Hello, 2014 // 17 weeks of summer // April-August

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” -Sarah Dessen

Week One // Scottsdale, AZ – Phoenix, AZ – Sedona, AZ

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Week Two // Miami, FL

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Week Three // Naples, FL


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Week Four // Naples, FL

unnamed-14unnamed-15“This guy graduated tonight! I’m so proud of him for overcoming life’s challenges with grace and accomplishing so much already. I’m blessed to call him one of my very best friends and I can’t wait for him to join me in the herd this fall at GCU!”

unnamed-16 unnamed-18“I love these two so very much. They fill my life with the kind of laughter that transforms, tears that heal, and love that conquers pain. Although we don’t always see things from the same perspective, our differences ultimately challenge each other to grow stronger, and bring us closer as friends. They have both encouraged me in countless ways, and been there for me through the trials of life. From late night talks over the phone when we’re far away, to costume parties in FL, to adventures on the beach with wild horses in NC, to hikes in the Grand Canyon in AZ, to cuddles with the best family in the world all around the USA – we always have the best times together. Let’s be best friends forever.”unnamed-19unnamed-20 unnamed-21unnamed-23

“It’s going to be a long summer without either one of my best men by my side. These two have been with me through the best of times and the worst of times. They have been the cause of many belly-laughs, and the witnesses to my greatest breakdowns. No one can make me feel emotions – from happiness to sadness to anger to contentment – as poignantly as they can. Goodbyes are hard, especially when you’re leaving your two protectors and confidants behind. I love you both with all of my heart, and although my spirit is heavy to leave you, I’m thrilled that you will be spending the coming months together. Take care of each other boys (and remember I have my ways and I will be watching you little weasels from afar – so stay out of trouble for my sanity’s sake). I can’t wait for the cuddles and stories we will share when we meet up in the desert in only a few months time!”

Week Five // Hamlet, NC

unnamed-24unnamed-25unnamed-27“Both of my parents mean the world to me. When I’m weak they are my earthly strength. They cover my life in prayer and bless me with the “little things” Starbucks dates, deep discussions, movie nights, and laughs over the silliest of things. They have not only loved me, but all those around me as well, by opening the many homes our family has shared across the country to the motley crew my siblings and I have collected along the way. The best bit is that they don’t just accept them, they love them as their own. Thank you for opening your lives to others without question, and thank you for teaching me through your example to love unashamedly, to serve others, and to live a life of joy in the time that has been given me.”

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“Today I said goodbye to Josh for the summer and sent him back to Naples. I’m going to miss him so very much. Growing up with him has been a honor, and I’m so proud of the mature, humble, godly man he has become. The next months won’t be easy without him by my side, but I’m excited for the adventures to come for the both of us! Sarah Dessen once said “Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” A little piece of my home now resides in Naples with the best twin and my childhood haunts – thankfully I’ll take “home” in the form of their love and memories and hopes for the future with me to NYC for the summer to keep me company until we are together again.” 

Week Six // New York, NY

unnamed-31unnamed-33unnamed-34unnamed-35unnamed-36“All moved in here on the upper west side – today was a busy day exploring the many boroughs and building relationships with the individuals I will be living with for the next 9 weeks – I can’t wait to see what God is going to do! Lovely view courtesy of the roof of my new home for the summer.”

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Week Seven // New York, NY

unnamed-38unnamed-39“Fantastic day in Chelsea! I had the opportunity to work with the Relief Bus and fellowship with the homeless in this area. Such an amazing opportunity to learn about and engage in the lives of the vulnerable peoples who make their home here. Navigated the subway on my own for the first time as well. Beautiful day in the city thus far!”

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Week Eight // New York, NY

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Week Nine // New York, NY

unnamed-46“What do I do when I get lost in Manhattan on a Sunday morning? Stop in the first bagel shop I find and (after waiting in the out the door line) experience this.”

unnamed-47unnamed-48unnamed-49unnamed-50“Today I heard an inspiring grace story of God creating beauty out of the dust of a broken life – Dear Lord, thank you for Joseph and his testimony. Thank you for giving him a voice to share your love with all those he meets. Thank you for for allowing him to live with joy because, as he says “I’m too blessed to be stressed.”‘

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Week Ten // New York, NY

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Week Eleven // New York, NY

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Week Twelve // New York, NY

unnamed-64“Love God by loving others. Care for the weak and the vulnerable, but don’t make them your project. Treat them like people, give them dignity, and allow God to work through you to change their hearts.”

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Week Thirteen // Naples, FL

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It’s wedding time!

Week Fourteen // New York, NY

unnamed-72unnamed-75unnamed-76unnamed-77“Today was dreamy. Sharing my favorite bagel & coffee fix with my favorite ladies, touring Chelsea and giving them a small taste of my heart for this city, celebrating the significance of this day and this season of life through little moments with some of those I love the most, and finishing with the exhilarating bang that is Wicked! 😍 be still my heart, my cup overflows with love for the people God has placed in my life. I am abundantly blessed!” 

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Week Fifteen // New York, NY

unnamed-84unnamed-85“I just want to take a moment to express my love for this girl. Her servants heart and her love for people inspired me this summer! I am so thankful for the wisdom, encouragement, and prayer she spoke into my life. God is using this women in HUGE ways as she strives to seek Him and to follow after His heart above all else! Her friendship has blessed me abundantly and I can wait to see where the Lord takes her as she continues to love all those whom He puts in her path.”

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“We like to eat $1 dumplings & drink bubble tea in Chinatown, explore thrift shops & get a sugar fix in Williamsburg, watch a movie & take touristy pictures of each other in Times Square, and snack on junk food & ride the subway looking for our favorite performers. This night was a special one that I will never forget, but really, every little moment spent with you is adventure enough for me. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for making me feel safe. Thank you for listening and praying and caring. Thank you for being my friend. “Well it seems to me that the best relationships – the ones that last – are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can imagine yourself with.” – Gillian Anderson”

Week Sixteen // Scottsdale, AZ

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“Back with these cool kids! This summer was the longest we’ve ever been apart, and it feels so good to finally be back with my people.”

Week Seventeen // Scottsdale, AZ – Phoenix, AZ

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Mixing the new and the old as I enter this next season of life. I’m absolutely giddy as I wait to see what God has in store!

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