"I felt a nice, fresh breeze a moment ago. Where has it gone to?"
- Tennessee Williams, in 'The Glass Menagerie'

Monday, January 31, 2011

All by myself :)

Today, I did something
- all by myself -

Wanna see??

I taped off,
waited 10 minutes,
and painted one more coat
onto the what-used-to-be-black
passenger side car door handle of my car.
(no, I did not use regular spray paint - they make touch up paint for your car in a spray can - that I also found all on my own.)  :)

It's small (and a little silly)
but I did it


Sunday, January 30, 2011

my challenge -for the day-

I was just in the break room at work, and we were watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
We found ourselves questioning why this family was receiving a new home.
[free of charge]

They weren't financially unstable.
Their house wasn't falling in.
They didn't seem to be hurting for much at all, to be honest.
(minus the presence of their oldest daughter that they so longed to have back since her tragic death)

So, the question became:
    -what has this family done to deserve a new home?
(Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking - there's plenty of families that deserve new homes - so why this one?)

It just got me thinking:
Which of us has really ever done anything to deserve anything that we have?

We might work our tails off to get where we want to be.
We might help the less fortunate at every opportunity.
We might delve into a world of unknowns to find a cure for something.
We might be the shoulder that a friend needs to cry on.

We might do all of these things, but when you think about it...
...does any of that get us what we deserve?

God gave his only son for us.
(I don't know about you, but I definitely don't think I would be able to give up my own child to save humanity - and I don't even have kids yet.)

For someone to have given something so precious to save our lives...
...is there ever really enough we can do to truly be worthy?

(I suppose this is me challenging you - and myself -
to take every day and use it...
...to do the things that we should do to be worthy of life.)

(yes... yes, that is exactly what I'm doing.)

I'm not perfect, and I know I will never be.  I don't think any of us is expected to be perfect - striving to be so doesn't even get us close.
I just think that we - myself included - should do what we can
to live life to the fullest,
           to earn our keep,
      to strive to be worthy.

I think perhaps it's what we're meant to do.
(and I nod)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Powerful Stuff

I pulled out my trusty journal tonight while I was at work,
turned through her off white pages,
and stumbled upon a note that I had made at some point two days ago.

     "Ah, yes, this is powerful stuff"
[Subaru commercial]
            - What's the name of this song?

...so I, of course, relied on my trusty friend, Google.com, to give me the answer to my question.

And this is what popped up:
(go ahead, give it a listen, you know you want to)  ;)

I then proceeded to look up the lyrics to the song, and found these few lines:

All right then let us turn it up
Everyday do like a flower does
Sun rises and she opens up
Sun rises and she sings

(...who wants to guess who it made me think of?)
(if you guessed Malorie, then you are correct, my friend.)
               (she was, after all, like a beautiful, beautiful flower)

It just got me thinking, all be it briefly...
 - am I doing what I promised myself I would?

When she died, I told myself that I would start living every day to it's fullest, that I would do things for myself that would make both her (and myself) proud.
[i.e. waking up in the morning, opening up, and singing - because life makes me happy]

My answer to myself?
         "Self - you're doing a pretty good job of keeping your promise to yourself here lately.  Keep up the
         good work."
                  (imaginary patting on my own back)

I really like having that be my response.  :)
(yes, I do)


I'm going to continue doing such "powerful stuff."

(and I smile)

Today is MY day. (like it or not)

Today, it is my birthday.  :)

I have neglected to celebrate my requisite "birthday week" due to far too much stress in my Chemistry class.  (it is currently my least favorite thing that I've ever had to go through.)


But... something bad, nay, tragic
happened today.

I had to work.

on my birthday.

for the first time ever.

(can you say NOT HAPPY?)

I did, however, find something waiting for my in the inbox of my email that made me smile...
...here, check it out:

(and I smile... again.)

It was one of those emails that I usually don't open because they've been forwarded 3,000 times.

Today, something made me open this one...
...and I'm glad I did.  :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The First Problem.

Life... is about learning.
It's about taking the necessary steps,
to make mistakes,
to learn from them.

(at least that's what I've always thought)

...and then... I found this:


...so, how do we "unlearn" when we've been taught our entire lives to first do and then learn (and retain)?

It's also ironic and interesting that I stumbled upon this very page in a book at the bookstore at UAB today because something very similar to this was said to me today.

