September 16, 2013

I’m at fault of going through each day thinking nothing will change. That tomorrow will be like today. That I’ll go to work, to school, back to work, and then home to study and sleep. The monotony of life’s routines traps us in the ideal that things will stay the same.

On this day, 1 year ago, 12 people were killed and 8 were wounded. 20 people were simply walking through their daily routine, and suddenly… things changed.

Maybe it’s not change through a incomprehensible, senseless tragedy like a shooting.

Maybe it’s news that the cancer is in remission, or it’s the stray dog that you decided to bring home, or the coworker who brought cupcakes.

Remember. Things change. Every day is new, so treat it like such. Be observant, be thankful, be loving. Because as cliche as it may be, tomorrow really isn’t promised.

— Praising God today for my dad’s safety during The Navy Yard shooting & praying for those mourning today’s losses. I can never forget the magnitude of the emotions I felt that day (& to think that I was 1000 miles away and knew my family was all safe…) I can’t imagine the experiences and memories other’s have from this day. —

– Alyssa

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Bridesmaids Boxes

It may be a little corny & the execution may have been amateur… But this summer I put together boxes to “pop the question” to each of my bridesmaids. Overall, I’m pleased with how they came out. I’ve attached some pictures below πŸ™‚

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Gulf Shores, Alabama

Every year The Bradley’s take a vacation & this summer the annual Bradley Family vacation was in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We went the last week of June & I am beyond thankful that it landed between my summer terms, because boy oh boy did I need a break!!

I’ve always said I don’t like the beach, and although I’m not a huge fan, I was impressed with Gulf Shores (vs Jax Beach where I grew up)… The sand was soft and white and the water was fairly clear, so that made it way more enjoyable than what I was picturing in my head!

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Unfortunately, I’ve waited nearly 2 months since vacation to write this, so the details aren’t up to par. But oh well! I know we had tons of fun and ate way too much food, which are the most important parts of vacation, right? Right!!

I am so beyond thankful for the Bradley’s… that they have welcomed me in to their family and treat me like one of their own! I’m a lucky girl! πŸ™‚

-Alyssa

Taegan Faye

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Everyone, meet Taegan Faye Shaw. The newest addition to our family (well come October anyways)… My parents first grandchild & my first niece. She is spoiled rotten already & loved more than I thought my heart capable. That is until I get to see her sweet face for the first time, see her first smile, hear her first laugh… & the love just grows and grows.

I wish I could be around to see her as often as I get to see my nephew, Colt. It’s upsetting that I won’t get to be there and watch her learn new things every single day. Hopefully Ty & Tera send lots of pics and videos because I’ll never get tired of them! πŸ™‚

I can’t imagine the love I will have for my own children one day & I know I won’t be able to even fathom that love until the day comes. But I know how much I love Colt and how much I love Taegan & I know it will only be greater!

Oh, how I cannot wait!!!

-Alyssa

Made It

Y’all. I made it.

Summer classes are done. Internship is done. Check. And check.

I finally feel like I can breath again.
The rest of August is crammed with traveling. Indiana, Maryland & Georgia. But not complaints here! I can’t wait to get on the road (and in the air) and see people and family that I haven’t seen in years. I know I’ll be ready for my own bed by September, but boy am I excited to get going!

So be prepared for more posts from me. I’ve missed updating & writing!

Many of these initial posts will be about things that have happened this summer that I didn’t get the chance to write about. Hope you don’t mind! πŸ˜‰

-Alyssa

Emotional

Early June I was able to attend the wedding of my wonderful friend, Taylor. Though Mother Nature was fighting back via vicious thunderstorm (that left Taylor none to pleased as people scrambled to move her outside ceremony in)… the wedding was beautiful.

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But it’s here I learned what I should have already known… I’m a wreck. A complete emotional wreck. And I have no idea how I will make it through my own wedding without ugly crying.

While Taylor is a good friend, I haven’t know her very long & I don’t even know her now husband, yet I could not keep it together.

Vows? Cried.
First Dance? I teared up.
Father daughter dance??? Forget it.

I think I embarrassed Matt & maybe now he is a little more concerned about what he is getting himself into… (haha!!)

Better find someone who is willing to be in charge of make up touch ups throughout my wedding day & some dang good waterproof mascara, that’s all I’m saying.

-Alyssa

Miss Frizzle

I’m currently sitting in the office of Russellville Tire… A common place to find me on Wednesday’s in between my 2 classes.

