Thursday, April 14, 2011

day #21


Ooooh this one is going to be a good one.  I have a wide variety of beliefs, from political, to spiritual (I've always hate the word "religious") to general ethics about life.  Years ago I decided there was no way I'd get anywhere in life, if I didn't know exactly what I believe.  It's the foundation of everything.  So here is a long list... though I won't say it's conclusive.

1.  I believe "God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time - to show us his grace through Christ Jesus."  (2Tim 1:9)
2.  I believe we are sinners because of Adam's sin, and we are saved because of Jesus's work, not our own. (Rom 5:17)
3.  I believe that unconditional love really does exist.  And when you find it, it's incredibly hard to let go of.

4.  I believe if you cannot be happy by yourself, with yourself, it is near impossible to be happy with someone else.

5.  I believe if we educate and empower young women and girls, lots of the worlds problems would cease to exist (teen pregnancy, poverty issues, domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.)

6.  I believe in grassroots efforts, not only the outcome of them but perhaps more importantly, the journey it takes to get there.

7.  I believe in living without regrets, because each situation and each decision you make somehow molds you into who you are today.

8.  I believe real friendship will multiply your joy and divide your sorrow, but should sttill be strong enough to call you ass out if are out of line.

9.  I believe music can heal places within your soul that are otherwise un-heal-able. 

10.  I believe laying your heart on the line is worth the consequences, no matter how the chips fall.

11.  I believe lies will spoil anything they touch, and loyalty is absolutely vital in any relationship. 

12.  I believe general chivalry will never ever get old, nor be replaced.

13.  I believe counseling can be beneficial to every single person, if only they would have the guts to put themselves under a microscope.

So much more ... no more time. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

day #20


Oh my... I certainly love to laugh, and I've learned over the years not to take myself so darn seriously.  But there are a few moments that stick out in my head, as to times I've literally peed my pants from laughing.  (Yeah it's not something I make a habit of, but I'm also guilty of it a few times.)  Here are a couple examples.

In August of 2006, I was sitting around a dinning room table with some of my favorite women.  My mom, my sister, my best friend Kristen, and her sister and mom.  We were addressing wedding invitations.  We were going down the invite list (which was HUGE) and splitting them up.  My mom got to a name that seemed particularly funny to her.  Jimmy Pospistle.  (I'm sorry Jimmy, wherever you are.)  He was Nathan's friend, and all 6 of us women just laughed and laughed and laughed until we cried, and until I came dangerously close to peeing my pants.  Oh I still crack up when I think about it.

Just last year dad and I were standing in his kitchen trying to come up with a list he was supposed to be texting to our friend Mark (now of course I don't even remember what the list was) but I do remember dad laughing harder than I've EVER seen him laugh.  He actually fell down to the floor, wiping tears from his eyes.  I laughed til I cried, and may have peed a little then too. HAHA!!!

A couple weeks ago during "Razzle Dazzle" (thank god it was dress rehearsal) we were dancing/singing and making our creepy faces.  I just happened to catch the City Manager's creepy face out of the corner of my eye, and I couldn't sing or dance because I was too busy trying not to pee my pants. or my dress.

Plenty more of those situations, but I don't want anyone to think I'm a habit pants-pee-er.  HAHA

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

day #19


Today I met a stranger in the rain
who asked me which of the five senses I would most easily give up.

Without a moments hesitation or a split second for synapses to fire in my brain I sputtered out: "Sight." 

His wrinkled browns widened in surprise, either at my speed
or my certainty,
     or perhaps both.
Through baffled eyes and a bewildered smile he said "oh, so you've given this one some thought, haven’t you?”

"well, no actually not. But let me explain what I'm thinking, about the other four senses...

I will never give up when I close my eyes and inhale the stuffy antediluvian smell on the north side of the third floor of the UCO library, or the memory of my grandfather's garden that the smell of fresh strawberries will always be my roadmap to, or the instantaneous motherly arms of comfort and security that wrap around me when I smell dryer-fresh laundry…

And I will never give up when I close my eyes and enjoy the pain-relieving taste of McDonalds ice cream with French fries, or the way cold vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate brownies makes such a heavenly racial flavor that propels from my lips to my abdomen and finds equality in which my stomach’s scream finds solace, or the refreshing taste of sweet-candied sun tea on a steamy summer afternoon mixed with great conversation…

And I will never give up when I close my eyes and relish in the jumble of mixed melodic phrases sounding from backstage at Carnegie Hall as my symphony is warming up, or the liberation of music at highway volume on the drive home that is a staple in my daily emotional healing process, or the way every voice we recognize sounds different ten feet away than when it's intimately close…

