Feeling Thankful (and all that lovey-gushy stuff)

I'm just feeling completely thankful. God has blessed me so, so much. I have so much to be thankful and praise Him for. I have family and friends that love me to death. I have people to love. I have a roof over my head to shield me and food to satisfy my hunger. I have a job and a wonderful vehicle that gets me where I need to go with great mileage. I feel like I don't deserve any of this; I certainly haven't done anything to, but God somehow, someway finds me worthy. My Lord and Savior died on the cross for me. For everyone. What more could a girl want? It's the ultimate love story.
Speaking of love, I have Austin to be thankful for. Today is anniversary of the day we met. 41 months ago. Three years and four months ago. I feel that I haven't expressed that enough over the past few weeks on here just how thankful for him I am. He's been working so hard to keep contact with me. Called me when he's only had moments to spare. Texted me when he doesn't have the luxury of voice-to-voice communication. He's been constantly reminding me that he loves me, every day.
Lately, there hasn't been a day that I haven't heard from Austin. I love it. I'm getting spoiled. Probably too spoiled, but I'm totally soaking it in while I can. I'm so, so thankful for him. God blessed me with my perfect match and I believe that we're working through this with His perfect timing.

@slhallphotography@gmail.com >>> Yes I have a globe.
I'm classy, not nerdy.
I know that I don't always to take the time to tell Austin just how much I appreciate him taking the time and working so hard to make this work. I just assume that he knows. (We all know what assuming does though...) We talked on the phone today for about two hours after he got off work today. Phone convos were never our forte I don't think (at least not for me, I could never think of what to say) but they're getting easier and natural. Today was natural-ish. I loved it. And (here it comes-you've all heard it before) I love his voice.
Austin had to get off because someone else was on the other line and his room was getting inspected anyway. He called me later tonight to tell me goodnight and I was in the shower. I missed his call, but he sent me the sweetest text letting me know he's sorry he couldn't get a-hold of me and that he was "hitting the hay" (I love when his country talk comes out, it's so cute!) for work tomorrow. It just made me smile. It just made me thankful.
It made me feel so lucky to have someone like Austin in my life. We don't ever fight (at least not any real ones, we play-fight and insult each other all the time). We cherish every moment. We fit like puzzle pieces. We're both God-fearing. We know how to have fun. We know each other's weaknesses and strengths and are learning to play off the other's. We both agree that a relationship is a learning experience; it takes time.

  This is Blake Shelton singing "God Gave Me You". It's an amazing song with an amazing amount of meaning. It's actually my ringtone for when Austin calls. It's silly, but it's like the song was based around us.
Austin doesn't know it yet, but this is "our song". He probably has another one picked out for us, but that's too bad. ;p

And Aust, if you get to read this...well, I mean every word. I'm a shy, hesitant little thing, as you know, and sometimes that might come off as not caring, but know that it's the exact opposite. I love you and I thank God for you everyday. Thank you isn't and couldn't ever be enough.

Thanks for reading through the gushy and mushy everyone,


Miss Sewing Monster

A sewing monster has been born. My mother (I love you mom!) asked me to write a list before this last Christmas. I, for sure she was only half serious, wrote one just soothe her. I wrote ridiculous things on that list (plane tickets, a new camera, a camcorder, a new car, ect, ect). I also wrote a few serious things (an easy-to-use sewing machine, a GPS for travel, headphones, socks, ect, ect)

My mother got me a sewing machine. It even had "easy-to-use" in the title. I've been hand-sewing for a couple of years. It comes naturally, and I kind of like the long time it takes. Makes everything I sew even more precious. However, this last project has me pressed for time, so I got out the sewing machine.
I've never used a sewing machine before in my young eighteen year old life. It was complicated but I'm getting the hang of it.

I read the directions at least 3 times over before actually preforming the threading steps.

I just practiced on a scrap piece of fabric I had. 

It took me a bit to get the hang of it though...

I think I did okay though. :) Hand-sewing just seems so less complicated, but even just sewing this little square together would have taken me about an hour with all the stitches put into it.
Sew,Mama,Sew! has a lot of cute, free ideas to sew I might use.

I can't wait to get started on some real projects now though. I have a few skirts I've been meaning to try, and a dress I found on Pinterest. I have to find some things I can sew up for Austin too. What I like he has to like, period. If I like sewed little trinkets, he has to...haha : )
But I've also got to get this first little project out of the way. I can't say anything about it yet, but I will when the time comes! Promise.

