Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I don't want to feel frumpy at church anymore...

I started volunteering at my church last Sunday. I am officially a member of the First Impressions team for the 12:30 service. The purpose of this team is to give our first time guests a WOW experience when they visit. Within this team there are many different roles. There are the parking attendants who are responsible for directing traffic and making sure our first time guests get rock-star parking. There are the greeters who hand out the programs, make sure everyone gets a pen to take notes during the service, and will even come out with an umbrella if they see you walking in the rain. There are the ushers who make sure you get a good seat. There are the coffee bar attendants who brew up fresh free coffee every Sunday. There are the information table attendants who are there to answer all your questions.

And then there is my team at the First Time Guests tent. We have a tent set up outside of each service to greet first time guests. We get them to fill out an information card, give them a gift bag which includes a nice travel coffee mug, a book, a brochure about the church, and some mints. We then walk them over to the Kids Life building and get them set up there if they have kids or we walk them inside, show them where the bathrooms and the coffee bar are, and answer any questions they may have. We are there to get to know a little about them as well as make them feel more than welcome at our church.

Also since I am serving the last service, it is our responsibility to make up 70-100 gift bags for the next Sunday (although this week we were making gift bags as we went because we had over 300 first time guests!) We also have to put everything away at the end of the service. Carry all the tables inside, take down the big sign and put it inside, carry all the supplies inside, and break down the tent and carry it inside. It was a lot of work and we weren’t done until 2:30.

While I am not excited about having my 4 hours of my Sundays from now until January taken up, (I need to get to the service I attend by 10:30 to get a seat judging from last Sunday and I guess I won’t be leaving until 2:30 with my new volunteering role), I am excited about becoming more a part of the church. It is a big church and sometimes it is hard to feel connected to it, but already just in one Sunday of serving I feel more connected. I feel like what I am doing is important and I am looking forward to getting to know more first time guests as well as other volunteers.

However, I need some new church clothes. This Sunday I wore my normal attire of jeans and a somewhat nice shirt which I never feel uncomfortable in when attending the service (we are a very contemporary kind of church!). But in the First Time guest tent I felt self-conscious. As I looked around there were so many girls in cute sundresses or cute capris and stylish shirts and I just felt like I wasn’t putting my best face forward for our first time guests. Sure there were other people in jeans and even shorts and t-shirts, but they didn’t stand out. They didn’t give people a WOW impression. I just thought to myself “I could be cuter. I could be more stylish.” I felt frumpy and unattractive.

So even though I am broke as a joke, I got some new dresses on sale from J Crew. What do you think?

I got this dress in an mango (orange) color

What do you wear to church?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Giving Without Expectation

This weekend something happened to me that got me started thinking about gifts. I looked up the definition of gift:

Something voluntarily transferred from one person to another without compensation

You see a gift should come from your heart and it should not hold any expectations to it. Nor should it be given because of something someone has done for you. A true gift is not tied to anything. You just give because you want to.

Most of the things we think of today as gifts really aren’t true gifts. You get invited to a wedding or a shower of some sort and you bring a gift because it is expected. It could even be seen as bringing a gift in exchange for food or snacks served at the event. You get invited to a dinner party and you bring a bottle of wine in exchange for the food they cooked for you. You send someone a Christmas gift because they got one for you. You get your boyfriend a really expensive watch for Valentine’s Day because you are expecting an extravagant gift from him. You donate to the “building fund” at church because you are tired of being cramped in to a warehouse with 1000 other people every Sunday.

Now I am not saying these things are wrong or bad. Just the opposite, they are good because when someone does something nice for you or you want the thing you are a part of to be better or you appreciate being included in someone’s big event, then by all means you should give something to acknowledge that. I am just saying that maybe we have started to lose the true meaning of the word gift and confusing our “giving” with counterbalancing or a form of compensation.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

I think true joy from giving and the receiving of gifts can only come when there are no expectations on the part of the giver or the recipient. And people shouldn’t give because they feel under compulsion to give. That defeats the purpose. It will just bring guilt and resentment on both parties. The giver gives under compulsion and reluctantly and the receiver might not appreciate it as much because that was the expectation they had anyway.

