Thursday, December 13, 2007

We Finished!!

I am so excited to say that the half marathon is over! I don't have much to say, other than it was hard. Very hard, but I feel a very big sense of accomplishment. Dad ran with me, Deborah was supposed to, but she had to go back to Oklahoma to avoid the ice storm. Mom walked it and finished not too far behind me. She was amazing! Lisa & Kyla finished too - a good bit in front of me. Here's some pictures to summarize the experience!


Me & Lisa at the expo



Deb the morning of the race. Before she had to head back to Oklahoma.



Me & Lisa before the race.



Mom & Dad before the race.

Me in the car after the race...I finished!


I don't have any pictures from during the race. I think Shawn took some, so I'll post them when I get them!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Every Good & Perfect Gift...

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about how thankful for all the things that God has given me. I know it seems kind of cliche at this time of year, but it's almost like I've had to remind myself that God has given me good things. I have set my sight so much on the things I don't have or the things that I think aren't fair in my life. So, I've been making an effort to write down the things that God has done in my life lately and all of the things that He has blessed me with. It's amazing what looking at those things does to take your mind off of the little petty things. Here's a few of things things that I am SO thankful for:
  • My Wonderful Family - I mean, really, I couldn't ask for a better family!


  • The chance to go to Brazil and get to tell some great kids about Jesus. And the chance to go back in April!!
  • GREAT FRIENDS!!!!! God has provided me with great friendships in every area of my life. These are just a few of the amazing people He has place in my life.

LB & Julia - here being my triathlon support. Everyday just being wonderful, consistent friends!

Lisa - my running buddy! Without her, I would most certainly not be in shape and I probably would have walked out of student ministries after the first week except for the fact that she talked to me and let me sit with her & her girls!

And my favorite girls!!! I can't imagine what my life would be like without these girls! My parents prayed for great friends and roommates in college, and boy did God deliver. These girls are without a doubt the people who know me the best and that I know will always be around!

  • Some amazing 8th grade girls who I'm pretty sure teach me more than I teach them. It's hard to believe that they are in 8th grade already. Being their small group leader for the last 2 and a half years has been such a huge learning experiences and one of the greatest blessings in my life. I can't wait to see what the Lord does in them in the next 4 and a half years!


Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. James 1:17

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going to the Chapel...

No, of course I'm not, but Michelle is! My wonderful college roommate Michelle got engaged Sunday afternoon and I could not be more excited! Charlie & Michelle are such a great fit - I've known it since the second I met him. Anyone who can meet Michelle's parents (which is really quite an experience all its own), her sister, and me & Sarah all in the same day without being phased is obviously worth keeping around. I've loved getting to know Charlie and just see his character and how there is no one else I could imagine my Michelle marrying.

SO, all that to say they got engaged on Sunday. Saturday, Michelle & I drove down to Waco to see Emily. On the way down Michelle says, "I think I want to get engaged tomorrow." Of course, I almost have a heart attack, and try to make sure my face isn't giving me away. After my mild internal freak out, I'd say I did a pretty sure I did a good job of lying/telling her not to have any expectations for the next afternoon when her and Charlie were hanging out.

After he proposed (at White Rock Lake) they came to Meredith's house where 60 of their close friends and family were waiting to celebrate with them. It was so much fun to hang out and see all of the people who really love these two people there. Anyhow, much fun was had at the party, I was forgiven for lying, and all that's left if pictures from the night's festivities.

Me with Ryan, Michelle's brother. He's pretty much the brother I never had...

Charlie & Michelle when they got there.
Carolyn, Meredith, me, Jessica & Michelle. I love these girls!


With the ring...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Adventures in Half Marathoning...

Lately I feel as if I've been getting a little glimpse of just how mentally unstable I must be to have taken up this hobby we call running. First of all, the sheer fact that I wake up somewhere between 5:00 & 5:30 am in order to run 3 days a week is enough to make anyone crazy. Second, we are getting close enough to the actual event, that the long runs are actually getting quite time consuming. Yesterday, for example, I ran for approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes...I never thought I could tolerate exercising for that long! Lastly, and the most extreme point is that I am putting my life in danger!

Last Thursday, Lisa & I took out in my car to our Jr. High track where we sometimes run. We pull into the parking lot, but Lisa is stalling from actually having to run by reading the book I was taking to my roommate from my hairdresser - Jenny McCarthy's book about how she is "healing" her son's autism. Once I lure Lisa away from Jenny (or her mocking of Jenny), we get out of the car to walk to the track and Lisa spots something moving across the field. At first we think that it's a dog, then another one moves under the light, and we realize that they are coyotes. Yes, I said coyotes! We quickly turn around and get back in the car. But we don't leave immediately, not before we can get a picture of the predators invading our track!


