Sunday, December 28, 2008


I just wanted to make a small tribute to my sisters today. I am oddly flooded with emotion as I think about them and the amazing bonds and friendships we share. We are all so unique and so different. We don't get to be together all that often, but, somehow, when we do, it's like no time has passed and we just carry on. I adore my sisters.

Charlotte Belle is so unique and so lovable.

Valorie Michelle is strong and independent.

Amber Dawn simply inspires me to be better.

I've had a lot of great years with these great sisters. Thank you sisters. I love you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Hap-Happiest Season of All

For real!? If it was warmer maybe. If everyone wasn't sick... MAYBE. I froze my face off yesterday. I got home after a long day of work and my house was 50 degrees. Happiest season!? How do you figure???

I make an official proposal that could not only actually make it the Happiest Season of all, but it could boost the economy:

Just think of the good that would do the economy to have Christmas twice in one year -- we can't bypass the fact that Christmas is being celebrated now, but we can still move ahead with the plan and have Christmas in April. I propose... hmmm... arbitrary date... April 6th... what do you think??

Instead of celebrating a holiday in December when it's horrible to travel, too cold to go outside and all you want to do is sleep, let's have HIBERNATION WEEK. We can combine it with New Years -- hibernate the 29th-31st and wake up and party. I think it's the perfect way to ring in a new year. You know, I just may start celebrating this all on my own until it really catches.

So, yes... I will see you for Christmas mom. See you in April!!

P.S. I'm still totally fine with the much mistletoeing, though...

Monday, December 15, 2008

What came first...

the germs or the cold??

Everyone has the germs and everyone has a cold!! I successfully avoided one in Hawaii - do not ask me how! But I think one is finally coming on. It just may be my turn. :(

I just gotta wonder, how long have these germ been festering inside of me? The very thought just grosses me out -- kind of like the mold that was growing on the package of cheese in the fridge. I found it last night and promptly chucked it in the trash. I hate mold! Also, who was so kind as to share this cold with me. Usually, sharing is a good thing, but whoever you are, you could have kept this to yourself -- kind of like the owner of the cheese, you could have eaten it or thrown it away yourself. :) AH, thanks for sharing!! (I just wish that I could so promptly throw this out too.)

I hate colds. I hate it when I perpetually feel like I need to cough, but all I have is a scratchy throat. I hate the pain that builds behind my eyeballs. I hate the snot that runs down the back of my throat. I hate the draining sound I get in the back of my ears.

But you know what I LOVE about colds?? Getting better. I love the amazing reminder and blessing that it is to be well -- reminds me not to take health for granted. I should give praise and thanks to my Father in Heaven every day that I am healthy. Now... I'm excited to be 100% again...

Anyone got a box of tissues?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just one of those LIFES...

That's a ridiculous title, but I'm having so much more than one of "those days" or "those weeks" or "those years." I am just having one of "those lifes." Lives... life... s... Bah!

I have had a wonderful life, to be sure. I often think about my amazing blessings. A lot of my blessings stem from great hardships. Let's just start with the biggest shaping of my current existence -- moving to Heber (a.k.a. Nowhere), AZ the summer before my sophomore year in high school. Quite frankly, up until a couple years ago, I only looked on this place as a cursing to my life. My family visited Heber a few times before moving there. We thought it was a cute place where people waved to you as you walked down the street. How quaint. Right?!

But having to live there was a whole different ball game. It was cool for the first few months -- when I was "fresh blood" and new. But things swiftly went down-hill. Friends weren't really friends. I started being the brunt of horrible and rude and tasteless jokes and various abuses. I didn't like where I was or who I was. It took me some time to realize that I couldn't allow other people to dictate how I felt about myself.

**Now, this is not a sob story... promise.. I'm just thinking out-loud, really. Mostly, this is for me. My personal therapy or something. Will save me thousands in pills and Dr. bills...** tee hee

My junior year was quite lonely as I had to evolve into someone new. I eventually found friends I thought appreciated me a little more. I can still remember asking a friend "What bothers you about me?" And she told me that I was too loud all the time. And you know what? I realized I was too loud ALL THE TIME. I still am. But I didn't need a friend who thought that. I know I'm too loud. From that time forward I never felt like I could be myself around her, I was always afraid I would be too loud. You know what I told her when she turned the question? I said "I just wish you could see yourself the way God sees you and the way I see you. You are beautiful." Haha. Oh well.

Ok. This is already longer than I intended... To make it shorter... In the loss of friends, I found my family. We went through A LOT of hard times in Heber. I learned to lean on my parents and siblings. I learned to love them and I learned to love me. If for no other reason, I thank Heber (and Heaven) for that. And not to mention... I have a few great friends from Heber (sure we hardly ever see each other or talk) that I hope to have for all my life. I think they know who they are. They are Heber's "golden jewels" whether they still live there or don't. I thank my Father in Heaven for opportunities to see the good from the bad.

