Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

They say you should begin the year how you want to spend the next year... what's better than grilling out and bubbly with someone who makes me laugh and the sweetest dog ever.  Can't wait! Resolutions hmm guess I need to figure out some new goals for the new year.  Last year's resolution was to leave the past behind and catch up on enjoying myself and meeting new goals.

  •  I ended up becoming more involved in my church, talked to God more, found a small group where I got to know a great group of girls while helping the community. 
  •  Completed my first Olympic triathlon, figured out my love for biking long distances, learned to deal with injuries and push through.  
  • Helped plan and celebrate many marriages, including my little sister's.  Realized again what real love is and was reminded how people treat each other when they truly care.  
  • Traveled to Italy with my good friend and saw how the Italians do it.  Saw the beauty in an area so different from where I have lived and was able to experience a different culture and see the history all around me.
Worked hard, played hard, gave to others.. laughed more than cried, and grew a lot from the previous year.  That's all you can ask for to get better each year.  I'm so grateful for the past year, it was a growth year.  To build muscle you work out so hard that you actually produce microscopic tears that when you rest grow back together stronger.  This year was like that rest, grew back together stronger and ready to accomplish even more this next year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010





Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

If you are a lover of ABCfam you know one of the many ways, besides the ever popular tacky Christmas sweater party, of getting into the Christmas spirit is giving back to the community.  But let's face it during Christmas you get bombarded with so many opportunities to give back.  I think the trick is to make it active for you, to engage in it so you have time to think about what you are doing and why.  Not just throwing those old shoes and coats away (definitely needed) or throwing some cans in a box.  Why are you giving?  On Christmas a man was born who would give it ALL for us... so let's think about what we are doing and try to give not just of our stuff but a little of ourselves as well.

I won't say it's easy, sometimes your couch is just soo much more comfortable that going out and doing something.  But it's worth it... a few of the girls from our small group helped decorate at Christian Life Home, my goodness I've never seen so many decorations.  I took charge of the banister with two of the girls, it looked pretty fabulous afterwards AND started SNOWING while we were there.  Imagine decorating for Christmas and it starts to snow.  Talk about someone showing you you are in the right place.

Also gave back again this weekend.  The Good Cause of Raleigh and SYNCSTUDIOs put together a 3 HOUR Indoor Spin to raise money for Meals on Wheels that brings food to the elderly in Durham and surrounding areas.  The money raised said they could feed 6 people for a year.  I survived all 3 hours and was surrounded by a great energy and spirit. Worth sweating my butt off and battling mall traffic? Definitely.

"The person who lives alone will not succeed as a human being.  His heart withers if it does not answer another heart.  His mind shrinks away if he only hears the echoes of his thoughts and finds no other inspiration." 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attacked by a Bobcat

Ok well not really... It was my first time mountain biking.  Definitely different from road biking and not used to going through trees or over over tress or doing "whoopdies."  I attempted to fly once and the pedals were scraping my legs pretty bad so overall Mountain Biking won.  Mountain Biking - 1 Gina - 0  I'll be back and on a SUPER easy course so I can actually figure out how to bike in the woods.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prayer for Baby Godzilla

Please Lord look after little Baby Godzilla as he has surgery this morning.  Help the surgeons, guide their hands at this delicate job, and help everything go as well as possible.  Help J and J through the stressful time as parents.  Love you Parker and Frisks.  Amen

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Here's some of my fav pics and people all dressed up :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Carving at Christian life home

The results....   Everyone did a great job at carving pumpkins! It was a great night and what wonderful girls and family!  Can't wait to go back to help decorate for Christmas :)

Also Muse was Tuesday night, which I missed because of pumpkin carving... but let's be honest nothing beats being elbow deep in pumpkin guts (even MUSE!)  Nevertheless... here's a new song I love!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carving Pumpkins with CLH

Excited to go hang with the girls at the christian life home (maternity home for pregnant teens/ young women) in Raleigh tomorrow.  Part of it is we are going to be carving pumpkins yayyy, but also can't wait to hang with the girls and just chat.  To learn about the christian life home or support here's the website:

Monday, October 18, 2010

1 mile swim, 30 mile bike, 6.2 mile run

I did it!!! Finished my first Olympic triathlon in Pinehurst this weekend!!

My splits were:
30 min swim
1 hour 45 mins bike
61 minutes for the run

It was a real test at the end, I hadn't trained as much for this one but had already paid.  My IT band has been disliking running so just decided to not run for 2 weeks before the race and just see what happened! By mile 4 I shouldn't have been able to run, there was a lot of praying at that point ;)

The swim was my first open water swim. sighting the next buoy and making sure you don't get kicked in the face were just some of the adventures!  I loved it and soo proud of Bethany and myself.  Thanks for everyone who came to watch and support it meant SOOOOOOOO much! Especially when it was COLD at 7:30am.  

