Archive | January, 2011

I Say a Little Prayer for You…

31 Jan

This might as well be my driveway right now.

Seriously. It might as well be my driveway because we are currently under a winter storm warning in the middle of a big ice storm. It wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow (or so I thought). I doubted the weather guys. I doubted, I mocked, I laughed, and then I almost cried. You see, they have a history of making a big deal out of nothing. This time, of course, that big deal was for real, no rhyme intended. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get home from school today, normally a thirty minute commute. That’s what I get for not believing in the weather people. On the plus side, campus and work are CLOSED tomorrow! Come on, I know you wish for snow days, too :).

Seriously though, the closings are a good thing. The roads were scary, and I only assume that they will continue to get worse. Driving in this kind of weather makes me nervous; I was praying the whole way home. Naturally, this led me to have a “My Best Friend’s Wedding” moment, and before I knew it I was singing “ I Say a Little Prayer for You“(while gripping the steering wheel and trying to pretend that ice was not freezing on my windows and mirrors). I’ll do anything to ease my mind during a long (and particularly scary) commute. Now the song is stuck in my head. Go figure.

The subject of prayer, however, does lead nicely into day 4 of the blog challenge, my views on religion.

Don’t worry, no renditions necessary.

In all seriousness, religion is one of those topics that I always feel funny discussing (maybe it would be more comfortable to explain in song?). I usually feel like I’m being judged; I almost feel that religion is so personal, so private, that it’s really not meant to be shared with anyone except close family, maybe a few friends. I have decided to make an exception for this post, but please, withhold the judgments. (Or I may have to sing…)

Growing up, I was raised Catholic. My dad’s side of the family is Catholic, and after several years of marriage, my mom decided to convert, as well. I went through all of the classes when I was younger, went to church every Sunday (although sometimes unwillingly), and most of the time I felt like I was going through the motions. When I left for college,  I was able to explore religion for the first time on my own. I continued going to a Catholic church because it was what felt familiar to me, but I never really considered my other options. A little later in college, after reading The Secret , I made a list of things that I wanted in a future spouse. Without much thought, I wrote down that he should be Catholic.

A little while after making my list, I met Jordan. I knew he was Christian, but I wasn’t sure of his exact denomination. I later found out that he was raised in a Baptist church. If you’re not into denominations, Baptists and Catholics are basically at two opposite ends of Christianity. After getting to know him, after seeing who he was and what he believed in, his religious denomination was not an issue for me. Yes, we had to figure out what we wanted to do, where we wanted to go, on Sunday mornings. Yes, we had to deal with some family concerns, issues that I won’t describe here, and yes, our faith was tested in the process. In the end, it only made us stronger.

We both grew up in homes that pushed going to church on Sunday, and saying prayers before dinner and bedtime. I’m not saying that I resent  those traditions, not at all, but as I reached my twenties, as Jordan and I got to know one another, we had the opportunity to explore religion on our own. And you know what I realized? God doesn’t see denominations. When I made my list on that piece of paper, asking, praying, for a future Catholic husband, God must have had someone else in mind. To him, it didn’t matter whether we went to the church on the corner, or the church down the street; what mattered was what was in our hearts.

Jordan and I now attend a Methodist church on Sundays. We feel that we “met halfway”, so to speak.  We decided not to push our own denominations on one another if we both weren’t feeling it. What really matters to me, to us, is what is in our hearts and how we show that through our actions from day to day.

Do I still dream of getting married in a Catholic church one day? Possibly. Do I still attend Catholic church with my family on holidays? Definitely. I also read books from the Dalai Lama, admire quotes that originated in Buddhism, and study the Quran in my history class. I feel that religions are fascinating, and each one has its own history to be explored. I see no point in judging someone else’s religion, as I would want no one to judge mine.

Maybe one day…

I’ll say a little prayer.