My life is a cycle... a roller-coaster... But my roller-coaster is stuck on a REALLY BIG, STEEP HILL... I can hear the CLICK... CLICK... CLICK... and feel the CLUNK... CLUNK... CLUNK...
I really have nothing else to say about that right now. Just expressing my feelings...

Sorry for the long post.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our President-Elect

I want you to click on this link and see who we've voted as our next president. He's a man. He is a regular person. He eats, sleeps and breaths. He dreams. Can you believe it?!

I may not have voted for him, but I will stand behind him because I believe in democracy and the power of the people. I am proud to an American.

May God continue to bless America. May he bless those we have chosen to lead us, especially in these uncertain times, to a brighter future. May we, as blessed Americans, seek to share those blessings with all nations and all people who are not as fortunate. I pray each day for our current president, W, and for our president-elect, O'Bomber, and for this great land that I love. Join me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The return of me...


I don't really have time to write (considering I'm supposed to be working now that I'm back).

I'll just post a couple of my favorite photos.

This was one of my first "scenic" views. Amazing!

Watching the lava hit the ocean. No words.

Rain drops on everything in the rain forest. So gorgeous!

I love to take pictures of flowers.

And... another flower.

P.S. My toes are cold. :(

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And... I'm off!

(hence the palm trees in the background)

I am so excited. Really, I am. Why else would I be blogging at 3 am, rather than sleeping!? Oh yeah, because I also haven't been sleeping lately. I am so afraid that is catching up to me. I am so afraid I'm going to have a cold in Hawaii. Ah, but who cares?! I'll be in Hawaii.

Sunshine, sand and water: HERE I COME!!

And no worries, I purchased an underwater camera case that promises to produce amazing photos - not to mention the fact that I am practically a pro photographer as it is...

Aloha friends! See you in 10 days.
Ahhhhh... I can already feel my toes thawing...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thank you!!

I just want to say thank you to everyone for the best 27th birthday ever -- I'll never have another one, so I'm glad it was good!! So many people gave hugs and love and "shout outs." There were songs and diddies and all things birthday. Thank you!

I had an amazing dinner with wonderful friends and family. THE BABIES (my most favorite little people in the whole, wide world) came!! Samantha stole a few hearts, Houston broke a few noses and Caleb melted the toughest of critics - sorry folks, they just can't be beat. Thanks to all my amazing friends who came and threw together another tasty Kenyan feast -- ahhhh... chapati. Need I say more?!

Only one regret of the day -- those Skins just can't win on the 16th of November. :( Man, o man.
(I'm still trying to catch on to the whole photo upload and jargonotting this blog, so forgive the awkwardness of the photos and captions.)

Caleb Jeremiah.

Houston Walker.

Samantha Nicole.

Amber, Mike & Caleb.

The final group.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"You are the weakest link"

I feel like that all the time. Oh well.

Today I got all the dings and scratches out of my car. Glory, glory! But it came at a price... and then another price... and then a higher price... Moral of the story?? "CJ is a sucker." Oh well, my car is beautiful once again.

I didn't catch much sleep last night - as verified by the 2 am posting - but made it through today well enough.

Tonight I saw the new Daniel Craig - oh, I mean, Bond movie. So deliciously wonderful. I enjoyed the beautiful "scenery" and the action. Another hit for Bond, I say.

Now, it is my birthday. 27 years. Not too bad. I don't feel much like a 27-year-old, not that I've ever been one, so not that I would have any idea what one would feel like... I also don't think I look like a 27-year-old. I feel like I got stuck at 23 or so. Not that I'm complaining!! 27 has to be better than 26 - 26 was very itchy... I mean it. Now that's over, thank goodness. I wonder what another year will bring... Hmmmm.... Now that's something to ponder.... should I be making goals of some kind?? Deep thoughts, by Clarissa Baumann... never mind, I'm fresh out. :)

Now what do I do?! Oh, I don't know... maybe I should go to Hawaii. Ok! I think I'll fly out on Thursday. Aloha!

For Reals?!

So, I've been pretty sleep-deprived lately. I've just had so much to do and seemingly so little time to do it - seriously, my mind is buzzing with life until 1 or 2 in the morning. Hence today, I had a painfully long day at work because all I wanted to do was come home and take a nap. My head was having a really hard time focusing and not being achy. I was fighting the urge to drop off to sleep on my way home. It was hard!!

When I got home, I grabbed a box of crackers, a tall glass of water and sacked out on my couch to watch a movie. I was struggling to stay awake... the... whole... movie. I finally allowed myself to nod off and went full-out around, say, 8 o'clock. I woke up maybe around 9, crawled my way to my bed and that's where I've been for the last few hours. Uninterrupted?! Oh, no!! It's Friday night, so the roommates are busy, chatty and doing whatever it is they do and OUR WALLS ARE THIN!! Let me tell you!! Not only am I getting really horrible sleep, now it is 2 am and I can't sleep.

