Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Black Swan

Last week I went to see Black Swan.  For some reason I was dying to see this movie.  I heard it got great reviews and who doesn't love a movie about crazy, messed up ballerinas? 

I went through so many emotions watching this movie. 

Enter the theater- Excited and anxious to see what all the fuss is about.  Also starving because I skipped lunch that day.

About 2 minutes in- Ok this might be a little weird

About 10 minutes in- Oooohhh I love her scarf! But why is the camera always so close to the back of her head and so shaky?

About 15 minutes in- Ouch...oohhh stop doing that!  it makes me hurt just watching.

About 20 minutes in- Ok, she is so freaking skinny he is like feeling up her ribcage.

About 25 minutes in?- WTF!  I cannot believe I am watching people really do that?!  Wow, I bet dudes would like this movie better than I would.

The next hour- This chick is crazy!  What the heck am I watching?

The last 20 minutes- Elated...disturbed....confused....elated....proud....sad....I don't even know what just happened.

This movie was weird.  I felt like I had just had a fabulous nightmare.  I was dancing out of the theater kind of wishing I was a ballerina and could fly, skate, and twirl across the stage in beautiful make-up and costumes but at the same time thankful I never got too into dance because I didn't want to be a psychotic anorexic chick. Seriously the last 20 minutes or so I felt the emotions she was going through and it was a whirlwind.  But I was slightly disturbed that there are people that crazy out there to think this stuff up.

You could take your boyfriend to this movie and he would probably like it because of the girl-on-girl and girl-on-herself scenes and the gruesome horror undertones.  I wasn't a big fan of those parts, but I guess you have to appeal to dudes somehow when dealing with a ballerina movie.

I want to see it again just because I want to tie back in things throughout the movie now that I know what it is about and the ending.

I don't know how Natalie Portman didn't lose her mind just playing that role and she definitely deserves a Best Actress award for this movie.

Did you see it yet?  What did you think?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Thank you all for your kind comments on Bailey's return!!  This week we've been trying to play catch up to Christmas.  Everything was on hold during the Great Kitty Search.  But we've accomplished a lot this week.

We took a gift basket and angel ornament to the neighbor that found Bailey.

We finally put up the Christmas tree.

And even Cam has been thoroughly enjoying having Bailey home.

Losing Bailey was one of the worst things, and I never knew how many people go through having a pet go missing.  My Christmas wish is that those who have a missing pet will find them.  On one of the forums I came across during The Great Kitty Search, a fellow poster, Hannah, wrote a beautiful poem for all the missing kitties out there:

I hope that all the missing cats
Come back home today
My greatest hope is that our furry friends
Shall never go astray

I hope when they see that enticing crack
By a door that's left ajar
They wander back to their favorite spot
And think of it no more

I hope there is no reason
For an unexpected thrash against the screen
That breaks them loose from hearth and home
To make us wonder where they've been

If you let them love the outdoors
I hope they stick close to home
That nothing will ever spook them into going
Where they would never think to roam

I hope there is no open vehicle
That invites a cozy nap
That ends up with your best friend
Miles away from you on the map

I hope that if any of the above
Should eventually happen to you
That others will understand your plight
And support you all the way through

Lastly I hope, that any cat
That finds themselves displaced
Runs into a kind and loving soul
Who will see the specialness of their face

Someone who may understand
How far this baby might have roamed
Someone who will help you
By helping your baby get back home

So on behalf of all the missing pets and pet owners out there, please pay attention if a missing pet poster goes up in your neighborhood.  Keep a watchful eye out or place out a bowl of food.  I only found Bailey because of a wonderful neighbor that didn't turn a blind eye to my flyer.  I am so grateful for her!

It's such a wonderful gift this Christmas to have him home and puts all that much more JOY into celebrating the best gift ever given- our savior Jesus Christ!  Happy Birthday baby Jesus!!

 I just ordered this cute yard sign on sale from DaySpring!

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

I have WONDERFUL NEWS! Bailey is home!!  Praise the Lord!!

Friday I was really starting to get down about it and losing hope after my third visit to the animal shelter turned up nothing and not one sighting of him in 2 weeks.

But Saturday I got a call from a woman in the neighborhood behind mine saying she thought my cat might be under her deck. She saw him on the deck eating the food she had left out for him earlier and he was grey with a white patch, but he got spooked and ran under her deck. She wasn't sure how we were going to get him out, but I told her I would be there in 5 minutes.

I took his treats, some tuna, and his cat carrier.  The house wasn't too far from mine- just one street over behind my house and at the end of a cul-de-sac.  I had put up flyers on their mailboxes so that is how she knew to call.  I walked around back and she told me the approximate location under the deck.  The opening to get under there was no more that 6-8" tall and it was so dark under there. All I could see was his eyes! I didn't even know if this was my cat but it was the first real lead so I was going to get that cat out no matter what! I tried treats. I tried tuna. I tried talking to him and he would not budge or make a sound. He could escape from either side and it was hard to watch both sides. You literally had to lie flat on the ground to see what was going on down there.

After about an hour I went and got the cat trap. We set that up on the side he was most likely to go for with some tuna. I tried to block the other side with his cat carrier, my jacket, and a flower box. I asked the neighbor if it was ok if I just sat out there for a while. (She had 2 dogs that were going nuts when she wasn't inside with them and a cat that was very interested in the tuna). I sat on the deck very quietly trying to figure out what I could do. All of a sudden the cat pops his face up and stares at me for a minute (it looked like bailey!) But then he ran right back under the deck. Nothing I tried worked and I was freaking out. I called animal control and they were going to send someone to help. I was kind of losing it by this point though so I called a friend to see if she could come and if nothing else be there for moral support.

