Thursday, July 28, 2011

Insanity, Toxicity and Positivity

I kind of think I've been avoiding the blog for the past week. It's funny how life can change in a week, isn't it? Right at a week ago my wonderful best friend and I got a wild hair to take a road trip, which we didn't end up getting to go on, but it put some crazy ideas in my head.

That night through the power of youtube I'm pretty sure I totally lost my mind (if you follow me on twitter you'll understand, if not, oh well :)). Then I heard a song that quite possibly changed my entire life. I know it sounds insane that a song can change your life, but it did (well the combination of the song and a crazy, secret plan that we are working on).

I woke up Friday morning in the BEST mood. It was like a different person waking up. I had made the decision that all the negativity in the world was not going to get to me and everything in my life was going to be positive. I'm about to have a big birthday and the upcoming year is going to be amazing (more on that later). I was on fire that morning. That special song was what woke me up and I was good to go for the day.

I had run through McDonald's to grab some oatmeal and it happened: my car DIED. I mean, a sad, sad death, right at the pick up window. I had to be pushed out of the way. I ended up making it about five more blocks (trying to get to my office) and then it was done. I called Becky bawling. I was so frustrated. I had started the day so positively and was determined to come through on this plan (which is a long term one and something like this happening on day one was not ideal). She, her husband and boys came and rescued me. Daniel looked at the car, Becky calmed me down.

The diagnosis was a bad intake gasket (whatever that is). Becky called and had AutoZone put one on hold for me. We got the car moved to a safer spot. She called her brother to see if he could fix it for me. Overall I am fairly certain I found my guardian angel in Becky. I spent the rest of the afternoon with them.

That afternoon she dropped me off with Haley, where I proceeded to burst out crying again. It seemed like all the insecurity that I tend to harbor came out in a flood of tears. Haley, being as wonderful as she is, told me I was insane for everything I was saying even though I felt like I had plenty of evidence to back up every single thing I was saying.

Haley and I ended up going to the casino with her grandparents, which was a blast. I stayed at Haley's that night (which was already planned, as her roommates were all out of town) and we made CDs and watched Harry Potter 6 (okay we tried to watch it, but both fell asleep). We slept in the next morning and then watched HP6 for real. Then I introduced her to Genghis Grill and we watched another movie and dealt with a police officer over a parking "issue" (that's another story altogether).

She dropped me off at home and I vacuumed the very, very algaed pool (though I did learn that if you play fun music vacuuming the pool is immensely more entertaining and a lot less work). I had another algae issue and thought I would need Banish, so I threw in four bags of shock, and you know what? In two days all the algae was gone, maybe I do know what I'm doing.

I texted Chris that night to see if the youth were still going to swim on Sunday and about my lack of car issue. Again, I cried my eyes out and repeated all the insecurity from the previous day. Again, I was told that I was basically crazy.

The next day Chris picked me up for church. Michelle and the boys took me home. Becky and crew came over to swim and bring my car. Her brother came over and got it almost fixed, just a few more hours needed the next day. I called Haley and had her come get me to get food because I hadn't eaten since breakfast and had nothing in the house.

I had another "test" that night that I'm pretty sure I, again, passed with flying colors. I am still on total track as where I started on Friday morning. I got my car back at lunch on Monday, so I have wheels again.

What I learned from this weekend of tests is that I have the most amazing friends. They are there for me when I need them and sometimes entertain my delusions. They help me when I don't know how to ask for help. I can count at least 10 of these amazing friends. I think I'm lucky for that number. I don't think the rest of the world has that many. Real, honest, true friends that are really going to drop everything to help you when you need help, who will hand you a tissue as you are crying, who will tell you you're crazy when you don't think you're good enough, who will be family when you need one.

While I was thinking about this amazing group I couldn't help but think of another group of friends that I have: the toxic ones. The ones that do not bring out the best in me, the ones that are not there for me when I need them, the ones that I give and give and give to and yet they are not there when I need them and that would never think that they should be: the selfish friends that are more consumed with themselves than they would ever be with anyone else.

Now I said that I am about positivity now, and I am. That last paragraph was kind of negative. I think that it is important to isolate the negative so that it can be vanquished from our lives. I have a tendency to think very negatively, which is something I am consciously trying to change and I can't have negative forces pulling at me. I know there will always be negativity, but if I can intentionally eliminate what I can then that is my choice.

Starting July 21 I am trying my best to be positive and being the best me that I can be. The ways that I am going to accomplish that will come out in due time, but for now, just know if you are a negative force you better buck up and get happy or I have no time for you. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Aged Like a Fine, Fine Bedazzled Wine

Disclaimer: This post might not be appropriate for all audiences...proceed with caution. And if you do read it and don't like it don't say you weren't warned! :)
Last Friday night I had a little girls night in the pool with my friends Kristin and Becky (with Travis crashing later in the evening). Becky's birthday was on Sunday and she had gotten NKOTBSB (New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys) tickets for the night of her birthday. I commented that I wished I had gotten tickets to which Becky said, come with us and we'll find tickets! So that was the plan.

Now I have a long history with New Kids on the Block. It goes back to age 8 in the third grade. Obsessed might not be a strong enough word to describe how I felt about NKOTB. I had tshirts and buttons and dolls and fashion plates and even a sheets and comforter set (to this day I cannot believe my parents actually bought these). My best friend in third grade, Kristin (a different one :)), and I dressed in our NKOTB "ensembles" every Tuesday. Down to the earrings we matched (except for my Donnie stuff and her Joey stuff).

I remember when my mom surprised me with the "Remix" album one Friday after school at my friend Lindsey's house. I was so excited I dropped it and broke the tape box.

In fourth grade my mom and my friend Meredith's mom got us tickets to the show in Oklahoma City. I don't remember a lot about the show, but we had really high seats, so they were itty bitty. Nonetheless they were fabulous.

My freshman year of college during Christmas break my best friend Crystal and I decided we were old (you know we were the ripe, old age of eighteen). We found an old NKOTB concert video and proceeded to sing the entire thing over and over. We then went to Hastings and bought a few used cds.

At the end of college some friends came up from Austin and we came up with an "Austin Soundtrack" and Hangin' Tough was on that (I'm sure there were more reasons, but I don't quite remember them).

Overall New Kids on the Block were a large part of my childhood and kind of define our generation. And onto Backstreet Boys. That was high school. I hear those songs and think about Heather's house and boyfriends and tanning at Tropical Tans and TRL and Haley. All kinds of fun memories.

So that is my NKOTBSB history. Now onto the concert!