And I will never give up when I close my eyes and experience the rush that floods my body when my ilium is touched, or the comfort I’m filled with when my favorite childhood stuffed animal is pressed against my cheek, or the way these fat rain drops splatter on my barren skin and leave me feeling clean, and new again… "

He stands there and listens as I enlighten him, seemingly shocked that a young girl took the time to stand in the rain and answer a strangers question. He tries to argue and says "well, what about all the wonderful things you'd miss without sight." But I interrupt him… and continue…

I said… “I don't know about you, but let me tell you about my favorite moments:

when my mind is only capable of this untamed imagination in slumber, and my brain is not allowed interference…

his breath on me; forgetting all the tension of the week and solely being able to hold on tightly to this emergent anticipation at the possibility of this first kiss…

my hands and lifting my solitary song mixed with the cohesive voice of the congregation of my brothers and sisters, praising my God…

in the front row of a small-venue rock concert with my fist in the air, singing in unison with the emotion opposite the mic…

outside on a cool October morning and inhaling a fresh supple breeze after a hot harsh summer…

Letting go
and finding release in crying my eyes out after the exhausting act of pretending to live for years…”

I open my eyes only to find my new friend had also closed his as he listened to me.  He looks up, wrinkles lifted slightly, and browns a little brighter, and he replies… "yes, my dear, I believe you are correct. The best things happen with our eyes closed."

Monday, April 11, 2011

day #18

(Accidentally took 4 days off from the blog!  And didn't think about it ONCE. It was a busy busy week.  But now I'm back, to finish my 30 days strong, hopefully!)


If you know me very well at all, you know that I've been through some difficult things.  (By 27, most people have! I still think your 20s are so much more difficult that your teens!) Anyway, I've always loved coming OUT of a difficult situation, and making the BEST of it.  I love seeing how certain things can shape me and mold me. Because of the variety of things I've been through, I think I'm pretty level headed, and I can handle quite a bit.  I'm pretty good about keeping my emotions in check (though they do get away from me every now and then...) I'm good about staying calm and not getting dramatic about things (can't stand overly dramatic people)... I'm a realist, and I take situations as they come to me. 

All this said... there are some things that just, flat out, stress me out.  I don't mean for it to, but this list will probably be a little silly.  Sure there are BIG things that can stress me out, but there are some little meaningless things that can also get under my skin.  Here we go...

1.  CAR TROUBLE:  This is at the top of my list currently, seeng as how my car died last week, then a borrowed truck died on me a few days later. Pretty much anything that has to do with car maintenance stresses me out.  My dad taught me how to change my oil, change a tire, all that good stuff.  Piece of cake.  But if it's anything else, I'm up a creek.  =/

2.  WORK ISSUES BEYOND MY CONTROL:  I don't think I'm a control freak...but if I feel something at work start to spin and I cannot get a handle on it, I get stressed out.  Sometimes I think since I work alone in this office, I feel the weight of this $112 million foundation sitting on my back.  Sometimes I forget I have 13 Board members, and probably 40 committee members I can call in for help anytime I need it.  Sometimes I think I have to take care of it all alone, and that can be overwhelming sometimes.

3.  BEING ALONE:  Once again, I love my quiet time.  I love living alone, going home to a quiet house.  But the idea of being alone forever stresses me out.  I don't think God would put such a strong desire for a family in my heart, if He didn't have big plans for me.  (Word to the wise, don't ever pray for patience, unless you really want to be taught that lesson.)

4.  TRASH:  Yeah, this seems silly... trash stresses me out.  I love cleaning, I'd clean all day long.  But when it comes to taking out the trash, I hate it.  Maybe I need to add that to my future spouse's list... someone who will take out the trash. Haha!  I will clean toilets, and do dishes, and fold laundry and sweep/mop/vacuum all day long... but please please, someone else take out the trash.

5.  DISORGANIZATION:  Another silly one.  I am easily stressed out when things are not organized perfectly.  My closet, for example, is in perfect order... shirts together, skirts together, dresses together... all in color order even.  Same with my shoes.  If it gets messed up, it stresses me out.  Same with my kitchen... dirty dishes in the sink stress me out, which is why I wash them and put them away immediately.  (Yes... its the OCD creeping in again.  I almost came unglued with the chaos that ensued in striking the set yesterday!)