I laid on the opposite end as the trap to watch and make sure he didn't bolt before someone else got there. It had been 3 cold dirty hours by this point. I just watched him and all of a sudden he started slowly walking towards me. I backed up far enough that he could get out from under the deck and slowly reached my hand out for him to smell and he reached his head up towards it to be petted. As soon as I got a pet or 2 in I picked him up and put him in the cat carrier. OMG! It was unbelievable but I still wasn't sure it was him!

I thanked the lady and told her if animal control showed up to say sorry we didn't need them anymore and I drove Bailey and I back to my house. Right as I pulled up my friends pulled in and we weren't sure it was Bailey and Scott said Cam (my dog) would know! When I brought him in the house Cam was sniffing his cat carrier and got really excited. I took the cat carrier up to my spare room and opened it and out stepped Bailey! It really was him! He was meowing and super loving. His fur was a little thicker and he was skinny but not emaciated, I gave him food and water but he was more interested in me. He just wanted to cuddle and purr.

I cannot believe it! I am still in shock! He is skinny and his fur was a little thicker at first, but he otherwise seems fine and hasn't stopped purring since he got home.  We are going to the vet this morning to make sure he's ok and talk about getting micro-chipped.

I am so happy!  God did hear all our prayers!  He is my little Christmas miracle!!  Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Always wanting the one thing you don't have

It's been almost 2 weeks and Bailey still is not home.  That is all I want right now is for Bailey to come home.  I pray and pray and search and call his name but still nothing.  No sightings.  And part of me is like God could part the Red Sea, why can't he just bring home my cat?

But then I think about all the prayers God has answered- I love my job (yes, I finally admit it...I'm in love.  It makes me smile just driving in and seeing the company sign welcoming's sick I know), I'm not in a financial hardship anymore, I was able to go on a mission trip, I was able to run my 5K two weekends ago without taking any walking breaks, tons of prayers for others have been answered- why is it always the things God is silent on that I hold against him?

First it was finding my husband.  Why couldn't God just let me bump into him at the grocery store?  Why did I have to endure all these sucky relationships?  I used to pray for God to send me my husband every day.  But it isn't as urgent now.  I'm lucky if I remember once or twice a week.  (Ryan Reynolds is back on the market though....I think that is why I couldn't find my husband before, but now he's available!  YES!)

Now my constant prayer is for Bailey to come home.  I sometimes ignore everything else and wonder why I can't have this one thing.  Why is it always the one thing you don't have that takes away all the glory of what you do have?

In other news- I haven't put up my tree.  I haven't shopped.  I haven't sent out the gifts I have for people far away.  I didn't do Christmas cards.  I have no idea what to cook for Christmas dinner and Christmas is almost here!  This is my last weekend to catch up!  I'm starting to feel the holiday stress!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Lost Cat

There is a lesson to be learned in every experience.  Bailey has not been found.  To say I'm devastated would be under-evaluating the situation.  It's been a week.  I am frantic, exhausted, desperate, sad, empty, tense, drained.  

I have done everything humanly possible to find the cat including- over 100 flyers to neighborhoods around me, vets, Petsmart, the grocery store, an email blast by my HOA to my neighbors, that cost me A LOT and called 525 of my neighbors with a lost cat alert, foot searching everyday (I have worked from home yesterday and today), going door to door (I broke down sobbing at this one poor lady's house), 2 visits to the animal shelter and stalking their website hourly, leaving the back door cracked in case he wanted to sneak back in, spreading his dirty litter box contents around my house to leave a trail to get back, my jacket, his litter box, his favorite hiding tunnel, and a kitty buffet set up on my patio, and the doozy- I got a web cam and have it set up taking pictures of my patio every 2 minutes in an attempt to spot him eating the food.  I also got a humane trap and caught an orange cat the first night, but I have decided to not set it again until I see Bailey eating the kitty buffet on the web cam (if that ever happens).

But as I have processed my feelings throughout this I have learned some important lessons:

1. I now have a glimpse of how God feels about His lost children.  This devastation and frustration is only a shadow of how God feels about His lost children.  Every time I call Bailey and he doesn't respond, that must be how disappointed God feels when we don't respond to His calling.  The desperation I feel for Bailey to just come home is just a small portion of how much God wants us to "come home".  The longing I have for Bailey to be here in my arms is the longing God has to have us within his loving embrace.  He knows "the outside world" is enticing and exciting but He wants you home with Him.  If you don't know God, if you feel "lost",  I am begging, pleading you...God desperately wants you to come home.  He wants to take care of you and love you.  If you want to know God I would be more than happy to introduce Him to you.  I still don't completely know God, but I am getting there.  I would love to share with you what I do know.  Most importantly, the joy I imagine I will feel if Bailey ever comes home is indescribable and would be only a whisper compared to the celebration in heaven when one of God's children "comes home".  Perhaps God is trying to prepare my heart for more missions work?