Becky and Leah picked me up around 4:30 and to Tulsa we went. I had skipped lunch so stopping for food was must. Becky asked what we wanted and I said "this may sound silly, but can we get McDonald's because the first time I saw NKOTB we got McDonald's and it was the first time I ever had fries and sweet and sour sauce." So we did!

I made a NKOTB/BSB birthday mix CD for Becky since it was her birthday and it started with this:

We rocked out to the classics to Tulsa. I learned something new about my friend Becky that day: she has a bit of road rage. :) We had to go to Owasso first to pick up there tickets and then headed to BOK. We attempted to park and ended up a little close for Becky's big ol' car, so this is how she got out:

(and yes that is the shirt she made that said "I heart NKOTB" on the front and "birthday girl" with a 30 on it on the back...fabulous)

The next step was to find me a ticket, since I didn't have one. We ended up buying a pair and then sold the other one:

Not the best seat in the world, but for not having a ticket until 10 minutes before the show I would say we did quite well! I also made friends with (aka got molested by) a lovely drunk lady next to me. When the show started it didn't matter though.

There was some band that opened the show. We missed them. Oh well. I made it to my seat and there was a video commercial with Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch from Glee. I didn't think much of it until I heard the first notes of "Sway." To say I freaked out might be an understatement. Matthew Morrison was opening. He is a beautiful, beautiful man with a beautiful voice and beautiful dance abilities. I was great at this point WITHOUT NKOTBSB. If you remember correctly he was mentioned here as one of my celebrity crushes. He was AMAZING. He's a singer, actor and dancer and his last song was called Keep on Dancing and was dedicated to his three idols: Gene Kelly, Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson. The end of the song was a dance break where he did a Gene Kelly routine, the famous last dance from Dirty Dancing and all of MJ's classic moves. It was FABULOUS. I really could have stopped the concert there and been good, ah, but it didn't. Here is MM:

And the real show started. To say it was fabulous, wonderful, amazing, breathtaking and all of those words would be an understatement. All nine guys came out (Kevin from BSB didn't want to play...oh well). From a technical standpoint it was amazing. They performed together and then NKOTB performed, then the lights went out and BSB came out, then the lights went out and NKOTB was back. It was fabulous. The transitions were flawless. The lighting was amazing. My tech nerdness totally came out and I loved it.

So back to the men. Oh the men. I don't really care if most of the members of NKOTB are over 40, all I can say is: DAMN. Let's just say the concert was aimed towards their original fans (anywhere from age 22-40ish). There was a lot of, shall we say "sexual content" (pelvis thrusting, hips gyrating, crotch grabbing, cameras on previously mentioned crotches). It was, well, in a word: FABULOUS.

Donnie was my favorite. As I grew up and realized he was the "bad boy" I thought maybe I should have liked Jordan or Joey because they were the "cute" ones, but Donnie was it for me. Can I just say Donnie Wahlberg is the sexiest man on the planet? Yeah he is. Even Becky, who was die hard for Joey, admitted the sexiness of the Donnie.

They did all the fabulous songs from my childhood and we all danced and sang. One thing that was a bit different was the "bedazzled" nature of the clothing. I'm pretty sure several bedazzlers were killed in the making of the tour. The last song NKOTB did was Hangin' Tough (I could talk about all the songs, but I'll spare you). They came out in bedazzled Celtics jerseys (oh THAT's why I've always loved the Celtics, now I remember...I may even turn into a Red Sox fan for this). Then BSB came out in bedazzled Orlando Magic jerseys. It was amazing and I really can't say enough wonderful things about it.

At the end of the show we got back in the car (gushing about the sexiness of Donnie Wahlberg...who cares if he is almost 42, and yes after 20+ years I remembered his birthday without looking it We then decided we needed to find the after party (because my friends that went in Dallas either ended up at the after party with Mr. Wahlberg or on his tour bus). So we drove around Tulsa looking and ended up back at the back of BOK where the buses were. Then a couple of vans pulled out and I saw a red and white trucker hat. I KNEW it was Donnie (my psychic connection from when I was eight came out, I guess). We tried to back out to follow them (yeah, we're nuts), but we lost them.

Then Twitter came into play and I started following them all and found out that he had gone to the airport to head out because he was filming the second season of Blue Bloods early the next morning. :( We were sad.

We headed back to Norman talking the entire way about the fabulous time we had just had. It was a fabulous, fabulous time and Becky is my new most favorite person in the world for making me go!

Now the goods, here are some pics from the show:

precious Joey

Jordan singing

Please, don't go, will ruin my whole world

and the sexy, sexy man himself
It was amazing. Really it way. You may think I'm nuts, but it was. There is just this wonderful thing about reliving your childhood. When we got back I did feel kind of sad. There is a good chance this is the last time I'll ever see them live (well, not if Becky has any say in it...we're going to be groupies!). Just another piece of growing up. It was a fabulous way to celebrate Becky's 30th birthday and to kick of my birthday season.

The name for this post because one of my friends asked me how they aged and I said "like a fine, fine wine" (maybe I should have said a fine, fine, sexy wine!).

Friday, July 15, 2011


As a general rule I don't go too far into Christianity on my blog. I could probably name 100 reasons why (which I won't right now). I am a Christian and that is a fact that I am proud of. I am very sure in my faith, even if I don't spout out verses on facebook every day (not that there is anything wrong with that, just not my style). I am very active with my church (CrossTimbers UMC, you should come try it because it really is the best!). I will probably be the first to invite you to church because I really think it is that great (because it is).

I did not grow up going to church besides the occasional visit on Easter or with a friend, VBS at a few churches most summers and two trips to Falls Creek. It wasn't until my senior year of high school when I went with my two best friends on a random Sunday (and I'm pretty sure it was because two of the three of us felt guilty for something). After church we had lunch at El Chico and ran into our music teacher (my, now, dear friend Lisa) and she said we should come to youth choir at the Methodist church (Crystal regularly went and Heather and I are not going to be winning any talent shows with our singing ability). We went, then we went to youth afterwards. I had been to youth there a few times with Crystal, whose early high school boyfriend was a member. Clearly I loved youth choir because it was Lisa and it never failed, any time I showed up at youth it was some super serious event usually involving the lights being off and candles. That night was the exact same, specifically a feet washing thing. I spent the evening in a room with one of my childhood guy friends talking about God and life and faith and stuff. We were seventeen.

From that night I went to choir and youth every week (if we had perfect choir attendance we were going to see Jekyll and Hyde in Dallas two months later!). We had our first performance at church a few weeks later. We sang a song called "Beyond the Open Door." Until I got to this point in the post I had not heard that song since that day, but I wanted to include a video, so I looked it up and through the marvel that is the internet found it and listened to it again and it was a really, really, really, really fitting song to be the first song I sang in church.

