Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Apartment's New Look (at least for the next 3 weeks or so)

I thought I would post some photos of my Christmas decorations since some of you (ahem.. CAM) are not on facebook OR myspace ~ I haven't really wanted to decorate or do a tree in about 4 years so keep in mind that all of this is a HUGE step for me! I like it though -- I just haven't had a chance to really sit and just admire it... (FYI, if you click on the photo you can view the whole thing -- I don't know why it's not letting the whole picture show on here.. )




Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Part III - Christmas Cards

I just bought my Christmas Cards!! They are way cute and didn't cost me near as much as I thought they might (coupons are a life saver!) -- so if I have your address, then you should receive yours sometime this month! I'm sending my cards out much later than I normally do this year because I have to wait for another paycheck to buy the postage. LOL I'm glad I can be "real" out here in blog land. I put a lot of thought into my cards every year though so I hope that they are a blessing to you all.

In years past, I have thought about doing all sorts of things - Christmas letters, cards and even this year I thought about doing a Christmas photo - but then I changed my mind because I kinda want to save that for the next chapter in my life - like with the husband (hopefully) and the kids (big stretch but it could happen). Christmas cards are a big deal at my house, they have been since I was a kid. My dad used to get out the roll-o-dex and his favorite pen and start writing all sorts of letters to people in his cards. I think once we moved to Texas, my mom got on the bandwagon and did the same thing for HER relatives. When cards came in the mail, they wrote down who they got one from, not so that they could "keep track" (at least I dont' think) but just so they would know if they got the addresses right, etc. Well.. following in their footsteps, the digital age helps me to be even more anal about my cards!! First there is the updating of the database - yes, I know I'm only 31 yrs old but I have a list of over 100 friends alone that I like to keep in touch with. I like to hear from them and see the pictures of them and their kids -- oohh.. we'll get to the photos in a second. Used to be that my reason for keeping up with the list so well was so that I could INSURE that they were all notified of my wedding shower, wedding, baby shower, etc. since I invested my time and energy in all of theirs. I have people who call or email me all the time to get so-and-so's new address because most everyone knows that I keep track of folks really well! This is going to sound crazy but I also keep most every card - birthday/Christmas/whatever - that I get in my filing cabinet because it is fun to go back and read them years down the line - especially the newsletters - to see how people's lives have changed. A lady at bible study gave me a really great idea for using the cards throughout the year so if you send me a card, you will find out what that is..

Going back to those Christmas photos - just know that if you send one to me, you go on the hall of fame - my refrigerator. Trust me, other people like to look at that kind of stuff when they come over here and I like to be reminded of you everytime I go to open up the fridge ;)

Guess I had better get started - until next time..

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Holidays - Part II - The Music

Thanksgiving and everything that goes with it (the food, the family, the family drama, the shopping, the days off of work) FINALLY got here and is already gone away. BUT, really all that means is that it was/is FINALLY time to break out the Christmas music!! I'm a firm believer in "Keeping the THANKS in Thanksgiving" so I kept my Christmas CD's stowed away until the right time. Some, however, did not do the same thing - I was at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and yes, they were ALREADY playing it. And they were playing Handel's Messiah none the less which I dont' normally associate as a Christmas song (more so EASTER) but I guess since we were keeping CHRIST in Christmas I'll let it slide. Actually, the more that I've listened to traditional "Christmas" music so far - especially the hymns - I am seeing that these songs apply to more than just Christmas. Quite a few of them talk about JESUS and CLEARLY tell us who is is and what He came here to do. That's the message of Christmas that I hope everyone understands this holiday season and all year long. There's a local radio station here in Dallas that prides itself on "keeping CHRIST in Christmas" but yet every other song on their station so far is about "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - I don't get that at all.

On a much lighter note - here is one of my FAVORITE Christmas videos - at least it has been since I was a teenager (okay, I was in college when it came out! LOL) ENJOY!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Preparations - Part I - FOOD

