Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reunited and It Feels So Good

We all know what it's like to love something, right? We incorporate the things we love into our daily lives and they become familiar. Comfortable. And then sometimes for what could be a variety of reasons, the things that we love go away. If this happens, at first we miss it, but then eventually we find other ways to fill our time. We move on. We learn to love other things. Basic human nature at work. And then occasionally when all the planets are aligned just right and the wind is blowing out of the West, the opportunity arises for that thing that we once loved to waltz right back into our lives. Today was my day for that to happen...
Yes...I'm speaking of Step Aerobics!!! Too dramatic? I think not. Back in the day, I was a religious stepper. Since I played sports in high school, I had at least one PE course each semester (after the invention of the microwave, who needs Home Ec. anyway?) and Body Sculpting was my class of choice during my last two years. That meant Step three days a week for 45 minutes at a time. And honestly, I loved every minute of it. Of course shorty after graduation I moved to college and my main form of exercise was walking to the cold section in the back of Wal-Mart to pick up a roll of cookie dough. So, needless to say, I replaced my love of Step with a love of cookies. Again, basic human nature at work. One semester in college I registered for a 1-hour Step Aerobics class but I had to drop it because it required more written work than an upper-level psychology class. Ridiculous. Or perhaps that was just my excuse and I couldn't forsake the cookies. I've actually worked out reguarly since college but when I moved the Athens, the gym that I joined offers a bazillion different kinds of classes a week so I decided that in order to get my "full money's worth" I would take advantage of some of them. That was in August. And today, May 27th, I finally took my first Step [class]. Why did it take me so long to do something again that I once loved? Oh...there is a whole slew of reasons. First, I had the excuse of class at night. Weak considering they took up at the most 2 of my nights per week and they ended by 7:15. Secondly, this body is not what it was when it was 17. No, I'm not old, but things just start to hurt so much quicker now 12 years later. It certainly doesn't help matters that every young and tanned skinny minnie at UGA also are members of my gym. Finally, the truth is, I'm shy. Almost to the point that it's painful. I know, hard to believe if you know me, but I hate being in new situations when I'm all by my lonesome without a buddy. Nor do I like it when attention is centered on me in an environment where I don't know everyone. So I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to finally go to Step class, and since that decision, I've been psyching myself up for today. The big day. Last week, I made sure I was at the gym during the class time so I could observe while I was on the treadmill. Just to make sure I could do it. Um, I just ran a half-marathon but I was totally doubting my ability to do 30 minutes of Step aerobics? So, today I verbally committed by inviting my friend at work, Erin, to go with me. Unfortunately she had plans, but because I said that I was going to do it, that sealed the deal. I had to go. The closer it got to 5:30 the more anxious I got. What if the class was team taught by Jane Fonda and Denise Austin? What if the instructor asked for all first-timers to stand up and from somewhere in the back, a nice deacon brought me a jar of jelly as everyone had ample time to size me up? Hey I went to a new church once and it happened. Who would have thought you got jelly at a church? I suppose it could happen at a gym if it was sugar-free jelly. What if I couldn't keep up? As I'm turning into the parking lot, I'm praying to the dear Lord baby Jesus that I don't roll my ankle or tear an ACL or drop dead during basic right. Of course my anxiety level dropped as I walked in and heard someone ask the person next to her, "have you ever done this before?" The response: "No." Victory! So long story even longer...it was great. I'm definitely going back next week because it turns out that I still love Step Aerobics after an absence of over a decade (um, you know you're getting old when you can use a decade as a reference of time). But I'm most proud of the fact that I made myself step outside my comfort zone and do something uncomfortable. Did I survive? Of course. Did I remind myself that I am potentially missing out on so much because I prefer that which is comfortable and familiar? Yes. Will I remember this the next time I get "something new and different anxiety"? Yep. So...all that to ask, what is something good that you are missing out on? What's standing in your way? You? Well, it's your lucky day then because you can change that!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Torn Between a Fairytale and the Truth