We stayed for most of the service before heading out to Crystal's church. I really enjoyed the service. Kind of surprising for someone who didn't go to church. So the next week instead of going with Heather and Crystal to the Baptist church I went to Sunday school and church at the Methodist church. Don't get me wrong I had a ton of friends there and was making more every week, so it wasn't the craziest thing ever and my friend Katy's dad was the pastor. On the sign in book it asks if you are interested in becoming a member and one week I checked yes. I got a call from the associate pastor and little did I know everything was all kinds of set up for me to join! Before the conversation was over I learned that Katy had already offered to sponsor me! I think it was the next week I joined the church and was baptized (by sprinkling, because one of my issues with the Baptist church my whole life was the submersion process in scared the living daylights out of me and I wanted nothing to do with it. To be honest it still freaks me out to think about).

So now I was a full blown Methodist. The summer was spent with all my new (and old) friends at FUMC Ardmore, then going to Chrysalis (which is a story for another post) and some stuff after that and then I headed to college. It was a given that I would go to the Wesley Foundation (United Methodist student center) and I did. I made a lot of friends and got involved very quickly in a Christian sorority, two Bible studies, the freshman group and freshman leadership.

I won't go into all the memories and events from Wesley. There were a lot of friends made and even more lessons learned. I graduated college in 2004 and didn't really have a church home. I had on and off gone with my friend Sarah to a new church in Norman, but it didn't completely stick. In September I started dating a guy at home, so I was all about going home to church any time I could. I love my home church and I still do. The friends that I had in youth morphed into adult friends and I loved seeing them every week. Most were in the choir and I enjoyed going to performances and was very sad that I was in Norman and they were in Ardmore. It was this amazing little group and I so wanted to be a part of it full time and not just part time. At that moment in time I truly thought that I would marry this guy and life would be complete, with me in Ardmore and being a part of that group.

God had other plans. Some stuff happened within that group of friends and then we broke up, again, in May and I started dating someone else, in Norman. When that happened I wanted nothing to do with Ardmore. All the activities that the ex and I had shared interest in were immediately out of my life. I wanted nothing to do with them. I wanted to start this new life in Norman, where I knew my home would be.

My boyfriend and I tried to find a church. We would get into a church mood and try to find something that we agreed on (he was Baptist, me Methodist), but it would last a few weeks and we would stop going for this reason or that reason. I tried, a lot, but nothing ever stuck. That was the first year. Another problem is that I am stubborn. I wanted to go to a Methodist church because I love it. I love the doctrine and the way the conference is set up and the camps and the liturgy and the hymns and everything about it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I probably should have been a little more open minded, but I wasn't.

After we got engaged I met this very nice girl at work and asked why she had moved to Norman (Moore) from Tishomingo. She explained that her husband was asked to start a church, a United Methodist church. Well hot dog! Here was something that we could be a part of from the beginning. Apparently my stubbornness had rubbed off on the fiance and he wasn't having it, however I ended up on the mailing list for "new Moore church" (which is what CrossTimbers was before it was CrossTimbers). Jennifer had applied for several jobs and was offered one a few weeks into her job with me that worked better with her desire to get her Masters, so she left. We were friends on facebook though so we kept in contact, plus I was getting all the church emails.

The next six months were not the best of my life, but they are a very important part of it. If you have been reading my blog for any time you know that we broke up 41 days before the wedding, leaving me sad and broken. At some point during that six months I had watched Fireproof (Christian movie with Kirk Cameron and really bad acting, but a really good story). In the movie the premise is based on a relationship that is in crisis and likely to end in divorce. The main character is challenged to do the Love Dare, a relationship exercise that lasts 40 days and is based on 1 Corinthians 13.

When I woke up the morning after the break up I just KNEW that God wanted me to do the Love Dare. After all it was exactly 40 days until the wedding, so it made perfect sense. I knew that God was a key component that was missing from that relationship and I figured this was His way of telling me that and showing me how to fix it (oh and I am a fixer). So I started it. What came out of it was not us getting back together, but a huge change in me.

Shortly after the break up I messaged Jennifer with what had happened and asking if CrossTimbers (had a name by then!) had anything going on. There was one small group meeting and it wasn't anything I was interested in (again, hindsight is 20/20 and I SO should have jumped on board that one, but oh well, I still needed some time and to learn a few lessons). That was the middle of May. The first Sunday in August was my birthday and it was not a good day, at all. It also happened to be the second to last Sunday that CrossTimbers was meeting in the school where they had been conducting services. They had a building! She invited me to the last Sunday.

The day before that last Sunday the women's group, Breathe, was meeting. Some stuff happened that day that signaled I needed a change. We were supposed to RSVP to the pastor, so I did. Now this is a HUGE thing for me. I HATE calling people. And I really hate calling people I don't know. I don't really like talking on the phone to people I do know. So I called Chris, who probably thought I was nuts at the moment, and who told Jennifer that her friend Wendy from her first Norman job was coming to Breathe that night.

The plan was to make tshirts at one of the girl's houses. Dinner was provided, but we were asked to bring dessert. I whipped up some no bake cookies, because really who doesn't like them? I found the house and drove around until I saw Jennifer's car pull up (I also hate going in places where I don't know people). I met Jennifer in the yard and walked in with her. Well it turns out that I loved the girls. The guys met up with us at the end of the night and they seemed okay too.

The next morning I walked into the school, in a dress, and sat down next to one of the girls I met the night before, whose husband played the drums. Then in walked Valerie and Ashley (JJ's parents) and they came and sat with me. If you ever need someone to make new people feel welcome Valerie is the person. She just loves making new friends. I looked around and noticed I was pretty much the only one in a dress (except, thank God, for Brittany). Then the music started. I have already mentioned drums, there were also electric guitars, not an organ in sight. A bit about me, at that moment, I was NOT a fan of contemporary worship. I like it, but NOT for Sunday morning. Clearly I couldn't just get up and walk out and I was so disappointed because I really liked all the girls I met the night before. I was in a pickle. I just didn't think I could handle this contemporary church, what to do, what to do?

Then Chris did his sermon. It was the second Sunday of the text message sermon series. We got our phones out and looked though our texts and what they said about us and who we were talking to. Well if THAT didn't make me question things then I don't know what would (some of the people I was talking to at the time I should NOT have been talking to). I was so intrigued by his sermon. At the end of service I told Jennifer that exact thing: that at the beginning I didn't think there was any way I could handle contemporary and I fully planned to thank them for their time and never walk back through the doors, but then Chris did his sermon and I was hooked.

