Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This is a must read

I ran across an article on Conservative Oasis' blog titled "Top Stories of 2008". I love the humorous overview of the year. For example:

US auto giants GM, Chrysler, and Ford come a calling to Uncle Sam, with hands out. Problem is, you can’t ask for billions from “America” if you are flying Lear Jets to the meeting. OK… this one got blown WAY out of proportion. America then got sidetracked onto Executive salaries and perks, ignoring the fact that the real glutton of this situation is the UAW. Even if you fired all three CEO’s and never flew another damn plane with them in it, their combined salaries for a year wouldn’t run one of those companies for a month.

America needs to wake up, and stop letting unions hijack themselves right out of work. Jobs race overseas for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because labor here is overinflated.

In the sequel, they three tripped to DC in economy hybrids and such. 10 hour drives. In cars that are being discontinued due to poor sales. Brilliant. Seriously, these are the best and brightest?

I object to them making that kind of money based on them just appearing stupid.

I found myself laughing out loud alone in a coffee shop. Please go read and make me feel validated! :)

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Like This Game

This week marked my first direct deposit into my savings account. Between that disbursement and depositing some of my Christmas money, I am now only $307 from my emergency fund goal!

I'll have another segment deposited at the end of the month. I also think I can sit down and scrounge up enough extra funds from the budget to make the goal by the end of January! Hopefully in February I'll have completed one baby-step and starting the second!!

I am hoping to bring in a little additional income through selling photography. I've got a few items for sale on my Etsy shop, but have several more that I just haven't gotten around to putting up. Check out the link above and keep lookin- more stuff will be added soon!

Here's to an exciting, closer to debt-free, new year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Change in Lifestyle

While at home over the Thanksgiving break I started reading my dad's copy of Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I couldn't put down the book, and thought it was insightful and funny.

As a result of reading that book, I've started the Total Money Makeover. Dave (we're on a first name basis) outlines a series of baby steps, and I'm on number one! This means that I need to save $1000 in an emergency fund before I begin Baby Step 2- The Debt Snowball.

I also created a pretty decent budget and outline of where my money should go every month. I've tried to be strategic about using direct deposit to help with this. For example, I have two checking accounts and two savings accounts. One of my accounts is at a bank in KY and one is here. I've set it up so that certain things go to the KY account that is used far less often. My auto insurance, travel and gift funds all are directly deposited in that account monthly. My auto insurance is automatically paid monthly from that account. This way, I'm not keeping a wad of cash all year until I need it to travel, and when I do need it I can easily transfer it to the other bank, or just use that debit card. Plus it's far less tempting to dip into those funds, since I kinda forget that account is there. I've also set up a recurring deposit to my savings account from my paycheck. My money is managing itself!

I'm going to blog about my process through this makeover. If you are interested, you can track my progress through the interactive chart on the right!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Waddy Wonderland.

Glorious Shelby County. "Shove that up your pipe and smoke it Louisville."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


"24" by Switchfoot resonates with me today. I want to share the lyrics with you.

Twenty four oceans
Twenty four skies
Twenty four failures
Twenty four tries
Twenty four finds me
In twenty-fourth place
Twenty four drop outs
At the end of the day
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty four hours ago

Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And I'm not who I thought I was twenty four hours ago
Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You

Twenty four reasons to admit that I'm wrong
With all my excuses still twenty four strong

See I'm not copping out not copping out not copping out
When You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now

And You're raising these twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts
But I wan to be one today
Centered and true

I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now
And You're raising the dead in me

I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And You're raising the dead in me
Twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts.
I'm not copping out. Not copping out. Not copping out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Week 1: Patience

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near! ... Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know we consider blessed those who have persevered … The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
-James 5: 7-11

There seems to be a running theme of patience in my life right now. And, the irony that I’m writing this reflection while waiting for a flight that has been delayed 3+ hours is not lost on me. It only adds poignancy.

I recently read the passage above and was struck by the imagery of the farmer, waiting. I once heard a pastor talk about what it might look like if a farmer took the same approach that we often do. Imagine a farmer planting an apple tree, adding a little fertilizer and water, standing back for about five minutes, and then becoming confused and frustrated that the tree is neither visible nor bearing fruit. A true farmer knows that this process takes time, often years, for the tree to bear fruit. Farmers know that there is a lot at work beneath the surface, which often is unknown to the human eye.

