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It’s Official!

On Wednesday evening I received my first surprise of the week: my family came down for my graduation! My parents and 3 of my siblings flew down that morning in order to be here for my graduation and had me CONVINCED that they were not going to be able to make it. It was amazing! We spent the next two days hanging out and going to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. It was the best surprise ever! Hubs even knew about it and didn’t tell me.

On Friday I checked my grades for this semester – 4 A’s and 1 A-. Not to shabby if I do say so myself.

On Saturday morning about 6:30 am, I discovered that I drank the water I talked about here. It’s pretty exciting and oh so hard to believe!

I graduated from WU on Saturday morning and had lunch with my family and my in-laws at the Cheesecake Factory in Orlando.Wade and Jamison came too, but had to leave early because of a film gig. We had to wait 90 minutes for a table but everyone was patient because I really wanted to celebrate there. It was a great to be with everyone.

On Sunday we went to RPC for church and shared our news with everyone. I think hubs told the entire congregation because he’s so excited. Afterward, we had lunch with some of our close friends to celebrate. It was great to catch up with them and celebrate together. Then we went grocery shopping for supplies for Mother’s Day dinner for my mother-in-law. We made her a three-course fondue meal and  it was quite tasty. We ate until we were ready to pop.

So how was your weekend?


Transparency 2.0

I promised myself I would be honest on here. I repeatedly told myself that this would be my arena to share the things I cannot easily verbalize. Who knew keeping my word to myself could be so hard? So here we go then…

I have 44 days until I graduate from Warner University. 44 days until I put on that drowning black gown, hideous hat, and walk down the aisle to accept a black leather folder with a piece of paper saying they will mail my real diploma to me. It took my 6 years to get here. You wanna know something, though? I’m not even excited. I try not to think about it. It doesn’t even really mean much to me.

Let me guess what you’re thinking: Why? After all these years, how could you not be super excited?

Why? I’ll tell you why I can’t think about this day without feeling like a sad, sappy mess. This big, monumental day when I should be celebrating loses its meaning when I remember that there is a high chance my parents won’t be able to be there. Don’t misunderstand me. I understand why they might not be able to make it and I’m not mad; it just makes me want to cry. It’s simply another reminder that they live oh so far away and it’s just another event that will pass without them being a part of it. If you know my folks, don’t talk to them about this. They already feel bad enough. I’m not writing this to cause more guilt or pain. I just needed to say it. I needed to deal with it because I have a tendency to just push it all down. So this is me dealing with it. They know I want them there. I know they want to be there. There’s still a chance they might be there, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

I’m going to tie another topic to this post that kind of connects. Last night I was part of a conversation that left me with a lot to think about. The three people I was talking to are all grandparents. They were bonding by talking about their frustrations with how their kids use their grandkids as pawns to get free babysitting out of these grandparents. I understood their frustration, but it still upset me. I might not be a parent yet or a grandparent, but I hate it when people live minutes away from their family and don’t know how to cherish it. I would kill to have my family close enough that I could even be a babysitting option. Instead of complaining about it all, I just wish they would at least be a little grateful to be able to see them on a regular basis. I see my niece twice a year. She’s already 4. I’ve missed every birthday, every pre-school play, and every hospital stay. I missed her first steps, her first words, and simply having the ability to play with her. I barely know her. If I had nothing else to do, I would gladly love to have the opportunity to babysit her.

Alright, there it is. That’s my transparency…well at least the start of it. There’s a lot more going on in my brain but I have to be able to mull it all over before I can share it.


Playing the Waiting Game

Rarely do I feel compelled to write about chapel. Normally, it’s not awful, but it’s usually not my thing. The worship’s decent but I have trouble focusing on God in huge groups of people, and sometimes the speakers are simply dreadful. For this week, though, WU did a great job picking the speaker for Spiritual Life Week. His name is Tommy Kyllonen aka Urban D from Crossover Church in Tampa. He’s not at all what I expected, but the theme for the week hits my heart in just the right way.

The theme for the week is “Dreams” and we’re following the story of Abram (aka Abraham) and his wife Sarai (aka Sarah). God told Abram to leave his home and go where he tells him to go. And Abram actually does it! He packs up and leaves at age 75. Leaves everything he knows and understand to follow God. That’s faith alright. God then promises to give them a son. Sarai was 65. Yikes.

The thing of it is, though, that God didn’t fulfill his promise right away. He had them wait 25 YEARS until they finally had a bouncing baby boy. Do the math. Yup, Abram was 100 and Sarai was 90. God must have a sense of humor.

That’s as far as we’ve gotten. We still have another chapel tomorrow to finish up. The focus of today was being in God’s waiting room and understanding that sometimes God may place a dream in your heart but it could take years to come to fruition. During that time, He’s preparing you to fulfill those dreams, but you have to remain faithful and trusting. That’s the hard part.

Here I am. Waiting. Hubs is waiting too. God’s placed huge dreams in our hearts but we cannot catch a glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s there. I know God’s here…somewhere. I feel let down though. I’ve seen things crumble before my eyes over the last few months. It’s making it  hard to trust this crazy unknown plan He’s got because I don’t understand what is around the corner. I’m hanging on, but barely. I just don’t understand it. A little clarity would be appreciated.