If you want to hear what I really thought check out this video from Annual Conference 2010.

When a church meets in a school it means that everything starts in a couple of trailers, is unloaded each Sunday morning, set up, then torn down, and put back in the trailers. Well this Sunday was different because it was going to be torn down, loaded up and then taken to the new building. I didn't have anything better to do so I helped them load up and move to the new building. On my way over I called my friend Mary and told her that I had gone to this new church and I really liked it, but I wasn't going to get super, over involved (because I have a tendency to do that).

I helped unload and was pretty excited about the next Sunday. So....I wasn't going to get over involved? Sunday number two of Wendy at CrossTimbers I talked to Jennifer about starting a prayer card ministry (something my friends and I did at Wesley in college).

Yeah you can pretty much say that was history. I didn't have a prayer of not getting super, over involved. It's just who I am. Oh well. When it comes down to it I do love it. It is very rare for a sermon to be preached that doesn't hit me in some way. I can't count how many times I left church thinking about a sermon and driving and bawling for hours after. Or crying through a song during communion. There is something very, very special about that place. I love the people and the service (I got over my hatred of contemporary service and you can read about that here) and absolutely everything about it. It is an amazing community of amazing people, most of whom are family now. I know that if something happens in the middle of the night I can call Chris bawling and he will be there (though I generally schedule my meltdowns a bit better than that ;)). I have people that call just to check on me and worry about me. I have amazing people that have let me into their families when I really need that.

We come together in joy celebrating weddings and new babies. We are there for each other when things aren't going so well. We come together to support each other. We are learning and growing with this little church.

Today I got a call that rocked my world. It left me in shock and sadness. It is the kind of thing that makes you really question what on earth God is thinking. Yesterday I was struck with the sadness of poor little Jamesie and this one isn't any better. It is another child taken entirely too early.

Through the last two years I have grown immensely in my faith. I may have questioned God's intentions when my wedding was cancelled, but I am completely confident that it was the right thing. I know that everything had to happen exactly the way that it did in order to get me to my ultimate calling. I know my purpose in life. I know what I am meant to do. I am only 29 (at least for a few more weeks) and I know exactly what I was put on this earth to do. If everything hadn't happened the exact way that it did then I wouldn't be here.

I know that these two families that are grieving right now will eventually understand God's plan and why it had to happen the way that it did. I know that and I fully believe that. But even as strong as I am and as much faith as I have I don't understand this. I don't understand why people get so sick and I really don't understand when they are just innocent children. I don't get it. I probably never will. My heart absolutely aches for these families. I don't have any comprehension of how they are handling things right now because it is so far outside of my realm of reality.

Yesterday my sweet friend Karen Chaffin (an Ardmore FUMC friend and mom of two of my high school friends) posted this on her facebook:
I've never forgotten being told that God doesn't give you the ticket for the train until it's time to take a ride. Grace is given as grace is needed. Lysa TerKeurst posted: I am not equipped to handle what others have—both good and bad. I am, on the other hand, completely equipped to handle what I’ve been given. And the more time I spend being thankful for my life, the less I look around wishing for something else.
I cannot imagine a post that could be any more true for what I am feeling right now. I cannot imagine going through the things that these families are going through and I pray that I will never have to, I'm strong, but I don't think there is any way I could ever be that strong. I am aching for people that I don't know and for events that did not directly affect me and I am handling it horribly.

When I have to step up to do things in these situations it is very rare for anyone to see how it is affecting me. I don't cry at funerals. I am the strong one. I have been known to tell people that if they need someone to go to a funeral with them then call me. Death doesn't bother me. Well it bothers me, of course, but I can handle it very well. I have always understood death. Long before developmentally and psychologically I was supposed to. That's how I've always been. Need a meal? I'll cook it. Need a lunch planned? I'm your girl. Need someone to hold your hand while you cry? That's me. I am afraid my track record for this is about to be broken. Honestly I don't know what is going to happen in the next few weeks and I don't know how I will handle it. I fully believe God doesn't give us anything that we can't handle (though sometimes I really wish He didn't trust me so much), but this may be a true test to my faith and my ability to keep it together.

Please say a prayer for these two sweet families. I apologize for not giving details, but it is not my place to do so at this time. You can say a prayer and I promise God knows all the details. Selfishly I also ask that you say a prayer for me in some situations that I will face over the next few weeks. Pray that I am able to be strong for the people that need me.

I just read the most recent post on Jamesie's blog and cannot stop crying. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I can literally feel my heart breaking for them. I want to feel lucky for everything I have in my life, but I am so overcome with emotion for the people that I know are hurting right now that even that is hard to do. Usually when I write it is to release emotion and when I go back and read it I can see how far I have come and it makes me happy. This post is different. This one is full of grief and sadness and emotions that I don't even really understand. I pray for a miracle. That is still possible for one family. Medical science says it is impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. For the other family I pray for peace and healing. I pray that all that know or have been touched by both situations will know peace and comfort. I'm not really to a stopping point, but it is getting very hard to see the computer screen through the tears, so I will end with this:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
~Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's a Blog, Blog World

I had another post planned for today, something about myself and how and why I feel about other people’s opinions and my own opinions, but some stuff happened and I feel I need to post this more.

I find the entire internet amazing. There are people that I have reconnected with on facebook that I probably never would have seen after elementary school or middle school or high school. I am able to keep in contact with those people and grow our friendships. I think that is awesome. When I started blogging last year I started grabbing up all these blogs to follow. Some of these are people that I actually know in real life and some are people I have never met. Some are people that I knew who they were and now I feel I now better and some have touched my life more than they will probably ever know.

I track my stats on my blog pretty carefully. I am thoroughly entertained and impressed at all the people that read my blog (I would like a lot more though!). If you go into the blogger dashboard you can look and see how many views I have had on my posts and where those views are coming from. I consistently have people from England, India, Russia, South Africa and other places that read my blog. I don’t know if they are just searching for pictures or something and somehow get there and don’t really read it. If you are one of those people and you really do read it send me an email (on the right where it says contact me…yes that’s new!) because I would really love to know.

Some of the blogs I follow are from people I don’t know. They might be a friend of a friend of a friend or someone that one of my blog friends follow and I get intrigued. It depends on the blog as to how many personal details of the blogger’s life are revealed. I’m pretty open about my life and my opinions on my blog. I post pictures of myself and use real names. I don’t post anything that I don’t want people to know, though some things I am more hesitant than others. I find it encouraging when I post something that is particularly personal to me and I get positive feedback of people who agree and people who have been there. It is nice to know that you aren’t the only one that feels this way or that way. I know some people that don’t post personal pictures or cut eyes off or use aliases rather than real names. I don’t see anything wrong with that and that is one of the best things about the blogging world, you can customize your blog to what suits you.

