Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashes to Ashes...

It's Ash Wednesday. This is my prayer for this lenten season. May we all use this time to grow closer to God in all that we do. Wishing you a blessed lent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm back....Hello 2014!

Hello 2014! In my time away from blogging, a lot of life has happend! As I started to think of how I could catch all of you up, I realized that I recapped 2013 in my Christmas letter that I send out in December. So, in order to keep all of life documented here on my blog, here is a catch up post of all the ups and down of 2013. The year started off blazing with an unexpected nomination to be a Fish Camp 2013 Namesake! From the moment I found out about Camp Vaculin, I fell in love with Texas A&M all over again. January-August revolved around me suddenly being crafty, hanging out with 19 year olds, and buying all things BLUE! Getting to know the Aggies involved with my camp was a dream come true. I, without a doubt, gained 26 new family members over the course of 2013 and I couldn’t be happier about that. As I look back, I now realize that being a namesake was probably one of the coolest things that will happen in my lifetime. They say traveling does the heart good! In September, I took a fantastic trip to San Francisco with my best friend/cousin, John and two of our close friends Ashleigh & Garrett. It was a gorgeous state full of friendly people, fresh air, and beautiful sites! I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel with friends…not because of the places we go, but because of the memories we make. I always like to look back at last year to see what I wrote about and how things have changed. Since 2012 was the year of weddings, 2013 was the year of babies! On October 14th, I became a crazy aunt of TWO as our family welcomed my new nephew, Owen Joseph Abraham! I didn’t think Reid could get any cuter, but then he became a big brother. There are a lot of things in life that make me proud, but my nephews take the prize. Owen brought with him a new experience for me in making me a first time Godmother. Weeks later (on Thanksgiving Day), I became a Godmother again as my cousin Travis and his wife Kayla welcomed Chancey Lane Dohnalik! These two boys have already stolen my heart and have given me a new sense of responsibility to set a good example in my faith, my love for others, and the way I live. Unfortunately, 2013 has also had some struggles, as most years do. At the end of October our family said goodbye to my sweet Aunt Lisa after a long, hard battle with cancer. Even in the darkest moments of life, there are blessings to be found. This year I was reminded of how unbelievable our family is. It’s easy to be there for each other in times of joy and celebration. Yet, more importantly, I saw just how blessed we are in times of sorrow and struggle. As October ended and November began, a new leaf seemed to be turning. On November 1st I went on a first date with a guy that has turned out to be quite the surprise. Kevin has been an unexpected breath of fresh air for me as 2013 comes to an end. If you haven’t met him, I hope you get to soon!  AND there is is. As best of a recap of 2013 as I could do. I look forward to blogging more over the next couple months and hope that I don't bore you with all that is coming your way (since I have a LOT to catch up on). Love you all!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Selfless Service

Howdy Everyone! This morning I saw the link to my blog on my Facebook profile and realized that it had been a LONG time since I have even looked at my blog. As I scrolled through my old posts, reading my thoughts and posts from years back, I realized just how much I love reflecting on the past. What a wonderful reminder for me to post a new blog today so years from now I can look back and remember those memories you never want to forget. So get ready for an overload of posts coming your way. It is my goal to get back on track! Since my last post in October of 2012 a lot of excitment has happened! This year I decided to spend time focusing on things that were important to me and as a result would inspire others. As I looked back on 2012 I noticed that I spent a lot of time doing things for everyone else but failed to really focus on me and making an impact. As I sat down at the beginning of 2013 to think about what I wanted to do this year, selfless services kept coming to mind. While I wanted to make time to focus on me, I think selfless servie ultimately is a reward for yourself. I get so much fulfillment out of helping others. But, I do think that selfless service also means knowing where to draw the line. At some point, selfless service can result in you loosing track of yourself and doing things for you because you are making so much time for others. Therefore, my goal for this year is to focus on being selfless and inspiring others while still making time for myself and my future. Stay tuned for updates on the latest.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monster Mash Pudding Cups

