Thursday, July 26, 2007

Moving Gripes!

There are several things that I have learned through this moving process that I have never encountered before. Just thought I would share a few with you.

I really don't like to pack. This isn't earth shattering and many people share the same opinion. I just didn't realize that in myself before this week. I find myself become resentful of the time that I spend putting things in boxes instead of with those I care about most. I feel like my priorities have been off for days now. I know that isn't true but when the calender is ticking off days until you leave, the boxes just don't feel as important. The people do.

No matter how much I get done, I keep finding more stuff! Where is it coming from!? I am tired of packing it. At least I am able to de-pack-rat. Yea for dumpsters!

I really don't like the smell of cardboard boxes. I am thankful that Glade or Febreeze have not dedicated a spray to that sent. And if they did, who is the person who would buy it. Yuck!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For the Love of Parents

It seems that I have been bombarded (in the best sense of the word) by parents in the past few days. Jeff blogged about watching Abbie grow up. Today I got an email from someone who's mom was in surgery. Erin and I were talking today about Mom's surgery last February. All of it has had me thinking a bit.

When Mom had her surgery, sitting and waiting was intense. We all sat around and visited but every time someone walked into the room, we were all very aware of it. I remember when Dr. Massey came to let us know how things went, I felt like I couldn't get to him fast enough. I was prepared for seeing Mom with the IV and in pain but I was NOT prepared for having to leave everyday. I had a HARD time saying goodbye and leaving her alone at night. I don't know why but that was very difficult for me to deal with. I cried all three times and I'm sure it would have happened again had I been able to go up on the fourth night.

A few years ago, Dad had a bad bout with kidney stones. I don't remember exact details about it but I do remember having to go get the neighbor to help carry him to the car because he was in so much pain he couldn't walk alone. That was the longest run across the back yard I ever made. I had never seen Dad hurt like that before. I had never seen him need to lean on someone else to intensely. It was really scary.

I don't know anything about being a parent but I definitely know about being the daughter. No matter what, I still need my parents. Not in the same ways as when I was a little girl but in that way that we all still need to have someone to lean on and cling to. Relationships have changes into something more beautiful. Now we are more friend and mentor than in the past but the need is still there. Unfortunately, I take so much of that for granted sometimes. It is in those uncharacteristic moments that I am reminded how much I still need my mom and dad around. I know how blessed I am to have such an amazing, loving relationship with them when so many don't. It humbles me and makes me thankful at the same time. Our family is definitely a rare jewel to be treasured!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Power of Touch

There is something very reassuring about hugs and being held. I don't know what it is but right now, I crave it very much - all of the time. With everything happening so quickly, I guess I am just needing the physical comfort of someone being there. Nothing romantic about it, just having someone to hold on to for support and safety. Thankfully, I have a very dear friend who is good at this. Every time I see him, I know that I am going to be enveloped in a warm, accepting hug. It may last a few seconds or a few minutes, but while it lasts, I know that everything is fine. Sometimes he is not there and I just want to feel safe with who I am with. For example, tonight we (me, Jenn and the guys) were all standing in the parking lot saying goodbye. I'm not too sure when I will see them again and more than anything, I wanted to be pulled into a long tight hug. I was tempted to just grab my four friends there but I was unsure how it would have been received so I just stood there. Funny how in moments like that you can feel so alone. Except for my lovely Jenn, we all did the awkward side hug thing and went our ways.

Maybe I'm just being a dumb girl.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Easing the Pain

When you have lived somewhere for a certain amount of time, you grow attached to it. I have been in my apartment for two years and it has become my place of safety and comfort. As attached as I may have become to it, God has decided to help me be ready to leave it - in the form of renovations.

My complex started the updates a few months ago and they hit my building last week. They are putting in all new appliances, painting, pulling up the carpet for good "wood" linoleum, new sinks, and all new cabinetry. It will look SO great when all is said and done but for now, I am looking forward to the move. At the moment, my apartment reeks of flooring adhesive because they are laying the floor below me. However, my favorite part is my view when I drive up. Below is a picture of what the front of my building has looked like for the past week. The only words I can come up with are, "You might be a redneck if..."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shared Joy

I think I have found the one thing in the world that makes me happier than any other. I love to watch people be happy. People celebrating, falling in love, getting good brings a smile to my face like very little else can.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Denver cheering on some of my favorite men. When the scores and rankings were released, 10th in the world, there was so much excitement and joy! Years of hard work (especially this past year) that it couldn't be contained when all was said and done. The next night, we jumped to our feet in applause as winning quartets were announced. Even though I do not know these men, just watching them celebrate with each other and the complete joy on their faces made their elation contagious.

This past year, I watched a co-worker plan her wedding. As the time grew nearer, her adoration towards her fiance grew and her voice and face reflected her growing love for him. It was so heart warming! She could hardly wait to be his wife. It reminded me of Erin during her engagement. What I have loved about watching she and Gregg is that I see that same adoration grow the longer they are married. I caught it in a picture once. It is one of my favorite pictures of her. Isn't is sweet!