Oh, and in addition to the healthy lifestyle I'm adopting, I've decided that I will try a different tea every day; preferably in the mornings before exercising! Today's was "White Tea Berry" made by Mount of Olives Treasures.
It was pretty good, one of my favorites I've had so far. I didn't put anything in it, but I chilled some of it after I tried it warm. It was really good with some ice. I think it's the berry taste.

Thanks for reading!


Crazy About Pinterest

 Hello everyone!Yes, this post is about the awesome site Pinterest!

I love lists. List make my world go 'round and 'round. Without them I would be nothing (sorry Aust!). So when I discovered Pinterest a few months back I was in awe. Suddenly I was surrounded with lists on top of organized lists. Of everything and anything you could imagine.

Yesterday I went through my Pinterest and made a couple of boards. I went a little crazy. Everyone following me was probably thinking how much of a Pinterest nerd I am, but whatever. It's an awesome site, I love it.

You can check out my Pinterest page here!

I also made a cute board calling Making It Work<3.
It's made for all of the Marine girlfriends/bestfriends/
wives out there. It's full of gear, tips and cute quotes to conquer the "military love" lifestyle.
I've pinned a lot of pins for the upcoming deployment in January. It's so far away, but I'm afraid that it's going to sneak up on me and before I know it all my time to spend with Austin before he goes away for a year will be gone. In a way, I kind of want him to go ahead and leave so he can come home and be back already...as weird as that sounds. I just want to get it over with. (I'm sure he feels the same-getting it over with) 
If you're on Pinterest and have an significant other in the military, you should follow my board. I update it frequently (as frequently as I'm on pinterest-which is everyday).
Well, I also have another board that you all might want to check it. It's all green and eco-friendly. It's full of natural and homemade beauty products you can make at home! I made this board for my upcoming life-style turn around. With all of the reading I've been doing lately, I finally notice just how bad a lot of the everyday products you use are for you!
I've been checking labels and ingredients every time I get something at the store now. If they have it, I get the most natural and organic brand they have at the market of the product I want. It's a bit more pricey but it's better for you and the amazing green Earth God made for us. :)
Over the course of time, I'll probably post up some DIY's using the technics from this board. You'll probably see the homemade translucent powder really soon (as soon as I find the green clay!). You can make so much of it for so little; it'll really be better than buying the really expensive stuff from the store. What I'm looking at in the mean-time are all of the Tea Tree Oil recipes. There are so many uses for it!
The last board I'm going to share with you is my Workouts/Health Foods :). It's full of fun exercises and workout plans to get you in the best shape! Most of them are pretty easy too and only require 15 minutes a day or so. (Because I know I don't have enough time in the day to spend three hours exercising...) I have a few yoga sequences to go through too. I haven't tried any yoga, but I've been thinking about it.
I'm just not sure though, because yoga is originally a practice of some other religion and I really don't want to be un-knowingly or knowingly worshiping another religion...
(I don't want to get into a whole religious philosophic thing, so we'll save that for another post.)
But feel free to follow any of my boards and I'll follow yours too!

Just email me at slhallphotography@gmail.com and let me know about your pins and boards! Also, feel free to ask me any questions about anything else you might want to know!

Thanks for reading and go check out Pinterest! Now!


How To Improve The Taste Of Water

Evening everyone! I'm going to make this post short and simple.

So many people complain about drinking water, which I understand. It does have sort of a "blah" taste, but it's so good for you! You really need to drink about a gallon of water at least everyday. It de-toxifies your body and keeps you hydrated and feeling good!
I added grapefruit and blueberries this time.
A very good combination!

It can also help your acne and you'll find that you feel more energetic every day!

