Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day Nine: Solden to Zurich to Camberley


~*~
I was so sad leaving this morning. I really wasn't ready to leave just yet. I got to say goodbye to my friend, and we took a taxi to the train station. It was just getting light outside when we left, so I got one last look at the mountains. The train ride to the airport in Zurich was pleasant. We got to sit in a box, so that was nice. What scenery I did see was pretty. I can't get over how beautiful everything is with snow blanketing it. It looks like a picture on a postcard. I slept the rest of the way to Zurich.

The whole deal with getting back to the UK was a mess. We were really early to our gate at the airport, so we waited forever to board. The flight was delayed for I don't know how long due to some wind, they said, in London. They shut down a runway and part of the terminal, so I'm not sure what really happened. I don't think it was just wind. Our plane was parked away from the terminal, so we had to walk to waiting buses that took us to Terminal 5. Anyway, our trip went full-circle and we made it back to Camberley.

I am very tired and kind of sad that our holiday has come to a close. It was an unforgettable trip. I probably won't get the chance to do this again, so I am extremely thankful for the opportunity. How very blessed I am. Now it's time to re-pack one more time for one more flight before we arrive back home. I am thankful for two more weeks until school starts back again. I need some time to recoup, and to spend more time with my family.

The End!

~*~

Day Eight: Solden


~*~

I was raring to go this morning, ready to ski. I woke up a little after seven, but it doesn't get light outside until eight-thirty or later. We ate breakfast, got ready, and made it to the slope around noon. The weather was great for skiing. It wasn't snowing too hard. Rebecca and I skied for pretty close to two hours. My muscles were killing me! It was harder the second day because of sore muscles. We decided to go in for lunch, and we went back again after. The second time was much better. I guess I was warmed up enough. I absolutely love skiing. I wouldn't have stopped as soon as I did if it hadn't started snowing so hard. I went on the slope probably close to ten or twelve times. I'm going to look up the closest place to Starkville to go skiing when I get home. If it is withing four or five hours, it could be a day trip. Perfect! I also discovered two things this trip: 1) it doesn't start hurting until you stop moving, and 2) whirlpool tubs are not for luxury here, they are a necessity. I was not sore, I was in pain! All for a good cause though-fun!

I got a nick name today: Miss Sunshine. :) One of the guys running the ski lift was particularly friendly. I saw him several times as I went up the lift, down the slope, and around for another run. It was funny watching him try to figure out what nationality I was. His first guess was that I spoke German. Next, he tried Spanish. And finally English. lol. I was interesting that people automatically spoke German to us, and then they would ask us if we were English. We had to tell people we were Americans. I thought it was really interesting, and a good thing, I think, that we didn't scream "American Tourists." Anyway, I saw my friend several more times before we left because he worked at the place we were staying. He was nice, and spoke fairly good English. Sadly, I didn't get his name.

I love Solden! It's a gorgeous place with incredibly nice people. When I am rich, I will buy a place here to spend the winter and ski to my heart's content. :)
~*~

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day Seven: Solden


~*~

The place we are staying in Solden is really neat. Very modern furniture and some...ahem...modern art. Europeans have twisted taste in art. Anyway, the view is spectacular! We're in the Alps. It never ceases to amaze me when I'm in the mountains. The snow here fascinates me. There is a blanket of snow over everything. i'm not sure how many feet of snow they've gotten here, but it has snowed perpetually since we arrived. I love snow! :)

We spent a leisurely morning. we had bread and butter delivered to our room. Very good as usual. After a while, we decided to get dressed and go get our ski gear. I was pumped! Others in the family were significantly less excited. Finally after lunch we made it to the right ski slope-the beginner slope. Very important to make that distinction... We strapped, snapped, and adjusted all our equipment and headed to the lift. Since it was the beginnner slope (the kiddy ski school was nearby) it had a different lift than I had seen before. It was an upside down t-shaped "seat" that you put behind you and it pulled you up the mountain on your skis. The slope we were on was bigger and steeper than where we skied in New Mexico. After getting the hang of skiing again (it had been almost three years since I skied last) it was alot of fun! Skiing is one sporty thing I do well. I enjoy it very much and hopefully I'll be able to go skiing more often than every three years. I might even move up from the kiddy slope eventually! :) Speaking of kids, there were several kids who were zipping up and down the mountain. They couldn't have been more than 5 years old! Someone told us that Austrians were born with skis on. I believe it. i'm looking forward to skiing a full day tomorrow! (Even though I can barely walk tonight.)

~*~

Day Six: Salzburg


~*~

Everyone woke up much more refreshed this morning. Breakfast was, as usual, exquisite, and even more interesting than usual because Christopher began telling us about the house and the real Von Trapp family.

Some of the movie is accurate, but a good bit is hollywood fiction. There were seven children initially, and three more after Maria and the Barron were married. They also entered a folksinging contest at a local festival where an American agent heard them and offered to take them to America. Initially they declined. When the Nazis occupied Austria, the family resisted. Even when Barron Von Trapp was offered a military position because he was the highest decorated naval officer in Austria, he refused. The Nazis required everyone to fly the Nazi flag in front of their home, but the Barron flew his military flag instead. The family was also asked to sing at Hitler's birthday celebration, but they responded saying that they did not sing for Hitler. The family's butler was a Nazi, but was also loyal to the family. He warned them that they were in danger, and the family decided to leave Austria for America. They met in a room in their home and decided to leave. The barron siad that if one person said he didn't want to leave, the whole family would stay. It was unanimous. He also opened up their family Bible and the verse that he happened to turn to was the one where God tells Abraham to take his family and go to the place where He would lead them. That made the decision firm. Contrary to the movie, the family did not have to flee the Nazis and hike over the mountain to Switzerland. Acually, Germany is on the other side of the mountain where the movie was filmed (in Salzburg). The family simply walked to the train station at the corner of their gardens and took a train to Italy. From there they went by ship to America. The family never went back to Austria, but toured for three years singing in the U.S. After that, they bought a ski lodge in Vermont, where five of them still reside today. Maria is 94 years old and still visits Austria occasionally.

Another interesting fact about Villa Trapp is that after the family fled Austria, the Nazis used it as a headquarters. I walked in a room where Hitler and several other leaders came up with the Holocaust. Kind of creepy... After the war, the family did get the house back, but sold it to an order of monks. It is still in their possesion today, but they rent it out to the people who run the hotel. A very neat place with tons of history and a very interesting story.

It was great to learn more about the real Von Trapp family. We took a Sound of Music tour this morning. We got to see many of the places where the movie was filmed, including the two houses used for the Von Trapp family house, the convent where Maria lived, and the church were Maria and the Barron's wedding was filmed. Our tour guide was Rosamaria and she gave us lots of "insider" information and neat stories from people who were there during filming, and the real Von Trapp family. She was great!

I was sad to leave Salzburg. There was much more we could have seen. But we still have half our trip left. Skiing! A three-hour train ride and we'll arrive in Solden.

~*~

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day Five: Salzburg



~*~

This morning we packed and finished seeing everything we wanted to see and said goodbye to Wien. It was a beautiful city and the people were very nice, even if we didn’t speak German. Only one person I came across didn’t speak English. I would definitely recommend visiting Vienna, and hope to come back here someday. It is a wonderful place to relax, enjoy beautiful scenery, and eat delicious food.

We made it to the train station just in time to catch our 12:44 train to Salzburg. We also discovered that five people and about ten pieces of luggage do not navigate the inside of a train car very well…

On the three hour train ride to Salzburg, I caught my first glimpse of snow! How exciting for this Mississippi Girl to have a white Christmas! I feel like a little kid again when I encounter snow. It is awe-inspiring to me.

