Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tag! Say one word....

The Rules: Answer the questions using only one word.Then tag four others.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? unidentified
3. Your hair? hassle
4. Your mother? supportive
5. Your father? honorable
6. Your favorite thing? music
7. Your dream last night? forgetable
8. Your favorite drink? vitaminwater (that really is one word)
9. Your dream/goal? Master's
10. The room you’re in? Cubicle
11. Your hobby? Golf
12. Your fear? disappointing
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? family
14. What you’re not? extremist
15. Muffins? bananachocolatechip (lol. I might have cheated?)
16. One of your wish list items? knee
17. Where you grew up? NOVA
18. The last thing you did? messages
19. What are you wearing? work
20. Favorite gadget? camera
21. Your pets? cinders
22. Your computer? blah
23. Your mood? energized
24. Missing someone? always
25. Your car? TOMORROW!!!!!!!
26. Something you’re not wearing? ring
27. Favorite store? Multiple
28. Like someone? specifically??
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? cycle

So now I'm supposed to tag 4 people... Okay, Julie, Amy, Char, Shayla, Melissa, Chuck and Carrie. Hopefully at least four of you will participate. Let me know if you do!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A matter of perspective

A friend of mine sent me one of those fwds that we all love getting. You know the one that has you fill in answers for the one who sent it to you?! So I obliged and filled it out, then proceeded to continue the madness and FWD it to the few people who might just feel compelled to respond. I did end up getting two responses, fairly quickly to my surprise. As I read the first person's response I felt like she was right on with most of her answers and was content with the fact that she knows me. Then the second response popped up in my mailbox. I opened it, read it and again was satisfied with her answers along with a few chuckles as some of this friend's responses were quite witty.

What I found interesting was that if the two sets of answers were to be compared, one might not realize they were about the same person. At first I thought to myself, "well that can't be good. Am I not the same person all the time? Do I change what I portray to people depending upon who I am around?" As I contemplated those thoughts for a few minutes I realized something. It's not that I'm a different person around the different people that I hang out with but they form their own opinions based on their life experiences and the situations in which they see me. It's all about perspective. If you asked someone who has been in and out of jail if I was a rule follower, they would most likely answer with a resounding yes. But if you asked the same question to a Christian with legalistic tendencies, they may be more apt to saying yes, that girl is a rule breaker! :) You get my point? Well, it doesn't matter if you do because I feel better about it and that's what started this whole post anyways. But it is something to ponder and remember... be who you are and let people make their own assumptions. Some will be wrong and some will be dead on, but misconceptions are a part of life... and possibly reality all at the same time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Try-Athlete, A New Mindset

This Sunday is the big day. I, along with about 7 other friends, will be racing, more like participating in the Culpepper Sprint Triathlon! This all started back in May when I had to go out to L.A. for work and act as the OIC for the All-Army Triathlon team. I watched those triathletes prepare and compete in the race and felt somewhat nostalgic about my days as a swimmer and olympic hopeful (probably a bit over zealous, but in my mind I was). They were so fit and made working out look like fun to me. So I decided then and there to sign up for a triathlon so I could start getting back into shape and compete.

And now here I am, 5 days out from the big race and I feel like I'll be lucky to finish! So I'm more of a TRYathlete (kudos to Wendy for thinking of that name) than anything. What's the fun in that? If you can't win or don't have a chance of winning something you're competing in, can you really call it competing? I've had to come to grips with the fact that all the years of running and pounding I have put on my body via basketball has caught up with me. I'm training for a triathlon but am not supposed to be running b/c of my knee. I'll let you know how that turns out for me!

Can I be honest for a second? Cardio is not fun for me. I hate the burning in my chest that I get when I'm pushing myself to limit or the fact that my legs feel like lead when running hard. Who enjoys that? I think about the blood, sweat and tears I put into training while growing up and throughout my collegiate career and I can't imagine EVER having a reason to physically work THAT hard again in my life. Which is actually kind of sad. Pushing yourself to your limit is gut-wrenching and rewarding all at the same time. I sometimes wonder how in the world I got myself to work so hard as an athlete (mom and dad probably wish I would've worked that hard in school). But at that time in my life all the pain, discomfort and effort was worth it. I had goals and dreams to motiavate and push me when I was training. So it was worth it... right? right.