I know a few simple tricks to make that "blah-blah" taste of water go away:

  • Add fresh fruits! This seriously is the best thing. I usually leave mine in overnight with a bunch of ice in the picture to keep it fresh and cold. I usually use lemons (and I toss in a bit of mint if I can get my hands on some!), but you can use any fruit of your personal preference! 
  • You can buy flavored drops to put in your water now specifically made to make it taste better. Though I would watch which brands you buy and look at the ingredients first. Some of those flavorings are really, really un-healthy and completely take away the point of drinking water.  
  • Adding fruit juice is a good way tot improve the taste of water too, so you don't have to go through the hassle of buying expensive fresh fruits. 
  • Make your water bubbly! Some people prefer the taste of sparkling water to regular. Though again, watch which brand you buy and check your ingredients! 
  • Flavor your ice cubes. Put in store bought flavoring before freezing, or take the fruit idea from above and chop it up into your water before freezing your cubes. You can have different tastes to choose from each time you get a drink! 
  • To get your water intake, you don't necessarily have to drink water. You can drink tea. Fruit and herbal teas are known to be better for you then "black tea" or "English tea". There are tons of flavors to choose from! 
Hope this helps some people with their water dilemma. I know regular water can get a little boring, but honestly, the possibilities for water flavoring are endless. You just have to find your favorite!

Thanks for reading,


A Cause: Human Trafficking Awareness

Awareness. If you know; then you're more apt to do something about it.

I've been researching a topic for the last two weeks that really breaks my heart. Human Sex Trafficking.

Human trafficking or human sex trafficking is the illegal trade and buying of humans through various means. Victims are abducted, persuaded by various means through fraud or false promises, and are even forced or threatened. 
found on google.com
Men and women of all ages, mostly 17 years or younger, are forced into the commercial sex trade by their captures or pimps. They are bought, sold and passed around like products in the market. In many nations over seas, children in the trade are worth less than cattle.

There are 27 million people involved in sex trafficking in the USA alone. There are 10 million known sex traffic brothels overseas. There are at least 2,000 people being sold into slavery everyday.

There are more human slaves now then any other time known in history.

I want to give Mariah Dawn a big hand for her video on Sex Trafficking Awareness. You can find her on YouTube. I love her videos. The one posted below is her second Sex Trafficking Awareness video. Or you can click here to watch the link on YouTube.

This is a bit different then my usual posts, but when I got reading more and more about this injustice, I knew I couldn't keep it myself. I literally get tears in my eyes when I think about these people go through. Being forced away from your family and friends, being sold, beaten and raped everyday. On some accounts, you're killed.
You can find out more about Sex Trafficking at the I Stop Traffic Page.
Feel free to follow this link too:  http://istoptraffic.com/home.html

found on google.com

You can purchase blue ribbons here at the Blue Ribbon Campaign to help spread awareness.

Also, I will supporting Sex Trafficking Awareness by disappearing from any social media sites all day on Feb 27th. That means I will not be posting on Tuesday. You can join the official page on Facebook here at the Disappear From Social Media Day Page on Facebook.

Also if you're interested in tshirts spreading awareness for Human Trafficking or other causes, check out Sevenly (http://www.sevenly.org/). It's a website dedicated to helping charities. You can help by buying tshirts and other products they sell.

Thanks for reading everyone.


I Wish Acorns Were Currency...

No seriously, I'd be loaded. My yard gets full of them...
Hello everyone! It's been a day or two since I've updated you all. I've just been so, so busy! As it's going, I just got my tax return back the other day, which was a blessing...til I had to spend it all on other taxes like the property tax. And then my car insurance bill. (Doesn't make it any less of a blessing.)
Oh, all of my lovely bills. Beautiful.
It's morning and I'm seriously craving some pancakes...or anything really. I'm starving. At my job last night, I got so sick and nauseous that just the smell of the food set me off. I was hot and dizzy. It was so miserable I finally went to the bathroom and did the old "finger down the throat" trick.
It helped for all of 5 minutes; I seriously paid for it. I threw up two more times, not of my own will. I seriously was considering going home, but I only had about two hours left until we closed so I did my job the best I could. (Of course, for all you health freaks, I washed my hands constantly and tried to stay away from the food as much as possible; just in case.)
I'm feeling good this morning though. And hungry. I'm thinking Chinese for lunch. That sounds amazing...I love the fortune cookies ;)

Yesterday morning wasn't so bad though. I went to church with Austin's parents like I do most Sundays (I'll call them "T" & "J".) and studied about the Lord. It was an awesome lesson; about not proclaiming to the world every good deed you do for attention. You won't get rewarded that way, at least, not in Heaven. All the kids were really active for some reason. They were running around and making such a fuss, you would have thought we just had an ice-cream party and they were all invited. 
After church, we had lunch at Aust's mammi's (grandmother's) house. I tried a baked potatoe for the first time. And corn on the cob. And green beans. 
Don't make fun of me. I'm a picky eater. (Or I was, until I met this family. I'll eat anything they feed me...) Mammi's cooking was amazing. I love her fried cornbread!
Then T called Austin and we all passed around the phone and talked to him. I've said this many times before, but it's amazing hearing his voice. He sounded so happy yesterday; I loved it. I love him. Apparently he got "blew up" looking for fake IED in the field. Got cut in half or something...(not really, they weren't real, it was just a training exercise...thank God) 
Austin might be getting some time off around Easter which is just a month away. 30 days or so. I think I can handle that. Maybe. :)

Not nauseous, very hungry and broke,


Thanks for reading!