While the inpatient farmer image may draw laughs, I know I often approach life with that same perspective! I expect that things will happen within my timeline- Quickly! I am sure that our microwave, DSL-internet world is no different. Sadly, I take the impatient farmer approach with far too much of my life. Whether that be expecting student issues to resolve quickly, or relationships to be what I want them to be on my own timeline. I certainly am no farmer.

I’ve bend drawn to the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth found in Luke 1:5-25, 2:57-66. Zechariah and Elizabeth are best known as the parents of John the Baptist, and Elizabeth was an older cousin of Mary, mother of Jesus. Luke 1 paints a picture of an older couple that wanted to have children, but never did. Despite this great disappointment they were both described as “upright in the sight of God”, a title that implies faith, discipline and contentment. While the two had clearly written off the idea that they might ever be parents, the story paints an image of a couple who did not cease to pray and do what is necessary for their desires to become real.

Ultimately, as implied by their role as John’s parents, the couple was blessed with a son. But, it was certainly clear to Zechariah and Elizabeth that it was “the Lord” (Luke 1: 25) who brought about this blessing. Their barrenness, and ultimate blessing played a big part in God’s glory and the coming of the Messiah, but the timing had to be just right. This equals years of heartache and pain watching other children for this righteous couple.

I think Zechariah and Elizabeth are examples of the patience that James referred to above. While he specifically mentioned Job, I’m sure that James may have had this couple in mind. James the writer is often believed to be the brother of Jesus, so Elizabeth would have been his distant cousin as well. No doubt he grew up hearing the story of what God had done for his relatives. James also was poised to see the glory of God in not only their story, but the selflessness and love of his Brother.

In Luke 2: 65-66, it is said that the neighbors of Zechariah and Elizabeth were in
“awe, and . . . people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it asking, ‘What then is this child going to be? For the Lord’s hand was with him.’”
It is clear that God’s hand was in the waiting John’s parents experience, the timing of his birth, and his ultimate purpose on earth. It was a timing and glory that only God could have foreseen. Things were being done underground, the seeds had to be planted and nurtured, before the tree could bear fruit.

I’ve found myself wondering what God is doing beneath the surface that I’m trying to rush. I am confident that there are situations and relationships where God is working for His Glory in and through my own life. Ultimately, God will be glorified, but it certainly won’t be on my timeline. It may very well be after I think it’s a lost cause. The key is to be patient and content in trusting that the work underground is being done. Wait is an active word that requires us to be content and patient with where we are, but be willing to take the steps necessary for God’s glory to be revealed. I pray that in this season of Advent, God might reveal within my heart what that means in my life, and yours as well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thankful Game

My friends Kristine and Cliff recently posted this on their blog. I wanted to post it as well! Tis’ the season (although, I might argue we should think of these things more than just once a year!)

Here are some specifics:

Something functional in my house that I'm thankful for is:
My dishwasher. Seriously. And having a shower with a shower curtain.

Something about my body that I'm thankful for is:
I like that I am sufficiently curvy. . .

Something hard that I've been through that I'm thankful for is:
Times in my life that I have been really depressed and anxious. I think they have sealed in me a sense of security that doesn’t come from within.

Something about this country that I'm thankful for is:
That people, for the most part, respect boundaries and laws.

Something about 2008 that I'm thankful for is:
Getting to see the west coast for the first time!

A word I'm thankful for is:

A sound I'm thankful for is:
Laughter (keeping Kristine’s answer).

A place in nature I'm thankful for is:
Anywhere that stars are easily visible by the millions.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's High Time. . .

My dear friend, Kristine, recently tagged me in an 8 things list. By recently, I mean a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to get back to that, but I just haven't. So, without further ado, here it is:

8 Things I Am Obsessed About Right Now:
1.) My Dog, Tuck. He’s AWESOME! (See the picture)
2.) Red Cups at Starbucks
3.) Reflecting
4.) The Office (I freakin’ LOVE that show!)
5.) Figuring out how to create and live on a budget
6.) The idea of running a 10k in February and a Half in April (not so much the practicality of it.)
7.) The music of Andy Davis
8.) Cooking!

8 Words Or Phrases I Use:
1.) "That's what she said."
2.) Friend
3.) LOVE it!
4.) Calling
5.) Uh. . . Really?
6.) Are you kidding?
7.) hahaha
8.) Seriously? Seriously!

