Friday, November 19, 2010

Photography

Recently my friend asked me to take some maternity pictures of her. I was a little nervous at first but decided to give it a try.

This was my first time actually doing a photo shoot and I was pretty proud with how they turned out. Here are a few. Any feedback would be much appreciated!

XOXO
MJ








Run, run, run!

So tomorrow is the big cross country race! I've been looking forward to it for months!

And I trained horribly for it!



(Oh doesn't this picture make it look fabulous?! ;) )

I was up to about 5 miles a day for about a week (if that) and then slowly started getting so busy it was hard to keep up. Meh.

At any rate, I'm really excited for this. I haven't done a true cross country race since high school! And it'll be interesting to see the 7,500 people running along with me.

Supposedly people can dress up in costumes. Two of Kevin and I's friends are dressing up as the Incredibles to run. That is going to be incredible. I've seen photos of brides and bridesmaids and other weird stuff. I told Kevin we should dress up as giant turkeys since, you know, it's so close to Thanksgiving. He just laughed.

Hoping to run the 7 miles in under an hour and a half. I think that's way possible, considering I ran 6 miles in under an hour back in September. But now it's going to be way colder and we're going to be running through hills and creeks and ditches. Who knows if it'll be raining. Or snowing. Well, I suppose I could check the weather, huh? Maybe I want to leave it as a surprise!

But, wish team Phoenix luck! I'll post some fun pictures later!

XOXO
MJ

UPDATE! Kevin and I are going as Batman and Batgirl! Will have pictures posted up as soon as we're done and back (and I have a minute to actually sit down this weekend!).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween

Every year for Halloween, I go all out. It is, after all, my favorite holiday. I love the idea of dressing up as someone else. So this year, I decided (after much debating!) on my favorite female DC villain, Poison Ivy.



I'll post more pictures of how we created the suit but let me tell you it took two nights, three hours each night. It required me standing while getting each individual leaf glued to me. Sometimes a painful process but definitely worth it.

The body suit I got from American Apparel for $26, along with the tights for $14. The shoes were just old black Mary Jane type shoes, which I glued leaves to. I got the leaves from Michael's craft store. The bracelets were hair ties with leaves glued to them. I took an old headband and glued the flower to it, along with some ivy.

Lastly, the hair. Ugh. I bought this rotten tomato washable hair color at Walgreens (in the Halloween section) that we just sprayed in. It was great but it got everything I touched red! My hands were covered it in and so were my neck and shoulders. If I wear this again, I'll definitely be purchasing a bright red wig, which will make it so much easier.

This was a very fun costume to make and wear! And I'm surprised most everyone knew who I was. I was expecting a few Mother Nature's or Eve's but everyone guessed Poison Ivy. Yay for comic book nerds.

XOXO
MJ

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Make believing is where it's at...

I'm now 26. Hmm...that's weird to write.

So I'm kind of sitting back and reviewing my short existence thus far. It seems pretty productive. But then I think, am I where I'm supposed to be? Is this what you have planned for me, God? Probably.

Sometimes I feel behind. Other times I feel ahead of the game. Ah, life is a vicious, wonderful cycle.

I'm trying to be positive. So what if I'm one step closer to 30? ....ah, crap. I'll admit it. I fear getting old. I do! So shoot me!

I don't want to grow up. Wait, aren't I an adult already? Yeah, I think so. Well, I'd much rather draw with chalk on the sidewalk all day and sell lemonade on hot summer days. I'd much rather play at the pool with friends or set all of my old dolls up and teach them spelling. I'd definitely much rather play dress up at grandma's all afternoon with my sister and have tea parties with stuffed animals.

Ah, life.

Until next time,

XOXO
MJ

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My birthday

3 October 1984

Your date of conception was on or about 11 January 1984 which was a Wednesday.

You were born on a Wednesday
under the astrological sign Libra.
Your Life path number is 8.

Your fortune cookie reads:
Keep in close touch with what your competition is doing.

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path number 6.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 1 & 5.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 7 & 9.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2445976.5.
The golden number for 1984 is 9.
The epact number for 1984 is 27.
The year 1984 was a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/2/1984 and ending 2/19/1985.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Rat.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Raven; your plant is Ivy.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Choiach, the fourth month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 7 Tishri 5745.
Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 8 Tishri 5745.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is 12.18.11.6.12 which is
12 baktun 18 katun 11 tun 6 uinal 12 kin

The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Wednsday, 7 Muharram 1405 (1405-1-7).