Just Thinking

Tomato soup and cheese toasted on Tolara rolls.
That's some good stuff right er'.

I'm out of my funk. It's gone and I'm in a good mood! Well, a lazy mood...a lazy, uncertain mood. I haven't done a thing in the past two days. Not a thing.
I feel so, so, so lazy. I've got to get a hobby. Or maybe just some more motivation. I've been waiting for my advisor to email back (since I emailed her yesterday morning) and that wait has just been torture.
I've been scared to hear her reply really. I have. Because I told her that I kinda-really-maybe wanted to change my educational plans...

I've been thinking a lot lately, mostly because Austin and I talked about a lot last weekend. Like, about my Pharmacy plans. He said he "knows I can do it". I know I can too...if I really wanted. Honestly I think the idea is more appealing because of the challenge and accomplishment I would feel afterwards than me actually enjoying it. I'm ashamed to say that the pay I would receive also peaks my interest. A lot.
That's doesn't seem right. It really doesn't and I've been praying about it. I'm not too sure that's where God intends for my life to go. I think He has something better planned for me.
It's just so hard to figure out what God wants me to do in life, but I know that if I just sat down and really listened for a moment, it'd be easy.

I have a few different ideas, ones that make me really excited. I've had the ideas in my head for the longest time, and I've even told a few people about them...but I don't know. I don't want to say anything about it until I've read more and feel more certain. I'd really enjoy it, I know I would. I wouldn't be making much of anything, and it'd be a hard road, but I think it'd be worth it in the end. All I can tell you is it incorperates some things I love:

  • God
  • Making a difference
  • Writing/Journalism
  • Art
  • Probably some traveling
  • Lots of love 
 I've just got a lot of thinking to do. A lot of praying. Be praying with me?

Thanks for reading!


Reality Check

Alright. I know, I had this big countdown and then I left you all hanging. I was in a bit of a funk for a day or two after I got back so I apologize. No, my trip didn't put me in a "funk" but returning to the real world did.
My weekend was amazing; I was in my own little piece of Heaven. Well, Jacksonville.

This is not my photo. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't get any pictures during my weekend.
None. And I'm sorry because I promised you all some. :(

My first plane from the LEX Airport started boarding around 12:20 Friday afternoon. I got stopped in security. Well, I got searched in security. (Patted down and everything...by a woman, thank God...I think) Apparently cord/wooden bracelets and purity rings don't do well in the X-Ray...thing.
My flight connected to the airport in Charlotte, NC and then a short 30minute flight to Jacksonville. I arrived around 3:40ish in the afternoon or something like that. After a short wait (and a few phone calls/texts to my parents and other adolescences and peers that worry about my well-being) I got a text from Austin telling me that he just got out from the field. (Which meant him un-packing, showering, getting re-packed for the weekend, ect)
He wasn't able to pick me up as planned because it would have taken too long, so I took a taxi ride(from a guy named "Bobby" who liked to call me sweetheart) and after a phone call and a hotel switch I found myself at The Quality Inn's lobby reading the Hobbit waiting for Austin to arrive.

(** For those of you poor, poor people who don't know what the Hobbit is, please take a moment to click here. Then buy the book. Seriously, the movie does none of it justice.)

