October 14, 2011

(GIVEAWAY! for real.) and --->Fall is here. I've been trying to tell everyone as if it is completely MY responsibility.

This is real life. 

I think it is my job to alert the world that it is fall.

So I've been rushing around trying to take care of all my duties.

Like documenting every tree that has changed.

and sending pictures to people who care. or should care.

There are leaves all over the sidewalk.

and today.

in puddles.

There is this one tree that's ahead of the game. and I want to give him a personal shout out here.

You know who you are.



First thing.

I am blown away by the response to my last post.

The one about my invincible dad.

If you haven't read it, look below.

It took a lot out of me and when I hit publish I wasn't sure if I had done him justice.

There is this need to represent his entire life in one single post. and that is crazy.

That can't happen.

So each comment and each private note or message I have received... those have filled my heart.

Thank you.

I mean it.

In October 2005, I sat at the dining room table while people ate ham biscuits, snagged pieces of cake, threw cheese on crackers, and filled their cups with soda and lemonade.
I wore a gold skirt and a white top in defiance.

I was not going to have my dad go out in a parade of darkness.

But I sat at the table while people spun around me. and I bawled because he wasn't there.

And cried a lot because I realized the new people in my life would not meet him.


The published post below is a reminder that
yes they will.

You can, in fact, meet someone who is no longer walking around in their navy blue suit.

You can know someone even though you did not shake their hand.

and I am thrilled that I can be a part of keeping his spirit alive.

But of course, all of his children are a part of that. his entire family. and his friends.

I am so glad.

So there is my great big thank you. and I am sure there will be more of that.


Back to fall. and October.

I could not have said it better.

The picture above is what my insides look like.


And. because I saw it- you have to too.
I present- the scariest thing ever.


And, yes. Yes. she has a lightsaber.
(Wikipedia told me it was one word. So I listened.)


This is the second scariest thing ever. 

These pictures are not jokes.

They are sincere portraits. and pardon my terrible flash but I had to take this picture quickly.


We literally watched this for about 20 minutes silently.

And. I think this art entry by a student was really a shout out to me.

Please note the perspective on the flute-player!


I have no explanation for this food entry.

But, I really need to know why 3rd from the left is sad.

It is baffling.

And finally.

The artist is in the bottom left corner.

Say no more.

 God Bless America.


And, because I feel the need for a blast from the past:

remember last October? what I made for my nephew? Oh you don't?  We should all relive this.

for last October's project of the month.


and now. the promised 


Focus now.

In the spirit of this blog:

1.What  do you LOVE? What are you running after, dreaming of, or hungry for? _______________

I'm very serious.



2. Do you know someone else who is hungry, running, dreaming, wishing, trying?________________

Do you?

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. can be anything. someone trying to have a fantastic life. someone that is an amazing friend. someone who wants to raise incredible children. or works hard every day and comes home to write a novel. or someone that gives wonderful eye opening advice. or someone who is looking to love more. like themselves. be healthy. finish school. care for their parents. fight for justice. fight for their LIFE. etc.

What about someone who is struggling, but you know they can do it.

Do you ever say - "psssst- You are a big deal."
because you should Tell them.

Yeah. I know a billion. a billion.

OK. I have a plan. 

If you tell me

1. your big LOVE / big DREAM.
(could be one of many. could seem little too. but if it is a dream at all. it is big)


2. one other person who makes you proud to be a human being. someone you want to encourage.

then I will give these away.

From the comments below, I will randomly select a winner who will get these two babies.

ONE is from me. to YOU. 

the other. 
Is to give to that person you told me about. So it will be blank. for YOU to fill in.

Seriously. do it.

Don't be shy. 
Shy is ok sometimes. 
But today, don't be. 

Let the party start.

Spread the love.

Comment below.

(Happy Fall)


Sophie said...