8 T.V. Shows I Love To Watch:
1.) "The Office"
2.) “NCIS”
3.) "Bones”
4.) "Grey's Anatomy"
5.) "Private Practice"
6.) "SNL”
7.) "Criminal Minds”
8.) "Numb3rs”

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1.) Flew home
2.) Forgot to eat lunch
3.) had dinner with my mom at Cracker Barrel (YUM!)
4.) Did the Thanksgiving dinner shopping
5.) Missed my dog
6.) Worked on a secret project
7.) Slept on the couch, plane and in my brothers bed
8.) Read

8 Favorite Places To Eat:
1.) CafĂ© Cappuccino!! (OH SO GOOD! Kristine- when you visit we’re going here!)
2.) Pancake Pantry
3.) Clay Pot
4.) McDougals
5.) Jason’s Deli
6.) Cracker Barrel
7.) Rosa’s
8.) Cheddars’

8 People I tag:
1.) Grace
2.) Claire
3.) Tiff
4.) Mel
5.) Smudd
6.-8.) Anyone else who reads this and wants to do it. . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Hallmark Line!

There is a neat new line of items from Dayspring called Simply Inspiring. If you are looking for a neat gift for someone in your life you should check it out at your local Hallmark Store.

You can check out the creator's blog link here: Inspiring Ideas

Also, she has an Etsy Shop you can check out Here: Simply Inspiring by Jeanne Winters

Freedom of Choice Act

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is piece of legislation that President-Elect Obama promised to sign into law as his first step as president. This act concerns me a bit and let me tell you why.

FOCA would eliminate every restriction on abortion in every state nationwide. This includes not only bans on partial birth abortions, but also laws that require parental notification for minor children. This takes power away from the states to determine how abortions are handled. The 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
This clearly indicates that states are supposed to have the power to decide these such things, and the FOCA would take away that power.

Additionally, FOCA would require that faith-based hospitals and clinics provide abortions. Which is an interesting violation of the Constitutional right to Freedom of Religion, and therefore actually taking away the freedom of choice to doctors and administrators at such places.

I ask that you consider looking into to FOCA. Additionally, there is an online petition that you can sign if you disagree with this bill. You can go here to read more. You can also check out the Facebook group if you are user of that!

Regardless of one's opinion and stance on abortion, the FOCA gives far to much power to the Federal government to make decisions and limit religious freedom. It is a dangerous road to begin to travel!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wedding Music!

Two months from now a friend of mine is getting married and she asked me to be the "dj" at her wedding reception. I'm working on creating a playlist for her and would love input! Any wedding must haves?!

This is kind of a fun project, so if you are planning to get married and want a cheaper way to have music at your wedding, I'm available for booking!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Finally Over?

I've been looking forward to this day for what seems like years- the end of the 2008 Presidential election (oh wait, it has been years). All that anyone has talked about it seems has been this election. And it's finally over, so we can all go back to life as normal, right?

Apparently not.

In the days leading up to the election it appeared that all my Facebook friends were donating their status to one candidate or the other. Now those status messages have transformed either into elation or decrees that the world is ending.

The reality is our country has a new, historic president. And, it was within my parents and grandparents life time that this went from being impossible, to reality. That to me is incredibly humbling.

Even though I did not vote for Obama, and disagree with him on many issues, I have to admit, it is so neat to be a part of his piece in history. How awesome is it that we got to see the first black president? I saw a news clip on where a democratic strategist commented that what was most meaningful for her was that when he is sworn in, he will be sworn in on the Capital steps that were built by slaves. Slaves who never would have dreamed that this day would be possible. It seems that our country has come full circle.

Regardless of party affiliation, as a Christian I am called to respect and obey governmental authority. Even if I am disappointed, and there are things that concern me, I am still proud to be an American.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dying Happy

There is one Baylor Mascot that I love more than the others. His name is Judge (named after Judge Baylor, one of the founders of the university) and he is inflatable. During the football games I LOVE Watching him dance around, and wiggle his tail, wink his eye and bounce on his head.

Tonight, at the Homecoming Bonfire, I got to meet him. That's the photo above. I felt like a 5 year old little girl! I was so excited! I just kept giggling. I can sleep happy tonight, even though my hall did not win the homecoming decoration contest (LAME!).