One moment I'm reading, the next Austin is in the lobby and I've jumped up and flung myself in his arms. (It was like something like hallmark...I promised myself I wouldn't ever be one of those girls. I couldn't help myself.) The greeting was brief, neither of us being one for PDA, but...perfect. The weekend was perfect. We shopped around the mall and saw Warm Bodies. We went out to eat a lot. (Speaking of which, has anyone ever seen a Marine eat? God, it's scary-ish. Austin had his plate clean in like, 30 seconds, then all he had to do was sit and watch me eat. Which made me nervous and not-so-hungry...) He showed me around Camp Lejeune, which is like a whole town itself. It's so big!
Around Sunday both of us were just exhausted from running around the whole weekend, so we just chilled at the hotel and watched SouthPark/Family Guy on Netflix all day and lazed around. (Well, Austin played his new Pokemon Soul Silver version...I just kinda cat-napped the whole day) ((We're both just lazy people.))
 Monday was a sad day, the day I had to get on my plane and go home. Austin took me out to the Golden Corral for breakfast and then off to the Airport we went.

I'm not gonna lie, leaving was so, so hard. I felt my heart breaking in two on the drive over. What really got me was Austin murmuring "You're leaving me..." in the car on the way over. I already did my crying that morning in the shower before we went to breakfast in order to avoid making the separation harder. We parked and Aust walked me inside and we just sat in the lobby and waited. He said "he appreciated me coming to see him" and I told him "he was welcome". Our goodbyes are always like that; so polite and not-so-casual. Trying not to make a big deal out of it...it's a way of making it easier I think. (I didn't really help, I teared up anyway) Finally it was time for me to board. We embraced and I hugged him for as long as I would let myself.
"I'll see you soon." is what he always says. Even when it's not going to be "soon". He says time passes by fast. I guess.
Then the tears tried to start...it was so hard. I hated leaving him. He helped me get my stuff over to the security check and we kissed for the last time. A light, feather kiss on the lips, and then his signature kiss on my forehead. Bittersweet really. He said he'd stay until I got through security. I kept turning around and looking at him, I couldn't help it. The check went without incident...and I gathered my bags and turned to look at him one last time. I mouthed "I love you" and sent him an air-kiss. I caught his response on my lips before finally turning away for the last time and making myself walk away.

I know people thought I was crazy, or just...I don't know. I was crying so much sitting in that airport chair, waiting for my zone to be called. I only thing I wanted to do was walk out of there back to Austin. Which I know, sounds so selfish and unpractical. I mean, I come home and I have family that love me and missed me while I gone. My dad came to pick me up from the airport because I was so tired. I have my life in Kentucky, but (brace yourselves for cheesy-ness) my heart is in North Carolina.
The way home was hard. I just kept thinking how miserable it felt to leave him. The rest of the day was...harder still. I missed him. I still miss him. A lot.
Which is selfish because I actually got to see him. He has so many people waiting on him at home, and I got to see him and I'm complaining that I miss him...Gah.

Well, I'm blessed and thankful I got to go. Austin called me last night to tell me he'd be in the field all week and wouldn't be able to talk until the weekend. He helped get me out of my funk a lot. I told him how much I was missing him and complained a bit about how hard the whole situation is. I'm a lot better now, because he just pointed out something obvious that I kinda already knew, but...if he wasn't in the Marines, he would be in college for about four years. Our relationship would be the same then. Him being at EKU (coming home every other weekend) and me being at BCTC and working. The waiting would still be there. And honestly, I don't think we'd be as close as we are, if that makes any sense. I think the separation as made us...closer.
It's not the easiest situation, but its not the worst and it's something I'm willing to work through. It's worth it.
He's worth it. 

So I'm going to work hard and keep busy. Hopefully, time really will fly by.

Sorry about all the whining and the late update. My next post will be more upbeat and have more pictures.

Thanks for reading!


Countdown: Day 2 and Valentine's Day!

Oh my, it's Day 2! And it's also Valentine's Day.

As the history buff I am, one of the things I did today was take a trip to the Valentine's Day page on History.com. Every February we celebrate this romantic holiday; giving chocolates, roses and sweet-nothings to the ones we hold dear.
Valentine's Day really has nothing to do with anything its associated with now.
found on google.com

It's an ancient Roman tradition shrouded in mystery and created by the Catholic Church. In the church there were at least three different saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus.
Valentine was told to be a priest who served in the 3rd century of Rome. The Emperor, Claudius II decided that the single man, instead of a married or man with children, made a better soldier. Hence, he outlawed marriage for young men.
Valentine, however, knew this was wrong, and preformed marriages in secret for young lovers. When Claudius found out what he was doing, Valentine was ordered to be put to death.
It was rumored that Valentine sent the first "valentine" while in prison; to a young woman he fell in love with-perhaps his jailor's daughter.
He signed the letter "From your Valentine", a very famous expression used today.