Oh bother! I shall never catch up. Maybe this is why people actually start to look old when they get old - sleep just seems to come to the young (does that mean I'm actually getting old?! :( ). I'm sooooooo very sleepy, but I can't sleep. I can't do laundry (remember the thin walls thing) and I can't really clean anything; I need real-life hours to accomplish any of the tasks I really need to do. Maybe I can lull myself to sleep with a book... seems to work when I've had plenty of sleep... tee hee

I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Can I please just tell you how terrified I am of getting married?!

**Little disclaimer** I don't have ANY prospects of that predicament any time in the foreseeable future, but... maybe it's because I am so terrified. Seriously folks, I'm shakin' in my boots -- that is if I was wearing boots -- Seriously folks, I'm shakin' in my slippers. :)

Now, I'm used to telling people how I feel, I'm used to being a pretty on-the-surface kind of person, but this is not something I would usually shout from the roof-tops. But it needed to be said today. I don't know why. Maybe it's because all my old friends are seriously dating, engaged or married with like 50 kids and I'm... waiting, always waiting... NOT that I have a problem with that - as you can clearly see from the aforementioned statement :"terrified!!" Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am about to finish my 27th rotation around this sun (on Sunday) and I am pretty used to fending for myself, being by myself and acting entirely independently of someone else.

I like to say "I answer to no one." I just can't quite imagine having to account for how I spend my time to someone else (this is all excepting Heavenly Father, of course!!). I don't know how I feel about coming home and always having someone there. I SO enjoy my peace and quiet, my alone time. Believe me, if I could afford it, I would be living by myself and I would be loving it! (This is not to say that I don't adore my roommates - they are fabulous women who teach me a little every day how I could be a better person.) I can hardly even fathom having someone who wanted to spend enough time with me to really get to know all my idiosyncrasies -- I think maybe sometimes I am pretty whacked. Mostly, I am pretty balanced, but... Maybe I should stop, just in case some cute guy runs across this blog... Then I will seriously NEVER get married. I will just stay Aunt Issa, find a cottage by a mountain side and raise many cattle.

This posting will self-destruct in fifteen seconds...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank a Veteran!

Today was a good day. Veteran's Day. A day off (mostly).

I love to reflect on days like today the freedoms of this nation and where they come from. I decided a good way to enhance my reflection would be to immerse myself in some sort of history (which is always so easy, considering where I live). I chose to head out to the Newseum. And... I am so happy I did!! It was amazing.

*PAUSE* Can you name the 5 freedoms in the first amendment?? See answer at the bottom.

First of all, I took the metro to the Navy Memorial - I arrived just as the memorial ceremony began. I was moved to tears as the soldiers presented the flags, as the National Anthem played, and then as a General placed a wreath at the "Lone Sailor" Statue as "Taps" played in the background. What a solemn experience it was to hear the Chaplain give the invocation and the benediction and close it in the name of the God of our Fathers, the God of this great nation and the God of all men. This truly is "One Nation Under God."

I love the spirit that dwells in this city. This city memorializes everything good that has come out of this world -- we definitely also represent and witness the wicked, but there are endless memorials to bear witness of those who have given all for this nation and for noble, worthy causes.

From this very touching memorial ceremony, I walked a couple of blocks to the Newseum - Washington, DC's newest museum. I had heard wonderful things about it and read countless commentaries, but hadn't yet witnessed it myself. Well, today... I witnessed. I laughed, I cried, I witnessed. It was astounding. Anyone who knows me well knows the following three things about me: 1. I love history 2. I love people watching and 3. I love to be alone. I partook in the goodness of all three of these today, but I want to focus on the history, although, there will be one super funny story about people watching...

This whole museum was filled with six glorious floors of displays on all things history. There is no way I could get to it all in one day, so I splurged and bought the annual pass; which, by the way, is fully tax-deductible. :) **So I open the invitation for any and all to join me at some point in time** I made it through about four of the floors - and not as well as I would like. I fully intend to go back again and again. I was moved by the Berlin Wall displays (they actually have a guard tower and a portion of the wall), SERIOUSLY over-whelmed by the 9/11 film and exhibit and thrilled by all the old headlines and films and sound bytes. It was glorious. I strongly encourage a visit! This "short" commentary cannot do it justice. NOW I can hardly wait for the American History (my favorite of all museums) to have it's grand re-opening in just a few short days!! My life will truly be bliss once again. :)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: (Sadly, this comes from William Jefferson Clinton, but... he can't help that he is a wickedly smart, but stupid, stupid man.)
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America."

I really liked it and I fully agree.

God Bless America, my friends. I love this land - the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Ok... so the funny story: One of the exhibits was really neat. It was in a darker room with old newspapers you could pull out and look at and on the sides were walls filled with pieces of history. I was looking really closely at one of the displays and thought I could touch one of them... only to slam my hand (really hard, I might add) into a giant wall of glass that was in front of it. These two guys said "Wow, are you ok." I said "Uh, yeah, I was just trying to get a little closer. I guess I didn't realize there was actually glass here... It's so clean." To which one of the guys replies "Don't worry, birds do it all the time." Wait, what?? I just had to stand there and laugh at myself. Ok, so funny. Right?! But that's not the end. As I was laughing, I look over and some girl slams her HEAD into the glass really hard!! I about died -- I'm surprised she didn't get a concussion or something. I'm not kidding, it was a hard slam into the glass!! The guy she was with, I could tell, wanted to laugh too, but he just kept saying "Holy cow! Are okay?? That was really hard! Are you going to be alright??"
I hope you got a kick out of that - I sure did. I hope it's not one of those "you had to be there moments." Because, I'm not kidding, it was hilarious-- I'm laughing again just writing this!!