Oh poor Miss Frizzle. Since “passing” the initial inspection, she has had a CV Axle & strut replaced. It still makes an awful noise in the front left wheel area when you turn really sharp and it pulls hard to the right. Like can’t take your hand off the wheel unless you wanna make friends with the ditch, pulls hard to the right… I mean, overall, she runs fine I guess. The engine didn’t have any damage. I think if we could just get these kinks figured out, we’d be set. Until then I guess I’ll be a regular here.

It amazes me that the car wasn’t totaled, especially with this additional work required. If they value the car at 14,000, I think the total mark would be 9,800. The initial cost of repairs was literally $11.02 from 9k. It’s hard for me to believe that a CV axle, new strut, numerous alignments, and at least 6 additional hours of labor doesn’t put me dang close to that mark. AND we still have to figure out what’s causing the noise and for it to pull so hard…

It’s frustrating that the resale value is down the toilet now. It’s frustrating that we pay insurance every month, but I still have scratches from the wreck in numerous places on my car. It’s frustrating that I have to spend my days sitting in an auto shop months after the wreck…….. But I guess that’s what I get for opening my potato chips & driving distracted. Lol

Ohhhh poor Miss Frizzle.

-Alyssa

Busy

“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.” If you know me very well at all, you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that I just started a blog post with a quote from Willy Wonka.

But forreal, excuse me while I throw myself a small (extravagant) pity party.

I. Am. Exhausted.

This summer is a kicking my butt already. Like running a marathon, drowning, being buried alive… Ya know, I think you get the idea. I can’t seem to catch my breath.

Internship from 8-1, A&P from 1:30-6:30 Mon-Thurs, & a class on Wednesday mornings from 7:30-9:10.

Why did I do this to myself?

There are so many things going on in my head and in my life that I want to write about, I just have to make some time.

-Alyssa

Colt

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The love I have for this little man is amazing. I love watching him grow and discover new things every single day. This picture is right after waking up from a nap. Legs stretched out onto Aunt Alyssa’s lap…. Man! Life. Is. Hard. πŸ˜‰

Home

“Or maybe we’ll make a home somewhere inside of ourselves, to carry it with us wherever we go.” – Tris, Insurgent

While reading Insurgent on my flight from DC to Little Rock I found this quote & I love it. At the risk of sounding outrageously corny this quote “spoke to me”.

“Home” is Camden County, Georgia. Where every street holds a memory of my childhood. Where school hallways echo with the sounds of the years I spent there. Where I created paper chains to count down the days until my dads return from his deployment. Where the ball fields that I spent countless days begrudgingly watching my brother play baseball are, days that I would love to have back. The same ball field where I developed my own love for every aspect of the game. Where friends were family, and Southeast Community Church was a huge part of our lives. Where 13 priceless years were spent. A place that will forever hold a large piece of my heart.

“Home” is La Plata, Maryland. Where the most important people in my world live – my mom, my dad, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece/nephew (for the time being, until their move to Florida), and Missy, of course. Where I’ve spent many holidays and summer weeks, time that all passed far too quickly. Where the air is humid, the grass is green. Where there’s something to do & history to see no matter what direction you drive. A place that’s near and dear to me, because those dear to me have chosen to call it home.

“Home” is Russellville, Arkansas. Where childhood road trips were made from GA to AR to celebrate Thanksgiving & Christmas with the entire family. Where I moved to in 9th grade. Where I met Matthew – my best friend, my fiancΓ©, and my future. Where I’ve become a high school alumni, and where I’m 1 year from adding college alumni to the list. Where I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful town, full of God’s handy work – made visible through every sunrise peaking over the mountain top, every quiet roar of water over rocks that have been smoothed throughout the years, every birds song, turkeys call, and coyotes howl all singing praises to our Creator, daily. And a place that I plan to call home for many years and many milestones to come.

How can one place truly be “home” when each place is home to their own unique, sweet memories & even sweeter friendly faces?

So like Tris said, maybe home isn’t a place… Maybe it’s more of a state of mind. Where you hold all the dearest memories, the people you’ve met, and the lessons you’ve learned… enabling you to be content wherever life takes you, knowing your sense of “home” doesn’t belong to a place, but instead in each of those little pieces of your heart that, together, you can
carry with you and make a “home” wherever you go.

-Alyssa