Thursday, July 25, 2013


Vulnerability. It is quite possibly my least favorite word in the English language. In fact, I often refer to it as "The Dreaded V" as if it were the evil villain in some super hero movie where the super hero actually dies and the villain, "The Dreaded V" wins. It sounds like a terrible movie plot. Nicolas Cage would probably play the villain.  Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about vulnerability and trying to be better at practicing it.  No one likes being vulnerable and in some senses it's a taboo subject.  You have to actually BE vulnerable to talk about why you are afraid to be vulnerable and get to the root of your fears.

I like to think about what our world and our connections with those around us would look like if we stripped away everyone's fears.  I think we would connect with each other a lot more and we would find that most people share the same fears of vulnerability-especially in dating.

Vulnerability is about showing who we really are in order to more deeply connect with others. It is allowing people to see us completely - as each layer of baggage, or built up fears are pealed away, one layer at a time. Or tearing down the walls that we've built up around us one brick at a time.

But here's the thing. Sometimes being vulnerable hurts. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable there are a lot of tears involved. Things don't go quite the way you planned. But in the end, vulnerability also eventually opens us up to happiness we didn't know was there or even possible.  By not allowing vulnerability to take a front row seat in our lives, we are limiting the amount of happiness and joy we can experience. I've learned this the hard way and perhaps you have too.

Perhaps this passage from the book, The God Who Weeps, can help explain my concept better.

"This vulnerability, this openness to pain and exposure to risk, is the eternal condition of the Divine."

The rest of the passage talks about how Mary must have had more terror than delight when she heard she would carry the son of God, how Ruth must have been frightened to go unto Boaz, and Christ's Atonement. By being vulnerable to the Lord's will look at what they were able to accomplish and who they were to become. Sure there was great uncertainty, fears and perhaps tears in these situations, but on the other side of that they were able to accomplish great things and reach their potential.

I want to practice being more vulnerable. I've tried practicing in the past few months and I can honestly say it hasn't necessarily yielded desired results in job, relationships, personal goals, etc.  But, it has allowed me to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with people and God.

I still have my fears of being vulnerable in my interactions with others, but I'm working on it. There have been a few tears along the way, but I am now more aware of the vast amounts of people who care about me, as I have reached out to them and vice versa.

So let's all make ourselves a little more uncomfortable, a little more vulnerable, and reap the eventual great benefits of happiness.

I'm going to start by sharing a piece I wrote in order to help deal with the pains of grief.  This may not seem hard for me to share. I mean, I write this blog and I've written about my best friend before so you might wonder what's so different? But to me, this is a very personal piece I wrote for my own therapeutic release and for that reason I've only shared it with 4 people. Until now. For I believe we shouldn't be afraid to be who we are.