So I've been doing some thinking. Yes, I am fully aware of the dangers that accompany such an activity. Just a couple of days ago I was on the receiving end of a "You're a great girl, but..." conversation. We've all been there at one time or another. It's a part of life that I've come to the conclusion that no one is exempt from. Well...except for maybe nuns and priests. And since we've all been there, we all know that it's not the most fun place to be. No worries. I'm not here for pity, people. In fact I've been spending my newly found free time doing what any other girl in a similar situation would do: listening to "All By Myself" on repeat while smoking countless cigarettes, drinking copious amounts of wine and recording my weight daily in a diary. NOT REALLY! Thankfully I'm not one to wallow, but I did spend a couple of days (yesterday and today) dusting myself off and getting back up though. Allow me to enlighten you all with how I coped...Ahh...the comfort in comfort food. Now before you all take up a collection to pay my Jenny Craig membership fees, I shared with 3 other people and there were leftovers. And contrary to the way it looks by the basket of cheese fries on the left, I did not break my french fry ban. Nothing could be so terrible to warrant that. Next, in order to restore my hope in happily ever after, I watched Enchanted. Because let's be honest, who doesn't love a happy ending? Today I spent my day doing girly things. I broke down and got my annual pedicure. I've seen one too many 20/20 specials about dirty nail salons to truly enjoy the experience but it's just a testament to the things a girl will do for pretty feet. And having pretty feet made for a much more enjoyable shopping trip. There's no therapy like retail therapy. Especially when there are mega-Memorial Day weekend sales! Jackpot. After a trip to the gym (eating fried pickles and mushrooms one day and shopping for clothes the next can create quite the paradox), I came home and did what I probably should have done first. Scratch the "probably"...What I should have done first. I prayed. Now, why didn't I do that first? Because I'm stubborn and I'm female. Being female, it means that I like to fix things myself. We women are fixers and we love more than anything to make things work. Maybe in my next 30 years I'll learn to go the appropriate route first in order to "fix" that which is broken.Then I stumbled across the series, Marriage by Design by Voddie Baucham on the Athens Church website. And then I started thinking. Before I go into my thoughts, I would encourage everyone to listen to this three-part series even if you're already married. Especially if you're already married.

I'm only one individual in a world of billions so really I can only speak for myself. But it seems to me that more often than not we are torn between a fairytale and the truth. We all want the fairytale. I know that I sure would take the fairytale ending behind door number 3 if I was making a deal with Monty Hall. Why? Because even though there is always a villain in the story, ultimately good prevails and the princess lives happily ever after with her heroic prince who has stepped in to save the day. And because our culture instills this in us from childhood, we come to expect this to be our reality one day. Prime example: Enchanted. It's a fairytale that comes to life. I am not for one minute saying that we should wipe out all things Disney or shoot Cupid down with an unloving arrow. I'm afraid that Valerie would no longer be my friend if that happened. I said it myself, I love a good story with a happy ending. However I think that the problem arises when the fairytale doesn't happen here in the real world and we don't know what to do. Ugh...I'm afraid that I'm not making my point clearly so it will be lost. And I happen to think it's a really good one so I'm struggling a bit as I write. The truth is though God does not promise us our fairytale ending. We are not put on this earth to live out our days doing only the things that bring us sheer joy and happiness. If that was the case, I would spend my days eating ice cream sandwiches and watching back-to-back episodes of The Golden Girls while maintaining a size 4 physique. If we are Christians, we are God's and we are here to do His work. Now, can and does doing His work bring us happiness? Of course! Are we destined for days of solitude? Nope. God himself said that it isn't good for man to be alone. Hence, Eve. But the last time I checked, the book of Cupid is neither in the Old or New Testaments. Nor is the kind of love present in the B-I-B-L-E that Cupid is so famous for bringing. Ok, it's there too but if we all think about it, those stories when it was the star didn't turn out so happily ever after. That kind of love is centered fully around emotion; our feelings. And let's be honest here, that kind of love feels good. But it is fleeting, and I'm not so certain that it's really love. However all too often because it's the fairytale we desire, we think if we don't have that kind of "love" then we've got nuthin'. In Deuteronomy 6, we are commanded to love God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our might. It doesn't say, "if it feels good to you, then you should..." According to my new friend Voddie, Biblical love (which is the true kind for those of you just tuning in) is "an act of the will accompanied by emotion and it leads to action on behalf of its object." And if we are to love God this way, doesn't it make sense for us to love His children (a.k.a., each other) in the same manner? Geez...seems to me like that is going to require some work. Which I think is another reason why we much prefer the type that Cupid brings. But Biblical love is essentially a choice that we make. That's not to say that there is no emotion in it. Emotion is there if you look. It's accompanied by emotion. Big difference between being accompanied by and being led by though if you ask me. If emotion is the accompaniment instead of the leading factor, then it seems like this kind of love is going to last much much longer. But because it's a choice that we make and not something that sweeps us off our feet, some of the glamour is gone. Truthfully it doesn't lessen it or cheapen it all. In fact, I think it makes it better. In the long run, I much prefer comfort to glamour, the truth to the fairytale, and if given a choice, I kind of think that Cinderella would too. After all, she was missing a shoe and her carriage turned into a pumpkin on the way home after a long night of dancing. Talk about unreliable and fleeting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Just another day at The OC

