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