And while the legends are still not fully known, I like to believe in this one, if just because the ending is so romantic that one man would defy his emperor to make sure that love lasted.

Sadly though, I don't get to see my own "valentine" today; but I rejoice in the fact that I will be boarding a plane tomorrow morning to North Carolina to see him. I have butterflies already. I'm making all the little last minute arrangements that have to go on. I still have to pick up my check from work tonight and check in my flight and print off the tickets at my mother's house (I'm out of ink here, and I'm too cheap to buy any at the moment). I also have to grab Aust's DS he left at his house...
Not to mention all of family that want to see me before I leave, like I'm gonna come back any different or not at all. It does make me feel loved though. :)

And to Austin (if you're reading this),
I love you. Happy Valentine's Day, and I can't wait to spend our 40th month (3 years and 4 months) anniversary together tomorrow. Can't wait to see you!
Love Yours Only,

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great Valentine's Day.

Countdown: Day 3

Yes, it's Day 3.
I'm getting more and more excited with each hour that passes! Today I spent the day going little lazy important things like, what clothes I'm going to pack, washing those clothes, researching carry on restrictions, confirming my flight....

This is my carry on at the moment...all packed you know.
But like I said, I started packing. So far I have a pair of sweats to sleep in and a sweater...progress. That's what matters.
If you could see the rest of my room you would notice clothes strewn all over the place and little 3oz bottles of random beauty products separated into piles of important-to-least-important.

That's about all I've been doing though. It's been a very blah-blah day.

Oh! I made a chocolate cream pie earlier! It's sitting in the fridge getting all...pie-like and good. That'll be some good breakfast; mhmm~!

My next post might be about 'How to Pack a Carry-On Bag Like a Real Lady'. Keep in touch!

Thanks for reading!


Countdown: Day 4

Welp. Plans have changed and it's just Day 4.

I was so for sure that I would be driving...however, when getting Monty checked over to make sure he's fit enough to drive...we found a problem. He's going to need a part that has to be ordered and won't be here until after Friday.
My poor Monty.
Funny how life works.
My mechanic was talking on the phone and looking at me and saying "Oh, she's not gonna like that at all. Nope..." And I was just thinking,

'I'm not gonna be able to drive to NC at all am I?'

Nope. So, I'm flying. And the ticket is costing me more than I'm willing to admit to you all.
I've been doing emergency, FBI, plane-flight-booking-whatever-you-call-it searches all day. It's been murder trying to figure out what to do.
I have changed plans 3 times on poor Austin. I'm sure every time he gets a text or call he's like,

'What? Is she riding an alpaca here now?'

But I'm flying to the airport in Jacksonville, and the only flight I could find with a less than 2-hour layover was getting at the airport at 3:25pm, so I'll have some waiting to do before Austin can come pick me up. I might take a taxi to the mall or something though...who knows. All that matters is that I get over there and see him.

Honestly, I can't wait. So much to do before then though...like, pack everything for a weekend in one carry-on bag.
Cross your fingers.

Thanks for reading!


Countdown Starts: Day 5

Emote: (Insert some semi-happy-yet-complicated-emote here)
Drinking: (Insert some interesting and hipster really-bad-for-you-but-still-trendy-drink here)
Eating: (Insert some green-leafy-goodness so people think I eat healthy here)
Countdown: 5 Days.

Hello everyone! It's been a few days since I've updated you guys (sorry about that!).
First, I've got to tell you; I'm exhausted. So this post may or may not come out more or less exciting than they usually are (or I hope they are). I'm current secret base is my grandmother's house because of my work schedule this week. I get to see grandma, papaw (and my aunt and her kids because they're staying here (my grandma-ma's) due to some personal relationship problems that left her without a home. Men can be so mean sometimes...) save on some gas, and have an awesome breakfast every morning!

That's like, three or more birds with one stone.

Oh and for those of you who care; An Update On My 20lbs in Forty Days Challenge:

My forty days is almost up. I have maybe...3...4 days left.
I have went from 138lbs....to 126lbs! That's 12lbs gone. (Not hatin' on anyone's maths skills here) Unfortunately I don't have a picture to put up of my success...you can't tell much anyway. I can't see it anyway. My mother commented I looked like I had lost some a few days ago.