**First amendment freedoms - right to: speech, religion, press, assembly and petition.**
(Fresh on my brain from the Newseum)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Land That I Love

I voted today. Did you??

I realize this is going to be a common theme for everyones blogs today, but shouldn't it be?!

I believe God blessed and continually blesses America.
"God bless America" is a plea for help. He helps those who help themselves.

Get out and vote. Do your duty to God and country.
I, in all honesty, don't care who you vote for -- JUST VOTE. You know who I voted for.

Give yourself a right to be proud or a right to complain - if you don't vote I don't want to hear anything you have to say about our elected leaders for the next 2 to 4 years. :)

P.S. I was in and out of my polling place, start to finish, in 13 minutes. Not even enough time to start an episode of Prison Break on my ipod. I was pretty amazed. Although, it helped because I had studied what I was voting for and cast my educated votes. I just wish that everyone else would do the same.

Ahhhhh... I love America.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Glorious Fall!

It's official - only because I have deemed it so. I have been in denial that the days are turning cold... I love Fall, but I can do without the cold of winter. (Seriously, I don't look that good in a sweater.) Tee hee. If I could get away with only wearing hoodies from now until Spring, I would be perfectly fine with the cold, but... it just doesn't seem to be possible.

It became official after a beautiful weekend in Gordonsville, VA with Amber, Mike and the kiddos. We had a a great time -- even got to eat at TasteeFreez. So... tastee.

We spent some time on the lake fishin', took a hay ride, enjoyed the general splendor, played on the playground, swam in the pool, watched some Skins... It was just a nice R&R weekend. Here are some pictures. I couldn't get enough of the colors!!Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I win, I win!!

Friday night I went to a party to participate in some healthy competition... It was mostly healthy because I won it all!!! I even got a $20 Target gift card out of it.

The funniest thing about it -- this was video game competition. Not only do I hate video games, but I am terrible at playing video games. I, honestly, have NO idea how I pulled it off. Not only did I beat everyone out, I seriously slaughtered them!

The game was old school - Marvel vs. Capcom.

Here's my strategy:
1. Pick Captain America & Gambit
2. Jump up and down and take two deep breaths
3. Stretch out three fingers on the right hand
4. Push buttons as fast as you can while you direct the joy stick at your opponent
5. Be literally UNBEATABLE

It was quite a work out and, surprisingly, a lot of fun (winning is SO great!!!). The boys were impressed and my fingers were sore...

(P.S. It still would have been fun if I had lost. Let this be a lesson to you.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm not even fishing

"I'm watching fishing.
I'm too lazy to fish!"

That comes from Brian Regan, who is a hilarious comedian, if you haven't heard him.

I was just thinking about how long it takes me in between blogs sometimes because I'm too lazy to blog -- I am just reading what everyone else is blogging about. Tee hee.

Some of you are quite interesting...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Me? Complain?

If you're following my ramblings you know it's been a little bit since I rambled... So I feel the need to ramble. The problem is, what I really want to ramble about it kind of an oxy-moron, or double-negative, or... anyway... I hate to complain, but I am TIRED OF COMPLAINERS!! Tee hee. It really is killing me lately. I am getting complainy about complainers, now that is a bad sign. In all seriousness, I am just surrounded by way too much complaining. Seriously folks, lets stop dwelling on the negative and PLEASE STOP COMPLAINING -- especially to or around me. Ok, now I have done my complaining and I will stop.

Positive note:
I am overjoyed lately. You might say bubbly. Sure, there is plenty that I could ... there's that word again - complain about, but I am just too happy to complain. Why, you might ask?? Ok, then I guess I'll tell you... :)

1. Holiday Weekend -- no work on Monday= BABY DAY!!! I get to go play with my niece and nephews who are the completion of my life. My bro-in-law likes to mock me and call me the nanny/maid service, but nothing makes me happier than heading "down south" to spend a day with "my babies."

2. Conference Weekend -- Last weekend was that super-charge that I long for every six months. Any of you who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know what I mean, and if you aren't you should really look it up. Conference weekend is when we, as Gods children, have the awesome opportunity to listen to prophets and apostles speak to us the words of Christ - give comfort, strength, chastising and, overall, warm fuzzies. It was a great weekend for me to get back in touch with who I know I am in the grand scheme of things as a daughter of a Father in Heaven who loves me and knows my every thought, desire, pain, sadness, weakness and every happiness. I need it every six months!! SUCH a blessing.