2. I don't trust God enough.  When Bailey first went missing I searched and searched, but when I didn't find him I turned to prayer.  I asked everyone I knew to pray for Bailey to come home- including the cable guy and other random strangers.  My prayers for him were almost like a constant reel running over and over throughout the day.  But by Monday when Bailey had not come home I turned frantic and felt like God didn't hear me.  I turned into a psycho mommy and bought web cams and traps and only trusted my abilities.  I gave up on God.  I do this in a lot of areas in my life and it almost always leads to heartbreak and pain.  I don't know why my faith is so weak sometimes.

3. Hope is hard and I have no patience.   People always say "don't lose hope" for all kinds of situations.  But "Hope" itself is a hard thing to have.  That longing for the day things will change.  I can imagine the hope cancer patients must have.  I witnessed the hope thousands of missing pet owners have seeing the packed bulletin boards in vets offices, petsmart and the shelters.  And the hope of ALL the animals at the shelters.  There were so many kitties there with nothing but hope.  Hope that someone will take them home and make them happy.  Hope of all the dogs barking anxiously hoping for a home with a yard to run around in and an owner that can be his best friend.  (PSA: If you are thinking about getting a dog or cat, please visit a shelter!)  Hope is one of those things that ebbs and flows.  It gets you up and keeps you going but it is  also so exhausting.   Wikipedia says of Hope "Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best"  When do you give up hope?  I can only think of one instance you should literally NEVER give up hope- Hope in the Lord.  But for these earthly experiences should you ever give up hope?  Hope is frustrating and exhausting.  But if you have ever had to have hope for a long time period over a very uncertain situation, you will know what it means.  The hope builds you up but at the same time wrecks you.

I want to bring the merriment back to Christmas.  I was going to put up my tree and go have fun at all these holiday parties, but I'm just not myself right now.  I am a distracted shadow of myself.  Last weekend I went to a little get-together and my friends could tell and they knew I was not myself.  I have another party to go to Friday.  I am scared because I am not as close to these people and if I am my quiet distracted self, they may think I am a b*tch.  But I need to get out of the house.  I feel like I am losing my mind over this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where is Bailey?

Bailey is still missing.  I am devastated.  I am frantic.  I am empty.  I am lost.

I have done everything humanly possible.  I cannot concentrate on or think about anything else.

That is all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Missing Kitty!!

I'm going to try to do my #reverb10 post tonight, but I have to tell you, my mind is elsewhere.  Last night my cat Bailey ran away.  He escaped out the back door while I was out.  The door must have not latched well after I came home and let Cam out because when I came home the back door was cracked (still locked, but cracked open) and Bailey was gone.  (incidentally Cam did not run away.  I love that dog!) But I have been so distressed about Bailey.  I walked around the neighborhood shaking treats and calling his name until midnight.  I worked from home today in case he came home and searched the neighborhood again.  Cam has been searching too! I put flyers all around my neighborhood and the neighborhood behind me.  I took one to the local vet.  I posted on Craigslist and the animal shelter's site.  I have cried and cried and prayed and prayed. But I can not find him.

Please say a little prayer that Bailey will come home safe and sound soon!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Time? What's that?

So the #reverb prompt for today is:

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

I don't write for a living.  I have a job.  I have chores to do.  I have a dog to take care of.  I am an adult with bills and never-ending responsibilities.  Seriously- be careful what you wish for kids because being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be.  I'd love to have long summers of nothing to do except eat popsicles, ride bikes, and go swimming.  Or month long Christmas breaks to get away from everything.  Or even a week long Spring Break. Once you enter the working world your free time will be cut by approximately 80% so enjoy it while you can.

My whole life doesn't revolve around writing and it probably never will.  This is just my hobby, something I enjoy and I don't want to turn it into a second (or third) job.  I try to cram writing into what little free time I have because there are so many other things on my priority list above it- work, sleep, eating, spiritual growth, and exercise to name a few.  If I don't relax and have a little fun and just live I would never have anything to write about anyway!  I'd rather live life than force myself to write any day.  So don't make me feel bad about my lack of writing ok Mr. Prompter?

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of this prompt...I understand identifying time-sucks and eliminating them, but if I was honest, for me blogging would be a pretty big time-suck- in addition to my obsession with my i-phone.  I eliminated DVR this year (which really was an addiction) and I think that's enough for now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Word: Faith

I’ve joined Reverb 10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.  Each day, we get a new prompt and post a blog sharing what the prompt means to us.  You should join in too!

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)


“To take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase: just take the first step.” 
-Martin Luther King Jr.

My life now is very different from when I started this year.   I have a different job.  I have traveled to a different country.  The person I used to talk to everyday, I no longer speak to.  I was stressed and broke and now I am stressed (but in a good way) and not so broke.  I probably couldn’t run a mile or lift more than 20 lbs.  But now I am stronger from weekly weight lifting and am running 3.1 miles this Saturday.  It has been quite a year.

But the most defining theme for me this year has been faith.  I was in no position financially to sign up for a mission trip last January, but I had faith that God would provide a way and He did!  (A lot of it thanks to you readers!  I am still so shocked and humbled by the generosity, love, and faith you guys have!).  And I got to experience God half a world away, saw a different culture and country, overcame my fear of the middle seat and long distance flying, got to get to know some really awesome kids, broke down some of my missionary and middle east stereotypes, and bonded with some awesome members of my church.

