Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lessons learned...

In addition to the holidays, December,  for me, also brings a lot of self-reflection.  Here's 10 things I've learned (sometimes for the second or third time) this year.

1. I'm not perfect, and I never will be. No matter how hard I try! :)

2. Coffee really does get you through a bad finals week. (I never drank coffee in undergrad, so this is a new thing for me!)

3. Dreams come true, but not without some hard work and/or sacrifice. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, a lot of discipline, and Pampered Chef, I had enough money to buy my first house.

4. Even then, though, it still takes a certain amount of divine interference to make the dream a reality. I would not have looked at the house I now own had I not been delivering a Pampered Chef item at random and knocked on my future realtor's door.

5. My life is nothing like I imagined it to be, but I'm happy all the same. In high school and college, I had no intention of teaching, I thought I'd get married straight out of college, and I was terrified of being by myself for any length of time. So, now I'm in my late twenties, in my fifth year of teaching, and my second year of living by myself. My, how things change! :)

6. What's best for your career isn't neccessarily what's best for your career right now. In my area of teaching, a Masters' is pretty much expected, and fifteen post-graduate hours are required. The struggle for me came that while trying to keep up with my masters' classses, my teaching fell apart. I simply didn't have time to excel at both. Some weeks my schooling got the gip, some weeks it was my kids'. I wish it wasn't that way, but I've yet to find a balance.  

7. I don't deserve my family. Seriously, they are amazing. They come through for me when I know I'm asking too much from them. They help me again and again.  

8. The older you get, the more you treasure your friends that knew you "when".  I've gotten back in touch with a lot of great friends from college and high school.  It's just been a huge blessing, because although I love my newer friends dearly, they didn't walk beside me through those years in the past.  

9. It's never too late to repair a lost relationship.  My family had some drama with some members of my extended family about ten years ago that severely affected our relationship with them.  Time has healed a lot of wounds on both sides, but this year we really put everything aside and spent some time repairing the relationship.  What a blessing it has been.

10. There's more to finding someone to be with than just a list. (Definitely a lesson I keep relearning!)  I've had an internal list of qualities I'm looking for in a guy for years.  Most girls have one.  (The short list is Christian, tall, good sense of humor, family focused, dependable.)  I've met quite a few guys this year that on paper meet every criteria plus some.  But, it still didn't work out.  Whether it's chemistry or compatibility or another C word, we just didn't have it. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, there's this website that analyzes your blog and gives you your personality type. I, of course, put mine in and this is what they said...

The analysis indicates that the author of girl meets world is of the type:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

I think i'm normally an ESFJ, so I don't think it's too far off. Interesting news! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i'm gonna win! :)

 You know I'm a sucker for a contest- head on over to to try and win some awesome prizes! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

i'm moving on up!

Well, I've been saving for a house off and on for a couple of years, and felt like with today's market, it was time to take the leap. Allow me to introduce you to my new house! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

My ten favorite things in my humble abode...

So, confession time. I'm a blog stalker. I read a lot of blogs and never comment. But, this one got me. TipJunkie is hosting her Talk to Me Tuesday and she asked you to share your ten favorite things in your house.

Things you should know before you look:
- I live in an itty bitty one bedroom apartment. I've got apartment-white walls that I can't paint. I so wish I could...
- My apt is currently a mess, so some pictures have creative angles so that you don't have to see it! :)
- I love pandas. A lot. They infiltrate my space, and I don't care. They make me happy.
- I love black, white, and red. (But, I hate white walls- if I had my way, I'd have taupe or tan walls or something similar.)
- And, last but not least, I'm not a photographer, so the lighting stinks in some of these pictures.

My top ten things in mi casa: (in no particular order)

1. My red bowl. It was a Christmas thing at Target, and I coveted it all season... and then, yes! It showed up 75% off. It became mine. And, now it has it's place of honor in my house year round.

2. My dad went to China for a month while I was in college. I was trying to limit my panda-love, but my dad knew better. He bought me this hand embroidered picture already framed and even bought an extra suitcase just to get it home to me (now, granted- he did promptly fill said suitcase up with lots of other souveneirs and stuff, but I was still impressed!)