I love your blog, but I've been lazy and missing posts recently, do you have a Facebook page? You really make me laugh btw, which is very enjoyable :) OK, I will answer you brilliant questions (I am in the UK, hope that's OK):
1. My big love/ big dream. I thought I would know this, but it is harder than I thought it would be, OK, deep breath. I would love to finish my children's story, illustrations and all, I would love to build my own house, I would love to help someone set up a gorgeous cafe, cakes and all and sell my cards and soap, aromatherapy stuff (which I have yet to make) in there as well. I would love to grow loads of herbs and flowers and make them into nice potions for skin,I would love to encourage children to find their passions, I would love to be able to sew all the things I want to. I would love a dog and a rabbit and a guinea pig and chickens... and a new laptop. Ok, overload point now, sorry if this is way more than necessary!

2.Ok, there are loads of people I want to encourage who are already following their hearts, but there is one guy I know who is desperately unhappy because his life isn't matching him right now, he is drinking too much, but he is at breaking point and I know he will choose life. He is the one I would encourage.

Thank you again for your fab blog, promise I will begin to read regularly! xxx

Amanda said...

Alright Abby, you inspire me, so I'm gonna tell you what my big dream is even though I'm too chicken to tell anyone else. I was teaching Kindergarten, but started staying home this year with my daughter. I've still got a BUNCH of teaching ideas bumping into each other in my brain - now even more so than when I was actually teaching cuz they have no where to get out. I want to start a little website/shop where I can make teaching aids/tools/games to help other teachers and use up my creative energy.

I've got a friend that is an amazing photgrapher and she's my mommy role model. I want to be a cool mom just like her. She's been working like crazy lately though so her family could buy their first house. She's really trying to get back into her super-mom mode instead of being a workaholic.

I LOVE your work!! and it would be awesome to share some with Jodie too!!

Rhonda said...

I have a dream inside my head. It's been there as long as I can remember. I've never been able to achieve that. My dream requires me to get my fat butt off the couch and get moving. There's always a new excuse. 5 weeks ago, Tropical Storm Lee dropped over 10 inches of rain in my area over 2 days. All that on top of Hurricane Irene who dropped 4 inches of rain in 24 hours the week before. We had tragic flooding and my job was flooded with over 5 feet of water. My house and family were fine but income came to a standstill. There's been a horrible black cloud over my head and I can't get off the couch. Most days I can't get out of my pjs. I just don't want to be the fat girl anymore but dreaming about exercise doesn't drop the pounds. Someday I'll get the courage to work on it, not only for me but for my 2 little girls.

I have a friend who's been a great friend for over 20 years. I've moved from state to state and rarely see her anymore. I barely talk to her anymore but she's still my BFF. She's been through the ringer with men. She's the best mom I know with a 17 year old and a 13 year old. She's always been a great part of their life. They talk, they figure things out, they are here for each other. Right now, the 13 year old is just a rotten little apple. Spending days in In School Suspension. She's been caught shoplifting. She's been caught lying and on her way to even more trouble. It's never her fault. My friend has tried everything she can to help her out. Grounding her, silent treatment, taking away all electronics, talking to her. She's actually following the same road as her dead beat dad. I never liked the guy, ever. This little girl is gorgeous and she knows it. She's had everything handed to her from her grandparents when her mom couldn't because my friend works 45-50 hours a week just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. This child is scaring the crap out of my friend for her future and she thinks she's a bad mom. Not all bad apples are bad because of the tree. It breaks my heart thinking about how sad my friend is because she can't figure out her early teenager. I strive to be the mom she is!

Danielle said...

I love your blog :) I always say that- but it's just always true :) P.S. It's way more fun reading your blog on the actual blog site as opposed to in my google reader. The music makes it.

So recently i've been feeling like I'm a very boring person. I'm not really sure what my "big" dream is.....I think I'm still trying to figure it out....I think it's so awesome that you know and are working on yours. You are inspiring.

I do have lots of dreams for my kids. I have big dreams that they will both grow up to really love Jesus and really love people. Especially each other. Jace's name means "God is my salvation" and Zoe's name means "life" as in the life Jesus refers to when he says "I have come that you may have life and have it to the fullest". I really hope they grow into their names. My dream for them is that they would be passionate people with dreams of their own and believe they can achieve those dreams. Hopefully I can encourage them towards those dreams.

