selfish,
Cara Linn

Dec 7, 2009

My only sunshine...

After a rip-roaring kareoke/cookie/cocoa choir party this afternoon I was feeling as if this Monday couldn't get any better. I had woken up early, made a fresh pot of coffee, caught an episode of Private Practice, managed to look decently cute, got to chapel ON TIME, got to see Haley Jane, impressed my Educare teacher, called Tim to say hello and saw LINZI LAWSON on my way to choir, and then enjoyed 45 minutes of good company mixed with classic kareoke hits. (Favorites from today: "My Girl" and "It's not Unusual")

Couldn't get any better, right?

Wrong.

As I walking down the stairs, precious wool coat and mustard yellow purse in tow*, I heard an older man walking behind me. To himself, but with the pep of a much younger gent, he was singing "You Are My Sunshine." My steps slowed because of the joy that filled my entire body. A seemingly insignificant passing of a stranger in the Reynolds made my already wonderful day that much better.

*Something about those two accessories boost my confidence in a way I can't describe

This weekend provided much needed rest and company. Friday was Sally's birthday. A big group of us headed to Little Rock for dinner at The Flying Fish. Great food, great people. I loved the atmosphere.



See! Flying Fish!

Kim came over afterwards and we knocked out a good chunk of "How I Met Your Mother" season 4. If you have never seen this show, you are missing out. Props to Nick and Jenny for getting me hooked on it.

Saturday afternoon, after sleeping in (praise!), Neely suggested sushi for lunch. I don't know how familiar you might be with my habits, but I am physically unable to say "no" to sushi. After throwing on some clothes, I rode with Neely to the wonderful Sushi Cafe. (Props to Searcy for feeding my addiction through cheap sushi)





Isn't the wasabi leaf precious?

Kim came over again Saturday night and we finished the 2nd disc of "HIMYM," Season 4. We made cocoa and ate sugar cookies. It was a great end to the evening.

Sunday afternoon was the BOX "Amazing Race" function. This was, by far, the most enjoyable function I have ever been to. We were on teams of 8 couples and spent the entire afternoon racing around Searcy doing everything from chugging blended pizza and orange juice to rock climbing. Long story short, my team won! Each "couple" got a $15 gift card to MacAlesters. Yeah! I'm all about free food!



This was when we were at the Rock Gym. Alex and I got out of climbing. :) I was kind of sad.

On another note, Sunday marked the first day of my "eat better" effort. No more fried foods or soda. Surprisingly, Tim agreed to give up soda, too. That'll definitely help! Anyone want to start going to the gym with me?

This week is "dead" week. For most students, however, it is more like "death week." My thoughts are with you, fellow students. For those who are lucky enough to miss out on the joys of last minute projects, assignments, and tests- pray for the rest of us. :)

feeling good,
Cara Linn

Dec 3, 2009

Heartbreak Hotel

Our house is full of broken hearts tonight. I wish that I could cure them with molten chocolate cake and sparkling grape juice (Remember that night Amy Kelly?) but I can't. Heartbreak doesn't work that way. My prayer for them is that God will remind them, through friends and blessings, that HE is truly the only one they need and that HIS love will do more than suffice.

Aside from all of that mess, today was a great day. Work was good, but the whole being sore thing made playing with the kids kinda tough. I finished the Christmas tree and added a snowman. I had the kids put glue and glitter on snowflakes for a final touch of bling.



My kids are so creative. Today when we were in the "big play room" one of my little girls was experimenting with miniature traffic cones. She made them gloves, shoes, and finally a hat.



They are also very tender-hearted. Today, I got down the baby dolls for them to play with. Normally, they will hold one for a minute and then abandon it for another toy. However, they wanted to feed the babies, rock them, burp them, and simply love on them this time. It was adorable.



Precious!

I joined Netflix today. Can't decide if it was the best or worst decision of the week. What's at the top of my list, you ask? Desperate Housewives, season 2. Judge accordingly.

It's almost 1am and I still have a load of laundry to do. At least I finished my paper. Suppose I'll Skype with the bf to pass the time. Can't think of a better way.

Tonight I am thankful for the beautiful ladies on the floor in my living room studying/sitting with me. I live with amazing young women. Which reminds me- I will post pictures of our Christmas decor soon.

sore, but thankful for opportunity,
Cara Linn

Dec 2, 2009

Beloved...

What a dreary, rainy day! I was completely unprepared and ended up choosing the worst shoe/jean combination for the downpour outside. And the combination of cold wind, horrible Harding sidewalks, and a faulty (yet adorable) umbrella made for a very uncomfortable day. Actually, the discomfort was mainly the soreness from ensemble auditions/callbacks. My whole body aches. I have yet to decide if sitting, standing, or walking is more comfortable. Unfortunately, all three options aren't pleasant experiences. The pain is totally worth it though. And, if anything, it's a subtle reminder that I need to start working out again.

Case in point: This was my lunch today...



Chikfila nuggets, Salt&Vinegar chips, a cookie, and green tea... Really, Cara? Really? I am ashamed. Oh, well. My tummy was happy. And a happy tummy means a happy... um... yea, I got nothing. Another subtle reminder, I suppose.