Last year I was so broke.  It was worse than paycheck to paycheck kind of broke.  It was to the point of “I’ve cut almost everything that is not an absolute need from my life” kind of broke.  I was so stressed and depressed about it.  I loved my job, but it just did not pay enough to cover the bills.  I didn’t want to leave, but I knew something had to change.  Now I have a job I really, really like.  It is hard for me to admit when I am in love, but I think I might love this job.  Monday we had free massages and smoothies at work!  How cool is that?!  It is stressful and a lot of work, but it is also fun, challenging, and satisfying.  And it literally dropped out of the sky.  I had not applied to this job.  I randomly got a call about it on a Tuesday and less than a week later I had the job!  From being miserable at a job, to being laid off, to being broke, to being happy…it’s been quite a journey over the last 2 years and the whole time I had to have faith that I was right where God wanted me to be.  And now He has put me here and I love it!

But it all hasn’t been good.  The one area my faith has really been tested is in the romance department.  So much so that I have given up on dating for now.  I have been so disappointed in this department.  I used to believe so much in true love and that I would find my prince charming.  But the experiences I have had with guys over the last 12 years have beaten all the hope out of me.  I want it to come back.  I want to believe that God, knowing how important this is to me, would not abandon me in this area, but right now I don’t.  I hope it comes back.  I hope I believe in love again.  I hope I can trust again.  I hope I can have faith that God hears my prayers for a husband and family again.  But it is going to take some time.

The word that I hope encompasses 2011 for me is Unexpected.  I need some surprises.  I need to experience some out-of-the-ordinary events to remind me there are things I don’t know yet about this world and life.

What would be your word for 2010?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wonderful Kick-off to the Holidays

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!  This is like the official kick-off to the busiest, most jolly, potentially most depressing if you let it be, but overall hard-to-hate time of the year!  The next few weeks will be filled with Christmas parties, wrapping, decorating, cleaning, cooking, mailing, and overall merriment!

But first let's wrap up Thanksgiving...Wednesday night I was planning to drive to my mom's house right after work, but I got a call from a friend and they had an extra ticket for the Canes game.  How could I say no?  I LOVE the Carolina Hurricanes.  My dog is named after the goalie!  Well, they turned out to be the best freaking seats ever!!  Center ice and less than 10 rows back.  It was awesome!

So I packed up Cam and headed got to my mom's around midnight on Wednesday and stayed for Thanksgiving lunch in the dining hall at the retirement home.  It was pretty good and neither of us had to cook or clean which was the best part!

Thursday night a friend and I decided to stay up all night so we could make it to the Target 4 am opening so I could get the iPod nano I wanted.  Since we were staying up, we decided to drive to Mebane to go to the new outlet malls when they opened at midnight.  WORST. DECISION. EVER.  This should have been a sign:

This car was ON FIRE!  On the exit ramp to the outlets.  It was the biggest fire I had ever seen in my life.  I was almost afraid we were going to blow up just driving past it!  That fire truck you see in the pic had just pulled up.  And when we drove past you could feel the heat from the fire in our car!  It was crazy!  I don't even know what causes something like that!

The outlets were ridiculous.  Their parking lots were full and we had to park like 2 miles away down a dark road packed with cars.  Once we got in there, it was packed and I HATE crowds.  You couldn't even shop.  And the Coach store had a line over an hour long just to get IN the store.  Every other store had huge long lines to check out.  We went in a bunch of stores, but the long lines just were not worth it.  We didn't buy anything.  We did make it to Target and I also went to Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Best Buy and got a lot of great deals.  But this might be the last Black Friday I do until I have something big I need to buy like a TV.

Saturday I went to see Love and Other Drugs and it was good, but I hated it because I am finally starting to accept that movie love like that does not exist and I'm kind of pissed about being lied to and creating such high expectations all these years because of movies like that.  It's like finding out that you-know-who doesn't exist and I'm upset about it, so yeah just be patient with me for a while.

I'm finally caught up on Entourage through the end of Season 6 and thanks to a great deal at Best Buy I am the proud owner of the entire six season collection on DVD.  Does anyone know when Season 7 comes out on DVD?  I'm going to go through Ari withdrawals if I don't get some new episodes soon.  I also got season one of The Vampire Diaries and I'm making my way through that and loving it.

I have some catching up to do on this blog.  I caught up with my Bookshelf Blog so go check out the  reviews.  I have some things to mark off The List.  And I've got a 5K coming up this weekend.  We have a new lady starting at work on Thursday, so hopefully things will start to settle down and I'll have some free time to blog soon!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Friday can bite me.

Can I just rant for a minute?  Why are the retailers pushing Christmas down my throat this year?  Christmas stuff was up before Halloween was even over!  And now I have drawn the line with this Black Friday nonsense. 

It used to be you would get the best deals if you were the first one in line at your favorite retailer on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  But now retailers are confusing me because they are having "Early Black Friday Sales" and I got an email from Old Navy today that said "Cyber Monday Comes Early" and most stores are opening on Thanksgiving day.  Stop confusing me!  When is the best deal?  I want it to be at 5 am the day after Thanksgiving (because any earlier and you would just have to stay up all night on Thanksgiving.)  Make it easy for me.  But of course they won't.  They want to confuse me and have me buy early or too late and miss out on the best deal.  They want me to cut Thanksgiving short to go shopping.  They want me to stay up all night so I can hit their midnight sale and then venture on to the 4 am sale.

Last year was the first year I got up early for Black Friday.  I went to one store and got an awesome deal on something that I wanted.  It started at 5 am I think and we got in line about 15-20 minutes before that.  And I was home and back in bed before Chick-fil-a even opened for breakfast.  I liked it.