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Forget the alcohol, I want dessert

30 Jan

Well…(drum roll)…the results are in. I was not chosen to move on to the second round of the Indy Princess Program.  I will admit, I was a little sad at first, but now I feel some relief. Being there yesterday, with all of those other hair sprayed and made-upped  girls, I already saw the eye rolling begin. You know, the “I look better than you in my outfit so why’d you even bother showing up,” eye roll. Even though it’s not a beauty pageant, and they say it’s based on content of character rather than looks, I felt the cliques forming. Memories of girl’s show choir came flooding back, and I’d really rather not re-live the drama that occurs when forty girls spend too much time together in high school.

While at the Princess Program yesterday, a few of the girls began talking about “going out” later that night. I’m not a big bar-goer, so my enthusiasm just wasn’t there. Coincidentally (or not so much), this brings me to Day 3 of the 30 Day Challenge, my view on drugs and alcohol. I realize this is something that is a very personal choice, so in no way am I expecting you to agree with me.

I won’t even discuss drugs, because well, they’re illegal.  As far as alcohol goes, it was never an issue in my life until I went away to college. I only saw my parents drink a few times a year on special occasions, if that, and I had no desire to drink before I was 21. I just wasn’t the “break the law, hurt my parents’ feelings” type, and the thought of drinking didn’t even appeal to me. Then I went away to college and felt like I was the “only one” who had this view.

For the first time in my life, I was being pressured to go to frat parties and sneak drinks into the dorm room, at my dry campus. Without much hesitation, I chose not to give in to this. Instead, I chose to watch HGTV while eating ice cream in my room on a Friday night. I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I knew I’d be uncomfortable. I lost “friends” over this. I became known as “Miss Perfect”  because of this. I cried, and I went home on weekends, because of this.

While the above situation might seem sad, I’m not looking for pity. But it was sad. Most of the people I met my first year of college did not know how to have fun without alcohol. I became an outcast because I did. Pizza and a movie, anyone? Guess not.

After transferring schools, my experience with college was much better. I had a great roommate, suitemates, and a handful of friends who could appreciate a night of Steak & Shake and shopping, or playing Disney Scene-It while eating Ben & Jerry’s directly from the container, or baking brownies in our bathing suits because we were tired of the snow. None of this involved alcohol, and we were still having a good time.

We had to use the community dorm kitchen with limited supplies, but we made it work 🙂

That year, I also experienced my first couple of parties. Without drinking. “What’s the point?”, you ask. The point is, I saw what went on at those parties. I saw the crying, the fights, the nights most people didn’t remember.  I saw a case of alcohol poisoning, and I saw forty members of the football team getting caught for underage drinking. I wasn’t drinking. I remember it all.

I remember putting on that red satin halter top in the dead of winter, going to that party, trying to be someone I wasn’t. I remember my roommate and I contemplating whether we would really go or not, watching The Food Network and snacking on cereal directly from the box, trying to stay awake as we waited for 10:30 (which may or may not have been past our bedtime…) when the party began.

I remember deciding that I wasn’t going to pretend to be someone I wasn’t.

I preferred nights spent going to dinner, or watching movies, instead.

Since turning 21, I can count on one hand the amount of times I have had a drink. While I don’t mind when my friends and family socially drink, I still haven’t quite acquired the taste, or the need, to do so often.

While a pomegranate martini or pumpkin ale does sound appealing, I’ll save it for the holidays. Besides, then I have more room for dessert.

Yes, sometimes dessert is that good. Don’t tell me you’ve never done it.

 

One thing’s for sure

29 Jan

I have been up since 6:00 this morning. Not a good idea when I stayed up until midnight watching “Say Yes to the Dress” on the DVR. Why was I up so early? Interviews. I entered the Indianapolis 500 Princess Program , an ambassador program for college women. The chosen few will represent the Indy 500 through outreach programs and Indy 500 activities.

(Source)

This Saturday was round one of interviews, and if I make it through this round, I will move on to the second round of interviews. The whole process is kind of very intimidating. They only choose 33 girls out of nearly 300.  I’m nervous and trying not to think about the results, but I know, if nothing else, I have another interview experience under my belt.

On a different note, today is Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge. It’s a little difficult for me to think about what’s in store for me in ten years, because ten years ago, with awkward bangs and on the verge of getting braces (no photos of that available…), I had no idea I’d be in the place that I am right now.

