Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Damn the Dam Bridge

Brace yourself. I have quite a bit to fill you in on since it was Memorial Day weekend.

I spent half my weekend in Stuttgart to have some quality time with the madre and padre. The roommate had her wisdom teeth taken out last Friday so we did not get to go on our usual lake vacay to see her Meemaw and Pawpaw ( I like to call them Joe and Sue). I'm really sad we didn't get to go to the lake and kick the summer off right.

But I do have other stuff to tell you about like my wreath-making experience from Hell and our new patio make-over. And my first running/jogging/butt-kicking since my wisdom teeth surgery. As I said, brace yourselves.

I thought yesterday afternoon would be the perfect time to go for a little jog. So I left my apartment at 6 P.M. to avoid the traffic.....(did you get that? It's Memorial Day...there is no traffic. People aren't commuting.)

As I cross the 430 bridge, I get excited. It is beautiful outside. A little hot, but still beautiful. I gots my new shoes laced up tight and my playlist ready, and then I realize I don't have a place to put my car keys. Does anyone know how to solve this problem? New runner here. And please don't say fanny pack....

And now I must rephrase when I said it was a little hot to it was FREAKING HOT. End of story. My little 30 minute routine turned into 30 minutes of self-torture in the blazing sun. And it never fails that the last leg of my jogging routine happens on the upward slope of the Big Dam Bridge.

I have never been so thankful to see the top of a hill in my life. I was huffing and puffing. Pretty sure people I was meeting thought I was going to die. No pictures were taken of the aftermath which was myself sweaty and overheated.

As the bridge levels off the BEST breeze blew right in my face. I had to stop and enjoy the view.
The view to the East.
The view to the West. BEAUTIFUL. One of the best views in Little Rock (in my opinion), but I also love the views from the top of Pinnacle Mountain.

While it was super sweltering, I would have much rather ran the Big Dam Bridge at high noon than spend the afternoon making a yarn wreath.

The roommate and I are currently in the process of decorating our patio/balcony. As of yesterday morning it consisted of this:

Our patio furniture from our old house painted a nice shade of UCA purple. Go Bears. (They use to be a stained brown color, but the sun faded them over time. So my sweet grandma painted them purple for me.)

And the old school flower wreath. Now this wreath has treated us well, but I saw my friend and fellow blogger Shanna at Keepin' Up with the Moody's new wreath and thought I could make that, too. She made a sweet yarn wreath for her front door, and a bunch of her friends sent her pictures of their yarns wreaths. Check out their wreaths.

Since I am not married, I had to get creative since I couldn't use an initial. But I think it worked out for the best. This is how door swag should be represented. Bold and beautiful.

Let me just say...They seem easy, but don't underestimate this time consuming craft project. Just wrapping the yarn took me two hours. I had to take frequent breaks because my hands cramped up and the yarn got tangled.  But I think the outcome was TOO CUTE.

What do you think? It's handmade (well except for the flowers and the bird.)

I love my new front door swag. Pretty cute. My favorite part is the burlap bow, but the sunny yellow daisies are a close second.

Now stay tuned. There is more patio reveal coming your way tomorrow, as well as my first recipe post. Here are some clues for the recipe: cheesy, saucy, healthy, yummy.

Happy Tuesday friends!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Credit to The Big Guy Upstairs

My life has been go go go since school is out. I think I've been trying to cram in so many fun things before next semester that I forgot to check my final grades for the semester.

So this morning I checked it. And my screen looked like this.

This girl got that fat 4.0. Holla. I was too excited. And had that one professor from last semester given me an A, I would have a 4.0 overall. He's a fool with a stupid name. (end rant.)

And this was me after checking grades.

Pretty excited. (Don't mind the under-eye circle. They are from my lack of sleep due to a huge face after oral surgery. I'm trying to not be self-conscious about my left cheek still feeling like it looks like a balloon. And also today is my "Casual Friday", hence the work polo and messy bun.)

I felt like I was going to get an A in my history class because I knew I put in the work that deserved an A.

I also knew I was teetering on the A/B line in Processes and Effects because most of my grades were low A's and high B's. I guess the final paper I wrote pushed me to the A side. (But I bet she doesn't know I wrote that 15-page mammoth over the course of one afternoon...A.K.A I bs-ed it.)

The PR Class was up in the air. Lady's grading was crazy hard in the beginning, but then she lightened up closer to the end. Based on the e-mail from her (feature below), I'm pretty sure my Case Study and presentation earned me an A.

From the PR professor regarding my case study and presentation.

Thought from the beginning that this was one of the most innovative and original case study ideas presented. Your presentation and your report didn’t let me down. Your written report was one of the most thorough – if not the most – I received, right down to analyzing the types of crises that faced J&J. Your analysis of the public relations issues was as comprehensive and insightful as I’ve seen in this class (or others). Only a few – very few – writing issues popped up. The thoroughness of your presentation complimented your written report. In fact, the only fault I can find is this: don’t play with your hair while you’re giving a presentation. Other than that – Bravo!
Grade 248/250

Moral: Nervous habits (like playing with your hair to help you focus on what you are saying) needs to be checked at the door. But she still said I was the most innovative and original, which was nice for the ego.