This year I think we are going to stay up all night because the sale I want to hit starts at 4 am.  If I am going to stay up all night I might just start a whole shopping extravaganza at midnight.  Who knows.  I thought I had perfected Black Friday and now they had to go change the rules on me.

How about you guys...are you doing Black Friday this year?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Guess who the Sexiest Man Alive is....

I've always known this as evidenced by my post last year about him.  He's so yummy!

I'm going to see Harry Potter tomorrow- WOOT!

I've been in an Internet Summit conference the past two days and I have so many thoughts about it.  But I'm too tired to post about it now.

I've been so busy this week I haven't run at all!  I HOPE to get one in tomorrow, but Harry might interfere with that.

I'm so freaking exhausted!  I've been working a lot and I am just so freaking tired!

Oprah is revealing her Favorite Things tomorrow.  I am sad I don't have DVR to record it.

I need a maid.

I REALLY want to see Love and Other Drugs.

I just saw I have 200 followers today!  OMGeee!  I LOVE you guys! 

I promise to stop being so random on here soon...very soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Thoughts Tuesday

- Last week I had been praying to God that I just wanted to fall asleep with a smile on my face.  You know like that giddy kind of smile when you first start dating someone.  Well, last Thursday it happened!  Last Thursday we had our quarterly team event/awards after work.  And I won an award!!  I secretly wanted one, but so did not expect to get one this time.  Anyway, I won a Peer Recognition award...which means people had to nominate me...and I've only been here 6 months!  I was so flipping excited and fell asleep that night with a huge smile on my face. It feels good to be recognized for a job well done again.  I like being a rockstar at work!

- I have been keeping up with my Couch 2 5K running plan.  I am in week 7 now.  From here on out there are no more walking breaks.  Six weeks ago if you would have asked me to run for 30 minutes straight, I would have died.  It still isn't easy, but right now I am up to 25 minutes for each run this week, 28 minutes for each of the runs next week, and 30 minutes for each of the runs the last week.  I signed up for the Jingle Bell Run in Raleigh the first weekend in December and I am hoping to run the whole thing with no walking breaks and beat my time from 2 years ago.

- I have been rewarding myself for every 3 weeks in the Couch 2 5K that I complete.  This weekend I got a new Nike + sensor as my reward for 6 weeks completed because my old sensor was dead when I took back up running.  But I am most excited about my final reward after I finish week 9.  I want to get the new iPod nano.  I run with my iPhone now and I am so scared I a going to accidentally drop it.  There are 10 days between now and Black Friday.  I wonder if I can get all 9 runs in before then so I can get a good deal on my new nano!

I'm still working a lot and soo tired, but life is good.  Hopefully when things die down at work, I can get back to really blogging instead of these random posts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letter to my 16 year old self

I've seen a lot of people blogging and tweeting this, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and write a letter to my 16 year old self:

Dear 16 year old Suz-

You are in the best time of your life. Seriously if you can find a way to slow down time, do it, savor it, because this is going to be one of your best years ever.

Enjoy your free time because each year you will have less and less of it.

Your parents will get you a new car. Your dream car, so don’t complain too much about the hand-me-down Dodge Neon for now.

Try out for cheerleading. You’ll make it and you’ll love it. Keep working out...not just now, but especially when you go off to college. I know it is hard, but it will be worth it.

Stop hanging out with the bad boys. Why do you even like them? Stop sneaking out of the house. It’s so silly and so not worth it.  They are losers...leave them alone.

This year you are about to meet someone that will change your life forever. You will know him when you see him- trust me. Don’t trust the infatuation of the guy you are just so-so about because it gets so much better than that if you just wait.

This summer, enjoy as much time as you can with him. Don’t be scared of love. He loves you too. Don’t be silly and try to make him jealous by flirting with other guys. It doesn’t work and he doesn’t need to be jealous because he so has you and you have him, so just enjoy it. Don’t worry that you don’t fight and don’t try to start one just to have drama like the other relationships around you.

Tell him how much you love him every single day- but don’t smother him. Let him do his thing…he’s a good guy with lots of big dreams so let him pursue them.

You will go through some tough times. Just trust your gut. I still don’t know if we made the right decisions, but either way it will work out. Nothing is the end of the world and you will learn that first hand very soon.

I don’t know if this will work- but on Halloween 1997 do whatever is in your power to kidnap your boyfriend and skip the football game. Call in sick, tie him up with duct tape and shove him in the back of your car, do whatever you have to do, but just do not let him drive at all after school that day. In fact, go slash his tires that morning when you get to school.

If it doesn’t work, don’t worry. It will feel like the end of the world. You will want to give up, but you’ll make it. You’re stronger than you even know. Just get up every day and do the best you can and everything will work out just fine.

Your 30 year old self

P.S. Try to enjoy college a little more because once you become an “adult” things get pretty boring and monotonous. But don’t over-do it. You still need the degree and decent GPA to do what you want to do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where I Work

This month is crazy at work.  I'm working more than I ever have.  I'm lucky to leave by 7 and working on the weekends, but after December it should calm down.  Right now I am basically doing 2 roles though, and we have a huge launch this weekend, so it has been very busy.

