Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warning: This may be just rambling depression talk.

Correction: after reading over it, this IS rambling depression talk.

So today at around 5:00, Kathrine, Molly, and I made it back to Little Rock from our weekend, Fall Break, in Florida. We went back to the same place we were at earlier this summer, Sanddestin.

As expected, everything there was just perfect. 

We saw our old friends, made some new friends and had so much fun with  just the three of us. The weather was perfect, the tourists were few, and the circumstances were awesome.  

That being said, it makes coming home so much harder. 

I hate that I hate coming back to reality so much. I love my family and I know how fortunate I am to have them so close and how fortunate I am to have job that I like.  BUT, and yes this is a BIG BUT..and I cannot lie, you other brothers,.sorry...as I was saying, BUT I just don't know why it is always so hard to come back home. I don't think it should be. 

Is it because I know what to expect everyday and I find boredom in that? Is it because I may not be doing what I am meant to do, even though I do like my job?  Or is it because I always have a hard time living in the present and finding hope in the future. I have discussed this before, but I tend to be a master at living in the past. Whatever it is, I need to figure it out. I want to be excited about life. 

Kathrine and Molly both said I was so much happier in Florida and I know they are right. 

At home, I worry about every thing non-stop from how much money I am making, my job, trying to establish more relationships in Little Rock, and then wondering how much longer I am actually going to be in Little Rock.  I get obsessive about working out and my weight and what I am eating which really dampens my attitude (so not okay, I realize this). I think about my dating life and how I am beginning to realize a true southern boy will never want to date me since I am a picture perfect failure of a southern girl. And with all this worrying, I worry about my worrying and try to tell myself that I am failing at looking at the big picture and I have got to realize that I am so not in control of any of this!

But heck, it is so much easier said that done. 

Andddd...deep breath. (I warned you about the rambling.)

Can I get an amen? I mean, do other people get this way? 

I just had to get it out. I was home, unpacked everything, started laundry, showered, ate dinner, and occupied an hour watching the Pan Am episode I missed and then the boredom and reality set back in. 

Here is the mere effort to perk myself up, looking forward to a few fun events coming up:

The fair is here in Little Rock this weekend which is only fun when you get to go as VIP as Kathrine and I do every year due to her father, Captain Mark Allen. I think we may have a bon fire planned for the weekend. I am going to Orlando the first weekend of November. Halloween is coming up which even though I have never really celebrated, I am thinking this year, The Trio will have to do something fun! Maybe a trip to Memphis! And if not for Halloween, there will definitely be some other trips to Memphis for fun. 

Okay, well if you happen to still be reading this depressing ramble session, I promise to not let that happen again anytime soon. I feel like I should be posting this to Xanga. Remember Xanga?  It was like the original blog back in the day and all the emo people got on and told the saga of their middle school and high school days. Oh! the horrors of being a teenager but finally an outlet to let the whole world in on it.

Anyways, have a good night friends!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hoping for Hope.

As most of you know, I have started my new job at Natural State Chiropractor and I love it.

And, as most you know, in any job that deals with patients, there are those patients that take a lot more patience than others. (Ha, how ironic the similarity between those two words.)

However, there are those others who you just automatically know you are going to love.

Last week, we had one of those people become a patient of ours. His name is John and he is this sweet little old man that comes in with a walker every visit, and since he cannot drive himself, he always has a driver as his escort.

He is a man full of such joy and peace. You feel lighter and happier in his presence and every time he comes in, I can't help but smile. This is for two reasons:

One: He usually is wearing the most awesome vintage Razorback shirt or sweatshirt that have got to be from the 70's or early 80's. They are so cool and I told him I wanted one. Or rather, yelled it to him since he cannot hear well...AT ALL. (Yes even with me, the really loud one)

Anyways, the second reason is this. John is a 71 year old man who has the faith and discipline of few men. John spent many years of his life as a choir director and the ability of motion was crucial to his life. He loved to cycle every day and judging by his character, he was a very lively and active being.

