Wednesday, December 31, 2008
-Britney Spears is not only still alive but she's back. And some would say she's better than ever.
-I own a dog. In an apartment.
-I completed 2 half-marathons in one year.
-Athens is beginning to feel like home.
-Grey's Anatomy is no longer a show that I refuse to miss.
-I no longer have to promise my first-born child to the oil companies each time I fill up my car.
With each new year, I am usually very hopeful about what is in store for my life. It can be unnerving at times because like so many others, I just want to know how things are going to turn out. My friend Allison reads the end of the book first. Haven't we all wished that we could do that in our lives at some point in time? But then think about all that we would miss leading up to those events that we so desire. I've decided that life is kind of like Algebra in some regards. It's sequential and if you jump ahead without having a strong understanding of one part, then it's only so long before you're in over your head. Trust me on this one - I took Algebra I twice because I didn't really get it the first time around in middle school.
Each year I can look back on blessings that I never even thought possible. Or that I never even thought about praying for. This only reaffirms to me that God truly does have our best interest in mind. He knows our needs so much better than we do. So I wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2009...it's gonna' be fine! (Perhaps I should resolve to quit making dumb rhymes.)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I know...I have a ridiculous amount of clothes and I understand that I'm very fortunate to have the "problem" of full closet shelves. I also have a problem with discarding this shirt...When I was in high school I vowed to myself that I would never become one of those adults who got stuck in the rut of dressing the same way that they dressed in college for the rest of their lives. Turns out that I've had this shirt since college. And for whatever reason I love it. I still wear it 8 years later despite the fact that it has always fit me crookedly because of the way it is sown. (It's obvious how crooked it is just by looking at it!) Something tells me that I can't really rock it with my new skinny jeans and tall boots, but when I pulled it off the hanger to throw into the discard pile I just couldn't let go. So much for "out with the old, in with the new".
Have I ever mentioned that Cash's 2nd most favorite thing in the world to chew is a hanger?Needless to say this was more exciting for him than all the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Personally, I'm just glad that the photographer wasn't shot at during this photo shoot.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Well, I've decided that the coping mechanism of choice to combat this in adulthood is going shopping on the day after Christmas. Why not go out and get some more stuff at mega-sale prices? Because if you're anything like me, you really need some more stuff. If for no other reason but to add to your concern that if you hang one more piece of clothing on the left side of your closet it will finally be the breaking point that results in the whole shelf falling off the wall because it just can't take anymore weight on it. What can I say? I like adventure.
This afternoon, mom, the boys, and I headed out to the mall in search of deals. Actually I think Ethan was in search of girls because he had plans to meet up with some of his buddies and the last time I checked the Haley and Jordan his crew runs around with is not Haley Joel Osment and Jordan Knight. Micah was oh so thrilled because what 10 year old boy wouldn't want to go the mall on the day after Christmas when he has a brand new Wii to play with at home?
In my never ending quest to find the perfect pair of jeans, I stumbled across a pair of Lucky Brand jeans in Macy's that I loved. Of course they weren't on sale so I hid them for later just in case I decided to use a major chunk of my Christmas change. I forgot about the Lucky Brand store at North Point though and much to my surprise when we walked by I saw that they were having their twice yearly sale. Everything was 50% off. It was my lucky day, indeed! Is it a problem that I get this excited about getting jeans at such a good deal? Probably. Which is why I won't mention the $110 dollars I saved at Macy's on the unmentionables that I got there.
Friday, December 26, 2008
On Christmas Eve, we (my mom's side of the family) all gather at Mu and Pop's home for food, fun, and fellowship. Or something like that. Also in attendance is the small posse of Santas...They literally are always watching, and to be frank, they creep me out just a little. It appears that I'm not the only one...Even Mu who was responsible for putting them there seemed a little distraught...Or maybe she was just bothered that one of her grandsons was attempting to throw gang signs under her roof. But not nearly as bothered as she would be if she had any idea that this picture of her is now floating around the blogosphere.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Now perhaps you are wondering how I select the yearly CD. If you are, then might I recommend you get a hobby or take a nap or something, but for those of you still reading along, I will tell you. It's a highly systematic process that involves me looking at the back of a CD usually while standing in line at Target. If I happen to see my current favorite song of the season listed as a track, then into my cart the CD goes. Impulse shopper? Not me. This is exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon. While standing in line, the CD display at the end of the register lane caught my eye and I picked up Peace on Earth by Casting Crowns. Then I saw it: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and I was so excited because I really love this song this year for some reason. It's just beautiful. So after paying for my loot, I headed to my car and paid no attention to the car waiting for my parking space...I had a new CD to listen to immediately. Oh, the joy of living in a world of instant gratification. I skipped past all of the other songs until I got to the sole reason I spent an additional 9.99 in the first place. As I listened I thought to myself - this is a pretty intro but it seems a little long... So I opened up the little CD booklet thingy (I only speak in technical terms, obviously) and what I had suspected was confirmed: INSTRUMENTAL. Don't get me wrong - I love instrumentals but not when I purchase a vocal group's CD. I would probably react the same way if I popped in a Kenny G CD only to hear his singing voice. It's a very pretty instrumental version of the song and it is growing on me so maybe I'm being too harsh on Casting Crowns. Besides, I only listen to these CDs for a month out of the year anyway. Apparently there are more instrumental versions of this song than I realized though because when I went to add it to my Christmas blog play list, really the only non-instrumental choices were Phillips, Craig and Dean or Clay Aiken. And I've never been much of a Clay-mate.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm pretty convinced that Suz and I are going to have our own Saturday Night Live skit one day because she's one of the funniest people I know, and I crack myself up on a semi-regular basis so personally I think it's a winning combination. Even if we never make it in the big city though, I'm so glad to know that we will be celebrating holidays and the regular days for many years to come, and I'm sure that we'll be laughing all the way. And that's happiness.