Someone I know is both learning and unlearning things right now.
(and it's hard.)

Well... what is your take on "unlearning?," you may ask.

(...well... I don't mind telling you at all.)  ;)
(no, I do not.)

"Unlearning," to me, is more about learning to let go:
to let go of all the things we've known, the things we've practiced, the things we've become...
but not all at the same time.

We take the situation(s) at hand,
we evaluate them,
and we make whatever necessary changes the situation(s) merrit.

We might change things and begin to "unlearn" them, but we don't change entirely.

By unlearning things, we become different (and often better) versions - of ourselves.

The trick to unlearning, in my opinion,
is remembering not to "go it alone."

It's always important to have that person to lean on,
                                    that shoulder to cry on,
                                    that emotional rock,
                                    that person to make you smile
                                                (even when it's the rainiest of days)...

THOSE are the times that we learn what people mean to us - and what we mean to other people.

THOSE are the moments when we begin to "unlearn"
...and ultimately re-learn all over again.
(...ironic?  I think not.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Because I choose to be.

After a bit to reflect and ponder,

(my first blog tonight was more to vent - this one is me thinking with a clear and focused mind)

my frustrations dissipate. 
My angst fades.
And my optimism returns.

...life is about the twists and turns.
It's not a cruel joke.

Things really are as good as they seem.
(for the most part.)

There might not be a smile on my face right now,
but I know a few things:

Tomorrow the sun will shine.
Tomorrow I will feel the wind against my cheeks.
Tomorrow, something/someone will make me laugh.
Tomorrow, something/someone will make me smile.
And tomorrow... 

I will be happy.
(because I choose to be)
(does there really have to be another reason?)

Pessimism reigns. (at least for the moment)

...at what point do we grow out of things that are bad for us?
...surrender to the good things in our lives and move forward from the past?

...at what point do we realize that some people aren't going to hurt us?
...that life sometimes really can be as good as it feels like it is, that it's not just playing a cruel joke on us?

Sometimes, my thoughts get the best of me.
Like now.

...but sometimes the same thoughts that get the best of me make me think about my life.

And I don't know...

I was going to be optimistic, but sometimes?  Sometimes pessimism reigns.
Like now.

Pessimism reigns, and I myself wonder...
if life is a cruel joke.

Are some things really too good to be true?

I can't help but wonder how to get myself past a pessimistic attitude that I thought I had long left behind...



...there's always tomorrow, I suppose.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So simple, so easy, so perfectly perfect.

So, I didn't take this picture myself because...
I'm no longer in Gulf Breeze to be able to do so.

But I thought I'd share a picture of one (well, two) of the things that make me happy:

I gave Ruthie a copy of Moosetache by Margie Palatini for Christmas.
[if you haven't read it, you should - it's probably my favorite children's book]

Since their Christmas wasn't until yesterday, she just opened it...

...and I wake up to this picture being on Facebook.

Her mom asked her to entertain her sister for a few minutes,
and this is how she found them.
(makes your heart smile, right?) 
(It definitely did mine.)

It was just so... "so simple, so easy, so perfectly perfect."  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crossing bridges.

Today, I was talking to a friend in between classes, making small talk about life (and everything that goes along with it).

I was giving him advice on some stuff, and he says:

"So I cross the other bridge when I get there"

...to which my response was...

"You always cross the bridges when you get to 'em.  If you cross 'em before you get to 'em, you risk falling into the water."




...maybe I'm on to something...
...maybe we do try to cross all sorts of bridges before we get to 'em in life.

Perhaps we should take things one day at a time and not fret over them until we get to them.

(and I nod)

- I sure know that would create a lot less stress for me, I don't know about you -

So, the decision is final:
You take one day at a time.
You cross one bridge at a time.

I mean, who wants to do unecessary exercise like swimming unless they absolutely have to??


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are your thoughts results of static cling?

An epiphany, maybe.
or maybe just the product of thoughts producing other thoughts.
(I suppose some thoughts really are the result of static cling.)
(yes, yes they are)

I'm not sure, but I do know that things
-are not- as complicated as we sometimes make them.

Sometimes, we just need to stop, take a deep breath, and realize that life has a funny way of making things work out just the way that they are supposed to.
(and sometimes we don't always get what we want.)

Those times that we don't get everything that we want...
...those are the times that we have to take those deep breaths and learn to deal.

