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Links and Things on a Snow Day

The Ultimate Sledding Hill. Bowles Drive. We’ve always said it’d be the perfect place to sled in the snow – and apparently students were trying this last night on campus. Wish I had gotten to witness it!

Snow at Carolina. Dan Sears has some awesome shots from campus this morning.

17 Reasons Why We Should Never Stop Reading Print Books. Tongue-in-Cheek, but, yes.

All Sons & Daughters. My current favorite Pandora Station – light some candles and get some good reading out – or start baking. Worship and so much peace:

Winter Olympians with an Adorable Husky. You will not regret looking through these. I promise.

23 5-minute Hairstyles. I need these. Also something to keep you occupied while indoors.

Around Powell Books with Robin Lopez. I’ve never heard of this NBA player, but he’s just so cute walking around this famous bookstore! Thanks to Flyleaf books for posting this treasure.

Chocolate Chess Pie. Although I can’t give you a verdict yet (my attempt is currently in the oven), doesn’t it just seem like the kind of thing you should make on a snow day?:

and, finally:

Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ in multiple languages from around the world:


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Recommended Reading (10.28.13)

Whew, it’s been a while.

Here’s some recommendations for reading:

– What Keeps Men From Singing in Worship. A short history of singing in the church and where the modern worship bands of today get it wrong.

– 3-Year-Old Making Progress After Auditory Brainstem Implant. Update on the amazing procedure performed at UNC (the first in the US: to give access to hearing to a child born without an auditory nerve.  This may be my favorite clip of this now-famous family that’s out there! There’s also a lovely shoutout to AVTs:

– Reading at Five: Why? The pressure from law makers for children to read by teh end of kindergarten is not evidence-based. “Speaking with teachers, I’ve learned that while some children in their kindergarten classes can do the work required by the standards, many simply are not ready. There is nothing developmentally wrong with the children. It is the expectations that are not developmentally appropriate.”

– Why Waking Up Is Hard to Do. This one is for Bryan – there’s apparently a genetic reason for why some need more sleep than others.

Perfect Score of Happiness. This woman will make you reconsider your morning routine.

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Some Recent Reads

What is Nostalgia Good For?: I’ve always made fun of Bryan for his incredible memory. But apparently this reflection makes people smarter and can prevent depression!

Grayson Clamp’s Auditory Brainstem Implant (the first pediatric ABI in the country): and CASTLE’s rehabilitation services (where I’m working this summer!):

Cora Kimberly Shrader: a story that will make you sob (I did!). This family birthed a stillborn infant, an infant that they had known for a while would not survive. Their response to this tragedy is a humble reminder of whom we should trust.

City Portrait: Chapel Hill: a beautifully written piece about a place that (truly) has my heart.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Curiosity: this is on my must-read list.

Carolina, Keep Calling Me Home: Eric Church’s song – which I just heard for the first time last week – has been haunting me recently. And I don’t think of it as all that sad (see, Nostalgia, above).

Our Engagement Photos: Sarah Der does amazing things with film photography. Let’s just be real.

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Links after the Mountains


Bryan and I just returned from his family’s trip to the Shenandoah Mountains (relaxing and beautiful and exhausting). I did not use my computer ONCE . This morning was spent catching up on blogs and news and articles I missed. I’ll say I didn’t miss Facebook. But I craved my news and thoughtful articles.

Here’s some of my favorites:

– Out in the Great Alone – A journalist who follows the entire Iditarod: the best long-story I’ve read all year. Absolutely fascinating. Tons of interactive gadgets and so much information. Make your coffee and READ THIS NOW (

When We Hate What We Love – One of my pet peeves: When people complain about how much “society” accesses Facebook/Twitter/Instagram – our “problems” were in existence long before this technology we so love to blame (

Hands & Feet – Jaimie graduated from my MS-SLP program last year. From her job as a speech-pathologist: witnessing Gospel Love in the real-world is never anything short of bewildering (

Love is a Choice – Summed by Madeleine L’Engle: “If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation,” (

– 16 Year-Old Runner Has Long To-Do List – This girl is crazy. But inspiring – I love how much she loves running. (

Unequal Protection – Affirmative action reading before the case hits the Supreme Court (


Kelly Cummings’ The Year of Lettering – Gorgeous hand-lettered quotes. (

DJ Joe Bunn’s Most Requested Song List – Perhaps the most helpful resource for wedding songs (note: I hadn’t even thought I needed to find a song for cake cutting + the garter toss + the wedding party entrance – THANK GOODNESS for these guys doing our wedding!! –

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Links – mainly about learning lessons…

I got up at 6 AM this morning to complete a homework assignment and ended up pondering these things instead:

A Roomful of Yearning and Regret – what it feels like when you have an affair. What a terribly honest (but short) portrayal of a marriage discarded (

“I look at my parents and at how much simpler their lives are at the ages of 75, mostly because they haven’t marred the landscape with grand-scale deceit. They have this marriage of 50-some years behind them, and it is a monument to success. A few weeks or months of illicit passion could not hold a candle to it.”

