life beyond the well…


And Then I Won a Liebster Award?

liebster-awardLast week A couple of weeks ago, Hayley from A Beautiful Exchange nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is another way for bloggers to connect, encourage each other, and find new blogs to read.  It was a total surprise, and I was humbled to know that other people besides Preacherman and my close friends and family read my blog!

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

-Thank your nominator! Include a link back to their blog with your appreciation
-Answer the 11 questions given to you by your nominator
-Post 11 facts about yourself
-Nominate 5-11 other up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers for the award–no tag backs!
-Come up with your own set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer
-Let your nominees know you nominated them so they can pass it on
Thanks, Hayley!  I love reading your blog and learning about your life in NC as a new wife and a new mommy!  Your faith and your reflections on life are refreshing!
Now for these questions:
  1. What is your favorite meal?  This is tough because I love food a little too much to be healthy. I definitely try to save most of my calories for dinner (although I know I should eat more at breakfast).
  2. What is the most embarrassing moment of your life? I’m not sure that I have one.  Maybe because I’m not easily embarrassed or anything that may have been embarrassing at the time is just funny now?  I asked Preacherman to remind me of an embarrassing story I told him, and he couldn’t find one either.  The time I almost choked during communion?  I’m just not sure.  I’m sure this means something embarrassing will happen really soon!
  3. Tell us about your first boyfriend ever. Please include the juvenile, gushy details.  My first real boyfriend was in middle school- we met at a dance and “went together” all through 7th and 8th grades.  We both played sports, and were tall and skinny.  We went to our 8th grade Prom together and my parents rented a Lincoln TownCar and chauffeured us to the dance. We broke up because he kissed another girl (my “friend”) on the bus.
  4. What is the story behind the name of your blog? You can find that here.
  5. If you had to live with 3 celebrities, who would you pick? Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Kelly Ripa- I think they’d be a lot of fun, and I would totally want access to their stylists and makeup artists!
  6. What are your top 3 favorite blog posts you have written? That’s tough, but I’d have to say this one on making marriage look good, my reflections one year after losing a student, and my thoughts on losing a friend.  
  7. If you had to pick a name for your next child right this second, what would it be? Boy- Esias, Girl- Elliana, Embry, Emery (see a pattern?!)
  8. What’s your favorite type of ice cream? Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Breyer’s Oreo Blast
  9. What are your everyday shoes? Hmmm…either my platinum Jack Rogers flats or my black C.Wonder flats or my red TOMS wedges
  10. What was the last purchase you made? Groceries (other than lots of goodies for Preacherman for Father’s Day)
  11. If you could go back in time and tell the 16 year old you one thing, what would it be? Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world.  What you’re searching for can only be found in an authentic relationship with God.  Pursue that, and you’ll have your heart’s desires.
And 11 Facts about Me:
  1. I gave my life to the Lord at age 20, and it’s been on the up and ups ever since.
  2. It’s almost impossible for me to turn down a cupcake- especially one with buttercream frosting.
  3. My favorite color is pink.
  4. I love school supplies (pens, notebooks, cutesy supplies…)
  5. I used to be a horribly clumsy, uncoordinated tomboy.
  6. I believe that unequal access to a great education is one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time.
  7. If I had to be a superhero, I’d choose to be WonderWoman.
  8. I hate paying full price for ANYTHING- the sale and clearance racks are my best friend.
  9. I love sports- particularly college basketball and college football.
  10. I LOVE to read.  I mostly read blogs now since there’s not much time other than reading for my dissertation or reading my word.
  11. Soon, I will be Dr. Erin (once I finish this dissertation!)


Who I’m Nominating for the Liebster Award:

  1. Chamel from Chamel’s Creations
  2. Hannah at Wonderfully Sewn
  3. Jessica at Forever Convinced
  4. Quana at The Accidental Military Wife
  5. Mionna from JustMi


And My 11 Questions:

  1. What’s the best dish that you cook?
  2. What was your favorite subject when you were in school/growing up?
  3. What’s your all-time favorite book? Why?
  4. If you had the opportunity to start your own business, what kind of business would it be?
  5. What’s the best piece of advice you received from your parents?
  6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  7. Cats or Dogs?  Which one would you prefer as a pet?
  8. Did you play any sports while in school?  If so, which ones?
  9. If you could have an all-expenses paid vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go?
  10. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  11. Chipotle, Qdoba, or Moe’s?

