Monday, March 28, 2011

You Fascinate Me

So... It's weird to look at who's looked at my blog.  Not that I know who you are.  I mean, I could guess sometimes, but it's kinda fun when I don't know.

For instance, it'll tell me whether you're using Internet Explorer or Safari or Mozilla etc.  That gives me very little to go off of.  It'll sometimes tell me a city and state.  If it says Lenoir, North Carolina, and you're the only person I know from Lenoir, NC, I've got a pretty good guess as to who it is.  But if it says Fort Worth, I'm at a loss.  Too many of you loons.  It tells me what you clicked on to get to my blog (most all of you are from facebook, btw).  It'll sometimes show that one person read a whole lot of posts or stayed for a long time.  This is ridiculously encouraging.  Unless you fell asleep with my blog up on your computer.  In which case, I'm clearly far too boring.  Sometimes it shows that an unidentified computer in Russia blew through in a hurry.  I like to pretend that I have a super fast-reading Russian admirer, but I have a feeling they're just looking for top secret government info.  Sigh.

So here's to you, unknown readers in Pass Christian, Tuscaloosa, Pine Lake, and Pennsylvania!  Cheers, Woodbridge, Ontario and Palo Alto, California!  Lots of gratitude to all you anonymous folk.  Know that it tickles my fancy to see that you swing by, and I hope you stay a while :) If you're feeling real fancy, drop a comment and identify yourself so I can greet you by name!

And to my Russian admirer, F8@t2vriski.  The seamonkey has my money. ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Whoa, Nelly.

Look out folks.  I'm about to BLOW YOUR MIND.

I have had a job for a week, and I love it.  Sunday morning preschool director at Christ Chapel Bible Church.  No, not full time with benefits, but it covers the bills AND [get this--], about half of my paycheck will go into my savings account.  That noise that you just heard was my dad giggling with glee like a lee-ttle girl.  I'm pretty pleased myself.  Bonus, I get to keep babysitting that cute little 6-month-old baby because I still have time.  WIN.

Also, I'm playing a nerdy online game.  I'm telling you because I love you and I can't keep things like this from you.  I'm trusting you to not judge me for my high level of nerdiness, mostly because I'm sure by this point it doesn't surprise you, not one little bit.  Good news, I'm playing the same game as my beau, so once I get past this beginner stuff, we can play together.  Bad news, I suck at it, so I have very low expectations for getting out of this beginner stuff.  Good news again, he's very encouraging and doesn't shame me for not knowing how to function in the most basic of ways in the game.  Bad news again, I am ashamed of me for not knowing how to function in the most basic of ways in the game.

Lastly, I got done with work at 1.  I then came home, made lunch, pulled on comfy clothes, and was confused by this strange new feeling...  The lack of pressing things to do.  No homework, no projects due, no job searching, no cleaning to be done.  I wasn't procrastinating anything or worried about any upcoming stressor.  There was an overwhelming peace and excitement for all the possibilities for my day.  I then sat at my computer to write a blog post and maybe, just maybe, play an online game.

After basking in this glorious glow for a few moments, I remembered all the things people said to me when I told them I was going to graduate a semester early.  The "no no no! stay in college as long as you can!" comments officially make no sense to me at all.  Those of you reading this who are worried about impending graduation, get excited.  I made cupcakes yesterday--not because I was stressed or procrastinating, but because I had time and I wanted to.  Cue angel chorus.

Love you.  I really do.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today I'll be posting some pictures of things that say "happiness" to me.

There aren't a whole lot and they aren't of awesome quality because all of them are pics from my phone. Camera shots to come soon, as I am leaving for the beach in about 6 hours with a camera, a finally-emptied SD card, and a handsome beau.

Little spots of joy aren't hard for me to find.  Take this cute little black furball, for instance.

He's cute as a button.  His name is Baghera.  Or Baggy Britches.  He's named after the black panther in The Jungle Book.

That cute one with the mohawk? That's Jane at about 12 months.  That goobie one with the janky teeth? That's me at about 90 months.  I loved her then, I love her now.  I wanna be just like her when I grow up.

I love books.  Or at least I did once upon a time.  Ok, I still do, I'm just struggling to jump into reading again, even though I now have time for the first time in about 8 years.  All of these (found in my aunt and uncle's house in Memphis) make me itch to curl up for hours in a comfy chair with a big cup of tea.  Also, that chair is pretty cool.

