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Monday, October 31, 2011

336/365

Oh hey... Happy Halloween!

Originally Anna Whitwell and I were going to stay an extra day up north, visit colonial Williamsburg, then drive home tonight. Instead, we decided to make the loooong drive back to SC last night- got in this morning at 2:30am. Talk about a stiff ride. :)

All that said, it ended up working out perfectly because I was able to go trick-or-treating with my sweet little nephew, my sister and brother-in-law and other friends. What a BLAST! I was a little disappointed I didn't think about having a costume party- but hey, no biggie. I'll just dress up for work one of these days. I'm thinking I'll dress up like an angry bird..... oh I love Angry Birds!

Teresa and Nora enjoying their goodies :)
I am telling you... this little Kendall is just the cutest
duck I've ever seen! He is precious!
Nora and Kendally really love each other. Kendall was
fascinated with Nora's tutu, and Nora was fascinated with Kendall's
beak. :) It was perfect!!
Two Knights in shining Armor and one NINJA! 
This is my favorite picture of all. Jonathan was so sweet
to hold up his little sister, you just can't see ANYBODY
else in the picture. :) As you can see, Nora really loved being  picked up!
Daniel's starting to understand this concept....
I think he's still a tad bit confused at all of it!
"Where's the Candy." - Luke 4 yrs old
ohhh my :)... and to the pastor nonetheless!!! 

Stealing candy from Gigi...
Those Vosburgh children are just precious!
I have to admit that to end this great night, mom and I watched Jane Eyre.... :) and it was sooooo good!

 Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

335/365

VICTORY! So thankful for a beautiful race day, for my shoe inserts (Oh they are woooonderful! Thanks, Fleet Feet!!), for the dunkin donuts on mile 21, and for my friends and family who encouraged/supported/ran/cheered.... I must say my first and foremost goal is always to come in before the ambulance, and that was accomplished today. :)

Here's how the day started. Woke up 5:15am (which is later than usual for these races...) and drank some water and gatorade, scarfed down a banana and granola bar, and got ready to go! All of the group headed out the door (after taking pictures in which we look half dead-- you will see them below) to the Foggy Bottom metro stop, and continued our trek from Pentagon Station to the race start. When we got off the metro, we had about a mile walk to the race start and it was freeeezing. In the video blow you'll notice several of us were wearing trash bags as the race was starting. It's a nifty trick shared with us by the Bundricks, veteran marathoners and our inspiration. :) We missed having them there this year-- next year we can reunite in DC!
After about 45 minutes of standing around with butterflies in the stomach, they finally start the race- but even then it took us about 25 minutes to cross the START line. With 30,000 runners you don't get anywhere fast... unless you're Kenyan. Then you knock out those 26.2 miles in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. But we won't go there.

The race started CHI-LLY! It was incredible because yesterday we had snow and rain, and today it was just beautiful and sunny. Spectators lined the race most of the way- which is so encouraging. I ran into several Clemson fans along the way, and lots of people had great things to say about our recent defeat... cough.... against GT. :) Made for a fun run!

Ran with Sarah and Anna, and felt great through about mile 21, then we hit the bridge of doom. This bridge is terrible and for some reason I can never ever run it. I just hate it. :) While we were running it my leg cramped and froze. It was the weirdest thing I've ever experienced! If you notice in my pictures below, when I run my face gets really salty :), which is why I cramped up! So right as I was cramping we came up on this little aid station and they gave me salt packets! HEAVEN! You've never tasted something so great as three salt packets washed down with water. Mmm... and bam, cramp gone!

So, after that minor tragedy, we kept moving through Crystal City, ate some donuts along the race course (carbo load, friends... carbo load.), and FINALLY neared the finish line. I tell you, Iwo Jima is my favorite monument in DC! Brought tears to my eyes... and probably 60,000 other eyes also. (30,000 runners X 2 eyes.... you do the math ;))

I must admit that I finished at the same time this crazy guy finished... BAREFOOT. But hey, I finished. He said his feet were pretty torn up... you THINK. ;) All in all, a GREAT race and a great experience. The whole "you hit a wall at mile 17" is all in the mind. I hit no walls- I didn't hit anything except the ground running!! SUCH a fun day!
                                    video
We were all pretty excited at the start of the race. Barb Fisher, Cherith and Bryan Horton, Chuck Horton, Andrew Hudson, James Studdard, Timothy Reeves, Anna Whitwell, Jon Ledbetter, Sarah and Alli Campbell... what a crew!
5:30 am... getting ready to go! This is most of our group... we met the other 4 at the race start

I feel like this was around mile 8 but I'm not sure. Still pretty chilly!!