Despite the fact that my training level has dropped a few notches, eh hem, and my determination has shown instances of lacking (what? I can't help it if So You Think You Can Dance takes precedence over training), I will still be there this coming Sunday. I may not be one of the elite triathletes, but I will be competing. It's funny how your mindset changes as you get older. I've actually enjoyed this new way of thinking and it's allowed me to enjoy getting back into shape (using that word very liberally) while at the same time providing me with a goal at the end. It's kind of nice being a try-athlete and not having the pressures of winning and living up to expectations that you and others place on you. Maybe one day I'll consider myself a triathlete but for now, I kind of like my status as a TRY-athlete and I'm going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts!! :)

Wish us luck! I'll let you know how it goes! Hopefully with pictures!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dear Younger Self

So if you are a regular reader of my blog you will remember the post from a week or so ago about me thinking that writing a letter to my younger self was a pretty cool idea. Well, I get a little wordy when it comes to reflective stuff like this so here is my letter.... but it's most likely just the first draft. I wanted to put it up there so you guys didn't think I was lying when I said I was going to do it. I actually enjoyed doing this and I think any of you who read my blog and decided you wanted to try, would agree that it's kind of fun to do. It would also be cool to think about writing a letter to your older self and then look back at it in 10 years from now... but for now, here's my Letter to My Younger Self:

Dear Younger Self,

There’s something to be said about the mystery of the unknown and how it drives each one of us. It affects us each in a different way, but it drives you to trust that God is in control and working behind the scenes for His and your good. Your life won’t be much of what you thought it would be in your late 20’s, but you’ll be surprisingly thankful that things didn’t go the way you had planned. And when that happens, as it so often will, it will be what turns your gaze above and makes you realize that life isn’t all about you. You’re a pawn in God’s plan and you’ll feel blessed when you recognize that He chooses to use you in order to help and love people that come in and out of your life. This too, will happen a lot. People will come and people will go. Some will stay shorter than you hope and some will stay longer than you desire. But regardless, they are there for a reason. Sometimes to help you grow and sometimes to help them.

Basketball will not be your identity forever. It will open many doors for you, take you various places and bring countless amazing people into your life, but it is just something you do, not who you are. When you figure that out, it will free you from a lot of pressure, give you the freedom to compete and enjoy it for what it is… a sport, not an identity. Allow it to be something God uses you with to reach others and love them the way He calls you to. Take advantage of being in a college environment and explore different things that interest you, not just things in which you know you excel. Waking up at noon can be wonderful and needed every once in a while but don’t sleep your life away. Get up and do something worth while; go have breakfast with someone you enjoy, work out, have a quiet time, read a book, surprise someone, and help someone out who needs a hand.

Travel as much as you can and spend time with your family… They may get on your nerves sometimes but they love you and will encourage and support you through everything that comes your way. And they are a lot more fun than you know right now. There will come a time when you believe your parents to be some of the funniest people you know (yes, I’m serious). Keep a journal. It will help you remember things that happen in your life and possibly keep you from repeating the same mistakes over and over. Plus it’s fun to look back on and see how you’ve grown and or changed. You’ll have a heart for the underdog, almost to a fault. You are NOT superwoman and cannot save everyone. Some people don’t want to be saved from themselves or the situation they’re in. Be aware of that and let go if God tells you to. After all, He created them and He knows what they need more than you do.