I didn’t get a very good first impression of Salzburg, because it was dark when we arrived. It was a lot bigger than I expected. We got a taxi at the train station and told him where we were staying. We arrived there but it was not Villa Trapp. They were private apartments. Talk about feeling like awkward Americans… He finally called the place, and we arrived at Villa Trapp, the Von Trapp Family Home. As I said, it was dark but inside the house was beautiful. Christopher, the man who runs the villa, was extremely nice, and showed us to our rooms. Mamma and Daddy stayed downstairs in the Barron’s suite. The three of us stayed in Maria’s suit. How neat! It was beautiful, very clean and fresh. Only two benches in the foyer were original furniture. The rooms were furnished with modern furniture. Still, very pretty.

After getting our luggage put away in our rooms, we called a taxi to take us to a restaurant. When we went inside, they did not have a table available for us, so we had to sit in the bar area. As time went on, it got smokier and noisier. We also had a rather…fresh waiter, which my sister did not approve. The food was good though—I ate beef goulash—but our dining experience was less than pleasant. It probably didn’t help that we were very tired. We went back to the hotel and crashed.

We only had one night and half a day to spend in Salzburg. A good detour on our way to Solden, I think.

~*~

Day Four: Vienna to Salzburg


~*~

Another day starting with a fabulous European breakfast. Everything is so good. The bread, tomatoes, yogurt, boiled eggs, and hot tea with milk-yum! Anyways, this morning we went to the Spanish Riding School. This is a famous place where Lipizzan Stallions are trained and perform. They are amazing horses, and we got to go to the “most beautiful indoor riding arena” and watch them do morning exercises. Each rider is responsible for training their own horse. It was neat to watch them ride, and look for the subtle cues that they give their horses. It was also interesting to watch the young stallions who didn’t want to listen to their riders.

After we left the Spanish Riding School, we went looking at different shops. We split up so we could finish some Christmas shopping. I think this has been the most fun Christmas shopping I’ve ever done. It’s interesting trying to buy gifts for someone under their nose!

This trip has been a little different from trips we’ve taken in the past. While we’ve gotten to see a lot of the city, it has been more relaxed than times past. Usually, we are rushing to cram everything in a day. This time, there has been more leisure time. I’ve enjoyed it quite a lot. A much needed escape after a difficult semester.

Another thing I love about Vienna is the window shopping. Where we’re staying is not far from the more affluent shopping areas. One street we’ve walked down several times is home to Versace, Gucci, D&G, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Armani. It’s been neat to browse all the elaborate window displays. Most of the things I’ve seen, I could never afford, but it is fun to dream. : )

Tomorrow, we’ll spend the morning in Vienna and then head to the train station to travel to Salzburg, where we’ll spend a night at the Von Trapp Family Villa. How cool is that?!
~*~

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day Three: Vienna

~*~
Today was a great day! We got some sleep last night and breakfast this morning was really good. We started out the day with a bus tour of Vienna. It wasn’t very long, but we got to see a good portion of the city. Vienna is a very modern city, but has so many beautiful, old buildings, and a rich history. After the tour, we walked around the city some. We found another bigger Christmas market, the Wiener Weihnachtsdorfer, and spend a good bit of time shopping and looking around. We also ate lunch there- crepes and kinderpunsch. It was interesting shopping because we were trying to buy Christmas presents for each other with out letting them see! We were pretty tired after we finished, so we headed back to the hotel. We had tickets to a koncierto tonight, so we ordered up some tea, ate some snacks, and caught a nap. We were reluctant to wake up, and if it weren’t for wanting to hear some Mozart and Strauss, I might not have woken up! But we did, and ate supper at a nice cafĂ©. The concert was really good. It was 2 violins, a viola, a cello, and a piano. They were very talented (and the pianist was good looking too!). There was also a lady who sang, and a couple who danced ballet. They were good too. A very good day in Vienna, Austria!

~*~

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day Two: Vienna



~*~

Today was mostly a travel day, but we did get to experience some of Vienna this evening. Our plane from London to Vienna was delayed for almost an hour because of fog, so we arrived here around 4pm. A taxi took us from the airport to our hotel, a Best Western, of all places. It’s much nicer than any Best Western in the States I’ve stayed in. The picture above is of our room, complete with mints on the pillow. It’s not directly in downtown, but it is on a quiet street near the center of the city. Everything around here looks to be a hundred years old! Mozart stayed in this very building several times. How cool is that?! (Of course, it wasn’t a Best Western then.) We checked in our hotel, freshened up a bit, and asked the front desk where a good place to eat supper was. They recommended Leopold’s, so that’s where we headed. It was a short 10 minute walk. On the way, we came across a Christmas Market. They are all over the place this time of the year. There are all sorts of booths and vendors, selling everything from glass ornaments to wooden musical instruments. We meandered through on our way to the restaurant. Supper was very good. Each of us tried something typical of the area- four cheese gnocchi, Wiener schnitzel (“Wien” is Vienna in German.), goulash, and Christmas goose. All of it was very good. On the way back to the hotel, we browsed through the market. All-in-all, it was only a small taste of Vienna, and I hope to see much more tomorrow.

All of us are exhausted. The time difference and jet lag are catching up with me. London is six hours ahead and Austria seven. I went to bed around 11 pm last night and woke up probably around 2 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I am hoping to get more sleep tonight. I don’t know if that’ll happen, ‘because it’s 7 pm and I could go to sleep right now. It’s probably a good idea to stay up a little longer, however.

My dad is watching TV, which is mostly in German. They just showed a Coca-Cola Christmas commercial in German. It still amazes me how Americans think we are so different from everyone else. The more I travel, the more it seems as if people everywhere are essentially the same. I know we don’t think about it that way. It’s interesting though. I absolutely love to travel! Even if I have to deal with waking up hungry at 3 am. :)

~*~

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day One: Camberley

~*~

Our family trip has begun! We left Houston this afternoon (well, yesterday really) around 4 pm. The 8 hour flight into the UK was pretty uneventful, aside from some pretty loud and tipsy guys sitting behind us. I watched a movie, read, and slept the rest of the way. London greeted us with its typical winter weather-cloudy, dark, and rainy. We got through customs with no problems and a taxi met us to take us to Camberley. I was so glad to see my dad! Since we arrived in London before 7 am local time, we ate some breakfast after arriving at the house. A lovely English breakfast of scones and hot tea! :) The food isn't all that great in the UK, but breakfast is the exception. We slept most of the afternoon, and now we're packing and getting ready for our flight into Vienna tomorrow morning. I am so excited to be here with my family! Since we can't all live together in the same state, I guess this is an acceptable compromise-for now at least. No way would I want it to be this way long term. Updates to follow!

~*~

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The End

~*~*~*~
Finally, the end of an incredibly long and hard semester has come. I am so thankful to have it all behind me. Not all of it was bad. I had some pretty awesome times with The Girls, went to some great football games, and learned a lot along the way. Would I like to repeat the semester? Absolutely NOT. I was so glad to finish my 5 finals and 1 paper, and only had to pull a few all nighters to get there. I am exhausted, but very happy with the product of all my long hours of classes and studying. I, for the first time in my educational career, made all A's. I don't feel bad for tooting my own horn because this never happens to me! It made a great end to the semester and beginning of the holidays. I am really looking forward to spending a whole month with my family. I've missed everyone so much. I'm going to take time to refocus also. Spend some time away from the computer, facebook, and my cell phone. Read a book for fun! Oh, how I have missed reading for pleasure. I plan to devour every book I can get my hands on in the next few weeks.