One of my favorite things about this time of year is.. well, a LOT of things.. Since I'm eating right now, I'll start off with the FOOD. I dont' know about ya'lls houses but at my house - we go ALL OUT when it comes to Thanksgiving, Christmas and even New Year's Day meals. Everyone in the family has a specific dish that they are assigned to bring/make. Mom usually covers the turkey and the pumpkin pies (but mom's pies don't hold a candle to Grandma's.. anyway..), Dad makes the salads - regular salad, pasta salad, strawberry jello salad and his delicious chocolate layered dessert. My sister is in charge of the mashed potatoes -- mainly to insure that we have them EVERY year -- there was this one year where we picked up our Thanksgiving dinner to go to an extended relative's house, we get there and lo and behold -- NO MASHED POTATOES!! A few of my cousins and I STILL reminisce about that year.. LOL. My job is the broccoli/rice/cheese casserole. I have already made my first batch of the year - a test run, if you will, over the weekend. We had a massive Thanksgiving feast last Friday night at Bible Study -- our leaders are AWESOME! They turned their one bedroom apartment into a dining area that seated 30 (yes 30 people!). We had a really great time but there was sooo much food leftover! I guess that's my next favorite part of the food is the leftovers - we usually eat on this food for days and then personally, I've had my fill for the year. I LOVE Thanksgiving food but too much of a good thing in this case, is a bit much...

Also, as of today, I have a 7 pound smoked turkey in my freezer. Apparently, my boss started a "tradition" last year of giving all the employees a turkey for Thanksgiving and we got ours today. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this thing!! I mean, I plan on eating some of it but not all by myself. Looks like I'll be surfing recipes.com or Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay to find some turkey recipes to use with it. Any suggestions? (I know there are a few closet chefs out there that read my blog)

COUNTDOWN: 4 more days until Christmas music (which may be my 2nd favorite thing about this time of year..) more later...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Does God Know What He's Doing?

We've made it! Wednesday, November 5, 2008 -- The election is over and America has spoken - Barack Obama is the President-elect of the United States of America. There was no question about it once the votes were in. We didn't have to wait until all hours of the night or even still sit here in the days and weeks following election day wondering who our new leader would be. The American people - made up of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, etc. - had the opportunity to participate in making history. That is the beauty of America and more importantly of democracy - look around at other nations and their election processes and you'll see that most of the rest of the world does not have the ability to make that much of an impact in the future of their country like we do.

Leading up to D-Day (decision day), I heard countless people (a LOT of them professing Christians) say "Whatever happens, God is in control" or "God's will be done." (or something to these effects). Why today do I hear some of these same people grumbling and complaining about the outcome and truly expressing their overall dissatisfaction with the way things went down yesterday. A couple of things to remember: a) You voted right? Your voice was heard whichever candidate you placed your support behind and b) GOD IS SOVEREIGN and TOTALLY IN CONTROL of this thing. Who are we to question HIS knowledge and authority. He KNEW the outcome before we even voted!!! (and actually long before that..)

From a Christian perspective, we have no option but to submit to the authority that God has placed over us in this situation. In Romans, Paul says:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2

Notice a few things in this passage: the word EVERYONE. Everyone=Everyone -- that means you and me and whoever else. Also, rebelling against this authority is rebellion against God. I dont' know about YOU, but I don't want to knowingly turn away from God. Therefore, I must humbly accept what God has done and is doing with this situation and continue to read, study and align myself with God's word.

Mike Huckabee's Blog said this this morning (and I agree):

He was not my choice, but he will be my President and I will pray for him to lead this great nation with God's help and grace. He will face serious challenges to lead our country and he will need all Americans to give him a chance.

God knows what He's doing. Has He ever been wrong?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Weakness (well, one of MANY)


It has been 36 days since I had McDonald's french fries. 36 DAYS!!! I even WENT to McDonalds the other day & got a salad... and a diet coke... wish I could type "and french fries" but... will-power.. I'm surprised that I have been able to do it to be completely honest with you.

BUT, I am now down 13 lbs since August 22nd so I guess I have that to show for it. It's almost time to go buy new clothes - a LOT of what I have doesnt' fit correctly. I'll have to see how that fits into my budget at some point.

Keep eating those fries & Big Macs in honor of me.. :(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Birthday #31

September 16, 2008: All week long, I have been celebrating being alive for yet another year. #31 - closer to 40 than I've EVER been before but still close enough to my 20's that I don't feel like I have left them behind :)

The best word I could come up with to describe my actual birthday when someone asked me how it had been was 'interesting'. It was definitely a day filled with a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs as well as a range of emotions from sky high to borderline low. Started things out by leaving the house for work. In all of the years that I have been working, I don't EVER remember having to work on my birthday because I always took the day off but since I have only been where I'm at for a little over a month -- I didn't want to use my ONLY personal day that I've earned so far for something like my birthday.. Soo, I went to work. One of my co-workers had baked me a cake (Lemon Pound with powdered sugar on top) so we had a mini office b-day party and all ate a piece by the water cooler (literally). Granted, it was no "Cake By Anita" by ANY MEANS but still the thoughtfulness was what I was most impressed with. These people have known me for a little over a month and they put this little party together without me really knowing anything about it. Cool stuff, if you asked me.