Many times the blogs that I follow are that of people with illnesses. Either starting a blogger blog or one on CaringBridge. Either way when someone is posting these intimate details you cannot help but grow attached to them, whether you have met them or not. The stories that are told become precious to you and you pray for their healing and peace every time you see their blog. That being said I would like to say this: CANCER SUCKS. I read a lot of blogs from people I know and feel like I know about their struggles with cancer. My own personal struggle (my mom had breast cancer in 2005 and is good to go now) was not even close to as difficult as some of these stories I read. We got lucky. Very lucky. Some of these families are not as lucky.

While there isn’t a better or worse cancer story, it sucks no matter the age and status of the person, the ones that absolutely kill me are the children. Many times these stories get passed to me from friends as prayer requests. There have been two that I have been following lately, one is doing well and the other isn’t so much. I read the latest post from the latter at lunch and it just made me sick. This is a child that is so loved and is so, so sick. I am absolutely overwhelmed with emotion from this. I don’t know these people, but I have been impacted so much by this little guy. I pray that there is a miracle and he is completely healed, but I don’t know God’s plan for him. I do know that his story has greatly impacted me.

Last Saturday when I was playing with JJ’s hair and when he fell asleep I couldn’t help but think of this little guy (he has a full head of hair too!). I am beyond grateful that all the kids that are in my circle of friends are healthy. I cannot say enough thanks for that. As I sat there holding JJ at his first birthday party I was able to look around at this amazing support system he has around him. He is a whole year old and is perfect. I don’t know what the future holds for him and I am excited to see. I know how much his parents love him. I know how much I love him and that goes for all the other kids in my life. They might not be biologically related to me, but that doesn’t make them less a part of my family.

My heart is aching as I write this and there are tears falling down my cheeks. I cannot say enough prayers to surround this very sick little boy. I know there are thousands of others praying just as hard for him. I pray for healing for him and peace for his parents no matter the outcome. I may never meet this sweet family, but nonetheless they will forever have an impact on my life. They have reminded me just how lucky I am for everything that I have. They are stronger than I can ever imagine being.

I don’t know what the future holds for this family. I pray it is amazing and wonderful.

I leave you with a verse from the finale of one of my favorite musicals, Wicked. I truly agree with this. I believe that everyone who steps into my life is put there for a reason. Sometimes I don’t figure out those reasons for a long time and sometimes I know immediately. I know that who I am today is because I have known some amazing people in my life.
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
If you want to read sweet Jamesie’s story click here. Please keep this family in your prayers as they need it now more than ever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Likely to Offend

If you just read the title this blog proceed with caution. If you continue and you are offended by this, frankly I don't want to hear it. This is my blog and my opinion. You do not have to agree with me or the article I will be referencing, but, just as you are, I am entitled to my own opinion, and this is it.

You have been warned.

Earlier on facebook someone posted that Hugh Hefner died and I wanted to check the validity of this statement. I looked at MSN and then at Yahoo. (He didn't die, by the way.) When I was on Yahoo this headline jumped out at me:

Restaurant bans kids under 6. Discrimination or smart move?

I was beyond intrigued. I am going to paraphrase the article, but if you want to read it then click here. Basically a restaurant in Pennsylvania was receiving a lot of complaints about noisy children disrupting the other customers, thus they decided to make their restaurant not so child friendly. There were A LOT of comments following the article (like 10,000). Clearly I did not read all of them, but I did read a few and most of them agreed with the decision. One person stated something about noisy adults being in bars, but this particular restaurant claimed that it was an "upscale, casual and quiet" restaurant, not your typical rowdy bar.

Here is where many of my readers may be offended. I wholeheartedly think this was a BRILLIANT move. Now, before you get too mad, I don't think ALL restaurants should be like this, but I would not at all be opposed to some here and there. Sure you there are places that are only open to adults 21 and older, but those are also the places that allow you to smoke in the state of Oklahoma. It would be nice to have a place or two where you are guaranteed that you will not have to deal with children, misbehaving or not, and be able to breathe clean air.

There are many reasons why I think this would be a benefit, the obvious one being the distraction, but some people just don't want to be around children, or want to take a break from children, others' or their own.

I am not the type that just adores kids. I know, I know, it may appear as such because I do adore "my" kids. However the difference is that I have an emotional connection to these children. Kids, in general, I do not care for. I don't get all mushy, gushy when I see a baby that I don't know. If I know the child or the parents that is a different story. As I have documented quite a lot lately I want to get married and have kids, however now is not the time, which I am fine with. I have the utmost faith that when the time is right then it will all happen. Right now, though, I don't want to talk about husbands and kids all the time. I seem to get myself around people that can only talk about these two topics. I have a lot of friends and most of them have kids (and quite a few have spouses) and occasionally, even most of the time, we can talk about things that have absolutely nothing to do with their children. Sure I want to hear what the kids have been up to, but I hate when an entire conversation with one or more friends centers around ONLY the trials and tribulations of being married and having kids. Frankly I feel completely left out and it hurts my feelings, A LOT. It makes me feel that I am completely behind the curve because I am lacking both of these. I feel like my life is incomplete because I am missing these supposed key components of life.


I mentioned something on facebook the other day about looking forward to the day when I do not allow other people to govern my emotions. I'm not there yet. I may never be because I'm human. I had a discussion on Valentine's Day with a friend about relationships and how if you aren't in one at our age it seems as though you are doing something wrong. Both of us are successful, have good jobs, have wonderful goals, are working on our Masters, have great friends and amazing social lives, but society (at least in the Bible Belt) makes you feel like you've screwed something up because you aren't married and procreating. I am not single entirely by choice. I would love to be in a relationship right now, however I am not desperate to be in one. I enjoy not having to answer to someone and getting to be selfish with my time. I know that won't always be the case, but right now it is and I'm enjoying it. When I find a great guy that I'm supposed to be in a (healthy) relationship with then I will be in a relationship, but until then I'm not and that's fine.

I am happy with my life, as I should be. I have accomplished a lot in my life. I have a lot more to accomplish. I fully believe that a husband and kid(s) will play into those accomplishments, but NOT RIGHT NOW. I'm not worried about the future, I know that it will come when it is supposed to.