Since I spend so much time here I thought I'd give you a photo tour of my work:

This is my building
Another view of the lobby
Cafe in my building- yes they have Starbucks- and yes they were closed at 5 when I took this picture.
Elevators- boring but essential since I work on the top floor
View when I get off the elevator.  Every floor has a different color and a quote.  My floor says "You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus". - Mark Twain

Another view when I get off elevator
My "row"- it's two pods of 4 cubicles each with a table for a meeting area in the middle.
My cube :)- minimalist
There are also these weird cubicle areas that have mesh curtains...I'm glad I'm not in one of those.
Building 2- where the cafeteria is...there is a nice winding walkway with a waterfall to get there
View of outdoor seating at the "caf"

I spend a lot of afternoons here in the conference rooms- we love some meetings round here!

Super Secret Design Center on my floor- you need special security clearance for this area- which I do not have.
Really cool chairs right outside the Design Center in a little lounge area on my floor.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my workplace!  It really is a cool place to work. 

We went to play paintball a few weeks ago for team building.  My team is fun- they have Happy Hour every Thursday and both times I have been able to go (I do have a dog at home waiting for me!), the drinks have been free which is a bonus!

This week we are having our quarterly team night.  Last quarter we had a casino night.  This time it is a comedian.  They have food and drinks and give out the quarterly awards for the team (this is the whole eCommerce team so it is A LOT of people but I am still secretly hoping to win an award at one of these things!)

My actual role can be really frustrating because it is dealing with information that CONSTANTLY changing- so it is hard to keep up and a lot of the processes need work, but I enjoy it...when I'm not threatening to throw my computer down the stairwell because my edits won't show up...imagine blogger on crack...that is the kind of content management tool I work in a lot....and sometimes it doesn't want to cooperate...but everyone has those moments right?  Dang technology, it's a love/hate relationship.  But I believe in the products and the company as a whole which is always a bonus. Yeah, I really like it.

I just might have found a job I can more thing I could potentially mark off my list.  My question to you is...How do you know it's love??

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post.  I know it was probably pretty depressing but it wasn't meant to be.  I'm just done.  People don't want to lose hope in Love.  Love is what our culture revolves around.  Romantic love seems to be the be all end all in life. Getting married or having babies are the only times a person is really celebrated in life.  It's a culture thing.  But seriously...there are people in the world who have never been married and never had kids.  They have lived their life without ever experiencing these things.  Does that make them less than?  Because they didn't meet "the goal" of life?  I'm just tired of all the pressure and all the disappointment.  I'm tired of all the wasted effort.  I tried of hope being crushed.  I'm tried of the anticipation.  I'm tired of wondering what is wrong with me that I can't seem to get this love thing right.  So I am giving up for now.  It might be forever, but you never know.  You know how fickle the human heart can be!  But for now I am totally content with my choice and feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me!!

I'm still a hopeless romantic though and I am loving the previews for Love and Other Drugs!  Have you seen them?  It looks like an awesome movie!  And Jake Gyllenhaal??  Yes please!!

I don't have much else to say because I'm swamped at work and can't seem to get much more out of my brain right now.

But here are some great posts I've read this week by others:

Encouragement in Suffering #1- Zoom Out via thoughts from fabs

This was a great reminder at how insignificant our problems are in the grand scheme of things.  It isn't the end of the world.  Enduring suffering is a great skill to build.  Life will not always be pretty, but remember one day, one month, or even one year is a small period of time in the bigger picture of your life which is just a tiny part in all of eternity. What do you guys think?  What are some things that help you get through bad times?

Dear True Love via Miss Priss 

It's like she read my mind.  I've been having these thoughts lately.  Wondering if true love even exists or if infatuation just turns in to bliss and then to appreciation and then to settling and then just acceptance.  I mean really with movie love all we really see is the bliss part.  Love has burned me and I'm done with it.  I guess you could say I've given up on love cause love's given up on me.  What do you guys think- Does true love really exist?

What I think about Karen Owens and the Duke F*** List via Tucker Max

Did you guys hear about Karen Owens and her fake thesis making it's rounds on the internet?  She created this fake "thesis" for a few close friends of all the Duke athletes she slept with while in school.  And she went in to detail!  Yes, I am embarrassed to say I read it.  I feel sorry for this girl...for everything.  And surprisingly I LOVE Tucker Max's take on the situation.  For an a-hole, he is pretty smart and I think he hit all the points correctly on this one. What do you guys think her or the situation?  Unfortunate, young, and promiscuous?  Empowered?  Do you feel bad for the guys she "rated"?- yes she showed pictures of them and named names!

Christians and Drinking Alcohol via JD Greear

This was a post made by my pastor earlier this week.  It had 62 comments last time I looked!  Obviously this is a hot button issue.  What do you guys think- Is there a reason for Christians to not drink?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I give up

I am giving up on dating.  Forever.  I am just not cut out for it.  It hurts.  It’s exhausting.  And I am giving it up for good.  So don’t try to hook me up with your friend that you think I’d be perfect for.  And no I don’t want to give you my number because you bought me a drink at the club.  And eHarmony and, please lose my contact information.

I am secure in who I am.  I like me.  I really really do!  If I didn’t, I think things would be much worse, but I am happy with me and my life.  That is why I don’t think the effort and hurt with dating are worth it.  I would much rather just do without.  A few years ago things could crush me and destroy my self esteem.  And they still damage it really bad, but they don’t destroy me because I’ve spent a long time working on me and getting to know me.  My identity doesn’t come from them.  It comes from God and knowing I am just who he wants me to be- not perfect, just me- His daughter.  

But I’d rather have none of that pain from rejection and frustration in dating.  I’m tired of hope being killed.  There's a reason I fear the giddyness.  My poor little heart has just been through too much.