3. Only my right knee is swollen this week. Glorious.

4. I can walk today. Monday -Wednesday was... interesting. My back had a kink in it and I was walking like a little, old lady. I was getting mocked by the young punks in my office - whipper snappers!!

5. My oldest sister, Charlotte, reached out to me this week. I was so thrilled to hear from her -- I never hear from her!! It makes me so sad to be so distant from those I love. I feel so odd being the only one still in my SO VERY SINGLE state in my family. I feel like I'm forgotten sometimes... Its difficult feeling like the phone or email or whatever only goes one way. Sometimes I would just love it if, despite their busy, married lives, they remembered me every once in a while... *sigh* There I go complaining... Done! So, Charlotte and I texted all afternoon and it was wonderful to be remembered!!

6. My baby brother just turned 25 AND found out he's going to be a daddy again. Yay. Joy. Nothing makes a happy aunty more happy than adding another kiddo to the basket.

7. I have two living grandmothers. Both of these grandmothers have birthdays coming this week. This just reminds me how much I love and appreciate them and the precious gifts they gave. I love that saying: "All because two people fell in love." So, here's my thank you to Fancy Jayne and Mardell for giving the gift of those "two people who fell in love." I love my parents. They are the best. Thanks Marmie and Daddy.

See, life is so good. I gotta lotta love and a lotta gratitude; that's all you need to have a good life. Love much. Give all.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time to take a stand

So... yesterday... when I was TOTALLY working...

I signed up on the McCain website. My new weekend activity will include me making phone calls and knocking on doors -- "Put the country first." It's time for CJ to take a stand.

Now, I have no idea who is reading this and I have no idea your political stand, but I just want you to know who/what I am standing for.

A couple of things provoked this new drive for me, but the one that is mostly on my mind:
I have a friend who will be out of the country for 2 years and I got to thinking, "What kind of America do I want him to come home to?"

Now, if you know me even a little bit you know that I am an All-American Girl. I LOVE AMERICA. What kind of America do I want? I want the kind of America where we stand up for what we believe in. I believe in an America where all people can thrive. I believe that government belongs in Washington and out of my kitchen (even though my kitchen is pretty close...). I believe that all babies deserve to be born - no matter the form they were conceived or the form they may enter the world (be it deformed, disabled or disfigured). I believe that all CITIZENS deserve a good education and opportunities to improve their situation. I believe marriage to be defined as a relationship between a man and women - without any deviation, whatsoever. I believe, as Americans, we should never be content to take hand-outs (our welfare program is seriously messed!!) and that would should always be seeking way to give back what we have been given. I believe that we are, in deed, endowed with certain inalienable rights. I believe God has truly blessed - and continues to bless - America. We as American citizens owe it to one another to stand up for what we believe is right. Whether you agree with me on all, some or none of my beliefs you have a right and a duty to find out who is your best candidate is, what you believe in and then fight the good fight.

Let's "get out the vote."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Too old for this!?

Am I too old to be playing soccer for and hour and a half (non-stop) and then playing basketball directly following that?!

I hope not. But I always seem to get so tired, so sweaty (SO gross!!) and eventually I always end up hurt.

Tonight I took some sweet toe stomps, a hard ball to the face, another hard ball to my bottom, jammed a finger and then rolled my ankle. It was a good night of sports - and sports injuries. I am such a mess, and a night like tonight proves it.

BUT, thanks to good ol' Aleve (or should I take Tylenol pm??? Hmmm...), I will sleep just fine tonight. Seriously, I can't complain. After all, I have two legs - that mostly work and mostly get me where I need to go. I have two feet. Ten toes - that are mostly in tact, except for the big toe nails, which I will be losing very soon (they are seriously SO ugly - see photos - that is NOT nail polish!!).

I can afford good pairs of shoes that absorb most of the weight I've gained -- oops! ;) And I have two knees that have not exploded on me yet. Not to mention, my hips that seem to work fine and my spine that is actually in line every once in a while due to a wonderful chiropractor.

No complaining here. Like I said earlier, if I didn't feel the pain I wouldn't think I was alive. Now if only I could stop being so clutsy... It's really so ridiculous sometimes - especially when I am trying to rush up the stairs and find myself falling UP the stairs, only to find that a perfect (very good looking) stranger is standing at the top... Oh the stories I could tell. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So anyone who knows me knows that I am not all that fond of girls and girly-girl things -- YES, I have my girly faults, but I just can't help that I love P&P... Mr. Darcy... ahhhh... and I certainly can't help that I look great in pink!

Anyway, so tonight I sat in a basement with roughly twenty girls watching clips from all the greatest chick flicks (most that I actually approve of - weird). It was a bit surreal, if not overwhelming, to be completely surrounded by all these fabulous women, watching clips from Emma, Bride & Prejudice, 13 Going On Thirty, Never Been Kissed, Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Wedding Singer, and others. Oddly, I enjoyed the company. ;) I had a good time. That's not to say that I wasn't 100% ready to leave when it was all said and done - I mean, come on, I can only handle so many screen kisses, so many giggles and so much sing-along with the movie time. Girls.