Monday, December 15, 2008
So far he's managed to get 4 glass ornaments off of the tree before I could stop him, but fortunately he's a Lab and supposedly Labs are known to carry things very gently in their mouths. Must be true because none have been broken. Yet.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
1. Learn absolutely nothing about Human Resources or Organizational Development. In fact, I might actually forget the few things that I do know.
2. Engage in ridiculous amounts of recreational reading. On deck: Marley and Me.
3. Watch mindless television beginning this evening with the series finale of Boston Legal.
4. Dust on a regular basis. I am actually looking forward to this...my grandmother would be so proud.
5. Bake. Bake. Bake. 'Tis the season, after all.
6. Paint my nails.
7. Resume my routine of going to the gym at least 5 days per week.
8. Clean out my closest. Nothing like the end of year trip to Goodwill.
9. Christmas shop...that should take all of 5 minutes since half of my gift list is getting x-rays of my dog's insides.
10. Become bored out of my gourd.
11. Catch up with dear friends that I haven't seen in years. (Angel...I'm coming to visit whether I'm invited or not!)
12. Drink my weight in Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks.
13. Repeat 1-12.
Gotta' go. So much to do...so little time.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I really don't know where to even begin this post, but I do know that I am amazed yet again at God's perfect timing. The truth is, I am weary. It's hard for me to admit this. Need evidence? I couldn't even raise my hand in church today when it was requested that the weary raise their hands so others could pray for them. Instead I chose to let the tears roll down my cheeks and hoped that no one would notice. (I'll address my pride another day) I don't know why I have such a hard time admitting it. Perhaps, it's because I fear that it makes me appear weak. Or unfaithful. Or that my life isn't perfect. Perhaps it's because I can look around me and see others in dire circumstances and I realize that in the grand scheme of things, I'm ok. Which is true, but nonetheless, I've been weary for a couple of months now.
In short, the message was about how as Christians we go through times of weariness because we are faithful and obedient but there is no "payback" from God. [Can I get an amen from the amen corner, please?] There are times when we cannot see that he is doing anything in our lives. In essence, He has "gone dark". Through various seasons of my life, I have often wondered what the point of doing everything "right" is if I'm not going to see any change in my circumstances. A couple of years ago, after my heart was thrown under a Bradley and ran over a couple of times, I decided to take matters into my own hands and not let such matters like faith and religion really take priority in who I dated. But then after a couple months of dating someone who knows Jesus about as well as I know how to find a derivative (if you even find them...I wouldn't know because I failed Calculus), I realized that the path of major fundamental differences wasn't the one for me.
Honestly, the older I get, the more challenging it is to remain faithful that I will have my own family one day. It makes me sad sometimes that I do not get to do all the fun things that my closest friends who are married and have children around the same age get to do together. And I think that it is ok to be a little sad over those kinds of things as long as I do not allow myself to constantly wallow in the pit of despair. (please note The Princess Bride reference) There really is no point in doing so because it's not going to change anything. Why make myself and those around me miserable? I give full credit to my mother who doesn't really put up with whining for instilling this kind of attitude in me.
The truth is, we all grow weary at times. While the reasons of our weariness are different, as Christians, the source of our strength is the same. And while our strength only comes from God, I believe that it is good to lift others who are weary up in prayer. So I'm asking for your prayers. I don't really ask for prayers very much (see 2nd paragraph for reasons why I don't), but I would appreciate them now.
If you are currently experiencing a season of weariness yourself, I would encourage you to read Isaiah 40 along with me for the next week. Or if you love all things music like I do, take a listen to this song...