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 22 April 1984.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 22 April 1984.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 7 March 1984.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 10 June 1984.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 17 June 1984.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 25 September 1984.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Sunday, 15 April 1984.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 6 March 1984.

As of 9/16/2010 3:41:55 PM EDT
You are 25 years old.
You are 311 months old.
You are 1,354 weeks old.
You are 9,479 days old.
You are 227,511 hours old.
You are 13,650,701 minutes old.
You are 819,042,115 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:
Kaci (1987) Ashlee Simpson (1984) Eric von Detten (1982)
Seann William Scott (1976) India.Arie (1975) Neve Campbell (1973)
Kevin Richardson (1971) Gwen Stefani (1969) Tommy Lee (1962)
Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954) Lindsey Buckingham (1949) Roy Horn (1944)
Chubby Checker (1941) Erik Bruhn (1928) Gore Vidal (1925)
James Herriot (1916)

Top songs of 1984
Like a Virgin by Madonna When Doves Cry by Prince
Jump by Van Halen Footloose by Kenny Loggins
What's Love Got to Do with It by Tina Turner Against All Odds by Phil Collins
I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
Karma Chameleon by Culture Club Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 3.70998043052838 years old. (Life's just a big chewy bone for you!)

Your lucky day is Friday.
Your lucky number is 6.
Your ruling planet(s) is Venus.
Your lucky dates are 6th, 15th, 24th.
Your opposition sign is Aries.
Your opposition number(s) is 9.

Today is not one of your lucky days!

There are 17 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 26 candles.

Those 26 candles produce 26 BTUs,
or 6,552 calories of heat (that's only 6.5520 food Calories!) .
You can boil 2.97 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1984 there were approximately 3.6 million births in the US.
In 1984 the US population was approximately 226,545,805 people, 64.0 persons per square mile.
In 1984 in the US there were 2,487,000 marriages (10.5%) and 1,155,000 divorces (4.9%)
In 1984 in the US there were approximately 1,990,000 deaths (8.8 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

In 1984 the population of Australia was approximately 15,677,282.
In 1984 there were approximately 234,034 births in Australia.
In 1984 in Australia there were approximately 108,655 marriages and 43,124 divorces.
In 1984 in Australia there were approximately 109,914 deaths.

Your birth flower is MARIGOLD

Your birthstone is Tourmaline

The Mystical properties of Tourmaline

Pink Tourmaline promotes female balance and protection. Green Toumaline promotes male balance.

Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)

Opal, Jasper


Your birth tree is

Hazelnut Tree, the Extraordinary

Charming, undemanding, very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody and capricious lover, honest and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgement.


There are 100 days till Christmas 2010!
There are 113 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were
born was waxing gibbous.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh, Monday, how I despise thee...

What a long weekend. I can tell because today, Monday, is harder than usual. I'm just so exhausted but it was a decently fun weekend.

I threw Jessica her masquerade themed bachelorette party on Saturday. I was up at 8 cleaning and baking for the fiasco. By about 11:30 I felt like it should have been more like 5. I ran around getting forgotten things at the store, setting up at the Magnolia Hotel, buying a gift and getting ready.

The girls all showed up at my place around 5:30 to start getting ready. Boy did we look fancy. Dresses, high heels, curled hair, glitter, feathers, beads and bright red lipstick.

I left before everyone to get the food set up at the hotel and wait for people to start arriving. My mom, her three sisters, a family friend, Diana, my cousin Jordan and four of Jessica's friends came.

I've never thrown a party before but, overall, I think it was a success. Everyone brought lovely masks and Jessica got a lot of ... interesting things, including lingerie. Everyone had plenty to drink and even more fun.

Favorite part of the night was when a performer downtown stopped Jessica, got down on one knee and made up a song about her on the spot. I think someone videotaped it, though I can't be sure. She just had a blast and I'm glad. It was her one last weekend as a single girl! I still can't believe that, honestly. The wedding is in four days. Four more days and my sister will be Mrs. Bruce Schultze. And come November, she'll be a California girl.

And while the bachelorette party was fun -- I'm definitely glad it's over. It was a lot of stress and, now that it's over and was a success, I can breathe easy again! Now to just get through this wedding. I just want it to be here so we can just have fun and celebrate. Until then...I have champagne glasses to decorate and a few other things to do. Hoping my dress fits, also. Lost 15 pounds to fit into it. Thank you Weight Watchers!