One of the reasons why I enjoy my job so much is due to the fact that I'm surrounded by such fun and wonderful co-workers. It really makes for a pleasant work life. Despite the illusion of "walls", my workspace is quite public and open in a very high traffic area so often I get asked the important questions like "Can you help me with the copier?" or "Do you know where ________ is?". Today I had to complete a timed test for a certification and in order to keep people from bothering me, this is how my cube looked this morning upon my arrival at work:
From the looks of my desk, the caution tape is quite appropriate even without a timed test to complete. Thanks work friends for making my day easier!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Day with Miss Caroline

So this day can be described in two words: Great and Mediocre. In this posting, I'm going to focus on the great part of my day. I got to spend some quality time with baby Caroline while her mama, Suzanna, went to work outside the home one last time for awhile. Oh what fun we had! Allow me to share a few highlights from the day. After her morning feeding, it was time for some exercise...Let's be honest, I don't like upper body work either. Needless to say tummy time did not last very long. Since it is my responsibility as an "aunt" to appropriately spoil her, we decided to leave that unpleasant exercise for when Mommy and Daddy got back home. Since she is 100% girl, it is only natural that Caroline prepare in advance for all of those future gab sessions with her best gal pals. So she did her tongue calisthenics next:Caroline has many fans. Two of her biggest are Eli the Elephant and Freddie the Firefly so they stopped by for playtime...When they resorted to chatting about the weather, it was time for me to entertain Caroline with song, dance, and witty banter:Apparently I need to come up with some new material or Caroline's humor is already far more sophisticated than mine. Or maybe, just maybe, she is three months old and needed a nap...Today was my first experience with swaddling blankets. Back in the day when I swaddled my Cabbage Patch Kids, it was pretty easy so I thought to myself, how hard can it be? These things come half wrapped complete with velcro. Silly me for not considering the fact that real live babies come with kicking legs and squirming bodies...
Ok, swaddling experts, Suzanna told me to leave one arm out because Caroline likes her fingers better than her paci so it wasn't as bad as it might appear upon first glance. While we had a few of these moments:
I am happy to report that the majority of the day was spent with moments like these...
Thanks Trice family for such a fun visit. I'm already looking forward to next time!

