Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hello all!

It's been a minute since I blogged last (to borrow one of my favorite phrases from my dear friend BG). Lots of exciting things going on in Bridge-land over here, and if you're a fb friend you know some of the more obvious ones. :)

One you may not be up to speed on is my quest for a house. Yep that's right, a house. After a conversation with my dear friend Alicia I realized that it would really be a smart financial decision to look into buying instead of renting for another year. So look I did, and I found a couple that I liked. My first day of house hunting I found one house and put an offer on it, but I'm a back-up offer, and I don't like being a consolation prize. So with my mom and Matt in tow we went hunting again on Saturday and found another one that I really like, it's a HUD foreclosure-which means that the government owns it and putting an offer on it is more like bidding on it and the property goes to the highest bidder...but "owner occupants" (that's me) get first dibs over "investors" (folk who just want to rent out the house). That bid goes in tonight, so keep your fingers crossed that something works out :)

Last time I posted I mentioned running a 5k in January and I'm still training for that, but I'm hitting mental blocks lately. Anyone have tips for breaking through the metaphorical brick wall that's currently standing in my way?

Hooray for christmas break! I'm excited to have 2 weeks to do absolutely nothing (except fun stuff) and let my brain rest. My last week or so of work was CRAZY!! Anywho, I'm off to C-town tomorrow for a few days...my family is celebrating christmas on the 26th since Matt is incredibly lucky...

For those who don't know, my brother, Matt is in the band at SMU and this year SMU is playing in the Hawaii Bowl...yup my brother is currently in Hawaii enjoying the sun and spending 5 days there with his college buddies (not to mention his great gf). So Matt gets back from the extreme pacific on Christmas day and is driving back to Corpus that afternoon...and in the interest of his sleep as well as a happy christmas we're delaying the celebration a day. Ah well, the things we do for our siblings right?

Here's to new ventures, new adventures, lucky siblings, and a Merry CHRISTmas to you all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Flat Stanley runs a 5k!?

Who is Flat Stanley you ask? Well I (with the help of wikipedia) will tell you.
The Flat Stanley project stems from a book about a little boy named Stanley who accidentally gets flattened when a bulletin board falls off his bedroom wall and squishes him. Stanley discovers that he can sneak into locked rooms, fly like a kite, and do all sorts of fun things in his newly flattened state. His favorite thing to do is be mailed to friends and go on trips!

So the premise of the project is that each student creates a "stanley" and a journal for stanley. They then send Stanley to various addresses that were collected and the people who receive Stanley journal about the adventures that they have and then mail Stanley back to the sender. Stanley's done lots of cool things like:
meeting "Dubya"

Hang out with Condi
And coolest of all: Ride a Motorcycle!!

So the kids at my favorite elementary school are participating in their very own Flat Stanley project and I can't wait to see what kind of adventures Stanley goes on!! My Special Ed chair recruited me for some more addresses/places for Stanley to go, so some of my favorite people will get to meet Stanley, and hopefully one day You will meet Stanley too!!

In other news, I had dinner with my friend Kathleen "Funky" Funk yesterday at an amazing Thai restaurant in Montrose. While dining on delectable Asian cuisine, Funky and I decided to become running buddies just in time to register for the EP5K associated with the Chevron Houston Marathon!!

That means that for the next 8 weeks I will be doing my darndest to become a runner so that I can successfully complete the race! Major props to Nicki for taking the lead on this admirable task! I am so excited to have someone to do this with and to share it with you all so that I can have accountability too!! I'll do my best to keep you guys posted on my progress. I'm using the "couch potato to 5k" application I put on my iPhone and so far so good...but we'll see how I do at the end of the program :)

Here's to adventures, friends, accountability partners, random 5K races, and most of all Flat Stanley!

Blessings to you today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm still here...I promise

When people ask you if you're still blogging, I guess that means you haven't blogged in a while right?

I find myself reluctant to blog lately, and I'm not quite sure why.

Perhaps I haven't had the motivation to express myself, because I'm sure I've had the inspiration. I frequently have moments in my day where I think "hm...I could blog about this later" but for some reason those thoughts never go from my brain to my homunculus to my fingers to my keyboard and finally to you.

I think sometimes I feel like my life isn't super interesting so I have to have these profound and thought-filled blog entries, but I realize that that is not the case.

My life is becoming more than the "tales of a disgruntled student". To borrow a phrase from my childhood: I've gotten a life...an adult life...holy cow ya'll I'm grown up...

I'm still in the process of finding my first grown up church home. I don't have my parents to place me somewhere, I don't have friends to go with, and I don't have a significant other to guide my decisions. It's a completely on-my-own grown up decision. Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time settling on a church.
I've found a couple that I like, one is close to my house here in Cypress, the pastor is engaging and I'm sure there are ways I could get involved, but I don't feel that call to be involved in that church. The other is in Houston and is a ginormous church, but they have 20-30yr old bible studies which would provide a great place to plug in and meet people. The pastor is engaging, I feel like the message is pure but the Sunday I planned to go back to visit a bible study and go to service again I found myself not wanting to drive the 25 minutes into town to go. This church-seeking goldilocks(sorta) needs to find a church that fits just right...hopefully sooner rather than later.

