Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Decorations are up!

I really don't have anything to blog about. Just about all my Christmas decorations are up. I've read a couple good books lately. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, it started out a little slow, but then I really got into it. I want to eventually read all six of her books. Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey, I may be weird, but I really enjoy his writing style. This one was a novel and all about living in Los Angeles. It followed several different couples/individuals, from the homeless to movie stars. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, was one my book club picked out a long time ago and I finally go to it, great read, even though it's sad! I like to go to the cheezy Nicholas Sparks novels in between other reading. I just picked up the most recent one yesterday, The Last Song. Right now, I'm going to read up on a nonfiction, Adobe Creative Suite and try to teach myself all about Adobe Illustrator. I'm excited!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I know I'm a few days late, but I wanted to share my Thanksgiving. This is the fourth year I haven't been home for Thanksgiving. The first year, I worked, watching the BBC version of What Not To Wear marathon and ate a cold cut turkey sandwich. The second year, I worked and ate a late traditional dinner. Last year, I went to a traditional dinner, pot luck style with some co-workers and worked. This year, I didn't work and hung out with Tally, made a frozen pizza and had a glass of white wine. Sounds exciting, huh? Ha. With this trend in place, Thanksgiving has come to not really mean much for me. I guess I'm looking forward to Christmas a little bit. I'm flying home for a week, even though I have no money (my fault) and I really like to travel, so it will be fun to be around family, even if it means being away from Tally. Ha ha. I started putting up some decorations, which I didn't due last year at all due to a mild depression. Oh and I almost have my shopping done! Woohoo. Didn't take long, since my source of funds is a bit challenged. Hope everyone else enjoyed the first part of the holiday season! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ode to my Cactus

My cactus died. I'm really sad. I've had it since the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic in 2005. The theme was fiesta and I brought a bunch home for my mom and sister too. It's probably the longest I've kept a plant. I had it in my office for most of the time, but it did move from Cincinnati to Oxford to Austin. Right before I moved, it got knocked over and broke off in the soil, but i just dug that part out and replanted it. It fell over in the truck on the way here and I just replanted it when I got here. Slowly, it's been rotting from the bottom up, so today...I threw it away. I liked my cactus! It was a different plant to have...eventually, I will have to replace it with a new one. :-(

Friday, November 13, 2009

Paid Gig

I had my first paid gig this week. It wasn't a big deal really and I don't know that it will bring any real promise for a job, but something is better than nothing.

It was with Alumni Football USA ... an organization that gives high school football players a chance to play again and it's a pretty big deal to a lot of people. I found it through a website in which I have no fondness whatsoever, Craigs List. Turns out, it's a good source for the local job search. So the job was just calling hundreds of people who signed up to play in this alumni football game and remind them about the first meeting. My attention to detail and love for planning logistics might get me a little more involved, so we'll see if I get another call from the business guy next week. Just wanted to give the update from Austin! Weather is great and Tally is enjoying being a Texas kitty! :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The little things make me happy right now. I'm sure that won't last for long. I'm getting settled into the new place. Today I bought a new hammer (my old one is NO WHERE to be found and I was kind of fond of it :-( ) and hung just a few things up on the wall. It's going to take some time before it really starts to feel like home. I bought a wireless adapter for my iBook...b/c it's old school, it doesn't have wireless already built into it. In the common area of my apartment complex, there is a fitness center, pool and computer room with wireless, two desktop computers and tables, chairs and a couch. I guess I will be spending a lot of time here in the near future...it's really nice that I can use those amenities without having to pay extra. I really need to hit up that fitness area SOON. Also, I got an email today from Amazon saying that my digital/analog converter box shipped today. So soon, I'll be sittin' in butter and able to watch something other than dvd's on my old school flat screen analog tv. I'm so up with the times...HAHA. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little lonely today for a brief instance. I realize that I must build a new support system here and that's part of the change I wanted and the excitement. It's just nice sometimes to know that there are people around me that care. I guess that's all part of learning that I have to and how to create my own happiness. Thanks for listening!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Austin, TX

Here I am, in my new city and state of residence! I'm on a guest pass at the library right now b/c I need evidence of mail at my new address to obtain a library card. I feel like I've done a lot in the past week, but it seems like a blur. I still have lots to do and many boxes to unpack! Tally is enjoying exploring her new home and sleeping a lot. Haha. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive of my decision of this new adventure. =Þ

Monday, September 28, 2009


I forgot to mention: WHO DEY!!!