I love this guy.  He's my favorite decorative item in the house.  He makes me giggle every time I look at it.  Fern head.  Huhuhuhu...

Ain't THIS precious.  That's my roommate, Alyssa, and her fiance, Zack.  They started playing around on the guitar a little before we went on a double date.  It was real sweet.  I love love.

Mkay first off, my jobs are awesome.  I play with precious children.  Huzzah!  Second off, this baby is one of the cutest ever.  Jane wins--always--but Anna here is pretty close.  I get to babysit her a couple of times a week.  She was especially happy the day I took this, and I couldn't resist sharing it.

This is on my desk at all times.  It's a card that my friend Sarah gave me when I was having a rough go of things last year.  You may remember this fiasco.  She gave me this super-cute-and-tailor-made-for-me card, chocolate, candles, more chocolate, spice cake, bubble bath, and a snuggie--all to make the "ugh"iness go away.  Epic success, friend.

Inside she wrote, "Stay warm, toasty, and well fed physically and spiritually--don't WORRY/STRESS (I know you!).  Remember what God told us in Matthew 6.  'Be like the lillies of the field' or in your case (and this cards case) sunflowers.  Do sunflowers stress over anything?  Nope.  God's got 'em covered, all they have to do is stretch their petals towards heaven and He blesses them... and you know God loves you even more than sunflowers."

So those are some of my at-hand images of happiness! There will be plenty more after this week, since I get to play at the beach with (get excited) Jane, Mama, Daddy, AND Jared!  WHAT??  Blessings never cease... :)

love you

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Beauty of Love As It Was Made To Be

The title of this post comes from the lyrics to a Mumford and Sons song.  That line from "Sigh No More" really sums up my feelings about life right now.

(If you haven't yet discovered Mumford and Sons, go look them up and join the joyous bandwagon of happy ears.  They're amazing.  And they love Jesus on top of it all, not that they're all "Ima hit you over the head with Jesus as I sing to you" but rather they're like "Ima sing this awesome song and there is a Jesus reference that you can ignore if you must, but it's up to you."  Their sound is hopeful, heartbroken, and folksy.)

My cousin and his wife are expecting bundle'o'joy #2 any day now, and the beautiful love flowing in and around that family absolutely delights me.  Her charming blog describes the excitement and joy that they're feeling while waiting on baby Wiley (how about THAT for a precious southern name--I love it).  Watching their family grow in love and in numbers is such a blessing.  Seeing it in a third party kind of way makes me miss, love, and appreciate even more my own immediate family (who I get to see in about 48 hours :D).

Exhibit B of "the beauty of love as it was made to be" makes me smile real big and blush a little.  I'm delighted to say that I'm blessed with a Christ-centered relationship with a charming, sweet, humble, loving man.  I've never met anybody like him--it took about 2 weeks before I conceded that he was a real person.  I'm also delighted to say that he has a very high friend-approval rating, something that I've learned is incredibly important, especially considering how rock-awesome my friends are.  I could talk on and on about this subject, but I'll save you the sap ;)

Exhibit C of beautiful love is, actually, my dear friends.  First off, this is the best living situation I've ever been in, and they've been getting progressively more awesome since freshman year.  If you'd told me freshman year that I would end up joyously living with 3 other theatre girls in a house, with 3 of us sharing a rather small bathroom, I would have given you the eyebrow and laughed in your face.  But that's where I am now and I absolutely love it.  Three better roommates you've never met, and this house is super cute.  I also may or may not have a really precious black kitty cat who lives with us.  Who may or may not currently be lounging behind my computer watching the cars go past outside. 

Anywho.  Other dear friends, such as Lindsay, Meg, Mollie, and Karen, make life more vibrant for me.  I love the different ways that each friend helps, influences, or encourages me.  My community really is like the church when it's called "the body of Christ"--every person plays a role based on the gifts and talents that they have, and each one strengthens the body as a whole in a unique way.  What would I do without Mama Syd's prophetic words of wisdom?  My sweet Jane is hundreds of miles away, but my sister Meg is right here in Fort Worth!  And I can't go a week without getting an update from Lindsay, even if that update always involves an illness.

Basically, today I was overwhelmed with gratitude at this awesome place I've found myself in, and I want to encourage you to consider the sweet little message in this song (that I loathed for years, but now I see why God snuck that one into my life):

Taking stock of what I have
and what I haven't
What do I find?

