Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 in Review

I got up this morning and came to my computer to start my day (as I always do...HA!), and I don't remember what reminded me, but all of a sudden it hit me....

I HAVEN'T WRITTEN MY "2005 in Review" BLOG YET!!!!!

I had planned to work on it and write it over the Christmas break while I was in St. Louis, but I didn't do a single thing on my computer that I had planned to do, and I had a LOT of things planned to do. Oh well...

So, sitting here this morning and realizing that I have today to write this entry, I immediately began researching my year. Looked over calendars, skimmed through my year of blogs, etc. I realized two important things: 1.) This blog entry will NOT be as long and detailed as my 2004 Reviews (yes, there were two), and 2.) A lot of people around my age are getting married....HA!

No really, 2005 was a busy and memoriable time. During this year I...fell in love with the hit television series House; realized I really do love research and statistics, enough that I conducted my own statistical research and ran the data I collected through SPSS for FUN (that was my "Famous People" Study); I openly shared many of my deepest thoughts on religion via my blog; I became a Godmother; I nurtured my Oprah addiction; I got an "A" in every course I took throughout the year; I had to get my first (and second and third) cavities filled; and I experienced having my first ever clients!

There is no doubt this year will be one I will look back upon in my years to come as an important time. And though I previously mentioned two important things I realized when researching for this entry, I will say that there really is two key ideas that rang out to me while I preparing for this blog. This year seemed to center around two main topics: friendships and growth.

This was my first full year away from ACU, so it was a prime time in testing the strength of my ACU friendships. I can report that basically all the friendships that I expected to last, have lasted. of my best friends lives in Houston now, but through our dedication to our friendship, we have remained just as close as when we lived together in my opinion. We talk on the phone to one another usually weekly, sometimes more than once a week.

This year I saw a lot of close friends move into post-undergraduate life; many of which have moved on to very successful teaching professions for which I highly admire! I've had the blessing of being their number fans and hearing about all the office referrals they have written up, hearing about the stapler injuries, hearing about their first ever teacher Christmas gifts, and being there for them when they felt they weren't going to make it to their next "break." There is no doubt in my mind that these women for which I am speaking will be successful teachers for many years to come and I have been so excited to, in a sense, go along with them through their first year of teaching!

This year I saw a LOT of friends get married! I went to five weddings and had one other that I was supposed to go to, but was sick the day of the wedding! These weddings included a friend I met in my University Seminar class my freshman year at ACU (as well as was a member of GATA with), a friend that I pranked her house a many of times (as well as was a member of GATA with), a friend who I met while at ACU (as well as was a member of GATA with) who married a guy that I had known from church since I was in 4th grade, my best friend from St. Louis who married a guy who I had written a letter too back when I was in high school telling him that he was no good enough for her, a friend who I knew from GATA, and a friend who I served on the ACU Student Association with. All in all, I attended weddings in Houston, Lewisville, St. Louis, St. Louis, and Farmers Branch, and should have attended one in Fort Worth. I am happy for all my friends who have found their loves in life and I do wish them all the best! I on the other hand, realize I'm still single, but on a different note, I expect a LOT more weddings still to come (as I have one next weekend I'm attending in Austin).

Also, as I review this year and think about friendships I am reminded that it takes communication to keep friendships going. On one end of this spectrum, I have seen the friendship of one of my best friends from growing up fade. I've tried just about every venue for communicating, but unfortunately, communcation involves two people, so my attempts have come up empty. Though this friendship frustration hurts immensely, I am quick to refocus on what I do have, and that is many wonderful friendship with individuals who communicate back!

One form of communication that stands out this year to me is my friendships that are remained connected via blogs. I am so grateful for the opportunity to keep up with a lot of my friends via their blogs! 2005 has seen many of my friends join the world of blogging: ACU35, Brandi Jo, Ellison, Janaye, Julie, Katey, Sarah, and Slagle. And that of course isn't ALL the people I know that have just starting blogging this year, but you know. But then of course, though they have been blogging longer than just 2005, I can't forget some of my fellow "older" bloggers, because they too have had an impact on me this year via their blogs: Holly, JWalk, Mel, and Linds.

I've also worked on continuing friendships this year with one of the best ways of nurturing friendships--in person contact. This year I saw the beginning of our metroplex Game Nights! These have been quite the success, even though they have been really thrown off because of the holidays, but I do expect them to pick back up in 2006.

If I had to note one friendship that stands out to me this year it would be with my best friend Laura from ACU. I just recently told her that I truly do consider one of my top 5 favorite things from 2005 to be her moving to the metroplex from Abilene! She is easily one of my best friends and I LOVE that we get to hangout once again all the time, like we did back at ACU. While distance can be an obstacle in a friendship it can go both ways on how it affects it, as is evident with my friendship with my friend Laura in St. Louis and with my friendship with my friend Becca in Houston.

Of course I saw a lot of growth in my friendships, whether it be with old friends or new friends I made this year, but besides my friendships I saw a lot of growth in other areas of my life throughout 2005.

The first area of growth I noted while researching for this blog was none other than my blog itself. Back in June I celebrated my one-year anniversary of my blog. And while I had a log of growth during that first year, I have continued to grow since June as well. This year I have seen my number of blog visitors grow, but that is not what I use to measure my blogs growth. I look more internally and note what has taken place, possibly what has brought the visitors.

One thing I've enjoyed about my blog that is new this year is my "Worth Your Time" link on the sidebar of my blog. I don't know if you, or anyone really ever checks that link, but I do change it whenever I happen to come across another blog that really interests me. Sometimes I change it often and sometimes it goes weeks without getting changed. Totally depends on what I seem to find out there in the blogsphere.

Possibly the biggest addition to my blog this year that I view as blog growth, because it is a little something to change up the pace of things, was the Monday blog series I added this year. It started back in April when I had the random idea to have a Monday Picture Blog series where every Monday I posted a fun picture and it was a contest where you could comment with a caption for the picture and a "winning caption" was selected. I enjoyed that series and apparently so did many visitors, but eventually I started to get tired of it and wanted a change. Luckily a better idea came to me in late October. Though the Monday Picture Blog series continued on every Monday from April through October, on Monday November 7th I started a new Monday blog series--Monday's Paint a Picture series. I really have enjoyed this series! I feel it is a good way to honor those who have been an honor for me to know, so through this series I have been able to honor 5 people already and I have two more ready to honor with the start of the new year!

My blog has been important in my life for growth not only for the growth it has had, but because it gives me a place to witness my growth over time. I say this because one of the biggest "growths" for me can be seen over my blog many times.

Probably my biggest growth for 2005 came in the area of my professional growth that I had through my internship this fall. Though it kept me the busiest I've probably ever been because I was at my internship about 30 hours a week and then I still had to work my PAYING job about 14 hours a week, I didn't have much leftover time this fall because that was left for my two classes I was also taking this fall. All in all, I don't regret the busy-ness though, because it was WELL worth it.

Through my internship I got my first real hands on experience of what I want to do as a professional for much of my life to come. Though I went into this intership nervous (which was seen on my blog), I ended up loving it! And though I had no interest in working with the homeless population in my future, I could see myself working with them possibly now. The homeless is a VERY fun population and ALWAYS interesting....I LOVE that...I get tired of the same ole' same ole' after a while! ;)

Through this internship I grew in many areas. I had the opportunity to work a GREAT team of fellow interns and professionals. That was GREAT! I learned how to work well with collegues, which is important in the profession of social work and I grew in my communication skills through working with many clients. I ended the semester with having worked with more than 100 individuals in "significant interactions," that does not include people that I just met, it had to be people that I worked significantly with. Talk about meeting a lot of new people! And I LOVED it! I have clients that ask for me now, when I'm gone for a week or so. I have clients who I have helped whether it be to get them foods, clothes, or a bus pass. I have clients that I've comforted when they experienced a lost, I have clients who I helped to get out of the homeless situation through getting them into shelter or getting them a job, or both. I have learned a LOT from my clients!

Probably the thing I loved the most from my internship was the experience I got from working with several different mental disorders. I LOVE working in themental health spectrum! I loved working with people who suffer from schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, anxiety, malingering disorder, and more that I probably wasn't even aware of. Some of these are some of the most interesting and sometimes challenging personalities to work with, but I loved it!

I grew a lot in my academic career and professional career thanks to this internship. Not only that, but I made a good impression too and have found myself in a situation where I'm getting paid to continue with it for a month or so while they wait for the new interns.

This year has had MANY blessings! Whether I found myself in a situation chatting with a best friend, or in the audience watching a friend say her vows, or listening to a schizophrenic client tell me about the years she had to spend as a hockey puck, it was a year I'll never forget and will look back on with many memorable times!

I hope your 2005 was a time to be proud of and one that will have much meaning in your life as well!

I hope I can say the same for 2006, as I expect to!

Best wishes to you and yours in 2006, friends!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Self-Awareness Exercise #1

Help be more self-aware that is! ;)

Question (obviously for those who know me personally, sorry for you random blog world stalkers I have...HA!): Have you ever, or do you find yourself feeling as if when you have spent time with me that I analyze you while we are hanging out? For example, maybe we were hanging out and you said something or did something, and you thought, "she is so analyzing me in her head based on what I just said/did."