Two Dreamers

Two Dreamers.  That’s the best way I can describe us. Because two dreamers who can laugh until rolling on the ground and also pick each other up when there are no pieces left is too long of a title.  You and I dreamed of doing everything together. We were going to backpack around Europe over the summer and write a book based on our silly antics together. Then, we were going to raise our kids next door to each other and force them to be best friends – just like we forced our mothers to become best friends so that selfishly we could spend seamless amounts of time together. Most importantly, we were ready for anything, and everything that this world has to offer, as long as we were together.
            Never during those late nights we spent staring at the stars, chatting in the hot tub about boys and other small-town gossip did I ever imagine I’d have to learn how to live my dreams alone.
That morning I received the phone call feels like a distant memory that never happened. Yet, the reality of that one call is felt daily. It came at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.  My mother was on the other end of the line in tears. She didn’t know how to tell me.  She didn’t know how to tell me that you were gone. Of course, to the doctors and nurses you weren’t gone yet. They were going to try everything they could to save you. But, when I heard the words come out of my mother’s mouth I knew the truth deep down. I had lost you. We all had lost you. You suffered an asthma attack and were rushed to the hospital where you remained for two days until they concluded that your brain stem had been killed due to lack of oxygen. There was nothing more they could do.
 I received a follow-up call confirming you were gone while I was teaching. My students didn’t know what was wrong with me until that moment. I couldn’t be strong and hide it anymore. Slamming my body against the locker, I let myself drop to the floor, head in hands, while all 30 of my high school students, including my “tough guys,” gathered around me to listen and hold me. Their physical support was all I could lean on the rest of the school day.
After packing for my inevitable flight, I drove an hour and a half to the nearest Sonic Drive-In so that I could raise a toast to you, and your life. We spent the better part of our high school and college days talking over Diet Vanilla Dr Pepper from Sonic. I thought you’d appreciate the significance and I needed to feel closer to you and our traditions.
I felt helpless as I woke up that next morning to leave. In all my life, I never imagined that at twenty-four years old I would be on a plane bound for your funeral in our hometown, writing about you in my tear-soaked journal.  I didn’t want to relinquish a single moment we’d spent together. I tried to write everything down as fast as I could, ignoring everything else around me.  My hand was cramping from all the writing and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to feel it again, but it would be worth it so long as I could write down everything about us and not forget a single moment.
            When we landed at the airport, I didn’t want to move. I was the last one off the plane. I wanted to postpone catching a glimpse of anything that would remind me of us, and your absence. As I walked towards the security exit, head down, I looked up to see the sweetest sight in front of me – my dad. There he was waiting to pick me up and hold me for as long as was needed. My brother, Tom, and step mom were waiting in the car for me. I know this may shock you since one of your favorite pastimes was helping Tom tease me, but he actually has a soft side to him. He just sat there and didn’t say anything, no jokes, nothing. He simply held my hand the whole drive home.
            Early the next morning my mom took me to your house so I could see the whole family, my second family. I knew I’d have to be strong, as strong as you would have been. You always did seem stronger than me. The steps from the car to your front door were the hardest steps I’ve yet walked in my life. Feeling the weight of sorrow underneath me with each step, I attempted to think of how to provide your family comfort since I didn’t have any for myself.  Thankfully, I didn’t need to. In typical, selfless fashion they were ready to console me.  In fact, your dad pulled me aside, hugged me, and whispered in my ear, “Katie, our girl’s made it.  She lived a good life and she is now with God.  Promise me you will do everything in your power to continue to live a good life, believe in Him, and make good choices so that one day you two can be reunited. You know she loved you so much.” 
I promised him I would. I’m determined to keep that promise.
The next several days leading up to your funeral were filled with tears, celebration of your life and of course, laughing about our favorite memories. Everyone was in stitches as we recollected your favorite tale to tell of us. For one more laugh, this one is for you:
It was summer of '08. Mary, Rachel, you and I decided, in a lapse of judgment, to go to the Seven Peaks Water Park in Provo, Utah. It's sketchy and dirty at best. We rented a two man tube and a single tube. You and Mary had just made me go on the scariest ride ALONE and all I wanted to do was relax in the lazy river. Thus, I left you two and went floating, once again, ALONE. I'd been floating by myself for approximately ten minutes, with my eyes closed, basking in the marvelous sunshine, when I heard you and Mary cackling down the way. I opened my eyes to see what could possibly cause such uproarious laughter but couldn't get either of you to stop laughing long enough to tell me what was so funny. After about a minute of trying to get ya'll to speak through your tears of laugher, I looked down. That's when I saw it.  My cute, brand new, bandeau, giraffe-print swimsuit had failed me. My top had fallen down and I'd been floating the lazy river like that for a solid ten minutes. I was mortified. Who knows how many people had seen and not told me or how many family photos I am in accidentally flashing people in the background? We laughed and cried the rest of the day about it and I begged you not to tell a soul. You, of course, told anyone that would listen. Naturally, I was fine with it because that’s how our friendship was. I would protest about things and you would do it anyway, knowing I wouldn’t care. In the end, you knew it was either best for me or not as big of I deal as I thought it might be, so I needed to loosen up. By the end of that day, you had lovingly named the story "Seven Peaks a Boob." Thanks for that.
I guess, in retrospect, no matter how embarrassed I was, I’m glad it happened because it sure caused a lot of laughs that weekend I spent with your family, and we all needed a good laugh.
Your funeral service maxed out the chapel and gym at the church. You would worry about people forgetting you, but no one could possibly forget you. In fact, several of our friends from college flew out so they could be there for you. We honored your love of volleyball by all wearing volleyball pins with your number inscribed on them. I said the opening prayer and you would have been proud of me. I was strong, stronger than I ever imagined I was capable of. Your brother spoke and he read a letter from your other brother who couldn’t attend. They were followed by remarks from your husband. You’d only been married to him for eight months, but from the love in his eyes and the expression in his tone you could tell those eight months were just a beautiful preview of the eternity of love between the two of you. Then your dad spoke. It’s amazing how his pure words brought a comfort over the entire audience. Almost like he had just laid out a blanket over the whole room to warm our uncertain, sad hearts and give us hope that we would all see you again. I have faith that I will, but it doesn’t always make the pain of loosing you go away.