I have been on both sides of this. I have given reluctantly and then complained for years sometimes about all the gifts I bought for so-and-so for her engagement/bachelorette/wedding/baby showers and now she is too busy to even talk to me…do you think she’ll come to my wedding? Do you think I’ll ever get one gift out of her? I have thought before how I got so-and-so a birthday gift but when my birthday rolls around I don’t get anything from them. I have been unappreciative of gifts guys have given me because I was expecting more. (The one I will never forget was a chocolate fish that said “You’re a Keeper” when I was expecting so much more. It was NOT a happy Valentine’s day)

I don’t like feeling like this. I want to bring back true giving without expectations. It isn’t easy because you have to forget about “the rules”. You have to get creative and do things that are unexpected. I have to change my heart to one of a giving and receiving spirit in all areas of my life. I don’t want someone to give me a gift out of obligation or expectations and then feel resentful about it, thus making me feel horrible about it. I don’t want to give a gift to someone expecting something from them and then be disappointed when I don’t get it.

So to start with I am officially letting go of all the resentment I have been carrying around about wedding and baby gifts. And in the future I am only going to give if I really want to. I will turn down those invitations where I know I am just another “gift” to them. I am also going to try to let go of all expectations for birthdays, Christmas, and any other national holiday that has been turned into nothing but consumerism.

This whole thing has been really hard to wrap my head around, but it seemed to be coming up more and more over the years, so these are just my preliminary thoughts on it. All I know is something has to change. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Giveaway You Should Check Out...

Over at Simple Pleasures there is a giveaway. I usually don’t enter giveaways because I think I may have won like one in my lifetime so what’s the point? (I know, I know…you can’t win if you don’t play right?) Anyway I had to enter this giveaway because the item you can win is just so cute!

It is a personalized stamper!

Go check out all your options here.

I thought long and hard about bout which one I wanted and what I would do with it. It was so hard to choose because I just love them all.

If I lived in my fantasy world where I was smoking hot and had all the confidence in the world I would get the ACS Round stamper but put "SUZ" in the middle and my phone number, email address, and the words "You're Hot" around the outside. I would then use this to stamp the hands or random belongings of any hot guys I encounter.

But since I live in the real world, I would probably pick the flip flop one or single monogramed one. This might inspire me to write all those little notes and thank you cards I always think about sending. And I could use it to stamp my books so people won't steal them!

Here are the rules, but I don't want anyone else to enter because I want to win. Can you go vote for me? :)

Any ONE stamper, your choice, from the "everyday" selection on Laurie's Lagniappe website.

The Giveaway will happen on Aug 31st!!! you have 2 weeks to enter and spread the word.

To register follow these rules:
1.)You must leave a comment by Aug 30th on her blog: What you would use your stamper for (answer: name goes in 2 x's)
2.)Post about the give away on your blog. (posting:name goes in 1x)
3.)Follow Simple Pleasures. ( following:name goes in 1 x)
She will pick the winner on Aug 31st . She will immediately notify the winner via her blog and I will leave a comment on their blog. The winner will have until Sept 3rd to reply. If no reply by Sept 3rd, She will draw another name, etc...

Just kidding…of course you can enter and even if you don’t enter, you should become a follower because she’s great! But if you don't want it, go vote for me to win it! ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ten Things Tuesday

I just don't know what to write lately...I can't formulate a whole post. Mainly because I don't want to jinx anything good that is going on in my life and well, I think I am going through a lazy spell. So here's ten random thoughts/things:

1. I got some great things for my birthday: a monogrammed towel, a haircut, a Vera Bradley cosmetic case, nail polish, a ticket to the Bulls game, and dinner at the Melting Pot...YUM!

2. I listened to the podcast of last week's sermon at church (because I was too lazy to go) and there was a was about how your words can affect others and the litmus test for if something would be considered gossip is if it is something bad about another person, yet you don't feel bad telling it (or worse yet, get enjoyment out of it).

3. I am poor. It's like the scary kind of poor. But I am just crossing my fingers I can make it.

4. I need to lose weight ASAP because I have all these clothes in my closet that I just can't wear and buying new clothes is just not an option.

5. I had a lazy weekend and watched 17 Again and I Love You Man and they were fabulous!

6. I want Santa to bring me a maid for Christmas this year.

7. I can't remember the last time I was drunk.

8. I have 2 half-brothers and one of them has 3 girls all around my age. I haven't seen and talked to them in like 10 years and two of them found me on Facebook last week. One lives in Raleigh and I am so happy to re-connect with them, but a little nervous to talk to them because it has been so long!