The Final Countdown

And so it begins...The Final Countdown to October 3rd!
Great song, by Europe...don't really know them too well, but VERY catchy tune.
And I can't take credit for it, Rachel thought of it when I mentioned that the countdown begins this week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eat Pray Love, Part II

Still in India...Story #60
On one of her last nights in the Ashram in India, a plumber gave her these instructions for freedom. I wonder if it's really this easy?
1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out – on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of the day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

Indonesia – unearthing of how to build a life of balance (equilibrium of worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence)
Story #87
Gili Meno - "The island itself is tiny, pristine, sandy, blue water, palm trees. It's a perfect circle with a single path that goes around it, and you can walk the whole circumference in about an hour. It's located almost exactly on the equator and so there's a changelessness about its daily cycles."

The island is remote and pretty, romantic only a crazy person would go there alone. Two years before, the author had visited Bali and Gili Meno (alone), then went there again with the Brazilian she met during her journey. From the sounds of it, this might be a place I would want to visit and put on my list of things to do.

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, you strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your should hold tight to its good attainments."
I really like this. Often times I do get caught up in only praying when something bad is happening. I'd like to incorporate some of the thoughts of this book into my own life.

Story #107
During the author's original trip to Gili Meno, her goal was to be silent and meditate. On the ninth day of silent meditation, she had a breakthrough. Elizabeth invited everything that had caused her sorrow and didn't hold anything back. Thoughts and memories of sadness, sorrow, grief. She would regard it, experience it, bless it, and invite it into her heart and accept it.

Next up was anger - her life's every incident of anger rose and made itself known. Injustice, betrayal, loss, rage. These things came to rest and gave up fighting. It was over.

Most difficult part - shame. A pitiful parade of all her failings, lies, selfishness, jealousy, arrogance. When all this was finished, she was empty. Nothing was fighting in her mind anymore. "I looked into my heart, at my own goodness, and I saw its capacity. I saw that my heart was not even nearly full, not even after having taken in and tended to all those calamitous urchins of sorrow and anger and shame. My heart could easily have received and forgiven even more. Its love was infinite.

I knew then that this is how God loves us all and receives us all and that there is no such thing in this universe as hell, except maybe in our own terrified minds. "

She wrote in an empty notebook - "I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you."

"And that notebook, steeped through with that promise of love, was quite simply the only reason I survived the next years of my life."

I just find all of this to be quite powerful. These practices of meditation seem to be easy. Again, I say that I'd like to incorporate some of this ideals of this book into my own life. I want to develop some type of mantra to clear out all the crap I tell myself on a daily basis. That's all, I just wanted to share what I learned. I apologize for two long and boring posts.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eat Pray Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Apparently, lately all I have to blog about is the books I read. I started this one a long time ago and since the school year and sports seasons have started, it’s taken me awhile to finish it. This is the story of Elizabeth Gilbert and her yearlong travels to Italy, India and Indonesia to examine one area of her nature in each place. I really got a lot out of this book and as much as this post is to let you know how enjoyable this was to read, it’s just for my own notes as well.

Hindus and Buddhists – have a string of 108 beads (japa malas), this tradition was eventually brought to Europe as rosary. People carry and rub the beads as their mantra and symbol of faith. Elizabeth divides her story into 108 tales, or beads. The book is divided into three sections of 36 tales each. She wrote the story during her 36th year (how symbolic!).

Italy – discovery of pleasure (Italian language and cuisine)
Story #18
Wrote to herself in recognition of herself as a friend:
“I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it. I will love you through that, as well. I f you don't need the medication, I will love you, too. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will STILL protect you. I am strong that Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and neither will ever exhaust me.”

India – examination of devotion faith (stayed in the Ashram of her Guru)
An excerpt from story #49
“I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many different ways, and all these acquisitions and accomplishments – they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. … Time when pursued like a bandit will behave like one. … At some point, you have to stop because it won’t. You have to admit that you can’t catch it. That you’re not supposed to catch it. … You gotta sit still and let contentment come to you.”

Story #58
"So I've started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all days, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore." Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word "harbor," which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind - a little beat-up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now - let the word go out across the seven seas - there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.

You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts - all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimp and seditious stowaways - you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened careful, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind - otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from when you came.

That is my mission, and it will never end.”

...to be continued...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Visitors from the West Coast

Yay! Ben and Amber visited this week. We gave Ben the Miami campus tour, since he'd never been here before. We checked out some of the local spots and had a good time. It's always nice to have old friends around! I wish Abbey could have come along too.

Friday, August 28, 2009


For me, tonight is the LOST Season 5 finale!!! Yes, I know I'm way behind, but now I'm FINALLY caught up. Yay! This show is pure craziness! I can't believe I made it without finding out anything that happened throughout the season. DVR is an amazing thing.

Hopefully I'll have time for What Not to Wear and Making Over America with Trinny and Susannah. Yes, I am lame-o!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"The Shack" by William Young

WOW. OK, so I finished this one over a week ago, but still wanted to write about it. Sorry, you guys get to read another spiritual-type message. Ha.