So I reached my goal and realized most things are mental, you can psych yourself out or you can go out and do it.  I just kept telling myself that if someone else can do it so can you, and I've been through much harder things in the past, what's a little 3 hour 24 minute workout that I do some nights anyways!

I am soo glad I did this, and am reminded each time I challenge myself and accomplish my goal how great it is!  Also thanks to the Big guy for helping me get through the run and the pain.  B.C. we are BEASTS ;)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Far Better

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Give thanks

"Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow."

Less than 3 weeks until the beast and I take "the plunge," "the dive," "get our feet wet."  Oh puns how fun. ~Blessings, G  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Redeeming Love

Ever been hurt so much that in the struggle to mend your heart and pick up the pieces you end up with a huge wall around your heart?  Ever been taken advantage of, whether it was someone you gave everything to and loved with all your heart took that love and crushed you without a look back, or by family growing up? Ever messed up over and over until you felt you didn't deserve someone's love and couldn't understand why they chose you.  You become broken and hard deep down, choosing to be hard on the inside than rather risk feeling and ultimately hurting, because you've learned that those you love were able to deceive you and will hurt you..... Then read this book.

I just started reading this book last night, and couldn't put it down until 4am.  I feel like it resonates with everyone on some level, it does with me.  That despite our brokenness and things we've done or hardness of our hearts, God loves us and won't give up on us.  It's a fiction and great read so don't think of it as a typical "Christian" book.  It is just real, the real struggle in our hearts and minds.

"Love one another as He loves. Love with strength and a purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness and love."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Makes my heart smile!

I've always been one to know what really makes me happy, and after this weekend I was reminded again.  Saw my Goddaughter Charlotte and Parker.  They are getting so big, I woke up in bed with 2 dogs, Charlotte, and my best friend.  Charlotte was snuggled between us petting me in my sleep.  She can now talk and said "I love you Gina" when I woke up and said hey Charlotte.  I think my heart broke right then and there (in a good way).  I think I'm getting sappier as I get older.  

Love is what matters-- real love with no jealousy, selfishness, or dishonesty.  Just a little girl laying in bed looking at you and saying I love you. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What could be better

What could be better than a short week and traveling to the beach with friends!! Can't wait to head to the beach to support B in her triathlon and just spend some time with some awesome ladies. Going to bring my new camera to try and practice action photography... put this bad@$$ camera to use.

But besides that Fall 2010 BStud has started... looking forward to learning more about our potential service project working with a group that houses pregnant women/girls and helps them adjust to becoming a mother or the adoption process.  Ideas of things to do with the girls?  Thought maybe in October carving pumpkins, cooking pumpkin pie, something like that?

Training this week has kicked my butt managed to actually wake up and run, two not so favorite things: 1) waking up super early 2) running (more like love/hate).  Helped Jenn lead Spin class last night since she is about to pop with her baby... I was the "model" showing good "form."  But it was good practice to try to figure out if I want to get certified to teach one day.  It really is harder than it looks, screaming while you yourself are working out and out of breath, and trying to stay on the beat when half the class is rhythmically challenged! :P Definitely woke up this morning feeling every muscle in my body- it's probably weird that I LOVE it!

I will share pictures once I get back of any good action shots from B's triathlon!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I rarely get down time.  I've been going constantly for the past two and a half months and finally got a weekend to be at home.  But one of my favorite things to do no matter how crazy life is, is read... and this weekend I did a lot of it, along with dancing and tailgating of course!

Recent Reads in the past 2 months:

  • Finished the entire Sookie Stackhouse sereis. (Yes all 9 or 10 books)
  • Relentless by Dean Koontz
  • The Key to Midnight Dean Koontz
  • Under the Dome Stephen King
  • Running Scared by Lisa Jackson
  • and 3 of the House of the Dead Books my sister left at my house. 
I usually stick to Dean Koontz and Stephen King and other variations throughout the fiction section that catch my eye.  I'm starting to run out of authors though ahhh! There is something about reading that can calm my mind and put me right in the story no matter what else is going on in my life.  It's a way to relax and unplug from tv, internet, phone, and just use that big ol brain God gave you.

Of course you don't have to go to the extreme I have and read 17 books in 2 ;)  What are some authors or books you suggest?  Below is T and I from this weekend showing our inner nerd for everyone to see :P Fitting huh?!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Feel the beat and move your body

Need a little motivation to get your butt off the couch.... just a few favorites in a very wide range of musical tastes.  Thinking of becoming certified to teach spin? So here's my start at finding music to get a wide range of people motivated and pumped to better themselves and forget their day to day troubles and just sweat it out. ;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Sorry I've been so MIA!! Between celebrations every weekend and working/ recovering during the week, my days have been full! There's me dancing in our awesome house the other weekend!