Welcome to my waiting room. I think I’m going to be here a while, but I guess I’m going to learn how to truly trust God in the process.

Random Movie Thoughts

I thought about calling this a review but it’s really not one. It’s more a mix between my thoughts of the movie and those of life.

What movie was it? P.S. I Love You.

Yes, I’m a little behind the curve but I finally watched it today. It was a beautifully crafted work of art that represented real life so well it was difficult to tell where the emotions displayed in the movie ended and my own began. I cried. Let me rephrase that – I bawled like a baby. About every 10 minutes, the levees broke and a fresh salty mess washed away what was left of my makeup. Why did I cry so much? Why? No, it’s not just because I’m some emotional sap. No, I wasn’t experiencing that special girly time of the month. I bawled like a baby because Hilary Swank portrayed my worst fear onscreen.

Yes, hubs dying terrifies me. He’s only 24. There’s lots of years when he could die between now and 80 (when he’s allowed to die). I’ve never been so dependent on another person in my adult life and now….if he was gone…I don’t know what I would do. I don’t think I could handle it. I would be a big, giant mess.

The movie was amazing. Go watch it if you haven’t. Just make sure you bring the tissues and a big bowl of ice cream to help with the crazy, never-ending tears.

It’s OK….

…to go to Racetrac simple because they have the best crushed ice.

…to take a 2 hour nap during the middle of the day just because you can.

…to watch a sappy movie because you feel like crying.

…to eat lunch in your car because you don’t like sitting alone with a bunch of people around.

…to brag because you’re married to an amazing man who takes you to chick-flicks for date night when you know he’d rather watch something else.

…to have a guilty pleasure of cheesy teenage dramas like The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

…to read a good fiction novel before you read your homework because let’s face it, the fiction novel is far more interesting most of the time.

…to check facebook on your phone 20 times a day like it’s an addictive habit or something.

…to convince hubs he wants to go to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast on the way to airport even though you both know you really like it best

…to have a milkshake for breakfast every now and again

…to have nothing better to do than blog on a Friday night.

So I was inspired by the column in Glamour magazine with the same title. What’s “ok” in your world?



That is what I want from 2011. I want it to be EPIC. I want it to be so jam-packed full of epicness that I don’t even know how to handle it all. Yes, I made that word up. Do I care? No.

I’ve spent a lot of my life playing it safe and not taking risks. Don’t get me wrong, some risks are just stupid to take. I will not jump out of an airplane. Skydiving is NOT on my agenda under the title of “Epic”.

I have always been scared to fail. Failure terrifies me. It stunts my growth as a person and causes me to stand stalk still when I should be moving forward. I am perfectly aware of this fault, and yet I have not seemed to surpass it. It eats at me. It haunts my dreams. It tries to make me eat the lima beans of life – bland nothingness. Ick.

My mantra for this year: “Even the failed pieces are essential.” This particular quote came from Rob Bell’s book Drops Like Stars. That sentence stole my breath the second my mind grasped its meaning. Failure is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it molds me into the person I have become or the person I need to be.

A lot is going to happen this year. To name a few:

May 2011 – On the 7th, I will graduate from WU with my bachelor’s!!!!!! (I know, finally!)

July 2011 – For one week, hubs and I are going with a team from our church to build houses in Honduras with Trash Mountain Project. Look them up. They’re pretty legit.

September 2011 – I will embark on a whole new journey known as cosmetology school. I haven’t decided where yet and I’m scared to death to even go at all. I don’t want to spend all this money on school and fail at it – which is why I have coined the aforementioned mantra. I’m going to do this. I need to try. I truly believe this is what God created me to do, but there is always the smallest smidgeon of doubt because I don’t want to fail.

So there it is, my dearest readers. My heart is bare. If you are the praying type, pray for wisdom and strength for me. If you aren’t, well then that’s ok too.


Back to Reality

Nineteen days after leaving for Minnesota, I arrived back in sunny Florida on Sunday. Even though I spent my vacation craving the balmy 70 degree weather, I’m desperately missing the single digits of Minnesota.

I moved away 5 1/2 years ago to go to college. You would think that I would be able to say goodbye to my family easier than the time before. It never works that way though. I miss them more and more each time I leave and have to say goodbye. I hate leaving them. I know I have my own life know and that I’m not a little kid but I still hate it. My 7-year-old sister has asked every year since she was 2 if I would come to her birthday party. I haven’t made it for 5 years. She turns 8 on January 22. I won’t be there again. I miss my brother’s hockey games and my middle sister’s band performances. I miss my niece’s birthday and her preschool performances. I miss everything. I don’t get to see them grow up. I don’t get to help my parents or my brother when they need help picking up kids or a babysitter. I just have to be 1800 miles away.

So here I am. In Florida. Crying like a little kid. I know I’ll be fine a week or two and that I will see them soon. I just love them so much you know. They are a part of who I am and who I always will be. So for today, I hate being back to reality.

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