It is really good! Read this if you really want to think about God in an unexpected way. It helps to answer the question, ‘Where is God in a world where there is so much pain and suffering?’

Main concepts I took away:
Why does God still let evil happen in the world?
God takes that evil and turns it into something that is good. We have no way of knowing much evil God stops from happening.
God is right there with us through our suffering, whether we realize it at the time or not.
We have free will to make our own choices. We don’t want God to choose everything for us and control our lives, but then when something bad happens, we want him there to fix it instantly.

Even though God knows everything that is going to happen, He still lets us make our own choices. When we make the wrong choices, He still loves us unconditionally and tries to help us learn from those wrong choices. It’s similar to how we as human-beings love our children…not that I would know, but you get the general idea. Parents love their kids no matter what mistakes they make (at least in most cases).

God isn’t big on the word religion and all the rituals we perform. He is all about the relationship we have with him and developing that relationship into something that is close. God is with us constantly.

A lot of times Christians think they need to be just like Christ. This is an unattainable standard we have set for ourselves. God is a spiritual, holy and righteous being, not of this world. We are human-beings who are far from perfect. God sent His Son to Earth to walk among us and see what it’s like to be human, but He is still perfect and not human.

We must forgive those who have caused us pain.
God loves the people who hurt us too and has already forgiven those people.
We are allowed to be angry at the people who wronged us and about the evil things that happen. The most important step in releasing that anger is forgiveness. With the help of God, we can forgive just like He has.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Homework by Dan Burton

I just wanted to share the basic synopsis of our message at The Gathering the other night. So, these isn’t necessarily my own original thoughts, but my reaction to the sermon. I really thought it was a good one!

This verse is a description of how to treat your family. IT IS NOT a description of how the people in your family are to treat you.

Colossians 3:18-21
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

That part really struck with me. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this verse. It actually seems a little bit scary for wives to submit to their husbands and children to obey their parents. Often times, people (including myself) thought that it was OK to use these verses against one another. Parents might say, ‘Well, you aren’t honoring and obeying your mother and father.’ And go on with the guilt trip from there. Husbands can do the same thing, justifying their actions and assuming that no matter what, the wives must submit to them. This is not Christ-like. And even though I recently learned that it’s really impossible to be Christ-like (we are going to sin no matter what, we are human-beings), these verses are not meant to be used against one another.

These verses aren’t about entitlement to a certain treatment, but instructions for our own lives. As Pastor Dan said, the only thing we can control is ourselves. We can’t control our children, wives, husbands, parents. I can only control myself. I need to do a better job of how I view situations and choose NOT to focus on the problems others are causing, but focus on how I am the problem.

In my quest for love, the common verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 mean more. When I really take in what these verses signify and read them slowly, I start to understand the type of love that God has for us and the type of love that we should try to give toward others, especially our families.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keep no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres.”

Why is it so hard to remember this and portray this type of love in our everyday lives???

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indecent Proposal

"Losing Diana is like losing a part of me.
I thought nothing could change the way we felt about each other.
I thought we were invincible."

"Someone once said:
'If you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever.
If it doesn't, it was never yours to begin with.

I knew one thing. I was David's and he was mine.'"

I just watched this movie for the first time last night. Really good story!!! I bet it's a good book as well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

King of Pop

Everybody else is talking about Michael Jackson, I might as well join in with the masses! I love his music! I love that he had a pet giraffe in Neverland and wish I could have my own. I love how he sings, "OW!" in a lot of his songs. With his recent passing, I've obviously been listening to the HIStory album (I only have the first disk). It's hard for me to believe that the Bad album came out in 1987 and I remember it so vividly and listening to that and Thriller cassette tapes on vacation, I was only 8 years old. My friend and I watched the world premier of the Black or White video and played it over and over and over again - that was 1991! Our gym teacher, Mrs. Eidson almost always played Beat It in our P.E. classes. The man may have been a little strange, with the skin diseases and plastic surgeries and what not. But really, he didn't have a childhood and was always in the spotlight; that has to have some affect on a person. Listen to the song Heal the World and Man in the Mirror. I believe Michael Jackson simply loved children and the world and wanted it to be a happy place for all. He may be gone physically, but his music will live on forever. Love you Michael!!! =Þ

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Seeing both movies and traveling to Greece (Lena’s grandparents live in the village of Oia on Santorini Island) this year inspired me to start reading the Sisterhood book series. I’m currently read book number three of four. The reading obviously isn’t challenging or anything – it can be found in the teen section of your local library! There is a lot more that happens in the book than the movies, more than the typical changes from book to movie. I guess they decided to cram four books into two movies, thus creating a lot of differences. It’s nice that I’m making time for reading again, even though I’ll never get through my entire reading list. I definitely recommend these books if you are up for a light story about four girlfriends and their magical pants! Don’t worry, I have some serious books on my list after I finish with these. Oh, and the scenery from the movie really is as beautiful in real life. Happy Summer! =Þ