3. My recliner. It is blue in an apartment filled with black, white, and red. It's falling apart, and the sides have been ripped open from too many moves. It was my grandmothers, and I slept in it when I was recovering from three different surgeries (two arm surgeries, one nasal septum surgery). It's the perfect size for me, and I just love it. I've promised my parents that I'll give it up soon, but I just haven't done it yet.

4. My first real piece of "art". It's a professionally (ie expensive) framed photo of Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. It's probably my favorite place in the world.

5. My mantel. It changes frequently, and is far from perfect, but I like it. The photo on the left is amazing- I got it from a vendor at Grapefest last year.

6. My cross wall. It's a little tiny wall right next to my kitchen, perfect for a little collection. All of the crosses I (or my friends and family) have acquired from all over the world. They each have a story, and I love that.

7. My DVR. I work two jobs and am always busy doing stuff, so DVR is my friend. It lets me still watch my fave shows, and when I can't sleep, my dear "friends" are always there to help out... (I guess I should have also included my TV with a sleep timer!)

8. These glass pattern ball things. I've now bought three or four different vases or bowls to put them in, and none of them are right, but I love them all the same. They are probably the most unpractical thing I have ever purchased in my life, but I don't care. I think they're cool. I just don't know how to display them. (Oh, and the panda salt and pepper shakers were an ebay find. They're quirky and cute, and I couldn't resist them. Big surprise.)

9. My laptop. I run my side business largely from this, write papers from grad school, email friends and family, blog, blogstalk, facebook, etc. I also *love* my wallpaper- you can't see it very well, but it's beautifully designed and full of inspiring and helpful quotes.

and last, but certainly not least...

10. My cat, Polly. She greets me at the front door, and then proceeds to tell me exactly how she feels about being left at home all day. She walks in on me while I'm in the bathroom, yet gets embarrassed if I walk in while she's in the litterbox. She's a conundrum, but I love her all the same.

So, that's it! Hope you enjoyed a peek at my favorite things! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

georgia on my mind...

So, our long awaited vacation arrived... for the past four years, a group of girlfriends from college and I have discussed having a yearly reunion to continue to foster our friendships. We knew it was important to get started before all of us got married and started having babies, or else we might never do this.

So, we all checked our schedules and had some trouble finding dates before finally settling on mid August. From the get-go, I was worried, because half of the trip conflicted with my inservice. I was going, I wasn't going up until the very last minute. But, this past Thursday, I finally got it together, and Friday I was on my way for my forty hours of fun! :)

I could tell you all the things we did, the yummy food we ate, but, ultimately, none of that matters. What mattered this weekend was simply being together. From the moment I saw these girls, the time spent apart disintegrated. It was as if no time had passed and we just picked up right where we left off. Yes, our circumstances and lives had changed, but, at our cores, we were still the same old girls.

We still piled on the couch like puppy dogs, we still giggled at the same old memories. We still got too competitive when playing simple games, we still took stupid pictures of ourselves. And most importantly, we still have the same character that drew us together all these years ago.

  • Pam still has the heart of worship and passion for Christ that she's always had. Her heart inspires me and continues to drive me forward, as well.
  • Amanda still has the heart for people- for community and making people feel loved and accepted and helping them see God. Amanda reminds me of how important it is to encourage each other- she's always been a huge encouragement to me.
  • Emily still has the heart of quiet servitude- of providing for the people she loves through cooking, helping, "doing the dirty work". She shows God's love through action, and her actions speak for her so loud that words aren't neccessary.
Before I left, there were promises to continue this yearly. I can't imagine not- this was one of the greatest gifts I gave myself this year- a chance to get away from it all, a chance to see people I rarely spend time with anymore, and a chance to remember just how sweet community can be.

Monday, August 11, 2008

this is my confession...

I love the Olympics. Probably more than that, growing up it was an absolute obsession. The whole family participates in this obsession, but my mom and I are the worst.

One year, our family went on vacation to Tennessee and planned our day excursions so that we could be home in time to watch the olympics. Sad, I know.