So married/relationshipped/parent friends, here is a little tidbit from your single friends:
sometimes we don't want to hear a thing about your kid
sometimes we don't want to hear a thing about your spouse/significant other
sometimes we don't want to talk about relationships at all, yours or ours (real or hypothetical)

There are a lot of times that we do want to hear about your kids. There are a lot of times we want to hear about your spouse. We want to hear about these things to prepare ourselves for the future and to have something to look forward to, but not all the time. Please remember that it is really nice to have someone to go home to after a girls' night out and some of us don't have that, so please don't take advantage of it.

So, yes, I would love to have some restaurants where you can go and have an adult meal without dealing with children. There was an awesome episode of Sex and the City that focused on this. It is from Season 6, Episode 9 and is called "A Woman's Right to Shoes." Basic plot is that Carrie goes to a baby shower and has to remove her shoes ($485, of course) and they are stolen. She then realizes exactly how much money she has spent on this friend between bridal showers, wedding, travel to those places, and all the baby showers. Carrie has an awesome quote (which I posted on Valentine's Day and some people were less than impressed with it):
Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you ... Hallmark doesn't make a "congratulations, you didn't marry the wrong guy" card. And where's the flatware for going on vacation alone?
Yeah that didn't go over well at all. I deleted some comments on that one. During this episode Samantha is offended by children running around restaurants, but the straw that breaks the camel's back is when a child flings pasta sauce at her and SHE gets kicked out of the restaurant for talking on her cell phone. (There is revenge at the end at Manolo Blahnik when a mom is asked to watch her children so they don't touch the shoes.) The episode closes with this quote:
The fact is, sometimes it's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes. That's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun
It is hard being single, especially at my advanced age in this area. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. I am, however, probably the only one that is willing to put it in writing for the whole world to see though. Like I said if you read the whole thing and you are offended now, don't say you weren't warned. I don't need any consolation for my horrible condition of being single. I don't need anyone reminding me that I'll find the right one. I don't need your pity. If you are my friend then I need you to be my friend, take a step back from being a mom or dad, or a husband or a wife, and just be a friend from time to time. Who knows it might be pretty good for you too.

(For the record, this is not aimed at ANYONE in particular. Nothing happened to trigger this, I just saw this article and thought it was brilliant. Also, when the time comes that I am in a relationship again and then have kids I am going to try my hardest to follow my own advice and remember how these things make me feel now, that is why writing it down is a good thing. Oh and I tried to get the clips of Samantha at the restaurant and could not for the life of me find a clip on the internet. Geez I thought EVERYTHING was on the internet.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

I didn't go to bed until pretty late last night, for no real reason in particular. I was online talking to a few people and just didn't work up the motivation to get into my bed. When I did I was WIDE awake. My allergies have been bothering me for the past week so I took a couple of benedryl, which I knew would knock me out, and that it did. I was in a really deep sleep when my alarm went off for church. Usually I wake up a few times throughout the night, but not last night.

When the alarm when off I was startled by it because of the dream I was having. It was one of those dreams that you don't really want to wake up from and you hope and pray that you can hit the snooze button and go right back to it, however that never seems to happen. It was one of those dreams about someone from your past being in your present and you are both blissfully happy. It was one of those dreams that makes you happy and sad and frustrated all at the same time.

I was traveling to visit someone in this dream and was very excited about the trip. This was someone that I have loved for a very long time. In the dream we were very, very happy.

I am quite certain that my subconscious had this person in mind because I was telling a story about them yesterday, but that doesn't make it mess with me any less. I woke up kind of sad. I had been so happy in the dream, yet I knew there was no way this particular dream would ever come true. It just can't. There are too many complications and too many obstacles and too much compromise that would have to happen. There is passion and love, but just too much baggage.

It got me thinking, which is usually a bad thing, about love and relationships. I've been listening to the newest Glee soundtrack for the last week and there was an original song on the season finale called Pretending. The second verse goes like this:
how long do I fantasize
make believe that it’s still alive
imagine that I am good enough
and we can choose the ones we love
That last line gets to me. Can we really choose the ones we love? This is a pretty loaded question. If we make the conscious effort to fall in love with someone that means that every bad decision I've made in love in the past (and there are a lot of them) has been my fault. But what if we don't have any choice? It just happens. Does that make it better? Then I can think, well it's not really my fault.

Looking back at the guys I have been in love with, I think there have been three, did I choose to fall in love with them? Did I force it or did it just happen? I think I did choose with one and didn't with the other two, they just happened. Which is easier to get over? The choice we make or the decisions that fate throws at us? I would say the ones we choose are easier to recover from, but those that we don't really think about, the ones that just happen are the ones that stick with us and make the biggest impressions.

At the same time, looking at those three, was I ever REALLY in love with any of them? Was it real, true, honest love? Were they time fillers? Were they something to check off my to do list? Is there something special about the one that keeps popping up in my mind?

For a million and one reasons I know that things did not work out with anyone from my past. I am completely resolved to that twist in fate. I know that everything I have experienced, in love and life, has brought me here and will bring me to the person that I am meant to be with. I know that when I find that person it won't be as hard as some of the past relationships and it won't hurt as bad. I know there will be hard times and complications, but nothing like what I have faced in the past, because those were the wrong relationships for me and I know that.

I have lots of dreams: starting an amazing, life changing non profit, falling in love with my future husband and then falling in love with my children. I have a picture of how I want these things to happen. And I know, in my heart, that they have to happen in that order and they must all be intertwined. The details and timing remain a mystery at this time, but I know will be revealed to me at the perfect time.

I have full faith that when I meet the person I am supposed to fall in love with it will just happen. There won't be a choice. There won't be a question. It will be natural and perfect. I don't think we choose who we love, I think love chooses us. We can try to imagine it and picture it, but when it happens there is no list of characteristics that you are matched with based on compatibility, it just is what it is. There isn't a formula, just a nice twist in fate that puts you in the right place at the right time next to the right person.

There is something nice about dreaming. You can be taken to a completely different world and see how things could be. You can see what could work and what could not work. You can imagine up all kinds of stories that could possibly unfold in your life. You can take a different look at your past or a peek into your future. You can question the present and choose how you can act to change the future.

In the end I have total faith that all my dreams, the ones that are deep and true and closest to my heart, will come true. They may not match the vision I have in my head, but more than likely they will be even better than I could have ever imagined.
Some dreams stay with you forever,
drag you around but bring you back to where you were.
Some dreams keep on gettin better,
gotta keep believin if you wanna know for sure.
~Even if it Breaks Your Heart, Eli Young Band

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Though my life is not where I expected it to be a few years back today was one of those days when you realize just exactly how lucky you are.