However, I am not sure exactly when, but a couple years ago, John had a stroke which left him with little to no motion on his whole right side of his body. This meant he could no longer do his favorite activities and he was completely swept away from the active life he lived. He could no longer direct his choir and he could no longer cycle.

Since the stroke he has had a couple of silent hearts attacks, he has chronic headaches and pain all over his body, and his body is just sick.

But despite his pain and despite his suffering, John, in his late age and after his stroke, decided to do something that most fully functioning and healthy people would never have the courage or strength to do.

Using the only ability he had left, John typed the whole entire bible, beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation with only his left hand. Let me say that again. John, the 71 year old, who is in chronic pain and has almost no motion on his right side (yes, he was right handed), typed the WHOLE bible with only his left hand.

I don't know if that has any impact on you, but it does on me.  I am so convicted by a faith like that and brought to my knees in shame because of how often I go day-to-day with a fully functioning, healthy body and yet do so little that brings Glory to God. This man had everything taken away from and yet he uses the only strength and capability he physically has to worship Christ.

Sometimes I wonder how a man in so much pain with all the reason to be angry and bitter can still exert so much joy and peace as he does.  Then, after a few naive and foolish moments of thought, the only conclusion I can come to is because of the faith he has set in something other than himself. He has placed his faith and eternal hope in Christ.  I can't imagine living on this earth without the hope of something else. And I say this but still all to often I never live with my hope in Christ.

Life is messy. It is so full of pain. We hurt people and people hurt us whether through actions or words or perhaps no actions or words at all. Circumstances hurt us. Our jobs fail us. Our cars fail us. Money might provide ease but easy doesn't always mean happy and it for sure is not fulfilling.  I believe something can only truly be fulfilling if you know the effects of whatever you are investing in are permanent, guaranteed to last. Absolutely nothing on this earth will last forever.  There are temporary fulfillments but what good are those when they are as I said, only temporary.

I need a faith like John's. To live out a life of hope. I want to be a "John" where even in my pain I can make others in pain, feel hopeful.  After all, without hope, there is no point to living. If I had his faith and did an act as noble as he did and I used my every capabilities (a word which I can thankfully still make plural) to know and serve Christ better, than I could have that joy too. It may sound weird and it might not make sense at first but it's real. And what John is going through and has done is not some church-babble. It's an action of radical faith, that despite his circumstances, allows him to find hope and joy in every day. and if he can do it so can I and so can you.

So friends, look for hope. Find The Source of it in your life and let it flow through you every minute of every day.

Love you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

2 Happy Things turned to Lesson.

Two exciting things about today:

     1. Baking a cheesecake = time to write. Love that.
     2. At Williams-Sonoma today, aka the best store to go to when the season starts changing to fall, and I found my most favorite packaged treat that I used to eat all the time during my semester in Ireland! They are called Tea Cakes and they are these milk chocolate things with graham cracker bottom and marshmallow middle.  So it is like a s'more which, if you know me, you know how much I love s'mores!! 
Those are it! I have a shmooshed one on my bookshelf that I brought home from Ireland and it sits there as decoration. But...I found these and they were on sale for $2.00. These Americans didn't realize what they were missing out on. :) Now the big question is... should I eat them?! What if they don't taste as good as I remembered them? That is always the scariest thing about not having something you loved for so long. 

Has that happened to you? You know, where you you fall in love with something or maybe even someone and then you loose it. But then, as time passes on, the void that was left in your heart was not really filled as people tell you it will be. "Don't worry. Time will heal it"...to which I respond "B.S." Because instead, the pain of missing that something or someone just gets bigger and bigger which causes you to start idealizing it in your head. 

It is like when you go see a movie and you really enjoy it. You tell everyone else how good it is and recommend it to them. Then, you find someone else who has seen it and also really liked it and since both of you like, it becomes even better! So much better, that you decide to go see it again and invite someone else to go see it too. However, after watching it again, you realize, it actually wasn't that funny and the person you  invited, really just thinks you are crazy and in fact, thinks less of the movie because of how much you talked it up. 

I don't know about you, but this happens to me all the time...with both trivial things and important things.

And with the big things, it becomes scary.  

