GEM LIFE REUNION

Friday, February 10, 2017


In October two good friends, Jess and Amanda, called me from the road with a "crazy idea" to invite me to visit them in Jacksonville, Florida, for my birthday weekend! I thought this was a great idea. However, I had some previous plans....


I couldn't miss this day! 


Instead Jess and Amanda did some research, told me what flight to book (with their generous birthday contribution!), and also recruited my teammates from Georgia Southern to join! I was so so excited to go to Florida in mid-November and avoid some Midwestern weather.  A couple weeks before the trip, Blittany and I realized that we'd both be flying through ATL on the same day! Since she resides in TX and I in IL this was quite the feat. We had a 30 minute span of both being in the airport before my connecting flight, and Blittany graciously ran to my gate for a 2 minute conversation as I hurried back to the gate where the last people were boarding for my flight! Close call. So so worth it. 

recycled photo, sorrynotsorry


~UpDaTe~ I've been working on this post for over a month now, so I guess I'll just photo spam the rest of it....

This photo spam is about the people who have changed my life.

JAX Beach

Justin and I went to the beach without a plan. I picked him up from the airport and we drove without directions to the beach. Having a day without plans was so freeing and refreshing. We also got into a great conversation with the employee working at Rita's. When I lived in Georgia, every day was an adventure, and this was quite the reminder of that. We also walked more than a mile on the beach so I didn't feel so bad eating custard+Italian ice. 


It just so happened that the Young Adult ministry in JAX was having Friendsgiving, and we were able to see a missionary who had served at Southern as well as a Southern alumus turned mish! Such a blessing.


Edgar (Lil' Dawg), Jess (Fiatica), Helen (Hellie), me, and Justin (Flo Money?)
These are the people who have shaped my life in such a deep, gentle way. Their active growth in virtue eventually won me out to be a better person. I sincerely feel most myself when I'm with them. #cheesy

Museum in St. Augstine
On Saturday we went to St. Augustine. Justin, Jess, and I had flashbacks to a day trip during NST which involved Florida in June, our inability to effectively canoe (what should've taken 30 minutes probably took an hour), and Jess being instructed to pray a rosary to diffuse the tension. We then arrived at a deserted island where missionaries had died for the faith and had mass amongst the humidity and killer bees (my identification). Oh, and Justin is a allergic to bees so it was only a LITTLE stressful. that day trip was definitely a "storming" day for teamwork and while we worked through it with pleasantries I do not miss the stress. Or the heat. My sweat was burning my eyes. I thanked God that day that I was a missionary in a first world country.


We had a come-to-Jesus discussion at Friendsgiving. Jess and I had to explain that Edgar, Jess, and I were the only actual GEMS on the team. But then we ate delicious Spanish food on Saturday at this GEM OF SPANISH RESTAURANTS and I had mussels and a yummy adult drink and wondered why people lived in the Midwest.

Apparently we weren't doing the arm thing. 
 Amanda might have pulled some strings to get a VIP visit at Our Lady of La Leche . This is us in front of the altar where the first mass in America was prayed!
Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche
 A massive storm AKA Hurricane Matthew hit these grounds but miraculously the interior of this sweet chapel remained beautiful. A giant crack in a beam did appear, but no water damage occurred. It's seriously like Our Lady of La Leche was like "NOT IN MY HOUSE"
Interior of shrine
So in addition to a great little vaca with my besties, we had a little spiritual retreat and were able to sing the Salve and I probably cried.

We also got popsicles but then people had to start leaving so I probably stopped taking pictures. I cannot wait for our next reunion! AMDG!


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