In other news...Jeremy, Joy and my favorite nephew Dan-o are coming to Houston next week!! I can't wait to see them for our early thanksgiving celebration. Why celebrate early you ask? well I'll tell you:
1) My younger brother has a football game with SMU the Saturday after thanksgiving, ergo it's silly for him to drive 7 hours for a day and drive 7 hours back.
2) My dear friend (and blog reader) Peyton is FINALLY getting married the day after thanksgiving. Peytong, I know my finally is miniscule to the finally you'll be feeling as soon as you guys say your vows :) So it would be silly for me to drive home to corpus, then to mcallen (where Joy's family hosts thanksgiving) and then back to houston.

The logical choice of course was to have turkey day at my house :) i'm super excited about it, I've got my list of things to buy, my cleaning list and I'm ready to play Betty Crocker for a day.

Completely un-related topic and just cause I love my sister-in-law and brother for putting my nephew in this for halloween: I give you Danny's first halloween costume:
Genius no?

So here's to growing up, getting a life, all things thanksgiving, and family visits!

Blessings to you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

...so I may have been a bad driver...

...but I couldn't resist taking this photo on my drive home today

Isn't it pretty? At this point I had been driving in heavy rain for about an hour trying to get home and suddenly there was a spot of clearing sky. I love seeing skies like that, they always make me think of God looking down at the earth...assessing the damage and whatnot.

This weekend I had a ton of fun being a footloose young adult! Friday I got to meet some new people for the Phi Lamb NANO (national alumni night out). I met Amy and Terra who invited me out to a concert Friday and two-stepping on Saturday. Yes, it's true, I absolutely love two-stepping. I think that means I'm almost completely Texan.

Saturday Ellie and I ventured to our local(ish) dog park and she had tons of fun being chased by the various big dogs. Julia was in town (as is her routine every 2-3 weeks) so I met up with her, Maria and Maria's friend Jose for some scrumptious Chinese food and a comedy show.

I love laughing...but we went to the Improv and saw Bobby Lee from Mad TV perform a standup routine...can I just say I have never been more uncomfortable in my life! The guy was funny, but disturbing at the same time.

I realized this weekend that I like my life, for all it's ups and downs, for all the dark cloudy skies. I'm starting to see a clearing and I can just feel that it's gonna be amazing!

I just need to mention here...I'm a HUGE Brandon Heath fan...and he's playing in the woodlands on friday. Yes, I bought a ticket, and yes I got uber giddy when he was on the radio this morning talking to the morning DJs. I figure I never went gaga for the boy bands in junior high so I'm overdue for a celebrity crush...right?

So here's to rainy drives, un-safe pictures, disturbing comedians, and great friends (old and new).

Blessings to you today!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On this day, 23 years ago...

...my mother's OBGYN kept a promise to his wife to be home for dinner and I was born at 1:44 in the afternoon. True story.

This is my first adult birthday. Alone. Last year I celebrated with friends on my birthday. This year I told no one at work that it was my birthday and I successfully spent the day as though it were just another day.

Here's the thing though....I LOVE birthdays.

I'm the girl who will ask you what your favorite kind of cake is and boom on your birthday it's right there for ya. I absolutely love the way I feel when other folks are made to feel special on their birthdays. Yet when I woke up this morning I felt like it was just another day...nothing special, just a Wednesday.

Little did I know how blessed and special I would feel by the end of today.

I just want to take a minute and brag on how amazing my friends and family are. I received telephone birthday serenades, countless text messages, phone calls and facebook posts and my heart feels so full. I did not expect such an outpouring of appreciation for my birthday. So thanks for being phenomenal and remembering that today was my birthday.

I've been dreading today a little bit because it's my first birthday without my Dad calling me or sending me random gifts...one year it was a cow keychain that mooed. Once I got a dog he remembered to send her a gift on my birthday too. My wonderful loving younger brother has carried on that tradition....apparently Ellie is getting a gift too :)

So here's to birthdays, multi-modal birthday greetings, serenades, and wonderful friends and family!

Thanks for making this a wonderful first grown-up birthday.

Blessings to you today!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This one feels just right...

so, now that i've begun the "rest of my life"...more commonly known as adulthood I was faced with a need to furnish my apartment. So last weekend my mom and I went to the local furniture store and boy did I furnish!

I got this amazing navy blue italian leather sofa for a great deal because it's a floor sample! It feels like buttah...

Then I got an amazing coffee table to go with the sofa, it even has two nesting tables underneath that can serve as foot rests, end tables, or whatever I need them to be.

And this one is my favorite...my counter height dining set. The table in this picture is only 3' wide, but there is a leaf hidden underneath it that expands it to 4' wide for big meals with lots of people! Note the bookshelf in the background, my brother bought me a cordless drill as a "housewarming/graduation" present and I put that baby together in an hour.

Here's to growing up, spending money, buttery leather couches, and room to host friends for amazing meals!

Much love and Blessings to you today!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

wither shall I wander?

Hello dear friends!

I am happy to report that I have successfully moved, walked across a stage without tripping, and received my Master of Communication Sciences and Disorders degree!!

Don't worry, I won't ask you to call me Master Bridgeman, but I think I'm finally excited about being done with school.

Yesterday my family kept asking me if I was excited to be graduating, and honestly I didn't feel any different about it...however now, with all of my family headed back to their respective cities, and I'm here in my apartment as an adult I'm starting to feel grown up and I kind of like it.