So, the olympics began on Friday. I was at a wedding in waco. Saturday I had inservice and a friend's graduation. Sunday I had church and two different parties. What's a girl to do!?!
Thank God for TIVO!

I now tivo all the olympics (which, mind you, is close to 14 hours of coverage a day!!!) and have become a pro at watching nine hours of coverage in one hour! :) How is that possible, you ask? Well, let me tell you. First off, you should know that my favorite sports are swimming, diving, and gymnastics for the summer games. I like the others, but those are my faves.

Cycling is way more fun at 15x speed!
So is basketball, water polo, and volleyball.
Sometimes if 15x isn't enough, I bump it up to 30x or 60x. So, I see enough to know what's going on, but I don't really watch the whole game. I'll stop if it looks exciting, but other than that, I'm just monitoring and fast forwarding! (Ironically, outside of the Olympics, I *love* to watch basketball... during the Mavericks heyday, I frequently stayed up late watching my boys. There's just so many sports to watch, that this girl's gotta prioritize!)

Swimming is calculated- I watch that almost all the way through, except for the 400m ones. First I watch the setup (where they show who's in what lane), then I fast forward through the first six laps and watch the last two laps in real time. It's quite fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Are you a guilty-type person? I think I've figured out I probably feel guilty about 20 or 30 times a day.

I feel guilty when...
  • I realize I'm two days behind on my devos
  • I use a plastic bag
  • I throw away a plastic bag because it's broken (now i recycle those, too!)
  • I complain about being broke when I'm making almost double what I made a year ago
  • I leave my cat to go housesit
  • I don't go to the gym even though I'm paying for it
  • I drive my SUV to the store to buy one item on the list that I forgot (I should be organizing my shopping trips to conserve gas and energy- that's the environmentally friendly way, you know!)
  • I'm late to church... or a dinner... or whatever I'm late to.
  • I fall behind on grading... or planning... or anything related to my students'
just to name a few...

I know guilt can be both good and bad. It makes you aware of the ways you fall short, but I also know that this constant berating of myself isn't healthy. Can any of you perfectionists relate to this???

People always say that you don't know guilt until you're a mother. I'm not yet and I still seem to fight guilt at every turn! I must be doomed...


p.s. I'm actually not in a bad state right now. I'm pretty pleased with my life. It's just as I've been working on letting go of the perfect and working towards the acceptance of myself- faults and all, I've also become aware of the large amount of guilt I pile on myself!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

they call me ms. personality...

So, I just took a personality test just to see what it tells me now... I have relatively the same results, but I switch between a few small items- i go from one side to the other depending on what's going on in my life. This one linked me to a description that fits me better than any test I've ever read... read on, my friends!

Guardian™ Portrait of the Provider (ESFJ)

Providers take it upon themselves to insure the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of social institutions such as schools, churches, social clubs, and civic groups. Providers are very likely more than ten percent of the population, and this is fortunate for the rest of us, because friendly social service is a key to their nature. Wherever they go, Providers happily give their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, and that social functions are a success.

Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of dances, banquets, class reunions, charity fund-raisers, and the like. They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to speak publicly with ease and confidence. And they are outstanding hosts or hostesses, knowing everyone by name, and seemingly aware of what everyone's been doing. Providers love to entertain, and are always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to make sure that all are involved and provided for.

Friendly, outgoing, neighborly - in a word, Providers are gregarious, so much so that they can become restless when isolated from people. They love to talk with others, and will often strike up a conversation with strangers and chat pleasantly about any topic that comes to mind. Friendships matter a great deal to Providers, and their conversations with friends often touch on good times from years past. Family traditions are also sacred to them, and they carefully observe birthdays and anniversaries. In addition, Providers show a delightful fascination with news of their friends and neighbors. If we wish to know what's been going on in the local community, school, or church, they're happy to fill us in on all the details.

Providers are extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them somewhat self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them. Loving and affectionate themselves, they need to be loved in return. In fact, Providers can be crushed by personal criticism, and are happiest when given ample appreciation both for themselves personally and for the tireless service they give to others.