There are certain events in the past that I look back on and wish I could be back in that moment, with that same person or persons, and doing the same things. I desire it so badly that the memory becomes a treasure to me. And as with any treasure, if you truly care about it, you know that it needs to stay locked up and stowed away. Exposing it to the world risks that treasure losing some of its mystery, luster, value, etc. Even Oscar Wilde agrees with me. He said "no man is rich enough to buy back his past".  For me, my memories are my treasures and one thing that always remains is that treasures will never look as good as the first time I saw it or experiences it. 

I hate saying that but I honestly think there is some truth to that. And thankfully, in truth, I believe there is always purpose. 

The purpose for me here is that I need to learn to be thankful for the memories and experiences that I have had and not let the desire to relive them overtake the gift that they originally were. Although I no longer have that thing or that person, I have to realize that there is a purpose for that too. There is truly is a season for everything and right now, Someone else has different plans and ideas for me now. I strongly believe that once I learn to adapt an attitude of thankfulness, I will be moved toward enjoying the present events in my life better. I will look for opportunity and adventure in the present and future instead of remembering events and experiences in the past. 

From an attitude of thankfulness, flows a life of gratitude. A life of gratitude can bring greater happiness than a life living in, for, and through the past can ever bring. 

"It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory. " -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Work and such...

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. -Theodore Roosevelt 
Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.
-Booker T. Washington  
It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work. -William Faulkner 
 Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas A. Edison 

So what is with all the quotes about work, huh? Well, I will tell you.

Right now, work is kind of ruling my life. I am working two jobs right now. I have been hired on full-time at Natural State Chiropractor and am continuing to work at the retail store that I worked at this summer until my boss can hire on some more people. This means my weeks have been 40+ hours of work every week.

However, I am not complaining. I am enjoying it. I like to have a purpose and every day I get to help people.  I feel needed at both places and this is essential for me to do good work. The chiropractor is a practice that is growing here in Little Rock and I am so pleased to be a part of team that wants me to help figure out how to continue this growth.

But dear friends, this is why I have slacked so much at writing. This post was only made because for some reason my body did not want to sleep this morning. I woke up at 3:30am and then again at 4:30am, laid in bed until 5:00am. and then decided to wake up, go to Starbucks and do some work and also, finally write.

Once again, I am so thankful for Starbucks. Thank you Jesus. :)

However, in addition to work and when I have a second to spare, these are the things I have been doing:

Shopping (sooo not normal but it has been necessary)
Here are some recent purchases:

And, apparently I have been very into grey and black. The clothes are from the one and only amazing Anthropologie and the shoes are from Bakers. (and they are not as skanky as they look. promise.)

Baking here and there, some turn outs much better than others. More details later hopefully. :)

Playing with this beautiful, baby girl who is already almost 8 months!!

Watching these guys play!! Finally the season is here!! 

DVR-ing and watching this show Saturday mornings:

The Pioneer Woman! I know, everyone loves her. And if you don't, you should.

And with the addition of allowing myself some social life, you can only imagine how often I am frequenting this place to keep up. :)

So much more to share, but so little time. (and insert Mary Kate and Ashley's "So Little Time" show theme song)

Now off to work! Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Remember that "Mini Fairy Tale" guy?!

Back in June I wrote a blog called "My Mini Fairy Tale".

It was about my friend whom I refer to as The Fiddler because that is what he was doing when I decided I wanted to meet him. He was playing in a band at this bar called Funky's in Baytowne Wharf of Sanddestin, FL. 

Recently, and by recently I mean about a month ago, he posted a video on his YouTube site of him playing with a guy named, Sharif Iman. Without even hearing him play, you know he is cool because: A. His name is Sharif which sounds like sheriff (who wouldn't want that name). B. He has super long dreads and is a musician (that's two, I know) and C. well...he is black. :) Had to throw that in there. 

Anyways, in this video, the two play a song called "Take Me Now" and instead of me writing about how good it is and how extremely talented they are, you should just watch. 

Especially watch around minute 3:45. That's when the fiddle solo comes in. Whew. I love it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So last month...