I still have boxes everywhere, but that's mainly because I have no furniture or storage utilities to put the items in...i.e. bookshelves, a dresser, etc. My goal is to be "furnished" by the end of Sept/early Oct...I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

I will hopefully get pictures from my mom/friends from this weekend and I'll post them, but currently I have nothing to show you to prove that I gradumated, except the huge smile on my face!

Hears to growing up, family visits, not tripping, and wandering into adulthood!

Blessings to you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I don't wanna grow up...

I'm a toys-R-us kid! Not really...but it goes with the mood. This morning I'm getting ready to head to my last day of my internship, which technically is also my last day of grad school. Coincidentally, it's pretty much my last day of sanity before a crazy week begins.

Sunday: Drive to waco
Monday: Sign check-out paperwork for graduation
Tuesday: leave waco super early, drive to Houston, sign my lease, fly to Corpus, pick up rental truck
Wednesday: drive packed rental truck to Houston and unload my junk
Thursday: Mom and Gram get to H-town
Friday: drive back to Waco for Graduation
Saturday: GRADUATE!!! and drive back to Houston

Yesterday it dawned on me that I only had 3 more days in Corpus...today I'm resisting thinking about it (aside from this post of course). Please be praying for my mind these next few days...I'm having a hard time processing it all and the reality of being an adult is starting to set in. Where did the time go?

Despite all the busyness I truly am excited to see all the grad-school homies on Monday...I've missed them so much! I hope everyone drives safe this weekend!

Here's to growing older but never growing up, good friends, and living an incredibly blessed life!

Blessings to you on this Friday!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


...that was the title of the sermon in church this morning. Mark talked about the emotions associated with semi-crisis situations, from frustration, to trying to problem solve, to the realization that sometimes we have to accept help.

I'm going to be transparent and honest with you all, lately I've been in a spiritual rut-so to speak. Well, it's not recently-lately, but more like since November. Since the day I found out that my dad's cancer had spread I have had so much difficulty having an authentic relationship with God. I've been going through the motions hoping that something would change, but I'm just spinning my wheels deeper and deeper and getting nowhere. Tonight as I attempted, yet again, to have a true quiet time with God I finally had a realization:

I'm stuck in a rut because I'm afraid to get out of it.

I am afraid of growing close to God and losing someone else important to me.

Illogical? Yes.

Does that make it any less true for me? Nope.

I think that identifying my problem is a good place to start for me, and realizing that I'm afraid allows me to look to God to show me exactly what steps to take to overcome that fear. I say things like that last sentence and I want to mean them, but it's so hard. How can you feel okay about something when it's not okay?

I have another confession to make. I never stopped to ask God why my dad died when he did. And when I would talk with my brother and he would question God's motives I would give the standard answer of: it's part of a bigger plan that we can't see yet.

See the problem with me is that I get the whole "bigger plan thing" but sometimes, I forget to really look at and feel everything that goes along with the process of painting that bigger picture. I never took time to feel sorry for myself that my dad died, cause I mean really, God lost his only Son for a whole world of yucky people. Where do I get off being mad with a God who would do something like that for me? There I go being logical and rational again, dangit.

So now that I've realized that I'm terrified, maybe I'll let God pull me out of the rut I'm in. I know that I can't get myself out of it, and I think maybe I haven't truly wanted to break free yet. Hopefully, this time I'll be receptive to God's helping hand even if it means pain and loss and maybe all these months of going around in circles will give me some sort of insight to help another. Otherwise I'm going to have to keep faking it till I make it, right?

Friday, July 10, 2009

T minus 30 days and counting...

...until I finish all the paperwork and will have to be referred to as "master bridgeman"...maybe

It's so hard to believe that my educational career is all but over. I saw one of those silly Geico commercials tonight, where the money is just staring at people and the person it was staring at was studying in a library....I realized that I'll never be one of those people ever again. Holy cow! I'm an adult...what is the world coming to?

I don't feel like I'm old enough to be a growed up...do you?

How does one really decide that they're grown up?

In other news, I made sweet potato fries tonight and they were de-licious! the dogs even got to have a piece of one, and they liked it too!

Anyone have ideas for more fun recipes to try? I've got lots of time to try them!

Blessings to you this weekend!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A vagrant? Not me!

I recently found this blog and have enjoyed reading it. Some of my favorite posts are MckMama's "Not me Mondays". So, since this week she invited us to follow suit, here are some things I most definitely do not do.

I most definitely did not ignore Ellie and her requests for a walk this morning. and I especially do not enjoy that my loving mother takes care of walking Ellie in the mornings for me. :)

I do not enjoy watching trashy reality tv, and I never feel the teensiest bit proud that I can answer questions about it.

I never spend ridiculous amounts of time facebook stalking friends, and I hate looking at random wedding pictures that people post. I could never be that girl.

I am not someone who spends all afternoon on the couch watching 90210 reruns on tv instead of running to get ready for the half marathon that I never claim I'm going to run every year.

I most certainly do not spend all my time catching up on blogs instead of writing my own.

And lastly, I never just have a cherry turnover for dinner, that would be silly :)

Blessing to you all this week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

which way do we go george?

Hello All!

It's been a minute since I've blogged, but life has once again settled into a comfortable pattern, so no news is good news right?

I started my internship 2 weeks ago, and I'm loving it. My supervisor has the same sense of humor I do, so that makes for a great working environment.