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns.
There's no way to know what will happen tomorrow,
or the day after that,
or the day after that,
or the day after that...
(I think you get my point.)

We have to take each day for what it is-
another day that we are alive and breathing, another day that we have been blessed with, another day to love the life that we live.

I have recently been listening to more music from my friend, Paula, and for some reason here lately, one song in particular has stuck out to me.

(give it a listen - and I attached some of the lyrics)

Details in the Fabric

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed
Instead of running around
And pulling all your threads
And breaking yourself up
 If it's a broken part, replace it
If it's a broken arm, then brace it
If it's a broken heart, then face it
 And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
 Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
And everything will be fine
 Hang on
Help is on the way
And stay strong
I'm doing everything
 Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
 And everything
Everything, it will be fine
 All the details in the fabric?
Are the things that make you panic?
Are your thoughts results of static cling?
 Are the things that make you blow?
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
of faulty manufacturing
 Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

I act as if I don't know why this song would stick out for me right now...
...but there's reasons.
There's always reasons.
...just like there's always reasons for everything that happens in life.

Currently, I'm practicing just living and letting things just be.
I can't change anything that I don't have control over.
Instead, I pray for patience.
(and so far, God has been very generous with it - he is teaching me this virtue quite well.)

He has also blessed me with an amazing friend with amazing musical tastes, who has so generously shared with me - in more ways than one - about life, love, happiness, and different ways in which to achieve, find, and recognize all of these things.

Sometimes, people don't understand or know how to just be happy...
...and it's quite a shame.

Happiness can be quite contagious, if you think about it, just like smiling.
You see someone happy (or smiling) and it generally makes you happy (or smile).

Sometimes, instead of trying to mess up someone else's happiness just because our lives aren't going quite the way we want them to, maybe we should learn to just let people be, just let them be happy.

(and I nod)

...just let it be contagious and fuel us to find our own happiness.

(yep - and I think that's enough of that spill for tonight.)


Is there a way?...

Is there a way?
to make it stop?
to make my brain slow down?

Just when I think I have it figured out,
why does it all seem so out of control?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tomorrow and all it's work-out wonders...

Working out...


...it's just something that I don't do.

I need to - don't get me wrong -
I'm just generally too lazy, distracted, and lack the general motivation to do it.

Tomorrow, though??

Tomorrow, I have to.
For class.

...wish me luck.

(and pray that I don't have a heart attack or something simply because my body is  not physically used to that type of exertion)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A yellow balloon.

Today, I got this:

,accompanied with this text:

Paula:  My magazine has been open to this for two days... Every time I pick it up to read the next article something happens and I sit it down again.  Today... Today I couldn't turn the page until I took a picture for you.  No, really... Something tells me you need it.  Love, me

...and then...

Paula:  So now you have it and I hope you love it

...to which the conversation escalated to:

Me:  I do love it :)
Me (again):  ...and it made me smile.  Big.
Paula:  Well of course you do... My inner voice told me you would ;)

Exactly, two and a half hours later, I was walking down the sidewalk in downtown Birmingham
(immediately after telling Brandon about the picture and its message)
(-no, I'm not kidding-)
and what do we see??

...you guessed it...

...a yellow balloon.
(my only regret is that I didn't snap a quick picture of it - sigh... shame on me)

(and with that, my heart smiled it's very BIGGEST smile.)

(for those who don't know, the color yellow reminds me of my friend, Malorie, who passed away this past September - along with both of her parents - in a tragic accident... yellow was her favorite color)

...someone knows me far too well. ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rolling around in my head.

My brain seems to be completely jam-packed full of stuff after being stuck in the house for a day and a half because of the snow.

Thank goodness I got to vacate the house for a few short hours today, only to go to class briefly.

However... there's still many things rolling around in my head, but somehow I continue to come back around to happiness.

I've written a lot in my journal in the past few days, so I decided that that was probably a really great place to start.
(I do write down most of my thoughts, after all.)

Today, this is what stuck out to me the most...

...there's always something that aids in making us happy.

It can be something different, something new and exciting...
...or sometimes it can be the little things in life that cause us a feeling of utmost happiness:

snow (and watching it fall, all its wonders)
laughter with my sister's boyfriend while picking on Joie
an emoticon kiss from someone special (for no reason)
the fizz of carbonation when pouring an ice-cold glass of Coca-Cola
a new nail polish color
watching the dog enjoy a new toy

All of these things are listed in my journal.  They're things that have made me happy over the past few days.