Fun with Ethan

This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Ethan. Or baby brother #1 as I often refer to him. Even though he isn't much of a baby anymore. He will be 15 in a mere 10 days. I'm pretty certain that I'm not prepared for the fact that he is coming to a road near you...or me...or anyone for that matter. We began the weekend by going to watch the Diamond Dogs play their last game of the season. Unfortunately, things did not turn out so well for the home team but we had a grand time anyway. The next day after church we went to see The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian. If you haven't seen it yet, well then according to Siskel and Ebert (yes they still critique movies from the grave...wait, maybe only one is in the grave), you're missing out. It's great...even if it is 2 hours and 20 minutes long. If you're accustomed to a Sunday afternoon nap like I am, then learn from me, Sunday afternoon is not the best time to watch it. But I managed to make it without falling asleep. Unlike I did that time in Notting Hill. To this day I refer to that ridiculously boring movie as Nodding Off. I know, I know, I probably just lost a few friends. I digress. Back to my weekend...For those of you who haven't seen Ethan since he was 5 years old running up and down the halls of Lewis Annex in his cowboy boots and Batman cape, introducing himself as Walker, Texas Ranger to everyone he met along the way, I'm including a picture that I took on Saturday.
He's the cute one in the family. Ok, here is one of the things that I love about my baby brother. Even during the terrible teen years, the boy is so comfortable in his own skin. Please take note of the velcro tennis shoes he is sporting in the picture. According to him they are cool and everyone will be wearing them soon. All I know is that if he is responsible for velcro shoes being the next big thing, then he and I are going to have words. Fortunately (or unfortunately) he's "cool" enough among the high school crowd to succeed. I do love him though...velcro shoes and all!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just one highlight from the Diamond Dogs game today...

God bless Alabama fans. They were more fun to watch at times than the game itself. I really wish this picture could provide the full effect but unfortunately there is no audio with still shots.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reading is FUNdamental!

Ok, who here remembers Book It? You know...the reading incentive program in elementary school where if you read a certain number of books, you got a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut? Let this image serve as a reminder in case your memory regarding absolute random and useless information isn't as sharp as mine is.

So I absolutely loved Book It! whenever I was growing up. I was totally the geeky bookworm who earned her blue button plus all of her yellow stars for it too. Truth is, I'm still a geeky bookworm, but I no longer get free pizza as a reward. One of the things that I have been doing since the beginning of the spring semester is counting down the days until recreational reading could begin during my summer break from classes. I've been composing my summer reading list since January. Well, the first book I read did not disappoint. Earlier this week I finished reading The Kite Runner. Holy smokes, I love this book. I'll be honest, I'm completely ignorant to the culture in
Afghanistan. Not only is it an interesting perspective of life in old Afghanistan prior to Russia's invasion of it, it was written in 2003 so there are modern day references to the Taliban as well. I definitely learned so much about the culture and history in that country. I'm not going to lie. It's sad. Like, tears being shed as I'm turning the pages sad. But so very well written. (unlike much of this post) If you haven't read it and you're looking for a good read then run, don't walk to your local library or bookstore and pick up a copy for yourself.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Her children rise up and call her blessed

Mothers. We all have them. I happen to have an amazing one who I love very much. It is no secret that when I was a little girl, I was a total mama's girl. To this day I am reminded by family members how I wouldn't go anywhere without my mama or if I did, I was usually in tears because she wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, I love my whole family, but did they lug me around in their bellies for 40 weeks? I think not. It's only fitting that my loyalty lie with the person who brought me into this world. Mom and I have always had a good relationship. Even during the tumultuous teen years. Well, I think that we have...perhaps she should weigh in on the matter too. I can only remember getting a spanking once. Actually it's not so much the spanking I remember at all, it is the homemade icee's (Sprite and Coke) that she made for me afterwards. Sure, there are times when we have differences of opinions and that has always been the case (see picture below...I wasn't so sure that curly hair was as fitting for her as it was for me). However I give her credit for my rather fierce independence and somewhat opinionated personality. She has raised me to have a mind of my own and for that, I am very thankful. But while I was encouraged to always think for myself, she instilled in me the importance of being kind to others even if they have different views. So I attribute my sense of compassion to her as well.

I do believe that the good Lord knew that I would need a mother with the kind of personality that mine has. She is one of the most laid-back persons I know. Sometimes I envy that about her. Why didn't I inherit that trait?!? Whether I was upset because there was a thunderstorm raging outside or I was stuck in a tree with seemingly no way to get down, Mom was always right there to calm me down and protect me when I was little. I can't imagine how difficult it is for mothers to watch their children grow up and let them go knowing that there are much bigger things in the world that they must be protected from. This is where faith is so important. Mom's faith is one to be admired. She has always taught me that God is in control and that we must trust in Him in all things.