So, hoping I can make it through this week with some sanity left! I have to work the main job every day (except Friday) and also at the second job tonight and tomorrow, babysit Wednesday, rehearsal dinner (and maybe an Aerosmith concert) on Thursday and then wedding on Friday!

Praying for no rain. If you're reading this, we could use a few extra prayers so there's no rain and everything goes off without a hitch!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fall fun.

You know when you rake up a pile of leaves and it looks so tempting just sitting there in all its leafy glory, just begging you to jump into it? You know you should really just put the pile into the garbage bags and get other stuff done but there's the little 10-year-old inside of you that nudges you to do it. You shrug and give in.

You brace yourself for the run ... one ... two ... three ... you race toward the pile, the wind whipping in your hair. You launch yourself up and over and right into the pile of crisp, brightly colored leaves.

They feel brittle and some break under your weight. You gather up a big arm full and fling it up into the air, watching as they come floating, twirling and swirling back down at you, landing in your hair, clothes and on your face.

Another arm full and whoosh! Right at the person who, in a jealous rage, has joined in on the fun. You laugh, sometimes you get annoyed if a rogue leave lodges itself in your eyeball. Not so awesome.

When the fun is done, you're itchy from head to toe because of the tiny pieces that have slipped under your clothes or in your hair. And sure you have to re-rake the leaves but deep down, your 10-year-old self is grinning from ear to ear.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are you a reason, a season or a lifetime?

I'm only 25. I am not very well seasoned when it comes to life. But there are a few things I've figured out along the way on this quirky journey.

Relationships die. Whether it's a friendship or a love interest. Sometimes it's because of a reason. But other times, there's no reason. It just fades away. You may not even realize it until you've gone a year without speaking to someone.

I don't know that I've had friendships die because of any specific reason. Relationships...yes. But all of my friends ... like those I went to high school with ... there wasn't one thing that separated us as life took us past teenage years. There were several. Colleges, jobs, significant others, military, marriage, children. It's all part of life.

And am I sad? I was. And sometimes, looking at old pictures or new pictures of some of the same friends hanging out, I get a lonely ache and part of me wants to relive that time. But things happen for a reason. Sometimes, people who come into your life are there for a reason. Sometimes they last for a season and others are there for a lifetime.



Those who aren't there for a lifetime doesn't make them any less important. You just have to realize that it's time to let go. It's sad but you have memories and lessons learned. And, as long as there is no hatred, no one says it's impossible to rekindle a relationship if the opportunity presents itself.

Sometimes, a phone call is all it takes. Or a simple text message or email. Sure it's a lot less personable but people are busy these days. A simple gesture is all it takes to let someone know that, hey, we may not be real close anymore, but I value you for you and I am always here if you need me.

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moving...

Something I posed on a previous blog - February 2007

This is a personal experience/column-type assignment I had to write for my magazine article writing class. I hope everyone enjoys it. It was thoroughly satisfying to write. :)