Random Cara fact: I recently noticed that I have a tendency to try and keep the things I love the most closest to me.

How so? Take a look at my night stand:



Coffee maker, a note from a good friend, Camelback water bottle, lavender candle and bed spray, "happy" meds (or so my father calls them), a mug of hot Dr. Pepper, my iPod, and a picture of me and the boy who, for some reason beyond my understanding, loves me-- just little reminders that life is good, I guess.

I'll leave you with lyrics to the song currently playing on my iPod. Pretty powerful stuff, I'd say.

Beloved, Derek Webb

beloved, these are dangerous times
because you are weightless, like a leaf from a vine
and the wind has blown you all over town
because there is nothing holding you to the ground
so now you would rather be a slave again than free from the law
beloved, listen to me
don't believe all that you see
and don't you ever let anyone tell you
that there's anything that you need
but me
beloved, these are perilous days
when your culture is so set in it's ways
that you would listen to salesmen and thieves
preaching other the truth you received
because they are telling lies
for they cannot circumcise your heart
beloved, listen to me
don't believe all that you see
and don't you ever let anyone tell you
that there's anything that you need
but me
beloved, there is nothing more
no more blessing
no more reward
than the treasure of my body and blood
given freely to all daughters and sons
beloved, listen to me
don't believe all that you see
and don't you ever let anyone tell you
that there's anything that you need
but me

loved and blessed immensely by a jealous God,
Cara Linn

Drum roll, please...



Here's to a third year with an amazing group of people! I'm a little sad that a few names weren't on there, but it's out of my hands. It's a solid group and I'm ready to start working!

Spring Sing 2010: INTERNATIONAL
April 2-4

Be there!

Dec 1, 2009

The devil is a cheeseburger...

Today was a pretty fantastic day. My kiddos at the preschool make getting up super early worth it. Precious Kennedi ran to give me a hug this morning. It warms my heart when her mom tells me about Kennedi's "Miss Cara" stories and how I'm her favorite. I suppose some of our little ones were sick today. We had a relatively small class, which made it much easier to manage. I started construction on our Christmas tree for the wall. However, it is quite the work in progress- I'll save pictures for when it looks better.

I will share this lil' gem however. While reading to one of my little girls this morning, I found this picture...



So much for teaching modesty, I suppose. And this was part of the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" book. =/

Another highlight of my work day?



Getting to love on precious Casey for a little bit. :) Watching his sweet mama put him to sleep made my heart swell his morning. It also made me excited about being a mama one day. (Not for a LONG time, mind you) Jessie is seriously an amazing mom and I hope that I'm half as cool as she is when my time comes.

As usual, I took my Tuesday afternoon nap when I got home from work.

Spring Sing Ensemble callbacks were tonight. SO MUCH FUN. I'm sore from last night, but after tonight I might just keel over. I loved every minute of it. Something about being on stage fuels me. I thrive on it. Fingers crossed for a third year in ensemble! There were some super talented folks up there tonight, though. We'll see.


Unfortunately, I sacrificed yet ANOTHER pair of tights to the Benson stage. That puts the count up to three.



Molly and I were exhausted after callbacks, but after I remembered that I hadn't eaten dinner we decided to make a Sonic run.



1. I need to stop forgetting to eat dinner.
2. Temptation, for me, comes in the form of a supersonic cheeseburger with jalepenos.
3. I guess I'll be working out tomorrow. =/

One last thing- I love Christmas lights. Seriously. I squeal like a little girl when I see them.



This picture is awful bc it's from my phone. However, the lights on campus are fantastic. :)

here's to Christmas lights and cheeseburgers,
Cara Linn

Nov 30, 2009

End of November...

Christmas time makes me happy. Coming home to a decorated Christmas tree and a fireplace donned with eleven personalized stockings last night was the best start of the Christmas season. If Christmas break ends up half as good as Thanksgiving break, I will be a very happy girl.

The first weekend of Thanksgiving break included a trip to OKC, catching the end of my bff's concert at Starbucks, quality time with Tim, enjoying lunch with Unbound (+ Will), road tripping to Tulsa with said bff, watching Megan Reese become Megan Stephens, loving on the Conklin family, going to church with my grandparents, accompanying them to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma to see a tabernacle recreation, and seeing my Dad. Much to my delight and surprise, my dad brought a little something with him...




MY WONDERFUL NEPHEW!

The next few days were spent having fun with him and my amazing boyfriend.






On Wednesday, Tim and I headed to Dallas to meet up with is family. It was an amazing drive. Even being stuck in traffic was enjoyable. The weather was perfect, so we rolled down the windows and Tim played guitar. So fun! I really love being with him. We have such a great time together. For example:

We bought a disposable camera and took random pictures throughout the week. I'm excited to get them developed.

After eating lunch with the Giddens crew, I headed to Mesquite to sleep before heading to Waco the next morning. It was wonderful seeing my mom's side of the family. (especially my precious cousins, Hayven and Addison) They're beautiful.




That's Addison. She is two and absolutely precious.