So as I prepare to spend some great times with my family, I thank God for everything he has given me. My family and I are so blessed. I have some truly incredible people in my life. And I want to take this time to say thanks for everyone who has been reading my blog all along. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I love you all!
~*~*~*~

Monday, December 1, 2008

Amish?




I just finished watching the movie "Saving Sara Cain." It's a great movie about a single woman living in Portland. Her sister dies, leaving her four kids in her guardianship. The catch is that her sister was, and her nieces and nephews are Amish. I loved this movie. It was sad, but a great story. I haven't cried during a movie in a long time.


So I began thinking about the Amish way of life. I don't really know that much about it, but I do know that they value a plain or "simple" life. I almost wonder if it would be a better way of life. They are void of all the clutter that seems to plague our lives and really live a life that is, in my opinion, closer to God. I'm not saying that you have to be Amish to be close to God, but there are fewer obstacles. I'm not naive enough to think that they don't have problems. Every way of life has problems associated with it. I just wonder what it would be like. It would be very hard work, but I know it would be rewarding. It would be neat to at least experience it.
~*~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Country Is...


...the sound of the wind shuffling through the trees. It is the sound of laughter coming from the kitchen, the place where everyone gathers. Country is the creaking front porch swing mixed with the clink of ice in a glass of sweet tea. The crunch of fall leaves underfoot, and the soothing sound of crickets at night are the sounds of the country. The country is someone older and wiser telling you stories about "the good ol' days."





Country is the smell of rain after a summer shower. It is the crisp fragrance of fresh cut grass in the summer, and the smell of leaves burning in the fall. Country is waking up to the smell of bacon, eggs, grits, biscuits, and coffee. Country is fresh air and newly plowed ground.




Country is feel of grass under bare feet. Country is a warm hug from someone you love. It is the feel of a spring breeze bringing with it a subtle hint of summer. Country is riding in the back of a pick-up truck, letting the wind blow across your face and through your hair. It is homemade quilts and bonfires keeping you warm in the winter. Country is a child's sweet kiss on your cheek. Country is cold dirt between your fingers.


Country is the taste of fried chicken on Sunday after church. It's the taste of blueberries picked right off the bush. Country is the sweet taste of honeysuckle. Country is sweet iced tea on a hot, humid summer afternoon. It is the taste of a ripe, still warm from the sun, homegrown tomato.


Country is seeing your family often. Country is watching the sun rise and set every day. It is children's smiles and lover's kisses. Country is 200 year old live oak trees. It is being in the middle of nowhere and finding yourself there. It is looking as far as you can see, and seeing nothing but God's creation all around you. Country is colorful quilts, beautiful flowers, and loving people.



I know there is more that I didn't include, but this is a taste of what country is to me.
~*~




Monday, November 24, 2008

Some of my Favorite Songs

Here's a sampling of lyrics from my favorite songs at the moment.

The Show- Lenka

I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze, and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go
Can't do it alone
I've tried, but i don't know why

I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but i don't show it
I can't figure it out
It's bringing me down
I know, I've got to let it go
And just enjoy the show


Too Much Rain-Paul McCartney

Laugh when your eyes are burning
Smile when your heart is filled with pain
Sigh as you brush away your sorrow
Make a vow that it's not gonna happen again
It's not right in one life too much rain

You know the wheels keep turning
Why do the tears run down your face?
We used to hide away our feelings
But for now tell yourself it won't happen again

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snatched Away

Seems as if whenever something is going good in life, it gets snatched away. Why does that always happen? One moment, you are relishing this new and wonderful thing, and everything is going great. Life is good. You're happy, content. And then it's snatched away. But not so far that you can't see it anymore, just far enough that it is out of your reach. Like someone dangling a carrot in front of your face. It's always there in the back of your mind, showing up at the worst possible times in the form of memories or other painful reminders. Why do the good things have to be taken away? Maybe because there is something better waiting? If so, why not just skip the "good" and go straight for the "better"? What purpose did it serve? It's so incredibly aggrivating. The things that are "gone" keep showing up, dangling in my face, and I can't have them. I'm tired of learning "life lessons." I don't want to look back and say to myself, "Well, I learned alot from that mess" again. Is that knowledge worth the pain? I want to find that place where instead I say to myself, "This is what I've been waiting on for so long! It's finally here!" Will I ever get to that place? I find myself wanting what I've lost. I can't see the future, only the past, and I want that happiness and contentment that I had previously. Sure, there may be something even better around the corner, but there's no way I can see it. What if I missed what was "around the corner" and it's now behind me? I'm pretty sure that logic is screwed up somehow, but I can't help but entertain those thoughts.

All those lines that people feed you are just bologna. (And yes, I had to sing the Oscar Meyer song in my head to spell it right.) "You're young, you've got plenty of time." Time is never promised to anyone. "You'll figure it out." Sure, but how many mistakes and heartache will I have to endure to "figure it out" only to find that I'll never have it all figured out?

Please consider all of this rhetorical. Ranting, if you will. It's the product of a long week and a sleepless night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Saturday

Another Saturday has come and (almost) gone. It was a good day to be a Bulldog. I woke up at 11 am (a bit early for me on a Saturday). I went to the MSU vs Arkansas football game. I have to be honest, I really thought we were going to get stomped into the ground...again. We haven't beaten Arkansas in 10 years! But...I love conjunctions like this one...WE WON!!! It was the best game so far this year. Even better 'cause it was the last home game. It got really close there in the last 10 seconds, but thanks to a horrible field goal attempt by the Hogs, we avoided a tie. I was right at the edge of the student section when the game ended. If the students stormed the field, I was going to be in the middle of it. Sadly, no one took the first leap. Probably because the first one over the rail gets arrested... Someone really needs to take one for the team. I want to storm the field sometime during my college career. After that, I went to the basketball game. We played some team I've never heard of and beat them by 40 points or so. So that was fun. :)



It is COLD here. The past few nights have been in the 20s. I love cold weather! Hats, scarves, hot chocolate, fleece blankets...amazing! The leaves have all changed color and are falling now. I love this time of year. Here's an interesting picture of "The Half and Half Tree" on campus. It's the same tree, but half of the leaves are green, half are yellow. It stays this way until they all fall off. Pretty cool, huh?



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Take Me There

I heard this song on the radio this afternoon. If I find this guy, I'll have found the one.

Take Me There by Rascal Flatts

There's a place in your heart nobody's been
Take me there
Things nobody knows, not even your friends
Take me there

Tell me about your mama, your daddy, your hometown
Show me around, I want to see it all
Don't leave anything out
I wanna know everything about you then
And I want to go down every road you've been
Where your hopes and dreams and wishes live
Where you keep the rest of your life hid
I want to know the girl behind that pretty stare
Take me there

Your first real kiss, your first true love
You were scared
Show me where you learned about life,
Spent your summer nights without a care
I wanna roll down Main Street, the back roads,
Like you did when you were a kid,
What made you who you are
Tell me what your story is

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do You Really Know Me?

I feel as if people really don't see the real me. I know that's rather cliche, but it's true sometimes. I know that my family knows me best, and they do see who I am, but it's because they try; they want to see me as I am. Lately it seems as if certain people are constantly misunderstanding, misrepresenting, and underestimating me.

I was telling a friend how good it was to have spent a weekend in rural Mississippi, a place that was similar to where I grew up. That person made the comment that they never thought of me as a country girl, only seeing my nice shoes and clothes. I guess it didn't occur to them that the majority of time we spent together was in church... I remarked that I was quite the country girl, and then something was said that I cannot get out of my mind. Basically, they could see me being "country" when it was fun, but not "when it mattered." I wasn't sure what to make of that. I know that I have it within myself to thrive in a rural area especially when it matters. That is where my heart is, and where it will always remain, regardless of where I actually end up living. It caught me off guard that they didn't know me any better than that, even after months of "getting to know each other better." I really think it's because they thought they knew everything about me already, and was just looking for confirmation of what they assumed. It just doesn't work that way. I'm not going to spend my time defending how I actually am against what they assume. And you know what they say about assuming...