I'm not asking do you think I do this; I'm asking do you, or have you ever, felt that way, in that you felt, "She's analyzing me," or even more, do you ever find yourself thinking, if I tell her something, she will analyze me.

Feel free to post your comment anonymously, should you not want to leave your name. It doesn't bother me either way, not that I feel this question is critical and judgmental either way that you might answer it. But I'm just saying... ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Is Religion Theraputic?

I want some opinions...

What would you say to the statemen: "Religion is the greatest form of therapy."

Monday, December 19, 2005

100 Things I Hope to Accomplish in my Lifetime...

This is a very interesting "100 list" in my opinion. It very well might be different from any list you've ever seen before. This list is based on dreams! What you dream for yourself! I am a big fan of dreaming and dreaming big! I truly believe if you set your mind to something, there is very little that you can not achieve.

This list idea actually came from my friend Misty, who actually got it from her friend Nicole, who actually got it from her aunt, and I don't know if that aunt got it from someone or not...HA! The idea behind this list is to write 100 things you want to try to accomplish at SOME point during your lifetime. That means they could be things far down the road or something you hope to accomplish this year! Apparently what Misty, and the others do with it is to make a scrapbook page for each "task/dream" that you accomplish off your list, so that way when you are all through, you'll have a scrapbook full of 100 pages of "dreams" you accomplished during your life. You know, something to show to the grandkids...HA! As for me though, I don't think I'll do the scrapbook, but I still love having the list to look at and check things off and be proud of them!

Now this list is not a list of things you hope to accomplish like, "Do all my dirty laundry by the weekend." It is dreams. Hopes for your career! Hopes for your family! Dreams of places to travel! Hopes for your educational background!

And the way Misty did it (and possibly the others, I don't know) was that she even included things she has already completed, but they were big goals in her life, like getting her driver's license and graduating college, but I chose to make it 100 things for my future! And I think it is good too that I did this at this point of the year, so I can say starting in 2006, here is my list to start from now!

Now, I'll be honest, I've given this list a LOT of thought. Misty actually shared her list with me over the phone, and I snagged a few of her "dreams" too, as I agreed with them for myself, and that's okay, but I'll be honest, this list is not something you'll be able to whip up in about an hour. It took me about an hour a night for about 3 days. But I DID get my list. And just a note, but your list is not "set-in-stone," you can add things to it that you think of later on and just knock off things that aren't so important or that you change your mind about.

Now originally when I began this list I was anticipating getting it finished so I could post it on my blog, but the more thought I gave to it, and the more I listed things on it, the more I realized how personal this list really is. Now when I say "personal" I'm not saying like things I'm embarressed to tell, but personal in the sense that these are my true hopes and dreams. Many of these things are big time goals I've always thought about in the back of my mind and thought, "Gosh, how I would love to accomplish that!" These are things that are personal in the sense that I might have never shared them with ANYONE before.

Though I'm not one to really be knocked down by people's criticisms or comments, I don't want to take a chance with something like my dreams. I think some of our deepest hopes and dreams are rather personal, if you know what I mean.

So when I came to the conclusion that I was not going to post my 100 list on my blog for complete strangers to visit and possibly try to demolish my dreams, I did come to the conclusion that I do not mind sharing them with my friends. I'm a pretty open person, with a pretty healthly level of self-esteem, so I don't mind sharing my list with my friends. Honestly, I don't mind at all, if you're someone I have an email for, let me know you'd like to see my list by leaving a comment on here and I'll send you my list.

I actually think knowing someone's biggest dreams for themself can tell you SOOO much about them, so I have no problem sharing them with my friends because I feel a close friend might be able to guess a lot of our hopes and dreams, as well as help us to succeed in meeting them! We're all in this thing called life together, folks!

For everyone else who will not get to see my completed list, I will give you this: Below is a small sampling of some of my dreams off my list so you can have an idea of what I'm talking about for things to put on your own list.

(in no particular order)

  • Be in Oprah’s audience
  • Go to a Rascal Flatts concert
  • Get a Ph.D.
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Raise a family
  • Visit Hawaii

See, some can be big and some can be not so big.

Note: When you're making your own list, which I HIGHLY recommend to EVERYONE, dream as big as you want! For example, my list contains some 5 or 6 different professions I'd like to try in my lifetime! Do not be afraid to put things on your list that you might change your mind about in 10 years. Just dream, my friends!

Monday's Paint a Picture Series...

The Monday's Paint a Picture series will pick back up with the new year. So until then...

Friday, December 16, 2005


In honor of the seven deadly sins.....well really just by buddy Ellison tagging me...I present the "seven" survey....

List 7 things to do before I die (in no particular order):
1. Get my clinical license (LCSW)
2. Have my own private practice
3. Publish a book
4. Get married
5. Have kids
6. Get a Ph.D.
7. Attend a Superbowl

List 7 things I cannot (or will not) do:
1. Swim
2. Dunk a basketball
3. Swallow a pill
4. Watch a soap opera
5. Give blood (it makes me want to pass out thinking about it)
6. Sleep with my clients (they have and will ask...HA!)
7. Get contacts in and out of my eyes (though I haven't tried again since high school)

List 7 things that attract me to my spouse(or Opposite Sex):
1. Sense of humor
2. Loves sports
3. Not arrogant
4. Loves to laugh
5. Believes in me
6. Loves my family and friends
7. Gotta love a goatee! HA!

List 7 things I say most often:
1. "Nice, Nice" (I got that one from my internship supervisor and I say it WAY too much now!)
2. "Whatever"
3. "Cool"
4. "Freakin'"
5. "For real"
6. "Riiiiiiiiiiiiight"
7. "Are you kiddin' me?!"

List 7 books or series that I love:
Okay, I have to redefine this section. First I must take a quote from my buddy Ellison's blog that SOOO describes me too, "I love buying books, but I don’t read them. I have tons of books at my house, most of which I’ve never read." See, I love books and I start TONS of books, but I never finish them. Nothing against the book itself, I just can never make myself sit down and read. However, I have the utmost respect for readers, ESPECIALLY nonfiction readers! And I LOVE getting books! I honestly hope to one day read all of them too!

So, here is books I can remember reading completely and then some that I've started that I own (though I might have started them years ago...HA!)

1. The Outsiders (in junior high and I actually read the book! Normally got cliffnotes, but not that time! Good book!)
2. Can't remember the title, but it was about the Oklahoma City Bombing and Timothy McVeigh
3. Zig Ziglar's autobiography
Those are the three I can remember reading cover to cover...HA! Sad, I know. And I'm sure there might be another. I'd just have to think about it. And I'm also sure I've probably lost a lot of respect too because of this confession...HA! Oh well! ;)
4. The Case for Christ [started]
5. The Case for Faith [started]
6. How to Get Published (for sure) [started]
7. Prozac Nation [started]
And there's more, trust me! HA!

List 7 movies I would watch over and over again:
1. Life as a House
2. Million Dollar Baby
3. Remember the Titans
4. The Village
5. Patch Adams
6. Phenomenon
7. Searching for Bobby Fischer

List seven people I would love to join in (if they haven't already done so):
1. Janaye
2. Lindsey
3. Nicole
4. Sarah
5. ACU35
6. Becca
7. JB

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Going Through The Motions...

Do you ever feel like you're just going through the motions each day? Like you find yourself only thinking about a day or a time period up in the future and you just run through the days, day after day until that time just as if you are just "going through the motions" without really paying much attention or giving much care toward anything...

Maybe I'm in more than just a blog stump right now....


Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

As I am currently transitioning between the original volunteers for this blog series and my new set of volunteers, I do not have a honoring blog for this week; however, I do want to thank everyone who has taken time to stop in on Monday's to "support," in a sense, this blog series.

It amazes me how my visitors numbers jump on Mondays. This series has gone above and beyond what I expected it to be. Not only has it been fun for me, but it has also been rewarding for me in ways you wouldn't believe!

Thanks again for those who check here each Monday to see who is next! To see the image of each of these good people as they are painted in your mind by words!

Please be sure to check back next week when I hope to have the next round of honored folks beginning.

For another fun and exciting Monday blog series, I send you over to my buddy Janaye's blog where she should be posting her new MAGNIFICENT Monday Movie Mania Madness (Massively) today!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas From A Different Perspective

It was a year ago today that I posted a post entitled Christmas From a Different Perspective. I really liked that post and I remember a few weeks back thinking I was going to repost it this year too. Then, one week ago today was the much anticipated appearence of Oprah on the Late Show with David Letterman! I know I watched it, along with some 14 million other people, and if you were on of them, you might recall a story Oprah told on there...

As many people know, Oprah grew up poor, and one of the stories Dave asked her to tell was about one Christmas for her when she was little. Oprah explained how one year her mom told her that Santa was not going to be coming to their house that year because she didn't have any money. And Oprah, asked her mom, "You have to pay Santa to come?!?!" And her mom told her yes. Then, on Christmas Eve, 3 Nuns showed up at their door and brought baskets of food and presents for Oprah's family. She said she ended up getting a doll that made her very happy! It made her so excited because now she had something to talk about! She said, "Everyone knows that Christmas is about being able to go out in the yard with all the other kids and talk about what you got." Now she knew everything would be okay because she had something to talk about!

