Friday, December 31, 2010

top events of 2010.

this has been a year full of change. God has used it to make me grow so much and i am so thankful, even through the hard circumstances. but right now i'm going to focus on the great things from this year and list them out in no particular order of importance. although there is one that definitely gets the #1 spot haha. praise the Lord!

1. August 21 - Jordan's proposal at Fenway Park! - most shocking and wonderful moment of my life :) i cannot wait to marry the most amazing man in this world.

2. Ashlee & Corey's wedding -seeing my bestest friend so happy and where God wants her to be was the biggest blessing. i love them to death. and the wedding was a blasttt!

3. Morgan & Bobby's wedding - two of my best friends from life getting married to each other after years and years of dating. it was beautiful! and so much fun with all our friends. 

4. April - the beginning of me & Jordan. :) God was working in awesome ways bringing us together. i could feel Him drawing me closer to Him and to Jordan. God's plans never cease to amaze me.

5. Boston - my trip with the Stephensons was so special and fun! i FINALLY got to visit Fenway and it was glorious. i cannot explain how awesome that place is. and to witness a walk-off home run win was amazing. 

6. my last Canes game - at the time i didn't know it was my last Canes game, but it couldn't have ended better. my parents were there, Jordan was there, and there was a hat trick on hat night. so much fun with my Hurricanes family & i miss it greatly.

7. beach trip with the fam - this trip never disappoints. i love my cousins oh so much & being with them is always a good time. we are all so different but get along so well. and i love having my birthday at the beach!

8. Blake's graduation - so proud of my brother! i still can't believe he's this old, but i'm glad he had a fulfilling & successful time at WCA and can move on to UNC-W. he's my best bud!

9. Thanksgiving with our families - we were able to do all of our Thanksgiving family activities together & it was awesome. i loved being with my family and had so much fun experiencing a Shelley family holiday for the first time!

10. Whitney & Aaron's wedding - i love this couple and loved celebrating their marriage with them and my other girls! it was soo gorgeous and i had a blast being crazy with my friends as usual. Whitney & Aaron continue to inspire me!

11. Mandy & Ian's wedding reception weekend - it had been a long time since the Hamilton side of the family had a wedding, and it definitely didn't disappoint. we love Ian so much and i'm so glad he's in our family now. i just wish i got to see them more often!

12. Dillon & Sara's wedding & first trip to Greensboro - although i didn't get to talk to Dillon & Sara at all on their wedding day haha, it was beautiful and i loved being there with Jordan. the people of Shannon Hills are so welcoming and friendly. and of course i loved spending time with Jordan's family right from the start!

13. last basketball sleepover - this was a bittersweet night back in February because our season was over, but such a memorable time at B.Hall's house rearranging furniture, dancing with Lady GaGa & Beyonce, & going outside in the snow. that team was sooo special to me!

14. first basketball sleepover - our first sleepover this season at Faither's place was a blasttt. i loved getting to know everyone better and jamming out to Space Jam all night. they are such G's and i cannot wait for the next one.

15. trip to Maryland - driving to Maryland with my best friend, listening to the best radio station ever, hotel adventures, dancing in front of a certain person's room, tailgating, being front row, trying to stay warm, being the best Wolfpack fans ever. definitely a memorable trip. 

16. Christmas! - my first Christmas with Jordan & my last one staying at my house. had wonderful times of fellowship with my family & his family, even though all of his family got sick! also it was an amazing WHITE Christmas in Greensboro!

17. Whitney & Chris' wedding & Charlotte - another interesting trip with Maggie, we knew Whitney & Chris would host a great party & we were right :) many a story came from this event that we will never forget...

18. Ashlee's bachelorette weekend - this was such a funnn weekend! being SO hyper when we got to Wilmington, her shower, sleepovers, shopping, being out of control like always, church and a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon. couldn't have asked for a better weekend for her.

