Thursday, October 29, 2009

odd one

Driving in the rain makes me I want to crawl in a fetal position and cry. And, frankly that's the only way that I could imagine it would make me feel better. It is so scary. B/c you just have to push through it. You cant see the mustard or the mayonnaise but you have to keep moving forward. So dangerous...but more dangerous to pull over to the side of the road or try to exit. Really there is not much else that make me more anxious or uneasy. I don't like danger or living on the edge...and when this weather change abruptly occurs while I'm on the highway where I cant drive over 40 and a big 18 wheeler is bearing down on me and throwing more water my direction, it really doesn't make it any better.

When it is raining hard like that, I have to even turn off the radio. I don't do well with sensory overload.

For someone who drives a lot now, I'm really have to work at getting over my road fears and paranoia.


ok, I've decided (by way of free therapy) that from time to time, I may do a little post on an oddity that I have discovered about myself. This is the first official post in thus said tone. Don't judge me...I just feel like this was a place created to be perfectly honest about my world and in my new normal, this is just something I want to do.

  • I'm addicted to my google reader. it stresses me out on Monday's when I've not checked it all weekend. Every time I go to my homepage, I'm drawn in to checking it, but I try to wait until the end of my day. It is an easy way for me to waste time on the Internet, and I want to be productive while I'm at work. I used to check it first thing after I checked my email in the morning (which is the first thing I do when I sit down at my computer). Then, I would check it when I sat down after lunch. But, I realized what a distraction it can be, so I hold 5:01 as my moment to be glued to my google reader. Also, I have tons of things in my google reader...its pretty random I must admit. But, if there is a blog or site that I run across that I don't want to forget about, I just add it. I guess that's the point. Also, I used to go to my blog everyday and click on all the link that I have listed on the right side. When my friend (who probably doesn't even know she changed my life) introduced me to google reader, my world was turned upside down. I feel like it was my own free personal organizer. Can you have a time organizer? If so, that was it.
  • I now play a gasoline game. When I'm on the road, I always look and see what gas prices are around me. If I see a cheap one, I stop and fill up, but only if my gauge is under half. If it is above half, then I think it is too full to fill up. Although this week, I started thinking about a gas reward program. Any good ideas on that? Surely I can get something back for as much gas as I put in my car in a month on the road.
  • Also, I used the play the "top off" game when I was at the gas station. It stressed me out to not have a round number (that's a whole different oddity). But, I decided that when I go to a restaurant, they don't round off the number of my bill and when I buy groceries, they don't round off the number of my total, so it was not like gas was the only non round # I had. So, now, when the pump stops, I'm finished. It was very liberating.
  • I do have a strange thing with round #'s. And, if I could give you a good example, I would. But, it is not completely OCD where my world stops, but round numbers do make me feel calmer. (as does the marmalade scented candle at Maggie's).
  • When I travel, I always refold my clothes at the end of the night and keep the worn clothes in a pile outside my suitcase. Then, when I get ready to pack up and leave, I put the worn pile on top, so they are the first thing I take out when I get home.
  • I like (well, I don't try to create it, but I don't mind it) flat soda. It always tastes sweeter to me and it doesn't burn. And, this really only applies to Coke and DP. Also, I prefer to drink a soda over ice instead of from the can and I really don't like to drink out of a plastic bottle. I think it burns more from a bottle.
  • I never put a "visitor counter" on my blog when I first set it up b/c I knew it would be a number that I would obsess over, always checking to see what it was. Now, I kinda would like to have one, but I don't feel like it would be a true picture of visitor activity since I've had this blog for 14 months and I'm guess the activity has dwindled since I'm out of C-ville (Praise GOD!!!)So, I'm really struggling with its something I think about probably once a week. What does it matter? But, there are some really neat opportunities that I've heard about that I would like to be a part of and a couple of them are blog based and related to # of "hits" or visitors you have. See my point. Also, along those same lines, some people track activity by the # of comments people leave. And, to solicit such comments, they always end their post with a question. But, I kind a like Big Pitt Stop, being just that; a place you stop. Not, a place you sit and pull up a chair and drink your coffee and hang out and leave your dirty dished behind (wait, that sounded like I'm not interested). I guess what I'm saying is that I don't expect this to be a place you have to give. Its an outlet for me and in that, a place for you to just stop by, to frequent, to stroll through, to pass by, to meander. I don't expect you to come and gather or to fell obligated to stop by. Maybe curiosity keeps you coming back, maybe you care, maybe you are anxious to see what crazy thing I say next. For me, this is home. A place where my thoughts and feelings can be expressed. Where, I can lay my heart on the line short or long, poetic or pronounced, thought through or thoughtless (which is most often the case). Either way, I'm really working through my purpose of "Big Pitt Stop". For now, it will continue to be my journey. Journey of life. Journey of thoughtless ramblings. Inner monologue. Outer reflection.
  • In case you are wondering, sometimes I re read through my thoughts,but most often I finish, Hit spell check (to catch the big stuff ) and then hit "Publish Post". I feel like my ramblings are more raw, less planned or perfected when I don't work back through them. Something about proof reading your journal goes against all of the organic, authentic nature of sharing your heart. Plus, its a little game for you where you have to figure out what I was trying to say!