Needless to say, we then went and found a different place to do our running that day. But all day Lisa got to tell people about how Jenny McCarthy saved her life, because if she wouldn't have been reading the book and sitting in the car for longer, than we would have been out on the track before we saw our little friends. I know it's hard to tell in the small picture that it's a coyote, but if you click on the picture it will get bigger, and you can see that our lives really were in danger!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Getting Away From It All!

This weekend I went to Nashville for our annual roommate get together. We had so much fun hanging out with all of the girls. We flew out Thursday night and had a little delay in DFW, so Sarah, Michelle & I got Cantina Laredo & Starbucks to keep us occupied. Michelle & Sarah with their Starbucks:


Friday we went for a run that morning. Natalie & Michelle were running ahead of me & Sarah and somehow we managed to get lost. They had to come find us in the car! That afternoon we go to go see where Emily works, go to Target, and just hang out. Friday night we went to dinner with Emily & Natalie's roommate at a yummy Thai place. This is me & Michelle at dinner:


Saturday morning we woke up & made chocolate chip pancakes and then headed off to go hiking. We had a lot of fun just talking and hanging out in the beautiful weather. It was super hilly, and I think I could still be a little sore! This is me, Sarah & Michelle on the way to go hiking and then the whole group on the trail:




Saturday afternoon, we got our Christmas present from Natalie & Emily - group pictures! They have a friend who's a photographer and we went around Nashville taking group pictures. Here's one of the hundreds:

Saturday night we cooked dinner and watched Natalie's play DVD. She did a community theater play this Fall, and it was so fun to get to see it! Sunday we went to church and had lunch with Emily's family. We did a little more hanging out, and then it was time to head to the airport.

Time with these girls was really so great. I love getting uninterrupted time to catch up on their lives and talk about what's really going on. I love them so much and am so glad we all get to be in the same place at least once a year!


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pine Cove Pictures

Here's some pictures from the retreat this weekend :)


Maddie & Amanda when we got there Friday night

The girls at lunch on Saturday

Yummy lunch cleanup!

Crud Wars - possibly the most scary picture of me EVER!


Commando!



Monday, October 22, 2007

I LOVE Cold Weather!!!

So, I have been enjoying our brief time of fall weather the last few weeks, but I still get completely sad on the days that it's hot and I can't wear my long sleeve shirts comfortably. Today is the first day it has actually been cold. That's right...highs in the 50's. Oh, I love it. I love bundling up in a sweat shirt to go outside. I'm not necessarily loving the rain that brought the cold, but I think it's worth it for no high above 75 in the 10 day forecast!! It makes me want to listen to Christmas music. To Michelle's disappointment I'm sure, I listened to a few songs after I got in from the cold today!

I had a GREAT time at Pine Cove this weekend. I love getting to hang out with my girls for a whole weekend. They are at a stage where they are really pretty fun to talk to and are really opening up about stuff going on in their lives. Other than the great time with the girls, there was also Crud Wars (flour, then shaving cream, then horse oats & water mixed together) and Commando (kids trying to make it to a tower through the forest & adults trying to keep them from making it). I'll try to post some pictures tonight.

This week is returning to normal at work. The audit is finished...big meeting from last week is finished...life as normal is much less stressful!! It's a great relief to not fall asleep thinking about what I need to do at work the next day.

This weekend all the roommates are headed to Nashville for our annual get together. I am beyond excited!!! We are hoping for beautiful leaves and I know we will have so much fun just getting to hang out with each other! Not much can get me more excited than getting to spend a long weekend with my favorite people in the whole world!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Out of the Loop...

So, I obviously have been out of the blogging loop for the last month or so. So, a brief highlight of what's been going on:
  • Church moved into our new building. So much fun, keeping me plenty busy.

  • Went home for MaMa's 75th birthday party. All the sisters, parents, and plenty of surprise guests for the party. It was so fun to be home with everyone.


    The family at the party!

  • Mom & Dad came to town for Brynn Murphy's wedding. Dad ran a relay with me & my friends. I love when my parents come to town!

    Our Team: Lisa, Shawn, Beth, me, & Dad!

  • My first Stars (or any hockey) game with Lisa & her inlaws.


  • Me & Lisa at the game.

  • State Fair with work. Corn dogs, funnel cake & fair rides....need I say more?


  • Me & SarahBeth with a VERY large pig!



  • Lots of running in preparation for the half marathon. Had my best run ever this weekend. Looped White Rock - big accomplishment for me :)

This weekend I'm headed to Pine Cove for a retreat with my 8th graders. Should be a fun weekend with a lot of good hang out time.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Launch Retreat

This weekend was the Launch retreat - our young adults retreat for the year. I was actually dreading it before the weekend started, not because I didn't think I would have fun, but more because I hate the organized team games. Those were only 3 hours worth of the whole weekend, and well worth the fun I had for the rest of the weekend. The majority of my Brazil team was there, and it was good to hang out with them again. My favorite part of the weekend was getting to hang out with friends....student ministries friends, work girls, community group girls, old friends and Brazil team. Sunday afternoon there was free time - I got to play 2 & 1/2 hours of volleyball and I couldn't have been more happy. Yes - I'm a dork.