The day didn't start off perfectly. I was awoken to hammering coming from my neighbors to the north. Apparently today was the day they were getting their new room from the storm a few weeks ago. Perfect would have been sleeping in without the need for a dose of benedryl and a set of earplugs. Luckily that did the trick until my phone vibrated around noon. (Do NOT judge. I don't have kids and until I do I am banking as many hours of sleep as possible). I realized that Miss Haley had called and then texted (the texting is what vibrated the phone). I called her back and ended up heading to her house to get lunch and veg out.

We spent the afternoon chatting, eating Chipotle, drinking Sonic drinks and watching Harry Potter. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. After that I came home and wrapped Mr. JJ's birthday present, did a little reading in the pool and headed to the birthday party.

It was a nice little party in which the little man got spoiled ROTTEN! (As he should be!) When it was time for cake we sang Happy Birthday to him:

Then they tried the traditional first birthday smash cake routine and JJ was NOT having it:

Then it was time for some swimming (aka cleaning off!). That part he was much happier with:

He likes splashing! He played in the little pool for awhile and then got in the big pool with dad and then mom. Eventually they all got out and JJ was toddling around and then he got handed off to me. We sat and played with a cup with Christina for a little while and I was just sitting playing with his hair. Like most of the males in the world this completely relaxed him and the next thing I knew he was sound asleep. I got to sit with this adorable little guy crashed out on my lap for about an hour.

As I held JJ I just looked around at this party. His parents were there, Chris and Jennifer and their girls were there, Christina and Liberty were there, Michelle and (part of) her boys were there, Jason had been there. I was surrounded by all these people that I love more than anything.

Then I realized just how lucky I am.

I have amazing people that two short years ago I didn't know. I have all these kids in my life that I love more than the world and I am honored to be a part of their lives and will continue to be. There were some friends that weren't there, but I feel the same way about them.

I might not be where I wanted to be a few years ago, but I'm in a really good place. My time will come to have kids and when I do all of these people will be there. All of these little ones will be big brothers and big sisters to my kids. They will be the ones that watch out for my kids when they are little. They are the ones that will chase the boys off or teach the basics of makeup and current style if I have a daughter and the ones that will teach them to play sports and how to treat a girl if I have a son. They will be an extended family and the cousins that my kids would never have on my side of the family.

My time will come to be a mom. There are things that I need to do before I meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, get married and have a baby and I know that. In the mean time I am so lucky to have all the people I have in my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything. And I am loving every minute of being Aunt Wennie to a bunch of pretty awesome kids.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Do You Want Mustard With That?

Correct answer: no! Well at least as far as the pool is concerned.

Last week I noticed there was some algae on the sides of the pool. I figured it was just time to clean the filter, because I hadn't actually done that this year. Surprisingly the filter cleaning went quite well, as opposed to the battle it was last year. I figured a few days later it would be clean and good to go. However over the weekend I noticed that there was still some algae. My next guess was that the chlorine needed to be bumped up because Oklahoma has turned into Death Valley with the temperature hanging out around 107 every day, so I dumped the rest of the chlorine sticks into the skimmer and figured I would be good.

Come Tuesday the pool still had this annoying algae. I really intended to run by Thompson's after work, but got convinced into going to Pita Pit and Passionberri with my wonderful friends Courtney and Stephanie (totally worth it). So Wednesday I come home and get a water sample and head across town. I explained situation with the algae and that I thought it was just dirt until I noticed that there was some on the sides of the pool. I was asked if when I brushed the pool if the algae went away, but then came right back to the same place and the water was still clear. I said, well actually that's exactly right. I was diagnosed with mustard algae. I was sent home with a bottle of Banish and orders to brush the pool, put in all the Banish plus four bags of shock.

I am a very good directions follower. I came home and did exactly what I was told (after slightly fighting with the pump to come on and stay on, still not sure what's going on with that.). Fast forward to Thursday and I have a pool that seems to be algae free, but a little dirty and quite cloudy. In went the proper dosage of PolySheen (highly concentrated clarifier).

Today it looks a little bit clearer, but still a bit cloudy. I took a sample in and was declared algae free! Apparently this mustard algae zaps the chlorine and I had wonderful chlorine saturation in my sample. I asked if cleaning the filter again just in case would be a good idea (it is), so tomorrow (or maybe tonight if I get motivated) I will vacuum the dead algae, dirt and other normal crap from the week, backwash and clean the filter. From there within 24 hours I should have a perfect pool again.

I am an Algae Killing Machine!

This is what mustard algae looks like if you wondered (though not from my pool):

PS - If you wondered, this is my 200th blog post!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things I Hate Today

  • Power outages
  • Electric things not working
  • iphones
  • Apple IDs
  • FJ Crusiers
  • Algae
  • Brushing the pool
  • Dust
  • Crappy screwdrivers
  • Swimming pools
I'm sure there are more, but those are the big ones.

Happy Birthday JJ!

Today is my most favorite July 2010 baby's first birthday! Jordan James Parker entered the world one year ago today to his very loving parents (and my wonderful friends) Ashley and Valerie.

I absolutely adore this cute little family. They are some of the most wonderful, kindest people you will ever meet and love that little boy very, very much. We became quick friends and our favorite activity is dancing during the closing song at church every Sunday. No one has a prayer to hold that little rug rat during the last song because Aunt Wennie steals him every time!

Now onto the fun part about the first!

Aunt Wennie meeting JJ for the first time

Newborn pictures with the blankie I made him

His first I Heart NY shirt, compliments of Aunt Wennie getting stuck in NYC at Christmas

Happy birthday Jordan James Parker! Aunt Wennie loves you very, very much!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Bump in the Road

When I was in Tulsa for a class several months ago we stopped at a Borders that was going out of business (silly bankruptcy, bad for them, but good for me!). I grabbed this one and one called "Not Ready for Mom Jeans" which just happened to be the sequel to this one!

I love this one! Long story short: newlywed couple with no desire to have kids at this point in their lives gets pregnant (for real, antibiotics make birth control ineffective). I couldn't help but think about my dear friend Brittany and her surprise with baby Chase! It was really, really funny. I can't wait to read the sequel, which I will start tomorrow!

PS There was a nice little surprise at the end! Loved it!

Soft Spots

Okay generally I don't write about books I read for school. Right, right, mainly because I don't generally read for class, I skim. Well this one I actually read. I'm taking post traumatic stress right now and I took the class because I don't know that much about it. I'm three weeks in and I still don't really know that much, but I read this book and I really enjoyed it. This was a first hand experience with PTSD and with combat experience, both of which were new to me. I was very much educated by this book, plus it was very well written and extremely easy to follow. If you have questions about PTSD or what all is going on in Iraq I would suggest checking this out. I realize this is only one man's experience and it doesn't tell the entire story of the war, but it was really good.