I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician or pharmacist (Now I can’t even walk into a hospital without having a slight anxiety attack), I wanted to go to the University of Michigan (do you know how much out-of-state tuition costs??) , and my biggest worry was whether my “pleather” skirt was on straight (enough said). Ross and I should have been friends.

(Source)

Pleather skirt aside (more like, given to Goodwill and never to be seen again), where do I see myself in ten more years?

I imagine that I will be married, with kids. I could be specific and say that I want four kids, two girls and two boys, but who’s planning? If I’m fortunate enough to do so, I hope to work from home so that I can stay home with my kids. Thankfully, writing is a job that I can do almost anywhere (fingers crossed!). I imagine that I will still be living in Indiana, close to family, and continuing to grow in my relationship with my future husband, whoever that may be ;).

The reality is, as much as I plan for my future, sometimes life takes twists and turns that aren’t expected. The control freak in me is not a big fan of this reality, but I have to admit that it’s the twists and turns that make me a stronger, better person.

One thing’s for sure, though. 2021 will not be the year for the comeback of the pleather skirt. Okay? Okay.

I think I’ll keep him

28 Jan

If you would’ve asked me my relationship status two years and two months ago, I would’ve said “single.” Dinner for one, fifth wheel, “it will happen when it’s meant to happen,” single. Not that it was a bad thing. I remained single for most of my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college. I became tired of the awkwardness that came along with the dating territory, and would rather do things on my own than with a guy who wanted to woo me with his weird jokes or forever long dinner dates (ugh).

I decided to call a quits to dating the summer before my junior year, before the semester that I took a break. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t date again until I met the man I felt I was going to marry. This may sound extreme, but I was so tired of pointless first and only dates, and focusing on myself was much more appealing.

Enter best friend, home on Christmas break. Ash and I met for lunch, and it was only a matter of time before the obvious subject of “boys” came up in conversation. I told her I wasn’t seeing anyone, and being the “best” friend that she was (and is), she didn’t push the subject…right away, that is. I told her that I was focusing on myself, starting school back up in January, and content with my life. She chimed in (obviously), “My boyfriend has a single cousin; you should go on a blind date! It could be a double date!” I don’t know if she said those words exactly, but it went something like that.  Naturally, I agreed to go. Just kidding. Being the perfectionist, control freak that I am, I had never been on a blind date before. It wasn’t so natural. But I did it anyway. I was focusing on me, and I thought it was time for this play-it-safe girl to take a risk.

A few weeks later, about 2 years and 1 month ago, to be exact, I experienced my first blind (double) date. The boys were going to pick us up at my house, and I was most nervous about meeting him for the first time. However, as Ash and I got into the car, I was pleasantly surprised. She didn’t describe him to me at all, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. At that moment, all I remember was a feeling of relief, and thinking , “He’s cute!” I’m really not that shallow, it was just kind of nice to know the physical attraction was there; I was going to have to spend several more hours with this guy!

We went to dinner, then bowling, and before I knew it, five hours had already gone by. I was pretty sure, no, definitely sure, that I had surpassed the length of any other first date I had been on, and I still didn’t want it to end! I knew that had to be a good sign. This is where the double date part came in handy, because my friend suggested we go watch a movie at her boyfriend’s house. Everyone was up for it. We watched “Step Brothers,” Jordan and I talking through most of the movie (we kind of forgot there was another couple sitting with us, sorry guys), and then we continued talking when the movie was over and trashy late night TV was turned on. During “A Double Shot at Love” he asked me for my number, and we continued talking into 2:00 in the morning, after his cousin had taken Ash home. The next evening I received my first text from him, the following weekend we went on a second date, and the rest is history.

Not to say that the past 2 years have always been easy. For the first year and a half, our relationship was long distance. He was away at school, and I was attending school at home; we were lucky if we saw each other, at the most, one day, every other weekend. When he graduated in May and began working, he was put on the night shift, so the past six months of our relationship have consisted of a lot of phone calls, saving the weekends for time spent together in-person.