What in the world could be better than sharing in the abundant joy of someone else?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Decision Made

This is exactly the same thing that I emailed out. If you got the email, then you can skip this one. Nothing different. :)

So what you are all waiting to hear. I received a VERY last minute call today from a principal in Katy offering me a first grade position at Wolfe Elementary. Pending approval from the board and release from my San Marcos contract, I will be moving to Katy in about two weeks. It is very fast and very sudden but I have no doubt that this is where God wants me to be. For the first time, I have no reservations about anything involving this position. There is no way that I should have been offered this position based upon my previous experience but they chose me. It is going to be very challenging to relearn a grade level so significantly different than I have experienced but I am looking forward to it. The school is off of I-10 and Hwy 6 (almost not Katy ISD). It is a Title One school and has a very diverse population that it serves. I am very excited to be in this setting. The team seems wonderful and I am incredibly impressed with the principal. I am looking forward to being closer to Erin and Gregg, catching backup with my best friend from college, attending Beth Moore on Tuesday nights, and starting to find a new church home. I am SO excited!

The next two weeks will be full of wrapping up work in San Marcos, packing, finding a place to live, and saying good bye to dear friends that have come to mean the world to me. While I am very excited about moving forward, I am dreading saying good bye to those I have grown to love so much. Most here don't even know that I have been interviewing so those will be very hard conversations to have. I have already mapped out when I can come back to visit and they fall about once a month. That is very encouraging! I just hope that follows through.

While some of you may have become frustrated with me during this time, I want to thank you for your patience and prayers. You have NO idea how much they have meant to me throughout this process. For someone who has a tendency to be indecisive (yes, I did hear some of you snicker), it has been overwhelming. I appreciate all of you so much.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Dreams May Come

While I loved being in Denver, I am finding coming back to "real life" a little bit difficult. It's one of those things that just happens when you get away, I guess. You know, the grass is always greener...

Lately, it has come to my attention that I have a tendency to view things a little bit unrealistically. I've been told that I have read too many books and seen too many movies. I have expectations about how people and life should be. I don't think they are too far fetched but lately, I have been doubting myself. I believe that life should have a driving force and be full of passion (not necessarily romantic passion but love for something and strong conviction). I believe that there are men out there who can tastefully pursue a lady. While being "one of the guys" can be great, there is a place in me that wants the friendship but also more. I believe that decisions should be made with purpose and meaning - not just because that's where the wind blows. I dream of things that I would love to do but they all seem so far out of my reach.

Maybe my head is in the clouds and I need to get it back down to earth. But for now, isn't it nice to just dream of what life like that would be like if....

Monday, July 09, 2007

Week in Review

This morning at 3:30, I got home from a week in Denver at the Barbershop Harmony Society International Competition. I can't even think about how to sum this week shortly. It was SUCH a blast!

I was apprehensive going into last week. I had a feeling that told me this would be my last trip to internationals. As the week went on, that feeling quickly left. I've made one decision this week - I will either have to marry a barbershopper or a very understanding man. I was talking to a man that I met from Nashville and we decided that this week is like summer camp for adults. Everywhere you looked, there were friends meeting up after not seeing each other for a year. There were things to do all week, pictures to be taken, songs/tags to sing, and people to meet. At the end of the week, email addresses and phone numbers were exchanged, hugs were given, people were exhausted and were saying "See ya next year!" I met some amazingly wonderful new people. I got OC Times new cd. I spent some time with good friends from home. I got to know a few people from HOT better than I did before this week. At one point, I got to go to the judge's box and talk to one of them that I know. When I turned around saw the thousands of people facing the stage, I was quite intimidated.

The chorus made top ten after years of hard work! They did a cowboy set. The man who arranged their ballad was a judge and he told them that they brought to life exactly what his mind had conceived when he wrote the piece. The uptune was wonderful and funny. We were so excited and had an afterglow in one of a member's suite. The chorus that won blew us all away. (They are on America's Got Talent so watch for Westminster Chorus tomorrow night on NBC!) The next night, there was an amazing quartet finals. The quartet that won was incredible! I didn't want them to win last year but this year, I was so excited for them. They were SO funny and AMAZINGLY talented. My favorite quartet came in second so that was also exciting!

What a great week! The perfect break that I needed with no worries or concerns about anything. I literally left everything here and just had a blast. There are so many new memories and friends. It was the most relaxing and fun week that I have had in a while.

Monday, July 02, 2007

And We're Off...

In two and a half hours (10:00), we are leaving for Denver. Woo Hoo! We will get there about lunch time tomorrow. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to getting away! Spending lots of time with friends, listening to amazing singing, exploring a new city... just what I need. My hope is that getting away from anything that might distract or sway me in big decisions will offer up some unbiased clarity. It will be a week full of fun but also full of deep prayer. Right now, I feel 85% sure of where I need to be. My hope is that when I come back, I will have no room for doubt in my decision and that it will come to be. I pray that I'll come back ready to make a decision and not even think about "what if..." I hope to have full confidence that God will send me where he can grow me and use me most. All else can be lovely but that is most important. I will land where I need to.

Have a happy 4th and enjoy your week!