Missing Maywood

Every summer, from 8 years old to 18 years old, I would spend the last week of June in Hamilton, Alabama at “The center of God’s Universe”. Or at least that’s what we called it. Maywood Christian Camp has always held a special place in my heart, and it still does, though I have not been a camper for the past three summers. 

Maywood

 

At Maywood, it’s incredible how detached from the real world you get. For one week, you are submerged in a world completely focused on one thing: God. It’s so much easier to be a Christian at Maywood where you are surrounded by 250 people who share your same beliefs and who want nothing more than to praise and glorify God right along with you. 

Old Maywood

 

A blast from the past. We were about 10 or 11 years old.

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During fun sing with the entire camp

I have so many wonderful memories from the 10 weeks I spent there as a camper: spending time getting to know a group of girls that I would spend that week with every summer, staying up late telling ghost stories and talking, crafts, holding a funeral for a dead frog (we were such strange children), hundreds of memory verses, friendship bracelets, fun sings with Ben and Travis, wishing that the speaker system would give out so we didn’t have to wake up to Larry and JJ every morning, “Maywood hems”, ballfield devos, heartfelt discussions about God, hugging and crying with those who had rededicated their life or had just put on Christ, growing closer to my own youth group and other campers, sports, clean cabin awards, skit nights, closing every night out with “A Common Love”, starting a relationship with the man who will eventually become my husband. Those are just a few of the memories I cherish from Maywood.

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My last cabin, Perga. I spent 10 years with most of these wonderful girls.

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My youth group at Maywood. We usually bring one of the largest groups.

One of my favorite memories came just last year when I was visiting one night. My fiancé and I began dating at Maywood three years ago on a Sunday night. We try every year to go back down there on our anniversary to visit. When we visited on our anniversary last year, he surprised me by proposing, making Maywood special in another way as well. We’ve joked about getting married there as well since that’s where we began dating and got engaged. (Our anniversary just happens to fall on a Friday–the day of the week we want to get married!). I don’t think the campers would enjoy having a wedding invade on their bonfire night though 🙂

maywoodproposal maywoodproposal2 maywoodproposal3 

The past three summers I haven’t been able to attend Maywood. I’m too old to be a camper, but I could go back as a counselor. However, school and work have kept me out of it, as well as this year. I’ve visited multiple times during the week in the past, but I won’t be able to this year. I’m bound and determined next year to go back as a counselor and hopefully touch someone’s life the way that so many teachers, counselors, and others have touched my life. Maywood will always hold a special place in my heart, and I know right now there are 250 people in Hamilton, AL that feel the exact same way.

I’ll leave you with this little video my sister put together that shows just what Maywood means to us.

What Maywood Means To Me

<3Katie

 

11 Months

11 months from today I will be marrying this wonderful man!

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And since I didn’t have a blog when we passed the 12 month mark (when we actually started counting like this), here’s that picture too.

12I can’t wait!

<3Katie

 

Flashes of my Friday

1. It’s Friday. That’s pretty exciting. Of course, down here my work days and weekends really don’t have much of a difference. I just don’t have to go sit in an office and do nothing for a few hours. I can just do that in my apartment. 😉

2. I still haven’t figured out how to do actual emoticons on WordPress. So I’m stuck with the limited sideways versions I know 🙂 Hopefully I’ll figure out all of the ins and outs of this blogging thing soon!

UPDATE: I just realized they corrected themselves when I publish the post. I’m a genius, guys.

3. My sister introduced me to Dillon Hodges this weekend when I went home. I had heard of him before, but I’m usually a little leery of artists who all of a sudden pop up and it seems like everyone loves for a few minutes and then forget about. But I REALLY like his stuff. In fact, I’m listening to it right now. He’s actually from my hometown (I definitely claim the entire Shoals area as my hometown).