Sarah got to talk to my nephew Benton.... mile 19 (I THINK... it's all a blur). I was pretty
jealous I didn't get a call from a cute little man.

MI 26... ready to be DONE! As you can see my dad's holding the Clemson Flag high.
This is how we found them along the race... so we could
steal advil and gatorade from them. :) CRUCIAL!
SO HAPPY!!!! Notice the salt on our faces... it's a Campbell thing.
If you know why this happens, please tell me. I'm so curious.
I think it's because I eat too many french fries.....
Part of our group... exhausted but happppy!

So thankful for AMY and the rest of our support crew!
It's unbelievably encouraging knowing there are people there
waiting to cheer for you... thanks to my PARENTS and to the Ledbetters, Randy Page and
Mrs. Horton for cheering us on!!
One more... unbelievable. So we started this running group this summer... Saturday mornings...
run/swim/kayak out at the rowing center. Who knew we'd all end up in DC together.
So thankful! 

The moment we've all been waiting for...
(... and no, I'm not referring to hanging out with this really beautiful marine... I'm talking about
getting that medal around my neck ;))
Thankful to finish with my best friend!!!! She's the one
who got me into this mess in the first place...
two years ago! Then she ditched me and made me run it TWICE!
We'll see... I think another full is in the works. Maybe next year....

God's good to allow us to enjoy meeting such silly goals... even running is important to Him! Always reminded of this passage before a race.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Thankful that in the "race" of life that God has called us to, we can look to Jesus as our support. He gets us through... every time. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

334/365

LOVE DC!

Great day! It all started off with a nice morning sleeping in, then we went to the expo for a few hours and got all of our race STUFF in order. We were tempted with so many cool running gadgets but finally walked away and headed to the National Archives. Several of the people in our group had never been to DC, so it was fun to experience the city with them for the first time. How neat would it be to tell people that on your first trip to DC you ran the streets... ah!
After a fun day around the city (might I add, it SNOWED!), we ate at Primo's with my sister-in-law's parents (Roger and Susan McLeod). It was such a special time- so happy to see them!

Thankful to be in DC. Thankful for physical exercise and good health to log 26.2 tomorrow. And I must throw in here I'm so thankful for my parents who have always been so supportive of me and my siblings in every goal we've ever set. It's so neat to have them here with us... don't know what we'd do without them!

Here we are... headed off to the expo. You can't tell in this picture because it's so dark, but it was really cold and rainy outside. Of course, that didn't stop us! It was nothing that quick trip to Starbucks couldn't resolve...
mmm Pumpkin Spice Latte!
(Pic is blurry.... taken from my tiny phone...)

Friday, October 28, 2011

333/365

On our way to DC we decided to make a little stop in Mayberry. For those of you who know the Ledbetter family, you know how much they LOVE the Andy Griffith Show! What a fun little stop!
We ate lunch at the Bluebird Diner... it was delicious!

I thank God for friends like Amy!

We were thrown in prison while we were there. Oops... sometimes
my actions just get the best of me! 

"Jon of Mayberry"

Shout out to Rachel Burton. Just thought this would bring back happy memories! ;)



Inside Floyd's City Barber Shop

Life is good... great time with friends! Missing Dr. Ledbetter in this picture- it was freeeeezing
outside and he was so kind as to go get the van so we didn't have to walk in the cold!
Thankful for a safe trip to DC and excited for the rest of the gang to get here tonight!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

333/365

Mizuno's... check. Seamless socks... check. Bright orange tank... check. Advil... check. G2.... check. Jolly Ranchers... check. Clemson hat.... check. Camera charged... check!!!

I love packing for a weekend like this. I hate unpacking after a weekend like this.

Thankful that we're on the packing side. :) Ready to go!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

332/365

Pretty excited... I know I'm not supposed to live for tomorrow, but let's face it, I sort-of am!  Leaving for DC tomorrow via a night stop in Rock Hill. Looking forward to a fun weekend with lots of friends and family in our nation's capital, looking forward to watching Clemson Football from the middle of the city, looking forward to running 10 of the 26.2 miles, and looking forward to the celebration at FIVE GUYS on Sunday! :)

What a weekend ahead...