When I was in college, some of my friends thought it was so bizarre that I talked to Mama on the phone as much as I did. Perhaps it wasn't so much the frequency that they thought bizarre but the time of day in which we had most of our conversations. I usually never called before 11:00 at night. More often than not, it was much later than that. In fact it's 11:06 pm, and I'm on the phone with her right now. The habit of talking to her on the phone started when I was very young. I stayed with my grandmother, Mumu, after mom went back to work and each day I would talk to her on the phone. As I was going through my photo albums to find these pictures this is only one of many with a phone stuck to my ear. No doubt about who was on the other end of the line if it was taken at Mumu's house. I'm so thankful that I have a Mama who has never put parameters on when it was too late to call home or made me feel like I can't bother her by calling while she is at work. She has always put her children before the important things like sleep and work and always made it clear that we are our first priority. It probably helps that she has the uncanny ability to fall back to sleep in less than 1/10 of a second too. Err...when I call during the middle of the night...not while she's at work! Rarely a day goes by when I don't talk to her. Even if it's just for a minute or two. I'm completely grown but I don't think that children ever outgrow the comfort that results from knowing that they have parents who are always there for them.
My relationship with Mom has changed throughout the years but that is to be expected considering I have grown up into adulthood. I no longer get in trouble for talking back (ok, well, maybe I do sometimes) nor do I cry when she isn't in my direct line of vision. Thank goodness I outgrew that one. However there are some things that have not changed...she is still my constant cheerleader and always a voice of reason. We have always had fun together. She's the fun one in the family so it's only natural that I have fun with her. One of my favorite memories from childhood is when dad would go hunting, she and I would have girls weekends. She let me do her hair, nails and make-up and we would have slumber parties in the living room. We've even gotten to travel to some pretty fun places together, Boston and Vegas, over the past few years. I value the relationship that I have with Mama more with each passing year. When I hear people talk about how they never see their mom or don't have a good relationship with their mom, it makes me all the more thankful for the good one I have been given. Although I was a good kid by most accounts, I know that raising me probably wasn't the easiest task in the world. As an adult I can see how during the times when my little world was falling apart (let's be honest, little girls are just mean to each other) and I was crying to her, I'm sure her heart was breaking even more than mine was. Yet she never let on because she had to be strong and tell me that it would be ok. And you know what, she was right. It was.

I believe that a mother's love for her children is the closest humans will ever get to unconditional love. Only God can love us unconditionally, but a mama's is pretty close. I think this ability that mothers have to love their children so much is also one of the things that makes their job so hard sometimes. How heartbreaking when a child disobeys or makes a poor decision. How scary when a child breaks a bone or goes off to college. But how rewarding when a baby lights up upon seeing his or her mom enter the room or when something great happens and she is the first to know. How proud moms must feel when their children show kindness and love towards others or scores the winning run in a ballgame. I pray that one day I will be given the opportunity to have and raise children of my own. It is my hope that I will be the kind of mother to them that mine is to me. She is such a good example of all that a good and loving mother should be, and I'm so thankful that she is mine! Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Since I love music so very much it seems that I have a new favorite song each week. This week the title of 'Favorite' is bestowed upon John Mayer's latest release "Say". In case you don't know what song I'm referring to, please scroll to the bottom of my blog and take a listen. Generally I'm not the biggest John Mayer fan on the block even though a few megabytes of memory are hopelessly devoted to him on my iPod. And seriously, what is up with him and Jennifer Aniston these days? I digress...

Today in the car was the first time that I really paid attention to the lyrics and for whatever reason they really struck a chord with me. Well, not all of them, but some of them. Allow me to share a few:

"Take all your so called problems/better put them in quotations"
How true is that. Of course we all have problems. Every single one of us does, and unfortunately some have much much bigger ones than others do. But I wonder what would happen if we took the time to stop and think about how much worse our problems could be...or better yet, think about all the good in our life. Perhaps those problems would seem more like molehills instead of mountains. For example: "I can't believe that I have to spend so much money in rent every single month. I would be able to do so much more if I didn't have to shell out so much just to live." Definitely deserving of quotations. Instead, I should say what [I] need to say which is "I am so fortunate that I have a job where I earn enough money to live in a nice and safe apartment that I can call home." I know, I know...you think I'm being lame. But seriously, I have a job. I have a pretty nice apartment with a gate and a pool for crying out loud. I should be thanking Jesus for those things everyday.