So I know Harry Potter was "so last month" but I still can't get over them... I just love them and I love all these pictures and wanted to share them with you in hopes that you too are not over it. Because I am so not...

Can we say bittersweet?!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Baking Kick Begins...and the Lessons I Learned

For any of you who have baked something and completely failed can I get a "what what!"...pleasssseeee....

Because... that was me last night. I mentioned in the last post how I was excited to try some new baking recipes this week, so Kathrine, our friend Mason, and I all got to work last night.

Since I am on a healthy kick right now, my first attempt was to cook a Cinnamon Coconut Coffee Bread. It was made with a bunch of decent yummy ingredients such as carob powder (a healthy form of coco powder), coconut flour, coconut oil, eggs, and etc... and everything was going smoothly until I blended the dry ingredients with the wet ingrediants. The recipe said whisk until there are no clumps. So naturally, I got the Kitchenaid Blender, put the whisker on it and "whisked" the two together.

It was then, I realized whisking from a machine and by hand meant two very different things and can have two very different results. What I ended whisking up with not some light and fluffy dough-like substance that I hoped for. Rather, my "dough" was the consistency of play-dough. It was at that point, I knew this was going to be awful. I yelled loudly for my mom to make her come fix it or tell me what to do but at that point all she said is there is no going back. You have to just push forward and move on. So we put it in the oven with hopes for a miracle. Kinda like Shadrach, Meeshach and Abendago from the Bible only when my precious object was thrown into the fiery furnace, not only did it not raise one millimeter as bread should do, it burnt to the crisp. There were definitely no angels in my oven last night. Dang it.

Are you ready to see a picture? Feel free to laugh hysterically only after your sympathize with me for two seconds as did Kat, Mason, and my Mom tried to until they all busted out laughing.  My Mom afterwards proclaimed: "And this is why we just don't try and back healthy deserts. It is an oxymoron. It doesn't work."  I accepted this and moved on.

Here is the damage....

Kat and I tried adding some cream to soak it in...nope. We both though the actual flavor still had potential but after taking a bite and have bread still stuck in our throats five minutes later...we faced the fact. It was TERRIBLE. We then thought we could maybe throw it on the ground and see if it would bounce. We were too embarrassed to try knowing that it actually probably would.

So there ya have it. My built up excitement of finally baking something all completely demolished.

However, Kat and I didn't want to give up yet on baking. And one thing I always wanted to cook were Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. And those we did bake after the disastrous cake and they turned out perfect according to Whoopie Pie standards.  The recipe we used was from Sweet Peas Kitchen.  Here are the photos from our (thank goodness) successful attempt #2.

Pre-Food Coloring

Post Food Coloring- looks like blood. So appetizing, I know.
Kathrine and Mason making the perfect circles for the sandwich. Thanks guys!

Freshly baked! They turned out perfect! Whew!

Kathrine's perfectly constructed Red Velvet Whoopie Pie with
the Cream Cheese Filling for us to share!

  See!! Both Mason and Kathrine look happy and they match the pies!! Ha. I took it as a sign. And if I had a picture of my face, you would be seeing a big smile too!They turned out pretty cute and I have a couple of other awesome ideas to try out with them to make them taste even better and look better. Kat and I could only share one because they were so rich. So I am going to try and come up with some alternatives that make them lighter and less rich. But wouldn't these be perfect for Razorback games, Christmas time and just dye the filling green, and also, of course, Valentine's Day.

Summary of the baking session lessons:

1. Always read instructions twice before you begin and multiple times during the process.
2. Always look to see if something needs to be softened like butter or cream cheese...microwaving it can totally ruin the texture of the dessert. You usually have to let it soften by room temperature for best results.
3.Always use salted butter unless specified for unsalted. (sweet cream doesn't make a difference)
4.Whisk by hand unless it tells you to use a machine! (Very important)
5. Don't try and make desserts healthy. It just doesn't work and its waste of money spent on expensive ingredients.
6. Make fun of yourself when you fail miserably.
7. Have friends and family there for moral support, just in case.

Happy Monday!! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

5 Things I Love and... some personal info.

For being 'jobless', I sure have been a very busy girl lately.