It saddens me that people are only interesting in getting to know others in a two-dimensional way. They only see the parts of that person they encounter personally. For example, if you meet someone through a class, they only know the academic side of you. I doubt they think about other dimensions of your personality. There is so much more to a person than what you can see or encounter at a specific time. There are emotions, memories, past experiences, connections with other people, and so much more. None of those things are two-dimensional. You have to take all the dimensions of a person into consideration when you're trying to get to know someone better. Don't make assumptions based on what you've seen. Ask questions, listen to stories, look at the other people that are important to them, a truly strive to know them better.

How can I describe myself with just words? I am more than words; I am a smile, a look, a laugh, a touch. How other people might describe me, I do not know. I can only tell you what I see in myself, what I feel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bittersweet Tears

My grandmother passed away over the weekend, and the funeral was yesterday. I was sad, of course, when my mother called to tell us, but the last few years, and especially the summer, were really rough for her. She had Alzheimer's and didn't really recognize anyone anymore. I know that she was a Christian, and I'm glad she's in heaven now. I try to remember the good memories I have of my grandmother. She and I would make cookies together when I was little. When she walked out of the room, I would steal some cookie dough out of the bowl with my finger. She was a great cook. I remember Christmases and Thanksgivings spent at her house. She was also a great seamstress and quilter. I have several quilts she made for me. We would also spend time outside, walking and looking at all the flowers she had planted. I remember those things from my childhood. I would love to learn to quilt so that I can carry that on.

Needless to say, the week has been exhausting. Between school, and travelling, and family I was utterly tired. I drove alot in the past week, while my sister slept in the front seat. No fair! But I did kind of insist on driving... :) Seeing family was good, but I'm sure you know what it's like when everyone gets together. I have a crazy family.

I was thinking as I was driving yesterday. Driving is one of the best places to think. It's too bad you can't blog in the car. I think of great things to write about when I'm driving, but forget them when I get to a computer. Maybe I need to get a voice recorder or something... Anyhow, back to what I was thinking about. It seems to be all around me, everywhere I turn- people are getting divorced, or breaking up. It's really sad. It brings to my mind several questions: How can two people love each other (or seem to love each other) and one day end it all? Did they love each other to begin with? And, most importantly, how can I keep this from happening to me? Just something I've been thinking about.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remember When...

Tonight I am in a very reflective mood. Memories of childhood have come to the surface. I have so many great memories! Luckily, many of those memories were captured on film. I've been sitting by the fireplace looking at old picture albums. I think I'll scan and post some pictures on here soon. I spent the weekend in rural Mississippi. It was so nice to be back in the sticks. It was very similar to where I grew up, and I think that's a part of the reason I've been remembering things. I love pictures!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Waffles, Spaghetti, and the Like

I'm sitting in my usual spot, with not much to do (well, I could be studying, but I did that last night and this morning, and I sucessfully completed my first of four tests for the week, so I really just want to bask in the glow of having that first test completed) so I thought I'd write. I would be reading, but in my rush to get out the door this morning, I forgot to grab my book. Speaking of, the book I'm reading is called "Single Men are Like Waffles, Single Women are like Spaghetti." I highly recommend it! It has some really insightful concepts in it. The whole premise of the book is to point out the differences in how men and women think, react, and process life. Most of it is stuff you know, but don't think about. At least that's the way it was for me. Men comparmentalize (hence the waffle) and women connect everything in life together (hence the spaghetti). There is another version of the book that isn't specifically for singles, but since I am single myself, I chose this one. It's got lots of advice on dating, working with, and being friends with the opposite sex. I'm going to let all my friends borrow it, if they want to. So good!

I've tried to read more this semester than I usually do. Normally, I don't read anything that isn't school related, because I'll get caught up in reading for pleasure instead of doing schoolwork. But this semester, I've tried to replace watching tv and movies with reading, and it's turned out pretty well so far. I also read before I go to bed. I can read for pleasure late at night, because if I don't comprehend everything I read, I can re-read it, and I won't be tested on it the next day. Not so for school reading. I absolutely love to read. There are so many great books out there. My favorite genre is probably christian fiction- mostly suspense/romance/mystery. I also enjoy reading books like the one mentioned above. Books that get me thinking about important things in life. So, if you have a good book recommendation, leave me a comment. I'd love to hear them.

Going into the week, I thought that it would be pretty much the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week ever. I had 4 tests+my regular homework. YUCK! It hasn't been so bad thus far however. I took my trig test about 2 hours ago, and that turned out much, much better than I expected. I have two tests tomorrow, back to back, that I have to study a good bit for-Spanish and Psychology. Psych won't be so bad, but I need to study alot for Spanish; lots of nit picky things to remember. And last but not least, my Small Group Communication test on Friday. Yuck, a test on Friday. Oh well. It won't be terrible. So, because I'm processing this overload in small pieces, I'm not freaking out about it.

I just got an email that my 11 o'clock class is cancelled tomorrow. Hooray!!! :) More time to slee-I mean study, of course...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Presently

It has been impressed upon me recently, in many different ways, the importance of living in the present. You may be thinking to yourself, or even saying it out loud to your computer screen, "Duh." But if you really stop to think about it, how many of us live in the present, in the here and now? I know that I don't. Throughout my life there has always been that element of "If I can only..." When I was a child it was "If I can only get to high school, then I'll be able to do lots of cool things." When I got to high school, it became "If I can only get to graduation, and I'll be in college and out of this high school dramafest." In college, it became "If I can only get through with school, and start my career" or "If I can only meet the right guy, and have my perfect dream life." Who knows what it will morph into after college. Maybe you have the opposite problem, like I had a few years ago. It was all about the past--"If it could only be like it was when..." My point is this-how often do you pass by opportunities today because you're looking too far ahead or too far behind to see them? There is absolutely nothing that we can do to change the past or to predict the future, but we can change the present. Look for the blessings that God gives you today. Look for opportunities that God provides for you today. Thank God for simple things in a day, like sunshine, a breeze, or a kind word from a friend. Live for today. Make changes today. Be thankful for today. Remember the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.

Today I was walking on the drill field, and heard someone yelling. It was a guy standing on the retaining wall that circles the flag pole in the middle of the drill field. He was yelling at the top of his lungs. I rolled my eyes as I passed by, thinking to myself, "Cool weather is coming and bringing the crazies with it." Every year, different people go to the middle of the drill field and "preach" aka yell Jesus at people. Even the Christians I know think they're crazy and annoying. But as I walked by, I began to listen to what he was saying. I couldn't hear every word, but from what I did hear, I didn't disagree with what the guy was saying-or rather, yelling. He was saying that God gave up his only son, just so you can go to heaven, that God loves you, and desires that none should perish (quoting scripture). I realized that I didn't disagree with his message, just his method of delivery. I walked by fellow classmates and heard this phrase several times: "And then I heard 'Jesus'..." Basically what they were saying was that they stopped to listen, or they were curious about what all the commotion was, until they heard him say 'Jesus.' After that, they discounted him as another religious nut who was condemning people to hell. I started thinking about that phrase "And then I heard 'Jesus.'" Instead of yelling "Jesus loves you!" in people's faces, what if we lived "Jesus loves you"? What if our kindness, love, and humility showed the love of Christ to everyone we come across day-to-day? Would they instead say "And then I saw Jesus..." or "And then I experienced Jesus..."? How would the rest of their sentence-the rest of their lives-change? If people could see Jesus in us, instead of just hear it, how many more lives would be touched? True witnessing to me is not walking up to some random person walking down the side walk and telling them in rapid fire mode "God loves you and he sent Jesus to die for you so you can live forever and ever with him in heaven and have a more fulfilling and wonderful life do you want to receive Jesus in your heart right now I can pray with you and you can know for sure that you're going to heaven if you died at this very moment!" How effective is that? I would freak out if someone did that to me, and I'm a Christian! True witnessing to me is going out of your way to demonstrate love to the people you are around, developing relationships, and showing how Christ has made you different. How are you going to show Christ's love to someone today? How am I going to show Christ's love to someone today?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gone