Someone I would want to encourage would be my brother. He's finishing grad school in MN and is desperately searching for his passion. I really hope he finds it. He too easily latches on to the dreams of others (especially cute girls). I want him to have conviction and passion and not let obstacles get in the way of those dreams.

<3 you!

Jeb said...

Miss Bland,

Seriously not joking about how much I look forward to reading your blog during the week as a break from PT Board studying. Your artwork is awesome but what I love the most is just reading along each day about your journey with all the ups and downs following after your dreams.

I often lose track of all I want to accomplish in my life from being the best husband I can be to eventually finding a way to get back into physical therapy education as a professor to helping to raise enough money for Wake's Wesley Foundation (Larry's job)where they no longer worry about finances to finally volunteering in a big brother type program where I could mentor a younger at risk kid.

With that said, I was always told goals and dreams should be measurable and my 1 dream that I've been working towards for a while now is to find a way for my French skills and physical therapy knowledge to come together to serve medically for a week or 2 annually as a PT in Africa. Within the next 5 years, I want to have made at least 1 trip out there and start narrowing down where I'd like to serve each year.

As far as inspiration, I get it from so many people: Larry and his humor, Mark and his personal spiritual growth, Christine and her ability to make me laugh with her craziness along with her academic knowledge (I mean she freaking has a PhD in Physics), and so many more of the people who continue to touch my life. Finally, you Abby inspire me with your reckless disregard for what you SHOULD do but following after instead what you know you were MADE to do.

Keep up the good work and come on down and see us in Winston soon!

Abernathy said...

um. obsessed with the responses. I will randomly select the winner at the end of the week. so keep them coming!

thanks so.very.much.

Anonymous said...

You are probably one of my favorite bloggers ever and I don't let you know that enough... in fact this may be my first time letting you know and i'm sorry about that buy you are truly an inspiration.

1. My big dream is to figure out my dreams... does that make sense? I have all these hopes/dreams/wishes that flow in and out of my mind and I just want to figure out what my big dream is so I can starting dreaming it up big!!

2. I know quite a few people who I could encourage... three stick out majorly as people would make me proud to be a human being so I would probably do an eenie-meenie-minnie-moe type thing to decide then send the other two other cards.
But they are Courtney, who is probably the coolest high schooler ever. She makes me wish I was a cooler kid and its not the popular-kid type cool this girl Lives her life to the fullest, she is so comfortable in her own skin and she rocks the world in the most beautiful way!
The second is a blogger Jaclyn who is in my opinion one of the most beautiful people i've ever encountered and it's not just that she's pretty. She has the biggest, loveliest heart for people and she spreads sunshine like its her job (polkadotteapot.wordpress.com)
The third is a guy friend Josh who I've started to connect with through my church and he is just so on fire for God and so in touch with his faith its a crazy inspiring thing to watch.

Kim said...

Okay I have approximately 4 minutes until my brain collapses for the evening into a pile of pretzels, tea, and exhaustion. But I said I would so here I am. My big love right now is a hefty combination of a multitude of small ones.
Snuggle my babies as much as possible and smell their baby heads until my face turns blue, try to make it through the day without a melt down, not drown in laundry, play outside in wet grass, remember to look them in the eye, instill in them a rich sense of color, pattern, texture, love, Jesus, and kindness towards others. Teach them how to recognize burnt umber in the leaves, how to really listen, and how to look people in the eye. Foster an obsessive sisterly love for each other. Make them laugh, look carefully at small flower buds, feel bark, and try to make condo-life a magical mysterious cacophony of life. And then my sweet husband, whose patient love endures my failings, exhaustion, lame dinners, and frizzy hair...to notice, appreciate, and love him fearlessly.
My sister, whose tireless love for her family works harder than I can imagine. I am proud to share the name momma with her.

Matt Hypes said...

Jones, It's taken me a little to decide on what to post but I think I've got it. As I've been working on my pie blog I am getting more and more excited about writing my own recipes and someday maybe having a little pie cookbook. I love the idea of people enjoying and sharing something I helped them to be able to do.

My friend Jack, you'd love Jack he's all spirit and adventure. He's in the process of making some big decisions in his life and he's only 19! I've been a voice of reason and "adultness" in the process but the more I think and pray about it, I want to tell him to go for it, make a step that I might be too afraid to make but that he is ready to trust God in. He's awesome, and he will change the world.