I had decided at the beginning of the day that I was going to treat myself to a lunch of some sort so when it came time - Beth (my co-worker) and I headed down to McDonalds (aka the BEST restaurant EVER!) Keep in mind that I have been eating extremely healthy for the past 4 weeks now -- salads/sandwiches/crackers/tuna etc for lunch... drinking mostly water & tea and diet sodas -- but I was CRAVING a Big Mac and some french fries. It was good when I ate it but as the afternoon went on and my body realized that it wasn't used to having that much fat/calories in one sitting -- I started to feel a little ill -- not to the point of barfing all over the place but that hamburger definitely sat in my stomach for a good long while. I didn't even eat dinner because of it -- I just didn't feel up to it. And LORD knows there is no telling what I will weigh this week when I get on that scale on Friday. So much for progress, huh?

After work, I headed home (traffic still sucks so keep praying for me!) to change clothes and go spend my 40% off coupon that I got from Borders. I bought Will and Grace: Season 8 since thanks to my friend Dusty, season 7 should be here by Monday. Then I got on the road to Denton for Bible study.

The more I drove though and sat in traffic and did everything I could to think a positive thought - the more negative it got on my car. Just some background on Tuesday nights -- my BFF Erica and I are supposed to go to Bible Study (Titus 2) together on Tuesday nights BUT for the past 2 weeks Erica has been busy/behind on her homework/sick and hasn't been able to go with me. The same is true for last night ~ so here I am, driving to Denton (from Plano) ON MY BIRTHDAY to a Bible study where I don't know very many people and you better believe I am sitting there asking "WHY" the whole way there. "You know, I could just turn back around, go home, put on some Will & Grace: Season 8 and pass the night away in a highly vegitative state" But I kept on and got to Bible study -- I really was glad that I did.

When I walked in, a woman who I had only met 1 week before comes up to me with a bag and says "You know, you reached out to me on facebook last week...."

Before I go on, let me insert this side note ** This will make some of you who know me as the "myspace/facebook STALKER" laugh -- BUT, at Bible study whenever we breakup into groups to pray, I ALWAYS make it a point of writing down the people in my group's names (with a big class of around 30 people, I have yet to be in the same group with the same people) so that I will remember them but then I go one step further & take their email addresses and see if they are on facebook - just another way for me to get to know people & for us to correspond throughout the week (if they want to) -- OK, back to the story..**

This woman, whom I had only met the week before says: "You know, you reached out to me on facebook last week and I noticed something about you.. it's your birthday today!" She hands me the bag which has a plate of cookies in it & says "Come on, we're going to go pass these out to the class and have them sing.." I was completely and totally FLOORED!! I teared up... OK, I cried a little... - to think that I had such a bad attitude about driving and traffic and Erica's absence etc. and wanted to turnaround and go home but God kept me going because HE KNEW what was going to be waiting for me when I got there. I'm telling you guys, that is the depth of His love for us -- He sees the other side when we can't even see 2 steps in front of us.

Anyhow, that's been my week and as the time goes on, God continues to show me that there IS a purpose for everything that's happening even when I don't see it. I have another story about this morning (Thursday) but it will have to wait because I just got 5 files put back on my desk at work today so it's time to get started.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rabbit Food

Well, since it's been about a month since I wrote anything... I guess I'd better -- I mean, afterall, Dallas wrote SOMETHING to appease me (evil) :)

I have officially been at my new job for a grand total of 38 days. I really feel like things are starting to come together there as I keep learning how to find my way around the office and the never-ending paper trail that goes with it. I have gotten closer to my co-workers but we are not as close as I was to all of my awesome friends at... the big red building... To those of you that are still there: I have not forgotten about you. You have the ability to read my blog, email me, call me, text me just like anyone else. I pray for you all DAILY as I drive by the building in hopes that your deliverence is forth coming and if it isn't that you are able to discern God's will on your life in having you there.