More photos from Homecoming later! Tomorrow morning is the largest and oldest collegiate homecoming parade! So exciting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why I'm Voting for John McCain

With the election next week, and early voting happening this week, It's about time that I explain why I'm voting for McCain. For me it's all about the issues:


I strongly oppose abortion in all cases. Some research tells us that 93% of all abortions in the United States happen out of social convenience i.e. child is unwanted or inconvenient. This leaves 7% of woman who have abortions because of rape, incest, or threat to their own health. Also, a black woman is 3 times more likely to have an abortion than a white woman and a hispanic woman is 2 times more likely. Can you imagine what our country would be like if more of this children had a chance at life? Also, most woman who have abortions are under the age of 15 (did you know that judgment areas of the brain to do not fully mature until around age 25?).

I believe that parents and schools need to be doing a much more through job of educating students on the realities of being sexually active. Students need to know that contraceptives are not 100% sure, STDs are a reality (that men don't often know they have), and that abortion is not an easy answer. They also need to be taught about the gift of adoption. I also think parents need to know if their minor daughters have an abortion.

John McCain opposes abortion where as Barack Obama strongly favors abortion rights. Additionally, Obama does not favor allowing parents to be contacted when their daughters have an abortion. I wonder if he'll change his mind when his daughters hit high school. I also think it's ironic that Obama thinks women are capable of making decisions about the appropriateness of partial-birth abortion, however he does not think that people can make their own decisions about Social Security. So, just to clarify, women are capable of deciding if it's appropriate to brutially end the life of an otherwise vital human being, but humans in general cannot be trusted with their own social security. Fascinating (

Privatized Social Security

I think it's pretty clear that the government is not able to manage things in a responsible manner. Case in point- our country has a 455 billion dollar budget deficit (by the way, this did decrease during Bush's term, but increased after the Democratic Congress/Senate was elected). The last thing I want is to trust these people with my money, when they can't manage their own. Therefore, I want to make the decisions about where my money goes and how I save for retirement.

John McCain supports privatized Social Security where as Obama doesn't. See the last paragraphs of the abortion section to see his confidence in people.


I think that taxes should be one percentage of an individual's income and that percentage should be the same for everyone. This method makes it a fair- the more you make the more you pay, and vice versa. I also am opposed to the death tax. How unfair that when a family loses someone, they have to pay taxes on what that person leaves behind. Especially, when those things have already been taxed at least once.

Obama's philosophy has been to take from those who have wealth, redistribute it to those who have needs. This sort of Robin Hood handout does nothing for the poverty in our country. We need to be supporting churches and other social organizations that provide opportunities for the "least of these" to be successful and self supporting. (See my post, "The Least of These")

I strongly believe that there are great social justice needs in our country and in our world. I believe that we as individuals are compelled to help with those needs and provide the same opportunities for everyone that we who are more privileged have. I don't think that means electing government officials to take money and redistribute it in whatever way they like. I think our country is best served by a government that trusts the people it serves and remembers that it serves them. A government that believes the people who elected it are intelligent enough to make some decisions for themselves and do good for others.

In closing, a friend of mine posted this on his facebook. I thought I'd share it here:

Reject the message, not the man
Ralph Bristol
October 23, 2008

People have asked me repeatedly why I don’t do more to help spread the word that raises doubts about Barack Obama’s citizenship, religion, and other basic elements of his life and relationships.

Here’s why.

If the American people want what Barack Obama is selling, then I don’t care whether we elect a Christian, God-fearing, conservative, free-market Republican or a transvestite Muslim illegal alien socialist.

An American population that wants what Barack Obama is selling deserves the worst that God, nature and ACORN can deliver.

Obama is selling a view of America that I find offensive to the greatness of my father’s generation and his father’s generation. Those generations had some pretty big warts, but that does not detract from their positive attributes that took America from an also ran on the international stage to the undisputed superpower of the world.

We inherited America from strong, self-reliant people.

We inherited America from a generation who believed that the hierarchy of welfare should be that you turn to your family first, then friends, then charity, and only as a last resort to the government, which must (and for which it has developed a voracious appetite) confiscate your neighbor’s property in order to help you.

Obama is selling a view of America that would bypass family, friends, neighbors, and charity and make government the first and only support group in most American’s lives.

He has even demonstrated, in his own life, that he will leave a family member to try to survive abject poverty, even as he promises to “spread the wealth around,” among Americans, through the federal income tax system.