Here's what I learned -- Love sucks! Kidding. Ha ha.
(It does, but I learned that LONG ago.) tee hee

Really, did I learn anything?? Hmmm...
I'm just happy that I went. In all seriousness, I am consistently surrounded by stellar women. I just hope that maybe one day I will grow up and be one of them. I love being a girl. I am content with who I am. I just want to make a difference for someone someday. I see these girls who are so tough, so beautiful, so accomplished. It makes me wonder why I haven't accomplished much in my *almost* twenty-seven years! What have I been doing with my life?!\ My 10-year reunion is coming up in the spring... I always thought I'd have done something of importance by now. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm a failure, I'm just reflecting... to the general public... Probably not the best place for it.

I heard something tonight that makes me think: I know I have received answers to my prayers, but have I ever been the answer to the prayers of someone else?! I hope that I can do that. I hope that the Lord can utilize my gifts (the gifts He has given me) in order to serve others; in order to make a difference.

A toast with lime & water:

"Here's to making a difference!"

Cheers friends! I love you!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it me, or everyone else?!

I prefer to think that I am perfectly normal - with my flat feet and my "one leg longer than the other."

Who said we were supposed to be all symmetric and stuff? Whatever.

In any case, I've decided to conform -- so not like me, I know. BUT "they" (whoever "they" really are) say that by conforming I'll be happier; I'll sleep better and I'll be in less pain. Less pain! Hah! I'll believe that when I feel it. What does that mean anyhow?? I don't know what it means to be in less pain. I don't think that I would feel like I was still alive. If I felt less pain I might think I'd died and gone to heaven... here's hopin'! :)

** Forgot to mention what this whole conformity entails -- I've purchased myself a pair of "Foot Levelers." These are apparently magical devices originally devised by the catholic church as a form of torture during the Spanish Inquisition. The accused were supposedly brought to their knees in humility after being forced to wear the levelers for more than one hour per day. While torturing, they discovered the magical ability to make people walk straight and soon felt that it would be a good illustration for "walking in the straight and narrow way." I'm on the path folks. I'm on my way!** (But I'm still planning on driving the bus - don't you start worrying about that!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Macaroni & Cheese

Yes, yes, that is actually the title of this posting and that really is what I'm going to write about.
Yummy. Doesn't that make you hungry?!

I, myself, happen to be a Mac 'n' Cheese connoisseur. It just might be the best thing in the world. What makes this delicious treat so delectable to me?! Who really knows, but let me go back to my history of the cheesiest mac on the block...

Let's go back to my fond memories of elementary/middle school when my diet mostly consisted of cold cereal and ice cream with candies mixed in. I'm sure there was the occasional piece of chicken, absolutely some Domino's pizza and, for sure, mashed potatoes (definitely boiled potatoes - but only when my sister made me sit at the table until I finished mine...). But I can remember quite fondly and clearly the day I started liking those scrumptious cheesy noodles. I had always thought it to be so bland and... tasting like a box. Never, for some odd reason never understood by man, had I tried my mothers HOMEMADE tasty creaminess. But one day she drove me to a nearby gas station on a break from soccer practice, I was in major need of pasta, but all they had was this ooey, gooey pasta-like cheesy concoction. Mom said is was "so good," so, for most likely the first time in my life (quite sadly), I listened to my mother, took her advice and allowed her to purchase this suspicious bowl of gooky pasta. She shook some salt and peppa on top and I started, reluctantly, digging in.

My taste buds went W I L D! I couldn't believe the joy that my mouth had found. I was converted.

But this also turned me into a cheesy mac snob. The blue box, you say?! Oh no!! Couldn't be. Must be shredded, creamed to perfection cheese poured into pasta that had never been next to a packet of powdered cheese. It wasn't until college that I had to stoop to the level of eating such tasteless tasty treats. But then a marvelous roommate taught me a trick -- add shredded cheese to the powdered concoction and you can have your ooey, gooey scrumdidillyumtiousness (yes, my friends, it is a word) -- please DO NOT forget the salt and pepper. :)

Then... I had a marvelous roommate who would cook up the cheesiest mac and cheese with me at least once a week - with pigs and a blanket and green beans, of course! And my dear brother-in-law went on a quest a year ago for the perfect mac and cheese. Amazing the things you'll find. And then I worked with a lot of people who understand the necessity for mac and cheese at EVERY meal -- MY kind of people. Now, you've seen how this has evolved... But, I must report a new development in the cheesiest story... maybe EVER...

Last week I officially ate mac and cheese for FOUR dinners in a row - and only TWO of them consisted of warm mac and cheese, but 3 included the wienies!! I love mac and cheese and wienies!! Yummy in my tummy! The final go round had little crunchies on top -- love the crunchies too.

Moral of the story: I love the pasta with the cheese. Love it! Blue box or no blue box. Hot or cold. As long as it is pasta with cheese, with not too many onions, I love it. Ode to the mac and cheese. Now I need to write a poem -- or just get some sleep; it's a toss-up!