Lately I've been traveling a bit, last weekend I went to Plano to see my friend Jamie get married (Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Willis!) and this weekend I'm headed to college station to see Miss Kelly D and then to Houston for Peytong's shower. Huzzah for seeing friends! I'm used to driving significant distances, so I don't mind the driving, what I've learned from these trips, however, is that I'm very susceptible to becoming dependent on electronics.

When I was selling books for Southwestern I found my way to different locations via maps and mapquest.com. I loved traveling that way, and tended to scoff at folks who bought gps devices. This past spring however I caved and bought my own. Now I can't imagine traveling to a place I've never been without it. I'm sure I could go back to the whole map thing if I had to, but the fact is I really enjoy not having to pick up a paper from the passenger seat every so often to make sure I'm on the right track. All that to say, I will definitely employ gertie the garmin on my journey this weekend.

Here's my dillema though, at what point is a person too dependent on electronics? I left my computer at home last weekend when I went to Plano, and the second I got home I went straight to the desktop to check e-mail and the ever important facebook. If I don't have my cell phone with me at all times I feel naked and insecure. Anyone else with me there?

Oh! In other news, my brother-Jeremy-is sending Joy and Daniel down to Texas for a visit in July! I don't have to wait till thanksgiving to see the little bridgeman and I'm super excited :) Here's my favorite most-recent picture of Daniel :)Can you say future ladies man? It's hard to believe that this cutie is almost 2 months old! Man time flies.

Welp, that's all I've got today, so here's to friends, electronic devices, wedding season, nephews and weekend adventures!

Blessings to you!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Life's a gas...

Good Friday morning all!

I've gotten into something of a routine the past two weeks. My mom has been out of town so I'm on double-dog duty. The puppies wake me up around 5:30, we go on a morning walk, they eat breakfast, and the three of us fall back into bed around 6 to sleep for a few more hours. This morning however my mom's dog, Jack, tooted just after we all got settled. Normally I don't smell puppy gas, however Jack was sleeping right by my head. Consequently, I'm up and alert at 6:30. Mom comes back tonight from her business trip, so I won't have to take the morning shift anymore.

I worry about how Ellie will cope when she moves to Houston with me in August. Ellie and Jack have definitely become good pals. I left Ellie with my mom here in Corpus after spring break, since I knew April would be a crazy month so she and Jack have bonded. I hope she enjoys being a single dog again.

So my brother bought rock-band and brought it home earlier this week. Those who know me, know that I'm not a gamer, by any means, but I LOVE this game! When I play with groups of people I sometimes am mocked for the enthusiasm I show when playing the drums, but man is it fun! Matt and I have a band named the "Casual Philosophers"--thank you rock band software. I have Alicia to thank for my rocker name though, ladies and gentlemen: by day I am Stephanie-overly positive word-nerd, but as soon as that game starts I become: Stephanopolis--rock drummer extrodinare!

If I don't count the weekend, today is my last day of "summer vacation" since I start my internship on Monday. I'm excited and nervous about it, just like I was when I was getting ready to start grad school last June. It's so strange to think that I was a newbie in grad school just a year ago and now I'm 9 weeks away from being finished. Gosh time flies.

Oh, random thought here. I took the pups with me when I ran errands yesterday and when we went to the drive through at the bank the teller sent two milkbones back with my reciept! How cool is that?! I had heard tales of such things happening, but I hadn't experienced it. Kudos to the bank teller for treating the puppies!

I treated my brother to dinner last night. We went to the one chain restaurant in Calallen that isn't a fast food joint: Chilis. It was good, some of our old high school friends are on the waitstaff there so we got to chat with them and then we ran into my favorite high school teacher: Ms. Crum.

Crum was my pre-cal and calc teacher both Junior and Senior year in hs. She gave me many of my favorite one-liners. If someone dropped their calculator she would say: "It works better that way." Now I use that when someone drops their phone. My all time favorite one though, happened during one of our classes, someone was frustrated and said "Jesus Christ" and without missing a beat Crum looks at the kid and says "Where?" Witty humor gets me every time.

Here's to dogs, dinners, routines, memories, and favorite high school teachers!

Blessings to you on this fantastic Friday morning!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The real world is inching closer...

Okay, so in order to be a real-live speech pathologist I had to pass a comprehensive exam from Baylor (passed) and a national certification exam. Studying for comps and praxis is one of the most stressful times for any of my fellow grad students, including myself, but I had forgotten to stress about getting the scores.

Over the weekend two of my classmates asked me if I had gotten my scores yet, and I hadn't, but I wasn't expecting them yet. However, this morning I looked on line and ta-dah! there they were.
Drum roll please....


Now all I have to do is finish my internship, graduate, and do my clinical fellowship and i'll be an official edumacated speech pathologist :) Huzzah!!

Blessings to you in all your endeavors this week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I finally dug my video/picture importer out of my packed belongings, so for your viewing pleasure: the Bridgeman family dogs, doing what they do best, being silly.

Monday, May 18, 2009


So...what's new? Not much? Me either. Last week I successfully moved my worldly belongings back to Corpus where they will hibernate for the summer. I was not able to move them in one trip though, it took 2 trips. So I drove 15 hours in 3 days...not my favorite thing, but a necessary evil. Normally I love driving, but for some reason this time it was more tiring than usual.