Looking for a cute (and easy) idea this Halloween? Try these Monster Mash Pudding Cups. Supplies Needed: 1. Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (Size depends on servings) 2. Green Food Coloring 3. Oreos 4. Clear Cups 5. Black Sharpie... First you take your sharpie and draw the faces on the clear cups. Try to keep the faces as low as possible in order to use less pudding per cup. Next, you will make the instant vanilla pudding according to directions on box. Once mixed, add green food coloring. Add as much as needed to get the color you are hoping for. Once mixed, let pudding chill until firm. On the side throw the oreos into a food processor until blended. Then you simply scoop the pudding into the cup and add the oreos to the top. Fill cups as full as you wish. Like I said...super easy! One suggestion, the pudding doesn't go quite as far as I expected. So, if you are making 10 or more cups, you will need 3-4 of the big instant pudding boxes. Good luck, and ENJOY! Pictures below for your reference.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take My Life.

I absolutely love how music can make you feel. Not just any kind of feeling...an intimate feeling that leads you to tears of praise! Last night at St. Mary's I heard the most beautiful song called 'Take My Life'. Some of you problem know it, but it was a new one for me. I wanted to share the lyrics with all of you. Tonight this is my prayer. May God take my life to serve him in whatever way he wills...

"Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Haha…What didn’t I do? I graduated with my Master’s Degree. I got my first REAL JOB, (which resulted in me learning about insurance, taxes, and all that fun ‘adult stuff’). And most importantly, I became an AUNT!

No. Last year I told myself I was going to watch the morning news every day in order to keep up with events happening around the world. What can I say; I have a connection with GAC and CMT that cannot be broken. ;)

YES!! On May 9th at 2:01 p.m. Lacey & Chris welcomed my perfect nephew to the world. Reid Wayne Abraham has been the perfect addition to our family in 2011! Can’t wait to see what is in store for him in 2012! Also in March my friends Nikkie & Jay Walthall welcomed their first son, Clayton Zane and in August my cousin Kathy & Damion Turner welcomed their second son, Kamdon Wyatt!

Thankfully, no.

In 2012, I want to become more involved in my church, be financially stable, be healthier, and learn more at work to become a better international student advisor!

May 6th: The day I graduated with my M.S. from Okstate and May 9th: The day Reid was born.

Completing my Master’s Degree at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!). That walk across the stage (after forgetting my name card in my seat and having to go back… in front of everyone…to get it) was the perfect end to hours of studying, hundreds of pages written, and a thousand pounds of stress.

While I try to see everything as an opportunity to learn, I think my biggest failure of the year was my attempt at online dating. I guess it wasn’t in God’s plan for me.

No. Only little colds and belly aches here and there. My health and the good health of others is something I am extremely thankful for. In past years this is something I have taken for granted and hope to take a better handle on being healthy in 2012!

This is sad, but the best thing I bought in 2011 was my recliner! Technically it was my graduation gift from Mom and Dad. I love relaxing in my chair... and yes, I will admit it. Even if it makes me sound like an 80 year old. Haha.

As with every year, my friends and family give me so much to celebrate and be proud of. In 2011, Erin & Bethany both graduated from A&M. Kayla graduated from Tarleton. My friends at OSU landed great jobs in higher education, Lindsey moved into a great apartment in Houston, and Chris & Lacey have proved to be amazing parents to Reid! Every day I am so proud to witness these people (and all of you) accomplish great things!

I try not to associate with people who appall me. ;)

Most of my money in 2011 went to the usual: rent, groceries, and now…student loans. I definitely do not take the lack of debt that Mr. Terry blessed me with in undergrad!

This one is easy…my nephew! Everything about him excites me! I am so proud of him and the sweet little character he is!

As usual, I loved my country music this year and in June, Lindsey and I went to the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee! So any songs I heard there would probably stick out to me for 2011!

Every year I wish I had traveled more. I also wish I would have eaten healthier and exercised more.

I wish I had done less wasting time when I lived Stillwater. While I think I did and saw a lot in my two years there, there was still a lot I did not do.

Since I was back in Texas this Christmas, I spent it with family and friends! Our Christmas changed since we had Reid to focus on now! It was so fun watching him open presents and steal the show. This Christmas I also did my best to remember the real reason for the season and do good for others!

Nope. Here’s to a hopeful 2012!

I have a few…How I Met Your Mother, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Amazing Race and my newest shows in 2011 were Modern Family, Parenthood, & The Biggest Loser!