I'll leave you with this thought as the DISCLAIMER to my current and future "oddities" posts:

I know I'm a cook-y little creature. I know I stress about senseless things. My Type A personality gets me tied up into a bundle of mess. I worry about the oddities of this world. I wonder and contemplate things that just don't matter. I think through things too much and I try to find a lesson in everything. But, the positive side of each of those negative traits are some of my greatest gifts and the best things that I bring to my personal and professional life. To use a season analogy, I really do feel like a jack-o-lantern sometimes (one with a smile ). Only God can take something so plain and common, with its imperfections and place His light inside and make it useful. For that grace along, I'm grateful.

That's all for now. There will be more, I promise. I'm full of them.

Man, That was very therapeutic.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

H town

I'm antsy.
I don't want to go to bed.

I had a great day today.
What's not to love?
Good appointments.
New stores.
Hello, Fabrics and More.
I know what it feels like on project Runway when they walk into Mood-except Tim did not hand me money (insert sad face)- although all the things I bought were in the same color family and would have been perfect for the "ink" episode.
I got to stop at my favorite stores in The Woodlands- it kinda felt like a dream.
I bought books.
I found my way around without Georgio's help.
Gerogio and I are on a breakup-he does not share the same affection for Htown as I do..He stays confused here..actually, he doesn't know his way around here. I guess even he has his flaws.
The weather was perfect.
I dreamed.
I got to be creative.
I did some Christmas shopping (well, a lot of it...I had to stop so I have gas money to come home!)
I had dinner at my favorite restaurant.
I split dinner with a good friend.
I laughed a lot.
I told jokes.
I used a LOT of sarcasm.
I ended it with my favorite fall treat- pumpkin cheesecake.
I was pretty much a perfect day (minus good parties, a birthday or Italy)

I guess I will go to sleep now, wont be visions of sugarplums in my head will be things I saw and want at Anthropologie, William Sonoma, Maggie's, Swoozies, Border's, Francesca's, Z Gallerie and J. Crew.

Oh, and I'm really excited ruffles are in this year. I saw several things today that I wanted and did not was my own little game of self-discipline

I did love that most of the stores I visited today still had fall stuff out...that made me happy. Don't get me wrong, the red and green that begin to deck the store shelves is great, but I love when we can fully celebrate the fall and Thanksgiving. I hate when it gets passed over. I think that is my favorite holiday. At least, the potential and thought tied to it.

I saw these cute cards today and little gathering baskets to put them in. They are the size of place cards and say "This year I'm thankful for:" Our Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the last couple of years and right now, we don't really have a tradition, but I kinda like this searching process. Soon, we will settle on something. It may be relative to where my sis and I end up when we someday get married, but for now, I like the thought of doing some service thing and then coming together to have our meal. We have much to be grateful for and even more to give back. who knows what we will do, but there is a lot to get done between now and then.

I found my calendar today that had been lost...well, really I had put it in one of those "safe spots", but, I couldnt remeber how safe it was! Anyway, my world is a little less chaotic now that I have my calendar back...can we say TYPE A!!!