I am working "part time" at this clothing stores in the Heights called Kristen Chase. It is a fun, little designer boutique and it definitely feeds my "wanna be a fashion guru" side. However, I say "part time" because I really have been working non-stop, full time for the most part.  Even though I only started in August,  I am now the oldest person here because the other girls I worked with left to go to school. So now, I am the 'most experienced' one at the store which means I work the most. However, I am not complaining. I like to stay busy and I also like the paycheck. :)

Last week, however, I filled in for my sister, Abby, at her job while she went back to Florida for a week with her boyfriend and his family. Yes, I know, I am good sister. I worked every day the chiropractor (Natural State Chiropractor) and every hour I wasn't there, I was back at Kristen Chase. It was crazy. 

I have started going to the chiropractor regularly now. I didn't even know that I had any spinal issues. I was the only one in my family who didn't have any complaints or pain but Dr. Bishop (my chiropractor) wanted to scan me anyways. Turns out, my top two neck bones are fused together, my neck is curved in the opposite direction, and I have border-line scoliosis. Awesome, right? My neck is worst than my Dad's and if you know you my Dad, you know he can barely even turn his neck to the left or right due to arthritis. We try not to make fun too much but sometimes we can't help it. He looks a little like Frankenstein when he tries to move/ turn any direction. 

Anyways, I have a new found passion for chiropractic work and I think everyone should go. Yes, EVERYONE. I have a whole schpeel as to why but I will save that for later.

Okay there is a lot more to tell but I don't really know if it is worth sharing because bottom line, you have a life to get back too and don't have time to sit and read the boring details of my life. :)

But just for fun, here are some things I have fallen in love with lately (besides the chiropractor) and I think you should fall in love with them too....

1) Almond Butter with Celery Sticks. (as a part of this chiropractic thing, I have been trying to eat a lot healthier because...well...if I explain it... I will ramble on with the schpeel I promised for later. I know you can't wait. But I just am because I need too.) 

I usually eat it with apples, celery, or add a teaspoon to a morning smoothie as a great addition. Here is a way to make it homemade since it is not cheap in the store. (Homemade Organic Almond Butter)

 2. Jeans Shorts

I bought both of these pairs of jeans shorts this summer and I am in love with both of them. The Hudson's are absolutely perfect with any top from a silk top and pumps to my personal favorite, a t-shirt and converse. The Joe's are great also for a casual outfit and are super comfortable and not so short. I have another pair that I cut off myself in attempts to "get rid of some of my jeans" as my mom told me I should. Ha. So sneaky.  Bottom line, they aren't necessarily cheap but they are totally worth it. In my opinion, jeans can make or break an outfit.

My mom picked up this cookbook for me and it is like my new favorite book. Just kidding, but seriously.  The author, Erin Bolger, writes down comical stories of her dating life that almost every girl can identify with and then gives a recipe to match the story. (ex: My Mom Didn't Like You Anyway's Cupcakes) I love love love it. And because of it, I am now obsessed with baking again. However, due to my health kick, I have yet to attempt the recipes. That will change this week and I will let you know how they turn out. But seriously, this is a perfect gift for any single friend of your's or even for yourself. :) 

4. Style Mint. This is Mary Kate and Ashley Olson's new t-shirt line they just started. If you go to the website, they do a mini-quiz to personalize your style.  Then they give you the top four picks and you can choose which ones you like. All shirts are $29.99 so you will not be breaking the budget and they look super comfortable and cute. I am going to buy one today, hopefully. The system they have for it is pretty cool. If you want to know more, just go look at the website! :)

I think I may be a little behind on the times but I have recently fell in love with this website and the concept of it. You can browse the web, "pin" the items, pictures, ideas, or things that you love and it will automatically go to your pinterest site for you and your followers to see. It is perfect for me when I don't have time to blog and it is also a great place to tag things I don't have time to look at but want to later!! You should join and then follow me. I think you can just search my full time. I think....

Anyways, that's all for now! Have a great Saturday and if I haven't seen you recently, just know that I miss you. I miss all my friends today for some reason! 


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