When I heard Oprah's story, not only could I relate, but it immediately reminded me of this blog entry from a year ago, because that's it, as a kid, it is about being able to say what you got, and when you're poor growing up, that's the biggest worry when the holiday times come around; worrying that you won't get anything to talk about to the other kids.

So, without further ado, I give you Christmas From a Different Perspective (and you can click here to see the post from one year ago and see the comments that were left on it there):

So the Christmas season is already in full-swing, incase you haven’t noticed. If it isn’t a blog being written about “Oh how I love Christmas Time!” it is an away message talking about “Putting up decorations” or “Watching a Christmas Movie” which is always followed by a comment similar to the blogs, such as “I love this time of year!”

I’ve never been a Christmas person, actually, not really much for any of the holidays, and with my birthday in the midst of the Christmas season, it makes it an even more dreaded time of the year for me, since I’m not much for birthday’s either.

I was out to eat with the “fam” the other day, we had just finished taking family pictures for Christmas cards. Yeah, I know right, JUST what a person who isn’t into the holiday spirit is looking forward too (especially since we were all dressed alike…HA!) So anyways, we were eating and one of the kids was saying how my aunt is a Scrooge. So I turned to her and was like, “So you don’t like Christmas? Because I don’t either.” And what she said really surprised me because I TOTALLY agreed with her. She said, “Well, it isn’t so much that I don’t like Christmas, it is more that I don’t like that people feel like they HAVE to give people gifts.” It was then that she went on to talk about how when she was little and didn’t have much money, how her grandma felt like she had to get the kids something for Christmas, and since she didn’t have any money she would take them to the dollar store and let them each pick out something for a dollar, or something like that.

I didn’t comment then. I just shook my head and told her I agreed. But I don’t think she knew just how much I agreed or that I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.

Having grown up poor, I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.

Christmas time has a totally different appearance to the poor as it does to those who are “better off” in life. I, obviously only know Christmas from my own perspective, so I will openly share that with y’all, and if you aren’t coming from a perspective similar to mine, maybe it will help you to see Christmas from a different view.

Poor people dread this time of year. If you’re a parent, you worry about if you’ll be able to give your kids a Christmas, not necessarily a “good” Christmas, but a Christmas at all.

First, I realize Christmas and Christmas time is not just about giving and getting presents, but for a parent with small children, you only hope to be able to give your kids some presents like most other families are able to do. And as a small kid, you too, only want to be like everyone else.

Most people have anticipation of what they will get on Christmas morning; poor people have anticipation of will there BE gifts. Some of you might honestly have trouble comprehending this, but it is the truth. Just last Christmas my family didn’t un-wrap a single gift. The only new thing I brought back from St. Louis on my return trip to school was a hair straightening iron I had bought for myself for $10 at Wal-Mart, and honestly, I only used it a couple times because it SUCKED, I have since then bought me a better one.

Now, for me, it didn’t bother me personally that I didn’t un-wrap a single gift last Christmas. I’ve never been much for “getting things” and I take a lot more pleasure in things in this life that aren’t materialistic. But what breaks my heart is thinking about my younger siblings who have to go through a Christmas like that, and then go back to middle school and high school only a week or so after that Christmas day to face their friends.

I went through it when I was a kid, and I’m sure it was the same for them. Going back to school after a poor Christmas was difficult, because you had to face the “What did you get?” questions, and the one I always feared the MOST was, the “What if I have to write a paper or some sort of a journal entry in one of my classes entitled ‘What I got for Christmas’” [Note: to any teacher or future teacher reading this, please don’t ever make your students do that, because you never know who could be having to write those papers, some of those kids might have worried all Christmas break about having to come back and face a paper like that].

In elementary school, middle school, or especially high school, how cool does it make you when your friend is like, “Well I got an X-Box with 4 new games, a stereo system, 4 DVDs, 3 CDs, a ton of new clothes, and a digital camera all for Christmas. What did you get?” and you’re like, “A calendar, a new hair brush, a pair of jeans, a pack of socks, some candy, and a picture frame.” Gosh, being a poor kid at Christmas time is hard. If anything, you just want it to pass, and to avoid all the questions. And if the “what did you get?” questions following the holidays isn’t bad enough, what about all the questions before the holiday, like “Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?” or “What are you asking for for Christmas?” or the “What are you getting for Christmas?” or “Have you found any of your presents hidden around the house yet?” Even having to make a Christmas list for a poor kid is hard because you know when you’re writing it there is no way you’re going to get some of the stuff, so you’re like, “do I put it on there anyways?” or do I make it so all the things on my list are under $10 and I realize I’ll only get a few of them anyways.

As I’ve gotten older, I don’t mind Christmas time for myself anymore, because I don’t care about whether I get gifts or not, because if someone was to ask me what I got for Christmas, it doesn’t bother me anymore to have to admit the truth. I’ve learned there is more to life than how rich you are or what all you own. Whether someone gets $400 dollars worth of presents under the tree or if someone doesn’t even get to put a tree up and their only Christmas gift came from a purchase they made with a couple bucks out of their own wallet, that doesn’t make the person to me.

Luckily too, once you get older, the questions following Christmas are normally the “what did you get for Christmas” kind of questions, it is usually a MUCH better phrased question, “How was your Christmas?” Awww…now THAT one is a GREAT question, because if Christmas is what I believe it should be about, not what you got, but how you felt, you can say “Christmas was GREAT!” even if you didn’t un-wrap a single gift!

I can’t stand the thought that people feel as though they have to buy things for people at Christmas time. And I don’t like all the expectations that come with the Christmas holiday either.

Yes, some people play off their “this is my favorite time of the year” thing with the “it’s not because of the gifts and things, but because everyone is in such good moods and high spirits”, but to me, I ask, why can’t we be in good moods all year round? Why is it just at the time of the holidays? And honestly, I dread Christmas time also because I avoid my favorite store, Wal-Mart, at this time of year because it is SOOO hectic, and I simply can’t wait till the Christmas shopping is over, so I can get back there for my necessities again. HA!

To me, Christmas should just be a day of happiness. No need for gifts, just a chance to talk with those you love and a time for laughter and reminiscing. If Christmas was what I think it really should be, it would be Christmas everyday for me, because it is almost everyday that I am blessed by getting to talk to people I love, usually some of my dear friends and they make me happy and make me laugh.

So, if you’re someone who had the “traditional” Christmas filled with a plethora of gifts to un-wrap the morning of the 25th, just remember your blessings, which include not only those presents, but the other things that Christmas should be about, friends, family, and simple happiness!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ahhhh! Da Memories....

Here goes:If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment here on my blog with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. And please keep them PG rated! Some PG-13's might be allowed...depends on how well you write it! ;)

When you're finished leaving your comment, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

I think this will be fun for all! It's the holiday season a time for recalling the "memories," whether they are real or not! ;)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture Blog...

This week is the week for the last of the original five individuals who volunteered to take part in this blog series I started a little over a month ago.

As the saying goes, “save the best for last!”

Now, I don’t use that saying in meaning that this individual is any better than any of the other individual’s I’ve previously honored throughout this blog series. I say it in reference to her being a “best,” as in a “best friend” of mine. I also purposely chose this individual for the last of the group of five people because when it comes to things she gets really excited about (as in the case with this blog series, because she was really excited to read the blog entry about her), her patience tends to be tested…HA! So, in efforts to help her with working on her patience (as I know she is), I kept her in suspense to see just WHEN she would be honored on my blog! HA! You know I love you, Ellison!

Jennifer Ellison. I consider Ellison to be a best friend!

Although less than four years ago I would have told you Jen was “too cool” for me to hangout with (in my opinion), I have since that time gotten to know the real Jennifer Ellison; the Ellison who is one of my favorite people to be around!

While Jen and I lived in the same dorm our freshman year (but on different floors), we really didn’t meet each other until sophomore year when we ended living in a same dorm again (this time on the same floor) and we pledged the same social club together, GATA. Even then, as I alluded to earlier, I did not hangout with Ellison really. It was not really until some point during our junior year that we started to become close; and honestly, I can’t even remember what started it or why…HA, but boy am I glad we became friends!

I think as I reflect on my friendship with Ellison the thing that stands out most to me is the difference between knowing Jen as in her being “just another one of your GATA sisters” or knowing Jen as “one of your close friends.” You’ll have two different impressions of her depending on which group you fall into (and I don’t say that implying that either impression is a bad impression at all). Both are good impressions that she gives off; however, those who are honored enough to call Jen a close friend are lucky enough to get to see the real Ellison that she chooses to share with a limited few.

Ellison is such a fun-loving caring friend! As much as she likes to give off the “tough girl” impression, she is a very caring person. She definitely cares about those she is close too. She is one who will always stand up for her friends and not let others talk bad about them. She is one to “go” when a friend calls. If these were not enough of a reason to love Jen’s friendship, she offers so much more!

I think the thing that I love the most about Ellison is the spirit that she has about her and always gives off! She almost always seems so happy! I love it! Though I’ve seen her have her tough times, she bounces back so quickly. She normally appears so stress-free. It’s hard to get to Jen and to keep her down!

I can honestly say some of my favorite pictures I have are pictures I have with Jennifer Ellison! Our pictures almost always turn out so well, in my opinion, because we always just seem so genuinely happy! Once again…I love it!