William Howard Taft, Barbara Walters, J C Penney, Ray Kroc, Louis B. Mayer, Sam Walton, Dolley Madison, and Dave Thomas are examples of Provider Guardians.

And, if you're still reading this, go here for a fun alternative view of describing your personality... it says that i am a control freak. (no surprise here!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

failure, part two

Well, there you have it. That failure that I fear so much it numbs me and I do nothing? I'm in it. And, in some ways, it's every bit as bad as I have imagined it to be. I'm scared to face the music- scared that people will reject my oh-so-flawed self. I know I have a rough school year ahead of me-- I'm going to have to work my butt off, get results, and even then, I probably still need a miracle to get where I need to be to be "successful".

But, you know what keeps running through my head? "my power is made perfect in your weakness..."

It's from one of my favorite verses, 2 Corinthians 12:9...

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Wow. When I fail, God's power becomes perfect. When I fall short, I learn to lean more on God and Christ has more room to reign his power in me. It gives me chills! How great is that? Here I am at my breaking point- literally crying to my mom about how I'm a failure, and yet God puts that verse before me.

This isn't anything new. I've heard this sermon time and time again, but, lately, God's been taking me back to the basics. He loves me... a lot. He's perfect, I'm not. I'm not so good without Him, but with Him- well, the sky's the limit.

I think I've always supported my quest for perfectionism with the reasoning that we should strive to be more Christlike... Christ is perfect, therefore I should be, too. But, what I'm seeing more and more is that my quest for perfection pushes God away rather than bringing Him closer.

It's something I should have learned a long time ago, but hey, I'm dense and stubborn, so I'm taking my time. It's time for me to stop being so afraid of God and everyone seeing the many cracks in my shell.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Captivating pg. 120

I read this last night and it really struck a chord with me...

Reading George MacDonald (apparently a poet- I don't know who he is!-hh) several years ago, I came across an astounding thought. You've probably heard that there is in every human heart a place that God alone can fill. (Lord knows we've tried to fill it with everything else, to our utter dismay.) But what the old poet was saying was that there is also in God's heart a place that you alone can fill. "It follows that there is also a chamber in God himself, into which none can enter but the one, the individual." You. You are meant to fill a place in the heart of God no one and nothing else can fill. Whoa. He longs for you.
You are the one that overwhelms his heart with just "one glance of your eyes" (Song 4:9b). You are the one he sings over with delight and longs to dance with across mountaintops and ballroom floors (Zeph. 3:17). You are the one who takes his breath away by your beautiful heart that, against all odds, hopes in him. Let that be true for a moment. Let it be true of you.
God wants to live this life together with you, to share in your days and decisions, your desires and dissapointments. He wants intimacy with you in the midst of the madness and the mundane, the meetings and memos, the laundry and lists, the carpools and conversations, and the projects and pain. He wants to pour his love into your heart and he longs to have you pour yours into him. He wants your deep heart, that center place within that is the truest you. He is not interested in intimacy with the woman you think you are supposed to be. He wants intimacy with the real you.

Okay, so I read this feeling so incredibly hopeful and yet at the same time a bit creeped out. The God of the universe loves me... like that? This section just stuck with me. Yes, I know God loves me, of course, but this is different. This is passion and yearning. The idea that God feels that for me with all my failings just blows my mind.
How different would my life be if I truly believed this? It just gave me a lot of food for thought. I think sometimes I put space in between me and everybody- including Him- because I don't want people to see my failings. It's a mix of pride and fear and all sorts of other things, but it's something I have GOT to get over.

Monday, May 26, 2008

confessions of a perfectionist...

I like everything to be perfect. Everything. Me, my apartment, my job, my friends. I like it the way I want it. Which, naturally, causes a multitude of problems. Earlier this month, I finished the hardest semester of school I've ever had. The material was brand new and challenged a lot of my previous philosophies of teaching. The professor was wonderful, but demanding. In a life already filled with a full time job, family, and friends, I was trying to be the perfect student, too. There were times when I failed at all of it miserably.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I would probably consider myself a fearful person. I've come a long way in 26 years, but I really feel like I have a long way to go.