Honestly, I didn't really do any exercise, so the toning isn't there. I just changed my eating habits (starving myself not in those habits):

  • I stopped drinking pop and sugary beverages all together; I kept to tea, real-fruit juices, coffee and water. Lots of water. 
  • That yummy slice of chocolate cake or that milkshake I could have easily made for myself at work? Nope. I resisted. 
  • Lots of fruit. 
  • Lots of protein, not so much processed meat, but chicken.
  • I tried to lay off the fast foods, which is hard when I work at a restaurant, so again, when I HAD to eat something there, it was grilled/fried chicken.
Just little easy things like that. I'm not too sure how it worked myself, but it did. I'll get a picture up at another time.

But now, what I really want to tell you all (and literally shout from every rooftop).

I get to see my Austin in five days. FIVE DAYS! Yes. Yes. And yes. We have made the decision that I will be making the 10-hour drive myself. Which sounds difficult...but I honestly don't have a worry in the world about it. (Maybe that's just because I'm too excited though.) My mother and my family are a bit worried about me driving the whole ten hours by myself, and I can understand their concern.
I'm a single young woman driving 610 miles in 10 hours alone. 
However, I know I can do it. I've been praying for the last week and a half about it since Austin told me he had a 72 coming this weekend, wondering if it really is OK for me to go.

"Go." That's what I'm getting. I've prayed about it, and I know that God will keep me safe and sound there and back. I don't have any doubts; all I've got is faith in what I'm asking from Him.

So, I'm printing out my route and picking out where I'm going to stop before-hand. I'm probably going to be giving a copy of that to both my parents, and Austin's parents, if just to ease their worries. I'm planning on driving in the daylight, leaving early and getting in Jacksonville by dark where Austin will meet me in town and I can go on to sleep at the hotel. I can only imagine the every-hour-phone-calls that I will be receiving.

But I'm just so excited to see him! I can't wait. I still have to get my car checked (which my mom, my dad and my grandfather all want to look at before I go), pick out what I'm going to wear on my stay, and go shopping for a few things I need. Like, I'm out of facial lotion. My face is getting seriously dry and I've just been too lazy to get off my bum and get some.
I plan on taking lots and lots of pictures too, whether Austin likes it or not. He will comply.
or so help him...

I get to see Austin in five days, but for now, I still have work today at four and work with my grandfather tomorrow. Life is good. God is good.
All the time.

Thanks for reading!


A Phone Call and Update

I love phone calls and I never used to. It was after I met Austin that I really started to get excited about them. Hearing his voice, about his day, what's been going on in his life...it just makes me happy. I love him.
This is the signed Ever After coat receipt from the book I got for Austin.
He literally whined for it over the phone and made me promise
to get it for him...he hasn't ever even read the first book.
 Austin called while we were waiting in line to get the book signed by Kim. 
He's moved units and is "actually starting training" now. 
(today he's doing something with engineering...) 

We talked about my coming down to see him. I'm buying the round-a-bout tickets (at an awesome price I found on Priceline! a lot less expensive then I thought it would be) and such, then we're just going to pick the hotel when I get there. 
I'm thinking I'll stay from a Thursday to Monday; if just to make sure I get to spend every second I can with Austin while I'm there. 

I'm just anxious to see him since he told me about his deployment that'll be happening in around a year. I want to be able to see him as much as possible while I can. Austin will be going out to California for training before then too...
I don't know how I feel about it all. It hasn't really sunk in I guess. The thing is I'm not really feeling sad or upset and I feel like I should. Like I'm betraying him by not crying or feeling depressed.
Actually I'm at peace with it. I mean, I've known that he'd have to deploy sometime, I just didn't know when and now that I know...I'm still just at peace with it. All of this got confirmed only last night...
And the only thing I'm crying over is the sad ending to this Drop Dead Diva episode. 

It was so not fair of Grayson to kiss Stacy. She's not Deb.