Other countries have done that. In fact, MOST other countries have done that. None of those countries are the undisputed superpower of the world.

Unless the people of America, voting in a democratic election, electing a constitutional republic government, reject the future that Obama is selling, it won’t matter whether we buy it from Obama or whether we buy it from a salesman with all of the necessary, even pristine, credentials. The problem is not the salesman. The problem is the product.

If the only, or even the main, reason you oppose Barack Obama is his citizenship, his religion, his race, or even his many troublesome associations, then you and I are on the same side, but for reasons that are so distant that we simply can’t help each other. I’d rather not win this on technicalities.

I want the court of public opinion to tell me now, when I still have a chance to react, whether they want the America my father and his father gave me – the only America I’m interested in defending – to die now or live to fight another day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What I've Been Doing. . .

Life has been good and busy! We are preparing for Baylor's Homecoming, which takes place the last weekend of October. Homecoming here is a big deal and thousands of Alumni descend on Waco to enjoy a weekend of festivities. For student life staff, the weekend starts weeks in advance. Each of the residence halls are charged with decorating the outside of their community for the weekend. A winner is determined from judging that happens on Wednesday. North Village won last year, and we are hoping to do so again. I have the Engineering and Computer Science Living Learning Center, so needless to say, they are creative and resourceful. This weekend they started building a paper mache bear that is 10 feet tall. I kid you not. There are some pictures from various work nights below. I'll be sure to post more as time goes on. You can also click on the link above to learn more about Baylor Homecoming.

I've also recently acquired a dog. Our Vice President and his family needed to give their dog away since they are rarely at home to care for him. He is a 6 year old Shiz Tzu/Poodle mix who's full name is Kentucky, but they called him Tuck for short. How fitting! Pictures of him are below as well.

Tonight is a meteor shower and some friends and I are going to drive to the country to watch it. We plan to bring blankets, dogs, and hot chocolate!

Til next time I hope you enjoy the show!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Etsy Shop

I've recently started an Etsy Shop. Etsy is a site where crafters and artists can post their products to sell. You can visit my shop here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Every two weeks I wake up hating life.

Every other Tuesday morning I wake up hating my life because it's student worker time sheet day. This really should be a simple process, but it seems that most of the 33 students whose time sheets I approve seem to mess something up. I have to do it all by 12:30. And I dread it.

My saving grace is knowing that it is Double-Stamp Tuesday at Common Grounds. That means when I go get a cup of my most recent coffee addition, a No Bull, I get to stamps on my punch card. I'm currently three stamps away from my $3 off reward.

To make this particular Tuesday even better is the fact that it just started pouring down rain and I definitely didn't bring an umbrella to the office. Although it's grey and gross looking outside, i also know I won't be stepping into a lovely fall rain storm, but a humid mess.

Don't worry, life is still good. I have a great new dog, Baylor won their first conference game in 13 games, and is currently higher than A&M in conference standings. I love Baylor. I just hate Tuesdays- they are my new Mondays!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Free Purses


I recently discoverd the launch of a new website called Handbag Planet. They are launching their site on October 15th, but in order to get some publicity they are giving away Free purses.

I kid you not- free ones! Go to their website and sign up and you get a free purse. They have some really cute ones too. I chose this one (click on it to go to the site):

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Least of These

I recently read an article in the Baylor student newspaper where a student attempted to describe her political views by saying that she lined up with the conservative mindset on fundamentals but admired the liberal passion for equality. She said that she found it difficult to see how the "least of these" could survive without the assistance of state aid. While I agree with the sentiment of her description, I was surprised at the use of "least of these" in reference to the need for government aid.

The phrase "least of these" comes from Matthew 25:40. Jesus told the parable of the sheep and goats- comparing how God will one day judge us all like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Jesus says:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?'. . ."The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
-Matthew 25:35-37, 40

When I read this passage, I don't hear Jesus screaming for more government welfare and aid programs to feed the hungry and the thirsty. Jesus is not calling for big government. He's not talking about government at all! Christ is imploring you and I to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned. This is a command decreeing that God will hold us accountable for things we did for others. As believers we should be seeking ways to care for the least of these. I strongly believe Jesus would not be satisfied with American Christians for leaning on the Government to care for these individuals.