I know one thing that definitely brought Jen and I closer throughout our junior and senior years at ACU was our times involving pranking…HA! I’ve had my fair share of times pranking with Jen, as well as pranking Jen. HA! I LOVED it! Gosh, I can just sit here now and reflect on so many good times I had spent pranking where Jen was involved in some fashion! I’ve been in car chases with Ellison, I’ve spooned yards with Ellison, I’ve “broke-in” people’s houses with Ellison, I’ve fished people’s houses with Ellison, I’ve been on top of Ellison’s house’s roof, I’ve window chalked MANY a cars with Ellison, and many many more pranks! I’m even proud to say my only scar I have that I can tell you what it is from is on my arm from a gash I got from Ellison’s gate during a night of pranking at her house! HA! One of the things I loved most about pranking with Ellison was the child-like excitement pranking would bring out of her! She has a child-like excitement that certain things can bring out of her and it is so much fun to see her in that state! She gets like a young kid on Christmas morning! I love it!

There’s also no doubt that she is one of my favorite people to sit around and laugh with! We have many stories that we reminisce about that literally crack me up every time! She is one of my favorite people to laugh with, as well as to make laugh! I take great pride in being able to make Jennifer Ellison laugh!

But not everything is fun and games with Ellison. I’ve also been lucky enough to have serious talks with Miss Ellison about topics such as religion or topics of leadership or discussing big decisions involving our social club. Having the opportunity to serve as an officer along side Jen for our social club our senior year led to some of those discussions, but either way, I enjoy talking serious with Jen as much as I enjoy having a good laugh with her!

Not only is Ellison a great friend, she is also a very dedicated individual. When it comes to her job, whether that be her professional job, or even just her job as a part of the role she happens to be playing, such as the job and responsibilities that came with her officer position in our social club, you can always count on Jen to do it superbly! She handles huge events so well! She has a knack for making things come together so well. I admire the events she is able to piece together and coordinate. ACU is lucky to have such an individual for their centennial anniversary events’ coordinator!

Overall, I count myself very lucky to have Ellison as a best friend! She brings so much to the table in a friendship—laughter, seriousness, joy, happiness, and a good time! But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Jen is one of my bestest friends! After our hours-long talk at Arby's one day our sophomore year, I knew she would be a good friend for life! When no one else can tell that something is wrong, Jen is always the one who knows... she just knows. And she understands. Her crazy, outgoing personality, and willingness to say funny stuff that everyone else is thinking make me laugh all the time! And, as far as road trips go, there's no place I'd rather be than in the passenger seat with Jen driving! She's so much fun and I'm so blessed to have her as my good friend.
Julie Goen

Wow... so many stories! I remember a week during rushing when we were getting ready for a rush... one of the officers had the responsibility of getting the rush stuff together for a "western" themed rush, and she had assured Jen and me on numerous occasions that the rush decorations would be ready! However, Jen and I spent lots of time preparing for that not happening... and it was a good thing. After finishing up all of our duties on the day of the rush, we heard through the grapevine that one of the most important pieces of the decoration was not ready! So, with around an hour or two before the rush began, Jen and I started making phone calls to find bales of hay... and we found it on the last phone call... in Buffalo Gap! And we had to go get it! Jen drove, of course, and we hauled out to the little store in BG, bought gloves in the store, and loaded the hay with no help! Lots of bales! We hauled back to the Campus Center, put the bales out, and finished it all up... without many people knowing the crisis that could have been (maybe a little exaggeration!) But, it wouldn't have been complete without the hay, and Jen is the one who took her time to do that! She's awesome!
Julie Goen

Jennifer Ellison is a friend, confidante and sister to me. She makes my heart smile and my soul laugh. In fact, she makes me laugh more than anyone else I know, Over the past few years our friendship has grown and she has become part of my family. My parents consider her one of the kids and I think of her as a little sister. (Even though I forget our age difference at times!)
Jama Cadle

Jennifer exudes fun and is such a thoughtful, caring person. She always thinks of her friends and when she loves, she loves 110%. My husband, my parents and I are so blessed to have her in our lives. She is truly one of my best friends and I love her dearly!

Jama Cadle

A lot of people wonder how and why Jennifer and I became friends. After all, she is 8 years younger than me. And sometimes, I wonder too. But, right from the start, she and I hit it off and became forever friends. She has become a member of my family and is truly like a little sister to me (although I have to work on not treating her like a childJ). I can’t explain why, but I love Jennifer and would do anything for her. She has always understood me and has always been there when I just needed someone to listen. She is her own woman and definitely has her own opinions – sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, but no matter what the circumstance we have a mutual respect for one another. I value her thoughts. She loves to laugh and she always makes sure I am up to date with the latest fashion trends and new music. I’ve been told by relatives that Jennifer use to dislike shopping – and now she out-shops me. We have many mutual friends that have thought we were related. It makes me laugh! I enjoy her company and hanging out. She is always thinking of nice things to do for me and when I’ve had a bad day – and there are times where I’ve had some really challenging days - she sends me a card or a little token of love and it makes everything better. From flowers to funky gifts – it’s something she has given from her heart. Jen isn’t an emotional person, in fact, there aren’t many who have seen her get emotional – but I consider it a privilege that Jen confides in me and has allowed me to see her emotional side. Jen can be reserved with most people and you don’t quite know what she is thinking. I consider myself lucky that I can read her facial expressions and body language and will instantly know what she is thinking. Jennifer is one of my best friends, she’s a woman of strength, a person of character and I can’t imagine her not being a part of my life. I am truly blessed.
Amber Peck

Jennifer likes to surprise me. I don’t know why, she just does. One year for my birthday she took me to Dallas for shopping and we had a makeover. I had mentioned it in passing once and she remembered and called my husband to let him know that she would be borrowing me for the day. We went shopping and had a great day – she had a better makeover than me and ended up spending more money J. I personally thought it was funny. I appreciate the fact that Jen remembers the little things. She truly enjoys making her friends feel special – so much in fact, that Jen put together another surprise trip for my birthday this year.
Amber Peck

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Professionals' Language...

I'm curious what y'alls thoughts are on this matter...

Does anyone else seem to carefully note professionals when they are acting in the role of their profession and they use a "curse" word?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging and condemning anyone from using a "cuss word." I've definitely used my fair share throughtout my life, but I've always found I take close note when I hear one from the mouth of a professional when they are supposidely "acting in their role of a professional."

I just say this tonight, because I thought it was interesting with the psychologists that were at our house this evening having dinner with our family. Though it was a casual dinner setting, they were there for professional purposes, though I'm sure they wanted it to appear as "normal" as always, but whatever the case, one of the gentleman said "damn" on two occassions while he was conversing with the family around the dinner table. The second time he said it he apologized however. And yes, it wasn't like there were extremely young children around the table, I mean the youngest "kid" there was 12, but still, I just noted that.

I've always been one that is careful to completely have a feel for my surroundings before I use profanity, if I plan to use it at all. However, I suppose this could be looked at as "how bad is damn."

Whatever the case, I don't want to seem as if I'm even limiting this to a psychologist, as I am sure most of you are aware, from one of my previous posts about the professor I have this semester who told our class to "Get off our asses and help, or stop saying s**t." Then proceeded with "Just shut the f**k up." And then there was the lawyer I went to about a month back for prepping who used "s**t" and "smartasses" on several occassions just in our brief 20 or 30 minute talking.

Maybe it's just me, but it just always makes me perk up more when I'm in a setting with a professional who cusses without apparent second thought to his/her surroundings. I just don't feel professionalism and cussing go together so much.

I guess it just comes down to my belief that as a professional, especially with the education these types of professionals I'm referring too should have, I would feel they would be more courteous and sensitive to their surroundings.

If this makes any sense, I'm not saying I think a person is "bad" for using a damn or an ass in their talk every so often, I just feel in the role of a professional it should be something that is taken into consideration in situations, as is an individual's dress code for certain situations.

[Disclaimer: I'm on Nyquil right now, so I can tell my typing is really off, and I don't think my thoughts are coming clear either....HA! Sorry.]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Being a Single Female Around the Holidays...

I thought this was really pretty funny and I saw it off a friend's blog that I go to school with. If is some article she found somewhere. Pretty good!
Enjoy all you single women! ;)

P.S....I'm currently looking for a date to my office Christmas party! ;)

‘Why I hate the holidays’
By Anna David

Ah, the holidays. Traffic is worse than ever, lines are interminable, my stress-inducing family is beckoning me home and everyone else has someone to take to their office Christmas party. That’s why it’s so tempting to relish in those woe-is-me-and-the-rest-of-us-single-people pity parties. Sure, happily coupled people can say it’s no big deal and to enjoy it sans date. But, hey, that’s because they don’t have to deal with, for starters, these six reasons I find single-dom particularly loathsome during the holiday months. Read on, see if you don’t agree with me, and let’s work towards finding our matches in 2006!

1) There’s no one to assure me that I’m not fat after I inhale the entire plate of chocolate chip cookies/box of truffles/foil-wrapped Santa.
There’s no doubt about it: I like to eat things that are bad for me, and I like it even more when I have an excuse. Though not a great one, having so many more decadent foods around during the holidays makes me much more likely to indulge—especially when you factor in those awkward gaps in conversation when I’m stuck talking to, say, the halitosis-afflicted assistant to the head of HR at the office Christmas party. So I keep eating... and then don’t have a sweetie around to assure me that no matter how many mini pecan pies I’ve scarfed down, I still look just lovely.