So far I've spent the last few days doing nothing productive, and I've enjoyed it a lot but I wish there was a good coffee shop in calallen. Doing nothing is best disguised as reading a book and drinking coffee, unfortunately I'd have to drive "into town" (a 20 minute drive) to the closest starbucks to fulfill that desire. Ah well, I guess I'll have to find a new way to avoid productivity while I can.

My mom has been in Philly with Joy, Jeremy, and Danny boy for the last 10 days and she sent me some adorable pictures of my nephew today...so since I don't have a whole lot to say I'll simply share them with you!

This is Danny after a bath...apparently, I think he's going to be a ton of fun when he gets just a teensy bit older :)

This is my mom and Danny, she's a proud Mimi

And here's the whole happy family!

Here's to coffee, brothers, nephews, moms, mimis, sisters-in-law, doing nothing, and being productive!

Blessings to you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To my Mama Llama :)

So, today is "mother's day", and as I sat in Panera, studying for yet another exam (albeit my last one ever) I found myself thinking about the wonder that is motherhood.

I was surrounded by many mothers with their families, but what struck me, was how many mother/daughter dining pairs there were.

I will be the first to admit that I don't always get along with my mom...and if we're being honest (and 'cause you're an authentic person let's be honest) who does? Mom and I are more alike than sometimes I care to think about, but when I look at her sometimes I don't see the person behind "mom".

How often to we forget that our moms are people too? Is that why we give them poorly made, but well intentioned cards, gifts, and maybe breakfast in bed-for the more daring kiddos? Why do we only do that on one day a year? Okay, maybe 2 if you count their birthday.

That little birdwalk aside, how do mom's do it? How did/does my mom do it? How do you put up with nonsense from your own family that you love so much on a daily basis? Maybe there's something that gets introduced into the female system when they get pregnant, or have a baby that triggers the "mom" persona to come out. I guess I'll have to wait until I too join the ranks of mothers to find out.

I joke sometimes that it feels like mom is getting a second childhood now that Jeremy, Matt, and I are growing up and leaving the "nest". She's had to put her life on a back burner for the last 27ish years and now she's exploring new technology, new style, it's a whole new world (pardon the awful, and unintentional Aladdin allusion). Even while she's figuring out all the new-fangled-ness of life my mom is still pretty dang cool. Now, 10 years ago you couldn't have paid me enough to say that, but after reflecting and growing up a lot I can safely say that my mom is top o the line.

My mom teaches junior high sunday school. Yeah, I can't really stand junior high kids...and then I think back to when I was one...eek (sorry mom). What's so funny, is I would never have thought that she would be so perfect for that task, but lucky for her, God knew, and so did the youth minister. Mom and I were shopping in the mall over christmas and suddenly she was hailed by two teenage girls (apparently from her class) and they were genuinely excited to see her. The reaction was mutual. These kids always say hi to her and make her feel loved, so even though she's getting to live an adult life again, she will always be part "mom". At least for an hour or so on Sundays.

My mom, my mama llama (as is my favorite pet name for her), you are so amazing and I know I speak for Jeremy, Matt, and especially me when I say we are blessed to have you in our lives, and ridiculously lucky to have you as our mother.

So here's to all the moms, grandmas, aunts, daughters, great grandmas, mimis, me-maws, ma-maws, nanas, nonas, mommys, mamas, and mama llamas out there! Thanks for everything that you do for us...and as a sharp tongued child I can guarantee that one day even the children with the most attitude will turn it into gratitude and be awed by your grace.

Blessings to you and your Mom today!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

...baa....just call me a follower

Last week I followed the "big" trend, and joined twitter...mainly just to follow people, and not to do anything myself...but I when I woke up from my Sunday nap today I discovered I could not hide for very long on the Twitter site. Sigh.

So, since I have to be interesting for my 1 follower, I figured I'd go ahead and out myself now, so that they won't be alone...so for your viewing pleasure only: please look to the right of this post.

I can't say that it will be interesting, or updated often...but it is what it is.

Much love!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

...A word of advice...

One of my pet peeves is when I talk to someone and share my heart with them, but they don't seem to listen. You know what I'm talking about. That person (or persons) who you go to expecting to get words of comfort, and you leave the conversation feeling worse than before. I am ashamed to say that tonight I was that girl.

I got a phone call from my mom tonight telling me that my older brother, Jeremy, had some tissue removed from his back last week. The results came back that it was pre-cancerous tissue. Jeremy's tissue was in the same spot as my dad's first major melanoma, and Jeremy is the same age, 27, as my dad was when he found out about his cancer. So mom is justifiably worried, who wouldn't be?

For some reason I was unable to fall asleep when I laid down in bed an hour ago, God just kept tugging at my heart to keep me awake and I feel like He did that so I would be coherent when Matt, my younger brother, called me about 20 minutes ago.

Matt called to see if I had heard about Jeremy. I told him that I had, but that I wasn't too worried about it. See here is where I became the sister who makes her brother feel like he was silly for being worried and that his feelings were invalid. All Matt wanted to do was to share his heart with me, share his concerns with me, share his struggles with me. All I did was tell him that life's not fair, and God's got a bigger plan.

I spoke when I should have been silent.

I realized almost instantly what I had done, but the damage was already there.

Proverbs 15:4 says "The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit."

I was a spirit crusher tonight, and I am not proud of that.