I really think it's time that Americans have a mind shift- especially believers in America. We need to stop looking for others to fix the problems of the least of these, but have a little faith that God might be calling us to do it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Political Frustrations

A very small part of me gets excited when the presidential elections roll around. I have found myself feeling that this election has the potential to be decisive. I am a big fan of Facebook, but lately I dread getting on the site. I have a couple of "friends" on there who like to update their status message everyday with some personal slam on republicans, or anyone who is not voting for Obama.

It drives me crazy, regardless of who you are voting for, when people make blanket statements like that on a public venue. Just because someone is voting for another candidate, does not mean that they are less intelligent or educated. Statements like that drive me crazy and I find them extremely immature and offensive.

Now, I'll be honest and say that I'm planning to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. But, there was a point not long ago where I strongly considered voting for Obama. I'll give you more details about why I chose the candidate I chose at another point. But, I think that there are people who are voting for Obama who have very intelligent educated reasons why they are voting for him. There are also many people, in my generation especially, who are voting for him because it is the cool thing to do.

Regardless of your political affiliation I implore you to make sure you know why you are voting the way you are voting. I also implore you to not fall prey to thinking someone else is stupid because they are voting Republican (or Democrat for that matter).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some new goals

If you read my old blog, you might remember an entry back in January where I set the goal to run the Music City Marathon in the spring. Truthfully, I have forgotten about that goal, until I recently when I have had time to think about it some more.

Since life has slowed down with the start of school, I've been able to make running an almost every day occurrence. I have also found a couple of good running partners who are encouraging, but force me to run more than I think I am able. Recently we started running Cameron Park which is a beautiful park by the Brazos river with trails up hills and through beautiful trees.

After running along the river for nearly 40 minutes Saturday, I thought it was time to start making some serious goals.

1. Dallas 5k Fun Run & Walk

This is held in connection with the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December. A 5k is 3.1 miles, and should be easily doable by it's December 13th date. (The actual marathon is on December 14th, but I will not be ready by that time!) It'll be a great reward for a hard semester's work.

2. The Cowtown 10k

This takes place in Fort Worth on February 28th. This is close to halfway between the 5k (my first race) and the half marathon. Plus it's in FW, which I love. A 10k is 6.2 miles.

3. Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon

Good friends and the promise of a huge stack of french toast and hash browns from Pancake Pantry are on my mind when I envision the final of these races. It would be the first time I've eaten them and not felt guilty about the ice cream scoop of butter they put on the plate. (Plus the ability to say that I ran 13.1 miles would be pretty sweet too).

My stomach is growling just thinking about it.

On that note, I'm off to bed. I'm getting up to meet a friend to run at 6:15 in the a.m. Then we have a work "retreat" at Cafe Cappuccino, my local Pancake Pantry substitute. Not quite the same, but their french toast is also pretty yummy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Update

Friday afternoon we were briefed on what the University and departmental plans for responding to Hurricane Ike. We were told the most current forecast predicted 79 mph sustained winds and 5-8 inches of rain. This was supposed to have started before people woke up on Saturday morning, but the worst was to be between 12-5p.m. We were preparing for power outages, and possible tornadoes on Saturday. We moved everything movable indoors and prepared for the worst. And, the Baylor Bears were moved to an undisclosed location in a safer place.

Saturday morning I woke up around 10:30 and looked out the window. Anxious to see what a hurricane looked like first hand. All that greeted me was a very gray sky. The rest of the day there was some minor strong winds and sprinkles. No strong, sustained winds, no strong wind.

I spent the day being very lazy in my pajamas. The biggest news of the day is that my refrigerator broke and all the stuff in my freezer dethawed. But Baylor Facilities came to the rescue with a new fridge.

What I find very ironic is that my parents' house had stronger winds from Ike than did we. And, part of one of the trees in the yard fell on their house. Did I mention my family lives in Kentucky? You can read my dad's account of it here.

Today is beautiful. The sky is the most beautiful blue and the temperature is mild. The weather forecasters say that it should be in the 50s this week. Let's hope they are more correct than they were with the storm predictions!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm about to meet Ike

In case you haven't heard, there is a pretty strong hurricane headed towards Texas, and his name is Ike. Waco is pretty far inland (200 miles roughly) so we aren't in too much danger of being washed into the gulf. However, we do have to worry about lots of rain, wind and refugees. This means we're going to have flooding, possible tornadoes and lots of empty isles at the grocery and packed hotels.