2) Since I have no date for the office Christmas party, I get stuck talking to the most socially awkward person there (see above).
Of course, I could bring a good female friend, but then I might risk inadvertently “coming out,” which would be unfortunate since I’m not gay, no matter what Mom suspects is the reason I haven’t given her grandchildren yet. I could just bring a guy who’s presentable, but if I knew one of those, I’d surely be dating him. So I am sentenced to spend the office festivities listening to someone list all the many and wondrous features of the new copier that’s been ordered or how the new legal-sized file folders are going to improve my life.

3) The long lines and bumper-to-bumper traffic feel like a whole lot more work than they did when I had a boyfriend.
When I’m shopping for someone I’m gaga over, I can think, “It’s worth sitting in this back-to-back traffic to get to the yarn store with the 45-minute wait because he’ll love the scarf I make him more than life itself. And this scarf will communicate to him just how strongly I feel about him.” But how excited can any girl get about a present for, like, her sister?

4) My “holiday spirit” runs unfettered.
I’ll never forget the time that, caught up in the holiday spirit, I baked cookies, then decided to give them to a slew of random people whose help I’d appreciated over the year. One of my cookie recipients was the guy who sorted the mail at the magazine where I toiled. The reward for my random act of domesticity was several hundred winks and leers, which continued long after I explained that my cookie baking wasn’t a sign of a latent crush. At least if I’d been dating someone, I could have funneled all that home ec energy into doing something nice for him. (Pathetic, but you know it’s true.)

5) Having to answer the infamous “Who are you seeing now?” queries from random relatives.
Holidays mean interactions with everyone from Aunt Barbara to Grandpa Bob and the interrogation process can often begin before I’m prepared. “You look good—seeing anybody yet?” a relative might whisper while kissing me on the cheek. Even though the queries have diminished with every year that passes (a fact I’m not sure whether to slot in the “good” or “bad” category), I never seem to have a response that suggests anything other than the fact that I’m destined to be the family’s freaky spinster with the 400 cats.

6) New Year’s Eve. Midnight.
Need I say more?

So let’s get out there, get dating, and be happily coupled up come December 31th, 2006!

Anyone Else Interested?

So I have one more individual who volunteered "back in the day" to be a part of the "blog experiment" that I was calling it then, though it is now known as my Monday's Paint a Picture blog series. That one remaining person will be honored next Monday, but should this series continue, I'll need more individual's who would like to be a part of it for the Mondays after next week.

Now I can't speak for any of the ladies who have already been a part of this series, but I would venture to say that from the feedback I've gotten from a many of the individuals who have been honored thus far, that it has meant a lot to them, a few I have been told it even brought tears (which is a cool thing if you ask me!).

I can tell you this much from my end of things:
--I've enjoyed doing my end of the series. I enjoy the love of expressing why I admire these friends of mine so much, as well as the challenge of expressing my love for them in words that shows why they are such cool people to me!
--I've also enjoyed the opportunity to share what amazing people I know with some of y'all who might not know them. That in its self is cool! Especially if you're anything like me and you enjoy meeting new people (or just hearing about cool people I suppose! HA!)

I can tell you it will take this much from you:
--You'll have to send a email out. That will be your end of the bargain. Should you be lucky enough, you might get to send out one or more other emails, but those I can't tell you for sure.
--That's pretty much it from your end. Send out one email (maybe two or three, POSSIBLY), and then just sit back and wait for your day to be honored! It's that simple my friends! HA! ;)

I do have to remind everyone that unfortunately this blog series IS limited to those readers who I know. Maybe I'll work on my next blog series for those readers I have yet to officially meet! ;)

Should you be interested in taking part in this blog series, leave me a reply to this entry. HOPEFULLY I'll have your email address, so then I can proceed with your end of the bargain that way.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

Nicole Ashley. Though I can honestly say I’ve never gotten real close to Nicole, I do consider her a friend and someone with whom I respect for different reasons!

I met Nicole my junior year at ACU. She was pledging the social club I was a part of, GATA. I remember thinking then, as well as now, how I respect people who are willing to give rushing and pledging a social club a shot, when they are no longer the “typical” sophomore pledge. Though I was a member already and Nicole was a pledge, she was older than me, and I respected that. I think it says a lot about a person who is willing to go through the pledging process with a group of ladies who aren’t of the same educational class, who do happen to mostly be younger than you. I think it shows a state of dedication and drive. I know many individual’s who once they ended up not pledging their sophomore year, refused to give pledging another thought in the years to come, simply because, “all my friends are already a part of the clubs, I don’t want to have to pledge alone.” That didn’t stop Nicole!

I saw Nicole as a trooper! I still see Nicole in that way. I have had the opportunity to keep up on Nicole, though she is currently practically across the world from me now, via her online journal. Honestly, I don’t remember how I came across her journal, but I’m glad I did. I enjoy reading her entries, and many times they remind me of what a trooper she is! Nicole stands up and speaks up for what she believes! I respect that! Many times I’ll click to her journal and find an entry about her views on something, and whether I share the same view or not, I respect an individual who is willing to stand firmly behind what she believes. Nicole does!

Not only do I enjoy reading Nicole’s journal because of the specific entries, but because I can almost always count on finding an updated entry almost every time I click there! Though I haven’t kept my blog updated as frequently lately, I normally am a regular blogger. So is Nicole! I have a handful of blogs I can click to and more times than not expect to see a new entry on a daily basis; Nicole’s blog is one of those!

Nicole’s frequent blogging represents yet another quality she possesses that I respect and share actually; that is her love for computers and the internet! It’s funny but, many of my memories of Nicole from my ACU days involve computer talks, many times at CompUSA, which was where she worked! I fell in love with CompUSA my junior year, and still love that store today! I actually had to spend several days at CompUSA my junior year because of some computer issues, and I always looked forward to seeing Nicole there when I would go. I always knew she would be able to help me with whatever questions or problems I was having with my computer. She knew her stuff and that I loved!

I actually look at the computer world as what has kept Nicole and I in touch to this day! Not only has it been through our blogging lives, but I actually have had the pleasure of keeping in touch with her via Instant Messenger. I’ll never forget one day when I randomly IMed Nicole out of the clear blue, it was our first time to IM each other, I’m pretty sure. I just kind of wanted to say “Hi” and stuff, and it turned into a long great discussion!

Nicole and I shared so much about ourselves. We discussed everything from religious beliefs, in depth religious beliefs at that, to going to ACU and the life of dealing with parents! HA! It was cool chatting with Nicole about things, because even though neither of us had really talked a whole lot, especially in depth about much, before this time, I found that we were both really pretty open individuals who were willing to express our own opinions and thoughts on things, and still respect each other no matter what our opinions might have been (whether in sync or not). Not only that, but it was actually real interesting to see how similar we were in many a lot of our life situations and thoughts! HA!

Nicole is a friend with whom I respect for a number of reasons! She is definitely an individual I’m glad I can say I know! There is no doubt that she is a lady with much ambition and willingness to have fun in this life! But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Nicole is such a good friend. She listens to me when I need someone to talk to, and is so concerned for my well-being. She's very smart and has a thirst for knowledge and adventure which I think is very cool. She's a friend like no other I've had.

Nicole was always a pretty good sister (and she still is), but over the past 3 or 4 years she has become so much more than that. We've managed to do what not a lot of people can successfully manage-- get over the fact that we're related and actually become friends. And that's what she is to me-- one of my closest and most trusted friends.
Ruth Ashley

Nicole and I have been friends for 24 years which is a pretty long time considering we are only 24 years old.Even though Nicole has moved a number of times throughout her life and I have stayed in the same spotwe always keep in touch. My best memories of Nicole are when we were little and she would come home withme (or her grandparents) who lived across the street from me) after church on Sunday. We would then play"Little House on the Prairie." We would make mud pies and dress my cat up in doll clothes and pull heraround the block in my little red wagon. As we got older we still had a lot in common and would spend ourtime at coffee houses or watching movies. It's great to have a friend that has been there for so long.

Nicole is a great friend because she always listens and never judges. She is very opened minded and is willing to try new adventures. Her carefree personality inspires me to not take life so serious and to always remember to have fun.

Nicole is my oldest sister, and there is possibly no greater bond than between sisters, however cliche that may sound. She is a major influence in my life. We are a lot a like. She is always willing to listen to my teen-angsty issues and offer me her advice. Since she has already been through whatever I'm going through, she fully understands me. Nicole is entertaining, fun, and a STRONG LEADER :-P !

I first met Nicole during welcome week our freshman year, and I knew from that moment on, we would be friends. The first thing she did when she met me was push me down. You see, our first meeting was during mud day. For those of you who do not know the joys of mud day, well, I feel sorry for you. Anyway, she introduced herself and we discovered we were both from the Lubbock area and our friendship grew from there. Nicole has always been there for me through the hard times and she has never been afraid to tell me the truth; even when it wasn't what I wanted to hear. She is one of my dearest and closest friends and one of the few people that I can be completely unguarded with. Nicole, I love and miss you dearly and I hope to see you soon.
Kelly Flynn

Things are never boring when Nicole is around... particularly when you're driving hundreds of miles without a working radio or cd player. Many an interesting jingle was created under such circumstances. No; it's never boring.