Thanks again, Hayley for nominating me!  I appreciate your support!

Be encouraged!  Peace and blessings!


More Monday: A Quick Wedding Photo Video

So, I really had no intention of sharing more wedding photos so soon- that is until I received a message from our wonderful photographer Ashley that she had a surprise for me and Preacherman!  We were completely blown away by this video she put together, compiling some of our engagement photos and our wedding photos!  Take a look:

To say that we loved it would be an understatement!  Thanks Ashley!  And again, if you are in need of photos for your event/life, you should DEFINITELY connect with her!

Peace and Blessings!


Friday Favorites: Wedding Pictures

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday marked two months that Preacherman and I have been married!  Time flies when you’re having fun!

Because I haven’t shared many of them on here, and I promised that I would, here are a few of my favorite wedding photographs.  Honestly, they are ALL my favorite, and our AMAZING photographer, Ashley, of ArtbyAsh deserves every accolade possible!  She did awesome work, and I may have finally persuaded Preacherman to let me keep her on a small monthly retainer so that we can have a photo session whenever we like!

Without further ado:

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Photo above: Me with my wonderful bridesmaids!

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Photo above: Preacherman and his handsome groomsmen.

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Photo above: Prayer with my Dad, Pastor Nate.

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Photo above: Preacherman and I praying together before the wedding- on opposite sides of the wall so we couldn’t see each other!

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Photo above: Going to hug my mom- because you’re never too old for hugs from Mommy!

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Photo above: The bouquets!

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Photo above: Me, opening Preacherman’s wedding gift.  He did a good great job!

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Photo above: Our wedding bands and the program.

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Photo above: Check the hands- we’s married now!

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Photo above: Preacherman and I walking into our future.

Such a wonderful, magical day!  To God be the glory for the things He has done!  Peace and blessings!

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Friday Favorites: My Students

I love my students.  I love my career.  While I don’t always love what it entails, I am extremely grateful that I have a job, and that I have a job I love.  I know that many people are not in the same boat.

My students are awesome.  I don’t know that there are enough words to describe them, but the joy that I feel in my heart when they greet me in the morning, come chat with me at lunch, hug me after being accepted to the college of their choice, text me to ask me how my weekend was, call me to schedule lunch/dinner while they’re home from college…it’s amazing.

This is not to say that they don’t frustrate me.  They do.  Frequently.  However, my goal is always to love them to death; my prayer is always for God to make up the difference where I lack.

I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of their journey.

Until next time…

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Friday Favorites- Books

I’ve always loved to read, and even as an adult; one of my favorite past times is to curl up with a book or a magazine.  One of the best parts of any month is when my Real Simple magazine arrives in the mail and I’m able to take time to read the whole magazine from cover to cover.

I don’t just read magazines, however.  My graduate coursework has me constantly reading articles from journals on education, leadership, organizations, and I try to read news articles every day.  But at the end of the day, I’m in love with books.  Here are my favorite books- those that I’ve read over time that truly pushed my thinking forward and changed my life.

  1. The Bible- As a believer, this is the most important book that I own.  Reading the Bible has given me clarity, peace, comfort, and revelation.  Each time I read it, I learn something new; and I’m challenged to become better.
  2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X- Perhaps in stark contrast to the book choice above, but this book truly allowed me to understand Malcolm X as a person, and what he believed in regards to civil rights and his faith.  Most importantly, I was able to see Malcolm X as he was, and not as he was taught to me or projected to me by my teachers and history books.
  3. The Souls of Black Folk- I didn’t read this until college, and I was immediately struck by how relevant it was, nearly 100 years later.  As with many, DuBois’ articulation of double-consciousness resonated with me.  The idea of the “Talented Tenth” made me uncomfortable, and it forced me to reexamine the role that I, as an educated black woman, play in my community, my family, and the world.
  4. Up From Slavery- I wasn’t a Booker T. Washington fan; and as a teacher, there are still parts of me that subscribe to DuBois’ belief in liberal arts education.  However, I HAD to respect the story and the hustle (if you want to call it that) of Booker T. Washington.  That, by itself, is amazing; and it increased the amount of respect that I had for Booker T. Washington.
  5. A Lesson Before Dying- I’m not sure how I ended up reading this book, but I’ve read it every year for the past 5 years.  It always helps me to adjust my focus as a teacher in a rural area; as someone who graduated from college, left, and then came back to my home state; and it allows me to think about the responsibility I have to educate others- whether formally or informally.
  6. Strength to Love and Why We Can’t Wait- the rhetoric of Dr. King is powerful, insightful, and expresses the need for change much better than many things that I’ve read.  These books are tied because I don’t know that I could honestly choose between them.
  7. The Shack- this book was recommended to me by a friend during a difficult time, and it transformed the way that I viewed and approached my faith. I would HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who needs to view their faith in a different way.