Abernathy said...

i love you people. the thought put into these rules. and i gasped a few times. for real.

I even got a couple private entries which I adored as well.

Winner will be announced tomorrow.
Winner is randomly selected.

Any comments submitted today will still count :)

Annie B said...

Hi :)

I am commenting because they little note up above me says...debating on saying something? Always do. (although I am not sure it applies in all cases:)

My dream is to be a hospice nurse someday and to hold people's hands who are dying with such a tangible hope in God's redemption that they can believe then, even if they never did before.

My dream is for all people who are struggling with jobs they don't enjoy...that they can find a joy in serving the Lord in their job that changes their life and the life of those with whom they work. My other dream is for world peace...I'm not giving up just because it's a little trite.

Judith said...

I love museums. It’s kinda crazy, I know. Lots of people love going to museums or the art or exhibitions in the museum, but I am passionate about the museum. It makes me giddy inside when I think about how a museum (an institution, a bastion of Western civilization) can affect individuals. Lots of institutions (financial, educational, governments) have effects on people, but museums have so much possibility. There are positive and negative possibilities, sure, but seriously, how many public institutions do you know that bring joy to little children, preserve or conserve endangered species/artifacts/art, and actively reach out to communities? I love that a museum can be an acceptable place for chaos and disorder, streamlining it all in little tidbits that people can consume. People can be swayed or influenced by what they see in a museum. They might be inspired by Degas to become a dancer or by a climate change exhibit to begin recycling. The possibilities of a museum are endless. Art museums are no longer constrained to simply show art in a white box, they can discuss topics of immigration, persecution, and love. Natural history museums are no longer only places of taxidermied dead animals and dioramas, they are places of wonder, opening the eyes of children and adults to science and its role in history.

I run after museums because I know I can help museums make a difference in the life of someone who needs it. Maybe I can help a community become a greater part of the information the museum presents about them. I with museums would hire for “Community Engagers” or “Inspiration Assistants”. I once met a “Director of Inspiration”, that was cool.

Megan, my best friend since 4th grade, dreams of being an elementary school teacher and she loves music. What keeps her from reaching her dream is that without experience, what kind of degree should she get. If she gets the wrong Master’s she won’t be able to switch.—specialize in elementary education or in music education? Teach little children as a primary teacher or teach a range of ages in music? It’s wonderful to see Megan work with little kids, she has the perfect personality, patience and passion to teach them and make a huge difference in their lives. I know that everyone lucky enough to have her as a teacher will also be taught a love of music. The last time I saw her she explained to me how you can teach science, math, history, and reading all with a focus on music. Counting measures and notes is math, music waves and reverberations can teach science and the history of music mirrors the world’s economic, political and social history. Eventually, Megan will be a certified and hired teacher. Her BFA is in Music, but a teaching certification is in her grasp next semester. Eventually, she’ll find which degree to get. Either way, she’ll make a difference in the world because of her love of music and children.

INDIKA said...

I LOVE my girls. I never thought that I would be in this sort of place in life. Everything else seems to take second place in life.

Part A
i) My Baby Momma: Who would have thought that I would end up with such awesomeness? So much talent and creative insight packed into a glorious form! I love when she belly laughs, I love how she loves our daughters, I love her taste in art, I love how brilliant she is, I love how she wants to know how the cashiers day is going at the grocery store when we are in a hurry, I love how she is trying to teach our 5month old potty training and the list goes on...

ii) My Neela: When she comes running into my arms after work-my whole world comes to a screeching stop, the look in her eyes when she takes in the great out doors, when she cries for the broken-hearted and defeated at such a young age, when she notices the fine details of the mundane and when she says "here daddy".

iii) My Z bug: She was sent to me from the same place that I am from to remind me that I'm not alone.
The happiest and chillest 5month old I know.

iv) My dog: My worst investment but the greatest bitch on the planet.

Part B)
My Dad: I wish he lived closer to us so he can learn that its ok to tell your kids that you love them .

i love music. almost more than everything.