 After I returned to the east coast to try and carry on with life, I spent the next several months wracking my brain in an attempt to answer the questions, What can I do to not feel this pain anymore? How do I dream without you? Who am I without you?
I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone for a while. Subtly, I pushed people out. I mean, I still had friends I spent time with, but I felt a physical barrier blocking me from really letting them in.  Being vulnerable and trusting people has never been easy for me, you know that all too well. That comes as a surprise to others, but you knew why. I trusted you with everything. Not only did I trust you with everything, but I also knew you got me.  You understood where I was coming from because you knew my life, my history, my fears, and my excitements. I didn’t want to have to explain those things to people who didn’t understand, it seemed too exhausting. What if I opened up to people and then they left me too? No. It would be easier to just get to know others, but keep everything else inside of me and pretend everything was fine.
I became really good at not feeling anything, which also meant not feeling pain. I quit teaching because I didn’t know how to help my 90 students if I didn’t even know how to help myself. I made sure I was never home because if I was home that meant I’d have to think about things. I found that it helped if I always kept myself busy doing something new and exciting; I called it “the next best thing syndrome”. I was gone as much as possible traveling here and there, going on road trips every weekend, seeing as many Broadway shows as I could afford, spending a few weeks in France with my relatives, taking a hot air balloon ride, and living life in fast forward.  Sundays were always hard though. I’d go to church and things were quiet and quiet meant I’d break down.  Thus, every Sunday for a lot of Sundays, I did just that. I’d lie in the bathtub with the shower head turned on letting the water fall over my body secretly hoping the water would wash the pain away. Monday would come and I was back on my feet running away from my life as swiftly as possible.
I thought all of these new life experiences would help me, but I soon realized that the problem with living life in fast forward and escaping pain and feelings is that it also limits the happiness you can feel.  It is possible to numb feelings altogether, but it is impossible to block pain without also blocking happiness. I wasn’t happy.  I was doing these amazing things that I was grateful to have, but I could barely appreciate them because the moment I turned the corner I was off to try something new to replace it. Pretty soon I would run out of places to run and eventually - after I’d run out of places to run to, I learned how to run.
I've never been a runner, and you know that. I've never had an interest, nor did I think I would be very good at it.  However, I knew I needed to face this and pick up a hobby that cleared my mind while also allowing me to process my emotions. I needed to do something that made me focus so hard that I could learn how to re-gain focus in my own life. I started to run.  On March 24, 2011, the day before my 25th birthday, I ran my first half-marathon. I was four miles to the finish line when I didn’t think I could do it anymore. And then, like a small miracle, Jesse McCartney’s “Leavin” played through my headphones. I hadn’t been able to listen to it because it reminded me of you. When it played that day though, something was different. It was as if I could see you next to me doing one of your little dances to cheer me on. I knew I could finish the race. Never in my life did I dream I would do something that. I did it because of you.
            After that, I started learning how to open up again; not all the way, but more than I’d been used to. I soon became overwhelmed by the number of people and opportunities I’d had in my life that helped me realize that although life is difficult, we can work through the difficult things together to become stronger. I took small steps to let people in again and it felt good. I was beginning to feel happier.
It wasn’t until more than a year had passed, that I was visiting your graveside, as I always do when I come home. There was so much I wanted to tell you about my life that I’d missed out on sharing with you - boys, a new job, hopes for the future, new experiences, and much more. I was used to sharing everything with you, my best friend, and I hated not having you a phone call away. I started to get angry that you were no longer here and that's when it hit me.  In that moment, I realized that just because you weren’t here with me physically you were still living my life with me. Your life, and now your absence, had become a significant part of who I was and still am today. So much of who I have become is due, in large part, to your passing which in turn continues to make you a significant part of my life and my dreams for the future.
            There are aspects of my character that you have helped shape over these past couple years.  You have helped me to become braver and to remember that I will feel pain at times, but that pain can heal through faith. That with that faith, I am capable of overcoming things I never imagined I’d be capable of doing.  That makes me braver.  You are still a very real, influential part of me.
            You have helped me to remember to express my love for my family and friends more fully and to forgive them and serve them more quickly, although I always have room for improvement.
            You have helped me to have a greater passion for life. In fact, thanks to you, my new life motto is “Live with Passion”. You had this drive that showed in everything you did from playing volleyball to receiving your Master's degree. You could walk into a room and make friends with anyone there because of your friendly, bubbly personality. You cared about your friends and family and were constantly doing heartfelt things for them. Whether it was making a blanket for me with all our inside jokes on it, or staying up for 24 hours straight to help me write my final 60 page paper for college, you took the time to really understand, care for, and love your friends. I want to cultivate more of your traits in my life.
I realized, standing there at your grave, that I had the answers to all my questions. I can miss you and
I will feel pain occasionally, but it doesn’t have to be as deep because you aren’t really gone. 
Certainly I’d love to hear your voice and laugh with you again, but you are, and always will be, a part of me. When I dream about my life and my future you are still a part of that for you have shaped my 
life. We started out as two dreamers and we will continue to be two dreamers. I am still me and you 
always will be my best friend. I love you Amber."