She told him she'd rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what's going on
But the problem keeps on calling
Even with the cellphone gone
She told him that she believes in living
Bigger than she's living now
But her world keeps spinning backwards
And upsidedown

Don't say so long, and throw yourself wrong
Don't spend today away
Cuz today will soon be

Gone, like yesterday is gone,
Like history is
Gone, just try and prove me wrong
And pretend like you're immortal

She said "He said live like no tomorrow"
Every day we borrow
Brings us one step closer to the edge (infinity)
Where's your treasure, where's your hope
If you get the world and lose your soul
She pretends like she pretends like she's immortal

Don't say so long
You're not that far gone
This could be your big chance to makeup
Today will soon be

Gone, like yeterday is gone,
Like history is gone,
The world keeps spinning on,
Your going going gone,
Like summer break is gone,
Like saturday is gone
Just try and prove me wrong
You pretend like your immortal your immortal

We are not infinite
We are not permanent
Nothing's immediate
We're so confident
In our accomplishments
Look at our decadence

Gone, like Frank Sinatra
Like Elvis and his mom
Like AL Pacino's cash nothing lasts in this life
My highschool dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone
Life is a day that doesn't last for long

Life is more than money
Time was never money
Time was never cash,
Life is still more than girls
Life is more than hundred dollar bills
And roto-tom fills
Life's more than fame and rock and roll and thrills
All the riches of the kings end up in wills
We got information in the information age
But do we know what life is
Outside of our convenient Lexus cages
She said "He said live like no tomorrow"
Every moment that we borrow
Brings us closer to the God who's not short of cash
Hey Bono i'm glad you asked
Life is still worth living, life is still worth living
-Switchfoot

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sonnet 116

Sonnet 116
William Shakespeare
*
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
*

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Dawg House

I got out of Trig early, so I'm chillin in my usual Monday/Wednesday spot a bit early today. They're playing the MSU radio station too loud today, but I'll try to drown it out with some music of my own. I'm eating lunch-well, trying to. I think I've tried every way possible to bring a pb&j sandwich to eat for lunch, and it just doesn't work. The jelly gets everywhere. Today was my last attempt; I put it in a tortilla. Yes-I have been in Texas too long... Chick-Fil-A was really calling my name today, but I refrained. They need a room on campus just for naps. They could have one room for girls, one for guys. They wouldn't even need beds, just comfy couches. The library is a pretty good place, but the couches are almost always occupied. I'm so sleepy today. One more class to go, and then I can go home and nap! I'm kinda nervous about the class though cause we get our spanish tests back... [crosses fingers]
The weekend was pretty good. Three of us went to Jackson on Friday night to hear Lifehouse in concert. They were good, as always, but the concert was only a little over an hour. That was the shortest concert I've ever been to. Guess that's what you get for a $5 concert at the fair. They were much better in Starkville earlier this year, but the tickets were more expensive, and we couldn't take pictures. However, we were standing right, and I mean right, in front of the bass player. So close that when he tripped on his cord and almost fell, he could have smushed us flat. We're still telling that story months later. "Remember the time the bass player almost killed us?" "Oh yeah! That was awesome!" I wonder if he remembers that...probably not.
We had a home game Saturday afternoon against No. 13 Vanderbilt. I have to confess that I didn't think we would win. Vanderbilt was undefeated this season so far, 5-0. Our ranking was, well, significantly less impressive. But, notice that I said Vandy WAS undefeated. We broke their winning streak! It was the best football game I've been to in a while (apart form the Alabama game last year. Everyone's still talking about that 100+ yard run for a td). We just played better football, and that's all there was to it. It wasn't that we won because of a fluke, or because they sucked worse that we did. We actually showed up. I was so proud of our Bulldogs! Now, keep it up guys!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Honey, I'm Home

I'm back from fall break. Just came home from the airport. It was a long, tiring, and melancholy 2 hours, and I came home to an empty house. I'm glad I have dogs, or it would have been really depressing. This is one night where I wish it would storm. I could use some thunder and lightning right about now. The weekend was...insightful, difficult, wonderful, reassuring-all at the same time. There are so many things going through my head, it's hard to iron all the wrinkles out. Good thoughts, hopeful thoughts, sad thoughts, and difficult thoughts. God has been dealing with me for a while, but it just seemed to hit home over the weekend. Someone this weekend said that whenever you have an encounter with God, you're effected, different, changed. I definitely feel effected.

  • Sometimes I think finality is more difficult than uncertainty...

I'm reading an amazing book right now, called The Shack by WM. Paul Young. It's a really great book so far. Even though it's fiction, it reveals some amazing things about God, us, and our relationship with the Trinity. I won't say too much about it until I finish, but this book has already given me much insight. I cannot wait to post some of the quotations from this book that have absolutely stopped me in my tracks.

  • "It's not always the harshest words that bring us understanding, Sometimes it's the quiet things, said or left unsaid" -From the song "That Old Man" by Tim Grimm

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On A Downhill Slide


On a good note, I got my car back! Good as new. And all cleaned up too. I picked it up from the shop, and very cautiously drove it back home. I will most assuredly be more careful driving now.

Last night was a good night. I watched a good movie and had a good conversation on the phone. I slept well, and when I got up this morning (after hitting the snooze about 3 times) I was feeling good, and decently hopeful about the day. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and can't wait til it gets here, but I'm trying not to let the rest of the days pass me by. Many blessings can be contained in a single day. Anyway, I was almost late to class but wound up arriving right on time. Good start to the morning, I think. Things have started going downhill though. I had an awkward conversation (which was kind of frustrating, cause neither of us said what we were really thinking), and then a troubling email. Definitely enough to bring a good mood down a notch. I have a group meeting at 4, so I wasn't exactly thrilled about staying on campus for an extra two hours. I'm trying not to have a bad day...we'll see how well that works out.

I bought a bluegrass cd yesterday that has lots of hymns on it. I love to listen to and sing hymns. The music is beautiful and the lyrics poignant. One line of the hymn "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" has been stuck in my head since I heard it last night: "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." That part of the last verse just jumps out at me when I listen to it. Just about gives me chill bumps. It almost seems to tie together with what I was talking about in one of my previous posts. Still something I'm thinking about...

How hard it is to really stay connected with people has really been impressed upon me lately. How many times I've taken people and relationships for granted. When you see someone every day, you don't really think about working to keep that relationship going. It's easy to just talk and feel as if you're close. It's when you have to maintain relationships where the person isn't right next to you, not present in your day-to-day life. Friendships, family relationships, and dating relationships. And it doesn't have to be someone who is miles and miles away. It can be someone who is next door, but you just don't run into them every day. It takes work to spend time with someone, to involve them in your life, and be involved in theirs. It can be done, however, if both are willing to designate time and effort. I know I don't set aside enough time for people sometimes. I get "busy." I put that in quotation because how many times have we used that one word as a catch-all excuse in our lives? Everyone is busy! If you're not, then you probably should be. Working and staying busy is part of a good work ethic. We need work to be a part of our lives. So how can you stay connected with people even though you're "busy?" I think it takes getting your priorities straight and honest-to-goodness effort. With some relationships, I've got it all straight. I set aside time for that person, and without meaning to, effectively cut off everyone else. Sometimes things are so lopsided in my life. I'll do great in one area, but lack greatly in another. Life is such a tightrope walk. Even an inch in one direction or the other and you wind up on the floor.