19. Chris & Elizabeth's wedding & Rutherfordton - a great trip with my fiance to his friend Chris' wedding was an awesome getaway. we stayed in an amazing cabin & got to hang out with his friends & celebrate with them. i love this couple!

20. winter beach trip with the girls - when i think about this weekend back in January, all i do is laugh. i wish i could relive it. all of us staying at Maggie & Katie's beach house, being crazy and running on the beach in the moonlight. we need to have a reunion.

21. trip to the state tourney - even though we didn't make it to the state basketball tournament last year, i took some of the girls to Winston Salem to watch the boys, and we had quite the interesting time. let me just say that long car trips with Faith Simpson are hilarious. and hazardous. 

22. Blake's last baseball season - Blake had such an amazing senior baseball season, pitching and playing third base, providing some clutch hitting and bunting. i was so proud of him and hated to see his long career end, but i am so thankful for all the years i got to watch him play! also, i LOVED that baseball team! such a great group of guys.

23. Easter with the Stephens' - something i look forward to every year is going to North Augusta for Easter break. riding the Gator, watching movies, playing old school computer games, Clue, and many other traditions are a blast. and i absolutely love my cousins. i can't wait 'til i can see them again!

24. engagement party - spending time with our bridal party & families was so much fun and it was great to get everyone together. it definitely made the engagement feel a whole lot more real! we are so blessed to have such great people in our lives who love & support us.

i'm sure there are many other things i could add - overall it's been such a blessed year and i am so thankful that God allowed me to experience it! many changes and new additions to my life, and i am eager to see what He has in store for me. great is His faithfulness and He never fails me! 

goodbye, 2010!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas love & traditions.

i love Christmas. i love traditions. the combination is awesome. since next year, i will be part of a new family - the Shelley family, consisting of me & Jordan - i am thinking about the traditions we will keep going, adopt, and start for our family. so i would looove to hear some ideas from people about cool little things that they do for Christmas. 

for example, my friend Whitney posted something about how her mom puts money in a jar all year and then gives it to a family in need right before Christmas. a Christmas jar. i think that is a great idea. my family always opens stockings first on Christmas morning and that is my favorite part of presents. we used to read the accounts of the birth of Christ from the Bible on Christmas Eve. my friend Sarah said that everything she gets is completely wrapped. even little things in her stocking. 

sooo...ideas? traditions? i want feed back & inspiration, people!

i'm going to list some of my favorite things/traditions of Christmas:

1. chocolate cake & boiled custard at my Grandma's
2. my mom's million Christmas trees in our house (there's literally at least 40)
3. staying up late with Blake on Christmas Eve watching A Christmas Story
4. Elf
5. going to see the Christmas lights on Penny Road
6. stockings
7. reading the Christmas story of Jesus coming to earth :)
8. singing Christmas songs at church
9. "Sleigh Ride"
10. ASC Christmas reunion (me, Britney, Sarah)
11. Christmas party with Ashlee, Brittany, Morgan, & Laurie! (which is tomorrow!!!!)
12. the kids playing with a new singing dancing Hallmark thing at Grandma's every year (they have a table with like 8 on there...yes it is loud)
13. Oreo balls
14. Christmas cookies
15. picking out a Christmas tree
16. putting up the day by day ornaments on me & Blake's tiny Santa tree
17. sitting back & looking at all your presents after Christmas morning is over
18. looking at Christmas card pictures
19. getting socks from my mom
20. my mom & uncle exchanging gag gifts (sometimes it's a bunch of random food mixed & crammed in a bag)
21. family time - board games & movies!
22. waking up on Christmas morning & having to wait until mom & dad say it's time!

merry Christmas & God bless :) 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

my Christmas list...sort of.

mom asked me to make a Christmas list. so i tried and i could think of 2 specific things and then...stuff for my future house. wow i am getting old. i never thought the day would come when i would ask for plates, shelves, and end tables. weird.