Monday, May 27, 2013

And the World Turned.

Today this encompasses all my thoughts:

It's odd to think it's been 3 years and the world keeps turning.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Suddenly, I feel old.

Suddenly, I feel old. And no, it's not because I'm 27 and hurt my back posing as Beyonce, it's because makes me feel old.

Especially when they post articles entitled 43 Things That Will Make You Feel Old

I read this article and was SHOCKED. Seriously?! 

JTT is over 30?!?!?! 

I swear. In my head, all childhood actors stay the exact same age as they were when I was little and swooning over every picture of them in Teen Beat, Teen Bop, Teen People, J-14, etc, etc. You name the magazine, I probably owned every issue (which looking back is probably unhealthy considering most of those bad boys came out weekly). 

Anyway, everybody knows childhood actors never age.  And if they happen to be one of the few that do...well...they usually don't age well.

In my state of shock and surprise upon reading buzzfeed's allegation that this childhood hearthrob was over 30 I turned to the most trusted source I know for confirmation...Wikipedia.

And guys, here's what I found out...the good, the bad, and the ugly.

1. He's turning 32 this year. I don't understand how this is possible.

2. He's been lying to us his whole life. He's no JTT. He was born Jonathan Taylor Weiss.  JTW does NOT have the same ring to it, but that is how I will refer to him now because it's his true identity.

3. He's bloody brilliant. Guys, he went to Harvard and then completed his degree at Columbia. Not just a pretty face.

4. He's a vegetarian. Which is pretty unfortunate because I don't really trust vegetarians. I mean, come on, how can you trust someone who doesn't eat meat?  I have a couple of exceptions to that know who you are...

But perhaps the most important fact about JTW that's not listed in Wikipedia is this....

He's the reason for my first and only fist fight.

Ok, before I proceed, this needs to be a judge-free zone.  It was right before middle school (which started in 6th grade for me) and we all know that middle school is rough. If you can survive those few years I'm convinced you can survive anything. And I mean, ANYTHING.  Unless of course your middle school experience rocked, in which case, we have nothing in common.

Middle school was just awkward. It has all of the workings of a good horror film. Everyone's hormones are out of whack and it makes us all do stupid things and creates a lot of aggression in boys. 

My early middle school years really hit their peak during the Lion King era. I already loved JTW and the fact that he was the voice of Simba...well...double love.  Courtesy of my step-mom, my room at my dad's house may have been decked out in Lion King theme during this phase. Remember you're not allowed to judge - we already established this was a judge-free zone. 

So my room was decked in Lion King and my school locker was decked out in JTW. There was a girl at school who didn't particularly like me, but we were still friends (typical middle school vibe going on here).  She thought she could have my fave JTW picture hanging in my locker just because she wanted it.  So one day, during PE, she stole it from me. I didn't discover it was missing until after gym class. Well, the little sneak was not so sneaky because she'd hung it up in her locker IN PLAIN SIGHT so I knew she was the culprit.

Naturally, I grabbed it out of her locker in an attempt to reclaim what was rightfully mine.  And that's when she hit me.  

She straight up HIT ME. Full fist and all. And then TORE UP MY one-of-a-kind TEEN BEAT POSTER. 


I know. Neither could I.

I obviously had to hit her back. 