Before I moved home, when Paula gave me the CD's that I so cherish now, she also gave me a book, "14,000 Reasons to be Happy."

The idea behind the book was that the author has been writing down (since middle school) all of the things - big or small - that make her happy or put a smile on her face...


I think that's a pretty clever idea.
(and I nod)

...why not write down the things that put a smile - or even a slight smirk - on your face??
...then you can go back at any given time and smile all over again, just for thinking about it.  :)

It's a spectacular idea, if you ask me.

Plus, these days, I'm happy as a clam.
(yes, I said happy as a clam - and I meant it)
Why not write it down and share it with everyone??

(and I smile)

Friday, January 7, 2011

...on winding down.

I was going to write about responsibility today.

It's true.

I even made a note in my journal while I was at school.

Somehow, after I got home and had multiple conversations with my 93-year-old great-grandfather, writing about responsibility just didn't seem so pertinent. 

He's one of the most spectacular men I have ever met.

He was married to the same woman for a very, very long time.
(and she was a mean old bird sometimes!)

In his younger days, he used to run moonshine.
(but he has never drank any alcohol in his life - no joke.)

He had a hand in creating my grandfather, Toppy, which inadvertently created my father.
(who is the second greatest man I have ever known)

He has been a mechanic for his entire life.

He has been all by himself for about 10 years now but has never let anything slow him down.

My sister was talking to him tonight and he said to her:
"It's just part of life, but (uh) I realize my time is winding down..."


Joie then immediately cut him off for the pain of hearing the end of that sentence was probably far more than she or I could bare.
...I never thought I would see the day.
(even though logically I knew it would come eventually.)

It's just...
...how do you say goodbye to one of the best men that God has ever put on this Earth?

I don't even think my brain can process that right now.

PawPaw needs prayers.
...and so do we.

That's about all I can handle right now...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Failure to comply.

School started back today.

I'm officially a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
(but I did fail to comply with their request that we "proudly wear our Blazer Green" - I wore my new Alabama t-shirt that Logan gave me for Christmas) ;)

I was just looking back at notes I took today, including in my trusty journal...
...and you know what I learned today that seemed more important than making notes on the syllabus (that I could read for myself)??

(and these are direct quotes from my journal today)

lilac pants - never to be worn by men
     [it's just disturbing on so many levels]


...must find a cure for boredom
     (especially in class)

No, I'm not kidding about the lilac pants.
There was a guy there with them on.
Not a joke.

...but tomorrow...

I think perhaps my teachers should cover something just a bit more interesting.
...don't you??

(and I nod, assuredly)

CLEARLY, I wasn't the only one who failed to comply with what they were supposed to do at school today. ;)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy...

...and somehow some people know just what to say (or do) to make me smile.

It's pretty nice to not have to tell someone what will make you happy, for them to just know.

That's all for now. :)

Because it makes me smile.

Before I moved back to Birmingham, I received a "Goodbye/We Love You/Christmas" gift from my favorite family in Gulf Breeze, the Sides family.

Among the variety of carefully thought out gifts was a journal to carry with me in my purse (that way I have it all the time and can jot down thoughts and other cool things) and two CD's carefully created by Mrs. Paula Sides herself.

...needless to say, I have listened to those CD's continuously since I got them.  I have also fallen in love with quite a few of the songs on there.

The first song that I fell in love with was Ben Fold's song, "The Luckiest."  It is quite possibly the most amazingly beautiful song that I have ever heard in my 23 years.

(It is consequently also Paula's favorite song.  Did I know this before I text her to tell her that it was my favorite?  No.  Not at all.  That's simply how eerily similar she and I really are - and that's not just my own comment.  It was hers, too.)

The song that is stuck in my head today?

"Jimmy Gets High" by Daniel Powter.

Why, you ask??

Because it makes me smile.  :)
It has no meaning to my life, no way for me to relate to it.
It's simply a fun beat, and the lyrics put a smile on my face.
Don't judge me - you'll smile, too.

(and I nod)

It's a brand new year, and I'm turning over a brand new leaf in life.

Smiling more is exactly what I need.

(and I smile and nod, ever so slightly)