So basically all the crying, worrying, stressing and angering paid off. (I know angering is not a word. Just trying to keep things parallel. Grammer is important, you know.)

The credit for this one goes straight up the the Big Guy for hearing my prayers and the prayers of those closest to me to could feel my stress.

Thank you Jesus for carrying me through when I was too tired to walk this semester. Thank you for the extra brain power and will to keep hacking away at that stacks of homework and projects. Thank you for surrounding me with incredible classmates --- Megan, Beth, Carmen, Lauren, Mike, Ginger, and Kristin --- incredible teachers --- Zacher, Drale, David Keith, and Donna Stephens --- and my family and close friends --- too many of you to name.

It feels good to see the fruits of your labor. It's things like this that keep us motivated. Your motivation may be different than mine. But I promise your motivation is there. You just have to look for it. So open up those peepers and see what's out there.

Happy Thursday, friends. Love jus guys.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nothing Good to Report

I hate to say it, but after a surgery life is pretty uneventful. I haven't felt like doing anything.

The left side of my face still has a nagging ache that turns to a slow throb by the end of the day. I'm still taking pain pills at night to help relax me enough to fall asleep. (I hope this doesn't turn into an addiction.)

I called my oral surgeon's office this morning to ask about what I needed to do to relieve my left cheek from its constant ache. Nurse Amanda said it was normal to still be swollen and to have minor pain.

I wanted to say, "Yo, Amanda. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, my left cheek is between 6-8 all day. Lose the stocked response, and tell me something that will help me." But I didn't.

So with nothing major to report this morning, I will leave you with this. A photo of the roommate.

A few weeks ago in her preparation for 5K training, she demonstrated stretches that could be beneficial to us after a run.

The Flamingo: A perfect combination of balance and stretch. It looks to be perfect stretch for the calves, hamstrings and quads. (I'm not a doctor, but I did major in science for 4 semesters.)

Pretty sure her facial expression makes this photo blog worthy. (I think she was saying something like REAAALLLLLYYYYYYYY stretch it out, Robin.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Up to Speed

What up, bloggies? Long time, no talk. I guess that is my fault. But in my defense, I did have four wisdom teeth removed. And let me tell ya that was an experience.

My face was beyond huge. And bruised. And at one point, we thought I was going to have a black eye. But my jaws look quite a bit better, but they are still not 100%. The first few days were full of beautiful sleep, but the last three nights have been pretty restless.

And last night was no different. I went to bed after taking all of my medicine. My left jaw area was feeling pretty sore, and I had had enough of its throbbing. So I took the pain medicine and laid down.

An hour later, I was up getting the ice pack out of the freezer to soothe my aching jaw. An hour after that I was praying sleep would come because I had to go to work today. I think around 12:30 A.M. I finally fell asleep. I woke up numerous times because of the storm beating down my window, and at 1:45 A.M. I took another pain pill to keep the sleep.

Once the storm calmed down and the pain pill kicked in, sleep finally happened for a good while. But I still woke up off and on until my alarm went off all too early this morning. Luckily, I showered last night so I got to sleep later than normal, which was a treat.

Today, I'm feeling pretty sleepy/groggy and a tad bit sore on the left side of my face. I think my left side got the worst of it. I'm hoping the soreness is just a slow healing process and not a dry socket. Pretty sure I couldn't handle that right now. So please pray for quick healing and no dry sockets.

On a different, yet similar note: The wisdom teeth extraction has put a little hitch in my new running giddy-up. My new shoes are calling for me, but I fear I'm not recovered enough. I think I will take it easy this week until I talk to my oral surgeon on Friday. Hopefully by then I will be healed enough to go for a little jog and eat solid foods. This puree/semi-solid food business is for the birds. I am ready to eat all the foods I love.

Since the surgery I've had cravings for:

Fried potatoes
Greasy cheeseburgers
All things crunchy - granola, fried chicken, chips, etc.
Drinking out of a straw (This one has basically broken my heart since day one. I love my straws.)

How was your weekend?

What foods do you crave when you know you can't have them?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It Has Begun

So I got these yesterday. They make it official. I gotsta run. So I did. But before we get to that. Let me tell you about this.

I went to the Easy Runner in West Little Rock to get my new tenny pumps. As I walk in the store, my running anxiety spikes. The people that work here are runners. I am not a runner. They are gonna ask me questions I don't know the answers to, and then I will look like a complete idiot. All of that floods my mind as I'm walking in and telling the guy I need some new shoes.

So they, of course, ask me questions I don't know the answers to, but somehow I deflect just enough to get by without saying anything too stupid. I realized that I was the only customer in there, and that was even more intimidating. There was a tall guy, a short guy and a girl. Tall guy was kinda awkward, but nice. Short guy was funny and eased my anxiety. A girl was terrifying.

Her name is Leah Thorvilson, and she is a running goddess in Arkansas. She runs 5 minute miles. I run 12 minute miles. So basically she can run 2 1/2 miles before I can run 1. She's a badass. But enough about her.

First shoe: neutral. For the average person. (We should all know by now that nothing about me is average. Something crazy is always going to happen.)