We got a phew blows in before the gym teacher could stop us. It was traumatizing to say the least. I didn't know I had it in me.  I guess it just take the right type of provoking, such as ripping up my JTW poster, to get me riled up. 

bottom line. I think Wikipedia needs to add this to their stats to ensure all their information is entirely accurate.


Milk {and age} does a body good.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beyoncé should come with a warning sign.

Alright. We all know Beyoncé is fierce or else her alter-ego wouldn't literally be Sasha FIERCE.  It wasn't until last week though that I realized just HOW FIERCE this Queen B truly is.

But let me back it up a bit and start with this. I've been living by a new life motto lately (thanks to my friend Jody who coined it): Be Beyoncé.

So obviously I'm still me and I love being me, BUT I have rather enjoyed "living as B" lately.  Here's the thing... being B is more like a shift in thought. A more care-free, calm shift in thought.  I am typically one who worries a lot about things that may or may not happen and often care what others may think of me and stress about it. Here's where the shift in thought comes in. Think about it.  

Let's say someone breaks up with you or you lose a job or something else happens that could bring you way down for a bit. Well, instead of worrying about it and getting all worked up in sorrows you switch on your B power.  What would B do in this situation?  She would recognize the hurt, accept it, realize it's a part of her, and then step forward to do something great such as writing a song lyrics that says, "You can leave with me or you can have the blues" (taken from her song EGO). In other words, she wouldn't let it get her down.  She would use it do something empowering and hopefully good.

I'm not saying it's an excuse to be a diva or anything. I mean I'm not going to have my own rider like hers anytime soon. But, I think there is a real power in not letting things get to you.  You just use it as a chance to improve and take power in what you want out of life.  Essentially, this sums up how I feel: (If you haven't seen it watch through the end, or fast forward, it's amaze)


Basically, I want to do and be the good in this world and you can't do that if you let yourself worry too much. She knows what her strengths are and she uses them.

So here's the problem.  I have been loving this new motto so much it's become a bit of a joke among friends and co-works. And I finally took it one step too far. I should have known it was dangerous to even attempt to have the same fierceness as B. I mean, there is ONLY ONE B, but I attempted anyway...and it wasn't a good one.

B has a certain stance she turns to often. Case in point:

So, in the excitement over my new hat I got for my fabulous cousin and her fabulous wedding I was joking around with the co-works and channeling my best B pose. (You can see I have some work to do)


And that's when it happened. I did a runway turn and went to pose on the other side, arching my back in a bit too quick of a motion because the next thing I know there is a shooting pain in my back. 

It still hurts. It's still recovering.  

When pics of B are published they should be accompanied with the caption:

"WARNING! Don't try this at home. It's too fierce!"

I learned my lesson. Channel the inner fierceness of B, but leave the diva pose to her.  She does it best anyway.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Women Who Inspire Me

Happy International Women's Day! I figured in honor of such a great day I'd share about two of the many women who inspire me the most (next to my mom, of course - but I am going for ancestry here).

Charlene Smith Younger 

Mark Twain had a life similar to that of Charlene Smith Younger in mind when he penned, Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.

Charlene or "Mamie" (I'm pretty sure she earned this nickname partially based on the eccentric, happy-go-lucky movie Auntie Mame") gave so much life to everyone she encountered.  Not one to hide from the spotlight she could walk into a room and you would remember.  She had a smile as wide as the ocean and a laugh that was contagious.  

Some of my favorite memories with my dear Mamie include:

Every Wednesday she would pick me up from school to take me to dance lessons. She was my biggest fan. It didn't matter that I wasn't the best in the class, I was the best in her eyes.  

Every Monday we would meet at the grandparents house for cocktail hour before we left for dinner.  Every Monday she would encourage me to perform for my family while they enjoyed drinks.  So, I was always coming up with new dance or new skits to entertain them.  Based on her reactions to my performances you'd have thought I was more famous and talented than any starlet that ever lived.  

For every holiday, even the small ones that most people forgot, I could count on my Mamie to be dressed head to toe in holiday themed apparel, and most importantly earrings.  Studs were not enough for her, no she always had on huge, long earrings that weighed 5 lbs. each.  For her funeral, each of us wore a pair of her holiday earrings, hats, and necklaces. I was Miss 4th of July so I naturally wore HUGE Star earrings and a gaudy necklace with flashing plastic American flags while my sister walked in wearing her Christmas best and my step-mom in the largest Easter Bonnet you've ever seen.  We were a sight to behold, but I know she looked down in joy that day. 