I don't exactly remember how I found out my parents were moving away from my childhood home but I do know that I wasn't happy about it. After all, it was the place I had grown into the person I am today. This event triggered many emotions in me, such as anger, sadness, confusion, and perhaps even a bit of excitement.
Despite the fact that we moved there when I was 8-years-old, the white ranch-style home has far more memories than I can even begin to recall. It was where I had celebrated 14 birthdays and went through a terrible bout of pneumonia—leaving me hospitalized for nearly three days. I had my first sleepover there in the not-quite-finished basement. I experienced pacing back and forth in the living room—anxiously awaiting the arrival of a date for my first school dance. I remember receiving my first car one warm October night, as friends and family gathered outside, laughing, as I stood speechless in my driveway. I remember ominously hiding myself in the blue depths of my bedroom as I tried to heal a broken heart.
At first I thought the moving idea was a joke or that it would pass with time. "They can't move," I'd say to myself. However, on Thanksgiving Day, while enjoying a wonderfully prepared meal of succulent turkey, savory mashed potatoes and gravy, and the rest of the works; I overheard my parents inviting my grandmother and aunts over to see the new house. It hit me like a ton of bricks. New house? So it was happening after all.
That day, I remember standing outside the new house next to my Dad, overlooking three peaceful acres and some cows. "You guys will really like it," he said. "And someday your kids are going to love it—they'll have so much space to run around." I sighed.
Coming home on the weekends, I slowly witnessed the transformation from home to empty place of residence. It was exceedingly difficult. I had moved to an apartment about two months before, but seeing my empty room was heartbreaking. I stood in the middle of the room, surrounded by an endless sea of blue walls and closed my eyes. I brought myself back to the day when I moved in.
It was snowing. I jumped into my bed, savoring the new smell of the room and took pleasure in having it all to myself. I didn't have to share with my sister. My parents had bought me a brand new bed and my Dad had built shelves in my vast closet so I could put my books. I had a picturesque window that would let light stream into the quaint bedroom. I spent many hours seated comfortably in that window, reading a book or listening to music.
I could still see how everything was organized, too. The bed was situated to the right of the window. Underneath the window, was my piano. My dresser stood next to my closet. On the walls, I had various Incubus posters and a gigantic painting of "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gough. Underneath the piano, I had drawn the cover of an Incubus album. I remember Mom being terribly cross with me for that. "I thought I broke you of that when you were two!" she lightheartedly exclaimed.
I can see myself, too, lounging on my bed with a book, my cat lying next to me. I can even hear Incubus playing on my stereo. But when I open my eyes, the vision is gone. Only emptiness stands before me.
Throughout the entire house, the same catastrophe was occurring. My mom took down the pictures and put away the delicate glass figures in her hutches, slowly packing the memories away from the house forever. I could almost feel the houses' anxiety. "Don't go!" I imagined it saying. After all, we had turned it from an outdated 1970s house, with brown carpet and orange wallpaper, to a modern and sophisticated home. But then again, if the house had feelings, it would have been sad to go from having little children running through its halls, laughing and yelling, to progressive silence over the years. Maybe it was excited to have little children again. This thought cheered me up—if only slightly.
Finally the day came when it was time to say goodbye. The boxes were all gone and the house was virtually empty. I will admit I was angry. The house had slipped through my fingers—I had been helpless to stop this tragedy from occurring. I was angry at my parents for leaving and I was even angrier at time. Time had caused my brother and sister and I to grow up. It caused us to become adults, with busy lives of our own. We hardly ever see each other. It had taken away people and memories. It had gone by too fast.
But for a brief moment, time stopped. I took a step back and thought about things. I didn't live in the house anymore, after all. My parents, having done what they could for us, were finally free of children. It was their turn to enjoy the peace and quiet of life. This was their choice and it made them happy. Everyone has to grow up, I thought to myself. Everyone has to experience change, including me. I said goodbye to the house and drove away. It was hard to let go but it had to be done.
The first time being in the new house was different and even more surreal. It didn't look like a home. Eventually, however, the boxes were unpacked and things I recognized were set up. It's beginning to feel like a home—though it may never be my home.
Since moving to the new house, I've been to the old house once. I drove by slowly one evening and saw strange vehicles parked in the driveway. When peering into the open windows from the warmth of my car, I saw odd furniture and unfamiliar faces. They were smiling and I knew immediately they were happy. The house looked warm and comfortable. "At least they're happy there," I thought to myself. I silently wished them and the house good luck and drove on.
I know I won't forget that house. I can't. This moving experience has opened my eyes to having other perspectives. I've learned to be unselfish. I'm open to change—even though I was unwilling at first—and I'm willing to give the new house a chance. I can build memories there and eventually, so will my children.

Coloring...

Something I wrote Aug. 28, 2007....

Where am I? Why is it so dark?

I am blind as I grope around for something in front of me…anywhere around me. Where's the damn light switch?

Ah. Here it is.

Hello. Where did you all come from? Each and every one of you…peering so fervently into the window of my life—my soul. But why are you blurry? No one has faces. You're just figures and shadows mingling like dreams and reality.

Am I real? Is the world really real? Are you real?

Think about that.

Who are you? Who am I?

I was born into this world nearly 23 years ago. Weird, huh? I remember thinking when I was 10 that I'd be 30 in 20 years. Twenty years seemed like an eternity.

Crap. I'll be 30 in about seven years. Dammit. Where does the time go?

Before I know it, I'll be 80 in seven years. But hopefully I'll be a cute old lady with five cats and a big garden. I'll live with my husband who likes to stand over me while I'm gardening and take pictures of my flowers and, of course, me. I'll likely protest the entire time saying my hair is too white or I have too many wrinkles. And he'll dismiss the notion and say I'm beautiful. And he'll keep snapping away.