They take me outside and tell me to jog to the steps and back while they video tape my feet. We came back inside to watch video one.

So my foot was straight hitting the ground. Normal. My leg was straight and pointing the direction I was going. Normal. And my ankle looked as if it was broken. Not normal.

My little bony ankles were protruding out on both legs. It was straight legs, broken-like ankles and feet. Needlesstosay, I didn't get the neutral shoe. My overpronation is severe. Overpronation is just a big word for broken-looking ankles that protrude out abnormally.

Second shoe: For an overpronated foot. Running goddess didn't like it after watching the video tape.

Third shoe: For the severely overpronated foot. After watching the video, Running goddess, tall guy and short guy were statisfied with their work. A shoe that finally fixed my broken ankles.

Tall guy asked me if I had any of the following symptoms in the past: shin splints, pain in the heels of my feet, knee pain, hip pain, and/or lower back pain. I said yeah. Then it hit me that those are all the reasons I never liked running. Every time I ran my entire body would feel like it was ran over by a Mack truck.

So I bought the shoes, and then tried not to act like I was going to leave the store, put them on, and run til my lungs crapped out. (Short guy called me out on that.)

So I tried them out at the Big Dam Bridge. The roommate ran, too. It was the perfect day, aside from the fact that I did not know cycling etiquette. COMING UP ON YOUR LEFT!!!!! is yelled as cyclists zoom by. Totally not ready for that.

After 30 minutes of jogging and fast-paced walking, we looked like this.

MT, the roommate, always the picture of health.

Me always the picture of insanity. (Don't worry I will learn proper iPhone self-portrait technique....And I will never make this face again.)

All in all, a pretty successful first day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Waiting is for the Birds

What's your thoughts on waiting? In the doctor's office? Before class starts? While class is in session? At work?

We are in a world full of waiting. Waiting to do something. Waiting for someone. Waiting to be ready for something. Always waiting.

Some people wait patiently, and others not so much. I am in the latter group where waiting is a chore. My patience is something I work on every day, and it is a time consuming battle.

I feel like I've been doing a lot of waiting here lately. Waiting for school to be out for summer. Waiting to get off work. Waiting for something fun to do. Waiting for that oh-so-special someone.

Waiting is for the birds.

But what if we all became proactive, instead of reactive? What if we made change, instead of reacted to change? How would we be different? How would the world be different?

We wait for something to happen; we expect it. We get blind-sided when we don't expect it.

Here's where I'm going with this. I want to be blind-sided by life (but in a good way). Waiting makes me feel ever-expectant. I feel like I'm always waiting.

But what if I stopped waiting? Just completely stopped. Life would just happen spontaneously, and it would be wonderful (or terrible). But let's go with wonderful.

The best things in life come when you least expect it. I got my job because I was recommended by a faculty member; I didn't apply for it. I feel like more things could be like that if we would just let it be. Expecting is how some people get hurt.

Here is my goal for the summer: To become less expectant of myself and other people. To let life happen. To live in the moment, good or not-so-good. To minimize disappointment because of the high expectations I hold for myself and others.

It sounds kind of negative to say "I'm becoming less expectant of myself and other people." I am not giving up my morals and values. I'm just not going to wait around and expect something to happen. It either will or it won't. Me toiling and boiling over it will have no effect on the outcome.

This will be a huge challenge for me. Probably more challenging than the running goal. But I feel like it will help me out in  the long run. I'm just going to give my self a "break", along with everyone else.

No more waiting, now it's doing. Let's make the magic of life happen, people. Let's get inspired and do something without waiting.

We could stand on the edge of this cliff our entire lives...but let's just not. Isn't jumping half the fun? It's time to scare ourselves ALIVE!

Just make it work for you. Until next time...(or I should say don't wait til next time....)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Back in April, I decided I wanted to train for a 5K. So this week is Week One of this journey.

Since school is out, I will have nothing to lament over for three whole months. I know you guys are excited. But now there will be posts about running, or I should say attempting to run. I am terrible about making excuses for not exercising, but it's time to start a regular routine before my body starts to change. (I've heard horror stories of how the body changes A LOT after 25. So I'm giving myself a two year head start.)

So I'm gonna start working on my fitness. And that is just what it is. Being fit and leading a healthy lifestyle. It's NOT about losing weight. It's about not letting my heart crap out at 30 and preventing illness.

Now don't worry. This blog will not turn in to a fitness blog because I've never really been one who enjoys working out. But it will document the changes I make in my every day life to accommodate The Fitness. The crazy stories will remain because, let's be honest, they need to be told. But fitness and health will be on the forefront of my mind this summer, now that school is officially over.

With that being said, a few things are on the agenda today. I'm working until noon, and my top priority after work is getting my toes under control. My toes have turned into claws, well maybe not claws, but they need some TLC.

I've heard/read that jogging/running/working out can cause toe nails to turn black and fall off. This is a big fear of the fitness. For most of my life, my toes have looked not pretty. I've turned over a new leaf, and now I give my toes a good scrub and polish routine regularly. So now that my toes look like what most normal human toes look like, I can't lose them or let them turn black. Pretty sure I would cry.

Next on the agenda, groceries. 'Nuff said.