Ruth Ashley

One of my favorite memories with Nicole was steeling her roommate, Courtney’s, pledge book and finding the secret location of the homecoming float they were building. Driving out there in the middle of the night, getting lost twice, and being scared out of our minds. After we found their hiding spot we put signs up letting the club know that there secret was out. When we were done taking plenty of pictures to commemorate the moment we drove back home. We spent hours that year going through Courtney’s stuff and making fun of her “diamonds are forever” life style. It was great!

On Christmas, Nicole and I would always be the first ones awake. Our other sister was NOT a morning person and would sleep until noon. My parents did not want to wake up at the crack up dawn just for presents, so they would say we weren't allowed to wake up anyone else until 6 am. Nicole and I would usually be awake by 5, and we'd just hang out and talk (and maybe sneak peaks at the presents). Then we'd venture together to wake up everyone else. Ruth was a challenge, but we always found some creative way to get her up... spraying water, jumping on her bed... I think once we PLOTTED to ring the stupid Taboo buzzer in her ear, but never went through with it.

One memory I have is when we were sophomores at ACU, every other day I had time off in the afternoon to go home and watch one of favorite soap operas. Since she lived off campus we would "watch it together" at our respective places, and then call each other during commercial breaks to discuss what happened. I remember it was so funny that as soon as the break ended we could just hang up. No explanation needed. No goodbye's. Just click. Nothing could make us a miss a word. It may seem kind of silly and trivial. But I couldn't have done that with just anyone. It's a funny special memory for me and it could only have been shared with Nicole.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Family Time = Movie Time

I bet this is one of the top weekends for watching movies. Possibly even more movies than Christmas weekend. I mean I suppose a lot of people get movies for Christmas gifts, and they probably watch those too, but they probably get a lot of other gifts that they like to "play" with as well, so maybe there is more "movie watching" on Thanksgiving "weekend" (AKA...Wed. night through Sunday).

I don't know about y'all, but I know a LOT of movie watching went on here this "weekend." And actually, I'm not a huge movie watcher, but I was one this weekend (for some strange reason).

Let me know what movies y'all watched throughout this "weekend." Either at your house, or even out and about at the theaters fighting the shopping crowds and traffic!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

100 Things About Me (the remix)

Okay, so this “List 100 Things” about yourself thingy that is coming back around again in the blogging community. Yeah, I’ve already done it twice: here and here. And while I have NO FEAR in sharing 100 more things about myself, I thought it would be interesting to take the 4 people I know that just recently did this activity and see how many of the 100 things they posted I can say about myself. Sooo…how alike (in a sense, based on the random things that happened to come to their minds while they initially filled it out) am I too these friends! ;)

NOTE: Most of the things I kept word for word off their blogs. Only a couple things did I take off an ending or something that wasn’t too crucial.

Janaye (15 things in common)
If I were a boy I would so play football! Football is my absolute favorite sport!!
I was a psychology major my freshman year
I pretty much love every type of music there is!
I have never used any illegal drugs
I have never been a smoker
I'm single...
I love math!
I am the biggest procrastinator
I used to collect comic books
I'm afraid of heights
I am and always will be Michael Jackson's #1 fan
I want to get married one day
I hate dressing up
I love you!
I miss you ;)

Lindsay (16 things in common)
Being liked is VERY important to me.
If I like you then I like you... if you drive me insane I will tell you.
I love to be complimented.
If you compliment me, you are usually on my good side.
I have never used any illegal drugs
I'm single…
Rodents scare me a lot.
I am the biggest procrastinator
I hate to dress up.
I despise users... a lot.
I accept people who are different from me... but not people who pretend to be something that they are not.
Naye means a lot to me... a whole lot.
I love popcorn.
I think that the best way to be a friend is to love someone.
I love to laugh
I love things that smell good
I love you guys

JWalk (9 things in common)
I want to work for a magazine.
I tuck my pajama pants into my socks in the winter.
Sometimes I can't shut up and sometimes I can't say a word.
I've also never read To Kill a Mockingbird.
I'm really good at Dance Dance Revolution.
I use my right hand to do everything because I'm right handed.
If you want to make my day, send me an email (or flowers) for no particular reason.
I've never seen the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
I've only been on two airplane trips.

Julie (11 things in common)
I hate school.
But I love learning.
I hate the division that political parties have caused.
I plan to have laser eye surgery within the next five years.
I don’t sleep well.
When I grow up, I want to have at least 6 different careers… therapist, author, professor, editorial journalist (is that what they are called?!), public speaker, mom.
I’ve only broken one bone in my lifetime – my collarbone when I was two (actually on my second birthday to be exact!).
I think it’s fascinating to look at maps.
I enjoy having deep conversations with people, because I almost always come out with a different, more developed opinion of the subject.
I’m inspired by people who do good things and know they won’t be recognized for it.
I like to drive with my windows down.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

Julie Goen. Though Julie and I pledged the same social club, GATA, our sophomore year, I honestly can’t recall any memories of us until the latter part of that school year, simply because we just hung with different crowds back then (plus, I have a TERRIBLE memory! HA!).

It was the end of our sophomore year and Julie and I had both decided and were running for our social club’s secretary position for our junior year. She ended up with that position, and for that I was thankful, as I used that next year to dedicate my time to being the best member I could be! Julie on the other hand used that opportunity to prepare herself for bigger and better things; things she was destined for, in my opinion!

Still throughout our junior year, Julie and I really didn’t interact much, other than club functions, and even those times were rather limited, as I mentioned, we both kind of stuck to our own “groups” I guess you could say (NOTE: I don’t say that in ANYWAY to make it sound like we had anything against each other, or that we were snobby, we just usually hung out with different people).

Then the end of our junior year came around, and once again, it was officer election time. Wouldn’t you know it, Julie and I found ourselves in the same situation again, not only for one office, but running for TWO of the same offices: President and Secretary. Because of this, I NEVER got to hear a Julie Goen election speech, since we were always running for the same offices, so I was kept out in the hall during her speeches (as was she during mine; however, I can tell her she didn’t miss out on as much as I did, I assure her! HA!).

I ended up dropping out of the President race during my speech that year. I did this for a number of reasons, but one being that I wanted to see Julie in that position more! I had full confidence in standing behind Julie as our social club president! And though one other individual was running for the presidential position, Julie got the majority of the club’s votes, making her our president our senior year. That in its self speaks of how Julie has the respect of her peers!

Since I did happen to get the secretary position, I had the privilege of serving as an officer along side Miss Julie Goen our senior year! I suppose you could say this “made” us start hanging out in the same group some! HA!

When I look back on my time serving our club with Julie I become overwhelmed with her ability to lead. Honestly, I would not consider Julie to be a very vocal leader; President or not. Don’t get me wrong, she talks when needed and speaks for those who don’t have a voice, but her silent leadership skills are what I admired the most! Julie was always someone I looked to as a great example!

Yes, she always had/has the best sense of fashion. And yes, she wasn’t one who did the “bad things.” But most importantly, Julie knew when to be quite and let others led. She knew how to make others feel important and encouraged! She was never one to always want the spotlight. Julie knew when to guide and lead by actions rather than words. She was a great example of someone you could look to when you were not sure what to be doing yourself.

I have always admired Julie! I have much respect for the person she was then and is today. I’ll admit that even though we served as officers together for a year, I feel I have gotten closer to her over this past year through the blog community.

In all honesty, Julie’s blog is easily in my top five favorite blogs to read! Though this will sound weird, and I don’t want it to come off as bragging, though I know that’s how it will, her blog reminds me a lot of my own (I hope that isn’t a bad thing…HA!). I enjoy the topics she chooses to write about, as well as the route she takes when writing the entries. I think the thing I like most about her blog is the way her intellect shines through her writing. Julie is very intelligent (though she doesn’t give herself that credit most of the time)! She truly is one of my smartest friends!

Julie is a thinker, and I TOTALLY respect that! You can bet that if Julie has a decision to make, she will think it out and make a wise choice. This is just one of the qualities about Julie that makes me assured that she will do big things in her life ahead!

On a value-note, I respect Julie for her devotion to school to continue on toward a graduate degree. I too am sitting in that same boat, and since there are a limited few of us from our groups of friends who ventured down this route, it reminds me of a common bond I have with Julie once again!

So many times I feel as if Julie and I think in similar manners. I’ve always thought, ever since I really started to get to know Julie, maybe the latter part of our junior year or so, that we are more alike than we might think…HA! And I don’t say that to scare her, or for that matter, anyone that might not know her, but knows me….HA! Despite what that comment might lead your thoughts too (HA!), Julie is a GREAT person!