I love both of my brothers dearly and I am concerned that Jeremy is at a much higher risk for developing melanoma, but part of the way I cope with things is to be overly realistic, and to have a ridiculous amount of hope in God.

Knowing that I can't control cancer or my own life for that matter makes it easier to deal with for some reason. I don't know why it just does.

Knowing I have not learned to control my tongue, however, makes me sad. My chosen field is largely centered around the mouth, speech, and all that goes along with communication. How ironic that my biggest struggle is what God has called me to help others with?

For most of the year I had the following verse up on the whiteboard in my kitchen:

"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." James 1:26

Apparently it hasn't quite sunk in yet...or maybe it will be a continuous battle. I do know however, that my current lesson is to not be so quick to voice my opinion. One more anecdote and I'll leave you to the rest of your day. I love Brandon Heath, and I've had his new cd playing in my car for a few days now. After my experience tonight I'm reminded of the lyrics to one of his songs. So read them, meditate on them, and if you have any advice to give I'd be happy to hear it, and hopefully I won't give any unsolicited opinions for a while.

Much Love!

The song is called "Listen Up" and it's fantastic...so you should listen to it on itunes...or brandonheath.net (shameless plug I know)

Why are you crying?
Did I say something wrong?
Weren't we just talking?
Tell me whats going on.

Cause I’m pretty sure my intentions
Were nothing more than conversation
Maybe you just needed someone
To listen to your heart

Maybe I spoke too soon
Maybe I said too much
Now that my face is blue
Think it’s time I listen up
I’ve already said enough

Sometimes I do this
Thing is I’m so afraid
When it get’s quiet
What you might have to say

Cause I’m guilty of
I’m lost in my
Own translation
I apologize, I know I
Should listen to your heart


There isn’t anything that I could say
Not a word to get in the way
Of you, Of You, I am listening


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

round and round we go...

What's up with the circle? Why is it continuous? Why are things that are "inexplicable" attributed to a circle. The circle of life. The "inner" circle. The 7th circle of hell. The circle of trust. A circle of friends. The LaSalle circle. Isn't it funny how circle sounds a lot like circus...which in my mind conjures an image of something completely nutty, entertaining, and full of interesting characters.

I experienced the "circle of life" last week when my nephew, Daniel, was born.

I am at a point in my life where one chapter, one journey has come "full circle." I arrived in Waco nearly 5 years ago with all of my important belongings jammed into Ziggy my trusty red Blazer. Now I find myself trying to figure out how to fit all of my current "important things" into Olive and tote them back to Corpus.

Wheels are circles...it seems like no matter the context, circles bring us to our next destination. The circle of life is eternally spinning, turning the youngest generation into the next to youngest generation.

Circles of friends and "inner" circles often change with the stages of our lives and certain people in those circles tumble with us to the next go-round.

If I really was emphasizing parallel structure I'd make some witty reference to Dante here, but I'll be honest and tell you that I didn't read it when it was assigned for class :/

On to the next quip:

The circle of trust. I hope since you're my friend and reading this that you have enough pop culture knowledge to catch this allusion. Robert DeNiro's circle had to expand as his life changed, it had to include Greg and Dr. Bob...otherwise it would have come to a complete halt.

The circle on LaSalle is just nuts...there's a reason that there are shirts made that say "I survived the circle." If you forget to look around you on that circle, you could end up going nowhere for a very long time, but if driven correctly that circle can send you in many different directions to various destinations.

What circle are you on? Where is it leading you? What part of it is inexplicable? The people? The location? Your hopeful destination?

There's one thing about going 'round in circles though....if you circle for too long you can get dizzy and have a terrible stomach ache. (Can I get an amen from the sensitive tummies in the crowd?) So how do you deal? You can't close your eyes, 'cause then you miss everything around you. You can't slow it down, because the speed of your circle is not up to you in the slightest. You just have to hold on, take some pepto, and hope for the best.

Here's to circles...all of them...the ones I mentioned, the ones I've forgotten, and all the others in between.

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The trinity....

Today seemed like it would be a normal "day before a test" however I got some news about 30 minutes ago that totally rocked my world.

When I was a freshman at Baylor I met a girl named Jess. She and I quickly became friends, due to our love of "people watching" and the discussion of the foolishness we saw. She would sit on the bench outside memorial and smoke and when I wanted a study break I'd sit with her and enjoy the company. I always knew I could count on her for a good bit of gossip or sound advice.

After freshman year Jess transferred out of Baylor and we lost touch quickly. I saw her once when she came back for a visit and sadly couldn't make it to her baby shower when she was due this past year.

I got a text message from Brandon earlier tonight asking me if I had heard that Jess died and I thought it was a joke. Being the nerd that I am I googled it and I found this link:

My sweet friend did indeed pass away.

I will always remember the great conversations with Jess and Brandon...we often called ourselves the "Trinity" since we were usually found together.

I still can't believe that Jess is gone. I know her family has got to be hurting, and that her little girl will surely miss her, but I am glad that Jess left a legacy with her friends and definitely for little Adela.This is a picture of us at the "smoking bench" during freshman year.

Just goes to show how quickly life can change.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

just because...

It seems like these only happen on Tuesdays or Fridays....and on this particular Tuesday I should probably be packing for the TSHA conference...however I've been thinking about something lately and I wanted to share it with you.