Speaking of old ladies...I met a woman once, who wore an old wrist watch attached to the front of her shirt with a safety pin. She had, at one time, dark brown hair but now...years later, it was streaked with grey and white. She wore a red fuzzy sweater in the middle of August and smelled like cats. But in a good way.

I nonchalantly asked her about the watch, saying that now anyone could see the time. She waved away the notion simply stating, "It's been broken for years. I haven't bothered to get a new battery. The joke now is 'watch it.'"

I like old people. Most of them, anyway.

Life's funny. I have a cat. I want one more when I move someday. I hope he or she doesn't grow up and pick on Isabel. Speaking of her….she is going to hate a new cat. And I'm quite nervous she'll disown me because the little kitten might take my undying affection off of her for just one fraction of a second. Hmm.

And what will I name him? Such decisions…

Decisions. I hate decisions. I wish I had an invisible friend who could whisper the correct answer into my ear. That'd be nice.

I remember when all I had to decide was if I was going to go outside and ride my bike or stay inside and color a picture. I still color pictures.

My parents moved last February and just recently I asked my mom where our coloring books were. "Why?" she had asked me.

"Because I want to color," I had said back.

After shuffling through boxes and boxes down in the basement, I came up with one and a half coloring books, a huge box of broken crayons, long ago dried up markers and broken colored pencils. It was funny to sift through the pages of the brittle and yellowed coloring books and see half colored pages and a few finished masterpieces with names and dates written in the corner. They were old. Some at least 10 years.

"Mom," I had said when I came back up. "When grandchildren come…you should consider investing in new supplies."

The next time I came home was for my Dad's birthday. I saw a whole bunch of presents on the table and underneath them was a huge coloring book and a giant box of crayons. Thinking hard, I couldn't come up with any cousin's or godchild's birthday. When inquiring about it to my mom, she said, "They're for you. You wanted to color."

I was in shock. A giant coloring book full of blank pages. It was a dream come true.

Why can't life always be so simply entertaining?

My decisions now consist of what class to take, how many hours to work, whether or not to put my $300 bill of school books on a credit card or a debit card, where I'm going to work or what I'm going to do when I graduate. Will I have to move?

Decision scare me now. I despise thinking of them as they only cause gut-wrenching butterflies to escape into the depths of my stomach. My soul.

Maybe that's what you all are. You're all just a big mass of decisions. You're blurry because you're undecided. Well go away and really, I don't care if you come back some other day.

I'd rather live my simple life spontaneously and randomly. Yeah. That'll be just fine with me. Give me coloring books and crayons and that'll suffice me just fine. I'll just color my life different shades and hues. Won't that be interesting?

On the Mindless Menace of Violence...


Robert F. Kennedy
City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

"This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Change

Everything is changing. Not so much me but everything around me.

Usually life has always seemed so steady. Nothing has changed drastically. Friends have always been there. Siblings have always been there for family dinners or church on Sunday. Summer has always involved being outside, swimming at the lake with friends, camping and sun bathing.

But now, everyone is moving on and growing up. If I turn my head one way, people are getting engaged. Turn it the other way and people are moving. Turn it just a little bit more and you’ve got pregnancies.

And here I am, still standing where I always have. Everyone seems to have taken the step across the threshold of adulthood. I haven’t quite mustered the courage.

I still feel like the 10 year old girl who climbed trees and played house with my sister. I daydream about being a superhero. I’d love to have Indiana Jones’ job. Seriously. I secretly believe there is more to this world than what we can really see.

But reality awaits.

My sister is getting married in August and then will be moving to Mississippi to live with her new husband. From there, who knows where he will get stationed. Across the United States? Europe? Who knows?

I can tell you I am trying to thoroughly enjoy every moment I have with her up until her wedding and the inevitable move. She’s just always been home with my parents (except the school year she spent in Wayne). I can count on seeing her every weekend. But she’s growing up and getting married and soon she’ll be gone.

I know it’s supposed to happen! And I’m really, really happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother-in-law than Bruce. She will be in wonderful hands and I know the road trips to wherever they are will always be fun.

But I will miss seeing her and her messy room; her crazy, just-rolled-out-of-bed hair; her laugh; borrowing her clothes or jewelry; watching Harry Potter at mom and dad’s; taking my cats to get funny hair cuts from her at the vet; and just being able to have the whole family together.