Fall is on it's way. The leaves are starting to fall and the air has a bit of a bite in it (try saying that five times fast). Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the weather-and the clothes that I get to wear. :)

It just occurred to me that this is my first October post. So Happy October!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Was Tagged!

I was tagged by Mrs. H

* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
* Tag five other people to do the same.

"He made your eyes, and can discern
Whichever way you think to turn:
He made your ears and he can hear,
When you think nobody is near:
In every place by night or day,
He watches all you do and say."

The nearest book was sitting on my fireplace mantle. It's a book of children's poetry that I got from a bookstore in Canterbury, England. It was published in 1851. It's got some really good poems in it.

I don't have five people to tag, but I'll tag John and Erich.

A Gorgeous Day Outside

I got the chance to spend most of the afternoon outside. It was a beautiful day. I had about two hours to "kill" between my last class and I decided to go sit beside one of the ponds that is on campus. I've sat out there before, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite places. It's a quiet place to read, think, or pray. It was nice to spend some quiet time to myself.






I received an email this afternoon with this song attached: "You Don't Laugh Anymore" by Greg Whitfield. It's a really good song and it's funny that he should send me that song. Lately I've been thinking about the very thing the song talks about: love. In our culture, we are bombarded with symbols and examples of love. All of them seem so superficial, so temporary. People fall in and out of love, like that is what's supposed to happen. And this isn't just in the movies and music-this is in real life too. It's sad. It makes my heart break. It scares me because I don't want that to happen to me. How can you pour your whole heart and soul into another person's life, and all-of-a-sudden "fall out of love" with them? The whole concept of "love" is twisted and warped. I know for a fact that you can't base something that phenomenally important on feelings. Emotions are up and down all the time. You can't live your life by them. I'm still trying to nail down what love is to me. I used to think it was a decision, that you consciously decided to love someone, no matter what. I still hold to that, but on the other hand, I believed that you couldn't "fall out of love" with someone. It contradicts the earlier statement. If you decide to love someone, you can decide not to love them as well. It's something that's learned, I suppose. Definitely something to think about. I think 1 Corinthians 13 could shed some light on that subject. I believe I'll go look it up right now.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hello to a Much Anticipated Weekend

It's the weekend!!! You might be wondering why it was much anticipated. Well, that's a good thing to wonder because that phrase hints at something spectacular happening. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm so very glad it's the weekend just because it's the weekend. No classes! Time to relax. Just the wonderful feeling you get knowing it is Saturday. That's all. I'm not that hard to please most of the time. But you might not want to ask my parents or close friends to qualify that statement. :)



Something of note is happening this weekend, actually. The celebration of my 20th year on this planet. That's a pretty big accomplishment, don't you think? I survived the terrible twos, the giggly pre-teen years, up-and-down teen years, and my first year of college-and my parents didn't take me out! :) I've gained a lot of knowledge, some experience, and small amount of wisdom. Life has taught me to be strong, to laugh a lot, even through the tears, and to be kind to people.

That's all for now. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My South



I've been thinking this morning, about how much I love The South. It's so much apart of me, even as much as the blood running in my veins. It's my heritage, my home, and my pride. I'm not so naive to think that everything here is perfect. Far from it. But the things that make it a part of me are not really found in a geographic location. It's a mentality, a way of life. That I will carry with me wherever I find myself in the next few years, and throughout my life. I wrote something a few years ago called My South. Some of it is pretty childish, but don't we all wish we were still children sometimes? I've edited it some, and added more to it.

My South:
*The smell of Sunday Dinner cooking in Granny's kitchen
*Shellin' peas on the front porch swing
*Dinner on the ground at church
*Going to sleep on the front porch swing
*Weddings in the spring
*Swimming in the creek
*Christmas at Bernice and Nancy’s house
*Hiding Easter eggs with my little cousins
*The smell of fall in the air
*The sound of crickets and bullfrogs on warm summer nights
*Walking across the pasture
*Riding the 4-Wheeler in the woods
*Walking to Granny’s church on Sunday morning
*Sunrise services
*Bottle feeding a baby calf
*Playing in the hay loft
*Climbing trees
*Playing in the woods
*Riding bikes to the store to get candy and ice cream
*Playing on the magnolia tree that fell across the creek
*The taste of honeysuckle
*Flying the Flag no matter who's in office
*Standing in the kitchen talking with all the women
*An ice-cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon
*The sound of a whippoorwill late at night
*Old gospel hymns that feel new again each time you sing them
*Week-long revival services


In the South, there is a strong sense of family, of pride, and of patriotism. Morals and religion are ingrained in daily life. The people are real and honest.

These are some quotations that really describe what I'm talking about:

"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born, it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music. It's being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies and coca-cola...and each other. We don't become Southern-we're born that way."

"The South--where roots, place, family, and tradition are the essence of identity."

"In the South, the breeze blows softer... neighbors are friendlier, nosier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do). This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names. Nothing about us is quite the same as in the country to the north and west. What we carry in our memories is different, too and that may explain everything else."

"The biggest myth about Southern women is that we are frail types-fainting on our sofas...nobody where I grew up every acted like that. We were about as fragile as coal trucks."

"A southern girl is a girl who knows full and well that she can open a door for herself but prefers for the gentleman to do it because it demonstrates a sense of respect. After all, every girl wants to be treated like a princess. We know how to make sweet tea and grits while telling you everything about any football team in the SEC. We pick our battles and fight with the heart of a pit bull while still maintaining grace and elegance. Our mystique is that of a soft-spoken, mild-mannered southern bell who could direct an army, loves her momma and will always be daddy's little girl."

I think that says it all...for now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hilariousness and Habits

I realized something today: I'm forming a habit. Whether it's good, bad, or indifferent, I don't know. I'm becoming a hair twirler. When I wear my hair down, I twirl a piece of my hair around my finger. This just started a couple of weeks ago, and I only noticed it the other day. I thought it was strange that I just started this. I'm also doodling a lot more than usual. Hmm. I'm sure there's some psychological reason or meaning behind it, but I'm not really sure I want to know...

Rebecca and I were coming back from the Co-op today, stopped at a red light, and saw the most hilarious thing I've seen in ages. A big guy on a motorcycle. Ok, so that's not hilarious in itself, but what he had on his head was. He was wearing a helmet with huge-and when I say huge, I mean about 5 feet wide-pair of longhorn cow horns attached. Oh my goodness. We didn't laugh very hard at first, cause he could probably see us, but when he drove by we both DIED laughing, and we didn't stop for a good 10 minutes. Oh what I would have given for a camera! That totally made my day.

Right now I'm sitting outside on our patio. The weather is absolutely heavenly. Sunny and the perfect temperature. I'm really supposed to be writing a translation paper on Chaucer, but I've got a method that I have to go through before a paper of mine actually gets written. Ok, so that's a fancy way of saying I procrastinate, but I thought it was clever at least... We'll just say I'm practicing my typing...that excuse will work for now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Lyrics to Think About

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I go from nothing to eternity
Hosanna in the highest

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rainbows and Sunshine

I don't have much to post today. Just a picture I took this afternoon and some random thoughts.

I was sitting in the kitchen this afternoon when all of a sudden it started raining. I opened the back door and listened to the rain. The sun was still shining as it was raining, which made a rainbow in the back of our yard. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of it. Pretty neat, if I do say so myself.


