Thursday, January 20

my favorites: top 25

I feel as though the best way to mourn the ending of good thing is to do a recap. And now that I am 26 and two days old, I think that I have enough perspective for a year-in-review post.

But first, thoughts on getting older:

I am sad this is over, I really am. When I started this blog I was filled with all the "what is going to happen?" and "ANYTHING could happen" that you normally begin a beginning with. I was excited to document a year and hoped that I'd capture at least one big moment in real time. It was an interesting year to pick because it just happened to be the year that I didn't have a real job. I don't know how that happened and how I got through it, still able to pay my bills and raise enough money to live in another country for three months. Besides God's grace, of course. And well...maybe there is nothing besides God's grace.

Twenty-six is officially upper 20s but I'm okay with it. I think I get better with age. There was a moment when I thought I peaked in high school. Moment has passed. I am more confident in myself and who I am than I have ever been. I'm still learning who I am, I know, but I'm more excited to BE that person. I also feel like I'm at the beginning of a new stage of my life. I feel different. Those are all things that you can't really pinpoint or make tangible, but they are happening.

So now, before I go forward, let's look back! I've gone through all 365 days and picked out my top 25. It wasn't easy, which is a good thing. I'd rather have to narrow them down than not. But these stuck out. Some of them were just great posts, some were just great days, and some were both.

Here they are, in order of appearance:

The day the snow storm came to Texas. It was really beautiful and so fun to watch my dog, Gracey, try to make sense of it. I was happy to stay snuggled up inside, but got out long enough to enjoy it and take a few pictures.

The day I made whole wheat pretzels. Nothing too exciting there, but I really love these pictures. It reminds me of why I like food and photography and food photography so much.

The day Knox was born, or, the day Emmalynn became a big sister (the best title there is). First, just look at this picture. It makes me laugh every time. She was trying to move her chin out of the way so I could see her shirt. Second, a new cousin joined the White family! It was so fun to meet everyone at the hospital and grab some food after.

The day we went to Austin just because. Hopped in a car, decided St. Patrick's day was better spent south of Fort Worth, had a blast. We went to Ikea, saw my friend's band play a show at SXSW, met Betsy aka Pioneer Woman's sister, and enjoyed the lovely weirdness that is Austin.

Easter. We drove out to a beautiful house with beautiful land and beautiful animals. I posted a thousand pictures. I lost terribly at croquet.

The great cookie experiment! I found three chocolate chip cookie recipes, all claiming to be the best, and set them up against each other. My brilliant taste testers took to their task with all seriousness and I posted my results with even more seriousness.

The day of ultimate sadness and glorious redemption. Lost my dog...found my dog. Talk about extreme emotions.

Austin, take two. I reunited with my friends from New York, drank obscene amounts of coffee, and watched crazy people swing from ropes.

Not so much a day as a week. This post re-capped my first visit to New York post moving away. It was wonderful and I love every single picture in this post.

The Lienhart family reunion. My cousins are never boring, especially when there is a pool around. I've never dived, bombed, or splashed so many times in a row.

Independence Day is always one of my favorite holidays. This year, it was even better with matching stripped shirts and a baby.

The day Leanna walked down the aisle. I had the honor of being a bridesmaid and it was such a blast. It was hard deciding between this day and her bachelorette party, but the wedding just edges it out. It is a pretty important day, after all.

The day we celebrated my mom's birthday. It was just such a perfect summer day. We swam, we ate, and I had a great excuse to make a chocolate cake with cherry sours. Plus, my mom wore her hair in braided pigtails and pulled it off. How can you not love that?

The day that a beach changed my life. I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite days in Africa, but this one was a definite. I'd never seen such a beautiful beach with so few people and such big waves. As you can see, I was ecstatic.

The day Dorothy broke into my heart. The day I almost became a single mother. The day I collapsed into a million tiny pieces. Whatever you want to call it. This is possibly the most popular post on my blog and I am so happy that is resonated with all of you the way it did me. I still pray for this sweet baby and I hope she is in a home with a new family that adores every bit of who she is.

The day that Africa sang back to me. I wrote a song for these girls and they fully embraced it, took it on as their own. I hope they are still singing it. I'll never forget this moment.

The day my loves collided. I baked cookies and brought them to our classes where we taught in Kibera. It was a treat they'd never had and a joy to watch the kids eat whatever a snicker-doodle is.

This post will serve to represent Joy Springs: Project 8, an effort that Amy and I created to raise enough money to build these kids a new classroom. A successful effort, at that! This post features two short videos of some of our students. They are worth a re-watch.

The day when my heart wouldn't stop swelling. One of my favorite students beaded this ring for me. It's one of the most precious things I've ever received and I keep it in my wallet since I have a history of losing rings.

The day we left Joy Springs. What could have been a terribly sad day brought instead immense joy. Every class prepared a song, dance, and/or a poem for us and we had an opportunity to play games and say our goodbyes. This was also the day that we told the school about Project 8 - we left them with the promise of a new classroom!