My sister rocking some of  Mamie's jewelry

Of all the holidays, Christmas was Mamie's favorite.  She would save a portion of her money monthly for the entire year just so she could shower her grandkids. The elaborate Christmas Tree would go up before Thanksgiving and then throughout December a plethora of goodies would appear under the tree from "St. Nick".
On Christmas morning, we would all gather to read the Bible story and then 4 different versions of The Night Before Christmas - her personal favorites being the Texas and Cajun versions. After opening our presents we would have to search somewhere in the tree of the "green pickle" and whoever found it first got a cash prize.  Then it would be time for dinner.  She'd always make her enchilada casserole which I could eat the entire thing and end the evening with a peppermint pig that each person would have to smash with a hammer and make a wish.  Needless to say, she made Christmas traditions something to remember.

In our home town, she was often referred to as "The Gingerbread Lady."  After her brother died, she needed a distraction to pour her heart and soul into so she did what she always did - gave back to the children and to the community.  She would spend HOURS upon HOURS making and intricately decorating gingerbread men, individually wrapping them, and hanging them on a tree outside during the month of December as gift to the neighborhood children that came by.  Watching the happiness on their faces as they came and plucked a homemade, cookie off the mesquite tree in the front yard filled her with joy. She did this for 13 years.

She loved her chihuahua. No one else did.  You could never go over to the house without wearing a shoe that covered your heel or else he'd latch on and draw blood.  She never seemed to notice. He was still an angel in her eyes. This says a lot about her. Literally with everything she always saw the good and loved everyone and everything without guile.

She was a strong Christian woman who helped in the founding of the local Memorial Christian Church where she faithfully served until she passed. Part of her philanthropic, community work included serving thirty years as a volunteer at the Children's Service League. She was a Texas State Board Member of Easter Seals and involved in fund raising activities for the American Cancer Society and the Red Cross. She was President of the Progressive Study Club and served as a charter member of various organizations including High Sky Children's Ranch, Symphony Guild, Pyracantha Garden Club, and of course, Memorial Christian Church. A patriot, she was a past Regent of the William Brewer Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She enjoyed many years as a volunteer for the auxiliaries of Midland Memorial Hospital and Trinity Towers. Socially, she served as President of the Midland Country Club Ladies Association.

On April 10, 1938, she married the love of her life, my grandpa John. They were madly in love, but he had no money and her mother didn't approve of them marrying because she barely knew him.  Mamie knew him though and she was madly in love. And so, she followed him to Louisiana where he warned her that he wouldn't let her go back to Texas without a ring on her finger. She agreed and their elopement ensued.  He couldn't afford a ring, but there was no price for love in her eyes.  She simply wore a string rapped around her ring finger until he could get one.  They didn't stop loving with that same amount of passion for the following 65 years.

Mamie generously poured her heart and soul into serving and caring for others and therefore made it impossible not to love her.  She will be remembered as a gracious Christian lady whose lifetime vocation was to love, encourage, humor, protect, and nurture her family and loved ones. Her most treasured moments were times spent with her family. An effervescent laugh and smile were the hallmarks of her personality .Always seeing the best in people,loving everyone and encouraging them in all their pursuits while bringing an abundance of life into a room are a few of the many qualities she left behind in her legacy. I am honored to be her granddaughter and hope to be even a portion of the woman she was some day.

 Lola Hudson Wilson

I didn't know my mom's mother as well as I knew my dad's mother because she died when I was younger and didn't live as close.  I do know one thing about her and the legacy she has left my family though and that is a legacy of strength. 

Raising three children as a single mother in Washington, DC could have been no easy feat. She worked for the US Department of the Interior which was quite an accomplishment for a woman in the 50's/60's, but luckily DC was more progressive than the rest of the country. Still, it had to be hard even with an income.  She taught my mother how to sew her own clothes, cooked meals for them and took them on road trips every summer to visit relatives. Again, this most have been difficult to fit in between working, but she always did it and cared for her children more than anything else.

I wish I could remember more of my personal interactions with her, but I was little.  However, I am grateful for her example of strength - strength to endure no matter the hardship and hope to emulate that in my life.