Our office started this contest called "The Biggest Loser" where the goal is to see which team can lose the largest percentage of their body weight by the week before Thanksgiving. We started on August 21st. So far, I have lost 5 lbs. My personal goal is to lose a little bit each week. I dont' really have a target weight and who knows if we will even win the contest, the way we are looking at it, we are establishing a pattern of eating & discipline that will help us to stay healthy. My diet consists of (usually): a Slim Fast shake for breakfast, salad or a sandwich for lunch, and a sensible dinner. Wow, I sound like a commercial LOL. I have been drinking A TON of water and tea and keeping the soda to a minimum, even then drinking Diet Coke or Coke Zero. Let's just say I can tell it's making a difference because I am in the potty more often.. which is okay especially since I am not chained to my desk -- I am still trying to break myself from that though and have often found myself thinking "I'll go in 5 minutes or when I'm done with this.."

Anyhow, I have tons more to write/update but I must catch some "zzzzz" right now. I am going to make an attempt to use DART tomorrow -- mainly because traffic in the evenings is a major cause of stress and frustration for me -- and secondly because I have this nice pass that I paid for in June ($90) and it expires in December so I need to start trying to get my money out of it. Please pray for me in this DART endeavor. I have to get off of the train & hop on a bus to get me to my office and that makes me nervous. Hmm.. now that I have a camera phone though, I can catch a few more DART moments on film like me & Dallas used to do when we rode together :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Fever!

I absolutely LOVE the Olympics! For as long as I can remember, my family would sit around every 2 years (either in the winter or the summer) and watch them for the entire time they were on. I remember all sorts of historical moments ~ from figure skating to speed skating to gymnastics to basketball to swimming, etc. ~ It's a shame that during the time when the Olympics aren't on that I forget just what all the excitement and hype is all about.

Today, I have been watching this video ALL day long and it hasn't gotten old yet ~ the men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay may have been the MOST exciting moment in sports that I have ever seen ~ better than Dirk hitting a last second shot against the Suns to send it into overtime, better than Christian Laettner in the NCAA Championship sealing the win with a buzzer beating shot.. I could keep going but you get the picture.. Here is a link to the video in case you missed it.


the internet makes the olympics that much more fun because if you don't watch during "prime time" (especially when you don't have a good TV -- my antenna on NBC SUCKS!) you can catch up online later or the next day. Also, Anna and I have concluded that we like the arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner that they are using during the medal ceremonies. I know, we are such music nerds!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maybe the Best day.. EVER!

Oh my goodness.. I had such a good day today! This new adventure I am on is wayy more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed of! I actually came home this afternoon feeling RELAXED and totally calm and not stressed out. I didn't know work could make you feel that way. :)

Soo.. what was so great about this day? Well, for starters, when I woke up this morning I was actually motivated to look my best and get to work -- on time. They showed me around the office and the building a bit and I most definitely liked what I saw there! First of all, my computer that was being set up -- get this -- was in my OFFICE. Yes, you read that correctly.. not a cubicle, not a desk in the corner or in the basement but 4 walls and a door that are all mine! (I will take pictures once I have decorated the way I want.. the High School Musical stuff isn't ready to come out yet though.. I know Dallas/Mert/Cam.. you'll be glad to know that!) There is also a break room area in the building with free iced tea & coffee and free frozen yogurt! My co-workers are very cool as well. One lady I work with decided that she would take me out for lunch so went went to this Mexican restaurant that was mucho bueno (but not taco bueno). I thought it was very sweet of this woman to treat me plus it gave us an opportunity to get to know each other a little bit. I'm already making friends.. :)
I just really felt the positive vibe around the office the whole day long! Each and every one of the 5 people that work there, came to me at one point or another today and said "We're really glad that you're here!" ~ I don't think I was EVER told that at my previous job.. LOL So then it gets to be about 4:30pm and everyone starts packing up to go home ~ yep, my day ends at 4:30pm and I still get 1 hour for lunch. How much does that rock?!?

This day didn't stop being fantastic when I got off work though. I went to Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner with my friend Zoila and I found a $20 bill on the ground under our booth. We used it to buy our dinner and didn't pay a dime for it! It's like God just took the cup of blessing and dumped it out on us.

Anyhow, I am hoping that tomorrow will bring more of the same for me.. but I know that if I don't get some sleep, there's no use in it so I must leave now. Until next time...