anyway, this is not going to be that kind of Christmas list. this will be a list of what i wish i could give people for Christmas. Jordan and i were talking about what all we wish we could give our parents and it got me to thinking about other people too. it'll probably be really random and outlandish but whatev.

my parents - a cruise. 10 days somewhere beautiful and away from work and basketball. i wish this oh so much. they'd love it. they never get to go anywhere. someday i will give this to them.

my bro Blake, my future bros Josh & Joseph, and Jordan - their own recording studio and all the equipment necessary. i wish that the public could be constantly blessed by their music like i am. they are all truly talented and God has given them awesome gifts when it comes to music. really i guess i could include most of mine and Jordan's families on this haha.

Jordan - his dream Taylor guitar. a Pontiac G8. a giant TV.

my mom - a horse.

my dad - more time in a day. a trip to Fenway.

my cats Pink and Floyd - a miniature house that would be lined with fleece blankets for them.

Josh, Danielle, & baby Shelley - a trip to Greensboro for Christmas.

my basketball team - matching Nike shoes, ankle braces, bags. matching Under Armor practice attire. the most legit looking stuff you can have. a giant video camera that follows us around all the time & captures the best moments for videos.

Ashlee & Corey - a plane or a teletransportation device. something to get them to me whenever we want.

Maggie - a pass for myself to be her guest vom partner at Canes games whenever i please.

Bobby B. - an NCSU bowl win.

Suzanne - a date with Cam Newton. unlimited fouls in games.

Katie L. - lots of balance bands so these crazy falls will cease from occurring. 

Katherine - a night out with a certain someone. she knows who. 

Blake - a room at the house without any of my random stuff in it. 

Anna - Toy Story character toys. live ones. who don't wait 'til we leave to come alive. 

Matt - a theater. 

My future in-laws - outside video home surveillance and thief catching device.

Wake Christian - a new high school building, new gym.

well that's all i've got in my mind for now. i may add to this later. i'm sure there's many many more things i could add for many more people :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

a story of faith and basketball.

so, as you may know, basketball season is here. i am so excited i can barely contain it. i will probably talk about it a lot, so if you hate basketball then i apologize, but most of it probably won't even be about the sport itself so just bear with me. such as this post, which will be about one of my favorite girls in the world. but she wasn't always one of my favorite girls. actually, you could even go as far as to say that i was not fond of her. but i will explain.

back in the '06-'07 Wake Christian basketball season, my first year of helping my dad coach, the girls made it to the state championship for the second year in a row. that year they won. it was a wonderful day to say the least. they played against Grace Christian School, who had a history of great basketball teams. they also had a middle schooler on their varsity team with long brown hair and a killer 3-point shot. she was impressive, especially for someone who wasn't even in high school yet.

fast forward a couple years to the '08-'09 season. the Wake girls are in the state championship for the fourth year in a row. the pressure is on, and the Buffaloe who runs the court is working towards leading her team to a 3-peat. everyone is on edge from the game that was barely won the night before. Dad does his pre-game devotion and turns his attention on what the focus is for the big game. offensively: run our stuff, do what we know. defensively: tight pressure, and don't you dare let LBPT shoot a 3. who or what in the world is LBPT you may ask, and that is a great question. well Dad has a habit of giving little nicknames to opposing teams' best players. nothing ugly or demeaning, just something descriptive to call them when he's telling his players to be in their shorts. on this state championship day, it is "LBPT" - Long Braided Pony Tail. yes, the guard with the long brown hair and the automatic 3-pointer is back in her sophomore year. and every break, time-out, and at halftime, Dad is drawing the letters LBPT on his worn out dry erase board, circling them a million times in his exaggerated way, emphasizing not to let this girl shoot. well, to make a long story short, whatever they did that day worked. the Wake girls came out victorious yet again, due to three awesome seniors and a season of hard work. and we left LBPT to be faced again the next year.