Julie is someone that if you’re blessed enough to know her, especially to call her a friend, you will be blessed forever by her gentle spirit! But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Julie was my roommate for 4YEARS in college, yes I said 4 years. I think that has to be some sort of record for putting up with/living with a person (other than family or spouse). Julie is such an intelligent, ambitious women who so many wonderful characteristics that I could not even list them all. I know that she will find a wonderful man that will compliment all of her qualities and will treat her like a queen!
~Your roommie, Kbob

I have always respected Julie so much because she knows who she is and what she stands for and that doesn't waver, no matter what. Probably one of my most vivid memories with Julie was during pledging our Senior Year. Kacey Sullivan and I wanted to do something mean to the Flames during an activity and Julie kept telling us no. We got frustrated and tried to guilt and goad her into it. She turned around and looked at me and said that GATA stood for something and she stood for something and that she would under no circumstances let us do anything to jepordize either. I still wasn't really happy with her, but looking back- I'm glad she didn't let us be mean to them. I would've regretted it later, and Julie was kind of my moral compass that night when mine was a little skewed.
Katey Earles

Julie is an amazing friend. Julie is one of those friends that you can go 3 months without seeing, but when you finally get a chance to see her…it’s like no time has passed. Julie is sensitive, emotional, smart, funny, beautiful and warm all wrapped up. Her drive and intelligence never cease to amaze me. On a materialistic side…Julie has some of the best fashion sense of anyone I know! Julie is definitely a New Yorker born in Texas! I’ve seen Jules laugh till she cried and cry till she laughed! I’ve seen her at her best and at her worst. And the great thing is…she’s definitely seen me at my worst…and still loves me! Her family is amazing and they have done a fabulous job of instilling strong, Christian morals in Julie. I can’t wait to see where God takes her! She’s definitely going to do something GREAT!
Jennifer Ellison

I love Julie because she is Julie. Julie can always laugh at herself, even if the situation really is pretty embarrassing. I love her sense of humor, and how she can always make me laugh. She is also one of the most genuine people I've ever met- she doesn't pull any punches, but if Julie is your friend you never have to question whether or not she will be there for you. She will always be upfront and honest with you and I respect that a lot.
Katey Earles

Though I have MANY, many memories with Julie but the one that I most remember that touched my heart was during our junior year of college. I got sick, I mean really sick and she took me to the hospital and stayed with me the whole time even through the night. She even stayed while I was throwing up constantly and my boyfriend wouldn't even stay in the room. She demonstrated true friendship even in the roughest times. That is just one of many memories when Julie was there for me. I love you Julie and you know that I am always here for you!
~Your roommie, Kbob

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Love You...

Isn't it interesting that it takes someone being so close to death before they will take the time and get the "guts" to tell those they love that they love them? For instance, when someone in the picture suddenly is diagnosed with a terminal illness, we all start telling everyone how much we love them. Interesting...

Today, did you drive down a street? Did you drive down a two-lane street? Did you pass any on-coming vehicles? Was there more than a yellow line and a few inches between you and that other vehicle?

Sometimes I think we forget just how "close to death" we all are on a daily basis...

Have you told someone you love them today?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

Amanda Basch, though most my friendship time with her was spent referring to her as McGuirk; that’d be her maiden name. Yeah, that’s right; she’s one of those friends I have that has another half now! ;) Mr. “Other Half” actually is her high school sweetheart, so that’s cute! Way to go to the two of them! But besides being one of my wedded friends, Amanda and my friendship actually goes WAY back to….uhhhh…well…actually to an enemyship…HA! And actually, if I really think about it, I think it was probably more of a battle we had going between one another based on competitiveness.

Amanda and I met in 5th grade; and I know it is safe to say we despised one another then, and yes, Amanda would agree! HA! Honestly, I think our battle came down to an unconscious battle for “smartest kid in our grade,” or at least when it came down to math. We both were two of the few individuals in our grade level in our school’s gifted program and if we did not find enough grounds to compete on in there, we made up for it in what was called Academic Olympics, which was held once a year and it had several different subject areas. Well it just so happened that Amanda and I were always participants in the same subject area, and since our school could send two individuals from our grade level in the math area, it ended up being the two of us. The kicker for us was the fact that since this was such a big event where the elementary schools in the district competed against one another, it was important that you represent your school well, so we would spend weeks and weeks prior to the competition practicing. So, what did our math sponsoring teacher think was the best thing for us? Studying together. NO!!! We couldn’t stand one another!

I’ll never forget those days when we would be placed out in the hall during like math time or some other part of the day to study for our competition together and we would purposely sit as FAR apart as we could in the hallway, refusing to study with one another…HA! It literally cracks me up to think about it now, but Amanda and I laugh about it together today, as we have throughout our FRIENDship past!

Even in sixth grade, I can remember still messing with one another, though we did not truly still “despise” one another still at that point I don’t think. I think in junior high we had become pretty good friends and in high school even better friends. Exactly why we started to be friends I don’t recall, probably because we shared a lot of mutual friends, as well as always found one another in the same classes, or maybe we just finally grew-up….HA! Whatever the case, I count the friendship we ended up establishing a good one that thankfully still lasts to this day!

Amanda is one smart cookie! She obviously always was at the top of the class throughout elementary, junior high, and high school. She was one of our seven, I believe there was, valedictorians of our graduating class in 2000 with a straight-A grade point average. If I remember correctly, she normally showed me up in those math competitions; well at least for sure in high school she did…HA! We even were both members of our high school chapter of National Honor Society. I suppose in a sense our competitive nature continued throughout our grade school career!

Even today we find ourselves in somewhat similar states in reference to schooling, but I view it more of a sense of respect rather than competitiveness nowadays. Though we are both in graduate school as I speak, we are both heading down different tracks; neither math related might I add…HA! I admire Amanda for the route she is heading, and though I haven’t always held the law profession in such intellectual respect, I have recently had a change of heart on the matter. I truly believe one of the qualities it takes for a lawyer to be a GOOD lawyer is an extreme level of intelligence, taking that into consideration; I can see Amanda accomplishing that feat! She has the intelligence it takes, I’m sure of it! I would be proud to have her defending and debating my case anyday!

Amanda is also someone I respect not just for her intellect, but for her gentle and caring spirit as well! She was always one of the good kids growing up. And though that might have been somewhat of a trait that was looked down upon by some our peers while in grade-school, it is something to hold in great respect nowadays. Amanda didn’t need to cuss to impress people, or to make herself look “cool.” She didn’t need to standout in the crowd to establish her place among her peers. She just always had a smart and gentle word to share among our friends.

Even today, while she might be rather soft spoken, or prefer to sit back and take-in what’s going on with the crowd around her, rather than be the talk of the gathering; she manages to impress her peers with her presence.

I’ve been honored to keep in touch with Amanda over the past years as I have left our hometown area. But even more than that, I’ve been glad that we have made an effort to play catch-up on our friendship this past year and even got to hangout last Christmas when I was home! It’s great to have friendships that have lasted for more than a decade! People who can say they have seen you grow through many stages of your life, but know the real you that is still there in some form or fashion, whether it be you in a high schooler’s body, or you as a professional approaching the judge’s bench. Whatever the case, long-time friends are some of the friendships an individual must treasure the most! So for that, I’m honored to have a friendship with Amanda still today, even if it did start out with funny circumstances! ;)

Amanda represents someone I know I’m honored to be able to call a friend! She’s a great person to know, but don’t take my word for it…

I can describe Amanda in two words…
Never afraid to...
tell her family how much she loves them
show you how much she cares
look silly in public
laugh out loud and make you want to laugh along with her
roll up her sleeves and work hard (physically or academically)
believe in herself
speak her mind ( a good thing )
to do the right thing

Passionate …
her family
helping others
giving of herself
making a difference in the world

her studies
her work

her beliefs
living life to its fullest
everything she does
~Amanda's Aunt Maureen

I am Amanda's cousin. She has always been the sweetest person. Amanda has always been a very hard worker and determined to accomplish anything she sets out to do. She is one of the most intelligent people I know.
~Kimberly Reed

I call Amanda "the lovely Amanda" because she has an Audrey Hepburn grace and humor about her. She has the cutest laugh of anyone I have ever known. My favorite memories of her involve her laughing and being funny.
Love and Hugs ... your Aunt Catherine.

I remember when she was getting married and my niece was all set to be the flowergirl. Well, my sister has 2 other small girls and I have a young daughter also - so to make them all feel included Amanda let them ALL get dressed up and be included. The thing that really amazed me was when my daughter started crying to be picked up in the middle of the wedding and I was a bridesmaid. I stood up there holding a little kid for the rest of the wedding and Amanda didn't mind one bit. I cared - I felt completely horrible that I might have ruined her wedding. Then watching my beautiful little cousin at her wedding reception and thinking about what a wonderful person she was made me cry. She is going to do great things in her life!
~Kimberly Reed

There are many wonderful memories of Amanda but if I had to pick one that best describes her it would be about her wedding. A wedding is usually a sort of selfish time for the bride. Most brides only focus on what theywant. Throughout the planning she took special care to include everyone and make all involved feel special. It brought tears to my eyes realizing what a beautiful young woman she had become, inside and out. As elegant and beautiful as she looked she had not loss her carefree sense of humor or childlike joy of things to come which makes her so special.
~Amanda's Aunt Maureen

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I'm a BIG fan of encouraging others, but I also know the importance of encouragement to one's self. Today in our team meeting for my internship we talked about the termination process, but not really so much focusing on the end of our time with our clients. Today we focused on the end of our team. It does not have to mean the end of our friendships, just that we won't be a team any longer.

The individual who was leading our team meeting spoke on the importance of being sure to get the strengths as well as the weaknesses from your team members. We ended up doing an activity where we passed around blank sheets of paper with our name on the top and everyone wrote something about you. It was unfortunate that we didn't get any "weaknesses" about ourselves out of the activity, but none the less, it made for a really encouraging meeting!