And then two major things: A visit to 10 Fitness to set up a membership. (I've got a feeling interval training will happen there quite often.) And a trip to Easy Runner to get some new tenny pumps. (I know they are called tennis shoes, but let's be honest everyone says tenny shoes. I prefer tenny pumps.) My current tenny pumps are from Sophomore year, and they hurt my feet. So something's gotta give. And new shoes are a must. I can't jog to the best of my ability with shoes that hurt my feet.

I also need to figure out the best way to attach iPhone to my person when I run and update new songs so I can be ready to put on my new kicks and hit the road (or treadmill). Any ideas about the iPhone?  It's such a big phone, especially with the Otter Box, so I need to get that sorted ASAP.

Any good songs to add to a playlist?
My current work out playlist consists of:

"No Hands" - Waka Flocka Flame
"Right Above It" - Lil Wayne
"DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher
"Firework" - Katy Perry
"X Gon' Give It to Ya" - DMX (a throwback to my high school cheerleading days)
"Lollipop" - Lil Wayne
"All I Do is Win" - DJ Khaled
"Imma Star" - Jeremih
"Turn My Swag On" - Soulja Boy

My workout music is a bit different than my every day listenings, but feel free to suggest anything and everything. I love the musics. I feel like I need upbeat, gansta rap to keep me going. Plus, it kinda makes you feel like a Bad-A. But any musical newness would be much appreciated.

Let's start this Monday off on the right foot. But for now, I gotta get to work.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Scary AND Exciting

In just a short while, school will be out for summer. And by that I mean today.

And that fact makes me a happy camper.

Let's just recap the semester. It's been crazy for realz.

Here's the breakdown for 9 hours of grad level classes.

Chapters in textbook read: 27
Assignments: 25
Tests: 5
Papers (10-25 pages each): 3
Presentations: 2

The crazy studying that has been my life is slowing down. So lets hope that crazy goodness starts up this summer. I am really excited about summer. While working will take up some time, I enjoy my co-workers so much that I'm happy to see them and talk about other stuff besides how school ruins social lives.

I have big plans this summer. Lots of weddings. My best friend is getting married. My college roomie from Freshman year is having a baby any day now. I have to finagle my way to a beach ASAP. So much to cram into three short months. Summer's aren't as long as they use to be when I was a kid.

I am also going to debut my running career. But let's be honest. It won't be a career, but it will  be a debut. My mom is so freaking excited to gain me as a running buddy. She's basically planned runs in her head, and then tells me all about how great it will be.

She says, "I can't wait til school's out, and you start running. I can come to Little Rock and run the Big Dam Bridge and trails at Pinnacle. Oh my gosh, there are so many trails there we can run. It will be so great. You will just love it."

In my head this conversation happens:

Nervous me: I hope she realizes that I can't run as far or as fast as she can. I'm nervous. What if I suck? What if I'm not good at it? Crap, this is intense.

Rational me: Calm down, you big baby. You will be fine. Stop being overly dramatic.

Nervous me: I know, but...

Rational me: NO buts. You know she will take it easy on you at first. You know it will be fine. And just think how good you will feel when you reach your goal. It will be so great. You will feel so good about it.

And then I'm drawn back to reality by my mom asking if I'm paying attention to what she's been saying.

I'm excited and nervous, all at the same time. But more excited than nervous. It was a decision I made for me. Something I want to do. So the butterflies are good because that's how you know you really want to do something and be good at it.

When something scares you and excites you all at the same time, it's totally worth looking into. Those things turn out to be the best things for you. True story.

I was scared to change my major from Pre-Pharmacy to Journalism in college, but I was excited because the change was so big that I couldn't be too scared. And that turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made.

Writing still scares me and makes me feel excited. It's scary to put stuff down on paper or on the blog because it's your thoughts on something.

Writing for school is less scary for me than writing this blog. School has rules to follow, and I make the rules for this blog. What I write in school only the teacher and maybe a classmate will read. But what I write on this blog, anyone can read.

And this blog is a reflection of me personally so that's a whole other kind of scary. Each time you read you get this little slice of my life. I think what if this is stupid  or what if they don't care about this or they probably think I'm a weirdo freak.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Because I will write, and someone will read. And for this I am thankful.

Thank you for reading about what happens to me. I realize sometimes it's not that interesting, but sometimes it gets too interesting. Thank you for enduring my rants about grad school, stupid teachers, assignments and the like. All the summer posts will be free of grad school drama and stress. So lets celebrate for three months straight. Ok? Great.

Be loving you guys.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Losing My Wisdom

On May 19, exactly one week and a day from now, I will be scared to death in a West Little Rock oral surgery chair. Yep, people. The wisdom teeth are coming out. And I fear it won't be pretty.

I've got a weird phobia of anything dental related thanks to a total kook dentist from Stuttgart who messed a root canal that I had to get redone. The only good thing that came out of that experience was a blinging gold tooth that showed up in numerous candid photos of me Freshman year.

Here is a sneak peak. I don't want to blind you with my former gansta tooth. But just wait. It gets better.

Before a UCA football game freshman year. Bling is getting more prominent. But brace yourself. It gets ugly.