Last weekend was the weekend of engagements. And to all of my friends and acquaintances who took that step, congratulations. It’s an exciting time and I keep all of you in my prayers.

God has a reason for everything – I don’t doubt that. Change is hard, though. Especially when it involves family. Maybe once I take that step someday it will become easier to accept change.

No matter what, though, I will always daydream about having magical powers and pick shapes in the clouds.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bookshelves

Can you say heaven?

My idea of a perfect home would have the living room/office/bedroom covered in bookshelves. I adore bookshelves. All shapes, sizes and colors. They're adorable. They're calming. They're comforting.









MoRe DeCoRaTiNg

BATHROOM!

I have no idea what I want in a bathroom. I have a white-ish shower curtain with some cool flowers on it. The colors in it are light yellow, pale green, light turquoise, pink and some tan. So any of those colors would probably work. I think I'd also like to recreate some of the flowers on the shower curtain and paint them on the wall in some areas. Or I might go with something totally different. Again, just brainstorming ideas...

Just pay attention to the wall colors here.... ;)

Here are some things that caught my eye...







I love vintage stuff so I'll be venturing out to garage sales and antique stores for little trinkets and treasures.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

dEcOrAtInG iDeAs

Ah, painting, decorating, rearranging and starting over! I'm moving to a new place at the end of this month and here are some of my decorating ideas. Have any you'd like to share? Let me know. And tell me what you think of the ones I've posted!

BeDrOoM

I have a lime green comforter and brown sheets. So I'm thinking of something like these colors. I'm also thinking of adding a tree with lime green leaves. Not real sure, though. I have to draw that one out first. I just think the colors are bright and happy and my bedroom is my go to place when I need to think or relax.



(Love this one the best.)

Hopefully I can do this. Keeping my fingers crossed. Should be a challenging project!




LiViNg RoOm


Here I'm striving for a look that says, "Welcome." It's the first place my guests will go and I want them to feel welcome and have the room feel open and comfortable. Just don't know what colors yet...

Really love this one. It's somewhat neutral and yet bright so it'll make the room look bigger.

Here I like the combination of the turquoise and orange. So classy. If I do this, I can have the kitchen be orange and have them really connect together.

I like this color but I think it's too much for the living room.

I'd like to do a wall of pictures like this, also.

So pretty.

I have yet to get to the bathroom or kitchen. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sick, sick, sick


I never realized how much waiting goes into being sick.
When you first feel it in your system, you just wait for it to get worse. Once it gets worse, you wait for the medicine to kick in. You wait for it to get better. Once you realize it's not getting better, you wait on the line to make a doctor appointment. You wait in traffic to get to the doctor. You wait to actually see the doctor. More waiting to get your prescription filled. Even more waiting to feel the medicine actually kick in.
It's just so much waiting that, looking back on it, is almost maddening.
I recently went through the most painful illness I have experienced in my 25 years (that I remember, anyway). Now that I can actually swallow my own saliva (without the help of pain medicine), I will never again take it for granted. Watching people chew chips and sandwiches and drink pop and water without any pain was just unbearable to watch.
Strep throat/tonsillitis is one of the worst things you can possibly go through. It's especially bad when your throat swells up so much you can't eat or drink anything ... for nearly three days.
I was in the hospital years and years ago for pneumonia. It wasn't pleasant but I don't remember much pain associated with it. Well, this time, it was almost unbearable. Thank God for Percocet ... that's all I'm saying. I don't care that it made me sicker than a dog, I could actually swallow water without much pain.
After three days at Creighton, I was able to walk out feeling so much better than I did when I was wheeled in.
It really makes me thankful for the doctors and nurses whose duty it is to take care of those admitted into hospitals. I have many friends who are nurses and I never really thought much about what they do until I was under the direct care of their fellow nurses.
I don't really know what the point of this blog is. I guess I just want to thank those of you who kept me in your prayers last week while I was being treated. And to my family, Kevin (and Kyle!) for spending time with me while I was holed up at Creighton. It really meant the world to me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Batman vs Superman?


I've had this discussion with a lot of people.

Who is better? Batman or Superman? Who would kick ultimate butt in a stand-off?

In my opinion, it's Batman. All the way.

Before we go into this, though, I have to say that they're both super heroes and they both rock. It's just ... if I could only choose one, I'd go for Batman, for sure.