That's all I can think of for now.  =)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

day #17


In 2007, my mom and I had TONS of long hard discussions, about how to piece myself back together.  This list was the outcome of one of those conversations.  It's no secret, I want a family, someday.  I'm in NO HURRY whatsoever... but it is certainly something I want for my life.  And an important part of getting there, is knowing what I want.  Over time the list gets refined and tweaked, and with each relationship I learn something new about myself.  That's the best part of the journey, discovering things you never knew about yourself.

1.  OLD SCHOOL COURTESY:  I may be a successful modern woman, but I'm quite old fashioned.  I swoom easily for guys that are gentlemen.  Opening a door for me, pulling out a chair for me, just the little simple things.  I've always loved cooking and cleaning (not kidding) and part of how I show my love for someone, is when I get to take care of them.  But I know this goes both ways, and a guy can take care of me, by doing these little simple things. 

2.  OKLAHOMA ROOTS:  I love to travel.  I enjoy living in a small town, but I also adore visiting big cities.  I don't care where I live, but I want to have the freedom to come back and visit my family in Oklahoma anytime.  (So living in NYC, or Africa, really doesn't seem like something I want to do!)  Being with someone who also has family in Oklahoma, or who wants to live in Oklahoma, would be ideal.

3.  INTELLIGENCE:  I'm one of those nerdy girls that finds intelligence fiercely sexy.  I need to be with someone that challenges me.  I've always said I'm attracted to people who are as smart or smarter than me.  I want to be able to have discussion about politics, current events, work challenges, relationship issues, religion/spirituality, etc.  Stimulate my brain!

4.   PASSION:  When I first created this list, #4 was JOB related... you must love your job, or something like that.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized a lot of people aren't crazy about their jobs, but that's NOT a deal breaker.  For me, I just want to be with someone that is passionate about SOMETHING.  It can be their job (like it is for me) or it can be something totally different.  The church they're involved with, their family, some organization they are a part of, etc.  I just love seeing people passionate about life.

5.  CANNOT BE OBSESSED WITH ANY ONE THING, ME INCLUDED:  You may have giggled at this one, but it just might be the most important thing on the list.  I've dated people who were obsessed with me.  I had absolutely no life of my own, and I cannot handle that.  I refuse to lose myself in order to date a guy. I am a stubborn, independent girl, and I need more alone time than anyone I know.  I've also dated people who are obsessed about something else, like OU football.  I know, I know, you're all thinking I'm obsessed with the Yankees.  I do LOVE the Yankees, and baseball in general, but I don't plan my life around their schedule.  It's just a game.

So there ya have it.  Not anything new, if you've read this before.  For me, for now, I'm happy doing my own thing... figuring out my life and where it stands right now.  I am blessed with such a FUN job, working with a board and numerous committees that I LOVE.  I'm in this amazing little town where everyone is so nice, and it's really beginning to feel like HOME.  I'm buiding really great friendships through the play that I hope will last long after the play is over.  When the play IS over, I'll have more time to travel to OKC to see my family... my parents, my sister, my niece and nephew who I miss so much.  Yeah, I get worked up every now and then about little things that stress me out (more on that tomorrow!) but when I step back and look at the big picture, the truth is, I am one BLESSED girl.  I couldn't ask for anything more than everything I have right now. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

day #16


This one's a doozie. I swear everything about this story I'm about to tell you is 100% true.  Perhaps now you'll understand part of the fear in my life.

In 2003 I was living with my aunt and uncle.  I was a sophomore in college.  It was a Saturday night late fall, and I had been out to a movie with friends.  I pulled up at the house around 1:30am, which was unusually late for me.  I lived with them for 2 years, and I always always parked in the street in front of their house.  For whatever reason, I chose to park in the driveway this time.  It was chilly out, so I got out of my car quickly and ran inside through the front door.  I had been in the house 30 seconds or so, when I remembered I had left my cell phone in my car.  I went back out the front door and took two quick steps to the west, toward my car in the driveway.  Then I heard the rustle in the leaves behind me.

You know how thoughts can run through your brain really fast in moments when the hair on the back of your neck stands on end?  All in a split second, I considered the possibilities of the noise I heard behind me.  First thought was a neighborhood dog.  I didn't want to get biten, or chased by some dog I didn't know.  Second thought was some kind of possum, as I had seen one in the back yard months back.  I turned back to the East to see what it was I should be running from.  And there he was.  A man, approximately 5'9", dressed in all black, including a ski mask, with a black backpack over his left shoulder.  He had been standing in front of my bedroom window, and when I bounced out of the house, it must have startled him.  By the time I whirled around to see what the noise was, he was on his way around the East corner of the house, around my bedroom.