And there it is. In all it's former glory. It's not even a pretty gold color. It's a shanky yellow gold. Thank goodness, it was just a temporary. Oh, the days of freshman year. Good times.

A lot of things have changed since freshman year. My hair is brown and longer, and that gold tooth is LONG gone. But the dental anxiety has remained.

In a week, I will go under the knife. All four of my wisdom teeth are impacted under my gums. And they are all sideways, pushing against the roots of my back molars.

While I'll be "asleep", it still makes me nervous. I should have never watched that stupid movie where the guy had surgery and could feel and hear everything, but not move or scream. That movie is vivid in my mind when I think about this minor operation.

I'm also freaked out because I could lose feeling in my face and lips. Yikes. Dang Dr. Woodard for showing me an informative, yet terrifying, video. But at least I'm educated about the process.

So pray for me and my mom who has to put up with me during that time. I'm sure it will be interesting to say the least. Maybe I will share a post-surgery swollen face photo. Or maybe I won't. I just depended on how scary I look.

Hope you enjoyed the flashback photos from Freshman year.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My House Has Ghosts

As you know, I made the move to the Big City two weeks ago. And it really is great. I love the location. I love the apartment. I love it.

However, I think we have ghosts. There have been many incidents to make me think that, two of which happened last night. But we will start from the beginning.

First Incident: The roommate and I were watching The Tutors via Netflix intstant watch. All was quiet minus the Tutor people talking. The roommate's bathroom is right next to her room. As we are watching the show, we heard three distinct taps on something near the bathroom. A split second goes by were we are both utterly still and alert. I said, "Did you hear that?" She said, "Yeah!!!" (in her terrified worried voice). So I make her go look. She runs to the end of the hall. NOTHING. Nothing is out of place. Nothing is ticking. Nothing.

So we let it go. Because that is what you do when something weird happens. Right?

Second/Third Incident: That same night and the night after that as I was going to sleep, I heard a loud bang from inside my room. I sit up, put my specks on, look around. NOTHING. Same as the ticking in the hallway. The next morning after the second big bang happened, I go to open my bedroom door, and it's cracked. My door is super hard to shut, and it makes a big loud noise every night when I close it. So I know it's closed. And I know I closed it. SOMEHOW it was cracked.

So I open it up. And forget about it.

Fourth Incident: Last night was Spaghetti Monday at the casa. While I was eating spaghetti, I saw the straw in my water move. Like be lifted up and then sat back down. I said something to the roommate, and she tried to act like it didn't happen. I told her something was going on. FOR REAL. And that we shouldn't ignore it.

THE WORST Incident to date: As we were shutting the house up for the night, I flicked the last light off, and someone screamed. I wish I was kidding. I am praying that it was so buffoon next-door. But nobody is for sure. It was the first time both of us actually acknowledged that there could be ghosts. Or a ghost.

Not sure exactly what this means. But I will tell you I'm not going to be thrilled if we have another roommate. Especially if it's the ghostly kind. I've always wanted to go ghost hunting, but never in my own house. So needlesstosay, this could get ugly.

Squirrel of the Day: All my paper's are finished, and I'm three open-ended questions away from being done with my first year of graduate school. WOOT WOOT. I spent the day yesterday writing a 15 page theoretical frameworks paper. I just have to attend class Wednesday and Thursday nights, talk some bs about my papers, and run like the wind out of that place until fall.

Until next time...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Been Doing Some Thinking

After yesterday's run-in with an old college friend, I talked to a friend that knew us both during that time in our lives who helped me gain some perpective. She made some valid points that I think need to be said, and after this post, I will let it go. So here goes my own version of self-therapy. It might get gritty, but I think it's necessary to say everything so nothing can keep me from dwelling on the past/what-could-have-been.

This is my version from the very beginning.

It was the fall of my Junior year in college. I had spent the summer defying my parents over a boy who did even call me his girlfriend. That fall I started my first semester of writing for the school newspaper. There was a mix of people on staff, many outside my usual social circle, and I began making friends.

Early in the semester, my boyfriend told me he had cheated on me. His omission of guilt not only broke my heart, but it broke me. It just so happened that he told me via text message right before a weekly staff meeting of the school newspaper. Let's just say I was a wreck. Crying in front of people I barely knew.

Not long after that, my university experienced a school shooting. Two young boys died. It was terrible. The newspaper staff met that Monday, as usual, to get to work on the stories. I was assigned to write an obituary on one of the boys, and I was teamed up with a boy on staff who was to write the other.

I didn't have Facebook at that time because I was disaffiliated for sorority formal recruitment that spring. So we shared his Facebook account to get in touch with some friends and siblings of the two boys who died.

That was our first experience working together. Fast forward. If we were assigned stories that we didn't like or could go to, we would switch stories. He was my only ally when it came to the dreaded sports editor's hatred toward me. Sports editor would assign me sports stories, and we would switch it without mean ole sports editor's approval.

One week I was assigned to cover the opening of a new pizza place near campus. I asked everyone on staff if they wanted to come with me, and I only had one bite from a freshman girl. This boy felt sorry for me, saying that I would be miserable the whole time with her. So he offered to be a buffer for the awkward conversation that was sure to happen.