I've been feeling somewhat unattached lately...probably because I've entered a phase in my life where people are beginning to pair off and get engaged and married. I am happy with my current status, I know that I need to develop my relationship with God before I can truly have the best relationship with a partner, and regardless of how incredibly happy I am for my friends (because I truly am happy for them) sometimes I just need a little reminder from God that I'll be there one day too.

Recently I was cleaning out my closet in preparation for "the move" and I discovered a little passage that I had gotten from one of my Phi Lamb sisters during a covenant group last year. She had it on her facebook and I printed it onto an index card. The passage was originally directed at women, but because I realize that not everyone who can read is a girl I'll make it gender friendly :) It is written from God's point of view...so insert His voice (however you hear it) instead of mine when you get to it.

So thanks to Ali for reading this to me back in our creamery covey...I appreciate it greatly.

Blessings to each of you today!

Here is the passage from Ali...and I don't know where she got it from, so hopefully I'm not infringing on any copyrights...

I made you...you are different, you're unique.
With love I formed you in your mother's womb
I fashioned you with great joy.
I remember, with great pleasure, the day I created you.
I love your smile.
I love your ways.
I love to hear you laugh and the silly things you say and do.
You bring me great pleasure. This is how I made you.
I made you pretty and not beautiful, because I knew your heart and knew you would be vain...
I wanted you to search out your heart, and learn that it would be me in you that would make you beautiful...and it would be me in you that would draw friends to you.
I made you in such a way that you would need me...
I made you a little more lonesome than you would like to be...
Only because I need for you to learn and depend on me...
I know your heart.
I know that if I had not made you like this you would go your own chosen way and forget me...your creator.
I have given you many good and happy things...because I love you.
Because I love you, I have seen your broken heart...and the tears you cried alone, I have cried with you, and had a broken heart too.
Many times you have stumbled and fallen alone only because you would not hold my hand.
So many lessons you have learned the hard way because you would not listen to my voice...
So many times I have set back and sadly watched you go your merry way alone.
Only to watch you return to My arms, sad and broken.
And now, you are mine again...I made you, then I bought you...to renew you to what I had planned for you to be.
It has not been easy for you or me.
I want you to be conformed to My image...
This high goal I have set for you because I love you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

...I don't wanna grow up...

Today I feel like I'm suffering from a bit of the ol' peter pan syndrome. That's not completely truthful...it's been the whole week.

Why does time go so fast? Why does growing up seem so icky?

All I seem to hear about these days are the down sides of growing up. Bills, loans, the lagging economy, having to wait till 70 to retire. Where's the fun part of being an adult that we all saw as children? What was it that made us want to be adults at age 5? In a quest to find out...and to show myself the upside of growing older: I've made a list of the top 10 things I have to look forward to in adulthood. We'll do this Letterman style...10-1 so here we go:

10) I get to have a dog! I never got to growing up...and now it's chic to have a pup so snaps for being in style and having a furry friend.
9) Contributing to the world around me. As big as their dreams may be, most 5-year-olds don't see past Saturday morning cartoons. As a full fledged adult I will be able to give back in ways I wasn't able to while growing up.
8) Getting to explore and establish a career.
7) Understanding all the technical jargon for taxes etc...there's nothing that makes you sound smarter than knowing the difference between a 1099 and a W-2.
6) Becoming an aunt! I can't wait to spoil my nephew and then give him back to Jeremy and Joy...it's the ultimate in sibling revenge!
5) Growing closer to my family. It's so much fun to be friends with your siblings...thank goodness that happens best now that we're grown up.
4) Growing closer to God as an individual. Every day I get older and every day I feel like God shows me something new about myself.
3) Getting to put "roots" in one address. Moving every year gets a bit tiring...
2) Having more life experiences. I can't wait to see the "circle of life". death i've seen, life (little Danny boy will arrive soon) I'll soon experience...love, well that's coming too.
1) The thing I'm most looking forward to in my adult life is finding someone to share it with. God's plan is so much bigger than mine and I'm so excited to see what's in store down that road.

Despite all these good things, I know there are those who are suffering with the negative side of adulthood, no post-college job prospects, parents without jobs, massive student loans to pay. You name it, it's happening. So in the hopes of not offending anyone I'll cease my dose of positivity for the day.

Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

it's just one of those days...

I woke up feeling great about an hour ago...and for some reason I just had a wave of sadness wash over me. I miss my dad a lot, but the intensity of the feeling is what changes on a day-to-day basis. I don't know who to talk to about this stuff...hence the blog. I mentioned my dad yesterday to a close friend and they visibly stiffened because they didn't know what to say. I don't want to burden anyone with my grief, but I wish I felt more comfortable sharing it in person with the people I care most about. Let me give you the reader's digest version of my dad's story.

Dad had a stage 4 melanoma removed from his back before I was born, about 25 years ago-ish. My older brother was around then, but Matt and I only saw the scar leftover from the surgery. So Dad was careful about the sun, and "cancer-free" for the next 25 years. Then, last march/april Dad was undergoing testing for some "masses" on his kidneys, lymph nodes, and other areas. The diagnosis came back as melanoma in his lymph nodes. Toward the end of April he had surgery to take out the affected nodes and then traveled to Waco for graduation.

Everything seemed okay, dad was chuggin along, his doctors said everything was fine (or so we were told by dad) but then at the end of the summer Dad told me that he was starting two rounds of Chemo. He took the chemo pills so it was pills for a week then off for 3. Dad did a round in Oct. and Nov.

