Two years ago I went on my very first international mission trip. A group of about 20 members from my home church traveled to Ecuador to serve with the missionaries from our church, the Nichols. I was SO excited not only because I would be traveling and serving God in the process but I was also going to experience my first mission trip with my dad by my side.

While in Ecuador, I had my life truly change. I saw poverty like never before but I also saw God’s love like never before.

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One of the main projects we worked on while there was a VBS (vacation Bible school) for the children on the United Methodist Church in Santo Domingo. I became close with a few of the girls there and every single day when the kids were eating their snacks they also colored coloring pages we brought that pertained to the Bible story we taught that day. And without fail, every single day these sweet little girls gave me their pages as a gift just because they wanted US to have something from them.

Continue reading “Returning to the Place that Stole a Piece of My Heart”

To The King of the Castle

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE DAD’S OUT THERE!!!

I want to take a second and brag on how absolutely amazing my Daddy is! The first thing you should know about him is that he is one of the funniest people you will ever meet. He is just like a big kid that loves to have a good time and make people laugh.

The second thing you should know about my dad is that he bleeds orange and white. That’s right, because of him our entire family are HUGE Tennessee Volunteers fans. Additionally, because of this my sister and myself have had sports ingrained in us from a very young age and I love that! We have an annual tradition to take a trip up to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville to cheer on our Vols. This has become on of my favorite memories that we share.

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Continue reading “To The King of the Castle”

Deeda

Ya’ll I am SO excited for this week’s blog because it is about one of my favorite people featuring one of my favorite foods.

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My Deeda is a remarkable woman. The first thing I’m sure you’re thinking is “what the heck is a Deeda?!” Well, she is my paternal grandmother and even though she SWORE she would only be called ‘grandmother’ by her grandchildren, everyone calls her Deeda (pronounced like dee-dah).

My Deeda married my grandfather and they had 3 children together; my late Uncle Alex, my Aunt Joanna and my father, Eddie. While they were growing up, my Deeda worked a full-time job but still found a way to have dinner on the table. She would make a calendar for the month and although the kids always tried to change the menu so they wouldn’t have to eat beets, my grandmother was always prepared for dinners; and that is still the case today.

She loves having the entire family for a meal, whether it be to celebrate a birthday, holidays, any special occasion. She just loves to host and have people over.

My Aunt and my dad both have found memories of the summers when they were home from school and although my Deeda was working, she would make homemade ice cream sandwiches. They loved those things!

My Deeda is motherly, kind, classy and such a fantastic cook. She is hard-working, involved with her church, and has love to give to every one she meets. She has taught me so much over the years and I’m so excited to learn and practice even more of her delicious recipes. Continue reading “Deeda”

Great Mama

My fondest memory about my Great Mama is centered around food. The earliest memories I have of my mom’s grandma, who we called Great Mama, were from our family reunions in Sacramento, California were my mom’s extended family lives.

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The first time I remember traveling to California for the family reunion is a little fuzzy since I was still a kid, maybe 7 or 8? But I can remember the first time I met my Great Mama. I remember thinking “my grandpa looks just like her” and that she had the most beautiful rose bushes in her yard. Then I tried her homemade, from scratch tortillas. HOLY GUACAMOLE! These tortillas are still a taste memory for me today (I can taste them as I type this). So naturally I was super excited to feature her and learn one of her favorite recipes. Continue reading “Great Mama”