Thanks for reading,


Our Trip to the Hollows

 If you guys haven't been updated yet, my sister (Rachael) and I went to Cincinnati yesterday-ahem-the Hollows yesterday to see Kim Harrison at her book signing. It was all the way in Crestview Hills but our drive wasn't too bad. About 2 1/2 hours. Honestly I find the interstate fun. We just put point totals on all the cars and added them up as I passed....I ended up with about 3,000 points if you're curious ;)

Since my narrator skills are a bit...well...newbish, I'll just go ahead and put the pictures up.
Waiting for Kim Harrison to arrive! The wait was the worst part!
Rachael posing with her book.
We got some coffee to pass the time. It was so good! Raspberry Macadamia Mocha Latte!
And then...she showed.
And there was much rejoicing!
Q&A time with Ms. Harrison. So many questions answered! So glad she didn't agree on a movie/tv series. They were gonna take Jenks out!!! :((
This is Guy. Taking pictures of Kim during her speech.
...he shook my hand :)
Waiting in line to see Kim and get the book signed...
Still waiting...
While in line, we were teased with a bunch of products you couldn't look at because if you moved you'd lose your spot in line.
I was impressed with Joseph Beth's ceramic cat army.
This is my soul-cup. We resonated. I almost bought it.
I need this.
This is Galileo. A philosopher and astronomer. I thought of Austin when I saw it. Almost bought it for him. Almost.
Then the fog lifted and the sun shown overhead. I was overwhelmed and in awe of such majesty...

Finally. My life is complete.
 Yes, and you can find a video on my YouTube channel of Kim explaining how to say Algaliarept's name correctly. Enjoy!
Happy late Christmas to my best friend and sister.

It really was a perfect day.

Ever After, Flickr, and a Road Trip!

First, sorry everyone! I haven't written in a couple of days...I've just been so busy!

I recently learned that my Financial Aid won't be coming in for my classes for another few weeks, meaning I can't start them for a while...which really, really bums me out. -apparently it comes this late every year, and unless i want to use my own money or take out a loan and go into debt for a few classes i have to wait-

Watching The Ravens win the Superbowl (like everyone knew they would) and studying for my upcoming ACT retake took up my time yesterday. Though with the game going on, not much studying got done...the blackout was a nice touch this year.

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm traveling to Cincy, OH tomorrow with my sister to get our book "The Ever-After" (from the Hollows series) signed by Kim Harrison on her Ever After Tour?
Well, um, we are and I'm way-way excited!!! I can't wait to meet her.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Hollows Series; it actually takes place on the Ohio-Kentucky border around the river.It's been many years since The Turn, when a virus being carried in genetically-mutated tomatoes killed most of humanity on the planet.
Good thing not everyone was human.

"A witch, a pixy and a vampire walked into a bar..."
Well, lived happily, ever-after in a church.

The series centers around the three main characters:

Jenks (no last name): A pixy. A very sexy and charming loud and obnoxious pixy who, however he may not look it, has the ability to hack anything and everything that runs on electricity. Name it, he can do it.
Jenks in the only pixy to own his own land (pixies being seen as no more than bugs to the rest of the world) and keep all of his many, many children alive and well the way he has. His hero is Tinkerbell. He's a member of the business Vampiric Charms.

Ivy Tamwood: A vampire, who uses her sensuality to get what she wants. Coming from a rich and high noble vampire clan has its perks. She has more money in her trust-fund than you and I would ever see in a lifetime. Ivy takes on runs; work that they IS or Inderland Security (kinda the police force for the supernatural) cannot take on themselves. She is the most OCD woman you will ever meet. Co-owner of Vampiric Charms.

Rachel Morgan: A "witch" with the annoying need to do the right thing all the time. Rachel seems to attract trouble wherever she goes since she got rid of her death threat for quitting the IS. Loving all things leather and black boots, she takes on runs to pay the rent and buy the groceries. She has this little habit to keep nasty, little men in her back pocket. (Save for the sexy, blue-eyed 6'2 elf recently catching her eye) Co-owner of Vampiric Charms. You find out on in the series that Rachel is not just all witch...she's got a little bit more of something in her blood...

But don't let my horrible description of the series keep you away from it. Here you can see a video right off of Kim Harrison's page that explains series a lot better. Or just go to Kim Harrison's website yourself and take a look around.

The signing is taking place @ 7pm, February 5th at the new Joseph Beth store in Crestview Hills, KY. (Though I don't know why the address is that way, on the map it's clearly in Ohio...)
Maybe I'll see some of you there?

Also, check out my new Flickr Account! You can catch all of my photos and photography on there. I never even knew this site excited until Austin texted me yesterday (couldn't call because he was on duty) and enlightened me. Thoroughly enlightened, I'm using this site to it's full advantage.
So check me out and add me to your contacts! ;)
Username: slhallphotography
or email me: slhallphotography@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!