You will have your heart broken at some point. Most likely more than once. And you’ll do your own breaking of hearts in the process. Allow yourself to feel the pain, heartache and brokenness. You will eventually love again but will be healthier if you give yourself the time to heal. And surprisingly, the cliché “Time heals all wounds,” is unquestionably true for most matters of the heart. But that’s assuming you are putting the heartache and disappointment in God’s hands instead of ignoring it and filling that hurt with other things (hint, you will undoubtedly do this…so let yourself feel AND heal!) Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to say something you feel even if you think the person may not take it well. You are not responsible for their reaction to what you say. In the midst of the waiting for Mr. Right there will be days that you wonder if your standards are too high. They are not. Do not settle or compromise for anything less than what God has placed in your heart. He will come through, He always does. This man will be worth waiting for. So have faith and be patient. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache.

When you sit down and think about what to write to your younger self, you will look back on the past 10 years and panic for a split second. You’ll think to yourself that you made too many mistakes, wasted too much time and weren’t productive enough. Not true. Yes you will have made your fair share of mistakes. So what? Learn from them. Stop being so hard on yourself. Have you heard the saying “Life’s a journey, not a destination?” That’s another line that has become famous because of its validity. Being the impatient person that I know you (still haven’t grown out of that) are, I’m going to tell you to stop being in such a hurry to get through life. It’s not going anywhere. Be a good steward of the things God gives you and enjoy every bit of the blessings He provides. The people, the special moments, the seasons of life that you walk through… Enjoy the journey. When life gets hard and seems like too much to handle, remember what your Father said, “In this world there will be trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world!” So take pleasure in the good times and allow yourself to grow in the hard times. Most of all, learn how to be thankful in every circumstance, it will change your outlook on life and your way of living. Your life is not your own. You were bought at a costly price. So live your life yielded and as a sacrifice to the One who gave His Son so that you could live.

I’ve enjoyed writing to you, Younger Self. It has given me a chance to look back, reflect on my life and do some self-evaluation. But maybe this letter serves more as a reminder to my 29 year old self that life is almost never what you expect it to be and it stops for no one. There will be joy and pain but none of it has to be in vain. Ultimately, you are part of a Greater plan. And that plan is worth living and dying for… Live the rest of your life here on Earth so that you can hear “Well done,” and smile when it’s over.

Enjoy the journey,

Your 29 Year Old Self

Friday, July 18, 2008

Photo Op - Summer Moon

I was coming home from my friend Delia's last night right around dusk. As I turned onto Coltsneck I got a glimpse of this reddish orange thing through the trees. I tried to get a better look while making sure I didn't run into someone on the road. It was big, bright and contrasted the indigo sky behind it beautifully. It was the moon. Here's a picture of it. But it 10 or so minutes later so the sky was darker by this point. When I first saw it, the sky was an indigo color behind this huge orange moon. AMAZING!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A letter to my younger self...

My friend Katie blogged about this contest "A letter to my younger self," and although the contest has since past I thought it was a really cool idea and have decided I am going to write one. Obviously, being the analytical self that I am, this could take a while... but I'm going to tag a few people to join me in this venture and ask you to write to your younger self then post it!

Carrie, Meggo, Julie/Monte, Dave, Adam/Char, and anyone else who doesn't have a blog or I don't know but wants participate because they, like me, think it's a pretty rad idea...consider yourself tagged!

I'll try and post mine by next week sometime.

A little more explanation for what this post is about... you won't actually submit your letter to your younger self to anyone. Just think of it as a thought provoking and introspective exercise by taking some time to think about your life and what you would tell your younger self (10 years ago) if you could. Here's an example of the letter my friend Katie wrote. Hope she doesn't mind!!

Dear Younger Self,

You won’t have what you thought you'd have by your late-20s. But you’ll be happy. You’ll have a 350-square foot apartment. A MetroCard. A job as an executive assistant surrounded by amazing women. You’ll have great friends, New York, phone calls from mom, Vodka sodas, Lox cream cheese and bagels.