"Living up the same old moment/knowing you'd be better off instead/if you could only... say what you need to say"
Am I the only one who replays scenes over and over again thinking "gah, if only I had said ______, then I would feel so much better or things might have turned out so differently." If I had a dollar for every time I've thought that or something similar I would be independently wealthy before age 30. Why don't we say those things? For one, the reason why I don't always is because I'm such a thinker that I need time to process something before responding. Hence the reason you'll never see me in a presidential debate. However more often than not, I don't say it because I worry (ugh, curse word) how the other person will react. I certainly don't believe in saying something simply to have the last word. That is not saying what you need to say. That's saying what you want to say. And I have found that having the last word often leads to unpleasant situations.

"You better know that in the end/it's better to say too much/than never to say what you need to say again"
Is is really better to say too much than keep something that you really feel bottled up inside? I think so. With discretion. Fortunately (or unfortunately, sometimes) for me, if there is something that I need to say then I will eventually do it. Sure, I can keep it in for a little while but then it just reaches a point where I feel like I'll explode if I don't say it. Like...I can't go to sleep at night without getting it off my chest first. And I'm not one to lose sleep. This little component of my personality has elicited a few late night phone calls and conversations over the years. But why do we so often keep it inside? Usually I do it because I'm afraid that I will make someone mad... or hurt a person's feelings... or become vulnerable by doing so. Which is ridiculous I know. For instance if I'm genuinely worried about a friend due to the decisions that he or she is making, what kind of friend am I if I don't say anything because I'm afraid it will make them upset with me? What kind of friendship is it if we can't be totally open and honest with each other? Not a very solid one. There was a point in my life a couple of years ago when I prayed for vulnerability. Warning: Think long and hard about praying for vulnerability before you do it. God certainly answered my prayer and there were times when I probably said too much, but that's really just my pride talking when I say that. I learned so much during that time. One thing being we can't take it for granted and assume that we will get another chance to say something so it's best to use the opportunity when it presents itself.

Words are powerful (contrary to the whole "sticks and stones" rhyme). They have the ability to change lives. Imagine what could happen if became conscious of how we used them on a daily basis.

Are you saying what you need to say?

If I could be anywhere in the world right now...

I choose here

Currently I'm in the process of choosing a vacation destination in order to meet my goal of traveling to at least one new place per year. So while on my "smoke break" at work I decided to look through my old vacation pictures for inspiration. And I stumbled across this picture of Nubble Lighthouse in Maine. What a beautiful COLD place! Fun fact: When I was a little girl, it was my dream to live in a lighthouse. Funny fact about the fun fact: I hated the ocean as a child. Hum.

Anybody got any suggestions about where I should go?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Blah Blah Blog

Hello friends. I apologize for the lack of information being posted to this little blog o' mine. Life has been quite busy with work and finishing up with school for the semester. I know, I know...no excuse. Really, I have none whatsoever especially when I read blogs written by brand new mothers. Seriously, stay-at-home moms, take a nap or something. You all deserve it. The truth is, I would much rather learn about how everyone else is doing than go on and on about myself which is why I am not the greatest blogger in the blogosphere. That's not to say that my own life doesn't have newsworthy events...things are quite great and exciting right now! For your reading pleasure I've posted a few random ramblings. But enough about me...I'm off to read about all of you...