The things I've got will keep me satisfied

Checking up on what I have
and what I haven't
What do I find?

A healthy balance on the credit side.

Got no diamond
Got no pearl
Still I think I'm a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Got no mansion 

Got no yacht
Still I'm happy with what I've got
I got he sun in the morning and the moon at night

Sunshine gives me a lovely day
Moonlight gives me the milkyway

Got no checkbooks
Got no banks
Still I'd like to express my thanks
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
And with the sun in the morning and the moon in the evening
I'm all right

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blogging and Journaling Observations

Now, before anybody gets their britches in a wad, this is not a definitive "how to" on journaling and blogging. Rather it is a collection of observations that I have made about my own blogging experiences and journal adventures. Yours may (and possibly SHOULD) look very different from mine. But this is a ME-centered blog. So I'm gonna talk about ME.


So! Journal experiences first. I journaled before I knew what blogging was, so it only seems fair. I have found that I must make guidelines to follow that will shape and somewhat format the entries in my journals. For instance, with my current Leather Bound Journal (LBJ) I have the following "rules" (not really rules, don't let that throw you off):

-  all entries have the date and time recorded
-  entries are directed at the journal, not at myself or another reader (unless otherwise noted)
-  I may certainly write letters to others, but those others don't get to read them
-  known exceptions: prayers (God has that omniscience thing going for Him), and letters to my someday hubs. He will get to read those once he claims his title. Can't be showing his letters to some poser!
-  I do not do not do not have to write every day. Ever. And I don't have to write just once a day. Writing frequency it totally an up-to-me kind of thing. I've scared myself off from journaling for weeks at a time because I set high standards for my journal keeping and it was too much to handle.

Ok the whole point of these guidelines is to make my journal a safe place for me. I can exhale onto paper without thinking about who I am writing to, who may see it, and how much I'm responsible for writing. It's really nice. The only problem that I run into is when there's so much to write that I don't write anything for too long, and then I don't know how to record it all without missing something. I want to do it all justice, but I can only write so much in one sitting.

That happens with blogging, too (segue!).

The India trip, for example.  SO MUCH HAPPENED that I have no idea how to tell you exactly what happened.  There's another post brewing that will be a "this is what we DID" rather than a "this is how I FELT" kind of post.  Still brewing because I'm still trying to lucidly sort all that out.  Maybe I never will, though, and I should just go ahead and blog it out. Hm.

Anywho.  Blogging guidelines!  Not rules, not regulations, not for everybody, but they've helped make this blogging experience a better one for me (and possibly for you.  Unless you don't enjoy reading these posts.  In which case, why have you read this much?  You're lying to yourself.  You love my blog.  You can't get enough of it.  Embrace the love).

-  remember the audience.  Write knowing that your grandmom, little sister, professors, best friends, that person you want to talk about, and your future boss are all reading.  I'm (almost) too afraid to blog about the embarrassing story associated with the hard lesson behind that guideline because I'm afraid that it's still applicable.  Here's a hint:
-  don't blog during class and write about how you're blogging in class.  If you choose to ignore this advice, then do not subsequently give your blog address to the professor of said class, then requiring you to run frantically to the nearest computer to delete all said class-blogging entries.
-  that being said, write as yourself.  Don't create a fake voice--write as YOU, knowing that those who know and love you may be reading, and those who don't know and love you are GETTING to know you by reading.
-  read other blogs, be inspired by them, and encourage others to blog
-  please, for the love of all things good in the world, do not whine on your blog. 
-  unless it is side-splittingly hilarious.  Then whine all day.
-  if you provide a link in your blog, explain what it is.  This doesn't make me want to click here no matter how awesome it is.  Comprende?

Brilliant.  Now go start a blog, update your own, buy a journal, or just pick it up again.

I love ya like the Pioneer Woman loves her luggage :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, folks, I've officially kinda lost it. I graduated from my grueling college career, full of overworked schedules and due-next-day-papers, and I cannot handle the pressure of a significantly less crazy schedule. I double booked myself for babysitting tonight. I'd never done that before. Embarrassed doesn't even begin to cover it.

Don't worry, I realized it in enough time to let poor mom #2 know that no, she could NOT go on a childless date night.

I felt like trash making THAT phone call.
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