You’ll realize something new about yourself often. You won't seek to constantly reinvent yourself, yet you might not ever really know everything about you because different parts of you will change – sometimes frequently. This should probably bother you, but it won’t.
You’ll wish you were wittier, and you’ll be a sucker for a sense of humor. You won’t fall in love easily, you won’t get attached easily, and you’ll have to be both of those things if you’re going to get jealous easily; you’ll be able to thank a military-brat upbringing for that. You will be nominated for the "Most Friendly" Senior Superlative at your second high school, and you’ll be a nice New Yorker 10 years later. But you’ll have a dark side, and you generally won’t trust those who don't. You’ll like to step back and absorb certain moments so that you can remember the details; you’ll do that most often when your friends are laughing.

You’ll crave cliché “Sex and the City” moments because it’s how you once pictured your life – minus, of course, the Manolo Blahniks, Upper East Side brownstones, and voluminous consumption of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes without gaining a pound. Your narrative thoughts and meaningful conversations won’t be set to background music, but you’ll have the fantasy in syndication and the real thing right outside your window. You won’t worry that your life is becoming a cliché because there'll be a reason that you are not the first to live life the way you’ll choose to live it. And you’ll want to be Melanie Griffith at the end of Working Girl when she calls her best friend and says, "Guess where I am right now."

Good and bad things will happen. So embrace varying levels of disappointment so that you’ll recognize rapturous joy. Floss your teeth regularly. Take chances. Don't settle for what’s easy; seek what’s worth it. Take random walks in this city. Look for sights you can't believe, listen for sounds that tug at your heart strings, savor the feelings that take your breath away. Eat more fruits and vegetables; drink more water. Allow yourself to be swept off your feet regularly. Save money and spend wisely. Live like Anthony Hopkins' in Meet Joe Black so that you can wake up one morning and say, "I don't want anything more."

When you write this letter, you still won’t know who you are exactly, but you’ll realize it and be ok with it. And you’ll see that the only thing that matters for any of us in the end is that we once existed. So laugh more, love more, live more. Because you can.

Love Always,
Your 28-Year Old Self

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It pays to plan ahead...

.....It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. I have this wonderful thing in my condo that flushes cool air throughout every nook and cranny. It's called and air conditioning unit. I'm quite fond of it's ability to keep my condo at a refreshing 72 degrees on a daily basis. If you don't already know this about me, I cannot STAND to be hot when I sleep or am getting ready after a shower in the morning....or just about any time that I'm inside. Being hot and sweaty is outside business in my mind. You should be comfortable when you're RELAXING in your house. And yes, it is a normal happening for my guests to gladly accept a blanket when visiting as I see that they have goosebumps on their arms and offer them one. :)

So why this post? Well, when my a/c wasn't working in May and the repair man came, he told me there was a leak in the unit. Which means that freon is escaping and eventually will run out... probably soon than later. So before the freon is no more, I want to find a company that will either repair or install a new one so I won't have to try and survive the rest of the summer in Northern VA with no a/c. The thought of that makes me hot just thinking about it. I've been searching the internet and asking around for any referrals of a good company.. If you have one please let me know!! As for now, I'm on a mission... I'm building an ark BEFORE it rains... Lord willing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm a disappointment to the blogging world

So remember a month or two ago when I concocted a way to start blogging more regularly, called "Fantastic Fridays?" Well, it worked. Kind of. But yes, last Friday I disappointed all of you (all 7 of you who loyally read when I finally sit down and write). Okay, so maybe disappointed is a bit too strong of a word and maybe no one even noticed. But I will say that I was getting into the Fantastic Fridays and my efforts to be a more frequent blogger. And I like to think that my readers (again, all 7 of you) enjoy being kept up to date as to the goings-on of this 29 year old chick, who in my opinion has been given a pretty fantastic life! :) So in attempt to reconcile any broken relationship through my neglect of this past "Fantastic Friday" post, I will update you on my trip to the Dominican (which p.s.- that is why I didn't blog so you can't be too upset about it... I had no internet!) and post some pictures!