Cheers to Mamie and Grandma Lola! I am honored as I strive to carry on your excellent legacies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FreeStyle Love Supreme Follow-Up

10 Months ago I wrote this Post.

If you read it great, if not, there's really no need to. You can catch up here.

Basically, I met one of my FAVORITE performers in the ENTIRE world, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He raps, he sings, he composes Tony Award Winning Broadways, he is a comedian, he basically does it all.

The best part is...I got to go on stage with his Improve/Comedy/Hip-Hop/Broadway crew Freestyle Love Supreme. Here we are hanging after the show:

Lin Manuel is next to me and no, your eyes are not mistaken that is the guy who plays Donald in Pitch Perfect

Well, as promised I said I would share the video of them rapping about my day with all 3 of my followers that are probably reading this. I FINALLY got the video uploaded to YouTube and ready for your enjoyment. It's long. I wouldn't blame you for not watching.

First Video (Interviewing me about my day)

Second Video (Rapping about my day)

Bottom line people. This is one of the GREATEST moments of my life thus far. I hope I haven't peaked early and everything else is just downhill from here...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When you're the best of friends...

Happy Birthday Best Friend. I'm a better person because of you.

And thanks for being my guardian angel now. I can't wait to see you again one day and laugh.

Cheers to you and the memories of 3 great moments in the story of our friendship:

Junction, TX August 2009
You  foolishly volunteered to kayak ahead of the group with "Cool Papa C " to help him set up for loading the kayaks.  You were an athlete so, naturally, you could keep up with a 68 year old man. Or so you thought.... He was so far ahead yelling at you to catch up.  You had the hardest workout of your life that day. We laughed for hours. 

Aspen, CO February 2009
Ok, so...other than the fact that we got a ticket on the drive down it was the funnest girls trip.  I loved this trip because I loved that we FINALLY lived near each other again and could do little trips like this. It was Valentine's Day and my dad had taken us all out to a nice dinner.  He ordered "Rocky Mountain Oysters" and none of us would eat them, except Laura. Bless Laura's heart. We had been talking about them the entire trip and she didn't realize they were bull testicles. We let  her eat most of the plate before telling her. We also got in our worst fight on this trip.  We didn't speak to each her for a good 36 hours. It was the longest 36 hours for both of us. But actually, we became better friends because of it. Sometimes friends fight and then you realize how much you miss that person and you forget what you were fighting about altogether.  

Christmas 2009.
Those faces say it all.  We loved to do the "shock and awe" expression.  Our families made fun of us. We would continue to do it anyway.  We had both randomly given each other aprons for Christmas. I guess when your best friends you do start to think alike. This was our last photo. I will cherish it always.
Oh yeah! And how could I forget! You'd roll your eyes when I'd sing this about us in one of my sappy, sentimental moments, but I know you secretly loved it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Someone should have filed a restraining order.

Well, if you've been following my blog since it's creation perhaps you remember an old post I wrote about one of my many childhood heartthrobs - Leonardo Dicaprio. If not, you can catch up HERE.

During Christmas break, I decided I was going to go through my old room and discover all my treasures from childhood that have been stuffed away for years. Well, based on what I found, I wish I had left them buried.

Apparently my memory seems to have forgotten WHAT A WEIRDO I WAS AS A KID.  That's right.  Looking back on my obsession with Leo I thought, "Sure, it's totally normal for a young girl to have a crush." I didn't realize how TOTALLY obsessed I was until....I ran across this poem I wrote AND SENT TO HIM: (INSERT THE BOLDEST OF HUMILIATIONS RIGHT HERE).

Translation since you probably can't read my 14 yr. old hand writing:

I love to look and dream of you
You make my heart so glad
I feel like I could touch you
through the picture that I have
Although it's just a poster
Your piercing eyes look real
When I try to tear my eyes away
It is to no avail
It makes me start to think of what
a perfect pair we could be
I know I'm just another girl starstruck in your eyes
But I have hope down in my heart we'll meet before I die.

Someone should have filed a restraining order.

I was totally creepy.  A PERFECT PAIR? 23 & 14. I'm pretty sure that's illegal in ALL 50 states. And if it isn't, it should be.

So Leo...Near. Far. Wherever You Are. This one is for you!

At least I can laugh at myself now.  And, at least I can see HOW MUCH I'VE GROWN UP SINCE THEN.  Thank Heavens for that.  Hopefully in another 12 years I don't unearth some weird poem like this from my time as a 26 year old.