9. I need to mark something off my list. It is stressing me out. But it seems like everything costs $$$$!

10. I hope all of you have a FABULOUS week!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

You probably didn't find what you were looking for...

One of my favorite things about Google Analytics is seeing the words people type in Google that make them end up on my blog. Here are some that made me chuckle:

Bird calorie burned
Feelings are not supposed to be logical
I am not likeable
Obsessed with target bathing suits
Cheesy group dance songs
Sweet bailey suck
30 things a woman shouldn’t do before 30
7 things that make me awesome
Alcohol oh alcohol, you make me want to love you
Best sex commodities
Boyfriend is sharing a room with a girl on a trip
Cafeteria lady is rude, what to do?
Can a person be too logical for feelings?
Crater forming on my chin
Don’t talk about my momma t shirts
Funny odes to alcohol
Witty response to being ignored by girl
Win your wife back ideas
Why is my boyfriend on
What to do if one of my birds gets burned
What car gives you 10 cup holders?
Top listsex
Three ways to bring little children to jesus
There is little known about jesus before he was 30 years old
The new testament of funk
The bible says I’m awesome
Sex things to try before 30
Real couple kissing during swim
My zeta mom loves me t-shirt talking to multiple girls
Marry a mechanic
Little children’s boobs
List of beer and where they are from
Life plan to marry at 25 and babies at 28
Kiss? Sure!  =]]]]]] loser phase!
Karaoke doggy discovery kids
Icing huge zits
I’m one of a kind I ain’t easy to find
I wish I were 30
I don’t know what to do with my money
How to keep zits away from kids

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! It was a good day. 29 does sound so old...I mean it might as well be 30 right? But it was still a good day and my life is pretty fabulous even without the husband and 2.5 kids!

I'd also like to thank Themis0307 for giving me a blog award! I love this chick! She is so a long lost friend! She has a great blog and it is so cute so go check it out!

Now I have to list 5 things I am addicted to:

1. Vacations/Get-a-ways: I love getting out of town...especially somewhere sunny! Have vacations or mini-get-a-ways planned gives me something to look forward to. I love to travel. I love to be with my friends and have new adventures and experiences. I just love it.

2. Diet Mnt. Dew: Almost every morning I have a Diet Mnt. Dew. A few years ago I could not stand diet drinks, but I forced myself to aquire a taste for them since regular soda can add so many empty calories. Now I have gotten in to such a habit of having a Diet Mnt. Dew every morning that I feel lost without it.

3. DVR: I've told you this a million times. I don't know what my life would be like without DVR. It is the best invention ever!

4. Flip-flops: 95% of the time you can find me in flip flops. I can even wear them to my new job. I freaking love flip flops.

5. Books: I love reading. I love bookstores. I love flipping the pages and the feel of the book in my hands. I love escaping in to another world. I love seeing all the books lined up on my bookshelves. I love super cute covers that make me want to read the story. I love books.

I am passing this award to all my readers who blog. Because I freaking love you ALL!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Running out of time

Tomorrow will be my last birthday in my twenties. Oh my gosh I am so old!

When I was in high school and would try to envision what my life would be like at 30. I thought I would be married with at least one kid. I thought I would be a grown up. Instead I am single and somewhat responsible, but by no means do I feel like a grown up. I’m not married and have no prospect of getting married within the next year. And if I got pregnant and had a baby next year I don’t think it would be a joyous thing that I had planned out.

Even when I was 25, 26 or even 27, I thought I would be settled down by 30. But now I have given up hope on that (almost, unless a miracle happens and I fall head over heels and elope with someone after only a few months of knowing them.) I don’t know why this marriage thing is such a big deal. I just feel like my life is kind of on hold until that happens. I want to build a life with someone. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? First comes love, then comes marriage, and all that crap? But what do you do before that? After you have finished school and started a career, but before you are married and having babies. What do you do during that in-between time?

Right now, I just feel like I am just passing my time. That is kind of what the 30 before 30 list is. Sure it is a list of things I want to do, things I think that will make me better in some way, or would be a good experience to have, but most of them are just things to occupy my time until my life really begins. I know intellectually I shouldn’t view things this way, but I do dang it. I hate it. I am a very independent person and I don’t like feeling like my life is dependant on finding a husband. But it seriously stresses me out sometimes.