So I am giving up on the dream.  No ring.  No wedding.  No children.  No movie love.  I have been very unlucky in love and I think that is a sign.  Not everyone gets married and has kids.  I can be one of those people.  Yes, being lonely sucks, but it is better than letting other people in my little bubble - (people who shouldn’t even matter)- only for them to make me feel like crap.

So no more “It happens when you least expect it.”, “Put yourself out there”, “You’re too picky”…none of it.  I am taking love out of the equation.  I already got to have love once and that is more than some people can say.  So I am just going to be satisfied with that and giving up on the dream.

Do I still hate being single?  Absolutely.  But I despise dating that much more.  No more uncertainty.  No more vulnerability. No more games.  I'd rather take the occasional loneliness and awkwardness.

I have a God that loves me.  I have a dog that is head over heels for me.  I have a mom that makes me feel like I mean the world to her.  I have so many amazing friends who love every bit of me.  I have a cat that loves me in his own weird cat way.  I have a great job and a roof over my head.  What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paintball Fun and Purse Envy

It's been a while!  Things have been busy in my world lately.  Work is crazy, I've been out of town every weekend this month.  And I have been staying up late on the phone for the past week or so.  Which did not leave much time for blogging!

Last week my team at work went off site for a team building activity.  We went to the woods in the middle of nowhere and played paintball.  First of all, I have seen people come back from playing paintball and they always have bruises where they got hit.  I was not looking forward to getting bruised and was so scared what I would feel like to get shot!  Secondly this place was called Xtreme Combat Warfare Training Center.  Ummm what?  That sounds really intense for my tastes.

Anyway, it turned out to be really fun!  I can probably say this because I managed to not take a body shot the entire time we played!  My gun got hit once and I got hit twice in the face mask.  The very first game, me and one other girl on my team were the last women standing!  In fact I was in the last one standing group a lot that day!  We played like 8 games and my team only lost 3.  And one of them wasn't because we all got shot, it was because we couldn't locate the hidden bomb in time after we had shot all of the other team.

We played all day and it even rained on us, but I think we all had a ton of fun!  I am pretty good at hiding and being the sniper.  I was so sore the next day though from all the crouching down I had to do behind the bunkers.  It was seriously so much fun though!

This weekend I went to Homecoming at ECU.  I didn't have this intention, but I partied like a college student Saturday night...and paid the price Sunday morning.  I did get to meet two of the ECU football players out on Saturday!  I would have never recognized them, but one of my guy friends came up while we were talking to them and said "Hey man, ya'll play football don't you?"  Turns out they are starters and actually really good!  I thought that was kind of cool!

I know this is materialistic, but I have been having purse envy lately.  I got one free from work a few months ago:

And I love it, but I want a new one.  I love the dark purple colors I have been seeing lately, but I also have my eye on these:

I also love this Micheal Kors watch
Macy's- $225

Since when did I get such expensive tastes!?!  I love these things, but I would not drop that much cash on something without thinking about it for a LONG time.  Plus, I have been saving up for my hardwood floors, so I have been on a shopping sabbatical.  Which is why I think I am craving so many pretty, expensive things!
I probably won't get to post again until after Halloween!  I'm going to the annual Halloween party my friends throw this weekend- I think this might be their 6th!!  Here's a little preview of what Cam and I are both going to be this year:

I hope you all have a Spooktacular Halloween!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

I got a big surprise this weekend. I got to go to the ECU/State game! This was a big game- sold out weeks ago. My friend’s husband got sick and couldn’t go so I got to take his place! It was GREAT! It was a HUGE game and great people watching because it is an in-state rivalry. Plus it was my first game in Dowdy-Ficklen this year. Here are some pics:

WE WON!! It was an intense game! We were up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter which I think surprised a lot of people! We were some happy Pirates! But by the end of the game we were all tied up and it went in to OT. We went first and scored but missed the extra point…that was it…it could be all over in a minute and we’d lose by 1. But we intercepted a pass right at the end to finish the game 33-27! The crowd went crazy and everyone in the stadium was cheering and dancing- even the players and coaches. It was great!

I was supposed to go to see Dave Ramsey Live on Saturday. He does these financial seminars on how to get out of debt and have financial peace. I bought 2 tickets when I was high on Ambien one night a few weeks ago, because I really liked the idea of paying off my car and eventually my house and having absolutely no debt. But really now that I think about it I probably don’t need his class that much. I am pretty good with money and the only debt I’ve had since college is my car and my house, which isn’t too bad considering how tight things got last year. Anyway, I wasted $50 on those tickets because I ended up going to the football game. You can see where my priorities are.

I watched the best movie this weekend- Hachi- A Dog’s Tale. It is based on the true story of the dog that waits at the train station for his master everyday, even after the master dies and never comes home. I was bawling my eyes out. I am so head over heels for my dog- seriously sometimes my heart could burst with the love I have for him- and I can’t imagine what would happen if I died or what’s going to happen when he dies. I was crying and cuddling Cam and told him I didn’t ever want to leave him.

Sunday I decided to rent Entourage. I have never watched this show and they didn’t even have Season One at Blockbuster, so I rented Season Two. I watched the entire season yesterday! I LOVED it! So now I have to catch up on the rest of the seasons!

And last night I spent 2 hours talking to a boy on the phone- it was nice and he makes me laugh- but I’m trying not to think too much about it…yet :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

When leaves turn colors in the fall, do all the leaves turn yellow, orange, and then red or are some trees red, some orange, and some yellow?