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I realize that not many people will care about this besides me, but Lifehouse has four songs that I hadn't heard yet. I'm pretty up on the band and know about 85% of their music, regardless of radio playtime. One tune is from Bratz, one from The Wild, one is a bonus track or something from an album that I do have (or maybe just a single on its own), and the fourth one is from Wicker Park (you can't buy just the song on iTunes, only the entire soundtrack). This is exciting for me, new Lifehouse music and their newest album isn't even finished! Two songs I definitely recommend are:
1. If This is Goodbye (Bratz)
2. From Where You Are (single track)

The music of Lifehouse has been really meaningful for me. It was the first band that I really noticed the lyrics and how significant they were. It's not always easy these days to find music with lyrics that actually mean something. Their stuff is pretty deep and about real life. It has a lot of feeling. I love Jason Wade's voice, not to mention how he looks while he performs. It's amazing how many guitars he uses in one concert! OK, I will stop talking about Lifehouse and how much I love them. Seriously though, I can listen to their albums over and over and never tire of them!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Anemos Apartments

I just wanted to tell you a little about my trip to Greece and one of the places I stayed. On Mykonos Island, I stayed at the cutest little apartment ever. Anemos Apartments is owned by this adorable Greek family and I had the pleasure of meeting the mother and her two daughters. Everyone was so nice there and helpful, with maps and suggestions of things to do while on Mykonos. The white washed walls and the cobalt blue doors were so fresh and summery, looked just how you would imagine an ideal Greek village to look. I couldn’t have found a better place to stay.

Anemos Apartments was a 5 minute walk from Ornos Beach, so I spent two mornings there. In the afternoon and evening, I went into Mykonos Town to explore the tiny streets, quaint shops, cute pelicans, traditional churches and the summer sun. The streets are so tiny, sometimes it’s even cramped for three people to walk side-by-side. The cobble stone is bumpy and almost all the buildings are white and a few stories tall. The fun of Mykonos Town is getting lost in narrow winding streets.
I enjoyed a nice lunch at Nikos Taverna of pasta with octopus. Octopus is a popular fair on the Greek islands. I walked around all afternoon and evening, photographed the windmills and the Church of Panagia Paraportiani (the most photographed church in Greece) and relaxed at the sun set beyond Little Venice. All in all, I had a great time on Mykonos!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Congratulations to Lindsay and Brian

This past weekend was Lindsay and Brian's wedding! It was a good time and I'm glad to see them so happy. Lindsay's dress and veil were GORGEOUS!!! Best wishes as they begin their life together in marriage. :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Greece and the Agean Sea

I made it back from Greece in one piece. People have been bugging me about pictures, so I finally downloaded them. I’ve uploaded a small portion of photos from Athens and Mykonos. I’m cheap, so I have the limited space version of Flickr…so check out the link on my sidebar. I’ll post a few more in the next week or so. I spent two days in the big city, Athens; two days on the island of Mykonos; and two days on the island of Santorini (Thira). The trip was really great, beautiful scenery, generous people, and delicious food. I feel refreshed for the time being and am grateful to have experienced this wonderful foreign country on my own!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vacation Tomorrow

I'm so excited! I leave for Greece tomorrow :-) This is my first trip away from continent of North America and I'm super excited. I will post some updates when I return!

Potchy - I can't wait to hear about your trip when I get back. Hope you guys are having a great time in Utah.


Monday, January 05, 2009

So this is the year...

Soon, my To Do by 30 List will need to be completed. And unfortunately, I have not accomplished as much as I would have liked.

Things I have yet to do, but could still accomplish:
Travel Abroad
Pay off my car (will definitely happen)

Things I have yet to do, but are likely impossible by the time I turn 30:
Meet my goal weight (my current goal is to lose 15 pounds by my birthday and then I’ll work on the last 10)
Learn to play guitar (I got a new beginner book, but there’s no way I’m going to make that much progress…)
See the Oprah show live (haven’t given it a serious effort and I’ve heard it’s tough to get tickets)
Pursue photography (haven’t given it a serious effort)

I guess some things will have to get pushed to my To Do by 40 List. I also have a feeling that with John going to Iraq in May, I won’t be able to go on a European cruise. Maybe it can be a solo vacation though??

For the past year or so I have felt stuck. I feel like I fell in a ditch and I’m not able to pull myself out, but everyone is passing me by at full speed. Time keeps going and I’m not happy or content with anything about myself or my life. Lots of things seem to be dragging me down: my job, relationships, low self-esteem, home life, etc. I would like this to change. I need to get off my ass, go out into the world, take some action, and go after what I want out of life. If only it were that easy.