Now, first of all, Batman goes off pure skill. He has no super-human powers. Superman is awesome, don't get me wrong, but what if he had no superpowers? What if they were taken away? Would he have martial arts skills, sweet gadgets? What would he do?

Batman has the Batmobile. I mean, really, what is cooler than that? Sure Superman can fly but does he fly in style? Nope.

The outfit. Red, blue, yellow versus ...... black. Black makes for a way cooler outfit and gives Batman that mysterious edge. What's with the red undies, anyway? Plus he has an awesome helmet/mask that covers most of his face. How can Lois Lane not know that Clark Kent is Superman?

Speaking of Clark Kent, he's a shy, clumsy reporter (not that there's anything wrong with that!). But Bruce Wayne ... he's a badass millionaire. He's also very mysterious which is, not gonna lie, pretty sexy.

Last but not least, Batman is just a human being. He could be me or you. The idea is actually plausible and I think that's what makes it so attractive. Superman, while not plausible, is awesome and fantastic in his own right. Who wouldn't love to have superpowers and be able to fly? I would.

And really, I wouldn't want to think of Batman or Superman in a fight against one another. They're superheroes for crying out loud. They don't fight each other, they fight evil. But who would win if the world turned upside down and inside out? It would probably be very close. All Batman would have to do, though, is research Superman, find out Kryptonite is his own Achille's heel and the fight would be over. He certainly has the resources to get it.

I could be wrong, though.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random thoughts for the evening...


I like the smell of cherry and nutmeg.
I love when my cats curl up under the blankets with me and fall asleep.
I love how my boyfriend kisses me on the forehead every single morning to wake me up.
I love my blackberry.
I love to paint.
Incubus is my utopia.
I love Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Ghostbusters.
I like science fiction. And comics. Oh, and video games, too.
I think Lady Gaga rocks. I don't care how weird she is.
My best friend in the whole world is Lisa and I love her like my own sister.
I collect ticket stubs. I even go so far as to write who I go with on the back.
I have a book obsession.
I love fruit cocktail.
I buy too many earrings.
I love walking barefoot in the summer.
I especially enjoy walking in the rain and getting soaked.
I like the smell of autumn.
I adore ice cream but I'm not supposed to eat it.
I want to learn French.
Dinosaurs are sweet.
Luke Skywalker is my hero.
I am a hopeless romantic.
My favorite color is blue.
I can fall asleep in jeans.
I would write a 20 page paper over doing math any day.
Fall is my favorite season but summer is the most fun.
I drive a Honda.
I'm scared of dogs, spiders and infertility.
I love tea, teapots and teacups.
Someday, when I'm old, I want to own too many cats, have a big, beautiful garden and wear fuzzy sweaters in the summer.

Blah, blah, blog


I am going crazy with all this snow. Seriously. There's just way too much of it. And it's sad to say that we consider temperatures in the 20s and 30s to be a heatwave! Really? Yeah, really.
One of my co-workers was saying none of the past storms this winter will be anything compared to the one we're going to get on Jan. 20. What? Has anyone else heard this? It's freaking me out a bit because I don't think I can handle anymore snow. I may just have to run away.
I mean, when city roads resemble country roads ... something is wrong. I haven't seen the cement on my boyfriend's neighborhood streets for months! When there's just too much snow and the city packs it in the middle of one-way streets, there's definitely something wrong. There's just no where to put it. There's no where to turn. It's ... just ... everywhere.
When spring finally gets here, I will never have been so ready for it in all of my 25 years of being in this crazy state. That is, if we really do get a spring and summer this year.
Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happiness


I can honestly say I am completely, 100 percent happy right now. And I have been for the past four months, thanks to a special someone who has filled my life with love, hope, adventure and laughter.
All of this affection - in only four months. When I would hear "love at first sight," I'd scoff. I didn't believe in it. Well, I do now.
It's hard to imagine life before him. Really.
I don't know that I've ever had the privilege of being loved so much that I can feel it from my head all the way down to my toes and everywhere in between. For the first time, I am number one to someone. It's something I've always dreamed about and to finally have it come true is ... well, unbelievable.
The way he looks at me, how his eyes noticeably light up when I walk into the room, how I feel completely invincible to any danger when I'm with him ... it's bliss.
I still think if I were to pinch myself, I'd wake up in bed alone, without his warmth next to me. So I'm very careful to do no pinching.