On a more serious note, I'm praying for everyone in Texas and Western Louisiana tonight because hurricane Ike is making landfall. A pretty bad storm from what I've seen on the weather channel. So far all my friends and family are all right, and I think they'll ride out the storm just fine. My worst fear is power outages. Then I won't be able to talk on the phone with them! I talk to my mom every day, it would be weird to miss a call. I also talk to Erich almost every day, so that would be weird too. It just occurred to me that what I just wrote was incredibly selfish. I'm sitting here worrying about not getting to talk on the phone with my friends and family, and there are people who are in the middle of a hurricane! I hope there's not a lot of damage from the storm.

Tomorrow is the second home game of the season. We're playing Auburn. We beat them last year away, so surely we can beat them this year. I hope anyway! It will be a very loud game in any case. Starkville is packed to the brim right now. With Bulldog Bash this weekend and all the visitors from Alabama it's impossible to get anywhere tonight. That's why I'm at home sitting on my couch! Even the gas stations were running out of gas. Gee whiz. Anyway, I'm very excited about the game tomorrow! Go Dawgs!!! :)

I'm waiting on a phone call, and then going to watch a movie! Should be a fun night. :)

Hasta luego, mis amigos!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Philippians

Philippians 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.

This verse stood out to me one night last year when I was reading my Bible. I rediscovered it the other night, and it still had the same power and application in my life. I really want my life to reflect these verses. My life's goal is contained in them. I want my love to grow. I want to gain knowledge and insight. I desire to learn discernment because so much hurt and pain can be avoided if you just discern things a little better.

Philippians 4:11-13
...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

While I have not yet learned how to be content in every situation I find myself in, that is certainly something I want to attain. Sometimes I feel like I'm so far away from contentment. I'm workin on it though. :)

Just thought I'd share some things I've been thinking about.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Definitely Wednesday

Well, I've had a pretty interesting week so far.
It started out pretty good. Sunday morning, my sister and I visited a different church. It wasn't really different for me, because I went to First Baptist all last year, but she hadn't been before. The service was really good, even though the regular pastor didn't preach. I really like Bro. Chip. He's a great pastor. The guest speakers were really good too though. I hadn't been to a church service in a while actually, due to various circumstances, which is really, really odd for me. It made me appreciate it a little more.
Sunday afternoon, me and my sis decided to go to the student rec center on campus, because I had heard about a beginner dance class. We went, and after a good bit of awkwardness, the class got started. When the instructor explained the footwork for salsa dancing, and told everyone to get a partner, I kinda just stood there... I looked to be the only one without a partner, but luckily for me, one of the guys helping with the class volunteered. That was awesome, because I didn't really have the steps down yet, and it definitely helps dancing with a guy who knows what he's doing! We rotated partners several times, until I had introduced myself to about 20 guys, I swear. lol. It was fun. I'm going back next Sunday.
Well, yesterday proved to be rather...eventful, shall we say. It was wet, rainy, and generally a yucky day. I was driving home from class, kinda in one of those oblivious moods...not a good thing when you're driving... Yes, you can probably tell where I'm headed with this. I rear ended someone. The wet roads didn't allow me to stop in time and bang, I ran into the car in front of me. Not a good way to end off the day. Oh well. No one was hurt, and my car was still in one piece...I take that back. It was actually in four pieces. One of the cops (the younger, cuter one) was nice enough to pick up my licence plate, and two other plastic pieces from my crappy plastic car out of the road. It's still drivable though, so that's good.
I was sitting in the kitchen just now, drinking a cup of hot tea (berry flavored) when a sudden melancholy hit me. Maybe because I'm trying to study for my psychology test... Or maybe because I miss some pretty special people. It's hard being away from home. I didn't struggle with this so much last year, I don't know why it's a major issue this year. Part of growing up, I suppose. On that note, I need to get back to neurons, the cerebellum, and biopsychology, but I'll leave you with a rather comical picture I took the other day:

Wicket was trying to read Chaucer...

Homework puts me to sleep too, Wicket.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So It Begins

Tonight was the first home football game of the season. After a disappointing defeat last weekend, we were really ready for tonight's game. When my sister and I arrived on campus, you could definitely tell that it is football season. There were people talegating everywhere and there was a sea of maroon walking down the sidewalk. And then I hear the glorious sound of ringing cowbells...ah, I had forgotten how much I love going to games! We met up with some friends, and after stopping by the BSU tailgate, we headed to the gate. Now, I must say that cowbells are illegal in the stadium, and have been for years...BUT, it's only an official rule really. They've never done anything about students who stash them in a purse or back pocket even. Well, when we got to the gate there was a long line, which I thought was unusual. Turns out, we hear from the front of the line, they're searching bags, patting people down, and confiscating cowbells. WHAT?!?!? How dare they?! What's an MSU home game without cowbells! I was rather outraged. I had no way of sneaking my cowbell in. Some of my friends managed to put theirs under clothing, and made it through the gate. I wasn't able to do that, so we called a friend, and he rescued my cowbell from being confiscated. I was ticked off that I couldn't take my cowbell to the game, but nonetheless, still excited about the game. We got through the gate and managed to find where my friends were sitting (because one of them was standing up, ringing her cowbell lol). It was an awesome game. We were playing Southeastern Louisiana. We fully expected to win this game, but then again, we're talking about the Bulldogs...they are not always consistent, shall we say? There were a lot of people there, not only in the student section, but also in the rest of the stadium. We have a huge fan base. There was a teeny tiny section of green and yellow, and the rest maroon! There were some great plays and exciting moments. And my friends are awesome! Because I was lacking a cowbell, I yelled and clapped my hands. Those bulldogs have the idea...my hands hurt and my voice was hoarse when the game ended. I'm finding some way of getting my cowbell in the stadium next game! Oh, and at halftime, the band did a Michael Jackson show. I'm not a big fan, but the whole band did the Thriller dance at the end-that was awesome!!! :) After winning the game 34 to 10 and singing one more round of the fight song, we all headed to our cars and went out for ice cream at Bop's. A perfect ending to the night! I cannot wait til the next home game!!! :)



















Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Que Sera Sera"

I just spent a quiet, peaceful, wonderful evening at home by myself. My sister was gone for the evening, so I had the house to myself. Depending on what kind of mood you are in, that can be good or it can be miserable. Thankfully, I was in very pleasant humor, a far cry from the past few days. More on that later. I decided to put on my favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice (the 1940s version), and give myself a manicure and a peticure. I sat in the floor of the livingroom doing my nails, drinking sweet tea, and listening to the sound of raindrops outside. I cannot tell you how much pleasure those simple things gave me, nor how much I needed a night like tonight. And of course, I documented my wonderful evening, and will share with all of you. :)




Before...




After! Now I have red nails and the attitude to match! (Girls, y'all will know what I'm talking about. I don't think you guys will have a clue.)


I was talking to my mom on the phone tonight. We had a great conversation not just about general topics, but some good stuff. She said a phrase I've not heard in a long time, but it just fit what I've been thinking about and dealing with recently: "Que Sera Sera." It's Spanish and means "What will be, will be." It is even the name of a song. When she said that, it was one of those things where you stop and say, "Hmm..." It just epitomized the conclusion I've reached, even the reason for my good mood. I have to not concentrate and worry about things in my life I have no control over. What will be, will be. The things I can control, I need to do my best to improve. This whole concept isn't new, just new at this stage in my life, if that makes sense.