I wanted a job and thankful the Lord provided! I also REALLY wanted to be there the day Reid was born, and luckily he answered everyone’s prayers!

To find a man….again, I am hopeful for 2012!

The first half of the year I was still in school, so I could still dress casual and comfortable. The second half of the year I my fashion sense changed to wearing business professional every day to work! My closet has been transformed to include dress pants and cardigans of every color!

In 2011, my faith kept me sane. When making a big life change, I tend to rely on prayer and reflection a lot more. I am so thankful that, no matter how long it takes me, God is always there to listen and to answer my prayers! I am so thankful to be aware of all the blessings I am granted daily. All my blessings definitely kept me sane this year!

While I was in Oklahoma, Texas was considering making guns legal on college campuses. This ‘stirred’ me for sure! Working on a college campus makes this topic personal and whether you have a firearm for protection or not…they are not needed on a college campus.

2011 has introduced me to a lot of new friends and family! I am really blessed to work with some great people who I enjoy! But, you all know the BEST new person I met in 2011 had to be Mr. Reid! He always makes me smile!

2011 taught me so much about giving back. One of the main reasons I joined the field of student affairs is to help others the way I was helped through my college career. Over the course of this year, I have been given the opportunity to give back to Texas A&M (a school that I love), to give back to Lord (in terms of being more open with my faith and resources), and to give back to family (by being there to celebrate all the little things or lift each other up when needed). I have learned that no matter where I am, I need to be there. There is nothing more important than being present in mind, body, and soul. Whatever you are doing, do it to the best of your ability. This is the best lesson I learned in 2011.

Monday, December 5, 2011

11 Things You Should Know at 25(ish)

I came across this journal written by an author named Shauna Niequist. I immediately fell in love with the words and wisdom she shared. For those of us in our 20's....TAKE TIME TO READ THIS!!

Copy and paste this link into your browser...you won't regret it!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Lesley's Top 10 Study Tips

First I want to wish all of you GOOD LUCK on your finals! I will admit that I was not the best student of them all, but here are my TOP 10 TIPS for studying for finals. Hope some of this is helpful:

1. Create an environment conducive to studying. Students sometimes think a corner cafe or their bed is a great place to study. DO NOT STUDY IN YOUR BED. It doesn't work. Trust me. :)

2. Find a place that is free of distractions, well lit, and gives you ample space to spread out books and notes.

3. Procrastination won't help. Students often think (AS I DID!) that cramming for a final is the best way to study, but it is not. Students need to prepare 7-10 days before the exam, especially when preparing for mutliple exams.

4. Everyone has a different learning style. Find what works best for you. Just because your friends can study in groups doesn't mean you have to!!

5. Form a study group (ONLY if you can study in groups!!). Don't necessarily study with your friends. This is a good chance to surround yourself with other people who are focused on the same tests you are. Compare notes, quizzes, and other work.

6. Freshen up on notes. Notes are a great way to review the material from the semester...unless of course, you didn't take any. In that case, you better go to plan B. ;)

7. Drink lots of water! Everyone loves to get hyped up on coffee and caffine during finals. It's what you do...BUT, don't forget to also drink lots of H2O to keep hydrated. Your body needs it!

8. Get some sleep! Again, just like drinking water, your body needs sleep! Try to manage your time while studying to allow yourself to get plenty of sleep at night. Your mind works better when it has had some rest.

9. Pray. I know lots of students remember to pray during finals, but don't forget to pray before studying. Ask God to give you a clear mind and to be able to absorb the knowledge you are learning.

9. After your finals are over, be sure to reward yourself! Those of us who have been in college know just how much work and focus goes into finals. Once they are over, do something for yourself or buy yourself something you normally wouldn't. You deserve it!

So here is my little prayer for all of you...
"Dear God, please give all students peace during their finals and tests coming up. May they have a clear mind ready to absorb the knowledge you are giving them. While I know right now they just want them to be over, allow them to stop and be thankful for their education. Please be with them as they prepare and take their exams to do the very best they can. May they turn to you in moments of need and thank you in moments of joy! In your name I pray. Amen"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A month of thanks!