I was terrified of heights. So, I set out to go on every roller coaster in Six Flags. I jumped off a 32 foot cliff. I went on a canopy tour hundreds (or thousands?) of feet above ground. Many of these things scared the crap out of me, and yet, I did it anyways.

I was scared of being alone. So, I started out housesitting at other peoples
houses and then, this year, moved in by myself. It scared me, but I did it anyways. It doesn't scare me anyore.

But, I still deal with my biggest fear on a daily basis. And, I don't know how to get through it. And, to be frank, I'm not even quite sure what exactly it is I'm afraid of. For a while, I thought I was scared of failure. And, to a point, I am. I am a perfectionist. I like to do things just right. And, when I don't think it's going to be perfect, I completely shut down. The more important the task, the worse it gets. But, it's not just this. I think my biggest fear is a fear of myself. I work hard to be the best teacher, the best student, the best daughter, the best Christian, the best anything... that I can be. And, then, without fail, I fall short. So, what then? I'm terrified for people to see me as less than the best. I know that they know that I am not perfect, but I think, too often, I refuse to show them that side of me. It's almost like I see so much wrong with myself that I can't handle the thought of anyone else seeing them, too. Am I alone in this? I don't know why, but this year, this has been crippling for me. This fear of being found out, exposed for all of my many faults.

So, where do I go from here? I honestly think just admitting this is a baby step, but I know I need to move forward. Ijust don't know how. I always thought I was pretty real. My humor tends to be self-deprecating, but I think that's just one more self-defense mechanism. If I acknowledge my faults first, maybe it won't hurt as much if they notice them, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

how i spent my spring break...

this is what my closet currently looks like in preparation for this years wedding season...
On Wednesday, I shopped and shopped and found presents for almost all of the weddings and showers I have coming up. I should only need to pick up two or three more gifts which is awesome. I went ahead and wrapped everything up today because I know how busy I have been this spring, and it doesn't look like it's getting less busy any time soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break

Things I've done this week:
  • Spent time with wonderful people
  • Bought a heckofalotta wedding/bridal shower presents
  • met new people
  • created an awesome desert
  • discovered that homemade tortilla chips kick store bought chips butt! :)
  • work on my group project

Things I've not done this week: (hopefully yet!)

  • grade papers
  • read my textbooks
  • work on my (2) individual projects
  • find the missing w-2 form
  • clean my house
  • get my oil changed
  • do my lesson plans for next week
  • do laundry

So, yeah, fun week, but quite unproductive. Here's hoping I am magically productive this weekend! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

to risk or not to risk?

If you don't already know, I'm a good student. I don't say this to brag, it's just a fact. I like school- it just fits me. It's also always come pretty easy to me. I made great grades in college and, in retrospect, although I worked to get the grades I did, I probably wasn't challenged all that much. School's always come pretty easy to me.

I started grad school (again! third time's the charm, right???) this past week. I found a great, affordable program in Gifted Education through Hardin Simmons. It just fit with everything I wanted and, because it relates to my current teaching position, it will be almost completely paid for by my school district. (That's always exciting!) It's kind of a strange program- you meet a total of five times throughout the semester. It starts at 4:30 on Friday and runs till 8:30 that night. The next morning, we're back at 8:30 and in class until 12:30. I'm taking two classes, though, so it works out to be about two to three times a month until the end of April.

So, I had my first class last weekend and was feeling fine. It's just one of those classes that I know I will excel at. No worries.

This weekend, I attended the other class I am taking. This one is a completely different story. This class will probably be one of the most challenging courses I have ever taken in my life. It scared the crap out of me. It made me realize just how much of my life I have played safe. Don't get me wrong- I don't have regrets. I'm happy with the choices I've made in my life, even if they were stupid. Every choice makes up who I am, and I'm okay with that.

But, dang, if a hard class puts me in tailspin, I need to take some more risks! :)

So, my goal for the next few months is to try my best to get over my fear of failure and take some risks. Whether it be in love, friendships, school, or life in general, that's my goal. I have to get over myself and move on- I have no regrets now, and I'd like it to stay that way for the future!