Abby is Abroad!

I’ve got broads in… Paris? Yes, that’s right, I’m currently studying abroad in Paris, France for the next 5 months! I have only been here for a mere week and a half, but I have already done so much and fallen completely in love with this city!

I just wanted to post to let y’all know that I have decided to make a blog specifically for this experience, AbbyBroAbroad.wordpress.com! I will be posting regularly about EVERYTHING that I do over the next 5 months! I’ve already shared about my first week, pictures from our day exploring Montmartre, and about watching my team WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Needless to say, this experience has been great and it will only get better from here!

So, I would love it if you hopped on over and checked everything out and followed if you wanted to keep up with my travels! Also, if you have ever been to France or any surrounding countries PLEASE give me any tips/must see places, because my friends and I want to travel a lot over the next 5 months! Here is a little sneak peek at what has been going on, click on any of the pictures to make them bigger!

Avec amour,
Abby
abbybroabroad.wordpress.com

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Football & The Big Picture

As many of you may know, I pretty much live and breathe football. Growing up in Texas, high school football was a big deal. I started going to varsity games when I was in middle school. My senior year, I went to every game (home and away) and cheered my heart out in the student section, leading me to be named “Most Spirited” of my senior class. I was so sad to leave my high school football powerhouse. Then I experienced college football.

When I was looking at colleges, football wasn’t a prerequisite, but more of icing on the cake. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the record of every school’s team that I was applying to, but that was never my deciding factor. But, by the grace of the Football Gods, I ended up at Clemson University (for many reasons beside their football team). And let me tell you, Clemson football is the most exciting thing I have ever experienced. Quick note: this isn’t going to be a purely football post, just hold on a little longer.

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As (hopefully) all of you know, our fighting tiger football team went 14-1 this season, with our only loss being Monday night in the National Championship game against ~cringe~ Alabama. The game was a close one and I was pretty much bouncing off the walls the entire time. I (as well as hundreds of thousands of other people) was devastated when we lost. It was my first time experiencing a Clemson loss!

As I sat there in shock and heard people literally screaming at the top of their lungs in anger at Bama, I realized how easy it is to focus on one specific moment and lose sight of the big picture. Yes, unfortunately, we lost the National Championship (to a great team I might add) but we won 14 other games! Overall, the season was a sensational one with so many records broken. It is so easy to let one bad aspect overshadow all of the great, amazing memories that occurred before.

Don’t let one bad test or class ruin a successful semester. Don’t let one fight get in the way of a life-long friendship. Don’t let one loss overshadow an amazing season. Never lose sight of the big picture. Your life is so much bigger than just right now!

So congrats Alabama on a great game and a great win. I won’t forget the 14 other kick ass wins. Watch out Tampa, we are coming for you!

Camp Diaries No. 1

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Today, I write to you from camp. I have been working at Laity Lodge Youth Camp for two and a half weeks as a videographer. Yes, somehow, my dreams have become a reality & I actually get paid to film and create videos in the most gorgeous & love-filled place in the entire world (please refer to above picture). Glory to God.

Living at a summer camp is like nothing else in the world. I feel like I am learning something new here every day, and it seems almost selfish for me not to share these revelations with others. So, as people pass on their wisdom to me, I will (try) and pass it to all of you, with the occasional addition of a ridiculous camp story that could only happen at LLYC.

Today, I got a letter in the mail from a friend (note: handwritten letters mean the world to me. Take some time to actually write out a letter and mail to to someone. It really shows you care). She is young, but years wiser than I am. She wrote:

While in Guatemala, God showed me the beauty of being a kid. When your time at Laity Lodge fells more like work than play, find ways to be a child. I’ve always struggled by pairing “child” with “immature”, but that’s not what God says.

These words spoke so true to me, and I think they can be applicable in so many situations. Sometimes, children can be the best examples of living a joyous life. When work or school overwhelms you, take some time to be a kid again. Observe the world you are in. Scream with laughter. Let God fill you with a joy that can only come from Him.

Today, I am thankful for intentional friends like Alayna, and for the beauty of snail mail.

Do What You Love

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In Kindergarten, we had a career day where everyone showed up to school dressed as what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were countless doctors and firefighters, even a gymnast. I dressed as a teacher. Yes, as a six year old, my dream was to teach. As school went on, and elementary school transitioned to middle school, I quickly realized teaching was not my calling. Now, teaching would probably be number one on my list of “Jobs I Will Never Ever Have”.

This summer, I am blessed with the opportunity to work in the field of my current dream job! I get to combine my love for adventure, Jesus, and videography to work at Laity Lodge Youth Camp! I have been hired to be on the media team as a videographer. I will be filming campers as they have the best two weeks of their lives, and creating a video for them every session. This is seriously a dream come true; I get to work in the place I love doing what I love! God has blessed me with this opportunity to serve Him with my talents and skills.

With that being said, I think it is important for people to do what they love. I know that I probably won’t be able to spend the rest of my life creating videos for a living, but I am so thankful for this time time I do get to spend enjoying the work I do. And, who knows, maybe this is the start of a life-long career (fingers crossed)!

What is your dream job? What did you want to be when you were younger?

101 in 1001 Update!

101 things in 1001 days

What better way for me to fill you in on all the craziness of the past four months than by a 101 in 1001 update!

For those of you who don’t know, 101 in 1001 is an idea I borrowed from the lovely Mackenzie Horan at Design Darling. Pop over to my 101 in 1001 page to see what it is all about, see my entire list, and get started on your own!

So here is a quick recap of the past few months of my life, as well as an update of my 101 in 1001 list. 36 completed, 65 to go!