I was supposed to go play paintball for a team building activity for work today but we got rained out. I’m secretly thankful because I have this huge fear of guns and getting shot. In fact I would love to never ever in my life get shot- with a bb, a paintball, a bullet, nothing. I don’t like to purposefully injure myself and I heard those suckers can really hurt and leave bruises. But it’s been rescheduled for next week so I guess I will have to face my fears then!

I was nervous as crap today and yesterday because the two bosses on my team wanted to “talk” to me. I started getting scared they were going to let me go! But they wanted to tell me what a good job I was doing and how people not even on our team were complimenting my work! And I got a little reward! Yay!

I’ve finished 3 weeks of my Couch 2 5K program and I rewarded myself with a manicure/pedicure for the wedding this weekend. Why is it when I get a manicure it doesn’t even last a week? It is already starting to chip!

I haven’t gone to the gym this week because my gym buddy injured her leg when we were dancing in the fountain at the Mint museum this weekend. Oh I didn’t mention the fountain dancing- yeah, that’s because I didn’t remember it until she texted me on Monday and asked how we ended up in the fountain! Luckily I did not slip and fall so I didn’t have a physical reminder. I know I could go to the gym on my own, but I’m lucky to get my C25K runs in this week because I have felt like crap all week!

Treseme came out with a new dry shampoo. I am so excited to try it and I hope it works because every other dry shampoo I’ve tried is so darn expensive!

That’s all I’ve got. What are your random thoughts this Thursday?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Hangover

It's been 33 hours since I had my last sip of alcohol on Saturday night but I still feel hungover!  I am 30 years old.  I should know better and take steps to avoid these and I usually do, but for some reason, weddings push me straight to the bar.  It's now Monday morning and I made it to work (barely) but I still feel like crap. 

If I had it to do over again here are some things I would have changed:

1. I would have planned my time better and ate a big lunch.  I was running behind an hour from the moment I woke up.  But I was bound and determined to fit in my Cto5K run, shower, pack, drop Cam off at doggie day care, AND get a manicure/pedicure before I left Raleigh. 

This hectic morning led me to running a hour behind by the time I got on the road.  And despite driving 80/mph I never made up the time.  I stopped at a Sheetz to get gas and get something to eat since I had not had breakfast or lunch.  Let me tell you, their selection sucks!  I got a bag of baked lays and a chicken salad wrap.  But when I bit into the chicken salad, it made me want to vomit!  I was starving, but there was no way I was eating that crap. So all I had by the time I made it to the wedding at 6:00 pm was a bag of baked lays.

2. I should have eaten some gingersnaps and had some cider while we waited.  But I was so afraid by the time I got some it would be time to sit down.  Plus it was really hot that day, so I just wasn't feeling the cider.

3. I should have waited until after dinner before I said hello to the wine.  But weddings are just awkward to me and so I wanted that liquid courage right away.

4. I probably shouldn't have hung around the bar watching the slide show so much.

5. I proably should have eaten more at dinner, but by that time I wasn't even hungry anymore.

6. I should have asked for a glass of ice water in between each glass of wine.  I always say I am going to do this, but never do.

7. I should not have continued to drink with everyone back at the hotel bar.

8. I should not have accepted that extra beer around the campfire after the bar closed.

I did have fun though!  The wedding was really pretty.  I was mad because they had a photo booth and that's what I wanted to have at my wedding if I ever get married.  It was tons of fun though and I mean really by the time I ever get married EVERYTHING will have been done before so I need to stop taking it personal.

They also had a cool element I've never seen before.  They had a painter paint the ceremony!  And then they displayed the painting at the reception.  I thought that was really cool.

I didn't meet any new boys there.  The "crush" was there, but nothing more than the usual awkward flirting was done with him.  I do think I kissed a random boy back at the hotel bar that was playing the piano for me, but 10 minutes later I decided he was weird and went and sat between two of my really good guy friends and they pretty much told him to leave me alone.  I kind of feel bad for the dude now that I think about it. 

Oh well I made it home safe and sound but despite all my efforts I just cant shake this thing!

1.I've chugged water and taken tons of Advil over the last 24 hours.

2. I had greasy french fries for lunch and taco bell for dinner yesterday, but none of the bad food is helping.

3. I had a big fizzy coke which usaully works, but not this time. 

4. I slept on and off on the couch for 4-5 hours yesterday and got a full 9 hours last night.

Any other suggestions?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.   The first thing I do in the morning to start my day is     either get gym clothes on or turn on the today show and hop in the shower.

2.  Today I wish I was  
 working from home- almost everyone works from home on Fridays in my office.  Unfortunately I have 2 meetings this afternoon so I have to be here- grrrr  .

3.  If I had an extra $100 in my bank account today I'd       save it for my hardwood floors fund    .

4.  Tomorrow     I have a wedding to go to in Charlotte and I’m hoping to have a legendary time .

5.  Two things that don't go together are     hammers and panties- they say that on the morning radio show I listen to all the time and it cracks me up .

6.  Something I can never pass up at the grocery store is        milk and it always goes bad before I drink it- I noticed last night I have 2 half gallon containers in the fridge and they have both expired.  One of them wasn’t even opened yet
7.  The last time I tried something new was        Wednesday.  I did something new and different at the gym and yes, I was sore the next day    .

Play along over at Lauren's blog.