Little girl never showed. So we ate pizza alone.

I'm not really sure how we exchanged phone numbers, but I feel like it happened during the obit team writing. My memory fails me. But anyway, we started texting and talking on the phone frequently. All the while I was still crushed over my ex-boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend and I were still on-again-off-again for months after the omission of guilt. It was the longest break-up in the history of break-ups.

Boy from the newspaper and I talked pretty much regularly. It was almost like second nature. He was one of a few people who could make me laugh during the Dark Days.

Now this is where it gets hazy. I'm not sure how it happened. But boy from the newspaper feelings for me changed, and he started to like me as more than a friend. And he asked me on dates. Yes, dates. And I said no. Every time. I'm not sure of exactly what I said or how I said it, but I'm sure those words were burned into his memory. And I'm sure he can remember exactly how he felt when I said them.

I stand by my decision to not date him. I was a broken mess. He would have been a rebound guy, and I knew that. It would have been wrong. I cared too much about him to let him get mixed up in the craziness that was my life then. I would not have been a healthy relationship for either of us.

It was brought to my attention last night by my friend who knew us both that he may still be harboring those negative feeling and words I said to him so many years ago. For the past while, I've been hell-bent on he and I becoming friends again. But what if he doesn't want to be my friend again? Or even worse, what if he can't? I feel like that with people who have hurt me bad enough. Why can't he?

It's a sad realization when you see what-could-have-been flash before your eyes. (That happened yesterday.) But it's even worse when you realize that you can cause another human so much unintentional pain. (This happened last night and today). I would have never hurt him intentionally, but I hurt him nonetheless. That realization is the biggest slap in the face.

But we must remember that everything happens for a reason. We came into each other's lives to make change happen. And now we have both changed. So it wasn't all bad. But our friendship was lost along the way. It was one of those pure friendships that don't come along very often, and I'm sad that's gone.

And I think what if he's not the same as he use to be. What if he's changed so much that I won't recognize my old friend from college? I just have to remind myself that if he has changed so much so that I don't recognize him (personality-wise), then I was just a stepping stone in his journey to becoming the person he's suppose to be. And he was just a stepping stone for me to look back on and know I can only move forward. But I will always consider him a step in the right direction and a light during my dark days.

I am letting it go. There is nothing more to say on the matter. I've reached out to make contact with him via Facebook. And we had an impromptu meeting in Starbucks yesterday. But I fear our relationship will never fully recover. And that's ok. This will be the last mention of him on this blog. And with it goes the regret and sadness of the loss of friend.

I pray for you friend. That you find what you are looking for. That you become the person you are suppose to be. That you accomplish all the things you want in life. That you are infinitely happy.

IF you ever get the itch to contact me, you know how. And I would say don't ignore that itch. I'm not sure where I'll be IF you ever decided to do that, but I'm sure we can figure out a way to get some coffee or a Diet Dr. Pepper.

But for now, I bid you adieu.

Stay tuned, Bloggies. We go back to regularly scheduled posting full of grad school whoas and funny stories. Just had to have this moment of seriousness. Sometimes it's necessary. And in this case valid.

Be loving you guys. Thanks for staying with me while I think.
Until next time...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sometimes You're Not Prepared

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful momma! I'm so happy you came to spend the day with me. I had the best time. For those of you who weren't in attendance on this Mother's Day extravaganza. Here is a recap. Hold on to your hats. You won't believe what happened.

My mom gets to Little Rock this morning at 10:30. We had reservations at a little place down the street from my new apartment. After stuffing our faces, we decide to get coffee at my all time favorite Starbucks. It doesn't matter to me that there are two Starbucks on Cantrell. I want to go to the one on University every time. It has the best feel and nicest people working there.

So we are making our way to the best Starbucks. We get there and go in. As we order our drinks and I'm making conversation with the barista, I see a familiar face. (As I'm writing this, I'm getting the same nervous feeling I get when I'm uber-nervous).

It's the boy I knew in college who liked me, but I was too hung up in my own drama to care at that time. For more on the details of our past, check this out. It's a pretty sad story, and I've always regretted how it ended. In his words, I spurned him. And he is more than likely correct. But that's a whole other story for a different day.

Anyway we see each other, and I basically forget how to function like a human being. It was like I was on auto-pilot, and the real me was hovering above the situation watching. We hugged and made small talk because at that point I was still speechless and acting like a total loonybird.

I haven't seen him in person in three years. And he looks G-R-E-A-T. Really better than great. And we hugged. My heart was beating like 10,000 miles per hour. And I was super nervous and looking for something to say. Nothing clever or interesting came out.

Thankfully, my dear mother came to the rescue. He asked if that was my mom. And I said yes. Then, she took over the conversation because God knows she needed to with me standing there like a mindless idiot. I told him she was into running and that she followed his blog.

And I'm trying to focus on what they are saying. My momma, bless her heart, could not stop staring at him. It was the longest, most nerve-wracking five minutes of my life. It was like someone shot me in the head with a stun gun. I was acutely aware that I had said nothing of importance or cleverness.

