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!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Coming Soon! A New Blog Series!

The picture caption contest for Monday’s Picture Blog has been discontinued, at least for the time being, but a new Monday’s blog series is on its way!

Let me give you the inspiration behind this new series…

If there is one thing that is at the core of my being it is love. I think giving love, receiving love, showing love, and experiencing love is what makes up a truly happy life! Love is such a powerful thing!

Even the Bible beaters can’t argue with this… And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. [I Corinthians 12:21]

As I was watching an episode of Oprah recently something hit me hard. And yes, I’ve thought about it before, but this episode really just made me think about it. “It” is the idea that some, well actually many people go through life feeling as if nobody loves them. While some feel without love, some even feel incapable of being loved. And actually, it is probably some of you reading this right now.

As someone who knows the power of love, I know how sad it is to only think of what it would be like to not feel the power of love in one form or another. But what I do know is that each person out there IS capable of being loved, no matter WHAT your situation may be.

When referencing those who feel as if nobody loves them, I sometimes think we all can get that way at one point in our life or another, but I think it is then that we need to be reminded of the love we do have that we might have just forgotten about.

My new blog series is going to be a combination of a couple of things I’ve done in my past that I think will benefit others.

First, I have a book you might know about that I made for myself during the summer of 2004. Its title is What Did You Say About Me?!? …the #1 Motivational Book!; I blogged about it here. This book is made up of quotes about me that I have from friends that I gathered off of emails from people, notes from people, comments made during AIM conversations, etc. It’s over 130 pages worth of quotes. This book is an AMAZING source of motivation or a reminder of love that I can turn to whenever I need it.

The second thing from my past that I think relates to this new series is a column I used to write in an alternative newsletter I used to publish for my women’s social club when I went to ACU. This was an alternative newsletter that I took great pride in being one of the main publishers of and it was called “The Canned Meat.” In my final year of publishing I had started a reoccurring column that was called “The Canned Meat Loves _____” in which I would write a special article on an individual or a group of individuals that I thought desired “some love” for something they had done or for simply being the great person and example that they were.

So, considering these two ideas and my firm belief in the power of love, I will be starting a new Monday Blog Series called Monday’s Paint a Picture, which will be sticking with the “Monday Picture Blog” theme! ;)

Monday’s Paint a Picture will be a verbal depiction of a person who is loved by me as well as many others. Through the written confessions I will have about this particular individual who will be honored that week, you should be able to paint a picture of that person in your head, even if you haven’t ever met them.

Not only will this be a great way for those who are honored each week to start their very own #1 Motivational Book, but it will also let others see just what an important, loved person you really are, which I already know you, but I want to make sure YOU know!

Monday I hope to post my first Monday’s Paint a Picture entry. This is actually the “blog experiment” I had mentioned a couple blog entries back. The individual’s who blindly volunteered for that “experiment” are the first individual’s to be honored through the first weeks of this series. Over the past week or so, I’ve been collecting quotes about those particular individual’s from some of the most important people in their lives.

I plan to randomly select from the group of volunteers each week to see who will be honored that Monday. It’s unfortunate, but some of these people’s closest friends are hard to get a hold of…HA! So some people might just have to be put off till later weeks because I haven’t had a good response rate on their “very important people” list.

Whatever the case, I hope you’ll return on Monday to see the first picture painted of one of these individual’s who volunteered for this “experiment”:
Nicole A.
Amanda B.
Katey E.
Jennifer E.
Julie G.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Now THAT was a Day!

This is my 30 second version of my day today....

Note: I do not consider this a "bad" day, I have no complaints, it didn't bother me one bit, but it DID make for a crazy and wear-you-out type of day!

Schizophrenic client who had to remove herself from computer class for a minute so she could go into the bathroom and straighten out her brain issues...

Another schizophrenic client who told me about his dream he had that I was in and it was like the movie Castaway and he was Tom Hanks and I was wilson, though I wasn't a volleyball and though we didn't get off the island in the dream, we did end up sleeping together in the hut he had built us on the island. Then he proceeded to ask me to stay a night with him because he gets lonely (like for real, no dream here), even offered to get a hotel room, and then when I declined on both he proceeded to ask me out for pizza. Then it was time to tell me about his 10 year career as a porn star, which led to him getting within a foot of my face so he could share the hush-hush details since you know working in the porn industry isn't exacly legal, so this situation had him with inches of kissing me on a couple times (and yes, you can tell when a guy is trying to move in for that "move")...

And finally, seeing a 41 year old man break down in tears because he hasn't seen his three young children in over a month because his wife ran off with them.

Now THAT is a day, my friends!

And honestly, I love my internship! I really do! The homeless population is SO much fun to work with!

One of my FAVORITE parts of my day...getting to sit by my favorite client during our women's group and reading what she wrote in my "Blessings book" today to me! This woman just amazes me!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This is a New One…

I’ve been described in many different ways before. People have explained to me how I come off before, but this is a new one. I’ve never been described in regards to “attention” before. It’s interesting…

You write great blogs AND you are willing to challenge people and make them think about almost everything. Other people, not just in blogs, don't always draw attention like you do. You draw the attention of almost everyone you know. Most people, in my opinion, don't do that as easily.