When You’re 23 – a short post on that awkward between-stage when you can’t go home, you can’t move forward and at 23 you feel simultaneously incredibly young and incredibly old. (

5 Ways Desensitisation Affects Us – why are modern Christians so ‘unaffected’ by the gospel? I’m guilty of every single one of these (

The Education of Dasmine Cathey – One football player took care of everyone else – and struggled to read throughout college. Touching but truthful (

“Growing up, Dasmine Cathey hated everything about school—reading, writing, even the smell of books. To him, school was nothing but a needless burden…

By high school he still hadn’t read a single book….

If not for football, and his hope of one day playing professionally, he never would have set foot in a college classroom.”

So What if Abortion Ends Life? – Wait, what? This article contains some self-centered and horrendous arguments for abortion (

ADDED: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathey and Chick-fil-A –  a powerful first-person account by a member of the LGBT community about his newfound mutual respect after a personal encounter with the CEO of Chick-fil-A (

Sarah Der Photography – So, I officially have a wedding photographer! This is her!! I’m so thrilled (

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Exam Procrastination

Still can’t figure out if my level of procrastination is abnormal or around the normal range.

So if you’re procrastinating, too (which chances are high that you are), I recommend these entertaining things:


Sneezing Twins ( One of the best things I’ve ever seen. Is this how we learn language?

Ellen and Britney Spears doing Gangam Style (!

Just Eat Breakfast by Sarah Edwards (Thought Catalog): She’s on-point here — although I may be one of those true ‘happier in the morning’ people…


Bettye + Charles (Jillian Zamora Blog): beautiful photography of a couple who have been married for 63 years (WOW! Will also bring tears to your eyes)

All I Want for Christmas (Michael Buble): Bryan is convinced I’m the Grinch and don’t like Christmas music. Ahem. I do. This one is a really sweet, slower tempo re-endition of the original.


 How People Change by David Brooks (NY Times): true story.

Why David Petraeus Cheated by Mark Regenerus (Patheos): Bryan and I just talked about this last night. I think I agree with this.

Why does a southern drawl sound uneducated to some? (Scientific American): interesting research on how people may stereotype us because of how we sound.

In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia (NY Times): wow. This is accurately described by the words of Winston Churchill, if you’re in hell, keep going!

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Olympic Athletes I Wish Were My Friends

Whenever I watch the Olympics  I catch myself wondering if I could be friends with these athletes — if, you know, we met on the street, in the classroom, in some other setting.

Now, as closing ceremonies signal the end of 2012’s over two-week display of worldwide athletic greatness, I thought I’d share my informal list of “Olympic Athletes I Wish Were My Friends.” (please note: there’s an entire list I could make of athletes I would never befriend — if we’re being honest that’s namely Usain Bolt, Ryan Lochte, Aly Raisman, Michael Phelps and LeBron James).

How do I know I’d want to be friends with the following 4 women? Well, I don’t. I do know that based on interviews I’ve seen and the stories I’ve heard from their personal lives that I’d want to be their friend. Although, the fact that they all share signature star-power smiles doesn’t hurt either.

Without further ado:

1. Missy Franklin (swimming)


Her joy is positively contagious. Other adorably friendship-worthy things the 17-year-old 4-time gold-medalist has going for her? She’s lip-synched to Call Me Maybe, she’s forgoing nearly $2 mill to maintain her amateur status, even after her gold-medal glory — and she’s a hugger. I. Just. Love. Her.


2. Jordyn Wieber (women’s gymnastics)

She was the pre-2012 Olympics’ Gabby Douglas. I loved her before the games started because of this video, but what cemented Jordyn as one of my favorites was her stunned but gracious reaction to not qualifying for the all-around competition: she was all cheers, no sulking in the audience and in interviews for competing teammates Gabby and Aly. To me, that is beautiful. PS: her Tweets are all full of genuine praise for her teammates.

3. Allyson Felix (women’s 4×100 team)


She’s gorgeous, gracious — and after winning gold, she takes a moment to send God a prayer of thanks. Every interview with this girl, she was just well-spoken, humble, clearly driven and full of faith. I mean, she says after all this (“all this” being gold in the 200m, 4x100m and the 4x400m), her next goal is to be an elementary school teacher like her mother — since when do you hear a gold-medalist say that?

4. Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball)


I think I’ve found a fellow introvert in Misty — next to the ever-expressive and emotional Kerri Walsh, Misty is always more stoic, totally focused. Plus, she’s married to a baseball player and knows when to step out of the spotlight. She’s got her three-peat gold medals in beach volleyball and says she’s now ready to take off the time to start a family.


Honorable Mention: Gabby Douglas (women’s gymnastics)


Oh, Gabby — I think I just love her smile. I love her innocence — and I think I’d just like hearing her squeal with delight at everything around her. There’s nothing more infectious than watching a 16-year-old see for the first time that the world is staring back at her with starry-eyes.


And then there’s LoLo Jones.

I want to say that I’d be quick friends with her — but she also seems to be such a trendy spotlight favorite. I admire her bravery in standing up for her faith and for being outspoken about her virginity. But after hearing USA teammates Dawn Harper (and Kellie Wells’s) rejoice in (finally) being recognized for their 100m hurdle Silver and Bronze (Jones did not podium) during a post-race interview, I realize how much Jones playing into her widespread publicity (mainly due to her beauty and outspoken beliefs) has overshadowed fellow great athletes.

And while it’s not her fault — I don’t blame her — it also makes me somewhat cautious that I’d befriend her.

PS: My favorite photo gallery of the Olympics: Olympic HUGS.

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