Ode to 101 Ash Avenue

During my last semester of college/first semester of working at a college I lived in a house with 3 incredible ladies. I really wish that I had a picture of this house complete with vinyl siding and ginormous picture window. I affectionally referred to it as The Money Pit because seriously, is it normal to have a water bill well over $100 dollars? I think not. But we did once, thanks to this home sweet home. I think it's safe to say that the picture window was not composed of double-paned glass...or whatever it's called to make it more energy efficient. Anyhoodle, I'm not here to lament about the dollars spent on the utilities. I'm here to talk about my time living with these 3 girls. Let's be honest, I was kind of a random last-minute addition to the roomate dynamic but what a blessing in my life it turned out to be. Although I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, I'm pretty sure that it was decided I would be joining Jennifer, Allison and Renee in Ash house while on a bus trip from the markets back to our hotel in Cancun, Mexico during a spring break mission trip. Yesterday on my way back to Athens from Allison's baby shower, I was thinking about all the fun times we had during that year as a group of 4 and then those I had with them individually as well. Oh what fun it was to deck the halls during Christmas and then travel to Disney for the weekend in the spring. While Jennifer majored in the arts, I think that the rest of us earned at least an honorary minor for that one project involving pipe cleaner! Jenn and I would stay up well after the other two had gone to sleep to talk about love, life and other mysteries (thanks Point of Grace for that phrase) and then I so enjoyed the early morning walks that Renee and I would take on occasion. Allison is one of the few people in the world who truly gets my sometimes raw and quirky humor. I always knew that she was gifted. :) The four of us haven't been back together since moving out at the end of that year but I truly cherish each time I get to see these girls.

27 Dresses

I have made 11 trips down the aisle in dresses that I will only wear once. So naturally the movie, 27 Dresses, seemed like it would be one that I could relate to, right? Besides, what better way to celebrate the end of the spring semester than adding this movie to my collection. And like most other girls in the free world, I'm a complete sap when it comes to a good love story with a happily-everafter ending. And as anticipated, the movie delivered a happy ending so all-in-all, I'm glad that I made the purchase. However what I enjoyed most was thinking back on all the fun memories that I have made and been able to be a part of by being in so many weddings myself. It is actually quite humbling to know that there are people who think so much of me to they wanted me standing beside them on one of the most important days in their lives. I loved each one for different reasons and I'm so very thankful that I have had the opportunities to share in such a special time with dear friends and family members who I care about so much. I have joked many times that when it's my turn to wear the white dress I'm just going to hand the dress that I wore back to the respective bridesmaid and have them alter it for my own wedding. Needless to say I was a little perturbed to see that Hollywood stole my idea and did that for the end of the movie so I guess I'll just have to come up with some other creative idea. Perhaps patchwork dresses...

I really wish that I had pictures on my computer from all the weddings because it would make this post so much better but 4 out of 11 is better than none! The first one is from 2001 when Shelley got married. Holy cow...I can't believe that she has been married 7 years this August. Crazy!
Jenn's Wedding in June 2004. This is Wedding #2 of 4 over a period of 6 months. What a fun season!

Suz's Wedding in August 2004. Interesting fact: until this dress, nothing in my closet was baby pink...now I have more baby pink shirts hanging in my closet than I could ever need.

Mag's Wedding in October 2004. Too bad you can't see the super fab flip-flops that she made for her bridesmaids to wear at the reception.

Just Call Me Flo-Jo

...Ok, not really. But I am happy to report that since my last post (eons ago), I successfully completed a half-marathon. And I'm even happier to report that I ran all but about 8 or so minutes of the 13.1 miles. Honestly that was much better than I was anticipating considering that the farthest I had run in training was 10.6 miles and that was 4 weeks before the ING. The last 4 weeks of "training" I devoted to writing papers for class and eating chocolate chip cookies so all things considered, I am very proud of my accomplishment! I will definitely do another one. I think that I've got one half-marathon in me a year and I will probably try to run other ones outside of the ATL so I can incorporate another favorite past-time (travel) into the fun. I'm thinking that the Country Music (Half) Marathon in Nashville is sounding good for next year. Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm no fitness buff now or anything crazy like that. My body hurt in ways that I did not even know it was possible to hurt afterwards, but it was worth it in the long run. (Ha! Long Run...I crack myself up.) I now have such respect and admiration for those people who take running so seriously. It does a number on the body. I don't understand how the marathoners do it because I'm pretty convinced that I would totally be that girl you hear about on the news who keeled over just short of the finish line at mile 26.1 if I ever tried a full marathon. I'm content with letting the lead marathoner pass me when I'm 1:36 into the half. Yes, that happened...he had been to Decatur (on foot) already when he passed me...over-acheiver. Basically the satisfaction for me came from setting a goal and then accomplishing that goal. The burned calories didn't hurt either...