Thursday night I drove to Brownwood to be with Tim's family. Such a fun group of people. They were super welcoming and I felt right at home with them. Plus- there were babies and puppies there. I was a very happy girl. I spent Thursday and Friday night there with the Giddens and then Tim and I headed to Dallas on Saturday morning. We met up with my parents, brother, and nephew. This was Tim's first time to meet my mom and brother. I think it went well. :) Mom and Dad really seem to love him. After an amazing lunch at Le Madeline, we headed back to OKC.

Tim had listened to the audio book for "The Road" and was super excited about the movie, so we decided to see it Saturday night once we got back to OKC. It was a good movie, but very depressing. I would recommend it, but prepare yourself. You will leave feeling dead inside.

Sunday morning we went to church with my grandparents again, enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Johnny Carino's, and then headed to the emergency clinic. =/ Poor Tim had an awful boil on his side that wasn't getting better, so after some convincing, he agreed to get it checked out. After getting some antibiotics, we went back to my grandparents to nap before I had to go back to Searcy.

That's basically break in a nutshell.

Oh, I guess I should share this minor detail...



He loves me. :) And I love him. As he put it, he "dropped the 'L' word" this past week. I couldn't be happier. He's such a wonderful addition to my life and I'm so excited to see where God takes this relationship.

peace, love, and elephants,
Cara Linn

Nov 9, 2009

Blessed

I wish I had a mind to update this more often. Not because it's in high demand or because people are dying to know about my life, but simply because it's therapeutic.

The past four months have been a whirlwind. I look back on them with mostly smiles and a grateful heart. No doubt, I am completely blessed. God has put amazing new people and some very welcomed familiar ones into my life recently and for that, I am thankful. The timing could not have been more perfect. I'm confident of that.

Why?

Because of the storm that hit two weeks ago.

I had found myself exhausted, apathetic, and unmotivated. For those of you who know me, those are quite the opposite of my normal, high-spirited self. After several days of doing nothing but lying in bed, skipping classes, and having a few panic attacks, I finally decided to go to the doctor. Diagnosis? Anxiety and depression.

Is it ridiculous that I thought myself immune to such a thing? I'm the "normal" one in my family. The unmedicated, completely happy-on-her-own-with-no-need-for-medication one. Truth is, I'm not.

Luckily, Dr. J is fantastic and spent a good amount of time explaining that this whole thing has nothing to do with who I am as a person. I had assumed I was to blame for the situation entirely. However, Dr. J explained to me serotonin levels and how whatever is going on in my brain has nothing to do with me as a competent, normal human being. I am now going through the process of figuring out and adjusting to medication. There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel, I know it.

I have to brag on Tim a bit here. He has been such a trooper through this whole experience. Honestly, I was terrified to tell him about this mess at first. Who needs/wants to have to deal with a "crazy" girlfriend? Much to my amazement, he not only took the news well, but has done everything in his power to make me happy. In fact, there have been a few times where he has gotten up super early just to call me to make sure I am up for class and have taken my meds. I truly am blessed. He is an amazing guy.

Sep 28, 2009

A Part of That

Thanks to some encouragement and persuasion from my dear friends, I finally mustered up the courage to audition for Spring Sing Hostess last night. And, lo and behold, I made call backs. I can't quite wrap my brain around it. Part of me is freaking out. Another part is swelling with a type of confidence I've never experienced before. I keep telling myself "Not my will. Not my will." Truth be told, I want it. I would love to be hostess. Standing on a stage in front of LITERALLY thousands of people doing the thing I love most? Check, please! I've wanted this kind of spotlight since I was four and singing for my family from the fireplace. However, I've gotten so used to being back up, that I don't really know how to feel about wanting this type of thing. I think I'd convinced myself that while I was talented, I was never that talented. We will see. At this point I'm completely honored to even have made it this far. Call backs are tonight @ 7:30. Whew. Nothing to lose, I suppose.

Sep 22, 2009

724 days later...

I had literally forgotten about this blog. In fact, I started a NEW one on Word Press not too long ago thinking, "Why haven't I done this before?" Call it old age or pure memory loss, but stumbling upon this little diddy provided a pretty decent laugh. My last entry was 724 (1 year, 11 months, and 22 days) ago. Then, I was but a sophomore, new to Harding. The boy I swore I was going to marry was in Greece and I spent my time wishing his return and planning our seemingly inevitable nuptials. Boy, did I have it wrong! I was young, naive, and far too wrapped up in the lie Christian Universities feed students concerning love and marriage. (I will save that rant for another entry, I'm sure)

And here I am now. A senior. SENIOR. I repeat it, merely because my brain cannot fully fathom the concept. I have been in college for 3, going-on 4, years. Granted, I will not graduate until December of 2010. Still, this all seems so surreal. The aforementioned boy is no longer in the picture. My major has changed. I'm living in a house with ten amazing girls. More surprising, I have learned more about myself in the past two years than I ever imagined I would. I say "surprising" because back then (previous entries) I thought I had it all figured out. My plans were set and while I acknowledged God's authority, I neglected to see HIS plans. Thankfully, He stepped in and changed my path completely.

For simplicities sake, I will be deleting my Wordpress account and returning to this one. (Mainly because this one is easier to navigate)
Happy blog stalking, friends!