Once the conversation ended, my mom and I leave the Starbucks. As we were leaving, I could feel her looking at me. I turned to meet the stare of my mother who knows me better than any other person on this planet. And there was the look.

She said, "Are you serious? That was him? He is so hot. What were you thinking? I can't believe you would pass that up. Are you kidding me? Get back in there and say something."

I said, "I know I was stupid. I was 19. What do you want me to do? He's got a girlfriend. I can't just be all 'Hey, How you doin?' I know I messed up. Dang it."

She said, "Ah, yeah you definitely messed up. He is so cute. I couldn't stop staring at him."

I said, "I know. I'm an idiot."

And that's basically what happened. Little Rock is a big city. I knew he lived here, and I figured we would run into each other eventually, but never in a million years thought it would be two weeks after I moved here.

I know you're wondering what I'm going to do. The answer is nothing. It can't be forced. And it's obvious that I will be a total buffoon and that I will lose my mind whenever I'm around him. I can distinctly remember him saying something to me three years ago. That one day I would realize and reget it. That one day I would be "Dang, he looks great. What was I thinking back then? I knew I should have said yes to all those dates he asked me to go on."

Well it happened today. In real life. I lived the realization. Lesson learned.

Moral: When someone asks you on a date that you actually like, say yes. Forget the hang-ups and the drama of your not-so-important situation that's going on with whatever-his/her-name-is. Go out and have a good time because the guy or girl who asked you out probably is better for you than the current flame you are battling with all the time.

Don't be like I was back then and let the opportunities pass you by. GO. FOR. IT. That way you can see what happens.

So here's to the next times I see you (you know who you are). I'm saying times because I feel like I will need times to get over the social awkwardness that consumes my brain. And I'm saying times because at some point I hope there will be. But until then...I'll see you there, or I'll see you on another time.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mental Enlightenment

Morning Bloggies.

I have a quick story for you followed by the BEST video to grace my presence in a long long time. But you have to read everything before you get to the main event. And trust me it's totally worth it. Cross my heart.

Yesterday was a not so good day for my nerves. Grad school has officially stressed me to the max. But Jesus gave me a big break yesterday when I went to class.

I have been stressing pretty hardcore about this upcoming theoretical frameworks paper for my Processes & Effects class. Thankfully yseterday I had a breakthrough.

Thanks to Megan Lindsey and professor lady, I have a new hope for this paper. So here's how it went down.

Yesterday, I was suppose to have a detailed outline ready to discuss with my professor. Now, y'all know I always ALWAYS turn stuff in. Well, this wasn't an assignment that was due for points so I chose not to do it. I just looked over my first draft and made notes. I also had a small list of questions including "What the crap do you want me to do?"

So as professor lady made her way from person to person, Megan Lindsey and I bounced some ideas off each other. I've been having a hard time trying to make my theory match up with my thesis topic. When it was my turn to talk with professor lady, I basically asked her how to fix the disconnect of my topic and my theory.

Then it happened. A big break. A breath of fresh air. A second-wind.

She said, "You could probably look at just one election."

A light came on in my head. Oh my gosh, I wonder if I will be able to use everything I know about Rockefeller and the 1966 election. So I ask her. And she said YES.

It was the greatest feeling. I know that election upside down and inside out. And I know the theory like the back of my hand. While it will take some critical thinking and thoughtful writing, the paper will be better than I originally intended. It will be easier for me to write and for her to read.

Thanks to Megan Lindsey for being a constant cheerleader and professor lady for giving me a break I will not lose my mind. As I was leaving class, I sent a little thank you note to the Big Guy upstairs because He finally let all the lights come on for this paper.

Saw this last night for the first time. Hands down the funniest thing I've seen in a while.

Enjoy! Happy Thursday!

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Slow Down

I'm gonna tell you that I have truly lost all motivation to complete the rest of this semester of graduate school. My brain is so tired, and I've found myself much rather wanting to do other stuff. I hate to say that school has taken a backseat to procrastination, but it has.

Case in point: Last night, I got home from work and sat down a few minutes before starting dinner. Around 6:15 P.M. I started cutting up sweet potatoes for homemade sweet potato fries. And let me just say how extremely difficult sweet potatoes are to cut up. I was using the biggest knife I had along with all the muscle I had, and those babies barely got cut into fries.

After putting those in the oven, I started on the main course. Cheeseburger flatbread melts, c/o Kevin and Amanda. You can get the recipe here. When everything was finished, I sat down to eat. The cheeseburger melts were TO DIE FOR GOOD. I could not have asked for a more satisfying meal. It was so tasty and savory. You should totally make them. So easy.

My sweet potato fries did not fair quite as well. I think it will take me a little time to perfect my baking process. Some of my fries were too small so when they cooked they were EXTRA crunchy. But in my defense, some of them turned out perfect. Sweet potato fries, for me, could be better than real fries. I love the added flavor that you don't get in a real french fry. And it's an added bonus because sweet potatoes are naturally flavorful and good for you. So I'm not complaining.

After all the hard work of cooking, I sat down and fell asleep. Not for a few minutes, but for an hour. Can you say old lady? I've gotten to the point where I can fall asleep, and then wake up not knowing how it happened. The hallmark of old age is setting in at the ripe age of 23. Ekk.