I'm one of the hall directors on call this weekend, so it should prove to be interesting. I'll keep you posted- I've never really been through a hurricane!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Football Games, Spa Nights, and Strawberry Fest, Oh, My!

It's been a busy, busy few weeks here. We opened the halls on the 20th of August and classes started on the 25th. Once the halls opened life seemed to settle down a bit. Since the 25h I have been busy meeting with my community leaders and graduate assistants.

I am loving my life here right now. I have the opportunity to work with some great students and really enjoying the studious nature that they all have. I work with the Engineering and Computer Science Living Learning Program which means 80% of the students who live in my building fall into one of those degree plans. I also have a lot of the female athletes in my building. I was a bit intimidated by working with these students because the discipline and intelligence that is required to be successful in ECS is much different than that which was required of me as a Psychology and Religion major in college. However, I feel that I have found my groove with these students. They seem to respect my honesty about having no idea what the titles of their classes even mean (i.e. Partial Differential Equations. . . really?!). They try to explain to me what it means and seem comforted that it's ok with me if they also have no idea. Plus, several of them have discovered that I have an extensive writing background and I anticipate editing a lot of papers for my very math minded students.

I also am teaching a University 1000 course here on campus. This is similar to a freshman seminar class at other universities, but is tied in with the chapel program at Baylor. I have a class of about 15 freshman women and I couldn't be happier. I had considered asking for a class of women, but knowing how large of an undertaking the assignments were, I chose not to. As fate (or perhaps the hand of God) would have it, I got that class anyway. The woman who supervised my internship experience here last summer was in charge of the class/professor assignments (she had to assign each student manually to a class, which is a large undertaking when you have over 3000 new students). The assignments left several group of all women, and she put me in one of them, knowing that I would see it as a neat ministry opportunity. I have loved my time talking with these women about "spiritual practices" like service, humility, attention/intention, sabbath, friendship and integrity.

On a sadder note- I am constantly reminded of how little attention college students pay to the world around them. As I was finishing coffee today with a dear friend, we walked out of the coffee shop to see that a student on a bike was hit by a student in a car. Who knows which, if not both, of them failed to pay attention. I constantly see students walk and out into the path of a car without even stopping to notice that the car is there. Accidents like this could be avoided if people paid a bit more attention. (P.S. The student who got hit was seemingly alive and alert. He was also wearing a helmet, which is very unusual. The girl appeared to have been turning her car onto a street when she hit him, which hopefully means she wasn't going that fast. her windshield was severely dented and cracked though from the biker. She was VERY upset. Say a few prayers for all those involved. I cannot imagine what either of them are going through.)

On a much happier note- enjoy a slide show from my recent football game adventures!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Offical Texan

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm officially a Texan! My car has its Texan license plates, and I have my Texan Drivers License. Texas does it a bit differently- when you go to get your DL they give you a temporary paper one, and mail you your real card later. Which is a bit odd to me since it's just a normal ID card that colleges and other states print on-site every day.

On a positive note, I no longer pay state income taxes. Sweet!

This week is community leader training, and we officially re-open housing on Wednesday. My building hasn't really closed, so I've been working like crazy this week! I'll post more later.

.peace and love, friends.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A good thing to Remember

I wanted to share the following post from Michael Kelly. He's a gifted writer and speaker who used to be the main speaker at Refuge- the Nashville-wide college worship time. Now he writes and travels the country speaking.

This article from his blog seems to resonate with me and my shortcomings in leadership. Thought I'd share!

Check It Out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Virtual Campus Tour

I thought that I would post some photos of the campus I live and work at. It is a BEAUTIFUL campus- I truly love walking it- especially at sunset.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Here are the long awaited pictures of the apartment! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because I'm my Father's Daughter

The top to one of my tea pitchers seems to have dissappeared. So, when I prepared two gallons to take to the hall director progressive dinner, I had to improvise.

I think my dad would be proud.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Still Alive!!

I've been waiting to post until I had pictures of my apartment to put up here. However, I've been here two weeks now and still haven't taken any. Largely because I wasn't in a place where I wanted to show people pictures, then when I was, I lost my camera.

Have no fear, I found the camera. It was lost in the guest room closet. Yes, you read that right. So, perhaps tomorrow I'll take some pictures for you. Now I'm inspired to wait until I hang things on the wall. But, if I keep going at this rate, it never will happen!!