BUT I know the rule is I have to be thankful for something from TODAY, so here it is.....

I resisted the temptation to eat a burger at Cook Out tonight after Bible study. This was a tough one. I won't mention that I did come home and eat left overs from Ruby Tuesday..... BUT, I didn't eat a burger. I figure burgers at 11pm four days before a race is not the best idea.

Great day-- thankful!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

331/365

I hate to even mention it, but Matt, Rach, Benton and precious Kathryn drove away yesterday.... to that great state of Arizona. Now I feel torn about this event, because I love that state and love going to visit (BEAUTIFUL country.... beautiful mountains right out their back door!), but it's just so far away! And there are too many snakes. It's not very safe for young children..... ;) Thankful for this time with our family- what precious memories!


A second little blessing of the day that I'm thankful for is Jenni Miller. Carrie organized a shower for her at the church today and it was just a blast. We tried to decorate "Jenni-style", and if anybody knows her they know how much she loves BLACK and WHITE and HOT PINK!! Oh, and Paris. So, we went to town and had a blast with the decor! What fun!!!

And the last little blessing (well two) of the day.... been studying Galatians 5 quite a bit here lately and am just falling in love with the passage. Last night I was studying and this verse/thought stood out...
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
(Galatians 5:6 ESV)
What I love about this passage is the fact that Paul isn't speaking and saying... "Hey, you're wrong if you circumcise." He's not saying "People who circumcise are more spiritual than those who don't." No, the focus here isn't the external act of circumcision, it's the faith. God's main concern isn't externals- yes, He does care about a life that is glorifying to Him, He cares about our journey of walking in the Spirit, and the externals must fall in line with that (and WILL fall in line as we are walking by the Spirit), but ultimately He cares about a life of faith that is lived out in love. He wants us to walk with Him in love and live a life of genuine faith that is evidenced by love. Interesting, because so often growing up in Christian circles we see lives focused on "doing" the right thing and lives of criticism towards those who do things differently.... but because of Christ Jesus, these externals aren't the determination of our spirituality. Our faith in Christ... is what counts. Christ is what counts. The cross counts. It's not works that we do that secure our standing with God.... it's all a work of Christ and acceptance of that work by faith!

And lastly on this day something that's been a TRUE encouragement to my heart is a song that I had never heard until tonight. Not sure how I missed this, but it's incredible.




 
I have so much to be thanfkul for because of Christ. All because of Him.

Monday, October 24, 2011

330/365

I promise you I do typically work during the week... but this morning I had HAD to take a little break and take the boys one more time to the airport before Benton heads home to AZ. So, to the airport we went!

What a blast to share this time with these little guys. Today there was so much going on-- watched helicopter's land and take off, the "gas truck" fill up the planes, saw a big jet take off.... and even got to claim our own planes! The boys each have one picked out that is "theirs". Too fun... they loved it!

Thankful for this time with family. Sad to see Matt and Rach head back to AZ tomorrow, but thankful for the time that we've had with them this month! The boys sure are going to miss each other.... 

The jet was loud... so the boys covered their ears. Too funny!

So happy Steph could come!!!



Not many places I'd rather be with anyone else... these little guys have stolen my heart!
They just don't know how much they're loved!

(PS... these pictures were taken with my new phone... and I LOVE IT! I might just not ever pull out my Nikon again... ooook, sike! But really, I love that little phone!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

328/365

Clemson is 8-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great victory today against UNC... missed Dad and Mom being here, though!!
Deeeelicious cinnamon rolls!!!



Enjoyed the game with Katie... she called all the plays for me! ;)

GO TIGERS!
This has been such a FUN season... I've always loved being a Clemson fan (even when we lose), but it SURE IS EXCITING being a Tiger when you're winning! Now to gear up for next week... GT!

Friday, October 21, 2011

327/365

Fun day... everything about it!  Thankful for MADISON! She is such a blessing to me.