Most of you know that I went to the Dominican from July 4-9th this past week. The trip started early early morning, way earlier than I ever dream about getting up but we wanted to get there and hit the beach as early as possible! Once we finally rallied and got to the airport, we were like little kids waiting for Christmas! We finally got through all the hustle and bustle of security checks and were ready to fly. I'm realizing if I give you a play by play of our trip, this could be a considerably long post so I'm changing directions. Fast forward. We arrived in Santo Domingo, took a shuttle/van (?) to the resort and were on the beach as soon as we were checked in (check-in process was complete chaos, but we survived).

The beach was awesome and the resort was better than I expected. I got a little nervous right before we left because I read a few bad reviews. But I was pleasantly surprised with the resort as a whole! PTL! The average day for us went something like this: Wake up regime, whatever that was for each person (work out, read, journal, shower, roll over and out of bed), and then we'd head to breakfast. Then we'd hit the pools or the beach for a few solid hours (volleyball, kayaks, vendors, pictures, reading, ipods, and of course catching some rays). Next it was lunch time. Then we'd go back out into the scorching sun to try and see if we could get as dark as the natives. Some would nap in their room, some (megan) would nap outside, but altogether it was just more time to relax and hang out together. Depending on the day, we'd head back to our rooms to rest and get ready for dinner. After dinner there would be a show and then we would head to the "DiscoTeca," for a few drinks, socializing and a lot of dancing! I learned how to Meringue!!

All in all, it was a FANTASTIC trip and there has already been chatter about next year's trip as to what it may hold. Jamaica? Cruise somewhere exotic? Who knows... But I am in whatever the trip may be! We had such a great time and really were able to just relax as most of us were completely disconnected from our lives back here at home. I got to spend quality time with some great people that are very dear to me, and if we had been back here, our every day schedules would have most likely interrupted or cut short the time that we were able to share!

Here are some more pics from our trip to the Dominican... I'll post of few of the funny stories from the week when I get a chance!

The girls on the 4th of July ready for dinner!

Snack bar and drinks... 1st day.

Group shot after dinner

One of the many good laughs we had...

Last day. Adios Amigos!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Want not, waste not.... Five Guys Classic

Especially when it comes to food. But last night I should've surrendered to the French Fries hailing from Idaho at Five Guys. You see, Dad was in town and called earlier that day to see if I wanted to go to dinner. I told him that I for sure would meet up with him but was going to work out before we met. So I ran for 15 mins and then swam for about the same. Not really a tough work out but I figured I'd get something light for dinner and then call it a night. WELL, when Dad and I met up I asked him where he wanted to go and gave him a few options. He didn't want to go anywhere "fancy" so I gave him some alternative options and we ended up on our way to Five Guys! We decided to share a regular fries, in hopes that would give our arteries a break and attempt to keep me in some kind of swim suit shape being that I'm headed to the Dominican Republic tomorrow! But alas, I think the fry guy took a fancy to me or he was just trying to get rid of all the fries at the end of the night b/c he literally filled our bag to the brim with french fries. He winked at me and said, "They from Idaho," with a thick spanish accent and a smile on his face (like that makes it okay to eat them all or something). Now I'm sure he was thinking he was doing me a favor and giving me a little extra indulgence to top off my night. But what he didn't realize was he was really stirring up conflict.

As I opened the bag and saw the ungodly amount of french fries that were in this bag, I thought to myself "if we eat all these fries, 1. we are liable to keel over right here in this establishment, 2. we are pigs, 3. we are gross, 4. I'll have to work out tonight (again). " So it was settled. There was no way we could or should finish these fries, so we'll just throw the ones we don't finish away. LOL. Yeah. Right. So as we're eating and talking, we keep pouring more fries out. I seriously felt as though I was going to pop I was so full. But Dad kept pulling more fries out of the greasy bag and putting them on the napkin. By this point, I'm getting disgusted with the fact that we have eaten almost all the fries that were generously dumped in the bag. I said to Dad, "We really should not eat all these fries. It's so bad for us." And this is what he says to me, in classic Dad response, "But I don't want to waste the vinegar." As he is literally putting the french fry pieces into the little serving cup of vinegar. I couldn't argue, so I helped him finish.

Well, back to the treadmill.