It only gets four out of five because it was for school. :)

Country Girl, City Girl

I've been hearing fireworks going off the last two nights while I was working on my paper (or chatting on facebook when I was supposed to be working on my paper!). List night I was otherwise entertained, but tonight I finished my paper and had turned on the light in the pool so I decided to go have myself a little float and hope I could see some fireworks.

While I did enjoy floating on the glowing pool and it was quite relaxing I was very disappointed that I couldn't see any fireworks. I could completely relax in the peace and quiet and dark. I am not one of those people that is scared of the dark (if I have a flashlight or cell phone handy), in fact one of the bedrooms in my house has blankets over the windows so I can sleep in total darkness (and some of you have questioned if I use the whole house :)). Though I was disappointed with the lack of fireworks I did enjoy floating. I did notice a few things about my backyard while floating.

Two things that are important to note before I get too far into this story.

First of all, this may come as a shock to many of you, but I grew up in the country. And I mean seriously in the country. We lived thirty miles away from "town" on 120 acres. I grew up running through the pastures all by myself (with no cell phone). There were certainly more four legged creatures in my neighborhood that the two legged variety. This was how I spent the first eighteen years of my life.

Second, from August 2010 through May 2011 I did not stop. I was working full time, going to school full time, volunteering with church and Junior League, a lot, plus trying to have a social life. Naturally I am very introverted (this may come as a shock to many of you as well because I hide it pretty well) and having to be "on" for ten months completely wore me out. I remember when I started my first "big girl" job I would get home and be totally exhausted and that lasted for a few months until I got used to it.

Okay back to the backyard and floating on the glowing pool. Though I have lived in Norman for the last twelve years and quite love it, there are still moments that I have to realize that some things are not okay within city limits. One of these came last year when there was a GIANT snake in my front yard and I wanted to shoot it. Apparently shooting snakes in town is not okay. I mean I guess I understand why, but the only good snake is a dead snake and even that is still questionable to me. I was also surprised to learn that there was a limit on the number of dogs you can have and they all have to be registered. Really? Not to mention you can't have a horse in your backyard! (Unless that horse is disguised as a dog, like Zoe in my backyard!) Obviously you also cannot set off fireworks within the city limits. I really do understand that one because I am terrified of fire and hooligans generally are not all that careful and I don't want my house going up in flames. (Though I wish a deviant or two would have set some big ones off in my neighborhood tonight.)

Tonight's discovery of country versus city is the fact that the sky just doesn't look the same. It was cloudy tonight so that probably had something to do with it, but the sky just isn't as dark and there is always a glow. The stars are farther away. They aren't as bright. Nighttime just isn't the same.

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no desire to move anywhere resembling "the country" ever again. I like being five minutes from Walmart, within walking distance of a gas station, having 911 service, the ability to have dinner delivered, and garbage service, but there are some things that you miss out on if you didn't grow up in the country or spend a generous amount of time there.

You might be wondering how I just came to all these conclusions tonight. Like I said in point two I have been really busy the last year. To be honest I haven't spent all that much time outside, unless it involved working on the pool, getting a tan, or tending to the horse.

I am tired. Emotionally trying to be "on" for ten months solid with very little down time has completely drained me. It's not that I don't want to be around my friends, but I just need a break. When the weekend comes around I don't want to entertain, I want to relax, and relaxing to me is being by myself. I like to float on a raft and work on my tan with no noise, without having to carry on a conversation. I like to sit in the whirlpool and read without worrying about someone accidentally letting my dogs out. I am not one that genuinely enjoys entertaining; in fact I quite hate it. I can never relax when people are at my house. I love my friends, but right now, I really love just being by myself.

I just finished reading a very good book called Soft Spots by Clint Van Winkle. It was for my post traumatic stress class, but I really enjoyed reading it (and luckily it was a quick read because I had five days to read it before the paper was due!). One of the things the author mentioned was about their unit's preparation for Iraq. The commanding officer kept them very busy. The author said "He must've known that boredom brings problems, allows too much time to think. So, besides preparing us for war, was he also protecting our minds? Keeping us sharp and focused by not allowing us to think too much about what was going to happen once we made it into Iraq?"

That concept really hit me (probably because someone once asked me my motives for being so busy and alluded to this very idea). I got to wondering if I really was keeping myself to keep myself from worrying about other things, namely the fact that I am nowhere near I thought I would be at this age. There are more times than I care to admit that it is really hard being involved in the things I am involved with because I am not where I thought I would be and where a lot of people think I should be. I can relate to these people, however a lot of times frankly I don't want to. It feels that if I was doing all these things and keeping myself so busy then I could justify the fact that I am not married and don't have children. Where I live I am about eight years behind. In the good ol' Bible Belt it seems as though everyone (or at least an overwhelming majority) gets married the moment they walk across the stage from their college graduation, if not earlier. There were so many negative feelings around me that it made me feel like my life was meaningless because I'm not married and don't have children.

Yeah, I just went there. I know my friends love me, of that I have no doubt. I know my life is meaningful and I am doing amazing things and will continue to do amazing things, but there is a stigma around here that you can't possibly understand anything if you aren't a wife and mom. To be honest I'm sick of that.

I am almost thirty and I'm not married and I don't have kids. And you know what? That's okay. I love my life and where I'm at. I love who I am and who I'm becoming. I love where I've come from. I have finally accepted that I am not going to be able to make everyone happy. I cannot please everyone. People are going to judge me for what I do whether I go out or I stay in. People are not going to like the decisions I make with my life.

All that matters though is that I like what I'm doing. And I do. I like where my life is going. I have the utmost faith that all the things that I want out of my life will happen, at the time they are supposed to. Until then all I can do is live my life the way that I see best fits me. For now that is taking some much needed "me" time and floating in my pool, all by myself, on the weekends.

There will come a time when I want to open up, both the pool and my heart, and I'm willing to allow that to happen, but I'm not pushing it. I don't need to go out searching for something that I know will come to me at the exact correct moment and not a minute sooner. All I am asking for, from the people in my life, is for you to accept me for who I am. Please don't try to change me. Please allow me to make my own mistakes. I'm going to make some mistakes, we all do, but I firmly believe each of those mistakes holds a lesson, no matter how small.

I am really excited for what is coming up in my life because I know it is going to be big. That is part of why I am taking a little breather to regroup. I am going to need a lot of energy for the next phase because it is going to be amazing.