Ok, enough rambling for one night. I think you can tell that I just write as my brain works...dont you feel lucky that you get to see just a glimpse of how my brain works.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fall follies

So, wonder what's been going on...let me bring you up to speed:

1. I'm traveling a lot and really trying to figure out how to work everything in. It takes a long time for this Type A to get ready to go somewhere and then to recover when I get back.

2. Part of that recovery takes a little longer every time I go to Dallas. My mom has decided that I have reached the point in my life where its time to take "my things" out of her house. I will admit fully that I'm a pack rat, very sentimental and really struggle with getting rid of things. All those things combined and working against me, this has been a war. Really, I have to make a decision about whether I'm going to want these things 30 years from now. And further more many of the things I "want" are for her grand, doesn't it seem right that she just keep them? I mean really. I'm storing things to keep for my kids that do not even exist and since they have to have a dad before they can come in to this world...their chances are looking slim to none right now. I had a hard time trying to book a flight today for a trip in March...I cant even begin to know whether I want my could be little girl to ever wear the red dress my grandmother made for me when I was 5. Just keep it! And, Ill decide later. Or get rid of it and I'll wish I had it 20 years from now. Either way, someone is going to be disappointed. So what's the best decision right now?

3. I'm on a Simplify kick right now anyway. A month ago, I cleaned out every room in my house and all the junk I was storing in the basement. I really got convicted about all the "extra" stuff I was living with. It hasn't kept me from buying new stuff, but it really does make me think twice. I mean really, I'm a single girl and I cant fit anything else in my pantry cabinets. I have enough food in there to feed a football team twice. I've really had to cut back on my coupon game. And, remind myself to make foods that incorporate the things I already have at my house. Think about it. People on the other side of the world live in houses made of cardboard, trash, and rubber tires. I go to my nicely decorated warm home with new candles, fluffy pillows, and two empty bedrooms and complain some days. I also think about going out to eat when I have a kitchen FULL of groceries. I really have been convicted lately and I challenge you to think about it. I cant convict you and I do not think that just because one person is convicted or challenged in an area, that we all should be. I know that people work hard for the success they have been achieved and believe me I understand that. They deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But, I also believe that we live in abundance. We live outside, beyond and above our means..and for what? We still NEED and crave more of the things we already have. I could be snowed in and still be able to eat on the food in my house for 9 months and still not be starving. I have really started thinking lately how I can stretch the blessings God has given me and ACCOMPLISH something with them. Living is not accomplishing anything unless we are doing something. Think about it really. Here are some of the things I've been thinking about: Dave Ramsey has several points...get out of debt. I'm working on it! I paid off my car in August and I will pay off a furniture credit card next month! It really is freeing. If I don't have money for it, I don't buy it. And, if I buy extra, something in my monthly budget has to get sacrificed. Its is not fun, but it is liberating. I've also contemplated getting involved in some of these organizations- Helen Keller International, American Assistance for Cambodian Schools, Heal Africa, Global Giving. Of course two organizations that are close to my heart are the American Cancer Society and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I really think to whom much is given, much is expected and after reading and hearing the parable talents all my life, I am so scared of hearing "wicked, lazy servant" simply because I was too scared to do something, or I was being a tight wad, or I was "wanting" too much for my life that I overlooked the needs around me and in doing so "buried" my blessings in stuff I wanted.

4. This weekend, I will join a group of girl friends here in Arkadelphia to honor a friend who is a recent cancer survivor. Race for the Cure. Did you know that just $150 can pay for a woman to have a mammogram that can save her life! One woman's dream to do something in her sister's honor has turned into 25 years of giving hope.

Did you know: An estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women in the United States during 2009 [5]. And an estimated 40,170 women will die from breast cancer. Also, about 1,910 men will be diagnosed and 440 men will die of breast cancer during 2009 in the United States [5]. In addition to invasive breast cancer, an estimated 62,280 new cases of in situ breast cancer will occur among women in 2009 [5].