It's funny because people ask me how we met... which was about a year ago swing dancing!! Crazy how you meet people in the most random of places and you become such good friends. God bringing her to my life was so intentional. We're both walking through a lot of similar doors right now with our careers and with life in general, and it's been so neat to have each other. God has used her to just constantly point me to Him.... what a blessing. Love you, Madison! Thankful TODAY for you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

326/365

Met with my POWER group in Anderson tonight and had just the best time! Started the evening off with dinner downtown at JPeters, and ended it with a block party. In the middle was the CREAM of the Oreo! Spent a couple hours at Java City sipping on some DELICIOUS caramel coffee studying Galatians 5... walking in the Spirit.

This week we discussed the law and its purpose for us as believers. The law is such a beautiful picture of the character of Christ- perfect. So thankful that God sent His Son to live the perfect life and fulfill the law for us so we are no longer bound by it. What a gift.

As believers our purpose is glorify God through our lives... and as we grow in our relationship with Christ, the Spirit dwelling in us controls us which allows us to walk in a way that pleases Him. When we're walking in the Spirit,  we'll be living in a way that is compatible with God's Word and our lives will please God. It's our flesh that causes us to stray-- that silly little flesh. But the blessing is that no matter how often or how MUCH we fail, we are covered in the righteousness of Christ, and God is waiting to forgive and pour his love and mercy on us. What a compassionate Father we have.

We're pretty blessed. I'm blessed. Walked away tonight thankful that I'm not bound by the law.... but that I have an amazing Father who has covered me, who loves me, who is there to walk with me and pick me up when I fall.

OH and the most incredibly exciting part of the night was that there was a group of girls having a Bible study about 10 feet from us... and guess what they were studying? Well, you guessed right! The law. What a blessing-- love the reality of Christ and the working of the Spirit. Love the Spirit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

325/365

Ohhhh Hey it's Wednesday!

:) Half way through the week and still breathing! What a fun week!!! I feel like I'm still celebrating my birthday.... with a little studying here and there, oh and a little work thrown in there also.

It's been great to be back in the office getting work done. Love what I do. God has blessed me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

324/365

I love that Kathryn and Benton are in town....

Just chillin' on the couch, holding hands, and laughing at Aunt Stephanie. SO PRECIOUS!


They CANNOT go back to that state on the other side of the country. They just can't!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

323/365

Well.... today is my birthday. I am now 24 which is half of 48, or so I've been told. This is approximately a third of my life expectancy. I believe that with this new year comes new responsibility, a sense of maturity, growth, adulthood.

In honor of this day of birth, I received one exceptionally incredible voicemail and e-mail from those who have gone before and already celebrated this year of maturity. I thought I'd share it with those who care! :) (shout out to the winners of the "Most creative birthday wish to Allison" contest... Rachel and Bryyyyyan Buuuuurton!)

video


This has been one of my favorite birthdays! It started with the traditional breakfast in bed....

... and was followed by an iMessage from my dear little sister.... (yea yea, I know I'm so cool... iMessage... ha!)
video


...and then I spent some time out on the golf course with dad and Matt. My boss is pretty incredible. He gave us all the day off in honor of my birth! ;) After playing golf we went back to the house where we met up with the family for a trip to Anderson to go to FIVE GUYS!

All the family minus Monroe, Katie and MOM (who is taking the picture! ) :)
So glad STEPH could be there with us to celebrate the day! Honorary sister!!!
Dad has a habit of talking when his picture is being taken.... :)


WE love Five Guys!!! 

After dinner we went back to the house to eat cake and open gifts... the boys and Kathryn helped me blow out
my candles. THIS PICTURE makes me laugh so much. Candid. Love it that Kathryn's zoning in on the camera.
OH, and Sarah's expression-- she's going to kill me for this! :)

Too bad no icing on this cake! It's not QUITE as much fun to
like candles from a cake with no icing!
Forest and Elizabeth even came by to wish me a
'W'onderful BIRTHDAY!!!

As if the DAY hasn't been exciting enough, the end of the night entailed
some wii just dance for kids... HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Matt was a pro! ;)

All in all, a GREAT day! I am truly blessed. Life is a gift, and I thank God for giving me 24 years of life... and more importantly, eternal life!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

322/365

Matt had his ordination council last week (hence the reason all of the family is in town... which is DEFINITELY worthy of a "thanks Jesus" post :)). Sunday night we had Matt's ordination service at UBC which was such a blessing! The only negative about Matt being at this point in his life is because he is done with school, he's MOVED all the way out to Arizona. Our loss for sure, but so excited for them and what God is doing through their lives.