(If you enjoyed this story, you can thank Bekah who inspired this!!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free

No words required, just watch:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Looking Back

On all the news stations they were asking if you can remember where you were 7 years ago today. Do you know?! I certainly do. Not only could I never forget where, but I can never forget with whom. The person I see each time I think of this day is no longer on this earth, so it makes it especially poignant. 
I was driving into work this morning and when I drive into my office in DC I pass by the Pentagon. I could not help but get chocked up and weepy when I saw the flags at half mast. I just couldn't stop the tears from flowing as I continued into work. 
All day I have been watching/listening to reports on all the different memorial services. It reminds me of what I did on this day 7 years ago. I was weepy, sobby and I couldn't listen to or watch enough of what was going on. I just didn't know what else I could do; I guess I still don't.
I just hope that in some way that the way I live my life honors those who lost theirs.
"Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God to Thee"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

There is a reason for everything

Just wanted to throw that out there.

I firmly believe it. I do.

Monday, September 8, 2008

That's What Love Is

To add to my late-night post, I wanted to put my FAVORITE song on here. The lyrics are amazing and it is sung by my favorite singer - David Phelps. Check him out, he's unbelievably talented.

It's the only thing worth life and death.
It's the first moment and the final breath.
It's a broken heart keeping a solemn vow
And a lost soul being found.
You pray for faith when it's hard to believe.
You choose to stay when it's easy to leave
And when hope is gone you're the one who keeps holding on.

That's what love is
When you give until there's nothing left
And it makes you give your very best.
That's what love is.
It can make you laugh and make you cry.
It can let you down and lift you up so high.
When you find the only reason left to live
That's what love is.

It's the dream you give up for someone else.
It's being strong when you're weak yourself.
Though it tears you up you trust again.
Hatred loses and forgiveness wins.
You turn your cheek when you want to fight.
Sell all you have and lay down your life 
And when hope is gone you're the one who keeps holding on.

It's reaching out and holding on so someone else will know.
Love is in the not letting go.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Power of Anne Frank (a.k.a. The Power of Love)

Alright, so Anne Frank got me thinking...

Let me back up: This weekend I watch the newest version (go Disney!) of the Diary of Anne Frank. I had two thoughts while watching it:
  1. I always forget how sad this story is... she is just one of MILLIONS of Jews who lost their lives; her family is just one of thousands that was destroyed and torn apart... This was a BIG deal -- it still is a big deal!
  2. Children to should how to speak to adults. (This one I may address later.)
But then, as my mind works, on my drive home from a visit with the kiddos, I thought about the amazing power of love. Think on this: stories upon stories unfold every day on how love can sustain lives. I honestly and truly think it is a divine gift; the ability to love and the ability to be loved. I started to get weepy as I sat in my car alone, just thinking about all those that I have loved in my lifetime. I cannot count the number of people who, at different times in my life, I have been unable to live without. One whom I thought I could never live without is my grandpa, or Pa, as I called him. When I found out he was most likely going to die of cancer my heart fell out of its place. When he finally was released from his pains and his burdens, I was numb. BUT, as time would have it, my heart is filled by his presence, by his memory and by my longing to be with him again someday -- I have no doubt it will be.

Now, as I was all weepy, I got to thinking about the ones I couldn't live without in this very moment:
Mom & Dad; Charlotte & Ryan; Valorie, DJ & Ammon; Amber, Mikey, Samantha, Houston & Caleb; Boi, Elizabeth & Cooper; LoLo; Lani; Amy; BooBoo; Roonnate. 

These are my life and deaths. *These are those who would make my heart fall if I found out something was going to happen or something had happened -- I  feel as though I would be pretty near death, as Anne when she felt she had lost everyone she loved. But I find a lot of... ah, what's the word??... I find myself recognizing that I could make it, because unless the Bubonic Plague comes or everyone decides to come visit me all at the same time and jump on a plane destined for the mountain sides (doom, big boom!), chances are I'd find someone who could help me make it through; help me find the strength to move on and live - live until I was able to be with them again.

LESSON LEARNED: Please schedule a visit so you're not all on the same plane. Thank you!

*Don't feel left out if you're not on the list. I'm sorry, these are just the names that flashed through my brain at the time. There are MANY, MANY friends whom I would certainly weep over if I lost them -- you are one of them, I am sure!!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's Official

I guess I am now a real blogger. Do bloggers sit around and worry about their blog?! Maybe blogging is a bad idea for someone with OCD like I have... I feel compelled to write. I feel like I must always have something to say (which, quite frankly, I always do). :)

I've been with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and two nephews since yesterday evening. I love this place. It's like a home away from home... well, sort of. It's like having a roommate times 5. I'm doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning up after I just finished cleaning up... It's non-stop. But I must say, this is a lot more... fulfilling... then cleaning up and taking care of roommates. Dear, dear roommates.