So what's been going on... Fall Soccer has started, although it still feels like summer.  Our first game was especially exciting since I was smart enough to do sculpting that morning, then spin and swim before my 9:45pm game!  Then we didn't have any female subs.  I was almost at exhaustion into I just got to the point of deliriousness, and just ran my butt off til the end.

Weddings/ Bachelorette Parties/ Celebrations! So many things to celebrate lately, love in definitely in the air ;)

What WILL be going on.... was supposed to be going to NYC again this weekend but the prices are up so I will have to wait :(  Besides that Olympic distance tri-training is on-going.  Hopefully I can catch up from all this celebrating!

Big changes may be happening in the next year... But I will reveal as it unfolds.


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Side Hug

Hilarious... The Side Hug

This is satire. This is not related to that rap video. As one hate mail pointed out, I am “gangsta as a pocket watch” and as such do not currently possess the flow to create a rap video. Here’s the post I wrote about side hugs in April 2008.
Yes, God wants us to be compassionate and kind and tender with each other. Not only that, but he wants us to love our enemies and serve our neighbors. As long as there is no body on body action. I’m talking of course about a “full frontal hug,” one of those sinful abominations where you just wrap your arms around a friend and embrace them. That’s why Christians the world over have pioneered the “side hug.” In the side hug there’s no risk of two crotches touching. Instead of face to face, you go side to side, putting your arm around the person and your hip against their’s. Still having a hard time mastering it? Pretend you’re taking a photo and you’re both looking at the camera together. The side hug, or A frame as it is also called, is safe for the whole family, friendly and above all holy. I don’t know the exact scripture reference but try the book of Psalms.
(Thanks to the handful of people that suggested side hug. I want to side hug you in thanks.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Went to Saturday Night Service since doing the Sunday morning bike ride... Here's one small portion of what I got from the service:

"The only way to forgive is to say you have done things that have wounded me and I was hurt, but it wasn't fatal.  I have a love that is real and true and heals all wounds and allows me to be able to forgive.  Because there isn't room in my heart for anger anymore, just love."

JD was talking about the Fifth Commandment Honor Your Parents... but it goes deeper than that, I really thought what he said about how to forgive is something we can each use in our lives.

Songs from the Service:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Psalm 37

Had Bstud (Bible Study) with my Summit ladies last night... even though I was exhausted last night I came out feeling refreshed at the end of our time together.  If you've ever thought about joining, and thought I don't know anything about the Bible or I feel like my walk with God is so beginner and am shy... DON'T! It's the perfect place to grow, no one judges and you can see the struggles of people of all different stages of life.  We admit our own weaknesses and together because of that vulnerability we encourage each other and make each other stronger in our faith, in our belief.  Last night we picked a verse from Psalms that spoke to us; mine was Psalm 37:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your ways to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this:  He will make your good ways shine like the dawn; the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. "

There are many interpretations and meanings of these verses but I will leave it up to you to take from it what you will.  It isn't about what I take from the message anyways, it's your own meaning you take, and your own relationship. 

Friday, July 30, 2010


Sometimes it takes a friends pain to give you a wake up call and remind you what's important.  It's so easy to get caught up in my own life, moving a million miles a minute.  Surrounded by a wedding, training, travel, other relationships, and the day to day drain of work life.  But when someone you love is in pain, it reminds you how much you care for these people.  Reminds you that there should be nothing that takes precedence in keeping in touch and letting them  know you love them.  Love you, wish I was there to ease you pain or just drink lemoncello or wine until we forget what hurts.

Be anxious in nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Something about a good quote Part IV.

Don't be concerned with what you can't do. Work on what you can do, then count your blessings.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New York New York

In a couple hours I will be in NYC to see B and my cousin some Sunday once she finishes her show!  She's a dancer/actor on broadway and other shows around the country! This is probably the most spontaneous trip I've done!  Looked at and saw an awesome deal for flights yesterday afternoon.  If you haven't used it yet check it out! I'm sooooo excited!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Love my Soccer Boyz

I love my soccer boys (and the few girls of course)!! We finished up our Summer Heat season last night and celebrated with the DSlow team! Congrats on a great season and see you for fall in a couple weeks!! Sad a couple of our teammates won't be returning because of school.  Wish you all the best, it was great getting to know you Mikey, thanks for always being my bodyguard, , and love you too! :)  I expect to be invited to the next Deaf Olympics game you STAR in!!