We have got to do something about this....and, if you think, not me...that's for someone else, I bet there are hundreds of thousands of women (and men) who would tell you otherwise.

5. I've really gotten into watching the podcast of Crosspoint pastor Pete Wilson's sermons each week. He just finished a series called Religion Lies and it really made me think. Here are a couple quotes from the series that have been milling around in my head:

  • Religion always complicates what God has made simple.
  • In a relationship with Jesus, you are defined by the cross and shaped by grace, not by what you do.
  • Are you a whistle-happy, flag throwing Christian? Meaning, are you a judgement pointer, worried and consumed with what other people around you are doing wrong and downplaying your sin because it is not as bad as what someone else is doing?
  • Think about it

6. Last weekend, we had this little thing called Tiger Tunes on our campus. It was amazing and fun and exhausting all at the same time, but there is nothing I love more about working on a college campus than watching students brainstorm ideas, work through the process, and lead on carrying them out. It really is an honor to spectate the games! If you missed it, or are curious, check it out! Last year the Ouachita Student Foundation gave out $68,000 in scholarships which is what this show accomplishes

7. Also, I've really debated the whole "fall blogging" process. Personally, I'm obsessed with fall. With anything pumpkin, cinnamon, jewel toned, or rustic. It doesn't need to be said. If you saw my magazine collection right now, you would know. But, I love it. i have 3 reserve cans of pumpkin product in my (already stated) full cabinet, but I've heard there may be a shortage this year and I don't want to be caught without. I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, my favorite recipe is Pumpkin Dump Cake. My porch has its mum and pumpkins on it. Although I'm sad I waited until the last minute and didn't get the fairytale pumpkins that a family here raises. I love them. they really do look like Cinderella's carriage) But, there was just something about the fact that everyone was posting about Fall, that I couldn't, so here it is. I'M OBSESSED WITH FALL. There is even a rumor out that Mimi's Cafe has pumpkin spice muffins with cinnamon strudel as their seasonal muffin and I might be making several out of the way trips just to get a few!

8. I've had a couple projects over the last couple weeks.

  • I made a wreath for my door (no picture right now, I forgot...but, it is way cute)
  • I made an arrangement, yes, it looks a little different than I wanted it to, but it was for a dual of which was a Halloween decoration..don't you love the feathers

  • I made my first put together is a quilted tablecloth, but I have a new respect for every warm night I laid under a quilt made by either of my grandmothers or their mothers. There is a lot of handwork that goes into those things! I mis-measured, so I actually have two..this is the smaller one. The other is backed with a black and white damask print so I can use it for other occasions as well!

9. We recently had a shower for one of my friends Lauren who is about to welcome little Evie Clair any moment. It was really special. The guys said the idea for the shower was a little hippie, but Lauren loved it and we loved throwing it and who listens to guys opinions anyway! It was really fun, we all brought a bead that reminded us of Lauren or that was tied to a blessing, verse or poem that we shared with her at the shower. Then we had all the beads made into a bracelet. I love to see Lauren wear the bracelet and there is something so fun knowing that it was made with thoughts from her girl friends. I cant wait to hear stories about the questions the Evie Claire will have looking at it one day and knowing that it is an heirloom piece she can share with her. You know there really is something special about girlfriends and I don't think we take enough advantage of the power of that relationship. Too many times, we as girls, put too much pressure on each other and really make it hard on ourselves. What if we peeled off the layers of judgement and instead replaced them with strength and power. Think of how many more things we could accomplish together. 10. I had Bunko at my house this week and it was so much fun. I had a blast planning the menu and getting the house all "themed" up. I love to throw a good party!

the food table

Vampire's Blood- Tomato Basil Soup
Monster Mash- Pasta Salad with my Italian striped bowties
Witches Fingers- breadsticks
Infested Graveyard- Dirt puddingDead Man's Eyes- Cake Balls made with carrot cake and cream cheese icing
Since 10 is a nice round number and you have read more than you should have to, I'm going to stop there. I hope you enjoy your weekend and maybe it will finally be dry for a couple days before cabin fever kicks in.
PS, sorry about all the links, I just feel like I can explain myself better that way...I'm a visual learner, what can I say!