(LBPT - #12 in the background)

that summer, as we are discussing the upcoming season and how to prepare for it, my dad drops a bomb on me. 

" remember LBPT from Grace, right? The one who shoots the 3's?"

"Um...yeah. You only said that acronym about four thousand times during the championship game. I was not likely to forget."

"Oh, yeah. Right." (Dad is often unaware of his sarcastic exaggerations, so i tend to point them out for him with my own sarcastic exaggeration. like father like daughter.) 

"What about her? Is she still in the 8th grade and we just didn't know it?"

"No, she's actually a junior this year believe it or not. And she's going to play for us."

i was floored. excuse me? play for WHO? us as in Wake Christian? on our team? with our girls? no way. you must be out of your ever living mind. well i didn't say all those things but i sure did think them. this kind of thing just does NOT happen in our conference. it was weird and i didn't know how it would work. but we were both just going to have to wait for it all to unfold.

so summer workouts started and LBPT showed up. i found out she had an actual name: Faith. Faith from Grace. that kind of confused me for some reason. i kept wanting to call her Grace. she was quiet but nice. Katherine overwhelmed her with loud bubbly comments, Brittany welcomed her sweetly, and Suzanne gave her a nod or some other G-like gesture. and so it began.

Faith came to almost every summer workout, practicing her 3's and being consistent. but it became clear to us that she could be used for so much more than just 3's. why just stick her in the corner or on the wing? we needed to utilize every ability she had. so we worked with her and tried to get her ready for the upcoming season. she was nice, quiet, coachable. things were going smoothly, but she still felt like a stranger to me.

then the season came. at first, it started out with Faith making little comments here and there. throwing in a word about whatever ridiculous statement Katherine was making. saying something to make Emily laugh her booming laugh she's known for. challenging Suzanne herself. woah. this Faith girl has quite the personality or so it seemed. little had we known that over the next few weeks, we would learn that Faith is a feisty, hilarious, firecracker of a girl. maybe she had been holding back. maybe she knew that if she showed up at Wake armed with witty comments and awesome dance moves, we would be in too much awe. so she waited and let us in a little bit at a time. 

Autumn, me, and Faith after the Bulldog Classic

Faith and Katherine with their 5hr energys!

yes, she hits 3's for us. she still has a long, braided ponytail. she also plays excellent defense and drives to the basket with the presence of a 6 foot 2 girl. but that's not why we love her. we love her because she's become such a huge part of our team. our family. it seems like she always has been a part of it. i cannot imagine the team without Faith. she's a senior now, and a leader. a teammate who inspires others to play harder and to keep going even when they think they can't do it. she consistently lifts our spirits and makes basketball fun. 

God's plans surprise me sometimes. Faith has been one of those surprises. and i could not be more thankful that He wanted her on our team and in our lives. it is evident that she belongs with us. our basketball family would not be complete without our little Faithers. i dread the day that she moves on from Wake Christian. we only got to have her for 2 years! it's not fair. can't we just hold onto her a little bit longer? but God knew that 2 years was all we needed to fall in love with #24. she's going to have to go spread her amazing personality and testimony with the world. and i'm going to have to let her go.

i'm so blessed to have Faith Simpson in my life. and so is the team. so whenever you see her hitting 3's or popping up on dance videos, just know that she is a special gift we never thought we'd have. and that now, we couldn't live without.

i love you, Faithers.

the seniors: Meredith, Nicole, Katie L, Suzanne, Faith, and Katie R

Saturday, December 4, 2010

jimmy v.

in honor of Jimmy V week, i am going to share some of my favorite quotes of his. it's amazing how NC State has had 2 awesome coaches, Jim Valvano and Kay Yow, who lost the battle to cancer. i'm thankful for their examples and legacies, and how they represented the Wolfpack and always will.

"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul."
"I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you're emotions going."
"I will thank God for the day and the moment I have."
"I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em."
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
and of course, the classic:
"Don't give up. Don't ever give up."


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