It wouldn’t stress me out so much if I didn’t have constant reminders that everyone else’s life seems to be chugging along just fine while mine is stalled out. The constant reminder is showers. For the last 8 years or so, my life has seemed like a never-ending revolving door of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and baby showers. I am still happy for my friends, but when you are printing out the 500th registry and spending $40 on a gift for someone else instead of a much needed pedicure for yourself, you start to resent it a little. I want a shower dang it. I want to take a little zapper gun and make a list of everything I want at Target and have someone else buy it for me. The last time I got more than one present in a day from people who weren’t related to me, was probably my 10th birthday or something. Back when birthdays were fun and you had hello kitty plates and gift bags.

I’m jealous. I’m bitter. I’m tired of waiting. I’m mourning the loss of a dream. The closer to 30 I get, the more I find myself turning into the kind of girl I never wanted to be. Ugh, getting older sucks. Any tips on how to get out of this funk?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eye Candy

I have a crush. I think this man is so freaking hot, he makes me teeth sweat. I don’t know him personally but in my head he is funny, charming, sweet, decisive, strong, and basically everything I ever wanted in a guy. And did I mention he is so physically attractive I want to lick him? All day…everyday. So bad…so so bad I know, but it is just my instinct when I see him with his shirt off. With his shirt on, it makes me want to cuddle up in the crook of his neck or spoon all day long.

Too bad he is already married. But here’s some eye candy for my your daydreaming pleasure…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I wish I was at the beach!

I went to the beach this weekend and it was fabulous. I wish I could’ve stayed the whole week. Atlantic Beach is just so quaint and relaxing. It doesn’t have as many restaurants or things to do as Myrtle Beach, but I think that is part of it’s charm. I have the condo all week, and if I wouldn’t have just started a new job, that is where I would be right now. I am going to go back down Friday as soon as I can get off work. The only bad part is we have to check out at 10 am Saturday morning. I would have loved to have a whole weekend there again, but I guess I will take what I can get.

Here are some highlights from this weekend:

- We tried a new restaurant right on the beach that was really cute called The Crab’s Claw. The chairs were like mini lifeguard stands and the view was great. We wanted to try their seafood steam pots, but the waiter talked us in to this tuna puff pastry thing. It was well, different. I didn’t think it was THAT bad, but for $25 I was expecting more. Steph thought it was downright nasty. We should’ve went to Clawson’s for the shrimp and grits because that stuff is straight up heaven!

- While we were eating we saw some Baywatch stuff go down. The EMTs came up, sirens blaring, and the guys came out running. People were waving their arms to direct them. They had about 100 lbs. more on them than Pamela Anderson, so they didn’t make it too far before they had to slow down to a brisk walk. Apparently a girl got caught in a rip tide, but some guys had already pulled her out by the time the EMTs got there. They even had a red truck pulling a jet ski come up, but the girl was fine. All the drama was quite entertaining to watch.

- We saw Harry Potter Sat. night. It wasn’t my favorite movie in the series, but I’m still glad I got to finally see it.

- We had the best New Orleans Eggs Benedict (had crabmeat instead of the ham) on Sunday for brunch. It was raining that morning, so we couldn’t go straight out to the beach as planned, but brunch was so so worth it. It cleared up some and we spent about 3 hours or so on the beach. It was still windy and overcast and not at all hot, so I didn’t think to put on sunscreen. Yeah, I am burnt crispy and it hurts.

- It started to look really overcast like it might rain towards the end of the afternoon, so we packed up our stuff and headed to the pool so we would be closer if the skys decided to open up. We had only been there about 30 minutes when the lifeguards cleared everyone out of the pool. Turns out someone had POOPED in the pool! It was entertaining to watch these three teenage girl lifeguards try to figure out what to do. I think they finally got the poop out of the pool, but they closed down the pool because they were too lazy to sit around and wait for someone to come chemically clean it, so we had to leave. I’m so glad I didn’t get in that water though!

That’s it for last weekend. I kind of want to try to mark something off my list when I go down next weekend because I haven’t made any progress on it in months and next week I turn 29 and will only have a year left! It’s starting to freak me out.

I’m thinking maybe “catch a fish”? or “kayak”? But really it would be nice just to lay on the beach and read my book! We shall see.