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything
Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

My daily reading and thoughts about this day that I'm having today let me to open God's word to the book of Ecclesiastes and reflect on everything that I and we (my friends & co-workers and I) have been through during this season of our lives. There is a reason for EVERYTHING under the sun & while we weren't able to see around or through the purpose for many of the trials that we have been on together ~ we can be assured that since the Bible = TRUTH, that there is a reason and a purpose for what has happened and continues to happen with us. I can go back to all of those things that the writer of Ecclesiastes (who is Solomon, I believe) noted & give you an example of something that we have been through that falls under that umbrella. I don't really want to go over each and every one of them but I know that they are there ~ and I am a stronger person and have more faith than I have EVER had before because of what I've been through. I didn't believe it when people told me that I would be stronger but I totally feel that way on the other side of this mountain that I just climbed for the past almost 2 years. Don't get me wrong, I still have room to grow because we will never fully "arrive" ~ We are works in process as long as we are Christ's until the day he comes to take us into eternity with Him.

I haven't cried about this today (was on the verge earlier when I was talking to Cam.. but I held back). Monday is a whole new slate and a whole new adventure as I move on to my next journey. I cannot look back or be scared to step out in this ~ the LORD has been with me this far & I am confident that He will continue..

Until next time..

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Slow Fade

In preparation for my upcoming exit interview (you know, that thing that you have to do when you LEAVE a job!), I decided to go back to my old blog & reminisce about when I first started working at good 'ol HFN (at the time). Here is an excerpt from that blog:

Day 1 is complete!! It actually wasn't bad at all. It has been so long, I had forgotten how much paperwork you always have to fill out on the first day of work. No wonder my employees used to get so bored on their first days -- at least I didnt' have to go over benefits w/ them!! I'm actually glad that I'm not an HR person cuz that stuff SUCKS!! Or at least, explaining it sucks. There are some really cool people in my training class. I think we'll get along just fine.... I think we actually get to start learning stuff tomorrow so that'll when the fun truly starts...

Today's highlights:
** FREE SOCKS!! -- yes, I know I used to sell them and get free ones at my other job too -- but you can never have too many socks!! (Just one of the perks.. along w/ my paperweight..)

** Free picture frame!! -- to make us feel more at home at our desk.. we get to choose a favorite photo to display -- I may have to change mine out periodically to keep things interesting..** **Free lunch!! -- ok, so that part sounded good in the beginning but in reality, it was some really tough roast beef that was catered in from somewhere (I should find out where so I NEVER go there..) I broke my plastic fork trying to cut this mess.. it was sad..

** This one may be my favorite one of all..
FREE TAMPONS (and other hygenie needs)!! lol -- Yeah, instead of having a little machine, they just have them on the counter for ya.. just in case.. Sorry, I just think that's cool -- another example of going above and beyond (and that's wayy above in my opinion..)

Anyhow, we also have the chance to get some really awesome stuff when we've worked there for a year. Here's my other favorite thing -- a company LETTER jacket!

This surely can't be the same company that I work (at least for another 5 days) for now!?! To look at what it is now is like NIGHT AND DAY but trust me, it didn't change overnight. Makes me think of a song I was listening to the other night that talks about this same concept -- one step to the left (outside of right) doesn't always make an impact right away but the farther & farther away you get from rightness, you see a deterioration of so many things.

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade

--Casting Crowns

Friday, July 25, 2008

Today is the Day!

Remember what I wrote in my previous post about having A LOT to say in the near future? The day has arrived.. I just don't have time to say it all right now :) LOL. (this is going to be a process).

I guess I'll start with this: Today when I got to work and looked at my calendar, the bible verse said The LORD is your deliverance (psalm 3:8). While I knew that was true true true, I had no idea what it would look like for me today ~ well, here goes: I put in my notice - 1 week notice - in 10 days I will be embarking on a new opportunity. Can I say that I am thoroughly EXCITED beyond belief!?! If I knew how to get to the rooftop at Cityplace, I would've been up there SHOUTING PRAISE to the LORD from there. Instead, I was jumping up and down in Latina's cubicle :)

So there's your little taste of what I've experienced today - stay tuned..

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Starting All Over Again

At the inspiration of my good friend Miss Dallas Dixon, I have decided to start blogging again. It has been about a year since I have been in the mood to write but... I have a feeling that I may have A LOT to say in the near future so it's probably best to get started on this now.. :)

Will anyone read it? I'm not sure. I don't think that should keep me from my writing though. We shall see... and since it's now 1:04am (or there about) ~ we shall see what I come up with as my first topic of discussion.. tomorrow...

I hear my bed calling my name ~ I'd better tend to it :)