Off my soapbox... Have a great day, God Bless, and don't let the bad things and people bring you down; it just means you are doing something right if you have opposition. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Gina, continued

1. Routine for School: As far as school the main thing I did to get through it (besides working my butt off) was make sure I was organized!! I know it comes easier for some than for others but as far as staying organized I used 3 ring binders for EVERYTHING!  Also whatever you need to buy to make organizing fun... do it.  Some nerds (aka me) like everything from tabs to highlighting etc...  Also get some people around you who you can work well with.  God made us all different, we all think differently and each have different talents and ways of thinking.  So don't feel bad if you can't figure it out yourself, ask questions and work through it.

School's most valuable lesson is learning HOW to think and not just to memorize. :) 

2. Workouts: Quite a few people have asked me about what types of workouts I do.... I LOVE training for something, whether it's a Race for the Cure 5k or an Olympic triathlon.  Working out is fun but if you have that extra motivation such as a race you will stick to your training.

My favorite workout lately is Spin class... for people asking how to lose weight or fat that is what I always recommend.  It is a kick-butt cardio that burns the most calories in an hour or 45 mintues.  Anywhere from 400-600 calories! And it tones your whole body.... Jenn is my favorite instructor (shout-out!) 

3. Diet: Right now I don't have a set diet.  I don't really eat fast food, and don't really drink soft drinks.  I think the main thing to do if you don't have a set diet and you want to start watching what you eat just start jornaling.  It's amazing how many calories etc are in foods and what bad stuff is in food!  If you start journaling and just look at what you eat for a month or two that will give you a better idea of what kind of things you are putting into your body and how you can change it to feel better and ultimately look better. 

4. Attitude/ Motivation: The most important thing for me is motivation and attitude.  You have to stick with something and not give up.  A couple girls have asked questions and then gotten frustrated when they haven't lost weight or even gained weight! STAY  WITH IT! You know what you are doing is good for it and believe me YOU CAN DO IT!!!   

A good attitude will help you get through anything.  Last night I spent a little while writing down motivational quotes and bible verses that spoke to me and put it on a big mirror I purchased.  I wanted to wake up every day and see those quotes/ verses and smile.  Start the day off right, in the right mindset and it's amazing what a difference it will make.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Gina,

Got this message and some other similar ones recently from some girls, so decided to write it out here, for anyone else who was wondering.  It means a lot to have these messages, I just kinda do what I do and forget other people are watching and see how you live your life.  Disclaimer I'm not perfect, I have my flaws, have made some bad decisions, and have scars.  But I only have one life and I try to live it to the best of my ability, learning, healing, growing, loving as I go.  If it will help someone and since you asked (hope you don't mind me posting it) here goes...

hey girl! i hope all is well. i know this is kinda random, actually really random and i know idk you all that well but ever since ive met you and when i was dating S i always looked up to you as a role model. you just seem to have your life together and do things i would like to do and are the type of person i would like to be when i get through school. 

so i was wondering if you have any tips for getting into routines for school and working out. also if you having any tips on types of workouts and eating habits. Idk i guess im just looking for a little advice with everything. i feel like you know what its like to work really hard and have alot of obstacles come across your path. so if you any advice or tips for life id really appreciate it. 

i hope this isnt to weird or random. 

Will respond back soon when I slow down a minute... 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Purpose in the Pain

A post off of J.D. Greer's Blog... I've never been able to express as well as JD has why there is pain and suffering in lives and why bad things happen.  It was a devastating day for Summit family, but he expresses better than I could that there can be purpose in the pain. For the full blog go to

This has been a bittersweet day of reflecting on the promises of God with these families. Trevor and I sat for a while and talked about our sufferings in light of God’s words in Romans 8. Our sufferings are real, our cries of pain are real. But we weigh our present pain against the glory that God is working through that pain; a glory that will outweigh (though it is hard to believe sometimes) all the suffering that we endure in the present. Paul says that we now “groan  in anguish” like a woman in childbirth. Our groaning is real, but it is not a groan of despair. What’s the difference? Imagine you are in the hospital and you hear cries of anguished pain coming from a woman in the next room. Does it matter what is causing the pain? In one sense, no, because pain is pain…but if the woman is travailing in labor it is a pain shrouded in joy; while if she is dying of cancer it is a pain of despair. The Apostle Paul says that all of our present pain is like the pain of childbirth… Yes, we genuinely hurt, but the glory God is bringing forth in us and through us, for the age to come, makes ours a light and momentary affliction.
We love our Summit family, and when one of us hurts, we all hurt. To the Atwoods, the Youngs, and the Henns, we love you sincerely. We will get through this together.
Death and pain put the joy of salvation in sharp relief.