The week before thanksgiving I got a call from my younger brother telling me that Dad was in the hospital with what they thought was pneumonia (he had pressure on his lungs, and couldn't breathe very well.) Matt was flying out to Albany to see dad for the week of thanksgiving so we were all comforted by that.

The thursday before thanksgiving I got the call that it wasn't pneumonia causing my dad to be short of breath, it was the cancer. The cancer had spread to Dad's lungs and kidneys and was basically taking over. The whole family made plans to fly up to Albany the day after thanksgiving to see Dad.

We saw dad the saturday after thanksgiving...and man I had no idea what to expect. The man who I had known as strong and enduring was suddenly weak, and withering away. That weekend with dad was so hard, but I'm so glad that I got to have that. Living half a country away makes it difficult to see family very often. We flew back to texas the tuesday after turkey day and dad died a week later.

I wish I could describe my pain and relate my feelings without feeling like I'm begging for sympathy, I'm not. I just need an outlet and this has provided it.

Through all the pain and tears over my dad I have learned that God is faithful and His plan is so much bigger than mine. I believe that He can use even stinky situations for good, and I can't wait to see what he does with this.

Blessings to you today!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I love Tuesdays!

Tuesday is often the highlight of my week. Why Tuesday you ask? Well I'll tell you...

About 3 years ago...actually almost 4 now (man time flies) I began to eat weekly at a local restaurant called "The Clay Pot." It's vietnamese cuisine, and I am addicted. These weekly meetings with one of my most favorite people quickly became ritual to us. Not only is it 2-for-1 spring rolls on Tuesday, but it was a time for us to sit and relax, talk about life and fellowship as Christians. Stewie is one of my closest friends, she's been there to comfort me in times when few others could but I think the wonderful thing about our friendship has been that it blossomed with weekly, not daily, interaction.

How often do we feel like relationships need daily attention? I think that when our interaction with others is truly rooted in Christ, we need only commune with Him to invest in those we care about.

Sadly, Stew and I graduated, and she went on to colder pastures (Kansas) and I was left alone with the claypot. Fortunately I have been blessed with a new Claypot Tuesday buddy, who is quickly becoming another one of my favorite people.

I love my big/little claypot tuesdays, Meg challenges me and helps me to think about things that I often take for granted. Plus, the staff of the Claypot finally know not to give me a menu when I walk in. Last week, Meg and I were greeted by the waiter with two mugs of tea and two trays of spring rolls and the question "where are y'all sitting?" Life is so good. God is so good.

My favorite way to experience God is to fellowship with those around me and to invest in others. I am sad that my claypot Tuesdays are numbered...when I leave Waco I don't know what I'll find to replace it, or who I'll find to replace these two amazing women...but God knows. And I have to rest in that. So here's to Tuesdays! Hooray for spring rolls, amazing iced tea, and growing friendships!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Greetings Fellow Bloggers

I never thought I'd get back into blogging, my days with xanga were few and far bewteen, but recently I've felt a need to express myself and this provides an excellent opportunity.

In the past my thoughts have been mostly about what I want in life and what has gone wrong, but my goal with this blog is not to whine and complain, but to share my heart with the world essentially. I want to share the ups and downs that life brings and marvel in God's glory at bringing me through it all.

So here I am, nearing the end of one of the most amazing journeys I've happend upon and looking at adulthood just down the road. It's hard to believe that I only have 2 months-ish left in Waco. I have grown to consider myself "from" Waco, simply because I've lived here for the majority of the 9 years I've been in TX. God is amazing though, and has already provided me with a path for my life after Aug 15th when I graduate (again).

For those who don't know, I've accepted a job as an independent contractor to work with Houston ISD for the 9-10 school year. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. What if I stink as a school slp? What if I get overwhelmed with the scheduling and the craziness of it all? What if I find that I can't stand Houston? Despite all these thoughts and fears, I know that God has a plan. I always feel silly telling people that, but I can't help but look back and see His hand in everything that has happened in my life. And when I say everything, I mean, EVERYTHING. Even the crummy stuff. Sometimes I think it's my way of rationalizing things that happen in my life, but I don't think I could survive without knowing that God is with me every step of the way.

When my dad died, I didn't feel like my world crumbled. Not right away at least, but little by little my resolve melted and I feel like I pulled my head inside of my shell and just existed for a while. I wanted to invest in others so I wouldn't have to deal with the pain that I was experiencing. God was there through all that in so many different ways. He was there in the random text messages from friends. He was there in the unexpected, but much appreciated hugs. And most definitely He was there in the prayer that was lifted up on behalf of my family, and my dad. I think that is what overwhelmed me the most. The magnitude of prayers that were prayed for my family. It made me so appreciative of all the people I take for granted.

Have you ever stopped to think about the people you count on to just be there? My relationship with my dad had gotten like that. He was a time zone away and just a phone call away, but I didn't realize how important that digital connection was until it was gone completely. Now I find myself wanting to call him and tell him about these new and exciting things in my life, and though I know that he's "around" -for lack of a better term-I still feel a little empty because I don't have him to bounce ideas off of.

I am suddenly realizing that this one post could get very long if I begin talking about my dad, so I'm going to stop here and save the rest for another time. After all, I can't reveal my heart all at once or you'll grow bored with me right?

I hope you have a fantastic Friday!