Doesn't matter how much I love and appreciate them (which, by the way, I totally do!), I always love and appreciate my own space a little more. Speaking of space, so you have GOT to see my new room. I proudly call it CJ's Love Suite; that's because it's totally sweet. (I should post some pictures...) It's huge! And it's mine. My own. I have a ginormous closet, an over-sized bathroom (with two sinks - one for washing my face and hands, the other for brushing my teeth -- you see the OCD?!) AND a love seat. Glorious. And there's room to spare; plenty of room for yoga - I tried that one out the first night!!

So, maybe you can tell that I am a little happy about it. I plan to have a little "pool" party in my room soon - yes! there is a jacuzzi tub!! Come on over for your own private tour, chill with me and watch a flik, take a nice bath, or just lounge in my oh-so-spacious closet. Heaven - or pretty close to it. If it were actually heaven, there would be...

Oh, we'll save that for another time... When I can be sure who's reading this. :) Okay, back to the laundry (kidding, I've already done all that)... I love this place!! (No, seriously, I do! I've got pictures to prove it... Well, at least I would if my camera hadn't died...)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Top this!

So... I may or may not have schooled all the boys that I work with... tee hee. It was grand! My boss has this motto "work hard, play hard." Everyone works hard, so we plan a "play hard" activity once a month or so. This month I planned an outing to Dave & Buster's. Oh! Eat your heart out!! We broke up into four teams of three and had ourselves a nice little competition. Oh, if LoLo, MarMar and Jake could only see me now... I kicked MAJOR trash shooting hoops, and of course, on skee ball. There was just no competition. I may or may not have scored a 32 on the hoops, with the closest behind that being 22... Oh, I love it when a plan comes together. The guys were all giving me such crap about how they were bringing their "A" game and I better be on top of mine. Geez. I love healthy competition -- especially when I win!! :)

Then to top it off, I not only got free food afterwards, but then I got to go play soccer with my team in Chantilly and bball with the girls in Springfield.

Oh this tough life I lead. Don't hate.

Don't make me regret it

I hope they chose wisely:

I just don't want to be disappointed. I loved the books and I fear I will hate the movie. I don't like her... I'm not a fan of him... Could they have chosen better? Can't we just make the one with Jacob in it already?! Tee hee. Jacob...  MOST importantly, is this going to feel like it did when I read the books?? 

What a nerd. Who cares? Just watch the movie CJ! Boo.

OH wait, and while we're on that topic... was anyone else a little disappointed by Breaking Dawn?! Geez, it took me long enough to read it, I was hoping for... oh I guess I won't say it, just in case you haven't read it. I AM NOT A SPOILER... Renesmee.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The pain, the pain...

So I've discovered something new about pain: It's real.

How have I discovered this?? You'd think my lifetime of injury after really cool injury would have taught me about pain -- scrubbing a burn with a metal brush, for instance; rubbing really hard on a really disgusting (but really cool) bruise; cleaning fun stuff out of a road burn; migraine after stinkin' migraine... Enough examples?! (Yeah, well you didn't have to deal with them!)

I've discovered a new pain. It's a brain pain. That's the only way I can describe it. It's having a trillion thoughts come into my head and about say, 2 come out. Pain. Agonizing pain. Am I too young for this?! Am I too young to be losing my mind, my thoughts, my... ah, whatever it is?! I can't even remember if I'm supposed to remember remembering...

Now there's a thought for you. Not that I have made any sense at all. See, the brain pain. Give me a break, it's 11:00 and I am beyond tired.

(Thanks Love Face for letting me stay the night. You're the best.) XOXO

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If you really must know

Alright, alright. Everyone wants to know why I decided to blog. Must I really have a reason?! What if it's just something I felt like doing?? Believe me, I am pretty arbitrary like that; I don't need a reason to do anything. So truth be told, I just felt like it. Period.

So here I am... blogging... The real question is: Why are you reading this??
I have a couple solutions:
1. You are way beyond bored.
2. You figure that if you read this you will never actually have to hear my voice again -- and that's a very good thing.
3. You just can't stand what ever distance is between us and feel that this will help us to find that "lovin' feeling, woah, that lovin' feelin..."
4. You just can't get enough of my endless stories and all the ridiculous situations I continually find myself in.

Simply put, whichever it is, I hope this solves your problem. It just may solve mine... Oh wait, that's an entirely different blog for an entirely different lifetime (because it would take about a lifetime to describe and another lifetime - or two - to figure out). As it is, I should have been in bed approximately 54 minutes ago. So much for New Years Resolutions that I make on the 1st of September. I'm  a mess, I tell you.

I really could go on...  
(Oh, and i just can't get enough of... so if you have a problem with... you might not want to return to this blog... or maybe...)
...       ...       ...      ...

Here I am

Everyone else is blogging, so why can't I?!

I guess I should actually come up with something to say... 
You'd think that someone who never shuts up or always has a story to tell would have something to write on a blog.

I'll work on that and get back to you. I'll try to be witty and charming and as un-boring as possible.