Here are the comments I got on my paper...feel free to try to guess which two comments came from my two instructors/supervisors. One of those being the only male on our team and the other individual being a doctorate level professor.

Cool, calm, collected. You'll be a great social worker!

So thoughtful--good example of the power of quiet.

Your appreciation of the human spirit and thoughtfulness is wonderful!!

Kimberly--what can I say? I couldn't have asked for a neater partner & friend on this journey! Thank you!

Kimberly...whatever!! But seriously, I have really enjoyed my time with you and wish you the very best. So long sucker!

You are an inspiration. I admire how you take on everything @ 110%.

Great sense of humor and very insightful!

I think it is very important to get feedback from those you are working with. But I don't think that is the only place feedback is important from. I was actually just telling my supervisor today during our supervision session, PRIOR to us doing this activity in our team meeting, how I loved the activity my fellow intern and I did with our "older" women's group that we lead a weekly discussion/support group with on Thursdays. Last week we did a "Blessings Book" with the ladies. We actually did that almost EXACT same activity that we did in the team meeting. Everyone passed around their "Blessings Book" and everyone wrote to everyone else. While we didn't get them ALL completed in our hour together, we did get most people to sign them. Here is the feedback I got from some of the women in our discussion group. Honestly, this group is going to be one of the things I'll miss the most from the internship, even though I've always been one that was intimidated by "group therapy" and having to lead a "group therapy" session. One of these comments is from one of my clients that truly brightens my day everytime I get to see her. I know I've mentioned her in the past. She is the individual who deals with schizophrenia and is AMAZING brilliant! I love being around this lady! You can try to guess which one she left me...

Kimberly--What a blessing you are to me! You have/are a true friend, colleague, and partner. What an incredible ride/journey it has been. Thanks for being such an encouragement to me. Look forward to watching you walk for your Ph.D. Love ya,

Kimberly, thank you so much for being such a wonderful friend. Love,

To one of the two sweetest interns UTA could have sent us.

Kimberly--keep up the good work you do. We really enjoy you coming,

Kimberly, It is such a joy to have you & Susan here with us. My only true Cardinal buddie in Texas. May God Always Be With You,

To a nice person. Stay as sweet as you are forever.

Dear Kimberly, Thank you for coming into my life. You have a very sweet spirit. May God Bless You Always.

Never give up your faith in God.

God Bless you. I haven't been here long, but I feel you are a very special lady.

Dear Kimberly, So glad you came into my life. I so needed the computer knowledge. And you made it fun & seem easy. Also thanks for listening to my ramblings with a patient smile. I know you have chosen your future field well. God Bless. Take care.

Encouragement is good, my friends!

Be a part, and let me know if you need a part! ;)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

Katey Earles. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet Katey until my sophomore year at ACU when we both ended up pledging the same social club, GATA. We even happened to be living on the same floor of the dorms that year. It was always good to have our group of 2nd floor Sikes girls heading back to the dorm together after our pledging events. Honestly though I don’t believe I really became all that good of friends with Katey until our junior and senior years.

In all honesty, I think I owe my becoming better friends with Katey to one of my roommates that I lived with my junior and senior years, Sarah. Katey and Sarah are best friends, and because of that, Katey would be over at our apartment often. She became our adopted 5th roommate in our apartment. I loved it! I especially loved having her as some GATA back-up in the apartment since I lived with three Siggies! HA! Not that we ever let our social club differences play any crucial meaning in our apartment or with the friendships we had with one another, but we did like to have some competitive fun with it all every once and awhile, and I appreciated having another individual to proudly wear the red in the apartment with me! HA!

Probably if I had to describe Katey to someone who might not know her I’d say this: Katey is a leader who isn’t afraid of the spotlight and is not afraid to do some hard work. I don’t mean she is a leader that is always in the spotlight, or that is power hungry, I just mean she doesn’t mind taking the position of stepping up to the podium. Some leaders prefer to lead from the ground and avoid being the center of attention, but others can take that role and lead the pack. Katey has that presence!

Katey has always been involved with everything, ever since I’ve known her. If it was not Sing Song, it was Big Brothers and Big Sisters or Welcome Week. Whatever she was part of though, you knew she would be working hard at making it the best it could be.

Sing Song was her biggie. Katey would spend long day after day, sleepless night after night, production after production, eating, sleeping (if any), and breathing Sing Song. But no matter how stressing the situations would be, or how much time she would have to dedicate to the production year after year, you could always count on the hard work paying off! You could always see the joy in Katey’s face as she would walk up on the stage each year following the productions and be given the applause she so rightly deserved.

Nowadays Katey isn’t staying up night after night making sure the hosts and hostesses are doing their parts and making sure the stage will be completed in time. She’s actually miles and miles away from that today.

Katey has moved on, but don’t think that means she isn’t keeping herself as busy as before. She has moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and in her less than a year’s time that she has been there, she has already spent her time working for CMT and is now working the role of Development Coordinator at the Monroe Harding Children's Home. I’m going to have to quote one of my current professors on this one and say, “Working in a shelter, especially one working with children and adolescents is one of the hardest jobs around.” I respect Katey for taking on such a role and being a part in the lives of some of the most searching and seeking souls on this planet.

I want to end with expressing my admiration for Katey’s willingness to move to Tennessee. I know what it is like to move far away from home. Some will and have done this, many will never know, but it takes a lot from one’s self to be able to make such a transition, especially at a point in one’s life where one has already established some of the life-long friendships that college can bring about. Being able to up-root yourself from a place you called home for more than 20 years and go as far as Katey did takes a great sense of self. Knowing who you are and what you’re capable of, both of which Katey demonstrated with her new journey for her life in Nashville! I have no doubt that Katey will do great things while in Tennessee, as well as step up to the podium whenever the task may present itself!

Katey is easily someone I am proud to call a friend! But don’t take my word for it…

Katey is a spectacular friend! She is always there when I need her and is always willing to listen to my ridiculous story. We are complete opposites, so that is what makes our friendship so great. I can guarantee that she will have a different opinion on something than I would have and everyone needs that in her life. She is a caring individual who will do anything for anyone!
Mollie Mankins

I will never forget Sing Song... not just the night but the whole process... and then there's the yak.
Jackie Beth Shilcutt

Katey is always the one I can count on to make me feel a little better, no matter what the situation! Whether she's just cheerful, or has a funny story to make me laugh, Katey is just one of those rare people who can make me feel better almost every time I see her or talk to her! She's willing to do whatever needs to be done to help others, and will sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed to get it done. She's a servant and a leader, which is the best combination!
Julie Goen

Katey is a better friend to me than I've been to her by far. She always keeps in touch and sincerely cares about how I am doing even though she is 12 hours away.
Demetrius Collins

Katey was the person who called and emailed me the most when my dad was diagnosed with cancer last spring. She would call to find out how he was and how I was doing; then later I would get the kindest email from her telling me that she was praying for my family. She was miles away, and yet she made a point of checking in with me regularly. Unless she is ever in a similar situation (God forbid), she will never know how much that meant to me.
Katie Riggs

There are so many memories with Katey!! I mean Sing Song in itself is a big memory. But my favorite memory comes from Nashville….it involves a cake fight. We were making cake to take over to Easter at the McRay’s when Melanie and I had a dispute over decorations which lead to the ultimate cake and icing fight in which Katey joined in. We have never laughed so hard!
Mollie Mankins

Katey is as loyal as they come. I’ve known her since elementary school, and no matter how big the time gap was between our encounters, she was always right there for me. Since I’ve lived in Nashville, she’s become one of my closest friends. Katey has a funny way of always setting us up with tickets to amazing concerts and other events. I’ll never forget going to see Kenny Rodgers and Lionel Richie for CMT’s Crossroads. Katey came through big time on that one. I probably embarrassed her as I sang every song as loud as I could. Katey’s such a great friend, and I’m glad to have her in Nashville.
Cole Young

I remember Snow Day during our sophomore year! Kendall and I got into my car and I drove over to Sikes Hall and picked up Jen, Mel, Janet (I think), and Katey. We all went and played in the snow behind Smith-Adams, in front of the Bible building, and anywhere else we could maneuver my car... We should not have been driving in those conditions anyway, but it was so much fun! Then, after lots of fun in the snow, and a buried snow angel (me), Katey invited us over to her parent's house, where her mom made us the best homemade soup to warm up! Katey let us hang out over there to warm up, and we had so much fun! She's always willing to make people comfortable in whatever situation!
Julie Goen

I love Katey Earles because... KATEY EARLES ATE FRENCH FRIES, NA NA NA NA NA NA NA. I love Katey because she is a real friend (not opposed to an imaginary one, but she is someone who is "real" as in loyal, true, honest, and sincere).
Jackie Beth Shilcutt

Katey is truly my sister. We haven't always agreed on things, we haven't always gotten along, we haven't always even liked each other. But we have always loved each other. As far back as I can remember Katey has been my sister. We grew up spending time during the summer at each others’ houses; we used to write letters back and forth (this was before email); and we even roomed together at camp one summer… somehow 9 years later, we forgot how awful that experience was and roomed together again!! But because of our deep bond, we were able to forgive, forget, and move on. What a blessing it is to have a friend who will be your biggest encouragement, fan, and will go to bat for you in a heartbeat. I love you, Key!
Katie Riggs

We all love you, Katey!