Brazil Team!!!

I got lots of good hang out time with Meredith. We met through Michelle, and I'm so glad I finally go to hang out with her this weekend!

Me & LB sporting our Baylor gear - the theme was college football. Sic 'Em Bears!

Monday, August 27, 2007

What a Difference a Year Can Make...

Yesterday was our church's last day to meet in Lake Highlands High School, so we had a clean up day. We cleaned everything they would possibly let us. Being that I am the accountant, my job was to watch the offering boxes that were sitting out in the lobby while everyone else cleaned. I was a little bummed about my job for the day, but it really ended up being a GREAT morning. I started sitting in my chair reading a book, but ended up getting to chat with people all morning as they walked to and from their cleaning stations. It hit me later yesterday as I was sitting thinking about the morning, that God has brought me SO far in the last year. A year ago, I would have been terrified to sit in that lobby. I would have been worried what people thought of me and if they were wondering what I was doing sitting there.

I also realized that God has answered my prayer, beyond my expectations, for a bigger community of friends here in Dallas. It was truly amazing. He has provided new friends for me in Student Ministries, with the girls at work, and from my Brazil trip. It was refreshing to me to look at all the people that God has placed in my life since I started working at Watermark last year.

Not that working here has been perfect, it's a job, it's definitely not perfect. But working here, first of all, has allowed me to slow down my life enough to see some of the things that God really wanted to change about me. He has let me see more of who I am in Him, and in doing that, a lot of my insecurity has been stripped away. He allowed me to see my need for community, and provided in amazing ways. It's like I'm comfortable with who I am for the first time in a long time.

I'm not sure any of that makes sense, but it has been so amazing to see what God can do when I open myself up to His plans for me, and stop trying to control my life on my own. He is good!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I love my Mac!

I've been playing with my computer, and I made a video with some of my Brazil pictures. Here it is....just for fun :)

video

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More than Words...

That's how I feel about my trip to the Amazon. I'm not sure I could ever fully put into words the way God worked in my heart and the things that He did in those 9 days. It was really an amazing time, and the things that I brought back with me are too many to count.

The highlight of my trip was getting to lead two little girls to the Lord. These girls have a really intense home life, and would have been impossible to leave them there not knowing that they had Jesus. Here's a picture of us praying with the girls and then with them after we prayed:


I was on the VBS team for the week. For anyone that really knows me, they know that I could not have been happier than to be put on that team. It was such a great experience for me, different than any other time I've gotten to work with kids. It was more than just running around the village & playing with them. It was being bold with them, and sharing Christ, and really letting them know that God loved them. It was really a special time. Here's a picture of our VBS team....they were so much fun to work with!

Back: Kenny, me, Katy, Bridget, Front: Jen, Deny, Lisa, Clauder, Beth

This trip has reminded me that I need to be bold with my faith not only on the Amazon, but right here where I live. I was also reminded there of how alive I feel when I am doing missions. I love serving God's people in the nations. I'd like to think that I will end up doing work like this more long term sometime in the future.

I'm so thankful for all of you who supported me through prayer and with your resources. This trip wouldn't have been possible and wouldn't have been such a growing experience without you.

I really wish that I had more energy to write more about the trip, but I'm pretty spent after going straight back to work this week. Here's the link to all of my pictures http://picasaweb.google.com/sarah.d.welch/Brazil2007.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ready or not...

I'm headed for Brazil in the morning! I can't believe it's here. It really snuck up on me! The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I worked Connection with our junior high kids last week. We stayed at a hotel & put on a day camp for these apartment kids. It was SO fun, and such an awesome experience to watch my girls get their hands dirty & serve. Really, really amazing! Here's a couple of pictures from the week:

SarahBeth & I made shirts - we were the crafts leaders :)

My sweet Maddie helping the girls with crafts
Me & Sweet Tori!
Spencer, SarahBeth & I won a ball at Dave & Busters. We took it to the apartment complex the next day and it was deflated within about 10 minutes!

I'll update when I get back from Brazil!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Iron Girl

I don't have a lot of time to update, but I thought I'd at least put some pictures from the Iron Girl. In brief - I'm glad I did, although it was the hardest thing I've EVER done! I finished in 1 hour 58 minutes, which is faster than I thought I would finish. My fast goal was 2 hours. I'm not sure if I'll ever do another one, but it was a good experience overall. Here's a few pictures:

Lisa looking in disgust at the canal we had to swim in the next day! There was definitely a "No Swimming" sign about 3 feet from where we started the race!

The morning of the race. You can tell we're newbies...everyone else was wearing their spandex with pride, we were covering ours up!

Finishing the bike....I almost fell off my bike right here!


Finishing!!!!!




LB, me & Julia - I had great supporters!





Me & Sarah - she finished in time to cool off & then take pictures of me finishing!



Proof I finished :) Swim 500m, Bike 20K, Run 5K.