I have been known to complain about the distance and the weekends-only relationship ( I tend to be a little bit emotional sometimes…), but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unlike some of our coupled friends, Jordan and I understand what it means to have our separate lives, and our life together. He knows that I like going to Zumba on Wednesday and Saturday, and I know that he bought season tickets to the Pacers games so that he could have some guy time with his buddy. He knows not to call me on Monday nights when I’m watching “The Bachelor” with my mom and sister, and I know that he likes to play video games on Sunday afternoons. We make it a point to do a lot of things together, too, but having people associate us as one person just isn’t our goal. Brangelina? No thanks.

As I finish up school and begin looking for a job, we’re really excited for our future together. A future when we do share the same name (that has nothing to do with putting two first names together), a future that will include late night hugs instead of late night phone calls, a future that will be a new adventure for the both of us.

Until then, we’re just taking it one day at a time.

Thank God for blind dates. And taking risks. And friends named Ash.

In the words of my Aunt, “He’s a keeper.”

I think I’ll keep him.

30 Day Challenge

27 Jan

If you haven’t noticed, between school, my internship, and homework, I have little time to do much else. This kind of pushes blogging further down on my priority list, where I’d rather it not be. Then, upon catching up on my reading in the blogging world (while putting off doing homework), I found this:

A 30 Day Challenge that does not include Jillian Michaels, and some topic ideas to help me keep my blog up-to-date when my brain is otherwise on overload? I can go for that.

Be on the lookout. Tomorrow marks Day 1, and who can resist a good old-fashioned love story? I promise to keep the mushy gushy stuff to a minimum.

Maybe. 🙂

I just feel like…

25 Jan

Yelling.

Or being 3 years old again. Just for one day?

School has taken over my brain. I was able to fit in a 30-minute session on the Arc Trainer at the gym today, only because I went there toting this in hand.

This book is about as thick as a large cookbook, weighs approximately two pounds, and has print smaller than that of the Bible; I had to hold it with both hands the entire time to read the words clearly.

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

The joys of student life.

 

 

Giving it up

23 Jan

Growing up Catholic, I was always taught to give up something for Lent. If you’re not familiar with this tradition, to put it simply, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, a person gives up something that they like (example: chocolate, Facebook, TV) or decides to do something to better them self (example: pray more often, let go of negative thoughts, volunteer regularly), in order to demonstrate and respect what Jesus gave up for us.

While I feel that everyone has the right to their own traditions and beliefs, and I’m not writing this as a means to push religion on you, I feel that the concept of giving something up for Lent (or otherwise) can be translated into any lifestyle. For some, it may be a New Year’s resolution, for others, it might be a “spring cleaning” mentality, and for the girl who was doing lunges before church this morning, for the sheer fact that she needed to get into her skinny jeans before her curly hair dried in the shape of the towel that was on her head, it may mean that it’s time to think about what she’s been putting into her body. Oh yeah… that last one was me.

Although the season of Lent isn’t coming up for another month or so, my “Sunday morning lunge routine” gave me the perfect opportunity to think about what I can probably do without in my life. Perhaps that cup of ice cream I snacked on past midnight, or the bag of M&Ms I always insist on sneaking into the movie theater because (obviously) it makes the movie more entertaining?

I have to admit that I’m the girl that will eat less of her “regular food” so that I can eat more dessert later.

Needless to say, it’s time to give some of it up. I can’t keep justifying my “sugar buzz” as a sinus headache, and although I’ll probably always do a lunge or two to give my skinny jeans the stretch that they need, I’d rather be doing my lunge routine at the gym.

Since I need to give myself some time to prepare for this sugar cleanse, I’m going to wait until Ash Wednesday to do so. I’ll have more motivation if I have a bigger reason for it; I’m afraid my will power is not the strongest when it comes to the topic of dessert.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not any type of diet fad. This is just a realization of the amount of sugar I have been putting in my body, and the simple fact that I can do without. I still have a few more weeks until I begin this sugarless journey, and until then, I have some time to think about what will and will not be ruled out.

Perhaps I can think about it over a nice batch of Pumpkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes?

Just kidding :). Maybe.

Do you have any vices that you’re ready to let go of ? What is your biggest weakness, food-wise?