God is faithful, even when I am not. I can attest to this over and over again in the things that he has done in my life all along. So why do I worry that he is not going to be faithful in this particular area of my life when he knows that it is my heart's desire? Because I'm a silly little human who does not have the foresight that He does. Because I think that things have to happen according to my agenda. Because I'm a sinner. But I'm a sinner filled with grace who has a hope in the harvest that is to come.
PS...Even though it's not all that fun for me to openly share this part of my life with others, I have often said that all of the events that make up my story will be worth it if I can be a source of encouragement to others who may feel the same way or have similar experiences. You're not alone. I promise.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Earlier this evening, I went to the gym for my first post-half-marathon workout. Yes, I needed a week + 1 day to "recover". When I got back into my car to go home, I cranked it up and heard the following from the radio...
And then I started thinking. It happens sometimes...I can't help it. Thanks to my musically hip parents, I've grown up listening to this song my entire life, but the truth in these lines really struck a chord with me today.
I won't speak for the rest of the 7 billion people on the planet, but I am a person who wants. For example, after getting home from the gym I wanted a venti Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks in a bad way. (I would go so far as to say that it bordered on a need) So I loaded up the Lab and headed to Starbucks to treat myself. I placed my order and drove to the window only to hear the words "I'm sorry, but we're out of apple juice." I wanted to cry. An hour later, I still wanted this drink (hello, it's only around for a limited time each year and December 25th gets closer every day) so I went to the other Starbucks near my home. Only to hear the same thing there. Sigh. Perhaps I needed that $3.37 more than I wanted a warm cup of sugary goodness. But caramel apple cider isn't the only thing I want out of life. I want to be finished with my paper that is due on Monday but I've yet to start writing. I want to travel. I want to be the girl that someone falls absolutely head over heels for. I want a job with more money and less hours. I want to buy everyone the best gifts this Christmas. Want. Want. Want. The list could go on and on if I wanted to really work on developing carpel tunnel.
Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I don't always hear the words of songs correctly? Well, tonight when I googled the lyrics of this song, I discovered that I was totally off yet again. I thought the line: "I went down to the Chelsea drugstore, to get your prescription filled" was "I went down to the jealousy drugstore, to get your prescription filled." Ok, to my credit it kind of fits because people get jealous when others have the very things that they want.
The point that I'm trying to make is that all too often I get so caught up in all that I want for my life. When I do this, I don't take the time to consider that not only have all of my needs been met, but they have been exceedingly met. (I'm pretty certain that this isn't grammatically correct, but hopefully Allison & Amber, my English major friends, won't read too closely.) I serve a God who loves me and provides me with all that I will ever need. And what I needed today was to be reminded of this. So I was. And I am thankful.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
In the spirit of the season, I was tuned in to one of the bazillion continuous Christmas music stations and The Little Drummer Boy was playing. In all my years of listening to that song, never before have I paid attention to the line "the ox and lamb kept time". Apparently, I've always been too busy pa rum pa pum pum-ing to really notice that there are other lyrics involved in the song. At first I thought that I my ears had surely heard wrong. Afterall, I am the girl who thought that Grass Roots was singing about Monday night confession for years. And you know, the more I think about it...Werewolves of London makes so much more sense than Werewolves of Thunder. Plus, I am good friends with a girl who shall remain nameless that wondered why JT was singing about a sexy cat. Let's just say that should I ever find myself on some sort of televised game show/competition, it will not be "Don't Forget the Lyrics".
But thanks to a quick lyrics search via the information super highway, it turns out my ears did not deceive me this time. The ox and lamb did indeed keep time. How they did so is beyond me. The whole idea of an ox and lamb keeping time makes me laugh. Out loud. I had no idea that they are animals with a great sense of rhythm, but I've never really participated in that many barnyard hoe-downs either so I really shouldn't make assumptions that they would not be able to cut a rug. And finally, people, we have reached the moral of this nonsensical story - don't jump to conclusions about something without first researching the matter or about someone until you get to know them.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Just as no two people are the same, no two friendships are the same either. Mag is my night owl friend who I never hesitate to call late if I need to. Or early in the morning...she doesn't really require much sleep either. I give her credit for helping me develop my eclectic music taste in college. She understands me. I understand her. It's a comfortable friendship. We seldom disagree, but when we ask each other for an honest opinion, we share it without reservation. She pronounces "oil", "foil", and "boil" the same exact way I do. We laugh. We cry. We rejoice. We pray. We encourage when the other is discouraged. We talk (a lot, if one was to ask her husband). And I have a sneaky suspicion that we're never going to run out of anything to talk about with each other. So Happy Birthday, my friend. I'll talk to you soon.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
After a quick and traffic free ride into the city, we found ourselves standing in a dark parking lot surrounded by porta-potties with a few thousand of our closest running friends...
Note: Special thanks to Valerie's mom, Brenda, for many of the great pictures you see here in this post!