9. Go to 5 concerts (5/5)
I already had 3 concerts in the bag, but recently I got to see Ed Sheeran (!!!!!) and Kenny Chesney! As expected, Ed’s concert was almost a religious experience. He was so good! Plus, a guy got up on stage in the middle of “All of the Stars” and proposed to his girlfriend. Yeah, I cried.

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Ed sheeran concert 2kenny chesney concert

22. Float the river
For my best friend’s birthday, all of my friends and I piled into cars and took a short road trip to San Marcos to float the river. We had so much fun! But no trip can go without a hitch. As we were leaving one of my friends locked her keys in her car and we had to wait 2 hours for someone to help us get them out. We made the best of it and had a parking lot party!

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25. Visit 5 new cities
I visited two new cities recently: Managua, Nicaragua & Estes Park, Colorado! These were both big trips for me, so both will get their own posts soon. Until then, here is a picture from both to give you a sneak peak!

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estes park, colorado41. Go on another mission trip
As I mentioned before, I traveled to Nicaragua to serve the sweet people of that country in March. It was too amazing of an experience to summarize in just one paragraph. More info coming at you soon!

47. Pull an all nighter
After getting up at 4:30am for an 8:00am graduation, I stayed up all night with all my friends at Dave & Busters for project graduation! If your school holds project grad, I would highly recommend going to it. I had tons of fun hanging out with my high school for them last time. Plus, I won a gift card!

78. Graduate high school
I’m officially a college girl now. Enough said!graduation

I did a few more things, and have plenty left still to do, so don’t forget to visit my 101 in 1001 page to see my complete list! What is the last thing that you crossed off your list? And if you don’t have one yet, what is one thing that would be on your 101 in 1001? Let me know!

I’m Going to College!

In less than 3 weeks I will officially be a high school graduate! Most people say that the last few weeks of high school are spent looking back and realizing how much you will actually miss this place, but that has NOT been the case with me. Am I some kind of freak?

As graduation quickly approaches, all I can think about is how excited I am for the future. In a month I’m headed to Colorado for a week spent in the mountains and in July I’m packing my bags working at a summer camp for 5 weeks (more info on that to come). But most importantly, in three months I am leaving Austin, Texas (where I have lived my entire life) and moving to South Carolina to attend Clemson University!

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I seriously could not be more excited about the next four years of my life and where I have decided to spend them. If you would have asked me what college I thought I would be attending this time last year, Clemson would not have even been on my radar. But by the grace of God I found my future home and fell in love instantly. I visited the school and I could just tell it was the perfect place for me. Every single person I met was so nice, the traditions were super fun, and I’m a sucker for some great college football.

I am so excited to start my college experience, but my excitement comes with some major nerves. Unlike all of my friends, I am moving out of state. I will be a good 16 hour drive away from all of my friends and family. That means no weekend trips back to see my parents. And while I am beyond excited to get out of my preppy high school’s bubble and to meet new people, I don’t know a single person at Clemson.

So, with that, if any of you lovely internet people go to Clemson, know someone at Clemson, or are going to be a freshman there next year like me, please please please let me know! I would love to talk to any of you about it (trust me, I could talk about it for hours)! Feel free to shoot me a comment or email at abbyb4@gmail.com. I am so excited about this next chapter in my life and can’t wait to start making new friends!

Throwback Thursday || Playlist

I’m obsessed with making Spotify playlists. I have a playlist for pretty much every situation, from homework to parties and car rides. The latest playlist that I have been listening to non-stop is a throwback playlist full of my favorite songs from when I was a kid. I thought it would be fun to share with y’all! You’ll notice there is a lot of disney songs on there… I went through a phase.

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You can listen to this Spotify playlist here. What are your favorite childhood songs?

 

Midnight Music

Usually when I go to concerts, they take lots of planning. I buy tickets months in advance and stand in line for hours waiting to get in. But on Friday night, two of my friends and I took full advantage of the wonderful city of Austin and went to a spur of the moment concert. It was fabulous!

We found out our friend Colin Leonard was the opening act for a local Austin band the Friendly Savages, so we dropped what we were doing and headed downtown! But before and good concert, you have to eat good food, so we made a quick stop at my favorite food trailer, Gourdough’s, to eat some of the world’s best donuts. I ordered a Black Out, while my friends ate Mama’s Cake and a Dirty Berry. So yummy!

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The concert was at Stubbs, which is one of my favorite venues (I’ve seen The 1975 and NEEDTOBREATHE there too). The show was on the inside stage, so we thankfully didn’t have to stand in the 30 degree whether all night.

Both bands were SO GREAT! I would highly recommend both Colin and the Friendly Savages’ albums. The crowd loved the entire show, as did I. Everyone was dancing and singing along, there was such a great atmosphere. Plus, I ran into many friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. The concert ran until around 12:30, but it was such a great night!

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FullSizeRhenderSorry for the low quality photos, I only had my phone with me!

Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

I love fun little gadgets! For Christmas this year, one of my presents was an instant photo camera (AKA Polaroid, just not Polaroid brand!) and I think it is my favorite thing I got! My parents gave me a Fuji Instax 210, and it is so great! The pictures are super wide and it is just such a fun thing to bring on adventures with friends! Plus, it is fun seeing the film slowly develop instantly right in front of your eyes!

Last week four of my friends and I went to a little independent coffee house, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. I brought my camera and we had so much fun having a mini photoshoot! Mozart’s is on lake Austin and is a quirky little place, so it was a beautiful place to take fun photos (even thought it was 10:00 at night, and pitch black outside). Look at how fun these are!

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So if you are trying to think of a fun and unique gift for a friend or just want to treat yourself, I would highly recommend getting a Polaroid camera! It is a fun way to create memories that will last a lifetime.