Life here has been an odd mix of hectic and boring.

Mom, Dad and I arrived in Waco on Sunday the 12th. They left the next day. I spent the week unpacking, grocery shopping, and settling in. I also had the chance to serve with Baylor Line Camps, a first year matriculation program. I was asked to be a part of the team that made the field trip to Independence (the town where Baylor started) happen. This trip was one of my favorite parts of my summer experience here last year, so I was blessed and ecstatic to be a part of it. I have to admit, it was rather odd to be there but not really be a part of the New Student Programs staff. Here are some photos from the event:

Last week, we started Summer Institute, which is my department's fancy term for training. Last week was a very chill week, we had candidates on campus for the position that would be my supervisor. In the mornings I had Human Resources Orientation and then I had an hour long interview with the candidates in the afternoon. Friday through Saturday we had a retreat at an off campus retreat facility. I have to say that it was the best retreat that I've been on- it was quite enjoyable.

This week is when the schedule gets hectic! We started training at 8 a.m. this morning and finished up somewhere around 4:30 p.m. This included a working lunch. After finishing at work I went to the on campus gym with several of my coworkers to make use of the Curves work out room there. I have sense spend the evening setting up my office and deciding how I want the furniture set up.

This week will be full of busy things: meetings, fire drills, a surprise (for our friends) trip to Independence to help with final tear down, and lots of random things. I'm enjoying my time here and I LOVE the people that I work with. And, I am consistently amazed at how advanced the department and division I work in is. I couldn't be happier or be more blessed!!

I hope to have a less scattered post soon. Some friends and I drove to Dallas on Sunday night to see Heart and Journey in concert. So we didn't get home until about 2:30 a.m., and had to be at work at 8. Yikes! I am excited for school to start in a month so I have some time to sleep!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I thought that I might begin my new blog by explaining where it's name comes from. I have been thinking and looking for a blog name that is accurate and full of depth. While the name for my previous blog (aggielandadventures) was fitting for the time, this blog will have a much longer time span- one seeing me through job changes, moving, etc for years to come.

Last week I was a counselor at a high school church camp called Leisure Ministries. This camp cuts the Bible into four sections: 1. Genesis through Joshua; 2. Judges through Malachi; 3. The Gospels; 4. Acts through Revelation and each year focuses on one section- seeking to make scripture truly come alive to the students. I went in high school and have to say that it's truly a moving and powerful week. This year the focus was on section 2- Judges through Malachi. Our main verse came from Deuteronmony 30:19:

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Out of that the motto, "Choose Life" was derived. As we continued to break down that simple two word phrase for the campers, I realized how complex and multifaceted that calling is. I think that choosing life is a lesson and a challenge for believers everyday of our lives. So, I chose the name "chooselife3019" to constantly remind myself life and death is set before me everyday and that I am called to choose life.

The John Waller song quoted on the page title, "The Blessing" is a reminder to me in other terms of this daily challenge. The idea of choosing to be a blessing for life is a challenging one and one that shows that a single human's impact is larger than him or herself.

I'm setting out on a new phase of my life. While I was in graduate school I continually felt as though my life was simply in a holding pattern. It seemed that my other friends' lives had continued on after college while mine was stuck in this strange limbo eerily similar to the hell described by C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce. While the calling to go to graduate school, and to go to A&M was very clear to me when I had to decide, my purpose for being there seemed much cloudier upon arrival. It was truly a time of exile in my life (I may post the testimony I gave about it camp while we were in exile). I realize now that that time of exile and loneliness had a purpose. And that perhaps my response to it being exile was not the correct response. I didn't always choose life.

As I head out on a new life and full-fledged adulthood, I know that always when we choose life, God hands blessings. But I know that sometimes those blessings come in packages we would never expect. My hope for myself as I continue down the journey of life, is that I would always remember that "every blessing and curse is a choice now" (John Waller). That I would remember that God is always giving us choices between life and death in every part of every day- not to test us, but to draw us closer and into a more fulfilling walk with Him. Always when we choose life we are given blessings- sometimes those blessings are joyous and sometimes they are sorrowful (a different type and depth of sorrow that comes from willfully choosing death).

All that to say this blog will be about the journey that choosing life is and will lead me down. I pray that we all may see blessings from it!

Soundtrack of My Life

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