A lot of people on facebook have been posting what they are thankful for each day! I thought this was a great idea!! So often we overlook the many blessings we are given. So here's my monthly post in progress of things I am thankful for this November...

Nov. 1: I am thankful for my sweet nephew, Reid. I had no idea I could love someone from the moment I met them. Thank you for bringing so much joy to our family!

Nov. 2: I am thankful for my bed. So many people in the world don't have a nice, warm bed to crawl into every night.

Nov. 3: I am thankful for candles. There is just something about lighting a candle that relaxes me. So thankful for the reminder to relax.

Nov. 4: I am thankful for the Wades/Turners. I am so thankful for the relationship I have with Jerry, Margie, Christa, Kathy (& her gang). They always include me on family gatherings and remind me how blessed our family is to have genuinely good people in it!

Nov. 5: I am thankful for my Mom. I am so blessed to have such a close friendship with her. She has taught me to always put others first, enjoy whatever you are doing, and to rely on your faith. I am so blessed to have a woman like her to look up to.

Nov. 6: I am thankful for Sundays. No explaination needed...you all know what I mean!

Nov. 7: I am thankful for coffee! There is nothing better than a cup of coffee on a Monday morning to get you going. I have also had some of the best conversations with close friends over a cup of coffee...or caramel frappacino! hehe..

Nov. 8: I am thankful for my home. Daily, I take for granted the fact that I have a place to go home to. A shelter over my head that is mine.

Nov. 9: I am thankful for country music! In honor of the CMA's tonight, I am so thankful for music that tells a story I can relate to.

Nov. 10: I am thankful for my friends Brian & Tiffany! They got engaged last night! Those two people have been there for me through thick and thin and have shown me that love should be based on friendship. The truly are two of the most genuine people in the whole world! Congrats you two!

Nov. 11: I am thankful for all those men and women who have and continue to serve our country in the military! Living in a free country is something so many of us take for granted. Thank YOU for your service.

Nov. 12: I am thankful for every person I have ever come in contact with. With today being my 25th birthday, I am thankful for everyone supporting me, teaching me, lifting me up, and inspiring me. I am so blessed to live the life I do.

Nov. 13: I am thankful for time with the girls! There is just something sweet about being around a group of inspirational women that makes me want to be a better woman. I am so thankful to know so many strong, giving, and motivational women.

Nov. 14: I am thankful for music. There is something about a good song coming from a beautiful voice that can touch your heart. No matter what type, music can touch the soul.

Nov. 15: I am thankful for having money in my wallet. I overlook the common task to just swipe a card or have cash to buy things. Many people do not have enough money to buy food for their family much less pull into Starbucks on a random afternoon.

Nov. 16: I am thankful for my job. Every day I get to come to a place that allows me to use my talents to help others. While there are days that are not shiny and bright, I have a job to go to, and for that, I am extremely thankful!

Nov. 17: I am thankful for having my own transportation. Today at work we were discussing ways to find transportation for our international students to events around town. I take for granted how nice and easy it is to jump in my truck and go where I want to go, when I want to go.

Nov. 18: I am thankful for being a part of the Aggie Family. Texas A&M is a magical place that has provided me with so many blessings. Today, I remember those lost Aggies who gave their lives to keep the Aggie Spirit alive.

Nov. 19: I am thankful for family. My family is absolutely one of a kind. I wouldn't trade them for the world. They are my strength, my encouragers, my best friends! Love you all.

Nov. 20: I am thankful for St. Mary's! That church has provided me with a home for my faith. The Lord has given a place to go to spend time with him when I need things to slow down. It is the church where I worshiped with many friends every Sunday during school. Now that I am back, it continues to be an integral place for me and my relationship with God.

Nov. 21: I am thankful for the farmers. For all the hard work they do to provide the world with food. Thank you!

Nov. 22: I am thankful for my roommate Bethany! I am very lucky to have such a great friend to live with. I am so glad we became friends years ago and that friendship has grown into something very special. Look forward to the years to come!

Nov. 23: I am thankful for my dad! Today is his 60th birthday. He is such a good man. I am blessed to call him my daddy!

Nov. 24: First, I am thankful for my sister Lacey! Today is her birthday. She is one of my best friends and has given me one of the biggest blessings of my life, Reid! I am so blessed to have a sister like her!