I had NO time to decide what to do.  I either had to run AWAY from him, toward my car, or TOWARD him and go inside and wake up my uncle.  I ran into the house, locked the door and woke up Joel.  I told him there was a masked guy in the front yard outside my window.  Joel, like any father figure would do, got a flashlight and went after him while I called the police

Joel didn't see anything unusual when he went outside.  The police came and we filled out a report about what had happened.  They also searched our street and found nothing.  That was that, and I didn't see that man again, until Christmastime

My aunt and uncle went out of town to visit my aunt's family for Christmas, and left me home alone for a few days.  I was bored one evening and asked my mom to come over and watch TV with me.  She was sitting in the living room and I walked past the entry way and the man was standing on the front porch in his ski mask, with his flashlight up against the front door, looking inside.  I freaked out completely.  Mom and I made sure all the doors were locked and we called the police again.  When they got there, of course they found nothing suspicious around the house or on our street. 

By this time I'm certainly nervous coming and going, especially at night.  The police questioned me quite a bit, since I was the only person that had seen this guy. (I thought they thought I was going crazy and just seeing things!)  I'd often call my uncle before I pulled up to the house and he'd stand outside and watch me pull up and walk in.  I never saw anything suspicious again.

One day a couple months later I was driving home from work and my aunt called me.  She told me there was police at the end of the street, but I needed to go home and go inside and stay there til she came home.  Apparently it had been an eventful day.

Two doors down, we had neighbors, a sweet family of four.  The two children were young, grade school aged, and had complained of seeing someone outside their bathroom window.  The father, Scott, was concerned, and installed a silent alarm.  Basically, if there was motion outside the windows, it would notify him inside the house silently with a light.  During the kids' bathtime that evening, the little alarm light came on.  So he went outside quietly, and found the man in the ski mask, with the backpack, standing outside the window.  Scott chased him down the street about the same time my aunt had come home, so she joined in the chase as well.  Our neighbor and my aunt tackled him in the culdesac and waiting for police. When the police got there, they removed his ski mask. It was the man that lived next door.  (The house between us and Scott's family.)

...Oh it gets worse.

Throughout the following weeks I was interviewed by the detective that was assigned to our case, as was our neighbor two doors down who helped catch the creep.  Detective Day worked and worked to piece together the puzzle, including researching the creep's computer and finding pictures taken through bedroom windows, child pornography, etc.  Sometime during the following weeks, he remembered that the night my aunt and Scott tackled his guy, he was dressed in all black, but he was barefoot.  This triggered a memory of a case he had worked on two streets over, 18 years before, where a man in all black, a ski mask (barefoot) with a black backpack had broken into a woman's bedroom window, tied her up and raped her.  When her husband came home and walked in on it, the creep stabbed the husband to death infront of the woman, and left her there.  He got away.   The mystery was never solved, until my case surfaced, and they matched a muddy footprint from 2004, with a bloody footprint from 1986.

Just to clarify, Jonathan Graham, our next door neighbor, had knives and ducktape in his backpack, standing outside my window that day in the fall of 2003. This is the same man who was outside most mornings when I left for school, that would wave a friendly hello, or say "Good morning!" just like any other nice neighbor would.  Now, he's in prison for life.

Document from 1986 murder/rape

News story from 2004

Saturday, April 2, 2011

day #14


Alright friends, if you used to follow my other blog back in the day, this may be a repeat for some of you.  But it's the requirement for day 14, and I'm willingly obeying.  

The truth of it is, I love quirks. I love getting to know someone and realizing their quirks are just as funny as mine! Why do we hide these unique little things about ourselves? Just to fit in and seem "normal" ?? Normal isn't fun! Everyone's got 'em, I say let's flaunt them. I'll start, and display some of my silliest quirks so we can all get a good laugh.

Sometimes I pick chunks of my hair from the back of head and twirl it in a sequential rhythm (over-over-under) . This action doesn’t necessarily mean I’m nervous or bored, although it does seem to happen then too. It actually started when I used to make fun of my mother for the same action. What started as teasing, then became habit.

I always count stairs when I'm going up or down, always, so I can tell you confidently there were 17 steps to where I lived in Tennessee, 16 steps to my apartment in OKC, and 4 steps outside my apartment now, down the little path.

My hands (and most of the hands on my dad's side of the family) are extremely wrinkled on the palm-side and look like they are 80 years old. My friends in high school actually celebrated my hands’ 80th birthday, when I turned 18. I always hated them, but now I don't mind them so much. (My hands, not my friends.) haha

I played drums for so long that when I hear music of any kind, rhythm is the very first thing I notice. I actually have to consciously choose to pay attention to lyrics and other elements. I even find myself drumming to the music on the alarm clock radio when I wake up, before any conscious thought even enters my sleepy brain.