4. Speaking of the Shoals area, isn’t it funny how you take your hometown for granted until you move away from it? In high school, I just wanted to get away from Killen/Florence and go off to school. I ended up sticking around at UNA and realized just how amazing my hometown really is. Even though Tuscaloosa is just 3.5 hrs away (less than 3 if I’m driving ;)), it’s definitely not home. Florence has so many amazing things to offer that are homegrown. UNA is a beautiful, small little campus that has definitely become home to me. I can’t believe I only have 1 year left! Also, Florence/Muscle Shoals has so many wonderful musicians (Dillon Hodges, The Secret Sisters, John Paul White of The Civil Wars, etc) that have come from it and a quaint little downtown that you just can’t beat anywhere else. Ok, enough of Florence. I’m sure you’ll hear plenty more later on 🙂

Oh, and my college campus also has two live lion mascots. Beat that.

5. I had an AMAZING quesadilla for lunch today! Not that it was really important to tell you, but I was excited. My mom sent me home with a crockpot full of Italian chicken this past weekend and between that and various parties (meaning my chemistry group gathering and spending the evening with my sweet cousins) I attended that fed me, I wasn’t able to satisfy the strong quesadilla craving I had been having all week until this afternoon. Of course, it was no where as good as Moe’s though. LOVE that place.

6. I got paid today! Again, not necessary info but I’m still pretty stinking excited.

7. The fiancé and I reserved our reception venue today! We reserved the amphitheater and a pavilion across the street from the church we are getting married in. We actually reserved the pavilion so early that they don’t even have a book with our date in it yet to reserve! But seeing as I definitely do NOT want an indoor reception, we wanted to make sure we got it.

8. I’m currently trying to work up the energy to go to the university gym and do some kind of workout. I so wish I was one of those people who loved to sweat and exercise. Sadly, I am not. But I paid the $26 for the membership this month so I need to make the most of it! I’m thinking of trying the Couch to 5K running plan again. I tried it in February 2012 and absolutely loved it up until week 5. It’s suppose to gradually increase the amount of time you run constantly (for the people who can’t run for a full 5 mins to save their lives AKA me), but around week 5 it jumped from running 8 mins straight to 20 mins. Um, yeah. That nearly killed me and definitely killed my running dreams.

9. The roommates and I have a movie party planned for tomorrow night! We plan to actually make use of our depressing little kitchen/living area and watch The Princess Bride complete with popcorn and candy thanks to my future in-laws and cousins, Zane and Mandie.

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How can you not love this movie?

10. I suppose I’ve procrastinated long enough. Off to the gym! 😦   Have a good Friday!

<3Katie

And so it goes…

Excuse my Billy Joel reference, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Over the past few months I have found myself drawn to reading blogs more and more. Having an opportunity to glimpse into other peoples’ lives and everyday happenings (although it sounds slightly creepy now that I’ve typed it!) intrigues me. I’ve tried several times to start a blog or journal myself before. Here’s how it normally goes.

1. Create ANOTHER blog (there are probably a good dozen that I’ve tried to start before that now sit there with just one post) or buy another journal with the thought “Hey! This time its’ actually going to last!”

2. Post/write one entry.

3. Forget I ever started the blog/journal and let it collect dust (figuratively or literally).

However with all the exciting things coming up in my life (wedding, college graduation, big girl job(let’s pray this one happens!)), hopefully I will have enough motivation and inspiration to keep this up. If not, well there’s one more blog to add to the stack.

Most of the blogs I’ve been reading (see my blogroll to visit these awesome sites) have been health/exercise blogs. Which is kind of ironic considering I usually eat the typical college student diet (although less Raman and a bit more avocado and spinach) and my exercise routine is well…non-existent. I guess I live vicariously through these women. I admire them though and now that I’ve got this little blog here, it’ll give me a little more motivation to get my lazy butt to the gym more than once a week (especially since I currently live less than a 5 min walk from one) and create slightly healthier meals now that I’m living on my own (more on this later).

Anyway, I probably should be heading back to work now that my lunch break is going on two hours! 😉

<3Katie