The day I came home. I miss Africa, but I'd dreamed about burritos for three months. Also, seeing my friends and family again! But seriously, that burrito...

The day a new tradition was born. Black Friday will never been the same.

The day of that fantastic wedding in New Jersey. The day was beautiful, the church was beautiful, the bride was beautiful, the ceremony was beautiful, the reception was beautiful...

Also, I got to dance all night with one of my closest friends who is also a pretty cute guy. That's right, I said it. I know you're all thinking it.

Christmas Day. Always one of the best days, this year was no exception.

The day I never grew up. A road trip to Tulsa with my mom? Awesome. We never ran out of things to talk about. I built gingerbread houses and rough housed with my little cousins. That never gets old. Exhausting, maybe. But you only get the opportunity to play human jungle gym so many times in your life.

Bonus!! Because I'm 26 now...

The day just like any other day. Nothing too special here, but I really loved this post. It's okay if some parts of me never grow up.

And now comes the bittersweet. I didn't feel it at all until this very moment. I feel like my closure is now complete. Good bye to 25. You were wonderful.

Thanks to all of you who peeked in on my life from time to time. Such a strange phenomenon, but I'm happy there are other creeps out there, just like me!

Now that the looking back is over, it's time to look forward! There is something I've been working on for about a week, now. Turns out these things take much longer to design and learn than I thought, but for the first time, I have my own website with my own domain name. This is very much a learning process for me, but it's the next step. I'm moving up and on! I'll still be blogging and I'll be focusing in on the things that I love to share. At this moment, the site is published (with a few lingering kinks) but it might be another day before it's available. So practice some patience with me. Like I said...learning.

Come see me at my new digs:

Wednesday, January 19

Favorite January 2011 Photo

Last poll ever! I had a poll for the first January, so I figured I'd have a poll for the last January, even if there were only 18 days.

So pick one and then come back in a few 'cause it ain't over yet!! Seriously.

Tuesday, January 18


365/365, originally uploaded by britrosewhite.

Three hundred and sixty five out of three hundred and sixty five. I just typed that. I'm a little bit shocked. First, because I actually did it and second, because it's actually finished.

Well, almost.

It's my birthday today. I'm 26 years old. Which means that this blog is officially outdated!

I woke up late after a pretty sleepless night. Late breakfast and lounged around. It was kind of lame and sad and boring. But finally, I made myself get up and go sit at an undisclosed location that happens to have really good bread and soup and coffee and, maybe I've been there quite a few times in the last week...

I treated myself to a 3:00 lunch and coffee while I worked on my computer for a few hours.

After awhile my mom showed up and after a few more cups of coffee, we met my dad and Rachel for dinner.

Rachel painted me this really beautiful card! It goes well with my mojito, no?

It doesn't take much.

All I wanted was some Tex Mex. Enchiladas with chile con carne and lots of cheese and beans and chips and salsa. Don't ask me why.

After like, two bites, I was full. But I kept on truckin'.

Sad that I couldn't finish my beans.

Me and Sister.

Me and Sister and card.

The reason for my being.

Free flan to go...

in the TRASH!!

Seriously, flan is scary. But free dessert is free dessert.

This is the real deal.

Trying to figure out how I can eat the entire thing, probably.

Hmm...flan or homemade dark chocolate cake?

Well, this looks and feels like a fat deposit...

And this looks and feels like heaven...

Guess who joined in Happy Birthday?

The other sister.

Who, by the way, sent me ten e-cards today. This one:
And a few others. She's just lovely.

I'm amazed at her singing voice!

I like cake.

My walrus impression!!!!!

White on the outside, black on the inside. Just like me.

And just like was over.


Come back tomorrow. I've got something special for ya.

Monday, January 17


364/365, originally uploaded by britrosewhite.

I kept hearing about The Hunger Games trilogy while I was in Africa. My old roommate, Kate, called it an addiction and I knew I could trust her book advice. I wanted to buy it, but they didn't have it over there. I wanted to buy the e-book, but it wasn't available on my ipod.

I finally bought the first book to read on the plane to New York last month. And despite being pretty busy most of the time I was there, I managed to finish it a few days before I came home. I left it for Ryan, figuring he'd like it and I needed to pass on my addiction.

Once I got back home, more broke than ever, I couldn't justify buying book two. It was hard at first, but I got over it. The libraries all had it out or on hold. Sometimes I picked it up at Target, but I always put it back down.

Meanwhile, Ryan read The Hunger Games and once he finished it, he must have understood my need because he sent me the second book for my birthday. I'm suspicious and think he might have read it first, but that's okay. I don't blame him. Addiction, remember?

The problem with these books is that there is no stopping point. And that's why I took the longest bath in my history today. I didn't even want to be in the bath anymore but I couldn't put the thing down.

Now I feel like I need to read the third one before I life can go on! Time must stop!

Not gonna happen, though. I have to turn 26 tomorrow.