It rained again today, but I had a different perspective of the rain this time. It was soothing, refreshing, and welcomed. I got a quick shower on the way to English Lit this morning, but that wasn't a bad thing because it's pretty hot in the classroom. This evening, listening to the sound of the rain outside was so...theraputic almost. Later tonight, I went out on the patio, and just stood there, in the quiet-but-not-so-quiet of the night. It was sprinkling, and I let the tiny raindrops fall on me. It felt almost like tiny kisses all over my arms and face. That combined with the sound and the smell was blissful. I thank God for the rain!


Right now I'm watching Sara Palin's speech from the RNC. I'll let you know my opinion of that later. :)


Buenas noches!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rainy Day

Rain, rain, rain... I'm about sick of rain. It's almost a strange phenomenon to me, having been in Texas all summer where there was a drought. It's like, "What is this strange wet stuff that keeps falling out of the sky?" I really can't complain though, because it keeps the temperature cool (-er that is). It's not so fun walking between classes and getting soaked, but oh well.

I have decided to make a goal for myself. I'm not goal-driven individual per say, nor am I one of those people who plows ahead with something they've set their mind to, but I think it's important for everyone to have goals and ambitions. I have plenty of ambition (even though people might not know it), but I think setting some goals will help me reach those ambitions. So on to the goal. I have decided to start running. My goal is to be able to run a mile by the beginning of the year. This might not seem like a huge deal to some people, but if you know me well at all, it would be an accomplishment. Running is something I really enjoy. I love the rythm, the beat, the movement. It's also something that I haven't been able to do much of in the past. But I'll overcome those limitations. I'm tired of not doing something because I've told myself (and others have told me) that I can't do. So I'm going to do it.

I am sick and tired of feeling out of control of my life. I'm tired of circumstances controlling me. I'm tired of worring about the things I cannot change. I'm tired of being weak. I'm tired of being the person who has to work with other people, who can't accomplish anything on her own. I need to get some backbone when it comes to dealing with people, and not let everyone push me around. I have noticed lately that the people I'm around influence me greatly. Most of the time that's a good thing, especially if you're around some amazing people. But what about me? Should I not be influencing people (for the better) as well? I want the good things about me, the interesting things, the things I love to do-to stand out, and for people to take notice. I've come to the point where I'm going to let go of the things in my life that I cannot control (as much as I'd like to control them) and I'm going to give them to the One who has ultimate control. And the things in my life I can control (but don't) are going to change. I'm going to change them.

On another note, Labor Day weekend was this past weekend. Me and My sister made the 11 hour trek home on Friday. We took a different route that normal, but that turned out pretty well. We spend a great weekend home, got to see my Dad, along with the rest of my family. It was so good to be home again. Especially after being homesick the past week or two. Well, when time came to plan on heading back, matters were complicated by Gustav. Hurricane Gustav (or "Goo-stove" as I heard it pronounced on the radio as we drove through Arkansas). Because of the hurricane making landfall the very same day we needed to drive back, we took an alternate route, furthur north, through Arkansas. Well, following a road that did some really squirrly things when you came to a town, we naturally missed a roadsign, and wound up two counties north of where we should have been, on a totally different highway. Can you say frustrated? Well, that's what we were. So we dug out the map, and found a tintsy wintsy road that would take us back to the highway. Little did we know that it would take us through po-dunk Arkansas. I just knew that we would be abducted by some hillbilly named Bubba... It was pretty comical actually, me and my sister making jokes about Gustav and Bubba out to get us. And the sceanery wasn't half bad either. It was a very agricultural part of Arkansas, where there were huge fields of any kind of crop you could imagine, and the small farmhouses to go with them. We got pictures. I'll post some of those on here later, so you'll get a better appreciation of how far off the beaten path we really were. Well, to make a long story short, we got back to the highway, and sucessfully made it to our destination. It took us a grand total of 15 hours, and we didn't get home until midnight. That made for a very, Very, VERY long day. I do not wish to repeat that particular journey again, so I'll just document it here for your enjoyment/amusement.

Well, I must be off to Spanish now. Adios Amigos. Hasta luego.









































Thursday, August 28, 2008

On My Own

I can't believe that I'm here in this place again
How did I manage to mess up one more time?
This pattern seems to be the story of my life
Should have learned this lesson by the thousandth time.

'Cause I promised myself I wouldn't fall
But here I've fallen
I guess I'm not as strong as I thought
All I can do is cry to you.

Oh God you have to save me
You're my last and only hope
All my right answers fail me
I can't seem to make it on my own.

Always thought that I would be strong enough
What made all of them fall couldn't take me down
Yeah, did I think that I was above it all?
I have learned that pride comes before the fall

I can't promise myself that I won't fall
'Cause here I've fallen
I know I'm not as strong as I thought
All I can do is cry to you.

Oh God you have to save me
You're my last and only hope
All my right answers fail me
I can't seem to make it on my own.

On My Own by Barlowgirl

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things to Think On

Have you ever had one of those days where there was so much to think about, so much going on in your head, you just didn't even know where to begin thinking about it all? That was pretty much me today. I started out the morning kind of off kilter, and it seemed to get worse as the day wore on. It wasn't a bad day per say, just a little off.

I've had a lot on my mind lately, so maybe if I let some of it out on here it will help. I would call a friend, but it's past 2 in the morning, so I don't think they'd appreciate that. :) And I can organize my thoughts so much better in writing. I get tongue-tied otherwise.

I'm homesick. I'm missing my family. Everything's so weird right now. We've always been a very close family, geographically and emotionally. We're still close, but it seems like members of my family are spread across the globe. It's hard to deal with that when for so long we were all together. I realize that it is a part of growing up, but it's definitely a change, and sometimes I don't handle change well.

I'm missing the people that I formed closer relationships with over the summer. I'm still in touch with them, but it's not the same. Long distance in any kind of relationship-whether it be family, friends, or significant others-is always challenging. It either makes your relationship stronger or tears it apart. Sadly, I've experienced both in the past. I'm hoping that this distance forces a deeper and more lasting relationship.

I feel out of place. I thought only freshmen were supposed to feel this way...lol. But seriously, tonight I felt like I just didn't fit. I hate that feeling. It was probably due to not being well acquainted with the people I was around, and that'll hopefully change over the course of the semester, but I can't help feeling down about it.

Right now I am feeling so ineffective. I feel ineffective in my walk with Christ. I feel stuck, unable to move. Sadly, it's an all-too-common feeling for me. One of my deepest struggles is with complacency. No, I don't go off the deep-end and do terrible things that limit my relationship with Christ, but rather I fall into that "I'm not doing anything bad, so I must be a good little Christian girl who doesn't need to change." Why do I settle for mediocrity in my faith? Do I not have a God who is so above and beyond what I could ever imagine? What an insult it must be when I limit Him so... I think one reason I struggle with growth is that I equate growth with change. My life has been constantly and drastically changing for about the past 6 years. I am so resistant to change, even when it is for the better. I know that no one likes change, but I have such a hard time with it I think because I was forced by life circumstances to change. I resisted so much, I think I'm almost afraid of it now. I don't want opportunities that God gives to pass me by because I was afraid. I want God to fill my heart and life with a fire, a confidence in Him that consumes all that fear and doubt. I want to fearlessly live in a way that is glorifying to my God. I don't want to live in fear of the future, of messing up, or of making waves. I am the epitome of nothingness without my God. I am so weak and timid without Him. God, help me to find and hold onto that fire! Help me to remember the joy and passion of my salvation!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I hope to see everyone again. I also hope that it will bring some comfort and clarity. My emotions are in knots at the moment. So much to think and feel. It's almost overwhelming. It is astounding to me that I can feel so many different emotions all at once. I'm hoping to get all that sorted out and get my focus back to where it needs to be.

Even in the midst of all this confusion, I'm reminded of a song that is coming to mean alot in my life right now:

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

(Chorus)

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You