There are MANY, MANY more books that I could list here..and perhaps I’ll revisit this list later on.  However, those are my *top top* favorites!  What are your favorite books?


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Friday Favorites- Electronics and Gadgets

Since most of the first world is observing Black Friday, stocking up on all these electronics and gadgets that they feel will make their life better, I figure I’d take the time to make this “Friday Favorites” about my favorite electronics and gadgets.

I’m not really a techie, or a gadget person; however, I appreciate anything that makes my life easier.  That said, here are the gadgets that I keep close:

  1. Apple MacBook Pro– this is a new addition to my life, as a result of begging and bartering with my parents as to what would be a sufficient birthday present.  I had friends who told me it would change my life.  They were right.  It is SO intuitive and user-friendly.  I don’t know how I went this long with it.
  2. Apple iPhone– this is my latest tech addition, and again- I love it.  I love having my apps and music with me all the time.  Again, it’s super intuitive and user-friendly.  I haven’t had to look at the user-manual for anything.  And it has GREAT battery life.
  3. Apple iPod Nano– I love music and being able to have my iPod in my car has been WONDERFUL.  Again, Apple found a way to simplify my life and bring things that I love to my fingertips.
  4. Amazon Kindle– I have always loved to read; however, I was hesitant about getting an e-reader because I was afraid that I’d miss the feel of a book in my hands.  However, with my Kindle, I have SEVERAL books with me at once, and I love that I can go back and forth between them whenever I feel like it.
  5. Flash drive and Portable Hard drive– I’ve lost enough flash drives, documents, and other things on a computer to always keep these with me.  I try to back up my computer and flash drives once a week to make sure that I don’t lose anything.  I suppose I could also transfer all of my stuff to Google Docs…but…I like my current system.

I feel like my gadget list is pretty basic.  All of my essentials; nothing flashy or extra.  What are your essential/favorite gadgets?

Until next time…

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Friday Favorites- Intangibles

I decided to start doing a weekly series on my favorites because I felt that it would help me be reminded of all of the things I have in my life that I’m grateful for. Each Friday, will have a different “theme” for my favorites. I’ll start this week with “intangibles”.

While “intangible” is defined as something that is “unable to to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence” (courtesy of, I’m extending that definition to include things that cannot be purchased. It’s my blog. I can do that. And without further ado…

  1. Family- I think my family is comprised of the best people God could have given me. They keep it real, they love me, they support me, and they let me be me. I have yet to discover the limits of their love for me, and quite frankly, I don’t think it exists.
  2. Faith- Perhaps this should have been first. Oh well. My faith is the glue that holds me together. When all fails, I can rest in my faith.
  3. Hugs- I don’t know that I was always a hugger, but I have definitely become one. As a teacher, I give out at least 7 hugs a day. Sometimes the kids need it. Sometimes I need it. Many a hug has brightened my day.
  4. Silence- I enjoy silence and being alone with my thoughts. I’m a processer by nature, so I enjoy having time to decipher what I think and feel and why I think and feel a certain way. So much of my day is spent in noise and conversation that by the end of the day, I’m grateful for an opportunity to just “be”.
  5. Love- There aren’t enough words to describe this feeling. Life is incomplete without love.  And in the words of the old hymn, “…when nothing else could help, love lifted me…”
  6. Friends- I think that I have the best ones, but I’m obviously biased. If you don’t have people in your life that are there for you through whatever and who care enough to tell you the truth, life can be really hard.

So that wraps it up for my first round of Friday Favorites. Until next time…