I have to admit I've missed cooking quite a bit. I forgot how good it feels to make food. Food that makes the whole house smell delicious. I can't wait for it to become part of my daily routine again. I'm so tired of eating out and having Smart Ones for dinner. But when class gets out at 9 P.M. not much cooking can be done.

So I wait patiently for May 13, the end of my first year of graduate school. It always goes back to that. My life revolves around school and homework. And that is the cold, hard truth. My decisions are made based on school and homework, and I think I've reached the point where I don't want that anymore. Partly because it's the end of the semester, and partly because I resent the whole thing for taking over my life. But enough of that, I'm halfway done. And I'm thankful for the opportunity, but it's hard to see the forest when you've been staring at individual trees for a year. Har Har.

But on to the next. I will make it work for nine more days. I will keep moving forward...maybe just not as quickly as I was in the beginning of the semester. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Take it one assignment at a time. Keep ever moving forward.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer's Coming

Finals week is approaching, and lack of motivation is setting in to its fullest for me. I have never been so unmotivated in my life. With summer a mere 10 days away, I can't help but think about all the wonderful things that I will get to do this summer.

Here is a list of summer activities that need to happen/will happen:
  • Dinners with friends
  • Cooking new recipes from KevinandAmanda.com and pbfingers.com, my two most favorite recipe blogs.
  • Climbing Pinnacle Mountain
  • Running
  • Horseback riding
  • Wine tasting
  • Dancing downtown
  • Numerous pool days
  • Reading books unrelated to school
  • Writing summer blog posts with pictures of activities and recipes
  • Attend Little's wedding, Carmen's wedding, and SK's wedding
  • Work to earn that cash money
  • Yoga classes
  • Movie watching
  • Flirting with cute Starbucks guy
  • Laughing
  • Numerous crafting projects
  • Quality time with the family
  • Baking sweets and treats
I'm sure there is a lot of other stuff I've left out. But you get the picture. I am so thrilled to have real FREE time that is not dedicated to school/homework. And I'm so looking forward to the time I get to read books I want to read. I have developed a long list of book as well.
  • "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave: A book I started a while ago, yet never finished. :/
  • "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson: The final book in the Millennium Trilogy
  • "Lover Unleased" by J.R. Ward: The next book in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series (a seriously steamy romance series that somehow I can't put down)
  • "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo
  • "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
  • "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
  • "Shit My Dad Says" by Justin Halpern
  • "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
And I'm sure there will be more. Now not all of these books will be read, but I do plan to make a nice dent in this list.

If you have any suggested reading or summer activities, please share. I'm always looking for something to do. Hope you have a great day. Must get cracking at this Tuesday.

Until next time...

Monday, May 2, 2011

All Work and a Little Play

This is what I'm currently working with right now that I must say I've put off until the last possible minute.

I am currently posted up in my nook writing this blog post when I should be focused on PR Cases. I think the fact that it is the end of the semester with one week of actual classes and then "finals week" AND the fact that it has rained off and on for the last four days is making me less productive.

Thankfully, I have this.

This is cup numero dos this morning. It is the fuel that will have to keep my motivated. So while I procrastinate to the fullest and try to steer clear of Tylenol articles and PR jargon, I will tell you a little story.

As I said, it has been raining here for about four days. I'd show you the picture I took of my "front yard", but dang Blogger won't let me upload photos once I've done it the first time.

Saturday night the roommate and I rented "The King's Speech." Loved the movie. It is a definite must-see. After the movie was over, the roommate looks at me and says, "Let's go get some Dorito's."

First thought: It is POURING outside. This is not an understatement. Pouring down rain. But I think ok, we can take the movie back to Red Box at the Kroger right next to our house and then swing in to get some Dorito's.

So we suit up to brave the elements. My outfit was the most creative I could come up with. Sorority letters rain jacket, gym shorts (cause pants would have not made it two minutes in the monsoon) and rain boots. The roommate chooses a rain jacket, shorts and tennis shoes.

As soon as we step out the door, it's like the bottom of the sky fell out. I mean it was the craziest thing I'd ever seen. The parking lot was somewhat flooded, lucky for me I had my trusty rain boots. The roommate's feet did not fair quite as well. Her shoes were soaked within seconds.

Somehow we made it to the car. Both of us covered in water. And drive to take the movie back. When I'm safely back in the car and thinking she is going to park to go in and get the must-have Dorito's. We take off down Highway 10 in the monsoon. I was mind-boggled.

She says, "I just want to go to a gas station to get one of those little bags."

Well the road was completely covered in water, there were maybe four cars on the road, and there we were tootling down Highway 10 in the WORST rain I've seen in a while. Clearly the road was flooded, but we pushed through to get to the gas station.

We left the gas station with the smallest bag of Dorito's and a little packet of Ranch CornNuts (both for the roommate), and we head back to the apartment. As we drove home, the only thought I had besides how stupid we were was the fact that we would go out in torrential rains to get a mini-bag of Dorito's on a complete whim.

On a lighter note, Happy May everyone. So glad May is finally here. School is almost over, and then the fun begins. Now back to PR Cases. Blah. Have a great day.

Until next time...