For whatever reason, as of the last few years, I’ve stopped using my sister’s name entirely. Now I just call her Sister. And I think she finds it endearing. =)

I still have a piece of graphite stuck under the skin on my side where I got stabbed in 5th grade. But don't worry, it was an accidental stabbing, not a violent stabbing.  I wonder if it will ever surface?  gross...

I get hungry every night if I'm still awake at midnight. This is what I call second dinner,or 4th meal. This is also why I try to go to bed BEFORE midnight. Daniel used to get so annoyed with me every night when I'd say "OMG you know what sounds delicious right now?  TACOS!!!" haha...

When the television is on, I have to put the volume on an even number or a multiple of five, even if an odd number is actually the volume level that is most desirable. I am willing to suffer the difference of one notch higher or lower in order to keep it on an even number.

I pop my gum backwards, and loudly. This is not a nervous habit, but something I do EVERY TIME I have gum in my mouth, and most of the time I don't even know I'm doing it until my jaw gets sore or someone smacks me for annoying them. Which is why I try not to chew gum at all anymore.

As I shop for groceries, I have to put the items in the cart in a logical order (frozen things with frozen things, produce in the basket on top, boxes lines up neatly, drinks with drinks.) I cannot possibly handle a cart that has items carelessly tossed in. I must rearrange. And this is why people don't like grocery shopping with me, and why I'm more than happy to do it solo.

I have a long fuse. I very rarely get mad about something. But, I have a very short fuse with technological devices malfunctioning (i.e. my office printer spewing ink at me, cell phone reception that cuts me off or drops my call, computers that freeze up.) I get violently angry at these things in 3 seconds or less. At this point I believe in percussive maintenance. (smack the crap out of it)

When it comes to food, I will try anything once. Surprisingly, my list of things I will never eat again is short, and seems to be things that most people like: Dr. Pepper, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Crutons, Black Olives. I think everything else I've ever tasted, I've liked and would eat again.

October is my favorite month for the following, very important reasons: cooler weather, post-season baseball, sweaters and hoodies, blankets, orange and yellow leaves. Come on, nothing beats that.

I think sandwiches are my favorite food. Of all the awesome dishes I've had at restaurants, or at someone’s house who is an amazing cook, I still think its hard to beat a good samich. =)

I love dishes. (yeah I'm that lady and I'm only 25!) In the last couple years I've acquired enough dishes to feed at least 30 people at once, even though my apartment would only accomodate maybe 4. So come over sometime for dinner!

I'm a super-pro when it comes to Packing/Moving. I have a very specific system of packing. Every box is labeled with a letter and a number. Each box has a corresponding note card that has listed on it the complete contents of the box. This way, when I wanted to find the cord that runs from my computer to my printer, i just open up my notecard-box and go through the "desk" cards. Then I just have to find box D5. My boxes in storage were always lined up label facing out, and in order box 1 on top, box 6 on bottom, etc. Sister made fun of me when I moved into my apartment and I had boxes in their specific place to be unpacked. She asked me where the box labeled OCD was. Boooooo, Sister.
I think I was born to mother. I miss my college friends, but I think I mostly miss taking care of them. I loved having people in Edmond (my hometown) who weren’t from Edmond, and when they needed a button sewn back on their shorts, or their pants hemmed, they came to me. I loved baking cookies or cupcakes for their birthdays, and I even loved taking care of them when they were sick (and "sick" usually meant hungover.)

I think I classify as a clean freak. I cannot STAND when dishes or glasses are left out in the living room, or even if they are sitting in the sink. Dishes have 2 places they belong in my world: 1) clean and put away in the cabinet or 2) full of food at the table, being USED. Any other place is really quite unacceptable for me, including the sink!

I'm sure I could go on for days and days, seeing as I'm fairly quirky. But I'm chosing to embrace it!! My friend Bryan and I actually have had this thing going for years, we call it "IFILWS" which stands for "I fell in love with someone..." then we finish the sentence about a random stranger who displayed their quirks in public. Example: "IFILWS for dancing down the aisle in Walmart to the music over the loudspeaker" ... or one of my favorites Bryan said recently: "IFILW two grown-ass men for running barefoot like children across hot sand, from shady spot to shady spot, so as not to burn their feet... giggling the whole way." Bottom line.. we ALL do hilarious things. We are funny folks! Just share it and embrace it; it makes life so much more FUN!